• Published 7th Feb 2021
  • 1,129 Views, 44 Comments

Scales and Sweets - SilverEyedWolf



After a couple of dates, Rarity tells Spike it's not going to happen. This is the fall-out.

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Date Night in Canterlot

"Hey, Spike! Over here!"

Spike perked up and waved back towards the voice calling his attention to a booth on the wall.

As it had turned out, the mare on Pinkie's mind had been free that night and in need of a bit of an R&R outing herself. Since Spike had taken the day off, he and Pinkie had spent the rest of it getting him a ticket and a single flower for her. It had taken a little searching and some earth-pony assisted growing, but he'd decided on what should have been a perfect choice; a mostly yellow Cosmos bloom with thick red outlines on the petals.

After carefully packing the bloom away in a saddlebag fitted for his thigh, the rest of the day had been spent on a comparatively short train ride. A brief hunt followed this for the place mentioned as a favorite haunt; one Hotel Sunrise, run by an older griffon name Glenn Frayed. The place looked like it'd seen better days, but in the same way some of the more senior royals had. Like it had just settled into a cozy retirement and no longer had to put on the same airs as before.

A couple of moments after he'd poked his head in, and another moment after he'd been called over, he slid onto a high-backed seat and let out a shallow sigh, smiling over at the mare already nursing a lowball glass.

"Heya Spike," she with a large smile, offering him a hoof that he bumped. "Been too long. How's Twilight and the girls?"

"Great, as far as I know," Spike replied. "How about you? How're Twilight and the girls?"

Sunset Shimmer threw her head back and laughed, loud and warm and brief as she quickly glanced around, hiding the grin behind her hoof.

"Good wordplay there, boy," she chuckled before nodding at a waitress across the room. "They're good, they're good. Pinkie tried to get over here again the other day, but Luna was waiting to toss her back through. Said she'd felt a disturbance coming, can you believe that?"

"From Pinkie Pie?" Spike asked with eyes that had been forced wide. "No!"

They shared the laughter, quieter this time on Sunset's part, before stowing it for the waitress.

"Well, Ms. Sunset," the griffon said with a twinkle in her eye as she stage-glanced over at Spike. "Is this the first colt you've brought over? Careful wit' him, you don't wanna chase 'im away now."

"Hush Gale, he's an old friend." She winked at Spike before saying, "He knows what he'd been in for."

The old hen cackled while Spike watched the two with the barest hints of blush.

"What'll it be then? Usual, Sunny?"

"Sure, but with extra cheese, please. Uh, think bar-styled restaurant menu Spike," Sunset said.

"We do a real mean fried cod, if ya like fish," Gale put in.

Spike screwed up his eyes, trying to remember if he'd ever had fish and if he'd liked it. "Uh, sure, never had anything fried I didn't like, I guess. And do you have cider?"

"Oho, this one's a bold one," she said with a raise of her fluffy eyebrows. "Do we have cider, indeed. I'll getcha square with Glenn and bring you that drink."

Dropping one last wink at Sunset, Gale turned and sashayed back to the bar.

Spike raised an eyebrow at Sunset.

"Oh, uh, Griffon cider has alcohol," she said, turning to glance behind the counter where the pegasi bartender was already pouring from a large keg in the wall. "D'ya want me to...?"

Spike sighed, shaking his head. "Nah, it's fine. I was planning to stay on the wagon a bit longer, but as long as it tastes good, I guess."

Sunset's eyebrows creased, and she leaned forward. "Spike, if you're having a problem with 'staying on the wagon,' I can—"

Spike burst into surprised laughter. Waving his paw at her, he snorted out, "No, no, I just had a long night a few days ago, is all. Swore off drinking forever, that sort of thing."

"Oh, whew," Sunset said, slumping back into her cushion and giving a weak chuckle. "Man, I was anxious after Pinkie wrote me about you needing somecreature after your break-up with Rarity, and then the wagon thing? Scared me."

There was a long, poignant-to-Spike moment where his mind was racing as Sunset chuckled across the table from him.

"So, how exactly did she word that letter?" he asked lightly.

"Well, reading between the lines, I gathered that you were feeling pretty down in the dumps, and you were having some trouble finding a free friend in Ponyville," Sunset said, reaching beside her and pulling the scroll out of what he supposed were her saddlebags. "Why, did I miss something?"

"You might have," Spike said with a hollow chuckle, reaching down and opening his bag and withdrawing the cosmos bloom, brandishing it towards Sunset like a rapier-point.

She looked confused at first, her eyebrows slamming into each other as her head tilted to the side before her entire face went loose beneath a blush.

"O-oh," she said, glancing towards a Gale that was positively radiating sunlight with her grin. "Ah, right, I shouldn't have read between the lines, huh." She reached out and carefully took the cosmos, looking over the striations of color that flowed over the petals that surrounded the blazing yellow center.

Spike watched her look over the flower for a moment before he chuckled and leaned back in the booth.

"Hey, don't worry about it Sunset, I told Pinkie that it'd be weird and awkward between us, what with my being a dog when we first met and all," Spike started to say, but Sunset put her hoof out.

"Hold on, Spike," she murmured, shaking her head lightly. "I still wouldn't have said no. Hold on a sec, let me kick-start my brain a little."

Spike opened his muzzle before letting himself trail off, resigning himself to reclining into the seat and waiting her out. Gale walked over with his drink, some tall fizzy thing in a wooden mug with what looked like a segment of cinnamon stick floating around, smiling widely at the two of them before making herself scarce again.

After another moment, Sunset nodded slowly to herself.

"Alright," she declared, nodding more firmly at Spike.

"Alright?" he asked, narrowing his eyes at her.

"Yeah, man, alright," she said, chuckling and smiling across the table at him, no more shyly than usual. "I wouldn't mind giving you a night." She flushed crimson and raised her eyebrows at him. "A date night," she corrected sternly.

Raising his paws, Spike laughed through the blush. "Yeah, sure, of course," he said before frowning. "Are you sure? About the date," he quickly added when her nostrils flared, "not about... Yeah."

She looked him over, letting her eyebrows fall back into a normal height over her eyelids.

"Well yeah, sure. Why not?"

He raised a paw and waved it over his strangely shaped muzzle, the scales in place of a mane, the scales in place of a coat.

"You just waved at all of you," she chuckled.

"Well, yeah," he muttered, looking down and away. "I'm this scaly reptile, and you're a nice, soft, cute pony. How am I supposed to measure up to that?"

He scratched his skull for a moment, keeping his eyes down and to the side of the table.

"Spike."

He blinked and looked up at Sunset. She was gazing at him with the softest, sternest eyes he'd ever seen. He opened his mouth to say something, but she held up her hoof.

"Spike, remember the first time we met? You were a dog, and I wasn't even a pony. But you decided to send this scroll anyways," she said, lifting it with a hoof for a moment before dropping it back on top of the saddlebags, "and that means you're willing to look past whichever face I'm wearing at the moment. What kinda mare would I be if I couldn't do the same?"

She smirked.

"Besides, I think you're pretty cute, and I love the color scheme. If you'd turned into some sort of evil wizard? All the mares would throw themselves at you, Spike." He snickered, and she leaned in to whisper, "All the mares."

He snorted before shaking his head. "Alright, fair," he said, idly slicking his paw over his spines. He let a moment pass before he quietly asked, "You really think I look okay?"

"Spike," she said, deadpan, "have you ever heard me say anything I don't believe?"

He thought. Opened his mouth. Closed it.

"Huh," he said, chuckling. "I guess not. You could give AJ a run for her money on that streak."

"Not really," she said with her own lighter chuckle. "You just haven't heard me lie yet."

"Oh, bucking, thanks, Sunset," Spike said, rolling his eyes and suppressing the laughter in his chest. "Really shines a great light on our previous topic, well done, well done."

"Hey," Sunset said, raising her eyebrows and smirking, "I just told you that you haven't heard me lie yet. It still holds, drake."

He ran through what she'd said again before running his paw over his scalp as he studied the tabletop again. Peeking, almost, up at her, he asked, "You think I'm cute?"

Sunset snorted, her smile deepening; she said, "Spike, I know you're cute. I mean, scaly sure, and those claws of yours look like they can do some damage. But yeah, the whole face and bashful smile thing you have going on? Super fuckin' cute," she chuckled.

"Fuckin'?" Spike asked, tilting his head.

"Human word, don't worry about it," she answered, shaking her head. "But really, though, I'm sure there are several mares out there that wouldn't mind being treated by you, and I'm glad to be one of the first ones on the list." Her eyebrows quirked. "I assume that I'm one of the first ones on the list?"

"Well, to tell the truth, I don't have much of a list," Spike said with a shrug. Reaching out, he gently picked up his wooden mug and took his first sip, blinking at the burn of the alcohol and licking his lips. "Whoa. Tasty. Uh, my 'list' was just sort of one pony, and when that fell through, I went into a pretty rapid tail-spin. I was just lucky enough to have a bunch of friends around and a parachute called Pinkie Pie. I'm working with her list right now, and you were pretty up there."

Sunset laughed before taking another sip of her drink. "It still surprises me how similar the six girls are to each other. Good to hear that you've got some ponies at your back when you need them."

"Yeah," Spike chuckled, taking another sip of his drink. "So how about you? You have a list?"

"Might," she said, raising an eyebrow. "You wanna swap? I give you one, and you give me one?"

"Sure. Uhm, according to Pinkie, my first would be someone like Twilight."

Sunset made a face. "Aren't you two siblings?"

Chuckling, Spike nodded. "That's what I told Pinkie, yeah. Then she checked off a bunch of names, and we landed on you. That said since you know both Rarity and Twilight, maybe I can get the first name off your list?"

Sunset turned red and mumbled something under her breath before quickly taking a drink out of her glass.

"Sorry?" Spike said, his vague smile growing into a smirk. "I could have sworn you said—" he trailed off, lifting his spiny eyebrows.

"It was Celestia, alright?" she spat, blushing furiously. "I wasn't as close to her as you and Twilight were, so she never made the Mother connection with me. As I hit puberty, she was the closest and smartest mare to me, and, well, you know how she looks..."

Spike let her trail off, nodding as his grin melted into something more genuine. "Nah, it's alright, I get it. Basis of all of ponydom's aesthetics and all. I mean, she's kind of Mom for me, but I can see it."

Sunset sighed and took another sip, perking up when she looked across the room. "Flying fish."

Spike gave her the same look she'd given the cosmos bloom before he looked over his shoulder and saw Gale approaching, two plates nestled between her wings.

She got beside the table and dipped her shoulder, rolling it in that unique way creatures who were used to serving plates had. Spike's dish came with a wire basket padded with what looked like old newspapers and four pieces of something perfectly golden fried, the entire plate loaded with what looked like hay-fries but more solid with a mottled brown surface on their tips. Sunset seemed to have a whole plate just of these strange fries, but hers were smothered in what smelled like chili and topped with sharp yellow cheese.

"Refills?" she asked, nodding at Sunset's low glass.

"Sure, but a soda, please," Sunset said with a smile up at the hen.

"I'm still good, thanks," Spike said, echoing Sunset's smile.

The hen giggled and ruffled up a couple of feathers, causing Sunset's cheeks to try and match the red of her mane before trotting happily off.

Spike looked at Sunset and quirked an eyebrow, nodding his head at Gale.

"I'm a regular here, but I haven't exactly brought a lot of dates," Sunset said, waving her hoof at Gale. "She's used to seeing me alone or with a couple of friends from the office. Not with a colt."

Chuckling, Spike said, "Well, you've kept that streak alive."

"You know what I mean," Sunset said, brandishing a fry at him before shoving it into her mouth and looking away as she chewed.

"So, what are these?" Spike asked, picking up one of the fries to find it much denser than expected. "Looks like a hay fry, but nowhere near as light."

Swallowing, Sunset nodded. "The same process, but these are made from potatoes instead. Popular over in Griffinstone, as well as over in Canterlot. Uh, the other one."

He snickered. "Sounds like you know your stuff."

Sunset huffed. "Well, I thought it was weird for both places to have them, so I did a little research."

There was an awkward silence as they both grazed off of the thick fries covering their plates. Spike watched her sip from the dregs of her previous drink before gently clearing his throat.

"So, as far as ponies around here go," he lightly said, "just none that meet the bottom line, or do you just feel too busy right now?"

He watched Sunset select another fry and place it into her mouth, giving them a moment before she said, "I wasn't thinking about it, I guess. Been keeping busy up at the palace."

"Still trying to figure out what will and won't transfer?"

"Yeah," she sighed. "All of our magical devices tend to do the wormhole thing over there, and their silicon chips tend to get overloaded on the latent magic in the air here and," she trailed off, raising her hoof and making a pwoosh sound. "Boom."

Spike chuckled. "Sounds like a whole project. What about their mundane stuff?"

"We've got most of it already," Sunset said with a shrug. "Either that or it would be a process to make, and that would have an impact on our environment that Princess Celestia feels wouldn't be worth the goods in the end. And I tend to agree," she finished with a shrug. "So right now, we're researching other precious materials that we have, and they don't, to see if we can replicate their integrated circuits."

Spike blinked a couple of times. "I was with you until you got to the last two words."

"The things that explode when they hit their magical limit," Sunset chuckled. "What about you though, you archive anything interesting recently?"

"Found a scroll talking about ancient wheat growing techniques," Spike said.

"Oh wow, next big thing in agriculture?" she asked, leaning forward and widening her eyes a bit.

"Oh yeah," Spike chuckled. "I was thinking of taking it to Granny Smith and seeing if she could clear up some of the details; I'm sure she still has some notes from her childhood laying around."

"Wow, Spike, picking on the elderly now," Sunset giggled. "Classy."

With a snort, he said, "Second time I've been accused of classin' up a place. Should look into a bow-tie or something, at this rate."

"There's no way you don't already have one," Sunset said, not looking up from her plate as she dredged a fry through the chili and cheese mixture on it.

Spike opened his mouth and raised a claw before his brain shorted itself, and he remembered the two ties he'd received as gifts from Twilight and Discord. "Alright," he said, dropping the claw, "you got me, but I feel like it was on a technicality."

"The best way," she said lightly before laughing.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

"You know, over there, this would be considered a little backward."

"What, overpowered wizard of mythical proportions escorting a dragon to a train?"

"Yeah," Sunset chuckled, nudging his hip with her shoulder. "I think we usually get called in to get you guys to leave or something."

"Or something," Spike snorted, his gaze going just a little blurry as he looked down at her. "Blow me up; that's your 'or something'."

"Not on the first date Spike," she said before laughing at their combined blushes.

"Your second drink is showing," he muttered, glancing away and taking another couple of steps before glancing back at her. "First date?"

She sighed, frowning. "I don't know, Spike," she said with a shake of her head. "I had a ton of fun, of course, and talking with you was a blast. And again, you aren't unattractive," she nudged him gently with her knee, "but I just don't know about..."

He let a breath out through his mouth, slowly. "It's alright, Sunset, I get it. Friends, right?"

She nodded. "Right."

Spike swayed a little, cocking his head to the side when he saw the train station. "Guess I won't pretend to accidentally cop a feel, I guess," he snickered.

"Not if you want to keep your toes, you won't," Sunset said brightly.

Spike paused for a couple of moments before chuckling again. "While I'd say it would probably be worth it, I guess I'll hold off. I do like my toes. And besides, friends, after all."

"Friends," Sunset agreed before gesturing to the doors of the station. "You got this? I've got a bit of a walk up to the castle, and I've been running since dawn."

Checking his hip scales, Spike pulled out a ticket and stared at it for a moment before nodding. "Yeah, I got this. Thanks for walking me here, Sunny."

"Hey, that's what two and a half ciders get you. One walk from your friendly neighborhood wizard." Facing him, she reared up and hugged his chest, surprising him into wrapping his arms around her torso in return. "Hey, you'll find someone," she said gently. "You're a great guy, so don't stress it too hard, right?"

Spike swayed gently in place before nodding, his chin resting between her ears for a moment. "Right."

He watched her walk away, shifting back and forth for a moment before sighing and walking into the station. Flashing his ticket, he was told a time and was welcomed to the benches that filled the space around the booths.

After sitting and stewing in his thoughts for a moment, he raised a claw absently and wiped away the empty tears on his cheeks before sighing.

"One down," he whispered to himself, settling deeper into his seat to wait out the clock.