• Published 9th Sep 2012
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Flipside - Bed Head



A retelling of the first two episodes in an Alt. Universe. Spike is the pony, Twilight the dragon.

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Chapter 1

Princess Celestia stood on the balcony overlooking of the Royal Canterlot Palace. The white alicorn's rosy eyes were locked on the shining orb sinking near the horizon. The silver surface of the moon was beautiful as ever, even considering that half of it was marred by a dark stain shaped like a mare's head.

The royal equine's nearly phantasmal mane was calm for once, rather than drifting in its own personal windstorm. Dawn was coming, the sun was supposed to rise soon, but Celestia wanted to gaze upon the moon for just a moment longer.

"Is it too much to hope you've changed?" she asked the heavenly body. "After nearly one-thousand years I'd like to think so. That maybe we could settle this peacefully."

The eye of the mare in the moon seemed to spark. An almost imperceptible but unquestionably malicious light. Celestia bowed her head, her horn shimmering gold as the moon slowly sank beneath the horizon.

"It will be good to see you again, sister," she said, tears in her eyes.

The moon vanished behind the mountains, the sun rising to light the sky in its place. One day until the Summer Sun Celebration. One last day of sunlight, peace and safety for her little ponies. Celestia looked down upon the city of Canterlot as its citizens began to stir and begin their days.

She turned back to her own chambers, making her way past her various personal effects. The bed, the dresser, the vanity, none of them ever mattered to her before and they certainly didn't now. All she could do was try to pretend nothing was wrong and give her ponies another day of happiness.

Down in the city, the sunlight stretched for the windows of one of the housing complexes. A purple unicorn stallion grunted as he squeezed his eyelids tight, turning away from the light and pulling the covers over his head.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Flipside

Chapter 1

"Prosey..." a voice tried to intrude on the young stallion's sleep.

The unicorn groaned, stubbornly shoving his pillow over his green-maned head.

"Purple Prose you wake up this instant!" the nagging, female voice chastised.

His horn sparked with green magic, reaching out and grabbing hold of the window shade. With a sharp tug the rising sunlight's path through the window was cut off by a barrier of beige fabric. His hooves tugged harder on the pillow, trying to keep out the sound of claws stomping across the wooden floor.

"Spike!" the voice yelled as his blanket was yanked from his body.

That got his attention. The unicorn uncovered his head and sat up to glare at the noisy perpetrator of grand-theft blanket. Unfortunately she had already made it to the window and had the shade's drawstring in one clawed hand. Before he could protest the shade rolled back up and dazzling morning sunlight struck his green eyes.

"Gah!" he shouted, trying to block the sun with one hoof without falling backward from the shock.

He failed spectacularly and tumbled from his bed, landing with a thunk on the wooden floor.

"Alright, alright. I'm up, Twilight," the pony grumbled as he rolled back onto his hooves.

The little purple-scaled dragoness near the window plodded over, a smug smile on her chubby face. Her stubby arms were crossed over the paler lavender scales of her chest and stomach and the deep-violet spines on her head bobbed lightly as she tapped one foot.

Spike groaned as he turned away from the impatient reptile and looked longingly toward the kitchen area of their apartment. The coffee machine sat there and at that moment the only thought occupying his sleep-deprived brain was a desire for caffeine. He yawned and started his quill-marked flank toward the invention, the padding of claws on floor signaling his roommate was following him.

"Come on, Spike! Don't you remember what today is?" she asked, sounding some mix between annoyed and frantic.

"Twi, what've I've told you about my name?" the stallion responded as his magic began loading the coffee machine.

A frustrated sigh, followed by the splashing of the sink turning on. The dragoness brought a full pot of water which Spike's magic lifted from her claws.

"Fine, 'Purple Prose', as excited as you were about it last night I can't believe you forgot," she went on.

The gears in Spike 'Purple Prose' Flail's head were trying to turn at his assistant's insistence, distracted somewhat by the bubbling of the water in the coffee machine. He felt her claws as she clambered onto his back, her feet scuffing at his feather quill cutie mark as she tapped at the back of his head.

"I'll give you hint: Far Strider's retirement," Twilight offered.

Suddenly everything clicked, and in an excited rush the pony found himself more wide awake then if he'd drunk a whole pot of coffee. His short, spiky tail waved back and forth looking almost disturbingly like his medieval weapon namesake.

"The promotion to international reporter! Oh my gosh, how could I forget?" he asked, suddenly racing back to his bedroom.

Green magic raced over several items and lifted them into the air. His saddle bags were quickly loaded with spare notepads, ink and quills. A reporter's hat, complete with press pass and his favorite white quill, whirled through the air and landed on his head. His horn sparked a little, tilting the chapeau to a rakish angle with a grin.

"Looking good, Prose. Looking reeeal good," he congratulated himself, a giggle coming from his back. "Look out, Equestria! Here comes your new, number one roving reporter!"

"Are you done preening?" Twilight asked as she tried to flatten out the uncovered portions of his mane.

"Come on, Twi! Starting today we're gonna be travelling the world!" Spike gushed, pacing anxiously as his saddlebags floated towards his back. "Exciting new places and ponies, all sorts of adventure... you've read the stories that Far Strider comes back with!"

"All the more reason to get to the office early," Twilight pointed out as she hopped down and let Spike put on the bags.

A rumble sounded from both of their stomachs, Spike chuckling a bit as he heard the steady drip of the coffee pot filling as well.

"We should probably take care of breakfast first," he admitted.


The Canterlot Sun was, without a doubt, the single most recognized newspaper in Equestria. Most young journalists would give both their left hooves for a chance to write for it, a fact that gave Spike a certain amount of job satisfaction every time he walked into the office. Other ponies were already bustling about, many a cup of coffee floating in a sheath of colored magic.

Spike ducked around a passing mail trolley with practiced ease, Twilight still clinging to his back as he headed for his desk. A huge grin crossed his face as he noticed a gray earth pony also heading there.

"Morning, Ink Blot!" Spike greeted cheerfully. "How's my favorite editor-in-chief today?"

The pony spun around, a few strands of his black mane falling over his face. A huge smile crossed his features as he saw the purple unicorn.

"Double P! Twilight! I was hoping you'd be in early!" the editor grinned.

"You don't say?" Spike responded, flashing a wink and a proud smile to Twilight.

"This wouldn't have something to do with Far Strider, would it?" Twilight asked, hopping from Spike's back.

"Sharp as a horseshoe nail, Twi," Ink Blot answered as he passed her a sealed envelope.

"She didn't get to be my assistant for nothing," Spike pointed out as he peeked over the dragon's shoulder.

Twilight swiftly opened the envelope with one claw, pulling out a pair of train tickets. Spike bit down on his lip in excitement, a shiver running down his green mane.

"Yup, with Major Scoop moving up to Far Strider's old position I need a new pony to handle social events like this," Ink Blot said as he started to walk away.

Spike's tail went limp behind him. Twilight had the tickets in one claw and was reading over the letter inside as he rushed over to his boss' side.

"Hang on, you're giving the international position to Major Scoop?" he said, trying to keep his voice low.

"Sorry Prose. I know you've been eyeing the job for a while, but—"

"'For a while?'" Spike gasped, raising his voice. "I got my cutie mark in investigative journalism!"

"Prosey, you got that mark taking down some stuck-up cheater in magic kindergarten," Ink Blot responded, rolling his eyes.

"It was second grade," Spike muttered, his own gaze casting aside.

"Back to my point, you've never even reported on anything outside Canterlot before," the editor said, putting a hoof on Spike's shoulder. "I can't put somepony with no experience out there."

The purple unicorn bit the inside of his lip, frustration boiling away inside. His boss gave him a pat on the shoulder and a smile.

"Which is why you're getting Major's old assignment," Ink Blot explained, giving Spike a gentle shake. "Get you some experience out there, alright?"

Spike locked eyes with his boss and found it hard to resist the urge to grit his teeth in front of him. The unicorn took a deep breath before lowering his head again. As good as it would feel to vent, getting fired for causing a scene didn't seem worth it.

"You've got it sir," Spike sighed as his boss walked away.

Twilight was still seated at the desk, eyes wide as she looked over their assignment. Spike just slumped down next to her, watching Ink seal himself up in his private office.

"Sp-Prose—" Twilight started.

"I can't believe he just gave the position to Scoop like that," the unicorn fumed.

"You don't even— " she tried to interrupt.

"I'm better than just some stupid gossip column and he's not even— " Spike was cut short by a rolled up paper bopping him on the nose.

"You don't even know what the assignment is yet," Twilight scolded, unrolling the paper. "Just wait until you hear this..."


Prose,

First off, I know we're all sorry to see Far Strider retire. Far be it from me to deny a pony when he says he wants to enjoy time while he still has his health though. Major Scoop is getting the new international position and will probably have already left for the southern borders by the time you get in.

Of course that leaves the paper down a social reporter, and seeing as you've been trying to get into travelling stories this is your big opportunity! As you know, Scoop covered all sorts of diplomatic parties and celebrations everywhere from Las Pegasus to Stalliongrad. It'll be just the sort of experience you need, so here's your chance to get your hooves wet.

The One-thousandth Summer Sun Celebration is coming up, and this year it's being held in Ponyville. I need you and Twilight down there covering every last detail. The preparations, the food, the decorations, the ponies, everything!

I know you had your heart set on Far Strider's old job, but you gotta learn to trot before you can gallop right? Handle this and we'll see what you can do about working you up the ladder some.

Ink Blot

Spike wadded up the letter in his magic and tossed it at the window. It bounced off, having no effect on the speeding landscape beyond the train car he now sat in. Twilight scooped up the message and carefully unfolded it.

"Maybe he has a point, Spike," she said firmly. "Neither one of us has even left Canterlot before. Starting small might be better."

"It can't get much smaller than this," Spike grumbled, his face pressing against the cool glass.

"Come on, mister. It's the One-thousandth Summer Sun Celebration!" Twilight said, hopping up next to him and sweeping one arm. "This is going to be the biggest festival in all of Equestria!"

"And it's in Ponyville," Spike pointed out. "Twilight, we can see that place from our home on a clear day."

The dragon rolled her eyes and sat down with a humph.

"Fine, be that way," she said. "We've still got a job to do, whether or not it's the one you wanted."

"I know, I know," her companion sighed, pulling his hat over his eyes. "Just wake me up when we get there."

Twilight nodded, pulling a tourist pamphlet from the seat in front of her and beginning to read. Spike "Purple Prose" Flail began to breathe deeply as the rocking of the train and the rustling of his assistant's pamphlet lulled him to sleep.

All the while Celestia's sun continued to climb into the sky, nopony aware that it might be the last time they ever saw it.