• Published 12th Oct 2012
  • 16,546 Views, 450 Comments

Greenfire - True Blue Spark

Hunting for gemstones, Rarity discovers a massive hoard... and the dragon who collected it. Rarity and Greenfire quickly find themselves drawn to each other. But the question remains: How did he end up in the Everfree Forest alone?

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3. Third Time's the Charm

“I cannot believe,” Rarity sighed, “that I am actually doing this.” The path to the dragon’s cave was still damp from the rain the night before, but it wasn’t a problem as long as she took it slowly. And she certainly was taking it slowly; part of her was very happy to delay her arrival as long as possible.

The resolution that had seemed so right in the middle of the night wasn’t quite so strong under the light of the sun. Entering a dragon’s lair accidentally was one thing, but walking back into it purposely? She could easily remember the fear she’d felt two weeks ago, trapped, helpless, fully believing that she was about to be burned or eaten alive.

But the more she thought about the short conversation they’d had, the more she had to wonder. It had mentioned ponies that had tried to fight it. How many treasure seekers had it been forced to deal with in the past? If the Carousel Boutique were constantly under siege by ponies aiming to steal her dresses, she could well imagine she’d have a bit of a short temper too.

Rarity was intensely curious about the dragon. How long had it lived in the forest? How did it pass the time? Why had it given her the gemstones when she’d never have known if it kept them? There was only one way to answer those questions. Coming out to its cave again was risky, but Rarity had never allowed fear to rule her life, and she didn’t intend to start now.

Of course, that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to be careful.

“Excuse me!” Rarity called into the cave. She was several feet back from the entrance; if the dragon emerged angry, the distance would give her enough of a head start to flee. “Mr. Dragon, sir? I apologize if I’m disturbing you, but I was wondering if you would be amenable to a... a little chat.”

Silence. Well, she could hardly blame it if it felt suspicious. “I promise I have no intentions toward your hoard,” she continued. “All I want is to talk to you. I’ll leave if you want me to, but I do hope you’ll give me a chance?”

Still no response. Rarity began to wonder if the dragon was even home. But soon she heard the distant echo of claws scraping against stone. The beast emerged from the shadows slowly, eyeing Rarity with no little suspicion. “So it is you,” it eventually said. “You actually came back. You know, most ponies are smart enough to stay away after I scare them off.”

Rarity sniffed, ignoring the implicit insult in the statement. “Yes, well, I am hardly like ‘most ponies’.”

“Yeah. I noticed.” Rarity furrowed her brow. Was that an insult? She couldn’t tell, and the dragon wasn’t exactly forthcoming with explanations. It studied her for a few more seconds before seeming to come to a decision. “Alright, come on in. But touch anything and I’m tossing you out by your tail.”

“Of course.”

It turned around and walked back into the cave, and she followed, proud of herself for only being a little anxious. Halfway in, she swallowed a yelp as a burst of green flame exploded in front of her. When her sight cleared, she could see the dragon, tucking a flickering torch into a small crevice in the wall.

“Why, thank you!” Rarity said immediately, pleased that it had thought of her comfort. “It’s so nice to be shown a bit of hospitality.”

The brief look of disbelief the dragon shot her was honestly rather amusing. She could almost hear it think, ‘What’s wrong with her priorities?’ It shook its head and curled up on its hoard, and she settled a few feet in front of it. “So why are you back here?” it asked.

“Because of these.” Rarity opened her saddlebags and levitated the four gems out, bringing them around to hover between her and the dragon. “You brought them to my boutique last night, did you not?”

The dragon averted its eyes, turning to one side. It didn’t speak, but its evasion was answer enough.

Rarity nodded knowingly. “I thought so. I presume you were watching me, then, when I was attempting to dig them up?”

That remark got more of a reaction. The dragon turned back toward her with a scowl. “Hey, it’s not like I was looking for you, okay? I came out to get a snack and there you were.”

“Of course. I certainly didn’t mean to imply anything.” So transparent. She couldn’t help but smile. “But I do find it fascinating that you chose to give them back to me rather than keep them...”

It frowned and looked away again. She never would have expected a dragon to be so... well, awkward was the only word that seemed to fit. “I just... didn’t wanna owe you anything. And if I’d left them there, the Diamond Dogs would’ve come for them.”

That wasn’t a set of words Rarity had expected to hear together. “‘Diamond Dogs’? What on earth are those?”

The dragon shrugged. “Well, basically what they sound like,” it said. “They’re a bunch of mutts that live in caves under the Rambling Rock Ridge. I don’t know or care why they love gemstones so much, but they’ll do anything to get their paws on one.”

Rarity shivered delicately. “They live underneath the ridge? Oh, dear. I’ve been digging there for years, and I had no idea.” If they had ever come after her during one of her trips... It was disturbing to imagine.

“Yeah, well, that’s no surprise. They don’t come up to the surface much.” The dragon breathed on its claws, buffing them against its scaly chest in a remarkably recognizable expression of pride. “You can thank me for that. The one that tried to sneak in here two summers ago is probably still growing back his fur.”

The dragon seemed to be playing it off as a joke, but still imagining the danger a pack of jewel-stealing dogs could have posed to one lone mare, Rarity found herself feeling very grateful indeed. “Well, then, it seems I have more to thank you for than I realized. But that brings me back to the reason I came.” She set the four gemstones down on the stone floor of the cave. “I, too, do not like to owe anything to anypony, when I can help it. So considering that we shared the work of unearthing these gems, I felt we should also share the gems themselves.”

The dragon stared at the gems for a moment, then looked back at her with a skeptical frown. “Uh-huh. And next you’re gonna tell me I’ve won the million bit lottery, right?”

“Is it really that hard to believe?” Rarity asked primly.

The flat look became, if possible, even flatter. “Uh, yeah? No pony’s ever wanted to give me anything but a sword to the gut, so why should you be different?”

She turned her nose up. “Hmph. I understand that you may never have dealt with a truly refined mare like myself before. But it ought to be obvious that I am nothing like the jewel-stealing ruffians that may have troubled you in the past.”

“Oh, yeah? I guess you’re pretty special, huh? That why you don’t look scared?” The dragon reached out and slammed one claw into the stone, between her and the jewels. “I could just drive you out of my cave and keep them all for myself now. You realize that, right?” Its expression seemed fierce at first glance, but Rarity’s trained eye caught the uncertainty below the surface. It was challenging her to remain calm; in fact, it seemed to her that the dragon wanted her to rise to the challenge.

Which she would. She nodded, unphased. “Of course I do. You certainly could... But I don’t believe that you would. If you were that kind of dragon, you wouldn’t have brought them back to me in the first place, now, would you?” It didn’t answer, so she gently nudged, “Am I right?”

“Yeah,” it finally admitted, pulling its claw back. “But don’t go telling everypony, alright? I’ve got a reputation to keep.”

Fighting the urge to roll her eyes—stallions would be stallions, even when they were dragons, apparently—Rarity just laughed politely. “I assure you, Mr. Dragon, that your secret is safe with me.”

The dragon snorted, giving her an appraising look. “...Greenfire.”


“That’s my name. Greenfire.”

“Oh! Yes, of course!” Rarity blushed, ashamed to think she’d gone so long without giving her own name. “I’m so sorry for my rudeness! My name is Rarity. I must say, it is a pleasure to finally be formally introduced.”

The dragon quirked an eyebrow. “A pleasure? You really are a weird pony.” But before she could get properly outraged by the comment, Greenfire... smiled. A lopsided grin, but a genuine one, the first one Rarity had seen on its muzzle. On his muzzle. “Not that I’m complaining,” he chuckled, resting his chin on his crossed forelegs.

Rarity felt an answering smile slip onto her face. The grin had displayed Greenfire’s long teeth once again, a sharp flash of white against the lavender of his scales, but she wasn’t afraid. She felt comfortable, even safe. Greenfire was a dragon, but all of his actions so far had proven that he was far from being a monster.

“I shall take that as a compliment, then,” she said regally. “Now, about the gems...”

“Oh, right.” Greenfire glanced down at the gems, resting on the floor of his cave. “How did you wanna split them up?”

“I believe a 50-50 split would be suitable, don’t you?” Greenfire nodded after a moment’s thought, so Rarity continued. “First of all... I think you should take the diamond.” She slid it forward toward him, not without a little regret. “I would dearly love to keep it, but its shape is just too inconvenient for my purposes. I would be forced to... cut it.” A little ladylike shudder. “I’m sure you’ll agree that that would be a tragedy.”

“Huh, yeah,” Greenfire agreed, reaching out to lift the diamond into his palm. He sounded distracted, but Rarity wasn’t left wondering why for long. “That reminds me, I’ve been wondering. What do you want gems for, anyway? I didn’t think ponies hoarded like us dragons do.”

Rarity giggled. She hadn’t realized that he might wonder about that, but of course, how could a dragon be expected to know about pony fashion? “Oh, darling, I don’t hoard them, I use them! Gemstones like these are the perfect accents to the dresses I create in the Carousel Boutique!”

Greenfire’s brows scrunched up, making him look adorably baffled. “Dresses? So you wear them?”

“Yes, of course! From day to day, mind you, most ponies prefer to go au naturel, as it were. But on special occasions, or when one wishes to stand out from the crowd—well! That is precisely what my creations are meant for! To enhance a pony’s inner beauty and ensure that no one around can tear their eyes away!” By the end of her miniature speech, Rarity was posing proudly, head thrown back and chest puffed out, smiling with the confidence that true genius supplied.

He still looked skeptical, but Greenfire seemed to be content enough with that explanation. “I guess that’s no weirder than hoarding them,” he said.

“Of course it isn’t!” Rarity insisted. “So you’ll keep the diamond, then. The amethyst would be perfect for a project I’m working on, so if I may?”

“Yeah, sure.”

She beamed. “Thank you! That leaves the ruby and the sapphire. Do you have any preference?”

Greenfire took a good look at the two remaining gems. He took his time, gaze shifting between her and the jewels, but she imagined the question was probably academic in the end. The ruby was of slightly better quality and easily twice as large, so no doubt he’d want—

“The sapphire,” he said, plucking it off the ground.

“Rea—” Rarity stopped herself mid-word. If he wanted to give her that beautiful ruby, she wasn’t about to try to talk him out of it. “As you wish!” she said instead, gathering up the amethyst and ruby before he could change his mind. “I’m so glad we could come to an accord!”

“Yeah. Me too.” Greenfire didn’t sound glad, though. He laid back down on his hoard, watching the flickering torchlight as it bounced off the facets of the sapphire.

“Is something the matter?” she asked, taking a step toward him.

“Oh, no, no,” the dragon replied unconvincingly. He glanced past her, to the cave entrance. “It’s getting dark.”

Surprised by the change of topic, Rarity turned to look. Sure enough, the light of the sun was fading fast. “Oh dear, it certainly is.”

Greenfire nodded. “You should probably get going. You did get what you came for, right? Or ‘give’. Whatever.”

Oh. So that was it. Rarity hid a smile behind her hoof as she looked at the sulking dragon. He really was terrible at hiding his feelings, wasn’t he? If he thought that she was just going to leave him lonely now that they’d shared the gems... Well, she clearly would have to teach him better than that.

“Greenfire,” she said warmly. “May I... come back to speak with you again?”

He sat up straight, eyes wide. “You... You wanna come back?”

“Of course! This has been a very pleasant conversation. I must confess, I’m still quite curious about you and your lifestyle.” Tentatively, ready to backpedal if necessary, she placed a hoof gently atop his claw. “And dragon or no, I would like very much to call you ‘friend’.”

Rarity had never imagined that a dragon could blush, but Greenfire could and did, cheeks turning a faint pink. He leaned away from her, but didn’t move his claw. “Uh, that—I-I guess that’s alright.”

“Wonderful.” Rarity smiled and turned half toward the entrance. “I’ll visit some time next week, if I may?”

Greenfire waved a claw aimlessly, still distracted and still blushing. “Sure, that’s fine. If I’m out, just wait on the path and I’ll show up sooner or later.”

Rarity beamed one last time, the widest, brightest smile in her entire repertoire. “I will. Well, then... Au revoir!”


Quiet again. After such a long conversation, the sudden silence seemed so strange.

Greenfire scratched his cheek thoughtfully. He imagined he could still feel the warmth that had briefly filled it, or the cool touch of Rarity’s hoof on the back of his claw.

He groaned and shook his head, as if shaking dust out of his ears. Why was he acting so bizarre around that weird unicorn? Dragons weren’t supposed to hang out with ponies, and they definitely weren’t supposed to care about having friends. Dragons were solitary. They were fierce beasts, heartless hunters. Right?

Greenfire glanced at a certain spot in the back of his cave, then rolled his eyes with a sigh. “Yeah. Like I’d know.”

He got up to blow out the torch he’d lit, but halfway to it, he felt a stray gemstone under his claw. “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about you two,” he chuckled, scooping up the two gems he’d kept. Rarity had seemed surprised that he hadn’t chosen the ruby. And ordinarily he would have, but he’d been struck with a sudden... sentimentality of sorts.

He didn’t think she’d noticed. It was wider, after all, and the blue was several shades darker. But aside from that, the sapphire was a pretty close match to the trio of jewels in her cutie mark. And as an additional pleasant coincidence, the crystal-clear diamond was probably the closest any gemstone could come to the pristine white of her fur.

Greenfire set the two gems down with the rest of his hoard, giving them a faint smile. He wasn’t entirely convinced Rarity would really return, although she’d already proven him wrong once. But if she didn’t, at least he would have this memento. A pleasant little reminder of the time a pony said she wanted to be his friend.