• Published 12th Jan 2012
  • 18,183 Views, 590 Comments

How to Woo Your Lady in Nine Easy Steps - paleowriter



Spike orders a How-To guide book to win Rarity's heart.

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Step One

Chapter Two: Step One

The Code of the Gentlecolt is simple: Be polite, be friendly, and be there when she needs you. To win over the mare of your dreams, you must adhere to this code. Compatriots may advise you to "play the bad colt", but don't let them sway you! While it is true that mares do sometimes go for this "bad colt", they will never stay with him for the long haul. And that is precisely what this book is about – winning your mare forever, until death do you part. Going for the long haul. Reaching for the stars!

So while it is sometimes useful to understand what attracts mares to the "bad colts", as we will touch upon in later chapters, to begin, the best bet you have is to be polite and kind. A good first impression will be essential, as you are sure to make mistakes later on. If the mare in question has initial positive feelings towards you, all future mistakes may eventually be forgiven.

Now, let us discuss the Code of the Gentlecolt in further detail. Take notes, stallions! For in this chapter, you will learn how to leave your mare's eyes sparkling in admiration and interest from moment number one.

"Spike, is there any reason you aren't touching your snacks?" Rarity asked from other side of her boutique, where she was gem-sorting with Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. Pinkie Pie was busy attempting to juggle about seven sapphires at once, while Rainbow Dash looked like she'd pretty much rather be anywhere but inside Rarity's shop. Anywhere, that is, except for her afternoon Cloudsdale weather committee meeting. She'd only agreed to help with the gem-sorting when she found out it gave her an excuse to miss it.

Spike's mouth watered as he stared at the bowl of discarded gems that Rarity had deemed "food quality", not "fashion quality". But no – he couldn't eat one just yet. The Code of the Gentlecolt explicitly stated that stallions must allow mares to graze first. And Rarity hadn't touched any of the little grass sandwiches she'd prepared for her guests. Sure, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie had already plowed through most of them, but Spike was pretty sure that Smooth Fox, author of How to Woo Your Lady in Nine Easy Steps, wouldn't say it counted if only two out of the three mares in your company had eaten something. Especially when the third was the one whose eye you were trying to catch.

"Maybe he's got a tummy ache," Pinkie suggested from behind her pile of sapphires.

"Or maybe he's annoyed that you gave him all the loser gems to eat, Rarity," Rainbow Dash said, adding another ruby to her own pile from the mess on the floor.

"Oh, no!" Spike said quickly, grabbing one of the gems from his bowl. "They look delicious, Rarity!"

Rarity's eyebrows knit together. "Spike, does it really bother you which gems I gave you to eat?"

"Not at all!" Spike shoved the gem into his mouth as extra emphasis, but then Smooth Fox's disapproving stare filled his mind.

True gentlecolts always allow their lady the first bite in any meal, big or small!

Spike spit the gem out just as quickly as he'd shoved it in.

"Ooo, are we playing Opposite Day?" Pinkie clapped her hooves together. "Good start, Spike! Spitting food out, that was genius! I'll go next!" Pinkie flipped over on her back and began crab-walking along the floor, kicking gems left and right.

Spike barely noticed Pinkie's randomness. His eyes were fixed on the gemstone dripping in his claws. Spike winced as a splotch of his gooey saliva fell to the boutique floor and looked up just in time to see Rarity's mouth twitch back.

"Sorry!" Spike nearly fell over himself bending down and scrubbing at the floor with his elbow as quickly as possible. "I'll clean up, I swear, I – "

"It – it's okay, Spike – " Rarity began, but then shook her head violently. "Oh, who am I kidding, it's not okay! There's dragon spit on my floor! Eeeeeeoooooo!" she squealed, recoiling backwards.

Rainbow Dash practically exploded in laughter, and soon Pinkie's giggles joined in, despite her still being upside-down.

"I'm sorry!" Spike apologized on repeat, horrified. He scrubbed the floor even faster.

"Relax, Spike!" Rainbow Dash said. "Trust me, this is good for Miss Prissy Pants."

"Good for me? How can this possibly be good for me?" Rarity wailed from all the way across the room, where she was currently cowering.

"Everyone needs some spit in their lives now and then!" Rainbow Dash said, grabbing Spike's arm, lifting it, and forcefully punching her hoof at his hand in approval. Spike scrambled away, shooting Rarity an apologetic look, but she wasn't watching. She had disappeared behind her wardrobe screen. Clothes flew in every direction.

"Where is it, where is it?" Spike could hear Rarity mumble. "Aha! Found it!"

A moment later, Rarity reappeared in a full Hazmat suit, wielding a mop on an extendable, telescoping pole. "Everypony back up!" she ordered, gesturing side to side with the mop.

Spike, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie all scooted backwards to the far edges of Rarity's shop, as Rarity promptly attacked the offending floor patch with the ferocity of a rampaging Ursa Major. She scrubbed the mop back and forth until the floor sparkled more than the piles of gems did. After finishing, Rarity pulled her hood back, and collapsed in exhaustion.

Spike's mind reeled, trying to remember if Smooth Fox had any advice for how to help your lady calm down after she's finished a round of powerwashing.

Meanwhile, behind him, Rainbow Dash was whispering something to Pinkie Pie, who nodded enthusiastically in return.

"What are you guys – " Spike began, but both ponies darted over to their gems piles before he could finish.

"Sluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurp!"

"Sluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurp!"

Rarity spun at the sound. Pinkie and Rainbow peered out from behind their gem piles, both grinning hugely.

"Just giving a nice little lick to one of your gems," Rainbow Dash said, smoothing back her mane.

Rarity's jaw dropped.

"Yep!" Pinkie leapt up. "We each did one! Now you get to figure out which ones are slurped, and which ones are slurp-free!"

Rarity keeled straight over, and Spike nearly did the same.

It took a moment, but fashion designer recovered, with Pinkie helping her to her hooves.

"Careful!" Spike said, apprehensively approaching the Earth pony and unicorn. "Don't let her fall again!"

"Oh Spike, relax!" Pinkie Pie said. "She's just playing around!"

"I. Am not. Playing!" Rarity jumped back away from the pink pony. "No more spitting, or slurping, or saliva of any kind! All of you! Out!"

"But - !" Spike's eyebrows knit together.

"Out!"

The next thing Spike knew, Rainbow was zooming him out of Rarity's boutique by his back scales, with Pinkie bounding along behind them. Both ponies were giggling uncontrollably. Spike failed to see what was so funny. He'd just completely messed up Step One of How To Woo Your Lady. He couldn't even handle basic manners. Rarity would never go for a guy like him…

"Cheer up, Spike!" Pinkie Pie said.

Spike kicked at a rock on the ground, refusing to meet anypony's eye. "But Rarity…she's so upset…"

"That's what you're worried about?" Rainbow Dash laughed. "Puh, don't get too worked up. It was just a prank. We didn't actually lick any of her gems."

"You…you what?" Spike asked, blinking up at the pegasus.

"Of course not, silly!" Pinkie giggled. "We're not meanies! It's just a little prank. We'll go tell her what we did soon."

"Yeah, but for now, it'll be good for her to have to think about things," Rainbow grinned devilishly. "Throw out all those gemstones in case one in each pile is germified? Or get over herself and stop freaking out about a little bit of spit?"

Spike crossed his arms. Part of him wanted to march back to the boutique and tell Rarity that she didn't have to worry, while the other part…well, he hated to admit it, but Rainbow Dash did have a point. Sort of. Maybe just a little. Maybe this would be good for Rarity –

A giant shriek interrupted his thoughts, followed by a huge crash as hundreds of gemstones were magically hurled out of the boutique's front window behind them.

"Maaaaaaybe we should go tell her now," Pinkie Pie suggested.

"Good idea," Rainbow agreed, and both ponies raced off in a hurry, leaving Spike standing alone. His shoulders drooped.

"Guess I better get back home," Spike sighed, dragging his feet all the way back to the library.

Twilight looked up from her book when Spike entered. She was lying on a rug on the floor, a neat stack of parchment to one side of her.

"Well, how'd it go?" she asked, crossing one hoof over the other.

"Could've been better," Spike answered, evasively.

Twilight frowned slightly. "What does that mean?"

Spike hesitated. He wasn't sure how much he wanted Twilight to know. Then he noticed that his eyes were welling up just thinking about it all, and his decision was made.

The little dragon ran over to his adoptive sister, spilling the entire story out as she hugged him close.

Once he'd finished, Twilight patted him on the back. "Hey, calm down there," she said. "Spike, I don't think this is as big of a deal as you're making it. Rarity doesn't hate you. She just hates gooey gross stuff. Didn't she seem just as freaked out when Dash and Pinkie said they'd gotten spit on her gems?"

Spike rolled this idea around in his brain for a few moments. "I…guess…"

"And besides, what were you really trying to achieve, anyway? Isn't that first chapter all about how to make a great first impression on your mare? You've already done that, Spike. You made that first impression long ago, and did a pretty good job of it. Rarity likes you. I really don't think you need to listen to chapter one very much. Not that manners aren't important, but don't go overboard with them. Because that can just get creepy."

"I…guess…" Spike repeated once more.

"Seriously, I think you should just skip over chapters one through four entirely. And for that matter, chapter five. Smooth Fox may think he knows how to win a mare's heart," Twilight snorted, "But I really don't see how chapter five is going to help you out in any way."

"Tell me about it!" Spike said. "I don't even know if I'll be able to do it! But, no offense Twilight, you're not exactly a romance expert, so I don't want to just throw out Smooth Fox's advice…" Spike trailed off, looking up at his sister. His eyes narrowed. "Wait a minute. How do you know what's in each chapter?"

Twilight's eyes darted away from the dragon, and she let out a nervous laugh. "How do I…oh, well, I…"

"You read my book!" Spike accused, jumping backwards and pointing one claw at his sister. "How could you?"

"I'm sorry, Spike!" Twilight said, standing up and taking a few steps back. "But I just had to see what you were trying to do – "

"Well great." Spike harrumped, crossing his arms. "Now you know. Every step of it, too. So much for respecting the privacy of my closet!"

Twilight sighed. "Spike, I'm just looking out for you. Did you ever stop to think that Rarity may be a bit…oh, I don't know…you, and her, in any serious way would just be…"

"What? You think Rarity's out of my league or something?" Spike kicked over Twilight's pile of parchment and stormed upstairs. "Fine, whatever! Thanks for the support."

He barely heard Twilight's quiet suggestion before he slammed his closet door.

"At least skip Step One, Spike. Really."


Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash had left after confessing about the whole Saliva Incident, as Rarity would forever remember it.

The white unicorn shook her mane, trying to rid herself of the icky feelings the afternoon had taunted her with. Pretending to spit on her gems indeed. Those two ponies were lucky she was so forgiving…

At least the gem-sorting had nearly finished. Rarity ducked her head low, using her magic to finish putting the final gems back in their proper containers. Sweetie Belle's suggestion months ago to keep every type of gem separate from the others had actually been a halfway decent one, and now Rarity couldn't believe she'd ever kept her shop any other way. Rarity had then taken things a step further, and implemented a coding system for the quality of gems. The highest quality were kept on the higher shelves, so Sweetie Belle would be less likely to get into them for her…er…art projects.

Speaking of gem quality…Rarity's eyes fell upon the bowl of snack gems she'd set aside for Spike. Why had he spit that gem out? Was it like Rainbow Dash had said, because she'd only offered him the lowest quality gems to eat? Was there really that much of a taste difference?

Pursing her lips, Rarity directed her unicorn magic upwards, and opened up the top drawers around the boutique. From each, she pulled out three gems until she had a nice collection. On the windowsill there was an empty basket, and Rarity gently set all the gems into it, tucking it back away in a cupboard. She took a piece of paper and one of her colored markers, writing out a label for the cupboard door:

SPIKE'S SNACKS