• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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A Dog and Pony Show

Episode 19 – A Dog and Pony Show

I woke up and shook my mane. After getting out of bed, I made the covers nicely and walked downstairs to the kitchen. I looked outside the window and observed the sunny day. On the contrary, something suddenly stood out. A pony was walking down the street… but the pony looked much too different… As she walked proudly among the streets, every other pony could only gaze at her from behind. The pony had too many accessories and clothing to even describe. Basically, she had a mix of blue and light blue color for her mane and tail. She wore light purple eye shadow and a white top hat above her head. She wore many other things which I felt dizzy by just looking at.

I shook my head and walked outside the front door, already hearing the excitement in the crowd following the pony.

"Sapphire Shores, we love you!" Some ponies exclaimed out loud.

The crowd continued to chatter while I continued looking for a moment. I finally turned around and headed to Rarity's shop, which was the place she seemed to walk from.

"Can you believe it?" I heard Rarity as I opened the door to her shop. "I can't! She wants to buy my dresses! But the only thing is…I need to get more gems!"

"I'll help you Rarity!" Spike immediately offered, looking disoriented.

Twilight and Spike were there in Rarity's shop. I guess they heard about Sapphire Shores.

"Oh, Spike really? That would be fantastic!" Rarity replied.

Spike could only respond with a mumble of words.

"Who's Sapphire Shores?" I asked when I walked towards them.

"You don't know?" Rarity gasped. "She's the pony of POP!"

"And Rarity needs to get a lot more gems to make five more dresses for her." Twilight added.

"Yes, indeed, Twilight. And Spike is going to help me!"

"Rarity, finding gems?" I asked. "Wont that be hard?"

"Oh no, no, no, no. You see, not only do I use my horn for designing dresses; I can also find gems with it! Isn't it amazing?"

"Um… I guess…"

"Spike?" Rarity called Spike.

"Yes, Rarity?" Spike immediately rushed over to Rarity, holding his hands together near his chest.

"Get the little red wagon, would you? We're going on a gem hunt!"

"Of course, Rarity!" Spike rushed out to retrieve the item.

"Do you need me to come with you?" I asked Rarity.

"Um, not necessarily. Spike is good enough."

"Are you sure? You'll be bringing back a pile of gems. I want to make sure no one takes them…"

"Well…" Rarity thought. "If you insist… I suppose you could accompany us."

Spike returned with a red wagon. "Here you go, miss Rarity! Anything else you need?"

"Good news Spike! Alex will be accompanying us."

"Oh…" Spike replied, looking a little disappointed.

"Well, good luck, Rarity. Be careful out there!"

"Thank you, Twilight. We shall!" Rarity looked over at us. "Come now then, let's go search for some gems! Spike, bring the red wagon please."

"You got it Rarity!" Spike grabbed the red wagon and I walked by Rarity, following her to wherever she was going to search for the gems.

We arrived at some bare place that was pretty far from Ponyville. I looked around to see just mountains of rocks and absolutely no grass in sight. There was actually no green for that matter, except for the few trees in sight.

"Oh my gosh!" Spike began talking excitedly as Rarity used her horn to search for gems. "Sapphire Shores! The Pony of Pop! She is awesome! I mean, she's gorgeous, talented and-heh" Rarity stared at Spike as if she was offended. "...and not even half the pony you are. I mean, you're ten times more gorgeous and talented and..."

"Spike, a lady is never jealous." Rarity responded.

"Eh, of course not. But were you totally flipping out or what?"

"Ladies do not 'flip out', Spike. However, I was quite in awe." Her horn began glowing, causing her to search around more areas. "I need to find more jewels than ever before to decorate her costumes." As she was pacing around, she suddenly halted and pointed towards a spot beneath her. "O, aha!"

"Did you find some?" Spike hopped.

"Yes, Spike! Right there!" She pointed with her hoof.

Spike hopped over to the spot and began digging with his hands until he spotted them with his own eyes. "Ooooo!" Spike stated as he licked his lips and drooled. "You look so delicious..." He dove into the hole and grabbed the handful of jewels. He was about to shove them down his throat but Rarity stopped him. "Spike! I promised I'll give you gems to snack on, but we need to collect more first or I'll never be able to make these outfits for Sapphire."

Spike lowered his head and walked over to the wagon to place the gems on there. He sighed. "Hm... I will miss you, my sweets."

"Come along." She told us. "We have many jewels to find."

Spike placed the jewels on the wagon and bowed. "At your service, my lady."

During the search, Rarity continued to spot jewels underneath the ground to which Spike dug for. I didn't do much digging, but I did some carrying every now and then. Once in a while, Spike was tempted to eat the gems on the wagon, but Rarity scolded him before he could.

When the wagon was full of gems, Spike stood nearby, drooling and licking his lips. Rarity patted him on the head and spoke. "You've been very patient today, Spike. And for that you'll get the finest reward." She pulled out a light blue gem in the shape of an octagon. "This is from me to you." Spike held his mouth open to eat it, but suddenly he grabbed the gem instead and looked at Rarity, dazed. "Is something wrong, Spike?" Rarity asked.

Spike could only stare at Rarity for a moment and release a smile. "No. It's perfect." He expressed as he held the gem close to his chest.

Rarity horn began glowing and she was pulled over to the next location of gems. "Oh, bring the cart, Spike. There are more over here."

"For me. From Rarity…" Spike said. He began bringing the cart over to Rarity.

"Spike…" I announced as we were walking toward Rarity. "Why do act like that around Rarity?" I asked.

"Well you see…" He stopped and waved for me to bring my head closer. I did so to where he positioned his hands around his mouth and began whispering. "I have a crush on Rarity."

"A crush…?" I questioned.

"Yep. You know… when you really like someone."

"Really like…" I muttered under my breath, thinking about my feelings with Fluttershy.

"But promise me you won't tell anypony! Especially Rarity!"

"Ok, ok. I promise."

"Spike! Where are you?" Rarity called from a distance. "You know, it's terrible to keep a lady waiting."

"Coming!" Spike responded, rushing over to Rarity.

"I think we're really going to strike gold this time." Rarity spoke as Spike began digging. "So to speak."

"Jackpot!" Spike exclaimed, bringing out an armful of jewels.

Spike began placing the gems carefully on the wagon.

"Well, I think that's all we can do for today. And these will certainly get me well on my way with Sapphire's outfits. Why don't we start headi..." Suddenly, Rarity's horn began glowing again, leading her to somewhere else. "Oh! What's this? Another jewel. Oh, strange." She was led into the trees. "It's in the trees. Oooo..." She spotted a gold gem but suddenly a strange creature popped out. "Ewww!" Rarity flinched at the sight of the creature. "Uh... uh... Good day, gentle... uh, fellow. I am Rarity and these are my friends Spike and Alex." She slowly backed away toward us.

"Ehe..." was the only thing Spike could mutter.

Something about this… animal…told me that he was up to no good.

"And you are..." Rarity began.

The creature jumped out of the trees and began walking up to Rarity. "A diamond dog."

Rarity and Spike could only back away while the creature was coming towards them. I suddenly stepped in front of both, Rarity and Spike, and the diamond dog.

"Hey, back up!" I told the dog, standing in front of him. "What do you think you're doing?"

"We hunt." The dog replied.

"Uh... we?" Rarity asked behind me.

"We hunt for gems. But you are a better hunter. So now we hunt... for you!" He replied.

Suddenly we heard digging noises behind us. Two more of those dogs popped up, causing me to look back. One of the dogs tried to grab Rarity but she ducked in time.

"Rarity!" I called and tried to go help her but the dog in front of me had pushed me to the side. I grunted as I landed on the ground from a distance. I saw Spike try to harm the dogs by digging at their tails with his tail. I immediately pushed myself up and began running towards them.

"Run, Rarity! Run!" Spike advised Rarity.

Rarity began running. Spikes grabbed hold onto one of the dog's legs, causing him to trip and grab the other dog's tail and make him fall as well.

"Spike! Alex! Come on! Hurry!" Rarity called for us.

I saw one of the dogs sneaking up from behind her to pounce on her. "Gotcha!"

But before he could grab Rarity, I leapt and pushed him forwards While he was struggling on the ground beneath my hooves, he could only try to push me off. "Get off of me!" He exclaimed.

"Got him, Rarity! I got him!" I heard Spike.

"Haha! Nope!"

"Sorry, scaly one."

Suddenly, a pair of dog arms grabbed me and threw me away from the dog I was holding down. I released more grunts, feeling the pain when I landed back on the ground. I could already feel scratches, maybe even bruises on my body.

"WAAH!" Rarity screamed as the dogs grabbed her and began running towards their hole. I began trying to push myself up once again, but it took me longer as I had to deal with the soreness. "Unhand me this instant, you ruffians. Stop! Put me down, you scum! You rough-!"

"Rarity!" Spike called after her.

I managed to stand back up and notice Rarity in the hole, but she struggled to stay out on top. "Spike! Alex!" She tried to grab hold of the dirt. "Ah, dirt!" I immediately ran over to the hole and slid to prone, grabbing Rarity's hoof.

"Hold on, Rarity!" I tried pulling her up, but I was losing my grip as the three dogs fought back. I wasn't able to keep my hoof wrapped on hers as the dogs finally managed to pull her away from me.

"AAAAAH, ALEX!" She screamed as she was sucked in.

"Which, what, where?" Spike muttered quickly as he ran over to the hole.

"SAVE ME...!" Rarity screamed in an echo from a distance beyond the hole.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Spike shouted.

"Spike! Get the others!" I ordered. "I'm going in!"

Without any hesitation, I dove into the hole.

It was several seconds until I finally landed on the ground. I groaned and stood up, shaking my head. I looked around and noticed many holes throughout the area. Great… how am I supposed to find Rarity in here?

I sighed and tried to find a way out, but it seemed useless…

Suddenly, my heart began beating as if it was trying to tell me something… I closed my eyes and looked deep inside myself. In my mind, it started showing a light… a light to… Rarity?

When I opened my eyes, I somehow knew where to go now. I wasn't completely sure… but I had to… I had to trust my instincts and my heart…

I began running towards the holes which my heart led me to.

"Oh please, diamond dogs. Please let me go." I started hearing from a distance. It was Rarity! I held out my ear in order to find out where it was coming from.

"No!" One of the dogs stated.

"You're our precious little pony."

"For ever! Muhahahaha."

"But what ever do you want from me?" Rarity asked.

"Gemsss!" One hissed.

The voices began getting louder.

"Yes! The gems. The jewels."

"Find them! Find them all!"

"Oh! Is that all?"

I finally arrived to where the voices were coming from. Rarity, along with the other dogs, were in this large area. They were in my sight and I knew I couldn't just barge in there because it would be an instant loss. I quickly found some cover and hid behind it, looking slightly at what was taking place. Rarity was searching for more jewels in the ground. She stopped, picked up a stick and marked the spot with an x.

"There. A lovely pocket of jewels are right there. Now, would you be so kind as to show me the exit? "Rarity asked.

Another dog, which must have been a guard, pointed a sharp spear at Rarity, causing me to gasp quietly.

"Good!" One of the dogs hopped excitedly. "Now, dig them up, pony."

"What? But you said you wanted me to find the gems."

"Yes! Find and then dig."

"Dig?" Rarity asked, irritated now.

"Yes. Dig."

The guard dog led her towards the x as the other dogs pointed straight at it.

"Ohh..." Rarity moaned. She began digging lightly, actually barely tapping the ground. The other dogs looked in surprise. Rarity continued grunting as she lightly tapped the ground, only moving speckles of dirt.

"What are you doing? We said dig!" The big dog commanded.

"Forgive me but prior to you so rudely dragging me into your dirt pit, I had a pony pedi and I am not about to chip a hoof because you dislike my style of digging." Rarity answered boldly. Afterwards, she continued her way of digging.

"Oh, for goodness." The medium-sized dog placed his paw on his face. "Fine! Just stop. Stop! Dig, dogs! Dig!" He called toward the other guard dogs that were in a hole above them. "And fast."

Well… I'm glad I didn't rush in…

The guard dogs began furiously digging at the spot Rarity marked.

"She won't dig, she pulls." The big dog announced, while they held up a saddle and a cart.

"I beg your pardon," Rarity responded as she began backing away. "but what, pray tell, are you doing?"

"Others will dig. You will haul the wagon." The big dog answered.

"Prrrecious pony pedi will be preserved." The small one added as he placed the saddle on Rarity when she reached a dead end.

"Well, somebody certainly needs proper nail care. When was the last time you two had a manicure? You're scratching up my coat with those jagged things." She had noticed their nails as they secured the saddle on her.

"Please be quiet!" The average one answered.

"Good heavens, what is that smell?" Rarity exclaimed.

"Smeeeeeell?" He released a horrid stench of his breath at Rarity.

"Ah, mystery solved. It's your breath." Rarity replied, frankly, which led the dog to turn around and smell his own breath.

"Enough! Search, pony!" He ordered.

"Well, since you insist..." Rarity began pulling the cart while finding gems and marking them with a stick. "But I must say the working conditions in here are simply dreadful. Musty and damp, it's going to wreak havoc on my mane. And this air is stifling, suffocating. And when I try to take a deep breath, the stench of all you dogs makes me nauseated. You look and smell like if you haven't bathed in weeks. Have you never heard of soap? You could all do with a good round of soap and water. Water, water, I'm terribly thirsty. Could I please have some water?"

"Good gracious, I can't take this anymore." The small dog pulled his ears. "BE QUIET, PONY!"

"And that's another thing." Rarity persisted. "I would appreciate if you stopped calling me 'pony'. I am a lady and I wish to be addressed as such. So you may call me 'Miss' or 'Rarity' or 'Miss Rarity'."

"Enough!" The average dog yelled out as he pulled his ears as well. "Your whining! It hurts!"

"Whining? I am not whining. I am complaining. Do you want to hear whining? Thiiis iiis whiiining! Oooh, this harness is too tiiight! It's going to chafe. Can't you loosen it? Oooh, it hurts and it's sooo ruuusty!" Rarity continued to whine in a high pitched voice, even starting to hurt my ears a little. "Why didn't you clean it first? It's gonna leave a staaain! And the wagon's getting heeeavy, why do I have to pull it?"

"Aaah! Make it stop!" The little dog desperately ordered.

"Stop whining!" The average one demanded.

"But I thought you wanted whiiining!" Rarity purposely answered.

"We'll do anything, pony!"

Rarity gave them an annoyed stare.

"Oh, uh, we'll do anything, 'Miss Rarity'." The average one laughed nervously.

"Anything?" Rarity questioned, dreamily.

Soon enough, she had the dogs doing work for her, as well as improving the conditions around her. As much as I wanted to save Rarity, I still couldn't do anything about it… I had to wait until she was alone but there was no possible way to tell her so, so the only thing I could do was just wait it out and see what Rarity did. The area was covered with ribbons as two guard dogs beside her fanned her. She was given water in a gold chalice. Unbelievable… so much for a damsel in distress…

Rarity took a sip from the water and pulled back, slightly disgusted. "Oh, this water is hardly sparkling. But I suppose it will have to do."

The three other dogs were pulling the heavy loads of gems until they stopped for some air. "Wait! Why are we doing this?" The average one asked.

"To stop the awful noises from the pony's mouth, remember?" The little one began imitating Rarity's whining but the average dog placed his paw on his mouth.

"Yes, yes, I know. This is ridiculous! Letting a pony order us around. What are we? Mice or dogs?"

The other dogs began saying "mice", but suddenly changed their answers to "dogs".

The average dog stared at them for a moment, and then continued his speech. "Dogs do not pull. Ponies pull. Let her make the awful noises."

They walked up to Rarity and began placing the saddle on her. "What are you doing?" She asked. The average dog flicked her drink. "Hey, you spilled my drink. Oh!" Rarity began her whining. "Not sooo tiiight!"

"Ha! Make the noises all you want. But move while you make them. Hyah, mule!" He ordered Rarity, slapping her from behind.

I could instantly see the shift in Rarity's eyes. "Did you just call me a... mule?" She asked sadly.

The dog moved his eyes around, wondering what he should say. "Ehh..."

"Mules are ugly. Are you saying that I too am ugly?" Tears formed in Rarity's eyes and she immediately began crying.

"What are these noises?" The little one asked, walking over to them.

"HE CALLED ME UGLY!" Rarity cried out.

"No! Mule! I said mule!" The average one replied quickly.

"An old ugly mule! And it's true! Just look at me. I used to be beautiful, but, but nooow..."

I started thinking… was Rarity doing this on purpose? I honestly couldn't tell if she was really crying, or acting it out. I mean she does have this "thing" on appearance… so I could believe if she was expressing her true feelings. If she's not… then she makes quite the actor…

"No, no! You're still beautiful, po... uh, Miss Rarity." The big dog had come along too.

"You're just saying that!"

"No, you're still pretty and... and..."

"Oh, uh uh, nice. Yeah."

"I don't believe you! You never liked me!" Rarity began wailing out loud.

"I've had just about enough of this!" The average dog exclaimed as the three of them held their ears.

They grabbed her and took her to a cell with a steel door. They placed her in there and shut the door, locking it.

"Now until you learn to stop whining, you're going to stay in here FOREVER!" The average one exclaimed and began walking off, bringing his other guard dogs along with him.

Finally was my chance…

After I made sure they were all gone, I immediately raced over to the cell Rarity was in.

"Forever?" Rarity spoke. "Oh, it can't be! I won't ever see my friends again or get pedicures and… oh no! I'll miss my only chance with Sapphire Shores!" She began crying again.

I sneaked up to her cell door and looked in. "Rarity!" I exclaimed softly.

She gasped and looked up in shock. "Alex? Is that you?" She asked.

"Yes, I'm going to get you out of here! Just hang on!" I looked around for a way to open the door, but as far as I could see, there really wasn't any unless I retrieved the key from the dog that locked her in there… I sighed and looked at Rarity, who returned a worried look. "Rarity, just hold tight… I'll go find the key and get you out."

"Oh, Alex, please hurry!"

I nodded and turned around to follow wherever the dogs walked to. I started at a light sprint as I continued looking for the holes the dogs went through. It wasn't too difficult as I started hearing faint voices when I grew close.

"Geez, it's nice to take a break from all that whining!"

"Yes, but… what if she never stops the whining?"

I followed their voices which led me to the final hole, revealing them around a table in separate chairs. They were playing cards. I quickly ducked behind whatever I could find and continued listening as I tried to find the keys.

"Hmm…" The average one thought. Suddenly, he snapped his fingers. "I got it! How about we put dirt in our ears?"

"But…How will we hear each other then?" The small one replied as I poked my head out of the rock I was using for cover.

"Hand signs?" The average dog suggested.

Fortunately, the average dog was right in front of me, however, he was facing the other dogs, away from me. I slowly began creeping out after I spotted the ring of keys hanging outside his red coat. My hooves pressed lightly on the dirt landscape as I moved closer and closer to the keys. When my hoof was right under the keys, he made a sudden move, which caused me to pull back suddenly and stay still.

"Ah-chew!" He sneezed and wiped his nose. He then began looking around above me.

"What's wrong?" The small dog asked.

"I smell pony…" He responded as he continued looking around suspiciously.

"Don't we have a pony locked up here?" The big dog asked.

"Yes…but… It's as if I can smell one right near me…"

I quickly, but softly crawled towards under the table, just in case he looked down…

"That pony must have just made you keep her scent with all her whining."

How does that even make sense? These dogs must not be very bright…

"Yeah…I guess."

After a while of waiting under the table, once I heard them shuffle cards and deal them, I reached out my hoof to grab the keys. I had to carefully and slowly pull them back because even the slightest jingle of them will alarm the dogs… Once I had carefully retrieved the keys under the table, I held them in my mouth and slowly crawled out of the room.

Once I was far enough, I quickly rushed over to Rarity. She was sitting in the corner of the cell room, very sad. Once she heard me, she quickly turned around and changed the expression on her face to an excited one.

"Oh, Alex!" Rarity exclaimed.

"Shh." I warned her.

Using my mouth to hold the keys, I inserted one of them into the lock and turned. A click sound was heard. As soon as I opened the door, Rarity ran towards me, embracing me with a tight grip and pummeling me with gratitude. "Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

"C'mon." I said quietly as I lightly pulled her off. "Let's get out of here as quick as possible."

"You don't have to ask me twice!" Rarity replied as she followed me.

I started walking carefully towards the way I came in. When I reached the door, I opened it to find a rather unfortunate surprise. The three dogs were standing on the other side of the door, looking at us as if they were already expecting us.

"I knew I smelled pony…" The average one spoke. "Well, boys, looks like we have another work horse."

As they got ready to breach, I quickly slammed the door on them and barricaded it with my body. As I struggled to keep the door blocked, I looked around for an escape plan. Then, I remembered the carts of jewels.

"Rarity!" I called through strains. "Get those carts over here! ...Now!"

"But, I'll get all sweaty!" Rarity responded through a worried tone.

"Rarity…" I replied as I continued attempting to hold back the door. "Does that really matter right now? I'm trying to save you!"

After she analyzed my troubles, she sighed. "Okay… for you, Alex!" She ran over to one of the carts full of jewels. She began pushing the cart over to where I was, but it was taking time to be done.

"C'mon Rarity…! Hurry!" I exclaimed, already feeling that I'm losing the advantage. She slightly moved faster and managed to bring them over to where I was. "Okay, now place it front of the door!" She did so, and when the cart was able to hold the door, I let go and quickly ran over to another cart and pushed it over to the door in a matter of seconds, just to be safe. Once the door was blocked off for good, I called over Rarity and began running towards another way out. It'd be a while until the dogs realized that there are holes everywhere…

We were running through a long tunnel. We reached another area with a large amount of space between. I looked around and spotted a wooden door.

"There! C'mon!" I pointed towards the door and led Rarity to the door.

Before I could get my hoof on the handle, the door was pushed open, to reveal the dogs once again.

"And where do you think you PONIES are going?" The average one announced. I could only step back to hold back Rarity. "It time you ponies go to work!" He began walking towards us with a harness. He tried to place it on me, but instead, I charged and head butted him in the stomach.

"Oomph!" He released a grunt as he held his stomach "That pony is too much trouble! Get rid of him!" He ordered the big dog.

The large dog walked over to me. "Out of the way, pony!" He grabbed me and threw me to the side. I hit the rocky wall with enough force to cause the rocks above to fall upon me when I landed on the ground. Some rocks hit me, knocking me out and disabling my vision...I could only hear voices.

"Alex!" I heard Rarity called out. Hooves galloped over to where I was, and I assumed Rarity was trying to help me out somehow.

"Come on pony, time to WORK!" One of the dogs announced.

"Noo! Alex!" Rarity began crying again.

"No! Not the terrible noises again!" A dog cried.

"Why, did you have to hurt him?" Rarity combined her crying with her whining as she did before. "You dogs are so mean! Why? Why?"

The dogs screamed. "Stop whining!"

"You hurt my friend! Now he's not okay! I hate you fiends!" Rarity began wailing out loud, for a pretty long time. "Alex, please please open your eyes!"

"I can't take it! I can't take it!" The dogs exclaimed.

Suddenly, I heard something break open near me. "Lady Rarity, I'm here to save you!" It sounded like Spike's voice…

The dogs screamed and ran over to somewhere else nearby. "Please, save us! Make it stop! Please!"

"Excuse me?" Twilight's voice sounded.

The dogs began their reasoning."So picky."

"And critical."

"She won't stop talking."

"And crying about her friend!"

"We, uh, give her back. Yes."

"Friend?" Twilight questioned. "Alex!" She realized and rushed over to the sounds of wails from Rarity. "Rarity? Oh no…"

Rarity continued sniffling. "I don't know what to do!"

"Alex!" I heard Fluttershy's voice as she rushed over to me. "Alex, no!" It sounded as if she was desperately looking for a way to help but she couldn't… "Alex…no… please…" I felt her head rest lightly on mine. After a moment of sniffling, I felt a drop of water fall on me.

I started opening my eyes slowly to a blurry image. Things cleared up afterwards. I looked around to see the other ponies looking away sadly while Fluttershy rested her head on mine. "Girls…?" I asked weakly. Fluttershy gasped while the other ponies immediately turned around.

"Alex?" Fluttershy softly asked. The other ponies moved closer to me.

I looked at them in silence for a moment. "…well that took awhile, Spike…" I addressed the time it took for them to come help. Everypony crowded around me and gave sighs of happiness as they knew that I was okay. Fluttershy held me as she was joyful as well.

"UGH!" The dogs suddenly interrupted. "Just take the jewels and go!"

"You're letting us leave with all these..." Spike looked at the many carts of jewels in front of him. "jewels?"

"Yes. Take them. And her with them!" The average exclaimed in fright as they cowered in a corner.

"Please!" The small one added.

Fluttershy helped me up as the other ponies prepared to take the jewels.

"Alright, girls, let's bring em home!" Applejack announced and she strapped herself in one of the harness. She looked over to me and smiled. "C'mon Alex… Climb up on this here cart, you deserve to rest…" She motioned me to climb on the cart she was taking back to Ponyville. I nodded and walked over to the cart. Fluttershy helped me up. I lay myself down and closed my eyes. The rest of the ponies strapped themselves to the carts and began leaving.

"I can't believe you got all these gems!" I heard Pinkie Pie exclaim, opening my eyes again.

"Heh. I can't believe you tricked all those dogs." Rainbow Dash added.

"Just because I'm a lady doesn't mean I cannot handle myself in a sticky situation. I had them wrapped around my hoof the entire time…well…not the entire time, actually…"

"What do you mean, Rarity?" Twilight asked.

"Had it not been for Alex, I probably wouldn't have been able to get away with all these gems…" Rarity replied. "And my crying at the end…" She began saying softly. "Well…it was real…the thought of almost losing Alex…"

I looked over to Rarity. "Knowing that your 'whining' easily bothers them… I'm pretty sure you would have done it without me Rarity… After all… it was you who defeated them…"

"Oh, thank you, Alex." Rarity responded. "But, for right now, I'm just glad you are alright. By the way... I may have exaggerated a bit too much at the end... but you know me." She chuckled.

"I can't wait to write to Princess Celestia about you ponies and tell her what you taught me today." Twilight said.

"Me? What did I teach you?" Rarity questioned.

"Just because somepony is ladylike doesn't make her weak. In fact, by using her wits a seemingly defenseless pony can be the one who outsmarts and outshines them all."

"Hm... 'Outshines' is right. Now you have enough gems to cover Sapphire Shores's costumes." Spike announced as he was munching on one of the rubies.

"Not if you eat them all, Spike." Rarity used her magic to peel the ruby off of Spike's hands before he could take another bite and place it back on the cart, causing everypony to laugh.

When we arrived at Rarity's shop, all the ponies released the harnesses and began bringing in the gems. I climbed off the cart and was about to go help but Applejack stopped me. "Whoa there, partner. You let us bring them in. You've done enough for today." She released a warm smile.

"Thanks, Applejack…" I responded.

Rarity had come out after dropping off a load of gems and looked over at me. "Oh, my, Alex."

"What?" I asked.

"You're so dirty from being underground." She grabbed my hoof. "Come now, let's get you clean."

She took me to the spa where she ordered a cleaning for me. A couple of the spa workers took and led me to a huge tub of water to which they began washing my mane and allowing me to relax in the soak. They had left while I remained in the water. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to think.

Rarity was generous enough to give me this spa treatment… even though I didn't really need it…

I soaked in the water for several minutes until another pony had come in the room. I opened my eyes to see that it was Rarity.

"Enjoying the water, Alex?" She asked.

"Yeah…" I replied. "Thank you, Rarity."

"Oh, it's no problem at all, Alex. You deserve it." I climbed out of the tub and shook my mane, as well as my whole body. Rarity had walked up to me and smiled warmly. "There's something I wanted to give you…"

"What is it?" I asked.

She opened the stylish bag she was carrying and pulled out a gem… not just any gem… but… a dark blue one with a hint of white in the middle. It shined brightly under the lights. "Here." She held up the gem with her magic towards me.

I lightly took it. "Really, Rarity? For me?" I asked, shocked.

"Like I said, you deserve it." She responded as she observed me analyzing the gem carefully with my hooves. "You know… there aren't many ponies like you anymore…"

I looked up at her…feeling a little emotional, but I didn't say anything…

I had checked out of the Spa with Rarity. She had wished me a goodnight and walked out the Spa doors towards her home. I assumed they most likely finished unloading the carts full of gems…

I walked outside the Spa doors to find Fluttershy under a dark and starry sky, waiting for me.

"Fluttershy?" I asked.

"I just wanted to make sure that you were alright…" She responded.

"I'm better now…thank you…Did you girls finish with the gems?" I asked.

"Mm-hm."

I looked out and observed the environment for a moment. I turned back to Fluttershy. "C'mon, let's get you home."

"Are you sure you're alright?" Fluttershy asked along the way towards her cottage.

"Don't worry, I'm fine." I assured. We stopped in front of her door and looked at each other. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Of course." Fluttershy replied. "But… I have a spa appointment with Rarity tomorrow morning, so you'll know where I'll be at if you try finding me in morning."

"Alright, well I hope you have fun, Fluttershy."

"Thank you." She smiled. "Goodnight, Alex."

"Goodnight, Fluttershy."

She hugged me, a little more tightly, and then pulled away to walk into her home, giving me once last happy glance before closing the door.

I opened the door to my home and closed it when I entered. I walked upstairs to my bedroom and fell on my bed. I looked up at the ceiling in silence for a moment. I pulled out the gem Rarity gave me. The gem was something I've never seen before. I wonder if Rarity had found this gem, and gave it to me even if it was the only one in the pile of jewels? She could have used it for the dress… because it was obviously not a common jewel…but she didn't… she gave it to me…

I held the gem above me, near the window. The light the full moon gave off passed through the window and the jewel. On the other side, it presented a beautiful midnight color. I stared in awe as I observed the light. After a moment, I lowered the jewel and climbed out of bed. I walked towards my shelf that had the trophy and medal for the Running of the Leaves and placed the gem on there, neatly. I stepped back and observed how the gem looked as it sat there on my shelf. It was amazing…

I walked back towards my bed and snuggled under the covers. It was a little cool inside, so I wrapped myself under the blankets. For a moment, I looked out the window at the full moon and then at the gem. Afterwards, I closed my eyes and left slumber to take control for the night.

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