• 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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Spike at Your Service

Episode 61 – Spike at Your Service

Soft taps on constructed wood, along with a few barks, slightly startled me awake. As I rubbed my head and slowly opened my eyes, the barking got me thinking. Who's the only pony who has a dog that I know of…? Applejack? Is she at my door? I removed myself off the bed, continuing to hear a few barks. When I was downstairs, I used my magic to open the door.

The first thing I saw was Winona. She was wagging her tail happily as she stared at me with her panting mouth. Surprisingly, I saw bright sunny hooves instead of orange ones. I looked up to see the one and only. Her cute little teeth held a leash attached to Winona's collar. I could clearly see her soft yet excited and warming grin towards me.

"Fluttershy…" I mumbled, feeling struck down by the overkilling power of her cuteness. She didn't return anything. Instead, she raised her hoof and wrapped the leash around it. Then, she moved a step closer to me, instantly taking me into a vivid state of ecstasy when she placed her lips on mine fervently. Both our wings perked up strongly. I could truly feel a bright spark establishing on our connection when we held our eyes closed. After a few seconds, I could feel her lips lightly pull away. I slowly opened my eyes as if I had just felt a huge wind of excitement blow against me. "…wow…" I expressed softly.

A small tender oval of light pink formed on each cheek of hers. "Hi, sweetie." She greeted a little shyly.

"Hey… What are you doing here…?" I asked, still a little blown away.

"Applejack asked me if I could walk Winona around town while she finishes up her chores. I thought I could stop by and see if you were asleep or not." She answered.

"Oh, really…? That's nice…"

"Mm-hm…" She nodded her head, the blush remaining in her cheeks. "Want to walk with me?"

"Of course I want to." I answered and walked outside, closing the door behind me.

Before we began walking, I smiled and nuzzled my nose playfully with hers. She giggled softly enough for only me to hear.

We only walked for a while before Fluttershy decided to take Winona back to Sweet Apple Acres. We arrived to see Applejack near a bucket full of water. She dipped a towel inside the bucket and pulled it out. She squeezed out the excess water and then lightly wiped her face with the towel. She heard and later noticed us coming, so she placed the towel away and greeted us.

"Howdy, y'all!" She exclaimed proudly.

"Hello, Applejack." Fluttershy responded, bringing Winona, who began barking happily, to Applejack while continuing to hold the leash. "I'm bringing back Winona. I'm sure she's had lots of fun on our walk. She couldn't wait to see you again!"

"Aww." Applejack expressed, removing the leash from Winona's collar. Winona immediately jumped onto Applejack and began licking her. "Haha, whoa there, girl. It's only been an hour or so."

I smiled and looked around, noticing Sweet Apple Acres actually being pretty empty. "It doesn't look like anyone else is here." I mentioned.

Applejack brought Winona back to the floor. "Big Macintosh and Granny Smith are out shoppin'. Applebloom is at school. I was just finishin' up some chores around here while everypony else was gone."

"Oh." I responded. "I hope it didn't feel too lonely. Even when I'm by myself for just a while, I sometimes get this…weird feeling I can't describe. It's just really…uncomfortable."

"Sorry about that." Applejack apologized. "No, I've been fine. Chores have been keepin' me busy enough. What about you? Have any fancy artist work?"

I chuckled lightly. "Nothing lately. At least not from the mayor." I placed a hoof to my chin and looked slightly away in thought. "I could go see if Cheerilee needs anything. I'm sure I can help her with something…"

"Righty, then." Applejack paused for a moment and looked towards the sky, placing a hoof above her eyes. "…what in tarnation is that…?"

Fluttershy and I both turned our attention towards something floating in the sky from some distance. After a closer and longer analysis, it appeared to be…a hot air balloon… "It looks like a hot air balloon… I don't see anypony in it… Maybe somepony accidentally let it go?" I assumed.

"You might be right, Alex." Applejack added. Surprisingly, the hot air balloon began to descend towards the middle of the Everfree Forest. "It's going to the Everfree forest… How in tarnation did it do that?"

"Do you think somepony is actually in there…?" Fluttershy asked, a bit worriedly.

"Well, whatever it is, we better go investigate." Applejack suggested.

"Yeah… We should return it and check if there might be somepony in danger." I included.

"Oh, my…" Fluttershy expressed.

"Fluttershy, you stay here. Me and Alex will go check it out." Applejack stated.

"But…it's the Everfree Forest… What if something happens?" Fluttershy worriedly questioned.

"We'll be alright." Applejack assured.

"Yeah." I agreed nodding my head. "I have magic and wings." I gestured towards them. "If something happens, we'll be able to handle it. If any worst case scenario happens, I'll just get Applejack out of there."

"Um…okay…" Fluttershy hesitantly allowed. "…be safe…"

I released a warm smile and embraced her gently. "We will." Afterwards, I looked towards Applejack and gestured my head towards the direction of the forest. "Let's go, Applejack."

Applejack made a sort of gesture with her hat in order to signify her understanding. "Right behind you, partner."

After we entered the Everfree Forest, its creepiness immediately surrounded us. We were able to hear the distant sounds and noises of who-knew-what that crept into the depths of the tall blades of grass.

Applejack must have noticed my slight uneasiness as I walked because she turned her head towards me and smirked. "Are you scared, Alex? Y'know, you can hold my hoof if you want." She stretched out her right hoof towards me.

"Haha." I responded, sarcastically, and rolled my eyes with a slight smile. I sighed and looked around. "I haven't been in here for a long time… Aren't you ever afraid of getting lost in here?"

"Not really…" Applejack replied. "I usually just don't go any deeper or any parts that don't have paths to walk on."

"I see…" I continued cautiously looking around. "Let's just find that balloon and get out of here. I don't want to disturb anything in here." A distant howling jolted me. "…So… Those timberwolves Granny Smith always talked about… They lurk around here…don't they…?"

"I reckon so."

"Don't ever come back out here alone, Applejack. What if you got surrounded by many creatures of the forest? You don't have wings to fly away, nor magic to at least defend yourself. I know your legs are absolutely strong…but they aren't that helpful if you have a bunch of creatures after your tail…"

"Aw." Applejack released a soft smile towards me. "Thanks for thinkin' about me, Alex. But I—"

Loud barking suddenly sounded off in the distance, seeming to come from where the balloon was last seen at.

I lightly gasped. "You don't suppose…" I commented, thinking that somepony might have actually been inside the hot air balloon.

"Only one way to find out." Applejack answered, alert. "C'mon!"

We began sprinting towards the location, dodging tree branches and rocks. Soon enough, a very putrid stench entered through my nose, causing my face to lightly scrunch. "What the hay is that smell?" I inquired.

"Timberwolves!" Applejack exclaimed, stopping ahead at the end of a cliff. I caught up with her and saw a little purple baby dragon at the bottom of the rocky cliff. "Alex, find me somethin' to throw!" I quickly looked around; only spotting a few rocks from the cliff that could cause some damage. Using my magic, I picked them up and tossed them towards her. She quickly winded up her right foreleg and threw it towards one of the timberwolves. "Come 'n' get me, ya big goons!" Applejack provoked, tossing another one before calling to Spike. "Run!" She threw one in the air and kicked it with her mighty back legs.

Seeing as Applejack had turned their attention towards us, we immediately began running, feeling them right behind our tail.

"Now what are we supposed to do?!" I exclaimed towards Applejack, knowing that we weren't going to be able to get rid of them so easily.

"You can fight em, can't cha?" Applejack answered. I couldn't tell if she was actually being serious or if just providing comic relief.

"Not when they're wood!" I explained nonetheless.

Applejack turned her head towards the front and noticed something. "Here! Duck!"

"What?!" I questioned.

I noticed her jump a bit and grab a hold of a branch with her teeth. I finally figured out what she meant, so when she pulled back the branch, I slid below the line of fire to avoid being hit. When the branch was flung back, this destroyed two of the timberwolves, but two more remained. Ahead of Applejack, I could see Spike running around in a panic. Applejack stopped ahead of me and threw up some rocks in the air in order to kick them back. She allowed me to gain some space between the timberwolves that were right behind me, even destroying another one in the process. However, the last timberwolf noticed his last comrade fall. He focused his attention to the highest threat in the area: Applejack. He began sprinting past me, heading towards Applejack. She noticed this creature gaining on her by the second. Feeling some weird instincts break out in me, I pushed myself even more to catch up to the timberwolf and threw myself at its legs, wrapping my forelegs and at its back legs. This actually caused the back legs to break off from the timberwolf, sending it some distance in the air and completely breaking it apart when it came back down.

When I looked at my hooves, I noticed the wooden legs right there. "…oops…" I commented. Nevertheless, I threw them away from me and rushed over to Applejack to see if she was okay. "Applejack, are you alright?" I asked, placing a hoof on her as she placed a hoof to her chest. She panted a bit.

"Yes. I'm fine. Thank ya." She expressed.

"Thank me?" I questioned. "You're the one who did most of the work."

She lightly chuckled and looked away in slight embarrassment.

"Wow! That was amazing!" Spike came running towards us. "I mean," Spike began flailing his arms around. "…you rocketed those boulders at them like they were... rockets! Pow, pow, pow pow pow! You both saved my life!" His excitement suddenly halted and he looked down with widened eyes. "You both... saved... my life." He repeated softly. He then walked towards the both of us and placed his arms around us, even having to tiptoe due to shortness of reach. His action really seemed to resemble his age.

"Aw, don't mention it, Spike." Applejack gently pushed him away. "C'mon, we should be headin' on back, now." She began walking out.

"Man, am I lucky you two were out here." Spike commented as Applejack noticed a rope hang nearby, which was attached to a branch. "Uh, why were you out here?"

"Saw the balloon floatin' by with nopony in it, came out here to investigate." Applejack explained. "Guess you did too, huh?" Applejack tugged on the rope to untie it and began tying it on her tail.

"Uh... yeah..." Spike kicked the piece of wood left over from the timberwolves. "I was investigating the runaway hot air balloon too! So, uh, now that the mystery's been solved, let's get outta here, huh?" Spike offered. Both of them continued walking while I remained there for a while, strangely feeling eerie all of a sudden. Something bothered me. I glanced back at the shattered wood.

"You comin, Alex?" Applejack asked, catching me off guard when she looked over by me. "Don't wanna stay here with no pony to hold on to, do you?" She joked once again.

Normally, I would have played along or laughed…but I just felt…odd… "Um…yeah…" I merely responded and began joining them to get out of the Everfree Forest. As we left, I couldn't help but get this feeling inside of me that made me want to place a hoof to my heart. A feeling that I had not recieved for such a very long time…

"Goodness. Are you all alright?" Fluttershy asked, standing by the fencepost outside of Applejack's farm.

"Yes, indeedy." Applejack replied.

"There it is!" Another mare's voice sounded. We looked down the road to see a familiar pony walking towards us, particularly the hot air balloon. I could tell she was the pony who owned the balloon from the headgear she wore. Not only that, but she was the same pony that I saved when she almost plummeted to her doom in the same hot air balloon… "I've been looking for that thing everywhere!" She wore an expression of not such jubilance. It was more of one that contained anger due to the fact that she almost lost something very important to her and that she had to look all over town for it.

"Sorry about that." Applejack apologized, beginning to untie the rope from her tail. "We saw it floatin' over to the Everfree Forest, so we went out to investigate. Didn't know what happened." Applejack gave the balloon back to the mare.

The mare rolled her eyes and spared one word. "Whatever." Holding the rope of the balloon with her teeth, she began walking back out of the farm towards Ponyville. Hm… I can somewhat see why she would be so rude.

"You take care now!" Applejack called out nonetheless, especially on being the best kind of friendly pony to meet. After, she looked at us. "Well, I best be getting back to work. I have chores that need tendin' to, so see you all later."

"What chores? I'll do them!" Spike pointed his finger up as he ran after Applejack.

Fluttershy could only observe the scene in silence. "What's with Spike?" She asked, holding a hoof up below her face in a questionable manner.

"He's probably really grateful that Applejack and I 'saved his life' back in the Everfree Forest from a bunch of timberwolves." I answered as I began walking with Fluttershy back to Ponyville.

"Oh my." Fluttershy placed a hoof to her mouth. "But you're okay, right?"

"Yeah, Yeah. I'm fine." I answered. "I wonder what Spike was doing out here by himself anyway? He usually never is unless Twilight's busy or something…"

"She probably is." Fluttershy added. "Everypony seems to be busy today…"

"Huh. I guess I should look for some work myself… The Mayor hasn't sent me anything. I could check on Cheerilee and see if she needs anything."

"Okay, sweetie. I'll see you later then?"

"Sure. Maybe. If I'm finished with whatever I need to do." I shrugged. "You can still come and see me, if you want."

"I'll see you when you're free. Mmk?"

"Okay."

She leaned her head forward and planted a kiss on my lips. She smiled and waved, flying away afterwards.

Ah. Her majestic beauty.

When I arrived at the school, it seemed like there were no more foals. I walked inside to see an empty classroom. All but Miss Cheerilee, who was sitting at her desk.

"Still stuck in class, Miss Cheerilee?" I asked, surprising her a bit.

"Oh. Why, hello, Alex." She greeted as I walked towards her. "What brings you here?"

"I thought I could help you around here." I looked around the classroom. "I don't really have any work today."

"Help with what exactly?" She questioned.

"Do you want any new paintings on the walls for the classroom? Or perhaps something else artistic?" I offered.

Cheerilee seemed to be confused for a moment, but suddenly she slightly widened her eyes. "Oh! Yes! The Mayor had told me about your new job and how she mentioned you could see if I had anything for you. Hm…" She placed a hoof under her chin and thought. "Oh! The little ones and I are having a bake sale in order to fund raise for another field trip. Perhaps you could help us by making a stand and decorations here?"

"Consider it a work in progress." I answered confidently with a smile.

"Thank you, Alex." Cheerilee expressed. "I'll still be here if you can finish within several hours. I'm just grading papers and doing some other work." She chuckled.

"Of course, Miss Cheerilee. I think I can get it done by then. It's not too much work!"

"I'm glad to hear that. Hopefully, I see you in a few hours or so then?"

"Yes ma'am." I turned around and began walking out the front door of the classroom. "See you!" I waved as she waved back. Once I was outside, I placed a hoof under my chin and began thinking on what to do.

Okay… A stand and some decorations. Shouldn't be too hard, especially since I have my horn. I should probably even be finished in an hour, tops. For the stand, I can probably easily build one using some wood and nails. For the decorations on and near the stand, I could definitely not only use some paintings, but fabric and cloth as well.

I looked up ahead towards town.

Rarity is nearby! I could grab some of her material while I'm here.

Afterwards, I began trotting over to Rarity's boutique in order to begin my task.

The doorbell rang as I pushed my hoof on the door. I walked in, immediately hearing voices inside.

"What was that all about?" I heard Rarity ask in the kitchen.

There was a deep sigh. "Alex and I saved Spike from some timberwolves in the Everfree Forest. I decided he could help out a little so he won't feel so bad about his 'debt', and now he thinks he has to serve me forever." That was Applejack.

I reached the kitchen just in time to see a whirl of excitement hit Rarity. She squealed delightedly. "Oh, what I wouldn't give to have somepony forever in my debt! I'd get them to organize my closets, and give me pedicures, and help me with my sewing and—"

"Okay, I get it." Applejack cut Rarity's sentence short before it could get out of hoof. "Havin' somepony to do things for you would be a dream come true. But I don't feel right havin' Spike thinkin' he owes me somethin'. Sure, his help is really nice, but at this rate, if he continues to help me, there's literally goin' to be nothin' for any of us back at the farm to do. And I'm going to feel bad that they were all done by Spike."

"What's going on?" I asked, entering and meeting up with them at the table, which contained a pretty decent pie on there.

"Oh, Alex!" Rarity greeted. "How nice is it for you to drop by!"

"I wanted to talk to you, Rarity. But first, what's going on with Spike?" I asked.

"He's been helpin' me with my chores ever since we returned that balloon, Alex. Like I said, it's real nice, but now I'm just becoming too uncomfortable about it. I'd really like it if he could think he paid his debt and leave us to finish our chores. It just doesn't feel right." Applejack explained.

"Ooh. I see. He must be really grateful, huh?" I assumed.

"Yeah. But it's mostly because he has this 'dragon code' and he doesn't want to break it. He wants to be a noble dragon, and no matter how many times I tell him he will be, even if he doesn't help me, he just won't listen."

"Hm…" I thought for a moment. "I'm not exactly sure how you can get him to stop helping you… If he's really stuck to this moral code, he's going to be disappointed if you don't want his help anymore…"

Applejack released another sigh. "I know…"

"AJ, Rarity, Alex!" Rainbow Dash suddenly appeared at the window, flapping her wings. "What's happening?"

"Applejack and Alex saved Spike's life and now he has to serve Applejack forever." Rarity responded, explaining the whole situation in a nutshell.

"Sweet!" Rainbow Dash commented and then faced Applejack. "What are you having him do? Wash your laundry? Clean your room? Help you with your unfinished novel? Mine's about this awesome pegasus who's the best flyer ever, and becomes the captain of the Wonderbolts!"

"How ever did you come up with that ingeniously woven intricate plot line?" Rarity asked sarcastically, which Rainbow Dash did not receive the same message. Rarity included an eye rolling as well.

"Just came to me." She answered with a short smile.

"You're writing a novel?" I questioned Rainbow Dash with a smile as well. "I never knew you were the type of pony to do so."

"Yeah! It's a lot of fun! What about you, Alex? You writing any novels?" She asked.

I thought back and grinned a little. I looked back in slight embarrassment. "Yeah. You could say it's like an…autobiography or life story…"

"Sweet!" Rainbow Dash repeated. "Can't wait to read it!"

"Thing is," Applejack spoke, getting back on topic. "I don't really want him to serve me forever, but I don't know how to get him to stop."

"That's easy!" Rainbow replied. "Just make him help you with something really, really hard."

"I don't know... I don't want him to get hurt."

"Puh-lease, he'll quit way before there's even a chance of getting hurt!"

We heard Spike walk back in, drying his claws with a towel. "I finished! I even washed the rest of the dishes you had in the sink, Rarity!"

"Oh. Why, thank you, Spike! That was very noble of you." Rarity expressed.

Rainbow looked over to Applejack and leaned in her head a bit closer to her. "Leave this to me." She whispered. After, she looked at Spike and began speaking. "Sooo, Spike, Applejack was gonna help me stack some hay so I could practice smashing through it, but I'm feeling extra extra powerful today."

As Rainbow Dash talked, Applejack nodded in agreement until that last statement she made. "You are?" She questioned in a worried tone.

"Yeah, I am. So instead of hay, I'm gonna smash through rocks!" This caused Applejack to grow widened eyes.

"Rocks?" Spike inquired, trying to make sense of it. He tapped his fingers together as a look of confusion remained on his face.

"Yeah! A huge tower of rocks! And you're gonna build it!"

"I am?"

"Yeah, I mean, unless you don't wanna help Applejack..."

"I do!" He performed a bow to enhance his point. "It is Spike's dragon code!"

"Then get to it!" Rainbow Dash ordered, having Spike run out. "Trust me. This is gonna work like a charm!" She told Applejack.

"Well, you two better go with him to ensure he doesn't hurt himself." I suggested.

"Yeah! Come on, Applejack!" Rainbow Dash flew away from the outside.

"See y'all later." Applejack spoke and trotted out the kitchen in a slight hurry.

"Well then, Alex." Rarity faced me and blinked her long eyelashes a few times. "Now that everypony is gone… What is it you wanted to speak to me about?"

"I was just wondering if you had any fabric or material I could use for this job I'm doing. I'm pretty much making a stand for a bake sale at the schoolhouse, along with decorations. I'm sure your keen eye knows just what's perfect?"

"Of course!" Rarity immediately agreed in delight. "I am quite flattered you came to me upon the subject, darling. Follow me! I know just what is perfect for such an occasion!" She led me up the stairs towards her bedroom/workroom and began skimming through different types of fabric and material. Once she found was she was looking for, she released an expression. "Aha!" She revealed the material towards me. "This should do just the trick!"

"Looks great." I returned. "Thanks, Rarity. I think this should be enough. I'm just going to use some of it for the stand and the rest for the banners."

"It's my pleasure, Alex." She stated. "It's always such a delight to assist you." She fluttered her eyelashes once again.

I chuckled a little. "Thanks…" I began turning towards the door. "I'll see if I can make you something in return for the fabric."

"Oh. There's really no need to." She assured.

"I insist."

"Well... Whatever you wish, Alex."

I nodded and smiled. "See you later!"

She waved as I left.

After I left Rarity's, I had dropped off the fabric in my home and went out to purchase some simple wooden planks and nails. I was heading towards my home to drop off the materials and begin working on the stand until I came across Rainbow Dash and Applejack after seeing a huge tower of rocks.

"He actually built the tower?" I asked, surprised when I saw him bringing rocks in and climbing towards the top to place them. "How do you expect to knock down that?" I pointed towards the tower than must have been visible by all of Ponyville.

"I was sure he'd give up after, like, three rocks." Rainbow returned, keeping her eyes on the tower.

"Three rocks? You know Spike has I-don't-know-how many years in being Twilight's assistant. Being on a life-saving debt, it's no surprise he'd actually go this far to help Applejack."

"Oh goodness." I heard Fluttershy, who must have been around, speak. She walked towards us, stuck on the sight of the tower as well. "If it'd been me, I'd have just pretended I didn't have anything for him to do."

"Why didn't I think of that?" Applejack shared.

"Is this high enough?" Spike yelled out from the top of the tower, which was literally ten times taller than we were.

"That's plenty high! Come on down, Spike!" Applejack called out.

"Bad news: He actually ended up building the whole rock tower. Good news..." Spike had come down, wiping his claws from dirt. He bowed and presented the rock tower to Rainbow. "I've got a rock tower to knock down." She spoke nervously.

"Haha, yeah! You can do it! Haha, hahah, alright, yeah!" Spike cheered as Rainbow slowly lifted herself up and faced the rock tower.

As we all backed away to avoid any rocks hitting us, I looked at the rock tower and decided I could help Rainbow and prevent her from getting hurt. "Don't worry… I've got this…" I whispered to Fluttershy and Applejack.

Rainbow Dash stretched out her leg in front of her and pulled back. Once she began flying towards the middle of the tower to kick it, I quickly focused my horn on one of the rocks in the same area. I quickly pulled it out, caused for the whole tower to collapse, due to the sudden shift in balance. Rainbow had been bracing herself for impact, but she was surprised when she didn't feel anything.

"That... was... awesome!" Spike commented as many of the rocks fell nearby. "Wanna do it again, Rainbow Dash?" He offered. "Applejack can rebuild it for you, and when I say 'Applejack', I of course mean me!"

"Haha!" Rainbow Dash laughed, appearing to look proud of the outcome. "Sure thing, Spike! I never thought I would be able to take down a rock tower all by myself!"

"No!" Applejack immediately intervened, rushing towards where Rainbow Dash was flying above the rocks. "I mean, I don't think Rainbow Dash needs any more of your help. My help. She doesn't need it. Right, Rainbow Dash?"

"What do you mean?" Rainbow Dash asked, still blind to the fact that I was the one who brought the rock tower down. "I can totally go for another smashing!" Applejack eyed her in a scolding manner, leading her to a sigh. "Yeah. I guess I'm good. For now…"

"And so am I!" Applejack added. "I just can't think of one more thing I need help with, so you don't have to do anything else."

Fluttershy walked to my side and nodded her head in agreement.

Spike fell to the floor in shock. "W-What do you mean you can't think of anything else I can help with?"

"Exactly that!" Applejack answered. "There's nothin' else, I don't want you to do anything."

"If I don't help you, how will I know I'm a noble dragon?" Spike asked frightfully.

"Well, I—"

I placed a hoof on Applejack to stop her. "I suppose I can have him help me for a while. After all, I did save his life too, didn't I?"

"That's true!" Spike exclaimed. "And if I help Alex, I can still stick with my dragon code!" He immediately rushed over to me. "What do you need? Spike the noble dragon is here to help!"

I looked over to the wooden boards and box of nails I had placed on the ground. "Why don't you carry those boards and the box of nails for me and take them to my house?" I asked.

"Of course!" He ran towards the boards and picked them up. Afterwards, he began carrying them back home.

Applejack released a long drawn sigh. "Thank ya so much, Alex. Why don't you keep him busy for a little while and the others and I will think up of something to stop him from helping us so much?"

"Sure thing, Applejack. I'll see you all when I'm done." I stopped by Fluttershy and placed a kiss on her cheek. "See you in a while, Fluttershy."

"Bye." Fluttershy softly but happily replied.

When I arrived back home, I saw Spike sitting near the materials outside my door. He immediately perked up when he saw me. "So, what do you want me to do, Alex?"

"Hm." I thought. "Right now, I'm just going to build a stand for Miss Cheerilee." I looked at my materials and realized I forgot a hammer. "Ugh. I forgot a hammer."

"I can get one for you! Don't worry! I'll be right back!" Afterwards, he raced off to find a hammer.

I softly chuckled and turned to the planks of wood. I picked each one of them up with my magic and began planning out on how the stand would look. Once I reached a sort of agreement with myself, I walked inside my house and retrieved the paint and paintbrushes. I picked up one plank of the wood that would serve as the sign for the stand.

While Spike was out retrieving the hammer, I managed to paint a few treats, such as a cake and some cookies, on the sign that held a pink background to match the school's colors. After I had just finished placing the last few touches, I heard him running back.

"I got one!" He held up the hammer straight towards the sky with his claw.

"Great job." I praised. "Thanks."

"Now what?" He asked.

I placed the sign I painted on away and grabbed two pieces of planks to nail together. "Here. Hold these together, just like this." I showed him by placing one of the planks on top of the other vertically. "I'm going to nail them together."

"Got it!" He stretched out his arms and held both of the boards still.

As he did this, I picked out a nail from the nail box and carefully positioned it where it could nail both of the board. I held the hammer up, all using magic, and lightly attacked the end of the nail to make a small hole on the wood. Once it was safe, I hammered harder to get the nail stuck on both boards. After there were enough nails on both of them, I continued to instruct Spike on his assistance. Creating the stand itself sure provided Spike a lot of time of helping me.

Of course, finishing the stand didn't take as short as I thought it would. I would have finished quickly if I had just used my magic to hold all the boards in the right place and nail them all together, but having Spike help me took longer. He definitely would have provided excellent help had I been just an earth pony. However, having the opportunity and privilege of magic honestly made his help unneeded.

Once the stand was completed, excluding the painting and decorations, Spike immediately brought his question up.

"Anything else I can help with?" He asked excitedly.

"Um…"I thought and looked around. I wasn't so sure if he was good with painting, but I rather him not, especially since this was a task for Cheerilee. I decided I could let him return the hammer. "Why don't you return the hammer where you found it?"

"Sure thing!" He began running off.

Afterwards, I grabbed my paint brushes and paint and quickly began painting on the wood. Painting did not take long at all. There was no necessity of including fancy and completely sophisticated depictions on the wood. What I had planned was just perhaps a pink background and some hearts and sweets on the front portion of the stand. The top part of the stand, where the goods would be placed, would be covered with the material Rarity gave me.

After placing the finishing touches with the paint, I retrieved the fabric, along with some scissors by my art materials in my home. I trotted outside and carefully placed the fabric on the stand. I used the scissors to cut and remove any excess part of the fabric. I allowed it to cover the top part of the stand, the sides, and a little on the front, giving just enough viewing space on the paintings I created.

Then, I walked backwards and noticed my product whole. I analyzed the colorful stand that seemed to perfectly match the color of the schoolhouse. The sign above the stand depicted BAKE SALE in friendly and bright letters, along with using the fabric to decorate it a bit on the corners in a bow-like way. The small cylinder pieces of wood used to hold up the sign, which was placed on the stand, were decorated with the left over pieces of the fabric as well. It was used as a ribbon wrapped around the wood as it descended towards the top of the stand, the portion where the sweets would be placed, almost looking like a flat staircase.

"Done and done!" I heard Spike from a short distance. He came running towards me, already ready for action. "What next?"

I observed the stand for a moment. "Do you have a wagon or something we can put this on to take to Cheerilee?" I asked.

Once we already had placed the stand on the wagon to take to Cheerilee, I felt a little bad for having Spike run around three times to get a few things I forgot or didn't think about. However, he seemed to not mind and actually enjoy helping me out anyway. He walked behind me a little to my side holding the handle of the red wagon firmly. I led him on the road to the schoolhouse. When we reached the flagpole, I had Spike bring the wagon towards the left corner of the school on the grass. I used my magic to pick up the stand and carefully place it on the ground.

"Stay here, Spike. I'm going to go talk to Miss Cheerilee really quick." I told him.

"You betcha!" He confidentially replied.

I returned a small smile and then walked towards the building.

Just as I entered, I saw Cheerilee packing up to leave.

"Miss Cheerilee!" I spoke. "I'm glad I caught you before you left. Sorry it took a little longer than expected. But I'm done and it's waiting outside for you to see!"

"Really?" She responded, placing on her saddlebag. "Oh, I can't wait to see it!"

"Follow me, ma'am." I waited by the door. When she walked towards it, I politely stepped back and lifted my hoof and lowered my head in a bowing motion, bringing up the old "Mares first" gentlecolt code.

She lightly blushed and giggled. "Why, thank you, Alex."

After she walked out of the building, I accompanied her and walked her towards the stand. "Here it is!"

As soon as Cheerilee saw it, she widened her eyes and released a soft gasp. "Oh my!"

"What do you think?" I asked.

"It's…lovely!" She answered and walked a bit closer to it.

"Thank this little guy here too." I stood by Spike and lightly messed with the top of his head. "He helped."

"I see…" Cheerilee commented as she continued to observe the stand. "Well, thank you both for this lovely stand. I'm sure it'll attract a lot of ponies to our bake sale!" Once she was finished analyzing the stand, she walked towards me. "I'll let the mayor know what a terrific job you've done. Now, I must get home and rest after all that paperwork." She began walking down the road while waving back at us. "See you all later!" She ended with a cheery statement.

I waved and sent back another smile until Spike tugged at my coat.

"Hey! Since we're finished with the stand, why don't we see what Applejack is up to? Maybe she could use some help again!" He continued to be such a little excited and energetic dragon.

"Hm…" I rubbed my head lightly, thinking that Applejack wasn't exactly ready yet. "I don't know, Spike…"

"Come on. Please?" He begged.

I sighed and wondered if I should take him. After all, it has been a while… Maybe she's come up with something already… I couldn't really let him down anyway.

"Alright… Let's go…" I answered.

He cheered as we began our way towards the barn.

Just as I arrived in the middle of the farm, I spotted Applejack walking out of the red barn. She hadn't noticed me yet until Spike ran towards her, eager to see if she had anything to do.

"Hey, Applejack! What's next? I'm up for anything!" He exclaimed.

"Uh…" Applejack could only respond with.

I walked up to her as well. "Sorry, Applejack. Spike wanted to come here so bad…so…you know…"

"Oh, I understand, Alex…um…" Applejack faced towards Spike. "Spike, why don't ya…um…" She looked around the area. "uh…" She focused her attention towards the grass. "Why don't you…" She narrowed her eyes and then gasped. "Why don't you count the blades of grass here at Sweet Apple Acres?"

"Okay!" He quickly agreed. "Where do you want me to start?"

"Uh, just go on and start over there." She pointed towards the first patch of grass nearby.

"Right away!" He ran off and then threw himself to the grass to begin counting.

As he did, I looked towards Applejack to begin speaking with her. "Good idea of keeping him busy… But you don't expect him to count every single blade of grass, do you?" I asked.

She released a heavy sigh. "I just need to keep him busy while we discuss and set up the plan."

"Plan?" I questioned.

"Come inside the barn." She offered. "The others are waitin' for ya."

As I walked inside, I could hear Spike already somewhat far in his counting.

"Seventy, seventy-one, seventy-two, seventy-three, seventy-four, seventy-five..."

Once I was in, I saw the other girls standing inside. Behind me, Applejack walked in and shut the barn doors. Afterwards, she faced all of us. "All right, y'all, here's the deal. Spike needs to save my life."

Pinkie Pie immediately raised her hoof. "And you want us to shoot you out of a cannon towards a hornet's nest…" She explained thoroughly as she brought out a cannon and placed a protective mask on Twilight. "…and give Spike a butterfly net so he can catch you mere seconds before you hit the nest and are stung by a thousand angry hornets!" Fluttershy only retained a widened expression after Pinkie had placed the net in her mouth. "I'll wear this mustache." She placed an artificial mustache above her lips while rubbing her hooves and grinning defiantly.

"...No." Applejack answered frankly while rolling her eyes back in annoyance. "I am gonna be attacked by a timberwolf!"

The rest of the girls gasped while Pinkie kept the mustache on her face. "Can I still wear the mustache?"

Applejack only returned an irritated expression.

"You're not really going to be attacked by a timberwolf, are you Applejack?" I inquired heavily. "That's too dangerous!"

"No, no." She responded. "I've got a plan. C'mon, y'all." She turned around and began heading out the barn doors. "I'll explain it when we get there." All of us merely exchanged looks and shrugged. We followed Applejack out of the barn and to someplace else in the farm as we passed by Spike, who continued to count the blades of grass all around him. "When you're done counting those blades Spike, I have one more thing for you to do, okay?"

"Sure thing, Applejack!" Spike responded cheerfully. "Happy to help!" After, he continued his task.

Geez…he seriously cannot keep count while making sure he doesn't make a mistake…

Applejack led us back towards where the rock tower was built, right next to the entrance of the Everfree Forest. She stood in front of all us right by the destroyed rock tower.

"Now, before y'all keep asking about me getting attacked by a timberwolf, I just wanna let y'all know that I'm not going to be attacked by a real timberwolf, just a fake one." She explained.

"Fake one?" I questioned. "How are you going to pull off that?"

She faced Twilight. "Twilight'll make one out of the pieces of wood right next to the trees over there." She pointed towards the Everfree Forest. "Can't you, Twi?"

"Sure. Sounds easy enough." Twilight answered and began gathering some wood nearby.

"Now, Pinkie Pie and Rarity will be hidin' in the bushes until it's time to run out screamin'. Fluttershy, you make the sounds of a timberwolf runnin', okay?"

"Okay…" Fluttershy replied.

"Rainbow Dash, you know how to make a good roar, am I right?" Applejack asked Rainbow.

"Psh." Rainbow Dash flipped her hoof. "You know I do!"

"Great." Applejack stated. "Then it's, settled. When I give the signal, Pinkie Pie and Rarity will come runnin' out of the woods, bein' pursued by the timberwolf. I'll start to run, too, but then pretend to get my hoof stuck. I'll ask Spike to help me dislodge it, and he will, and I'll be able to get away from the terrifyin' timberwolf! Havin' saved me from certain doom, Spike will then consider us even. Everybody get it?"

"Uh-huh!" Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash nodded their heads.

"I'll do my best." Twilight returned, raising her finished timberwolf and teleporting towards the branch of a tree.

"Mm-hm." Rarity added delightfully.

"Just one question." Pinkie Pie brought up.

"Yes?" Applejack inquired. Pinkie immediately had the same black twirled mustache from earlier on her face. She sent a widened expression in anticipation for Applejack's answer. "No." She frankly answered.

Pinkie sighed, dropping the mustache from her face. "Suit yourself." She kicked the rest of the supplies from her own plan away.

"What about me?" I asked Applejack about my task.

"Why don't you get Spike when we're all ready?" She offered.

"Okay…" I responded.

Rarity cleared her throat loudly but politely. "We are all ready to play our parts," She cleared her throat again for a second. "…but are you sure you are ready to play yours, Applejack?"

"What d'you mean?" Applejack inquired about.

"Show us your best 'damsel in distress' move." Rarity responded, flipping her mane up in the air a bit.

"Uh..." Applejack tilted her head towards the floor a bit and then brought it up. "Oh, well, aheh," She spoke a little nervously and looked around, seeming to not have such experience with the part. "…how's this?" She threw a hoof to her side and groaned…rather…oddly… "Hooooooo."

"Absolutely horrendous." Rarity immediately intervened. "Okay, this needs some serious work! Now, first, you must lift your foreleg up to your forehead, like so—"

"Applejack?" We heard Spike's voice exclaim in the distance. We could see his little figure running towards us.

"No time! Here he comes!" Applejack warned, having the girls quickly dash out of visibility. Then, she faced me. "Forget about calling Spike, just stay here with me! He doesn't know the other girls are here!" She looked towards Spike to see him coming closer. "Uh... over here, Spike!" She waved her hoof high in the air.

Spike reached us and panted lightly as he spoke. "You said you had something else you needed me to do?"

"Oh, yes, I," She turned her head to see a pile of leaves nearby. "…I was just hopin' you could maybe, uh, sweep up all those leaves for a compost pile, and—"

"But of course." Spike bowed and grabbed the rake Applejack had been holding up. He started to make his way towards the leaves. "Oh, by the way, there are exactly twenty-four million, five hundred and sixty-seven thousand, eight hundred and thirty seven blades of grass at Sweet Apple Acres."

His response caused me to widen my eyes in disbelief of him actually counting every single blade of grass… Even I wouldn't have done such a thing…

"I can't believe you counted every single one of 'em..." Applejack returned with the same expression as mine. Afterwards, she looked towards Rainbow Dash, who was hiding behind some cover near Fluttershy, and winked.

Rainbow winked back and began to inhale to release a mighty roar.

"You asked me to." Spike replied.

I looked at the timberwolf Twilight was holding while hiding under the tree on the branch and had second thoughts. I tilted my head towards Applejack to engage in a whisper.

"You really think this is going to work…? The fake timberwolf looks nothing like a real one except for the fact that it's wood…"

"It's got to." Applejack answered. "Spike is only a baby dragon after all, you know how kids believe more into this kind of scary stuff?"

"I guess you're right…"

"And, as a noble dragon and follower of my Dragon Code, I—" Spike's continued dialogue was suddenly interrupted by a loud roar, which to no worry was by Rainbow Dash. Spike immediately dropped the rake and stared in horror towards the Everfree Forest.

"Timberwolf!" Rarity screamed as she ran out of the forest towards Spike. Pinkie followed along with her but made no sound. "We are doomed!" She yelled as she sobbed artificially. Now I can tell what Rainbow meant by…over exaggerating… Pinkie released a scream of her own as well, but it was more like a happy scream of joy. After they finished their parts, they merely stopped their acting and trotted towards us. "See? Like that." Rarity pointed out as she trotted past Applejack and me.

After, the puppet timberwolf appeared from the ground, walking towards us uncoordinatedly. The wooden claws weren't even touching the ground… Fluttershy creating the clacking noise of the creature. Spike could only hold his claws to his face as he actually bought the whole scheme. Its mouth opened very crookedly, but Spike continued to be frightened nonetheless. After a moment of awkward silence with its crooked mouth, along with Spike slowly backing away, Rainbow Dash released another loud roar.

"Oh no!" Applejack exclaimed unconvincingly as she walked towards a pile of rocks nearby. "I seem to have got my hoof caught in between two rocks!" She placed her hoof between the rocks. "I cannot run away!" The fake wooden creature was then brought closer to her. "I am…" She looked around, trying to remember the specific line. She waved her hoof around when she got it. "…a damsel in distress! Help me, Spike!" The timberwolf's mouth opened up and Applejack placed her head inside while continuing to look at Spike.

However, Spike continued to reveal a face of fright. Afterwards, he looked towards me to plead. "I can't do anything! Help her, Alex! Please!"

I widened my eyes and then turned my look from Spike to Applejack. She didn't seem to know what to do either. She merely shrugged as she gestured her head more into the timberwolf's head. I sighed and walked towards it. No point in trying to make a good scene if everything is already pretty disorganized…

"Don't worry, Applejack. I'll save you!" I announced unconvincingly as Applejack did as well. I raised a hoof in order to hit the timberwolf, but Twilight merely moved its body to lightly pat me while keeping Applejack's head in its mouth. When I felt the wooden touch, I began falling to the floor purposely. "Oh no!" I felt the dirt spray up from the ground when I hit it. "Ouch! I'm hurt! I can't move!" I looked at Spike. "Spike! You have to help us! Please! You're our only hope!" Geez…what the hay was I even saying?

Spike continued standing there frightened, unknowing what to do until he unexpectedly removed all fear from his face. "Wait a minute…"

Applejack removed her head from the timberwolf's mouth as we all, including the fake creature, looked at Spike.

"No, no, don't wait a minute." Applejack responded as she scooted the others away from sight with her hoof. "Save us from the terrifyin' timberwolf!

"Well, he would be terrifying if he wasn't…" He had begun walking towards us as I placed my forelegs in front of me and lifted my head off the ground. "…a fake!" Applejack returned a surprised expression. Spike began to analyze and critique the puppet. "You got the clomping on his claws..." Despite his comment, the string holding a piece of wood, which was supposed to be his claw, merely snapped. "...The roar was spot on, and the detail on his face is pretty good." He continued as he held the face. When he let go, it fell to ground. "But you forgot one thing: His breath! You could smell a real timberwolf's breath from a mile—"

He suddenly stopped to smell the horrible stench we all began smelling. Nonetheless, he shook his head and laughed. "Too late, I'm already on—"

Twilight suddenly teleported between Spike and Applejack and screamed out loudly, running away.

"Timberwolf!" Rainbow Dash yelled out.

We darted our sight to the forest to notice three familiar creatures back for their revenge. They all roared loudly to initiate their charge towards us. We all gasped and immediately began running.

"Timberwolf!" Spike exclaimed.

As we headed towards the direction where the other girls had left off, Applejack instead took a detour towards the pile of rocks. When I saw Applejack pushing a huge boulder to smash the timberwolves into pieces, I quickly jumped out of the way and used my magic to have them slip right on target. The boulder attacked the first one and tumbled on to the rest of them, instantly spreading their entire wooden parts across the ground.

Spike saw what happened and became relieved. He sent a thumbs up towards Applejack.

I released a sigh of relief and looked towards Applejack. "I thought we took care of those three earlier this morning!"

"They must kind of have some magic or somethin' to—"

The rock she was lying on suddenly broke apart and took her to the ground.

"Applejack!" I called her name as I ran towards her.

Another piece of rock fell harshly on her back left leg. "Ow!" She exclaimed.

I immediately crouched when I reached her, hurrying to help until I felt movement near me. I looked to see the pieces of wood lifting up in the air.

"Uh oh..." Spike expressed as all the pieces of wood were now reattaching together…but they weren't reattaching to three different beings… "Applejack, Alex, come on!" Spike yelled.

Applejack stood up and tried to pull her hoof out from the pile of rocks, but she couldn't. "I can't! I'm really stuck!"

Even small trees and logs were being pulled out of the forest.

"No more messing around!" Spike slightly panicked. I analyzed the final form to see that all the pieces of wood were actually forming a huge timberwolf in front of us. "Let's go!"

I placed both my hooves on the boulder that was trapping Applejack. I strained, but I just couldn't pull it out! "I can't remove it! It's stuck on there like glue!" I exclaimed as I even tried using magic.

"Come on...!" Applejack strained as she continued to try to pull out her leg.

However, a large drop of liquid splattered on the ground nearby, causing us to look back. The giant timberwolf roared greatly, filling our airspace with its musty and horrible stench.

"Forget it, Spike! You gotta get out of here!" Applejack ordered.

"No!" I intervened and lifted myself away from Applejack. "Spike, get Applejack out of here! I'll keep it busy!" I faced the timberwolf aggressively with my hooves planted on the ground. Inside me, I could feel myself growling in defense. Not only did I feel that, I also felt this dark energy leave and possibly even surround me.

"No!" Spike returned. "It's in my dragon code and to be a noble dragon I have to save the both of you!"

I continued to glare at the timberwolf as it returned the same expression towards me. However, right when it appeared as if it was about to take a lunge at me, a rock flew right into its throat, halting it in motion. It immediately began choking, making me gasp and look back. "Come on, Spike!" I rushed towards Applejack to begin helping her out by trying to pull the boulder off with both my magic and hooves. Spike helped by using a solid stick that seemed to have come out from the timberwolf. As we attempted to get Applejack out, the timberwolf raised a claw in order to signal us to wait as it continued to try hacking out the rock. But we weren't idiots to stay there and be eaten. Finally, Applejack's hoof was freed, allowing us to all run back away from the danger.

As I ran, I looked back to see the timberwolf struggling until it finally released a last breath and fell to the floor, crashing and scattering all of its wood once again.

We panted as we reached all of the other girls, who seemed to have been waiting for us.

"What happened to you guys back there?" Twilight asked. "Thought you were right behind us!"

"My hoof was stuck, and that timberwolf was coming right at us!" Applejack explained.

"Wait, you were actually stuck?" Rarity questioned in surprise.

"Uh-huh!" Spike answered.

Applejack nudged him on his belly, causing him to fall back towards the floor. "But Spike picked up a pebble, and rocketed that thing right at the huge timberwolf's mouth, and saved our lives!" She emphasized.

"Aw, it was nothing." Spike rubbed his head as he blushed.

"It was somethin' alright!" Applejack expressed. "'Course, We wouldn't've needed help if I hadn't been tryin' to stage a fake timberwolf attack in the first place…"

"Yeah." Spike rolled his eyes. "What was that all about?"

She sighed. "I know this Code thing's important to you, but if somethin' like this comes up in the future, think maybe we can go back to my code, say 'that's what friends do' and leave it at that? I promise I won't think of you as any less noble." Applejack removed her hat and placed it on her chest.

Spike shrugged and nodded his head. "Sounds good to me. But, maybe let's just try to avoid situations where one of us actually needs the other one to save their life?"

"You got yourself a deal." Applejack happily held out her hoof.

Spike was about to shake it, but realizing how she didn't have a claw like his, he bumped it instead.

I released a final sigh of relief. "Well, I'm just glad that's over. Spike, maybe you want to change your moral code a bit? If you keep returning a life debt like you did with Applejack, you'd have to serve a lot of ponies for life instead of assisting the one that really matters like Twilight." I glanced towards her.

"Yeah. You're right…" He rubbed his head and looked at Twilight. "From now, I should only return the favor by helping others if they need it."

I released a sweet smile. "Exactly."

As we began heading back towards town, Applejack trotted to my side. "Boy! How'd you learn to do that back there, Alex?" She asked, confusing me.

"Huh? Learned to do what?" I questioned.

"That thing that made you look really intimidatin' to that timberwolf! Like if your magic made some weird shadows around your body!"

"I…" I couldn't answer her question because I didn't remember anything about what she was describing about. "…I don't know…?"

"Well, either way, that was really amazin', Alex!"

"Thanks…"

After we had all excused ourselves for the night, I walked back home to get some sleep. However, Applejack's statement continued to bother me. I didn't know why. I actually wanted to work on that gift for Rarity in order to show my appreciation for her...but...I just felt...well...not in the mood. When I tucked myself into bed, I closed my eyes and tried to get some sleep.

But I couldn't.

It wasn't long until I began shaking and feeling chills throughout my body, even with the blankets held tightly around me. I shuffled and moved around my bed until I just gave up. I almost angrily removed the sheets from my bed and immediately threw myself off the bed.

As I tried to descend down the stairs, I felt myself becoming wobbly as if I couldn't walk straight. I began panting a little softly. When I finally reached the bottom of the stairs, I opened the door, walked out, and slammed it shut behind me.

The symptoms I was suffering from were really bothering me. They were not only bothering me…but they were making me angry for some reason.

Fluttershy's… I need to get to…Fluttershy's…

The more I walked, the more the wobbling and weakness seemed to grow. During the middle of my trip, she appeared before me as she landed in front of me.

"Alex… Are you alright?" She asked.

"Luna…" I responded weakly. "I…I just need to head to Fluttershy's…" I tried to walk past her, but instead, the weight of my body moved towards the front, bringing me to Luna's body automatically. My body collided with hers, and I felt too weak to move any further. Luna instantly brought her wings to my back, holding me so I wouldn't fall. Afterwards, I felt my eyes just close by themselves.

Luna

It was he who stated that he must reach Fluttershy's home. After seeing him in such the terrible state he was in, I brought him to her. After Fluttershy learned of the situation that was going on, she quickly escorted me to her bedroom and allowed me to drop him carefully on the left side of her bed. I uneasily glanced at Fluttershy.

"Take good care of him…please…" I asked so softly of her.

"Don't worry, Princess." Fluttershy answered me with. "He might just be exhausted from today, or maybe he got a little sick. Whatever it is, I'll make sure to keep him in good hooves."

"Thank you, Fluttershy…" I sighed wearily as I retained my eyes on his closed ones. "I…I must retire back to Canterlot Castle now… Goodnight, Fluttershy…"

"Goodnight, Princess Luna."

Afterwards, I hesitantly walked out of the cottage. I, in all honestly, did not want to leave his side, as I was beginning to grow worried about him, but perhaps Fluttershy was right. However, it still did not remove the uneasiness about that awful feeling I had received from him.

I spread my wings and flew towards Canterlot Castle to tell my sister of the news.

When I opened the doors to her study, she was lying on the ground, reading a book near the lit fireplace by her.

"Sister…" I spoke.

"Luna?" She answered, turning her head towards me.

"I'm…I'm becoming concerned about Alex."

"Why?" Celestia inquired. "What is it that is bothering you about him, little sister?"

"…I found him wandering all by himself in Ponyville tonight… He looked really…weak…and troubled… A few minutes earlier, I had received a bad vibe about him, so I flew to Ponyville to check on him. He's at Fluttershy's right now, and she suggests that he's probably tired or a little ill."

"I see…" She answered with some thought. "I don't know what to say, sister. I know you're worried about him, but perhaps Fluttershy is right. However, right now, we have many things to plan and prepare for. I'll check on him when I return to Ponyville and see how he's doing."

"Return to Ponyville?" I repeated with surprise. "For what occasion?"

"I'm going to have Discord released."

"What?!" I exclaimed in shock. "You must not be serious, sister!"

"I am. I know what I'm doing." She paused and looked towards the fireplace for a moment. "I've been feeling odd things as well, little sister. I've…decided it's best to release Discord and have the mighty group of friends reform him to good. That way, in any possible danger, his chaotic magic certainly could help if it was used for good."

"But…what if he hides the elements again?" I questioned.

"I'll place a spell on them so he won't be able to do so, don't worry."

I sighed and slightly looked away. "Okay… I understand…"

There was a moment of silence between us.

"…I must ask you something, Luna…"

"What is it?" I looked towards her.

"…does Alex remind you of…" She stopped there, feeling a little hesitant for saying it.

I sighed and gloomily stared at the floor. "Now that you speak of it…he does…"

Celestia pushed herself up and walked towards me. She placed a hoof delicately and comfortingly on my shoulder. "What's done is done, sister. You cannot change the past. There may be spells for such a thing…but we both know it's too dangerous to use them. It's best to leave things as they are."

"…you're right, sister…" I responded with sadness in my tone.

She patted my shoulder and then removed her hoof. "I must get my rest now, little sister. I'll see you in the morning…if you're awake."

"I understand, big sister. Goodnight."

"Goodnight." She responded as I left her room and closed the doors behind me.

As I stood silent outside of the hallway, I could only think about Alex and wish for him to get well…

Alex

I groaned softly as I awoke.

What happened…?

I slowly opened my eyes and looked around to see what appeared to be Fluttershy's room in the darkness.

I'm at Fluttershy's… How…?

After thinking for a second, I remember encountering Luna on the way. She must have brought me here…

I sighed softly, unable to recall what happened after.

I looked at my side to see Fluttershy resting peacefully right by me. I didn't feel as bad as I did before, and it was extremely nice to be by her side. I relaxed myself and closed my eyes as the moon's light pierced through the window and lit a bit of the room.

I just hope it wasn't anything serious…

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