• Published 18th Jan 2013
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The Queen of Hearts - Pumpernickel Rye



Chrysalis attempts getting her crown and her revenge by running a dating service.

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Dating Damsels in Distress for Dragon Dummies

Dating Damsels in Distress for Dragon Dummies

Celestia’s sun pierced through the window of Cupid’s Arrow and soon awakened the slumbering changeling. The morning was much different for her because instead of resting in her bed as she normally did, she was currently hanging from the ceiling. Her longing for home had gotten the best of her the night before and she decided to create a cocoon to sleep in. Changeling cocoons were created by weaving slime they produced from a sac in their throats. The fluid was not just ordinary slime, however. It was mostly produced by converting the love they absorbed into a physical form with their magic, giving it magical properties. It was used to catch and imprison prey and could heal injuries on a changeling. She felt odd about sleeping in one, but it certainly made her feel better.

The former queen began wiggling around to free herself from her chrysalis. She broke free by cutting it open with her horn and gently lowered herself onto the floor. The slime covered her entire body, so Chrysalis headed into the bathroom to wash herself off with a hot shower. When she was done cleaning herself, she went downstairs to acquire the mop and bucket she kept in the storage closet. She cleaned the mess she made by dumping the goo into the bucket and then pouring it down the bathtub drain. Once she was finished, she stashed the cleaning tools back into the closet.

In the kitchen, she hummed to herself as she prepared herself toast and coffee. She was not too fond of pony food, but they really knew how to make some good coffee. She was in a very good mood as she knew that the news of the Fancy Pants' and Photo Finish’s relationship would come up one day and she would attract many customers. Another bonus was now that Rarity was officially single and likely an emotional wreck, Spike should have no problem winning her over.

She picked up the newspaper from outside her front door and sat at her desk. The front article informed her that the protesters she noticed yesterday grew out of control when Nymph was leaving and bombarded her with rotten vegetables. The picture of the article showed the queen hiding behind her guards as a tomato struck her in the face. Chrysalis laughed at the sight of it and tore out the paper so she could frame it. She was glad that things weren’t going so well as it would be a good reason why her people would want her back.

Once the clock struck nine, she spoke aloud, “I hope you enjoyed your day off, Pinkie, because today we’re going to work much harder to make up for lost time.” She was only met with silence. “What’s the matter? Does it bother you to put in extra effort?” She looked up and was met with an unusual sight. “Pinkie?” she asked while looking around. For the first time, she was not exactly on time. She shrugged and resumed reading. “I guess there’s a first time for everything.”

Time passed and Chrysalis was becoming both more curious about her whereabouts and more agitated. Five minutes had passed and nothing. The curiosity shifted to annoyance. Twenty minutes went by and still no sign. Her annoyance evaporated to anger. Eventually, she tossed the paper aside in a fit of rage. Pinkie was now over an hour late and she had no idea why. She couldn’t afford to waste any more time. She leapt from her seat and stormed out the door. Many ponies were frightened by the pure fury she expressed on her face as she went past them. One pony was foolish enough to try to talk to her and was picked up by her telekinesis, only to be hurled an incredibly long distance. She had one destination in mind and nothing was going to get in her way.


Mr. Cake pulled the brownies out of the oven and stored them in the box. He and his wife were having a busy day with many orders and Pinkie’s absence meant there was much more work for them to try to make up. He was glad she was at least still around for the weekend to lend a hoof. He heard the door open and greeted the new customer. “Hello, Cherub! How can-” He fell silent as the furious mare slowly stomped her way over to the counter. He and his wife grabbed each other and fell to the floor, fearing their guest. She leaned over the counter and looked at them with intense anger. Her eyes were glowing intensely green and she was snarling at them. “W-what do you want from us!?”

“WHERE. IS. PINKIE PIE?”


Pinkie handed her friend a box of tissue. “Here, Rarity.”

Rarity blew her nose and tossed the tissue into the trash. “Thank you.”

“You’re a wreck, Rarity. Are you sure there’s nothing we can do for you?” asked Twilight with concern.

“No, but thank you for offering. I’m just glad you are all here for me.”

Pinkie felt almost as sad as she did. Before she left Sugarcube Corner, Fluttershy came and informed her about Rarity’s state. She immediately hurried over and the rest of her friends joined her there later on. It turned out that Rarity secretly had a coltfriend. At least, she thought she did. She was still upset over the whole ordeal and Pinkie was sure Cherub would understand why she didn’t come today.

“So how come ya never mentioned ya were involved with Fancy Pants?” questioned Applejack.

Rarity rolled onto her back and stared up at the ceiling. “I’m sorry, girls. I was just waiting for the right time before telling you all. I was even going to have a party planned to announce our love.”

“I don’t get why you’re so upset about him,” said Spike. “Can’t you just find somepony else?”

“But I wanted him!” Rarity bawled. “He was gentle, intelligent, and charismatic. He was perfect in every way!”

“Except for being really old,” Rainbow Dash pointed out mockingly.

Rarity cried louder while Twilight looked at her friend with a look that showed she wasn’t happy with what she did and Dash gave a nervous grin in return. Suddenly, they heard the door being thrown open downstairs, startling all of them. “Pinkie Pie, get your flank down here right now!”

“Uh-oh!” Pinkie ran out of the room and dashed down the stairs to meet with her boss. “Hi, Cherub. Are you here to see Rarity?”

“I’m here because you suddenly decided to not bother showing up to work. Instead, I find you just playing with your friends,” Chrysalis spat bitterly. She felt that they were not needed to help Rarity and would be better off working with other ponies. If the unicorn was doing as badly as the Cakes told her, she would have taken Spike in a heartbeat.

“But I’m not playing!” Pinkie protested. “Rarity’s really upset about something and I want to be with her until she’s happy again.”

“I’m sorry to hear about her, but it’s going to have to wait until we’re done today. You and I have work to do,” she reminded.

“But, but…” The earth pony was only met with a disgruntled look and sighed. “Can I just stay for a few more minutes?”

Chrysalis wanted to refuse, but she couldn’t bring herself to saying no as she stared in her pleading eyes. “Just make it quick.”

“Thank you, Cherub.”

The former queen watched as she quickly returned upstairs. A few seconds later, Spike came downstairs and headed straight towards her. “Hello, Spike. Having any luck catching Rarity on the rebound?”

“What did you do!?” he angrily shouted at her. “She’s practically in pieces!” He charged her, ready to attack, but was stopped when she held him back with a hoof on his forehead as he wailed his fists at the air.

“Calm down and stop yelling at me. I didn’t do anything. Her so called ‘lover’ found out that she thought they were more than friends and let her down.”

He pulled himself away from her as he lost all of his fury and sat against on the steps. “She seems so devastated. Did she like him that much?”

“She wouldn’t shut up about him almost the entire time I was with her. I’m pretty sure she was expecting him to propose someday.” She could see the upset look on his face, so she smiled and patted him on the head. “But hey, now that she’s single again, you can finally get with your dream girl. Now get up there and make a move, lover boy,” she suggested encouragingly.

Spike looked down onto the ground. “But I don’t want to make a move on her like this. I caused this to happen. It doesn’t feel right for me to ask anything from her.”

“Why not? She’s desperate for a lover and you seem to fit that category pretty well, Spike. Besides, you did absolutely nothing wrong. Her fantasy was doomed from the start.”

“But she really liked Fancy Pants and he wasn’t even trying to get her to like him. She’ll never love me that much. I’m just a kid.” He then slumped his shoulders, devoid of any hope.

Chrysalis groaned as she listened to him talk. It was clear her end of the whole thing wasn’t over just yet. She lied on the floor in front of him and lifted his head by his chin. “Spike, you just have to try. I honestly think you have a shot.”

“Really?”

“Sure. You’re the only one I know who she gives a pet name to, Spikey-Wikey.” Spike blushed. “You’re a real nice guy and you could be just like Fancy Pants if you try. It’s just that I will have to help Rarity see that.”

Hope ignited in the dragon’s eyes. “You mean you’re going to help me?”

She rubbed his head. “Of course. True love must always prosper.” So she and her people could feed on it later.

They then noticed Pinkie coming down the stairs with a large frown on her face. “I’m ready to go now,” she said depressingly.

“Excellent, because we just happen to have a job right now. Right, Spike?” she said while winking at him.

Pinkie tilted her head. “What?”

“We’re going to get Rarity to love Spike.” Pinkie took in a deep breath, ready to let out a scream of joy, and Chrysalis charged to stick a hoof over her mouth. “Don’t do that. Ever.”

“But how do we do it?” she asked, muffled under Chrysalis’s hoof.

The outcast released her and wiped her hoof on herself to get the slobber off. “For starters, we need her to get over Fancy Pants, which shouldn’t be too hard. Once that’s done, we’ll help our little dragon take her heart.”

“But she needs that to live!” Pinkie cried frantically.

“Metaphorically, you idiot.”

Pinkie immediately calmed down. “Oh.”

Spike was next to panic. “But if she sees you hanging around, she might get suspicious!”

“I will be there as a concerned friend, nothing more. When she’s all better, I will instruct you on how to handle her. I am afraid I cannot be around as much as I would like, so you are going to have to do most of the work yourself.”

The pony stood on her hind legs and waved her forelegs. “And I know how to make Rarity feel better!”

“I doubt a party would help.” Pinkie sat down, but then raised a hoof to say something else. “Cake won’t either.” She put her hoof down. “There’s no need for anything complicated. Let’s just go upstairs and see her. We can figure out what to do from there.”

They ascended the stairway and entered the unicorn’s room, finding her on the bed while wearing a robe. Her hair was a rat’s nest and her eye liner was leaking onto her face. She and the other ponies took notice of them entering. “Aren’t you supposed to be going to work, Pinkie?” questioned Rarity.

The latest guest of the boutique stepped in front of Pinkie and approached her. “When I heard about your current state, I decided to let her take the day off. I had not realized how much of a mess you were.”

Rarity looked at her angrily and sat up. “How could you have not noticed!? You were there at the restaurant!”

Chrysalis darted her eyes around, unable of creating a credible excuse on the spot. “I…wasn’t paying attention.”

“I bet you weren’t since you were too busy with your real intention of coming to Canterlot!” She pointed a hoof at the red unicorn. “I know all about your plot!”

Both Chrysalis and Spike became worried. “You do?”

Rarity reached under her pillow and pulled something out. “It wasn’t hard to figure out, since it was published this morning!”

She threw a magazine at her, which Chrysalis picked it up and examined. The rest of the ponies gathered around her to see what she was talking about. On the cover was one of the various pictures of Chrysalis from the modeling she had done the day before. She was surprised by how fast Photo Finish had it ready for print. “Even if the camera adds ten pounds, I still got it,” she said, admiring the picture.

“It couldn’t have been a coincidence that you wanted to come to Canterlot on the same day as I did," Rarity spoke, regrabbing everyone's attention. "You must have known I was close to Fancy Pants. You just wanted to use me so you could become a model!”

All of her friends gasped except for Spike. “Cherub, how could you!?” yelled Pinkie.

Chrysalis rolled her eyes. “You’re overreacting. I only did that modeling one time while providing my service to Fancy Pants.”

“What service? Taking advantage of your friend?” Rarity shouted accusingly.

“Matchmaking,” she replied proudly.

Everypony looked at her in complete surprise. “He…hired you?” asked Rarity in shock as her voice shook.

“Yes he did, and I’m sure he and Photo Finish will be very happy together.” Rarity fell back onto the bed. The whole room remained silent for a moment until she started bawling again, causing the changeling to groan. “What’s wrong with you now?”

“I’m going to grow old and die alone!” she whined. “Why can’t I find a good stallion? Is there something wrong with me? Am I…ugly!?” She dug her face into her pillow and sobbed loudly.

“Don’t cry, Rarity. I’m sure you will find somepony who will love you,” said Fluttershy in an attempt to calm her friend down. "You just need to give it time."

Chrysalis pushed Spike towards her and he climbed onto the edge of the bed, stroking her hair. “You’re not ugly, Rarity. Your beauty is unmatched across all of Equestria. What happened with Fancy Pants wasn’t your fault, so please stop crying. Everything’s going to be all right." He then took her hoof. "I promise it will be okay.”

Her sobbing eventually faded and she smiled at him, causing the drake’s heart to flutter. “Thank you, Spike. I miss Fancy Pants so much, but I guess it was not meant to be." She rolled onto her back and loudly sighed. "Twice now I've fallen in love with somepony that didn't feel the same about me. I just wish there was an easier way to find a pony that was suitable for me.”

Before Spike could say something to take advantage of the moment, Twilight got an idea. “Rarity, isn’t an obvious? Why don’t you hire Cherub and Pinkie? They could help you find a coltfriend!”

Rarity gasped and sprung up. “Of course! Why haven’t I thought about that before?” She looked at the older mare, whose eye was twitching slightly. “Please forgive me for my earlier accusations. I’m afraid I acted in haste. If it's not too much trouble, could you perhaps help me with my little problem?”

Chrysalis was ready to tackle Twilight, but she managed to maintain her composure. “Don’t worry about it. I will gladly help you find somepony perfect for you. Why don’t you get some rest first? You will want to look your best for your possible future husband.”

The seamstress nodded. “You’re absolutely right. I’ll catch up on my beauty sleep and see you when I’m ready.”

“We’ll be on our way then,” said Applejack. “Ah wish ya the best of luck, Rarity.”

All of her friends said their goodbyes as they left the unicorn to her slumber. Once they were outside the boutique, Twilight looked at Chrysalis with worry. “So do you think you can help her? Rarity does not deal with stress very well and I’m not sure what else to do. You’re kind of her only hope.”

Chrysalis gritted her teeth and shot her a hateful glare. “Well I had everything figured out until you opened your big mouth, Twilight.”

Twilight and the other ponies paused. “What?”

She spun around and looked at the group. “I was hired by a certain someone to help have Rarity like him, but now all she’s going to want is for me to find her some other rich and famous stallion to get disappointed by. You must feel so proud, Sparkle.”

“Who could have possibly hired you to get Rarity to like him?” asked Rainbow Dash. "I mean, she's my friend and all, but you see how crazy she got over Fancy Pants? Who would want to deal with that drama?"

With a smirk on her face, the matchmaking queen pointed at the dragon. “Him.”

Twilight’s friends gasped and Spike blushed furiously. “You were supposed to keep it a secret!”

Rainbow Dash laughed hard, causing Spike to hide his face behind his claws. “You’re in love with Ms. Drama Queen!? I didn’t take you for the type!”

“Now be nice, Rainbow,” Applejack said sternly. “Ah should have known though, the way ya always keep starin’ at her and whatnot.”

“I think it’s really sweet,” said Fluttershy. “You’re really nice and Rarity likes you a lot. You would make a great coltfriend for her. Well, if you were a little older that is.”

Twilight walked over to the Chrysalis, unhappy. “Cherub, you cannot seriously be helping him. As Fluttershy said, he’s a little too young for her.”

The changeling shrugged. “Nothing a few years can’t fix. In my personal experience, I feel that Spike is the best choice for her. He’s polite, sensitive, caring, charming, and Rarity thinks he’s adorable. They're already good friends, so why not get them a little closer?”

“But-”

“Before you even say another word, tell me right now how much you know about love that you didn’t learn from a book.” Twilight blushed and lowered her head while Rainbow Dash laughed at her, giving the changeling immense satisfaction. “That’s what I thought. And don’t worry, I know exactly what I’m doing, so I want the rest of you to go home while Pinkie and I handle this.”

Twilight stuttered as she tried to think of something to argue against what Chrysalis was doing, but sighed when she came up with nothing. “Fine.” She walked over to her assistant, trying to smile. “Spike, I know I’ve said I didn’t think Rarity would ever return the same feelings, but for once I hope I’m wrong. I hope everything works out.” She reached out and hugged him tightly. "And if it doesn't, just remember I'll always be here for you, no matter what."

He couldn’t help but smile. “Thanks, Twilight. I really appreciate it.”

“And if it does work out, I will make the wedding cake!” shouted Pinkie excitedly.

“I think you’re thinking a little too far ahead,” remarked Fluttershy shyly.

“We’ll see what happens, but right now we have work to do. Come on, you two.” Pinkie and Spike followed Chrysalis as they headed towards Cupid’s Arrow.

Twilight and her friends watched as they left and then walked together in the opposite direction. “Do you think she can really get Rarity to love Spike?” asked Fluttershy with worry.

The unicorn felt as uneasy as her, having doubts about any good coming out of the situation. “I’m not sure, but I just hope this doesn’t end badly for him. He’s been so obsessed with her that I worry of how hurt he would be if she turned him down.”

“Trust me, Twi, Cherub is a professional at what she does. She will make them into an item without a doubt. Ah’m sure with how Rarity is feelin’, she will handle the situation with great care.”


“Are you sure this will work?”

“Trust me, it will.” Chrysalis didn’t even look at him since she was reading another book. She had recently grown bored of horror stories and had moved onto murder mysteries.

Spike still felt doubtful despite her reassurance. “But don’t you think it’s a little…extreme?”

“No. It’s exactly what she needs.”

Pinkie ran over and rubbed Spike’s head comfortingly. “Quit worrying, Spike. Cherub is totally good at this stuff!”

“Does that include telling Twilight’s friends about my crush on her?” he asked in an annoyed tone.

Chrysalis placed the book down and looked at him. “I’m really sorry about that, but I just wanted to make sure they didn’t get in the way. And they were all fine with your secret, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed.”

“I guess.”

She studied his body language. “Are you nervous?”

“I’ve never been out on a date before.”

“You’re not going on a date,” she corrected sternly. “You are here to bring her comfort during her time of need. Mares really appreciate a shoulder to cry on and this will take you far. Now stop fretting and act like you’re busy. We wouldn’t want Rarity to catch on.”

Spike and Pinkie worked on sorting files in the filing cabinet as they waited for the seamstress to appear. Eventually, Rarity came in and Chrysalis felt Spike's nervousness increasing sharply. She was back to her beautiful, cheery self, had makeup on her face, and even one of her favorite hats, which was large, pink in color, and carried a pink and while flower on the side. “Hello, darlings, I’m here!” she announced as she entered Cupid’s Arrow. As she approached the front desk, she noticed Spike near the filing cabinets along with Pinkie. “What is little Spikey doing here?”

“He’s assisting me today since I’m a little behind on some things because of my day off. I can see now why Twilight likes having him around. He’s just so reliable and sweet. I wouldn’t mind having a stallion like him in my life,” Chrysalis emphasized. The red unicorn pointed at the chair in front of her desk and Rarity sat down excitedly. “Let’s get down to business. Just tell me what you desire in a stallion and Pinkie and I will try to find the perfect match for you.”

Rarity didn’t even need to think about what she wanted. “I’m looking for a proper gentlecolt, one who is highly respected. He should be able to have high standards of the high life and love me for the beautiful and loving pony that I am.”

Chrysalis stared her down, which Rarity didn’t notice. Her guess of what she wanted was pretty spot on and this was good for what she had in store for her. “You really aim for the top, don’t you?” she asked, pretending to be happy.

Rarity gave out a giggle. “I’m just a girl who knows what she wants.”

She chuckled under her breath. “Well Pinkie and I will be upstairs for a moment. I keep some celebrity magazines which we could look through since there aren’t any single ponies here like what you have described.”

Rarity became more excited. “A celebrity? Can I join you two?”

“No. Stay down here and let us do our job. Spike should be good company while we’re working.” Chrysalis got up and motioned Pinkie to follow her. She looked over at Spike and winked at him, which made him smile. The duo got on top of the stairs and tried to listen to what was happening below. “I really hope he knows what he’s doing.”

“What could possibly go wrong?” asked Pinkie optimistically.

“He confesses to her too soon and she friend zones him.”

They heard Spike talking and they became quiet. “How are you feeling, Rarity?”

“I’m doing much better now,” she responded cheerily. “I just hope Cherub and Pinkie can find somepony for me.”

“Yeah, me too,” he lied.

“So how did you end up working here?”

Spike was glad that he was given an excuse beforehand. “Pinkie asked me to help because she said Cherub was working her overtime.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised. A dating service like this must be a lot of work for those two.”

“Well it’s definitely less work than what I do with Twilight. Working here wouldn’t be so bad if Cherub pays well.”

“I guess not, but then you would be stuck with Cherub,” she said jokingly. Chrysalis noticed Pinkie giggling and smacked her on the back of the head. “Even if she doesn't really show it, she must enjoy having this for a career. She seems to be really good at what she does and what could be better than bringing ponies together romantically?”

“I think she just scares them into loving each other with her temper.” Both of them laughed, making Chrysalis grind her hoof against the floor. “But I guess it would be easy since only desperate ponies would come here.”

Rarity’s smile immediately vanished. “Is that what you think I am? Some sort of desperate damsel?” she asked sternly. Chrysalis and Pinkie looked at each other with worry.

Spike realized what he had just implied and panicked. “I-I didn’t mean it like that, Rarity!”

“Well how did you mean it, hmm?”

The little dragon was sweating bullets. “I…well…you see…”

Chrysalis and Pinkie ran down the stairs, startling them. “We got one!” Pinkie shouted excitedly.

Rarity instantly forgot about being angry and clapped her hooves. “You did? That’s fabulous!”

The false unicorn sat at her desk while holding a magazine. “It was difficult, but we managed to find only one pony available that is perfect for you. Let me describe him to you before I do the grand reveal.” Pinkie reached under her desk and pulled out some drums, doing a drum roll as Chrysalis spoke. “He’s one of the richest and most well-known ponies in Equestria.”

Rarity, grinning widely, leaned forward in her seat. “Yes?”

“He is the most sought out bachelor in the city of Canterlot, if not Equestria.”

“Yes!?” Rarity asked with more enthusiasm

“And he is even royalty!”

“Tell me who he is already!” Spike watched anxiously, bracing himself for the impact.

“Rarity, I give you,” Chrysalis slid a torn out page to her, “Prince Blueblood!”

“NO!” Rarity grabbed the paper and tore it into hundreds of tiny pieces, which she threw onto the ground and began stomping on.

Pinkie had to drag her away from kicking the destroyed photo. “Rarity, calm down!” she cried as her friend was struggling to do more damage to the little that remained.

“You’re telling me the only pony you could find is that self-centered loser!?” the unicorn screeched.

“Uh…yes?” Chrysalis wasn’t expecting such an explosive reaction from her. What happened between them must have been much worse than what Pinkie had described to her.

Rarity huffed furiously, but once she calmed down, her waterworks began once again. “It’s true! I am going to die alone!” She ran over to one of the couches and began sobbing loudly.

Chrysalis rubbed her temples, annoyed that she would have to deal with her loud crying again. On the bright side, this was the second day she made Rarity cry in a row, so she was on a roll. She looked over at the Spike and motioned her head towards the crying pony. Spike got the message and ran to Rarity. “Don’t be upset, Rarity! You are not going to die alone. I’m sure you’ll find somepony someday.”

“But I want one now!”

Chrysalis came over and faked a sigh. “I’m sorry, Rarity, but it looks like there’s no other pony available at this time. Pinkie and I need to continue working, so Spike will be sure to escort you home. We'll just have to try again another time.”

Rarity nodded and got up from the couch. “Very well. Sorry for wasting your time.” She held her head down as she left Cupid’s Arrow.

Spike ran to the door, but stopped before opening it. He turned back at Chrysalis and asked, “Are you positive this is going to work?”

“It will. Just remember, she needs a friend right now, not a coltfriend, so try not making moves on her for now. Now go and comfort her. We will be right behind you.”

Spike left and walked alongside Rarity. As soon as they were almost out of sight, Chrysalis stepped outside. “Come on, Pinkie. We have to make sure that it all works out in the end. I’ve invested too much time in this already.”

Rather than her normal bouncing, Pinkie only walked, weighed down by guilt. “I feel so bad for Rarity. She was so dependent on us and we had to let her down.”

“We didn’t let her down. We’re just using alternative methods for giving her a lover. In case you haven’t noticed, she’s kind of spoiled.”

The pony gasped and ran in front of her. “No, she’s not!”

“Is it true that before the Gala, she was actually expecting Prince Blueblood to propose to her on the spot?” Pinkie’s silence made Chrysalis smile. “Exactly. She’s just so focused on the high life that had I even suggested Spike, I’m sure she would have broken his little heart.”

Pinkie frowned and looked at her friend in the distance. “You make Rarity sound terrible.”

“I wouldn’t say she’s terrible, just that she wants things she doesn’t need. Now stay quiet. We can’t let her hear us.” Once they were close enough, they hid behind various carts, trees, and ponies as they tried to overhear the conversation between the two.

“I can’t imagine what you’re going through, Rarity,” said Spike sympathetically.

Rarity still had tears in her eyes and she was using her hat to hide her face from the other ponies around. “It’s absolutely awful to not be able to find any love, especially after going through a breakup. I can’t stop thinking about Fancy Pants, either. I feel so embarrassed by what happened that I don’t think I can ever show my face to him again.”

“It could be worse. You could’ve actually tried giving Blueblood a second chance,” he joked in attempt to better her mood.

Rarity chuckled at the thought. “I suppose that’s true. I was at least smart enough to realize he was no good for me. Too bad I couldn’t see things for what they really were with Fancy Pants. He was a friend and nothing more.”

“I don’t get why you’re still hung on him. He sounds like a real jerk for leading you on like that.”

“Excuse me!?” Rarity looked at him intensely. “How dare you even say something like that about him!” she yelled, attracting the attention of the various citizens in the area. “He is one of the most respectable ponies I have ever met in my entire life! You have a lot of nerve to insult him like that, Spike!”

“Uh-oh,” said Chrysalis, who was currently standing behind a tree. “He’s really done it now.”

“What do we do, Ms. Cherub? She’s going to clobber him!”

Chrysalis looked around, trying to quickly come up with an idea. She would just need to create a distraction in order to have Rarity forget about what he said. She saw a nearby food stand and got an idea. “Pinkie, hide.” Pinkie hid behind the tree while she magically levitated one of the items.

Spike was on the ground with his hands in front of him, guarding himself from her wrath. “I’m sorry, Rarity. Just please stop yelling!”

“I don’t appreciate having you bad mouthing my friend like that. Maybe I should take you to Twilight so she can teach you-” Rarity was startled when a large tomato flew from nowhere and struck the dragon on the head. She gasped loudly and ran to his side. “Oh my goodness! Are you okay, Spikey?”

Spike was busy cleaning himself. “I think so. Where did that come from?”

Chrysalis tossed another one, which hit the ground in front of them. “Go back to where you came from, dragon! You don’t belong here!” she yelled in a disguised voice.

Rarity placed him on her back and galloped towards the boutique as Chrysalis and Pinkie came out of hiding to give chase. “Why did you do that!?” shouted Pinkie.

“Because the kid was in some serious hot water. It was either that or watch all of my hard work fall apart.”

They arrived outside Carousel Boutique and hid near one of the open windows. Inside, they could see Spike on the couch while Rarity cleaned him off with a towel. “There, is that any better?”

Spike felt relieved from the much kinder voice she was using. “A lot better. Who threw that, anyway?”

“I don’t know, but I swear if I ever find the pony responsible, I will break all of their legs!” Chrysalis made a mental note to have Pinkie swear she would never mention to anypony what she did. Rarity quickly calmed down and sighed. “I’m sorry, but I just need some alone time. Today has just been too much for me and I just need to think things over. Stay here and I will fetch you some gem stones for being such a good friend.”

As soon as she left the room, Spike noticed Chrysalis and Pinkie at the window, calling him over, and he approached them. “I’m glad you’re here. We’ve got a problem!”

Chrysalis gave him an irritated stare. “You bet we have a problem. You really need to watch what you say, kid. Getting her mad at you won’t help you at all.”

Spike shifted his eyes away, embarrassed that they had both seen the spectacle. “I know it won’t. It just sort of slipped out. Now she wants to be alone and she’s still upset. What should I do?”

“First, you apologize for what you said about Fancy Pants. Second, you’re here to make sure she’s doing alright and seeing how she was doing back in Cupid’s Arrow, I have my doubts. What you need to do is try to be supportive of her and make sure she’s happy.”

“But how do I do that? She seems so volatile.”

“Well duh,” said Pinkie while pointing a hoof at her own head. “You’re her friend. Just do what you always do when you’re over here.”

Spike thought about it and could only think of two things. “Help find gems and make dresses?” he asked, feeling unsure about his answer.

“Whatever takes her mind off of things. When she starts feeling better, you need to carefully push the issue and talk it out with her. Just try not to upset her again, or the next tomato will be a rock. A big rock.”

“Is somepony there?” Rarity called.

Chrysalis and Pinkie immediately ducked while Spike went over to the unicorn who just entered. “No. I was just talking to myself.”

Rarity gave him a basket full of various gems. “I want you to have this, Spike. I hope this will make up for everything I’ve put you through today. You are such a sweet friend for putting up with me today.”

The drake happily took the basket, thinking over the many foods he could create with the stones. “Thanks.” As he stared into his own reflection in each of the gems, he remembered what he was supposed to do and looked up. “Rarity, I just wanted to say I’m really sorry about what I said earlier.”

She gave him a heartwarming smile. “It’s alright, Spike. I know you’re trying to be supportive and I shouldn’t have reacted like that, but next time be careful about what you say.”

“I promise. So how are you feeling now?”

She got onto the couch and rested her head on a pillow. “I don’t know, to be honest. It’s been a rough couple of days. I think I just need some time off from everything.”

He went to Rarity’s side and held her hoof. “Is there anything I can do for you? We could make dresses if you want. That always makes you happy.”

Rarity smiled at him and he smiled back. “You’re very sweet, Spike, always looking out for me." The mare sat up and hopped off her seat. "Very well, I suppose I could use a hand with some of these dresses.” She went into her closet and brought out an unfinished dress, which she placed by her sewing machine. Rarity turned it on and proceeded to work. “I don’t need you to do anything yet, so you can just keep me company.”

“Alright.” He stood around, trying to think of what to talk about. “You know what’s funny? I heard that Queen Nymph was also hit by a tomato recently.” That brought out a smile from Chrysalis.

Rarity chuckled. “That is certainly amusing. While I can see why somepony might do that to her, I can’t imagine why somepony would do that to your cute little head.”

“Me neither. Speaking of changelings, did you see any yesterday while at Canterlot while Nymph was there?”

“Fortunately not. Cherub and I only saw the protesters outside the palace.” After a few seconds, Rarity suddenly stopped her sewing.

It was a moment before Spike took notice of her not working. “What’s up, Rarity?”

“Something just occurred to me about her.” Chrysalis didn’t like where this was going.

“Cherub? What about her?”

Rarity got up from her table and paced around. “She said she was there for vacation because she needed a break from her job and yet she was willing enough to help Fancy Pants.”

Spike looked around frantically, sweating. “M-maybe he offered her a lot of money. He is rich, after all.”

“I suppose. But I can’t help but think there’s a little more to it than that. I mean, it’s one thing that she comes on the same day as me, but then she leaves me and goes with him instead. And on the train before we arrived, she immediately started getting into my love life and wanted to know everything about us.” Rarity bit her lip as she continued to think intensely.

The dragon's teeth were chattering as sweat covered his body. “R-Rarity, I know you've had a rough few days, but you might be overthinking things a little. It’s not like somepony told her about you and him and wanted her to break you up.” Pinkie and Chrysalis face-hoofed.

Rarity gasped loudly, enraged. “You know what? I think you’re on to something! It’s all just a little too suspicious to me. I should go over there right now and demand answers! I will not be made a fool! Cherub will regret the day she-” The doorbell suddenly rang, interrupting her. “Oh! It seems I have a visitor. Excuse me for a moment.” She got up and left the room.

Chrysalis and Pinkie came to the window and called Spike over. When he came, Chrysalis grabbed him and lifted him up to her face. “Spike, is it possible for you to go for five minutes without saying something stupid!? If you keep this up, you are going to be on your own, love or no love.”

“I’m sorry! I didn’t think she would react like that. Please don’t go!” he begged.

She dropped him and stuck a hoof in his face. “Well you better do something before she breaks down my door and makes accusations that could damage my reputation.”

“Like what? I don’t know what to do with her! She just seems really angry and I keep thinking if I say anything, she’s just going to flip out again.”

“Do what I always do when I’m grumpy, fill up my tummy!” Pinkie rubbed her stomach. “Take her to a nice restaurant and I’m sure she will forget all about it.”

Spike smiled for a moment as he liked the idea, but he still had a problem. “But what should I say to her? I’m worried I’m going to upset her again.”

“Don’t worry! I’ll find a way to let you know what to say!” Pinkie promised.

Chrysalis dropped him and they got away from the window as Rarity returned to the room. “So who was it?” asked Spike.

She sat at her table and huffed angrily. “No pony. What pony goes around doing doorbell pranks?”

“Uh…Rainbow Dash?” he guessed.

Rarity let out a quiet smirk. “That does seem like her, but I doubt it was her just now.”

Spike watched as she worked with a look of disdain on her face. He felt a little nervous about saying anything to her. “Rarity?” he asked shyly.

“What?” she yelled in a very annoyed tone. She took notice of Spike looking hurt and sighed. “I’m sorry, Spikey. I’m just feeling really stressed out today.”

“I was going to say that I think we should go out somewhere. Working might not be the best thing for you today.”

Rarity moved away from her table. “I suppose you’re right. No point in trying to make anything if I can’t focus.” She took the dress and placed it back into the closet. She turned towards her friend with a smile on her face. “So what did you have in mind?”

“I was thinking we could go to a restaurant together for some lunch. As friends, I mean. It will be my treat.”

“Oh Spike, that’s so kind of you. I will gladly take you up on your offer.”

Chrysalis and Pinkie watched as they left Carousel Boutique and followed. “Well great,” said Chrysalis. “There’s no way we can get close to them now. It would be impossible to be sneaking around like this in a public area. I don't think we can bail him out of trouble now.”

“Sure we can. We just need a disguise! I left my kit at Cupid’s Arrow, so I’ll be right back!” Pinkie then ran off, leaving the changeling behind to keep watch of her targets on her own.


Spike and Rarity arrived at a small restaurant and were seated at one of the outside tables. Once they received their menus and the waiter left, Rarity addressed her friend. “It’s really nice of you to bring me here, Spike.”

He hid his face behind the menu. “W-well, you know, you’re my friend and I just want to help you.”

Rarity pulled it out of his hands, revealing his blushing face. “I don’t think you would have ever done something like this for Rainbow Dash or Applejack,” she cooed.

“I would too,” he objected. “It’s just that I don’t think they have ever been through something like you have.”

“I suppose that’s true.” Rarity sat silently and pondered as her friend looked for what he wanted to eat. “Spike?”

“Yes, Rarity?”

“Do you think I’ve been over dramatic about all this?” she asked, slightly ashamed.

He could see she was looking at him expectantly, making him a bit nervous. “Well, you have been acting a little too crazy and ow!” Spike felt something pull roughly on his tail.

“Are you all right?” Rarity questioned.

“I’m fine, just a cramp.” He looked around, trying to find what had done that. He then noticed a familiar pony at the table behind Rarity staring at him. He recognized her to be Cherub, but she was wearing a trench coat and sunglasses. Spike figured he was about to say something wrong and she was warning him with magic. “What I meant to say was I think you’re being reasonable. It must be hard to go through such a breakup with somepony you love very much.” He was glad that she bailed him out once again, but he wondered where Pinkie was since she said she was going to help him.

“It is. I think the worst part is how I actually thought we were dating. I feel like a complete idiot for thinking we were together.”

“Well you said Fancy Pants was unintentionally leading you on, so it’s not your fault.”

Rarity, however, just rested her head on the table. “I guess you’re right.”

They stopped talking as their waiter came over to them. “Hello! My name is Pin…I mean Stinkie and I will be your waiter today! What can I do for you?”

“Just give me a salad,” said Rarity without looking at her.

“And I will have the…” Spike looked up the waiter and nearly gasped. It was Pinkie wearing a uniform as well as her trusty mustache. “…The apple pie with a side of gem stones.”

“Excellent choices.” Pinkie held out a napkin to Spike. “Take this extra napkin.”

“Why?”

I said take the napkin.” Spike gulped and nervously took it. “Good boy.” She then pulled on his cheek. “I’ll be right back with your food, you little cutie!” She ran from them and went inside the building.

Both Spike and Rarity watched as she left. “She was certainly friendly.”

“No kidding,” the dragon said while rubbing his cheek. Pinkie seemed to be acting odd. Why did she want him to take the napkin and why did she pull on his cheek? He looked at the napkin to see what was special about it. He noticed there was some writing on the underside of it. While Rarity wasn’t looking, he brought it under the table to read. On it was writing in marker that said, “Ask about Fancy Pants, tell jokes, tell her she’s pretty.” He put it aside and cleared his throat. “So what are you going to do about Fancy Pants now?”

Rarity rested her head on her hoof and sighed. “I suppose I could talk with him and have him try to forget what happened. I would still like to have him as at least a friend as I do love his company.”

“He sounds like a reasonable guy, so I’m sure he will just forget about the whole thing.”

The unicorn gave him a bit of a smile. “I think so, too. It will just be all water under the bridge and we might just laugh about the whole thing in the future.”

“Maybe you could bring him over sometime. I would like to meet him.”

Rarity became enthusiastic. “You will just love him. He is so interesting and delightful. I’m sure he would be very interested in meeting a dragon.”

“As the only dragon in Ponyville, I guess that makes me a celebrity like him.”

“But I’m sure all the mares will want his autograph more.” They both laughed.

“You might have a point. I’m surprised no pony has ever mistaken you for a celebrity, considering how beautiful and talented you are, Rarity.”

Rarity blushed. “That is very kind of you to say. It’s a shame that I don’t really think that will help with my situation. I may be the ideal mare, but I still need to find my ideal lover.”

The dragon shrugged at her. “Look on the bright side, your love life could be like Twilight’s.”

Rarity became very intrigued. “Oh really? What is it like for her? I didn't take her as the dating type.”

“Alright, let me tell you everything about it.” He motioned her to come closer and she leaned in. Spike remained completely silent until he said, “And that is everything about her love life!”

Rarity laughed. “Spike, that’s terrible!” Chrysalis chuckled from the nearby table. “But I suppose you have a point. I wish she would get out more and socialize with some boys. Princess Celestia should have made her write her reports about love, but maybe she would get a little too scientific.”

“Actually, she did have a relationship once.” The changeling took immediate interest in the subject.

Rarity gasped and leaned across the table. “She did!? She never told me about it! You have to tell me everything!

“Oh, I remember all of it. She couldn’t get enough of him. She spent every moment with him, day and night. I think it was the first time she fell in love. I even remember her talking about how much she wanted to kiss him.”

“Whatever happened to him?”

“You really want to know?” he asked in a serious tone.

Rarity gulped. “I do.”

“She finished the book series and couldn't read about him anymore!” Both of them burst out laughing and Chrysalis joined along while banging her hoof on the table in hysterics. She would be sure to use that when she got her revenge on Twilight.

“Spikey,” Rarity said in between laughs, “that is just awful!”

“I know. They really should have made a few more books. Poor Twilight was just so upset that I'm surprised she didn't start writing her own books about him.”

The unicorn couldn't help but snicker. “You have quite the sense of humor.”

“Thanks, but don’t tell Twilight. I can’t imagine what she would do to me if she found out. Probably kick me out.”

“She would never do that. She loves you. But if that were to ever happen, you are more than welcome to stay with me, Spike. Just as long as you don’t make jokes like that about me.”

Spike felt really warm and nodded. “It’s a promise.”

Pinkie came back with their food. “Here you go! One salad for the pretty unicorn and one super delicious apple pie with a side of the best gem stones I could find!”

Spike licked his lips as the plate was placed in front of him. “Wow. Thank you so much!”

“No problem! Let me know if you need anything else, you little cute dragon.” Pinkie then smooched him on the cheek and ran off.

Spike and Rarity sat silently as they watched her leave. “Wow. Am I really that cute?” he asked in surprise as he rubbed his cheek.

She slowly nodded without looking at him. “You are, but that mustached mare seemed to be a little too friendly with you.”

Chrysalis pulled hard on her own mane, desperately trying to figure out what just happened. She could not believe that Pinkie had just kissed Spike like that in front of Rarity. She saw her employee coming by and grabbed her to sit her down to ask hostilely, “Pinkie, what in the name of Celestia was that!?”

“I’m sorry! I just suddenly noticed how cute he looked and I couldn’t help it!” She looked over towards Spike. “I just want to hug him and squeeze him and keep him all to myself! Why does he like Rarity and not me?”

Chrysalis felt confused as she listened to her talk. “Are you feeling okay? You seem to be acting way more unusual than usual.”

“I don’t know. I just suddenly noticed how attractive he is and I want him for myself!” She got up. “I’m going to see how they’re doing!”

Before she could take one step, Pinkie was pulled back down. “Oh, no you don’t. I am not letting you near them again until I figure out what is wrong with you.”

“Stinkie!” a voice called. They looked and saw another waiter standing nearby. “What are you doing? You need to get back to work!”

“Yes sir!” shouted Pinkie as she stood up and bolted.

Chrysalis tried to grab her again, but she was too quick. She loudly groaned as she watched Pinkie continuing to pretend to be a waiter, pounding a hoof on the table. “Why can’t things ever be simple?”


The two friends remained at the restaraunt for over an hour, talking about various subjects of interest. Chrysalis was bored out of her skull as she had to listen in to everything they said. She was glad Rarity looked a lot better than she did earlier, but she couldn't stop thinking that Spike would make another foolish choice and undo everything in an instant. She also kept an eye on Pinkie, still trying to think of a rationale explanation for her behavior and making sure she didn't do another stunt like that again. Once they were ready to leave, Spike paid for the meal and walked along Rarity. “Spike?” she asked once they were a good distance from the restaurant.

“Yeah?” His heart jumped when he saw that she had a faint tint of red on her face.

“Would you mind escorting me to the park? I don’t think I’m ready to go back yet and I would truly appreciate your company.”

“S-sure.” They walked side by side and found one of Ponyville’s parks, where they walked along the path and spoke with each other. So far, Spike thought the day was going very well with Rarity. It wasn’t as romantic as he thought it was going to be, but he would take it. He wished he thought about asking the red unicorn earlier, but like most of his friends, he thought she was kind of an unlikeable jerk. Ever since Applejack told him how she got together with Caramel, he decided to save up his allowance for a chance with the mare of his dreams.

Chrysalis and Pinkie arrived at the park and laid low in some bushes. Pinkie had started to settle down with her obsession with Spike, but Chrysalis was still uneasy about bringing her, still trying to find an explanation for Pinkie’s strange behavior. “Did you see how Rarity asked him to do something? I think it’s working!”

“I hope so. There’s no way she can turn down a guy like that, but he still might need some help, so we better stay close.” They watched as they sat at a nearby bench. She couldn’t make out what they were saying, but she was relieved to see Rarity smiling. “They actually seem to get along really well.”

“I know, right? Spike’s a really nice dragon and he really cares about Rarity. I wish I had a pony like that.”

“I agree. I wouldn’t mind having a personal flank-kisser like him.” She almost did have somepony like Spike, one who would obey her beck and call, until Twilight ruined it.

“It is really lovely out here,” said Rarity.

“Yeah. I could just sit here forever,” he said while looking at her.

“After what I have been through, I have to agree. It feels so good to unwind after everything.”

Spike was enjoying his quality time with his dream girl. He was glad that she was happy and loved this moment, but he knew that Rarity’s problem wasn’t going to go away anytime soon, so he would have to push the difficult question. “Rarity, can I ask you something?”

“You can ask me anything.”

He gulped, preparing for the worst. “Why do you want a coltfriend so bad?”

Rarity sat up and sighed. “I think it was because of the wedding. To see such a wonderful event made me want to have one for myself and my desire for it was only enforced when Fancy and I danced. I would do anything for a wedding exactly like Shining’s and Cadance’s.”

“Including the changelings?” he asked jokingly.

Rarity laughed. “Maybe not exactly like theirs, but something as romantic. I had even pictured Fancy Pants as my husband.”

Spike visibly cringed. “Are you at least happy for him now that he’s with Photo Finish?”

“I suppose I should be as it was never going to work out between us anyway. I’m just surprised he was that interested in her since he never brought her up before.”

“I bet he likes her because she has…da magics!” he said while imitating the mare.

Rarity giggled. “I can see it like that. I don’t think she’ll be too happy to see me since I helped convince Fluttershy to quit modeling.”

“She’ll come around. But don’t you think you’re rushing to get married? You’re still so young and have so many things you could still do.”

“Maybe. I guess I was just so focused on just getting married and only saw what I wanted to see. Maybe I just need to slow down and enjoy what I have now." She then gently wrapped her forelegs around her friend. "Like you, Spike.”

“So do you feel any better?”

“I actually feel a lot better and it’s all thanks to you.” She leaned and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “You’re my hero.”

Pinkie jumped up and down behind the bush. “Oh my gosh, she kissed him! Well technically she’s done it before, but still!”

“I think he’s got the hang of it now, but we should still keep an eye on them in case something goes wrong.” Chrysalis looked off in the distance and something caught her eye. “I’ll be right back.”

“Where are you going?”

“The…ladies’ room. Yeah, that’s it.” She got up and walked away, hoping that Pinkie would not do anything like before while she was gone.

Rarity got up from the bench. “I suppose I should be heading back, but there are still some errands I need to get around to. Would you mind coming with me?”

“It’d be my pleasure.” They walked along the trail of the park and were soon approached by a mare pushing a flower cart.

“Hello there. Would either of you like some flowers?” she asked them.

“Hi, Roseluck. How are you doing today?” greeted Rarity.

The flower pony gulped. “Y-yes, it is I, Roseluck. And I’m doing quite well. I might do better if one of you bought from my floral collection,” she hinted while moving a hoof over her items. “After all, what beautiful mare doesn’t like flowers?”

“I’ll take one,” said Spike. He looked over the many selections, carefully considering his options. “What are these ones?” he asked while pointed at the orange, star-shaped flowers.

“I don’t know,” Roseluck answered, uninterested.

“But isn’t knowing flowers your special talent?”

Roseluck’s eye began to twitch. “I haven’t got all day. Are you going to buy something or not, kid?”

He was surprised by her cold tone. “Just give me a rose,” he requested timidly.

The mare smiled. “Excellent choice.” She handed him the flower and Spike gave her the bits to pay for it. “Goodbye, you two. Have a nice day” She then ran off in a hurry, leaving them in the dust.

The unicorn turned towards her friend and asked, “Why did you buy a rose, Spike?”

“Because I wanted you to have it.” He held it out towards her.

Rarity smiled. “You really are sweet.” She took the flower and put it in her hair. “Remind me to reward you properly for this.”

Pinkie was giddy as she went from bush to bush. Suddenly, Chrysalis ran to her, completely out of breath. “Did I miss anything?”

“Spike bought Rarity a rose and she took it!” she exclaimed through a whisper.

“Aw, that’s sweet. Now let’s pray they leave this park quickly.”

“Why?”

“No reason.”


Spike and Rarity had spent hours shopping in the market district and fortunately Chrysalis and Pinkie didn’t need to step in anymore, but they still felt the need to keep an eye on things. It eventually became sunset and they were both exhausted from following them around. Once the errands were finished, Spike and Rarity headed back to her home, where the changeling would see how her efforts pay off.

Spike walked Rarity to the door and opened it for her. “Here we are, milady.”

“You’re too kind.” She disappeared into her home and exited without any of the shopping bags she was carrying. “I cannot thank you enough for what you have done. I feel so refreshed and uplifted and it’s all thanks to you.”

The dragon grinned. “I just wanted to make sure you were feeling good. Maybe tomorrow I can come by again, if you want.”

Rarity’s smile began to fade. “Spike.”

“And then we could go bowling or maybe fly kites.”

“Spikey.”

“Sorry, what were you saying?”

Rarity pulled him towards her and kissed him on the forehead. Pinkie became hysterical as she watched and Chrysalis felt glad that all of her hard work was about to payoff.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do this to you anymore.”

He felt a heavy weight fall in his chest. “What do you mean?”

“I know why you’re here, Spike. Why you have been by my side all this time, doing every little thing you can to make me happy.”

He looked away from her. “No, it’s not like that, Rarity.”

“Yes it is, Spike. I should have said something so long ago, but I didn’t and I feel so terrible.” She lifted Spike’s chin and looked him in the eyes. “Spike, you and I cannot be together romantically. We are just too different. I’m sorry I waited on telling you this, but I never had the heart to break it to you. Please forgive me for doing this to you.”

Spike eyes watered and he loudly sniffed. “But Rarity…”

Rarity hugged him, her eyes wet as well. “Please don’t cry. I hate seeing you so upset, but do you understand what I’m saying?”

He slowly nodded. “Yeah.”

Rarity let him go. “Go home, Spike. I’m sure Twilight is wondering where you are. We can talk about this later.”

“Not later, now!”

They were both surprised by the angry voice and looked at where it originated from. Chrysalis and Pinkie came out of hiding from around the building. “Cherub!?” exclaimed Rarity.

“In the flesh,” Chrysalis answered bitterly.

“Why are you…” Rarity became speechless and looked at the dragon. “Spike, did you hire her?”

“I…uh…”

“He did,” the changeling answered.

Rarity gasped. “So what happened at Cupid’s Arrow…”

“Was all a stunt,” she admitted.

Rarity bolted over and pressed her face against the changeling’s. “You tricked me!?”

“We’re sorry, Rarity,” spoke Pinkie. “We thought you would be much happier with Spike.”

The seamstress focused her anger towards her friend next. “But you lied to me! What kind of friend does that!?”

Chrysalis stood in front of Pinkie. “I will take the blame for that. I forced her to do it.”

“But what about yesterday with Fancy Pants? Were you going to break us up!?”

“Of course not!” Chrysalis lied. “I was merely there to observe and that was it. What happened at the restaurant was not intentional. But let’s get back to the main problem. Why is Spike so upset?”

“I told him that we couldn’t be together. It just wouldn’t work.”

“But why not, Rarity? He loves you!”

Rarity slowly turned from angry to depressed. “I know he does, but it’s just-”

“Wait a minute. You knew?” Chrysalis slowly approached Rarity, furious. “YOU KNEW!?”

“Of course I knew! It wasn’t hard to figure out by how he was always around and kept complementing me.” She looked at the sad dragon, now feeling even guiltier of hurting him. “I’m so sorry I never said anything before. It was truly awful of me to keep your hopes up for so long, but I just didn't want to hurt you.”

“Then why turn him down? Why get rid of the only guy that has ever loved you back?” questioned Chrysalis.

“Because I couldn’t go on getting his hopes up like that. We could never form a successful long term relationship.”

“But why not, Rarity?” asked Spike, ready to cry. “I love you. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”

The white unicorn knelt down and gently wiped away his tears with her hooves. “Of course it does. It means so much to me, but there are some other issues. One that you should’ve known is that you’re too young for me.”

“Time can fix that,” Chrysalis quickly added.

“But the biggest reason is that I am a pony and you are a dragon.” She looked at Chrysalis. “Don’t you think he would be better off with a girl of his own species instead of a pony?”

“Well yeah, but…” For once, Chrysalis was stumped. She wasn’t sure what she could say to convince Rarity, or even herself for that matter. Even she thought it was a little bizarre that the little dragon was in love with a unicorn and she only wanted them to be together for her own personal gain. As hard as she tried, she could not find an answer. “I guess you’re right,” she reluctantly admitted.

“What!?” Pinkie shouted.

Rarity gave a firm nod. “Now you see why I did what I did. I just couldn’t let him get his hopes so high up just to crush him.”

Chrysalis wanted to argue, but she had nothing to offer. She realized now that this job was now a lost cause and it had all been for nothing. She was very angry with what happened, but she didn’t know what else she could do. “You’re right, Rarity. It was ridiculous of me to think I could have you two date.”

“It’s not ridiculous!” argued Pinkie, defiant of her friends’ answer. “You need to give him a chance! You just have to try!”

“Please try to understand, Pinkie. He would be better off with another dragon, not me.”

The party pony scratched her head. “But I’m confused. He went to go to live with the dragons and then you, Twilight, and Rainbow Dash wanted him back. ”

Chrysalis looked at her with an eyebrow raised. “What are you talking about?”

“One time, Spike went to go visit the dragons while they were migrating and then my friends went to go rescue him.”

“Of course we had to rescue him!” Rarity interjected. “They were so cruel and barbaric. I couldn’t possibly let him stay with such bad influences!”

Chrysalis grinned evilly, knowing that there was still some hope. She would be sure to greatly reward Pinkie later. “And now you want him to go back to them.”

Spike gasped and clinged to her leg. “Don’t make me go back, Rarity! Please! I’ll do anything!”

She quickly hugged him. “I would never do such a thing to you!”

“Oh, I wonder what would happen if he were to go back to look for a girl. I bet they would like him better as a kickball since he’s so tiny,” the false unicorn said tauntingly.

Rarity’s grip on the dragon tightened. “No!”

Pinkie got excited despite the topic. “That sounds like a fun game, but what would they call it? Spike ball?”

Chrysalis tapped her chin. “How about ‘Punt the Dragon’ or ‘Dragon Dunk’?”

Rarity put her hooves over her ears. “Stop it!”

The changeling looked at her wickedly, knowing that Rarity would give in at any moment. “If Spike were to miraculously find a girl, do you think she would be gentle and sweet like Rarity, or mean and nasty?”

Pinkie waved a hoof around. “Oh! Oh! Is it the second one?”

Rarity’s sorrow was replaced by rage. “If any dragon lays a claw on him, I will rip off their scales and make them into a dress they can wear!”

“Do you still think he would be better off with a dragon?”

The white unicorn gave out a heavy sigh. “I suppose you do have a point, Cherub. Spike is too gentle and sweet to be with such brutes.”

Chrysalis wore a satisfied smile. “So that only leaves you as a potential love interest.”

The mare looked at the dragon and then back at her. “Even if I am the best match for him, how are you so certain he’s the best for me? Would I...truly be happy with him?”

The changeling took notice of how quiet Spike was and had an idea. “I think you should be asking him that.”

He jumped, not expecting to be called upon. He slowly faced Rarity, trembling on the spot as he looked into the eyes of the mare of his dreams. Spike took a moment to get a hold of himself and then held her hoof. “Rarity, I know I may not be the richest, handsomest, or smartest dragon, but I love you more than anything. My heart feels light whenever I’m around you and you’re the only thing I can think about. When I saw how sad you were today, the only thing I could think about was how I could make you smile no matter what. All I want is to be at your side, making you happy in any way I can. Please give me a chance to do so.”

Tears were trickling down Rarity’s eyes. “That was beautiful, Spike. I never knew you had such a way with words.”

“Me neither. I guess you just sort of inspired me, just like every time we’re together.”

“Spike, I will admit that I have taken a strong liking to you before, but I never felt certain if it was the right thing to do. Would we even be accepted if we were seen together?”

“If I may,” said Chrysalis. “Love is a wonderful thing to explore, Rarity. It may seem strange to be with someone of a very different species, but why should that stop you? If you both love each other, then everypony should just accept it. If you truly love him, than the opinions of others should not stop you. Just do it and see where fate takes you. I mean, how could you possibly pass up a sweet little guy like him after all he has done for you?”

Rarity thought hard about what she said and everypony awaited for her to say something. “Wait here a moment.” She turned towards the door, entered her boutique, and returned moments later with something around her neck, which Pinkie recognized as the fire ruby Spike gave her. “This is my most treasured possession, given to me by him.”

Chrysalis stared at it with fascination, admiring its beauty. She was definitely going to make it her own before she left Ponyville. “He gave you that and you still had doubts about him?”

“It’s selfish, I know. I was just sort of more focused on more sophisticated stallions instead of little Spikey.”

“You mean rich stallions you could get your hooves around,” added Chrysalis insultingly.

The unicorn gave her a cold stare and the changeling just smirked at her. “I hate to admit it, but pretty much. Being in the high life was all I could think about, neglecting the wonderful treasure I already possessed.” She stared deeply into the ruby, then at the drake. “You have always been so kind and considerate to me. The one thing I treasure more than this gem is the friends I have, especially you.”

Spike gasped. “Really?”

The unicorn kissed his cheek. “Really.” Spike quickly hugged her and refused to let go, happy that she saw him as the loving dragon he was.

Once he let her go, he looked up at her. “Does this mean we’re dating now?”

“That’s the other thing. I’m afraid we cannot officially date for quite some time."

“But why not?”

“Like I said, you are simply too young for me right now. The other thing is I think I need some time before I go back into relationships. My previous ones have ended in some of the worst ways possible and I think I just need some time as a single mare. During that time, we should get to know each other better. Do you think you can wait a few years?”

Spike went over to her and kissed her on the cheek, surprising her as well as Pinkie and Chrysalis. “Anything for you, Rarity.”

As they looked into each other's eyes, Pinkie hopped around them excitedly. The changeling, on the other hoof, was currently feeding from the love that was coming out of the new couple. There was easily enough for her to have her fill and not have any side effects on either of the lovers. The love she was feasting on was incredibly delicious to her, filled with passion. She had to admit that the sight of the two lovers was pretty sweet too, considering she made it happen.

“You know what we should do?” asked Pinkie as she hugged both her friends. “We should have a party!”

“That’s a great idea, Pinkie!” said Spike excitedly.

“It will be an ‘Almost Dating’ party! Don’t you think that’s a good idea, Cherub?”

“I guess.” She knew this was going to be another kiddie party that she was going to be forced to attend. At least they didn’t feel as dreadful and now just felt tedious. “But it needs to be on the weekend. We are seriously behind on work.”

“Can do!”

“I can’t wait to tell Twilight about this.”

“I bet she will be overjoyed. Anyway, I need to retire for the day and think some things over, so I will see you tomorrow.”

“Bye, Rarity!” said Pinkie and Spike together.

Rarity blew a kiss to Spike and closed the door. The drake then rushed over and hugged Chrysalis’s leg again with more strength than last time. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Chrysalis smiled as she always loved receiving praise. “You’re very welcome, but don’t forget Pinkie. She had played a part in this as well.”

Spike immediately transitioned to the pony. “I’m so happy, Spike! We get to have a party and everything!”

“How can I ever repay you both for helping me?”

“Just keep loving her and make sure she always loves you. Your love is enough for me.” Chrysalis quickly licked her lips, craving more.

“You got it! I really need to go home now. I can’t wait to tell Twilight and Princess Celestia!”

“I’m sure they will be thrilled. Goodbye, Spike.” They waved at Spike as he ran off home. Once he was gone, Chrysalis and Pinkie walked together. “I’m so glad everything worked out. More than once I was certain I would fail.”

Pinkie laughed. “You can never fail! You’re the bestest matchmaking pony ever!”

Chrysalis giggled. “I suppose I am for making such an unusual romance work. Even if they aren’t officially together, I’m happy with how things turned out.” She thought Pinkie’s comment was especially amusing for she herself did not care for love and yet she was so good at creating it for others.

“And wait until Saturday for my awesome party! I promise you that this party will be jamming!”

The changeling smirked. “Whatever you say, Pinkie.”

Pinkie was disappointed by her reaction. “I bet anypony who doesn’t come will be really jelly.”

Chrysalis looked at her. “What is up with you?”

“I know about your jelly!” she said excitedly.

“Excuse me?”

“The jelly in the bucket in the closet in Cupid’s Arrow!”

Chrysalis thought her heart exploded as she knew what Pinkie was talking about. She realized that she completely forgot about cleaning the mop and bucket after she cleaned her room of the slime. Pinkie discovering it was a huge risk towards having her being exposed. “D-do you now…”

“Yep! And I was wondering if you could make more for the party!”

“M-more?” She couldn’t possibly think of a reason why Pinkie would want it at all. “Why?”

“Because it’s super tasty!” Pinkie ran her tongue over her lips.

Chrysalis jaw dropped as she looked at her in horror. “You ate it!?” She was just about ready to vomit, which might have made more slime and force her to vomit some more.

Pinkie took no notice of her boss’s reaction. “I sure did! It was so good that I brought some to the Cakes and they said it was really good too. They were wondering if you could give them some so they could make jelly doughnuts!”

Chrysalis thought she was going to faint. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined something like this to ever happen. It was no shock that the first thing Pinkie would do upon discovering an unknown substance would be to put it in her mouth. The obvious solution was to say no and never bring it up again, but something else occurred to her. “Pinkie, when exactly did you eat it?”

“While I was looking for my disguise kit today.”

Her suspicions began to rise. “And then what happened?”

“I quickly went to Sugarcube Corner and gave some to the Cakes. After they ate it, they began to make out for some reason and they told me to leave. After that, I met with you at the restaurant.”

Chrysalis managed to put the pieces together and knew why Pinkie acted so strangely earlier. It seemed that upon consumption, changeling goo made ponies more likely to fall in love for a short period. The slime was produced from love in the first place, so that made sense to her. This would be exactly the method she needed to really get the ball rolling. She could sell some slime to the Cakes and hope that the jelly doughnuts that were consumed would help produce more love in Ponyville. It would require a good deal of her magic to create enough for a cocoon of her size, so she would only give them little for now. Once there was much more love, she would create much more in hopes of creating a surge in love large enough for her to show her people.

There was, of course, the risk of somepony figuring out what it was, but since there were not so many changeling sightings in months and Nymph restricted giving out information on changeling biology in fear of it being used against them, she felt that it would be safe enough to go forward with it. The most important factor was that she was a royal changeling, meaning she produced a much more different kind of slime. The chances of anypony finding out what it really was would be really low.

However, despite her hatred towards all of ponykind, even she thought this was going too far. The idea of selling her own vomit for ponies to eat made her stomach churn. But she pushed the thought aside. She needed to create a lot of love quickly to secure her place as queen. Chrysalis smiled at Pinkie. “Tell them I agree to their offer. However, it is part of a secret family recipe, so I cannot go around telling ponies. It is also difficult to make, so I can only produce so much at a time. I will make some and give it to them whenever I can.”

Pinkie sprung up. “Thank you, Cherub! They’re going to be so happy! I’ll be sure to bring you some during work too!”

Chrysalis put a hoof over her mouth. “No thanks. I’m on a diet.” She really hoped that this plan worked. The thought of what she was about to do in attempts of being queen again was really bothering her. She just hoped she would return home before something even worse happened.