Rarity’s knock on Twilight’s door was gentle. Twilight would’ve missed it had she not trotted by right at the perfect moment.
“I’m coming!” the young princess announced as she approached the door. Her horn illuminated as she channeled her magic on the door’s handle, and slowly pulled it open. As soon as Rarity saw Twilight her face perked up. She smiled wide and spoke loudly.
“Twilight, dearest! I'm so glad to see you.”
“Oh! Rarity, please come in,” Twilight stood to the side of the door, giving Rarity passage. The white unicorn curtsied and stepped inside the castle.
“Why thank you, Twilight,” she replied.
The lobby was absolutely spotless, much to Rarity’s delight. She had dreaded coming to Twilight’s home mainly due to the recent amount of disorganization with Twilight in the middle of her monthly "re-shelving day". Today however was a special day and she wanted to spend some time with Ponyville’s princess regardless. The clean castle was just an added bonus.
"Wow, Twilight. You certainly spruced everything up in here didn't you?"
Twilight smile, and took a brief moment to admire her handiwork.
"Well I know you don't like visiting when everything is messy, so I figured we could have our girls day in a nice clean environment!" Twilight said, lifted a hoof proudly. She trotted slowly to the throne room, stopping only to signal Rarity to follow her.
"Just... don't go upstairs. Spike was supposed to be helping with the re-shelving up there but... I honestly don't even know where he went!"
Rarity froze in place.
"You don't know where Spike is?" she asked with heavy concern. Twilight placed a hoof on Rarity's shoulder and gave her a look of reassurance
"Oh don't worry. He just said he had some errands to run for the day, and wanted to get them done early, so I told him he could go. I didn't expect him to be out for this long... but it's okay," she explained. Rarity sighed, and levitated her saddlebag over to the kitchen table.
"Thank goodness! I don't know how I'd react if something happened to my little Spikey-Wikey. I'd be absolutely devastated!"
Twilight laughed softly, and pulled a chair over right in front of Rarity. She promptly sat down, and replied back to her friend.
"He's fine, Rarity! Stop worrying. Let's just enjoy our girls day together. We’re gonna start with the usual, correct?" Twilight playfully nudged her. Rarity giggled at her banter.
Rarity lifted her saddlebag up from the table, spilled its contents all over the mahogany finish. Out poured powder cases, lip-sticks, and hoof polish. Both girls’ eyes lit up and they screamed in perfect unison.
"Listen here, bub. Either you show me the merchandise now, or we don't have a deal!" Spike shouted. He had enough trying to be swindled, and wasn't gonna take it any longer. Not from this minotaur at least.
"Whoa there, little man. Take it easy! Iron Will always delivers on his promises. I just need a little... incentive... to get it a little faster," Iron Will replied, hungrily eyeing Spike's large bag of bits. Rainbow Dash stepped forward from behind Spike and slammed her hoof on the table.
"You heard Spike. Go get the book, and then you'll have a deal. Until then I suggest you get out of here. You're lucky Spike is even doing business with you after what you did to Fluttershy!"
Iron Will gave Rainbow the hand.
"Look here, rainbow pony. I taught Fluttershy how to be assertive and—" he shook his head, "why are we even talking about her? I’ll go get the book and be back here in about an hour! You better have my money, little man," the minotaur threatened, poking his finger right into Spike's forehead.
"Beat it!" Rainbow Dash shouted, rearing her hooves up, ready to smash them down on Iron Will's hooves if he touched Spike again. Iron Will lifted his hands up in an "I didn't do it" manner, and walked towards the door. As he opened it he turned back to the pair and repeated himself.
The minotaur performed a quick action pose, with his own sound effects, before shuffling out the door. Spike breathed a sigh of relief.
"Gee, thanks for coming with me, Rainbow. I think if I had come alone he would've just stepped on me and taken my money!"
Rainbow planted a hoof on Spike's scaly head and rubbed it roughly.
"No problem! I wouldn't want you dealing with that creep alone anyway," she said. Spike rose from his seat and waved at Mrs. Cake, who stood at the order counter.
"Bye, Mrs. Cake! Thanks for letting us have our meeting here!" Spike and Rainbow Dash started to head out of the bakery, while Mrs. Cake called after them.
"It's no trouble! Have a good day!"
Spike skipped merrily down the road, incredibly anxious for the next hour to go by. Rainbow Dash trotted alongside him, expression completely monotonous .
"I'm gonna get my booook! I'm gonna get my booook!" Spike said in sing-song. He started to prance around Rainbow as they walked.
"Wooohooo," Rainbow replied plainly, "So what's so special about this book anyway? I mean I love a good read but... I don't really see Iron Will of all creatures having a really broad collection of books."
Spike stopped his happy dance in mid-air and faced Rainbow with both eyebrows raised.
"Rainbow Dash! What's so special... what's so special?" he started to shout, grabbing the attention of nearby passing ponies. Rainbow Dash dropped her head low, and whispered to herself.
"Here we go."
"This isn't just any book! This is the incredibly rare, incredibly limited, incredibly youcantfinditanywhereelse copy of 'Masked Matter Horn and The Induction of The Power Ponies' first edition! Do you even realize what this means?"
"I'm sure you're about to tell me," she flatly responded.
"It means that I will own the entire Power Ponies comic series! Every single first edition, in mint condition!"
Spike nearly let out a squee. He lifted a claw and triumphantly pumped it. Letting out a victory yell.
Rainbow Dash couldn't help but smile at Spike's excitement and didn't feel like giving him anymore of a hard time. Spike had recently hit a bit of a growth spurt and grew a few feet taller standing higher than most ponies with the exception of Big Mac or the princesses. Soon, she figured, the dragon would be too grown to enjoy collecting comics. As they continued to walk together down the main street back to Twilight's Spike suddenly stopped in his tracks and looked back at Rainbow.
"Hey could we go grab something to eat? All that hopping around sure made me hungry!"
Rainbow glared at the dragon.
We were just at the... ugh
"Fine. Let's go get some food. Once we are done though I'm gonna have to get some cloudbusting done so I can make it to the Wonderbolts show tomorrow!"
"Sounds good! It's hard for me to read comics on an empty stomach!" Spike said while rubbing his belly.
Rarity could hardly breathe. She had been laughing for nearly five minutes straight. The joke Twilight had told was very funny, but her laugh itself was contagious. As Twilight rolled around on the ground, snorting loudly in between laughs, Rarity attempted to speak.
"H-he actually sa-said that?" She said stifling back more laughter.
All Twilight could do was nod as she writhed on the ground, still snorting.
Rarity's eyes started to water while she fell over in absolute glee. Both girls laughed and laughed for several moments before finally regaining their composure and sighing strongly.
"Whew. Oh goodness. I can't believe he said that to you," Rarity said. Twilight smiled.
"I know! I never knew Flash Sentry was that desperate!"
From behind Twilight Owlowiscious flew into the room and perched on top of her throne. He let out a rapid series of hoots and then rose up and left the room. Twilight immediately groaned and stamped her hoof in annoyance.
"Horseshoes! I totally forgot I had a few letters I had to send to Celestia." Twilight told Rarity. The dressmaker wiped a bit of sweat from her brow.
"Oh that's fine, darling. I'll just head home for now I suppose." Rarity rose up and scanned the room, searching for her bag.
"Well, Rarity you actually don't have to leave right away. It shouldn't take me too long and I'm sure we could both use a bite to eat after all that laughing." Twilight said as she rose up besides Rarity.
"Oh... I don't know, Twilight. I know your princess duties are important and I don't want to be the reason something gets forgotten or delayed."
Twilight pouted. Looking down at her hooves in disappointment. Rarity rolled her eyes and giggled softly.
"Oh alright! I'll wait for you upstairs. Whenever you're finished just call me and we can grab some lunch. I'd like to look around and maybe say hi to Starlight."
Twilight smiled and trotted over to her desk, preparing herself for a long boring hour of writing letters.
Rarity climbed the steps to the upper loft, hoping to find something to entertain herself with until Twilight was finished. When she hit the top of the steps she let her head drop and sighed.
"Oh boy. Books." Rarity looked all around her and saw nothing but literature covering the entire hallway.
She ran her hoof along the books reading the titles hoping for something interesting to read. Nothing. She had to really watch where she was stepping to avoid ruining a book, and creating an enraged Twilight. One thing was for sure, Twilight was right about upstairs being a disaster.
"Twilight... you really need to invest your time in something else other than reading," she said aloud to herself. Downstairs, Twilight shouted up in response.
"What was that, Rarity?"
"Oh, nothing! Just admiring your books!"
Rarity exhaled and giggled silently. She took a step further but was stopped by the sound of shuffling from the door to her right. She knocked softly and asked who was behind the door. It opened and Starlight Glimmer poked her head out, eyes narrow.
"Who is there?" she asked in a hushed tone. When she saw Rarity she sighed and gently stepped out from behind the door, careful to avoid stepping on any of Twilight's books.
"Hey there, Rarity! What brings you here?" She smiled and lifted a large number of books up above her head, all of them completed encased in a magical glow. Rarity gestured down the hall.
"I was hanging out with Twilight but she had some sudden princess letters to take care of. She mentioned Spike's room was messy and I thought I'd surprise him by cleaning up for him. Which room would be his? I know she gave him a bigger room with his recent growth spurt and all."
Starlight huffed. "Yeah, funny how on re-shelving day she gets busy with friendship and has princess duties and Spike disappears on me," she opened the door and gently laid the books down in the middle of the large library, "Trixie! More books!"
Rarity couldn't see her, but she heard a groan from Trixie come from inside the room. Starlight turned back and pointed her hoof down the hall.
"It's one hallway down, to the left, second door on the right side."
Rarity thanked her and hurried down the corridor, not wanting to get sucked into helping with the shelving. She followed Starlight's instructions and found a slightly open door, with a fair amount of light sneaking through the crack.
"Hello... what's this?"
Rarity pushed the door open and wandered into the room gasping at what she saw. Twilight mentioned that the room would be messy and to her surprise it was actually spotless. What is was however, was incredibly childish.
The walls were covered with Power Pony posters, and every shelf held small Power Pony dolls still in their packaging. There was a cabinet made of glass along the back wall. In the cabinet stood several comic books with plastic slips around them, to protect them from spills. His bed had Power Pony blankets, and a Power Pony pillow. His desk had drawings of the superheroes and Spike's closet was open, revealing a handful of outfits expertly created to match the costumes of the Power Ponies. Rarity's voice rasped with anger.
"I did not make those outfits. Who in Equestria would Spike trust to make outfits other than me!" She complained. She did a three-sixty in the middle of Spike's room, disgusted by how immature it looked. Especially for a teenage dragon like himself. "I for one do not think this room is suitable for a matured Spike!"
Rarity's mind hatched a brilliant idea. She scoured the room for some type of bag or container. When she saw Spike's backpack she smiled with glee.
"Perfect!" she shouted in sing-song.
Rarity proceeded around the room, dumping the toys, blankets and pillowcases into the bag. She pulled the posters down from the walls and tossed them inside as well. As she lifted the bag over her head she stopped in place. Remembering she forgot one last thing. She approached the glass case and eyeballed the books hungrily.
"It's time for a home makeover now.
Spike was shoving his wheat sandwich in his face. He chewed with his mouth open, and food was flying everywhere. Rainbow Dash ducked down underneath her menu to avoid flying mouth debris.
"Hey, Spike. The food goes in the hole under your nose," she said voice heavy with annoyance. Spike used his claw to wipe his mouth and laughed.
"Sorry, Rainbow Dash! I'm just so excited! I can't wait to get my comic!"
Rainbow sighed and looked over her menu again, still unable to decide on what to eat. The restaurant was serving Cocoa ‘Splosion, her favorite cereal but as Spike continued to munch, making obnoxious noises with each bite he ruined her appetite. The waiter approached the table and asked Rainbow if she was ready to order, but she sent him away.
"I don't think I'm very hungry, Spike. I can't wait to see the Wonderbolts tomorrow! I just wanna get my cloudbusting finished so I can get ready for my trip to Cloudsdale," she told the dragon. Spike swallowed a large mouthful of food and started to respond.
"I know the feeling. Who are the Wonderbolts racing against anyw—" Spike stopped speaking, and clutched his chest in pain. Rainbow saw his panicked look and jumped from her chair, ready to help him.
"Spike what's wrong? Are you choking?"
He shook his head, and groaned in pain. He opened his mouth and could barely speak the words.
"I feel... a disturbance..."
"What? A disturbance? What does that mean?"
“It’s that smell. The kind of smelly smell. The kind of smelly smell that smells… smelly.”
Before Rainbow Dash could question him further. He lifted his bag of bits from the chair beside him and sprinted out of the restaurant. A bewildered Rainbow Dash still sat in her chair. She started to rise to chase after the little dragon, but a pony behind her cleared his throat, freezing her in her tracks.
"The bill, Madam," the waiter placed a piece of paper on the table before trotting away to help another customer.
Rainbow let her head clunk against the table.
Rarity hummed merrily while she worked. Within the last fifteen minutes she'd completely done away with all of Spike's Power Pony decor, and brought it solid colors, and modernized shelving. Twilight was neck deep in letters to the princesses and didn't even notice Rarity as she went in, and out of the library. A few quick trips to the Boutique and back gave her all the supplies she needed to redecorate the young dragon's room, and she'd done such a good job already.
"Aha! Perfect! Everything is absolutely, positively, and completely... gorgeous!"
Behind her, she could hear the door creak open, followed by a gasp.
"Rarity," Twilight cried out, "what have you done?"
The alicorn spun in circles in the middle of the room, cringing at every little detail that was different about the bedroom. Rarity pouted.
"Being the element of generosity I couldn't help myself when I saw the state this room was in! I just did Spike a favor! I admit it may not be my best work... but you have to remember, I'm a dress designer, not a home makeover artist."
Twilight quickly slammed the door behind them. She had sweat dripping down her face and she spoke fast and low.
"Are you crazy? Do you have any idea how serious Spike takes his comic book stuff? I tried to pull one of the comics out of its sleeve the other night and Spike almost broke my hoof!" Twilight looked at the glass case and choked when she saw little Crystal Sculptures of Spike, herself, and the rest of their friends. "What did you do with the comics?" She asked while tugging on her mane.
"I took them to the boutique and gave them to Sweetie Belle. I figured she and the other crusaders could enjoy them!"
"No no no no no!" Twilight said, spinning in circles again. Rarity got a stiff hold of her and laughed.
"Twilight! Get ahold of yourself! Listen, I'm sure Spike will understand that as he grows up his room will need to be updated to fit his new personality and look. Imagine him trying to bring a girlfriend to a room like this? I merely did him a favor, and I'm sure he'd appreciate it. Especially since it came from me."
Downstairs, the large entrance door could be heard opening and shutting. The sound made Twilight jump.
"Hello?" Spike called out.
She took a deep breath as her horn started to light up.
"Listen, I'll distract him. You need to get all of his old stuff back from the boutique, and fix his room, now. I can only give you a few minutes so you have to hurry."
Rarity gasped. "What? You can't be serious. How would I even get there and back with enough time. I can't teleport!"
"Jump out the window?" Twilight suggested.
"Twilight? You here?" Spike's voice shouted from downstairs. Twilight looked at Rarity with wide-eyes.
"Please hurry!" She said. With a blast of light she disappeared. After a moment of silence Rarity could hear her calmly talking to Spike as they walked down the hallway urging him to not go into his room. The excuses she made up were terrible.
"Spike! You're home! Wait! You can't go in yet."
"Why? I need to check on something in my room. You know, make sure I have space for the final book."
"No, Spike! I... Just mopped the floor! I can't have you… tracking in mud from outside! It rained remember?”
“Yeah, last week. Come on, Twilight! Let… me… by…”
Rarity shut the door and looked over her decorations one last time.
“Twilight is being silly. Spike is going to love the work I have put into his room,” she whispered to herself. Someone was obviously standing outside the room. Rarity pushed up against her mane and brushed any settled dust off her coat.
“I’ll prove it to her.”
The door opened slowly, creak and all.
“Oh! Hey, Rarity I didn’t expect you to... “
Spike’s eyes darted from Rarity to the wall. He followed the wall directly behind her and to his window. He gasped at the drapes and didn’t stop there. At his shelves he whimpered. When he saw his bed he cried out. Spike let tears roll and fell to his knees.
“Rarity. What have you done?” he asked her, clutching his heart.
“Well, Spike. I stumbled in here and decid—”
Spike lifted a finger and shushed her softly.
“No. Don’t speak,” he said calmly. He wiped his face of the tears and took a deep breath. Twilight appeared behind him with a large flash. She shook in place, hooves clattering against the ground.
“Rarity,” she said between her teeth, “get. out. of. there.”
Spike stood up and gently placed his bag of bits on the floor. He moved around the room silently, staring at the different changes Rarity made to the bedroom. He ran his claw across the drapes and smiled.
“These are actually really nice, Rares. Very soft and keeps the sun out sufficiently.”
Rarity smirked in Twilight’s direction. Twilight glared back.
“Calm before the storm, Rarity,” she hissed.
Spike sat down on his bed and admired the quality of the sheets.
“These are much more comfortable than the power ponies sheets I had before. I suppose they are a nice change,” he said.
Rarity finally spoke up. “Oh, Spikey-Wikey. I knew you’d enjoy newer, more mature things in your living space!”
Spike squinted at the books on his shelves, reading the titles aloud. When he finished he smiled at Rarity.
“These are all of my favorite books! How did you kno”
Rarity lifted a hoof and interrupted him with a giggle.
“I do know my favorite dragon very well.”
Twilight turned her neck and peered down the hallway. All the books on the floor were moved, now all resting on Spike’s shelves.
“Well you helped organize some of the books too I suppose,” she said. Twilight stood beside Rarity and smiled. “I guess you were right, Rarity. Looks like Spike actually likes the change. Great job!”
Spike approached the glass case and inhaled deeply. Twilight cringed.
“Wow! Look at these sculptures! Twilight look, there’s you! And, and there’s me with the Crystal Heart! Rarity these are so…” Spike trailed off. The wind stopped blowing through the open window and the birds outside nearest to the castle suddenly stopped chirping. The sound of rustling feathers could be heard as they likely flew away, sensing something strange.
“Rarity?” Spike asked.
“Why yes, dear?” Rarity responded. Spike turned to face them. His eyes squinted and he breath shallow.
“Where are my comic books?”
Twilight swallowed loudly and attempted to answer for Rarity.
“Well, Spike, Rarity jus—”
Spike turned his gaze on the princess and she stopped speaking. He looked into Rarity’s eyes again and spoke a little deeper.
“Where are my comic books?”
Rarity’s heart started to race. She didn’t understand why but she cleared her throat and revealed the location of his items. When she finished Spike balled up his claw, each individual finger cracking loudly.
“You gave my comics to the Cutie Mark Crusaders? Without their sleeves??” Spike’s volume raised intensely. The glass case shook and the small crystal sculpture of Rarity holding Opal fell off its stand, shattering when it hit the bottom.
“Well why would I? The sleeves were in the way and the girls couldn’t read the stories properly when they were inside them. They were in there for so long and were so sensitive that Sweetie tore the first page when she first turned it.”
The room started to shake. Several books fell from the stand and the other crystals started to break at the bottom of the display. Spike fell forward and sat on all four legs, he groaned loudly and reached forward stretching out his back and his spine cracked loudly.
"Rarity... I... you" he gasped. His voice had an unusual tone to it, like two Spikes were talking at the same time.
Twilight with no hesitation grabbed Rarity’s hoof and pictured the Carousel Boutique in her mind. Following a flash of purple they sat in Rarity’s living room. Opal gave them a curious meow and waddled away. Rarity turned to Twilight and weakly punched her shoulder. Twilight didn’t budge.
“What in the… Twilight why are we here? Spike was just about to-”
Twilight tackled Rarity and held her head close to the ground, she extended her wings over them both and told Rarity to cover her ears.
The boutique started to shake similar to the library. Much of Rarity’s dress pony models fell over, some non-completed dress broke apart as they hit the floor. After a few moments of this everything became still. Rarity removed her hooves from her ears and lifted her head.
“Twilight, what are we—”
Rarity was cut off. The earthquake returned with higher magnitude than before. Outside the boutique there was an explosion that sounded like the largest firework ever being set off, followed by the most frightening voice she has ever heard.
Rainbow Dash cheered herself on as she swiftly kicked through all the clouds above Sweet Apple Acres.
“And the crowd goes wild! Rainbow Daring Dash has crushed the Las Pegasus Zooms and brought the Wonderbolts another victory!” she yelled aloud while racing back and forth across the sky. Applejack laughed from down below.
“Meanwhile,” Applejack started, “Rainbow Dash is really above Sweet Apple Acres, finishing up her day job. How many clouds you got left, Ms. ‘Daring’?”
Rainbow shot down to the ground and growled.
“Oh, whatever, Applesmack. I’d rather be up there busting clouds than be down here bucking apples.” Rainbow kicked a nearby apple towards the farm pony, who narrowly dodged it. Applejack threw a scowl her way.
“Well at least apple bucking toughens a pony up. Gives them strength. Tell me something, Rainbow Dash. What does cloudbusting do for ya?”
“You’ll be happy to know that it boosts speed and agility if you do it right. It’s great basic training for becoming a Wonderbolt!”
Applejack scoffed and turned toward the nearest apple-filled bucket. She lifted up an apple with no unique qualities and faced Rainbow again.
“Speed and agility, huh?”
She threw the apple up into the air and turned around on a whim. With years of apple bucking experience she expertly kicked the apple with one hoof and sent it flying up into the sky. It smashed through a stallion-sized cloud completely disintegrating it. Rainbow kept her eyes on the now descending apple, completely unaware that Applejack had left the bucket and ran past her. The apple landed in the farmer’s hooves as if it was never thrown.
“I don’t know how you pegasi do it.”
The wind started to pick up. Rainbow Dash opened her mouth to respond when she saw a dark green explosion behind Applejack. Her eyes widened and jaw slacked. Applejack followed her gaze and gasped at the sight.
“What in tarnation? That’s in Ponyville’s direction. Come on, Rainbow!” Applejack darted towards the green light which was now fading. Rainbow Dash groaned.
“I really need to move to Cloudsdale.”
"Twilight, what was that noise?" Rarity asked, voice cracking. Twilight leaned against the wall and used her wing to peer through the curtain. Her eyes widened and she immediately pulled the curtain back into place.
"I told you! I told you not to mess with Spike's things. But you didn't listen!"
Rarity opened her mouth to respond, but was interrupted by a massive thud. The entire boutique rattled. She could hear ponies shouting and screaming in the distance.
She lifted Opal up in a magical glow and plopped her down on her lap. Stroking her fur nervously much to the cat's annoyance. Twilight turned and clamped her eyes shut, horn illuminating and pulsing every few seconds. Twilight did this for a few more moments before the light faded. Outside a loud siren started wailing, the sound mix with confused commotion as a more ponies started to scream. The siren's wail suddenly turned into a squeak, sounds of wood splintering and metal being crushed followed. Twilight swore under her breath and looked at Rarity.
"Where are the Cutie Mark Crusaders? Where are the rest of Spike's things?"
Her voice was soft at first, but Rarity wasn't paying attention. She had rose from her spot and pulled back the curtain. She stared out jaw slacked. Her eyes started to well up with tears. Twilight pulled on her shoulder and asked again, much firmer.
"Spikey-Wikey... I..." she trailed off. After another moment She took a deep breath and turned to Twilight. "I sold most of his stuff at the little knick-knacks shop by the market... the rest of his things are with the Crusaders. I don't know where they are!"
Another deafening roar boomed, this time much closer, forcing the girls to cover their ears. Twilight frowned and let out a sigh.
"If we can't recover Spike's things... then you are probably going to die."
Spike was so angry. A type of anger he had never felt before over something that should've been so small. Only it wasn't. It was his life's collection and he was so close to completing it. Only to have the one he loved rip it away from him. A traitor to all he held dear. He was going to find her, and he was going to make her pay.
As Twilight teleported them both away Spike doubled over in pain. There was a burning that started in his chest, and spread all across his body. As he stretched himself out the scales from his back exploded outwards in every direction, implanting themselves in the walls. He roared in pain and jumped to his legs, feeling himself rising closer and closer to the ceiling. He balled his fists and raised them both above his head.
"The horror! The giant and terrifyingly terrible horror!" Shouted Roseluck as she ran past Applejack and Rainbow Dash. She and dozens of others that were fleeing the town all shouted different things and screaming for Celestia to help them.
Applejack could hardly believe her eyes. As soon as her and Rainbow Dash hit the entrance to Ponyville they saw what caused the explosion... It was Spike.
He had grown, by at least fifty feet. His purple skin was dark and shiny, almost like he had gone for a swim prior. The scales running from the crown of his head and along his spine were a wicked shade of green. Spike pushed aside the remaining rubble of the castle and let out a mighty roar that shattered windows and eardrums across the town. Rainbow Dash grabbed Applejack and pulled them both into the closest alleyway right as the deafening noise hit them.
"What the heck happened?" Rainbow Dash shouted, ears still ringing from the incredible sound. "I was just with him like half an hour ago!"
Applejack shook her head and pressed a hoof against her temple. She winced as she spoke, feeling a pretty bucking headache coming on.
"I don't know, but we've gotta find Twilight!"
She stumbled back out into the street and looked back at the now massive dragon, who mercilessly made his way through the town. He walked right into a house and she watched with wide eyes as the building literally crumbled around the sheer weight of his body. Ponies continued to run past her in panic, all heading for Sweet Apple Acres. After the incident with Tirek the town voted to make the farm the evacuation zone if the town was ever under attack. Hopefully there they could avoid his rampage.
"Oh no you don't!" Rainbow yelled as she flew up from the alley and in Spike's direction. Applejack screamed at her to stop, but Rainbow Dash was too quick.
Rainbow Dash firmly planted both of her hind hooves into the side of Spike's face, with so much speed she knocked his head to the side slightly, but only for a second. He snapped back to attention and with impressive speed of his own swatted Rainbow down to the ground. She hit the ground with such force that dust and dirt rose up and covered the street. Applejack ran to her crater and found the Pegasus unconscious. She pulled her hat from her head and placed her ear against Rainbow's chest finding a fairly fast, but still beating heart.
"Spike," She called up to the dragon, "Stop this right now! We're your friends! It's Applejack and Rainbow Dash remember?"
He looked down at her with a raised eyebrow and curled lip, wisps of green smoke freeing themselves as he opened his mouth.
"Rarity?" he studied AJ for what felt like an eternity before grunting. "No."
He swiped his claw along the side of a few more homes, tearing much of their roofs to shreds and peered into the homes growling moments later when he didn't see what he wanted. Ponies were pouring from the various crumbling buildings, running towards the town's exit. When Spike moved far enough away Applejack finally let out her held breath and carefully raised Rainbow Dash up and onto her back as she stood up.
I've gotta get to the castle!
Starlight Glimmer coughed loudly and levitated herself and Trixie from inside their protection bubble out of the rubble of the now demolished castle. Large chunks of crystal, glass, and stone broke apart as they lifted from the debris. Starlight dumped them both along the edge of the creek that ran beside the castle. Trixie dusted off her coat and shook a hoof at Spike who was still rampaging in the distance.
"What's your deal, Spike? You ruined all of our re-shelving!"
Starlight raised her eyebrows, and scoffed.
"Or he could have killed us both."
"That too," Trixie answered, "but you saved us, and now all our hard work was for nothing."
Trixie lifted her hoof to shout more curses at Spike, but Starlight interrupted her.
"Look, Trixie, you need to get out of here. We are still working on your magic and you aren't ready to deal with something quite like this. Head to the Apple's and I'll find you when we fix this."
Trixie plopped down on the ground, horn illuminating as a small, and rather deflated looking bubble appeared around her. She laughed, folding her hooves across her chest. "You've been teaching me more than you realized, Starlight. You will never be able to burst through my protective shield. Now, you'll need help from the great and powerful Trixie to not only fix the castle but also to defeat Spike! So I suggest we stop fighting and we start—"
Starlight focused all of her energy on Trixie, and pictured Sweet Apple Acres in her mind. With a loud pop the great and powerful Trixie disappeared, bubble and all. Starlight chuckled to herself.
I'm not putting you in harm's way today, Trixie. Sorry.
She turned to face the castle and cursed softly. The once beautiful castle was now in shambles. Most of the main structure was in chunks all around the base, with various furnishings and book strewn across the lawn. She thought about what Twilight's reaction would be if she saw the state of her home and felt a lump in her throat.
I had a feeling today was going to be ridiculous.
Starlight took a moment thinking of various spells to try and fix the castle. Something of this scale would take an immense amount of power to repair. She wished she could go back and grab her spell notebook before the castle was destroyed. There was a flash of green light from Ponyville that pulled her attention from the castle.
She froze. Spike was leaning forward, both claws completely crushing down on Sugar Cube Corner. All along his spine his green spikes were flowing with light running from the base of his tail all the way up to the top of his neck. Everything seemed to stop around Starlight. For a moment the only noise to be heard was the flowing of the creek.
“Spike?” She whispered.
The full-sized dragon opened his mouth and the green light that escaped completely obliterated what remained of Sugar Cube Corner. Spike's eyes were wide seemingly full of fear, and shock. He reared his head back as the green flames poured over the entire street melting many of the businesses and homes near him. After a few terrifying moments he stopped, cried out, and started stomping around Ponyville once more.
“Spike, no!” Starlight yelled to no avail. The dragon was too far to hear. With a flash Twilight and Rarity popped into existence in front of her, Twilight was sweating and out of breath, her horn was shooting out tiny little sparks that she quickly wiped away. She looked at the Castle and groaned.
“That’s just great,” she said, eyes shifting to Starlight, “I’m glad to see you’re alright though.” She embraced her student before asking how she escaped.
“It all happened so fast. One moment we’re in the library finishing up the shelving, and the next the castle starts crumbling around us. I had just enough time to shield Trixie and myself before it all came down. I pulled us out and teleported Trixie to Sweet Apple Acres.”
“Oh my goodness, Twilight.” Rarity cried. Twilight turned to Rarity and saw the town ablaze. Green plumes of smoke shooting up from various parts of Ponyville. In the middle of it all Spike took a colossal bite out of the Ponyville Day Spa, chewed it for a moment before spitting out the cinders and stone into Town Hall.
“We’ve got to fix him,” Twilight said, putting her hooves around Rarity, “We will fix him before he destroys Ponyville.”
The three ponies were fixated on Spike’s continued rampage and didn't hear Applejack galloping up to them. When she spoke they all jumped in place.
“Rarity,” she panted, “what in the world did you do?” She lowered herself slowly and pulled Rainbow Dash gently onto the ground. Starlight moved beside her and ran her horn along Rainbow’s body.
“Pretty bruised up but she’ll be alright,” Starlight did a similar scan of Applejack before looking up at Rarity, “Applejack has a good question. What is going on? Spike is tearing up the city pretty much screaming your name.”
Twilight stepped in. “She was trying to redecorate his room and got rid of all his comic book collectables. Gave away his comics to the cutie mark crusaders.”
Starlight whistled. “I knew Spike loved the Power Ponies but I didn't expect him to destroy the town over them.”
Rainbow Dash started to stir, groaning softly. Rarity frowned and sat beside her.
"This is all my fault. I wanted to be kind to Spike but it appears I may have once again made things impossibly difficult for all of us. Perhaps I should give myself up to him? He may recognize me and return to normal as he did in the past during his previous outburst."
Twilight pondered this for a moment before shaking her head. "No, There has got to be another way. Delivering you to him when he's like this wouldn't be safe."
“Twilight,” Rainbow Dash grunted as she sat up, “I have an idea that might help calm him down. Earlier today he was gonna make a deal with Iron Will to get the last comic for his set. Maybe getting that book along with all the others you gave to the kids will help bring him back.”
In town, Spike picked up the carousel boutique and punted it right at Canterlot. The girls all winced as it smashed into the mountainside. Everypony in the capital city had to have felt it.
Applejack removed her hat and fanned herself, the heat emitting from the fires littering Ponyville was unbearable. “Well we have to do something!”
The group started trying to figure out ways to take down the dragon, rather than return him to normal as Twilight wanted. She ran through various scenarios in her head. Her biggest fear was that he'd head to Sweet Apple Acres and tear it all down.
Think, Twilight. Pinkie and Fluttershy are on a mission in Canterlot so we're down our animal whisperer and... Pinkie. The princesses haven't responded so it's just us… We need to restore his stuff and get that last book from Iron Will. Sounds easy enough except the castle is gone… with how enraged he is he might smash Rarity the moment he sees her… unless…
“I got it!” She shouted, wings unfolding in excitement. The four girls stopped their side discussions and jumped at Twilight’s sudden outburst. She pointed at the castle.
“Starlight I'll need you to put the castle back together while we have got to find all of Spike’s comic book collectables from around town.”
Starlight gestured at the rubble with one hoof, she started to protest when Twilight interrupted her, pointing her hoof towards town.
“Applejack, you and Rainbow Dash head back into town, find the Knick Knack shop and try and get all of the things Rarity sold, bring them back here. Without running into Spike, of course.”
Rainbow Dash let herself fall back onto the ground, and sighed loudly. Applejack took hold of her tail in between her teeth and started dragging her back towards town. Starlight cleared her throat, and pointed back at the castle. Twilight cut her off and turned to Rarity.
“Rarity, you and I are going to find the crusaders. They have the comic books and the costumes, right?”
“Twilight,” Starlight shouted, “what about the castle? It's in complete pieces! We are talking about a massive structure and all of its contents being returned to the way they were. The amount it of time it would take for me to replicate the exact way everything internally was organized would be..." she trailed off.
Twilight smiled, and put a hoof around Rarity. "What was that, Starlight?"
She could feel her face getting warm, unsure if it was Twilight smirking at her, or her own real embarrassment. "Oh yeah."
Twilight disappeared in another flash of light.
Applejack could feel her racing heart beating across her entire body as they walked through the nearly completely demolished Ponyville. Many of the shops and restaurants and houses that were usually bustling with ponies was flattened, on fire, or had dragon fist shaped holes gaping through them. Beside her, Rainbow Dash chuckled, voice cracking as she spoke.
“I don't know about this, Applejack. Let's be real, that store is probably destroyed.” They turned onto the market street and froze in their tracks. Spike was laying across the street, head hidden underneath a pile of charred wood and hay. Rainbow Dash’s eyes followed along his entire body and she swallowed loudly.
“Is he… asleep?” She whispered. Applejack shushed her, and pointed further down the street. At the end of the block, maybe thirty feet from Spike was a fully intact antiques shop and knick knack story.
“Oh really? That's still standing?” Rainbow Dash shouted. Applejack quickly covered her mouth but Spike was already stirring from his sleep. He sat up and let out of a booming yawn. He opened his green eyes, glaring down at the them. Smoke billowed up from his nostrils, a rumbling growl built up in his throat.
“Run!” Applejack galloped ahead, as she got close to his torso she jumped, strong legs carrying her right above the tall dragons body. Rainbow Dash ran alongside the buildings, ducking underneath his tail as he rose.
“Rarity!” He roared.
“Not us!” Rainbow Dash yelled back.
Applejack was the first to reach the shop and yanked on the door handle which was firmly locked. Rainbow seconds later caught up, behind her Spike still struggling to rise, body slipping on all the loose planks of wood he was laying on top of.
“Applejack, get it open!” Rainbow said watching Spike get taller and taller. Applejack pulled on the door as hard as possible.
“I'm tryin’,” she shouted, “stand back.”
They both backed up a few feet and Applejack threw her entire weight against the door, blasting it off its hinges. The contents of the store was just as put together as the shop itself which surprised the girls considering Spike had pretty much obliterated the rest of town.
Applejack swiftly moved to the checkout counter and found a basket behind it full of Power Pony memorabilia. She hopped over and set herself to quick work. She put the rolled up posters into a Power Pony pillowcase and tossed the curtains, bedspread, and small rug over her shoulder. She was a walking comic book advertisement. Lastly, she placed a Humdrum cap on top of her straw hat.
“Really, Applejack?” Rainbow Dash said between stifled laughter, “you look ridiculous.”
“now is not the time Rainbow,” She snapped back, “Wait… where is Spike?” Rainbow turned and found no sign of the fifty foot dragon. Applejack tossed a few of Spike’s things onto Rainbow’s back who whipped her tail at Applejack in response. She spoke in a hushed voice.
“Alright, Rainbow, back to the castle so we ca—”
Applejack was thrown off balance as the entire shop suddenly started to shake. Rainbow Dash tried to hover a few feet over the floor of the shop only to be brought back down. Spike slowly lifted the store up into the air and pressed his large slitted eye against the glass.
“Hi, Spike.” Rainbow Dash said.
He tracked his eyes back and forth between the two, obviously recognizing his stuff. Applejack stood up and felt her body shaking.
“Spike! You better put us down right now, ya hear me? Down!”
Spike flinched at the tone of her voice and growled. He raised the building higher into the air and tossed it backwards over his head. The various objects from around the shop flew in every direction as they fell through the air. Rainbow Dash rushed into action, flying straight at Applejack and pushed her out the window to the left of the counter.
"Rainbow Dash!" Applejack screamed as she fell, holding onto the Power Pony merchandise tight. Rainbow Dash bolted downwards and wrapped her hooves around her shoulders halting her fall. The building in the distance smashed into the Ponyville general hospital. Applejack prayed to the princesses that all of the patients had been safely evacuated. As all of Spike's things fell from both ponies and scattered to around the ground below Spike slowly barrelled towards them, spewing flames into the air.
"I wonder if Twilight is having as much fun as we are!" Rainbow said as he lowered them to the ground, dodging a swipe from Spike's claw.
"And then as Mistress Mare-velous locked the key to the under-stable, she looked back at her arch nemesis and winked at him! That is so a hint that she likes him!" Sweetie Belle explained. She looked up from her book and beamed at the others. Apple Bloom was standing out the window of their treehouse, watching from the distance a large crowd massing at the Apple family home.
"Shouldn't we go see what's going on at the house? Those tremors we felt earlier... they felt kinda scary."
From behind her there was a loud shuffling. The closet door burst open and Scootaloo jumped into view standing triumphant.
"Those tremors sounded like they could use some investigating. Never fear, Zapp is here!" She announced. Her costume was a suit that covered everything below her neck. Navy all over with streaks of white near the hooves. Around her neck was a golden lightning bolt, her head was covered with a navy metal frame.
Sweetie Belle tossed the comic carelessly aside, and jumped up beside Scootaloo.
"No way!" She said, "It fits you?"
"Well, It's actually pretty loose. I think if a bigger pony put it on it'd probably fit better."
The clubhouse shook violently, knocking some pinned-up pictures off the wall. Outside, Applebloom saw apples fall from trees from there to as far as the house. The ponies there started panicking and she could faintly hear Big Mac's booming voice try and take control of them.
"Girls, I think it's time we figure what is goin' on in Ponyville." She said. As Apple Bloom headed to the door Scootaloo whistled from behind her. Apple Bloom turned as a bright red costume landed on her head. She pulled it off and raised an eyebrow at Scootaloo who smirked.
"Well then, Mistress Mare-velous, put on your suit and let's go save Ponyville."
Sweetie Belle cheered and Apple Bloom moved to the middle of the room, extending her hoof out. The other girls mimicked her gesture and Sweetie Belle started the count.
"Superheroes on three! One, Two, Thr—"
Their hurrah was interrupted by a sudden explosion of light that was Twilight Sparkle and Rarity. Twilight seemed dazed, holding her head and plopping down on the ground.
"Too... much... teleporting," she mumbled. Rarity looked like she had been dragged through a battle. Her normally perfect curled hair was sticking up in every direction almost like she had been struck by lightning. Her coat was badly stained with black splotches with Sweetie assumed was... soot? She coughed as the smoke from the rough teleport cleared.
"Rarity what are you doing here?" She asked. Rarity ignored her question and scanned the room searching for the...
"Comics!" she screamed, jumping across the room and picking up the various scattered books from the floor. Beside her Sweetie Belle asked her question again.
"Uh, Rarity? What are you doing here? And what are you taken my comics?"
"Not yours, Sweetie Belle," Rarity hissed, "Spike's! He's destroying Ponyville and I took all his stuff and sold them, and we have to fix the castle that exploded and then make his bed so he can go back to normal and stop trying to kill me!"
"Wait, what?" Scootaloo asked. All three Crusaders stood together, puzzled looks matching between them. Rarity stacked the comics neatly next to Twilight, who was recovering from her overuse of teleportation magic. Rarity ran to the closet and ripped all the costumes from their hangers. She counted them aloud and her heart stopped when she realized one was missing.
"Where is it?" she howled. She turned and stared down Scootaloo. "GIVE IT TO ME"
Scootaloo quickly removed the costume and jumped to the corner of the room with the others. Rarity threw all of the clothes on Twilight's head, much to her chagrin, and with a flash were gone. The girls sat still for a few minutes, before Apple Bloom finally spoke up.
"What in tarnation?"
Starlight flicked her hair out of her eyes, keeping her mind clear, and memory focused. The castle in front of her was nearly returned to as it was earlier in that day. The replication spell she used was pretty basic. You just think of a time you want the object to be replicated to and give the spell a constant steady stream of magic and focus. Many unicorns couldn't work the spell, but Starlight had an incredible amount of confidence.
Almost... got it.
She exhaled sharply as the spell ended. Tip of her horn smoking she smirked and sat down, catching her breath. The castle had be erected back its former majesty, looking as new as it did when Starlight first came to live there. The beauty of the spell was everything internally was put back as well leaving no signs that anything had gone wrong in the first place.
"Now, I've just got to find the girls."
Starlight stood and faced the town, smiling when she saw Rainbow Dash carrying Applejack, approaching way too fast.
"Starlight! Look out!" Rainbow Dash yelled, dropping Applejack once she got close enough to the ground. Rainbow Dash crashed behind Starlight. Applejack however landed right on top of her.
"Really, Rainbow?" Applejack said, rolling off of Starlight with a groan. Starlight just stayed on the ground, wondering if the day could get any worse. Twilight and Rarity appeared closer to Rainbow Dash who also couldn't bring herself to getting up. Spike completely destroying Ponyville is pretty exhausting for all involved.
"Twilight," Rainbow Dash croaked, "We've got all his stuff. Given him the slip wasn't easy. Now what do we do?"
Twilight pulled herself along the gravel, reaching out for the castle like it was small easily held object. She slurred her words, teleportation exhaustion setting in. "The castle... it..."
Rarity rolled her eyes and grabbed Spike's things off of Applejack's shoulders and piled everything they had collected into the middle of the group. With Twilight recovering, she took charge.
"You girls take Spike's things up to his room, put the curtains, sheets and pillow cases where they go. Hang his posters in the wall where I put the Everfree Forest painting, and carefully put his comics into their sleeves and back into the cabinet. Get Twilight some water, and lay her down for when we're done."
Everyone simultaneously "ughed" and Rarity helped Starlight to her hooves. "I need you to teleport me somewhere, Starlight." Starlight raised an eyebrow.
"We need to find Iron Will."
In the distance, Spike howled Rarity's name.
Iron Will whistled merrily as he trudged down the woodland path to Ponyville. The air was cool, the wind felt great, and the only thing on Iron Will's mind was the money he was getting for trading his book to Spike. He stopped suddenly and lifted the book up, staring down at the cover.
"Masked Matter Horn and The Induction of The Power Ponies... the last book mama gave me before..." His eyes welled up with tears, one splattering along the slick laminated cover.
"Mama. I'm sorry," he said looking up at the sky, "Iron W... I have run out of options. My business failed, mama. No pony wants to be assertive anymore. The wind picked up, and he could almost swear he heard his mother's voice through the air.
You're never out of options, my sweet boy.
He stared down on the comic realizing his hands were shaking. He could feel his heartbeat in his throat and begin to rethink his decision. His mother had always been a great source of optimism in his life, and he turned to assertion when she passed. Too many creatures bullied him when he cried in class, hardening him. In the distance there was a roar, and it broke his thought.
"What in the world was that?"
The wind howled past his ears, and this time he felt he could clearly hear the voice of his mother.
Oh my dear, William. You always felt like you had to be stronger, and much more serious than the other minotaurs in school. Stop this charade and be yourself again. Such a polite boy I raised you to be and now look at you. Catch Phrases and silly poses. You aren't a model... you're made of iron. Remember?
Iron Will leaned against a tree, he felt like all the air had been sucked from his lungs, but yet he found the ability to speak. "Mama? You... you're with me?" Moments later there was another stronger shaking of the ground, and Iron Will laughed with tears rolling down his cheeks.
He had forgotten. All the constant bullying and the fear of being treated as a doormat, taking advantage of those that prey on fear and loneliness. He never realized that he had become the very creature he loathed. A predator of weakness. He looked back at the book, finding new meaning to life just by holding the very same pages his mother once held. He reached for the tie neatly wrapped around his neck and tore it off.
He turned, and laughed. A good, full and proper laugh. He lifted the book and planted a soft kiss on the cover. "Sorry, Spike. Looks like you're going to have to get this book elsewhere." Before he could take his first steps towards a new life, two ponies suddenly appeared in front of him.
"Iron Will! There you are!" Rarity cried out, "We've been teleporting everywhere looking for you". Starlight sat off to the side, taking deep breaths. Iron Will puffed his chest and started to point aggressively at her, but the ground shook, his thought it to be his mother scolding him for his behavior one last time. He closed his eyes and exhaled deeply, lowering his hand to his side and smiled. He opened his eyes and got a good look at the pony, recognizing her as one of Fluttershy's and did a polite bow.
"Hello there, small pony. What can Iron W..." He stopped himself. Choking on the words. He tried again. "Hello, Rarity. What can I do for you?"
Rarity was taken aback by the soft tone of his voice. He stood from his bow and let Rarity explain the situation patiently. His face heavy with genuine concern he offered what he could do to help fix Spike.
"Well," Rarity answered, "we need that comic book." she said pointing a hoof at his left hand. Iron Will let out a small gasp and pulled the book close to his chest.
"I'm sorry, Rarity but there's gotta be something else you can do to help Spike. I've decided not to sell the comic to him. My mother gave it to me and with all that I've been going through... well I've decided to turn over a new leaf. No more ferocity, no more assertion. I'm going to be kind and gentle and..."
Starlight Glimmer groaned and attempted to rip the book from his hands, but Iron Will had a tight grip. He raised his hand up at Starlight like she was an oncoming stagecoach and let out a deep harumph.
"I'm not sure who you are but I believe I gave my answer. I understand your situation is dire, and I'd love to help, but this comic book is no longer for sale. It has too much value to me. No bits are worth getting rid of it, not anymore at least.
Rarity felt her heart break to pieces. Her own voice wavered listening to the once brutal minotaur being so proper. She could feel the connection he shared to the comic in his voice and reached forward to his extended hand, holding it between her hooves. She smiled and apologized to Iron Will.
"Why are you saying sorry? If anything I should be apologizing." He said. Rarity pushed his hand gently against his heart and mustered up as much kindness in her voice as possible, so much that Fluttershy herself would've felt moved.
"I'm sorry, for this. Rarity whispered as her magic yanked the book from his grip, throwing it to Starlight, eyes wide with shock that Rarity was able to best the grip of a minotaur.
Iron Will clenched his fist and lowered himself, ready to pounce on Starlight. "What do you think you're doing?" He protested. Rarity without hesitation swung her hoof right into his groin. She cringed at the sound of Iron Will's voice rising several octaves, likely in extreme pain.
"My bits!" he cried.
Starlight grabbed Rarity and teleported away, leaving Iron Will behind. He fell into a fetal position, and cried for his mama to help him. There was another small earthquake, but this time he couldn't hear the sound of his mom's voice. Only the roaring of a ferocious dragon, screaming for the blood of a small white dressmaker. He sat still for a second, clutching the only two bits in the world that mattered.
"Alright!" Rarity announced proudly. "We have the book, now what do we do Twilight?"
Twilight sat on Spike's Power Pony themed bed spread. She looked rejuvenated, likely just needing a moment of rest between so much teleporting. Starlight however was the opposite. She crawled into Spike's lovesac and immediately started snoring loudly. While the others were putting the finishing touches on the room Applejack's heart stopped when she noticed one of the comics was severely torn. She whistled guiltily as she quickly stuffed it in it's sleeve and placed it in the cabinet.
Twilight levitated an outfit from Spike's closet and laid it flat beside her.
"Put this on."
Rarity forced a laugh and looked around at the other girls, pointing at Twilight as if to say can you believe her? This isn't a costume party.
Nopony else laughed.
"You want me to... but why?"
"Because, we've got to bring Spike back. If he sees you he's going to attack without listening but if he sees her you may just have a chance of snapping him out of his rage. Now you have to get cleaned up, for Celestia's sake fix your hair, and listen very closely."
Rainbow Dash was listening in on the plan and happened to glance out the window right as Spike punched her house out of existence.
In the castle, Twilight's plan sounded perfect. With Rarity out in the open completely exposed. Rarity couldn't help but think Twilight's plan may have been a tad bit risky.
Let's not kid ourselves, this plan sucks.
Twilight stood at the top of the of the old oak tree that held her original home in Ponyville and started talking loudly to no one in particular. She amplified her voice to be broadcasted around town.
"Oh my, look who it is! It is Rarity! By the middle of town! Near the giant oak tree! Hello, Rarity!"
Rarity's body shook and felt incredibly hot, not only because of the leather outfit she wore, but because it was very strange that a fifty foot dragon suddenly disappeared and they had to resort to such silly measures to make sure she was found. Twilight did a complete three-sixty from the top of the tree and shrugged her shoulders.
"Maybe he returned to normal." she said. I'll do a quick fly over and see if I can find him! Stay here, Rarity so I know where to find you." Twilight took off and flew towards flattened section of Ponyville that was once the shopping district.
Rarity scoffed and pulled on the neck lining of her costume. "Honestly, this is just ridiculous. This whole thing! I just wanted to do something nice for you and what do you do? Completely lose your mind and destroy our town!" Rarity sat down, feeling the crystals Twilight had put into her hair. She pulled one out and stared into her reflection. "I do look pretty cool though. I make a very wonderful Radiance.
"Radiance." Spike repeated.
Rarity's heart very nearly stopped and she let the crystal fall to the ground. Focusing on her image she hadn't realized the massive shadow that had swallowed her from behind. She flipped around and found herself staring at Spike's talons, inches away from potentially slicing her to ribbons. She looked up and after a few stories she found Spike's head, eyes boring down on her.
"Radiance... real?" Spike questioned his voice vibrating every bone in her body. Rarity had practiced a few lines with Twilight for while they got her in the costume of the Power Pony Radiance, but standing her now? Before fifty feet of destructive, teenage dragon power? She had completely forgotten everything.
"EEEEEEEP!" She shrieked as she bolted down the road.
Spike let her get a few blocks head start before taking maybe a total of three steps to catch up. He scooped her up in his claw and she instantly broke into a sobbing mess.
"Please don't kill me, Spike! I'm sorry!"
Spike looked down at her clearly puzzled and let out a soft groan. After a few second Rarity stopped crying and sat up in Spike's hand, calling up to the dragon.
"Spike, dear? Can you understand me?" The dragon nodded and Rarity cleared her throat, remembering the lines she had practiced. "Listen to me, Spike. You've got to stop this madness. Rarity and Twilight summoned me from your comics to help change you back to normal before you hurt somepony you care about..."
Spike let out a loud 'hmph' and looked away from Rarity. "No. Want Rarity. Traitor!"
Rarity was really hoping Twilight was close by and continued to talk to her friend. "You didn't ask me, Spike." He looked down with her, giant eyebrow raising.
"Which comic book I came from. The induction of the Power Ponies.The book you've always wanted."
Spike reeled back a bit, and his body started to rumble. At first, Rarity thought he was going to return to normal at hearing Rarity's revelation, but then Spike looked down at her and snarled.
Rarity felt her stomach drop. "What?" She asked, feeling so small all of a sudden. Spike pointed a talon at her face.
Rarity cursed under her breath. Really, Twilight?
Spike lifted his other claw and started to drop it on top of her when Rarity heard a loud hissing from the charred building beside them. Twilight sat in the window and encased Spike's claw in her magical glow, pulling it away from crushing Rarity.
"Your lines!" Twilight said between clenched teeth. Rarity's heart did a backflip when she realized Twilight was there and quickly stood up. She mustered up all the confidence her little dressmaking body possibly could.
"It appears we have to do this the hard way! You, dragon, have committed the crimes of destruction and spreading terror to Ponyville and her ponies. What say you in your defense?"
"Want, Rarity!" Spike screamed tossing what he did not realize to be Rarity into the air. Twilight caught her with ease, and motioned for Rarity to continue.
"Well if you want Rarity, you'll have to go through me!" She shouted up at him. Spike roared and took in a very deep breath. Rarity whimpered and snapped to Twilight, who nodded at her. Rarity got the message.
I've got you.
Spike released a torrent of green flames over her, melting the various scattered buildings beneath into a pile of brown muck. Rarity couldn't tell if she was screaming with the sound of the rushing fire flowing around her. She at first closed her eyes, but after a moment she opened them and watched as the flames avoided her completely, She was encased in a protective shield in the shape of an uncut diamond. When Spike let up the fire his eyes widened at the sight of Rarity still floating before him. Rarity ran her next line.
"Now you're gonna pay!"
Twilight expertly lifted her high into the air, creating energy versions of everyday objects to try and knock Spike down with. Twilight had been around Spike enough to know each of the Power Ponies ' and special moves and how to imitate them. Rarity had the hard job... she just had to sell the performance.
As she whipped her neck to the left a giant pillow whacked Spike across the face. She threw an exaggerated uppercut at him right as a massive energy hoof socked him in the jaw. Rarity felt... heroic. "Take this, you... you heathen!" She shouted, voice cracking intensely.
"Radiance! Why?" Spike asked, voice softening. Rarity stopped her poses and stared into the dragon's eyes, seeing the betrayal breaking him. His favorite superhero was attacking him, and he had no idea why. "Oh, Spike..." She whispered.
Spike, much to their shock, thrust his fist forward sending Rarity flying. The impact broke the shield but Twilight's grip on her was still pretty tight. Rarity had some serious whiplash she'd have to worry about later. Without given her much reaction time Twilight threw her back at Spike, narrowly dodging his swiping claw and ducked her underneath his legs. He let out another blast of fire but missed Rarity entirely, hitting instead the building that Twilight was hiding in.
Rarity instantly fell to the ground, with a force that easily broke her back hoof. Yellow spots started dancing around her eyes and she had to use all her energy to stay conscious. Spike spun around trying to find Rarity but didn't notice her. Twilight appeared right next to Rarity and helped her up.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry. I didn't have much time to grab you again with Spike nearly burning me to a crisp."
Rarity waved her hoof with fake confidence. "Oh not to worry, darling it's just a small sprain is all." Wincing as she spoke. Spike heard their casual conversation and jumped backwards. He reared his head back for one last blast of fire to finish them off and Rarity pulled off her Radiance mask.
"Spike, no!" She shouted. At sight of her he stopped, swallowing the flames that started building up in his mouth. He bent down and inhaled deeping right above Rarity's head. He licked his chops and laughed, shaking the earth.
"Rarity, dead." He clenched his claw tightly and lifted it about his friend's heads. Rarity smiled and cleared her throat loudly, almost like Spike's intention was end their lives was incredibly rude. Spike froze in place, even enraged he was unable to resist her batting eyelashes.
"Spikey-Wikey, dear?" She asked. "Isn't it about time you woke up?" Spike brought his face down directly in front of Rarity's and grunted.
"Why yes, Spike." She continued, "you were so excited about getting your comic that after you came home you started to clean your room. You laid on your bed for a moment and then dozed off." As Rarity spoke she kept Spike's attention off of Twilight who was applying her magic to an object above Spike's head.
"Well, Spike. Because I love you, I collected the book from Iron Will and delivered it to the castle for you. But you can't read it unless you wake up."
Twilight dropped a giant energy anvil on Spike's head. It bounced off him and then fizzled away but the impact left Spike dazed. His eyes rolled as he rose up suddenly, pressing down on his head with his claws. He spun around for a moment and then fell over to the ground like a giant tree falling over in a rainstorm. With a powerful boom he hit the ground, flattening Town hall completely.
"Spike!" Rarity cried out, she tried to get up and run but her leg felt like it was on fire. She blinked away the yellow spots and got up slowly limping her way to the dragon's face. Twilight leaned against her and they both approached their friend.
"Why isn't he changing back to normal?" Rarity asked. Twilight frowned and ran her hoof along Spike's nose.
"I... I don't know." She said.
After a few moments, Spike's body started to shake, Twilight pulled Rarity away from him as he slowly shrunk down to his normal size. The fifty foot force of destruction was gone, Spike rolled over on his back and put his thumb into his mouth.
"Wait, he still sucks his thumb?" Rarity asked, choking back her laughter.
Twilight playfully punched her shoulder. "Oh, you leave him alone." She placed her hooves on her friends, and teleported them away.
While Applejack fastened Rarity a brace for her leg, Twilight tucked Spike into his bed. She had fluffed his pillows, gotten him a nice glass of water, and gently laid the last comic book of his collection underneath his claw. He smacked his lips and mumbled aloud "have to... kill Rarity."
Twilight softly shushed him, and rubbed the top of his scaly head. "Not today, little one." The girls all left his room, and quietly closed the door behind them.
"Anyone else curious why there was no sign of Princess Celestia during any of this. Like at all?" Rainbow Dash asked them. Starlight Glimmer shrugged, and Twilight spoke up.
"Whatever was going on in Canterlot must've been distracting. They might not have even realized what was going on."
They all moved down the stairs, and out the front door of the castle staring out at the pile of rubble that was once Ponyville.
Applejack tipped her hat upwards and whistled at the destruction. "Well, girls, I know one thing for sure." she started, "we've got a lot of work to do."
"We?" Starlight Glimmer stammered. "It's gonna be our replication magic that fixes Ponyville. Twilight perked up and gave her student a hug.
"That's a great idea! Girls, you go to Sweet Apple Acres and let the everyone know we stopped Spike and are in the process of rebuilding Ponyville. Shouldn't take us more than what... a few hours?" She asked Starlight.
I hate this place.
"Do you have any sevens?" Celestia asked
"No, go fish." Luna answered
Discord stood at the window and peered down at Ponyville with binoculars. "You know," he turned to Celestia and chuckled, "It seems as if your friends down in Ponyville were finally able to defeat Spike and are now in the process of rebuilding. I have to ask though, why didn't you help them?"
Celestia rolled her eyes. "They can handle Spike's rampaging through town. They'd done it before so I'm sure they can do it again."
Discord threw his binoculars carelessly behind him, breaking through the window. He teleported behind Celestia and took a quick peek at her cards. He held up three of his fingers to Luna from behind Celestia's head and Luna smiled.
"Do you have any threes?"
"What I... yes" Celestia muttered. Discord reappeared at the window and laughed again. Neither princess gave him any attention so after a few moments of silence he let out another giggle. Celestia groaned and gave in.
"What is it, Discord?"
"Well I just couldn't help but laugh at what you said. That they were able to deal with Spike today because they had done it before."
"And why is that funny?"
"Because what do you think Spike's reaction will be whenever he remembers that Sweetie Belle literally tore his first comic book in half? Can they do it twice in one day?"
Celestia placed her cards on the floor face down and got up. She stood beside Discord and looked down at Ponyville letting out a small gasp when she saw the destruction. "I didn't realize."
"Comic book? What comic book?" Luna asked, peeking at Celestia's cards while she wasn't paying attention. Discord snapped his talons bringing a sock puppet of Rarity into existence over his hand. He did terrible impression of her.
“Well why would I? The sleeves were in the way and the girls couldn’t read the stories properly when they were inside them. They were in there for so long and were so sensitive that Sweetie tore the first page when she went to turn it.” He repeated.
Celestia raised her eyes at Discord. "What are you talking about?"
"Honestly, Celestia! It's like you don't even try to spy on all your friends at all times to make sure they aren't plotting against you."
In the distance there was a loud rumbling. Twilight's castle exploded in a ball of green fire and Spike emerged from the flames, thirsty for blood.
"Sweetie Belle!" He screamed.
Celestia thumped her head against the glass and groaned.