I thought I had some sapphires in this jar…
Spike felt inside the open jar, a surprised look on his face. He knew he had a full jar a few days before, but now it appeared empty. Spike let out a frustrated sigh and shook his head. Guess I’ll just have to use some rubies.
He shuffled over and reached up towards the next jar. He reached inside and smiled at sensing the rough surfaces of rubies before clutching a handful in his claw. Satisfied, Spike walked himself back to where a mixing bowl was waiting for him to add the next ingredient for his drake-baked confection.
Spike then reached out for his mortar and pestle. As he snacked on one of the rubies, he started to crush the rest in the small bowl until they were just small fragments. He hummed along to one of his favorite songs as he worked, glancing up every so often to check the recipe. When he was finished, he poured his gems into the waiting batter.
In his rush to start mixing though, as Spike went to grab his wooden spoon, he accidently bumped the cookbook over the edge of the table.
He dropped the stirring spoon in the batter and walked around the table to collect his book. But as he bent down to grasp it, in the corner of his eye he again noticed a picture that had been bothering him all day. He grabbed the book with his claws and his attention returned to the photo for a moment, but a second later shook his head.
“The cake...must think about the yummy cake…” he reminded himself.
Spike returned to his mixing bowl, and this time made sure his book wouldn't fall over again. Once he started to work on stirring the batter, but now he was distracted by the picture again. He took another, longer glance before admonishing himself for looking at it.
“Focus Spike, the sooner I stir, the sooner I bake, the sooner I have cake,” Spike reminded himself in a melodic tone.
Alas, with nothing else to look at, his focus turned towards the picture once more and he started to study it with a sigh. It was of a particularly fond moment in his past, despite the turmoil that followed it. The picture was of him and Rarity on their first anniversary as a couple, the zenith of their mutual affection and from the looks in each other’s eyes unable to see a world without the other.
How Spike envied himself in the picture, not being aware that things would soon change dramatically after the picture was taken.
He could never forget that chilly evening.
That night was when the first fall of winter snow, coming weeks too early, started to dust Ponyville in a fine layer of white powder. He had just returned with firewood for the stoves in Twilight’s castle kitchen. He had planned to cook up a feast worthy for his princess, though it wasn’t for his guardian.
The knock on the door had surprised him; who wanted to see the Princess of Friendship, and didn’t this pony know that she was out of town? His curiosity and trained courtesy beckoned the young drake to answer the door.
Upon opening the door, Spike discovered it was Rarity, covered in a gray cloak and looking very worried. Before she even said a word, he could sense that she was nervous about something. Before he could inquire about what was upsetting her, she whispered softly, “S-Spike, I need to speak with you…”
“Of course Rarity, Do you want to come in and I can make you some tea?”
“I-I can’t stay Spike.” Rarity hesitated. “I just needed to tell you something before I g-go...away.”
“Go away?” Spike asked inquisitively. “Are you going to another show? You just came back from that one in Batlimare, right?”
“Yes...U-um about that trip, you see…” Rarity gulped back as she braced herself for the discussion she never wanted to have. “You see...when I was in Baltimare, I met this wonderful stallion...he writes for The Atlamare Journal...you see we had a few drinks over an interview and...I’m not sure how we got to it, but we apparently had quite the...soiree.”
“Wh-what did you do?” Spike asked more concerned than angry. Rarity realized from his reaction that it was a hopeful sign that he wouldn’t be as mad as she initially thought.
“Well...I’m not quite sure what happened next...but please Spike, pl-please understand I didn’t mean for any of this happened...But I…”
Rarity seemed to pause, gasping to finish the sentence. Spike not yet sensing the reason for her hesitation tried to help her out.
“Come on Rarity...you can tell me anything, what did you do?”
“I...that is to say we...no-no, I did…”Rarity stumbled again, gulping for air again to compose herself. “I...spent the night with him.”
Spike couldn’t quite understand what she said on a few levels, not the very least why Rarity was feeling so ashamed to tell him this, unless she meant…
“Spent the night with him?” Spike repeated. “What do you mean?”
Rarity’s eyes glistened with the first glimmer of a tear, struggling to fight the urge to run away and protect Spike’s innocence, yet restrain herself from lying to her special pon—dragon about her sin.
“W-we...that is to say...after we had a few too many drinks, we went back to my room and…” Rarity chose her words elegantly again. “According to him...I apparently chose to consummate our friendship.”
Spike wasn’t exactly as educated as Rarity, but he knew - through his education from Twilight - what that word meant. Consummate was to love in the most passionate way known to him, and Rarity had made love to another pony. What Rarity said next though only deepened the impending wound to his heart.
“After that night, I’m not sure how...or why…”
Rarity lifted her cloak a bit to reveal her barrel to Spike and held a hoof to her abdomen. It looked no different from before, she still sported the seductive lean-yet-curvy look, but the way she stroked her belly with a hoof gave Spike a reprehensible pain deep in his heart. Spike knew what would follow from this affirmation of unintended adultery.
“I wasn’t sure why I was sick...but when I saw a Doctor I was told…” Rarity clenched her lips together, whimpering at the pained look on the young drake’s face.
Rarity could tell in his eyes that the revelation finally violated his pure understanding of love. Yet, she needed to tell him, otherwise she could never forgive herself.
“...I am with foal...his foal,” Rarity finished.
The two didn’t speak, letting instead the cold air freeze their lips closed in fear of speaking too soon. Eventually the young drake answered.
“I d-don’t know,” Rarity finally broke down, “I d-didn’t mean to...but now I can’t...I can’t go back from this.”
Spike shivered, but it wasn’t because it was cold.
“I-I...You know I’ll do anything I can to help,” Spike responded, “I’ll be here for yo-”
“I know Spike, but this time you can’t...I..Mean...” Rarity hesitated again, unable to stop herself from quivering, “You see Spike...it’s...it’s...he has offered to make this situation right...it’s the proper thing… and it’s the only way we can both make it right.”
“What are you saying Rarity?” Spike asked, afraid of the answer.
“H-he...is going to marry me,” Rarity shuttered at those words, “...It’s so that we both may bear this foal in wedlock...just like a responsible mother and father are meant to do.”
Spike was grimly quiet. He was unable to speak and incapable of even a thought, His mind fell into despair like it was a bottomless void. All he lived for stolen from him by those fatal words by the one he loved for the most.
Yet for all of that, for all the irrational thoughts that could have surfaced, the only one was desperate inability to cope with the news. He wanted to deny it all, but Rarity wouldn’t give him the chance to.
“He will be moving to Ponyville for now , but I’m not sure if we will be starting our family here…” Rarity paused when she saw the look of hurt in Spike. Surely she had said enough, was there really a need to afflict him with details?
“Spike please….please forgive me.” Rarity sobbed this time to the young drake’s feet. “I was so foolish...but its too late to change things...so please understand.”
Spike continued to say nothing. He was actually no longer sensing anything she said, his attack of denial had forced him to ignore sounds and images to the contrary. Two words however managed to break the denial.
“I’m sorry...Goodbye, Spike,” Rarity closed her eyes as she spoke her goodbye to her favorite drake.
“W-What?” Spike snapped out of his stupor.
But as his eyes returned to focus, all he saw was the back of his lover trotting quickly away, soon to disappear into the night just like his hope had already done. He wanted to run after her - should have, he thought later - but in his weakened heart, the dragon couldn’t find even the strength to fight on.
All alone in the cold and under the dark clouds of a foreboding night, Spike started to cry.
Spike was broken away from his brooding by a muffled thud. he returned to the real world and at once felt his eyes watering.
“Stop crying Spike,” He reprimanded himself, “Dragons don't cry…”
Spike composed himself again, and with the back of a oven mitt wiped his tears away. Before admonishing himself about almost adding tears to his cake mix, Spike heard a quick succession of muffled thuds again.
Had Spike been a poet, he might’ve felt a little deja vu just then. Tonight was one year to the day since that horrible night on the steps of Twilight’s castle, and even though he was in a new home, the cold was much the same as it had been that fateful night.
The young drake however failed to notice the coincidence, and again out of courtesy, left his unfinished baking project to answer whoever had come to see him. After all, he lived quite far away from Ponyville now and anypony who made the effort to come see him was always a surprise.
The young dragon was initially in no rush to answer the door, but another succession of muffled thuds and a familiar voice made Spike hurry to the door.
“Come on Spike...my wings are freezing off here,” he heard the familiar raspy voice say before a fourth set of thuds beckoned him to hurry up.
Spike pulled back the door and to his pleasant surprise, there she was, Rainbow Dash; friend, Wonderbolt, and for some reason mostly covered in snow.
“Hey Rainbow...What happened to you?”
“I knocked on your door Spike,” Rainbow Dash said in a deadpan, “I come out all this way to see you and the first thing you give me is a pile of roof snow on my head.”
Spike could have chuckled, but he predicted a cold glare from Rainbow Dash if he did. Instead he made space aside and waved the pegasus in.
Before she made her way inside, Rainbow Dash did Spike the courtesy of ridding herself of the snow before trudging inside. The pegasus in her typical tomcolt style shook like a dog for a few seconds, flinging snow off her coat and only entering his home when it was everywhere but on her.
Spike then shook himself off too, only so he could get rid of the inherited snow from Rainbow Dash, and closed the door.
“I didn't know you were back already, is the flying season finished?"
“Oh...uh yeah, yeah, a week ago,” Rainbow remarked before she made a beeline for his fireplace. “We just did our last show for the year at the Florneigha Air and Sea Boat show.”
“So how was it?” Spike asked as he considered returning to his baking.
“It was awesome!” Rainbow replied in her attempt at modesty. “We got to stay at a really fancy hotel this time...it’s not as cool as that motoryacht we were on last year though.”
Rainbow Dash was always happy to talk to Spike about her travels, but this time she tried her best to avoid it. She had two rather important reasons to visit Spike tonight, and as much as she enjoyed talking about her exploits, tonight was too important for even that.
Spike had similar feelings. He might’ve enjoyed discussing her trip right now, but he wanted any excuse to return to the kitchen. Even with a guest visiting him, Spike didn’t want to abandon his baking project now.
“Do you want anything to drink Rainbow?”
Rainbow looked away from the fire she was basking herself in, her cheeks still blushing from the cold.
“...Got anything warm?”
Spike thought about it for a second. “Nothing already made, but I could brew some hot chocolate if you’d like.”
“That’d be great...thanks Spike.”
“No problem,” Spike turned away, “Come into the kitchen when you warm up okay?”
“Okay,” Rainbow Dash waved again, already embracing the glow of the fire again.
Spike returned to his kitchen and sighed at the forces conspiring him from his cake. Truth be told he really didn’t want to see Rainbow Dash today, or anypony for that matter. He was grateful for the company, but the young drake had long grown uncomfortable around even his closest friends.
Spike didn’t want to admit it, but ever since he left Ponyville, the young dragon had slowly become uncomfortable with talking to the girls. At first it was just Rarity, whom it became awkward to even be in the same room with, but it soon spread to her close friends as well.
There was no shortage of sympathy, but as soon as Rarity’s ‘soiree partner’ moved to Ponyville, he soon found himself a taboo guest whenever they all met up for the occasional picnic. Spike soon became used to feeling unwelcome, and for as much care as he had for the others, the once foalish sense that he was only in the way started to break through.
It just before the wedding that Spike decided to move away. He didn’t intend on moving to a distant land though and to his fortune, a grumpy old mule had offered an old homestead some distance away from Ponyville to stay in.
It was sufficient for his needs and over time since that morbid night, it helped him become distant to his once close friends. It made for a lonely existence, but in a foalish way, that also gave him some comfort. After all the pain he felt over losing Rarity to that other stallion, the thought of losing another close friend festered in his heart, and he—
The young drake once again was interrupted from his brooding by the appearance of the pegasus entering his kitchen.
“Oh..hey Rainbow,” Spike answered, “Finished drying off?”
Rainbow dash found somewhere to sit and resumed her discussion with Spike.
“So whatcha-makin?” Rainbow pointed a wing to the mixing bowl.
“Oh that?” Spike feigned surprise. “Just a gem-cake...I thought I’d make myself one today.”
Spike got a start on making Rainbow Dash some hot chocolate, but the pegasus continued asking questions.
“Any special occasion?”
“Not really…” Spike replied guardedly.
“Then what’s it for?” Rainbow Dash continued to ask, not aware of the impatience she was causing in Spike.
“It’s just for myself, Rainbow Dash,” Spike spelled it out to his guest.
This time the pegasus got the clue to be quiet, so instead she sat quietly as Spike continued to make her drink. The absence of discussion though gripped on her and soon she was thinking of something else to say.
“Sooo…” Rainbow started again, “Have you had any other visitors lately?”
Spike rolled his eyes, knowing that Rainbow Dash was grasping at straws for a conversation.
“No. Not since you visited me four months ago.”
“Well that’s lame…” Rainbow pouted. “Well what about going to Ponyville? Have you been lately?”
Spike was a little frustrated by the questions, but continued to reply.
“No Rainbow, I haven’t...”
Rainbow Dash sighed. She shouldn’t have been surprised, Spike hadn’t been anywhere near Ponyville ever since the wedding. The reason was obviously to avoid Rarity and that jerk of a husband she had, but 9 months on, was Spike not even slightly aware of events?
“Do Twilight and the others still write to you?”
“Yeah, I got a letter from Fluttershy...7 weeks ago, but I haven’t heard from anypony else.” Spike explained. “Something about a foal shower for Rarity...and a reminder that I couldn’t go in case...”
Even though Rainbow Dash knew better, it surprised her to hear from Spike how misinformed he had become. Her visit couldn’t have come soon enough, it seemed. She also couldn’t help but feel sad for the little drake, that even after all this time, he still felt rejection from her friends.
Spike just sighed and returned his attention again to the stove where he could tell the hot chocolate was already ready. Removing the saucepan from the stove, he poured the the hot chocolate into a mug for Rainbow Dash.
“Here you go.” He offered the mug.
As Rainbow loudly sipped her drink — some things just never changed with her — Spike contemplated what to do next.
He could continue talking to Rainbow Dash, or he could return to baking his cake. He chose the latter. Spike picked up the spoon and started to stir furiously to unstick the batter. Frustrated by the distraction, he remained quiet until he was certain he had saved the mixture from ruin.
Rainbow meanwhile continued to sip at her drink, waiting for a chance to continue their discussion. Spike however seemed to ignore her now. Typically she knew it had a lot to do with his rather single-minded passion to finish what he started, which she always admired in him.
What she worried about though was the way in which Spike was also using it to avoid talking to her about anything related to Ponyville. Nobody could deny that Spike had suffered more than his share of grief over what had happened, but Rainbow Dash felt he something else was bothering him.
Knowing that keeping feelings like that pent up was not good for the young drake, she started to talk to him again.
“Spike...” Rainbow Dash pressed on,“Are you really still worried about going back to Ponyville?”
Spike hesitated from reacting. His natural response might have offended Rainbow even more, so he tried to prose it more delicately, but his patience ran out of time before he found the words.
“I want to...but I can’t… I just can’t go there anymore...because of her.” Spike sighed.
“Her?” Rainbow repeated “You don’t mean Rarity do you?”
Spike nodded. Looking over to Rainbow Dash though, he sensed he had to elaborate.
“Lately...the girls kept telling me...in their letters, I mean, about keeping away from Rarity...especially with this baby shower coming up...and that when the baby comes they want to make sure I don’t come to Ponyville until they say so...I think they are still worried about what happened when I was living there...and how it was my fault I was stressing her out.”
Rainbow Dash was a little surprised at the answer. She knew from what the girls had told her that Spike always kept his distance, but she wasn’t aware that they were now encouraging him to stay away. What depressed the pegasus more though was how he translated their words into an assumption of guilt.
“Your fault?” Rainbow Dash asked a little surprised. “Spike...I’m sorry you felt that way...but why didn’t you try to tell us?”
Spike paused from stirring and looked at Rainbow Dash with a glare.
“I did...I told Twilight, I told Fluttershy, I even tried to tell Pinkie...but they all then said it was for the best thing for everypony… and I needed to avoid her until things got better.”
For a brief moment, Rainbow Dash felt a little angry at her friends.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Rainbow Dash responded, “I would’ve listened to you.”
Spike grunted as he returned to his cake project.
“You were too busy with Wonderbolt stuff, besides what were you going to do?”
Rainbow Dash shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Admittedly what could she have done? When this all happened she was halfway across Equestria on tour. Even so, Rainbow Dash, possibly more than the others, had always felt sorry for what happened to Spike.
She had tried to make up for it; whenever she stopped by in Ponyville, the pegasus always made time to see Spike. Even if it was for an hour, Rainbow Dash always managed to make the hop from Ponyville to this isolated cottage.
Part of it was the intrinsic loyalty that coursed in her veins; she couldn’t help but check up on her friends. But there was her own interest in Spike; the young drake who was possibly the nicest guy in Equestria according to her.
There was always something that the young drake did that brightened her mood. He was hardworking, he could be funny, he was very understanding and smart...but above all he was loyal, to a fault. For those reasons, Rainbow Dash felt shame overshadow that admiration now; for not realizing how lonely the young drake was because of those very things.
For all he had done, Spike she felt deserved better. She could understand how Spike hadn’t been allowed to attend the wedding — it was thought it would be too awkward for him and Rarity — but the fact he now felt unwelcome in Ponyville, made Rainbow feel disgusted at herself.
Rainbow Dash put the mug down and trotted over to Spike.
“Look...I don’t know if anypony else said this, but…” Rainbow started, “I’m sorry...this whole time I knew it wasn’t your fault, but I guess I never thought to say it...and in a way now, I think all of us should be asking for your forgiveness.”
“Forgiveness? What do you mean?”
Spike was a little confused by Rainbow Dash’s apology. Sure she hadn’t been around to help him out, but by that same token, she wasn’t responsible for making him leave Ponyville. If anything, the pegasus also been his biggest supporter. Why she had to apologize befuddled the young drake.
“I can’t speak for the others...but I’m not sure we thought about your feelings during this whole fia-fia--”
“Fiasco?” Spike offered.
“Thats it...Fistasko,” Rainbow managed to mispronounce, “and now that is all over, I really think we should have.”
“All over?” Spike repeated.
Rainbow Dash hesitated from responding. She now knew she had to tell him — that was half the reason why she was visiting him — but just like everypony inevitably does, she found herself unable to think about how to say it.
Spike deserved to know. Considering all the things he had done for Rarity and her friends, he had every right to. Rainbow Dash braced herself to speak, and even as her mind racked for the words, she started to reply.
“Um...I wasn’t entirely honest with you, was I?” Rainbow Dash sweated in admitting that. “I’ve been back almost two weeks...but something came up that I needed to do first.”
“And what was that?” Spike asked curiously, actually putting down his mixing bowl this time.
Rainbow again felt the need to clench her wings against her and tried to hide behind her mane as she confessed.
“I’m...I’m moving in with Rarity.”
Spike’s thoughts raced a mile a minute at hearing that.
Increasingly bizarre thoughts about why overlapped each other as the young drake tried to think of a reason for Rainbow Dash to be moving in with a married mare. Did Rarity need help with the foal and somehow only Rainbow Dash could help? Had their marriage become bigamous...or did that jerk stallion claim Rainbow Dash too?
Before Rainbow Dash had even the chance to speak, she caught a skeptic-looking Spike leering at her, inspecting her for something. It only took a second longer for the pegasus to figure out what the young drake was implying with that look.
“Spike, why are you looking at me like that?” Rainbow Dash reacted. “Did you think he tried to impregnate as well?”
Spike snapped out of his stare to answer, somehow his look now only confirmed what he had been thinking.
Rainbow Dash sighed.
“Spike, Don’t worry he didn’t...trust me, I’d never let a jerk like him even fool me like Rarity.”
“Fool you?” Spike repeated, then in frustration added. “Okay Rainbow, I don’t understand why you are moving in...she is a married mare now”
“Was a married mare,” Rainbow Dash announced to Spike.
Spike paused as his brain momentarily shut down for a second. Was married? As in no longer is? What was Rainbow Dash talking about?
The pegasus watched on, and started to worry her that if this went on, Spike would only continue to confuse himself. There were still many others things she needed—wanted to tell him, but she had to take it one step at a time.
“Spike, I think you should have a seat, it’s kind of a long story.”
Spike considered Rainbow Dash’s advice, and this time elected to listen. The young drake, however, did not want to be distracted by other things, so before he could even think about listening to what she had to say, he decided to finish what he started in here.
“Let me put this in the oven… and then you can tell me.”
Right away Spike got to work, all he had to do now was pour the batter into a cake tin and place it into the already hot oven.
Rainbow Dash let him finish. She was kind of glad for the distraction, since it gave her a little more time to think about what to say. Until now, she had a vague idea of what to say to Spike, but with what he had told her about the letters, she realized it wasn’t that simple.
Until now, finding the courage to tell him was hard, but to Rainbow Dash’s displeasure, finding the right words now felt impossible for the pegasus. Buf if nopony else had even bothered to tell him what had happened, who would?
“Okay, where do you want to talk?”
Rainbow snapped herself out of her contemplation to see Spike standing there and looking a little worried.
“How about your...den?” Rainbow offered. “I’d...really like to warm up again actually.”
The two of them found seats opposite the fireplace; Spike in his usual ‘reading chair’ as he called it, and Rainbow Dash on the couch. Feeling settled now, Spike gulped and spoke again.
“So you were saying something about...Rarity?” Spike asked.
Rainbow like before, reminded herself, to take it one step at a time and began to explain.
“Rarity…” Rainbow Dash declared, “is getting her marriage annulled.”
Spike at once reacted. “Why?”
“It started 6 weeks ago...Twilight and Fluttershy were planning for the baby shower when Rarity came to Twilight and she told her that she was starting to get a litle worried about her foal...she hadn’t grown anything like a pregnant mare should have...they decided to go visit a doctor in Canterlot and he told her why.”
Spike nodded for her to continue,
“The truth is...she was never pregnant to begin with.”
Spike didn’t say anything, but the look he gave Rainbow Dash was eerie. She never thought it possible for a dragon to give her a white-pale look, but evidently it was possible. Sensing no ability to undo what she had just said, Rainbow strove on with what she had to say to him.
“The doctor did a...blood portion a-naili-sis.”
“Blood Potion Analysis” Spike corrected.
“That’s it, that,” Rainbow nodded and continued. “They did whatever that was on her...and then Twilight tried her best to explain it to me; apparently she had never been pregnant, but she had been fed something to make her body think she was...it faked the test result, gave Rarity that puking thing for awhile, and it messed with her body enough to fool her.”
Spike tensed up, somehow trying to deny it. Was all the pain he went though all over a ruse from that jerk? It was impossible to believe, that Spike had been wrong the whole entire time about the situation.
“We confronted him...and you were right, he is a jerk,” Rainbow almost spat. “He was already packing his things to leave when we caught him.”
“Why did he do it?” Spike finally asked, struggling to hide his anger.
“He wanted Rarity...but he thought she’d never go for somepony like him, he actually tried to impregnate her, but he couldn’t...so he had this drug made up just in case.” Rainbow’s tone started to creep towards sounding angry. “Once they were together, he did everything he could to get Rarity pregnant for real, but luckily for her, he has worse luck than a eunuch.”
“Did he...do anything to Rarity?”
“No, we stopped him…but he also got away. Twilight is working out the details with the marriage records people...and the Royal guards, but hopefully that’s the last we hear of him.”
Spike slumped back in his chair and shivered at the thought of what happened. All this time now Rarity had been...and he had done all this avoiding because of a lie. He felt sick then, the feeling that felt like betrayal. Rarity however didn't betray his feelings for another pony, nor was it a lie, since she wasn’t aware of the truth either.
“Anyway, the reason why I’m moving in with Rarity is...well she needs someone to look after her and her family, when I can't be there ofcourse, are around as well especially Sweetie Belle. She is really shaken up by the whole affair and it’s making her a bit of a recluse. She had to stop her work for her pregnancy...but now she is afraid of working at all because...well I’m not exactly sure.”
Spike heard everything and thought carefully about what Rainbow Dash had said. The temptation to swear or be angry at a time like this was tempting, but eventually he came up with something intelligent to say.
“So she isn’t going to spend her life with him...thank Celestia,” Spike sighed then added, “But this...will this change anything between me and Rarity?”
Rainbow wasn’t entirely sure what Spike was pegging at first, but quickly recognized what he had meant to say. Spike also didn’t realize what he had said at first, but when he did, his feelings plummeted to the ground, knowing better than anyone else how foolish it was to even suggest it.
“You have always been friends with her...it’s just that this jerk wouldn’t let you be that with her and I know Rarity would want to—”
“But will she consider taking me back? After all that happened?”
Rainbow again paused to consider her reply, not because she didn’t know what to say, but because Spike’s tone seemed to contradict his words again. Was he hopeful that Rarity would want his kind lovable self back after all this had happened? Rainbow Dash hated to admit it but there were times Spike was still too young to understand certain issues.
“I know what you want to say but...the answer is probably no.” Rainbow Dash sighed. “Ever since the news broke, she has become really afraid of...well anypony who is a colt.”
Spike considered the answer and in his eyes Rainbow could tell, his feelings sunk down to reality again.
“I’m sorry,” Spike looked down. “I just thought that—”
Rainbow Dash frowned.
“Why are you apologizing? It’s not your fault.” she assured Spike.
“For a moment, I was being a selfish dragon again…” Spike grunted. “I thought that maybe I had a chance to start over, but...if she is afraid of all colts now then…”
Rainbow remained speechless. She had not intended to do it, but she managed to break his heart again. The poor guy hardly deserved to be jerked around like this, least of all from her. Rainbow’s heart beat a little harder at seeing him crushed like this, and part of her wanted to go and hug him.
But thats not what a tomcolt pegasus like her was meant to do, right? Deep inside though, she knew that her feelings for him were more important than her assumptions. Still, Rainbow Dash was unsure what to do right now and remained stoic as she watched Spike sniff away a tear.
“Maybe that’s the way things were meant to be then,” Spike started. “Maybe this was all to teach me a lesson…”
Rainbow Dash sensed Spike had lapsed over into crazy-talk, but she still had entreated him though in the hope that he would become rational again.
“What makes you say that?”
“Because I still remember what everypony was saying,” Spike started. “When we first dated...that a pony and dragon shouldn’t mix, that Rarity was compromising for me...that I was being selfish.”
Rainbow Dash grimaced, but the pegasus also remembered standing up to whoever was saying that, saying they were just jealous of the relationship. She felt like it was the right thing to say to support her friends, but Rainbow Dash had denied to herself there was a little truth to that envy. After all, if a unicorn and dragon could like each other, then why not a pegasus and dragon?
Not for the first time tonight, Rainbow shook her head to clear the thought away, it was only going to distract her at a time like this.
“Then when she left me...I couldn’t understand it at first but there was this pain I couldn’t understand...right here.” Spike poked at his chest. “I didn’t ask anyone but...I realized it meant something I didn’t realize until then.”
“What was that?” Rainbow asked seriously, sensing the young dragon was almost sensible again.
“This pain in my heart...it came from relying on Rarity loving me so much...that when she left, the sudden lack of love was…”
Rainbow grimaced, his description of a broken heart was accurate, though his reasoning for it seemed wrong to her.
“In a way I’m glad nopony else loved me,” Spike announced.
That announcement made Rainbow Dash a little angry at Spike, not for just the way he was so defeatist, but for what he said not even being true.
“What are you talking about?” Rainbow snapped back, then gulped before adding, “Plenty of ponies love you...”
Rainbow almost said she loved him as well, but that was going out of her comfort zone. She had never discussed her feelings in front of Spike before, and right now hardly seemed the appropriate moment to say something.
“Really?” Spike replied, somewhere between hopeful and sarcastic. “But who would want someone like me?”
It was the sort of remark that made Rainbow Dash cringe and realize that for things she wanted to say, there was never going to be a right time for it. Hesitation again stopped her from just blurting it out, but for a brief second her rational side helped Rainbow Dash with something to say.
“Have you ever thought about other ponies that...might...like you?” Rainbow Dash managed to ask in an even tone.
Spike could’ve snapped back in response at, but he would never have done that to Rainbow Dash. Instead, he tried to take the chance to think about what she had said before answering.
Applejack was for some reason the first name that came to mind. He could remember the happier times at first, her interaction with him, her saving his skin on a few occasions, her friendliness...but what about her recent advice to stay away or her tiptoeing around the subject of Rarity? No, Applejack might’ve liked Spike as a friend, but loved? Not likely.
Fluttershy was much the same; the yellow pegasus got along with Spike merrily back then, but her interest in him was as a dragon and not much else. When Rarity’s troubles began therefore, she was unusually cold towards Spike, often focused on Rarity far more than Spike. This was hardly a fault of her making, Fluttershy had been Rarity’s friend far longer than she had known Spike.
Then there was Pinkie Pie...well, he knew there was always a part of her heart reserved to her favorite drake, but as a friend, just like everypony else she knew. Pinkie Pie was never afraid of getting to the point, so if the always obvious and forward party pony never once gave him a hint to suggest love, then it was hardly likely she was hiding it either.
Beyond a few other ponies, this left only Twilight and Rainbow Dash herself to consider. Twilight was...mother? sister? Mot-ter? Sis-her? Whatever combination she was, Twilight’s love was familial and never romantic. This left Rainbow Dash to consider; and that right away evoked Spike to almost rethink the question he was asked.
Rainbow, he realized, had always been there in some way for him, even when he was a greed-obsessed pyromaniac, or clumsy...or just when Spike needed somepony to talk to about a problem. Sure, she was never the best source for advice or help, but Rainbow Dash was always the first to offer it. When at times Applejack might say she couldn’t or even Rarity might say no, the pegasus would still ask how she could help.
If Spike ever needed proof of that, he only needed to think about how his friends all treated him after the forced marriage between Rarity and that jerk. Of all his friends, only Rainbow Dash made an effort to see him as often as possible, a feat made more impressive considering her constant travelling. Even though she was barely a part of his life now, Rainbow Dash was always a constant delight to be with.
But did she do that out of friendship, or was there more to it? Surely it had to be the former. Spike had been with Rarity for some time, and Rainbow Dash, he remembered, was one of the first to know about his crush on the white unicorn. For Rainbow to have feelings for him now, that meant for years, she had been keeping them hidden well from him was...was it impossible?
Spike looked at Rainbow Dash in an odd way, having that rapid succession of thoughts process in his mind left him more confused then when he first heard the question. Somehow at that moment, the idea of Rainbow Dash liking him seemed impossible, and with that in mind, his answer at least felt logical to him.
Even though he felt dishonest answering Rainbow Dash, at least he could no worse than pretend that something might have existed.
“Nope...nopony I think…” Spike lied softly, ”But even if that were true...I had...was with Rarity...what pony would love me even if I loved another pony this whole time?”
There was a long pause before Rainbow finally replied.
“I did...I still do.”
Spike felt at first like she was joking, but at seeing her then blush as brightly as the red embers in his fireplace, he became flabbergasted. He struggled to find the words, or even the feelings. This was hardly a funny thing to joke about.
“When?” Spike finally breathed out, not really as a question, rather as a statement.
Rainbow Dash herself almost did something Fluttershy was prone to do and that was hide in her mane. Unfortunately hers was nowhere near long enough to accomplish that.
“Not long after we met...but I don’t think I really knew until that time we had to rescue...Rarity...from those rogue diamond dogs.”
Spike’s eyes glazed over and thought back to those days. It was just like he remembered a moment ago, throughout all their time together, Rainbow Dash always seemed ready to be there for Spike...and was this why? It was impossible to believe it, but didn’t Spike try to hide his feelings — as futile as that apparently was — from Rarity?
He pondered about what to say...no what to do now. Rainbow was still there, and he could sense the need to answer her. But what was the correct thing to say? Spike admitted to himself that he never really thought of Rainbow that way until she prompted him too.
Yet at the same time, for some reason, it felt like Spike should have thought about it before. Didn’t he like her already for what she did for him, even if that was just being a good friend that came to see him when the others were seemingly afraid to? If that was true, then until now, Spike had been unable to appreciate Rainbow Dash’s ongoing loyalty to him throughout this troubling time.
Spike also thought about what Rainbow Dash also managed to do. She was more than just a Wonderbolt; she was an excellent surrogate sister to Scootaloo and she was a mentor to many young pegasi. Yet for all of those things, Rainbow Dash still made time for Spike.
So why didn’t he notice Rainbow Dash before when surely he must have if he had so many good things to say about her.
It certainly contested the idea of ‘love at first sight’ like he had been with Rarity. Spike had hardly given Rainbow Dash a caring look until now. That alone made him feel ungrateful to Rainbow Dash; she had confessed and all he could do now was sit dumb and mumble about how he didn’t notice.
“I never realized…” Spike said, “This whole time and I should have noticed…”
“Spike…” Rainbow started replying softly.
She was starting to regret confessing, she had expected rejection from Spike...but the look of guilt on his face was an unexpected horror.
“Spike... don’t apologize to me,” Rainbow said more firmly. “I never said anything because I knew how much Rarity meant to you and—”
“It’s not that…” Spike interrupted in a ramble “It’s that...I keep thinking of you as a friend but...what you’ve done for me...”
Spike’s rambling only served to make Rainbow Dash more uncomfortable with her confession.
“Spike, please...I’m sorry—”
“No... I’m sorry,” Spike announced, “My feelings for you...I never saw it until now but... I never realized that I do feel the same way...well not until you said so.”
Rainbow paused, unsure if this was really happening. Was Spike really admitting to feelings of his own... for her no less?
“D—Do you mean that?”
“To be completely and utterly honest...I do,” Spike nodded with a light smile.
Rainbow felt tears come to her eyes when he spoke those words. She never thought she’d be granted a chance with the young gentledragon that was so close to her own heart.
“Though Rainbow...to be honest about another thing—it’s been a long time since I've been in a proper relationship... so all I ask is that when this becomes something that we could take it slow. I know you'd never intentionally hurt me but i think it’s better this way.”
Rainbow could only nod, feeling her heart pound in her chest. Silence edged around them for a few seconds before Rainbow spoke once again. “I agree, we’ll take it as slow as you want to.”
Once again a silence reigned over them, luckily not an uncomfortable one. Spike smiled softly before remembering his cake in the oven. “Oh hayfeathers! my cakes almost done.”
Rainbow laughed as he stumbled towards the kitchen. There was the Spike she knew and loved. “Hey Spike?”
“Yes Rainbow?” Spike commented from the kitchen as he worked.
“I know this is sudden..well i think its needed but, anyways—why don’t you come home with me in the morning, I think its time we all set the past...in the past.”
“A-are you sure that's a good idea, what about the others?”
“Spike, come home not just for you...but for me too and I bet we can mend things with the girls as we’ve all been blinded in this situation.”
“Alright..I’ll come home,” Spike said as he wandered out of the kitchen, a warm smile finally planted on his face.
He then walked slowly over to Rainbow and wrapped his arms around her softly and placed a kiss to her cheek.
“Thank you Rainbow,” he started with a smile before looking at her and placing a claw on her cheek, “For everything.”
There in the silenced room they embraced until a yawn overcame Rainbow. “lets get some sleep it’s been a long day.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more.”
“The bedrooms on the right,” Spike motioned towards his room as he set up his own little bed on the couch with the quilt he had folded beside it.
“Spike...I can’t take your bed, come on, it's big enough and I promise I dont bite.”
Spike blushed at that comment, only to glare as Rainbow Dash began to laugh out loud at him. “let’s just get some sleep.”
Rainbow nodded and pulling Spike onto her back trotted towards the bedroom for a long nights sleep.