Gallus was sitting in the common room. Lounging on the couch and staring up at the ceiling and supporting architecture above him, he sighed in boredom. Spring break had just begun and almost every creature had already left for their home. He looked at the clock, hoping the time had sped up since he last checked, however the minute hand hadn’t even moved.
“That thing has to be broken,” he commented as he looked back up at the ceiling above.
A few more uneventful moments passed for Gallus as he stared upward. However, he was interrupted by a voice.
“Gallus? What are you still doing here?”
The griffon looked up to see a familiar orange and purple dragon in the doorway of the common room.
“Smolder? I could be asking you the same thing,” Gallus fired back.
Entering the room, Smolder answered, “I asked you first, dork,” her words were a bit playful. She also motioned with her claw for Gallus to scoot on the couch, “Move over.”
Gallus sat up more correctly on the couch, allowing for the dragon to sit to the left of him, “I’m just waiting for Gabby to show up so we both can head back to Griffonstone.” His words were a bit irritated at the thought, “Grandpa Gruff insisted that I have supervision going back because he doesn’t trust me.”
“He needs some creature to basically babysit you?” Smolder tried her best not to laugh as she covered her mouth.
“It’s not babysitting!” Gallus quickly argued, “It’s more like he wants Gabby to guide me back or whatever.”
The dragon still had a smirk on her face, “Yeah, sure. Because you’re such a hellion.”
“Pffftt, whatever,” Gallus raised his talon up and brushed off Smolder’s comments. He then reversed the question, “Now spill it, why are you still here? Shouldn’t you be going back to the Dragonlands?”
“Waiting on Garble to show up. Since he never got a chance to visit Ponyville before, we thought it would be a good chance for him to see the sights, and have a bit of a dragon trip with Spike in tow. You know, dragon stuff,” Smolder explained as she made herself more comfortable on the end of the couch opposite of Gallus.
“Oh, so hoarding treasure, eating gems, and sleeping for centuries?” Gallus snarked.
Smolder scoffed, “Come on, there’s more to being a dragon than that. Even if you did just name everything we had planned today.” She added a laugh at the end of her statement.
“I honestly can’t tell if you’re joking or not about that,” Gallus commented with a bit of confusion.
“And you never will!”
Both shared in a laugh.
“So, is it only you who’s left at the school?” Gallus asked.
“Yeah,” Smolder answered as she stretched her arms upward, making herself more comfortable on the couch, “Silverstream’s brother came and got her, Ocellus finished packing and headed to the train station a while ago, and Sandbar waited until Yona got picked up before he headed home.”
A small laugh escaped from Gallus, “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Sandbar waited with Yona. Those two are inseparable now.”
“I think it’s kinda nice,” Smolder commented, “they compliment each other nicely. Though I still think it took way too long for them to officially become an item.”
Gallus waved his talon in the air as he spoke, “Sure, but they can get a bit too sickenly sweet for my blood. You’ll never see me being all sappy and mushy like that.”
“Why not? Afraid to show your true colors around some special creature?”
“Huh? No, it’s not like that!” Gallus replied.
Smolder smirked, “Yeah, I know. It’s more like you’ll never get some creature special.”
The griffon jabbed right back, “This coming from the dragon who snores louder than a freight train. Sandbar and I can hear you from our dorm, and our room is on a different floor!”
“You’re just imagining it, Gallus,” Smolder stuck her tongue out, “The mind can play many tricks, you know.”
Gallus retorted by also sticking his tongue back at the dragon.
“But I do mean it, it makes me happy to see my friends find happiness together. Even if I do agree it is a bit too sweet for my blood,” the dragon commented.
“Yeah, good for them finding their special somecreature,” Gallus agreed, “I know I couldn’t.”
Smolder sneered, “Aww, what’s the matter, afraid of falling in love?”
Without missing a beat, the griffon replied, “No, I’m afraid the other creature would be half as annoying as you.”
Both of the creatures laughed at the comment.
Smolder sighed as she thought back, “You know, it’s been a pretty insane year so far if you think about it.”
“I don’t know if you noticed, but our time at this school has not gone by smoothly. I think it comes with the territory,” Gallus added.
“What gave it away? The pint-sized terror we used to share classes with, the chaotic deity that shows up whenever he pleases, or Counselor Trixie just being there?” Smolder listed off.
“Oh, I know this one: D, all of the above.”
“And who says Gallus is bad at test questions?” Smolder mocked.
As much as he wanted to verbally bite back, Gallus continued, “There is a lot of weird stuff that happens with the six of us. Like that bar fight.”
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that fight we had back at the Salt Lick.”
“It was a really cool bar fight and all, and it was really cool when Ocellus started swinging that chain around, but I don’t think it was worth getting banned from the bar for the rest of the semester,” Gallus recounted.
Smolder leaned up against the armrest of the couch, positioning herself to fully face Gallus, “Yeah, don’t think it was all that smart for you to just provoke those ponies back at the bar.”
“Hey, I don’t need you judging my life choices, Grandpa Gruff will be doing that later.”
“Come on, it’s not like you have to worry about any of us ruining your reputation or anything back at Griffonstone or here at school. You’ve already done such a great job of that all on your own. In fact, I think we all have as much respect for you as we ever did or will.” Smolder said with a smirk.
“I can’t tell if you’re being passive, aggressive, or passive aggressive,” Gallus raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, I am,” was all Smolder said in reply.
Gallus shot a glare to the dragon, “Charming….very charming….you’re such a bummer, you know that?”
“What? That’s not right. Ocellus is the bummer, I’m a jerk.”
Despite trying his best not to smile, Gallus did have a smirk grow on his face. Smolder also had one, causing them both to laugh.
“This school is just crazy,” Gallus said with a small laugh in his voice, “If I live through my time here at this school, I’m gonna change for the better. And if I die in the process, I’m gonna haunt future students so they don’t make my mistakes.”
“And if I end up teaching here, like Counselor Trixie says I should, I’ll share your story to the students.” Smolder added on, “We don’t want them ending up like you.”
“Or you,” Gallus also added.
Smolder had a laugh in her voice as she spoke, “We’re here to learn about friendship and all sorts of junk. And if we can’t learn any of that, then we’ll get our money’s worth in food from the mess hall.”
“Amen to that,” Gallus agreed. He then stretched out his forelimbs as he continued, “You know, being here at this school isn’t all that bad, even if I am stuck with you.”
“Aww, that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!” Smolder mocked.
Gallus smirked as he rolled his eyes, “Please. You’re annoying, smug, crude….”
“And you wouldn’t have it any other way,” Smolder interrupted.
“Shut up, you don’t know me.”
The dragon laughed as she curled up one of her claws and playfully punched Gallus in the limb that was closest to her.
The griffon had a small smile as he rubbed the spot he was hit, “Being with you is insufferable.”
“Insufferable, yet inseparable,” Smolder said with a smile.
Gallus shrugged, “I guess our mutual hatred of each other will ferment like a fine wine.”
“Then, and only then, we will be able to get drunk and tolerate each other,” Smolder added.
Both of them shared in a laugh at the comment. As their laughter died down, a silence settled between the two for a moment. However, the griffon was the first to break it:
“Hey, lemme ask ya, do you think we’d be friends if we grew up together?”
The dragon thought for a moment before answering, “Nah, I’d probably hate your guts if I knew you after I hatched. So it’d be exactly how it is right now.”
“Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing,” Gallus smirked. “Besides, if we grew up together, I have a feeling that you’d drive Grandpa Gruff insane.”
“And you don’t have what it takes to be a dragon,” Smolder brushed it off.
“Yeah, your bad breath is really hard to match,” Gallus joked.
“Ooo, sarcasm, how original!” Smolder stuck her tongue out again.
“I mean, I could say it in my native language,” Gallus fired back, “but you wouldn’t understand….and Headmare Starlight told me I’m no longer allowed to say certain words in any language on campus.”
“Wow, that really makes me think….about how I’d much rather have a root canal than spend another second with you,” Smolder smirked.
Gallus smirked back, “Feeling’s mutual, Smolder.”
Smolder smiled, “Look at us, we’re fighting like well-managed wrestlers.”
“And here I thought you were gonna say ‘like an old married couple’,” Gallus said.
“If that’s the case, then I want a divorce.”
“Aww, it sounds like you’re starting to hate me,” the griffon sounded as if he was hurt by Smolder’s words.
“Hate is such a strong word, and accurate most of the time.”
“Oh, ouch,” Gallus again was faking his feeling of hurt, placing a talon over his heart, “you’re breaking my heart.” He then gave a chuckle.
Smolder shared in the laugh as well. She then sighed with a bit of melancholy, “We’re really just adding salt to vanilla, aren’t we?”
“Is that why you always keep giving it to me?” the griffon genuinely asked. There wasn’t a joking manner to his tone this time around.
“Not like you’re any better,” the dragon pointed out.
“True, but why do you always seem like you’re picking fights with me?” Gallus made it a point to bring the topic back.
Smolder shrugged as she admitted, “I don’t know, Gallus. Maybe I like annoying you. Maybe I want your attention. Maybe no reason at all.”
“Wait, my attention?”
She avoided eye contact as she clarified, “Just because I give you crap all the time doesn’t mean I really hate you. I mean, if I hated you, I wouldn’t talk to you at all. You’re not like our other friends. I can call you names and irritate you, and you just throw it right back at me. It’s like our thing, you know? Between dragons, a good measure of friendship is how much they can insult one another and not take offense. If any other creature had tried half the crap you’ve done to me, they’d be six feet under by now.” There was a slight pink tint to the dragon’s face as she spoke.
“Wow, you really mean all of that?” Gallus said with a bit of surprise as he blushed at Smolder’s words.
“Of course, you brainless feather-bottomed excuse for a duck!” Smolder finally returned eye contact to the griffon. Her cheeks were still pink and starting to grow to more of her face. “Sure, there are things I hate about you, but it doesn’t change the absolute fact I’d fight windigos for ya and not regret it for a second.”
“For me? You best know I’d be right there fighting alongside you,” Gallus proudly claimed, “You’re a constant headache for me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Smolder smiled as she looked away again, her cheeks flushed, “Who knows, maybe one day I’ll actually like you.”
“Ooo, now that’s a scary thought,” Gallus retaliated with a laugh.
Smolder smiled back, doing her best to ignore how much her face was burning. She shook her head a little as she laughed in hopes to get rid of the color in her cheeks.
Gallus looked at her as his expression became a bit more serious. “Hey, I do want to say if I ever go too far, let me know.”
The dragon was quick to reply, “Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to hit you hard enough for you to remember.” Smolder raised her claw up in a fist, motioning as if she was going to punch him.
With a nervous laugh, Gallus spoke, “You really should start punching other places, my limb can only take so much,” he said as he grabbed his forelimb. “Is that how dragons flirt, through violence? You sure you aren’t a yak or something?”
“Pssshh, you wish I was flirting with you, dork!” Smolder waved her claw with a laugh. Her face, however, was still tinted pink. “You’re the griffon equivalent of a participation award!”
“Oh really?” Gallus smirked, “I’d insult your breath but it seems nature has already done it for me!”
“You put the ‘wit’ in ‘twit’.”
“You’re as much fun as an ice cream headache.”
“You have the backbone of a chocolate eclair, and even less filling.”
“I’d call you a frog, but you’re clearly a reptile and not an amphibian. That being said, you still would be an insult to both.”
“Oh, looks like some creature has been paying attention in science class. And here I thought you couldn’t read that advanced level stuff.”
“Don’t be jealous that, unlike you, I can read more than just the back of a cereal box. Did you ever finish that maze?” Gallus became a little smug.
“That maze was rigged and you know it! You couldn’t finish it either!” Smolder quickly became defensive, “Besides, you know I have better grades than you. I certainly can’t underestimate your academic ability.”
“You some how make me miss spending time with Grandpa Gruff.”
“You’re as much fun as getting a tooth pulled out.”
“You’re like hugging a cactus, in every possible way.”
“Every creature in this school has become dumber for having to listen to you each day. I think we’re all going to be held back due to your stupidity, and may Celestia have mercy on our souls.”
Gallus acted like he had just figured something out, “Wait, I just figured something out.”
“You’re an idiot!”
“Only dumbing myself down so you can understand my great intellect.” Smolder proudly claimed.
“Well, you’re a….buttered noodle!” Gallus almost tripped over his words as he tried to think up an insult.
Smolder paused for a moment and reflected on what she was just called. “Huh. Somehow, that one hurt the most,” she then shook it off and retaliated, “You can be such a pain in my tail.”
“And you’re like a knife in my brain.”
“And you’re the biggest idiot I have ever met,” Smolder crossed her limbs as she leaned her back against the sofa, “And you know what else you are?”
A soft smile appeared on the dragon’s face, “The only one I can talk to like this.”
Gallus smiled back. Both creatures exchanged glances at each other and had a soft shade of red in their cheeks as they blushed.
“Huh, guess there is really something between us, isn’t there?” Gallus commented, his face showing a sheepish smile against his wishes.
Smolder felt the same way, trying her best to not have an embarrassed smile, “Well, it does explain why Silverstream and Sandbar started to chant ‘kiss’ repeatedly that one time we fought in the mess hall.”
The griffon laughed as he remembered the event in question. “We obviously aren’t a perfect, conventional duo, are we?”
“Nope, not by a longshot,” Smolder also laughed, “When I first met you, I could say you were a smelly jerk who couldn’t solve his way out of a wet paper bag, but that isn’t all true. I mean, I’ll still say it.”
“That’s the nicest thing you’ve said all day,” Gallus smirked.
Both Smolder and Gallus looked at each other for a bit. While they both seemed to get lost in one another’s eye contact, they were pulled back to reality by the voice of a red dragon.
“Hey, Smolder! You ready to go?”
Both turned to the doorway to see Smolder’s brother, Garble.
“Oh, Garble!” Smolder was a bit surprised to see her brother. “Yeah, I just gotta get my stuff from my room. Head on over, I’ll be there in a second.”
Garble nodded and headed back down the hallway. Smolder stood up from the couch and stretched her claws up towards the ceiling.
The dragon sighed for a second as she looked towards the door. Her words were a bit wistful as she spoke, “We aren’t exactly a perfect couple like Yona and Sandbar, that’s for sure. But nothing is ever really perfect, is it? Between friends, that is.”
“Perhaps not,” Gallus answered, “But I guess that means it’s truly real and that makes it imperfectly perfect.”
As Smolder turned around, she gave a soft chuckle as she shook her head, “You’re an idiot.”
“Your idiot,” Gallus smirked, “just like you’re my idiot.”
With a smirk, Smolder again shook her head at the thought. “Ride or die?” she said as she reached out her claw to Gallus for him to grab on for a clasping shake.
Gallus stood up and had his talon meet with Smolder’s claw. “‘Til we both come to bad ends, we’re the best of friends,” he said with a hint of pride.
Smolder pulled Gallus in and gave him a full, but quick, hug which he returned. As she pulled away from the hug, the dragon planted a sudden and swift kiss upon the griffon’s cheek. All of it may have lasted a moment, but it was more than enough to cause both creatures to fiercely blush.
Letting go of Gallus’ talon, Smolder turned around and started toward the common room door. She had a smile to her voice as she spoke, “We’ll pick this up after spring break.”
The griffon was stunned for a moment before he shook it off enough to reply, “Y-Yeah, I’ll see ya after the break.”
Just before she passed through the doorway, Smolder turned around and smirked, “I might hate ya a little bit, but I’m going to hate this break a whole lot more.” The dragon then went through the threshold and into the hallway with a wave, “See ya!”