Eternal Sunshine of the Spikeless Mind

by UtterlyLudicrous

First published

It's easy enough to erase somepony from your mind. Getting them out of your heart is another story.

How far would you go to run from a lost love? In this interpretation of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, an unlikely pair has the same answer: a procedure to literally erase each other from their memories.
But they soon learn that love will find them, regardless of whether or not they remember it.

Quick heads-up: This is my first fic, so constructive criticism is appreciated! Shoot me an email at [gifsthebrony is my old username; changed it to UtterlyLudicrous awhile back.]

[Intro] Random Thoughts: Hearts and Hooves Day 2004

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[Note: Italicized text is a dragon's journal entry]

"LAST CALL FOR CLOUDSDALE!" a PA voice boomed.

Through the sea of ponies hopping trains to and from who knows where raced a purple and green blur speeding through every opening, sprinting to catch his train. As he came to a halt in front of the 9:17 Cloudsdale train, he took the closest of too many available seats for a day this crowded. He reached into his bag and pulled out a curious-looking journal. He pulled out an old, used-up pencil and began writing in neat, italic print:

Random thoughts for Hearts and Hooves Day, 2004:
-Today is a holiday invented by childish fillies and greeting card companies... to make ponies and dragons alike feel like crap.
-I left Twilight’s house to hop a train today before she woke up. Took the train all the way up to Cloudsdale.. I don’t really know why. I’m not usually an impulsive dragon.. I guess I just woke up discombobulated this morning and decided to leave before she woke up.
-I gotta get so much work done soon.

"ALL CALL FOR CLOUDSDALE CLIFF!" the conductor shouted.

-Sweet Celestia, is Cloudsdale cold this early in the morning. Cloudsdale in February.. Nice going, Spike.
-I just noticed there are pages ripped out from my journal. That’s funny.. I don’t usually do that. Apparently, this is my first entry in two years. Better get to it.
-I’m standing on the edge of Cloudsdale Cliff and I’m thinking.. clouds are really overrated. All they are are little wisps of water. Kinda makes you wonder why so many pegasi would set up a home here. What’s even holding them up, anyway? Magic? I’m not so sure I can believe in that anymore...

Through the fog in Cloudsdale Cliff, the dragon noticed another figure, a mare, walking along the edge of the city.

-If only I could meet somepony new... I guess that’d be quite a challenge, seeing as I can hardly make eye contact with any pony I don’t know, let alone talk to anypony I don't know, let alone overcome the fact that I’m the only dragon I know, whether or not I’ve grown up a bit.
-It’s a good thing Twilight taught me friendship so well before I grew into the monster I was supposed to. I don’t know.. Maybe some dragons aren’t meant to be monsters.
-Maybe Rarity and I should get back together... She was generous. Generous is good. She cared for me. She still has my fire ruby.. I wonder if I should try to ask her if I could get it back.. After all, it’s probably the only thing I have that would make a pony look my way anymore.

The peculiar-looking dragon made his way towards town and went into the nearest cafe. It wasn't very crowded inside, and after a few minutes, the dragon looked up from his writing to notice the mare from Cloudsdale Cliff canter in and take a seat at a table a few feet from him.

It’s such a ridiculous phenomenon... Why do I have to fall in love with every mare I see who shows me the least bit of attention? I don’t even know this crazy-looking rainbow pegasus...

Chapter 2

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The air was frigid at the Cloudsdale train depot. They weren't like the depots in Ponyville. The dragon thanked his lucky stars for his tough scales, although even those didn't protect him entirely from the harsh winter beating down on him like an army general. Across the way, he saw the mare again, from the cafe. Had she followed him here? The dragon began scribbling furiously.

There’s that pegasus again.. Why would she be here? I’m leaving Cloudsdale.. Shouldn’t she stay here? She keeps waving at me. Why do I have to be so bad at this whole love game?

"ALL ABOARD FOR PONYVILLE!" the conductor cried to break the palpable silence. The dragon stepped aboard, and the mare followed suit. They took their seats at opposite sides of the car. After awhile, the dragon noticed that the pegasus was looking over at him periodically. His frantically sketching hand paused for a minute, and he flipped to another page and began writing:

-She keeps looking over at me from across our seats on the train.. I wonder if she knows I’m sketching her?

The rainbow pegasus broke the silence, as if in response to the dragon's entry, and gave a simple, "Hi." The dragon looked up from his writing as if jolted from a trance.

Oh, damn, the dragon thought as he frantically tried to hide his notebook from the multicolored pegasus.

"Umm.. Beg pardon?" The dragon said carefully. The rainbow pegasus gave a slight roll of her eyes and responded, "All I said was hi." "Oh.. Um.. Hi." "Mind if I come a little closer?"

The unlikely two sat uncomfortably next to each other, silence looming over them. The rainbow pegasus smiled and said, "So where are you getting off?" "I’m, um.. Getting off at Ponyville." "Really? So am I!" "Really? Huh.. That's uh..." The rainbow pegasus cut in, "unlikely, right? What are the odds?" "Heh, yeah.."

Part of me is desperately hoping she’ll leave as the silence comes in, but I want her to stay, too, the dragon thought to himself as the rainbow pegasus spoke with him.

"You look familiar... Have I seen your face around Ponyville before?"
"I, um.. I’m not sure." The rainbow pegasus plastered a pensive look on her face and studied the dragon for a few seconds before exclaiming, "I've got it. You ever go to Dash's Racing Accessories?" "Um.. From time to time, sure."

The dragon's imagination kicked in again: Why do I have to lie in every stressful situation? I should know it never helps.. Applejack always says honesty is the best policy. So why can't I just say the truth?

The pegasus' face brightened. "That's what it is! I'm the owner! I know I've seen you there before! I've owned the place since my grandpa Cumulus Dash founded it way back when." The dragon put a phony look of thought on his face. "Huh.. Weird, I thought I would've.. Remembered you." "Yeah, you know, most ponies tend to recognize me by my hair."

The dragon tentatively asked, "You color it like that?"

The pegasus jumped back a bit in shock. "You crazy?? I would never mess with this beautiful mane! This rainbow is all natural!" The dragon cringed a little, and a thought went off in his mind:

Man.. Now I've already gone and upset her, just like Rarity. Damn it, man, why can't you just talk to mares? It's not like they'll ever like you anyway..

"I'm sorry, I was, um.. Just trying to be nice." The dragon responded.
"Haha! It's okay. Lots of ponies say that about me. I just act all offended to mess with them. You a prankster?"
"Can't say that I am, no.. I don't tend to do things like that..."
"Oh, really? You should try sometime, it's so much fun! Like every Nightmare Night, I sneak up behind all of my friends with a raincloud, and I give 'em a.. SHOCKING, surprise!" The pegasus began laughing at this thought, and the dragon laughed nervously along.
"Huh.. I'll bet that sends them running, huh? It doesn't seem like they would like it as much as you do, though..

The pegasus stopped laughing. "..Well.. Maybe. But they know it's all good fun. What's so bad about a little prank?"
"Heh.. Yeah, I guess so.."

Pull yourself together, man. There's no reason at all for you to fall for this mare. It's better if you just keep to yourself. The dragon tended to think like this more often than he liked to.

"Well, anyway, a lot of them have tried to come up with names for my mane's colors that match my total awesomeness! None of them are usually that cool, but I've heard some that I've held on to over time.
"Well, how many different color names could ponies come up with.. They're pretty simple colors."

The pegasus eyed the dragon and continued, a little more slowly. "Yeah... Well, anyway, a few of my friends have come up with some cool names, wanna hear 'em?"
"Uh.. Sure, why not.. Could be nice."
"Okay, well this one's Agent Orange.. And this one's Sunglow.. And Blue Ruin, and Royal Purple, but I'm so not a royal pegasus, and I'm proud of it... You're bored, aren't you?"

Tell the truth, old boy. It's okay, you don't even know this mare. Follow Applejack's lead. Don't you lie, the dragon told himself.

"Oh, um.. No, I wasn't bored. I was listening. I like these color names.

You lied. I knew you would. Why do you do that? It was becoming difficult for the dragon to keep up a conversation with both himself and his secret love.

"Hm.. You know, I'll bet somepony has their cutie mark in color naming," the pegasus thought out loud.
"You think there could possibly be a cutie mark like that? I mean, what would it even look like? A paint palette, maybe."
"There is somepony in Equestria with that cutie mark. I know it."

The dragon laughed uncomfortably and cleared his throat. Silence began to press in all around. The dragon was about to continue writing when the rainbow pegasus cut back in.

"I've got it. Rainboom Red. That'll be my red streak's color. I came up with that one. Unfortunately, my hair is most of my personality.."
"Oh, I doubt that."
"Well, you don't even know me, so you don't know, do you?"

Is this just one of her pranks or is she being serious?, thought the dragon.

".... Sorry.. I was just trying to be nice."
"Yeah.. Whatever."

The rainbow pegasus reclined in her seat and played with her hair for awhile, looking rather pensive, as the dragon took his place back up in his writing. After awhile, the pegasus suddenly widened her eyes and jolted back up to face the dragon again.

"My name's Rainbow Dash, by the way."
"I'm Spike."
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Spike.. Oh, and don't joke with me about losing. Oh.. Wait a minute, you wouldn't do that. You're trying to be nice."
"I wouldn't know any jokes about you losing."
"Oh, please... Rainbow Crash?
"I don't know what that means."
"Rainbow Crash? Are you kidding? That's so obvious. It's a given pun. What are you, nuts?"
"Some say so.."
"'Nice going, Rainbow Crash!' 'Good work, Rainbow Crash!' 'Quick, hide your breakable items, it's Rainbow Crash!' No?

Spike let out an uncomfortable, nervous chuckle and looked down at his notebook. "Nope.. I'm sorry, it's.. It's a pretty name, though, really, it is. I think, uhh, it means 'loyal,' right? Loyalty?"

Rainbow Dash took on a bitterly sarcastic tone. "Although it hardly fits." She leaned in closer to him and looked him directly in the eyes. "I'm a deserting little bitch, truth be told." Spike couldn't bear to hold her gaze. He looked away and grinned,"I, um.. I wouldn't think that about you."

Rainbow Dash shrunk back a little. "Why wouldn't you think that about me?" Spike shrugged, and mumbled, "I dunno, I.. I just, um.. You seem nice, so..."

Now Rainbow Dash took on an angry stance. "Oh, I see, now I'm the nice one? Sweet Celestia, don't you know any other adjectives besides nice? I don't like 'nice.' I don't need 'nice,' and I sure as hell don't need anypony or anydragon accusing me of being a 'nice' mare or telling themselves they're being a 'nice' stallion, or in your case, dragon."

Between racing emotions, the dragon told himself, what did I tell you, old boy? No luck with women. May as well give up. Maybe I should ask for that ruby back...

Spike ushered in the silence with a dejected "Okay..." Rainbow Dash reclaimed her seat across the train for awhile, and Spike resumed writing in his journal with an abject look on his face.


Rainbow Dash called over, "Spike?"

That could be any Spike. She can't be talking to me, the dragon naively decided.

After hearing no response, she said, "It's Spike, right?"

Spike looked around and said softly, "Yeah.."
"I'm sorry for yelling at you. I'm just feeling a little discombobulated today. The truth is, I like nice. And I'm glad you're being it. I mean, I can't tell what I'm gonna be like or where I'm gonna be one moment or the next, and I sure as Discord don't know from one moment or the next what I'm gonna like or dislike.. But right now.. I can say that I like you. And I like you being nice."

Spike didn't say anything for awhile. What could he say to something like that? Rainbow Dash let out an embarrassed giggle, like a giddy schoolgirl, and Spike looked around for something to say as if words would appear out of thin air to guide him. He gestured down at his notebook. "There's, um.. There's a lot that I have to do, and, uh... I'm just kinda..."

Rainbow Dash gave him a bereaved look and cut in, "Oh! Oh.. Well, I'm, uh, I'm sorry. No, that's okay. I'll just..." She began to get up slowly, but suddenly stopped and gives Spike a playful, too-strong shove, startling Spike and causing him to exclaim. He looked over to see Rainbow Dash with a playfully mischevious smile on her face. "You take care, then," she said.


The two made their way off the train and went in opposite directions.

Spike took his journal out and made another entry.
Oh, Spike.. What am I gonna do with you?

Chapter 3

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The weather was much nicer in Ponyville than it was in Cloudsdale. Thank Celestia Twilight didn't decide to live up there. Spike wasn't made for cold weather like that. He didn't even know exactly why he had gone. After all, he had ditched his duties as Twilight's assistant that day, and he hadn't done anything really productive. Meeting that Rainbow Dash mare? That wouldn't go anywhere. It didn't matter if he fell in love with her; he fell in love with every mare he saw who graced his presence with a simple hello. After all, Spike was a dragon. Even if he did wind up admitting his love for any mare besides Rarity, they wouldn't want to be with him anyway. Hearts and Hooves Days were just tough days, that's all.. Even if he did feel the same way for most of the year.

From the train depot, Spike developed a sweet tooth and stopped by for a few slices at Sugarcube Corner. He didn't normally go to Sugarcube Corner, but he decided he wanted something sweet. He wasn't sure why, but either way, that cake was delicious. Pinkie Pie really knew her baked goods. Spike wound up staying later than he should've, and found darkness waiting for him when he walked outside Pinkie's house of goodies. He felt a stab of regret; he'd left his own cart at the library today. He called a stallion-cab, and they approached him sleepily.

On his way home, Spike looked up from his writing and noticed a familiar Rainboom Red. It couldn't be... Rainbow Dash? Where could she be going? And why did Spike care? He told himself to keep driving. He didn't want to inconvenience the stallions taking him home any more than he already had by having them pick him up so late at night. He couldn't offer her a ride... He wouldn't. Under no circumstances. He wouldn't let himself say those words..

"Hi. I could, uh.. Give you a ride if you need."

Rainbow Dash looked through the darkness and thought for a second. "Mmm... Yeah! Okay, yeah," she decided as she scurried into the cart and the cab trotted away into the darkness.

As they rode together, Rainbow Dash said curiously, "You're not a stalker, right?"
"No, I'm uh, I'm not a stalker. You're the one that talked to me, remember?"
"That is the oldest trick in the stalker book!"
"Really? There's a stalker book? Where can I get a copy?"

The two shared an unlikely laugh and silence prevailed for awhile, broken only by the sound of the stallions' footsteps against the cobblestone road.

"Look, I'm, uh.. I'm sorry if I came off as kind of a freak," Rainbow Dash said. "I'm really not that crazy. Well, I mean, I'm kinda crazy, but not like, hospital crazy."
"It's okay.. I didn't think you were."

Rainbow Dash smiled thankfully at Spike, and silence resumed.

As they pulled up to Rainbow Dash's house, she said suddenly, "Do you wanna come in? Maybe have some Everfree?" Spike thought about this for awhile. It had been awhile since anypony had offered him a drink. "I have lots of Everfree stocked up from Celestia knows when.. It'd be a shame to let it go to waste."

Spike thought about it for awhile, looking past Rainbow Dash into the darkness. Rainbow Dash said after awhile, "You know, never mind. I'm sorry I asked, you know I'm embarrassed now. Good night, Spike."
"No, no, no, don't be. I'll, uh... Sure, I'll come in for awhile." Spike paid the stallions a few bits and they rode off.

How had Spike gotten into something like this? Here he was, in a strange mare's living space, with whom he was instinctively in love with, sitting on her couch, waiting for her to bring him his first Everfree drink in months. His notebook and pencil were tucked firmly away as Rainbow Dash poured the drinks. He looked around at all of the fancy knick-knacks Rainbow Dash had. He saw a shelf lined with peculiar figurines of Daring Do, obviously made by Rainbow Dash out of little apples. He fixed up his hair for Celestia knows what reason and resumed his spot on the couch as Rainbow Dash brought out the drinks. "Two Blue Ruins," she said with pride. "Drink up, you. There's a loong night ahead of you. Everfree makes the whole seduction part less difficult."

Spike stood stock-still for a few seconds, and Rainbow Dash burst out laughing, saying, "I'm just kidding! Don't even worry. Come on. It's just a little prank. You know me, I'm a prankster!" Spike didn't say anything as she pushed him back onto the couch playfully.

"You know, you don't talk very much, do you?"
"I'm sorry.. I just.. My life can't be that interesting. You know, I wake up, I go to work, I come home. Not really much else to say.. I mean, you should take a look at my journal, it's just... blank. Lots of pages ripped out."
"Really? Why did you rip out your memories? Does that make you sad? Or anxious? I mean, I always like knowing I'm living my life in the moment and making sure I take advantage of every opportunity for competition and always striving to be my best. Right?"

Spike looked at her, a curious look on his face. "I think about that."
"Do you?"
"I do, yeah."

The two shared a laugh as the drinks began to set in. "You know, you're really nice., Celestia, I have to stop saying that!" Rainbow Dash said through her laughs.
"It's okay, you can... You can say that."
"I'm gonna marry you. I know it. It's going to happen."
"Um... Okay."

Rainbow Dash leaned her head on Spike's hard, scaly shoulder. How could any pegasus do that? Not even Rarity would be able to do that. Then again, Rarity wasn't the kind who liked to get dirty.

"Spike, you should come up with me to the Ponyville River sometime. All the pegasi freeze it this time of year."
"That sounds scary."
"Exactly. That's the point. I'll pack a picnic." Rainbow Dash began to run her hoof along Spike's scaly hand, cuddling in closer to him. Spike could feel her body heat warming him up against the cold winter outside. Was this really happening? And was it really all flowing so smoothly? He would have to wake up soon. He was sleeping. There was no other explanation. "Night picnics are different than day picnics, especially if they're on ice. And, we could--"
"Sounds good."

There was a short silence, a blissful silence. Spike's emotions were all over the place. He had just ended it with Rarity, he wasn't prepared for anything like this. Flustered, Spike readjusted himself and said, "I should, uh.. I should go.. Now." He began to get up, but Rainbow Dash grabbed his hand and said definitively, "you should stay."
"No, I.. Really, I.. I have to get up so early and... Lots to do and.. You know..." Rainbow Dash didn't say anything.

Rainbow Dash said as she handed Spike his coat, "Spike, I would like for us to meet again. Would you make that happen? I would like it." "Yes," Spike responded, still flustered from the activities of the day. "Rainbow Dash conjured a pen from her pocket and wrote her name and information on one of Spike's scales.

The two didn't say anything as Spike walked out the door, but as he was calling another stallion-cab, Rainbow Dash poked her head out the window and said, "Hey, Spike! Wish me a happy Hearts and Hooves day when you call! I think that'd be.. Nice."

Spike didn't say anything, but he smiled in spite of himself as he walked towards the stallion-cab. He had no idea how this had happened, but he didn't entirely dislike it.

Chapter 4

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Damn that squeaky door. I should've fixed that weeks ago, Spike said to himself.

Spike gently closed the door behind him so as not to wake up Twilight. He sat down on the couch with far too much on his mind. The events of this Hearts and Hooves Day had really overwhelmed him, and the only things he noticed more than his unexpected ecstasy were the unanswered questions that refused to leave his mind: when would he see Rainbow Dash again? What would happen between the two of them? What would happen between he and Rarity? And for Celestia's sake, how did his Hearts and Hooves Day turn out like this??

With the questions still on his mind, Spike picked up his phone and looked at the scribble Rainbow Dash had written on his scale. As the ringer buzzed, a flood of doubts washed over Spike. What if it's too late? What if she was just pranking me? What if... The ringing stopped. Spike stood stock-still in the darkness of the library, waiting for Dash's voice. It cut through the silence and the darkness like a ray of light.

"What took you so long?"
"I just walked in."
"Mm-hmm. You miss me already?"
"Hm.. Yeah.. Oddly enough I do."
"Ha! You said I do! I guess that means we're married!"

Spike smiled in spite of himself. "Yeah, I guess so," he said through his grin.

"Tomorrow night? What do you say we have our honeymoon on ice?"

The receiver slammed down with a clang.

"The ice is really tough this time of year. I should know, I helped freeze it."
"Whoa.. I don't know..."

Spike crept nervously across the Ponyville River, completely frozen over. He looked around. Through his nerves, he could really admire the beauty of Ponyville at night. It wasn't a big city, like Las Pegasus, but it wasn't a little town, either. Just the right size. And boy, when Luna's moonlight shone down on that ice, it created a sight like nothing Spike had ever seen. A fresh snow had taken hold of Ponyville that day, and it coated everything in soft white. Everything except the river. The snow reflected off the moonlight and lit the night in an eerie blue light. He looked over at the cyan-colored rainbow pegasus, knee-deep in the spirit of adventure. This mare was special. There was no doubt in his mind. She was different. She was adventurous. She was tough. And boy, was she beautiful in the moonlight.

"Come on, Spike!" The purple and green dragon, in his coat and beanie, walked unsteadily onto the deep ice. "It's so beautiful," he exclaimed quietly. "Isn't it?"

Rainbow Dash looked over at him and giggled. She let go of his hand and began to trot towards the center of the river. "Uh.. Wait, don't go too far!"

"Whooo!" Rainbow Dash half-responded, and continued trotting across. Suddenly she slipped on a wet part of the ice and went tumbling down to the ground. Spike cringed at the sight of her rear connecting against the ice

"Are you okay??"
"Ouch.. Fuck it! Ohh, my ass!"
"I think I should go back.."
"What? No, no no no, come on! Come on!" Rainbow Dash interjected.

Spike couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Well, what if it breaks?"
"What if? Do you really care right now? This is an adventure, don't you like adventures?? Come on, this is fun!"
"Uh.. I don't know about this.."

"Come, here.. Please." Rainbow Dash reached her hoof out and walked closer to Spike. "Come on. Live a little. Have an adventure."

Spike paused for a minute. Was it worth the risk? It was time to decide.

He slowly took one claw out of his jacket pocket... And before he could decide what to do, Rainbow Dash decided for him; she grabbed his hand and the two began shuffling across the ice.

"Here, I wanna show you something." Rainbow Dash said. As they approached the center of the river, she let go of Spike's hand and lay down on her back on the ice and began to make a snow angel. After a few seconds, her hooves stopped moving and she beckoned Spike to come down, too. Warily, he crept down and lay down next to her. "Think I heard a crack," he said with concern.

Rainbow Dash let out a giggle. "It's not gonna crack," she said. "It's not gonna crack, or break, or anything. It's way too thick, I made sure."

The two lay silent for awhile, hoof in claw, next to the crack in the ice. Rainbow broke the silence. "What constellations do you know?"
"Oh.. Well, um... I don't.. Know any. My friend Twilight is the big astronomer."
"Oh, come on, you don't even know one constellation? Show me which ones you know."
"Okay, well, Twilight did tell me about one or two... Oh! There's Ponydius."
"Right there. See? Kind of like a.. Swoop and a cutie mark. Ponydius the Tolerant."

Rainbow Dash let out a laugh. "Pff.. You're full of shit, aren't you?"
"Nope. Ponydius is right there. Swoop and cutie mark. See?"
"Haa... Shut the front door!"

Spike looked over at Rainbow Dash, and the two met eyes. Hold yourself together, Spike, he thought. But his heart and his mind weren't agreeing, and his head began to lean closer to hers. Don't you do it. Don't you mess this up, Spike, his mind scolded. But his heart won. The pair locked lips, and the ice began to melt.

"Psst. Hey.. Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash.. Cock-a-doodle-doo."
"Mmm.. Wha.. What is it.."

As Spike pulled up to Rainbow's stop, he nudged her shoulder and pushed her hair out of her eyes. The morning sun glared in Rainbow's eyes, and she sleepily pulled a hoof in front of her face while the other held her blanket close.

"Rainbow... Rainbow Dash.."

Rainbow took the hoof in front of her face and grasped Spike's claw, slowly opening her eyes and smiling at him. "Hey," she said. "Hey. Sorry to wake you.. We're, uh.. We're here." Rainbow looked over towards her house, with her blanket still over her body. She stretched and looked back over at Spike. "Can I come over to your house? To sleep? I'm so tired..."

"Umm. Yeah, okay.. Sure."
"Let me go get my toothbrush."
"Yeah, no problem. I'll be here."

Rainbow shoved the blanket off her and walked towards her house and shut the door behind her.

Spike let out a deep exhale and rubbed his temples. What in Celestia's name did he do last night? And why did his head hurt so much? And why was he so tired? He decided to save those questions for later.. He let out another deep breath and leaned his head back against the seat, closing his eyes and getting some well-deserved rest.

Before he was able to catch more than a few seconds, a stranger knocked on the window. He jumped, and rolled it down. The unicorn was a bit of a pitiful sight. He was about Rainbow Dash's age, with a short mane and a small beard. At first sight, he looked like he might be more of a lost puppy dog than a unicorn. His eyes were sad, and he looked confused to see Spike there. Upon further inspection, he saw that his cutie mark was a picture of a brain. Whatever that means... Spike thought before greeting the strange unicorn.

"Yes?" Spike rolled down the window and asked.
"Can I help you?" the strange unicorn responded.
"What do you mean?"
"Can I help you with something?"

Spike paused for a minute. Can he.. What? What is this pony talking about?

"What are you doing here?"
"I'm not really.. Sure what you're asking me."
"Oh..." The strange pony looked at the cart, a curious look on his face.
"Thanks," he said and walked away.

What a nut.. Spike thought and rolled up his window. Oh, well.. At least I'll never see him again...

Chapter 5: My Intro's Epilogue

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It is the dead of night, and an eerie silence has fallen over Ponyville, broken only by the soft pitter-patter of the pegasi's downpour. The only light is coming from the moon, peeking out from a sliver of an opening between the clouds, and it is shining down on a cart with a lone, scaly driver, casting the night in a cool, blue glow. Inside the cart, an old, beat-up mixtape is playing Beck's cover of "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" through the cassette slot. A shaky claw reaches down and ejects the tape, abruptly stopping the music, and throws the tape out of the window. Outside, the cassette lands with a crack and the rain begins to do its work as the cart pulls away from the scene.

As the cart moves forward, it passes under moonlight, and in the brief light, the teary face of a very agitated-looking dragon is thrown into existence. The same claw that threw the tape out the window now reaches up and wipes the dragon's eyes, but the dragon keeps his eyes on the rainy scene outside, not saying a word, but choking back tears as his claws continue to shake.

As the cart pulls into a funny-looking library carved from a tree, a single lamppost flickers into existence, exposing a long, deep cut in the wood of the cart as it pulls up beside the library and the sullen, scaly figure steps out with a sob and a bag in his right claw. On the same street, a large white van pulls up to observe the figure in the light of the lamppost.

"We're looking for the library in the tree. Can you see it?"
"Well, I see lots of trees, but there's none that look like libraries."
"Mother of Discord, you'd think they'd have it labeled as a library or something. I mean, is this guy even--"
"Wait, is that him?"
"Yeah, I think that's him. I see him."
"Yeah, that's definitely him."

One of the two ponies in the van lets out a chuckle and waves at the figure in the night. He acts as if he doesn't notice, but he glances over to see a funny-looking pony with a short mane and a small beard. He doesn't recognize the pony, and continues walking.

Who is this van and why do they keep following me? Spike thought as he walked through the rain towards the library entrance. Although, truth be told, this was the least of Spike's worries. He'd had one hell of a night, probably one of the worst of his life. You know, before I get back to the library, I should get Twilight's mail. Spike proceeded to walk past the entrance as the van drove off into the rainy night. With his beanie on and his arms crossed, the purple and green dragon raced across to the local mailroom.

"Hey, Spike." "Hey, how are you?" "Not very good.. The only Hearts and Hooves Day cards I ever get are from my mother. How pathetic is that?" Spike wasn't paying any attention. He was looking through postmarks from Twilight's letters. Maybe Rainbow had written him one..?

"You're lucky you've got Rainbow Dash, man. She is way cool." Spike looked through and found a peculiar-looking envelope from a group called Laluna, Inc. Wonder what that's all about.. Probably just another science company who wants to use Twilight's talents, Spike thought to himself.

"Hey, you got any Hearts and Hooves plans with Rainbow this year?" Spike froze. Any Hearts and Hooves plans? With Rainbow Dash? He shrunk back a little.

"Well, it's only a day away; you'd better make some reservations or something. Don't wanna get stuck at Donut Joe's, right? He's never been good with the romance!"
"I, uh... I have to, go to sleep now, man."
"But it's only 8:30."

But by then, Spike was out of the mailroom and back in the library.

Twilight was gone for the night. She'd been leaving more often recently.. Spike hoped she wouldn't be moving back to Canterlot anytime soon, like she'd been talking about since she and Masquerade had gotten married. In the mean time, Spike tossed Twilight's mail onto her bed, changed into his pajamas, mostly torn apart from years of wear and tear, thanks mostly to his sharp scales and his constant movement in his sleep, and took a prescription medicine out of the bag. He filled a glass with water and down the hatch the pill went.

As Spike passed the window on the second floor of the library, he noticed the white van again. It was parked in front of the treehouse, but he couldn't make out the figures very well. Down in the van, the two ponies conversed. One of them was singing quietly. The driver was a unicorn with a tousled-looking black mane and a pair of somewhat-thick square black-rimmed glasses. His skin was a light pale orange, and his emerald eyes were glaring over at his singing counterpart.

"Patrick, stop it. That singing's getting on my nerves."

In the treehouse, Spike began to worry. What if these were burglarponies? He shut all the windows and blinds, and turned off all the lights that were on in the house. On his way to turn off the foyer lights, he stumbled and knocked over a shelf of books. Huh.. Gotta work on my balance, Spike thought sleepily as he flicked the switch. Back in the van, the two ponies saw the stumble.

Patrick stopped singing. "Showtime in Ponyville," he said with definity.

Patrick and his friend pulled open the back door of the van and pulled out a strange-looking electronic helmet attached to some sort of scanner. It had stopped raining, so they could pull the contraption out without fear of losing any of its valuable parts. They pulled it into the library foyer and found the dragon face down on the floor, his leg twitching. They connected the dragon up to the machine and plugged it in.

Spike woke up lying on the ground face up. He was back in the mailroom. How had he gotten here?

"Hey, Spike." "Hey, how are you?" "Not very good.. The only Hearts and Hooves Day cards I ever get are from my mother. How pathetic is that?"

Spike looked over to his right and saw a very strange sight -- he was looking at himself talking with his neighbor.

"You're lucky you've got Rainbow Dash, man. She is way cool. Hey, you got any Hearts and Hooves plans with her this year?" "...No." "Well, it's only a day away; you'd better make some reservations or something. Don't wanna get stuck at Donut Joe's, right?"

Spike's vision became more and more blurry, like his sight was fading away. He closed his eyes for half a second and woke up with a start. He was in the library foyer. It was empty.

Man, what a nightmare.. Spike thought, and threw himself under the covers. I'll have to talk to Twilight and Masquerade about this when they get back.

Chapter 6

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"No! She wouldn't do that!"
"Yes, I'm telling you, it was her! And that's what she did!"
"Well, Spike, I'm so sorry."
"But, you know, Hearts and Hooves Day is today, and I want it resolved, and I'm willing to do the resolving!"

Spike and Twilight debated heatedly over the events of the day. It had been a few weeks since he and Dash had split up, and suffice it to say that he was aching and wanted her back. He paced back and forth among the endless shelves of books on astronomy and magic spells and tried to think of a way to comprehend what he had just been through.

Meanwhile, Twilight's husband Masquerade sat and listened to Spike and Twilight talk, trying to get words in but getting lost in the confusion of the conversation. Masquerade was a science pony if there ever was one. He had no chiseled face, or long, flowing mane, or ridiculous features. He was a science unicorn, and his cutie mark said so, being that of a test tube boiling over with some strange untold concoction. Aside from that, he had no incredibly distinguishing features, aside from a deep crimson skin color. He and Twilight had met at a science convention before Spike met Rainbow Dash, and the two had eloped that same weekend. They were married within a few months, and suffice it to say things were... a bit tough on the new couple. Spike had to be happy for them, but he was never good at acting out sympathy.

"So I call her to try to get together with her... And she's changed her number. Go figure. So I went over to Aloe and Lotus' jewelry store yesterday night, to buy her something and bring it to Racing Accessories... And I see her there.. With this really young unicorn, with a cutie mark of a brain! And she looks at me like she's never seen me before in her life. It went something like this..."

"Excuse me? Can I help you find something?" Rainbow Dash was sitting at the front desk of her Racing Accessories store, looking up at Spike with a blank stare. Spike returned her gaze with inward surprise and quietly laughed, as if saying, "Is this some sort of joke?"

"Heey, Miss Rainboom Red." A high-pitched voice cut through the awkward silence and Dash looked to her left. "Patrick, baby! You're here, I'm so glad!" Dash and Patrick shared a kiss in front of a now utterly startled Spike as Dash looked over at him and said, "I'll be right with you, sir."

"So what're you doing here, baby?" Dash asked Patrick.
"Just came to surprise you. I know how your work can get pretty boring."
"Oh, yeah? You look good. In that nice suit of yours. I think I might want whatever's in there."

A dejected Spike could be seen walking out of the store and into the rainy night, stepping into his cart, putting a beat-up old Beck tape into the cassette player and driving away into the darkness.

"So after that I got in my car and drove back to the library after going and getting your mail."

Twilight and Masquerade looked at each other without saying anything for awhile.

"Why... Why would she do that to me..."

Masquerade broke the silence.

"Hey.. Does anypony want a shot of Everfree?"
Spike cringed.
"Sweet Celestia, Masquerade, give it a rest," Twilight said as she walked upstairs.
"Maybe I should just go to her house.. Say sorry in person.." Spike thought out loud.
"No way, man, you don't wanna go there, no way. No, man, that'd just be.."
"..Yeah.. Desperate."

Twilight came back down the stairs, carrying some laundry down with her magic. "Spike, maybe this should just be a sign. Move on. Make a clean break. Maybe go back to Rarity? She still has your fire ruby, you know," she said while giving Masquerade a sharp glare. Masquerade returned the expression and looked over at Joel. No one said anything for awhile, aside from Spike's incessant groaning. Masquerade decided enough was enough.

"Alright, look, Spike. Seriously, you have to read this," he said as he pulled out an opened envelope from the drawer to his side.
"Masquerade, no! We can't!" Twilight pleaded.
"Here's the deal," Masquerade continued, taking a card out of the envelope.
"Masquerade, don't do that. Masque, what in Celestia's name are you doing?? No, no, no, no," Twilight stopped folding the laundry and rushed over to Masquerade to try to take the envelope away from him. The crimson science pony pulled away from Twilight and began to raise his voice. "Well, what's your Discorded suggestion, Twilight?? Sit there and let him suffer?? Is that your brilliant scientific solution??"
"Oh, I see, so now this is about our problems. This isn't about us, this is about--"
"I agree, this is about Spike, and Spike is an adult dragon now, not Twilight's little baby!"

Twilight suddenly began to fling laundry onto Masquerade angrily. Masquerade covered himself with his hooves and stuttered. "That's your laundry, and not my responsibility!" Twilight said sternly as she threw the rest of the clothes on Masquerade and marched back up the stairs in a huff.

Masquerade sat stunned for a few seconds, a considerable pile of unfolded laundry sitting on top of him in his chair, envelope in hand, before coming back to reality. He took a deep breath and gestured for Spike to take the envelope.

Spike's shaky claws took the envelope and pulled out its contents, a professional-looking card with a simple message on it. He read it, rubbed his eyes, read it again, rubbed his eyes again. A look of disgust took over his features as he threw the card down and picked it up again in disbelief:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Sparkle,

RAINBOW W. DASH has had SPIKE BARISH removed from her memory. Please never mention their relationship to her again.

Thank you,
Laluna, Inc.
210 East Gala St, Ponyville, Equestria

Chapter 7

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210 E GALA ST.

Well, this looks like the place, Spike thought as he pushed the door open and walked inside.

"Good morning, Laluna... No, I'm sorry, that offer expired after Winter Wrap Up day." Spike walked up a small flight of stairs and saw before him a simple-looking waiting room, populated by a few scattered ponies and a blonde pegasus receptionist with a bit of a lazy eye, speaking into a telephone receiver.

"..Yeah, sure, we can fit you in... Hmm.. How about on the fifth? Yep, that's a Wednesday. Alrighty, great, could you spell that name out, please? I have trouble with spelling long names sometimes.." Spike looked around the receptionist's desk. There was an old computer surrounded by files, calendars with appointments scribbled lazily all over them, a plain white telephone, and a printer busy writing up cards just like the one Spike read:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Sprinkle,

DAISY SPRINKLES has had GOLD BOULDER removed from her memory. Please never mention their relationship to her again.

Thank you,
Laluna, Inc.
210 East Gala St, Ponyville, Equestria

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Charger,

CLAUDIO CHILL has had CHRIS NORR removed from his memory. Please never mention their relationship to hIm again.

Thank you,
Laluna, Inc.
210 East Gala St, Ponyville, Equestria

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldmare,

ELIZA NEIGHMAN has had BEVERLY ROXY removed from hermemory. Please never mention their relationship to her again.

Thank you,
Laluna, Inc.
210 East Gala St, Ponyville, Equestria

Spike could only stare in disbelief. He had never heard of a procedure to erase ponies from memory before. The idea of it fascinated and terrified him.

"Okay, and we'll need a daytime phone number so we can reach you when the appointment comes.. Great, have a nice day. See you then. Bye now.. May I help you?" The receptionist seemed to have a million things to do, and she addressed Spike without looking up at him.

"I'm, uh.. I'm Spike Barish."
"Excuse me?"
"Spike. Barish? I have an appointment with Dr, um.."
"Whoovezwiak. Here, could you fill this out?" The receptionist handed Spike a clipboard and a blank form.
"I just wanted to talk to him."
"I'm sorry, sir, you still have to fill this out."
"I don't have a pen,"
"There are quills right over there," the receptionist said as she picked up the receiver to take another call. "Good morning, Laluna.. Oh, yeah, that offer's done, it expired after Winter Wrap Up day."

"Mr. Barish? Dr. Whoovezwiak will see you now," the receptionist called out to Spike. The flustered dragon stood up and followed the receptionist into the hallway.
"How are you today, Mr. Barish?"
"Not doing so well, actually."

"BOO!!" a pale orange pegasus with black-rimmed glasses jumped out at the receptionist, who jumped back in surprise and began to laugh. "OH, Celestia, Stan, don't do that! I'm working!" Spike edged past Stan, who looked peculiarly familiar, and followed the receptionist into Dr. Whoovezwiak's office.

"Here you go, Doctor," the receptionist said as she handed him the form Spike filled out and put her hoof on his shoulder. The doctor glanced up at her. "Thank you, Derpy." The pale brown doctor put on his glasses and read over the letter. He looked up at Joel. "You should not have seen this. I sincerely apologize."

Spike paused for a second, and leaned in closer to the doctor. "This is some sort of a hoax, right? I mean, this is Dash we're talking about--"

"I assure you, it is not a hoax," the doctor said, and Derpy quietly agreed before picking up her papers and walking slowly away from the room, turning her back as she left and smiling at the doctor.

"There's no such thing as this. I mean there's no way there can be," Spike said in disbelief.
"Look, our files are confidential, Mr. Barish; I'm legally not allowed to tell you anything more. Suffice it to say that Miss, uh.. Miss Dash.."

"Suffice it to say that Miss Dash was not happy, and wanted to move on, We provide that possibility." Spike repeated the words to Twilight back at the library later that day, still in utter disbelief. "I mean, what the hell is that? I'm the nicest guy she ever went out with, even if I am a dragon."

In the other room, Masquerade could be heard working on a hammer and nail, and swore. "Celestia, Masquerade, give it a rest!!" Twilight said exasperatedly. "Twilight, I am making, a birdhouse. Don't get on my case if I want to build something now and again!" Steam came out of Twilight's ears and then dissipated as she turned back to Spike.

"What can I say, Spike? You know Dash.. She's like that, she's.. Impulsive. She decided to erase you almost as a lark." Spike sat down, thinking and blinking back tears. "A lark," he said after awhile.

Later that night, an old cart with a deep tear in the wood could be seen underneath a lamppost, not going anywhere, but with an obviously distressed dragon sobbing inside.

"Wait, wait, wait, Mr. Barish, you can't go in there, the doctor is working!" The receptionist tried to hold Spike back in the hallway to no avail. Spike approached Doctor Whoovezwiak in a green beanie and said definitively, "I want it done. Get Dash out of my memories." The receptionist chimed in, "I tried to tell him to stay back, I warned him Hearts and Hooves Day is our busy time.."
"No, no, Derpy.. That's, that's okay, Derpy. He can have the procedure done."
"But there are people waiting."
"Mr. Barish, if you'd like to.. If you'd like to come inside.."

Annoyed, the receptionist returned to the lobby to take another call. "Good morning.. Laluna."

Doctor Whoovezwiak took a seat across the desk from Spike. "Now.. The first thing we need you to do, Mr. Barish, is to go home, and collect everything you own that might have some association with Rainbow Dash. Anything. Letters, pictures, drawings, clothing, journal entries, mixtapes she may have made for you, gifts, rings, racing accessories. And we'll utilize these items to create a map of Rainbow Dash in your brain. Our plan is to empty your home.. And empty your life.. of Rainbow Dash. And after the map is created, one of our trained technicians will do the erasing in your home.. Tonight. That way, when you wake up in the morning, you will find yourself in your own bed, in your own home, as if nothing had happened, and as if Rainbow Dash had never come into your life. A new life will be awaiting you. Come in later today with every association of Rainbow Dash you have, and we'll begin the procedure."

Spike ignored Twilight and Masquerade's hello's as he walked through the door. He didn't hear them say they were leaving for a week that afternoon, and frankly, he wouldn't have cared even if they were listening. He started with his room; pictures of he and Rainbow Dash still covered his bulletin boards, his walls, the borders of his mirrors. He got two trash bags and began to throw everything in. Pictures, books, clothes, drawings. He'd thrown his last cassette from Rainbow Dash into the rainy night, so that was taken care of. He scoured the house, sometimes finding things, sometimes not. When his first trash bag filled up, he quickly grabbed another one and filled it up, as well, mostly with racing accessories he had gotten as gifts from Rainbow Dash; he had never been a racer, but Dash wanted him to be one, so she would always take things from the store and give them to him. Spike thought it a shame that they'd never be used, but into the trash bags they went.

The last thing to get rid of was the toughest thing to get rid of. Sitting on a dusty old shelf in a deserted corner of the house was a custom-made Daring Do figurine, made from an apple and a few bits and pieces of toys from Rainbow Dash's childhood. It had meant a lot to her; she had given it to him for their one-year anniversary. Choking back a tear, Spike put it in the bag and walked out the door before he would let himself break down again.

Ponyville was always something of a busy place in the middle of the day. Carts ran across the streets, ponies ran to and from various stores, and there was always a line at Sugarcube Corner. An agitated-looking dragon raced across the street with two large black trash bags in his hand, and had a close call with a stallion-cab before finishing his trek across the street and walking into a thin opening to a building labeled LALUNA, INC. ; 210 E GALA ST.

"No, I'm sorry, Mrs. Sprinkle. You can't have the procedure done three times in one month.... Well, it's just not our policy.." Derpy covered the receiver with her hoof and greeted Spike: "How are you today, Mr. Barish? .. Yes.. Hello, I'm right here, Mrs. Sprinkle. I know it's an emergency, and we'll do everything we can... How about the first of March? Maybe you could speak with Dr. Whoovezwiak about.. Alright, so let's make an appointment.. What day would you like to come in this week? .. Well, he's really busy this afternoon.. Maybe tomorrow would be better. How's 12:15 sound?"

"Ah, Mr. Barish, are you ready to begin?" Dr. Whoovezwiak greeted Spike personally in the waiting room and beckoned him to come inside.

Spike looked at the bags in either claw. They were slightly torn at the top from when he was rushing through Ponyville and his claws had dug into the plastic. He was sweating and his heart was beating as fast as Dash's Rainboom, but he took a deep breath and stood up straight.

"I'm ready. Let's begin."
"Right this way, please. Doctor Whoovezwiak will see you now."

Chapter 8: Let's Begin

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"Ah, Spike, good to see you. I trust you've brought with you everything you need?"

Spike looked at Dr. Whoovezwiak with a pensive expression. After a few seconds, he shook himself out of his daze and gestured towards the trash bags in either claw. "Yeah, let's get started."

"Very good. Before we begin, a little tour."

Spike followed Dr. Whoovezwiak through the narrow hallway, sidestepping to avoid the shelves scattered along the edges, lined with books on memory for every species and various unfiled documents wedged in between.

Without looking back, the doctor said, "Through each of these doors coming up are our mapping rooms. We read responses from our patients to better understand how to erase their memories."

"Through here are our interview rooms, where I or one of our technicians interview patients on tape for our own personal records." Spike looked around. Was this it? Aside from its trade, Laluna really didn't seem that different from a normal doctor's office.

The doctor stopped at the last doorway on the left; placed in the center was a sign reading simply,


The door opened with a slight creak that suggested age, and Spike was greeted by a peculiar sight. There was an old, pale yellow female earth pony, about 70 years old and wrinkled with age, sitting in an examination chair staring at a TV set and listening to an old ragtime song on a vintage record player. Off to the side was another unicorn, pale orange, sporting black-rimmed glasses and a white lab-coat over a tousled-looking mane, his eyes closed in concentration and his horn glowing an eerie, pale yellow hue, the same color as his elderly patient. To his right, a computer screen showed a constantly-updated x-ray of the patient's brain, colored with a network of pale yellow lines showing connections between neurons. As the door opened, the unicorn opened his eyes and blinked a few times at Spike and Dr. Whoovezwiak. His horn flickered for a split second, and the patient cringed before his horn resumed glowing.

"This is Stan Inkley, one of our most experienced technicians. He'll be handling your case tonight."

Spike raised one of his full claws as a greeting gesture. Stan nodded, smiled warmly and turned back to his patient to continue the procedure.

"And don't be alarmed by the equipment you see. All you'll have to do is give us responses."

Spike didn't know what to say. It was such a fascinating sight, and such a disconcerting sight. His head rubbernecked for a few seconds as he turned to follow Dr. Whoovezwiak into the next room, labeled


"My name is Spike Barish, and.. I am here to erase Rainbow Dash."

"Very good. Now, tell me about Miss Dash."

Spike was sitting in front of Dr. Whoovezwiak, a battered tape recorder between the two of them placed in the center of the desk. The room was pretty blank; a glass window with the blinds up gave a second-story view of Ponyville from above, while the rest of the walls were made of cedar wood, or at least painted like so. The only decor in the room, aside from the doctor's files and a few bookshelves, was a small box of tissues on Spike's side of the desk.

"I was seeing this unicorn.. Rarity.. A couple of years ago, and my friends Twilight and Masquerade invited me to this party in Cloudsdale -- I never liked parties. Rarity insisted she couldn't go, but I went anyway... and I met Rainbow."

Spike heard an assistant drop something outside. He poked his head in and apologized for the noise before leaving again.

"Let's start with your most recent memories, and move backwards from there," the doctor said with something of a confident tone. He continued speaking as he wrapped a blood pressure monitor around Spike's arm.

"There's an.. emotional core.. to each of our memories.. And when you... When you..." Dr. Whoovezwiak paused for a moment to listen to the monitor for a pulse. "If you'll excuse me," the doctor said, and jotted something down on his clipboard. "Scales," he said simply, and put away the blood-pressure monitor to take out a stethoscope. "If memory serves, you are our only dragon to date." If memory serves, Spike thought. What memory ever serves in a place like this?

"Now, there's an emotional core to each of our memories, and when you eradicate that core, the memory fades away on its own, so by the time you wake up in the morning, all of your memories of Miss Dash will have faded and withered, like a dream upon waking."

"Is there any risk of brain damage?"

The doctor paused. "Well.. technically the procedure is brain damage. But I wouldn't worry too much; it's on a par with a long night at the office. Nothing you'll miss."

A few moments later, Spike found himself in the same operating room as the pale yellow pony before him. The record player had been moved, and the dusty record sat in the corner, along with the old television set, a couple of VHS tapes tossed on top. Spike was sitting in the operating chair, a metal tray in front of him, being raised up to a peculiar-looking helmet. Spike felt the chair stop abruptly, and Stan & the doctor both looked above him with pensive expressions.

"Can you still do it?"

"Umm.. I could probably map it raw. The head cover is just extra insulation, mostly."

"Mr. Barish, now don't be alarmed. Due to your.. species specifications, Mr. Inkley will be mapping your brain without the use of our head cover. The procedure will still go on as scheduled, but you might feel a slightly more agitated headache tomorrow morning than you might otherwise have. Is that alright?"

Spike thought for a moment. He wasn't entirely sure what the helmet was even for, but he figured that if the doctor said it was safe, he could trust him. After all the pain Rainbow caused him, he would go through all the pain in the world to have her erased from his life.

"..Okay. Go ahead."

Stan turned the head cover away and began to rummage through Spike's trash bags. As he pulled an object out and looked it over, he said, "Now, what we're doing here, Mr. Barish, is actually creating a map of your brain that we can use to more easily access your memories of Rainbow Dash. Now as I place each object on the table I'd like you to react to them." As he finished his sentence, he placed the object, a poorly-made apple figurine on the tray. He closed his eyes, deep in concentration, as his horn began to glow a lovely-looking purple and green gradient hue.

"There's actually a pretty funny story to this one..." Before Spike could finish, Stan's horn stopped glowing and he cut him off: "You know, actually, Mr. Barish, I would get a much better reading if you didn't speak your reactions; mental reactions are what we're looking for." Spike did as he was told and didn't say anything as Stan and the doctor crowded around the computer monitor with Spike's brain etched into it, with green dots connected by purple lines jumping up all over the screen. "Very healthy activity around there, I see," the doctor said, very plainly. "Here's another object," Stan said as he placed a pair of ice skates on the tray. Time began to move faster as Spike's breathing slowly became more erratic.

Ice skates.Our venture into cracking the ice on Winter Wrap Up Day. "I'm getting activity towards the right side of the frontal lobe."

A Daring Do plush toy. Our trip to Disneighland, when Dash talked me into buying a Daring Do plushie after we went on the ride. "More activity near the hippocampus, centered around nostalgia."

An apple figurine of the two of us together. Man, I was always terrible with tails. "I've got action in the amygdala."

A purple-green gradient aura slowly made its way over Spike's eyes like a veil, blurring everything but the items on the table. Spike's eyes darted from left to right, and his heart rate increased as everything became more and more blurry and a sound comparable to TV static began to pervade his thoughts, getting louder and louder as more grainy voices invaded his mind.

"Mental reactions are what we're looking for."
"I've got action in the amygdala."
"More activity near the hippocampus, centered around nostalgia."
"Hmm.. Apple Daring-Do. That's interesting."
"Hey, Patrick, do me a favor. Would you mind taking these items to storage..."

Spike saw the figure of a unicorn moving like a lost puppy dog, and then everything went black.