Spike sat at the library table, drumming his fingerclaws on the wood. His expression was one of annoyed resignation, for he’d been at this task for several hours as Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia seemed to be trying to transfer the entire Library of Canterlot to Ponyville via his upper GI tract. To himself, he thought, ‘Three.. two.. one..’ and then his eyes crossed, jaw popped open, and an Equestria-shattering belch knocked over a plant on the table as he burped up yet another scroll. He added it to the pile to be sorted.
‘Three… two… one…’ *URRRRRRRRRRRRP!*’ Set the scroll aside.
‘Three… two… one…’ *BRAAAAAAAAP!!!*’ Set the scroll aside.
It was bad enough that he had to burp each and every one of these things up, but it added insult to injury that he was also going to have to classify, sort, and then preserve and store each and every one of them, while Twilight Sparkle went off to have dinner at Sugarcube Corner with her friends. He was beginning to feel very much like an appliance, rather than an assistant and friend.
This went on for another hour, before Twilight finally called a break. Spike’s throat was feeling a bit raw, and his voice certainly was scratchy from all the belching he’d been doing. Granted, it was magically caused and the scrolls were mostly magic, but he STILL felt a bit of roughness from where they’d come flying out of his gullet.
Spike hopped off his chair and went over to the cabinet, where he’d gotten himself a glass of iced apple juice. The cool fluid soothed his throat, so at least it didn’t ache much anymore but his voice was still a touch scratchy.
Twilight Sparkle, oblivious to her assistant’s mood, beamed happily. “Okay, I think that will do it for today after all. I’m running a bit late for dinner, so I need to scoot. Spike, I really appreciate your help. I badly needed these scrolls for my research.”
Spike nodded and sighed. He really DID like Twilight Sparkle. She could be so wonderful sometimes. He cleared his throat softly so that she wouldn’t realize the toll that the work had taken, then nodded. “No problem, Twi. Glad to help. I’m just glad we’re finally done!”
Actually looking a bit contrite, Twilight smiled wryly. “Ah… actually… not so much. Today, all we got was the background and theory of alchemical transmutations with regards to magical practice. Tomorrow, Princess Celestia will be sending over the materials lists, properties, and procedures.”
Spike felt his eye twitch. Another day, belching up messages? No. No, he didn’t think so. “Oh.. um.. okay. I was going to head to Sugarcube Corner tomorrow, but I guess that can wait.”
“Sorry, Spike. I really need those scrolls for my research. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.” Twilight smiled and trotted out the door, it closing behind her.
Spike watched the closed door for a few minutes, then looked at the stack of scrolls. He felt something in his mind snap… not in a really bad way, but this situation was simply intolerable. He tried to be reasonable, and he tried VERY hard to be accommodating. But Twilight had just crossed the line; she hadn’t even invited him out to dinner. Sighing, he turned to the stack of scrolls and began sorting them into order, then began putting them away on the shelves.
Perhaps it was time that he took a more active hand in things. Sure, he could just let the situation continue. He could just let it slide. But it would in reality only get worse if he didn’t do something about this. As he shelved scrolls, Spike found himself thinking about finding a spell that would help him. He wasn’t expert by any means, but one did not assist the student of Princess Celestia without picking up a few things. Perhaps a dose of her own medicine would prove to Twilight that he was a bit more than a Burp-o-Matic(tm) fax machine, and utility to keep her library clean and tidy. If, say, TWILIGHT had to do the burping for a day, perhaps it might even things out.
Those happy thoughts helped Spike through the next few hours while he not only shelved and organized the scrolls, but also managed to make himself something in the kitchen to eat for dinner. He DID feel a little bit of a twinge of guilt for plotting this, but it really was for her own good. You can’t just treat ANYONE like that, let alone a friend. Perhaps he’d make her some cupcakes to apologize in advance… Spike got down the ingredients for Twilight’s favorite lemon-poppy seed muffins and started baking. A small gesture, but he wasn’t about to do something like this to a friend without at least trying to buffer the impact a bit.
Muffins cooking, Spike went back to the books, whistling Sweetie Belle’s latest iteration of the Cutie Mark Crusader’s theme song to himself; it really was quite catchy and very good.
The search took an hour or so, but in a dusty tome found high on one of the shelves, he found exactly what he wanted. It was an old one, but didn’t seem too terribly difficult; ‘Spell of Transferrence’. The core of it seemed to be that the source of his problems would in turn experience them until he himself voided the spell in person.
“Perfect.. absolutely perfect!” Spike took the book down, and set it on the library table. He read it over, wordlessly sounding out the words to make sure it was within his capability. He grinned toothily, rubbing his hands together and indulged in a quiet, maniacal bout of laughter. It was so perfect, the spell would even take effect at noon, tomorrow. You couldn’t ASK for better timing! The spell was cast, and he felt a tingling in his throat; he knew that the fun began tomorrow.
The next day started precisely as he’d expected it to;
‘Three… two.. one…’ *URRRRRRRP!* Set the scroll to the side.
‘One..two.. three…’ *BRAAAAAAAAP!* Set the scroll to the side.
The lunch break was called, and Twilight and Spike had lunch together while debating the political history of Equestria and Ponyville. Twilight had the obvious edge in age and experience, but Spike was a very fast study and came up with several valid points that actually made her think and reconsider. After one particular point, she felt the need to climb the book stacks and find one particular tome with a bit of data in it that she felt might make her point. In that time, two more visitors came into the library..
Spike smiled as the door opened and Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash both ambled in. “Hey, girls! Come on in. Twilight’s up in the stacks looking for something. And boy, do I need to talk to you two!”
Rainbow Dash smiled, “Oh yeah? What about, Spikester?”
Spike made sure that Twilight wasn’t coming back, then gestured for Dash and Pinkie Pie to cluster in close. “WELL! I just happened to have set up a prank on Twilight. And I think you two would appreciate it! You know how passing messages back and forth makes me burp them up, right? (in a sing-song voice he continued) It isn’t me that’s going to be doing the burping, now…”
Rainbow Dash laughed, banging her hoof on the floor. “Oh, that’s GREAT! I can’t wait to see this! BWAHAHHAAA!!!!” She flopped onto the floor, flailing her hooves in the air. “Little Miss Egghead belching out scrolls? This is gonna be a RIOT!! ”
From the stacks, Twilight called out, “Hey, Spike? Send Princess Celestia a message asking her if we can delay a little bit? I need to find that book..”
Spike grinned. “Sure thing, Twilight. I’d be HAPPY to.” He looked at Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, winking. “And I can’t wait to see what happens when the reply comes back, either.” Spike scrawled the note, and blinked as it simply dissolved into a purple-blue mist without him having to breathe fire. “Huh. That’s strange. Didn’t expect THAT to happen!”
Pinkie Pie actually looked stunned. “Um.. Spike? You know you didn’t actually prank just Twilight, right?”
Spike watched the mist float out the window and up towards Canterlot. “Of course I did! Any replies will make Twilight burp it up, just like she does to me.”
Pinkie Pie giggled, covering her muzzle with her hooves. “Silly.. Twilight’s messages don’t make you burp, do they? You just breathe fire on them and send them to Princess Celestia.”
Spike nodded… and then got very, very wide-eyed, spines flattening. “Oh… NO.”
“Oh YES! YOU, Spike, just pranked Twilight.. and Princess CELESTIA!”
Rainbow Dash looked at Spike, awed. “Oh, wow.. you WIN, Spike. I don’t have the horse-shoes to do THAT…”
Princess Celestia was bored out of her mind, but she couldn’t let it show. The nobles were a crashing bore at the best of times, and these certainly weren’t them. She found herself hoping for something.. ANYTHING.. to happen, just to break the monotony of another noble complaining about this, that, or the other.
Sighing to herself, she levitated her spoon up to take a sip of the admittedly tasty soup, when she felt her stomach rumble warningly. Her eyes got wide as she felt her stomach heave.. ‘*BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!!!*’ To her deep surprise, she burped up a letter from Twilight Sparkle which landed directly in the soup she was trying to eat. The back-blast of emerald green fire splashed onto the tablecloth, which seemed to immediately disintegrate into magical dust and disappear…
One of the nobles looked at Amber, Princess Celestia’s Seneschal. “Ma’am? A question of Protocol… exactly what are we supposed to do when our beloved Princess burps into her soup and incinerates the tablecloth during lunch…?”
Amber looked at the rather startled Princess and simply said, “…. I… do not know.”
Back in Ponyville, Spike was burying his head under his hands while both Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash howled with laughter. Twilight Sparkle was standing by the table too, covered by a slightly singed and soup-stained tablecloth with only her horn showing. Somehow, Spike could still feel the glare, even without seeing Twilight’s eyes.
A moment later, a scorched bit of tapestry landed atop Twilight, sliding to the ground. Then a potted plant. Then a piece of Royal Guard armor. Then a doorknob, still attached to part of the door. Then a feather pillow, burned open, so that the feathers flew every which way.
Spike smiled weakly, holding out a lemon poppy seed muffin to Twilight. “Muffin, Twi? It’s your faaaavoriiiite... mm-mm-yummy...”
His offer was overshadowed by a scorched moon-themed towel that now hung from Twilight’s horn. Followed by a mane brush. And a partially melted bar of soap.
Spike sighed. “I’m SO dead.”