Run, run, run. It was all he could think to do. What else could he do? The situation didn’t really leave him a lot of avenues to explore. The situation he still wasn’t entirely sure he knew how he got into.
There he was, just minding his own business in the fields near Sweet Apple Acres, trying to locate the individual who asked him to give them a hand with something (he wasn’t told what), when three cape wearing, war crying, rope twirling baby ponies darted out of bushes and bore down on him. In that moment, Spike’s flight reflex overthrew the rest of his instincts and he took off across the green.
His little dragon legs pumped and moved him as quickly as they could carry his purple behind to gain distance between him and his pursuers. But, in the back of his mind, he knew how this was going to end. There were three of them, after all, and their four legged anatomy gave them a bit of advantage over his two. In what could have been timed at about 45 seconds by anypony who may have found this event interesting enough to measure it’s chronological lifespan, the Cutie Mark Crusaders had closed the gap between them and their prey. While Scootaloo jumped ahead and blocked Spike’s path, Apple Bloom, taking a cue from her big sister, whipped her lasso over him and gave it a tug. His forward momentum arrested, Spike was halted just long enough for the yellow pony to spin around him and bind his limbs.
“GO CUTIE MARK CRUSADER DRAGON CATCHERS!” was the call as the three markless ponies clopped together their right fore hooves over their quarry. They immediately shifted their gaze towards their flanks and were expectantly disappointed when nothing appeared, although Spike thought they only seemed half-heartedly concerned.
Spike was nonplused. “Told you that wasn’t going to work when you asked me before.”
“Yeah, we kinda figured.” Sweetie Belle admitted.
“Then why did you bother?”
“Cuz, um, Ah, Ah mean, we uh….” Apple Bloom stammered, her voice trailing.
Scootaloo swooped in. ”Because we wanted to make sure. You know, you never know unless you try, right?”
Spike wasn’t impressed with the answer.
“Well,” Sweetie Belle said “since you’re here, how’d you like hang out with us? We’ve got whole bunch of fun stuff we plan do.”
Spike quickly tried to weigh his options. On the one hand, he could be spending all day cleaning up after Twilight and on the other, he could find out what else besides kidnapping these terrors had in mind.
“ Um, I don’t know. I might have other things I have to do today. I’m gonna have to check with….”
“We’ll give ya lunch” a red faced Apple Bloom blurted out.
Spike still wasn’t entirely sure he made the right decision, but free food beats hauling dusty books any day. There was, however, one thing that continued to annoy him.
The tea party had been going on peacefully for about 20 minutes, the party goers chatting about the things that underage pony girls found interesting (things that Spike did not), with Apple Bloom sitting next to the baby dragon. She diligently made sure her guest was healthily supplied with food and drink, even feeding him herself. Eventually, however, Spike’s cynical nature forced its way out.
“Uh guys, I appreciate the grub, but don’t you think it would easier on all of us if you untied me?”
The girls looked at each other, then at Spike, then Scootaloo and Sweetie glanced at Apple Bloom. She bit her lip.
“Sorry, we were afraid you’d try and run if we untied you,” said Sweetie Belle.
“I did agree to stay, you know. Besides, how far would I get after how fast you caught me the first time?”
Scoots pondered for a second. “Uh, good point.”
“You promise not to run?” a concerned farm filly asked.
“I just said I wouldn’t”
“Ok.” Apple Bloom gave the rope a tug and Twilight’s assistant was free.
Spike flexed his arms to get the blood moving. Now that he was satisfied with his returned mobility, he needed a drink. He grabbed his empty cup and held it up. “Alright, could you pour me some tea?”
“I’ll get it!” a far too enthusiast Apple Bloom said, clumsily reaching for the hot kettle. In one quick motion, the steaming herbal liquid went from the spout to the rim of the cup to the lap of the thirsty recipient.
Spike jumped. “Yowwch!”
“Ah’m sorry, Ah’m sorry, Ah’m sorry!” Apple Bloom panicked
“It’s ok, I’m fireproof. It just surprised me is all.” Spike tried to reassure.
“Here, Spike.” Sweetie Belle handed him some napkins.
Scootaloo looked over at her bowed friend; she was nearly in tears. It was time to switch activities. “Uh, hey guys, why don’t we do something else? I say we play save the princess, how ‘bout it?”
“Uh, yeah,” agreed Sweetie, “ Apple Bloom, what about you?”
Apple Bloom took a second to come out of her shock. She looked at her grinning friends, then at Spike. “Yeah. Spike, you wanna play save the princess?”
Spike crocked an eyebrow. “Uh, sure. How do I play?
“I should’ve known,” Spike thought through his blond, curly haired wig. “The princess” rolled his eyes as he sat atop the unstable cardboard tower he was “trapped” in, watching the faux drama unfolding on the ground below.
There wasn’t anything special to it. Just the typical evil sorcerer (Sweetie Belle) captures the fair maiden (himself) locks her(him) in the tower and the knight (Apple Bloom) rides in on his(her) trusty steed (Scootaloo) and saves the day. While the girls seemed be having a good time with the pretend rescue mission, Spike was just glad no one was around to record this. Really though, he admitted to no one, if it wasn’t for the fact he was playing the chick part, he would have made the best of it. Especially if he was playing the knight. He closed his eyes for a moment and imagined himself in shining armor, saving the lovely Rarity from the clutches of evil.
His dream was interrupted by the death throes of a fake wizard being defeated.
“Now, with evil sorcerer defeated, Ah will climb the tower and rescue the beautiful princess.”
Apple Bloom began to scale the flimsy construct, much to Spike’s chagrin.
“Apple Bloom, no!” he tried to warn, “ This thing can’t hold us both. Let me climb down on my o-”
Too little, too late. The cardboard tower collapsed; the two of them fell. Apple Bloom hit the ground first, landing on her back. Spike tipped over the top, somehow managing to flip mid air and landed on top of the little yellow pony . Shaken from the impact, it took a few moments for their senses to realign. Upon opening their eyes and realizing they ended up face to face, a wave of embarrassment rolled over the two of them. Spike was about to get up when something briefly caught his attention. He wasn’t sure where it came from, but there was something about the way she looked at him, the way her face blushed. It was more than just the awkward feeling of two ponies (well pony and dragon) in an embarrassing situation. It looked like….
Spike wasn’t sure what to think and he before got a chance to analyze it more, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo had rushed over to help them up.
“You guys ok?” Scoots asked
“That was a heck of a fall,” Sweetie Belle said
Their words snapped Spike back to reality. “Oh yeah, I’m fine. These scales are tough, I can take anything.” He then remembered why his landing was so soft and turned to check on his cushion. “Apple Bloom, you ok?”
“Ah’m ok” she shook head to clear her thoughts. She was still very flushed.
Spike began to scold, “What were you thinking? I told you not to climb up. That thing barely held ME. What did you think was going to-” he stopped.
Her head was hung low, her face a portrait of sadness and humiliation. “Ah’m sorry, Spike. Ah didn’t mean to be so reckless. Ah guess Ah got carried away. Ah…Ah understand if ya don’t wanna play anymore.” Tears began to form.
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle came over to comfort her.
Spike cringed. He didn’t mean to yell, and he definitely didn’t want to make anyone cry. “No, don’t cry, it’s alright. It was just an accident. I know you’re sorry and hey, I’m sorry for yelling.” Apple Bloom sniffed. “Besides, no one got hurt. It’s all good.”
“So, you don’t wanna leave?”
“Nah. I mean, I did say I’d stay, didn‘t I?” He flashed her a smile. She blushed and smiled back. Spike suddenly felt warm. And good. Sweetie Bellie and Scootaloo winked to each other and sighed happily.
The rest of the afternoon was a mismatch of cobbled together, quickly thought up games and physical scenarios (proving that Sweetie Belle’s claim of a mapped out itinerary wasn’t entirely factual). However, no one complained, not even the snarky dragon; they were all in good spirits and half their fun came from thinking up different activities. Of course, whatever they did, the farm pony made sure the scaly boy was close to her.
In the waning sunlight, Spike and the girls were just finishing the last game of the day. It wasn’t much, they’d have to agree, just a simple foot race. Of course, they had come up with at least one way to make it interesting; two teams riding piggy, er, ponyback. Scoots and Sweetie vs. Spike and Apple Bloom. With the unicorn jockeying the Pegasus and the earth pony riding the dragon, one would have assumed the obvious outcome to be the former, but the mixed team pulled ahead and claimed victory. The two of them gave a small cheer.
But the day was done. Luna had risen her moon and it was time for little ponies to go home for supper.
“Well guys, I gotta get going,” said Sweetie Belle. ”Rarity’s coming over for dinner and I can’t be late.”
“Yeah, I gotta go too,” Scootaloo also announced “See you guys tomorrow. Bye Spike!”
“Bye, guys,” said Apple Bloom.
Spike just waved as he watched them leave. Soon, the two leftovers were alone. They didn’t know what to say. Spike rubbed his arm, Apple Bloom kicked some dirt. In the distance came the apple dinner call and she knew it was time to go.
The sudden feeling of warm, wet lips pressing against his cheek paralyzed the young dragon.
“Thanks,” was all she said. She turned and ran up the path.
He didn’t move. He didn’t think. He just stood there.
In his daze he didn’t hear the hoof steps coming up behind him. When he finally realized he wasn’t alone, he turned to meet the smirking face of Twilight Sparkle.
“How much of that did you see?”
“See? Oh Spike, I don’t what you’re talking about.”
He gave an accusing look.
Twilight giggled. “Come on, Casanova. I think you’ve had quite a day.”
Once the coast was clear, two young ponies removed themselves from their hiding spot in the bushes not 50 feet away.
“Man, “ said Scootaloo, “that took forever. Apple Bloom totally owes us one for this.”
“I’ll say,” agreed Sweetie Belle.
They stood in silence for a second.
“But it was cute,” said the unicorn.
“I’ll say,” agreed the pegasus.
They giggled. The two said their goodbyes once more and went their separate ways.