Unrequited by Paxtofettel
(Starring Spike and Twilight)
There are a great number of questions that everypony goes through life that they wish could be answered early on. Will they live a long, healthy life? Will they become rich beyond their wildest dreams? Of course, some questions are alot more trivial, such as whether or not the Cloudsdale Angels will win the seasonal championships this year. But there is one question that everybody, from alicorns to zebras, from rabbits to dragons, has wanted to know:
Does the one that I love, love me in return?
The story I am about to relate to you deals with that very same question.
Deep inside the Ponyville Library, there lives a certain creature of which few ponies have ever dealt with, and of which fewer have lived to tell of the experience... It is neither pony nor griffin, nor zebra nor dog. No, it is something much more fearsome, much stranger, and by far more deadly! I am talking to you, of course, about a dragon! A giant, rampaging, fire breathing dragon! Okay, so maybe he's not so giant... Nor rampaging... But he does breath fire! Well, sure it might be only to send letters to the princess, but he does it, nonetheless!
In truth, Spike is one of the kindest, most helpful, and most dependable of citizens in Ponyville. And yes, dragons are indeed known for being unsteadily greed, but Spike has learned to overcome such petty desires, rather choosing to replace it with a desire to help in any way he can. Sure, he sometimes tends to be a smarty-pants, but he is still a hard worker. Spike the Dragon, Twilight Sparkle's Number One Assistant!
It was a normal work day in the Ponyville Library. Spike was just finishing up dusting the old tomes and parchments that Twilight Sparkle found stored in the basement. The collection seemed to be dated all the way back to the reign of King Solaris the Great. The documents contained details on the Pony-Goblin War and were written in Old-Ponish, which Twilight understood, thanks to the lessons given to her by her mentor, Princess Celestia. It also came as a very pleasant surprise that some of the documents also provided a very detailed look at life in Equestria during both medieval times and the Reneighssance. One in particular told the history behind Solaris' death at the hands of Discord and the exile of his two daughters, who would later become Equestria's current monarchs.
"Almost done and…there!" exclaimed Spike as he wiped the last dust particles from the ancient scroll he working on, taking care not to damage or tear the frail material. He had spent most of the day tending to the dusty documents while Twilight found a place for them on the library's shelves. Now, after much toil and labor, he was finally finished.
Twilight Sparkle had also just finished her bits of work, levitating the documents to the shelves. "Great work, Spike," she congratulated, "I think that's all of them."
Spike swiped a few beads from his forehead. "Whew, finally!" he exclaimed, "I thought we'd never get done." He put away the feather duster he was using to clean the scrolls and stretched his arms in the air, feeling the satisfying cracks of his spine being relieved of their earlier tension.
"Well, now that we're done, I'd better get going!" Spike said, making his way to front door, only to be stopped by Twilight standing in his way.
"You're leaving already?" Twilight asked. Spike could have sworn he had sensed a hint of disappointment in her voice, but he quickly brushed it off as something his overactive imagination came up with.
"Um, yeah?" Spike answered, "You know I have to go help Rarity with her dresses today." He blushed at the thought of spending the rest of the day with the most beautiful pony his unworthy eyes had ever laid eyes upon, but he soon noticed that Twilight did not look all that pleased. "Twilight, are you okay?"
Twilight shook her head quickly, snapping out of her momentary stupor, "Huh, Wha? Oh, yea, I'm all right, don't worry." she assured, "I guess I forgot about your plans. You did do a great job, so I suppose you have earned the rest of the day off."
Spike smiled at Twilight, walked up to her, and gave her a big dragon hug. He had grown up a bit since he first arrived to Ponyville; so much so that he was able to hug Twilight around her neck, rather than her leg as he used to. Twilight blushed upon contact, but she smiled warmly and hugged him back. "Thanks Twilight, you're the best," he said. As soon as they broke the embrace, Spike eagerly ran out of the tree house, pausing only to tell Twilight that he would be back soon, and went on his merry way to the Carousel Boutique.
The moment Spike left the library for Rarity's home, Twilight sighed deeply. Usually, she would have been happy to have some time alone to dwell through her vast collection of books. But as of late, everytime Spike would leave to spend time with Rarity, she couldn't help but feel jealous of her beautiful friend. The way he fawns over her, Twilight thought bitterly, even enviously. What does she have that I don't? She thought it over for two seconds before she quickly regretted asking herself that, her mind bombarding her with a thousand different answers.
Twilight did not know why and how these feeling came to be, all she knew was that they started emerging right after Spike's 19th birthday. She had noticed how Spike had grown up from the small, infantile dragon that she originally hatched during her entrance exam for Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, to a maturing and complex dragon. At first, she thought it was merely a bit of nostalgia arising from the fact that time has been passing. However, over time (and after reading many books on the subject), she finally came to a startling conclusion.
She was falling in love with her Number One Assistant.
Twilight shook her head violently. No, I can't be in love with him, she thought to herself, he's my assistant. I've raised him since he was hatched.
Indeed, Twilight was emotionally torn by these newfound emotions. She was falling for Spike, her assistant and somewhat little brother.So many times she tried to get rid of these thoughts, but they would always come back, stronger than before. Twilight had even contemplated using a spell to help with this dilemma, but she quickly got rid of the idea knowing that there was a risk of total memory loss.
She let a loud yawn; she had spent most of the day digging through the basement, an exhausting process, not to mention that it was getting rather late. All this thinking is making me tired. She made her way upstairs to her bedroom and threw herself onto her comfortable bed.
Twilight was asleep before her head even hit the pillows, quickly drifting into a dream filled sleep of her faithful number one assistant; Spike.
"TWILIGHT, I'M BACK!!!" shouted Spike, stepping in through the library's front door. He had spent the rest of the day helping Rarity find some gems for her new line of dresses. By the time they returned, it was already dark, so Rarity released him from the bonds of manual labor, (jokingly, of course). She had asked him if he could return the next day and help her sew the gems unto her dresses, to which he happily agreed to.
"Twilight, where are you?" he called out again, this time a lot softer. Still, no answer came. "Where is she?" he asked himself, scratching the top of his head with a claw. He decided go upstairs and search the bedroom for any signs of the lavender unicorn. When he reached his destination, he couldn't help but smile at what he saw. Twilight had fallen asleep before him. He let out a soft chuckle, and proceeded to pull the covers over her sleeping frame. He made his way to his own bed, which replaced his old basket in order to accommodate his larger body, and soon drifted asleep.
Twilight awoke the next morning to the smell of eggs and pancakes. When she went downstairs to investigate the source of the smell, she found Spike already awake and making breakfast for the both of them.
"Mmm! Smells great!" she complimented as she sat down at the table. Spike smiled at the compliment. If there was one thing he was good at, aside from cracking jokes, it was cooking. He placed the food on two plates, setting one down in front of Twilight.
While they were eating, neither of them said anything. A couple of times, Twilight nervously glanced at Spike, only to pull away when his eyes met hers. When they finished, Spike began cleaning both of their plates.
As he cleaned the dishes, Twilight couldn't help but think about how much Spike had changed over the years. He was still an infant in terms of dragon life spans, but to her, he really looked much older.
He was much taller than before, maybe a bit taller than Twilight. The spikes on his back had to a point, rather than the small stubs they were before. He looked different than when he went through his hoarding phase, something that Twilight found surprising. Thankfully, ever since the whole greed incident, he had managed to control his urges to steal things that did not belong to him. Still, she realized that he was not the little dragon she used to take care of. As fast as they came, the strange emotions she had been feeling hit her like a sack of rocks.
Spike had just finished cleaning the plates and putting them away in the cupboards when he took a look at the clock hanging from the wall. "Yikes!" he exclaimed, walking out of the kitchen in a hurry, "I'm late!"
"Late for what?" Twilight asked, following him to the main room.
"I promised Rarity I would help her sew those gems onto her dresses," he answered, opening the front door, only for it to be magically slammed shut. He turned to Twilight and saw that her horn was glowing. "What's going on, Twi?" he implored, "I really need to go."
Twilight shook her head, "No," she stated firmly.
Spike was utterly confused. "No?" he repeated, "and why not?"
"You, uh… Have a lot of chores to do!" she replied, feeling rather flustered.
Spike looked around the room. "But Twilight," he pleaded, "I've already finished all of my chores for the week. What else do I have to do?"
His question was answered by the loud thumping of nearly a hundred of books falling unto the floor. The cacophonous sound shocked him, and it took Spike a few moments to finally notice that Twilight's horn was aglow once more; taking a few more bits of time to piece together what just happened. "W-what?" was all that he could utter verbally.
Twilight shyed away, avoiding any eye contact with Spike. "You... You have to clean up these books..." She tried to force some authority into her voice, to some avail. "So you can't go to Rarity's house today, I'm sorry." She shook herself and managed to look at him in the eye.
Spike's earlier confusion was now replaced with a growing anger. "What is your problem, Twilight?" he demanded.
"There's no problem, except for a lazy dragon that's too busy going out, rather than doing his work," she shot back.
Spike was positively fuming at this point. "Who are you calling lazy? I have been working my tail off these past few months and this is how you repay me?" he retorted, "You know what? I don't need this! I'm going to Rarity's house, whether you like it or not." And with that, Spike stormed out of the house, slamming the door shut as he left. He made his way towards the Carousel Boutique, smoke billowing out of his snout.
Twilight didn't try to stop him, she felt as if all of the energy had drained out of her. As soon as Spike closed the door, Twilight slumped to the ground, sobbing.
"And then, she knocks all the books off the shelves, and orders me to put them back up!"
As soon as Spike reached the home of the town's fashion expert, Rarity noticed that Spike seemed rather upset, rather fuming actually. When she had asked him what was bothering him so much, he began retelling the events that occurred earlier.
"My goodness!" exclaimed Rarity, "That doesn't sound like Twilight at all!"
Spike nodded and continued telling the story. "And then she had the guts to call me lazy, after all the hard work I put in over the last few months."
Rarity tsked, "Well that's just terrible," she said, "you most certainly aren't lazy. You've been such a great help to me this week." She gave Spike a grateful hug.
Spike blushed at the contact, smiling. "Yeah, but lately, she's been acting weird," Spike explained, a tad concerned.
"Oh?" Rarity was intrigued. She never knew her friend of acting so strangely, except for that incident with that horrid Smarty Pants doll; she was both intrigued and concerned. Is something bothering her? "Do tell."She urged.
"Well, yesterday, she seemed a bit upset when I told her I was coming over to help you," Spike began.
"I see… go on," Rarity implored.
"And the day before that, she wanted me to help her re-shelve books."
"What's wrong with that?" Rarity asked.
"She always re-shelves books on her own. She's never asked for help," Spike answered.
Rarity rubbed her chin with her hoof, deep in thought. After a while, she smiled. "I think I may know what is wrong with Twilight," she said, grinning.
Rarity nodded, "Spike, you have grown so much since you first came here, not only in body, but in mind as well. Sure, you still sometimes act as if you were still a child, but you've matured so much since then. We have all noticed that, but I believe Twilight has noticed it the most."
Spike was getting rather confused at what Rarity was saying, "What do you mean 'noticed it the most'?"
"What I mean is, I believe that as time went by, Twilight has gone from seeing you as an assistant, to seeing something much more special."
"I… I don't think I follow, Rarity."
Rarity sighed, "You're still so naïve, Spike. What I'm trying to say is that Twilight may have developed strong feelings for you."
Spike's eyes widened in shock, "Are you saying, she loves me?"
"But, she can't love me!" Spike exclaimed, his eyes widening to the point that they threatened to swallow his face. "I'm her assistant. She's like a sister to me, and besides," he took a deep breath, "I…I love you."
She merely smiled and gave him a hug. "I know, Spike, I know. But, you know I don't feel the same way about you, Spikey."
Spike merely looked down in disappointment. Of course he knew, he always knew, but that didn't stop him from hoping; and it also didn't stop him from hurting.
She sighed, looking at the poor dear with pity. "I'm sorry, Spike. You truly are a valuable friend, but I have no intentions of pursuing anything beyond that. You see, I'm not really looking for a relationship, especially after the incident with the hooligan, Blueblood," she said, scorn dripping from her voicelike poison, "I hope you can understand and forgive me for not telling you sooner."
In all honesty, Spike still felt horrible, but he was able to understand and accept the fact that he never really had the chance with her. "Yeah, I understand…"
She smiled again and hugged him. "Good. Now, I do believe there is a certain pony that is waiting for you."
"I know, I know. I gotta apologize." And with that, Spike made his way towards the door, turning to face the beautiful white unicorn before leaving. "Thank you, Rarity." He smiled and exited the Boutique.
I have to fix this, he thought, whatever this might be…
It had become rather late, and Twilight had still not finished picking up and shelving the books she had knocked off the walls; the horrible, churning feeling inside her slowed her down. How could I do this? Why had I done that?,she cursed at herself, how could I have been so selfish? Indeed, when Spike had said that he was going to Rarity's home once again, she had lost all sense of self control.
She hated to admit it, but she could not stand the thought of Spike visiting Rarity instead of staying with her. She acted without thinking, she acted in rage and jealousy; most likely ruining the relationship that both she and Spike had formed. Tears formed at the corners of her eyes, threatening to have her turn into a sobbing wreck once more. She soon heard the door open, and she gasped when she turned and saw Spike walking in.
"Hey, Twi." Spike greeted scratching the back of his head. He looked around awkwardly and noticed there were still some books lying about. "Need some help?" He began to place books on the shelves, not caring if they were in the right order.
Twilight's mind was in turmoil. Say something stupid, anything's better than nothing! "So, uh… Spike... How was your visit with Rarity?" Ugh, really? Do I really wanna know!? Don't be stupid, Twilight, think of something better to say!
Spike's ears flattened against his head. "It was…enlightening, to say the least." He avoiding eye contact with Twilight and merely kept on shelving books.
Maybe I should just confess, she thought, but what if he doesn't want to hear it? I've already angered him enough today. "E-enlightening, huh?" she stammered, just repeating the only word that registered in her brain when he spoke.
"Yea… It's put a lot on my mind." Spike stopped his shelving and looked down at the floor. "I think I'm gonna call it a night, Twi." He made his way up to the bedroom, not even glancing at Twilight on his way up. "Goodnight", he called out when he reached the bedroom.
Twilight, once again, slumped onto the floor and began to sob. She quickly realized that Spike might hear her, so she decided to do something she hadn't done in a while: She went for a walk.
As she trotted along the desolate, dimly lit town of Ponyville, her mind couldn't help but reminisce over the past few years. Spike had always been like a brother to Twilight, always being there for her during her darkest times.
She thought back to when Owliscious passed away; how, despite his conflict with the owl, Spike had comforted Twilight, and helped her mourn the passing of a friend.
She thought back to the hurricane that had swept through Ponyville almost a year ago. Twilight had enough knowledge of hurricanes to be able to prepare her house against the oncoming havoc, but the clashing wind, and the never ending lightning was not something her books could have prepared her for. She had built a fort in the basement, where she was crying in fear that the house would be blown away, and from the monstrous sounds that the hurricane brought. At some point during her paralyzing terror, Spike had come into the fort, hugged her securely against himself and kissed her horn. Tears began forming at her eyes as she recollected what he whispered to her: "Don't worry, Twi, I'm here to protect you, you know how dragons are. Your number one assistant won't let anything harm you, and that's a Pinkie promise." She remembered that she had fallen asleep in his embrace; never have having felt so safe.
I love him, she thought as she wiped the tears away from her eyes. I love him and I blew it. Twilight let out an audible whimper as she fought to hold back the lump in her throat.
"What am I supposed to do?" She thought out loud, dropping her head an inch from the ground. She stopped walking for a moment to get her bearings. She had somehow managed to reach the edge of the Everfree Forest. For a moment, she thought about wandering into the forest, letting the darkness and mysteries take over her, engulf her; to be lost within, to be left alone to drown in her sorrow. She took a hesitant step towards the forest, almost involuntarily, before quickly shaking her head, spinning around, and running away as fast as she could.
Twilight had been sitting in front of her home's door for a good bit of time; so long, in fact, that the sun's rays had begun to peek over the horizon. It had started to rain as she fled back to her home, but she couldn't work up the courage to walk into the house; she preferred to sit in the rain than run the chance of facing Spike. Twilight had stopped crying and, having finally settled herself down, was trying to come up with a way to apologize to Spike.
She finally settled with a plan, stood up and took a confidence-filled stance. She was going to do this! She bravely opened the door and walked into her home.
She practically vanished into a corner when she noticed Spike had been sitting on the worktable near the window on the far side of the room. She held her breath, for fear of being heard by the dragon.
Twilight had been counting the seconds, and after exactly one hundred and ninety two seconds, Spike chuckled and stood up. "I heard you come in, Twi, I know you're there." He said and as he turned around to face her.
Twilight sounded like a vacuum cleaner that had malfunctioned as her lungs tried to inhale all of the oxygen that was available in Equestria. How she managed to hold her breath for so long, she had no clue, but she knew that she had broken some kind of record. "You could have told me that sometime sooner; I was about to black out!"
Spike bit his tongue in an attempt to keep himself from laughing out loud. "I couldn't help it; it was just too funny knowing that you were there, just holding your breath." He failed to suppress a chuckle.
Twilight smiled as the tension from earlier began to dissolve. She remembered her plan on how she was going to apologize to Spike. She was about to put it into action, if the darned dragon hadn't smiled at her! Twilight's plan was completely forgotten as that smile turned her to mush!
"Twilight, why are you looking at me all funny?" Spike waved his hand in front of Twilight, who seemed dazed. "Equestria to Twilight, come in Twilight!"
Twilight jumped back in surprise as she snapped back to reality. "Yes, honey, what is it?" Twilight hadn't noticed she snapped back into the wrong reality. No, this indeed wasn't the land of Bookvania, where she lived in a kingdom constructed of books, and ruled over it with her partner, Spike. No, this was indeed not that reality.
Spike tilted his head and looked at her with a confused expression. "Honey?" His face turned into one of concern. "Are you sick?" He quickly put his hand to her forehead, checking to see if it was warm. "Did you catch something while you were out in the rain?"
Twilight finally came back to reality, the correct one, and flushed when she sensed Spike's concern. "O-oh no, don't worry, I'm okay!" She stammered and reeled backwards, bumping onto the stairway. She looked away from Spike as she remembered last night. "A-actually, I'm not okay, Spike..."
Spike, having had sensed her change in tone, went and brought Twilight a towel, wrapped it around her, and sat next to her, ready to listen to whatever she had to say.
Twilight sat down next to Spike and leaned against him. "Spike…I really have to tell you something..." Twilight knew what she had to say; she was just having trouble finding the words to say it.
Spike looked at Twilight, "Yeah?"
Twilight bit her lip; she wondered how she'd be able to express herself properly. Ultimately, she decided to just say it. She took a deep breath and, "Spike, I'm so, so sorry for how've I've been acting lately, I have no right to have acted that way, I mean with you going so much to Rarity's, I was getting really, really jealous, and I just couldn't stand to see you going all googley-eyed for her…"
"Twilight." Spike tried to interrupt.
"… and not me, cause I'd really like it if you went all googley-eyed for me, not saying that you have gone googley-eyed for me, but if you had gone all googley-eyed for me, I would have totally loved it, and maybe I wouldn't have been so jealous of Rarity, and so I tried to keep you here with all these chores so I could spend time with you, even though you deserved…"
"Twilight." Spike tried again.
"… a break to go and have fun and do whatever you want, but I really wanted to be with you more, so I just kept on with more and more chores, even if you did all your chores, I mean, whatelsewasIsupposedtodoIcouldn'tstandlovingyousomuchandnotbeingwithyouandseeingyou…"
"TWILIGHT!" Spike took hold of the mare's crest and pulled Twilight into a kiss.
For an instant, the world seemed to melt away around the two creatures, as they were transported into a plane only reserved for those of a special connection. Time slowed down, and the two had forever remained with one another, their hearts having discovered each other. The two love-struck creatures had spent an eternity in their kiss, and had finally returned to their original world, with only mere little seconds having passed.
They pulled apart slowly, gazing into each other's eyes, experiencing as their souls intertwined into one. "I forgive you, Twilight." The dragon beamed a wondrous smile at his lavender mare.
Twilight was at a loss for words. Any attempts to say anything were met with incoherent slurs of nonsense. She had just experienced a magic more powerful than anything she's ever felt before. So she said the only thing that she could say well, "I love you, Spike."
One minute ago, Spike would've jumped back in exasperation at the statement he just heard; but now he simply smiled warmly, "I love you too Twilight. I'm not gonna let anything harm you, and that's a Pinkie promise."
Spike hugged his beautiful lavender mare tightly against himself as they sat in silence, watching the sun fully rise over the horizon.
Unrequited by Paxtofettel