It was during moments like these, walking quietly with his girlfriend down the streets of Ponyville, that Spike thought about his situation. What if one of these worlds was just a dream? What if somepony he loved really was gone forever? What if the dream ended? What if he never saw one of these two mares again? The thought made him a little sick, and a little scared.
The streets were very busy that morning, almost crowded. So it took Rarity and Spike a while to reach the Boutique as they tried to negotiate their way through the herd.
When they finally arrived, Rarity quickly trotted over to the dais on the right side of the room where a book was sitting. As Spike joined her, it levitated in the air as she began flipping through it. As the pages were turning Spike could tell she was looking for something specific.
"AH!" she said, settling on a page.
As the book moved in Spike's direction. He grabbed it and took a good look at what he saw. He recognized it instantly, it was one of the sketches Sweetie Belle was insistent on finishing. But something was different about it. Unfortunately, he couldn't identify it exactly.
"Well, what do you think?" Rarity asked. "Don't hold back! I want an honest opinion."
Spike tried to imagine the dress completed. It was a long, flowing, light blue gown with ribbons tied along the waist, and the forelegs were made of some type of lace. As he tried to picture it, he ended up imagining the most beautiful mare in the world wearing it: Rarity. But unfortunately, he couldn't see it working. On a lark he imagined some of his other friends in the dress, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Twilight. It would work a lot better on one of them.
"I like it," he said.
"Really?" she asked. "You're not just saying that?"
"Well, it depends on who's wearing it. I mean...um..." he didn't know how to continue without triggering a spark of jealousy from his beloved.
"Well, the colour would clash with my mane, I know that," she said, saving the young dragon.
"Right! That's just what I was going say," Spike said with a smile. He quickly started flipping through the book and eventually one particular dress caught his attention. Primarily because it had a big 'X' through it. "Rarity, what's this?" he asked.
She looked at the page and said, "Oh, um...that's...it's nothing." She quickly took the book away from him and ripped out the page.
"Rarity," Spike said. As she started walking away with the book.
"It's nothing alright!" Rarity screamed.
Spike couldn't tell if he should keep pressing the issue, or not. 'Why exactly would she destroy her work like that?' he wanted to ask. Instead he asked, "can I finish looking at the book?"
It floated behind Rarity, and Spike grabbed it out of the air.
"Thanks," he said cautiously.
Spike then placed the book back on the dais, and started flipping again. A few seconds later, he could hear Rarity walk up behind him, right before she started nuzzling him from behind.
"I was going to make it for Twilight," Rarity explained. "Her birthday would have been next month." Spike could feel some moisture on her cheek as it brushed up against his head. No further words were necessary, so none were said. Spike kept flipping through the book, trying to memorize as much as he could, but he noticed that there wasn't much difference between the drawings he was looking at, and the ones he saw in the other world.
Eventually, Spike started feeling Rarity's breath on his ear. Her tongue reached out and started licking it, and Spike reacted with a shudder and a gasp.
"R-Rarity," he said, voice trembling.
At this point, her hooves were wrapped around the young dragon, and her lips around his ear. "MMM?" she said.
"Wha-what're you doing?"
"Please, Spike...I need this."
"Bu-but I thought you said-"
"-I changed my mind."
Spike was confused, to say the least; but his mind wouldn't let him think about why this was happening, just that it was. He turned around and gave Rarity a kiss, their tongues danced around each other; and as Rarity's horn started glowing, the window blinds lowered.
The Ponyville Library used to be a very quiet place, but since it fell under new ownership, that had changed.
You hit rock bottom and everypony knows it
But does anypony care you got there?
The music was echoing through the walls, as a young, bespectacled, green unicorn stallion was standing in the middle of the library's main sitting room. In front of him, were a pile of books, sitting on the main table, as he looked at each one, a golden glow surrounded it, and it flew onto a shelf. Though some books didn't make it to the shelves, and were set aside on a special pile.
Admit to yourself that everything's a problem
But when it comes down what do you care?
Behind him, the library's front door opened, as a young purple dragon walked in. He could see his new guardian, Doctor Cerebral Comet, sorting through the unsorted books, and noticed that the unicorn did not even notice Spike enter the room.
"Losiiiin' Coltifornia...." Comet said in an out-of-tune voice.
Spike lowered his eyelids, and slammed the door, startling the stallion.
Comet turned around and looked at the young dragon. "Oh, hi Spike!"
"Can you turn down the music?!" Spike asked.
Sometimes it's too much!
You want to get right out of your mind.
"OH!" his horn glowed as the volume decreased. "What's up? How'd it go?" he said once the music went quiet.
"How'd what go?"
Comet paused for a second, "whatever you went out to do."
Spike paused for another second, "it went well."
Comet could tell something was off. He tapped his teeth as he thought of what to do. "Hey, Spike," he said. "Remember when I said you can talk to me about anything? Offer's still on the table."
"Yeah, I know, it's your job."
"Cynical much?" He said with a smile. "I'm just saying, considering what you just did, you should be happy and you look upset."
Spike's eye's went wide. "How'd you!?" He looked around anxiously. "Who told you!?"
"No one Spike, I'm just really good at reading ponies."
"I'm not a pony."
"Close enough," Comet said cheekily. "Your spines are messed up, you have a flushed look, and I can see some sweat stains on you, which is weird considering dragons don't have sweat glands."
Spike's expression suddenly turned guilty.
"Hey, Spike, nothing wrong with getting laid," Comet said, in an effort to get Spike to relax.
"I-I know!" the young dragon said. "It's just..."
"Come on, to the kitchen! We have coffee!" Comet led the way.
Spike followed the unicorn and as they entered the room, he noticed it was empty, and asked the obvious question. "We the only ones here?"
"Yeah," Comet answered. "Shining said he had to do a few things, but he didn't go into detail, and I doubt he wanted to."
"Oh," Spike wondered exactly what Twilight's brother was up to, but Comet interrupted his train of thought.
"So!" he said as he got a few cups. "What's on your mind?"
As Comet was getting the coffee ready, Spike started talking. "It's not like it was our first time," he explained. "That was a month ago, we had only been dating for about a week."
Comet arrived with two mugs of hot coffee. "Okay," he said, a bit concerned.
"But immediately after that, Rarity said it was a one-time thing and she wanted to start over, and take things slow, which I was fine with!"
"So, she changed her mind?" Comet asked, stirring some sugar into his cup.
"I guess." Spike took a sip of his coffee. He liked his black. "It's just," he continued. "It feels odd. Twilight dies, and suddenly she wants to jump-start our relationship!? I don't..."
Comet took a swig of coffee before answering. "Well, Spike, maybe you're right. Perhaps it is related."
"Doesn't that seem odd to you?"
The unicorn paused for a second. "Everything seems odd to me. But different ponies grieve in different ways," he explained. "Everyone has their own coping mechanisms. For Rarity, she might be merely trying to distract herself."
"So I'm a distraction," Spike said, not too impressed. He actually felt a bit used.
"Maybe...or, she's trying to remind herself of the good things in life...like you."
That made Spike feel a little better. He smiled and took another sip of his coffee.
"But I have no way of knowing for sure. I'd have to talk to her, I think she's been avoiding. But even if I did I wouldn't be able to tell you."
Spike was perplexed. "You wouldn't?"
Comet shook his head in response. "Doctor-patient confidentiality. Can't tell anypony anything about any of my patients-which now includes you!" he added with a smile. "It's the only way I can do my job, I have to be an expert secret-keeper. Which can be pretty frustrating at times."
"AH!" Spike responded, before taking another sip of coffee. "Well, that's good, at least I know you won't tell everypony in town."
"Yep," Comet said with pride and a smile. "Which means if there is anything else you want to tell me, anything at all, I can guarantee no one else would know, you can trust me implicitly."
Comet paused for a second before continuing. "Is there anything else?"
"Nope," Spike lied, and Comet knew it. The young dragon averted his gaze.
The doctor sighed. "Well, I gotta finish with the books," he said as he carried his drink into the next room.
Spike chugged the rest of the hot beverage and followed the unicorn.
As Spike entered, he saw Comet at the centre of the room, looking at a few books. "Okay, I have no idea where these go," the unicorn said, placing the books on a pile and levitating the whole thing in between the two.
Spike walked up and grabbed one of the books. "I think they all go upstairs."
Comet was looking at Spike before he said, "OH," and turned his gaze towards the stairs, and quickly proceeded up them, with books and coffee in tow.
Spike followed him, carrying one of the books. "You know," he said, "I can take care of that."
"No, it's fine, I got nothing else to do, and I like staying busy," Comet quickly explained.
"You sure? I mean it is my job."
As he got to the top of the stairs, Comet replied, "Relax Spike I'm not trying to usurp your position."
"Take by force."
"AH!" Spike noticed the music was much louder up here, and more interestingly, a different song was playing.
Nopony's going to help you
You've just gotta stand up alone
Dig in your hooves and see how it looks
To raise a little Tar of your own!
As Comet looked around, he realized something. "Actually, maybe you should take over," he said with a sheepish grin.
Spike smiled as he took all the books from him, placing the whole pile on the floor.
"I'm going to the bedroom, I kinda want to redecorate," Comet explained.
"Really?" Spike said.
"Yeah, just move a few things around, no big deal," Comet said as he trotted up another set of stairs, arriving in the Library's sleeping area, that overlooked the room where Spike was currently filing books.
Spike absorbed himself into his work as he heard furniture moving. There weren't many books to take care of, only around a dozen. So he was able to make quick work of it.
Once Spike was done, he decided to see what exactly Comet was up to. As he arrived in the main sleeping area, he saw Comet had already moved the bed closer to the window, and was nudging it back and forth with his magic.
A little to the left...a little to the right...a little to the left again...a slight turn to the right. Proud of his work, Comet turned around, and suddenly reared up and neighed in shock, at the appearance of the young dragon before him.
"Hey," Spike said with a wave.
"Don't do that!"
"Don't do what?"
Comet lowered his head until it was inches from Spike's. "Sneak up on me like that," he explained.
"Oh...sorry," the dragon said, a bit confused.
Comet sighed and turned his attention to the big dresser that used to be next to the bed. Levitating it in a golden glow, he started moving it to the other side of the room, next to the bed's new location.
As he was moving the dresser, Spike noticed, on the ground, a photo frame, lying face down.
"So I was thinking about it," Comet was explaining as Spike walked to the frame, "and I don't think that basket can be too comfortable. I mean, you're a dragon, not a cat. You think about getting a new bed?"
Spike went to grab the frame, and took a good look at it. The frame was made of silver and was quite ornate, but that wasn't what really caught Spike's attention. The photo in the centre was one that Spike wasn't sure if he'd ever seen before. He could easily recognise the young purple unicorn in the middle with her forelegs wrapped around the two colts standing on either side of her, with a big grin on her face, Twilight Sparkle. It confused him, because he always thought Twilight was always the type to never bother with friends, until she moved to Ponyville that is. But that wasn't the only thing that confused the young dragon, because to Twilight's left was a grey pegasus with a dishevelled red mane; and to her right...a green unicorn who was wearing glasses with thick black frames, and his greenish blue mane was cut into what Spike could only describe as a mushroom cut.
Even though his glasses were simpler and more conservative wire-frames, and his manecut less nerdy, there was no mistaking it. The unicorn in the photo was the same unicorn that was now trying to get his attention.
"Yeah?" the dragon replied, looking up from the photo.
"What are you looking at," the stallion asked.
Spike didn't try to hide it, he quickly turned the frame around so Comet could look at it.
The unicorn was dumbfounded. "She...she kept it?"
"It was under the dresser, I noticed it when you moved the thing."
Comet's rump hit the floor, and the frame levitated towards him. "It-it must have slid under there when the vanity tipped over."
At this moment, Spike noticed a tear rolling down the unicorn's face.
The music on the phonograph suddenly changed.
Ninety miles outside Chicolgo
Can't stop trottin', I don't know why
So many questions, I need an answer
Two years later you're still on my mind
"I can't believe she kept it," Comet's voice cracked just a bit, as he was staring straight at the photo.
"I didn't know Twilight had any friends when she was young."
Comet looked up. "Really?"
Who holds the stars up in the sky?
Is true love just once in a lifetime?
"How'd you two know each other?"
"W-we went to the same school, we-" Comet said, before he began wiping his eyes. "Damn it."
"So, you asked her to play and-"
"I don't know, I think she came to me actually," he continued to wipe his eyes, the tears refusing to stop.
Someday we'll know
If love can move a mountain
"I always had a hard time making friends, so when I arrived at her school, she was the first to try and..." Comet choked up.
Someday we'll know
Why the sky is blue
"...and when Phosphorus arrived in the middle of the term, we just jumped on him."
Someday we'll know
Why I wasn't meant for you
Comet pointed toward the picture. "This photo, this...was taken at Port Coltrain. Tiny little village, Phozzy's family had a cottage there." Despite the tears running down his face, Comet managed to get a smile out. "That was a great summer. We spent it together, the three of us were practically joined at the hips, it was..."
Does anybody know the way to Atlantis?
Or what the wind says when she cries?
Spike was speechless, he didn't understand how Twilight never told him about this. Perhaps it just never came up.
"Then we went to the Summer Sun Celebration and...I have no idea what happened." The smile had disappeared from Comet's face. "All I know is, she just suddenly stopped hanging out with us after that. I didn't understand...still don't."
Spike did. He always knew Twilight started prioritizing her studies above all else at one particular Summer Sun Celebration. What he didn't know was: it meant two young colts were left in the dust.
Someday we'll know
Why Cannon loved Mareiah
"Damn it, why is this happening!?" Comet said, almost freaking out. "I should be over her, it shouldn't bother me this much, it's been over a decade!" Tears were still running down the stallion's face. He simply couldn't stop them. "Damn it...I guess you never forget your first."
One day I'll go
Dancing on the moon
"Your first friend?" Spike asked
Someday you'll know
That I was the one for you
"...your first crush."
I bought a ticket to the end of the rainbow
I watch the stars crash in the sea
"I never told her..."
If I could ask Her just one question
"...I never got the chance..."
Why aren't you here with me, tonight?
"...and now she's gone!!"
At this moment, Spike saw his guardian have a complete breakdown.
Curling up in the fetal position, with the photo in his hooves, Comet began bawling, as if all his pain came crashing down all at once. "DAMN IT! I SUCK AT EVERYTHING!" he bellowed. "I can't do this! Why did she send me here!? Why did I agree to it!? I knew this was a bad idea, and then I had to be reminded of it!"
Spike was dumbfounded. He simply didn't know what to do, this was completely new territory for him.
"THAT BITCH!" Comet screamed.
The dragon was shocked at that. Thinking he was talking about Twilight...but...
"She could have sent anypony and she sends the one shrink who's emotionally involved. She must be insane!"
Then he realized it wasn't Twilight.
As the song wound down, the entire room was flooded with complete silence. Apparently it was the last song on the record, Spike determined. He walked over to the elder unicorn, who was still on the floor, sobbing, and placed his claw on the stallion's head.
Comet responded by quickly grabbing Spike in a hug and dropping the photo.
"AH!" the young dragon yelled. But he didn't try to fight it. If this is what Comet needed, he had no problem with it. Spike returned the hug.
It wasn't long before the tears wore down and Comet released Spike. Then between sniffs and with a shaky voice he said, "w-where's my coffee?" On the vanity only a few feet from the boys, a white mug was sitting, it's contents already cooled off. It levitated towards Comet, who grabbed it in his hooves. "So...um," he said nervously. "Tell me about her."
Spike was confused. "About Twilight?" He asked.
"Yeah, I assume she changed a bit since I knew her." Comet wiped some more tears from his eyes and said, "Oh damn, this is stupid. It was so long ago, why am I still bothered by this? What in Tartarus is wrong with me?"
"You tell me, you're the shrink!"
Comet laughed at this. "I'm the shrink who needs a shrink." He looked out the nearby window and said, "looks like I need to write a letter or two to Lord Inkblot." He turned back to Spike and asked again, "Anyway, tell me about Twilight."
The young dragon was happy to oblige. "Well, I knew her since I was just a little hatchling..."
A loaf of bread was placed on the counter, as a purple claw started slicing it with a bread knife. It was several hours later, and Spike was making lunch. For Comet, a Knight's-spur and Apple sandwich; and a simple plate of gems for himself. His gems were good enough that he didn't need to package them with anything.
As he was slicing up the apple, a knock came at the front door. Spike placed the knife down and was about to go answer it, when he heard a familiar voice go, "I got it!"
Spike went to see what was happening anyway. He didn't even expect Comet to be down from the living area, much less answering the door. As he turned the corner, Comet opened the door, and standing there was a very familiar face.
"Darling! You look terrible!" Rarity said.
She wasn't kidding, his eyes were still bloodshot; and his mane was a disaster, normally he brushed it. Also, his glasses went AWOL. Comet was a mess.
"Nice to see you too, Rarity," he said. "Spike's in the kitchen."
"Um...actually, I just wanted to ask, have you seen Fluttershy?"
Her boyfriend made himself known at this point. "Wasn't she at your spa date?"
"No, that's what's odd. She never misses our weekly get together, and I don't see why she would today."
Comet spoke up, "well, doesn't she hate crowds? I mean there was your group, plus Princess Cadance, maybe she just got scared and decided to ditch."
"Never bothered her in the past," Spike explained.
Comet paused for a second, a pensive look on his face. "Well!" he said, suddenly smiling. "Let's go find her!"
"Really?" Rarity said, confused.
"Now?" Spike said, perplexed.
"Yep! Missing pony, she must be found!" he then proceeded up the stairs. "Just one minute, I need to find a hairbrush, and my glasses! I know they're somewhere!"