Spike and Sweetie Belle go on their first real date.
The carnival only happened in Ponyville once a year. When the carnie-ponies finally came around to this part of Equestria, and took over the field next to the local elementary school. They toured the nation, bringing entertainment to the masses, and ripping off plenty of ponies along the way. At least, that’s what was going through Spike’s mind as both he and his date walked through the games area.
Twilight warned Spike long ago to watch out for this kind of thing. However, he couldn’t help but notice that in spite of the fact that most of them were losing, everypony was having fun.
“OO!” Sweetie Belle said, grabbing Spike’s arm. “Let’s play a game!”
“Uh,” Spike said hesitantly. “I don’t know Sweetie Belle, I’m pretty sure they’re all rigged.”
“They’re impossible to win.”
Just then, not far from the young couple, one stallion screamed, “YEAHHHH!!” as a carnie gave him a giant stuffed raccoon.
They both saw this, and when Spike turned back to Sweetie Belle, he saw a giant smirk on her face. “Well,” he explained, “obviously they’re going to let somepony win on occasion to keep up appearances.”
She just looked at him.
“UGH! Fine!” Spike said, giving up. “Which one?”
Sweetie began looking around, and gasped when her eyes finally settled on one. She galloped off ahead of Spike, and he ran after her.
They arrived at the stand with guns. The goal was clearly posted on the wall at the back, surrounded by several giant stuffed animals. One had to shoot out the star in the centre of a piece of paper with a BB gun. Seemed simple. But then again, most scams did.
“How much?” Spike asked the gruff earth pony attendant.
“Two bits a go,” he said, chewing on what Spike presumed was chewing gum.
Placing two bits on the counter, he quickly grabbed the rifle that was lying on the table and carefully aimed it at the star that was hanging six feet away. Firing off a few BBs, he noticed they ended up a few inches to the left. He continued firing, aiming a few inches to the right, trying to make it look like he was honestly trying, so Sweetie Belle wouldn’t think his eventual loss was intentional.
He continued to fire, and by the time he was out of bullets, the star was still there, though it had a few holes in it.
“Oh well,” Spike said, placing the rifle back on the counter. “Come on, Sweetie Belle, let’s check something else out.”
“Hey, buddy,” the attendant yelled. “You can always have a second go.”
“No thanks,” the dragon said with a wave.
As the two were walking away, Spike could hear the attendant scoff. “Figures,” he said, “Scaly little rodent.”
The young dragon stopped in his tracks, turned his head, and looked directly at the attendant. “Did you say something?” he asked.
“I said you can try again.”
Not many ponies knew how sensitive dragon hearing was. So Spike wasn’t entirely surprised the attendant would lie. But he still didn’t want him to get away with it. Spike walked back and asked quite simply, “How do I get one of those big ones?”
“Those?” he asked, pointing to the prizes at the very top. “Well, shoot out three stars and I’ll let you have your pick.”
“Set it up,” Spike said, setting two more bits on the counter.
Once the rifle was ready and the star replaced, Spike fired a single shot and noticed this rifle was leading an inch to the right, so he aimed an inch to the left of where he wanted to hit, and fired around the star in a circle. The star fell out onto the ground.
“Well, good work,” the attendant said, as both he and Sweetie Belle applauded. “Wanna try again, get one of the bigger prizes?”
Spike shook the rifle just a bit and noticed he still had some ammo. “Yep,” he said, right before aiming at the star next to it. A few shots later, it too fell on the ground. Spike then proceeded to shoot out the star next to that one. Then, just for fun, he fired two more BBs in the paper above the hole where the star once was.
The attendant’s jaw hit the ground.
“Okay, where’d you learn to do that!?” Sweetie Belle asked, as she carried a giant pink bunny that was nearly twice her size, on her back.
“Well, after I tried that first time, I quickly learned how to fire the thing,” Spike explained. “After that, it was all strategy.”
Sweetie giggled just a bit. “Did you see the look on his face?”
“Yeah! That was really cool.”
The two began laughing together as they walked through the crowd.
“So,” Spike asked, once the laughter died down. “What do you want to do now?
“Hmmmm…” Sweetie Belle said, hoof on her chin. “Sugarcube corner has a booth somewhere.”
Spike remembered hearing that from Pinkie earlier in the week. The carnies always allowed some local merchants to showcase their wares, just for fun. Primarily because most of the time, there wasn’t any competition; and it allowed some of the older patrons to waste time, while their younger charges played around. Plus it garnered them goodwill with the locals, which everypony loved.
“Hmmmm…” Spike said, claw on chin. “Sounds good!” he said with a smile.
The two youngsters walked through the crowds searching the local merchants. Sweetie Belle staying as close as she could to her crush, as he navigated the fairgrounds.
The two of them passed the booth for Quills and Sofas, which was next to the Tumbler. It was a ride that spun three different ways and was notable for the puddle of vomit next to the ride’s exit.
“Scootaloo would love this thing,” Sweetie Belle said, as she watched the machine spin along its main axis, while the cars attached ran along the outside of it, causing the individual carriages to spin.
“Yeah,” Spike replied. “Let’s avoid it.”
Sweetie Belle giggled as the two continued on. They passed the Twister, which was another spinning ride, but looked a little less crazy since there were no cages, and it didn’t go up in the air; and the classic bumper cars.
They were about to continue on, when a familiar face stopped them. “Hiya! Care for some Rainbow cupcakes!?” went an excitable yellow earth pony, with a tray of treats balanced on her head.
Young Apple Bloom was wearing a white shirt with pink and brown accents along the edges with a matching visor; and selling some very familiar treats: Pinkie Pie’s signature Rainbow cupcakes. They had five distinct flavours contained within, and were always well-stocked at Sugarcube Corner.
“Hey, Apple Bloom,” Sweetie replied. “How’s the summer job going?”
“Ugh!” the young earth pony groaned. “Pinkie’s a bit of a slave driver, but it sure beats working the farm.” As the pan balanced on her head, she looked at the two before her, and slyly said, “So, I see you took my advice.”
“Huh…” Spike responded, crossing his arms. “So, I have you to blame for this!”
“Yep!” She said, as a big grin emerged on her face. “So, cupcakes?”
“Sure,” he said, reaching between the scales on his right hip, and like a true gentledragon asked, “Sweetie Belle?”
The young unicorn smiled in response. “Please!” she said.
“That’ll be four bits,” the young salespony announced, holding out a hoof.
Spike gave her the payment, as he took two cupcakes from the tray, and handed one to his date, who grabbed it in her hoof.
“Pleasure doing business with you.” Apple Bloom said, as she put the funds in a white money pouch hanging from her neck. She looked up at the giant toy on her friend’s back. “So, Spike, I assume you won her that thing!?”
“Yeah,” Sweetie said, excited. “He shot out three stars in one round.”
“Really?” Apple Bloom said, “Impressive.”
“Yeah,” Spike said, proudly, running his free claw across his head. “Yeah it was.”
“So,” the earth pony continued. “Have you two checked out any of the rides?”
“I don’t know,” Sweetie Belle said, as she was chewing a bite of cupcake. “They look kinda scary.”
“Yeah, but they’re fun!” Her yellow friend responded. “You can ease yourself into it, the Twister isn’t too bad.”
Spike looked back at the ride they passed a few minutes ago. Sweetie noticed her date’s smile and said, “Yeah, let’s do that!”
“Really!?” Spike asked. He didn’t think Sweetie would try any of the fast rides. Apparently he had a lot to learn about the little filly. “Alright!” he said, eating half his cupcake in one bite. “Let’s go.”
As the two walked away, both with big smiles, Apple Bloom said to them, “See you later lovebirds.”
Just then, realization hit Spike. “Could you wait here Sweetie Belle?” he said, as she finished her cupcake. The young dragon ran back and caught up with Apple Bloom. “Hey, Apple Bloom,” he said, as she was trying to sell more cupcakes.
She turned from the potential sale to look at her scaly friend. “Yeah?”
“Could you do me a favour?” he asked.
“What is it?”
“Could you keep what you saw here… quiet?”
“You mean you and Sweetie Belle?” Apple Bloom was confused. She was planning on doing so anyway. After all, even though Sweetie Belle didn’t care how the rest of the town reacted, Apple Bloom certainly did. But why did Spike care? Did he share her concerns?
“Yeah,” he replied. “That’s not a problem is it?”
Apple Bloom shook her head. “My lips are sealed!” she ran her hoof along her lips.
“Thanks,” he said. Quickly running back after his date.
Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow in confusion at the evacuating dragon, before returning to work.
The two youngsters were on the Twister as it spun around inches from the ground, seated in one of the ride’s dozen-or-so cars. As they spun around, the two of them slid into each other several times, trying to stabilize themselves by holding onto the safety bar, and laughing all the while.
Several dome-shaped cars were driving around a metal arena. In one of them, was a young purple dragon, and as he drove around the arena, he was spontaneously hit in the side, sending his car into the nearest wall. Once he recovered, he looked to the source of the interruption. Another car, driven by a young white unicorn, with a big evil smirk on her face. She hit him again.
“HEY!” Spike exclaimed.
Sweetie backed up for another run. But Spike responded once she began her charge, by backing up himself. She hit the wall her date was previously pinned to.
Then, before she could recover. “AHHH!!!” the young unicorn yelled as she was hit in the side by her former victim, who now had his own big evil smirk.
As he backed up for another hit, Sweetie Belle got ready for her counter-attack, and as her car was hit again, she had leapt from it, and right onto the dragon.
“GAH!” the dragon screamed and laughed as his date attacked him. Once he opened his eyes, he was surprised to see the young filly smiling, her face inches from his. His smile disappeared.
Sweetie noticed their position and quickly jumped off. “Sorry,” she said, as she jumped back into her car.
The young dragon had only one thing to say regarding what happened: “What the-?”
Spike wandered through the corridors, lined with mirrors, each of which reflected his image. He walked towards where he thought the exit was, only to stop when an image of him stood in the way, as if to laugh at him. He was growing annoyed.
“Spike!” he heard behind him. Sweetie Belle was standing in one of the ‘mirrors,’ smiling and beckoning the young dragon.
He walked towards his date and began following her. “You find the way out?” he asked.
“I think so,” she replied.
They continued walking until they entered a circular room lined with mirrors.
“Oh… nevermind,” she said. “Okay, how do we get out of here?”
Spike turned around, and said, “Better question is, how’d we get in?”
The two began frantically looking around the room.
At nearly fifty metres tall, the dominating figure at the carnival had to be the Big Wheel. It was big, pink, metal, and very imposing. But wasn’t intimidating. Next to the teacup ride, it had to be the most relaxing ride in the entire park. So the young couple wasn’t nervous at all as they boarded the circular gondola before them. At least, they weren’t nervous because of the ride.
They were able to get a carriage all to themselves, since the line wasn’t very long that day. They sat down on the cushioned seats, and Sweetie placed her giant rabbit on the opposite side. The wheel moved, then stopped suddenly as more ponies boarded the ride.
“So…” Spike said. The wheel started moving again, then stopped just as suddenly. “This is fun.”
As the wheel began to turn again, and before it suddenly stopped again, an awkward silence fell upon the car, since neither really knew what to say. The incident in the bumper cars made things a bit awkward.
Spike twiddled his thumbs, thinking of a way to kill the awkwardness, then it came to him. He hanged his head in resignation.
“Sweetie,” he said hesitantly. “I need to tell you something.”
She closed her eyes, and said, “I know.”
“Spike,” she began. “I had a great time today, and that’s probably because it was with you. You’re kind, sweet, fun to be around, and I really like you, and… I know you don’t feel the same way.” She began to hang her head in sadness. “But!” She popped her head back up and looked at the dragon with a forced smile. “I’m really happy you agreed to come with me anyway! This was fun!”
Spike’s lips quivered as he looked at the young filly. “That… that wasn’t what I was about to say.”
Sweetie Belle looked at her date, curiously.
“…because… I had fun too. A lot of fun… and I’d love to do it again, because… I… kinda like you too.”
The joy in Sweetie Belle’s heart made her feel like she was going to explode.
Spike opened his mouth to continue, but before he could say anything, Sweetie jumped on him and hugged him. Just then, the entire wheel began moving again, and didn’t stop. It was finally finished loading, and they were ready to ride, but Sweetie Belle wasn’t thinking about that. Her face was once again inches from the young dragon’s, and this time, she took advantage of the situation. She kissed him. Which caused his face to turn beet-red.
The moment she broke the kiss, Spike looked at her; and after a moment, grabbed the back of her head and briefly kissed her back. He then said, “You know, we should really try to enjoy the view while we can.”
Sweetie jumped off of the dragon, and began looking over the side of the capsule, as it rotated around the centre axis. As Spike joined her, she looked at him, and then he looked at her. They smiled.
The pink bunny was sitting on a bench, alone, as Spike was pacing in front of it. There were several scenarios that he planned out in his head early that morning, but this was not one of them, and he simply did not know what to do about it.
His fear and nervousness was almost palpable, and an aura like that attracts just the sort of creature that loves to destroy it.
Spike turned around again, and before him, inches from his face, were a plate of cookies, being held in the mouth of a pink earth pony wearing a white visor. “GAH!” He screamed in shock as he jumped in the air and landed right on his rear end.
A uniformed Pinkie Pie threw the plate in the air, and caught it with all the cookies on her head, as she began speaking. “Spike! What’s up!?” she screamed!
“Hi Pinkie,” Spike said as he got back to his feet. Tired after such a hectic day, he was not in the mood for Pinkie’s shenanigans.
“Cookie!?” she offered.
“You sure!? It’s on the house!”
Spike just sighed and took one. Biting into it, he smiled and released a moan of pleasure.
“Like it!? It’s a brand new recipe!”
“It’s really good,” the young dragon said. “What’s in it?”
“OOP! That’s a secret Spiky Wikey!” Pinkie never stopped smiling, and it annoyed Spike just a bit.
He just sighed and took another bite.
“So, something wrong?” Pinkie asked with genuine concern.
“Does it have anything to do with Rarity!?” she asked with a smile.
Spike looked at the pink earth pony with a bit of shock. She knew! “Sorta,” he said, a bit scared. “Pinkie, could you do me a favour?”
“Yep!” she said with a giant smile. “Wait! What is it!?”
“Please don’t tell anypony about me and Rarity.”
“Okie Dokie!” she said, giant smile returning. “Wait! Why!?”
“I’m not sure about where things are going, and I don’t need any pressure from anypony else.”
“OOOOO!” Her eyes went wide. “She’s going to be heartbroken!”
“Well, I’m not… wait… really?”
“Mhmmm!” Pinkie nodded vigorously. “She really likes you Spike!”
“…and I really like her!” he said. “That’s the problem.”
Pinkie tilted her head curiously. Holding the cookies in place with her hoof so they wouldn’t fall off.
“Forget it, Pinkie,” He said, giving the mare a sad smile. “I’ll figure this out, it’ll be fine.”
“I really don’t want to talk about it.”
Pinkie paused for a second before responding. “Okie Dokie Lokie!” she smiled and hopped off. Spike was about to turn back to his thoughts, when suddenly, the moment he turned, Pinkie appeared before him again. “Don’t forget! If you ever change your mind! I’m always free!”
“Yeah, thanks Pinkie!” Spike said.
“Okie Dokie!” she said as she hopped away… again.
As Spike was watching Pinkie leave, he noticed something to his left. Turning to look at it, he saw Sweetie Belle standing next to him.
The young unicorn turned to look at her date, or as she saw him, her boyfriend, and smiled.
“Cookie?” he said, offering the rest of it to the young unicorn.
“Thanks,” she said, levitating it towards her mouth.
Spike went to the bench and grabbed the big bunny. When he got back she said, “Mmmm! This is really good!”
By the time Spike entered the library, the sun was already starting to set. He saw Twilight at the other end of the main sitting room, crouched down in front of a book… natch. He closed the door behind him, and walked into the room, he wanted to make a beeline straight to bed, but he also wanted food.
“How’d it go?” the mare asked, getting to her hooves. “How’d she take it?”
The dragon looked at his best friend, and looked away in shame.
“Oh, what happened!?”
Spike remained quiet.
“What’d you do!?”
He quickly rushed into the kitchen.
“Spike!” The purple mare followed him. “Spike!!!”
He opened breadbox and pulled out a few slices of bread.
“Spike, what happened?”
He opened the pantry and pulled out a box which contained some broken gemstones.
“You made her cry, didn’t you!?”
Placing a few stones on one of the bread slices, he put the box back where he got it, and went to the refrigerator.
“Did she get mad when you told her about Rarity?”
Pulling out a bottle of honey, he closed the fridge, and began pouring it on his sandwich.
“Did she tell Rarity?”
He placed another piece of bread on top and took a bite.
“Did Rarity get mad?”
He continued chewing as he walked back into the main sitting room.
“Spike, what happened!?”
He took another bite.
“Tell me, Spike! Tell me! Tell me! Tell me!”
“I fell for her all right!?” Spike yelled at Twilight, and himself.
The unicorn stood there, dumbfounded. It took her a second to process the information before asking, “You fell for…?”
The young dragon turned away in shame and said, “Sweetie Belle.”
Twilight scoffed, “I knew something like this would happen.”
“You did!?” Spike asked, turning to look at the young mare. “Why didn’t you tell me!?”
“I thought I did!”
Spike put his claw on his face and shook his head. It might not have been avoided, but at least he would have had a warning.
Twilight walked up to her assistant and put a hoof on his shoulder. “So, when are you going to tell Rarity?” she asked.
“…I don’t know,” he said, dropping his hand.
“You don’t know?” Twilight lowered her hoof.
“I still have feelings for Rarity,” Spike explained, twiddling his fingers over the sandwich. “I just also have feelings for Sweetie Belle.”
“What?” Twilight said, a bit confused. “Spike, you can’t juggle two fillies at once!”
“I know!” he said. The young dragon was growing frustrated, more with himself than anyone else. “I just need to think things through. I’ll choose one of them, but not right now, just give me a few days I’ll figure everything out.”
“Just!…” he held up a claw to stop her. “Let me figure things out… on my own.” Spike then walked to the stairs that led to his bed, but paused at the foot. He turned around and said, “Twilight.”
“Yeah, Spike?” the mare said.
“Do me a favour, don’t tell anypony.”
Twilight nodded. “You have my word,” she said, right before Spike proceeded up the stairs.
Twilight went back to her book, lying on the floor, exactly where she left it. As she crouched down to continue reading, she realized she couldn’t. The unicorn closed the book and sighed. “My little Spike is growing up… I wish he’d stop.”