Pinkie and Apple Bloom discover Spike’s secret.
Ponyville was a bustling little town, filled with ponies from all walks of life. Earth Ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi all bought and sold various goods and services on the streets, and in stores throughout the downtown area. But typically, all this ended once the sun went down, and everypony settled in for a good night’s sleep.
However Sugarcube Corner was not a store that settled down that easily.
The bakery was mostly quiet, as Apple Bloom swept the front of the store. She prided herself at being a diligent worker, and it was something that impressed both the store’s owners, and her manager.
“Looking good, Apple Bloom,” came a cheery voice from behind her.
“Thanks Pinkie,” she replied, turning to face the back kitchen, and her boss. “Need any help back there?”
“Nope, everything’s okie dokie in the stovie.”
“Don’t you mean ‘oven’?”
“Yeah, but ovenie doesn’t sound right.”
Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow at the pink pony’s proclamation.
A bell rang from behind the young filly. Turning around, she saw a very familiar purple dragon enter the store.
“Hey, Spike,” she said happily before throwing the broom up in the air, and kicking it across the room. It landed perfectly in the nearby supply closet, and the door closed in response.
“Hey, Apple Bloom,” he said with a sigh.
“What’s wrong, Spike!?” came a concerned voice from across the room.
“Oh… um… nothing, I just need somewhere to think. Can you get me a sarsaparilla and a vanilla cupcake?”
“Vanilla?” Pinkie replied. “Ugh! Boring! But alright!” She dipped into the back room.
Apple Bloom approached the young dragon as he took a seat at one of the front tables. “Somethin’ wrong Spike?” she asked with genuine concern.
“Kinda,” he replied.
“Wanna talk about it?”
Spike paused for a second, he really did wanna talk about it, but Apple Bloom was so close to Sweetie Belle, who knew how she’d react. “No, thanks.”
Pinkie rushed out of the kitchen and dropped Spike’s order on the table before him. “Spike, you look so sad,” the observant party pony declared.
“No, just… just worried.”
“What about?” Spike was about to open his mouth before she held up a hoof and said, “Wait! Don’t tell me! Problems at the library!”
Spike shook his head as he grabbed his cupcake.
“Hmmmm… Is somepony sick?”
He chewed the sugary treat and shook his head.
“Hmmmm… ooo! Trouble with Rarity!?”
His eyes went wide.
Apple Bloom turned to look at the elder pony. “Rarity?” she asked. “What does she have to do with anythin’?
“Oooop!” Pinkie said, throwing her hooves to her mouth. “I wasn’t supposed to say anything was I? I’m sorry!”
“Say anythin’ about what?” the yellow filly asked.
“Rarity and Spike’s relationship-oop! I did it again!”
To Pinkie’s surprise the young earth pony began giggling. “Oh, Pinkie, you’re such a kidder. He’s not in a relationship with Rarity, I know that for a fact!”
“What?” she asked.
“Mmmhm, Spike’s been datin’ Sweetie Belle for the past three weeks, Rarity has nothin’ to do with that.”
The pink pony’s jaw dropped as her head cocked to the left, and her eyebrow raised in confusion. “What?”
“Yeah, she can’t stop talkin’ about him, tellin’ me how much fun they have together. Kinda jealous actually.”
“Well, no not in that way, I just wish I had a special somepony of my own.”
“Pinkie, are you okay?”
She vigorously shook her head and came back to her senses. “He’s been dating Rarity for the past three weeks, what are you talking about?”
“Nooooo, he’s been datin’ Sweetie Belle. I know because I told her to ask him out and she’s been continually tellin’ me how well it’s been goin’ for the past three weeks, and I’ve even seen ’em together a few times too. Trust me, they’re datin’.”
“Nooooo, for the past three weeks Rarity’s been telling me and Twilight how well things are going between her and Spike, she told us all about these romantic dinners, and how good of a cook Spike is. In fact, she keeps giving us too much information if you ask me. She said he does this thing with his tounge…”
“…where he wraps it around…” The earth ponies said in perfect sync, motioning their hooves around their mouths. Their eyes widened in shock.
“Spike,” Apple Bloom said, turning around. “What’s goin’ on?”
The young dragon was frozen in place. The first bite of cupcake was still in his mouth. His face was a pale white. His irises had shrunk to pinpoints.
The dragon’s eyes drifted slowly to his left, to look at the young filly.
“What’s goin’ on?”
His mind began racing. He could fake a seizure, maybe. But he forgot what actually happened during a typical seizure. He had a chunk of cupcake in his mouth, maybe he could force himself to choke on the pastry. But that was quickly dismissed when he realized cake was quite soft, so it was unlikely to work. It also didn’t help that his dragon instincts would likely kick-in and he’s just incinerate the food-stuff while it was in his throat.
“Spike,” Apple Bloom said, bothered by the silence. “Swallow.”
He slowly downed the contents of his mouth. The fear on his face did not go away. He was trapped. What could he say? The answer was simple: nothing… except the truth.
“Okay,” she said, slowly. “Now, tell us what’s goin’ on.”
His mind started racing once again, this time, with only one simple thought: ‘CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!!!’
She wasn’t going to let this go, the young dragon realized. So he resigned himself to his fate. Turning in his seat, he looked at the two earth ponies. Pinkie’s expression was easily to pinpoint, she was confused. Which didn’t surprise him. What did surprise him was Apple Bloom’s face, which was harder to interpret. Determination? Confusion? Suspicion? Anger? She looked at him dead in the eyes; her mouth in a slight frown, open just a bit; and her face was inches from his. It didn’t make him uncomfortable though, mainly because he thought he deserved it.
“Spike, you’re not leavin’ until you tell us what’s goin’ on.”
He sighed, and lowered his head. It was now or never. He preferred never, but he also preferred not to have them figure it out on their own. “For the past three weeks I’ve been dating both Rarity and Sweetie Belle, sometimes on the same day, without the other knowing.”
Silence descended on the small pastry shoppe. The young dragon didn’t look away from the ground. He was afraid to do anything else. Eventually the silence got to him. He slowly raised his head, and was met with a yellow hoof hitting him square in the chest, throwing him to the nearest wall, which was only a few feet away.
“You rat bastard!” She screamed. “You’ve been two-timin’ Sweetie Belle this whole time!?”
“Apple Bloom!” Pinkie Pie interjected.
She trotted up to the dragon, who had already collapsed on the floor. Raising her hooves in the air, she was all ready to slam them down on his body… but she was interrupted.
“Go ahead,” he said, looking up at the young filly. “Just do it. I deserve it. I know they’re eventually going to find out, and they’re both going to hate me forever. So just do it.”
She slowly lowered her hooves to the ground, a solemn look appearing on her face, which quickly transformed into frustration as she screamed, “RRRRAHGRHHHH!!!” and turned around, trotting away.
Pinkie walked up to the young dragon. “Are you okay, Spike?” She asked, holding out a hoof.
“Yeah,” he said, using the mare’s help to get to his feet. “Thanks.”
“Why are you helpin’ him!?” Apple Bloom asked from across the room. “He’s been lyin’ to Rarity and Sweetie Belle… and us!”
“Oh, Spike’s a nice dragon,” the baker said with a smile. “I’m sure he had a good reason. Right Spike?”
“Oh, this’ll be good,” she trotted up to the two-timing bastard, as she thought of him. “I can’t wait to hear this!”
Spike could still hear the anger in the young filly’s voice. He recoiled as she approached. His eyes darted back and forth, between the two ponies. Releasing a sigh, he decided to begin his tale.
“Okay, I guess it started when me and Rarity went on our first date. It went well, or as well as could be expected. Afterward, I went for a walk through the park.”
Apple Bloom’s eyes went wide. “Oh,” she said.
“Yeah… Sweetie Belle was there, and she was trying to do some magic, I thought I should teach her what I knew. The next day, she asks me out on a date. I don’t know why I said ‘yes,’ but I did. I was going to try to let her down easy when we were at the carnival but I… I didn’t, because I…” He paused, unsure of how to continue.
“Spike?” Pinkie Pie was concerned.
“…because I fell for her. I’m in love with two different fillies, and I know I can’t stay with both of them. But I don’t know which one I should stay with, and which one I should… leave behind.”
Apple Bloom was taken aback. Spike was in love with both of them? How was that possible?
“I know one of them is going to be left heartbroken, and the other will only stay with me if I’m really lucky.”
“Spike,” the yellow filly explained. “It’s been three weeks, and you have no idea who you want to be with?”
“Oh Spike,” Pinkie said. “It’s obvious who you should be with.”
“It is?” he responded.
“Yeah, it’s obvious!” Apple Bloom declared.
“Well then who?”
The two earth ponies replied in sync, “Sweerarity Belle.” …Sort of. They looked at each other.
“What!?” Apple Bloom asked.
“Sweetie Belle?” Pinkie was incensed.
“Rarity? She’s a stuck-up old snooty pants!”
“She’s mature, and she has passion and dignity,” the elder mare explained. “What does Sweetie Belle have? Immaturity and no cutie mark!”
“Well… Rarity’s crazy, a little grape juice sends her into a panic!”
“Well… Sweetie Belle… has… um… OO!!! She’s reckless! She spends half her days doing stupid stunts that could get her killed!”
“We all agreed to those stunts!” Apple Bloom was starting to take it personally. “And at least she’s tryin’ somethin’ different! We’re tryin’ to find our cutie marks, we’re not waitin’ for ’em to come to us, we’re goin’ after ’em head first!!! Rarity just waited around for her horn to drag her to a giant rock!”
“Rarity has experience, she knows how to show him a good time!”
“Oh, sure, a borin’ dinner and walkin’! Soooo excitin’.”
“No, other good times, in other places! Didn’t Applejack or Cheerilee ever teach you about that stuff!?”
As Spike’s eyes went wide. Apple Bloom stared at her for several seconds before the pieces clicked. “OH!” She exclaimed. “Oh, that! Well, Sweetie Belle can read up on that stuff, I remember findin’ all sorts of books about that in Twilight’s library!!!”
The dragon wasn’t liking where this was going.
“Oh, sure, then what?” Pinkie asked. “She’ll get her cutie mark in b-”
“ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT!!” Spike exclaimed, stepping between the ponies. “This isn’t helping! Thank you both for trying. Really, thank you, but I think I’ll go back to figuring this out on my own.”
“Spike!” Apple Bloom explained. “You can’t keep leadin’ ’em on like this!”
“I’m not leading them on, I really do love them,” he explained. “I just… can’t decide who I love more.” He solemnly shoved his claws into his scales.
The girls looked at each other. Unsure of what to say.
“Promise me you won’t tell them,” Spike said. His head still hung low.
“We promise Spike,” Pinkie said. Grabbing him in a hug. “You need to be the one to tell them.”
“…and you better tell ’em soon,” Apple Bloom declared, as he squirmed out of the mare’s embrace.
“I know… and thank you.” He walked back to his table, and started sipping on his drink.
As Pinkie walked toward the back room, the younger filly followed right behind.
As the door swung closed, Apple Bloom asked the most crucial question. “So, should we tell ’em?”
“What!?” Pinkie exclaimed in a whisper. “We promised Spike we wouldn’t, he trusts us, and-”
“-losin’ a friend’s trust is the fastest way to lose a friend forever,” she explained, with a deadpan expression. “I know that Pinkie, Spike trusts us to keep his secret. But Sweetie Belle trusts me to help her, and keep her safe. She trusts me to tell her if I know somethin’ she needs to know, and this is somethin’ she needs to know.”
The curly-maned mare put a hoof to her chin. “Well, do you want to be the one to break her heart?”
“I wouldn’t be,” she explained. “But I would be partly responsible. RRRRRAH!” she screamed in frustration. “We need to do somethin’.”
“Hmmm… perhaps we could help him figure out which mare he should date!”
“We already tried that Pinkie. It didn’t work.”
“Yeah, because we each only heard one side of the problem.”
Apple Bloom tilted her head. “What are you suggestin’ Pinkie Pie?”
The pink mare smiled.