Calling the Shots

by Midnight Shadow

an MLP:FiM fanfic

Twilight poked her assistant gently with a hoof, "Spike, Spike! Wake up, lazy bones!" she giggled at his recalcitrance and redoubled her efforts. Eventually he opened one eye and stared at her for a moment before speaking.
"Aww, Twi! You promised me today would be my day off!"
"I know, I'm sorry, but...I thought you might like to go somewhere extra special today?" her voice was silken, laden with hope and promise.
"Somewhere special?"
"Oh boy...will there be candy?"
"I'm quite sure there will, Spike."
"Is it the beach? I love the beach...the sand on my scales, the sea under my claws...did I ever tell you I'm part water serpent on my father's side?"
Twilight giggled, "Only every time we go to the beach."
"Oh boy oh boy! It is the beach!"
"Not quite, but it's even more fun!"
Spike sat up, yawning and stretching, "What could possibly be more fun than the beach?"
"Well you'll just have to get up, get ready and come help me prepare for our trip downstairs, won't you?"
"Is it a long trip?" Spike whined, he liked the 'being places' of travelling, but hated the 'getting there' part.
"It won't be too long a trip Spike, I'm getting a carriage from the princess, specially for us."
"A carriage? Are we going to Canterlot?" Spike was all but buzzing with excitement now.
Twilight kept a poker face, "That would be telling. Now come downstairs, I need your help with something..."

Twilight retreated downstairs, busying herself in the kitchen. Spike bounded down the stairs two at a time calling, "When are we going?"
"Oh, very soon, when you're ready."
"I'm ready now!"
"You're almost ready...oh drat Spike, can you help? I've dropped a book under the sofa, can you go get it for me?"
"Anything for you, Twilight!" Spike bounded into the living room and scooted under the sofa, "I don't see any...wait...what's..."


The trap shut with an audible finality which sunk Spike's heart. It was winched out from under the sofa by Twilight. He stared up at her, heartbroken, "Twilight?"
"This is for your own good, do you remember what happened a few weeks ago?"
" birthday?"
"Yes, Spike, you're seven now - and it's time."
"! Anything but that!"
"I'm sorry, you simply have to get your shots."

Twilight trotted out of the library with a box in her mouth. The box was swinging to and fro as if there was something very angry inside it. This was, in fact, the truth - Spike the baby dragon was inside and he was spitting with rage.
"Twilight! You let me out! This isn't fair! You promised me candy!"
"You'll get a lollypop, after the shots!"
"You said this was better than the beach!" a claw waved itself out of the box, pointing accusingly at the unicorn "It is! We're going to the art museum afterwards." said Twilight, putting the box down and securing it tightly.
"Twwwiiiliiigghhhttt, that's not better than the beach!" Spike moaned, feeling well and truly put out. Or put in as the case may be.
"Yes it is," said the unicorn primly, stepping into the waiting pegasus-powered chariot and signalling for the team to take off for their destination, "it's mind expanding and just the sort of mental stimulation a growing dragon needs.'
A few minutes of silence went past as they gained altitude, before a plaintive voice was heard from inside the steel-reinforced kitty-carrier, "...are we there yet?"
"We'll get there when we get there Spike," sighed Twilight, watching the clouds streak by.
"...I need to goooooo!"
"You should've thought of that before we left, young dragon."
"How was I supposed to know you'''d dragon-nap me and stuff me in a box! You're so mean! I'm telling Celestia on you!"
"That's not gong to work, Spike, you need your shots and that's that! Now hush and enjoy the scenery."
"That's easy for you to say," grumbled the dragon, "I can't see anything from in here."
Twilight felt rather pleased with herself. She'd escaped without any blood-loss this time.
"...are we there yet?"
On the other hoof, she thought to herself, this could be a very long trip...

The vetinary surgeon's shop in Trottingham was clean, white, anti-septic. There were quite a few ponies with various animals - owls, badgers, snakes...
"Twiiiliiigghhttt...can't you let me out?" whined Spike "No, Spike, I don't want to have to call the city animal catchers again, honestly, I can barely show my muzzle here from last time. No, you're simply going to have to-"
"Spike Sparkle! Spike Sparkle! Your turn!" came a voice over a scratchy intercom.
"Oh, great! That's us! My little Spikey is getting his shots, I'm so glad!"
"My last name's not Sparkle!"
"Oh Spike, my brave little dragon, it's just a courtesy. Come on, in we go. You like Nurse Redheart, you said she reminded you of Rarity."

The nurse was thorough and took advantage of the magical restraints offered for such a dangerous creature as a dragon. Several unicorns were on hoof for the dragon she was examining, holding him in the air helplessly. He wasn't given a chance to bite, even though he kept protesting that he wouldn't. Twilight would never let him get over what had happened when he had been having his first set of shots; at the tender age of six months, armed with nothing but the first few sharp baby-teeth a dragon gets, he'd managed to eat his way through half the building and most of the furniture. It had only been with a special commendation from Celestia that she'd been allowed to keep him unmuzzled and off a leash for this repeat visit.
"Now then, this won't hurt a bit..." said the nurse coolly, pulling out a needle. Using magic, it was aimed at his soft underhide and jabbed in.
"Yeeeow!" shouted Spike, jetting a huge spurt of green flame across the room and blasting one of his 'handlers' with full force.

Princess Celestia was in her private quarters watching her scrying orb. Her favourite soap opera 'Neeiiiggghbours' was on and Bouncer had gotten lost. She sniffed, wiping a tear away, he was such a brave dog...
There was a puff of green smoke and a loud yell, and a four-legged equine form dropped from the sky and landed in front of the princess. Celestia blinked, then looked at her calendar. A big red circle had been put around the day's date and one word, 'Spike', was written above it. She sighed. Every time. She looked back at the show in annoyance.
"Out of the way, I can't see the orb with your big butt blocking my view!" Celestia waved a hoof impatiently, trying to see the picture, "Send the guards for more popcorn and pull up a cushion. You might as well wait, I'm not budging 'til it's over."
The unicorn turned white, which was quite a feat as he'd been green a few moments earlier, and dipped his head, "Y-yes your majesty!"
"Shh! It's the best bit!"

Spike was nursing his backside and sucking on a forty-eight caret diamond lollypop. It crunched as he scowled at Twilight. Today had not been fun. It was barely noon and he'd had enough.
"I want to go home." he grumped, chewing the diamond loudly in protest.
"In a minute, Spike, you're one of the few dragons they have around these parts and they want to make sure you're up to date on everything."
"If they stick me again, they'd better be up to date on their insurance policies."
"Oh Spike..." said Twilight, giggling.

Nurse Redheart fussed over the documentation, "You know, we're running a special today on spaying or neutering pets, only forty bits when taken in conjunction with vaccination!"
"Hey!" yelped Spike.
"No, no, that won't be necessary, thank you." said Twilight.
"Are you sure? As they reach a certain age you may find your pet's behaviour changes a little...are you finding him moody?" the nurse was reading from a checklist, clearly flustered over her special assignment.
"Twiii!" complained Spike, "I'm right here you know! I'm not a pet!"
"Hmm..." considered Twilight.
"He might be having...urges..."
"Well there is his thing for Ra-" Twilight began.
"Twiiiii!" moaned the dragon with a 'please don't talk about that' look on his face.
"Maybe even agressive?"
"If you come near me you'll need a new pair of hooves, lady!" Spike crossed his arms and blew green smoke.
"Now you mention it..." Twilight tapped her chin with a hoof.

Spike was sullen and silent as they walked through Trottingham. The cone around his neck made it hard to see and his backside was aching something fierce.
"You don't have to make me wear this anymore you know."
"You tried to bite nurse Redheart, even after you promised you wouldn't!"
"She tried to..."
"She was taking your temperature!"
Spike growled, "She doesn't even know what my temperature should be!"

Spike hated walking, but right now he hated sitting even more. He was a very sulky dragon and feeling extra specially unappreciated. All his work in her library, and Twilight had to betray his trust in her promises...for a trip to the doctors.
"Why are we walking home, anyway? We can't possibly walk all the way way home."
"Oh, Spike, we've got just one stop left."
"The art museum was boring enough!" he moaned, throwing back his head to the sky and shaking little fists. "Please don't make me go anywhere else educational," he shuddered.
"Oh we're not going anywhere 'educational', I promise."
Spike started to worry and idly kicked a few stones, dust bouncing up in little whirling devils as he passed. The paved streets of Trottingham had given way to what was essentially a dirt track leading to who-knew-what in the middle of nowhere. The last time she'd been shy about the destination had led to nurse jabs-a-lot. He whimpered and stopped in the middle of the road, "I'm not going a step further. Why'd we have to walk all this way anyhow? where are we going?"
Twilight turned and picked him up with her mouth before putting him down again a few feet further along, "Silly, we're already there."

She bent down and kissed the baby dragon on the head and removed the cone in one swift motion, "Cheer up champ, I did promise you a day at the beach. And candy."

Spike blinked, and suddenly he was in heaven. She'd led him to an old strip mine, stuffed with otherwise useless gems, just ripe for a dragon to dig up and eat. A pristine lake, glistening and clear to swim in. Exciting dark caves to explore. With the sun shining down heartily, he thought maybe he would forgive Twilight for tricking him. Maybe. He was determined to get his own back, though. As he ran down to the lakeside, shouting happily and splashing in the surf, he was also busy planning...she would need to visit the dentist soon.