A/N This is an apology-oneshot written for everyone waiting for "The Story of Spike" to update. Sorry. Exams and Skyrim will prevent me from updating for the next few weeks.
There was something wrong. Pinkie Pie felt bad, not just not happy, but bad. She had wandered out into town, drawing gasps and looks from the other ponies. Nopony had seen Pinkie this way. It was very jarring, like suddenly finding out that the sky was not in fact blue, but a garish yellow.
Spike was the only pony, or dragon, in town not too shocked to approach. Fear squirmed inside Spike's stomach. It wasn't the blinding terror he felt when her hair was perfectly strait, but he did notice that it was more wavy than her usual tight knot of curls.
"Are you okay? You look as sad as a-" Spike modified his speech to incorporate Pinkie's relative naivety regarding metaphor. "As a pony who is very sad."
Applejack was the element of honesty, but Pinkie Pie didn't really lie either. It was less the fact that she chose not to lie and more the fact she wasn't really certain exactly what a lie was, although she knew that they existed. Because of this, she never understood why her friends Twilight and Spike said things in weird tones and then acted surprised when she took it literally. While any of her other friends may have lied to reassure Spike that everything was okay, even when it clearly was not, Pinkie Pie spoke her mind.
"I am sad Spike. I feel like a sad saddy pants in a sack of more sad, with extra sad."
"I can't think of anything."
"I can't think of anything!" She repeated.
"Can't think of what?"
Spike rested his head in his claw, this was going nowhere quickly.
"What is anything?" Spike was frustrated, but spared his friend this knowledge by disguising his tone.
"Party ideas! I'm usually so good at these! In every party I like to have just a certain something that's different. That makes that party unique. Even if it's just the kind of punch I make, but I can't think of anything today! And I'm all out of punch recipes."
"Do you want to check out the library, there's books on all sorts of things. There might be one with party ideas." Pinkie Pie's curls tightened slightly.
"If there's one of those Spike. It'd be perfect!"
Spike and Pinkie made their way back to the library. There was only the sound of hooves meeting earth. The onlookers still regarded Pinkie Pie as something foreign, like her face had turned out be a mask she had been wearing since birth, and now she had taken it off for the first time.
The Library was, contrary to the usual, very clean and organised today. Twilight was only studying a single book at the moment, which made Spike's job as assistant a very dull affair the last few days. Spike searched the shelves for a book, any book, that mentioned parties, or party ideas or even just ideas. When his search became more frantic Pinkie Pie helpfully suggested "look under P".
"Found it!" Spike announced.
Pinkie Pie looked over Spike's shoulder as he scanned the page.
"Have you done this o-"
"How about..." Spike flipped a few pages.
"Yes." Spike flipped through pages, arriving at random party ideas and recipes, all were met with a "yes" from Pinkie Pie.
Spike turned to the back of the book, sighing in frustration and hopelessness. "Hold on" Pinkie's tone was level, something quite distressing. She placed her hoof below a line that said "There is an annual Party Expo in Canterlot, held four weeks before the Summer Sun Celebration."
"Do you want to go?" Spike hoped it would cheer her up, and spare any Ponyville residents that did not already have the unpleasant revelation that Pinkie Pie could, in fact, be sad, because if she could be sad, that was a bad sign for everyone. Pinkie Pie's curls tightened again.
"Are you sure we can get there in time, I mean, it is Canterlot, and it's today."
"No worries, Spike got connections" Spike snapped his claws for dramatic effect. He snatched some of Twilight's extra parchment, something he hoped she wouldn't notice. The quill made a faint scratching sound as Spike wrote his message. A deep breath, a bit of flame, and it was gone.
Pinkie Pie didn't expect the sound of pegasus guards pulling a chariot, but Spike seemed unfazed. If anything, a small smirk had graced his face. The loud thundering of their hooves as they touched down attracted a lot of attention to the small, barely used library. Normally Pinkie would relish the attention, but right now she just wanted to slip under the radar. Do ponies have radars? She had Pinkie Sense, but do ponies get radars?
The Pinkie-esque thought lost steam, she wasn't Pinkie Pie today. She had never rode in a pegasus-drawn chariot before, if she were Pinkie Pie, she would've had a lot of fun. As it was, it was just a small break in between periods of sad and tired.
It took less than an hour to arrive at Canterlot, pegasus chariots had the advantage of being able to take a direct route. Spike and Pinkie immediately made their way to the address written down in the book. They were already late as it was, but Spike was sure he could get them in, even on notice so short it had become negative.
There were various ponies milling around the entrance, some leaving, some re-entering. Spike didn't think that they looked like ponies who would party for a living, but then Spike didn't party for a living, he shrugged to himself, so what did he know? They burst through the doors. Spike didn't realise that parties involved so much farming equipment.
"Where's the Party Expo?" Spike asked a passerby.
"Party Expo? They haven't had one of those in four years, good thing too. Honestly, what did those party ponies actually do? Now the Canterlot Showgrounds can go to ponies who actually deserve it!"
Spike's eyes narrowed, could the pony see Pinkie Pie? He turned, there was no point keeping himself or Pinkie Pie here.
"Pinkie Pie?" Spike turned to leave. Pinkie Pie was gone, it was difficult for Pinkie Pie to sneak away, it usually sounded like somepony was playing with springs nearby whenever she moved. But that was no longer the case.
Spike rushed out of the building, he vaguely caught a pink mane disappearing amongst a sea of coloured ponies. By the time Spike broke free of the crowd on the main street she was gone.
"Oh..." Spike wanted to swear, to spit out all the words he knew that Twilight was unaware of, it was an appropriate moment, but he was in a public place, so he clamped his mouth shut.
Spike scythed through the crowd, the force of his purpose pushing ponies aside for effectively than if he had been twelve metres tall. He was going to find Pinkie Pie and cheer her up, and nopony would stand in his way, not if they had their wits about them. Some stared at the small dragon, a glare lathered on his face, his size prevented it from being terrifying, but it was close.
A couple, walking nearby gave Spike his first clue. "Did you go to Moondancer's party."
"Yeah, but it wasn't what I expected. I just dropped my gift off and left."
Spike approached as congenially as he could, the couple backed away slightly from the small dragon with an implacable glare.
"Where is Moondancer holding her party this year?" Spike asked, his voice as soft as he could make it.
"Over in the Canterlot Botanical Gardens." The filly did her best to point her shaking hoof in the direction Spike should go, but Spike didn't see it, there was no point in staying in any one place for long, and he already knew the way to the Botanical Gardens.
Pinkie's hoofs set small splashes in the puddles she walked through. There were always puddles in this part of the botanical gardens. She had felt the throb of the party, like a moth to light she walked toward it. She stood on the edge of the light, afraid to step into it. She felt the music pounding in her chest, driving away other animals. She half expected some kind of reprieve, she was a partyless party pony hanging around a party.
She had never felt strange. Her friends sometimes mentioned that she was odd or random, but she had never felt that way, she had never felt like an outsider. She did now. A heavily panting dragon pulled up alongside her.
"Pinkie-" Spike panted. "Are you ok?" Spike saw the look of longing in her eyes as she stared at the ponies gathered together, their collective energy electrifying the air. "Do you want to crash?"
"Huh?" Pinkie tore her eyes away from the party.
"Crash...you know...go to the party without an invitation."
Pinkie wasn't familiar with the concept of crashing. This was mostly due to her governance of the entire Ponyville party 'scene'. And why wouldn't you invite somepony to your party? That just seemed really mean. Spike noticed Pinkie Pie's trepidation. "Look. Just watch me." Spike moved silently from the shadows in which they were concealed.
Spike had to adjust for the noise and shifting colour of light. The music thrummed through his small body. Spike broke into his usual dance routine. It took advantage of his bipedalism through liberal use of the hip thrust and arm movements. It attracted looks of varying approval. One of the best ways to blend in at the party was standing out like a sore thumb. After all, if somepony was standing out, somepony must have invited them because only ponies who were invited wanted to stand out.
Pinkie stared at Spike's undulating. It was oddly fascinating. While the moves themselves were sound, they flowed together like dry tar, the awkward pauses causing the more sensitive ponies to wince for him.
Familiar music electrified the air. Pinkie's loose curls tightened again. "This is..." She fought the words down, but they would not be denied. "This is...THIS IS MY JAM!"
Pinkie exploded onto the dance floor. Vaulting over the fortunate ponies in her path. The unlucky ones did their best to regain any composure they had as they picked themselves off the floor. Pinkie's dancing was erratic, to say the least, but somehow it all fit. No movement was out of place, each flowed seamlessly into the other. She flitted from wild spins and dancing that would make an acrobat question their ability, to slow, conservative movements. The dancing was fascinating, although not like Spike's dancing. This dancing was a snake charmer's flute, Spike's was a small natural disaster. It was Pinkie to it's core.
Spike made his way over to Pinkie, doing his best to complement her more languid movements. He was less than successful. Pinkie grinned at Spike's efforts, her curls tightened again. Sweat stuck Pinkie's man onto her back and face, obscuring any vision the shifting colours granted her. She walked over to the punch table, her hooves silent.
Spike joined her, downing punch in an effort to quench the thirst he had worked up as the dance floor entertainment. As the third glass passed down his throat he panted out "having fun?".
"Yeah! It was my jam!" She wasn't speaking in the soft voice that set Spike's legs shaking and loosened his control over his bladder. They spent the time they should have spent at the expo at Moondancer's party. She only vaguely recognised Spike, but couldn't place it. Although Spike was certain that Moondancer knew Pinkie Pie wasn't invited to her party she didn't say anything. After all, it was more likely that the guests would see the birthday pony thrown out before Pinkie Pie.
Pinkie Pie shook off a bit of the sweat she accumulated while dancing. A scarlet pony nearby screwed her eyes shut and shivered in disgust. The party had begun to die down. The once sardine-like crowd had thinned until only a few remained. DJ Pon3 had packed up and moved on, leaving only the sound of small conversations and the cries of the nocturnal critters driven away by the previous noise.
Spike flopped onto the comfortable grass, the cool blades ecstasy on his burning scales. Luna's charge loomed over them, casting a pale white light that glanced off the gardens. Spike felt a hoof resting on his side. He found himself underwater in less than a second. Spike desperately took in breath as he broke the surface of the pond once again, driving away any fish that may be resting there. Pinkie giggled a little. Spike smirked. "You got me again." Pinkie Pie's front hooves slipped out from under her on the slick mud, she slid into the water next to Spike.
When the surface of the water didn't move Spike became concerned. "Pinkie!" He called, but the water was a shimmering obsidian, allowing him no glimpse of the bottom. He plunged his arms into the water in search of her, feeling the soft, crumbling muck at the bottom but no Pinkie. Something bit his claw, it wasn't painful, but it held his claw firm. Spike leapt in surprise, attempting to free himself of whatever had considered the baby dragon a meal. Pink hair was attached to whatever was gripping his claw.
"Hey Spike! I'm a Pinkiegator!" Pinkie Pie seemed particularly proud of her present prank.
"Ha ha." Sarcasm dripped off Spike's words. Pinkie giggled.
"Come on Spike." she grinned. The water weighed down her hair, straightening the curls. Spike had to fight his natural instinct to run. Pinkie shook the water out of her mane; her hair returned to its everyday appearance. She hopped onto the bank, her hooves and legs covered in the silty mud. Spike dragged himself onto shore, plant fronds of varying size hand tangled around his legs. He callously ripped all the fronds with his strong claws, desperate to sever all ties to the dirty pond.
The walk back to the chariot was filled with the random exclamations and excitement that followed Pinkie like a haze of raced pulses and sugar. But all her bounds and leaps were not accompanied by the usual sound of springs that seemed ever-present around Pinkie. She acted the way he had originally expected to on the chariot, attempting to see if she could hit bodies of water with spit as they flew over. She was not very accurate.
The chariot pulled up at Sugarcube Corner. Spike would have to walk back to the library. "Thanks Spike! Even if we didn't get to go to the expo I've got tons of ideas for my next party!" She winked at Spike. "Not telling though, it's a secret..." Pinkie squirmed in place, she was great at keeping other ponies' secrets, but she was cracking under the pressure of her own secret. "Ok just one hint" she said more to herself that Spike. "Think limes. One more thing." Pinkie planted her lips firmly on Spike's. His surprise and shock made the kiss awkward, but pleasant. Pinkie Pie lifted her lips from Spike's. Her smile reached her eyes. "See you tomorrow Spike!"
"Yeah..." Spike's face was significantly warmer as he walked back to the library.
Pinkie bounced into Sugarcube Corner, the sound of springs accompanying her the whole way.