Hi everyone! I'm back with a Spike/Rarity one-shot. It's not necessarily related to my other fics (you don't need to read the others to read this one). Inspiration just struck a few days ago, and I had to take a break from my "real" writing and type this little sap-story out. Enjoy!

The Ballad of Firebrand and Olivine

Spike watched out the library window as Rarity walked away, a few stray snowflakes fluttering around her fluffy blue coat. A long shadow trailed behind her on the snow. The sun set below the horizon, and Spike sighed.

Rarity had come by earlier to drop off a new winter scarf for Twilight. She said she'd made one for all her friends: Twilight, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy.

But not him.

She had nothing for him.

Spike had to just stand there awkwardly for nineteen whole minutes (he'd been counting), as Twilight and Rarity chit-chatted and giggled about the latest town gossip. Twilight had tried on the scarf, admiring its winter constellation motif, while Spike was ignored yet again by the glamorous unicorn who held his heart in her hooves.

Rarity disappeared back into the town, and Spike left the window, ignoring the temptation to write his and her initials in the little heart he had drawn on the cold glass. He shuffled into the main library and sat down by the fireplace. Twilight was in the other room, working on her studies. Spike was alone.

He watched the fire flicker. An ember crackled and popped. Spike blew a small flame of his own into the fireplace, keeping the fire burning strong to warm their home. Legend held that dragons had a kinship with fire, long ago. Maybe they still did. He wouldn't know. He didn't know much about dragons at all.

"Princess, you must know tons of stories about dragons! You've been around for forever!"

"Oh, Spike…" Princess Celestia laughed lightly. "I haven't been around for forever. Besides, ponies and dragons never seem to have much to do with each other. Even long ago it was rare for there to be much interaction between our two cultures, and what interaction there was wasn't what you'd call…pleasant."

Spike slumped his shoulders, pulling his bed sheet up over himself. "Oh. Alright then."

The princess sat by his bed, silent for several moments. Spike wondered when she was going to leave so he could go to sleep. Maybe then he could dream about the dragons.

"But…I do know one story about a dragon."

Spike threw his bed sheet off his head. "You do?" he asked, bouncing in place.

"Yes," Princess Celestia replied. "It's not the happiest of stories, though. Maybe I should save it for when you're older."

"Oh no!" Spike begged. "Please! I'm plenty old enough now, Princess! I want to hear the story!"
The Princess smiled gently. "Very well, Spike."

Spike stared into the fire. The memory had surfaced completely unbidden. Spike had carried the story in his soul for years now. After meeting Rarity, he'd squashed the memory away, refusing to think about it. He couldn't. He and Rarity…they weren't…well…they couldn't…

But the floodgate was open now, and the words from years prior poured back into Spike's mind in one, huge emotional rush.

"The story is called The Ballad of Firebrand and Olivine," Princess Celestia said. "And it's a little bit long, so I hope you're comfortable." There was a twinkle in her eye, but Spike couldn't help but notice something sad behind the twinkle.

He wondered just what he was getting himself into as he twisted his sheets and blankets around into a makeshift nest. "I'm comfortable," he said. "You can start now." His young heart fluttered in his chest. A real dragon story. He was finally going to hear a real dragon story!

"Alright," the princess replied. "Here we go then.


Once was a dragon called Firebrand.

He wandered the country

Looking to claim a bit of land

As his territory.

When one day he came upon a

Clearing of grass and flowers

And a young unicorn by

The still waters of a pond.

Her mane was olive and her eyes

Ruddy red as lakebed clay

A flame she had as her mark, and

Truly did it glow bright

Along her pale green body, which

Was turned away from him.

Firebrand had never seen a pony

So close before, and he

Was compelled to take a closer

Look. But as he stepped one

Scaly foot forward, the pony

Turned about. As soon as

She laid eyes upon Firebrand,

She screamed, for dragons were said

To be evil and to destroy

Villages and burn forests.

Firebrand was startled. 'Do not yell,

Little pony,' he said.

'I mean no harm. I have never

Met a pony before.

May I ask your name?' The mare, who

Had been about to run,

Steadied her hooves bravely. 'My name?'

She asked, her voice a-flutter.

'Yes,' said the dragon. 'I am called

Firebrand, and I come to

Find a territory. Is this

Land already taken?'

'Yes,' replied the mare. 'My village

is in this valley. We

Have lived here for generations,

And it is no place for

Dragons'. The mare held her head high.

'Very well,' Firebrand answered.

'I will leave then. But as I offered

You my name, I do ask

Now for yours in return. It is

Dragon custom,' he said.

'Is it?' asked the mare. 'I had no

Idea. How very

Interesting! Do you dragons

have many such customs?'

'Indeed, we have a long, proud, and

Noble heritage,'

Said Firebrand. The mare took a step

Forward. 'How wonderful,'

She said. 'I have a proposal

For you if that is the

Case. All day long I must practice

My mineral magic

All alone. It is dull work, but

Would be livened by some

Stories from exotic lands and

Creatures.' The mare stepped

Forward once more. 'If you provide

Such tales, then as payment

I shall be happy to reveal

To you my name,' she said.

Firebrand could not refuse the offer,

And agreed without a

Second thought. He spoke to her of

His culture and the ways

Of dragons. He explained to her

The Great Migration that

All dragons take part in when the

Right season comes about.

He told her of their lava ritual

And first flight ceremony,

And the mare was entranced.

As the day drew to a

Close, she made a request. 'Could you

Perhaps come again, dear

Dragon?' she asked. 'If I do, will

You tell me your name?' the

Dragon countered in return. 'Yes,

I promise,' she replied.

'Then I shall come,' Firebrand said. And

So he did. Day after

Day he came, to regale the young

Mare with stories and tales.

And day after day she promised

Her name in return. But

As days wore on, Firebrand found that

Her name mattered less and

Less to him. He did not come for

Her name. He came for her.

And one sun-filled day, he told her

So. That day, the mare's mane

Glittered in the light as it oft'

Did. But this time her eyes

Glittered more. 'Does this mean that you

Care for me, as I have

Come to care for you?' she asked.

In all his journeys through

Volcanic mountains, hot spring vales

And scorching desert lands,

Firebrand had never felt such a

Warmth fill his soul. He could

Scarce but nod in return. As if

Her declaration was

Not enough, the mare motioned for

Firebrand to come closer.

She leaned in towards his ear, and

Whispered softly, 'My name

Is Olivine.' At this, Firebrand,

Despite his thick dragon

Hide, almost melted away. They

Shared a lover's kiss, but

Then had to part ways for the night.

The next day, Firebrand

Returned to the meadow at first

Light. He waited for his

Mare to arrive, even more in

Love with her than the day

Before. But as the sun rose higher,

Olivine did not come.

He waited all morning, after-

Noon, and evening. But she

Did not set one hoof in the meadow.

'Olivine?' he called out,

Just as the stars began to shine.

'Now!' cried a voice from the

Brush. And Firebrand was ambushed from all

Directions. They came with

Spears, bows, and rocks. Firebrand reared up

To face his attackers.

'What is this? Where is Olivine?

What have you done with her?'

He demanded. The ponies who

Gathered 'round him were stunned.

'What have we done to Olivine?

Nothing more than to save

Her from the clutches of a wild,

Vile beast like you!' said a

Bold stallion, thrusting a spear t'wards

Firebrand. The dragon ducked,

And the spear flew over his shoulder.

'I am no beast! She does

Not need to be saved from me,' said

Firebrand. 'Please tell me what

Has become of her,' he pleaded.

The bold stallion readied

Another spear. 'She is my betrothed.

And you have seduced her

From me, you horrid monster! You

Deserve nothing less than

A painful death!' The stallion tossed

His spear, and Firebrand reared

Up for a second time. 'Your betrothed?

But we are in love! I

Do not understand – ' The stallion

Cut him off with a sneer.

'A pony in love with a dragon?

Impossible. You wish

To eat her heart over fiery

Rock, you devil-beast! Now

You shall pay the price for such

Wickedness. Attack him!'

The stallion ordered. But just as

He shouted, a cry came

Over the hilltop. 'Wait! Please wait!'

It was Olivine, come

To defend her beloved from

Murder. 'You cannot kill

Him! For I love him more than I

Love the crystals in the

Stone and the colors in the flowers.

Please spare him!' Olivine

Begged, racing towards the meadow.

The stallion's eyes were filled

With hate, rage, and jealousy.

He spun and slung his spear

At Olivine. She fell, lifeless.

'OLIVINE!' Firebrand roared.

The stallion turned back, his head high.

'She was bewitched, and could

Not be saved! It is the fault of

the monster! Kill him!" the

stallion ordered. Before they had

A chance, Firebrand opened

His fanged mouth and set the meadow

Afire. Hours passed before

The meadow cooled to a

Smolder. Once deemed safe, the

Ponies of the nearby town came

To check for survivors.

They found a scarce few. Among them

Was a young colt who had

Followed the stallion in his call

To arms. The colt explained

How he had seen Firebrand escape

The inferno, and how

The remaining ponies had tried

To search for Olivine,

But could not find her anywhere.

It seemed that the mare's

Body had disappeared into

The flames, never to be

Seen again…except for in a

Dragon's long memory.


The end."

"So she ran off with him!" Spike exclaimed, clutching his blanket to his chest. "Right? She couldn't have really died, could she? They never found her!"

Princess Celestia shook her head slowly. "I don't know, Spike. I suppose no one really does. Most accept that she perished either by the spear, or by the fire – "

"Or Firebrand grabbed her and ran off with her and saved her life!" Spike leapt to his little feet, bouncing slightly on the mattress springs. "He had to! He loved her!"

Princess Celestia used her magic to pull Spike's blanket back over him, sitting him back down and tucking him in tight. "As I said, I don't know what happened, Spike. It was a long time ago, and is now just a legend."

"But –"

"But," the Princess gave him a wink. "I think I like your version of the ending better than any I've heard before."

Spike found himself absent-mindedly browsing Twilight's bookshelves. He'd always wondered if there'd been more to the ballad than the Princess had told him. Other versions, perhaps more detailed ones, must exist. And with her library filled to the brim, Twilight just had to have a copy of the story somewhere…maybe even a longer version…

"Ah-hah!" Spike pulled a book off the shelf in triumph. "The Ballad of Firebrand and Olivine!"

He quickly went back to the fireside to read. The book was on the older side with yellowing pages and fancy designs all over the cover. It also was really short. It didn't take him long to finish at all and when he did, he was just as disappointed as ever, despite this version having full illustrations.

"Nothing new," he mumbled to himself. "Nothing more." He set the book down on the rug besides him, and wrapped his arms around his knees.

Stupid story. It's like the opposite of inspiring. Sure, a dragon and a pony fell in love, but one of them probably died because of it! I guess times have changed since then…but still…it still seems so impossible for a dragon like me and a pony like Rarity to ever…well…Even if Ponyville was okay with it, Rarity…well…

Spike scrunched his knees even closer to his chest. At least Firebrand knew Olivine cared. Even though their story was technically a tragedy, Spike couldn't help but feel…jealous.

He watched the flames dance in front of him, his eyes shimmering. Will I ever feel the warmth Firebrand felt? I can't imagine any of our friends chasing me and Rarity apart. It'd work out just fine nowadays. He clenched his fists. Ponyfeathers, why can't Rarity see me like Olivine saw Firebrand?

After several more minutes of fuming, Spike eventually relaxed his fists and stretched out his legs. It was just a story. Just a legend. Maybe it never even happened. Maybe there really never was a love story between a unicorn and a dragon.

Spike took one last forlorn look at the book on the rug, then laid down on his side, curling up on the floor. I just…I wish…

"Shhh," Twilight held a hoof to her lips, jerking her head towards the fireplace. Rarity craned her neck and saw Spike asleep on the rug next to a thin old book. "He's been out like a light for about an hour now," Twilight explained quietly. "Try not to wake him, okay?"

Rarity nodded, forcing her eyes back to Twilight. "Of course. I'm sorry to be a bother. I simply cannot believe I managed to forget my bag at your place. Imagine my surprise when I showed up at Sweet Apple Acres, empty-hoofed!"

Twilight used her magic to carry Rarity's bag over to her. "Well here you go. Now Applejack can have her new scarf, too. Goodness knows she'll need it with another snowstorm scheduled for next week," Twilight said wryly. "But speaking of, before you head out into the cold again, would you like some tea?"

"Oh, that would be lovely," Rarity replied, smiling.

"Hold on, then, and I'll get you a cup." Twilight turned and headed into another room in the library. Rarity was left standing by the door, alone.

The firelight bounced shadows along the wall, and Spike's soft snoring filled the room. Rarity glanced back over at the dragon, cocking her head to one side. The little book by his feet looked to be covered in fanciful golden hearts. Just what was he reading?

Rarity bit her lower lip, and glanced back at the door Twilight had disappeared through. Once confident the purple mare was not going to come back in the next moment or two, Rarity trotted over softly to Spike's side, and magicked the book up into the air to take a closer look.

"The Ballad of Firebrand and Olivine…" she whispered. The gold hearts shimmered in the firelight, and Rarity's front hooves danced a little. "Oh my, is this a romance? I do adore a good love story!"

She opened the book up to begin reading. But when she saw the first illustration, her eyes flew wide open and she nearly dropped the book on the floor. The first two pages had one large drawing across them: a drawing of a dragon and a mare, gazing longingly at each other across the fold of the book.

Rarity looked back down at Spike and sucked in a breath.

"Oh Spike…" she said, softly.

Before she could say anything else, she heard hoofsteps coming from the kitchen. Rarity stepped back away from Spike, her eyes darting around the room, trying to land on anything but the sleeping dragon. They swept past the bookshelves, past Twilight's new scarf sitting on her desk, and back towards the kitchen door just in time to see Twilight push it open.

Hastily, Rarity shoved Spike's book in her bag with the scarves.

"Everything okay in here?" Twilight asked, two cups of tea hovering next to her.

"Mm-hmm." Rarity nodded in reply, casually wandering away from the dragon by the fireplace.

"Glad to hear it," Twilight said brightly. She offered Rarity a tea cup, which the she took and sipped on politely. Keeping her eyes away from Spike was nothing less than an Ursa Major-sized challenge.

No matter how well she convinced Twilight, everything was not okay. Rarity knew it, and she knew Spike did, too.

Applejack's scarf would have to wait, as would everypony else's. After finishing her tea the library, Rarity was going to go straight home to read that book.

Spike sleepily blinked his eyes open. Sunlight shone on his face through the window across the room, extra bright because of all the snow. A fireplace with a dying pile of cinders greeted him, and Spike stared at it, transfixed.

Where am I? What - ?

Then he remembered. He'd fallen asleep by the fire last night. And now the fire was almost out. Thanks to your forgetfulness, Spike chided himself.

But if the fire was nearly out, why wasn't he a shivering mess?

Spike patted his side with one arm, feeling around as he registered an unfamiliar weight over him. He was covered with something.

Twilight must've brought me a blanket, Spike deduced, stretching lazily and sitting up. But once he sat up, he realized it wasn't a blanket at all.

Spike's mouth dropped open when he saw what had been keeping him warm.

Covering him was a long, folded scarf. And on it was a series of delicate golden hearts, sewn between olive green meadow grass and gentle red flames.

The end.

"Princess…can't you just say it?"

"You really need me to?"

"Yes! I can't sleep now. That story was too sad."

"Alright, fine then," Princess Celestia smiled down at the dragon. "You ready?"

The Princess blew out his nightstand candle. "And they lived happily ever after. Goodnight, Spike."

"Good night, Princess."

Princess Celestia walked away, quietly shutting the little dragon's bedroom door.

My "ballad" format got kind of messed up by ff's editor, so I apologize that it isn't set out as "prettily" as a ballad should be. Oh well. Should format correctly on fimfiction I hope.

Also, if you're wondering, I can't predict when I'll upload any other stories, but I do fully intend on continuing to contribute to the fandom, so be on the lookout! Reviews, of course, are always encouraging. Thanks for reading!