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
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.
"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," 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.
"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!