How does one emphasize the bizarreness of this event? Spike and Rainbow Dash had a date, and everypony watched from the sidelines? Nope, that seems too artless, if you ask me. To sufficiently describe the oddity that is Spike and Rainbow Dash's date would take an extravagant amount of time. Time I happen to have. The very crux of their date was curious, to say the least. How one could recount the convention itself as a date is actually pushing the envelope pretty far. But, alas, the label remained, and the gambling spectators were forced to prepare themselves for the instigation of the romantic clash.
Although betting contributors by the thousands found themselves huddled together, learning of each other's identities, there were two partakers overseeing the entire challenge in anonymity. These unspecified members of the pool were none other than Equestria's most famous rulers, the Royal Princesses. Only Pinkie Pie knew of their involvement, and the two celestial leaders desired to keep it that way. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna were in agreement their association with the game would only confuse their subjects. The sisters were therefore bound to unsuspecting masks among the rowdy, anticipating troop of risk-takers.
Ironically, the alicorn siblings, whom were known to be contending powers in the past, were once again head to head in their support for a dragon and a Pegasus. Princess Celestia had bet on Rainbow Dash to successfully earn Spike's adoration, while Princess Luna wagered on Spike effectively resisting Rainbow Dash's affectionate advances. The two found themselves in a fight not for bits but for bragging rights. Princess Luna was tired of having to face her sister's constant correctness, so in a fit of rebellion she placed a bet against her. Princess Celestia was amused by her sister's abject behavior. Sure, the elder sibling's predictions were often reliable, but that didn't mean the frequency would falter when skirmished.
Like the contrasting sentiments between Spike and Rainbow Dash, the desire to win between Princess Celestia and Princess Luna was overwhelmingly pressuring. The prospect of a triumph over the other was reminiscent of the war a thousand years before. Yes, they were that serious, everypony. And looking back upon it all, I still find myself awestruck.
Spike's Rainbow Dash
Rainbow Dash had just encountered a refusal of aid from a very close friend, and after minutes of deliberation, the slightly hesitant Pegasus came upon the decision to reenter Ponyville's Day Spa. The two lovely spa ponies of the establishment, Lotus and Aloe, were horrified to find their beautification of Rainbow Dash obliterated. Fortunately for the Pegasus, Lotus and Aloe were participants of the betting pool hosted by Pinkie Pie. And for whom were they rooting for? You got it. It was Rainbow Dash.
After being informed of the date to take place on the picnic grounds, Lotus and Aloe put forth total investment into their winning pony. The masters of physique remodeling had been given only half an hour to reapply a makeover session doubly extravagant than the last. With such a limited time frame, however, mud baths, steam rooms, seaweed wraps and massages were absent in their line of action. It was the greatest challenge ever to be presented to the two ponies of titivation. Sprucing up Rainbow Dash was a matter quite testing, yet the skillsets of Lotus and Aloe were not to be underestimated. Because by minute twenty-seven my little rag doll was transformed into my little duchess. As perplexing the entire spa routine was, the result ended up becoming one of their most successful projects.
Rainbow Dash exited the Day Spa as stunning as ever. Possibly more so than before, because a confidence of true determination for victory oozed from her pores. The glisten of her foorhooves was apparent as she flew to the proposed dating spot. Once again, the Pegasus planned to grasp the frolicking heart of one baby dragon in a tight grip. Her mane alone was sure to render Spike love-struck, she convinced herself. Setting up a date was her opposition's paramount miscalculation, and she desired to take advantage of such an opportunity to strike.
"Spike's so going down." Rainbow Dash whispered, grinning maniacally. "Better watch yourself."
At last, Rainbow Dash arrived to the promised gathering. The much visited location for picnicking activities was in fact located near Sweet Apple Acres. At Ponyville's eastern border, healthy fields of green covered a wide spread of land. Much of the townspeople tended to indulge in outside goings-on at this particular location for one simple reason: the weather was always pleasurable. It was known throughout that east of town was bathed with the right mix of clouds and sun. Additionally, a cool breeze refreshed any that took step into the area. Hence, it was inevitably agreed upon that this was indeed the finest picnicking spot in all of Ponyville.
Twilight Sparkle had laid out a plaid blanket, owned by Applejack, atop the grassy lawn for Spike. And resting on the blanket was a multitude of treats and goodies, including the Apple Family's scrumptious pies and fritters. Now Spike stood at the foot of the blanket with his very own prepared snacks and cookery. Plates, cups, utensils, vegetable and hay sandwiches, fruit punch in a bowl and a conspicuously rainbow-colored box with a red bow were of the amenities brought by the dragon. Scanning the completed picnic presentation, Spike was satisfied with its decency.
Leering in response to Rainbow Dash's arrival, the baby dragon was ready to enact his dastardly plan. The date was to begin the moment either one spoke, and Spike was sure it was he who would make the first move. It was now or never, Spike realized. The game was his to take control.
"Nice setup you got here." Rainbow Dash said, bringing Spike out of his bubble.
Spike clicked his tongue at his lack of initiative. Why did Rainbow Dash have to go out and speak first? He was supposed to take preliminary action!
And then Spike took in the full view of the cyan Pegasus. Rainbow Dash's whole demeanor appeared made-up. Her overall glow radiated elegance, unlike the result of her previous bout with lightning. Rainbow Dash no longer held the same butch, coarse essence regularly ostensible in her outer appearance. In Spike's eyes, she was now a pony of style. Her chic frame had the dragon's blood organ beating wildly. In all truth, he was now attracted to her. Rainbow Dash was gorgeous, he admitted. And as he attempted to calm down his growling loins, Spike looked away from the sporting beauty smiling coyly at his front.
"Oh, Rainbow Dash, you're going to be a tough one, for sure." Spike muttered inaudibly.
"What was that?" Rainbow Dash questioned, leaning in closer to Spike. "And what do you think of my newest look? Better than the last, right? I bet your heart's already pumping like crazy right now!"
Spike's eyes widened, looking back to Rainbow Dash. "There we go, Dash! That's the mare I wanted to see!"
Thanks to Rainbow Dash opening her mouth, Spike was able to be brought back to the light. He was soon reminded of his friend's true nature. She was a tomboyish athlete that didn't really care to maintain herself at all, Spike recognized. Rainbow Dash did not have the inner feminine qualities he preferred in a lady. He favored politeness and grace. He fell in love with a pony that exhibited concern in being mannerly. Rainbow Dash was not sophisticated. She was not actually a mare. She was not a loved one. Yes, he was enticed by her made-up state, but that was only a piece of Spike's heart she could take.
For Rainbow Dash was not Rarity.
"Huh? What are you talking about now?" Rainbow Dash said, plopping herself onto the picnic blanket. "So are you in love with me or what?"
Spike laughed, clutching at his chest. "Dash, you have so much to learn about love. You really think you've got me under your hoof with just a simple makeover? No way would that fool me into falling for you."
Rainbow Dash's face scrunched up in confusion. "What do you mean? I'm looking pretty hot right now, aren't I?"
"Okay, you look pretty." Spike rolled his eyes as he took a seat beside Rainbow Dash. "But that doesn't mean I'm suddenly in love. I like ponies that behave like ladies. And you definitely don't behave like a lady."
Rainbow Dash put her hooves up to Spike's face. "Look at my hooves, though. They're all prettied up and whatnot. Aren't you head over heels for these hooves?"
Spike pushed aside Rainbow Dash's hooves, chuckling derisively. "You don't get it, do you? You gotta walk the walk and talk the talk, Dash. You know, an attitude adjustment. But that's impossible for you. So I wouldn't count on it ever happening."
"That's so lame!" Rainbow Dash whined, crossing her hooves. "How am I going to do something like that?"
"So does that mean you're forfeiting the challenge?" Spike perked up, hopeful.
"Not in a million years, Spike! You're falling for me one way or another!" Rainbow Dash retorted, uncrossing her hooves. "I'm not just going to give up like that. You so know be better."
"Of course I do, Dash." Spike sighed, a bit disappointed. "That's why I set up this date."
"Ha! You think this is going to make me stop vying for your heart? Because you got another thing coming. The date's just going to make you fall for me even more." Rainbow Dash said assertively, leaning in even closer to Spike's snout. "So you want a frilly mare, huh? Fine. I can do that."
"Yeah, sure, Dash. You do that." Spike snickered sarcastically. "How about you start now then?"
"I will!" Rainbow Dash sat up straight and stretched her hooves. "Are you ready for it?"
"Ready as I'll ever be." Spike lied on his side, his head resting on his open palm.
Rainbow Dash continued stretching, stalling the inevitable to ponder on her next move. The makeover was not as a fruitful as she wished for it to be, but that fact wasn't going to cease any more attacks from her side of the battle. Her pride as a mare was on the line, and there was no way she was going to allow a smug baby dragon declare it void. He wanted a lady? Oh, she'll give him a lady! Finally, the Pegasus cracked her neck and produced a kittenish stare.
"Oh, Spikey-Wikey, you're so
" Rainbow Dash awkwardly inched closer to Spike, clearing her throat. "Uh, charming
Spike was suddenly dumbfounded by Rainbow Dash's efforts to flirt. Was she seriously trying to seduce him?
"Look at all this food you brought for our date. Did you make them yourself?" Rainbow Dash forced out gawkily, motioning to the spread of treats. "You're so
Spike's brain almost melted as he watched Rainbow Dash inelegantly scramble for a nearby hay sandwich. With absolutely no sense of poise, the Pegasus began scarfing the sandwich down, just as she always ate a delicious-looking meal. Spike's gut was ready burst. Rainbow Dash was just plainly embarrassing herself. How far was she truly willing to go for victory? Spike planned to find out; as he was sure her resolve would wane quite easily if fought with the right exchanges.
"I sure did, honey." Spike playfully imitated Rainbow Dash, batting his eyelashes flirtatiously. "Would you like some fruit punch for that hay sandwich? Little Dashie seems parched."
Rainbow Dash choked at Spike's mimicry. What was he doing? Making fun of her? Oh, he's so going to get it now. As long as the competitive fires deep inside raged with might, she was not going to back down.
"Why, thank you, sweetums." Rainbow Dash answered more confidently, swimming a hoof through her mane. "I'd love whatever you made, um, sweetums."
Rainbow Dash couldn't think of another pet name for Spike. For some reason the word 'sweetums' kept coming to her mind. Why did she even say 'sweetums'? She's never used that word in her whole life. In what cerebral passage did that little slice of monstrosity wriggle its way from?
Spike used the silver ladle in the punch bowl to scoop a cup of fruit punch.
Handing it to Rainbow Dash, Spike cooed. "Here you go, sweetums."
Spike chortled, spilling a bit of the beverage on Rainbow Dash's extended hoof. Calling Rainbow Dash 'sweetums' was definitely a shovel to the face for her, he could tell. Because the moment he repeated the word the Pegasus gaped in shock. He was getting to her! Rainbow Dash was eventually going to get sick of this game and give in. It was only a matter of time until she comprehended the futility of her labors.
"Hey, you spilled some punch on me, dude!" Rainbow Dash let slip, breaking her new alter-ego.
"I'm sorry, Dashie. Did I dirty you? Well, we just can't have that, now can we?" Spike picked up a handkerchief from the corner of the blanket, encroaching forward. "Here, let me take care of that."
This was it. Spike reached for Rainbow Dash's soiled hoof, clenching the handkerchief he held in eagerness. The Pegasus was notorious for despising anypony touching her hooves. Only she touched her hooves, she had made clear at numerous instances. Spike wrapping and rubbing a handkerchief on one of those precious blue appendages was out of the question. Watch Rainbow Dash leap back in fear, dropping her level in this game to an extreme low, the dragon predicted.
" Rainbow Dash swallowed loudly, her outstretched hoof trembling. "Go ahead, my
Wait. Was Rainbow Dash really allowing Spike to place a finger on her hooves? Who was this mare?
" Spike cautiously rested the handkerchief on Rainbow Dash's hoof.
An ominous atmosphere enveloped the two at that moment. Spike timidly rubbed the pony's hoof while Rainbow Dash turned away ashamedly. Believe me, for both of them the atmosphere screamed awkward. The scene was a farce, I confess. It was just a complete charade of romantic venture. A façade exposed in the limelight to everypony viewing. Oh, and by the way, everypony was watching from behind the trees.
"They look so awkward together." Sweetie Belle made note, turning to Scootaloo. "I don't think Rainbow Dash is going to win at all."
"Rainbow Dash's going to win this. She's the best pony in Equestria!" Scootaloo whispered back. "She can do anything!"
"Ah don't know, Scootaloo." Applebloom chimed in, shaking her head. "They look kinda funny-lookin' to me."
"Quiet down! The Great and Powerful Trixie is trying to listen to their conversation!" The caped unicorn hushed the Cutie Mark Crusaders sternly.
While Spike and Rainbow Dash continued to clumsily partake in cumbersome deeds, all of the participants of Pinkie Pie's betting pool hid behind the trees surrounding the picnic site. And I mean everypony. To name a few not mentioned previously: Berry Punch, Time Turner, Minuette, Thunder Lane and Spitfire were among the countless individuals concealed behind the trunks and within the branches of the trees. They all had a full show of the date, and it was astonishing that neither Spike nor Rainbow Dash had yet taken notice.
"This is just plain wrong." Applejack shuddered from behind another tree, turning to Twilight Sparkle.
"Come on, Spike. You can do it." Twilight Sparkle begged, tapping her hoof to the grass impatiently. "You have to win this."
"I think they're, um
" Applejack and Twilight's tree mumbled shyly. "
cute together, actually."
Twilight Sparkle and Applejack simultaneously bounced back from their respective
tree? The tree spoke, that was true. And the voice emitted was painfully familiar. An introverted input from the confines of wood and leaves was mysteriously created.
"Fluttershy?" Twilight Sparkle tested in disbelief. "Is that you?"
"Fascinating." Time Turner simpered in amazement. "I am quite tempted to use the TARDIS to witness the result of this game. But admittedly the excitement with everypony involved is just too juicy to skip. Knowing of the winner would only spoil the fun!"
"If this continues, I'm gonna barf up my lunch." Iron Will groaned.
"You got that right." Chief Thunderhooves agreed with a nod.
"How dare that dragon spill the punch!" Berry Punch complained, peeking through the branches of a large tree. "Nopony should treat punch so carelessly."
"I still think she's a lesbian." Bon Bon stated, sneering audibly for everypony to hear. "Right, Lyra?"
"Definitely. This is a just a ploy to prove us wrong, anyway." Lyra Heartstrings replied, sighing. "Good thing we bet on Spike."
"Rainbow Dash is straight. I think letting Spike touch her hooves is proof enough." Thunder Lane called out from a tree next to Lyra and Bon Bon's.
"Wow. I'd never let anypony touch my hooves like that." Spitfire said, mesmerized by Rainbow Dash's combat strategy.
"Spike's really going at it, huh?" Snips asked his best friend Snails. "He's gonna win, right, Snails?"
"Dah, yeah, he's a tough guy."
"I'm lovin' it!" Pinkie Pie, wearing her green visor, giggled uncontrollably.
"GO RAINBOW DASH!" Derpy Hooves shouted, flying out from behind a tree and smacking her head into another.
At that, Spike and Rainbow Dash were brought of their graceless funk. Having been interrupted by Derpy Hooves's gaudy holler, the dragon and Pegasus experienced salvation while at the same time pure, undignified astonishment. Did that voice come from the trees? The two observed as silhouettes of ponies and other beings scurried about in panic. There were others watching, they concluded frightfully. And there were a lot of them.
The two flushed in sheer humiliation. How did they not notice their audience beforehand? Were they really that invested in their own roles of the game that they couldn't notice hundreds of ponies peeping from a few meters away? The ridiculousness was now reaching new limits, it seemed to Spike and Rainbow Dash. Were they going to constantly be spied on from this day forth? Couldn't that be classified as stalking?
Yes. Yes, it could.