Ten years after the blackout…
“What you have to realize is that it wasn’t always like this. One decade ago the world was much brighter. But one day, everything went crazy. All magic simply vanished. Millions died instantly, then over the next few years billions probably died from the climate change.
So, what caused the blackout? What made Equestria crumble into nothing?”
Rainbow Dash, who now had a much longer mane, looked around the small, dimly lit, class room and saw that many of the foals were on the verge of falling asleep, or had already done so.
Raising her voice, she added “Come on. This should bother you. The whole world was turned on its head that day and no pony knows why?”
Despite Rainbow Dash’s best efforts, her change in tone did little more than make a few colts’ ears flick up. She was beginning to feel that her efforts were absolutely pointless. Just then, almost as on cue, a much older Spike walked into the doorway and leaned against it. The look on his face seemed as if he were sending Rainbow Dash a mental message saying “Oh come on already.”
Dash was rather happy to see him, for now her best friend was here and she had a reason to dismiss school. “Okay everypony, that’s class for today. You can go home now.” As soon as those words left her lips, even the seemingly unconscious foals awoke. She didn’t know if they were faking or if the words “go home” were a mental alarm clock.
As the herd of foals rushed passed Spike, he began to make his way over to Rainbow Dash. Spike couldn’t help but shoot her a sarcastic grin.
“Well you seem to be the life of the party,” Spike joked.
The blue coated mare simply rolled her eyes. “You try explaining what the ocean is like to somepony who’s never seen water before.”
“Well that’s simple; I’d show them a picture.” Spike couldn’t help but grin once more.
Rainbow Dash trotted up next to Spike and added “Did I mention that they have the attention span of a fly?”
Spike let out a soft chuckle before gesturing towards the exit. “Shall we?”
“Oh dear goddesses yes, please get me out of here.”
Spike laughed lightly once more.
Spike and Rainbow Dash continued to walk down the dimly lit streets of Ponyville, on their way back to the library. They continued to laugh and joke around, despite the occasional attention they attracted and the ensuing gossip.
Lyra was sitting beside Bonbon as they talked about everypony in the town. Almost the second Spike and Rainbow Dash passed out of earshot, they immediately changed topics.
“Oh you know those two are bucking,” Bonbon smirked.
“I don’t know,” began Lyra, “I mean it seems like they’re flirting, but that’s kind of how we thought it was with Twi and him.”
Bonbon leaned a little closer to her mint colored friend and lowered her voice. “You know I heard a rumor that those two started up right after Twilight… You know.”
Lyra rolled her eyes and threw a hoof. “Oh that’s nonsense. I mean I know Spike was pretty sad about the whole ordeal, but I don’t think he would have done that.”
Bonbon shrugged. “Hey, it’s just a rumor.”
“I honestly think they’re just friends.”
“Yeah they’re friends; friends with benefits.”
Lyra rolled her eyes and crossed her front forelegs. “They’re just friends, Bonbon. And that reminds me; I heard a rumor that everypony thinks were a couple.”
Bonbon shot her friend an un-amused scowl. “Now I know you’re lying. I mean who’d think that?”
Spike and Rainbow Dash were still making their way home, and as they did so they continued talking about all sorts of things. Much of it was joking, but some of it was gossip as well.
“I mean I know Lyra and Bonbon are a couple and all, but do they ever hang out with anypony else?” Spike stated rather bluntly.
“I know right!” replied Rainbow Dash.
“Anyways, I still can’t believe you took Cheerilee’s place.”
“Well somepony had to step up after she went to Fillydelphia. It’s not like the foals were gonna teach themselves.”
“Well yeah, but you of all ponies?”
“Oh shut up,” Dash snapped jokingly.
“I’m just saying Ponyville has such a vast intellectual population that you’d think somepony else would have filled in. Because you know all the foals these days are just dying to hear about Applejack’s new method of planting apple trees.”
The blue Pegasus smiled up at Spike. “I’m not sure if I should laugh or put a hoof in your gut.”
“Well I was hoping on the first one, but that’s just me.”
Rainbow Dash chuckled softly, however it soon faded as a thought crossed her mind. “I think the best teacher would have been Twilight.”
Spike’s upbeat tone quickly faded at the mention of his former friend’s name. “Yeah, I do too,” he said sadly.
The blue coated mare detected the sorrow in her friend’s voice and looked up at him. She hadn’t meant to hurt him; she just thought mentioning her name wouldn’t have much of an effect on him.
“Oh Spike, I’m sorry,” the blue mare said sympathetically as she wrapped a foreleg around him. “I didn’t mean to-“ Spike cut her off there.
“It’s okay RD, don’t worry about it,” he lied. Spike then continued to walk right out of Rainbow Dash’s embrace.
The blue Pegasus just stood there for a minute. She let out a sad sigh before trotting off. She assumed that, at the moment, it was best to leave Spike alone.
Though Spike appeared to want to be by himself, he was silently dying inside. He wanted to hold Rainbow Dash in his arms and lose it. He wanted her to never leave his side, like Twilight, but he couldn’t let her know this. After all these feelings would probably be thought of as childish in her eyes, or at least that’s how it felt to him.
Though he had been getting better at coping with the thought of Twilight, it still ate away at him every time someone mentioned her. He guessed that Rainbow Dash had noticed this, and assumed it was okay to talk about her. This was definitely not the case.
Suddenly, the loud sound of alarm bells could be heard ringing throughout Ponyville. Spike quickly looked up, ignored his current emotional state, and began sprinting to their source.
After only a minute of running, spike came to the Ponyville gates. It was a massive wooden wall all of its citizens had helped build to keep the town safe. It stretched up twenty feat into the air and five feet into the ground. Needless to say it was no easy task to complete.
As Spike approached the gates he could see that the ponies at the torch and mirror spot lights were focusing on something. Quickly, he climbed the staircase and looked to where they were pointing.
There, only a few feet away from the entrance, stood a tall pony wearing a heavy coat with a hood to conceal its face. The material it was made out of seemed to resemble fur, but from what animal Spike could not tell.
“I’m sorry,” shouted the young dragon, “No pony who does not live in Ponyville may enter. Please go back to where you came from.”
The mystery pony didn’t look up or remove her hood, but she did speak. “Before I leave, you may want to hear what I have to say, Spike.”
The young dragon could feel a chill run down his spine. “How do you know my name!?” he demanded to know.
No pony could see it, but the mare smiled beneath her hood. “Because Spike, you know me.” The pony then lifted up a hoof and removed her hood.
Spike took a step back as he felt his breath leave him. ‘Is that… No, no, it can’t be,’ he thought; for there before him was a mare with a tall horn, a pink coat, and a long disheveled pink and yellow mane. “C-Cadence?” he stuttered.
The Alicorn smiled up at the purple dragon. “Hello Spike.”
“Let her in!” Spike shouted to the colt at the bottom of the gate. He gave him a nod and lifted the large wooden plank out of its place. Almost instantly the gate began to swing open on its own.
Spike quickly raced down the stairs to greet his long lost friend. “Cadence!” he shouted with glee. Before the mare could even have time to enter the town, Spike wrapped her into an embrace that was so tight it threatened to rival the one he had given Rainbow Dash a decade ago.
Cadence smiled and nuzzled his neck in return. “Hi Spike, it’s been awhile.”
The young dragon now had tears of joy beginning to well up in his eyes. “Oh my goddesses, I can’t believe it! I thought you were dead!”
Cadence pulled back a little and replied “That’s nice to know, and let’s just say I was beginning to think the same.”
Spike chuckled a little through his tears. “Well come on in,” he said as he gestured towards the town.
Cadence nodded and began to walk with him. She looked around; admiring how well kept the town was, despite the lack of magic. “This is quite a beautiful village you have here. It’s much better than any I’ve seen, on my way here.”
Spike, who was still beaming, replied “Yeah, it’s not as great as it was, but we all try our best.”
“And this weather; my my, it’s just perfect. I wish I would have come here sooner. This is the tropics compared to Canterlot.”
“What do you mean? How cold is it there?”
“Cold isn’t the right word Spike. It’s beyond that. We’re lucky to see temperatures above negative twenty.”
Spike was a little shocked, and thought for a moment about just how cold that really was. Needless to say, he was having a hard time picturing it. After all, the coldest weather he’d ever been in was ten degrees above zero.
“Is this were you were taking me?” Cadence asked.
The Alicorn’s words knocked Spike out of his thoughts, to realize that they were standing in front of the library. “Oh, uh yeah, but I should probably go in first. You might give Dashie a heart attack.”
Cadence raised an eyebrow. “Dashie eh?”
The young dragon rolled his eyes. “Damn it. Why does everypony keep thinking we’re a couple?”
Cadence couldn’t help but laugh. “I didn’t mean it like that, but whatever you say Spike.”
Spike could feel a warm sensation in his cheeks, but simply brushed it off. As the young dragon stepped into the library, he could see that Rainbow Dash had set a small fire in the fireplace, that he dearly hoped was for light, and had just finished laying out two plates; one of sapphire and another with lemongrass and daises, each right next to the other.
The blue Pegasus looked up and smiled at her scaly friend. “Hi Spike, I felt kinda bad about what happened today so I thought I’d make you dinner. I had been saving the sapphire for a special occasion, but… I just thought,” Rainbow Dash paused for a moment, “I’m sorry,” she said sadly.
For a minute, Spike thought his blush would fade away, but as soon as he saw all that Rainbow Dash had done he knew he had no hope. “Dashie, you didn’t have to do all of this. It’s okay now.”
The blue mare threw out a hoof. “Don’t worry about it. You’re my best friend you know that, Spike. You deserve this.”
“Riiight, you’re not a couple,” he could hear Cadence say from behind the door.
“Oh shut up,” he whispered.
Rainbow Dash tilted her head. “What was that?”
Spike’s eyes instantly widened. “Oh no I didn’t mean you! Cadence, come on in.”
‘Cadence?’ she thought, ‘He can’t possibly mean-‘ Then, before Rainbow Dash could finish her thought process, the door opened to reveal her old friend. “Cadence!” she squealed as she galloped over to her.
Before the Alicorn had time to react, she was taken into a tight tackle hug. “Hi Dashie, it’s nice to see you too.”
“Oh my gosh! Cadence, what are you doing here?”
“Yeah Cadence,” Spike added, “What exactly are you doing here?”
The pink coated mare slowly broke the embrace and shut the door behind her. “It’s about Twilight,” she said hesitantly.
The pair looked to her with absolute confusion. “Cadence, Twilight is dead,” Spike replied.
“No, she’s not dead Spike, and she needs our help.”
“Help with what?” asked Rainbow Dash.
Cadence smiled. “She needs our help turning the lights back on.”