The Manehatten Virus Chapter Four: First to Fall
Twelve Days After the Outbreak
"This brings the official estimate to forty thousand infected ponies, with twenty three thousand dead. Also there are now confirmed cases of H5N1 in three countries other than Equestria. This means we have now entered pandemic alert phase six; meaning a global pandemic is imminent. All ponies across Equestria are being urged to was their hooves regularly, cover their snouts when they cough or sneeze, wear N95 face masks, and to take other precautionary measures."
Twilight couldn't take it anymore; every day the news just got worse and worse. So she picked up the remote and turned off the television. "Are you ok?" asked Spike, who had just entered the room. Twilight was a little startled, but turned around and replied "Yeah, I'm fine." Of course she was lying. In all honesty she was terrified of what was to come. Spike could tell when she was lying. After all he'd known her for all of his life. So the Spike walked over to his friend and wrapped his arms around her. "It'll be ok Twilight," comforted Spike. Twilight put a hoof around Spike and pulled him closer. "Spike," she said as she looked down at him. The little dragon looked up at the lavender unicorn and replied "Yeah?" "I'm supposed to be taking care of you; not the other way around." "Yeah, well sometimes you need a little taking care of Twi." The unicorn smiled a little, closed her eyes, and nuzzled her neck against the dragon's. Spike smiled slightly during Twilight's warm embrace, but then it crossed his mind that Twilight may not think of this as a friend hug. After, what felt like a minute, Spike broke Twilight's embrace. As he pulled away, he saw two purple eyes staring into his, with a look he'd never seen in them before.
Spike didn't know what to do; he'd had a crush on Applebloom for the past few months, but it appeared that his best friend was in love with him. Spike took a step back, as Twilight shot him a warm smile. "I-I have to go do something," Spike said in a nervous tone. "Oh, ok," Twilight replied, slightly disappointed. The little dragon then walked away from her and up the stairs.
'Oh come on Twilight! He's right there, just tell him!' Twilight thought to herself, 'I have a crush on you Spike, I like you Spike, or I love you! Is it really that hard?' The lavender unicorn let out a sigh of disappointment, once the little dragon was out of her sight. "I love you Spike," she whispered quietly.
Spike was in his, and Twilight's, room, lying in his bed, just thinking. 'Oh god. What do I do?' he thought, 'I wish she would have told me this a few months ago. I was head over heels for her then.' Spike never told anyone, but his emotions flip flopped a lot. It began with Rarity, who he liked for a year. But after trying to impress her for so long, he gave up on that endeavor. Next was Twilight. He tried to help her a bit more than usual and would do everything to get her to notice him, but it seemed that she was more involved with her books than her emotions. So once again Spike moved on to somepony new. This time it was Applebloom. She appeared to be the only one who actually noticed him, but he wasn't sure she noticed him in the same way he noticed her. It was a hectic whirlwind of emotions and speculations.
As Spike continued to sort his thoughts, he heard the phone ring. Not thinking much of it, he continued to think. Then after a minute Twilight called "Spike, could you come here for a minute?" in a somewhat distressed voice. The little dragon's ears perked up and he jumped out of his bed. He wondered what was wrong as he rushed down the stairs. His feelings had been set aside for whatever was troubling his friend. Spike stopped at Twilight's hooves and asked "What is it?" Twilight had a very sad look on her face. "That was Lyra. Bonbon died last night." Spike covered his mouth and said "Oh my god." "Lyra's taking it pretty hard," added Twilight. "Should we go visit her?" asked Spike. "No, Lyra thinks she's sick too." Spike, who's eyes began to water, was about to say something, when the phone rang again. Twilight trotted over to it and lifted it to her ear. "Hello?" "Hia Twi," said Applejack, "Turn on the TV. It's on every channel."
"Spike," called Twilight. The little dragon was still in a bit of shock after hearing of Bonbon's death. Even though they weren't friends, he still knew the pony. "Spike," Twilight called again. Spike was knocked out of his daze this time. He looked up at her and Twilight continued. "Turn on the TV." Spike nodded and walked over to the remote. As he pressed a button, the television flicked on. Princes Celestia was sitting at a desk, with the flag of Equestria behind her.
"These will be some very trying times, but I can promise you my staff and I will do everything we can to ensure your safety. Which is why as of today all schools in Equestria have been closed, all public gatherings have been suspended, with the exception of church, and all military troops have been reassigned to keep order during this crisis. My fellow Equestrians, please know we are all going to help you through this pandemic, in any way we can. Thank you and good night." The camera then zoomed out and switched back to the news broadcasts.
As Celestia finished, Spike looked up to see Twilight, who had hung up the phone, standing next to him. Twilight looked down at the little dragon and took in a deep breath. She knew things were going to get very bad, very quickly. So she didn't want to wait anymore. She had to tell him. "S-Spike," she nervously stuttered, "I'm not sure how bad things are going to get, but I want you to know something. I've wanted to tell you this for a while." The lavender unicorn paused and sat down next to him. Spike didn't need to hear the words that came next. He already knew what they were. "I love you."
Those three words would have made Spike's life complete a few months ago, but now, it was as if they were mocking him. He hated himself for how he felt, and what he had to say.
Twilight smiled at him, hoping he felt the same way about her. Spike's face however didn't change. He wasn't shocked, he wasn't happy, he was sad. He looked up into her eyes, that seemed to cut deep into his soul, and took her hoof. "I wish so badly that you had told me sooner." Twilight's smile was quickly erased as Spike continued. "I loved you. I loved you so much, but you seemed more interested in your studies than me
Twilight, I'm so sorry, but I've moved on."
Twilight lifted her hoof out of Spike's hand and took a step back. "Oh god. Oh god. I'm so sorry Spike," she said as tears began to well up in her eyes. "I-I-I have to go," she stuttered. Spike looked down with a very depressed look on his face and replied "It's ok. Go ahead."
Twilight turned and ran up to her room trying not to break down in front of the one she loved. She was seconds away from bursting into tears. When she reached the door, she closed it behind her and began to cry.
Even though the door was shut, Spike could hear the sobs of his best friend. The little dragon just sighed and continued to think to himself. 'I just told someone who I've cared about all of my life, and who really does love me, that I don't love them. What's wrong with me?'