The Manehatten Virus Chapter Eight: The Savior
Spike couldn't believe what he was hearing; Applebloom was sick. The little filly whimpered slightly and coughed some more. It sounded so violent. "S-Spike," stuttered Applebloom, "Granny Smith and Big Macintosh are dead." The little filly started to cry again, but was cut off by another cough. "Please Spike, help me."
"Spike?" asked Rainbow Dash, who had a hoof around Twilight, "Are you ok?" The little dragon didn't respond, he just continued to stare in shock. "Spike, what's wrong?" asked Rainbow Dash, with concern growing in her voice. For whatever reason, Spike snapped out of his daze and answered, with his back still turned to her, "Granny Smith and Big Macintosh are dead. Applebloom is sick." Rainbow Dash's eyes widened and her mouth dropped. Twilight, on the other hand, didn't even flinch. It was as if she didn't hear him, or her brain wouldn't proses his words.
"Spike? Hello?" asked Applebloom. "Y-Yeah, I'm still here." "Spike, there's something I need to tell you," said Applebloom, before she began to cough again. "What is it?" Spike asked, while trying not to burst into tears. "I wanted to tell you this sooner, b-but I don't think I'll get another chance." The little filly then began to cry a bit more. "Hey don't talk like that." "Spike," she paused a moment and continued, "I love you." Spike couldn't hold it in anymore; he began to sob more than he ever had in his entire life. "What's wrong?" asked Applebloom. Spike sniffled and replied "I love you too," before he broke down into another crying fit.
Those four words instantly registered with Twilight. She just stared at the back of the dragon's head, with a look of loathing, sadness, and most of all pain. 'I love you,' Twilight thought to herself.
Rainbow Dash was a bit shocked by all of this, but what shocked her most of all was the look on Twilight's face. She'd never seen anything like it before. Then it hit her; Twilight loved Spike. All of the little things she'd been noticing for the past few weeks finally made sense. "T-Twilight, are you-" Rainbow Dash was suddenly cut off when Twilight stood and said "Excuse me for a moment." The lavender mare then trotted off to her room. Rainbow Dash could hear the hurt in her voice, but she didn't know what to do.
Spike slowly hung up the phone and walked over to the door. "Spike what are you doing?" asked, a concerned, Rainbow Dash. "I'm going to help her," "No! If you go out there you'll just get infected too. The best thing you can do is talk to her."
Twilight was lying on her bed, occasionally wiping away tears, and thinking to herself. Thinking of all the things she could have told Spike, all the things she could have done differently, and three words she should have told him sooner. Unfortunately it was far too late for any of this; and she knew it.
Twilight couldn't take it anymore; she just had to get her mind off of things, so with a glow of her horn she turned on the television. The screen displayed the seal of the World Health Organization with a blue background.
"We interrupt your regularly scheduled programing to bring you a special report by the World Health Organization." The screen then switched over to a tall pony standing at a podium. Several cameras were flashing around him. He had a very fearful look on his face.
Twilight could instantly tell something was wrong. "Hey guys!" she called, "Come see this!" A moment later Spike and Rainbow Dash came trotting up the stairs. "What is it?" asked Spike. Twilight just pointed a hoof to the television.
"We have just received word that the H5N1 virus has mutated. The mutation was spotted in Hoofington, Equestria. It is unclear at this time weather this strain has a higher mortality rate or easier transmissibility, but so far all fifty seven ponies that have been infected died. This new strain is also likely to require a second vaccine, based on its current gene make up. However it appears that dragons, and all reptiles, are immune to both strains of the virus, due to the different cell receptors in their lungs."
Spike's eyes instantly lit up after hearing those words. He quickly looked over to Rainbow Dash, who was already eyeing him. She gave him a quick nod and he left the room. She figured it'd be best that she didn't tell Twilight after what she'd seen earlier, besides she was too fixated on the news to even notice.
"With this new strain, we expect no vaccines will be available for the next five to six months, which is long after the pandemic is expected to peak. So we still encourage you to stay indoors and to wash your hooves regularly. Simple steps like that could save your or somepony else's life."
Twilight's horn flared up and the television flicked off. Rainbow Dash assumed that she was about to pull out a book, or something, so she turned to walk away. "No," called Twilight, "Please stay." The blue furred mare turned back to face Twilight and trotted over to the bed. She sat down next to her, and was about to speak, when Twilight began. "Rainbow Dash, I just want to say that I'm glad you're here. I mean I know I have Spike and all, but it's still good to have one of my other friends here during all of this." Rainbow Dash was a little surprised by her friend's kind words, which made her feel a little guilty for keeping a secret from her. "Well, thank you Twilight. That's really nice of you to say." Twilight forced a smile and then looked down at her hooves. "Listen Rainbow, I think you should know something." She paused for a moment and added, "I like Spike." The blue coated mare faked a shocked look and replied "Really? I had no idea." Right at that moment Rainbow Dash was thinking to herself 'thank god my element isn't honesty.' Twilight looked back to her friend and continued. "Yeah, it's true. I told him a few weeks ago and you know what he said? He said he did love me, but I was so interested in my studies that I never noticed him. So he gave up. The messed up thing is that I was studying so much because I was trying to think of something else besides him." Twilight looked away from her friend as a tear rolled off of her cheek. "I was scared. I could have done it, but I didn't. Well it's too late for that now."
Rainbow Dash was truly beginning to understand all that had happened, even a little more than Spike did. "Gosh Twi, I'm so sorry." "It's ok," replied Twilight, "what happened happened."
Spike stepped inside the house at sweet Apple Acres and immediately he could feel how cold the house was. The next thing he noticed was how quiet it was. Then he heard a cough. "Applebloom?" he called. "In here," answered a weak filly. Spike quickly darted down the halls and found the room of the one he loved. He stood in the doorway for a moment, just looking at her. She didn't seem as bad as he was expecting; she actually looked better than she sounded on the phone. "Hey," he said, with a small smile beginning to form. "Hey," replied the filly, who was returning his smile.
Suddenly Spike darted over to her and wrapped her up in an embrace. "I missed you so much," he said as tears began to roll down his face. Applebloom was beginning to cry as well. "I missed you too."