Written by Closer-To-The-Sun (Joseph Noblit)
Chapter 2: Limelight
Saturday morning arrived and Ponyville was lively and active as Celestia's sun rose over the land. Many ponies were hard at work to prep for the busy day. There were a number of ponies setting up different booths for activities for anypony who wished to try their luck at winning various prizes. There were other ponies that were cooking various tasty treats, which led to the air being filled with the air of the aroma of the food.
At the Carousel Boutique, Rarity was prepping herself for the day. Using her magic, she placed all of the costumes that she and Spike had made into a truck neatly.
"There, all neat and organized!" Rarity thought aloud. She was finally relieved to have the outfits neatly organized and ready to deliver to the stage.
Using her magic again, she trotted out of her home with the case. Passing all of the vendors who were prepping for the day, an idea entered the unicorn's mind. She decided to make a detour.
Setting the truck down carefully with her magic, she knocked on the door of the library. Her fellow unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, answered the door. Her mane was still a bit messy from her sleep.
"Rarity?" the purple unicorn yawned, "What are you doing out? The festival doesn't start for some time."
"I know, but I was wondering if Spike would like to join me with prepping for the plays. I figured since he worked so hard on them with me, he should watch our work in the limelight," Rarity explained.
Twilight nodded, "I understand. But I'm not sure if Spike is even up this earl-" Twilight turned her head to see that a tired dragon was slowing making his way to the door, "I stand corrected."
Spike was rubbing one of his eyes with his claw as he yawned loudly. Rarity gave a small smile to the sleepy dragon. "So what do you say, Spike?" Rarity asked, "Would you like to see our hard work on display?"
With one more yawn, Spike replied excitedly and more awake, "Sure, lemme just get ready!" The dragon quickly dashed up stairs, leaving the two ponies at the door.
"I wish I could motivate Spike like that," Twilight joked, in which both of them laughed.
Spike returned downstairs quickly and the two bid Twilight farewell. Rarity was about to use her magic to levitate the trunk.
"Oh, you don't have to do that, Rarity!" Spike insisted. The dragon picked up the chest of costumes to carry.
"Are you sure, Spike?" Rarity seemed concerned for the small dragon to be caring such a big item, "I don't want you to push yourself, or anything."
"Sure I'm sure! It's not a problem!" Spike said cheerfully as he carried the trunk, "So, where are we heading?"
"To the town square, they will have the stage there," the unicorn informed him.
"Right! Let's go!" the happy dragon said, carrying the trunk and moving quickly.
Rarity was trotting behind him at a slower speed, watching Spike carry the chest of clothing. 'You really are quite the gentlecolt, Spike,' she thought to herself before shaking her head quickly, 'Wait, I have to keep myself in check here. He's just helping me out here! Though, I must admit, he is the best assistant I could ever ask for when it comes to anything
.curses Rarity! Snap out of it and stop thinking such thoughts! Just relax and enjoy the day. The festival only comes once a year, after all.' Rarity was having some internal struggles with herself. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself and continued trotting along.
Spike, who had noticed the unicorn was behind him, stopped to ask a question, "Hey Rarity, are you alright?"
Rarity gave a convincing smile to the dragon, "Yes, dear, I'm fine."
The two arrived to the center of town where the stage was set. Going back stage, the two laid out all of costumes for the different plays that would be taking place. Getting done quite quickly and early, Rarity then had an idea.
"Say Spike, would you like to go around and see the different booths? We do have quite a bit of time before the plays begin," Rarity felt that both of them could use something relaxing after a long week of creating the outfits.
"Sounds fun!" Spike was excited.
Rarity smiled as the two went back out to the square and explored the many booths that were spread out. The two went to the different food vendors and tried the various types of food that were being offered to the public. After experiencing the different sorts of cuisine, the two played a few of the carnival games that were set up. Spike had his eye on a large plushie at a ball toss game. Unfortunately, both he and Rarity failed to get enough points, but they both had fun playing it. The pony running the booth had some sympathy for the two and gave Spike a much small plush of the same one he had his eye on. It was then an announcement went out on the loudspeaker.
"Attention everypony. The plays will begin on the main stage in fifteen minutes. Thank you," the voice boldly stated.
"Come on, dahling, let's go get some good seats," the unicorn said, turning herself to start trotting to the stage area.
"Alright!" Spike was quick to follow.
The two arrived at the stage area and seated themselves in the second row, near the center. Both of them were eager to see the costumes be put to use. The seats quickly filled up as the curtain time drew closer. The crowd drew quiet as the curtain rose and the first play, 'Rumpelstallion', began. The audience watched happily as the small fillies and colts took the stage and began their acting. Spike over heard in the grey pegasus pony seated next to him happily comment that the unicorn filly who was playing the main female was her 'little muffin', to which she and the brown early pony seated on her other side, lean on each other and continue watching. The next play was a rendition of 'Looking For A Mare', in which Pipsqueak played the colt looking for a wife, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders played the three possible choices. It seemed like the four ponies took some liberties and reworked the script for their liking. A few other plays were performed and all were great successes with the audience. As all the ponies began to leave, Spike and Rarity stayed seated and waited for the crowd to die down before they decided to make their way out.
"They was simply wonderful, wouldn't you say, dahling?" Rarity asked to Spike.
"It was! I really enjoyed the Cutie Mark Crusader's play. It was very funny," Spike laughed to himself, remembering some of the funniest bits.
Rarity smiled, "They sure were. And I must say, our outfits really looked smashing in the limelight, don't you agree?"
"Yeah! You did a great job on those!"
"But I couldn't have done it in the least without your help, Spike!" the unicorn insisted.
Spike blushed slightly, "Oh come on, I was just doing small things. You designed the dresses and all that!"
Rarity shook her head, "Don't be so modest! I never would have gotten it done without your help, Spike! In fact, allow me to show my gratitude to you."
"Allow me to treat you to dinner tomorrow night. It's really the least I could do for such a wonderful helper, such as yourself."
The dragon was a bit uneasy, "I don't know, Rarity. I mean, I'm grateful for the offer, but you really don't have to."
"I insist, Spike," Rarity gave a warm smile to the purple dragon.
"Alright. If you insist," he gave in to the unicorn's offer. He wouldn't admit it, but it was the smile that made him agree.
"Wonderful!" the unicorn was joyful "I shall see you tomorrow then. I have to go back sure the crusaders don't damage their outfits."
Rarity bid Spike farewell as she trotted away. 'Alright, I'm sure this will make up for how I've been
.taking advantage of Spike's help. Then after which, I won't anymore. That will be it!' Rarity was feeling that she could finally be free from her guilt of using the dragon.
Spike, who was still seated alone amongst the empty chairs, was frozen as one thought entered his mind, 'Did Rarity just ask me out?'