Literary Love, Literally

by alexmagnet

Chapter 1: Litigious Literature Leaves Lovers Lonely

Literary Love, Literally

“You know what I love?” said Twilight, glancing at the window displays out of the corner of her eye as she walked down the street.


“Books,” she finished, interrupting Spike.

“That’s surprising,” said Spike with an eyeroll that could’ve flipped a small cottage. “I thought you were going to say lemon tarts.”

“Hmm, I suppose I do like lemon tarts now that you mention it. Although,” she turned her head a little to the side as if she were trying to look at something slightly out of her field-of-vision, “I’m not sure I love them. That seems a bit strong, doesn’t it? Can you actually love an inanimate object? Is that even legal?”

Spike leaned forward, placing his chin on the top of Twilight’s head so that when he talked, she could feel it. “Does it matter?”

“Of course it does!” Twilight shot back, tilting her head up to look at him. “I don’t want to go to jail for loving a lemon tart,” she said with a whimper.

“So then don’t,” Spike replied with a shrug. “No one’s making you love anything.”

“I suppose you’re right,” she sighed. “It never would’ve worked between us anyway.” With a slightly somber expression, Twilight decided to push the thought of those delicious lemon tarts out of her mind. “Anyway, so back to what I was saying about books.”

“And you loving them?”

“Yes, and me loving—wait.” She stopped suddenly, jerking Spike right into her horn. “If I can’t love lemon tarts... does that... does that mean I can’t love books either?”

Spike rubbed his nose tenderly. “Umm... maybe?”

His half-answer slapped Twilight across the face like so many thesauruses being tossed out the window because there aren’t enough synonyms for ‘said’. It felt like the entire ‘Equestrian Equilateral Equine Equilibrium’ section of the library had collapsed on top of her.

With an overly-dramatic waver, her knees turned to mush and she collapsed on the ground, sending Spike tumbling across the sidewalk.

As she writhed around in her self-imposed agony, Twilight groaned, “Oh no. This is terrible news! If I can’t love books, then what am I supposed to do? What do I tell my parents? Will they still accept me?”

Spike gingerly got to his feet and dusted himself, raising an eyebrow at Twilight. Ponies passing by stepped over her awkwardly, though none were particularly perturbed, oddly enough. Walking over to her, Spike put his hands on his hips and tapped his foot.

“Twilight,” he said, “you’re being ridiculous. No one said you can’t love books, or lemon tarts for that matter. You just look silly.”

Twilight abruptly stopped her squirming and stared at Spike harshly. Her eyes narrowed into thin slits. “You’re the one who said it was wrong,” she said, her tone not nearly as accusatory as she had intended.

“I didn’t say anything like that!”

“Why can’t you just accept me for who I am?”

“I do!”

“If that’s true, then why do you hate books?”

“I don’t!”

Twilight clicked her tongue. “I didn’t know you were so prejudiced, Spike. Honestly, I’m surprised at you.”

Spike's right claw careened towards his face at breakneck speeds, hitting his forehead with a resounding slap. With his hand still firmly planted on his forehead, he said, “Look, why don’t we just find out if it’s legal to love inanimate objects, and then we can get this whole ridiculous thing put to bed.”

Lifting herself to her hooves, Twilight clicked her tongue again. “You sure change your tune pretty fast.”

Spike’s mouth opened slightly, but no words came out. “I... what?”

“First you tell me that my love is wrong,” she said, holding up one hoof, “and not two minutes later you’re talking about putting books to bed,” she said holding up her other hoof. “What’s next? Are you going to tell me that you and that lemon tart are still seeing each other?” she asked, holding up one more hoof.

“How are you even standing?”

“Don’t beat around the bush, Spike!”

“Okay, just... just wait a second,” Spike pleaded, holding up his hand. He waited for Twilight to untangle herself before continuing. Counting on his fingers, he said, “Okay, first things first. Lèmon and I broke up two months ago. Secondly, I didn’t say that loving books was wrong, you did. And thirdly, books aren’t even my type.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow suspiciously. “Hmm, okay,” she said cautiously. “I’ll believe you... for now.”

“Whatever, fine, that’s good enough.” Spike put his counting fingers away and brought out his pointing finger, using it to indicate a generally westerly direction. “Look, let’s just go back home. I know you have a few Equestrian law books lying around somewhere, I tripped over one that one time. We’ll just find one of those, look up the love laws and get this sorted out once and for all.”

Twilight nodded firmly. “Yes, that sounds like a sound plan to me. Sounds like we need to head to the library then.”

“Yeah... that’s what I just said.”

A cheerful smile split Twilight’s face. “Sounds lovely. Well, let’s get going then.” She turned west and began trotting off towards the library, leaving Spike standing on the sidewalk shaking his head.

“Sounds like a real pain in the—”

“Spike!” Twilight called. “Let’s gooooooooo!” She waved him towards her, and with a heaving sigh he jogged to catch up to her, his little feet padding on the hard cobblestone.

As the two disappeared around a corner, a pony sitting at a restaurant across the street set down the coffee cup she had been drinking from and lowered the newspaper that had been obscuring her face.

Shrewd violet eyes hid beneath the silvery mane of the deep ocean-blue mare. A neatly folded gray and black newspaper sat next to half-drunk ivory coffee cup half-filled with a brown liquid of which some had accidentally been spilled on the rosy tablecloth, much to the daisy-maned waitress’s chagrin.

“Waitress,” the mare called. As the sour-faced waitress approached, she thought to herself, Twilight Sparkle loves books, hmm? Perhaps Trixie can take advantage of this.

“Yeah, what is it?” the waitress asked, her lips pursed tightly.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie requires more coffee,” she answered with a toss of her mane. “And another newspaper. This one is folded.”

“Right away, miss,” the waitress said so sarcastically that she actually sounded sincere.

Trixie rubbed her hooves together, scheming. “Yes, yes, it’s only a matter of time now, Sparkle. Trixie will have her way if it’s the last thing she does,” she whispered under her breath.

“You plotting something?” the waitress asked as she set down a new coffee cup and unfolded the newspaper.

“That was fast,” Trixie pointed out.

“I’m very good at my job.”

“If you were so good, you would have brought Trixie her coffee twenty minutes ago when she asked for it. Anyhow, Trixie does not ‘plot’ anything. She only schemes. Scheming is far more exciting,” Trixie said, rubbing her hooves together more dramatically.

The waitress rolled her eyes. “Okay, whatever, ‘Great and Powerful Trixie’. But can you go scheme somewhere else? You’re scaring off all the customers.”

And indeed, though she hadn’t noticed it before, there wasn’t a single soul at the restaurant besides Trixie. “Hmm, it appears this location has been compromised,” Trixie said quietly. “Fine, the Great and Powerful Trixie will conduct her scheming elsewhere.” Gathering up her newspaper, Trixie started to walk away before the waitress stopped her.

“Hey, wait! You have to pay first!” she yelled at Trixie.

With a dramatic twirl of her cape, Trixie spun around. “Pay for what?” she asked. “I don’t see anything.”

The waitress cocked an eyebrow. She glanced down at the table and saw that the coffee cup had disappeared. Her eyes shot back up, but Trixie was already several hundred feet away, turning the corner, newspaper and coffee cup in-hoof.

She cursed under her breath. “Every time!”

“Darn, I know it’s here somewhere,” Twilight said, tossing a pair of books over her shoulder. “I’m not sure whether it would be under L for Law, or E for Equestrian Law.” Twilight shook her hoof angrily. “Curse you, Dewey Decimal!” Dewey Decimal, of course, being the inventor of the alphabet.

As Spike waded waist-deep through a pile of books on Equestrian Boating, he said, “Just calm down, Twilight. I’m sure it’s around. We just need to keep looking is all.” He picked up a red leather-bound book and dusted it off. “Not Equestrian Law,” he said, reading from the cover of the book. “That’s oddly unhelpful.”

“Quit messing around, Spike. This book isn’t going to find itself.” Magenta light scooped up a pair of books and dumped them in front of Twilight. “Wrong Again and Still No,” she sighed. “Is it just me, or do these titles seem weird?”

Spike shrugged. “I dunno. Seems right to me. I mean, look at this,” he said, holding up a green and black book with You’ll Have to Try Harder Than That stenciled on the cover. He tossed it aside, knocking over a pile of books in the process and sending an avalanche towards Twilight as well.

After dislodging herself from Book Mountain, Twilight gave Spike an unamused look. Dusting the books off her, she said, “How’d you say you found it last time?”

“I tripped over it by accident.”

“Well, maybe you should just walk around for a bit until you trip over it again?”

Spike chuckled. “Yeah, right, pretty sure that’s not how it—whoa!” Flailing his arms wildly, Spike crashed to the ground after tripping over a particularly thick book, frayed with age and dragon footprints. Once he had righted himself, he picked the book up and flipped it over. “Aha!” he cried. “Found it!”

Books went flying in all directions as Twilight tossed Gotcha! into the air and tore across the room to swipe the book from Spike’s hands. In a dizzying display of magic, she grabbed the book and then tossed it into the air, teleporting behind it with a flash and then catching the book again.

“Well that seemed unnecessary,” Spike commented.

“It’s called style, Spike. Look it up,” said Twilight, sticking her tongue out. Sitting back on her haunches, she flipped the book open and skipped ahead a few thousand pages. “Let’s see, lollipops, lotion, lottery, laminate—whoops, went back a bit—loufa, lounge—Ah! Here we go.” She set the book on the ground so Spike could see and began to read from the entry titled Love. “Love, as defined by the Equestrian Law Magistrate, is the strong feeling of attraction one sentient being feels towards another. As such, one could describe the feeling one has towards one’s family as ‘love’, but not, for example, the feeling one has towards literature. At best, one could say they ‘really like books’ or ‘enjoy reading books’ but love, as mandated by the law, is impossible.” For the second time that day, Twilight felt as if she had been slapped across the face by so many law books.

Spike tried to pat her on the shoulder comfortingly and say, “Aw, don’t worry. It’ll be okay,” but all that came out was a snort and then raucous laughter as he doubled over and collapsed in a fit of giggles.

Twilight’s lip trembled ever-so-slightly, but before a single tear drop could find its way down her cheek, she heard a knock at the door. Immediately, her face grew serious. “Who’s that?” she asked in a harsh whisper. “Do you think it’s the police?”

As Spike wiped away a stray tear, he said, “Don’t be silly. Why would the police be here?”

“What if they found out about my forbidden love?”

“Oh, come on, there’s no way—”

“Police! Open up!”

In tandem, Twilight and Spike’s heads turned to look at the door suddenly, then look back at each other. After a second, Spike raised an eyebrow as if asking what he should do. Twilight shrugged, so Spike shrugged as well and headed towards the door.

“Maybe they just want directions?” he said to himself.

His claw poised, ready to grab the doorknob, Spike didn’t even get a chance to touch it before the door flung open and sent him careening across the room. As he crashed headlong into a stack of books, a pair of ponies walked in.

“Hey, Twi!” shouted Rainbow Dash as she and Applejack cantered towards Twilight. “Didn’t see ya there, Spike. Sorry, bud.”

The look of worry clouding Twilight’s face moments before disappeared in a flash and was replaced by a look of confusion. “Rainbow Dash, Applejack, what are you girls doing here?”

“We just thought we’d stop by and say hi, sugarcube,” Applejack said cheerily. “Can’t friends just stop by unannounced every so often?”

“No, it’s fine,” Twilight said quickly. “It’s just, what was with the police routine?”

Applejack shot a sidelong glare at Rainbow. “Just somepony’s idea of a practical joke.”

“I see,” Twilight chuckled nervously. “You girls just startled me a bit is all.”

Applejack’s eyes narrowed. “Why?” she said slowly. “Ya’ll weren’t doing nothin’... illegal, were ya?”

“Me? What, no, I’d never do, y’know, something... like... that,” Twilight answered while doing her best to hide the massive law book behind her back. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Really?” asked Rainbow, “Cuz it kinda looks like you’re hiding something behind your back right now. Like, I’m no police officer, but that looks kinda suspicious, I mean, you gotta admit.”

“Oh, this old thing?” Twilight said, bringing out the book as if she hadn’t just been trying to hide it. “It’s just, uhh, for... research! Yeah, I’m studying up on law, for fun... and stuff.”

“Riiiiiiight, well anyway, AJ and I were wondering if you and Spike wanted to come down to that bookstore off 8th street. Apparently the author of Daring Do is gonna be there signing copies of her new book, and AJ wants to buy some dumb book about apples or whatever because that’s literally all she thinks about.”

“Yep!” Applejack chirped happily. “I sell apples and apple accessories, so I gotta know my stuff.”

“Oh! That sounds great!” Twilight said, forgetting herself for a moment. “I love books!”

It was like the whole world had ground to halt. Everyone’s eyes turned on Twilight as she gulped. Applejack’s mouth opened slowly, “Did... did y’all just say you love books?”

“Uhh,” was Twilight’s only response.

“Dude, Twi, that’s, like, wrong.”

Spike facepalmed for a second time that day.

A heavy drawstring bag hit the counter, releasing the sounds of dozens of coins all knocking against each other. On the other end of the bag was a violet-eyed mare with the biggest smirk this side of the Equestrian Smirk Convention.

“Yes?” The attendant behind the desk cocked an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”

“The Great and Powerful Trixie demands that you turn her into a book!”

The attendant leaned over to his co-worker and whispered, rather loudly, “Is this mare for real?” With his eye on the satchel of bits, he asked, “So, you want me to do what now?”

Trixie stood on her hind legs and placed her hooves on her hips, sticking her chest out proudly. “I demand that you turn me into a book suitable of my greatness so that I may woo Twilight Sparkle into falling in love with me.”

“Uh huh,” said the attendant slowly. “And you came to me?” He pointed to his barren head.

Trixie nodded firmly. “This is a bookstore, is it not?”

“Yes, as in, a store that sells books, not turns ponies into them.”

Trixie clicked her tongue, falling back to her hooves again. “I should have you reported for false-advertising. Trixie will not stand for this. I demand to see your manager!”

“He went out for lunch twenty minutes ago!” the attendant’s co-worker called from his desk.

Trixie’s lips pursed. “Well, it appears we’re at an impasse.”

“No, we’re at a Barns & Neighbles.”

“Quite.” With a huff, Trixie spun around to face the patrons milling around the bookstore. Most of them were crowded around a table that had been set up near the back, but the rest were meandering up and down the aisles aimlessly. “Attention everypony!” she shouted. “The Great and Powerful Trixie requires your attention!” About half the ponies stopped to look at her, including the mare behind the desk in the back. “I have a bag of bits for anypony who can change me into a book equal to my greatness!” The store was silent, save for the few ponies still chatting away happily. “Anypony? All I require is a moment of your time!” Silence reigned.

Finally, the mare at the desk in the back spoke up. “I’ll do it!” she shouted across the room.

Trixie’s eyes lit up. Scooping the bag up, she hurried across the room to the desk, shoving all the other ponies in line out of the way as she went. “Out of my way!” she cried. Reaching the desk in record time, she slammed the bag down and shoved it towards the brown-eyed mare. “Payment, as promised. Now make me a book!”

The mare picked the bag up and tested its weight. Giving a satisfied nod, she set it back down. “Okay, Ms. Bossypants, what kind of book are we talking here? Comedy, romance, adventure, sci-fi, history, crime, what?”

Trixie smirked. “Only one book could possibly live up to the greatness that is the Great and Powerful Trixie.”

“Oh?” the mare said with a curious grin. “And what’s that?”

They say that Trixie’s smirk grew three sizes that day, and somewhere far off, the Inter-Equestrian Smirk Champion suddenly felt as if he’d been outdone.

“Look, Twi. I ain’t one to question other pony’s morals and whatnot, but loving things that cain’t love back just ain’t right. It’s like sayin’ I love apples—”

“Or that I love flying—”

“—it just ain’t natural.”

Twilight sighed loudly. “Can’t we just drop it already? I said that you girls were right ten minutes ago when we left.”

“I know, I know, but I’m just trying to make sure you understand, sugarcube,” Applejack said kindly. “It’s just one friend looking out for another.”

“Thanks,” said Twilight, “but I think I’ll be all right.”

“Oh, look,” said Spike suddenly. “We’re here.”

All four of them looked up and noticed that they had stopped conveniently right in front of the Barns & Neighbles off 8th street. Inside they could see ponies browsing the aisles, but most of the customers were gathered near the back beside a desk with a mare sitting at it.

“There she is!” Rainbow cried happily. “Ohmygosh, she’s right there!” Without even waiting for her friends to tell her how childish she sounded, Rainbow Dash sprinted through the door and towards the back.

“Someone’s excited,” Spike chuckled.

Applejack placed a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder and pulled her in close. “Look,” she said, “just... just try to contain yourself, okay? At least while we’re in public.”

Twilight sidled out from underneath Applejack’s hoof and said, “I’ll be fine, let’s just go inside and see if we can stop Rainbow from doing anything crazy.” Pushing past Applejack, Twilight calmly strode through the swinging glass doors and towards the back.

Watching her go, Applejack sighed under her breath. “Rainbow ain’t the one I’m worried about...” She looked down at Spike, who shrugged back at her. “Well, come on then, Spike. Best get to stoppin’ any craziness that might happen.”

“Tch, good luck,” Spike muttered.

As they made their way towards the ponies gathered around the back, Applejack and Spike saw Rainbow Dash fangirling it up near the mare signing books, but what really caught their attention was Twilight. She was staring at a massive periwinkle-colored book that stood at the same height as the average pony, and had a crude drawing of what looked like two unicorns eating each other on the cover.

Twilight’s eyes were wide as she looked up and down the book. “It’s so big,” she whispered. “Will it even fit inside my library?”

Applejack bit her lip. She placed a hoof on Twilight’s back and tried to spin her around. “I know what yer thinkin’, Twi. Don’t do it. I’m tellin’ you, it ain’t right!”

Twilight ignored her, and Rainbow Dash was too busy rolling all over the mare’s desk giggling like a schoolfilly to help Applejack. So, with no one to stop her, Twilight put her hooves on the book and ran them down the binding. She could’ve sworn she felt the book shiver, but wrote it off as a trick of the light, or maybe swamp gas.

“It feels so rigid,” she murmured. “I wonder what kind of binding it is? Case, oversewn, sewn through the fold, double-fan adhesive!? I have to know!” She threw herself on top of the book, toppling it over. She writhed around in ecstasy on top of the open book, breathing in the heady scent of a freshly printed book, hot off the shelf. It was almost enough to push her over the edge. “I don’t care what anyone says!” she cried. “I. LOVE. BOOKS.” She rolled around in the pages, feeling their pulpy texture rub against her as she cried out uncontrollably.

“No, Twilight!” Applejack shouted. “I told you, it ain’t right! You have to stop this!”

Oblivious to her friend’s shouting, Twilight rubbed her muzzle against the book, planting kisses all along its length. “How can something that feels so right be wrong?”

“Rainbow!” Applejack said quickly, grabbing the mesmerized pegasus and pulling her away from the unperturbed author. “We gotta stop her before this gets outta hand!”

“Outta what?”

“Outta control!”


“Quick! Grab her legs and we’ll drag her off,” said Applejack, reaching for Twilight, who was doing her best to ignore the other two. “Spike, you too!”

“Huh?” said Spike. He hadn’t been paying attention for the last few minutes and was absentmindedly reading through the latest issue of Gentledragon’s Quarterly. “Oh, right.” He set the magazine down and made to help Applejack grab Twilight.

“I dunno, guys. Like, it looks like she’s handling it pretty well to me,” said Rainbow Dash. “I mean, she’s totally got this under control.” Rainbow Dash wasn’t even looking at Twilight. Her eyes were still fixated on the mare sitting behind the desk who seemed oddly unaffected by the events occurring around her. A bit of drool hung from Rainbow’s mouth, which she quickly wiped away. “Uhh, I’m gonna, uhh, go do... something,” she said, leaving Spike and Applejack to deal with Twilight.

“Well,” said Spike with a sigh, having been kicked away by Twilight for the third time. “I have a feeling this won’t end well.”

“Shoot,” Applejack cursed, “here come the police...”

As it turned out, the law didn’t exactly prohibit the reading of books in public places, no matter how erotic that reading might have been, so Twilight was only jailed for a total of two weeks for public indecency, and they let her keep her book. Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, was sentenced to five months for nonconsenual hugging after the mare filed a complaint against her. She's currently free, but still on probation after she relapsed during a second book-signing event.

During her time behind bars, Twilight came to find out that loving books wasn’t as immoral as she had been told, and so she spent the next two years fighting the Equestrian legal system to have the definition of love changed. After many months of hard work, and more than a few sleepless nights, she was able to convince the judge that love between a mare and a book was morally allowable. The jury’s still out on stallions and books though.

Shortly after their successful court case, Twilight and the book had their wedding. Twilight was the bride and Spike was the bridesmaid, unwillingly it should be noted. The two now live happily in the room above the Silver Sapling Library in the center of Ponyville, and from time to time they entertain guests together. Twilight even got a movie deal when a production company approached her about making a movie centered around her struggle to have the law changed so her love could be legal. That movie is called Sparkle and it’s slated for release this fall.

Now free to love as she pleases, Twilight spends most of her time with the massive blue book, whispering sweet nothings into its pages.

“Are you coming to bed, love?” Twilight asked the book.

It stood on the far side of the room, leaned up against a wall, unmoving.

Twilight frowned. “What’s the matter?”

It said nothing.

Sighing, Twilight tossed aside the covers and made her way over to the book. She leaned against the cover, pressing her body against it. “Don’t you want to come to bed?” she asked, but it remained silent. She ran her hooves up and down its sides, sighing into its title. “We worked hard for this,” she said quietly. “We deserve a chance to relax.”

Just as Twilight’s lips puckered and she made to kiss the cover, a flash of light filled the room and momentarily blinded her.

Twilight blinked away the light as it slowly faded, and where the book had once stood, a pony now stood in its place. Her mane a silky silver and her coat dark blue, the pony had an awkward smile adorning her face.

“Huh,” she remarked. “I guess it wasn’t permanent.”

Twilight took a step back. “Wait...”

“Yeaaaaaah,” Trixie said slowly. “Perhaps I should explain.”

“You were the book the whole time?”

Trixie bit her lip. “Well, you see—”

She was interrupted by the other pony’s lips as Twilight pulled her into a passionate embrace. When she pulled away for a second to take a breath, Twilight said, “Meh, good enough.”

And then they kissed... again.


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