Spike's Unexpected Growth Spurt

by Megapone

Chapter 7: Chapter Seven: An Earth-Shaking Homecoming

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Chapter Seven: An Earth-Shaking Homecoming

The dishes were dirty. Already.

Rarity gritted her teeth as a blue aura flickered around the edge of her horn. She leaned over the sink. Sure enough, each plate was blackened, covered in a bizarre mix of char and grease.

"Sweetie," she said quietly. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about these dishes, would you?"

Behind her, Sweetie Belle chuckled nervously. "I, uh, may have tried to make waffles this morning. It didn't turn out too well."

Rarity's head whipped around; Sweetie flinched. "I'd say not," Rarity said. "Well, I suppose that's more for me to do, then."

"Rarity, you know you don't have to help around the house this much. Mom and Dad are just happy to have you back home."

Rarity sniffed. She smoothed her mane back, making sure not to get any soapy water into her coiffure. "That may be so, but I couldn't bear to impose on them like this without doing something to help out." Her nose wrinkled. "Like some kind of unenterprising layabout.

"Besides," she said. "I'm only here until I can get back on my hooves. Someday, I'll have the funds to rebuild the Boutique." She sighed. "Someday soon, I hope."

Sweetie Belle was peering out of the window. "Uh, Rarity?"

"Yes?" Rarity paused, looking up from a pair of dishes that she'd been scrubbing vigorously. Soap bubbles leaked down from their sides and into the sink, burbling as they fell into the drain. "What is it?"

"You might want to come see this."

"I'm a bit occupied at the moment," Rarity said. "In case you hadn't noticed. Don't you have some singing practice to do or something?"

Sweetie Belle turned back to look at her. A wide smile covered her face. "No, really," she said. "You really don't want to miss this."

Rarity rolled her eyes. She let the dishes float back into the sink, the towel she'd been using to dry them folding itself up neatly and going to hang over a nearby bar. "What could possibly be so important as to—"

She froze.

Just down the road, two indistinct shapes were becoming visible. One was a massive, hulking figure; the second a much smaller pony. Both were purple. The former seemed to be towing a large cart behind it, with ropes slung over its wide shoulders.

Something was glimmering there. A stray beam of sunlight caught the surface of the cart, sending vibrant, shimmering colors in every direction. Iridescent shades of purple, green, and silver shone in the morning light.

Gemstones. More gemstones than she'd ever seen in her life.

Rarity's eyes widened. "Spike and—"

"Yup," Sweetie Belle said. Her grin spread even wider. "Looks like you might get the Boutique back sooner than you thought."

"...And that's when we got back into town."

Spike chuckled, jabbing a claw over his shoulder toward the cart beside him. "You wouldn't believe how heavy these things were to carry. Gemstones are actually pretty dense."

Rarity nodded vacantly. All of her attention was taken by two things: the massive dragon on one side of her, and the enormous collection of gemstones on the other.

"...Rarity?" Twilight blinked at her. "Are you feeling okay?"

Rarity put a hoof to her forehead. "Yes, dear," she murmured. "Just feeling a bit wooz—!"

Her vision blurred, her legs suddenly buckling beneath her from a combination of stress, relief, and complete and utter bewilderment. She was falling—

Something caught her. Rarity groaned, shifting her weight. The surface beneath her felt...scaly?

"Sorry. I didn't want you to fall."

Spike looked down at her sheepishly. His giant, draconic face was able to look surprisingly flustered—and adorably so, Rarity would have thought at any other time. One of his massive hands was spread out beneath her, supporting her weight with a single outstretched claw.

She flushed. "Thank you, Spike," she said. "I—er—"

She cut herself off. "I'm sorry for being so incoherent. I'm...I'm merely at a loss for words."

"Are you sure you're not going to faint, at least?"

A bubbling laughter grew in her chest. "Yes."

The claw withdrew. Rarity let out a small "oof" as she went back to supporting her weight with all four hooves, but managed to stay on-balance regardless, if a bit unsteadily.

"Now, let me get this straight," she said.

Twilight nodded.

"The two of you went out to the gemstone fields last night."

Spike inclined his head.

"Worked until sunrise to gather a veritable mountain of precious gems."

Twilight's cheeks colored.

"And even faced against a trio of Diamond Dogs before pulling all of these gems back to Ponyville. All in order to pay for the reconstruction of my Boutique."

"Yup," Spike said. "That about sums it up."

Rarity swallowed. "Oh."

Her voice sounded very, very small.

"So, what do you think?" Spike drew himself up, his chest puffing outward with pride. At another time, Rarity may have appreciated the way that his pectoral muscles bulged out from his chest, the wind breathing across his monstrous physique with each breath her took. At the moment, however, she was feeling overwhelmed in a different way.


"Yeah?" Spike leaned forward, holding his claws together. His shadow easily covered her.


"Yes?" Twilight asked, beaming.

Rarity shook her head. "I cannot possibly accept!"

Spike's jaw dropped.

"Spike, Twilight—this is just too much! I appreciate the thought, but I cannot allow you to give me—little old me—so much material wealth!"

"But it's for the Boutique!" Spike protested. "How else are you going to rebuild!"

"I shall manage. I'll be back up and running in no time at—"


She stopped. Twilight was looking at her, very seriously.

"I know that you don't like accepting gifts like this," Twilight said. "And I know that this may make you feel uncomfortable. But this is for you, and nopony else. Spike didn't spend his whole night digging up gems for himself. He did it because he wanted to make up for what he did." She pursed her lips. "I'm sorry, but to deny his gift now would just be selfish."

Rarity's stomach fell.

"Look...Rarity." Spike's voice was astonishingly gentle despite coming from something so large. "I know that I messed up yesterday. Really badly, too. But all I want right now—more than anything else in the world—is to make things right again."

He let himself back down, crouching on all fours until he was looking her right in the eye. "Please," he said, sounding more vulnerable than she'd ever heard before. "Please, accept these gemstones to rebuild Carousel Boutique. I don't want them, but I do want you to be happy."

Rarity wiped her eyes.

"Thank you," she whispered. "Thank you, Spike."

Spike grinned. "Hey. Don't mention—"

With a stifled sob, Rarity leapt forward. Her hooves held tightly around his closest foreleg—actually his right arm. Covered in rippling muscle and sinews as it was, she could barely fit her hooves around even a fraction of it, let alone reach up high enough to hold onto his chest. But it was enough.

Spike's smile softened. With a slow, gentle movement, he brought his other claw over to Rarity's side. She didn't resist as he picked her up, holding her between his two enormous hands.

She didn't resist either when he leaned back and clutched her against his chest. Her sobs mixed with a muffled laugh. She must look like some kind of bizarre teddy bear in comparison.

""I...thank you," she repeated, tears falling down her cheeks. "I'll never forget this."

Rarity looked over the site. She was surprised at the fact that she no longer had to keep herself under control; there was no fear of breaking down into sobs now. Perhaps that was because she knew that this destruction was impermanent; that from the ashes, a new fashion store would be born.

A smile flickered across her face. Perhaps she would make that into a new fashion line. The Phoenix. Coming soon to stores everywhere in Canterlot.

Her gaze drifted up to the enormous dragon standing beside her. Perhaps she'd make it The Dragon instead.

"So," she said. "What do you think?"

Spike raised his eyebrows. "I think we've got a lot of work to do."

It was certainly true. There was almost nothing left of the Boutique; everything that might have remained had been removed by cleanup crews that morning. If they were to build anything here, they would have to start from scratch.

At least they had the necessary funds. Rarity smiled, a light feeling of warmth in her chest. That had been the first thing Twilight had checked: exactly how much the gemstones they'd found would provide for. As it had turned out, they had managed to find far more than they needed. Even though ponies like Rarity could find as many as they needed, gemstones were still quite expensive for the average mare, and Rarity knew a vendor or two from whom they would fetch a hefty price.

That had been before Twilight had excused herself, leaving her alone with Spike at the building site. She'd said it was to go contact a construction crew that she knew, but she also added that she needed to write a letter.

"To the Princess?" Spike had asked. "About friendship or something?"

Twilight had smiled. It was a secretive little smile. "Something like that," she'd said.

"So," Rarity said, turning back to Spike. "What do you think?" It was an idle question, but the answer that she received surprised her.

"Well," Spike said, "We're definitely going to need a large supply of lumber. We can probably harvest that from the Everfree. From what I remember, most of the securing inside was with three-quarter-inch nails, so we'll have to order a whole lot from Canterlot. The construction ponies should know what to do, but all the same, you should have a general idea of what you want to see—whether it'll be at all similar to what you had before, or whether it'll be something new. You can probably find example schematics in the library—I can show them to you."

He noticed Rarity staring at him and blushed. "Well...I have worked at the library most of my life," he muttered, somewhat abashedly. "Read enough architecture textbooks and you tend to pick up a thing or two."

"I can see that," Rarity said. She blinked, a smile spreading across her face. "Spike, that sounds like a wonderful plan."



Spike grinned. "Well, then. Let's get to work!"

The next two weeks were a blur, seeming to flash by so fast that it was as though the days were flying on the back of Friendship Express. The construction ponies came easily enough—many were eager to see the "loot" with which they'd be paid, and were appropriately astounded when they actually saw it—and immediately set to work drawing up plans, sawing, and hammering.

Spike turned out to be a much bigger help—no pun intended—than anypony had expected. His strength let him rip smaller trees out of the ground without the need for a saw, and his size let him carry their broad trunks all the way back to the construction site. The unicorn overseers watched with awe as his clawed feet pounded into the ground, three massive tree trunks held tightly under his arms. Day by day—and sometimes by night as well—he worked tirelessly alongside everypony else to make sure that things were going as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

Once they'd heard what happened—Rainbow Dash hadn't even known that the Boutique had been destroyed yet—the rest of the gang quickly pitched in. Applejack's home-grown construction skills were invaluable when laying down the foundations, and Pinkie was always ready to pitch in with either a hoof or a celebratory cupcake break. Even Fluttershy managed to persuade her friend Harry to help out. Rarity could never decide whether to be amused or intimidated when she saw a nine-foot bear traipsing across the site, carrying a pile of paint cans in his arms with a goofy smile on his face. Eventually, out of trust for Fluttershy, she settled for the former.

Day by day, the building grew. Foundations became a floor, which became walls, which became a ceiling. In what seemed like no time at all, the first floor was done, and the second floor rooms were well on their way to being completed. Even the Crusaders had managed to pitch in by this point, dragging along quite a few of their classmates for the ride; the construction crews seemed honestly bemused by the sheer amount of support the project was getting from the public.

Even when Spike persuaded her to splurge a bit on the more expensive wallpapers, decorations, and maybe just one specially-commissioned stained-glass window to go above the front door, there were still oodles of gemstones left to use. They'd barely made their way through half, and the need for funding was fast running out.

"You know, Spike," Rarity said one day. "You should feel free to take some of these for yourself. I don't need nearly quite so many gems as what we have here."

Spike snorted. "Come on, Rarity. They're yours. I wouldn't dream of it."

"Then take them as a gift." Her eyes held no hint of compromise, though they sparkled with pride. "Please. For me. I'll keep some myself as a nest egg of sorts—just to help get me back on my hooves—but you really mustn't feel ashamed of taking most of the rest. You're a growing dragon, and you need your vitamins. Or minerals, as it may."

His stomach grumbled, loudly. Spike blushed. Rarity raised an eyebrow.

"Oh, all right," he mumbled.

She never saw him take them, even after that, but from time to time she'd catch him sneaking a clawful of gems into his mouth. A smile always flickered across her face when she saw that. It was partially out of happiness that he'd accepted her gift, and partially out of simple, physical appreciation.

He hadn't had a major growth spurt since the store had been originally destroyed, but as he ate, she sometimes imagined that she could see him growing: slowly, but steadily. Already-wide biceps became even larger, muscles swelling outward until they were filled with nearly unimaginable strength and power. His abs tightened even further, becoming an eight-pack that looked as though it was harder than diamond. Shoulders broadened to support a pair of wings that were as imposing as they were majestic. Bit by bit, inch by inch, and—she thought—foot by foot, he grew a little taller each day, both in size and in something she hadn't taken the time to notice before: maturity. Spike was no longer some sort of overgrown adolescent.

Occasionally, she'd find herself licking her lips in his direction before she caught herself. Oh, yes. He was filling out very nicely.

Near the middle of the second week, Twilight had taken the initiative to take his measurements. He was precisely twenty-five feet and three inches, she announced to anyone who cared to listen, and with a wingspan of over fifty feet. That had been somewhat surprising, though with everything else that was going on, not quite as surprising as it could have been.

The next day, Rarity found herself outside of Ponyville's outermost café. It wasn't her preferred cuisine, by far—the lot of it was more "common" fare such as hayfries or fried eggplant patties—but it was on the outskirts of town, which meant that its outside dining area had more than enough space to accommodate all of Spike's bulk.

"So," Spike said, chewing on a clawful of hayfries. The owner had been nice enough—or well-paid enough; she'd seen Twilight come in here earlier with the promise of a generous tip. It was Spike's favorite place to eat, after all—to provide him with a full cart full of food. He seemed to appreciate it. "What do you think of the wallpaper you picked out?"

"That you picked out, you mean," Rarity said. She rolled her eyes. "Why, I can't imagine why I wouldn't purchase the silver pattern with the purple stripes. I clearly had no other choice."

"Hey!" Spike yelped. "That's a beautiful color scheme."

She quirked an eyebrow at him.

"It is," he mumbled. He tossed another pile of hayfries into his mouth.

"I'm only kidding with you, Spike." Rarity took a sip of her milkshake—she'd tried it only at Spike's suggestion, and had found herself reluctantly liking it as time went on—and chuckled under her breath. "I love the pattern. Thank you for helping me pick the rest of the decor out."

"Oh, shucks. It wasn't much."

She rolled her eyes. "Spike, you really do have wonderful taste. That glass lamp you pointed out at the market the other day will look simply fabulous above the mantle."

"Well," Spike said, looking very pleased with himself, "I was taught by one of the best, after all."


"Doesn't mean it's not right," he shot back. A mischievous smirk played across his face.

She snorted, pushing away her milkshake. Her table looked tiny beside him, but somehow, she didn't find the size difference all that intimidating. It wasn't even a barrier. If anything, knowing that he was beside her made her feel...comfortable. Safe, even.

She sniffed. "Well, I'll hand you that round." A glimmer danced in her eyes. "Spikey-Wikey."

He groaned good-naturedly. "Are you really back on that?"

"Why, of course!" Rarity tutted loudly before offering him a wink. "What else could I call my lovely little angel?"

"Not so little," he reminded her.

She paused. "Perhaps not," she corrected herself. "Forgive me, Spike. It's not every day that a mare has to realize that a foal has grown into a stallion. Or in this case, a wyrmling into a full dragon."

Spike's purple scales flushed a deep red. "Wow, Rarity. I...that means a lot, coming from—"

"Guys! Hey, guys!"

Rarity whirled around. "Yes, Rainbow Dash?" she asked through clenched teeth.

Dash waved her hooves in the air. Even hovering fifteen feet in the air, she still only came up to somewhere below Spike's shoulder when he was sitting up.

"What's up, Dash?" he asked around a mouthful of hay.

She shook her head, rainbow mane splaying across her shoulders. "You guys aren't gonna believe this."

"Believe what?" Rarity asked sharply.

Rainbow flashed her a grin. "Just come down to Sugarcube Corner. C'mon—everypony's already there. We're just waiting on you two."

Rarity's lip curled. "Well, as you can see, Spike and I are currently preoccupied with eating lunch. So, if you don't mind, I'm afraid we'll have to—"

"I'm done." Spike pushed his cart away and met her eyes. "I'm mostly full, anyway."

He stood up, stretching his limbs and wings. Rarity's heart skipped a beat as she saw those two enormous membranes spread out to cover the sky. The sunlight seemed to pass through them just so, illuminating the veins within and letting the purple scales on their borders shimmer with a dim glow.

"Alright," Spike said in his deep voice. "Lead the way, Dashie."

By the time that they got there, it seemed like half the town had come out to Sugarcube Corner. Luckily, Spike managed to clear a path for the two of them to follow without much trouble. Unsurprisingly, it seemed like nopony wanted to get crushed beneath a dragon's foot.

"Now, everypony," Rarity said. She pushed her way through the crowd, moving toward what looked like the top of Twilight's mane. "I'm not entirely sure why Dash felt the need to drag the two of us out here, but I can honestly tell you—"

She stopped in her tracks, eyes wide, and jaw dropped wide open. Beside her, Spike let out a strangled gurgle.

"Good afternoon Rarity, Spike," Discord said mildly. He smirked. "It's certainly been a while."

Next Chapter: Chapter Eight: Downsized Estimated time remaining: 36 Minutes
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