"Well hello there Applejack! Hello there Pinkie Pie! Would you two care to join us? We were just about to have lunch." Twilight invited.
"Sure!" The bouncy, pink party pony vaulted over Rainbow Dash in a perfect aerial flip and grinned next to her upon landing. Rainbow Dash would never admit when she was impressed but Pinkie Pie was a special case. Rainbow Dash offered a smile at her strangely athletic friend.
"So what's up with you two?" Rainbow Dash asked. Applejack took a seat next to Rainbow Dash as well, therefore sandwiching her between two earth ponies.
"I've been helping Pinkie Pie here bake up quite a spread for a huge catering event this afternoon. We worked up a mighty fine sweat baking them tasty treats. We decided it best to stop and take a break. I mentioned the Hayburger and well-"
Pinkie Pie interrupted her friend with one of her patented gasps. "The Hayburger is like the bestest place ever! Well aside from Sugar Cube Corner that is. Ok, so maybe it's one of my most favoritest places ever but not like totally the best place ever. I mean come on. It's a 'hayburger' but the burgers never say 'hey' back!" Pinkie Pie glanced nervously around the table for a reaction to the joke.
Spike laughed harmlessly in the corner he was sitting in next to Twilight. "Good one, Pinkie Pie!" He laughed.
The server showed up just then with everypony's waters. She was a beige unicorn pony with a notepad cutiemark. "Why hello there everypony! How are y'all doin' today? My name is Saty and I'll be taking care of you four ponies," she paused to emphasize Spike. "And this cute little dragon over here, too." Spike's cheeks turned red when everypony looked at him and smiled. "Can I start you off with something to drink?"
"Do you ponies have cider products?" Rainbow questioned.
"Rainbow!" Applejack interjected. "It ain't even high noon yet."
"Hey, it's five o'clock somewhere!"
Twilight covered Spike's ears so he wouldn't pick up any unhealthy catchphrases.
"We get cider from pretty much every county this side of Equestria. Which distributor would you like, hun?" The server had her notepad held in front of her with her magic.
"How about my favorite cider recipe of all time from Sweet Apple Acres?" Rainbow Dash asked in a way she was sure to compliment her friend's farm.
"Uh huh. That's one cider, anypony else care for one?"
"Ah what the hay make that two please if 'ya wouldn't mind." Applejack gave in. She was pretty partial to the creature as well.
"And for you?" The server gestured at the pink pony.
"The biggest glass of chocolate milk you ponies have please!" Pinkie Pie licked her lips in anticipation. She was nuts for chocolate milk. Ok, she was nuts for a lot of things but put chocolate milk on the list.
"Oh oh oh! Me too! Me too!" Spike jumped up in his seat.
"Spike wait your turn. It isn't polite to yell out like that," Twilight calmly reprimanded her baby dragon. Spike obliged.
"Alright so that's two chocolate milks, two ciders, and what can I get you to drink, er-" just then the server, Saty, noticed that the pony in front of her was an alicorn. "Oh my stars, you're the princess of friendship Princess Twilight Sparkle! I recognize you from the coronation!" Twilight was all too familiar with this scenario. Her friends were used to it now too.
"Yup, I eat here at the Hayburger just like everypony else," Twilight was bashful in situations like this.
"It's an honor to be serving you your highness," Saty bowed her head in a dignified manner.
"Please just call me Twilight." She waved her hoof at her in a sort of that's-not-really-necessary gesture.
"Well what can I get for you to drink, Twilight?"
"Oh just water is fine. But could you make baby Spike's drink here a small? He sometimes has a hard time grabbing the large glasses."
"Oh certainly!" Saty and Twilight both smiled at the color of Spike's cheeks. Spike just sat there and pretended not to care. He knew better than to pout in front of Twilight.
"Just give me but a minute and I'll be right back with yer drinks." The beige unicorn was all too elated that she had seated royalty. Everypony else was amused by her reaction. Well everypony except Spike at the moment. He was feeling embarrassed.
Well the others joked and gossiped around him Spike ruminated to himself and stared out the window quietly. He didn't like that he was so dependent on Twilight all the time. He couldn't cross the street without him, he can't order food the right way, he can't even manage to keep his bed dry at night! How does Twilight put up with me? I'm such a burden on her.
While Spike was quietly thinking about all the things around him Pinkie Pie was reenacting one of Applejack's crazy pie dough kneading routines and she knocked Spike's water down all over his scales. He was completely soaked.
"Oops! Awww, Spike you're all wet!" Pinkie Pie instantly felt bad. She started grabbing napkins to dry him off.
"What? No I didn't!" Spike shouted before he snapped back from his daydream. Everypony looked confused and Twilight looked a bit worried.
"Heh, it's ok Pinkie Pie. Here, let me." Twilight summoned about four or five napkins with the help of her magic and dabbed them against Spike. Spike was still acting suspiciously defensive about the whole scenario.
"I meant 'no I'm not'," Spike tried to cover his mistake.
"Uh, yeah?" Applejack and the two other ponies on her side of the both looked at each other perplexed.
"There we go! All nice and dry, sweetie." Twilight cheered.
"Oh, sorry Spike. I don't mean to embarrass you," Twilight appealed. "It's just you're my sweet assistant and I want to treat you sweetly." Twilight balled the napkins up and placed them in front of her.
Saty came back with the drinks. "Here we are: two ciders," they came in wooden mugs. "One large chocolate milk," she placed it neatly in front of Pinkie Pie who immediately started going to town on it through the straw. "And one kid's chocolate milk." She set a tiny plastic cup in front of the baby dragon. The cup had all sorts of childish imagery on it and was capped by a lid and twisty straw. Spike groaned to himself.
"Oh excuse me but could we please get one more water? This one had an accident." Twilight floated the glass full of wet napkins to the server Saty. But not before Spike jumped up and started to say,
"No I did-" He promptly cut himself off. He almost just dug himself a deeper hole. He sat back down quickly, ashamed at himself for being so self-conscious.
Pinkie Pie finished what she thought Spike may have been about to say. "Yeah I was doing an impression of Applejack making one of her amazing apple pies and I knocked the water all over him." Spike was glad to hear Pinkie speak up for him.
"Well I'll be right back with a new one for you, dear. In the mean time have y'all decided what you want to eat?"
All four ponies replied in unison: "HAYBURGER PLEASE!" they all grinned at each other. The restaurant stilled. Saty twisted the pen she was using in her ear to stop the ringing.
"Whoa, hey are y'all sure?" Saty teased. "What about the little guy?"
Spike opened his mouth to say something but Twilight spoke for him. "He'll have a junior hayburger meal please." Twilight placed a hoof on his back and hugged him close. "Right Spike? I don't want you to get a tummy ache and we have too many left overs at home as is."
Spike mumbled. "Yeah, I guess so..." I just wish you'd let me order for myself
"Certainly! 4 Hayburger meals and a junior plate coming right up," she trotted off in the direction of the kitchen.
"Spike are you feeling ok, sugar cube? You don't seem like yourself today. Is something wrong?" Applejack took a swig of her cider.
"Yeah you've been jumpier than me when somepony says the word 'part-"
Rainbow Dash instinctively put a hoof up to Pinkie's mouth and held her still before she could say the word that would always cause her to erupt in an explosion of confetti.
"Yeah I feel fine," Spike spared his friends his feelings. "I must just be a little tired is all. Twilight and I have been running all across Ponyville this morning."
Twilight knew in her head what really was going on. But she vouched for Spike.
"We went to Fluttershy's to drop off Owlicious," Spike didn't like where this was going. He nervously took a sip from his tiny cup of chocolate liquid. "We ran into Rarity on the way-"
"Ouch! That must've hurt her!" Pinkie almost spit out her chocolate milk. "Did you apologize?" She sounded sad.
"Wait what? But how'd- no, no, no." Twilight was caught off guard by Pinkie Pie's logic for a second. "Not like that Pinkie."
"She means passed by her, dopey." Rainbow Dash playfully bopped Pinkie on the muzzle. Pinkie smiled and resumed her drink.
"Exactly. Then we ran to Zecora's and got some of my favorite tea," Twilight kicked her saddle bags with her hooves to make sure they were still sitting under the table. Her compulsiveness to locate everything was astounding. "When we came back here to Ponyville market to buy study supplies and mulch that's when Spike met up with Rainbow Dash and we came here."
"Sounds like you two were busy then," Applejack slammed some more of her cider. "I reckon you'll probably need to take your nap soon Spike."
Spike who had been yawning was caught off guard again. He didn't like the sound of that.
"Oh yes after we eat here we're going to add 'give a baby dragon his nap' to the list and head home." Twilight approved.
Rainbow Dash snickered every time Spike was referred to as a baby. Rainbow wasn't doing it to make fun of him or hurt him. She honestly just thought it was funny how Spike was still a baby and still did things like a baby is used to doing things like, well, a baby.
Meanwhile in Spike's head he was beginning to get suspicious. Did they know? Twilight must've told them too!
Spike didn't like thinking that Twilight would do something to intentionally harm him. In fact, he didn't believe it. He refused to believe it. He realizes Twilight made a mistake with Fluttershy earlier today but he didn't hold that against her. If anypony knew his secret he was glad it was Fluttershy. She was so quiet. She was a natural at keeping secrets safe. Not to mention she was the living embodiment of kindness and would never tell a soul. He was still a little shaken up from Rarity finding out though. That was the real reason he was acting strange at lunch. Twilight and he both knew it. But did they? He wondered.
"Foods up!" The beige unicorn with the notepad cutie mark floated a gigantic disk next to their booth. It had steamy, smelly plates of fries and burgers on it.
"Wow, that was fast!" Twilight said.
"Meh," replied Pinkie.
She got to Spike last. "And for the little guy," she set the junior burger and fries in front of him in addition to placing a kid's cup of water strategically next to it. This time the cup of water had the same embellishments as his chocolate milk. Clearly the server placed the blame at least in part on baby dragon claws. Lastly, she floated a bib next to Twilight's plate so that she might put it on her messy eater. Spike didn't notice, but Twilight quietly acknowledged it.
"You guys are all set. Please let me know if you need anything else. Enjoy!"
Twilight, Applejack, and Spike all replied with a "thank you". Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash already had their mouths full.
Just as Spike was about to grab a hand full of fries he felt a shadow come over him. It was the bib.
Spike objected on impulse. "But Twilight! I can eat without a bib," He looked like he was about to cry.
Twilight didn't want to cause a scene. She figured Spike's dignity had probably suffered enough today because of her. She let this one slide. "Alright Spike. You're right. I'm not going to make you wear it," Twilight took notice of how sloppily Pinkie Pie was eating and that maybe she should put it on her instead.
Spike was relieved. It was a good thing too. Before Twilight folded the brightly colored bib back up she read it to herself: Mommy's Little Piggy
in bright yellow letters. That surely would have embarrassed him
, Twilight thought.
She looked at Spike who was sullen. He was portioning the amount of ketchup to put on his fries and trying to do it very carefully. As he pounded the bottom of the bottle he was growing more and more impatient. Nothing was coming out. Just as Spike was about to give up he gave the bottle one last shake and as he did ketchup went everywhere! It sprayed the wall he was sitting next to, it hit Twilight in the side of the face, it fell in Spike's lap, it got on the table. The only place the ketchup didn't land was on the plate.
Spike just wanted today to be over. He wanted today to be over so so bad.
Spike the Dragon
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic