Rainbow dash had gotten up surprisingly early that day. She usually stayed in bed for several hours after sunrise, but today she had a big reason for getting up before the sun even rose.
"Omigosh omigosh OMIGOSH! It's almost time... OH COME ON!"
Finally, the door to the library opened, and Twilight Sparkle walked out.
"Oh, hello Rainbow-"
"TWILIGHT! I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR HOURS!"
"Uh, seriously?" The knowledgeable unicorn was quite surprised. "You do realize the library isn't open 'till 8:30 AM, right?"
"Yeah, but I could barely sleep last night, knowing that the newest Daring Do book is coming out today, and I'm so excited!" squealed the excited pegasus.
"Oh, that's right!" said Twilight. "Come in, Rai-"
Before Twilight could even finish her phrase, Rainbow Dash zoomed right in, throwing Twilight off her feet and almost crashing into Spike, who shouted "Watch where you're going!" at her.
"Daring Do and the Purple Dragon's Curse!" The young Daring Do fanatic laughed as she grabbed the newest book in the series from the shelf. "It's gonna be epic!"
"Yeah, well, I guessed you'd be the first to check it out, but I didn't expect you to get up so early just to read it!" sighed Twilight.
"Well, I'm gonna start reading it right now!" said Rainbow Dash, and she sat down next to the bookshelves and did just that.
Rainbow Dash spent the rest of the day reading the book. Like all the Daring Do books, it was full of adventure, mystery, and a mysterious villain, the aforementioned Purple Dragon. Around the seventh chapter, there was a twist: the Dragon's curse caused him and Daring Do to change bodies! To make matters worse, the Dragon kept his dragon abilities, as well as his knowledge of magic, in his Daring Do form, leaving her with little more than a (mostly) useless dragon body and her own knowledge to recover her own body and defeat the evil dragon.
"Why does it have to be a purple dragon?" asked Spike. "I mean, it's not like there's anything wrong with it, but I'd rather not have to walk around Ponyville and get beaten up by a mob of Daring Do fans who think I'm their evil Purple Dragon..."
"Relax, Spike," chuckled Rainbow Dash. "No one's gonna mistake you for an evil dragon overlord, you're small and scrawny!"
"Oh, thanks," said Spike, his voice full of sarcasm. "I'm glad you think I'm small and scrawny."
Rainbow Dash kept reading for several hours, until Twilight said "Hey, Rainbow Dash, It's closing time, so, maybe you should call it a day."
"Are you... kidding me?" yawned the tired pegasus. "I'm getting to... the best... part!"
"Rainbow, you've spent the whole day just reading that book! And let's not forget that you got up early just to read that book, so you must be tired!"
"Hey, Twilight, there's nothing... to worry... about... I'm... doing... just..."
The colorful pegasus didn't get the chance to finish. She fell right onto the book and drifted off to sleep. Upon seeing her Daring Do-obsessed sleeping with her nose stuck in the book, Twilight couldn't help but chuckle.
"Oh, Rainbow Dash..."
The purple librarian proceeded to walk upstairs to grab a spare blanket and pillow. She then walked back down, and moved the blue pony's head onto the pillow and covered her with the blanket. She then smiled, locked the library doors, and went off to bed.
Rainbow Dash yawned as she woke up. She was still in the library... at least, she thought it was the library... it looked bigger, somehow. But maybe she was just feeling tired...
"Spike? I need your help, I'm going to do some errands!"
Rainbow Dash slowly lifted her head, and was surprised to see that Twilight was, in fact, talking to her.
"Uh... WHAT?" I'm not Spike! Go bug him!" she yelled as she got to her... claws?
"Uh... what are you talking ab-"
Rainbow Dash ran as fast as she could right towards the bathroom, and looked in the mirror. Staring right back at her was a dragon, a lot like Spike, except for the blue body and rainbow-colored scales.
"How... how is this even possible?" moaned Rainbow Dash.
"What do you mean, Spike?" asked Twilight, who had just walked in.
"I told you I'm not Spike! I'm Rainbow Dash! I've been turned into a small blue dragon somehow!"
The surprised unicorn stared at the little blue dragon for a moment, before she realized that "Spike" was indeed Rainbow Dash.
"Wait... WHAT? How is this possible?"
"I'VE BEEN ASKING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN!" screamed Rainbow Dash. "I'm a freaking dragon, and you think I'm Sp- WHERE THE HAY IS SPIKE?"
Twilight suddenly remembered the day they had defeated Discord, and he had brainwashed Rainbow Dash into flying away, and so she had dubbed Spike "The new Rainbow Dash".
"Oh... no..." said Twilight.
"What?" asked Rainbow Dash.
"I think... you may have swapped bodies with Spike..."
"Switched bodies... with... Spike..."
At that moment, the rainbow-scaled dragon suddenly came to a horrifying revelation.
"I have the purple dragon's curse!"
"The purple dragon's curse! You know, from Daring Do? Swapping bodies?"
"...I didn't get to read it," said Twilight. "You had it all day."
"Oh... that's right," Rainbow Dash admitted sheepishly.
There was a moment of awkward silence between the two, before the confused unicorn spoke up.
"So, this... purple dragon's curse swapped Daring Do with the dragon?"
"Yeah, and now Spike has cursed me!"
"What do you mean ''cursed"? You know that curses aren't real, we discussed that when we met Zecora. And besides, even if they were, Spike is too nice to do something like that to you."
And what if he isn't?" Rainbow Dash asked desperately. What if he's taking over the world using my body? What if he's going to unleash his evil upon all of Equestria? What if-"
"Please calm down, Spike-"
"Oh, yeah... sorry Rainbow. But anyway, there's no way spike would ever do anything like that."
The purple unicorn flew up to Cloudsdale in a hot-air balloon along with Rainbow Dash, hoping to figure out what had happened to her number-one assistant. The former pegasus kept moaning about what Spike would have done if he had actually swapped bodies with her, and Twilight had to keep telling her blue dragon friend that there was absolutely nothing to worry about.
"I'll bet Spike is showing off to all of Cloudsdale! Heck, he's probably showing off to all of Equestria! What if he went to Canterlot and is showing off to Princess Celestia! That would be the WORST POSSIBLE THING! My whole life is ruined!"
"Calm down, Rainbow Dash!" groaned Twilight. "You sound like Rarity!"
"Well, what if he did do something like that to me?" asked Rainbow Dash. "What if he really is an evil purple dragon who can curse me to swap bodies with me? What if-"
"Be quiet, Dash! We're here already, and I don't want you to attract too much attention with your whining."
"I'm not whining! I'm complaining!" whined Rainbow Dash.
The two ponies (or pony and former pony) landed on a fluffy white cloud, then jumped out of the balloon basket. Rainbow Dash was slightly apprehensive about walking on the clouds, as she no longer possessed the wings of a pegasus, but Twilight's cloud-walking spell was working quite nicely. Having disembarked successfully, they immediately began walking around, searching for a certain pegasus who may not really be a pegasus.
"Okay, Spiky, where are you hiding?" the recently-transformed dragon thought to herself as she observed several pegasi who seemed to be minding their own business. Unfortunately, none of them were blue with rainbow manes or even purple with green manes, which Twilight had said would be more likely than a pony that looked like Rainbow Dash. Even so, they kept searching for a few minutes, until a green pegasus flew in with some exciting news.
"Hey guys! The Wonderbolts are having a show!"
Several ponies immediately began running off towards the Cloudsdale Colosseum, intent on watching the Wonderbolts' show. Rainbow Dash also ran in that direction, to Twilight's confusion.
"Rainbow Dash? Don't you think we should focus on finding Spike instead of a Wonderbolt show?"
"Of course we should!" answered Rainbow Dash. "Do you think I really want to see the Wonderbolts right now? They'd laugh at me! But I'll bet old Spiky would be really happy to go see them, so that's where I'm going!"
And with that, the rainbow-scaled dragon went running towards the Colosseum. Realizing that her friend was as stubborn as ever, Twilight sighed and followed her.
The Colosseum was full of excited ponies all watching the Wonderbolts as they performed their impressive tricks. One particular pony and dragon, however, were not focusing on them, but on the large amount of pegasi who had come to watch the show. They were searching for any sign of a pegasus that was not a pegasus. Rainbow Dash was focusing intently, but Twilight felt the whole thing was becoming more and more ridiculous.
"Come on, Dash. Since you dragged us all the way here, why can't you just spend a short while watching the show instead of trying to find Spike?"
"No way, Twilight! I'm gonna find that little thief if I have to be here the whole day!"
Twilight sighed, and went back to observing the Wonderbolt show. As she watched, however, she noticed something strange; she recognized most of their group, since the rainbow-maned pony-turned-dragon had always been so keen on knowing all about them. However, there was currently another member who she didn't recognize. He was obviously a stallion, as he didn't have the physique of a mare, but his mane seemed eerily familiar, almost like... Rainbow Dash?
Twilight gasped. She immediately began to poke Rainbow Dash, who didn't seem to happy to have her search interrupted.
"Jeez, Twilight, I'm trying to find Spike!"
"I know! I think I found him!"
"What?" asked Rainbow Dash, looking in all directions, except the Wonderbolts. "Where?"
"Up there!" said Twilight, pointing towards the sky.
Rainbow Dash looked up, and her heart sank as she saw the stallion in question; not only was his mane just like hers, it was a bright green, and his muzzle, just barely visible, was an unmistakable shade of purple.
"Is... is this some kind of cruel joke?" whimpered Rainbow Dash.
"I... don't know..." muttered Twilight.
"And finally, our newest Wonderbolt has put on a spectacular show! Let's hear it for Spike!"
Upon hearing the announcement, and the subsequent cheers of the fans, Rainbow Dash screamed in frustration.
"I cannot believe this! First he steals my body, and now he's just stolen my dream! How can this be possible?"
"Calm down!" said Twilight, "There's probably been some sort of misunderstanding. I'm sure whatever went wrong can be fixed."
"No freaking way!" shouted Rainbow Dash. "He's going down!"
After the show, the Wonderbolts gathered together behind the stage. Their leader, Spitfire, had nothing but praise for them.
"We did really good today, so I have a good feeling we're gonna do just as well in our next few shows! Heck, we'll blow Las Pegasus away!"
"That sounds good to me," said her second-in-command, Soarin', "but right now I wanna go grab some grub! Anyone with me?"
Spitfire groaned, but the rest of the Wonderbolts cheered, so the was little else their leader could say.
"...All right then, we'll go get some food. But we've gotta be back in time for practice."
"Sure thing boss!" the whole team shouted in unison. Thus, they all headed out, except for their leader and one other member.
Upon noticing that the newest Wonderbolt was not flying out with the rest of the team, Spitfire turned to him and asked "Hey Spike, why aren't you going out with the rest of the gang?
"Oh, that? Well, I promised my girlfriend that I'd take her out to lunch today, so I can't eat with the rest of you guys... You don't mind, do you?"
"Of course not, Spike, you can do whatever you need to do. Just don't forget to come back in time for practice."
Spitfire flew off, and Spike trotted towards the Colosseum, hoping to take a shortcut to Ponyville, when suddenly there was a blur of light blue and rainbow scales.
"SPIKE YOU LITTLE-"
"Rainbow Dash! Calm down!"
"W-what's going on here?"
Rainbow Dash was too angry to notice, but Twilight noticed that the green-maned pony, while much like Spike, was also slightly different. His voice was somewhat deeper, though still youthful; he also seemed older, at least as old as Rainbow Dash. Nevertheless, there was no mistaking him.
"Wait... Twilight? And... Rainbow Dash? How did you-"
"That's what we wanna know, buster!"
"Hey, calm down, Rainbow Dash! I don't know anything about how this happened! I just woke up one day and I was a pony! I thought this was some sort of freak occurrence which-"
"...which YOU caused!"
Both the dragon and former dragon turned to look at Twilight, who had put her face in her hoof in frustration.
"Look, there's no doubt that something very bizarre had occurred, and I think we can solve it if we work together instead of squabbling with each other."
"Yeah, well I'll stop when Spike gives back what he stole from me!" yelled Rainbow Dash.
"What? What did I steal from you?" asked Spike.
"My whole life!"
"You can't be serious! ...I mean, I did become a pegasus when you got turned into a dragon..."
"...And I became a Wonderbolt..."
"...And Princess Celestia has asked me to perform Sonic Rainbooms at her parties..."
"...And I'm dating Rarity!"
"Like hay you- wait, what?"
"I'm dating Rarity?" said Spike.
"Okay... I guess that's not so bad..." shrugged Rainbow Dash.
"Well, now that we've discussed that," said Twilight, "I suppose we can deal with the more serious issue of what happened to change your species."
"Well, like I said, I just woke up one day and I was a pony," said Spike. "And I was in a house in Cloudsdale with a friendly-looking but somewhat surprised turtle-"
"You even stole Tank from me?"
"Oh, yeah... I'm really sorry about that," said Spike. "Anyway, I was really confused abut what had happened, so I flew down to Ponyville. I was gonna go straight to Twilight, but on the way there I bumped into Rarity."
"Yes, I figured that she would come in at some point," interrupted Twilight. "How did she fit in to all this wackiness?"
"Well, after I met her, she was quite surprised at me, since I kinda looked like Rainbow Dash, but I had my normal colors, and, of course, was a guy. After she briefly freaked out when she found out, we went out to lunch, and then we talked about what had happened to me. After a while I forgot all about going to see Twilight, since Rarity obviously thought I looked cool as a pegasus, and I gotta say, she's kinda right about that, I do look pretty awesome..."
"And then you stole my life," said Rainbow Dash.
"I did not! I just did what Rarity suggested!" said Spike.
"And what did she suggest?" asked Twilight.
"She suggested I join the Wonderbolts, since they were really cool, and I was a cool pegasus. I was a bit apprehensive, but when she told me that I was a cool pegasus, I was really happy. After her suggestion, we went to her boutique and made out for about an hour."
Both pony and former pony stared at Spike for a few minutes, wondering how to answer to that. The one that was still a pony finally managed to find her voice.
"...Okay then. Clearly the problem we face now that the two of you have been swapped is how to get you back to normal."
"Go back?" exclaimed Spike. "You can't be serious! I'm living the dream here, Twilight! I'm a Wonderbolt, I perform for Princess Celestia-"
"Wait," interrupted Twilight. "How come Princess Celestia hasn't realized that you turned into a pony? I mean, she knows you better than anyone except me!"
"Well, I don't know," answered Spike. "When she called in the Wonderbolts to perform, she just thought I was a pony who happened to share her dragon friend's colors and name! Personally, I think that too much cake damages alicorn brains-"
"SPIKE!" exclaimed Twilight.
"Jeez, I'm just saying!" Spike replied defensively. "Anyway, like I was saying, I'm finally dating Rarity! Speaking of which, I really need to go, I promised I'd take her out to lunch..."
"No way Jose!" said Rainbow Dash. "You used your freaky purple dragon curse to steal my life, and I want it back! Like... NOW!"
"I did NOT curse you!"
"Okay, calm down you two," said Twilight. The two fighting body-swappers looked at her for a second, then stood down, although the Rainbow-scaled dragon glared at the green-maned pegasus.
"Clearly this situation is a bit more complicated than I thought at first, given that Spike clearly enjoys being a pony much more than Rainbow enjoys being a dragon. Therefore, we're gonna have to come up with a solution that could allow Rainbow Dash to be turned back into a pony without having to turn Spike back into a dragon."
"How do we do that?" asked Spike.
"Well, first off, we need to find out how the two of you got body-swapped."
"Duh, the purple dragon's curse!"
"I thought we'd cleared up that little issue," Twilight sighed. "Anyway, after we figure out what caused a pony and dragon to get swapped, we have to find a spell that can reverse it. Of course, then comes the hard part; we're gonna have to try to apply it only to Rainbow Dash, without affecting Spike. Exactly how we're gonna do that... I'm not sure."
"Well, I think that sounds good," said Spike, "but Rarity's waiting for me. Can we go now?"
After a brief trip in the hot-air balloon, the trio had arrived in Ponyville. They went straight for the restaurant, briefly discussing how it felt to have swapped bodies.
"It's lame," pouted the rainbow dragon. "I'm short, ugly-"
"I think you're kinda cute!" laughed Spike.
"...Thanks Spike. Anyway, I'm short, I can't fly, and my breath stinks."
To emphasize this last point, she let out a brief breath of rainbow-colored fire.
"That's pretty cool, though."
She then paused for a second, before speaking again.
"Huh, maybe it isn't the purple dragon curse. When Daring Do got swapped with the dragon, he kept all his dragon powers, so she had to figure out how to do stuff with neither pony agility or dragon fire-"
"I'm glad we got that sorted out," interrupted Twilight, happy to no longer hear about Rainbow Dash's dragon curse. "What do you think, Spike?"
The purple pegasus pondered the question for a minute before answering.
"Well, I kind of miss the fire breath, but it's pretty cool otherwise. I can fly, I got to become a Wonderbolt, and I can pull off some pretty rad Sonic Rainbooms. Of course, all that pales in comparison to the fact that Rarity and I can finally be together! She's even learning how to use the wing-growing and the cloud-walking spell so she can go see the Wonderbolt shows and maybe even live up in Cloudsdale with me! Wouldn't that be awesome?"
"Well," Rainbow Dash admitted, "I'd feel pretty happy for you if I hadn't turned into a dragon. I'll congratulate you when I turn back to normal."
"Sounds good to me," said Spike. "Hey, I might even be able to put in a good word for you with the Wonderbolts!"
The former victor of the best young fliers competition felt her jaw drop.
"You... you mean it?"
"Of course! To be quite honest, though, I don't think I'd need to. They kind of admire you and your ability to pull off Sonic Rainbooms. Heck, Spitfire actually said that she was jealous of you, and..."
Spike looked around to ensure that they were alone, then lowered his voice.
"I think Soarin' has a crush on you."
Suddenly, Rainbow Dash looked more red than blue.
"Are... you really serious?"
"Of course I am!"
"Oh my gosh... that is so awesome!"
Several surprised onlookers looked towards her in surprise. A squealing rainbow-scaled dragon wasn't something they saw every day. Upon realizing how much attention she was drawing to herself, Rainbow Dash calmed down a bit, blushing intensely.
"I mean... that's... nice."
Spike and Twilight couldn't help but laugh.
When they reached the restaurant, they walked up to the waiter, who looked up at Spike, as though he had been waiting for him.
"Yes, that's me."
"There is a lady at table twelve waiting for you. Although," he added, looking towards Twilight and Rainbow Dash, "I believe it was a table for two."
"No, That's fine," said Twilight. "We'll just wait outside. I'm not that hungry anyway."
"I just wanna get back to normal," muttered Rainbow Dash."
Spike looked at them, unsure of whether to proceed. However, when he saw that Twilight was encouraging him to go, he smiled and followed the waiter to his table.
When he reached the table, he saw that Rarity was waiting for him. For about a minute, he wondered what to tell her, as well as how she would react to finding out that there was a rainbow-scaled dragon waiting outside.
"Oh, Spiky wikey!"
Spike's train of thought was derailed when he was forcefully hugged by a very happy Rarity. He blushed intensely as several surprised eyes began to turn towards the two of them.
"Rarity... everypony's staring."
"What? Oh! I'm terribly sorry, everypony. And especially you, Spiky"
"It's all right," sighed Spike as they sat down. The waiter took their orders and then left them.
"So, how did it go at the Wonderbolt show?" asked Rarity.
"Pretty good!" Spike answered excitedly. "We were finally able to pull off that new trick I was telling you about, and Spitfire says we'll be able to blow everypony away when we go to Las Pegasus!"
"Oh, that's wonderful, Spiky! I knew you'd make a great Wonderbolt! Although they do make you wear those tacky outfits of theirs... I'll admit that the patterns are stylish, and it's certainly true that they look acceptable in the air, but did you know that they wore those same outfits to the Grand Galloping Gala? I mean, they could have worn something more elegant! Why, I think I would be able to make some magnificent formal outfits for them! Could you be a dear and please tell them about my idea, Spiky?"
"Yeah, I suppose I could... there's something else, though..."
"Remember when I first got turned into a pony?"
"Oh!" Rarity gasped. "Why how could I forget? I was so happy! Do you have any idea how happy I was? They all say that dragon-pony relationships never work out, since dragons can live for thousands of years, and the average pony rarely even gets to be 100. I personally think that's a bunch of rubbish, but not every pony agrees, you know! ...Oh dear, I'm sounding like Pinkie Pie."
"Yeah, I know. But you know how you asked me if I was related to Rainbow Dash?"
"Well, yes, I do," answered Rarity. "Oh, but Spiky, I already told you it was foolish of me to think that. Yes, you do look a bit like her, but-"
"No, actually, it might not be so foolish."
"What... whatever do you mean, Spiky?"
"Well, earlier today I saw her... and she's become a dragon!"
There was a short moment of silence between the two of them.
"I don't know what happened," began Spike, "but Twilight thinks that my transformation and Rainbow Dash's are connected somehow! And Rainbow's not happy because she wants to turn back into a pegasus, so Twilight is gonna try to figure out what happened."
The elegant white unicorn seemed to be at a loss for words. After a minute, she began to speak.
"But... Spiky... I don't think it's right for Rainbow to stay as a dragon if she doesn't want to, but... what will happen to you?"
"I... don't know, Rarity..."
"Will you... go back to... being a dragon?"
"I don't know!"
"I DON'T WANT YOU TO TURN BACK!"
Once again, everypony was staring, this time at a crying unicorn clutching her boyfriend.
"I WANT YOU TO STAY WITH MEEEEE!"
"Rarity, will you please-"
"I KNOW YOU WERE A CUTE LITTLE DRAGON, BUT I NEVER COULD TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVED YOU BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T-"
The sobbing unicorn calmed down almost immediately. She looked at Spike, her eyes still full of tears.
"Nothing bad is gonna happen. Twilight says that she's gonna try to turn Rainbow Dash back into a pony without turning me back into a dragon."
"Do... do you think she can do that, Spiky wikey?"
"I don't know," said Spike, "but I do know that, if I do have to turn back into a dragon, we'll either find a way to turn me back into a pony, or we'll find some other way to make our relationship work. Okay?"
Rarity held Spike even closer.
"Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye," said Spike.
They smiled at each other, and kissed. They then left the restaurant without even waiting for their food.
"So, did you two enjoy your meal?" asked Twilight as the two ponies walked out.
"Well... we didn't really eat," answered Spike.
"Yeah, we could kind of tell from the theatrics."
Rarity's face turned a deep red.
"So, are we gonna investigate what happened or not?" asked Rainbow Dash impatiently.
"Only if nothing happens to Spiky wikey!" said Rarity. "I don't care what you say, Rainbow Dash, but I am having the time of my life with him, and I will not have you take that away!"
"Look," said Twilight. I don't know what will or won't happen, so for the moment, let's just try to find out what caused our current predicament."
"Sounds okay to me," said Spike.
A few minutes later, in the library's basement, Twilight had Spike and Rainbow Dash hooked up to a pair of analyzing machines which were now making various noises.
"Okay, in a few minutes, we'll have all sorts of scientific data which will tell us what happened to the two of you, and if we're lucky, we'll know how to turn Rainbow back into a normal pegasus."
"Uh... yeah..." muttered Rainbow Dash.
The three ponies looked at the blue dragon, who was staring at the many wires which were attached to various parts of her body, as well as the large helmet on her head.
"What's wrong Rainbow?" asked Twilight. "This is just some careful analysis we're doing to try to figure out what changed you and Spike. I've used this equipment before when I was studying Pinkie Pie and her Pinkie Sense."
"I know," said Rainbow Dash. "It's not that, it's just... I don't like basements!"
"Come on, Rainbow," teased Rarity. "You're acting like Twilight's going to torture you or something!"
Spike burst out laughing, but Twilight looked at Rarity incredulously while Rainbow Dash looked towards the ground.
"I know it's ridiculous, but you guys all live on the ground, so you don't really think that you might have a problem underground, but I feel like I might get stuck underground, and that I'll never make it out..."
"Relax Rainbow, there's nothing to worry about. And besides, you didn't seem to have that much trouble when you helped rescue me from those horrid Diamond Dogs..."
"...Yeah, but they were distracting me from my fears of being trapped underground..."
"Don't worry, we'll be leaving really soon," said Twilight, as the machines began to beep faster and faster. "We're getting lots of useful info right now!"
While Twilight examined the data she had gathered from the analyzing machines, the others searched through various spell books to find out if there was any spell which could potentially turn their unwilling dragon back into a pegasus.
"You think maybe Discord might have had something to do with this?" asked Rarity thoughtfully.
"Nah, I doubt it," said Rainbow Dash. "He's still stuck in that stone of his. And besides, he wouldn't have turned Spike into a pony..."
"Yes, I suppose you're right about that."
"He would've turned him into a rock!" laughed Rainbow.
"I thought we agreed never to speak of that again!" huffed Rarity.
"I wasn't there when you said that, so technically, you never told me."
"Well... that's supposed to include you!"
Rainbow Dash was about to answer, but Twilight interrupted them.
"Okay guys, I think I found out what happened to Rainbow Dash and Spike."
"What? What? What?"
"Don't be impatient, Rainbow!" groaned Twilight. "Alright, after thoroughly analyzing the data from the tests, I have come to the conclusion that this was all the result of leftover fragments of Discord's essence."
The two ponies and one dragon stared at Twilight in surprise. Finally, the blue dragon spoke.
"Huh. Guess you were right, Rarity."
"Apparently," explained Twilight, "when Rainbow Dash was absent the first time we attempted to use the Elements of Harmony, some of Discord's essence seeped into the Elements, as well as into their respective users. When we managed to use them properly, we managed to expel the small quantities of Discord's essence from ourselves, which also allowed the elements to expel the essence of Discord within them. However, since Rainbow Dash did not receive any of said essence, the small amount of it lingering in her element was unable to be expelled, and so it instead directed itself into Rainbow Dash. Thus, Rainbow Dash and Spike both had that lingering essence of Discord, which formed a strange sort of connection between them!"
Twilight looked at her three friends to make sure they weren't finding all this information too hard to understand. Fortunately, they seemed to understand well, although the idea of the spirit of chaos inhabiting two of them for an extended period of time seemed to have freaked them out.
"So, we were connected together... because of Discord?" asked Spike.
"But if we've been connected this long, then why did it take so long for us to get swapped?" asked Rainbow Dash.
"I don't know," said Twilight, "but I believe that such a transformation would require some form of catalyst."
"A what?" the two body-swappers asked.
"A catalyst! Something to kick-start the transformation!"
Twilight rolled her eyes, then walked towards the "New Books" section of the library. She used her magic to raise one of the newest books, which she carried to the two ponies and their dragon friend.
"And I believe I have the catalyst right here!"
Rainbow Dash grabbed the book in surprise, wondering how a book could have turned her into a dragon. However, as soon as she saw the title, she understood perfectly.
"Daring Do and the Purple Dragon's Curse?"
"Yes, Rainbow Dash," said Twilight. "When you read this book, your subconscious took hold of the idea of being swapped for a purple dragon, and the fragment of Discord within you reacted to it. And, as it so happens, there was another fragment of him within a certain purple dragon."
"Okay, maybe the whole "Purple Dragon Curse" wasn't so stupid," Spike admitted.
"Is that the newest Daring Do book?" asked Rarity.
"Yes it is," said Rainbow Dash. "An evil purple dragon swaps bodies with Daring to fool everyone and take over the world."
"And because of that, she accused me of putting a curse on her," said Spike, pointing at Rainbow Dash.
"How dare you?" Rarity exclaimed angrily, pointing her glowing horn right at the rainbow-scaled dragon's face. "My little Spiky-wikey would never do such a thing!"
"Okay! I'm sorry! Please don't do anything to me!"
"Stop!" shouted Twilight. "Let's hold off the fights until later! Right now I think I know where to find a spell for reversing this kind of magic!"
Despite still being angry, Rarity stopped pointing her horn at Rainbow. She then glanced away, grumbling something which sounded like "ugly rainbow trout."
"Okay... so, can anyone find Reversing and Remedying Rare and Random Magic? It's a big, old, sort of dusty brown book."
"I remember where it was!" said Spike excitedly. He then flew up to one of the shelves and picked up the book, which matched Twilight's description perfectly.
"I gotta admit, that was a heck of a lot easier than trying to climb the stairs."
He then lay it right in front of Twilight, who turned the pages to find the particular spell she was looking for. As she turned the pages, she accidentally flung some dust in Rarity's face, who reacted with a sneeze.
"Oh my, I'm sorry, Rarity."
"Just... watch out when you turn those pages, Twilight."
"Don't worry, I found the spell I need to perform."
The three ponies stood in front of the little blue dragon. She was looking quite nervous, as were Spike and Rarity.
"All right, if this works as I hope it will work, you will be turned back into a pony," said Twilight.
"And it won't affect Spiky?" asked Rarity.
"I... think so. As far as I can tell, it only works when it is applied directly, so as long as Spike stays out of range of the spell, he won't turn back into a dragon."
The two lovers sighed in relief, but moved a few steps back, just to be sure. Meanwhile, Twilight looked back at the former pony, who would hopefully be back to a regular pegasus once the spell was finished.
"Okay, Rainbow. Are you ready?"
"All right then... here goes!"
The violet unicorn's horn began to glow with violet energy as she focused on the rainbow-scaled dragon, who began to glow as well. As more and more energy gathered, everyone shut their eyes, as the glow was getting too harsh to look at. Rainbow Dash had it particularly bad, as she was right in the middle of the light; all she could do was hope that the spell worked like her knowledgeable friend had intended.
After about a minute, the light dissipated, and Twilight, Rarity, and Spike were finally able to look again. There was no trace of the rainbow-spiked dragon. In her place was a blue pegasus with a rainbow-colored mane.
"Rainbow Dash? It worked!"
"You're back to normal again!"
Rainbow Dash slowly opened her eyes. Although her vision was still a bit blurry, she didn't need to see the results; she could once again feel her wings, as well as her mane and tail.
"I'm... I'm back..."
"Yes, Rainbow," said Twilight, "you're back."
"This is so awesome!" said Rainbow Dash, as she jumped into the air, smiling widely. As her vision recovered, she landed, and then looked back at her friends...
...And gasped in shock.
"Rainbow? What's wrong? ...and is that my voice?"
"Spike? Rarity? Twilight? You... you're..."
The three ponies looked at her in surprise, then looked down at their... claws?
"What? WHAT?" exclaimed Rainbow Dash.
Spike had been turned back to normal, but Twilight and Rarity had also been affected; Rarity was now a white dragon with purple spikes, and Twilight was lavender with scales that were mostly purple, though one of them was pink, matching the stripe her pony mane had.
"We're dragons!" shouted Rarity. "How can we be dragons?"
"Did something go wrong with the spell?" asked Spike.
"I don't know!" said Twilight. "Don't worry everypony! I mean, every... dragon. I'll find a way to fix it!"
Twilight began to flip the pages of the old spell book, accidentally blowing some dust towards Rarity's face again.
"T-Twilight! I've already told you! Be careful when you turn those pages, or you'll make... me... ah.. ah... AAATHCHOO!"
Rarity sneezed right into the book, blasting it with purple fire.
"Aah!" yelped Twilight. "Oh no! OH NO! Someone put out the fire!"
"Oh no! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to, I... I... ATCHOO!"
Rarity sneezed a second time, this time at the library's bookshelves. Immediately, several centuries' worth of knowledge began to burn.
"Oh, no, no, no, no, NO!" gasped Twilight.
As soon as she gave the order, the newly-restored pegasus flew to her friends, allowing them to get on her back. Fortunately, Rarity and Twilight were the same size as Spike, so they all managed to fit on the back of a single pony. However, their combined weight was too much for her to fly with, so she ran towards the door, knocking it down and jumping out to safety. Soon they were at a safe distance from the library, so the three dragons got off of Rainbow's back to let her catch her breath.
"This is not good," said Twilight as she watched the tree house burn.
"How are we gonna get back to normal now?" cried Rarity, hugging Spike so tightly that it seemed she'd never let go.
"I... don't know. Still, it's not that bad being a dragon since we're both dragons now," said Spike.
"Yes... I guess that makes things a little less horrible, Spiky wikey."
"I just don't know what went wrong!" said Twilight, deep in though. "Well, since I won't have access to any of my books anymore, I won't be able to figure it out. Not that I would've anyway, given that I'm no longer a unicorn. In that case, it might be best to find another unicorn from around here, so we can try to-"
Before Twilight could continue, they heard a scream, and then another one, and then even more. The gang looked around, and to their horror, saw that almost all of the houses were on fire. The door of each burning building was flung open, revealing... families of screaming dragons?
Twilight looked around in horror as former ponies ran screaming around the streets. They were all shocked by their sudden and unexplained transformation, and the only reaction they could think of was panic. A few of them would sometimes accidentally breathe fire which matched the color of their scales, causing flowers, bushes, buildings, and other objects to burst into flame. This in turn caused the newly-transformed dragons to become even more afraid, and so they ran even faster, and screamed even louder.
"All this happened... because of me?"
Rainbow Dash turned towards her friend. She had never seen her so terrified, not even when they had faced Nightmare Moon or the Changelings, or even when she had believed that Celestia would punish her for missing a single assignment. Now, Twilight was full of fear because she was both figuratively and literally powerless to stop a catastrophe she had inadvertently created...
But she hadn't created it.
The three dragons looked up at Rainbow Dash in surprise. She was looking around at the chaos unfolding, with a determined look on her face.
"All this happened... because of me."
Twilight looked at the determined rainbow-maned pegasus with a combination of awe and fear.
"Rainbow?... What are you-"
"You know perfectly well, Twilight. I was the one who got turned into a dragon. I'm the one who needs to fix this mess. And I will do anything and everything I need to do."
She looked down at the lavender dragon, who still seemed apprehensive, but was now smiling.
"You think you can fix this, Rainbow?"
"I know I can... if you can tell me what I need to do."
"I know exactly what you need to do."
"All right then."
The only remaining pony in Ponyville turned her head around, taking one final look at the chaos created by Twilight's spell. The town was a complete wreck; some of the houses had burned to the ground, and many others were in danger of following. The scared ponies weren't helping, given that they were acting chaotically in their fear. However, Rainbow knew that she could save every... dragon, and she would not give up until she had.
"All right Twilight," she said, looking back at the former unicorn. "What do I do?"
"First of all... you need to wake up."
Rainbow Dash stared in confusion.
"Wake up, Rainbow Dash."
"Come on Rainbow! It's almost time to open the library and I don't want a sleeping pony in the way! Especially you, because ponies are probably gonna get the wrong idea..."
Rainbow Dash rubbed her eyes, not knowing what had happened. She looked up to see a purple-maned unicorn staring right at her.
"Twilight? Is that you?"
"No, I'm Nightmare Moon's mother," the pony replied sarcastically. "Of course I'm Twilight! Who else was I gonna be?"
"Oh wow... Oh my gosh!"
"Um, are you okay, Rainbow?"
Rainbow Dash jumped up, throwing off the blanket Twilight had laid on her to keep her warm.
"Twilight! Oh man! I had the craziest dream last night!"
"Really?" asked Twilight, her voice full of curiosity. "What kind of dream?"
"One where I got switched with Spike!"
"Yeah, like I was a little blue dragon and he was a Pegasus!"
"Me? Why me?"
The two ponies looked up to see Spike walking down the stairs to meet them.
"Oh yeah, he was a pegasus. He also got a bit of an age-up, because he was old enough to join the Wonderbolts!
"Oh, really?" asked Spike. "That sounds nice, I guess."
"What do you mean "You guess?" That's like the highest honor a Pegasus can receive!"
"Well, yeah, but-"
"And you finally were able to date Rarity!"
Upon hearing the words "date" and "Rarity" used in the same sentence, Spike's eyes widened.
"Are you... serious?"
"Well, yeah, that's how it was in my dream, but-"
"OH MY GOSH!"
Before she knew what was happening, Twilight was being grabbed by Spike, who was looking at her with a desperate look in his eyes.
"Twilight! You gotta find a spell to turn me into a pony!"
"What? Spike, don't be silly! Rarity likes you just the way you are!"
"Yeah, but you know how everypony laughs and says that it'll never work out!"
"Spike! Don't tell me you're gonna let yourself be influenced by what ponies say!"
Rainbow Dash laughed as Spike and Twilight argued, the turned towards her Daring Do book. She had just been getting to the best part... where Daring Do would finally get her pegasus body back... or would she?
Would it turn out that, just like Rainbow, Daring had been dreaming all the time? What if there was no "curse" in this adventure? Would it be worth reading?
The rainbow-maned Daring Do fan pondered the question for a brief moment, before she decided that, the only way to find out was to read the book. And even if the next few pages revealed that it had all just been a dream, it would still be worth the read, because regardless of whether it was real or not, it would still be one heck of an adventure.
She knew this, because she had just experienced one crazy adventure of her own.
Rainbow Dash had just finished reading Daring Do and the Purple Dragon's Curse. The ending had been quite surprising; the entire adventure had been a dream, but not a normal dream. The purple dragon had used some kind of magic vines to put Daring Do to sleep, then place her in a dream world. This way, he would be free to take over the world. Fortunately, one of Daring Do's assistants, a knowledgeable and powerful unicorn, had managed to free her, and together, they had managed to defeat the evil dragon.
Rainbow seemed to recall having seen something similar once when she was looking through Twilight'scomic books.
"Hello, is anyone here?"
Rainbow laid the book down and looked up. She was surprised when she saw who it was.
"Oh my gosh... Soarin' of the Wonderbolts!"
"Huh? What? I mean, uh... yeah! That's me!"
Rainbow Dash was surprised to see Soarin'. What would a Wonderbolt want in a small town like Ponyville? And... why was he blushing?
"Can I... help you?"
"Yeah, I guess... I was visiting a friend of mine here in Ponyville, and he told me to turn in this book..."
The blue Wonderbolt held up the book he'd been asked to return. Rainbow Dash took it, and was surprised to see it was Daring Do and the Sapphire Statue, the first Daring Do book she'd ever read. She couldn't help but chuckle as she looked up towards Soarin', who was turning away to leave.
"Hey, Soarin', have you ever read Daring Do?"
She watched in amusement as he stopped in his tracks and turned to face her.
"What? Uh, I mean, no... I-I mean, I always figured stuff like reading would be more of something that eggheads would do." Soarin' could just barely manage to speak.
"What? You think it would be that bad to just give it a try?" asked Rainbow as she walked towards him with the book tucked under her wing.
"Uh... I dunno, I mean, most of my friends always talked about how lame reading was..."
"Hey, I know what that feels like. I used to think it was lame too, until I broke my wing and had to stay in the hospital for several days."
"Really? When did that happen?"
"Not that long ago. But I really think you should consider reading, Soarin'. Hey, how about we go over to my house?"
"Go to... your... house?" Soarin' repeated nervously.
"Yeah!" said Rainbow, smiling as she stretched out her wing to show him the book she was holding. " We have a Daring Do book right here, and I have pie over at my house!"
"Pie? Cool! ...I mean, that sounds fun!"
The two pegasi laughed, then went off to have some quality reading time together.