She increased the pressure on the flesh, her face getting drenched with the delectable life force of her still breathing meal. She could feel the prey pounding on her flank with her hooves, struggling against her animal strength. She pulled away, its head hitting the floor with a soft thud. Twilight started to lick her hooves clean as the prey began to bleed out onto the lino floor. Her ears could still hear the faint sounds of breathing as it faded.
Twilight's tongue slid out and ran along the lino floor, cleaning up what was left of her meal as her prey twitched on the floor. Her eyes were wide and her mouth was open in an eternally silent scream. Twilight briefly contemplated letting her victim live, to use her again to sustain her longing hunger. Her blood was delicious, much better than that of the blue pony, far too much nitrogen in her blood. Her current source of food had obviously taken care of herself, and it showed in the taste.
With a loud clicking sound, the delicate gleaming blades that were eager to tear at flesh extended . She brought her foreleg to her mouth and bit down hard, breaking the skin and tasting her blood. With a grimace, she rubbed the dripping red fluid straight onto the wound. In front of her violet eyes, the shredded mess that was Redheart's neck began to heal. The fluidic sound of the muscles, tendons and blood vessels regrowing made her drool a little as she listened to the sound of Redheart's heart beginning to get faster and faster. Her breathing became deeper and steadier. She smiled, glad that her instincts had been correct. She realised, at that point, that she had regained control over her body during the attack, and it was only her own hunger that had forced her to continue feeding on the helpless Nurse. What scared her the most however, was the fact that she didn't feel any remorse over what she had done. It felt as though it was the most natural thing in the world, akin to sleeping or using magic.
"Why did I do this? Why am I feeding on the blood of ponies? Am I a vampire? The next creature that the elements of harmony would have to vanquish?" she said aloud, trying to make sense of her newfound urges. When she finally realised that she had gone back to lapping up the blood on the floor, she tore herself away and stared at the ceiling.
"NO! I have to restrain myself, this isn't right. I almost killed Redheart, and I had to have been the one who attacked Colgate," she thought as she started to pace around the room forgetting about the slowly recovering pony in the corner. Her brain went into overdrive, considering every possibility, every cause for her change and came up with nothing. No matter what she thought of, it was immediately classified as impossible in her mind.
An eardrum tearing scream pierced her hyper-sensitive ears and Twilight spun around to stare daggers at Nurse Redheart, her fangs once again extending with a resounding click. Dashing over to where Redheart was, Twilight stuffed her hoof in her mouth. Bringing her face close to Redheart's, she bared her teeth, which managed to silence her. The white earth pony's eyes were full of tears, and Twilight felt genuinely sorry for what she had done to her. Her hard gaze quickly turned into a sad one, and she had to blink rapidly to prevent her own eyes from tearing up.
"I-I am so sorry nurse Redheart. I never meant… I just don't know what's happening to me! If I let you go, you have to promise not to scream until I work something out, okay?" Twilight asked and Redheart responded with a tentative nod. She cautiously pulled her hoof away and Redheart fell to the floor in a heap, crying silently. Twilight bent down to look at her at eye level, ever mindful that her scream had to have attracted attention.
"Why?" Redheart asked, causing Twilight to hesitate. Her fangs retracted as Twilight looked to the ground in shame.
"I-I don't know. I couldn't stop myself, it was like my body had gone into automatic, and whatever I am now… I needed to feed," Twilight explained quietly. Redheart just shook her head, crying even louder.
"What do you mean? Whatever you are now? I don't understand, how could you feed on me? What did I ever do to you?" she said through her sobs. Twilight thought it best not to respond to the questions. She remained silent, unsure of what to say or how to apologise properly for what she'd put her through. But even if she was to say sorry, she wouldn't mean it. The door beside her was suddenly bucked open, revealing both Spike and much to her horror, Doctor Neuron. On reflex, her fangs extended, cutting her lip.
"Twilight?" asked Spike in disbelief, and when she looked to the doctor, his eyes were hidden by his mane.
"Oh Twilight, not you, please not you," he pleaded as his horn filled with magic and a solid silver knife was torn from the seams of his white coat.
Twilight's horn flashed purple as she teleported around the room, dodging the strict knife skills of the grey unicorn. She kept her eyes trained on him and her fangs bared, while at the same time searching the room for signs of Spike. She managed to catch a glimpse of his purple tail as he led Redheart out of the room, leaving her alone with the obviously crazed Doctor.
"Neuron, what are you doing? It's me, Twilight," she yelled, narrowly avoiding the silver blade.
"I don't know what you are, but I should have seen the signs, should have known that something supernatural was at work here," he replied cryptically.
"What are you talking about, I need your help, I need to know what's happening to me."
"I am helping, I'm helping make sure that you never hurt anypony else," he shouted, charging at her. With a burst from her own horn, Twilight gripped the blade with her magic, stopping it only inches away from her face. Neuron's eyes widened in surprise and she could feel the pressure behind the blade lessen slightly.
"Magic? From a vampire? But that's not possible," he muttered under his breath.
"So I am a vampire, and you hunt us?" she asked, pushing at the blade harder.
"I used to, I used to hunt all sorts of things, but I left that life behind. And yet it always, always manages to catch up with me wherever I go. I'm sorry Twilight, but I swore an oath. I can't let you live," he said sadly, before a look of fierce determination entered his eyes. He pushed back on the knife harder, even adding his hooves to the force, and despite Twilight being the most powerful unicorn in Ponyville, and maybe even Equestria, she realised that she was beginning to lose the battle. Neuron forced her onto the ground, standing tall over her as they both struggled. Beads of sweat rolled down both of their faces. The tip of the knife was millimetres from her left eye, and her strength was running out. She reached up to grab the knife with her hooves, but as soon as she touched it, she pulled them away as the silver burnt her skin.
"You can't touch it Twilight, silver is too pure for creatures of darkness," he explained, and she could hear the pain and regret in his voice.
"No! Leave her alone!" screamed a voice from behind them. Neuron turned just as Spike leapt at his face, his claws gripping the soft pony flesh as he began kicking the doctor in the muzzle.
"Hey get off me, I'm the good guy," yelled Neuron, as Spike started using his tail as a weapon, hitting him on either side of his head.
"Twilight, run!" said Spike as Twilight forced the doctor back, shoving her back legs into his shins, forcing him to back away. He hobbled with disbelief and pain strewn on his face at her sudden ally and attack. She scrambled to her hooves and shot out the door, galloping as fast as she could, ignoring the strange and fearful looks of the other ponies in the hospital.
After swiftly making her way through the maze of corridors, Twilight finally made her way to the main entrance. Bursting out through the double doors, she cried out as her eyes were met with the light of a midday sun. The pain was by no means as agonising as before, but it was enough to slow her down. She trotted down the path as fast as she could; only deviating from the path to make her way around an area that was cordoned off with yellow police tape. Chancing a look back toward the hospital, Twilight was just in time to see Spike dive from the third story window of her room to the ground below, his tough, near invulnerable dragon hide protecting him from the brunt of the impact. Spike raced to meet her, grabbing her foreleg and beginning to drag her along with him.
"What about Doctor Neuron?" Twilight asked, still concerned about her friend, despite what had just occurred.
"I managed to knock him out, but it wasn't easy. He's a much better fighter than you might expect," replied Spike, turning down a path that led to Applejack's orchard.
"Where are we going? Shouldn't we head straight for the library?" she wondered, and Spike shook his head.
"No, that's the first place he would look Twi, but don't worry, I know just the place where we can lie low for a while."
As they made their way through the back paddock of Applejack's orchard, where the trees grew more wildly, free from the numerous harvests like the rest on the farm, Twilight grew ever more curious as to where she was being taken. When they did finally arrive, she was less than impressed.
"The cutie mark crusader clubhouse? Are you crazy?" she exclaimed, gesturing toward the small wooden tree house that had been Applejack's when she was a filly, but had been overhauled by AJ's little sister Applebloom. "What if someone finds me here? What if the fillies are here and I… need to feed." Spike grimaced noticeably at the last part, before letting out a sigh and gesturing for her to follow.
"Well firstly, please don't talk like that, it makes me… nervous. And secondly, there is no risk of anypony finding you. Nopony else in town, besides your friends, know about this place and most of them are busy with work and stuff. As for the CMC, well… Applebloom is helping AJ and Big Mac with the harvest, Sweetie Bell is off in Canterlot with Rarity and Scootaloo is starting flying lessons with Rainbow Dash today. You see Twilight, everything's going to be fine," Spike told her, and she found herself very impressed with her assistant.
The tree house was small, but had been built to last, having no trouble supporting Twilight's weight. Spike pulled some pillows out of a wooden chest as he lay them out as a bed for Twilight, as well as one for himself.
"I'm sorry Spike, but you can't stay here, I can't risk feeding on you as well," she said only to have Spike respond with a snort.
"Look Twi, I appreciate the concern, but if my scales can withstand molten lava and having sewing needles pushed into them, I'm fairly certain your teeth aren't going to be a problem," he told her, retrieving a few blankets from the same box.
"I know, but even then…" she started, before Spike interrupted by grabbing her head and bringing her face level with his own.
"Twilight Sparkle, you are like a sister to me, your magic is the reason I'm here right now. So if you honestly think that I'm going to stand idly by and let you go through this alone… well then maybe you don't know me as well as you think,"
"But that's just it Spike, I do care. I don't want to hurt you,"
"You can't and I'll prove it… Bite me," he said with the most serious expression that Twilight had ever seen on his face.
"What! Spike, I-I can't. I might not be able to stop," said Twilight quietly, closing her eyes
"Do you trust me?" Spike asked and she nodded immediately. "Then trust me."
She opened her eyes again to find Spike holding his arm out in front of him, offering it to her. Reluctantly, Twilight extended her fangs, slowly, so as to not freak him out too much. She still wasn't too sure when she had gained control over her new abilities, but had gathered that her new instincts had formed during the times when she had blacked out.
Sitting down in front of Spike, she lifted his arm up to her mouth with her hooves, holding it gently. Looking up and seeing Spike's stoic expression only strengthened her resolve. Placing her fangs over his arms, she took a deep breath, before biting down as hard as she could, expecting the usual burst of hot, metallic flavour. Instead, her fangs were met with something hard, yet flexible. She bit down harder, trying to make certain that Spike was correct. Her fangs started to hurt from the pressure, but she wouldn't give up, not until she was satisfied.
"See Twilight, you can't hurt me. It's perfectly safe for me to stay here with you," said Spike, after Twilight had finally relented and retracted her fangs. "Okay Spike, you win. But now what do we do now? I can't stay here forever,"
"You don't have to, I have a plan. As soon as nightfall comes around, you and I will start making our way toward Canterlot. Princess Celestia will have to know some way to help you," he explained, giving Twilight a tight hug, which she returned happily.
"How did you get to be so smart?" she asked and Spike just chuckled.
"I had a really good teacher,"
As soon as the sun disappeared and the full moon began to rise, Spike and Twilight left the tree house, heading for the edge of town and the train station that rested there. Spike's reptilian attributes and Twilight's new abilities made it easy for them to navigate the darkness.
Upon arriving at the train station, they found a sign informing them that it was closed due to maintenance.
"What do we do now?" Spike enquired, peering through a window to see if anypony was inside.
"I suppose we will have to walk, do you want a ride?" she replied and Spike nodded, jumping up onto Twilight's back and getting comfortable. Determined, she set off at a gallop, heading toward the mountain and the great city of Canterlot that was stuck to the side.
As they crossed an open field, Twilight noticed something in her periphery. Extending her fangs in anticipation of an attack, she slid to a halt and turned, looking into the sky and the silhouette on the moon. It suddenly dropped from the sky, heading straight for Twilight and Spike. She started to growl, preparing herself not only to fight, but to feed. When the shape landed, it landed hard, gouging a trench into the ground. Twilight covered her eyes with her foreleg, and when she removed, a small squeak escaped from her lips when she realised who the pony was that stood in front of her.
"Greetings Twilight Sparkle, welcome to my night," smiled Princess Luna.