• Published 12th Oct 2019
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Logan and Carol; The Wolves of Equestria - JNKing

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Meeting Discord Pt 2

The wolves wandered away from the cottage and ended up towards the river. His rage fading, Logan sighed and dunked his head in the water, coming up with his fur sopping, but his eyes clearer.

“I… heard the ponies have a bar somewhere,” Carol noted, sitting next to him and lapping the water in a more dignified fashion. “Not sure where it is, but it has some stronger liquid…”

“Nah, forget it,” Logan said. “Bars have people – or in this case, ponies.” He shut his eyes, letting his fur dry in the sun. “I really need a moment away from them right now.”

Carol nodded, looking away. Logan’s eyes opened, and he looked at her worriedly.

“Discord didn’t hurt you, did he?” Logan asked.

“No,” Carol said quickly. “No, he just made me watch while you had your… episode.”

Logan chuckled softly. “As long as that’s all he did,” he muttered. “I hate the thought of someone hurting you and getting away with it.”

Carol’s silence said far more than Logan hoped it would. His ears flattened, and he looked back at her as her head bowed.

“I didn’t mean it like…” Logan stammered. “I mean…”

“I know what... they... did in the past was wrong,” Carol mumbled. “But… I’m never sure what to think about it. I mean, it made me stronger, right?” She looked up at him, revealing a faint three-clawed scar over her right eye. “It made me who I am?”

Logan brushed against the scar Ocetorm gave him along his own shoulder. A nasty wound when he first got it, yet he felt it paled in comparison to how Carol had gotten her scar.

“Pack should strengthen us,” he said quietly. “But… I don’t know.” He lowered his head. “I act like where I came from was so tough, but… my parents were my best friends growing up.” He shivered. “I can’t imagine a parent acting the way yours did.”

“It’s never gonna be about one wolf, Logan,” Carol said softly. “It’s about everyone; that’s one thing even the first hounds and wolves really understood. Humans can outwit, and dragons can outmatch. Wolves?” She nudged herself closer to Logan. “We’re all we have. So best we can do is band together.”

“Be able to trust each other,” Logan recited, drinking from the river again. “Stand united, or fall divided. All that jazz.”

Carol hummed, before they heard a voice.

“So, when do they kiss?”

Logan and Carol shot up, snapping and growling as they looked around. Yet no one seemed to be there. A bird tweeted innocently on a tree. Logan glared up at it, a bolt forming in his claws.

“Don’t,” Carol warned.

“Just in case,” Logan said, still aiming the bolt at the bird.

“Logan, that’s beyond cruel,” Carol insisted.

Logan glared at the still tweeting bird, but reluctantly holstered his bolt. The two glanced away, back to the river, and watched a duck paddle along. Logan chuckled as the duck shot him a miffed glare.

“So, how do you think the Elements are doing?” Carol asked.

Logan’s lips pursed, but he didn’t speak.

“Want to bet they failed,” Carol asked. “And Discord’s running wild again?”

Logan still didn’t respond.

Carol looked away. “I’m not sure which is worse: him running around wild, or him being tamed.”

“Like me,” Logan said quietly.

Silence stretched between them. Even the birds stopped chirping, as if they seemed to realize just how dangerous the subject was.

“Logan?” Carol asked, before Logan let his head fall.

“I was tamed,” he said, his voice cracking. “I tried… so hard to keep to my dad’s ways. The ways of the wild. But… when I thought of leaving those mares with that guy, I…” He sighed. “I couldn’t hide it.” He almost sobbed. “Discord was right; I’m a tamed dog. Exactly what they want Discord to be; just like what everyone else probably becomes when they go through here.”

“What are you talking about?” Carol whispered.

“It's how Celestia really keeps order,” Logan said unhappily. “She doesn’t need brainwashing or threats like Connors did. She just has these… unbearably nice ponies. They get in my head… make me care and now…” He looked down at his paws. “Now, I’m nothing but their pet. They can deny it; I can act tough, or like I don’t care, but…” His claws dropped, as did his head. “But I’ll never be anything more than their pet now.”

Carol’s ears flattened at how devastated Logan sounded. She nuzzled up next to him, and shushed him softly.

“Dad… Mom…” he whispered. “You may have wanted me to be safe… but I failed you.”

“Logan, you didn’t fail them,” Carol assured him, her voice soothing and gentle. “Think about it: would you really do anything for them?”

Logan put his paws over his snout. Carol looked away thoughtfully.

“Okay… let me rectify,” she said. “Would you do anything… for Celestia?”

“No,” Logan said instantly, standing up. He looked down at his scarf – the last memento he had of his mother. “I know she wants me to trust her... but I can’t forgive. I can understand… but nothing can allow me to forgive.”

Carol smiled. “You see?” she asked. “If you were really their pet, you’d bury the hatchet with Celestia. Do whatever she wanted.”

“But I’ll have to do that anyway,” Logan noted sadly. “Sparkle’s devoted to her, and the others follow her lead. All Celestia needs to do is point them in the direction of danger…” Logan sighed resigned. “And I’ll come running after them. Being able to know how I’ll react…” He shook his head. “I don’t like it; I don’t like how predictable I’m becoming.”

Carol nodded at that, looking out over the stream.

“You know Connors wouldn’t care,” she noted. “Connors would just force people to be happy, no matter what they thought. I… get the sense Celestia doesn’t do that. At least, not the Celestia in this world.”

“Hurray for that,” Logan said, though his voice wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. He sighed as Carol glanced his way. “You and I both agreed to stay here because it was safe. Because our pack mates died trying to keep us safe…”

Carol flinched when he used ‘our,’ but didn’t say anymore. Logan watched her in concern before Carol motioned for him to continue.

“Er, I guess…” Logan paused, thinking about what he wanted to say. “Well, you already know what I did. I traveled across the Outskirts! I defeated a Storm King… I freed a changeling hive… I fought in a minotaur fighting pit.”

“So… what does that all have to do with Celestia?” Carol asked.

“I came back for peace,” Logan said. “So, we wouldn’t have to deal with having to fight every day to survive.” He motioned to the town. “It gets my gut in a twist to think about, but… do you think those ponies worry about minotaurs or griffons or anything that’s really out there? Not Sparkle and her friends,” he rectified quickly. “But all of them; the citizens of Ponyville.”

Carol looked at the town. “As far as I can tell, no,” she admitted.

Logan nodded. “I’m not here to get involved in some big grand scheme. If some monster comes through here hoping to take this place for their own? We fight it.”

Carol flexed her claws. “I can look forward to that,” she admitted.

“But if we do,” Logan pointed out. “I want to know that we’re doing it of our own free will. No orders from Celestia; no manipulations from those who think they’re gods; we just do it because we want to.”

Carol pondered that. “So,” she summed up. “In essence; Celestia won’t be your Alpha. We’ll live in her territory; follow her laws, and yet… she’s not going to be our Alpha?”

Her tone wasn't sarcastic, and yet Logan didn’t speak at first. When he did, his voice was gentle, but firm.

“I had only one Alpha,” Logan said. “He was my father; Kodo the Great Wolf.”

Carol looked away, wincing, while Logan took a long drink from the river. Was he wrong to hold onto such sentiments? Maybe, Logan admitted, but he didn’t want to admit it. Celestia, thus far, had treated him and by extension Carol as guests. She had been kind to him, even though she had every reason and excuse not to be. And thus far, he had been satisfied with their impasse: they'd give each other their space; Logan didn't talk to Celestia, and Celestia left Logan alone.

But everything was still lining up; by all accounts, Logan should be part of the Mane Six’s pack, and should answer to Celestia. If push came to shove and she really felt like she needed to… would she play that card? Would she stop with the theatrics and simply tell him that he should answer to her now? Probably not; because he would fight her no matter what got in his way if she tried.

But where would that put him with the Mane Six?

Logan had to stop drinking before he drank half the river, and yet he still didn’t know what to say.

“I don’t know,” he finally admitted. “Fluttershy… Sparkle… those guys are my allies. My…” he sighed. “Our friends. None of them match up to Dad or Mom… but they’re close enough.” He pawed at the mud that sprouted between the sand and the water. “Maybe, I want to settle down… have a family… maybe some adventures along the way.” He shrugged. “What I don’t want is to become just another pawn for people who think themselves gods.” He glanced at her. “And you don’t either… do you?”

Carol shook her head. “Not at all,” she assured him. “I let people use me for half my life. Getting to meet you… it showed me that there is far more to life than just sitting back and letting others make my choices for me.”

Logan’s grin returned. “Then we’re agreed?”

Carol smiled. “We’re agreed,” she said. “Even if we are tamed… we won’t give them the satisfaction of knowing for sure.” She giggled. “Sounds like fun, honestly.”

The ground vibrated, and Discord’s laugh echoed, followed by Fluttershy’s hushed whisper. Logan and Carol glanced back around, but ultimately, they turned away. Fluttershy was right; the mares could handle things on their own.

#

The wolves seemed completely unaware of Discord and Fluttershy watching them; the former had shifted himself into the bird Logan had nearly blasted, while Fluttershy’s eyes peeked out from the tree trunk.

“Oh, those two are just adorable,” Discord cooed.

“That’s how true friends interact,” Fluttershy replied with a smile. “Logan started off a lot like you, Discord… only not as funny.”

“Ha,” Discord scoffed. “As if that ball of fluff could hope to match me in a comedy routine.”

“Comedy… isn’t really his hobby,” Fluttershy rectified. She looked back at Carol with gratitude in her eyes. “Having his wolf friend here… it’s changed him. He’s been far happier... or at least more alive."

Discord tapped his feathery chin with a wing, humming.

“Far happier, eh…” he pondered. He looked over at Fluttershy, who was giving him a friendly smile. He watched Carol and Logan as the former twined her tail around the latter.

But then his eyes strayed further away. To a figure that gave him a thumb up and a white, chipped tooth grin before ducking away into the shadows. Discord shrugged.

“Well, seems like something I could experience for myself,” Discord replied, hopping over to Fluttershy. “And you certainly seem like the friendliest pony of the bunch.” Discord grinned wickedly. “Yes… I believe you and I are going to become very close in the next few months.”

Discord glanced back down, watching as Logan and Carol dusted each other off and headed into the forest together.

“And those two are going to make things so much more fun,” Discord whispered giddily to himself.