• Published 30th Dec 2012
  • 5,279 Views, 177 Comments

Ah Don't Need Help! - Timey-Wimey

When Spike saved Applejack, she didn't let him know that she'd hurt her hoof when the rock fell on her. Now he's caring for her and something is starting to bloom between them.

  • ...

Walking On Three Legs

Applejack opened her eyes a crack as she heard the rooster crowing, signalling the end to her not-so-peaceful slumber. She let out a groan, forcing it to be quiet and sat up, eyes blurry with sleep. Her eyelids felt like lead, wanting to drop and lock shut like steel doors, but she didn't let them. She pulled the covers off and sighed when she saw her hoof. The bruising was ugly, discoloring the orange fur around it. They were a sickly grey with yellow and red mixed in, covering the right side of her entire hoof. The swelling in the joint hadn't gone down a lot, just enough so that it wasn't too noticeable but that was it. She knew that she should see a doctor, but whenever she thought about it her pride flared up and she told herself that she was Apple Family and Apple Family ponies didn't need silly things like doctors to treat minor injuries. Muscle damage could be serious, but she'd had it before and it'd never stopped her, so she waved off the pain as nothing important.

With a glare of determination the young mare got out of bed, gritting her teeth as her limb started sending jolts and a never ending ache through her body. She held the injured leg off the ground and grabbed her stetson, placing the faded material on her head and adjusting until it fit comfortably and snugly atop her blonde mane. She sat down and tied her mane in a ponytail, repeating the process with her tail and then stood up again, hobbling to her door and then closing it. She took a deep breath and set her hoof on the ground, nearly crying out as it sent a wave of agony over her. She walked normally, trying to keep her breathing steady as each step felt like her hoof would snap off.

Big McIntosh looked to see his sister walking into the kitchen. His eyebrow raised when he noticed that the bruising on her leg hadn't gone down. "AJ are ya sure yer ok? That hoof looks mighty bad." He inquired taking a few steps towards her. He knew that she had nearly been killed a week ago, which had resulted in much hugging and crying from the burly stallion, but he was curious to know why her leg was so beat up.

Applejack looked right at him and sighed. "Ah'm fine big brother. Ah have a lot of apple buckin' ta do today and ah can't waste any time. Say have y'all heard from Spike lately? He said that he'd drop by the farm today and ah want ta make sure we have some apple pies ta give him as repayment for saving me from a right nasty trip to the hospital." She asked, her eyes darting to the side as she lied through the teeth. It was incredibly hard to keep the pain out of her voice, but she managed. She gave him a smile, grabbed a couple of fritters and trotted out the door.

"Alrighty then. Just gotta buck all the trees with baskets under them. No big deal." She put less weight on her leg as she half limped, half trotted to the nearest tree with buckets under it. She turned her back to it and braced herself, tensing her muscles as she prepared for a dreaded moment. She lifted her rear in the air, gathered her hind legs to her belly and gulped before unleashing a mighty buck on the apple tree. She bit back the scream of pain, it felt like her hoof was gonna snap right off. Her form trembled and she lowered herself, holding her leg above the ground to let the throbbing ease. She blinked away the tears and looked at the now full apple baskets, breath becoming raggedy. "Sweet Celestia that hurts..." She whimpered, looking at the bruised joint. "It's gonna be a long day..." She sighed, not bothering to keep the tightness in her voice hidden.

Spike opened the gates to Sweet Apple Acres, a smile on his purple face. He closed the gate behind him and looked at the wide expanse of apple trees, green, yellow and red they were all there. Ripe and ready for the picking, or bucking. His mouth watered at the very sight of so many delicious fruits, but he held himself back. He had been invited and even though the juicy apples were pretty much calling his name, he decided to dragon up and walk past them towards the friendly red barn. He knocked on the door, which was opened by Apple Bloom.

Apple Bloom beamed when she saw him. "Well come on in Spike! Ah'll go tell Big Mac yer here, Applejack is busy workin' in the fields but she should be done soon." She said and scampered into the house, bow bobbing up and down in her strawberry mane. She ran into the kitchen, where her older brother was. "Big brother! Spike's here!" She said, tugging on his tail with her tiny front hooves. She dropped down when he turned and smiled at her, walking steadily towards where the little dragon sat waiting. His expression grew somber as he approached, he wanted to ask the dragon something that had been concerning him since his sister had come home after the Timberwolf attack.

Spike looked up as Big McIntosh walked into the room. He opened his mouth to speak, but a beige hoof told him to remain silent. He saw the serious expression in the stallion's eyes and gulped, suddenly fearing for his life as the hoof lowered.

"Good mornin' Spike, ya got here early. Now ma sister decided that y'all deserved a reward for saving her life. Me, Granny Smith and Apple Bloom all agreed, so here," He turned his head and pushed a basket of steaming, fresh-from-the-oven apple pies, "But ah have a question for ya. When ya saved Applejack's life, what happened?" He asked, sitting down and eyeing the little dragon with slight suspicion in his green eyes.

Spike was taken by surprise by the question. "Why do you ask?" He questioned, raising an eyebrow. He knew that the stallion was very protective of his sister and that he'd want to know every detail of what happened, but hadn't she already told him? It wasn't something one could exactly keep secret.

Big Mac sighed a bit. "Ah thought ya'd ask that. Truth is, when she came home she was actin' right strange. The next day ah noticed that there was some bruisin' on her leg, but ah figured she'd just bumped it on a tree while workin'. But the bruisin' hasn't gone down and it's been a week, ah'm gettin' worried but she won't tell me a darn thing. She told me that ya saved her life when the Timberwolf attacked and she told me she went and froze with fright because of how big the thing was? Is that the truth?" He asked, leaning in a bit closer.

Spike's jaw gaped and his eyes widened a bit. Don't tell me she didn't tell him... "No that's not all of it. She climbed up a rock pile, the one that's just outside the Everfree and she took down three smaller Timberwolves with a rock. But the rock she was standing on started sliding down the pile and she fell off. Before she could get up, a smaller rock fell and pinned her back leg, that's when the giant Timberwolf started to-" He was cut off as a hoof tip pressed against his mouth and he complied, going silent and closing his mouth.

Big Mac sighed and shook his head. "So that's why she's actin' weird. Applejack won't tell me and she's been workin' just like any other day. If she really did hurt herself, then that means..." He trailed off as his eyes widened. "Spike she's out there right now. We've got a big order to fill and it was her turn to buck the trees today. If what y'all say in true, then she's probably killin' her leg tryin' ta work. Spike go find her, bring her here so that we can take care of her. She's too proud to admit that she's hurtin', so drag her back if ya have to. Ah'll get the medical supplies." He ordered, taking his hoof away from Spike's face and hurrying to get the first aid kit.

Spike nodded and ran off. He swung the door open and looked around. There was a loud thump and he ran towards it, hearing the swish of leaves the plops as apples fell into bucket. He saw a flash of orange ahead and picked up the pace. He rounded a tree and saw her under one with four buckets on either side of her. Her orange coat was sweaty and there was pained look in her eyes as she looked up at the tree filled with fat, delicious apples. His eyes caught the shaking in her right hind leg, but he held back, seeing if she would do the right thing and leave.

Applejack looked at the tree and sighed shakily. She turned her back to it, not noticing Spike as she lifted her back end. Her legs lashed out and hit the tree with a solid buck. Pain sent a lightning bolt through her and agony filled her entire form and she let out a pained, short cry before lowering herself, the pain more intense. The back of her eyes itched as the tears fought their way to her eyes but she blinked them away, taking deep breaths to calm herself. "Sooner ah finish buckin' the sooner ah get ta go inside." She told herself, She started trotting to the next tree, but turned around when she heard Spike come out. "Howdy there Spike! Did Big Mac give ya the pies?" She asked cheerfully, her voice struggling to keep the pain out of it.

Spike crossed his arms and glared at her. "Applejack I know you're hurt." He replied. He started walking over but she held him back with a hoof outstretched. "Don't bother denying it AJ, I saw you when you bucked that tree. You're hurt and you need help." He said, raising an eyebrow when she backed away.

Applejack glared at him. "Ah'm perfectly fine! Ah've had worse, ah can still do mah job!" She snapped. She trotted painfully over to the next tree with buckets under it and gave him a smirk. Without bracing herself, she lifted her legs and bucked the fruit bearing tree as hard as she could. Her leg crumpled and she stumbled but managed to hold position on three hooves. The itching in her eyes returned but she ignored it, giving a fake smile to the little dragon. "See? Ah don't need help." She stated weakly, planting her bad leg firmly on the ground.

She'd never screamed so loud in her life.

The throbbing hadn't eased yet, so when she put pressure on the injured limb the pain increased onto the highest level. She collapsed as she hollered in agony, the tears staying back because she forced them to. She tried desperately to regain control of her breathing, but it was too hard to breathe normally with her leg burning like it was on fire. She felt claws grasp her and she looked up to see Spike looking down at her. Normally she would've given him a good retort on being carried, but she was too exhausted to do so. The little dragon was surprisingly strong, he seemed to be having no struggle in half carrying half dragging her back to the barn.

The pain eventually overcame Applejack and she passed out, a lone tear sliding down her freckled face.

Big McIntosh heard what sounded like a distant call and walked out the door. He was greeted by Spike dragging Applejack's unconscious body gently through the dirt. He ran over and scooped her up, resting her across his shoulders and carrying her inside. He lay her on the couch and took the first aid kit off the table, opening it with a hoof and pulling out the bandage roll. With great care he wrapped her leg, going from the knee to the bottom of her hoof, going back up to her knee to clip the end and start pieces of the bandage together.

Spike was running a hand along Applejack's side, worry in his emerald eyes. He sat down beside her and sighed, his claw resting just above her front hoof. There was a concerned frown on his face and he looked back at her bandaged leg. He knew that that kind of pain wouldn't be caused by a simple sprain, either she had sprained it really bad or she'd damaged the muscle in the joint. He turned to look at her face again and brightened a bit when he saw her eyes opening. There was a telltale clopping noise as Big Mac came back in the room, ice pack in mouth.

Applejack let out a soft moan as her eyes opened, the room fuzzy. There were many blurs. Most of them were brown, some paler and one giant red one. There was a dull throb in her right hind leg and something was brushing against her fur. All of a sudden, something freezing cold landed on the limb and she cried out in shock, wincing when a small trickle of pain leaked up her leg. Her vision cleared and she Big McIntosh in front of her and she turned her head to see Spike smiling at her, looking relieved. Before she knew, there was a small dragon clinging to her in a hug.

Spike latched himself onto her. "Sweet Celestia Applejack you scared the heck out of me! You screamed so loud and then you fainted, it was so scary..." He murmured, shutting his eyes tightly as tears started leaking from beneath the lids. "I had no idea what was going on, I didn't know if you were gonna die or go into a coma or-" He was cut off as Applejack held him, pressing her hoof to his mouth.

The orange mare chuckled as he drooped. "Easy there partner, no need for panic. Guess ah should've gotten mah leg checked out after that accident... heh heh." She smiled sheepishly and looked guiltily at a scowling Big Mcintosh. She turned to look at the bandages on her leg, sighing as she realized what this meant. "How long until ah can work again?" She asked, avoiding his gaze.

Big Mac hoof connected solidly with his face and he shook his head with an exasperated sigh. "Ya know ya could've told me right? AJ ya've gone and damaged the muscles pretty darn bad, ya could've damaged yer leg permanently. Yer lucky that ah sent Spike out to find ya, the way you reacted. As for how long until ya work again, at least a month. AT LEAST, if not more. Until then, yer stayin' off that leg." He stated firmly.

Tears sprang to Applejack's face and she lowered her stetson over her face, hiding her shame. She felt like an idiot, letting her pride cripple her, for the next month at least. She sniffled and put the stetson back in its proper place, letting out a shaky breath. "All right." She agreed ruefully, not that she had a choice in the matter. She grumbled and put Spike down, resting her head on her front legs. "So ah guess yer stuck takin' care of me." She looked at Big Mac and her eyes widened when he shook his massive head.

"Sorry Jackie, ah've gotta fill the orders. Granny Smith... Well ya know about her and Apple Bloom is too young. Yer gonna have to go to the hospital." He said as gently as possible. He sighed when she cringed away at the mention of the hospital and rested a hoof on her shoulder. "Ah know how scared ya are of hospitals, but it's yer only choice. Ah don't know anypony else who has the time ta-"

"I'll do it!"

The large red stallion turned to look at Spike, eyes wider than normal. "Y'all? Ya better know what yer offerin' Spike because AJ can be a hooffull and there'll be nopony else around..." He explained hesitantly, chewing faster on the wheat in his mouth.

Spike nodded vigorously. "We can take her to the library, that way she won't be alone when there's nopony here. Please?" He begged, eyes getting bigger and sparkling a bit as he pulled out his most devious weapon: the puppy dog eyes.

Big McIntosh sighed and looked at Applejack, who was looking at Spike with her jaw gaping. "Alright Spike." He agreed. He stumbled backwards as the purple dragon bear hugged his leg.

"Thanks Big Mac!" He said cheerfully. "I'll go tell Twilight, can you bring her? I don't think she'd appreciate being dragged the entire way..." A nod answered him and he scampered off, the closing of the door signalling his departure.

Applejack drooped, wilting like a dead flower and grumbled as she realized what she'd gotten herself into. She was helpless, a damsel in distress. Exactly what she wanted NOT to be. She looked at her older brother, trying the puppy eyes to win his sympathy but he shook his head. "Nnnope. Ah'm gonna go get the wagon so that ah can take ya. No movin'." He said, trotting away and leaving the injured mare alone. She waited until he was out of the room before groaning loudly, releasing it after holding it in when the ice pack hit her now numb leg. It was gonna be a very uncomfortable month for the usually up and going mare, now forced to sit and do nothing all day every day.

"Buck mah life."

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