• Published 24th Mar 2013
  • 12,671 Views, 400 Comments

A Hairy Problem - BlueBastard

Strange things are happening with Applejack after a mysterious wolf-like creature attacks her when she looks into the aftermath of another CMC incident.

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Ch.15: SAYS (If Applejack was also a Werewolf) - Part 2

Chapter 15: SAYS (if Applejack was also a werewolf)

As Applejack stared at the massive tower of rocks still being built by the diminutive dragon, she was having trouble figuring out why what should have been the most tiring and dangerous task he’d yet undertaken was the only one that had gone off without a hitch. She had to admit that his work ethic was certainly commendable, but here it was being put to use for the most inane of things.

Rainbow, on the other hand, was the one who would be suffering the most from this plan having backfired. While she did have plenty of athleticism and strength for a pegasus mare to back up her boasting, the whole “smashing through rocks” had naturally not been said with confidence. The look of concern on her face told the whole story, while Spike continued to build the tower almost as high as the average cottage in Ponyville.

“Oh, goodness, If it had been me, I would have just pretended that I didn’t have anything for him to do,” Fluttershy, who happened to walk onto the scene, commented.

“Now why didn’t Ah think of that?” rhetorically asked Applejack, not taking her eyes off of the creation of stone in front of her. It was as if some cosmic entity had been enlisted to help Spike build the abomination, as by all rights the way it was not straight up should have made it topple an hour ago. Yet Spike stood at the top of his reality-breaking monument to serving Applejack.

“IS THIS HIGH ENOUGH?” Spike shouted down from his lofty location. The fact he had to shout was more than enough evidence that it was plenty high already. Applejack called her unwanted helper down by confirming the task was done, fearful that if that thing actually did fall with Spike on top of it, it wouldn’t be pretty for anypony.

“Bad news; he actually ended up building the whole rock tower. Good news…I’ve got a rock tower to knock down” Rainbow moaned as she began her reluctant ascent into the sky. As she began preparing to do the deed, Spike was shouting an unending stream of encouragement and getting a little too much into things. Applejack and Fluttershy, meanwhile, were wisely backing far away into a nearby shelter. That tower was going to fall and nopony wanted to be turned into a pony pancake from the falling rubble. Finally, as the two ponies and one dragon watched, RD shot into the tower and did indeed make it crumble.

Spike, still oblivious to the actual danger he was in by not being under the shelter, was awestruck by the awesome sight of a blue pony smashing into rocks. He was also completely unfazed when a rather large boulder landed not a foot away in front of him. He then asked Rainbow if she wanted Applejack (as in, himself) to rebuild the entire thing so she could do it again.
Rainbow, for whatever reason, actually agreed. To her credit, however, she then passed out from the massive headache a pony would get from smashing into giant rock towers and not instantly dying or sustaining serious physical harm.
Applejack, however, would have none of it.

“NO!” she cried out, rushing up to see if the cyan pegasus needed help. “Ah don’t think she needs any more of your help, and by your help, Ah mean my help. Isn’t that right Rainbow?”

“Yeah, I think I’m good…for now,” Rainbow hazily responded, regaining consciousness.

“And so am I, Ah just can’t think of one more thing Ah need your help with, so you don’t need to do anythin’ else.” Applejack was hoping that was the end of it, the end of Spike constantly following her around and doing everything for her.

Unfortunately, Spike’s dedication to the idea of “lifetime servitude” found a different way out of Applejack not outright telling him to do things. That he could continue to prove he is a noble dragon by helping her with things “she didn’t even know she needed help with.”

Fluttershy stated the obvious: “I think that if Applejack needed help with something, she’d know what she needed help with.”
Spike, however, was having none of it. “What if Applejack needs help realizing what she needs help with? Like, maybe your back itches!” He then jumped proceeded to scratch Applejack’s back.

Huuuh…that does feel…good,” said the mare as the pleasurable sensation reached her brain. At the same time, her hind leg began to move up and down, an involuntary movement from the stimulation. Neither pegasus noticed, however, as Spike quickly decided Applejack needed help with something else. Like remembering her favorite song, to which he began singing a little ditty AJ had never head in her life (and for the record, her favorite song was “Cotton Eye Joe”). Or that she needed help with breathing.

“Breathin’? Ah certainly do not need help breath-“ Applejack retorted, but was cut off by Spike ramming a bellow pump into her mouth and proceeding to inflate her like a balloon by means nopony would ever know save maybe Pinkie Pie. Thankfully, he pulled the pump out and she deflated back to her normal size.

Spike may as well have been living out his own delusions of servitude at that point when he continued to be obvious of how annoying he was getting; “See? There are plenty of things I can help you with, and you don’t even have to-“

“NO!” shouted Applejack, her patience wearing extremely thin at that point. It was taking every last bit of her self-control to not shift into a wolf and maul the little bastard right then and there. She took several deep breaths, calming herself down, before adding “No, Spike, Ah’ll think of them. Lemme think of ‘em.”

“As you wish,” replied Spike, somehow not concerned with Applejack’s out-of-character anger at him. Her outburst had not gone unnoticed by Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, however. They silently agreed she was just getting fed up with him, but they also suspected there might have been something else at play. But for the moment, the main objective was to get Spike to leave Applejack in peace.

Elsewhere, nearby, Iron Will and co. were setting up more timberwolf traps. Or rather, Willy and Nilly were doing it while Iron Will just looked at a giant map detailing the part of the forest they were closest to.

“Uh-huh, yeah…yeah…right there is good” supervised Iron Will. “We’re going to do better this time, boys, Iron Will knows it!”
The plan this time was to test a modification to Iron Will’s tactics of wolf catching. Instead of going into the forest himself, he was going to remove all the dangerous variables such as getting ambushed by hordes of timberwolves like last time. Now the plan was to just lure them out of the forest with various kinds of bait. Stinky cheese, tenderized meat (from The Meatery, of course), even a rather cheesy looking cardboard 2-D mock up of a female timberwolf wearing excessive makeup and a dress so hideous Rarity would think Iron Will was trying to torture the cardboard with bad fashion. Iron Will rationalized that werewolves and timberwolves would behave in similar ways, being just types of wolves as he saw it, so if he could trap timberwolves like this, then werewolves could be attracted the same way. Heck, if he was lucky, he’d catch a pony who had fallen for the bait and be able to snatch up the werewolf he needed to gain the hand of the princess.

“Yeah, like Iron Will is going to be that lucky…” grumbled the minotaur as he put the map down and actually started putting down some traps himself. While it would be nice to get this thing over and done with, his actual concern was what he had to do in the event one of the mythical monsters fell into his traps. The fact he never completed the courtship rituals because of his book deal was actually only half the story. The other half was that he really didn’t like the idea of actually taking the life of another creature. Monstrous or not, they were just as alive as he and any other innocent creature on the planet, and he’d had to learn how to be aggressively assertive during his calf years to hide his secretly non-violent side. The things he’d learned in being aggressive had been the cornerstone for what would become his award-winning self-help programs, and he himself had adopted the persona full time as a result, but as fearsome as he appeared he was truly a gentle giant if given the chance.

Then again, if he had to back up his aggressive nature and start inflicting real pain on enemies for any reason, he wasn’t afraid to put his muscular build to use as a weapon. To him, there was a difference between hurting something and actually killing it, but there needed to be justification for that.

Iron Will had to stop and wonder about that, a wolf trap half-unfolded in his hands. Were werewolves truly innocent? Almost all the stories about them involved horrible, brutal attacks on defenseless ponies, plus if the story was true then one actually had killed the minotaur queen of old. So, in a sense, if Iron Will did find a werewolf, there was almost certainly justification for hurting it, maybe even killing it, in the name of avenging the queen. But there were still other moral questions to be asked, ones Iron will was still trying to find the answers to, so as he pondered he continued to lay down the traps. One thing would lead to another, but as far as he was concerned at the moment, he couldn’t go home until he had a werewolf carcass draped on his shoulder and the battle scars to prove the kill was true.

He actually agreed to it! thought Applejack as she trotted over to Golden Oaks, Spike for once not begging for more slave work. He actually agreed to count every single blade of grass on the farm. Every last one!

Indeed, Spike’s Dragon Code made him cheerfully agree to even do the impossible. On the bright side, he didn’t actually require her to be around while he did stuff for her, so while he was performing a task that simply could not go wrong in any conceivable way, Applejack was going to get Twilight’s side of this story. She’d doubted Twilight would so easily agree to let Spike leave her care, even the unicorn realized that without his help, the library would be a disaster zone every time Twilight was looking for a specific book in the collection.

Letting herself into the tree, Applejack was surprised Twilight hadn’t been there to greet her. Instead, the studious mare was found doing some very intensive reading, isolated from the rest of the world. As evidence when Applejack discovered shouting, even right next to Twilight’s ear, did nothing to get her attention. Changing tactics, Applejack instead went over to a desk where everything was perfectly lined up, and nudged an inkwell one inch out of place.

Twilight’s jumpy reaction made Applejack roll her eyes at how her yelling had failed to do the job done by a simple push of an inkwell, a movement so quiet Twilight couldn’t have even heard it normally. But hear it she did.

“Sorry, Ah didn’t mean to scare you,” Applejack apologized as Twilight finally acknowledged the earth pony’s presence.
“No, it’s okay,” sighed Twilight. “I needed to take a break anyway. What’s going on?”

“Ah know Spike told you that he was gonna follow his Dragon Code and serve me forever after Ah saved him from some timberwolves, and that you were okay with it an-“

“Wait, what?!” exclaimed a shocked Twilight.

“He said he told you all about it. Ah’m guessin’ maybe you were a little distracted when he told you?”
“Maybe a little…”

“Ah knew you wouldn’t have let him go so easily. Anyway, now that you know what’s goin’ on, maybe you can talk some sense into him so he’ll leave me alone?”

It was not reassuring to Applejack that Twilight shook her head before saying “Oh, Applejack, I wish I could, but this is Dragon Code we’re talking about. Surely you know how important the Dragon Code is to a dragon!”

The farmer couldn’t help but look skeptical at the fact Twilight was legitimately treating the Dragon Code like an actual thing that existed. “Twilight, Ah’ve known you for about two years now, both you and Spike, and not once during that period has this Dragon Code ever been mentioned from either of you until today. Furthermore, when Spike was describin’ the code, he held up a card that looks like mah sister drew it in five minutes! In crayon! On top of all that, Ah remember you explicitly statin’ that the night before Spike went on that big ol’ dragon migration thing, neither you nor Spike nor a single book in this library knew anythin’ about dragon culture and behavior, or dragon anythin’! But now you’re tellin’ me that’s not true anymore?”

Twilight closed her eyes, trying to remember where she’d heard about the Dragon Code. She was blushing profusely when she realized where the concept had come from.

“Oh, um, yeah…I guess I was getting my facts mixed up. The Dragon Code was actually something I’d theorized from that all-night session with Spike in trying to learn more about his kind. He must have latched onto it thinking it was actually true. But I can’t go and tell him it’s fake, It would crush him and I can’t allow that to happen, for him to learn the one thing he thinks is his connection to his race is based in nothing but conjecture.”

Applejack nickered in annoyance. The fact today’s main issues had been the result of something only theorized by Twilight just making everything worse in that Spike legitimately didn’t have to do anything AJ ordered him to do. “Well then, if you can remember anythin’ about that stupid code that can get him back to normal, Ah’m all ears. Otherwise, you’re gonna have to tell him the truth because Ah can’t have him tryin’ to help me for the rest of time!”

Twilight put a hoof to her muzzle “Hmm…there’s only one other way Spike is gonna fulfill the debt he feels he owes you.”
Applejack let out a small sigh of relief. There actually was a light at the end of the tunnel, an outcome where Spike would not get mauled by a werewolf pushed beyond her limits of tolerance. Then she realized Twilight probably didn’t know why Spike was even in this position in the first place.

“Okay, great, you can tell me on the way back to the farm. But before we go, Ah need to know just what Spike is supposed to be doin’ today instead of enslaving himself to me.”

“Well, I told him to take the day off. Princess Celestia sent me all these medical texts straight from the Royal Archives that I need to read by the end of the weekend, so I had no need for him today.”

“So what you’re saying is that you have no idea of what he’s been doing today whatsoever, before pledgin' himself to my service?”

“No, I’ve been too engrossed in my books I guess. Why, does it involve how you saved him from the timberwolves?”
It was then the pieces fit into place. Spike hadn’t been trying to recover the balloon, at least not initially. He was the reason it ended up in the Everfree in the first place!

“Twilight, before Ah tell you what he’s been doin’, Ah think you need to give him more ideas about what he can do on his days off that don’t involve puttin' himself and others in danger.”

Intellectual Pursuit was just merrily trotting around Ponyville, taking in stock of his surroundings. Namely, he was marking out exit routes and hiding places in the event his real identity was discovered. Highly unlikely, but he’d underestimated situations before and was only still alive because he’d gotten the lay of the land earlier. He’d been employed in such a position once, many years ago, but in service of cowards who refused to go head first into the unknown. After all these years, being able to discover something new, something surprising was one of the highlights of his life. Even though he’d visited almost every corner of the continent in his long life, the element of the unknown was the thrill that continued to drive him.

In fact, that had been how he’d met her, an unpredicted event that would permanently change his path. Even though he’d planned to meet her for years, as part of his master plan to rise back to power, she hadn’t been what he’d expected. Unlike most ponies who had found him rummaging through their stuff, a monster of horrible legend that was to be feared, she had not been like that. Rather, she found him…interesting. The fact she’d pretty much given him everything he’d wanted at the time was a big surprise, but the most shocking thing had been her willingness to come with him back into the wilds. He couldn’t remember exactly, but she’d been a married housewife, with a school-age foal no less. And she was willing to leave it all behind to be with him. To be like him.

It had been simple enough: together they had ransacked the home to make it look like she’d been attacked by some foul beast. He remembered her blood had tasted so sweet as he sunk his fangs into her neck, the crimson fluid dripping out and staining anything it touched. While they never returned to that home, he knew the scene found by what had once been her family was that of a vicious struggle, one that pointed to her murder and subsequent spiriting away by feral forces to be some creature’s dinner. To some extent it had been true, the pony she had been had died by his work, remaining only in the house by smears of blood and a shattered family portrait.

But the creature she had become was beautiful beyond words. She had accepted the change, the first of his many victims to do so. She couldn’t really even be called a victim, since she’d outright asked him to do it. Rather, she had been a kindred spirit to him, one who loved seeing new things and places, experiencing the unknown, living the way nature had wanted to maintain. She even managed to escape the fate of those whom he had previously bitten, for she remained the way he had made her into, instead of devolving into a beast that, while still noble, didn’t make for good companionship for conversation. Those whom he had also forced into being part of his pack also tended to eventually die soon after, but not her. By some blessing of a higher power, she had turned into the perfect counterpart of him, forever to be loyal and at his side. Together, they were to have made a new empire, one that would have toppled the false throne and ruled over all of ponykind the way it was supposed to be.

At least, until that one night years ago when she was taken away from him. He had hated Celestia since a time even he could not remember, but the actions of that pretender to the throne against him were too much. The proverbial knife in his back was only driven in further when, no less than two years ago, the once rebellious Princess Luna was restored from a millennia of lunar imprisonment. She had been a far worse offender as Nightmare Moon than his beloved had ever been, yet while Celestia had permanently separated him from his love, she’d welcomed her former wannabe-usurper counterpart with love and kisses all the way back to the shared throne.

Neither Celestia nor her equally bastardized sister even call themselves a queen, thought Pursuit. Those false avatars of the sun and moon refuse to take the title from their dear mother - Queen Faust. If that doesn’t show how weak they are, then I don’t know what would!

He then realized he was hyperventilating, out of righteous rage of course, but it would still not do for him to expose his agenda to the loyal subjects of the divided crown. Darting into an alleyway, he calmed himself down and fixed his disguised persona to that of some stupid scholar type. The disguise charm on the locket only worked in the physical sense, one had to maintain a mental state of falsehood to fully hide in plain view.

At that same moment, he saw Twilight Sparkle leaving Golden Oaks along with the orange pony of his interest. Applejack was her name, if he recalled correctly. He smiled as he watched them go by, before proceeding to subtly follow them. He could tell by Applejack’s tail being in an almost constant movement that she was already well on her way to becoming the ripe fruit he so wished to pick. Normally he would have just been satisfied to see her progress in getting turned, but these two were up to something and he felt a little curious as to what it was.

“Well he would be terrifying, if he wasn’t A FAKE!”

Applejack couldn’t believe it. The plan had been perfect. Have her get attacked by the fake timberwolf and stage the whole thing so it looked like she was really in danger. Spike would “save” her, thus making things even between him and her, and she could get rid of him. But somewhere in execution, something was off, and Spike had noticed.

“The roar was spot on, and the detail on the face is pretty good, but you forgot one thing: his breath! You can smell a real timberwolf’s breath from a mile-“ Spike continued, but was immediately cut off when something that was unmistakably timberwolf breath wafted in the air. Spike laughed, thinking it was too little, too late in order to trick him…but then Twilight came running out of the forest and Rainbow declaring there actually were timberwolves.

Applejack looked into the forest, instinctively crouching for fight-or-flight, as the source of the bad odors appeared. Three timberwolves had shown up, the fact is was exactly three made Applejack wonder if it was the same trio from this morning. But no time to worry about that as she quickly chose the flight response and ran away, Spike in hot pursuit.

Conveniently, the spot where the rock tower had been built was right there, so as Spike kept on running, Applejack ascended the rock pile and managed to make a triple strike combo by pushing off a large rock, taking out all three wolves at once. However, right after it looked like the danger was clear, the rock Applejack was on top of dislodged itself and fell, taking the hapless pony with it. Luckily, she landed without any injuries.

The orange mare sighed in relief, “Phew, that coulda been-“


“Ow!” she suddenly cried out, a burst of pain erupting from her left hind leg. Wincing in pain, she looked back to find one of the rocks had opened up like a clam, with a spring-loaded metal claw coming out of it and having clamped tightly around her leg.

To make matters worse, the remains of the timberwolves began to glow a sickly green. Applejack and Spike could only watch as the remains formed into a single leg, but with other, giant pieces of timber coming out of the forest and combining into what looked like one giant timberwolf.

“Applejack, c’mon!” cried Spike, not wanting to stick around to see what a giant timberwolf really looked like.

But try as she might, she couldn’t dislodge herself from the trap. “Ah-Ah can’t! Ah’m really stuck!”

“No more messing around! Let’s go!”

It was no use, the claw would not let go. Applejack still didn’t stop trying to get out of the trap, not until very loud and raspy breathing was coming from the giant timberwolf in front of her. The wooden creature roared, sending Applejack’s heightened senses into a cacophony of horror as she smelled things nopony should ever smell. Granted, she probably could take the thing on herself, if she shifted into a wolf right then, but not while Spike was around.

“Forget it, Spike, you gotta get outta here!” shouted Applejack, half out of concern for the dragon, half out of wanting him just to get out of there so she could get loose from the trap without him seeing.

The timberwolf giant stomped closer, knocking Spike onto his back. He made no move to leave.

“Would you forget your Dragon Code already and go?!”

To her surprise, he suddenly leaped up and in between her and the timberwolf.

“No!” he declared, “I have to save you!” He proceeded to throw a small rock he happened to have picked up right into the timberlined maw of fowl breath before him. Amazingly, the rock appeared to get stuck in the creature’s windpipe (if it even had one), and as it tried to dislodge the rock it started to break apart from its coughing.

“Let’s get outta here!” said Spike as he moved to try and free Applejack from the trap. Unfortunately, it would require some fidelity that the situation wouldn’t allow, so instead of running away, Spike just lifted the trap boulder while Applejack limped behind the rock pile. The two made it just in time for the giant timberwolf to explode, bits of enchanted tree and bark falling like rain from the sky.

“I-I think it’s finally over!” exhaled Spike, dropping the prohibitively heavy trap boulder.

“Ah hope so, if that thing has an even bigger cousin, Ah don’t wanna meet the family! Now, can you get your claws workin’ to free me from this thing?”

A third, masculine voice then made itself known: “Iron Will demands that you not touch that trap!”

Applejack paled. How in the world did she end up getting into a trap set by the local werewolf hunter during that whole mess?! She was done for now, that’s all she could think about.

Spike, on the other hand, was incredulous; “Why not? Can’t you see she needs help getting out of it?”

“Ah, but that trap was meant to catch wolves, so the only logical conclusion Iron Will can see of how a pony can be caught in it is if she herself is a werewolf!”

Yep. She was done for. Or she would have been if Spike hadn’t thought fast.

"Does she look like a werewolf to you? I mean, c'mon. I've known her for years! If she's a werewolf, I'm a griffon!"
“Iron Will doesn’t see what you mean-“

“If Applejack here was a werewolf, don’t you think she’d look more like, y’know, a wolf? Like, her coat would be longer, she’d have fangs coming out of her mouth, and she’d have actual paws instead of hooves?”

Iron Will put his hand up to his chin, thinking about what the dragon had said. Coming to the conclusion that Applejack did not look like a wolf, he realized the trap had misfired.

“Iron Will knew he shouldn’t have gotten the cheap ACME brand boulder-camo traps, no wonder the sales clerk said they’re more reliable in catching coyotes. My apologies, miss, let me get that off you.”

Kneeling down, Iron Will easily pulled the claw apart far enough for Applejack to get her slightly bruised leg out. Apologizing once again, the minotaur then walked off with the trap in hand, thinking about what different kinds of traps to try. He was also wondering why the trap hadn’t done much worse to the poor pony’s leg beyond just bruising it, but she looked like a well-built work pony so maybe she was just that tough.

Applejack was just relieved. Spike had managed to save her life not once, but twice within a timespan of five minutes. It was all she could do to say “Thanks, Spike.”

“Hey, no problem. I guess I must have picked up that trap by accident since it, well, looked like a good rock to use for the rock tower. What was with that fake timberwolf attack, though?”

Applejack sighed. “Look, Ah know this Dragon Code thing is important to you, but if somethin’ like this comes up in the future, do you think maybe we can go back to my code, say ‘that’s what friends do’ and leave it at that? Ah promise Ah won’t think of you as any less noble. Ah also probably won’t end up killing you, because Ah swear if you ever try being super-helpful like this to me ever again, Ah seriously will not be able to stop mahself from tearing you a new one.

“Ahahaha…yeah…sounds good to me” Spike cringed, hoping Applejack’s implied death threat was in jest. “But, maybe let’s just try to avoid situations where one of us actually needs the other one to save their life?”


The two bumped appendages, claw to hoof, before they departed, Applejack slightly limping from the residual pain from the bruises inflicted from the trap, although with each step the pain was lessening.

From a distance away, Intellectual Pursuit had seen the whole thing. He had been rather interested to see what Applejack would do if faced against a larger, much more dangerous enemy. However, between the unexplained clap-trap in the boulder and the intervention of the baby dragon, it had not been a good setup for evaluating her abilities anyway.
But maybe I can set something up to test her, mused Pursuit as he turned to head back to Ponyville proper. There was research to be done. And threats to test the orange werewolf against to arrange.