This Can Only Mean One Thing

by Vexy

Chapter 1: The Secret

Night had descended upon the quiet town of Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle was sat in her library at the window struggling to read all twelve books the Princess had tasked of her for the weekend in the darkening room. Although she was reading a book, her thoughts were not processing the words. Instead she was thinking back over the day. Applejack had saved Spike’s life, and, through the obligations of the Noble Dragon Code, the young dragon had vowed to help Applejack with whatever she wished. Twilight smiled as she recalled how the silly misunderstanding had been resolved.

Perhaps this is a good opportunity to write a letter to Princess Celestia.

However it was not to be. Her thoughts were interrupted by a lantern swinging overhead. She winced at the abrupt presence of the light source and turned round to face the perpetrator. As soon as she spotted the young dragon himself, she smiled.

“Thanks, Spike,” she said softly.

“Happy to help,” he replied with a wide smile.

“Don’t know what I’d do without you,” she continued, touched by the dragon’s kind deed. Suddenly she jumped when something clung to her hind leg. Turning around she found Spike hugging her.

“No, really!” he insisted, “I’m really, really, really happy to help you.”

Twilight frowned. Spike was acting most... unusual.

“Are you okay, Spike?” she asked.

“Oh, yeah!” he chirped. “Better than ever. You know, I think I’m going to head to bed early.”

“Well,” Twilight said slowly, unsure of where this was going, “It’s not that early.”

“Yep. That’s why I’m heading to bed. Right now,” the dragon replied, grinning. “So, you’ll be fine down here, right?”

“Um, I think so.”

“Great! So you don’t need to come up until much later,” Spike almost squealed. “So good night, Twilight!”

And, with that, Spike bounced away giggling to himself, leaving a bemused unicorn in his wake. Twilight frowned. Spike was definitely up to something. She looked back longingly at her book.

Looks like I’ll have to finish this later.

Glancing around, she made sure that there was nopony else around other than her. Spike didn’t usually lie, but when he did it was usually very, very obvious. Like now, for example, Spike was excited to go to bed. This had instantly set of the warning sirens in her head. Creeping over to the bedroom, she pricked her ears.


Hmm, I guess he went to sleep after all.

Disappointed with this anticlimactic turn of events, the unicorn sulked back downstairs to her book, and resumed her previous thought process of writing a report to Princess Celestia. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something still wasn’t quite right, however.

“Something’s not quite right,” she sighed, voicing her dissatisfaction. She decided to head back to the bedroom for a second listen.

Nothing wrong with double checking. Just think of it like a checklist, Twilight.

Twilight assured herself she wasn’t prying on her assistant, and that her paranoia was completely unfounded. Once again she pricked her ears.


Maybe I should go in and check up on him?

Carefully she pressed a hoof against the door and walked into the room, the door squeaking noisily. She braced herself to laugh at her own foalish paranoia, and was almost giggling by the time she found Spike’s bed empty.


Twilight inhaled sharply, a thousand thoughts rushing through her head. Where had Spike gone? Why hadn’t he told her? What was he hiding? She was about to hyperventilate and perform a mad tap dance before she heard the commotion of violated shrubbery from outside the window. Glancing out, Twilight had just enough time to see a tiny dragon running through the desolate streets of Ponyville.

Okay. This is just weird.

The unicorn decided not to waste any more time and ran out the library in the direction Spike had run off in. Thoughts flowed through her head like an unstoppable river. Did Spike run away because he thought Twilight didn’t care for him? Maybe he felt humiliated when they had tried to set him up saving Applejack’s life earlier? Maybe-

Twilight stopped to catch her breath at the edge of Ponyville, all other thoughts banished by one new one.

Why was Spike running in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres?

Twilight groaned as she realized that she wasn’t even halfway through her wild-goose chase and concentrated on keeping up with the purple speck in the distance.

“Spike,” a voice called. “Spike! Over here!”

“Applejack,” the dragon called as quietly as he could, “Why’re you in the barn?”

“Look, jus’ tell meh,” Applejack continued, ignoring the question, “Twilight didn’t follow you, did she?”

“No, I don’t think so,” Spike replied. “But why don’t you want her to know?”

“That don’t matter right now. Ah wanted ta... ta ask a favor of you, Spike.” Applejack said nervously.

“Sure, anything, Applejack. That’s what friends are for, right?” Spike said, mimicking Applejack’s earlier statement. “What do you need help with?”

“Erm,” Applejack whispered, nervously rubbing her hooves against her legs, “It’ll be easier if ah show you. Here, jus’ come inside the barn.”

“Okay,” the dragon chirped as he skipped inside the barn. He didn’t notice Applejack uneasily squinting in the distance.

“Thought ah saw something,” she mumbled to herself.

So now Applejack is in on this!?

Twilight wasn’t sure whether to be angry or upset. Why would her friends hide things from her? Especially Applejack, of all ponies. Things just didn’t add up. Twilight couldn’t make out what the pair were saying, but Applejack looked extremely uncomfortable, although Spike seemed to take no notice. Just before she shut the door, Applejack looked directly at Twilight, and the unicorn feared she’d been spotted, but then the earth pony mumbled to herself and closed the barn door.

Twilight saved her sigh of relief until later, however. Right now she needed to find out what was going on. She trotted up to the barn and pricked her ears for any signs of life inside. She heard muffled conversation and could just make out the words.

“Whoa, Applejack,” Spike gasped. “I mean are you sure you want to do this?”

“Sure as sugar, sugarcube.” Applejack stated firmly, “But jus’ don’t tell anypony. Ah don’t want anypony else to know.”

Twilight felt her insides churn.

What are they talking about?

“Well, I guess I could give it a go. I still don’t get all the secrecy,” Spike replied.

“Try an’ be gentle, Spike. It’s been hurtin’ these last few days. Ah guess it’s jus’ that time again.”

Twilight covered her mouth with a hoof. Already she’d discovered more information that she needed - or even wanted, for that matter - to know.

What could they be planning? Maybe a surprise party-

The unmistakable sound of moaning floated out from within the barn.

“Is that okay?” her number one assistant asked.

“Ahhhh,” Applejack responded, “You don’t know how long I’ve been needin’ this, Spike.”

“How come you wanted me to do this, anyway?”

“Well, I dunno, but hooves jus’ aren’t the same, ah guess. Celestia knows, ah tried.”

Twilight bit her hoof as she tried to suppress a gasp of horror.

Is Applejack really... no she can’t be. Not to Spike. He’s just a baby dragon! Is he even capable of...

Twilight shuddered as she fought back thoughts of the reproductive capabilities of her young assistant, and again as Applejack moaned particularly loudly.

“Where’d you... learn to... do this so well?” the earth pony gasped.

“Oh, Rarity showed me a few tricks. She said it’s unusual for dragons to do this kind of thing, but not unheard of.”

Rage built up within Twilight from somewhere she didn’t even know of.

So Rarity’s in on this as well? So Applejack isn’t even Spike’s first! Has everypony gone mad? he’s a baby dragon, and it seems he’s just being treated as an object! Where did I go wrong? I didn’t think this would happen so quickly. I didn’t even give him the talk! How could I have no seen the signs!? I’m a miserable failure.

Twilight sighed as she felt tears swell in her eyes.

“Mmmmmm,” Applejack purred from inside the barn, “Ah think that’ll do for tonight Spike. Ah don’t want Twilight worryin’ about you bein’ gone an’ all.”

“Oh, okay Applejack,” Spike chirped.

Is Spike just a common playtoy for my friends?


Something doesn’t add up. Applejack didn’t want Spike’s help earlier. Why does she want it now?

Twilight raised her head defiantly and turned to face the door, letting the anger and horror surge through her like a broken dam. She burst through the door and launched herself at Applejack.

“You!” she screamed. “How could you? He’s just a baby!”

Applejack yelped as she was tackled, groaning as she landed on her back on the firm floor.

“Twilight?” Spike gasped, “How did you know I was here?”

“I followed you, Spike.” Twilight hissed, “And I heard everything! Why would you do something like this?”

“I-I... I’m sorry, Twilight.” Spike sniffed softly, looking guiltily at his claws which were covered in a strange, sticky, white substance.

“Twilight?” Applejack groaned, “What’re you doing?”

“Stopping you from... from taking advantage of Spike!” the unicorn yelled.

“Taking advantage?” Applejack said. “But Spike offered ta earlier!”

“Spike offered to rut you? How does he even know about that kind of stuff? And why does he do it with Rarity!?” Twilight screamed.

“Say what now?” Applejack gasped, her eyes bulging.

Spike simply looked confused, “What’s a rut?” he asked.

Twilight covered her face with a hoof and sighed, “Why were you two having sex?” she shouted, her voice growing hoarse.

“Twilight!” Applejack breathed, “Me an’ Spike weren’t doin’ anythin’ like... anythin’ like that! Ah swear!”

“What’s a sex?” Spike asked unhelpfully.

Twilight groaned, her head beginning to hurt, “Don’t lie, Applejack. I heard you from outside the barn! I heard everything!”

“But Spike an’ me weren’t doin’... that!” Applejack yelled, “Ah swear, or ma element ain’t honesty!”

“But you were moaning!” Twilight insisted, “And Spike was saying... things I don’t really want to repeat!”

“Twilight,” Spike said, walking up to the distressed mare, “Applejack’s had a really bad back lately, and I offered to give her massages.”

“Wait, what? Huh? WHAT?” Twilight screeched, “That still doesn’t even make any sense. Why would you come over in the middle of the night?”

“Ah can’t tell anyone, Twilight. Ah don’t even want to admit it, but ah can’t work when ma back’s like this. Ah’m sorry for makin’ Spike sneak out. That wasn’t in character for me.” Applejack sighed.

“But... but...” Twilight wheezed, “Rarity! Spike said he’d done it before with Rarity!”

“Yeah,” Spike said,” Rarity showed me how to massage properly. Although she said there aren’t many dragons that offer massages. Most of them don’t even talk to ponies.”

Twilight was dumbstruck. Both her flank and her jaw hit the floor in disbelief. Could she really have misinterpreted this situation as wrongly as they were suggesting?

“I... I...” she gasped, scouring her mind for words. Her eyes spotted a pot of massage cream, which explained the sticky substance on Spike's claws.

“Twilight, it’s okay,” Applejack chuckled. “Ah forgive you. Everypony makes mistakes. And ah hope you can forgive me for stealin’ Spike, an’ all.”

Twilight glanced at Applejack. Then at Spike. Then back to Applejack.

And then she sighed, “I’m sorry,” she whispered, closing her eyes. “I guess I let my imagination get carried away. I think I need to get back to the library and finish the book I was reading.”

“Ah ya sure y’alright, sugarcube?” Applejack asked, her voice layered with genuine concern.

“I’ll be fine,” Twilight said as she walked out of the barn door. “Just make sure Spike gets home safely.”

And with that, the unicorn was gone. Applejack and Spike looked at each other.

“Phew, that was a close one,” Applejack sighed, grinning.

“Yeah, I can’t believe she thinks I’m too young for this,” Spike chuckled, and waggled his eyebrows at the earth pony. Applejack giggled and tackled the dragon. The pair rolled around until the mare managed to pin down Spike.

Unable to move and completely helpless to the mare, Spike could do nothing but watch in horror as Applejack mercilessly tickled him.

“Okay!” the dragon gasped, “Okay! I give in! You win. You can have the first turn.”

“Alright!” Applejack cheered, pulling out the game of 'Hungry Hungry Hippos’ they had been playing, “I’m so going to win this time!”

Author's Notes:

This was supposed to be a serious romance, similar to my last one. Now look what I've spawned!

The ending was going to be very serious, in which Spike would repeat "That's what friends are for, right?" and Applejack would respond with "Yeah... friends..." and sigh.

Of course such an ending wouldn't fit in here, even if I did decide to transform it into a multi-chapter fic.

Welp! I hope you enjoyed reading it, anyway. At only 2k words I felt I kind of cut it a little short, but the idea just popped into my head and I wrote it overnight. This is more in response to the swarm of AppleSpike fics I can see coming, than it is in response to the episode itself.

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