Just another zebracorn passing by in Ponyville. I wear a tophat! A small thing to know about me in terms of this site is this: I am a SUCKER for crossovers! Mainly those of the ones I'm familiar with
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It was nightfall at Canterlot Castle, with the guards present inside attending to their respective duties. Those in the royal courts were busy contemplating with issues involving the treaties between ponies and gryphons. Each pony had their own job in the castle and it was easy for them this night.
...All but one...
Luna struggled a little with her capabilities of monitoring dreams, causing Celestia to approach her with concern. She went to speak, but upon feeling the gravity of the situation, she held a serious expression and waited for Luna to stop her abilities.
After finally breaking her concentration, the moon princess took a few deep breaths as she opened her eyes at Celestia, startled a little at her presence "Tia? What dost thou ask of me?" She seemed nervous with how she was looking at her. The sun princess shut her eyes, not speaking for a moment, and then opened them to her sister "It was them, wasn't it?" Her tone betrayed no sense of her usual calm demeanor.
Luna looked down and felt powerless as she admitted "Yes...They seem to have certain plans going on...I think nary a pleasant thought for what bodes for us all in the future."
Celestia nods in agreement, but was not phased by how her sister portrayed her anxiety upon the matter "All we can do is wait. If they wish to do what I think they are doing, we may have to raise arms soon. I just hope this doesn't lead to the doctor squandering his second chance..."
Luna looks up at her older sister and blurted out "But what if he does end up doing just that? Tia, we have to convince those monsters into stopping this horrible game of theirs! Without them, our newest subject is bound to change thusly! We shou-"
Celestia held up a hoof to silence the moon princess and looked down at her with the same serious expression as before. "It's not in our hooves, Luna...He brought this upon himself. We only gave him a right to redeem himself...but it's HIS choice if he is to give up on what he has accomplished. As I've already made mention before, all we can do is wait."
The moon princess was silent as she took in what Celestia had stated, and knew that it was not in her power to disagree with this. With a deep sigh, she hung her head in defeat "We understand...But with what has happened just recently, I'm loathe to believe we may have done the right thing bringing the Shadowman into this world."
She went back into monitoring other ponies' dreams while leaving the Shadowcolt's unattended.
The sky was yellow and red, rotating with a pattern similar to tribal symbolism and paintings on ancient pottery as he opened his eyes. Dr. Facilier gave a weak moan from looking up at the crazy sky, giving him a small sense of nausea, but it instantaneously faded when he went to go rub his eyes.
There was no hoof or stripes at all, but his long-fingered right hand, leading him to gasp in shock and surprise as he quickly inspected himself.
It was too good to be true as the Shadowman noticed he was human again, and it felt so nostalgic to finally get a glimpse of himself from his past life. It could have been better, but upon looking down at the floor, it was all purple and glass-like, showing a reflection of himself. If that wasn't enough, there was no sign of his shadow, leading to the logical conclusion that he was in another dream.
Dr. Facilier crossed his arms and pouted at this "Th' only good thing about this is that I ain't rhymin' up a storm anymore..." He said to himself as he stood, but then he jumped a little upon hearing a low and approaching rumble.
When he looked at the floor, many dots were seen underneath it, growing in size as they ascended. The dots phased through the floor and revealed themselves to be one of the last sights he wished to see.
...His friends on the other side...
His eyes were wide as dinner plates upon seeing their faces looking down at him while floating in the air, and turned away and ran on instinct. Before he could take his first few steps, however, more and more of his friends came up and surrounded the Shadowman in an inescapable circle. They all stared at him with their glowing eyes, not saying a single word to him as they leered.
Things grew worse as a final dot phased through the floor to reveal the same spirit that not only gave him the talisman needed for his failed plan, but also personally dragged him to his grave after destroying it. It stared down at Dr. Facilier, who shook at his sight and quickly dropped to his knees and began to beg with his hands clasped together "No! No no no, PLEASE, no! I jus' need more time! Jus' a little more ti-"
He instantly stopped begging after hearing that deep and powerful voice course through his head, and looked up to the giant spirit. Its mouth did not move, but he could have sworn he noticed the voice being projected from it. The Shadowman stared for a moment before feebly asking "W-...Was that you? Why are y'all here!?" He was scared, but then remembered he was in a dream as he grew a mischievous smile.
Dr. Facilier got up and pointed a finger at the floating mask in front of him, donning a confident smile "Listen up, buddy! I ain't scared o' you no more, and I definitely ain't gonna be held down by your li'l spells! Y'all are nothin' but figments o' my imagination jus' tryin' to give me trouble sleepin'!" This caused the giant mask to narrow its large glowing eyes, bearing its sharp teeth at the doctor "I'm in control here now, and I-"
On cue, the mask opened up its maw and gave off a powerful roar, with a visible slew of waves portruding from its mouth. This caused the Shadowman to cringe, and look around at the other masks, who remained motionless. When he turned back to the large mask, he smiled again "Like I said...figments o' my imaginatio-" Suddenly, the masks surrounding them opened their mouths and began singing 'The Song' at a good volume.
The sound went through his ears and it felt like it spread all throughout his being, causing pain and anxiety from hearing the haunting melody. He screamed and held his head, dropping to his knees once more in defeat "Mercy! Mercy! Make it stop! Oh-ho make it STOP! Please!" He begged as the mask gave a grunt, causing the other masks to stop singing.
This had felt all too real for him, this dream, and no doubt he began to remember that he was still bound by them despite Celestia's role in convincing them to give him another chance. Dr. Facilier looked back up at his old friend as it leered back at him with the same glowing eyes.
'You are not in control...
You were never in control...
We gave you your power...'
The mask's mouth did not move as he heard the voice, but Dr. Facilier nodded at those words, remembering all they had done for him in the past as he requested their power time and again. He felt powerless in front of the mask, but found the courage to speak "Why are you comin' to me like this? I don' wanna go back jus' yet, I got so much to do! I wanna go to sleep! I got stuff to do tomorrow, jus' please lemme do that!"
His large friend only stared down at Dr. Facilier's groveling and proceeded to reply to his anxious abandon with a question.
'Why do you persist, doctor?'
This particular question caught the Shadowman's attention and made him paused for a moment, then leading him to stare at the ground in thought. He never really knew why he persisted, knowing he was bound by his 'friends', but he came to enjoy living in Equestria so far, even if it meant having to deal with sunshine and rainbows every day.
After a good amount of thinking, he looked up at the mask and spoke "I persist cuz' I'm tryin' to repay my debt! I may have screwed up before jus' cuz' some slimy little frog gave me th' slip, but that don' mean I wanna quit after that! All I gotta do is learn this 'Magic o' Friendship' spiel and I'll be a free man!" The mask sneered at this answer.
'And what will happen once you shed your mortal coil? Will this 'Magic of Friendship' help you then?'
Another good question. What would friendship hope to accomplish once he passes away once more? Knowing his old life of crime that rose to scale with each passing day, he was not guaranteed entry through the pearly gates. What was surprising was that he was welcomed into a world where he learned more magic than he had achieved as a human, and that his savior wishes for him to abandon his thoughts of villainy despite his free will. Is he really fated to be dragged back into hell no matter how good he becomes in his new life?
Dr. Facilier answered to the intense question "Are ya sayin' this whole deal with th' princess is jus' a waste o' time for me? Y'all are jus' waitin' for me to come back to ya even if I pay my debt properly?" The mask's mouth slowly curled into a toothy grin.
'You are not as simple as expected to be before, doctor...I have a proposition fit for your liking...Both choices prove fruitful to your efforts...'
This was new to the Shadowman. The same folks that gave him power and dragged him away from his life are now setting him up with a new deal. He agreed to hearing it in silence as the mask spoke.
'If you wish to perservere in your life, you would be wise to choose when the time comes...The first choice is simple: Abandon all hope of learning the ways of friendship, and come to terms with who you really are so that you may come back to us and spare yourself a false sense of righteousness...or...'
Dr. Facilier raised his eyebrow at the next request, wondering if it would be worst than the first one.
'The death of the one called...Fluttershy...'
The request bestowed upon him, while sounding easy and tempting enough, began giving the doctor a sense of unease and faint reluctance. While her naivete and kindess knew no bounds, she really has begun growing on Dr. Facilier. It was as if he made the right choice into starting a relationship with her.
'Her soul proves very sufficient to our desires...If you perform the latter...You will earn the thing you crave most in your life...'
The mask's grin worsened as it narrowed its eyes in anticipation to the Shadowman's expression.
Dr. Facilier's jaw dropped at this. All he had to do was kill Fluttershy and he wouldn't have to deal with learning the Magic of Friendship OR his towering debt. He was shaking with a nervous excitement, wondering how to react to this choice, but stopped when he remembered how hard it would be to perform the task and get away scot free. He was already living in Ponyville with a job, and almost all of Ponyville already like him, especially Fluttershy. Her death meant panic, and then he would have to sneak out of Ponyville and start a new life. The mask stopped grinning as its eyes stopped narrowing, and continued staring down at the Shadowman.
'The choice is yours...Do not keep us waiting, Dr. Facilier...remember the magnificent rewards you'll achieve from performing either choice...'
There was deep and building cackling heard as the circle of masks began spinning and joining the giant mask in its laughter. The sky eventually began to spin faster than it did before, and the purple, glass-like floor began to crack with how fast the masks are spinning. The floor beneath Dr. Facilier eventually shattered into pieces as he screamed and fell into the dark abyss until there was nothing but black.
Dr. Facilier woke up from his dream a zebracorn once again as he slept on the bed with Fluttershy, raising up and looking around. It was still dark outside, leading him to believe he woke up in the middle of the night. The dream he had was heavy, considering he actually felt the presence of his old 'friends' and held a short audience without making a deal himself. Taking a deep breath, he went to go back to sleep, but not before taking a look at his timid marefriend, who slept soundly with a smile. He looked down at his shadow, who looked back up at him and gave a crooked smile showing that it was aware of what had went on in his dream.
It gave a gesture of streaking a hoof across its neck and falling dead on the floor, showing that the doctor should probably have a better time killing the timid mare sleeping next to him while he had the chance. He looked around and noticed an assortment of pins on the counter far from the bed that he used to make dolls with. Those would be perfect for doing the deed if handled properly. Dr. Facilier gave the pins a good stare at their sharpness and looked back at Fluttershy, who was snoring quietly and serene. After another consecutive glance of the pins and his marefriend, he wondered if he should take the opportunity.
He quietly activated his unicorn magic and levitated every pin available on the counter and brought them over to him. When they reached the bed, they all surrounded Fluttershy overhead, the sharp pointed ends aimed at her on all angles. Dr. Facilier grinned at the thought of easily taking care of business and earning something he wanted the old fashioned way, and readied himself for the killing blow.
Each pin flew fast and was about to pierce the timid mare until they had all stopped in their tracks, just centimeters from her entire body. She was still sleeping soundly as Dr. Facilier stared at his marefriend, so cute and peaceful in her slumber. Why did he stop? The reluctance in his heart ever since his dream began to grow as he inched each pin away from her 'What th' hay is happenin' to me!? Do I...Do I LIKE this mare or somethin'!?' He set the pins back over at the counter, baffling his shadow as its mouth was agape in a cartoonish fashion.
Dr. Facilier could not believe how soft he was getting from remaining in Equestria for so long. He wonders if his nearly-planned date for tomorrow would even be worth the trouble. With fatigue setting on him, he simply crawled back into bed and gave a deep sigh, thinking about his actions as he drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
In his sleep, he did not notice he reached his hooves and wrapped them around Fluttershy, who did the same once she was held.