Dr. Facilier woke up after another night of dreamless slumber. He began to wonder why Luna, his 'friends', or the other Facilier haven't invaded his mind yet with whatever they wanted to say to him. Aside from that, he already felt like he went through another nightmare after both his late night stroll and visiting Zecora. It felt good to wake up next to his marefriend as he rose and stretched himself. He then hopped off of his bed and gave a yawn, then stared down to look at his shadow again. This began to bug the Shadowcolt with how his shadow hasn't changed its expression since last night, but it wasn't important right now. He has a job to go to, and it would help him focus on something other than what was giving him trouble.
The doctor trotted down the stairs and made for his desk to keep his inventory in check. He noticed that some of his popular batches were running dry upon further inspection and made a mental note to brew some more later. It was good to have a small vacation from work, even if the business varies from time to time. As he gathered his potions, he looked over at his collection of dolls. He forgot about all the trips he made to the doll shop so he could take the time to make base dolls into familiar figures. He looked over at the Zecora doll he made, and levitated it to his eyes. It was still all beat up from all the times he wanted the zebra mare to suffer. A small part of him grew fond of the memory of poking at the first voodoo doll he had made in a while. Very fond. He slowly levitated a nearby pin and brought it up next to the doll as he stared blankly at it. While he looked at both items in front of his face, his blank stare slowly turned into a familiar evil grin with eyes ripe with desire.
At the call of his name, Dr. Facilier instantly snapped out of his trance as both of his levitated items dropped to the floor. He looked over and saw Fluttershy standing near him with tired eyes tinted with confusion. She took a step forward after rubbing one of her eyes "Were you going to repair that doll? I'm sorry if I interrupted you...But then again, you should probably wait until later to do that. You have to go to work soon." She gave a warm smile as she trotted towards the kitchen "I'll make you some breakfast before you go...You should hurry and get ready." The Shadowcolt only watched her leave into the kitchen without a smile on his face.
Normally, he would smile at his marefriend anytime they were together, but this time it was different. He turned back to look at the doll and the pin he dropped on the floor, and began to think about what was said to him by Zecora last night pertaining to his desire for change...
"I've given you enough! If you haven't heard,
Your wish for change is most absurd!
No matter where you go, be it near or far,
You cannot run from who you are!"
All it took was the sound of Fluttershy's voice to snap Dr. Facilier out of his eerie trance, and he wondered if it was safe for him to be around her when he began to take Zecora's words into consideration. But then he shook his head to snap him out of his thoughts. He won't let something like this ruin his day. The doctor levitated the doll and pin off of the floor and placed them back on the shelf with the rest of his collection and sorted his potions for his work day. He shied away from his stock of potions to take another look at his collection of dolls once more and notice how finely crafted each of them were. Dr. Facilier wondered why he hadn't collected the hairs of the other residents of Ponyville, but then quickly stopped himself when the very though invaded his mind. He had to stay away from such trivialities if he was going to be a new stallion. To hold himself over, he levitated the specially-crafted doll he made after Fluttershy and stashed it in his saddlebag. It was soothing for the doctor to have the very image of Fluttershy cloud his mind and take him away from his problems.
Afterwards, he trotted into the kitchen, where Fluttershy prepared some eggs with toast and jam on the side. The food's scent was welcoming to the Shadowcolt as he made his way over and set himself down on a chair to enjoy his meal with his marefriend.
While the two ate their meals, Fluttershy thought it was a good idea to know more about Dr. Facilier since the two were together. It would help to know his birthday or his favorite things other than what he specializes in. After she swallowed a bite of her food, she cleared her throat and looked at the doctor with curiousity "Umm, Dr. Facilier?" The Shadowcolt looked back at the timid mare as she got his attention "I'm so sorry, but I can't help but wonder about you and what you've done in your time before me and my friends have met you. I know you said that I shouldn't be so curious when we met, but with all the time we've spent, I'd figure we would be more close as a couple...So, I was wondering if maybe we could talk about some things after you get home from work...Is that okay?"
Dr. Facilier's eyes were wide as dinner plates while he had eggs in his mouth. He never wanted it to come to this. Even though he loves her so much and vice versa, Fluttershy cannot know about the Shadowcolt's past. It wouldn't work out for neither of them, especially Dr. Facilier. He slowly swallowed the food in his mouth and he donned an expression of sadness 'If I tell her 'bout my ol' life, she'll get rid o' me forever...'
The Shadowcolt flinched and looked around when a native but familiar sound invaded his mind. Was that Pinkie he heard just now? What does this mean? He looked back to see Fluttershy look confused and concerned "Oh, d-did I say something wrong when I talked to you, Dr. Facilier? I'm sorry if I did..." She looked away and blushed in embarrassment. The doctor cursed himself for his actions and consoled the timid mare.
"It's not your fault, deary! I'm jus' not in the mood.
But thank ya for makin' this delicious food!
I better get goin' so I can catch up on work
So I won't have Nurse Redheart feelin' irked!"
Fluttershy nodded "Oh, that's right! Well, I shouldn't keep you...I'll clean everything up while you get going." She rose from her seat and gave Dr. Facilier a kiss on the cheek "Good luck today." The timid mare gave the doctor a warm smile.
Dr. Facilier returned the smile with one of his own, but he was slightly troubled on the inside with avoiding Fluttershy about her request to talk. Regardless, it was best that she did not know of his past. He rose from his seat and gathered his materials as he trotted out the door to begin another day of work after his period of absence.
As he trotted along town, Dr. Facilier looked up at the sun shining in the sky and gave a wistful sigh at his predicament. Aside from concealing his past from the one he loved most, was it even safe for him to be in Equestria knowing that he probably won't win against his 'friends'? He gritted his teeth and grumbled at himself for overthinking this. It wasn't healthy to dwell on such matters when the situation didn't call for it but it troubled him nonetheless. He needed to get his mind off of his worries, and he got his wish when he reached the clinic. The Shadowcolt made his way inside and punched in his timecard to begin his day in hopes of curbing his issue temporarily.
Throughout his work day, business was slow as usual albeit the conditions of his patients were more serious ever since his absence. There was a rising case of the feather flu, causing a majority of his patients to consist of pegasi. He never understood why there had to be a disease named after something that the very pegasi bear on their bodies, but there were sillier terms of maladies Dr. Facilier was familiar with. With each period of solidute he had time to himself to think about what he should do in the following days in order to better himself. He plopped his haunches onto his work stool and used his magic to levitate the Fluttershy doll out of his saddlebag. The Shadowcolt stared at the doll longingly with a smile on his face, proud of himself to make sure that each detail on it was proper to the letter 'S'like I never left th' cottage t' begin with...'
While he looked at the doll, he noticed his shadow on the ground frowning for the first time since the other night. It was probably time for the Shadowcolt to get to the bottom of things regarding his shady friend and see why exactly it chose to switch moods like this. He looked down towards his shadow with a raised eyebrow.
"What's th' deal with you today?
Anythin' fillin' you with dismay?"
The shadow sneered with its crooked frown and pointed at the doll in Dr. Facilier's possession. It then transformed into a shadow of Fluttershy and performed a comical dying motion that involved holding its own neck with both forelegs and falling flat on her back. This angered the doctor as he glared down at his shadow.
"Y'all are still on about this whole killin' deal?
I ain't gonna go an' make that dream real!"
His shadow transformed back into its original form, swooped over onto a wall and plopped itself into a sitting position as it crossed its forelegs with another crooked frown. It flung and spread its forelegs in a motion depicting exasperation and disappointment at the Shadowcolt's actions pertaining to letting Fluttershy live. The shadow then pointed at Dr. Facilier with a hoof and a crooked smile, to which the doctor replied in a harsh tone.
"I don' care how damn temptin' th' deal is t' you!
I'll find other ways t' see my problem through!
Ya already reminded me I'm far from my goal
An' how my 'friends' are still in full control!"
The shadow facehoofed and raised its forelegs in the air and began making several gestures as if trying to point out certain interests in a lecture. From what Dr. Facilier collected, the shadow tried to convince its master that Zecora and his friends were right about their thoughts regarding the doctor's essence and that killing Fluttershy was practically the only way out of his problems. The Shadowcolt paused and thought about this. Has he really gotten so soft if he let the answer to his problems live, even if he was living with her in a content manner? 'Her soul IS worth a lot t' my 'friends'...Maybe if I bring th' courage t'-NO!!!' The doctor clenched his eyes shut and frantically shook his head, cursing himself for letting the shadow coerce his thoughts, and opened his eyes as he glared back at the shadow.
"Don' you try an' sway my thoughts!
My mind's already tied in knots!
Fluttershy's the one I love most,
An' she has been th' most gracious host!"
"Dr. Facilier?" Both the doctor and the shadow perked up at the sound of Nurse Redheart's voice, and the shadow quickly swooped towards its master's side to avoid suspicion. The white mare opened the door to Dr. Facilier's workroom and turned to him with a look of worry "Is everything alright in here? I heard shouting and..." She looked around, her worry growing worse "Nopony is around..." The nurse looked back at Dr. Facilier "Are you feeling alright, doctor? You aren't suffering hallucinations are you? It wouldn't be wise to continue working in this state if you are."
The doctor was speechless, and then looked down to see his shadow smiling once more. He looked back up and shook his head and waved a dismissive hoof towards Nurse Redheart.
"I jus' felt like lettin' off verbal steam.
My li'l vacation hasn't been a dream.
I promise t' make up for when I left
An' make sure my work'll be more than deft!"
Nurse Redheart tilted her head, but understood Dr. Facilier's frustration. She smiled and nodded "Well it's good to know that you're relieving yourself of certain tension. If you ever wish to share your problems, you know where to find me, Dr. Facilier. See you then!" She turned and trotted out of the workroom and made sure to shut the door on her way out.
Dr. Facilier sighed at the trouble his own shadow was bringing him, even if it spoke great truth. He couldn't bring himself to kill the only thing he loved other than magic and mischief. The doctor levitated his Fluttershy doll into his view again, and he gradually felt better. But then it hit him: While Fluttershy could easily mend himself of his inner troubles, how could she easily see him through his problem without dying? He gave a frown and thought this over, but then perked up when the door opened to reveal a large white pegasus pony with wings the size of a foal's. He held up a hoof and yelled "YEEEEEAH!!!" He then followed after with a whooping cough as he covered his mouth with his hoof. The doctor shook his head at the sudden outburst. At least this pegasus wasn't as loud as Luna when using the Royal Canterlot Voice.
Later, Dr. Facilier left the clinic after another day of work, but was still downtrodden about his thoughts pertaining to Fluttershy. She was the best thing to ever happen to the Shadowcolt even when he was at his worst, but it felt wrong knowing that her death was the only way he could get out of this twisted game. He couldn't do it. The doctor stopped and looked down for a moment, only to be met with a familiar trio of fillies that approached him with smiles on their faces. Applebloom spoke up "Howdy, Dr. Fa-cee-lee-ae! We haven't really spoke in a while! How was yer time at Canterlot with th' Princess Celestia?"
Scootaloo tilted her head at Dr. Facilier "You don't look too happy today. Is something the matter? Fluttershy didn't break up with you, did she?"
Sweetie Belle turned to the orange filly "That's impossible! She's head over hooves for Dr. Facilier, and she loves him ever since he saved her life! There's no way she would leave him!" She turned to Dr. Facilier "Did something happen at work today?"
The Shadowcolt had to hoof it to Sweetie Belle for being observant on certain problems, but they shouldn't know about his dilemma. He shook his head and feigned a smile.
"I'm jus' so tired from all this toil.
The cases o' feather flu makes my blood boil!
Never thought it would get so bad before,
But at least I stepped in t' settle th' score."
The crusaders gave an 'Ooooh' in unison when they bought into his white lie. Sweetie Belle then spoke up "If you're still really bothered about work so much, why not make another doll or two? My sister says that a hobby is the best way to deal with the stress in your head!"
Applebloom turns to the unicorn filly "Sweetie Belle, yer sister usually goes to th' spa! Ah don't really think it's much of a hobby..."
Sweetie Belle focuses her attention to Applebloom "Well, it helps with her stress! There isn't much else she does other than make dresses all the time or hang out with her friends!"
Scootaloo raised an eyebrow "So basically she makes dresses, goes to the spa, and nothing else?? I think we need to find HER a hobby!"
While the fillies conversed with one another, Dr. Facilier poked a hoof at his chin and wondered if it was best to make another doll to add to his collection. He focused his gaze towards the doll shop not too far from his current position and gave a curt nod. The Shadowcolt then turned back to the fillies and spoke.
"Y'all jus' gave me a good idea today.
Why doncha go on off an' play?"
The crusaders turned their attention to the doctor and nodded as Scootaloo spoke "Alright then. See ya around, Dr. Fa-silly-a!" With that, the fillies made their leave. Dr. Facilier turned to the doll shop and trotted over as an idea cranked into his head. The shadow tilted its head while they walked, confused towards the doctor's motives.
After he purchased another naked base doll, Dr. Facilier made his way back to the cottage so he can get started on his little project. This will be something that comes from the good of his heart. When he reached the cottage, he went inside and saw Fluttershy feeding some of the little critters in the house, Angel included.
The white rabbit glared at the Shadowcolt as he made his way in, and Fluttershy took notice with a smile "Oh! Hello, Dr. Facilier! How was work for you today?" She paused and then giggled at her words "What a surprise. I'm beginning to rhyme like you now." She trotted over to the doctor and the two shared a small kiss "I'll have dinner ready after I'm done feeding the animals. You can do what you want until then." She gave her coltfriend a warm smile to which Dr. Facilier returned in kind.
"I appreciate ya helpin' me since we've met.
Our times we had together, I'll never forget!"
Fluttershy drew back and blushed "Oh, it was nothing at all. It's always best to help out a pony in need...and you've made such a wonderful impact here in Ponyville! I'm glad to have met you, Dr. Facilier...I hope we can both make each other happy." She nuzzled the Shadowcolt and then went back to feeding the animals.
Dr. Facilier smiled at her gesture and decided to get started on his little project. He went to his desk and pulled out the base doll he bought from the shop earlier today. The doctor looked at his collection before getting started, and directed his attention towards the beat-up Zecora doll. He paused at it's condition, but shook his head and focused on the Fluttershy doll he had in his possession 'This one's missin' somethin'...' An idea popped into his head, and Dr. Facilier cracked a smile at the thought of it.
With that, the Shadowcolt got the inspiration to get started on the perfect doll. This one was going to be specially made for his marefriend, and shall reflect his feelings for both her and himself...