Darkness encircled Sour Sweet's eyes as she sighed in frustration. Sleep had evaded her the previous night as she searched for answers to her problems. Her voices even bobbed up from the murky medicated waters to gasp suggestions before they were forced back down.
There is only loneliness, Sour's erratic thoughts droned. Tempest Shadow was right. Happiness is for others. Others like Second and Bitter. They deserve happiness. They don't deserve me. How can I give them happiness when I could be stuck in here for the rest of my life?
One idea kept nagging at her. Just an inkling of a solution. One that would require the help of someone else, though. But who? Who could she trust?
<Harvey Dent. Can we trust him?>
Sour rolled her eyes. Shut up, voice.
Sour's attention was then caught by another noise. Not only noise, but movement in the corner of her eye. She turned her head to see her roommate, Floor Bored. She had a blank stare with her mouth slightly agape, producing weird moans as her hands rapidly flapped close to her face.
Floor snapped out of her "trance". Her mouth sounds and hand movements instantly halted. She looked over at Sour, a blush coming over her face.
"Are you okay?" Sour pressed.
Floor's face tried to hide behind her greasy hair. "S-sure."
Sour was about to press further, until a knock came at their door. A nurse opened up and poked her head in.
"Miss Sweet? A visitor's here to see you."
Sour Sweet headed straight to the cafeteria. She remembered Second saying that someone would be visiting as well as dropping off copies of his books for her. Someone he wanted to be a surprise. She entered and laid eyes on who it was. Her face lit up with utter elation.
"Sunny Flare!" Sour cheered as she ran to her friend.
"Sour Sweet!" Sunny cheered with equal enthusiasm as she held out her arms.
The two old and dear friends embraced tightly.
Sour fought back tears. "Sunny, I can't believe you're here!"
"Yes, dearie," Sunny agreed, giving Sour's head a loving stroke. "It's been far too long."
Sunny did indeed feel guilty over that it took the present situation to finally have a reunion. Work and long distances often have other plans, though. She was dressed very casually, which was what set Sunny apart from other fashionistas such as Rarity. Instead of dressing up for every single occasion, Sunny preferred to save her outfits. She preferred to present herself down-to-earth most of the time, not just to visit friends in mental hospitals. The tote bag she was carrying, however, was unmistakably designer.
Sour broke the hug and pulled Sunny over to sit down. "So how's Paris been?"
Sunny gave a small wave. "Oh, we don't need to talk about me, Sour."
"Don't throw me a pity party, Sunny," Sour snapped, giving her a look. "I haven't seen you in, what, seven years?"
Sunny smiled politely. "Well, if you insist. Paris has been absolutely wonderful. Ever since Rarity and I joined fashion forces, business has shot through the roof."
Sour nodded. "Yeah, we've seen you guys on the runway on TV. That lingerie show last year was something." She suddenly got a strange glint in her eye. "Second especially liked it, I think."
Sunny chuckled. "We do try our best to stay in shape."
Sour leaned in a little closer toward Sunny. "Are you, uh, seeing anybody these days?"
"Not at the moment."
Sour leaned in just a bit closer. "I'm sure Second would love to be with a runway model like you."
With that, Sunny noticed the eerie tone in Sour's voice. An uneasiness began to creep up within her. "I'm sure a lot of men would. No one could make Second happier than you, of course, Sour."
"I don't have the money of a runway model, though. You're the rich one. Always have been." Sour put a finger up to her chin. "Tell me, Sunny. Do you think you have enough to send, oh I don't know, a daughter to any university in the world she would want to go, perhaps?"
Sunny frowned. "Uh, Sour? Are you, um, trying to hint at something here?"
Sour took a deep breath and took Sunny's hands into hers. "Sunny, I need to ask a favor of you. I mean, a huge favor."
"You know I'll do anything for you, Sour," Sunny assured, though still unsure where exactly this was going.
Sour nodded slowly. "Good. Good. I'm glad to hear that, Sunny. You don't know how glad I am that you're the one who stopped by today. I can't think of anyone that I could trust, anyone more qualified than you."
"Qualified for what exactly?"
Sour stared her best friend dead straight in the eyes. "Sunny, I want you to marry Second for me."
If Sunny's expression right then could be summed up in meme form, it would be "SunnyFlare.exe has stopped working". Her eyes darted around and she rubbed her hands together to make sure she wasn't having an out of body experience. She breathed in and out slowly to help collect her thoughts.
Finally, Sunny produced the only two words which would squeak out, "Beg pardon?"
"When you leave here, I want you to go to Second and tell him to divorce me and to marry you. Please be Second's new wife and Bitter's new mother."
"Sour Sweet, that's cr – " Sunny stopped herself and looked around. A mental hospital was probably not the most appropriate place to throw around that particular 'c' word.
"What's the matter?" Sour appeared genuinely offended. "I thought you would jump at the chance to jump Second!"
Sunny threw her hands up. "What would EVER make you think that?!"
A small smile crept across Sour's face. "I know about the pictures, Sunny."
Sunny froze. Her eyes instantly averted from her friend's gaze. Sour knew. She had hoped she would never find out. It was a moment of weakness. That's all it was. Being famous in Paris isn't as ideal as some would think. Long hours and shallow men can take a toll. Sunny began to become lonely. She started to drink.
It happened one night, two years prior. Sunny was sipping on red wine, looking out from her penthouse balcony as her slurred thoughts drifted toward her love life. She wasn't naïve. She knew the majority of her dates were just a result of her fame. She never truly felt a connection. Then, Second popped into her mind. She had developed feelings for him during their Crystal Prep days. Of course, his heart belonged to her best friend. She admitted these feelings to him once during prom, assuring him that she would move on. She tried. She really did. However, the longing for him always had a way of creeping back.
With each sip of wine, her thoughts of Second had become more and more... well, heated. She wished he could have been there right then. Second wouldn't care how famous she was, she felt. He would love her for her. That's just the way he was. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. She had to express her feelings in some way.
Sunny took her cellphone, removed some clothing, and snapped away. The pictures were e-mailed to Second with the subject labelled, "Pour toujours et à jamais". Satisfied, Sunny had another glass before falling asleep. The next morning, it hit the hungover Sunny what she had done. She immediately texted a sincere apology and explanation, to which Second responded back, "It's okay, Sunny. I deleted the pictures. It must be tough to be under such pressure all the time."
Sunny had stared at that reply for the longest time. No slut-shaming. No sleazy request for more pictures. He was a gentlemen. Exactly the reason why she felt so strongly for Second.
Sunny eventually found the courage to glance back up to meet her friend's eyes. "How did you find out?"
"Second doesn't like to keep anything from me," Sour replied softly. "Especially when it involves our marriage, our friends, or both in a way that I would never had expected."
"S-Sour..." Sunny uttered, tears welling up. "... I'm so, so sorry."
An unsettlingly cheery smile suddenly grew on Sour's face. "What are you apologizing for? It works out perfectly how we're in love with the same man! It'll make it way easier for you to replace me!"
Sunny's head swelled with the bewilderment, shame, and frustration swirling inside all at once. She banged the table. "Sour, NO ONE is going to replace you! I've made my mistakes, but I am NOT a homewrecker!"
"Oh Sunny-bunny-honey," Sour cooed in her sickly-sweet tone. "You're not homewrecking. You're doing me a favor, remember?" Her expression and tone shifted back to serious. "What if I'm stuck in this hospital for years, huh? How can I expect Second and Bitter to wait that long? What a terrible wife and mother I would be if I didn't make sure they would be well taken care of. Bitter needs someone there to raise her to be a proud, confident, independent woman, and Second needs someone there to tell him how shitty his jokes are!"
Sunny shook her head. "Sour, you were only hospitalized to recover from a relapse. As I understand it, you're likely going to be here for just a couple – "
Sunny was cut off as Sour abruptly seized her by the shoulders. Pain and fear shot through her.
"WHAT'S WITH YOU!?!" Sour screamed into Sunny's face. "CAN'T YOU JUST DO WHAT I'M ASKING YOU TO DO!?! WHAT KIND OF A FRIEND ARE YOU!?!"
As to be expected, Sour's screaming attracted a nurse. One glance into the cafeteria and she immediately called in a Code One. Sour's head whipped over to see five staffers bursting through the cafeteria doors. She let go of Sunny and turned her rage towards them. Her already raised anxiety levels caused her to see them as hideous monstrosities. As they came at her, Sour let out a war cry and began swinging.
Petrified, Sunny could only stare at the alarming scene with a hand over her mouth. After dodging Sour's blows, one of the staffers finally slipped behind and grabbed her. From there, the rest were able to take hold of her hands and feet. They hauled Sour up and carried her off as she shrieked in protest.
"Are you alright, ma'am?" the nurse asked Sunny. Receiving a shaky nod, she added, "It's very uncommon for the patients to get violent, you know."
Sunny sighed. "Well, Sour's always been a maverick in everything she does." It was then that she remembered something. She reached into her designer tote bag and pulled out four books. Each had Second's name on their covers. "Nurse, would you please make sure Sour gets these when she feels better?"
The nurse took them and nodded. "Of course."
Sour Sweet was lying on a bed, staring up at the ceiling of the ER. Her hands and feet were tightly held down with cuffs, which were referred to as leathers. They were supposed to be strong enough that the patients couldn't chew through them.
A syringe full of Ativan had just been injected into her. She closed her eyes and waited for it to take effect. Despite everything, she was grateful for the break in her insomnia. If she had to be honest, though, she was just about at the point of wishing she could close her eyes for good and never wake up.
"Poor, poor Sour Sweet."
Sour's eyes popped open to see the smirking face of Tempest Shadow hovering above her.
"Isn't it just awful when friends see you at your worst?" she taunted. "Guess we won't be seeing that one around here again."
Tempest let out a heckling laugh which pierced Sour's soul.
"Hey, how'd you get in here?!"
A staffer came over and sternly guided Tempest out of the ER. The door was closed behind them. Tempest was gone, but the damage was done.
Sour cried until medicated sleep washed over her.