Coffee Talk awoke to the wonderful smell of breakfast...fresh-baked bread, oatmeal and a deliciously-scented fruit compote. Cracking an eye open, she rolled over in bed, her hoof landing in a warm spot recently vacated.
“Ugh,” groaning, she carefully lifted her head, mindful of the neck pain that had been dogging her from sleeping on that blasted cave floor for what seemed like days on end.
“Am I dreaming?” she wondered, though, looking around the room. It was definitely her bedroom back in Yakut. Everything was in its place; her bird in his cage enjoying the morning sun, the typewriter on her desk, even a copy of the book she had written about her adventures with Kingsley and his evil mental houseguest right where she had left it on the fireplace, right next to the curved blade of King Sombra’s horn.
Coffee frowned. There were several things wrong -
“Coffee!” an all-too cheerful voice sounded through their cozy little home.
“Yeah?” the earth mare replied, running a hoof over her hair to straighten it. Surprisingly it wasn't the tangled mess it usually was from sleep. “That's nice to wake up to for once.”
A coal-black bundle of energy bounded into the room. “Good morning!” Kingsley beamed, a breakfast tray floating in his magic next to him.
His roommate raised an eyebrow. “‘morning, whoever you are and what have you done with Kingsley?”
“Hey, can't a stallion greet his beautiful bedmate with breakfast in bed?” he complained in the slightly whiny tone that certainly sounded like the Kingsley she knew.
She simply stared at him with a blank look. “Now I know you're a fake,” she deadpanned.
“Haha.” The beautifully prepared breakfast landed on the bed in front of her. She seriously thought about eating it anyway, considering they hadn't had a decent meal in like, forever. Taking a slice of bread and spreading it with the honey orange compote, she shrugged. If this isn't a dream I'll regret not eating this. If it is, I guess I can't be poisoned in dreams.
She hesitated only a moment before taking a bite. It was okay, maybe not as good as the smell would have led her to believe, but that was all right. As she chewed, Kingsley joined her, sitting on the other side of the bed. “So, how did we get out of the cave?” she asked him through a mouthful of food.
“Well, duh. How do you think we’ll get out?” Kingsley snickered. “We had an arrangement. You know…”
She pretended to ignore the fact he had replied as if it hadn't happened yet. A movement behind her companion on the mantle caught her eye, but when she focused on it, all was still again.
“Then why are we still here?” the mare asked him.
He smiled, but what it revealed made her back up as the light glinted off canines that were a little too sharp.
Behind him, the horn on the mantle glow a very, very slight red.
“This isn't - “ he began to say when she cut him off.
“Oh shut it,” Coffee growled, throwing the food to the floor, getting up. “I'm done with these games, I'm done with us playing psychiatrist to royalty and your impression of your former host, Sombra, is pathetic.”
Kingsley - or the thing inside him - frowned. “Well that's hurtful,” the dark unicorn said in disappointment. “It was a very good impression, we thought.”
“Huh, not even,” the mare growled, losing patience. The horn behind him glowed brighter. “And you got so many details wrong, where do I begin?”
The Kingsley/Sombra apparition leaned back on the bed. “Oh? Do tell.”
Coffee, feeling empowered, patted the bed. “First off, we don't sleep together.” She ruffled her hair with both hooves. “My hair NEVER looks this good in the morning and your host is too damn lazy to get up and make me breakfast, let alone be nice enough to bring it to me in bed!”
“You are quite observant, reporter,” the demon rumbled, the hint of misty purple tinging Kingsley's now red crystal eyes. He ran a hoof along the edge of the bed frame. “But why would I bother filling in such details?” The thing in his body smiled.
She looked around them. It was a valid question. Why indeed?
The question caused an uneasy flutter in the pit of Coffee Talk's stomach.
“Tell me, Miss Coffee, why are we still here?” the thing asked her pleasantly. Kingsley’s eyes went back to normal, as well as his voice. “The answer is the same for both questions,” he told her. He rose up and walked towards her.
“Kingsley?” she squinted as if that would confirm his unwelcome houseguest was no longer in control. A flash behind him drew her eye to the mantle.
The horn of King Sombra was gone.
“Why are we still here?” he pressed her.
“Where did your - his horn go?” Coffee asked, her nerves getting worse.
“Is there something else we have to do here, Coffee?” he pushed.
“What? No, Kingsley,” her voice betrayed too much defensiveness. She backpedaled towards the door.
“We aren't done here. You know what it is.”
“I do not,” she snapped. Her head hurt in a sharp way that made her more frustrated and angry than she already was. “Stop it,” her voice twisted, snarling.
“In denial, yup, keep it up, Coffee, and you’ll earn that brand new horn you’re sporting,” Kingsley said, stopping, sitting down to regard her. “Maybe we’ll all get lucky and you’ll kill us all before we starve to death.”
Horn? No, that wasn’t what was hurting her head, she wanted to reach up with a hoof, but her pounding heart and blurring vision froze her in place. The extra weight told her what she couldn’t bring herself to confirm with a touch.
“All right,” she looked around the fake room, which was starting to fade. “Princess? Luna? We can stop now.” Silence. “Princess? PRINCESS!”
Coffee woke up violently, gasping, her heart pounding, but to her companions they only saw her body shudder and her eyes snap open. Okay, I’m done with the nightmare, nightmare, who’s having the nightmare game, too, she decided.
Kingsley wasn’t next to her...oh yeah. Her heat. He’s probably hold up on the other side of the cave. Looking around, sure enough, she spied him on the frienemies side. A magically-conjured chain attached to his hoof, he wasn’t looking too perturbed about it as he was dead asleep, snoring softly.
“Coffee?” a hoof came to rest on her wither, making her jump a foot into the air. She screeched loudly enough it woke Shining on the other side of the cave.
“Don’t do that!” the earth mare scolded Cadence, turning to her.
“Sorry. You have a bad dream too?” she asked in sympathy. She was surprised by the glare she received for saying that.
“Yeah, you could call it that,” Coffee said, irritated. Realizing she was being cross, but for the wrong reason, she shook her head. “Look, I’m sorry, but dammit, before we get out of here, I have one more thing to say before I become the next ‘most likely to turn into an uber in this cave’.”