So this is how it all ends… getting killed by that wicked mare! Wait… am I really dead? How can I still hear my own voice as if I’m speaking through my head? Am I still alive? Am I in a coma?
A sudden dot appeared amidst the black walls surrounding me, slowly growing bigger and bigger until it became noticeable. At first I couldn’t believe it, a part of me denying that this was actually happening. However it just kept approaching me.
I forced myself to believe that she was really here, standing in front of my view, her eyes staring straight into my sight. She only smiled and brought her hoof up as if trying to reach out to me. Her body began to grow brightly until the darkness was overcome with an endless light. I struggled to make sense of what was happening, but soon it became clear after the lightness dimmed a bit, the familiar Everfree Forest surrounding me.
A frown appeared on my face, noticing that Cosette was no longer in front of me. I looked around, noticing that I had a newly formed body. It was still the same as it was before, only there wasn’t a huge gash inside my chest. Sighing, I walked around and looked for Cosette, my ears drooping behind my head, sadness sinking in.
“Hey there, darling.” I heard a familiar voice behind me.
My heart rapidly sped up in my chest at the sound of that voice, my ears perking up. I was afraid to turn around, but I wanted to be for sure that it was who it really was. Slowly turning my head, I found Cosette standing behind me only a few feet away.
A smile instantly beamed across my face, tears swelling in my eyes at the sight of her.
Instantly I turned my entire body around and tackled her to the ground, wrapping my hooves around her in a long passionate embrace. As if she was expecting it, she let out a loud yelp and began giggling cheerfully, returning the loving hug.
“C-Cosette! I’m so happy to see you!!” I shrieked, my voice cracking in delight.
“I’m happy to see you too Shadow.. I missed you so much.” She confessed, nuzzling into my mane.
My heart suddenly burst out of its dark shell, tears flowing down my face onto her majestic mane. She softly placed her hoof on my cheek, lightly lifting my head away so she could once again stare into my eyes. She, too, had begun to form tears in her striking eyes. Without warning she leaned upward and pressed her lips eagerly against mine, the feeling of her kiss as sweet as it was the first time we shared it together for the first time.
It felt like months, years, centuries have passed before the kiss was broken and our muzzles barely grazed each other, her soft breaths mixing with mine. Our eyes remained closed for the longest time, a moment of stillness and peace consuming the entire forest.
I slowly opened my eyes, planting a kiss on her nose. Her eyes opened half way, a small giggle escaping her mouth, her nose cringing to my kiss. She wrapped her hooves around the back of my neck, smiling happily into my eyes. It felt like an eternity had passed the last time I stared into them, and it relieved me to finally hold her in my hooves again.
“Cosette you have no idea how much I missed you… it’s been… hard, without you… and it’s only been a day! I’m a complete wreck without you…” My smile faded into a frown, a long pause coming from Cosette.
“I’ve missed you too… but I want you to be happy, even if I’m not there, darling.” She brushed my mane with her hoof, continuing the motion not breaking the the connection of our eyes.
“How can I be happy without you with me…?” I asked her, pleading for an answer, of which she gave a wry smile.
“Oh Shadow… I’ll always be with you. You just have to find happiness with what you still have.” A small smile returned on my face to that statement, causing me to plant another small yet passionate kiss on her lips.
I began to think about the situation for a long time. Wolf and Eagle were out there in Equestria probably in danger without me to help them out as they had helped me. Then there was Rainbow Dash, the mare who had tried to kill me once and then randomly came around to save me when I was in desperate trouble. All three of them have become very close to me, and a feeling of weakness had swept across my head. Many of my friends have died because of my weakness and it was traumatizing.
Rainbow treated me like a friend in an instant to my conversion even though months earlier we were enemies. When she rescued me, it was almost immediately after the NLR had left the field as if she was waiting for them to clear out before she came to save me. Why was she doing all these things was totally beyond me, but it was then that I realized something I had denied to admit for the longest time.
Did she… like me?
At first it didn’t make sense, because we’ve only started to know each other for what seemed to be a day. Sure she was a nice and very attractive mare, but I wasn’t prepared to open my heart to another after the only one I loved died on that same day. Though her smile was infectious along with the fact that her eyes were almost hypnotizing. I couldn’t possibly have feelings for another mare this early. Could I?
"Cosette... I... you know I love you. I wish I could have stopped it all bu-"
"It's okay Shadow... I know. I know you have feelings for that mare." My eyes shot open wide at her interruption, unable to comprehend how she knew what I was thinking.
"W-Wh... How did you..?" I stuttered, another giggle coming from Cosette as she kissed my neck.
"I'm your imagination, Shadow. You're not dead... you're in a coma. I know everything about you.. even your darkest secrets." she confessed, her smile tormenting me.
"I'm.. in a coma..." my voice trailed off, noticing what she said was what I originally thought in the first place, though at the time I wasn't sure.
"Shadow... I need to tell you something important, darling. You might not like it.. but it's the truth and you have to make a choice, one that will decide the entire fate of Equestria." I noticed her gaze turning very serious, which somewhat worried me.
"What is it, Cosette..?" I asked, not looking forward to whatever she had to say.
"First you have to get up, darling." She said in her playful tone, trying to lighten the seriousness of her topic.
At her command, I gently unwrapped my grip on her and got up, helping her get up shortly after. She smiled at me and turned facing the direction I was. As if by magic, our surroundings disappeared and we were standing on top of a cliff, facing out towards Canterlot and the surrounding area, below the mountains Ponyville coming into view. I watched in amazement, as the royal city was not only there, but was burning violently along with the grass plains down below. The small town of Ponyville was also completely annihilated, a colossal black smoke emitting from the town and scarring the sky.
"W-What happened?" I ask, staring at Equestria in ruins.
"Your death causes this. You are not around to stop Luna and her Republic from completely taking control of Equestria." She stated, my level of disbelief rising dramatically.
"What?! How can my death cause all this?!" I blurt out, now staring at her instead of the horrific scene in front of me.
"Because you are not supposed to die. Not yet. You're fate is to confront Luna, my mother, and kill her. You will bring an end to the New Lunar Republic and restoring peace and harmony to Equestria." She said, nodding forward, trying to get me to look back to the city of Canterlot and the town of Ponyville.
Without questioning, I looked back only to find a different scenario. This time, the skies were as clear as they were the day before Cosette was killed. Canterlot was surrounded by fireworks and cheering could be heard from their location, as far away as we were. Ponyville was a lot closer, and I noticed that their flags were no longer Solar Empire flags, but instead replaced by the old traditional Equestrian colors.
"Is this... what happens if I succeed in killing Luna?" I ask Cosette, looking over to her to receive her answer, which was a simple nod.
"So... how will I be able to wake up and do this? I'm in a coma after all, like you said." I countered, Cosette finally turning her head to face me.
"You need to let me go, Shadow. You need to move on and find happiness. You can keep me in your memories... but you must pass this obstacle that is holding you back. I'll give you time to think about it, darling." She said before kissing my cheek and walking off towards a grass field that was behind us.
This was the hardest choice I had to make. If I let go of the one pony I loved and cherished for so long and killed the Goddess of the Night, I would be destroying the New Lunar Republic and saving hundreds and thousands of lives, as well as bringing unity to Equestria. If I didn't let her go, I would die and bring about the downfall of Equestria.
After what felt like hours later, I had made my choice. I walked over to where Cosette had been sitting and stood there, staring at her for the longest time before finally deciding to speak.
"I have made my choice."
Without any words she stood up, turning to face me with that same lovable smile. I knew that she knew what my answer was, and I knew I was doing it for the right reason. I would always love Cosette no matter what, and nothing would ever change that. What she said, however, was true. I had to let her go and move on, for the sake of my friends, for Rainbow Dash, for Equestria.
"I know, Shadow." She simply stated, which I assumed would be her answer.
"I will not let your death be in vein, Cosette. I will live a happy life as you want me to... and please, forgive me." I pulled her into a deeply affectionate hug, feeling her returning the embrace tightly.
"Go and save Equestria, Shadow. I have faith in you... and I will always be with you. Forever and Always..." As her sentence faded and everything began to disappear into darkness once again.
Only this time, the darkness didn't stay forever. I opened my eyes and stared at a white ceiling, the sound of multiple voices very faint but noticeable coming from a far distance. I turned my head to the left, my eyes setting their gaze at a hospital bed a few feet away. There was a door leading into the room that happened to be closed, so I figured I was in a hospital. I heard something from behind and turned my head around to my right, and I happened to notice Rainbow Dash, quietly resting on my bedside.