Sweetie's Shadow

by Note Sketch

17. Conflicted

"Alright, time to get off." Sombra said as he closed the door behind him. Sweetie Belle immediately jumped off his back and landed beside him, though quickly lost her balance due to the extra weight of the books.

"Oomph, these things are heavy." She whined as she threw off her saddle bag.

"You've no right to complain Sweetie Belle." Sombra said as he stretched out on his legs to pop his back. "I had to carry them and you."

"But you're big. You can handle it!"

"Sweetie Belle?" A voice called out before Sombra had a chance to retort. "Is that you?"

"Yeah!" She replied as she placed a hoof to the side of her mouth to project her voice.

As if that was the magic word that unleashed a demon, thundering hooves were heard as Rarity made her way downstairs as quickly as she could. Upon reaching the final step, she frantically looked around the living room for her sister. Catching sight of her and her dark guardian, she rushed over to embrace her.

"Oh Sweetie Belle!" Rarity shouted as she wrapped her hooves around Sombra. "I was so worried Sombra would try to pull something today!"

Sombra didn't move. He was too surprised to react properly. Only now that he could smell the perfume on the mare currently hugging him did he truly understand what was going on, yet he was at a loss for words, his only response being a light blush on his cheeks.

"Is something wrong?" Rarity asked as she pulled away from him, though her attention was quickly drawn to the snickering next to her.

"Heheh." Sweetie Belle let out as she tried to hold back her giggle with her hooves.

"And what are you laughing about Sombra?" Rarity asked out as she narrowed her eyes at her.

"I'm not Sombra." She answered back, her laugh only getting louder.


"Mister Sombra helped us switch back already." Sweetie finished before finally falling over in an all out laugh.

Slowly, Rarity returned her gaze at Sombra whom she was still holding on to. He had time to regain his composure and now stared back with a smirk on his face, his blush gone. A very loud shriek soon followed as Rarity pulled back her hoof and tried to swing at Sombra.

Seconds before she was about to make contact with his face, Sombra's body turned black and melted into the ground, becoming a shadow that moved underneath Rarity before materializing again behind her, an even larger smirk proud on his face.

"Is hitting something the first thing you do every time you're flustered?" Sombra said as he watched the mare look frantically back and forth between him and the place he was just moments prior.

"What- How- That's not-"

"Sweetie Belle's shadow, remember?" He said before turning around and walking away with a laugh. "Don't tell me you've already forgotten."

"A-And where do you think you're going?!" Rarity shouted out, though mostly to buy time for her to find a proper reaction to the ordeal.

"To my room. I'm tired and want to sleep." He said as he came to the stair case. Taking a moment to look back at Rarity. "Am I not allowed to? Who's the Tyrant now?" He asked sarcastically before walking up the stairs in another fit of laughter, only making the mare puff up her cheeks in frustration.

Rarity remained in her angry pose for a little while longer before Sweetie Belle finally spoke and broke her out of her daydream of doing terribly hurtful things to Sombra.

"Hey Rarity?"


"Can I have a snack?"

The mare could only sigh and turn her head to the side before nodding, prompting them to walk towards the kitchen. Apart from the Evil Tyrant Overlord living upstairs, things were surprisingly normal in her house hold. If nothing else, Rarity could still hold on to that peaceful thought.


Sombra did as he had said. He quickly made it to his small room and threw himself on his bed. Taking a deep breath and turning to face the ceiling, he placed one hoof on his forehead as he recalled the dream from earlier. His mind raced as he tried to make sense of it, to see whether or not it could actually be a memory of just a dream.

"It wasn't anything like the ones I had before." He said to himself softly. "It was more...vivid."

He closed his eyes and allowed his hoof to slide down to his muzzle as he recalled each moment of the dream. The happiness he felt when he saw the filly...and the despair he went through when he saw the beast and limp body.

"What did I call them? Amethyst and Rosa?" He asked himself, finally sitting up and opening his eyes. "Were they my family? Were they killed?" He said as he stared down at his hooves. "Why wasn't I there to help? How did I allow such a creature to bring harm to them?...Why am I crying again?"

Once more he saw tears as they fell from his face and onto his hooves. Gritting his teeth in frustration with himself, Sombra furiously wiped away the water on his face. He let out one last sigh of frustration before falling back down on his back to stare back at the ceiling.

"Best I just leave things as they are for now. I'll just end up giving myself a headache again."

Sombra remained silent. His mind was unresting on the subject as, despite his best efforts, it continued to dwell on his dream. Finally, it found one detail to latch on to and inspect: Amethyst. That filly had a very strong resemblance to Sweetie Belle. From her naive and innocent personality, to her soft eyes and curly mane. The colors were off, but other than that, they were almost identical.

"Did my mind give Amethyst Sweetie Belle's appearance to have some familiarity with what I was dealing with? Or was that how she really looked?" He asked himself as he turned on his side. "It would make sense that since I cannot recall my own memories that my head would fill in the blanks with other things, but if the possibility exists that they indeed look the same...Then maybe it wasn't a complete accident that I'm now bound to Sweetie Belle."

Again he tossed himself on his bed, turning on his other side before continuing his thoughts.

"That filly..." He began. "I thought she was an idiot at first, but she is far from it. She learns quickly and can analyze everything just as fast. Perhaps it's just my teachings, perhaps not. Either way she is some sort of anomaly."

Sombra began to think about all of the time he had spent with Sweetie Belle. Everything they've been through. He smiled softly and sat up as he thought about just how ridiculous everything seemed.

"One...two... three...four." He counted out loud as he passed the time in his head. " Four days is how long I've known Sweetie Belle, and in those four days I can whole heartedly say she has surprised me time and time again."

As his thoughts revisited all of the recent events, Sombra remembered those random moments of depression Sweetie Belle experienced around him. How quickly she would go from having fun and being cheery, to crying and feeling guilty for anything wrong she might have done. It was certainly strange, but more so worrisome.

Sombra didn't know why he was doing this. He didn't even think about it. He stood up and began to make his way out of his room and towards the staircase. He stopped for a second and listened carefully to what was going on down stairs.

The soft sound of a pin scribbling on paper echoed back at him along with the occasional crunch of food. Sombra put together that Sweetie Belle was downstairs busy doing her homework while eating something. What he also heard was the familiar sound of scissors cutting fabric coming from down the hall.

Making his way to Rarity's room, he soon found himself wondering what it was he was doing while knocking on her door.

"I've gone mad." He said to himself before waiting patiently for a reply.

"Come in!" Rarity answered from inside, signaling for him to open the door. He pushed it open and remained at the door frame while looking for the mare. "Oh, it's you." She said from her seat.

"R-Rarity, was it?" He asked, a little awkward about how to speak to her. "Could I ask you a question?"

"And if I said 'no'?" She said, turning back to her work and ignoring him from the door.

"Then I'd return to my chambers and leave you be." Sombra replied without hesitation, though still waiting for a response to his initial question. Though what he said surprised Rarity.

"Just like that?"

"Just like that. Whatever you might think of me, I would not harass a mare for something, especially not in her home." He finished and was about to turn his back to leave.

"Wait!" Rarity called back, making him stop in place. "I might have some time for a break from my work. What is it you wanted to ask?" She said, almost embarrassed about the ordeal as much as he was. It was certainly strange for both parties to treat each other so...pleasantly.

Turning back around and walking in as Rarity gestured to do so, he made his way to her and began to talk.

"It's about your sister. I've noticed that sometimes she gets...depressed. I mean, she goes from one extreme of happiness to the other in the stomp of a hoof. Why is that?"

"Oh...that." Rarity said with a sad tone. "My sister has a habit of jumping to the worst conclusions, mostly, though experience."

"Perdon?" Sombra asked, confused by what she meant.

"Well, our parents. They travel a lot. They're sales ponies and they travel all over the world to sell their craft. I was set on becoming a designer since I was small, so they bought this place for me and sent me money to make sure I had everything I needed to accomplish my dream." Rarity said as she looked around her room. "When I got my cutiemark, I also made my home my business and have continued to work from here since."

"Okay, but what does this have to do with Sweetie Belle?"

"Sweetie Belle didn't have this."


"Stability, darling. She spent most of her life traveling with my parents. She was always switching schools and having to make new friends only to switch schools again. Often times, Sweetie Belle would go out of her way to stay in her classmate's good graces as to not lose them before she had to leave again. She blamed herself if they ever got mad at her, fearing they would leave her."

"I see..." Sombra said as he placed a hoof to his chin, thinking about all the times she had seen her cry.

"When our parents were in town for the Summer Sun Celebration, she met Applebloom and Scootaloo. A few days later they were all invited to Diamond Tiara's cute-ceañera and they became friends when they made their little Crusader Group. Then my parents asked if I could look after Sweetie Belle for a week. That week turned into a month, and that month now into a school year."

"So Sweetie Belle didn't wish to leave?"

"No, she finally found friends that she truly valued and Cherilee was kind enough to allow her to register late. It was the stability she had wanted for so long, who was I to tell her she couldn't stay?"

"I see. So what she sought after was stability, a place to call home?"

"Yes." Rarity said as she finally stood up and looked Sombra straight in his eyes. "Her life revolves having a constant. And it seems now, you are part of that constant."


"Why yes. Sweetie Belle would not shut up that first day about how you saved her from the falling debris of the school. And you've continued to save her ever since. I don't know if you're forced to do it by the curse or whatever, but she trusts you. She believes in you. I pray you don't betray that trust."

Sombra stood silent for a moment. He stared back into Rarity's pleading eyes. He could feel her sincere worry over the matter, over him. Sighing and closing his eyes, Sombra finally broke the silence and replied.

"You've nothing to worry about." He said as he began to make his way out of the room. "I would never hurt Sweetie Belle. If she ever needs me, I'll be there." Sombra finished as he reached the door. Using his magic, he slowly closed it behind him.

"I misjudged you." Rarity said with a smile, prompting Sombra to stop and leave the door half open. "You're a kind stallion."

"No, you judged me right. I am evil. I am every definition of the word."

"Yet you still possess good morals as to not lie and would protect a filly from danger, so perhaps not every definition."

"I'm evil, not amoral." Sombra said before finally shutting the door behind him, leaving Rarity with a smile on her face.

"Have a good night Sombra." She said softly before returning to her work. "You've earned my trust as well."


The trip back to his room was filled with jumbled thoughts being thrown back and forth in his head. Sombra didn't know why he did what he did. He truly didn't need to know Sweetie Belle's past. He didn't need to know why she would act so depressed. He didn't need to know that he was a pillar holding her up. He didn't need to know he cared...

As luck would have it, as soon as he opened his door, he saw Sweetie Belle waiting for him inside. With a smile on her face, he couldn't help but keep himself stoic as he began the stream line of questions.

"What are you doing in my room?"

"Waiting for you!"


"So we can make a plan."

"A plan for?"

"A plan to find...whatever it is you're looking for!" Sweetie Belle finished with a grin. "You know, that thing you came back to life to find."

"Oh....that. I forgot you agreed on helping." Sombra said as he walked in and towards the filly. Standing only inches away, he dropped down and laid on his stomach in his usual manner, front hooves crossed. "I'm still not sure it's a good idea for you to help me."

"Why not?"

"Cause it would bring you trouble no doubt."

"Have you seen me and my friends?" Sweetie Belle asked as she dropped down and mimicked Sombra's posture. "We get in trouble all the time!"

"You're not taking a 'no' as an answer are you?" Sombra asked with a slight chuckle.

"Nope." She said before smiling again.

"Well alright then, I'll brief you."

"Yay!" Sweetie shouted before creeping closer towards Sombra.

"While I was King at the Crystal Empire, I had sent out scouts in search for the power of chaos. For years they would return with no news, but one especially harsh winter, they returned with a rumor that there was a stone within Canterlot with such power. I of course sent the rulers of the city a letter asking for it, and the next day I was met with an army at my door step."

"Just like that? They didn't even send a reply!?"

"Since my own army was currently helping mine the precious crystals we needed to survive, I fought the Royal Sisters and their army on my own. I was ultimately defeated of course, but the mere fact that they arrived so quickly proves they wield that item of power. That stone of chaos."

"So how should we get it?"

"No idea yet. We could sneak in, but I've no information on the Castle's layout. Or perhaps we could burst in and take it by force. Either way it would take both time and resources before we are able to make a move."

"How about we go and ask for it?" Sweetie Belle asked, interrupting Sombra' train of thought.

"You mean, just appear at Celestia's door step, request for an audience, and ask for the stone?"


"That seems like a bad idea...A very bad idea."

"Why? What's the worst that could happen?"

"Well they would certainly deny us the stone and would grow aware of my presence and desire for it."

"But they already know that you want it since they attacked you once a thousand years ago. Not to mention that Princess Celestia already knows you might try to get it again, wouldn't she? You really wouldn't have anything to lose, besides, if we go, we could at least get the feel for the castle while we're visiting if we plan on stealing it."

"Huh..." Sombra hummed to himself as he thought. The filly certainly had a point. There was no element of surprise anymore. The sisters already knew of his return. They know what he wants, and have shown their disinterest in helping him get it. Besides, if he were to approach them in a civil matter and they were the ones to attack, it would technically be them at fault.

"So what do you say? Should we give it a shot?"

He let out a breath before finally speaking. "Alright Sweetie Belle, let's go to Canterlot Castle and ask for an audience." Sombra said as he stood up, making Sweetie Belle jump to her hooves and run towards him to climb onto his back.

"Woohoo! Let's go!"

Sombra couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm. It was refreshing to be able to simply allow the flow of things to take him without worry of other matters. Walking over to the window, Sombra opened it and paused for a second.

"Something wrong?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Did you finish your homework?"

"Uh...most of it?"

"You're going to finish it when we return." He said before jumping out, only getting a groan from Sweetie Belle in response.