• Published 8th Apr 2014
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Shadow's Enigma - Note Sketch

With his dark past heavy on his mind, Sombra is put to the test as he begins a reformation process. Though his mind is no longer crowded with the influence of dark magic, his heart is none the lighter. Let the test begin.

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20. Making a Deal

"This is a terrible situation I am in."


"I need to find some way out without hurting any pony."


"I need to be subtle, I need to plan out my actions and words very carefully."


"Macingtosh, do you know of anyway that I do do all of these things?"


Sombra was in a predicament of his life. Never before had he been in so much trouble. Never before had he been in such a dangerous situation. He never could have anticipated that he would be involved in a...love triangle. A sigh left him as he leaned up against a tree, not far from him was Big Mac bucking away at a tree, getting his produce down and ready to sell.

It had already been a day since his party, and now more than ever Sombra could not stand being in town. It wasn't like before where every pony avoided him and spoke about him, no, now it was the exact opposite. Every pony wanted to chat, wanted to do a favor, just for those forsaken tickets Celestia had given him. And all this because he wanted to attend a Canterlot gathering to test something out.

"Hey, ya'll alright there?" Applejack shouted to them as she carried a bucket of apples on her back.

"Eeyup." Bic mac responded as he continued to buck, though that did not convince his sister.

"Hey Sombra, you leave my brother alone so he can work."

"Macingtosh, am I distracting you?"


"You heard him, he's fine." Sombra responded, though a somewhat sassy undertone to his speech. Though he wasn't sure as to why, it was almost as if he had taking a sort of comradery with Big Mac, and because of the recent drinking game with Applejack, a less uptight feel to speaking with her.

"Well if ya are gonna keep hidin' out in ma farm, get to work with Big Mac. Don't forget we run a business here, not a shelter." Applejack said teasingly before continuing on her way.

Though Sombra knew that it was a joke, he couldn't help but feel bad about just laying around while his friend worked. So he stood up and walked over to a tree to inspect it. As he glanced from Big Mac and back to the tree, the red stallion to notice at him and stopped his bucking.

"Ya ain't gonna try to apple buck are ya?" He asked.

"Should I not?"

"Ain't that easy."

"We'll see." Sombra said before turning around and mimicking Big Mac's kicking method. His first kick went about as well as Mac had expected, yielding very little apples from the branches. But once getting the feel for the tree, Sombra kicked once again and managed to drop quite a few apples. Not as much as Big Mac, but a fair amount.

"Yar strong for a unicorn."

"My mother was an Earth Pony." Sombra replied as he began to pick up some apple and place them in Mac's baskets. "Not as physically adept as other Earth Ponies, but my genes are still there."


Pinkie began to feel a little queezy. Even after making it all the way to Rarity's boutique she was now having second thoughts about being here. She took a few deep breaths to try to calm herself, but not working very well. Spinning on her hooves, she turned around.

"Maybe I'll try another day." Pinkie said with an awkward smile, trying to remain her usual self even though her head was wrapped in other places.

"Pinkie!" A voice called from the boutique's second floor window. "How nice to see you, what are you doing here?" Turning around Pinkie saw Rarity leaning on her window frame with a sly smile on her face. She clearly knew what was on her mind.

"Oh, uh, nothing. I was going to come visit, but I just, uh, remembered I have this thing to do...somewhere, else." Pinkie said as she took a step back with each word she spoke.

"Is that so? That is too bad, I suppose I should just get back to planning how I am going to sway Sombra into taking me to the Gala." Just as her words left her mouth, Pinkie was already in her boutique, up the stairs, and next to her as she shouted.

"What?! No you can't!" But just as she finished her statement she covered her mouth with her hooves. Rarity responded with a poke at her forehead.

"Oh darling, you know I would never betray you like that, I just wanted to get you up here."

Pinkie responded with a slight blush as began to calm down, but as she did she only became more confused after a quick glance around Rarity's room. It was filled with pictures of Sombra walking, and by the angle, who ever took the photo was hiding. There was a map of Ponyville with a dotted line marked as 'Sombra's walking routes', and plenty of notes about everything any pony knew about him.

"Funny, it sure looks like your planning on making a move on Sombra."

"Pinkie please, these are for you. I knew it was only a matter of time before you came to me for help, and I just had to be prepared." Rarity said as she looked over at her work with a grin from ear to ear. "And believe me I am."

"Yeah, well, I wasn't going to, but things got a little complicated..."

"Oh I know darling. I did not expect Sombra having to pick a date for the Gala, but it's perfect, he's going to pick you and you're going to have such a romantic night, I am certain of it!"

"No, Rarity. Umm, I might have some...competition."

As the words reached her ears, Rarity perked up. "Competition?" She asked out softly before turning and staring at Pinkie. "Who could possibly compete with you, darling? Give me a name and I will make sure that they can never make a move on any stallion ever again."

"It's Fluttershy."

"Oh...Well that complicates things...That complicates things a lot." Rarity said as she quickly ran off to look over some notes. Pinkie began to rethink her decision as she saw one of Rarity's hairs on her ever so perfect mane curl out of place. This could not end well for any pony if she got too...into it.



Fluttershy rubbed her nuzzle as she recovered from her little sneeze. She was feeding her critters in her newly reconstructed home and couldn't be happier.

"Oh dear, some pony must be talking about me. Maybe it's Sombra." She said with a blushing smile. After a quick daydream of Sombra's image popping out in her head she went back to feeding her animals.



Sombra sneezed as he carried a basket of apples along with Big Mac. The red stallion chuckled as he and Sombra made it into the farm house to load the cart Applejack would be using to sell them.

"Some pony is talking about ya." He said as he placed the apples down.

"Is that so? One thousand years ago it was the burning ears that meant some pony spoke your name, I suppose times change."


As they finished placing the baskets on the cart Applejack was just walking in to see them interact.

"Ya two seem like you've known each other for years." She said as she looked over at the apples, doubly making sure they were in good condition.

"Stallions simply click faster than mares." Sombra said.


"Well that's mighty respectable, especially since ya'll finished early. Guess ya ended up helping after all."

"I was restless anyway, needed some physical labor to get my blood going. Thought perhaps that would help clear my head to find a solution to my problem."

"So did it work?"

"Eenope." Big Mac answered for him, causing Sombra to just turn away with an annoyed look on his face, but as he did a thought crossed his mind.

"Say, what do you do when you're in over your head?" He asked Applejack as she began to attach herself to the cart.

"Well, with ma stubborn attitude, Ah tend to be in over my head quite often. Ah always go to Twilight for advice, she tends to know what to do."

"Hmm, interesting, perhaps I shall do the same." Sombra said as he turned around to make his way back home. As he left Applejack waved goodbye but once he was far enough she nudged her bother.

"It's probably a bad idea ta tell Twilight isn't it?" She asked, knowing that Big Mac had a better understanding of the situation. He took a minute to think about it before answering.


Sombra was already too far away to hear the siblings speak. He was just too eager to find a solution, he really did not want to stay in this situation much longer. But as he began to enter town he began to regret it.

"Hello Sombra! How are you today?"

"Just fine." He responded without paying much attention to the mare speaking to him. It had began...

"You're looking sharp as always! If you ever need your outfit dry cleaned I'll do you the favor!"

"Thanks but I politely decline."

"Hey Sombra have you eaten yet? I've got some extra seats in my restaurant."

"Not hungry."

Sombra was already tired of all these ponies speak to him like this. He just wanted to out of the open...it was almost like he was back on the battle field, but this was a completely different kind of battle. Suddenly finding himself surrounded by ponies, his insticts kicked in. In almost a feverish scream, he shouted out into the air, causing every pony to suddenly quiet down, but before any of them could react, his eyes bursted in flames. Running forward, he leaped and transformed his body into dead black smoke which passed right over all his spectators. The crowd remained quiet even after he had left, and ever so slowly one spoke up.

"I wonder of he needed to get some where in a hurry." Instantly every pony ran off, no doubt to get a cab ready for next time they saw him.

Sombra had rushed inside the library through an open window and as he rematerialized, Twilight screamed out in shock. It seems he had placed himself two inches away from the alicorn who seemed to have been carrying dozens of books over her head.

"Sombra, why don't you use the front door like every pony?" She shouted as she tried to maintain her books from falling down.

"A thousand pardons, but I simply had to get in doors quickly."

"Let me guess..." Twilight said as she finally stabilized her precious tomes, putting them aside so they could talk. "Every pony is doing you favors to get on your good side so you give them your extra ticket?"


"Yeah, that happened to me last year too." She said as she recalled her own time of torture.

"Did you now, well this will make things easier. I need some advice, who should I give my extra ticket to? Pinkamena or Fluttershy?"

"Sure thing, I can help you, wait...What?!"

Twilight shouted as she began to realize the entirety of what he was asking of her. "Wait, wait wait, that time when Chrysalis attacked, you and Pinkie? and Fluttershy? You visited them in the night... What did you do?!"

Her voice had become loud enough to shake the library's structure down to its foundation. Sombra covered his ears and by the time he recovered from the screaming he saw Twilight rush at him in a very aggressive manner.

"So help me, if you hurt my friends I will skin you alive!" She said as she backed him into the wall. Sombra tried his best to remain calm, but she was rather intimidating despite her small size.

"You misunderstand...I may have accidentally given them the wrong idea about some things." Sombra said as he tried to defend his position before he was blown to smithereens. "And now that I have this ticket they expect me to go with them, I simply do not want to cause any trouble."

"And what? You're just going to lead them on? Do you even care about them?"

"Of course I do!" Sombra said as a faint blush grew on his face, but his expression determined in proving his side. "Those two helped me more than I would have asked of any pony. I do care about them which is why I don't want to hurt them in anyway."

Twilight's small rage quickly left her as he saw him stand his ground. It wasn't what she expected, but it was at least reassuring he wasn't just messing around with her friends. She sighed as she backed of, allowing them to calm themselves. As she walked back she turned around, not facing him."You still haven't answered my question. Do you care about them, do you like them in a romantic manner?"

"I-I don't know. I've been in love before, but the circumstances were different. I didn't have the freedom to court a mare before, nor did I have so much attention placed on me like this. I was a soldier and a king with duties and responsibilities. Personal matters came second for me."

Twilight took a deep breath and turned to look at Sombra. "You realize you're asking me to pick which of my friends gets to be happy in which doesn't right?"

"Yes, but you are the only that can help me right now. Besides, this way you can help me not bring any more trouble to either of them."

She sighed as she placed a hoof to her forehead, trying to process their conversation. Sombra seemed serious enough, and of course she did not want her friends to get hurt. Perhaps this way she could minimize the damage and keep things from heading south.

"Alright, fine, but I want something in return."

"And what and an old king offer a princess such as you?"

"Train me. Train me in dark magic. I've been curious about it and who else could teach me other than Sombra himself?"


"You realize that it was dark magic that drove me to being a tyrant do you not?"

"That is why I want you to mentor me. You can play damage control to keep me from doing so."

Silence once again. Finally Sombra let out a sigh as he contemplated his options. He was between a rock and a hard place, but really, he is an excellent teacher, and Twilight and excellent student. Perhaps this could work out after all.

"Alright. You have a deal Sparkle, but you and I will keep a very strict schedule, I am not taking any chances with you."


They shook hooves as their terms come to a close. Sombra's eyes looked at Twilight and how excited she seemed about it. Learning new things had always been a pleasure to her, that was no secret, but in this world, some things are best left unknown. Perhaps he was wrong to worry. Perhaps not.

Author's Note:

I had my sister read some of my fic and she now ships Sombra and Big mac. This was not what I was planning, this is not what I was planning at all...

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