• Published 8th Jun 2014
  • 9,166 Views, 800 Comments

Shadowy Love - FinnPony

King Sombra, the tyrant of Crystal Empire is back, only to be imprisoned by princesses and put through reformation with Twilight Sparkle as his teacher. Can somepony with heart as black as night be reformed? Twilight believes so.

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Chapter 11

Shadowy love
by FinnPony
Chapter 11

“I must say that this has to be the most repulsive building I have seen in my entire long life,” Sombra said matter-of-factly as he gazed at Sugarcube Corner. It reminded him of some old germaneian childrens tale he had once heard. It looked like the slates of the roof were made of gingerbread with frosting on the edges. The pillars that supported the canopy were big candy canes, and there was a large cupcake sitting on top of the whole building with three pony-sized candles. The most terrible thing about the building was it’s color though. All the doors and window panes were painted with bright pink color, making Sombra almost gag. He didn’t need to think twice what was the purpose of this building, the big sign with a picture of a cupcake painted on it only making it easier to recognise the building as a bakery.

“Why are you always like that? You should be happy to attend your first major lesson in friendship. Besides, I know that Pinkie Pie can make you laugh for sure,” Twilight said and pushed the door to the bakery open, letting Sombra enter first. Like he had expected, the interior of the building was just as horrible as it’s exterior. There were booths alongside the walls and couple of… ugh… pink tables around the open space. Counters were full of pastries and there was a sweet smell of baked goods in the air, which was the only thing Sombra liked in there. The room’s walls looked like they really would have been made out of gingerbread. There were balloons and all kind of banners everywhere, making it seem like that a party for some foal would be held there. It was horrible.

“Welcome to Sugarcube Corner!” Ms Cake announced from behind the corner, only to realise who the visitors were. Her ears immediately dropped and she started to back away towards the doorway behind her, muttering, “I’ll get Pinkie right away…”

Sombra chuckled at her, making Twilight frown. Her horn glowed and he pulled Sombra downwards from his mane, until their faces were on the same level. She gave him an intimidating look and said, “Look what you did! She’s still scared of you!”

“Good,” Sombra said, realising that it was a wrong answer. He felt how Twilight’s magic pulled his mane upwards until it hurt. He hissed through his teeth, giving an angry look at Twilight. He made a mental note to punish her someday for that.

“Heyaa! What’s happening over here?” They heard a cheery voice from next to them. Both of them winced as they noticed a poofy mess of a pink mane right next to them. Pinkie Pie greeted them with her trademark ear to ear smile.

“Oh…” Twilight exhaled and held her chest. “You startled me Pinkie.”

The pink mare just giggled and said, “Yeah well not as much as Gummy did when he was hiding in the same bathtub with you.”

A wild blush appeared on Twilight’s face when Sombra looked at her with questioning look. She chuckled nervously and said, “Uhuh… That… was quite a scare yes… But anyway! We’re here now!”

Pinkie turned her blue eyes towards Sombra, still smiling. Sombra didn’t return the smile.

“So you’re the grumpy grumpinsson who we are supposed to get smiling?” she asked, making a jolt of anger rush inside Sombra’s head. He didn’t have time to answer before two pink hooves were pushing the corners of his mouth upwards, making him look like he was smiling a lewd smile. For a good five seconds he couldn’t do anything while his mind was trying to understand what had just happened. The hooves were still holding his mouth in a weird smile when he finally snapped away from his shock.

Sombra shook those two hooves of from his face and snorted angrily. He eyed at the the pink mare and snarled, “What do you think you are doing!?”

“Trying to make you smile!” Pinkie Pie answered with happy voice, tilting her head and blinking. Sombra snorted and pushed her away from himself. He then gave Twilight Sparkle a look that asked ‘are you serious?’.

“Pinkie Pie is the funniest pony I know,” she said. “I bet that she can get make you laugh.”

“And that’s what I’m going to do alright!” Pinkie said with determination. “I know that everypony has their weak spot when it comes to laughing!”

Sombra chuckled darkly.

“Then tell me, village idiot, what is my weak spot?” he asked and watched as Pinkie Pie started to rub her chin in thought.

Meanwhile Twilight Sparkle whispered angrily into his ear, “Stop calling her that! I’m serious.”

“Nah, it’s okay Twilight. I kinda like it.” Pinkie said, getting their attention. Her eyes sparkled a little when she continued, “Pinkie Pie, the village idiot. It’s like a title or something.”

“I don’t know if you should use it though,” Twilight said.

“Why not? It suits her,” he snickered, but before she could answer, Pinkie Pie pointed at him with a smile on her lips.

“You just laughed!” she said.

Sombra shook his head.

“You did! It was maybe just a little chuckle or something, but it’s just like real laughing, only a bit quieter,” she explained while Sombra rubbed his forehead.

Twilight noticed this and said,”Pinkie Pie is your teacher for the day, so you listen to what she has to say.”

“She’s my teacher?” Sombra asked with deadpan stare, pointing at Pinkie Pie who was now sitting on the floor, chewing her own tail. Twilight smiled sheepishly and rubbed her neck.

“Well…” she started slowly. “Trust me, she’s good at what she does.”

There was a short silence between everypony, before Sombra sighed deeply and nodded. He then turned towards that hyperactive mare and asked, “How are we supposed to do this?”

That made Pinkie spit her tail from her mouth. She jumped up and grabbed Sombra from his hoof. She started to pull him towards one of the booths in the shop and said, “Take a seat you two, and I’ll get ready for my thing.”

“Your thing?” both Sombra and Twilight said in unison as they sat down into one of the booths. When they turned to look at her again, both of them got equally surprised. Pinkie Pie had somehow managed to dress up into a one man’s band. There were drums, banjo, couple of cymbals, a tambourine and a harmonica. All there.

“W-what? How?” Sombra muttered, glancing towards Twilight.

“You’ll get used to it,” Twilight said with a shrug, before turning towards her friend and asking, “Pinkie, what are you doing?”

“I’m going to sing a random song of course.”

“Excuse me... what?” Sombra asked, trying to understand what was going on.

“Yeah!” Pinkie exclaimed. “Everytime I meet somepony new… Well you I have met before, but I think that it’s a bit different now. Anyway, When I meet somepony I have never seen before, I introduce myself, which I already have done with you. Then I sing a random song, and we will become instant best friends!”

Sombra stared at her with deadpan look. He didn’t even bother to tell her how stupid that sounded. Twilight instead was smiling at her friends wacky antics.

“No random songs,” Sombra commanded, making Pinkie’s mane deflate a bit.

“Aww…” she said sadly. “Then how will we become instant best friends?”

“I don’t want to be…” Sombra started, but stopped when he felt a sharp kick land on his rear leg under the table. He turned to look at Twilight, who stared at him sternly. What Sombra did next, surprised himself as much as it surprised Twilight.

“Please, no songs,” he said, his expression quickly changing into an embarrassed frown.

Twilight stared at her with confused look, but then Pinkie started to speak again with the usual cheeriness in her voice, “Okey dokey lokey. I bet that we can become best friends some other way.”

She then stripped out of all the musical instruments almost as quickly as she had dressed up into them. She then kicked the instruments behind the counter, where they landed with a loud crash. She or Twilight didn’t seem to think that her behaviour was strange in any way, but Sombra started to think that Pinkie wasn’t quite normal.

“So now we need to make you smile!” Pinkie Pie announced and threw her hoof around Sombra’s neck, earning a shutter from him.

Twilight giggled and said, “Well lets get started then!”

* * *

“How about stand-up?” Pinkie Pie asked from Sombra, who was leaning into his other front hoof, looking bored as ever. Pinkie didn’t wait for an answer, and pulled a mic and a chair seemingly from nowhere, sitting down and starting her show, “Two guys are out at a restaurant, the first has just got back from travelling. He says, ‘I saw a pony-eating tiger the last week!’ And the other guy says, ‘Ha, well I’m seeing a pony eating a carrot right now!’”

There was a deep, deep silence between everypony. Even the couple of customers in the shop were quiet, eyeing at the walls and ceiling awkwardly. Twilight and Sombra kept staring at Pinkie Pie with a ‘are you serious’ look, which she seemed to notice.

“Heh… Maybe that wasn’t the best one out there,” she said sheepishly, sitting down besides Twilight. Then both mares looked at the bored stallion, who returned the stare.

“We’ve been sitting here for two hours, and you haven’t laughed even once,” Twilight said and leaned into her forehooves.

Sombra just shrugged and said, ”I don’t find any of this, nonsense amusing.”

Then he rubbed his forehead with his hoof and said slowly, “I don’t think that this is going to work.”

“Don’t give up!” Pinkie Pie cried and jumped onto the table. “There must be someway to make you laugh!”

“There isn’t,” Sombra answered dryly.

“Yes there is!” Pinkie Pie shouted and jumped down from the table. “What about slapstick?”

“Can’t you understand that I am not keen on humour!?” Sombra barked at her, but her enthusiasm didn’t die down. She quickly trotted behind the counter and started to pull a cart full of pies with her.

She stopped in front of the booth where Twilight and Sombra sat, and started to lecture them, “Very basic element of slapstick is practical humour. For example, one of the most recognizable jokes is a pony getting pie thrown to his or hers face.”

She giggled, picked up a pie from the cart and then continued, “It’s one of my favorites too.”

“Pinkie, no pie throwing,” Twilight said with stern voice. “Remember what happened last time?”

“Heh… Yeah… I forgot that. Mayor Mare wouldn’t be happy if that happened again,” Pinkie muttered with a sheepish smile on her lips. Sombra was interested about what had happened last time, but didn’t dare to ask.

There was a long silence between everypony. Even Pinkie Pie started to show some signs of giving up. Her mane was lacking it’s usual curliness and it seemed heavy, hanging down to her shoulders weirdly. A sight that Sombra for some reason didn’t like.

“I’m starting to run out of ideas Twilight,” Pinkie admitted sadly.

“It’s okay Pinkie. He’s just a bit irritated by all this fuzz going on around him.” Twilight reassured Pinkie and patted her on the back with her wing. She then looked at Sombra with intimidating look and asked, “Isn’t that right, Sombra?”

“indeed…” Sombra said slowly. Twilight was right. The fuzz around him really made him irritated. Angry even. He took a deep breath, before saying, “I am… I am sorry, but I don’t think that this will work.”

“Are you sure?” Twilight asked, still patting the sad looking party pony on the back with her wing. “Surely there is something you like… or liked?”

What Sombra likes? A image of clear blue crystal flashed in his mind for a second, but that wasn’t probably the answer that Twilight wanted. What about the things in his past? He had had his hooves full while running his kingdom, and didn’t have time to do anything he considered amusing in any way… Or maybe he got some kind of dark, twisted pleasure from seeing all his subjects being used as slaves, but that wasn’t probably a good answer either.

“How about dancing?” Twilight thought out loud.

“Did you say dancing?” Pinkie Pie asked from him with her eyes wide. Her mane sprung back to it’s normal poofy form with audible pof. She lifted her hooves to her cheeks and exclaimed in glee, “Dancing! Why didn’t I think of that?”
In a blink of an eye she was gone, leaving only a pony-shaped cloud of dust where she had been second ago. Twilight dispersed it with her wing.

“I must say that it has been while since I have danced last time,” Sombra admitted.

“You actually know how to dance?” she asked with incredulous look.

“Of course I know how to dance! I’m a king!” Sombra barked at her. “Dancing skills were mandatory during the grand galas that me and my associates held to each other.”

“Associates?” Twilight asked. She was sure that she could see a nostalgic look spreading on his face.

“Yes… I remember how Countess Bathbrony proved the belief that bat ponies are clumsy on their feet wrong...” Sombra continued, but was quickly interrupted by surprised looking Twilight.

“Countess Bathbrony?” she asked with shocked expression. Sombra nodded.

“She was a marvelous dancer… and her fur was so smooth and her looks so… youngish.”

“She lived more than thousand years ago!” Twilight said, with incredulous frown. Sombra just smirked, showing his fangs.

“So did I.”

Twilight looked at him with eyes wide from shock. She hadn’t thought about it until now, but Sombra actually had lived through many eras of Equestria’s history. That ignited Twilight’s curiosity. She realised that there, in front of her sat a pony who had seen the history’s events unfold with his own eyes. Of course Celestia and Luna had been there too, even longer than he had, but he could give her completely new perspective. Celestia and Luna knew the history written by the righteous kings and queens, but knew just a little of the dark side of Equestria compared to Sombra.

They didn’t have time to continue, because Pinkie returned to her place as suddenly as she had left. She had a wide smile on her lips and there was a new looking gramophone on the table in front of her. There was also a big pile of different vinyl record cases. Sombra was baffled by her sudden appearance again, but Twilight seemed as calm as always.

Pinkie Pie almost couldn’t stay put when she spoke, “I have lot’s of records here so lets get dancing!”

Again nopony didn’t have time to reply, because Pinkie quickly pulled Sombra away from the booth. He looked at Twilight for help, but she just shrugged and smiled a little. Pinkie looked at the gramophone and exclaimed, “Let’s go!”

With a sharp kick to the side of the device she somehow turned it on, and the music filled the air quickly. It was something with fast tempo and lot off bass, which came out as a flat thumbing due the lack of bass-element. There wasn’t lyrics of any kind, only artificial sounding riffs. Pinkie Pie was clearly taken away with it. She was dancing in the rhythm of the music, thrashing her head from side to side with a constant smile on her face. Twilight was also tapping her other rear hoof against the floor in synch with the repetitive song. Sombra had never heard anything like it. It was…


“What is this rubbish!?” he shouted, making Pinkie Pie stop her crazy dancing. With another sharp kick to the device the music stopped. She then turned back to Sombra and said, “It’s techno!”

“What?” Sombra asked confusedly. He had never heard of it.

“Techno! It’s like the best party music there is!” Pinkie explained, waving her hooves in the air for emphasis.

“I hate it,” Sombra said with narrowed eyes.

“Oh!” Pinkie said, but didn’t seem to be offended. Instead she just kept smiling and said, “You must be one of those ponies who like old music and slow dancing! That’s cool.”

Without saying another word, she gave the gramophone one more kick. Sombra felt like his mind was starting to fall apart as a new, completely new song started to play, and the record hadn’t even been changed! It was a slow song with piano playing a big part in it, accompanied by violins and different kind of flutes. The tempo was regular one-two-three pattern, great for dancing. While Sombra’s mind was trying to understand how could Pinkie Pie be so… Pinkie Pie, she had already grasped Sombra into a tight closed position, both of them balancing on their rear legs with their left hooves held together, while Sombra’s right hoof was on Pinkie’s waist, and her right hoof on his shoulder. Twilight snickered. Their size was so greatly different that Sombra had to bend forward a little.

“Ya ready?” she asked from Sombra, who snapped away from his confused state.

“I-Ugh… huh?” was all that he could say in response. He looked away from the mare in front of him, embarrassed by his inability to answer her properly.

Pinkie Pie giggled at him and said, “I take that as a yes.”

With that she started to move to the left, almost dragging Sombra behind her. He noticed that the pink mare muttered ‘one, two, three’ silently as she stepped, looking down at her rear legs. They spun in wide circles in the rhythm of the music, making everypony in the shop stare at them with curiosity. Even mrs. and mr. Cake were peeking from the doorway that lead to the bakery itself, staring at the pair.

“Come on. Move a little!” Pinkie couraged Sombra, who was still very confused by all that was happening around him. He realised that Pinkie Pie was leading the dance. He frowned. It was unacceptable. A stallion was always in charge of leading the dance. Pinkie Pie started to giggle as Sombra started to perk up. He held his head high and started to move in the rhythm of the music.

“That’s more like it!” his pink companion cheered.

“Hush now!” Sombra. hissed. He didn’t want her to ruin his mood, which started to lighten up slowly. His steps were bit off, but he hadn’t been dancing in ages, so it didn’t bother him. It didn’t take long until he started to move more gracefully. Pinkie was smiling, so was Twilight. Sombra wasn’t, but he was feeling rather good. Slowly he and Pinkie Pie spun around the floor while the music continued to play. There were many eyes fixated to them now, but this time Sombra didn’t find it irritating. Maybe it was the dancing that made him feel that way, or maybe it was the nostalgic memories that flooded his mind. Anyhow, he didn’t find the many stares irritating in any way.

“How does a village idiot like you dance so well?” Sombra asked from Pinkie, who stopped counting her steps to answer.

“I am a party pony!” was her answer.

“That doesn’t really answer anything,” Sombra said with deadpan look.

“I mean that I do all kinds of parties,” Pinkie explained, then paused to count her steps again. After she was back in rhythm she continued, “Sometimes I have to throw a party to Octavia and her friends. They taught me how to dance.”
“Interesting,” Sombra said slowly. “Anyhow, You dance quite well.”

That made Pinkie smile with glee. He caught a glimpse of Twilight Sparkle, still sitting in the booth. She was smiling too. Before he couldn’t do anything to stop it, corners of his mouth twitched upwards, making the expression on his face resemble something like a smile. It wasn’t like his usual wicked, mischievous grin, no. It was something different. His smile was a genuine, pleased smile.

“Twilight! Look!” Pinkie exclaimed happily.

“Hush!” Sombra again said, not wanting the mood to get ruined. That didn’t stop Pinkie Pie from happily smiling. She giggled as Sombra once again spun her around, which in turn made his smile grew wider too. He didn’t know what had gotten into him. Again, maybe it was the dancing that made him smile, or the smiles of the two mares he was with were so catchy that he couldn’t defend himself from them.

“You’re really good at this!” Pinkie giggled while she and Sombra glided on the floor.

“Of course I am,” Sombra snorted smugly. He could hear Twilight Sparkle letting out a small annoyed grunt in response. She really didn’t like his complacent nature.

“Now you just need to laugh a little,” Pinkie told Sombra while still counting the steps silently. For a second it looked like Sombra’s smile was about to vanish.

“Don’t push it,” he said, but it didn’t sound as threatening as he had hoped and it just earned couple of giggles from Pinkie Pie. Her blue eyes were staring back into Sombra’s red ones, which he found very disturbing. It was almost like she would have been judging him. Soon Sombra had to ask, “What?”

“You don’t seem such bad pony… Not bad at all,” Pinkie answered, still staring him right in the eye. That made a confused frown appear onto his face. He didn’t know how to answer, so he didn’t. Instead he kept spinning around slowly with that pink mare.

The song was clearly starting to reach it’s end. The tempo was getting more frantic by the second, and so was their dance. They stopped moving around the room as the tempo was getting faster and faster. Instead they just spun in circle, as a blur of Pink tangly hair.

“Wheee!” Pinkie screamed and started to laugh. Sombra heard that the song was just about to end. He did one more spin, before leaning forward, earning a surprised yelp from his dancing partner. The song ended with a single note from the piano which hung in the air for a short moment. Sombra was standing on three legs with surprised Pinkie Pie under him. His left front hoof was behind Pinkie Pie’s back, holding her in a dramatic ending pose with her head hanging downwards. Pinkie slowly lifted her head and stared at him with wide eyes, holding herself with her front hooves around his neck, panting slightly. After couple of seconds she started to snicker. It caught to Sombra, who too started to chuckle. Slowly the snickers turned into laughs. They stayed in the dramatic pose and laughed heartily.

Sombra wouldn’t want to admit it, but he felt good. The laughing felt almost like a refreshing wave washing over him. It took a moment for him to realise that he and Pinkie Pie weren’t the only ones laughing. He looked towards Twilight Sparkle and saw that she too was looking rather amused, clapping her fore-hooves together.

“Bravo!” she exclaimed. “That was amazing! I didn’t know that both of you were such a great dancers.”

Both Sombra and Pinkie Pie looked at her, before turning to face each other, still in their very close position. Pinkie started to smile and said, “You hear that? We were amazing!”

“Ugh…” Sombra muttered and let go of the mare who flopped to the floor, still smiling though.

“And we got a laugh out of you!” she reminded him from the floor as Sombra made his way back to the booth where Twilight was sitting. He sat down and looked around the shop, where he saw many pair of eyes still fixated to him. Immediately the annoyance came back to him, making his good mood disappear.

“Aww… Back to your old grumpy self?” Pinkie asked, sitting right next to Sombra. He shifted a bit further away from the mare and sighed. Twilight and Pinkie looked at each other, like asking ‘what’s wrong this time?’.

Twilight just rolled her eyes and turned to look at Sombra, but spoke to Pinkie Pie, “Don’t mind about him. He’s just being immature like always.”

Sombra snorted. He wasn’t being immature. He just hated how he suddenly had been reminded about his current state. Back in the day ponies didn’t even dare to look at him, but now every single pair of eyes in the shop were staring at him. It made him realise that they didn’t fear him at all… Because he was just like them… just a pony.

“It’s okay. I’m pretty immature sometimes,” Pinkie told.

Sombra turned towards her and asked with deadpan stare, “Really?”

“Yeah! Its hard to believe, right?” Pinkie said with her usual enthusiasm. Something in her attitude didn’t let Sombra sulk. He flashed a small smile at her and chuckled.

“There we go,” Pinkie chirped.

Twilight giggled at her and then spoke to Sombra, “So did you enjoy dancing?”

Sombra nodded.

“So we are best friends now?” Pinkie asked. Sombra slowly turned his head towards her, before shaking it. Pinkie looked a bit sad. Twilight exhaled angrily on the other side of the table.

“Friends at least?” the pink mare asked. Sombra was about to shake his head again, but Pinkie did her best to resemble a puppy with her big, blue eyes and lower lip quivering a little.

“N-ugh…” Sombra started, but felt his throat getting dry. For some reason the negative answer didn't seem to come. He gulped and then said, with a defeated tone in his voice, “Friends…”

Pinkie Pie let out a loud squeal and threw her front-hooves around Sombra’s chest, hugging him tightly. Their cheeks were pressed together, and Sombra could feel the heat from her body. His body reacted to the sudden hug with only response it knew, making him blush. Unable to do anything due the shock, he just stared in front of him.

“Would you look at that!” Twilight snickered. “You already made your first friend!”

Sombra was sure that she was teasing him, but when he looked at her, she was smiling, not smirking. Somehow he found it enjoyable.

“Don’t worry,” Pinkie said, still hugging him.

“We’ll be best friends sooner or later.”

Author's Note:

There we go!

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