• Published 17th Dec 2014
  • 2,866 Views, 288 Comments

The Soul's Savior - Dusty Old Qrow

Sunset Shimmer has fallen. At her lowest point, she recieves help from a girl who helped beat her - Rainbow Dash. Meanwhile, CHS teacher Time Turner has his own journey of healing. How do their stories connect?

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Chapter 19: Falling

Author's Note:

This chapter was written by a friend who seems to have disappeared.

Left. Right. Left. Right. Left… every footfall was an affront to his free will. Each reverberating step a dirge signifying his subjection. The sweet, melodic tune echoed in Turner’s mind, even long after it had finished. He watched his limbs move against his will, seemingly with the phantom of the rhythm. As hard as he tried to fight the influence, he could not break through the fog that had enveloped his mind and made it all but impossible to grasp onto a free, defiant thought for more than a few moments. Though, beyond it, he could see just how absolutely those three girls had exerted themselves over the school.

In every corridor, he could see students and faculty alike, sour-faced and isolated from one another. Whenever he met their eyes, he could see a vacuous malice in them. It was as if they all held some grudge with a basis long since forgotten.

And he felt it too.

It bubbled just below Turner’s inner thoughts. He could feel the ugliest thoughts aching to break through in his actions and his voice. He couldn’t control his body, but he mustered all of his resolve to fight the callous wrath that sought to spread through him like cancer. Yet the walls he had made a feeble attempt to build between himself and negativity over the years were being chipped away, slowly but surely.

What is this?, he thought desperately as he trudged on against his will. Why are they doing this? His arm rose heavily to push open the doors to the open air.

What do they want from us?

Somehow, being outside caused a feeling of abandonment to form in his chest, and it grew with each step away from the school. The music in his head seemed to deaden slightly, and the anger slipped away altogether. He looked back over his shoulder instinctually, feeling like he was an insect being forced from its hive. It disgusted him to feel so weak, and a rising sense of dread at the mystery of what those girls could do—and wanted to do—trailed behind that disgust. He gathered enough strength to grit his teeth and force the thought of dependence from his head. But, still, he was prodded on.

The afternoon sun was in his eyes, making it somewhat difficult to discern where he was being sent. He struggled to turn his head and alleviate himself of the annoyance, resigning himself to this excursion he was being forced on. It proved short, though, as he found himself stopping a rather short distance from the main building of the school. He looked up to see an archway framed by bleachers, and a grass field striated with white markings and numbers beyond.

Turner’s chest tightened as his surroundings became clear.

The Stadium.

The girls… Berry…

His angst grew at the thought of meeting them when he was in this state. Even after they both made it clear how revolted they were by his actions, Berry and Dinky had been gracious enough to throw him a line. Yet, here he was unable to take it; his hands all but tied behind his back. The worry lingered with him for a few moments before he was spurred forward onto the grass. As he stepped, the distant music seemed to swell again, shifting with him as he looked over the vacant bleachers for their familiar faces. The opportunity to speak with the girls and his old friend would have filled him with joy just a short time ago. But, standing in the center of the stadium with the ghostly tune seeming to echoing across the empty seats, all he could feel was dread.

His gaze turned when he caught movement a short distance away out of the corner of his eye. Derpy waved to him enthusiastically, beckoning him over with a small smile on her face. Dinky and Berry were seated near her, looking down at him from their perch on the bleachers with guarded expressions. Turner made his way to them with leaden feet and an unshifting gaze. He saw Derpy lower her arm and speak to her sister and mother, but he couldn’t hear the words over the distance and the music in his ears. Whatever she said was punctuated with an encouraging smile before she looked up to him again. Her smile shone through in her golden eyes, cutting through the fog in his mind and causing the happiness of years past to well in him for the briefest moment.

She looks so much like her mother, Turner thought lovingly before his chest tightened again in disquiet. Please… not like this… not now… In spite of his pleading thoughts, he rose to their row and shimmied his way to them. Dinky and Berry fixed him with unreadable looks. Even though they were empty of the fire they contained the last time he saw them, he could still wilt under their gaze. Turner reached them and stood stiffly for a moment, looking the girls over. Even if he could speak freely, he didn’t know what he would say. He plopped down on the bleacher tiered just below Berry and his daughters. Being forced to crane his neck to look up at them made him feel small.

For a moment that lasted an age, there was silence between them. Dinky and Berry looked back and forth between each other and Turner, their gazes completely empty of any enthusiasm for their situation. Derpy looked over them all, her hands folded in her lap in absolute patience. Turner found himself thanking the ever-present melody that had been plaguing his thoughts. It saved the quiet from being torturous.

“You wanted to speak with me?” He felt the words tumble out of his mouth, but they may as well have been in another voice. He would have cursed their forced nature if he had something else to say on his own.

Dinky looked to Turner, and managed to hold her gaze there. She steeled herself with a deep breath, and seemed to sit a bit straighter for it.
“Mister Turner, I’m sorry for… um… for hitting you like I did. And for… I guess… not giving you a chance.” The younger twin paused and looked away for a moment, frowning. “I was mad at you…”

Derpy gingerly placed her hand on her sister’s arm, interrupting the other girl’s words. Dinky continued to look away, but her frown lessened a bit. Her shoulders relaxed some before she continued, her voice a bit quieter, the words coming through with a little more effort. “And… I was confused too. I didn’t know what to think about what you told us at first. I… I really didn’t believe you. I guess I didn’t want to. But, when mom told us that it was true, I didn’t understand why you… why you never…”

The girl let out a shaky breath and swallowed. It grated at Turner to see her like this again, and to know that he was at the root of it all. He wanted to reach out to her… to apologize to both of them for causing them this pain. He wanted to be their father. But, no matter how much his desires struggled against the force that bound him, he could not break free.

Dinky placed her hand over her sister’s, wresting control of herself where Turner could not. She steadied herself. “If I were alone, I don’t know what I’d do.” Dinky looked up to her sister, receiving an encouraging smile. Turner could see her strengthen at the sight of it. “But if Derpy is willing to give you a chance… then I am too.” The girl shifted her gaze to her father, her smile lingering.

Turner’s heart soared. After everything, after the truth was laid bare and they knew just what kind of man he could be, they were still willing to let him assume the role he had abandoned so long ago. He felt that he shouldn’t have been surprised, though. In the years that he had known them as he had, he’d never seen them sullen, nor beholden to anger. They were sweet things, thanks to the one thing he did right by them. He managed to glance at Berry, who smiled proudly at Dinky. If he could, he would have fallen to his knees and thanked her with all of his heart for helping the girls be what they were.

They’re angels, he thought adoringly. They have none of me in them. The sentiment couldn’t have made him prouder.

The thoughts were pushed out of his head by the song emanating from within him. It surged, like a beast roused from sleep. And he could feel a pressure—that burning rage—building inside, beginning to push him down within himself. He thought of the present, trying his best to stay the noise from taking over. He wouldn’t lose himself. Not here, and not now.

He felt a hand place itself over his own, and he looked up. Berry’s eyes were disarmingly pleading.

“Time Turner, I’m sorry how I’ve acted, and how I’ve treated you in all of this. I haven’t been a great example to the girls.” She let out a sad chuckle. Turner lost concentration. “We are… or… maybe… were friends. And, no matter what, you’re still their father. I shouldn’t have tried to stand between you and them.” The emotion in her voice choked her for a moment, and she paused to compose herself. “I can make whatever excuse I want; I can say that I wanted to protect them from getting hurt. But, the fact of the matter is it’s not my decision to make anymore. It’s their’s.” Berry turned to the girls, smiling proudly at the sight of them, as she often did.

The music was throbbing. He could hear those girls’ enrapturing voices as clearly as if they were sitting next to him, whispering into his ear. Turner felt himself being pulled from the here and now, descending down to the deepest recesses of his being. The sorrow he had known and kept with him over the years twisted inside of him, morphing into something seething and blind. It enveloped him, as darkly as dirt does the grave.

“They’ve made it clear what they want. So, I’ll be there for them, and I’ll be there for you.” She squeezed his hand under his. “If… you can forgive me.”

Turner stood stiffly, finally able to look down at them all.

“Why do you need my forgiveness, when you already have the best part of me?” He smoldered, waving his arm to indicate the girls.

No… please…

“T-Time?” Berry looked up to him in shocked confusion.

“You always liked to say that they were yours… loved to remind me of that fact. And, from what I’ve seen, that’s half true.” He turned to Dinky, her mother’s look mirrored on her face.

It appalled Turner, but he was powerless to do anything.

“I let go of my daughters because I wanted to do one thing right by them. I thought that you, Berry, my and Ditzy’s friend, could give them what I wasn’t fit to.” The pure malice in his tone shook him to his core. It scared him to think that he was capable of emanating such contempt, even if he wasn’t in control of it. “There was no one in the world I would rather have my baby girls raised by. It gave me comfort to believe that they’d grow up to be like you. But if I knew then what you showed me the other night. If I knew just how hateful you could be…” He fixed Berry with a gaze full of fire, placing his forefinger against his head.

That simple motion brought him back to that night nearly twenty years ago. He could feel metal against his skin. If it were real, he would have gladly pulled the trigger, just to save them all from this moment.

“…I would have taken them with me!”

His heart shattered in his chest. To hear such ugly words, spoken in his own voice. He felt monstrous Turner was glad, then, when he was turned and compelled away. He stormed down the steps and onto the field, deaf to the sobs in his wake. He couldn’t bear to look at Berry and the girls after that.

Though he could feel himself moving onward, he was all but blinded by suspended tears. He felt sorrow more vivid than anything that could have gripped him in his darkest hour. As black and heavy as the deep sea, it crushed him. He wanted to gnash against it, to curse and scream for just a whit of relief. All he could do, however, was shed a few miserable tears. The music mocked him with it’s sweetness.

Adagio and her sisters drank deep of the energy from their place in the shadows. She leered at the man in the brown trench coat sulking off the field, a feeling of satiation coursing through her that she hadn’t known in a long while. He was quite the font for them… but she thought they may have wrung him dry with this little charade. Those girls, his daughters, they could be used just like all the others in the school. Their “mother” most likely could as well. But they had had a little too much fun with their newest toy. She could feel it from where she stood; his complete and utter desolation. A feeling of disappointment ran through her; she rather enjoyed him. It was rare for them to have the opportunity to feed on feelings as deep and poignant as his. Sorrow like that was uniquely decadent to a siren, like a fine wine. Something to be savored, and never to be known again once it was quaffed. She abandoned the reverie with a callous shrug.

Oh well, we can probably squeeze a little something else out of him. She thought, a crooked grin crawling across her face. She looked to her sisters, still in the midst of rapturous imbibement. She led their gaze to the broken man shuffling his way from them.

“Time Turner,” She purred, her voice dripping with cruel anticipation. “Delicious~”