• Published 26th Sep 2015
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Can You Find it in Your Heart? - Ravenmane



As broken as he is. As unforgivable as he acted. Could anyone find it in their heart to care for a tyrant such as King Sombra?

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17 - Day and Fright

Waning Crescent 32, 3349

The day has come at last. I know Twilight said we don’t have to so soon, but it needs to happen eventually. If I have my way then it will be long before my fears become a reality. I had plenty of sleep last night, even though Celestia haunted my dreams. Her imperious gaze is akin to a foul memory. I want it gone. I have moved on. I think she has but will I tear open an old wound instead?

I wonder about her sister though. Luna and I had a wondrous friendship. Perhaps realizing that my suspicions of a guardian had brought dreams back to my mind. Regardless, my mind’s deepest of secrets may have been penetrated by her interaction with my dreams last night. My obsessions, my thoughts, the past I know, and so much more. I asked that she not interfere with the interaction that will transpire today but I am not sure of her willingness to comply. Should Celestia be warned, I may have a more difficult time convincing her of the sincerity of my attempt to seek peace.

I think the voice understands my potential need for magic today. It has been growing quieter for days, even when I try to use magic for trivial things or in front of other ponies. I want to think it finally understands that I won’t surrender to temptation but it seems too coincidental that it quiets near this confrontation.

“Sombra,” said Twilight from the doorway. “I want you to know that my priority is to protect Ponyville if this meeting turns violent.”

Sombra closed his journal and set his quill beside it. “I intend only to defend myself. My magic is nearly as it once was while I was whole, but I intend to be defensive. Barrier spells, I know the theory, but I’ve no knowledge as to how effective they can be. I’ve spent time gaining better control over teleportation in private as well. Offense is my last resort and I’ve been thinking about that.”

“What is it?”

“You remember how I sealed your brother’s magic? If I do go on the offensive, I intend to go only that far.”

“You think blocking Princess Celestia from using her magic will show you have self-control and that you want to talk right?”

The unicorn smiled as he looked out to the wintery landscape of Ponyville. “I can’t afford to be reckless and neither should she. The damage we could do, even if I do nothing more than defend myself, could devastate Ponyville.”

“I already had a massive battle with Tirek that dragged through Ponyville. There was some damage to the whole of Ponyville but aside from that scattered damage and the explosion of the Golden Oak Library, I think we’ve been lucky here.”

“Yes, but how much damage can the town take before it yields? You had to defend the town and your magic yes?”

“I had all of the alicorn magic inside me.”

“My point exactly. I’m just a unicorn. I have the same odds I had so long ago. Sorry, slimmer odds because I have neither dark magic nor my cursed amplifiers to bolster my power. I don’t want to tear up the town by making crystal barricades either.”

“Crystal barricades?”

“I have a kinship with gems and their ilk. I can make defenses from them with ease, but magic would be safer for the town.”

“Well, then I’ll help you. If Princess Celestia doesn’t treat me as an equal then she lied to me the second she put a crown on my head.”

Sombra smiled. “She can lie Twilight, never forget that she’s just as imperfect as the rest of us. Celestia’s lies are easy enough to see, she breaks that façade of hers in a way that tells you something is off about her words or the situation. That is how I remember it at least, she has had one thousand years to refine her skills after all.”

Twilight giggled as she led him to breakfast. “That hasn’t changed. She tried to get out of a lesson a few years before I came to Ponyville by faking sick. An hour later I left a slice of cake in her office and hid.”

“Let me guess, you caught her out of bed and in perfect health.”

Twilight nodded. “Harmless games are one thing, but something serious is unforgivable. If she doesn’t value my word as an equal then she shouldn’t be allowed to make important decisions on her own. Come on, you should get something to eat before doing this.”

*****

Sombra and Twilight watched from a distance as the royal sisters traveled through Ponyville. “How will we do this then,” Sombra asked. “They’re supposed to be here for a spa appointment and I’m still unwelcome in there.”

“Head to Sugarcube Corner, I’ve got a plan.”

“If it involves me acting innocent with a desert then I have mixed feelings. I worry about the way either would interpret the confusion that kind of scenario would bring.”

“Oh, well how about asking if they need help?”

“Mrs. Cake threw a mixing bowl at me last time I asked. It took Pinkie and Mr. Cake two hours to get her to calm down while she waved a large wooden spoon at me.”

“Um, see if my cake is ready. Even if Mrs. Cake is there, she’ll go and get Pinkie instead of attacking you.”

“What’s the occasion?”

“It’s for after the Hearth’s Warming pageant. Everypony’s coming over and I’d like it if you’d join us. I know your holiday’s important but I want you to be a part of Ponyville too.”

“I appreciate your concern Twilight, but I still will not attend this pageant of yours. Maybe next year, when I’m more accustomed to Equestria.”

“I know, but you can still go and check on the cake right?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Good, you do that and I’ll see what I can do about Princess Celestia.”

“Twilight, you need to know that Princess Luna knows but–”

“I have vague memories about that from my dream last night. Something about not telling Princess Celestia right?”

“Yes. I feel that what will be, will be. Telling her will only change what destiny has in store for us. Fate is real Twilight and it’s my fate to see what becomes of our encounter.” Sombra smiled. “I’ll go and see about that cake now, good luck.”

*****

“Hey Pinkie,” Sombra said enthusiastically as he entered Sugarcube Corner.

“What can I do for my number one magic-y stallion,” she replied in a chipper tone from behind the counter. “Here for some cocoa and a cupcake?”

Sombra shook his head as he held back the urge to laugh at her little nickname. “Twilight wanted me to see how her Hearth’s Warming cake is coming along.”

“Sure thing,” Pinkie set a warm mug on the counter top, “enjoy the cocoa on me while I get it.”

Before he even had a chance to refuse, she had already vanished into the back room.

~~~~~

Twilight nervously entered the spa, her concern was focused more on the lack of anypony at reception than telling her mentor about her potential reformation project.

“Sister you seem evasive,” commented Luna from her mud bath. “More so than usual.”

“Well I–”

“Excuse me,” interrupted Twilight as she nervously entered. “Princess Celestia, can we talk about something?”

“I didn’t think this was enough of a concern for you Twilight,” her mentor replied. “Just Luna and I enjoying a day off.”

“Well, I have something you need to know about. Somepony arrived about a month ago and, I know he’s rough around the edges but–”

Celestia perked from her massage. “Who is in Ponyville Twilight?”

“Sombra,” she replied nervously. Unfortunately for her, a bright flash beat her to any further dialogue.

“This may get messy Twilight Sparkle,” commented Luna. “I would suggest haste on your part, I will join you as soon as I have escaped this bath.”

*****

No sooner had Pinkie arrived with Twilight’s cake then Sombra found himself flying through the wall, the wind knocked out of him as he struggled just to remain conscious.

“Hey,” screamed Pinkie as she set the cake on the counter while saving the unicorn’s cocoa from spilling. “He was just asking to see how Twilight’s cake was going!”

Celestia snapped out of her reaction at the sound of the earth pony’s words. “I did,” she pointed to the hole in the wall as she looked to the pink mare. “That was me right?”

“Mrs. Cake,” Pinkie called as she went into the kitchen with Twilight’s cake, “Princess Celestia threw Sombra through the wall, I’m gonna go and see if he’s okay!”

“That’s fine Pinkie,” echoed the baker from upstairs, “just bring the cake back and I’ll take care of it.”

As his awareness returned, Sombra’s horn ignited, causing him to teleport onto the ground. He assumed a defensive stance and waited for a second strike. Though his eyes shifted to a razor-sharp focus, he was doing his best to ignore a very pressing matter. She broke a few ribs with that strike, he silently assessed. I’m fortunate there is no critical organ damage.

Celestia appeared before the focused unicorn in a blazing light. Sombra’s own defenses darkened the light and had become apparent to the alicorn, though as the light faded so did the darkness. “I’m sorry,” she said in a calm, albeit neutral tone. “I reacted while you were defenseless. I… I wasn’t thinking straight. Twilight told me you were here and I thought that she was trying to ask for help.”

Sombra scowled, his defensive posture turned to one of galvanized fury. “You endangered the citizens, threw me through a wall, and suspected evil from the monster you made of me and you expect me to accept your apology? You forgave your sister without a second thought didn’t you?”

“I–”

“Yes or no?”

“Yes but–”

“You forgave one monster you created because she was your sister but not the one you made out of a unicorn despite his lesser abilities? Blood is indeed thicker than water Princess. You drove me insane yet you still think you deserve your title?” Sombra’s shouting had brought the citizens of Ponyville to crowd the sides of the street save for the pegasi who adorned the roofs as still and silent as statues.

“Please, just let me explain,” she shouted.

Nearly an hour passed before Sombra eased his stance and softened his expression. Despite the time that elapsed, nopony moved from their place save for Twilight who had come to Sombra’s side.

“I was wrong Sombra,” she said as her eyes drifted to the ground. “All those years ago I was so very wrong. I hurt you and proved your people’s laws to be true because I did something so foolish. I did turn you into a monster and it was all because I couldn’t understand your feelings.”

“There was no standing army before, we were of no strategic value, and I was in mourning. Honestly, what did you think was going to happen? You called for war because I wasn’t there for you. No, it was because you decided on me wasn’t it?”

Celestia looked back to Sombra. The bitterness of his words was not reflected in his stance or expression. “We can’t begin again can we?”

Twilight draped the unicorn with one of her wings, causing him to blush profusely. “I don’t think we could,” he replied softly. “There’s too much bad blood between us, compounded by the fact you just broke a few of my ribs. You made a horrible mistake and I verbally lashed out at you for it just then. I think you’ve had plenty of time to think about what you did. I still think I can forgive you someday, but right now I just can’t.” Sombra turned to look at Twilight. “Sorry, the adrenaline’s nearly to worn off and I think I’ll need some help getting to a doctor.”

*****

“Thankfully your injuries aren’t as severe as you thought,” said a unicorn as he looked over the x-rays of Sombra’s chest. “No broken bones, but there are several cracked ribs.”

Unlike Twilight’s encouraging smile, Sombra didn’t seem that comfortable with both the results and fact that he had been forced into a wheelchair. “And the bad news is what exactly?”

“The bad news is that I’d like you to stay here overnight so you don’t overexert yourself. Any further magic on your part might disrupt the bones as they mend and walking around should already be stressing them.”

“Hence this infernal device,” Sombra mumbled.

“Anyways, most of the more severe cracks should mend enough for you to enjoy your Hearth’s Warming Eve back at your home. Still, no magic transportation or anything faster than a trot for a few weeks. I don’t want you back here because you stressed your body too much from moving.”

“You are rather fortunate,” commented Luna after the doctor left. “Most ponies would not walk away from my sister’s overreacting with so few injuries.”

Sombra looked her in the eye. “Hitting a stud in that wall might have changed the whole thing Luna.” Slowly, his gaze turned towards the silent elder sister. “Did you really think I’d arrive a scant flight from your castle to cause trouble Celestia?”

Celestia nodded silently.

“You are sure you’ve learned your lesson about beating me up yes?”

Celestia sighed. “Yes, it only causes trouble for everypony. It caused your reign of darkness and it caused your injuries today.”

Sombra nodded, satisfied with her answer. “Now you’ve a lot to answer for Celestia, think you can come clean with Equestria?”

“This close to Hearth’s Warming? I don’t want to do something like that to everypony. Not when there’s a holiday about family, friendship, and togetherness nearly here.”

“You’ll need to explain someday Celestia. My question for you is when?”

“I’m afraid I can only say that I’ll tell them when I’m ready.”

“Princess Celestia,” interrupted Twilight as she tried to butt into the conversation. “I just want to say that I’ve read about when he stayed with you one thousand years ago. I have his journal and I–”

Celestia smiled. “I’ve read it too,” her eyes turned back to the unamused unicorn. “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help it once I found the room. I – I stored everything about you in there. After what happened I couldn’t look at anything anymore. Starswirl and Luna told me not to bury the memories and what I learned, but I just couldn’t bring myself to look at any of it anymore.”

“I think I deserve that tapestry back where ponies can see it.”

Princess Luna rested a hoof on Sombra’s shoulder. “She’s into stained glass these days. If she were to grant you something akin to all that transpired it would take a hall alone to say all there was. All that will be will certainly take even more space. Vignettes perhaps? They can say what needs to be said and gloss over one too many evenings alone.”

Sombra smiled as he saw Celestia try to hide her embarrassment. “And what would you know of those nights we may or may not have shared?”

“The way she carried herself back then changed from time to time, there was a time while you were gone that I worried she may have travelled to see you.” Luna paused and glanced to her sister briefly. “Mayhap to apologize with a foal she sought to hide from all save for its father.”

Sombra laughed as Celestia hurried from the room, sorely regretting it a moment later. “Still so easily tricked isn’t she Luna?”

“Indeed,” replied Luna smugly. “Though I think we may have taken it one step too far this time. Still, I have a feeling that you are destined for the hoof of a princess Sombra. Be it her, I, or even Twilight Sparkle, is best left for time to reveal.”

Author's Note:

Sorry guys, I couldn't deliver what I wanted in the Celestia/Sombra encounter. I'll see what I can do to make it up to you guys.