• Published 19th Dec 2016
  • 15,491 Views, 229 Comments

Bane - Scarheart

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Bonus: Expanded Third Act

Author's Note:

This is an expanded version of the ending to the original version of Bane. It did feel rushed to me and a couple of readers I'm sure felt the same way. As a result, I wrote what I hope is a more fleshed out ending which will satisfy more readers (as well as myself). It is my hope it answers some questions without giving away too much of the future. I also wanted to keep the original ending with the original story so readers can compare and see the difference.

I still want to leave some things to the imagination of the readers.

I do hope this is an acceptable Christmas present for you all.

Edited by Chapter 13 and TuxOKC.

I used to wander.

The world is still quiet, but not as much as it used to be. More years have passed since Celestia brought me into her home. In many ways, it was the most difficult experience of my life. Celestia began teaching me ways to adapt my mind to this... immortality. It has been hard, adjusting to a living voice talking to me every day. There are still parts of my life during my wanderings I can’t remember, save for blurs of madness. I still think of my wife and my kids. I think of the new friends who did their best to count me as one of their own. I think of the cataclysmic loss and the silence death brings in its wake. Celestia helped me with her patience and understanding. She mentions Twilight every now and then, though avoids my questions about the long-dead unicorn.

I used to wander.

I buried the dead, losing myself to madness, pulling myself from the Edge on my own, albeit just. Despair pulled me back into the chaos and the sober task I had given myself thrust me from it. I had waged an inner struggle, neglecting myself in the process. I could not die, as a mad God gave me his immortality before sending himself to oblivion. Luna stayed true to her word and I began to remember my dreams. She couldn’t change them, but I learned, through our brief and infrequent conversations in my sleep, that I could control my dreams. It was hard for her to help me, and she told me so in her own words. The Night Goddess’ attitude towards me was cold and distant, but she kept her word. It changed little and it felt to me she was acting through her duty and love for her sister.

I am where I need to be, where I can heal and recover. I wake every morning now to the sounds of new life and new hope. Old horrors still linger, reminding me of the stories old soldiers used to speak of when remembering wars fought in their youth. Post traumatic stress, I think it was called. The burden in my heart has lessened and I find myself curious to the circumstances which brought me to this point in my life. One that, as I have come to understand with reluctance, will go on for a very long time.

Over time, Philomena warmed to me to the point where my existence was tolerable in her eyes. Celestia still has to talk to that bird. After one particular one-sided discussion the Goddess had with her pet, the phoenix became both miffed and subdued. The stares it threw at me were of confusion, which in turn confused me. I asked Celestia what she had told the bird, but there was no direct answer. A coy smile and a shake of the head was all I received in response. “All in good time,” I remember her saying.

Baffling.

I think I am happy. At least happier than I have been since I could last remember. Necessity has brought me to understanding. Bouts of depression happen. Despite reassurances from Celestia, there are times I feel as though my past will find me. I still feel guilty. I always will feel guilty. A voice, her voice, now fills my day and my burden feels lighter. Celestia and I became very close. I did not hesitate in accepting having her near. It was not long before we became inseparable. It was a cure to our loneliness and I know I was happier for it.

I began to help her in her garden. Because of my newly discovered affinity to earth magic, a green thumb would come as if nature had intended it, the Goddess assured me. This was how I was introduced to this magic that had grown into me. My first lesson began with pulling weeds. Part of my future would be a study of myself in finding a better understanding of the changes I had undergone. The magic within me was a mystery and needed to be understood, lest it become a dangerous liability.

The seasons behaved as I remembered back on my world. The land, as I became aware, had gone wild. The clouds had once housed cities, and some ruins could still be seen. Cloudsdale was falling into decay, as the cloud columns were, over the years, losing their magic. I only noticed one day by looking up at hearing the Goddess make a broken sound and following her broken gaze. As the floating ruins drifted by on the winds, she told me of how it used to be a grand city, a place of proud pegasi traditions and culture.

I had a mental setback that day. The Goddess comforted, as it was in her nature. As the winds carried the once city away, Celestia spoke in a shy tone, the words falling like reluctant snow upon still air, “I love you, John. I want you. I need you.” She leaned into me, the side of her face pressed against my chest. The voice of the Goddess reverberated into my heart, “I am being selfish and I want more than just to silence the loneliness that plagued me for so long. I confess I tried to deny myself. I tried to rationalize my feelings. I tried to tell myself these feelings were borne..." Her words faded and she went silent. It was not the voice of a giddy schoolgirl professing her crush. No, this was a wounded soul laid bare for me to see in all its scarred glory. Celestia held her breath, waiting.

The Goddess —no, the mare— had made herself vulnerable to me.

I flinched at her touch. Her words rang through my head. I could not think of why I could or should be loved. “Why do you love me?” I queried, stuttering. It had come out of the blue and I don’t think I was prepared for it in any way, shape, or form.

Her features morphed through so many emotions when the question was asked. Her eyes became warm, yet sad. The voice of the Goddess was shaken and unsure. As she spoke, there was trepidation. She was uncertain, but seemed willing to brave whatever awaited in the aftermath of her words. “Because love is strange. Love knows no boundaries.” Celestia quivered, trying to look me in the eyes and blinking away tears. “Love is the one thing in my heart that has kept me going. I love you because I need you. I love you because you need me. Love is hope and without hope, there can be no love.” There was a desperation there, a need and a want. She wanted to heal. The Goddess had been hurting for as long as I had wandered.

I was troubled with seeing such a profession of love from Celestia. She seemed so sure of herself and so strong in her convictions. Losing her ponies had left deep scars indeed. Was she afraid of losing our friendship? The fear I once had of her had all but vanished.

What could I do? What could I say to that? I think it was the loneliness and her fear of losing me. Did she only love me because I was all that was left? Such words would have been hollow, but… they weren’t.

Then, she kissed me. A pony kissed me. Though it was unexpected, I found I was not repulsed by her lips pressed against mine. It was strange and my mind tried to process what Celestia was doing. At first, I backed away from her, my fingers to my lips as I stared at the mare. The Goddess wore surprise from her own action, turning into dejection as the distance between us grew. I stopped, thinking of her kiss. For an eternity, it seemed, we matched eyes. There was want there, a hunger. Needful thoughts and wanting flashed through the twin portals to her soul.

Could I do this? Why was my heart pounding so hard? As we stared into each other’s souls, I came to realize here in front of me was my future. Here was the most understanding and patient creature I had ever known. Her beauty was unique and she had gone from the ruler I had met so long ago to an image as down to earth and… human in my eyes.

She was a woman in my eyes. When did this happen? At what point did I stop looking at her as a pony and seeing her as a woman? I think I saw my wife in her, in certain ways. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part. Was it my own desire to not be alone anymore? Maybe I was trying to see the love of my old life in the Goddess before me. Behind the image in my mind were the children I had with my wife. That image blurred and reformed into the fallen princess before me.

I reached out with a hand and my fingers caressed her cheek. Touching her pelt was electrifying. When did she begin to feel so soft and supple? Something clicked in my thoughts and I made my own decision in a war I had not known had been waging in my heart. Cupping her face in both hands, I returned her kiss, weeping as I did so. Yes, I did love her. She was as broken as me. She was my Goddess. I could no more deny her as she could no longer deny me.

But was it genuine? I was afraid it was the fear of being alone, masking itself under the guise of love. “I’m afraid of what I feel,” I said to her. “I’m afraid I’m going to live a lie and hurt you. I don’t want to hurt you.”

The Goddess —no, the lady— fluffed her wings and shook her mane. “Time will tell,” she replied with a nuzzle. “For now, this moment is all that matters. We might stumble. We might fall. I don’t care, because I know we will be there for each other. I have you here, in front of me in this moment and that is all that matters to me.”

Luna came to me in my dreams that night and, in her own terrifying way, congratulated me in the form of a nightmare. There was no place I could hide if I broke Celestia’s heart, she was telling me. I woke up from the experience frozen half to death, but determined.

We said our vows beneath the silver moon and Luna’s approval and blessing. She still did not come down from her moon, but the light of her moon seemed to me warm and welcoming. It was a short-lived experience as the moment the ceremony was done, her presence was gone.

Celestia was disappointed. She had hoped to convince her sister to come down from the moon and rejoin her. Rejoin us. The Goddess of the Night would not listen. At night, I often caught the Goddess of the Day pleading up to her sister. Celestia had become the Goddess of my heart. My thoughts of how I perceived this Paragon of life as an immortal being had changed. It went from seeing her as an all-powerful immortal being to the ruler of my heart. When had that happened? When had the word changed from someone to fear to someone I love? Maybe the sisters needed each other. I do know Celestia had been without Luna for a thousand years. She was keen on having her near, but Luna had been traumatized.

When I asked her about it in my dreams, she stopped visiting me.

“When I am ready,” her growling voice followed me to wakefulness. Luna terrified me in ways Celestia could never dream of. I did my best to appease the moon and I washed my hands of the issue, leaving one Goddess to deal with the other.

The small, round cottage Celestia had built was expanded and I learned carpentry. My Goddess was very knowledgable in what she was doing. With her guidance, I learned how to build walls and thatch a roof. It felt good to build instead of bury. I asked the mare why she wanted to add to her quaint little home. Her answers were elusive, but she assured me it was necessary.

I have done things I would have never dreamed of. The results have been little voices and little hooves and a mare who has newfound meaning in her life. I am a very confused man at times, but I do not think I am unhappy. The old wounds are still healing, but I am where I need to be. There are still questions and I still do not understand this newfound magic of mine. My wife is doing her best to help me understand what is in me and progress is slow, but not boring. Luna still has not come down from her moon, but she watches and with great interest. I think she will be coming home soon. I have hope now. It is still a fragile thing. I cling to it, knowing I have someone who will hold on to it with me.

Discord’s words still ring in my mind. I think a part of him came with his immortality. His madness was not needed. I had plenty of my own. But there was now a Goddess —my beautiful Goddess— in my life and she was so humble and strong. It occurred to me at some point she might have been manipulating me to her own ends. I can’t bear to think of questioning her about that. I’m surrounded by good things and I’m afraid to ask. It’s not fear I have of her anymore, rather it’s the risk of making her sad. A happy Celestia is a beautiful Celestia. Some things, well, perhaps they are best left alone.

I am John Bane, and I will wander no more

Comments ( 44 )

You ding dong! You gonna have kids!

That's my impression, but if correct. Children is the start of new life... although its been said many times & is a cliche: a new beginning. A new start after a grand tragedy.

(Had to edit it & correct what I wrote... sorry:twilightsheepish: Why don't I catch them earlier?)

Very nice, though I thought it was already fine in its original state, the new ending was still lovely.

7817681 I felt I got lazy on the final act. I hang my head in shame.

Oh. All they need to jumpstart new civilization is to lure Luna in.

This ending and the original are both fine in my eyes. Great job nonetheless though.

So there will be more of this in the future then?

Thank You for this, though I liked both endings...

oh well, Merry Christmas and all. Also is there more John Bane to be had?

The new ending is, well... a bonus. Just like it says it is. I'm fine with it, it's nice.

The original was perfectly fine on its own. But here's the thing. It's like having a nice, fantastic meal. Once you've eaten as much as you can, or want, you're satisfied. But now you're offered more, and thus, one might politely decline, because you're perfectly content with what you got, and need no more. If that makes sense.

I appreciate this, it was a nice read.
I also have no issuedswith open endings, as your first one, making up your own ending or filling in the blanks in your own way is very enjoyable.

I liked this! 10/10 :moustache:

I don't really know what to say to this but... beautiful :twilightsmile:

The results have been little voices and little hooves and a mare who has newfound meaning in her life

o.0 0.o

Well way to become Adam, Jhon.

Very well written and it leaves enough to our imagination to jump start a new world with an interesting twist what with Jhon taking Odin's title for himself.

7827049 I did a lot to try and leave it to the reader's imagination. I get some folks wanted more in the end, but I didn't want to give anymore than what I felt was necessary. Everything was pretty much as I intended and I was happy with how it turned out. The end is ambiguous for a reason. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and I appreciate the effort you put in your thoughts and sharing them with me. I am an amateur writer at best, so if there are flaws, they're ones I accept.

Besides, you're only getting things from one perspective and the man's been in and out of insanity. I did not feel it was necessary to delve into details regarding what happened beyond Equestria. I wanted to focus the interaction between John and Celestia and that was important to me. Everything else was not important in my eyes. I think the term is 'unreliable narrative'.

If I do decide to go more into this story and its background, I will certainly address it. For now, I just want to take a look at what worked and what didn't and move on to the next story.

Love this story, it has been quite a while since I last saw someone explore the disease aspect of HiE, end even longer since I have seen one this well written.

It is my great pleasure to award to you the Editors-R-Us award for exceptional writing.cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/264589098356834304/264590006645948422/unknown.png
Feel free to duct tape it anywhere, or ignore it altogether.

7831427 It looks great! Thank you!:twilightsmile:

You sir have landed a beautiful fuckin place in my heart with this story.
There aren't nearly enough like this.
I'm sad this has ended.
Thank you.

This was a very well written story. I honestly haven't made my mind up about the whole implied Starlight Glimmer but at the end, but the rest is wonderful.

I can only hope Luna returns back to Celestia soon.

8005013 glad you liked it! I'm still learning and hoping to be a better writer.

I really liked the part where you wrote how they became a couple, it was sweet.

I'm imagining Jack at the season 5 premier of Samurai Jack. I'm betting that's what john looks like.

I liked this story, though I agree that a sequel or prequel explaining more about the background or the future of their children might be nice.

Just a quick question what happened to cadence

8005013
Ah, thank you! I could not figure out why the random time travel incident. Now I understand why it's at least plausible!

8126010 I haven't decided. Might make a follow-up​ story.

dis is one the stories where i think it would be better to leave it as it is rather than making a sequel even tho i want more of it

8292510
No sequel is planned.

8292520
it's better that way

Because love is strange. Love knows no boundaries.

And because aside from her sister, there is no one else to love.

And here I thought this story was going to be mediocre, I was pleasantly disappointed.

8795364
Sounds good, thanks. I'll try to start on it at some point soon.

My all time favourite fic. Thanks.

If Alicorns are immune then where is Cadence in all this? I feel she should have at least been mentioned in a paragraph, at least.
I imagine she would have intombed herself in the the crystal heart because she could not deal with the loss of Shinning and her ponies.

9504934
Since twilight died it's more than likely he went with non-immortal created Alicorns as per the show writers.

THESE HORSES ARE NOT GODS!!

10272775
Ponies, not horses.

10272775
And you're right, they are goddesses.

Dude... this is... such a... good..... Mindfuck... when you're funky-drunk. Tears were poring down my face and they FELT. SO. GOOD. I am calm now, I am at peace... Thank you. *SIGH* Yes... sleep is now......

Too often things are temporary.

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