• Published 4th Apr 2021
  • 2,123 Views, 89 Comments

Sombra's Recovery - MisterEdd



Hunted by the crown, Sombra tries to evade capture while rediscovering who he is.

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Getting Settled In

"What in Faust's name was that?"

Twilight was absolutely shocked by Sombra's behavior. It wasn't that she was surprised by his flagrantly thoughtless action; she'd become accustomed to his standoffish manner and seemingly-thoughtless behavior towards those that dismayed him. No, rather it was the action directed towards one of her friends that was the cause for friction. If he'd done that to a stranger, it would've been terrible but non-offensive. No one teleported one of her friends without just cause, especially in her presence.

"Rainbow was being smug," Sombra answered with apparent dismissal, though there was a bit of self-awareness in his expression. "I was knocking her down a peg, so to speak."

"That's inexcusable!" Twilight blurted out. "A pony being rude doesn't give you carte blanche to zap them...Celestia-knows-where!"

"You really shouldn't go around doing things like that," Fluttershy stated softly. "Especially to ponies that didn't do anything wrong."

"Darn tootin'!"

"Everyone, relax. I can assure you that she's perfectly safe and will come back here the same she was as she left." Then he added, "More or less."

Sure enough, a familiar pegasus rocketed onto the scene and descended, albeit now covered head-to-hoof with a layer of thick, viscous mud.

"Rainbow, wha' happened t' ya?"

Rainbow glared at Sombra. "I landed in a shallow mud puddle just on the outskirts of the Everfree Forest."

"You see? Perfectly fine."

Applejack seized Rainbow as she attempted to launch herself at Sombra, thrashing and growling like a caged animal. Pinkie furrowed her brow and jabbed a hoof at Sombra.

"That wasn't very nice! Weren't you listening to my song?"

Sombra retained his solemn demeanor. "Well she started it."

"It doesn't matter!" Twilight stomped a hoof down. "Apologize to Rainbow Dash this instant."

Sombra's expression softened, as though he were just now realizing the ramifications of his action. Giving Rainbow a once-over, he said rather remorsefully, "I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash."

"Now Rainbow, what do you say?"

Scraping off some mud from her wing with a hoof, Rainbow glowered at Sombra for an extended period of time. Applejack helped to clean her up, keeping a steady hold of her friend's shoulder in case Rainbow tried another attack. Instead, Rainbow sighed, "Apology accepted, Sombra."

Despite the clear resentment in Rainbow's voice, Twilight nodded. "Very good. Now, let's head inside, check up on Spike and Rarity, and put this whole mess behind us."

Twilight wanted to get angry with Sombra, but she had to remind herself that he was still learning, or rather, relearning proper societal etiquette, the umbrum having lost such knowledge due to the time he'd spent on his own. Discord hadn't exactly been on his best behavior during his reformation, even going so far as to betray everyone to Lord Tirek before learning the error of his ways and making more of an effort to become better. She looked over at Sombra, his eyes inspecting the crystalline interior, and afforded herself a small smile. Although slow, he was making progress, as she could tell that his apology was genuine, if a tad forced. For whatever reason, Rainbow and Sombra still had some kind of animosity between them-likely due to their shared stubbornness-but she was sure that it'd vanish the more time the two spent together.

Hopefully...

"Where is Spike? I thought he'd be at the train station."

Twilight looked at him with uncertainty. "Oh, well...it'd be best if we showed you."

Turning the corner, they came upon a distressed-looking Rarity pacing outside of a close door.

"Thank Celestia you came back!" Rarity then noticed their guest. "Hello Sombra."

"Rarity," he nodded.

"Why are you out here?" Twilight wrapped the doorknob in her aura and twisted it.

"Darling, I wouldn't if I-..."

A roaring horizontal cyclone ripped through the door and would've pummeled all of them if not for a combined raspberry and red shield thrown up at the last minute. Once the cyclone dissipated, Twilight and Sombra extinguished their magic, finding a ruffle-maned Rarity staring at the door in a matter-of-fact way.

"...were you..."

Inside, the room was a mess. No, a catastrophe. Scorch marks adorned the floors and ceiling in Rorschach-esque splotches, some of which were still sizzling and exuding smoke. A thin layer of rime covered sections of the room while clumps of crackling, icy debris littered the floor like discarded sculptures. At the center stood Spike, who was sweeping up the smashed remnants of a porcelain bird statuette, muttering to himself under his breath before he caught wind of his visitors.

"Um...hi. Sorry about that."

Sombra was the first to speak: "What is going on here?"

"It's kind of hard to explain-..." Twilight began, only for Rainbow to interject.

"Spike randomly got ice breath, then burped lighting bolts and now little tornadoes."

"I guess it wasn't hard after all."

Sombra peered at Spike closely. "Fascinating...how did this happen?"

"Remember when I told you how I got my cutie mark? As it turns out, I may've sort of infused the egg with some of my magic and that was transferred onto Spike," Twilight elaborated. "Apparently it's been growing inside of him and his recent contact with the Elements of Harmony may've acted as some sort of catalyst. Have you ever heard of this happening before?"

Sombra hummed at this. "No, I haven't. Magic exists within every facet of this world but there are some creatures that are incapable of tapping into this energy, such as dragons. This is completely new to me."

"Princess Celestia is sendin' some guards t' bring Spike back t' Canterlot so they can perform some tests on him," Applejack added. "Do ya think he'll be awright?"

Sombra placed a hoof on Spike's shoulder. "I believe Spike will endure this." He smiled down at the young drake. "He's stronger than he looks."

Spike returned the smile. "Thanks Sombra." He then abruptly doubled over and, after a painful-sounding coughing storm, hacked out some ice cubes and chunks of raw ore. "Ow..."

Patting Spike on the back, Sombra checked his friend over before scooping up the ore in his magic for closer study. "Bits of iron pyrite, some magnetite, and a smidgen of chrysoberyl."

"Ooo, good eye!" Pinkie complimented. "How do you know so much about geology?"

"Back when I was studying magic and alchemy, I first had to familiarize myself with different forms of solid matter before I could learn how to transmutate it. The creative process is far simpler once you've gotten a basic understanding of elemental composition."

Twilight stared at Sombra like an infatuated schoolfilly.

"Cough, nerd, cough!"

Sombra glared in Rainbow's direction, who was doing her best to look innocent.

"Perhaps you'd like to be turned into a newt?"

"A newt?" Rainbow parroted somewhat nervously.

"You'll get better."

Twilight quickly jumped in between the two. "Right, uh, Sombra, how about I show you where you'll be staying?"

"That sounds fine," Sombra muttered while keeping his gaze focused on Rainbow.

Leaving everyone else with Spike, Twilight shepherded Sombra through the castle until arriving at a door that had curiously been emblazoned with the marking of a black crystal within a red snowflake. Strangely, the marking appeared when Twilight first made preparations for Sombra's stay and was searching for a spare room to situate him in. She speculated that the castle, which was infused with energy from the Tree of Harmony, must have some kind of rudimentary consciousness and thus prepared the room for his arrival. There was still so much that she and the others were learning about the castle and the Tree, her scientific mind ablaze with endless possibilities. Perhaps she'd even write a dissertation on the applications of harmony magic.

The room was spartan in appearance, lacking any personal decor like picture frames or sports posters so Twilight took it upon herself to supply it with some minor comforts. She knew Sombra to be a relatively simple stallion, one who didn't require much in the way of luxury and decided to decorate it accordingly. There was a small alcove with a red wing-back chair and a bookshelf filled with books of various topics ranging from history to modern literature and poetry. Up against the far wall, she'd set up a small writing desk and office chair in front of the window just in case Sombra wanted to feel the sun's rays as he wrote. For the pièce de résistance, a wicker basket sat on the bed, stuffed with various gifts and goodies and tied with a bow around the handle.

Sombra immediately honed in on the basket. "What's this?"

"It's a gift basket. It was Pinkie's idea and everyone chipped in. What do you think?"

Carefully depositing the basket's contents across the mattress' surface, Sombra looked over everything. There was a bottle of Parfum du Côté Sauvage, a Prench cologne courtesy of Rarity, containing a curious mix of blackcurrant, spicy musk, birch, and lemon. A bottle of Sweet Apple Acres' famous cider, naturally, came from Applejack, which Rainbow Dash had tried to swipe...twice. Fluttershy gifted him with a book on bird-watching, Spike a guide to geology, and Pinkie, recalling the sweet-bread she'd made during Twilight and Sombra's first date, baked another loaf. As for Rainbow Dash, she opted for the cheap route and sprang for a desktop drinking bird.

"They're all very thoughtful," he said after a moment of silence. He then picked up with the drinking bird-with his hooves, oddly enough-and looked it over. "What is this?"

"Oh, let me show you!"

There were two quick raspberry flashes and Twilight returned with a glass of water. Setting the glass down on a nearby table, she placed the drinking bird next to it and dipped its "beak" into the water. After a few seconds, the head jerked backward before dunking back into the water. And this was how it went, the bird dipping its head into the water, throwing its head back, ad infinitum. Frowning, Sombra leaned down for a closer peak, watching the cycle with fascination.

"It works through a combination of physics and chemistry," Twilight began excitedly. "After the bird's beak comes into contact with the water, it starts to evaporate and this makes the felt head lower the temperature of the top glass bulb and for the vapor inside of it-known as dichloromethane-to condense. This, in turn, causes the pressure to drop in the head, pushing the liquid up the neck and tipping the bird over. The bottom end of the glass tube rises above the surface of the liquid, causing a bubble of warm vapor to displace the liquid and the ensuing pressure equalizes the top and bottom bulbs to return the bird back to its vertical position."

"Interesting..."

Twilight giggled at the sight of Sombra, dark sorcerer and former tyrannical overlord of the Crystal Empire, captivated in child-like wonder over a toy. She had to sometimes remind herself that he'd been trapped underground for a full millennium and then locked in a dungeon for year. Although he'd spent the last few months traveling the world, Sombra would still have to process all of the innovations in technology and social interactions and adjust to it all. Princess Luna had been in a very similar situation but she at least had her sister, a team of personal aids, and the whole of the Royal Archives at her disposal whereas Sombra was picking it up as he went. This made Twilight wonder if the two interacted in some capacity, relating their experiences and finding common ground in their adjustments to the modern era.

"Sombra?"

He broke away from his enchantment and turned to her. "Yes, Twilight?"

Using a combination of her wings and the very tips of her toes, Twilight wrapped her forelegs around Sombra's neck and pulled him in for a kiss. He eagerly reciprocated, his lips mirroring her own, one large hoof caressing her back. Twilight had to stifle a gasp when Sombra lifted her up and pressed her against his chest. She'd forgotten how warm he was and how soft his thick coat was, acting like a wool blanket. Regrettably, she had to disengage in order to replenish her air supply.

"I missed you."

An honest smile adorned Sombra's face. "I missed you too, Twilight."

Silence overtook them before:

"Could we go back to watching the bird?"