I remember you

by Strata

First published

When lost in a blizzard, Cadence finds a frigid Sombra, and learns that they had lives before equestria- and they knew each other.

When lost in a blizzard, Cadence finds a frigid Sombra, and learns that they had lives before Equestria- and they knew each other. What will be uncovered as Cadence sees the light in Sombra- and how it went out.

The blizzard

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If you have ever been to the frozen north, you will know that when a blizzard sets in, you do not want to be anywhere near it. Icicles flying through the air, the snow cold and hard at your hooves, the already cold frozen north gets a lot worse in a blizzard. Shelter is essential. And when a search party to see if the king survived. He got caught in the middle of a blizzard, a freak wind gust blew some of them away from the group, and out into the wasteland.
And that's where we see Princess Cadence, struggling through the frigid winds. She was the leader of the search party, but now she was all alone in the frozen north, struggling for survival. As an Alicorn, the worst that would happen to her is that she would be buried in snow and it would cryogenically preserve her. She would be alive, and would be perfectly healthy when thawed out, but as she learned while reading Captain Equestria as a filly, that if that happened, she was not likely to wake up until everyone she knew would have passed away.
Luck was on her side, for she saw a faint light in the distance, through the icy winds. Filled with renewed hope, she galloped towards it, and upon arrival, found it to be an igloo. She called out, asking if anyone was home, but when no answer came, she stepped in.
It was mainly featureless, except for a small fire burning in one corner. And in front of the fire, sat a shivering King Sombra, his armour coated in ice. The pink Alicorn recoiled for a moment, but saw no change in the dark stallion, so she stepped forward. The warmth of the fire brought feeling back to her hooves, and thawed away some of the ice on her. Sombra did not do anything. He just sat there, gathering heat.
Cadence glanced at him, and saw her face reflected in the armour. But she gasped, for it was not her face she saw. It was the face of a young woman, with lightly tanned skin. She had pink-dyed hair, and deep purple eyes. The face triggered a memory, and it was as if a door was opened inside her mind, and the past came flooding out, eager to remind her of who she was.

The crystal store

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It was a slow day at the shop. Prof. B Sombra, the owner of the jewel store, had opened it to make a profit from his love of archaeology. In particular, crystals. The small Spanish town was rich in precious metals beneath the surface, and so the wayward collector ended up here, and that leads us up to now.
He was thumbing through a magazine, listing the biggest and most expensive finds of the month. A ghost of a smile reached his face when he saw his emerald find on #6. The magazine got boring after ten minutes, so he occupied himself with drumming his fingers against the table. He grunted, then took out his phone, pushing in the numbers.
'Brrrr. Brrrrr. Brrrr. Brr- click'
"What's the deal, Amigo?"
"I'm bored. Come to the shop, and bring coffee."
The bell rang.
"That was fast! Oh-"
Sombra was surprised to find a young woman at the door. She was currently browsing through some assorted jewellery. He had to say, she was quite beautiful. And, extraordinary. She was the only person he had seen with deep purple eyes. The dyed pink hair matched them perfectly. He snapped out of the daze, and straightened up.
"Could I help you with anything?"
She turned to him, and smiled. "Just browsing right now, thanks."
He smiled back, nervously.
The girl walked around the shop for a bit, sometimes inquiring about various precious metals. She seemed quite interested in Sombra's own creations. He liked to occasionally forge various items, and the result was often disappointing. He did have a few successes though. After finding a large vein of iron, he decided to forge some medieval weapons and armour. It was good decor in the otherwise blandly decorated shop. He had his hand in a bandage for a few weeks, but he managed to create the chest plate of the armour. Over a few months, he also made quite a lot of other bits and bobs for the set. Eventually, he had made something to be proud of. He hung it in the shop, proud of his work. In fact, he was so proud, he decided to give forging another shot.
A bit more experienced, he went and forged a sword. It was a good sword, most notable for its ability to retain heat. The two items stood beside each other, taking up a space on the wall. After roughly ten minutes, the bell rang again.
A very tall but lean man stepped through the door, carrying two coffees.
"Drinks are here!" His accent was thick Mexican, and he had the goatee to prove his heritage.
He dodged past the girl. "'Scuse me, lady."
He put the coffees down on the table, and took a big swig of his.
"Drink up, Sombrero."
"You know I hate it when you call me that."
Sombra sighed, and stared into space. Or at least he thought it was space. His brain was involuntarily forcing him to stare at the pretty young girl.
"Ohohohohhhhhhh, Sombrero."
He straightened up quickly.
"What? Whatever is the matter?"
"Amigo. You should take a run for her."
"Come on, man. You need a girlfriend."
"I've had girlfriends."
"Name one."
Sombra stuttered for a moment, looking at his Mexican friend.
"Alex, that's not important."
"Ah ah ah, Discord. That's my name."
"You can't force your self-created nickname upon all those who know you, Alex."
"You're getting off-topic. You don't have a girlfriend, and never had. I'm your only friend."
"I have other friends!"
"Chris isn't a friend. She just really feels sorry for you. And, that's why you need to try and hook up."
"I don't need a girlfriend."
"Nope. Go."
He then pushed Sombra in the lady's general direction.
He stumbled a bit, and gave a Al a harsh look. He walked confidently towards the girl, and leaned on a wall near her.
"So, do you live around here?"
She looked up with a warm smile on her face, and gently placed the emerald down on the glass counter.
"Yes, but I just moved in. I know barely anyone."
"That's nice. What's your name?"
"Mi Amore Cadenza, but most people just call me Cadence."
"So, Cadence. Do you plan to stop by here often?"
"Oh, yes. Not many store owners are nice enough to try to engage in conversation. They mostly just look frustrated like I am required to buy something to be in the shop. This made Sombra smile a little wider.
They talked for a while, and Alex watched it all from behind the counter, with a smug look on his face that just said; 'I caused this.' It was almost half an hour they talked, and Alex had stopped being smug and started to get bored. He signalled to Sombra that the conversation had to end because he was bored.
"I think my friend wants something."
"Okay then. I'm sorry, but I need to go. I've got to go to an appointment. I'll be dropping by every now and then."
"Cool. See you round."
She smiled, and walked out of the shop.
He walked confidently back to Al, a wide smile on his face.
"Done yet?"
"Yes. And I have to hand it to you. For once, your crazy schemes didn't get me in serious trouble."
"What did I say? You needed a girl, and I got you one."
"She's not my girlfriend. Just a friend."
"Whatever. You can build up to girlfriend later. But for now, I have to scram."
"See you later."
It was a few hours until the shop closed, and Sombra couldn't stop thinking about her. Dusting the floors, dusting the crystals, it was his daily routine, he just couldn't get her off his mind. As he fell asleep that night, a strange thought crossed his mind.

'Is this love?'

The next morning

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Never in his life had Professor Sombra jumped out of bed with such enthusiasm for the day to come. everything seemed to be all fine and dandy, and the little annoyances disappeared. He practically skipped to the shop that morning, whistling a merry tune. That was, until, he saw Alex sitting behind his desk with a devilish grin on his face. God, that grin. It always meant he had another scheme to hurt Sombra with. He still hadn't recovered from the last one.

"Come on, amigo! on more and you will have thirty chubby bunnies!"

Sombra shivered at the thought of that day. His office still smelled like marshmallow. And yet, here he was, in his office one more. enough idle talk. He pushed the door open, and walked up to the desk. "What now, Alex?"
"Now, The day of wingmanship begins!"
"The art of having a wingman! Someone who pities your loneliness and will help you out."
"And by saying that you assume I need one."
"Of course you need one. There are lots of other handsome, talented men for that girl to go for."
Sombra rolled his eyes. for some reason His best friend had found it amusing to pair him with some random girl he met just yesterday. This was kind of typical of him, though. That moment, the bell rung.

Sombra turned around, half expecting Cadence, but instead there stood a foreboding figure. Her face was darkened by her electro-green/blue hood that matched her hair. her skin was dark, like most Spanish in this area. her jumper had various holes in the sleeves, from overuse. Sombra hadn't seen her without it. She was none other than Chris. Or Chrissie, if you wanted to be punched in the face. She had seen Sombra a few times, and every time she had been there to watch him embarrass himself. "Why're you her, Chris?"
"I'm here to watch the fireworks."
Sombra turned to Alex in hardly concealed outrage. He smiled, and shrugged. Sometimes, he just brought utter chaos to his life. Then, the bell rung again.

The fireworks (guess who's back)

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Alex was, unfortunatley, still not grinning that evil, sub-par dentistry grin around four hours later, when the hot Spanish sun beat down through the slatted windows, and Chris had gone off to take a nap in the supply closet. The day was oddly quiet. No customers, no phone calls, but oddly enough, no Cadence. The professor acknowledged that he needed to be flexible, and that people had lives more complex than sitting in a glorified show-and-tell after the geology excursion showroom, drumming their fingers into the desk so consistently and so hard that four small, circular imprints were starting to form.

A single bead of sweat ran from Sombra's thick hairline to the edge of his lip, and he licked it up, smacking his chops at the salty taste. It was about the seventh bead of sweat that hour, and Alex very suddenly got up from his slumped position and slammed his hands on the table, exclaiming very suddenly;

"Bloody hell Sombrero, amigo, The pink chick never came and today is the hottest day in months! What are we doing here? Do you want to go home and eat ice cream from the bucket with a spoon? I want to eat ice cream from the bucket with a spoon. Let's go. You have the Metropolitan at your house."
"thank you for the clarification of our current situation, but I can't just leave work. I don't make my money from staying home and running insurance scams, unlike you."
"Now that's just rude. "

Sombra exhaled heavily and slumped down onto the table.

"nice set." A voice came from The left of the professor, as he jumped. Chris was standing in front of the armour set, running her sharpened fingernails along the breastplate.

"thanks? Don't scratch it." he replied nervously.
she flicked her eyes at him. There was some kind of malice, but also pity and resignation in those eyes. There was something that she had seen. Many things, actually.

"where exactly do you work, Chris?" asked Al exasperatedly. He did have a grounding in asking, for she did seem to spend quite a bit of time in the shop. However, she was also Chris, the scariest woman in the world who looked like she took both hipsters and wannabe Mexican wrestlers/insurance scammers and curb-stomped them, and Alex had just talked to her in an aggressive tone.

She turned around, and looked him straight in the eyes for a moment. He looked away, white.

surprisingly, instead of punching him, she just flicked her hair out of her face and replied simply;
"I don't have one."
"really?" Sombra cut in.
She returned back to her usual self and looked back up again, snapping;
"If you want to trick a woman into liking you, then realize when you're picking at a sensitive subject."
"ooh, sensitive? Chris is a human, and not an automaton?" Alex smiled again.


Sombra handed Alex another tissue to pad up his bleeding nose and pat him on the back as they walked home in the sunset.
"Sure it's not broken?" the professor asked.
"nah, I've taken harder knock Sombrero. I don't need to remind you about my wrestler fame."
"You really don't have 'wrestler fame,' wrestling your dog isn't a real match."
"Can you at least call me Discord while my nose is broken?"
"So you admit it, Alex."
Alex shot a side-wards glance at him.

He lay awake that night, the hot darkness pressing against his dark skin.

The call

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The moon, unusually, was a deep yellow, like it really was made of cheese. What cheese would it be? thoughts rattled round the professor's head like dry leaves in a cave, stirred by an errant breeze. camonbere would be too soft, Brie has the same problem, and Cheddar's ability to congeal together into a stellar body was questionable to say the least. Mozzarella, he concluded, was perfect. One of Alex's insufferable gags came back to him. What's cheese that's not yours? Nacho cheese! Sometimes the professor had no idea why he even spent time with Alex. Maybe he was the only person who actually spent time with him. Huh. Now that he put it that way-


Sombra almost fell out of bed with fright. Calming himself, he saw his phone ring. He realized he had never heard his own phone ring before. Jeez, have I really never even heard it before? He fumbled for it, trying to grab it as it seemed to dive out of his hand like mercury in the palm.


He finally managed to secure the phone, and hastily answered.

"Hello? Who is this?"
"Chris. Put on a shirt and get to the back of the 7th house on Ken Avenue. Something you might like."
"Ken Avenue? That's on the nice side of town, right?"
"Yes. Now get over here."
"Wait, why?"

She had already hung up.


Her darker skin blended in with the dark houses, and her ever-present tight black jeans and torn shirt helped her camouflage. She really was rather scary, with the way she blended into the background, only identifiable from her piercing eyes. A thousand memories lie behind those eyes, buried. She was sick of waiting, and was just about to call him again, when the Professor stepped inter her view, looking over his shoulder, as if frightened. She walked up to him, scaring him as she appeared suddenly near him.

"Took you long enough."
"You almost gave me a heart attack."
"Is the chocolate scientist melting in the hot Spanish night? It's a super-moon tonight, too, closer to earth than ever. Reminds me..." She trailed off.
there was silence for a few moments.
"Of what?"
she snapped back to reality.
"Nothing. An old friend."
A perplexed expression crossed Sombra's face.

"So, why did you wake me up?"
"You know the weird pink lady you're trying to get your leg over?"
"I'd prefer if you didn't say that."
"yeah, well this is her house." she said, knocking the house next to her with her knuckles

The professor didn't really know how to react at first, but he decided on the emotion he was feeling. Disgust.


she looked a bit taken aback.
"What do you mean, why? I found where she lived, and now you know. You're welcome."
"That's honestly extremely disturbing, Chris. You're basically stalking this girl."
"Hmph. Well, then I suppose you wouldn't want to see these photos that I took..."
"Chris. I don't know what you did, but give me the phone now so I can delete them."
" You'll have to get it off me first, tough guy." she mocked.

Sombra, rather out of character, lunged at Chris, making a grab for the phone, and surprised, she dropped it. they both immediately leaped at it, and wrestled on the ground struggling for it. The older female's sharpened fingernails tore at the lanky professor's shirt, but he took Tae Kwon Do in middle school, and flipped her onto her back, and dived headfirst for the phone, only to be pulled back by the ankle as she jumped over him, and she grabbed the phone.

"YES!" She exclaimed, with uncharacteristically happy yell, only to hear a door open. A soft voice called out;
"Who's there?"

Chris swore, and ran off down the alley. Sombra quickly followed, almost tripping up on the gravel. They both kept running until they got to the park, illuminated by the large moon.

Through heavy panting, Sombra managed to stammer out the words;
"Your'e... Insane...."
she laughed, a strange and breathy laugh. Sombra had the same realization he had towards his phone, that he had never heard her do that. It almost made her seem human, and momentarily not scary. Strange.

She quickly stopped, and cleared her throat, before holding up the phone and smiling.
"Care for round two?"

Sombra, although extremely winded, made a leap, an involuntary smile coming over him. This time he was slightly off as he collided with Chris, and they both rolled on the soft, patchy orange grass for a few moments, before stopping with the flustered Professor over Chris, hands holding his upper body up, staring her straight in the eyes. She stared back.

Suddenly, he coughed.
"Ew. In my face?"
"sorry, I just remembered I- *cough* have a bit of asthma."
"Oh, damn."

They both got up, and Chris brushed off the coughing Sombra.

"Jeez man, sorry."
"You shouldn't- *cough* he said, as he held up a phone with a cheeky grin.

"Oh, you tricky bastard."
He began coughing again.
"I wasn't lying, thou- *cough*"


"This is still really creepy, Chris."
He thumbed through the seven or so photos of Cadence, sleeping, half covered by the sheets. There was a patch of white, as if taken through a window. To Sombra's relief, she was clothed.
"Fun time's over, huh?" she asked, cheekily.
Sombra was about to delete them, when Chris snatched the phone back from him.
"My phone, my photos."
"what need would you even have for stalker photos of Cadence?"
"No reason!" she snapped back at him. He shrugged his shoulders.
"Wait, now you just don't care?" She asked
"Your phone, your rules." he replied.

They came to the intersection. Sombra's house was right, her... dwelling was left. Sombra had never seen it.
"See you later, Chrissy." he said as he smiled and begun to crack a fast walk down his avenue. He didn't escape without a punch to the back of the shoulder.

The visit

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Fatigue was wrapped around the Professor's fetal-positioned body like a loose glove, warm and soft. All the sheets were off, as he had tossed them off. The morning was relativley quiet, the birds somehow absent. As his alarm went off, he seriously debated skipping work. Sure, it's my job, but I run it, don't I? After a few moments of decision he reconciled himself, I just need another three minutes. Ugh, shouldn't have done that last night.

A good three hours later, he woke up again, the sun harshly imposing itself through the slats of his window. He lazily got up, grunting as he did so. A quick check of his alarm clock told him that he should've been in his store a few hours ago. Oh well, he barely got any customers in the hot summer. No-one bought rings, his biggest claim to fame in the summer, as trying to have a wedding, or really any celebration in this weather was like trying to tan yourself on the dark side of Mars. Difficult, foolish, and bound to end horribly. Deciding to work from home, he suddenly got his second ever phone call.


He swore, surprised again by the phone and tripped over an errant shirt, swearing again. In a bad mood, he gruffly picked up the phone and grunted;
"Who is this?"
"Are you the owner of the gem store on the intersection of Honde and Marlboro?"
he was a little surprised. The tenderness of voice... Must be Cadence!
"Yes? Is this Cadence?"
"yes! good to hear from you again. The little board outside your shop says you're open today, but the sign says 'closed.' Are you in the back?"
Oh dear.
"Y-yes! One moment, I'm just... having a shower."
"A shower? in your store?"
"hmmmah, yes! Personal hygiene is of utmost importance to me!"

Oh wow, Sombra. Bachelor's in geography, seven years experience, certified excavator, and that's the best you can do? AND WHAT WAS THAT 'HMMMMAH' NOISE?!

to his surprise, Cadence replied cheerily.
"Good to see someone taking care of themselves, especially in this sweltering weather. I like a man who takes his hygiene seriously."
"You do?! I mean, yes! Good. So do I, actually."
"you like men who have good hygiene?"
"uh, yes! just look at my friend, Alex."
"Sure. So... Should I come back later?"
"No! I mean, no. I'll be right out."

she then hung up.

taking a moment to wipe the sweat from his forehead, he looked around a little before doing a wolf-whistle.

Nicely handled, Sombra. Knew you could do it.


A quick sprint down to the store in under a minute and a face-dousing to look like he was damp later, he sneaked into the back room and came out inside the store to make it seem like he was already in there. He saw Cadence idly checking her phone in the doorway, before noticing him and smiling. He weakly smiled back, opening the door.
"Great to see you again, Professor."
"Great to see you too, Cadence."

He walked her into the store, and began to take out a paper towel and began whistling as he began to clean a perfectly-clean display case. containing his favorite finds. The #8 emerald he had seen in a magazine, a lapis-lazuli found in Afghanistan, and quartz in Vietnamese mountains. He had some of the jade from the famous Marble Mountains
of Hoian in some of the jewelry in the store. He used to be funded by the Government before they dropped him and he had to start the store.

"enjoyed your shower?" Cadence asked with a sly smile as she admired a ring in the sunlight.
"A bit cold." He replied, chuckling.

they started t converse about several topics, and Cadence even volunteered to help clean.
"I had the day off" She said.
He had to interrupt her for a moment, for he had a text incoming.
"one moment."
"no problem!"
He opened his phone and saw a text from Alex.
ask hr out

He looked around, and saw his lean, Hawaii-shirt friend standing in the window, holding his phone and nodding. He quickly ducked as Cadence began to look around, seeing what the flustered professor was looking at.

he quickly began to continue the conversation, subtly texting Alex back.

Just because it worked once doesn't mean you have permission to stalk my social life. I get enough of that from Chris.
Wht did Chrissy do
none of your business
fightin off the ladies with a stick eh sombrero
I'm going to block you
just ask hr out
It's getting to that sheesh
Im goin to walk in pick up a ring and propose to you if u dont ask her out in the nxt 10 secs
You wouldnt
watch me

He suddenley heard a little ding-ding sound as the bell rang, and Alex peeped through the door.

"should you get that?" Cadence asked.
"Nah, he's a friend."


Sombra, seeing behind him Alex pick up a ring, and begin to walk towards him, whistling slyly, he looked up at the pink-haired woman before him, the object of his affections. He had never done this before. Taking a small breath of apprehension, the approaching man stopped, sensing the question about to be asked. The professor never had done this before. What does he say? What does he do? should he kiss her hand? no, that's creepy. Should he be cool, or sincere?

Alex cleared his throat behind him.

"Are you sure you don't need to-"
"Cadence, I would love it if you would see Quatermass and the Pit with me on Friday." he blurted out, and Alex grinner, fist-pumping.

"Quatermass and the Pit? Can't say I've heard about it, but it seems fun. Where's it showing?"
"As in, you mean yes?"
"Of course. I would be my pleasure to take a charming man such as yourself to a movie."
"Me? Charming? huh-" he stammered out a little laugh and a word of thanks under his breath.
"So, where?"
"stanford, the big movie theatre."
"Nice. What time?"
"what time works for you?"
"I'm babysitting this adorable toddler at eleven until one, so can we do it after then?"
"you bet. the movie's at four. We can get lunch before then."
"If ever you have a meal then a movie, have the movie first so you can talk about something over the meal."
"just something my dad always tells me."
"Well... I think there's a showing at 1:15, so we'll have to hurry."
"Good. Can you pick me up from my house? It's on Ken street, the seventh house."
Sombra grimaced a little, as he already knew the house. He still wasn't okay with that.

"I look forward to it. She said, winking."
"me too..." sombra muttered out, embarrassed, and winked back, rather comically. She chuckled, and walked out of the store.
"oh, and I think it's closing time, too." she said, and Sombra checked his watch, before also heading towards the door, bringing he ring of keys from his pocket, ushering Alex out. He sent a text as he walked, and smiled at Sombra before leaving with a tip of the cap.

the Professor get the keys, and was about to open the door, when he dropped them accidentally. They both bent down to pick them up, and bumped noses. Both of them immediately shot back up, and put their hands to their nose before laughing together. She batted her eyelashes at him, and went to pick up the keys, picking the correct one and locking the door.
"first try. Nicely done."
"Suppose I'm just a bit lucky." She smiled at him, before walking away."

Alex emerged from a bush, patting Sombra on the shoulder before whistling and walking away.

best wingman evr

The girl

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Sombra was never a 'short hair' kind of man. Probably has something to do with the horrible experiences of middle school, being taped to a chair and given an unwilling buzz cut by the local gang of bullies, roaming like vultures, moving from one bit of pray to the next. That's when he started Tae Kwon Do, and problems began to fade, and he was free to grow his hair out as long as he wanted, and his foster mother didn't really care. If there were no nits, it could be down to his ankles. So, he cultivated what he called his 'mane,' a thicket of fluffy black hair that made his head look stupidly big, but in a little bit of a cute way.

He reminisced upon this as he combed it every which way, trying to make it look as good as possible. Half-used containers of gels and shampoos littered the misty bathroom as he clocked his second hour trying to make himself look and smell as good as possible. Okay, two hours is not fair. He was asleep for about one of them, because the smell of "Chick Magnet Cologne" assaulted his senses so violently they simply stopped working. Luckily he didn't get a coronary and woke up some while later, rather groggy. As he finally threw his comb to the floor in frustration, he noticed the bags under his eyes. Cant remember five minutes I haven't thought about Cadence... he realized. It must've been keeping the otherwise well-kept man up at night. He cussed, and ran a hand through his hair, deciding "that'll do."

He emerged from the steam-filled bathroom, putting his tongue in his cheek as he wished he could take the cuss back. He'd been a little irritable, but he put that up to the sleep thing. Fetching a cucumber from the fridge, he chopped off two pieces, and put them in the fridge, planning to use them later.


ready! and it only took three hours. he internally monologued. straightening the buttoned shirt, he pulled around his belt, and admired himself in the mirror. not bad, not bad. he noticed a glint in the mirror behind him. his sword. the one he had forged after the armour set, the one he usually hung up in the store for decoration. the one that remained white-hot three hours after I finished it. it was a curious blade, it was. rather strangely, he decided to slowly turn around and pick it up from where it was leaning against a wall. Holding it in one arm, he admired the image of himself like that. Strong, powerful, handsome. He was powerful. A slight hot breeze blew through the window, and his hair flapped triumphantly in the wind.CHAMPION.

He dropped the sword, disgusted. He was a humble man. He loved shiny rocks. This tomfoolery with swords wasn't good for his health. He hurriedly left the house, scared of himself. The time was roughly 12:53. The movie was at 1:15. He wasn't going to be late, as the tiny Spanish town was so small, no-one really owned any transport more high-tech than a bicycle. He walked over to Cadence's house on Ken Street, trying to pretend like he didn't recognize it. He knocked on the door, and heard a few voices inside. Muffled.

When the door opened, it wasn't Cadence, like he'd been expecting, but a small, short but very cute and round-eyed girl, he judged to be about seven. They both looked each other dead in the eyes for a few moments, before the Professor smiled and awkwardly said
"hey there little one."
"Hello mister."
she extended a hand, tentatively. It took Sombra a moment to realize that she was asking for a handshake.
"What good manners!" he said as he shook her hand. She kept staring at him. A little unnervingly, and he realized that she wasn't from around these parts. Her skin wasn't as tanned, and her hair was a lively purple. huh. Her parents let her dye her hair at this age? who am I to judge, I suppose. her eyes were quite cute, as they were deep and piercing. Cadence came to the door, and ruffled her hair affectionately.
"met my new toy boy, have you Trace?" she smiled at the professor cheekily. He smiled back, cheeks turning red as Strawberries in the summertime.
"what's a toy boy?" She asked, looking up at Cadence.
"Nothing you need to worry your cute little head about."

At that moment, a car pulled up to the driveway. odd. She must work in the other town. he thought as a tall, slightly pale woman stepped out of the car. Her hair was very long, and she tied it back in a ponytail. It was, keeping in theme, dyed, but this time a wide array of colors. The three ladies certainly did make the professor feel a little dull. the pale woman spoke up.
"Hello, Cadence dear. And who is this?"
"This is the owner of the assorted jeweler on the corner of Malboro. He's taking me to see Quatermass and the Pit."
"classic. Good taste, sir."
"please-" he piped up
"call me Sombra. No-one uses my first name, ha."

the woman's eyes narrowed as she looked at him, seemingly attempting to decipher something. She walked up to him, until they were shoe to shoe. She really was TALL. Quite intimidating. Jeez, she must be almost seven feet. She stopped squinting and shook his hand.
"I'm Tracey's teacher and foster parent, Celeste. Nice to meet you." she said, cautiously. She seemed genuinely mistrusting of him.
"n-nice to meet you too." he muttered. weakly trying to reduce the tension, he spoke again.
"interesting. I was raised my foster parents as well."
"Hm." She then smiled at Cadence and Tracey, and walked indoors.
"take care of her!" she called back in a melodic, sing-song tune.

Cadence turned to Sombra.
"shall we go?"

The movie

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"Celeste's a tad... scary, isn't she?" Sombra asked, tearing his view away from a weapon-shaped cloud with concern as he walked alongside Cadence to the Stanford movie theater.
"hm? not really. Did you find her scary?"
"well... the way she walked right up to me and was so tall... She looked at me like she was looking through the bars of a prison towards the person who murdered her parents."
"I don't know. She used to be a judge before she retired early, taking up a day job so she could raised Trace."
"committed any crimes lately, Professor?" Cadence asked slyly.
"hah, not that I can remember."
"You never really told me where you get your gemstones from." she teased.
the professor squinted his eyes and held up an imaginary gem in the air, putting on a stereotypical collector's voice.
"why yes, this one, I acquired from a doting grandmother. What a rare find!"
Cadence chuckled. she elbowed Sombra lightly.
"Watch the grandmothers, we aint' got many in this town."
He playfully elbowed her back.
"Okay then,I'll stop. On a completely unrelated note, can I borrow the keys to your house, safe, and cookbook?"
She hit back again.
"Be careful, Garett. My fridge handle comes off, and can be brandished as a fairly hefty weapon."
"I know Tae-Kwon-Do!" he laughs, playfully pushing her.
"And, I could beat you in an arm-wrestling contest!" she said, pushing him back.
Sombra smiled, and doing what came naturally, wrapped his left arm around the back of her knees, and put his right arm around her back, and lifted her up. with a surprised yelp, she began laughing. Sombra said triumphantly:
"Think you're stronger, eh?"
"okay, okay. But I could probably do more push-ups."
"how about on-arm?"
"you can't do that, and neither can I"
"how'd you know?"

they continued laughing and chatting before getting to the Stanford theater. Sombra promptly pretended to drop Cadence before grabbing her again, but overestimated his own strength and ended up tripping over, with Cadence landing on top of him. They both laughed, and Sombra got up, about to offer a hand, but the lithe woman had already jumped to her feet, smiling. Someone muttered from the street; "get a room, jeez" but neither of them heard it. They bought their tickets for the 1968 sci-fi horror Quatermass and the Pit, and entered the theater.

The movie was black-and-white, as this movie was only made in the late sixties. It followed Earth as an invasion threatened its inhabitants, along with some quirky, slightly out-of-place humor. Overall, rather enjoyable. To Sombra's immense relief, he realised halfway through that he had remembered to turn off his phone. Alex was no doubt furiously texting at the moment.

"What is it, Holly?"
"It's... I think that there's something in the vent..."

"Allow me to check, Holly." Ominous music began to play, as they zoomed in on Morse unscrewing the vent.

Sombra felt Cadence lean in a bit towards him in apprehension. Sombra honestly didn't know what to do, but he started to raise his arm up, attempting to surreptitiously put it around her. first time, Sombra. Come on. You got this. he slowly left his arm hoverring slightly above her shoulder, and was ready to put it down, when

"AAAAAAARGH!" A blood-curdling scream came from the screen, and they both jumped, reflexively grabbing each other. Morse had just been pulled into the vent. They only held tighter as Holly decided to go into the vent and find out what had happened.

"I mean, WHY?! Why would she go into the vent?" Cadence ranted.
"I know. 'OOH, friend just got dragged into a vent! Time to investigate!'"
"I know, right? ugh!"

Sombra pulled out his phone, and turned it on, seeing the 15 or so texts from Alex.

Cadence grabbed the Professor by the shoulder, and he put away his phone.
"I know a place that's pretty cool."
"Let's go."

Cadence led to the back of Stanford theater, where there was a fire escape that didn't have stairs to the ground.
"I've heard of this, but never been up there. but now... can you give me a boost?"
Sombra put his hands out, where Cadence put her foot, and he pushed up, as Cadence grabbed the railing. She pulled herself up, and extended a hand for Sombra. He, with some trouble, managed to get up, and they began to walk up the stairs, ascending to the roof. the sun was beginning to set, and they both lay down on the roof, staring at the sky.

"Today was fun." cadence said, sighing with satisfaction.
"you bet. thanks for giving me such a great time."
"I never knew that black-and-white grainy movies could actually scare me." she laughed.

Sombra turned his head, and said nervously;
"I just... I've never done this before. T-thanks."
"Fun, isn't it?"
"that's an understatement. I just... If this sounds strange, I've just never felt this way before."

To Sombra's surprise, a pained expression crossed Cadence's face. She looked... guilty. Her usually bright and smiling face was contorted as she scrunched up her nose and held her eyes shut.
"something wrong?"
"I just... No... I mean- ugh, I don't know. I just-" She got up suddenly, and began walking towards the fire escape again, saying as she left;
"I shouldn't, yet I did... I just-" she was stammering, and she picked up her pace towards the exit. Sombra got up, quickly, and ran after her.
"Cadence, what's the matter?"
she turned on her heel, and grabbed Sombra by his shoulders.
"I can't-"
she just hugged him.
"Cadence, what is this?"
"Nothing, I'm sorry." she laughed unconvincingly. "I'm just not feeling well is all."
"Okay... Just tell me if you need to be taken home."
"Yeah... probably a good idea."

Sombra led Cadence to her house, and with a 'goodbye' hug at the door, he pocketed his hands an walked home, confused.

A text from Alex rang through at about eleven o' clock, as Sombra was still lying in bed, staring at her ceiling, confused.
how did it go
he wrote back.
no idea
whaddya mean
I mean the movie went great and we broke the touch barrier, but then as we lay on the roof, I told her I had never felt that way and she freaked out and started to leave
but then before she left she hugged me and said she was just feeling unwell
why are women so confusing
no idea
at least you broke the touch barrier
reckon chris would know anything about it?
worth the ask, also why didnt you answer my texts
my phone was off
whatever just ask chris tomorrow
g'night Sombrero
night discord

the Dream

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Saturday morning. Usually a time for rest and relaxation after a hard, often hot week of sitting at the same counter and making the same small talk to customers. However, today was different. A cloud hung upon Sombra's mind. It had been there forever, and sometimes it was above, sometimes starting to envelop the shy professor's mind. He had lived with it, and he almost felt it evaporate yesterday, on that rooftop. It returned, and he needed to lift it.

He had felt it-

that feeling that we all search for, the light at the end of the tunnel. The cloud that had been there ever since that fateful day on Sombra's third birthday was beginning to fall. He needed it to lift. He saw bad things- heard bad things- CADENCE.

Narrow streets. Walls of stone. Houses of stone. He knew it- It was his home town.

Not San Marais, his Spanish home, but the place where he grew up in Northern Ireland.

His Spanish mother came to find a new life in the peaceful town. But all she found-


Red veins appeared in his vision, and he could feel an itching behind his eyeballs. Growing. Painful.

He whipped around, and saw it- the narrow alley that he grew up in. That was where he heard the smash-

There was a small balloon tied to the mailbox. Pink. He heard a yell.

Sombra! He could hear her- She was crying out- The red veins closed in farther to the centre of his vision. Everything throbbed in his vision, and the itching began to spread beyond his eyes. He could hear buildings collapsing around him- Silently, just falling to the ground. Another yell. NO!

Through his red and purple haze, Sombra sprinted down the alley, feeling the cold Irish wind in his hair- but it was stale. It was bitter. He reached his house. The window was smashed. He heard a yell- cut off from inside. He screamed.

MADRE! He felt his sword in his hand, his armor on his chest. He saw HER. A man standing over her, in the doorway to the living room. Collapsed on the ground, slowly shaking, he saw the long black hair and purple fingernails. He saw his mother on the floor. Standing above her-

He felt his hand shake as he gripped the weapon harder. The man held up the gun that he was holding, and ripped the ski mask from his face to see better. Through the distorted red haze, he heard the man yell out;

"Don't do it! Back off!"

He fired as Sombra simply snarled at him. He felt a coat on his back, above the steel plating all around him. The weapon in his hand turned white-hot anticipating it. pain. Do it, Sombra. You know you want to. Do it. DO IT!

The man fired, but the bullet simply ricoched off his armor. He emptied the whole clip into Sombra, But the man did not slow. The veins reached the centre of his vision, and all he saw was red. His normally green eyes changed, and a purple haze surrounded them, as he saw clearly. He knew what he must do.

Raising the sword up in the air with one arm, he grabbed the man by the shoulder. He heard his sword fizzling, hotter than the deepest and most ancient forge. It brushed the ceiling, and it caught alight, and the flames began to spread around the room. The murderer whimpered, and put his hand in front of his eyes as if to shield himself.

"Please- I'm so sorry-" he gargled.

Sombra screamed, and was about to bring the blazing sword down on his mother's killer when he saw a little boy under the table to his right. Glancing at him, they locked eyes.

Short. Kind eyes. He looked shy, and he was wearing grey clothes. dried blood flecked his face, and Sombra could see tears in his eyes. A small triangular hat sat on his head. He looked up at the older man, and they saw each other. One through teary eyes, one through a red haze. He was only three. The sword hissed and Sombra turned back to the killer. Do it! That man killed her! Why do you wait? This is what you've always wanted!

Voices. Crackling of flames. Crashing as parts of the ceiling fell. Hissing of the sword. Soft whimpers of the child. It all whirled round his head.

Looking the man in the eyes, he tensed his arm again, and with a whirlwind of laughter and screams in his ears, he brought the sword down.

He sat up in bed, with a yell as he grasped his own head, yelling out for a few moments before opening his eyes. He was in a cold sweat. HE grasped his pillow close to his chest, blinking the red out of his eyes as his vision returned to normal. It was three in the morning the stars were out. He exhaled, before getting out of bed and putting some clothes on. He wasn't even going to try to get back to sleep.

He rested his head on a wall for a moment. That isn't me. I didn't do it. I wouldn't do it. I wouldn-

he saw the sword in the corner of his vision, leaning against a wall. In anger, he picked it up, went out side and chucked it into the trash. Damn sword. He sighed, and adjusted his collar before heading in the direction of Chris's place, a shiver running down his spine.