No Rest For The Traitor

You Can Go Home: Time To Leave

The equipment in the camp was nowhere close enough to save Mistake but princess Luna teleported all four of us back to Canterlot castle. Darky and Heavy are currently being debriefed by the princess while I excused myself to do the pointless thing. It's not as if I understand anything that happened about an hour ago. Heavy seemed to have an idea though.

From what I can gather things are like this:

Sombra is gone from Mistake now. How? Tentacled to death probably.

Mirror world isn't our enemy anymore. That might change after the supreme leader thinks about what I said to her.

Mistake is right behind the infirmary door next to me and noone is allowed in. Doctors and mages are there to stabilize him.

That... alicorn-ish thing almost killed him and noone was able to do anything about it.

*Yaaaawn*

I need sleep, the few hours of thrashing around on the train was basically nothing. Not that I'm going to leave until someone comes out of that door and tells me how's Mistake's condition. I can sit here on this bench until I pass out.

"Ow!" sitting on the bench, I hit the back of my head against the wall as I doze off for a second.

Perhaps I can lie on the bench then. I'll just close my eyes for a moment.

"WHAH?"

"I asked if there were any news," explains Heavy who is suddenly sitting on the empty end of the bench.

"Nnngm," I try to unglue my eyes.

"Too bad. I'm done for tonight. Are you leaving or should I ask somepony to bring you a blanket?"

I sit back up and stretch a little.

"I don't know. Part of me knows I'm not any good here-"

"That would be the head," Heavy smiles.

"-and part of me doesn't want to leave until I know how he is."

"That-"

"-would be two different organs agreeing with each other. I guess I should go so I don't pass out tomor- today during practice."

"We got a day off as a, let's say, reward for our, let's say, bravery."

"That's a lot of hoof air-quotes, Heavy, ehm, sargeant."

He waves his hoof dismissively.

"Pick one, use one. I don't really mind either. Well, I told the princess EXACTLY what happened and she decided not to flay you alive for endangering Equestria and the entire world... for now."

And here was me trying to find a good way to what I wanted to ask.

"After what happened in the mirror world I'm not sure the princess is the one who scares me the most."

"You don't know princess Luna then."

"No, I don't. You seemed to know the bronze guy who attacked Mistake though."

"That's the weird thing. I remember the look but nothing about what happened makes sense."

"I know nothing about it so why not enlighten me."

"That's what Mistake, well, Blazing Light used to look like."

"He was an alicorn?"

"No no no. He used to be a normal unicorn who got changed into a changeling via some sort of ancient magic. The colors did fit though - bronze plates, red belly plate, and blonde mane. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no clue who or what that creature was but the resemblance tells me that Mistake is his sole target now."

"How do we stop him?"

Heavy looks at me like I was some sort of an idiot.

"How should I know?. Not even the princess was able to tell me more so I can't even begin to guess how we might stop him. I'm just an earthpony, for Celestia's sake. This is some heavy magic stuff. Thankfully, your gambit with the portal stone seems to have worked and he lost Mistake's trail."

"Sorry."

"Huh? What for?"

"Throwing everything on your back. I'm just used to you knowing what to do under any circumstances so I was hoping you'd think of something now as well."

"Look, I'm not throwing Mistake under the carriage. I wish I had time to talk to him about everything that happened though."

"What about Darky?"

Heavy shakes his head.

"I don't know whether it's the aftereffect of whatever Void did or she just doesn't want to go through all that again but I can't get a positive answer out of her."

"She doesn't want to give him a chance after all he did for her?"

"Aaaand here comes the snag, Cromach. You don't know him the way I do and you don't know the way he thinks. Us trying to force Darky into something would go directly against Mistake's wish."

"Trust me, I know enough. I know that he would cut his heart out for her. He might think it's because he loves her but deep down he just wants to hurt himself. The thing is I don't want to see that. I don't want to see him so obsessed by someone who doesn't give a fuck about him. I care."

"That, exactly that, is the problem. He doesn't want anypony to care or at least that's how it's been ever since I met him for the first time. He is mortified that he would somehow fail anypony connected to him that he doesn't want anypony to get close. Friendship is what hurts him the most but also what he needs and desperately wants deep inside. A circle that keeps him down which he can't break by himself."

"That's why he NEEDS that damn batpony to make an effort!"

Heavy puts his head into his hooves and looks back up with surprisingly red eyes.

"You think I don't know that? I was in the same position as you are. Well, slightly different one. Darky was trying to get me to bed, I wanted to be by Mistake's side, and he wanted to do anything so she would be happy."

"How did you get over it? How did you not beat the crap out of her?"

"Who says I didn't?"

"Huh?"

"We used to practice together with Mistake and her in the castle gym every night. One time I blew up and left her bedridden for few days. Well, Mistake did the same thing to me soon after. The thing is that while everypony else would consider it a stupid and abusive relationship it works- worked for them. Mistake gave Darky the freedom she craved but never needed to exercise with him around and she gave him the cheery company that was enough to pull him out of his head."

"He deserves better than her."

"Good thing he can't hear you otherwise he would throw you out of the window."

"I mean it."

"And I like you for it. One day you'll get fed up with it, I think, and just stop caring."

"I-"

Heavy stops the incoming angry rebuttal with a raised hoof.

"He isn't easy to be around for long. If you last more than a year then I'll apologize. There's a pretty good reason why me and Darky are his only real close friends."

"You mean just you now," I scowl, wondering whether he'll get the fairly obvious message.

"Just us," he smiles.

I just sigh.

"Try not to think about it too much," Heavy pats my head, "Some things just are. Don't hurt yourself too much by thinking about how they should be and rather work out how you can fit into them."

The door to Mistake's room opens and two unicorns head out, leading a small group of other ponies. One of them notices me standing up and stops me.

"I doubt you are the patient's family."

Heavy pulls out a badge from his saddlebag and shows it to the doctor.

"Close friends," he says.

"How is he?" I ask immediately.

The doctor shakes his head. My beak falls open.

"He's... dead?"

"He lost too much blood and our healing magic doesn't seem to work. We have to get him to a well-equipped hospital but we can't teleport him for the same reason we can't stabilize him with magic. What the princess did almost killed him. He needs machines to keep him from flatlining instantly but he won't survive if we try to use physical measures to get him to the hospital. For now we're just pumping blood into him as hard as we can but that has its limits and we're way too close to them. Truth be told, it's a miracle he survived the few minutes it took to get him here."

"You're not giving me too much hope here, doc," I chuckle nervously.

"Because I don't see any myself. He should have been dead already but there's some little spark keeping him from leaving. That won't last though unless we do something and I have no idea what that something should be."

"You'll let us know if you think of something, right?"

"We'll do what we can but I think it's just a matter of time. It might take an hour, a day at most, but your friend will die. It must sound cynical to you but my only advice for you is to get his affairs in order."

I hug Heavy and sob into his coat.

"In case I don't see you again - my sincere condolences."

Fuck you.

"Thanks for being straight with us," says Heavy, shaking slightly.

Thanks for nothing.

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