Sometimes You Have to Go it Alone
It was impossible to tell how much time had passed in the quiet of the room. Twilight lingered in the grip of her dear brother, listening to the sound of his breathing. Tricking herself into believing that everything was alright, that this had all been a bad dream. The growing pain in her stomach, the lingering pain in her eyes from the tears she shed, said otherwise. Shining Armor was the first to move, he shifted away from her back where he'd been pressed against her in the dark. His words were strained and weary. “Alright Twily, the times come for you to go.” His hot clammy body had soaked her entire back.
“Are you...” She didn't have the heart to finish the sentence, the answer was too hard to bear. She couldn't make out any of his features in the dark room, but could see the white blotch of his face nodding. Slowly she got to her feet, her knees ached from kneeling on the floor. Her hands found his, helping him up. Shining Armor was sluggish and wobbly, she could feel his trembling fingers in hers.
“Everything is buzzing in my head. My eyes hurt, my head...feels like it's splitting apart at my horn. You don't have much time, go get dressed and pack what you think you'll need and hurry.” Shining Armor fumbling along with her to the door, where he leaned against the frame. He gave her a gentle push on her way. He was so weak she barely felt him push.
“I don't want too. I don't think I can do this alone.” Twilight tried to argue, but when he looked up at her with the milky glaze coating his once beautiful blue eyes. A gray color was seeping into his once white velvety fur. The same red rings, that Spike had, traced the heavy lids of his eyes . The sight caused her to clutch her mouth to stifle another wave of tears.
Shining Armor shook his head. “You have too. Sometimes you have to go it alone to find out what you're really made of. Mom and dad always told us that, when we were afraid to be alone.” There was a long exhale as if he were composing himself to say the next thing. “I'm afraid if you don't go soon, I might hurt you. I'd never forgive myself for that.” His neck twitched cause his head to spur to the side. “Go!” He growled, gripping the side of his head. Twilight choked on the tears that she'd been fighting back, before she turn, running for the stairs.
She headed straight to her room gathering up the things she knew she would need. Changing from her pajamas into a pair of jean, t-shirt, and a jacket. She picked up her canvas bag, dumping it's contents onto the bed. There was nothing in it that she would need, but she could use the bag to carry some food and water. Twilight slipped into the bathroom long enough to grab the first aid kit from under the sink, dropping it into the bag. She stared at her reflection for a long moment, her eyes bloodshot from crying. Twilight's reflection seemed like there was a stranger staring back at her. This thing she was facing seemed like it was straight out of a nightmare. One that she'd never let herself imagine because it scared her so much and now she was being forced to live it. Twilight took a sharp breath and shouldered the bag and headed through the bedroom for the door, stopping long enough to pick up a small locket from the top of her dresser. It was a simple white golden locket with a long chain. When she opened it her heart swelled. A picture of a younger Shining Armor on one side and on the other was a picture of her as a filly. It was the first gift that Shining Armor bought for her after he'd gotten his paycheck.
Thanks to Discord and his twisted soul, there was a sadness now when she looked at it. She slipped the chain around her neck letting the locket rest between her breast, the metal was cold enough to send a chill up her back. This was the most complete she'd felt since Shining Armor had been bitten. Twilight knew she had to go, but something in her heart told her, the moment she went through the door, there would be no going back. “Come on hooves, let's get this over with.”
Twilight stepped through the door and down the stairs. When she rounded the corner she could see Shining Armor in the kitchen, leaning over the counter with his head rested in his hands. There was something peaceful about the way he was standing there. Thankfully Spike had finally stopped banging on the door. Twilight hoped that in all of his fury he's tired himself out and now he was asleep, dreaming about eating gems or going on a date with Rarity.
Twilight stepped into the kitchen starting to pick up apples from the bowl on the edge of the counter, slipping them into her bag. “I'm going to grab a few things and then I'll go.” She forced herself to sound upbeat, more for his sake then hers.
When she spoke Shining Armor's head lolled to the side, jerking with an uncontrolled muscle spasm. The hair on the back of Twilight's neck stood on end. There was something all too familiar about the way he was looking at her. That was when Spike started banging on the door once again. Twilight's mind started racing. What would make him start up again, it's not like... like he could sense her.
Shining Armor opened his mouth but no words came out, only a soft moan like a breeze through a hollow log. Twilight clutched her mouth starting to shake her head. “Oh no...” She choked on her tears. “No, no, no.” Shining Armor slumped back on his feet, the heft of his body almost pulled him over onto the floor, but he regained his balance and turned to her, then he lunged.
The next few seconds were a blur to her. Time seemed to slow to a crawl. Twilight stepped back, letting her canvas bag strap fall to her hands. A quick rush and she could hear the thump of her bag against his head. It was loud enough for her to hear over her screaming 'no'. Shining Armor tripped over a stool falling towards her while she back peddled. His strong hands grabbed at her feet. Twilight managed to pull away, getting to her feet before Shining Armor was on her again. That was when she felt the hard tug, then she was free again. The strap on her canvas bag snapped from when he grabbed her. He fell face down on the floor again, this time they were in the hall. She didn't wait for him to get up again, she darted away. Then she was through the front door, barely getting it closed before she felt him slam against it with the same ferocity that Spike had shown. Shining Armor was yelling, growling in a desperate hungry fashion so loud and uncontrollable that his voice cracked and broke.
Twilight's heart slammed against her sternum, threatening to tear clean from her body. Every time she closed her eyes all she could see was the gaunt look on his face haunting her mind. Eventually Shining Armor had yelled so much that his voice gave out until all she could hear was a gasping, gurgling sound. Twilight pressed her forehead against the door, enduring the thumping pain against her horn. It hurt every time he threw his body against the door, but it was the only way she could be close to him now. Twilight whispered, her own voice cracking from the tears that were coming. “I love you big brother best friend. I promise I'll save you, no matter what.” Warm tears slipped down her cheeks. The feeling of hopelessness that had been planted by her brother being bit now started to blossom and grow upon his transformation.
Twilight wanted to stay as long as she could, she was too afraid to leave, too afraid to stay. A hand gripped her shoulder in the dark. She snatched around letting out a scream. Then there was another hand gripping her mouth and a warm body pressing against her's, pinning her to the still throbbing door. “Hush, Sugar Cube.” It was was Applejack's warm breath whispering in her ear. It almost started another flood of tears, but her next words kept them from falling. “We gotta make ourselves scarce, ya hear.”
Twilight felt Applejack's warm body leave hers, but it was still far too dark to make out her face. Instead she felt the filly's strong hand take hers. “Follow me. Stay low, quiet, and out of sight.” Before Twilight could say anything, Applejack was already pulling her along the from path from her door through the darkness. Each step taking her further and further away from the desperate thumping of her brother against the door and deeper into the unknown that lay ahead of them in the dark.