Burnt skin.

Singed hair.

Torn clothes.

Scorched feathers.

The dark angel scowled as he gazed upon the sorry state of his lighter counterpart. There were no two ways to say it; Pit was broken. And if Dark Pit didn't offer his assistance in fixing him, the boy would no doubt be lost forever.

Along with himself, of course, but it wasn't like anyone was counting.

"You're a real idiot, you know that?" he growled, clenching his own soot-stained hands into fists. "Why the hell did you do that? Why did you give up your wings to save me?"

The unconscious angel on the bed gave no response.

The silence only deepened Dark's glare. "Now I have to go save your ass instead!" he snapped. "All so I won't die with you!"

Pit remained silent, of course.

The dark angel's anger flared. "You complete DUMBASS!" he shouted, his fist colliding with the nearest wall. "You just couldn't resist, could you!? You couldn't sit back and let Palutena or Viridi or anyone help me instead! No...you just had to go and play the goddamn hero!" He wheeled back around to face his twin, scarlet eyes narrowed in fury and frustration. "And now look at you! Wingless and almost dead! What the hell was the point!?"

For a long time, the only sound in the room was that of Dark trying to catch his breath. He too had been somewhat caught up in the inferno that had engulfed Pit's wings, and between his previous wounds from the battle with the Chaos Kin and its monsters, his new injuries from the flames, and the impending darkness tugging at his consciousness that no doubt originated from the light angel's nearness to death, Dark Pit was utterly exhausted. Palutena had recommended that he soak in a hot spring and take a Drink of the Gods in order to ready himself for the upcoming quest for the Rewind Spring, but he had refused to do so until after he had visited his injured twin.

Even if his only intention was to yell at him.

However, shouting soon fell out of Dark's favor as he collapsed to his hands and knees before the bed on which Pit lay. In contrast, the dark angel's voice now refused to come out as any more than a hoarse whisper.


No answer.

"Why...would you do this…?"

No answer.

"...why would you sacrifice your wings for me…?"

"...because he cares about you."

Finally, an answer, but not from who he expected.

Dark slowly turned his head towards the doorway to gaze upon the Goddess of Light. His crimson eyes narrowed. "Why the hell would he care about me?" he muttered. "I've openly insulted him. I've criticized everything he stands for. Hell, I've even tried to kill him...why would fighting together once change any of that? Why...why would it make him care?"

Palutena stepped into the room, a sad smile on her face. "Because," she said softly. "That's just how Pit is...he may fight relentlessly against evil, but if he can see any amount of good in someone's heart...he'll instead fight to bring it out."

The dark angel scowled. "Right," he grumbled sarcastically. "As if he sees any good in me...does the phrase, 'treacherous blackheart' ring any bells?"

The goddess sighed and knelt down beside him on the ground. "Dark Pit, listen." she began, surprisingly refraining from using the nickname he hated so much. "Things have changed since then. From what Viridi tells me, you and Pit made quite the team when fighting to save me. You're not the bitter rivals you once were." She looked him in the eye and said calmly. "Pit saved you because he considers you an ally. A friend. Perhaps even a brother. And Pit would sacrifice anything for the people he cares about...even his wings."

For a long moment, Dark Pit merely stared at her with wide, disbelieving eyes. Then, he gulped and looked away, avoiding her gaze. "...there's no point, though," he mumbled half-heartedly. "There's no him, there's no me...if he dies, I die too. That makes the sacrifice worthless…"

To his surprise, Palutena suddenly reached forward and put her hand firmly on his shoulder. As he looked at her to gauge her expression, he was equally startled by the intensity in her emerald eyes as she spoke five simple yet unbelievably stern words.

"Then don't let him die."

With that, Palutena stood and walked to Pit's bedside. She gently ran her fingers through the young angel's ash-coated hair in a gesture that could only be described as motherly. She then gave a weary sigh and moved back towards the door, saying as she went, "I'll have a few centurions look after him for now. Like I said earlier, I suggest you make use of a hot spring and a Drink of the Gods...we don't have much time and you have to be able to perform your best if we're going to help Pit." Palutena glanced over her shoulder, looking at the dark angel with raised eyebrows. "He saved your life. It's time for you to save his."

Without another word, the Goddess of Light left, leaving Dark Pit still kneeling on the floor, stunned.

Finally, he managed to tear his scarlet eyes away from the empty doorway, his gaze once again resting on the limp form of his lighter half. He slowly pushed himself to his feet, shoving his exhaustion to the back of his mind.

"Fine, then…" he murmured once he had finally found his voice. "...hang in there, Pit. You're not dying today…"

He turned away and made for the door as well.

"Not if I have anything to say about it…"