A/N: This WAS gonna be posted on Sunday, but a bout of insecurity hit me re: 'Take Me Anywhere,' leading to some SERIOUS imposter syndrome on my writing. I hope that getting this out there and seeing the responses to it will help-if nothing else, I think I need to stop worrying about this piece and rip the metaphorical bandage off.
Thump thump thump.
This couldn't be happening.
Thump thump thump.
He'd died, right? That must be it.
Thump thump thump.
Yeah, he'd died, and was now being subjected to his own personal hell. Made sense.
More sense than the idea that-
Faster now. Just in case.
The centurions posted outside their captain's door were unsure what to do when approached by-well, their captain. He was supposed to be in bed, but-
But here he was, shoving past them, forcing his way into what was supposed to be his own room, but they had a sinking feeling wasn't.
Please, please, wake up, you piece of-
Seeing it made everything real again.
Dark Pit fought back a gag at the smell of burning-whether it was from Pit, or a warning of his own impending death, he wasn't sure. Time seemed to slow as he approached the bed, hands shaking at his side, eyes locked on the nearly-dead angel in front of him. He kicked aside something; he didn't know what. He didn't look, couldn't dare take his eyes off Pit.
When he finally made it to Pit's side-after what felt like an eternity, but was probably only thirty seconds at most-he stared down, shaking his head. Finally, he spoke up. "You're an idiot."
Speaking seemed to finally shake him out of his daze, and the words nearly fell out of his mouth as he continued, "You're so stupid, you know that?" His voice began to rise, as if Pit could hear him if he was just louder. "You just sealed both of our fates with that stunt!" He spun around, stomping away from Pit. His wings shook with anger, and he clenched his fists so tight that his nails dug into his palms. "But, nooo, you weren't thinking, were you?! You were just-"
"Can't you see what's at stake here?! I don't care if my wings catch fire!"
"If we don't help him right now, we won't have another chance!"
"-Why wouldn't you just think of yourself for once?!" Dark Pit shook his head, trying to will away the memory. That awful memory, the minute he spent torn between having his soul ripped from his body and devoured, or watching- "No, forget yourself. You probably just doomed the world! You threw away your own life, the life of the only one who could stop the Underworld Army, for me! I don't understand!"
"I'm begging you, Viridi! Let me fly! Now!"
He froze, finally noticing the tears started to well in his eyes. He turned, slowly, eyes falling on Pit again. "I don't understand."
Stumbling, Dark Pit made his way to Pit's side, dropping to his knees when he did. He gently rolled Pit over, from laying on his stomach to on his side, and placed a hand on Pit's chest. Before today, he never would've imagined himself showing this kind of... softness, gentleness to anyone, let alone Pit. He could feel the rhythmic thumping beneath the light angel's skin, but only faintly. He's barely even here. "I don't understand. Why?! I-"
I should be nothing to you! No, worse than nothing! You should loath me! I'd be lucky if you just saw me as nothing, as usable, expendable.
After all the times I've wanted you to suffer, you should've been glad to see that thing kill me. I'd finally be gone. I wouldn't be able to hurt you anymore.
You would've been doing me a favor anyways. There, I admit it, alright?! I feel sick from what I watched that thing do with my body, what it must've done to both of us. Those moments I'd wake up, regain just enough awareness to watch what it did-at least if I was dead, I'd never have to think about that again.
I wouldn't have to think about how disgusting I am. They did something awful to create me, I just know it. They had to have. I was meant to destroy, and thus, need to be destroyed myself.
You're the only who didn't see that, though. You protected me in the Vortex. Every time I'd think one of those monsters would have my head, you'd save me. I did it for you, but that was because I had to, wasn't it? Not because I…
You didn't think of me as a tool, or as a monster. You saw something else in me. And I don't know what.
He couldn't say any of it out loud, of course. Even with Pit surely dead, and ready to take any secrets to their graves, Dark Pit couldn't force the words from his throat. Instead, on his knees beside who he'd thought would always be his worst enemy, he could only look away, not even able to share his tears with a dying man. "I… I didn't deserve that."
No. No, you have to at least show your face, you coward. And so he turned back to Pit, gently taking Pit's hand in his own. "I don't... deserve your help." He sniffled, clinging to Pit's hand, lifting it up to his own chest. "I don't deserve your help," he repeated, then dropped his head in silent vigil, barely noticing the tears running down his face.
Pit squeezed his hand.
Dark Pit froze, then jerked upright to look at Pit. He didn't move, barely reacted, other than to let out a faint groan, and, yes, he was squeezing Dark Pit's hand tighter in his own. Dark Pit couldn't help but wonder if, somewhere beneath the haze of pain, Pit was still conscious enough to hear him. Or maybe-maybe this connection they shared was a two-way street, and Pit could somehow feel the self-hatred and guilt flowing from his clone, and this was his desperate attempt to comfort him.
"It's not your fault, Pittoo. I… I just…"
Pit wasn't speaking, of course, and Dark Pit was under no illusion that this was anything other than his own mind toying with him. It was evident, for one, in the fact that Pit couldn't answer his question.
But he's moving. Dark Pit told himself. He's still holding on. And I'll be damned if I'm giving up while he still has the audacity to hold on like this.
The door creaked open, and Dark Pit turned to face it. If he payed close attention, he would've noticed his wings arcing over Pit's body subconsciously, but he was busy focusing on the doorway.
Palutena stepped in, then froze when she saw Dark Pit. The two stared each other for a moment, sizing each other up, trying to gauge how much of a threat the other was to Pit. He almost wanted to stand up, chase her off… but he saw the red marks on her own cheeks, and bags under her own eyes, and thought maybe he'd give her a chance.
Instead, he held back, not moving but not trying to stop her either, as she returned to Pit's side. She dropped to her knees beside the two of them, brushing the hair away from Pit's eyes. She rested a hand on his forehead, watching over her angel.
"I think I know what we can do."
He'd never thought he'd be so happy to hear Palutena's ideas.
She turned to face him, her expression unreadable. "But I need your help. I-"
"Give me a weapon, and there's not a force in the world that can stop me."
Palutena smiled slightly. "That's what I was hoping to hear." She turned back to the disarrayed state of Pit's room. "You can take something from the Arms Altar, but there's probably something in here, if-"
"I'm not going to waste time." He heard Palutena scoff, but she thankfully didn't bother saying something about his interrupting her again. They really didn't have time for this. They had their differences-they probably always would. They could never see eye-to-eye on anything; it's just how it was going to be.
Except for this time.
Dark Pit turned back to Pit. He desperately wanted to put his hand on Pit's heart one more time-just for his own peace of mind, to remind himself there was still a chance-but he didn't dare do so in front of Palutena. He wasn't letting her see his weakness. (And this was weakness, wasn't it? He had to be weak, to flip so easily, to fall so fully into this trap of sentimentality, didn't he?) Instead, he simply placed Pit's hand back on the bed-he hadn't realized he was still holding it, and he could've sworn he felt Pit try to keep a hold on him-and pushed himself to his feet. He looked around the room, eyes falling back on the odd cylinder he'd almost tripped over earlier. It seemed to be one of the arm-type weapons, probably something Pit had used on one of his last missions before the Chaos Kin took over.
He crouched, running his hand over the metallic surface that seemed to crackle with static electricity. He saw the slot where he was supposed to equip it, and, without thinking, slipped it over his own arm. He grunted as he stood up straight, feeling a surge of power rush through him as he lifted it up to shoulder level. A small part of him felt the urge to turn and test fire it-
This is the only place the Chaos Kin never touched. Whether Palutena had been able to keep it away from her angel's quarters, or there was some enchantment even it couldn't break, or Pit just got lucky, he still has at least the barest level of sanctuary.
-but something stopped him. Instead, he turned back to Palutena, heart pounding. He was scared, yes. Scared he'd fail the most important mission of his life. Scared he wouldn't succeed in time. Some part of him was even scared that this was a cruel trap-as if she'd need to kill him anyway.
Though, if there's some way to bring him back that involves killing me…
Well, honestly, I'll give her points for ingenuity. And if it had a chance of working-
No, nonono, knock it off! You can do this. You're Dark Pit, servant to no one. You fear no god, you answer to no being, and…
His eyes lifted to fix on Pit's unconscious form. He almost looked… peaceful now. Maybe he'd heard them saying they could save him, and he wasn't so scared anymore. Maybe Palutena had eased his pain with her magic. He wasn't sure what it was, exactly, but he could tell.
...and you're not going to let him get hurt again.
He didn't say anything to Palutena as he ran from the room. The weapon must've had a speed modifier-or maybe his adrenaline was surging that strong. Either way, he didn't look back as he followed what vague memory he had of the temple, rounding a corner and making a beeline for the takeoff point.
You're disgusting, a tiny voice in his head said. Falling all over yourself to fulfill the orders of somebody who ordered you dead.
I'm not doing this for any of them, though, he corrected, sliding to a stop as he paused, just long enough to hear Palutena chime in and tell him what door to go through. I'm not even doing this for me anymore.
I'm doing this for him.
Dark Pit barely paid the half-a-dozen or so fighters around him any mind. Instead, he was focused on the notepad in front of him, covered in his own scattered drawings and crudely-spelled thoughts. The question had to be repeated before he even heard it. "Hm? What is it?"
He heard Link snicker behind Ganondorf's head, and the demon king groaned in annoyance. "I said, why did you choose the Electroshock Arm, of all things, as one of your weapons? Even Pit couldn't answer this question for us."
"Probably just liked the edgy purple electric thing," Dedede piped up. "I betcha Meta Knight woulda done the same thing!"
"C'mon, Dedede, he'd be nicer if you guys didn't keep picking on him!"
Dark Pit froze, eyes darting around. Sure enough, there he was, seated on the floor, DS in hand, shaking his head at the others. Well, I WAS going to give a generic non-answer and try to ignore any further questions... but he probably couldn't now, not with Pit watching. Especially now, as Pit turned to him, waiting expectantly for an answer.
"Just... used it on a mission during the war with the Underworld." He looked away, spinning the pen in his hand. "Was a pretty big one, too, so… I figured the fact that I didn't die there was a good sign."
Well, it was still a generic non-answer, but the other fighters seemed to accept it, nodding and muttering in response. All save for Pit, who tilted his head thoughtfully, making a face. "What mission? I don't remember seeing you use that arm at any point…"
No, I guess you wouldn't, would you? "C'mon, Pit-stain, not everything I do revolves around you!" Dark Pit rolled his eyes, turning away just in time to see that the 'Classic' arena was open. "Now, if you people don't have any more stupid questions, I have a battle to go win."
"Right. Hey, uh-" Dark Pit turned, watching Pit hop to his feet and scratch the back of his head sheepishly. "Would you, uh… mind a hand? I keep meaning to go try it out, and, well, if you're cool with it…"
There were a few snickers, but they went unnoticed. He knows, Dark Pit realized. Stupid Pit, he must've picked up that something was off. He didn't seem to know what, but…
Inwardly, he felt his heart lift. Yeah, of course.
Outwardly, he scoffed, rolling his eyes. "Don't get in my way, then."
He made sure to wait until his back was to the group-and until he heard Pit yell in excitement as he ran after-before he let himself smile.
A/N: So, a little backstory.
I first got into Kid Icarus: Uprising via Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. Quickly, I'd decided that Dark Pit (and him specifically-to this day, I'm still better at him than I am at Pit) was the only character who let me stand a chance against my siblings. (I've since branched out-I play a bunch of other Echo Fighters, and DP, Cloud and Roy were my World of Light finale team.)
When my sister got KI:U about half a year later for her birthday, she let me have a save slot, and I was HOOKED. Not very good at the game, but it was fun and charming and I FREAKED. OUT. when Pittoo appeared in Chapter 5. To this day, I would count the boys (both of them ideally, but if I had to pick, I'd say DP) among my top ten favorite fictional characters.
Meanwhile, I went out of my way to obtain and then use the Electroshock Arm-my most potent move in Smash, even if I was getting predictable. It was a pretty handy weapon in KI:U, too, and I used it, out of the 25 levels, for probably a third of them during my first playthrough.
Well, I finish Chapter 21, and I was a WRECK. Between that and my sister saying I was close to done with this game (the first real video game I'd ever beaten), I was scared to play the next chapter. But my siblings (some of which had heard about this chapter from my sister) insisted I play it soon, then insisted I take the Electroshock Arm. At first, I thought it was just 'cause it was my best weapon. Within two seconds, I got what they were trying to do.
Today, August 18th of 2019, is, according to my diary app, the second anniversary of me beating one of my favorite games of all time. I'm finishing up one short multi-parter for it, and I have a longfic, 'unofficial sequel' style, in the works. I want to finish it before I post, so it'll be more than a year before you see it, but I HAD to do something to celebrate.
So, I both remastered an old Chaos Kin Arc playlist, which you can find by searching the title 'Icarus is flying towards an early grave-' on either Spotify or Playmoss; AND finally put all my Chapter 22-related headcanons in one place. Including the fact that, in my 'canon,' Dark Pit used one of the same weapons he later chose for Smash Bros for one of the most important missions of his life.
Yeeeeah, that got long. Happy two-year deathday, Hades. We're-what, seven years out from Uprising? Only 18 more years to wait?
Nah, my money's on a shock reveal in the middle of, like, November or something random. That's what I'd do if I was Nintendo.
Let me know what you guys thought of my first canon one-shot! I had fun, how 'bout you?