Darkness. Heavy darkness that seemed to stretch on and on. It was a weight on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. Then the darkness receded and the weight lifted. I tried to open my eyes.
A groan escaped and finally, my eyes did open, though I couldn’t see anything. My vision was blurred; I could only see shapes and colors, nothing definite even as I struggled to rise. The blanket hindered me. Wait, blanket?
“There she is,” an all-too-familiar voice said from my left. Blinking rapidly, trying to make sense of what my senses were telling me, I looked over.
“Oh aye, it’s me, sister dear. I was wondering if you were just going to sleep forever or finally wake up.”
I held my head. It was pounding with a vengeance. “W-what’s going on?”
I could hear the smirk in her voice, even if I couldn’t see her. “What’s going on is that you’ve been lounging about, Celestia. I think it’s time you woke up, don’t you?”
Images flashed through my mind almost faster than I could comprehend. And then I remembered… I remembered all of it. A snarl curled the corner of my lip upward. “You! You stranded me in the Sim Realm! Y-you took my powers away! I-I… died.” My ire died away to be replaced by grief. “David…” Tears burned my throat. “Why, Lyall? Why?”
“Oh Celestia…” My sister sighed. “It wasn’t to hurt you, I promise. I had my reasons. We have a lot to talk about, a lot to discuss. But first, there’s something I want to show you. Will you come with me? Give me a chance to explain?”
I hesitated, but there was something about Lyall, something different than I was used to. So finally, I nodded. She stood up. “Follow me, then.” My vision had been steadily improving so this time, when I went to get up, it was easier.
We were in her home, the one she had summoned me to… well, for me it was a life-time ago. I walked through the halls, so many questions running through my mind. I didn’t even notice that I had stopped following her and was just heading outside, toward… something. I stepped out of the doors, onto the little patio and just stopped dead, unable to believe my eyes.
I could only stare. It was a heartbeat, it was an eternity. It was hard to say. “David,” I whispered, barely able to make a sound.
He turned to face me and we could only stare at one another.
Then I was there, in his arms, my own wrapped around him.
I took one step back and could only stare into his eyes. “I’m not dreaming, am I?”
He laughed. The sound made my heart soar to hear it again, after what seemed like so long. I frowned. “How? How are you here?”
Before he could answer, the door opened and my sister emerged. “I’ll explain everything,” she said. “But I thought you’d want your reunion first.”
I didn’t know what to say. Things were so confused. And yet… I couldn’t bring myself to care at that moment. I was in David’s arms once again. Yet my sister Lyall wasn’t done yet. “Oh! I almost forgot, before we get down to business. There are others who were waiting for you to get up.”
As I stood there with David, our hands clasped together, neither of us wanting to break the contact, I got another shock. The familiar bark had my goggling. David’s words, not my own. “Diego!? But…”
My sister’s creation gave me a canine grin and then he spoke. “Hello again, mistress.” He bowed down. Lyall grinned. “And he’s not the only one. His own brood is here.”
Even as I leaned down to hug Diego, two more canines came running out. “Darcy! And Gabe!”
Diego nuzzled his big head against my hand. “Yes mistress. Gage and Glenna as well. They’ll be with us later though. They are currently going through the debriefing.”
My sister nodded briskly. “Yes, which it is time to debrief you. Follow me and I will answer all your questions. It is time you knew just what is going on.”
I had no choice but to follow, David following me, my hand still in his.