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You Should See Me In A Crown

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He’s dead. It doesn’t feel real, even though the pool of his blood has crawled far enough along the ground to stain her bare feet. Hordak is dead and she killed him.

And she has nothing left. Not even the Princess that was laid at her feet - that she asked to just end it all - she’s gone. Saved by Arrow Boy and whisked away and Catra, she just...watched and let it happen.

She feels like a fake. It’s exactly what she is.

For one weak, falsely hopeful moment she thinks about following the two of them, asking to know just how the Princess could try to fix instead of destroy what was already half-broken. But she doesn’t. She stays rooted to the metal floor she’s walked a million times, Black Garnet mocking her with everyone she’s lost; Shadow Weaver, Adora, Entrapta, even Scorpia all have become intertwined with her memories of this room and the magic it houses.

She turns from the people who took Adora away, they’re already long gone, and the crystal that’s caused so much pain. Maybe she’ll regret letting her go eventually but what was the point of capturing her when the Rebellion has already destroyed the Horde’s forces? Her forces. Hers.

It’s both heart-crushing and mind-numbing. She did it. She’s free of everyone who’s ever tried to hurt her, she can rule the Horde just like she always said she would. But it’s not what she wants, it never was. And she really should’ve admitted it sooner.

“Is that what you really want? To rule the world?”

“Shut. Up. Adora.” She hadn’t meant to say it aloud, the taste of her name in her mouth hurts like an old wound, but it’s not like there’s anyone left to hear her. There’s no one here.

She carries on walking the ruined halls, leaving ghostly footprints made of drying blood. She’s alone. It makes her laugh - quietly, bitterly, miserably - into the silence. And it is silence, the machinery broken and melted all around her.

“I mean, yeah, obviously. Isn’t that what you want too?”

Even in a perfect world she still lied, still couldn’t admit it. She doesn’t want to rule the Horde. But it’s what she has, it’s the only thing she has anymore. There’s no one left.

If that gnawing hole inside her wasn’t so big she might cry. Her throat fills up but she’s too tired for anything more than ragged breaths to leave, too burned and hurt and empty. Every step she takes rattles her whole body. The blasted-through walls still glow red and she wouldn’t care if it scorched the skin off her body and turned her to ash.

Her feet know where they’re taking her before she does. She’s going towards the one and only thing she has left.

The rising platform holding the throne she’s won sneers at her. Metal clangs in her head like gunfire as it gets closer, red light sprayed across it like bloodshed. She sits upon the throne she’s clawed for years to get. It feels like every heartbreak she’s ever known. It’s empty and meaningless and it’s...not what she wants.

Adora was right, Double Trouble was right. Of course they were, when was she ever right? She’s just...wrong. About everything. Shadow Weaver knew that, for all the things she’d ever spat at her (unlovable, worthless, useless, pest) she’d never believed that she’d been wrong.

She finally gets what she wants only for it to not be what she wants at all. She laughs again, broken and pained, into the heaviest silence she’s ever experienced. There’s no one here to hear her. She’s alone. She’s alone. She’s alone.

“You push them away Wildcat.”

Her troops are most likely dead, maimed or deserting on battlefields she can’t see. The thought hurts more than it ought to. They’re fighting a war, people die. But it’s over isn’t it? The Rebellion’s won and she has nothing but this throne. This meaningless metal that offers no hope of salvation as she once thought. There are people dying for her, for Hordak: the leader she’s known her whole life. The leader she’s taken from them. And it’s all her fault.

Some black rebuttal forms: ‘They wouldn’t be dying if Double Trouble hadn’t betrayed you. You’d be winning.’

It should be comforting, it’s anything but. What’s one more betrayal? They should be blurring together by now, with how often she experiences them. But they don’t - they always hurt, opening new wounds bound to scar. How is there even room for them on her body anymore?

She takes the seat she always thought she wanted, slumps into its hard, unforgiving surface without the pride she ought to feel. She doesn’t leave. She’s never known how to.