- In "Memories", Mephiles returns to the laboratory he was born in, and begins to regain the memories that had been repressed over the decade that he had been sealed with Dark. He begins to recall his time as a non-Mobian hedgehog prior to the explosion from the "Solaris Project". He realizes that he had been living in an enclosure with his two siblings and mother, and had wandered out when the cage door had been left ajar. While he had been fortunate enough to have been bonded to Dark when he made contact with the shadow after the "Accident"... His family hadn't been so lucky. After examining the decade abandoned room, he finds three hedgehog skeletons, with the large one curled around the smaller ones protectively. Mephiles drops to his knees and cries silently.
Mephiles: Th-there were four of us me my siblings and my my mom I had a mom
- He later has Shadow retrieve them before they leave Soleanna, and buries them under his favorite tree, marking it with a rock that he scratched their names into.
- Anytime a near death experience happens, you can sort of expect it to be a tearjerker by proxy, but one particular moment is when Dark takes the brunt of an attack aimed for Mephy.Dark: *smiling weakly* ... I did good... D-didn't I..?
Dark: ... Hey, Mephy... My head doesn't hurt anymore... Isn't that great..? Why are you crying..?
- The concept image of the scene featured a different dialogue between the two that wasn't used in the story.
- When Mephy ends up in a coma, Dark spends everyday, every chance he gets, waiting for him to wake up, even after Dark was given the okay to be discharged from the hospital, determined to be the first one Mephy sees when he wakes up. The first day of the trend, Dark sneaks out of his recovery room in the morning to visit with the comatose hedgehog. He first starts with speaking of mildly lighthearted matters (such as Mephy never alerting him that Dark had received a blood transfusion from Shadow many months prior, presumably withheld because Dark would have likely been disgusted of the idea), before apologizing for allowing himself to get so sickly from being depressed due to their forcible seperation at the hands of Eggman. Then he starts confessing what scares him most about the situation, gives questions that don't really get answered ("... Are you dreaming right now..? Are they nice..?"), and blames himself for Mephy's state and everything involved.Dark: ... I... Uh... I wish you could actually hear me... Because I need to hear you tell me that everything is going to be okay... I know we're safe now, but I still feel scared...
- Anytime Iblis realizes the extent of the emotional and psychological damage he's caused Dark Post-"Memories". To say that he simply "regrets it" is a bit of an understatement.
- It's pretty much explained that Mephy also sees Dark as a surrogate for his younger triplet brother, Ceus, who was somewhat sickly due to being affected by Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. Mephy used to tease Ceus as a hoglet for not being able to keep up properly (as he didn't fully understand what WHS was at that age), and never got to reconsile with him before the "Accident" in the Soleanna laboratory. Mephy has even made mental notes of the similarities Dark shares with Ceus.Mephy: ... I'm sorry, Dark... You're the second brother I've failed...
- Also crossing with Adult Fear, is when Shadow and Rouge first realize Mephy and Dark are missing in "Flux", after they don't return home after the sun goes down (they had encountered Metal Sonic). They immediately start searching Downtown Westopolis, and find one of the hats the two had been wearing in the snow (Dark's). Rouge is the first to find Mephiles' shredded and stained hat in another nearby alley (Mephy had received a severe blow to the head from Metal), and the telltale signs of a struggle is very clear there. Shadow, upon seeing the aftermath, assumes at first that Dark must have snapped and injured Mephiles (as Dark had been behaving erratically as of late), and so claims that he was going to kill Dark if that were true. Then he finds Dark's bloodstained scarf not too far from the hat, half burried in the snow (the blood having been Mephy's due to Dark using it to try and stem the bleeding from Mephy's head wound). It then dawns on Shadow that Dark could easily be just as injured, and they have no way to find the boys. He's rendered speechless for the shock of it.
- Considering that by this point, Rouge and Shadow act as older sibling/parental figures to Mephy, and eventually warm up to Dark in a similar manner... This reads off as something akin to a child abduction. Especially hard hitting is Shadow's insistence that it could have been avoided if he had accompanied them as he had originally intended to.
- On the Tumblr Ask Blog (which is usually drawn in a chibi style with generally fun and silly answers), Dark once admitted to why he's so aggressively protective of Mephy: because Mephy has never truly abandoned him, and has always come back no matter how much Dark has lashed out at him, and has always tried to fix what was wrong. However, Dark fears that the day will come when Mephy will no longer need him as much as he needs Mephy.
Mephy: ... You're hugging too hard...Iblis: Did you get another bad question..?Dark: Shut up. I just want to hold you.
- Another entry on the Ask Blog has Iblis answer as to what he might do if the situation made it to where he would never see Dark again. He begins to answer, only to stop in mid sentence with a blank expression. Then his ears fold down and his eyes go wide before he simply screams in anguish, tears streaming down his face. The fact that this is drawn in the usual simplified style of the blog art does nothing to lessen the feel.
- When asked what might happen if Dark witnessed either of his brothers' deaths, Dark reluctantly explains a likely scenario in which he'd likely be beyond emotionally scarred, then regress into a shell shocked state for a nondescript amount of time, and finally in a state of denial that any of them even died (likely manifested in a psychotic break where he still thinks they're still around). The final image of the scenario shows Dark babbling nervously to Shadow about when either Mephy or Iblis (the scenario did not explain who it was who dies, and could easily be either/or) are going to visit as well and what sort of things they did the day before. Given Shadow's pained expression and the medical bracelet on Hypothetical!Dark's wrist, one can assume it meant that he was being left at an asylum, cemented by Shadow's refusal to make eye contact as he tells Rouge (who's off screen): "Rouge, this doesn't feel right...". The explanation ends with Dark having an arm around either brother tightly, with an unsettling grin, and explaing that he's never let that happen because he cares too much about them.
- Dark's desperation to rouse Mephy after Dire beats him into a coma is pretty intense. He shuts at him angrily, then in fear, then cradles him and pleads.Dark: You p-promised I'd never get hurt again! If you d-don't wake up right now, you're breaking it! You're breaking a p-promise, Mephy! You're not s-supposed to break promises! You're the last p-person I'd expect th-that from!
- Then his brain starts trying to protect him from the trauma by beginning to put him in a state of denial, where he starts to babble all the things that are "going to happen" as soon as the hedgehog wakes up. Dark is clearly having nervous breakdown at this point, and Iblis realizes what's happening to Dark, and has to snap him out of it as quickly as possible.
Tearjerker / Teaching Darkness