Twilight relaxed back, putting her hands behind her head.
“I just can’t help but get the feeling that Sunset Shimmer had something to do with it.”
“I wouldn’t put it past her,” Spike said.
Her dragon-turned-dog waddled over to the blanket and sealed his mouth around it. He dragged the sheet back up onto the bed with him, pulling at it until it was entirely covering Twilight. He came to a stop beside her head.
“But she wanted your crown because she’s planning on doing something even worse!” Spike ran around in a small circle, making himself comfortable. “If you’re going to stop her you have to focus on making friends here. You can’t worry about why these girls aren’t friends anymore, even if they,” he yawned “do remind you of your Ponyville friends."
Twilight lifted the year book up again, longingly staring at the photo of the girls who suspiciously resembled her friends. She nodded, taking Spike into her arms.
“You’re right Spike,” she yawned. She looked up at the skylight, and noticed how different this world's star constellations were to her own.
“Eyes on the prize.”
Twilight closed her eyes. She could do this. In the past she’d faced an Ursa Minor, a God of chaos, two evil rulers and even one pony with an ego’s bigger than Sunset’s. This was going to be a piece of cake, she was the Princess of Friendship now, after all.
Twilight opened her eyes and looked around. Spike had fallen asleep next to her, and one look back up at the sky told her she must have fallen asleep at some point as well.
She scanned the area. She was sure she'd heard something.
When the noise didn’t return, Twilight closed her eyes again, convinced she’d been hearing things.
Twilight’s eyes shot open again. Okay, she’d definitely heard something this time.
“Spike,” she whispered, nudging her assistant in the side. He remained asleep. Twilight glanced around anxiously.
As quietly as she could in her new body, she pulled herself free from the sheet covering her. She slowly sat up, listening out for the voice again. There was movement happening somewhere in the library, she could hear. It was a soft thumping, like footsteps, coming from only a few meters away.
Twilight stood up, and began making her way towards the noise. As she closed in on it, her anxiety began to grow. What if it was a burglar? Or someone else with ill intentions?
As she neared the source of the sound it grew louder than ever. She could hear slow breathing, and the rustle of fabric. She took a deep breath and jumped around the last corner.
“What th- What are you doing here!?” Sunset snapped.
The girl she’d been sent to this world and track down was lay right there before her…. In bed? The bacon-haired villain was lay on top of a pile of books, constructed remarkably similarly to her own.
Twilight opened and closed her mouth, unable to form words.
“I-I-I’m sleeping h-here, I didn’t h-have anywhere else to go,” she spluttered out.
Sunset frowned. She let out a loud groan and threw her covers off, revealing herself to be wearing dark purple pajamas with a sun emblazoned on its chest. She stood up and stormed past Twilight, nudging her violently in the shoulder.
As she made her way around the corner Twilight moved with her, keeping her distance. Sunset rounded a bookshelf and came to a stop in front of Twilight’s makeshift bed.
“Arrgghh are kidding me?!" She groaned and kicked the side of it.
Sunset turned and pointed an accusing finger in her direction. “Well I’m not moving, so you’ll have to.”
“I’m not going anywhere. You don’t own the library. I think.”
Sunset didn’t respond. Instead she crossed her arms and looked Twilight up and down. As the girls eye's snaked over her body, Twilight couldn’t help but stiffen up uncomfortably.
“Fine. But stay on your side of the room, and don’t talk to me," she commanded.
“I, er…” Twilight stiffened up, “Wasn’t particularly planning on a sleepover.”
“Good.” Sunset spat.
Bacon-hair jutted forward again, pushing past Twilight and moving back towards her own bed of books. Twilight didn’t follow this time, instead she sat down on her own bed and began trying process what had just happened. She looked to Spike's sleeping form.
“Great deal of help you just were,” she muttered.
When she was sure Sunset was gone and not coming back, Twilight lay back into her ‘bed’. She pulled her covers up and fidgeted around uncomfortably. She was sure Spike had tried his best, but the books pressing up against her back felt like she might as well have been laying on the floor.
Giving up any attempt to get comfortable, Twilight turned her attention to the girl she knew was only a matter of feet away. It wasn’t just the books that were making her uncomfortable. What sort of cruel god of coincidence out there had caused this to happen? The villain she’d been sent here to defeat lay not ten feet away from her, and who said they were under a truce? There was nothing stopping Sunset from just waiting till Twilight fell asleep and then smothering her.
Celestia, she wished she hadn't thought of that.
“Hey Sunset?” She asked into the distance.
A second of silence passed over, before a grunt of annoyance and a reply came.
Twilight swallowed, unsure of how to word this.
“Can we like… call a truce or something? Just for tonight?”
The silence that followed un-nerved her.
“Just… just so, we can both get a good night’s sleep… without worrying about each other, you know.”
A haunting laugh creeped over from Sunset’s side of the room.
“You scared of me?”
Twilight sucked in a deep breath. “No! I just… want mutual assurance that neither of us are going to try anything. Not that I’m saying you would, you know, just… wanting to make sure.”
Sunset’s creepy laugh sounded again.
“Don’t worry Twilight. That’s not my style.”
The hair on the back of her neck stood on end.
Twilight gave squeak, followed by a nervous laugh.
“Ehehe… Y-You can get why I asked though, right?”
“What do you think I am, some medieval siren? I’m not going to do anything to you in your sleep. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind… until you brought it up.”
“Okay… good,” Twilight nodded. “I won’t try anything either.”
“Don’t worry, I know."
Twilight frowned and looked in the direction Sunset was in.
“How do you know?”
“Celestia’s prized pupil lifting a hoof in violence? Oh please.”
Twilight didn’t like what Sunset was implying.
“Hey, I’m tough!”
“Okay sweetie. If that helps you sleep at night.”
Twilight huffed and moved around in bed.
She was tough, everybody knew she was. True, she’d never dream of attacking somebody in their sleep but… she wasn’t above physical violence! Just so long as the circumstance called for it, and there was no other choice, and it was mostly out of self-defense… Twilight was tough.
She shrank down in her bed and rubbed her face into her book pillow.
She was tough. She’d saved Equestria multiple times! True, none of those involved physical fights but… did she really give off the intention she was weak? Or was it because like Sunset said, she was a student of Celestia? It was part of Celestia’s teachings that violence was never the answer, and being her ex-pupil Sunset had probably sat through all those same lectures as her.
Then a question popped into Twilight’s head.
A moment of silence passed over, during which Twilight began to think Sunset had dozed off. Her suspicions were silenced when an annoyed reply came.
Twilight gave a small nod to herself and continued.
“You were Celestia’s student before I was right?”
Another silence. Twilight waited for an answer, but none came.
Maybe she’d upset her?
As she opened her mouth to check, an answer came.
“She told you?” Her voice sounded weaker.
Twilight nodded, then blushed. “I mean, I only found out today, but yeah.”
“Yeah… sounds like something she’d do.”
“So, you’ve been living in the world ever since you came through the portal, right?”
“And have you been sleeping here the entire time?”
“Why?” Twilight frowned. “Don’t they have houses in this world?”
A grunt of frustration from Sunsets side.
“They have food and water here. They have pillows, heating and internet. Why would I need anywhere else?”
“Wait, they have pillows?”
“Arts room. Don’t bother, I took them all,” she said defensively.
“Can I have one?”
Sunset spluttered, “You know we’re enemies right?”
Twilight licked her lips, thinking of the right wording.
“Well, there’s such a thing as common courtesy…”
“Twilight, go to sleep.”
“But I’m really uncomfortable.”
“Do I sound like I care?”
Twilight huffed and went silent.
Honestly, that was just plain rude. Even Discord had the courtesy to be polite when he was causing chaos. Here she was pulling her back out and Sunset couldn’t spare her even one pillow. She was going to have a terrible night’s sleep now, heck she’d probably be dragging herself around school tomorrow just trying to stay awake.
Ohhh you clever witch, Twilight thought.
That was Sunset’s plan wasn’t it? Make sure she was extremely tired tomorrow, and so less effective against her.
She’s got the brains, I’ll give her that.
Twilight scrunched up her nose. Really, what were the chances she’d end up in this situation? Sunset had this entire world to her disposal, and she chose here to sleep? Stopping bad guys she could deal with, but being roommates with them? That was just... awkward.
Then another idea occurred to her.
Here she and Sunset were, completely isolated and on equal ground. She had the perfect opportunity to try and get on her good side! Maybe they could become friends, and they could just talk this whole thing through? Twilight was the Princess of Friendship, she was the best there was at making friends! If anybody could do this, it was her.
“I like your pajamas.”
It took a second before Sunset responded. When she did, she gave a very confused, “wha..?”
“I said I like your pajamas," Twilight repeated, "the color scheme has nice contrast to your skin.”
Sunset’s voice sounded like a warning.
“Is that your cutie mark on them?” She continued.
Twilight waited patiently for an answer. When none came, she took that as a yes and continued.
“Did you get it custom printed? Cause I imagine it’d be really difficult to find something that specific off the shelf.”
When she still received no answer, Twilight began to suspect again her new roommate had fallen asleep.
“Yes! I got them custom printed,” she snapped.
A heavy groan.
“Because I like my cutie mark.”
“Ahh, that’s understandable. I imagine being trapped in a different body you’d want some form of identity you can relate to. Do you miss Equestria then?"
"Because it's completely natural if you do. Nothing to be ashamed of."
"I didn't say I was ashamed."
"I never said you were."
Twilight sighed. She needed to try harder, she was getting nowhere.
"So what's your favorite color?"
“Twilight I swear to Celestia I’m reconsidering our truce.” She sounded serious.
“Okay, okay!” Twilight backtracked, holding her hands up in defense even though Sunset couldn’t see her, “I’ll go to sleep.”
Maybe trying to make friends with your moody enemy while they were trying to sleep wasn’t the best idea she'd ever had. Twilight should probably just call it a night and go to sleep herself.
She pushed herself back in bed until she lay staring at the ceiling. The books weren’t as uncomfortable as she was making them out to be, she could deal with them. She pushed her head deeper into her book pillow. Yeah, she could deal with this. Tiredness was consuming her at such a rapid rate, she didn’t much mind if she was comfortable or not.
Plus, she’d slept in a lot worse situations. Back when she was Celestia’s student she’d sometimes overwork herself so bad she woke up on the floor of her study room after having spent the entire night there. And then there was the long train journeys between Canterlot and Ponyville, if she wasn’t travelling with her friends she’d nearly always fall asleep on that. That wasn’t much of an issue now, mind, what the wings and all. In fact she once-
Twilight sat bolt upright heart as her heart did a summersault.
“What was that!?”
“Relax,” Sunset’s tired voice sounded from around the corner. “It's just the janitor.”
“W-why’s the janitor cleaning this late?”
“I don’t know… Those are just,” she yawned, “his shift times.”
Sunset’s words were not doing much to rest Twilight’s nerves.
“What if he comes in here?”
“How do you know?”
“He never does. The library is Miss Cheerilee’s responsibility.”
“Does he know you live in here?”
“No. Twilight, please, go to bed.”
Twilight couldn’t go back to bed. Her nerves had been rattled too hard.
She carefully pulled herself free from her blanket and stood up. She crept her way over to nearby banister. She placed her hands down on the cold wood and looked out over the library.
Everything was still. It certainly didn’t seem like the janitor had entered the room. When she was satisfied she was perfectly safe, she turned back around...
...and found herself face to face with Sunset.
“EEP!” She leaped back.
Sunset remained still. She had her arms crossed, staring at Twilight.
“Told you there was no one there.”
Twilight blushed and rubbed her arm.
“Guess I needed to see for myself.”
Sunset continued staring at her. She frowned.
“I don’t get it.”
“Get what?” Twilight asked.
“You. Look at you, you’re an Equestrian Princess and scared of a school Janitor. In what way are you a fitting replacement for me?”
Her words hit Twilight like a truck. Normally she could deal with talking trash between enemies, but this time she’d been caught off guard.
“Well… I mean I…” she stuttered.
“Actually, I do get it.”
Sunset smirked and took a step forward.
“You’re easy to manipulate. Let me guess, Princess, how many times have you gone against what Mommy Celestia has told you to do?” she said mockingly.
“Well… er...” Twilight tried to recount her memories in her head. “Never, I suppose.”
“Mmmhmm. Exactly. You know what happens when you do go against what she says?”
Twilight shook her head.
“You end up like me."
The villain took a step back and began to pace around her.
“I had so much magic back in Equestria, you know? I was the top of my class at Celestia’s school, the best they’d had in decades. But I had ambition, I was aware of my power and I wanted to use it. I deserved to use it, I wasn’t going to waste something like that! When Celestia saw my power she knew I was a threat to her position as the crown and expelled me.”
Sunset paused, looked up to the ceiling and swallowed.
“She took me under her wing and raised me like I was her own. But she wasn’t doing it out of love, she did it because she wanted a lap dog. And just like a lap dog, when I didn’t obey, she traded me out for the latest model.”
Sunset pointed to her and moved in closer, “You.”
“You know what’s going to happen when you realize how unfairly you’re being treated? Or when a unicorn even more powerful than you comes along? She’ll do exactly the same to you that she did to me.”
Twilight tried to respond, but was at a loss for words.
Sunset, pleased with the impact she left, turned around. She made her way back towards her own bed. “When that happens, remember who warned you. Heck, I might even share my pillows with you then.”
“You’re wrong. Celestia loves me,” she shot back.
Sunset stopped in her tracks. She laughed.
“She loved me and Princess Luna too. Look what happened to us.”
“You both became mad with power. You did this to yourselves,” Twilight retorted.
Sunset turned around, anger riddled across her face.
“Say that again,” she dared.
“I said,” Twilight repeated, “you did this to yourself. Celestia didn’t banish you here, that was your choice! It was you who wouldn’t trust her judgement. And by rebelling the way you did, you proved her right.”
Sunset took another step forward.
“Those are big words for a girl in your position.”
Twilight didn’t back down, she knew what was going on here. She wasn’t going to let Sunset intimidate her.
“Am I wrong? It was your own choices that put you here, Celestia did what anypony would have done in her position.”
Sunset came to a stop slightly in front of Twilight. She cocked her head to the side.
“Maybe you’re not as weak as I thought. Tell you what, when she kicks you out too, you’ve got a place here with me, if you want it.”
“That’s not going to happen. And even if it did, I’d never join you.”
Sunset shook her head.
“You’re a fool, Twilight Sparkle. We're in the exact same situation, only I wouldn't accept the limitations that were wrongly put on me. You try standing up against her, see what happens. You place too much faith in other people, and that’ll be your downfall.”
“Funny how you’re saying that, when I’m the Princess of Friendship and you’re living in a school library.”
Sunset gritted her teeth and smiled.
“We’ll see about that come the Fall Formal, won’t we?”
Sunset turned on her heels and started to make her way back towards her bed again. Twilight stayed silent, watching her leave.
Her words lingered in her head. Was that a threat? It definitely sounded like it.
Twilight got back in bed, and pulled Spike into a snuggle.
If Sunset wanted a challenge, she'd give her a challenge. Tomorrow couldn't come soon enough.
As Twilight snuggled back into her pillow, she suddenly found her throat dry from all the talking.
"Hey, Sunset, could you get me a glass of water?"
"Twilight Sparkle, I know how to hide a body."
This was going to be a long night.