I woke up to the sound of the door creaking open and my eyes snapped open. At home, I was always on watch for any kind of intruder so that I may find them, erase what they saw of my home and teleport them away. It was just normal for me to be this alert, but I quickly calmed myself when I felt something warm and soft. I looked down and saw my hair in Sunset's head.
I smiled a genuine smile once more. I grinned this expression truer than any other one before it. I looked back up to the door and saw a pair of blue eyes and a pair of light purple ones. I already knew who they belonged to. I reached for my lab coat pocket to grab my rune and I realized it wasn't there. And I realized how attached to my magic I was. I wouldn't be 'caught with my scrolls open' again as we said back then.
"Rarity, Twilight, there is no need to stand giggling at the door," I said and waved them in with my right hand.
"Sooooo, how was your night?" Rarity asked and Twilight giggled.
"Enjoy them while you can, unicorn. I'll make my return and enslave this world too," I heard Sombra's spirit scratch at my head.
I shook away his haunting laughter, focusing again.
"Wonderful, if you must know. Please try not to be so loud, she's still asleep," I spoke softly and let my hand roam through her hair gently.
"Sorry for intruding, it was Rarity's idea. You two look cute together though," Twilight commented and smiled warmly.
"Hush," I whispered harshly and both of them giggled, "do one of you mind fetching me my rune?" I asked and Twilight nodded. She left the room quietly.
"So, did all of my hints finally make sense?" Rarity asked with a huge smile.
"Yea, I was quite stupid to not get them. Perhaps inexperienced," I answered, "I'll make it a point to go to Cadence."
"She's one of the princesses, right?"
"Princess of Love, Ruler of the Crystal Empire. I have no doubt in my mind she can help me understand love."
Twilight walked back in and handed me the rune.
"Shouldn't you still be in bed getting your 'beauty sleep?'" I inquired to Rarity and coaxed magic out of my rune, levitating objects in the room off the ground and above the bed, sending them in slow circles.
"And miss seeing you two in bed?" Rarity started, "I would never."
I slowly put the items back down after warming my magic use up. I levitated Sunset Shimmer so she would stay in her exact position while I moved out from under her and off the bed. I slowly let her down.
"Let's let her sleep," I spoke softly and exited the room with them. I quietly shut the door without the creaking that Twilight and Rarity had caused.
"I don't think you'd have to see the Princess of Love, Shadow Aura. You seem to be doing fine all on your own," Rarity invoiced.
"I'd still like to have her advice on all that love entails. Preparation is the most important part of any endeavor," I answered. Even though emotions are very different from magical pursuits, preparation wouldn't hurt.
"You're such a calculated person, Aura," Twilight spoke up now.
"I enjoy being me, being anyone else would be madness for me."
We walked into the living room and then the kitchen, where there were already eggs, potatoes, and some fruit in a bowl on the center of the table. It seemed they had already made breakfast.
"Well, eat up, darlings!" Rarity said and we all took a seat at the table.
Twilight and Rarity sat across from me at the rectangular table with six seats. I sat on the other side, leaving a seat open for when Sunset wakes up to join us. I looked down at my plate, eyeing the food with lust. I levitated an orange from the fruit bowl in the center of the table and peeled it perfectly with my magic. I sunk my teeth into it while I got odd looks from both of the people across the table.
"That's...that's remarkably efficient," Twilight spoke her mind before she began to dig into the eggs in front of her.
Rarity already began eating slowly and quite elegantly while I dug into the food before me. I always woke up starving and excited to start the day with my projects. I may not have had anything to look forward to today, but I would still eat in my normal habits. I had quickly finished the meal before before the two in front of me had.
"Rarity, does your family own this land?" I questioned, fiddling with the rune in my hand.
"Yes, why do you ask, dearie?" I had gotten the attention of Twilight as well.
"Because I may want a home here," I began.
"I've noticed you have a lot of forest around your world and I don't think it'd be bad if a small manor were to magically form in it somewhere, would it? You already have the one tree that everyone else is envious of in your front yard. And it magically appeared in one day," I smirked. She didn't complain about the large tree I grew in front of their lawn so I assumed they liked it.
"I think you can do that as long as my nobody does find out. Even if they do, people probably won't believe them," Rarity smiled. She indeed had caught on.
"Though, I'm thinking of bringing Sunset back to Equestria with me, it's where she came from. I'd make sure we'd visit often, or at least she would. It'd still be nice to have a home here I could call my own," I stood, looking out of Rarity's kitchen window and into the woods of her back yard.
"Mmmmm, she might like that," Rarity said behind me, "but she does have a home here you could stay at," I smiled at the thought.
"Whatever she wants to do, we'll support her!" Twilight chirped.
This Twilight wasn't as outgoing friendship wise, but she did know some about friendship, like a past version of Equestria Twilight.
"The dance of yours is today, correct?" I asked and I was met with a quiet answer.
I felt arms wrap around my body and link in front of me. That's why they were quiet.
"Good morning, Sunset. Rarity made a wonderful breakfast," I took her hands with mine and moved them off.
I turned around and hugged her tight, laying the side of my head to hers while I guided her to the table. I sat her down before I took the seat next to her. I teased my fingers over her arms before I took her left hand so she could eat with her right.
"You two are still such a cute couple!" Rarity squeed and clapped her hands together. Twilight sat with a huge smile.
Sunset took a banana from the fruit bowl and I levitated it out of her hand, peeling it for her before giving it back.
"Thanks, Aura," Sunset smiled at me while she ate her food.
"Shadow Aura, to answer your earlier question; the dance is today," Twilight interjected our small moment.
"I'll see about making it a real Winter Dance. Everyone at your school does know about magic, perhaps I could let Celestia and Luna let me make the dance special with some flair to it," I smirked.
"What did you have in mind?" Rarity smiled big.
"You'd find out," I answered.
"So, what's on the agenda today?" Sunset spoke up, almost done eating.
"I plan to help make sure the dance is decorated properly today," Rarity said and looked at the time on her microwave, "it seems I need to go now then," she stood up and headed our of the kitchen.
"Hold on, Rarity," I stood up quickly and lightly laid my hand on her shoulder then turned around to face Sunset and Twilight.
"So, I know Twilight is interested in magic, but Sunset," I began.
"Yes?" She smiled wide up at me, her pupils growing.
"Do you want to use magic again while I explain it to Twilight?" She perked up at my words and bounced from her seat, hugging me tight.
"I would love to! I still kinda miss having my horn," she said while her face was left buried into my shoulder.
Twilight was smiling big and held her hand over her face, stifling a giggle, "I'd like to hear as much about magic as you have time for," she answered quietly.
I was going to be teased quite a lot by these six. Tartarus, Spike hasn't even been told yet.
"Rarity, could you drive us down to Applejack's farm before you help with the decorating?" I turned back to Rarity once Sunset finally let go of me.
"Of course, darling, let's go now," Rarity said.
"Rarity, I can see you are dressed well for the day, but you may want to wait for these two to be dressed," I said and fiddled with the rune in my pocket, casting a small time spell on my clothes and reverting them to a cleaner state. It had about half the magic I put into it when I came here.
"I was just about to suggest that. We'll be waiting in the car, girls," Rarity finished and we all walked out of her kitchen.
Rarity and I strolled outside and to her vehicle while Sunset headed to the guest room and Twilight to Rarity's bedroom. I sat behind Rarity in her SUV when we arrived, she took the driver's seat, of course.
"So, Shadow Aura?" She began.
"You're going to treat our Sunset well, right?" She looked at me through the mirror that was above the front window, eyeing me with pupils that stared solidly at mine. I could hear the concern in her voice.
"I swear on my horn that I will do no harm to her," I answered.
"But will you when I control you?" Sombra spoke in my head again.
"So, you love her right?"
"I've never loved anyone, let alone a pony. But she is a pony from Equestria, just like me so I guess she's the first after fifty thousand moons. I don't know much about love, but I know I love her," I answered.
"That's the answer I was looking for. I wanted to know if it was genuine or if you were just going with it out of inexperience. A lot of people do that with their first, depressing to think about," Rarity lifted her voice before she dropped it low.
"I never make a decision unless I am certain of something. And I'm certain of Sunset Shimmer," I smiled and looked at the front door, waiting to see them come out.
"Awwww, Romantic. Maybe you should consider slowing down on magic and picking up a pen name," Rarity giggled at her joke.
"I could probably be Equestria's best historian, but who would listen to a pony who claimed they were two thousand years old? They'd laugh at me."
"Darling, we do. And we don't laugh at you," Rarity answered.
"You girls have sense in your head, others would call you insane cultists for believing the things I said without proving it," I laughed, losing my serious tone as I saw Sunset and Twilight walk out of the front of her home.
"Now that you mention it, if someone heard us talk about making time go faster quite literally, we'd probably be placed in an asylum," Rarity laughed with me.
"We're ready to go!" Twilight chirped and sat in the front of the SUV with Rarity.
Sunset sat in the back and I quickly took her hand once she clicked her seatbelt in. I squeezed it tight and ran my thumb up and down the back of her hand. She looked to me with a smile and a red tint to her cheeks.
Rarity started the SUV without anymore words and took off out of her driveway and down the road. Her vehicle was a lot more silent compared to other ones, it barely made an audible hum. I noticed how smoothly it traveled over the road compared to Applejack's truck, I felt bumps only enough to acknowledge them while I would easily bounce in Applejack's truck. Our ride to the farm was quiet, save for Twilight and Rarity discussing the decorations for the dance, I wasn't paying attention much and only caught that a lot of winter-like decorations would be around and that Pinkie Pie had helped with it, but in the color scheme of the dance.
The dance, I would have to learn how to carry myself on the ball floor again. I had only gone to the dances that King Bullion or Princess Platinum invited Starswirl, Dingy Coat, and I to. Starswirl and I were constantly dancing with mares while we sent messages to Dingy coat through telepathy by our magic. Poor Dingy Coat rarely got to dance with any mares on his own, we got a few to dance with him after we bragged of his intelligence in alchemy and his milestones. His S.S. got him a few dates even. The royalty at that time mostly invited us because they knew Starswirl and I were the strongest unicorns, but we would never attend without Dingy Coat. They called us the adept three since we all excelled far better than the other unicorns. Starswirl could make and master spells very quickly, Dingy had his alchemy talent, and I was adept at endurance casting and the advanced spells.
"Hahahaha, oh dances. I remember the old shenanigans we would do at them," I interjected their conversation.
Normally Princess Platinum would have been very upset at all of our pranks and jokes at the ball, but after a while she came around to our humor and snickered whenever she heard a unicorn scream, faint, or start a dramatic monologue.
"Shenanigans? I hope you won't pull any at this dance," Rarity answered.
"I won't, it wouldn't be right if I didn't have Starswirl and Dingy Coat with me. I still remember when we transmuted the ribbons in a noble's hair into butter. The sound of him and the look of horror was priceless! Even King Bullion laughed at that one," I chuckled and Sunset laughed with me.
"That does sound quite funny to see," Sunset added.
"Oh, I might revisit that time in history to watch it all again. I remember the time we teleported pies onto the ball floor at random times, that was even better. Princess Platinum sure did scowl at me, but we worked with Dingy so the pies wouldn't stain anything. Harmless," I smiled wide, "oh my youth was such an enjoyable time."
"I really hope he isn't going to do any of that at the dance. You aren't, are you?" Rarity peeked back at me when she stopped her vehicle at Applejack's farm.
"You have my word," I opened the door of the SUV and stepped out. Twilight and Sunset did the same. I walked over to meet them at the path.
"Good. Now try not to destroy too many trees here!" Rarity waved and we all waved back before she sped off to the school.
"Sunset," I pulled the rune out of my pocket, "go nuts," I lifted her hand and placed it into it.
She smiled big and grabbed my hand, leading me through the farm while Twilight was in tow.
"So, how does magic energy work?" Twilight started her onslaught of questions.
"Well..." I knew this would take the remainder of the time before the dance.
Hours passed while I explained the ins and outs of magic to Twilight. I started from what magic is to casting and manipulating magic.
"...and that's how you would bend magic to take offensive, utility, or defensive uses," I finished my lecture and watched as Sunset had started to make an apple tree on the edge of the clearing grow taller and wider. More apples started to appear on it and grow as well.
"Sunset!" I stood up from the ground and ran over, "that's impressive, even if you were using my rune! To be able to bend magic to your will that well, that's not an easily accomplished feat, especially here."
"Thanks, but while you two were discussing magic, I kept track of the time and we have an hour and a half until the dance. Rarity should be back soon and we'll begin getting ready then," Sunset said with an evil smirk, "that means no boys allowed," she poked me in my chest.
"Then I'll get my suit now then," I smiled and poked her back, taking my rune.
I quickly teleported back into Rarity's empty room and stripped it off the human version of a ponequinne, careful not to hurt it at all. I then began to teleport my clothing off and the suit back on, including the dress shoes. I tied the tie using magic to ensure it was perfect. I then put on the suit jacket and teleported back to the farm where I saw a scowl from Sunset.
"What? Don't I at least look good?" I smirked, "It still feels like I should be planning some kind of funny transmutation. I know! I'll dye all the food brown!" I chuckled at my own proposal.
"You do look good, but-."
"Are you kidding? He looks fantastic!" Twilight interrupted and smirked a bit, "I might be a little jealous, Sunset."
"Twiiiiiliiiiiight," Sunset scowled at her and took my hand tightly, "he's mine."
"I was only teasing," Twilight giggled.
I hugged Sunset tightly, "Twilight can make jokes too, Sunset. I'll see you at the dance," I ruffled her hair playfully before I moved away and tickled the rune in my pocket.
I teleported right to the front of the school and saw only one car there, Flash's. It was clearly his from his pony counterpart's cutiemark on the front of the car. He quickly hopped out of his car in his normal suit that didn't look nearly as tailored as mine. I saw the rose in his tux and realized I should have such an adornment too, I always did at the balls of my time. I tickled my rune and transmuted a rock in the front lawn of the school into metal before I moved it into the shape of my cutiemark and colored it the same, adding a pin to the back and levitating it to my hand. I quickly pinned it on the right side of my chest and smiled at the Flash Sentry that was now in front of me.
"Shadow Aura, what's up, dude?!" He said and punched me softly in the chest.
"I thought I'd arrive early and check out the dance decorations," I smirked before a thought ran through my head. I couldn't dance here, I barely sprinted fast. I would trip all over the dance floor.
"Well, you're looking pretty sharp. Usually I'm the only one who rocks a suit at dances, but you might have beaten me in the dressed up category," Flash noted and began to walk towards the door, I followed behind him.
"Hey, Flash. Could I ask a favor?"
"Yea, whatcha need?" he opened the door and we both entered the lit up rotunda of the school.
"Just touch this, I'm gonna learn dancing through you," I pulled my rune out and held it out to him.
"This isn't gonna turn me into some magic-crazed monster, right?" He asked with concern.
"Not at all," I said and he placed his hand on it.
"Alright then, learn dancing!" I started the spell at his words and went digging through his head.
I found spots where I could see his feet moving and know his thoughts that drove his feet to move and after I got the generalization and a few move such as dipping down, I stopped the spell and pocketed my rune again. My rune had to be at a third of what it was now.
"Whoa, my head feels a little light," Flash commented, waving from side to side a little bit.
"That'll go away in a few minutes. Lead the way to the gym!" I exclaimed with pep.
Flash went forward slowly, heading down a hall. I stayed close to him in case he fell from his temporary dizziness.
"So, are you accompanying anyone?" I asked out of curiosity.
"Nope, I haven't asked anyone to the dance, nor has anyone asked me. I guess after expressing interest in YOUR Twilight, everyone's left me to my own self. They think I can't get over her, but I will!" Flash clenched his fist with determination.
"Hahaha, you hold on to that hope. Maybe you can at least dance with someone there. At my own balls that I attended, I hated dancing, but many mares wanted to dance with me and wouldn't go away until I did," I continued the conversation.
"Then you were quite the woman's man?" Flash chuckled when we arrived at the gym doors.
"Kinda, I never bedded or swooned with any of them. They wanted me for my magical prowess and horn size. That was and still kinda is a huge part of unicorn culture. The more magic adept one is, the more attractive they are. It was a pain for us magic researchers," I chuckled with him and opened the doors.
"Well, hopefully you find someone here to dance with, too."
"Actually, Flash...whoa," I said audibly as I looked around the room, the metal rafters were lined with a coat of blue and slivers of white tape and tissue paper lined the walls like icicles, wadded up and spiked. Blue and white balloons hung from the snowy themed food and drinks. The tablecloths sparkled with strips of shiny paper to further the winter theme. The floor was covered in some kind of light blue paint. They went all out for this dance.
"It never fails to impress me how well they can set up the decorations for the dance," Flash said and we walked in, letting the doors close behind us.
"It is amazing, but I'll be adding touches myself," I said.
"And what touches would those be, Shadow Aura?" I heard Luna's voice ask from somewhere. I saw her and Celestia walk out from the curtains of the stage that were blue, matching the room's decor.
"Nothing harmful. I use my magic to serve ponies and people. Twilight might be able to give you a full essay with how much I've told her," I walked to the stage and both of them walked to meet me halfway. Flash followed.
"That's what we like to hear, but could you give us a taste of what you have planned?" Celestia smiled.
"Oooooooh, I like to show off!" I touched the rune in my pocket and called some windigo magic forward.
I began to drop intricate snowflakes from the ceiling and a mist enveloped the rune. The icicles of tissue paper on the wall quickly began real and a sheet of ice enveloped the walls and ceiling, covering all of it except the door, floor, and food tables.
"How's it not cold in here?" Flash asked.
"Easy, I'm controlling who it freezes."
"Impressive, and beautiful. We'll allow it," Luna said, "though you aren't supposed to be allowed to attend the dance. We can mark you down as the special effects worker we brought in."
"You have my thanks, Luna, Celestia."
"Shadow Aura, are you saving a dance for anyone?" Celestia asked with a knowing smile.
"Weeeell, I actually-,"
"Oh my god, this looks amazing! Better than any other dance we have had!" I heard some students exclaim as they began to enter.
"Sister, I think we better get dressed into our dresses as well," Celestia spoke up with a laugh.
"I believe you are right. Until next time, Shadow Aura. Flash Sentry," she nodded to both of us and took her leave with Celestia.
"Well, off I go!" Flash said and approached the earliest dancers that were entering. Music soon started playing, starting out slow before getting upbeat and lights came shining down from the ceiling to land on the floor, moving at a good pace, but not too fast.
"The dance begins," I whispered to myself and smiled.
Males and females were already dispersing throughout the room, into groups or dancing in the general center of the gym. I took to walk towards the food tables and found one with some fruit on it, next to what appeared to be cupcakes with icicles in them or snowmen on top. I took up one and ate it quietly, throwing away the wrapper before I went to a table holding the drinks. It was a mixture of soda, water, and juices, all with tons of ice in them. They were definitely keen on their theme.
I saw I was catching the eye of many of them that stared at me, wondering why I was here most likely, or admiring the work Rarity did for me. I looked around and saw Flash Sentry mingling with his friends. I also saw the counterpart of Trixie trying to exaggerate a story of her magic tricks most likely. I decided on my actions and walked right over to them. The gym wasn't crowded, so it was a straight walk. There were only about four people dancing in a group and five small groups dispersed about.
"...and that's when I floated the bear up and back into the woods!" Trixie threw her hands up.
Two girls were in front of her and both looked unamused. One was dressed in a light blue dress that frilled out some and had orange hair with a carrot hair clip. The other had light blue and white hair, wearing a mint green dress that fit tight to her form.
"Ladies, do you want to see real magic?" They both looked to me with interest.
"Oh please, like you could one up me!" Trixie showed her natural demeanor.
"Observe," I touched the rune in my pocket and pointed with my other hand at the floor in the center of all of us.
I began to call on windigo magic and caused a large block of ice to come up and form between us all.
"Whoa!" One of them shouted in a little deeper than normal feminine voice, touching the ice, "it's not even cold to touch," the orange haired one spoke again.
"But wait!" I held up my hand and pressed it to the ice. I rapidly melted it into a bust of Trixie, her tongue stuck out and eyes shut tight.
"Well...I...uggggggh!" Trixie stampeded off and I engaged in laughter with the other two. I melted the block away and quickly vaporized the water using more advanced spells.
"What's your name? I've never seen you around school," the mint green wearer asked.
"Shadow Aura, a pleasure to meet you," I bowed a little, "I don't attend your school. I'm from where Twilight is, an Equestrian."
"Lyra, and this is Carrot Top. Well, I hope you can stay a while, you're already super interesting," she introduced her friend who waved and smiled bright at me.
"Shadow Aura!" I heard Sunset call my name from the gym doors.
"I believe I must go, my friends have arrived. I look forward to seeing you on another visit. I depart tomorrow morning," I walked away.
"Lyra, you're drooling," I heard from behind me. Even the females of this world seem to go a bit nuts, maybe its how I carry myself.
"What would this Sunset Shimmer think of this?" Sombra spoke up again.
"Shut up and go buck yourself," I muttered under my breath.
"A nerve? I'll make note of it," he laughed.
I disregarded him and focused on getting to my friends.
I walked over to the doors and saw none of the seven I expected to be there, I looked around before I was hugged tightly from behind.
"Guess who," I heard Sunset slightly sing.
"The girl I was hoping would show up soon?" I asked with a smile.
"Yep!" She spun me around and hugged me tight, I hugged her back. I noticed I was receiving many looks and stares. I must have caught some of their ire as well as their interest.
Sunset released me and backed away a little, taking my hands. I froze, staring at her.
"What's wrong? Do I look too good?" Sunset asked and blew in my face gently to wake me up.
"I-I'm sorry. I kinda lost my words when I got a good look at you," I said, snapping myself back to my conscious.
Sunset was in a dress that stopped just below her knees. The dress was made of many slivers of orange and red to match her hair and it fit her body tightly. It had no straps over her shoulders. A gold bangle was on each of her wrists, loose, but silent. I looked at her heels; orange, tall, elegant with what looked to be an orange citrine in the toes of them. I looked back up and saw not a single hint of makeup, still stunning Sunset Shimmer and her hair seemed to be up in a tight braid at the back of her head, one that had to be intricate.
"And now you take a good look at me? Rarity was right!" She giggled.
"I've already received a compliment about this suit from Flash and I've caught words going around about it," I chuckled and pulled her close, hugging her.
"So, is this it? Just hugs?" Sunset prodded at me.
"A kiss to satisfy? I plan to save that for a particular part tonight," I smirked and pecked her cheek, "that should suffice for now."
I released her and saw a blush over her cheeks.
"Shadow Aura, I see you found a date tonight. I'm still having no luck," I heard Flash Sentry from behind me as he walked up.
"Date? This is my marefriend, Flash," I said and took one of her hands, drawing her close to my side while I flipped around to see Flash.
"Sunset Shimmer? Whaaaaaaat?" Flash grasped his head, "I would have never guessed, you seem like such a chill guy who doesn't live for exciting adventures!" He laughed in disbelief.
"Well, there's that time I did away with Sombra for good. I also went on my quest to create another Crystal Heart. Went up against Chrysalis," I laughed nervously, "but you don't know any of those guys," I felt Sunset nudge me.
"They gotta be serious stuff with those names. Nice to see you again, Sunset. I do wish you guys luck, even if he has to go back to Equestria," Flash inputted.
"Believe me, if I were to go against them in Equestria, I would be annihilated," Sunset said to further back my claims.
"Now I believe," Flash chuckled, "so when do you leave and not come back for weeks?"
"Ah, but unlike Twilight. I can come and go as I please. Time is but a grain of sand in the span of eternity, Sentry," I punched his arm lightly and he looked at me confused.
"Whatever, I'm off to at least dance with someone. That's something I can keep trying at," he said and walked off.
"That was odd?" Sunset questioned.
"He's an alright guy. A weird one, reminds me of Dingy Coat. Always trying too hard to be cool and never realizing he always was," I said aloud, staring at his back while he walked off.
"You know he's my ex, right?" Sunset commented.
I swooped in to her hug her tight. I dug my face into her neck and just caught how good her scent was. It wasn't a perfume, it was her own scent. Sunset had to have relationship experience. I bent her over slightly.
"Well, you're mine now and I'm not letting go," I chuckled and raised her back to her feet.
"Do you want to see the girls?" Sunset asked.
"The question is, does Rarity want to hear about her hard work on this suit," I laughed heartily with Sunset joining while she lead me out of the growing crowd and to a corner of the gym. I saw Rarity and Fluttershy both there.
"The man of the night is here!" Rarity said, throwing her arms into the air. Fluttershy just smiled at our presence.
"I've heard many good things about this suit, Rarity."
"I knew you would, I put all the love and passion into it to make this night a good one," she answered with a bigger smile.
"Enjoying yourself, Fluttershy?" Sunset asked.
"Oh, um, yes. I'm just not much for dances," she replied.
"Just try to go out and dance at some time tonight, you'll enjoy, darling. I promise," Rarity encouraged her.
"Oh, I don't know."
"She's right. When I went to my first ball, I was a grump through the night until I hit the dance floor. I felt free and alive. Given that dancing was a majestic one, I think you'll still get the same effect if you go out there," I patted her smiled her way.
"Ah, Shadow Aura. I'm glad I found you," I heard Celestia's voice behind me right when Fluttershy opened her mouth.
"Celestia, you look good tonight," I complimented and nodded my head to her when I turned around with Sunset, taking her other hand.
"She'll look good in chains," Sombra wanted to ruin this night for me quite badly.
Celestia dress in a simple pink dress that flared out at the bottom, cutting off mid-thigh. Her hair was the ever normal and she wore some kind of pink pair of shoes.
"It's simple and Luna discouraged it, but I wanted to blend in a little and not stand out. I still love this ice and mist you've put everywhere. Oh, and the snowflakes are wonderful," she thanked me.
"Thank you, I've been trying to master Windigo magic and I think I've finally gotten it," I answered.
"THAT'S why it looks even better than when I helped Pinkie decorate it!" Rarity exclaimed, "Well done, darling, well done."
"I see you've found something in Sunset," Celestia giggled to herself.
"Don't explain yourself, you need not to. You two look cute together anyway," she followed up, "Luna and I have decided to call you to the stage soon to say just a few words, so be prepared for that," Celestia said and quickly walked away through the now large crowd of students.
"I swear, they don't change with their mysterious ways between worlds," I shook my head.
"What do you mean?" Fluttershy asked.
"Well, our Celestia, Princess Celestia, really enjoys talking through cryptic verses, adding hidden meanings, leaving stuff out, or just being mysterious. It seems your Celestia is too," I chuckled, "perhaps I'll try it some day."
"You better not with me," Sunset nudged me.
"I'll make sure to then!" I smirked devilishly, "oooooh, should I do a small little prank?" I turned to Rarity and Fluttershy. Rarity's face immediately lit up red in anger.
"Prank? Heck yea! Do it, Shadow Aura!" Rainbow approached us and clenched her fists, eager to see what I could do. I noticed Rainbow hadn't changed much, she only put on a simple cyan dress and red boots that contrasted thoroughly. An odd style, but she did the color clash well. It might have been to drive Rarity crazy on purpose.
"Which one of these students do you think would take it well?" I asked Rainbow Dash.
"Hey! I thought you agree-," Rarity began, steaming.
"I never remember agreeing to anything, Rarity," her face lit up more before she breathed in deeply and let out her breath.
"Pranks? Now don't be too mean, Aura," Applejack came to us as well. Applejack was wearing a denim skirt and orange plaid shirt, the sleeves rolled up to her upper arms. She still wore her traditional hat and what would be her cutiemark is sown into her skirt.
"I got the perfect target...Applebloom," I elbowed Applejack and pointed at the small girl dressed in a cream colored dress with a red hemming at the bottom of it. There were thick straps the went over her shoulders. Her attire matched the farm girl that she was.
"Auraaaaa, that's my sister you're talking about," Applejack stared at me.
"Now your sister doesn't mind getting dirty at all, and she's with her friends. They'll help her out," I touched the rune in my pocket and I began to focus on the inside fabric of her shoes, preparing to transmute them.
"Students of Canterlot High!" I heard Celestia call from the stage using a microphone and I stopped casting my spell. The party music stopped.
"Ponyfeathers, I was just about to do it," I cursed under my breath and I heard Sunset giggle while Applejack sighed out.
"I've heard many times that this dance looks better than any of the other ones we've had hear at CHS," Celestia continued and Luna walked up behind her, wearing an entire blue dress that stopped at her knees and some of her arms, revealing her shoulders. From the way it sparkled, it was a sequin dress.
"So, we'd like to call the man, or pony, responsible to the stage," Luna finished and whispers went about the room.
"Well done," I whispered under my breath and I quickly navigated through the crowd to the side of the stage, climbing the stairs up.
I heard clapping from the back of the room, it was those seven. The clapping soon spread over the room when Flash Sentry started to applaud in the front. Luna handed me the microphone and I took it, clearing my throat before holding it up to my mouth.
"Hello, Canterlot High School. It's true, your whispers are correct. I come from Equestria, the place where the first Twilight you met is from. She's doing well, everybody. She's fitting her new position as princess quite well," I walked to the other side of the stage. I decided to treat this short speech like I would a presentation on magic, "I know most, if not all of you are on shaky grounds with magic. This dance, looking better than any before is because of me. The floor you stand upon is ice, I have carefully latticed it to create grip, and it will not melt nor chill the room. The mist was also a touch of me, so are the icicles coming off the walls and the thick layer of ice over almost everything," I took a break, waiting for the applauding to end.
It seems I may have changed their minds about magic, they had only seen the destructive kind of magic from what I read about.
"Now, I've been using windigo magic, a more dangerous kind, but I have pacified it to make these aesthetics. Magic should serve us as a tool, that's why I dedicate my life to researching and mastering it," I took the rune out of my pocket, "this holds my magic, the magic I've been using to do all these things. And I'll give you all one more trick," I said with a big smile. From what I read in Twilight's recordings, the statue of a horse was blown apart during something called the Friendship Games. A horse is what their mascot is, a Wondercolt.
The rune started to glow as I began to cast my spell, "Everyone, clear the center of the room," I spoke into the microphone and they moved out of the way.
A small cyan laser shot out of the rune and hit the icy floor. I began to crystallize the water vapors in the air, forming them into a depiction of a general alicorn, man flowing with magic, wings spread, and a tall horn. The statue was massive and in the form of a rearing alicorn, front hooves high in the air. I then let my own grey magic hit the statue and separate it from the floor by its hooves. I slowly transmuted it into stone and when I finished, I lifted it off the floor, pointing it back down to the students at the floor who began to whistle and applaud.
"Here is your new statue for your school! Consider this Equestria's first gift and hello to Canterlot High!" I shouted with a huge smile. It's kind of nice to have everyone hanging at your words. I sent the statue slowly around the room for everyone to see it before I teleported it and landed it atop the portal at the front of the school, fusing the hooves with the portal base. I handed the microphone back to Celestia while I began to walk off with clapping and cheering still following me.
"Thank you, Shadow Aura. I'm sure you'll say hello to Equestria for us, too," Celestia began and I made my way back to Sunset, "students, remember that the dance ends at midnight, in two hours. And thanks for coming out!" Celestia finished and headed off stage.
I reached Sunset and saw a chorus of smiles from all of my friends here.
"Well said, Shadow Aura. A bit too informative, but maybe you'd do well as an alicorn unlike what you thought," Sunset began and wrapped her arms around my neck. I returned the gesture and laid my hands on her lower back. She stared up at me, her pupils wide.
"You really think so?" I rested my cheek against hers, closing my eyes. I felt the smile crawl more over my face.
"It was one heck of a speech," I heard Applejack say.
I heard the music come back as a slow song and my head was struck with an idea.
"Does anyone play violin and cello at this school?" I asked.
"I think Lyra plays violin and Octavia plays cello. Why do you ask, dear?" Rarity answered.
I slipped out of Sunset's grip, "I'd like to dance to my music, the music I heard at balls."
"Oh! You mean classical dance music! You don't plan to do what I think you are, are you?" Rarity leaned close, giddy at what I suggested.
"Oh, I do!" I slipped through the crowds, receiving waves and smiles from many of the students there as I went. I found Lyra in her mint green dress soon enough, talking to Carrot Top with a third member in their party.
"Lyra! I'd like to ask a favor of you," I started, interrupting their conversation. All three of them looked to me with warm smiles of welcome.
"Name it and I'll try my best."
"Thanks, could you get Octavia and grab your violin and cello? I'd like to have some older music to dance to, for just one song. It's been a while since I've danced," I asked.
"Oooo, I'd love to and I'm sure Octavia would too. We'll be ready in a jif!" I caught her arm before she went to leave.
"Try to play something that sounds fluid, but upbeat. Something I can move like water in a calm stream around the dance floor with. Think of all those rhythms you've studied about in the classical era," I smiled as I gave my information.
"You got it!" She continued on her way.
"So, who would be your partner? I heard those dance can't be danced alone," Carrot Top questioned.
"I didn't know anyone still cared about those old dances outside classical instrument players. I'm be teaching Sunset how to dance, well more like leading her. I think she'll do well even if it is a complex dance," I commented.
"Well, you do know what she did, right?" Carrot Top whispered.
"I know all about that. Did you know I almost handed Equestria to an ancient tyrant on a platter? Did you know I made and casted a spell that made me immortal? Everyone can make mistakes, but mistakes don't define us. It's the learning from them that tells of how we live and carry ourselves," I ended our conversation and walked away, headed to the corner where the music host was handling things.
She pulled one headphone off her ear at the sight of me and stared blankly with her purple-tinted glasses.
"So, I'll be having two people play a song to dance to and I'm wondering if you have any microphones we could put near the instruments so the sounds could come off louder and mask our speaking during the dance," I requested.
She handed me two wireless microphones that had a switch at the bottom for turning it on. She also handed me a stand for them. I touched the rune in my pocket and teleported the items to the stage along with two chairs that I saw behind the curtains earlier. The person behind the sound system had her jaw open at my act.
"Thanks, they should be here soon," I resorted to waiting on Lyra and this Octavia to arrive.
And true to their word, they arrived only a few minutes later, with two cases, one huge and one small.
"Hey, Shadow Aura. I'm glad to hear you like our kind of music," someone with a long black hair and grey lines in it spoke up, bangs covering her forehead while she wore some kind of brown dress-like garment.
"You must be Octavia. I have things set up on stage for you both to play. Unfortunately, there isn't an orchestra. I'm sure you two will still play perfectly," I complimented and smiled.
"Thanks!" Both of them answered.
"Just take the stage and finish the setup when you are ready," I informed and they immediately did.
Lyra stayed standing and moved the microphone stand up to be level with her violin while Octavia kept hers low and sat down. They both opened their cases and revealed the shining polished wood of their instruments. Lyra quickly put the violin in its proper position, bending her arms and taking her bow out, setting it gently to the strings. Octavia followed suit and set hers to the larger strings of the cello. The DJ as they called it slowly silenced her music.
It was only a few moments before Sunset made her way over to me.
"Rarity said I should be here now, what are we dancing to?" She asked with worry in her eyes.
"Sunset, just follow my lead. In Equestria, we danced on our hind hooves for this, so it's not much different for me. I know you'll do just great," I smiled and took her hand, leading her to the cleared out dance floor. I assumed everyone left because of the music stopping and the two on the stage.
I lifted my arms up and Sunset followed suit, slightly bending my knees. I looked with my eyes to the stage and saw Lyra and Octavia whispering to each other before they turned on the mics and a buzzing was heard throughout the room, fading away to relative silence again. Octavia began with a deep , repetitive note that stopped before beginning again. She was definitely waiting for me to perform the move to get to the dance floor.
"Ready?" I whispered to Sunset.
"As I'll ever be," she smiled.
"Head straight, let us walk," I said and leaded out far with my right leg, letting it out far.
I brought myself down and back up to it, Sunset mimicking my motion with incredible reaction time. I repeated it a few more times and stopped when Octavia and Lyra both began playing, picking up and starting to play constant, slow, long notes. I let go of Sunset and turned to face her, seeing her do the same. We both kept our arms out at our sides.
"Sunset, this would be the moment," I whispered with a huge grin.
I reached out with my right hand, popping it right between our faces. She touched it with her own right and I retracted the moment I felt hers touch, moving my hips with my hands and seeing her quickly pick up the dance I was dancing. Our knees popped inward to face each other slowly. I reached out with my left hand and did the same motion with it, doing it once more with my right hand.
"Huh? What moment?" Sunset whispered back clueless.
I stepped inwards with my right and Sunset did too, "you'll see, Shim," I whispered and stepped back. We switched hands.
I stepped inwards with my left, seeing Sunset do the same, "Shim? So now we're getting nicknames?" She asked rhetorically and stepped back with me. I gripped Sunset's left hand with my right hand and her right with my left.
The duet on the stage picked up and their notes went at a bit faster pace, but one that signified the second and last part of the dance. The fun part for me. I stepped close to my special someone and began to spin, rotating and revolving around an invisible object in the center of the dance floor. It was here that I could definitely see we had the attention of everyone at the dance. We moved our hips side to side, raising the left and then the right into the air slightly as we went.
"Yea, is that a problem?" I whispered.
"No, not at all, Aur," she chuckled to herself.
"I hope you're enjoying the dance, it's what I often danced back in my youth," I continued our conversation, sinking my hands down and letting it rest at her hip, she did the same to my hip.
I continued to spin, widening our circle.
"I've never seen quiet a dance," I heard one of the female students whisper as we whirled by them.
"It's beautiful," I heard another.
"Forget the dance, look at the two dancing," a third, a male.
"It's definitely something new, but I love it. It's so uplifting and you actually get to move," she whispered her answer back.
"Oh, but it's unfortunately or fortunately coming to a close," I spoke in mystery as I shrunk the circle of our revolutions.
"I thought I told you not to speak in riddles," Sunset flatted.
"I couldn't resist," I gradually brought us to a stop at the center as the music slowly began to end, the sound dimming.
I hung Sunset out, feeling her hand roam to my lower back while I held her with her hand and the broader part of her back. I had successfully dipped her down, letting her back arch. She stared right up at my eyes.
"Just wait for Hearts and Hooves Day," I whispered and leaned down.
I planted my lips to hers gently, lingering with my eyes closed. I didn't continue it further into one filled of obvious passion or lust, just one of simple love. Love displayed in a way anyone could understand, though it remains a complex idea. Her lips were soft and they sent me burning with life in my cheeks and heart when I touched them. It? This was a kiss and a real kiss. Now I saw why some ponies loved to kiss their special someponies, it sets you aflame, flying in the air. I ended our meeting and retracted my face from hers. I opened my eyes and saw a huge smile on Sunset's face, her cheeks tinted a little red. I lifted her back up and we both put our arms out straight, leaving the dance floor the exact same way we arrived. We left a little faster, a bump in our step.
"So graceful, but-," I forced Sombra's voice down and into silence with my own will. I was starting to control him better.
The students began clapping once we made our way off the dance floor and a normal slow song began to play for the students, the dance floor slowly being filled again. I let my arms drop and touched the rune in my right pocket, teleporting the chairs and microphones on the stage back to their respectable places. I hugged Sunset before we began to make our way to our friends who stood close by, just outside the dance floor.
"Shadow Aura! You must teach me that dance!" Rarity said, "it was beautiful! Majestic! Amazing!"
"It really was something else," Fluttershy commented.
"Thanks, Fluttershy," I nodded to the shy girl and turned to Rarity, "I only owed one dance tonight and those dances take a good bit out of you, so I'd like to relax for the rest of the night. And I don't think I'd have a different partner, it wouldn't be feel right. And I don't want a raging ball of orange chasing you down," I nudged Sunset and laughed aloud.
"Haha, very funny," she punched me lightly in my arm.
"Has anyone seen Pinkie Pie or Twilight?" Applejack asked and walked into the conversation.
"I haven't, not even when I was spinning about and caught the faces of almost every student here," Sunset answered.
"Um, I saw Twilight talking with Flash. I don't know about Pinkie," Fluttershy sunk away.
"Oh boy," Applejack shook her head.
"Ehhhh, let's not bother him," I laughed.
Pinkie Pie bounded over here, knocking into my back and causing me to collapse onto my front, dragging Sunset partly with me before my fingers lost their grip.
"Of course, why wouldn't I fall after the dance instead of during it?" I complained aloud, "Pinkie, would you mind getting up?" I asked.
Pinkie Pie abruptly got up and giggled, helping me up by quickly yanking me by my shoulders. I felt very dizzy from the motion and I could hear laughter all around me. The world look like it was spinning a bit around me.
"Sorry, about that, Aura. I'm just really excited that Maud is back from college and she was able to come to the dance!" Pinkie exclaimed throwing her hands in the air. I felt hands on my shoulders that helped to steady me, I looked at the hands alone and knew it was Shim.
"Thanks," I addressed Sunset, "Pinkie, that's wonderful, but try not to crash into me too much. I want this suit ready for use if I come back here during a formal event."
"I'll try to make sure I don't do that as often then, have any of you ever seen Maud dance?" Pinkie asked, looking around.
"I don't think any of us have," Applejack answered.
"After this song, Vinyl is gonna play an upbeat one. Maud is the best dancer I've ever seen! She doesn't even break a sweat!" Pinkie boasted of her sister.
I had never met Maud nor watched much of Maud when I watched those six ponies live and flourish through their adventures. I only knew she was Goddess of Rocks. I was broken out of my thoughts when I felt Sunset's hands wrap around my stomach and her form against me.
"OooooOOOooo, you guys are really getting touchy!" Pinkie noted aloud and I smirked with a slight heat in my cheeks.
"Speaking of that; Shadow Aura, what was that on the dance floor earlier, hmm?" Rarity walked around us, leaning in close with a huge smirk. I felt my cheeks flush.
"I-it was exactly what you saw," I managed to speak out in a relative normal tone.
"Come on, Rarity. Don't be that mean," Sunset spoke up.
"After what he was thinking about doing to poor little Applebloom? I think not!" I was at the mercy of her words now, "so, was that your first with her or your first ever?" Rarity continued and I heard stifled giggles from the others.
"Buck...it was my first ever," I began to slowly slip backwards and away.
"What's next then? Teasing? Sex?" Rarity went right to the deep end.
"R-Rarity, c-come on now," I began.
Sunset wedged herself between us, hugging my tight for the millionth time tonight. Rarity laughed herself, "I was only playing, darling. You should have seen the look on your face when I said sex. I never knew someone's cheeks could be so red!"
"Not. Cool," I answered.
"Shadow Aura!" I heard Lyra's voice from my right and Sunset let go of me, keeping my hand. I turned to see her and Octavia approaching.
"That dance was wonderful, definitely something from a grand ball of sorts," Octavia commented.
"Well, I had a great partner as well," I smiled at Sunset receiving a grin back.
"Your music was wonderful to be on such short notice," Shim complimented.
"Thanks, Sunset. Honestly, I think we're both surprised to see you found someone you like in an Equestrian," Lyra said.
"Well, common ground is where friendships and relationships bloom. And our pasts are both really similar," I said, peeking at Sunset with an eye.
"So you did something bad with magic, too?" Lyra asked and I could feel the air tense up around me as Shim clenched my hand.
"Yes, I made and casted a magic spell that let me actually be alive today. But I eventually came to accept my mistake as a part of me and who I am today. I spent my life running from that mistake and now that I've faced it, I'm more me than I've ever been," I petted Sunset's hand with my thumb and she seemed to calm down.
"What spell was it?" Octavia asked with curiosity.
"I used an immortality spell," I slipped away, turning around and pulling Shim with me. I reentered our group of friends and I heard Lyra and Octavia take their leave.
"I didn't think you would handle that so smoothly," Sunset whispered.
"I've had experience handling tougher conversations. King Bullion once tried to get Starswirl and me involved in politics. That went terribly," I chuckled.
"With a mess like you, I wouldn't doubt it," she joked.
"Whatever," I brushed off the friendly insult.
"So, what are you gonna do when you get back to Equestria, Shadow Aura?" Fluttershy asked, I already knew what these five wanted to talk about. Rainbow Dash had just shown up coming from Equestria knows where.
"I'm gonna face facts and prepare for alicornhood the best I can. And don't worry, I don't think I could find replacements for you guys," I smiled and turned to Sunset, squeezing her hand, "especially this one."
"Awwwwww," I heard a chorus from them, Rainbow's voice missing.
"What are the plans for tomorrow? We gotta do something!" Rainbow Dash spoke up.
"I know what I'm doing, you girls are free to do whatever you wish," I led on to wait for a question.
"OooooOOOoo, he's being mysterious," Pinkie announced.
"What are you doing?" Rainbow asked.
"That's a mystery," I smirked.
"You're not an alicorn yet, you can't be so ancient with your words!" Sunset bumped me.
"Too late, I already decided on it," I answered and looked up at the clock that still ticked from behind the ice layer of the wall. It was thirty minutes until the dance would end, until midnight.
"The dance is almost over," Rarity said with remorse, "and we still haven't seen Twilight."
I fiddled with my rune in my pocket and projected my vision over the gym turned ballroom. I quickly found Twilight in a long purple dress with a magenta line running down the center, shifted to the right a bit. Her hair was up in her normal complex braid that I didn't know the name for. I barely knew anything about fashion. I picked her out on the dance floor, slow dancing with Flash. He was in for it. I stopped the spell and opened my eyes.
"So, she's having one of your lame slow dances with Flash Sentry," I shook my head, "he's toast, isn't he?"
"You bet he is!" Applejack spoke up and marched over to the dance floor, the others following her.
I grabbed Sunset's arm and pulled her back to me, taking both of her hands, "Shim, I know of two of your adventures here by reading what Twilight has recorded, but I felt magic coming from the woods here, I wanna go there with you tomorrow, as soon as we wake up."
"Wait, what? Camp Everfree you mean?" She asked, her eyebrows raised.
"If that's the place, then yes. A campsite would be wonderful to spend my last day here with you, wouldn't you think?" I smirked. I was fitting into this romance thing quite well already.
"Yea, that sounds perfect," she answered and seemed to forget about Flash.
Though her height was the same as me, she leaned forward and laid her head on my chest. I wrapped both of my arms around her and rested my hands to her hips, using their way of romantic 'dancing' to make our way to the dancing floor, heading through crowds. I felt her arms wrap around my neck after a while. We reached the floor and began to sway back and forth, slowly going in a circle like the simplest of waltzes. I looked around and saw Twilight, Flash, and our other friends completely gone from the dance floor.
"Maybe this is perfect," Sunset whispered softly. I gently put my head down, smelling her hair as I breathed.
"This dance would be wonderful after such an exercise as my own dances," I whispered back.
"Shut up and enjoy it, Aur," I saw her smirk and felt her squeeze me. I ran my right hand up and down her back, rubbing softly.
I stayed silent while we danced, enjoying these last moments of the dance. I was sure Sunset could feel my heart beating slower than it usually would, she had to be enjoying the soft sound of it as well. The music slowly fell silent.
"Students of Canterlot High!" I heard Celestia at the stage and both of us lifted our head, looking.
I moved close to Sunset's side, wrapping an arm around her waist, she laid her hand on my shoulder in return.
"That song concludes our Winter Dance. We wish you all a great and safe break. Have fun in the snow!" Celestia announced and went off stage. Students began to file out of the gym.
"I wouldn't trade this for any magic knowledge," I said aloud with a smile.
"Any?" I heard Sunset while we began our walk out of the school through the gym doors.
We exited quietly, students waving to me as we went and thanking me for all the decorations I helped with. I was touching the rune in my right pocket, making the ice melt with it and turn to steam to be carried out through the ventilation system, working it as fast as I could. I projected my vision into the gym while we walked as well to monitor the progress. I stopped when it was complete and saw the front doors of the school. As we walked out, I pulled Sunset aside and away from the main flow of students.
"Best night ever?"
"Best night ever," she agreed with a huge smile.
I casted a teleportation spell and appeared in the guest room of Rarity's house. I slipped away from Shim and headed upstairs, claiming my clothes from Rarity's room and teleporting them onto me while I made my way back downstairs, holding the perfected suit in my arms. I laid them down on the dresser of the room and looked around, trying to find Sunset.
"Shadow Aura, I'm changing in the closet!" I heard her call.
"Very well, I haven't really eaten much at the dance, so I'll be in Rarity's kitchen," I left my labcoat off and set it next to my suit. I walked out of the room and into the kitchen, passing by my duplicated plants again. I immediately opened the fridge and took out an orange, apple, and banana from the fruit bowl that was moved into it. I immediately peeled the orange and banana using my rune and began to dine on the orange. Once I had finished it, I moved to the trashcan and disposed of the orange peel and started on the banana. I held it in my right hand, peeling as I bit more and more into it.
"Always the fruit, huh?" I heard Shim enter the kitchen.
"It's good and sweet. Some vegetables are okay, but fruit is amazing," I finished the banana and took a chunk out of the apple. I turned around and saw her in her pajamas and undershirt again.
"You should have had some food at the dance," Sunset noted.
"I didn't see you eat either!" I quickly pointed out and took another bite out of the apple.
"We all ate before we came," she smiled, "at least I did. I'm sure the others are starving right now," she chuckled. I swallowed the mashed apple.
"Well, I'm tired from tonight so I'll be headed to bed right after I finish this apple," I ripped another bite out, chewing on it.
"I'll be waiting on you then," she winked and left the kitchen, headed to the guest room no doubt.
I quickly took smaller bites of the apple until I finished it and threw the core into the trash. I wiped my mouth of all the fruit juices onto some paper towels I ripped from a hanging roll. I tossed the used towel into the trash as well and walked through the living room, around the stairs, and into the guest bedroom. Sunset was already laying underneath the quilt, she looked over. I shut the door behind me.
I'm not quite sure how I ever got here, but I did and I suppose that's what matters. I have a lot of recording to do when I return to Equestria.
I walked over in the silence and sat on the bed, flipping my legs under the quilt and laying down. Sunset's arms quickly wrapped around my front and gently pushed me back down against the stack of pillows. She laid her head on my chest again.
"Sunset, though I have to return to Equestria," I began.
"Don't remind me," she squeezed.
"I'll visit here and you can definitely visit me anytime. Just ask Twilight to take you to my home," I finished and I was squeezed again.
"Are you sure that's okay? I don't know how the princesses would react to that," Shim began to worry.
"You'll be under decree of a Prince, I doubt there would be little they could do, especially when it is my land," I chuckled, "though I do live a bit in the middle of nowhere."
"Weeeeell, I guess it'd be okay then. Just let all of them know what's going on," she snuggled into me more, "now be quiet."
I took that as an order to go to sleep and I closed my eyes, wrapping my arms around Sunset's back, letting myself drift to sleep.
When I woke before the sun was even up, I found Sunset out of bed and no longer on me. I was beyond tired and looked at the clock at the nightstand, 2AM. I sat up and swung my legs over the bed, seeing her in front of me, writing frantically in the book that she uses to communicate to Twilight.
"Sunset, is something the matter?" I asked.
"They want you back in Equestria now, something about wanting help for the Friendship Festival," she whispered out.
"May I see that entry?" I requested and Sunset flipped a page back, handing me the book.
Dear Sunset Shimmer,
I had no idea Shadow Aura had gotten my copy of our book and written in it, nor did I have a clue he went to your world.
I had just out from Spike who had sworn some sort of oath of secrecy with him. I need him back in Equestria soon, not only did he do this without asking me, but I wanted him here for the Friendship Festival so it could help with his research challenge given by Starswirl. Please send him home as soon as you can, I'll have somepony waiting for him.
I checked the date it appeared, a day and a half ago.
I mulled over her words in my head, she was definitely angry with me and she had reason to be. I suspected this might happen.
"I'll go back now. I'll stay for the Friendship Festival and a few more days to see if my suspicions of alicornhood are true, but if I don't change then. I promise I'll be back," I informed and grabbed my labcoat, throwing it over my shoulders and sending my arms through the sleeves.
"But...but," Sunset began and she jumped up, hugging me tightly. I began to hear her sobbing.
"You have my word I'll be back, that's a promise I won't break," I ruffled her hair gently, "I'll go tell the others."
I led Sunset back into the bed and sat her down on it, kissing her forehead as she let go. I saw her freely crying and that image kinda broke my heart. I walked out of the room and to Rarity's room. I gave the door four solid knocks and it soon opened to a groggy eyed Twilight.
"This better be good, Shadow Aura," she rubbed her eyes.
"It is. I need you and Rarity to wake up and call the girls to the portal now," I stated.
"Why's that?" She asked with a sudden loss of exhaustion.
"Equestrian Twilight wants me back and I better head back. Sunset's not taking the news easily and I hate to leave too, but I must."
"Whaaaaaaaat?!" I heard Rarity screech from in the room.
"We'll do that immediately then," Twilight closed the door and I headed back downstairs and into the guest bedroom.
Sunset hadn't shifted from her position and she stared blankly at the floor. I walked over and heaved her to her feet before I enveloped her with my arms. She weakly gripped me back.
"Shim, don't forget that you're the one I still call my special somepony," I ran my hand through her hair, trying to soothe her.
"But I'll be back. Who knows? I might be back tomorrow!" I tried to lift her spirits.
"How? What could warrant that?" Her voice was quiet.
"I could be back in ten minutes. No creature can say for sure what will happen in Equestria, right?" I swayed back and forth to try and further my efforts.
"No, me being worthy of alicornhood is impossible," I kissed the top of her head, "where's the strong Sunset Shimmer I read about? The blunt girl who doesn't take anything from anyone. The girl who stood with her friends when they needed it? I'll be back and I know it hurts for me to go, it's not easy for me either, but I've always done what I must."
"I just need a few moments, Aur," she looked up to me with glassy eyes. There was a wet spot on my shirt from her tears.
"And I always keep my promises by the way," I stated and I saw her smile. She stood more on her own and squeezed me.
"Shadow Aura! The girls are at the portal!" I heard Rarity shout and I wiped away Sunset's tears with my labcoat, pulling her into the living room where Rarity was waiting.
"Sunset, are you okay?" Twilight jumped up.
"I'll be okay, it's just hard to get through," she said with a little bit of a smile on her face.
"Join hands, everyone," I said and put my hand into my pocket to touch my rune.
I waited until Twilight and Rarity linked with Sunset before I began casting. I teleported us right in front of the portal and they all let go each other soon after, joining Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack. Sunset stayed at my side, gripping my hand tight.
"So, there' no easy way to say this," I started.
"There's never an easy way to say goodbye, sugarcube," Applejack continued.
"That's very true, Applejack, but like I promised Shim, I promise you all the same. After and if I become an alicorn, I'll be back as soon as I have a chance. If I don't become an alicorn, I will return the moment the festival is over. Rarity, I'll pop up at your front door via teleportation," I finished and turned my head, looking at the portal.
"Hahaha, sill funny how fate has destined me to have friends, don't you think?" I laughed to myself.
"Darling, fate has a weird way of making sure some things absolutely happen," Rarity said.
"Just like how we seven were fated to come together," Rainbow said, "listen to me, I sound like Celestia!" She chuckled.
"Shadow Aura, it's sad to see you go so soon, I didn't have a chance to plan a goodbye party for you," Pinkie sighed out, "but I can plan a welcome back party!" That was Pinkie's most admirable trait.
"Shadow Aura, I hope you come back and teach me more about magic, you already said there were many more advanced things you'd cover later," Twilight mentioned.
"I'll try my best to get you everything I know, within reason," I smiled.
"You'll be back, right?" Sunset walked in front of me, taking my other hand.
"You already have my word, and how could I ever stay away?" I teased.
"Shut up, idiot," she smirked and pecked my lips, pressing hard with her own.
I felt my eyes widen before I relaxed at her sudden gesture. I gave myself into the kiss and hugged Sunset tightly. We broke away after a moment, but I kept Sunset close for just a little longer.
"I know less about love than Twilight does, but I know enough to say I love you, Sunset Shimmer," I smiled at her and I got one back.
"I love you too," she let out softly and squeezed me.
I felt Sombra coming up, but I was able to force him down completely this time.
"Now go on before I start crying again," she said and let go of me.
"I bid you seven farewell," I bowed and turned around and walked to the mirror portal.
"Come back soon!"
"Bring cupcakes from Equestria! No, candy! No, cupcakes!"
"Take care of yerself, Shadow Aura!"
"Be safe, darling!"
"We'll take care of Sunset for you!" I heard Twilight last when I stepped my right foot through the portal and saw my hoof.
That was slightly comforting. Equestria, home, where I can be a pony again. I continued going through and saw my clothes disappear and my saddlebag form on my now pony back. I began to fly down the rainbow channel.