The thestrals were staring in shock, frozen in surprise at the girl casually leaning against the wall looking back at them. She had her feet crossed and was leaning against the bare wall with her arms crossed, trying to avoid the awkward eye-contact. Sunset clicked her tongue, trying to get rid of this awkward silence. "H...how?" Anemone asked in disbelief. "I saw you die! This is you!" She pointed a finger at the body's bare face.
Sunset sighed and made her way to the table, the trail of her pink dress trailing on the floor behind her while the lights in the room bounced off the metal marks on her shoulders and orange high heels. When she got close enough, Amaryllis could see through her. She was partly transparent. "Well...when I died in Celestia's arms, I put a spell on myself," she explained while looking at her body. "By the way, you guys look like neon signs at night." Amaryllis groaned and threw up her hands. That's the second time. "It was an old, and very rare spell that I just tinkered around with in the past. Just in case if one of our enemies was actually strong enough, as well as deadly enough, to try and kill us. In the past I had no reason to use it. But even I knew it was only a matter of time. Someone was coming. And they were going to try and take over the world. And move us out of the way. Permanently. So I always kept it in my mind. It uses a lot of magic."
Sunset flipped the cover of her body a little to reveal the giant gash across her body. It was like someone got a very very sharp blade and cut her open with it. "Looks like they cleaned me up. Anyway, I didn't have enough magic at the time because I used it to keep that whip from hitting my friends, and my teacher. So I only used a little bit of it. But I needed more. A lot more. That's when you came in and put it in my body, successfully finishing the spell. So now....I'm this." Sunset reached forward and put her hand onto Amaryllis' head...that sunk inside. The child yelped at the cold feeling and backed away quickly while Sunset just laughed. "I'm a ghost now. Unfortunately, my body suffered too much damage. Even if I did come back to life, I would just die again. So the spell used a backup."
"So you're a ghost now," Anemone guessed reluctantly. Sunset sighed and nodded. "We wanted you back fully! Not paranormally!"
Sunset turned to her and gave her a sad smile. "Anemone, you helped me get out of that darkness. I was dead, gone. I'm talkin' 'no-way-she's-coming-back' gone. You gave me a backup. Just be happy about that. And it looks like you guys ate the cube."
"We absorbed the magic in it," Anemone clarified, turning her head away from the body. "I figured that the reason we couldn't open the cube was because it wasn't meant to be opened. It was meant to go from one container to the other. Not from one container, into somepony's hands, and then into another container. So we just used our bodies as the container. And we can combine the orb of Zebrica with our magic."
Sunset smiled and nodded. "Thanks, Anemone. But I have to ask a favor of you. Of both of you." The two stood in front of her and nodded. "Don't tell anyone I'm a ghost yet."
"What? Why?!" Amaryllis asked in confusion. "Don't you want them to know?!"
"Of course, but...I want it to be on my terms. You understand?" The two thestrals sighed and nodded before Anemone gasped, nearly forgetting something.
"But they're on their way here right now! The Orb of Zebrica's magic had to have let them know something was up."
"I know." Sunset reached behind her back and pulled out two bouquets of roses. One red the other white. "As far as they know you were giving me flowers. Don't tell them about the spell and what you did. Or of the spell I did. Just go home to Equestria. And...if you want...attend my funeral or memorial service." They nodded again and took hold of the roses before the elevator doors dinged and opened up down the hallway. They all glanced towards the entrance to the room before looking at each other. "We'll see each other again. I promise. Maybe even in Equestria." Sunset stepped back and waved before she broke apart like smoke, disappearing into the air.
The two were just staring at the place she was at before they turned around and placed the roses on Sunset Shimmer's body. It looked so...lifeless. It was pale and cold, and was definitely not coming back. It seemed like Sunset was right. Even if they had successfully revived her, she would just die again.
"Girls!" Someone yelled out in the hall. "Girls, we know you're down here!"
"Anemone, Amaryllis!" Celestia yelled. The Equestrians walked past the room they were in and looked around before Ponyville Pinkie Pie stopped, spotting them through the window.
"In here!" She yelled, pointing to the room they were in. The group turned around and walked back towards the room that Pinkie was looking into. Celestia cautiously opened the door and looked around. She saw the thestrals looking at something on the table and all the metal blocks on the walls before Twilight gasped. She looked from her to where Twilight was looking at. Everyone in there, except the thestrals, whimpered. They walked towards the table where Sunset's body was laying. With a bouquet of roses on her chest above the blanket.
"Oh, Sunset," Princess Twilight cried down to her. She along with everyone else were crying for their fallen friend. And comrad. "I wanted to thank you for saving our lives. But I never thought it would be this way."
Sunset Shimmer was watching from above, floating on her stomach and looking down at them. They would never realize she was there. Listening to them say their words. But all of this had to go according to plan. She needed a grave site, or an urn, and no one could do that if they spotted her. She listened to them cry some more before they, and the thestrals, walked out of the room. Finally, Sunset thought as she floated down to the area behind them, although silently and walked out behind the thestrals. She could easily just float up through the roof and the ceiling since she was technically just a bunch of living air that could go through things. As long as air could get through, she could too. She did not understand this at all.
A cold draft wafted by Amaryllis' ear, making it flick for a second. She looked towards her right at Sunset, who mouthed, "Remember what I said." Amaryllis nodded as soon as they reached the elevator, and Sunset took that moment to turn back into air and float through the ceiling, leaving them for the time being. They would see her again in the future.
After teleporting back to the courthouse from the hospital, and grabbing Luna with Zolan, the group made their way back to the destroyed statue in front of the school. The walk was eerily quiet, no one had anything to say about the events that had transpired today. Even both of the Pinkie Pies were back to being silent, their hairstyles completely deflated. "Discord," Ponyville Fluttershy called. The human draconequus appeared before the group, his face not usually happy and teasing like it usually is. He snapped his fingers, creating a portal back to Equestria and jumped in before the others. Celestia sighed and turned back to the Equestria girls before they could step through.
"Stay strong," she told them. "Everything will be fine."
"What are we supposed to do with her?" Sci-Twi asked her sadly. "She's from Equestria, she has no parents. No record of existence. No job. No money. Only...us. How are we supposed to...bury her?"
"I...don't know," Celestia admitted sadly. "But I am sure you will figure something out. Maybe the school can help pay for her burial. It's only a thought. Sunset Shimmer spent her last happy days here. I'm sure she would want to buried where her friends can reach her. Be well, humans." The group nodded before the Equestrians walked through the portal and it closed behind them, leaving them alone for the time being. Sunset was watching nearby from the top of the school, looking down at herself as well. She presented her hands out in front of her face. The light from the sun was going through her. Interesting. Pushing those thoughts aside, she realized they needed to do something to bury her. But what? She could tell they weren't doing a lot of thinking. They needed help. Bad. Then she got an idea.
She turned back into air and flowed through the airways that led into the school, coming out through a grate in the ceiling, and reformed in the hallway. Being a ghost was sad. But it had its advantages. For instance, she made copies of herself without using any magic, and ordered them to quickly bring her any fliers that had any type of fundraisers on them. They quickly flowed off to perform the task while she made her way into the empty office. She soared underneath the door and reformed back into her paranormal self. She sighed and looked around the area clean and quiet area. It was going to be a very long time until the people in this office got over her death. One more so than the other. She walked further in and soared underneath the doorway of Principal Celestia's room. It was so quiet in there. Well the whole school was quiet. And would probably stay that way for awhile.
Sunset sighed and looked down at herself. The clothing she died in...she was still wearing it. Daydream Shimmer. Just without the wild hair, crazy red eyeshadow, sun white wings, and sun white horn. Besides that, everything was the same. The eyeshadow would scare anyone if they saw her. As well as the horn. She sighed and walked forward in her orange high heels, making her way towards the desk. She looked through the drawers and found a flier that was for their old school car wash that they did in the past. She grabbed a marker and circled the word "fundraiser" before she flew through the door and back out into the foyer. The others were already there, holding sheets that she could use. She grabbed and thanked them before they dissipated back into the air, since she had no other use for them. Then looked out the window towards the destroyed statue. Her friends were still sitting there on the stone, holding each other and crying. It really hurt her to see them like that, but she needed her body gone. So she laid the papers out on the floor, keeping the words "Fundraiser" pointed out by circle on all of them before she turned back into air.
The front door opened slightly and then closed loudly with a bang from the air she was applying to it. Attracting attention.
"I...don't know what to do," Twilight said from the top of the stone. The others were just looking at the ground or at their hands. "She's...we have—" A loud noise made them all look up and look around. Seeing nothing there, Twilight was about to continue before it happened again, catching their attention once again. They spotted one of the glass doors of the school opening and closing, probably hard enough to shatter. They all shared a confused glance before they got up and quickly made their way over. The school was closed, no one was allowed inside. They got close to the door that was opening and closing before Twilight stopped it with her hand and pulled it back out of the person's grip.
"Excuse me, the school is....closed....hello?" She looked around the dark halls, seeing nothing at all. She shared a confused glance with the others before a very strong gust pushed her inside. She fell in on her stomach and face. The others gasped and ran in with her before the door slammed shut behind them and clicked, locking them inside for a moment. They all got up and looked around nervously, ready for a fight before they realized that the door was...unoccupied. There was no one there.
"Uhh....hello?" Applejack asked nervously. They were all sharing the same emotion, evident by their heightened breathing and constant shuffling. They received no answer. But Sunset was watching and listening. She blew her ghostly and invisible form underneath their feet, shuffling the papers. Rarity glanced, then looked down at the movement. Why was there wind in the school? Before she could ponder it further, a sheet of paper caught around her leg, making her gasp and yelp in reflex before realizing what it was. The others looked over while she bent low slowly and picked up the paper, looking at it. It was the flier of the carwash that had the word "Fundraiser" circled with red marker.
"It's our old flier," Twilight said, looking at it. "There's Sunset." She pointed at the photo of the image where Sunset was wearing a bikini and holding a washcloth with the rest of the girls, grinning gleefully. "We were so happy back then." They all gathered around and looked at the photo before Pinkie Pie stepped on another paper. Looking down, she noticed there were four more of them.
"Ooo, lookie what I found," Pinkie Pie said halfheartedly. She bent down and picked up the sheets while they gathered around. They were all fliers for a fundraiser of any kind with the word fundraiser on the front circled in red marker. "That's strange."
"I'll say," Applejack agreed. "Maybe someone was looking for a fundraiser to help out in?" Sunset could've groaned. Looks like they needed help. She made the air in front of the doors heat up before combusting loudly into blue flames, scaring the girls. She couldn't use orange at the moment.
"WHOA!" Twilight yelled as they jumped back in shock. "What the...where did that come from?!"
"I don't know, Twilight," Rarity said while getting into a defensive position. "But I don't like this." Applejack agreed before they all got into a defensive position.
Finally, I have their attention, Sunset thought before she moved the air around it, turning it into a marble sized ball of blue light. The girls looked at it confused, but still stayed in their defensive positions. It crept slowly towards them before Twilight stepped back. The ball did as well, confusing them even more.
"Uhh.....any ideas?" Twilight asked the girls behind her. They all just shrugged before it continued to creep closer. Twilight stared at it for a moment, frozen before it landed on the paper and sort of jumped on it, spiking the egghead's curiosity. "I...think it's trying to tell us something." Sunset sighed in relief, creating wind that flowed through the hallway, ruffling the hair of the girls before she went back to work. It moved up and down in excitement before it lowered some more, and circled around the head of Sunset Shimmer, then around the word Fundraiser. Again and again. Twilight gasped before she realized what it was trying to say.
"A fundraiser!" She yelled excitedly. "Are you trying to tell me that we should do a fundraiser for Sunset Shimmer?" The girls looked up from the sheet then back to the blue ball before it flew back out into the air and created a fiery blue checkmark in the air that dissipated. A strong wind blew from behind, nearly knocking them off their feet before the door opened allowing them back out. "Wait! I wanna ask some questions!" Sunset sighed, realizing Twilight wasn't going to leave until she gets some questions answered. She might as well. A light, but still strong, air current blew through, closing the door back, and the blue light lit up again. "What are you?"
A ghostly wail flew through the air, as well as the flow of wind that once again ruffled their hair, and annoyed Rarity. She pulled out a comb and started brushing it while Sunset just wanted to laugh. She decided to play a trick, and used the air around Rarity to grab the brush from her hand and take it out. Rarity gasped and turned around at the floating brush...that was going through her gorgeous hair. "Twilight? I..I-I think I know what it is."
The group turned around and blanched at the brush going through Rarity's hair, getting rid of the mess before the brush was placed lightly in her hand. Rarity looked at it before she looked back up. Everyone else was looking around, trying to find it. "Are you a...ghost?" Applejack asked aloud.
The light blue ball floated around in front of the hallway and made a fiery check mark once more before it disappeared. Fluttershy screamed and hid behind Twilight. Sunset laughed silently. This was actually kind of fun. So she decided to have a little more fun with this. She flowed over to the light switches and turned all of the ones that were on in the building, that were usually left on for some reason, off. The only light coming in was the light blue orb dancing around, and the light from the glass doors. The area in front of them combusted into a flaming phrase suddenly, reading: "1 Min"
Then everything went silent. Twilight looked around for a moment before she turned to the others with confusion mixed with wonder sketched on her face. "There's a ghost....right here in front of our faces," she whispered.
"Yes, I see that," Rarity whispered back unsure. She took a few tentative steps forward and looked around. "Question is...of who?"
"It could be a past person that went to this school," Applejack whispered, looking around the hallway. She sighed and shuffled her feet. "It's going to be really sad around here these next few weeks."
"Yeah...I'm prepared for it," Twilight agreed. A large flame of fire burst out in front of their faces, creating a sentence:
"You do not have to let her death be a reason to not move on."
"What are you talkin'...er...writin' about?" Applejack asked.
"You are sad about your friend's sacrifice," it wrote again. Sunset was amazed at how effortlessly it was to actually write without moving. She was just moving her finger and lighting up the area she wanted to write in.
"Yeah, we are," Twilight whispered.
"You did not hear Sunset's last words." They looked at each other before the words wrote again. "She said, 'All soldiers risk their lives to save the ones they love.' She loved you. And I am sure she would do it again in a heartbeat."
"Wait, how do you know what Sunset said?" Rarity asked in suspicion.
"I am everywhere. I am watching you, you, you, you, and you. As well as the one known as Rainbow Dash. Sunset's body will indubitably be cremated. And a funeral is expensive. I suggest you create a memorial. A new statue in place of the old one, and put the insignia of the school above the doors outside." Twilight looked behind her at the entrance doors, and the destroyed statue, where all of this began before she focused back on the area in front of her. "By the way...Sunset Shimmer is fine. She has moved on, yes. But still fine. We are becoming good friends." Sunset was trying her hardest not to snicker and create an echo that they would surely hear.
"WHAT?" They all yelled.
"You can speak to Sunset Shimmer?" Applejack asked. The check mark appeared once more.
"We kicked it off just great. She told me everything that has happened to the child known as Scootaloo. As well as the fight that has happened. I told her I saw it already but she decided to go ahead and retell everything. It annoyed me somewhat. Don't let her know I told you when she returns in the future."
Twilight gasped before asking excitedly, "Wait, she's coming—"
"That is all I can say, Ms. Sparkle. I am afraid I am running out of time. However, if you ever need help, I will always be watching. Just call." The flames diminished before the door behind them opened up once more. They looked at it before they turned back and looked at the space in front of them. The lights in the building had been turned back on and everything was back to normal before they had walked inside. They sighed and walked back out before the door behind them was shut and locked. Then all was quiet. Sunset flowed up to the roof and reformed, looking down at her friends. She'll see them again soon. Maybe in a few months. But right now, she needed to find a way to get to Equestria. Maybe that book she carried around can be of assistance. But where did she leave it? Wait....that was destroyed. She sighed and turned herself into a light blue ball, keeping up the disguise before she followed them. They were going to need some reassurance. Big time.
After the Equestrians and thestrals walked out of the portal and back into Fluttershy's cottage, they all fell back down to their hooves and sighed in relief. All except Twilight and Celestia. "I'm heading home," Twilight whispered slowly before teleporting to her castle. Celestia looked towards Zolan in the box before Luna teleported them all outside of the cottage, including Fluttershy.
"I have to get back home," Applejack said suddenly, making her way to the farm in the distance. She was already behind a bunch of chores. She didn't need more problems. That gave everyone the cue to head on home. Rarity made her way back to the boutique, Pinkie Pie to the bakery, and Fluttershy back into the cottage behind her. The princesses sighed before they looked to each other. Even Zolan, who was sitting in the box above was a little put off by their exits.
"I must go and speak with Twilight," Celestia told her sister. "Put Zolan under lock and key. As well as runes. And guards." Luna nodded before she took off back to Canterlot with Zolan in tow, leaving only the thestrals. She turned around and looked towards Anemone, sighing. "I am oh so sorry you were caught in this. I hope you can forgive me."
Anemone sighed. "Celestia? I've already forgiven you. And believe it or not, I am still the fastest flier in Equestria. I am more worried about Twilight though. So...go see her. And tell her I'm sorry." Celestia nodded and left, making her way towards the Castle of Friendship.
"Hey!" Anemone looked down at her sister, who was sporting a mischievous grin. "What about our deal, huh? You were supposed to be there with Twilight after this was all over. Not Celestia. It would have been a good time to talk to her."
Anemone blanched and lightly flapped her wings, her fangs biting into her bottom lip. "I uhh...I forgot about that."
"I noticed." She sighed and began to make her way into town. "I have to see my friends and tell them I'm okay. And make sure Sweetie Belle doesn't hit me again." Amaryllis flapped her wings and soared into Ponyville, followed shortly by a groaning and mumbling Anemone. Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash were back. Although a lot different than before.
Celestia walked into the Castle of Friendship quietly, sighing while she reminisced on everything that has happened. The threat was defeated. But at a cost. A very high one that has affected everyone and everypony. A death.
She shut the door behind her and spotted spike walking into the foyer eating a small gem. He just happened to look her way before he gasped, running up to her. "Celestia! You're back!" He yelled grabbing her around the legs and giving her a hug. The Princess let out a soft chuckle and returned the gesture gladly.
"Hello, Spike. We have successfully completed the mission. Have you seen Twilight around? She said she was on her way back in here."
Spike pulled back and looked up at her oddly. "I haven't seen her yet."
"Hmm," Celestia hummed. "She must've teleported up to her room. Excuse me." Princess Celestia teleported away, leaving Spike alone in the foyer once more while she appeared in Twilight's bedroom. Sure enough, Twilight was in her room, sobbing into her pillows. Celestia sighed and hung her head low in sadness, feeling her student's pain. She quickly made her way over and got into the bed with her, wrapping a wing around her for comfort which Twilight gladly accepted. Sunset Shimmer was a friend to Twilight, and practically family to Celestia. The two cried and mourned for her, reminiscing on memories that they had with her. Proud memories and ugly memories. Either way, those memories were something that the two would hold onto. And never let go of.
After the sentence was given, and the prisoners were taken away, Rainbow Dash was given her release papers and her belongings. She thanked the officers and lawyers in the back room before she opened the door and made her way out into the hall, heading towards the lobby where there was a lot of noise, as well as clicks from cameras. Looks like the news channels were still covering what happened.
She adjusted the documents underneath her arm and made her way out of the hall...and straight into the lion's den. The news practically swarmed her, asking her what was next in their lives now that she realizes she has a sister, and has no parents. And to be honest...she had no idea. But those small arms that just wrapped around her made her realize they were going to take it one step at a time. And that it was all going to be okay. The doctor walked forward with a vanilla folder in her hand. After the two released each other, she let herself be known.
"Hello, Rainbow Dash," Doctor Martina greeted her, stepping out of the crowd and making her way towards her with her hand outstretched.
Rainbow Dash looked up, reached forward, and shook her hand happily. "Hello, Doctor. Thanks again for getting me into the hospital to see Scoots."
Martina chuckled and nodded. "You're very welcome. Earlier, after the battle, I was telling your sister I had a surprise for her. Well, I also have a surprise for you too. She was telling me in the car when we first arrived before the trial that you were innocent. I admit I was a little skeptical about it, but then I had something made just in case. I asked the courts a few questions, got some strings pulled last minute, and....well, I want you two to see and tell me what it is." She passed over the vanilla envelope, letting her take it and look at it. She and Scootaloo shared a look before the folder was flipped open revealing two stacks of documents. There was a state logo on the top of it, as well as Scootaloo's name.
Anemone, or Rainbow Dash, quickly read through it before her eyes slowly widened, inhaled sharply, and she glanced up at the doctor with her mouth open. "You want to....adopt Scootaloo?"
"As well as you," Martina clarified. "Since you are seventeen, you are still officially a minor of the state. So you must have a parent or guardian. However, with them being detained you were supposed to go into a home. One for Scootaloo and one for you. Technically, the courts were going to split you up because of Scootaloo's predicament. Well, I begged and pleaded the courts to allow me to take you under my wing. After reviewing my background, as well as my income, my occupation, and a bunch more stuff that you will more than likely learn in the future, they finally gave me the rights to adopt you. Then I signed the forms. Now all you have to do is say yes and sign yours. If you'll both allow me to be your mother."
Rainbow was looking at her open mouthed before turning to Scootaloo who was wearing the same expression. Her mouth turned into a grin before her face scrunched up and she buried it in her hands. "Yes!...Please, Yes!..." She cried into her hands. Rainbow Dash pulled her into a hug, letting her cry in happiness into her shirt while the Doctor came around and gave her a hug from behind. The crowd around them fawned at the sight, taking more pictures of the new family that was to be.
A few yards away, on the other side of the building, a girl wearing a pink, white, and yellow dress with yellow skin, along with orange and red high heels that had a red and yellow sun on the front of them, as well as on her shoulders, was watching the scene in serene happiness. Her red and yellow hair was flowing as if there was air when in fact the breeze was going through her. Sunset Shimmer sighed and graced her face with a smile, happy that the mission was complete. After all of this, Scootaloo finally found her home. And Rainbow Dash got a parent that could actually provide for them. And show they care. Those scars riddling Scootaloo's body were going to cause a few problems at school in the future, she could see that now. But everyone would be there to watch over her. Herself included. She wasn't backing out of that action. And she had a plan in place.
The three began to make their way towards the front of the building catching Sunset's attention. She looked up and dissipated into the air, flowing directly behind them, and out into the air outside. She flowed high up, nearly breaching the clouds before she stopped and formed back into her ghostly form, looking at the ground below. Listening to the car horns, and the music bumping from the stereo speakers. She was sad. But not for herself. For her friends. They were going to miss her. And she was going to miss them. They would eventually see her again, but they wouldn't be able to hold her, touch her, feel her again. She could only touch things that weren't moving. Immobile. As well as other spirits. But Twilight and the others...they were very much alive. Not spirited at all.
Sunset was sad for her friends in Equestria. Including Starlight Glimmer. She didn't know her that long, but she was still a good friend. Hopefully Starlight wouldn't take it as hard as Princess Twilight did. Or Princess Celestia. Hopefully losing her won't put a damper on Equestria. Not many people knew her. But those that did...they would indeed cry over her.
She sighed and looked towards the fading sun in the distance. It was nearing the evening, and everyone was heading home. Hopefully they could all get some sleep tonight. Because tomorrow was going to be hard. On Scootaloo, Princess Twilight, her friends, Earth's Twilight, and her friends. Including Celestia. The news was going to cover everything that has happened today in Canterlot. Including the fight on the lawn that they would refer to as a wildfire, that left one person dead. Origin unknown, and occupation not available. She would be put under investigation or something, she could feel it. But Sunset's friends were more than likely not going to let that happen. Everyone was on her side now. As well as Scootaloo's.
She looked back towards the courthouse where the new family had got into a black SUV and sped off towards the Sunset. Rainbow would probably be cradling her sister tonight while she slept in her arms, sharing the same bed to get close to her as a family for the first time in ten years. Sunset smiled and thought about how "Awesome" Rainbow would call that. Matter of fact, she could see Rainbow Dash changing in the future. All for her sister to set a better example. Becoming less arrogant, making better choices, and thinking more than she already does.
"That'd be the day," Sunset muttered before she sat down on the air. It was going to be a sleepless night. Because one, she couldn't sleep. Ghosts don't even have energy to waste, and she couldn't go back to her resting place, which would be her body. If she went in, she would not be coming back out. And two. Someone was going to cry themselves sleep tonight. Actually, everyone was. She could feel it. And it would be that way for a few days afterwards. But she knew she would always be there for them. Including in the future.
Sunset was telling the truth when she told them she would always be watching. And that she was coming back. They'd better be prepared. Because it was going to shake them all. Especially Princesses Twilight and Celestia. And everyone else in between.
"Rest easy, guys," she whispered to the sun setting in the distance. "Because I'll be watching over you. Like always."
To Be Continued...