Playing House

by Krickis


Prologue

It was just a day like any other. Another school day, where Fluttershy would go to her classes, meet with her friends, and have seven hours away from everything. Fluttershy loved school. Next to the time she spent out with her friends or helping at the animal shelter, school was Fluttershy’s favorite time of day.

But reminding herself didn’t seem to be helping. All Fluttershy could do was look up at the school building, frozen in intimidation at the thought of going inside. It wasn’t even like anything bad was going to happen. Ever since the Fall Formal two weeks earlier, the entire school had been nothing but kind to her. Everyone was always eager to talk to her, to ask questions about what happened, or to give their thanks for her part in everything.

Which, to be honest, was a little overwhelming. Fluttershy sighed and turned away from the school, looking at the ground instead. In a lot of ways, it had been easier when no one noticed her. Most days she was okay with the attention, but on days like this, when all she wanted to do was fade into the background…

“Uh, you okay?”

Fluttershy snapped to attention at the voice. It had been two weeks since the Fall Formal, and Sunset Shimmer was her friend now. But no matter how often she reminded herself that she shouldn’t be afraid of her friend, it was hard to resist flinching whenever Sunset caught her off guard.

At least Sunset didn’t seem to take offense at the unintended reaction. Fluttershy smiled in an attempt to pretend like it didn’t happen, but she was sure her nervousness still showed. “Oh, yes. I’m doing just fine, thank you. How are you doing today, Sunset?”

Unlike Fluttershy, Sunset did nothing to hide her disdain for the day ahead of her. She scowled at the school, where they both knew her experiences with the student body would be vastly different than Fluttershy’s. “Oh, you know. Just dying for another fun-filled day at CHS.”

Fluttershy felt childish. What right did she have to be worried about her day when Sunset was going to face so much worse? “I’m sorry. I know it must be hard to have to listen to the things everyone says…”

Sunset shrugged and smiled. “Nah, don’t worry about me. Trust me, I know I deserve a lot worse than what I got. Besides, I have you and the others now. I’ll be okay.”

Fluttershy nodded. She wished she could be more confident, like Sunset.

“So, ready to start the day?”

Although she wanted to agree, Fluttershy held back. She was being stupid. If Sunset could start another school day with a smile on her face, then why couldn’t she do the same?

“Yeah, okay, something’s up.” Sunset shifted in place and seemed to be unsure of what to do. It was kind of a strange sight; Sunset was naturally charismatic and always knew just what to say.

“I uhm…” Fluttershy shook her head. “I’m sorry, I guess I’m just not looking forward to school very much today.”

“If you’re not feeling well, I could take you home,” Sunset suggested. “It’s not like I really need to go to first period for my grade or anything.”

“I don’t want to go home,” Fluttershy said quickly. It was only after Sunset started staring at her more closely that Fluttershy realized how forcefully she’d answered.

“Well, uh, alright then…” Sunset stopped staring and continued to shift in place. Fluttershy didn’t know how to follow up her statement, so she just blushed and turned away.

Soon Sunset spoke again, her voice much more lighthearted. “Well, we could always skip, if you want.”

Fluttershy looked up to see Sunset wink. “Oh, no… I’d hate to get you in trouble or anything.”

Sunset scoffed and rolled her eyes. “We wouldn’t get in trouble. Skipping is like, so easy. All you have to do is just leave school, no one’s gonna care.”

It did seem easy when Sunset talked about it. Fluttershy looked up at the school full of people and made up her mind. “Okay. Let’s do it.”

Sunset lost her grin as she turned back to Fluttershy. “Wait, what? Are you serious?”

“I… yes. If, uhm, if you still want to, I mean…”

Sunset scratched her neck nervously. “Well, I was kinda joking. I didn’t think you would actually want to do something like that.”

Fluttershy winced. Why was she always so dumb? “Oh…”

Sunset took a deep breath. “But hey, what the hell? Whatever’s going on must be pretty bad if even you want to skip school ‘cause of it. So come on, let’s get the fuck out of here before someone notices us.”

“But, uhm…”

Sunset took a few steps backwards towards the parking lot. “It’s your call, but we’re running out of time. If we’re leaving, we need to get going.”

Could she really do something like that? Even if it was somehow as easy as Sunset made it sound, Fluttershy had never even considered skipping school before.

But then she thought about the day ahead of her, and all the attention she’d get from her classmates. With one last look at the school, Fluttershy followed Sunset to the parking lot. She kept her head down the whole way.

“You got a car?” Sunset asked.

“No, I take the bus.”

“Then you’ll need this.” Sunset handed Fluttershy her motorcycle helmet.

Fluttershy took it apprehensively. “But what about you?”

I won’t have any problems looking like I’m not supposed to be at school,” Sunset said with a smirk. “That’s to hide your face as much as it is to protect it.”

That was a fair point. Even as they walked away from the school, Sunset had an effortless air of confidence about her. She looked like she was going exactly where she was supposed to, and Fluttershy knew there was no way she could possibly look the same.

“Ever ride a motorcycle?” Sunset asked as they approached her bike.

“Uhm, no.” Truthfully, Fluttershy was terrified of them.

Sunset mounted the bike and kicked up the kickstand. “No need to worry, I’m just as good at driving as I am at everything else I do.”

That made Fluttershy smile a little. In some ways, Sunset reminded her of Rainbow Dash, which helped Fluttershy feel a little more at ease around her despite their history. Pushing aside her concerns, she put the helmet on and climbed on the bike behind Sunset.

“Keep your feet up here,” Sunset said as she indicated the footrests. “You won’t have a free hand to hold down your skirt, so make sure you’re sitting on it unless you feel like giving everyone a show, and hold onto me tightly.”

Fluttershy blushed as she adjusted her skirt, thankful that the helmet hid her reaction to the joke, then placed her hands on Sunset’s shoulders.

“Nope, around my waist,” Sunset instructed. Fluttershy blushed more as she obeyed. “Alright, here we go.”

The sound of the motorcycle’s engine starting was loud enough that Fluttershy instinctively clung tighter to Sunset. She felt silly and was about to loosen her grip, but changed her mind as soon as they started moving.

It was hardly a high-speed ride. Sunset carefully pulled out of the parking lot, then drove at a reasonable speed on the roads. Most of the cars around them were travelling faster, and Sunset eased into every stop. It didn’t keep Fluttershy from being terrified, but at least she knew Sunset was trying.

The whole ride was a blur, and Fluttershy hardly noticed when they left the main roads and turned onto neighborhood side streets instead. Even through the terror of riding on the motorcycle, Fluttershy couldn’t quite silence the thought that she had just left school with Sunset Shimmer, of all people, and was now in some neighborhood that she didn’t recognize at all.

She chided herself for even thinking something negative like that. Sunset was her friend, and she was different now.

‘Oh thank God,’ Fluttershy thought as they finally reached their destination. It was a little red house in a poor part of town, and Sunset drove the bike right around it, not stopping until she was in the backyard.

Fluttershy wasted no time getting off, and almost collapsed when she did.

“You okay?” Sunset asked as she took off her helmet.

Fluttershy could only nod, and even that was a lie.

“Sorry, hope that wasn’t too much. I have a spare jacket and some jeans you can borrow when I bring you home later. Might be a little big on you, but it’ll be better than riding in a skirt.”

“Y-yeah,” Fluttershy managed to get out.

Sunset wheeled the bike up a ramp that went right into the back door of the house, and Fluttershy followed behind her. They were in a tiny kitchen that was made even tinier by the bike, which Sunset propped up against a wall. Everything was as basic as could be – the only appliances were a refrigerator and an oven, both of which looked old, and a cheap microwave.

Sunset opened the fridge and pulled out a can of soda. “I’ve got soda, water, apple juice, beer, and wine.”

Fluttershy’s mouth hung open a little at how casually Sunset offered alcohol. She didn’t even want to know how Sunset got it in the first place, since she couldn’t be older than seventeen or eighteen. “Uhm, just water, thank you.”

Sunset pulled out a bottle of water as well and handed it to Fluttershy, then walked through the kitchen into the next room. Fluttershy followed and found they were in a living room, which was equally bare bones. There was a small couch across from a small TV, a few shelves with books, and a computer in the corner. The only tables were being used for the TV and computer, and Fluttershy realized that there hadn’t even been any in the kitchen. She had to wonder what Sunset used to eat and work off of.

Following Sunset’s lead, Fluttershy took a seat on the couch. She opened her water bottle and sipped it, slowly starting to feel better after the ride.

“It’s not much, but it’s home,” Sunset said. She seemed slightly embarrassed by the lackluster appearance of her house.

Fluttershy took another look around, not that there was much else to take in. There were only two other rooms and both doors were open, revealing a bathroom and bedroom. “Do you live here by yourself?”

“Uh, yeah.” It seemed that was a sensitive subject.

Fluttershy realized she didn’t know anything about Sunset’s family. As curious as she was how Sunset managed to get her own place while still in high school, there was no way she could bring that up. She understood not wanting to talk about a complicated home life all too well.

“So… you want to talk about what happened?” Sunset asked.

“I…” Fluttershy shook her head. Even here, where he couldn’t possibly reach her, she still felt like he was looming over her.

Although Fluttershy only shook her head to clear her thoughts, it seemed Sunset interpreted it as an answer to her question. “Okay, that’s fine.”

Neither of them said anything as they sipped their drinks. Sunset looked around awkwardly for a moment, then sounded apprehensive when she spoke again. “Look, to tell you the truth, I’m… really bad at this kind of thing. I never had any friends before, so I guess I just… don’t really know what to do. The only people who have even been in my house before are Flash and my social worker, and this whole emotional support thing is completely new.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to put anything on you…”

Sunset shook her head. “Don’t apologize. I just mean, well, I guess I’m saying sorry if I don’t know what to say, or say the wrong thing, or… just come across like a bitch, I guess.”

Fluttershy couldn’t help but smile. Sometimes, Sunset was just so much like Rainbow. “It’s okay. You don’t have to do anything, you already helped a lot just by bringing me here.” The more Fluttershy took in the house, the more appealing she found it.

Although Sunset didn’t seem wholly convinced, she pushed onto an easier topic. “Right, so, I don’t have cable and my internet got shut off last week, but I’ve got a bunch of music on my computer and some DVDs we could watch. Sorry I’m kinda low on entertainment.”

Fluttershy smiled. “A movie sounds perfect.”

With a clear plan of action, Sunset seemed much more comfortable. She got up and grabbed a box of DVDs for them to go through, although Fluttershy didn’t care too much what they watched.

As she moved past her nervousness, Fluttershy found the whole thing kind of exciting, in a way. It didn’t matter if all they did was watch movies, listen to music, and talk; there was no one around but the two of them.

Fluttershy couldn’t help but envy Sunset. She had her own life without needing to answer to anyone else, with her own house and everything. There was no one above her, no one who had any power over her.

It was exactly the kind of life Fluttershy dreamt about.