Playing House

by Krickis


13 – Stormfall

Chapter Thirteen

Storm Fall

There were always a million different things on Sunset’s mind these past few months. Ever since they found out Fluttershy was pregnant, there had barely been a moment’s rest. Her fears of being a parent, and her excitement for the same. The anxiety and anticipation of a court battle, and the uncertainty for when it would be. Managing finances and the inevitability that they would somehow need to find a new house with a second bedroom. A certain question to ask Fluttershy, which had been on her mind more and more. And, of course, Rose Petal and her health worsening by the day.

So many things, and none of them ever left Sunset’s thoughts. They all took hold of her, intertwining and tangling her in a web of insecurities and hope. And as busy as it all had been, she was left in a constant daze wondering where one ended and another began.

Perhaps that was why she didn’t recognize him at first. While Sunset was leaning against her car and waiting for Fluttershy to get out of work, a man approached her. He was a little taller than she was, with deep cerulean skin and ash-grey hair, and he smelled of alcohol. He looked familiar, but Sunset couldn’t figure out from where.

“Don’t suppose I could bum a cigarette?” he asked.

Sunset shrugged. “Sorry, don’t smoke.”

He grunted and walked towards the animal shelter. “Figures.”

Sunset watched him for a moment, still unable to place where she might know him from. He walked into the shelter and out of sight, so Sunset pushed it from her mind. He probably just shopped at the store she worked at or something, not worth dwelling on. Besides, she had enough to think about. Still, she was glad Fluttershy didn’t work in the front anymore, since he didn’t seem like he’d be a pleasant client.

As she returned to killing time on her phone, Sunset almost wished she did smoke. Just something to ease the stress she’d been feeling, especially after everything with Rose Petal. It had been one of her bad days, where Rose didn’t recognize Sunset at all and only talked about how she wanted to go home, and at that only if she even talked at all.

Sunset hated the fact that she wasn’t looking forward to returning the next day. Even good days were hard. For three weeks, Sunset had been visiting Rose almost every day, and not once had Rose been aware of the situation around them. When she recognized Sunset, Rose always seemed to think she was still a child.

Some days she’d have to apologize for fighting with Dew Drop and Sugar Breeze, kids she hadn’t even seen in almost a decade. Some days she had to pretend she was still dating Flash Sentry, or that she was still in the school journalism club. Day after day, Sunset had to play whichever role would make Rose happy, when all she wanted to do was apologize for having left in the first place.

‘What’s taking so long?’ Sunset wondered. Since Fluttershy still couldn’t drive on her own, Sunset still had to bring her home from work. Most days, Sunset didn’t mind; she still wasn’t thrilled about the idea of Fluttershy driving, and she hated relying on their friends to do it. But on days like this, Sunset just wanted to go home.

She looked towards the building and realized she could hear voices carrying from inside it, and they didn’t sound happy. The last thing she needed was to walk in on some family that was angry their new cat had scratched up the sofa or whatever people got mad in an animal shelter about, but she walked towards the building anyway.

Half of the realization struck as she was walking towards the door and saw the same guy who’d asked for a cigarette through the window. Realizing that he was the one yelling and remembering that he’d smelled of alcohol motivated her to walk faster.

The other half of the realization hit her only after she walked inside.

“– my daughter!”

While Fluttershy was thankfully nowhere to be seen, one of her coworkers was across from the man that Sunset now recognized, holding his hands out in a ‘stop’ motion. “Sir, you need to calm down and leave right now.”

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here!?” Sunset asked as she grabbed Stormy Skies by his shoulder. “How dare you show your face after what you did!?”

Stormy Skies brushed Sunset’s hand away and glared at her. “Who the hell are you? Mind your own business!”

He tried to turn back to Fluttershy’s coworker, but Sunset stepped in between them. “If you don’t leave right now, I swear to God I will fucking kill you!”

“Both of you need to leave right now, or I’m calling the cops!” the man behind the counter said, but neither of them paid attention to him.

Stormy Skies balled his hands into fists. “I don’t know who the fuck you think you are, but do not toy with me, bitch! I need to see my daughter, so get the fuck out of my way before you get yourself hurt!”

“She’s not your daughter, you disgusting piece of shit! And you can –”

Fluttershy’s scream pulled everyone’s attention to her. She was staring at the two of them with one hand over her mouth and the other protectively on her stomach.

Stormy Skies reacted first. “Get out of my way.” He pushed Sunset aside, catching her off guard with how strong he was, and started walking towards Fluttershy.

Sunset stumbled and fell. She reached to grab Stormy Skies’ leg, but missed.

“You stupid bitch. The fuck do you think you’re playing at?”

“Get away from me,” Fluttershy spat.

Stormy Skies started to laugh. “What, you think you can talk to me that way all of a sudden. I’m going to –”

No one ever heard what Stormy Skies thought he was going to to do, because Sunset had gotten back on her feet just long enough to tackle him to the ground. Fluttershy screamed again, but Sunset barely noticed.

They toppled to the ground together. Sunset threw a quick punch at the back of the head. She wound up for another, but he twisted and knocked her off of him.

She was able to scramble backwards and regain her footing by the time he rose. This time, he completely ignored Fluttershy in favor of keeping his focus on Sunset. It was just what she wanted.

“Sunset stop! Stay away from him!” Fluttershy screamed. She was crying.

“Stay out of this, Shy!” Sunset screamed. “Just get out of here!”

“I don’t know what the hell your problem is, but you’re dead.”

Sunset just smirked. “What’s the matter? Not man enough to hit a girl that hits back?”

“You asked for it.” Stormy Skies lunged at Sunset, who failed to dodge. His fist connected with her side and she fell to one knee.

Stormy Skies laughed and stepped closer, so he was looming over her. “Where’s that big mouth now, little bitch?”

Sunset took advantage of her position to throw a punch at his crotch. He doubled over in pain. Sunset pushed herself up and into him, slamming her shoulder into his face. He stumbled backwards, so she pressed forwards, pushing him to the ground

She wrapped her hands around his neck, and she finally had only one thought going through her mind. “I told you I’d fucking kill you. You worthless…”

Even with all her weight pressing down on his throat, Sunset wasn’t strong enough to keep him down. He grabbed her hands and pried them off, then rolled so he was on top. He kept hold of both arms, pinning her to the ground.

Seeing him positioned above her reminded Sunset that Fluttershy had been forced into the same position, and her fire burned even brighter. But no matter how much she wanted to make him burn for what he’d done, she wasn’t strong enough to push him off.

The feeling of helplessness only lasted a moment, however, as Fluttershy’s coworker pulled him off of her. She scrambled to her feet as the fight was picked up by the two men.

Sunset knew she wasn’t strong enough to fight him, but it didn’t matter. She grabbed the first thing she could find, an empty pet carrying case which she grabbed by the cage door, and started swinging it at Stormy Skies.

She knocked him to his hands and knees, then kept swinging. He tried to turn towards her, only to be met with a pet carrier to the face.

“Stop it! Enough!” Fluttershy’s coworker said. When Sunset didn’t listen, he grabbed the pet carrier himself, so Sunset instead kicked Stormy Skies in the ribs. She tried for a second kick, but he managed to catch it and rolled over, catching her off balance and causing her to fall.

Everything went out of focus as Sunset hit the ground. The back of her head slammed into the hard floor, and for a moment, Sunset couldn’t make out anything around.

Her vision faded back in first, although everything looked blurry. She still couldn’t hear when she tried to force herself to her feet. She didn’t make it that far, falling again, this time onto her side.

Sunset struggled to breathe and not pass out, only trying to stand again a few seconds later, once things were a little less blurry. She still felt dizzy and all sounds were muffled behind a constant droning screech, but at least she didn’t fall.

Stormy Skies was also on his feet, although he was bent over and holding his side. Fluttershy’s coworker was standing in between the two of them, an open palm outstretched to each.

Sunset wasn’t sure what her next move would be. There was no way she was done with him, not while he was still breathing. but it felt like if she tried to do anything more than standing, her only move would be to fall to the ground. Hell, even standing felt like it would be too much of a challenge to keep up for long.

But before she could move or fall, Fluttershy ran to her side and braced her. “Shy, what are you doing? I told you to get away.”

Fluttershy didn’t answer, but she didn’t leave either. She held Sunset up while keeping all her focus on the ground.

“You really are an idiot,” Stormy Skies said through slurred speech. “I can’t believe you’d keep that thing in you. You should cut it out.”

Fluttershy’s hand that she wasn’t using to support Sunset went to her stomach. Sunset gritted her teeth, but found she couldn’t even manage a response.

“Call off this stupid trial, you can’t win it anyway.” Stormy Skies managed to stand up straight, looking a lot better than Sunset felt. “Drop the charges or you’ll regret it.”

“Not happening, asshole,” Sunset said. The effort was obvious in her voice, but she continued anyway. “You’re gonna get what you deserve.”

“If this trial goes through, neither of you two are gonna be around to see it. I promise you that.”

“Let’s go then.” Sunset tried to pull away, but Fluttershy kept a firm hold on her. “Come on, let’s finish this shit.”

Stormy Skies laughed, and Sunset knew she had to be a pathetic sight. “Always hated mouthy bitches. I’ll enjoy kicking your ass some more.” He pointed to Fluttershy. “You’ll be next, and I’ll be doing everyone a favor when I make sure that thing is never born.”

Sunset jerked her arm from Fluttershy and ran ahead. Before she could reach Stormy Skies, the other guy caught her. With his attention turned on Sunset, Stormy Skies ran past the two of them.

“Fluttershy!” Sunset and the coworker both lunged at him at the same time, bringing Stormy Skies to the ground.

Everything became a mess after that, as Sunset and Stormy Skies continued to try and exchange blows. The other guy tried to keep them separated, earning himself more than his fair share of damage in the process.

Sunset wasn’t vividly aware of anything until she felt someone grab hold of her by both arms and pull her back. As she struggled in vain to get free, she saw a police officer pin Stormy Skies to the ground.

“Everyone back off!” the officer holding Stormy Skies announced. “Stop struggling!”

Sunset gave up her own struggle, and unfortunately, so did Stormy Skies. She looked around and saw Fluttershy was crying again while her coworker was standing off to the side with his hand over his eye. One cop approached them and asked if they were okay, while another lingered on the sidelines.

As the reality of the situation settled in, Sunset began to relax, in a sense. Her instincts to fight back wore off, and she realized how lucky they were that the cops had arrived.

She didn’t feel so lucky when the one who still had a hold of her spoke. “Sunset Shimmer. Gotta say, I was hoping we were done running into each other.”

Sunset frowned. “Officer Swift Star. And Officer Blue Stripe, of course. Can’t believe I didn’t recognize you two.”

“It has been a while,” Swift Star said.

“Don’t suppose you’ll let go of me so I can make sure my girlfriend’s okay?”

“Afraid not. You have a history of running, you know.”

Sunset rolled her eyes. “What? I haven’t been dumb enough to try running from you for, like, five years now. Besides, I’m sure you’ve got my address on file somewhere.”

“I’ll let you go when I know what’s going on here.”

Arguing wasn’t going to help her, so she just turned to Fluttershy. “Uh, you okay, Shy?”

Fluttershy tried to dry her eyes. “I-I’m…” She nodded when she was unable to talk.

“Is anyone else in the building?” Blue Stripe asked.

“No,” the coworker answered. “It was just me and Fluttershy finishing up for the night when these two showed up.”

There was another siren approaching, and Sunset was barely able to turn and see that it was an ambulance. She turned towards Blue Stripe and spoke as calmly as she could manage. “That man has a criminal case against him and is not supposed to be anywhere near Fluttershy. He deliberately came here to find her, and he threatened her. Can you get him out of here?”

Blue Stripe looked past Sunset at Swift Star, then nodded. “I’ll take him outside for medical attention and send a paramedic in here.”

Blue Stripe got Stormy Skies to his feet, then walked him out the door. Sunset breathed a sigh of relief at knowing he was no longer in the same room as Fluttershy, then decided to try her luck again.

“Look, I’m not gonna run. There’s three cops in here, probably more waiting outside. Fucking handcuff me if you want, just… let me go.”

It took a moment, but Swift Star relented. “Don’t go anywhere.”

He let go of her, and Sunset gingerly stretched her arms. It hurt, but everything else did too. “Can I go across the room to see my girlfriend?”

“I think you’re fine right here.”

A paramedic came in and approached Sunset first, but she refused until he checked on the others. Fluttershy said she didn’t need medical attention as she hadn’t been involved in any of the physical conflict, so her coworker was the first to get the once over.

Once he checked out, the paramedic returned to Sunset while one of the officers began taking statements from him and Fluttershy. The paramedic examined her for cuts and bruises, checked her vitals, shone a flashlight in her eyes, and had her follow his finger with each eye. Aside from some bruising, she seemed to be okay, with only one concern.

“Any head injuries?”

“Yeah, I fell and hit the back of my head pretty hard.” Sunset tried to touch where she’d hit it with her figures, only to realize it hurt more than she’d noticed right away.

“Let me see.”

Sunset bowed her head so he could get a good look.

“No bleeding. Any loss of consciousness when you hit your head?”

“No. Well, maybe. I guess I kinda blacked out, but I think it was only for a second.”

They ran through a list of symptoms, about half of which Sunset had experienced – dizziness, ringing in her ears, and blurred vision. She knew what was coming before he said it.

“You’ll need to get checked out for a concussion. It’s not likely to be a big deal so long as it’s treated, but if left alone it could be fatal.”

Sunset sighed. That was exactly what she needed. “Alright. I’ll get it looked at.”

The paramedic turned his attention to Swift Star. “Want me to take her to the hospital?”

“Fluttershy can take me,” Sunset said. She didn’t really want to go to the hospital at all, and she certainly didn’t want to go in an ambulance.

“Let’s see what’s going on outside, then we’ll figure that out,” Swift Star said, completely ignoring Sunset. He addressed the officer who had been questioning Fluttershy and her coworker. “I’m gonna step out to check with Blue Stripe.”

“Roger. I’ll hold things down in here.”

At least Swift Star was leaving her alone. Sunset knew he had more reason than most to be skeptical of her, but she didn’t appreciate having him hover around her as if she was the villain.

With him out of the room, Sunset figured it was safe to finally talk to Fluttershy. She was stopped by the cop who had been taking statements, though. “I’ll need to get your account of what happened, ma’am.”

Sunset frowned, but she knew there was nothing to do but get it over with. “I was waiting outside to pick up Fluttershy from work when I saw Stormy Skies enter the building. I didn’t recognize him right away, though. I’ve never met him, only saw some old pictures. Then I heard him yelling so I came running in.”

“Could you hear what he was yelling about?”

“Not while I was outside, I could just tell he was angry about something. When I came in he was yelling about wanting to see Fluttershy, though. He’s her stepfather and was abusive to her, he has a criminal case against him for it. So I got in his way and we started arguing. I don’t really remember a lot of what was said, but things turned violent when he didn’t leave. Oh, I do remember that he threatened Fluttershy and said he was gonna make sure her baby was never born.”

The officer made notes of everything Sunset was saying. “What about the others?”

“Fluttershy wasn’t ever involved, she was just on the sidelines to everything. The other guy tried to keep us apart, I don’t think he was ever trying to jump into the fight or anything.”

“Which one of you started the physical fight?”

“He pushed me. I think that was the first physical thing. I might’ve thrown the first punch, but it was only because I was worried about Fluttershy and what he’d do if no one stopped him.”

The officer finished taking down notes then looked up. “And you two fought until we showed up?”

“Yeah. I don’t know how long it was.”

“Anything else you’d like to add?”

“No, I think that’s about it.”

“Alright.” The officer nodded and put away the notepad, then turned to Fluttershy and her coworker. “Is there a security camera?”

“Yeah, I’ll pull up the footage,” Fluttershy’s coworker said.

The officer followed him to another room, leaving only one cop remaining with Fluttershy and Sunset. Finally, Sunset found the chance to approach Fluttershy.

“Hey, Shy. How you holding up?”

Fluttershy looked up at Sunset and barely held back her tears. “I’m… I’m okay. W-what about you? Do you, uhm, hurt a lot?”

Sunset shrugged, ignoring that it hurt to do so. “I’ll be okay. They want me to go to the hospital in case I have a concussion.”

“Oh…”

“It’s nothing to worry about, though. Even if I do have a concussion, it shouldn’t be a big deal to get it taken care of.”

“I’m sorry…” Fluttershy’s eyes fell back to the ground. “This is all my fault…”

“Don’t be sorry, it’s not –”

As Sunset reached out to touch Fluttershy’s shoulder, Fluttershy flinched, derailing Sunset’s thoughts. All Sunset could do was pull her hand back awkwardly rub her neck.

Neither of them seemed to know what to do, so they stood beside each other in awkward silence. It wasn’t long before Swift Star came back in, although all he did was head to the back where the other officer had gone to watch the video footage.

They were left waiting with no explanation of what was going on. Sunset didn’t know what to say to Fluttershy, and even if she did, she wasn’t sure they were in the best place to talk much anyway.

They waited long enough that Sunset considered using her need to go to the hospital as a way of getting them away from the scene, but the cops returned from the back before she had a chance.

Swift Star directly addressed Sunset. “So here’s the deal. He says you were the one to instigate things, attacking him unprovoked.”

“Of course he does,” Sunset grumbled.

“He’s lying,” Fluttershy said, almost simultaneously. “He lies about everything, Sunset wouldn’t –”

Swift Star held up a hand to silence them. “Camera footage confirmed what you said, he pushed you down first and was displaying aggressive behavior before you showed up. But it did also show you pressing the assault after you two had been separated, and that you used a weapon to attack him.”

Sunset winced. She could see how this was going. “What about verbal provocation? He was threatening Fluttershy.”

“I’m not accusing you of anything, and you’re not being charged with anything right now. But the camera doesn’t have audio, so that’s exactly what we’re gonna need to sort out with you. But first, you need to see a doctor, then we can talk.”

He looked towards the door and the paramedic from earlier walked over. Sunset just frowned. “Don’t suppose I can just have Fluttershy take me?”

“Afraid not,” Swift Star said. “Trip to the hospital, then to the police station so we can talk.”

“But that’s not fair!” Fluttershy said. “Sunset wasn’t… She wouldn’t…”

Swift Star addressed Fluttershy. “I’d also like to talk to you about Stormy Skies and these charges against him. Sunset was right that he wasn’t allowed to be here, and he seems to have come here looking for you specifically.”

“But…”

“Shy,” Sunset said, forcing her voice to be calm, “it’ll be okay. We just… need to get things sorted out. You can talk to them about Stormy Skies while I go to the hospital, and who knows? Might even get him locked away until the court case.”

Fluttershy looked like she still wanted to protest, but she folded. “Okay…”

“Everything’s gonna work out. Rainbow’s usually up late, call her and have her come get you when you’re done. We’ll get the car later.”

Fluttershy didn’t lift her head, but she gave a small nod.

“See you soon, Shy.” Sunset turned to the paramedic. “Well, let’s get this over with.”

At least none of the officers seemed to think she needed an escort to the ambulance. She looked for Stormy Skies on the way out, but he was already gone.


It was well into the night by the time Sunset was free to go. She had to undergo numerous tests to make sure her cognitive functions were all intact, but at least that had been all. She was told she’d need to come back for a CT scan if symptoms started to develop, but that there was no sign of any damage. With her promise that she would take it easy and be on the lookout for any abnormal developments, she was allowed to leave.

Of course, she only left the hospital to go to the police department. That was even worse, since whether they were accusing her or not, Sunset couldn’t help but feel like it was ludicrous that she even needed to be questioned.

They went over a more detailed play by play of her story, lingering mostly around the part where she charged Stormy Skies with the pet carrier. It was a slow and, Sunset felt, overly thorough process for something so simple. Stormy Skies was in the wrong, any idiot could see that.

And eventually, that was the verdict they seemed to reach. They wouldn’t disclose any information about him to Sunset, but they did release her with no charges. Rather than wait in the police station for a moment longer than she needed to, Sunset stepped outside as soon as they said she could go.

Leaving the station was the first welcome relief she felt since the whole thing started. Even when they said she was free to go, it had been hard to really feel anything but frustration at the situation happening in the first place. But it was well into spring, and the cool night air felt great after the stuffy police station.

Sunset pulled out her phone and brought up Fluttershy’s number. She waited for just a moment, remembering the way Fluttershy had flinched away from her in the pet store, then tapped the call button.

It hardly rang at all before Fluttershy answered. “S-Sunset?”

“Hey, Shy. How’re things on your end?”

“Th-they’re good.” Fluttershy took a few steadying breaths, which carried over the phone. She sounded like she’d been crying. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, everything’s fine with me. I just got out of the police station, no charges or anything. And the doctor said it doesn’t look like I have a concussion or anything else to worry about. So see, everything’s just fine.”

“Good. I’ve been…” Fluttershy inhaled sharply, clearly about to cry again. “I’ve been so worried.”

“I know, and I’m sorry. But everything’s okay now. Are you with Rainbow?”

“Yeah. We went to her house.”

“That’s good, I’m glad you haven’t been alone.”

“Could we, uhm… Well, Rainbow said that we can… that we can stay here. Is… Is that okay?”

Sunset would prefer to go home, but she was already concerned enough over Fluttershy’s reaction. If she felt more comfortable at Rainbow’s then that’s where they would go. “Yeah, I’ve got no problem with it. We can stay the night there.”

“Alright. I’ll tell her you’re ready to be picked up. You’re still at the police station?”

“The one on central, yeah.”

They said their goodbyes and hung up, leaving Sunset nothing to do but wait. She’d wanted to ask Fluttershy what she’d talked to the cops about and if she knew anything else about Stormy Skies, but she wasn’t sure that doing so over the phone would be the best approach.

Without any other distractions, Sunset spent the whole time thinking about what had happened. She wondered if she could’ve handled things better, and knew that she probably could’ve. As much as she pointed at the shove as the first instance of violence that started the fight, that hadn’t really been what pushed Sunset to attack him.

So what if she had just ignored it? Just gotten back up and put herself in his way again? Would he have actually attacked her? Sunset doubted it, and even if he did, that would’ve only made him look even worse on the camera. If Fluttershy had just locked herself in another room while they waited for the cops to show up, she wouldn’t hurt all over and Fluttershy wouldn’t have to be worried about her.

And, most of all, Fluttershy would never have flinched away from her touch.

Twenty minutes of waiting gave Sunset a lot of time to think thinking. She finally managed to drag her thoughts from the fight by the time Rainbow pulled up, but that was only by focusing instead on how horrible work would be in the morning.

Sunset was surprised and disappointed to see Fluttershy wasn’t in the van, although she could hardly blame her for not wanting to go back out. “Hey, Rainbow,” she said as she climbed into the passenger’s seat. “Thanks for coming to get me.”

“No problem.” Rainbow waited until Sunset’s door was closed, then pulled away as she was buckling up. She kept glancing towards Sunset as if she wanted to say something, but couldn’t seem to find the words.

“How’s Fluttershy?” Sunset asked, as much to fill the silence as to actually find out.

“She’s… kind of a mess. Seeing him again, you know…”

“Yeah, it had to be really hard on her. Not sure that I helped on that one…”

“She’s been worried about you.”

“Yeah… I screwed up big time.”

Rainbow glanced her way again. “So, uh… you get any good hits on him?”

It was Rainbow’s tone as much as anything that made things click into place for Sunset. All the glancing wasn’t because she was disappointed at all; it was exactly the opposite. “A few, yeah. Shy tell you what happened?”

“I think she downplayed it.”

“She tell you I beat him down with a pet carrier?”

“No!” Rainbow could no longer contain her grin. “I wish I could’ve seen that!”

Sunset found herself grinning too. At least someone was on her side. She launched into a full account of what had happened, finally getting the chance to live up the moment, at least a little. She still knew she never should’ve done it, but at least she also knew that Stormy Skies finally got a little taste of what he deserved and that she had been the one to give it to him.

“I’ve gotta start working out a bit more though,” Sunset said as she gingerly stretched her sore arms. “I wish you had been there, or AJ. I’m big, but not that strong. Either of you could’ve done a lot more damage.”

Rainbow laughed. “Yeah, maybe we can get you to the gym or something. At least come jogging with me once in a while.”

“After today, that sounds like a great idea to me. Uh, maybe after I rest up a bit, though.”

“Yeah, fair.”

The celebratory tone of the conversation was enough to get Sunset feeling pretty good about everything as they drove to her house. She quickly ran in to get some pajamas for her and Fluttershy and clothes to change into in the morning, then she was back in Rainbow’s van and laughing about everything again as they drove off.

But of course, that good mood could only last until they reached Rainbow’s house. That was when the reality of the situation came back into focus as Sunset thought about talking with Fluttershy, who was sure to be much less enthusiastic.

Rainbow pulled into the driveway and clicked a button on the garage door remote in her van to get to open it. The size of her house had surprised Sunset the first time she saw it. It wasn’t excessive by any means – two above ground stories and a basement – but it had been enough to make Sunset feel a little inadequate every time she visited.

They pulled into the garage, and Rainbow clicked the button to close the door again. “Parents are asleep, so we gotta be quiet on the way in.”

“You got it.”

Sunset silently followed Rainbow to her upstairs bedroom. Along the way, she tried to figure out what she’d say to Fluttershy. She had a feeling she knew what what had caused Fluttershy to flinch, but she didn’t like the conclusion she’d reached and struggled to find another. At least she had Rainbow’s support; there was no one better to have on her side than Rainbow Dash when it came to keeping Fluttershy happy with her.

But as they walked into Rainbow’s room, Sunset quickly found she had no reason to be concerned. Without hesitation, Fluttershy jumped up from where she’d been lying on the bed to run over and throw her arms around Sunset, who barely managed to keep from crying out from the unexpected pain.

Rainbow closed the door softly behind them while Fluttershy started crying and Sunset did what she could to comfort her. “It’s okay, we’re both okay now.”

Sunset led them back to the bed, where she and Fluttershy sat on the edge. Rainbow lingered awkwardly by the door, clearly unsure what to do in this situation.

“I… when they t-took you away, I thought… I just…”

“I know, but everything’s alright now.” Sunset tapped on her head and ignored how tender it was. “Thankfully this hard head of mine is actually good for something once in a while. Doctor said to be on the lookout for things like continuous headaches and lightheadedness, but I should be fine.”

“Did, uhm, did the police give you a hard time?”

“Not really, just a lot of questions.” Sunset shrugged it off as if she hadn’t hated every moment of the day. “What about you? They wouldn’t tell me anything about what was going on with you.”

“I was okay.  Everyone was nice to me.” Fluttershy tried to show a smile, but it fell away once she got a look at Sunset’s face. Sunset hadn’t had the chance to check out her reflection, but she new it couldn’t be a good sight. “Uhm, they told me he would be in jail for a little while at least. Maybe even until the trial.”

“That’s fantastic! Worth a trip to the ER and a few hours of awkward questions, as far as I’m concerned.”

Fluttershy nodded. “You’re right, but… I was… I was so scared!” Tears started rolling down Fluttershy’s cheeks again. “I didn’t know what he would do to you, and then you… I can’t believe you…”

“Come on, Shy, I’m pretty tough you know. And hey, at least I didn’t have to crawl out of a crater this time.”

Fluttershy didn’t seem comforted.

“Shy…” Rainbow took a seat on Fluttershy’s other side. “Sunset did what she needed to for you to stay safe. And, you know, everything’s okay now.”

Fluttershy looked at Rainbow, and there seemed to be something unspoken passed between the two of them. Eventually Fluttershy cast her eyes back to the ground. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry is the last thing you need to be,” Sunset said with a smile.

“So, uh…” Rainbow said, displaying her complete lack of subtlety as she changed the subject. “Guess you two haven’t really had a chance to eat anything.”

“Oh, I guess not,” Fluttershy said. “I haven’t even really thought about dinner.”

“Yeah, that’s what I figured.” Rainbow stood up and walked over to the door before turning back. “I’ll go see what we’ve got.”

“I’ll help,” Fluttershy said, standing up herself.

“Shy, relax.” Rainbow grinned. “I’ll just make some pizza puffs or something, no need to worry about it.”

Rainbow left the room before Sunset could realize that could be a bad idea. “Do… you think she realizes pizza puffs usually have meat?”

“Uhm…” Fluttershy frowned. “I’ll go make sure.”

“Let’s both go. Her parents’ bedroom is upstairs, right? We shouldn’t have to worry so much about noise down in the kitchen.” Sunset shifted awkwardly. “And… I’ve had enough being by myself tonight.”

Fluttershy looked at Sunset and smiled. “Alright, Sunny.”

They stood up, but on the way to towards the door, Fluttershy stopped suddenly. “Oh!”

“Is everything okay?” Even though she had insisted she hadn’t been hurt, Sunset’s mind immediately started racing with all the things that could’ve happened to Fluttershy.

But Fluttershy just smiled and placed her hands on her stomach. “Sky’s moving.”

“Oh my god!” Sunset’s hands shot to her mouth as she beamed.

Fluttershy looked back to Sunset, and her smile shifted. It was hard to place what she might be thinking, but Sunset got the impression that she was somehow came to some sort of a realization.

Fluttershy took hold of Sunset’s hands and pulled them to her stomach. “Can you feel her?”

“No.” Sunset chuckled. “You sure you’re not just hungry?”

Fluttershy laughed. “I think I can tell the difference between a rumbly stomach and our daughter.”

That was something Sunset was sure she’d never get tired of hearing. They had finally found out Fluttershy was having a girl, and they were ecstatic. For about a week, Fluttershy had even been able to feel her moving. Sunset, however?

“Nope, I’m getting nothing.” She bent down to talk to Sky Shimmer. At eighteen weeks, she was still developing her ears and couldn’t hear yet, but it never stopped them from talking to her. “Hey, Sky. You gotta kick a little harder, little lady. Let me know you’re in there.”

Sunset placed her ear against Fluttershy’s belly to try and listen, but all she heard was Fluttershy’s stomach grumbling. “Okay, that was just you being hungry.”

Fluttershy giggled. “Yeah. Let’s go see if Rainbow has something easy to make that doesn’t have meat so the two of us can eat.”

Sunset stood up and took Fluttershy’s hand. “Three of us. Sky also needs to eat, you know.”

“Hmm, maybe that’s what all the fuss was about. Is that it, Sky? You’re moving around  because Mama hasn’t had anything to eat?”

“Come on, we gotta be quiet going downstairs.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Fluttershy walked to the door, then stopped when she had her hand on the doorknob.

“Shy?”

Suddenly, Fluttershy turned around and placed her hands on Sunset’s shoulders. She stood on her tiptoes so she could kiss Sunset, who placed her hands on the small of Fluttershy’s back as she kissed her back.

When she had first learned Fluttershy was pregnant, Sunset had taken note of how wonderful she had felt the first time they said ‘I love you’ to one another. She had told herself that she would come back to that moment when times were hard, and it would give her strength.

But as it turned out, she didn’t need to. Times did get hard, and this day had been the hardest so far. But somehow, even after everything that had happened that day, Fluttershy still made Sunset feel grateful for all the turns her life had taken, and excited to see what turns were yet to come. Every day with her, Sunset found new perfect moments as they built their life and their family together.

They pulled apart and smiled at each other, then without another word, Sunset followed Fluttershy out of the room.