Don't Hurry Back, Darling!

by PoemeMystique

So the drama

As soon as she entered Rarity’s boudoir, Sunset Shimmer knew pretty much what was coming. Rarity was perching uncomfortably on her fainting couch, hands clasped upon her knees, with an expression of pained endurance on her face. She could have been posing for a portrait of a martyr.

“Hello, Sunset. Thank you so much for rushing over to see me at the last minute. I know you were on your way to Twilight’s today, and I know my text message was, well, somewhat unforthcoming… opaque, even. Not to put too fine a point on it: ambiguous.”

“Cryptic,” put in Sunset.

“One might go that far, yes. And for that I apologise. But you see, I have been carrying a certain burden for several weeks now, and the time has come for me to, shall we say, ‘come clean’. Sunset?”


Rarity cleared her throat, adjusted her hair and took a deep breath. Instead of speaking, she leapt up, walked to and fro agitatedly, then sat down again on the bed.


“Yes, Rarity?”

“I find… that I must ask for your forgiveness.”

“Why, what have you done?”

“Nothing recently, but some while ago I did, and it has been preying on me ever since. I’ve tried, but I cannot ignore it any longer.”

Sunset sat down beside her on the bed, taking care not to grin inappropriately. She adored Rarity’s melodrama, but was determined never to let on in case her friend became self-conscious.

“Tell me all,” she encouraged her.

“You remember that day on the beach? The day after the Memory Stone wiped away all our happy memories of you?”

“Thanks to you girls, yes, I do remember that.”

“You came to the beach where the rest of us were, and we didn’t know we were your friends. So when you talked to us, we rejected you.”


“And… do you remember what I shouted as you left? I don’t even want to repeat it.”

“Uh, I think it was ‘Don’t hurry back’, or something like that. ‘Don’t hurry back, darling,’ maybe.”

Actually Sunset could remember it full well, every second of it in stark clarity. She didn’t think the pain and confusion of those moments would ever quite leave her. But it was all better now, and for that she was grateful every day.

“That’s right. An awful, vindictive, ungenerous thing to say, of which I am utterly ashamed. That is not who I am. At least I didn’t think so.”

“Don’t beat yourself up about it, there’s no point. You were under a spell.”

“Darling, how can I not feel guilty? The spell didn’t make me say that, it just made me forget that we had become friends. It didn’t control how I subsequently behaved. And on the beach I behaved like an absolute pig. You were so confused and miserable, I could see that. All it would have taken was one of us with enough decency to reach out to you as a potential new friend instead of lording it over a beaten enemy, and really I should have been the one to do that. I’m supposed to wield the magic of generosity, aren’t I? But it didn’t even occur to me to be magnanimous to you, and I can’t express just how disgusted I am with myself for that. Everyone else was feeling at least a bit bad about it, you could tell, but not me, oh no – I just wanted to make you feel worse! It was so horrible, and cruel, and petty, and vile, and… and… and it’s just been tearing me up inside!”

The last word collapsed into racking sobs, muffled by Rarity burying her face in Sunset’s lap. The pang of old pain fading, Sunset had to stifle a giggle. She stroked Rarity’s hair as she wailed, and the comforting touch eased her friend’s woe fairly quickly.

“It sure is weird having your memory erased, isn’t it?” she said once Rarity had subsided enough to listen. “Wallflower did it to me the first time I found out it was her behind it all. Afterwards, you remember everything you forgot, but you also remember not remembering. You look back to what you did in the interim, and it still feels natural, even though it makes no sense in light of the memories you’ve now got back.”

“Mmhm.” Rarity’s piteous mew of assent was mostly stifled by Sunset’s jeans.



“Look at me.”

Rarity looked up. She was stunning, Sunset thought for the umpteen-millionth time. Even when she cried. Where crying might make other people’s faces go blotchy red, it just turned Rarity’s cheeks a delicate pink, while the rest of her skin retained its ivory perfection. Her coiffure in its maximum disorder was still more glossily elegant than Sunset’s hair was most mornings even after she had washed and brushed it. Even the tracks of her tears, highlighted in mascara-black, fell in neat, attractive lines down her face, emphasising her smoky and lustrous eyes.

“I get it,” Sunset told her. “I was awful to you, at the beginning. Just awful. We’ve put that behind us now, but when you forgot that we had, and your mind went back there, it made you… not your best self. You saw a chance to twist the knife in a very minor way, and you did, to get back at me for all that grief. No, it’s not big, and it’s not clever, but it is natural. None of us is perfect, Rares. Not even you.”

As the final words left her mouth, realising what she had said, Sunset blushed suddenly and dropped her eyes. She didn’t notice whether her friend noticed.

“Then… you can forgive me?” asked Rarity tremulously.

“Of course I can. I have.”

“Oh, that is such a weight off my mind, darling, you have no idea.”

Rarity scrambled up onto her knees and enfolded Sunset in a hug, rubbing her cheek against Sunset’s as a means of wiping her tears away. Sunset hugged her back, trying to respect the moment and keep her pesky feelings under control.

Rarity’s beauty and grace had always given her pesky feelings. Even back when she was a hollow husk of a person, raging at fallen idols and hating herself even as she ruled the school through fear and womanly wiles, somewhere in her core, Sunset – the part of herself she regarded as “the real me” – had felt a flutter of something whenever she set eyes on Rarity. Something a bit like desire, a bit like joy, and a bit like… like… well, maybe that was why she had been so cruel to the poor girl. Since they became close, those feelings had built to the point that Sunset had trouble hiding them at inconvenient moments. Intense and emotional moments, especially. Moments like this.

As Rarity squeezed her, Sunset, almost despite herself, began to stroke the nape of her friend’s neck, caressing her hairline softly with her fingernails. Sunset felt a little tremor go through Rarity’s body and her arms tighten around Sunset’s shoulders. After a long interval, Rarity pulled slightly back, just enough to look Sunset in the eyes. Sunset felt Rarity’s quick, quiet breaths warming her damp cheek. In a daze, she felt herself starting to lean in.

Just as that flutter of something threatened to develop into a fully-fledged flap, the moment was interrupted by beeping from Sunset’s pocket. Automatically she took out her phone and looked at it. Just as automatically, Rarity disengaged in order not to be so uncouth as to read Sunset’s private message.

“It’s Twilight. She wants to know if I’m on my way over yet. There’s some kind of crisis. I think it’s Timber Spruce’s text messages again.”

“Of course,” Rarity gave a shaky laugh. “I don’t know why she wouldn’t let me sort that out for her. Perhaps she thought I would steal him away!”

You could, Sunset thought. Any time you liked. But you wouldn’t, even if you wanted him.

“I’d better go,” was all she said aloud.

“Yes, friendship duty calls. Off you go, then. Toodaloo.”

Rarity sat up straight, brushed her ever-so-slightly-rumpled clothes down, and smiled brilliantly – demonstrating, Sunset knew, that she was fine now and Sunset could go away and leave her without another thought. If only! Reluctantly, Sunset stood up.

“See you.”

She turned to go.


She paused upon the threshold, turning back to Rarity expectantly.


“… hurry back, darling.”

“You bet,” Sunset replied.