The sun was just starting to set on this summer afternoon. After a particularly nasty heatwave it finally had cooled down enough for just standing outside to feel comfortable again. Sunset Shimmer and her girlfriend, Lemon Zest, had made perfect use of that day, dinner, cinema, waiting an hour for a new ID card (ok, nearly perfect use). Following that they found a secluded spot in the local park, a small hill overlooking a green meadow. They sat down under the only tree, that made you wonder if whoever planted it there planned for it to be used in romantic scenes like this, and started doing the most romantic you could do on a warm summer day in the middle of the green, trying to beat each other in fighting games.
“Oh, dang it!” Lemon shouted as her portable console displayed her as the loser. “Mark my words! One day I’m going to beat you and your Ryuko!”
“Aren't you content with being better in Smash?” Sunset responded slyly.
“But there you can’t win by stripping your opponent naked,” Lemon whined. “How about Senran Kagura next time?”
“Sure,” Sunset said, then muttered silently. “Next… time…”
“Something wrong, Shim-Chan?”
“What? No, no, I’m fine, I’m fine.”
That was, of course, a lie. Sunset was very far away from fine.
Three days earlier the attention of most people in Sugarcube Corner was drawn to one table with seven girls out of which five were bawling their eyes out.
“I-It’s not like I’ll be just gone forever,” Sunset tried to save the conversation. She failed.
“D-Darling, you just told us you’re p-p-planning to return to Equestria, I-I think our reactions are very appropriate,” Rarity said in between sobs.
“AJ seems to take it well.”
“Applejack is crying on the inside!”
Said girl lowered her hat over face. “It’s true.”
“B-But the portal will always stay open, so we can see each other whenever we want. Although setting up meetings might get harder as we would be not only miles but worlds apart and some of you might leave Canterlot City for college or a job and the journal would be our only way to stay in contact, w-which could easily get lost w-while we all move on with our lives and we constantly promise to set up something, but it never works and before we know it years have passed in w-which w-w-WAAAHHHH!” Sunset started wailing as well.
Half an hour later everyone had finally calmed down enough to lead a somewhat normal conversation again.
“I know it’s hard and, believe me, it was a very difficult decision for me as well–”
“Don’t worry, we completely understand. In fact we were already suspecting it. Though suspecting doesn’t save you when it does end up happening,” Twilight explained.
“So you have no problem with me returning to my home planet?”
“We’re glad for you, really,” Fluttershy said.
“And leaving your friends is no small feat,” Rainbow spoke up.
“Not to mention your girlfriend,” Pinkie added.
Sunset slightly recoiled. “Y-yeah, my… girlfriend…”
Six pairs of eyes narrowed at her and after a few good seconds of Sunset’s fidgeting Rarity asked the question that was on everyone's minds. “You did tell Lemon already about this, right?”
Sunset visibly deflated. “Not yet.”
“We have a date in a few days and I’m planning to tell her then.”
“But seriously, Sunset, keeping such big secrets from each other can quickly lead to the end of a relationship. Though in your case it might actually be helpful,” Rainbow muttered. “I mean, if you want to leave, you’ll probably have to break up with her. Long distance relationships are bad enough even without the whole multiverse stuff.”
“Thing is… I don’t know if I can break up with her.”
Everyone gasped again.
“I wasn't expecting you to be so understanding!” Sunset admitted. “I was actually kinda hoping you would find a way to talk me out of it…”
Rainbow hung her head. “Our leader, everyone.”
Sunset's head met the table. “I know, I’m horrible. But I don’t want to lose her. I never expected us to become so close and now I’m about to put her through this.”
“If y'all really respect her so much, ya have to make it as quick and painless as possible.”
Sunset’s head nodded without leaving the table.
“And of course we’ll help you!” Pinkie announced.
Sunset looked up. “Really?”
“We would be really bad friends to both of you if we didn’t,” Fluttershy said.
“Just give us a day and we’ll have the perfect break-up date planned for you, darling.”
“Aaaaand it gives us another reason to spend as much time together as possible before you leave. So let’s forget all that sad stuff for today and have fun!”
“Did I ever mention that I don’t deserve friends like you?” Sunset was close to tearing up again.
“Just way too often.” Rainbow gave a cocky smile.
The seven girls tried to hug each other over their table, but only managed to awkwardly hold each other at their shoulders.
“You’re right, we got this. No more frowns. Let's have fun!” Sunset clapped her cheeks. “So, Twilight, how’s your little pet project with Sugarcoat going?”
“Seriously? That’s what you're starting with?” Twilight huffed.
“What, I’m still part teenage girl,” Sunset laughed. Then she suddenly stopped. “But it will be done by graduation, right?”
“Yes, it looks like we’ll make it.”
“Oh, that's good,” Lemon said.
“Well, uh… obviously I want you to be happy so that I can be happy and that you're happy means that I’m also happy.” At that she gave a slightly too big smile.
That was, of course, also a lie. Lemon was very far away from happy.
Two days earlier the attention of most people in Hayburger was drawn to one table with five girls out of which one was bawling her eyes out.
“Awwww, what’s the matter, Lemon? Do you want Mommy Sweet to cheer you up again?” She asked sweetly. Then she went sour. “Because, too bad, she sure as hell won’t do it this time.”
“Why are you even crying?” Sunny Flare wondered.
Lemon took a break from sniffing to respond. “Isn’t it obvious? You guys should know how to read the context.” And she went back to sniffing.
The first reply came from Indigo. “What do you mean ‘context’? Nothing you do has context.”
“Sunny asked what we're planning to do with our lives now that we graduated from Crystal Prep, when you suddenly and without any forewarning broke down crying, which then lead to this exchange.” Sugarcoat, to the point as always.
The tears were gone as fast as they appeared. “Oh, really? Then I should actually explain it. So the thing is… Sunset’s gonna dump meeeeeeeeee!” And the tears were back, in comical waterfalls this time.
“Why do you think she’ll break up with you?” Sunny asked. “Against all laws of logic you two make a pretty good couple.”
“I was nearly ready to bet you two would stay together and… whatever it is you’d do as a replacement for a wedding.” Indigo added.
Lemon took another sudden break from crying. “Can’t you guys see? Now that she graduated, Sunset’s certainly gonna return to Equestria.”
“Am I the only one that can’t believe how casually we treat the fact that that girl is an effing magical unicorn from another dimension?” Sour was ignored and Lemon continued.
“I mean, even if we manage to stay in contact, long distance relationship already suck normally, so what do you think happens when you expand it over the multiverse? Something horrible. And that’s why I’m sure that Sunset’s planning to make it as easy on us as possible by breaking up before it hap-hap-happeeeeeeeeeeens!” And the tears were back again, again.
“Then you’re crying because you have no idea how to convince her to stay, right?”
Another sudden stop in Lemon’s crying. “What?! No! I could never force myself between Sunset and her home. That’d be a total dick move. I respect her way too much to do something horrible as that. I’m crying to prepare myself for the moment when our wonderful relationship will be Thanos-snapped out of ex-ex-existeeeeeeeence!” And the tears were back again, again, again (I’ll stop now).
The other four Shadowbolts spent a few more moments staring at the crying form of their friend(?) before they silently agreed that they had enough.
“Is there any way we can help you?”
Lemon shook her head.
“Then we could at least be there for you when it happens and comfort you,” Sunny weakly offered.
Lemon immediately cheered up. “Would you really do that for me?”
“Of course, Lemon, dear,” Lemon said sweetly. “Because apparently that’s what friends, or whatever we are, are for,” she added sourly.
“Because Friendship is Magic.”
“Wow, that was way too corny for you, Sugarcoat. Seems like Twilight's starting to rub off on you.”
“Believe me, Sunnyset, I’m as fine as a Lemon can be.”
“Oh, that’s good.”
“Good, good, good.”
As this charade continued, the same thought entered their heads. This is really awkward!
And so that led to, “Lemon!”/”Sunset!”
“Oh, you ehhh… also have something to say?” Both of them shuffled around uncomfortably while Sunset spoke.
“Uhm, yeah, kinda.”
Awkward silence stretched over the hill.
“Let’s just get this over with. On three we’ll both just say out loud what's on our minds. Ready?”
“I am returning to Equestria!”/“Are you returning to Equestria?”
If Lemon wasn't already sitting in the grass, she would’ve needed to sit down. “So… you do…”
“I was able to guess.”
“Then you probably also guessed what I was also planning, right?”
None of the girls wanted to say it out loud, too afraid that this would cement it into reality. So instead another silence fell over the couple.
It was broken when Lemon gave a sudden big sigh and let her head fall back until it hit the grass. “Hey, Double S, remember when I helped you against the girl with the weather abilities?”
Sunset looked perplexed. “Why are you bringing that up now…” Her eyes widened. With a small smile she laid down beside Lemon. “Of course I do. It’s pretty hard to forget what you pulled.”
It was approximately two years ago when Sunset and her friends in their magical girl outfits faced down the girl that used equestrian magic to mess with the weather. Or rather faced up as she was controlling the winds to levitate herself over them.
“Muwahahaha,” the girl started her evil monologue. “With this magical umbrella in my hands I have full control over storms, blizzards, tornadoes. If I threaten to destroy the town with a hurricane, the people will have to finally take me, Stormy Weather, serious–”
A baseball hit the umbrella out of her hands. The winds ceased, the weather turned normal again and Stormy hit the ground with butt first.
“Homerun!” Lemon declared proudly with a bat in her hands.
Sunset ran over to her. “What were you thinking? I told you to stay back. You could have gotten hurt.”
Lemon waved it off. “As I would ever listen to such a cliche line. Look Sunpai, I stopped her and nobody, especially me, got hurt. So everything's fine. Haha.”
Sunset sighed. “You only get off this one because your laugh is so cute.”
“Come on, kiss already!” Rainbow shouted from the side.
Stormy, still sitting on the ground, raised her hand. “Uhm, is this the part where I learn my lesson, become a better person and get away scot free?”
“It sure is, lassie,” Applejack popped her knuckles. “But first Ah’ll make sure ya will never make a barn joke ever again.”
“I always wondered, what would you’d have done if you missed that shot?”
“Throw the bat and hope for the best, probably.”
Sunset snorted. “Yeah, that sounds like you, alright.”
“Cone on, it wasn’t even the craziest thing I’ve done,” Lemon replied with a cocky grin.
“Yes, that award goes to the Crystal Prep New Years Party…”
The mass of students were waiting and/or recovering mentally in front of the school building while the fire fighters were getting the fire under control. Applejack and Rainbow were trying to remove Sunny Flare from the wall she was taped to. Sour Sweet was wearing a dog mascot costume. Fluttershy was mumbling Christmas songs to herself. Rarity had half her hair shaved off. Indigo and Pinkie were colored from head to toe in pink and indigo respectively. Twilight was sleeping in the grass unperturbed. And in the middle of it all were Sunset and Lemon, handcuffed together and facing their respective principals.
“Okay, I can understand being Sunset’s emergency contact due to… her unique situation, but why am I also yours, Lemon?” Principal Celestia wondered while failing to fight off a headache. “And how did you even get my contact information?”
“I won’t say anything without my lawyer!” Lemon shouted.
Cadence was trying her best not to show her already regretting her promotion. “Will you at least explain to us what exactly happened?”
“Well, it started with an unassuming bowl of spiked punch, a box of chinese firecrackers and a plate of noodles,” Sunset began.
“Oh yeah, that was a night,” Lemon said.
“How about we stick to memories some people don’t still have nightmares about?”
“But you brought it up.”
“I know and I regret it.” Sunset was rubbing her wrist.
“How about our first official date?”
“Uh, that’s a good one.”
Sunset and Lemon were sitting in one of the noblest and highest rated restaurants in Canterlot City. Wherever you looked you could see the high class eating and conversing while a violin was playing classical music in the background. The two girls were wearing stunning dresses with makeup and hair groomed to near perfection. Both looked at their plates when the waitress brought them the orders, the special of the day.
Just as Lemon was considering using her phone’s camera to make sure there was actually something on her plate, Sunset spoke up, “This is awful.”
“Ugh, you really consider that our first date?” Lemon stuck out her tongue.
“You can’t just pretend the first half of the evening didn’t happen,” Sunset lectured her. “Not to mention it makes the second half even better in comparison.”
“Hmm… you might be right.”
About one hour after the previous flashback Sunset and Lemon were spending their first date at a very different place.
And up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, spin and center. Both girls finally had a chance to wipe the sweat from their brows, not caring for any makeup, while the dance arcade machine was counting their score. “New Record!” The audience they had gathered (probably by playing in dresses) cheered.
They stepped off the machine and went back to their table. “Great job.” “You too, partner.” They bumped their hotdogs together and began eating.
“Rarity wouldn’t get off my back for ‘wasting the dress’ for at least a week.”
“It wasn’t much different with Sunny,” Lemon laughed with her.
For the next few minutes the two were content with just lying in the grass and watching the clouds move. I’ll miss you, self-moving clouds.
“Do you still remember how we first met? Aside from the whole Friendship Games fiasco, of course,” Sunset wondered.
“Who the hell do you think I am?” –Sunset just rolled her eyes with a smile.– “I remember it as if it was the day before yesterday.”
Determined Lemon Zest approached the steps before Canterlot High. She took a deep breath and then shouted from the top of her lungs, “HEY! WHO IS RUNNING THIS PLACE HERE?!”
Loud steps could be heard from above. Lemon looked up and there she stood, on top of the school, arms-crossed and illuminated by several spotlights, Sunset Shimmer. “That would be me. What does a delinquent like you want from me and this school?”
“I’m searching for the murderer of my father and I’m certain that this place has some lead for me.”
“If it’s information you want I can help, but only if you can beat me in battle!” Sunset declared.
Lemon smiled wide enough to show her fanged teeth. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
Both rushed at each other at the same time. Their swords clashed right in the middle of the battlefield, generating a huge shockwave that blasted away everyone in the area.
“Pfthahahahahaha! I think I would remember our first meeting being anything like that.”
“So you noticed?”
“I mean, we were just playing the game.”
“I made you laugh, that’s what counts. But don’t worry, I do remember our first meeting.”
It was a bit over three years ago as Sunset was looking through the shelves of the gaming store and silently thanked Celestia (the princess one) when she found the seemingly last copy of the game she was looking for. She quickly grabbed the game to take it from the shelf, only to find some sudden resistance from another hand.
Sunset tried to settle it peacefully. “Excuse me, but I had this game first, so would you please let go?”
“I’m really sorry, but I’m sure that I was the first person to touch this game, so it belongs to me,” the owner of the hand said, a girl with wild, green hair.
Sunset realized she had to be smart to win this fight. “But I was standing here first.”
“And I already saw it from the store’s entrance,” the girl countered. “Why can’t you just settle for the other edition over there?”
At this point it had turned into a tug-of-war.
Sunset gritted her teeth. “Can’t you see? My clothes, my hair, heck, my name’s Sunset Shimmer. The Sun-edition was practically made for me, so why don’t you surrender?”
“And give up the awesome legendary and the version-exclusives I want. Never!”
Sunset knew she would hate herself after this, but to win this it was time to play like Rainbow. “Aren’t you one one of the Crystal Prep girls? You were there when I saved the world. Don’t you owe me one for undoing your mess?”
“First, the only ones to blame are Cinch and peer pressure. Second, for you guys it was probably just another Tuesday, am I right?”
They reached a stalemate and for a moment it looked like no side would be willing to budge, when the other girl suddenly let go of the game and Sunset hit the ground.
“Okay, okay, I can see your determination. I’ll be the bigger girl and content myself with the Moon-edition. Under the condition that you’ll trade me any Pokémon I want,” she held her hand out to Sunset. “Do we have a deal?”
Sunset grabbed the offered hand and pulled herself up. “Sure, ehhh…”
“Lemon Zest, don’t worry, despite my memorable personality people somehow tend to forget my name,” she waved it off.
Over the next weeks the two met up several times to trade and play together. Soon they also played other games and even ended up doing other things together more and more. And before either realized they had already reached the point where calling it a relationship was just a formality.
“And they lived happily forever afteeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…” Lemon looked at Sunset, who was now trying to avoid her gaze. “Shit…”
And the awkward silence was back.
Sunset gave a long sigh. “Look, Lemon, I’m sorry and if there was a way–”
“No! No, nononononono. I will not let our potentially last date end so horribly!” Lemon pointed at the heavens. “Lying and reminiscing was already a great idea, we just have to take it further!”
“Hey, SunSun, remember that time when you...”
All students of Canterlot High had gathered in the auditorium to hear the speech of their new student council president.
“Do you find the world merely average? Does the future bore you? Are you just getting by? Relax, even then, life is epic!” Sunset Shimmer proudly declared. “And to that end, as of today I am your student council president. School work, love live, family situation and even any personal issues, you should submit your woes to the suggestion box without any hesitation. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, I and my manager of general affairs, Lemon Zest, will take on anyone's issues!!”
The whole school started to cheer.
“Or do you remember when…”
Twilight Sparkle and a small girl that looks suspiciously like a kid-version of Sunset Shimmer were walking circles in the former’s private library.
“Okay, if anyone finds out that you are Sunset Shimmer, we'll be in huge trouble.” Twilight grabbed the small girl by her shoulders. “We have to keep it a secret from anyone. Especially Lemon.”
They heard a knocking on the door. “Hey, TwiTwi, are you home? I mean, you left your door open, so I hope so.” Lemon Zest was shouting from the hallway.
“Quick, hide! I’ll distract her.” Twilight ordered Sunset. The little girl went to hide in the best place the small library had to offer, behind a desk.
Lemon entered the library. “Phew, there you are. Hey, have you seen Sunset? We planned to meet today, but she hasn’t shown up. I happened to be close and hoped you have any idea where she is.”
“Sorry, Lemon, I don’t know where Sunset is,” Twilight lied while sweating bullets. “I’ve been spending the whole day here at home, completely alone, hehe.”
Just then a sound from behind the desk caught their attention. Oh no!
“What’s there? Oh, probably Spike,” Lemon said.
“Can I pet him? I really want to pet him now.” She walked to the desk.
Sunset, forced to think quickly, grabbed a pair of glasses from a drawer and put them on.
Lemon found the girl hunched over behind the desk. “Oh? Who’re you, little one?” She turned the girl around. Both stared into each other’s eyes for a long moment. Then Lemon hugged her. “Oh my god, you are adorable!”
“Oh, oh, how about that time when…”
Sunset Shimmer had just finished breakfast in her home when she heard weird sounds from outside. She went to her balcony to check it. Upon stepping outside she found a familiar girl lying on the railing. She turned to Sunset and waved at her. “Hello, Sun.”
“What’re you doing here, Lemon?” Sunset asked.
Before she could answer Lemon’s stomach growled loudly.”I’m hungry. Can you feed me first?”
Sunset sighed. “Sure.”
An explosion sounded off in the distance.
“Oh yeah, uh, a potentially evil magician might be chasing me.” Lemon sheepishly rubbed her head.
Before Sunset could answer a part of the railing broke off with a clean cut and fell down. “And maybe a hot girl with a long katana, too, hehe. But really, it’s not my fault.”
Sunset sighed again–
“Please Lemon, you can stop now, everything's fine,” Sunset was finally able to interrupt her.
“I was just getting to the good part,” Lemon whined.
“I mean, only one of these actually happened.”
“But they were good stories.”
Sunset opened her mouth to answer but stopped. Then she replied, “Yeah, you’re right.”
“You know what? Sure.”
“Alright! Once upon a time there was a girl named Sunset who just woke up in her home after a wild night…”
“Ugh, what a night. Can’t even remember how I got home,” Sunset mumbled to herself. She tumbled out of bed, ate breakfast and put on clothes without much thought to avoid headaches.
But when she opened the door to go to school instead of the expected nothing she was met with the maw of a giant dragon.
“GOOD MORNING, MISS SHIMMER,” it roared in a feminine sounding voice.
Sunset immediately sobered up though any coherent thoughts avoided her brain for a different reason now. Before she could react in any way the dragon started to glow and turned right before her eyes into a busty, green-haired girl wearing a maid outfit.
“I’m back home with the groceries,” she announced with a cute smile.
Sunset chuckled. “Yes, that’s a good one. But did you just describe yourself as busty?”
“Artistic license,” Lemon countered.
Sunset gave another snort. “Nobody can make me smile like you do, Lemon. You know that?”
“Of course, and I’m proud of it,” Lemon said proudly.
They spent another comfortable moment in silence as the sun started to set. Heh, Lemon thought.
Both knew the moment to depart and say goodbye was getting closer and so both gathered their courage a final time and released it in two simultaneous sighs.
“It’s getting late,” Sunset started. “It’s time to…”
“Yeah… I know…” Lemon replied.
They turned to face each other.
“Lemon Zest, as I said, no person can make me smile like you do. You’re one of the most positive people I know. You can find something good in everything. You don’t even bat an eye at the crazy ride that is my life, no, you want even more, you constantly try new things. I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do to you, but I know that you’ll eventually get over it and continue your upbeat life.”
“Sunset Shimmer, you were like a ray of sunlight in my drab life. I love how you seem to attract all the weird and crazy stuff in this world as it makes no two days with you alike. You’re really smart, but it’s really adorable how you tend to react really excited when you discover for the first time even the smallest, most common things. You are the most unique person I know, but not because you are a pony from another world… okay, maybe it contributes a little bit, but because you are you. And trust me, I will miss you.”
They huddled closer to embrace each other.
“You smell like lemons,” Sunset whispered.
“You smell like the first rays of sunshine on a warm summer morning,” Lemon whispered back.
Lemon snorted. “Sadly not. You smell like bacon, which is weird considering you’re a vegetarian.”
They let go of each other.
“To be honest, I was expecting this to go much worse,” Sunset admitted. “None of us is even crying.”
“Give it time until we’re both back home,” Lemon replied. “But yeah, this went surprisingly well. I have to confess that I asked the other Shadowbolts to come and hide here in case something goes horribly wrong.” Just as she said that Lemon spotted the four mentioned girls hiding in a nearby tree.
“In that case, I also asked the other Rainbooms to come for the same reason.” Just then Lemon also spotted these six girls hiding… in the tree right beside the Shadowbolts. They now also seemed to first notice each other and in the ensuing confusion one girl fell down from each tree.
Sunset slowly rose from her spot. “You need help standing up?”
“No… I think I’ll stay a bit longer,” Lemon said. “I… have some stuff to think about. Goodbye, Sunny, I wish you only the best from now own.”
“Me too. I wish you a great and happy life. Goodbye, Lemon.” Sunset slowly walked away. Lemon wished she could just run up to Sunset, tackle her to the ground and keep her forever. Sunset wished she could just stop, turn around and run back into Lemon’s arms. But both knew they wouldn’t be able to forgive themselves for being so selfish. They respected each other too much for that.
Soon Sunset was gone. Lemon was lying alone on the hill. She hated being alone, though she was too caught in her own thoughts to really notice. But she did notice four girls approaching her.
“It seems like it went surprisingly well,” Sunny Flare said.
“It sure did,” Lemon replied absentmindedly.
“So, does it mean it’s over?”
“Yep, we’re singles again.”
“Are you okay?” Sour Sweet asked and for once her concern sounded genuine.
“Will you be okay?” Sugarcoat questioned.
“Dunno,” Lemon mumbled.
“Do you want us to stay?” Indigo Zap inquired.
The girls silently sat down around Lemon, who sunk into her own thoughts again. She started doing something she postponed for the last few months, thinking about her future. Lemon would never admit it out loud, but the future scared her more than anything. She had hoped to face the future together with Sunset, but now she realized why Sunset never brought it up either.
Though now Lemon wondered why she even was afraid of the future. She was, to be frank, a rich genius. Someone who just graduated from Crystal Prep Academy without much effort. Add to that parents, who are barely at home and don’t care much about their daughter even then, and the whole world was practically open to her. Colleges would fight over her, high-paying job offers would fly in from everywhere. She could do whatever she wants however she wants whenever and wherever she wants.
A few weeks ago this probably would have exhilarated her, but now it all looked boring to her. And it didn’t take a genius like her to figure out why. Because Sunset Shimmer, the girl that became such an important part of her life, was suddenly gone. Even now she was wishing that Sunset were there, as simply her presence calmed her down (as weird as it may sound). But Sunset wasn’t there obviously. Sunset will go back to Equestria and reconcile with her original life, Lemon will stay here and continue her normal life. An end was the obvious and logical conclusion. Lemon just had to learn to accept–
Wait, wait, wait, wait just a second! Obvious and logical in the same sentence as Lemon (well, close) and supported by learn? This can’t be right. In her effort to make life interesting Lemon was strictly going out of the way of logic. Her worries about Sunset had made her completely forget that. And now wait, if there was no logical way to save their relationship, maybe there was an illogical one. In fact one such illogical idea was slowly forming in her head, as was the grin on her face. But could that work? Would she be willing to go through with it? She had to check some things first and it would certainly require some effort and a few sacrifices on her side. But not only could it bring her back to Sunset, it could also fulfill her biggest wish. She just had to try.
Lemon jumped onto her feet in one leap, startling the others. “Girls, I won’t let this story just finish with such a downer of an ending. We have to give it the happy ending it deserves. Come on, we got work to do. Shadowbolts away!” She immediately ran off.
“Wow, that went pretty quick,” Indigo commented.
“Did we even do anything?” Sunny Flare wondered.
“As the only other person with relationship experience here,” Sugarcoat spoke up. “I have to admit I have no idea.”
“But you know, it feels good to see her back as her old, potentially hyperactive self,” Sour said sweetly. “But I never agreed to such a lame catchphrase,” she added sourly.
They rose up to follow Lemon just as she started shouting at them for being too slow.
The last two weeks were simultaneously the slowest and the fastest in Sunset Shimmer’s life. She spent nearly every minute with one of her friends, who wanted to make Sunset’s final days in this world as memorable as possible. (She tried to tell them several times that it wasn’t like she was dying.) But since the breakup everything felt duller and slower to her.
Despite that, the big day approached faster than expected and before she realized it she was standing before the portal to Equestria and giving her final goodbyes to all her friends from Canterlot High (and Trixie). She had actually hoped that Lemon would at least come to see her off and hoped the disappointment wasn’t showing. Lots of tears were shed, promises made and everyone tried to draw it out as long as possible.
Ultimately the time had come. They made their final group hug for now. And Sunset Shimmer stepped through the portal.
A fiery-maned pony came out of the mirror placed in Princess Twilight Sparkle's study. After rediscovering her new old center of gravity she took a longing look back at the mirror portal and wondered how long it would take until she’d see one of these girls again. Then she remembered the answer was two hours as human Twilight already told her she planned to come over to do the finishing touches on her project. Only then did she realize that her other friends would probably now constantly come over to Equestria. She’d have to find a quick way to tell them apart from their pony counterparts.
Sunset entered the throne room. “Twilight, I’m ba–” She noticed a group of unfamiliar ponies sitting in the thrones. She dropped into a battle-ready stance and her horn started glowing. “Who are you and what did you do to Twilight?” she growled.
“Don’t you recognize us?” the pony with short purple hair said.
“Maybe that’s the common way to greet ponies here?” the freckled one said sweetly. Then added sourly, “It would explain why they dump their problems on us.”
“She probably just has trouble recognizing us due to the change in species,” explained the bespectacled one with pigtails.
“Still kinda rude,” added the pony wearing flight goggles. “Oh, and the princess is in the kitchen preparing tea.”
“Wait, Sunny Flare? Sour Sweet? Sugarcoat? Indigo Zap?” She pointed at each one. “But that would mean…”
A green-maned pegasus head poked up from behind the backrest of the throne that faced away from Sunset. “Heyo, Sunny-chan Shimmichanga, how was your week?” Lemon Zest greeted her unexpectedly casual.
Sunset did a double take. “Wha… Lemon? B-But why are you here?”
Lemon rested her forelegs between her head and the backrest. “Oh, I was just thinking, I just graduated, broke up with my girlfriend and have no plan for what to do with my life. The perfect time to just start new. Many people like to take a year or so off to travel the world or become babysitters or something. Although I’m not really interested in that. Then I realized, there’s a magic portal not far away, and so… drumroll please.”
Nopony reacted at that. Then Spike the dragon entered with a drum and gave her a drumroll.
“Thanks, Spike. I decided to move to Equestria!”
W-Wha…” Sunset had to use her magic to close her jaw. “B-But you can’t just up and abandon your life!” she shouted. “E-even if it might be… for me,” Sunset silently muttered while failing to suppress a blush.
“What do you mean? I’m not dumb enough to give up my life for just another girl,” Lemon responded. “The portal is right here. If I don’t like it, I can return whenever I want. As Crystal Prep alumni they’ll fight over me even in five years. My parents don’t care much and probably think I’m partying in Las Pegasus or something, they never really listen.”
“But most important, after all the stories you told me this place could fulfill my lifelong dream of an exciting life where every day is memorable in its own way. I already cleared up everything with Twilight. The purple princess pony one. Just imagine, all the wondrous places to explore, magical quests starring Lemon Zest to be had; not to mention, now that I’m single again, all the new people– err, ponies I can meet.” Lemon winks at Sunset.
“B-But everything you like at home. Games, anime, the internet…”
“Do you really think I don’t know about that project of Sugarcoat and the Twilights,” a smug Lemon answered. “A wifi-router that works through the portal. You couldn’t give them up either.”
Sunset pushed the bag containing her video games back with her magic in reflex. Then she turned to the other four girls, who had been silently observing everything so far. “What about you? You can’t just let her run away into another world.”
“If it is what Lemon wants, we can’t really stop her. She’s that headstrong,” Indigo answered.
“It’ll be a lot quieter without Lemon, but we should have known that our world was never enough to contain her,” Sunny Flare said.
“This girl might drive us crazy at least once per week,” Sour grumbled. Then she added sweetly. “But even she deserves to be happy.”
“There’s probably some friendship lesson about learning to let go of your friends if it is for their own wellbeing… which we ironically accomplished by helping Lemon avoid that same lesson,” Sugarcoat added.
“I-I c-can’t believe you guys…” Tears were forming around Sunset’s eyes.
Lemon walked over to Sunset and tried to awkwardly wipe away the tears with her wing. Still need to train that. She then offered her hoof to Sunset. “So, what do you say? I might need a guide to show me around, not to mention teach me the customs. Ready to turn this end into a new beginning?”
Sunset wiped the remaining tears away herself and took the outstretched hoof. “You’re impossible, you know that?”
“One of the qualities you love about me,” Lemon grinned her. “I have to warn you though, my girlfriend recently broke up with me and I’m not sure if I’m ready for a new relationship just yet.”
Sunset mocked a gasp. “What a horrible person that must have been. Whatever she did I’ll help you get over it. Fair warning though, I can’t guarantee excitement every day.”
Lemon gave what could be considered a shrug. “Eh, I’m fine with one big adventure every few months or so. I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t know… right now some evil goat wizard was gathering a legion of doom.”
Sunset gave a small laugh. “You and your imagination.”
“But keep in mind,” Lemon warned her. “I’ll try my best to resist that old Disney-cliché where the chick always falls for the one guiding her through the whole new world.”
“Then someone will have to put in some effort… Wait, you see yourself as the chick?”
And thus, Sunset Shimmer and Lemon Zest left the throne room and started walking their first steps toward a new life, a new adventure and maybe even (read: definitely) a new relationship.
“Are you crying, Sour?”
“N-No, I’m not… idiot.”