A Ray of Sunlight

by BChunter426

One Last Confrontation

In the weeks following the meeting with Ditsy Doo, Sunset felt much lighter. She walked around with a smile more often at school and felt more inclined to talk with other classmates. She had even felt comfortable enough to help a few people who had dropped papers or books in the hallways. They were wary when she had first approached them, but by the time they parted ways they were put at ease by her demeanor. She was doing much better at not letting the comments or the few stray notes she still received get to her. It seemed as though the activity of harassing her was starting to die off.
The others were enjoying their friend's improved attitude as well. They joked around with each other before classes, and talked easily without the looming grey cloud that had hung over Sunset.
The seven of them were walking toward the entrance after the final bell. Twilight was talking to Fluttershy about ways to teach Spike some new tricks while Sunset was listening to Rainbow Dash tell a story about what happened at the last practice.
"Then, Windchill kicked the ball into the goal, but it hit the post and came back toward her! She barely dodged in time." She laughed.
Sunset laughed along with her. "I'm glad she's okay, but that is pretty funny."
"Yeah, I wish someone had been recording it! It was a pretty epic dodge!"
Sunset smiled at her sporty friend before addressing the rest of the group. "Is everyone still up for going hiking this weekend?"
They all answered in the affirmative.
"I bought new hiking boots just for the occasion!" Rarity squealed. "They're so comfortable, but more importantly they're cute!"
"I've seen them and can confirm that they are indeed cute." Fluttershy added with a smile.
Rainbow rolled her eyes. "As long as you don't call it quits a quarter of the way up. The snow has finally melted away and it's warm enough that we can do this hike. I haven't hiked the waterfall canyon trail in forever and I wanna make it to the end."
"I actually haven't done any of the Mount Sombra trails." Twilight admitted sheepishly. "Is this one difficult?"
"A bit at first. It starts out kind of steep, but levels out and becomes more gradual as you go higher." Sunset placed a comforting arm around Twilight. "And don't worry, if we have to take some breaks along the way we can."
They finished ironing out the details before parting ways. Twilight blew a kiss in Sunset's direction before climbing on her bus. Sunset caught the kiss and winked in return before walking to the parking lot. When she saw who was waiting on her car, her stomach dropped.
Adagio was sitting on the hood of Sunset's SUV with a self-satisfied smile on her face. Aria was leaning against the passenger door smoking a cigarette. She thought she had seen the last of them since there had been no attempts at contact since she'd run into them in the halls several weeks back.
"Get off my car." Sunset said flatly.
"Someone's in a mood." Adagio said as she hopped down. The old hood popped back into place behind her.
"I'd say it's understandable since you two aren't exactly in my top one hundred people I want to see." She tossed her bag into her car and turned to face the duo. "I seem to recall telling you I was done."
"You might be, but I'm not." Adagio smirked.
"What do you want Adagio?"
"Oh, I've just noticed your popularity around the school seems to be dwindling and I think I can give it another kickstart."
"Is that a threat?" Sunset said through rising anger.
"Maybe it is. Maybe it's just a reminder that you can say you're done all you want, but we have too much history for it to be true. And you'll never know when I'll feel like reminding you of that fact." She patted Sunset's cheek. "Come on Aria, let's go get something to eat."
Aria pushed herself off the passenger door and flicked the spent butt at the headlight. Sunset crushed it with the heel of her shoe before climbing into her car. She took several deep breaths and gripped the steering wheel. She knew Adagio was right. They did have too much history, too many acts of cruelty together. Who knew how many other videos they had recorded while bullying a classmate.
She sat upright. She knew a way she might be able to stop Adagio, though she would need some help to pull it off. Sunset started the car and headed home, ironing out her plan the whole time.

"I don't know about this." Twilight voiced her concern.
"Trust me, if this works we won't have to worry about Adagio again."
"And if it doesn't?" Twilight asked.
"Then I'll just have to deal with everyone's hatred for the rest of high school. No biggie."
Twilight raised a skeptical eyebrow.
"I promise, if it goes south I'll go to the principal."
"Fine." Twilight sighed. "I still don't know if I agree with this plan though."
"Don't worry, this time she'll have all of us." Rainbow said while throwing an arm over Twilight's shoulders.
"That does make me feel a bit better." She looked to Sunset. "You're sure about this?"
Sunset nodded and hit send on the message she'd typed out.
"Meet me on the football field."
The seven of them waited for Adagio and Aria to arrive. Rainbow was feeling antsy so she started running the stairs on the bleachers to get some of her energy out. The others were distracting themselves on their phones or having quiet conversations. Sunset and Twilight were keeping an eye out for Adagio and Aria.
"Do you think she'll come?" Twilight asked.
"She'll be here. The curiosity will be too much to pass up."
As if on cue, Adagio and Aria rounded the entrance by the bleachers on the opposite side of the field. Sunset and the others walked toward the center of the field. As the two groups got closer to one another, everyone but Twilight stayed back a bit, but still within earshot. Sunset and Adagio stared each other down until Adagio broke the silence.
"You needed a whole army just to talk with me?" She said mockingly. "I must have really gotten under your skin. If they try anything funny everything goes public and you'll have to leave town."
"I was ready to face you alone, but they insisted on being here for support because they're amazing friends." Sunset told her.
Adagio rolled her eyes. "I have to admit I was surprised to hear from you so soon."
"Glad to know I can still keep you on your toes."
Adagio smirked. "What is it you want Sunset. I haven't got all day."
"I've been thinking about that video you played at the Winter Formal. Something didn't seem right about it. I remembered the video differently." She crossed her arms. "I remember it having you and Sonata in it as well, being just as cruel as me. Aria loved recording our bullying and watching them later so she didn't show up in many of them. So, it was weird that only I showed up on screen. That's when I realized the video had been doctored to only show me while you and Sonata were cropped out."
"It took you this long to figure that out?" Adagio cocked an eyebrow. "Maybe I gave you too much credit for being clever."
"Well, I had a lot to deal with thanks to you!" Sunset snapped, then took a deep breath. "But that got me thinking more. What if I did the same thing to you?"
Adagio blanched at the fierce look in Sunset's eyes, but held her ground.
"Unfortunately I deleted the copies Aria sent to me a long time ago."
"What's the point of all this?" Adagio said, growing impatient.
"That's when I remembered Sonata." Sunset continued. "She probably had her copies still and she had a score to settle with you two as well."
"What are you talking about?" Adagio feigned ignorance.
"I guess you wouldn't know that Sonata and I reconnected because we have class together. She told me all about how she left you two and how you manipulated me into thinking she was part of the plan at the dance. So I asked her, and well..."
She pulled out her phone and played the original version of the video shown at the dance. There was Sonata and Adagio hurling insults at Ditsy Doo along with Sunset. Twilight tensed at the malice in the past Sunset's voice.
"I have a lot more where that came from too." Sunset said before pocketing her phone.
Adagio's fists were clenched. "So, what? You're going to release these and get everyone in the school to hate you again? You already have the reputation. I behave well enough In public that I could deny it, maybe even convince everyone that those are the doctored videos. What about Sonata? She'll get caught in the fallout too. That doesn't sound like something a friend would do." She sneered.
"Sonata's the one who told me to just release them. She's fine with dealing with the consequences. I've already been through it and learned how to deal with it better this time." She looked back at her friends, and held Twilight's hand.
Adagio was silent for several moments, the urge to lash out grew inside her. How could Sunset do this? Where did she get the spine to defy me?
These questions and more flashed inside her mind. She looked to Aria, but she looked just as perplexed. Adagio clenched her fists then let out a frustrated groan.
"What do you want?" Adagio growled. "Do you want an apology?".
Sunset shook her head. "I know any apology won't be sincere under these circumstances. Maybe when you mean it I'd like an apology. Until then, what I want is for you to leave me alone. My friends too. You stay out of our business and we'll stay out of yours."
Adagio fumed internally. This feeling of being cornered made her furious and uncomfortable. She began scheming ways that she could turn the table in her favor, convinced that Sunset would never go through with her side of the threat. That was until she locked eyes with her ex. Adagio saw determination behind her gaze that told her she was serious.
"Fine." She spat. "You won't hear from me anymore. Let's go Aria!"
The two walked away, bickering the whole time until they were out of sight. Sunset let out a breath she didn't realize she was holding and felt lightheaded. Twilight caught her under her arm as she stumbled.
"Are you alright?" Twilight asked.
"I'm fine." Sunset smiled. "I was bracing myself for the worst, but I think it's over now."
"What makes you so sure darling?" Rarity asked as the others approached.
"Because, I know Adagio and how she operates. The idea of mutually assured destruction will keep her from doing anything rash."
Sunset took out her phone and selected all the videos Sonata sent her, then hit the delete button.
"What are you doing!" Rainbow cried. "What if she decides to go through with it? Now you have nothing to retaliate with!"
"That's fine, I don't want them. If she does, we'll bring Sonata with us and go to the principal. I won't sink to her level."
"So what you said was an empty threat?" Rainbow said quizzically.
Sunset smirked. "One of the very few perks of my time with her. We've seen each other's techniques and she's probably just as suspicious of me as I am of her."
"What should we do if she starts bullying someone else?" Fluttershy asked.
"We can't police her every action or stop her from being a jerk, but if we see or hear about her singling someone out like she did to me, we'll get the principal involved." She paused and looked around at all of her friends. "Thank you all. I really appreciate you being here."
"Of course." Applejack clapped her on the back cheerfully. "No way we were gonna let you face this'n on your own."
Everyone nodded and started making their way to the parking lot. Twilight stopped and tugged Sunset back by her hand. When she turned around, Twilight kissed her lips.
"I'm proud of you." She smiled after releasing Sunset.
"For what?" She put her hands on Twilight's waist.
"You could have handled that whole thing on your own and never told any of us. Maybe it would have happened exactly the same way, but you still chose to include us."
"I guess you showed me that it's better this way. It was nice knowing I had all of you in my corner."
"We'll always be in your corner. Just like you'll always be in ours." She smiled.
Sunset returned the smile and took her girlfriend's hand. The two went to Sunset's car where their friends were waiting for them.
"Is anyone else hungry?" Pinkie Pie asked.
"I'm starving!" Sunset admitted. "I didn't eat much today because I was so nervous about this meeting."
"Let's go get some lunch and head to the bowling alley!" Twilight said excitedly.
"I think sushi sounds divine." Rarity suggested.
"Raw fish and seaweed? No thank you, ah vote we get a nice juicy cheeseburger over at Burger Bar!" Applejack countered.
"As long as there's a dessert option, I don't care where we go." Pinkie Pie chimed in.
Sunset watched and smiled as her friends bickered about where to go. She felt good again. Without the weight of worry on her shoulders she felt like she could actually relax for once.
"I have an idea." Sunset offered after a few minutes. "Why don't I take Rarity and Fluttershy with me and Twilight, and we'll pick up our food. Then you three grab yours and we'll meet at the park. It's a nice day, why not eat outside."
"I think that sounds delightful. Fluttershy said, stepping forward.
The two groups went their separate ways. Rarity called in their order to the restaurant and the four of them caught up with each other. Things were apparently going very well with Fluttershy and Rarity. Rarity's parents even invited Fluttershy to go with them when the family went to their lake house in the summer.
After picking up their sushi rolls and Szechuan chicken they met the others at a park near the bowling alley. They ate their meals and talked excitedly about whatever came up. When all the food was gone they played several rounds of bowling. No one but Applejack and Rainbow took it very seriously. They all were too busy having fun laughing and teasing one another to play very well. It was the worst game of bowling Sunset had ever played, but it was also her favorite.