The Soul's Savior

by Dusty Old Qrow

Chapter 6: Castle of Glass

Despite Sunset’s initial hesitation, Applejack called Rainbow Dash to pick up Sunset from Sweet Apple Acres. She felt odd getting in the passenger seat, but Rainbow Dash flashed her a toothy grin and stepped on the gas. The two of them left the farm behind, and Sunset tried to relax as the world zipped by.

Sunset was pulled out of her relaxation by the car suddenly picking up speed. She sat up straight and turned to look at Rainbow Dash, whose eyes gleamed with delight as she gripped the steering wheel. Rainbow briefly glanced Sunset’s way and grinned, then Sunset felt herself pushed into her seat as the car began to go faster.

“Rainbow Dash! What the hell!” Sunset cried.

“It’s fine!” Rainbow Dash yelled back as she reached for the radio, turning up the volume. Loud rock music began to blare from the car’s speakers, causing Sunset to wince. “Just sit back and relax!”

“You’re crazy!”

As the car’s engine roared, Sunset gripped the sides of her seat for dear life. With her eyes shut tight she couldn’t see the world zip by through the window, but she could certainly feel every time the car switched lanes or hit a bump. Sunset let out a groan and suddenly found herself swung to the left as Rainbow Dash made a turn.

Sunset let out a string of curses while Rainbow Dash laughed loudly. “Could you please slow down?!” Sunset yelled, barely able to hear herself over the sounds of the car and the loud music.

“Don’t worry, Sunset!” Rainbow Dash shouted back. “I’m a pro at this!”

“I doubt that!”

Rainbow gave a grunt in acknowledgement as the car slowed to just above the speed limit. “There, ya big baby,” she said. “Are you happy?”

Sunset opened her eyes and glanced out of her window, letting out a sigh of relief at the trees that were no longer blurs. She leaned forward and rested her forehead on the glass. “No, no I am not.”

Rainbow Dash laughed. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. I’ll cool it,” she said cheerfully. “It’s funny watching you squirm though. You shoulda seen the look on your face.”

“We could have gotten pulled over! Or crashed!”

Rainbow Dash waved a hand. “Oh, ye of little faith. I know these roads, and I know where it’s safe to really let loose. You really think I’d do that where I’d get caught? Please!” Then under her breath she added, “My parents would kill me,” just loud enough for Sunset to hear. Sunset couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Just please keep us alive for the rest of the drive,” Sunset said dryly. “I’d prefer not to die today, thank you very much.”

Rainbow Dash laughed loudly. “I said I was sorry! I was just trying to make you loosen up a bit. Drivin’ like that always helps me clear my head. Flying down the roads, being the fastest thing around… It’s the best feeling in the world!”

Sunset just shook her head. “I… appreciate the effort, I guess,” she muttered. “But please don’t do that again.”

“I won’t, I promise. Seriously though, you do need to loosen up. I get why you’re so nervous around me and the others, but always walking on eggshells isn’t gonna do much good.”

Sunset cocked an eyebrow and shot a curious glance towards Rainbow. “Why are you so insistent? Last night you threatened me with the whole ‘don’t ever hurt my friends again’ line, and now you’re being nothing but supportive. What gives?”

“What, do you not want me to help you?” Rainbow narrowed her eyes at the road. “After the way you treated us for years, yeah, maybe I’m not so comfortable just letting you do whatever around my friends. But keeping you on a tight leash ain’t gonna fix anything.”

“Well if that’s how you feel, why’d you let me stay with Applejack?”

Rainbow Dash scoffed. “Please. Applejack can take care of herself. I knew if you tried anything she could handle you.”

Sunset’s eyes widened. “Wow,” she breathed. “I honestly don’t know what to say to that.” She didn’t know if she should be hurt or not.

“Sunset,” Rainbow Dash continued, “I’m not trying to be an ass here, I just want you to know where I’m coming from. I want you to be better. I want to be there for you. But I can’t just forget the way you treated us for years. You hurt us, and that’s not going to disappear overnight.”

Sunset closed her eyes and let out a long breath. “Right,” she whispered. “I understand.”

Rainbow Dash sighed. “It hasn’t even been a day since the Fall Formal. We’re all still trying to figure things out. It’s a lot to take in all at once, you know?”

“Yeah,” Sunset agreed. “I know.”

The two girls had nothing else to say after that, falling into a silence that neither was willing to break, the only noises being from the car’s engine and radio. Sunset sighed and leaned back, closing her eyes. A lot to take in, she thought to herself. I know that feeling.

Not another word was spoken for the rest of the drive. Eventually the nice looking Canterlot buildings gave way to older, less looked-after ones, before those too turned to buildings left to rot. Some had windows smashed in and doors hanging off their hinges, while others had gaping holes in their walls and black spots of decay.

“Damn,” Rainbow Dash breathed. “I haven’t been here before. They really did just forget about this place.” She took a slow look around, the car slowing to leisurely glide over the road. “I wonder why no one bothers to fix it up.”

Sunset shrugged. “I don’t know. They don’t care too, I guess. Canterlot’s well off, and it’s pretty big. Maybe they just don’t think it’s worth it. Why fix up some crappy neighborhood when they can focus on their shiny new ones?”

Rainbow Dash gave a quiet sound of acknowledgement. “Alright, where’s your place?”

Sunset raised an arm and pointed. “Just that way. It’s one of the bigger ones - can’t miss it.”

Rainbow Dash rose from her seat and exited the car, closing the door with a loud slam. “You sure this is the place?” She asked as she looked around. “This isn’t exactly what I’d call ‘home sweet home’.”

She heard Sunset let out a sigh. “I know, believe me. But it’s the most intact building around here and it’s worked fine so far,” she said as she closed her door. The two girls walked around the front of the car and stood next to each other. Rainbow Dash looked to Sunset and then to the building in front of them.

Rainbow remembered Sunset saying it used to be a factory. It looked relatively normal, considering the years of abandonment the structure had suffered. It had more than a few floors to its height with only a few broken windows littered around the outside. On the roof three smoke stacks pointed up. Rainbow Dash crossed her arms and shook her head. “Jeeze. I can’t believe this is where you’ve been living for the past few years.”

“Believe me, it wasn’t my ideal choice either,” Sunset deadpanned. “Thanks for the ride, Rainbow Dash. I guess I’ll see you at school.” With that, Sunset began walking to the building without another word. Rainbow Dash watched Sunset’s back as she went, not sure if she should say or do something more.

“Sunset Shimmer? Rainbow Dash?” A familiar voice called.

Rainbow Dash jumped and turned in the direction of the voice - she heard Sunset stop in her tracks and turn as well - and saw a man approaching. His brown longcoat gave him away immediately. “Mr. Turner?” Rainbow asked. “What the heck are you doing out here?”

Their teacher stopped a ways away from the car, close enough to be heard without raising his voice. His lips were pulled into a tight line, a forced neutrality just barely noticeable. His hands were shoved into the pockets of his coat and his digits obviously fidgeted around under the fabric. The hell’s up with him? Rainbow Dash asked herself.

Turner spoke with the same tone he used in the classroom. “I’m sorry if I surprised you. I simply came here for a bit of peace and quiet. Not many people out here these days, as you can see,” he said. “I could ask you the same thing, though. I know school’s not in session, but as your teacher I can’t just let you two root around in abandoned buildings. That’s dangerous, you know.”

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow as Sunset walked over to her side. “Okay?” Rainbow questioned. “Thanks, Mr. Turner, but I think we’ll be alright.”

Sunset nodded. “Thank you for checking up on us, but we’ll be fine. Nothing to worry about here!” Sunset folded her hands behind her back and flashed a large toothy smile. Rainbow Dash looked at her and groaned internally.

Turner’s eyes flicked from Sunset, to the building behind them, and then to Rainbow Dash. He remained quiet for a few seconds before speaking. “I suppose I can’t stop you two from doing whatever you’re doing here, but please be careful,” he said. “And Rainbow Dash, I’m pleased to see you partaking in activities with Ms. Shimmer. Princess Twilight would be happy.”

“Right,” Rainbow Dash said dryly.

The three of them stood in silence for a few more moments, before Mr. Turner took his hands out of his pockets and put them up in a mock-surrender. “Alright, alright, I’ll leave you girls to it. Just please don’t get hurt,” he said, looking at them before turning away and waving. “I’ll see you two at school. Don’t forget your homework!”

Rainbow Dash and Sunset watched Time Turner leave until he turned a corner and was out of sight. Rainbow felt her shoulders let out tension she didn’t know she was holding and sighed. “Man, what was up with him?” She asked, jamming a thumb in Turner’s direction. “He was acting super strange.”

Sunset shrugged. “I don’t know. He said he needed some peace and quiet, maybe he’s having a rough day?”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “At least he’s gone. And you,” she poked Sunset in the chest forcefully, causing Sunset to tilt backwards slightly. “Need to learn how to lie again. Seriously, what was that?!”

Sunset felt her cheeks begin to heat up. “I-I don’t know! I guess lying is just… not something I do anymore.”

Rainbow Dash’s face fell flat. “Really.”

Sunset nodded.

Rainbow Dash threw her arms into the air with an exasperated yell. “Man, you really did do a complete 180, huh?” She turned to Sunset, who stood with an awkward look. Rainbow Dash sighed. “Whatever. I guess I’ll see you later.”

Sunset raised a hand and waved. “Bye, Rainbow Dash. Thanks again.”

Rainbow Dash flashed a peace sign. “Later.”