By the time Applejack called a halt for supper, Ron could barely move his arms anymore, Kim was utterly exhausted, and Sonata looked like she was about to pass out. "I've never done any actual work before," Sonata whined. "It's haaaaard!"
Applejack chuckled. "Heh...jes' wait, a few days of this an' you'll be fitter'n a fiddle."
As they approached the farmhouse, the sound of a motorcycle engine drew near. Peering at the dusty trail that led from the main road to the farm proper, they could see a cloud of dust rising. A dark shape peeled out of the dust; a minute later, a motorcycle coasted to a stop near Big Mac's old pickup. A booted foot lowered the kickstand. The rider got off and removed a black helmet decorated with purple flames, which matched her knee-high boots.
A girl with amber skin, wearing an orange skirt with two colored stripes on one side, a light purple top, and a black leather jacket walked up to the group. Her teal eyes shone with intelligence and a hint of suspicion, and her wavy copper-and-gold hair shone in the afternoon sun.
"Howdy, Sunset Shimmer!" Applejack called.
"Hey Applejack," Sunset replied with a wave. She frowned at Sonata, then looked Kim and Ron up and down appraisingly. "And you are?"
"Kim Possible," Kim said.
"And Ron Stoppable," Ron added.
"Uh-huh," Sunset said.
"Umm...Sunset Shimmer?" Sonata said hesitantly. "Can...can you help fix the mess I made? And maybe help me get home?"
Sunset looked the three of them over, a mild frown on her face. "We'll discuss it over dinner," she said. "Haven't had Granny Smith's cooking in a while. Well, except for school lunches."
"We're havin' steak fingers an' country gravy tonight," Applejack said, grinning.
Sunset's eyes lit up. "Awesome."
"Ooh, that sounds num," Ron said.
"It does actually," Kim said. "If a bit fattening."
"We don't gotta worry 'bout that none around here," Applejack said with a smirk. The others laughed.
The group went inside and sat around the table. They were soon joined by Big Macintosh and a young girl with yellow skin and long pinkish-red hair. She looked around at all the new faces in confusion—and slight fear when she espied Sonata. "Uhh...hi?" she ventured.
"Kim, Ron, this is mah lil' sis Apple Bloom," Applejack said. "Apple Bloom, this is Kim an' Ron, they're our new boarders an' workers. Sonata's stayin' here a spell too...she's workin' as hard as they are, though, so don't fret none about her."
"Okay," Apple Bloom said uncertainly.
Granny Smith soon bustled out of the kitchen, setting platters on the table. She went from plate to plate, setting a teacup full of cream gravy on each plate, then dishing out golden brown steak fingers, thick, hand-cut fries, and thick-sliced griddle toast. "There's plenty more if'n y'all want seconds," she said as she served herself and sat down.
"This. Is. So awesome," Ron said. "You ROCK, Granny Smith."
"Awww, shucks," Granny Smith said, chuckling.
For a few minutes, everyone ate in silence, save for the occasional compliment to Granny or noise of appreciation. After finishing off three steak fingers and a handful of fries, Sunset dipped her toast in the gravy, then looked across the table. "So...Applejack said somebody's been messing with the portal, and now somebody's stuck in this world that doesn't belong here?"
"That's right," Kim said. Kim and Ron did their best to explain the situation as they understood it. Sonata then filled in her part of the story, detailing exactly what she had done at the portal.
"And then it all just blew up and there they were," Sonata finished. "I'm really sorry! I just...I really wanted to go back to Equestria." She sniffled. "There's kinda nothing left for us in this world...well, we always hated this world anyway...and..."
Sunset frowned. "You were banished here for a reason, you know."
Sonata looked down. "I know," she said. "I know. But...but I can't hurt anyone anymore, right? So...so why can't I just...go home?"
Sunset's eyes softened. "Sonata, I..." She sighed. "I'll have to talk to Princess Twilight. I can't open the portal for you. It can only open from Equestria. And...she might not...I mean..."
Sonata sighed. "I know."
"But I'll ask, I promise," Sunset said. She looked at Kim and Ron, frowning. "Now, getting you guys back where you belong...that's another matter entirely." She took a bite of toast. "I just...I don't even know where to begin. If there's a way to send you back where you belong, it's...it's going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. Unless Twilight happens to have miraculously studied exactly the right magic to send you home, but...the odds of that are astronomical."
"Any chance at all is better than none," Kim said.
"I just wonder how the portal backfired the way it did," Sunset said. "As far as I know, that portal only connects this world and Equestria. There shouldn't be any way it could connect to another world entirely."
"It was the taco!" Sonata said. "I told you, the taco did it!"
Sunset facepalmed. "Sonata...your taco theory is ridiculous. I'm sorry, but there's just no way that a taco can interfere with complex interdimensional conduit magic."
Ron tilted his head. "We were in a Mexican restaurant..."
"Hey, yeah!" Sonata said, nodding rapidly.
Sunset groaned. "I'm telling you, it's NOT the taco!" She sighed. "I've got the journal I use to talk to Twilight in my bag. It's out on my bike. I'll go get it after dinner and write to her."
"Thank you," Kim said. "We really appreciate it."
Sunset smiled. "I'll do my best to get you guys home." She looked at Sonata. "And I'll make the best case I can to Twilight. In the end, it's up to her, but...I'll try."
Sonata sniffled. "For realzies?"
"For realzies," Sunset said, rolling her eyes and laughing.
"You're the best! I'm so sorry I taunted you and tried to suck out all your magic!"
Everyone except Granny Smith had seconds; Applejack, Big Macintosh, Kim, Ron, and Sonata all had thirds. By the time they were finished, there was almost nothing left of the sizeable meal Granny Smith had prepared. They moved to the living room, nursing cold sodas. Ron patted his swollen belly and groaned; Kim was half-asleep in her easy chair.
Sunset returned from her bike, carrying her bag. She pulled an antiquated book out of it and spread it open on the table; taking a ball-point pen from her bag, she began writing.
Dear Princess Twilight,
Something's come up and I really need your help...