• Member Since 21st Feb, 2013
  • offline last seen Yesterday



When Twilight went back home, she left Sunset Shimmer to the care of her friends. Thirty moons later, she returns to Equestria, seeking judgment for her crimes from her former mentor, hoping that some form of punishment - a stint in the royal dungeons, perhaps - will help her come to terms with the past. If only it were that easy.

Can a rift like the one that has grown between Sunset Shimmer and Princess Celestia even be closed at all?

A story of past mistakes, resentment, the possibility of forgiveness, and hope.

A rather terrific dramatic reading of this story performed by Goombasa is available here!

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 110 )

This... is a nice story. It feels a bit... inconclusive, but kind of nice

Forgiveness is the largest quest of all.

Times the hardest person to forgive is yourself. Very well done

If we've got to have an EqG 2, I hope it ends something like this. Good story.

You really need to continue this story. I find it really interesting how the Equestrian society will react to humans, their history of wars, violence and bloodshed. Not only that, but also about their technology and how Equestria could benefit from it.
Good story and well written. :pinkiehappy:
I give you five out of five mustaches. :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:


You know what, you're probably right. That could be a kickass story.

To my shame, I probably couldn't write it if I tried. This story takes place well after season four, and probably five, and possibly all of FiM. I don't know where the Mane Six will be and what they'll be doing by then. I don't even know if the Twilight that appears in this story is still living in Ponyville or not - I knew (well, assumed) she'd make time to be at Canterlot for Sunset's return and that she's probably still a princess, but that's it! Does she rule a principality of her own? Has she become the dean of the Canterlot Academy? Has she started ruling Equestria part time, even?

It's just too many possibilities for my poor little head. For now, this story is all I have.


It's a good one shot, and I believe you could make it into a wonderful story.

Either way this has been a great story and the ending leaves open many possibilities.

All I can do is say bravo to this.

Loved it.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Great story, but there is a very minor nerdy thing I feel I have to point out. Based on what was written, I really doubt what Sunset was doing after coming out of the mirror was a barrel roll. It seems more likely what she did was an aileron roll, and even then, it would be incomplete because an aileron roll goes a full 360 degrees, and since she landed on her stomach, it seems like she spun approximately 180 degrees .


Well, I feel like a nitwit now.:facehoof: "rolled by 180 degrees" or somesuch is what I originally wrote. In my naive non-native English head I thought I had found a less numbery way to describe it. I'll just change it back.

3841263 Hey, don't feel too bad, a lot of people don't know the proper terms for the maneuver, even the Wikipedia pages point out that aileron rolls are often called barrel rolls by mistake. Personally, I blame Star Fox.

I like this. I like this a lot. i especially like how the ending is just inconclusive enough that is could as easily be the beginning of something greater as it could be the beginning of the rest of Sunset's life. Perhaps it is both. Is there even a difference?

Anyway, this was good and you should feel good. Good? Good.

"Maybe I was a little out of it, but I didn't suddenly turn into a snivelling idiot." uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:trixieshiftright:

Congratulations on the feature!

To my shame, I probably couldn't write it if I tried. This story takes place well after season four, and probably five, and possibly all of FiM. I don't know where the Mane Six will be and what they'll be doing by then. I don't even know if the Twilight that appears in this story is still living in Ponyville or not - I knew (well, assumed) she'd make time to be at Canterlot for Sunset's return and that she's probably still a princess, but that's it! Does she rule a principality of her own? Has she become the dean of the Canterlot Academy? Has she started ruling Equestria part time, even?

I dunno... "Moons" does seem closer to "months" than years in context (in Apple Family Reunion, 100 moons seemed about eight years on that basis, which seemed about right for the number of reunions AJ seemed to have been at.) So if it's only one 30 moon cycle after EqG, it's only two and a half years later. Definitely long enough to be worried about being stranded in a strange world (and plenty long enough for Shimmer to get her head together) but not so far ahead that I would imagine the circumstances of the Mane Six would have all changed completely drastically. (Though this season may prove me wrong of course...!) Twilight, certainly, quite possibly could have gone on to any or all of the things you suggest in that timeframe.

(Mind you, I'm still sorta hoping we'll be in-show in, what season 6 or 7...!)

A year to a moon would make pony's age somewhat rather heavily into the already-feasible pony exceptional lifespan issue... (It also would make AJ about 300+, which seems stretching it...!)

Who downvoted this? I'd like to go beat some sense into them. :ajbemused:


Two-and-a-half years are still rather a lot. If the CMC are useful as a measuring stick, all of FiM so far probably didn't even cover that much.

I'm really, really reluctant to write about the future of canon. In It's Also About Time, it wasn't that much of an issue because Twilight's disappearance created an alternate timeline anyway, so I had the confidence to just go ahead with my own pet theories about what the Mane Six would be doing by then. For Atonement, I thankfully was able to leave just about everything about the future wide open. I literally have no image of what it looks like apart from what the story shows.


I'm in danger of drifting off into space as it is! Downvotes keep me honest.

That's not a request.

Not bad for a one-shot. Could it keep going somewhere, yes, but you did a nice job of ending it such that it feels complete. In most stories, we still want to know what happens afterward, even if we see the 'afterward', we want to see past that, so it's only natural to say "I want a sequel!", but... It is fine as it is. If you ever feel like you can expand upon this, it would be nice, but for a one-shot, this is quite nice. Great job.

Too bad it's a one shot: it was really wonderful...

You know, that was a very beautiful story. I had always thought that Sunset's failings as a student were actually Celestia's failings as a teacher. It's like Obi-Wan failing Anakin. :fluttershysad:

As for Sunset being in control of her actions and her demon form, one might say that King Sombra infected her with a bit of dark magic when she was just a filly. All for one final act of revenge against Celestia and Luna. Slow in terms of years, but effective. No one could be as vengeful and cunning as him!

I think Sunset and Twilight are gonna get along just fine! :twilightsmile:


"No one could be as vengeful and cunning as him"? Do you represent King Sombra's official fanclub or something? :raritywink:

It would be quite convenient for her to have something big, scary and ondoubtedly evil to point to as the mastermind behind her actions, rather than being stuck not knowing and blaming, for lack of alternatives, herself and herself alone. I don't think I want to be that nice to Sunset Shimmer. It makes for the better story, I would say, for her to not know. There's little more unsettling.

But the truth behind Sunset's actions in Equestria Girls is not my domain. I'm just speculating with the rest of you. The MLP writers may know the full answer and they aren't telling, those magnificant bastards. Maybe Sombra will strike back, from someplace none of us expected, and it will be amazing.

Maybe he'll be more than a cloud with a head that time.

This needs more chapters, its too good to be a one shot. Take my like and favorite.

It'd be pretty nice to see where things went from here, but I wouldn't be upset if the story was left at its conclusion here. Oh, and before I forget:

3842597 We actually have a pretty good measuring stick in Princess Twilight Sparkle. Celestia says this will be the first Summer Sun Celebration she's been able to enjoy. Assuming the SSC is an annual event, it's been one Equestrian year since the pilot.

Now THIS is what the movie needed.


Oh. You're right. It's either that or they skipped a celebration for one reason or another, something they never mentioned. Or Celestia celebrated once without her sister, because Luna was spending time away reconnecting to her magic and recovering her former strength. Or the celebration isn't annual at all, but bi-annual. Not very likely, any of it. So one year currently stands as the most likely by a mile or two.

*frustrated-sounding sound*

3843701 Well, someone has to make Sunset a sympathetic villain. Right? :unsuresweetie:

I had a HUGE rant about this. It's absolutely absurd. There were at least two separate winter episodes between the summer sun celebrations. Episodes divided by summer episodes. So at least two years passed, minimum. Of course, some will argue the winter episodes are chronologically out of order, but at that point you destroy any prospect of linear storytelling anyway.

Chances are they just skipped a summer sun or three. Also, I went through the text of the episode dialogue and there is no definitive statement establishing this summer sun as the first anything.


I'm uninformed and haven't really made up my mind on this subject. Please don't hurt me :applecry:

This is what's often considered the definitive statement (which doesn't mean it is):

Princess Celestia: Citizens of Equestria, it is no longer with a heavy heart but with great joy that I raise the summer sun. For this celebration now represents not the defeat of Nightmare Moon, but the return of my sister, Princess Luna.

:rainbowhuh: - What if Celestia has been opening the Summer Sun Celebration like this for some years now? It moves from town to town, after all, and she may want to keep making this announcement until she's through at least a full rotation, formally introducing Luna to every single Ponyville settlement... That almost makes too much sense...

Hmmm, I want to say that outside factors hindered my reading of this. What were they exactly? Forgiveness Stories. In this fandom, this type of story has been done with every villain (and even the Mane 6 after the Mare Do Well Incident) to the point where whole paragraphs can neatly be switched into other stories, barring names.

The biggest fault of forgiveness stories especially rears its head when the one being forgiven easily succeeds. All conflict is drained from the plot and the reader is just left with the former villain wallowing in their own self-pity.

However, while I didn't enjoy what was written, how you wrote it was done very well. Descriptions are detailed, emotions (though predictable) are given the proper time to be developed and explored.

So, while this story failed to entertain me, your writing style has piqued my interest

3845255 You're right that there's no definitive statement that this is the fist SSC since Nightmare Moon's defeat - but it is strongly implied:

Princess Celestia: I must admit that it is wonderful to actually be looking forward to the Summer Sun Celebration.
Twilight Sparkle: What do you mean?
Princess Celestia: For my subjects, it has always been a celebration of my defeat of Nightmare Moon. But for me... [sighs] It was just a terrible reminder that I'd had to banish my own sister.
Twilight Sparkle: I guess I never really thought about it that way.
Princess Celestia: But now it has become a wonderful reminder of her transformation back into Princess Luna, and our happy reunion.

You're welcome to hold out for a definitive statement of course. Let me just remind you that no one ever said winter only comes once a year either.

3840608 That's what "fanfiction" is, you know. Make all that stuff up. You don't need to so explicitly stick to canon.

I would so very much read that story, though. I love this, and I'm quite certain I would love that.

Bravo is all I can say. You write a very good Sunset Shimmer.


Look, the reason I decry the "one year" theory is because it's stupid. There's no better way to say it: it's stupid. It compresses Twilight's journey into an absurdly short length of time, and given that most of the adventures happen in what can be considered the summer, most of MLP literally occurs over a five month span.

That's asinine.

So, here is my question: why would you choose to embrace a theory that makes the series worse? This is literally MLP's Jar Jar Binks, but unlike Lucas' poor fans, we have a choice: we can read these lines in a way that doesn't result in a mind numbing conclusion.

This was a beautiful Sunset Shimmer one-shot. :heart:


It's something of an asspull, but assuming that Celestia has been giving the same speech at different cities is really the only way you could otherwise construe that statement, as we know for a fact that the Summer Sun Celebration takes place once a year.

Point 1) The Summer Sun Celebration is a summer solstice festival. It takes place on

the longest day of the year.

Mayor Mare

Point 2) Nightmare Moon was to escape her banishment

on the longest day of the thousandth year.

Predictions and Prophecies

Point 3) The Summer Sun Celebration that Twilight Sparkle was to oversee was

the thousandth year of the Summer Sun Celebration.

Twilight Sparkle

Neither I, nor anyone I know of, has ever transformed from a magical unicorn into an alicorn princess. Twilight's journey took however long Twilight's journey took and none of us can say whether that was a realistic amount of time or not.

Now let's examine your position. As you say, FiM has two winter episodes. There's also two definitive summer episodes, one definitive fall episode and two other episodes (Applebuck Season, Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000) which should occur in the fall. If we assume that the episodes aren't shown in anachronistic order and Equestria's seasons match our own we get: Friendship is Magic (summer), Applebuck Season (fall), Winter Wrap Up (winter), Fall Weather Friends (fall), Hearth's Warming Eve (winter), Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 (fall), Princess Twilight Sparkle (summer). That's a minimum of three years, and four to five would be more plausible.

How then do you explain the Cutie Mark Crusaders? They certainly haven't aged years since the show began - in fact they've shown so little growth it calls my one year theory into question. The one year theory also matches up with the observed number of birthdays and other annual celebrations we've seen over the course of the show - nopony has had more than one birthday, no annual celebration has been shown more than once, nor have any of these been mentioned as occurring offscreen.

That the show thus far has taken place over the course of a single year is the best explanation of available evidence. As such it is neither "stupid" or "asinine".

I agree, the only show I can think of where the 'one year' theory annoys me more than in MLP is Pokémon. Seriously, in the movie short Pikachu and Pichu (short episode that plays before Pokémon 3: The Movie), which occurs in GEN 2, Ash and Co. have a party at the end celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Ash meeting Pikachu, which means he's 11 at that point. But then, in the first episode of GEN 5, the narrator says Ash is 10. :ajbemused:


She was truckloads of fun to write, that's for sure!


I would counter that we might well be suffering from "Foxtrot Syndrome" where the characters are locked in temporal limbo for audience purposes rather than any internal logic. So named as the characters in the newspaper comic Foxtrot have been the same age for over a decade, despite numerous holiday strips and suchlike.

That said, the cutie mark crusaders are... honestly a fantastic argument. I had not considered them. This is... vexatious in the extreme.

Time to blame M. A. Larson again.

This was a really nice read. I really do hope they bring Sunset Shimmer back at some point for some redemption on the show. She has a lot of potential and it would be great to see more of her backstory besides the blurb in the comic.

This is the first fic featuring Sunset Shimmer that I've ever read, and I have to say, I think you provided an excellent first impression. She definitely comes across as a much more complex, almost unpredictable character, and I was rather moved by how you worked with that antagonistic nature of hers. It's not that she just a bitch who likes to hurt others, but rather that she almost has a compulsion to be contrarian, or to challenge the implications of everything laid before her. I don't see that dynamic very often, and I found it very intriguing.

Overall, a very, very interesting read, well worth a fave! Cheers! :twilightsmile:


It can be fiendishly hard for me to explain or describe why characters act a certain way in my story. Sunset Shimmer is no exception. You've hit the nail on the head much better than I've managed so far.

Oh gosh, I held off on reading this because its a one shot, not a lot of story (as is the nature of one-shots), slice of life (nothing interesting happens), and rated everyone (more indication of boring). I broke down a read it anyway.

Alright, I guess everything I said, along with the assumptions. However, you set yourself up for some amazing continuation of the story. Don't be afraid to deviate from what is cannon either.

Just know, if you do continue writing from what you started in this, I will read it.


"Alright, I guess everything I said, along with the assumptions." Did you accidentally some words, or am I just that tired right now... Do you retract everything you said, or did you confirm it? I mean, you sound fairly pleased, so it should be the former... :trixieshiftleft:

Thank you either way for giving me a chance!

Atonement is Slice of Life mainly because it's none of the other stuff. Other repositories utilize a "Normal" category, but fimfiction doesn't; the Slice of Life category seems to be expected to pick up the slack, since it encompasses all stories that are not outright Adventures or fit any of the other categories. As a result, sole-category Slice of Life can be just about anything, including occasionally interesting. That's just a quirk of the way the site categorizes things.

(I'm sure a more conscientious rating agency would have objected to the mention of Sunset Shimmer drinking alcohol and imposed a Teen rating, so I really basically cheated by marking it Everyone, depending on the viewpoint.)

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