• Published 12th Apr 2014
  • 2,754 Views, 84 Comments

Shimmering On - DerpyStarlet



Sunset Shimmer used to have the whole school in her hand. She can manage without that power... right? The elements want her to learn friendship, but she can't decide if she's being forced or if she is actually learning friendship.

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The Method In Magic

I look around myself, a familiar black expanse stretching for, what seems like, an endless amount of space in any direction. It warms me, comforts me in the way only it can. I allow myself to tip back and fall, only to slowly float onto what feels like a soft cushion. As I slowly press into the cushion, beams of rainbow light fly out and float up like a breeze is pushing them. The lights condense into a single white ball. As I reach towards the ball it moves away quickly and explodes in a rush of purple that twists and turns in the air to make a brief diamond shape before swirling into letters.

G.E.N.E.R.O.S.I.T.Y.

I mouth each letter silently and then whisper the word silently with a smile. The word seems to break into tiny crystalline pieces against the black background and eventually fades away. I slowly allow my eyes to close in contentment, the darkness calming my nerves from all the former days stressors.

~~~~~~~

Darkness. Soothing, comforting, darkness. And... a light. Darn, I had that dream again. It felt... different, though. No matter what the dream was, though, I can't remember a lick of it. Just vague sensations associated to even vaguer concepts, and what good does that do me?

I do feel more rested than normal though, for some reason... probably the spa treatments effects. They were very relaxing before and after, especially after the events of yesterday. Some of which I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around, specifically the events surrounding Philomena. They were amazing and great, sure... but also really sobering. Sobering in the fact that not only do I have magic available to me, but I'm the only thing in possibly the entire world with magic. And along with being a beautiful thing, this could be potentially disastrous in any amount of ways. Especially seeing as I can't really predict or control when or what it does... not really anyways.

There did, however, seem to be some method to the madness. For instance, I was distraught about losing Philomena, so it did what it could to make her unlost. I wanted to save Trixie, but I realized I wasn't quick enough to escape the bear with both of us alone, so it fixed this with teleportation. And in the fight with Dash, if Trixie is to be believed, I needed distance from Dash and my magic supplied it. All instances different, but something must connect them. The former two are extremes, pure feeling driving my actions. But... the last one isn't. I didn't want to fight Dash, not entirely. That's not to say I hadn't expected or took steps to stop the fight, it just sorta... happened.

Thus I'm left with a dilemma. What's the connection in all this? As far as I can tell? Nothing, but that doesn't do me any good... Okay, so there's a reason, just an unknown one. Now I just need to find out more, and I can't do that from my bed. I heave myself out of bed and groan, despite feeling better about the morning.

I look at the clock on my phone and nearly jump at the time. I'm never this rested at five, I'm never this rested whenever I wake up hours from now. What’s happening? I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I continue to pinch until I draw blood, I gasp and quickly raise my tiny wound to my mouth. I suck up the blood and head to the sink to wash it. The blood recedes quickly and I don’t even bother with a bandaid. It’ll be fine, I’ve been through so much worse.

I look at my phone idly and then look outside, it’s still pretty dark. I grab my jacket and lock the door.

~~~~~~~

“Sunset?” I sigh at the sound of my name. Can't I just walk in peace without running into someone I know? I turn to find Rarity walking towards me, I sigh and turn away. "Are you going to ignore me?" She asks, somewhat hesitantly. I sigh once more and turn slightly.

"No." I tell her, she places herself besides me and we continue walking.

"I didn't expect to see you out here." Rarity says.

"I kinda expected to see you. I had hoped I wouldn't, but a small part of me knew I would." I tell her.

"You knew?" She asks, a little startled.

"Not you specifically, just one of you five." I clarify.

"How did you know?" She asks.

"I can't seem to leave the house without running into someone I know." I grumble.

"That's... uncanny." Rarity admits.

"It's annoying." I tell her, she nods in understanding.

"I almost didn't recognize you if it weren't for the hair. It just... didn't seem like something you'd wear." I look down at the clothing in question and recognize why. I'm wearing the jacket I had, not too long ago, neglected to wear on account of it's color. It's my bright pink hoodie, that I can't even fathom why I still have it. But, the other choice was the jacket from flash. I may be more accepting of other people in my life, but I'm not too keen on getting to know flash more.

"I'm not sure I like it either. But it's comfy." I tell her.

"Oh, no doubt, it certainly looks it." Rarity agrees, nodding her head vigorously. We continue walking in silence before I decide to ask the question burning on the tip of my tongue.

"Why are you out here, Rarity?" I ask, under the assumption the world didn't just tell her to go to the park with the specific task of meeting me.

"I come here from time to time early in the morning, or sometimes later in the evening. I like to watch the sunset, or even the sunrise, to give me inspiration." She says. I just look over to her, she seems to realize what she's said. "Oh, right. Well, I assure you I didn't come here to watch you."

"I didn't think you did." I say with a wave of my hand to dismiss the notion.

"Right, well... why are you here?" Rarity asks.

"I dunno. It just felt like the thing to do." I reply with a shrug.

"Sunset? Have you ever considered that instead of some force guiding us to intercept you, some force is guiding you towards us?" I pause at that. I hadn't, but that idea seems to make a lot more sense. "Just a thought. That is to say, if there even is any force guiding anyone." Rarity continues. There is, it's guiding me. It's called harmony, and I don't like it. I don't hate it, but I certainly don't like it.

"Yeah..." I answer absently.

"Are you ready for Manhattan?" She asks.

"Just about as ready as I'll get." I tell her.

"You all packed?"

"I dunno, exactly how many days are we staying?"

"Three or four." She says.

"I'll need to do some laundry. I'll probably do that today." I tell her, shrugging.

"You can come by and do laundry, if you want." Rarity offers, I feel the heat rising to my cheeks indignantly. I would argue about how I don't need help, but I clearly do.

"Yeah, Thanks." I say through grit teeth.

"Well, don't sound too excited, Darling." Rarity says with a roll of her eyes. I sigh, I shouldn't be exasperated at her. She's just trying to help me, and here I am getting frustrated.

"Sorry." I mutter, Rarity turns to me curiously.

"Pardon?" She asks, sounding slightly shocked.

"I said Sorry, Okay? Don't sound so shocked about it." I grumble.

"Do forgive me darling, but it will take a while for me to get used to the new you. The old Sunset never apologized. Believe me, I like the new you much better." Rarity says.

"It's not like I've changed much. I still yell at you." I tell her.

"Oh contrare! You've changed a lot. Yes, you still have your rough edges, but you wouldn't quite be, well... you, without them." Rarity says with a shrug.

"I guess." I reply, disinterested in arguing.

"Sunset? Are you alright?" Rarity asks in concern.

"Why shouldn't I be?" I snap.

"Well, it's just that... I know it's hard for you to adjust. And it's not really in your nature to be friendly, but you're trying. I just can't help but think that it might be a bit much for you..." Rarity says, wringing her hands daintily.

"Are you saying I can't handle making friends?" I question.

"Er... a bit, Actually. Yes." Rarity says. I sigh and look at my feet.

"At least you're honest." I can feel the awkwardness present in the silent. I break the pregnant pause before it becomes unbearable. "You're not wrong. I'm not used to friends. I'm not used to caring." I shrug and kick a rock idly. Our progress has completely stopped, a tree above hiding us from the moon's light. A nearby streetlight giving our backs dim light.

"Surely you cared about something. Even if it was just yourself." Rarity says hesitantly.

"Heh, you'd think. With jealousy as my motive, I must have been narcissistic. But, not exactly. I never felt as if I deserved anything I got. But I couldn't stand the thought of anybody else getting them. The crowns? That wasn't me celebrating myself. That was me cutting everyone else down. I would be lying if I hadn't lied to myself about my own importance more than once... but, I never truly believed in myself." I stop talking abruptly, realizing what I've said. Why would I tell her that, she didn't ask Please.

"Sunset...?" Rarity asks hesitantly.

"I'm fine."

"But-"

"I'm FINE."

"Please, I want to-" I turn towards her and shove my face close to hers.

"Do NOT use that word." Rarity takes a single step back, cowering slightly. She nods briefly and I turn away bitterly, my mood soured. "I'm fine." I'm not sure why I said it again, I think my points pretty clear by now. The only person that needs convincing is me...

~~~~~~~

"Sunset!" I groan at the sound of Pinkie Pies voice. Rarity wouldn't, would she?

"Sunset, Rarity invited us." Applejack announces as all the girls round the corner to the laundry room.

I don't have a whole lot in the way of worldly possessions. But that goes double for clothes. A measly load and I've already got all my laundry done. I'm in the process of folding it. Rarity had thankfully left me alone while I washed my clothes. It's only now that I realise she quite literally left me alone, in her house.

"Sunset, we're concerned." Rarity speaks up.

"Speak for yourself." Rainbow huffs.

"Rainbow, shut it." Applejack says, turning to Rainbow. I tune out their conversation as I notice a pink-haired figure approaching me.

"I like your jacket, Sunset." I soften at her voice.

"Thanks, flutters." I say with a sigh.

"It's no problem. Sorry we came, I didn't want you to have to talk if you don't want to." She says.

"Don't apologize, it's not your fault." I tell her. "I'm just not all that keen on talking about myself."

"Sorry then. Do you want us to go?" I think on it. I almost say yes.

"No." I say instead. "No, I don't. Just... don't try to interrogate me." I tell her.

"Oh, I wouldn't think of it. Right girls?" Fluttershy turns to the side. It's only then that I realize they've stopped their own bickering to listen to us.

"But we still have to talk about-" Rarity starts to say. She stops suddenly and I don't realize why until I look to the side.

"Right, girls?" Fluttershy has the four of them all fixated in a stern stare. One that seemingly cripples the will of mortals and is absolute.

"Y-yes." Rarity finally stammers out. Fluttershy relaxes and the rest of the girls relax to. I think I'm too scared of that to question it, so I just return to folding my clothes. “So… about the trip?” Rarity ventures. Fluttershy doesn’t confront her, so she continues. “I do have to attend the fashion show, and then there’s the musical, but that still leaves a lot of leftover time. Is there anything you girls wanna do?” Rarity asks.

“I dunno. I’d kinda like to visit my aunt and uncle while we’re there. But I don’t want to impose nothin’ on ya girls.” Applejack says.

“Of course, Applejack. I’d love to meet your family.” Rarity says.

“And I’m sure they’d love to meet you…” Applejack mutters.

“What was that dearie?”

“Nothin’” Applejack says, waving it off. I blink suddenly. I’ve never seen Applejack lie so efficiently. I’ve never seen Applejack lie.

“Well, that still leaves the rest of you.” She says, turning to them.

“Rainbow, don’t you-” Fluttershy starts.

“Pass.” Rainbow Dash cuts Fluttershy off.

“But-”

“I said pass. I’m good with whatever you girls want to do.” Rainbow finishes. Fluttershy cowers slightly, and I resist the urge to scold Rainbow Dash. I do, however, turn to comfort Fluttershy. She gives me a small smile of assurance and wrings her hands anxiously. What doesn’t Rainbow want us to know?

What a hypocrite! To think that they’re trying to dissect my life when they’re just as secretive about their own lives. Well, if they insist on confronting me, this can go both ways.

“Do you need any help packing Sunset?” I snap out of my thoughts in aggravation, turning to Rarity viciously.

“I’M FINE,” I seethe, she nods quickly and I collect all my clothes in my arms. “I’m going. I still have to pack this stuff.”

“Sunset.” I sigh at Fluttershy’s voice behind me.

“Please, don’t try and stop me. I just want to go.” I say, my voice strained.

“I… uh… I won’t. I was just gonna say you dropped this.” I turn and see a slip of paper. still slightly damp. I look at it questioningly before I recognize it. It’s that piece of paper from that girl. I still have plenty of questions for her. I take it from Fluttershy and open it slowly, checking to see if it was salvageable. It isn’t.

“Thanks Fluttershy.” I nevertheless stuff the damp paper into my pocket and pick my clothes back up, placing them in the small hamper I originally brought my clothes over here with. I head straight for the door to Rarity’s house and don’t look back.

“Sunset Shimmer!” I freeze at the sound of Trixie’s voice and follow its source all the way down the path to Rarity’s house. Trixie is standing on the opposite edge of Rarity’s lawn.

“Trixie.” I say neutrally, not really wanting to have to deal with a nuisance like this.

“You think that your magic is so great, but Trixie has you beaten now.”

“Hows that?” I ask disinterestedly.

“This.” I gasp and nearly drop my laundry basket. Trixie is holding an impossibility in her hands. Trixie has the Alicorn amulet.

“What is that?” I turn to see Pinkie and the others looking at Trixie curiously.

“That’s the Alicorn Amulet. A magical artifact of immense power.” I tell them.

“So you are familiar with it? Behold as I single-handedly become the strongest magic user ever!” Trixie places the amulet on her neck and i wait for something to happen. I wait a long time.

“I think it’s a dud.” Pinkie whispers. Of course, why would the actual Alicorn amulet be here in the human world? I sigh as Trixie gets mad.

“This can’t be! It’s supposed to be powerful!” Trixie pulls the amulet off. “This is not the last you have seen of the great and powerful Trixie!” Trixie throws down a smoke bomb and I cough and wave away the smoke.

“Wow, I’m really glad that amulet didn’t give her the magical power to beat Sunset and force her to leave town, only for her to come back and use the power of friendship to trick Trixie into giving up the amulet and teaching her a valuable lesson.” Pinkie comments.

“I’m glad that oddly specific thing didn’t happen as well.” Rarity agrees.

I look back towards where Trixie dropped the amulet and I see a hand lean down and pick it up. It’s her, the girl with the poem.

“Hey! You!” I exclaim, running over to her. She doesn’t run she just holds her ground.

“Well, isn’t that rude. No, hello? No, how are you? Just hey? I’d say hay is for horses, but that isn’t as funny considering your situation.” She comments.

“How do you know about that?” I skid to a stop in front of her.

“How indeed.” She replies. “The how isn’t important. I was just responding to a sighting, I’ve got what I came here for.”

“The fake Alicorn Amulet?” I ask.

“Fake? oh, no. I wish. It’d be so much easier to contain.” she says. “Anyways, I have to go. Please don’t follow me.” I feel my legs freeze up as soon as she steps away from me. I grit my teeth at her. Did she do that on purpose? Does she know?

“Sunset, who was that?” Rarity asks.

“And what did she want with the dud?” Pinkie asks.

“And-” I cut rainbow off with a yell.

“I don’t know, Okay!?” I huff and turn around abruptly, grabbing my laundry basket. “I’m going home.” I say bitterly. I can’t deal with anymore ridiculousness right now.

“Sunset, are you okay?” Fluttershy asks, stepping directly in my way. I tense at the confrontation, I’ve never known Fluttershy to be confrontational. Ever. Where was this confidence when I was bullying her?

“I’m fine.” I insist, trying to push my way past her.

“Sunset, please.” I freeze at the sound of that word, waiting patiently for the rest of the sentence. I wait for Fluttershy to ask what’s wrong, and for me to answer. I wait for the curse to take effect, for the curse to decide for me. When the rest of the request doesn’t come I glance up to Fluttershy.

“Y-yes?” I ask.

“I’m not going to force you, Sunset… But we all care.” Fluttershy says simply before stepping aside. I stop and look at Fluttershy briefly, staring down at myself in surprise. I consider telling her, I sincerely do. Instead I find myself walking away briskly with my laundry. I chide myself, but I don’t turn back. Maybe it’s for the best.

Author's Note:

So sorry! This one took way too long! Hopefully the next chapter takes much less time. Like, a couple months less...
the short of it was life. and a little bit of procrastination.