• Published 11th May 2014
  • 8,281 Views, 406 Comments

The Shimmer of Magic - Hakuno



Sunset Shimmer is stuck again in the human world. Struggling with the consequences of her actions, she must redeem herself with the help of five girls and a very interested magician.

  • ...
24
 406
 8,281

7. Behind the Scenes and Bloopers

Chapter 7. Behind the Scenes and Bloopers.

Sunset woke up in the darkness at the sound of her alarm clock. She instinctively slapped the little machine with her left hand, effectively shutting it off. A sigh escaped her lips, as she put her arm on her forehead and stared at the ceiling. It had been another dreamless night. Ever since the Fall Formal, she hadn't dreamed. She would close her eyes at night, and almost immediately wake up in the morning, with nothing but a black screen on her mind.

And for some reason, that didn't seem to help her get enough rest.

She sat up and brushed the tiredness out of her eyes. At least she wasn't having nightmares that would ultimately force her to redeem herself in order to stop them. She could survive with black screens, not that she remembered any dream after the first seconds of being awake anyway.

She scratched idly the back of her head and made her usual morning routine: Have breakfast, brush teeth, change clothes, admire her astounding and natural beauty in a mirror, and go to CHS.

Sunset lived fairly far from the high school; she needed to walk ten minutes to a bus stop, travel about forty minutes in the bus, and then other twenty minutes of slow walk to the school grounds. And even so, she usually got pretty early, about half an hour before classes begun, which gave her a really good amount of time to study or prepare her blackmails of the day. Only that now, she just wanted to use that time to sit next to the statue and lean on its surface.

For some reason, she was very comfortable there. Perhaps it was because that was the closest she could get to Equestria.

She let out a long sigh and watched the sky change its last dark blue hues to a bright, light blue as the sun raised above the horizon. That was other thing she had problems getting used to in the human world: The sun and moon moving on their own. But she had learned to just ignore it. She rested her arms crossed on her knees, and then her forehead on her arms. Maybe she could make a research work of this alternate world and become the most renowned researcher slash scientist in pony history. She closed her eyes and smiled.

As time passed, she could hear more and more students chatting and walking to the school. At first, it was aahs and oohs at the entrance being completely repaired. But then, she started to hear muttering as they begun to notice her. She couldn't quite understand what they were saying, but she could imagine.

She opened her eyes and in a smooth movement stood up. Suddenly, about fifty students that were staring at her turned around and continued to enter the school. Sunset raised an eyebrow. So the silent treatment huh. How childish. And with that, she walked to the school.

She eyed the big wall clock in the hall and smiled. She still had ten full minutes to get to her first class.

But, after only a few steps, she started to feel uneasy. The students were getting away from her, that alone shouldn't be something different, but unlike when she ruled the school, when they were afraid of her, this time around they weren't afraid, they were mad at her. Breathing slowly, Sunset tried to just ignore them, but the halls were strangely cold as she felt more and more stares upon her. Stares like daggers, trying to dig holes in her, to make her disappear.

She focused on her peripheral vision, and could easily see the students with big frowns, still muttering amongst themselves, staring at her, always staring. She suddenly felt really cold, and cursed herself for not bringing one of her many jackets. She embraced herself and rubbed her hands against her biceps. And that's when she started to hear them.

"She's a monster."

"Bitch."

"Why isn't she in prison?"

"Principal Celestia must pity her. I know I do."

They weren't speaking loudly, in fact, they were trying not to be heard by Sunset, but she could hear them very clearly, and every word felt like a stab in her heart.

"She's got guts to return here."

"I bet she thinks she can threaten us again. How stupid."

"I'd like to break that pretty face of hers."

"Do it, no one will stop you."

Sunset lowered her head and scrunched her nose as the corner of her lips started to shiver. What was happening? She never had cared of what others said of her. Why it was now affecting her so suddenly? She tried to keep her slow breathing, to remain calm, to hide her emotions. But, for some reason, it was getting really hard to do it.

"She's a monster."

"Monster."

"Monster."

"Monster."

"Monster…" Sunset said under her breath. She had reached her locker when the word finally sunk in. And before she could try to dismiss the thought, she noticed that there was something written with black, thick marker on her locker door. It was a single word: Monster.

Her hand started to shiver, losing its hold on the padlock. "Monster…" She repeated, and tears started to form on the corner of her eyes. Why was it affecting her so much? Everyone had hated her since the day she decided to rule the school, what was different now? Why? Was it because of the Elements? They had to have something to do with this. Those damned Elements! And that damned Twilight Sparkle!

"Hey Sunset, you ok?"

Sunset turned her head so fast that she could hear a pop coming from her neck. Trixie was in front of her, and she looked genuinely concerned. "Ah… Uh… Yes…" She answered, rubbing her nose and frowning a little. "I think I'm getting sick. 'S all." She even faked a nasal sound. Somehow, her acting helped her calm herself, if just a little. "What do you want?"

Fortunately, Trixie seemed to buy it. "Nothing, I just saw you and thought to say hi, you know, 'cause we're working together."

"Technically," Sunset said, raising a finger. "You are working for me, not with me."

Trixie offered a mocking grin. "I'm working for the brothers, not for you."

Sunset rolled her eyes, opening her locker to retrieve a notebook and a pen. "Whatever." she slammed the door and turned to her left, walking past Trixie. "See you after class."

Trixie tried to stop her, but Sunset was already gone. "That was… weird…" She said to herself. The sound of muttering came to her ears, and she turned her head, only to see the students incredibly failing to hide the fact that they had been staring at her. Trixie felt uneasy, but decided to ignore them. She shrugged and turned around, but before she started to walk to her own class, she caught something out of the corner of her eye. It was Sunset's locker, and the word written on it. Trixie frowned. "Ah, I see…"

~~~~~~~~

Classes were uneventful, thankfully. Even if all her classmates tried to throw daggers at her with their gazes only, Sunset could easily find shelter within her mind, just focusing on the class itself. The few teachers that actually turned to look at her were very confused, as if trying to believe that the events of the Fall Formal were just a really weird dream. Not that Sunset complained, of course.

As the bell rang and the halls were filled up with noisy students, Sunset made her way to her locker, trying her best to go unnoticed. Half the time she was successful; there was at least one good thing of not bringing her usual black jacket; many students had troubles recognizing her. The other half though, she had troubles ignoring the stares and the whispers. The death wishes.

A heavy sigh escaped her mouth when she reached her locker, unsurprisingly, there were more insults written on it. She didn't even know the meaning of half of them, or at least, not entirely. She opened it and put in her stuff. She paused a moment to look at the notes that covered the walls within. All of them reminding her of people to blackmail, people to threaten, people that was easy to let out some frustration with, amongst other things. She quietly took them one by one, slowly stacking them between her fingers. Once she was done, she tucked the notes into one of her pockets, deciding to get rid of them later.

She stepped back and closed her locker. She had to put a hand on her mouth to suppress a scream, but she let out a loud gasp nonetheless when she saw her ex-boyfriend standing mere inches away from her, staring at her eyes with a big frown. "Damn it, Flash!" She yelled, pushing him backwards a few inches. "You almost scared me to death!" She put a hand on her chest and sighed, and then she looked at him with a small grin and a really big frown. "You've been waiting all your life to do that, haven't you?"

Flash shrugged and offered her a nonchalant smile. "You know me, I love movie clichés."

Sunset passed a hand over her hair and sighed again. "Alright, what do you want?"

"I've been searching for Twilight and-"

"Ok, stop right there." Sunset held a hand in front of Flash to effectively silence him. "I don't know if you noticed, but…" She turned her head to look at her locker door, and Flash looked too. "I'm CHS' brand new men-eating monster." That last word came out more as a whisper than anything. And for a moment, Sunset hesitated to continue. But she pressed her lips and looked at Flash again. "I don't know where your new girlfriend is, and even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you." She decided to lie, partly because there were students around and she didn't want them to think she was crazy, and partly because she liked that sad expression on Flash.

Flash sighed and looked away for a moment. "You too like movie clichés."

"Heh…" Sunset quickly scratched her nose. "You're not going to warm my heart with namby-pamby talking, y'know." She stepped back a little. "Listen, Twilight is gone, and for good. So you better forget her and stop bothering me with that." And without waiting for him to answer, she turned around and quietly disappeared around a corner.

~~~~~~~~

Sunset made her way through the very pissed off students and to the gym. She pushed open the door and closed it behind her. "What the…" She muttered as she saw what Trixie had built there.

There was a metallic structure in the ceiling made of what seemed like rails, its shape reminded Sunset to one of those interconnected highways the humans did. It was like a gray clover. One of its sides was longer, going all the way to the stage where Trixie was, using a ladder to reach it. "What is this? Some kind of illusion with lights?"

Trixie chuckled a little but said nothing. She was doing something up there, but Sunset couldn't quite see what exactly. When Trixie finished, or at least it seemed like she finished, she leaned back a little, and a rope fell free all the way down, just an inch away from the platform. At the end of the rope, there was a stirrup. Or at least it looked like a stirrup. "You must know something, Sunset." Trixie said, getting down the ladder. "There are illusions that require a hell lot more things than others. This one," She motioned to the weird structure in the ceiling. "Requires distraction, light playing, sound playing, and a certain level of fascination on the audience's part to work."

"So I take it this is your master piece?" Trixie nodded. "How's it work?"

Trixie took the ladder and put it in a far corner, where she had more of her props stacked upon each other. She moved some of them and retrieved a big roll of paper. "Take a look at this." She handled it to Sunset. "I know you're quite good at math. So I figured you'd understand better the plans than an explanation."

Sunset unfolded the plans and read the equations. She took a few minutes to read it carefully. To her surprise, it was very simple, yet at the same time, it was really impressive what Trixie had done. "You sure it's gonna work?" She asked, unable to hide a spark of genuine interest.

"I know it will work." Trixie said, walking past Sunset and getting to the center of the gym. "The space isn't really big, so I had to ah, remake the plans quite a few times last night." She scratched idly one of her hands before rising it and pointing to the right wall. "I'll need you to put the dry ice there…" She turned around and pointed to the left wall. "…And there. The key phrase is 'my last illusion'."

Sunset raised an eyebrow. "Oh yeah? When did I become your assistant?"

"Don't play shy with me, Sunset." Trixie teased with a smirk. "You are dying to be my pretty assistant."

Sunset let out a very loud chuckle and offered a big smile to Trixie. "Don't get your hopes so high, little filly." She said, and almost instantly shut her mouth. What did I just say?!

"Filly?" Trixie asked with a chuckle of her own. "You sure have a funny way to talk, when you're not giving orders." She said and snatched the plans from Sunset's hands. "Come, we've got a lot to do to prepare the show." And with that, she walked to the scenario.

"Sure…" Sunset said and slowly followed her. And here I thought I got rid of the pony argot… That was so close. Good thing she thought it was a joke. She cleared her throat as she approached the rope. "Ok, show me how it works."

"Right…" Trixie muttered to herself, passing her right foot through the stirrup, she held the rope tight to make it easy. "So, the rope is just for testing and practice," She said, pulling it a few times to check its resistance. "In the show I'll use another material so it's virtually invisible unless you search for it." She giggled a little and looked at Sunset. "Though even so, it'll be hard to be spotted due to the lights and dry ice."

Sunset crossed her arms and just waited for Trixie to continue. "This here is the remote control for the mechanism." She said, showing a weird array of metallic wires connected from the tip of the fingers of her left hand to some kind of rectangular device attached to her wrist. "I just need to move my fingers the right way, the wires pull or push the small levers here…" She slowly moved down her index finger, and as she did so, the rope started to move upwards, and with it, Trixie elevated at least 3 feet. "And I'm magically flying!"

"Like a bird." Sunset teased with a bored expression.

Trixie crossed her free leg on the other and crossed her arms in front of her, offering a big frown. At that, Sunset actually had to step back a little and lean her head. And after a few seconds, Sunset finally realized what Trixie was doing.

Using only the strength of her right leg, and an incredible balance, Trixie was maintaining herself in the air without even holding from the rope. And if Sunset used her imagination and erased the obvious rope going all the way behind Trixie and to the ceiling, it actually looked like Trixie was levitating. She hesitantly pointed a finger to the magician and soundlessly moved her mouth until a word finally made its way out. "How?" Was the only thing she could say.

Trixie produced a very proud and satisfied smile from ear to ear. The trick wasn't even half way complete, Sunset knew how it worked, and even so, she was amazed. Yes, that was exactly the reason she had always wanted to be a magician. "Practice, my dear. Practice, and being sent to artistic gymnastics classes."

She decided to wait until Sunset stopped gaping to start her real practice. Trying not to move her arms, she started to play slowly with the mechanism in her hand. The rope started to move to the center of the rail, taking Trixie to the middle of the gym. Sunset followed her with her gaze, noticing how Trixie was still crossing arms and legs. "You know," She started to say, turning slowly to Sunset. "When my parents enrolled me to gymnastics, it was an attempt to make me forget about the 'magic nonsense'." She chuckled. "Little did they know it'd only help me develop this one magic trick."

"Your parents sound like idiots."

"I understand them." Trixie said, returning to the scenario. "But that doesn’t mean I'll abandon my dream just because they don't agree." She carefully moved her fingers to control the rope while talking, until she could safely jump down to the platform. She then used her other hand to click a small button to turn the thing off. "Come," she sighed a little, but almost instantly she put up a happy face. "I'll tell you how things are done here. If you are to be the best assistant, you might wanna learn from the best magician."

Sunset snorted with a small laugh and rolled her eyes. "And I am full of myself."

"Pfft, what fun there is in being humble? People will hate you anyways."

"Isn't your goal to be loved instead of hated?" Sunset asked with genuine surprise. "Or am I missing something important in the magical world of magic?"

Trixie moved her index to the sides in negative response. "My goal is to amaze everyone. I don't care if they hate me or love me, I don't care if they believe in magic or not; all I care about is them to be awed by my illusions. I only want to see that spark of fascination in their eyes. I want to hear the silence in the audience when the illusion sinks in; the following gasp when they collectively react, and finally, the applause and praise." She said, and she kept smiling to herself all the time she was talking. "That is what really matters to me, nothing else."

There was a moment of silence as the girls looked at each other. For a few, brief seconds, nothing happened, but it quickly became a little unsettling to Sunset, who decided to say something before it started to creep her out. "Yeah," She cleared her throat. "That sounds pretty good. So, what am I supposed to do? Pretend to be cut in half?"

"Don't be silly," Trixie said with a chuckle. "Everyone knows how that one works." She walked to the pile of things and produced a small piece of paper, and then handing it to Sunset. "Here's the list of all the things we're doing."

Sunset took it and carefully read it. It was a rather long list, and she had to raise her eyebrow many times. When she finished, she just gave Trixie a serious look. "I don't recognize half the things written here, and I don't know how the other half work."

Trixie crossed her arms and produced a face Sunset couldn't quite understand. "We've got a whole week. What, are you telling me you can't do it?"

Putting a hand on her hip and leaning her body, Sunset gave Trixie a look of disbelief. "Do you really think a cheap trick like that will work on me? I only stated a fact. I never said I couldn't do it."

"You didn't say the contrary." Trixie teased with a big grin.

Sunset shortened the space between them in an instant and stared directly at Trixie's eyes with a big frown. From this distance, she noticed that she was just a little bit taller than the magician. "I can learn anything in that list by the end of the week, twice."

Trixie, on her part, kept smiling deviously. She leaned her head to the side, easily fighting Sunset's dominant presence with her own strong gaze. "Prove it." She challenged, and was quickly answered by a short, yet audible snicker.

Both girls kept staring at each other, trying to bring the other down, to dominate the battle of looks. And it was quickly becoming an intense war where the two teams were equally strong. None of them were holding back, nor were they anywhere near to give up. Their eyes started to tremble as their will swords collided once, and sparks ignited from the impact, but not once did they blink, for it'd be a sign of weakness, and therefore, their doom.

There was a knock at the gym door, but went unnoticed. The epic war of stares trading was at its most bloody moment, and even the slightest flinch would signify the end of one of them. The door opened, and for a moment, there was just silence. As the seconds passed, the silence grew more and more unsettling. Both girls knew that there was someone watching them, they could feel their presence, but neither of them dared to try using their peripheral vision, for it'd weaken the force they were putting into their glares.

"So…"

Pinkie Pie?! Sunset thought, and had to grind her teeth to maintain her stare. What is she doing here? No, I don't care, I will just ignore her.

"Are you girls gonna kiss or what?"

At that, Sunset started to choke for a few seconds. Her pupils shrank and her cheeks turned into a bright red, almost the color of her hair. She blinked twice and quickly turned her head to Pinkie, who was innocently smiling at her. She let out a silent gasp and moved her mouth a few times before remembering she could actually speak. But she couldn't say anything, for she was distracted by Trixie, who suddenly raised her arms, pointing to the ceiling. "Yes! I win!"

"Wha-No!" Sunset frowned at Pinkie, and then turned at Trixie. "She distracted me!"

"I can't hear yooouu!" Trixie said in a singing voice while walking away to the gym's entrance. "Gotta get something, I'll be back in a couple of minutes!"

Sunset growled, and the red of her cheeks were now of frustration and anger. "Pinkie Pie!" She yelled and turned at the pink girl with the biggest frown she could make. "What the heck was that?!"

Pinkie casually put a finger on her lips and hummed a little before looking at Sunset again. "You totally lost a stare match."

"I WILL END YOU!" Sunset yelled and charged at Pinkie, she wanted to tackle her, but her vision was filled by a black screen, making her lose her balance and ultimately fall flatly on the floor. "What is this?" She said, noticing that the black screen was actually a piece of cloth.

"A gift!" Pinkie answered happily.

Sunset actually had to stop for a second and feel the touch of the cloth. She knew that feel, she knew it very well. "Is it…" She muttered, and finally decided to take it off her head and take a look.

It was a black leather jacket.

Not only that, it was the most badass-looking black leather jacket she had ever seen. She quickly stood up and in a moment she was already wearing it. "This is…" Apparently, she was unable to say more than two words at a time. But she didn't care. Rarity wasn't lying when she said she understood her lack of fashion sense. "So awesome…" She whispered.

Pinkie entered her field of view and offered her a big grin. "Rarity had to go to work today, so she asked me to find you and give you this."

Sunset embraced herself and turned around, trying her best to hide a small blush from Pinkie. "Thanks." She said, walking to the edge of the scenario. "I really appreciate it."

"No problem!" Pinkie beamed. "Say, wanna hang out with us this weekend? We're going to watch Dashie at her soccer tournament."

A groan escaped Sunset's mouth as she sat down on the platform's edge. "I can't. I'm busy this whole week."

"Helping Trixie with her magic show?"

"What?" Sunset turned her head with a confused gaze. "How do you know about that?"

Pinkie snickered and put a hand on her hip. "It's my job to know that kind of things, silly! Besides, I'm making publicity for it."

"Right." It was easy to forget that Pinkie was actually an incredibly responsible person when it came to parties and shows and the like, and that was the reason why she was always in charge of them. Perhaps Trixie did tell her so it'd be easier for Flim and Flam to enter the school.

"How about next Tuesday?" Pinkie asked after but a moment of silence. "We're going hiking at AJ's farm."

Sunset forced a heavy sigh and dropped her shoulders, showing a defeated posture. "You're not going to stop inviting me to stuff until I accept, right?"

"Mmhm."

Will this torture ever end? Sunset thought before letting out yet another sigh. "Fine, I'll go hiking with ya."

"Yaaaay!" Pinkie yelled excitedly. "I'm gonna tell them! They'll be sooo happy!" She said while bouncing to the gym's door and disappearing from Sunset's view.

"Just what am I getting into?" Sunset muttered to herself, unsure if befriending those girls would actually be beneficial for her. She idly rubbed her new jacket's right sleeve with two fingers. "At least Rarity's being nice, and even though I hate to admit it, Pinkie's obliviousness to my wrongdoings is nice too." She sighed and looked at the ceiling, observing distantly Trixie's mechanism. A warm sensation started to build up in her chest, and she couldn't help but close her eyes for a moment.

Perhaps it wasn't so bad not to be alone.

Author's Note:

So Rainbow Rocks is about to come out! I wonder how many things can I put into this fic...