• Published 13th Jul 2014
  • 9,921 Views, 490 Comments

Mutual Interests - Spirit Shift



After the events of the Fall Formal, Sunset Shimmer has become a solitary recluse due to the entire town hating her. Can the girls bring her out of her shell enough to make amends with the town?

  • ...
20
 490
 9,921

CH15: Just a bump in the road.

That night, Coco, clad in her normal nighttime wear that consisted of a simple white t-shirt and light blue shorts, sat at her work table struggling to focus her mind. Eventually, she sighed and she sat her pencil down. She turned her head to glance out of her window. “It’s nighttime,” she observed.

She turned back to the blank sheet in front of her. Normally, any blank paper that was put in front of her would be filled to the brim with notes or designs in a matter of minutes. “I can’t stop thinking about earlier. I knew that Sunset had done some bad things but was she really that mean in the past?” Coco’s mind wandered through different things that she knew about Sunset. Things that Coco herself had seen to be true.

Sunset was passionate about things that she liked, and she even gave up her position in the contest just to help Rarity and her aunt. Even though Sunset would never admit it herself, she was a very caring person.

However, she was also very secretive, refusing to tell anyone where she lived or, in Coco’s case, anything about herself. Rarity and her friends seemed to know something as well. And there was something else that seemed to always pop up whenever Sunset was the topic.

“Everyone calls her a demon,” Coco muttered. “Even Rainbow Dash said it.” The more she thought about it the more confused she got. Rose said something about magic, but that didn't really make sense to her either. Finally, she simply decided that she would go see Rarity and ask her about everything. Setting everything on her work table in the proper place, Coco got up and headed to bed.

~~~

The very next day after school, Coco informed Rainbow and Sunset that she would be going to see Rarity instead of hanging out with them. Sunset as usual, waved her off indifferently. Rainbow however, also had to go somewhere, though she was hesitant to tell anyone exactly where or why. Sunset suggested that Rainbow had to go get a bunch of her posters and pictures together to be signed.

Once Coco made her way to Rarity’s place the fashionista was more than happy to see her. “Coco, darling! How are you?” Rarity wasted no time in scooping up her fellow designer in a gentle hug. It seemed that Rarity was in the middle of designing something, as she was still wearing her designing glasses. “How is everything going with Sunset? Please tell me that Rainbow is still following the plan?”

Coco returned the hug, as she always did, but looked up in confusion. “Plan? What plan?” asked Coco.

Rarity released the hug and looked down at the shorter girl with a sly smirk. “Why, bonding over the Daring Do visit, of course!”

Gears started turning in Coco’s head. “Did you have something to do with it?”

It was as clear as day on Rarity’s face that she did by the way she was smiling and avoiding eye contact. “The details are unimportant, dear. The simple fact that it’s working should suffice. But enough about that. I assume that you are here for costumes?” Rarity backed up near a set of clothes covered by a blue dressing screen. “Well have no fear I—”

“Well, actually we decided to make our own costumes based on a design on the first book. I just need Rainbow Dash and Sunset’s sizes.

Rarity’s hand paused on the dressing screen, seconds from a dramatic reveal. “Oh… of course!” Rarity’s hand dropped from the screen and her smile turned awkward. “I shall retrieve them for you immediately. Remember, you might still need to adjust for any recent growths.” Rarity turned and began heading upstairs to her design room to retrieve the files.

“Rarity wait!” Coco called, stopping Rarity on the first step. “T-there is another reason why I’m here,” she said, fidgeting nervously.

Rarity turned around completely to face her, curious as to what could make her friend so hesitant. Finally Coco continued. “Why does everyone call Sunset a demon? Exactly what did she do to everyone?”

Rarity sighed and removed her glasses. She knew that Coco would start asking questions sooner or later; questions that couldn’t simply be answered with vague responses. Rarity had hoped that Sunset would be the one to tell her. “Well, I suppose that it’s about time you knew. Please know that it was entirely my idea to keep this from you. Please do not blame Sunset.” Coco nodded and Rarity led her into the kitchen where Rarity quickly prepared some tea for them to talk over.

Coco started first. “I met Rose and her friends the other day.” Rarity’s grip tightened on her cup at the sound of the girl’s name. “They told me that Sunset was a bad person who had tormented everyone for years.”

Rarity calmed herself and took a sip. “Yes, I will not deny that Sunset’s actions weren't anything to smile over, even now.”

“W-what did she do to you?” Coco asked hesitantly.

Rarity, intent on being completely honest nodded and thought back to the various things that happened. “Well Sunset did a few things. She sabotaged most of my dresses for one. Anytime that I would enter into a competition against her, she’d figure out that it was the way to ruin my chances. But I suppose that the worst thing that she did was turn me against my friends.”

Coco gasped. “How?”

“Somehow she got a hold of our numbers and emails and sent incriminating messages to each of us while impersonating the others. By the time all was said and done none of us wanted to talk with one another to resolve the issues. I’m certain that Sunset did the same thing to others besides us as well. Luckily, someone helped us realize what was happening before anyone said anything that couldn’t be forgiven.”

Coco nodded, having a tough time taking all of that in. When people said that Sunset had done bad things, she imagined typical bullying scenarios like harassment and name calling. Coco was no stranger to being bullied so it was pretty easy to imagine. “So how did she destroy part of the school?”

“Well that one is a little more recent. You see, after a series of events— you’ll have to ask Sunset for the complete details since I barely understand it myself— Sunset quite literally turned into a raging she-demon. This is why you keep hearing that word.”

Coco cocked her head in confusion. “A raging she-demon?”

Rarity had to smile at the image. “Oh you know. Icky red skin and dark eyes. Almost like something from a fantasy book. I know that it sounds odd, but it’s all true. Something to do with magic, but again It’s not my place to say. Sunset will have to be the one to tell you when she’s ready. When she was like this, she used her magic to destroy the front entrance of the school. Of course she helped to fix it afterwards.”

Coco silently mulled over what she had been told. In a way, she could understand why Sunset would want to keep this from her. Turning evil and using magic to destroy things weren't really something to brag about. Sunset was probably afraid that if Coco knew then she would have turned away from her.

Rarity’s voice pulled her out of her thoughts. “So, now that you know the truth do you feel any different towards Sunset? Do you dislike her for the things she did? Do you think that she’ll ever do them again?”

“Of course not!” Coco replied instantly, leaning forward slightly. “No matter what she did before, I still think that as long as she’s genuinely sorry for everything, she can still be a good person. I mean, at least she stopped before anyone was seriously hurt.”

Rarity smiled and nodded. “Well said. That’s why I’m really hoping that you and Rainbow are having an effect on her. Sunset needs to understand that she can be forgiven and that she already has friends that are willing to help her in this time of need. But first she needs to open up and accept us. From what I’ve seen from you three it does seem to be working bit by bit.”

“Um, have you been spying on us?” asked Coco.

Rarity took a sip of her tea. “Darling, remember what I said about details. The point is that she’s quickly forming a bond with you two. But now I’m beginning to worry about Rose and her friends. I hope that they don’t do anything to ruin Sunset’s chances at meeting A.K. Yearling,” frowned Rarity.

This time Coco was the one to smile at Rarity. “Well it’s alright. I think that they wanted to pit me against her. But it didn’t work, because no matter what, I’m still intent on being her friend.”

Rarity matched her grin and nodded. “My thoughts exactly.”

~~~

“What do you want?” Sunset hissed the words with as much venom as possible.

Unlike her usual nightmares which placed her in different locations every time they occurred. Sunset found herself in the same area as last time: surrounded by nothing, and standing on a rippling translucent floor. However, this time, Sunset found herself sitting at a table, right across from her mirror self. The whites in her reflection’s eyes grew dark and her pupils turned red with her normally tanned skin following suit.

“Now there’s no need to be rude,” said Not-Sunset. Her voice echoed across the plane with an ethereal vibe. “I’m just here to talk for once.”

“What? No more overbearing symbolism about what you think are my true feelings?” asked Sunset.

“I’m just trying to convince you of the truth. You’re just being stubborn.”

“I don’t need you to tell me the truth. I know who I am.”

“You’re me.”

“I’m not!”

Not-Sunset burst out into a bout of uproarious laughter. “Of course you’re me. Who else would do such horrible things? Who else could be such a horrible person?”

Sunset raised an eyebrow in confusion. “What horrible things?”

Not-Sunset finally stopped laughing and stared at her opposite with a look that screamed “seriously?” “Don’t play dumb. You’ve cheated, lied, stolen, harassed, tricked, and hurt people. Everyone who talks to you eventually ends up hurt. You just don’t want to admit that it was really you doing it.”

Sunset stood up and slammed her hands on the table. It produced no sound. “That wasn’t the real me! I’m different!”

Not-Sunset continued to sit calmly. “You want to think you’re different. But you haven't really changed, now have you? Maybe it’s small now but you’re still taking advantage of others.”

“How?!”

“Having Coco make you a costume, making Rainbow pay for your food?”

Sunset flinched a movement all too noticeable in her reflections eyes. “T-that doesn't count. They offered!”

“Did you say thank you?” the reflection teased.

Sunset’s teeth clenched and she felt like flipping the table in frustration. “Whatever!” Sunset turned and stomped away from the table, indifferent as to where she was headed. “I’m done playing your games. When I get back to Equestria I’m making sure that I get you out of my head!”

~~~

Sunset gasped and threw her head up. Looking around frantically she remembered that she had fallen asleep from boredom in the library. While this was not the first time she had ever fallen asleep there, it was the first time that she had one of her nightmares during the day. Sunset briefly lamented if she would start seeing them in her daydreams next.

Stretching to work out the kinks in her back, Sunset glanced over at the two empty seats in front of her. She frowned at first when she thought back to what her dream self had said. But after taking a long look at the seats, her expression softened. “I haven't hurt them… have I?” She soon found herself staring at those two seats. It began to surprise her how much she gotten used to seeing Rainbow and Coco there.

Suddenly, Sunset’s eyes widened in realization and she quickly ducked down under the table to ruffle through her backpack. Coming up with nothing, she leaned forward over the table and facepalmed. “Rainbow Dash still has my book… Seriously? After all that talk of not wanting to borrow stuff?” She sighed into her palm. “Forget it.”

Setting her hand down, Sunset glanced down at her own copy of Shifting Spirits, finished of course. She had read the final chapter just the other night. As usual, Sunset went over her thoughts of the book in her head, the same way she did with every book. “While the ending had been somewhat predictable in how Daring outsmarts the main villain, the parts leading up to that point and Spirit Shift’s involvement in everything made for an excellent storyline. The questions and mysteries that were brought up in the first book were also brought to a satisfying conclusion.

While the pacing near the end could be better, I still believe that this is definitely one of the better books in the entire series. Sunset smirked. But of course it still doesn't stack up to the sheer adventurous feel that Razer of Dreams had.

Sunset told Coco earlier that Razer of Dreams was her favorite. That was true, but what she didn’t tell her was why. Razer of Dreams, the fourth book in the Daring Do series, was actually her first Daring Do book and unlike Coco’s first book, it was a stand alone tale that could be read by itself. It was one of the few things that she brought with her from Equestria, completely by accident no less. As soon as she read the first page she was hooked. Unfortunately, the portal had closed and she was left with just the one volume. That was until she found this world’s version nearly a year later. While these books traded pegasi magic and the familiars of home for somewhat more mundane tools and alien geography, they were just as well written. Thus they weren’t very hard for Sunset to get into. Sunset even enjoyed imaging how the pony counterparts of every character would act or what kind of cutie mark they would have.

“Though I can imagine what Rainbow would say to that,” Sunset mumbled, still smirking. “She’d probably say that Spirit Amulet was way better than the Razer of Dreams. And that it didn’t even have a real villain in it and—” Sunset quickly realized what she was doing and shook it off. There was no way that she missed those two.

“Well sometimes just the adventure is enough to make a good story.” Sunset heard Coco’s voice in her head. “There doesn't always have to be someone to fight against.”

Eager to keep her mind occupied, Sunset got up and walked around the library to find something else to read. Countless books sat on the library's shelves. Being here every day gave Sunset a near encyclopedic knowledge of where each and every one was located, both by name and category. But even with this knowledge Sunset couldn’t for the life of her remember what she would read before her stalkers showed up.

“Alone today?”

Sunset turned to see Miss Cheerilee standing behind her, an inquisitive look settled on her face. Sunset immediately turned away. “What do you mean?” she frowned.

“Well I usually see you with Rainbow Dash and that new girl,” she smiled. “You three make a lot of noise sometimes.”

Sunset moved her finger across a row of books, not really looking for any in particular. “It’s mostly their fault. Sorry about them; they won’t stop following me here.”

“Really?” asked Cheerilee, a teasing smile across her face. “I thought that they were your friends. You three hang out here often enough.”

Sunset picked out a book at random and opened it. “That’s just what it looks like. Those two are friends with each other, they just enjoy coming here together.” Uninterested, she put the book down. A small chime sounded from her pocket.

Cheerilee gave her a look of concern. “Really? You look pretty lonely here without them.”

“I’m not lonely!” Sunset insisted. Taking out her phone, Sunset saw that she had received a text from Rainbow Dash. A small smile flashed across her face, only to disappear when she remembered that Cheerilee was right behind her. Inside was a photo selfie of Rainbow Dash and Coco standing over a sleeping Sunset Shimmer. Rainbow was holding Sunset’s mouth wide in a smile while Coco was holding the phone and smiling nervously. Thanks to the candy bar wrapper in the corner, Sunset recognized it as the day when she had accidentally fallen asleep in front of them.

Cheerilee looked over her shoulder and chuckled. While Sunset continued to stare at the picture dumbfoundedly, Cheerilee read the message below it aloud. “Showed this to AJ and nearly lol’d her to death.” She turned and smiled at Sunset. “Well you all certainly look like friends.”

Sunset’s hand met the forefront of her face once more.

Author's Note:

Sorry bout dat! This was supposed to be up yesterday. I thank you all for waiting though. There's fun times a'commin' in this story! So look forward to that!

Thanks for reading! :scootangel: