• Published 17th Dec 2014
  • 2,859 Views, 288 Comments

The Soul's Savior - Dusty Old Qrow

Sunset Shimmer has fallen. At her lowest point, she recieves help from a girl who helped beat her - Rainbow Dash. Meanwhile, CHS teacher Time Turner has his own journey of healing. How do their stories connect?

  • ...

Chapter 10 - This Is Me Trying

“Come on, let’s get you to Sweet Apple Acres.”

Sunset stood on the passenger side of Rainbow Dash’s car with the door open and one foot already inside. Rainbow plopped into the driver’s seat and started the car, the engine roaring to life. Sunset slowly sat down in seat and sighed, placing her backpack at her feet.

“I don’t know, Dash. I think I should just go home,” Sunset said with a sigh. Rainbow Dash’s head snapped in her direction, an incredulous look on her face.

“You serious right now?” Rainbow Dash asked. “Why? Granny Smith’s giving you an actual bed to sleep on and you’d rather spend the night in a rundown building?”

With a shake of her head, Sunset closed her door, the car shaking with the resulting slam. “I don’t want to take advantage of the Apples. Granny Smith and Applejack would be fine with me there, but what about Apple Bloom and Big Macintosh? I don’t think they’d be very happy with me sleeping there every night.”

Rainbow Dash scoffed. “Have you asked them?”

“I don’t think they’d be very willing to speak to me.”

“Okay, fine. Did you ask Applejack to ask them?

Sunset paused. “No.”

Rainbow threw her head back and let out a long, frustrated groan. “Seriously, Sunset…” she said, slapping a hand against her forehead. “You can’t just assume the worst. Applejack is probably the most stubborn member of that family and even she’s come around. I’m sure Big Mac and Apple Bloom would be fine.”

Sunset crossed her arms. “Maybe. But I’d rather not bother them.”

The two girls stared each other down for a few moments. Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes at Sunset, who simply looked at her in response. Eventually, with a groan, Rainbow rolled her eyes and turned away. “Fine,” she huffed. “No Sweet Apple Acres.”

“Thank you.”

A few seconds of silence passed between them. The only noise in the car was the hum of the engine and the muffled noises of other students’ cars leaving the parking lot. Suddenly, Rainbow Dash reached for the keys, twisted, and pulled them out of the ignition. The engine died with a low noise.

“What’s up?” Sunset asked with a raised eyebrow.

Rainbow pushed her door open and stepped out of the car. “Gotta make a call,” she said and pushed the door shut, leaving Sunset alone. Through the window she watched Rainbow Dash lean against the side of the car and pull out her phone. Sunset watched her for a few seconds before turning away.

Only a few students remained on school grounds. The parking lot was almost empty at this point, and just a handful of people loitered elsewhere. Sunset’s eyes passed over them all before landing on one in particular. His blue hair was immediately recognizable.

Flash Sentry stood next to his car, a backpack slung over one shoulder and a guitar case over the other. He swung open a door and placed his belongings in the passenger seat before he suddenly stood up straight and turned around. His eyes locked with Sunset’s through the glass.

Sunset felt herself freeze as her eyes widened. She wanted to look away, but found herself unable. Flash was a good distance away from her, but she could tell that he was looking directly at her. He stood, unmoving, for a good while before slowly turning away and getting into his car. Sunset let out a long breath as he drove away.

She was never really in love with Flash Sentry. When they were together, it was purely for her own benefit. He was the popular pretty boy, with a cool car and a band that the school liked. It seemed only natural for her to use his popularity to her advantage. And look at where that got me, Sunset thought.

The driver side door opened and Sunset jumped, breaking her out of her thoughts. “I’m back,” Rainbow Dash said as she sat down and closed the door. She took a moment to settle in her seat and then looked at Sunset. “Is something wrong?” she asked with a concerned look.

Sunset was silent for a second before answering with a sigh. “Just realizing how many people I still need to apologize to.”

Rainbow Dash hummed in response. “Dude, no offense, but there’s no way you’ll be able to apologize to everyone you’ve ever hurt,” she said matter-of-factly. Sunset shot her a glare, causing Rainbow to raise her hands in surrender. “Just sayin’.”

“What do you expect me to do, then?” Sunset asked.

“I want you to succeed at this,” Rainbow said. “You can go around the school and say ‘I’m sorry’ all day, but that’s not always going to work, you know? And there’s no way you’ll be able to say it to everyone in the school. You need to show them you’ve changed, not just tell them.”

Sunset considered her words. “... So, what do you think I should do?”

Rainbow Dash shrugged. “Hell if I know.”

Sunset gave her an unimpressed look.

“Look, maybe we can stick you up on a stage and you can give ‘em a big speech about friendship or something. We’ll figure it out!” Rainbow said with a smirk. Sunset’s face did not change. Rainbow’s smile fell. “Here, when we get to my house we’ll see if CHS has any events coming up and-”

“What? Your house?”

“Oh yeah.” Rainbow’s face lit up with sparkling eyes and a proud smile. “I was on the phone with my dad. You’re staying at my place for a bit.”

What?! I can’t stay at your place!” Sunset shrieked, causing Rainbow Dash to flinch away.

“Chill. Listen, I’ve thought this through-”

“Really,” Sunset deadpanned.

“Really!” Rainbow insisted. “Your whole deal about staying with the Apples is you don’t want to take advantage of them or make ‘em uncomfortable, right?”

Sunset nodded.

“Well, I have no issue with you staying at my place, and I don’t have any siblings. And my parents? They fawn over me so much they basically just let me do whatever. The second I told my dad I had a friend who needed a place to stay, he was crying about how good a friend his daughter was. They won’t have any problems with you.”

Sunset just stared at Rainbow Dash, who still wore her proud smile. “I…” Sunset started. “I don’t know. That still feels like taking advantage of them.”

“Oh, it is,” Rainbow said, her smile now a grin. “But you’re not taking advantage of them. I am.”

The two of them fell into silence. Rainbow crossed her arms behind her head and closed her eyes, still very obviously proud of herself. Sunset continued to stare before she suddenly broke out into laughter. She laughed loudly, clutching at her gut as she struggled to regain composure.

“Well, I guess I don’t have a choice, then,” Sunset said through the last of her laughter. “Thanks, Rainbow Dash.”

“No problem,” Rainbow replied as she reignited the engine. “Pinkie’s gonna kill us when she finds out we had a sleepover without her, though.”

Sunset smiled. “I’m sure we can make it up to her.”

“... And then I went home. I called you as soon as I got back,” Turner said.

Luna and Time Turner stood on opposite ends of his porch, illuminated by the setting sun. She’d rushed over as soon as Turner had given her a call, eager to hear everything. He relayed the story as she listened in silence, letting him speak at his own pace. When Turner finished, she stayed silent for a few moments before speaking.

“Well, all things considered, it sounds like it went alright,” Luna spoke smoothly. “I’m glad. I knew you would do well, but part of me was worried.”

Turner nodded. “I know. I was worried, too. Nearly had a panic attack just standing outside of the bakery.”

Luna’s brow furrowed as she frowned. “Yes, you told me about that. That is… troubling, Time. I know it was a stressful situation, but you haven’t had an episode like that in quite some time. Are you sure you’re okay?”

Turner’s lips formed a small smile. “I’m fine. I feel much better now that the girls know the truth. That was the important part.”

Luna’s frown deepened. She stepped towards Turner and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Time, it’s great that you finally told the girls the truth, but please don’t forget that you are important, too.”

They stared at each other in silence. For a few moments, neither of them spoke. Slowly, he raised a hand, wrapped it around her wrist and gently moved her hand off his shoulder. “Thank you, Luna. I really do mean it,” he said softly. “I don’t think I could have done this without your support.”

“You can’t forget that you were the one to make it happen. No matter how much I supported you, in the end you were the one to go through with it. You are much stronger than you used to be.”

Turner hummed. “I suppose.” Truth be told, he didn’t feel all that different, but he decided to take Luna’s word for it. “Though now all I can do is wait. It’s up to Derpy and Dinky to decide where we go from here. My part is done, for now.”

“No matter what happens, I am proud of you, Time,” Luna said. “And even if she refuses to admit it, I know Celestia is, too. She’s just stubborn.”

Turner let out a short laugh. “Berry Punch said she needs to get over it.”

“That she does,” Luna said with a smile. “Whatever my sister feels, the decision was never hers. It was yours, and she needs to respect it, regardless of how it made her feel.”

In lieu of a response, Turner just let out a noise. He was never as close to Celestia as he was with Luna. Ditzy was the one Celestia was friends with, not him. When Derpy and Dinky were born, Turner recalled Celestia being immediately taken with them, and how crushed she was when Turner gave them away. That news, on top of Ditzy’s death, hit her hard.

We have that in common, at least, Turner thought to himself. He and Luna exchanged a few more words before saying their goodbyes.

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this,” Sunset said flatly.

“Don’t be a wimp, man. Just walk in.” Rainbow Dash grasped Sunset’s shoulder and flashed her a grin. “It’ll be fine, trust me.”

“I don’t know…” Sunset looked up at the house in front of her, while her stomach felt increasingly heavy. It was a modest looking house, not too big or too small. The lights were on and through a window she could see a wall filled with pictures. Many of the pictures showed what looked like a younger Rainbow Dash holding up trophies of some kind.

Rainbow Dash caught her eye, her face cringing slightly. “Yeah. Like I said, they’re pretty much my number one fans.” She made a gagging motion. “It’s kinda embarrassing. But they’re my parents, so, y’know. Gotta love ‘em anyway.”

Sunset stared at the pictures again, pictures undoubtedly taken by proud parents who loved their daughter. In the back of her mind, Sunset wondered how her parents would feel about her now. A runaway in an alien world, a failed conqueror, and now an outcast. Did they even know if she was still alive?

“Hey,” Rainbow Dash said softly. “You alright?” She stepped in front of Sunset, blocking her view of the house. Sunset didn’t respond immediately, and instead just looked downward. Rainbow Dash brought a hand to her chin and pulled her head up. “Look, if you really don’t want to stay here, I can bring you to your place. I don’t… I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable or anything.”

Sunset sighed. “It’s not that. I just haven’t seen my parents in…” she took in a shaky breath. “A long time. I was just wondering what they’d think of me now.”

“Oh. Well, shit. Offer still stands. If you don’t think you can do it-”

Sunset cut her off. “No, no. It’s fine. Thanks.” Letting out a breath, Sunset stepped around Rainbow and walked to the front door. “Let’s go.”

Rainbow Dash stood still for a second, watching her as she walked, before following her. “A word of warning,” she said, fumbling for her keys. “When I said my parents were my number one fans, I wasn’t exaggerating.”

“I’m sure I can handle it.”

She could not handle it.

Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles were nothing if not proud of their daughter. As soon as Sunset entered the house she was bombarded with question after question, like how she knew Rainbow Dash and how they became friends, if she’d seen her play soccer or any of the other sports she was good at. Then there were the pictures. So many pictures, some of Rainbow Dash winning a game but many others were just her doing mundane things.

Rainbow Dash stood off to the side, clearly embarrassed, until eventually she had enough and dragged Sunset away into another room. Rainbow Dash shut the door behind them and locked it, shutting her parents out. They could still be heard through the walls, fanboying over their daughter’s accomplishments.

Sunset stared at Rainbow Dash for a few seconds before speaking. “Jeez. Your parents…”

Rainbow Dash crossed her arms. “Are really frigging embarrassing, yeah.”

“No, they love you. A lot.”

Rainbow’s face lit up red. She uncrossed her arms and turned away from Sunset. “Yeah, well… They could stand to tone it down a bit,” she mumbled under her breath. Sunset let out a chuckle.

“I’m not arguing that. But still, it must be nice to know they’ll always have your back.” Sunset looked around the room. The walls were a sky blue with a large cloud pattern swirling across all four walls. A clothes hamper filled with laundry and a soccer ball sat next to a large wardrobe with two handles each with a medal hanging off it. A shelf was on the wall with a boombox resting on it - and what looked like two Daring Do books lay hidden under it. Sunset smirked.

Daring Do, huh?” she asked teasingly.

Rainbow Dash sped over, blocking her view of the books. “Never mind that! Ignore them!”

“Didn’t take you for much of a reader.”

Rainbow Dash walked over to the boombox, lifted it, and retrieved the books. “I’m not. Not really, anyway. Daring Do’s just the only book I’ve ever been able to get into.” She opened the doors to the wardrobe and tossed the books into it. “I’m more into movies and games.”

Sunset hummed to herself, walking around the room, soaking it all in. Ever since arriving in this world, she hadn’t had much of a chance to see how other people her age lived. “I haven’t watched many movies or played any video games.”

Rainbow Dash’s head snapped to her direction. “What? Seriously?”

“Yeah. I mean, Flash tried to get me to watch those space movies when we were dating, but I couldn’t get into ‘em.”

Rainbow Dash’s face fell. “Which movies did you watch?”

“Uh,” Sunset tried to recall. “He said they were the first three chronologically?”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “The prequels suck. Shoulda had you watch the original trilogy. Those are easily the best.”

Sunset walked over to Rainbow Dash’s bed and sat on the edge. The mattress sank under her weight, and Sunset noted how soft it felt. “You know more about those movies than I thought you would. Maybe you do have a secret nerd side.”

No way. Rainbow Dash ain’t no egghead,” Rainbow Dash said indignantly. Sunset laughed, causing Rainbow to look even more offended. “I’m not!”

“Okay, okay. I believe you,” Sunset said. “You nerd.”

Rainbow Dash sat beside her, her eyes narrowed. “I can still kick you out, you know.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

The two of them lapsed into a comfortable silence, while Sunset continued looking around the room. Rainbow Dash waited, letting her take it in. Eventually Rainbow cleared her throat, breaking the silence. “So, uh, I dunno how you wanna handle the sleeping arrangements. We don’t really have a spare room and, well, y’know. I could just let you take the bed and I could sleep on the floor.”

As she spoke, Sunset watched Rainbow Dash stammer and laughed. “I’m not taking your bed away from you, Rainbow Dash. I’ll sleep on the floor,” Sunset said through her chuckles. However the floor felt, it couldn’t be worse than the warehouse after all.

“You sure? I don’t mind sleeping on the floor,” Rainbow said.

“Neither do I. I do mind making you do it, though, so it’s decided,” Sunset insisted. The two of them stared intently at the other for a few seconds before Rainbow Dash finally relented.

“Fine, fine,” Rainbow Dash said as she threw her hands into the air. “I’ll go get you some pillows and blankets.” She then stood and walked towards the door.

“Thank you.”

“But!” Rainbow suddenly wheeled around and pointed at Sunset. “I’m so gonna kick your ass at Smash. We’ll start when I get back.” With that, Rainbow threw the door open and walked out. Sunset, still resting on the edge of the bed, watched her leave. Now alone in the room, she smiled to herself.

So this is what friendship feels like.

She knocked three times. “Dinky? I know you’re in there. Please let me in?” Derpy called through the door. She stood there for a few seconds awaiting a response, but none came. “Dinky?” She knocked again, but again there was no reply. “You haven’t eaten dinner yet. Please come out.”

Derpy heard muffled footsteps as her sister came to open the door. It swung open revealing Dinky standing there with a large frown on her face. “Oh, Dinky,” Derpy said, placing a hand on Dinky’s shoulder. “Are you alright?”

The younger sister didn’t meet her gaze. “I dunno,” she muttered. “I’ve just been thinking.”

“Do you wanna talk about it?” Derpy asked.

Dinky was quiet for a bit before stepping back, letting Derpy’s hand fall to her side. She then turned and walked to her bed, sitting down on the edge. Derpy followed and sat next to her, wrapping an arm around Dinky’s shoulders. Dinky shrugged the arm away.

“What are you thinking about?” Derpy asked.

“Like you even need to ask,” Dinky said stiffly.

Derpy’s gaze fell to the floor, her eyes going cross-eyed. “Yeah…”

Dinky gulped, her dry throat screaming at her for doing so. “I’m just really… confused. About what he told us. About what to do now. You know?” She looked up at her sister, but Derpy was still looking at the floor.

“I know,” Derpy whispered.

Dinky continued. “I know why mom didn’t tell us, and I guess I can even understand why Turner - Time - Dad? Ugh…” Dinky paused, breathing deeply, before continuing. “I get why he was scared. But it still makes me so… so mad. All these years, all the time mom spent raising us alone… and he could have been there. But he chose not to be!” Dinky spoke, her voice getting louder slightly with each word. “I just don’t know how to feel about it.”

“I understand. I’m confused too,” Derpy said. She finally met Dinky’s gaze, and gave her a sad smile. “There’s so much I still want to ask him. I want to really know what she was like. I want to ask what it was like, choosing to give us up. And I want to know why he chose now to tell us all this. But really, I don’t even know if I’m going to ask him…”

Dinky tilted her head. “You don’t know?”

“I don’t,” Derpy said with a shake of her head. “There’s going to be so much going on in the next year. Graduation, college, my job… I don’t know if I could handle all of that on top of this. It’s all so much. But I do know that if I don’t ask him those things, then I’ll never know.”

Dinky clasped her hands together in her lap and looked at them. “What do you think is going to happen? Y’know, with him.”

Derpy hummed. “I don’t know. Every time I’ve pictured my future, I’ve never pictured having our dad in it. I was, and am, alright with it just being you, me, and mom. So whatever we decide, I know we’ll be fine.” Derpy wrapped her sister in a tight hug. “Because I also know that I love you.”

Dinky slowly returned the embrace. “I love you too.”

Author's Note:

I'm so sorry this took so long. A combination of many factors played into it, not the least of which being bad mental health and just plain laziness. I'm feeling better now. So hopefully we'll be able to get this moving again.

Also, please leave a comment if you enjoyed this. Comments motivate me a lot, and I'd really appreciate it.
title song: