• 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?

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Chapter 20: Reunion

Author's Note:

This chapter was written by a friend who is gone.

Rainbow’s eyes were downcast as she trailed behind the rest of her friends. Even though they had a plan, and even though they had Twilight on their side, her spirits were low—gloomy like the dying day. Not even the thought of kicking those “Dazzlings” to the curb could cheer her up. She tried to focus on their task, to be ready to play her part in saving the school once again... but her thoughts kept moving back to Sunset.

She clenched her hands in her pockets. The mystery ate at her, as did the possibilities. The thought of Sunset alone, among scornful students who, even before those girls brought out the worst in them, were all too eager to give her a taste of what she had given them over the years…
Dash tried to shake the worst of the notion from her head. Even if she didn’t treat her like it, Sunset was strong. She was smart, too. She could handle herself… Dash hoped so, at least.

But why can’t I reach her? she thought helplessly. What’s stopping her?

Dash thought of Crimson Napalm. She remembered how close he had come to blows with Sunset after the Fall Formal, and wondered if there was more of him in his head than the Dazzlings that night he had come to her home with the other boys—where they threatened her, and hurt Sunset.

She grit her teeth at the memory.

She wished that Sunset told her what had happened before they had gotten to the hospital that night. She would have made sure that the other two needed the doctor as much as Featherweight did. The thought that someone like them could have gotten to Sunset filled her with dread. And, as time went on without a word from her girlfriend, it reared and nagged at her more and more.

“Alright, so we’re all clear on the plan going in?” Twilight’s voice broke through Rainbow Dash’s despairing train of thought. She couldn’t help but be a little thankful for the distraction as she looked up to notice that they were fast arriving at the school.

It seemed so calm: shadowed by the early evening sky and quieter than the breeze wafting through the grounds. But the air surrounding the place hung low and heavy, like smoke from some invisible flame. Just the sight of it caused some vague, instinctual disquiet to bubble within Rainbow Dash—and she could see it matched in the eyes of her friends as she looked to them all. Even Spike let out a low whimper. Only Twilight seemed unmoved by the atmosphere.

“We’ll find the Sirens, evoke the Elements of Harmony, dispel their magic, and free all of the students from their control!” Twilight finished firmly, her voice happy and optimistic, just like it was the last time she had arrived in this world. With the rest of the group in tow, she climbed the steps to the entrance, radiant with confidence. The others seemed to perk back up in her assured presence. Dash found it almost infectious.

Almost.

Twilight pushed the doors before her open, but was stayed by the sight that met her. The girls piled behind her, looking over her shoulders at the ruined foyer. The displays that lined the wall were broken through, the shelves splintered and their contents smashed and strewn throughout the floor in as many pieces as the glass that had guarded them. The sound of the wind whistling through the open doors and into the empty room made the scene almost haunting.

“Oh my…” Fluttershy squeaked under her breath.

“I’m guessing that this is unusual, even in the present circumstances.” Twilight bent to lift Spike off of the floor before stepping forward, glass crunching under her boots.

Applejack followed suit. “Ah’d say so…” she began as she took in the depth of the destruction, her voice developing a worried edge. “We didn’t see anythin’ like this after the Dazzlings stirred everyone up. It was just a bunch of fightin’ and hollerin’ then.”

Twilight brought a hand to her chin, looking over the room. “We… we know that the Sirens feed off of negative energy. But we didn’t anticipate the lengths they would go to in order to harness it. If they’re willing to incite something like this and draw from it…” She cut herself off, unconsciously hugging Spike a bit closer to her chest. There was an anxious moment of pause as the rest of the girls gingerly stepped their way into the broken space. Twilight cleared her throat and turned to face her friends. “We have to stop things from getting any worse than they already are!”

Rainbow spoke up. “Then what are we waiting for? The sooner we take those girls down, the sooner we get CHS back!” There was a tone of anxious impatience in Dash’s low voice. She took charge, making her way down the hall towards the auditorium in a brisk pace. The others looked to each other, varying looks of surprise and unease on their faces as they carefully stepped through the mess to follow their rainbow-haired friend.

The swath of wreckage waned, but still seemed to follow their path as they went on. Banners commemorating the abandoned musical showcase were stripped from their places on the walls and lied in tatters on the cold linoleum floor, a figurative reminder of the spoiling force of dark magic. It sprawled before them, ominously leading in its form, like a trail of bones to some deep, dark cave. The halls were empty of the usual school day bustle, and it was so quiet that a whisper might have echoed off the walls. It was chilling, and some of the girls felt their confidence in their magic falter under the weight of the inauspicious mood.

“D-Do you need all of the Elements for the s-spell to work?” Fluttershy’s voice trembled as she looked over her shoulder desperately. Her legs threatened to root her in her position, but Applejack placed a hand on her back, ushering her onward.

“C’mon, ‘Shy. Ya know we won’t be able to do this without ya! And we’ve faced worse before. What’s some singin’ compared to demon fireballs?” The country girl hooted in good nature, offering just a bit of levity. Fluttershy gulped, but managed to flash a half smile as she pressed on at her friend’s insistence. Rarity fell beside them both with a glance at the surroundings, a brief huff escaping her lips.

“I don’t like the state of things anymore than you do, darling. It’s positively ghastly!” She flicked her wrist in distaste, lamenting the disfigurement of the place. “But, as Rainbow Dash said, once we do away with the Sirens and their magic, we’ll be able to put everything back in proper order." The fashionista stumbled slightly as she stepped on a crumpled poster that lay on the floor. "And I, for one, would like to do so as soon as possible! This is simply unacceptable!” she waved over what lay ahead and behind in a dramatic gesture. “The lapse in decorum is one thing, but to leave our school in such a sorry state is just… monstrous. Though, I admit, it was a bit austere to begin with.” Rarity chewed lightly on her knuckle, lost in thought. “I’ve heard it said that a crisis is an opportunity in disguise. Maybe now I can push some of those redesigns I’ve been mulling over for the foyer!”

There was a sigh of exasperation among the group, but Rarity seemed deaf to it. Applejack peered over Fluttershy, a deadpan look on her face.

“Rarity, can we maybe focus on-“

“Now I know there’s little love here for Crystal Prep, but have you ever seen their building? It’s absolutely breathtaking! I hope it wouldn’t be too controversial if I suggested we take some design cues from their architecture and tweak them into something more in line with CHS’s current look. And, if I’m being brutally honest, I’ve never really like the color scheme here. A blue floor with such striking green lockers? What kind of contrast is that? One needs to be of a more subdued shade so the other can pop! The eye shouldn’t be drawn drawn to the floor, so I think—AH!”

She was dazed by the collision, but her arms instinctively shot forward to save her friend from a hard trip to the ground.

“Oh, Twilight, I’m so sorry! I guess I wasn’t looking where I was going.” Rarity let out a small, sheepish chuckle.

“That’s alright, Rarity. I think we were both a little distracted.” Twilight's gaze took in the noticeable shift in the disarray that had led them so far. It bent down an adjacent hall, snaking away and out of sight, leaving a clear path directly ahead. There stood the doors to the auditorium, and the small stretch leading to it was untouched and as cheerily decorated as the day before. The girls could hear muffled commotion emanating from the room, bringing a welcome change from the stark silence that had greeted and stayed with them. From her place at the head of the group, Dash looked to her friends, tilting her head towards the closed doors. The others nodded, stepping forward with the athlete.

“Wait!”

They all turned to Twilight, but she shook her head insistently at their quizzical gazes, pointing down to the dog cradled against her chest. Spike’s ears twitched, his eyes glazed over in deep concentration.

“Do you hear that?” The dog urged, wriggling in Twilight’s grasp. The girl’s fell silent, trying desperately to listen for what unnerved Spike.

“What is it, Spike?” Twilight asked after a few long moments of quiet.

“Singing. But… it’s not coming from in there.” He jumped from Twilight’s arms to the floor, shaking himself off before stepping forward. “I don’t think the Sirens are… I…” His ears perked suddenly, and his gaze was drawn down the untrodden hall, back along the trail they had followed from their arrival.

“Come on!” He said in a growl, setting off before anyone could speak another word.

Rainbow Dash gave a quick shrug before hastily following after him, matching his pace. “You heard him!” She called over her shoulder to the others. From somewhere in the maze of halls, they could finally hear a faint voice carrying a cheery tune. The words were quiet, but instantly recognizable to the girls.

See how we’ve made a brand new start
And the future’s lookin’ up

Dash seethed to hear their song used as a tool to undo all the good that had been done. She bit down on her lip, her brows knitting together and her steps becoming a bit more forceful as she trailed behind Spike. The voice was sweet, upbeat and seemingly careless, but there was an icy edge to it that swelled as they approached. It cut through in every melodic word.

And when you walk these halls
You feel it everywhere

Spike slowed as he rounded a corner, listening intently. Dash flew past him, though, all fury as the hall became familiar to her. Glancing behind herself at the other Rainbooms, she could see recognition spark on their faces too. They had come this way often in the time since Twilight had been gone. The tune beckoned them to the music room; the place where they had spent so much time together, strengthening their friendship after being apart for so long.
You can feel it, we are back
And I’m so glad the we’re better

Dash stepped before the door, the song seeming to silence at her approach. She placed her hand on the handle before turning to her friends as they caught up to her. Her gaze lingered on them, and she felt her rage simmer down in their presence, replaced with a sense of single-minded determination. A ghost of a smile finally formed on her face. “Are you guys ready, or what?”

“Darn tootin’!’”

“Absolutely, darling.”

“Ready Freddy, Dashie!”

“I-I… y-yeah… I’m ready.”

She nodded firmly to them, throwing open the door with much force.

It shocked them to see the room demolished, punctuating the destruction that had led them so far. It shocked them to see the room absent of the Sirens. And it shocked them to see Sunset Shimmer, lounging languidly on the ruins of the piano at the far end of the room.
The girl turned her head to peer at the group, her red-gold locks shading her face. A jagged, playful smile flashed across her face, and her opal eyes narrowed.