• 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 22: Out of the Frying Pan...

Author's Note:

This chapter was written by a friend, who I hope is having a good time, wherever he is.

Rainbow Dash sat on the steps of the school with the rest of the girls, watching with her chin propped up on her fist as Twilight paced a small circuit in front of them. The girl’s eyes were downcast, squinted in deep thought as she nibbled anxiously on her finger. She looked just as lost as the rest of them did.

The thought worried Dash. They called her here for help because they didn’t have the first clue what to do about magic. If Twilight didn’t know what to do either...

“It doesn’t make any sense!” Twilight finally blurted out, throwing her hands into the air. “All of us together… I thought we’d be able to create the spark that would help us fight their magic. That’s how it worked before!”

Sunset sniggered from her place on the first step. “Oh, it sure did, Princess. It took a whole, what, week and a half for everything to go to Tartarus?” She crossed her arms a little tighter across her chest, straightening her posture defiantly. “If that’s your idea of something ‘working’, it’s a wonder how you ever ascended.”

Twilight stopped in her tracks and let out and audible grumble. She only glanced at Sunset before moving once again. The flame-haired girl chuckled lightly, flipping her hair. Dash frowned and reached forward to the girl on the step below her, placing her hand on her shoulder. Sunset flinched slightly at the touch, looking to the hand at her shoulder before looking back at Dash, an expression of irritation on her face. Dash shook her head in disapproval, eliciting a dismissive ‘tsk’ from the other girl as she wrenched from Dash’s grip.

Sunset turned her back to Dash once again. The athlete let her hand fall back to her lap, closing her eyes and letting out a dejected sigh.

“Ahem,” Rarity cleared her throat daintily, breaking the brief silence. “Perhaps… perhaps we’ve gone about this the wrong way.” She looked to Twilight. “I don’t presume to know a thing about magic, dear. But--”

“Ah don’t remember us just holdin’ hands to get it to work before.” Applejack intoned.

Rarity huffed out a breath as she shot a glance to the farmer. Applejack simply shrugged, her hands turned up as she mouthed ‘what?’ in response to the other girl’s scrutinizing gaze. The fashionista raised an eyebrow before turning back to Twilight. “I think what we mean to say is; do you think there was a little… more to it last time we cast the spell?”

Twilight slowed to a stop and turned to her friends, but her head was still bowed in thought. “Mmmmmaybe…” she mused, her purple eyes finally meeting the group. “What we were dealing with then was different than what the Sirens are capable of.”

“Whaddya mean? We were up against magic then too.” Dash said, scratching her head.

“Yes… we were. But… it all came from the Element in my crown. From my Element of Harmony.” The princess paused, but then gasped as her eyes went wide. “Maybe that’s it! Maybe we were able to use its magic to power our own spell!” She exclaimed as she smashed a fist into her palm.

Sunset scoffed, rolling her eyes with her arms crossed. “So your grandstanding moment was only possible because you leeched off of my power? Heh, go figure.” Sunset deadpanned. Twilight’s gaze flit down to meet the bully’s. Her brow knit tightly as Sunset flashed her a mocking smirk.

“Yer power?” Applejack’s twangy voice rang out. Sunset looked over her shoulder at the girl, her eyebrow raised quizzically. The farm girl crossed her arms and met her glare half way. “How was it ‘yer power’ if it all came from what ya stole from Twilight?” Her voice was gruff as she tilted her head down, her Stetson shading her face. Her green eyes seemed to pierce a little more from the slight darkness.

“What I claimed from Twilight.” Sunset corrected, unfazed by Applejack’s gaze. “Not that it was worth the trouble. If that piece of trash amounted to anything, the Princess wouldn’t be here now; either I would have had my way, or she wouldn’t have been able to live up to her title at the Fall Formal!” She turned back to face Twilight with a sharp glare. “Instead, here she is, wondering what went wrong and gearing up for what’s sure to be another spectacular failure!” The bully tilted her head back, her mouth twisted into a slight grin. “Some princess you turned out to be.”

Twilight seethed and took a firm step toward to the bully with her fists clenched at her sides. “I’d rather experience failure and be able to come back to fix it, instead of going on to live like you!” Sunset sneered at the Princess and let out a barely audible growl, but it was Rainbow Dash who shot to her feet, placing herself in between the two girls.

“Hey! Back off!” she snarled, leaning into Twilight. “You don’t know what-” the athlete cut herself off. She looked down and took a step back with her hands raised in front of her, taking a second to even her breath. With a ‘gulp’, she looked back up to Twilight apologetically, dropping her hands to her sides. “Twi, I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean… it’s just that…” she stammered before giving a frustrated sigh and turning to Sunset with a pleading look in her eyes. “Can we just try to stop fighting? Please? We have more important things to deal with.”

Sunset harrumphed sourly at Dash. Something in her girlfriend’s gaze gripped at the athlete. She found it hard to look at her—she would take Sunset with miserable tears in her eyes over the pure contempt that showed in them now. At least then, she would be able to do something for the girl—to try and cheer her up, or make things better with a hug, or… something.

The athlete glanced away from Sunset. She began to chew on her lip anxiously when she felt a hand on her arm. Dash looked back up to Twilight, who flashed her a small, understanding smile before nodding.

Twilight looked past her friend to the bully on the steps below them. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply as she brought her hand to her chest. She took a half-step forward as she exhaled, fluidly extending her arm as she did so. Her body seemed to loosen, and she stood tall as she finally opened her eyes to look down at Sunset.

“Rainbow Dash is right. We can’t let our differences overshadow the real problem here at CHS. This concerns you too, Sunset, and we stand a better chance of beating these Sirens if you help us.” Twilight paused, rubbing her arm as she looked away. “And… what I said was… harsh.” She glanced back to Sunset. “I’m sorry, and-”

“Save it, Princess.” Sunset said tersely as she stood, smoothing out her clothes. “You said what you meant. We both did. So don’t waste your breath trying to make it seem otherwise.” She placed a hand on her hip. “And you want my help? Fine, I’ll help; I’ll get out of your way and leave you and your friends to your ‘work’. Watching you struggle with magic is only so fun, anyway.” The girl turned on her heels and sauntered carelessly away. “Thanks for the show, Your Highness. Friendship is Magic!” she called mockingly with a fist raised to the air. The flame-haired girl chortled to herself, placing her hands in her jacket pockets.

She only made it a short distance away from the school before she was stopped by a hand on her shoulder. Sunset screwed her eyes shut and bared her teeth, growling as she spun around. “Stop doing that!” she hissed, slapping Rainbow Dash’s hand away

A look of hurt flashed across the athlete’s features. “Sunset…” she began, her voice wavering around the girl’s name. She took a breath to steady herself. “Where are you going?”

“Does it really matter?”


Sunset raised an eyebrow at the other girl’s outburst. Dash looked down and rubbed the back of her neck. “I-I mean, we just found you. And--”

“I wasn’t lost.”

“Well, you know how everyone’s acting, yeah? I don’t think… I don’t think you should be out by yourself.”

“You don’t think I should be out by myself?” the bully repeated slowly, incredulously.

“Yeah. A… a lot of people wanted to see you hurt, even before this stuff with the Dazzlings. And now that they have everyone so worked up…” the athlete trailed off. “You remember what happened with Crimson Napalm.”

Sunset sneered at the mention of the boy’s name. “Yeah, I remember him.” She grumbled, looking away from Rainbow.

“I just… don’t want anything to happen to you.” Rainbow Dash took a small step towards her girlfriend, who simply stepped away with her eyes shut tight.

The flame-haired girl shook her head. She opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off as someone brusquely pushed passed her. Sunset wobbled precariously on her heels as she tried to regain her balance. Dash instinctively reached forward to steady the girl, a hand on her arm and the other on her shoulder.

Sunset turned, glaring at the retreating figure. Dash followed her gaze, squinting at the person as they shuffled away. Even though their head was bowed low, she recognized the long, brown coat that they wore.

Mr. Turner? Both girls thought. Rainbow almost sneered along with Sunset, but the way the teacher’s shoulders sagged, and the way he barely picked up his feet — she didn’t think he looked angry like everyone else in the school. Something was different, but she pushed the thought out of her head.

Dash fretted as she looked back to Sunset. The girl was still looking at their teacher intently. She took a step towards him, but was held in place by Dash’s hands. The athlete squeezed with her fingers lightly to grab the bully’s attention. She turned to Dash, her eyes flitting down to the hands on her body before looking back up to the athlete with irritation.

Rainbow Dash peeled her hands off of the girl, gnawing on her lip. “Sunset… if… if you just stay… we’ll find a way to help you.”

“Oh, I don’t think your friends would like that very much.” Sunset leaned over to look past Rainbow Dash, her eyes pointed to the group of girls, a sardonic smile playing at her lips. “I have more to say to them.” she finished, almost gleefully.

Rainbow Dash looked back to their group of friends. They chattered amongst themselves, no doubt about what they were planning to do about the Sirens. But, every now and again, the girls would steal a glance at the two of them. Some were sour, and others were quizzical, but they all made Dash a little uneasy.

“I’ll stay with you, then.” she announced firmly.

Sunset rolled her eyes. “I think they have more use for you than I do.”

Dash frowned and looked down, trying to ignore the tightness in her chest. “I don’t want you to go.” she said, half to herself.

Why should I care about what you want?

Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened and she took a step back, her heart beating painfully in her chest. She looked back up — only to see Sunset walking away from her. Her hands clenched into tight
fists at her sides, letting out a shaky sigh as she turned back to her friends.

His sleeve was heavy — soaked through with tears as he brought it up to wipe his vision clear again. It hurt now, his eyes red and raw. But Turner didn’t mind… it took his mind off of the song echoing in his head.

If only for a second.

Those girls… he could still hear their voices as clearly as if they were with him, whispering in his ear. And with their song came visions of his daughters, and of Berry, pain etched across their faces as they looked up at him — the monster those three had made of him.

He relived the moment over and over, and each time it made him feel more empty — a lonely hollowness he hadn’t felt since…

Ditzy… Turner thought. He rubbed at his eyes vigorously, inviting the sting. He turned off the sidewalk, down the path leading to his porch...

Ditzy, I always hoped you were… somewhere.

…fishing in his pocket for his keys…

Someplace where you could see our girls. Watch them grow up and be proud.

…and up to the door to his empty abode.

And maybe I hoped you’d see me too… if you could still love a man like me.

With a sharp turn of his wrist, he unlocked the door and pushed it open, flooding his dusty home with pale moonlight.

But now… God… I’ve never been so comfortable to think of you as just some bones in a box. A heavy sob racked Turner’s frame as he stood in the doorway, his tears falling freely.



…because I can only imagine how heartbroken you’d be if you saw us now.

He stepped forward, blinded by tears. He left the door open as he trudged through in darkness, walking a route made familiar by many solitary, sleepless nights.

It was always deathly quiet in the lonely house — Turner swore he could hear his thoughts echoing off of the walls most nights. But now, all he heard was music… sweet and soft, and weighing on him more heavily than all the heartache he’d known for so many years.

Poor, poor Turner... The voices sang. The raggedy man is all alone, once again...

His steps were labored and heavy as he found his way to his room. The curtains fluttered with the chilly autumn breeze wafting through his home, causing the stark space to flicker with pallid light.

The music grew louder, and he roughly cleared his vision again.

What kind of a man am I that I couldn’t care for our girls after you were gone? Our daughters...

Past the sweet humming invading his senses, he swore he could hear them again. Derpy and Dinky, crying for a dead mother and a useless father. Our baby girls...

Turner bit down hard on his lip to stifle a sob. He could taste copper on his tongue as he trudged to his closet, flinging open the door with a resounding ‘crack’ as it struck the wall. He pushed through the curtain of his drab attire, feeling around blindly in the far reaches of the space.
All I wanted then was to crawl into the grave with you. The only part of me that was worth a damn was already there…

His fingers clutched at their mark. From the closet, he pulled a small wooden box, cradling it against his chest as its contents clinked lightly.

“What was the point of stopping me?” He said aloud, his voice bitter.

He slid his hand across the to top of the box, filling the air with dust as he turned to leave his room again.
He grabbed a creaky chair from his dining room, dragging it behind him as he made his way to the room neighboring his, pushing the door open.

The nursery was bare. Only the faded pink walls with peeling decals of teddy bears and unicorns and other happy things saved the space from being completely colorless.
Turner remembered when they had finished it. He closed his eyes, and swore he was still there in that moment — his arm wrapped tightly around Ditzy, both of them flecked with paint and a little sore from a couple of days’ work.

His hand was over hers on her swollen belly as they looked over the room with excitement, their daughters only a few weeks away. He turned to see Ditzy gazing at him, those beautiful golden eyes so full of love. They fluttered closed as she leaned up to him, and he dipped his head to meet her lips… but she faded away with a swell of music, and he was alone again.

Turner sniffed as he dragged the chair to the center of the room, the box still pressed against him. He planted the chair down and fell into it heavily.
I can’t think of a single moment of my life that was worth living without you, Ditzy. I’m a waste. I’m useless.

He placed the box at his feet, flipping the lid open.

The revolver caught the moonlight in a spectacular way. Its metallic luster captivated Turner for just a moment as he ran a finger across the length of the barrel. His stroke wiped away a small trail of dust that revealed the untarnished steel beneath.

Turner wiped his finger on his knee before reaching forward, taking the butt of the gun in one and and a single bullet in the other. But maybe it’s better this way. I got to show the girls who their father is. He let out a sour chuckle through his tears. His fingers were chillingly practiced as he loaded the gun.

They know what a weak, pathetic, sorry excuse for a man I am. They don’t have to believe lies or wonder anymore. They know…

He flipped the cylinder shut and pulled back on the hammer with his thumb, the sound bouncing off the walls of the empty room.

I just hope they’ll be able to forget…

Tuner stared down at the gun. The longer he looked, the lighter it seemed to sit in his hand.

And Ditzy, if you can see me now… if you cared enough watch over me… just look away now.

He raised his arm and placed the barrel against his head, shuddering and hissing in through his teeth.

God, that’s cold.

His finger quivered for just a second before pulling back on the trigger. The shot sounded loudly in the room, and Turner crashed to the ground from his chair, the breath leaving him in one heavy sigh.

Turner gasped deeply, the weight on his chest causing him to fall into a blistering cough. Confused, and with a shrill ringing in his ears, he tried to sit up, but found his arms pinned to his sides. He thrashed against whatever it was that held him down and his eyes shot open, meeting a fiery aqua gaze.

He gaped, baffled and wordless as the girl leaned towards him with a snarl, her red-gold locks framing his face.

“You idiot!” Sunset growled, baring her teeth. “What were you thinking?!”
Turner shut his eyes again, tears seeping from them as he wriggled in the girl’s grasp.

“No… no not again!” He slurred through the pain in his head that made it hard to focus. “Please, just let me… let me die!”

He turned and twisted, trying desperately to wrench himself free. But Sunset twisted his wrist, causing him to help in pain before she pried the gun from his grip. Turner whimpered pitifully as he lay on the ground, shaking his head. “No no no no no… please, just let me die. I’m a monster.” He sobbed deeply and laid motionless even as Sunset rose off of his chest and let his arms free.
“I’m a monster…” he blubbered again. “I’m a monster, I’m a monster.”

Sunset reached down and grabbed the man by the lapels of his coat, pulling him to sit up. “Stop saying that.” she growled tersely. “You don’t have the first clue what it’s like.”

Turner peeked furtively at the girl, still hardly believing that she was even there. He steeled himself to speak through his sobs. “I abandoned my daughters. I let them live their lives thinking I was dead, only to come back and show them how much worse the truth is! They shouldn’t have had to have been lied to.” He hung his head down, tears falling from his cheeks and onto his lap. “I should have been dead. I’m a monster.”
Sunset's glare only intensified. “Stop. Saying. That. You want to see a monster? Look at me!”

Turner flinched slightly at her tone and looked back up to the fiery-haired girl.

She stepped forward, her aqua eyes glistening in the moonlight. “I lived as one! I had the power to enslave and kill, and I didn’t hesitate to use it!” The girl bit her lip and looked down. “I was pure evil. What are you?”

When she looked back to him, her eyes were accusing, but the fire in them had smoldered down a bit. Still, he felt small under her gaze, and he labored to speak. Turner opened his mouth, closed it, and opened it again. He only uttered quiet mewls as he tried to think of an answer. It was hard to focus, and all that came to his mind were thoughts of his wife and daughters.

“I’m alone.” he muttered absentmindedly.

Sunset was not impressed. She crossed her arms. “So you’re just going to sit here and mope?”

Turner shook his head. “It’s too late for anything else.”

“Sweet Celestia, you’re such a… how can you be…” The girl struggled, as if she couldn’t find the right words. She took her hands off of Turner once more and clenched them at her sides.
“Why can’t you fight?” she managed to say quietly.

“For what? It’s too late…” Turner moaned.

“How can you give up like this?” The girl asked, shaking her head “Because you’re alone? So what? I know what that’s like…” Sunset paused. Turner’s vision was still a little bleary, but he thought he could see the girl’s lip give the slightest tremble. “I know what it’s like not to have anypo-… anybody. B-but that doesn’t mean th-that I ever let it… that I…”.

Sunset stood silent for a moment before taking in a shaky breath, rubbing at her eye furiously with her tightly clenched fist. When she met Turner’s gaze again, her eyes were softer, and laced with tears.

“I… I know how horrible it is.” The girl placed a hand over her chest and clutched at her shirt lightly.

Turner shook his head. “If that’s true, then let me-”

“No!” the girl yelled firmly, kneeling down in front of the man. “M-Mr. Tuner, I do know what it’s like to be lonely, and to know that it’s all because of something I’ve done. All my life, I’ve hurt others and pushed them away for some selfish reason or another. But… b-but I also know that the feeling of trying to make up for your mistakes is worth so much more than dwelling on them.”

As she spoke, a faint light began to seep out from between the fingers clutched at her chest. Tuner gaped — he swore he could feel a faint warmth from it.

Sunset placed a hand on his shoulder. “It may be hard, but… you can’t let the goodness in you go to waste.

The light in Sunset’s hand flashed a little brighter, growing from its place above her heart. Turner turned his head as it entered his eyes. “There is no goodness in me… hasn’t been for so long.”

“There has to be.” The girl paused as she thought. “You… you can’t fault yourself for being bad if you don’t know what it means to be good. I never did… not until I had someone who really made me feel that there was something more in me than the monster I made of myself.” A small smile formed on Sunset’s lips, even as a tear fell from the corner of her eye.

The eldritch energy spread throughout her body, enveloping
Turner in it’s comforting aura. He looked to her in awe as her hair grew, lengthening until it coiled around the ground at her knees. Atop her head, a pair of pony ears sprouted, seemingly from thin air.

“I think there is goodness in you, Mr. Turner. You just need the strength to make it the best part of yourself.”
Her words seemed to move through Turner, piercing the fog in his mind like rays of sunlight. He could feel her magic flow through him like the very blood in his veins. The warmth it brought with it comforted him, like a hug from the one he needed most.

Turner's throat was dry. He let out a small whimper as he pushed himself against the wall and curled his knees assist his chest. “... thank you...

And with that, they both could see once again.