• 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 4: Hold It Together

Sunset’s first glimpse at Sweet Apple Acres was cut short by Applejack grabbing her by the arm and dragging her into the house. The door shut behind them with a click, and Sunset found herself trapped between a closed door and an angry looking farmer.

“Listen, Sunset,” Applejack hissed. “Your room’s upstairs, last door on the right. If ya try anythin’, Big Mac’s room is right next ta yours. Apple Bloom and Granny are asleep. Don’t bother them. And then in the mornin’, you’re out. Once this is over, then Ah’ll see about helpin’ you out.”

You said that already, Sunset thought. Outwardly, Sunset nodded. “I understand, Applejack. I won’t cause any trouble.”

Applejack’s eyes narrowed. “Good. Follow me.” She turned around and began walking up a flight of stairs. Sunset dutifully followed after, looking around at the walls as she went. There were clusters of pictures on nearly every wall, all of them showing at least one Apple family member. Sunset didn’t recognize most of them.

Applejack stopped in front of a door at the end of the hallway. “Here. Get in there, don’t come out until the mornin’, and leave when you wake up.” She pushed open the door and stepped past Sunset.

Sunset turned to watch her walk away. “Thank you, Applejack,” she said softly. Applejack froze and turned. The two of them locked eyes for a second before the farmer looked away and entered a door at the opposite end of the hallway. Sunset stood alone.

Sunset spun around and peered into the room she’d been offered. It was bare; normal for a guest room, she supposed. There was a small stand on one side of the bed, which had the headboard pushed up against the middle of the wall. All of the walls were bare, save for one with a window. Sunset imagined would give quite the view of the fields during the day.

Sunset let out a long breath and sat on the edge of the bed. It was soft, but obviously not slept in often. She threw her legs onto the mattress and laid back. A small smile crept its way onto her face. It was already a thousand times better than her normal sleeping conditions.

She tucked herself in and closed her eyes. For a moment, she relished in the warmth of the covers and the peaceful silence of the acres. Then the next moment she drifted off into sleep.

Time Turner was rudely awoken from his slumber by the ringing of his phone. His eyes shot open and he hand instinctively jutted out, bringing the device to his ear. “Hello?” he groaned.

Oh, did I wake you up? I apologize.” He heard a familiar voice say.

“Luna? What in the world are you doing, calling at…” He took a glance at the phone screen and then returned it to his ear. “Two-thirty in the morning?”

I’m sorry, Time, truly. It’s just that, you know, with everything that’s happened tonight, Celestia and I really haven’t been able to sleep. So many things to work out, so many questions we’ll have to answer. You understand, I’m sure.

“Yes, yes, I do. What are you calling about?” He didn’t mean to sound so curt with her - though Luna never would have called him out on it. She was always too nice to him, ever since they were kids.

Well, Celestia and I decided that we’d hash out a plan tomorrow over food. We’re going out, and I suggested we invite you.

Turner let out a hollow laugh. “I’m sure you mean that you wanted to invite me. I seem to recall Celestia not being too fond of me.” That was the way it had been for years now. Out of the sisters, Luna was the only one Turner was still close to. He had been close to Celestia, too, once upon a time, but that was a long time ago.

Yes, well, she’s at least willing to be around you now. She didn’t object when I brought you up, after all.

“True enough, I suppose.” Turner trailed off, biting the inside of his cheek as he mulled over his thoughts. “Where would we be going?”

Sugarcube Corner.

Turner’s breath hitched. Suddenly feeling as if he were choking, he moved his phone away and used his free arm to cover his mouth. He coughed a few times, then sputtered out a reply. “Wh-what? Luna, you know I haven’t been there since-”

I know, Time. I know. You met her there, after all. I know it’s a place with many memories for you, but it’s been years, Time. I don’t want you to feel like I’m pressuring you. If you don’t wish to go with us then don’t, but I wanted you to know that the option is open to you if you wish.

Turner’s chest heaved, rising and falling as he struggled to catch his breath. He didn’t know what to say. “I… I’ll think about it, Luna. I promise. I just don’t know if I… Did you know that Derpy works there, now?”

Yes, Berry Punch told me. Really takes after her mother, doesn’t she?

“I-” Turner stopped himself and took in a deep breath. He let it out slowly. “Yes, she does. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, Luna.”

Goodnight, Time.

Turner hung up, tossed his phone back onto his nightstand, and then stared at the ceiling until the sun came up.

Despite not getting any sleep, Time Turner felt wide awake. He twiddled his fingers in the pockets of his longcoat. He stood in front of the doors of Sugarcube Corner, his heart pounding a mile a minute as he gazed through the glass doors. It was a Saturday, and quite an important one at that being the first day after Sunset Shimmer’s defeat. Many students were inside, some in large groups and others in smaller ones, all chatting with smiles on their faces.

Turner gulped and glanced around him. There was no sign of Celestia or Luna. Checking the time on his phone told him that he was still early, so he supposed he could stand to be patient. No need to rush things, Turner, he thought to himself. You’re the one who agreed to come, after all.

Standing alone with nothing better to do, he allowed his mind to wander. Sugarcube Corner had been around longer than he could remember. It had been there when he was a boy and it hadn’t changed much at all. It still gave off a comforting aura to anyone who entered, and even from outside he could smell the delicious treats that waited inside. No wonder he hadn’t come here in years; just the sights and smells sent him down memory lane.

Growing up, he’d never been the most sociable of children, much preferring to stick to his books and schoolwork. He’d sat inside every recess to study, and spent every summer vacation inside reading.

“Time Turner!” He heard a voice exclaim. Turner turned and smiled. Celestia and Luna came walking down the sidewalk, Luna waving at him while Celestia wore a small smile. He returned the wave as they approached. “You’re here awfully early. The time we agreed on isn’t for another twenty minutes.” Luna said.

“Yes, well.” Turner replied. “If you’re not early, you’re late, as they say. Though, what are you doing here so early?”

Celestia spoke up. “Truth be told, we weren’t actually sure if you would show up. We thought to get here early and grab a spot for all of us just in case though.”

“How thoughtful of you. Well, I am here. I... thought it was overdue I visited this place again.” Turner again turned to look at the building, a wistful look on his face. “It’s been far too long, hasn’t it?”

“I’m glad you think so, Time. It’s good to see you, by the way.” Luna smiled wider. “Come, let’s go in! We’ve got a lot to talk about!” Luna stepped forward, opened the doors and stepped into Sugarcube Corner without waiting for a response from Turner or Celestia, who both watched her leave and then turned to look at each other.

Turner coughed into his elbow. “Ahem. Well, let’s not keep her waiting, shall we?” he said, taking a half-step forward, flashing Celestia a smile. Celestia returned it, but her lips were pulled tight and it didn’t reach her eyes.

“Yes,” she said curtly. “Let’s.” The two of them followed Luna into the bakery and looked around. Students of all kinds were all around them. Luna called to them from a booth off to the side, and Celestia headedtowards her quickly. Turner hesitated, took another look around, and then followed.

Celestia had sat next to her sister, so Turner slid into the seat across from them. “Well,” he breathed, “here we are.” His heart had not calmed one bit, and being inside the building hadn’t helped matters. He could hardly take one look at the decor without flashing back to a childhood memory.

Turner cleared his throat and lightly shook his head. Get it together, Turner, he scolded himself. It’s been years now. You can sit still for a few minutes. “Has Berry Punch called you yet?” he asked the sisters.

Luna shook her head. “No, she has not. Why?”

“She called me to yell at me. Word of the events of last night has been spreading to the parents it seems, and she was concerned for her daughters’ safety.” He laughed lightly. “I told her to call you if she had any questions.”

Celestia scoffed. “She knows you just said that to avoid her. She knows you too well.”

Luna nodded. “Besides, I’m fairly certain she knew we’d call her anyway. We already planned to send out calls to the parents this weekend anyway.”

Turner leaned back and put on a shocked expression. “You mean to tell me that she just wanted an excuse to yell at me? Perish the thought, Berry Punch would never!” His eyes flickered to Luna and then they both let out a chuckle. Celestia simply rolled her eyes.

“Berry has always been… headstrong,” Celestia said. “I have gotten a few inquiries about the crater in front of the school, though. I’ve told everyone there was a gas leak that caused it, and since the dance was going on, nobody was injured.”

Turner hummed. “That should stick. How are we going about fixing it?”

“We’ve hired someone who says they can fix the wall soon. Hopefully we’ll be able to open on Monday.” Luna supplied. “If not, well, I’m sure the students would appreciate some extra time off. More importantly, you’re handling this very well, Time!”

Turner raised an eyebrow. “Huh?”

“Being here. You were so hesitant to come, but from what I’ve seen you’re doing fine. After all these years, I’m happy to see you doing so well.” Luna smiled brightly.

“Oh. Yes, well…” Turner rubbed at the back of his neck. “Truth be told, I’m terrified. But you two have always been there to help me, especially since…” He trailed off, and his gaze dropped to the table. Luna and Celestia’s faces darkened.

“There’s no need to bring that up, Turner.” Celestia said, slightly softer than the tone she usually took with him. “After Ditzy passed, it was the least we could do to help you.”

Turner ran a hand through his hair. “I’d say you did more than just help me. You saved me, but enough about that.” We’ve had this conversation too many times. “How are we going to handle Shimmer?”

Celestia made a noise. “That will be difficult. Undoubtedly there will be some who still harbor resentment towards her. If she steps out of line again she’ll be expelled but, honestly, I don’t want it to come to that. As faculty, we can only do so much unless we see it happening for ourselves, and the students will know that.”

Luna nodded. “We’ll have the entire staff keeping an eye out. If anyone starts anything, they’ll be taken care of. I hope she takes this second chance seriously.”

Just then, the bell above the door rang, and in walked two girls. Obviously sisters, one was taller with grey skin, blonde hair that went past her shoulders, and golden eyes that pointed in different directions. She wore a blue shirt with a green skirt. The smaller one also had shoulder-length blonde hair and golden eyes, but her skin was a light shade of purple and her eyes pointed in the same direction. She wore a pale yellow dress with white frills.

He knew those girls - Derpy and Dinky Doo. Derpy was in his physics class, an average student but not terrible in the subject, and while he didn’t have Dinky in any classes, he still knew her. He knew them both.

Turner looked from Derpy and Dinky to Celestia and Luna with wide eyes. "I think I should go," he said. "It was lovely chatting with you two. We must do this again sometime." He moved to slide out from the booth, but one of Luna's grasped his wrist.

"Time, I think you should tell them," she said, her voice low. "They're almost adults now. They deserve to know."

Turner wrestled his arm from her grip. "What? No. No. I can't possibly-" He stopped himself, then looked between the siblings in front of him. "... You've been thinking about this, haven't you? This is why you brought me here, isn't it?"

"Time, please listen to me," Luna pleaded with wide eyes. Her gaze bore into his. They locked eyes for a few seconds before Turner sighed heavily and sat back down. "Thank you," Luna breathed.

"I haven't agreed to anything," he explained. "But… say I do. It's not my choice to make. I gave up that right when I gave them to Berry Punch. It's her call." Turner sagged in his seat. "I don't deserve to tell them the truth. If I do this, it would just be for my sake. That's not fair to them. I can't make them bear that weight just to make myself feel better."

Luna shook her head. "Time, everyone deserves a second chance, that includes you. If Sunset Shimmer can get one, you can too. I believe that, and I bet Berry Punch will agree."

Turner snorted. "Unlikely. She's not like how she was when we were kids. At least, not to me. She hates my guts."

Not without reason, he reminded himself. You dropped Derpy and Dinky on her out of nowhere. Forced her into a completely different lifestyle practically overnight. It was a miracle she was able to get sober so quickly…

It seemed Celestia and Luna were thinking exactly the same, as they shared an uneasy glance. Luna turned back to Turner. "She doesn't hate you, I promise. Berry is just stubborn."

Turner said nothing for a few seconds. Out of the corner of his eyes, he watched Derpy and Dinky approach the counter and place an order. The two girls - his daughters - hardly noticed him.

"... You've been awfully quiet, Celestia."

"I haven't had much to say, is all. This was all Luna's idea." Celestia said as she waved a hand. "Turner. I won't lie and say that I'm as close to you as Luna is. After your previous episodes of… cowardice… I'm not sure if you being around those girls outside of school is a good thing."

Turner winced but said nothing to defend himself.

"But, like you said, this all ultimately comes down to Berry's choice. If she lets you do it, and if you do tell the girls the truth, what do you intend to do after?"

Turner steadied himself with a breath. "That… would be up to Derpy and Dinky. If they want anything to do with me once all is said and done would be up to them."

Celestia hummed. "You seem eager to delegate any and all responsibility off of yourself."

"That's not it!" Turner exclaimed. "It wouldn't be right of me to barge into their lives with this. I don't get to make that choice. This is up to them, not me."

The principal made another noise, but Turner couldn't tell whether it was disapproval or approval. "Luna is right, you know, about second chances. If Sunset Shimmer can get one, then surely you can too. But you must grasp it. You must take that first step, Time Turner." Celestia looked him in the eye. "Will you?"

Turner sputtered. He tried to form words, but his tongue caught on itself. From the edge of his vision, he saw Derpy and Dinky exit Sugarcube Corner with smiles on their faces. He tugged at his collar and breathed heavily.

"... I guess we'll have to see," Turner said. He then slid out from the booth, rose to his shaking feet, and on unsteady legs walked to the door.

Am I taking the first steps? He asked no one. Or the last?

Author's Note:

Once again, this chapter was edited by my friend thehalfelf. Read his stuff, but especially Filly Friends which just wrapped up and is criminally underrated.

Time Turner's story arc is one reason why I wanted to come back to this story after so long. I just really wanted to write it. I'm excited to show y'all the better version of it, now. Sunset's story with Rainbow Dash is another thing I'm excited about - but that's for later.

Title song: