• Published 12th Dec 2014
  • 8,123 Views, 311 Comments

One More Dance - LightningSword

A troubled boy on the roof proves that Sunset Shimmer still has to account for her mistakes

  • ...

#1 - To Be or Not To Be

One More Dance

#1 -- To Be Or Not To Be

“Are you serious? What a joke!”

“No one will ever go out with you!”

“You can be as confident as you want, but nothing's gonna change how weak and worthless you are!”

“I would say you and Fluttershy belong together, but even she has some looks! You're just ugly, lame, boring and pathetic!

“No one loves you! And no one ever will!!”

Dactylic Pentameter stood on the roof of Canterlot High, ready to finally go through with this. Those words he'd heard a month ago from the queen of the school, Sunset Shimmer, continued to reverberate through his mind, even now. No matter what he did in that month-long struggle to prove her wrong, he'd failed. He'd aimed too high, he'd gotten his hopes up, and with a small stroke of inconvenient circumstances, it was official. He should have quit while he was ahead. He should have quit it all a long time ago.

He was about to, though. It was all about to end.

Dac stood up and swallowed a huge breath. He'd been preparing himself for this all week, and was amazed that he still felt his stomach clench nervously. Deep down, something inside of him didn't want to do this. Something wanted him to step away from the ledge and go back inside. Something inside still hung on to that last, childish glimmer of hope.

That something would soon be splattered all over campus, right along with him.

“You up there! On the roof! Get down from there this instant!”

Dac was startled, and almost fell off when he heard the voice. It was coming from the ground below, amplified through a megaphone. Dac figured it was a hall monitor of some kind, nothing to be upset about. It was just one more thing he didn't have to worry about anymore. Once he jumped, all his worries would be over. No more school, no more grades, no more bullies, no more worries, no more heartbreak—it would all be over soon.

“You, on the roof! You are in violation of school rules! You're damaging the roofing! Get down from there!”

Maybe not the best choice of words, Dac said to himself as he raised his arms and held them out at his sides, palms forward, as if to fly off the roof of the school. He knew he couldn't, though; in fact, he was counting on it.

He only hoped that hall monitor or whoever it was would move before she got hit.

“Dac? Is that you? What are you doing up there?!”

Dac heard a new voice now, one that was strangely familiar to him. It distracted him for a few seconds longer, but he kept his resolve, and prepared to jump . . . .

“Dac! Can't you hear me? This is . . . this is Sunset! Please come down!”

Dac heard the name, and finally placed the voice. It was the same voice that insulted and belittled him a month prior. It was her: the vicious bully who had made him feel so worthless, who had, by extension, driven him to this decision in the first place.

And she wanted him to come down?

“Dac? Dac, what's going on? Wait . . . please don't tell me you're doing what I think you're doing! Oh please, no! Dac, please, don't jump! You can't! You can't do this, Dac! Please, don't do it! I'm begging you! Please!!”

Dac did a double take. For the first time, he saw the two people down on the ground who'd been talking to him. One, he couldn't quite tell who it was, but knew it had to be some kind of school official. The other was also hard to tell, but only at first. Staring long enough at her Dac could just barely make out long, red-and-yellow striped hair, a black leather jacket, and light-orange skin.

That was her! At least, it was her voice, and it was obviously coming from her. But the words she said could hardly be her own; they were pleading, compassionate and desperate, three things that Dac was absolutely sure Sunset could never be.

Compassion or no, Dac suddenly felt rage—blind, uninhibited rage that this thug in a miniskirt would be here to witness his final minutes. Most likely to gloat, too, Dac thought disdainfully as he stared daggers at the warm-colored speck he saw on the ground. That dirty, rotten, mean-spirited little—

“Dac, I'm sorry!” Sunset's voice went on, now amplified by the hall monitor's megaphone. “Please, you have to believe me! I know I've said bad things to you in the past, but things are different now! I'm a better person! I don't really think those things about you! I really don't! Please believe me!”


“Give me that!” the hall monitor barked as she snatched the megaphone back from Sunset, “That's hardly helping matters now, is it, young lady?!”

“I had to say something!” Sunset replied. “Can't you see what's going on here?! What he's about to do?! I had to say something!” This was partially true; after Sunset's reformation, she had become much more empathetic and compassionate. Naturally, as soon as she passed this scene, she had to do what she could to help. But her apologies didn't come from out of nowhere. She had a good reason for pouring her newly-brightened heart and soul to Dac.

A very good reason.

Sunset Shimmer filed out of English class with the other students, fuming. Once again, that obnoxious little creep, Dactylic Pentameter, was tops in this class; another A+ essay solidified his place at the head of the pack. This was ridiculous. If she was going to keep her grip over this school (and stack the playing field in her favor in case her future scheme fell apart), she needed to stay ahead of everyone in school, in every way, by any means necessary. She had already done a flawless job of splitting up this dimension's so-called “Elements of Harmony” (Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie were hardly speaking to each other, and for some reason, she'd never seen this realm's version of Twilight Sparkle—the less she was around, the better), so the only people that needed to be kept in line were those who forgot who was running the show. Anyone who took a prominent position within the student body, be they athletes, student councilors, or just kids with good grades, needed to be taught the pecking order of Canterlot High.

All students went on the bottom. Then the teachers went above them. Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna came next. And finally, it was Sunset Shimmer on top. As it should be.

Dac was standing by his locker, writing in his notebook and looking like a complete loser. He was of average height, a little thin, with skin the color of parchment and mid-length, spiky hair, the color of ink, that hung in bangs over his eyes. His simple gray T-shirt had a design of a quill crossed with a flower. Sunset got a good look at him and grinned devilishly; this was the perfect opportunity to start whittling down his ego. Sunset walked over to Dac, stuck out her elbow, and knocked the boy's books out of his hands. Flustered, Dac went to pick them up, first reaching for his notebook, and panicked when Sunset's boot stamped down on it, keeping it on the ground.

“Awww, what's the matter, Dacky?” Sunset taunted as Dac struggled to pull his notebook out from under her boot. “You drop your stuff? You're as clumsy with your books as you are with words!”

Dac groaned and strained as he tried again and again to get Sunset to move. “Please,” he begged, his voice struggling to break, “please, let go. This notebook is important to me . . . .”

Sunset scoffed, “What's the big deal? Just some book you keep your stupid notes in? Grow up!” She then pushed him away with her other foot, stepped off the notebook, and picked it up, reading the page it was open to. Immediately, she had to suppress laughter—this was comedy gold.

She started reading out loud through her snickering:

“I will wait, trusting fate, struggling not to hesitate
They will try to walk by, but they'll never catch my eye
Just one chance, for romance; sway my heart, with graceful dance
You will see, we'll be free, a world of love for you and me.”

“Hey!” Dac yelled over her, reaching for his notebook. “Give it back! That's private!”

“Psh! No wonder! It's trash! How are you at the top of the class in English! You'd be lucky to get a C in Pig Latin!” She jerked the notebook one way and another, avoiding Dac's hands and ignoring his slowly-welling tears.

“Please! That's . . . that's not meant for your eyes—”

“You had this coming for a while now, kid!” Sunset continued to jeer him, “If you kept your hand down in class more often, I wouldn't have to knock you down a few pegs!”

“Just give it to me! I'm saving that poem!”

Sunset heard this, and stopped, sure to keep the notebook out of reach as she processed his words. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute! You're saying you're gonna give this lousy poem to someone? Are you serious?” When all Dac could do was stare at the ground in shame, letting tears drip from his eyes, Sunset went on, “What a joke!”

Dac fought his misery and replied with as much strength as he could, “I . . . I like writing poetry. And someday, I'll meet a nice girl who'll like what I write, and—”

“And what?” Sunset laughed. “She'll fall all over you like a drooling fangirl? No one will ever go out with you! Especially if you write childish slop like this!”

“What makes you so sure? My poetry gives me confidence, especially when people enjoy it!”

“Please!” Sunset could hardly contain her laughter now. “You can be as confident as you want, but nothing's gonna change how weak and worthless you are!”

Dac was visibly hurt by this, and his reply was broken and subdued, “I'm . . . not . . . worthless—”

“Look again, honey! The only kid in school more flaccid and fragile than you is Fluttershy! I would say you and Fluttershy belong together, but even she has some looks! You're just ugly, lame, boring and pathetic!” She then tore the poem from Dac's notebook, crumpled it up, and threw it on the floor at his feet. She tossed the notebook to the side, turned around and walked away.

Dac dropped to his knees, unable to speak for a while as he stared at the crumbled remains of his work. As Sunset proceeded to sashay triumphantly down the hall, Dac suddenly attracted everyone's attention in a most unexpected and taboo way:

“You rotten old harpie! You can't do this to people! What gives you the right to step on everyone around you?! You should be ashamed of yourself!”

Sunset froze, her eyes wide in shock. She took special care to make sure no one ever spoke to her like that. She turned back around, staring daggers at the pathetic little wimp on the ground, and walked back up to him, placing a finger under his chin. “Let me spell it out for you, baby,” she snapped, a wildfire blazing in each eye, “I'm the queen of this school! No one does anything under this roof unless I know about it. And I got news for you—no one here is going to defend you, because no one here is going to care about you.” Sunset then went straight for the jugular, “You are nobody. Nothing would change if you'd never existed. You're hopeless, and you'd be better off if you'd disappeared off the face of the planet without a trace.”

She leaned in close, and her tone went up in volume, “Got it?! You are beneath me in every way, and you would be an idiot to challenge me! No one knows you. No one cares about you. No one loves you! And no one ever will!!” She lifted her finger, tweaking Dac's chin, and walked away again, putting that victorious swish in her hips as she moved. She could just barely hear sounds of Dac crying on the floor.

Another one knocked back to the bottom with the rest of the dregs, she thought. Perfect.

Sunset thought back to that day, and was horrified by her own behavior. She hadn't taken this deep a retrospective of her own actions since Twilight left, and the things she had done shocked her as much now as they had then. She could hardly believe she had gone all that time being so inconsiderate, insensitive and cruel. And now, she had to repair the aftermath of what she'd done; she was answering for her past, in the biggest, most harrowing way.

But there was one thing Sunset still didn't understand. That had happened a month ago. She was sure her hurtful words had a major influence in Dac's self-destructive decision today (at worst, they were the direct cause), but why wait for so long? What happened between that day and today? And did it contribute to Dac's reasons to attempt to take his own life?