• Published 17th Jan 2015
  • 2,442 Views, 227 Comments

Shimmering Sunsets - Evowizard25



Have you ever wanted to go to a different world? Well, our characters probably didn't, but they went anyways. Now they're going to have to try and live with their new worlds until they can return home...easier said than done.

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Meet the Sunset {Sunsetverse}

“So….Where is everypony?” Lightning looked around herself. “I mean, shouldn’t we at least see a guard or something?”

“Well, we did just get thrown in some portal-majiggie,” Fiddlesticks rolled her eyes. Quickfix was draped over her back. “Who know what is here?”

“Yeah,” Lightning nodded. “We could have been thrown on a different planet.” She gasped. “That would be so cool.” She raised herself up into the air. “Lightning Dust, first pony to step on another planet. The Wonderbolts would have to let me in then.”

“Different planet?” Fiddlesticks looked around herself. “Looks the same to me.”

“That’s what they always do,” Lightning smirked. “But then, some monster or hot stallion will come running out any second now like in those books I’ve read.”

“Ya need to stop readin’ that garbage,” Fiddlesticks snorted. “Those science fiction books are a bunch of hooey.”

“Science fiction adventure,” Lightning crossed her forelegs.

And then a manticore wearing a tophat and monocle walked by. Blinking in surprise, it tipped its hat before sauntering on its way.

Lightning’s jaw dropped as did she when her wings stopped beating. She jumped back to her hooves. “What the hay?!!!”

Fiddlesticks simply smiled. “That was a nice manticore. Maybe he knows Ghoul?”

“How the bucking feather would a manticore know Ghoul?” Lightning said. “It’s a manticore. He was undead. They don’t mix.”

“Neither did we at the start,” Fiddlesticks pointed out. Lightning shut up at that. “We stuck together, differences and all.” She looped a foreleg around her friend’s neck and brought her close as the two walked on. “We’re gonna make it out of this.”

Lightning smiled. “Even if we have to bash everything in our path.”

“Ya pegasi are so aggressive,” Fiddlesticks rolled her eyes and chuckled.

Suddenly, pineapples. Pineapples everywhere. It's the Everfree, making sense is for lesser places.

“WHAT! THE! HAY!” Lightning and Fiddlesticks ran through the Pineapple storm. “What are pineapples doing in the Everfree Forest?"

“Maybe swallows carried them,” Fiddlesticks offered.

“Why would a swallow carry a pineapple,” Lightning shouted back.

“Because they get hungry durin’ migration, silly.” Fiddlesticks rubbed her chin as she effortlessly dodged the fruit. “Could be European swallows...With some sticks.”

The Everfree, stunned by the sheer stupidity of that statement, stopped raining pineapples. There are some things it just didn't feel like competing with. But just to spite them, all the pineapple turned to stone. No food for them.

“Sore loser,” Fiddlesticks frowned as the two stopped.

“Well….” Lightning looked around herself. “That happened. I can’t believe you stopped a forest with stupidity.”

“Not the first time,” Fiddlesticks nodded sagely. “Forest are tricky, but they’re also jerks who can’t really think straight. Ya got to trip ‘em up.” She quickly looked back at the direction of the portal...that was gone. “Except ya, Fluttershy. Ya are best forest.”

“So...Forests are stupid and you have to be stupider,” Lightning tried to make sense of what she said.

Fiddlesticks shook her head. “Nah, ya have to trip ‘em up. Now, let’s get out of here and get back home. Our new friends are gonna be there soon….or ‘here’ soon. Dang, this forest is just throwin’ me off.” She shivered.

“I’ll throw it off,” Lightning punched a tree as she passed it. “I’m a pegasus. We’re the toughest things out here.”

"Ow!" the tree shouted. Turning around, it was revealed to not be a tree, but some sort of large tree like ape, about twenty feet tall, glaring at them. "Ahhh! Ahhh! Ahhh!" is screamed, beating its large chest like a wooden drum. A number of other trees about it also revealed themselves to be giant apes, also looking quite ferocious.

Lightning’s eyes widened. “Okay….giant monkey trees.”

“Giant ‘ape’ tree,” Fiddlesticks corrected her.

“Right,” Lightning rolled her eyes. “Because it matters what their species is.” Fiddlesticks snorted. “So….Run?”

“Run." Fiddlesticks nodded and the two took off as quick as a bullet.
____________________________________________________________________

The two ponies huffed as they made their way through the forest. They weren’t tuckered out, but those creatures had given them a run for their money.

“Did we lose them?” Lightning asked.

Fiddlesticks nodded. “Yeah,” she chuckled. “Sides, they got the message after ah knocked a couple of ‘em out with the rock fruits.”

“Lucky hits,” Lightning grumbled. She wanted to beat at least one of the creatures herself, but there was a saying.

Don’t rush into a suicide fight, you idiot!

Such wise words.

“So, what?” Lightning asked. “We just randomly wander the forest until we find something?”

“Like some ruins?”

“Yeah like…..” Lightning turned her head around to see the Castle of the Two Sisters….Like it was before they used the Elements. “What? That can’t be right, unless…..” She gasped. “We went back through time!”

“Buck,” Fiddlesticks huffed. “Ah hate these stories. Mark my words, it’ll get weirder than a viper in a hoedown in no time.” The two of them made their way over to the ruins. “Should we just go in?”

Lightning shrugged. “Can’t hurt to look. Maybe it’s an illusion or something like that. Could be the work of a sorcerer.”

Fiddlesticks scoffed, but the two just walked in regardless of any possible dangers. “Anybody home?” She called out. “Don’t worry, if’n ya’ll friendly, ah won’t hurt ya’ll... Unless you’re not, then buck you to Tartarus.”

Echoes were the only answer.

“Looks like we’ve got the place to ourselves,” Lightning said. “Put her down somewhere.” Fiddlesticks abruptly dropped Quickfix, causing Lightning to cringe. “Not like that.”

“Ya should be clearer next time,” Fiddesticks huffed. The two brought Quickfix over to a corner and looked her over. “Nothin’ seems to be wrong.’

“Yeah,” Lightning twitched in nervousness. “But that’s just it. We aren’t unicorns. How’re we supposed to help her like this?”

“Give her some rest,” Fiddlesticks answered. “She’ll be up and at ‘em in no time.”

“I hope no time is soon,” Lightning looked around, bearing her teeth in anticipation. “There could be Nightmare cultists around here. You know, if this is the past.”

“Could be,” Fiddlesticks shrugged, not looking away from her friend. Both Fiddlesticks and Lightning’s ears flittered about, listening for any sound or noise. Fiddlesticks was just humming to her friend, stroking her mane to ease her slumber.

Lightning was poised to pounce anyone who came near them. “Okay, something happen.” She grumbled. “Because if this is the past, then the past was dull!”

Suddenly, nothing happened. Nothing then continued to happen. For several minutes, nothing continued on its merry way.

“.......Worst adventure ever,” Lightning sighed and turned back to the others. “Looks like we’re safe after all.”

"Ah still don't see why ya'll are complainin' so much. The Everfree's done worse than that." a voice spoke outside the castle, hidden from sight by the ruins.

"That's because you aren't allergic to pineapples!" another voice shouted, it's accent odd yet smooth.

"Or had one hit you on your horn." a rather familiar grouchy voice added in.

"Leat ya got it off fore it a turned inta stone." the first voice said, trying to be upbeat.

"Yeah that's great and...guys, there's new tracks going into the castle. Looks like earth pony tracks."

"Really? You can pick that out?"

Lightning immediately struck an aggressive pose, glaring at the door. “Looks like we have company.”

“Shall we run again?” Fiddlesticks chuckled at the glare Lightning gave her.

“I can take whatever these chumps throw my way,” Lightning snorted. “HEY!” She shouted. “Heads up! If you think you can take us, you’ve got another thing coming!”

"Alright, so there's definitely somepony in there. And it sounds like bandits."

"What would bandits be doin' in the Everfree? Thereain't nopony to rob out here."

"They could be on the run. I'm not seeing any spells work, so I doubt they have anything too bad."

"Seriously, those upgrades are amazing. Okay, whoever is in there, you are getting one warning! Come on out nice and friendly, or I'm dropping a solar flare in there!"

Lightning blinked in surprise. “Sunset? You got sucked into the past too?”

"The past, what?" The mare sounded quite confused. "Okay, how did you know my name? Who are you? Wait, are you a time traveler from the future? No that doesn't make any sense, time travel is stupidly impractical...at least now. Who knows what sort of temporal magecraft could be achieved in the future. From that standpoint time travel being practical can only be from a future date. Does this mean I'll meet this pony in the future? But what if this last meeting is the main reason I associate with them? Is this a stable time loop or a quantum causality branch triggered off by the very act of time travel..."

“NEEEEEEEERD!” Lightning cupped a hoof around her mouth.

"...right, arch enemy from the future it is. One wide range firestorm, coming up."

“Wait,” Lightning said. “You don’t know me yet, but in the future, we’re best buds! You’ll move to Ponyville and get that Tree Library you always wanted after we defeat Nightmare Moon. Now I know that sounds crazy…”

"It does!" Sunset shouted back. "And what do you mean after? Nightmare Moon was defeated months ago!"

“.....OH FEATHERING BULLS!” Lightning shouted in frustration. “Another alternate universe?”

"Wait, did you say alternate universe? You didn't happen to fall through a mirror did you?" Sunset called back.

“Nah,” Lightning called back to her. “It was some swirling vortex...after Fiddlesticks here fired a laser into it.” She glared at Fiddlesticks.

Fiddlesticks shrugged. “You can’t resist pushin’ those big, red buttons. Ya have to do it.”

"That sounds like Pinkie Logic...is your friend a party pony?" the smooth voice called out.

“Best one in Ponyville,” Fiddlesticks chimed. “Ya need a party, ah’m yer gal.”

"Alrighty then, sounds reasonable ta me. Why don't ya come on out and introduce yerselves are we can get this whole mess sorted out?"

“Okay,” Fiddlesticks hefted Quickfix onto her back and made for the door.

Lightning Dust threw her hoof in her way. “It could be a trap.”

"Oh my," the smooth voice called out, "look at all these balloon animals and funny hats."

Fiddlestick’s eyes shined brightly and like a flash she was out the door. “Where?”

Standing in front of Fiddlesticks was an odd group. One looked sort of like Sunset Shimmer, if her ma was Prench. Another looked like a pegasus except its body was coated in yellow feathers instead of hair, though it's tri-color green mane and tail looked normal enough. Her eyes though, looked like they were shining green gemstones.

The last one, by comparison, was a boringly normal earth pony, who looked quite surprised. "Cousin Fiddle Faddle?"

"You have a cousin named Fiddle Faddle?" the pegasus asked, being the source of the smooth voice.

"She married inta the family." the Erath pony replied with a shrug.

“Ah what?” Fiddlesticks gasped. “Cousin Applejack, ya have some nerve lyin’ ‘bout yer cousin like that. Married into the family, is that some city slicker joke? Ah grew up as an apple and proud of it!” She stomped the ground, shaking it. Causing a small crater.

"City slicker? That there's fightin' words missy!" Applejack shot back, stomping the ground for her own indents. "Ya take that back afore ah get madder than a cat on a water slide!"

“Why ya talkin’ like that anyways, cos?” Fiddlesticks eyed her up and down. “And where’s yer fancy city getup? Ya never take that stuff off.”

"Applejack...dressing up." Sunset was stunned. "What sort of weird and twisted alternate reality have we stumbled upon refugees from?"

"Well they aren't necessarily refugees." the pegasus pointed out. "From what the angry one was shouting earlier, it seems they fell into here by accident. Also, Fiddle Faddle, I'm the one that mentioned the balloon animals and funny hats. My apologies, I'll make up for it when we get back to town."

“Ya can start by not callin’ me that,” Fiddlesticks snorted in anger. “My name’s Fiddlesticks! Ah hate that nickname.”

Applejack blinked a bit. "Ah guess if ya are from another world ya might have a different name. Sorry, didn't mean to poke ya none. Ah just took a guess based on what ah knew. Guess ah was dumber than a mouse attendin' a cat show." Rubbing the back of her neck, she glanced around uncomfortably. "So, uh, whose that ya got on yer back?"

“Don’t have to apologize, cos.” Fiddlesticks chuckled. “Ah know we’re closer than two bears in a salmon run. This here’s Quickfix. She got plumb tuckered out on the trip over here.”

"Really?" Sunset said, concern clearly evident on her face. "Bring her over here, I've got a couple medical spells I can use to give her a once over."

As Fiddlesticks took a step forward, a green blur landed in between her and the others. Lightning Dust dropped into a predatory posture, bearing her fangs as much as she could. Her wings were held out high and as wide as possible to help her be as big and intimidating as she could be. She snarled. “I don’t think so.”

"Bucking Tartarus burning in the heart of the sun! What is that thing!?" Sunset shouted, backing up as her horn assumed a bright golden glow.

"It looks like some sort of cross between an earth shod pegasus and a dragon." their own feathery pegasus noted, also backing off, her own wings spread out as her feathers stood on end, puffing her up greatly.

“Did you just call me a mixer?” Lightning stood up, wings twitching in anger.

"A mixer? What in Celestia's blue skies is a mixer?" AJ asked, befuddled. "And ya stay back missy, less ya wanna tangle."

“You called me some Earth shod/dragon hybrid,” Lightning scuffed the ground. “So yeah, mixer and you don’t want to tangle with me. I’ve wrestled things bigger than you.”

"Wait, what? You're against hybrids? What?" Sunset sounded confused as all Tartarus about that. "Okay, Apparently we got off on the wrong hoof. So, if you're not a...mixer...then what are you?"

“I’m a pegasus,” Lightning said. She stomped the ground in agitation. “And I’m not against hybrids! I know a couple of ponies that are hybrids and they’re alright.”

"Wait wait wait, that's what pegasi look like in that reality?" the gem eyed pony asked, jaw dropped. "Holy guacamolie we look terifying! How the buck did we ever make peace with the other tribes! You look like you're a carnivore!"

“Well, more like omnivore.” Lightning added. “We can eat plants too...We just like meat more. And before you start, we didn’t eat ponies. That’s sick….Griffons on the other hoof was another story.” Lightning chuckled. “My ancestors were pretty badflank.”

"Wait, how would your ancestors even have run into griffons? They're on another freaking continent." Sunset asked, looking very skeptical.

Lightning shook her head. “Nah, they’re right next door to us. My ancestors and theirs fought tooth and claw for generations. We still do, but the current king is alright so nothing major other than little lords that try their claw at conquest.”

"Right, alternate reality. I feel like we'll be bumping our horn into that a lot." Sunset muttered. "So, any reason you don't want your friend checked out by somepony with medical training?"

“Cause…” Lightning shrugged. “I dunno.” She eyed the other pegasus. “And let me guess, are you a mixer or a pegasus? Sorry, can’t tell.”

"Pegasus. Name's Masquerade Pantomime, but you can just call me Mask, it's a lot less of a mouthfull. So yeah, we look a lot less intimidating than you. Dash would probably argue the point, but she's not here right now." She shrugged, her gems rolling over the group in front of her. "Also, she'd probably try and kick your flank for that mixer stuff. Her second in command is a hybrid, as is one of her lieutenant's kids. She has very little tolerance for tribalist attitudes."

“I’m not a tribalist!” Lightning shouted.

“Ya kind of sounded like one, Dust.” Fiddlesticks pointed out.

“Well I’m not,” Lightning snorted, growling deep in her throat.

"So you're names Dust?" Mask piped up. "Dust Devil, Dust Storm, Dusty Trails? Dr. Pie's a lot better at these guessing games than I am..."

“It’s Lightning Dust,” Lightning frowned. “Come on! It’s not that hard to guess. I mean, just look at my cutie mark, for Celestia’s sake.”

"Well I didn't want to assume anything." Mask shrugged. "Our friend Rarity Belle, her cutie mark is three diamonds. No relation to her name at all."

“Ya’ll have a Rarity here too?” Fiddlesticks piped up.

"Yep. Just like ya'll apparently got yerselves a Princess Celestia." AJ noted.

“Thank goodness for that,” Lightning huffed. “So….what now?”

“Now we get Quickfix to Prenchie Sunset,” Fiddlesticks walked over to Sunset with her passenger firmly on board.

"Prenchie? I look Prench to you?" Sunset eyed her skeptically.

“The Prench have those funny tails and hooves,” Lightning piped up. “That and their freakishly tall, like almost Celestia levels tall. Also no cutie marks...though.” She eyed her up and down. “You do kind of look like Trixie.”

"Who's Trixie?" Sunset asked. "Do we know a Trixie?"

"Travlin' show mare, you were out of town that day." AJ noted. "Also, to clear any confusion, Sunset is a typical unicorn in these here parts. That stuff's normal...yer friend's got a horn, she a normal unicorn?"

Fiddlesticks nodded. “Yep, she ain’t like those no good, stuck up, master race Unicorns.” She snorted. “Darn Prench.”

"Huh? Weird. Our Prench are mostly artists, fashion ponies, and philosophers." Mask noted. "Also, mostly earths, not unicorns."

"Whatever, I'm going to do my check up...wait, quick question. How do your unicorns deviate from earths in your world? Like, does she have fangs too?" Sunset asked, grouping for answers. "Cause I'd love to know what the baseline is before I try and find what's wrong."

“Well, they usually are slender and quick,” Fiddlesticks started. “Also they ain’t nearly as sturdy as us Earth Ponies. Can’t take as much before goin’ down. Other than magic, and that, not a lot….Though, some fancy scientist said ya’ll unicorns are smarter ‘cause yer brains can process so many thoughts and stuff all at the same time and ya never forget.” She looked Quickfix over. “That and ya live longer….lucky.”

"Wow a perfect memory that would be awe-live longer!?" Sunset shouted in surprise. "That's, okay whatever I have a good baseline. A couple basic scans should do it." Horn glowing, a few sheets of golden energy swept over Quickfix's prone form. After a few seconds, Sunset nodded, relieved. "Okay, good news. It's nothing serious. Her internal mana reserves are just massively low. It's simple mana exhaust, she can sleep it off. But probably not the best idea to do it here."

“Well that’s a relief,” Lightning huffed. “Say...What’s mana?”

Sunset rolled her eyes. "Mana. The internal energies a unicorn calls upon for the shaping and casting of spells. Did you think we just waved our horns and stuff happened?"

“I just thought you just used magic,” Lightning rolled her eyes. “But it’s my luck I wound up in a nerd universe. You just had to name it something so….nerdy.”

"It exists! It needs a name!" Sunset argued back. "What do you expect us to do, just call it "magic thingy"?"

“I dunno,” Lightning snorted. “Ours just call it aura, though they say that we all have it, it’s just that unicorns have moreso. I think that’s the same thing.” She scratched her head. “I really never cared for magic when I had these.” She flexed her wings.

"Guys, I think we're getting off topic." Masquerade noted, rolling her gems. "We need to get your friend back to town where she can rest safely. Sunset, send up the signal to call the others back, I think we found Dr. Pie's doozy."

Fiddlesticks gasped. “She had a doozy? So did ah! Did she say that some friends were comin’ yer way?”

"Actually, she wasn't too sure what a bunch of other party-mancy signs she got were. She'd never had them in a combo before, and on their own they were something of a mess." Sunset explained. "Anyway, one signal, coming up." A shot of magic from her horn sailed up into the air before exploding into a glowing, giant version of her cutie mark. "Now we just have to wait for Twilight to teleport the others back here."

“Twilight?” Lightning gulped, looking around nervously. “As in ‘Twilight Sparkle’, Twilight?”

"Uh, yes. You know her in your world too?" Mask asked. "Cause you're looking a little nervous there."

“Oh she’s nothing really,” Lightning chuckled nervously. “Just one of the most powerful chaos sorceresses ever and a renowned trickster. She’s pranked me more times than I can count, not to mention everypony else.”

The other mares just stared at Lightning for a while...before falling down, roaring with laughter.

"That, that's a good one!" AJ said, slapping her knees.

"Oh jeeze, you your universe's version of Laughter or something?" Mask asked between choking breaths. "Because that's one of the best dang jokes I have ever heard!"

"Sparkle? Chaos?" Sunset actually seemed to have trouble breathing, she was laughing so hard. "Her idea of Chaos, ha, is, ha ha, is forgetting to schedule in time to make next month's schedule!"

“Actually, I’m the Element of Loyalty,” Lightning nodded her head toward the others. “Fiddlesticks is Joy and Quickfix is Inspiration. I’m also not joking. Twilight is a chaos sorceress.”

“She was also known as the Skewer,” Fiddlesticks noted. “Cause, ya know, she liked to skewer enemies and hoist him up like flags.”

The laughter died quickly at that. "Well, that's all kinds of messed up." Sunset noted. "...wait a minute, you guys actually are Bearers?"

"What kinda' Element is inspiration anyways?" AJ asked.

“Ya know,” Fiddlesticks glared at AJ. “Cos, if Quickfix had heard ya, she’d be beatin’ ya upside the head fer askin’ that and yes.” She nodded. “We are.”

"Oh uh, well shoot didn't mean to offend. But yeah, we're Bearer's too." AJ noted. "Ahm Honesty."

"Laughter over here." Masquerade supplied. "I'm guessing that's our version of your Joy."

"And I," Sunset noted, "bear the responsibility of being the Bearer of the Element of Friendship."

Lightning held a hoof to her mouth as she suppressed some laughter. “Oh boy, if our Sunset could have heard you say that, she’d flip."

"Wait what? Why?" Sunset asked. "Friendship is the greatest, most precious thing in the whole world. What could possibly be better than being with your closest friends?"

“She liked to call it the Element of Magic,” Lightning said. “She preferred it that way.”

"What?!" Sunset shouted. "I had to rechristened mine from Magic to Friendship in order to unlock its true power to free Luna from her possession! Are you telling me she did the opposite!?"

“Technically no,” Fiddlesticks tried to explain. “Ya see, it is the Element of Magic, but Celestia told her that it’s pretty much is the Element of Friendship and that Magic was more ‘symbolic’ of a term for the bonds we share….”

“Sunset just kept with the original title,” Lightning added. “...And Luna was possessed? When did that happen?”

Mask gave a quick summary "A thousand years ago. Possessed, became Nightmare Moon, locked in the moon, escaped, massive quest, saved the world. Your version?"

“Luna turned evil, renamed herself Nightmare Moon, bloody three year conquest, her soul locked in the moon, escaped, attacked town with an army, quest, saved the world,” Fiddlesticks listed out. “And then we locked Luna down in a deep dungeon and partied.”

"...our Luna is cured and helping to run the kingdom." Sunset responded, looking rather uncomfortable. "Also, a three year war? How did that happen? Our Nightmare Moon's first attack lasted, what, ten minutes?"

"Ah think it was closer ta fifteen." AJ noted. "Then Celestia used the Elements on her."

“Luna kind of….had an army of her own and brainwashed some more,” Lightning said. “That and shadow daemons. A whole lot of shadow daemons. Elements were more of a last resort kind of thing.”

"So are ours, but I think your sister going crazy, transforming into a monster, and declaring an eternal night that will eventually kill all life kind of justifies it." Mask argued.

“True,” Fiddlesticks nodded. “Can’t say what ah’d do if that kind of thin’ happened to Apple Bloom…” She shivered. “Actually, can we not think about it?”

"Ah great, now I'm think bout Bloom." AJ said, shuddering. "No wonder Ma's so nervous all the time."

Fiddlestick’s jaw dropped. “Yer ma?....She’s alive?”

"...and why wouldn't she be?" AJ asked, her voice filled with dread, her eyes widening as the answer slowly, horribly dawned on her. "So, is Pa alive in your world instead then?"

Fiddlesticks nervously shuffled about. “Cos, don’t make me answer that….Ah shouldn’t have said anythin’.”

"Ya already answered it." AJ sighed. "Poor Bloom...now hold on just one cotton pickin' minute! Ya'll said ah was some sort of city slicker in yer world? What was ah doing goin' to some city stead of stayin' put and lookin' after Bloom?"

“....” Fiddlesticks bit her lip. “Ya were a filly then and...ya kept sayin’ it was yer fault that they were dead, so ya ran away to Aunt and Uncle Orange….” She nervously scuffed the ground. “We didn’t take it well.”

"Well ah ain't takin' it well neither." AJ huffed. "If ah ever get my hooves on that other me, ah'm gonna give myself a good lickin' and set me straight."

"Applejack, violence isn't the best answer." Sunset noted. "I'll admit it can be the fun one, but it's not the best for delicate situations. You have to consider the other pony's feelings."

“She ain’t a bad pony,” Fiddlesticks piped up. “Even if ya...she is a city slicker, ah got ya to come over finally. We’re friends now…” She glanced away. “Bloom still don’t like it though. Won’t talk to her really.”

"Well, I hate to cut into good drama, but I'm getting worried." Mask interjected. "Twilight should have seen the signal and teleported back by now."

“She probably got sucked into the portal and on our side now,” Fiddlesticks shrugged. “No biggee.”

"Wait what?" Sunset asked. "How do you know that? Are you getting info from party-mancy?"

“Nah,” Fiddlesticks shook her head. “Ah saw her on the way here, passed her by. She seemed a bit busy at the moment, so ah kept my mouth shut.” Lightning stared at Fiddlesticks in bewilderment, but simply shook her head.

"Passed her by where?" Mask asked.

“Through the portal,” Fiddlesticks smiled.

“You mean the one that closed?” Lightning asked, to which Fiddlesticks nodded. She groaned. “Perfect...Just flipping perfect.”

Sunset seemed to agree. "Oh Celestia bucking Tirek in the bucking heart of bucking Tartarus while bucking freezing on the bucking moon as it's plunged into the bucking fiery bucking core of the bucking sun by bucking Discord on a bucking pogo stick made out of the bucking tears of orphans!"

“That’s a lot of bucks to give,” Lightning said.

“Didn’t Celestia just throw a spear into his heart?” Fiddlesticks asked. “Not buck him.”

“Yeah, but that’s not important right now.” Lightning piped up.

"Sorry it's just, that's just, urgh! There goes our mass teleport home. Okay, I can probably take two of you with me. Quickfix obviously, and then either Lightning or Fiddle. Applejack and Masquerade can escort whoever is left back out of the Forest and into Ponyville. We'll be waiting at the hospital."

“Ooh, ooh,” Fiddlesticks jumped up and down, waving a foreleg. “Pick me, pick me.”

"First come first serve." Sunset quipped, levitating Quickfix onto her own back. "If you aren't used to teleporting, grab on to me and try not to throw up."

“Oh ah’m used to it,” Fiddlesticks chuckled, throwing her foreleg around Sunset's neck. “Our Sunset likes to teleport me out of her house all the time. Sometimes she even drops me from the top story. Fun times.”

"That is horrifying. I'm going to be having nightmares about this later. Applejack, when you get back to town, remind me to schedule an appointment with my therapist." Sunset asked, before she and her two charges vanished in a flash of golden light.

“So….” Lightning’s stomach grumbled. “Got anything to eat?” She smiled, unintentionally showing off her fangs.

"Pineapple?" Mask quipped. "Sorry, since we were planning on teleporting around, we didn't pack any supplies. You'll just have to go hungry for a bit until we find some food."

“Pass,” Lightning noticed a little lizard passing back and snapped it up. She made quick work in swallowing it. “That’ll do me till we get to town.”

"Did she just eat a skink?" AJ asked. "Ain't those poisonous?"

“.....What?” Lightning’s iris’s shrunk. “You’re joking. That was just some random lizard. They aren’t poisonous….” She gulped. “Right? Come on, it was just a small thing. Can’t hurt me.”

"Skinks are small lizards." AJ noted. "Probably shoulda' taken a better look. This here is the Everfree. Home of stuff that looks nice till it tries ta kill ya."

"Let's just get going." Masquerade said. "If it was a skink she'll just have a bit of an upset stomach, they aren't that poisonous. We've got a lot of ground to cover. I'll check the bridge for you AJ." She then flew off, scanning the rickety wooden bridge with her gems for any problems.

“You know,” Lightning snorted and glared at AJ. “That wasn’t funny, scaring me like that.”

AJ shook her head "Twern't a joke. That's Mask's thing. Ah honestly think it was one. Ya need to be more careful. Otherwise ya'll are gonna do somethin' dumb, like upset a tree-mendous ape er somethin'."

Lightning Dusts eyes widened. “Is that what….” She shook her head and nervously laughed. “Yeah, that would be pretty stupid. hehe.”

"Yep. All kinds of stuff looks safe here till it tries ta kill ya. Cragodiles that look like rocks. Strangle vines, poison joke, giant vampiric tree frogs, head asplodin' flowers. All kinds of nasty things." she explained as she trotted off. "Well, keep up!"

“Keep up?” Lightning trotted past her. “Do you know who you’re talking to? I’m Lightning Dust, future Wonderbolt in the making.”

"Huh, that sounds just like Dash, goin' on bout being a Bolt once she's old enough."

“Rainbow Dash is here?” Lightning let out a fan-girlish squeal. “Where?...Wait, old enough?”

"Well, where would be on the other side of the portal Fiddlesticks said our friends fell through. Dash is an Element Bearer, Generosity. As fer old enough, she's only thirteen. Bolts don't take ya till yer at least sixteen. Shame too, from what I can tell she can already outfly more than half the team."

“Well our Dash is a hero,” Lightning beamed. “She’s eighteen and one of the leading Wonderbolts and shes just. So. Awesome! I met her a couple of times. She even gave me an autograph.” She looked smug.

Applejack rolled her eyes at Lightning's posing. "Our Dash is a hero too, what with havin' helped save the whole dang world twice and all."

“Sounds cool,” Lightning said. “So...Do you know me in this universe?”

"Nope. Never met ya." Applejack admitted. "Up, bridge ahead. Talk after we cross. Lookin' good Mask?"

"All clear! I think Sunset's reinforcement spell's actually fixed it up better than when we first used it actually."

Lightning snorted and flew over to the other side at top speeds. Settling down, she grinned. “See you on the other side, AJ.”

"Wow, you are a lot like my friend, Rainbow Dash." Masquerade noted. "A little less mature, but very close."

“Less mature?” Lightning snorted. “I’ll have you know that I’m sixteen, thank you very much.”

"So why are you acting like you're ten and provoking Applejack for no good reason?" Mask asked, her gems twinkling in mischief.

“Ten?” Lightning glowered at her. “Just a little friendly competition, little miss featherbody. Ain’t anything wrong with that.”

"No there isn't." Masquerade agreed, letting the feather comment slide off like rain. "But there is a time and a place for it, and the Everfree is definitely not it."

“I’ve raced through these woods multiple times,” Lightning defended herself. “Dingoneks, Timberwolves, even a Herrasaurus, a flipping dinosaur, and I’m still breathing.”

"Only one of those I recognize is the Timberwolf." Mask admitted. "So okay, maybe you can handle anything your Everfree can throw at you. Do you know what mine can?"

“Shoot,” Lightning said.

"Well...in all honesty neither do I." Mask shrugged. "The Everfree's full of wild magic. New stuff tends to pop up ever now and again. Some of it even managed to stick around long term."

"Ya two done flappin' yer gums, or ya gonna flap yer wings?" AJ called from a bit down the road, having snuck on by while the two pegasi were distracted with their talking.

Her natural competitive pegasus nature kicked in. “I can flap faster than you can run.” She took off after AJ.

Masquerade sighed. "I bet Sunset doesn't have to deal with anything this bad."

****************

"So, for clarification, you do not know if the patient you wish to admit has insurance or not?" Blue Shield, the front desk attendant at Ponyville General, droned.

"Look, can't you just admit her and worry about this stuff later?" Sunset moaned.

"What is health insurance?" Fiddlesticks asked again, for the twentieth time. "And why ain't they helpin' mah friend?"

Author's Note:

I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and please leave a comment.

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