• Published 26th Feb 2015
  • 4,538 Views, 492 Comments

Sunset Helpers - Spirit Shift



Sunset's life is finally getting the boost it deserves, let's hope that she can keep it that way.

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CH1: A Typical Morning

Rolling around in her bed, Sunset found herself unable fall back asleep after her initial awakening. She tried everything. She tried closing her eyes for 20 minutes and that didn’t work. She tried flipping her pillow over, that didn’t work. She eventually considered counting sheep before realizing that she had run out of options.

Finally, she simply rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling. If the drool on the back of her pillow was any indication, last night’s sleep was amazing. During her staring contest with the wall she reflected on her dreams for the last few weeks. Ever since she accepted the others, and agreed to be Coco’s roommate, her nights have been getting steadily better. Not a single nightmare in recent nights.

Sunset groggily glanced out the window in an attempt to gauge what time it was. The sun wasn’t very high yet, so it was still early. Probably still around seven or eight o’ clock. Since today was Saturday, Sunset felt no pressing need to get up. However, since staying in the bed would accomplish nothing, she decided to toss her covers off.

“Cold!” Only to immediately re-wrap herself into a tight cocoon of purple covers. Once again she cursed her human body’s lack of warmth giving fur. She tried sticking her leg out to touch the floor, but even that seemed impossible in that moment.

“Maybe I’ll just stay here for a little bit longer,” she grumbled.

~~~

After a pressing need to use the bathroom forced her out of bed, Sunset quickly jumped into a hot shower. However, the shower proved to be in cahoots with her bed as Sunset quickly found herself unable to leave the comfort of the hot water for the cold outside. It wouldn’t be until the hot water began to run out that she forced herself to towel off.

Instinctively seeking the next best source of warmth, Sunset threw on her regular clothes plus a warm robe. She then stumbled into the kitchen and, to her immense joy, found a warm cup of coffee waiting for her.

“Thank Celestia,” she muttered. She dragged her cold zombie-like self over to the table and gripped the cup in her hands. The black brew warmed them like a tiny sun, bringing back the color she began to lose in them. Slowly, she brought it to her lips, and as the drink fell down her throat she could feel her body returning to its normal temperature as the cold feeling vanished. She could feel her body spring back to life.

Slurping the last few drops, Sunset held the now empty cup up into the air as if it were a newborn king. “So… wonderful,” she whispered. “Need… more!”

There was a light giggle from behind her. “There’s more in the machine.”

Sunset nearly dropped the cup in surprise. Spinning around, she saw Coco standing in the doorway with a nervous grin. “Coco?! What are you doing here?” she asked, startled.

Coco frowned. “Sunset,” she sighed, hurt. “We’ve been living together for a month. How come you keep forgetting that?”

Sunset sheepishly rubbed her eyes and sat at the table. “Sorry, sorry. It takes me a few minutes to get my brain started in the morning. Not to mention you’re so quiet I can’t even hear you come down the stairs.” She tried to take a sip from her empty cup.

Coco giggled and took the cup from her. “Really?” she asked, pouring a new cup of coffee. “I love the morning. Everything’s so bright.”

“I don’t see how with all of these clouds in the sky,” she lamented. “I could barely see the sun.”

Coco handed the cup over. Sunset grabbed it, and glancing up she noticed that Coco didn’t have one herself. “You’re not gonna have any?”

The girl in question sat down in the opposite chair and shook her head. “No, I don’t drink coffee. Too much caffeine, and I don’t like the taste.” She blushed when she noticed Sunset staring at her through the steam. “What?”

“You’re so weird. You know that?” Sunset muttered, sipping her drink.

“W-what? Why?”

Sunset, probably for the first time today, carefully examined Coco’s morning attire. “In fact, how are you even doing that?!” Sunset groaned, much to Coco’s confusion. Coco’s eyes darted around nervously before shrugging. Annoyed, Sunset sat her head on the cold table. “Look at you,” she sighed.

Coco glanced down, unsure what Sunset was referring to. There was nothing different about her that she could tell. She wore what she always wore when getting up; a simple white t-shirt, light blue shorts, and green slippers. Which was probably a sharp contrast to Sunset’s thick robe and sweater.

“I’m not following. What am I doing wrong?”

Sunset gestured to her entire body. “How can you sit there wearing next to nothing in this freezing cold?!”

“It’s not that cold,” she argued softy. “I mean, it hasn't even started snowing yet.”

Sunset grimaced and drank more of her drink. “Don’t worry… it will,” she replied, her voice full of dread. “Personally, I hate the snow… and the cold.”

Coco smiled cheerfully. “I guess your pony self’s coat helped with the cold.”

Sunset’s gaze hardened into an annoyed look. “Immensely…”

“Well, I love the cold,” she announced proudly. “It snows a lot in Manehatten and it gets much colder earlier in the year. Plus, I was born right in the middle of winter anyway.”

Sunset’s gaze softened and she chuckled halfheartedly. “I guess that makes sense. I was born right in the middle of summer. Right at sunset no less.”

“Is that why they named you that?”

Sunset nodded. “Apparently, the last rays of sunlight shimmered off of my damp coat, or something. Two seconds of thought later I got my name.”

Laughing jovially, Coco leaned closer and joked, “That’s an oddly specific and on the spot name isn’t it?”

Sunset grinned, she seemed more awake now after drinking her second cup of coffee. “Meh, most Equestrian names are like that.” She glanced up thoughtfully. “In fact, this world isn’t much different. I’m even willing to bet that there’s a guy named Snowflake here somewhere,” she snickered.

Upon hearing the name, Coco’s face contorted in thought. “Actually… I’m pretty sure there’s someone in my class—”

“Speaking of which, your name is probably an exception.”

Sunset’s remark snapped Coco out of her thoughts, causing her head to jerk back up in surprise. “I— what?”

Stomach grumbling, Sunset decided that she was finally awake enough to grab some breakfast. She proceeded to get up and rummage through the freezer. “I mean, your name is pretty unique,” she continued. Her voiced echoed out of the depths of the machine. “Coco Pommel? Sounds like the name of a famous person.”

Finally, Sunset exited the freezer with a box of frozen waffles. Even though she was awake she was still too lazy to make her own from the box.

While Sunset deposited her frozen foods into the toaster and waited for the life giving fuel to stop being frozen blocks of ice, Coco pondered her remark with a blush on her face. “I... I don’t know. My parents just named me that. I never really questioned it.”

Sunset let out a large yawn as she waited. “Well maybe your parents named you after something important to them. You should ask them the next time you see them." The toaster finally popped and Sunset returned to the table with a plate of warm naked waffles where she immediately dug into her food. Instead of using regular utensiles, Sunset simply opted to lean forward and bite into it.

She stopped midway and glanced up in slight embarrassment. “I’m sorry, do you want some too?”

Coco watched with keen interest. “No… no. I’m alright,” she muttered.

Sunset shrugged and continued her no-hands eating technique. Coco found that was always interesting, and even slightly amusing, to watch her friend graze like that.

She smiled fondly as she remembered the first time that Sunset ate like that in front of her. She was so embarrassed; it was a guilty pleasure that reminded her of home. Of course Coco told her that she was alright with it, as she didn’t have the heart to take away her friend's eating preference. Luckily, since then Sunset had always been too engrossed in her eating to notice Coco watching.

Finally, an urgent thought resurfaced, knocking her out of her reverie. “Oh, I almost forgot! I got a call from my parents yesterday.”

Sunset continued to enjoy the bliss of the waffle hanging out of her mouth. “Oh yeah? What’d they want?”

“They want me to come home!” she beamed.

*Ughk* *Ack* *Cough* Sunset nearly choked on her waffle, prompting Coco to rush over and pat her back. Finally, Sunset managed to swallow the bits left in her mouth and turn to face her. “Wh—cough—What? You’re leaving?” she asked, fearing the worst.

Coco quickly grabbed a glass and poured some water from the sink. “No! No. I’m sorry,” she said, handing her the water. “I didn’t mean it like that. My parents want me to spend Christmas with the rest of my family. I’m coming back, I promise!”

Sunset glugged down the water without reservation, ending with a deep breath. “Oh… Don’t scare me like that.”

Coco blushed slightly but chuckled anyway. “Sorry. It’s just, my entire family all made a promise to meet back home during the holidays. My brothers and sisters are coming too.”

Sunset picked up a waffle with her hand and nommed on it. “Really? So when are you leaving?”

Coco glanced up in thought. “Well it’s still the beginning of the month, so probably sometime during the first week of winter break.” Sunset frowned sadly, but Coco quickly jumped onto a new line of thought. “B-but enough about me, what are you planning to do for Christmas break?”

Having had enough coffee, Sunset got up to get a fresh cup of water. “I don’t know. I’ve never really put much thought into celebrating. I usually just stay inside most of winter… and try to stay warm.”

Coco tilted her head in confusion. “Well what do ponies do during the winter. You told me once that most of our holidays have an equivalent over there.”

Sunset came back with a cup of water and two more waffles. “Well that’s true. Equestria has its own holidays. Usually around this time of year we celebrate Hearth’s Warming.”

“What’s Hearth’s Warming?” asked Coco, always eager to learn more about Equestria.

“Well I was about to tell you,” she chuckled. “Hearth’s Warming is a time of year where everypony chooses to let go of any grudges or disagreements that they have. And we look back on how we came to be.”

“How did you come to be?!” Coco asked, interrupting once more.

“Well I’ll tell you the short version. I already told you about how there are three kinds of ponies. Basically, we all used to be separate and unwilling to cooperate with one another.” Sunset grinned as she watched Coco become more and more enthused in her story. Sunset quickly learned that Coco was one of those girls who loved unicorns when she was a child. Learning that they were real, and that her new friend used to be one, was like a dream come true.

“This kind of disharmony gave birth to a freezing cold that ruined the land and forced each tribe to find a new spot. However, they soon started fighting over the new land too. Yadda yadda yadda. Fires of friendship. New harmony. Founding of Equestria. Then end.” Sunset had to suppress her laughter at the girl’s devastated face. It was even harder when Coco’s face scrunched up in a cute picture of girlish annoyance.

Before Coco could complain, Sunset continued. “The main point is that our holiday revolves around ponies coming together and forgetting our differences. Most of us usually go attend a play on Hearth’s Warming Eve.”

“So do you all exchange presents?” Coco asked, still frowning slightly. She resolved herself to get the full story later.

Sunset ate up the final bite of her waffle. “Some ponies do. But it’s not really a big thing there.” She gulped then glanced over in concern. “Is it a big thing here?”

Coco nodded. “It’s a really big thing. I mean, I’ve only done it with family since I was too shy and too busy to make friends in the city. But now we have friends to buy things for. I guess it’s to show them how much they mean to us.”

Sunset sat her elbow on the table and rested her head in her hands. “Well yeah, I guess so. But how do I know what to get them?” Sunset frowned shamefully. “I mean… now that I think about it, I don’t really know that much about them.”

Coco reached over and sat her hand on Sunset’s to comfort her. “Well that’s alright. Let’s see if we can find something at the mall today!”

“The mall?” Sunset grimaced and look at her cautiously. “That huge crowded building at the edge of town? I don’t like that place. It just seems so out of place in a small town like this one.”

Coco peered at her in wide-eyed puppy-dog gaze. “Pleeaaase? I saw it when I was walking around and I haven't had a chance to go in yet.”

Sunset turned her head in a fleeting attempt to avoid the eyes of doom. “Why not? You've been here long enough,” she argued.

Coco increased her level by glancing down sadly. “I wanted to but I was afraid that I’d get lost without someone to show me around. Please Sunset? We can find presents for the others.”

Sunset tried to look away, she did. But the cuteness was an impossible force to fight against. Despite all her willpower, Sunset was helpless. Finally, she slumped over in defeat. “Fine…”

“Yay!” Coco cheered softly.

Author's Note:

Welcome to the official unofficial totally official real start of my new story! :rainbowkiss: Wow, never thought I'd actually get a well enough received story to actually do a sequel on. But here we are. I hope that you guys will enjoy this one just as much as the first.

Now if I could I would love to direct you to this story here. If you like Doctor Who/Whooves. I have a pretty good feeling that you'll love this project of mine. I've worked very hard on it so I'd love it if you check it out. 2-for-one deal WHOOOOO!