• Published 22nd Feb 2015
  • 7,864 Views, 355 Comments

Summer Sunset - RobRoyale

Summer vacation has arrived in the human world and Sunset Shimmer takes a trip back to Equestria. However she comes back to something more than she bargained for.

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Conflict on Two Fronts

Chapter 3

Sunset kneeled at the foot of Celestia’s throne with her bowed in respect for the goddess alicorn.

When Celestia spoke, her voice was commanding, yet soft and gentle. “You have done well, Sunset Shimmer. All you have accomplished has led to this moment. Your travels to the human world, your battle against the Sirens, and your return here has proven to me you are ready.” It was the voice she had always remembered ever since she had been taken as Celestia’s student.

Sunset raised her head to meet Celestia’s eyes. She stepped down from the throne and touched her horn against Sunset’s. There was a spark of magic and Sunset felt her body being flooded with magical energy.

“You have shown grace and power, determination and strength, and now I will bestow to you what I should have long ago.” Celestia smiled at her. Behind Sunset six other ponies stepped forward, Twilight and her friends. They faced her with wide grins and endearing looks. The energy in Sunset filled her entire being and her body lifted into the air. Two small glowing orbs appeared on back close to her upper sides.

It was happening for her, she new what was coming. She was finally going to be an alicorn. She smiled and closed her eyes waiting for her wings to appear. Suddenly there was a thunder strike and a flash of darkness surrounding her. Two claw like wings sprouted from her back and wrapped around her encasing her in their grip. She fell to the ground and struggled. The claws burned her and tore at her coat. She screamed in pain and looked up to see Celestia with the same smile on her face.

Celestia leaned in close and whispered. “Your punishment.” Sunset looked up at her with wide eyes and screamed as the claws squeezed her harder.

Twilight leaned forward, charging her horn. “You stole my crown, hurt those in another universe, tried to take over Equestria and bring harm to my friends.” Her grin turned into a maniacal smile. Her face grew dark and her pupils became little red dots in the center of black pools. “I will never forgive you!” She unleashed a blast of black magic from her horn that assaulted Sunset’s body, making her writhe in agony.

“I’m sorry!” Sunset screamed, trying to hold onto consciousness.

“All of those people in the other world said they were sorry, and you never forgave them.” The rest of the girls said in unison. The elements of harmony appeared around their necks and Twilight’s atop her head. They gave off a dark glow and a black rainbow shaped beam shot out towards Sunset. “Burn in Tartarus!” They all shouted. Sunset’s eyes widened and everything went black around her.

Sunset’s eyes shot open and she bolted up panting. Her vision was blurry and she quickly looked around left to right taking in her surroundings. She was still in Twilight’s room in front of the fireplace. Light was peeking through the windows as the sun began its steady climb over the horizon. It had just been a dream. She thanked Celestia it had just been a dream. She laid her head back down on the soft pillow under her and felt her muzzle brush against something else. She looked to her left and her face went crimson red. Lying next to her on another pillow in her own purple star spotted pajamas was Twilight. Her eyes were closed still sleeping peacefully with her muzzle right beside Sunset’s.

Sunset jumped back, the blush only increasing across her face. Something about being that close to Twilight, or anypony for that matter, just made her feel awkward and flushed. Though, she had to admit to herself that Twilight looked peaceful resting there like that. She could still feel her heart pounding from before, the nightmare had been awful and she never had a dream like that before. She felt a deep fear growing inside her now that she was back in Equestria.

Her ears perked up at the sound of a slight whimper followed by a yawn. Twilight stretched and sat up resting on her rump. She rubbed her eyes and yawned again. “Hm. Good morning Sun—” She stopped for a moment and stared. “You’re crying…”

Sunset blinked a couple times. “I’m not crying…” She brought a hoof to her face and wiped a stream of tears away. Unbeknownst to herself, she had been crying. She looked at the tears on her hooves and looked back to Twilight who gave her a look of concern and worry.

“What happened, Sunset?” Twilight scooted closer to her.

“I just…” Sunset wiped more tears away. “Had a bad dream is all… I’ll be fine.” She went to stand up on all fours, but found herself pulled into a hug by Twilight. Her cheeks lit up again by the sudden display of comfort. Twilight rubbed a hoof along her back gently whispering sorry.

Sunset rested her hooves around Twilight to return the embrace and they trailed over her wings slightly. Sunset froze as she touched the appendages. Images of the dream came flooding back and she broke down. She began sobbing against Twilight. Twilight gasped, and hugged her closer. “Hey, what’s wrong? What did you dream about?”

“T-Twilight” Sunset choked up in between sobs “I’m sorry… but please…. Do me a favor…”

Twilight patted her back and smiled behind the hug. “Anything, Sunset.”

“Please don’t tell Celestia I’m here.”

Twilight froze and stopped rubbing Sunset’s back. She pulled away slightly, and looked at the crying amber unicorn. “Why…”

Sunset choked back another sob and shivered a little. “I’m… I’m not ready… to see her.”

Twilight frowned and took Sunset’s hooves in her own. “Are you afraid of her?” Sunset nodded and Twilight pulled her close resting Sunset’s head against her shoulder. “Why?”

There was pause before Sunset began. “I’m… just not ready to face her yet… please, just don’t tell her…”

Twilight bit her lip, hesitating a little. She never hid anything from Celestia, and when she tried to be secretive as a filly, she cracked under the mere presence of her teacher. It didn’t sit right to hide something like this, but given what Celestia had told her about Sunset Shimmer before she fled to the human world, she understood Sunset’s fears. Though, she never knew Celestia to be cruel or unkind to anypony. She sighed softly, and smiled down at Sunset. “Alright, I won’t tell her you’re here until you’re ready to see her.”

“Promise?” Sunset looked up with pleading eyes.

“Cross my heart, and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” She did the motion across her chest and covered her eye with a hoof.

Sunset giggled and rested her head against Twilight's shoulder. “If it’s a Pinkie Pie promise then I know I’m safe.”

Back in the human world, Pinkie Pie shot up from her rested position. Her eyes and ears twitched and her lower lip quivered slightly. She sniffed the air and breathed into her hand, then proceeding to sniff it. “I sense a Pinkie Pie promise has been made.” She then plopped down on the bed, going back to sleep.

“Wow, Twilight. I didn’t know Spike could cook.” Sunset said, devouring the pancakes. She levitated another piece with her fork into her mouth, and elicited a moan of pure sweet syrupy covered joy. Using magic was still a little weird compared to having used hands for so long, but she managed.

Twilight giggled and ate from her stack. “Yep, he has become quite the little chef.” Spike came up to the table with more pancakes and a tray of coffee. Twilight patted his arm and he saluted, then ran back to the kitchen.

“What’s the purpose of an adolescent dragon knowing how to cook pony food?” Sunset asked.

“He wants to use these skills in order to impress Rarity. He has quite the crush on her.” She rolled her eyes.

“Twilight!” Spike groaned from the kitchen. “Don’t tell anypony my secret!” He came out with his pink apron on and a tray of muffins in his claws. It was now Sunset noticed that Spike had grown since she last saw him. The first time she saw him, he was in a little basket and now he was almost a head taller than both her and Twilight.

“Please, Spike. Everyone in Ponyville knows your secret.” Twilight gave him a deadpanned look.

“Yeah, because you keep telling everypony!” He growled and set the tray down on the table for them. For a dragon his size, the growl would have been intimidating, however it was hard to take him seriously with the pink apron and tinted red cheeks.

“Right, that’s why.” Twilight and Sunset both chuckled and Spike cleared their plates. They each took a muffin from the tray. Sunset savored the succulent flavor of the blueberry muffin with each bite. Human food just never seemed to be as good as food made in Equestria.

“So,” Sunset began as she finished her muffin with a swig of coffee. “What’s on the agenda today?”

“Hm?” Twilight tilted her head face stuffed with a muffin with blueberry splotches all over her cheeks. Sunset smiled and levitated a napkin over to Twilight wiping them. Twilight blushed sheepishly and swallowed her mouthful of muffin. “Well, I have a flying session today with Rainbow Dash. Then I needed to go pick up more quills and parchment. Hmm, then I have to look over a report of one the guards in Ponyville.”

“There are guards here? I thought you had said Ponyville was quiet?” Sunset asked.

Twilight frowned a little. “Well, yes, but ever since the rise in changeling attacks, Princess Celestia encouraged that a detachment of guards be sent here.” She tapped her chin and gave little smile. “Though, it was more for my brother’s sake than mine. He kept insisting to come here to look after me.”

Sunset nodded. “So would you mind if I came with you?”

“If you like. Oh!” There was a spark in her eyes. “You could take notes of my flying!”

“Erm, what?” Sunset asked, slightly taken aback.

“I have some flight charts that I need to follow and I need another pair of eyes to look at me from the ground! You could be my ground eyes! Please?” She leaned over the table eagerly. Sunset gave her an awkward smile and shrunk back a little. The behavior was a little off putting, but then again this was Twilight, the seeker of knowledge and lover of education.

“Alright Twilight, I’d be happy to.”

Twilight hopped up in her seat giddily.

From the outside, it was hard to discern if the castle was really the best fit for Ponyville. The previous night, the view from the balcony of the town was breathtaking. But from the outside of the castle in broad daylight, it seemed a little ominous. Sunset pushed these thoughts to the back of her head as she followed Twilight down the street. She noticed that Twilight wasn’t wearing her crown.

“Still not wearing the crown?” Sunset inquired.

Twilight grinned sheepishly and shook her head. “I’m still a little sensitive about wearing it in public.”

Sunset nodded and they continued their walk. They walked in silence, but that was mainly due to the commotion around the town. Ponyville was alive from the markets to the doorsteps. Ponies were bustling from place to place in the town. Ponies would spot the pair and wave. Sunset observed that everyone around the town was very friendly and always willing to offer a hello to them.

Suddenly, Sunset bumped into Twilight who had stopped. They had been passing by a tree. Except it wasn’t there, it was a stump with what looked to be a hollow inside and the framework of a burn and charred door. The grass around it was dead and blackened. Sunset couldn’t make heads or tails at what she was looking at, but then she looked to Twilight. She was staring at the tree remnants, boring through it with her stare. Her lower lip quivered slightly and her legs trembled.

“Twilight?” Sunset spoke. “Twilight, what’s wrong? What is this place?”

Twilight however didn’t answer, she kept staring, and tears began to form at the corners of her eyes.

Sunset quickly wrapped a hoof around her. “Twilight…”

Twilight gulped down a lump in her throat and spoke slowly. “When you first met me… I didn’t have a castle… I lived in a tree library here in Ponyville.” She lowered her head and stared at the ground. Her hoof scrapped at the dirt and blackened grass. “It was my home ever since I first arrive here…”

“What happened to it?” Sunset asked.

A few moments of silenced passed. Twilight struggled to hold the tears back. “A monster named Tirek broke free from Tartarus and tried to steal all Equestrian Magic… in an effort to get mine he destroyed… my home…” Twilight broke down crying.

Sunset hugged Twilight. She couldn’t imagine a loss like that. It made her realize something about Twilight she didn’t know before. Twilight knew loss and she new pain. But yet she got up each day. They stood there for a few moments as Twilight dried her tears.

“C’mon, Rainbow Dash doesn’t like to be kept waiting.” She said giving Sunset a smile.

Sunset frowned a little at how quickly Twilight recovered. She could still see the pain in the alicorn’s eyes. But she nodded and they went on their way.

It was comical how Twilight struggled to fly. If there were two things Twilight couldn’t get the hang of it was dancing and flying. Sunset remembered that Twilight had accidently kicked Flash Sentry in the face while they were dancing at the Fall Formal. She chuckled thinking about that. However with flying she was trying her best not to fall on the ground. Rainbow Dash always made flying look easy and her lack of patience with Twilight was a spectacle Sunset would have to pay to watch at the movies.

Rainbow Dash had set up an obstacle course with spare clouds to get test Twilight’s maneuverability. Each time Twilight would speed up, she would wobble and lose her balance, colliding with a cloud. She was equally successful with taking sharp turns. Her head would turn, but her body wouldn’t, and her face would get wedged into a cloud ahead of her. Rainbow sighed as Twilight bounced off one cloud and collided with another.

“Twilight, this isn’t that difficult.”

Twilight pulled her head out of a cloud and spat out a tuff from her mouth. “Hang on, I got it! Sunset!” She called down.


“Can you give me those flight charts on wing positions?” Twilight asked.

Sunset nodded and took one of the sheets Twilight had given her before they began and started levitating it up. Rainbow swooped down and snatched it.

“Rainbow!” Twilight yelled.

“Twilight, looking at charts will do nothing. You have to feel it in your wings. Flying is about using your body, not your head.” She smirked. “If you want this chart, back you have to complete the obstacle in under 10 seconds without hitting any of the clouds.”

“That’s not possible, Rainbow! Nopony could make that time.” Twilight frowned, looking over the course of clouds.

Rainbow gave her a deadpanned look and flew to the start. In the blink of an eye, she was off spinning and flying around the clouds. Each turn was cut sharp with a majestic rainbow trail behind her. She blew past the last cloud and came up and around doing an aerial spin and landing on a cloud off to the side. She looked at Twilight with a smug grin.

Twilight huffed and sighed. “Well… that’s you, Rainbow.”

“If I can do it, so can you” Rainbow smirked and held up the paper. “Want this back, complete the course.”

Twilight flew back to the start. She dipped her head and steadied herself in the air. Flapping her wings swiftly she shot out from her position and raced through the clouds. Her turns were rough, but she managed not to hit any of them. Sunset watched from the ground with a smile on her face. She took note of Twilight’s speed and kept the time in her head. She had five more seconds to clear the course.

Twilight flapped her wings hard and kept her hooves steady in front of her letting instinct take control over thinking. She was almost at the finish line, when a one of the clouds for an instant glowed an eerie dark green. Bolts of lightning then erupted from it. Twilight panicked, and climbed to evade them, but one struck her right wing and sent her into a spiral.

Rainbow Dash took off lunging for her, but another bolt from the cloud knocked her into two clouds off to the side. Twilight was yelling and flailing trying to regain balance with her hooves. It was hard to see from the ground, but one of her wings was charred at the end. She winced in pain when she tried to flap it. Sunset’s eyes widened, and she darted out in Twilight's direction.

“Twilight!” She screamed as she raced across the open field to catch up with the falling princess. Twilight couldn’t regain her balance and kept falling. She wasn’t new to crash landing during flying practice, but the lighting strike had left her in bad shape. She was dizzy, and if she couldn’t regain her balance, the landing would cause severe damage. From Twilight’s perspective, the world was spinning round and round with the ground coming up quickly. She shut her eyes, waiting for impact.

Twilight saw darkness, but felt nothing. She hesitantly opened one eye to see a cyan aura around her. She looked at Sunset Shimmer standing in front of her, her horn a glow and she was upside down. Or in this case, Twilight was upside down.

Sunset panted out of breath and lowered Twilight to the ground. She panted in between breaths. “Are…you…okay?” she asked, panting heavily.

Twilight shook her head as the world came into focus again and nodded. “Y-yeah… Thanks, Sunset.” Twilight rubbed her foreleg. “You saved me.”

Sunset brushed her mane back. “Don’t think much of it, you would have done the same for me.” She smiled.

“Are you okay, Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asked, flying down to met them.

“I’m fine Rainbow, thanks to Sunset.” Twilight smiled at Sunset.

Sunset blushed a little and rubbed the back of her head. “It was nothing.”

Rainbow looked to Sunset, then smirked. “Nice job, Sunbutt.”

“Rainbow!” Twilight jabbed at her. “That’s rude.”

Rainbow shrugged. “What? She has a sun on her flank.”

Sunset’s cheeks lit up and she now became very conscious of her sun cutie mark. “Oh…”

Twilight took a step forward to Sunset. “Sunset, I’m sure she didn’t mean-“

“Don’t look at it.” Sunset blushed, backing away.

Rainbow snickered. “I’ve got to tell Pinkie Pie that one.” She stopped chuckling then frowned. “What happened up there?”

Twilight looked up to the clouds. “I’m not sure… small clouds like that don’t shoot lightning on their own unless manipulated by a pegasus.” She put a hoof to her chin. “Or magic… I thought I saw an aura around it briefly.”

“Who would try to hurt you Twilight? If that was a joke, someone has a twisted sense of humor.” Rainbow growled and turned away from them. “Lesson’s over for now, Twi. I’ll go look around to see if I can find anyone who may have caused it.” Without another word, she flew off into the air.

Twilight watched her go, still unsure of what could have caused the cloudburst. She looked back to Sunset, who was trying her best to cover up her Cutie Mark from view.

“It’s almost noon… why to head to pick up the quills and parchment, then I’ll treat you to lunch?” Twilight asked.

Sunset snapped to attention, her cheeks still tinted red. “Oh, yeah, sure!” Twilight giggled and stepped forward giving Sunset a little nuzzle on the cheek before walking past. “Thank you, again.”

Sunset felt her heartbeat speed up. Eh… That was… new? She thought.

“Sunset, you coming?” Twilight called.

“Yep!” She called, snapping out of her momentary daze.

Author's Note:

Conflict! This is where the IDW comics come into play.
Enjoy, more to come soon.

Proof Read/edited by: 1DATMLP
Feedback is appreciated. :twilightsmile:

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