• Published 2nd Apr 2015
  • 4,885 Views, 52 Comments

Between Apples & Rainbows - hibrid



Sunset has been through a lot lately. She thought that making amends for her past mistakes and defeating the Dazzlings were already difficult enough, but then it appears that two of her friends wants something more.

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Between Fall & Rise 01 | Sunset is Better Than Ever

Canterlot High School's cafeteria was already filled with students. Not surprising at all, given it was lunch break of the day. Most of the tables were already occupied by students, who were chatting freely in good mood, knowing that they were away from classes for a good amount of time. Those who hadn't managed to break away from their respective classes earlier were still in line.

At one of these tables were five close friends, who had defeated Sunset Shimmer merely more than a week ago. Education hadn't been held in Canterlot High during last week, as construction workers had been busy with the repairs of the front entrance and filling up the giant hole, which had also marked the end of Sunset's tyranny.

The week-long absence from school had done good to all five girls; they had taken advantage of every minute of the suddenly announced break. Their main achievement during that time was definitely the formation of their own band, the Rainbooms. Two or three of their songs had already been written and produced in such a short notice.

The conversation they had with Twilight about Sunset at the Fall Formal was also a topic that was brought up during the week. Although the Rainbooms were mainly positive about giving Sunset a chance for her past mistakes, Rainbow Dash herself was resistant about her, and because of her stubborn behavior, no effort was made by any of them to speak with Sunset.

However, they weren't aware of the fact that Applejack had seeked Sunset out yesterday, and had invited her for today's lunch to their table, in hope that it would eventually put the past differences aside between the two parties; maybe even ease the tension between Sunset and Rainbow, although Applejack wasn't too confident about the latter.

Applejack, due to her privy doings the day before, wasn't paying attention to her friends' chatting. Instead, her eyes wandered around the crowded cafeteria, in search for Sunset. It was clear that Sunset wasn't feared anymore, as Applejack soon found her, waiting on the very end of the line. Sometimes all it takes is a day for fortune's change.

Once Sunset received her portion of meal, she seemed hesitant at first in which way should she go, whether to approach those who had defeated her not so long ago or not. She gave a quick glance towards Applejack, who nodded in return and waved in a friendly manner. Sunset began closing her distance towards them.

"Hey," Sunset said in a low voice once she arrived at her destination. She was about to occupy the seat on Applejack's side, but was soon interrupted by Rainbow Dash.

"Whoa there!" Rainbow was literally growling. "What do you think you're doing?"

"It seems that someone has invited her to have lunch with us." Rarity glanced at Applejack in approval. "It was time for that, we've been constantly avoiding Sunset Shimmer because of your self-willed attitude, Rainbow Dash."

Rainbow muttered something so vague, that no one around the table could make out its meaning. Ultimately, Sunset took the seat, sitting next to Applejack.

Sunset's presence brought utter silence to the table.

Before her across the table was Pinkie Pie, who was staring at her wide eyed with a goofy smile on her face. She didn't say anything at all, just looked at Sunset with her big blue eyes. I wonder why people aren't more frightened by her than me. That smile is a killer.

Rainbow Dash was safely afar from Sunset. She was tapping her fingers on the table in a disordered rhythm. She was on edge. I bet she could drown me in a spoonful of water, or Applejack for bringing me here.

Fluttershy was more than likely sunked into her seat, although she could just only guess as Applejack was there as a barrier between them, eating her lunch.

Rarity was there as well, whose gaze wandered constantly between Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. She was likely concerned about both of them, for different reasons.

Finally, Sunset glanced back at Pinkie. Wow, now she's really starting to freak me out. Pinkie was still staring at her from up close, never dropping that smile. All Sunset could do was to give her a wry smile in return.

The uncomfortable silence was literally killing Sunset. If they were not going to say anything, then she had to.

"Alright, I know you probably all hate me, and you have every right to feel this way." Her monologue seemed to catch everyone's attention around the table, even Fluttershy was peeking over Applejack's shoulder. "All I want to say is that I'm sorry. I didn't mean…"

Sunset stopped mid sentence, and took a deep breath in order to reassure herself.

"No, I did mean every bit of it back then. All the hard time I gave you, and I wasn't shy enjoying it. Driving you apart from each other was one thing that I was especially proud of."

Sunset swallowed uneasily before her gaze found Fluttershy, barely visible behind Applejack.

"Messing with you Fluttershy brought me joy I can't even describe. Shoving you into lockers, humiliating you in front of others…" Sunset's voice cracked a little, but nevertheless she continued, still looking at Fluttershy, "I'm now aware that my old ways and aims were shameful, but it's certainly not enough to make my past doings into nothing."

Sunset looked around the table. The others' faces wore various expressions, ranging from sorrow to disappointment and anger. She had seen enough. Trying to be friends with them wouldn't work out anyway, after all the damage she had made. Sunset stood up, ready to leave.

"I don't believe you could ever forgive me, not that I'd deserve it." Sunset picked up her tray from the table. "And I can't even expect it from you to try to be my friends, just because Twilight asked you to. So it's for the best if I'm leaving, period."

Not waiting for an answer, she got away from the table. It didn't take her only a few steps before a high squeaked voice called after her.

"WAIT!"

Sunset stopped, deciding to turn back, not knowing what Pinkie would want from her. To Sunset's surprise, the girls' gaze were aimed not towards Pinkie, but Fluttershy. Why would she want me not to leave of all people?

"What the heck, Flutters?!" Rainbow Dash blurted out, sharing Sunset's sentiment.

Fluttershy simply sat in her seat, her eyes looking at anything but anyone. It took her some time to face Rainbow, and she calmly answered. "I don't want to hold any grudge against Sunset Shimmer, Rainbow." Fluttershy's gaze landed on Sunset. "I don't want to hold any grudge against you."

Sunset simply stood there for seconds, not quite believing it was happening to her. Applejack gestured gently to the chair next to her, so that Sunset would sit down. Which she did, as her limbs started to feel numb and uncertain from Fluttershy's gentle words.

Once sit down, Sunset started to blink intensively. She felt a tear or two sliding down on her cheek, which she swiped away instantly. "I-I'm sorry, it's just…"

"It's okay, dear, just take your time," Rarity said calmly.

"So," Sunset said, after she pulled herself together, "you really are willing to give me a chance after all I've done?"

Nods and murmurs were the answer. Not for Pinkie, as she reached out for Sunset for a big hug.

"We're gonna be best friends! And that's a Pinkie Promise!" Pinkie said in a heated voice, holding Sunset close; it took some time until they broke the hug, eventually. Pinkie had that wide smile again, but Sunset felt only warmth from it this time.

"Don't get too many ideas, though. Maybe I can't speak for everyone," Rainbow looked at her friends sternly, "but I didn't forget what you did in the past years, so sorry to disappoint you, but no hugs from me. I'm keeping an eye on you."

"You're afraid I might cause a havoc or something?" Sunset asked flatly.

"Exactly! No third and more chances anymore, as it is already your second!"

"Wow, Rainbow Dash," Sunset said in a bored tone, "this is like the most complex sentence I've ever heard from you."

Rainbow huffed back at Sunset, her voice carrying anger. "What'd you say?"

"Relax, Rainbow," Applejack intervened. "It was just some friendly teasing, is all."

Rainbow leaned back in her chair, her arms crossed. "Pfft, like I want to be her friend."

"Silly Rainbow," Pinkie said while she was toying with her food, "you just said you would be there for her."

"To keep an eye on her!" Rainbow snapped, feeling defeated, then she murmured under her breath. "Seriously, and I didn't even remind you that she tried to kill us with a fir-HEY!"

Rainbow shrieked as Rarity next to her pinched her in the arm. "Rainbow Dash, where are your manners?"

Rainbow merely growled, but saved the effort from saying anything.

Silence fell on the table once again. This time, it wasn't driving Sunset crazy. She was lost in her thoughts, good thoughts. Sunset's life may had arrived at a turning point on the day she had been defeated, but it was this moment she knew which route she should take. She had a barely visible, but sincere smile on her face.

Sunset's train of thought was interrupted by Pinkie Pie though, whose face missed that always cheerful expression of hers.

"I'm so sorry Sunset." Her voice matched the look on her face, which was almost depressing. Sunset almost recoiled back by the sudden change of Pinkie's mood.

"W-what?" Sunset stammered, not certain what Pinkie was trying to say.

"You couldn't finish your lunch. And it was because we didn't let you."

"Oh, please!" Sunset dugged into her salad with her fork. "It's not like classes are going to -" the bell started to ring, indicating the end of lunch break "- start right now..."

Rainbow let out a loud snicker. "Oh well, don't you worry. You'll have plenty of time to take some bites between final classes and detention." No words were said from the others, just some scolding glares that were aimed towards Rainbow. She stood up and shrugged casually. "What? Just some friendly teasing, we're cool with Sunset."

Rainbow Dash left the group carrying her now empty tray, whistling to the melody of Better Than Ever.

Author's Note:

Tweaks and edits by Knight of the Raven.