• Published 2nd Apr 2015
  • 4,883 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 02 | Friends Equals Fresh Start

Well, that was certainly interesting, Sunset thought as she was sitting behind her desk. Her mind had been busy since yesterday's meetup with the others, who now should be considered as her 'friends', although this term felt a bit distant for Sunset to refer to them that way. Them, except for Rainbow Dash.

She wasn't surprised on Rainbow's attitude actually. Anyone with a sane sense of mind at school was trying to put a decent distance away from Sunset or started picking on her, let alone befriend her. That's how the other students acted around her, one way or another. But there were the four of them, willing to give Sunset a chance, despite the things she had done in the past.

Sunset felt some respect for Applejack, because she had the guts talking to Sunset two days ago, despite Rainbow's protest about it. Sunset had thought it was only a cruel joke at first, if it hadn't been Applejack, who was one of the most sincere people she knew.

Sunset was surprised about Fluttershy, who – if not quite yet – forgave her, but nevertheless showed confidence in her former bully's redemption. Sunset was a bit touched by it, but felt embarrassed as well, given the fact how she had wronged Fluttershy in so many ways and so many times. She would need to make up for…


Sunset's train of thoughts were put to a hold however, as Ms. Harshwhinny stood up from her desk, picking up a thick pile of paper she had brought alongside with her upon entering the classroom. It was easy to guess that the papers were the math tests they had written earlier this week.

The atmosphere became somewhat tense, as the teacher was standing in front of the students in her usual stately attitude before she made a route to Sunset's desk.

"Miss Shimmer, I'm mostly disappointed in your recent result," Ms. Harshwhinny stated before she handed out Sunset's test, "If you want to keep getting mentionable results again, then I suggest you maintaining the professional attitude of your former self."

At least someone was amazed by the old me, Sunset thought as she was holding the test in her hands. It was an A-. She could have done better, though her mind had been a bit scattered ever since her defeat, and as such she couldn't really focus on the test itself. A- was just a minor letdown.

"Pfft, egghead," Rainbow said to Applejack upon hearing Sunset's result, as she leaned closer to her.

Of course, she had to make sure it was loud enough so the whole class would hear it.

Most students chuckled loudly at Rainbow's remark. It was a low score by her, but worked nevertheless, as anything that was aimed against Sunset these days made their charm without a hitch.

"Speaking of reliable performance, miss Dash" Ms. Harshwhinny said as she started making her way to Rainbow, "yours is one to make high regards of."

Upon arrival, Ms. Harshwhinny handed out Rainbow's respective exam. "It's a D. Again."

This time there was no need for any biting comment to be made for the students, as all of them erupted into laughter without a second thought. The classroom was literally echoed by the loud noise they made, and Applejack had no small part in it.

The rest of the time passed by uneventfully, as you would expect it from a math class; informative, useful, but tiresome as well. As the bell indicated the end of class, Sunset made her way out of the classroom along with the others, but she was soon tapped by Applejack.

"Heya Sunset," Applejack greeted her, tilting her stetson hat. Sunset nodded in return, and together they continued roaming the school's corridors. "Ah ehm… ya don't mind if I ask ya a favor, right?" Applejack asked hesitantly.

"Depends on the favor, I guess," Sunset said, looking at Applejack.

"Would ya mind helpin' me with… math?" Applejack asked, though it seemed she couldn't really believe herself what she had just asked.

"Yeah, sure," Sunset answered casually, but suddenly stopped in her tracks. "Wait, you want me to tutor you in math?"

"Eh, ah reckon it does sound strange if ya put it that way," Applejack concluded, giving a nervous chuckle. "Where are ya headed anyway? Not eating with us?" inquired Applejack, as she saw Sunset taking a direction opposite to the cafeteria.

"No, I'll join to you later. I'm just -" Sunset lifted the books she was carrying "- gonna drop these into my lockers. We can talk over this math thingy then."

"Ah hear ya. Later then!"

With that, they parted ways. It didn't take long to Sunset to reach her desired destination. She really didn't want to carry those hefty books during the break, so dumping those seemed to be a good idea to her.

"Hey Shimmer," Rainbow gave away her presence while Sunset entered the combination on her locker. "You're doing well… I suppose."

Sunset perked up a bit by those words. Did Rainbow really make a compliment to her? That soon? And why would she deserve such thing from her? Probably overheard our talking with Applejack. Rainbow must appreciate the fact that I'm…

"I mean every one of my friends is picking up on me." …False hopes, I reckon. "They say I'm messing with you, being cruel to you, not giving you a chance, these kinda things." Rainbow leaned against a locker next to Sunset's. "So well done, for getting on my nerves."

Sunset simply tossed her books into her locker before she faced Rainbow Dash. "Well, you really can't blame me for giving yourself a hard time, can you, Dash?"

"Oh, I can!" Rainbow snapped. "You won't fool me like the others. People can't change overnight. You just can't!"

"You're right, I can't. But hey, I'm trying!" Sunset slammed her locker's door shut, and took a deep breath to reassure herself. "Look, if you can't believe me, then believe Applejack. One thing I can say about her certainly, is that she's a good judge of character."

"Applejack's a no-go 'cause of her cru…" Rainbow abruptly stopped mid-sentence, nervously rubbing the back of her neck, "y-you know, her promise she made to Twi befriending you. If AJ makes a promise, she's gonna keep it, so… y-yeah."

Sunset tilted her head and glanced expectantly at Rainbow, who was nervously shifting her weight from one leg to another. It seemed her cheeks were slightly red as well, though Sunset wasn't certain about it.

"You know what?" Sunset asked as she saw a group of students heading towards the cafeteria. "I don't really care. All I want is a decent meal, and I want to finish it this time, unlike yesterday."

With that, Sunset started walking towards the cafeteria, without waiting for an answer. Rainbow followed her soon after.

Sunset was in the line, waiting for her turn in order to get some meal. Unlike previous days, she wasn't lagging at the end of it. Rainbow's presence behind her made sure of that, as students didn't dare passing through her. At least most of them, as Ringo casually walked past the two, to catch up with his band member Flash Sentry.

"Hey!" Rainbow called out after Ringo, which caused him to stop and turn back. "You're passing her," Rainbow pointed to Sunset, then herself, "you're passing me."

Ringo seemed a bit taken aback by Rainbow's outburst, but nevertheless he complied and headed back to the end of the line.

"Thanks, Dash," Sunset said, as she looked back to face Rainbow.

"Don't think anything into it," Rainbow held up her hands defensively. "Passing through others, it's just plain lame. I still don't like you."

"Wouldn't have believed otherwise," Sunset sighed before she moved along in the line. Once she received her portion of meal, it didn't take long after to reach the table occupied by her new, and so far only, friends.

"Darling, you've made it!" Rarity said gladly, as she noticed Sunset taking the seat next Applejack. At the same time, Rainbow occupied her usual spot on Rarity's side.

"Don't get too enthusiastic about me being here," Rainbow noted sarcastically.

"Whatever are you talking about?" Rarity said calmly, not bothered by Rainbow's ill humor, and returned to her meal.

Sunset, deciding the time would be as good as any, speaked up to Applejack. "So, you wanted some help with math, when exactly?"

Sunset's sudden question, or rather its nature, halted the others' activities around the table.

Rarity's fork fell out from her hand.

Pinkie gasped for air.

Fluttershy managed to let out a quiet 'Oh my.'

Rainbow snickered a bit, but soon burst into laughter. "Bwaha! I've never thought I'd ever feel sorry for Sunset, but here I am." Rainbow wiped a tear away from her eyes. "Helping out AJ in math. Oh boy, it's like offering help to a bullock."

"Rainbow Dash!" Applejack growled, clenching her fists on the table, but Rarity was quick to reassure her, putting her hand gently on Applejack's.

"Oh, Applejack, there is nothing you need to be so heated about," Rarity said, looking around nervously. "You see, we were just surprised by your sudden interest in… mathematics. May I ask why?"

"Ms. Harshwhinny gave me a C, that's why," Applejack sighed, as she managed to compose herself a bit.

"Um," Fluttershy started in her usual low tone, "isn't that what you always get?"

"It's a C+ Fluttershy," Applejack admitted defeatedly. "Ah was a point away from getting a better grade."

"Alright, I see," Sunset said, her voice a bit snappy, "but could we get back to the original question? Like when?"

"Oh, right," Applejack blinked. "Today's fine fer me. Don't know about ya."

"Good for me, if you have the patience to wait for me, at least. Detention, that is," Sunset huffed.

"Oh, it's alright," Applejack said gently. "Ah mean, it ain't that it's my liking ya being kept here after school." Then she murmured something for herself, barely audible. "It ain't like ya didn't work fer it."

Unlucky for Applejack, Sunset next to her could make out what she just said well enough, who gave Applejack a deadpan look in return.

"Um, no offense," Applejack said with a wry smile.

"Uh-huh," Sunset said, not merely satisfied with Applejack's answer. At least, what she had said prior to it.

"Wait," Pinkie said gravely, like she was about to unravel a conspiracy, "Sunset, you're saying that you won't have any fun today? It's Friday afternoon, the first day of weekend! Well, half day anyway."

"Between you and me Pinkie, -" though it was obvious that it wouldn't be heard just between them "- I wouldn't worry about myself, but Applejack." Sunset gave a sadistic smile to the girl in question. "I won't go easy on her this afternoon, that's for sure. I'll have my fun in that."

Applejack gulped loudly, though the others seemed rather satisfied by Sunset's comeback. Even Rainbow Dash was amused, which came as a small surprise for Sunset.

Detention for Sunset had passed by rather quickly. Cleaning windows wasn't hard or tiring by any means. As it was Friday afternoon, the school was mostly absent from the students, so she could avoid the scornful glances and angry talks, which only made her mood better.

Sunset and Applejack had met at the front of the school, as they had previously agreed, then the two headed out to find a good place for studying. Applejack recommended Sugarcube Corner, she and her friends' go-to place, though Sunset was against it, as it was bound to be filled with some friendly faces, who'd just distract them from their task in mind. Especially if it was Pinkie.

Ultimately, they settled down at a café, which 'has pretty good smoothies and coffee.. plus it's cheap,' as Sunset had described it, which made Applejack think. She had no idea how Sunset coped with everyday life, but given that she was still wearing her battle-worn leather jacket, she could guess it. Though she was curious, she decided not to pry just yet; they barely started acting towards each other in a friendly manner. Nevertheless, she made a mental note about it.

"So, probability theory and statistics," Sunset said after the waitress took their order. "Last test was about these, and Ms. Harshwhinny won't drop these subjects for some weeks. We should recap the basics first, then…" and so they began studying.

Applejack had done quite well on the math test actually, Sunset came to a conclusion as she was reviewing her friend's test. Of course, Applejack didn't use any of the more complex equations, most of the tasks were still done, even if some of them only partly.

Tutoring her was real easy for Sunset. Applejack was quick to understand everything she has explained to her. She wasn't that stupid country folk that Sunset had believed before. Applejack was a girl with a common sense, and the only reason why she never had too much success in science subjects, was because she never really cared about numbers and calculations. Until today, it seemed.

At least, not only Applejack, but Sunset has learned something as well from today's session.

"Phew, ah'm done," Applejack said as she finished with her last task, after an hour or so. "It ain't hard either, to mah surprises."

"Well, it's high school material, it's not supposed to be. And it's a walk in the park with the help of this," said Sunset, tapping her algebra book. "You did well today, to my surprise." She smirked.

"Thank ya Sunset, fer the compliment," Applejack said, and hastily added, "a-and your help."

"You're quite welcome," Sunset said, who took a sip from her coffee, not noticing Applejack's stammering.

"Ya believe ya could help out Rainbow as well with this?" Applejack asked unexpectedly.

Sunset nearly choked on her coffee upon hearing her, but quickly got herself together. "Her?! I doubt she wants any help in math, or anything from me at all."

"Just kiddin' there, don't ya worry," Applejack waved her hand dismissively, with a grin on her face. "She'll come around. Rainbow ah mean. Ya'll see."

"Despite what you may think, I can't really fault her. She's the only one from the five of you girls who's actually acting towards me normally," Sunset admitted. "Of course, that doesn't mean I'm really fond of her."

Applejack stared blankly at the table in front of her, a bemused look written on her face. Not long after, her expression hardened. "Shoot! Ah almost forgot!"

Sunset didn't say anything, just furrowed her brow, not knowing what was in Applejack's mind.

"What ah meant to say is," Applejack clarified, "we'll having a friendly meetup at Sweet Apple Acres, Saturday afternoon. Would ya care joining us?"

"Saturday, as in tomorrow Saturday?" Applejack nodded. "Well, I don't have anything planned, so… I just may as well."

"It's settled then," Applejack said gladly, drinking the rest of her smoothies. "We'll have lots to do tomorrow. Who knows, ya might hear us playin' a bit."

"You mean, the Rainbooms?" Sunset asked.

"Yep," Applejack stated proudly, but soon her mood darkened. "Maybe with ya bein' there, we might play something other than Awesome as I wanna be."

"Wow, I can't even guess who the song is about," Sunset noted sarcastically.

"Ya have no idea," Applejack said, sharing Sunset's tone.

Despite having finished with studying, they enjoyed each others' company well enough for ordering another round of drinks and staying for a friendly talk.

Pinkie would have been glad. It turned out to be a fun afternoon for Applejack as well.

Author's Note:

Tweaks and edits by Knight of the Raven.