• 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 Plans & Motions 01 | Double Beds for the Win

Sunset stammered through clenched teeth, washing down the final remnants of soap from her body. She turned the faucet off to escape the water's cold, biting wrath. Immediately after the water stopped pouring, Sunset stepped out from the shower.

Eager to fight the goosebumps on her tanned skin, Sunset quickly draped a towel around herself and held it tight, valuing its much welcomed embrace. After a few moments of silent appreciation, Sunset secured the towel around herself and made her way out the bathroom in order to get changed.

However, a single buzz of her phone prompted her to stop and reach for her device resting on the sink. Sunset, curious about who texted her, unlocked her phone and checked the message.

'Good morning, dear. Applejack and I were wondering if you were interested in joining us for lunch. The rest of the girls have other plans for today, so it'd just be the three of us. We'll meet at Canterlot Mall.'

Sunset considered the offer for only an instant, but a short glance at her schedule within her cell phone's calendar made her hush the idea of shared lunch away.

'Rent deadline. Last chance. DON'T FORGET!'

Stated the entry for the following Sunday. Also, it happened to remind Sunset how short she was on money, forcing her to spend only on necessities, like her apartment's rental fee.

Driven by the notion Sunset wasn't keen to execute, she readied herself to reject Rarity's offer. But the tempting idea of a decent lunch contradicted the thought of declining the offer, her mind begging the girl to attend.

Like with most of her other decisions, Sunset's stomach made an audible argument, sick of all the frozen ravioli and instant noodles it had to endure in the past few weeks.

"You know what?" Sunset said out aloud to no one in particular. "I'm gonna eat something decent for a change, at least for once in the week. I doubt it would hurt my budget anyway."


It would hurt, Sunset thought as her eyes ventured through the menu, browsing the dishes on offer.

The three of them had settled down eventually at a modest restaurant within Canterlot Mall. The food on offer were mainly sandwiches and burgers of all sorts, remarkably generous in terms of vegetarian options, appealing enough to Sunset. The prices, however, reminded Sunset she wasn't in a fast-food restaurant, choosing between greasy dishes for humble prices.

Sunset started to have second thoughts about frozen ravioli.

Eventually, after a long debate, Sunset folded the menu and set it down lazily on the table. "I think I'll have a tuna sandwich and an orange juice."

Across the table Applejack and Rarity exchanged a short look.

"Are you absolutely sure, Sunset?" Rarity asked with a hint of worry. "I hope you do know that what you're about to order is only an appetizer, and hardly a proper meal, darling."

"I'm just… not in the mood of something more filling," Sunset answered, her shoulders tensing up a bit by Rarity's persistent attitude.

Rarity hummed to herself. "Then, how about I invite you for this particular meal? My treat."

"Hey, I can pay for my food!" Sunset snapped, only to stop abruptly after noticing Rarity and Applejack somewhat taken aback by her sudden outburst. "I-I mean, what makes you to offer me something like that?"

"Nothing in particular," Rarity said plainly. "But then again, why wouldn't I? After all, I'm the.. uhm, I'm sorry, what was that again?"

Applejack simply rolled her eyes. "Element of Generosity?"

"Exactly!" Rarity said with beaming pride. "But if you're so against of inviting you, how about an offer, then? A lunch on my behalf, and in return, you tell us a bit about the world where you came from. Equestria, if I'm not mistaken?"

Sunset rubbed her arm timidly. "Why'd you want to know more about Equestria? It's not that much of a deal, really."

The gasp Rarity let out summarized her opinion on the matter. "Are you absolutely serious, Sunset? Why wouldn't I want to know more about a world crowded with royalty, princes and princesses in all their majesty?" Rarity's excessive enthusiasm was being taken over by a dejected tone she could fake. "I know you're not exactly keen talking about the 'other side', so if you really don't want to, then…"

Sunset sighed as she let down her tensed shoulders. "Fine."

"Splendid!" Rarity squealed, her somewhat miserable, gloomy attitude gone immediately.

Applejack let out a loud snort. "It's settled then! Rarity's here covering everything fer us."

Sunset narrowed her eyes with inquiry. "Why? How come she's covering your part of the meal too?"

"Ah promised to stop talking 'bout the benefits of using manure in agriculture 'n what not," Applejack answered, leaning back in her chair with a satisfied grin.

Rarity let out a disgusted huff in response.

"What?" Applejack asked, with a smile ever so visible. "Without it, that 'lil salad yer going to order wouldn't taste half as good as 'tis would now. It sure make those veggies more crunchy 'n everything."

Rarity just grunted again, not merely pleased about the conversation they were having. "Just order something… anything! But please, let's not talk about this while we're eating. Or ever again."

They obliged and placed their orders. Sunset chose a modest meal, consisting of a tofu burger with fries and coleslaw. Applejack had something similar in mind, but she opted for a burger with real meat in it. And true to what Applejack had predicted, Rarity went for a salad.

"So..." Sunset started, after taking in the captivating scent of the freshly cooked goods set on the table. "What do you want to know?"

Rarity's eyes lit up with a curious spark. Sunset had an idea where should she begin with before she would venture on to the more general topics about Equestria.


Sunset found Rarity and Applejack staring at her, their eyes wide open in a complete silence. Sunset, in return, cocked an eyebrow at them. "What's with the odd looks? It's not like you've heard some of these for the first time. You already knew bits and pieces about Equestria. Heck, we defeated the Dazzlings together with magic!"

Out of the two girls in front of Sunset, Rarity spoke up. "How could I put it delicately, Sunset? It isn't like we've heard your tale for the first time with such subtle details, but it's rather we've quite heard all of it for the second time."

Sunset roughed her eyebrows. "Okay, you've lost me."

"Pinkie Pie happened," Applejack explained. "She told us 'bout a while ago of what ya just shared with us, Sunset. We thought she was just rambling as usual, but… it turns out she was mighty close to the real thing in the end."

"But I didn't tell her any of these!"

Applejack waved dismissively. "Ah wouldn't give it much of a thought. Pinkie spoiled the fact 'bout Princess Twilight being a pony in the first place." She snickered to herself. "Heh, later Pinkie also gave me the fright when she mentioned that we were related. Ah just learned to laugh her moments off."

"…But, are you?" Sunset asked, her interest piqued. "I mean, are you?"

"A-ah don't know!"

"Maybe we should continue this conversation later?" Rarity chimed in. "Or better yet, never again. I believe it'd better if we just stopped questioning Pinkie's antics altogether."

"Ah'm sure ya would." Applejack certainly didn't feel like dropping the topic. "Pinkie told me the pony you have a likeness towards a certain guy named 'Trenderhoof' or something."

"Bhaw, absurd." Rarity promptly denied. "I would never, ever get along with someone from Crystal Prep."

Applejack leaned closer to Rarity with a knowing smirk. "And how do ya know that he's from there?"

"Heheh. Whatever are you talking about…" Rarity giggled jittery, before she turned her attention on Sunset. "But do tell me, Sunset. Knowing where you used to live was quite fascinating, truly, but I'd also be interested about where you live now."

"Oh, it's nothing special. Not much to talk about." Sunset just waved Rarity off.

"Wouldn't it be time to make it more special then, to make some reasons to talk about it? A slumber party at your place sounds like an excellent idea to me," Rarity offered.

"No!" Sunset blurted out, but soon gained some composure. "Well, it's an apartment, not really huge, I doubt we could kill time there while enjoying ourselves."

"Really? Where is it, exactly?"

"Oh, if you're interested how I get to school or anything, don't be. It's within walking distance." Sunset continued to give evasive answers. "But it was rather nice of you to think about it." Sunset put on the most charming, coaxing smile she could.

A pensive look took over on Rarity's face, and answered a few moments later. "Oh well, I see you're not exactly fond of this particular topic, so how about if I let it go?"

Thank you. Sunset thought. "If you say so," Sunset said as casually as she could.

"So, are we ready to go then?" asked Rarity. "Our time was certainly well spent here, wouldn't you agree?"

"Yep, indeed, as is yer money. That is, after y'all paid fer us," Applejack replied with a cheeky grin.

"Of course," Rarity said with a straight face. "Let me get my wallet then."

Rarity reached out to her reticule and started looking for her wallet. The motion which should had lasted for only a few seconds, however, stretched out to become minutes.

"Hmm, Rarity?" Applejack urged her.

"One moment, it's just… I can't seem to find it." Rarity was rummaging through her reticule's content, so vividly that it seemed she would dig her head inside her bag in the process as well. Not much later, she actually did just that.

All the while Rarity was searching, the more Sunset felt uptight about the lack of the fashionista's wallet. In the end, though, Rarity poked her head out from the bag with a triumphant smile. "Aha!"

Hearing Rarity, Sunset breathed a sigh of relief.

"I've just found my lipstick!"

Sunset facepalmed.

"And?" Applejack seemed to share Sunset's enthusiasm.

"Didn't you hear it properly, Applejack? I found my lipstick and not my wallet," Rarity scolded, but her somewhat wearisome attitude turned into a seductive radiance. "Oh, Applejack! Could you, maybe, handle it this time for me? I will pay everything back, a lady doesn't go back on her word... Please?" Rarity asked, batting her eyelashes.

"Ya said yer going to invite us fer lunch today." Rarity looked at her friend expectantly. "Aaand ah guess ah didn't bring mah wallet with me at all, so…"

As if on cue, Rarity and Applejack turned their attention at Sunset.

"Me?"

"I'm so sorry to ask you to do this for us. It's embarrassing for me as it is already to ask you to do something like this. It's just, I can't seem to understand how could I have been so slob in the first place. I will pay everything back, truly." Rarity raised a finger to her chin. "Hmm, let's see… next Monday, after weekend? Would it suffice?"

Next Monday? As is after weekend, after the rent deadline? No, that's a way too big window!

Sunset tensed once again, her entire body going rigid. The lunch supposed to be a nice catching up with a selected few of her friends' circle, turned into miserable and dreadful event. A thousand and more thoughts were ruling around her head, one of them being revealing the challenges and difficulties she had been experiencing lately just to stay afloat. Partly she wanted to do just that, but she couldn't stand the idea of being a bother to any of her friends. Maybe it was only her dignity that denied her to do so. Frankly, she couldn't tell which was the case.

"S-sure?" Sunset said timidly, unsure. "I mean, no problem."

"Really?" double-checked Rarity.

"Really! Didn't I say it already?" Sunset barked, not caring, nor noticing her friends' dismay.

Let's see… The total sum is nearly twenty one dollars if I remember rightly. It's… is it bearable enough? No, not at the slightest. My whole budget is so neatly calculated that it just cannot happen. It's not happening to me! Sunset was fuming in herself as she got her wallet, pulling out a twenty and a dollar bill from it.

"Sunset."

I need to tip the waitress, do I? Would they think I'm some sort of a cheapskate if I didn't give her anything? Hmm, I wonder if a dollar would do the trick? I know it's not much, but… Sunset pulled out an extra bill, a total of twenty two dollars now in her hands.

"Um, Sunset?"

Sunset narrowed her eyes, glaring daggers at the total sum she was holding. Just why do I care? Not like it would matter anything! I won't have the necessary amount for my rent next month like this anyway! That greedy landlord won't give me any more time to…

"Sunset!" Applejack interrupted, poking Sunset's hand.

"What?!" Sunset blurted out. "I'm managing just fine!"

"That would be enough, my dear. I'll handle the payment," Rarity said, holding her wallet in a hand.

Sunset blinked, staring at the wallet in disbelief. Then she looked over at Rarity and blinked again. "You... you had your wallet with you all along?"

"Why, of course! How could I have found it if I didn't have it here with me?"

"No, no, no, no, no. You had it with you and you knew it right from the start!" Sunset accused, raising a finger at her.

There was a momentary pause as Rarity tried to avoid eye contact. "Yes, Sunset. Yes, it is true."

Sunset's glaring eyes turned to Applejack. "Did you have a part in this as well?"

"Yeah," Applejack admitted, shamefully staring at the table. "And.. 'n all honestly, ah'm kind of the one who planned all this."

"Why'd you two do this!?" Sunset slammed a fist on the table with brute force, prompting others near their table to look over at them. Sunset, noticing this, adjusted her volume. "Since we are friends, at least as far as I'm aware, what's in it for you, huh?"

"Of course we are, Sunset," Rarity confirmed hastily. "I believe you're misunderstanding this. We're just trying to help, to get some of the burden off your shoulders."

Sunset huffed, leaning back in her chair. "I can cope with everyday life just fine, Rarity, as I have been in the past three years, all by myself. I certainly won't accept money from any of you. I'm not a beggar."

"We didn't think of it either," Rarity agreed. "But maybe, maybe you should consider living with one of—"

"And I'm certainly not a freeloader either!"

"And what if you had to pay for by staying at one of us?"

"I won" Sunset stopped abruptly. "What?!"

"I think you've heard it correctly, Sunset." Rarity adjusted herself in her seat. "Just think about it as a rent, with an acceptable fee in exchange of your monthly stay. I can only imagine it would be more suitable than where you currently live."

Sunset was speechless, looking at her friends with wide eyes. She felt like the world just took a one-eighty degree around her. For once, It certainly felt good not being a charity case in her friends' eyes especially since it was an idea Sunset very much dreaded from the beginning. On the other hand, those very friends asking money from her so openly just so they could offer help was a bit too much to take. It certainly seemed like an odd pairing with something called "friendship."

"Oh..." was all Sunset could come up with.

"Oh indeed," Rarity repeated. "Our household happens to have a part separated from the bulk of the house. It used to be some sort of a 'guest room', but it's a bit more than that, since it has a small bathroom and kitchenette as well. I think you could accommodate yourself in there rather nicely."

"Also, there are plenty of apples that need pickin' back at the farm." Applejack spoke up since her previous long-drawn silence. "Since the autumn harvest season doesn't last fer too long, we always hire a pair of extra hands to wrap it up quickly before the weather becomes cold or rainy 'n everything. And ah sure wouldn't mind if it were ya this year around."

Sunset hung her head. "I-I don't kno—"

"C'mon, Sunset!" Applejack's outburst caused Sunset to look back up at her. "Let some of that stubbornness of yers go already and don't back out, ya hear! It's good money, fer honest work."

Sunset didn't answer, but she found herself looking at Rarity, waiting for her to speak up.

"Truly, Sunset. I wouldn't mind sharing my home with you. I understand you don't want to be a bother to any of us—and I respect that—but trust me, you wouldn't be."

Sunset found herself being speechless once again. Her friends in front of her were there, showing their support and their willingness to give even though just mere moments ago, Sunset was ready to turn them down because her dignity couldn't take any of it.

In short, she felt like an idiot.

"I… I'm sorry."

"Sunset, don't do this to—"

"Let me finish, Rarity." Sunset held up a hand, cutting the girl off. "I'm sorry for treating you two like I did earlier... I guess I could say I'm still new to this 'friendship' thing and all, but honestly, I shouldn't cover myself with that anymore. I just shouldn't have made an outburst like that. You two meant well, and my reaction was just… stupid. Really stupid. I just really don't want to go all cheapskate on any one of you." Sunset turned towards Applejack with a somewhat coy smile. "And I guess my stubbornness got in the way as well."

"Sunset, yer well-being is important to us. We're friends, friends do that to each other."

"Yeah, I understand that now."

"So..." Rarity considered her words carefully. "Does that mean you accept our offer, then?"

After a short consideration, Sunset smiled. "It wouldn't hurt to try, right?"

"Splendid!" Rarity proclaimed as she went on. "Oh, I honestly cannot wait! You could keep me company, share gossip, help me with my dresses, look after Sweetie Belle while I'm gone…"

"There she goes," Applejack said, but once she felt the stern look given by Rarity, she looked away innocently.

"I thought you're the one who's doing me a favor," Sunset said questioningly.

"The benefits are mutual, trust me, darling," Rarity reassured, now seemingly cooled down.

"Look, I know I already said sorry," Sunset waved off Rarity before she could chime in, "but I guess I didn't thank you for any of it, so… thank you, both of you. Really, I mean it."

"We know you do, and you're more than welcome, Sunset," Rarity said. "Besides, it was Applejack who showed some worry about your... not necessarily sparkling living conditions and explained her concern to me about it. She's the one behind all this. I just helped her executing."

Sunset raised an eyebrow and turned her attention to Applejack. "Were you now?"

"It just occured to me," Applejack said defensively. "It ain't that I was thinking about ya… too much." She muttered the last words under her breath.

Sunset replayed what just happened in her head. How the two of them had chosen a public, somewhat crowded place like this restaurant, in order to keep in check a potential outburst from Sunset. As it turned out, it wasn't an unjustly idea from them in the end.

While Rarity handled Sunset's sudden release of hysterical emotion well, Applejack showed signs of being genuinely downcast by her outburst. Sunset, realizing her mistakes, thought she'd make up for it by working extra hard in the coming days to come. Or weeks. She wasn't sure how long would this harvest last.

Thinking about it again, Sunset realized that Rarity was a master of manipulation and faking of all sorts. The sole reason why she hadn't proven to be a worthy rival during her regime at CHS, could be considered to the fact that the fashionista's heart had been in the right place, unlike Sunset's.

"When's the deadline for your rent?" Rarity asked, pulling Sunset from her thoughts.

Sunset slumped in her seat. "Ugh, tomorrow."

"You didn't extended your stay. Right?" Rarity pried further.

"Nope, I wanted to get done with that tomorrow morning," Sunset answered.

"That sounds good," Applejack joined in. "Ah reckon ya can pack today then and leave that place behind ya fer good."

"I agree with Applejack." Rarity said. "You can make the move even today, it wouldn't be a problem for me, I hope you know that."

Sunset thought about it briefly before answering. "Thanks. I may do just that."

"I believe you would need some help with the packing as well, I take it," Rarity suggested.

Sunset nodded.

Rarity looked at her other friend expectantly. "Applejack?"

"Ah'm afraid today ain't good fer me, but ah'm sure Rainbow would be more than willing to lend a hand." Applejack held up her cell phone and raised it to her ear. She put the phone away soon enough, after giving directions for the athlete. "Well, Rainbow is—"

"I'm here!" The whole restaurant turned their attention to Rainbow Dash, who couldn't help but make a grand entrance. The girl noted the odd looks she received, and with a more temperate attitude, she headed to the girls' table once she found them. "Oh, hey there!"

Sunset and Applejack waved a hand, but not Rarity. "Rainbow Dash, I see you're bashful as ever."

"Nah, just hungry." Rainbow pulled out a chair and took a seat. "So, what's up?"

Sunset opened her mouth to answer, but Rarity beat her to it. "Sunset is moving out from her apartment. She could use some help in packing, I believe."

"You're moving?" Rainbow asked blankly, before turning towards Applejack with a smug look. "Which room she gets?"

"N-not to me, Rainbow!" Applejack countered, waving her hands intensely. "Ah mean, why would she? She's going to Rares over there."

"Oh," Rainbow replied just as a waitress passed by their table and stopped.

"Welcome there! Can I bring you something?" the waitress asked, holding out a menu and offering it to Rainbow Dash, who took it eagerly without second thoughts.

"You bet, I'm starving!"

"Of course. Should I add your order to the existing check or start a new one?"

"Who's buying?" Rainbow Dash looked around the table with a questioning look. She glanced at Applejack, who rolled her eyes in the direction of Rarity with a knowing smirk. Rainbow got the message. "Nah, no need for a new check. I'll have a double cheeseburger with fries and a soda."

"Rainbow Dash!" Rarity fumed, her head literally turning red in the process.

"Now come on, Rarity! Don't you remember, I'm helping one of my friends in dire need." Rarity's expression only hardened by Rainbow's exaggeration. The latter countered with a swift change in demeanour, now wearing an almost pleading face. "Please?"

"Ugh, fine." Rarity admitted defeat. Hearing her, Rainbow immediately flipped the menu to another page, trying to take further advantages of being invited. Rarity gave voice of her displeasure. "But no desserts!"

"Fine," Rainbow Dash huffed before she folded the menu while making a face. She folded the menu and handed it back to the waitress.

The waitress returned on a surprisingly short notice, carrying Rainbow's food on a tray in her hands. She set them down on the table in front of Rainbow Dash.

"Thanks!" Rainbow needed no encouragement, and digged into her food immediately.

"Ah believe that's it fer me today," Applejack said as she gathered her knapsack and made sure her hat was still in its proper place on top of her head. "Some work needs to be taken care of before sunset, so ah'm afraid it's time fer me to leave. Ah reckon ya two can manage Rainbow's misbehaviour without me anyway."

"What?" Rainbow asked, a mouthful of fries in her mouth.

"I can help." Sunset got off from her chair, eager to help.

"Nah ya don't." Applejack waved the idea away. "Just get done with the moving today first, work won't get itself done by tomorrow in a pinch. But tomorrow morning, we expect to see ya at the farm, fresh 'n early."

"Yeah, I'll be there. And thanks."

"Ain't nothing to it! Enjoy the rest of the weekend y'all!" Applejack tipped her hat as she left.

"I believe I'll be going as well," Rarity added, holding the necessary amount in one hand with a notable tip. "I want to make sure the place is suitable for you to stay. You two know where I live, so I'll leave you be. Until later!"

"Yeah, thanks. Later then!" Sunset said.

"So, we're going as well?" Rainbow asked from Sunset, sipping the last remnants of her drink. To Sunset's utter surprise, there was only only an empty plate in front of Rainbow Dash.

"We could, yeah," Sunset agreed, not quite in the mood of questioning her friend's superior appetite.


Sunset guided Rainbow Dash through the city, getting past the downtown area from where they had headed off, nearing Canterlot's verge while making the walk. The buildings became more scarce and weared off in appearance the further they got. They passed the time with idle chat all the way along.

"So, why exactly are you moving? Anything interesting?" Rainbow asked. Although looking around the weary surroundings, she believed she already knew the answer.

"I think you'll see it soon," Sunset said as the two rounded around the next corner before they stopped in front of a sizable double doors, which led into a multi-story building. "Real soon."

They took a few stairs further up. Sunset halted at yet another door and threw it open after unlocking it.

"Well, welcome to my home," Sunset said unceremoniously before heading inside, Rainbow following behind.

Rainbow Dash eyed the confined space with glaring attention. It was a small room that basically made up Sunset's whole apartment. Inside it was a plain bed, a few closets and a modest dresser. A tiny kitchenette formed part of the already cramped environment. Rainbow spotted a door, possibly leading to the bathroom.

"Wow, it sure is… cozy," Rainbow remarked weakly, closing the door behind her.

"It's a hellhole," Sunset stated, correcting Rainbow. "But it's been decent for the last two or three years, I guess. Can't say I'm feeling awful or anything. So, packing."

Sunset made her way to her bed, which didn't take more than a step or two given the short distance, and took a good look around. Eventually, she stepped on top of it and turned towards a closet adjacent to the bed. She reached up and got her hands on three cardboard boxes, resting on top of the closet for whatever reasons.

Deep down, Sunset must had expected, or at least hoped, that the day of leaving this flat would eventually come.

Sunset jumped off the bed, setting the cardboard boxes onto the floor in the process and facing Rainbow Dash. "I don't have too many things here, but everything is kind of scattered around everywhere. I guess we should split up, maybe? Don't worry about organizing anything you put into the boxes and—"

Rainbow shot Sunset a deadpan look.

"Right, nevermind." Sunset offered a meek smile, and shoved a cardboard box into the girl's hand.

Sunset didn't waste any time and got to it, plundering mainly clothes and other garments from the closets by her bed. Rainbow followed Sunset's advice and decided to start a little further off, her eyes settled on the sole dresser of the apartment. She decided unloading that first would be a good place to start.

"Oh, my underwear is in that dresser, you know?" Sunset explained, prompting the athlete's hands to stop mid-distance to the dresser.

Rainbow glanced at Sunset, only to find her gazing back. Rainbow took a look at the dresser, then back at Sunset, but now with a cocky smile. Eventually, her hands started inching ever closer towards the drawer holding Sunset's unmentionables.

"RAINBOW!"

Rainbow bursted into a hearty laughter, but promptly backed off. "Fine-fine, okay, I just had to do it." Her face met with a rather discontent Sunset, not sharing her enthusiasm. "Sorry?"

"I'm sure you are," Sunset said, not convinced.

Rainbow cackled, with no sign of intention to hide her amusement. "I'm not."

To Sunset's delight, everything went on after that without a hitch, or any mischievous attempts provided by Rainbow Dash. The athlete ditched the idea of emptying the forbidden dresser and continued her task with the kitchen's cabinets instead.

"Say, Sunset." Rainbow broke the silence, which accompanied the packing for some minutes now. "How did you manage to set your feet on the ground as long as you did? Y'know, without support from friends or… parents even."

"Oh, you know, this and that…"

"Cheating, harassing, blackmailing and the likes?" Rainbow took an easy guess.

Sunset replied with a stretched out "Yeah" and continued. "You summed it up rather well. Also, before I left from… home, I piled up some gems and bits. Turned out they worth far more here than there, so I got especially lucky."

"And I guess you ran out of them," Rainbow said, pointing at a few packs of instant noodles that she had just found in one of the cupboards.

"Uh-huh, simple as that," Sunset said, sealing the cardboard box, which was now fully packed and loaded. "I really need to make sure to spend on the necessities only. All this trouble for being decent for a change."

For some odd reason, Rainbow found herself amused by Sunset's last sentence. "Hehe, you were pretty bad back then."

"...Uh-huh."

"Sorry, I didn't mean it... at least that way." Rainbow glanced back behind her shoulders and watched Sunset stuff a second box. "I was just pointing out the obvious. It's more than clear you're not bad anymore."

"It's fine, really," Sunset said, her voice showing no sign of care.

Unconvinced by the former villain's answer, Rainbow turned on her heels, Sunset's back now facing her. "Look, I know I'm pretty bad in pep talks, but I really didn't mean to be a jerk to you. Didn't want to stir up old wounds and insults or anything."

Sunset didn't care about packing anymore and turned around, now face-to-face with Rainbow. "I know, I get it. I've already said it's fine, remember? No irony, no sarcasm. We're good."

"Really?" Rainbow asked, surprised.

"Uh-huh. It's just... there are people who are still holding some sort of grudge against me." Sunset shrugged. "It's understandable, I think, but at the other end of the spectrum there are those who are being overly sensitive at me because of... you know, the Fall Formal and everything that happened before. You're just being straight with me. You knew how things were and how they are now. You don't make a big deal out of what happened earlier, nor you intend to fake it. And that's cool."

"Huh," Rainbow said, processing what she just heard before her lips curled up into a smile. "I really am something."

"Yes, Rainbow. You definitely are." Sunset emphasized excessively.

"Now that was a sarcasm, alright." Rainbow felt reassured, and her gaze wandered away from Sunset, eventually settling on a set of three crowns, resting disorderly on a nearby shelf. "Hey, you still have these?"

Sunset glanced up to see what Rainbow was talking about. "Oh, it seems I still have, yeah."

"Fond memories, I guess?"

Sunset scooted over next to Rainbow Dash, reaching for one of the tiaras. "Hmm, let's see. The first one was pretty memorable, yes. Won it easily because everyone was all crazy about this 'new and innocent girl' at the time."

Sunset mused about the time when she had got to Canterlot High and the way she had fooled everyone around her back then, simply by putting on a sweet face. She set the tiara down and exchanged it with another one. "Then, I went on, and I became a bit more serious about these contests and everything."

Sunset pondered about the times that had happened a bit later on, when she had started to develop and maintain some sort of power and authority. She put the second tiara down she was holding and swapped it with the third and final one lying on the shelf. "By the third gala, my somewhat pleasing radiance wore off for a long time ago completely. I still kept everything under control through blackmailing and cheating, and I found myself winning again."

"Then, for the fourth time—" Sunset's hand moved sideways, but there were no more crowns left to showcase, and her hand was greeted by only thin air "—right, some deviant princess from another world just had to come over, ruining everything with her wondrous friends." Scowling, Sunset brought her face closer to Rainbow's.

"I don't know... sorry?"

Sunset, her face still being inches away, set a smile loose. "I guess I can look over it this time, but only if you keep packing," Sunset added before leaving the athlete alone, hoping to wrap up what was left of the packing.

Rainbow intended to follow suit, but she turned to look at the crowns again. "Now wait, you didn't say if you need these or anything?"

"What, you mean those plastic trinket thingys?" Sunset asked in the middle of packaging, not bothered the slightest looking back. "I don't know, just leave them where they were or throw them in the bin. I couldn't care less."

"Wow," Rainbow responded in a slight awe. "You really left that life behind, huh?

"Yeah…" Sunset cracked a smile to no one in particular. But her expression became crestfallen after that as more thoughts and memories popped in her head. About her home, Equestria, the life she had left behind her but didn't turn her back against it entirely. She thought about all the loose ends she would need to settle right eventually, one way or another. "…some part of it."


It took a considerable amount of time and energy for the two, but they were finally done with all the necessary preparations before Sunset could make the move. She disposed the key of her now former apartment, stating she would needed it no more. The landlord proved to be petty and tried to charge Sunset for a so called 'last-minute declinal,' but the heavy stare Rainbow Dash and Sunset gave convinced him otherwise.

After departing, they made way to Rarity's home. As they walked, the scenery changed; from the dirty, worn-up streets of urban mazes, to the spacious fields of greens in a reviving hue as they set their foot in a nice suburban neighborhood. Rarity and her parents just knew how and where to live.

The sky had already adjusted its pallette to the early evening by the time they got there. Above them, a few stars already decided to plaster the midnight blue skies with a faint glimmer. A cool breeze swirled around Sunset, which she was grateful for since carrying the set of boxes became tiring. She kept her arms as low as she could, so she would see where her legs were leading her.

"Wait now, will you, Sunset?" Rainbow called, chasing after her friend.

Sunset slowed her pace, allowing Rainbow to catch up with her. Once she was next to Sunset, Rainbow leaned the box she was carrying against the pile Sunset was carrying and slid the top one over the one she was holding. "There you go."

"Hey, thanks, Dash!" Sunset said, pleased by the sudden drop in weight.

"No problem!" Not much later, they reached their set destination and were glad to find Rarity already waiting at the front of her house. "Hey there, Rarity!"

"Sunset, Rainbow Dash!" Rarity exclaimed once she saw them. "Oh my, how nice of you to carry most of Sunset's belongings."

"Heh, of course. Nothing less for a friend," Rainbow said, moving past Rarity.

"Surely," Sunset confirmed dryly, following Rainbow behind towards the entrance, which was a set of double doors.

Before they could reach it, Rarity jumped in front of them, drawing them away from the front entrance and guided them through a narrow pathway. Not much later, they found themselves facing a simple, rather modest door on the side of the household.

"Well, Sunset, this is the place from now on that you may call your home." Rarity fumbled with the lock for a moment before opening the door and unveiling the inside.

"Wow, this is cozy now," Rainbow Dash commented as she invited herself in.

"Yes, indeed it is 'cozy,'" Rarity admitted apologetically. "Sorry about that, I know it's not the most enormous in size and—"

"You're kidding?" Sunset asked, dropping the cardboard box from her hands in awe. "Thank you, Rarity!" With her arms now free, she threw them around Rarity, holding the girl in a tight embrace.

"Think nothing about it," Rarity said, hugging her back. "And don't forget, I'm still asking for a certain amount every month from you in order to sustain this place, but I'll try to keep it to as a minimum as possible."

Sunset broke the hug, wearing a serene smile. "It's okay, I like it better this way if I have to pay something for it."

"So, I believe a little tour around your new home is in order." Rarity spread her hands out wide imposingly. "This is your living room… alongside your bedroom, kitchenette, and rather everything else."

True to Rarity's introduction, the inside was a place for a little bit of everything. There was a comfy couch placed in front of a moderate sized TV, a desk accompanied by a chair, plus a few dressers and a closet consumed the rest of the space, alongside a queen sized bed and a full-body mirror; the latter two were a clear give away that it was indeed a part of Rarity's household.

After glancing around the room, Sunset noticed the bed, which was considerably large by her standards. Rarity noted the satisfied look Sunset gave and clapped her hands together excitedly. "This place may not be colossal in size, but at least the bed makes up for it. I think it might even be suitable for two!" Sunset's odd look she gave reflected Rarity's thoughts. "I honestly don't know why I had to point that out, but oh my, have you seen the kitchenette?"

Rarity diverted Sunset's attention away from the bed and towards the kitchenette. It was compact, but it still managed to surpass what Sunset had in the first place. It had all the necessities one could ask for.

All in all, everything was neatly placed and furnished. It showed a slight resemblance to her previous apartment in that regard, but opposed to that, it didn't feel all that cramped. It was clean and homey, and felt inviting. And by living here for the time being, Sunset would always have a friend next to her. Literally.

Rainbow Dash seemed touched by the warm and homey display as well, sharing Sunset's enthusiasm. She made her way to the couch and slumped down onto it before reaching for the remote and stirring the television up. She soon found herself lost in whatever programme she just found.

Rarity rolled her eyes by Rainbow's spectacle but didn't bother saying a word. "Follow me, Sunset. I haven't shown you the bathroom yet"

Rarity led Sunset to the bathroom, and the two stepped inside. The walls were tiled in boring white squares that surrounded a shower, a toilet, and a sink. Somehow, they managed to cram a small cabinet inside the already tiny area. However, a washing machine was notably absent. Rarity noticed the strange look Sunset made after that particular discovery. "You needn't to worry about your clothes, Sunset. You can always wash them at me. I'm only a door or two away," Rarity reassured. "At least the shower has hot water working, of course."

Anything that was going on in Sunset's head was put to a sudden halt. Only one thing managed to float inside her mind.

Hot water.

She felt her eyes watering up. Everything about her new home was simply perfect. For someone like Rarity, it may had been the bare minimum. But for Sunset, it was everything she could ask for.

"Than—"

"Oh there's no need, darling." Rarity held up a hand. "I know you'd do the same for me."

"I…" Sunset rubbed the back of her neck timidly, backing off on what was on her mind. "I believe I need an evening shower."

"Of course, we'll leave you be," Rarity said. "I'm not entirely sure whether we should exchange farewells since we live next to each other, but still. Have a good night, Sunset!"

"I think I will." Though Sunset's mind wasn't wandering about the idea of a good night's sleep just yet. "Good night, Rarity!" Sunset politely escorted Rarity towards the exit, but the noise the TV emitted reminded Sunset of someone else's presence. "You too, Rainbow!"

"Huh?" Rainbow jerked her head off. "Oh, right." She got up and made a route to the door. "Take care, Sunset. Later!"

Sunset waved goodbye to the two before shutting the door and marching to the bathroom with a brisk pace. She turned the faucet on of the shower and watched the water fall from the shower head. Steam started to fog the surroundings, but Sunset couldn't help but hold a hand under the cascading water just to check. Her hand met with a hot, tempting sensation.

Barely able to restrain her excitement, she threw her clothes off, ready to immerse herself in a hot, long shower.

Author's Note:

The story is back, after yet another long delay. Let's speed things up a little, shall we?

Like with the previous chapter, I've received an immense amount of help from Space Jazz.

Comments ( 18 )

I'm guessing that Sunset's new clothes will come into play.

well, this chapter is a splendid work, and there may be some mispelling

Thinking about it again, Sunset realized that Rarity was a master of manipulation and faking of all sorts. The sole reason why she hadn't proven to be a worthy rival during her realm at CHS, could be considered to the fact that the fashionista's heart had been in the right place, unlike Sunset's.

it's should be regime, since it refers to the time when sunset "ruled" the whole school. nvertheless, keep up the good work! :twilightsmile:

Well I'll be, I came across this fic a couple of days, having read it a while ago, and I find it updated. A pleasant surprise to say the least :twilightsmile:

Glad to see you updating.
Nice chapter. :twilightsmile:

7387858 We'll cover that as well, though not before we do something about Sunset's hair first.
7388541 'Regime' could work as well, I believe. I'm glad you liked this chapter.
7389679 I'd say expect for more updates soon, but so far I've been terrible in keeping the promised deadlines. I'll just be quiet this time...
7390480 Glad you enjoyed it!

Hey Hibrid who drew the cover of your story?

Excellent job by the way both the art and the fic.

7679068 Cover art made by me and pretty much my first ever drawing in vector, hence why Rainbow's right arm is a couple inch shorter than it should be.

It seems my enthusiasm at the chapter's title was misplaced; Sunset and Rainbow didn't share the mentioned double beds. :rainbowwild:

I loved when Sunset Shimmer reminisced about the tiaras... as well as Rainbow Dash's joke about her underwear. :rainbowlaugh: Speaking of her, I'd have loved to see her justify adding to Rarity's check with "manipulators deserve payback." :raritywink:

I found one mistake;

the Fall Formal and everything what happened before

the Fall Formal and everything that happened before

Comments;

I doubt it would hurt my budget anyway.

(...)

It would hurt

Hasn't Celestia taught you about tempting fate, Sunset? :rainbowwild:

"But then again, why wouldn't I? After all, I'm the.. uhm, I'm sorry, what was that again?"

Applejack simply rolled her eyes. "Element of Manipulation?"

"Exactly!" Rarity said with beaming pride.

Fixed that for you. :trollestia:

Sunset agreed, not quite in the mood of questioning her friend's superior appetite.

That would have gone well. "Rainbow, are you pregnant?" :trollestia:

I think it might even be suitable for two!" Sunset's odd look she gave reflected Rarity's thoughts. "I honestly don't know why I had to point that out

Subtle, Rarity, very subtle. :trollestia:

7696129 Hey, you're back!
No probs at all for not reviewing for awhile, you didn't miss much anyway as you can see. I haven't been really busy updating the story.

I wasn't a fan of the drunken scene. This has all to do with me disliking drunkenness

Meh, same here, which is exactly why I didn't really enjoy writing the 3rd chapter. But at least this whole affair led the to some cool character moments.

I lost it when Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash started treating Sunset Shimmer like a pony.

...yep, moments like those.

"Wow. That was…" Sunset bit her lip, holding back the urge to call it stupid. "…interesting."

"She shouldn't hide anything from her friend," eh?:trollestia:

Fun fact is that before the rewrite that section played out a bit differently. Also, there were typos throughout the original chapter. Lots of it.

It seems my enthusiasm at the chapter's title was misplaced; Sunset and Rainbow didn't share the mentioned double beds.

Just when you thought there's going to be some actual progress made between the characters, but no, you're bound to wait more.

I loved when Sunset Shimmer reminisced about the tiaras...

I'm glad you did. Truth is I wasn't really satisfied with it when I wrote it, but since you're not the only one who pointed that part out for being good, I guess I did something right there.

I found one mistake;

Typo taken care of. Thanks!:twilightsmile:

7709385

Hey, you're back!

No probs at all for not reviewing for awhile, you didn't miss much anyway as you can see. I haven't been really busy updating the story.

I still should have reviewed earlier, I mean, over a year late? Shame on me. :facehoof:

Meh, same here, which is exactly why I didn't really enjoy writing the 3rd chapter. But at least this whole affair led the to some cool character moments.

...yep, moments like those.

I genuinely thought drunk!Rainbow Dash was going to french Sunset Shimmer instead of bringing her to Applejack's personal arcade. :rainbowlaugh:

Just when you thought there's going to be some actual progress made between the characters, but no, you're bound to wait more.

My imagination can deal with it. My sexy, very child-unfriendly imagination. :trixieshiftleft:

Question - before I read this, what ship is it?! Or is it three-way relationship? Not a threesome - that's when you want sex for one night and then never see them again..

8024783 It's very much a three-way relationship story.

Is this story still continuing?

A story good and fun, so if new chapters would come, they'll be worth to wait.
Keep going ^^.

I miss this fic so much, I wish someone would remake it.

8042718
Where are you and what happened to the story

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