• Published 18th May 2015
  • 8,061 Views, 682 Comments

Inner Strength - Krickis

When Twilight overhears a private conversation, she has to come to terms with how she feels about herself, love, and a certain somepony. All while weighing her public image against her personal desires.

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11 – Another Side

Chapter Eleven

Another Side

There was only so much that filling her schedule could achieve. Sure, it gave her an excuse to avoid going to the spa with Fluttershy and Rarity, but it couldn’t take her mind off what they might be doing without her.

Which was dumb. Twilight knew that. They weren’t doing anything worth worrying about; Rarity was straight, and even if she wasn’t, Twilight trusted both of them. There was no reason to worry about at all.

‘I just wish she felt that way about me…’

Twilight sighed and leaned her head against her desk. She was sitting in the private study connected to her bedroom with a stack of letters in front of her. Answering letters about friendship problems was a regular part of her job as Princess of Friendship, giving advice to more ponies than she could possibly meet with face to face.

But every oblivious pony who hurt a friend’s feelings became Rarity; each pony who seemed to be losing interest in a friendship was Fluttershy. How could Twilight give these ponies advice when she was struggling with her own friendships? And who did the Princess of Friendship turn to when she had a friendship problem? She was supposed to be the expert.

That wasn’t entirely true, and Twilight knew it. This may be a friendship problem, but it was something else too, something she didn’t have experience with. Twilight had never had a relationship problem before. And, as it happened, there was somepony she could write to about that.

But… what would Cadance say? Twilight wasn’t a faceless mare that Cadance was unlikely to meet, she was her sister-in-law. Even if Cadance could set aside their familiarity and give an objective answer as the Princess of Love, there was no separating her feelings after that. When she next saw Fluttershy, as she was sure to at some point, how would she possibly keep the incident from her mind? How would she come to think about the mare that couldn’t love Twilight as much as Twilight loved her?

No, Twilight couldn’t write to Cadance. Not about this. But then what could she do? She didn’t know how to fix something like this, and she had no idea who to turn to.

Rainbow Dash had dated a few stallions before, so she might have some advice, but talking to her about a problem with Fluttershy would be an even worse idea than Cadance. She wasn’t going to get relationship advice from Pinkie Pie, and asking Applejack for advice had already proven to be a horrible mistake once before. And, of course, Rarity wasn’t an option.

Besides, all her friends knew Fluttershy. Although they may be less likely than Cadance to take sides since they were friends with both mares, it would still be putting any of them in an awkward place.

Twilight sat up and looked at the letter before her. With a frown, she put it back on the pile of letters that were waiting for a reply. As much as she hated leaving letters unanswered, she couldn’t find the motivation to read it, let alone reply. Having nothing else to occupy herself with, she let her eyes wander around the room.

They settled on a book, and Twilight realized she hadn’t considered all of her friends. She levitated the brown journal with Celestia’s cutie mark on its cover and opened it to the first blank page.

She frowned as she debated whether or not she should write to Sunset, and if so, what she should say. Of course, Sunset was friends with a Fluttershy, but she didn’t know the pony one. Twilight still wanted her friend to have a high opinion of her marefriend, but at least she wouldn’t have to worry about what thoughts Sunset might have if she met Fluttershy, since that was unlikely to ever happen. And Sunset did have some experience with dating, and dating other girls at that.

She almost put the book back, but she knew she needed to talk to someone about what was going on; even aside from seeking advice, she felt like she might go mad if she didn’t. So she took hold of her quill with her magic, dipped it into the inkwell, and began writing.

‘Dear Sunset,

There’s something I was hoping to talk to you about, but it’s kind of personal. Nothing to be worried about, but if you have some time soon, I’d really appreciate it. I hope you’re doing well. Sincerely, Twilight Sparkle.’

Twilight stared down at the book and hoped she wouldn’t have to wait long for a response. Sunset had recently graduated from Canterlot High School, which meant Twilight was never quite sure what her schedule was.

Thankfully, it seemed her schedule was open at the moment. Hardly any time passed at all before the journal vibrated and words appeared in it.

‘Hey, Twi. I got some time now if you want to head over. I could be at CHS to meet you in twenty minutes.’

Twilight had only planned to talk to Sunset through the journal, but thinking of it, there was nothing she’d like more than to get away from Equestria for an afternoon. Spending some time with a good friend only made the idea better.

‘Sure, I’ll see you then. And thanks, Sunset.’

Twenty minutes was more than enough time for Twilight, who only had to go down the hall to her library to get to the human world. But before she could do that, she knew she’d better make a quick stop. She closed the journal and brought it with her as she left the study, going through her bedroom then walking down the hall in the opposite direction of the library.

She stopped in front of Spike’s room and knocked on his open door. “Spike? I’m heading to Everton to visit Sunset for a little bit.”

Spike gave her a confused look. “Even though we scheduled all that stuff for you to do today?”

Twilight frowned, feeling guilty. Spike had been the one who handled the rescheduling, and now she wasn’t even going through with it. “I got through some of it, but then something came up up with Sunset.”

It didn’t seem like Spike minded too much, as he just shrugged it off. “Fine, but you’re on your own for figuring out how to reschedule the rest of today’s stuff.”

Twilight nodded. “Fair enough. I’ll be back before too long.”

Spike seemed more upset with that than he had been about the schedule. “Can’t I come too? It’s been a while since I got to see all our Everton friends.”

Twilight hesitated. Spike loved visiting Everton, but she didn’t really want him around for the discussion. “Sorry, Spike, but it’ll just be me going this time. Sunset wants to talk about something personal. Besides, I don’t think I’m seeing all our friends there this time.”

It wasn’t exactly the truth, but it was as close as she could get to it. That didn’t stop her from feeling guilty as Spike deflated at the news. “Oh…”

Twilight walked into the room and put a foreleg around him. “How about when I get back we go out for dinner tonight? I think we might be overdue for a trip to Grass-E-Graze.”

That got Spike smiling again; Grass-E-Graze was his favorite. “Okay. But maybe we can plan another trip soon?”

Twilight smiled and ruffled his spines. “I think that could be arranged.”

Spike’s high spirits returned. “Alright. Say hi for me!”

“Will do,” Twilight said, then left for the library. Maybe planning a trip with Spike would give her an excuse for why she couldn’t go to the spa next week.

It was still too early to meet up with Sunset, but taking a few minutes to get used to only having two legs never hurt, so Twilight made straight for the portal once she was in the library.

The large machine connected to the mirror always stood out among the rows of bookshelves. Twilight had considered moving it to its own room; Celestia knew she had enough of them. But some of the equipment was delicate, and if she was being honest, there was something she liked about having the portal nearby.

Twilight levitated the journal into a slot above the mirror, which would activate the portal. She stepped up to the mirror and took a deep breath, bracing herself for the sickening sensation that always accompanied using it.

She took a step forward, and the world dissolved around her. It was a feeling that was impossible to fully get used to, no matter how many times she’d used the portal. It felt like moving and staying still at the same time. Like the world was speeding past her and it couldn’t decide whether to drag her along with it or leave her in place, and somehow, it managed to do both at once. All of which would be bad enough without the the feeling of her body being stretched and squashed into all sorts of wrong shapes.

And then it was over – all at once, Twilight came to a sudden stop. The force propelled her forward, and like usual, Twilight wound up falling to the ground.

At least repeat trips through the portal had made this part easier. Twilight was quick to right herself, standing on two legs as she looked around the schoolyard.

It was late July, and school was out for the summer. That was good; although she had Principal Celestia’s blessings to come and go as she pleased, it was still better to avoid awkward questions concerning the portal and what she was doing. A new school year would be starting in a few weeks, and that would mean students who hadn’t been around for all the otherworldliness that had gone on in the past year.

Twilight walked leisurely away from the school. She stopped when she reached the sidewalk near the street, wanting to stay near the portal so Sunset would know where to find her.

She passed her time by watching the world around her, noting people out for walks and cars driving by. The sort of things that would be everyday and uninteresting to the residents of Everton, but were so fascinatingly different for a pony from another world.

The minutes passed quickly, and soon Twilight was smiling and waving as a motorcycle pulled up along the side of the road. Its driver waved back, then pointed to a nearby store. Twilight flashed a thumbs up to show that she understood, and the motorcycle drove off.

After a quick check for other cars, Twilight walked across the street. By the time she had crossed, the motorcycle had doubled back to pull into the store’s parking lot. It took a few moments longer to get there on foot. The motorcyclist pulled off her helmet as she walked up, letting her red and yellow hair cascade down past her shoulders.

Sunset Shimmer flashed her trademark confident grin as Twilight walked up. “Hey there, stranger. Fancy going for a ride?”

Twilight laughed. “I go a month without visiting and I’m a stranger now?”

“A month? Someone’s been letting time get away from her now that she’s got a girlfriend. Try two.”

“I guess I’ve been a little busy.” Twilight held out her arms and Sunset accepted the hug. “It’s nice to see you again.”

“You too, Twi.” Sunset pulled away from the hug, but kept a hand resting lightly on Twilight’s shoulder. “You didn’t answer about that ride, though.”

“Oh, you were serious?”

Sunset shrugged. “Sure, if you want. I know you came to talk, but I’ve got nothing planned if you want to spend some time hanging out.”

“I’d like that,” Twilight said, then realized she was on a time limit. “I did tell Spike I’d take him out for dinner tonight though.”

“That still gives us a few hours at least.” Sunset handed Twilight the helmet. She always insisted that Twilight be the one to wear it when they were on her bike. “How about we take the scenic route to Sugarcube Corner and I can get us some milkshakes? If you don’t think that’ll spoil your appetite for dinner too much.”

Twilight wasn’t sure if she would want to talk at Sugarcube Corner. Just like back home, this world’s Pinkie Pie worked there, and Twilight wasn’t sure how weird it would be to talk to her human friends about her relationship with her world’s Fluttershy – Sunset Shimmer notwithstanding, of course.

But Sunset was right about them having plenty of time before Twilight had to be back in Equestria. If Pinkie was around, they could just postpone the conversation until after they left.

“Sure, that sounds great.” Twilight put on the helmet as Sunset took off her jacket and handed that to Twilight as well. She always felt guilty that her friend set aside her own safety for Twilight’s, but she took some comfort in the knowledge that Sunset was an extremely competent driver.

Sunset started the motorcycle’s engine again. Twilight climbed on the back and put her arms around Sunset’s stomach, just like she’d been taught to do the first time Sunset had given her a ride on it.

They pulled out slowly, and Twilight couldn’t help but grin. She was far from an adrenaline seeker, but she did enjoy riding Sunset’s motorcycle. In no small part because she knew Sunset kept things nice and easy for her; she doubted she would enjoy it nearly so much if Sunset drove as fast as Twilight suspected she did when she didn’t have a passenger.

Even in the hot summer afternoon, the wind chilled Twilight’s skin. That was just part of the experience though, and she didn’t mind it. The roar of the engine, the surroundings moving past them, and the chill of the wind all worked together to drown out any other thoughts as they drove.

“And Fluttershy’s also gonna be starting college,” Sunset said as Twilight sipped her milkshake. “She’s planning on studying to be a veterinarian. No surprise there.”

“That’s great news,” Twilight said. “She’ll be perfect for that.”

“Yeah. Things are looking good for everyone here.” Sunset smiled and took a sip of her own milkshake.

Pinkie wasn’t at Sugarcube Corner, so they were free to talk about Twilight’s relationship problems without worry. But before diving into the heavier topic, Twilight had taken the chance to ask about her human friends, and Sunset had just finished catching her up on their post-graduation plans. Or at least, she’d mostly finished.

“There’s still one person you haven’t told me about,” Twilight pointed out. “What are you doing these days?”

Sunset took a moment to answer, sipping her milkshake in silence before setting it down and smiling. “I’m not up to much, to tell you the truth. Mostly just working and saving money. You know, that sort of thing.”

Even if Sunset was still smiling, Twilight couldn’t manage to do the same upon hearing her words. “No college plans? But you’re so smart! It shouldn’t be hard for you to get into a good college.”

Sunset didn’t seem worried about it, just shrugging it off. “Getting accepted? Sure, no problems there. But paying for it is a bit trickier. That’s why I’m just taking the chance to work some extra hours now that high school’s over. If I skip this semester and save up, I’ll be more financially secure once I go back to school.”

“I guess that makes sense,” Twilight said, even though she really wasn’t so sure. “I just want to see you succeed. I know you’ll do amazing things.”

Sunset grinned. “Come on, Twi, you’re gonna make me blush. But really, I’m fine. Besides, I’m not the one you came here to talk to me about. What’s going on?”

Twilight glanced down at the table. She’d come to talk to Sunset about what was going on with Fluttershy and Rarity, but now that she was faced with actually doing it, she found herself second-guessing that decision.

It seemed Sunset could tell the change in Twilight’s demeanor, as she placed her hand on Twilight’s. “Hey, it’s okay, Twi. Whatever it is, you know you can count on me to do my best to help.”

As always, Twilight found herself wondering if Sunset realized how effective her words were. Twilight never could turn down a friend who just wanted to help.

“It’s… about Fluttershy.”

“I figured.” Sunset squeezed Twilight’s hand, so she looked up to see Sunset smiling encouragingly. “And I’m gonna take a guess and say it’s not the one training to be a veterinarian.”

“Perceptive as always.”

“I do try.” Sunset pulled her hand back and rested her chin on it as she leaned across the table. “And since you’re talking to me about it, I’m also guessing that this isn’t the kind of problem you can go to Cadance with.”

“Well… I know I could, but I’d really rather not…”

Sunset smirked. “I thought this might be coming, though I wasn’t sure if you’d actually work up the nerve. But sure, I can help you out.”

“Hold on, why did you think this was coming?”

“Come on, Twi, you two have been together, what? Two months now? It’s only natural to take that next step in getting more intimate.”

It took a second for Twilight to catch up with what Sunset was implying, but once she did, she blushed furiously. “What!? Sunset, what are you… why would you think…”

“Twi, it’s me. There’s no need to be so embarrassed. You’re both adults in a relationship. Sex is a perfectly normal thing, and I’m happy to give you some pointers.”

“I know, but you’ve got the wrong idea!” Twilight couldn’t even look at Sunset, turning back to the table. “We haven’t even talked about doing that sort of thing.”

“Oh, I see. So you want to figure out how to bring it up with her then.”

“No!” Twilight looked into Sunset’s face only to see she was wearing a sinister grin. “Hold on; you’re teasing me, aren’t you?”

“Well… yeah.” Sunset’s grin grew into a full smile. “Sorry, Twi, but you’re just so fun to tease.”

Twilight folded her arms and frowned. “I was serious, Sunset…”

“Hey now, don’t be like that. It was only a little teasing.”

Twilight didn’t say anything.

Sunset’s smile fell away. “Come on, Twi… Look, what did you want to talk to me about?”

“Maybe I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

“What? Twilight, I’m sorry, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, and –” Sunset stopped when Twi failed to hold back her own smirk. “…and now you’re the one teasing me. Okay, fair enough.”

Twilight broke into a grin. “Maybe now you’ll think twice before picking on me.”

“Yeah, you sure showed me. I’ve definitely learned my lesson now.” Sunset had the distinctive look of someone who would not ever think twice of picking on her, but in truth, Twilight wouldn’t have it any other way.

“So then,” Sunset said, “what did you want to talk about?”

Once again, Twilight’s smile disappeared. “Well… you know how I told you that Fluttershy had a crush on another mare before we started dating?”

Sunset nodded. “Yeah.”

“Well, the thing is… Fluttershy’s still spending a lot of time with her, and I don’t really know how to feel about that.”

“I see.” All trace of playfulness was gone from Sunset’s expression as she finally gave her friend’s problem her full attention. “Have you talked to Fluttershy about it at all?”

“No. I don’t know what to say to her about it. The last thing I want to do is make her feel like I don’t trust her.”

“Right, of course. But, well… you do trust her, right?”

“What!?” Twilight shook her head. “How could you even ask me that? Of course I trust her!”

Sunset held her hands up, palms towards Twilight. “I know I know. But, well… I know you want to trust her, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you she’s someone worth trusting. It’s just, you know, sometimes fears aren’t really rational.”

Twilight glared at Sunset. If this was more teasing, she was going too far.

Sunset sighed. “Twi, it’s me. You can tell me anything, you know that. And if that’s what it is, if you’re worried she’s doing something even if you know she isn’t, then you’re not going to get past this by pretending that’s not the issue.”

Twilight kept up her glare for another few moments, then closed her eyes. She sighed and furrowed her brow. She didn’t appreciate the question, although she understood why Sunset would ask it. “No. I’m not worried about what Fluttershy is doing at all. I trust her, and besides, Rarity is straight.”

When Twilight opened her eyes, she saw Sunset was staring with her mouth hanging open. She had no idea why at first, but then Sunset said, “Oh, shit… it’s Rarity?”

Why did she say that? Twilight let her face fall into her palm.

“Sorry, not helping. Just took me by surprise is all.” Sunset’s tone brightened as she continued. “But hey, that means it’s with someone else you trust, right? I can see why it’s awkward that it’s someone you’re both friends with, but that’s also kind of a good thing, right?”

“I do trust them.” Twilight lifted her head and spoke definitively. It was important to her that this was understood. “I trust both of them completely. I’m not worried that anything will happen.”

“Alright, so what’s going on?”

Twilight sighed. “That’s the thing… I don’t know. I know it shouldn’t bother me, but… Ugh, this whole thing is stupid!”

“It’s okay. It’s your first relationship, unless you wanna count that one dance with Flash. It’s normal to feel insecure about things, and you’re working on it.”

“Did you feel like this when you first started dating?”

Sunset leaned back. “Speaking of Flash, remember my first relationship wasn’t exactly typical. I never really worried what he was doing or if he was interested in someone else because I didn’t really care even if he was.”

With as far as Sunset had come in the past year, Twilight sometimes forgot how she used to be. “Oh, right…”

“I guess I got a little more worried about relationships after that.” Sunset shrugged. “Probably not as bad for me, though. Even if it wasn’t a good relationship, Flash still gave me a lot of practice for when I was in a real one. Which… kind of makes me sound even worse, huh?”

“No!” Twilight answered quickly. “Sunset, you’re a good person. You shouldn’t beat yourself up over what happened in the past.”

Sunset grinned. “Thanks, Twi. But we aren’t here to talk about me.”

Twilight’s head drooped again. “Right…”

Sunset drummed her fingers on the table for a moment before speaking again. “Alright, so, you’re not sure what bothers you about it. That’s okay, you don’t need to know right now. But you should remember one important thing.”

Twilight smiled and rolled her eyes. “I know, they’re both good ponies that I can trust.”

Sunset nodded. “Sure, but that’s not what I meant. Fluttershy chose to be with you. You’re the one who asked her, but she didn’t have to say yes. She chose this, chose you.”

Twilight hesitated. It didn’t seem that simple to her. “Yeah, I guess you’re right…”

“Well, yeah,” Sunset said with a grin. “Was there ever any doubt?”

Twilight grinned too. She wasn’t sure she felt any better about Fluttershy and Rarity, but she was worrying about it less with Sunset around. “Thanks, Sunset.”

“No problem. But uh, you gonna finish that shake?”

Twilight chuckled and went back to drinking her milkshake. She hadn’t really found any answers, but she was still glad she decided to visit.

Although… maybe there was still one answer she could get… “Can I… ask you something weird?”

“A minute ago I was ready to give you sex tips. I’m pretty much down for whatever questions you’ve got, Twi.”

Twilight blushed, in part because of the reminder of the earlier topic, in part because of her question. “Am I… pretty?”

For once, even Sunset seemed embarrassed. “Well… sure. But why do you ask?”

“W-Well, it’s not normally something I really think about, but I’ve kind of been thinking about it lately and I thought maybe you’d be a good judge because you like girls too, but oh! Not that I was, uhm, thinking about it because of you or anything, I was just asking you because I wanted to know and I trust your opinion and –”

“Twi.” Sunset smiled as Twilight abruptly stopped talking. “Take a deep breath, then let’s try that again a bit more calmly.”

Twilight did as Sunset suggested, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. She was still nervous and embarrassed as she continued, but she was able to do so much more calmly. “It’s just… I know Rarity is so much more dazzling than I will ever be. And I guess that’s probably what really bothers me about it. Even if I’ve never felt that way about Rarity, I can see exactly what Fluttershy sees in her that she’ll never see in me.”

“I’ve never met the pony Rarity, but if she’s anything like the one here, I can see what you mean.” Sunset smiled and inclined her head. “You’re wrong, though.”

Twilight smiled sheepishly. “Thanks, Sunset, but it’s okay. I know I’ll never be like Rarity, I guess I just hope I’m maybe not too far off.”

“Oh, you’re right that you’ll never be like Rarity.” Sunset reached her hand across the table for Twilight’s again. “But, well… let’s look at it this way: Who’s prettier, Rarity or Fluttershy?”

Twilight cocked her head to the side. “What? Fluttershy, of course.”

“Really?” Sunset leaned a little closer. “I know you think that, but be objective. Really think about both of them and what makes each of them special. Do you actually think Fluttershy is as dazzling as Rarity is? Is Fluttershy really the type of girl who can walk into the room and have all eyes turn to her?”

“I really don’t think Fluttershy would want that.”

“Me either, but that’s not the point.”

Twilight didn’t really care for this exercise. It seemed that Sunset wanted Twilight to pick Rarity, but what good would it do if she decided somepony else was more attractive than her own marefriend?

But she had gone into this to see things from another perspective, so she resolved to do just that. “Rarity is definitely more of a show stopper. Like you said, she’s always drawing attention with her appearance, and for good reason. I’ve never met another pony that knows as much about style. She’s incredible.

“But Fluttershy is too, in her own way. She never even seems to be trying to, but she’s always beautiful. Rarity looks like she came straight from a fashion magazine or work of art, like she’s not even someone who should be around regular ponies. But then Fluttershy is the opposite, like she’s the most natural thing in the world. She’s soft and welcoming, and I think she’s perfect.”

Sunset nodded. “You know, that doesn’t sound like Fluttershy’s actually prettier. It sounds like they’re both great in their own way, and there’s really no sense in comparing them.”

“I guess that’s true.” Twilight shook her head. “So why did you have me compare them?”

Sunset patted Twilight’s hand. “Don’t you see, Twi? If you can’t compare Fluttershy and Rarity, why should you compare yourself and Rarity?”

Twilight’s eyes fell to the table, lingering on where Sunset’s hand rested on hers. “That’s different though. Fluttershy and Rarity might each have their own kind of beauty, but I’m not like either of them.”

“No, you’re not. You’re like you.” Sunset cupped her fingers around Twilight’s hand. “You go on adorable little rants when you get nervous. You get lost in things you’re talking about when you’re excited, and your face just lights up when you get to explain what you’re doing to someone else. You aren’t dazzling like Rarity or serene like Fluttershy, but that’s okay, because they’ll also never be adorkable like you.”

Twilight blushed. “I don’t think ‘adorkable’ is really what other people look for in a relationship, though.”

“Why, because it’s not what you’re looking for?” Sunset pulled her hand back and looked away. “You know, don’t take this the wrong way or anything, but I’d much rather be with someone like you than someone like Rarity.”

Twilight blinked in confusion. “Wait, really?”

Sunset blushed. “I mean, don’t read too much into that.”

“No! Of course not.”

“Not like, actually you and me.”

“Right, that’d be weird.”

Both of them looked away awkwardly. Eventually Sunset cleared her throat. “Anyway, I just meant that while you might not be interested in dating someone like you, that doesn’t mean Fluttershy isn’t.”

“But… I already know what Fluttershy is interested in…”

One of the things.” Sunset turned back to Twilight with a grin. “Come on, don’t tell me every girl you’ve ever had a crush on was the same as Fluttershy.”

It wasn’t like Twilight had a long list of mares she’d had crushes on, but there had been a few before. And thinking back on them, Sunset did have a point. “Do you really think someone like me might also be Fluttershy’s type though?”

Sunset smirked. “Are you kidding? Of course I do.”

It was at least something worth considering more, even if Twilight did still have trouble seeing it. There was just one other problem. “Even if… if Fluttershy might have more than a crush?”

Sunset frowned. “What do you mean?”

Twilight closed her eyes. She didn’t even want to admit this to herself, let alone to Sunset. “Fluttershy says she loves me, but… I know she’s had feelings for Rarity for a long time now, and it’s hard to think she might really be getting over them. Sometimes I think Rarity is the pony Fluttershy really loves.”

“I think love is more complicated than that. But if Fluttershy says she loves you, I think she probably means that. Maybe for now, you should try just focusing on that part. Build up Fluttershy and you, don’t worry about Fluttershy and Rarity.”

That wasn’t a very satisfying answer, but Twilight appreciated that Sunset was trying her best. “I guess you have a point.”

“It’s been known to happen.” Sunset pulled out her phone and checked the time. “We should probably get you back home though. Don’t want to disappoint Spike, after all.”

Twilight smiled and stood up. “Yeah, he’s pretty excited about going to his favorite restaurant. Thanks for the milkshake, and for the talk.”

“My pleasure.” Sunset collected their empty milkshake glasses and brought them to the counter while Twilight pulled on the bike jacket once more.

They walked back to the motorcycle, and Twilight once again looked forward to the ride. This time, however, it was mostly because it would give her a few minutes to think over the day’s conversation.

But as soon as Sunset started the motor, those thoughts were left behind at Sugarcube Corner while the two young women sped down the city streets. They would catch up to Twilight later, but for now, she simply held fast to Sunset and found herself once again caught up in the thrill of going too fast for her worries to keep up.

It was only a short ride to Canterlot High School, but it was a worry-free one. Sunset pulled into the same parking lot she had met Twilight in. She shut off the engine and put up the kickstand, dismounting with Twilight.

They smiled to each other as Twilight took off the helmet, handing it to Sunset as they started walking together to towards the portal. She kept the jacket on for the walk.

“Today was nice,” Twilight said. “Much better than sitting around at home worrying about things I shouldn’t be worried about. That’s what I did during their weekly spa day last week…”

“I’m glad I could help. And it’ll get better once you’re more used to being in a relationship.”

“I hope so…”

Sunset placed her hand on Twilight’s shoulder. “Trust me.”

Twilight smiled at her and nodded. “I do.”

They checked for oncoming cars and crossed the street. Their pace slowed as they started to get closer to the statue. “So they go to the spa every Friday?”

Twilight frowned. “Yes. It’s something they’ve done for as long as I’ve known either of them.”

Sunset nodded. “So hey, why don’t we do a weekly meetup too? I know the girls would love to see you some more, and I have Friday afternoons off. That way it’ll keep your mind off things, and maybe if you’re also out having fun, you’ll have less to feel insecure about.”

Twilight thought about it for a moment then nodded. Sunset had a good point, and it would keep her from having to come up with new excuses every time she was asked to go to the spa with Rarity and Fluttershy. Besides, she had told Spike they could come back together. “I think that sounds like a great idea. Thank you, Sunset.”

“Like I said, my pleasure.” They reached the statue and stopped in front of it.

Twilight took off the jacket and handed it to Sunset. “And you know… if you ever wanted to, you could always come visit me too.”

Sunset took the jacket and looked away apprehensively. “Twilight, I…”

Twilight placed her hand on Sunset’s shoulder. “It’s okay, you don’t have to answer now. Just… think about it.”

Sunset hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “Yeah, okay. I’ll let you know if I decide to visit.”

Sunset moved in for a hug, then they said their goodbyes. Twilight waved to her as she walked away, then turned back to the portal.

Maybe Sunset had a point after all. She knew Fluttershy wasn’t over Rarity, that much was obvious. But maybe… maybe that would still be okay. Fluttershy had chosen to be with Twilight, and then had chosen to stay with her when they weren’t sure if things would work out. Maybe there was something that Fluttershy saw in her after all.

Hoping that she could hold onto that thought the next time she saw Fluttershy and Rarity together, Twilight stepped into the portal, and let herself slip away.

Author's Note:

Because I never liked the idea of using too many horse puns in the human world, the city Sunset lives in is Everton in Who We Become.

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