• Published 11th Jul 2015
  • 30,690 Views, 137 Comments

Scar Tissue - RadiantBeam

While relaxing after a performance, the Rainbooms discover Sunset has scars that she definitely didn't have before the Fall Formal.

  • ...

Scar Tissue

“We are ridiculously awesome.”

No one bothered to argue with Rainbow’s triumphant statement; with the way the crowd was roaring, calling for more even though the Rainbooms had finished performing for the night, there was absolutely no reason to. The students of Canterlot High loved their music, and the band was doing better than ever. Grins and congratulatory nudges were shared between the friends as they settled backstage, preparing to relax after a long and exciting performance.

“Ah propose,” Applejack drawled as she carefully tucked her instrument back into its case, “apple cider. Free at the farm and the best you’ll taste in the whole city.”

“Oh! Oh, oh!” Pinkie bounced excitedly, waving a hand in the air like a kid in class. “On the way back, can we get some donuts from Joe’s? Tonight calls for some celebratory sugar!”

“Sounds good to me.” Fluttershy smiled, something quiet and warm. “I don’t have to be home until late anyway.”

Rarity pretended to think about it, tapping her finger against her lips, before she chuckled at the combined pouts she got from Pinkie and Rainbow. “Oh, of course, that sounds absolutely marvelous. And tomorrow’s Saturday! We can have as much fun as we want.”

“Score!” Rainbow cheered, pumping a fist in the air. “And I don’t know about you guys, but Fluttershy and I wrote some great stuff together that I’d like to go over with all of you. It’s not important, obviously, but…”

“All good things, Rainbow,” Sunset laughed, clicking the locks on her guitar case and getting to her feet. She felt around for the zipper to her performance outfit, grimacing when she couldn’t quite reach it. “Uh, Rare, could you…”

“Yes, yes, no need to say another word.” Quick as a flash Rarity was at her friend’s back, gripping the zipper easily and drawing it down. “Thank you again for wearing this for me tonight, by the way. I do appreciate it. I just didn’t know how it’d look until I put it on someone, and no one else was willing to try it.”

Applejack suddenly doubled over from a mysterious coughing fit, which quickly morphed into wheezing when Pinkie unhelpfully slapped her on the back.

The redhead smiled, breathing out slightly as the outfit peeled off of her, rolling her shoulders as she grabbed her shirt. “It’s not a problem, Rarity. It was nice to wear.”

“Mmm, much too hard to get out of, though. I’ll have to make some adjustments, I hope you won’t mind being my—“

It was only for a moment, but as Rarity had helped ease the outfit off, Sunset had paused, gripping her shirt in her hands as she waited patiently for her friend to finish. She hadn’t put her shirt on immediately after, and Rarity’s chatter abruptly cut off as she got a good look at her friend’s back, briefly bared of her signature red and gold hair.

“… What?” Sunset squirmed, suddenly aware of the silence that had fallen over her friends. “What is it?”

“Sunset.” Rarity’s voice had softened considerably, and the silence was so thick that her voice sounded far louder than it should have. “What are these?”

Sunset blanked out completely until she felt Rarity’s hand settle between her shoulder blades, right over two very sensitive points of flesh. She flinched instinctively and pulled away, hurriedly pulling her shirt on. “Scars,” she mumbled.

“I can see that, yes. I may have asked the wrong question. How did you get them?”

She was dearly tempted to not answer; to just pick up her guitar case, grab her jacket, and walk right out then and there. It would have ruined the rest of the night and would have undoubtedly made the whole weekend awkward until she was forced to see her friends again at school on Monday, but it didn’t change the fact that she considered it.

But she turned around as she picked her jacket up, and froze at the expressions she saw. Fluttershy looked near tears, a hand pressed to her mouth, and even Pinkie looked concerned.

Well. It would have come up eventually, anyway. She sighed heavily as her shoulders slumped, tossing her jacket over her shoulder. “From the Fall Formal,” she said. “After I was made human again thanks to the blast.”

“Your wings,” Rainbow realized. “Those are from when you…”

“When I was a raging she-demon, yeah.” Sunset lightened her tone. “I’ve got another one at the base of my spine, too. From the tail, I think.”

It didn’t quite have the effect she’d hoped it would. Rarity had scooped up her forgotten costume, so that was one small victory, but her friends still looked torn somewhere between shock and unhappiness.

“Come on, girls.” She rubbed the back of her neck. “You all saw my back when we were fighting the sirens.”

“None o’ us were exactly lookin’ at yer back at the time,” Applejack muttered, adjusting her hat so she’d have something to do with her hands. “Other things were goin’ on.”

“I don’t get it.” Pinkie approached Sunset tentatively, as if afraid the girl would bolt the minute she got too close. “I didn’t think magic would… hurt, like that. It’s never hurt any of us, and… you seemed really happy when you transformed with us.”

Sunset sighed again, shifting so she could lean against the wall. “It didn’t hurt then,” she said, accepting that she would need to give her friends a short magical lesson. “When I transformed during the Battle of the Bands with all of you, the magic we used was… I guess the best word would be pure. It was doing exactly what it was supposed to do, from a dependable source. You all saw my transformation during the Fall Formal.”

“It looked painful,” Fluttershy whispered.

Sunset smiled sheepishly. “Because it was painful. The magic that transformed me was being drawn from a corrupted source, and I was changed against my will—I didn’t think that would happen when I put the crown on my head.” She shifted a bit to pat her back, as best she could. “Using corrupted magic like that has consequences. I’m frankly lucky it only left some scarring.”

The unspoken implication was enough to have her friends’ eyes widening, all of them sharing slightly horrified looks. Sunset waved a hand, desperately trying to get them all off of this topic. “Look, consider it a lesson in magic,” she said. “You can all look to me as an example of what not to do with magical items—“

“You were hurt,” Fluttershy cut her off, voice wavering. “You were bleeding so badly that the wounds left scars. And you never told us? Any of us?”

… Oh.

Sunset swallowed, pressing back against the wall and ignoring the slight sting from between her shoulders. Her fingers dug briefly into the material of her jacket, trying to find something to hold onto. “I’m not saying I was right,” she muttered defensively. “I just… it was right after the Fall Formal, I was still getting to know all of you, and I…”

She couldn’t avoid it, could she. Sunset looked away, unable to meet the eyes of any of her friends.

“… And I thought I deserved it,” she admitted. “I wasn’t exactly in a healthy mindset right after the Fall Formal. A little pain and some blood seemed like a small thing after everything I’d done.”

The silence that followed her words lingered, until she heard the soft sound of footsteps approaching her. She felt a warm hand settle on her shoulder and squeeze gently, if a touch uncertainly; she looked up, and Rainbow managed a weak, nervous smile. “You know we would have helped you,” she said. “Any of us would have helped you.”

Sunset smiled back, swallowing. “Yeah, well. I know that now. I wasn’t so sure back then.”

“Dummy.” Rainbow pulled her into a hug, ruffling her hair affectionately, and just like that the tension broke. Pinkie launched herself at them like a rocket, swooping the pair up into a tight hug that had both of them yelping and squirming, lifting them right off the ground.

“Pinkie!” Rainbow wheezed. “Air! I need air! We both need air!”

“Oh! Sorry!” Sounding like the least sorry person in the world, Pinkie cheerfully dropped them back onto their feet. “I just figured, y’know, you really needed a hug after that, and according to my sister I’m a great hug giver, so I thought I’d help!”

Sunset laughed, a breathless sound. “That was a great hug, Pinkie. Thanks.”

“No problem! Though after this, I gotta say, I think we need a jumbo sized box of donuts from Joe’s! I’m sure the extra sugar will help!” She paused. “… I’m not sure how, but I’m still sure!”

“Sounds like a mighty fine plan ta me.” Applejack rubbed Sunset’s back lightly before pulling her hand away. “I’ll get the cider ready at the farm. Y'all can meet me there after goin’ to Joe’s.”

Pinkie gave a quick salute before bouncing off of the stage, taking the stairs two at a time. Fluttershy hurried after her to help her with the donuts, but not before giving Sunset’s hand a supportive squeeze as she passed by. Sunset smiled and slid her jacket on, blinking when Rarity came to her side with a pained sigh.

“… Do I even want to ask?” the redhead wondered.

Rarity sighed again. “Oh, it’s nothing. I’m just wondering what happened to your shirt, you see, I notice you didn’t mention what became of it.”

Sunset winced. “I… kind of bled through it. I had to throw it out when the stain wouldn’t come off.” Thankfully the blood had never damaged her jacket; she might have actually cried if she’d had to get rid of her favorite piece of clothing, on top of everything else that had happened to her at the Formal.

Rarity sighed a third time, somehow sounding more pained than before. “I suspected as much, yes. Nothing to be done for it, I suppose. I must buy you a new shirt.”

“Rarity, you don’t need—“

“I insist, Sunset. It’s the least I can do to make up for not knowing you were bleeding in the first place.”

Sunset laughed again, at that. “Okay. I’m free this weekend.”

“That sounds absolutely perfect.”

Rarity looped their arms together as they started off after Applejack, and nothing in the world could have wiped the smile off of Sunset’s face in that moment.

Author's Note:

I'm experiencing a bit of a block/burnout on the next chapter of Now You Need Us and the SunLight one-shot I'm currently working on (I'm honestly not sure which), so I decided to post something short and sweet. This idea's been knocking around in my head all day, so I figured it worked as well as anything else.

Due to the traumatic nature of Sunset's transformation in the first movie, I've always headcanoned she sustained scars from the incident (a pair of them between her shoulder blades from the wings, and one at the base of her spine from the tail). It's probably a bit too morbid for MLP to get into, but it's always been an idea I liked, and hence this piece was born.

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Comments ( 137 )

I'm a little frightened by how often our headcannons overlap. xD

Anyway, another awesome story! I love how you write these types of things, with the conflict coming up naturally, then life moving on afterwords (as it does in real life). Something else I really like is that Sunset was very self-aware (as she tends to be in your work), and acknowledges her mindsets before and after the Fall Formal debacle.

Hope this helped with your burnout!

Great story. Short, sweet, to the point. Just how Ah like 'em. :ajsmug:


Ha! I was wondering how many people had the scar headcanon! :rainbowlaugh:

Anyway, glad you enjoyed it so much! It was a lot of fun to get the chance to write Sunset interacting with the other girls in a supportive manner, since I usually only write her interacting with Twilight and Now You Need Us hasn't had a chance yet for all of them to have these kinds of moments as a group.


Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed the story. :pinkiehappy:


I don't see it very often, oddly enough! I can only recall one story right off the bat that even mentioned her having scars.

You write small intimate moments very well, and it's evident you enjoy writing them. :)

Ooh. Why am I not following you?

Very nice. Kinda overlaps with a headcanon of mine, in that Sunset's arms have a lot of scars (probs hidden by makeup) from her trying to work out how to make fire when she first became a human. Personally, I wish this story had a bit more imagery concerning the scars--but I understand the desire to avoid such gruesome things.

I enjoyed that quite a bit. It's nice seeing the Rainbooms interacting like this :ajsmug:

Not bad, although it comes off as being less of a big deal than it could have been. Maybe this could be expanded.


Glad you enjoyed! I did actually originally have a big more description of the scars, but the truth is... I had a hard time figuring out how to describe their appearance with the fact that humans in EG are multiple colors. Maybe for another idea, since I rather like this headcanon and would like to come back to it.


Glad you enjoyed it so much. :twilightsmile:


It may be one day. It's one of my headcanons, so I do plan to come back to it eventually.

:pinkiesad2:Poor Sunny! Neat fic though. I never considered that an aspect of her transformation back into a human might include lasting consequences.

Short and sweet is what you aimed for, and I'd say you hit the bullseye. Good job.

However, there is one minor thing I'd like to mention:

“Sounds like a mighty fine plan tae me.”

"Tae" is typically used when trying to convey a Gaelic accent (whether Irish, Scottish, or even Manx). While Southern accents do have their roots in Gaelic language, they are different enough that "tae" is considered unique to the Western and Northern parts of Great Britain, and if you consider it worth changing, "ta" would be a more natural choice. Again, this really is a minor thing, I just thought I'd provide it in case you think it's significant enough to consider.

Well, that wasn't an accurate depiction of how that would go at all.

The correct answer would have been "mega drama."

Due to the traumatic nature of Sunset's transformation in the first movie, I've always headcanoned she sustained scars from the incident (a pair of them between her shoulder blades from the wings, and one at the base of her spine from the tail). It's probably a bit too morbid for MLP to get into, but it's always been an idea I liked, and hence this piece was born.

At first I wanted to say that Harmony would have healed her, but then I thought again. It cleansed her, but getting rid of corruption caused by a misused Element of Harmony must be difficult as all get-out, especially when there weren't any physical Elements, just the Bearers.

short and sweet...i really enjoyed the heart warming moments they all had with Sunset Shimmer.


Ha! I was wondering how many people had the scar headcanon!

I didn't before, but I do now!

6192361 It does make a kind of sense, doesn't it?

6192329 Saw that coming.:ajsmug:


Why throw out a perfectly good shirt just because of a blood stain?

6192679 You ever tried wearing a blood stained shirt out in public?

Yas, good. THis is good.

not bad. short sweet and to the point. a very nice one shot. keep up the good work /)


I love scars. Not like fetish-love, I'm not weird (well, I am, but not in that way) but I just somehow find that scars add depth. And I don't mean just random scars meant to make someone look cool, I mean the ones that hurt. That sting. That have a story and a meaning and a purpose.

In a weird way, I think the best kind of scar is the one that weighs on you.

So yeah, good story.


6192761 All the time.

6192329 That was the first thing I thought of too!

Very interesting idea, with the problem-transformation leaving injuries like that. Have a like!

Not the most impactful of fics one could read...

Still, the bit of headcanon you've got for this is very good. I liked it.

~Skeeter The Lurker

I really like the idea of these scars which came from Sunset transformation. I wish I will know one day if Sunset get rid of her scars. Good story! Keep going like this.:twilightsmile:

,Peace from Midnight.

A well-done scene. Excellent character work, emotion, and magical mechanics. Thank you for this.

Did not go in the direction I thought it was. With the description I thought it would be about Sunset being a cutter or something.

I thought so too at first. But the tags put me at ease, and I was pleased to see it was not about cutting.

Wow. I've seen people say they'd hear things in a character's voice while reading, but I didn't really 'get' that. I put things to characters' voices all the time, so what's the big deal, I'd think to myself. Now I get it, though. Because that wasn't putting the voice to it, that was the voice just being there, super vivid, without the slightest bit of effort on my end. And it was awesome and I see why people make such a big deal about that now. Congrats on being the first author ever to make me actually hear a character's voice, and let it be a testament to your skill 'til the final bell rings at the end of time.

Nice one shot. I never thought about Sunset's transformation like that before. It was a good idea.

It wouldn't make sense. It said before the Fall Formal, which is when the whole "I'm going to turn into a demon by stealing the element of magic and shiz" happened. So, since it seems Sunset's life took a turn for the better after that, it would seem off. However, seeing as how the coverart show Sunset during her transformation, it is clear that the basis of this story revolves around what exactly happened during the transformation. You just need to pay attention.

Not bad. I really enjoyed this story! Sunset having these scars and also divulging her guilt even more really gives depth and growth to her character. If there's one thing done right, it's Sunset in Equestria Girls.

Hi Radiant,

As a rather huge Sunset Shimmer fan, I just wanted to say I quite liked this story. Dark, corrupted magic having consequences is always a great idea.

I wanted to touch on something from your author's note though, you said that this feels like a rather dark place to take MLP, and a bit outside cannon. In regards to that I'd like to point you to the first of the "Daring Do" Trilogy of books that Hasbro has officially released. The first chapter, of the first book, introduces our villian, who's motivation is based on the fact that his cutie mark was literally mutilated from his body by an attack by the main villian. It went to quite a dark place considering, but that is official fiction from Hasbro.

So don't be too hard on yourself over this.

"Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground."
-Albus Dumbledore.

I'm glad that Sunset didn't turn to cutting. I figured that corrupted magic can do wonders to the body.

I never thought about the physical consequences to the transformation until now actually. I'm replaying the corruption in my head and I can see where you were thinking. Very nice piece of work here. Keep it up

This was a great story. You know, at first I was a bit nervous about reading this. But when I got through the first couple paragraphs, I was into it. Honestly, I never thought about the magic leaving scars, but that's actually a pretty good theory. MLP would never put that into the movies because MLP is kind of for kids (I'm not saying just kids) and I think getting into magical scars would be kind of gore-ish. I like what you did with that theory and made a piece out of. I also like what you did with this fic. Amazing. You've earned a like and a fave from me.

Welp. I love this idea and story. Very nice.

Wow, this was really, really good. You really captured Sunset Shimmer's character here, and the part where she was talking about how she thought she deserved it? Whewwww, that sent shivers right up and down my spine!! :rainbowderp:

Wait. What about Snips and Snails? They grew wings too, and I'm guessing she wasn't gentle about it.

But ya it does look like it was painful, she was even crying. And then having them ripped out wouldn't be pleasant so it makes sense that she would have scars.
As for it being in the show, it's not going to happen, but it wouldn't be too much to have a couple marks on her back as a reminder that actions have consequences.

I was kinda expecting that the high school students beat her or something. Cool story, anyway.

I like it! This could be a longer story; I know I want more!

Damn, I can't believe I never thought of that. I wish I could add in to my own stories. Excellent idea and story! Not much to say other than that.

You know now that I think about it, it kinda does make sense for there to at least there to be a mark. Nice little story, I really enjoy these small slice of life fics from the other side of the mirror.

I wonder what would happen to the scars after her second transformation during her song.

(Very dbz moment, that was.)

I was thinking the same thing when I watched that video. Have you seen the new My Little Pony episode? Big Mac's transformation reminded me of the old Sailor Moon transformations.

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