• Published 4th Aug 2015
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Sunset's Little Twilight - PoisonClaw



An accident with the Mirror Portal ends up with Twilight stuck as a small pony in the Equestra Girls' world. Her friends can't get over how cute she is.

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Safe

“Tw…Twilight?”

Over the last few months, Flash had needed to radically rethink what he thought he knew about the world, having borne witness to powerful magic during the Fall Formal and the Battle of the Bands. Not the typical smoke and mirrors performed by stage magicians, but real magic, like the kind spoken of in fairy tales.

If that wasn’t enough, he had not only also learned that his ex-girlfriend was a runaway from another world, but that the cute new girl in school was from there as well! And a princess, no less!

Following this discovery, however, a voice of reason in the back of his mind liked to remind him that there was a good chance that Twilight wasn’t human. He had been able to ignore it so far since, despite her quirks, she still looked human in every way.

Besides, the way she liked to write with her mouth was admittedly adorable in its own way.

Now, however, Flash was being harshly reminded of that fact as he stood out in the rain in the middle of Meadowgrace Park, staring wide-eyed at the cat-sized pony that had crawled out from under the bench.

“Hello, Flash.”

In that moment, Flash felt the world drop out from under him, his umbrella slipping from his grasp onto the wet grass as the roar of the rain faded into the background. His mouth hung open in disbelief as his brain tried to connect the image in his mind of the Twilight he knew with the pony standing in front of him. It couldn’t be true! This couldn’t be Twilight! It just didn’t—

Promise… promise me you won’t freak out when you see me, please?

That’s right… He thought, his surprise giving way to guilt. I did promise her I wouldn’t freak out… Taking a deep breath to steady his nerves, Flash pushed down his doubts as deep as he could, clenching his fists tightly as he focused only on what was truly important right now.

In an instant, the almost deafening roar of the rain filled his ears once more.

His eyes flittered across Twilight as he took in her diminutive form. There was no denying now how much she still looked like the Twilight he knew, from her purple mane with the magenta stripe to her deep violet eyes that he had first fallen in love with. Her fur and feathers were even the same shade as her skin, which were visible in places through the tattered remains of the outfit she was wearing. She was still staring up him expectantly, waiting for him to respond.

“Twilight…” Flash finally said, “what… what happened to you?”

Twilight shuffled her hooves awkwardly, rubbing her right foreleg. “Uh… well… you see…” she muttered, her ears drooping as she looked away. “It’s… it’s kind of… kind of a long story…”

“I’ll bet,” Flash remarked dryly, crouching down until he was almost eye level with
her. Picking his umbrella back up, he held it over the sopping wet Twilight to shield her from the rain. “You look like you’ve gone through the wringer.”

“I guess that’s one way of putting it…” she remarked with a chuckle.

Carefully slipping his backpack from his shoulders, Flash rummaged around inside for a moment before pulling out a yellow raincoat. “I was worried if this would fit you or not. Guess I was worried for nothing, huh?” He chuckled as well as he draped the raincoat over her, nearly covering her completely. “How’s that?”

Twilight wiggled inside the massive raincoat, eventually poking her head out from beneath the hood. “Thanks.”

“No problem,” Flash replied, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.

Another crash of thunder and a burst of lightning crackled above their heads, prompting Flash to look up at the wall of storm cloud blanketing the sky.

“Probably be a good idea if we got you out of this rain and somewhere dry, huh?” Flash reached his arm out towards Twilight, but pulled back suddenly. “Uh…”

“What’s wrong?” Twilight asked, the hood of the raincoat slipping over her eyes as she tilted her head.

God, she’s as cute as ever… Focus, Flash! Focus! Clearing his throat, Flash pulled the hood up from Twilight’s eyes. “Well… it’s just… do you mind if… if I carry you to my place?”

“W-what?” Twilight turned her head away so Flash wouldn’t see her blushing.

“I mean…” Flash stuttered, blushing just as much as Twilight was. “It’s the closest place I know of… and… and I didn’t really plan for this kind of thing, and—”

“Okay.”

“… Huh?” Thinking he might have misheard her, he tentatively asked, “Are… are you sure?”

Twilight nodded. “I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve needed to be carried somewhere over the last few days,” she muttered, though the barb of irritation in her voice made Flash wonder if she was being serious or not.

“Al-alright, if you’re sure…” Setting his umbrella aside for the moment, he gently scooped Twilight up in his arms, nestling her carefully into the crook of his arm. “How’s that?”

Twisting herself in Flash’s arms, Twilight almost purred as she wiggled into a more comfortable position. “Much better.”

Figures that my car decides to break down right before it would have come in handy. Picking his umbrella back up from off the ground with his other hand, Flash held onto Twilight as he turned and raced back in the opposite direction. His sneakers splashed through the puddles on the sidewalk as he hurried for home.

All the way, Flash couldn’t help himself from chancing brief glances at the cat-sized pony currently snuggling up against his chest.

Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any weirder…

***

“Eeek!” Twilight shrieked as a torrent of water washed over her head. “Flash!”

“Sorry!” Flash replied as he ran a brush through her wet mane. “I did tell you to close your eyes, didn’t I?”

“Could have given me a little more warning…” Twilight grumbled as she sunk into the shallow bathwater.

Upon arriving at Flash’s place, the first order of business had been to give Twilight a bath. Her journey through the streets of Canterlot had left her with a layer of dust and grime clinging to her fur and mane, despite her costume and the frequent rainfall over the last few days.

Undressing Twilight had been an… awkward experience, for Flash mostly. Twilight had just been happy to finally be free of the cat costume once and for all. Not that the costume could offer her much protection anyway, now little more than a ragged lump of dishevelled fabric.

As Flash gently worked soap into Twilight’s fur, he couldn’t completely shake how utterly surreal this entire situation was. The theme song to that old “Zone” show played on loop through his head as he worked, trying not to think too hard about the weirdness of it all, lest he need to start seeing a therapist. “Alright, Twilight, one more rinse and you should be all clean. Ready this time?”

“Ready!” Twilight said, clamping her eyes shut. Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t completely keep herself from squealing as the flow of water cascaded down her head.

“There, that should do it.” Pulling the stopper from the drain, Flash reached down and scooped up Twilight before setting her down on the bathroom floor. Before he could even think about reaching for a towel, Twilight vigorously shook herself dry like a dog, spraying water all over the bathroom and Flash. “Hey!” Flash cried out, throwing up his arms to try and protect himself. “Twilight, really?!”

“Ah…” Twilight sighed, unfurling her wings and giving them a quick shake as well. “Feels like forever since I’ve been this clean. A bath was just what I needed.”

“I’m happy for you…” Flash remarked as he dried himself off with a towel. Once he was done, he knelt down and gently began drying Twilight’s mane. As he worked the towel through her mane, he noticed she started making a strange noise, almost like…

“Are you purring?” Flash asked with a smirk on his face.

“No!” Twilight replied, perhaps a bit too hastily as her face broke out into a blush. “You’re imagining things!”

“Really?” Flash snickered, not wanting to miss this perfect opportunity to tease her. “Cause it sounds to me like a certain little pony is enjoying this.”

“I… uh…”

Twilight was saved any further torment as the sound of the front door opening and closing reach their ears, followed by a voice calling out, “Flash? Are you home?”

“Crap, it’s my mom!” Leaping to his feet, Flash bolted for the door and quickly hollered, “Just a minute!” before glancing back at Twilight. “Follow me, my room’s just down the hall.”

Once they tip-toed down the hall, Flash pushed the door to his room open to allow Twilight to step inside.

Glancing around the room, she couldn’t help but notice how similar it looked to Shining’s room when he was in high school. Several band posters were hung against the walls around his unmade bed while his guitar rested in its stand in the back corner next to a speaker as big as she was. Discarded laundry littered the floor and a stand with a sizable flatscreen television on it sat at the back of the room, hooked up to a myriad of electronics that Twilight couldn’t even begin to understand, while a desk with a laptop on top had been placed opposite it. Torrential rain continued pouring down the window on the far wall.

“Sorry…” Flash said as he looked at the sorry state of his room. “I know it’s a mess, but I wasn’t exactly expecting visitors.”

Carefully stepping around a foul-smelling sports shirt, Twilight stared up at one of the posters, depicting a grisly image of a goat’s skull with a mane of fire and what she could only assume was blood pouring from its eyes and mouth. A horde of skeletons happily danced within the flames. She grimaced at the macabre imagery. “It’s… nice?”

“I’ll be back in a minute, just sit tight until I get back.” Flash said.

Before Twilight could reply, Flash had already shut the door behind him. Sighing, Twilight glanced around the room once more, her eyes falling on a backpack lying in a heap against the desk. Trotting over to it, Twilight poked her head inside.

Meanwhile, Flash ran downstairs to find his mother waiting for him in the kitchen. She was dressed in a finely tailored suit, giving off the aura of a highly-professional woman. Her skin was a darkened shade of violet while her hair was an icy blue, braided past her shoulders. She looked up as he entered, placing her freshly cleaned glasses back over her blue eyes. “Ah, there you are. I was wondering if you made it home all right, especially with all this rain.”

“I’m fine, Mom,” Flash said with a roll of his eyes. Walking past his mother into the kitchen, he began to rummage around in the pantry. “Is Dad working late again?” he asked over his shoulder.

“He said he would be home for dinner, but you know how demanding your father’s job can be,” Flash’s mother replied. She crossed her arms over her chest as she looked to her son. “I hope you weren’t planning on spoiling your dinner with junk food again.”

“I’m just grabbing something to snack on,” he replied as he pulled out a bag of party mix from the pantry. “I’ve got a ton of homework I need to get back to upstairs.”

His mother raised an eyebrow suspiciously. “Homework, huh?” Walking over, she placed a hand against Flash’s forehead. “Hmm… You don’t appear to be running a fever…”

“Mom!” Flash ignored his mother’s laughter as he grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and raced back upstairs. Pushing the door to his room open, he slinked inside before nudging it closed with his foot.

“Sorry about that, Twilight. I figured you didn’t want to try explaining to my mom—” Flash paused as he noticed Twilight sitting at the foot of his bed, idly flipping through the pages of a book resting at her hooves. “Er… Twilight?”

She didn’t respond, lost in her own little world as she absorbed the words before her.

Giving his head a quick shake, he headed over to his stereo and set it to shuffle, tweaking the volume enough that it would hopefully mask the sounds of him and Twilight from his mother. With a cheeky grin, he hit play, filling his room with loud music.

“Eek!” Twilight leapt a foot in air as her ears were assaulted by punk rock, flopping down onto her belly atop Flash’s bed. Shaking the ringing from her ears, Twilight finally noticed Flash’s presence. “Oh, Flash! I… I hope you don’t mind, but I started reading this book I pulled out of your bag. It’s pretty interesting.”

“Is it?” Flash said as set the food onto his bed. “I haven’t touched it since I borrowed it from the library. I’m supposed to write a report on it for English class. Think you could write it for me?”

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “Flash…”

He threw his hands up in defense. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding!” Ripping open the bag of party mix, he set the bag next to Twilight. “Thought you might be hungry, so I grabbed a few snacks for you.”

Just barely resisting the urge to stuff her head into the bag and chow down to her heart’s content, Twilight inched her way towards it. Luckily she had started recovering the use of her magic, so she levitated a handful of pretzels, sunchips and cheese sticks towards her muzzle.

Flash’s eyes followed the ball of floating snacks as Twilight ate, his eyes glancing up at the violet glow radiating from her horn. Wheeling his swivel chair over from his desk and turning it towards his bed, he sat down with a sigh as he leaned back and stared up at the ceiling.

Several slow minutes passed before Flash finally spoke. “So… you’re a unicorn, huh?”

Twilight paused, swallowing another mouthful of snacks. “Uh… alicorn, actually.”

“What’s the difference?”

Twilight blinked, extending her wings and flapping them briefly.

“Oh… right…”

“Yeah…” Twilight sighed and turned her head to stare at the wall. “I’ve been meaning to tell you the truth eventually, but… but I could never find the right time to bring it up. Sorry…”

How exactly does one bring up something like this? Flash thought, keeping his mouth shut or else he might say something stupid. Resting his hands in his lap, Flash twiddled his thumbs as he tried to organize his thoughts. “It’s not your fault. I mean, I know you came from another world and all, so I guess I sort of assumed, but… I mean, you always looked human to me, so I guess… I guess I just chose to ignore it.”

“That’s because the portal I use to travel to this world has a built in system that transforms anyone passing through it into a more proper form to avoid causing a disturbance,” Twilight explained, looking back at Flash. “Except this time the portal sort of… broke on the other side while I was traveling through.”

“Broke? You’re not… stuck here now, are you?” Flash asked worriedly.

“Not permanently, fortunately,” Twilight said. “I just have to wait for Spike to fix the portal back home.”

“Spike?” Flash raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t he your dog?”

“In this world, maybe,” Twilight said with a cheeky grin. “Though he still thinks I haven’t yet noticed him sneaking dog treats in-between meals.”

“…Right…” Flash remarked, adding yet another question to the long list forming in his mind. Speaking of which… “You said the thing that changes you into a human stopped working, right? So I guess this is how you usually look then?”

“Yes and no. This is how I normally look, but I’m nowhere near this small back home.”

“Does that mean the people over there are all horses to—”

“Ponies.”

“… Ponies. Okay, so is everyone a pony in your world then?”

Twilight nodded. “While there are other races besides ponies, a large part of the population does consist of ponies.”

Just as Flash was about to ask more about these “other races”, a thought suddenly popped into his head that made him pause. “Is… is Sunset a pony too?”

“Yep.”

Flash took a second to try and imagine Sunset as a pony. It took all of two seconds for him to start howling with laughter at the mental image, barely restraining himself from falling out of his chair. He couldn’t help but picture Sunset trying to act all tough and proud but only succeeding in angrily pouting, which only made him laugh even harder. Oh, if only I had known that while

In a blink, Flash stopped laughing. Staring off into space for moment, Flash slumped back in his chair with a loud groan as he slapped his hand against his forehead. “Oh, I’m an idiot!”

“Wha… what?” Twilight asked, confusion written clear across her face. “What is it?”

Flash leapt up and ran over to his desk, yanking his phone from its charger. “I know I said I didn’t have any of your friend’s numbers,” He said as he frantically scrolled through his phone, “but I might still have— Aha! Bingo!” Grinning, he ran over to Twilight and held his phone up for her to see. Highlighted across the screen was a single name:

[Sunset Shimmer]

Twilight blink to make sure she wasn’t seeing things. “You… you have Sunset’s number?”

“Yep!” Flash replied excitedly. “I completely forgot that she gave me her number back when we—” Flash paused, some of the mirth draining from his face as he sighed wistfully. “… When we were dating. I guess I never got around to deleting it.”

“That’s perfect!” Twilight exclaimed, leaping to her hooves and bouncing up and down atop Flash’s bed with unrestrained excitement. “You can let everyone know I’m okay! Call it, call it, call it!”

“Geeze, Twilight, hold your… er… actually, nevermind.” Selecting Sunset’s name, Flash held the phone to his ear as it dialed Sunset’s number. He tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for the call to connect.

On the third ring, the call finally connected. “Hello, this is Sunset Shimmer…”

“Sunset, it’s Flash, I—”

“…. I can’t come to the phone right now, but feel free to— Pinkie! Quit it! ... As I was saying…”

Flash sighed as he realized he was hearing Sunset’s voicemail message. “Great, just great… “

Twilight stopped bouncing when she saw the disappointed look cross Flash’s face. “What’s wrong?”

“Sunset’s not answering her phone. She might have it turned off. Still, I’ll leave her a message telling her you’re okay at least.”

…so just leave a quick message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Promise!”

At the sound of the beep, Flash said, “Sunset, this is Flash. I’ve found Twilight and she’s safe. Call me as soon as you get this message, bye.” Ending the call, Flash also sent her a text saying the same thing before returning his phone to its charger. “There. All we can do now is wait from her to call back.”

Twilight slumped back onto Flash’s bed. “I hope my friends are alright…” she muttered, watching the rain through Flash’s window.

Walking over, Flash sat down next to her. “Cheer up, Twilight,” he said reassuringly as he gently ran a hand through her mane. “You’ll see them again in no time! I bet you that portal thing’s fixed already and you’ll be able to go home first thing tomorrow!”

Flash’s optimism was contagious, as Twilight felt a smile start to form across her face. “You’re right. I just have to be patient. In the meantime…” Twilight glanced up at Flash, wagging her tail as she asked, “You said something about homework?”

***

Sunset stared at her reflection in the window, blurry as it was from the cascade of rain still pouring outside. Pressing her hand against the window, Sunset sighed as she leaned forward to rest her forehead against the cool glass. Hours of searching, and still nothing. Twilight, where could you be?

Sunset?”

Sunset flinched at the sound of her own name, glancing over her shoulder to find Rarity staring back at her with a worried frown. “Oh, sorry, Rarity. Do you need something?”

Rarity’s frown only deepened. “No, I was just coming over to check that you were alright. You’ve barely said a word since you arrived.”

There’s nothing I really can say after showing up empty-handed, Sunset thought, biting her lip to keep from saying anything that might upset Rarity. “I’m… I’m just worried, is all.”

“We all are, darling, but sequestering yourself away from your friends isn’t healthy.” Stepping back, Rarity gestured behind her. “Come, the girls and I are all working on a plan, and we could really use your input.”

Sunset gave a tired shrug of her shoulders. “Sure…” she said as she followed Rarity into the dining room.

They had convened at Pinkie’s house this time around, with everyone gathering in the dining room. A map of the city was sprawled out across the table, circles drawn in marker showing potential areas to search.

“Alright,” Applejack said, tapping the marker in her hand against the table. “So we know Sunset already checked out the library, the Sweet Shoppe, along with the obvious places Twilight might go, and each one turned up empty.”

“Ooh!” Pinkie yanked the marker from Applejack’s grip as she hovered over a spot on the map. “We could check—”

“I checked there already, Pinkie,” Sunset told her as she and Rarity entered the dining room.

“Oh…” Pinkie slumped back into her chair, her hair seemingly losing some its usual lustre.

Taking the marker from Pinkie, Sunset stood hunched over the map. “I also checked here, here, and here…” Marking off one area after another, it wasn’t long before at least a third of the map was dotted with red X’s, with only a small number of circled areas remaining.

“Well, shoot,” Applejack remarked as she looked over the map. “That don’t leave us much more to go on, lest we plan to cover the entire dang city.”

“Sorry…” Sunset said as she set the marker down on the table. “I wish there was more I could have done…”

“You could answer your phone once in awhile!” Rainbow Dash angrily remarked, glaring at Sunset. “If we didn’t send Pinkie out to hunt you down, who knows where you’d be?”

Sunset met Rainbow’s glare with her own. “I’d still be out looking for Twilight probably! And I would, if you weren’t texting me every five minutes!”

“Can you blame me?” Rainbow Dash countered, getting right up in Sunset’s face. “We didn’t hear a word from you all day! You promised you’d let us know when you found her.”

“Uh… girls?” Fluttershy squeaked out.

“Key word being when I found her. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re still short one pony princess!” Fire burned in Sunset’s eyes to counter the sparks flying behind Dash’s. “If you think you could do better, why weren’t you out there looking with me then?!”

“G…girls?”

“You were the one who said you could search for her without attracting attention!” Rainbow was very close to shouting by this point. “Judging by what Rarity told us, that worked out just swimmingly! Got any more bright ideas, oh fearless leader?”

“Why you…!” Clenching her hand into a fist, Sunset swung at Rainbow. Ducking under Sunset’s punch, Rainbow rammed her shoulder into Sunset’s chest and shoved her up against the wall.

Everything happened so fast that the others were left stunned as to how to react.

Grunting as her back slammed against the wall, Sunset instinctively kneed Dash in the gut, knocking the wind out of her and causing her to stumble back several steps. As Rainbow gasped for breath, Sunset stepped away from the wall, fists raised as she readied to throw another punch. Recovering quickly, Rainbow responded by raising her fists in turn, the two just raring to go another round.

“Girls! Enough!” Leaping in-between them, Fluttershy shoved the two apart before they could come to further blows. Grabbing them both by the arms, Fluttershy dragged them off into the living room. Forcibly shoving them onto opposite ends of the couch, she stood over them with an intense look of disappointment etched across her face that filled Sunset and Rainbow with a terrifying unease.

“We’re all tired and worried about Twilight, I get it!” Fluttershy said, “But resorting to violence is not helping us get her back!”

She started it!” Rainbow Dash and Sunset both shouted at once, pointing an accusing finger at the other.

“And I’m ending it! Apologize to each other,” Fluttershy commanded, a steely edge to her voice. “Now.”

Taken aback, Sunset and Rainbow slowly turned to look at one another. An awkward silence hung in the air for several moments with nary a word spoken. The others hung back in the doorway, silently watching events unfold.

“… Sorry, Sunset,” Rainbow Dash eventually grumbled, awkwardly fiddling with the hem of her skirt.

“Yeah… I’m sorry too,” Sunset replied in turn, hanging her head with a sigh. She looked up as Dash extended her hand out to her, a hopeful smile on the rainbow-haired girl’s face. Smiling as well, Sunset grabbed Rainbow’s hand and gave it a firm shake.

“There, was that so hard?” Fluttershy sighed, flopping down on the couch between them before looping her arm around them to draw the pair into a hug. “Friends shouldn’t fight like that!”

“Fluttershy…” Rainbow wheezed, her face starting to turn purple. “Need… air…”

“Oh! Sorry!” Releasing the two from her grip, Fluttershy leapt to her feet and happily clapped her hands together as a smile spread across her lips. “I know! I’ll go make us some snacks!” With an uncharacteristic spring in her step, Fluttershy skipped off towards the kitchen.

“I’ll help!” Pinkie Pie announced, racing off in a pink blur after Fluttershy.

“She’s… oddly perky,” Sunset remarked once she was sure Fluttershy was out of earshot.

“Take it from me,” Rainbow said with a gasp as she finished catching her breath, “That’s just ‘Shy’s way of keeping her mind off things. I’d wager she’s more worried than the rest of us combined.”

“Reckon we’re all tired and hungry somethin’ fierce, so a short break seems like a good plan,” Applejack said, turning her head to meet Sunset’s eyes. “I’d say that goes double for y’all, Sunset.”

Sunset opened her mouth to argue, only to be betrayed by a growl from her stomach. Her cheeks blushed as looked away and grumbled, “Shut up…”

“I ain’t said anythin’,” Applejack said with a grin better befitting a fox in a henhouse.

“You were thinking it, I just know it.” With nothing else she could say in return, Sunset figured now was as good a time as any to check her phone, if only to clear it of the slew of messages that had no doubt gathered since she had set it to silent.

Pulling her phone from her pocket, Sunset scrolled through the notifications. There were at least a dozen texts from Dash, a few from Rarity and the others as well; two missed calls from unknown numbers, as well as a missed call from— “Huh, that’s weird…”

“What is, dear?” Rarity asked, leaning her hands against the couch armrest as she peered over to catch a peek at Sunset’s phone.

“I got a call from Flash. I didn’t even think he had still my number, not after…” Sunset winced, recalling the cruel and inevitable end to her and Flash’s relationship.

“Hmm, that is peculiar,” Rarity said. “Perhaps he wishes to put your past history aside and start anew?”

“Maybe. Oh, hang on, he sent a text too. It says—” Sunset froze as she read the text, letting out a rasping gasp as her eyes widened in disbelief.

“Sunset?” Rarity asked, concerned by Sunset’s inexplicably startled reaction. “What is it? What does it say—”

Shooting to her feet, Sunset practically smashed the redial button and pressed the phone up to her ear. “Come on, pick up, pick up, pick up!”

Everyone was staring at Sunset now as she paced back and forth. Even Pinkie and Fluttershy had poked their heads out from the kitchen to see what was going on.

“What in tarnation has got yer—” Applejack began, but was swiftly cut off.

Ssshhh!” Sunset felt her heart leap into her throat as a hiss of static filled her ear, followed seconds later by Flash’s voice.

“Hello—”

“Flash!” Sunset practically shouted into her phone. “You found her!? Is she alright? She’s not hurt is she? Please tell me she’s—”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down, Sunset!” Flash interjected, barely able to even get a word in edgewise. Only when Sunset took a second to breathe was he finally able to reply, “If this is about Twilight, then she’s fine. She’s sitting right next to me at the moment.”

Her throat felt like sandpaper as Sunset croaked out, “Let me talk to her.”

“One sec…” The seconds ticked by like hours as the sound of hushed voices could be heard through the line. Sunset could just make out Flash saying, “Just speak into it and she’ll hear you…” before a second voice came over the line. “Hello? Sunset?”

In that instant, the oppressive weight that had been resting on Sunset’s shoulders vanished. Despite how fatigued she felt, Sunset couldn’t help but laugh, her legs going slack as she flopped back against the couch. “You have no idea how good it is to hear your voice again…”

“Same. Hey, is Rarity okay? Those guys didn’t hurt her, did they?”

“Why don’t you ask her yourself?” Standing up, Sunset placed her phone face-up on the table in the middle of the room. After pressing a few buttons on her phone, she replied, “Okay, you’re on speaker-phone. Go ahead.”

“Hi, girls!” Twilight yelled through the phone, prompting a deafening rush of voices as everyone spoke at once. “One at a time!”

Racing out of the kitchen, Pinkie scooped up the phone. “Twilight! Is it really you? You’re not some kind of evil shape-shifting cheese-legs, are you?”

There was a moment’s pause on Twilight’s end. “No, Pinkie, it’s really me. I promise.”

Pinkie beamed. “Goody goody gumdrops!”

Chuckling, Applejack plucked the phone from Pinkie’s hands and set it back on the table. “Real great hearin’ yer voice again, Twi. Good thing too, seein’ as we don’t have to scour the city no more lookin’ for ya. Where you at, anyway?”

“Flash’s house. I managed to get in contact with him and he brought me here.”

“Flash’s huh? Y’all listenin’, Flash? We can’t thank ya enough for lookin’ after Twilight for us.”

“Oh, it was nothing,” Came Flash’s reply. “I couldn’t just leave her out in the rain, now could I?”

“Hey…” Twilight said, “Is Rarity there?”

“I’m right here, darling,” Rarity said, leaning down to speak directly into the receiver. “And I simply cannot apologize enough for letting those ruffians take off with you like that! I hope you can forgive me for being such a terrible host!”

“No, no! You don’t have to apologize!” Twilight answered, before worriedly asking, “They didn’t hurt you, did they?”

“A few minor bruises, nothing you need worry about. If anything…” Rarity said with a grin, “I’d say you showed those three what for! They’ll think twice before making off with a lady’s bag again, that’s for sure.”

Twilight chuckled. “Yeah... I don’t think they enjoyed my stun spell very much.”

“We’re just glad you’re safe,” Fluttershy said. “We were so worried something might have happened to you!”

“Sorry for making you worry. I’m fine, really!” Twilight confidently reassured them. “All you have to do is come get me, and then we’ll—”

“That might be a bit of a problem, “ Flash interjected. “Don’t know if anyone’s looked outside lately?”

“Hmm? Strolling over to the blinds, Pinkie Pie pulled them back to see sheets of heavy rain still pouring outside. “Oh…”

“Finally noticed, huh? I wouldn’t feel right making any of you have to drive through this. Tell you what,” Flash suggested, “I’ll look after her for the night and we can all meet up before school tomorrow by the Wondercolt statue. Sound like a plan?”

Silence fell over the room as everyone mulled over the idea.

“I don’t see a problem with it.” Rainbow replied.

“Neither do I,” Sunset said, the others echoing this opinion. “What do you think, Twilight? Up for spending the night at Flash’s?”

“Sure, not that I have much of a choice really until Spike finishes fixing the portal. Guess I’ll see everyone at school tomorrow, then?”

“Yep,” Sunset replied, snickering as she added, “Just promise me there won’t be any shenanigans between you and Flash before then, okay?”

“Wait, wh—” Twilight was cut off as Sunset ended the call. Glancing up, Sunset glanced across the room at her friends, each one of them staring wide-eyed at her as the beginning of a smile tugged at the edges of their mouth. No one said a word for several seconds.

In perfect unison, everyone in the room burst out laughing. Rarity braced herself against the couch as she nearly cried from laughter. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow were both rolling on the floor, howling like a pair of hyenas. If she hadn’t been sitting on the couch, Sunset might have joined the two on the floor. Applejack remained on her feet, but just barely as she clutched her gut from laughing so hard. Even Fluttershy couldn’t help but join in, her demure laugh like a melody of wind chimes.

Hey!” Someone shouted from upstairs, banging against the ceiling. “Shut up down there!”

So—Sorry, Limey!” Pinkie Pie yelled back, gasping for breath. Eventually, everyone’s laughter began to wind down to little more than occasional chuckles.

“My word, Sunset,” Rarity wiped a tear from her eye as she worked to collect herself. “That was simply awful!”

“You were all thinking it!” Sunset countered, “Don’t lie!”

Applejack removed her Stetson as she wiped the sweat from her brow. “We certainly lucked out, didn’t we? If’n there’s anyone who’ll take better care of Twi than any of us, it’d have to be Flash.”

“No kidding!” Rainbow finally picked herself up off the floor and plopped down onto the couch with a smirk. “I bet the two of them are making ‘goo-goo eyes’ at each other right now!”

***

“Wait, what!? Sunset? Sunset!Twilight grabbed the phone and shook it violently as she hollered into the speaker. “Answer me!”

“Twilight!” Grabbing the phone from the panicking pony, Flash held it just out of her reach. “I doubt she’s going to answer, but if you don’t quiet down my mom might wonder what all the commotion is about!”

“But… but I need to know what she meant by that!” Twilight pleaded as she leapt for the phone, only for Flash to once more yank it away.

Walking over to his desk and setting his phone back in its charger, he turned around and leaned against his desk with his arms crossed. “She was just getting under your skin. Take it from me, Sunset can have a very dirty mind when she wants to.”

Twilight grumbled as she flopped over onto Flash’s bed. “I guess you’re right…”

“Besides, I would never try something like that, even if…” Flash trailed off awkwardly, prompting Twilight to glance up at him.

“Even if what?”

“Uh…” Flash stuttered, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. “Well, it’s just… you know… the… the…”

For the second time that night, the awkwardness was dispelled by the sound of the front door opening. “That must be my dad!” Flash quickly said as he made a made dash for the door. “I better go see if he needs my help with anything!”

“But…!” The word had barely left her mouth before Flash slammed the door behind him. With a huff, she crawled back over to the book still lying open on Flash’s bed. “Now, where was I...?”

From downstairs, Twilight could just make out the sound of Flash’s mother as she greeted her husband. “Good to see you, honey. How was work?”

The man grumbled. “Busy, same as always.”

Twilight’s head shot up from her book, her ears raised in disbelief. “That… that voice! It… it can’t be…” Straining her ears to listen in, Twilight caught more bits of conversation between Flash’s parents, her suspicions growing and growing with each word. There’s no mistaking it…

Minutes later, Flash walked through the door, carefully shutting it behind him. “Mom says dinner should be ready soon, so is there anything you’d like me to sneak up for you—”

“Uh… Flash?” Twilight asked, nervously shuffling her hooves. “You don’t happen to have a photo of your parents, do you?”

Flash blinked at the strange question. “Y…yeah, I think I have a few on my computer. Why?”

“Just… just curious is all, “She replied, her ears lowered against her head. “Do you think you could show me?”

“Sure, I guess.” As Flash went and booted up his computer, Twilight flew up and came to rest atop the back of his chair. He sputtered as her tail shifted into his face, batting it aside. “Ah! Come here, you!” Twilight yelped indignantly as he reached up and plucked her off his chair before sitting her in his lap. “There, that’s better.”

Twilight bit her tongue as Flash navigated through his files. It was several moments before he found what he was looking for. “Ah, here’s one,” Flash said as he enlarged the photo to cover the screen.

The photo showed a much younger Flash after a school event, his parents standing next to him as he proudly held a trophy in his arms. His mother stood on Flash’s left, beaming as she hugged her son. But Twilight’s eyes were focused more on the man in the photo, smiling as he ruffled Flash’s hair. The man’s skin was charcoal grey, his hair a jet-black color with dual blue streaks running through it. His eyes were a bright green color, but Twilight could just as easily imagine him with eyes as red as blood.

“That’s my mom, Radiant Hope,” Flash said, pointing at his mother, “and that’s my dad—”

“Sombra…” Twilight whispered, unable to take her eyes off the man in the photo.

“Som—hey, yeah…” Flash glanced down at Twilight. “How did you know that?”

“Er… Lucky guess?” Twilight replied, grinning innocently up at Flash.

Flash raised an eyebrow, the stony look on his face making it clear he wasn’t buying it. “Twilight…”

“Fine…” Twilight relented with a sigh. “The thing is… I knew someone named Sombra once and your dad looks just like him.”

“Really? That’s weird. Was he a friend of yours?”


“N-no…” Twilight ducked her head lest her eyes give her away. “H-how did your parents meet? Do you know?”

“Course I do. Mom and dad just love to tell the story of how they met. See, they were friends since elementary school, not to mention high-school sweethearts. After high school though, Mom moved away to go to college across the country while dad stayed in Canterlot. They tried to stay in contact, but eventually they just drifted apart.

“Apparently they didn’t see each other again until years later, when mom was back in Canterlot for an internship. As luck would have it, they both had the same idea for lunch one day and literally bumped into each other in the store. After that mom moved back here, they rekindled their relationship, got married and then a few years later had me! And the rest is history!”

Twilight looked at the photo again, noting the joy on Sombra’s face at his son’s accomplishment. I don’t know why I was worried. In this world he’s Flash’s dad, not the same Sombra I encountered in Equestria. They’re not the same person, no matter how alike they look.

“Flash!” Radiant Hope suddenly yelled from downstairs. “Dinner!”

“Coming!” Flash yelled back, glancing down at Twilight. “Hungry?”

“Starving!”

***

A shrill scream echoed through the room, causing Fluttershy to bury her face behind the pillow she was desperately clinging to. “Is… is it over? Is it safe to look?”

“Not yet,” Rainbow replied casually as she watched the woman on screen run to escape from the crazed murderer, only to stumble and hit the pavement hard. “Not yet…” She popped a handful of popcorn in her mouth as the woman lifted her face from the ground, only to gasp at the sight of a pair of shoes belonging to the person who had moments before been behind her. “Not yet…”

Another terrified scream echoed from the TV as the killer raised his knife over his head, the sharpened blade glistening in the moonlight as he drove it down towards the helpless woman. The sharp thud of a piano chord replaced the music as arterial spray splashed across the camera. Slowly, the screen faded to black before cutting to the police department.

“… Okay, you can look now.”

Cautiously, Fluttershy peeked over the pillow, sighing in relief upon seeing that the danger had passed. Her joy was short lived though as the scene shifted to show the woman’s now mutilated body lying across the coroner’s table, making Fluttershy duck back behind her pillow with an “Eep!”

“Whose idea was it again for us to watch this movie?” Rainbow inquired.

“Pinkie’s,” Rarity replied, not even paying attention to the movie as she polished her nails.

“Aw, come on guys!” Pinkie replied in her usual bubbly fashion from in-between Dash and Fluttershy on the couch. “This movie’s a classic!”

Applejack glanced over at Pinkie. “Didn’t it come out just last ye—”

“A classic!” Pinkie repeated, pulling Rainbow and Fluttershy into a hug, much to Rainbow’s chagrin. “Sunset, back me up here! Isn’t this movie just…?” Pinkie Pie abruptly trailed off, her silence leading the others to look towards their fiery haired friend as well. Even Rainbow had to suppress an “Aww…” at what greeted them.

Curled up on the armchair in the corner of the room was Sunset, fast asleep with a smile across her face.

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