• 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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Worth a Thousand Words

“Hey, who’s got the butter?” Rainbow Dash asked as she reached for the ketchup for her eggs.

“One second!” Pinkie Pie replied while slathering far too much butter on her toast.

“Geeze, Pinkie, save some for the rest of us!”

Knives and forks clattered loudly against plates as the group dug into the veritable buffet of food. In between bites and requests for something to be passed their way, they still found the time to make light conversation. Overall, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Everyone, that is, except for Twilight.

Seated atop a stack of books so she could see over the table, Twilight was largely silent as she ate. Her plate had been piled high with more than a generous serving of scrambled eggs and home fries, along with a single slice of toast hanging for dear life on the edge of her plate. Next to it was a separate plate dominated by a stack of pancakes, as well as a bowl of the oats Applejack had brought beside it, this time with the addition of milk both with the oats and in a short glass alongside with a striped straw sticking out of the top.

Twilight was glad that she had yet to need to drink out of a bowl directly, though she had still eyed the bowl of oats with a touch of uncertainty.

But none of that mattered to her at the moment, her mind still too focused on what she had just seen while waiting back in the living room. While it had been brief, there was still no mistaking it:

Magic. Actual magic.

During her initial visit to this world, she had tried to read up on as much as she could about this world, with one such topic being the subject of this world’s magic. Or lack thereof, as she had quickly learned. Coming from a world where magic was a fundamental, and at times essential, part of life, she had been shocked to discover magic was seen as a flight of fantasy, written about only in myths and legends and reduced to nothing more than sleight of hand performed by stage magicians.

She and the girls were living proof that magic was real, but even their magical abilities created more questions than answers. While she had never had the chance to run any form of tests, Twilight had worked up theories in regards to what had happened during the Fall Formal, when she and the others had been infused with magic, developing pony characteristics in even her human friends.

Originally, she had come upon the idea that the bond they shared, a bond no stronger than the initial bond between her friends back in Equestria when they had confronted Nightmare Moon, had still managed to temporarily reignite the Element of Magic, allowing it to draw forth a huge well of magic straight from Equestria to this world through the portal, channeling it into the six of them and leaving the others perpetually charged with the transfused magic.

In both her and Sunset’s case, they had never completely lost their internal stores of magic due to the fact that they were native to Equestria, though their human bodies lacked any sufficient method of harnessing the magic into a tangible form, thus leaving it to lay dormant until properly drawn out. When they played their instruments, their emotions would resonate with the magic within them and trigger the transformation once more.

And yet, Twilight couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to it than that. The magic she had seen radiating off of Rainbow Dash had seemed… off, yet she couldn’t put her hoof on exactly why.

It was magic, that much I’m sure of. Twilight thought between bites. But then why haven’t I been able to sense it until now—

Twilight stopped mid-bite into her stack of pancakes, her mouth hanging open as she stumbled upon a crazy idea: What if the reason she hadn’t been able to sense it until now was because it wasn’t pure Equestrian magic? Sunset had described this world as a magical dead-zone, but what if… what if this world had its own magic after all?

As crazy of an idea as it was, the more Twilight thought about it, the more she couldn’t shake the idea. It was possible that their magic had started as Equestrian in nature, since the Sirens had been drawn to it like moths to a flame. But, if this world did have magic all its own, then there was a chance that the magic from Equestria could interact with it in such a way as to become something entirely new.

That would certainly explain why the magic I saw coming off of Rainbow looked different. It’s possible that the magic of this world resonates at a different frequency than the magic in Equestria. But if that’s true… could I tap into that frequency?

Leaning back in her chair, Twilight breathed in through her nose, closing her eyes as she breathed out. Alright, let’s see if I’m right. Focusing, she tapped into her internal magic, sending out a small pulse through her body. Just like yesterday when she had tried to magically pull on the bottle of water, nothing happened. Trying again, she shifted the flow of magic slightly, but again received no response.

It wasn’t until the fourth pulse that she noticed something: a low humming sound, almost like the sound of a fly buzzing past her ear. Trying again, the sound became more pronounced and distinct with each minor change to her magic.

Almost… there! With one final pulse of magic, she felt something push back. In her mind’s eye, thin lines of energy flickered into focus, flowing around her like water around a rock in a stream. Each line glowed with a distinct color; though the faint hint of her own magic had formed around them, allowing her to see them through the reaction between the two.

So, this world does have magic after all! It took all Twilight’s willpower not to start jumping up and down with excitement. Now that she had proved there was magic, she had an even bigger question to answer:

Could she use it?

Opening her eyes to look around her plates of food, her eyes fell on the cutlery on either side. Even though she couldn’t really grip them enough in her hooves for them to be of any use, Rarity had still had the courtesy to supply her with a fork, spoon and butter knife. Focusing on the magic around her, Twilight reached out towards her spoon.

At first, nothing happened. Then, a purple aura slowly flicked to life around the spoon, causing it to shake and wobble in place. Just a little mo—

“Yow!”

Twilight was yanked from her thoughts by Rainbow’s outcry, whatever grasp she had on the spoon slipping with it. Looking up from her food, she noticed that everyone had stopped eating and were staring at either Rainbow Dash or Rarity, the former of whom was rubbing a red spot on the back of her hand.

“The hell was that for?!” Rainbow shouted as she rubbed her now sore hand, glaring across the table at Rarity.

Rarity huffed, glaring right back. “Honestly, Rainbow Dash, I would hope that you would have just the slightest amount of decency to show some manners while you’re here.”

“All I did was reach for the pepper!”

“Yes, and the correct way to do so is not to reach halfway across the table and over other people’s plates while they’re eating. There is a much more proper way to do such things, after all.”

Rainbow growled, a retort fresh on her tongue even as she realized that, given that she was still a guest in someone else’s house, Rarity still had the higher ground, if only just. “Fine! Can you just pass me the pepper already?”

Rarity made no move to do so, still looking at Rainbow like she was waiting for something.

Rolling her eyes and mumbling unkind things under her breath, Rainbow put on the most insincere smile she could muster. “Please?” she hissed through her teeth.

“Certainly. Now, was that so hard?”

Yes.”

Rarity ignored her as she reached for the pepper shaker. Before the tips of her fingers could even brush against it however, the pepper shaker shook and wobbled in place, causing her to pull her hand back in surprise. “What… the…?”

Everyone watched in disbelief and wonder as the pepper shaker continued to shake, rocking back and forth as if possessed while beginning to emit a faint purple glow. After several seconds, the shaker began to lift up from the table, steadily rising more than a foot into the air.

“What in tarnation?!”

“Meep!” Fluttershy squeaked as she tried to hide behind her plate, her eyes just peeking above her food.

“That’s…!” Sunset Shimmer’s eyes widened in shock, though for an entirely different reason than her friends.

“It’s ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!” Pinkie exclaimed.

As quickly as it had appeared, the purple glow blinked out, sending the pepper shaker hurtling back down.

“Whoa!” Twilight cried out, the purple glow popping back in place just in the nick of time to catch the pepper shaker before it could smash against the kitchen table.

Everyone turned to look at Twilight, who was staring intently at the pepper shaker, the tip of her tongue sticking out of the side of her mouth while her face scrunched up in total concentration. The same purple glow surrounding the pepper could be seen projecting from the tip of her horn.

“Easy… easy…” Twilight muttered to herself as her eyes followed the shaker’s slow ascent. When it was high enough, she shifted her gaze to look at Rainbow, the pepper following her movements and floating across the table, coming to a stop right in front of a very confused Rainbow Dash. “Here you go, Rainbow.”

“Uh…” Hesitantly, Rainbow Dash plucked the shaker out of the air, holding it between her fingers like she expected it to burst into flames at any second. “Thanks, Twi?”

“No problem.” Smiling, Twilight looked down at her cutlery again, her horn still lit up with magic. Focusing, her spoon shook in place before slowly lifting up and hovering in front of her. Carefully maneuvering it to scoop up a spoonful of oats, she levitated it up to her mouth to take a bite. I was right, they did need milk, she thought as she chewed.

Swallowing, Twilight went to get another spoonful when she became aware of the sudden silence. Looking up, she saw that everyone was now staring at her. “What?” Looking back and forth from her friends and her still floating spoon, it quickly dawned on her. “Oh… you’re all probably wondering how I’m doing this, aren’t you?”

“I’m sure the thought had crossed our minds, darling,” Rarity answered. “For a second, I thought I was going to need to start looking for an exorcist.”

Twilight sheepishly grinned, poking at her eggs with her spoon. “Sorry, I may have been a bit excited. There’s a simple answer for this, though.”

“And that would be…?” Rainbow asked.

“It’s magic.”

Rainbow scoffed. “Seriously, Twi?”

“She’s telling the truth. Levitation is the first and simplest spell for a unicorn to learn,” Sunset replied, taking a bite out of her toast before looking across the table at Twilight. “Though that still doesn’t answer the how, least not entirely. You couldn’t do that yesterday, so what changed?”

Twilight swallowed a spoonful of eggs before answering. “Actually, I have Rainbow Dash to thank for that.”

“Huh?” Rainbow paused from burying her own eggs in pepper. “Me? What did I do?”

“While you were playing your guitar back in the other room,” Twilight explained, “I noticed you were generating tiny wisps of magic. I theorized that what I was seeing was the reaction between your internal magic and the residual magic in the air. From there I was able to replicate the reaction.”

“Residual magic…?” Sunset’s eye’s widened as she came to the same conclusion. “Are… are telling me that this world has its own magical field?”

“I was as surprised as you. From what I can tell, this magic resonates on a different frequency than that in Equestria, so it’s no wonder neither of us were able to sense it. The density seems to be thinner, though that could also be explained through lack of use.”

“Hmm… a different frequency, huh? It’s still magic, so it stands to reason there would be a magical signature. I wonder if it would be possible to create a device to track it.” Rough blueprints formed in Sunset’s mind as she asked, “How’s the reaction speed?”

“There is a delay anywhere from a second to two and a half seconds, but it’s nothing I can’t account for.”

“What about thaumic bleed?”

During all this, the others were looking back and forth between the two like they were watching a tennis match, eyes glazing over as most of the terminology flew right over their heads. After several moments of this, Pinkie groaned, her eyes going crossed as she tried to keep up. “Ugh… head hurts…”

“Okay, time out!” Rainbow Dash suddenly shouted, holding up her hands in the shape of a T. “One of you two eggheads want to explain this to the rest of us? In English?”

Startled out their discussion, it took a moment for Sunset to compose herself enough to provide an answer. “Short version: This world isn’t a magical dead zone like I thought and Twilight can use magic now, only she has a bit more control since she’s still a pony.”

“That’s so cool!” Pinkie Pie suddenly popped up, her headache from before forgotten. “Do some magic for us, Twilight! Ooh! Turn Dashie into a bunny! Pretty please?”

“Hey!” Rainbow reached over and twisted Pinkie Pie’s ear. “Don’t just go volunteering me for something like that!”

“Oh, but Dash,” Fluttershy pleaded, stars in her eyes at the mental image. “You would look so cute as a bunny!”

“Don’t care, no one’s turning me into anything!”

“As hilarious as that would be,” Sunset interjected, doing her best to hold in her laughter with only a snicker slipping though, “I doubt a full-body transmutation would even be possible, especially given the radical mass-to-scale shift between forms, coupled with the necessary magic flow to maintain the field—”

“English!” Rainbow shouted before she could go cross-eyed.

Realizing that she had slipped into describing magical theory again, Sunset quickly summarized, “Basically, it would take far too much energy to do something like that for more than a moment, especially with an unfamiliar type of magic.”

“She’s right,” Twilight explained through mouthfuls of oats. “This world’s magic is so different from what I’m used to back in Equestria that I doubt I’ll be able to perform anything more complex than simple cantrips, even with practice.” Pausing with her spoon raised to her mouth, she seemed to consider this for a second more. “If I absolutely had to, I might be able to manage one big spell in an emergency, but there’s no telling what could happen afterwards. At best, it would leave me exhausted, if not knock me out completely.”

“Aww… so no Dashie bunny?” Pinkie pouted, her hair drooping slightly.

Twilight shook her head. “I’m afraid not. Sorry.”

Twilight saw looks of disappointment on Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy’s faces and hastily added, “B-but that doesn’t mean I can’t show you some magic! Just give me a second…” Frantically glancing around the table for possible ideas, her eyes eventually settled onto the carton of orange juice in the middle of the table. “Aha! Could someone pour a glass of orange juice for me, please?”

“Oh, allow me.” Standing up, Rarity briefly stepped into the kitchen to retrieve a fresh glass. When she returned, she picked up the carton of juice and filled the glass before holding it out to Twilight. “Here you are, dear.”

“Perfect. Just set it down there.”

Setting the glass down like Twilight asked before sitting back down, Rarity joined the others in watching with bated anticipation as Twilight focused on the glass, their food largely forgotten.

“Here goes.” Concentrating, Twilight began channelling magic into the juice. Tiny bubbles slowly formed on the surface of the liquid, increasing in size until one had reached the width of the glass, ballooning over the top before rising up from the rim with a ‘pop’ sound. Tilting her head, Twilight sent the bubble drifting across the table until it hovered in front of Pinkie Pie.

Pinkie poked the orange bubble, clapping her hands with glee at the ensuing popping sound as it burst. “Ooh! Do it again! Make another one, Twilight!”

“I can do better than that, Pinkie.” Focusing her magic, another orange bubble rose up from the glass. A second one was quick to follow it, with more and more bubbles rising to join the first. Before long, nearly a dozen bubbles floated around the table and above their heads.

“My, ain’t that a neat little trick,” Applejack remarked as she reached up and popped one of the bubbles over her head.

“Indeed.” Rarity giggled as one of the bubbles drifted onto the palm of her hand, popping on contact.

Having quickly popped all the bubbles around her, Pinkie Pie stood up on her chair to reach one dangling above her head. “Almost… got… it… whoa, whoa, WHOA!” Losing what little balance she had, Pinkie Pie toppled off her chair, causing everyone in the room to collectively wince when she crashed onto the dining room floor.

Concerned, Fluttershy peered over the edge of the table. “Are you alright, Pinkie Pie?”

A hand shot up in reply, giving a thumbs up. “I’m good!”

***

After everyone had eaten more than their fill of breakfast and the dishes had been cleaned up, the seven of them had retreated to the living room. Rarity had wasted no time in running upstairs and retrieving her sketchbook, lying back on the couch as she once more became engrossed in whatever had sparked her imagination.

On the other side of the room, Fluttershy was helping Twilight practice getting accustomed to the magic of this world, passing her some of Opal’s cat toys to levitate. Opal watched the toys intently as they flew above her head, a stern warning from Fluttershy the only thing keeping her from pouncing on this strange new cat that had invaded her territory and stolen her toys.

Everyone else was crowded around the TV, all of them immersed in a colourful kart racing game Pinkie Pie had brought with her. An excited audience cheered them on as they raced through dirt tracks, dodging fireballs and other hazards along the way.

“Yes! Final lap!” Rainbow grinned as her kart zoomed over the checkered marker, her first place position still holding after more than half the race. “This one’s all mine!”

“Don’t go counting yer chickens just yet!” Applejack replied, her own kart fresh on Rainbow’s heels and gaining fast. “Ya’ll ain’t crossing that finish line before me!”

“Yeah!” Pinkie cried out as she rammed into yet another racer with her kart that suspiciously resembled a bumper car, sending her opponent careening off course and netting her fifth place. “Besides, you’re supposed to count sheep, not chickens!”

Sunset kept her eyes trained on the screen, her kart trailing far behind the others back in eighth place. “Laugh it up Dash, you’re not winning this if I can help it.”

“Oh, yeah right! Like you can talk smack after spending the whole game lagging in the back.” Rainbow’s smile grew as the distance between her and the finish line diminished more and more. “It’ll take a miracle for you to beat me now!”

“Don’t be so sure, Dash. You never know when— finally!” Grinning, Sunset hovered her finger over a certain button on her controller, glancing over at Applejack sitting next to her. “Applejack, you may want to pull back for a second.”

“Huh? What’s that suppo-” A harsh sound from the television cut Dash off, her eyes widening in terror as a blue dot honed in on her from the bottom of the screen. “What!? No no no no!” Rainbow frantically hammered away at her controller, desperate to avoid the oncoming projectile.

Her efforts proved fruitless, as something struck her kart from behind, the resulting explosion from the attack flipping her vehicle end over end and sending it spinning out of control before crashing into the side of the track.

“Nooooo!”

“I’ll be takin’ that, thank ya!” Applejack hollered as she drove by the flailing wreck of Dash’s kart, taking first place with her.

“Come on, come on, come on!” Rainbow pleaded as she mashed the buttons on her controller in a mad attempt to get her kart back on its wheels and into the race, even more so when a second and third kart passed her by after several seconds. She eventually managed to get her kart righted and wasted no time in taking off after Applejack. “Watch out, AJ. I’m coming for—”

“Coming through!” In a blur of red, Pinkie came shooting out from around the corner, smashing into Dash and sending her spinning out of control again.

“Oh, come on!”

“Sorry, Dashie, but top four has my name on it!”

“Afraid not, Pinkie!” Pinkie’s only other warning was a fast-paced jingle as a kart bathed in the colors of the rainbow ploughed into her, brushing her aside as Sunset made a mad dash for the finish.

“Whoa-yeah!” The sheer volume of Applejack’s yell nearly made the windows rattle in their frames as she cleared the finish line. “Told ya none of ya’ll were gonna cross the finish line before me.” she gloated, extending her fist out to Sunset. “Mighty thanks for the heads up there, Sunset. “

Sunset returned the fist bump once her own kart had crossed the finish, Pinkie’s kart following behind her seconds later. “Don’t mention it.”

As the results flashed on screen, Rainbow Dash could only stare in disbelief as Applejack was listed as first, with Sunset and Pinkie managing to come from behind and claim fourth and fifth respectively. Her grip on her controller slipped, the device clattering to the ground as her character came up as having finished in ninth place.

“But… but I was winning! How—Wait…” Rainbow’s eyes widened as realization struck her like a bolt out of the blue. ”You did that on purpose! That’s why you spent all that time trailing behind!” She exclaimed, pointing accusingly at Sunset Shimmer.

Sunset just smiled, confirming Rainbow’s claim with a matter-of-fact, “Yep.”

“But… but why?”

“Payback for last night.”

Applejack laughed as she watched Rainbow sputter for a comeback. “Gotta say, ya’ll had that coming. ‘Sides, ‘bout time someone knocked ya off yer high ho—”

“AAHHGG!” Rainbow screamed in frustration, flopping back onto the living room floor. Fluttershy and Twilight looked over at Dash in confusion, while Rarity just shook her head.

“Oh, don’t be so overly dramatic, Rainbow. It’s just a game, no need to be such a sore loser.”

Rainbow glared at Rarity from her spot on the floor, before bringing her knees up to her chest and leaping up from her back onto her feet. “Not that I usually care…” She said as she turned to face Rarity, “but just what the hell are you drawing? You’ve been glued to that thing since last night.”

Pausing, Rarity slipped her pencil into the coil binding of her sketchbook before flipping it closed. “Oh, it’s just a design for a new dress I’ve been working on. I was hit with a burst of inspiration last night and simply had to get it down on paper.”

“Yeah, I don’t buy that for even a minute,” Applejack interjected. “I’ve seen ya’ll belt out a new design or two durin’ lunch, so lest ya’ll are drawin’ up an entire fashion show, you’d be long done by now.”

“I assure you, Applejack,” Rarity replied, trying her best to not sound defensive, “that all I am doing is making sure every last detail is perfect. I’m almost done anyway.”

“Well then, I reckon if’n that’s the case, ya wouldn’t mind givin’ us all a peek then?

“I most certainly do mind!” Rarity exclaimed, clutching her sketchbook protectively to her chest. “I’ll have you know it is plain rude to gaze upon an artist’s work before she’s completed it. Besides, I doubt any of you would be interested in—”

“BOO!” Suddenly, Pinkie Pie popped up from behind the couch, startling Rarity enough that she loosened her grip on her sketchbook; enough that Pinkie easily plucked it from Rarity’s clutches. “Yoink!” Vaulting over the couch, she opened the sketchbook to a random page. “Now, let’s see…”

“Pinkie Pie!” Rarity shouted, leaping to her feet with her hands balled into fists at her side. “I demand you return my sketchbook this instant!”

“One second!” She said as she stepped back to avoid Rarity’s attempt to grab at her, quickly flipping through the pages. “Dress, dress, really fancy dress—hey! You drew Twilight!”

“Hmm?” Twilight’s ears perked up, her concentration slipping long enough for her magic to fizzle out, dropping the cat toys she had been practicing with back to the ground, which Opal was quick to pounce upon and reclaim as her own. “What?”

Nimbly avoiding Rarity making another lunge at her, Pinkie skipped over to Twilight and held the sketchbook down so she could see. “See? Looky, looky!”

True to Pinkie’s words, Twilight found herself staring at a detailed sketch of herself. Every detail from her cutie mark down to the feathers in her wings had been lovingly recreated. Rarity had even taken the time to include her old crown as well. “Wow. Rarity, this is really good.”

“Well… I hope you don’t mind, darling. I said that your appearance as a pony intrigued me, and I just couldn’t help myself.” She watched as her friends all crowded around to take a look. After a moment, she took a careful step forward. “Now that you’ve all seen it, I’ll just take that back then.”

Yet again, Pinkie Pie yanked the sketchbook out of her reach. “Nuh-uh! I wanna see what else you drew.”

“Nothing!” Rarity shouted, a clear hint of desperation in her voice. “I didn’t draw anything else, so just give me my sketchbook back already!” Lunging at Pinkie in a mad attempt to retrieve her sketchbook, she was unprepared when Pinkie easily sidestepped out of the way, causing her to comically faceplant onto the living room floor.

“Too slow!”

“Pinkie, no!” Rarity cried out as she scrambled back to feet, but she was too late to stop Pinkie from flipping over to the next page, dreading what Pinkie Pie would say.

It was when Pinkie didn’t say anything for several seconds that they all started to worry. Pinkie Pie seemed oblivious to her friends’ stares, staring at the page with her mouth flopping open and closed like a fish as she grasped for something to say.

“Uuuhh… Rarity?“ Hesitantly, and with confusion painted clear across her face, she turned the sketchbook back around and asked, “Is there something you want to tell us?”

Rarity said nothing in her own defence, preferring instead to hide her blushing face behind her hands, praying she could just disappear as everyone else got a good look at another drawing of a pony, though clearly different than the first.

This time the pony was a unicorn, but that wasn’t what caught the others’ interest. No, it was the very familiar looking mane style and the image of three diamonds depicted on her flank. She had even been drawn as if she were striding down a runway before a crowd of onlookers.

Rainbow looked up at Rarity, who was still hiding her blushing face behind her hands. “… Seriously?”

“Alright! Fine!” Rarity shouted, throwing up her arms in defeat. “I drew myself as a pony too! Are you all happy?!” She loudly sighed, rubbing her fingers against her forehead in frustration. “After Twilight talked about the other me from her world, I just couldn’t get the image out of my head. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep if I hadn’t gotten it down on paper.”

“Still, you look kinda weird like that.”

“Oh, do I now?” In a heartbeat, Rarity switched from dying of embarrassment to looking at Rainbow Dash, a deceptive glint in her eyes. With a grin peeking at the corner of her lips, she turned to look at Pinkie Pie. “Pinkie dear, would you be so kind and turn over to the next page?”

“Sure. Ooh!” She giggled at she looked at the new image before her. “This one’s of pony Dashie!”

“Wait, what!?” Bolting across the room, Rainbow ripped the sketchbook out of Pinkie Pie’s hands, staring wide-eyed at the pegasus pony staring back at her, her distinctive lightning bolt symbol emblazoned on its flank. It had her exact hairstyle, along with a cocky grin on its face, one foreleg raised and her wings spread open like she was seconds away from taking flight. “Is… is that what the pony me looks like?”

Twilight flew up behind Rainbow, hovering behind her as she peered over her shoulder at the drawing. “Yep, that’s Rainbow Dash all right.”

“I… I… look… kind of awesome, actually.” Rainbow reluctantly admitted. “Figures I’d still be wicked even with hooves.”

Rarity smiled, filled with a smug sense of satisfaction. “I thought you might change your tune, Rainbow.”

“So you’ve got one of you, Twilight and me. Who else you got in here?” Turning over to the next page answered her question. “Yo, Shy, she’s got one of you too!”

“Really?” Walking up, Fluttershy peered over at the sketchbook. Her eyes nearly shot to the size of dinner plates at the sight of the pony looking back at her, seemingly trying to hide behind its pink mane, the image of butterflies on her flank coinciding with her demeanour. Just the hint of a blush could be seen on the pony’s face, perfectly matching the blush quickly forming on Fluttershy’s cheeks. “Oh… my. I’m… so… so…”

“Aww!” Squealing, Pinkie hugged the flabbergasted Fluttershy. “Fluttershy, you’re so cute as a pony!”

“I… suppose?” Fluttershy finally managed to squeak out once the initial shock started wearing off.

“Now then, don’t be goin’ sellin’ ya’self short, Shy,” Applejack reassured her as she walked over and plucked the sketchbook from Rainbow’s hands. “Now, I’m guessin’ I would find one of Pinkie and me in here too?”

“Why don’t you see for yourself?” Rarity suggested, delighted at seeing her friend’s reactions to her drawings.

“Righty, then.” Turning over to the next page, she knew right away from the three apples cutie mark that she was looking at her pony self. If that wasn’t enough of a dead giveaway, the mare had been drawn whipping around a lasso above her head like she was seconds away from corralling a herd of cattle. “So this is what ya’ll meant by “Earth pony”, Twi. Well, I’ll be darned, Rarity! Ya’ll even went and gave her my hat!”

“To not would have been a crime otherwise, Applejack,” Rarity said adamantly.

Releasing Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie hopped over and took the sketchbook again, chanting with glee, “My turn! My turn!”

The pony on the next page matched Pinkie Pie to a tee, not just because her mane was a massive poof of pink hair resembling cotton candy or because the cutie mark was an image of three balloons. No, what made it undeniably Pinkie was the fact that she had been drawn with none of her hooves touching the ground, beaming mid hop.

“I look so bubbly!” Jumping up and down, she waltzed over and held out the book for Twilight to see. “Twilight, look!”

Grasping the sketchbook in her magic and dropping down to land on the couch, Twilight flipped back and forth between the sketches of her friends. “Rarity, these are amazing.”

“Oh, you flatter me, darling.”

“No, I’m serious. If I didn’t know any better, I might have thought you had asked each of them to model personally. You even got their cutie marks right!”

“Yes, well, I do admit to having cheated a little. Pinkie, can I borrow your phone for a second?”

“Sure, Rarity.” Fishing her phone out of her pocket, Pinkie tossed it to Rarity, who caught it with both hands before scrolling through its contents.

“Now, where is… ah, here we are.” Flipping the phone around so everyone could see, the image on the screen was a copy of a photo taken during the height of the Fall Formal celebration, showing the six of them still transformed and crowding together for a group photo.

“Looking back at some of the photos of us, I started noticing more and more little details, such as the fact that your tail now similarly matches the one that appears when you transform, although perhaps a bit more cleaned up. I merely went with the assumption that the same rule applied to the rest of us.”

Grinning like a fox let loose in a henhouse, Applejack couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add, “Shucks, I’d say that would make it a ‘ponytail’ in more ways than one, now wouldn’t it?”

Rarity groaned, putting her hands on her hips as she glared at Applejack. “I was trying to avoid the pun, thank you very much!”

“That still doesn’t explain how you got their cutie marks right though,” Twilight repeated. “I could understand guessing one or two of them, but you got all of them perfect.”

“You said that cutie marks were a defining part of a pony’s appearance, no? And I simply couldn’t imagine myself without my three diamonds!” Rarity reached up and touched her hand to her three-diamond hairclip, though her expression was quick to change to one of uncertainty. “As for the others… I can’t really explain it, but… they just felt… right somehow. Like each symbol was… meant to be, in a way. I even tried to change one of them to something else, but no matter what I drew it never felt quite right.

“It was almost… almost like I just knew what they were meant to be somehow. I know I sound downright absurd, but I can’t think of another way to explain it.”

“Hmm… interesting. I can’t be sure…” Twilight mused as she passed the sketchbook to Sunset. “But perhaps when all of you were infused with magic, you were also gifted a small bit of ‘insight’ into your pony counterparts. It would certainly explain how Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy instinctively knew how to fly despite never having had wings before.”

“Yeah, it was the weirdest thing, now that you mention it,” Rainbow said. “It felt like the most natural thing ever, like I’d been doing it my whole life even.”

“That’s because, in a strange way, you have. Kind of par for the course when the other Dash is a pegasus.” Shrugging, Twilight turned her attention back to Rarity. “Still, most of this is just speculation and even then it doesn’t change the fact that you managed to capture them all perfectly.”

“Yeah, I’m going to have to agree with Twilight,” Sunset said as she looked through the drawings. “I’d say you’ve got drawing ponies down pat.”

“Why, thank you! That means a lot coming from you two.” Gasping suddenly, Rarity seemed about ready to slap herself. “Oh, how could I be so daft as to forget? I drew one of you too, Sunset!”

“You… you did?” Sunset asked, visibly taken aback.

“Why certainly! I couldn’t draw all my friends and leave you out. Go on, it’s the page right after Pinkie’s.”

Reluctantly, Sunset flipped through the sketchbook until she passed the drawing of Pinkie Pie, her breath catching in her throat at what she saw looking back at her.

Or, rather whom.

Compared to the previous drawings, this one was still on its way to being finished; many of the lines still rough and uneven. Even so, there was no mistaking the unicorn in the drawing, smiling as she looked up at her with soft eyes, the image of a two toned sun depicted on her flank.

“It’s… it’s me.”

“I do apologize that it’s not as clean as the others. I was in the middle of finishing yours when I was so rudely interrupted.” Pinkie Pie sheepishly grinned under the intensity of Rarity’s glare. “I also had less references to work off, though I did notice that you seem rather fond of that sun image, so I went and made the assumption…”

Rarity’s voice grew dimmer and dimmer as the world faded around Sunset, her attention drawn instead to the drawing. Reaching out, she traced her finger along the sketch, running from the tip of her horn, down her back and ending on the image of her cutie mark.

I got my cutie mark! I got my cutie mark!

A warm feeling filled her chest at the memory of that day. Like any young filly, she had been over the moon the day she had earned her cutie mark. She had spent days researching and practicing on how to generate and maintain a glowing ball of flame in order to encourage a flower to bloom, so much so that when the time finally came she had pulled it off even better than she had imagined. The fact that her teacher had been impressed enough to give her full marks had been the cherry on top.

Sunset vaguely remembered some of her classmates congratulating her, but she had been too enamoured by her cutie mark to pay any attention to them. Maybe if she had, then…

“Sunset Shimmer?”

The sound of someone calling her name brought Sunset back to the present. Looking up over the top the sketchbook, she was surprised to find Twilight hovering in front of her, frowning. A quick look around the room showed that she wasn’t the only one looking at her with worry.

“Sorry, did you say something, Twilight?”

“Are… are you alright, Sunset?” Twilight asked, her frown only growing. “You kind of zoned out for a moment.”

“No, I’m alright. I just… wasn’t expecting this, is all.” Taking a moment longer to look at the drawing, she closed the sketchbook and handed it back to Rarity. “It’s very nice, Rarity,” Sunset said, failing to hide the melancholy in her voice. “I hope you’ll let me see it once you’re done.”

Twilight’s ears perked up at Sunset’s sudden dour mood. “Sunset—”

“You know, it’s a bit stuffy in here,” Sunset suddenly said, cutting Twilight off. “Think I’ll go get some air. Back in a sec!” Without another word, Sunset took off for the kitchen, the sound of the back door slamming shut ringing through the house seconds later.

Silence fell over the group, all of them still looking in the direction Sunset Shimmer had run off in. After several awkward seconds, Rainbow Dash finally said what they were all thinking. “Well, that was weird. Hell’s up with her?”

“I’m… not sure,” Rarity said, a bit startled by Sunset’s sudden change in attitude.

“Um… maybe it’s just me…” Fluttershy nervously ran her hands through a lock of her hair as she asked, “but did she sound… sad to anyone else?”

“She certainly did seem a bit down all of a sudden- Oh, no!” Rarity suddenly exclaimed, a horrified look across her face. “I’ve gone and offended her, I just know it!” Turning back to the page from before, Rarity began fussing over the drawing, looking desperately for something out of place. “Oh, maybe I got her hair and tail all wrong. Or maybe… is there some kind of social faux pas in your world about drawing someone without their permission I don’t know about!? Oh, I need to apologize to her right awa—”

“Rarity, could I see the drawing please?” Twilight asked, her voice firm enough that it snapped Rarity out of her panic attack.

“Oh! Of course.” Walking over, Rarity turned her sketchbook around for Twilight to see.

While Twilight scrutinized the drawing, Applejack peered over Twilight to take a look for herself. “Yep, that’s pretty much just what I pictured.”

“Well? Give it to me straight,” Rarity pleaded after several painfully long seconds of Twilight looking over her work without a word. “Is the hair wrong? Is her mark different? Is she not tall enough? What did I get wrong?”

“Nothing,” Twilight finally answered.

“Bu—wha… huh?”

“Yeah, I can’t find anything wrong. Despite the fact that this is a sketch, it looks almost identical to the photos I’ve seen of her back in Equestria. Cutie mark and all.”

“But… but if I didn’t get anything wrong, then why did she act like that?”

“I’m… I’m not sure.” Twilight briefly thought back to the day before, when Sunset had sounded almost… disappointed when she had talked about her life back in Equestria. Something’s up, and I’m going to find out what. “Don’t worry, Rarity. I’ll talk to her sometime while I’m here.”

That seemed to calm Rarity’s nerves. “Alright, if you’re sure, dear. Promise you’ll come to us if you need help.”

Twilight smiled. “Cross my heart, hope to fly.”

“Ya know,” Applejack suddenly spoke up, “Sunset might have the right idea actually.”

“What idea?” Rainbow asked. “Running off in a huff?”

“Naw, ’bout gettin’ some air. I mean, I hope you don’t plan on spending all yer time here cooped up inside, Twilight.”

“Well, I hadn’t intended to, but I don’t really have a choice now, do I?” Twilight gestured to herself with her wings. “I’m pretty sure an alicorn is not a common sight over here.”

“Ya got me there, but what if’n we go somewhere big and open, somewhere ya’ll won’t have to worry none about anyone seeing ya’ll? Somewhere like Sweet Apple Acres, maybe?”

Thinking about it, Twilight couldn’t deter the idea. “I… guess that might work. It certainly is far enough away from the city that no one will be around and there is plenty of space for me to hide if I needed to.”

“Then that settles it!” Standing up, Applejack made a beeline for the stairs to go up and retrieve her phone. “Just let me give my brother a holler and we’ll be on our way.”

As Applejack ran upstairs, Twilight sunk back into the couch, her wings fidgeting ever so slightly. When she felt something brush up against her wings, she looked up to see Fluttershy sitting next to her.

“What’s wrong?” Fluttershy asked, easily picking up on Twilight’s concerns.

“Nothing, it’s just… I trust you girls, and I know Sweet Apple Acres is the most ideal place for me to go to avoid being seen, but I just can’t shake the idea of what could happen if someone were to see me like this. Not just for what could happen to me, but to all of you too.”

“Oh, you don’t have to worry!” Pinkie tried to reassure her. “If anyone sees you, we’ll just tell them you’re a big, huggable pony plushie.”

That managed to bring a smile to Twilight’s face, thought it was short lived. “I don’t think it’ll be that easy, Pinkie. I mean, I’m not sure if I could even cast an illusion spell, let alone maintain it for more a second or two.” Twilight sighed. “If only there was some way of disguising myself without just making myself look more suspicious.”

“Maybe there is, dear,” Rarity said, looking Twilight up and down with a discerning eye. “I think I just might have the perfect solution in mind for your current predicament.”

A chill ran down Twilight’s back at the look Rarity was giving her. She suddenly had the sneaking suspicion she wasn’t going to enjoy Rarity’s “solution” one bit.

Author's Note:

I know Rarity's not wearing her glasses at this point... but...

As always, if you find any errors I missed, please point them out to me in the comments so I can correct them.