• 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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Chase

“I still think this is a bad idea.”

Sunset’s words seemed to fall on deaf ears as the group of six girls made their way through the Canterlot Mall. While the mall was still open despite it being a Sunday, there was a noticeable lack of people walking through it, owing possibly to the day and the recent holiday.

“Ah, nothin’ to fret about!” Applejack finally answered, slapping Sunset on the back with enough force to almost knock her over. “All we’re doin’ is goin’ to see a movie. Yer worryin’ too much, we’ll be fine!”

“It’s not us I’m worried about,” Sunset remarked as they arrived at the cinema, eying the pet carrier hanging off Rarity’s shoulder with uncertainty. Quickly glancing around to make sure there wasn’t anyone in earshot, she leaned down and asked, “You sure about this, Twilight?”

The carrier shook briefly as Twilight popped her head out, silver cat ears wiggling atop her head. Just like before, she had been dressed up in an embarrassing outfit to try and blend in, this time in a costume of a silver tabby cat that Rarity had personally made the night before, her horn hidden by a cap that made it look like just another part of the costume.

Despite the outfit though, she seemed to be in relatively high spirits. “Positive,” she said with a smile and a firm nod of her head. “From what you girls have told me, I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie all weekend! Plus, it’ll give me another chance to witness this world’s technological advancements in comparison to Equestria’s in person!”

Clapping her hooves together, Twilight visibly shook with excitement.

Sunset wished she could share in Twilight’s enthusiasm. “But, Twilight—”

“No.” Speaking with the practiced authority of a princess, Twilight proved she could still be intimidating even while dressed like a cat and a fifth her size. “You all have already done so much for me, I won’t ruin your weekend because of my little mishap.” Before Sunset could attempt to argue any further, Twilight disappeared back into the carrier, clamping it shut with her magic.

“Well now,” Applejack remarked, “I’d say that settles it. ”

“Alright, enough talk!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, what little patience she had wearing thin as she began shoving Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy towards the entrance. “Let’s just get our tickets already before all the good seats are gone!”

Shaking her head while smirking with suppressed laughter, Applejack followed after them. Before Rarity could follow as well, she felt a hand on her shoulder, glancing behind her to see Sunset looking at her with worry still etched across her face.

“Rarity… are you really sure about all this?”

Turning to face Sunset, Rarity took Sunset’s hand in her own. “Sunset, I understand your concerns, but Twilight knows what she’s doing, as do I. Believe me, I would never willingly put any of you into a situation where harm might befall any one of us, so all I’m asking is that you have a little faith. Besides…” Pulling away, Rarity glanced behind her towards the entrance, where Rainbow looked to be trying her hardest to push Fluttershy into the theatre, made harder by the fact that Fluttershy was gripping into the doorframe like her life depended on it. “… I already have a backup plan in mind, should the need arise.”

“… Really?” Sunset remarked with a heaving dose of scepticism in her voice, crossing her arms as she frowned at Rarity. “And if someone stops us to check in your bag? Then what?”

Rarity just giggled, an almost predatory smirk on her face. “Oh, just leave that to me.”

***

Getting their tickets went without a hitch, as did buying snacks and drinks. As the group headed off towards their intended theatre, Pinkie Pie happily skipping ahead of them with a jumbo bag of buttered popcorn and an extra large soda tucked under one arm, and enough candy to drive anyone else into a diabetic coma under the other, Sunset actually started to relax. Looks like I was worried for nothing…

“Excuse me!”

Horseapples! I just had to jinx it, didn’t I? Suppressing a groan, Sunset turned to see one of the theatre employees, a young man not much older than them, walk towards them. Judging by the bored look on his face, it was clear that the only reason he had come into work today had been the alluring promise of a paycheck.

Rarity didn’t even hesitate, sparing a moment to toss her curls over her shoulder as she sauntered up to him, an unmistakable air of confidence around her. “Is something wrong, sir?” she delicately asked, batting her eyelashes at the employee. “We really are in a hurry.”

“Theatre policy, miss,” he dryly replied, “We’ve had more than few people try and sneak video cameras in, so I’m going to have to check your bag before you go in.”

“Oh my!” Rarity gasped, placing her hand over her heart as if the very idea had caused her pain. “Such savages! Why, a film is the physical manifestation of someone’s dream, their vision of art made real! To aspire to steal such a vision is crime against art itself!”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” He droned on, rolling his eyes at what he assumed was an attempt at a rousing speech. “Now, your bag, ple—“

His breath caught in his throat as Rarity suddenly closed the distance between them, placing herself directly in his personal space and giving him a perfect view down the front of her shirt, his brain lurching as his eyes drifted down ever so slightly.

Licking her lips like a cat cornering a helpless mouse, Rarity flipped her curls in such a way that the scent of her lilac shampoo wafted off her silky hair. “I must commend you on such a selfless and noble endeavour. Truly, I will have to put in a good word to the management for hiring such a devout and honourable man such as yourself.” Giggling, she slowly traced a finger along the underside of his chin, causing him to shudder briefly as his face turned red as a tomato. “And such a handsome one at that…”

The poor young man winced, slapping his hand over his nose to hide the blood dripping down his face. “W… well… I… I…”

“Oh, and I’m sure it can’t be an easy task! Having to dig through bags no doubt full of dirty clothes, used tissues, feminine hygiene products and all sorts of other icky things!”

His previously red face quickly shifted to a less than pleasant shade of green.

Finally pulling away, Rarity’s hand slowly reached up for the shoulder strap of her bag. “But, if I must, I suppose I’ll have to permit you to look through—”

“Tha-that won’t be necessary, miss,” he quickly stammered, his face growing paler by the second. “En-enjoy your movie!” Without another word, the teen spun on his heels and took off down the corridor before disappearing into the nearest bathroom.

Satisfied, Rarity turned back around to find Rainbow, Sunset and Applejack staring slack-jawed at her, Fluttershy desperately trying to hide her blushing face behind her hair and Pinkie Pie having already started on her popcorn. “Shall we?” Rarity said with a wave of her hand towards their intended theatre.

Picking her jaw up off the floor, Applejack eyed Rarity like she would a hissing snake. “…Y’all scare me some days, I hope ya know that, Rares.”

“Oh, fear not, Applejack!” Stepping past the cowgirl, Rarity flicked the brim of Applejack’s hat. “I ensure you that I have already sworn to only use these powers for good. ‘With great power comes great responsibility’, after all.”

Rainbow’s eyes widened in disbelief at the reference. “Hey! I didn’t know you were a fan!”

Waggling her finger at Dash, Rarity coolly replied, “I will neither confirm nor deny whether or not I’m a fan, though I will say I have a certain soft spot for those movies. I mean, an hour and a half of watching a hot actor swinging around in skin-tight spandex? Rawr.” Giggling, Rarity slipped into the darkening theatre, leaving her friends with several questions she had no intention of answering.

***

“That… was… AWESOME!” Rainbow shouted as they exited the theatre, still full of excitement and sugar. “I mean, did you SEE the size of that dragon!? And when that giant guy shot it down with one shot, even though he was blind? How sick was that!?”

“Oh, my favourite part was when that knight guy dropped from the sky to impale that monster on his sword!” Pinkie exclaimed, imitating the act of plunging a sword into the ground. “That was so cool! And then when he turned on the hero?” Hunching over, her left arm hanging limp and her right hoisting an imaginary sword over her shoulder, she spoke in a growling, strained voice. “Whoever thou art… st…stay…stay away. Soon… I will be… be consumed… by them… by the Dark…”

“That poor man…” Fluttershy lamented, wiping away a tear with the sleeve of her shirt. “He fought so hard, and in the end all he feared was what would happen to his beloved wolf... To stand watch over his grave for centuries… such a faithful companion.”

Reaching into her bag, Rarity withdrew a clean handkerchief to wipe away Fluttershy’s tears. “It truly was heartbreaking to witness, especially when the hero has no choice but to fight her in the present to continue his quest.”

“She recognized him, too,” Sunset remarked, remembering the glint in the wolf’s eyes at the sight of the figure lying at its paws. “Yet, despite what happened in the past, the old wolf refused to forsake her master’s spirit and raised her sword towards him instead.”

“Like a pair o’ knights on opposite sides, squarin’ off for one final duel to the death,” Applejack said, illustrating this by raising her fists and shadowboxing an imaginary opponent.

Twilight had been silent since the movie had ended, eventually popping out of the carrier with her brow creased in thought. “It all seemed so… hopeless, though,” she said solemnly. “The hero has no choice but to embark on this quest to regain their humanity, but at no point is there any guarantee or reassurance that all this bloodshed will stave off the end of the world. If what that snake said at the end is true, then they may, in fact, be accomplishing the opposite.”

Like what happened with Discord. With a heavy sigh, Twilight hung her head as she thought back to that day. The whole time I was certain we were getting closer and closer to the Elements when we were really only walking right into his trap.

“I think that was the point,” Sunset remarked, making Twilight glance up at her. “I mean, the people of that world didn’t seem evil to me, merely twisted. From what I’ve read, the writer doesn’t believe in terms of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, merely that their actions are what they believe at the time to be right.” Something I would know better than anyone… Sunset thought with regret, but she hid it better than Twilight.

“Right, then!” Clapping her hands together, Rarity smiled as she spun on her heels to face everyone. “The day is still young, so what’s say we enjoy ourselves while we’re here? Any suggestions?”

“Arcade!” came Pinkie’s reply, earning a fistbump from Rainbow in return.

“Hell, yeah. I’m in the mood for some Dangerous Zombie Remastered.”

“In the mood for losin’, ya mean,” Applejack grinned, earning a scowl from Rainbow as the two locked eyes, sparks leaping between them as an unspoken challenge was issued.

“Um…” Fluttershy squeaked, tapping her fingers together. “I was kind of hoping to look for a new HDMI cable for my computer. Plus I really should pick up some more of Angel’s food while we’re here. But… if you guys really want to go to the arcade, then I guess—”

“I’ll go with you,” Sunset offered, putting her hand on Fluttershy’s shoulder. “The music store’s right across from the pet store, and I need to pick up some new strings for my guitar anyway. Besides, it’s best if you don’t get caught in the middle of that.”

Fluttershy glanced at Applejack and Rainbow, her mind conjuring up images of a wall of flames burning behind them from the sheer intensity of their passion for competition. She blinked at the sight, nervously giggling. “You might be right.”

“Well, I suppose that just leaves you and me, Twilight.” Rarity idly scratched behind Twilight’s ears, snickering as the alicorn purred at the touch. “You don’t mind accompanying me while I peruse some fabrics, do you?”

“No, I don’t mind.”

“Excellent!” Rarity said, clapping her hands again to get everyone’s attention. “After we’re all done, may I suggest we meet up in the food court in say…” Glancing up at the clock above the theatre, Rarity noted it was now about 2:30, “… one hour?”

She received a chorus of “Alright,” and “Sure,” in response. “Right then, see you all in an hour.”

Before the words had even fully left her mouth, Applejack and Dash took off towards the arcade at Mach speed. Watching them as they disappeared behind a corner, Rarity turned to Pinkie Pie. “Pinkie, can I expect you to keep those two from killing each other?”

“Sure thing, Rares!” Giving a mock salute in confirmation, Pinkie Pie took off like a cotton candy blur after them.

As everyone went off, Sunset couldn’t help but glance back at Rarity and Twilight, the uneasy feeling from before rearing its ugly head yet again. Maybe I should have gone with them. Safety in numbers, after all. What if something were to happen—

With a quick shake of her head, Sunset cast those thoughts to the back of her mind. Stop worrying so much! she chided herself, following in step behind Fluttershy. Rarity knows what she’s doing, she said so herself. They’ll be fine.

***

“My, that was refreshing!”

Rarity was positively beaming as she exited the store, a spring in her step as she carried several pairs of bags hanging off each arm. “There’s nothing that brings out my creativity quite like shopping. Not only did I come up some new ideas, but I found a dress I just know you’ll look so adorable in, Twilight!”

Having remained hidden while inside the store, Twilight popped her head back out. “Are you sure? I can’t really try it on to see if it’ll fit or not.”

Rarity chuckled. “Dear, I designed our dresses for the Fall Formal and our band outfits, remember? I know all my friends’ measurements.” Though I keep needing to update Fluttershy’s every few weeks. I swear that girl grows like a weed! “Besides, I can always modify it if it doesn’t fit. Why? Has a certain princess put on some weight since she was last here?”

“What!? No!” Twilight quickly ducked inside the carrier in an attempt to hide her blushing face. Poking her belly, she sighed, before whispering, “Well… maybe a little…”

“Too many of your Pinkie’s sweets, I presume?” Rarity guessed, a good-natured smirk on her face as she heard Twilight mumble in response. Reaching into a pocket on the carrier to check her phone, Rarity was surprised to find that it was barely past three. “Still some time before we agreed to meet up, though all this shopping has left me a touch parched.” Looking around, she eyed a smoothie stand just down the hall. “Ah! A quick smoothie before we head off to meet the others. Any preferences, Twilight?”

“Something with strawberries would be nice.”

“Very well.” Strolling up to the stand, she took a moment to survey the menu before making a selection. “I’d like a Tropical Berry Swirl, please.”

“Right away, miss.” Taking a step back to let the smoothie stand employee work, it wasn’t long before he placed her smoothie on the counter, taking a moment to key her total into the register. “That’ll be four thirty-nine, please.”

Sliding a ten across the counter, Rarity smirked at his flabbergasted expression as she calmly replied, “Keep the change.” Picking up her smoothie and taking a sip, she was surprised at the perfect blend of flavours that greeted her. Mmm… So good. I might need to come here more often. Preoccupied, Rarity missed the sound of footsteps behind her.

“I’ll have a Tropical Berry Swirl as well, please.”

Rarity jumped in fright at the sudden voice, nearly dropping her smoothie in shock as she spun around to face the source. Twilight had jumped as well, though not from the voice itself, but rather whose voice it was. As Rarity turned, a chill ran down Twilight’s spine as her worst fears were confirmed.

Rarity gasped. “Principal Celestia!”

“’Principal’?” Celestia chuckled, placing her hands on her hips. “We’re not in school right now, Miss Rarity. Just Celestia is fine.”

“S-sorry,” Rarity stuttered, noticing that Celestia had replaced her usual outfit with a navy blue blazer, unzipped to show off her red tank top, and a pair of black track pants with a white stripe running down the sides. It was almost surreal seeing Celestia dressed so casually like she was. “I just wasn’t expecting—”

“To run into me here?” Celestia finished for her. “I know it must be a shock, but teachers do have lives outside of school. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend almost as much as my students. I do apologize if I startled you, I couldn’t resist.”

Crouching down, Celestia rested her hands on her knees as she lowered herself until she was eye level with the petrified Twilight. “And who might this little cutie be, hmm?”

On the inside, Twilight was in full-on freak-out mode. Oh no, oh no, oh no! It’s Celestia! I mean, it’s not Princess Celestia, but I’d hoped I wouldn’t run into her either! I can’t let her find out who I am, she’d have so many questions I couldn’t answer! What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?!

“… Meow?”

“Aww…” Celestia cooed, reaching up and scratching behind Twilight’s ears. “She’s adorable! What’s her name?”

“Uh… Sparkle!” Rarity exclaimed, coughing into her hand as she swiftly regained her composure. “Her name is Sparkle. I’m looking after her for a friend, and I just couldn’t leave her home all by her lonesome!”

“I’m sure she enjoys it,” Pulling her hand away, she lightly booped Twilight on the nose, snickering at her cross-eyed expression. “Have you been a good kitty for Rarity?”

“Meow!”

“Miss?” the smoothie stand employee interrupted. “Your smoothie’s ready.”

“Ah, thank you.” Standing up, Celestia pulled out her wallet as she walked up to the counter, slapping a ten down on it. With a sly look in her eyes, she looked him right in the eyes and said, “Keep the change, young man.”

The poor employee had to kick himself just to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.

Snatching up her smoothie, Celestia took a sip as she looked back to Rarity. “Well, I think I should leave you and Sparkle to enjoy the rest of your weekend.” As she walked off, she waved behind her and called over her shoulder, “See you at school tomorrow!”

“You too, Prin—Celestia!” Rarity waved back, watching as Celestia got further and further away. Only after she’d disappeared into one of the stores did Rarity and Twilight breathe a sigh of relief.

As Rarity set off in the direction of a pair of benches, Twilight muttered, “That was too close…”

“I second that,” Rarity replied as she sat down, giving Twilight a chance to take a drink of their smoothie. “I imagine you would have liked to avoid running into anyone we knew from school if at all possible. Although…” Rarity scratched her chin in thought, “… that does make me wonder…”

“Hmm? Wonder about what?”

“Well, it’s just that after everything you’ve told us about your world and how it mirrors our own, I can’t help but wonder about your world’s Celestia. Is she a teacher like she is here?”

“… You could say that,” Twilight replied after a moment’s pause, choosing her words very carefully. Some days she could be a worse liar than Applejack, so she needed to be extra cautious about what she said. “She was my teacher while I was attending the School for Gifted Unicorns, but her position is a more… political one most of the time.”

“Like an elected official? One working directly under the heads of state?”

More like the head of state, actually. “I… I suppose? From what little I’ve read, I don’t know if there’s a clear enough comparison to be made between our worlds’ governing structures.”

“Hmm… I guess you’re right. After all, I can’t imagine what it must be like governing a world where hydras, manticores and dragons exist. My word, solving land disputes must be a nightmare!”

Oh, you have no idea! Twilight groaned as she recalled how much of a pain it was dealing with the land disputes for her new castle. Princess or not, the Ponyville Zoning Committee hadn’t been too happy with her explanation of “It magically sprouted from a seed gifted by the Tree of Harmony.”

“Running into Celestia does remind me that we have school tomorrow. I suppose we’ll have to figure something out before then, won’t we?” As soon as the words left her mouth, Rarity almost slapped herself. “What am I saying? You’ll be just fine by yourself during the day! Oh, I do apologize, Twilight, mistaking you for some animal who needs constant care!”

“Don’t worry, I kind of am one right now, or at least in this world.” Taking a sip of the smoothie, Twilight sighed. “I still don’t know how long it’ll be before Spike can get the portal back up and running, so I just have to deal with it until then.”

“We could always sneak you into school in Fluttershy’s backpack,” Rarity suggested. “Heaven knows the critters she’s smuggled into school that way.”

Twilight winced. “Thanks, but I think I’m done with backpacks for a while.”

As the two of them shared a laugh, neither one noticed a figure watching them through the window of a nearby store, eying the numerous bags lying at Rarity’s feet with a devilish smirk on his face.

Jackpot.

***

The pair sat in silence as they enjoyed their smoothie. After a while, Rarity checked her phone again, leaping to her feet at the realization that it was currently three twenty-eight. “Oh dear! We’d best hurry if we’re going to make it there in time!” Grabbing her bags, Rarity sprinted in the direction of the mall food court. “Applejack will never let me hear the end of it if we’re la—”

The world became a blur as someone barreled past her, blindsiding her on her right side and sending her bags flying from her grip as she was shoved aside, landing hard against the laminated floor. Wincing, Rarity rubbed her head as her vision swam, her purchases scattered around her in heaps.

“Watch where you’re going!” she yelled as she regained her bearings. “Some people have no manners, I swear! Twilight, are you—” Her breath caught in her throat as she looked around her.

Searching the bags lying around her, she came to the sinking realization that Twilight’s carrier wasn’t among them.

Ice filled her veins as Rarity looked towards her fleeing assailant, the unmistakable sight of the carrier clutched in his hand almost making her heart skip a beat.

“Twilight!”

Adrenaline shot through Rarity’s veins as she sprinted after the thief, desperately trying to close the gap between him and her. She had no plan on what she would do once she caught up to him, nor did she have even an inkling of concern for her own safety. Right then and there, the only thing going through her mind was her desire to rescue Twilight. Our friends— No! I could never forgive myself if I let anything happen to her!

Spying him taking off down a flight of stairs towards the base level, Rarity eyed a walkway overlooking the mall courtyard. Without a moment’s hesitation, Rarity sprinted towards the open walkway, hoisting herself over the railing and plummeting to the ground a good ten to fifteen feet below.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl as she fell through open air, the feeling of weightlessness overtaking her. As the ground rose up to meet her, her body was bathed in a purple glow, horse ears poking out from beneath her hair as her feet slammed into the ground, defying the very laws of physics as her speed and momentum bled off of her in a shockwave, the floor tiles beneath her feet splintering as the forces were driven into the ground instead of shattering her legs like glass.

Taking off like a rocket, Rarity greatly shortened the distance between her and her target. “Stop!” she shouted as the thief dashed through a side exit towards the parking lot, not even breaking stride as she slammed through the door in hot pursuit.

As she took off across the parking lot, she knew this could be her last chance to close the distance between him and her, lest she lose him amongst the sea of cars. With one final burst of speed, she leapt with all her might, the last of the purple glow fading as she flipped up and over the thief, the heels of her shoes sparking against the tarmac as she skidded to a halt directly in front of him.

“What the—” The words died in his throat as Rarity knifehanded him full force in the chest, knocking the air clean from his lungs. In the split second before the hit had even registered, Rarity followed it up with an uppercut to the base of his jaw that knocked him off his feet right before she drove the heel of her foot into his stomach, sending him hurtling back to land sprawled out against the tarmac.

By sheer luck, the man remained conscious, gasping and wheezing for breath as Rarity got her first good look at him. He looked the very image of a street punk, wearing a torn biker’s jacket that made Sunset’s look like a well-ironed suit by comparison, his hair dyed a gaudy neon green and styled to hang over his left eye and a veritable star map of piercings littering his face along with a nose ring that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a bull.

“Stupid… bitch…” he croaked in-between gasping breaths.

“Such language! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” she chided him, glaring at him with pure hatred as she sauntered up to him.

“Go… to… hell…” he swore as he fished a switchblade from his jacket, only for Rarity to slam her foot down his hand, an agonizing scream filling the air as the switchblade was pinned beneath his smashed hand.

“Now,” Rarity spoke with venomous insincerity in her voice, “I believe you have something of mine, so I think I’ll be taking it back before I call the authorities, thank you very mu—Ugh!

A sudden blow to the back of Rarity’s neck sent her reeling, the world spinning as she toppled forward onto the tarmac. She tasted blood in her mouth as she struggled to pick herself up, her efforts thwarted as something slammed into her back, pinning her to the ground as she yelped in pain. Straining to turn her head, Rarity could just make out the form of someone standing over her, their foot no doubt pressed against her back to prevent her from retaliating.

“Pathetic,” the second man muttered, likely the other man’s partner. “I knew you were a pushover, but to get your ass beat by a girl?”

“Bite me!” the green haired man shot back, climbing back to his feet and scooping up the dropped carrier. “Come on!” he shouted, gesturing to his buddy. “Let’s scram before someone sees us!”

“In a minute,” the second man replied, a fiendish grin spreading across his face as he held out his hand. “Pass me your switch for a moment.” The second the weapon was placed in his hand, he flicked open the blade, his grin only widening.

“Bad move, girly, thinkin’ you could take us on by yourself. I’m going to enjoy making an example out of you to show what happens to people who think they can mess with my pack and—”

It happened so fast Rarity could barely tell what transpired. One moment the second thug had her pinned underfoot, and the next his body cartwheeled through the air like a ragdoll before slamming into the tarmac with a hard thud. Rarity felt numb as she pushed herself up, staring wide-eyed at the sprawled out form of her attacker.

She barely registered footsteps behind her as a figure stepped into view, imposing themselves between her and the pair of thugs, their long hair flowing in the breeze behind them. Rarity could hardly believe her eyes as she recognized her saviour.

“C-Celestia?”

“If there’s one thing I won’t tolerate above all else…” Celestia growled, her voice brimming with barely contained rage as she towered over the two hoodlums, loudly cracking her knuckles, “… it’s people who think they can harm my students and get away with it.”

The thugs paled at the sight of the much taller woman standing before them, suddenly less sure of their chances. Luckily for them, their rescue came in the form of a milk white car swerving around the bend, tires squealing against the lot as the driver came to a stop, hurling open the passenger side door and hollering “Come on, let’s go!” out the door.

Not needing to be told twice, the pair scampered to their feet and scrambled for the car, all but diving inside as the driver gunned the engine before they had even closed the doors behind them and hightailing it out of the parking lot with the utmost haste.

Celestia never took her eyes off the vehicle as it sped away, quickly memorizing the license plate and only letting her guard down when it disappeared from sight completely. Turning around, she crouched down in front of Rarity, her eyes brimming with concern. “Rarity, are you all right? You’re not hurt, are you?”

Rarity was in a state of shock, her mind still reeling as she tried to grasp onto a solid thought. “What… what are you doing here?” she finally managed to say.

“I saw you chasing after them, so I followed. Good thing I did too, what were you thinking?” she harshly scolded, though her voice was still filled with concern. “You could have been hurt, or worse!”

“I… I… was… Twilight!” Gasping, Rarity shot to her feet, stumbling as a wave of lightheadedness passed over her, making her fall forward, only to be caught by Celestia before she could smash face-first into the ground.

“Easy, Rarity! You could have a concussion! What’s going on?”

Choking back a gasp, all Rarity could do was utter, “I… I couldn’t… protect her… I gave my word I would keep her safe! I promised her!” With tears streaming down her face, Rarity’s legs fell out from under her as she collapsed against Celestia, devolving into muttering, “I promised…” in-between sobs.

Celestia felt her heart break as she silently held onto Rarity. Carefully pulling her arms out from the sleeves of her blazer, she draped it over Rarity, wrapping an arm around the crying teen as she pulled her phone from her pocket, dialling a quick number and bringing it to her ear as she cradled her student.

“911, what is your emergency?”

***

Celestia never left Rarity’s side as the paramedics checked over her injuries, quickly ruling out a concussion or any other serious injuries besides a few bruises and a split lip. After the paramedics had given the all right, the arriving officer stepped in to take their statements.

During all this, Rarity was numb to the world, weakly answering the officer’s questions as she recounted what had happened, holding onto Celestia for support. Her mascara had long leaked down her face, her eyes were puffy from crying and her hair was no doubt a disaster, but she couldn’t have cared less about how she looked right then and there.

“Don’t worry, miss,” the officer reassured her as he finished jotting down their statements. “Based on your descriptions, these three are a bunch of low-level repeat offenders who think they have what it takes to be the next big gang. It shouldn’t take long to hunt them down.”

“Please…” Rarity pleaded, her eyes still focused on the ground beneath her. “Just… just make sure they don’t hurt my precious Sparkle. I don’t care if you can’t get back anything else, just… just bring her back to me safe and sound.”

“We’ll do everything we can, miss,” the officer reassured her, though his promises felt hollow to her. “You take care of yourself now,” he said as he walked towards his cruiser to radio the station.

Rarity shivered, clutching Celestia’s blazer tightly around her shoulders to try and fend off the chill.

“Do you want me to call your family?” Celestia carefully asked.

Rarity shook her head. “They’re out of town right now, so calling them would be pointless.”

“At the very least, let me drive you home then.”

“It’s… it’s alright, Celestia,” she weakly replied, sliding the blazer from her shoulders and holding it out to Celestia. “You’ve already done more than enough. I just need a moment to myself.”

Celestia looked like she wanted to argue, before reluctantly taking her blazer and patting Rarity on the shoulder. “Very well. I’ll be just over there if you need me.” Standing up, she walked over to speak with the officer, leaving Rarity by herself.

As she sat on the curb, Rarity’s thoughts drifted to her friends, having no doubt wondered what was keeping her after so long. What… what am I going to tell the girls?

“RARITY!”

Rarity jumped at the sound of her name, glancing over to see Sunset and the others running up to her. “Girls? What… what are you doing here?”

“Maybe you could tell us!” Rainbow Dash shouted, reaching Rarity first and kneeling down to look her over. “We got worried when you didn’t show up and when you didn’t answer your phone. We searched all over for you, and only now do we hear that you were mugged or something!”

Fluttershy kneeled down next to her, using her sleeve to wipe away Rarity’s running mascara. “They didn’t hurt you, did they?”

Rarity looked up at the looks of terrified concern on her friends’ faces before sighing and pushing Fluttershy’s hand away, the barest traces of a smile peeking at the edge of her lips. “No, I’m fine. The paramedics already checked me out and said I’m fine besides a few bruises.”

“That’s a relief,” Applejack remarked, her smile transitioning into a scowl as she drove her fist into her open palm. “Just tell me where those no good varmints are at, and I’ll show them what happens to anyone who hurts my friends!”

“That won’t be necessary,” Celestia said as she walked up to them, causing everyone to notice her for the first time. “The police have already started looking into it, so all we can do now is wait.”

“And let them get away?” Applejack yelled, glaring at Celestia. “I ain’t lettin’ those punks go free for even another minute without givin’ them what they des—”

“No.” The steely edge of Celestia’s voice froze Applejack to her core, her purple eyes burning into her very soul. “I understand your frustration, but responding to violence with violence won’t solve anything in this situation. Just let the police do their job, rather than getting yourself in trouble as well. Besides…” Celestia glanced down at Rarity, “… there are more important things for you to worry about right now.”

Applejack’s anger was replaced with shame as she realized Celestia was right. Here she was thinking about kicking the butts of some punks, when Rarity needed her right now. “… Right. Sorry.”

Celestia’s features relaxed as she looked around at the group of girls. “You’re very lucky, Rarity, to have such a loving group of friends like this. They’ll be able to help you more than I ever could.” Reaching into her blazer pocket, Celestia pulled out a small notepad and a pen. Scribbling her number down, she ripped out the page and held it out to Rarity. “Still, if you ever need someone to talk to, you can always give me a call.”

Taking the slip of paper, Rarity smiled up at her. “Thank you, Celestia. For everything.”

Nodding her head, Celestia turned away, sparing one last look behind her at the group as she walked back towards the mall.

“Well, today certainly has been eventful, hasn’t it?” Pinkie exclaimed, clapping her hands together. “But at least you and Twilight are okay!” Pausing, Pinkie glanced around, frowning. “Say… where is Twilight, anyway?”

What little happiness Rarity had managed to reclaim vanished in an instant, fresh tears running down her face as she buried her face in her hands, the others taken aback by her sudden shift in attitude.

“What? What’d I say?” Pinkie Pie asked, looking back and forth between the now crying Rarity and the others.

“Twilight’s…” Rarity muttered between sobs. “Twilight’s…”

In that instant, the uneasy feeling Sunset had been carrying all day dropped into the pit of her stomach, sending untold terror shooting through her body. Shoving Dash out of the way, Sunset kneeled down and gripped Rarity tightly by the shoulders, “Rarity, please tell me Twilight’s okay! I need you to tell me she’s all right!”

“I… I…”

“Rarity!” Sunset violently shook Rarity, making her look up to see the sheer depths of terror reflected in Sunset’s eyes. “Where. Is. Twilight?”

Sniffling, Rarity hung her head as she croaked out, “They… they took her. Twilight’s… Twilight’s gone.”

***

On the other side of town, the group of hoodlums drove away as fast as they could without raising suspicion, secure in the success of their crime despite a few ‘hiccups’, their ill-gotten loot sitting safely in the back seat.

“Man, what a score!” the driver cheered, flashing his buddy sitting next to him a toothy grin. “That couldn’t have gone better, I’d say.”

“Speak for yourself!” the green haired thief whined from the back seat, wincing as he rubbed a nasty bruise on his jaw. “Damn, that chick kicks like a horse!”

He received a rough punch to the shoulder for his troubles from the passenger seat. “Ah, quit your bellyaching! Your fault for letting her get the drop on you like that!” said the third, glaring over his shoulder at his companion. “Way she was throwing around money, she just has to be loaded. If we work fast, we can drain her account before she can cancel anything. So hurry up and count it up already!”

“Alright, alright! Geeze…” Cursing under his breath, he grabbed the carrier lying next to him and plopped it in his lap, dreams of an alcohol-fueled night running through his head as he popped it open, expecting to find a wallet bursting with cash and credit cards stashed inside.

Those dreams quickly died at what stared back at him instead. “What the f—”

For but a moment, a blinding flash of violet light filled the cabin of the car, causing the vehicle to swerve uncontrollably, the tires squealing against the asphalt as the driver desperately tried to regain control. Sharply banking to the left, the car inevitably crashed head-on into a light post, toppling the pole onto the hood of the car and finally bringing the vehicle to a dead stop.

Such an accident did not go unnoticed, as passing cars slowed down to survey the damage, many concerned motorists stopping and getting out of their cars entirely to see if anyone was hurt. Curious faces popped out of nearby businesses and homes, many with their cellphones out to either call an ambulance or just to record video to post to the Internet.

In all the commotion, however, no one noticed as a small purple blur leapt out the side window and disappeared down a nearby alley.

Author's Note:

And there you have it! I await your angry comments.

Also, because I know someone is going to ask the obvious question of "Why didn't Twilight just jump out of the carrier or use magic?", that question and more will all be answered...

... in the next chapter.