• Published 5th Oct 2015
  • 28,051 Views, 1,013 Comments

Sunlight - Albi

A vampire bat escapes from Equestria and bites Sunset. It's up to her friends to save the city (and Twilight) from her new blood lust.

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Chapter 2: Once Bitten

Twilight pushed the door to the back field open and held a hand up to block the angry glare of the sun. She waited for her eyes to adjust, then walked along the edge of the track until she reached the bleachers. Her friends waited at the top rows, waving down to her as she approached.

She hopped up the stands, immediately noticing the lack of red and gold amongst the group of girls. “Where’s Sunset?”

Rainbow shrugged. “Haven’t seen her all day.”

“Nor have I,” Rarity said. “It’s not like her to miss class.”

Twilight took a seat below her. “Maybe we should call her, just to make sure she’s all right.” Twilight pulled her phone out and started dialing Sunset’s number before anyone could give an objection.

Rarity lips curled into an elvish grin. “Oh, I’m sure she’ll enjoy a call from you.”

The phone rang several times before it was picked up, and a gravelly voice answered. “Hello?”

“Sunset?” Twilight barely registered the voice as her friend. She switched the phone to speaker so the rest of the girls could hear.

Sunset cleared her throat, and in a slightly less gravelly voice, she said, “H-hey, Twi. How are you and the girls?”

“We’re fine, just worried about you. Where are you?”

“Home sick. When I tell you I feel awful, I mean awful.”

Everyone let out a collective, “Awww,” at the news. Twilight continued, “Well, I hope—I mean, we hope you feel better soon. Do you know what you have? I could look up some cures and medicine.”

Sunset’s laugh quickly dissolved into a dry hacking. “I appreciate that, Twi,” she said after clearing her throat, “but I think it’s just the flu or something.”

Pinkie snatched the phone from Twilight’s hand. It happened so fast, it took Twilight a second to realize she was no longer holding it. “Just hang tight, Sunny! As soon as school’s over, we’re on our way to your house to cheer you up!”

“You girls don’t have to do that.” There was a note of appreciation in her voice.

“Too late, already decided! Get lots of rest and juice. See you later, bye!” Pinkie snapped the phone shut and handed it back to Twilight.

She accepted it with a slight frown. “Were… were we done talking?”

“Ooops, sorry.” Pinkie shrugged. “Kinda thought we had said all that needed to be said. Besides, she needs her rest.”

“That’s true I suppose.” Twilight shoved her phone away and sighed. Rarity cast her another sly look, and Twilight turned the other way, adjusting her glasses.

She and the rest of the Rainbooms sat and enjoyed the spring sunshine before their passing period ended. Even though there were six of them, Twilight felt a huge piece of their group was missing with Sunset gone. It was humorous; even though she was a pony from another dimension, Twilight found she had a lot of things in common with Sunset.

Applejack and Rainbow talked about the track and field team. Pinkie laid on her back, a comic book stretched out in front of her. Rarity sat one bleacher above, tying Fluttershy’s hair into a French braid. Twilight twiddled her fingers, looking out over the stadium, unsure how to proceed in this situation. She supposed it would be a good idea to try to converse with her friends. They were her friends after all. But how did she do that without looking like a dork?

Even after being accepted by them and encouraged to speak up, Sugarcoat’s words played back in her ears, joined by several other voices Twilight had heard over the years.

She decided, as she usually did, that just being in their company was enough to keep her happy. Twilight reached into her backpack and pulled out her trigonometry textbook.

“Twilight?” Rarity’s voice stopped her from flipping the book open. “I’m all done with Fluttershy. Would you like me to braid your hair, too?”

Twilight twisted around and saw the pretty braid Fluttershy sported. “Oh, um… sure.” She put the book away and hopped up a seat. Rarity undid the bun Twilight was so used to wearing and set to work.

“So, did you enjoy your motorcycle ride with Sunset?” Rarity asked.

“Y-yes, I did.” Twilight was glad Rarity couldn’t see her face.

“You two seem awfully close recently.”

Twilight’s blush deepened. “Do we? I hadn’t noticed.” She was also glad Rarity couldn’t see her day planner. Originally, she had set aside an hour every other day to talk with Sunset, not just about what had happened at the finale of the games, but of general topics. Now, she had saved two hours every day for their conversations. She was even disappointed when Sunset’s other engagements got in the way.

Rarity twisted one lock of hair through a loop and gave it a gentle tug. “And I bet you’ll have plenty of alone time with her since she’s going to give you guitar lessons.”

Twilight’s glasses fogged up. She snatched them off and pretended to wipe her eyes. “Um, yeah. Plenty of time for, you know, talking… and learning guitar… and talking.”

Rarity chuckled. “Relax, darling. I won’t pry anymore. All I’m saying is, that’s a lot of quality time for two people who have a lot of commonality.”

Her words rolled around in Twilight’s head. She wasn’t stupid. As new as she was to fully understanding the true nuances of friendship, Twilight understood whatever was happening between her and Sunset was a little more. Thinking about being alone with her made Twilight’s heart beat a little faster and color rise to her cheeks.

But having a crush was even more foreign than having friends. Even if Sunset did like her in return, what were they supposed to do? Twilight only had second-hand knowledge of relationships, and while most of it was sound advice that came straight from Cadence, Twilight wasn’t sure if it applied to her case.

Could I even handle being that… intimate with another person? Twilight released a quiet sigh. As always, it was a question for later.

The bell rang just as Rarity finished Twilight’s braid. Examining it in Rarity’s hand mirror, Twilight thought it was a nice change of pace from her usual look. She wondered if Sunset would like it.


The remainder of the school day proved uneventful unless one counted Pinkie surpassing her record of stuffing as many cupcakes in her mouth as possible. She was up to nine now. Twilight was both impressed, and horribly disgusted by the feat.

“I don’t understand,” Twilight said as the group gathered around Fluttershy’s van. She watched Pinkie toss a handful of candy into her mouth. “How are your teeth not rotten? How are you not diabetic?” she asked, verging on outraged.

Rainbow threw an arm around Twilight’s shoulder. “See, what you need to understand is: she’s Pinkie Pie.”

Twilight blinked. “That doesn’t explain anything at all!”

“Trust me, Twi, magic is one thing, Pinkie is another. You have a better chance at catching light than figuring out how she works.” Rainbow patted her then hopped into the passenger seat.

Pinkie held out a lollipop. “Want one?”

Twilight wanted to say no on the grounds that she had no idea where Pinkie pulled it from. Against her better judgment, she took it anyway. It was sour apple.

The inside of Fluttershy’s van smelled like a variety of animals with some air freshener layered on top. There was an old stain on one of the seats that gave Twilight pause before she sat down next to the window. Even with six people piled inside, there were still two empty seats.

Fluttershy was very slow in getting herself adjusted. She checked her mirrors, checked her seat, checked the steering wheel, rechecked her mirrors, adjusted her seat belt. It took her almost five minutes just to start the car.

Twilight leaned toward Rarity, keeping her voice hushed. “Does she always take this long?”

“She’s a very cautious driver. Lord knows we need more of those on the road, but she can overdo it sometimes.”

Rainbow tapped her foot against the carpet as Fluttershy checked the dashboard again. “‘Shy,” she said in a strained voice, “by the time we get there, Sunset isn’t even going to be sick anymore.”

“Do you want to get there fast or safe?” Fluttershy asked, adjusting her rear-view mirror once more.

“I just want to get there!

Fluttershy finally put the car into reverse and pulled out of the parking space, to everyone’s relief. Once she got going, Twilight noticed Fluttershy was quite calm and confident driving.

It was a fifteen minute drive to Sunset’s apartment complex. All of the parking spots were filled, so Fluttershy had to park on the street in front of a smoke shop. Her face remained a twisted scowl until they approached Sunset’s door.

The six of them crowded the outdoor hallway. A nearby cat hissed loudly at them before streaking away. Twilight had stopped by Sunset’s apartment a few times before, but still hadn’t gotten used to its… charm. It always smelled like cigarettes and alcohol, and every time Twilight had come over, one of Sunset’s neighbors was in a screaming match, either with another person or with the television.

Rarity knocked on the door. “Sunset, dear, it’s us!” There was no response.

“Maybe she’s asleep,” Fluttershy said.

Rainbow produced a key from her pocket. “Well, only one way to find out.”

“But shouldn’t we let her rest?” Fluttershy fell silent at the glare Rainbow gave her.

“I didn’t spend half-an-hour in a car for nothing.” She stuck the key in the lock and twisted. The door swung open, revealing a dim apartment kitchen.

Everyone filed in, with Fluttershy taking up the rear, muttering, “It wasn’t half-an-hour.”

Aside from the half-eaten bowl of ramen next to the sink, Sunset’s apartment was tidy and clean. Twilight knocked on her room door. This time there was a response, a weak groan and a shuffle of bed sheets. Twilight opened the door to find Sunset’s room completely dark, all of the blinds closed.

“Hey, Sunny, how ya feeling?” Pinkie asked in her chipper voice.

The lump under the blankets that Twilight assumed could only be Sunset groaned again.

Pinkie smiled sympathetically. “That bad, huh? Don’t worry, we’re here to nurse you back to health!”

Rainbow ruffled through a bag of chips she had swiped from the kitchen. “Are you sure you’re not just PMSing?”

“I already did that this month,” Sunset groaned. “And stop eating my food!” Her scratchy voice faded into quiet coughs.

Twilight crept around to the side of the bed and leaned over. “Sunset, if you don’t mind me asking, what are your symptoms? It’ll be easier for us to help if we know what’s wrong.”

Sunset poked her head from her cocoon. Her hair was a wild mess—crimson and gold locks flying everywhere. Her eyes were pink and filled with sleep dust, and a fine sheen of sweat coated her face. Still, she smiled when she saw Twilight, and croaked, “I like your hair.”

Twilight reached for her braid and gave it a gentle tug. “Thanks. Rarity made it for me.”

Sunset nodded, then buried herself back in her blankets. “I’m just super tired.” She sounded like she was choking on gravel. “My body feels all heavy and I’m freezing. And really thirsty. Actually, could one of you get me some water, please?”

“Sure thing, sugarcube.” Applejack ducked into the kitchen.

Twilight tapped a finger against her chin. “Do you feel nauseous at all?”

The blankets rustled. “No. But I’m not really hungry either.”

“Hmm, well, I think we can rule out the common cold and probably the flu. You were fine yesterday though. What did you do after you dropped me off?”

Sunset waited until Applejack returned with the water. She sat up and swallowed the entire glass in one gulp, then crashed against her pillow again. “Nothing. I came home and…” Her puffy eyes widened. “Right, there was the bat.”

“A bat?” Fluttershy asked.

“In the shoe box.” Sunset shrugged an arm toward the desk. “There was a bat in my bag and it decided to snack on me.”

Fluttershy walked over to the shoe box and opened it up. She knitted her brows in disappointment. “There’s no bat here.”

Sunset squeezed her eyes shut. “Crap. Oh well, whatever. As long as it’s gone.”

Fluttershy continued to examine the box with intrigued eyes. “Bats don’t normally migrate in this direction. How did it get in your bag?”

Sunset pulled the blanket over herself again. “Beats me.”

Twilight nibbled on her knuckle. Perhaps this was a lot more serious than they thought. “Sunset, you've had your rabies shot, right?”

“Do they have medicine like that in Equestria?” Rainbow asked, still eating Sunset’s chips.

Sunset sighed in irritation. “Yes, they do. And yes, I have. So I doubt it’s rabies.”

“It does usually take longer than a day for rabies symptoms to kick in,” Twilight reasoned. “Still, maybe you should go see a doctor.”


Rarity placed her hands on her hips. “‘No’? What do you mean ‘no’?”

“Not going to a doctor,” Sunset grunted. “I’m fine.”

“Sunset, you got bit by a wild animal and now you’re sick—be reasonable!”

A hand snaked out from beneath the sheets and pointed to the curled mass that was the rest of the body. “In case you forgot, I’m not from here. I don’t have any medical records or anything like that. Besides, I’m not dying, I’m just a little sick.”

Pinkie snorted. “Hey, if you got bit by a bat, maybe you’re turning into a vampire!”

There was a pause. The hand pointed to Pinkie. “Vampires don’t exist.”

“Said the magical pony girl,” Rainbow retorted, folding her arms.

“...Touché. They don’t exist here.”

Twilight rested a hand on what she thought was Sunset’s shoulder. “Please, Sunset, we’re just concerned. We don’t want anything to happen to you.”

Sunset fidgeted. “Ahem, I appreciate that—I really do. But I’ll be fine… also, Twi… that’s my boob.”

Twilight’s face turned scarlet, and she jumped back, crashing into a laughing Rainbow and sending them both to the floor. Rainbow kept laughing.

Applejack shook her head. “Sunset, that seems bullheaded, and that’s comin’ from me.”

There was a long sigh. “If it gets any worse, I’ll go see a doctor or something. But I’m sure some rest is all I need. And some more water, please. I’m dying of thirst.”

“All right, fine, have it your way.” Applejack snatched the cup and went back to the kitchen.

Twilight stood near the door, twisting her fingers through her hair, her face still red. “Is there anything else we can do for you? Maybe make some soup or get some medicine?”

“Not hungry. And I already took something today. Should knock me out again soon.”

Applejack returned with the water, and once again Sunset burst from her soft hovel to down it in one go, then hid away again. She smacked her lips and groaned.

Fluttershy turned toward the door. “Maybe we should let her get back to resting.”

Rarity pursed her lips. “Very well. But if anything gets worse, you call us immediately, understand?”

“Mmhmm.” Sunset’s hand waved them out. “I’ll… I’ll be fine, guys. Just… need some… sleep.”

Twilight sighed and followed her friends out the door, Sunset’s light snores filling the void left behind. She supposed being a creature from a parallel dimension was a fair reason to be hesitant on entering any government-run facility, but Sunset’s health was on the line.

“I hope she’ll be okay,” Twilight whispered.

Rarity rested a hand on her shoulder. “Well, she does have magic flowing through her. I think she’ll be fine.” They exited Sunset’s apartment, just in time to hear the beginnings of another screaming rant from one of her neighbors.

Fluttershy shut the door and locked it before handing the key to Rainbow. “I wonder where that bat went...”



Sunset twisted under her sheets again. It had to be zero degrees because she was freezing. Ice flowed through her veins instead of blood. Her body was still too tired to get up and turn the heater on. Instead, she tried to snuggle deeper within her blankets.

So thirsty.

It was more than a thirst. It was a hunger. Insatiable. But it wasn’t for anything solid. She wanted something wet and warm and rich to slide down her throat. Water could not quench the dryness she suffered through. Every time she swallowed, it was akin to getting a lump of sand down.

Sunset pressed a hand against her neck, rubbing the bite mark. She really hoped it was just a bad case of the flu. She counted herself lucky she hadn’t thrown up yet.


She needed to do it. She needed to find something to drink—something to feed on. She didn’t care who or what—the hunger was driving her crazy!

Sunset rolled over again. Feed on what exactly? What was there to eat that would satisfy her? More important, could she even get anything down? Her mind grew hazy again, the medicine taking hold. It would help her sleep off this sickness, then she could eat in the morning.

No! Feed. Now!

That word kept flickering through Sunset’s consciousness as she blacked out. She ran her tongue through the dry desert of her mouth. The thirst was antagonizing, but she was too tired to move. But she needed to drink something. She needed to feed. She needed…


Sunset flew over a sleeping Canterlot, tucked under the blanket of night. Crickets serenaded the quiet suburbs, illuminated by the scattered light poles and the pale, waxing moon. Sunset landed on the roof of a house. They all looked the same to her. Marginal differences were the only reason she didn’t get lost.

She jumped to the next house, completely silent. She could smell food. Someone wandering outside, alone. Their blood was quite rich. Yes, they would do nicely for her first prey.

Sunset jumped again, gliding just over the rooftops. She came to the edge of suburbia, drawing close to the forest. At the last house was a lean man, hoisting a large bag of garbage over his shoulder. Sunset ran her tongue over her fangs, salivating at the aroma of blood.

The man dropped the bag into the can and wiped his hands together. As he turned to go inside, Sunset jumped from the rooftop and landed on the street behind him without a sound. She checked one last time to make sure the coast was clear.

She opened her mouth, her fangs extending to their maximum length. The man neared the side gate of the house. He would never reach the latch.

“Food at last,” Sunset hissed before she pounced.