• Published 3rd Oct 2015
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Finding Home - Krickis



Sunset Shimmer returns to Equestria only to find that returning home is different than finding one.

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3 – Mixed Feelings

Chapter Three

Mixed Feelings

It was getting harder to remember why this had ever felt like a good idea. Sunset had spent the better part of an hour cleaning Twilight’s room, and was finally placing the last pillow on the newly made bed. It had been tempting to just throw all the clothes in the closet and be done with it, but while Twilight would be in no position to complain, Fluttershy still needed to believe Twilight was the one who had planned everything. Even if they’d only been living together for a few days, it was pretty obvious the perfectionist would never throw her clothes in a pile in the closet. Just all over the bed, and the floor, and the tables, and… actually, maybe it wouldn’t be so unbelievable after all.

‘Oh well. It’s done anyway.’ Sunset looked around the room for anything she might have missed, but it was spotless. Thankfully, Twilight actually did keep it pretty clean, so it was mostly a matter of cleaning up the mess they had made earlier. ‘Now onto the fun part.’

After a quick trip to her room to grab the saddlebags Rarity had made for her, she walked downstairs. Unfortunately, she’d have to spend some of the money Twilight had loaned to her, which she hated doing. At least she was spending it on something for Twilight and Fluttershy.

“Hey, Sunset. Heading out?” Spike asked as she reached the bottom of the stairs. He was lounging around, reading one of his comic books.

Sunset gave him a nonplussed look. “Yeah, I’ve got some shopping to do. You’ve been scarce today.”

Spike grinned. “Yeah, you learn to get out of the way when Twilight gets in her moods.”

“Yeah, and leave me to deal with her! Three hours, Spike. I spent three hours helping her pick out a dress.” She pointed a hoof at him accusingly before dramatically throwing it into the air. “Why does she have so many fucking clothes anyway? She’s always naked!”

“Sorry about that… I guess I could’ve given you a warning…” Spike said. He set down his comic and folded his claws guiltily.

“Yeah, you think?” Sunset shook her head. It was good that she supported her friend, she reminded herself.

“Uhm, what does ‘fucking’ mean?” Spike asked.

Sunset snorted. “Don’t worry about that. Human swear word.”

“Oh, okay,” Spike said, although if Sunset knew anything about kids his age, he was already planning on adding the foreign swear to his everyday use. She briefly considered telling him not to, but decided she really didn’t care so long as he had enough common sense not to say it in front of Twilight. “Well, let me make it up to you. I can go with you and show you where all the shops are.”

“Well…” Spike would be a big help navigating Ponyville. She planned on going to the Carousel Boutique to ask Rarity where the best stores were for what she wanted, but she wasn’t actually sure if she could find it on her own. “Wait, how old are you again?”

Spike almost answered then narrowed his eyes. “Old enough. Why?”

“Because I have to pick up some adult things,” Sunset said.

Spike rolled his eyes. “I’m not a little kid. I can show you where the liquor store is.”

Sunset opened her mouth and closed it. She hadn’t planned on buying alcohol, but now that he mentioned it… “Actually that would be nice to know. But that’s not what I meant.”

“So then what are you getting?” Spike asked innocently.

While she certainly didn’t expect him to know too much about anything sexual, she would have thought he’d at least catch on to the general idea of what she was talking about. He must be even younger than she thought; it was making her feel kind of guilty for even bringing it up at all. “Okay, really though, how old are you? Seven? Eight?”

Spike folded his arms and frowned. “I’m twelve. What about you? You were in high school a few years ago, so you can’t be that much older than me.”

Sunset narrowed her eyes. “I’m old enough.”

“Whatever. Have fun getting lost, and looking for the stores on your own.” Spike picked his comic back up.

Sunset sighed. She didn’t really have a choice, unless she wanted her big surprise to amount to cleaning Twilight’s room. “Oh well, I never claimed to be a good influence. It’s not like any of it’s really bad anyway.”

“So where are we going?” Spike asked, jumping out of his chair, leaving his comic forgotten.

“Well, I need candles, flowers, some bath stuff, and chocolate strawberries. Probably some champagne too.”

Spike looked at her incredulously. “Besides the champagne, how is any of that adult stuff?”

“It’s all for setting the… you know what, if you don’t know I’m not gonna be the one to tell you.” Sunset realized she probably wouldn’t have any trouble passing all this off as just some girly stuff she wanted. She made a mental note to pay more attention to what she said around kids in the future.

“You know, we already have a bunch of candles,” Spike said.

“Yeah, but they all smell like wax. I want to get some scented candles.”

Spike shrugged. “Okay. I guess we should get those and the bath stuff first since everything else is fragile.”

“Good thinking,” Sunset said.

The two set off into Ponyville. Sunset kept them moving quick, trying her best to get them home before Twilight and Fluttershy.

Although she’d spent some time with Spike before, she had never really spent any one-on-one time with him. She was always nervous around kids, which was another great reason to hurry their shopping along.

At least it was easy to move through the list quickly. It seemed Spike knew every store in Ponyville, and he never bothered to ask what Sunset was planning on doing with any of their purchases. He was probably used to Twilight not filling him in on why they needed any of the stuff they bought.

Eventually they came to their final stop, a candy store where they’d pick up the chocolate covered strawberries. “I was expecting Sugarcube Corner, honestly,” Sunset said. Not that she minded. Running into Pinkie would be sure to delay them, and they didn’t have long if she wanted time to set everything up.

“They usually do baked goods,” Spike said. “Trust me, this is the best candy store in town.”

“Huh. Back in the human world it’s more a general sweets and coffee shop,” Sunset mused. The little differences between the two worlds took a lot to get used to. She had been prepared for most of the big ones, but every day she found something was different that she’d never even noticed before. It made her a little homesick.

A bell chimed as they walked in and a pale yellow mare greeted them. “Hey, Spike, how’s it going?”

“Hi, Bon Bon. Got any chocolate covered strawberries?” Spike asked, though his eyes wandered elsewhere.

“I can probably help you with that,” Bon Bon said. She disappeared into a back room and Sunset took a look around. This was definitely a better choice than Sugarcube Corner. Every candy she could imagine lined the walls, not to mention many she couldn’t recognize. When Bon Bon returned she brought a box of strawberries with her. “How many would you like?”

“I dunno. You want some?” Sunset asked Spike.

“Nah, not really my thing,” he said.

“Me either. So maybe a dozen?” Sunset said.

“You got it.” Bon Bon brought the strawberries to a stove where she melted chocolate and dipped the berries.

“Wow,” Sunset said, “talk about fresh.”

“That’s because I’m the best candy maker around. So are you new in town?”

“Yeah. My name’s Sunset Shimmer. I’m staying with Twilight.”

Sunset noticed a slight change in the expression on Bon Bon’s face. Her smile grew a bit wider, but Sunset didn’t like the look of it. “You don’t say. You two must be close if it’s not Princess Twilight. So, how do you two know each other?”

“We’re friends. We were… pen pals until recently.” Sunset was trying to be careful and watch what she said. She got the feeling anything she told this mare was likely to wind up being spread around town. She already regretted using her name.

“Oh, from the Unity program,” Bon Bon said. Sunset had forgotten that ‘pen pals’ was a term used in Twilight and Fluttershy’s charity organization. Ponies who needed support for whatever rough times they were going through could keep in touch with their ‘pen pals’ using journals based on the one Sunset and Twilight used. “My marefriend and I had a pen pal. You do get to know each other quite well.”

“Yeah, that’s definitely true,” Sunset said. She caught what Bon Bon was implying and decided to play the same game back. “It’s nice that you and your marefriend did it together. I’m definitely glad I have both Twilight and Fluttershy as two of my closest friends.”

Bon Bon looked a little down at hearing Fluttershy was also Sunset’s friend, but persisted in her attempt to weasel some sort of gossip out of Sunset. “Of course. So are the strawberries for Princess Twilight then?”

Sunset didn’t allow her smile to falter even if Bon Bon was getting a little too close to the wrong idea. “What makes you say that?”

“Well, you said you and Spike don’t want any, and you and the princess are such good friends,” Bon Bon said as she drizzled white chocolate on top of the strawberries.

“You got me. Twilight and Fluttershy are such gracious hosts I wanted to give them something, and Fluttershy was just saying that she wanted some.”

Bon Bon’s smile made it clear she’d believe what she wanted to, but at least Sunset didn’t think anything she said would incriminate her. She walked up to the counter while Bon Bon boxed up the strawberries. Looking around, she noticed Spike was staring at something.

“What is that, rock candy?” Sunset asked, looking at the large blue shard Spike was staring wantingly at.

“In a very literal way,” Bon Bon said. She looked at it disdainfully. “I started practicing gemstone candy once Ponyville got a resident dragon. I ordered so much to get the bulk discount, but Princess Twilight barely comes here…”

“She says I eat too many sweets already,” Spike said, not taking his eyes off the treat. “Not my fault Pinkie always brings them over…”

“We’ll take it,” Sunset said. Spike jerked around to face her, wide-eyed and smiling. “And maybe I’ll stop by once in a while to buy more.”

“Really? Thank you!” Spike said. As Bon Bon boxed up the candy, he looked like he might start bouncing up and down at any moment. Sunset couldn’t help but smile at his excitement.

“No problem. But we’ve got to get going or they’ll be back before us.” Sunset paid while Spike grabbed the boxes and excitedly ran to the door. Sunset thanked Bon Bon, even though she wasn’t sure she really trusted the candy maker to not start rumors about her.

“Well, she was a treat,” Sunset said once they were far away enough from the candy store.

“She just likes to gossip, she’s harmless,” Spike said dismissively. Sunset suspected that as far as the little dragon was concerned, the difference between ‘nosey busybody’ and ‘harmless gossip’ was the ability to make gem based candy. “Besides, Lyra Heartstrings, her marefriend, is an old friend of Twilight’s. She usually keeps Bon Bon in check.”

Sunset shrugged. “Not like she got anything on me, unless she wants to start blatantly making things up.”

“Yeah.” Spike looked at the boxes and licked his lips. “Thanks again for the candy.”

“Don’t mention it.” Sunset smiled. “Like seriously, don’t. Last thing I need is an earful from Twi about giving you candy behind her back.”

Spike chuckled. “You got it.” He looked at the second box, filled with strawberries. “Are these really for Twilight and Fluttershy?”

“Yeah,” Sunset said. “All this stuff is for them, actually. Which is another thing you shouldn’t mention.”

“Sure, but… why not?”

“Well, you can tell Twilight. But Fluttershy’s supposed to think all this is from Twi, not me.”

If anything Spike looked more confused than before. “But why?”

“Because it’ll mean more coming from her than from me, and… look, do you really want to know what all this stuff is for?”

Spike shrugged. “I don’t know.” He did his best to look impassive, but overdid it and looked so disinterested it was obvious he was faking. Sunset arched an eyebrow and he cracked. “Okay, kind of.”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Sunset gave him a moment to back out if he wanted to, but he just looked at her expectantly. “For whatever reason, Twi’s going out of her way to make tonight special, so I wanted to make it special when they got home too. All this stuff will help set a romantic mood, if you catch my drift.” By the way he squirmed as she said it she guessed he did. She just grinned and rolled her eyes. “And while I’m happy to help their date finish well, that’s not normally something a friend does. So I’ll let Fluttershy think Twilight did it.”

Spike blushed a little and fidgeted, but all things considered didn’t seem as disturbed as Sunset expected. “So then why can Twilight know?”

Sunset chuckled. “Well, somepony’s got to be in on it. I doubt I could get them to both believe the other threw the surprise.”

“I guess that makes sense,” Spike said.

“Besides, if there’s one thing I know about Twilight, it’s that if a book isn’t telling her to do something, she isn’t going to do it,” Sunset said. Another was that Twilight was far too much of a prude to read those kinds of books, and probably was oblivious even to most basic tricks for setting the mood. On the other hoof, Fluttershy was surprisingly the more open one when it came to exploring her sexuality. She even used the journal to ask Sunset a few things, though she said she usually talked to Luna about stuff like that, with whom she had a similar journal that Twilight was less likely to see the entries of.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Spike said, his grin returning

Sunset was impressed. She expected him to be grossed out by the subject of his sister’s sex life, but it didn’t seem to bother him too much. “I’m kind of surprised how mature you’re being about this.”

Spike stood up as tall as he could, which was still a head shorter than Sunset. “Yup. That’s me. Mature.”

Sunset laughed. “Well, I guess I’ll have to cancel my plans for tonight. I figured we could give Twilight and Fluttershy some space and make ourselves a pillow fort downstairs.” Spike’s stance faltered, and Sunset went in for the kill. “With all the couches in the castle, we could probably build a pretty big one, multiple rooms and everything. But if you’re too mature for pillow forts, well…”

Spike suddenly seemed to remember his age and grinned excitedly. “Well, maybe I’m not that mature yet.”

Sunset smiled and shook her head. “I’m just messing with you. You can still be mature and like pillow forts. Actually… back when I was living with Morning Breeze, my ex, we used to make pillow forts sometimes.”

“You did?”

“Yup! You’re never too mature to have fun.”

Spike snickered. “Try telling Twilight that. All she does is read all day.”

“Ah, so reading’s only fun if there are pictures all over the place to help tell the story?” Sunset asked wryly.

“Hey, comics can tell serious stories too!”

“I never said they couldn’t,” Sunset said. “I read comics too.”

“Ever read the Power Ponies?” Spike asked.

Sunset shrugged. “Superheroes aren’t really my thing. Besides, I haven’t been back to Equestria in years, so I’m not exactly up to date on any comic right now.”

Bringing up comics might have been a mistake, as Spike wouldn’t talk about anything but his favorite heroes the rest of the way home. Still, there was something to be said about his enthusiasm.

“Any idea when they’ll be back?” Sunset asked once they were back in the castle.

“Probably pretty soon if they’re just eating dinner,” Spike said. His stomach grumbled. “Speaking of which, I’ll go get started on ours.”

“Thanks, Spike, but you don’t have to worry about me. I’m sure I can figure something out for myself.”

“It’s not a problem. Before Fluttershy was around I did all the cooking myself anyway.” Spike was already making his way toward the kitchen.

Sunset began walking up the stairs when Spike ran back out. “Sunset, wait. You do know Fluttershy doesn’t drink alcohol, right?”

“Really?” Sunset glanced at the bottle of champagne she had bought.

“Yeah, something to do with her dad, I guess,” Spike said.

Sunset knew exactly why, but she couldn’t help but be surprised. “I guess I assumed she did ‘cause the human Fluttershy does. Whatever, it’s not exactly romantic if only one pony’s drinking it, so I guess I’ll be keeping that bottle for me. Thanks for the heads up, that would have blown the whole thing.”

“You got it!” Spike ran back to the kitchen and Sunset made her way upstairs.

She was glad Spike was off doing something on his own. He might have been surprisingly okay with talking about the general subject, but she was happy to minimize his involvement to the shopping.

Since she and Spike were staying downstairs, Twilight and Fluttershy would have the upstairs all to themselves. Capitalizing on that fact, Sunset left a trail of rose petals at the top of the stairs leading into the bathroom, where she left the bath salt on the edge of the tub and a few well-placed candles around the room. From there, the rose petals led to the bedroom, where she left the strawberries on the bed and placed the rest of the candles. She’d just have to hope Twilight would notice and have the sense to use them when they got home. She stopped by her own room to drop off the champagne, then went back downstairs.

Sunset wasn’t a great cook when she had hands to work with and internet to lookup step-by-step directions, so she decided to leave Spike to handle that while she got started on their fort. She gathered every pillow and couch cushion she could find and brought them to a small room that she couldn’t actually figure out the purpose of. Within fifteen minutes it was too full to work in, so she brought the small mountain of cushions into the sitting room where she first met Twilight and Fluttershy’s friends. She stepped back and admired the sheer number of cushions they had to work with. ‘This is going to be glorious.’


“Spike! Sunset! We’re home!” Twilight called.

“Perfect timing,” Sunset said. She and Spike had just put the finishing touches on their fort, a word their collection of cushions certainly lived up to. It was almost as tall as the room, and Sunset had reinforced it with a few small enchantments so it was sturdy enough that she could stand on top of it without worrying about it collapsing. Nodding to Spike, she teleported to the door.

As she approached the foyer, she heard laughter. ‘Guess tonight’s gone pretty well so far,’ Sunset thought. She stepped into the hallway and stopped in her tracks, gasping at the appearance of the two mares. They were both covered in dirt and grass, not to mention their dresses were probably ruined. She almost wondered if they’d been attacked.

“Sunset!” Twilight said, beaming. “You won’t believe what happened!”

Fluttershy giggled and nuzzled Twilight. “Twily, we should get Spike too. We can tell them together.”

The couple looked into each other’s eyes and began laughing giddily again. Sunset just tilted her head to the side. “You two seem pretty happy, considering how you look.”

Both mares looked at themselves. “We, uhm, kind of fell,” Fluttershy said.

“Only because you jumped into me,” Twilight said, nuzzling her cheek.

“You were supposed to catch me,” Fluttershy said, wrapping a wing around her.

“I love you, Shy.”

“I love you too, Twily.”

Sunset took a step back. “Do… do you two need a minute?”

Fluttershy giggled and blushed. Twilight just smiled. “Sorry, we’re just… well, do you know where Spike is? We’d like to tell you together.”

“Yeah,” Sunset said. “Actually, we have something to show you too. Follow me.”

She led them to the living room where they stared in awe at the tower. By the time they turned to look at Sunset, she was already teleporting to the top.

“You foals! You fell right into our trap! Private Spike, unleash the swarm!” Sunset yelled, pointing down at the bewildered ponies.

“Yes ma’am, Commander Shimmer!” Spike popped out from the hiding spot they left for him and opened fire.

“Aah!” Twilight was soon lost under a barrage of origami animals.

“Did you two make all these? They’re really nice,” Fluttershy said, admiring the pile on top of her marefriend.

“Yes we did!” Sunset announced proudly. “Round two, fire!”

“Meep!” Fluttershy was soon buried as well.

Sunset stood victorious. “We’ve done it! We have vanquished the enemy! I hereby claim this castle in the name of Sunspike!”

She waited to hear Spike join in with her cheers, but it never came. After a moment, Fluttershy’s head popped out of one pile, but the other didn’t move. Sunset eyed it carefully and realized it was smaller than it should be.

Sunset spun around, but it was already too late. Twilight was behind her, Spike being held tight in one forearm.

“Sorry, Commander… she was too fast,” Spike said, then mimed his death.

“Damn it! How did you escape?” Sunset demanded.

Twilight set the immobile dragon down and grinned. “You never had me at all. While you were gloating, I timed a teleport spell to disappear as soon as you were distracted.”

“Monologuing! My one weakness…” Sunset fell to her knees. “Fine, you have me. Do your worst, Sparkle.”

Twilight walked over to Sunset. “Sunset Shimmer. You have infiltrated my home, stolen my pillows to build this atrocity, and caused the death of my lover and brother.”

“Uhm… I’m okay,” Fluttershy said.

Twilight stood at her full height and flared her wings out. “There is no fate I could give you that you would not deserve.” Sunset turned her head away, but nothing happened. When she looked back she saw Twilight holding her hoof out. “But I forgive you.”

Sunset smiled. “Twilight…” She reached out her hoof and took hold of Twilight’s. “You foal!” She threw Twilight over the edge, cackling madly.

“Aah!”

“I’ll save you!” Fluttershy dived for Twilight but only succeeded in getting crushed by the falling alicorn.

Sunset looked over the edge and facehoofed. “Twilight, you can fly!”

“I… forgot,” Twilight said as she got off Fluttershy and helped her up.

Sunset expected Fluttershy to be upset, but she just laughed it off. “Are you okay, Twily?”

“Yeah, are you? I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking…” Twilight said.

“I’m fine. I’m not hurt, and it’s nice to see you having fun.”

Sunset teleported herself and Spike to the others. “Sorry, I guess I kind of overdid it at the end there.”

“It’s fine,” Twilight said. “Now, if neither of you are going to attack us again, there’s something we’d like to tell you.”

Sunset and Spike exchanged glances. “What’s up?” Spike asked.

Twilight stood next to Fluttershy and put a wing over her. Fluttershy leaned her head against Twilight’s. “I asked Fluttershy to marry me. And she said yes!”

Sunset’s mind raced with so many fractions of thoughts and emotions that she couldn’t even fully form one, let alone say it out loud.

Thankfully, Spike didn’t seem to have that problem. “That’s fantastic!” he said as he ran up to hug the couple.

Sunset finally brought her emotions into control. “Yeah! Absolutely, that’s amazing! I’m so happy for you two.”

“Thank you,” Twilight said, smiling from ear to ear.

“Alright, so I want to know what happened,” Sunset said. “Tell me she didn’t do it in the restaurant. She’s not that boring, is she?”

Fluttershy giggled. “No, she was very romantic. She took me to where she first told me that she loved me.”

Twilight and Fluttershy told the story together. Sunset was again amazed at the effect Twilight had on Fluttershy, as she was just as enthusiastic in speaking as Twilight was.

“Wow, I still can’t believe it,” Sunset said, leaning against the wall of pillows. “Never mind, I can totally believe it. It’s like you two were just made for each other. Oh! Are you gonna try to have the wedding on your anniversary?”

“Well, we haven’t talked about a date yet,” Fluttershy said.

“I don’t think our anniversary would work out too well though. It’s only two moons away, and I don’t want to rush this.” Twilight smiled and leaned against Fluttershy. “Our wedding is going to be perfect.”

“Yeah, that would be pretty short notice. A royal wedding’s sure to have a big turn out, after all.” Sunset grinned as an idea occurred to her. “But it would be pretty great if you just sprung it on everyone. Imagine the press trying to figure out what was going on, and you two would be unavailable for comment ‘cause you’d be on your honeymoon.”

Fluttershy giggled. “Where do you think we should go for our honeymoon?”

“I don’t know,” Twilight said. “To be honest, I barely thought of anything past ‘will you marry me?’”

“Well, I think you should figure that out later. Just take it easy for tonight.” Sunset smiled. “And then when you are thinking about it, I think that you should go to Las Pegasus. And bring me. I won’t even be in your way! Just leave me at the biggest casino and by the end of the night, I’ll be rich enough to land in some lucky pony’s hotel room.”

Twilight laughed. “Or drunk enough to land in the street when you lose all your bits.”

Sunset crossed her forelegs. “While that is a distinct possibility, I prefer to remain optimistic,” she said. “But you’ll note that I still wouldn’t be in your way if I’m passed out on the street.”

“Oh, I couldn’t bear to think of you like that,” Fluttershy said. “I’m sorry Sunset, but we’ll just have to leave you here where it’s safe.”

Sunset tried to snap before remembering she didn’t have fingers. “Well, you can’t blame me for trying. Now I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you two should probably get washed up. You both look pretty, uh, disheveled.”

“You’re right,” Twilight said sheepishly. The couple said their goodnights and made their way upstairs. Sunset sat in a daze watching even after they were gone.

“Well, I guess now we know why Twilight was making such a big deal about tonight,” Spike said.

“Yeah,” Sunset muttered quietly. Eventually she shook her head and smiled. “So, excited for the wedding?”

“Yeah! It’s gonna be great, and this time I’ll definitely get the bachelorette party right,” Spike said confidently.

There were several questions running through Sunset’s head. It took her a moment to pick one. “Okay, first off, this time? When have you ever had anything to do with a bachelorette party?”

“Well, last time it was a bachelor party. I threw one for Shining Armor when he married Cadance.”

“Shining Armor let you throw his bachelor party?” Sunset tried to imagine what that must have been like. Between the groom, the guests, and Spike, someone must have been really disappointed.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t he?” Spike asked, giving her the same innocent look he did when she first mentioned her shopping trip.

“No reason. Anyway, what do you mean you’ll get it right this time?”

Spike scratched at the back of his neck. “Well… I kind of didn’t realize the bachelor party was supposed to be before the wedding.”

Sunset didn’t even try to hold back her laughter, which she felt guilty about when she saw how embarrassed he looked. “Alright, so then what happened?”

“He still let me throw the party. Uhm… after their honeymoon…”

Sunset decided to let him down easy. “Well, if you did throw a bachelorette party, I’m sure things would go much better. But the thing is, those parties are usually thrown by somepony the same gender as the betrothed. They’ll probably have Pinkie Pie or Rarity throw the parties.”

“Oh… Okay.”

Spike looked so disheartened that Sunset couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. “Tell you what, I never really cared about traditions and stuff, so if I ever get married then you can throw my bachelorette party.” Not that Sunset ever planned on getting married, but she left that part unsaid.

Spike rolled his eyes, but didn’t look quite so down. “Alright, but I’ll hold you to that.” He looked over at the pile of origami. “I guess we should clean all this up, huh?”

“Probably. You want to leave it for tomorrow?”

“Definitely.” Spike ran back into their fort, with Sunset following close behind.

The rest of their evening was spent eating junk food and reading comics. While she wasn’t thrilled with The Power Ponies, Sunset did wind up enjoying some of Spike’s other comics.

Eventually, Sunset found herself reading issue fifteen of Flashfire with Spike curled up at her side, asleep. The little dragon was snoring, but Sunset still found him oddly adorable. Fluttershy had once told her that their whole group kind of saw Spike as a little brother, and Sunset could see why. Although, to be fair, she was probably more like the cool babysitter than an older sister so far.

With Spike asleep, Sunset found the comic much less distracting, and by the time she finished reading it she didn’t bother getting the next one. ‘They’re getting married. They’re getting married and I’ll never have a chance to be with… Sunset stood up and shook her head. She felt horrible for even thinking something like that. Twilight and Fluttershy were her friends and she was happy for them. They deserved each other; everypony could see how much they loved one another. Even if it weren’t for the wedding, she would never do anything to get between them.

Sunset walked out of the fort and made for the kitchen. She got herself a glass of water and sat at the table, eyeing the wine rack. Unfortunately, all the bottles were sealed, leaving no easy way of getting any unnoticed. She thought about the champagne, but she didn’t want to pass by their room at the moment. She wondered how late the bars in Ponyville were open, but that would mean spending Twilight’s money so she could drink away her feelings about Twilight’s wedding. ‘I’ve got to get out of here.’

Since sleep was out of the question and it wasn’t likely she was going to get drunk, she decided to just go for a walk. She could easily find the castle from anywhere in Ponyville, after all. She got as far as the front door before she was stopped by a soft voice.

“Sunset?”

She turned to see Fluttershy at the stairs. “Hey, Fluttershy. Too excited to sleep?”

“Something like that,” Fluttershy said, but even in the dim light Sunset could see her blush. After the big announcement Sunset had completely forgotten about the surprise upstairs.

She grinned, happy to have something other than the wedding to focus on. “Hmm, that blush says otherwise. I’m guessing a little celebration was in order?”

Fluttershy blushed more, which Sunset couldn’t help but enjoy. The shy pegasus averted her eyes. “Maybe a little.” She started laughing and smiled despite her embarrassment. “Okay, a lot of celebrating.”

“Naturally. Taking a little break then?” Sunset winked.

Fluttershy still didn’t face Sunset, but she also didn’t retreat into her mane like Sunset expected. Instead she just twirled a strand of it idly around her hoof. “Well, Twily fell asleep.”

“Ah, so you got her all worn out already? Go, Fluttershy!” Sunset said. She managed to remember herself before she tried to give a thumbs up.

Fluttershy walked over to her. “I tried sleeping too, but I just couldn’t. Usually I’m asleep before her, but I’m just not tired tonight. I guess I’m too excited after all.”

“I’ll bet. You nervous at all?” Sunset asked.

Fluttershy shook her head and looked up, finally meeting Sunset’s eyes and smiling serenely. “I’m so happy. I never knew I could be this happy. I can’t believe she wants to stay with me forever, and there’s no other pony I’d rather be with.”

“You’re both really lucky. I’m not surprised Twilight would want to be with you at all.” Sunset placed a hoof on her shoulder. “You’re pretty amazing too, Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy blushed again, though not as much. “Thanks, Sunset. So what are you doing up?”

“Aw, I’m just kind of a night owl. I was thinking about taking a walk. You know, see Ponyville by moonlight.”

“Would you mind if I come with you?” Fluttershy asked. “I think a walk in the night air sounds nice.”

“That’s fine with me,” Sunset said, opening the door while Fluttershy stepped through. She began walking, and Sunset wasn’t sure if she was walking aimlessly or had somewhere specific in mind, but followed either way.

“It’s so lovely at night,” Fluttershy said, staring up at the stars.

“I forgot how clear the sky is here. The stars are all so bright.” Sunset was briefly mesmerized by the sight. Small moments reminded her of all the things she had missed about Equestria, and yet even though she was right where she was supposed to be, she still felt the same feeling she did whenever she thought about the things she missed from Earth.

“What’s the sky like in the human world?” Fluttershy asked.

“Some places are kind of like this, in the country where there aren’t any buildings. There are too many lights in the city, it blocks out the stars.”

“Really?” Fluttershy asked. “I love the night sky. I can’t imagine not being able to admire it.”

“Nowhere compares to the sky in Equestria though. There’s just something… magical about it.” Whenever she would look at the sky in the human world she found it amazing because it was so vast and she knew space was so empty. Here it seemed even bigger, but she didn’t feel like it was empty at all. She felt almost like she could be part of it.

Fluttershy smiled as she looked back towards the road. “I think it’s been even more beautiful since Luna came back.”

Sunset couldn’t tell. This sky was undeniably the most beautiful one she could remember, but she couldn’t tell if that was because she’d never seen a better one, or because it had been so long since she’d seen an Equestrian sky at night that she could only compare it to the human one. “It’s strange how much has changed since I’ve been gone. When I left there were only two princesses, Celestia and Cadance. I never thought I’d be alive to see Luna return.”

“I never even knew Princess Celestia had a sister,” Fluttershy said. “I don’t know if Twilight and I would have made it without Luna; she helped us through some of our worst times. She really knows a lot about relationships.”

Sunset tilted her head. “I’d have thought Cadance would be the go-to princess for that type of thing. Princess of Love and all that.”

“Oh, Cadance is great too, but I feel a little weird talking to Twilight’s sister-in-law about us. And, uhm, there are some things I’d just rather not talk about with Twilight’s family.” Fluttershy’s blush made it apparent what type of things she meant.

“For whatever it’s worth, I like to think I know a thing or two about sex too. I’m happy to help if you ever want advice from somepony else.”

“Oh, uhm…” Fluttershy blushed deeper and grinned. “I’ll… keep it in mind. Anyway, I think you and Luna will be good friends when you meet.”

Sunset quietly watched the houses as they passed. Most had their lights out as the town slept. After a while she sighed. “I might meet her sooner than I thought I would. I’m going back to Canterlot.”

Fluttershy stopped walking and frowned. “Already? Why?” Her eyes widened. “Is it because of the engagement?”

“Yeah, I –”

“Sunset, you don’t have to go anywhere! You only just got here, and we both love having you around. Just because we’re getting married doesn’t mean you have to move out.”

Sunset chuckled. “It’s not like that, and I didn’t say I was moving there. Trust me, staying in Canterlot is the last thing I want to do.” Sunset put a foreleg around Fluttershy’s shoulders. “But there is an important wedding coming up, in case you didn’t know. That means some ponies from Canterlot might be coming to make arrangements – probably even Celestia herself. I want to meet her on my terms, not because she pops in for a visit.”

“Oh.” Fluttershy looked a little embarrassed at her outbreak. “But I don’t think that many ponies will be coming. For the wedding of course, but why would ponies from Canterlot come before then?”

Sunset rolled her eyes. She wasn’t really too surprised that Fluttershy hadn’t realized yet. It was one of the things she admired about her after all; unlike Sunset, Fluttershy was always content with what she had. “Well there is going to be a fifth princess, you know.”

Fluttershy’s eyes went wide and her mouth started moving without saying anything. Eventually she let out a nervous chuckle. “Sunset, just because Twilight is a princess doesn’t mean I’ll be one.”

“Uh huh. Is Shining Armor a prince?”

“Well… yes, but…” Fluttershy looked like she might faint. “No, oh no…”

“Okay, take it easy. Here let’s sit down a second.” Sunset led her off the road where they could sit in the grass. “You okay?”

Once they were sitting down, Fluttershy seemed a little better. “Yes. I think.” She shook her head. “I don’t know. Sunset, what am I going to do? I never wanted to be a princess! Everypony’s going to expect me to be somepony special and I’m just going to let them down…”

Sunset smiled and nudged her. “Fluttershy, you’re already somepony special. You’re the Element of Kindness, and more importantly, you’re the embodiment of it. Even without the title, you’re the type of pony to look up to.”

Fluttershy stared at her hooves. “All I do is hide behind Twilight. Ponies look up to her, not me.”

“That’s not true,” Sunset said. Fluttershy looked at her pleadingly, eager for some kind of reassurance. “Whose idea was it to make the journals for Unity?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “That wasn’t anything special. Anypony would have done it, I’m just the one who thought of it first.”

“Twilight told me you were the one who insisted you two visit every town in Equestria and meet everypony that wanted to meet you.”

“I just… I didn’t want anypony to feel alone.”

“Exactly! That’s what makes you so special.” Sunset blushed a little. “That’s why I look up to you.”

“You… you do?” Fluttershy looked at her in disbelief.

“Yes, Fluttershy. You care about everyone, whether or not you’ve even met them. You go out of your way to help everypony and never expect anything in return. Ponies already look up to you. You’re going to be a great princess.”

“Do… do you think anypony will expect me to do anything huge?” Fluttershy asked.

“Not really. Actually, you have the best of both worlds. When a pony marries into royalty, nopony actually expects them to do anything, aside from a few public appearances. But at the same time, you will be a princesses, so you’ll have a lot of power to do a lot of things to help other ponies, but only if you want to.”

Fluttershy nodded and stood up. She still looked worried, but at least she looked like she was steadier on her hooves. “Uhm, would you mind if we went back to the castle?”

“Of course not.” Sunset stood and walked side by side with her. “You know, there have been a lot of ponies who married into royalty. I could tell you about them, if you want. Or you could ask Twilight if you’re ever in the mood for a four-hour lecture. Actually, next time you feel too awake for bed, that’s probably not a bad way to get to sleep.”

Fluttershy chuckled. Seeing her look a little better brought a smile to Sunset’s face. “Uhm… I’d like to hear about some of them, if you don’t mind.”

“No problem. You know, I actually used to tell Equestrian history stories to the other Fluttershy all the time. I promise I’ll stick to the interesting stuff.”

As they walked back under the starlight, Sunset told her about the different princes and princesses that married into royalty. She talked about ones that didn’t do anything with their title, just to show Fluttershy it was an option, but mostly she talked about the ones who used their newfound authority to help Equestria grow into something better. With each story she could see Fluttershy grow a little more confident.

By the time they reached the castle, it seemed the worst was behind them. “Sunset?” Fluttershy said as they reached the stairs and were about to part ways for the night.

“Yeah?”

“Promise you won’t stay in Canterlot for too long?”

Sunset smiled and blushed a little. “Yeah, I promise. I’ll be back before you know it.”

Fluttershy smiled and hugged her. “Good night, Sunset.”

“Good night, Shy.” Sunset shook her head. “Fluttershy. Good night, Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy looked at her quizzically. “You know you can call me Shy if you want.”

“Uh, yeah. Well anyway, good night.”

Fluttershy chuckled and walked upstairs. Sunset walked back to the couch fort where she found Spike still sleeping peacefully. She was about to lie down when she noticed issue sixteen of Flashfire. ‘Just one more.’

Sunset levitated the book over, letting the dim light from her horn illuminate the pages as she read.

Author's Note:

This is the very first piece of Who We Become artwork Pasu-chan did! Some time after drawing this version she went back and colored it, which can be seen here. The colored version is seriously great, and I recommend checking it out, but with this being the first WWB I like keeping the original version here. Plus the black and white looks good with text :applejackunsure:

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