• Published 11th Oct 2015
  • 24,700 Views, 335 Comments

Finding Home - Cirrus Sky



Sunset Shimmer has to live somewhere right? But where and how did she get there?

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Chapter 1: After the Games

With the Friendship Games over, it was time for the students to go home. The Crystal Prep group were making their way to the buses and outside the school grounds the parents of Canterlot High students were gathering.

A group of six girls stood together to say farewell-for-now to their newest friend. “Bye Twi'Twi'! Come back real soon okay?” Pinkie bounced on her heels, holding tight to the girl's hand.

“Don't worry. I've expedited the transfer process. Twilight will be a Canterlot High Wondercolt within the week.” Dean Cadence said, she had her hand resting on Twilight's shoulder. She smiled at the small cheer the group of girls gave. “Now, we have to get on the bus back to Crystal Prep or all the students will be late home.”

“Bye Twilight. We'll see you soon.” Sunset said. Everyone waved as she walked away with Cadence. Before they got too far though, the indigo haired girl span around.

“Thank you Sunset. I, I don't think I've said that yet. So, Thank You.” She smiled shyly and adjusted her glasses.

“You're welcome Twilight.” Sunset smiled and felt a warmth inside her. It grew when her friends all gathered around to share a hug. Twilight carried on to the buses with Dean Cadence, the girls waved until she was out of sight.

“I'm glad she and Spike will be at school with us soon.” Fluttershy said. “She seemed so sad, all alone even after winning for her school.”

“And you were kind to her, all of you were.” Sunset hugged her friends back. “I'm so happy to have such great friends like you and we'll show Twilight how great having friends is too.”

“Yeah we will.” Rainbow grinned. “Do you think she sings as well as Princess Twilight? I can't wait to ask her to join the Rainbooms. Our band can only get more awesome.”

“Quite possibly.” Rarity said, “Oh, I can't wait to get some measurements from her, another person to design for with such a lovely skin-tone and cute glasses to work with!”

“Y' really do focus on clothes don't yah?” Applejack laughed. She couldn't say much else as running feet and a smaller figure jumping her interrupted.

“AJ, Mac says we're goin' for ice cream! Come on!” Apple Bloom had arrived. “We're goin' to the fancy parlour in town! Hurry, hurry. Ice cream!” She was hopping from foot to foot, clearly excited.

“Alright kiddo. Ah'm coming.” Applejack grabbed her little sister's hand. “Bye girls. Ah'll see you sometime on the weekend?”

“Of course darling, have a nice evening.” Rarity said.

“We're still all going to have a picnic in the park.” Pinkie said, presenting her phone with the text conversation they'd arranged it in.
“Great. Ah'll see you all there.” Applejack left in the tow of her impatient sister.

“Thinking of, I had better go and find Sweetie, I promised mother and father I would take her to her glee club meeting at the rec centre.” Rarity looked around the crowds. “Goodbye darlings, see you all tomorrow.”


“Bye Rarity.” The remaining girls chorused. An alarm beeped on Fluttershy's phone.

“Oh my goodness! With all this excitement I forgot the kitty-cat meet and greet at the shelter!” The pink haired girl looked apologetic to her friends. “I had better get to the shelter now. I promised to help.”

“No worries 'Shy. You make sure Admiral Fluffball goes to a good home.” Rainbow gave her friend a hug and ushered her off.

“Admiral Fluffball?” Sunset sniggered when Fluttershy was on her way. Pinkie Pie grinned too, it was funny and a little adorable when Rainbow Dash showed a softer side.

“I helped 'Shy out a few times at the shelter and there is this one awesome Maine Coon.” Rainbow shrugged. “A cat like that needs the best name so he got one.”

“That's sweet of you Dash.” Sunset grinned.

“And it isn't as bad as naming a gazillion hamsters like Rarity did.” Pinkie giggled, Fluttershy had shared the funny story of the time Rarity had helped at the shelter with the group. They still teased the fashionista for being the queen of the hamsters.

A horn honked from the road. “Ooo Maude came to collect me!” Pinkie jumped and span around. “Byee girls! See you tomorrow!” She was gone in a blur of pink leaving Rainbow and Sunset.

“I'd better get going too.” Rainbow said, looking a little uneasy to be leaving her friend. “The field is all messed up, but me and Scoots were going to practice soccer in the park and then go to the ramps. She's got a new scooter stunt to show me.” Rainbow grinned. She'd signed up to the Big Sis/Little Sis programme and got on well with her fellow adrenaline junkie.

“That's great. You'll have to film it on your phone. Scootaloo can do some crazy things on that scooter of hers.” Sunset noticed Rainbow's unease.

“You cool for this evening?” Rainbow asked, looking around to see the now much quieter school grounds.

“Honestly? I think I am going to go right to bed. Between that math battle, motocross plant fighting and ascending to some kind of magical princess state to fight for the very fabric of reality, I am beat.” Sunset laughed. Listed like that made the day really sound utterly insane.

“Okay. Cool.” Rainbow said, still a hint of concern in her voice. She spotted Scootaloo headed towards them. “See you around then Pony-Girl.” She fist-bumped Sunset and ran to meet her young friend.

“I wish I could convince the girls not to worry.” Sunset said to herself, going to sit on the steps of the school. After the events of the day it was possible her ride home would be busy for quite a while. She took the journal from her bag and began to consider how to sum up the day for Princess Twilight. The earlier, unanswered, messages could really worry her if they were left without the positive conclusion the girls had achieved.

“Ah ha, there you are.” A familiar voice said from the doorway behind her. “You know, that was quite an eventful day.” Luna took a seat on the step beside Sunset.

“Hey Aunty Luna.” Having sat down Sunset had realised just how tired out she was. “Is Mom too busy to get home right now?” She leaned against the welcome shoulder next to her.

“'Tia is working on the transfer forms for Twilight. She sent me to take you home. After today you must surely want to retire to bed sooner rather than later.” Luna noticed the classic drooping signs of a tired out youngster.

“Yeah. After the mental workout with the math, all that mess with the plants and whatever it was with the magic? I'm tired.” Sunset yawned and felt an arm placed around her to help her up.

“Alright then. My car is in the staff parking lot, I'll get us home sooner than if we waited around for 'Tia.” Luna stood, helping Sunset up and guiding the tired teen away.

“Thanks aunty.” Sunset yawned again, glad that her adopted family was so considerate.

-*-

Their drive home was mostly silent. Luna was not the most talkative person and Sunset was too worn out to make conversation. Halfway home though, a text arrived on Sunset's phone. “Have a good rest Sunny. You did great today.” It was from Fluttershy. Ever since the Anon-o-miss incident, the kind animal lover had been determined to daily send an encouraging message to Sunset. She alone had realised just how much their decision to abandon Sunset had hurt the girl.

It still stung Sunset to think about, even if the events had catalysed some very positive changes in her life. The memory of her close friends immediately deciding that she had returned to her old ways, without even the benefit of the doubt, really hurt. After the true culprits had come forward, Rarity, Applejack and Rainbow had been too close to the girls to truly address the issue and Pinkie Pie was just too bubbly to focus on the bad of the past.

Though to be fair, her friends still worried for her, like Rainbow's unease as the last to leave Sunset at the end of the school day. An old argument surfaced in her thoughts. “I still wish I could tell my friends about you and Mom.” Sunset said, she had an inkling that Luna agreed with her. “They really do worry about how I am living, just telling them that I'm staying at your and Mom's place would be enough. I don't have to tell them anything more.”

Luna gave a gusty sigh. “Sunset you know that 'Tia wishes to keep the situation quiet. It is all to benefit you, she has your best interests at heart even if the secrecy is a little much.” She was still focused on the road, but if past conversation was anything to go by, Sunset was looking a mixture of doleful and rebellious.

“I hate seeing them so worried. I hate knowing that at any one time they could be feeling upset because of me.” Sunset fiddled with the faux leather of her jacket. “They care and I care. I'm not asking for sleepovers and parties. I just want to let them know I have a roof and running water.”

“I know Sunset. I know.” Luna sighed again. “I will speak with her again. After today the school will have much more to talk about than your living arrangements. Maybe she will finally agree to letting your friends know.” They reached the house and Luna parked up.

Out of the car, Sunset was smiling, a little tiredly but still bright. “Thanks Auntie Luna.” She gave the woman a hug. It was still something that slightly shocked her adopted aunt, but not in a bad way. “Now, I think I need to sleep before I fall over.” She laughed a little, broken by a yawn.

“Quite. We will wake you when it is time to eat.” Luna unlocked the house and gave the girl's shoulder a squeeze as she passed her. “Sleep well.”

“Uh huh.” Sunset mumbled, the last of her energy carrying her as far as bedroom. She managed to kick off her boots and shrug off her jacket before falling asleep on the bed.

-*-

Voices woke Sunset, it seemed there was a “heated debate” going on downstairs. “You have to understand 'Tia! As much of me as you see in her, we are not one and the same. She is upset about worrying her friends. Those girls would not cause issue if they knew.” Luna sounded frustrated.

“Lu, I don't want to risk it. I know she is not you, but that won't mean the same thing will not happen to her! You know as well as I just what happened before the holidays. They are her friends, yes, but they are also a group of teenagers. I don't...” Celestia sounded tense. “I can't risk losing her the same way I lost you.” There was a crack in her voice and Sunset got up in a hurry, finger-combing her hair as she made her way out of the room.

“You got me back though 'Tia. She's a strong kid, it won't happen.” Luna was embracing her sister when Sunset reached them.

“Mom? Is everything okay?” Sunset could see tears in her mother's eyes and Luna looked upset too.

“Yes... I'm okay Sunset. Don't worry.” Celestia sniffed and wiped her eyes. She and Luna parted.

“You know you are a terrible liar.” Sunset folded her arms. “And I'm going to worry.”

Luna gave a little snort of laughter. “See, that there is why I think she's like you 'Tia.” She pointed at her sister. “If 't'weren't for the fact I knew for sure, I'd say she was your daughter from birth.”

“You are a menace.” Celestia laughed too, cheered a little from whatever had upset her. “We'll talk after supper Sunset. Please don't worry.”

“Okay.” Sunset allowed, there was a nice smell coming from the dining room, in fact it could be her favourite. “I'm hungry anyway.” She grabbed her mother and aunt and guided them to the dining room to hurry up the start of supper.

“I picked up a dish of your favourite from the bistro in town.” Celestia said, the table was laid with some large serving dishes. “A few sides too. I thought we would all be too tired to dine out or cook.” The three of them took their seats.

“Thanks mom. It smells great!” Sunset lifted the lid of the largest dish to find potatoes gratin. “Yep, certainly my favourite!” The other dishes contained broccoli, green beans and roasted parsnip. The plates set out for Luna and Celestia did have some cold cuts of beef on them, but Sunset knew her family respected her vegetarianism, just as she respected that her mom and aunt ate meat.

She served herself a portion of each dish and dug in. once her mom and aunt had served themselves too.

Once all three had started their meals and taken the edge of their hunger, the conversation began. “I am very proud of what you did today Sunset. That score of yours was the closest we had ever come to beating Crystal Prep and then you turned back to help your competition during the motocross?” Celestia was smiling. “You really are an excellent person.”

“Thanks.” Sunset mumbled and blushed. It had taken some getting used to being loved like a daughter and she was still caught slightly off guard by such pride and affection from Celestia.

“What you did for Twilight too... Reaching out a hand in friendship to someone who was a threat to both of your homes? You saved that girl Sunny. Well done.” Celestia reached out and placed a hand over Sunset's.

“I wish I could have stopped her before it came to that though.” Sunset bowed her head, she knew exactly the pain that such a transformation wrought, had lived the guilt and self-loathing that came afterwards. “I yelled at her first. If I had just spoken kindly...”

“Cinch was the one who convinced her to unleash that power.” Luna butted in. “You should not feel at fault. The poor child was put under pressure by someone who should have been looking out for her.” She looked guilty a moment. “If I had not monopolised Cadence then maybe Twilight would have had a more kindly ear to turn to.”

“That Headmistress Cinch had a duty of care, a duty that she abandoned in pursuit of victory.” Celestia could see her family getting into a funk over the issue. “That is exactly why I sped up the transfer process to get Twilight into my school as quickly as possible. You and your friends will help her settle and overcome any... leftovers from the magic incident.”

“I know mom.” Sunset smiled again. “I'm looking forward to getting to know this Twilight.” A light blush coloured her cheeks, a little voice in her head was trilling on about the 'cute little scholarly girl in glasses'. If her aunt and mother noticed, they didn't pass comment.

-*-

Having eaten dinner and desert, Celestia asked the two to join her in the family room. Once they were sat comfortably she took a breath and looked to Sunset. “I understand that you want to let your friends know that you have comfortable living arrangements and a family.”

“Yes, I do. I know that they have been worrying, and now that I actually have someone looking out for me and a home to go to, it is harder to avoid the subject. Well, avoid it believably.” Sunset said, keeping an even tone. “It was easier when I was technically homeless, I was better practised at talking around the truth when I had to. Plus for the longest time no one cared anyway.” She settled into the comfy sofa, talking about her past situation always made her feel glad for her loving and warm present.

“Are you sure you want your fellow students to know that you have been adopted by their principal though? Having a teacher for a parent can be tough enough socially, let alone the principal. Adopted by the principal.” Celestia sounded a little strained, holding something back from Sunset.

“You love me even after everything I did and I love you like the mom I have wanted for so long.” Sunset said, emotion thickened her voice. “Why wouldn't I want everyone to know that you wanted me enough to take me in and adopt me? I'm so happy... I want my friends to know.” She was smiling but tears were streaking her face. Celestia too was crying.

“You have to understand though Sunset. The students might treat you differently and that difference is not always positive.” Celestia took Luna's hand. “It was very difficult for Luna.”

“What do you mean?” Sunset could see the pain on their faces. Celestia's was certainly for a past guilt but Luna looked like she was facing physical suffering.

“Our mother was the principal of our school. You know that she's currently head of some prestigious overseas academy, but when we were growing up she was a High School principal.” Celestia began.

“It took a while for anyone to figure it out.” Luna took up the story. There was an undertone to her voice that spoke of great sadness. “Mother worked under her maiden name and we didn't look enough alike for them to join the dots.”

“It got out eventually.” Celestia sighed. “It was easy enough for me to ride out the silly tattle and chatter. I was popular, in varsity sports, had high grades and was voted class president off hard work and friends. Nothing from my mother at all.”

“I wasn't so fortunate.” Luna had slid a little deeper into the couch, now she had her knees close and was hugging them. “I hadn't been very popular, not the sociable type and I dressed in the more alternative styles... I was also coming to terms with being attracted to other girls.”

“When we were in school that was completely unheard of and socially unacceptable.” Celestia said, knowing that it hurt her sister.

“I kept to myself and had a few unusual interests too, video games and fantasy books are fine for boys, but a girl just scares off any of the boys who like those sort of things.” Luna shrugged. “People already had spread rumours about 'too long looks' in the gym locker room and the nastier sorts muttered about school shootings.”

“That's terrible.” Sunset had her own fair share of nasty words and rumours. Most of them deserved. The picture Celestia had painted of her younger sister was a nice if quiet girl who didn't find friends easily. Not someone who deserved such cruel rumour to surround her.

“After it got out that my mother was the principal even my academic achievements were questioned.” Luna blinked, her stare had turned unfocused. “No one wanted anything to do with me, I might have “told tales on them”, reporting back to mother.”

“I didn't notice that Luna was suffering so much.” Celestia sounded full of guilt and regret. “When I found out she was finding it hard I wasn't exactly tactful in trying to help.” Her voice cracked. “It... It drove Lulu to such sadness...” Celestia was crying in earnest now.

“I did something. Something very poorly thought out.” Luna said softly, knowing well how much this had hurt her and her sister. “I took a lot of pills with a lot of alcohol and locked myself in my room.” She was crying too, tears dripping down her face. “'Tia managed to break in when e noticed the silence in my room. I woke up in hospital. I spent a long time in different hospitals after that.”

“Oh god. Aunty Luna.” Sunset grabbed her aunty and mother in a hug.

“It's fine Sunset, now anyway.” Luna wrapped an arm around her niece. “I had a lot of counselling and that helped a great deal. I have meds that help. My family helps.” Celestia was embracing them both. “The point of all this though... We don't want to drive you to that.” Luna was holding tightly to her niece.

“You had a very poor reputation after the fall formal and things had only just settled down when I took you in.” Celestia arranged them on the sofa so the teen was sandwiched between her and her sister. “I didn't want my position to cause you more issues.”

“I understand that.” Sunset said. “But my friends... They'll only be happy for me. I know that they are worried about me and I can stop all of that just by telling them.” Sunset leaned against her mother.

“I can allow that. Those girls can keep things they need to. Also, as Luna said to me, you took on all that magic and floated around in the air fighting an accidentally monstrous girl while looking like some kind of angel. I don't think being the principal's adopted daughter compares when it comes to gossip.” Celestia managed a tight laugh.

“Thanks mom. It'll be fine, I'm sure. They'll be okay about it.” Sunset said. “And thank you for telling me why you have reservations about me sharing the information. It can't have been easy for either of you.” She hugged her family and was hugged in return.

-*-

It was a quiet evening in the household. Sunset had not exactly expected such a sad story. Princess Twilight had related the story of Nightmare Moon and Princess Luna to her, but that the more mundane counterparts to the Equestrian princesses had suffered such personal tragedy had made her heart weep for them. In a small way, she was glad to have helped by becoming part of their family.

Sunset went to bed thoughtful, it had certainly been a busy and fraught day. 'I guess this is the sort of thing Princess Twilight deals with all the time.' She thought to herself before falling asleep; if that was Princess-hood, she was glad she'd not attained it.

Author's Note:

Welcome to this story. If any of the events depicted in the chapter have affected you, go and talk to someone. It really does help.
School sucked for me for the longest time and at 15 I was seeing a counsellor. These days (After even more kinds of crummy stuff, being an adult is the worst) I have some pretty common but nicely effective meds that also help. No shame friends! If it helps and it is legal and prescribed correctly then let it help you.
Anyway. Lets get Sunset into a happy place. I was a little cross at the ending of the comic. Some of the events were pretty nasty and not really resolved. There is at least one more chapter to go, depending on how long the story runs as I write it.
Hope you've liked it so far.

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