• Published 11th Oct 2015
  • 24,660 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 6: Awake


The reveal had gone down well, no one was anything but supportive and happy for Sunset and Celestia. She'd told the group of the sad times before and the illness that had led to her initially being taken in. “Mom brought me home right away. I didn't have any records to go to a hospital with, so there were a few favours called in.” Sunset settled in to the more comfortable part of her story.

It felt great for her friends to finally know. Their joy was infectious, it felt just as good as when she'd been adopted in the first place.

Though, that was a little while after the part of the story that Rarity had demanded be told.


It was a little upsetting to Celestia, that Sunset was going to first use the room, the room she and Luna had set up, in such an ill state she would be unlikely to notice a thing. She'd held on to vain hopes of surprise and happiness from the teen upon being presented with the space.

They were selfish thoughts but better than the absolute worry she that had had her in its grip most of the afternoon. They had brought her home, put her in the warm bed (tactfully removing the blankets and sleeping bag to be laundered) and wrapped up the shivering girl in fresh blankets.

Now Celestia could only keep watch as Luna went to collect some assistance. She'd given Sunset plenty of water to drink, having to help her, she was still delirious from fever. Her temperature was high and she had certainly not eaten in a while. “Please be okay Sunset.” Celestia whispered, not for the first time since she'd brought the girl in.

“I'm back.” Luna called up the stairs. It was the end of the school day by now, so her original plan had certainly not come to pass. The sound of two people coming up the stairs brought Celestia to the door, halting her anxious pacing.

“I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner, there was no one who could cover the office for the day.” Redheart was first to the bedroom door, a medical bag in her arms. “Luna explained everything to me, but everyone qualified was too busy to take the office.”

“It's fine. This is a little more a favour than any duty.” Celestia said.

“I think I would say it is both.” Redheart said. “You are my friend and Sunset is a student.” She spotted the girl on the bed and her face fell. The nurse hurried over, Celestia would have followed but Luna caught her, placing a comforting hand on her back.

“Okay?” Luna said softly. She could feel the tension in her sister's shoulders, Celestia was certainly worried.

“As I can be.” Celestia admitted, watching the nurse check Sunset over. “I just keep thinking, if I had paid attention to the non-attendance notice on Wednesday, or even yesterday... Maybe she wouldn't be this sick.” she had her arms crossed, grabbing her elbows, another distraction tactic.

“She'll be okay 'Tia, she's a strong kid.” Luna hugged her sister. They waited for the prognosis.

Redheart finished her check and stood up. “She definitely has the 'flu. I think you should keep on giving her a lot of water, she's not been drinking enough at all.” She joined Luna and Celestia. “I'd recommend bed rest, fluids and what food she will eat.” Redheart looked over at the girl. “If she were any worse I would tell you to take her to the hospital. But from what I've been told, that could open a whole can of worms that will be worse for her in the long run.” She sighed. “I am doing you a favour Celestia, but please, make sure that she can be seen by a doctor soon. I'm worried I might have missed something.”

“Thank you. We are working on records, as soon as I get the go-ahead, she'll see our doctor.” Celestia ran a hand through her hair, calculating how long left until Chrysalis had said she would be finished. “Thank you for coming.”

Redheart gripped her hand. “Take care of her.” With that she left the room. Luna took her to the door.

“Sunset, you're going to be alright.” Celestia went and sat on the bed beside the girl. She'd not really stirred since they had brought her here. “You're going to be alright.” It was a statement, it was a hope. Celestia wasn't sure which it was most, but she had to say it aloud.

-*-

A sore throat, sticky eyes, a headache and joint pains greeted Sunset when she woke up. Really, waking was gradual. At first she thought she was dreaming, she was warm and wrapped in a soft blanket on a comfortable bed. Her throat wasn't parched, even if it was sore from her illness.

She opened her eyes , grimacing at the effort it took. 'Where am I?' Sunset thought to herself. It certainly wasn't her space in the old tram-house. In the dim light she noticed the clean ceiling, the nice bed, the painted walls. There were still a lot of candles around the place though, and opposite where she lay, Sunset could just make out the colourful Rainbooms poster. So wherever she was, someone had made an effort to make her feel at home.

There was a glass of water on the bedside table and a few objects she couldn't really make out. All in all though, it felt safe and it was warm. Somewhere a lot better to wake in than the cold and decrepit building she'd lived in for three years.

Awakening more, Sunset realised something else; a comforting presence was beside her. A hand rested on her arm from someone behind her, it was reassuring to the teen. Shifting a little to look, Sunset gave a hoarse squeak when she saw who it was.

Principal Celestia was sat in a chair beside the bed, her hand outstretched to be in contact with Sunset. She was asleep in the chair, not a comfortable looking position.

It was unexpected to say the least.

Now Sunset was conflicted. She wanted to get the water, but moving would more than likely disturb Celestia and she didn't want to wake the woman. After a few beats the need for a drink won out. As Sunset carefully moved to pick up the water she heard Celestia stir.

“Sunset? Are you okay.” Celestia sounded tired but not angry in any way.

“I still feel pretty ill.” Sunset managed to croak out, her voice was still beset by her symptoms. She shuffled to sit up and drink her water. Smiling as the cool liquid soothed her throat and washed some of the funky taste out of her mouth. “Is this your house?”

“Yes, it is.” Celestia stretched stiffened limbs. She'd not intended to sleep in the chair, but she had not intended to sleep at all. “Let me check your temperature.” Fumbling about on the dresser beside her, Celestia found the thermometer strip and placed it on Sunset's forehead.

Sunset found herself leaning in to the touch, it was so comforting. The care her teacher was showing made her feel...happy. Long forgotten wishes were unfurling in her mind, the illness and her fatigue meant she couldn't hold them back. Wishes that had been unfulfilled by a princess, that then had set her on a dark path.

For some reason though, here in the company of a woman who shared the mare's name, Sunset was not afraid of the path she'd once walked. She was not concerned about returning to it now those wishes had come back. A happy sound caught in her throat.

“Are you alright?” Celestia said, alarmed. Sunset coughed a little, the noise had been mangled by the swelling in her throat.

“I'm fine...” Sunset said, blushing a little. “It's just, I guess it's all this; being ill and you taking care of me... It is like having a mom again.” The words tumbled out and Sunset had to just let them go. She took another sip of water to quell a coughing fit. “It is making me feel so happy.” Now she was sure her cheeks would be glowing.

It was a surprise then, to see Celestia looking just as pleased. “I'm glad I could help.” The woman turned away and was certainly looking on the dresser counter again. What Sunset didn't know was that Celestia need to regain her composure, she did not want to blurt out her idea all at once and scare the teen away.

“This is a nice guest room.” Sunset said, trying to move on from the slightly embarrassing line of conversation she'd started.

“It's not a guest room really.” Celestia said absent mindedly. She had found the cold-cure she had been looking for.

“Oh my gosh, it's not your room is it!” Sunset's voice cracked and she moved to leave the bed.

“No, don't worry. My room is down the hall, Luna's is opposite.” Celestia placed a hand on Sunset's shoulder and pressed her to the bed. “Take some cold cure, finish off the water.” The calm words were firm and cut through the teen's panic. Sunset took the pills and then drained her glass.

“Sorry.” She settled back into bed, Celestia took the glass and urged her to lie down.

“It isn't a problem. You're sick and in a strange place. Sleep some more and we'll talk when you are awake.” Celestia tucked her in. “I'll bring a fresh glass of water, or would you prefer a lemonade or some juice?”

“I think water will be fine. Thanks.” Sunset snuggled into the soft fabric.

“Oh, the bathroom is through that door.” Celestia pointed out a door in the corner. “Now, I want you to sleep in the warm with plenty of water to drink.”

“'kay.” Sunset mumbled, she was feeling tired again, ready to sleep. “'Night.”

“Good night Sunset.” Celestia said, smiling from the doorway. Out of the room, in the kitchen she realised she was still beaming. “Keep it together woman...” She said to herself. “Sunset is ill and a guest. I have to wait to ask her about this.” She poured a glass of water. Still smiling.

Back in Sunset's room the girl had already fallen asleep. Celestia tweaked the covers and blankets to cover her better and placed the glass on the side table. “Sleep well Sunset.” She whispered. Now that the teen had woken, with her fever down and had taken some pills and more water, Celestia felt able to go to bed. With one last look to the sleeping girl and one last clench of her heart, she retired to her bed.

-*-

There was sunlight, untainted by twin layers of dusty and cracked glass, streaming into the room. Sunset was awake slowly again, from a realisation that she was cocooned in soft blankets to sitting up. She felt a lot better, though still not well, she drank from the glass on the side table. With the light from outside illuminating things, she was free to look around the room.

In the actual light of day, Sunset could see the room a lot better. The bed was dressed in shades of black, yellow and magenta, the curtains were similar and the floor was possibly real hardwood. The teen grinned, she was looking forward to feeling that under her feet.

The furnishings were dark coloured, to match the bed Sunset guessed. A desk, bookshelves, dresser, chest of drawers and wardrobe were spread around. A chair was next to her bed, it looked like it belonged by the desk though, as the table did not have its usual company. Candles, unused but of every shape and size, were on a number of the surfaces in the room. Even across the wide head-board of the bed. As she had noticed in the night, her Rainbooms poster was on the wall, in a poster frame. An effort really had been made to help her feel at home.

What most surprised Sunset though, was the amplifier and stand in the corner. Her box of books was beside it, a few other items she had left around her little home stuck out of the top. On the desk there was her photo with her friends. 'I suppose with me out of there for now at least, Principal Celestia didn't want to leave them.' Sunset told herself. Trying not to let the feeling of loss and disappointment rise too high in her chest at the idea of her stay being temporary.

A pressing urge had her out of the bed and to the door pointed out as the bathroom. Sunset was glad she remembered that bit. It led to a small bathroom with a shower and all the necessary things. A pair of soft towels were on a rack and a new toothbrush in a cup by the sink. There were plenty of toiletries in neutral scents in the shower and on the sink. So the bathroom at least looked like it was for a guest.

At the sink, Sunset decided to try and freshen up. She still wasn't exactly sure what day it was, let alone the time. Her sleep wear was not looking its best, the sweatshirt and jog-bottoms had been on since she'd gotten home from school on Tuesday. She didn't use the magenta pyjama-pair Rarity had gifted her unless she was at a sleepover. It wasn't warm enough in the tram-shed and she was worried about wearing them out, or not having them clean when staying around her friends.

Returning to the room, Sunset heard a light tap on the door. “Hello?” Her voice was nowhere near approaching normal, but it was more than a hiss.

“Can I come in?” Celestia was the other side of the door. It puzzled Sunset that she'd ask for entry to somewhere in her own home.

“Of course.” Sunset went to sit on her bed and finish off the glass of water. Celestia entered, a bundle of clothes in her arms. “Good morning.”

“Afternoon actually.” Celestia smiled, “Though I appreciate the sentiment.” She walked to the chair and sat down. “I've brought you some fresh clothes, nothing too fancy, just a shirt and lounge pants. They're some of Luna's I'm afraid, there weren't many clothes to bring when we found you yesterday and those are still in the dryer.” She placed the pile on the bed.

“Thank you.” Sunset turned, sitting cross-legged on the bed. “So, um... What...” Sunset stumbled on her words a little. Trying to figure out the best way to ask, well, all of the questions she had.

“It is Saturday afternoon. I believe you may have lost Friday, the girls couldn't get any answer from you that day.” Celestia placed the clothes on the bed. “They came to me, very worried to have not heard from you.”

“I sent them texts, but I can't remember anything after that.” Sunset admitted.

“Once they had told me, I went right to see you. You were in a bad way so I brought you home.” Celestia placed a hand to her Sunset's shoulder. “You should have called me.”

“I thought I would be okay.” Sunset looked away from the caring eyes. “I've not been sick in a long time and I got better quickly then.” She rubbed at her arm.

“Teenagers, you think you're invincible.” Celestia sighed. “Anyway, we've had you checked over by Nurse Redheart. You've not had enough to drink after barely having anything for days.” Celestia scolded with that and pulled her hand back.

“I didn't think I wouldn't make it back to school.” Sunset said, it was dawning on her just how close a call this had been. “I'm sorry.” She closed her eyes. “I was stupid wasn't I?”

“A little foolhardy I would say. Not thinking quite right.” Celestia gently drew Sunset's closer. “Not stupid.” The hug was caring, understanding...motherly. Sunset leaned into it, accepting the concern and affection she had long yearned for. “I hadn't wanted to bring you here quite so suddenly and without your agreement though.”

“What do you mean?” Sunset was quite content to bask in the warm feelings being shared. She'd missed it in her years alone, admittedly, most of that time she hadn't been aware of missing it. She'd realised soon enough that it had been what had left a hole in her heart.

“I'm going to be frank with you Sunset.” Celestia drew back a little to see the girl's face. “After I saw your living conditions I decided to personally rectify the situation.” She waved around the room. “This was all set up for you. So you could live here at least until you were able to live alone. Financially able, you certainly did well enough alone in the past.”

“I sort of figured it wasn't quite a guest room.” Sunset smiled, mostly to reassure Celestia, she recognised the expression of apprehension on the woman's face. “It is really nice.” She looked around the clean, warm, well lit room. She could feel the comfortable bed beneath her and imagine how nice life would be without the gnawing anxiety of surviving to contend with.

“I'm glad you like it. I was worried I had overstepped a mark.” Celestia looked at the candles she had gathered in the short time since seeing Sunset's room in the derelict building. Her glance strayed to the amp and stand for Sunset's guitar and the poster on the wall. “I am afraid I got a little carried away in creating a space to convince you to come stay here.”

“It would have worked.” Sunset said, realising that the colours were shades she herself favoured, that the candles were set on trays so they could be lit without making a mess. Noticing that even some of the book titles on the shelves included those she had spoken of liking.

“Would?” There was a crack of apprehension in Celestia's voice.

“If I'd not gotten sick and made it so you had to bring me in, I think I would have said yes to living here if you had just presented this room to me.” Sunset grabbed the water glass again and took a long sip, the talking was making her croak again. “Getting sick has been a wake-up call.” She coughed, hoarse and slightly painfully.

“Here.” Celestia picked a pill bottle from the table and took out one. “They help with a cough.” She explained. Sunset nodded and managed to gulp one down in between the spasms.

“See? I do need to have someone who can be there. I probably wouldn't be so ill now if I lived somewhere warm and dry and clean.” Sunset looked up at Celestia. “I'd really like it if this could be my room.”

“So you want to stay?” Celestia kept herself from being much too overjoyed, her other offer would be too much too fast. That Sunset would be staying here was a load of her mind and heart thought. The girl would be safe and looked after, well fed and living a slightly better life.

“I'd really like too.” Sunset said, shy all of a sudden. She ignored the negative thoughts crowing on about the princess, about the last time she had been taken in. “All this... It is so lovely and I know you want me here, going to all that effort.” She stopped when Celestia hugged her.

“You are most certainly welcome here.” Celestia was smiling and so so happy. She would find the right moment to broach the other subject on her mind. “Now, I'll leave you to freshen up, I'm sure you are looking forward to hot water in a shower.” She chuckled lightly at the very bright expression that crossed Sunset's face.

“Shower? I spotted a bath in there, I've not had one of those in a looong time.” Sunset grinned. “I used to have hour long soaks back in Equestria.”

“Alright then.” Celestia stood up from the bed. “If you need anything just give a shout. Enjoy you bath.” She smiled softly and went to the door.

“Thank you.” Sunset said, so sincerely. Celestia's smile was genuine and loving.


Sunset had trailed off from telling her story. Recalling the first moments she had realised that Celestia had wanted her there. Hindsight, knowing how things had improved from there was overwhelming her with positive emotions.

“Sunset, are you okay?” Fluttershy's gentle concern broke Sunset from her reverie. “You're crying.”

“I'm fine, really. Just, so happy. Remembering it all.” Sunset wiped her eyes and willingly leaned into the hug her caring friend offered.

“It's just soooo swee-hee-hee-heet!” Pinkie Pie began blubbering, a little over the top but the party girl always strove for great heights. Her reaction started everyone laughing.

Author's Note:

You know, this was frustrating at first to write because of one small detail: There is no such thing as Lucozade in the US.
Or to put it correctly, proper Lucozade is not there. The sport version is like Gatorade and Powerade and the rest, but the Energy kind is not sold outside the UK.
It is frustrating, because my family tradition/wisdom puts it that Lucozade is the best when you're down with a cold or the 'flu or any of those other ills. You know, the ones where you don't feel like eating and your energy is near nil.
So yeah, it was annoying that I couldn't use that and it irked me all chapter! Sometimes it is the little things...

Anywho: Yay Sunset and Celestia! More feels coming soon!

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