• Published 3rd Jan 2016
  • 4,923 Views, 102 Comments

Inter-Dimensional Crusaders! - Infinite Affection



When Apple Bloom finds a mysterious anomaly, she comes face to face with the strangest thing possible, herself as a pony! Combined with her fellow crusaders, they embark on a journey of discovery of the human world and Equestria.

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Reunions

Another crimson sunset was on the horizon again it seemed. It would be gone in a matter of minutes; much shorter than the length of sunsets back home, thought Scootaloo. It had been quite a day of excitement seeing Rainbow Dash and the others fend off an invading dragon. The thought gave the young filly goosebumps just thinking about it.

Though she wouldn’t wish for it to happen again on her life. Still, the prospect didn’t seem as fearful to the ponies in Ponyville – seeing as they had crowded round the spectacle in the first place rather than hiding in their homes. Even in the early hours of the evening, she could see abundance of activity in the market as she scooted along past; with ponies packing their wares up for the day. It seemed strange to live in a town where everything was just so convenient. The human crusaders lived quite a bit away from each other; Scootaloo had to take a bus to visit Sweetie Belle and an even longer one to see Apple Bloom. Having the houses so close within the town felt a little strange but it was a welcome change.

Besides, she could fly now or at least have the potential to fly like Rainbow Dash at the Fall Formal. Funnily enough, she was beginning to miss her mentor. The time spent with Rainbow in Equestria was just as good as she would get back home but the face of the person who accepted her as a sister is what she truly missed. Life as pegasus was exciting and all but Scootaloo had to admit that the familiarity of human life was more compelling.

Well, it was only a couple more days before they would reconvene and go back to normal. Yet-

SMACK!!!!

“Oooof!” Scootaloo exclaimed, a little startled by the sudden collision. She readjusted her helmet which had now flopped halfway onto her face. Looking up, her eyes fell upon the neutral and equally surprised red freckled face of Big Macintosh.

“Oops, sorry Big Mac!”

Big Mac simply rolled his eyes and turned his head back to the cart in front of him. Scootaloo blinked and readied herself to make an awkward and hasty retreat.

“Excuse me?”

Scootaloo barely got ten feet before she stopped and looked round to see if the query was directed at her. Looking behind her, she could see an unfamiliar pony addressing Big Mac.

“I was wondering if you could help me.”

Scootaloo recognised the mare’s voice, it seemed oddly familiar to her. Scootaloo half-turned her head back to its original position so that her ears were still in hearing range of the conversation.

“Eeyup.”

“Wait…are you Big Machintosh?”

“Uhhhh…eeyup?”

“Oh, sorry. I’m a friend of Applejack.

Scootaloo’s mind clicked. That voice…

Scootaloo followed her mind’s first instinct and darted towards the nearest building, concealing herself from view yet still in hearing range of the conversation.

“I was hoping you might be able to help look for someone…I mean somepony…”

It can’t be… Scootaloo peered her head round the corner cautiously.

“Eeyup."

“Have you seen Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle or Scootaloo anywhere?”

Scootaloo gasped and quickly shot her head back to avoid the searching eyes of Apple Bloom’s brother. Her heart began to race as the reality of the situation caught up with her.

“Huh…ah coulda sworn…”

“What is it?”

“Uh…ah saw Scootaloo pass by not long ago. Ah dunno bout’ Sweetie Belle, but Apple Bloom should be home with AJ ah reckon.”

“Right. Umm…where is Sweet Apple Acres?”

Scootaloo risked peering round at the mention of her best friend’s home.

“Oh…ah guess ah can take ya with me. Just as soon as ah load this here cart.”

“Sure. Hey, do you want some help with that?”

“Eeyup.”

The mare began to walk only to tumble down a little while after – it earned a concerned look from the farmer.

“Sorry, I lost my footing…I mean hoofing...I’m not from Ponyville.”

Scootaloo had seen enough. What that mare just said only confirmed the unreal suspicions she had. Scootaloo darted her head back and began to pant. She needed to get out of here.

And more importantly, warn Apple Bloom.


“WHAT?! Whadya mean she’s here?!”

“I just heard her talking to Big Machintosh saying that she was looking for us. And now she’s coming here to find you!”

Apple Bloom’s face held the same horror as that of a scary movie. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “S-she’s comin’ here?!”

“Yeah, we gotta split before she finds you!”

Apple Bloom shook her head frantically. “Ah can’t leave! AJ will know something’s up if ah do an’ that’ll make her mad when she finds out.”

“Well she’ll find out even if you stay!”

Apple Bloom was clueless.

“Look! She’s coming! I’d better go! Good luck!”

Scootaloo raced away from sight and left Apple Bloom to face their worst nightmare alone.


Sunset was very surprised at how well she was coping with being in Equestria again. The idea of returning had haunted her ever since Twilight had mentioned the prospect the last time they’d met. It set her on edge; the mere thought of stepping back through the portal only to be met with the eyes of her former mentor and the ponies whose lives she helped wreck. Even the casual conversations with everyday ponies quite like that of humans seemed daunting with the past she had had in the equine world.

Fortune had smiled on her though it seemed as her conversation with Big Macintosh went smoother than she could have hoped. And now she was accompanying the large earth pony to the alternate version of Applejack’s homestead that she had still yet to see. And hopefully, Apple Bloom would be there.

I have to know she’s alright. I just have to.

The walk to Sweet Apple Acres had been uneventful; Sunset was glad of that. The last thing she would want is her presence to cause a stir with the local populace and for the crusaders’ sakes, she wanted to keep this under as much wraps as possible.

Nearing the farm, Sunset appreciated the big similarities that the farm created. Other than the exception of the barn being inhabited by the family as well as serving as their storehouse, everything else was the same. Perhaps also that there was no livestock as eating meat was almost unheard of in Equestria. Still, it didn’t stop Sunset from savouring it in the human world – a flash of guilt came over the unicorn.

As Big Mac pulled up the cart, he unhooked himself and addressed Sunset.

“Well, yar welcome ta go on in. AJ should be in the kitchen.”

“Thank you, Big Mac. I appreciate you showing me the way.”

Big Mac smiled. “Eeyup.” The red stallion then turned and went back to his business with the cart. Sunset took this as her moment to enter the barn.

The interior of the barn was a vivid replication of human Applejack’s home. Sunset hadn’t had the country way upbringing in Canterlot that she guessed the citizens of Ponyville were used to. In fact, she was now rather much more used to the way of the human world than anything else and almost preferred it, she had to say.

Since Big Mac had informed her that Applejack was in the kitchen, Sunset thought this was a good opportunity to check in on Apple Bloom. The more discreet she could be about this, the better. If memory served her well, the unicorn knew the location of Apple Bloom’s bedroom to be on the first floor landing and proceeded to climb the stairs up to it. The first step creaked loudly, much to Sunset’s distress. Using her horn, she quickly casted a sound muffling charm which she recollected from her days as Celestia’s student. She could just have easily teleported into the filly’s room but Sunset didn’t want to scare her and alert everypony else.

Once at the top of the stairs, Sunset approached the door leading into Apple Bloom’s room. She hesitated before venturing in. It felt awful rude for somepony like her to walk into somepony’s bedroom without invitation. She would be as well greeting Applejack and telling her why she was here. The unicorn turned to go.

“Apple-”

Sunset jumped back towards the door – recognising the muffled sound as Apple Bloom’s sassy accent.

I’m coming, Apple Bloom!

She pushed the door open.

“Applejack! Ah need ta tell ya…”

Sunset watched Apple Bloom freeze up as she looked dead at her. The pony beside her was….Applejack! The orange farm pony had yet to look round to face the unicorn but seeing her ears twitch at the sound of the door opening was probably enough.

Speak of the devil…

Applejack had now jerked her head round, her face displaying a phase of alarm at the unknown stranger who had somehow entered her sister’s bedroom. The rest of her body followed suit.

“Uhh…can ah help ya?”

Sunset tensed up. “Umm…hi Applejack. I was wondering if I might have a word with Apple Bloom.”

“Do ah know ya?”

“No, not really.”

Applejack looked dumbfounded, unsure of what to add. But her face soon turned to a shade of anger.

“Well, ah’m gonna have ta ask ya ta leave. Ah don’ exactly know how ya thought barging in on ma property without permission was a good idea. How in the hay did ya get in anyway?”

“Big Macintosh let me in, AJ. I wish I could tell you more about who I am but I really need to talk with Apple Bloom first.”

Applejack said nothing but just adjusted the Stetson on her head. “Well ah’m sorry, but ah can’ let anypony near ma sis without first knowin’ who they are. So ah’ll ask ya again, please leave.”

Sunset hesitated. “Please, AJ.”

“Look, ah won’ tell ya again. Unless yar goin’ ta tell meh who yar are, ya have ta leave!”

Sunset was about to respond when she heard the downstairs door shut. Before she could give Applejack a response, the earth pony was already heading towards her, eyes narrowed. Sunset backed away in fear. To her surprise however, Applejack went out into the landing.
“Big Mac, y’all got some splainin’ to do!”

The shout was followed by hoofsteps going downstairs. Some loud conversation echoed its way up into the bedroom. Yet Sunset now remained alone with Apple Bloom. She rushed over to her.

“Apple Bloom, are you alright?” she questioned, bringing a hoof around the anxious looking farm filly. “I was so worried about you.”

Apple Bloom could distinguish her mentor’s voice anywhere. “Sunset, is that really you? And, ya are?”

“Yes!” Sunset smiled, and tightened her grip around Apple Bloom and pulling her in for a hug. “It’s me, Apple Bloom. And of course. I was frightened that something might have happened to you.”

“Really? Ah was kinda thinkin’ ya’d be-”

“GET AWAY FROM HER!”

Both Apple Bloom and Sunset looked round to see the petrified face of Applejack followed soon after by a rather annyoned Big Mac. The two split as Applejack drew on Sunset, causing the unicorn to back away.

“Didn’t ah tell ya to leave?! Why are y’all still here?”

“Eeyup!” came an irritated affirmation from her big brother.

“AJ, don’ ah-”

“Hush, Apple Bloom. Let the big ponies talk.”

“AJ, I’m sorry. I can leave if you want now.”

“Heh, ah’ll bet. So ya can just run off and come back when ah’m not around! Why are ya after ma sis?”

“AJ!” cried a desperate Apple Bloom.

“You a fillynapper? Ya been spyin’ on us, is that it?”

“No, AJ. I…”

Sunset was almost crying from the accusations being tossed her way. It was her nightmares about returning to Equestria made real. The horn on her head began to glow with an aura as her instinct to escape via teleportation became stronger.

“ENOUGH!”

The suspense of the situation evaporated, as did the accumulating aura around Sunset’s horn. Apple Bloom had stepped herself between Applejack and Sunset, tears running down her face.

“Back off, AJ! Her name's Sunset Shimmer and she's ma friend!” She dug herself into Sunset’s mane, letting her emotions out all at once.
Silence resulted from the filly’s outburst. Applejack had a guilty expression on her face. After collecting herself, the orange farm pony decided to break the peace.

“That name does ring a bell, now. Aren’t ya Twilight’s friend from that other dimension?”

“Yes.”

Applejack bowed her head in regret. “Shucks, ah’m awful sorry, Sunset. Ah can get very protective over ma family.”

Sunset risked putting a hoof on Applejack’s right cheek.

“Trust me, I know.”

Applejack’s face bore confusion but she smiled as the realisation kicked in. “Ah never could understand how that all worked.”

“Yeah, it’s kinda confusing.”

“But why are ya here?”

At that moment, Apple Bloom got up from crying into Sunset’s mane. Sunset smiled. “It doesn’t matter anymore. I have to see Twilight right away. It was nice meeting you at last, Applejack.”

And in a flash of light, the unicorn disappeared.

“Yeah…nice to meet ya too.”


“Well Starlight, I’m proud of you for making a new friend. I can understand why our meeting was put aside.”

“Thank you, Princess. And I’m sorry again.”

Princess Celestia smiled. “Do let me know if you want to have tea another time, Twilight.”

“Of course, Celestia. I’ll get Spike to send a letter if you can spare the time.”

“Well then. I bid you girls goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Princess!” the two of them said in unison as the white alicorn flew out of the castle.

Twilight sighed. “It still would have been nice to have tea with her. I can never seem to catch her at a free moment.”

“I like her,” Starlight Glimmer added. “Even though I wasted her time, she wasn’t angry. It’s nice to know I’ve been forgiven for almost changing the fate of Equestria and dooming everypony to a-”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Starlight, enough. You don’t need to-”

KNOCK-KNOCK! The sound echoed all over the great entrance doors of the castle.

Twilight eyed the clock on the wall. “Who could that be at this time of the evening?” she said half aloud and half to herself.

“I got it, Twilight.” Spike yawned.

Walking up to the door, Spike grabbed the door knob specifically designed for him to reach. Pulling it with all his might, the door creaked open; prompting Spike to poke his head out. The visitor in front of him was a yellow coated unicorn with a red and yellow striped mane.

“Yes?” Spike asked the stranger.

“Hello, Spike. It’s nice to see you again. I was wondering if I might speak with Twilight.”

Spike scratched his chin. “That voice sounds familiar. Do I know you?”

“Hmm…” Sunset grinned. “Oh and I’d keep an eye of that mutt of yours. I’d hate for him to be…taken away from you…”

Spike gasped. “Sunset Shimmer?”

Sunset gave the young drake a small wink.

“Wow! What are you doing here? Come inside, Twilight will want to talk with you!”

“Much appreciated, Spike.”

As they rounded the corner, Twilight called to Spike. “Who is it, Spike?”

“Sunset Shimmer!” His voiced was filled with awe.

“Pfft, Spike. That’s impossible. Sunset lives at Canterlot High, how can she…whaaa?”

Twilight’s eyes fell upon the recognisable face of the pony who had stolen her crown a few moons back.

“Hey, Twilight. Long time, no see.”

“Definitely!” Her intial bewilderment aside, the alicorn ran up to her interdimensional friend and hugged her. “What are you doing here? Have you come back to Equestria to stay? You didn’t abandon your other friends did you? You know I-”

“Twilight, it’s nice to see you too. And hello to you.”

“Huh?” Twilight mirrored the direction of Sunset’s face and realised she had forgotten completely about her student’s presence. “Oh Starlight, this is Sunset Shimmer. She’s my friend from another world. And Sunset, this is Starlight Glimmer, my newest pupil.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” said Starlight, a warm smile confirming her greeting.

“Likewise. I hope Twilight hasn’t already driven you crazy with her organised ways.”

“Hey!” Twilight jumped in. The two mares giggled. The alicorn rolled her eyes. “So what are you doing here then, Sunset?”

“Yeah, that’s what I needed to talk to you about.” She looked over to Starlight Glimmer. “Do you mind? I need to keep this under wraps as much as possible.”

“Not at all. It’s quite late so I think I’ll do some magic practice and turn in. Goodnight, Sunset. Goodnight, Twilight!”

“Goodnight, Starlight.” Twilight replied.

“It was nice to meet you.”

Starlight smiled and left the two ponies to talk.

“Ok, this may sound a little weird, Twilight; I’m not sure if you have noticed.”

“What? Has something happened?”

“Nothing bad. Just worrisome.”

“Just start from the beginning.”

Sunset sighed. “At the beginning of the week, I noticed that there was something up with the cutie mark crusaders. I couldn’t place what it was before but having confronted them about, I know what’s going on.”

“That’s intriguing. The crusaders here had been acting strange earlier in the week too. Rarity was telling me how Sweetie Belle was having unexplained problems. What have you found out?”

“That the Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo from this world swapped places with the crusaders from CHS.”

Twilight’s mouth shot open in shock. “How? How is that possible? Wait a minute….”

Twilight’s eyes looked over to the Canterlot High portal in the corner of the room. “How did you get here? I would have seen you come through that portal.”

“Well that’s just it, Twilight. There’s another portal. Created by the demon which your human counterpart became during the Friendship Games. It’s somewhere on the outskirts of Ponyville – I made sure to remember where it was.”

“Another portal? It does seem likely that they might have found it and met their human-selves. But it’s still a little far-fetched. Are you positive?”

“Very. I met with Apple Bloom and she confessed to me what happened.”

Twilight pondered for a moment. “We need to do something about this.”

Author's Note:

Will be finishing up next chapter soon! And it will be the last!