• 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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Heartfelt Goodbyes

“Sweetie Belle…”

A faint voice called out to Sweetie Belle. Though it was quite hard to hear over all the other millions of fans screaming her name out as she walked onto the stage. The stadium was lit to full luminescence and all eyes were now on her. Walking up to the microphone stand, she cleared her throat and lined up her practised posture. Taking a deep breath, Sweetie Belle readied herself for the ordeal; giving a smile to the rows of players on either side of her.

The announcement was made, the crowd stood up, and all the building excitement came to a standstill. The long silence before the plunge. This was it, her shining moment in the spotlight. Her heart pounded twice by the second, her mind only echoing the sound across her ears.
On cue, the music ran the introduction. The stage was set, now all waited for the superstar singer, Sweetie Belle, to start.


“Sweetie Belle…”


The song was perfect; the chords were struck on the mark and the musical crusader was having the time of her life.


In the blink of an eye, the stadium and crowd had vanished and Sweetie Belle was back in her Equestrian counterpart’s bedroom. She yawned loudly and twisted her body round in response to the loud noise which had woken her. It was Rarity. Figures.

“Ah, Sweetie Belle, so sorry to wake you but Twilight said she wanted to see you and your friends at her castle.”

The little unicorn rubbed her eyes. “What for?”

“I’m not quite sure. She didn’t say but I wouldn’t want to keep her waiting. I have some breakfast waiting downstairs so try not to dawdle, Sweetie Belle.” And with that, her elder sister took her leave.

Sweetie Belle sighed and dropped off of the bed. “But I was having a wonderful dream…”

“Yes, we thought it was rather interesting…”

“Huh? Vice Principal Luna?” Sweetie Belle spat out, oblivious to the sudden appearance of the pony behind her. Eventually, her darting eyes caught a glimpse of the princess of the night’s regal wings and turning her whole head round, she stood to alert at the complete sight of the dark alicorn.


“Hello, Sweetie Belle. If that is who you claim to be.”

“W-What? Of…of course, I am.”

Princess Luna smiled. “Don’t worry, Sweetie Belle. We know who you are. We have seen your dreams.”

Sweetie Belle was dumbstruck. “You saw my dreams? How?”

“Almost everyone in this land knows of our ability to enter dreams. Even Sweetie Belle knows this. To not know this clearly says to us you aren’t the Sweetie Belle known to this world. And not to mention that your dreams are unlike any of the dreams of the other ponies we visit. Save perhaps for Apple Bloom and Scootaloo who also have had similar dreams to yours.”

Sweetie Belle chuckled nervously. “You don’t say?”

“The creatures in your dream are unknown to us but match the description of Princess Twilight’s description of what she calls ‘humans’. Creatures that walk on two legs instead of four and cannot fly or do magic; but are quite capable in their own way. Observing you and your friends’ dreams over this week, we have kept a long vigil over the nature of your dreams.”

“Which is why we saw the need to visit personally without interrupting your dreams. As a princess, it is our responsibility to be a guardian to all our subjects.” Luna moved her head closer to the filly unicorn and gave her a coy look. “Whether or not they are visiting inter-dimensional beings.”

Sweetie Belle put on a face of guilt. “I’m sorry if I caused you any worry.”

“We were quite sure that you would be fine but we worry about the other Sweetie Belle. But Princess Twilight assures me that she is being taken care of. We just wanted to come meet with you before you go.”

The news of a departure from Equestria hit Sweetie Belle hard but it was to be expected. “Well, I appreciate your concern.”

“Think nothing of it. Now, we must get going as we must rest during this part of the day. But we have one more question.”


“What role does the Luna in your world have?”

Sweetie Belle smiled. “She’s the vice principal of my school. Celestia is the principal.”

“So how did you recognise us?”

Sweetie Belle smiled even harder. “She sounds exactly like you and uses “we” instead of “I” a lot too. Though I can’t understand why.” Sweetie Belle put a hoof to her chin.

Princess Luna blushed. “Yes, sometimes I forget that I must speak in modern times now that I no longer live in the past. But we rather like speaking this way.”

Sweetie Belle nodded.

“Well, we…I must depart. It was good to meet you, Sweetie Belle.”

“Thank you, Princess. The feeling is mutual.”

Luna smiled at the reciprocated comment and took off back out the window she had come in. Immediately after Sweetie Belle was left alone again, there was a knock on her bedroom door.

“Come on, Sweetie Belle. Twilight is waiting on you.” Rarity’s voice came through the door.


The screeching friction of wheel against pavement came into being as Scootaloo stopped her human version scooter abruptly in front of her friends.

“Hey guys! What’s the haps?” Scootaloo greeted her two best friends. She had received a text from Sunset that she wanted to meet them all at Sugarcube Corner to talk. She met the girls just outside the entrance on another sunny morning – however, it seemed that Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle were not in as high a spirits as Scootaloo.

“Hey Scoot, ah’m alright,” replied Apple Bloom, rather less enthusiastically.

“Me too. How have you been, Scootaloo?”

“Great! Rainbow and I had some super awesome time at her apartment yesterday. Then again, Rainbow is always awesome to hang with.”

“Oh come on, you always say that,” teased Sweetie Belle.

“She sure does.”

The three of them discovered Sunset had joined them. “I hope I’m almost as awesome.”

Scootaloo smiled. “Uhh…of course.”

“Mhm. Well girls, shall we go inside?”

“Cool,” answered Scootaloo. The other crusaders remained silent and followed Sunset into the confectionery. Scootaloo’s nostrils filled with those sweet aromas that remained mostly unchanged from the one in quaint Ponyville. As luck would have it, Pinkie Pie was on the counter assisting Mrs Cake with the day’s customers. The pink-skinned baker naturally greeted them with a hyper and exaggerated smile.

“Hey! I didn’t expect to see you guys here!”

“Isn’t that the fun of working in a store, Pinkie?” Sunset countered.

“Yup! It’s lots and lots of fun, heehee. So what can I get you?”

“Girls?” No-one spoke up immediately. Neither Apple Bloom nor Sweetie Belle made any effort to move their motionless lips. Scootaloo eventually broke the silence amongst the hubbub of people chatting at their tables.

“I think I’ll have a chocolate milkshake?”

“Chocolate milkshake. Are you two wanting anything?” Sunset looked at the girls enquiringly. The two silent crusaders shook their heads.
Sunset frowned a little. “Ok, if you’re sure. I’ll take just one chocolate milkshake, Pinkie.” Sunset said, her attention focused back on Pinkie Pie.

“Sure thing!”

Sunset fumbled around in her jacket pocket for her purse.

“Oh don’t worry about it, Sunset. Mrs Cake is really grateful for you helping me spread the word last week about the yummy stuff we have here. Since it’s only one silly milkshake, I’m sure she’d let you have it on the house, heehee!”

“Oh! Gee, thanks Pinkie. That’s very much appreciated.” Sunset said gleefully.

“Not a problem, Sunset. Just sit down and I’ll take it over, k?” Pinkie grinned in her usual fashion. Sunset placed a hand on Pinkie’s shoulder as a sign of thanks and proceeded to walk over to the nearest available booth.

Meanwhile, the behaviour of her friends was starting to rain over Scootaloo’s eager mood.

“Is everything ok? You guys seem a bit down.” Scootaloo asked with a concerned smile.

As the crusaders sat down on the booth with Sunset, Sweetie Belle tried to offer a hushed explanation. “She found out….

“What?” whispered Scootaloo, clearly having difficulty hearing. But it came too late as Sunset had already begun making a much louder conversation.

“Are you girls alright? Did something happen?” Scootaloo supposed the question was directed at Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle.

Sweetie Belle sighed. “No, we’re just a bit sad is all.”

Scootaloo eyed her friends curiously. “I…”

A chocolate milkshake landed right in front of Scootaloo’s face; straw primed and ready for slurping.

“Have a nice time, everyone!” enthused Pinkie Pie. She had come and gone in the blink of an eye.

“Thanks, Pinkie!” called Sunset. Scootaloo smiled, forgetting about the troubled minds of her friends for a moment in her haste of getting her lips all over the straw. She hummed amusedly at the taste going up the straw.

Sunset quietened her voice and put on an emphatic face. “Please, don’t be sad. I’m not trying to be the bad guy. I’m just concerned for you, girls. Which is why I think you’d all be safer back in Equestria.”

Scootaloo dang near choked on the chocolatey liquid in her mouth and was no longer oblivious to the teenager’s words.

“Look, I understand that you girls like this world; but think of what you’re doing. You’re lying to your families and putting yourselves at risk. I mean what were to happen if an event occurred that was beyond your knowledge of this world to control? You may be quick learners but wandering a strange place without adult supervision is very dangerous. And I don’t think I can take responsibility for three fillies that have a reckless reputation quite like what you three have.”

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle’s mouths took on sheepish grins. Scootaloo still remained shocked.

“H-how’d you find out?”

“Oh! I assumed the other two would have told you. Sweetie Belle told me about it yesterday.” Scootaloo shot an annoyed scowl at her fellow crusader. “But I wouldn’t go blaming her. I did force it out of her. Twilight might not have told you but I too am from Equestria.”

Scootaloo’s attention refocused on Sunset at those words. “You’re from Equestria?”

“Yeah, I used to live in Canterlot. Before I found my way into this world that is.”

“Ya know, ah wonder why they never told us y’all were from Equestria?” Apple Bloom suggested.

“You mean the human crusaders? A lot goes on at CHS which is beyond anyone’s understanding of. For the most part, I try to keep a tight lid on anything magical that crops up for the sake of this world’s stability. Heck, the magic only came here in the first place because of me. I should be the one to try to conceal it. The girls aren’t always around to witness the strange goings on and I’ve never fully explained to them about the existence of this alternate world where I’m a magical talking unicorn.”

“I mean it’s hard enough to convince anyone here that an animal can talk. All they do is eat them which I can’t complain is pretty good.”

Scootaloo tried to hide her disgust but then remembered the nice taste of that bacon she had had at Sweet Apple Acres earlier in the week. It wasn’t without merit but the idea still made her insides twist.

“So what happens now?” Sweetie Belle asked, trying to pretend she didn’t already know the answer.

Sunset sighed. “After Scootaloo finishes her shake, I’m taking you girls home. Your real home in Equestria.”

“What?! Please, Sunset. We’re having so much fun with you here!” urged Scootaloo.

“I understand you girls wish to stay but I can’t let you wander in a world that isn’t your own. And that’s why we’re going back to the portal as soon as we are finished here.”

The table went silent. The head of each crusader was drooped in sadness. A clever thought ran through Scootaloo’s mind.

Better milk this milkshake drinking for as long as possible then.

Well that could have gone better. The thought was evidently clear to Princess Twilight while accompanying the three saddened little fillies to the portal behind the boulder that Sunset claimed was the source of this ruse that the crusaders had put on. It had caught the alicorn princess completely out of the blue. She had suspected that something was out of the ordinary but not to such a scale as three humans posing as the filly versions of themselves!

After Sunset Shimmer’s visit, Twilight was left with her mind blown and a fixed agenda in mind for the following day. Now here she was coming through with that agenda, the intention of returning the disguised human girls home. She turned her head back to the quiet and desolate fillies.

“Girls, I know this is tough but you have to know that Sunset is very worried about you. If something happened to you three while you were here, it could upset the balance between the worlds of ponies and humans alike.”

Apple Bloom sighed. “Ah know, Princess. Ah guess ah am starting ta miss havin’ hands an' all but ah still woulda liked ta see more o’ Equestria.”

Twilight smiled. “I would still like to see more of the human world. From what I hear, it is a whole lot bigger than Equestria. I think Rarity mentioned she was from some island on another continent or something.”

“Oh you mean the British Isles?” Sweetie Belle added. “Yeah, our family is British.”

“It’s amazing to think that the humans are stretched far and wide across your world. Ponies here are often distrusting of foreign lands so they tend to keep to Equestria’s borders.”

“That’s…nice,” remarked a rather sad Scootaloo.

Twilight’s smile faded back into a faint frown and she fell silent once more. Alas, their destination was in sight and yet the purple alicorn saw no sign of the rumoured portal.

“Where is it? I thought Sunset said it was here.” Twilight turned to the crusaders looking for some response. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo had to stifle the momentary joy but Sweetie Belle had already accepted the inevitable.

“It’s on the other side of the bould- Ow!” exclaimed Sweetie Belle as a nudging hoof came into her side from the adjacent pegasus.

“Hmmm…” Twilight faced the boulder again and began to walk around the back slowly. The lack of hoofsteps behind her prompted her to dart her head back. “Stay behind me girls, don’t make this harder than it needs to be or I might tell everypony who you are.”

Her loud statement was met swiftly by the scuffle of hooves as the crusaders caught up to Twilight. Satisfied, the alicorn proceeded onwards towards the portal site. Clearly the portal was inconspicuous but Twilight had a good memory of the exact location of which Sunset had brought her to. Sunset had warned her to look out for any abnormal scenery as it was easy to spot from the human side but not the pony side. But all the foliage around the boulder didn’t not resemble anything that shouldn’t belong. Twilight grunted in annoyance, confusion striking her.

Suddenly, a ruffle in the nearby bushes made her twist her head round immediately. She readied her magic and braced herself for whatever it might be. Two hands emerged followed by a pushing motion, revealing the black leather jacket and the familiar sunset streaked torso of Sunset Shimmer. She approached her, now well aware of the portal’s existence. As she got closer, the bodies of the respective human crusaders came into view – they didn’t look particularly happy either. Twilight grimaced but smiled when Sunset addressed her.

“Hey, Twilight! Haven’t seen you in a while.” Sunset began with a tone of sarcasm.

Twilight giggled. “Well, I’m not so used to viewing you as human from the eyes of a pony.” Twilight noted the significant difference in height. “You’re almost a giant compared to me.”

“A giant with no magic, so you’re pretty safe. But yeah, I guess I’ve never had the opportunity to look down on you before, Twilight. It’s a little weird.” Sunset smiled. “Anyway I think we should press on with the reason we are here in the first place.”

“I agree. Girls? Can you come in front of me?”

The crusaders walked in front of Twilight and soon they were looking at their counterparts again and their sadness was replaced by excited grins.

“Hey! Scootaloo, how are you?” asked the pony Scootaloo.

“I’m great! How are you?” The human’s face was lit up at the sight of herself.

“I’m awesome! Well, despite being caught and stuff.”

“Yeah, that sucks.” Human Apple Bloom added. “But it was sure fun while it lasted.”

“Ah really wish ah could tell ya how much we’ve learned ‘bout Equestria but ah don’ thank there’s any time fer that…”

Sweetie Belle turned back to Twilight. “Can we please have one more day or two?”

Twilight solemnly shook her head. “I’m sorry, girls. But we must close this portal as soon as we can to prevent anypony else stumbling upon it. It is important to keep the identity of your world a secret. Otherwise, who knows what it could mean for either world.”

Sweetie Belle nodded in understanding, her head dropping lower with each slide of her head. She slowly faced the portal again.

“Now girls, come through the portal to me.” Sunset beckoned with a warm smile.

With a heavy sigh, all three pony crusaders traversed the portal and in the blink of a shining beam of light, their front hooves transformed back to their original five-fingered hands. The feeling of their knees replacing their hind legs and the familiar flexing of toes confirmed to the human crusaders that they were back home. With no difficulty, they rose onto their two feet and came to be eye level with themselves.
Apple Bloom looked nowhere else but into the eyes of herself and simultaneously she wrapped her arms around herself in a warm hug. Sweetie Belle embraced herself too whereas Scootaloo predictably didn’t and simply fist-bumped herself.

“It’s so good to be with you again, even if only for a short while.” Sweetie Belle lamented, slightly tearful.

Empathising was no problem for her. “I know. And it’s so nice to hear someone else say what I’m thinking. And to know it’s myself is just beyond me.” They came together tighter while tears ran down their cheeks.

“An’ ta know all o’ us were able ta meet each other, makes it all the more special. Ah love ya all.”

The farm girl choked on whimpers and threw herself around the embracing Sweetie Belles. Her clone joined her and together their flooding tears soaked into their clothes and trickled through the littlest of gap between the tightly locked friends. Scootaloo couldn’t hold back the tears welling inside her and gave in to the sappiness. She grabbed hold of herself and bawled into her shoulder. Scootaloo did likewise.

“Oh come on! Why…why’d this have to be so sa-sappy?!” cried Scootaloo, gasping instead of breathing.

Sunset watched the heart-wrenching display unfold before her. As much as it was sad, Sunset had to make sure that the problem was resolved for the future.

“Right, girls. Are you ready to go back?”

The crusaders sniffled and stifled their last remaining whimpers as they all separated. The few residue tears stained and seeped into the soil below.

“Y-y-yeah, we are…” Apple Bloom confirmed.

Smiling once more at their counterparts, the trio turned away and faced the portal. Holding hands in unison, they stepped into the inter-dimensional pool and when the bright light faded, all three toppled to the ground; having come through on their hind legs and losing their balance. Getting to their hooves, they looked up to see Twilight smiling and walking towards them. The alicorn dropped her head to nuzzle each of the fillies.

“I’m so glad to see you all safe and sound.” Taking her head back up, she addressed her human ally one last time. “Thank you, Sunset. I don’t know what would have happened if it hadn’t been for your sharp thinking.”

“Don’t worry, Twilight. You think that spell will work?” Sunset countered.

“I won’t know unless I try. But in the case it works, I’ll say goodbye to you Sunset and the girls.”

“Bye, Twilight. I’ll message you soon.”

Apple Bloom edged closer to the portal with the intention of utilising every last second she would see her human-self again. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo mirrored the apple filly’s movements. Water flowed down in perfect symmetry across the cheeks of the crusaders as the sound of charging magical power emanated from behind them.

“Bye…” They all said.

“Bye…” Came the reply.

And as a magical beam shot directly at the portal, the faint image of a human with a pink bow in her hair rippled in the vibrating contours of the liquid until Apple Bloom could see it no more. And then, the farm filly sobbed violently.

“Ah can’ believe ah won’ ever see her aga-ch-ain!!”

Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo rushed to Apple Bloom’s side to comfort her. Twilight giggled. “Oh don’t worry, Apple Bloom. You can still get to see her. You can use my portal in the castle.”

All three ceased any smidgen of sadness.


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

“Agreed. We need to close that portal before anyone…or anypony else for that matter stumbles upon it.”

Taking to the air, Twilight hovered over the shelves containing her massive wealth of accumulated books. Her magic ensnared around one in particular and taking it within her magical grasp, the princess descended back down to Sunset.

“I have one spell here that might work but I can’t say for sure. It was written to control magic within Equestria but I have no idea if the magic which the other Twilight used to create it is the same as the one here.”

“It was the magic of friendship gone wrong, Twilight. Nothing more. And since I brought Equestrian magic to CHS, I’ve got a good feeling that a spell should overcome it.”

“Hmmm…” Twilight let her head stare off into a corner of the room. Sunset could see her ex-mentor was in some deep thought.


“I don’t know…it just doesn’t really seem possible that someone could come over to Equestria.” She turned to look Sunset directly in the eyes.
“It’s not that I don’t trust you Sunset but I wish I had a little more evidence to bring this more to light.”

“Perhaps we can be of assistance?”

Twilight heard the voice and immediately recognised the eavesdropper. She didn’t have to move her head as Princess Luna lowered herself majestically in front of them. Sunset bowed at her arrival.

“Your Highness,” uttered Sunset. Luna acknowledged the courtesy.

“Good evening, Luna. Do you know something about this caper?”

“Yes. We…I mean, I have been watching the dreams of Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo more diligently this week. I have noticed that they are quite unusual compared with most other ponies’.”

“Like what?”

“I think they are dreaming about humans, going by what you told my sister and I about the world beyond the mirror.”

Sunset nodded, unsurprised by the comment. Twilight on the other hand took some time to adjust to that unexpected answer. Eventually, she nodded to confirm her understanding.

“Is it clearer now, Twilight?” Sunset asked.

“Yes, I think I can trust both you and Luna’s judgement. I guess we should move on this as quickly as we can if we are to assure their safety.”

“Indeed, I think that would be best also,” Luna added with a gentle smile. “I only came to state my observations so I must depart before the night compels my subjects to sleep. I’ll keep watch over the fillies’ dreams again tonight.”

“Thanks, Luna. Always nice to see you.”

“Yes, it was nice to meet you at last.”

Luna studied the unicorn in front of her. “Hmm, who might you be?”

“Oh, I’m Sunset Shimmer. I used to be-" Luna flew straight at Sunset, and hovered slightly above her. “-the princess’s student?”

“You’re Sunset Shimmer?! Haha! I’m sorry if I startled you but I’ve been looking forward to making your acquaintance for some time. My sister talks endlessly of meeting you again and telling her about this is going to make her so jealous!”

Luna snapped out of her excitement, remembering her place as a princess. “Ahem, now I must go. Goodnight!” And the night alicorn teleported in a flash of light.

The two mares giggled but Twilight soon came back to business. “So, how should we resolve this?”

Sunset put a hoof to her chin, noting how surprising it felt not to have fingers to wrap over it. “Well, first matter is getting the crusaders to their respective homes and closing that portal. I’ll go back through the portal tonight and gather the girls together to take back to the portal; perhaps you could do likewise?”

“Yes, I agree. Though, it seems a shame really that we must spoil their fun. I remember what it was like being at CHS for the first time – it was scary at first but it came to be a lot of fun. Of course, I had to worry about getting my crown back from Sunset…oh uh, no offense.”

Sunset rolled her eyes. “None taken…though I gotta say. I didn’t expect to need to say that here.”

Twilight grinned guiltily. “Anyway, I really don’t want to force them apart.”

Sunset’s eyes caught hold of something that caused her to smile. “Maybe you won’t have to…” The unicorn began to walk across the room and Twilight’s eyes followed her. She stopped outside the portal and soon Twilight started to catch on to Sunset’s notion.

“What if we let them hang out in your castle? That way we won’t rouse the suspicion of anypony or cause trouble with the idea of there being two of every crusader. Could you imagine how much destruction they’d cause?”

Twilight laughed. “Yes! It would be the end of the world!”

“And should they want to visit the human world, I can always take them to my place where I can keep their secret nice and safe.” Sunset smiled and eagerly awaited Twilight’s opinion.

“That sounds like a great idea!” enthused Twilight, her wings flexing up with joy. “Now all that’s left is to prepare that spell and we’ll be ready!”

“Oh, and it might be useful to know where the portal is?”

Sunset deadpanned. “Of course! I should have mentioned it earlier. Come on, I’ll show you.”

“And we decided together that you should be allowed to visit your new pony friends in Equestria.”

Once Sunset had finished explaining herself, the crusaders simply stood for a moment before they all let out cheers of excitement. Scootaloo however quelled herself almost immediately. Her facial expression turned extremely sour and her fists clenched together tight.


Sunset put on a smirk about as exaggerated as Scootaloo’s annoyance. “BECAAAAUSE…we weren’t gonna let you get away with attempting to trick us without playing a trick of our own. And you should have seen your faces. It was a rather evil trick, I know.”

All the crusaders were stunned at Sunset’s revelation. But their initial astonishment soon degraded into bawls of laughter.

“Wow, Sunset. That was darn good. Ah…haha…ah really believed ya there.”

Even Scootaloo had been appeased. “Yeah, I…ha I guess that’s fair.”

Sunset joined in the laughter and soon she was being tackled by all three crusaders. Catching her off guard, she fell to the ground only to have her stomach crushed by the subsequent falling girls. Laughing it off despite her bruised stomach, she scooped up the three of them in her arms and increased the uproar of laughter.

“I’m just glad to have my favourite crusaders back here with me! I love you, girls!”

“Haha, we love you too, Sunset!” Sweetie Belle replied, before she fell victim to a rather hilarious tickling…

Author's Note:

Next chapter is the last one!