• Published 3rd Jan 2016
  • 4,884 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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Something Wrong? No...

The spirit of summer was vivid all over the park it seemed. All over the park, people were flying kites, having picnics or simply dozing under the warm sun. This had surprisingly not deterred the wildlife from appearing and in abundance too.

There was never a silent moment that one couldn’t hear the chirp of the mockingbirds or the light scurrying of squirrels combined with the rustle of the bushes as they shot across to the nearest tree, avoiding the eyes of humans at all cost.

“Not fast enough, little ones!” exclaimed the artist at work.

The sketcher managed to pinpoint their new location atop one of the branches of the maple tree directly opposite her. She quickly went about sketching their shapes in parallel to the homely looking tree; she was unlikely to get a rare opportunity such as this.

“Just a little longer…” she pleaded, her gaze still switching from the perched squirrels to her sketchbook.

She felt herself getting sweaty as she concentrated on the pair and the artist soon realised that she was getting fatigued. But she couldn’t hurry. A bad sketch would be a waste of a chance like this. As she pencilled in the last curve, her back fell back onto the comfy bench and she gave her numbing wrist a much needed time-out.

“Phew…” the sketcher said, stretching her arms and relaxing in satisfaction of her work.

The intense heat made the sketch prove to be quite the workout. She sighed heavily as she admired her sketch of the chattering rodents in the tree. She was getting better - considering she had only recently taken it up. She flipped through the other pages to reveal her other works, stopping on one in particular for a time.

The sketch had been one of her first and so was rather sloppy in places. But the subject of the sketch meant so much more to the aspiring teen. It resembled a familiar face exuding pure happiness and honesty; not surprising since-

Her daydreaming came to halt as she felt the vibration of her phone in her back trouser pocket as well as hearing the sound of its more disruptive ringtone. She fumbled in her pocket for the phone and holding it out in her hand, she smirked upon reading the name before silencing it and placing it to her ear.

“Hey AJ,” she greeted happily.

“Hiya Sunset. How r ya?” said Applejack’s friendly voice.

“I’m fine, just outside enjoying the summer. It sure is a lovely day today.”

“Yeah, it sure as sugar is! Anyway Sunset, ah was kinda hoping ya cud do me a favour.”

Sunset perked up from her lax position.

“Sure Applejack, what do you need?”

“Ah got a call from Principal Celestia sayin’ that Apple Bloom and her friends seem t’ave wandered into some trouble over beside the school. Ah can’t imagine what they’d be doing over there in the first place seein’ as it’s the summer and all.”

“She asked me to come pick the girls up but ah got ma hands tied with this here doohicky that Big Mac says will help ar cider making. Ah know Rarity is out of town just now and Rainbow is at a soccer match so ah really don’ know who else to turn to.”

“Of course, AJ. I’m just five minutes away from the school so I will happily collect the girls for you.” Sunset confidently said.

“Oh thanks ever so much, Sunset! It means a lot. Bring’em back here and ah’ll watch’em after that.”

“Don’t mention it, AJ. See ya real soon!” she confirmed, standing up from the bench as she hung up.

She glanced at the sketchbook still lying on the bench and reached her hands out to grab it. It was still open to the page she had been studying before Applejack called. She chuckled warmly as she closed it and placed it back in her satchel.

“I’d do anything for that smile.”

Sunset Shimmer opened the doors into the great atrium of the school. It felt weird being be back here so early into the summer – just the first day in fact. As she had been a junior in the last year, it would be her final year when her senior journey came directly after summer’s end. She became both excited and sad at the same time.

She was excited of the new adventures she could embark on after graduating especially seeing as humans had the extra challenge of no magic in their lives; apart from the magic of friendship of course. Yet at the same time, she wouldn’t have the pleasure of being with her ever so valuable friends as much on the account of being a year ahead.

The timelines between the two worlds still perplexed her from time to time. In Equestria she was at least five years older than Twilight and her friends but in the human world she was only their elder by a year. She came to realise that the human calendar was a lot longer than the pony one – almost five times longer most likely.

But where does Celestia fit in all this then? Oh nevermind. It was a tendency for Sunset to think a lot about the divide between Equestria and the human world since it had been constantly on her mind when she first arrived here…when she was bent on domination that was; to gain as much knowledge as possible to best use it against her selfish mentor. Sunset cringed at the thought and soon brought her mind back to reality.

She knocked on the principal’s door and pushing the door open while still hanging onto the doorknob she stuck her head inside to see if anybody was there.

“Good afternoon, Sunset. What brings you here today?” Principal Celestia inquired almost immediately.

“Hello, Principal Celestia. I came to collect the girls on behalf of Applejack,” responded Sunset, letting go of the doorknob and closing the door behind her as he came into the room.

“Ah. Good of you to come, Sunset. Luna and I were quite surprised to find the girls playing outside the school. It’s not the safest place after all with no-one round to supervise them. Next time, I’d suggest the park.”

Celestia giggled that last part and addressed the crusaders sitting on the waiting chairs adjacent to her desk.

“Here we are, girls. Sunset Shimmer has come to take you back home.”

Sunset read the looks of the three friends but took a while to notice that they were each giving her a confused look – which made Sunset equally confused. To break the awkward silence that seemed to be forming, Sunset gestured an even more awkward wave to the girls in the hope that they would follow her. Luckily, it worked.

The crusaders got up from their seats and walked over towards Sunset but in complete silence and without their usual rush.

Something was up.

She smiled down at them as they approached, only to earn in return some very cautious eyes looking up at her. On top of that, she noticed Sweetie Belle fidgeting with her hands and Scootaloo eyeing the floor from time to time. She would have spoken up had it not been for the attentive principal being in the same room.

“Thanks, Principal Celestia. I can take it from here. Come on girls!” the smiling mentor said, beckoning the three of them to follow with her hand.

She held the door open as the crusaders filed out of the room, still hardly uttering a word. Her smile disappeared at the unchanged expression on their faces.

“I trust you’ll keep them out of trouble, Sunset?” chuckled Celestia.

“Heh, that’s rich coming from me!” joked Sunset in return, her absent smile returning.

Celesita laughed louder at that. “Haha…take care, Sunset. And enjoy the summer!”

“You too! Bye!” Sunset gave an affectionate wave and walked out the room.

“That was odd.”

The voice came from the adjoining room to Celestia’s office.

“We have never seen them like that before…”

“I understand what you mean, Lulu. But if anyone can figure out what’s going on, it’s Sunset.”

Sweetie Belle couldn’t do anything but remain awestruck at what she was witnessing as she continued following the familiar rainbow maned pegasus. Ponyville was full of other ponies of varying types matching that of her and her pony-fied friends. There were houses abundant too; all appearing to be made out of hay and wood which didn’t seem to surprise the educated unicorn as naturally horses on the whole liked hay.

What did shock the filly however was just how much activity there was in a town comprised of ponies. She spotted a restaurant and a furniture store…that only sold sofas and quills? There was also a town hall, a bakery and a market where she heard the vendors calling out their speciality items.

“Step right up and get your one of a kind Discord lamps. Made by Discord himself.”

“Be the first on your block to get some Flim Flam… (cough) Slim Slam one of a kind tonic.”

“Fresh apples! Get your apples here! Grown best by the finest Apple family.”

That last voice caused Sweetie Belle to stop completely and look at the orange mare at the nearby apple stand.

“Applejack?” she voiced.

The sound of her sibling’s name caused Apple Bloom to stop in turn and noticed that the white unicorn was no longer at her side but stopped a little further back her attention fixed on something.

“What ya say, Sweetie?” Apple Bloom asked.

Sweetie Belle twisted round with a horrified expression. “I said that out-”

“Well howdy Sweetie Belle. How are ya?”

The orange apple vendor had come out of her cosy stall and was walking over to the two of them. Distracted by the commotion, Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash both halted and began retracing their steps towards the source of the outbursts.

“Uh…Uh…I’m..,” Sweetie Belle stuttered nervously, caught off guard and unsure of what to say. She felt Apple Bloom come up behind her.

“AJ? Is that really you?!” Apple Bloom queried with a cheerful tone.

“Well who else would ah be, sis?” chuckled her content sister, trotting to Apple Bloom to give her a gentle noogie.

“Ah guess nobody,” she said happily, ecstatic about the feeling of receiving affection from her pony sister.

“Nobody? What’s that now?”

Scootaloo noticed Apple Bloom’s mistake. “I think you mean nopony, don’t ya AB?”

“Yeah…that,” she said hesitantly, rather embarrassed after forgetting the term which their pony selves had taught them. As luck would have it though, Applejack didn’t have time to push the matter further since her attention was diverted by Rainbow’s voice cutting in.

“Hey, AJ! How’s business?”

“Howdy Rainbow! Apples are flyin’ off my stand faster than ya can say “10 seconds flat”.” The apple vendor gave a knowing smirk to the rainbow pegasus.

“That fast, huh?” Rainbow narrowed her eyes at the witty comment. “Too bad you can’t make cider as fast!” she retorted with the same jovial tone.

“Touché, Rainbow! Course, cider season is comin’ up real soon and ah don’ think it best t’annoy the very pony who sells it.”

Rainbow Dash’s face squinted up in shock as she tried to come up with a comeback but the thought of no cider washed all her talking sense away and what came out instead was just some inaudible stuttering.

“Oh shucks Rainbow, ah’m just teasing! Course y’all will get yar cider. It does ma heart good ta know ya love it so much after all!”

Rainbow sighed in relief but as usual tried to pretend she knew all along. “Yeah AJ, I was just baiting you. Of course I knew ya wouldn’t do that to me, your best friend?!” She chuckled nervously to finish.

“Come ta think of it…,” Applejack’s eyes landed on her sister. “Don’ ya have chores ta do, sis? Ah’m sure Big Mac needs plenty help at the farm today,” the mare said softly but firmly.

No surprise there. “Uhh…course sis, ah’ll get right on it. Ah just wanted ta go with Scootaloo ta get her scooter and then ah’ll hop to it!” she replied confidently.

“Well alright then; see that you do!”

“OK…well we’d better get to Twilight’s Castle pronto in that case,” protested Rainbow, beginning to walk ahead.

Scootaloo moved to follow beside her. The two crusaders were close behind but not before Apple Bloom waved (or is it hoofed?) her sister goodbye.

“Ah guess ah’ll see ya at home, sis!” Wherever home is.

“Yep! See ya!” Applejack beamed a smile and waved in reply before turning back to her apple selling. “Get your apples! Howdy, sir, what-”

As the sound of her melodious southern voice faded, Apple Bloom turned to Sweetie Belle with an astonished expression.

“Ah don’ get it, Sweets. How'd ya know that was ma own sister?"

Sweetie Belle smiled proudly in a way quite similar to her sister. “I guess Big Mac was right when he said I was a perceptive pony.” She looked to her friend but found the earth pony was still confused.

“That day when he tried to impersonate a woman to do the Sisterhood social with you…”

Twilight Sparkle sat at the table as she heard the all too familiar sound get louder and louder. It was coming from the bed across the room and it was way too late in the day. She turned to see the sheets rise and fall and listened to the occasional muttering, “I’m not a baby, Twilight” or “Rarity, won’t you be mine?

When she had promised her dragon assistant that he could have a lie in, she knew for sure that 2 o’clock was pushing it. Sighing, the alicorn pushed aside her daily paperwork and trotted over to the dozing dragon. Tugging a feather loose from her left wing, Twilight lighted her horn to levitate the feather so that it just hovered an inch above her assistant’s nose.

She proceeded to move to the next phase but to her surprise Spike stirred awake suddenly, yawning and stretching all over the place. Twilight quickly hid the feather out of sight and greeted the waking dragon.

“Good afternoon Spike,” she said, putting full emphasis on the middle word of that phrase.

The dragon must not have heard as he simply replied, “Morning, Twi.”

He let out a big yawn again which soon became a retch and then came fluttering out a scroll with the royal seal of the Princess.

Perhaps that’s why he got up in such a hurry. Spike grabbed the scroll lying stationary on the floor and read it aloud.

“Yawn…My dearest Twilight, I humbly request that you come to Canterlot whenever you find the time. No need to hurry! Yours faithfully, Princess Celestia.” Spike paused before reciting the words at the bottom. “Ahem…P.S. Spike, I-”

Twilight became a little anxious as Spike hesitated. “Yes, Spike?”

He cast the letter aside and made an annoyed grunt. “I apologise for waking you up…” he grumbled.

Twilight tried to conceal her amusement but a small giggle escaped her mouth. The dragon stubbornly folded his arms and turned away.

“Oh come on, Spike! It’s two in the afternoon and just how long were you up reading those comics last night?” countered the alicorn sternly.

Spike’s shoulders slumped and the dragon uttered a nervous chuckle. “Umm…maybe you’re right…”

Twilight nuzzled her faithful but always stubborn dragon assistant. “Well then if the princess needs me in Canterlot; I won’t keep her waiting long. Spike, pack a bag.”

“Sure Twilight, I’ll be back soon then.”

Her assistant scurried off to tend to the bag packing while Twilight went back to pondering over the papers on the desk. A couple of moments later, she heard the purple dragon return.

“Uhhh, Twilight? Just to let you know, Rainbow Dash and the crusaders are downstairs in the hall. They asked for you,” said Spike.

“Thanks, Spike. I’ll be right out!” confirmed Twilight with a grateful smile.

Having made a mental note of all the documentation, Twilight worked her way down to the hall. Or rather she readied her horn and concentrated hard to appear in front of a slightly spooked Rainbow Dash who wasn’t expecting her friend to appear out of thin air. Of course, her companions were especially shocked.

“How did you do that?” Scootaloo couldn’t help but say.

“Is that the first time you’ve seen me do that, Scootaloo?” questioned Twilight. It was surprising to say the least but she supposed that not everypony had seen her teleporting. “Well, it requires constant practice to get right.”

“Anyway…” started Rainbow, rather not wanting to hear a lecture from her egg head friend, “I thought I’d bring Scootaloo to collect her scooter. I think I screwed her up a little when I accidentally crashed into her while trying to practice for the Wonderbolts.” Rainbow made a gesture toward her head to help explain this. “She couldn’t even remember who you were or how to get here!”

“Oh!” Twilight looked down at the orange pegasus. “Are you alright, Scootaloo?”

“I’m fine!” The filly grinned to assert her point meanwhile inside half of her was still trying to process all the amazing things happening.

Twilight read the smile on Scootaloo’s face; it seemed pretty genuine. “OK, that’s good. Well, Scootaloo your scooter is still in the lounge, right where you left it.”

“Uhh…hehe…where DID I leave it?”

Twilight rolled her eyes and made a gesture with her right wing pointing it towards the room on their left while with the other she prodded the orange pegasus lightly indicating that she were to follow her. Scootaloo took her meaning and began to follow Twilight.

The pair moved into the lounge with the others coming up behind them. Twilight heard a loud thud proceeded by a squeal and jerked her head back to see what had happened. Sweetie Belle was lying face down on the floor, her hind legs trying to reposition to get herself back up again.

“Is something wrong, Sweetie Belle?” Twilight asked anxiously.

“No, I’m fine…sigh…” answered Sweetie Belle, bringing her fore hooves up to balance herself. “I just need to get used to that.”

“Used to what?”

Sweetie Belle stammered. Remembering the bet, she didn’t want to give their position away but she knew the purple pony would remain suspicious if she said nothing. She opened her mouth to speak.

“Is that it over there?” Scootaloo said eagerly, pointing her hoof at the object resembling a scooter in the corner of the room. Sweetie Belle sighed as Twilight’s attention became side-tracked towards the excited pegasus.

“Yes indeed it is, Scootaloo.”

Scootaloo cantered over to the scooter and reached out a hoof to grab the scooter intent on mounting it and riding it. But as she grabbed it, the thought occurred to her that she wouldn’t know how to ride it with her new body functions. Not wanting to either embarrass herself or get fingered for an impostor, she wheeled the scooter alongside her as she trotted back to the others.

“Aren’t ya going to ride it, squirt?” asked Rainbow Dash.

“I think I’d best wait until I get outside,” the purple-haired pegasus said sheepishly.

“Why how responsible, Scootaloo!” How very odd. “I’m glad some of us aren’t in such a hurry all the time.” Twilight’s gaze met the rainbow pegasus and cocked a sly smile at her.

“Yeah, yeah, I get it. I guess if you’re fine now Scoot, I’ll get back to doing a few more exercises before the sun goes down.” She spotted an open window above and focusing her gaze on it, she braced for a rapid take-off.

“See ya Twi! Catch you later, squirt! And bye girls!” And with that Rainbow shot out of the room leaving behind a rainbow trail.

That mare can’t sit still can she? Twilight turned to the girls. “I’d love to stay and catch up girls but I must go to Canterlot now. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the day.” She began to leave.

An idea suddenly popped into Sweetie Belle’s head. “Wait! Is that a library over there?” Sweetie Belle made a head motion towards the other room on the other side of the entrance hall. There was a hollow entrance but what from the unicorn could make out the back seemed lined with lots of books.

“Why yes, Sweetie Belle,” replied Twilight. “Why do you ask?”

“Do you happen to have any books about the history of the world?”

Apple Bloom nudged her friend and whispered “Equestria.”

“Like a comprehensive guide to Equestria?”

Twilight looked at the unicorn intently before answering. “Yes, in fact. There’s one that we give to other species not native to Equestria to allow them to know about ponies. But there’s nothing in it that you girls shouldn’t already know. Why do you want it?”

Sweetie Belle had prepared for it but still had doubts as to the reality of her answer. “Miss Cheerilee wants us to do a report on the history of Equestria.”

“During the summer?” Twilight pressed.

“Uhh…it’s homework and besides I thought it would be an interesting read.” The seemingly innocent unicorn attempted a small smile to confirm her enthusiasm.

“Well, I’d be more than happy to lend you it!” Twilight’s face lit up. “Let me just go and find it for you,” the alicorn said happily before flying towards the library.

For the first time in a while, the crusaders had been left alone prompting the perfect time for a discussion.

“What ya gettin’ the book for, Sweetie Belle?” asked Apple Bloom.

“Well guys we don’t know a lot about being ponies or other ponies for that matter. I mean look at Twilight!”

The alicorn was busy searching through the shelves with her horn alight and then disappeared out of their sight. “She is a unicorn and can fly; I don’t know what to make of her. Perhaps the book can tell us?”

“That’s actually pretty smart!” admitted Scootaloo, beaming happily at the cleverness of her friend.

“What are we going to do now?” she continued.

“Well ah need ta do those chores ma sis told me about,” answered Apple Bloom.

“And I need to-”

“Here you are, Sweetie Belle!” The fillies turned to see Twilight levitating a book in front of Sweetie Belle. “Please feel free to take it as long as you like!”

“Thanks, Twilight,” she said gratefully and reached for the book and almost dropping it as she grasped it in her hooves.

Twilight had in fact expected to use her magic to grab the book but she shrugged and addressed the girls once more.

“Well now, I really must go. Bye girls!” She turned to walk up the stairs to her room.

The crusaders faced each other. “Right, I’m gonna find a quiet place to read this. What are you two going to do?”

“I guess I better practice riding my scooter with THESE!” stated Scootaloo, emphasising her hooves when she spoke.

“And ah need ta get ta Sweet Apple Acres. But ah’ve no clue where…” Apple Bloom thought of the winged unicorn.

“Hey! Uh…Twilight? One more favour?”

Author's Note:

Originally, this chapter was going to be longer. I cut it short so that there weren't too many scenes within the same chapter. I also thought about splitting the human world and Equestrian timelines but chronologically it wouldn't have worked out.