• Published 13th Aug 2016
  • 6,282 Views, 161 Comments

The Sun Shines No More - CGPH

After getting attacked on the street Sunset’s life begins to spiral out of control. As her mental and physical condition worsens, she soon finds that her salvation may lie with an unlikely trio.

  • ...

Chapter Three: Charity

She felt a force roughly bury itself into her leather jacket and drag her back.

“Wha-“ Sunset tried to get out.

A fist collided with her face.

Before she had time to recuperate, a second fist came. This one right into her gut, though Sunset could have sworn it went straight through her. The air was forced out of her lungs in a zombie-like cough as she felt her soul drain out of her body. She tensed up, and attempted to keel over into the fetal position. But the figure behind her clung tightly to her jacket, holding her up.

She opened her mouth to breath, took a jagged breathe and closed it again. The taste of pennies was churning her stomach.

“AUUUGGH!” Sunset wheezed as another fist hit her stomach. The air felt like sandpaper surfing up her neck. Her arms pulled against her restraints as her body tried yet again to retreat into the fetal position, but they remained firmly pinned against the wall.

An unseen hand took a fistful of Sunset’s fringe, and before she could respond to what was happening, her head was lifted up, only to go careening to the side again as another fist was smashed into it.

“Please… sto-“ was all she could force out.

Again her head was lifted up by her hair, this time with the back of her skull getting smashed back into the brick wall. Her vision clouded white and black spots popped in her vision. Sunset’s body shuddered and hung loose. Whatever little resistance she could give was now gone. She submitted to the pain, and braced herself for whatever was to come next.

“Stop!” Sunset jolted awake.

But there was no alleyway anymore.

Replacing it was… hospital ward? White walls, white curtains, shiny floor… yep, definitely a hospital ward.

She wasn’t pinned down in a dark alleyway. She was in her hospital bed, hunched over in the most uncomfortable position imaginable. Her arm with the cannula in dangled off the side of the bed, in a deeper sleep than she had been at any point of the night. She’d been sweating during her sleep, making her hospital gown cling to her in a horrible sensation. Her breathing was quick, but her panic began to settle as the familiar setting calmed her.

Just a dream,” she thought to herself.

Well, not just a dream. A memory. A memory that’s in the past, so chill out okay?” she added.

Sunset sat up and took a scan of the hospital ward. She wasn’t chilling out.

There were people all around her. Patients sat in their beds watching TV, reading books or talking to friends. Between them, Nurses and Doctors busied themselves walking up and down the aisles, each with jobs to do. They all moved so quickly. Every one of them moved with a purpose. They had a place to be and nothing was stopping them getting there. It was so busy now compared to the emptiness of last night.

It made Sunset feel very exposed. Anyone could have approached her while she was asleep and she’d have been completely defenseless against them. The curtains around her bed hung open. There was nothing separating her from the rest of the ward and anybody on it. Anybody could have come up to her and she’d have been at their mercy, not even aware of the danger she was in as she snoozed.

Sure, why would somebody do that in a hospital? That wasn’t the point, the point was they could have done. They could have done anything. She’d just spent however many hours lay out in the open where anyone could have gotten to her.

“Gooooood morning sleepy head,” Redheart approached her bedside.

Sunset’s heart jumped and she forced out a breath she didn’t know she was holding.

Redheart noticed Sunset’s frightened expression and backed off.

“Okay there, honey?”

Sunset nodded blankly.

Redheart eyed her suspiciously, before slowly approaching. “Erm… You missed breakfast, but I figured you could use the rest. Dinner’s in two hours, you need anything until then?”

Sunset shook her head.

Redheart nodded. “Okay, get one of them tablets down you. Call me if you need me.”

She turned to leave but stopped as Sunset suddenly vocalized.

“One thing, actually,” she croaked. “Could you close my curtains? I’d like a little privacy.”

Redheart turned back around and gave a sympathetic sigh, “I’m sorry honey, hospital rules. Not allowed curtains fully shut unless you’re getting changed or being examined, gotta keep eye on you.”

Sunset nodded and looked down.

She was being stupid anyway, she was perfectly safe in the hospital. There was nobody in here with malicious intent... heck this was probably the safest place for her to be. It’s not like The Dazzlings were going to sneak into the hospital to try and finish her off.

“I could probably pull them too a little though, if you like? It’s not much but…” Redheart half pulled each of the curtains around. She was right, it wasn’t much, but it was a little improvement.

Sunset gave her a small smile. “Thanks.”

Redheart nodded to her and left.

...and then returned immediately. She moved quicker this time, making a beeline for both Sunset’s curtains. She pulled them shut the whole way, then made her way around and sat at the base of Sunset’s bed.

Sunset’s eyes flickered around the room awkwardly, not knowing what to expect.

“Nightmare?” she asked.

Sunset frowned, looking at Redheart. “How did you…?”

Redheart sighed and nodded her head. “Listen, Sunset… we get a lot of pretty girls like you in here. Some of them a lot worse off than you as well. Broken bones, stabbed, violated… and some who didn’t even make it through the first night.”

Sunset stayed silent.

“I’ve seen what they go through. Not feeling safe, the paranoia, the jumping… I want you to know it’s all perfectly natural. There’s nothing to be ashamed of around here. We understand this is a place nobody wants to be, and for the ones who are unlucky enough to be here it’s a real low point in their lives.”

Sunset couldn’t help but nod in agreement.

“But this is the best place for you right now. Nobody here is out to get you, but we are all here to help you. There’s six nurses on this ward and every single one of us is here for you, whatever you need. If you need to talk to us about anything, even if it sounds stupid to you, just know that we’ve heard a lot stupider in the past, okay?”

Sunset thought for a minute.

Something clicked in her mind. Redhearts entire attitude made sense now. She seemed to be saying all the right things because she was saying all the right things.

She’d dealt with people in Sunset’s situation before. Even despite her relaxed and unprofessional manner, there was a hint of wiseness in her words. It was a surprisingly grandmotherly approach for a woman who looked only to be in her late twenties.

“Okay,” Sunset nodded, “thank you, I... appreciate it.”

Redheart gave a big grin and hoped off Sunset’s bed. She began re-opening the curtains around them.

“Now, although you have missed breakfast, I could probably whip you up something in the staff room if you’re hungry?”

“Thanks but I’m…” Sunset began, but then remembered the words Redheart had spoken to her.

“Actually… yeah, if I could have some toast or something, I’d like that.”

“Righto dear,” Redheart gathered a clipboard off the end of Sunset’s bed. “Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.”

It was only after the nurse left did Sunset catch on to her joke and gave a bemused smile.

Pushing herself up into the sitting position, Sunset gave a heavy sigh. She was glad Redheart had said what she had, it was what she needed to hear.

Sunset hated being helpless. She hated having no choice but to rely on others for her needs. But, as Redheart had pointed out, it was literally the nurses and doctors jobs here to wait on patient’s needs. They were getting paid to ensure Sunset had the best possible recovery, there was no point she should try and make their jobs harder for them.

She had nothing to lose, she might as well just get her head down and accept what was happening to her.

'Maybe if you hadn’t had done that in the first place you wouldn’t be stuck here,' a harsh voice in her head spat.

Sunset took another sigh and pushed the nasty thought to the back of her head. She paused. She noticed an improvement in her breathing. She took another breath, heavier this time to check it wasn’t a fluke. The tightness came back, but it was a lot tamer than previously.

Sunset pulled back her hospital gown and looked down. Below her left breast was a medium sized bandage covering her ripcage. It was on pretty tightly, not enough for Sunset to have trouble breathing, but enough for her to feel it. It was probably on there to stop her over exerting herself, as well as stopping any swelling. Sunset knew the science behind having a cracked rib. Realistically she’d be waiting about a month or so for it to be completely healed, until then she’d have to be on daily painkillers and probably wearing some kind of support, not unlike the bandage she had on now.

The rest of her injuries were pretty minor all things considered. The concussion, with the treatment she was getting she should be over that by the end of tomorrow night, though she still felt a little dizzy. The bleed in her stomach and the bruises on her legs and arms she again, was getting the right treatment for. The black eye (which she could still feel throbbing) was going to take a little longer to heal but… well, as long as she didn’t have it when she went back to CHS, she’d be happy.

A sound pulled Sunset from examining her bandages and her eyes fell on the bed opposite her.

There was a girl in it who, if Sunset’s memories were correct, hadn’t be there the night before.

She was crying. She was sat with her knees up, weeping into her hands. Sunset’s first instinct was to go check on her, but then remembering she was physically attached to the bed via the cannula, she abandoned that plan.

'She must have come in while I was asleep,' Sunset thought.

Sunset angled herself so she could get a better look at the girl. She was wearing a hospital gown much like her own, as was expected. But what was confusing Sunset was she didn’t have any obvious injuries of any kind. Granted she couldn’t see the girls face, so she couldn’t say for sure, but the fact that she didn’t have any form of cannula in or crutch near her bedside confused Sunset, especially when the majority of other patients did.

But whatever was wrong with her was obviously bad enough for her to be crying, right?

'She could have a mental thing?'

Actually no, Sunset doubted they would keep mentally unstable patients in the Short Stay Unit.

Then the words that Nurse Redheart had told her about the other girls she’d seen on this ward came to mind.

Sunset’s eyes grew wide as the realization dawned on her. A tang of guilt hit her in the chest and her eyes snapped away from the girl, taking great interest in the ceiling titles instead.

Despite reassuring herself that she was in no danger, Sunset still couldn’t shake her feeling of exposure. It was like walking through her bedroom in the dead of night with the lights off; despite the knowledge that she was perfectly safe, she still couldn’t shake the sense of dread.

She thought back to yesterday morning. When she’d first remembered what happened she had totally freaked out. Don’t get her wrong, Sunset was a high school student, she was used to freaking out… But this wasn’t a usual freak out. This was like her mind was closing up, a panic had set in that got worse with every breath she took. She was falling through the air, and the further she fell the less she could breathe. So actually, it was more like falling through water then, really. Drowning. But a lot quicker, and she couldn't swim. It was like merely existing was making the sensation worse.

And then she felt like that again when she realized it was The Dazzlings who attacked her.

Sunset was intelligent, she knew what it was. She’d just been avoiding acknowledging it until now. She’d had an anxiety attack.

She’d never had a proper anxiety attack before. She’d been in moments of similar stress before, sure, but never moments that put her in actual danger. The majority of her previous dangerous moments she’d instigated herself, like becoming a she-demon. Her failure from that occasion was the closest she’d come to an anxiety attack, but even then her feelings during that time were more like heartbreak than fearing for her life.

Fearing for her life.

That’s what they made her do. A shiver went down Sunset’s spine. She knew what her friends had said last night was true. She’d have to do something about this. She’d have to go to the police. Even if it meant seeing The Dazzlings again, she could put up with it if it meant stopping them from doing the same to another person in the future. Couldn't she? And what would she even tell them?

She couldn’t tell them about her past with The Dazzlings. Not that they would believe her anyway, they’d just think she’d been hit too hard in the head during her attack. But she couldn’t pretend she’d never met them before either, otherwise how did she know it was them when their faces were hidden? She’d have to come up with some sort of cover story, something that she’d have to get her friends in on in case they were taken in for questioning. Something like they did go school with The Dazzlings, but it was personal drama with Sunset that caused them to drop out.

'Yeah, that could work,' Sunset thought. 'Like it was a personal thing between The Rainbooms and Dazzlings…'

'Could be a romance thing, like maybe one of my friends stole one of The Dazzlings boyfriends? That would be a good reason for why we hate each other. Not that any of my friends have actually ever had boyfriends… to my knowledge, anyway. Oh, but then they might want to speak to the boyfriend too! Well, I suppose I could get Flash to pretend… Ugh no, the last thing I want is to be involving anyone else in this. Plus one of them could easily just say they have no idea what I’m talking about…'

Actually that was quite a problem. Whatever story Sunset came up with about her past with The Dazzlings, The Dazzlings would have probably come up with a story of their own. Maybe they could work out a deal? If they collaborate Sunsets story she could promise not to press charges? But then why would she be going to the police if she didn’t want to press charges? They’d never agree to something like that. Plus that would involve talking to them outside of police custody.

Another chill went down Sunset’s spine, and she felt herself curl up a little.

She really needed advice.

She could talk to Nurse Redheart. She seemed like the type who could give good advice. But Sunset would have to be very limited on the facts when explaining her situation, and that’s not really what she wanted.

She could talk to one of the girls. But which one? All of them?

No… she’d already heard their opinion on it. Sunset didn’t want to just talk about going to the police, she wanted somebody she could talk through every option with properly. Her friends were so set on making Sunset do the right thing in this, it had never occurred to them if she was capable of doing the right thing. She wanted somebody she could express her fears to who would actually listen, not just use her words as an argument for her to go to the cops.

'There’s always Princess Twilight,' Sunset thought.

Strictly speaking this was of concern to her. It involved The Dazzlings after all, Twilight would want to hear about it. But granted… it didn’t involve them using magic. So would Twilight still want to hear about it?

Sunset hoped so. Twilight would know the right action to take. And she could actually talk to her about it without having a course of action forced down her throat. Not that Sunset didn’t appreciate how much her friends cared about her but… right now she wanted somebody to vent to, not to plan with.

Her journal was back in her apartment. She could get one of her friends to bring it to her?

Sunset mentally cursed. She wished she had her cellphone on her. She was going to have to wait for one of her friends to visit her, she could ask one of them to get it her then. She shouldn’t have to wait too long, according to the clock on her ward CHS had finished twenty minutes ago, which knowing her friends meant she’d probably be seeing them anytime n-

“Sunset Shimmer, visitors!”

Sunset repressed a smirk. She watched as Nurse Redheart appeared round the corner, all of her friends in tow behind her. Each of her friends slowly filled into the area around her bed, all looking pleased to see her. Sunset couldn’t help but notice they were two girls short, Rainbow Dash and Applejack.

“Heya Sunset!” Pinkie Pie chirped.

“Hey,” Fluttershy said brightly.

“Hey Sunset,” Twilight appeared by her side.

“Hello dear,” Rarity said sweetly, taking her position at the end of Sunset’s bed.

“Hey guys!” Sunset greeted them. She paused before continuing in a quieter voice. “Erm… where’s Applejack and Rainbow Dash?”

Pinkie Pie snorted, causing Rarity to roll her eyes.

“Applejack is working, she sends her regards.”

“Ah, okay...” Sunset said, not understanding what had caused Pinkie to laugh. “And… Rainbow Dash?”

Another snort.

Rarity looked down mumbled quietly. “She’s in the parking lot.

“The.. what?” Sunset frowned.

Rarity sighed, “She’s in the parking lot. She claimed she couldn’t come in until “the coast was clear”... I was going to ask what she meant, until I realized knowing would probably make me an accomplice in something.”

This caused Sunset to stifle a small laugh.

“She did bring something for you though,” Rarity fished around in her handbag for a moment. She pulled out a dark green book.

“Daring Do and the Marked Thief of Marapore!” Sunset smiled brightly. “This has only been out a week, I’ve been meaning to pick it up.”

Rarity nodded. “She got it for herself last night, but decided you are probably in more need of something to read right now than she is.”

“That’s so sweet of her,” Sunset took the book from Rarity and placed it on her bedside cabinet. “Tell her I say thank you.”

“You should be able to tell her yourself, if she can get in.” Pinkie Pie giggled.

Sunset looked at Rarity, who just shook her head in response.

“How’re you feeling, Sunset?” Twilight asked, stepping forward.

“I’m… fine,” she lied.

There was no point worrying her friends about something they couldn’t help her with.

“On the mend. Chest feels a little better. And my headache’s gone.”

Twilight smiled. “That’s good! Are you keeping up with your treatments?”

Sunset nodded. “They come in and inject me with stuff every few hours, I don’t really have a choice in it. Hospital food is terrible though,” Sunset thought back to her toast. “Err… don’t tell Nurse Redheart I said that.”

“Lucky for you we went Sugarcube Corner!” Pinkie Pie cheered and pulled out a plastic bag from… somewhere.

“Got’cha some cupcakes, sponge cake, ice cream cake, chocolate cake, cheese cake, angel food cake, devil’s food cake, banbury cake, Better than sex cake, upsidedown cake aaannndd depression cake!”

Sunset stared at the bag with both envious and frightened eyes.

“Pinkie Pie, that’s so sweet…. Thank you,” Sunset smiled. “But… my eating has to be monitored, I’m not really allowed cake with my stomach how it is. Going to the toilet is a bitch as it is."

Pinkie Pie’s smiled did a one eighty. “Oh…”

Sunset gave her a sad smile.

Rarity suddenly leaned in for what Sunset thought was a hug, until she felt Rarity’s breath on her ear. “It’s actually just some sandwiches and juice. We know they have rules about this stuff, as Pinkie shoveled it all into the bag we shoveled it back out.”

Sunsets smiled as Rarity pulled away. She took the bag from Pinkies grasp. “Actually Pinkie, they probably won’t mind. Thank you.”

Pinkie smile did another one eighty (three sixty?) and she turned to Rarity.

"Ooooooooooooo show her what you brought!"

Rarity smiled and rolled her eyes. "Oh er, yes. I also brought you something myself. I didn’t really know what I could bring that was of use that the others hadn't already... sooooo…”

Rarity handed her a small plastic device.

“It’s my IPod. The chargers in Pinkie’s bag, you can keep it as long as you like hehehe… I have others.”

Sunset could have sworn she heard a record scratch.

The joy she’d been feeling from seeing her friends began to drain away. Her heart dropped.

This was exactly what she was talking about. Rainbow bringing her a book they were both excited for she could understand, as well as Pinkie bringing her sweets to cheer her up. They both suited their character. But Rarity lending her her own IPod... it was all adding up, and Sunset didn’t like it. Rarity was obviously doing it because she too felt the need to give her something. Which was understandable, Rarity's pony self being the element of generosity after all.

But Sunset didn’t want people being generous to her just because they felt sorry for her.

For so long after her reformation Sunset’s friendships relied on other people’s generosity. For her to be feeling animosity about the generosity of others now was an irony not unknown to her.

Sunset didn’t take the IPod, “Rarity you... shouldn’t have.”

“Ehehehe…” Rarity gave a nervous laughter and placed the music device beside Rainbows book on the cabinet. “Honestly it’s nothing, I have two more at home. And it’ll be something to keep you entertained while you’re here.”

“Look, I really appreciate what you guys are doing but I don’t want charity. I feel fine, and I’m getting out of this place soon. You don’t all need to be fussing about me.”

The girls all seemed to stiffen up at this.

“It’s not really charity…” Twilight began.

“You’d do the same for any of us,” Fluttershy brushed her comment off.

“We just wanna make you feel happy while you’re feeling crappy,” Pinkie Pie smiled.

“I mean, it’s our fault you ended up here,” Rarity looked down.

“Wait,” Sunset stopped them. “What do you mean?”

Rarity opened her mouth to answer but Twilight beat her to it.

“What Rarity means is we kind of feel responsible for what happened. And, we kind of are, really…”

The girls all nodded in agreement.

Sunset swore the lights in the room had just got dimmer.

“What... do you mean?” Sunset didn’t understand.

“Well, we were all with you before... what happened,” Fluttershy said.

“We could have walked home with you or… carpooled … something,” Pinkie sighed.

“We shouldn’t have left you to go home by yourself dear, it was irresponsible of us as friends, and look where it’s got you,” Rarity gestured to her position.

That thought had never occurred to Sunset. Not that it was her friend’s fault she was here, they were wrong about that. But the thought that her friends might hold themselves responsible for what happened. It had never struck Sunsets mind that they might feel guilty for not being there for her.

A tang of pain swept through her as she realized her mistake.

They’ve probably been beating themselves up about it since it happened. What kind of friend was she not to have noticed? Her friends had been driven to the point of giving her their own possessions they felt so guilty, and Sunset had done nothing to ease their guilt.

“Okay no, hold up,” Sunset said firmly. “The only reason I’m here is because the sirens jumped me. That’s nobody’s fault but theirs… and my own, to an extent. I should have known better than to walk home alone at night. Twilight even offered me a ride back and I turned it down!”

The girls looked at Twilight, who silently nodded.

“I don’t want any of you feeling guilty for what happened, it’s my carelessness that got me here.”

“Sunset…” Rarity tried.

“No!” Sunset said a little louder than expected.

“Just… ugh…” she huffed, “I’m struggling enough with this as it is, okay? The last thing I need is you guys treating me like charity.”

“We aren't treating you like charity, Sunset,” Fluttershy defended.

“We’d still be doing this even if we didn’t hold ourselves responsible for what happened. You are our friend and it’s our jobs to take care of you. It’s not degrading for you to let the people who care about you help you. Especially when you need the help,” Rarity said just as firmly.

“I don’t need help,” Sunset moaned. “I’m fine, I can take care of myself.”

“You just said you were struggling with this! Nobody is going to think less of you for what’s happened.”

Sunset was silent. She wanted to continue arguing. Partly to retain what little dignity she had left, and partly to let out some built up stress.

“We’re here for you, Sunset Shimmer,” Rarity continued, “it could just as easily been any of us that was attacked instead of you. And are you honestly saying you wouldn’t do exactly what we’re doing now if that was the situation?”

Sunset slowly shrugged.

“I guess.”

Rarity nodded at this, satisfied that she had gotten through to Sunset. She turned to Twilight and gestured towards Sunset with her neck.

“Twilight, tell Sunset what you did.”

Sunset watched as Twilight nervously straightened up her glasses before speaking.

“Well I told my brother what happened. He’s the captain of the Canterlot Royal Police Force and he said-“


She felt her heart skip a beat.

How dare Twilight go to the police about this without her! She didn’t even know if she wanted to go to the police or not yet! But now she didn’t have a choice, apparently. Because Twilight had gone straight ahead and done it without her.

It’s not like this was a sensitive issue Sunset needed time to work out or anything! Just casually mention it to your older brother, yeah fine that's fine! Sunset will be able to handle it. Should I bother asking her? Nah don’t bother, she’ll be over it by now.

Anger flooded into her veins as she felt her cheeks glow red.

Each of the girls took a step back, surprised at Sunsets sudden outburst. Twilight backed away a little too far, and bumped into the back of a monitoring machine. It clattered to the floor loudly, causing all eyes in the room to fall on them.

Twilight began frantically playing with her hair as she tried to get her next words out. “I-I-I t-told my b-brother what ha-a-appened a-a…”

“Sunset Shimmer!” Rarity whispered harshly, not wanting to cause more of a scene.

Nurse Redheart appeared around the corner immediately, glaring daggers. She lifted the fallen equipment up and turned to the group.

“What’s going on here!?” she said harshly.

“Go ahead, tell her what’s happened too, you might as well,” Sunset snapped.

“I... I… I… er…” Twilight struggled for words.

“Nothing, Nurse Redheart!” Rarity jumped in, “Twilight just tripped over some equipment, so sorry, won’t happen again!”

Redheart turned to Sunset Shimmer. "Are these girls harassing you?”

“Sunset,” Rarity’s words almost seemed like a challenge, “let Twilight explain before you start shouting at her.”

Sunset’s harsh gaze went back and forth between Redheart and Rarity, before she finally turned to look at Twilight.

“Well?” She asked sternly.

With all eyes now back on her, Twilight began playing with her bangs again.

“I s-spoke to my b-brother, he works for the Ca-anterlot R-royal Police Force. He s-said he’ll set up a case for it but y-you don’t have to t-take it any further until y-you’re ready. They’re g-gonna start looking for The Dazzlings but erm, not like, officially or anything.”

“She just mentioned it to them so they could keep a look out, Sunset.” Rarity said matter-of-factly.

“I w-wouldn’t have gone to the p-police properly without your permission, if t-that’s what you think…” Twilight shied away from her.

Sunset felt another punch in the stomach. This time it wasn’t one of pain, but one of guilt.

She untensed her shoulders and looked down.

“They’re not bothering me, Nurse Redheart.”

Nurse Redheart stared each of the girls down with a slow glare, and began slowly making her way down the ward away from them. Even as she got further away, the girls dared not release the breath they were holding.

“That is a scary lady,” Pinkie Pie said plainly. “And I thought Fluttershy’s stare was bad!”

Sunset sighed. “I’m sorry for shouting Twilight.

“It’s… okay,” Twilight didn’t meet her gaze.

But it wasn’t okay.

She shouldn’t have just blown up at them like that. They were her friends, they deserved to know why she had. She hadn’t wanted to tell them this earlier, but now she’d dug herself into a hole.

It was time to level with them all.

“Okay, look,” Sunset began, “I don’t want the police involved… At all. Or, not for a while anyway. Since what happened I’ve been…”

She took a breath.

“Since what happened I’ve been… jumpy. I don’t want the police involved because I need time to get over this. What happened was just so… unexpected... it really rattled me. And now I’m locked up in here where I don’t feel safe I just feel like I’m a sitting duck waiting for… I don’t… I don't feel safe when I think about what happened, I know it's silly but... I just need time to get over it. I’m sorry for shouting Twilight, really.”

Twilight looked up at this, and after a moment gave a small smile.

“It’s okay. I didn’t mean to betray your trust, I just tell my brother everything and… when I told him it never occurred to me you wouldn’t want me to. He’s got the case open and ready for whenever you want to go them about it.”

Sunset nodded. “Thank you, Twilight.”

The group all exchanged sympathetic looks with one another.

"Sunset.. we didn't mean to upset you," Fluttershy said softly.

"No, no, you didn't. It's me, it's just... I think I'd like to go bed soon, painkillers are kicking in," Sunset gestured to her cannula.

Rarity nodded. "Right girls, let's not keep her waiting! We'll leave you be."

"Oh but Rainbow Dash hasn't managed to find a way in yet!" Pinkie complained.

"You shut up about that before you get us kicked out," Rarity whispered harshly.

Sunset chuckled at her friends antics, "I appreciate you guys coming, really."

"We're all here for you Sunset," Twilight smiled.

Sunset nodded, taking on a warm smile. "I know."

And with that each of her friends exchanged goodbyes and began to file out of the room. Rarity was the last to leave, offering her a small wave as she exited.

As the last slither of purple hair disappeared around the corner, Sunset realized something and groaned.

She'd forgotten to ask one of them to get her journal from her apartment.

"Your pain killers should have kicked in hours ago," Redheart said, apparently not having left the area.

Sunset let out a slow sigh, "I know, they did."

"Why lie?"

Sunset thought for a minute.

"I love my friends but... They're not really what I need right now. They're too... caring. I want to get better, but I refuse to let them wait on me hand and foot."

Redheart nodded. "Damn straight, that's my job."

Sunset chuckled.

It was a long time before sleep finally greeted her that night. And unfortunately, it had brought dreams with it.

She felt a force roughly bury itself into her leather jacket and drag her back.

“Wha-“ Sunset tried to get out.

A fist collided with her face.