• Published 13th Aug 2016
  • 6,271 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.

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Chapter Six: Revelations

The coming days passed by Sunset slowly, but without incident. On the night of her breakdown, Rarity and Twilight had tucked her in on the sofa and left her be, and she’d woken up the following morning to a text explaining what had happened. Sunset wanted to say she’d woken up to worse things but… she hadn’t. As she read the message summing up the previous night’s events, she’d wanted to die then and there. She only thanked Celestia that the girls were being so cooperative with her, it was really sparing her from any added embarrassment.

Sunset had finally come to terms with the fact she felt a like burden on her friends. She’d finally accepted that, yes, she was being a burden, and that was what she needed right now. She was ill and needed the support of her friends, it was as simple as that. They had done more than enough to convince her that they were helping her out of the goodness of their hearts and not through sympathy, and the knowledge she’d do the same for them definitely made the pill easier to swallow.

Physically she'd had been improving a lot. Her black eye had reduced to being nothing more than a green blur now (albeit it a green blur that hurt when she chewed), and between that and her cracked rib only hurting when she tried to stand, Sunset considered herself quite lucky.

She didn’t see her friends again until the weekend, when they all decided to invite themselves over for a study party. This time she’d received a text first, warning of their visit, which had given her time to prepare. Which meant curtains closed, Hooftube up, snacks out and pizza ordered!

When they arrived the lot of them ended up all sprawled out across Sunset’s living room, with only Rarity and Twilight electing to actually rest on the sofa. Pinkie and Rainbow sat in front of the TV with their study books abandoned to the sides as they watched epic fail compilations. Applejack leaned against the base of the sofa, reading while Rarity braided her hair, and Twilight sat beside them, studying in silence. Fluttershy sat quietly on the arm of the sofa, content with simply watching them all.

Sunset was in the kitchen pouring herself a glass of juice. As she closed the fridge door she was met with the sight of two piercing blue eyes and a pale face, and she jumped back in alarm.

“Oh! Sorry dear. I did try making noise as I entered,” Rarity giggled.

“It’s fine,” Sunset laughed lightly, “you just frightened me.”

“Not too much though, I hope?” Rarity asked, a hint of concern in her voice.

The fun buzz Sunset had been getting from having her friends over hit a wall.

Okay, she might have been lying when she said she was over feeling like a burden. Sometimes her friends would say something wrong or… misjudge a situation, and as a result it’d make Sunset feel like an overly sensitive child. She didn’t blame them in the slightest for these occasional mistakes, they were shooting in the dark here and so far had been doing a very good job. But she couldn’t help the terrible feeling she got when they did occasionally mess up.

“Nooo, Rarity, it’s fine,” she almost groaned.

Rarity lightened up at this and nodded. “Oh, good.”

Sunset took her drink in hand and went to rejoin the other girls, but found her exit blocked.

“Got a moment?” Rarity asked.

Sunset frowned and nodded. “Erm… sure. What’s up?”

Rarity nodded and leaned back against the counter. She smiled, and in a hushed tone asked, “I was wondering how you’ve been doing?”

“I’m definitely on the mend,” Sunset rubbed her left arm, giving a sheepish smile.

“I, eh, didn’t mean, er, physically, dear.”

Sunset nodded. “Oh... yeah.”

They hadn’t spoken properly about Sunset’s breakdown since it happened. Sunset had been very grateful for that, just remembering it overwhelmed her with cringe. That whole incident she’d just been trying her hardest to forget.

“W-well, I haven’t been that bad, since. Nothing’s exactly, you know... changed, though.”

Sunset looked away, blushing. She knew she could talk to Rarity about this; a few days ago her fashionista friend had seen her at her worst, after all. But that knowledge wasn’t helping the words form in her mouth any easier.

She swallowed and continued.

“I keep waking myself up at night. I’m also jumping at everything,” Sunset grimaced, wishing she could skip admitting the next part. “It’s the dreams, though” she forced out. “The dreams are the worst.”

Rarity gave her a sympathetic smile. “I think you need to start considering getting professional help. I could understand if this were just a short term thing, but… it’s been nearly a week now, and the way you’re describing it makes it sound like it’s getting worse.”

Sunset didn’t look up.

“It is.”

Rarity nodded.

“So, ah, have you thought about it?”

Sunset sighed.

“I guess... I was going to write to Twilight about it – but I’m kind avoiding it... starting to think I’d just be an unnecessary burden on her, especially when there’s nothing she could do to help.”

“Oh, Sunset, I doubt you’d be a burden,” Rarity waved her off.

“But there’s really no point making her worry about something that’s out of her hands, is there?”

“But she cares about you! You know she’d want to know.”

Sunset gave another sigh and nodded. “I guess.”

“Is that all you’ve thought about it?” Rarity raised an eyebrow.

Sunset shrugged.

“Nurse Redheart told me this kind of thing is common with teenage girls who have been attacked… She said I can come down to the clinic they have there if I need any help.”

“And are you going to?”

She shrugged. “I’ve considered it, but… ugh, I don’t know, there’s no way I could vent properly without telling them everything about the sirens. Which, ah, probably isn’t a good idea.”

Rarity pursed her lips. Sunset could see the cogs ticking behind her eyes.

“That’s a small detail we could leave out,” Rarity said slowly. “It sounds to me, dear, like you’re making excuses to not go.”

Sunset sighed. Rarity had an incredible power for being able to see straight through people. It wouldn’t surprise her if in some alternate universe she had a career as a cop or a private investigator.

She nodded.

“I probably am.”

“You know, CHS has a school councilor. I’m sure Celestia would refer you, if you asked.”

Sunset groaned and put her hand to her face. She’d completely forgotten about CHS.

She’d still not managed to get around to calling the school and formally apologizing for being absent. She’d just had so much on her plate recently, heck, it felt like half the time she was alone was just spent trying not to have a breakdown. The only time she really felt at ease was when she was around her friends, and Sunset wasn’t usually thinking about chores then.

It had been a week already, though. Was it even worth bothering with now?

She shook her head. “School is the last thing on my mind right now. I don’t even like looking out the window… I wouldn’t be able to handle going in.”

Rarity frowned, then released a small gasp. “Sunset? Have you not left the house since what happened!?”

Sunset’s lack of a response was an answer in itself.

“Sunset, you d–”

“Don’t look at me like that,” Sunset huffed, crossing her arms, “you don’t know what I’m going through. Everything’s different now, it’s–”

She broke off, screwing her eyes shut in frustration. “I can’t explain it, okay?”

“Sunset,” Rarity said sternly, “who said I don’t know what you’re going through?”

“What do you mean?”

Rarity sighed and looked around the kitchen, avoiding eye contact.

“Let’s just say we’ve all had our own experiences with the darker side of life. Just because somebody seems fine, it doesn’t mean they didn’t have to work to achieve that image. All the world is a stage, and what not.”

Sunset fell silent. She didn’t like what that had implied.

Rarity seemed to have taken on the mantle of the group’s leader when it came to Sunset’s condition, she’d noticed. It would be small things, like her being the one to arrange their hang outs, or how Rainbow had instantly turned to Rarity when Sunset brought up the hospital. Sunset presumed it was due to her generous nature, she hadn’t given it a second thought until now.

Had something bad happened to Rarity in the past? Or to someone Rarity cared about? That would explain her attitude; Fluttershy was essentially this world’s Element of Kindness and she had yet to display half the tolerance Rarity was towards her.

She racked her brains for anything that might have been established in previous conversations, but nothing came to mind. It must have been something from before she came to this world, otherwise Sunset doubted Rarity would keep something that big in her life a secret from her and her friends.

Breaking the moment of silence, Rarity continued, “Sunset Shimmer, we will help you as much as we can, and I mean that. But you need to help yourself as well. Now, come on, let’s go re-join the others.”

If Sunset still had her pony ears, they’d be very much down right now.


“Wha–”

A fist to her face.

Then a second one, this time into her gut. She tried to keel over.

Pennies. So many pennies.

Another fist into her stomach.

“AUUUGGH!”

Her throat burned.

“Please… sto–”

Another fist.

Her eyesight became red.

Another fist, this one in the stomach.

And then the head.

Stomach.

Head.

Stomach.

Head.

Head.

Stomach.

Head.

Stomach.

Stomach.

A voice.

Sunset gasped herself awake.

She shot up in bed, her cheeks burning with tears. Her eyes frantically scanned the darkness, looking for faces that weren’t there. She was alone in her room. She let out a choke and pulled her knees up to her face. The baseball bat beside her hit the floor with a thud.

She rubbed her face aggressively against her blanket, mopping up what she could of her tears. Outside rain fell in drenching sheets, hammering against her window and the walls of the apartment building. It was a sound Sunset normally enjoyed, but right now she couldn’t care less.

That had been the worst one yet.

She was so sick of this.

She hadn’t had a quiet night’s sleep in days. She hoped as time went on she’d be getting better, but she wasn’t. She was getting worse.

Sunset swallowed hard and tried to regain control of her sporadic breathing.

She hated this. She hated, hated, hated, hated this. She wanted life to go back to normal. She wished she’d never gone that route home. She wished she’d taken Twilight’s offer for a ride. She wished she’d stayed home and never gone out to that damn library in the first place.

‘What’s happening to me?’ she asked.

She didn’t feel safe in her own home, she didn’t feel safe in her own bed. Every moment she was alone she just spent thinking about how vulnerable she was. The only time she had peace was when she was around her friends, and she couldn’t be around them forever. She wanted this to end. She needed it to. She needed her closure.

But the only way completely out of this she knew was Equestria, and… well, in all honesty, that option was feeling less and less silly with every day that passed. But she had a life here, she had friends, people who counted on her. She needed to beat this.

She needed the threat of The Dazzlings to go away. She needed to know they were gone, and that they weren’t coming back. She was sure if she had that, she’d get better. She just needed to get it. The police had been keeping an eye out for them for nearly a week now, and Sunset doubted she wouldn’t have heard anything if they’d found them. Nobody had heard from or seen them at all, in fact. They had just appeared and vanished into mid-air.

But their absence wasn’t enough for her. They had gone almost entirely unseen since what happened at the Battle of the Bands, but then they had managed to just show up again out of the blue and attack her. They did it once, who’s to say they couldn’t do it again? She needed proof, she needed something solid to say they were out of her life forever. That would be her ticket to truly feeling safe again.

She would give anything for it, she would do anything for it, but she didn’t even know where to start. She was on a life raft in the middle of the ocean, she needed something she could latch onto and drag herself towards. Right now she was just floating alone in this darkness, and the sharks were closing in.

‘Maybe if I went back to that alleyway?’ crossed her mind.

It would make sense, perhaps being there again but while completely safe would give her the closure she needed. Maybe if she could make her peace with that area it would be the first step.

Sunset lifted her head. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end.

That gave her an idea.

‘No. There is no chance on Earth you could do that. It wouldn’t work,’ her internal monologue told her.

‘…would it?’

‘No! Absolutely not, it’s stupid even considering it.’

‘But if there’s even the slimmest chan–”

‘There isn’t.’

‘I’ve got nothing to lose if it doesn't work!’

‘You wouldn’t be able to handle going through it with.’

‘If it stops me feeling like this, I’m prepared to do anything.’

‘It’s too dangerous.’

‘Our friends could help.’

Sunset was at war with herself. Everything about her idea told her it was too dangerous. But she felt something inside her, egging her on. It was a new feeling, one she hadn’t felt in a long time.

In theory her idea sounded fool-proof. No matter which way the scenario went, she’d come out on top.

It could work. She just needed help with it.

Sunset leaned to the side and snatched up her mobile phone from the bedside table. She pressed her thumb against the home button, wincing at the brightness as her phone unlocked. The clock read 4:32am. She pressed the MyStable app and opened the group chat between her friends.

“Girls, I need you all to come to my place tomorrow morning. I’m okay, but this is important,” she typed.

That wasn’t her deciding to follow her idea through. Of course it wasn’t. This was her just wanting to see her friend opinions on it.

‘What if they agree to help?’

Sunset should have considered that before she pressed send. She gulped.

The rain outside suddenly seemed a lot louder.

‘Then… I guess we’ll go through with it.’


The girls all arrived at Sunset’s early the next morning, in a justifiably panicked state. Pinkie had been the first to reach the flat, since she lived the shortest distance away and had decided to jog down.

“What’s going on, Sunny?” she’d asked immediately as Sunset opened the door.

Sunset ushered her friend inside. “I’ll explain when the others get here.”

Twilight had arrived next, she’d gotten a drive down off her father (who seemed unhappy at being woken so early on a Sunday morning). She too was quickly rushed into the living room by Sunset, who locked the front door immediately behind her. Applejack and Rarity arrived at the same time, which resulted in them fighting over the only available parking space on the street below. Rarity won, causing Applejack to reach the flat a few minutes behind her after looking for a different spot. Fluttershy arrived next and Rainbow Dash was shortly after.

By ten o’clock all of the girls were sat in the living room, waiting expectantly for Sunset’s announcement.

“Sunset, please, tell us what this is all about?” Rarity asked, a hint of frustration in her voice.

“Y’all had us really worried for lan’s sake!” Applejack snapped.

“I-I’m sorry, I did tell you guys I was fine in the message!” Sunset stuttered.

“Sunset, you okay?” Rainbow asked. “You don’t look so good.”

Sunset gave a weak smile. Her hair was a mess (more than it usually was these days) and her eyes had gone red from being scratched. She wore the same pajamas as yesterday, and had the stench of sweat and death about her.

“I’ve, er… been up since four,” she laughed.

The group exchanged nervous glances.

“So, you gonna tell us or what?” Applejack asked.

Sunset nodded and took a breath.

“Right, yes...”

Her eyes dropped to the floor, searching for the words she needed. How the heck was she supposed to make this sound like a good idea?

“Sooo….” she began. “You guys know how I’ve been, like, not well, recently, right?”

They nodded.

“Okay, awesome, great… Well not great, but.... So, erm, I’ve been, I don’t know how… I’m… I’m stuck, on how to get better. I’ve thought of d-doing, erm, going to therapy, or maybe seeing a councilor or something. I… even considered moving back to Equestria for a bit…”

“Huh!?”
“Wait, what?”
“Say again!?”

“IT’S OKAY, it’s okay!” Sunset stressed. “I’m not, I just, you know, considered it for a while.”

Sunset fell silent.

Suddenly she was having doubts. She’d convinced herself this idea was going to work, but even she recognized it was a leap of faith at best. How was she going to sell this to her six over-protective friends? She wasn’t sure she could.

“I… I…”

“It’s okay, take it slow,” Rarity told her.

Sunset locked eyes with Rarity. The stare she got in return told her she needed to try. She knew she was right, she just needed to help the others see it.

“I… I need closure,” Sunset began. “I can’t sleep, I can’t eat… This is killing me, all of it. And I know you guys are doing your best to help me, heck, being around you all is the only time I really feel safe. But I can’t be in your company forever, I need to get over this myself.”

Sunset took a breath.

“I want to go looking for The Dazzlings.”

It took a second for her friends to respond.

Sunset watched the range of emotions as they passed over her friends. First they all furrowed their brows, thinking maybe they’d misheard her. Then their head’s shot back as they recoiled in surprise. Then they opened their mouths, no doubt to protest. But Sunset jumped in first, denying them the chance.

“BEFORE you say anything… just hear me out,” she silenced them. “They dropped off the face of the Earth since what happened, and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. I suppose in a way it’s good because it means, as far as we know, they’ve skipped town… but it’s also bad because we don’t know where they are. And while I don’t know where they are, I… I…”

She shivered.

“I want us to look for them. If we thoroughly search Canterlot and ask around, and definitely don’t find them, it’s as close to a confirmation as we can get that they are gone. I’ll be seeing for myself that they’re definitely not here anymore, and that’s what I need. I need closure, and I really think seeing that will give me it.”

As she finished her speech, the other took this as their cues to chime in.

“Sunset, ah cannot express how much of a bad idea that is,” Applejack shook her head.

“The Dazzlings are gone,” Rainbow said. “Twilight said so herself yesterday. Go on, Twi.”

Twilight seemed surprised at her sudden mention. She spluttered.

“Erm, I, erm… Would you… like the exact wording or…?”

“Just talk.”

“O-okay, erm, well, according to my brother, since your accident they’ve not had a sighting of the girls anywhere in the city. A-and they’ve alerted the mall, the school, the town hall, the library… if they were still here, he says they’d have found them by now.”

“See? There ya go,” Rainbow gestured towards Twilight.

Sunset closed her eyes and took a breath. There was no way she could convince them why she needed this while still sounding plausible. Or sane, for that matter.

“I know, I know, but… Those are just words to me. I can’t explain it, I just think if I can see with my own eyes that they’re gone, it’d do a lot more. I have to do this.”

Rainbow frowned. “That’s a bit–”

“Sunset has a point,” Rarity butted in. “If she believes this will help her get over her new fears then we should support her with it.”

“But it’s–”

Rainbow.”

Rarity’s tone almost seemed like a challenge.

A twang of guilt shot through Sunset as she watched Rainbow shy away from Rarity’s gaze. She hated doing this to her friends. She knew she was in the one in the wrong right now. Rainbow was being level-headed, she was about to tell her Sunset straight that she was acting crazy (which she was). But Rarity wouldn’t hear of it, which Sunset imagined was to spare her own feelings.

She was being crazy, yes. She was being unreasonable, yes. She was being stupid, yes. But she needed to stick with this. If she wanted to get better, she needed to push this. No matter how confusing it got, her friends made it perfectly clear they wanted to help her and… this is what she wanted help with. She’d make it up to them later.

“Look, ah can get why you wanna do this an all, but… ain’t it a little dangerous?” Applejack asked.

“Applejack has a point, I mean… after what they last did to you…” Fluttershy looked down.

Sunset nodded. “If all goes according to plan, we won’t find them anyway. And if we do… I’ll have all you guys with me. Rainbow said it herself when I was in hospital; I doubt they could take all seven of us.”

Rainbow seemed to cheer up at bit at Sunset’s reference.

“Okay, but then what do we do if we do find them?” Applejack pushed.

Sunset paused.

What would happen if they found them? The last thing she wanted was to ever see them again, even if she did have the support of her six friends. What would she say to them? Would they run? Would they just attack her on sight? They clearly hated her enough to try and kill her once, who’s to say that, if given the opportunity, they wouldn’t do again? What if all ten of them ended up in some sort of street fight? What if the police came and they got arrested? What if the police didn’t come and one of her friends got seriously hurt….

Her breathing began to pick up.

“We… I…” she was lost for words.

“We’d come in peace,” Rarity finished for her. All of the eyes in the room fell on her.

“We’d tell them– we’d talk to them, and we’d say that they need to stay away from Sunset. We’ll tell them that if they stay out of our lives then we’ll stay out of theirs. And if they don’t like the sound of that, well then… As you say, there’re more of us than there are of them.”

“Ya really think threatenin’ them’s the best way ta go?”

“Not at all!” Rarity stressed. “However, if it should come down to it, then I believe we could use a little intimidation if necessary. Just as a precaution, if things were to turn sour.”

Rainbow slapped her hands down onto her knees.

“Okay, you’ve sold me! Let’s do it.”

She turned to the rest of the group.

“Girls?”

“I… I don’t think it’s such a good idea but… well, I’d hate for you guys to go out alone, and if it helps Sunset feel better then… I’m in,” Fluttershy nodded.

“I really think we should get my brother involved properly but… o-okay, I’m in,” Twilight nodded.

“Ya can count on me,” Applejack tipped her Stetson.

“OHHH, I’M SO NERVOUSCITED!”

“Nervouscited?” Rainbow asked.

Pinkie waved her off. “If it makes Sunny happy, I’m game.”

“Me too,” Rarity nodded. “I believe we’ll be able to handle anything that comes our way without any unpleasantries… and Sunset?”

Sunset looked up. She’d gotten so lost in hearing her friends selflessly push aide their own feelings for her well-being that she’d almost forgotten she was a part of the conversation.

She blinked away the tears forming in her eyes and smiled.

“Okay. Let’s do it.”