• Published 7th Aug 2016
  • 6,146 Views, 302 Comments

Sunset Past the Horizon - Ponealone



Things happen when Anon-a-miss doesn't fess up. Good things and bad things, but mostly bad things.

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Chapter 10: Meanwhile

Ding dong!

Sunset shot up out of bed. “Huh?” she groaned and looked around for the source of the noise. Over the low roar of her central heating she could hear doves cooing outside her window and the automatic coffee maker gurgling in the kitchen, but she couldn't make out the noise that roused her from her slumber. Perhaps she dreamed it?

After rubbing her eyes, Sunset's gaze fell to the nightstand. The display on the bedside alarm clock glowed six twenty, but the alarm was set to six thirty. She groaned and mourned the loss of those ten minutes she never got to sleep as she canceled the alarm.

Ding dong!

While letting out a big yawn and stretch, she heard the noise clearly this time. The doorbell? Who could be visiting her so early in the morning? Was it Fluttershy again? With caution she tiptoed over to her front door and squinted through the peep hole. A wide grin stretched across her face. Sunset flung the door open and leapt at her visitor with arms wide open.

“Whoa! Sunset!” Flash caught the girl mid-flight. Her fluffy slippers dangled inches above the freezing wet slush.

“Flash! It's great to see you. I just got outta bed.”

“Y-yeah, I can tell.” Flash noticed how soft, warm, and tangible Sunset was through her thin pajamas.

“Are you feeling okay?” Sunset asked.

“I'm g-great, couldn't be better,” he lowered the girl back down inside her apartment, I uh… like your pajamas. Very… purple.”

“Oh thanks. I um, hadn't had the chance to get dressed yet.” she said, eyeing Flash’s freshly pressed burgundy uniform.

“Sorry I’m early, I just thought that maybe you wanted a ride? Cuz…” He rubbed the back of his head.

“Friends don't let friends take public transit?” Sunset finished.

“Yeah. That. Cool line.”

“Ha ha, very funny now come inside. I’m freezing my butt off out here.”

Flash stepped inside while Sunset shut the door behind him. “Mmm it's warm in here.”

“Yeah, I've been going kinda nuts on the heating since the landlady just got it fixed. She gave me a magic coffee maker as a 'sorry you almost froze to death' gift.”

“What's magic about it?” Flash asked.

“It can turn on by itself! So now I don't have to decide between sleeping in or waking up early to make coffee!”

Flash stifled his laughter.

“Want some? Freshly made.” Sunset stepped into the kitchen and poured a mug of coffee.

“Yeah that'd be great. Coffee would go good with the breakfast pastries I brought.” He plopped down a large white paper bag on the small kitchen table and took a seat.

“Aww, that's so nice of you. Is that from the Sweet Shoppe?” She poured another cup of coffee for herself.

“Yep. I got plenty of frosted raisin breakfast things.”

Sunset giggled. “Of course you're calling them that.” She brought the two cups of coffee to the table and sat down across Flash.

“You like your coffee black right?” she asked.

“Yeah, with no sugar. It tastes real awful. Makes me feel tough.” He took a swig of the steaming black liquid. “Ow! Hot hot! I mean, Mmm that's a good cuppa Joe.”

“You didn't burn yourself did you?” Sunset stirred cream and sugar into her cup.

“Maybe a little…”

Sunset took a careful sip of her coffee. “Want a band-aid for your tongue?”

“It's not that bad.” Flash's tongue hung out.

“Yeah, looks a little red. I keep the band-aids on the living room table now.”

“I don't wanna taste band-aids.” Flash sulkily blew on his coffee.

“Want me to kiss it better for you?” Sunset joked.

Flash was glad he wasn’t drinking anything at the moment or he would've done a spit take. “Wait, what?”

“Too late, offer's expired, and you smell like ashes.” Sunset took a bite out of a pastry.

“Quit messin' with me ya jerk.” He took a bitter sip of coffee.

Sunset finished eating breakfast and got ready for school while Flash moved to the living room couch to mess with his phone. After an unreasonable amount of time passed, Sunset frolicked out of her room wearing her school uniform and just enough make-up to look like she wasn't wearing any make-up.

“Okay! I'm ready! Sorry I took so long!” She made a final adjustment to her navy blue thigh-highs.

Flash grinned. “Lookin' sharp, lets get going.” He put away his phone and accompanied Sunset out to his car.

Flash unlocked the doors of his red convertible with a press of a button.

Beep!

Sunset giggled in amusement. “I can never get tired of that.”

Flash chuckled. “I can never get tired of you never getting tired of that.” He opened the passenger door for her.

“Oh thanks.”

He shut the door after her, walked around to the driver's side, and leapt over the side into the driver's seat.

“Now you're just showing off.”

He turned the key in the ignition. “Is it working? Do you think I'm cool yet?” Flash joked.

“You're such a dork.”

They laughed in unison as the car rolled down the frosted street.

As the car got up to speed, Sunset shrieked in discomfort. “Ah! Cold cold! Where’d your roof go?” She hugged her book-bag for warmth as the air rushing past penetrated the threads of her blazer.

“Sorry!” Flash panic braked and reached for the controls to deploy the hard top.

Sunset watched in eager amazement as the car's roof emerged from behind and automatically took its place. “Wha? Oh…”

Flash turned a knob on the dashboard and warm air bellowed from the vents. “Better now?”

“Better now, and I guess that answers that. Magic!” Sunset warmed her fingers by the dashboard vent.

“Yep, Magic.” Flash wiggled his fingers mysteriously.

“Ha ha, what was that?” Sunset snickered.

“Y'know it's that hand wavy thingy magicians do before pulling a bunny out of a hat.”

“Really? Where I'm from we do magic like this.” She formed a unicorn horn on her forehead with index fingers. “Pew! Pew!”

“That's adorable.”

“S-shut up.” Sunset pouted. “But, really how is your car so nice if you got in to Crystal Prep on a scholarship?”

“Oh, this car used to belong to my uncle.”

“He just let you have it? He must be a really nice guy.” Sunset looked impressed.

“Yeah, he was the best. He was super into cars and motorcycles. I used to spend hours with him in his garage working on old cars and listening to old rock cassettes.”

“Sounds like a blast, you gotta bring me along sometime.”

“I’d love to, but he died in a motorcycle accident a two years ago,” Flash answered.

Sunset held her hands to her mouth in shock. “Oh my gosh I had no idea, I'm so sorry.”

“It's alright.”

The car skidded to a halt behind a row of stationary vehicles sending Sunset jerking forwards then back into her seat.

“Ah crap. Sorry about that. I really should've gone the other way.” Flash sighed.

The car idled behind a row of vehicles inching their way forwards.

“Well, it looks like we're gonna be late again.” Sunset sighed and folded her seat back.

“Man, I hope not. We're almost there.”

They quietly idled in traffic until Sunset broke the silence again.

“Hey, Flash.” She starred at the roof from her reclining position.

“Sunset?”

“What do you think about Crystal Prep so far?”

“It's alright I guess. The campus is way nicer than CHS, but other than that I think it's still too early to judge.”

“Fair enough, but even though it's only the second day at this new school, I think things are finally starting to feel normal for once. You agree?”

Flash smiled. “Yeah. It's nice.”

“And I never would have thought it before, but so far I'm actually kinda enjoying it at Crystal Prep. No one hates or fears me at this school.” Sunset hugged her book-bag smiling.

“But the kids are kinda…” Flash trailed off.

The passenger seat shot back up and Sunset swiveled her head to answer. “Stuck up? Yeah sure, but being ignored is way better than what was happening to me at CHS.”

“That's for sure, but if anyone here does give you any trouble then this time you got me to help.”

“If by help you mean punch then no thanks.”

“It's okay, I'll punch softer next time.”

Sunset furled her brows. “You better not get expelled Flash, Crystal Prep is a lot more strict. If it ever comes down to it, I want you to stay at this school with me even if it means I get a black eye.” A lock of Sunset's bangs fell loose into her face while she emoted.

“If it ever comes down to it, I’m going to stay not-expelled AND protect your face.” He tucked her loose bangs behind her ear.

“You better.” She nuzzled his hand, smiling.

“We're definitely going to be late again.”

* * *

Academics at Crystal Prep was more demanding than Sunset was used to. Despite it being only the second day of the new semester, each class spared no time delving right in to the material, and at twice the pace she was used to. She didn't mind though. Ever since Sunset abandoned her plans for world domination and started putting effort into school she found herself genuinely enjoying the material, particularly history. The stories about this strange world fascinated her. Literature on the other hand was her least favorite subject because of how time consuming the reading and writing was. As much as Sunset was enjoying her human education it was still tedious to be assigned so much homework. At least, math and science to a certain extent were identical to what she already learned in school back in Equestria. The bell rang signaling the end of fourth period. Sunset stepped out into the busy hallway. A waving hand stood out amid the chaos of students walking to and from their lockers. Sunset weaved her way through the crowd towards it.

“Hey Sunset, ready for lunch?” Flash said.

“Yep, you eating the school food again?”

“Nah, turns out the scholarship doesn't cover lunch so I'm bringing my own from now on. As amazing their cream of kale was I can't afford an entire fancy lunch everyday.”

“You like kale? I don’t like kale and I’m literally a horse.”

“It’s the rough and bitter quality, it makes me feel tough.” Flash flexed his bicep.

“You still don’t strike me as the kale-eating type.”

“I know! This school better stop revealing uncomfortable truths about myself.”

Sunset smirked. “Well then, lets get to the cafeteria before the walls start whispering your true feelings.”

“W-what?” Flash stuttered.

Sunset crept up to Flash and whispered in a spooky voice, “Flash reeeally wants mooore kaaaleee.”

Flash sighed in relief. “You know what? Maybe I do. I have just enough money on me today to buy a pack of cigarettes after school, but kale is obviously the better option.”

“Flash! That's great!” Sunset beamed and hugged his side squishing her cheek against his tough bicep. He smiled knowingly.

“Yeah, it's about time I quit. I picked up the habit just a week before you caught me behind CHS that day and it didn't end up being as cool as I thought it would be.”

“Well, lets not keep the kale waiting.” Sunset held her head up high and smiled as they started toward the cafeteria.

Flash cleared his throat. “Hey, so I tried inviting Twilight to lunch with us but, she's busy with an experiment. She's got some serious dedication to science to skip lunch like that.”

“Oh, that's too bad.” Sunset’s posture sank slightly as she felt an unfamiliar sensation in her chest.

“I know right? This Twilight isn't as sociable as the one we're familiar with, yesterday in literature class she flat out told me that she doesn't have any friends. How can that even happen to a girl like her?”

Sunset squinted suspiciously. “A girl like her?”

“Y’know… smart, and cute, and stuff.”

“I see…” An annoyed expression crept on Sunset’s face. “And, you're in a class with her?” She asked.

“Yeah my bad, I forgot to tell you. We're in the same history class, last class of the day.”

Sunset wondered why Flash would wait to tell her something so important. He couldn’t really be that forgetful could he? She knew about Flash’s mutual crush on her friend Princess Twilight, but this world’s Twilight is a different person. Was this still something she should be worried about? Sunset realized that the place this line of reasoning was taking her was somewhere that she didn’t want to go right now, so she pushed it out of her mind.

“We need to help that poor girl,” she said.

Flash smiled. “I was thinking that maybe the three of us can hang out after school. Donut Joe's sound okay?”

“Good thinking, she better not be too busy.” Sunset felt guilty hoping she was.

“I’ll text her now.” Flash tapped away at his phone while he walked, ignoring his surroundings. “And yeah, I hear ya. There's a good chance we'll never see her ever again because she's so cooped up doing science stuff.”

Sunset steered the distracted texter away from a group of bystanders, narrowly avoiding a girl carrying a cello. “Who knows.”

“I think we should set our expectations nice and low so we don't get disappointed.” He pressed send.

Flash's phone buzzed with no hesitation. “Oh never mind, she said yes.”

“Good, I guess.” Sunset stepped into the cafeteria. “Go get your kale, I'll find us somewhere to sit.”

Flash left for the lunch line while Sunset let out a deep sigh and scanned the room for an empty table. Despite how busy it was, there were several empty tables to choose from. She headed for the nearest table when shouting erupted behind her.

“Sunny! Oops! I mean Shimmy! Great to see ya friendo!”

Sunset jumped and spun around to face the source of the disturbance.

“Ah!” she shrieked, “Sonata! You startled me. It's great to see you too. Um, where are your sisters?”

“Ditching school.” Sonata yawned and stretched.

“Really? How come you're here then?”

“They said I wasn't invited. Those jerks. So I got replacement sisters for today. Um where did they go?” She looked around behind her.

A girl with a fuchsia ponytail slid to a halt from the hallway with a grimace on her face. “Hey! Don't ask me to eat lunch with you then run away!”

A second girl with white pigtails calmly stepped out from around the corner. “Indeed. That was very rude of you.”

Sunset didn't recognize the second girl, but the first one was not a welcome sight.

“You made that crazy girl from yesterday your replacement sister?” Sunset held an incredulous expression.

“It's cuz her hair is so pretty!” Sonata gushed.

“You both have the exact same hairstyle.” The mystery girl remarked.

“Hey! What is she doing here!” Sour Sweet pointed at Sunset.

“Um, eating lunch? You're really not the sharpest crayon in the box.” Sunset crossed her arms.

“Who are you calling a crayon! You… you…”

Sonata interrupted, “Hey! No fighting! Can't you two start over and get along?”

“No!” Both girls shouted.

“Do it for me?” Sonata pouted.

Sunset crossed her arms. “Only if she cooperates.”

“I'm not doing ANYTHING for ANYONE!” Sour Sweet replied.

“Please?” Sonata looked up with puppy dog eyes.

“Why should I? Who the HELL even are you?!”

“Pleeease?” Sonata’s bottom lip began quivering.

Their exchange went back and forth several times before Sour finally conceded.

“FINE!! I’ll be super duper besties 4 evar with this BITCH over here! You can count on me for sure! ~<3”

The mystery girl nudged Sour with her elbow. Sour's expression softened.

“Yay!” Sonata cheered, “now lets redo your first impressions. Replacement Aria! Introduce yourself to Sunset.”

Sunset interjected, “Whoa whoa if she’s going to start name calling, then I’m outta here.”

“Wait!” Sour called out as Sunset turned away.

“Uh yeah?”

“I’m sorry, I uh have some issues I’m working on. I didn’t mean that. Honest.”

Sour extended her hand. “My name is Sour Sweet. Pleased to meet you! ~<3” She seemed earnest this time.

Sunset sighed, smiled, and accepted her handshake. “I'm Sunset Shimmer and am also pleased to meet you,” she then leaned in and squinted intensely, “provided you leave Fl… er, Brad alone.”

“Huh? You think I'm still hung up about that?! You think I'm DESPERATE or something?!” Sour shouted, veins popping from her forehead.

Sunset recoiled at the girl's sudden outburst.

Sour's demeanor changed as she smiled sweetly, “I'm over it! You've got nothing to worry about Sunset! ~<3”

“Oh, well… I'm glad we're on the same page now. I really don't need any more drama in my life.” Sunset grinned.

Sonata threw her arms up in celebration. “Yay! I fixed your friendship!”

“Whoa, hang on. I didn’t agree to that…” Sunset hand motioned her to slow down.

“Are you three finished? I believe we should be looking for a table right now.” The girl with the white pigtails said.

“Yeah, they're starting to fill up. Um, I'm sorry have we met before?” Sunset scratched her head trying to put a name to that face.

“No, we haven't. I'm Sugarcoat.”

“And I'm Sunset.” Sunset extended her hand.

Sugarcoat starred at it. “I don't want to shake your hand.”

“What? Why not?” Sunset asked, feeling slighted.

“Sour didn't wash her hands after using the bathroom.” The girl deadpanned.

“Hey! I was in a hurry!” Sour yelled.

“No you weren't.” Sugarcoat adjusted her glasses.

With a grimace, Sunset swung her bag to the front and retrieved a small bottle of strawberry scented hand sanitizer. She applied it liberally to the contaminated area and offered some to Sour Sweet, who shamefully accepted.

The four girls wandered over to the nearest empty table and sat down.

Flash approached the table carrying a lunch tray with one item on it.

“Hey… everyone.” He sat next to Sunset while trying not to notice the strange girl from yesterday.

“Hi Brad!” Sonata yelled.

“Brad? I believe his name is Flash Sentry.” Sugarcoat corrected.

“It is?! I've been LIED to!” Sour shouted while Sonata stared blankly.

“Hi Brad!” Sonata yelled.

“How did you know his name?” Sunset asked Sugarcoat.

“History class. New students tend to stick out in memory.” Sugarcoat placed her lunchbox on the table.

“Oh cool. We're in the same class?” Flash stirred his cream of kale.

“Obviously.” Sugarcoat deadpanned.

Flash held an unamused expression on his face. “And your name is?”

“Sugarcoat.”

“Good to meet you.” Flash said, trying to be polite.

“Liar.” She turned her attention to her lunch.

Sour began laughing. “Don't worry Flash, she does that to everyone. Ha ha good ol' Sugarcoat. You TINY BITCH! I've known her for ages, we're good friends ~<3.”

Everyone except Sugarcoat jumped at Sour's outburst.

Sunset began choking on her lunch, but quickly cleared the blockage with her water. “Can you give us a warning before you do that?”

“I'll do whatever the HELL I WANT!”

Sonata, who had been watching until now intervened. “Girls! We're all friends now okay? That means no fighting.”

Sunset grimaced and angrily continued eating, as did Sour. Flash sympathetically pet Sunset's back to calm her simmering rage. She nudged him with a shoulder and let out an annoyed growl.

“Aww, you two are acting so totes adorbs!” Sonata commented.

Sunset's face turned red while Flash’s eyes darted to the side.

“S-shut up. What do those stupid words even mean?” Sunset angrily took a drink of water.

“Come on! It's totally obvious that you like each other.” Sonata said, grinning mischievously.

“I agree, they do seem rather comfortable with one another.” Sugarcoat added.

A gush of water narrowly missed Sonata as Sunset was flustered. “What the heck are you guys talking about? I-It's not like that at all!” She turned her head away pouting.

Flash had been wearing his best poker face this entire time and was pretending not to notice the situation, but his eyes reacted to Sunset’s last few words.

“You suuuuure?” Sonata grinned harder and narrowed her eyes.

“S-shut up Sonata…”

“She's dodging the question.” Sugarcoat said.

“Yes! I'm sure! Now quit messing with me!” Sunset demanded.

“Oh, so… You don't mind if I date Brad?” Sonata wore a wide grin.

“He's outta your league you i-idiot!” Sunset retaliated.

“We'll see about that!” Sonata turned to Flash. “Hey Brad! You wanna go out with me?” She giggled.

Flash hesitated and looked to Sunset for clues. Sunset's angry piercing stare was all he needed to reassure him. “Sorry, I uh I'm gay.”

An uproar of various reactions sounded out from the table. Sunset simply face-palmed and shook her head. Sonata seemed genuinely disappointed while Sour was telling her “I told you so.”

Author's Note:

It's a Christmas miracle! Your favorite abandoned story gets a new chapter! :twilightsmile:
Don't worry it's not actually abandoned. I'm just really slow.
Merry Christmas.

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