• 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 5: Wednesday

The midterm exams had just ended for the day and everyone was excused home early. Fluttershy couldn't stop thinking about what Sunset said yesterday. She stood in the courtyard in front of her school with her eyes hazily focused on the ground. The others were chatting idly.

“So where do you guys wanna go for lunch?”

“Ah reckon we should steer clear of the mall.”

“Yeah definitely, so anyone got any ideas?”

“Lets go for some cupcakes!”

“No Pinkie.”

“Ooh, I know this wonderful cafe downtown that serves the most delectable finger sandwiches.”

“Sounds good by me.”

“Yeah me too.”

“Yoo hoo, Fluttershy dearie.”

“Huh?” Fluttershy gasped, turning to the source of the sound.

“Is that alright with you?” Rarity asked.

“Um... I... sorry I have to go.” Fluttershy turned away and jogged off.

She heard someone shout “Hey! Wait! Where are you going?”, but paid no mind to it and kept her pace. There was something she needed to do, something that she should have done a long time ago. On that fateful day when Sunset was accused of being Anon-a-miss it just didn't feel right. At the time Fluttershy trusted the judgment of her friends. She particularly trusted Applejack because of how logical and pragmatic she usually is, but those tears Sunset cried that day in the hall, those were real.

I should have been braver.

If I was braver Sunset would still be here.

Fluttershy sped up from her jog to a run. Recounting yesterday at the mall, the way Sunset spoke. She couldn't have done it, anyone with a heart would know for certain that she didn't do it.

I have to find Sunset!

Her foot hit an icy patch and her face met with frosted concrete.

“Eep!” she yelped as she felt a sting on her left cheekbone. She laid still on the ground grimacing in pain.

I deserved that.

The scrape on her cheek mixed with her feelings of guilt were too much to deal with at once. Fluttershy laid sobbing on the cold empty sidewalk. A flock of doves heard her cries and swooped down surrounding the upset girl. They chirped and tugged on her long pink hair.

She sniffled and rubbed her eyes. “No birdies, not right now,” she tried waving them off, but they persisted. One bird in particular flapped it's wing against Fluttershy's shielded face.

Fluttershy opened her eyes. “Henry? Is that you? I'm glad to see your wing is healed, and you have friends!”

“Coo coo.” Henry said.

“Thanks for worrying about me, but I'll be fine. It's just a scratch.” She got back up on her feet.

“Chirp!”

“Well, if you really want to help so much then there might be something you can do. By any chance, have you seen this girl?” Fluttershy pulled up a picture of Sunset Shimmer on her phone and showed it to the small white bird.

“CHIRP!” Henry danced and flapped around wildly. “CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP!”

“Really? She fed you crumbs yesterday? And you know where she lives? Well, lead the way!” Fluttershy hastily yet cautiously followed the small white bird.

* * *

Nursing a cup of earl grey tea Sunset sat on her couch in her pajamas and fuzzy slippers configuring her shiny new gold tinted iPone. She rested her tea filled coffee mug on her coffee table and fiddled with a mangled wad of cracked glass and bent metal. Cracking off the back cover and extracting a small chip she was relieved that the SIM card from her old broken phone was unharmed. Seeing the chip completely intact made her glad she fished the ruined phone out of the dumpster on the way back home earlier this week. She painstakingly inserted the card into her new phone and returned the shattered broken phone to the trash can sitting beside the coffee table. Some shards bounced off the discarded calendar sitting inside the bin. Sunset copied Flash's number into her contacts list from the frosting stained scrap of paper he wrote it on yesterday. She typed him a test message.

Testing out my new iPone. :)

She promptly received a response.

Message received, Gran Gran says hello.

Sunset chuckled at Flash's reply, but her smile vanished when she heard a sudden, but light knock at her door. Sunset glanced at the time on her phone. Tiny numbers reading twelve forty-seven glowed in the upper right corner. CHS lets out early all week so the stranger at the door is likely a student. She hesitantly opened the door feeling an icy breeze roll through the frame.

“Fluttershy?” Sunset had a look of astonishment on her face. Her expression turned sour and she bluntly asked, “What do you want?”

Fluttershy looked visibly stressed as her eyes darted to different spots on the floor. She was also shivering, but Sunset was unsure if it was because she was cold or nervous. Most worryingly, Fluttershy had a nasty scrape on her cheek. Sunset eyed it and let a quick glimpse of concern show on her face before returning to her stoic leer.

“H-Hello Sunset, I-I just wanted to... um,” Fluttershy mumbled.

“What is it? Did the others put you up to this?” Sunset crossed her arms. She must have some nerve showing up uninvited at Sunset's own home after shunning her for so long. Whatever game she's playing there's no way Sunset was going to fall for any of it.

“N-No, no. Um, it's just that...” Tears welled in her eyes.

“Well? What!?” Sunset grew impatient and had already begun formulating which exact words she was going to use to tell this intruder to leave her the hell alone when Fluttershy said something that made her mind go blank.

“I don't think you're Anon-a-miss!” Her voice quivered as she shouted.

Sunset felt all her anger melt away. “Wait, what? Did you just say wh—”

“I'M SO SORRY SUNSET! I'm so sorry, for everything! You're not Anon-a-miss! I believe you! You're innocent! Do you think you could ever forgive me?” The pink haired girl burst into inconsolable weeping and shaking.

Sunset was incredulous. Was this actually happening? Is this a trick? No, those are real tears. She stood in her doorway wearing a stunned expression watching the girl cry. Sunset felt a plethora of emotions bubble up to the surface and down her cheeks. She lunged out onto the sleet with her fuzzy slippers and held Fluttershy tightly as her own tears melted the snow on the wailing girl's overcoat.

Fluttershy forced some words through her sobbing. “I should've believed you at the start, but I didn't and I said those mean things to you. That was very out of character for me. I'm so so sorry.”

“It's okay Fluttershy.” Sunset tightened her embrace. “I believe in second chances.” Sunset pulled away and smiled. “Why don't you come inside? You're freezing and you're hurt.”

Fluttershy stepped into Sunset's home and Sunset closed the door shutting out the cold.

“I'll get the first aid kit, you can hang your coat there.” Sunset gestured at the row of hooks mounted to the back of the front door, one of which was occupied by a leather jacket.

Fluttershy took off her backpack and poofy spring green coat and hung them both on the hook next to the leather jacket. After checking if Sunset was watching she hastily wiped her face dry on her jacket's sleeve. She started toward the living room, but realized there was still a wet pair of yellow rubber boots on her feet. She gently kicked them off and left them by the door before heading to Sunset's couch. She sank into the comparatively warm plush couch and tried to stop shaking. Though she was wearing a thick green Christmas sweater and two pairs of sweat pants she couldn't keep still. Maybe she wasn't cold? Fluttershy suddenly processed that she was inside her friend Sunset Shimmer's home. Thinking back she can't recall ever having been to Sunset's home before. Rubbing her eyes and looking curiously around the room she noted a disturbing lack of possessions and an accumulation of dust on what little furniture existed in the room. Something brightly colored and out of place in the waste bin sitting next to the coffee table caught her eye. While Sunset was still fetching the first aid kit Fluttershy snuck up to the waste bin for a closer look. She put her hands over her mouth to contain her gasp. Sitting in the garbage was a Wonderbolts themed calendar with the dates of their get-togethers circled and labeled. A symbol of their friendship and time spent at CHS, literally thrown away.

“I found it. Now hold still, I gotta disinfect that scrape.” Sunset dabbed some cotton balls with hydrogen peroxide and took a seat on the couch, her eyes still a bit red.

“Uh, Fluttershy? Are you okay?” She noticed Fluttershy was focused on something and with her hands were raised to her mouth. Fluttershy slid her arms around Sunset's waist and laid the good side of her head on Sunset's shoulder holding her comfortingly like she would to one of her larger animal friends.

“Shy? Um, is everything alright? You're kinda freaking me out.”

“Your calendar,” she whispered.

“Oh.” A wave of realization washed over her. It would make sense that Fluttershy would be bothered by that. “Yeah, that wasn't a good day for me.”

Fluttershy looked up at her. “What happened?”

“I woke up yesterday feeling okay, but then I saw the calendar, and it reminded me of... you know. I kinda lost my head for a moment.”

Fluttershy returned to resting her head lovingly on Sunset's shoulder half as a sign of support and half because Sunset was really warm.

“You know, before all of this I was really looking forward to that party this Saturday, but now I'm just wishing you guys didn't plan everything out so far in advance.” Sunset sipped her tea. “I hope you have fun.”

“No. I'm not going. Not without you.”

“Fluttershy... you'd ditch the party, for me?” Sunset pulled away. “No, you shouldn't miss out. You apologizing and being here with me right now was enough. You should go have fun.”

“No. If I can't get the others to tell you they're sorry by next Tuesday then I'm spending that day with you and that's that. Leaving you alone for the holidays is wrong and I've wronged you enough already.”

“Fluttershy, I— um that means a lot to me. Thank you.” Moved by Fluttershy's words, Sunset reciprocated the kind girl's embrace pulling her close. Fluttershy still felt cold to the touch from being outside in the snow, but she had finally stopped shivering.

Sunset let go of the girl and reapplied more disinfectant on the cotton ball. “I can't help but to ask though. What made you change your mind? Also, how the heck do you know where I live?” Sunset asked.

“To be honest, I started doubting you were Anon-a-miss right after we confronted you in the hallway that day. I really did think you were her until you started crying. Nobody could fake crying like that.”

“Shuddup.” Sunset pressed the cotton ball into Fluttershy's wound.

“EEP! Sorry! Sorry!” Fluttershy shrieked as the disinfectant stung.

“Sorry, keep going with your story.” Sunset apologized.

Fluttershy continued, “anyways, I should have tried harder to convince the others, but I was afraid of standing up to them. Applejack's logic, Rainbow's anger, and the others' mistrust aren't going to be convinced very easily, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. Tomorrow I'm going to give them a piece of my mind!”

“Are you sure about that Fluttershy? If worst comes to worst they might think you're working for Anon-a-miss.” Sunset applied antibiotic ointment on Fluttershy's scrape.

“I don't care. They're wrong and I'm going to set them straight! You deserve better than this Sunset.”

“Thanks Fluttershy, you can text me about how it goes. I got a new phone, but I still have the same number.” She gently put a large band-aid on Fluttershy's face. “There! All patched up.”

“Thank you Sunset.” Fluttershy smiled. “But, why did you get a new phone? Your old one was practically still new.”

“Gilda busted it before Flash had to defend me from her.”

“Really? Oh my. I heard about that on mystable. Rover posted saying that Flash picked a fight with Gilda behind the school and put her in the hospital.”

“That is definitely not what happened. Come on Shy, be more skeptical.” Sunset explained the actual events.

“Oh no. So did Flash get expelled for it?”

“Sorta, he's transferring to Crystal Prep with me so I guess there's a silver lining to it all.”

“I'm going to miss not having you around all the time.”

“Me too.”

An awkward silence passes before Sunset asks a question. “Hey, so how did you find my apartment again?”

“Oh, a little birdie told me. Hey look! There he is!” Fluttershy pointed at the windowsill. “His name is Henry, he had a broken wing, but it's all better now.”

“You can talk to animals?” Sunset was perplexed.

“Can't everyone?” Fluttershy cocked her head to the side.

Sunset burst out in laughter and Fluttershy joined. “Hey are you hungry? I got leftover pizza, some brown salad that used to be green, and lukewarm earl grey tea.”

Fluttershy's stomach growled. “Why yes, I'd love some.”

“Sorry, I wasn't expecting company.” Sunset made her way to the fridge.

They spent the rest of the evening eating leftovers and chatting about the smaller inconsequential things in their lives until the sun went down.

“Hey it's getting late. Do your folks know you're still out?”

“Oh my you're right. I'll have to head back soon.”

Peering out the window Sunset couldn't see a thing through the blizzard. “I don't think you're walking home in that. Why don't you give your mom a call and tell her you're staying over at a friend's.”

“Wow really? It's like a sleepover!”

Sunset chuckled. “Yeah, sleepover at Sunset's place.”

“Um, Sunset? I think it's getting a little cold in here. Could you turn up the heater? I mean if that's alright with you, I know heating in the middle of winter isn't cheap.”

“Yeah, you're right. I can see my own breath. I'll just crank up the thermostat and the heat should kick in right away.” Sunset dialed a large number into a box on the wall. Minutes pass and nothing happens.

Fluttershy was getting worried. “Uh Sunset?”

“Oh crap. I think it's broken, I'll have to call the landlady tomorrow. Uh, no worries I got loads of blankets, we'll be fine.”

Author's Note:

Spoilers for next chapter, Sunset and Fluttershy freeze to death. Flash is snowed in for weeks and is forced to cannibalize his grandmother, he turns into a zombie and eats the brains of the humane 4. Then, the CMC spontaneously combust and the fire burns down Canterlot killing everybody. The End.

Nah I'm just messin, The CMC would be getting off too easy that way. Thanks for reading guys, you've been a great audience. More to come soon.

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