• Published 5th May 2018
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Seven Days in Sunny June, Book V: The New Frontier - Shinzakura

The conclusion of the Seven Days in Sunny June saga! The world has changed, and those within it must cope with the aftermath of what has happened.

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August 21: You Made It

An Embraer Lineage 1000 lanced its way through the summer skies, headed south. The plane had been hastily arranged in order to fly several people down southwards towards Los Angeles, which was a good thing, given its current, somewhat-sizeable passenger manifest.

«You know, I thought the next time I got back aboard a plane, we’d be headed back to Paris, not down south,» Shimmer admitted in French. «Plus, if I had to admit, though my mother and I prefer to fly like normal people, more often than not we’re usually in situations like this.»

«Hey, you live like Diamond Life, Shimmy, so you can afford to get away with it,» Sunset responded back in the same language. As part of the preparations for next week, the two agreed to practice in French for Sunset’s sake, though they both knew that wasn’t necessary.

«Diamond Life? Who’s that?» Shimmer asked.

«Celebutante that Rarity follows,» Sunset explained. «She’s mainly famous – or rather, infamous – for ending up in the news a month ago for auctioning off her virginity for charity. She dubbed it “Do Me for the Kids”! Needless to say, she insulted everyone, including the charity in question, by that stunt…and that’s normal for her.»

“I’m not that bad,” Shimmer laughed, switching back to English. “Besides, technically after the 29th, you can too. My mother will formally acknowledge you as her missing daughter and although you’ll also be adopted by your current family, you’ll still be a part of the Bonaparte line. Though if I know my extended family, they’re probably already planning to write you out of the line of succession simply because of the adoption.”

Sunset, who had already cautioned the girls about talking about the real ties between both her and her “twin sister”, looked oddly at her counterpart. “I had never really thought of that. I mean, to be honest, until we met I thought I was just a runaway orphan with a very odd mentor.” Sunset thought about the memory changes that her grandmother had placed in her mind as her cover story. “Ms. Faustus had always said she was an old friend of my parents and that she was keeping me safe, though I don’t know why she raised me in a small cabin in the deepest part of the Everfree.”

“Well, I don’t want to bring up bad memories for you,” Shimmer said, seeing her counterpart was struggling with the constructed memories. Sunset was grateful; the two of them had far more in common than either of them had initially thought, and perhaps in a different time they would have been actual cherished sisters rather than just learning how to be that. “Still, we’re here for you, Sunny.”

A new voice chimed in. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell her, but she doesn’t listen.” Hearing the new voice, Sunset turned in the direction of the voice, smelling lavender body wash and lilac shampoo – and only one person she knew used that particular combination.

“Heya, sis,” Sunset said to her sister, Twilight Sparkle. “Bored of talking with the others?”

Twilight plopped into the seat next to her. “Maybe I’m just jealous that my sister’s being stolen by her twin?” she said with a grin.

Shimmer laughed. “Oh, Twily, you have nothing to fear. I’m so damn confused right now I don’t even have a clue what I would do with a twin sister running around. Trust me, when this is all over and I head back to France, you can have her back.”

“Thanks! Besides,” Twilight said, leaning on her sister’s shoulder, “I thought it would only be fair to warn you of the hazard you have wrought, sister mine.” Looking at Sunset, she said, “I tried to rein her in, you know, for your sake. But Shimmy talked me out of that.”

Shimmer gave her doppelganger a sympathetic look herself. “Sorry about that, but sacrifices must be made for the happiness of others.”

Sunset chuckled. “Look, Pinkie’s not going to do anything, okay? She knows how I feel and that’s not going to change, so don’t worry about it, Twily.”

In her seat, Pinkie looked over a few things. “So….”

Octavia facepalmed. “Pinkie, please tell me you didn’t….”

Pinkie blushed. “Tavi, we’re friends, right?”

“Yes, and before you ask, Sunny is my cousin, but she’s practically like a sister.”

Pinkie then held up two packages. “So…does she prefer cheesecake or pineapple?”

“Pinkie…you’re asking me which flavor of edible underwear my cousin would prefer?”

“Too soon?” Pinkie asked.

Octavia was about to speak, when a new voice popped up, “I have some banana split-flavored ones, if you want to try that.” Said speaker immediately felt her shoulder light up with pain. “Owwww!”

“LYRA!” Bon-Bon gasped. “Could we not talk about our personal lives?”

“But Bonnie….” Lyra whined.

The pair had come along as Sonata’s “Plus-Two” for the trip…which had spiraled out of control, naturally. When Sonata had explained a few things over the phone to the Chocolate Twins’ manager and somehow the news about how Sonata was the cousin of the “Missing French Princess” that was now starting to make the news, said manager had shrewdly arranged to pay for everyone, not just Sonata’s official guests, hoping to get onto the zeitgeist train. So, with that in mind, Sonata turned the whole thing into a huge “bring the entourage” affair, but between Blossomforth being in the last stages of her pregnancy and Trixie, Minuette and others simply too busy, Lyra and Bon-Bon were the only ones who accepted the offer.

“Look, what we do is our business, not whatever Pinkie’s got planned for Sunny, okay?” Bon-Bon scolded her. “Look, it’s weird enough finding out one of our friends is a long-lost French princess!”

“Yeah, how does that work anyway, Tavi?” Lyra asked.

“Look, Sunny and her…um…‘biological mother’ are still kinda figuring that out,” Octavia said hesitantly. “Personally, given that Mrs. D’ Celestia said she’s not going to contest the adoption, I don’t think Sunny’s going to be a princess.”

“Well, that sucks, doesn’t it?” Lyra muttered.

“SO!” Pinkie chirped, barging back into the conversation. “You know why I wanted to talk to you, right?”

“Because we’re the only two lesbians you’re friends with?” Lyra asked, and Bon-Bon facepalmed.


Bon-Bon bit off a Vietnamese curse and looked at Pinkie. “Pinkie, forgive me for saying this, but…are you sure about this? You said Sunny’s straight, right? I don’t want to see you get hurt over this.”

“I won’t, really.”

“Says the girl who wants a pair of their edible undies,” Octavia retorted.

“Well, look, if you want me to keep the banana split, we have other flavors, right?” Lyra reached over and grabbed her backpack. “Let’s see: rainbow sherbet, watermelon….”


“Well, yeah, I didn’t want TSA going through our luggage.” Octavia was about to speak up, before Lyra added, “And yes, this was before I realized that they don’t scan our luggage on charter flights and they would’ve scanned my carry-on.”

Octavia shook her head. “And you’ve been dating her for how long before you realized she was an idiot?”

Bon-Bon giggled. “Oh, be glad Trixie couldn’t make it. You’d be hearing a life story’s worth of stupidity for hours.”

Aria tapped Fluttershy on the shoulder. “What are you listening to?”

Fluttershy removed her earphones. “It’ll All End in Tears, by This Mortal Coil. Somehow, it seemed appropriate. I don’t think this is going to go over well.”

“Oh, I don’t know, I think it’s wonderful that Sunset and Pinkie have found one another,” Rarity said, looking away from her book.

“Um, Rares? Is that…?” Sonata asked.

Trapped in an Elevator,” Rarity said. “One of my favorite books. Two girls meet and they get trapped in an elevator in a building and during their time the—HEY!” the fashionista screamed as Adagio ripped it out of her hands.

The SIREN took a look at the cover, which depicted a curly-haired redhead making out with another girl, the latter with feathered hair of gold and pink. Not surprisingly, the two looked somewhat familiar. “Ouroboros?”

Rarity blushed as she took the book back. “Yes, he’s one of my favorite authors, why?”

Adagio handed it back with disdain. “Really? These look like complete trash, Rares.”

“Well, that’s your opinion. I just happen to think differently,” Rarity huffed.

“Your choice. Anyway, Flutters has a point,” Adagio interjected.

“How so, sugarcube?” Applejack, who had been silent all this time, asked.

“C’mon! Isn’t it obvious? If Sunny and Pinkie start swapping spit, what’s the dynamic for our group going to be like?” Rainbow asked.

“Um…Ah’d be more concerned with Pinkie’s feelings, Rainbow,” Applejack replied. “We know Sunny’s straight, but Pinkie’s fallen for her hard. And you know Pinkie’s had a fucked-up life, especially after what happened to her.”

“Sisters?” Adagio said, looking at Sonata and Aria with steadfast determination. “We find the two that hurt her, and we take them out, agreed?” The other two triplets nodded as one.

“Adagio! I cannot believe you’re talking about casually murdering two people!” Rarity gasped.

“Rares? Technically we’re state sanctioned by Equestria via Sunny, so it’d be assassination, not murder,” Sonata pointed out.

“As if that’s any better!”

“WOULD YOU ALL SHUT UP?” They all turned to see Raspberry, looking green in the gills and holding onto her armrests for dear life. “I’m trying not to think of all the ways we could die horribly and you are all talking about that?”

“Raspberry, dear,” Rarity said, “you’ll be fine! After all, I was—” The teen found her mouth covered by Fluttershy of all people, who had already heard Rarity’s story of the time she’d been in a minor plane crash as a baby.

“This might not be the best time to mention that,” the chiffon-haired girl noted.

“We would very much prefer you not mention that,” the triplets intoned darkly.

“I’m going to be sick,” Raspberry moaned.

Thirty minutes later, Raspberry all but collapsed in relief on the tarmac at Santa Ana airport in Orange County. The others tried to shield the former unicorn from view while trying not to laugh. Fortunately, as opposed to last time, it was much easier.

“This is uncomfortably familiar,” Sunset sighed.

“Sorry, sis,” Twilight said, squeezing her sister’s hand in support.

Sonata bent down to help Raspberry up. “You okay?”

“Yeah. Just glad Heelee’s not here to see this.” A thought crossed her mind. “Are you sure he’s going to be okay? I really didn’t like leaving him behind.”

The ponytailed girl smiled. “Don’t worry, Spike will make sure he’s okay.”

A flicker of green flame sizzled through the air, and a young boy dived behind the safety of the couch. “Stupid bird!” he spat.

The green canary chirped a fast series of warbles at him that sounded oddly like avian profanity.

“Spike? Is everything okay?” Cadance came out of the kitchen, looking at him. At once, Heliodor soared over to the woman and sat on her shoulder, nuzzling her cheek.

“Aww, aren’t you the most adorable little thing?” Cadance said, gently rubbing Heliodor on the head with a finger. “Are you hungry?”

Heliodor sang a thankful chirp.

“C’mon, we’ve got some fruit in the kitchen,” she said, leading the pleased bird into the kitchen.

Spike poked his head out from behind the sofa. “Hate you so much,” he muttered.

“Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see you all.” They turned and saw a familiar person walking towards them.

Rainbow hugged Melancholy Rose. “Heya, Rose. Long time no see.”

“Yeah. When the Twins found out about the change, they brought my dad on as a producer, and when I saw Sonata’s name, I knew I had to get involved.” She looked nervously at Adagio. “Water under the bridge?”

“So long as you don’t do anything stupid, Rose, we’re cool,” Adagio commented coolly. “Besides, I’m more inclined to dent moron’s head here,” she said, hooking a thumb at Raspberry.

“Hate this place so much,” Raspberry muttered under her breath, and Aria patted her friend’s shoulder in consolation.

“Well, if you come right this way,” Rose told them, “we’ll grab your bags and head towards the limos.”

“Limos?” Rainbow asked.

“Rainbow, we’re family – of course limos,” Rose said with a wink. “Besides, one of you is the contest winner, so we’re kinda obligated in any case.”

“Aw yeah!” Rainbow cheered. “We’re living the good life!”

After a quick trip through the baggage area, the three were then whisked off in their limos. A few people there had popped pictures at the group of teenagers coming out, and Shimmer swore she saw one or two paparazzo she was familiar with, they all clambered into the limos and sped off.

“Well, this is something I’m not used to,” Bon-Bon admitted.

“Believe it or not, me neither,” Shimmer replied. “My mother and I try to live normal lives when we’re back home, so we try to avoid the pageantry of the family whenever possible. Besides, right now, we’re here to have fun, so let’s just enjoy the ride.”

“Oh, believe me, I’m going to be enjoying plenty of rides,” Lyra commented, and Bon-Bon glared at her. Lyra realized what she said and quickly amended with, “I meant the rides at the park, sweetie!”

“I hope you meant that,” Bon-Bon huffed. Lyra pouted and Bon-Bon leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek, forgiving her faux-pas, writing it off as simply Lyra being Lyra.

“Well, Ah do hope you two pop out of your room once in a while,” Applejack teased.

“Hey, can’t have room service forever, right?” Lyra said, leaning against her girlfriend.

“No kidding,” Bon-Bon spoke, before turning to look at the older of the twins in the room. “Sunny, do you have a plan of how you’re going to deal with this? I’m going to guess that you’re doing this for Pinkie’s benefit and not your own.”

“You’d be right,” Sunset replied. “I love Pinkie dearly, but just as a friend. I have no more romantic interest in her than I do you, Lyra, or the others.” She sighed. “In fact, given how bad my last relationship went, I think I’m off the dating train for a while.”

“Then why bother at all?” Lyra asked her.

Octavia, sitting next to Sunset, merely gave her cousin a look, and Sunset knew what she would have said if they’d been in private. It was a tacit reminder that Sunset was treading on very thin, Pinkie-shaped ice. Sunset sighed; after all, just about everyone present was already having these concerns, why should her family be any different?

“Well, to be honest, this is Pinkie’s call, girls,” Sunset told them. “She’s taking me on a date, not the other way around. Maybe she’ll ask for suggestions, but aside from that, I don’t really think so. But I think you’re worrying a little too much. This is just a fun time for me and Pinkie.”

“Should you tell her?” Lyra asked, looking at Bon-Bon with a seriousness that was uncommon for the tomboy.

Bon-Bon nodded, then took a drink of the soda she’d taken from the limo’s minifridge. “Sunny….”

“No, Pinkie, I’m putting my foot down on this,” Twilight told her.

“Twily, you’re my dearest friend, but frankly, this is none of your business,” Pinkie said coolly. “I love your sister, and I’m not going to do anything to harm her. You know that.”

“Sugarcube,” Applejack told her, “we’ve all been out of sorts lately, let’s just be honest about that okay? Ah know Ah’ve been – Ah feel like Ah’m still trying to catch up to mah own life.” At her words, the rest of the group recalled that moment, and the atmosphere of the room turned to an icy chill.

“I know how that feels,” Twilight said with a bit of shame. “I still recall how I acted, and then having my sister die in my arms….”

Pinkie went over and hugged Twilight. “I don’t know how you managed that,” the cotton-candy-haired girl admitted in a soft tone. “I just remember that I wanted to die that day.” Her words sent a chill through the occupants of the cabin. “When you said she was gone…I knew my life was over, and I had nothing to live for.”

“Pinkie, don’t you say that,” Rainbow told her. “Don’t you ever say that. You’re too important to us for that to happen.”

Twilight looked Pinkie directly in the eyes. “Pinkie, no one is worth losing your life. Not even my sister.”

Pinkie shook her head as tears formed in her eyes and her hair started to straighten. “You were ready to murder that man because of what happened to Sunny. You lost it, Twily. And…I know how you felt. I was practically destroyed. Part of me wished at that moment that he’d slit me in two instead of Shimmy—”

“Ladies?” Aria interrupted. “This is getting way too maudlin. We won, right? Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating happier times?”

“Furthermore, thanks to Sunny’s grandmother’s messing with time, we never had to go through with that. So nobody died and we’re all fine and alive,” Sonata added.

“You’re right.” Pinkie’s hair recoiled back into shape like a slinky on methamphetamines. “I want to live again! I want to be a happy Pinkie!”

Sonata giggled. “Then make this a date for the ages, Pinkie!” Twilight glared at her cousin, but Sonata ignored it.

“Yay! Raspberry vanilla body oil and chocolate garters!” she said with a wide grin that seemed unnatural even for Pinkie.

“Great going,” Aria told her sister, who immediately facepalmed.

“Um…Pinkie? How do you know about all this?” Adagio asked. “I was going to be the one trained to be the seduction expert, so I know a little bit, but how do you know?”

“Oh, believe me, when I put my mind to it, I can research anything. And with such a hot body at stake? You better believe I’m going to find out everything this girl needs!” A thought then crossed her mind. “Um…what’s a seduction specialist?”

Adagio sighed in relief. “Believe me, I am glad for the timeline change. What the seduction specialist is, is two years of learning the, ahem, sexual arts. Basically, working for a year in one of the whorehouses in Nevada – the Sisterhood has a connection there – followed by another year of attending orgies and pretty much seducing anything that moves to learn the ‘skills of the trade’.”

“But you’re straight, aren’t you?” Rarity, silent all this time, asked.

Adagio nodded, entirely glad Rarity pointed that out. “As a line.”

That resolved, Rarity turned back to Pinkie. “Pinkie, dear, would you be a dear and do something for me?”

“Of course!” Pinkie replied. “Unless it’s sharing Sunny, in which case, no, I’ll do her for myself!”

“Perish the thought,” the fashionista replied, “but to be honest, so should you. Pinkie, as much as I enjoy reading romance novels…what you’re doing? There’s no romance in it. It’s…well, it’s vulgar. As a virgin, don’t you want your time with Sunset to be special?”

“What are you doing?” Twilight hissed in her friend’s ear.

“Trust me, darling,” Rarity said back before turning her attention back to Pinkie.

“Rarity, I’m not a virgin. If anything, I’m probably the exact opposite of a virgin.” The look in Pinkie’s eyes seemed normal, but Rarity, having been there all this time, knew the fragility behind it.

“Yes, you are,” Rarity said, giving Pinkie her warmest smile. “You didn’t offer those brutes your maidenhood, Pinkie. They took it. And offering your virginity to the one you love most is the truest thing of all.”

“But I—”

“No. They took your body, and they played with your mind. But you know where your heart belongs, and in your heart of hearts, that is what you want to give Sunset, correct?”

“Yes! All my heart, forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever—”

“We get the point,” Aria chimed in.

“Aria, darling, please,” Rarity said, piping that down. “So, Pinkie, dear, you want Sunset with all your heart and soul?”

“Of course! We go together like peanut butter and chocolate! Like red velvet cake and fudge filling! Like the silvery moon and the stars that flicker in June!”

“I see,” Rarity replied. “Then…why are you trying to drive her away?” The moment Rarity said that, one could practically hear the record scratch in the air.

“I…I don’t understand,” Pinkie replied, genuinely.

“Rarity, may I?” Adagio asked.

“The floor is yours, dear.”

“Pinkie…I know you’ve told me what you’ve been through, and words cannot express how much I wish I could fix that for you. But the truth is, you were set up. Atlas and Cicely probably targeted you from the start. Everything they did was calculated to hurt you in little ways. And none of that is your fault. So Rarity’s right: within your heart, you are still pure, regardless of whatever happened.

“But you’re not the only one that has been hurt. Think about it: Flash was part of that group, and Flash was Sunny’s boyfriend. Yes, she had ulterior motives as well, but from what she’s told us, it didn’t sound like a loving relationship. Remember, she hated being called Sunny for the longest time because of Flash’s little poem.”

“I’m going to hurt him for that,” Pinkie suddenly growled.

“The point I’m making is that you two were abused in one degree or another. You really shouldn’t think about sex right now, because it’s been a part of your scars, for both of you. If you really want to win my cousin’s heart, then you need to do it by showing her you love her, not that you want to jump her bones. Because between what you both have been through, one way or another, it’ll all end in tears.”

“Wow, Dagi, that was surprisingly insightful,” Twilight told her.

“And you’ve known me for how many years?” Adagio asked her cousin.

“Which timeline?” Sonata added.

Adagio and Twilight looked at each other, remembering both the past few months of a life lived, and at the same time, half their lives. Both nodded slightly and turned to Sonata.

“Take your pick,” they both replied at the same time.

Not long after, the group walked through the lobby of the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, the poshest of the three hotels on the resort. Having been exposed to luxury several times, most of those present were no longer wowed by the opulence.

Two girls, however, were not so jaded.

“This is amazing!” Lyra said, her eyes like that of a child handed the keys to the Hershey candy warehouses.

“Honestly, I’m a little overwhelmed,” Bon-Bon admitted.

“Heh, you should see Spring Break! Me and my friends all rent the penthouses in Monaco for that week and we just laze around the beach,” Shimmer told them. “Trust me, I spend a lot more during vacation.”

“Monaco?” Rarity exclaimed, starry-eyed. “Can I come live with you forever?” she squealed.

“Easy, Rares,” Applejack said, pulling her back. “Let’s not get too hasty, ‘kay?”

“Well,” Rose suggested, “maybe you should check into our hotel rooms and then go get some food. Then after I’ll take you all to meet the Chocolate Twins. Admittedly normally it would be just Soni and her two guests, but given that you all came, I think we can make an exception.”

“Are they here right now?” Sonata asked excitedly.

“No, they should be arriving in the hour, though. As I understand it, they were filming a segment of their show in Hawaii, so they’ll be landing soon. Worst case scenario, you’ll get to meet them tomorrow, though I think you’ll get the chance to do so tonight.”


The other girls agreed and decided to split up according to their room assignments; with the lone exception of Lyra and Bon-Bon, the rooms came equipped with double beds and all the amenities possible. Additionally, the rooming assignments had been given out and much to Pinkie’s disappointment, Sunset would be bunking with Shimmer, while the cheerleader got tied up with Raspberry.

One by one, they departed towards their rooms, with the agreement to meet back in thirty minutes. They all filtered out, even Raspberry (with all the clothing she was wondering why the hell she now owned if she was never going to use any of it once she returned to Equestria), until all that was left was Sunset and Pinkie. Both knew why they’d remained behind.

Pinkie picked up her bag. “Sunny…are you sure you really want to go through with this?” Pinkie asked. “I don’t want you to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.”

Sunset gave Pinkie a soft smile. “What happened to the girl who was so eager to take me out?”

“I got reminded why I’m such a screw-up,” Pinkie said mournfully.

In response and not sure why she did, the flame-haired girl walked over and gave Pinkie a kiss on the cheek. “I know you better than that, Pinkie. And I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t want to. So, if you’re going to sweep me off my feet, as you so clearly want to do, we’re going to have to talk about that.”

Pinkie felt the warmth of Sunset’s lips against her buccal skin, then flushed furiously. “Okay, I’m your Pinkie!” she chirped.

“Oh, my Pinkie? Not anyone else’s Pinkie?”

“Well…my aunt and uncle have a long-term lease until I’m eighteen, and my parents have some ostensible legal claim on my genes, but otherwise, yeah!” She then reached over and picked up Sunset’s bag as well. “Chivalry and all that,” she insisted.

“Spoiling me already? A girl could get to like this,” Sunset said lightly, moving forward towards the elevator.

Pinkie stood still for a second, watching her friend’s tush as she moved. “Oh, trust me, a girl could get to get to like a lot of things,” she commented as she joined Sunset towards the elevators.

Watching from a distance, Lyra looked at her lover. “Thoughts?”

“Tomorrow is going to be very, very interesting…in that not very good way,” Bon-Bon sighed.

“You think so too, huh?” Lyra stated, and Bon-Bon couldn’t help but agree.

“I hope Sunny knows what she’s doing, or else this could be a really bad thing.”

Lyra leaned against her girl. “Well, let’s go get up to our rooms. We might have enough time to get a quickie in before we have to come back down.”

“Is sex all you ever think about?”

The tomboy grinned as she put an arm around the other girl. “With your body? I wouldn’t want to think about anyone else, babe.” Bon-Bon merely kissed her, then took her hand and walked towards the other set of elevators and their own room.

Thirty minutes later, while Sonata was excitedly dancing around the room, Rose came by and gave her the bad news: “Soni, the Twins’ flight got cancelled due to weather, and as a result, they won’t be able to meet you until tomorrow afternoon. But I made reservations for us to have lunch at Club 33, so we’ll have all the privacy you’ll need. Plus, they agreed to stick around an extra day, because they do want to meet you.”

“Is everything okay?” Sonata asked, slightly down.

“Things like this happen all the time in show biz,” Rose explained. “The life of a celebrity isn’t all glitz and glamor, despite what people think.”

“I know. Fluttershy tells me her father has a hard time just walking around town because of who he is,” Sonata admitted.

“Well, I’m sure that you’ll want time to get to relax and all, so just take it easy this evening. Tomorrow will be a busy day for you, okay?”

Sonata comically saluted. “Roger that!”

As Rose departed, Aria noted the sad look on her sister’s face. “Are you okay, Soni?”

“Yeah, it’s just I’m kinda nervous about meeting them, you know? Will they remember the letter they read on the air when we were kids?”

“Sis, I didn’t remember that letter until you mentioned it just now.”

“I remember,” Sonata said softly. “It broke my heart…it broke all our hearts. We went to bed early, and Twily and Tavi ended up sleeping with us that night to make sure we would be okay.” She sighed. “I know they weren’t to blame,” she admitted, “but I hope they don’t think that I hate them for it.”

Aria went over and hugged her sister. “Soni, you’ve always had a big heart. I’m sure everything will be okay, so you don’t have to be nervous, alright? At the end of the day, they’re just normal girls like you and I.”

Sonata laughed. “We’re hardly normal girls, sis.”

“True, but I like to keep thinking that we are.”

“So, here we are again, sis,” Twilight said as the two sat outside, in the cool late summer evening. There was no one by the pool, and though neither of them had any plans to swim, the two just sat on deckchairs outside, having a private moment between themselves. “Just outside together.”

“I’m ashamed of how I acted,” Twilight suddenly admitted. “I didn’t trust you and as a result, you paid the price.”

“It was partly my fault as well, Twily,” Sunset reminded her. “I was afraid to tell you about, well…me. I should have been honest with my family, but I wasn’t.”

“You had good reason, in either reality. In the old one, I wasn’t ready to believe that you aren’t human. And in this new one, I didn’t know you were a twin. And I abandoned you, and you suffered because of it. Because of me.”

“Twily, you didn’t abandon me in this time—”

“It doesn’t matter.” Sunset looked at her sister, and Twilight was in tears. “You’re my sister. I gave you a lecture about trust…and I wasn’t the one that trusted you. And you died, Sunny! I was responsible for your death! How can you even forgive me?”

Sunset walked over and hugged her. “Because you’re my sister, Twily, and I love you. We’re a family. I was ready to die when I dived into traffic if it meant that you lived, and I was ready to die when I went back home to find out what was harming you. And I obviously did when our family was at stake. And I’d do it again even now, because you are my sister. Mom, Dad, Spike, Shiny, everyone – I would do it without a second thought, because I love you all.”

The two sisters sat there, hugging one another, glad to share this moment. Finally, the two broke off, and Twilight asked, “So, what’s it like not being human?”

“I could ask you what’s it like not being a pony, Twily, and the answer you’d probably give me is the same one I’d give you: I really don’t know. It’s just…well, it is. Yes, having been both, there are pluses and minuses – the monthly inconvenience is much more preferable, in my opinion, than going into heat once a year.” Twilight looked at Sunset oddly and the latter laughed. “We have magic that takes care of that, and believe me, it’s not like it’s porno city or anything; it’s just a heightened awareness that you really want to get your groove on, so to speak.”

“Did you ever, um…?”

“No. For one, I was never social enough to have any interest in colts. Second, even if I was, I was the daughter of the Princess, and I couldn’t debase myself that way, so one of the first spells I learned was the enstilling spell.”


“Yeah. Basically it fools your body into thinking you’re an immature filly, not ready to romp in the meadow. Think of it as a sort of equivalent of a weeklong cold shower and you get the idea,” Sunset laughed. “When I became human and found that humans don’t have an estral cycle and have to deal with only the menstrual? I felt like I was free. Of course, that was before I hooked up with Flash and stupidly did not realize I could have ended up…well, like Blossom.”

“Do you regret that?”

“Yes and no. I regret that Flash ruined her life, and I wish that I’d known about it, though knowing Flash, I don’t know if I could have stopped that bastard. But I don’t regret that I was able to save you from him, or that I’m there to help Blossom now that she needs me. And I’m thankful that I never got pregnant by him. I would have been utterly ruined if I had.”

“I’m glad you didn’t, either,” Twilight told her. “Although….”


“Although if you had, I guess I wouldn’t have had the chance to get to meet and love a wonderful sister. And as a result, I wouldn’t have had the life I do now. It would have been just me and Tavi alone in our isolated world, rather than the new one we’ve been given, where I have a larger family and a ton of friends. And I have you to thank.” Twilight leaned against her sister and smiled softly in contentment.

After a few minutes, she said, “Pinkie said she saw other realities with you. Aside from the fact that it boggles my mind that there are other realities, what did you guys see?”

Sunset groaned. “I told her not to talk about that. Look, sis, you’re smart enough to know in the abstract that they do exist, my very existence notwithstanding. But yes, there are plenty of them. And I would rather not discuss them.”

“Like the one where you two are a couple?”

“There are ones where we’re a couple, Twily.”

Twilight looked at her sister with a disbelieving gaze. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“But I would never—”

Sunset couldn’t help but tease her sister. “Apparently in some, you did.”

“How can you take this so calmly?”

“One, because those aren’t this reality. You’re my sister, not my lover. Two, I don’t feel that way about you, or any of my friends, or frankly anyone right now – and certainly not about members of my family. And third, I’ve already seen you naked, Twily – it’s not like there’s a grand mystery.”

Twilight’s eyes narrowed. “You are soooooo lucky you’re getting officially adopted next week or else I’d kill you. Again.” At that, Sunset laughed, and after a second of pouting, Twilight then joined in, glad to be with this wonderful girl she was lucky enough to call her sister.

Watching from a distance, Pinkie felt a mixture of emotions. Jealousy at the closeness between the two sisters. Shame that she did. And an ache that she should have been the one spending this beautiful moon-drenched night with Sunset, instead of Twilight. It wasn’t fair to either of them, she knew, but the heart never really bothered to ward away such feelings.

Disgusted at her own feelings and concerned about how she was going to make it up to Sunset, Pinkie walked back into the hotel. She had a long, lonely night to think about it.

Sunset Shimmer stretched the following morning, the fabric of her Tahiti 80 shirt following her contours. It was a keepsake of her father’s ever since he’d been a child, or so her mother had said; she kept it as a result (besides, she liked the namesake band). While she didn’t know if the story about her father was true or not (as it made the shirt older than her), it was something she believed could be true and a cherished memory of her father one way or the other.


She turned her head and saw the other person in the room; officially her twin sister but technically herself, or at least another facet of it. Sunset Shimmer, a non-human from another dimension, had taken to living in this world in the life Shimmer had left behind, but after all was said and done, she didn’t mind it a bit. After all, she lived in France, and Sunset lived here in the US and though they considered themselves sisters and friends, they had different lives they led and would part ways after next week.

“Oh, hey, Sunny, what’s up?”

“Well, this is supposed to be the part where we fight over who gets the shower first.”

Shimmer giggled. “Well, we could take a shower at the same time. It’s not like either of us has anything we haven’t seen before, and plus, didn’t you say that ponies are a social species that don’t wear clothing?”

“Um…Shimmy?” Sunset said, blushing, only to be met by her twin’s raucous laughter.

“You actually thought that I was being serious?” she giggled, pointing.

Sunset tried not to invoke the Ritual of the Facepalm Gods. “Look, given what I’ve been through the past month so far, selfcest is probably the least weird, okay?”

“There’s an actual term for it?”

“I see you’re not familiar with TVTropes.”

“No, actually the grand majority of my internet reading is in French. Besides, you know I was just kidding.” Sunset then grabbed her phone, went to the page in question and showed Shimmer. After a few seconds, the smaller twin said, “Merde. I didn’t even know. Sorry.”

Sunset waved it off. “Trust me, after everything I’ve seen, this is tame.”

“Why do I have a feeling that I should be worried about that?”

Sunset gave her twin a grin. “Not right now, anyway.”

“Wow! Can you change your skin to look like a smurf?” Pinkie asked. “Be Smurfette!”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh, oh, oh! Do Miss Martian instead! She’s green! You can do that, right?”

“Pinkie, I—”

“Oh, wait – can you make your skin look yellow?” She thought about that for a second. “No, actually don’t do that. That sounds racist, sorry.”

Raspberry got out of bed and rushed to the bathroom, seeing her curse in full force: black and red hair, chalk white skin, her fangs were longer than normal, and her eyes were solid black, even though she could see through them. If anything, she probably looked like the human equivalent of a vampony.

“Great, just great. I turn into a monster and Pinkie thinks I’m some Nightmare Night reject,” the former unicorn groaned.

“Halloween reject!” Pinkie helpfully called out from the other room.

Raspberry facepalmed.

Thirty minutes later, everyone met at the Storyteller Café for breakfast. Everyone looked fresh and ready for the day, except for Lyra. “Ugh, I need coffee,” the celeste-haired girl moaned.

“You okay?” Rainbow asked.

“Didn’t get much sleep last night,” Lyra admitted.

“What were you doing? Gaming?”

“You could say that,” Lyra replied as a lazy smile came onto her face.

“Uh, Rainbow?” Bon-Bon spoke.


Bon-Bon’s face was practically beatific. “None of your damn business,” she said with a smile.

“Oh.” The athlete’s cheeks began to flush, and everyone had a chuckle at her predicament.

“Well, looks like they have a breakfast buffet,” Sonata chirped. “Shall we?”

“I hope they have some vegetarian options,” Raspberry commented. “I know you humans eat meat, but it still kinda squicks me out.”

“Remember what I said, Razz: ponies don’t need meat, but humans do,” Sunset advised. “I mean, there are ways around it, but it tends to be complex and annoying. And if you’re going to be here for a while, you might want to get used to it.”

“I’ll…think about it,” Raspberry replied.

At this time, Rose came into the restaurant. “Oh, hey, I see you already found a spot,” she chirped as she walked up. “Mind if I join you all?”

Rainbow gestured to a seat next to her. “Have a seat-sat. So what’s the plan?”

“I just got off the phone with my dad. The Twins just landed at LAX an hour ago, and they’re going to go by their place and drop off their luggage before meeting us at Club 33 for lunch. Soni, they said to pass on their apologies for not being able to meet you at all yesterday and they hope you weren’t too inconvenienced.”

“No, everything’s okay,” Sonata replied with the nervous energy of a young girl wishing to achieve a dream. “I’m just nervous, that’s all.”

“The girl who can build her own weapons systems and fought monsters to a standstill is nervous about meeting two YouTube celebrities?” Rainbow whispered to Applejack.

“Be nice,” the blonde reminded her friend.

“Wow, they have an awesome pancake bar!” Everyone turned to see Pinkie carrying a stack of pancakes almost as tall as her.

“Are you seriously going to eat that?” Shimmer asked the other girl.

“Well, yeah, but not going back for seconds,” Pinkie insisted. “Need to keep my girlish figure if I’m going to ever get Sunny to gaze longingly at my firm abs and booty!”

“Why do I get the feeling I missed something?” Raspberry asked, completely confused.

Aria patted her friend on the shoulder and said, “Welcome to the human race, Razz.”

Twilight, meanwhile, was already by the omelet bar, making her order. Adagio came up to her and said, “You look pissed.”

“Well, yeah. I think this whole thing is a farce and even though I agreed to not make waves, you just know this is going to go south quickly.”

“Twily, I’m shocked,” Adagio said. “Jealous?”

“No,” Twilight huffed. “Okay, maybe a little,” she admitted. “I know I shouldn’t be, and I trust Sunny, but….”

Adagio laughed and put her arm around her cousin’s shoulders. “Maybe nothing, Twily. You really shouldn’t worry about it. You have us, remember? And it’s not like anything’s going to happen, you know that.”

“I know, it’s just….”

“Your heart tells you one thing, and your mind another, and you’re not sure which to believe, because we’re all adjusting to what’s happened, right? Plus, I’ll bet you’re still feeling guilty over what you did in the old timeline, didn’t you?”

“How’d you know about that?” Twilight asked.

“Rarity told me while we had lunch yesterday,” Adagio explained. “She thought there were some extra things from the old timeline that I might want to be aware of. And I have to admit, Twily, I’m shocked at your behavior.”

“I know,” the plum-haired girl said guiltily. “I didn’t acquit myself back then, and I’m frankly surprised Sunny forgave me for that.”

“Because she’s family, just like we are,” Adagio reminded her. “And because she’s family, you should have more faith in her. What are you going to do if for some reason they hit it off and actually do start dating?”

“You don’t actually believe that, do you?”

“Not in the least, but that’s not my point. Did you act like this when Shiny and Cady started dating?”

“Of course not. And don’t think I’m prejudiced against Pinkie’s feelings for Sunny. I consider Lyra and Bonnie to be good friends of ours, and they’re clearly lesbian.”

“I didn’t say that. What I am saying is that you’re overreacting. Yes, we should be concerned about what Pinkie’s going to attempt, but because we don’t want them hurt – not because you feel bad that you ostracized your sister, and now you’re trying to protect her from every perceived threat, real or imagined.” Adagio smiled. “That’s our job, in case you forgot.”

“I seem to recall stepping up to the plate for you plenty of times, Dagi.”

“I know, and I love you for that, cuz. But that is only in the present – focus on that. You’re stronger than you were back then, and I think you’re forgetting that, Twily. Let the past that doesn’t exist anymore stay that way. Believe me, you’ll be better off for it.”

Rarity looked at Fluttershy. “So far, everything seems to be going okay. Although I must admit that while this wouldn’t be my first place to go on vacation, I suppose one must do with one must do for friends, correct?”

“I take it you’re not a fan of Disneyland?” Fluttershy asked.

“It’s okay, I suppose, but this is more along the line of Sweetie’s interests,” Rarity admitted. “Now if you ask me, I think I would much more prefer to go to South Coast Plaza or Fashion Island, which are not too far from here. Now that would make for a much more elegant and refined time of relaxation than running around in the so-called, ahem, ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Fluttershy demurred. “I actually like this place. I remember once when Dad brought me here when I was a kid, just before when I thought my parents divorced. We used to spend a lot of time on It’s a Small World, and I used to be amazed at all the cultures of the world, especially because I could understand the Japanese parts. Of course, I was just a little girl back then, but I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to see how much things have changed.”

Rarity was touched by her friend’s memories. “Must’ve been happier times.”

Fluttershy nodded. “It was one of the few memories I didn’t allow myself to taint when I thought they got divorced and I ended up hating my dad unfairly. I’m hoping we’ll get the chance to come back again sometime, because I really want to make new memories with him.”

“I’m sure you will, dear, I’m sure you will.”

The rest of the group ate in subdued conversation, with questions, being asked, plans being made and answers being given. Pinkie, surprisingly, was paying more attention to her friends than Sunset, to the latter’s relief at the moment; the last thing she wanted was to turn down her friend again. It wasn’t until after they’d all eaten that Pinkie finally flagged her down.

“Yes, Pinkie?” Sunset asked.

“I hope you don’t mind, but…can we wait until tomorrow for our date?” she asked. “Today is Soni’s day and I don’t want to take that away from her. She’s wanted this for a long time and I don’t want to step on her toes.”

Sunset smiled at that. “I appreciate that,” the alicorn-as-human replied. “This really means a lot to her.”

“Well, she’s one of my besties,” Pinkie answered honestly. “I can’t let her down, not on today of all days.”

Meanwhile, Rose was on the phone, talking to someone on the other end. “Oh, sure! That would be great, actually!...I’ll ask them. I don’t think they’ll mind at all!...No, not a problem. Anyway, we’ll see you in a little bit. Bye!” She then turned to the others. “Well, they’re on the way here, and will be meeting us at Club 33 as planned. Besides, they have a surprise that they dug up for you, Soni, because they were late last night.”

Sonata perked up at that. “Really?”

Rose nodded. “Yeah. They’re pretty good about that. Everything will be fine. In the meanwhile, ladies, if I might remind you, we’re at Disneyland! May as well get on the rides and have a fun time until 1, right?”

“Right!” everyone except both Sunset and Rarity, though the rest really didn’t pay much attention at the time.

“Okay, everyone meet at the front of the hotel in twenty minutes and we’ll head over!” Rose cheered.


“So, what is this Disneyland place?” Raspberry asked Sunset when those in the know weren’t around. “Is it like Thrillville in Baltimare or Unicorney Island in Manehattan?”

“It’s more like Crystal Adventure Park in the Empire, or so I’m told,” Sunset explained. “Except that instead of Crystally Crystal, there’s Mickey Mouse, and instead of a bunch of unhealthy things like hayburgers and lilypops, there’s a bunch of unhealthy things like cheeseburgers and swirlpops.”

“So they have a ride like Sombra’s Revenge?”

Sunset looked at her friend. “You let them make a ride called Sombra’s Revenge?”

Raspberry grinned. “They wanted to use the crest for royalties, and since as the head of House Sombra, it technically belongs to me, they had to license the trademark. I get decent royalties from it, so I can’t complain. Plus, I have a lifetime free pass to Crystal Adventure Park. My favorite ride is Journey to Hilsrious. It’s one of those dark rides with neon lighting and such. So what’s this place like?”

“Dunno, never been here before. Remember, I live hundreds of miles to the north of here, so it’s not like I could have just teleported down every weekend or so.”

“Couldn’t you have?”

“And explain that to my family?”


“It’s a world of laughter,
A world of tears
It’s a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all….”

“Guys? Please stop singing that!” Rainbow moaned to Pinkie, Sonata and Fluttershy after the group departed the ride for the fourth straight time. “You’re gonna emotionally scar me for life or something!”

“Wow, I come from a land of technicolor ponies that sing and dance on a regular basis and even I find this to be overkill,” Sunset groaned. Twilight said nothing, but instead patted her sister on the shoulder in sympathy.

“Yeah, Ah’m gonna have to agree,” Applejack sighed.

“Oh, but it’s such a fun ride,” Fluttershy defended.

“Rainbow?” Lyra turned to her.


Space Mountain, before we lose our minds?” Rainbow nodded fervently and stood next to the celeste-haired girl in solidarity.

“You know, we could always just split up and meet up at this lunch thing at 1, can’t we?” Bon-Bon asked Rose.

“Yeah, besides, it’ll let me get some planning done. This might be fun time for you all, but for me this is just another working assignment, because Dad can’t deal with teenyboppers like us,” Rose sighed.

“That bad, huh?” Adagio asked her.

“I want to do this for a living, but believe me, sometimes it’s not fun and games even when the people I’m with are doing just exactly that. For example, Sweet Briar pretends to be the girl next door in her films, but in real life, she’s a complete bitch. Wants to go drinking and can’t keep her pants on around anything with a pulse. It’s a wonder that the paparazzi haven’t found that out yet.”

“That’s a shame; I loved her performance in Dreaming Lilies,” Rarity said.

“Yeah, well, I can guarantee you that Dreamy Lily is just a character and Sweet Briar is nothing like her,” Rose grunted. “I swear, I’d like to say that I hope I never work with her again, but sadly, given that Dad’s teaching me the business, it’s only a matter of time before I end up working with that cunt. But enough about that.” Rose pulled out her phone and looked at the time. “It’s 10:15, so everyone meet at Pirates of the Caribbean at 12:45, okay?” The group nodded, and everyone split into groups or two, three or four. Pinkie, consciously not trying to focus on Sunset, instead grabbed Shimmer and declared she was going to be her “practice date” before dragging the girl off.

After a few minutes, even the triplets had wandered off, leaving Sunset with Octavia and Twilight.

“Looks like it’s just us three,” Twilight said, smiling.

“In a sense, it’s always been just us three,” Octavia responded. “Don’t get me wrong; I love the triplets, especially since they’re a part of our lives now. But part of me has always thought it’s always been us.”

Twilight nodded. “Dagi, Ari and Soni mean the world to me, but Tavi’s right: in the beginning it was us, and it should be us now.” She took her sister’s arm and leaned against her shoulder. “I mean, it’s always better when sisters are together, right?” she said with a grin.

“You’ve corrupted her,” Octavia said with a grin.

“Gladly, too,” Sunset said with an equal grin.

“Guess you’ll just have to share me,” Twilight said salaciously, and the three laughed.

12:45 came, and the girls all appeared in front of Club 33, as necessary. A general feeling of exhilaration was in the air amongst the fifteen girls present, and chief amongst them all was Sonata, who was acting as much like Pinkie as she could.

“Looks like Soni’s practically climbing up the walls,” Shimmer said, laughing.

“Yeah, but we love her anyway – besides, too late to get rid of her now,” Aria replied, equally laughing.

“Well, ladies, if you’re ready for this momentous occasion, then we should get inside. I’ve had a busy day wrangling, and I’m starved!” Rose chirped.

“Yup, let’s not keep them waiting!” Sonata said and strolled over to the mysterious door at 33 Orleans Street. “Uh, how do we get in?”

Rose smiled. “With the magic key, of course,” she commented, holding up an ornate-looking pass to an old-fashioned door knocker. The door slid open, and a pleasant young man around their age let them in, ushering them into the private Court d’Anges.

“This is absolutely fabulous!” Rarity squeed in delight.

“Glad you think so,” Rose said. “Costs my dad a small fortune a year to keep the membership, but we think it’s worth it. Anyway, I would wait until later and we can take some pictures with the Twins and such, okay?”

“Yay!” Sonata cheered.

The group went up the carefully (and artificially) verdigrised wrought iron stairs, listening to Rarity’s oohs and aahs, until they’d entered the door, where the young man held the door open for them. The teens walked past the glory that was Le Salon Nouveau, which was an art nouveau work of absolute breathtaking art.

“Unfortunately we can’t go in there,” Rose told them. “That’s the bar, and it’s kinda off-limits to those who are underage.”

“It looks absolutely divine,” Rarity murmured with stars in her eyes. “I can practically see myself sitting at the bar, sipping a cosmopolitan, and dressed to the nines, waiting for the attention of some dashing young gentleman.”

“You’ll be waiting a long time, Rares – most of the people who have memberships to this place tend to be stodgy old men who entertain business guests by bringing them here,” Rose replied with a grin. “In fact, there are probably quite a few who come to the park only to bring them to Club 33 and the 1901 Lounge over at California Adventure.”

Rarity sighed. “A girl can dream, I suppose.”

The group followed the maitre d’ as he led them to Le Grand Salon, which was where they would meet up with Sonata’s heroes. As several young men pulled out the seats for the ladies, Adagio purred, “A girl could get to like this attention.”

“Tell me about it,” Pinkie replied.

“Trust me, it’s not worth getting used to it,” Shimmer responded in kind. “I’m a literal princess and I really don’t care for all the attention. If anything, I suspect I would rather be in your shoes, like a normal person.”

“Maybe, but some of us don’t mind being spoiled by all this attention,” Applejack said, with an appreciative grin as she looked at one of the guys that had caught her eye.

“Looks like someone remembered she’s a girl,” Rainbow said, elbowing her friend.

“Oh, Ah never forgot – Ah just don’t get much of a chance to appreciate the finer things at our school,” she replied with a smirk.

“I’ll have to agree,” Fluttershy said, equally looking at someone else.

“Don’t you have a boyfriend, Flutters?” Aria asked her.

“Sorta. Puppytails and I are taking it slowly. He’s not exactly one to get all my hints, sad to say,” the chiffon-haired girl admitted. “I wish he would, though.”

“Maybe he just needs someone to talk to him,” Adagio said. “I’d be happy to.”

“No, I want him to figure things out,” Fluttershy admitted. “Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who wants our relationship. I know he’s attracted to me, and I’m obviously attracted to him, but…well, some people are wallflowers, I guess, and that would definitely fit him.”

“It used to fit her, too,” Rainbow whispered conspiratorially to Applejack, who sniggered at the comment.

As the waitress passed out menus, the girls pored over them, chatting about and commenting about various things. Sunset did notice one thing, though, which she brought to Rose’s attention. “Rose, if it’s lunch time, why are we the only ones here? Shouldn’t there be some other people here?”

“Yeah, but apparently the Twins’ production company cut a deal with Disney to have exclusive rights to Club 33 for the afternoon, both so we could eat lunch and do the interviews here,” Rose explained. “While we’re chatting along and eating, the camera crew will be setting up over in the bar. Apparently it cost them a lot, but I suppose it’s worth it.”

“We tend to think so, but then again sis and I come here whenever we’re in the park,” a new voice said. The girls all turned to see two women in their early twenties standing there, both with dazzling smiles on their face. The one on the left was white, with long, two-toned blonde hair and hazel eyes. Standing next to her was a black girl, with shoulder-length frizzy pine-green hair and brown eyes. Both of them had similar mannerisms and identical height, and even though the two looked dissimilar, there was something very relative about them…mainly because, despite their apparently different races, they were twin sisters.

These were Sonata’s heroes, Mint and Milk Chocolate, stars of TV, internet and music. Two young celebrities that she’d idolized since she’d first watched them as young teenagers on Nickelodeon, and followed their careers with intent, and now she was before them, a dream come true.

But that wasn’t what suddenly came to Sonata’s mind as she finally – truly – saw them in the flesh.

“It’s you,” Sonata said, her voice an amazed whisper. “I…I can’t believe it. It’s you.”

“Yup!” Milk said, winking. “It’s us.”

“You must be Sonata Dusk,” Mint said, stepping forward and proffering her hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

It was then that Aria and Adagio looked at one another, realization coming over them as well. “It is them, isn’t it?” the former asked the latter.

“It has to be,” Adagio said in a wary tone. And a second later, her words confirmed what all three triplets were thinking: “Sunny Side and Evergreen Pine. You’re alive!”

“I’m sorry, were you talking to us?” Milk and Mint turned to look at Adagio, and somehow something in their eyes looked very much like an infodump stare.

“Sunny, need you to take control of the situation now,” Adagio said in a curt tone.

Sunset didn’t even ask what her cousin was up to – she just did it. There was a snap of her fingers and a flash of cyan energy and suddenly everyone in the room who did not know of the existence of magic suddenly froze in place.

“I just put the room in a timefreeze filter,” Sunset told her cousin. “What’s going on, Dagi?”

“You can freeze time?” the other girls said, completely shocked.

“I’m guessing they didn’t quite get the message that you’re a goddess now?” Raspberry said with a smile.

“But that…that’s not scientifically possible!” Twilight exclaimed before looking at her sister. “You’re not scientifically possible!”

“And yet I just did it, sis,” Sunset reminded her. “Magic can do a lot of things, as you saw. Please, calm down, okay?”

“I’m just….”

“Mind blown?” Octavia, equally as shocked, supplied.

“Yeah, that.”

Sunset, meanwhile, turned back to Adagio. “What’s going on?”

“It’s them, Sunny: Sunny Side and Evergreen Pine. The ‘sisters’ that fought alongside us.”

“But now they really are sisters, apparently,” Sonata said.

“But didn’t Greenie say she was done with this life?” Aria asked. “And Sides died! She was killed right in front of us!”

“But that doesn’t mean that Grandmother wanted them to suffer,” Sunset noted, walking over to the frozen women and looking at them carefully. “You remember what Greenie was willing to do just for me: she was going to confess to the crimes so that they wouldn’t try to look for anything that might trace back to the rest of us. Even when someone she loved died, she was still willing to be a hero for my sake…for all our sakes.” A flicker of a smile came onto the flame-haired girl’s face. “It would be very much like Grandmother to make sure someone got rewarded for their efforts.”

“Yeah, that does sound like her majesty,” Raspberry agreed.

“And giving them what they wanted most – to really be sisters – would be the perfect reward for them,” Sonata said, touched.

“The question is, do we want to let this go, or reach out to them?” Sunset asked them. “Clearly they’re not Sides and Greenie anymore – they never were in this timeline. We have no guarantee that my grandmother did the same thing with them as she did with all of us, and being the Chocolate sisters might be the only thing they are.”

“Furthermore, even if they remember their past, the Chocolate sisters may be all they want to be now,” Fluttershy added. “It would be cruel to remind them of a life they don’t want to live.”

“Ah think we should, if only because they deserve to know,” Applejack voted. “Ah know if Ah were in that situation, Ah’d want someone to tell me.”

“I think we should leave it be. Letting them have the life they have now? It was very generous of your grandmother, Sunset,” Rarity cautioned, “and it would be an unkindness to take that from them, even if just a bit.”

“I think we should tell them. They stuck it out with us before, they’ll be strong enough to do it again,” Rainbow voiced.

“I agree with Fluttershy and Rarity. They’re entitled to their happiness,” Pinkie commented, “and I would never want to take that from them.”

“What about you gals?” Adagio asked Shimmer, Twilight, Octavia and Raspberry. “I think you have a say in this too.”

“I don’t feel I have the right to make that decision,” Shimmer said. “Speaking as someone who had choice taken from her, I dislike that option, but at the same time, just having had my life invalidated, I know I wouldn’t want that for them.”

“I’m in agreement with Shimmy,” Twilight said. “I don’t think it would be fair to them.”

“I think we should tell them,” Octavia chimed in. “They have the right to know.”

“I would tell them,” Raspberry insisted. “Otherwise they might be at risk for things they don’t even know they’re endangered by; they might end up being hunted by enemies they don’t recall. That would be nightmarish enough. At least telling them would make them prepared for any situation.”

“Sunny, you’re lead here,” Adagio told her. “This is your call to make.”

“I don’t like that idea,” Sunset admitted.

“The reigns of leadership aren’t ever easy, but that’s what you have now. You’re our leader and the oldest of us here. Again, this is your call to make – the rest of us can’t do that for you.” The other girls nodded to various degrees of agreement, but all did so.

Sunset was quiet for the longest time. Finally, she said, “I…we owe them. As much as they are happier this way, and I really don’t want to take that from them, but…now you know what’s out there. You know there are things out there that aren’t friendly and are not looking out for your best interests. And while I can protect you, I don’t know if I can be everywhere at once. Many of our friends I’m going to be there for, but I can’t be everywhere all the time. And if I can do something to make sure others can protect themselves, isn’t that worth it?” She sighed. “So…yes. I’m going to tell them.”

Sunset went over to the two motionless twins and tapped them on the head. “Wake up,” she said softly.

The two blinked into wakefulness and looked around nervously. “Where are we?” Milk asked worriedly. Mint stepped in front of her sister to protect her; a subconscious sign that Side was protecting Pine as they did in their previous life.

Sunset waved her hand. “Know who you are at every age,” she intoned, and as she did, her voice reverberated. The eyes of the two suddenly cleared as if a veil was lifted, and in a second, Milk and Mint were gone, though their bodies remained.

“I…I thought this was a dream,” Mint said, looking at Sunset with sad eyes. “But it isn’t, is it? I died, didn’t I?”

Milk, meanwhile, wrapped arms around her sister. “I thought it was just a story we told ourselves as children…brave soldiers fighting against monsters to save the world. But it really happened, didn’t it? We…we’re not who we thought we were, are we?”

“You are,” Sunset promised. “Who you were doesn’t change who you are. In a past that never existed, you were Sunny Side and Evergreen Pine, brave warriors that gave all to save the world.”

“Warriors that were good friends and allies to us,” Adagio said.

“Soldiers that did the right thing because it had to be done,” Aria added.

Sonata walked over and took their hands in hers. “But that doesn’t change who you are now. You two wanted to be sisters, because you loved each other so much that’s what you considered each other to be. And now, that’s what you really are.”

“Then why?” Milk asked.

“Because we needed to know if you were safe,” Sunset told them. “The world hasn’t changed because Divine Right and Cantata Blast were destroyed and their evil ended. In many ways, only the top layer of the onion was peeled off. The world still needs heroes. My cousins are still in the fight, not only just to protect me, but to protect everything we stand for. And I was hoping to find out if you were ready as well.”

Of the two sisters, Mint was known to be the elegant and dainty one, moving with a grace and sophistication that Sonata had come to associate with Rarity. But the way the girl sat down now clearly reminded her of Side and her rough, efficient manner. “Everything we’ve done in our lives…the martial arts and dance, the acting, the musical reading and notation, even the passion for guns that we really never talk about much with the public…it was all leading us to this, wasn’t it? We were never in the military, but we had to be trained, and this was how.”

Milk’s usual perkiness had faded away into Pine’s somber exterior. “And yet we got everything we wanted. The sœurs that raised us. They don’t know who we are. And yet, our parents…they’re very much like our sœurs were. Now that I think about it, Dad’s like my old sœur was, and as for Mom….”

“Yeah,” Mint told her sister, in a tone somewhere between disbelief and sudden realization.

“I don’t know if I can ever be the same person I was two minutes ago,” Milk told her sister, and while Mint said nothing, the look in her hazel eyes answered the same way.

“I can make this go away if you want. I can snap my fingers and take it away, and you two can just go back to being the Chocolate Twins. You won’t remember this happened, and we can proceed as if none of this did,” Sunset told them. “It’s your choice.”

Both Milk and Mint were silent for the longest time, and Sunset had to wonder if the old human saying about twins having some form of telepathic communication was true; given how the triplets acted at times, it was certainly plausible. The eerie silence of the world not moving clashed with the soft breaths of those who were still animated, an irony give their current location.

Finally, Mint looked at Sunset and said, “I…I don’t know if we would want to live in a world where we were oblivious that someone like Divine Right lives.”

“I know I wouldn’t,” Milk added. “I don’t know if sis and I can be the military people we used to be. Maybe it’s okay for you three—” she said to the triplets, “—but we’re not Side and Pine. I mean, we are, but we’re not.”

“We might be able to help in a pinch, but we can’t be a part of your regular organization,” Mint stated. “Our lives are too different now. Maybe we can be intelligence assets for you and maybe aces in the hole when worst comes to, but I don’t think we can ever be front line soldiers ever again.”

“I wouldn’t want you to be,” Adagio told them. “To be honest, I didn’t even know it was you until a few minutes ago. Maybe we should have recognized earlier, but somehow it never sank in.”

“Yeah, I’m an idiot,” Sonata sighed in embarrassment.

“Soni, it happens,” Sunset told her, before turning back to the twins. “So are you sure about this?”

Milk nodded. “I know who we were. And I know we can’t quite be those people ever again. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t help in our own way.” She looked at Sonata. “And while we’re talking about being helpful, there’s something I should tell you three: we found out about what happened to your stepmother a year after we filmed that episode. We felt really guilty about it, but we didn’t know how to get a hold of you to personally apologize. I’m glad you won this contest, Soni, so I can tell you that we’re so sorry about that.”

Sonata nodded. “I know. And Softy would have told us it wasn’t your fault, anyway,” the teen admitted.

Mint gave an awkward smile. “Well…how about we get to this interview and eat lunch? We have a few days together to get to know our new friends, as well as celebrate all of this!” She paused and then added, “Well, all of the normal stuff. I’m not sure even YouTube would get how we’re the reincarnation of elite Canadian supersoldiers.”

Sunset snapped her fingers and a second later, time moved forward, as if nothing had happened. Showing their skill as the consummate professionals they were, Milk and Mint immediately slipped back into their normal personalities, walking around, chatting and introducing themselves to the other girls, before they themselves finally took the empty seats next to Sonata.

The waitress finally showed up to take their orders when a new person showed up, exclaiming, “Hey, you two, thought you weren’t going to start the party without me! And looks like we have one heck of a party here!”

Everyone turned to look at the stranger, a dark-skinned girl with silvery hair and gray eyes. She was dressed fashionably and had a dazzling smile on her face.

“Oh, I don’t know if any of you are familiar with her,” Mint said, gesturing to the newcomer. “Everyone, meet our best friend and the keyboardist in our band, Piano Bliss. Pia, have a seat and we’ll do introductions all around, okay?”

“Sure,” Piano said with a grin. “Have we ordered yet? I’m so hungry, I swear I have a monster appetite right now!” She picked up the menu. “I wonder what the seafood special is today?”

The triplets all looked at each other with a brief glance of confusion.

Hours later, after a full day of interviews and fun at the park, the evening was winding down at a private dinner at Napa Rose, the whole of the group looked elated and relaxed. For Sonata, it was more than just the culmination of having met her favorite stars – it was a part of reconciling her past and her present, making a part of her whole that she’d wondered about.

Now she knew that even though Side and Pine were in a sense truly gone, Mint and Milk would continue to play a role in their lives, something that the youngest triplet found to be a reward of its own. Plus, though she hadn’t known Piano Bliss in the previous timeline, she was finding her to be funny, personable and friendly in this one – a far cry from what she’d heard about Cantata’s sacrificed petite sœur.

After that, they spent more time back at the main park, the large group pretty much taking control of the rides as the younger crowds realized they were amongst celebrities, flocking to the twins – and, surprisingly, Fluttershy as well. Also surprisingly, the latter teen managed to keep her panic in check as she spoke with the crowds about her father and her own musical endeavors and even signed a few autographs. Rarity noted the making of a star, and the rest of the evening was spent with the new group of friends letting their worries and cares melt away in the Happiest Place on Earth.

“Looks like it all worked out, didn’t it?” Pinkie asked Sunset once the dinner had broken up and the parties had started to head to bed for an evening before more fun the next day. At the moment, the pair lounged on a bench at the large Downtown Disney overpass flowing over Disneyland Drive, with scant cars passing beneath in the warm summer air. Canned music played from hidden speakers, and families out late and young lovers moved back and forth, headed to their final destinations, none of which bothered the two.

“I’m glad Soni got to realize her dreams today,” Pinkie continued. “She was elated, not just because she got to meet her favorite stars, but because she found out they were SIRENs that she knew! Ones that turned out to survive and be on our side! I’m glad it worked out for her.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Sunset said glumly, her thoughts elsewhere.

Pinkie reached up to caress her love’s face. “Are you okay?”

Sunset shook her head. “I have to wonder if I did the right thing tonight. Before today, Mint and Milk only dreamed of who they used to be and thought nothing more of it other than the imaginations of their childhood. Now they know the truth and they’re going to have to live with it…and I’m going to have to be the one to have to live with having opened that door.”

“How’s that bad?”

“I took away the agency for that decision from them. It wasn’t a case of ‘do I show you a world you were once a part of’ and let them decide; I opened that door for them and then said ‘do I close that door for you, knowing what you’ve already seen’? They didn’t have the choice to remain oblivious or not.”

Pinkie laughed bitterly. “At least you gave them the choice. I had my agency taken away from me when Atlas and Cicely planned what they did. I honestly have to wonder if I had been targeted, or if I was their only target.” She wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. “Just like you finding out what Flash did to Blossom, I have to wonder if there’s another girl out there that suffered their corrosive touch. If someone is as damaged as I am.”

Sunset placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder. “Pinkie, you’re not damaged.”

“Yes I am. So are you, for that matter. We were both damaged by our circumstances, and although we reacted differently, it does not take away the fact that we are both wounded birds. Maybe it’s part of the reason I love you – we belong together, because we’re broken dolls on the shelf of life.”

Sunset didn’t know what to say to that, so she tried the one tactic she hoped would cheer up her friend: “So, are we still on the date for tomorrow?”

Pinkie nodded. “I’ll be fine in the morning, I promise. I just….”

“Pinkie, talk to me, please.”

“I thought I saw them today. I swore I saw them today. I was with Shimmy and I thought I saw them over by Splash Mountain, so I raced over there, and it turned out to be a guy and a girl who just happened to look exactly like they did from behind…but it wasn’t them. I had to lie to Shimmy and go buy some churros in order to pass it off, because she doesn’t know and I don’t think she should.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“Because the rage I felt at that moment. I wanted to smash their heads in and scream at them for destroying me. For destroying me back then and for destroying me right now. For making me a wound I can’t ever heal from.” Sunset moved over to hug her, but Pinkie gently moved away. “Please, not now,” she begged. “If you hold me now, I might never want to let you go.”

“Pinkie, I—”

“Just go, Sunny, please. I need to be alone right now.”

“Are you sure?” Something in Sunset told her that now was not the time to leave Pinkie alone.

Pinkie nodded. “It’s nothing you did. Or nothing I did. I just…it’s hard to explain. I wish I could. Maybe you know already and you just don’t want to voice it. I don’t know.”

“Then I’ll see you in the morning?”

Pinkie reached over and kissed her friend and would-be love interest on the cheek. “Try and stop me.” She waved and watched Sunset head off into the distance. Several more minutes passed before Pinkie got up from her seat. Here she was, at Disneyland, the place that should have given her ultimate joy, with Sunset, the thing that set her heart ablaze, and for some reason she didn’t feel comfortable at the least.

“I hope it goes well tomorrow,” she said to no one in particular, and touched her chest. Her hand glowed a bright blue and, in her mind, the image Sunset had shown her days before played, the one where they made love. Sunset had told her it was another reality, one that wasn’t theirs, but Pinkie herself wasn’t so sure. Not because she loved Sunset; that was her own biases talking.

No, she wasn’t sure…because something told her, it was the future. Maybe not next year, or a decade from now. Maybe hundreds or even thousands of years in the future, but something in her told her this was prophecy, not potential.

She remembered Sunset’s words the day she had revealed that to her: “Because I know what you are, Pinkie. And it saddens, comforts and scares me all at once.”

“Because someday, I will be her bride,” Pinkie said to herself. “Because we will have to go through hell before that day happens.”

Pinkie closed her eyes and visualized the rest of it.

A tear rolled down her cheek.

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