• 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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NINE MONTHS AGO: The Unforgettable Fire

NINE MONTHS AGO

“So, how do you guys know Sunset?” Twilight asked, taking a drink from a double-chocolate raspberry mocha. From the looks on the faces of the five girls seated across from Applejack and her friends, she noted that this seemed more like an interrogation than anything else – this Twilight definitely didn’t seem as friendly as the alien princess that they knew.

Applejack started. “Well, Ah met her when Ah moved here to Canterlot couple of years ago from Heavener, Oklahoma – mah family had a farm there, but things didn’t do too well and we moved here to take over mah grandpa’s old store. So Sunset and Ah met then. Truthfully, let’s just say things’re better now than they were back then.”

“Yeah, no shit,” Rainbow continued. “As for me, I’ve probably known her the longest. Met her back in Seventh Grade when I moved here from Cloudsdale. She was a bitch back then and we’ve done a couple of mano a mano dances, but…I like her the way she is now.”

Rarity was next. “Well, Fluttershy and I met her last year during our freshman year. It…didn’t go well, and frankly if you’d asked me back then, I would have said I wouldn’t want to have a single thing to do with her. Thankfully, I’ve been proven wrong.”

“Pass,” Pinkie said. A second later, she said, “She used to pick on me a lot because I’m somewhat excitable, admittedly, but I never let it really get to me. But now that she’s my friend? It’s totally awesome!”

“Well, what about you five?” Rarity asked. “Forgive me for inquiring, but you seem very concerned about her well-being, considering that none of you are related to her.”

Twilight took another sip of her coffee, then looked at Rarity. “The five of us were raised with a saying: that there’s no real difference between sister and cousin in our household. In a sense, I don’t have four cousins – I have four sisters.”

“Sucks being the youngest,” Sonata joked.

“It’s important to us. So…well, I know this is going to sound funny, but I almost feel as though I have to be there for her. Yes, she’s living with us now, and we could probably ignore her with minimal fuss. But from everything I’ve known about her for the past month, she was someone who’s been hurt terribly, someone who’s been forced, in a sense, to live by herself all this time, and has nothing, really. From what it sounds like, she didn’t even really have you as friends until recently.”

The five girls looked at each other. “That’d be truthful, Ms. Twilight—”

“Please, just call me Twily,” the girl said. “If we’re going to be friends, then Twily’s fine.”

Applejack grinned. “Then it’s ‘AJ’ for me. Anyway, yeah – after the incident at Homecoming, we came into her lives the way we are now.”

“Yeah, definitely,” Rainbow said, popping herself into the conversation, much to Applejack’s relief. While she didn’t want to lie to Twilight and the others, she’d never been very good at falsehoods, as if being honest was an elemental part of her life. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on the situation), Rainbow’s thing was loyalty to friends and as such, she had no compunctions about lying. “Yeah. Earlier, she was a total sack of shit. But that night, after the building fell apart and she got dumped from being the Homecoming Queen, she came to the five of us. Maybe it was because she picked on us more than anyone in the school, or maybe it was because she felt we’d be able to give her a second chance, but she promised us that she’d change her ways, and in the past few weeks, she has been. And she knows that lots of other students at school won’t give her a second chance – hell, a few of them are probably even carrying a grudge. But she’s really trying and for that, she’s got my friendship, no doubt.”

“Mine too,” Applejack agreed.

“I daresay that goes for all of us, ladies,” Rarity added, while Fluttershy nodded.

“Well, girls, if you’ll keep an eye out for her at school, we’ll do the same at home,” Octavia answered. “Oh, and by the way, you can just call me Tavi.” Pointing to each of the triplets, she said, “And that’s Dagi, Ari and Soni.”

“Sounds like we’ve got a plan then,” Rainbow said. “Now, the next thing: gotta find out who the fuck did this to her.” Turning to her fellow Canterlot High students, the athlete then said, “Based on who we know could have done this, my guess is…” Her face went crestfallen as she added, “…pretty much any student on campus except the five of us.”

“Really? Please tell me you’re kidding, Rainbow,” Aria asked, somewhat surprised at Sunset’s “accomplishment.”

“No, I’m not. And maybe there was a time where you could have theoretically added us to that list, too,” Rainbow told the other girl. “But it’s different now. Whatever she’s done in the past, Sunset’s my friend now and I’m not going to let whoever hurt her do it again.”

“Well, when you find out, let us know,” Adagio said in a dangerous tone. “I’d be very interested in having a chat with someone who doesn’t play by the rules.”

SIX MONTHS AGO

Adagio sighed. “So let me see if I get this: you three are fighting because…fuck, I have a headache. Ari, you deal with this. I’m going to see if I can find where Uncle Night puts the booze and go get drunk.”

“I’m joining you,” Aria added. “Soni, all yours.”

“Gee, thanks,” she said to her sisters. Sonata then turned to face the girls. “So let me see if I got this straight: while we were out of town – out of town because we had to go attend our grandfather’s funeral in Vancouver – you three got tied up in that shit with the rape club that’s all over the news right now…and you three are mad at each other because Sunny saved you two?”

“I didn’t ask for it!” Twilight said defensively.

“She risked herself needlessly!” Octavia added.

Sunset didn’t say anything, but instead sat there sulking.

Sonata facepalmed. “Girls, may I remind you I’m the youngest of us six and you three are acting like you’re barely older than Spike? Grow the fuck up! We are a family! Cousins, sisters, whatever, fill in the blanks!”

“Her fault!”

“No, hers!”

Again, Sunset added nothing to the conversation, but instead gave Sonata a look that basically said, Help me out here.

Sonata groaned and fought the urge to facepalm once more. “If you three don’t shut up I’m going to start quoting from Hilo & Stitch,” the youngest triplet threatened. When the three did not, Sonata did a credible imitation of the character: “Ohana means family. Family means—”

“We get the point, Soni,” Octavia said testily.

“Oh, you do, Tavi? Sorry, I’m tired from having just gotten off a flight an hour ago. You know, the flight back from Canada where I lost yet another member of my family?” The caustic attitude vanished from Sonata as she said, “You three know me and my sisters. We’ve lost too much. We barely know our father, we lost our mother and our stepmother, and we don’t get to see the aunt that may as well have been a third mother to us as much anymore. I don’t want to lose you three, too.”

“You won’t, Soni,” Sunset told her. The three other girls looked at each other, realizing how foolish they’d been to one another, and within minutes, started making up.


Watching from the kitchen, Adagio said to her sister, “Toldja she’d be able to do it.”

“Damn, she is one manipulative little bitch,” Aria said appreciatively of her sister’s skills.

“Guess there's some advantages to being the youngest of us,” Adagio replied. “Anyway, you owe me $10.”

THREE MONTHS AGO

“Dagi, you weren’t there!” Sunset said. “Twily tried to kill herself!”

“Sunny, no offense, okay? I have a hard time believing that. This is Twily we’re talking about here – she’s afraid of blood if it’s not in a clinical setting. You’re getting worked up over nothing.”

“No, I’m not. It’s just….”

Adagio patted her pseudo-cousin on the back. “I know this isn’t easy. Tavi’s having to deal with her parents moving away for good, and while my sisters and I are used to that, I’ve got a big karate tournament I’m practicing for, Ari’s got Olympic archery tryouts, and Sonata is trying to get everything ready for when we go spend two weeks in Berlin with our dad while everyone else is going to Italy.”

“You don’t understand!”

“Look, real talk time here, okay? A few weeks after Softy died, one of us – not sure which one of us it was – developed a problem wetting the bed due to stress.”

“So you were wetting the bed because you were stressed out?”

“I…yeah, okay, it was me,” she said, blushing. “I thought I had to be the big sister not just for my sisters, but for the baby Softy was going to have. And for a while, after she died, I thought it was my fault, because I wasn’t going to be a good enough big sister. Because I couldn’t save my stepmother. I know it wasn’t my fault, but critical thinking skills are kinda lacking when you’re nine years old. The point I’m making is that at one time or another in our life, we just…we just fall apart. Maybe we’re supposed to as people. I don’t know.”

“You sound as though you’re experienced with this.”

“We barely have a relationship with our father because we’ve been raised either by our aunts or a stepmother not really much older than we are now,” Adagio said with a hint of resentment. “You tell me.”

“I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

“So am I. Don’t get me wrong: we love our father. We wouldn’t be who we are, or maybe even together if it wasn’t for him and Mom. And he’s trying now, which is better than nothing. I mean, it’s why we’re going to go spend two weeks with him, right?” The smile came back onto Adagio’s face. “Twily’s freaking out right now, but maybe it’s just the stress of everything that’s getting to her. Trust me, give it a couple of weeks after vacation and things will be back to normal. I’m sure of it.”

Sunset thought about Cavalcanti’s mirror and the world on the other side of it – and the threat hitting her sister because of it. “I’m going to make sure of it, Dagi. I’m going to make sure of it.”

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