• Published 4th Oct 2016
  • 12,498 Views, 1,158 Comments

Making Family - Cirrus Sky



You can find a home, but sometimes you have to make a family. Sunset is working on that.

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Three Moments on a Rooftop

A slightly cool breeze pushed red and gold hair out of place and brushed leaves down on the ground, it was the middle of fall, so that was expected. The chiller air and the isolation were what had brought the teen here.

Sunset had found this spot on the roof early on in her attendance at Canterlot High. At one point she had simply used it as a place to scheme and plan. The perfect vantage point to catch some choice and valuable gossip that she held onto or passed along as she saw fit.

Now though it was a place of solace, away from the crowds of classmates that milled around down below. Her group of friends had been rather busy fawning over Twilight and celebrating their victory over the sirens. They did not notice Sunset slip away. Though now, she heard Pinkie Pie asking if others had seen her.

Focused on those below and the ledge that separated her from the termination of the school roof, Sunset idly wondered what a jump from there would be like.

She was not so far past the dark moments of her life just after the fall formal, when one short step looked quiet appealing. Though during that whole time it seemed the girls would not let her out of their sight. Probably for the best, considering that even now the thought crossed her mind.

In the school grounds she could hear Pinkie Pie getting more concerned during her search. Twilight had joined her, she too sounded worried. It was time to join them again, Sunset decided. Today had proven to her that the girls were her friends. That they accepted, trusted and wanted her.

Taking a last look out over the city, Sunset returned to the door and stairs down to her friends. To celebrate a victory instead of being the one languishing in defeat.

-*-

Down below there was a layer of crisp white snow. From the pavement the school building looked picture postcard perfect. The white lawn was clean and clear Sunset looked at it, more specifically the ground with interest divorced from sane thinking. A part of her knew this, but a larger part was more interested in considering the urge to climb the low wall, reach the ledge and jump.

Considering just how simple it would be. How the solace she desired was but one simple action away. No one would miss her. Just one step.

Besides, white stained with crimson always looked artistic. One last message to everyone.

Her friends wanted nothing to do with her. They blamed her for a gossip page on MyStable that was hurting everyone with its stolen secrets.

Her friends, the only people she had in this world. They had rejected her and left her to cry alone. There was nothing here for her and she was too afraid to go back to Equestria. Too scared that Twilight would be disappointed in her to broach the subject with her pony friend.

Pressing un-gloved hands into the snow settled on the ledge, Sunset bit back a gasp at the physical pain the cold imparted. It was sharp but almost a comfort, some feeling that was not deep sadness.

The pain had helped. So perhaps this was the best solution. A fall and a finish.

Sunset hadn't noticed the sound of a door opening behind her. She did notice the hand that landed on her shoulder, a gentle touch but firm in its intent.

Support, care and assistance proffered in just a light touch of fingers.

“The view up here is beautiful isn't it?” Principal Celestia said. There was only care in her tones, the same care she always had when speaking to Sunset of late.

“I've never really noticed.” Sunset replied, trying to keep any sullen hints from her voice.

“That is too bad.” Celestia gave her shoulder a light squeeze. “But you are in for a treat, we're coming close to one of my favourite sights.”

“Hmm?” Sunset actually lifted her head to look away from the ground and the solace her mind claimed she would find.

“It is coming close to the end of the day. Daylight is shorter this time of year.” Celestia smiled to Sunset. “We're about to see your namesake.”

“Oh.” In truth, Sunset had not noticed the falling sun. Now though she did. Colours painted upon the snow reflected the brilliance of the sky. It was even more beautiful than blank snow.

“I love to come up here and watch.” The principal said, happiness in her voice. “At times I pretend that I'm the one lowering the sun, simply so I can enjoy the shades of the sky.” She looked at Sunset. “Sharing the sight is just as nice.”

“Yeah.” Sunset was feeling warmer now, she had not realised how cold she was before, as if the dark thoughts had numbed her to it all. In company, they were fading even as the warmth grew.

“Why were you up here Sunset?” Celestia asked, both as an educator and a caring person.

“To get away from things a while.” Sunset allowed, the full truth would ruin the joy of this moment. The warmth of caring company.

“You've not reported anyone for victimising you, you could.” The older woman said.

“I don't know who it is. It could be anyone.” Sunset shrugged. They both knew plenty of students didn't like the former bully.

“If you have any ideas, Luna and I would be happy to help deal with the situation.” Celestia moved her hand.

“Sure.” Maybe it was Sunset's non-committal tone, or some other realisation, but Celestia frowned.

“I'm sorry for what we said during that Battle of the Bands debacle.” Celestia looked to catch Sunset's eye. She finally found a hint of green, tearful but looking. “It was as if I had no control of my words.” She sighed. “I am so very proud of the person you are becoming. Please don't think for a moment that it is any other way.”

Sunset sniffed a little and wiped her eyes. “Thank you.” She mumbled and just a hint of a smile played across her lips. Small, sad, but there.

“Now, we've watched your namesake a good while. It is time to come down off the roof, I have to lock the door.” Celestia put a hand to the girl's back and guided her away to the exit.

“Okay.” Sunset allowed herself to be led from the roof, the last whispers of her darker thoughts fled to the corner of her mind for now. New ideas of reaching out for help taking their place.

-*-

The sky looked magnificent, the flame-like colours brilliant across the horizon. Sunset grinned and pulled out her phone to take a shot. Her friends liked to share such images and at Pinkie's suggestion, they had all started using them as their contact photo for her on their phones.

Sunset liked the rooftop these days. It wasn't a reminder of the past or a dark temptation. It was somewhere to appreciate the view and, hopefully, spend time with her mom.

On cue the door behind her opened. “Ah, I mistimed that one didn't I?” Celestia came to stand beside her daughter. “Though everything looks quite beautiful still.”

“It was nice.” Sunset said, “But I am biased, I think they are all great.” She put an arm out to receive a hug. Most teens wouldn't want such displays of affection, but it had only been a month since Sunset had gained a mother. She was going to take advantage of it.

“True. I did notice.” Celestia put her arm around her daughter, she knew Sunset was still settling into this new life they had built and it was a sign of trust and love when she initiated any contact.

They took in the view a while longer, the shades of the setting sun drawing into dusk as stars began to scatter in the sky. “You know.” Sunset said, breaking the silence. “I have to thank you.” She looked up to her mother and saw a slightly confused expression.

“Why-ever for?” Celestia had quickly made Sunset sure that there was no need to thank her for adopting her and welcoming her into the family.

“In the winter, when I had no one... You were there for me.” Sunset said softly. She was building up to admitting something that would rightly upset the woman, her mother.

“That evening was the same one you ended up bedding down in the library wasn't it?” Celestia asked with a soft smile. When they had left the school, Sunset had tarried at the statue that evening and as cameras had revealed, she snuck into the library to sleep. Footage that led, in a round-about way, the educator to adopt the teen as her daughter.

“Yes, it was.” Sunset tried to collect her thoughts, put things into words. “Your support gave me the courage to write to Twilight. So I was able to solve things.”

“I'm glad I could help.”

“There's more.” Sunset didn't want to interrupt, but there was more to be said. “It was... It was nearly the night that I jumped.” She looked down and gestured over the edge of the roof, scared to meet her mother's eye.

The quiet gasp was expected, but the sudden increase in the embrace, being turned to be cuddled against a shoulder with a hand holding her head were not expected. “Are you feeling better now?” Celestia asked. She was not going to lecture or disparage the girl.

“Much better. You helped, the doctor has helped. Aunty Luna has helped.” Sunset replied quietly, held in such a tight embrace she knew that she had upset her mother, but she felt so much lighter for admitting it. “I don't think about doing it, not anymore.” She sniffed and held back a sob. “I just had to say something, I felt so guilty in not telling you.”

“I am glad to have helped you. Now and then.” Celestia said, allowing Sunset to draw back and wiping a tear from her cheek. “It does not bear thinking about, the what-ifs. So we shan't. Do you promise?”

“Yes.” Sunset said, smiling despite the tears. Having this support was just what she needed.

“Thank you for telling me Sunset. I know it takes a lot of bravery to say anything about things like this.” Celestia drew Sunset away from the wall. “Do you need anything now?”

“Not right now really. Everything we're already doing helps plenty.” Sunset followed along beside her mother. It was the end of the day after all, time to lock up.

“Good. Once we've locked up, we can get home. Discord will be over for dinner.” Celestia moved the subject on, if Sunset was a little better now and they were dealing with the issues, then everything was okay.

“Great.” Sunset smiled, she'd never had a father in her life and it was pretty enjoyable to have the anarchic man visit. She was hoping that her mom would maybe even take a few more steps in the relationship. Having a dad would be nice.

They left the rooftop, it wasn't the last time they went there, but it was a third moment for Sunset that remained in her memory. The best of them all.

Author's Note:

A sort of sequel. I have a lot of ideas that never made it to the story Finding Home. Either for running length, mood or coherence.

This one takes place around the story itself. I have had bouts of depression since my mid-teens, my teenage brother has just admitted to suffering them. I think this is an aspect of Sunset that should be explored at times, if only it was aimed to a slightly older demographic.

As before, any issues that ring true to you, please remember that help is out there if you only go and find it.