• Published 30th Dec 2016
  • 9,942 Views, 184 Comments

Homecoming - Rose Quill



Sunset Shimmer recieves devastating news from her previous world of Equestria. Twilight Sparkle of the human world accompanies her on her journey back home to help support her in her time of need.

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Chapter Three - Sunshine

I realized as I stepped across the threshold that I had forgotten one key piece of information to convey to Twilight.

Bend over slightly as you pass through.

I hunched slightly as I stepped through the inter-dimensional door, remembering the way I had been off balance my first couple of times through, both into human and into pony forms. Hunching slightly would put my center of gravity slightly closer to where it would be when I was a unicorn.

As I passed the far threshold and felt the lurch as I fell down onto all four hooves after pinwheeling on my hind feet for a moment. I froze for a second, getting my bearings, not recognizing the room before remembering that Twilight had taken the mirror from the Crystal Empire to her castle in Ponyville. I shook my head, feeling my mane swirl about a bit and realized that I felt physically better than I had in a while, like putting on a comfy pair of PJs after wearing a close fitting suit all day. It just felt right.

“Sunset!” a voice said to one side. I turned and saw the newest princess of Equestria trotting forward, her wings tucked close to her body. I have to admit, they kind of suited her, though having to look up at her was a little odd, since we had been eye to eye when I stole her crown. The next moment I was staring at the ceiling of the room as a body collided with me as it tumbled through the mirror as well.

“Ah, who is that?” Twilight asked, confused.

I looked back and saw a unicorn trying to stand up and was momentarily shocked. I had assumed the Human Twilight would end up looking like Princess Twilight, maybe sans wings.

Instead, her coat was a dark shade of azure, and her hair was also more subdued. Her horn was somewhat short, and the glasses perched upon her muzzle were the only thing that gave me a clue as to who it was.

“Um, Princess, this is Twilight Sparkle,” I said sheepishly. “The other you. She kind of insisted on coming along.”

The Alicorn trotted forward and gazed at her counterpart as the newly minted unicorn tried to gather her senses.

“Why doesn’t she look more like me? Even her Cutie Mark is different!”

I got up and moved around, and looked at my friend’s flank, and instead of the multi-pointed star I had come to recognize as a favored symbol with both Twilights, I saw what appeared to be a set of beakers and test tubes.

“I don’t pretend to know how the mirror works, Princess,” I said, stupefied. “It's beyond any of my studies.”

“If I were to make an assumption,” began Human Twilight, sounding somewhat dazed still. “I would say it’s because of how our respective magic diverged. Assuming that such a variable is the primary aspect of the causality of your Cutie Marks, we may have enough differences to warrant similar, but divergent appearances.” She tried standing again and promptly fell over like a newborn foal trying to walk for the first time.

Princess Twilight mused for a moment, hoof rubbing her chin. “Cutie Marks do represent our special talents,” she said, the voice eerily identical to the girl I had become friends with over the past few months. “And from what I understand from our brief time talking the last time I was on your side of the mirror, you were very much a scientific mind, am I right?” She offered a hoof to help the other Twilight up.

As they got the new unicorn accustomed to her new form, I glanced around the room, seeing the massive quantities of books, cushions, and writing desks. “Something of a bookworm, eh, Twilight?”

They both looked at me, then at each other before pointing at themselves.

I hid my face with a hoof. “Right. We’re going to have to find a way to differentiate between you.”

“We’ll take care of that in a moment,” the Princess of Friendship said, trotting over and nuzzling against me, a foreleg going around my shoulders. “I’m so sorry about your mother, Sunset. Everypony here wanted to do something for you but other than Pinkie wanting to plan a wake for you, we couldn’t come up with anything.”

“Which, in retrospect, was probably a good thing,” I said, returning the hug, tears welling. “Present company excluded, I still would like to be alone.”

“Tough,” human Twilight said. “I stand by what I said.”

“Which was?” her double asked.

“That nobody should go through this alone. She is going to need a friend soon.”

I looked away for a moment. “I’m telling you, I’m fine.”

I heard them both utter a “Mm-hmm.” at the same time. The stereo effect was a little unsettling. We were saved from further introspection when the surroundings finally caught Human Twilight’s eyes and she gasped.

“I think I’ll leave you two to get adjusted and see if your rooms are ready,” the princess said, trotting away and pulling the doors closed with her magic.

“This is amazing,” the remaining Twilight said, looking at the array of books and crystalline walls. She then turned towards the mirror and looked at her new form. She reached up and rubbed the horn jutting from her forehead.

“It’s odd,” she said. “I can kind of feel it, it's kind of sensitive but not overly so. I would have thought it bone like an antler or overly sensitive.” She closed her eyes in concentration, but nothing happened.

“It’s not quite that easy, Twi,” I said. “It takes most unicorns a few years to figure out how to use their magic.”

“I thought if I focused like I did with the pendant we got at the camp it’d work.” she opened her eyes and formed a frown of deep thought.

“Equestrian magic is a different animal entirely,” I murmured, glancing around. Memories were beginning to bombard me. The last time I was on this side of the mirror, it had been to steal the Element of Magic in order to take over a school and use the students to invade Equestria. Later, after being defeated I realized I’d have likely walked right into the path of the three remaining princesses and their royal guards. Between that and the mind-controlled students floundering from the form change, it was a pretty poor plan.

Images of me as the nightmare I had become flickered through my mind’s eye. I closed my eyes and forced down the guilt again.

A form bumped into me roughly. I opened my eyes and saw Twilight trying to nuzzle me like the Princess had. Seeing as how the girl was unused to her new form, she didn’t have perfect motor control yet. I wrapped a foreleg around her shoulders and moved her closer to a comfortable position.

“Twilight,” I whispered. "I..."

“Sunshine,” she said simply, interrupting my thought process.

“What?”

She pulled back slightly. “While we're here, call me Sunshine instead,” she said before glancing down. “It’s a nickname I got from my grandmother. I was her ray of sunshine. It will help with the confusion and maybe...” Another hesitation as she glanced down at her hooves.

“Maybe I could be yours while you deal with your grief.”

I felt another tug at my heart, one slightly warmer than the melancholy that seemed to have taken up residence.

“Sunshine Sparkle?” I said, smirking, not wanting to show how it had touched me. “Sounds kinda silly.”

Author's Note:

I'm fairly sure that I'm going to get questions for this one, expressed or not.

Sunset may have been forgiven of her past misdeeds and become a force for good in recent history, but sometimes it takes much longer to forgive one's self. Late at night, in the darkness, in sorrow, your mind can throw all sorts of accusations at you and without a point of reference you can easily fall victim to the guilt.

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