• Published 30th Dec 2016
  • 9,926 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 Eight - Saying Goodbye: I Love You, Mom...

Dinner had been an interesting affair, especially when halfway through Rainbow’s and Fluttershy’s Cutie Marks started to flash.

“Aw, yeah!” Rainbow said, darting off in an instant.

I raised an eyebrow at the Princess as we all rose and trotted into what amounted to the throne room, though it was more like a council chamber. A large table had a three-dimensional map of Equestria on it. A representation of the two pegasi’s Cutie Marks were circling Appleloosa.

“Wonder why y’all are being called to Appleloosa but not me,” mused Applejack.

“Might be something more involved with the buffalo than the Appleloosans,” Princess Twilight said.

“This is amazing,” the other Twilight leaned forward, staring intently at the map. “Does this call anyone? How does it work?”

“Only those of us that held Elements of Harmony, so far,” Her counterpart replied. “This castle was born in part by returning the Elements to the Tree of Harmony.”

Later that night, I was watching Rarity fit Twilight for a dress, using a deep maroon to accent a matte black silk. She finished up and sent Twilight to change into it before sliding up to me.

“You aren’t really fooling anyone, you know,” she whispered.

“Wasn’t aware I was trying to,” I responded before turning to her. “What are you talking about?”

“Sunshine,” she said coyly. “I recognize that voice, regardless of a difference in appearance. That’s the Twilight from the other side of the mirror, isn’t it?”

“Only trying to keep separate which one we’re talking to when they are both together.” I shook my head. “What should I call her, SciTwi? Pinkie would be flattered at least.”

“That’s not all. Is there something going on? Between the two of you?”

“Me and Twilight? Of course not. She’s Equestrian royalty and I live in an alternate world. When would we even have the time to do anything?”

“Not our Twilight, darling. Your Twilight.” She flipped her mane out of her face and gave me a flat look over the top of her glasses. “You may not notice, but I think she is somewhat smitten with you.”

I pulled back slightly, thinking back to everything that had happened since camp. It could be seen that way. Not to mention the seeming bond we had. I had always chalked it up to just residual magic from the events at the games and my new empathic abilities, but what if it was something more?

"That's ridiculous, Rarity," I said. "We're just friends."

She smiled at me and gave a little "mm-hm" that served only to make me sigh exasperatedly.

I did, however, spent most of the rest of the fitting and trip back to the castle in thought. Twilight nudged me as we started up the last stretch of road to the gate.

“You alright, Sunset?” she turned to face me. “You seem distant.”

“Yeah, just pondering some things.” I glanced over to the dim lights of Canterlot in the distance. “The service, the way I feel being back,” I looked at her. “You.”


“Rarity said some things that got me thinking,” I said, digging at the ground in front of me. “I’m not quite sure about it yet.”

“What did she say?”

I gave a weak laugh. “She thinks that you’re smitten with me.” I shook my head. “We both know how Rarity is, regardless of world. She tends to see things through drama-tinted glasses.”

Silence reigned for a few minutes.


The unicorn had slowed her steps and tilted her head down, the light from her horn as she haphazardly levitated her new dress throwing shadows along her face, making her eyes hard to see.

But not the tear that started to slide along her nose.

“Twi, are you ok?” I asked. A feeling started to force its way into my perception. Fear. What was I afraid of?

“Twilight, you can tell me anything. After everything we’ve been through, what’s the worst that could happen?”

She turned away slightly and sniffed. “Everything,” she whispered. "Or nothing." She sniffed again and went into the castle.

That night I went to bed early. I tried to think about what had happened and why it bothered me like it did, but grief for my mother intruded into the darkness. I drifted to sleep and fell into those dark dreams again, only now Midnight Sparkle took turns with my demon self in torturing me, my friends, my sisters, Twilight herself.

And especially my mom.

I tried to fight, to enact the same power that I had at the friendship games, or even - Celestia forbid - the nightmare demon form. But nothing I could do could stop the horror in front of me. I was bound with invisible bonds, my human form too weak to break them. "Stop," I sobbed."Please stop."

The scene restarted, the images even more horrific.


Mocking laughter started to filter in.


STOP!” a voice bellowed, and the entirety of the scene vanished swiftly, leaving me in a mist-washed plane. I looked around, no longer bound and now in my unicorn form. I swiveled my head in confusion just in time to see a dark-coated form step forward, wings and horn appearing. I had never met her before, but I knew who she was instantly.

I dropped my head. “Princess Luna,” I said.

“Sunset Shimmer,” she intoned in response.

"Princess," I said, still not looking up. "Why are you here?"

"It is my duty," she said as if that answered everything.

"I'm sorry, I don't understand." I paced nervously. "While I was a filly, you were still locked away in the moon. I wasn't around when you were released." Anger was rising in me. "Why are you here? Why give me these nightmares? What joy do you get from tormenting me?"

"I did not give these images to you, Sunset Shimmer," she replied softly, remaining calm in the face of my anger. "These all come from within you. My duty is to come to anypony that suffers to help guide them back to the light."

I stared at her, not comprehending, rage turning into regret and fear. I had just shouted at Nightmare Moon! "I'm sorry," I started hastily but was interrupted.

“These dreams have plagued you oft of late. Yet tonight caused more terror than ever. Tonight was the first time you were unable to rise above the fear, and the first time you allowed me to enter.”

"Allowed you to," I stammered. "But you're an Alicorn, how could I prevent you from entering a dream?"

"First, you were beyond my reach in the land beyond the mirror. On your return, I had to await your ventures into my realm." Luna's horn lit up, an illusion forming of an amorphous blob, so dark it seemed to absorb all the light. "I too know the grief and self-recrimination of past misdeeds. I created this, the Tantabus, to force me into nightmares myself as an attempt to repent for the atrocities I committed as Nightmare Moon." Her eyes went distant for a moment and the illusion vanished. "It did not go entirely as planned."

She looked at me, her face reminding me of her sister for a moment in its compassion. "You still harbor the belief that you have not yet repaid your debt. But nothing can undo what has been done."

"I know that here," I said, pointing at my head. Then I pointed at my heart. "Here, not so much."

"And why does this particular dream trouble you so much, where others you have had do not?"

“I can’t bear the thought of Twilight hurting anyone,” I said. “Especially…”

“Your mother,” the Princess of the Moon said. “Her death weighs heavily on you.”

I nodded. “I never even got the chance to say good-bye,” I whispered as I fought tears.

“That, perhaps,” she said, spreading her wings. “Can be remedied.”

My mother appeared, standing off to the side.

“In dreams, time is somewhat fungible. I am aware of your mother’s dreams her last nights.” She nodded towards the pony slowly sitting up off to the side. “I leave you to your conversation.”

I walked over to her, an uncertain look on my face. “Mom?”

She looked at me. “Sunset? Is that you, Sunny?”

I nodded, tears flowing. “It’s me,” I said rushing over to her to be wrapped in her forehooves.

“I’ve missed you, Sunny,” the image of my mother said, stroking my mane.

“Me too, Mom,” I sobbed into her shoulder. “I’m so sorry, I’m sorry I never got back to visit,”

She shushed me gently. “It’s ok, little filly. It’s ok.”

“No, it isn’t, Mom,” I stepped back enough to see her face. “I never got the chance to say goodbye.”

“I know you were where you needed to be, sweetheart. Life isn’t always ours to dictate.” She leaned forward and touched horns, her love and joy flowing through it. “But I never stopped loving you, and I never will.”

I leaned into the magic, returning it in kind. “Me either, Mom.” I looked into her eyes, seeing the tears of joy and sadness echoed in our cyan eyes. “I love you, Mom,” I said, pressing into her again, my tears breaking the floodgates.

She stroked my mane, shushing me quietly. For a moment, nothing else registered, and I was just a filly in her mother's embrace again.

"So, little one," my mother whispered. "Have you managed to make any friends while you've been gone?"

I giggled and smiled. "Oh, if you only knew," I said, wiping the final vestiges of the tears from my muzzle. "There are these six girls that mean the world to me. I wish I could introduce you to them someday."

"Well," she smiled gently. "There's time enough for that in the future, my dear."

I choked a little. "Yeah, time enough."

"I always worried about you when you were a filly," Mom said. "You always had difficulty interacting with other ponies. I'm glad that you've been able to overcome that."

"It hasn't been easy," I said. "And there was a lot of stumbling blocks along the way. In fact, if it wasn't for those girls, I probably wouldn't be the pony I am today. There were times that I was sure you'd be so disappointed in me."

She laughed. "Oh, but a silly filly," she leaned down and nuzzled me. "How could I ever be disappointed in you? Even when you had a tantrum as a foal, I knew that it had a reason and that it would eventually pass." Her smile never wavered.

"I'm not sure I agree," I whispered. "I did some horrible thing when I left Celestia's tutelage. Things that I hate looking back on, things...things that I wish I could change."

My Mom smiled, touching horns again. "We all have things we're not proud of," she whispered to me. "You should hear some of the things I did when I was your age! Your grandmom called me a little Tartarus raiser."

I laughed. "I can't picture you causing trouble."

She laughed along with me. "Well, I was a blank-flank for quite a while," she said. "And I did a lot to try and change that. Things tended to get out of hoof from time to time."

I smirked. "So that's why you never got upset with me when I still didn't have my mark before heading to Celestia's school."

"Guilty," she smirked back. She reached up and rubbed her head, a look of pain momentarily crossing her face.

"Are you ok?" I asked, concern flashing through me.

She nodded. "Just a bit of a headache, sweetheart," she said. "I've been having one off and on all day. Maybe I just need a nap. I'm kind of sleepy for some reason."

A memory rose. An aneurysm in her sleep.

"Yeah," I whispered. "That might be a good idea."

"Will you be here when I get up, sweetheart?" she asked, her mane slipping down, reminding me of how my own would lay sometimes. "I've missed you so."

"I'll be here, Mom," I said.

My mother nuzzled me. "I love you, Sunny. Always."

"I love you too, Mom," I whispered.

My mother laid down, resting her head on her forehooves, face peaceful as she drifted off to sleep.

Luna walked up, an apologetic look on her face. "It is time to go, Sunset Shimmer."

I looked towards my mother, some of the grief starting to flood back as I realized her breathing had stopped. "So soon?"

"I can only bend the time so far," she said.

"Goodbye, Mom," I said, tears dripping along my muzzle as her form faded from view. "I'll miss you." I found myself standing next to the Princess of the Moon alone but for memories and feelings.

"Remember her words well," Luna said in my silence before vanishing.

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