• Published 24th Apr 2017
  • 8,107 Views, 355 Comments

Empty Skies - SunnyDays



With gossip and slander rampant at CHS and a target put on Sunset Shimmer's back, she flees the school in search of solace. She never expected to find allies in the most unlikely of groups: CHS's soccer team, the Wondercolts.

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1 - Dizzy

Sunset Shimmer didn’t care about the unrelenting winds that struck her clear across her face, and battered her barely covered body. Her ears stung from the icy chill, but she didn’t seem to notice or care. Tears streamed down her face as she walked through one of Canterlot’s many shopping districts, mindlessly.

She had nowhere to stay, nowhere to go, and none to call friend. She was completely alone, humiliated, and freezing. No one cared about that, either. Defeated, she curled up on the steps of a random shop, hugging her knees to her chest and just allowing herself to cry.

“Oh my goodness!” exclaimed a voice ahead, “My dear, are you alright?!” A girl with a light Canterlot accent kneeled down to Sunset’s eye-level. Sunset recognized the blue-haired girl as Misty Fly, one of the members of the Wondercolts, the soccer team that Rainbow was captain of. Sunset flinched as Misty’s hands were brought down onto her, grabbing her shoulders and pulling her up, “What are you thinking, being out here without a coat?”

Sunset rubbed her arm, “I-I have a jacket,” she supplied weakly.

“A worn, scuffed, leather jacket,” Misty stressed, “Which, while I love the look, is not warm at all. ...Come on, come on, let’s just get you somewhere warm.”

Sunset couldn’t even protest as Misty led her forward.

A few shops down from where she had fallen, Misty pointed out their destination. A modest shop sat on the corner of the much larger retail chains, seemingly crammed into whatever space was leftover from the warehouses. A red neon sign, dwarfed by the more extravagant and vibrant signs around it, read “Clipper’s Custom Guitars”.

“A… Guitar shop?” Sunset asked quietly, looking over at Misty.

“Yes. A large group of us hang out at Clipper’s, and I think between the lot of us, we’ll be able to let you borrow some warmer clothes and get you a ride home,” Misty said with confidence.

“...Thanks,” Sunset said, more for the clothes than the other assurance, “But, Misty, don’t you go to Canterlot High?” she asked.

“Well, yes. I am on the soccer team there.” Misty nodded.

“Aren’t you… you know… furious at me for everything I’ve done? ...and everything I didn’t do?” she added with a cynical mutter.

Misty shrugged, “Well… Maybe a little?” Sunset wasn’t sure if that was said as a statement or a question, “But I can’t just leave you out here in the cold over a stupid, petty secret.”

Sunset felt her blood chill a little as she remembered exactly what secret of Misty’s Anon-A-Miss had spilled. “...Thanks, again.” Sunset had no energy to argue at the moment, using what was left of her strength to dry her tears. When they came up to the doorstep of Clipper’s, Sunset was prepared to keep her guard up. Misty had mentioned others, and that probably meant her friends, maybe even Rainbow Dash...

Warm air and soft light washed over them as they stepped into the store, and Sunset could hear the soft tunes of various rock bands playing over the speakers. A group of black leather couches and a glass coffee table were tucked into the back left corner of the store, sitting atop a grey carpet. Several teenagers sat on the couches, and one young man slouched over on the counter, strumming a crude guitar that didn’t have any decals on it.

“Yo Soar, got any beers back there?” a white-haired girl called to the dark blue haired young man as Misty and Sunset came closer.

He put his guitar down, looking over at the girl and pointing a pair of finger pistols at her, “No way in hell I’m giving free alcohol to a minor! Sorry, kiddo.”

“...If I had thirty bucks in cash...?” the girl tried again, gesturing out to him desperately.

“Stiiil a miinor~!” the young man teased in a sing-song voice, “Now stop asking, Fleet.”

Fleetfoot stuck out a quivering lip, “Fiiine.”

“Are you all quite done? We have an emergency here!” Misty said to them as she approached, a hint of humor in her voice.

Fleetfoot looked over at Shimmer, and immediately a frown crossed her lips. “Oh,” she said, looking over Sunset distastefully. Sunset flinched under the other girl’s seething tone.

“Shut up, Fleet, this isn’t the time,” Misty snapped at her, noticing Sunset’s discomfort. She led Sunset to the counter, letting her lean up on it.

“Are you hurt?” Surprise asked her, coming up to the two of them.

“No, I’m not.” Sunset shook her head.

The blonde nodded to herself, “Good, good. Wouldn’t want ya to be hurt.”

“I’m sure Surprise and Fly would make good nurses, if so,” The fiery-haired woman spoke, amused.

Sunset recognized her immediately, “...Weren’t you the captain of the soccer team before Dash?” Sunset asked the fiery woman, “Spitfire, right?”

She nodded, leaning back onto the wall, “That’s me. Soarin and I got outta there right before you came to town, Shimmer,” Sunset was waiting for the harsh words, or the stressing of her last name, but only a smirk appeared on Spitfire’s face. That only made Sunset’s hands clam up.

Fleetfoot snorted from where she now sat on the couch, “How come you came after us and not them, Shimsham?”

“The seniors were untouchable when I ‘came to town’,” Sunset said with a sigh. Having to relive the memories of how awful she was those first few years were no walk in the park.

“Well, we’ve heard about everything there is to know,” Soarin said, tucking the guitar away into a back room, “By the way, hi Sunset. I’m Soarin.” He grinned enthusiastically, “Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too.” Sunset nodded at him. It felt refreshing to meet someone who didn’t really know her yet. “So… um, not to be rude or anything, but… who’s Clipper?” Sunset asked, noting that she had met everyone present. She immediately regretted asking by the face that Soarin made after she did so. Everyone else started to roar with laughter.

I’m Clipper,” Soarin sighed heavily, “And that’s her fault.” He gestured over his shoulder blindly.

“Hey! I don’t have anything to do with that!”

“Wha- Not you, Surprise! I meant Spitfire!” Soarin chuckled.

“Ohhhh. Yeah, that makes sense.” The blonde grinned.

Another round of laughter flooded the room, but Sunset only rubbed her shoulder and looked away.

“You still cold?” Misty asked, leaning into her to hear better over the excited shouting and discussion of the other four.

“Not really,” Sunset admitted with a sigh.

“Good to hear.” Misty smiled gently at her, “So, why aren’t you in winter clothes, anyways? I didn’t get an answer earlier.” She reminded.

“Didn’t have much clean this morning.” Sunset shrugged. It was an easy lie, all things considered.

“Well, here, I have an extra pair of sweats in my bag.” Dropping her pack, Misty pulled out a pair of dark blue sweatpants and handed them to her.

Sunset took them thankfully, but looked at the other girl with an expression of disbelief, “Why are you doing this?” She asked after a moment, voice barely above a whisper. “I… You know everything I’ve done.” Every secret I’ve used against you. All of you. Sunset added mentally, glancing around the room. She accidentally locked gazes with the white-haired girl and looked away quickly.

“...” Misty rubbed her arm, “I think… I think part of me wants to believe that you’re not Anon-a-Miss.”

Sunset’s eyes widened, “Really?”

“Really.” Fleet echoed her words back in a flat voice and glared slightly at her teammate.

Yes,” Misty stressed, sending Fleetfoot a harsh glance, “This doesn’t exactly seem like your sort of thing to do. I mean, I know what you used to be like,” the girl’s gaze on Sunset hardened ever so slightly, and Sunset slunk down under it.

Great, even when people might believe me, they can’t see past my mistakes.

Misty paused, her eyes widening a little, “But this isn’t you now,” she amended quickly with an apologetic frown. She turned back to Fleetfoot, “It makes no sense that after all those years of blackmail, holding secrets over our heads, Sunset would just drop all her material right after gaining everyone’s trust.”

Sunset couldn’t help but grit her teeth.

Fleet sat back on the sofa, “...Sure, sure, it doesn’t exactly seem like a good plan.”

“It’s not one,” Spitfire spoke up, looking up from the book in her hands and causing all the eyes in the room to set on her, “I was an alpha bitch in my freshman year, I know how this goes.”

“Was? You still are.” Soarin just barely ducked a book flying over his head, grinning dumbly at getting away with the joke.

“Point is that it makes no sense for her to do this to us, or her only friends,” Misty said.

Fleetfoot said nothing.

Spitfire put an elbow on Fleet’s head, “Give her a chance, Flatfoot. Not like there are any more secrets of yours that can be spread anyways, right?”

Fleet glared at the wall, crossing her arms. “I can’t believe you people are falling for this shit...”

“Or you in or out, Flat?” Misty asked, “Final answer.”

Fleetfoot set a hard gaze on Sunset, scanning her over for another moment, “...I’m kicking all of your asses if you’re wrong.”

Spitfire smiled, patting her head like a child, “Good girl.”

Fleet bit back a grin, shoving the fiery woman off. “Bite my ass, Spits. I don’t believe her yet,” She insisted, “But I’m open for you idiots to prove me wrong.”

“That’ll do.” Misty nodded. “Now, anyone have a jacket Sunset can borrow?”

“Ohhh, I do! It should be in my bag,” Surprise said from the coffee table.

Misty kneeled down, digging through the monstrously filled bag, looking for the jacket. “Surprise, what’s all this?” She picked up a gallon-sized bag of hand sanitizers.

“Look, I’m a germaphobe, okay? I don’t judge you by what’s in your backpack!” The blonde pouted, crossing her arms.

Shaking her head, Misty grabbed the thick yellow jacket and handed it to Sunset.

It was a bit too big for her, but Sunset was thankful for that. It hid her identity pretty well.

“Thanks, Surprise.” Already, Sunset was feeling a bit better. This group wasn’t the biggest, had the most influence, or even completely trusted her. But they were going to try, and that was more than her own group of friends were willing to do.

“Now, why don’t I drive you home?” Misty offered. “Then you can tell me your point of view on this whole Anon-a-Miss disaster.”

“That… sounds great.” Sunset smiled weakly, pulling herself off the counter, glancing behind her at the others.

“Have a good night, Sunset!” Surprise waved.

“Good luck.” Spitfire nodded.

Soarin just smiled softly at her again, while Fleet nodded her way begrudgingly.

After she and Misty left the store, Fleet turned towards Surprise and Soarin, who had mostly been silent during their argument. “Do you two really trust her?”

Surprise shrugged, “I don’t like holding grudges, and she seemed sincerely sad earlier. So I say yes, she really needs our help.”

“What about you, Soarin?”

“I don’t think it matters.” Soarin said simply, “You should forgive her even if she is Anon-a-Miss, Fleet.”

“Wh-WHAT?!” Fleet exclaimed, nearly falling over in her flailing.

“It’s high school. People do dumb things for attention, and then most of it all goes away for the rest of your life.” Soarin shrugged, “You’re, what, a semester away from breaking out of this town? What’s this thing going to matter to your college friends? I give it a week before it blows over.” He finally jumped off the counter, “But if she’s innocent, and this is targeting her specifically; she’ll probably be alone for awhile. No one wants that.” He looked back at Fleet, sadness lingering in his expression. “I would know.”

Fleetfoot flinched as Soarin headed into the back room of his shop. Scratching the back of her head, she looked over at Spitfire. The redhead said nothing, lips pressed into a tight frown.


“So, whoever this is, they’re blaming you specifically.” Misty summed up after Sunset had told her the events after Anon-a-Miss first started spreading secrets. “But it’s not you.”

“They made it pretty obvious that they were blaming me, too.” Sunset frowned, “Have you seen the icon? I mean, really?”

Misty almost wanted to laugh, “That definitely isn’t as thorough as you… were back then.”

Sunset paused at her hesitance. “Do you really believe me?”

Misty’s grip on the wheel tightened, “I don’t know, Sunset. I really don’t know. But… I don’t want to care, either. I don’t want to care if you are Anon-a-Miss or not. Clearly you’ve paid for it, and you need a friend right now. I’m more worried about you just being dumped somewhere.” She sighed, her grip loosening. “I want to know you’ve changed, I really do.”

Sunset sighed, and the two sat in silence, staring at the snow packed roads for a few moments. Sunset glanced over at Misty’s phone, and bit her lip. MyStable was open to a particular picture, and it made Sunset’s heart drop to her stomach.

Misty was sitting in a booth of one of the restaurants near the edge of town, leaning into a muscular teenager with a fry hanging out of her mouth, clearly teasing the guy next to her with it. The photo caught him mid-laugh, his dark Shadowbolt hoodie in stark contrast to her light blue Wondercolt one. The caption under it was what sealed the deal, though. 'Look at this traitor, dating a street rat Shadowbolt from Detrot. What a sellout.'

“He’s doing fine, by the way.” Misty said suddenly, her eyes not even leaving the road, “Crystal Prep already thinks so lowly of CHS, this doesn’t surprise them. ...But there are only so many times I can ignore being called a ‘whore’ in the hallways.” Her knuckles were white as they gripped the wheel.

“That’s awful.” Sunset said breathlessly.

Misty let out a dry, lifeless chuckle, “You’re telling me. Thank God my teammates could care less about who I date, or I’d be left to deal with that on my own.”

“Misty, I-”

“-I’m aware how much I could’ve been in your spot had I not been so close to my teammates, so maybe that’s why I want to believe you. Even if you are Anon-a-Miss, Sunset, those hateful words wouldn’t be your fault.” Misty continued, “At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.” That last phrase came out as a murmur. “I can’t hold you accountable for what they say in the hallways, and I know that I shouldn’t let some stupid gossip get in the way of m-”

PING!

Both girls froze. An alert had gone off on Misty’s phone, making the two aware that Anon-a-Miss had posted a new piece of blackmail.

Pulling her car into a nearby parking lot, Misty looked over at Sunset. Her backpack was in the trunk at the moment, and the girl had been without her phone for the entirety of the time they spent at Clipper’s.

“...It really isn’t you.” Misty said softly, glancing at her phone only to brush off the alert.

At this, Sunset’s eyes filled with tears as relief flooded over her, “Yes! Yes, it isn’t me!”

Finally! Someone believes me!

Misty stared at her phone again for a few moments before placing her hand on Sunset’s. “Let’s get you home. Okay?” If Misty’s smile hadn’t be genuine before, it definitely was now.

“Okay.” Sunset nodded, matching the smile.


They pulled up to one of the many apartment blocks in the Cloudsdale district of Canterlot, not far from Dash’s place.

“Thanks for the lift.” Sunset said, pulling her bag out of the trunk of Misty’s car, “I think I’m good to go from here.”

“What do you mean? I’m walking you to your door.” Misty said, “It’s for safety’s sake. Go on, get out your keys.” She walked back over to the driver’s side, turning off her engine.

“...No, really, it’s okay.” Sunset smiled, “You don’t have to do that. Head on home, I’ll be fine.”

Misty paused, noting something off about this. “...At least get your keys out before I leave you?” She asked. “Just because I’m worried.”

Sunset hesitated, dropping her backpack onto the hood of Misty’s car and searching through it. “...Heh, whoops, I must’ve locked myself out again. I’ll have to go talk to the landlord about…” Sunset shied away under Misty’s suspicious gaze.

That’s all the blue-haired girl needed. “You… do have an apartment, right?” She asked, looking at the sky. Already, she could tell a dark, cold winter night was ahead of them.

This time, Shimmer said nothing, looking away.

Misty’s expression fell, shaking her head. Suddenly a lot of things that Sunset did Freshman year made a lot more sense and very little sense, all at the same time. “Well, I guess my home will have to do for now, then.” She said simply, opening the driver’s side and starting the car back up.

Sunset threw her bag into the back again, and piled into the passenger’s side.

“How did no one know you were homeless?” Misty asked her almost immediately. “All these years, and no one’s noticed or said anything? How did you manage that?”

“I stayed in the school, mostly.” Sunset shrugged, “Especially during the fairer weather seasons. CHS is awful at keeping security at night, and as long as I didn’t steal anything, I was fine.”

“...You ran the school for three years, and you were homeless.” Misty repeated in disbelief, shaking her head. “No wonder you didn’t have any winter clothes.” She kicked herself mentally for not noticing it sooner. “What a shame. Guess we’ll have to buy you some new clothes at the mall over winter break, then.” She teased.

“You don’t have to do that.” Sunset said quickly.

“I insist. Consider it my Christmas gift to you.” Misty smiled.

Something in Sunset wanted to scowl at just the notion of spending the holiday with someone, but she swallowed it. Admittedly, she was grateful for the idea of wearing something new.

“Alright, thanks.” Sunset smiled.

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