• Published 24th Apr 2017
  • 8,222 Views, 353 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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8 - Sunny

“So!” Soarin grinned at Sunset, Nightshade, and Spitfire, a festive hat on his head as well as an ugly sweater and a beer in hand, “Sunset, we’re gonna show you how to decorate the tree.” He slurred.

Nightshade rolled her eyes, “Soarin, seriously, sit down. You’ve had too many beers.”

“Let him try after I get out the video camera,” Spitfire smirked.

“Seriously, Shitflyer, how come I’m the one that’s the good influence here?” Nightshade scoffed.

“Soarin’s an adult, he can make his own dumb decisions. As a friend, I have a right to laugh at him for his mistakes.” Spitfire grabbed the camcorder from the coffee table with an ear-to-ear grin, pointing it at the drunk guitar shop owner, “Go ahead, Soarin, fire away!”

“Ooookay~!” Soarin made it up the ladder without problems, especially with Sunset and Nightshade both there to support it.

“Aww, come on.” Spitfire put the camera down, “I wouldn’t have let him get up the ladder like that.”

“You’re just awful.” Nightshade scoffed, shaking her head as her brother placed the star upside-down onto the tree. “Though… I’ll admit, that’s pretty fitting for us.”

“...How do you manage to put a star upside-down?” Fleet asked as she came in, discarding her coat on the couch.

“Who knows? Soarin’s a miracle worker.” Sunset chuckled.

“Get him down,” Fleet said, “I want to put these down without fear of a landslide.” She motioned with the presents in her hands.

“A landslide?” Sunset snorted with laughter, “You need to work on your metaphors, Fleet.”

“Gesundheit,” Fleet responded as Nightshade and Spitfire led Soarin down the ladder and onto the couch.

“Christ, is he going to be pounded all night?” Dash asked as she came into the room and Fleet dropped off her presents at the foot of the tree.

“I am not pounded!” Soarin responded, “I’m jush buzzed!”

“...Uh huh.” Spitfire replied evenly.

Dash snickered as she put her own gifts under the tree, making her way over to Sunset, “So, won’t be long now.” She said as she grabbed a plate and piled food onto it.

“Nope.” Sunset agreed, “After break’s over, I’ll be taking everything right to Principal Celestia.”

“...I meant until Hearth’s Warming, but that works too.” Dash snickered as Sunset blinked, “Relax, Sunset, it’s the holidays. Let loose and worry about the account later, we can’t do anything else about it.”

“Right.” Sunset smiled, “I guess there’s no reason to worry now.”

“Nah.” Rainbow agreed, “We have gifts to open! That’s gotta be pretty exciting!”

Sunset chuckled, “I hope you like yours.”

“Well, you better not have gotten me something lame.” She pulled Sunset close, whispering quietly, “And just so you know, Nightshade and Soarin always give joke gifts, so don’t be surprised.”

“Right.” Sunset giggled, filling up her own plate with food. It was mostly easy foods, like mac and cheese, ramen, and other easy foods for high schoolers to make. Except, that was, for the homemade lasagna Fleetfoot swore her mother made. No one believed her.

Sunset settled in with a smile, feeling completely at home with her friends around her, all laughing and joking as they sat around the cheap heater Soarin had bought to replace a fireplace. It wasn’t perfect - laughable in fact - but Sunset felt that nothing could’ve been better for this holiday night.

---

Will Sunset Shimmer please report to Principal Celestia’s office?” The call rang out in 1st period, and Sunset, Fluttershy, Pinkie, and Surprise traded nervous glances as Sunset rose from her seat.

‘...I might be fighting my way through the Anon-a-Miss suspicion list.’ Sunset realized, ‘Well… I’ll just have to clear my name, then.’ She made her way out of the door, brainstorming how exactly she planned to do that. ‘Shit, I remembered all my evidence, right?’ She bit her lip. That evidence would be make or break for her claims of the Crusaders' involvement.

She took a breath as she stepped up to Celestia’s door and went inside. “Good morning, Miss Shimmer. You know why you’re here, I’m sure.”

“Anon-A-Miss?” Sunset asked, taking a seat but pulling her backpack close.

“Yes.” Celestia nodded, and she swung her adjustable computer monitor towards Sunset. On the screen, she had pulled up the MyStable page and was pointing specifically at the icon. “Can you honestly say that this outline isn’t of you?”

“Well… No.” Sunset bit her lip.

“And these colors. They’re the same as your hair and general motif.” Celestia pointed out.

“I can’t deny that.” Sunset agreed.

“So, Miss Shimmer. Who do you think is framing you like this?”

Sunset paused. “S-Say again?”

Celestia looked at her in confusion. “I thought you were being framed. Aren’t you?”

“Yes!” Sunset said, grinning, “Oh, Principal Celestia, you have no idea how relieved I am that you don’t think I’m Anon-A-Miss.” She admitted.

“I never did. I just couldn’t do anything about the account until I could prove it directly involved the school.” Celestia said. “But after all the tensions that have been running high, and the fact that the account targeted my sister over the break, I couldn’t just sit around and hope it’ll pass. So… I figured you were the best place to start in my investigation.”

Sunset pulled her backpack onto her lap. “Well, from what I’ve been able to pull together, I think it’s the Crusaders.” Seeing as Celestia was listening and not questioning, she pulled out her notes, showing them to her principal. “The first secret that was leaked was something that only a family member would have known, and Applebloom fit the evidence perfectly. Then there was the list.” Sunset pulled out two lists: one extensive, and one that only filled up a single page.”

“The targets.” Celestia smiled at her, “Perfect. This saves me from making this list myself, if you don’t mind?”

“Hey, if it goes towards Anon-a-Miss being taken down, feel free.” Sunset shrugged. “Anyways. The shorter list is those who weren’t targeted. Don’t you think it’s a little strange that one of the Crusaders was targeted, but not all of them?”

Celestia blinked. “Why’s that?”

“Well... Aren’t they always getting in trouble together?”

Celestia’s answer was immediate. “Yes. I suppose I do see how that’s a little out of place… Especially with how the target list jumps to Crystal Prep immediately after. Any idea how they could’ve done that?”

“I’d think Crystal Prep kids sent secrets in about each other, just like our students did,” Sunset said. “Nothing points to anything other than that.”

Celestia sighed, shaking her head. “Well, thank you, Miss Shimmer. I will question the girls from here, and you may go back to class.”

“Good luck, Principal Celestia.” Sunset nodded, “And, uh, thanks for believing in me.”

Celestia smiled at her, “Luna and I have doubted you one time too many, I’m sorry for that.”

That made Sunset blush, scratching the back of her head, “Well… I don’t blame you two for it. Kinda under a siren spell and all.”

“Nonetheless, I hope I can clear your name. Just go to class and let me handle the rest.” Celestia urged, “I will talk to you once this is all said and done.”

Sunset smiled, “I will.”

The door shut behind Sunset, leaving Celestia to herself to scan over the list again. Not seeing her sister’s name on the list made Celestia both eased and uneasy. It was a nauseous thought that this list - nearly 5 sheet pages long - were the names of every targeted student, down to Soarin’s little sister.

‘She didn’t really have much.’ Celestia admitted to herself with a sigh, ‘But it’s a lead. And I can’t afford to not jump on leads.’ She looked over at the other students not targeted, including Flash Sentry and a few others. ‘And even if the girls are innocent, I can see the next suspects in line like this.’

So with somewhat hesitance, Celestia pulled out Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle’s files from the cabinets behind her and began to type a number into her phone.

“Hello? Mrs. Crumbles? Hi there, this is Principal Celestia down at Canterlot High School. Sorry for the interruption, I’m calling about your daughter, Sweetie Belle…”

---

Celestia felt firm in her right to bring in Applejack after hearing Rarity’s hesitance and Dash’s confidence in Sunset. The girls were next, but the first step was to get the families on board with her plans to investigate.

“Alright then.” Celestia nodded at the girl in front of her, “I think that’s all I need. Thank you for your time, Miss Dash.”

“No problem Tia!” Dash called, taking the gratitude as a dismissal.

Celestia stared at her, shaking her head with a small smile, “Rainbow Dash, Rainbow Dash, Rainbow Dash.” Rolling her eyes again, Celestia got up from her desk, going out into the hallway and leaning into her Secretary’s office, “Raven, could you call in Applejack, please? I’ll be back in a moment.” With her secretary’s nod, Celestia made her way back into the hall, strolling into the Cafeteria.

Granny Smith saw her approaching, coming out of the kitchen. “Principal! What can ah do for yas?” She smiled.

“This isn’t a social call, I’m afraid,” Celestia said, not wanted to let Granny ramble off-topic as usual.

The old woman’s face fell to a scowl, “It’s about Apple Bloom again, idn't it?”

“Unfortunately.” Celestia sighed, shaking her head. “Have you heard about this online Anon-a-Miss business?”

“Yes.” Granny nodded, “From Applejack. Poor thing can’t catch a break, not that I reckon her cute ‘lil nickname is all that embarrassin’.”

Celestia put up her hand to keep Granny from going on. “I have reason to believe that Applebloom is involved with Anon-a-Miss, as well as Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. I’ve already called up Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle’s parents to ask them permission to take up their cell phones if the investigation calls for it, and I’d like to ask you the same.”

“Ah’ll do ya one better!” Granny exclaimed, crossing her arms, “Ah’ll sign anythin’ ya need to legally go through Apple Bloom’s phone. Let’s not beat around the bush here, Celestia; if Apple Bloom’s innocent, that phone’s gonna prove it.”

Celestia grinned, “I couldn’t agree more.”

“Ah also wanna make one thing clear as glass: If Apple Bloom is Anon-a-Miss, she’ll be speakin’ to me at home as well. Ah’m no believer in not punishin’ your youngins.” Granny said, “Either she’s gonna be honest, or she’s gonna be knee deep in the mud.”

“...Right.” Celestia nodded, “In that case, would you like to follow me to my office? I’d like to question Applebloom with yourself and Applejack being in the room.”

“Ab-so-lutely.” Granny nodded.

---

Applejack was waiting outside the office when they returned. “Granny?” AJ gasped, “Oh gosh. This ain't about me, is it?”

“...No.” Celestia assured her, “Though, I would like to hear some answers to my questions before we pull your sister in.” She pulled the door open, motioning them both inside.

AJ did so, massaging her temples, “Apple Bloom…” She growled.

Celestia closed the door behind her, letting Granny and AJ take their seats. Applejack was scowling at the floor, running through all the annoying ways Applebloom could’ve possibly gotten in trouble this time.

“I want you to tell me about your secret that was leaked.” Celestia’s voice cut through AJ’s thoughts as she settled into her desk.

“There’s er, not much to say,” AJ replied. “It was a childhood nickname that I had just finished tellin’ the girls about before it was posted.”

“And… Only the girls knew about it?” Celestia asked.

“Well, ahh, no. Mah family knows about it as well.” AJ said.

“So. Can you say that there’s no way Apple Bloom posted your nickname at that incredibly convenient time?”

“What?!” Applejack clearly took offense to that. “She’d never!”

“Mmm, yes, she would,” Granny said from beside her. “Ah wouldn’t put it past ‘er if she got mad enough.”

“Mad enough?” Applejack blinked, “Why’s she mad at me?”

“Ah dunno.” Granny said, “It’s just not impossible, I reckon.”

“Ah mean… Yeah.” AJ admitted, “Ah just wouldn’t know why.”

“Well, maybe she wasn’t mad at you, maybe she was angry at Sunset Shimmer?” Celestia suggested.

“She… She was the first one to show us the post.” AJ admitted, “But… Ah thought she was just bein’ a good sister, ya know? Protectin’ me.”

“And that still could be a possibility, but unfortunately there’s been evidence that points to your sister and her friends pinning the blame on Sunset Shimmer for the secrets.”

“...Ah mean, maybe?” AJ looked at Granny Smith, who just shook her head.

“Well, your Grandmother has given me permission to look into your sister’s phone for concrete evidence.” Celestia said, “I just wanted you to understand the background before we pulled her in for questioning.”

“...Ah see. Well, we’ll really know if she did it then.” Applejack nodded, biting her lip.

“That phone’ll tell us.” Granny agreed.

Celestia took this as an invitation to page her secretary, “Raven. Please send for Applebloom.” She glanced at the time, and nodded to herself, “Immediately.”

It was only a few minutes before the bell rang signaling the end of second period, and, as Celestia had hoped, Applebloom came into the office with her backpack. She froze up when she saw her grandmother and older sister there as well, waiting.

“Applebloom, please hand your backpack to your sister, and sit down,” Celestia said, watching the Freshman grow pale from the command. Nonetheless, she did as she was told.

AJ dug through her sister’s bag.

“Hey! AJ!” Apple Bloom complained with a scowl.

“It’s not in here,” AJ reported.

“What’s not in there?!” The youngest apple’s eyes widened as she gave Celestia a terrified look.

“May I see your phone, Apple Bloom?” Celestia asked calmly, holding out her hand.

“M-Mah phone?!” She flinched back, putting her hands over her jeans pocket protectively. Granny’s lips pressed together.

“Yes.” Celestia’s calm tone didn’t waiver, “I just want to see your phone. Let me see it.”

Apple Bloom’s eyes darted to her family, who didn’t seem very impressed with her hesitance. Then back at Celestia’s soft, calculating glance. “O-Okay.” Her hands shook as she reached into her pocket, locking her fingers around her cell phone, and slowly reaching over to drop it into Celestia’s waiting palm.

“Thank you.” Celestia nodded, opening it and scrolling over to the MyStable app. It didn’t open immediately, the loading screen swirling over and over, preparing to open up the page. Celestia internally cursed the school’s slow wifi. Finally, it opened up straight to Anon-a-Miss’s page, and Celestia’s eyebrow shot up. She looked over to the Freshman, who was now sweating bullets in her seat. Celestia’s gaze had grown harder, which had only resulted in the gazes of her family behind her to harden too. “...Apple Bloom.” Celestia put the phone face down on her desk. “Do you have anything to say to your sister, your grandmother and I?”

Author's Note:

It's said that strange phenomenon happens on the day of the eclipse...