• Published 28th Jun 2017
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Comparing Notes - Rose Quill

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Mirrored

We laughed as our daughters chased each other along the sandy beach of the Hello Tropics resort, the colors of their hair flashing in the sun, Midnight with starry silver and Aurora multi-hued like the atmospheric phenomenon she was named for.

“It’s like their fillies again,” Sunset said as they raced past us, their glee evident on their youthful faces.

I nodded, memories of them playing like this on both sides of the mirror flashing to mind, including some bits with their cousin Ebony along.

I stretched my arms above my head, luxuriating in the feel of the warm sun on my skin. I was clad in a comfortable swimsuit with a light cover up shirt on, the breeze wafting from the ocean ruffling the tails. While my suit’s back covered the scar on my shoulder, I was still just a touch self-conscious over it, even now.

Sunset, conversely, seemed to not have a care as she wore a two-piece very similar to the one she had on a cruise some two decades previously, though now the charm bracelet on her wrist bore four cutie marks as opposed to the two it once had.

I snuggled into Sunset, the warm sun beating down onto us as we walked across the sand. We had honeymooned here years ago, and it was remarkably unchanged in the intervening time. I heard the giggling that had been trailing us turn into a shriek followed by a splash, turning to spot Midnight Sky, our oldest daughter, holding back laughter as her sister stalked out of the surf. Laughter was mixed with embarrassment on her face as she brushed her wet hair from her eyes, looking down at the soaked sundress she was wearing.

"Rory, I'm sorry!" Midnight giggled as her sister wrung water from the hem of her dress. "I didn't realize the water was that deep when I pushed you."

"Yeah, yeah," the younger girl said. Unlike any other time her impeccable hair was mussed, she didn't complain this time. "Just watch yourself, Middy. I'll get you back before we leave.” The racing chase between them started again, Middy was faster but Aurora was the more agile.

Sunset leaned down to me, her fiery hair glinting in the sun. "Should we break that up?" she asked with a smile as she nuzzled my ear.

"Nah," I said with a contented sigh. "Let them enjoy themselves. They don't get to see each other much since Midnight went off to Baltimare for college."

"Nor have we, technically," she finished. "I'm glad we made the trip."

"I'm glad the Dean let me go this close to the fall semester," I said, adjusting my glasses a bit. "Normally department heads have to be back for in-service this time of the year."

We turned the corner and froze as we spotted the couple coming down the path to the beach. The red and gold next to purplish blue were combinations I recognized from pictures and morning time jockeying for mirror space. I felt my jaw drop as the shorter girl across the way stopped in surprise.

"Twi, honey," Sunset said. "I'm sorry for every joke I ever made about you and the Princess."


The shiny vintage sports car roared down the street leading to the side road that ran alongside the beach. There was a teenage passenger in the backseat, though, who needed a little more legroom than was available. The seats were hardly ever used since Rainbow Dash had gotten a secondary vehicle with Adagio after they had their kids. Vintage convertible sports cars did not make for the best family haulers, but they still made for great weekend getaways and loaners to friends.

Thus it was that Sunset Shimmer and not Rainbow Dash was currently driving the rainbow-flame-patterned car and shifting down into a lower gear. She had to slow down to make the turn onto the side road and park them in the proper area before switching her flats to the beach sandals. Many an anniversary had taught her that flip-flops made for poor driving shoes in a manual transmission vehicle.

“Light...” Twilight leaned back around in the passenger seat to look at their son in the back row. She had that insistent do-as-your-told tone in her voice.

“But I already put the sunscreen on,” Sunlight crossed his arms and stuck his lips out in protest.

“You did your arms only,” Twilight frowned and pushed her glasses up when a bump in the road nudged them down her nose by a millimeter. “You know how painful sunburns are, Lighty. Especially on the back of your neck.”

The teenage boy reached over to his duffel back on the empty seat next to him and got the tube of lotion out with a sigh. He struggled out of the overshirt he had put on before they left since it kept the rush of road air off his bare chest. “You’re always right, of course.”

The family of three was already in their swimwear but the open top of the convertible forced them to put on shirts since the air was too cool over a certain speed. Rainbow had shown Sunset how to put the top up and Sunset had immediately forgotten how. It hardly mattered. They’d be discarding the shirts in a minute.

Sunlight was trying to squeeze some lotion onto the back of his neck when the car took a hard turn. The lotion hit his shoulder instead. The vehicle nearly skidded sideways before roaring heartily towards the VIP access parking for Hello Tropics. Twilight gripped the door’s armrest.

“Sunset Shimmer!” the suddenly frightened and peeved woman shouted her spouse’s full name aloud.

“Hahahaha!” the fiery redhead laughed out loud with the biggest grin she had used all week. “Now that’s what I call living! Hold on, Lighty!”

“Woohoo!” the teen cheered from the back and threw up his arms into the wind.

“Sunset-” Twilight grabbed her wife’s thigh with her other hand to protest but the woman just shifted gears and yanked the wheel.

SCREEEEEECH!

The car’s rear end swung a full ninety degrees as they took the parking entrance in a slide. All three were pushed towards the one side of the vehicle as momentum worked its magic during the high-velocity turn. Sunset punched the acceleration again and they were pressed back into their seats as the enormous engine rocketed them forward at high speed.

Sunset had aimed for an open spot with plenty of space around it and due to the small size of the exclusive lot, it took only a couple seconds to reach it. She swung the heavy vintage car one more time and drifted into the open spot hard enough to yank them on the seat belts but thankfully not enough to give a rash.

“YEAH!” Sunlight shouted out with a hard exhale due to the excitement. A thin layer of smoke billowed up and away from the tires. “And that,” Sunset unbuckled and turned in her seat to look back at her son, “is why we wear seat belts.”

Twilight stared holes into her wife with tightly folded arms and a cross expression.
Sunset shrugged and popped her door open after taking the keys out of the ignition. She then proceeded to switch shoes. “We’re on vacation. Dash told me to thrash it for her since she never gets to anymore.”

“I’ve got to finish up the sunscreen,” Sunlight said as he picked up the bottle again. It had rolled to the far side of the rear seats.

Twilight had taken her glasses off for a moment to rub her nose. With a deep breath, she put them back on and got out of the vehicle after Sunset. “We’ll grab a spot,” she said in a weary tone to her son. “Meet us there when you’re done.”

The glasses-wearing girl had to power walk to catch up to Sunset, who was skipping her way towards the stony path leading down to the beach. The redhead had a duffel bag on each shoulder with their special marks on each one. Her bikini was the old one styled after Twilight’s colors, just as Twilight’s current two-piece was mostly red and orange.

Twilight gently punched her wife in the arm. “You trying to kill us?” she asked with a slightly joking attitude.

Sunset splayed her hands out as they walked, a serene aloofness on her face. “At least you know you’re alive...but now that I think of it...”

“What?” Twilight readjusted the towels under her arm.

“I guess you don’t need it so much. I mean, with what happened last night-” Sunset had switched to a sly grin of insinuation but froze herself when she realized that Twilight had stopped walking behind her and just stared ahead wide-eyed. "Um...Twily?"

Twilight failed to respond immediately. The cogs behind her mind were working hard to comprehend the couple she saw on the beach. She knew that face. That body. it was her. But it wasn't her. And that was Sunset...or rather a Sunset.

Sunset looked back to the other Twilight and couldn't help remarking to herself. "I guess I have good taste in every dimension."