• Published 1st Jun 2017
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A Princess, a Magician, and an Exile Walk Into a Bar - Sporktacles



Sunset, Trixie and Luna meet in a bar for drinks every week.

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Enter Trixie

Sunset looked up into the evening sky. Equestria’s moon, full and huge and beautiful compared to its human-world counterpart, was still partway on its journey towards midnight, having risen only a few hours ago.

At least this week, it’ll still be pretty early when we start drinking.

She opened the door, walking towards the booth they had occupied the Friday before. The back of Luna’s tall head, adorned with her crown and starry mane, protruded above the seat, confirming that the princess had arrived early. But when Sunset turned into the booth, she was surprised to discover the presence of a very grumpy-looking third occupant.

“Sunset Shimmer,” spoke a voice practically dripping with acrimony. “We meet again.”

Sunset sat down and gave the sky-blue mare a solid once-over. There was something very familiar about her, but she couldn’t quite put her hoof on it.

“Do I know you?”

Luna smiled awkwardly. “Ah, Sunset. May I introduce Trixie, one of Starlight Glimmer’s friends and a savior of Equestria.”

“The Grrreat and Powerful TRRRIXIE! …Is well known all over Equestria for her feats of illusion and legerdemain!” She thumped her chest, as if the declaration was a challenge.

“Oh,” said Sunset. The name went a long way towards explaining that sense of familiarity. To tell the truth, the mare did look and behave an awful lot like the Trixie of Canterlot High. “I’ve been kind of… away. I really don’t think we’ve ever met.”

Trixie narrowed her eyes. “We were classmates at Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns.”

“Truly?” said Luna. “’Tis a small world indeed.”

“Sorry. It’s been years, and I had a lot of classmates.” Sunset scratched her head. “I really don’t remember.”

Outrage flooded Trixie’s face. “You stole Trixie’s lunch money every day for years!”

Sunset shrank as images of her old bullying days suddenly flashed into her mind. “Well, yeah. I kinda stole lunch money every day from every single pony in my class.”

Luna frowned. “I had heard you were a difficult student, Sunset, but why would you need so many bits? Did Celestia not grant you a modest allowance?”

“Well, the key word is modest.” An embarrassed redness crept onto Sunset’s cheeks. “And I liked having a really immodest lunch.”

“Of how immodest are we speaking, exactly?”

“Black truffles on poached eggs with stuffed Pintobellini mushrooms,” recited Sunset with an obvious practiced ease. “I had them every day at the palace mess.”

Luna let out an impressed whistle.

Trixie clearly wasn’t satisfied, flailing angrily at the air with her forehooves. “You gave Trixie a swirly every afternoon in the filly’s bathroom!”

“Okaaay… but you could have been any one of like, a dozen students.” Sunset strained to recall even one of their faces. “I mean, I made all of you line up outside the gym bathroom after school every day.”

“What, pray tell, is a ‘swirly’?” said Luna. “I am fairly certain that its meaning does not match that implied by its context.”

“Wait, what does it sound like I said?”

“Sunset, Trixie described you giving her a ‘swirly’ in the bathroom. One of which twelve teenaged fillies apparently lined up for daily.”

Sunset facehoofed. “Get your mind out of the gutter. A swirly is a bullying move where you shove a pony’s head into a commode and flush it.”

“Ah, I see.” Luna nodded sagely. “Yet another great virtue of the flushing privy.”

“Uh, yeah, I guess?” Sunset turned back to Trixie. “Look, I’m terribly, terribly sorry for all the trauma I inflicted on you as a foal, but I really don’t remember you, specifically.”

Especially since if I did, I would have recognized the human Trixie the first time I met her, she quietly muttered to herself.

“You bought Trixie a pair of oversized polka-dot undershorts and forced me to wear them to school, JUST SO YOU COULD PULL THE ELASTIC OVER MY HEAD AND HANG ME OUT THAT WAY OVER THE FRONT GATE!”

“That’s still like five different ponies.”

Luna stared incredulously. “That is an impressive dedication you had for inflicting suffering on your peers, Sunset.”

“Yeeeah.” Sunset smiled weakly. “I was kind of an overachiever in everything I did.”

“Is that why, as Twilight tells me, you were so successful in the human world as well?”

Sunset nodded. “Everyone wanted me as a friend, or at least, not a foe. I was worshipped at Canterlot High, and I’m only a junior.” She turned back to Trixie, only to be startled by the latter glaring at her with an intensity that could have incinerated a glacier.

Without breaking eye contact even for a moment, Trixie stood up, got out of the booth, and loudly stomped outside.

“Ooh. I feel really bad now,” said Sunset.

But before Luna could reply, Trixie stomped back into the bar, carrying a very ragged book barely held together with twine. On the front cover was the title “Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns”, and directly under that, “Yearboo–” with the rest scratched out by some kind of obvious mishandling.

“Woah,” said Sunset, “that looks like it’s been run over by a steamroller.”

“By an Ursa Major, actually,” replied Trixie curtly. She opened the pages and hoofed through its contents, finally stopping at one of the last few pages. She turned the book to face Sunset, pointing at a faded photograph of a class of teenaged foals. “THERE! This is Trixie in the second row! You, Sunset, are in the front, next to the teacher. Do you remember NOW?”

Sunset took a single glance at the bespectacled mare in the picture, and gasped loudly.

“Holy cow, YOU’RE Bibeloola?”

Luna raised an eyebrow. “Bibeloola?”

“T-t-that is NOT Trixie’s name! Trixie was not called that at school by her mean classmates!”

Sunset rubbed her chin, realization quickly dawning as she compared the filly in the photograph to Trixie. “Oh my gosh, I totally see it now! You had your mane all tied up, and you wore those ridiculous glasses everywhere. No wonder I didn’t recognize you.”

Luna turned the book over, scanning the names at the bottom of the page. “Trixie, your real name is Beatrix Lulamoon?”

Trixie covered her face with her hooves and whimpered softly, “Trixie’s name is Trixie…”

Sunset tilted her head. “Actually, didn’t we also use to call you Spotty-Pants Gatecrasher?”

“NO!” Trixie jolted onto her hooves, practically spilling over with rage. “SUNSET SHIMMER! You will pay for the indignities that Trixie suffered at your hooves! Trixie demands that you step outside and grant her immediate satisfaction!”

“Okay, first of all, that is a seriously unfortunate turn of phrase,” said Sunset. She cringed as Trixie’s incensed glare intensified. “Uh, and secondly, while I’m years out of practice, we both know that you’re not going to beat me in a magic duel. Also, I’m kind of trying my best to be reformed now.” She bowed her head in shame. “Look, I’m really, really sorry I ruined your whole childhood, but I don’t wanna fight you.”

“Trixie spent years enduring your cruelty! The names you called Trixie stuck on long after you disappeared! It's part of why Trixie dropped out of CSGU! YOU REALLY THINK THAT A MERE APOLOGY WILL MAKE UP FOR EVERYTHING?”

“Will you feel better if I let you give me a swirly right now in the bar washroom?” offered Sunset.

Silence.

“…Really?”

“Totally. That’s how bad I feel about what I did.”

“Are you certain, Sunset?” said Luna. “A bar’s toiletry facilities are liable to be filthy.”

“Hey!” Cherry’s protest rang loudly from the direction of the bar. “I’ll have you know I clean those toilets well enough to eat off of!”

Trixie turned back towards Sunset. “Causing you discomfort and humiliation would bring Trixie some resolution to her traumatic school life…”

Sunset nodded. “It’s just once, but it’s still a kind of revenge. Then we can all go back to being friends.”

“We were never friends,” said Trixie. “But eh, why not.” She shrugged. “Let’s go.”

***

Minutes later…

The washroom door opened, and out stepped a very much humbler Sunset Shimmer, thoroughly soaked from the shoulders up. Her mane hung limply down her face, and she shivered from the cold. The entire bar turned to stare at her pathetic and disheveled appearance, having fully heard the commotion earlier and the accompanying frantic cries of ‘GLUB! GLUB! GLUB!’ coming from the washroom.

A widely grinning Trixie practically danced out behind her. “Whaddya know? That toilet really is that clean!”

Sunset slowly turned to face her. “Are we good now? I mean, do you feel well enough to forgive me?”

“Not so fast! Trixie wants a photograph to remember this by, in case of any spontaneous re-emergence of childhood trauma.” She ran out, returned with a camera, and cheerfully snapped off an entire roll of film’s worth of pictures.

Sighing happily, she nodded and said, “Okay. My demand for satisfaction has been officially met!”

“Trixie,” said Luna hesitantly, watching as Sunset miserably tried to wipe the water from her eyes, “I did not interfere because I sympathize greatly with your story of being bullied, and had no wish to deny Sunset an opportunity to seek her redemptions. But I find your unbridled glee at her humiliation, even if justified, to be perhaps just a little concerning.”

“Oh, please.” Trixie dismissed those very concerns with a wave of her hoof. “I know full well that Sunset here can clean herself up instantly with her magic.”

Sunset perked up. “Are you okay with that? I mean, I thought for a moment that you would have wanted me to spend the whole evening like this.”

“Eww, no. I have to sit with you in the same booth, remember? Cast your spell while I order us drinks from the bar.”

Sunset’s horn glowed, and mere moments later, she had been restored to her usual stunning self. She returned to the booth, much relieved, and sat down opposite Luna.

Some minutes later, Trixie returned carrying a little tray with her magic.

“One Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher for Princess Luna, a double bourbon on the rocks for me, and a toffee-flavored candy drink for the big, bad bully,” said Trixie as she transferred the bottles and glasses onto the table. “Cherry told me what you two like. Drinks are on me tonight!”

Trixie positively beamed. This time, however, that smile contained no trace of Schadenfreude or the vengeance-fuelled malice that so filled her earlier tirade. Instead, it was reminiscent of the exact kind of smile, filled with relief and fulfillment, that only came at the end of a long journey or the completion of an arduous task. It was as if a burden of decades had sudden been lifted from her back.

She looked almost at peace.

Sunset smiled back.