• Published 23rd Sep 2017
  • 6,714 Views, 429 Comments

Repercussions - shallow15

After Sunset Shimmer is attacked and put into a coma, her friends try to figure out who did it and why. (Not an Anon-A-Miss story)

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Sunset stared up at Celestia, then around the throne room. It was almost exactly as she remembered. High ceilings, brightly colored stained glass, polished marble floor, fountains at the base of the throne. It was exactly as she remembered it. She looked back at the alicorn.

“This is a memory,” she said.

Celestia nodded. “Well done.”

“So why am I here now? And please, no more Starswirl method.”

“No,” Celestia agreed. “No more Starswirl method. Time for straight answers. You are here because you finally accepted a part of yourself you've been avoiding.”

“My self-loathing?” Sunset frowned. “I've been fine with that for a while.”

“No, you haven't.” Celestia stood and walked down the stairs from the throne toward Sunset. “While you've made peace with your past, and accepted responsibility for it, you never really forgave yourself for who you used to be. Not fully, at any rate. If you had, all of this wouldn't have happened when you were attacked.”

“Why is that important?” Sunset asked. “I mean, sure, I still have some sleepless nights where my brain seems to enjoy dredging up my past and pointing out my mistakes, but everyone has those nights from time to time.”

“It's important because of who you are.” Celestia reached Sunset and looked down at her. “Following the battle with the sirens, you made some changes to go with your new lease on life. A new perspective. A new attitude. Most tellingly, a new wardrobe.”

Sunset looked down at her clothes then back up at her mentor. “Well, yeah. I wanted something that would show that I've changed. But it's not like I burned my old clothes either. I still wear them from time to time.”

“But you wear these more often,” Celestia said. “And there is one major difference between the clothes you wear now and the ones you wore in the past.”

The princess's horn lit up and fired a burst of magic into the air. It swirled around and formed the image of the two-toned sun that was Sunset's cutie mark.

“My cutie mark?” Sunset stared at the image, perplexed. She looked at Celestia. “I'm sorry, I'm not following you.”

“In your efforts to prove to yourself and others that you truly reformed, you began denying a very important part of yourself, Sunset.”

Sunset opened her mouth to protest, but Celestia held up a hoof to stop her. “Don't misunderstand me. You did not do so deliberately, and most likely didn't even realize that's what you were doing. You began to distance yourself from who you used to be, because you hadn't really forgiven yourself for everything you had done in the past. But while your past may not be today, as you frequently remind yourself, it is still part of what makes you who you are.

“During your time here, trapped in this representation of your mind, you learned to forgive yourself. Quite literally.” Celestia smirked. “And in doing so, along with your continued efforts to improve yourself and protect the human world from the aspects of me currently running rampant, you have finally become ready to reclaim this.”

The princess gestured with her horn. The image of Sunset's cutie mark shrank and moved to hover in front of Sunset. “Take it again, Sunset. Reclaim your destiny.”

Sunset reached out and touched the glowing emblem. It flashed softly with light. She looked up. “I'm sorry. I don't understand what you mean by 'reclaiming my destiny.'”

Celestia smiled. “I'm afraid you'll have to let me indulge for a brief moment in the Starswirl method again. What do you believe your cutie mark means?”

Sunset looked back at the emblem again. “It always seemed to indicate my talent was for magic. And I thought that, since it was a sun, it meant that eventually I'd reach the same level of fame and adoration that you – I mean, the real Celestia – had. I guess, that's why I became so obsessed with becoming a princess back then.”

“Look at the center of the mark,” Celestia replied. “What do you see?”

“It's a circle divided by a slight s-shaped line. The right is gold, the left is red.”

“And does it look similar to any symbols you've seen in the human world?”

Sunset considered. “It's the same basic shape as the yin and yang symbol. And while it typically denotes opposites that complement each other, it's often used as a symbol of ...” Sunset trailed off, her eyes widening with understanding. “... balance.

“Balance. I was selfish, vindictive, and petty when I left Equestria. Now, I try to be helpful, charitable, and generally a better person in the human realm. I left one world and became part of another.” Sunset looked up at her mentor, astonishment in her eyes. “And I help keep you in check as you run rampant across the world.”

Celestia smiled. “Yes, Sunset. This has been your destiny. To balance the forces of two worlds, bringing them together in harmony. But you yourself were not in balance. There was still a part of you that you did not accept. That you had not forgiven.”

“And when she attacked me, I thought I deserved it,” Sunset finished. “Because I still hadn't forgiven myself for what I did. And I wound up here.”

“Where you finally forgave the part of yourself that hates who you are and what you did. At long last, you are in balance, Sunset Shimmer. You have accepted the responsibility given you by the Magic of Friendship. Are you ready to reclaim what has always been yours?”

Sunset looked back at the glowing sun emblem hovering in front of her. She felt warmth emanating from it. The warmth spread over her form, suffusing her being. A sense of peace and happiness spread through her. It was a sensation she hadn't realized had been missing from her life until it returned. It felt good. It felt right.

It felt like home.

Sunset smiled, tears of happiness forming in her eyes. She reached out and touched her long neglected cutie mark. The two-toned sun split apart and began swirling around in her in streaks of red and gold. Sunset felt the magic inhabit her, filling her. She felt old scars begin to heal, old hatreds fade away. A new sense of self filled her, and she felt the need to say it aloud.

“I am Sunset Shimmer, born in Equestria, resident of the human realm. I am here to protect the Magic of Friendship and defend against those who would use it to harm others. I vow to balance the magic and bring harmony to both worlds.”

She smiled as the next sentence came to her.

“My past is not today, but my future begins now.”

The red and gold swirls reared back and thrust themselves at Sunset, colliding in a firework explosion of light. Sunset closed her eyes and laughed, overwhelmed with the sheer joy she felt. It was exactly like the day she first got her cutie mark. She was receiving it again, and with it, a new sense of purpose and fulfillment.

The lights faded and Sunset looked back up at Celestia, tears in her eyes and a giant grin on her face. She threw her arms around the alicorn's neck.

“Thank you,” she whispered. “I didn't know how much I missed this until now.”

“This was all your doing, Sunset,” Celestia whispered back. “I only helped guide the way.”

Sunset pulled back, sniffled, and wiped her eyes. “Of course, I'm still stuck in the coma, right?”

“I'm afraid so. As I said, someone on the outside will have to find a way to bring you out.”

“Well, at least Fluttershy and Applejack got in. Hopefully, they can get all the rest of the girls together to try again now that my double isn't around to interfere.”

There was a flash of multicolored light. Sunset and Celestia looked up to see one of the stained glass windows glowing. A beam of light shot down, tinged with the colors of the glass: yellow, white, purple, orange, pink, and blue. The colors brightened and intensified, glowing with an ethereal luminescence.

Sunset took a few steps toward the rainbow. She put a hand out towards it. As she did so, a streak of red appeared in the bands, growing longer the closer she came. Her grin returned and she looked back at Celestia.

“It looks like your ride's here,” said the princess, returning Sunset's grin.

Sunset walked back to Celestia, and gave her another hug. “I know you aren't the real Celestia, but thank you. Thank you for helping me find myself again.”

“You're welcome. And you might consider speaking to the real me in the future. Closure is much better than uncertainty.”

Sunset pulled back and nodded. “I will. Once all this is taken care of.”

“Farewell, Sunset Shimmer.”

Sunset turned and began walking back towards the rainbow, the red line re-appearing and growing stronger as she approached. As she prepared to enter the light, the rainbow flickered and Sunset stared as one of the colors vanished. She turned back to Celestia, panic in her eyes.

“What's happening? What's going on?”

Celestia frowned and looked up at the stained glass window. She closed her eyes. “I sense conflict. Strife. Imbalance.” Her eyes opened. “Pain. You must go, Sunset. One of your friends is suffering. They need you.”

Sunset turned back. The rainbow flickered again and another color vanished. Sunset looked back at Celestia. The alicorn gestured urgently with her horn at the rainbow.

“Go now, Sunset, while you still can!”

Sunset frowned and nodded. “I won't let you down. I won't let them down.”

She turned to face the rainbow. It began flickering again. Sunset ran towards it, leaping forward the last few feet. The rainbow exploded in a flash of multicolored light.

When the light faded, so had the throne room, the stained glass windows, and the facsimile of the ruler of Equestria.