• 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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One

“Try again,” Rainbow Dash insisted. Applejack sighed in exasperation and rang the doorbell to the apartment for the fourth time. As before, there was no response.

“See? Four times, no answer.” Applejack turned to her friends. “I don't think she's home.”

“She's gotta be home!” Rainbow put her hands on her hips. “There's a car in her assigned space out in the parking lot!”

“Someone could have given her a ride somewhere,” said Twilight. “Or she could be out for a walk or took a bus.”

“I guess,” Rainbow huffed. “I just hate the idea of being so close to answers and not getting them.”

“Well, unless your magic suddenly lets you pass through walls, I think we're outta luck.” Applejack pushed back her hat. “So, should we leave it for now and come back in a couple of hours?”

Rainbows eyes widened and a grin crossed her face. “Wait! We can still get in there! You can unlock the door, Twilight!” Rainbow grabbed Twilight's shoulders hard enough to knock her glasses askew. “You did it back at the movie studio to get me out of that closet!”

Twilight put her glasses back in place and she gave Rainbow a serious look. “Yes, but that was in a semi-public building, Rainbow, and we were trying to find you. This is completely different!”

“How? You were looking for me. We're looking for Gardenia Glow. Same thing.”

“It ain't the same thing and you know it, Rainbow Dash!” Applejack snapped. “You were callin' for help. She ain't, and it's her home. We don't even know if she's there!”

“But we can't be sure she's not!” Rainbow snapped. “Look, I get it. We shouldn't do it, but we need answers! I'm tired of stumbling around in the dark and waiting for what's-her-face to come after us again! Sunset needs us! Pepperdance needs us!”

Twilight and Applejack exchanged a look. Both knew Rainbow had a point. Answers were needed. Things had escalated to an unacceptable point. Their enemy had bested them twice and others had been injured in the process. After a moment, Applejack let out an aggravated sigh, took off her hat and reblocked it.

“Five minutes. That's all. Nobody touch nothin', nobody do nothin' but look. Five minutes and we get the hell out. All right?”

Rainbow grinned. “No problem.”

Twilight, however, wasn't so sure. “Are you sure about this, Applejack? This is breaking and entering. We could go to jail if we get caught!”

“I don't like it anymore than you do, Twi,” the farm girl replied. “But, much as I hate it, Rainbow's right. We need answers. If'n we can get 'em without needin' to bring up painful memories to Gardenia, maybe it's for the best in the long run.”

“You're justifying this to yourself.” Twilight's voice was flat.

“Maybe, but that don't change the fact that this may be the only place we can get some answers. I ain't gonna force you to do it, but I am gonna ask you: Twilight, will you please unlock this door?”

Twilight looked from Applejack's serious expression to Rainbow's hopeful one and back again. She frowned as she considered. Rainbow put a hand on her shoulder.

“Please, Twilight.”

Twilight looked at the hand then back up at her friends. “Five minutes. No more.”

She took a deep breath then turned to the door. She held up her hands, channeling her magic. She pushed outward with her mind. The purple glow around her hands was mirrored by a similar glow appearing around the doorknob. After a moment, the girls heard a clack. Twilight dropped her telekinetic field and twisted the doorknob. The door opened partway, but Twilight quickly stopped when they heard the sounds of a conversation echoing below them.

She quickly pulled the door shut, while Applejack and Rainbow dashed to the edge of the balcony the third floor apartment was on. They peered over the railing and watched as a couple walked into view, laughing. They rounded the corner, heading for the parking lot. Rainbow let out a sigh of relief and gave Twilight a thumbs up.

Twilight inched the door open, allowing the girls to quickly enter the apartment and close the door behind them.

“See? No problem!” Rainbow's grin earned her a look from the other two girls. Applejack got out her phone and set an alarm.

“Five minutes. No touchin', just lookin'.”

The girls spread out. The apartment wasn't large, but it was comfortable. A plush sofa and love seat set was in the living room, facing a modest sized flat screen TV mounted on the wall. On a cabinet below it was a video game console, although the lack of visible games seemed to indicate Gardenia just used the console for access to streaming services. A nearby bookshelf held several volumes, as well as a few DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

Twilight found herself looking at the pictures on the wall. Most of them were prints of famous paintings, a few sketches that looked like they came from some fan convention or other. Twilight felt a twinge of sadness as she realized there were no photographs of family.

Applejack was in the kitchen. It was neat and tidy, with some very good knives in a block next to the stove. There were a couple of dishes in the sink, but they had been rinsed off. A pair of matching dish towels hung from the handle on the oven door. All in all, the kitchen was fairly cozy. Applejack smiled in spite of herself. She wouldn't mind having a kitchen like this, if and when she moved out of the house.

She walked out of the kitchen and over to Twilight. “Anything?”

“No, nothing,” Twilight sighed. “At least nothing that could help us.”

She walked toward the rear of the apartment, stopping in front of what looked like a closet. She frowned, considering, then turned back to her friend. “I know we said we weren't going to touch anything.”

Applejack nodded. “Figure there's no harm in opening a door. Just make sure you close it when we're done.”

Twilight nodded and opened the door. Coats and jackets hung neatly from the rail inside. Shoes and boots were on the floor of the closet. Twilight looked and stared. On the shelf was something she recognized. Leaving caution aside, she began pushing the coats and jacket across the rail. Applejack put a hand on her shoulder.

“What are you doin'?” she demanded. Twilight ignored her and kept going through the coats. She stopped, staring unbelieving at the coat hanging in front of her. She grabbed it and reached up to the shelf, grabbing what was up there. She turned, bringing the long black overcoat and matching floppy brimmed hat out of the closet and holding them up.

“Rainbow?” she called. “I think I found something.”

“So have I,” came Rainbow's voice. Both girls turned their heads toward the bedroom. “You guys better get back here.”

Both girls walked into the bedroom, then dashed forward at the sight of the unconscious woman lying on the bed. Long pink hair was spread out on the pillow, strands crossing the dark green face. Rainbow was kneeling beside the bed, holding two fingers to the woman's throat.

“She's alive,” she reported. She looked at Twilight and her eyes widened. “Are those...?”

Twilight nodded. “The hat and coat she wore at the mall. I think she lives here.”

“Well, that explains this,” Rainbow said, getting to her feet and nodding at Gardenia's unconscious form. “I think she did the same thing to her that she did to Sunset.”

“But why?” Twilight asked. “Why do this to her? What on earth could she have against both Gardenia and Sunset?”

“I don't think she has anything against Gardenia.” Applejack's voice was soft and distant. Rainbow and Twilight looked up. The farm girl was standing behind Twilight, holding a framed photo in her hands. “In fact, I think it's the opposite.”

She turned the photo around, showing it to her friends. Twilight stared and Rainbow gasped. The athlete pulled out her phone. “I'm texting the girls. We need to find her. Now.”


Eyes wide, Pinkie walked forward and handed Moondancer her phone. The other girl took it and looked down at the text that had just arrived from Rainbow Dash.

“Oh no,” she murmured.

Pinkie took her phone back. “I have to go! But, can you do me a favor?”

Moondancer nodded.

“Stay here with Sunset? And if anyone shows up who shouldn't be here comes, text me, okay? Me and the girls will get here as soon as we can.

“Okay,” Moondancer said. “Be careful, Pinkie.”

Pinkie nodded and zoomed out of the room.


Rarity quickly texted Rainbow back and put her phone away. She walked back out from behind the counter.

“Something wrong?” asked Firecracker Burst.

“No, just my mother asking me to stop at the store on my way home. Now, where were we?”

“You were asking me questions.”

“Quite right,” Rarity took a breath. “How close were you to Gardenia Glow?”

Firecracker was taken aback. “Um... we were friends. Pretty close.”

“And yet,” Rarity said, taking a step closer. “You didn't know she moved back to town. You obviously were close enough to know she attended Baltimare University, so why wouldn't she let you know she was planning on moving back here?”

“I don't know,” Firecracker frowned. “Friends drift apart. It happens. It's nobody's fault.”

Rarity stepped closer. “It just seems strange to me. Two girls in two different years at CHS, and you managed to stay friends after the tragedy that befell her, long enough for you to presumably stay in touch after she moved to Baltimare. And yet, in that time, you drift apart to the point where it wouldn't even occur to her to tell one of her closest friends she was moving back home?”

“What are you getting at?” Firecracker's tone was harsh. She blinked and her frown deepened. “What was that text?”

Rarity folded her arms. “Your alibis are worthless, your friendship with Gardenia Glow was either very close, or so flimsy that she wouldn't tell you she moved back. You sent Sunset horrific messages threatening her. All circumstantial, to be sure, but elements that lead me to one conclusion: You're lying about something, Firecracker Burst. You're either lying about where you were when Sunset, Beachberry, and Pepperdance were attacked, or you're lying about how you really feel about Sunset, or could it possibly be that you've been lying about your true relationship with Gardenia Glow?”

Firecracker stormed forward, shoving Rarity aside. The fashionista staggered as Firecracker went behind the counter. She found Rarity's purse and reached into it, looking for her phone.

Rarity dashed behind the counter and grabbed Firecracker's arm. “Do you mind?” she shrieked.

“Yeah, I actually do!” Firecracker shifted her full weight into Rarity, knocking her to the ground. As Rarity got back up, Firecracker pulled out the phone and looked down at the text from Rainbow Dash.

IT'S FIRECRACKER BURST! SHE'S GARDENIA'S GIRLFRIEND!

And directly underneath it, Rarity's reply.

She's here at the boutique! Hurry, darlings. I'm going to try to elicit a confession from her.

Firecracker looked up from the phone to Rarity's face. Her expression was stony. Her jaw clenched. Then, much to Rarity's surprise, she smiled.

“I guess you were right, Rarity,” she said, raising a hand to the pendant around her neck. “The time for subterfuge is over.”

She grasped the pendant and Rarity swallowed hard as pink light flashed, and electricity danced across Firecracker's knuckles. She looked up at Firecracker's face and took a step back as the other girl's eyes glowed with magical power. Rarity felt her heart begin to race, and she took another step back as Firecracker began to laugh, cold and mocking.

Oh dear. I think I have made a grave error.

Author's Note:

Oh, no, we're not done. We're just getting started.