• 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)

  • ...

Loose Ends

The next afternoon, Sunset was discharged from the hospital. Rarity did, in fact, manage to convince Tough Love to let her say goodbye to her before “the descent into the pit of despair this borderline psychopath dares to call a gymnasium.” Several more barbs were exchanged with the physiotherapist on the way down to the exit, where hugs were exchanged with Sunset along with Rarity eliciting a promise for Sunset to bring her some “quality ice cream that actually knows what 'Death by Chocolate' is supposed to taste like.”

Applejack had volunteered to pick Sunset up from the hospital and the two were soon on their way toward Sunset's apartment in the Apple family pickup. As they made their way through the streets, Applejack looked over where Sunset was staring out the window.

“You hungry, sugarcube? We could stop somewhere.”

Sunset blinked. “Huh? Oh. Sorry, Applejack. I'm just thinking.”

“'Bout what?”

Sunset frowned, not sure if she should say anything or not. “Um... could we swing by Gardenia Glow's place?”

Applejack blinked. “Really? You sure?”

Sunset nodded. “Yeah. I think I have some unfinished business to take care of.”

Applejack nodded and signaled a turn.

Rainbow Dash knocked on the open door of the hospital room. “Hello?” she called.

The redheaded girl in the bed looked up. “Rainbow Dash?”

Rainbow grinned and walked in. “Hey, Pepps. How you doing?”

Pepperdance sat up, smiling. Her head had a bandage wrapped around it, and she looked a little paler than her usual shade of dark pink. But she was smiling, which Rainbow took as a good sign.

“Hey! Rainbow!” she said brightly. “I'm doing good. The doctors say I can go home tomorrow.”

“That's great!” Rainbow grabbed a chair and brought it over. “Been missing you at the skate park.”

“Me, or your weekly butt whupping?” Pepperdance smirked.

“As if! You'll have whupped my butt when you can pull off all sixteen tricks on the list without wiping out on the rail!”

“Whatever lets you sleep at night, Crash.”

The two girls laughed. After they had stopped, Rainbow looked at her friend.

“Listen, Pepps, not to get all sappy or nothin', but I'm sorry.”

“For what?”

Rainbow blinked. “Well, for this.” She waved a hand at the hospital bed. “If I'd been faster, you wouldn't be here right now.”

“And who was the moron who arranged a late night meeting with a magically charged lunatic who had already put someone in a coma?” Pepperdance asked. “Rainbow, it wasn't your fault. I know you did everything you could.”

“But you got hurt and you've been out for the last couple of days. I could have stopped her!”

“Is she stopped now?”

“Well, yeah,” Rainbow admitted. Pepperdance grinned at her.

“Then you made up for it. Not that you really had to make up for it.”

“Wha?” Rainbow blinked. Pepperdance let out a laugh.

“Wow, you really do suck at this sappy stuff. Come here.”

Rainbow got up from the chair and walked over to the bed. As soon as she was within reach, Pepperdance grabbed her in a bone-crunching hug. “You're my friend, you dope. Of course, I don't blame you for what happened. You're too awesome to suck that badly.”

Rainbow swallowed and smiled. She returned the hug. “When did you get to be so damn smart?”

“One of us has to be.”

Rainbow pulled back to see Pepperdance giving her a classic “shit eating grin.” She punched her friend gently in the shoulder.


“You're a dork.”

Applejack pulled into one of the parking spaces outside the apartment complex and shut off the engine. She looked over at Sunset. “You want me to come with you?”

Sunset considered for a moment, then shook her head. “No. I shouldn’t be too long.”

“All right, sugarcube,” Applejack replied, doubt in her voice. “But if you need me, just text, okay?”

“Okay.” Sunset closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Which apartment?”

“Building 5, third floor, number 532.”

Sunset nodded and got out of the truck. It only took a couple of minutes for her to find the right door. She took another breath, steeling herself and rang the doorbell.

After a few moments, she heard the sound of locks being undone and Gardenia Glow opened the door. Her eyes widened in surprise at the sight of Sunset and for a moment, the two just stared at each other. Sunset swallowed and broke the silence.

“Hello, Gardenia.”

Gardenia blinked then came out of her own shock. “This is about Firecracker, isn’t it?”

Sunset nodded. “Yeah.”

Gardenia let out a sad sigh. “I suppose you should come in.”

She stepped aside, allowing Sunset access to the apartment. Sunset walked in and stood in the living room while Gardenia closed the door. She felt an unexpected sense of relief when her former victim didn’t lock it behind them.

Gardenia stepped past her and headed toward the kitchen. “Would you like some water or something?”

“No, I’m okay.”

Gardenia nodded and walked into the kitchen. Sunset heard water running in the sink, followed by a few moments of silence, and the sound of a glass being put on the counter. A few more moments later, Gardenia came out of the kitchen and gestured for Sunset to sit down.

Sunset sat on the loveseat, while Gardenia made herself comfortable on the sofa. She looked at Sunset. “She’s dead, isn’t she?”

Sunset’s face fell and she looked down at her feet. “Yes,” she answered.


Sunset looked up, regret evident on her face. “It’s a little hard to explain, since magic isn’t part of your everyday life, but basically, her magic ran out of control when she tried to use it against me and my friends. It reacted with the magic we were using to defend ourselves, and the whole thing just backfired on her.”

Sunset rubbed her face, trying to figure out how to continue. Gardenia said nothing, allowing her to gather her thoughts. “It’s called a resonance cascade. It can happen when there’s an overabundance of the same kind of magic in the same place. It overcharges itself and there’s a massive feedback loop, so the whole thing becomes unstable. Firecracker got caught in the backlash.

“There’s nothing left of her. I’m sorry.”

Gardenia looked at Sunset, her lips pursed. Sunset bit her own bottom lip and plucked at the hem of her top. She looked back up at Gardenia. For a long moment, the two simply stared at each other. Gardenia’s expression was blank. Not angry, not sad, just a careful neutral expression.

It was too much for Sunset. She felt her composure shatter and tears began to fall from her eyes. “I’m sorry! I tried to warn her. To get her to stop, but she just kept pouring out more magic. I didn’t want this! I didn’t want anyone to die! But she just wouldn’t stop using the magic and she was so much stronger than us! I don’t know why, but she just kept getting stronger the angrier she got and I… I couldn’t…”

Sunset trailed off into a sob. She reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a tissue. She wiped her eyes and blew her nose. She cleared her throat and looked back up at Gardenia. “I’m so sorry, Gardenia. For everything. For what I did to you. I know you probably won’t believe me, but I didn’t know you were a lesbian. If I had, I wouldn’t have started that stupid rumor in the first place, even back then. But I can’t take it back. I can’t take back any of the awful things that happened to you and Firecracker because of it. I wish I could just –“

“I forgive you.”

Sunset stared at Gardenia, who still had the neutral expression on her face. “What?”

“I forgive you. I forgave you for the Spring Fling a long time ago. I’m sure your friends told you about the email I sent?”

Sunset nodded. “I wasn’t sure if they told you –“

“—that they broke into my apartment a couple of days ago?” Gardenia finished. She nodded her head. “Twilight Sparkle showed up the day after I woke up and explained everything. That girl is terrified of breaking any kind of rules, do you know that?”

Sunset smiled despite herself. “Yeah. We’re trying to help her get over that.”

“You’ve got your work cut out for you.” Gardenia finally let a small smile cross her face, before it fell. “Firecracker made her own decisions, Sunset. She’s the one at fault here. She’s the one who obsessed over you after I moved to Baltimare. She’s the one who abused the magic she came across. She’s the one who knocked me out when I asked her to stop. She's the one who kil–“ Gardenia cut herself off, clenching her fists. After a moment, she continued. “And she’s the one who paid the price for it.

“Am I sad she’s gone? Yes, of course I am. Despite everything, I still loved her, and she loved me. Am I angry? Absolutely. But not at you and your friends. I’m angry at her for not choosing life with me over some twisted need to be an avenger of my honor, or whatever she thought she was doing. “

Gardenia sighed and let herself sit back in the sofa. Her voice hitched as tears of her own began to form. “She was brash, impulsive, and wanted so badly to save everyone from you. And she couldn’t see what I saw when I moved back. That you had changed. That you were making an effort to make up for everything you did. After I heard about the Anon-A-Miss thing, and believe me, Firecracker was gleeful about that the whole time, I realized that it didn’t fit with what I was seeing and hearing about you. And I realized that I really was ready to forgive you.”

“So, you sent the email,” Sunset said.

Gardenia nodded. “I wasn’t ready to let you know it was me. Some part of me was still angry with you over it. Some part of me is still angry with you over it, and I doubt it’ll ever go away. But I forgave you for that, and I forgive you for what you had to do to protect yourselves from Firecracker.

“I don’t think we can ever be friends, Sunset Shimmer, but I know I don’t want to be enemies either. I read something a long time ago which stuck with me, and I wish I’d been able to get Firecracker to understand it. ‘Vengeance is counterproductive, always. Not to mention it gets your soul all sticky.’”

Sunset let out a chuckle. Gardenia joined her.

“Yeah, it’s funny,” Gardenia said. “It’s also true. So, if that’s what you need so we can both get on with our lives, I forgive you.”

“Thanks. And, for what it’s worth, I forgive Firecracker,” Sunset replied. “If nothing else, I understand it.”

Gardenia gave her a sad smile. “Thank you for that.”

There was another awkward pause and Sunset was about to excuse herself when the pink haired girl spoke again.

“Have you told her parents?”

Sunset shook her head. “Not yet. Honestly, we haven’t even figured out what to tell her parents or the authorities for that matter. “

Gardenia considered. “I think you should tell Firecracker’s parents the truth. They deserve to know that she’s—what happened to her. As for the authorities… well, I may have some ideas on that. We’ll have to get Firecracker’s parents on board with it though.”

“’We?’” Sunset asked.

Gardenia nodded. “I think I should go with you to tell them my end of things. I think it’ll help. They like me, and, more importantly, they trust me. And if you bring your friends to prove that the magic is real, that will probably help too.”

“Gardenia,” Sunset looked at her… not friend. “Why? Why would you help us with this?”

“Because you need it. I need it. The sooner we get this sorted out, the sooner we can all grieve and get on with our lives.”

Gardenia stood up. Sunset took that as a sign it was time to go and stood up as well.

“I’ll call Firecracker’s parents and set things up,” Gardenia said as she walked toward the front door. “I have Pinkie’s number. I’ll call her and let her know when we should all meet with them.”

Sunset nodded. “All right. Um… if you don’t mind my asking? What happens now?”

Gardenia looked at Sunset. “Long term? I make sure my sister is set up at my aunt's. Then, I’ll probably go back to Baltimare and finish my degree. I took a few months off because I was burning out. As for you and your friends, you go back to school, graduate, and hopefully live as happily ever after as you can. And with a little luck, you and I won’t ever see each other again once I move back.”

Sunset nodded again, trying not to look dejected. “I wish things weren’t so broken between us. You’re really cool.”

Gardenia let out a surprised laugh. “It’s nice of you to say that, but I am a complete mess right now. As soon as you leave, I’m settling in to cry to myself for the rest of the night and drink heavily.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Sunset asked. “I mean, being alone tonight?”

“I have other friends. Once I’ve gotten through the initial crying fit, I’ll call someone over. I’ll be fine, eventually. Don’t worry about me.”

“All right.” Sunset opened the door. “Let Pinkie know when we can go see Firecracker’s parents. The sooner, the better, probably.”

“Yeah,” Gardenia said. “Oh, and for what it’s worth, I hope Pinkie and Rarity get better as soon as they can. “

“I’ll pass on your well wishes. Thanks for helping us, Gardenia.”

Gardenia nodded. “I’ll call in a day or so. Goodbye, Sunset.”

Sunset waved a hand. “Goodbye.”

The door closed and Sunset went back to the truck.

“How’d it go?” Applejack asked as Sunset climbed in the cab.

“Better than you’d think, actually,” Sunset replied. Despite the fact that she knew she and Gardenia wouldn’t ever progress beyond whatever understanding they’d reached, it was nice to know they had cleared the air between them. Sunset turned to look at Applejack.

“Hey, I just realized I’m starving. Wanna stop somewhere for a burger or something? My treat.”

“Things must’ve gone good if you’re offering to pay.” Applejack reached for the key and twisted. The truck refused to start. “Oh for Pete’s sake!”

As Applejack began her usual ritual of fiddling, checking, and cursing, Sunset smiled to herself.

Things were on their way back to normal.

Author's Note:

"Vengeance is counterproductive, always. Not to mention it gets your soul all sticky."

--Spider Robinson, Callahan's Lady