• Published 9th Nov 2017
  • 1,785 Views, 62 Comments

Tracks in the Sand - DwarvishPony



Pinkie Pie discovers friendship amidst the ruins of Canterlot.

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5
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Chapter 5

Pinkie awoke to weak murmuring in her ear. All around her were discarded medical supplies, along with a few first aid books she’d taken from Sunset’s library. Slowly, she readjusted to the waking world. She sat up and looked down at Sunset’s sleeping form next to her.

Sunset wasn’t sleeping.

“Pinkie?”

“Sunset? You’re not dead, right?” Pinkie asked as she checked Sunset’s bandages. The girl’s cuts were still bleeding a bit, but nowhere near as badly as they’d been two nights ago when she’d found Sunset at death’s door.

“... don’t think so?” Sunset rolled her head to the side. “Where...?” Her voice trailed off.

“We’re in the bathroom. I brought you here after… after…” Pinkie broke down into wracking sobs, burying her face into Sunset’s hair, hugging her tightly.

“Ow, ow…” Sunset winced. “Pinkie, I’m okay, really.” A weak hand reached up and patted Pinkie’s hair.

“I was so scared! Don’t do that ever again!” Pinkie’s voice took on an edge. “You almost died!”

“Sorry…”

The two of them stayed like that for some time, with Pinkie crying onto Sunset’s shoulder and Sunset weakly comforting her. Eventually, though, the tears had to run dry, and Pinkie sat up, wiping her nose with a forearm. Sunset forced herself into a sitting position, hugging the blanket Pinkie had covered her with to her chest.

“Where’s my shirt?” Sunset asked, blushing furiously.

“I kinda had to take it off,” Pinkie managed a sheepish grin, pointing to a pile of tattered rags. “with scissors.”

Sunset looked at the destroyed shirt, then back at Pinkie, then back to the shirt. She chortled, failing to hold it back. Soon enough, she had broken down into a laughing fit, leaving a bewildered Pinkie staring at her.

“Sorry,” Sunset said through her chuckles, “It’s just, the first thought that hit me was ‘Hey—’” another fit of laughter hit the girl, “was ‘Hey, that was my favorite shirt!’” She broke down into another giggling fit, this time joined by Pinkie.

When the two finally managed to stifle their laughter, a silence hung in the air between them. Sunset sighed, giving Pinkie’s hand a weak squeeze. “Thanks, Pinkie. For helping me.”

“It’s what friends do, right?” Pinkie managed a smile as she returned the squeeze.

“Yeah.” Sunset nodded. “Can I have a shirt, though?”

***

A few days into Sunset’s recovery, Pinkie came out to the atrium to find Sunset scrubbing at the dried blood on the statue. The brush slipped from Sunset’s grasp and clattered away. Sunset was still grumbling and massaging her hand as Pinkie knelt down and took over for her.

“Thanks.” Sunset mumbled as she scowled at her hands.

“Mhm.” Pinkie flashed a smile over at Sunset before looking back to the cleaning.

A tense silence settled between them, hanging thick in the air. Despite their initial conversation when Sunset woke up, neither had been willing to broach the subject of Sunset’s attempts to return home. Pinkie scrubbed harder, as though she were trying to chase away the silence with the sound of bristles on stone.

She sighed and sat up, leaving the brush on the floor. “I can help, if you want.”

Sunset flinched at the sound of Pinkie’s voice. A moment later she looked up at the girl with questioning eyes. “Why?”

“Because you really wanna go home, and I wanna see you happy.” Pinkie explained calmly. “So if you need help or anything, I want you to know that I’m here.”

“I— I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t need to say anything, silly.” A warm smile pushed away the gloom between them. “But if you need blood, can we maybe not take all of mine?”

Sunset managed a weak chuckle.

Hours later, the two of them had used the remaining medical supplies Pinkie had gathered to take a controlled amount of blood from Pinkie. Sunset carefully drained the IV bag Pinkie had filled into a large bowl, adding a few droplets of her own to the mix in an attempt to infuse it with magic.

“You think this will work?” Pinkie asked, holding a cloth to the crook of her elbow to staunch the bleeding where they’d drawn from.

“I have no idea. This isn’t an exact science I’m working with here. I’m literally throwing magic at a wall and seeing if any of it sticks.” Sunset’s face reddened as she explained her process.

“Oh.”

“Yeah. I mean, this could just be a waste of time.” Sunset’s face fell. “I really hope I didn’t just poke you with needles for nothing.”

“It’ll work.” Pinkie said confidently as she placed a hand on Sunset’s shoulder. ‘It has to.’

Sunset placed the bowl of crimson liquid in front of the statue. Both of them stared down at it expectantly. Nothing happened.

“Maybe you have to say the magic words?” Pinkie offered. “Abra cadabra! Hocus pocus!” She waggled her fingers at the statue. “Um, Open sesame!” She frowned. “Pretty please with a cherry on top?”

Still nothing.

“Maybe this is just a waste of time.” Sunset mumbled. “This was stupid. I should stop trying.” She moved to pick up the bowl again, only to be stopped when Pinkie grabbed her wrist.

“You can’t just give up, Sunny. That’s the worst thing you could do!” Pinkie’s eyes met Sunset’s. “Sometimes stuff gets hard, i know, but that’s why we gotta keep trying. We gotta try everything we can, or else the bad stuff we go through won’t mean anything.

“It means the people we lost died for nothing, that the fire was stronger than you. And you can’t let that fire rule you forever. You gotta pick up whatever pieces you can and keep trying for Mom and Dad and Marble and everyone else!” Tears streamed down Pinkie’s face. “I’m not gonna let you give up, Sunset. You’re my friend. If this doesn’t work, we’ll just try something different until it does work.”

“Pinkie,” There was a sadness in Sunset’s eyes as she looked back at Pinkie. She found herself leaning forward. “I had no idea—”

A brilliant light flared up, blinding both the girls, as a silver flame burst into existence in the bowl. The statue’s base began to glow, and a ripple passed over the surface of the stone. Both of them wore matching expressions of awe and bewilderment.

Sunset stepped forward hesitantly and reached out to touch the ripple with a trembling hand. Her fingertips passed through with no resistance and she jerked her hand back. She looked back at Pinkie hesitantly.

Pinkie nodded with a teary smile.

“Thank you, Pinkie.”

“It’s what friends are for...” Pinkie said around a growing lump in her throat.

Sunset stepped through the portal. The silver flames vanished immediately, leaving behind a charred bowl. Pinkie kicked a pebble at the statue, only to have it bounce away.

A strained smile passed over Pinkie’s face, only to disappear when she was hit with the realization that she was alone once more.