• Published 9th Nov 2017
  • 1,787 Views, 62 Comments

Tracks in the Sand - DwarvishPony



Pinkie Pie discovers friendship amidst the ruins of Canterlot.

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Chapter 7

Pinkie’s eyes fluttered open to the sensation of something cool pressed against her forehead. She rolled her head to one side, then the other, looking for the source of the wetness pressed against her. She blearily looked up at the face of an angel.

“Did I die?”

The angel gave a snorting laugh, a heavenly sound if Pinkie ever heard one. “No, you’re not dead, Pinkie. Not for a lack of trying on your part,” the angel added.

“Where am I?”

“Home.”

“Home? Where’s that?” Pinkie struggled to sit up and failed as gentle hands kept her from rising.

“Easy… You’re dehydrated. You’ve been out cold since I found you. Just keep still and get some rest.”

A soft sigh escaped Pinkie. Rest sound like a fantastic idea, a sentiment shared by Gummy, who sat on her chest and stared up at her. Pinkie’s eyelids grew heavy as sleep overtook her once more.

When Pinkie woke again, the world was much clearer. She glanced around, looking for the angel again and finding nobody.

“Hello?” Pinkie’s voice cracked as she called weakly to the emptiness. Soon enough, though, footsteps sounded outside and someone entered. Pinkie’s heart nearly leapt out of her chest. “Sunset?”

“Hey,” Sunset smiled down at Pinkie and lifted a cloth off her forehead. “how are you feeling?”

“Blech.”

“Yeah, I figured. You had me worried there. I wasn’t sure if you were going to make it.” The cloth came back and dabbed at Pinkie’s face. A hiss of pain escaped her as she winced back. “Sorry!”

“Why’d you come back?” Pinkie asked weakly.

“You looked lonely.”

Pinkie fell silent, her brow furrowed in deep thought. Eventually she reached a hand up and gently brushed Sunset’s face. “How did you get back?”

“The portal’s a lot easier to open from the other side.” Sunset chuckled.

“But… why are you here? I thought you wanted to go home?” Pinkie forced herself to sit up, pressing Sunset’s hand away when she tried to stop her. She gazed deeply into the eyes of the other woman like she was searching for something.

“Turns out that there were some… disagreements between me and the pr— the person that made me want to leave in the first place.” An awkward chuckle escaped Sunset as she rubbed the back of her neck. “Besides, I am home.”

A dam burst inside Pinkie. A sniffle slipped out of her, followed by a sob. Soon enough she was bawling like I lost child, clutching tightly to Sunset. “You left! You left and I was alone again and I should have gone with you! I let you go alone and I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry…”

“Hey, hey,” Sunset extracted herself from Pinkie’s vice-like grip on her torso. “I came back. It’s what friends do, remember?” Pinkie nodded despite the hiccuping sobs that still slipped out. “This time, I’m not going anywhere.”

“Promise?”

“Pinkie promise.”

Pinkie relaxed a little and laid back down. Her stomach took the opportunity to proclaim its existence to the world. The two looked at each other and broke into fits of giggles.

“Give me a few and I’ll make something. You’ve been out for a while.” Sunset returned with a bowl of soup and carefully spooned it to Pinkie around the girl’s questions.

“How did you find me? I was out there for a super long time.” With each bite, Pinkie felt a bit more like her old self.

“Really?” Sunset looked surprised. “I found you half-buried out front. The only reason I even saw you was because of that scarf you had on.”

“Scarf?” Pinkie’s face scrunched in thought. “What scarf?”

“The blue one. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s mine.”

“Oh!” Pinkie flushed a bright shade of crimson. “I kinda took it…” Her voice trailed off.

“What?”

“I took it,” Pinkie turned even redder, if that was possible, “so I’d have something to remember you.”

“Heh. That’s sweet.” Sunset gave Pinkie another spoonful, and the conversation gave way to a quiet between them.

It was a comfortable quiet, not like the stillness that had lingered after Sunset’s injuries. Pinkie felt a peculiar warmth well up from the pit of her stomach. At first, she’d mistaken it for the soup, but gradually came to realize that it was something else. Happiness.

Pinkie’s smile didn’t fade in the slightest as night fell over the station again.

***

For the most part, Pinkie recovered quickly. Most of her injuries had been miraculously minor, scrapes and bruises, save for the ankle she’d twisted when she fell. Sunset had fashioned a crude walking stick for her out of a gnarled branch she’d found outside.

Pinkie’s walking stick heralded her entrance to Sunset’s room a few nights later. Sunset looked up from her book, eyeing Pinkie curiously. “You’re up late.”

“I couldn’t sleep.” Pinkie pouted. “I keep having nightmares.”

“You okay?” Pinkie nodded but stayed in the doorway, fidgeting awkwardly. “You wanna talk about it?” Pinkie nodded again. “Are you going to talk about it?”

“Can I sleep with you?” Pinkie blurted out.

Sunset blushed brightly, making a noise akin to a startled bat. “P-Pinkie, you don’t think that’s a little forward?”

“I just don’t want to fall asleep alone…” Pinkie murmured.

“Oh. Oh!” Sunset facepalmed. “That makes way more sense than— you know what, nevermind.” Sunset pushed a stack of books off her mattress and piled some cushions up for comfort before patting the spot next to her.

Pinkie curled up next to Sunset and started reading over the girl’s shoulder. “Whatcha readin’?”

“Some romance story about a mute girl falling in love.”

“Any good?”

“Eh. I’ve read better.”

For what felt like the millionth time since they met, Pinkie and Sunset sat in silence. Where once it had been a divide, a wall to break down with conversation, the silence was now a bridge, connecting the two despite the lack of words between them. Pinkie leaned in close and rested her head on Sunset’s shoulder.

“Sunset?” The gentle stillness shattered.

“Yeah?”

“You’re real, right?”

“What? Yeah, of course I am.” Sunset set her book aside. “Why do you ask?”

“You’d tell me if you weren’t?”

“Again, still real, but I guess I’d tell you if I weren’t” Sunset shifted a bit, getting a better look at Pinkie. “Where’d this come from?”

“I keep having nightmares... about you.”

“Me?”

“Yeah,” Pinkie bit the inside of her cheek, hesitant to continue, “I keep dreaming that you never came back, that you’re all in my head.” Her hands fidgeted. “But you’re here now, right? This isn’t a dream?”

“No, Pinkie,” Sunset smiled reassuringly. “this isn’t a dream.”

“You’re sure?”

“As sure as the sun sets in the west.”

Really sure?”

“How much surer do you need me to be?” Sunset narrowed her eyes at Pinkie.

Pinkie rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “I dunno. What’s something I don’t know about you? That’ll prove it!”

“I—” Sunset raised a finger into the air, only to frown and lower it again. “You’re really making me do this?” Pinkie nodded insistently. A long sigh escaped Sunset as she rolled her eyes. “I’ve never left this block of the city. Does that count?”

“Wait, really?” Pinkie blinked in bewilderment.

“I’ve never had a reason to. I keep finding food, so everything i’ve ever needed has been nearby.”

“But… but there’s a whole world out there! You have to see it! There’s Rustwall and Sweet Apple Acres and Scrapyard and a whole bunch of cool places that I’ve traded at. You can’t stay here forever!”

“Pinkie, you of all people know how dangerous it is out there. Why risk it?”

“Because you can’t just hide away forever! What if I decided to leave someday? Would you still stay?”

Sunset’s mouth opened, but no words came out. She slowly closed it and looked down with a furrowed brow. “Let’s just get some sleep.” She clicked off her flashlight and rolled over.

Pinkie stared up at the ceiling in silence, taking some measure of comfort in the warmth radiating off of Sunset. Time passed slowly, and she found herself sinking deeper into her own thoughts. Eventually, restlessness took over, and she rolled onto her side and stared at Sunset’s sleeping form.

“Sunset?” No response. “Sunset, are you asleep?”

“I was trying.” Sunset grumbled.

“Oh. Sorry.” Pinkie frowned in the darkness.

“What is it?” Sunset asked after a pause.

“What’s your world like?”

“My world? Equestria?”

“Yeah.”

“It’s… it’s magical. I don’t mean that like it’s some sort of utopia, I mean it’s literally magical. This world has its science and technology, and some of it exists in Equestria, but there magic is this driving… force. Back there, everypony says stuff like ‘friendship is magic’—don’t laugh—but they’re telling the truth.

“Friendship and love and positive emotions actually affect magic there. It’s incredible, and a little scary. There’s a lot of dangerous stuff in Equestria. It’s a bit scary—”

“Like here?”

“Yeah, a bit.”

“Did you explore Equestria at all?”

“Sometimes. I helped a filly find her way out of the Everfree forest once. That was pretty cool.”

“And scary?”

“And scary.”

“Sunny?”

“Hmm?”

“If you can go on scary adventures back there, why can’t you go on any here?”

Sunset’s only response was silence.

“Sunset?” Pinkie scooted herself closer to the other girl. “Suuunset? Sunny?”

“I don’t know, okay!” Sunset snapped and rolled over. “Back in Equestria I had magic to rely on if I ever ended up in a bind. Here? I’ve got nothing.”

“You’ve got me.” Pinkie murmured through the dark. Sunset was silent again. “Sunset?”

A warmth pressed gingerly pressed itself against Pinkie’s lips, drawing a startled gasp from her. Sunset pulled back as though she’d been burned.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me!” Sunset scooted as far away as she could manage, her rapid breathing the only sound in the train car. Pinkie lay still as an explosion of conflicting thoughts and emotions warred in her head. Eventually a single thought clawed its way to the surface, leaving the rest of them to war in the back of Pinkie’s mind.

“I’ve never kissed anyone before.” Pinkie said rather flatly. She blinked in surprise at the revelation.

“Never?”

“Never.” Pinkie confirmed. “I’ve always been exploring alone.”

“Wow. I-I’m sorry. I didn’t think, I just—”

“Can we try that again?” Pinkie asked timidly.

“Try wh— kissing?” Sunset’s confusion gave way to alarm.

“Uh-huh.”

Pinkie felt Sunset move closer, felt the warmth of her shallow breathing. Pinkie’s heart felt like it was trying to jackhammer its way out of her chest through her ribs. Just when she thought her heart couldn’t pound any faster, it proved her wrong when she felt Sunset’s lips touch hers.

Pinkie’s mind went blank as she leaned into the kiss. An eternity passed in an instant, and Pinkie felt an indescribable joy well up in the pit of her stomach, rising up until she could contain it no longer. She pulled away and broke down in a fit of laughter.

She felt Sunset wrap her arms around her and pull her into a close embrace, holding her tightly until the laughter finally died out. They fell asleep like that, intertwined in each other’s arms on top of a mountain of cushions.

***

“I’ve been thinking,” Sunset said out of nowhere as she and Pinkie sat together on the steps of the train station, “maybe I should go see more of the world.”

“Really?” Pinkie beamed at the other girl. “What made you change your mind?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking on it, and I think you’re right. If I can go see new and dangerous things back in Equestria, what’s stopping me from doing the same here?”

“What about all your stuff here? All your books?”

“I’ll bring the important stuff: my favorite books, maybe a pillow, food… you.”

“You want me to go with you?” Tears welled up in the corners of Pinkie’s eyes. “Are you sure?”

“Well, yeah,” Sunset smiled reassuringly and interlaced her fingers with Pinkie’s. “what do you say? You want to go see the world with me?”

“Together?”

“Together.”

“I’d like that.” A sound that was somewhere between a choked sob and a laugh escaped Pinkie as she squeezed her eyes shut to hold back tears of joy.

When she opened them, the sandstorm was over. Pinkie forced herself to a sitting position, shifting the mound of sand that had covered her where she had fallen. Sand clung to her skin, burning whenever the granules found a way into a cut or scrape.

Slowly, achingly, she pulled a canteen from her backpack and took a long drink.

Pinkie forced herself to shaking feet and looked down at her alligator companion.

“Come on, Gummy.” Heavy feet trudged forward, carrying Pinkie back towards the ruins of Canterlot. “Let’s go find our friend.”

Author's Note:

Well, this was a trip to write. As always, if you spot any errors, feel free to PM me so I can fix them as soon as possible.

Comments ( 39 )

So did Sunset not come back?

Who's the artist of the picture?

8539931
You know, for the life of me I can't find the artist. I got the image off Pinterest and searching Google by image has been failing me. I'm still looking, but I'd you happen to find the artist I'll be eternally grateful.

8540149
Oh, you are fantastic!

8539858
Sunset likely didn't, since Gummy, who's a hallucination that symbolizes loneliness, was present.

8540580
I didn't think about it like that. It sounds like Pinkie is going to look for Sunset...which would bee hard because she went through the mirror portal.

I'll ascribe Pinkie knowing about Equestria in spite of Sunset not actually being there after the sandstorm to "It's Pinkie."

(I should have known there was something screwy when she mentioned she came back because she didn't get along with Celestia. Of course the Celly we know would have welcomed her back).

That was a really sweet sad story. Finding friendship after the world ends is a terribly bittersweet thing. Sunset leaving and, presumably, not returning was a sad thing to read. Its a sad thing to imagine Sunset just leaving Pinkie after finding a friend in this world. Hopefully Sunset comes back or Pinkie finds her friend again, somehow.

Oh yeah! This kind of AU thing is definitely what I've been wanting to read

I loved it thank you!

Very enjoyable. While I am a huge PinkieDash fan when it comes to human Pinkie due to Euestria Girls latest movie I have become a real fan of Pinkie/Sunset (PinkieSet?) so this works for me. The setting is interesting what with all the unanswered questions and I really would love to see more adventures with Pinkie. Sadly the potential lack of Sunset will really hurt but it would give Pinkie some gravitas so I would welcome more stories in this vein with these characters.

Huh. I fully expected the both if them to emigrate to Equestria.

I am not a pinkie/sunset shopper whatsoever (just my opinion, i kinda dont like it) but you created a alternate universe and storyline where I could accept it.

Also, why the f:yay: Does This Story Not Have A Sad Tag?!?! I didnt equip my armor and wasn't prepared! You, quite literally in fact, made me have to rush to put it on as soon as I discovered the slightest hint. I mean, if you want to keep the surprising sad ending, well a surprise, you could always say that there is a tag missing to prevent spoilers

Oh and give my regards to R5h

Signing out, VShuffler42

this story... HELL YEAH!

I loved this story so much! you can bet that i will check out every story you wright

I really like this story, and this setting.

Aww, I was sort of hoping for Pinkie to follow Sunset back to Equestria. Would make a pretty nice ending where Pinkie's kindness and friendship managed to save her and bring her to a world of peace and magic. But oh well... Still a nice story regardless

AW DAMMIT THAT WAS SO SAD AND CUTE! PINKIE GOING CRAZY FROM ISOLATION AND INVENTING GUMMY TO TALK TO1 :raritycry:

Oof! :facehoof: Wasn't ready for THAT sucker punch.

Leaving the sad tag out of this was quite cruel with this ending in mind.

This was quite an enjoyable read. You had me gripped, clicking next chapter as soon as I was finished. I had to know what happened next. I could've read 100k of this. The way you wrote this story was engrossing. And you know, I'd never considered Pinkie/Sunset, but after reading this story, I have to say that I quite like the ship. That ending was like a stab to the heart. I'd love to know if Pinkie ever officially finds Sunset again. Even if it's a long shot, I'd like to believe that she does.

The writing was basic, but the emotions were good.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

OH NO D:

That was great. ;_;

No... what?! No!!!! You can’t do that to
Me!! You evil evil person!!! Whyyyy?!?!?

Huh...
I have this nagging feeling... The other readers are questioning if Sunset will come back...
My question is, was she ever real?
In this chapter, Pinkie questioned if Sunset was real or not. In my mind, Pinkie was probably only reassuring herself.
I mean, (Imaginary)Sunset almost said the word "Princess" and that meant that Sunset never told Pinkie of her old life.
That means that Sunset never existed in the first place!

You monster.

You beautiful, elegant, monster. Never have I managed to get so invested in such a short and simple story before, but this was one of the most beautiful and touching fanfics I've ever read. I tip my hat to you.

That was very well executed.

Needs the romance tag, though it became obvious after a while.

8720061
But... it's not a romance?

8720175
It's kinda the story of how these two get close to each other, so eeehhh... I don't know, we'd have bring out definitions. Maybe it wasn't intended as romance but it certainly reads as such.

8720450
Did you read the ending?

8720785
I did, and now I re-read it and saw what I missed. Whoops.

8721363
Happens to the best of us.

W-wait was that just a dream? And Sunset didn't come back?...And Pinkie's all alone in this dangerous kinda Mad Max AU, I'm worried about Pinkie. That's a really great story, good job... Soo, will there be a sequel?

A fascinating spin on Sunpie, with an incredible amount of unexpected psychological depth. I can't help but get the feeling that this Pinkie's going to end up the witch of the wasteland, able to do just about everything... except open up the portal again. I hope I'm wrong.

In any case, thank you for this.

Oof. That twist at the end - it hurts. :pinkiesad2:

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