• Published 19th Dec 2017
  • 973 Views, 28 Comments

Ashes to Inferno - Sun Aura

Sunset Shimmer has reached her lowest point. Thankfully, there are those that would be happy to help her up.

  • ...


Sunset didn’t take the motorcycle. It would’ve been easier, but she didn’t trust that nothing would happen to it while she was in class. If only she could bring Rhea, because she could really use the comfort.

She’d waited, out of sight, until the girls got there. They surrounded her, creating a barrier before they walked in. Applejack was in front, height and stubborn determination keeping the others a bit hidden. Sunset walked behind her, with Pinkie and Fluttershy next to her, talking as if this were normal while locking arms with her. Rainbow and Rarity took up the rear, keeping an eye on others. Some students stared, many whispered, but the two girls fought back with perfected glares.

Sunset tried to ignore it, at least as much as she could. Pinkie and Fluttershy kept her talking, kept her mind on their weekend instead of the words. Pinkie in particular seemed to be trying to drown out everything else.

It worked fairly well. Of course she still knew that people were talking about her, but she couldn’t hear the exact words. Morbid curiosity did make her wonder, but the girls kept her from wandering too far down that metaphorical rabbit hole.

Classtime was harder. Sunset didn’t have all five of them in any of her classes at once. The most she had was English with Rarity, Fluttershy, and Rainbow, but that was right before lunch. First in the day was Math with Rainbow.

Rainbow switched seats with the guy who sat next to her, Thunderlane if she remembered right. The guy seemed nice enough, and didn’t seem to judge Sunset like the girls to his left did, even if he didn’t stop them.

Strange. She’d expected anger from everyone, but it seemed a few were more neutral. Of course there still were those who talked. Luckily, even if Rainbow couldn’t distract her while class was being taught, it also kept the others from talking.

“Hey, uh, Dash?” Sunset asked, tentatively using the nickname.

“Yeah?” Rainbow replied, nodding at the use.

“Okay, this might come out rude,” she began, “but I know you have problems in classes and-“

“And you’re offering to help,” she finished. “Fair enough. I know you’re wicked smart, so I was thinking of asking anyway. Numbers aren’t really my thing. Or words for that matter. Any chance I could bribe you to do my homework for me altogether?”

“I think I have a better chance of getting Timberwolf kindling,” she replied. “Sorry, was that an acceptable level of snark or was it rude?”

“Snark,” she nodded. “Don’t worry too much on that. Just go for funny, watch our reaction, and apologize if we react badly. Works for me. So, were you serious about helping? Because jokes aside, numbers really aren’t my thing.”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “I mean, I’m trying to be nice and we’re going to be around each other for a while, so I might as well be helpful instead of just beating you at Mario Party.”

“You only won because you had Pinkie on your team,” she stuck her tongue out. “Just remember, do it because it’s good, not because people will like you. But don’t be paranoid that you’re doing good things for the wrong reasons. Wow that’s a clusterfuck of contradictions. But you get it, right?”

“I-I think,” she nodded.

It was a bit strange. Doing something just to do it, not because others would like you. Sunset wasn’t sure when was the last time she’d done something like that. For years it had been about making Celestia like her, and when it wasn’t about that, it had been about making other Students like her. Some of what she’d done as Flash’s ‘girlfriend’ might have counted, but considering it happened because she’d made Flash her ‘boyfriend’ to do so, it didn’t count. Even her first few years had her trying to be ‘Human’, which included doing things others would like her for.

Of course, she did want others to like her again. But it felt different. She didn’t want them to like her just to like her, she wanted to be someone they would like. Perhaps that is the difference.

Class ended all too soon. It was back to the freedom of the halls. They had agreed to accompany Sunset between classes, even if it was only one of them. Rarity met them half way to the science classroom, but Applejack’s first class was further away, and she wouldn’t get there until right before the bell. That wasn’t too bad, Rainbow could stay a bit. Even with two, it was enough to stop the whispers and stares from bothering her.

“Hey, can I talk to Sunset for a minute?”

The trio looked up, and Sunset saw someone she hadn’t expected. Brawly Beats looked almost as bad as he did during finals week last year. Which is to say exhausted, though this seemed to be only stress-induced exhausted instead of sleep deprived.

“Depends on what you want to talk about,” Rainbow answered with a glare.

“Rainbow, it’s okay,” Sunset said.

“Are you sure?” Rarity asked.

“Yeah,” she nodded.

“Alright,” she said. “But we’re staying here.”

“So don’t try anything!” Rainbow threatened.

Sighing, Sunset tried to look apologetic. Both took one another in for a moment. After all, they hadn’t really talked since summer break. And Brawly definitely looked nervous. His hair was a mess, he was unconsciously playing with his necklace, which was rare. So it had to have been a rough few days.

“Are you okay?” Sunset asked.

“Think I should be asking you that,” Brawly said. “I’m fine. Just tired. Flash and Thunder are fighting and I keep getting dragged in.”

“Those two, really?” she wondered. “Is… Is it because of what I did?”

“No, well, yes. Kinda?” he answered. “It’s a lot of things. But it’s been going on since you started with the whole… you know? Thunder and I kept saying we should talk to you, but Flash insisted that you had to make the first move. And the last few days Thunder’s been refusing to talk to him at all, even making us get a last minute replacement in the band. He still thinks we should talk to you though.”

“Thunder thinks you should talk?” she repeated. “Think he’d be the most against any chance of Flash ‘getting back with his ex’.”

“He has other things to worry about,” he rolled his eyes. “Purple things.”

“Is this about Flash’s thing for Twilight?” Rainbow asked.

“Rainbow, don’t intrude,” Rarity chastised, batting at her with her hand. “Sorry dear, go on.”

“To answer the question, it kind of is,” Brawley said.

“It’s been a year,” Sunset groaned. “Haven’t they figured this out already?”

“To be fair, until a few weeks ago, Flash was with you,” he pointed out. “And you have to wait a bit before asking out someone who just went through a breakup.”

“You know that means absolutely jack," she groaned. "I might've been 'the girlfriend', but I spent all of Junior year telling him to go for it!"

“Told him too,” he nodded. “And now Flash sort of had that thing for Twilight. And he’s low-key confused about liking both of them. But Thunder’s getting jealous even though, you know, the guy can’t even ask him out so he has no right to be. So yeah, there was already a lot of tension before everything went magical. You just happened to be on the list of disagreements.”

“If we were on speaking terms, I’d call them idiots,” she said. “But we’re not because I was a major bitch.”

“Sunset,” Rarity said, putting her arm around her. “You weren’t… okay, you were, but we’re working on it.”

“So, why’s Flash being stubborn, and why do you and Thunder want to talk?” Rainbow asked.

“Flash is being stubborn because I hurt him most,” Sunset said. “I’m not even being sad here. I know it hurt him more than you two.”

“Yeah, that’s part of it,” Brawly nodded. “I think Thunder said something about knowing the ‘real you’, since we hung out together a lot. But for me, I know when someone’s doing bad things because they think it’s their only option.”

“How do you…” she trailed off.

“I was a bit of a bully back in Elementary school,” he shrugged. “Sure, I was the ‘beat the hell out of you’ type instead of the manipulator, but it counts. Not sure what your story was, but I was taller than everyone else and ‘dumb’ because no one around me knew what Dyslexia was. The way I saw it, I could either be bullied for being ‘dumb’, or make everyone afraid to insult me. Got some sense smacked into me in middle school.”

“I honestly couldn’t have guessed any of that,” she said. “Sorry that happened though.”

“It’s in the past,” he said. “But because I’ve been somewhere similar, I can tell the difference between a complete ass and someone who thinks it’s their only option. It doesn’t make up for it, again I’ve been there, but I’m on board with another chance. I just wanted to tell you that, let you know someone’s still on your side. But you do seem to have a good group.”

“Yeah,” she smiled, looking at her companions. “I kinda do. Thanks.”

“No problem,” he said. “I’ll keep working on Flash and Thunder though. They’ll probably come talk to you eventually. I think they might talk to you before they talk to each other. Oh, but I need to go. Class and all.”

“Right,” she nodded. “Again, thanks.”

Brawly waved and hurried off to his own class. Applejack showed up, Rainbow hurried off too. Everyone ignored the stares her group got.

Author's Note:

So far, it's going better than expected. Happy almost Christmas by the way!
...I have way to many headcanons about the guy whose only line was to point out the talking dog.

Also! Glowing Embers now has some cool cover art!

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