• Published 8th Jan 2018
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Equestria Girls: Reimagined - Candle Light



A rewritten and more fleshed out version of Equestria Girls

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Chapter Eleven

Equestria Girls: Reimagined
Chapter Eleven
by Candle light
based on a story by Meghan McCarthy

“Three cheers for Twilight Sparkle, savior of Canterlot High!” Rarity toasted.

All six of them were gathered at Applejack’s house because, as she had put it, ‘this here victory calls for a celebration, and Ah won’t hear nothing against it!’ Twilight had wanted to invite Flash too, but he had politely declined, saying he needed to put away the equipment, and he didn’t want to make them wait. Really, he was probably just shy about it.

“I danced in front of so many people!” Fluttershy was saying, but with a big smile on her face. “My heart is still pounding.”

“I know what you mean,” Rainbow Dash said. “I do all kinds of sports, but dancing? That’s a first.”

“Yeah, Ah’m kind of embarrassed mahself,” Applejack told them. “That was amateurish on a whole new level.”

“That was the whole point, dear,” Rarity offered. “We may not be perfect, but together, we can be a fine work of art. I think everyone got the message.”

“But will it be enough?” Twilight wondered. “I noticed there were a lot of students who didn’t attend. I get the feeling Sunset still holds sway over many.”

“Perhaps, but you shouldn’t underestimate the splash you have made tonight,” Rarity said. “You’re a symbol of hope, a reminder that things can change at Canterlot High. Never forget that.”

“She’s right,” Fluttershy agreed. “Whether or not you win the crown tomorrow night, you’ve made a real difference.”

“Thank you. I’m just worried Sunset Shimmer is gonna find a way to pull the rug from under us. I saw her in the crowd, but she didn’t try anything; she just watched us for a while, then left. I can’t shake the feeling this is all going too well.”

“You worry too much,” Pinkie Pie said, rubbing Spike’s belly. Twilight felt bad for Spike that he couldn’t join the conversation—he hadn’t been allowed to speak for a while now—but she was grateful for his presence nonetheless. “Whatever that evil meanie beanie comes up with, we’ll be ready!”

“Then again, she’s got a point, Pinkie,” Fluttershy spoke. “We can’t afford to relax just yet. If I were Sunset Shimmer, this is where I’d want to surprise her with something really nasty.”

“Pfft, lighten up, will you? Look here,” she picked up her backpack from the floor with one hand, and then Spike with the other. “Spike here represents the Fall Formal, and this,” she shoved Spike into the bag, “is where we got this.”

“Life is not always a party,” Fluttershy muttered. “I wish you’d see that sometimes…”

“Hey, I know that. Life is only a party most of the time. Especially when some mysterious girls who claims she’s from the ‘mountains’ appears out of nowhere and starts making friends with everyone with the help of her demon dog from another dimension.” She looked down at Spike with a glare. “Yeah, I’m still onto you.” He let out a whine.

Fluttershy did not seem amused. Twilight was reminded that her friends, though not enemies anymore, still weren’t nearly as chummy as their pony others. “Well, he’s not a demon dog,” Twilight said, trying to carry the joke. “But I guess I did kind of show up from nowhere, huh.”

“It’s been on my mind, dear, but did you perhaps know Sunset Shimmer before you came here?” Rarity asked. “You seem to know just what to say when she’s around.”

“I, uh… no, I’ve never met her before.” It almost wasn’t a lie. “I didn’t have many friends up in the mountains.”

***

“How was it like up there?” Fluttershy asked. “I hear people say it’s dangerous because of all the bears in the area. Most people don’t realize they’re not dangerous at all, as long as you don’t make them angry.”

“Yeah, we’ve never had a problem,” Twilight invented. “I lived in a… in a house, with, uh, with my big brother. He was my best friend growing up.” Better stick as close to the truth as I can…

“I bet it’s one of those places where everyone knows your name,” Rainbow Dash said.

except, I’m supposed to be from this backwater town, whereas I’m actually from the capital of Equestria, the heart of civilization! “Oh yeah, absolutely. My next door neighbor used to give me sweets all the time.”

“Hey, just asking, but is this village in a mountain like ten miles north of here, called Cloudsdale? Cause that’s where I was born.”

Thinking it might be best to play it safe, Twilight replied. “Uh, n-no, that’s not the one. My village is more to the east…”

“Oh. Bummer.”

“East, huh,” said Applejack. “But Ah thought there was a national park in that area?”

“Yeah, but like, beyond that…”

“That’s an awful long way to move here. Wouldn’t Manehattan have been closer?”

“Oh let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth,” said Rarity. “Your arrival was a blessing; a righteous heart, a smart head and a smooth tongue is a hard combination to come by.”

Twilight blushed a little. It was really just a matter of being older than they were, with more experience of dealing with people under her belt. “Thanks. I won’t let you down.”

***

Twilight’s head was spinning way too fast for sleep.

The other four having gone home, Twilight listened to Applejack snore peacefully. Whenever Twilight did drift off into sleep, images of Sunset Shimmer grasping at her invaded her dreams. One involved Sunset picking up the students and juggling them.

A sudden buzz put her at high alert. It was her phone. Applejack had told her to put it on soundless mode, but the vibration on the floor was still make an awful racket. Applejack kept snoring peacefully, while Twilight checked the message.

‘I want a word with you. Now. Meet me outside.’

Twilight knew only two people in this world with such a demanding tone, and Rainbow Dash would never talk to her that way. She rose from her bed—her jammies would be fine outdoors, right?—which stirred Spike awake. She shushed, and motioned for him to follow.

“What’s up, Twilight?” he whispered once they were out of the room. He smacked his lips. “Man, haven’t talked in ages.”

“Sunset Shimmer,” Twilight answered grimly. “She’s called out to me.”

“And you’re gonna go met her?”

“How am I suppose to sleep knowing she’s waiting outside the door? What if she retaliates but letting the pigs escape or something?”

“If you say so—uh…”

Big Macintosh was standing in the stairway, a bright pink pony toy in his hand. Staring at both of them wide eyes halfway between shock and confusion. Twilight’s mouth hung open, trying to think of a way to explain away a talking dog.

“Oh, uh, ya see, these are Apple Bloom’s and—” Big Mac started saying.

“He doesn’t talk, I’m a mime and—” Twilight said at the same time. They both gave each other looks, making it clear that neither one was buying the other’s story.

“How about we didn’t see nothing if you didn’t see nothing,” Spike hissed, pointing his paw.

Big Mac looked down at his toy, then up at them. “Eyup,” he replied quietly, then swiftly walked past.

Not until they were out of the house did Twilight dare speak again. “That was a close one. Why’d he keep his stuff downstairs, anyway?”

“I dunno, maybe Granny Smith twas hiding them from him, and he was up looking for ‘em. Not that I’d know anything about that; I don’t play with little mare’s toys.”

“Spike, I know about your Mini Donkey collection.”

“How could you—I mean, they’re action figures!”

“Please, everypony plays with Mini Donkeys.” It was Sunset Shimmer who spoke, appearing behind them. “Come, the pig sty.”

Spike and Twilight exchanged looks, but did as she asked. Once inside, door closed, Twilight began, “So what’s your game? What’s so important you couldn’t wait until tomorrow.”

“Don’t worry, it’s got nothing to do with our silly little competition. I just figured since we’re both being’s from another dimension, we might have a friendly little chat. Is that so wrong?”

“Coming from you?” said Spike. “Definitely. I haven’t forgotten the whole ‘dog you are’ comment.”

“Princess Celestia,” Sunset said, ignoring Spike. “How is she?”

Twilight considered not answering. Even now, her tone was hard, spiteful. But maybe that was just her way of coping with the fact that deep down, she missed her. “She’s distraught,” Twilight said. “She didn’t come here herself, because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to face you. She still cares about you, even though you broke her heart.”

“Broke her heart, did I?” A grim, humorless smile spread across her face. “Glad to hear it. Just what she deserves.”

“You called yourself one of her students!” Twilight said, her volume rising. “I heard you were one of the best! Why did you throw it all away?”

“The real question is, how can you stay?” she shot back. “I’ve read all there is to read about you, Twilight Sparkle, and now that I’ve seen you in action, I’m forced to admit your mind is as sharp like mine. How can you stand it? Knowing there will always be a ceiling to stop you from taking flight?”

Twilight bit back a heated retort, and sighed, collecting herself. “Because I trust in Princess Celestia. I’m not ignorant of my potential, but I’m afraid of how it might manifest without guidance. The ‘ceiling’ is there for my own peace of mind.”

“And that, dear Twilight, is the difference between you and me. I wanted to be a phoenix, but under Celestia, I was nothing more than a common bird in a cage. I’ve heard all I wanted to hear. Thanks for coming out here.”

She rushed past Twilight and escaped into the night, ignoring Twilight’s call for her to wait. She had so many questions left, but Sunset wasn’t about to just give out answers, was she.

“What was that all about?” Spike said. “It’s not like we told her anything she didn’t already know.”

“I think… I think she might have just wanted to vent,” said Twilight. “I know she’s not a good person, but I’m beginning to see the logic behind her madness.”

“Really? Cause all I see is cold, bitter heart.”

“Bitterness born from neglect.” Twilight simply stood there, deep in thought. Spike waited, recognizing that this was a situation where he only needed to be quiet and let her noggin work. Drastic times call for drastic measures… “Spike, I have a job for you.”

This immediately straightened his back. “I’m ready for anything.”

“It’s a risk, but with you, it might be alright… I need you to go back through the portal.”

“Are we calling for backup?”

“Not exactly. All I need is for you to tell Celestia and the others what’s going on, and to gather some information, specifically on Sunset Shimmer. Celestia must have kept some of her things. If we could get a clue on what happened in her past that caused all this bitterness, we’re one step closer to understanding how her mind works.”

“You think that’ll help you win the crown?”

“Maybe not. But this is way bigger than the Fall Formal, it always was.”

“I understand, Princess Twilight,” Spike said, making a salute. “You want me to get on it this instant?”

“I think you’d better. Time is running short.”

***

“Here ya go, dearie,” Granny Smith said, as Twilight came out of the bathroom next morning. “Yer clothes are all washed and dried.”

“Oh! Thank you!”

“Not a problem. By the by, ya didn’t happen to hear someone sneak up in the middle o’ the night, did ya?”

“Uh, no ma’am, not that I recall.”

“Oh well, maybe it’s just my imagination. Ah thought I heard Big Mac’s voice last night. Must’ve been me dreamin’. There was a talking dog, too.” She chuckled. “Have fun at school, dearie.”

I’m cutting things way too close, Twilight thought, getting dressed and rushing down the stairs to join Applejack at breakfast. But I guess I’m doing the best I can; it’s not like I had any time for prepare for any of this. I wonder how Spike is doing…

Once downstairs, she was met not only by Applejack, but… “Hi there, Twilight,” said Rainbow Dash.

“Hi,” Fluttershy followed.

“These two thought they’d come to school with us,” Applejack told her. “I’m as surprised as you are; never knew they could be so neighborly.”

“I can be ‘neighborly’ when I want to,” Rainbow Dash retorted. “Though I guess the whole friendship song must’ve rubbed off on me. You did a good job on those lyrics, Fluttershy.” Fluttershy smiled with a light blush. Oh gosh, she really does have a crush. Is that how pony Fluttershy feels, too? “By the way, where’s that dog of yours.”

“Oh, he’s off hunting squirrels,” Twilight brushed it off. “I sometimes let him out for a couple of hours so he can play around.”

“In the middle of town?” Fluttershy gasped, looking mortified. “Twilight! I thought you knew better than that.”

“H-he’ll be fine; he always makes it back in one piece.”

“That’s not the point; he could get run over by a car! Or get kidnapped? Or leave a trail of droppings on the sidewalk, and you’ll get in trouble from the police.”

“Now now, Fluttershy,” Applejack said, “there’s a forest area close by; if it’s squirrels he’s after, that’s probably where he ran off to.”

“I-I suppose. Still, Twilight, you should just walk him more often. You’re not in the mountains anymore.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” she promised. Okay, maybe not the best cover story. She helped herself to apple pie. “So, who wants to bet Sunset’s got a surprise for us?”

“I’ve checked her video channel, and nothing there,” said Applejack. “Who knows, maybe she’s gonna try some actual, honest-to-goodness campaigning.”

“That’s not really her style, is it,” Rainbow Dash said. “But I bet she’s starting to feel her usual method’s been backfiring one time too many. I think she’s either gonna try to bribe people, or she’s gonna pull out the big guns and start breaking the law.”

Breakfast done, the three of them left the farm. Once they had boarded the bus, they were greeted with cheers, and almost everybody wanted to talk to Twilight.

“I think I’m actually gonna vote for you.”

“Even if you don’t win, you’ve chanced the school forever.”

“Can I have your autograph? I feel like it’s gonna be worth something in the future.”

Twilight wasn’t entirely comfortable with everyone treating her as if she was the hero in all of this. None of it would have been possible without everyone supporting her. But, like Rarity had said last night, Twilight had become a symbol. Uncomfortable or not, she had to be the hero, someone that people could looked towards.

She had to be a Princess.

After thanking, answering questions and signing stuff, it wasn’t long before they arrived at school. And as fate would have it, Twilight didn’t even have to go inside before she saw the results of Sunset’s next scheme. A group of people were gathered around a large billboard, reading something posted in large text.

“This can’t be good,” Applejack spoke Twilight’s mind. They all made their way to the billboard, where they saw Pinkie Pie and Rarity. “What’s she done this time?”

“I dunno,” said Pinkie, “I was just about to look at this here news paper article. Let’s see… WHAT!”

The picture that headed the article was of the gymnasium, all of its decorations smashed to bits.

“Fall Formal Sabotaged, and Twilight Sparkle Exposed,” the headline read. “All were shocked and dismayed by the sudden dark turn of Principal Celestia, but one cannot deny that that the Principal’s actions, ruining the electric fuse box and blowing up the kitchen, has resulted in something of a tonal shift around campus. A spirit of togetherness, a can-do attitude transcending club boarders which, while seemingly a blessing, one has to point out is a rather conveniently benefit to one person more than the rest: Twilight Sparkle, racing against Sunset Shimmer in the bid for Fall Formal princess.

“Was it all a well-planned, two-person crime? Did one sabotages the school, while the other rallies the students to recover from this self-inflicted damage? This would have forever remained a mystery, if Twilight Sparkle hadn’t been greedy and reached too far. Not content with the goodwill she had accumulated through her sabotage scheme—and the admittedly catchy song number—she snuck into the school tonight, crashing the decoration that our very own party girl Pinkie Pie had worked so hard to set up, all so that she could start the cycle anew. She would have gotten away with it too, if the security cameras hadn’t caught a cloaked figure leave the premise. And judging by the height, it really does leave little room for imagination.

“It makes one question her motives, doesn’t it? Does Twilight Sparkle, capable of such dirty methods, simply want power for the sake of power? To satisfy her own selfish ambition? Similar accusations has been leveled at Sunset Shimmer, but at the very least, she has always looked out for the well being of the school. Under her rule, there will always be light in our ceilings and delicious food for everybody. For the safety, and honesty, of our school, a vote for Sunset Shimmer is a vote for your future.”

***

“It took days!” Pinkie pie exclaimed furiously. Twilight and friends were all gathered in the gymnasium, surveying the damage. “It was gonna be one of my best parties yet!”

“I must admit, that was an ingenious move,” Rarity said. “The ‘Celestia did it on purpose’ theory was already floating around, and now it’s on everybody’s mind!”

“Then let’s douse it with the truth!” Rainbow Dash said. “We’ll clear Twilight’s name, and get her back on track.”

“How’re we supposed to do that?” Applejack asked. “There’s no evidence. Plus, and I hate to be the one to say this, but Sunset’s story does kinda check out. Twilight shows up out of nowhere, and the next day, Celestia goes bonkers?”

“Twilight Sparkle?” a voice came from behind them. Principal Luna stepped into the gymnasium. “A word, if you please.”

“I promise you, I didn’t do it!” Twilight pleaded. “I didn’t make any plans with your sister either. You have to believe me!”

“I would very dearly like to,” Luna said. “And since there is no evidence supporting your guilt, I of course cannot stop you from your bid to be crowned Princess of the Fall Formal. Just be warned, while no hard evidence exists against you, circumstantial evidence are abundant. And while I’ve been keeping quiet about it on my sister’s behest, many of the staff members are starting to suspect the truth, that you are not really a student at this school.”

“WHAT?!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed again.

“These are you friends, are they not? In light of these events, I suggest you not try to hide secrets from them. I sincerely hope you can turn this around.” Her face lowered. “You may quite literally be the last hope for this school.”

She turned around and left. Slowly, Twilight turned to face her friends again. “Twilight,” Applejack said in a low-voiced tone of shock. “You don’t go here?”

“Hah, I knew there was something fishy about you!” Pinkie Pie said. “Let me guess: you’re from the ancient order of psychics trying to brain wash us all into your own personal cult!”

“Sure Pinkie, that’s probably it,” said Rainbow Dash dismissively. “But seriously, like, who cares if she’s from this school or not. She’s done nothing but help us out since she got here!”

“We care, because it puts her entire story into question,” Applejack insisted. “Remember how she kept stammering and ‘uhh’ing every time we asked about her home town last night? So tell us, Twilight, where exactly did you say you were from?”

“I-I, uhh…”

“See! You’re not even from the mountains at all, are you.” Twilight couldn’t think of a retort; spinning the truth, or even offer a harmless white lie, she could do, but she had never been good at outright lying. “Why would you lie about that?”

“Did you lie about Spike too?” Fluttershy asked. “Are you sure you didn’t just let him go last night, because he was in the way?”

“What, no, I—!”

“Girls, girls, I actually agree with Rainbow Dash,” Rarity interjected. “Why would she go through so much trouble if she wasn’t genuinely trying to help? If all she wanted was power, one would think joining up with Sunset Shimmer would be the quickest way to do that.”

“You underestimate the minds of liers,” Applejack said. “To them, once a small lie becomes okay, they’ll keep making ‘em bigger and bigger, until you can’t trust a single word they’ve got to say! How about this then: where were you last night? Don’t think I didn’t noticed that you sneak out.”

“Oh, I… I met with Sunset Shimmer,” she admitted. “I got a text from her… she wanted to talk.”

“You met Sunset in the middle of the night? What on earth did you talk about?”

“Y’know, stuff, nothing important…” But she realized right away that it was the wrong thing to say.

Why can’t you tell us!” Applejack exclaimed. “What’re you hiding from us? Don’t tell me you actually joined up with her, and this is all just an elaborate plot.”

“That doesn’t even make any sense!” Dash came to her defense. “Give her a break. Maybe she’s homeless or something, like Trixie. We’ve all got things we’re not proud of.”

“And she’s the one who held this big speech in the middle of lunchtime about how we shouldn’t be embarrassed of our pasts!”

“Was that a lie too?” The disappointment in Fluttershy’s voice cut deeper than the accusations. “Because I… I was really moved by it.”

“I meant every word, but listen to me, I have a good reason why I can’t talk about it! I admit it, I have heard of Sunset Shimmer before I came here. I didn’t know her, but… there’s a reason why I really need that crown back.”

“Like using it to turn yourself into a demon so you can mind-control everybody?”

“Quit it, Pinkie,” Dash complained.

“Well, I appreciate you coming clean about that,” said Applejack. “But here’s the thing, Twi, you’ve made an incredible impact on this school, and it’s all because of your simple message of friendship and trust. And until I feel like I can completely trust you again, I… I can’t stand behind you.”

“Me neither,” Fluttershy agreed.

“Not you too, Fluttershy!” said Rainbow Dash. “I thought you were cooler than that.” Fluttershy flinched, tears beginning to form in her eyes.

While the five of them were arguing, Twilight quietly backed away. Applejack watched her go, but didn’t stop her.

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