• Published 12th Feb 2018
  • 4,991 Views, 204 Comments

In the Days That Followed - shallow15

Sunset Shimmer and her friends try to get their lives back to normal following the events of "Repercussions."

  • ...

The Ride Home

Sunset was walking home when she heard the horn. She looked up to see Applejack pulling up next to her. She was driving Big Mac's truck. She waved at her friend and walked up to the truck as Applejack leaned over to roll down the passenger window.

“Howdy, Sunset!” Applejack leaned back upright.

“Hey, Applejack,” Sunset leaned up against the truck door. “What are you doing around this part of town?”

“I was at Sugarcube Corner with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. Big Mac texted me, asked me run to the hardware store. Gotta restring the fence around the chicken coop this weekend. Figured I'd get the stuff we need now so we can get it done first thing Saturday.”

Applejack jerked a thumb behind her. Sunset leaned over and saw a roll of wire fencing and posts in the bed of the truck. “Good plan.”

“Ya wanna lift home? I go right by your building.”

“Sure.” Sunset opened the truck door and climbed in. Applejack put the truck in gear and pulled back into traffic.

As they drove, Applejack looked over at Sunset, who was looking out the passenger window, resting her chin on her hand.

“You all right, sugarcube?”

“Huh?” Sunset blinked and sat up. “Oh, sorry. I'm just thinking.”

“'Bout what?”

Sunset sighed. “Principal Celestia called me into her office today. She's worried about the fallout from everything that happened last week.”

“I see,” Applejack said. “Anything in particular?”

“Was there some sort of magical fight at the mall while I was out?”

“Yeah,” Applejack sighed. “Rainbow, Twilight, and Rarity were checking out a lead with that new magic detecting doohickey Twi kludged together. They ran into her and a fight broke out. It made the news.”

“Great. Like that's not going to attract any attention.”

“It's not like they went lookin' for a fight. It just happened.”

“I know.” Sunset slumped in her seat. “Principal Celestia's worried about somebody official looking deeper into the magic. She's worried about us.”

“We can handle ourselves.”

“I know. Believe me, I know.”

The truck stopped at a red light. Applejack looked over at Sunset. The redheaded girl had her arms folded in a way that Applejack knew meant Sunset was worried about something.

“You frettin' over the magic again?” she asked.

“Kind of,” Sunset admitted.

“You don't really think the government or somebody would send people after us, do you?”

Sunset shrugged. “I wish I knew. I want to think that if somebody official did take an interest in us, and we couldn't convince them otherwise, we'd be able to work things out. Show them that we're not dangerous and can handle anything magical that is. But I don't know.”

The light turned green and Applejack stepped on the gas pedal. “Somethin' else is botherin' you. I can tell.”

Sunset gave her friend a rueful smile. “You always see right through me, AJ. It's not just the idea that this last thing might have sent up some big red flags to someone in the government. It's what happened last Saturday.”

“Sunset, you know we couldn't have saved her. The magic was too strong, you said so yourself.”

“I know. But I keep thinking about it, about how we could have tried something else. Maybe Twilight could have yanked her out of the cyclone with her telekinesis or something. I don't know. I just feel like we failed. No, like I failed.”

Applejack pulled up to the curb outside Sunset's apartment building. She turned off the engine and looked at Sunset. “You didn't fail, Sunset. We tried everything we could, but she refused to stop. She was long gone before everything went haywire.”

“There had to be a better way.” Sunset turned her head to look at her building. When she spoke again, her voice was almost inaudible. “Princess Twilight would have found a better way.”

“Stop.” Applejack's voice was hard. Sunset looked back at her in surprise. Applejack fixed her with a stern look.

“You can't keep comparin' yourself to Princess Twilight. You ain't her.”

“I know.”

“No, you don't. I ain't sayin' she's better than you, which is what I know you're thinkin' right now. You are Sunset Shimmer, an' the Sunset Shimmer I know is just as capable of figurin' out the right way to handle a problem as Equestria's Princess of Friendship.

“You don't need a crown or a title to know what the right thing to do is, sugarcube. And last week, the right thing to do was make sure as many people could be saved as possible. You, me, and the other girls. As for her, even if the magic hadn't backfired on her, I think she'd already made up her mind. You can't save someone who don't wanna be saved, Sunset.”

“It doesn't mean we shouldn't have tried.”

“And when were we gonna do that? It was over in seconds! Pinkie Pie and Rarity were hurt, we were all pushed to the limit, and just in case you forgot, you had just come out of a coma! Magic or not, you looked like death warmed over, and you needed a doctor just as much as Pinkie and Rarity. How the hell do you figure that, even if we had the time, we even had the ability to save her?”

“I don't know!” Sunset yelled. “All I know is that someone's dead because of something I did, and another girl's family was destroyed!”

“She forgave you for that!” Applejack yelled back. “Stop crucifyin' yourself!”

“It's my fault, Applejack! Everything that's happening now is my fault! I didn't save her, I spread that stupid rumor that started everything, and if you go back far enough, I turned the magic on full blast when I tried to use it at the Fall Formal starting all of this!”

“You ain't the center of the god damn multiverse, Sunset! People make their own choices. She chose to get revenge! She chose to misuse the magic! She chose to keep fightin' even after you warned her disaster was comin'! It's her own damn fault she's dead, and frankly, if it comes down to her or us, then I'm glad it was her!”

Sunset stared wide-eyed at her friend, her face flushed from her recent outburst. She opened her mouth, then closed it. She opened the door of the truck and got out, slamming the door behind her.

“Thanks for the ride,” she said, her voice cold and distant.

“Sunset, wait!” Applejack called, but Sunset had already reached the door of the apartment building and vanished inside. Applejack stared at the door for a long while before taking off her hat and punching it.


Inside the building, Sunset threw her front door open, slammed it shut and braced her back to it. She slowly slid down to the floor. Tears began flowing down her cheeks and something broke inside of her. Her teeth clenched and she sobbed silently as everything that had happened over the last week crashed in and overwhelmed her. She felt her eyes and nose start to run as she cried. She ignored it, having neither the strength nor will to move.

She rested her head against the wall as she cried her anger and guilt out. She hugged herself, trying to get her emotions under control. After a few minutes, she calmed down. She got up and went to the bathroom. She wiped away the tears and snot, then ran the sink and splashed water on her face.

As she grabbed a towel, she felt her phone buzzing in her pocket. She blotted the water off her face and put the towel back on the rack before grabbing it. She had received a message from Twilight.

We have to talk.

Sunset sighed. She knew this was coming. Rainbow Dash and Applejack had told her about the late night meeting at the Twisty-Freeze while she had been in a coma. She knew Twilight had concerns about her and what she had done in her past. Guilt rose up inside her chest again. She closed her eyes, shook her head, and sniffled.

After a moment, she opened them and sent her reply.

Yeah. I suppose we do.

Author's Note:

Yes, everything you've read so far has happened all on the same day.