• Published 14th Sep 2018
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Sunset the Shadowbolt - snq144

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Chapter 3: The First Day

“Thank you again for meeting me here so early in the morning, Sunset.” Cadence smiled as she held open the door for the new student. “This way we can get you booked into whatever classes you choose.”

“Not a problem on my end, I’m used to being up early.” she chuckled as she walked over to a chair across from the Dean’s desk. “So how does this work exactly?”

“Well judging by your previous record from Richard Johnson’s School for Gifted Girls, you don’t really need all that much to technically graduate. As far as we require, you need to achieve credits in Math, Science, Phys Ed, English, and Social Studies. That leaves one period open for either an Optional class, or another Primary class.” Sunset watched as Cadence ran her pen down the sheet of classes for her, with different columns for different studies.

“Okay. Do you offer AP classes here?” she asked, noticing a lack of advanced placement classes.

“We do…” the Dean hesitated, before folding her hands. “Our Advanced Placement classes function differently than those you are probably familiar with. You see, instead of choosing something like say, Advanced Chemistry, you instead choose Advanced Sciences, which covers all major disciplines.”

Sunset watched as the top sheet was moved aside, revealing a sheet talking about the advanced classes. Math, Science, English, and Social Studies each had their own quarter of the page, explaining how the courses worked, and what was involves with them.

“You see, we only recommend one of the AP classes to our brightest students.” Cadence said as Sunset flipped the page back around.

“Well am I able to sign up for all four?” Sunset asked, watching as Dean Cadence chortled.

“Sweetie, not even Twilight Sparkle is pursuing all AP classes.”

“No, but I bet Sunstrike is.” Cadence stopped her chuckling at Sunset’s comment, studying her intently. “She challenged me, saying that she’s better than I am.”

“Sunstrike does that with everyone, Sunset.” the amber girl grinned as the woman bought her lie. “I don’t think-”

“I understand the concern, but trust me. I came here to try and push myself.” Sunset interjected calmly, giving a warm smile. “I didn’t have a challenge before so I had no reason to push myself then.”

“Pride cometh before a fall, Sunset.”

“I think that’s what you should tell Sunstrike.” she chuckled, earning a tired sigh of defeat from Cadence.

“Alright, I relent. I just need your choice of optional class then, since that’s all you have left.” Sunset grinned at the comment, hoping that she knew herself well enough to get a perfect match with her other self.

“Do you provide Home Ec. here?”

(V):.:(V)

“I do apologize that the uniform is so tight, Sunset.” Cadence said as she watched Sunset struggle to get the last button to clasp on her temporary top. “Maybe I can talk to Principal Cinch, and-”

“No… W-We’re good…!” Sunset panted as she she stood up straight, large gaps between the buttons on her shirt. She gave a weary smile, though both of them knew it wasn’t going to last long. “You don’t need this back in the same condition you gave it to me, right?”

“I think we can call it a write off if need be. Again, I do apologize. Most of our female students are not so…”

“Huge?” Sunset said, earning a chuckle from the Dean. “Don’t worry, I’m used to it.”

“Well I’m happy to let you know that our seamstress will be in during lunch, so we can get your measurements then and hopefully have your uniforms ready by the end of the day.” Cadence nodding, only to pause when she saw Sunset falter.

“Um… I was gonna use my lunch break to run back to the student housing to get my gym clothes.” she said sheepishly, scratching the back of her head, freezing when her shirt gave an ominous creak.

“Oh,you don’t you worry!” Cadence smiled as she walked with Sunset out of her office. “We provide students with gym uniforms free of charge. You just need to talk to Mr. Sombra at the start of class.”

“Um, will they be in my size?” the duo swore there was audible fraying as Sunset looked down at her chest.

“Yes, they are pretty standard t shirts, sweatpants, and shorts. I will also let you know that your uniform will be coming with specific shoes, which we will size during the lunch break as well. Your sneakers are fine for today, and if anyone has any worries, tell them to come talk to me.”

“Gotcha.” Sunset nodded, smiling slightly as she saw students entering the building and heading towards lockers. “Oh, I didn’t purchase a lock yesterday!”

“The lockers work just like the doors; all you need is your key card.” Cadence said, motioning and drawing Sunset’s attention as one of the students flashed his card across a small terminal on the locker, the door beeping and swinging open slightly. “Though I forgot your locker number in my office. I will get it to you in your first period. You also said that you will be going to open a bank account here once classes are finished for the day?”

“Yes. I have an appointment set up, I’ll bring the paperwork tomorrow.” Sunset nodded as the pair walked back down the hall towards wherever their destination was. “So not only are you the Dean of Students, but you also handle a homeroom, huh?”

“Yes! It’s easily my favourite part of the day if I’m honest.” the Dean gave a giggle more suited for one of the students her than someone her age. “We have a good group, I’m sure you’ll fit in just fine.”

“Even with Sunstrike in the room?” Sunset raised an eyebrow as they paused outside of a room, Dean Cadence sigh as she shook her head, yet she couldn’t prevent herself from smiling slightly.

“At least you will have the chance to introduce yourself. Come on in, just be ready to come up front when I call you.” the cerise skinned woman gave a small wave of the hand, ushering Sunset into the empty room.

A number of large, circular tables sat around the room, each of them ringed by multiple chairs. There was a whiteboard on the far wall, with a giant screen looking thing beside it. Light filtered in through the rows of windows on the far side of the room from the door as Sunset gave a small shrug, walking over to the table sitting closest to the window and dropping her massive binder on it.

She opened the fabric encased item, shifting her glasses on her nose as she pulled out a pen and started marking off each of the sections inside. Sunset was planning to have just the one binder for school, just using it to transfer whatever she needed back and forth and leaving old work in her room at the student housing. It wasn’t long until students started to filter into the room, Sunset trying her best to smile at each one as they glared at her dismissively. Sure enough all the other tables filled up, the one behind Sunset having Indigo Zap and her now obvious friends.

“Um, are you sure you wanna sit there?” Lemon Zest had asked after Dean Cadence took away her headphones.

“I do. I mean, I think it’s obvious who sits here, right?” she smirked, watching Starlight Glimmer walk into the room. The confident smile she wore didn’t fool Sunset, the darkness behind it on full display as she glanced momentarily at Sunset out the corner of her eye, Tempest Shadow and Suri Polomare walking a step behind, and a fourth, pale creme skinned girl, almost as tall as Starlight following diligently behind Suri while Twilight Sparkle dawdled behind Starlight and Tempest.

Just as the bell rang, the last student entered the room, her uniform a stylized kind of messy as she slung her binder under her arm. Sunstrike paused and looked up as whispers and murmurs of surprise filled the air, causing her to look around in confusion until she spotted Sunset sitting at the only unoccupied table, smiling and waving.

“This is my table…” she whispered venomously as she sat down across from Sunset. “And that’s my seat.”

“I know, why do you think I sat here?” Sunset smirked as Dean Cadence gave a clap of her hands, everyone looking up to the front of the room.

“Welcome back everyone, I hope your holidays were full of relaxation and good times!” Sunset winced slightly, her left eyelid shuddering subconsciously at the mention of the last few weeks. Many students nodded, some chuckled, but everyone kept their eyes on Dean Cadence. “By now you’ve probably all noticed that we have a new student joining us. I know she looks very similar to someone already in our class, but I assure you she’s not Sunstrike’s long lost twin.”

There were self knowing chuckles from most of the students present, Sunset included as she watched Dean Cadence motion for her to come up to the front. If only they all knew…

“Yes, hi there.” she said as she paused beside the small podium Dean Cadence stood behind, waving to the class. Their eyes were all on her, for… various reasons. “Yes, I look like Sunstrike, and yes, my temporary uniform is threatening to fall apart. You can stop staring at my cleavage.”

More chuckles came from the class as some of the boys seemed to literally be trying to tear their heads away. “My name is Sunset Shimmer, and I’m going to be a student here starting today. Best way to tell me apart from Sunstrike is that I have a scar over my eye here, so take five moments to find out which of us is which when you try and talk to us.”

“Sunset Shimmer? Isn’t that the name of that person doing that thing at CHS?” a boy who sat next to Fleur de Lis called out, his white skin almost identical to the girls, yet his well coiffed hair was a pale azure colour, and a monocle of all things sat over his left eye. Murmurs followed his comment, everyone studying Sunset carefully as she watched Sunstrike take back her seat.

“Really, Sunstrike?” Sunset laughed loudly, shaking her head before returning to address this boy and the rest of the class. “And this is the second or third time I have heard of this. I assure you, I am not that person. I just moved from Great Bridle.”

A moment louder a loud pinging sound filled the air, followed by the top button of Sunset’s uniform flying off and embedding itself in the roof as everyone watched in stunned silence, which Sunset broke with a heavy sigh. “Okay, I’m gonna go sit back down and pray to god that this doesn’t happen again till the end of the day.”

“Well, you sure gave them a show.” Sunstrike snarked as she slid Sunset’s belongings across the table towards the girl, a smug grin on her face.

“Yeah, well they should be used to it with you by now.” she shot back as she sat down in Sunstrike’s former chair. “So, wanna tell me where our classes are, classmate?”

Sunset wore a playfully cruel grin as she watched Sunstrike’s face fall.

(V):..:(V)

“I understand that you shall be joining us today.” the math teacher said slowly, an upper class drawl to his words as her peer up at Sunset from over his Crystal Prep branded tablet.

“Uh huh.” Sunset nodded quickly. Duke Facade was a fitting name for the wiry man, his face nigh unreadable as he gave a barely subdued sigh.

“Very well. You shall need to set up times to after classes to write your missed unit finals. And keep in mind that we have a unit final at the end of this week.” he said, dismissing her to a seat with an errant wave of his hand, somewhat surprising her.

“So you got what, like five unit exams that you’ve missed so far?” Sunstrike snickered as Sunset sat in between her and Twilight Sparkle, while Sugarcoat sat in front of the lavender girl. Sunset didn’t recognize anyone else in the class, and everyone who hadn’t been present in Dean Cadence’s homeroom looked at her in utter confusion. “There’s a good ten hours gone after classes this week.”

“I was thinking maybe five, probably tomorrow and Wednesday.” she said as she opened up her binder, watching as Mr. Facade grabbed a digital pen and started writing on his massive smart board, causing exactly ninety percent of the student bade to give loud groans as he wrote out “Pop Quiz”. Sunset and Twilight made happy noises and gave loud claps as they grabbed pencils and erasers, removing everything else off their desk.

“You shall have fifteen minutes to write the test.” the teacher instructed as he started passing the sheets to the front of each of the five rows, the front student taking one of the pieces and handing it to the next in line, who continued the process until all twenty students had their papers. “You may begin.”

Sunset flipped the sheet over, happy to see it was just trigonometry as she forgot her scientific calculator at home. She gave a giddy giggle as she furiously wrote her name at the top of the paper, before getting to work scribbling on the sheet, the air reverberating with buttons being pressed and lots of pencils writing on paper.

Ten questions had challenged Sunset, and ten questions had been defeated as she walked calmly up to the desk where Mr. Facade sat, tapping lazily at his tablet screen before looking up at her with a sloth-like pace. “I’m not here to answer any questions you have.”

“Oh, then maybe I should ask one of the students where I hand this into?” she said, looking back at the nineteen youths who studied her for half a moment, only to return to their furious writing.

“Finished?” a bark of dark laughter escaped the man as he looked up at Sunset, removing his glasses as he held a hand out. “Let me see, then.”

Sunset gave a fake smile as she handed the sheet over, the man’s eyes darting from side to side as they scanned down the sheet, the girl simply swinging slightly side to side as she waited for his answer.

“Hrmph.” the man furrowed his brow as he turned the sheet over, setting it on the table. “A perfect score.”

There was a loud clacking sound from behind Sunset, followed by someone scrambling to pick up whatever they had just dropped as Sunset watched Mr. Facade as he reached down under his table and pulled something out, handing a small tab to Sunset. “The reward, as is standard. Now go take your seat.”

“Uh, a-alright?” Sunset said awkwardly as she scurried back to her desk, confused about the ordeal as she looked down at the little ticket she now held. ‘Good for one free desert* from the Shadowbolt’s Sweet Shoppe’ it read, followed by a long string of numbers on the bottom of it. She’d have to look into it at lunch.

“Okay, who’d you bribe for the answers?” Sunset used the motion of picking up her binder to look over at Sunstrike, whose eyes were narrow as she looked at her doppelganger.

“No one. It was all pretty easy.” Sunset said with deathly quiet as she slowly unzipped her binder, trying to make as little noise as possible.

“Without a calculator? As if.”

“Maybe someday I’ll explain it to you, but let’s just say that I’ve been studying a lot longer than you have.” Sunset smiled as she opened up her binder, fiddling around with a piece of loose leaf as she waited for the class to start.

(V):...:(V)

Sunset kept her annoyance to herself as she noticed Starlight Glimmer sitting at the front of the class, Tempest Shadow once again sitting at her side. They seemed inseparable to the Equestrian as she listened to Sunstrike trudge along behind her, the duo taking a pair of empty seats at the back of the room, Fleur and Upper Crust sitting in front of them.

“Class, please hand your assignment from over the holidays.” at least this class’s teacher was more lively than Mr. Facade as he addressed the class, eyes scanning over them. “Then open up your textbooks and turn to page three hundred and eighty seven. Sunset Shimmer, if you could come up and see me.”

The number of eyes on her was down significantly, though that was only due to the number of students that already knew her. She paused as she stood in front of the desk of the teacher, the sign on his desk addressing him as Mr. Lost Legacy.

“Here is your textbook for the course.” he started, handing over the biggest textbook Sunset had seen on this side of portal. “You will need to book time after classes to write your other five unit tests. There is also a unit test next Monday, in which you will have to give a presentation on a system of governance of your choice. Everyone has already handed in theirs, so you will be doing yours solo. It is to be five minutes long, and should include some other element, be it slideshow or display.”

“Got it.” Sunset nodded, hefting up the mighty tome with ease. “I should have mine ready by Wednesday’s class.”

Thank the stars that Dean Cadance got Sunset her locker number; carrying this textbook between classes would be a real pain otherwise! She sat back down, quickly scribbling down another five on her notepad. Ten unit finals needing to be written before the midpoint of the month when semester finals would start. Thanks to the way Crystal Prep handled AP classes, she wouldn’t have to worry about the big finals until the summer; the AP classes lasted both semesters.

“How many days now?” Sunstrike asked with a bored tone, not even looking at Sunset as she sat down.

“Well it’s been five per class so far, though I doubt Gym and Home Ec. will have written unit tests.” Sunset replied, flipping through the massive book she now possessed. “That leaves Science and English, so probably a total of twenty tests, at forty five minutes a piece, or fifteen hours, so by the end of the week if the school will allow me.”

“You’re a special kind of freak, aren’t ya?” Sunstrike shook her head as she looked over at the other her, who simply smiled.

“I just love tests.”

(V):....:(V)

“Great, now how are we gonna tell them apart?” Indigo Zap was as vocal as usual it seemed as Sunset hurried out of the change room. She had changed quickly after going with Sombra to get her uniform, the hair on the back of her neck standing on end the whole time.

He had been that third person at her entrance exam, but as soon as she met him face to face chills had started to run down her spine as she remembered the history of King Sombra and what the mad unicorn king had done to the Crystal Empire. At least here he was just dark and brooding, more or less.

Sombra was a man of few words as he introduced himself properly to Sunset as they walked towards a small office built into the corner of the gymnasium. He showed Sunset where the uniforms were kept, the amber girl rummaging through them, looking for something that may fit here. He mentioned that he knew Sunset didn’t have her full uniform yet, but as soon as she did, only her gym shoes would be allowed to be worn in any of the gymnasiums.

“Scar, duh.” Sunset shook her head as she responded to the girl with goggles hanging around her neck. She paused as she looked over at Sunstrike, the girl’s hair also back in a ponytail like Sunset. “Nice hairstyle. Really suits us.”

“What happened to your glasses, four eyes?” was her other self’s response as she rolled her eyes.

“Oh, those are fake.” slightly stunned locks appeared on the faces of Sunstrike, Indigo Zap, and Tempest Shadow, who had just walked over to stand behind Indigo, mirroring the looks she had gotten from the other members of the class. “Just part of the get up, really. Though I have been growing attached to them. Didn’t realize how good I looked in glasses.”

“All right, class. We will start with a two kilometer run to shake the rust out of your legs.” a shrill whistle followed Mr. Sombra’s quick bark, groans radiating from the students as they started to jog around the outside of the gymnasium with steady paces.

“Hey! Bet I can beat you!” Indigo said, jabbing Sunset in the side with her elbow, a smug grin on her face as she challenged the girl.

“I dunno, have you ever beaten Sunstrike?” she asked, looking back at the girl stomping behind her, spinning around mid-step and started jogging backwards.

“Not interested.” the girl said, sounding as bored as she currently looked.

“Well how about whoever wins from the three of us gets that desert ticket thingee I won in Math?”

YOU GOT ONE OF THOSE!?” Indigo Zap shouted loudly, a hungry look on her face. “Okay! You’re on!”

“Well? You gonna try, Sunstrike?” Sunset asked, winking as she turned around and dashed after the sprinting form of Indigo Zap. “Or do you like losing?”

(V):.....:(V)

“Ah, yes. I’d like one hot fudge sundae, please.” Sunset smirked as she looked back the pouting form of Indigo Zap, the girl crossing her arms as she stood there fuming. It had been a close-ish race, though the trio instantly regretted it as Sombra sent everyone into a further work out routine.

“There. I hope you enjoy it, now I’m gonna go get my lunch.” Indigo stormed off, leaving Sunset alone in the line, literally. No other students were lined up for the Shadowbolt Sweet Shoppe, and as soon as she looked up at the price list she understood why.

I’m glad I got the free coupon… she thought as she struggled to keep her eyeballs in her head at the prices the Sweet Shoppe charged. This would have to be one heck of a good sundae to be worth the price they normally charged. She suddenly worried if the money she had brought would be enough for her lunch.

“Here you are.” the woman’s voice was snobbish, obviously looking down on Sunset as she handed over the massive plastic cup-like container that held her treat. It was certainly sized right for the price they charged; hopefully it tasted as good. For now, she balanced it on her otherwise entirely empty tray as she headed over to the line of students waiting to order at the cafeteria proper.

The cafeteria was larger than CHS’, but was no less lively if one looked closely. The student body was quieter than the Wondercolts, but Sunset noticed that they were talking just as much as their counterparts, yet the way they huddled close together in little groups reminded Sunset of the groups that had risen under her. She took a half step forwards as the line shifted, her eyes passing over the sea of students to find an open table.

She noticed the girls from her floors sitting together in their own groups. Indigo Zap’s back was turned to Sunset as she approached the table that Lemon Zest, Sugarcoat, Sunny Flare, and Sour Sweet sat at. Fleur de Lis sat laughing with that boy from earlier, Upper Crust sat snuggled close to a grey skinned boy with brown hair, adjusting his glasses as a few other students tried to talk to him.

Her eyes narrowed as she passed over Starlight Glimmer, the girl smiled smugly as she looked over her gathering. Suri Polomare and Tempest Shadow sat at her sides, while Twilight Sparkle and Coco Pommel sat and seemed to be talking quietly to one another while the various other students at the table were obviously trying to get Starlight’s attention. Sunset really wondered what sort of hold that girl had on this school, as it was obvious she had some sort of higher standing aside from just being the twelfth grade prefect.

“Why are you here again, Sunstrike?” the older lady behind the counter interrupted Sunset’s people watching, causing her to turn around. “Oh, you’re not her.”

“Don’t worry, that happens a lot. My name is Sunset, and I’m new here.” she gave a smile as she quickly explained the situation. “So what do you offer for salads here?”

“Caesar, chef, garden, taco…” the lady named off in quick succession, Sunset nodding slowly, instantly thinking of Sonata at the mention of a variation of her favourite food.

“Garden sounds good to me. Just greens and carrots please. Oh, and just a bottle of water please.” Sunset set her tray onto the counter, thanking the genius that decided to put pockets in the skirt she was wearing. She pulled one of the hundreds out of her wallet, handing it across the counter. “Are you able to break hundreds?”

(V):......:(V)

The one student that Sunset had been surprised to not see in the cafeteria was Sunstrike; though seeing as she has a bit of a reputation around the school, Sunset wasn’t shocked that she was hiding away.

“Thank you for coming, Sunset.” Dean Cadence smiled as she opened the door to her office. “Sassy Saddles is ready for you.”

Sunset giggled as she slid into the room, nodding at the other woman in the room. “Thank you for letting me bring my lunch for after. It didn’t look like there was any free space in the cafeteria.”

“Wow, you weren’t joking that she looked like Sunstrike…” the cerulean skinned woman chuckled as Sunset set her tray down on the Dean’s desk. “This will be interesting, I wonder if there are any differences?”

“I dunno, it didn’t look like to me. Well, scar.” the trio of women started laughing as Sunset walked over to the small stand Sassy Saddles stood beside. “Um, should I get up there? Or…?”

“I think I would make better use of it.” the seamstress chuckled, motioning for where Sunset to stand. “Now, we have two ways to do this. I would be able to get better measurements if you were to strip to your underwear, or-”

“Don’t have to ask me twice!” Sunset said excitedly as she started to shuffle off the constricting uniform. “This thing’s been trying its best to suffocate me all day!”

“Well, let me just grab my tape and tablet, and we can get to work.”

(V):.......:(V)

Ms. Berry Breeze was a lot more rigid than her name sounded as she told Sunset to get the semester’s earlier unit finals done before the end of the week, Sunset wearing that she was glaring daggers into her back as she returned to her seat beside Sunstrike, passing first by Starlight Glimmer, sitting at the front as usual, and lastly by Lemon Zest, the girl rocking out to the music playing through her earbuds.

Sunstrike’s brow was heavily furrowed as Sunset sat down, though she remained silent, judging her. Sunset paid it no mind, she was just here to finish her studies, and she wasn’t about to do something that would ruin what the Siren’s had done for her. She needed this if she was going to have a chance at a normal life in this world. At least as normal as a magical creature from another world could have being friends with seemingly immortal evil beings.

Why had the Sirens been so nice to her? Given that outburst from Aria on that first night about their pendants and what it meant to them as not only memories, but a chance to get back to Equestria, why would they try and help her? She was barely a speck in the hourglass of time that was their lives. They had made mention of the thousands of years they had spent in this world, after being banished from Equestria thousands of years ago.

Sunset shook her head, shelving the thoughts. Maybe someday they would answer her truthfully. For now, she should focus on Sunstrike, the girl had been watching her intently all class so far, obsessively so. “What’s with the looks?” Sunset asked as she glanced over at Sunstrike quickly, the girl refusing to answer before turning back to the board that the teacher was writing on. If anything, Sunset figured that the girl had started to try and find some dirt on her, for blackmail purposes obviously, and judging by the looks she hadn’t found anything yet. So far, so good for the Sirens’ cover story for her.

(V):........:(V)

Home Ec. held the most familiar faces so far, Sunset chuckling as she watched Sunstrike shake her head with an audible, exasperated groan, Sour Sweet echoing Sunset in response. Fleur de Lis and Upper Crust were in the class as well, staying away from Sunstrike as well as Suri Polomare and Coco Pommel.

“We’re gonna have words about this stalking habit of yours tonight.” Sunstrike hissed quietly as Sunset sat down across from her.

“Hey, I just picked classes that would push my limits.” she shrugged playfully in response as the class’s teacher, Mrs. Caramel Candy, shut the door behind herself upon entering. “Plus I need to learn how to cook meat properly- one of the downsides of being a vegetarian I guess.”

Finally… Something we’re different about.” Sunstrike actually sounded relieved upon hearing Sunset’s statement, the room growing quiet as the teacher walked slowly up to the front of the room.

(V):.........:(V)

AP Sciences turned out to be the class with some of the least recognizable faces, tied with math for just two; Twilight Sparkle, who waved shyly at Sunset as she entered, and Sunny Flare, who spared Sunset only a half a glance as she walked past, arms full of textbooks and pamphlets. At least she had been right with her guess of twenty tests to do after classes, now she just needed to find out how to set up for tests after classes. Dean Cadence would know, as Mr. Ivory Spark was also adamant on his unit finals being done before the end of the week.

“So, uh… What other classes are you taking, Sunset?” Twilight Sparkle asked quietly, looking at the girl sitting beside her as the class started on the day’s worksheet.

“All the AP’s, Gym, and Home Ec..” she responded, glancing momentarily over at the girl. She had been quiet in Math, so this interest in her classes was a little surprising. “Why?”

“Wow…” the lavender girl obviously didn’t hear Sunset’s own question back, her face spread wide in shock. “That’s a lot of work, Sunset. Are you sure that it’s the best choice? I-I-I mean, if you want to, go ahead. I-It’s just… Don’t you want some free time?”

Sunset paused for a moment, her hand hovering just above the paper before returning back to scribbling on it. The Princess had been rather adamant about her spending time with the Rainbooms, back when Sunset was weak and had been lying about how they had treated her to cover for them. “I don’t really know anyone here, and I came here to advance my studies.”

“You seem to know me rather well enough…” Sunstrike muttered, intentionally just loud enough for her apparent clone to hear.

“Still, the school can be a bit… grueling. Maybe you should just focus on a couple AP classes?” Sunset knew Twilight only meant well, but she couldn’t help but chuckle at the girl’s advice.

“I’ll be fine, don’t you worry, Twilight. I left all the drama back at my old school, and have no intention of getting caught up in new ones.”

“Well just don’t be afraid to talk to Starlight if anything comes up. She’s her to help everyone.” Twilight’s bright smile mad Sunset pity her. It seemed that she really cared for Starlight, even though she just followed behind at her heels like a stray dog.

“I’ll, uh… Keep that in mind, Twilight.”

(V):..........:(V)

“Sorry for the delay. I didn’t think it would take that long to get tests set up…” Sunset groaned as she flopped into Adagio’s car, the Sirens having agreed to pick her up at the nearby cafe.

“Setting up tests?” Aria stretched around to gaze at Sunset in the back seat, watching as Sonata wrapped herself around the girl.

“Yeah. I got twenty unit finals to do after classes before the end of the week.”

“What the fuck!?” Aria’s jaw dropped as Sunset gave a weak shrug.

“Pardon me, but isn’t that a little ludicrous?” Adagio asked, looking back at Sunset through the rear view mirror.

“Eh, I don’t really care that much. It’s all on stuff that I know, so it’s not like I’m going in blind,” Sunset smiled as she pet Sonata’s head, the girl’s worried look being replaced with a giddy smile at the act of affection. “It could have been a lot worse.”

“Hell, even if you mess up, I’m sure we could convince them to fix the results.” Aria gave a playful wink as Sunset chuckled and shook her head. “Aside from that, how was your first day?”

“Well I spent all day with the me from this world- pretty sure I’ve made her hate me by now.” giggles erupted from the girls in the car. “I guess correctly for which classes she was in, and all of the other girls from the top floor are in the various classes.”

“Are you making any friends?”

“Aria…” Adagio’s voice carried a dangerous edge as she glared at the girl who was busy sticking her tongue out at Sunset, who sat there silent.

“I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I want to. I mean- I did tell Twilight I’d be open to it, but she keeps hanging around that Starlight girl, and I just can’t stand her.” Sunset’s face soured as she mentioned the twelfth grade prefect. She hadn’t had a direct run in with her since the day she moved into the student housing, but every time she saw her today sent a chill down her back.

“...” Adagio was audibly silent as the car came to a stop, drawing everyone’s attention. “We’re being followed.”

“Huh?” Sunset’s head tilted in confusion as she looked up at the lead Siren. “What do you mean?”

“Don’t look back.” the firmness of the lead Siren’s tone stopped Sunset as she started to look over her shoulder. “It’s a red sports car, heavily tinted windows. Staying back, but definitely following us.”

The clicking of the turn signal suddenly filled the car as the light the turned green, Adagio turning off and starting down a different road from where they were supposed to be. Sure enough, the car followed.

“Hey, that’s the car that almost hit me on the way to breakfast the other day!” Sunset said, sparing a glance back.

“And it’s definitely tailing us. Take the next right, Adagio.” Aria said, looking back at the car through the side view mirror. “We can cut through the downtown core if we hit the lights right.”

“Why would someone be following us?” Sunset asked as Sonata grabbed her hand, squeezing it tightly.

“I think it’s you they’re after, Sunset.” Adagio’s eyes flashed back again as she took a sudden, sharp turn, the car starting to speed up. “I noticed them parked a ways down the street when we picked you up, and they showed up a little bit before you.”

“Well this can’t be good.” Sunset said, worry starting to gnaw at the back of her mind as the car continued to pick up pace. “Shouldn’t we be driving a little slower? There’s still snow on the ground.”

“We just need to hit the light’s right at Haycake and Ninth.” Sunset looked up towards Aria. “Those lights can be murder at this time of day if you are coming from the wrong direction.”

“Wow… You seem really used to this sort of thing.” she commented, Sonata tapping her on the shoulder and drawing her attention.

“We used to get stalkers all the time.” she whispered in Sunset’s ear as buildings flew past the windows. “Back then you didn’t have cars and such, so we had to get well practiced in disappearing.”

“I see.”

“Okay, left, right, left again and we should get there juuust as the light turns yellow.” Aria said as she pulled out her phone, the seconds counting up on the screen.

“How do you know all of this?” Sunset asked, referring to the light timings.

“Aria loves getting the cops to chase her on her bike.” Adagio scowled as the purple Siren gave a smug look. “Comes back and says that her new bike is totaled again.”

“Hey, they’ve never caught me, now have they!?” Aria said as she nudged her sister in the arm. “Besides, it lets me know that I’ve been making the right modifications. Okay, mystery car has turned the corner behind us, the light should change here shortly, so gun it!”

The car gave a loud squeal as it instantly skipped from sixty to over one hundred kilometers per hour, the amber light blazing past as the car as it flew under the light, the traffic ignoring the sight and returning to their own routes as the sports car skidded to a halt, trapped behind the sea of vehicles crossing perpendicular to it.

“There we go. Okay, next left and then the second right and we’ll be on the backstreet we need.” Aria said as Sunset watched the car disappear from sight, wondering just who it was that had been trailing them.

(V):..........:(V)

“Who the hell are those three?” Sunset froze as she saw Sunstrike sitting on the hood of Adagio’s car. The four Equestrians had just finished setting Sunset up an account at the bank that the Sirens used here in Canterlot. It was a worldwide chain, which probably helped them with transferring funds around the globe easier. Sadly it seemed like the car that had been tracking them didn’t actually lose them, as it sat parked next to Adagio’s, the driver now sitting and waiting for them.

“Um, shouldn’t that be our line?” Adagio giggled, making a sharp noise as Aria stormed past, bumping her aside.

“Hey, get the fuck off the hood of my car! I spent an hour buffering that last night!” she growled, Sunstrike rolling her eyes in boredom.

“There was no mention from Richard Johnson’s School for Gifted Girls of someone transferring out recently, and you’ve made no mention of having anybody else here, seeing as you just flew in recently, as you say.” Sunstrike’s arms remained crossed as she studied the four people standing across from her.

“Look, they’re just distant family relatives who agreed to give me a ride to the bank so I could set up my account, okay?” Sunset groaned, forehead bouncing off her palm before she looked again at Sunstrike. “Why the hell would you follow us?”

“I told you that we were gonna talk tonight.” came the response. “I’ve also heard that a girl that looks exactly like you, scar and all, left CHS right before the holidays, coincidentally not long before you applied at CPA.”

“What? Look, I don’t know what it is that you’re trying here, but drop the conspiracy theory nonsense, alright?” Sunset said, shaking her head at herself. Where- and how- was Sunstrike digging this stuff up? Sure, Anon-A-Miss used to be a thing before they deleted their account during the holiday break, and some of the CPA students seemed to know about it, but they didn’t know much else other than a supposed name for who was behind it. The bit about her cover story was a little more worrying.

“Haaa… Okay, you’re gonna get off of my car and leave us alone, and if I ever hear that you are bothering Sunset…” Adagio’s expression was blazing as she stalked towards the much taller girl, who simply smiled.

“Or else what?” she smiled in smug satisfaction as she looked down at the shortest of the four girls. “You’ll find it is very hard to touch me.”

Adagio smiled, her eyes glinting as she opened her mouth and a different language came out. “[Oh I don’t think so. In fact, I think I’m going to go and find out everything about you instead, and then Sunset can start talking about all of your deep dark secrets. And if you touch her, I’ll make sure there isn’t even bones left for the sharks to gnaw on.]”

“W-What the hell was that!?” Sunstrike looked utterly confused as Adagio finished speaking in perfectly fluent Equestrian. “What did you just say to me?”

“Absolutum dominium.” Adagio smiled as the car’s alarm started to go off loudly, Sustrike leaping off the hood in surprise and cursing loudly. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to get Sunset back to school grounds.”

“Don’t think that we’re finished, Sunset.” the girl whispered as all four Equestrians slowly entered Adagio’s now running car, Sunset rolling her eyes as she walked past, only to start chuckling as she watched Sonata start sticking her tongue out at Sunstrike before vanishing into the car with the rest of the group.

“Wow, she really does look like you.” Aria said, Sunset watching as the girl slid into her own car as the four drove away. “I wonder if she’s as ripped as you are?”

“Pretty much. Why, wanna see us make out?” Sunset teased, watching Aria’s face turn a blazing cherry red, teasing giggling erupting from the Siren's sisters.

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