• Published 30th Sep 2018
  • 3,220 Views, 282 Comments

Her Sunlit Lineage - Graglithan The Greater

Sunset takes a trip back home to visit family, and learns more than she thought she would.

  • ...

First Train to Baltimare

To say the portal to and from Equestria liked to mess with its travelers would be an understatement. To get from one side to the other without being fired like a cannonball was a trick that only one pony had managed to perfect to the degree of just walking through with ease.

Sunset Shimmer wasn’t that pony, but with a showing of minimal practice, the amber unicorn only stumbled for a moment as she exited the portal, even as she stood on her hind legs. She took another moment to remember she needed to be on her forelegs too, before promptly falling on her face. “Ow.”

Her ears perked up at the sound of hooves approaching her, and some muffled giggling. “You okay?” A purple leg moved into her line of sight, and Sunset couldn’t help but roll her eyes.

“Just peachy, Twilight.” Accepting the offered hoof, Sunset let the lavender princess pull her to her hooves with surprising ease. “Uh, okay, you’re a lot stronger than you look.”

Smirking a bit, Twilight splayed her wings. “While I’m starting to dislike the workload severely, there are some perks to being a princess.” The two started walking out of the study, and Twilight turned her head towards her amber friend. “So, your dad lives in Baltimare?”

Chuckling, Sunset nodded as she looked a bit embarrassed. “Yep. Sorry for springing this on you all of a sudden by the way. I honestly didn’t expect everyone to be so eager for me to have a reunion with him.”

“Why wouldn’t they be?” Twilight added with a raised eyebrow. “You of all ponies, deserve to have a moment to reconnect with family.”

Sunset’s smile was beginning to become strained as they walked the crystal halls. “I know but... I’m worried something might happen over there. Sure, the girls say they can handle it for a week, but what if something insane and magical happens? None of them are from here, and there’s no way they could know just how potentially dangerous magic can get when it’s wild and out of control, and they could all get hurt an--”

A hoof poked Sunset in the muzzle shushing her with a friendly boop from the princess as the two stopped for a moment. “Sunset, don’t worry. If anything does happen, I’m more than positive that at least one of those seven girls will try to get in contact with us. It’s why I’m having Starlight and Spike forward anything from the journal to us while we’re in Baltimare.”

“But what if they do need our help, and we’re too far away to get to the portal in time?” Sunset started to look over her shoulder back down the hallway, nervously tapping her hooves in a little dance. “Oh, who am I kidding? Something magical’s probably happening right now! I need to head back, but what would they all say if I just jumped right back through? Oh, what do I do?”

Twilight’s wing rested across Sunset’s shoulders, making her look to the lavender princess. “Trust them. They’re your friends. You can do that.”

Sunset’s ears folded back as she looked down in embarrassment. “I do trust them, but... I don’t want something I brought over there to get them hurt.”

Sighing, Twilight kept them moving through the castle, where they soon found themselves at the main doors. “There’s something else, isn’t there.”

Sunset couldn’t bring herself to look the princess in the eye, as thoughts about her friends came uninvited. “It... it kinda felt like they were rushing me through the portal. All of them. Applejack, Fluttershy, even Celestia. I know they’re just excited for me to go back home and visit my dad, but It felt like they couldn’t wait for me to leave.”

Leading her friend out the door, Twilight gently stroked Sunset’s back as they walked through town. “Sunset, I think I know what’s going on with them.”

Sunset’s ears perked up as she turned her head towards Twilight. “Yeah?”

A small smile graced the Princess’s face as she recalled a memory of friends. “I think that your friends might still feel a bit guilty about how they’ve been to you lately.”

Surprise took over Sunset’s features. “What? But, I forgave them all already! Honeyed Tartarus, it was a month ago!”

Nodding calmly, Twilight looked towards the approaching train station. “True, and by our standards, that’s more than enough time after an apology to move on. But something I’ve noticed is that it’s hard to move on from something even when forgiven if you can’t forgive yourself.”

Sunset winced a bit and followed Twilight up onto the platform. “Don’t I know that.”

Pulling her wing away, Twilight gave a fuller smile. “Give them some time. Maybe after you get back home, you can talk to them all about it. I had to do that with my friends after the wedding fiasco. Celestia knows that we were a perfect example of not forgiving ourselves for a time. Took a six-way intervention to fix things, and boy was that awkward when we all realized what was happening.” She giggled a bit at that particular memory. Awkward was indeed the only way to describe it.

Taking the opportunity to change the topic to something less depressing, Sunset turned to Twilight. “Speaking of,” Sunset raised an eyebrow and smirked a bit, “did your brother actually marry Cadence? Like, the same Cadence that I was a petulant jerk towards for years?”

“Yep and they now both rule over the Crystal Empire and have the cutest and possibly the most destructive daughter in existence as of recent events.” Twilight nodded as she paid for their tickets. “Two for Baltimare, please.”

As Twilight was getting the tickets, Sunset looked incredulous at her from behind. “Destructive?” A laugh escaped the amber unicorn as Twilight levitated a ticket to her. “How bad could a newborn be?”

Twilight’s eyes stared deep into Sunset’s soul as she turned back to face her friend, ticket floating next to her. “She shattered the Crystal Heart, an ancient artifact that was keeping the raging cold of the northern blizzards at bay, almost freezing the entire empire solid, and was only stopped when Starlight and her old friend Sunburst came up with a spell that solved everything.” The stare instantly stopped as she smiled and waved a hoof idly. “But everything turned out alright in the end, and Flurry is such a cute baby that Pinkie and I offered to babysit for her if Cadence ever needed a hoof.”

Sunset had been forced to sit on her rump, ears folded back, from the sheer intensity of the stare she had been leveled with. Her ability to respond was so stunned that half a minute passed before she could say anything. “I have no words. I mean, my dad said I was a terrifyingly powerful foal, but that’s on another level!”

Twilight shrugged nonchalantly as the train started to show itself in the distance. “Well, Flurry Heart is an alicorn,” Twilight’s eyes deadpanned for a second as she stared off into space again, “somehow, so there is that.”

The stupor Sunset had been stuck in ended as she shot to her hooves, jaw dropped. “She’s a WHAT!?

The lavender princess blushed and rubbed her foreleg. “Yeah... probably should have mentioned that first.”

The train pulled up to the platform, the conductor calling ponies to come aboard and the arrivals departing. They all moved around the two magical prodigies. “All that time... All that time I put into becoming a princess... and Cadence just pops one out?” Sunset’s eye started to twitch as she held her head with a hoof. “How is any of this fair?”

Smiling awkwardly and feeling a touch of sweat dripping down her face, Twilight’s gaze moved to the ponies walking around them for the first time, realizing she inadvertently had half of this conversation out in public while trying to console her friend. This was not in her plans and was detrimental to being a supportive friend, and she needed to fix this. “So.... to the train?” Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship; master of social interaction she was not, and her incredibly awkward smile showed it at that moment.

Numbly, Sunset nodded and turned to the locomotive. “Yeah, I... I need to sit down for a while. The train would be perfect.”

Walking aboard, the two found a booth quickly enough, before Sunset collapsed in the seat. “Is it wrong that I’m instantly regretting doing this?”

“Let’s try getting your mind off of your worries.” Sitting across from her, Twilight pondered for a second before perking up a bit. “Why don’t you tell me more about your dad before we meet him!”

Sunset frowned for a moment, before sitting up herself. “Well... I told the girls back home that he was a bit of a goofball, and how he and mom went on adventures across Equestria, but I didn’t go that far into detail about either of them.” She glanced out the windows and spotted some drifting clouds. “My dad’s name is Hot Air. He’s a pegasus with an amber coat like mine and a turquoise mane. His cutie mark is a set of red updrafts under a balloon.”

“I guess that’s where you get your colors from.” Twilight giggled a bit despite the glare leveled at her.

“So I’ve been told.” Sunset sighed and rolled her eyes. “Mom was an earth pony named Sunny Days. I... never got to meet her, and unfortunately, the only picture we have left of her is in sepia, so I don’t know what color her coat or mane was. I at least know they’re brighter colors, but that’s about it. I do know her cutie mark was something involving a sun, kinda like mine, but I only could see half of it, so I’m not sure.”

Sympathy spread through the Princess as she scooted a bit in her seat to comfort her friend. “You ever ask your dad?”

A scoff broke free from Sunset’s lips. “Of course I did. I was an aspiring young filly full of magic and curiosity who wasn’t allowed to cast spells too advanced. What else would I do about it?” She glared at the window for a moment, memories of disappointment coming forth. “Every time I did he’d answer with another fantastical story and dodge the question. I was easily distracted back then, so more often than I’d like, it worked.”

Twilight looked about the train cart awkwardly. This... wasn’t how she expected this trip to go. It was just supposed to be some cute, friendly banter. Talking about family counted, right? Her thoughts caught up with her, and she also realized that maybe she shouldn’t have been pressing the topic, to begin with. Still, she could salvage this, and sate her curiosity, and comfort a friend in the process. “Do you think he’d--”

Sunset cut Twilight off by pressing a hoof to her lips and looked tiredly back to the princess. “Twilight? To be honest, I don’t want to bother him with it right now, or even think about it. I just want to see my dad and let him know I’m doing okay.”

Blushing sheepishly, Twilight moved back over to her original spot. “Alright.” The two sat in silence for a bit, before Twilight tried to start another conversation. “The train’s going to take a while to get there.”

“Then I’m going to take a nap.” Sunset started to get comfortable, shifting her weight to lay on her back. When that didn’t work, she rolled over and put her legs under herself, finding it far comfier. Laying her head down on her forelegs, Sunset cracked open an eye to look at Twilight. The princess was looking rather embarrassed, and a touch on the sadder side than Sunset would have liked. Internally sighing, Sunset looked over a bit more. “Say, Twilight?”

Perking up from her funk, Twilight’s eyes and ears were all trained on the tired unicorn. “Hm?”

Sunset raised an eyebrow and waved a hoof to the room. “How did you manage to time me getting here so well with the train showing up?”

Twilight chuckled nervously and rubbed a hoof. “There are perks to being a princess.”

A smirk grew across Sunset’s face. “You were doing anything other than paperwork, weren’t you?”

Twilight pouted and crossed her forehooves. “You look at those forms for sixteen hours straight and not want to burn them.” Chuckling a bit to herself, Sunset just went back to her nap and let the train carry her towards a meeting she inevitably was going to have at some point.

But her thoughts were another matter. Maybe Twilight had a point, and her dad would finally tell the full story about who her mom was and not any more half-truths.

She guessed she'd have to wait and see.

Author's Note:

Yay! Writing Spree! Now I'mma go crash.