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Portals Take Me Home

Author's Note:

Chapter is from previously mentioned song
John Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads

Sunset was glad to have freedom from classes. Everyone in school was looking forward to Spring Break; but she had another reason to be cheerful. The portal to Equestria would reopen in the middle of the week, allowing her to visit her home.

“Damn! Can this week end already,” Dash moaned

“Bitching isn't going to help,” Sunset hissed

“I know, I know. This movie is just too damn dull,” Dash replied

“It's almost over. Besides; after this we have to write the report on it.”

The two decided to just suck it up and try to keep focused in class. Spitfire decided to take it easy on the girls and allowed them to do what they wanted. Many other teachers just handed out simple worksheets or played a cartoon for the students. Afterward, the girls enjoyed their conversation during lunch.

“So, what's everyone doing for Spring Break?”

“I'm heading to Manehatten for a fashion show. My ideas are going to be used for the outfits,” Rarity said excitedly

“Congratulations. That's a huge honor.”

“I have an Apple family reunion to attend,” Applejack said

“I'm heading to the same reunion. It turns out the Pie family and Apples are cousins,” Pinkie added

“Sports conference,” Dash said simply

“I'm helping out at the animal shelter,” Fluttershy added

“You do that anyways. Why not do something new,” Dash questioned

“The manager is sick and I was the only one she trusted,” Fluttershy replied

“Sunset; what are you doing for the week,” AJ asked

“I'm heading home. I'll be gone from Wednesday to Friday.”

“Just think girls; we're halfway to being seniors,” Applejack commented cheerfully

“I just can't wait until graduation. I should be able to get a sports scholarship,” Dash said

“I already have designs for prom dresses,” Rarity added

“That is so long for now. I'll see you girls when school returns.”

“See you in a few weeks,” Pinkie said with a hug

On Wednesday the next week; Sunset was surprised to see the principal and vice-principal outside. Teachers; let alone the principal didn't seem likely to make house calls.

“Good evening Sunset. My sister and I would like to invite you to the school,” Celestia asked “It's time.”

“Lydia; I'm going to leave.”

“Oh? Where to,” Lydia asked dumbfounded

“Home. The school has a portal that will return me to the other world. I'll be back in about two days.”

“Very well. Take care, darling,” Lydia said hugging her

Sunset climbed into the back of Celestia’s car as they returned to the school. Luckily no one would be there to watch Sunset leave. She felt both relief and anxiety about this trip home.

“Luna and I will remain at the school to keep watch. We'll see you in a few days,” Celestia said

Sunset stepped through the portal and immediately felt uncomfortable. She forgot about what being a pony felt like. Looking around, the room seemed different than last time as instead of a bright room; this was a darkened chamber.

“Sunset? Welcome back,” Luna said

“Princess Luna? It's been quite some time.”

“So, how's the other side,” a voice asked

“I'm terribly sorry; but I actually have forgotten your name.”

“It’s Midnight Star. It's easy for you to forget having been away for so long,” Twilight replied

“The human world is fun. I actually met Star Swirl and my counterpart. Unfortunately for the human Sunset; I killed her and her parents Filthy and Spoiled Rich. Where are we? This doesn't look like the castle.”

“Wait; you know Star Swirl!? I thought he disappeared,” Twilight asked

“He headed through the portal for his own reasons.”

“I'm glad to see you back. I followed behind you when you left,” Luna said “To answer your question, this is deeper under the castle.”

“So; it was you told that them everything?”

“Yes. My counterpart deserved to know what was going on,” Luna answered

“What's your plan to do while you’re here,” Twilight asked

“Enjoy Equestria. It's been a while since my last visit.”

With that; Twilight led Sunset out of the castle through the streets of Canterlot. Looking around, everything was oddly quit as they boarded the train to Ponyville.

“What's with everyone?”

“Scootaloo. Apparently after you left, she decided to tell everyone you were dead,” Twilight replied

“Hey, kiddo.”

“Why do you look like Sunset,” Scootaloo asked skeptically

“Because I am Sunset Shimmer.”

“Sunset is dead and I'm talking to a ghost. Be gone spirit,” Scootaloo said, smacking Sunset on the flank

“Sunshine, sunshine; ladybugs awake.”

“Clap your hooves and do a little shake. You are Sunset,” Scootaloo realized, hugging her “I'm glad to see you back; sis. Sorry about slapping you.”

“It's only for a short time. I have to return home in three days. And don't worry about the slap; no harm done.”

“Before you leave; there's something I need to show you,” Scootaloo said cheerfully

“Lead the way; Scoots.”

With Scootaloo leading, they headed to a small building near the edge of Ponyville. A sign in front marked the building as belonging to the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

“Alright, here we are,” Scootaloo said vaguely

“Cutie Mark Crusaders, huh?.”

“My friends Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and I have our cutie marks; but we decided to help others find their cutie marks,” Scootaloo replied

“Congratulations on earning your cutie mark. Mom and dad would be proud. By the way; thank you.”

“What are you thanking me for? I didn't do anything,” she asked

“For being here for me; for one. Two; I'm glad everyone thinks I'm dead.”

“‘Everyone’? Don't you mean ‘everypony’,” Scootaloo questioned

“Being human for years causes you to relearn some words. On another subject; Midnight, how are your friends?”

“Our older ‘sister’ Vinyl is my only friend,” Twilight replied

“Why?”

“Can I answer that,” Scootaloo asked, as Twilight nodded “They want nothing to do with her. As far as they're concerned; Midnight Star is just as dead to them as Twilight Sparkle.”

“I'm sorry to hear that. On the other side; I'm friends with Rarity, Dash Pinkie, Fluttershy and Applejack.”

“Perhaps later this evening we can head to Vinyo's club,” Twilight suggested

“Definitely. She could clear up a few things for me.”

Sunset was anxious the reminder of the day. The three sat in the library; but Sunset couldn't focus on the book she was reading. It took a few tries to grab the book with her hooves; forgetting they didn't work like hands. Twilight levitated the book out for her after seeing the struggle.

“Are you alright,” Twilight asked

“Just nervous.”

Wanting a break; Sunset decided to head upstairs and take a nap for a while. Later that evening after having a bowl of soup, Twilight led her to the club.

“Welcome, miss Star. Who's your friend,” a bouncer replied

“Sunset Shimmer.”

“Long time no see; Sunset,” Vinyl called, as she approached the door “Follow me inside, please.”

The three headed inside as Vinyl headed to the bar. Sunset was handed a mug containing blood, which she was happy to enjoy.

“Thanks for the drink.”

“You're welcome. I'm sure you have some questions for me,” Vinyl replied

“You could say that.”

After they finished their drinks; Sunset was led to a side hallway and up towards Vinyl’s room. This conversation felt like a weight being lifted off her shoulders.

“So; what do you want to know first,” Vinyl asked casually

“How'd you know me?”

“I looked in on you after you were turned. You would have forgotten over the years,” she replied “Anything else?”

“A multi-part question. Do you know the name Melodious Harmony, for one? Two; have you ever been to the other side?”

“Melodious was my original name before I was turned into a vampire and yes; I did visit the human realm before. It was about seven hundred and fifty years ago when Luna and I first entered the portal. We found a young human female that was pregnant and mom bit her. Long story short; the child grew up with the same hair as mine, with naturally red eyes. Any more details will need to come from my counterpart. Speaking of which; do you have one,” Vinyl answered

“I did. The human Sunset was adopted by Filthy and Spoiled Rich. I killed my counterpart and took her place for a few months before I eliminated her parents. The maids have been raising me ever since.”

“That's hardcore! Not only did you kill the daughter; but her parents!? Why'd you do it,” she asked in awe

“I was homeless when I arrived as I was here and wanted a better life. They told me I could have just became their other daughter, but I just didn't feel that was right. Two Sunset Shimmers together would be a headache and problematic. I drained her parents because I didn't want them to ever tell the truth about me.”

“Are you ever going to tell them,” Twilight asked as she entered the room “Your friends; I mean.”

“I don't know if I can tell my friends. It's one thing about me being a vampire; but it's another when I killed my ‘family’. They might abandon me if they knew.”

“Perhaps you could return home and start anew here? If I work on the portal; I should be able to have it remain permanently open,” Twilight suggested

“I might take you up on that offer. Right now, I'm just going to live my life one day at a time.”

“By the way; Luna will know more,” Vinyl added “On a different topic; how's your sex life?”

“Nonexistent. I was de-aged by the portal when I entered. Instead of being eighteen like I am here, I became thirteen. The good thing is, that I’m almost fifteen now.”

“There's probably somepony here if you want to relieve that urge,” Vinyl said with a wink

Sunset thought about the offer for a moment before accepting. Knowing it would be literally years before anything could happen; it would be best for her to lose her virginity when she has the chance. Vinyl and Twilight headed back to the club while Sunset was busy.

“Thank you for the hospitality.”

“You're welcome. I'm glad you had fun and learned something. Come back when you're free,” Vinyl said, hugging her

“What do you want to do now,” Twilight asked curiously

“I really want to meet the pony counterparts of my friends tomorrow.”

“Alright, just be careful. They might not be too receptive,” Vinyl warned

■ PINKIE PIE ■

The next day, Sunset was given some bits before she headed to Sugarcube Corner with Scootaloo. The purpose was to see Pinkie, but she also wanted something to eat. Entering the store saw it be similar to the other side.

“Hi Scootaloo! Hi Sunset,” Pinkie said excitedly

“How'd you know my name?”

“My Pinkie Sense told me,” she replied “By the way; here's your order.”

Sunset handed over the bits as the sisters enjoyed their cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes and milk were something she found to enjoy at home and was glad to have one in Equestria.

“Where are you staying at,” Pinkie asked curiously

“I’m staying with Midnight Star at the library for a few days.”

Hearing that, Sunset saw Pinkie’s hair deflate momentarily. She knew that only happened when Pinkie was extremely depressed. Pinkie leaned in to Sunset and gave her a simple message.

“Never mention that name again,” Pinkie said threateningly

Sunset could only nod in response as Pinkie immediately returned to her normal cheerful self. Sunset and Scootaloo finished and left quickly, not wanting to tempt fate.

“Sis; I recommend not doing that again,” Scootaloo advised

“Yeah, that was actually a threat I received.”

■ RARITY ■

After leaving; the two had just barely passed by Carousel Boutique when the door opened to reveal a white unicorn.

“Darling! You simply must come in,” Rarity called

Before Sunset could reply, Rarity used her magic to grab the sisters and drag them inside. If Sunset hadn't spent two years as a human; she could easily have broken the spell surrounding her.

“Now, stay still so I can get your measurements,” Rarity said

“I'm alright without one. I actually don't own any dresses.”

“Nonsense, you probably just didn't have a complementary dress. I'll have this finished by tomorrow. Where should I have this delivered to,” Rarity commented

“The library.”

“Excuse me for a moment,” Rarity said simply

Rarity stepped out of the room and returned with a roll of red fabric and a large needle. Without warning she started to lunge at Sunset with the needle.

“What the fuck are you doing!?”

“Rarity; stop! Scoots; take your friend and go! I'll try to calm her down,” Sweetie Belle yelled

“Thanks; Sweetie. Let's go; sis,” Scootaloo replied

The two immediately headed outside when Sunset started hyperventilating. Luckily; she was back to normal moments later.

“Sorry about the language.”

“I'm guessing that's the equivalent of saying the word ‘buck’,” Scootaloo replied

“Yeah, it is. I'm not one to swear, but that was totally uncalled for.”

“I am sorry for my actions. Please do not think badly of me,” Rarity said sadly, stepping outside “You brought up a memory that I hoped to forget. Your dress will be finished in a day or two.”

“I'm sorry if I did bring that up. You are forgiven.”

Wanting to take a break from everything that happened throughout the day; Sunset led her sister back to the library. Once there; she poured a cup of tea in the hopes of settling her nerves.

“How'd it go,” Twilight asked curiously

“Horribly. Pinkie threatened me and Rarity actually tried attacking me with a sewing needle!”

“If that's the reaction you've received in a short time; are you really sure about meeting the others,” Twilight asked skeptically

“I want to; even though I know it's not going to go over well.”

“How's about tonight we head back to the club,” Twilight suggested

“Sounds good. I could probably use a drink.”

■ APPLEJACK & RAINBOW DASH ■

To Sunset’s surprise, Scootaloo decided to tag along as Twilight led them to the club. Upon reaching their destination; the trio headed inside with little resistance from any of the staff.

“Hope you don't mind. I gave the staff some time off,” Vinyl said, entering the room

“Aunt Vinyl,” Scootaloo said excitedly, hugging her

“You! What the buck are you doing here,” Dash demanded, pointing a hoof at Sunset “I heard you threatened my friends.”

“Wanting to have a drink; for one thing. What's it to you?”

“Let me at her,” Dash started

“I don't condone fighting. Especially when you are at my club,” Vinyl said, before stopping her

“Do you happen to have juice,” Scootaloo asked

Vinyl headed behind the bar and emerged with four bottles of apple cider floating in her magic. Three landed in front of Fluttershy, Twilight and Scootaloo before taking the last one for herself.

“What about us,” Applejack asked

“We're at a club. Why not have a drinking content,” Sunset suggested

“I'll have you know, I'll drink you under the table,” Dash replied

“Sunset; are you sure about this,” Twilight asked cautiously

“I have one stipulation with this.”

“What's that sugarcube,” AJ asked

“After this is over, regardless of who wins; all of you will treat Midnight with respect when I leave.”

“Leave? Where are you going,” Fluttershy asked curiously

“I'm not at liberty to say; but it'll be a while before I return.”

“Sorry for the way I treated you,” Rarity said “Your dress is completed whenever you wish to pick it up.”

“You're forgiven. Scootaloo could take it before I leave; but that demand is all I want.”

“Fine with me. Our treatment of Twilight, err; Midnight was uncalled for,” Applejack said

“Either name was fine. All of you have known me by both anyways,” Twilight commented

“Are we going to do this or not,” Dash asked indignantly

“Give me a moment to gather the necessary items,” Vinyl answered

Vinyl reached under the counter and removed three shot glasses before grabbing a bottle from the wall behind her. Once finished; the shots were filled as she cast a spell over the drinks.

“This spell will cause the drinks to refill as often as needed,” Vinyl explained “Could somepony keep track of the drinks?”

“Okie dokie lokie” Pinkie replied, removing a whiteboard from her mane

“Start now,” Vinyl directed

With that, the three started their contest. Rainbow Dash was quickly knocking back shots while Applejack and Sunset were taking their time. Pinkie was quickly marking totals as they continued. After fifty shots; Dash started slowing down while the others were catching up. Dash tapped her hoof on the table after finishing her seventy-fifth drink.

“Rainbow Dash is out,” Vinyl said

“I'mokayIjustneedtorest,” Dash said slurring her words (I’m okay. I just need to rest.)

Despite the loss of one competitor; the others continued in peace. Both managed to reach their hundredth shot, before Applejack willingly tapped out.

“I give up; sugarcube. You win,” AJ said, shaking her hoof

“Why aren't you drunk,” Dash asked, having regained some functions back

“I'm a vampire.”

“You're lying,” Dash said

No, she isn't. I was there when she was turned. Now; let's get you two upstairs and into bed,” Vinyl said

Without any complaint from Rainbow Dash; both her and AJ were taken to Vinyl’s room and placed into bed. Dash promptly fell asleep as Vinyl returned downstairs.

“If everypony is finished here; I'd like to take Midnight, Sunset and Scootaloo home,” a voice said

“Hi mom,” Twilight said excitedly, hugging her

“Princess Luna. First time you've been here,” Vinyl commented

“I thought I'd check out the club. Didn't think that was a problem,” Luna replied “Ready to go, girls?”

“Before you go; how's about one shot for the road,” Vinyl asked

“I would like that very much,” Luna answered

Four glasses were picked out and placed in front of Luna, Twilight and Sunset; before Vinyl took the last one. A pint of blood was split up between the four as they enjoyed their drink. Afterwards, the group parted ways, with Twilight leading back to the carriage.

“Thank you for everything; Vinyl. I'm going to miss you.”

“Just remember what I told you the other day. It was nice to see you,” Vinyl replied, hugging her

“Sorry. I wanted to see Vinyl one last time.”

“I'm surprised you would agree to a drinking contest,” Scootaloo commented

“It wasn't my intent; but I wanted them to respect Twilight.”

“Thanks. I just hope they keep their promise,” Twilight replied

“We're here; by the way,” Luna commented

“If you don’t mind; there is something I'd like to discuss with you."

“Of course. I'm sure I can answer more than what Vinyl told you,” Luna replied

As everyone headed inside; Twilight went to the library to read, with Scootaloo following behind. Luna directed Sunset to her room for their conversation.

“So; what did you want to know,” Luna started

“Vinyl mentioned the two of you visiting the human realm.”

“It was seven hundred and fifty years ago. We headed through the portal out of curiosity when we found Star Swirl with his human wife. He explained that she was very sick and wouldn't last long enough to give birth.”

“I decided to bite her in the hopes of giving her enough time to survive. To our surprise when we returned years later; the child was born a vampire with fangs and red eyes. Since she looked like Vinyl; we named her ‘Melodious Harmony’ out of respect,” Luna explained

“How do we age?”

“Upon reaching eighteen years old; the body stops aging and becomes infertile. As for the human counterpart of Vinyl; she did come here to ask for a way to have children,” Luna explained

“Was she successful in her quest?”

“That is something you'd have to ask her yourself,” she replied vaguely

“Damn. With as much as I learned; I still have plenty of questions. On a different topic; how many vampires are there?”

“To answer that; will require different groups. First are full-blooded pure vampires, or in other words; ones I've turned myself. Vinyl Scratch, Fleur de Lis, Twilight and yourself fall into that category. Nurse Redheart and the mayor are diluted vampires. The others actually aren't vampires; but half-blood, more along the lines of just augmented ponies. Basically; they are stronger and faster and will age at a slightly slower rate. Unfortunately; they are going to die, but not for a long time,” Luna answered

“You're leaving soon; right,” Scootaloo asked

“I am. I have a life on the other side that I'd to continue. Hopefully; I'll be able to return in a few years.”

“Before you go; I'd like you to have this. You'll be able to contact us anytime,” Luna said handing her a journal

“Thank you,” Sunset started; before taking a breath “mom. Midnight; the next time the portal opens, come and visit me. It'll be nice to have my ‘sister’ there.”

“Of course. I'll let you know when it opens,” Twilight replied

“Bye sis. It was great to see you again,” Scootaloo said, sadly “I love you.”

“I'm glad you've grown up and gotten your cutie mark. I'll return in a few years. I love you too, sis.”

Everyone headed downstairs towards the portal, where Sunset said her goodbyes to her family. Once through the portal, she was greeted by her principal and vice-principal.

“Welcome back. Everything happen you wanted to,” Celestia asked

“I saw my family; which was the main reason for visiting.”

“When does this reopen,” Luna asked, gesturing to the mirror

“In another thirty moons. Roughly around my eighteenth birthday on Halloween.”

“Well; let's get you home and we'll see you bright and early on Monday morning,” Celestia said

Sunset climbed into Celestia’s car as she was taken home to her family. Once there, Celestia and Luna left knowing she was safe.

“Sunset! It feels like forever since you left,” Lydia said, hugging her

“It's only been a few days.”

“It's not your birthday; but something arrived for you,” Lydia answered

“Oh? What is it?”

“Follow me and you'll find out,” came the reply “Close your eyes in the meantime.”

Sunset did as she was asked and felt herself being led around by the wrist. Listening to her surroundings, led to finding out they were in the garage.

“Open your eyes,” Lydia directed

“That's mine!?”

“It is. Your dad bought that as a gift for you years ago,” she replied

Sitting in the garage was a red Mustang with yellow flames on the side. The interior was black, with regular plush seats.

“That's amazing!”

“You are still going to have to get a learner’s permit or your license before you can drive her,” Lydia explained

“The sooner I can; the better.”

Sunset was taken to the DMV the next day to start the process of getting her license. Luckily; there was two days left in Spring Break to try.

“Congratulations, Sunset! You earned this,” Lydia exclaimed, handing over the keys

“Thank you so much. I'm sorry you've had to drive me everywhere for so long.”

“It's alright. That was what I was instructed to do by your father. You have nothing to apologize about,” she replied

“I can't wait to show this off at school.”

On Monday when she returned to CHS; her friends were waiting by the statue when Sunset appeared.

“That looks like Sunset,” Dash commented

“It is. That's an amazing ride,” Applejack replied

“It really is. My dad bought it for me.”

“Have fun this week,” Pinkie asked

“Eventful to say the least. I'm just going to leave it at that.”

“Just think; we're even closer to graduation,” Rarity said

“A long two and a half years,” Dash pointed out sadly