• Published 29th Dec 2018
  • 5,468 Views, 199 Comments

Passed On - Scampy



"You probably thought the pain would disappear with you, but it didn't. It just passed on to someone else." — Twilight Sparkle returns to the human world following her conversation with Sunset. Sequel to Last Light.

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I - Already Gone

“Sunset, you have to tell me where you are,” Twilight said. In the back of her mind, a plan was already formulating, prioritizing tasks and accounting for possible hiccups. Luna had come to her home to arrange this meeting, so as soon as Twilight woke up, the portal would be just seconds away. There would be no time to inform Celestia of her absence, or ask the princess any questions. Right now, the only thing that mattered was finding Sunset and ensuring her safety.

Sunset seemed to look past Twilight as she spoke. “I-I... I’m in the hospital. I don’t know where it is, exactly. It’s the only one in the whole city, though.”

Excellent. “Okay,” Twilight said. “When we’re done talking, I’m going through the portal to find you.” She scoured her memory for layouts and directions of Sunset’s world. She remembered a few signs with arrows that read Canterlot Hospital near the heart of the city, though she wasn’t exactly sure where they were. No matter—she’d find the place in no time.

Sunset closed her eyes, the faintest of smiles on her face. At last, Twilight knew she was getting through to her. “Y-yeah. I’d like that,” Sunset said.

A flare of anxiousness gnawed at Twilight. Sunset seemed receptive now, but there were still so many unknowns. There was no way of knowing how damaged Sunset’s resolve was after the events she’d just explained. She may not be giving up anymore, but Twilight wanted to hear it. She needed to be sure.

“It’s going to be alright, Sunset,” Twilight said. "I need you to believe that. I need you to tell me you believe it, too.”

Sunset didn’t respond immediately. When she opened her eyes, they were glossed over and staring off, as if Twilight wasn’t even there. Her expression became confused as she finally spoke.

“What...?”

“Sunset? I need you to tell me you’re not giving up, alright?” Twilight said.

Again, Sunset said nothing. After another anxious pause, Twilight opened her mouth to speak again, only to stop abruptly as Sunset clamped her hands over her ears, grimacing.

“Nnnnnngh...” Sunset groaned. She turned around, the length of her white nightgown twisting with her. The gloss in her eyes vanished for the briefest of seconds, and in its place all Twilight saw was sheer terror.

“Sunset?” Twilight tried her best to speak slowly and clearly. “What are you feeling? You have to talk to me, what’s going on?”

All at once, things fell into chaos. Sunset tumbled over, clutching her chest as if she’d been struck. Her breathing sped up to the point of hyperventilation, and at the end of each ragged gasp, Twilight could hear a faint whimper of pain.

Twilight’s composure evaporated. She grabbed Sunset by the shoulders, panic seeping into her voice. “Sunset! Sunset, look at me! You have to hold on!”

Sunset’s only response was to shiver intensely, as if she were caught in a blizzard. Twilight’s mind raced to find a way to help, but all she managed to do was cry.

“No no no no... S-Sunset, please! Hold on!”

Then, Sunset stopped shaking. She went limp, and Twilight barely managed to catch her as she collapsed. Her blue eyes looked up, half-lidded and confused, but Twilight wasn’t sure if they saw anything at all.

“No!” Twilight cried out. Tears poured from her eyes, a few of them falling to stain Sunset’s white gown, which rose and fell more slowly with each pitiful breath.

“Sunset! Sunset!

Sunset closed her eyes.

“Sunset...?”

Twilight's voice echoed infinitely across the dreamscape. There was no one else there to hear it.


Twilight wasn’t sure what she was looking for as she stepped out of the portal. In fact, her first observations made her wonder if there was anything to find at all.

The sky hung above her, painted with long bands of orange and gold. It had been early afternoon when Luna had arrived to see her, and by the time Twilight had made it through the portal, it was nearly nightfall. That wasn’t what bothered her, though.

Things seemed too... Okay. If this was truly a place that had driven Sunset Shimmer to take her own life, how could it now be so remarkably peaceful? Part of Twilight had expected to see some cataclysmic scar across the world, as if to mark the monumental loss that had just transpired. Instead, she saw the same trees, the same sky, the same ground, all unblemished, as if everything was as it should be.

She made her way away from the school, hoping against hope that she would find Sunset at the hospital, awake and happy to see her. As Twilight passed crosswalks and buildings, conversations between people echoed all around. She found herself turning away from anyone that looked at her. How many of them had been responsible for what happened? How many of them knew someone who was, or stood by and did nothing the whole time? How could they act so nonchalant, as if Sunset hadn’t died at all? They were horrible, all of them. They were horrible and they deserved exactly what...

Twilight scowled at herself. This wasn’t her. She knew most of these people probably had no idea who Sunset was. Besides, even if they did, Twilight wasn’t here for revenge. Was she? Truthfully, she didn't know why she was here at all. Maybe finding out was part of it.

Following the street signs, Twilight made her way deeper into the city. A map at a bus stop had given her a pretty good idea of where she was headed, but rather than wait for a vehicle full of people to assist her, she made her way on foot. She couldn’t be around them. Not right now.

By the time she reached her destination, the sun was long gone. A dim, hazy blue stretched over the night sky, with only a few stars peeking through the shade. As Twilight approached the hospital’s main entrance, she paused.

She hadn’t planned this far ahead. She hadn’t wanted to. What exactly was she going to see when she went inside? Playing things by ear had never been Twilight’s way of handling difficult situations, but this was something else entirely. She had never lost anyone before, and the circumstances only made the maelstrom of conflicting emotions all the more tumultuous. To meticulously plan out the coming events would have required her to dwell extensively on the reality. Even thinking about doing so was too much.

Was she crying? When did she start crying?

Screw it, she thought. She made her way through the automatic doors and walked to the front desk.

“Where is Sunset Shimmer?” Twilight spoke so quietly that she could barely hear herself, as if it had been her first time using her voice in a thousand years.

The woman behind the counter looked up at her, raising an eyebrow. “Say again?”

“Sunset Shimmer,” Twilight said, this time a little too loud. A few heads turned, but no one said anything.

The woman looked at the computer in front of her. Twilight frowned, recognizing the machine as one of the things responsible for tearing Sunset’s life apart. She contemplated saying something right then and there, but the woman behind the counter spoke up.

“Oh, hon...” Her voice was soft and sorrowful. “Your friend, she—”

“I know,” Twilight said. “I know. Where is she?”

“I’ll have someone take you,” the woman said. Twilight didn’t bother with a thank you.

The staff member that lead Twilight into the hospital made no effort to converse, which Twilight appreciated. As they made their way through long hallways and several double doors, she felt as though her mind was slowing down.

What was she even doing here? She was still crying. She’d only cry more. If any of the other girls were here, she’d probably scream, too. Should she take Sunset back to Equestria? No, she had never wanted to go back. It wouldn’t be right to take her in defiance of that. It didn’t matter anyway. For the first time in her life, she realized, Twilight didn’t want to plan ahead.

“In here,” the staff member said. “It’s just down the hall.”

Twilight looked up, having been lost in thought. The sign by the door read Intensive Care Unit.

“If it’s any consolation, she was surrounded by friends when she, uhm...” The staff member stopped mid-sentence. She gave Twilight a brief hug. “I’m sorry you didn’t get to say goodbye.”

Twilight said nothing as they walked inside.

“We haven’t moved her to the mortuary,” the staff member said. “She had no next of kin, so far as we could tell. These past couple of hours we’ve just been—”

“Me,” Twilight said. She was surprised by her own voice, and even more surprised as she kept talking. “She was my sister. By adoption. Our mother isn’t here, so it’s just me.”

“O-oh,” the staff member said. “If that’s the case, you’ll have to answer a few questions about...” She trailed off. “There’ll be time for that later,” she said.

The two of them approached a door that looked like any of the others that lined the hall. Twilight looked around, and saw the nurses’ station behind her. There were two women, and both of them appeared absolutely heartbroken. One was sitting in a chair with her head in her hands while the other looked at Twilight.

“It n-never gets any easier,” the nurse in the chair whimpered. Her colleague put an arm around her, gesturing for her to look up. When she did, she locked eyes with Twilight.

“Oh!” The nurse popped up. “Oh, sweetie, I didn’t—” She cut herself off as she stood up. “That is, I didn’t know Sunset had anyone else coming.” When the nurse saw the staff member with Twilight, her expression fell even deeper into sorrow.

“I’ll take her from here,” she said. Twilight watched as the nurse started to come to her, and saw the tag on her scrubs read Angie Redheart.

“I’d like to be alone with her,” Twilight said, her voice cracking. “My name’s Twilight. Sunset is my sister, and I want to be alone with her.” She could feel the pressure of anguish building up inside her, and while these women surely meant well, Twilight did not want to be around anyone but Sunset right now.

“In that case, well...” Redheart moved to the door. “I’m going to have to clear the room first.”

Twilight’s heart skipped a beat at that. The others were here. They’d see her. They’d want to talk to her. After what they did.

Redheart gave Twilight a brief embrace before opening the door. “Give me a moment, hon,” she said.

Twilight turned away in an instant. As if on instinct, she stepped behind the staff member that had led her here, using the woman as a shield. Trying to measure her breathing, Twilight closed her eyes and bit her tongue as voices started to come from the door.

“Twilight...?”

“What? She’s here?”

“Is she okay?”

“Girls,” Redheart said, “Twilight has asked to be alone with Sunset for a while. Is that alright with all of you?”

Four voices agreed, one by one.

“Rainbow Dash? Sweetie?” Redheart spoke softly. When there was no response, she continued. “I know this is hard. Why don’t you all come with me to the break room? I can make you some tea, if you’d like.”

Finally, Twilight heard another voice. It was raspy and breathless, and sounded like it was going to break apart any second.

“I’m not leaving her,” she heard Rainbow Dash say.

Something sparked in Twilight’s heart.

“You already did,” Twilight said. Her voice was hard and cold, and just loud enough so that the girls in the room would hear her.

Silence loomed for several seconds, then Twilight heard the sounds of chairs moving and people walking. There were no voices that followed her own, though.

She felt a hand on her shoulder, and turned to see Redheart with tears in her eyes. The nurse pulled her into another hug, and Twilight could feel the woman sobbing. She was still for a moment, then she wrapped her arms around Redheart and held her. She felt a bit of wetness on her shoulder as Redheart’s tears kept coming, until finally the nurse pulled away.

“Take as long as you need, Twilight,” Redheart said. “I’ll be just down the hall if you need anything.” With that, she turned and left to follow the other girls. Twilight watched the nurse disappear around the corner. She turned to the doorway, which was still slightly ajar.

Twilight pushed the door open and walked inside.

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