• Published 23rd Apr 2020
  • 1,255 Views, 58 Comments

Seeing the Light - SilverStar7

After a magical accident, Sunburst is in a parallel universe where he is betrothed to Twilight.

  • ...

A Puzzling Predicament

The outburst from Sunburst caused Twilight to take a few steps back. Her smile and playfully comforting attitude were replaced by a frown and a look that bordered dangerously close to fear. Her mouth was slightly open and her eyes gazed unblinkingly back at Sunburst.

The stallion bit his lip. It was the shock about his circumstances that made him yell. Now that he saw the result, Sunburst felt remorse. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt somepony.

"Twilight, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell at you." Sunburst said, trying to collect his thoughts. Thankfully, Twilight did not interrupt again. Mercifully, her expression had softened slightly. Unfortunately, Sunburst had a feeling that what he said next would upset his friend—his fiancée apparently!—more than before. That idea made him look down at the floor, but he had to explain himself.

"I don't know where I am, Twilight," Sunburst said. "Or... well, okay, I know where I am, but I don't know how I got here—and I mean here physically, not metaphorically or something. I don't know how I ended up in your castle, in this suit, being uh... affectionate with you."

"Sunburst, you've been living in the castle for weeks. Rarity made you that suit last Tuesday. And we've been together for over a year now." Twilight approached Sunburst again and put a hoof on his shoulder, making him look up into her violet eyes once more. "What's going on?"

"Listen, Twilight," said Sunburst, not breaking eye contact with her. "I was accidentally hit with a spell. An experimental spell. I don't know exactly what it did. It could be any number of things! This could all be an illusion, although I'm starting to doubt that. I could be experiencing a sort of vision, like a very realistic daydream. I might even have been sent to some kind of a parallel universe or alternate timeline."

The confusion on Twilight's face grew. "Sunburst, are you being serious?"

"Yes," he said. "I was working on a new spell with Starswirl in the Crystal Empire. It was supposed to use the power of the Crystal Heart to let a bad pony see what her life would be like if she reformed her behavior."

Sunburst then described the nature of the spell and the accident that caused it to strike him.

"So from my perspective," he continued, "I haven't been living in this castle for weeks. I just got here a minute ago. For the last week I've been in the Crystal Empire researching spells with Starswirl. We've been in the Crystal Library every single day for hours. The two of us finally had a breakthrough a couple days ago and we spent all yesterday afternoon working on the first test spell."

With that statement, Twilight began to pace, her eyes now looking at the floor in front of her hooves. After a few times back and forth, Twilight stopped and looked back at Sunburst. "Sunny... er... Sunburst, I'm sorry, but this is a lot to take in. From my perspective, this is crazy. I have memories of our life together. You've been here helping to get things ready for our wedding. Yesterday afternoon we were at Sugarcube Corner talking to the Cakes about what sort of dessert options we want to have at the reception. I certainly don't think I'm an illusion or a dream! Yet that last option...

"I've experienced other timelines and realities personally, so I know what you're saying is possible. But that means the you I was with yesterday isn't you. And that that you..." Twilight closed her eyes and shook her head. "This can't be happening."

Sunburst glanced down at the clothes he had found himself in. He reached up a hoof and ran it along the lapel. If he was wearing this in some alternate reality, then it stood to reason that, not only had he entered that reality, but he had replaced an alternate version of himself in these clothes. Somepony was obviously wearing this suit before he arrived. So where had he gone?

As Sunburst pondered the possibilities, suddenly Twilight shouted, "Why is it that every time my life seems like it's coming together, I have to solve another crisis?!"

That outburst made Sunburst look back at her and what he saw shocked him. She was crying. Not just one or two tears, either. The fur on her muzzle was damp. Her nose was starting to run. Her limbs shook slightly.

It shouldn't have surprised Sunburst; it was a totally natural reaction. But a part of him never expected to see a Princess of Equestria cry and shout so openly. He'd seen Princess Cadence exhausted by her daughter on many occasions. He'd seen all of Equestria's princesses show visible concern for their subjects' safety when the frozen north threatened them. But to see a princess upset like that...

His whole life, from attending Celestia's school until today, he'd always viewed a princess as somepony in control of herself. If one could command a nation, surely one could command oneself. To see the illusion shattered, however foalish it might have been, was hard to take in.

She's just a pony, he thought.

"Twilight," Sunburst said, causing the Princess to look at him again. "I don't know exactly what happened, but the spell that did this came from the Crystal Heart. Its magic is powered by love and hope. I'm sure that, whatever happened to your Sunburst, it didn't hurt him. The Crystal Heart would never harm an innocent pony."

To that, Twilight actually smiled. "You're right." She reached up and wiped at her face, sniffing as she rubbed her nose. "And I'm sorry, I shouldn't make this about me," she said. "You're the one who's displaced from your reality. It would be selfish of me to—"

"And you just lost your fiancé," said Sunburst, not even considering the fact that he'd just cut off a member of royalty mid-sentence. He took a step toward her. "This is about you, too. It's not selfish to be upset about it."

Twilight smiled and took a step toward Sunburst, only to stop and shake her head. "Sorry, normally I'd give you—well, the other you—a hug in this kind of circumstance. I'm just not sure that's appropriate."

"I understand," said Sunburst. However, he noticed the expression on Twilight's face. It was subtle, but the way she looked at him with her lips slightly pursed made him realize just how much that hug meant to her. He'd never been that big on hugs, but he wasn't afraid of them or anything.

"You know," he said. "We're not getting married in my universe, that's true, but we're still friends. If you need a hug, I don't see a probl—"

In an instant, Twilight rushed Sunburst and threw her hooves around him. Smiling, he returned the gesture and patted her on the back. "Don't worry," he said. "I have complete faith in you. You've saved Equestria again and again. You brought the Six Pillars back from limbo. If anypony can handle this, it's you, Twilight."

At that moment, another voice spoke up. "Wow," said Starlight Glimmer, who had just entered the room. "And here I thought it was gonna be you who needed the pep-talk!"

Author's Note:

I was hoping for an every-other-week release schedule but then IRL stuff happened so this was pushed back a bit. Hopefully the next one will come out before the end of May, but I learned a long time ago not to make any promises about that.