• Published 5th Mar 2019
  • 1,754 Views, 136 Comments

Oddball - BittyBug



After the Fall Formal, Sunset struggles to fit back in to life at CHS. Will she shove aside her pride and make some friends, or is she doomed to remain an outcast for the rest of her high school career?

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Arc I - Chapter 1 - Fall

Chapter 1 - Fall

Sunset Shimmer was on fire.

Or, at least, that’s what it felt like.

A raw, fiery vortex of light surrounded her, glowing with every colour of the rainbow. It was a beautiful sight that she knew would haunt her nightmares. She could feel the ground ripping away beneath her floating body as she desperately tried to remain airborne, to cling onto the last shreds of her dignity as everything was taken from her.

That fierce burning sensation attacked Sunset’s senses, fraying her nerves and bringing tears to her unseeing eyes. Her batlike wings and flaming tail disintegrated from the outside in, and she could feel every bone, every muscle, every fibre crumbling to dust. She gasped, fruitlessly trying to fill her lungs with air. She had never, ever felt pain like this.

Finally, just as Sunset was sure her skin would melt off, the blast ended, and she was left curled pathetically on the smoldering ground, huge sobs wracking her frame.

Was someone speaking? The ringing in Sunset’s ears was overwhelming, and… were her eyes open? Either way, she still couldn’t see. She could only make out bits and pieces of the speech being thrown at her from above the scorched pit she lay in.

“...never rule… power is gone… what is in your heart...”

She could hear herself saying something in return… an apology, maybe? She didn’t know, all she could processes was the violent pain shooting through her body and the tears streaming down her face.

More muffled sound filtered into Sunset’s scattered brain. She was just barely able to absorb more than the last time as her hearing slowly returned to normal.

“Friendship…seek it out…or forever be alone… choice is yours...”

This time, Sunset could hear herself reply. Her voice came out in rough gasps and sniffles as she tried to respond to the somewhat familiar voice through her tears.

“B-but,” she stammered. “All I’ve ever done since being here is drive everyone apart.” Sunset hiccuped. Her tears were forming a small puddle on the ground beneath her chin. “I don’t know the first thing about friendship!”

Sunset’s finally vision cleared a little, revealing the sight of an angel reaching down to swoop her upwards.

She blinked. Her vision cleared more, and she almost screamed when she realized it was Twilight Sparkle.

Fear shot through Sunset’s addled mind. 'This is it, she’s going to finish me off- she’s going to kill me…'

'I never got to go home…'

But when the final blow never struck, Sunset looked up through eyes blurry with tears.

Twilight’s hand was outstretched, a small smile on her face. This time, Sunset could make out what the Princess was saying as she lifted Sunset out of the crater.

“I bet they can teach you,” Twilight gestured to the human Elements.

Each had a look of apprehension on their faces, but smiled for Twilight’s sake.

Sunset struggled to keep her balance as Twilight took her hand away, turning to her friends. The red head could hear whispers from the students, now recovered from their brainwashing.

“So, are they, like, aliens or something?”

“That was wicked! I can’t believe she’s a real princess!”

“I can’t believe she’s a real monster!”

“Well, I can.”

Sunset flinched, suddenly wishing her hearing hadn’t returned so quickly.

She watched as the six talked and laughed, as Flash Sentry asked Twilight to dance, as the rest of Canterlot High went back inside to enjoy their night, shooting Sunset scathing glances and fearful looks on the way.

Soon, the only souls in the courtyard were Sunset, Celestia, and Luna.

Celestia caught Sunset’s eye and gestured for the girl to follow her and Luna.

The sisters walked ahead of her, talking in hushed tones and glancing back every few seconds to make sure she was still behind them.

'Heh. Or to make sure I’m not gonna go all ‘she-demon’ on them.'

They arrived at the office the principals shared. Luna ducked in first, leaving Celestia to send Sunset a wary glance.

“You wait out here,” the principal said.

Sunset shuddered. 'She sounds exactly like Princess Celestia did that day…' Not mad, but terribly disappointed. Almost ashamed. Ashamed of Sunset? Of herself? Almost a little… scared? Sunset never figured it out the first time, and now wasn’t any different.

Sunset sat in the hallway outside the principal’s office as Celestia went inside to deliberate with Luna on what to do with the delinquent next. Tears slowly continued leaking from her eyes. Her back felt like it was still engulfed in red-hot flame and she could feel something sticky binding her shirt to the affronted flesh, but her thoughts were so clouded and her body so full of adrenaline that she couldn’t really understand the pain she was in. The sensory overload from the had rainbow left Sunset in a daze.

'No, daze isn’t the right word,' she thought, definitely in a daze. She knew she had read about this somewhere, now what was the word? Distraction? Distance?

Dissociation.

'Yeah, that’s the one.'

Time didn’t seem to pass as the girl sat, awaiting the principals’ verdict. A minute turned to an hour in the blink of an eye, and Sunset didn’t feel any of it.

Finally, Luna opened the door, a look of pity on her face. “Come on,” she said softly, offering Sunset a hand.

It took Sunset a moment to register the command. She took Luna’s hand and stood shakily, moving to follow the adult towards the gym. Sounds of the dance filtered in and out of her mind, voices drifted, shadows shifted on the walls. But still, Sunset followed, her legs weak and leaded.

Luna turned the corner, away from the partying teens, and led Sunset out the fire exit doors to the gym’s storage shed. The principal unlocked the door. It swung open, hitting the side of the shed and shaking loose some peeling paint from the old wood. Luna disappeared into the dilapidated structure for a moment, rummaging for a bit before producing a large wheelbarrow filled with bricks. She wheeled it outside, then leaned back into the unit to snag a bucket full of mortar and its matching spreading tool.

Luna gave the bucket and tool to Sunset’s unsteady hands and grabbed the wheelbarrow for herself, huffing as she lifted the heavy brick. She started to wheel it around the outside of the school to the front area. Sunset scrambled after her. The dark haired woman didn’t speak a word as they walked.

By the time the two reached the front of the building, the dance had wound down and Canterlot High was bidding farewell to their newest, though temporary, Wondercolt.

Sunset watched with detached sadness as Twilight hugged her friends and moved towards the portal. Twilight and the five glanced in her direction for a moment, and Sunset made brief eye contact with the departing Princess.

Twilight smiled at the red-head. She said something to the five that Sunset couldn’t make out due to her distance from the group. Rarity responded, frowning in Sunset’s direction. Finally, Twilight said one last goodbye to her friends and disappeared into the portal.

There was a small ‘zap,’ and the portal was closed.

Sunset felt a part of herself leave with it.

***

Rainbow Dash watched the swirling light of the portal absorb her new friend into the unknown realm beyond. Soon after, her wings vanished, dropping her unceremoniously onto the ground.

“Aw darn,” she said, lifting herself from the concrete and dusting herself off. “I was hoping I could keep those.”

Rarity heaved a dramatic sigh. “Me too, darling. I had so many accessories for our adorable pony ears!”

Rainbow Dash grinned as Rarity continued rambling about her fashion ideas. She watched as Applejack enthusiastically nodded along, even though it was obvious she had no clue what Rarity’s fashion language meant. She saw Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy talking animatedly about Spike, the shyer of the two coming out of her shell a bit given a topic she was comfortable with.

Dash sighed happily. Having her friends back felt wonderful, like things were finally right again. Except...

“What are we going to do about the she-demon?”

Rainbow’s friends stopped talking and turned to her, stunned. Applejack glanced in the direction of the school, where Sunset, Snips, and Snails were working to repair the broken wall.

The farmer adjusted her hat. “Erm, well, Twilight said-”

A scoff from Rainbow interrupted her. “I know what Twilight said.” The chromatic haired girl crossed her arms. “But she can't seriously expect to just forgive Sunset for everything she put us through.”

Rarity bit her lip. “I… I agree, she was, quite frankly, atrocious to us. Poor Fluttershy has been eating alone at lunch for years!”

Upon hearing her name, Fluttershy shrunk back with a whimper. She said nothing, opting instead to play with a lock of her long pink hair that hid her face. Rainbow picked up on the movement and put a comforting hand on her friend’s shoulder. Guilt festered in her stomach. That was partly her own doing.

'No,' Rainbow Dash thought, shaking her head. 'It’s all Sunset’s fault! She’s the one who hurt Fluttershy, I would never-'

“I don’t know, girls,” Pinkie chimed in, breaking Rainbow Dash from her thoughts. She looked up at the party lover. “We promised Twilight we’d help her learn the magic of friendship-”

“But did we Pinkie promise?”

Pinkie Pie opened her mouth to retort, then shut it quickly. Rainbow Dash had a point.

The five girls looked over at Sunset and her former cronies. The red-headed girl was placing mortar-covered bricks into place where her blast had ruined the building’s facade. Her sunken eyes didn’t appear to see any of the work she was doing.

Despite Sunset’s pathetic appearance, Rainbow Dash felt no sympathy. All she saw was the girl who ruined the school and tore her friends apart. Red hot anger boiled in her chest, and her hands clenched into fists. 'She doesn’t deserve a second chance after everything she’s done.'

Looking around at her friends’ faces, she could tell that they agreed, for the most part.

Applejack sighed grimly. “Ah don’t feel good about just droppin’ her like a hot potater, but she was right awful to us.” She kicked at the ground, getting dirt on her boots (much to Rarity’s dismay).

“But maybe she’s changed?” Pinkie said hopefully. “I mean, that blast really seemed to knock some sense into her!”

Fluttershy nodded “I think we should at least give her a chance.”

But as they looked into eyes that once held so much entitlement, so much contempt, it was difficult for Rainbow Dash to see the broken girl behind them.

***

'Brick. Mortar. Wall.' Rinse, repeat.

Sunset’s body moved on autopilot as she repeated the process, over and over, wincing as she moved. The adrenaline was starting to wear off, leaving her body in more pain than she wanted to admit.

“You will begin rebuilding the school tonight, but your real punishment is detention,” Luna had said as the three began their work earlier that night. “Sunset, you will have five months worth. Snips, Snails, you have three.”

She glanced at her companions. The two freshmen were joking around, playfully shoving each other and trying to smear mortar on the other’s face as they pretended to work. They didn’t appear to be affected from the rainbow blast at all. Sunset turned back to the wall, placing another brick. 'So, how come I’m the only one in pain?' Snips and Snails had transformed, too, so why were they completely unaffected?

'Probably because of the Elements,' Sunset thought with a frown. She wiped the sweat from her brow with a dirty hand. 'They must have decided that Snips and Snails were worth sparing the pain. Me, on the other hand...'

Sunset’s thoughts thoughts were interrupted by a regal voice. “You three are done for the night.” Luna had a stern look on her face, but her eyes were soft. “Go home, get some rest. Just be prepared for detention when you come back to school on Monday.”

With a sigh, Sunset put the brick she was holding back into the wheelbarrow. Snips and Snails stopped roughhousing. Snails looked up, confused. “Don’t we have to finish rebuilding the school?”

Snips elbowed him in the ribs. “Shut it, dude!” He turned to the vice principal. “Uh, please don’t make us rebuild the school.”

“Don’t worry,” Luna said, hiding a snicker behind her hand. “We don’t expect you to fix the entire school. That’s a job for a real construction crew.”

She gestured towards the wheelbarrow and mortar bucket. “This was just a temporary punishment. The construction company is sending people to restructure the school’s entrance tomorrow morning.”

The boys simultaneously let out sighs of relief.

“Thanks VP,” Snips said. He and his friend started walking towards the street. “So, is your mom picking us up?”

Their voices faded and Sunset was left alone with the vice principal. Sunset shuffled her feet, avoiding the taller woman’s probing eyes. She was just about to leave when Luna stopped her.

“Sunset,”

The teen shook her head. “I don’t want to talk about it.” She crossed her arms, as if trying to protect herself from Luna’s gaze.

Sunset sighed. “If that’s all, I’m going to go now.” She started to turn, but was stopped by a gentle hand on her shoulder. She tensed immediately.

The Vice Principal noted Sunset’s discomfort and retracted her hand with a guilty look on her face.

“Look, Sunset…” Luna paused for a moment, trying to choose her words carefully. “Just take this.” She reached into her pants pocket and produced a small business card. She took a pen from her blazer’s breast pocket and scribbled something onto the back.

“Call me if you need anything.”

Sunset scowled as she snatched the paper, shoving it into the pocket of her leather jacket. She didn’t say a word, simply turned on her heel and started moving. She felt Luna’s eyes on her as she left.

Sunset managed to keep some of her composure while she walked. After she made sure she was safely away from CHS and no other people were lurking around, the worn girl slumped in on herself.

Pain shot through her body and her legs ached while she walked. The journey was quiet save for Sunset’s laboured breathing and the scrape of her shoes against the concrete. She managed to make it fairly far away from the school before her legs gave out.

Sunset collapsed against the dirty wall of a nearby building. She sucked in a breath, her hands scraping against the rough brick surface, trying not to completely fall to her knees.

'Suck it up, Shimmer,' she told herself harshly. 'Only a couple more miles to go.'

Gritting her teeth, Sunset pulled her body upwards and resumed her progression. The walk was long and slow. Intense stubborny and the last shards of Sunset’s pride were the only things preventing her from passing out.

Finally, after what felt like eons, Sunset arrived at the Hollow Shades Apartment Complex. It was several miles away from the more middle class city of Canterlot, and in it resided the poorer citizens of town.

Sunset wearily climbed the stairs of the complex to the second floor. She fumbled with the key she pulled from her ripped pants’ pocket and unlocked the wooden door. It swung open with a creak, revealing the unimpressive interior of Sunset’s home.

The red-head staggered into her apartment, kicking the door shut behind her. She managed to unsteadily make her way to her dingy couch.

Motes of dust puffed up from the furniture’s fabric as Sunset collapsed onto it.

The shadows of the pitch black night loomed over the girl as she quickly lost consciousness. The darkness swallowed her whole, consuming her and filling her vision until nothing but blackness remained.

Author's Note:

And we're off!!! I'm back, and I'm starting that story I mentioned a while back when I asked y'all if you wanted Sunset/SciTwi or Sunset/Wallflower (SciTwi won).

Also, don't worry- it won't look like it at first, but Sunset's going to become friends with the Rainbooms. Just not super soon.

Anyways, I probably won't be able to keep a super consistent update schedule but I'll try my best :twilightblush:

~BittyBug

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