• 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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Chapter 2 - Weekends Aren't Fun

Chapter 2 - Weekends Aren’t Fun

When Sunset awoke, the sun had long since risen. Afternoon light streamed in through the apartment’s few windows, disregarding the faded curtains like they were made of ash and illuminating the otherwise shadowy room.

The sad apartment was sparsely furnished. The previous tenant had left behind whatever he didn’t want, unintentionally gifting Sunset with a couch, a desk, and several broken appliances. The couch and the desk were certainly old, if not a little gross, but they suited Sunset’s needs just fine. The appliances, on the other hand, Sunset only kept because she had been too busy collecting information and planning to return to Equestria to throw them out.

The stained couch that supported Sunset’s battered form faced an old, boxy television set that no longer worked. Sunset sat up, pain ricocheting throughout her body. She gasped, barely managing to catch herself against the arm of the couch.

‘Fuck… I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus,’ Sunset thought, turning her eyes to the T.V. in front of her. She gazed at her reflection in the warped, dark glass. Shadows hung underneath the sad eyes that roamed across her figure. Her once radiant, flame-hued hair was matted and dull, tangles catching in Sunset’s fingers and she ran a hand through it. She still wore her torn, slightly burnt clothing, which hung around her loosely.

She sighed, then winced as the movement shot another stab of pain throughout her frame.

'Alright, Sunset,' She thought to herself. 'C’mon, you gotta clean up before something gets infected.'

Gritting her teeth, Sunset pushed herself up, using the arm of the couch as both leverage and stability. Her back was pulsing and her legs felt heavy as she slowly picked herself up. She kept herself upright for all of three seconds before she stumbled, unceremoniously slamming into the wall behind the living area. With a grunt, Sunset pushed herself upwards, leaning her forearm against the wall for support as she slowly made her way down the hall.

The bathroom lights flickered on when Sunset turned the switch. She lowered the lid of the toilet and practically fell onto the seat, inhaling deeply, out of breath. Even the simple movement of walking down the hall had completely overexerted her, reigniting the flaming hot pain that her body was under the night before.

“Okay, this’ll be fun,” Sunset muttered under her breath. She shimmied off her leather jacket, dropping it to the cracked tile floor. Her rough, scraped hands gripped the singed fabric of her shirt. She experimentally lifted the shirt up a little-

-and immediately dropped it back down as a fresh bolt of pain projected through her body.

Sunset yelped. 'Alright,' she thought. 'So it’s stuck to my back, presumably with blood. I’ll have to do this quickly.'

She gulped, her hands clutching the fabric tighter than before.

'Like ripping off a band-aid...'

This time, Sunset screamed as she ripped the shirt from her body. She was wrong about the blood causing her shirt to stick; the rainbow had seared Sunset’s shirt to her back, the burnt flesh melding together with the fabric. The sudden motion agitated the wounds and tore away any semblance of scabbing that had formed. Fresh blood bubbled from the re-opened wounds and pain roared through Sunset’s body.

It took an immense amount of willpower for Sunset to keep herself from passing out, but somehow, she managed. 'I’m better than this,' she assured herself, biting her lip to keep from crying out again.

As she waited for the agony to die down, Sunset reached for the cabinet door that rested underneath the sink and next to the toilet. She fumbled for a minute before wrenching it open and snatching the rusty pair of scissors that had been there since she moved in.

Sucking in another deep breath, she carefully cut her sports bra down the middle of her chest and peeled the rest of it off her back. It didn’t hurt quite as much as the first time, but it still made her cry out.

The material of the bra was covered in grime and splatters of blood. Sunset dropped it on the floor along with her shirt and jacket, and let the scissors fall with a metallic clank.

Sunset let herself sit for a bit longer as the pain died to a throb. “Well,” she sighed. “Cleaning this is going suck.”

The redhead wiggled out of her pants and underwear, adding them to the pile of bloody fabric by her feet. She stood and, using the wall for support, pushed back the shower curtains and turned the water on.

Horrific misery assaulted her body as Sunset stepped underneath the cold spray of water. Her tears mixed with the blood that swirled down the drain.

Sunset grit her teeth and went through the arduous process of cleaning herself. Aside from the mess that had once been Sunset’s back, the girl had also sustained some smaller cuts and scrapes from the… ‘blast,’ as she was calling it in her head. Both knees were scraped badly, and light scratches were littered all over her body. Her fingertips were rubbed raw, the skin peeling like a bad sunburn, which she assumed was due to the transformation from fingers, to claws, then back again.

Despite the torment that her body was enduring, Sunset managed to stay underneath the water until it ran a light pink; a big change from the deep red that it had been when she first allowed her bloody form to be rinsed.

The water shut off with a squeak, and Sunset stepped out of the shower. A wave of nausea crashed over her.

“Shit,” she cursed, her vision starting to blur. “I’m not going to make it to the couch this time, am I?”

Sure enough, only moments later, Sunset sank to the floor, passing out once again.

***

Anxious fingers flew across the keyboard, hastily searching for something useful. Her eyes flitted from her computer screen to the her wall, which held not just the bulletin board the girl was staring at, but a wide array of certificates and ribbons. Trophies lined the dusty shelves above her desk; she spared them little notice as she scribbled down numbers and figures into her notebook.

Most teens might be spending a Saturday evening doing something fun, like hanging out with their friends.

Twilight Sparkle was not most teens.

Also, she had no friends.

The scientist sighed, leaning back in her chair. She swept her bangs out of her eyes and adjusted her glasses. “It just doesn’t make sense,” she muttered. “These readings are incredibly unique, I’ve never seen anything like it before! And there, of all places?”

She had been thrilled when her energy-reading spectrometer started picking up on strange surges of power that week. And such powerful ones, at that! Imagine her shock when she checked to see where they were coming from:

Canterlot High School. AKA, the school she was set to transfer into.

Twilight shut her notebook. The week had been spent studying waveforms, comparing and contrasting data tables, and formulating equations, trying to figure out what type of anomaly could create such energy waves; but to no avail.

That didn’t put a dampen on her excitement, though.

'I’ll finally be able to collect some field data soon,' she thought, her knee bouncing as her mind swam with theories and possible explanations. 'Just one more week!'

She idly chewed her pencil, rolling her chair over to where Spike was resting on her bed. He sat up, eagerly wagging his tail as Twilight scratched behind his ears.

“I hope I fit in, Spike,” she murmured. Sure, the prospect of groundbreaking scientific data was incredible, but it didn't make the social aspect of transferring schools any easier.

The dog tilted his head as Twilight continued. “After what happened with… w-with Moondancer…”

Spike barked and nuzzled against Twilight's side. She sighed, drying the tears that had started to form with the back of her hand. She knew it was odd for someone in their senior year to transfer schools, especially after classes had already started.

“I just don’t want to be ostracized again.”

Her faithful companion yipped, standing up on his hind legs so he could lick her cheek.

Twilight giggled, scooping up the dog and snuggling him close to her chest. “Yeah, you’re right, bud. It’s a fresh start. Maybe I’ll make some friends this time around.”

***

Celestia was pacing. Again. She walked through her and Luna’s small kitchenette, around the dining table, and over to the sink once more. She fussed with the tidy countertops, rearranging things, then putting them back to their original spots before setting off for another lap around the area. Again.

It was Sunday, two days after the Fall Formal, and Celestia had been pacing since Saturday morning. The woman didn’t often wear her emotions on her sleeve, but pacing was a sure sign that something was wrong.

“Sister,” Luna called, her eyes not leaving the television. “You’re wearing a rut into the floor.”

The principal stopped, wringing her hands together. “I’m sorry, Lu, I’m just-”

“-worried about her, I know.” Luna sat up and gestured for her sister to join her on the cushy sofa. When Celestia sat down, Luna rested her head on the elder sister’s shoulder.

The two sat in comfortable silence for a moment before Luna spoke up again. “I’m worried about Sunset too, Tia, but we can’t do anything now except wait. I gave her our cell numbers, she knows she can call if she needs help.”

Celestia threw her hands up in the air in exasperation. “But that’s just it, Luna! She won’t ask for help, no matter how much she knows she needs it!” She brought her hands down in exchange for tapping her foot anxiously. “She… She’s so much like you were, all those years ago. Headstrong, stubborn, self-reliant...”

“...and suffering, all alone,” Luna finished. She shifted to meet her sister’s teary eyes. “I remember, Tia. But I eventually came around, didn’t I?”

“Yes, but-”

“We can’t force her to reach out. That’s something she has to do on her own. You’re right, she’s a lot like I was.” Luna sighed. “And if I know anything about myself during that time, I know that right now her pride is damaged, and she’s trying to pull herself up independently. She’s going to realize pretty soon that she needs to accept help from others.”

Celestia bit her lip. “You’re right, I know. I just hope she’s alright in the meantime.”

***

School on Monday, to no one’s surprise, was cancelled, due to the “long overdue renovations” happening on the building’s front.

Wallflower Blush was thrilled. This meant she could tend to her garden without the distraction of all those people!

...Not that anyone would have distracted her in the first place. Or even noticed her, for that matter.

Dressed in her favourite gardening clothes- a pair of tan overalls, brown workboots, and her brown striped shirt, of course- Wallflower breathed in the brisk autumn air. Leaves crunched underneath her feet as she made her way towards the hidden garden she had tended to for years, now.

Ducking under tree branches and carefully stepping over underbrush, the girl followed the near-invisible path through the forest. A smile graced Wallflower’s face as her secret spot came into view. It was her own personal sanctuary; shrouded in comforting shadows, hidden away from the world, it was the only place she felt truly safe.

She set her bag of gardening supplies on her small stone bench and started pulling out her equipment.

'Let’s see,' Wallflower thought, taking a look at her mental to-do list. 'Rake the leaves, weed the rest of the western section, trim the rhododendrons…' Her eyes scanned the quaint area, thoughts flooding with ideas for springtime, which flower patterns would look good together, what colours she should implement next spring.

Eventually, she shook herself out of her daydreams and got to work.

A breeze rustled her hair as Wallflower continued preparing her garden for the coming winter. Few plants were still in bloom, but the surrounding forest offered an array of beautiful reds, oranges, and golds for Wallflower to enjoy.

Wallflower hummed a soft tune to herself. Her gruff, low voice echoed in the small clearing; it the only sound other than the rustle of leaves and the scrape of her tools.

Her tools. She looked down at the slightly rusted trowel she was using and smiled. Her gardening supplies were all very old, but they were her prized possessions.

Hours passed, but Wallflower hardly noticed. She pulled weeds, trimmed flowers, raked leaves, all with a happy grin on her face. Soon enough, the sun had started to set, and Wallflower stood to admire her work. The girl sighed happily, pulling her phone from her pocket to take a picture.

Her stomach dropped when she was greeted with a slew of missed messages.

'Shoot,' Wallflower gulped. 'It’s past 6:00, isn’t it…'

Sure enough, the time on her phone read 6:15. Wallflower quickly scanned the unread messages, fear creeping up her neck.

5:47pm - Momma > Please get home quick, sweetie. FS wants to start dinner.

6:05pm - FS > where are you

6:05pm - FS > your late for dinner again

6:09pm - FS > worthless piece of shit

6:10pm - FS > if you keep running off like this ill skin you alive

Wallflower hastily dropped her phone into the front pocket of her overalls and shoved her tools back into her backpack. She took off in a run; down the hidden path, out of the trees, past the school’s now repaired front, and across the sidewalk that lead to her home.

She tried to keep the familiar feeling of fright from completely overtaking her as she stopped on her front porch, panting.

'He’s gonna kill us one of these days…'

Wallflower straightened up and looked at the front door apprehensively. She tried to control her breathing the way she was taught, but the intense pounding in her chest refused to lessen.

Finally, after about a minute of just breathing, Wallflower bit the bullet and pushed open the door.

***

Sunset Shimmer was not alright. She woke up naked on the floor of her bathroom. The yellowed light that hung over Sunset’s head illuminated the room, but did nothing to alleviate the darkness from seeping in through the hallway.

'So it’s nighttime, but what day is it?'

The former unicorn groaned and pushed herself up. The pain in her back had been reduced to a dull ache, allowing her to stand without using the wall for support. In fact, now that she paid more attention it it, Sunset realized that her skin felt clammy, a stark contrast to the burning sensation she had felt during the blast.

She sighed. “Alright, let’s see what the damage is.”

Sunset leveraged herself up onto the sink’s counter, her back facing the mirror. She shifted, twisting so that she could see the destruction that had been wrought on her from the blast.

Bile filled Sunset’s throat at the ghastly sight and she gagged, bringing a hand to her mouth to try and keep it down.

There were three major wounds, two of which were long slashes that ran parallel to Sunset’s spine, just inside and exactly the length of her shoulder blades. The lacerations were a hot, angry red colour, and the skin that surrounded them was charred black. Several ragged cuts, each a pinkish hue splintered away from the scorched flesh, out across Sunset’s shoulders and shoulder blades.

'S-shit,'

If that wasn’t bad enough, another gash, this one more circular, lay just above her rear, about where the waistband of her pants would lie. It was a similar red as the first two, but instead of blackness circling it, there were blisters of various sizes. Similar cuts like the ones all over her shoulders fractured outwards, up her lower back.

It was so much worse than she had anticipated. Tears formed in Sunset’s eyes and she was powerless to stop them as they cascaded down her cheeks and dripped onto her thighs from her seated position. Her hand, still over her mouth, caught the sobs that heaved from her lungs.

Never in her life had she felt this weak.

'Okay, okay come on! Think Sunset, what do you do now?' Sunset frantically tried to organize her scattered thoughts as they flew across her mind in a frenzy. 'Um, uh… Oh! Internet, there’s always an answer on the internet!'

Sunset scrambled down from her perch on the sink and snatched her pants from the pile of clothes on the floor. She fumbled with the garment until she found her cell phone. She knelt, tapping her fingers impatiently against her phone case as the device booted up.

The screen finally lit up, allowing Sunset to confirm that it was Monday evening. She ignored the implication that she slept on her bathroom floor for two days and tapped her internet app, hastily starting to research. The more she read, however, the more her stomach flipped and churned with anxiety.

Sunset shook her head. “Knowledge is power,” she whispered, trying to stay composed. It was a line she often repeated to herself when things looked grim. She could feel her mind teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown, but she refused to let herself fall just yet. “Knowledge is power,” she said again. “And if I have knowledge, I have power by extension.”

It took almost thirty whole minutes of tapping from article to article, but eventually Sunset had a pretty good idea of what had happened.

The three major wounds were obviously from her wings and tail. Sunset gathered that the smaller cuts were results of the wings and tail as well, though indirectly. She guessed that her skin had stretched and ripped to accommodate for the new appendages that she was not meant to have, leaving tears in her body as a result.

“Okay, um...” Sunset's tendency to mumble as she formulated theories and ideas did not bear her situation any exceptions. She stood and turned to look at her back in the mirror again.

“The wing wounds appear to be third degree burns.” She took a shuddering breath, tracing her injuries with her eyes. “The tail mark is only a second degree burn, and that combined with the cuts was where all the blood came from.”

She bit her lip, eyes roaming across her back. “They’re definitely going to scar…”

The information was grisly, but it gave Sunset a sense of control over the situation. If she knew what something was and why it happened, she could find a solution.

The girl took a deep breath in. “Alright. Th-this is good, now I know what I’m up against.” The encouragement was weak, even in her desperation for comfort.

Sunset kept taking deep breaths, trying to calm the onslaught of anxieties and fears and, worst of all, the doubts.

'What if these wounds kill me?'

'I don’t have the medicine to take care of them.'

'... I’m never going to bounce back from all this, am I?'

She shook her head. 'I have to stay calm. Thinking like that won’t fix anything.'

After several minutes of controlled breathing, Sunset felt exhaustion weigh on her. The past days had been awful, and, despite having spent most of that time unconscious, suddenly all she could think of was sleep.

She flicked the bathroom light off, using her phone screen to illuminate the way to the couch. As she collapsed, face first as to not agitate her wounds, she struggled to keep the tears from escaping her eyes once more.

Author's Note:

Woohoo, another chapter! I know this one is a lot slower, but I promise it's not just filler; some important plot points and world building takes place and sets the foundation for stuff later on.

Oh, and the misspelling of "your" in one of the texts Wallflower read was intentional- that particular character doesn't really care about grammar :pinkiegasp:

I'll see y'all next week!

~Bitty Bug

(As a little bonus, here's what Sunset's wounds/wings look like. I know it's not the best editing in the world but I was lazy lol)

https://www.deviantart.com/bitty-buggy/art/Oddball-Sunset-Shimmer-wound-marks-789232979

https://www.deviantart.com/bitty-buggy/art/Oddball-Sunset-Shimmer-wings-789233286

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