• Published 26th May 2019
  • 1,388 Views, 57 Comments

Equestria Girls: Two Sunsets - moviefan-92



CHS is having a talent show, and the girls are eager to join. But then the human Sunset Shimmer suddenly appears. They try to befriend her, but she's shy and reserved, and seems to be hiding something magic. Is she evil like her counterpart once was?

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Chapter 9: Sunsets and Rainy Days

Author's Note:

Yes! I've been waiting for this chapter. When I look at certain characters, I love to get inside their heads and psychoanalyze them, especially if they're a character I've taken an interest in. I did a lot psychoanalyzing for this chapter on Sunset Shimmer, which required me to do a lot of research on her and her past history. What I found out about her past was actually pretty tragic, and explained quite a lot of how she went down the dark path she did. You'll see what I mean in this chapter. Last time, we learned a little more about the human Sunset and what she, or rather, her choker was capable of. She didn't get away completely unnoticed though, as her counterpart somewhat caught her in the act. Do the Equestria Girls really have something to fear from the human Sunset, or is this just a series of unfortunate coincidences? And what about Princess Twilight? Will she be able to shed some light on the situation and offer some advice? Read on to find out.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.


Equestria Girls and other human world residents: …Normal Font…

Mane Six, human Sunset Shimmer, and other Equestria residents: …Italicized Font…

Chapter 9: Sunsets and Rainy Days

This was just her luck. She'd known it was coming, but why did it have to happen on such a nasty day? She really couldn't catch a break.

The rain had been coming down for a while now, and Sunset was walking through it with an umbrella, her suitcase, and nowhere to go. She had been kicked out of the inn she had been staying at due to her room being needed, and she had been too busy with other things to search for another place to stay before now.

Initially, she had only planned on staying in town for a few days, and so had booked a room at an inn for that long. However, when she realized that she would be staying longer, she had been paying the inn owner daily for an extended stay. Unfortunately, it turned out that someone else had booked her room after her initial stay period, and she needed to leave so they could use it. Even worse, the inn hadn't had any other vacant rooms available, and so she now found herself without a place to stay. Still, she supposed that she should have been grateful that she had been allowed to stay so long after her original checkout date in the first place.

And, of course, it had to start raining shortly after she left. This really wasn't her day. Why hadn't she thought of to look into another place to stay before now? Obviously she wouldn't have been able to stay at the inn indefinitely. Obviously other people would have booked the room after her initially scheduled checkout date. Just how stupid was she? She should have looked into motels or something.

But then again, even if she did find a new place to stay, she didn't have the money for it, having already blown through her budget by staying in town much longer than she intended. True, she'd been able to make some money by doing small jobs for two somewhat sketchy brothers she had met in town in order to pay for meals and other essentials, but it wasn't quite enough. Now she was stuck slouching through the rain with nowhere to go.

"It'll be worth it," she grumbled irritably. "Just a few more days. You can do it."

At that moment, a powerful gust of wind blew her way, catching her umbrella. She struggled to hold onto it as she was pulled along, and it suddenly turned inside out on her. This caused her to stumble and fall, and her suitcase struck the ground and popped open, sending her clothes and other belongings flying about to get soaked by the rain.

"Oh, come on!" she shouted in frustration, and began wondering if this was some kind of karma at work.

(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)

Sunset had been grateful to her friends for helping her to pass her driver's test. And with an instructor like Mr. Cranky Doodle, she had needed the extra assistance. However, getting her license didn't include getting a car with it; that was something that she had to work for herself. Fortunately, her part-time job as a sushi chef at the mall paid very well, and she was well on her way to her very own set of wheels.

Not quite yet though. Which was why she was currently making her way home on foot, despite the rain. Even though the weather was bad, she was in a good mood. Things had been quiet for the most part at the school with no other incidents since what happened in the library, and there had been no issues with her counterpart to suggest that she was up to anything sinister. Unfortunately, she and the others still hadn't made any progress getting closer to her friendship-wise, but they refused to give up.

An angry yell suddenly drew her attention, and she looked across the street to see none other than her counterpart. That was a coincidence. However, a frown crossed Sunset's face as she noticed that it looked like she needed help, and so she crossed the street and hurried over to her.

Sunset was gathering up and tossing her now soggy clothes back into her suitcase, grumbling under her breath about her rotten luck, when the rain suddenly stopped falling. She glanced up to see Sunset holding an umbrella over her. "You look like you could use a hand."

A sigh escaped Sunset. "You could say that again. I'm having a bit of a rough day."

Sunset offered her a smile and began helping to gather up her things. "What happened?"

Not wanting to get too into it, she gave the short and simple version. "Oh, I just got kicked out of the inn I was staying at, ruined my umbrella, and got all my stuff wet. You know, just a normal problematic day. Oh, and I'm pretty much broke."

A frown crossed Sunset's face as she felt bad for her counterpart. "Yeah, that's pretty much the definition of a bad day. So what are you going to do now?"

Throwing the last of her wet clothes into her suitcase and shutting it, Sunset stood up and brushed her wet hair out of her face. "Not sure. I've been doing odd jobs for these two guys called Flim and Flam over the past few days to make some money. Maybe they'll know a place I can stay that's cheap. They seem to be pretty well connected."

A scowl fell over Sunset's face as she thought about the two sleazy con-artist brothers. "Flim and Flam? You can't trust those two as far as you can throw them. If they've been paying you to do jobs for them, I can assure you that they've definitely been taking advantage of you. Tell you what, why don't you come back to my place. You can get cleaned up and dry your clothes, then figure out what to do from there."

She saw her counterpart's eyes widen and dart around, as if looking for an escape, just like she tended to do when being put on the spot in certain situations. "I… that's really nice of you, but I don't want to impose."

A chuckle escaped Sunset. "Really, it's no trouble at all. I insist."

Sunset opened her mouth to protest further, but at that moment, a car drove by, going through a puddle. A wave of dirty water rose up, splashing both girls, soaking Sunset and making her counterpart even wetter. The driver beeped in apology as Sunset waved her fist and shouted angrily after them to watch where they were driving.

With a groan, Sunset looked down at her wet, muddy clothes and gave a reluctant sigh. "Well, if you insist…"

(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)

"Welcome to my humble abode," said Sunset as she and her counterpart entered her house. It was a simple, small two-floor home and was basically one giant room containing all the required rooms for a home with a few doors leading to some adjacent rooms, but the sight of it still made Sunset's eyes widen in astonishment.

"Wow," she said, looking all around, "you've got some nice digs."

Sunset chuckled as she rung out her wet hair. "Thanks. It's not much, but it's home."

"I think it's great. How did you afford something like this when you're only in high school?"

"Hmm…" Sunset muttered. "Lets just say that when I came here from Equestria, the skills I had learned there really helped me to get a head start on life here."

"Skills? You mean magic?"

Sunset shook her head. "No, magic didn't exist in this world back then. Not that I knew that when I initially came here. Also, the bits and gems I had saved up in Equestria sold for pretty high prices here."

Sunset continued to look around her counterpart's well designed home. "Well, you certainly made out well for yourself. By the way, thanks for inviting me. I thought I was going to be stuck outside on such a nasty day."

Looking outside at the rainy weather, Sunset smiled. "Oh, I don't know about nasty. It was actually thanks to a day like this that Twilight and I were inspired to write a song after a particularly troublesome morning. We called it Monday Blues."

"Mmm. I guess there's something to admire about being able to make the most out of a bad situation." Her eyes suddenly landed on the game console by the TV and widened. "You're a gamer?"

Sunset smiled. "Yup. I love a good video game. I'm actually planning to start my own gaming channel."

"Lucky," Sunset muttered, looking over her counterpart's collection. She suddenly gasped when she saw one of the titles and snatched it up. "You've got Tirek's Revenge? I really wanted to try that one out, but never got to."

"Well, we can play it later. Come on, bathroom's this way. You can borrow some of my clothes while yours are drying. I'm pretty sure they'll fit you."

She led her counterpart through her fancy yet moderate household, pausing when they passed a tank with a small leopard gecko inside. Sunset smiled at the occupant and tapped against the glass with her finger, waving to the little critter inside before turning to her counterpart.

"This is Ray," she told her. She reached into the tank, and the gecko crawled into her hand. "I wanted to get a pet a while ago, so Fluttershy showed me around the animal shelter she volunteers at and I found this little guy. It was pretty much love at first sight for us. Here, say hello."

She held Ray out to her counterpart, who had to admit that it was pretty adorable. "He's very cute."

Sunset rubbed her cheek against her pet. "He's my little ray of sunshine. Do you have a pet?"

Sunset shook her head. "I don't think I'm the pet owner type. I wouldn't even know what to get."

Smiling at the irony, Sunset returned the gecko to his tank. "I thought the same thing at first too, but seeing all my friends with their pets made me change my mind. If you ever change yours, I'm sure Fluttershy would be happy to help you find one."

A guilty frown crept up Sunset's face at the thought of any of the Equestria Girls helping her. She really didn't deserve their help, not with what she was planning on doing. She already felt like she was taking advantage of their kindness, particularly her counterpart with the way she invited her into her home. And as she later stood under the warm spray of the shower, she felt as if she were being torn in two different directions of what she knew was right and what she felt she needed to do.

A knock came from the bathroom door followed by Sunset's voice as she poked her head in. "SunShim, I'm putting some clothes you can use right here. Yours are in the wash."

More guilt, but she stomped it down and tried to put it out of mind. "Thanks, I'll be out soon."

"Take as long as you need," her counterpart replied, and Sunset could practically hear the smile in her voice, which only made her feel worse.

Her counterpart ducked her head out after that, and Sunset was left alone with her thoughts once more. She found her herself second-guessing her decision again before steeling her resolve. She'd made a decision, and she was sticking to it, and nothing was going to change her mind.

Upon exiting the shower and drying off, she found that the clothes her counterpart had left for her were indeed the perfect fit, for obvious reasons. She then exited the bathroom and found Sunset waiting for her. She was sitting by the game system, which was already set up ad ready to be played.

"Hey," Sunset greeted when she saw her. "I got things set up for you."

Sunset hesitated before heading over to her. "You really don't have to do all this."

Sunset chuckled. "It's really no trouble. Besides, I'm hoping you'll be a worthy challenger." She handed over the game controller. "Here, you familiarize yourself with the gameplay while I go clean myself up."

Sunset stared at the controller for a few moments before slowly reaching out to take it. "Thanks. For everything."

Her counterpart rolled her eyes, looking amused. "I told you, it's really no problem. Besides, you don't need a reason to help out a friend."

"Friend… right…" Sunset muttered.

"Feel free to help yourself to anything," Sunset added as she headed to the bathroom.

Sunset inhaled in anticipation as she watched her counterpart reach up and remove her geode. She let out the breath in a disappointed sigh though as she watched her take the necklace into the bathroom with her. A minute or two later, she heard the shower turn on.

Shrugging it off, she took another look around the place, appreciating her counterpart's taste. It might be small, but it was very nice. What she would give to have a place like this, or any place for to call her own. Just what were those skills her counterpart had learned that allowed her to get a place like this?

"Not my business," she mumbled, and sat down on the couch. She glanced at the game controller in her hands, then at the TV, and a smile spread across her face. Unable to resist, she sat down on the couch and began playing. It wasn't too often that she got to play video games, let alone play with someone else.

She didn't play for too long though as the guilt and unease prevented her from truly enjoying herself. Feeling restless, she set the controller aside and began pacing, her mind racing. She tried to push away the nagging thoughts and distract herself by looking around her counterpart's home.

When Sunset finished in the bathroom and rejoined her guest, she found her in her art corner, looking at a few of her paintings. Smiling, she went over to join her. "Like them?"

Sunset nodded. "They're really good. You paint them?"

Sunset gave a humble nod. "I don't mean to brag, but I have a real knack for art. I'm actually thinking about making a career as an artist."

"With your skills, you'll definitely be able to," Sunset replied honestly as she shifted through the different canvases. "You know, your art style kind of reminds me of the secret street artist, Flanksy. You've heard of her, right? She's getting really popular. Were you inspired by her work?"

It was impossible for Sunset to keep the look of pride off her face. "Actually…"

Sunset glanced at her and, noting the proud smile on her face, her mouth dropped open in surprise. "You're kidding! You mean you're Flanksy!?"

Chuckling, Sunset shrugged. "Guilty."

Sunset stared at her in disbelief for a few moments before looking back at the paintings. "No wonder you're so good. I'm pretty skilled myself, but nothing like this." She turned to a different one and frowned slightly. "What happened to this one? Was there an accident?"

Sunset looked at the painting in question. It was a picture of sunflowers, but it was splattered with orange paint. The sight of it made her laugh. "Oh, that was Pinkie Pie. We were taking art class together, and she got a little messy with the paint."

"I'll say," Sunset replied. "Why'd you keep it if it was all messed up?"

Sunset shrugged. "For memories, I suppose. Don't worry though, I'm not a hoarder or anything." She glanced at the TV and saw that the game had been played a bit. "Oh, did you get a chance to try it out? Want to try Two Player Mode?"

She headed over to the couch as Sunset turned her attention from the paintings to her counterpart, noting that she was once again wearing her geode. She put it out of mind for now as she joined her on the couch. "You've really made out well for yourself. Kind of hard to believe since you came from another world."

Sunset gave her an appreciative smile. "Thanks. But I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my friends. In fact, I wouldn't even be me; I'd be a power hungry she-demon bent on taking over Equestria with an army of brainwashed high school students. By now, I'd probably have been defeated and locked away in Tartarus for my troubles. That's a magical timeless prison in Equestria where the most evil of villains are locked away forever." At her counterpart's baffled look, she chuckled. "It's a long story."

"Sounds like it," Sunset replied, trying to wrap her head around this. Her eyes drifted down to the geode on her counterpart's neck, then went back up to her face. "If you don't mind me asking, why did you come here from Equestria? And why did you decide to stay? A mystical pony world sounds a lot more exciting than this magic-less world."

A deep sigh escaped Sunset at the question. "That too is a long story."

"I have time."

Sunset stared at her for a few moments before sighing again and leaning back against the couch with her arms crossed. It wasn't an easy story for her to tell, but maybe if she did, and if Sunset was planning something dastardly, then the story would serve as a warning to pursue a different path.

"Back in Equestria, I was a bit of a loner. I didn't really have any friends, nor was I that close to my family. I really got into my studies, and spent a lot of time practicing my magic. I had a natural talent for it, a real prodigy they called me, and my skills eventually caught the eye of Princess Celestia. She's pretty much the ruler of Equestria."

She smiled fondly at the more pleasant memories from before things started to go wrong. "I really looked up to and respected her. She became my teacher and guardian, and I became her student. She taught me many things about magic, and served as a much better parent than either of my real ones, who were rather neglectful of me."

A faraway look appeared in Sunset's eyes as she listened to her counterpart's story. "That sounds really nice." She suddenly realized what she said and shook her head. "I meant about you and Celestia! Not about your parents!"

Sunset gave her a small smile. "I know what you meant. My parents really only saw me and my position as Celestia's student as a way to promote themselves, so there wasn't much love lost between us. But, yes, being with the princess was nice. I really enjoyed my time as her student." The smile slowly slid from her face. "But, unfortunately, those times didn't last, and I'm the one who ruined them."

"How so?"

Sunset sighed sadly. "I respected and admired Princess Celestia more than anyone. I wanted to be just like her, and show that I was worthy of being her student. So I started rushing through my magic lessons, trying to learn as much as I could as fast as I could, even stuff beyond my current level. Princess Celestia tried to warn me. She told me that I was doing too much too soon, and trying to learn magic that I wasn't ready for yet. But I kept going anyway. I wanted to make her proud, and I thought that becoming the best as soon as possible would do that. Ironically, it ended up having the opposite affect."

She let out another sigh and buried her face in her hands as she lamented the mistakes she had made. "Despite my eagerness, Princess Celestia kept insisting that I wasn't ready for the magic I wanted to learn. But I was stubborn and didn't listen. I started to get impatient and frustrated, and I let my ambitions get the best of me. So I tried to learn on my own anyway, and she reprimanded me for it. And rightfully so too, not that I saw it that way at the time."

Lifting her head out of her hands, she clenched them into fists as unpleasant memories swamped her. "Eventually, I began to feel like she was trying to hold me back, and I started to grow bitter towards her. And the angrier I got, the more I began to resent her and her attempts to hold me back. I even began to suspect that she may have thought that she made a mistake and that I wasn't worthy of being her student, which only made me want to prove to her that I was ready and capable of handling the power she insisted was too much for me all the more. I kept telling myself that I was worthy, that I was the only one who was."

She shook her head, disgusted with herself. "Before I knew it, I found myself wanting power not to impress her, but for myself. In a way, I even felt betrayed by her, like she promised me something great and built up my expectations, only to deny it to me when the time came. I grew angrier and greedier until I didn't even recognize myself anymore. I became selfish and arrogant, and began to think I was better than everyone else, becoming so conceited that I started to look down on others, so I didn't even try to socialize or make friends, despite Princess Celestia's encouragement for me to do so. I figured she was just trying to distract me from my studies since she thought I wasn't ready or worthy, I didn't realize it was actually an important part of my lessons. Back then, I thought friendship was pointless and wouldn't help me get anywhere in life, and the loneliness I refused to admit that I felt only made me more bitter and mean."

A groan escaped her as she was plagued with regret for her past actions. "Maybe if I had friends back then like I do now, they could have showed me that there was another way, that there was more to life than power and ambition, and that I didn't need to prove myself to anyone to show my worth. Perhaps things would have turned out differently, and I wouldn't have become the horrible person that I became."

Sunset's heart went out to her counterpart. She had her own hardships that she faced, though they were quite different from Sunset's. She slowly lifted a hand to comfort her, but then pulled it back and instead asked, "What happened after that?"

Her counterpart didn't answer right away, and instead just stared forward, lost in her memories. "When Princess Celestia saw that she couldn't dissuade me from my ambitions, she showed me a magic mirror that could reveal my possible future if I continued down my path. I saw two things in the mirror that day. The first vision showed me as a powerful alicorn princess who ruled with an iron hoof. At the time, it was what I thought I wanted, so it didn't have the impact Celestia wanted, and only encouraged me to keep going."

"And the other vision?" Sunset asked, suspecting that she knew what it was going to be.

Sunset gave her a small smile. "Well, I didn't realize what it was at the time, and it happened so quickly that I thought it was just my eyes playing tricks on me, but it was of me, here, in this world. But it was the first image of me as an alicorn princess that I was focused on. And when I discovered that the mirror also served as a portal to another world, I thought that I would find the power I sought to make the first vision I saw come to pass, so I went through the mirror and ended up in this world."

She chuckled humorlessly as she thought about the irony. "As I learned pretty quickly, there was no magic in this world. And I also learned, a little too late, that the portal only stayed open for a few days, after which it stayed closed for thirty moons."

Sunset's eyes widened as she realized what must have happened. "You were trapped here."

Sunset nodded, though she didn't look sad about it. After all, it had been getting trapped here that eventually brought her to where she was now. "I didn't let getting stuck here stop me though. I was still determined to rise to the top. And I did it the only way a teenage girl could. I enrolled in Canterlot High and made becoming the most popular girl in school my goal. I used some pretty underhanded tactics to do it too, like ruining other people's reputations to make them look bad. I even started dating the most popular boy in school just to boost my own popularity."

She winced at the memory of how awful she had been back then, using and discarding people like pawns in a game of chess for her own benefit. "Eventually though, my popularity was threatened by Rarity when her popularity began to rise enough to challenge my own when it came to gathering votes for getting elected as the princess of the Spring Fling. I wasn't willing to just let my position of power be taken away, so I…" she bit her bottom lip, looking very uncomfortable as she tapped her fingers together, "I sort of… sabotaged her friendship with the other girls, and theirs with each other too."

Sunset's mouth dropped open in surprise at her counterpart's confession. "You did what?"

"I know, I know," Sunset grumbled miserably. "I was an awful person, but I was willing to do anything to remain on top. It was all I had, and I thought it was all that mattered. I know that's no excuse, but it was what I believed at the time. And I only got meaner from there, making sure no one threatened my popularity by becoming the school bully so people would be too afraid to challenge me."

"I can't imagine that went over well."

Sunset rolled her eyes. "Well, it certainly made me popular, just not in a good way. No one liked me. I was even voted the biggest meanie by the whole school for the yearbook, and that wasn't even a superlative. And, of course, Flash broke up with me since he didn't like the person I had become."

Sunset's eyebrows rose. "Flash? You mean Flash Sentry?"

Sunset cocked her head to the side. "Didn't I mention that?"

"Only that you dated the most popular boy in school." She smirked. "Should have figured it was him."

Sunset chuckled. "Yeah, he's a real great guy. And I had to go and ruin it by being such a jerk." She sighed regretfully. "That was around the time the portal to Equestria reopened. So I went back to try and get my hands on the power I thought I deserved, only to discover that in my absence, Princess Celestia had taken Twilight Sparkle as her new student. She succeeded where I failed, becoming a powerful alicorn princess, and gained a magical crown containing the Element of Harmony for magic."

Sunset gave her a questioning look. "What's an Element of Harmony?"

Sunset looked confused for a moment before she realized, "Oh, right we never told you. You see, there are six Elements of Harmony. They're essentially the Pillars of Friendship. Each of my friends represents one, as do their pony counterparts. Applejack is honesty, Pinkie Pie is laughter, Rarity is generosity, Fluttershy is kindness, Rainbow Dash is loyalty, and Twilight is magic."

Her counterpart raised an eyebrow. "Magic is one of them?"

"Friendship is magic. I learned that first hand after I stole Princess Twilight's crown and brought it back to this world, introducing magic to it. She, of course, came after me, and met this world's version of her friends, and repaired their friendship that I broke. And after I was corrupted by the magic in the crown and turned into a demon, Twilight and the others stopped me by sharing the magic in the crown with each other and turning me back to normal. That's where they got the power to pony-up. It seems the magic stayed with them and continued to manifest in them even after Twilight took the crown back to Equestria."

Sunset was trying to process all this. It was all new information on magic for her. But if the Equestria Girls could gain magic abilities in such a way, then could she as well?

"What about you?" she asked. At Sunset's questioning look, she elaborated. "If the others got their magic from the crown, where did you get yours?"

Sunset nodded in understanding. "Oh, well, I got it the same way too. It seems that some of the magic from the crown remained with me too, even after I was changed back from a demon, and it later awoke in me, uncorrupted, when the others accepted me as one of them when we fought the sirens."

Sunset stared blankly at her counterpart before shaking her head. "Wait, you fought sirens? As in those mythical creatures that enchant people with their voices?"

A laugh escaped Sunset. "I'm sorry, this is just so well-known among us that I keep forgetting that you don't know. You see, about 1,000 years ago in Equestria, there were these evil sirens running wild, using their enchanted voices to control others. A powerful sorcerer known as Star Swirl the Bearded stopped them by opening a portal that sent them through time and space to this world and time period. He'd hoped that sending them to a world without magic would prevent them from causing trouble. It did, up until Equestrian magic was brought to this world."

Sunset was listening intently. "Why, what happened?"

Her counterpart looked thoughtful as she wondered how best to explain it. "Basically, they had been feeding off the negative energy of others to power whatever magic they still had with them in this world so they could cast spells on others to make them their mind slaves and fight amongst each other to stir up even more negative energy for them to absorb. Then they began sucking up the Equestrian magic in my friends to super charge their power so they could spread their enslavement spell to the whole school and beyond. Luckily, the girls and I were able to defeat them with the magic of our friendship."

Sunset raised an eyebrow. "You weaponized friendship?"

Another laugh. "Not exactly. We used a form of magic that's powered by friendship that mostly manifests from our music. That was when I pony-upped for the first time, and it's been happening to me ever since."

Sunset considered this. From the sound of it, the Equestria Girls got their magic from Twilight's crown before it became their own. Which made her realize something. "Hold on, I thought you guys didn't meet this world's Twilight until later. So where did she get her magic if not from the crown?"

Sunset crossed her arms in thought, having wondered about this herself. "Hmm, well, if I had to guess, I'd say it came from the magic she got from us. You see, not unlike you, she was examining the unusual readings she was detecting around the school. Those readings turned out to be our magic. To try and find out where it was coming from, she built this device that was meant to locate magic, but it also ended up absorbing it. Unintentionally of course. And when she attempted to release all the magic she had stored up, she was taken over by it. Fortunately, we were able to save her, but it seems the magic stayed with her too, just like it did with the rest of us, and she began to pony-up at times as well."

Excitement began to bubble up inside Sunset, and she tried and failed to keep the eagerness out of her voice as she asked, "So does that mean that anyone can obtain magic once they're exposed to it?"

A sliver of suspicion ran through Sunset at her counterpart's question and how eager she sounded to get an answer. She tried not to look too suspicious though as she shook her head. "No, it doesn't work like that. It seems the magic chooses who gets to keep it."

"The magic chooses? Like it's alive?"

Sunset shook her head. "Not exactly. Maybe semi-sentient, to an extent. Perhaps it stays with those who are compatible or meant for it, but not everyone. There were others who were exposed or overcome by magic, but who were still the same as before once the magic that enchanted the was gone. Not even Spike has any magic; he just retained his ability to speak after he was exposed to it since, I guess, it was an ability he learned and an increase in his intelligence rather than a power the magic gave him."

Her counterpart's shoulders visibly sank in disappointment, despite her attempt to hide it. "So the magic chose the seven of you, but no one else?"

Sunset nodded. "That does seem to be the case." She reached up and fondled with her geode. "That's probably how our geodes came to us. Each seems connected to an Element of Harmony, and they called out to the magic in each of us."

Cocking her head to the side, Sunset stared at the geode curiously. "Then what's yours?"

"Huh?"

She pointed at the necklace. "You said each geode is connected to an Element of Harmony, but you said before that there were only six. So what's yours?"

Sunset glanced down at her geode. That too had been something that she had wondered about. Fortunately, Twilight had given her a pretty good answer after having discussed the matter with Princess Celestia.

"I actually asked Princess Twilight about that, and she and Princess Celestia concluded that this world, with as different as it is from Equestria, may have a seventh Element. Or maybe Equestria might even have an unknown seventh one as well. Whether it does or not, they both agree that my Element is empathy."

Sunset nodded, supposing that that made sense. But along with her agreement came that feeling of jealousy again as she wondered that if her counterpart had chosen to return to Equestria, that maybe she would have been the one to have ended up with the magical geode. She tried to push the feeling aside, but it wouldn't leave her this time.

"Can I ask you something?" she ventured carefully, looking away. "I hope you won't take this the wrong way, but why did you choose to stay in this world?"

She glanced at her counterpart and was relieved to see that she hadn't taken offense. "Oh, I don't mind you asking. The truth is that after being in this world for so long, I had grown to enjoy and appreciate it. I had already built a new life for myself here, and there really wasn't anything left for me in Equestria. I had friends that had become like family to me, and it felt like I belonged here. I may have started out as a unicorn in another world, but this place became my world. Truthfully, I don't even think of myself as a pony anymore, and I came to view this world as my home."

Sunset looked away. She began staring out the window at the rain coming down with a faraway look in her eyes. "That's really admirable. You took the hand life dealt you and made it your own, creating a whole new life for yourself and finding where you truly belonged. Not everyone can do that."

She continued to stare off into space, lost in thought. Sunset watched her for a few moments, realizing that her mind was a million miles away. She wondered what she was thinking about.

Did confessing her past have an impact on her counterpart? She hoped so. That is, if Sunset did have any plans to cause trouble. There was still no proof other than her gut feeling and the suspicious behavior her counterpart had displayed in the library, but that didn't mean she was innocent either.

Her gaze drifted to Sunset's hand. If there was an opportunity, this was it. She didn't want to do it, fearing that breaking her counterpart's trust by invading her privacy would drive her away, but she had to know if Sunset had been involved with the library incident, for everyone's sake. She would just take a small look, just enough to see if she was involved.

While Sunset was still lost in her own world, Sunset reached out as casually as she could and placed her hand on top of her counterpart's while tapping into her geode's power. She closed her eyes to hide the glow she knew they would have as she was hit with an Empathy Flash.

At least that had been the plan. She felt it start to happen, felt her mind begin to delve into her counterpart's, but then it stopped. She saw a flash of red light, and then it was like the image she had been about to see vanished and she had hit a brick wall. Had her eyes been open, she would have seen the gems on her counterpart's choker flash in response to her attempt to use her power as it was absorbed.

As the magic was sucked away, Sunset was left feeling disorientated. She pulled her hand away and tried to get her bearings as her counterpart came out of her own head and gave her a strange look at the sudden movement, glancing down at the hand that had touched her. "You ok?"

"What?" Sunset muttered. She shook her head, coming back to herself. "Oh, yeah. Just… got a static shock." She shook her hand as if to back up her story. "You didn't feel that? Lucky you."

She grinned hopefully at her counterpart, and Sunset nodded, seemingly accepting what Sunset had said. Relief went through Sunset as she glanced at the hand she had touched Sunset with, wondering why her Empathy Flash hadn't worked. Was it because Sunset was her counterpart, and she wasn't able to read her mind because of it? She didn't know, she had never tested her power on another version of herself before. Maybe her power simply didn't work on her.

So much for finding out if Sunset had been behind the library incident that way, and she couldn't exactly come out and ask. Well, she could, but if Sunset were behind it, she doubted that she would admit it. And if she wasn't, she didn't want to hurt her feelings and scare her off.

Deciding to try a different approach, she hoped that in being honest about her own past would help her counterpart be more open about hers, so she asked, "You know, you know about me, but you haven't really told me much about yourself. Has your life been that different from mine?"

A snort of laughter escaped Sunset. "You mean has it been different from yours as a unicorn in a magic pony world studying under an alicorn princess before you went through a magic mirror to create a new life for yourself in another world. Yeah, it was pretty different."

Sunset couldn't help but smile at her question after having had it spelled out like that. "Yeah, I guess it would have been when you put it that way. What I meant was-"

Sunset sighed. "I know what you meant; I was trying to make a joke. In all honesty though, my life has been pretty boring compared to yours. No magic geodes or evil sirens for me. Honestly, I could actually use a bit more excitement and adventure in my life."

Which brought up another question that Sunset decided to get an answer to. "That reminds me, I've been meaning to ask. Do I make you feel… uncomfortable?"

There was some notable fidgeting on Sunset's part as she diverted her eyes. "What do you mean?"

Biting her bottom lip, Sunset thought about how best to word what she wanted to ask. "Well, it's not everyday you meet another version of yourself. The girls and I just want to get to know you a bit better, but it seems like you're always… reluctant. I was just wondering if I was the reason. If I am, I'm sorry if I make you uncomfortable. You don't have to be, I don't mean for you to feel weird around me."

Sunset quickly shook her head. "No, it's not that. Well, ok, I admit that it was kind of weird at first, but I've gotten over it." She sighed loudly. "I don't mean to be such a killjoy. I just… Lets just say that I'm dealing with some personal matters, and that's why I've seemed kind of… distant. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you or the others' feelings."

It was a relief to know that she wasn't the cause for her counterpart's reluctance to be friends with them, but now she was wondering what those personal matters were. "Anything I can help you with?"

Her counterpart shook her head. "It's just something I need to work out on my own. Thanks for the offer though."

Sunset nodded. "Well, I'm here if you ever want to talk about it, or anything else."

"I appreciate that."

They sat in silence for a few moments before Sunset's gaze drifted down to the game controller sitting between them and she smiled. "Hey, what do you say we wrack up some points on this bad boy together?"

Sunset glanced at the controller, and, for a moment, there was a look of longing on her face before she frowned. "Thanks, but I should really be looking for a new place to stay."

Sunset just waved this off. "That's not necessary. You can just stay here."

A look of surprise crossed Sunset's face as she looked at her counterpart. "You mean your house?"

Sunset shrugged. "Why not? I don't mind. We're pretty much sisters anyway. In fact, I can even call the others and see if they want to have a slumber party since you missed the last one."

The look of surprise on Sunset's face became one of discomfort. "I don't know if I'm ready for that."

Sunset cocked her head to the side before shrugging. "Ok, then it can just be the two of us. It'll certainly beat going out in the rain to some motel. Come on, it'll be fun."

She watched as her counterpart seemed to weigh her options. Sunset had to admit, staying here would certainly would be better than trying to find a new place to check into, and the walking through the rain to get there. Besides, she didn't have much money on her, and probably wouldn't even be able to afford a room for the night anywhere anyway.

With great reluctance, she sighed. "Well, ok, but just for one night. I don't want to be a freeloader."

Sunset beamed, glad too have finally made progress with her counterpart. "Great! This is going to be awesome! We'll be like sisters hanging out. So," she held up two controllers, "do you want to be Player One or Player Two?"

(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)

Night had fallen, and both girls were settled in for the night. Sunset had insisted on taking the couch when her counterpart had offered her the bed, stating that she was already doing more than enough by letting her stay for the night.

After her counterpart had gone to sleep, Sunset stayed awake in her bed for a short while with her magic notebook in her lap. There had still been no word from Princess Twilight, but Sunset was glad that she would at least have some good news for her in this latest entry.


Dear Princess Twilight. I'm pleased to tell you that there's been some progress with SunShim. I managed to convince her to spend the night at my place, and we bonded a bit. She still seems hesitant to be friends, but it's a start.

I really don't think she's a bad person. If she was involved with the library incident in any way, I think it may have been an accident and something out of her control. She wouldn't be the first person to get mixed up with Equestrian magic the wrong way. If she was involved at all.

Something strange happened though. I admit that I tried to use my power on her to see if she was involved, but something weird happened. I couldn't see into her mind. It was like I was being blocked by something. I wonder if I'm simply not able to use my power on her because she's another me, and it would be like seeing into my own mind or something. Do you have any thought on this?

Hoping things are well on your end. Your friend, Sunset Shimmer.


Satisfied with her entry, she set the notebook down on her nightstand and snuggled under the covers. A few minutes later, she was fast asleep.

It was close to midnight at this point, and Sunset's eyes slowly slid open after having pretended to be asleep. Feeling as if she had waited long enough, she decided to make her move.

Slowly, she approached her counterpart's bed. She watched her for a short while before her gaze moved to the nightstand by her bedside. There, resting beside a notebook, was Sunset's geode, unprotected and ready for the taking. Her counterpart had been careless.

Anticipation and guilt coiled within Sunset's stomach as she reached for the necklace and picked it up. She admired the beautiful design of the geode, and lamented that it hadn't come to her instead. It just wasn't fair. Why did her counterpart get to have magic and not her? From what she could tell, she didn't even need magic to get the things she wanted. She already had it all. She was a musician, an artist, a gamer, a singer, a song writer, and a guitar player in a band. She was smart, she was popular, she had her own house, she had friends, and she had magic. Would she really miss just having one of those blessings taken away?

That didn't stop the guilt from creeping up inside her though. She knew that what she was doing was wrong, but she needed this, much more than her counterpart did.

She still hesitated though, but not because of the guilt this time. Perhaps, she thought, this wasn't the right time to make her move. If she took her counterpart's geode, it would only cast suspicion on herself. In fact, she had a feeling that she was already under suspicion. Not that she could blame anyone for thinking that way about her; her behavior had been a little sketchy lately.

Her gaze shifted from the geode to the calendar on her counterpart's wall. Two days from now, written in large red letters, were the words TALENT SHOW, circled to make it stand out all the more. Sunset's gaze then went back to her sleeping counterpart as she thought back to her previous plan.

Slowly, she placed the geode back down on the nightstand, then made her way back to the couch. Despite the opportunity that had presented itself, she decided that it would be best to wait rather than risk exposing herself. She just had to keep her resolve for a little bit longer. Eye on the prize, as the saying went. After that, she was sure to gain the Equestria Girls' hatred, but she would gain so much more in return.

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