• Published 18th Aug 2019
  • 4,171 Views, 669 Comments

Live By The Sword... - redandready45

Sunset learns what it is like to feel helpless and under someone's thumb. Will she stay in Canterlot High?

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Generosity Offers Advice (Edited 03/23/20)

Gym class filled Sunset with trepidation. Out of all the subjects, gym was most indicative of school's social stratification. The weak kids were always picked last for teams, the hated kids were always hit with the dodge balls, and the socially inept kids always ended up sitting on the bench and watching everybody else do sports.

Sunset, while not an athlete, was fit enough to do OK at gym. But her behavior made her the most hated person in school. She was thankful that they were just doing workouts this semester, and even more thankful that she had one friend in class with her.

"...and I told her 'Darling, sapphires don't work with your eye color'," Rarity complained to Sunset as they walked toward the locker room. She sighed and started shaking her head. "I swear, she is either blind or..."

"Don't worry Rarity, I'm sure she'll see the light someday," Sunset said with assurance. "Anyways, let's go get changed." The pair walked into the locker room. Unbeknownst to them, a pair of yellow eyes watched Sunset with pitiless glee.

"OK class!" Coach Harshwhinny yelled. The girl's gym class stood in a circle around the gym coach, wearing t-shirts and shorts. "As usual, we will be doing reps. Please join with your partners." The girls began going toward their partners, usually friends.

Rarity went with Sunset, which she appreciated.

"Hey Rarity!" a voice called. The white-skinned girl turned toward the voice and saw Lyra and Bon-Bon approaching them.

"Hello Lyra and Bon Bon," Rarity said politely. The two, known to be dating, walked up to Rarity with an expression the aspiring fashion-expert could not discern. "How have your days been?"

"Great," Lyra said with a bit of nervousness. "So, what did you with your 100 grand?"

"I'm sorry?" Rarity asked, tilting her head in confusion.

"You know?" Bon Bon said. "The one hundred thousand dollars?"

"I don't have that kind of money darling," Rarity said. "What makes you two think I did?" To her confusion, Bon Bon and Lyra narrowed her eyes in anger.

"Whatever," Bon Bon said with a roll of her eyes. "I just hope it's worth dealing with...her," Bon Bon said with a growl, turning to glare at Sunset, who stepped back at their anger. Without another word, the two walked off to another part of the gym. Rarity felt herself clenching her fist.

"Hey Sunset, will you give me 60 dollars if I wave at you," Lyra snarked as she walked away. Sunset stared at them with a mixture of confusion and fear.

"What was that about?" Sunset asked with concern.

"I don't know Darling. The best thing to do is to ignore it," Rarity said in a reassuring tone. Before they could begin their exercises, Coach Harshwhinny stormed up to them.

"Rarity!" the coach yelled. "How many times do I have to tell you 'no heels in the gym'?!" Rarity looked down at a purple heels she wore.

"But Coach," Rarity complained, "these heels go well with my shorts and my eye color."

"Well, hopefully they'll go well with the color of the detention room walls," Coach Harshwhinny snarked. "Because that's where you'll be going if I see you in heels one more time. Now go get your sneakers," Harshwhinny ordered. Rarity let out an annoyed sigh.

"I'll be right back, Darling," Rarity said to Sunset, who watched with some nervousness as Rarity went to the locker room.

"Now where did I leave those shoes," Rarity said to herself as she walked into the locker room. "Did I put them-," Rarity paused as she saw Gilda Griffon sitting on the bench on the locker room. She was sitting on some clothes that looked familiar.

Rarity's concern grew when she saw Gilda holding a box called "itching powder." When Gilda moved her thigh, she saw a familiar leather jacket. Rarity glanced and saw a locker has been-

Rarity gasped in horror when she saw Sunset's notebook in the locker and realized what Gilda was doing. The gasp attracted Gilda's attention.

"Hey Fashion Queen," Gilda said casually. "How's it..." she glanced down at the floor and chuckled. "Did you really wear heels to gym class," Gilda said cackling. She then let out another laugh. "You really are something else, Fashion Queen."

"What are you doing?" Rarity asked with horror.

"I'm starting a dry-cleaning," Gilda said with a roll of her eyes. "I'm preparing to apply-what does it look like I'm doing?! I'm putting itching power on Demon Girl's clothes."

"Cease defiling those precious garments at once, you brute!" Rarity yelled dramatically. Gilda rolled her eyes again.

"Man, you must really wanted that 100 grand," Gilda said. "You're even fighting her battles for her." Rarity narrowed her eyes with anger and confusion. "But, since I'm nice, I'll pretend you weren't-,"

"What are you talking about?" Rarity almost yelled. Gilda's relaxed face was replaced with annoyance.

"I'm not an idiot, Fashion Queen," Gilda barked. "I know Demon-Girl paid you and your dweeb friends $100,000 each to sit next to her." Rarity's face twisted into outrage. "I'm surprised Dash didn't take it. That flip-flop-,"

"Sunset didn't pay me anything," Rarity said. "She paid Applejack back for damages owed. I sit next to her because I want to." Gilda seemed to ignore her, and was preparing to pour the itching powder.

"Whatever you say," Gilda said with disbelief. She ignored the heels walking up to her, and just before she was about to pour the power, two manicured hands knocked the box out of her hands. Gilda growled before looking up at a defiant Rarity.

"What was that for?!" Gilda said with fury.

"Leave Sunset alone you brute," Rarity yelled. "I know your angry with her, but don't start spreading-," Rarity paused as Gilda rose to her full height with a glare. Rarity remembered how physically imposing the white-haired girl was and gulped. With a snarl, Gilda seized Rarity by her shirt and slammed her into a nearby wall.

"OK, fashion queen," Gilda growled, lifting Rarity up so that they were eye level. "You want to fight demon girl's battles, I'll start beating you too," Gilda almost breathed into the struggling girl's face. "I'm gonna give you want last chance to-," without warning, Rarity slammed her forehead onto Gilda's nose. Gilda released Rarity, rubbing her nose in pain. The purple-haired girl rubbed her own forehea

"Why you," Gilda snarled, before lunging at Rarity with an almost animalistic scream. Rarity, with a roll of her eyes, put one of her legs out, then seized Gilda by her arm. Using Gilda's own momentum against her, she tripped the soldier and hurled he headfirst into the bench. Gilda fell to the ground, clutching her head. Without warning, a purple heel slammed into Gilda's throat, filling Gilda with a truly agonizing pain. Gilda brought her hands up to her throat with a gasp, looking up with some fear at the high-heeled girl looming over her.

"Did you think that just because I liked being a lady that I am also a weakling," Rarity said in a casual tone to Gilda, who was chocking and gasping in agony. "All roses have thorns."

"Why are you defending her?" Gilda asked, her gruff voice made even rougher by the attack on her trachea. The disbelief and frustration in her tone was evident. To her confusion, Rarity offered her a hand.

"I would have told you, had you not decided to throw your little...tantrum," Rarity said, as if speaking to a child. Gilda snarled at the attack on her pride, but was in too much pain to act on her anger, and reluctantly accepted Rarity's hand. The two sat down on the bench.

"Now believe me darling," Rarity said in an unusually empathetic tone. "I know how you feel. There were times when I also wanted to punch Sunset in her throat. Wanted to make her ache and bruise," Rarity said with quiver in her voice. "When Sunset was suspended part of me wished she never come back." Rarity took a deep breath. "When Applejack starting hanging out with her, I also thought she was being a fool." Rarity looked at the ground, before continuing.

"But then, Applejack told me about how, when we blasted her with that...rainbow laser," Rarity continued. "she had to see all the terrible things she did. She had to see how horribly she treated other people." Gilda gave her annoyed glare.

"How do you know she isn't lying?" Gilda asked with some contempt.

"I had my doubts as well," Rarity said, pulling out her nail file and giving herself a manicure. "But then Applejack told me about how she did her community service without complaint. She could've easily transferred to another school to get out of it, but she didn't," Rarity continued. Gilda looked at her with disbelief.

"Really?" Gilda asked with disbelief.

"Yes, really," Rarity parroted. "And then, she not only paid Applejack back for the damages, but worked on her farm every weekend during her suspension just to see how hard Applejack and her family worked to keep their farm." Gilda's jaw dropped with confusion. "She used her free time to pull weeds, dig holes, lift heavy rocks. All the horrible chores that farmers do." Rarity said with a proud smile. "And when I gave her a nice outfit, she offered to do some of my work for me at the boutique where I design." Gilda's face twisted into contemplation.

"She did all that?" Gilda asked in a quiet, low tone.

"Yes Darling," Rarity said. "And let me tell you something. Ever since I gave her a chance, I felt so much better then when I was holding a grudge." Gilda's eyes drifted to the floor. "I'm not telling you to just forget about what she did and braid each other's her hair. I'm simply saying that giving her a chance to make amends would make you feel better then just taking swipes at her." Gilda's eyes drifted to Rarity.

"Well, demon-girl costed me a whole summer break," Gilda said, some anger returning to her voice. "She can't get that back for me."

"And I agree, it was a horrid thing to do," Rarity said with honest sympathy. "But I have a feeling that if you just give her a chance, she can give you something new." Rarity looked at the clock. "Anyways darling, I must get back to gym class. Please take what I say to heart." Rarity got her sneakers and walked out of the locker room, leaving Gilda to sit silently and brood.

Gilda thought about the fashion lover's words, and felt conflicted. When she felt conflicted, she talked to the one person who could help her out.

After school ended, she boarded her usual ride home. An army truck that took her to Hurricane Air Force Base, a place she considered to be her true home. She walked into the office of Master Sergeant, and her legal guardian, Glider Griffon. The man wore a blue uniform, had dark green eyes, grey skin, and thin-brown hair that was greying at the edges. Despite being in his 50s, he still looked as formidable as a man 30 years his junior. The stern man was looking over documents when he saw Gilda walk in.

"Hello Gilda," Glider said, his stern features becoming more magnanimous. "What can I do-," Glider noticed the contrite expression on his adopted daughter's face. "Gilda, what's wrong?" Gilda sighed and opened up about what Sunset did (leaving out the parts about magic out of respect for Princess Twilight), and how Sunset had been bullying her for the past week. At the end of the conversation, which had moved over to the couch in Glider's office, the military man's face twisted into stone.

"Gilda, I am deeply disappointed with you," Gilda's faced twisted into fear.

"But Sergeant, she started it," Gilda said. "I was defending myself-,"

"And you continued it," Glider almost bellowed. "You know there is a difference between revenge and self-defense. I've told you that a true soldier doesn't live by a grudge."

"She made me lose a summer with you!" Gilda yelled. "I was trying to prove that she couldn't mess with me-,"

"You didn't prove anything except that your a damn fool who will let anyone get under your skin!" He yelled. "I'd rather not spend any summers with you if all you do is end up like your sweet, loving mother!" Gilda got up from the couch in a rage.

"Don't compare me to that bitch!" Gilda yelled. "I'm nothing like her!"

"Oh really," Glider said, rising from the couch. "I remember your mother well. I still remember the last time we saw her as she was carted off to jail." His voice became more quiet. "She wailed about how badly life treated her, and how she didn't deserve this." Glider's eyes narrowed. "Your mother certainly didn't have an easy life. Her own mother beat her up, her husband ran out on her, and she had to work several jobs to survive." His mouth twisted into a frown.

"But instead of trying to better herself, she used her miserable little existence to do nothing but treat you like garbage. She would beat you and call you rude names. And then she would spend all her money on booze instead of the food you needed." Gilda's lips quivered. "She had no problem turning you into another miserable monster who would hurt other people to make up for their own empty, miserable life." His eyes narrowed.

"And it looks like she succeeded in the end. Despite giving you a home and letting you live under my roof, you're using your own misfortune to go back to become like her. An empty, abusive nothing who loves to make other people suffer just to feel good about themselves." Gilda looked down, thoroughly ashamed. "And besides, you certainly aren't innocent. Remember how much of a bully you used to be." Gilda felt her eyes water. "Remember...Blossomworth."

"I didn't want to be her," Gilda said quietly. "I wasn't trying to be her. But...Sunset cost me a summer...and made me look stupid in front of everybody...and made me punch someone who didn't deserve it..." Gilda broke down in tears. She felt a pair of strong hands wrap around her and hold her as she wept.

For a moment, Gilda and Glider didn't look like a tough girl in school and an army sergeant respectively. Gilda looked like a scared girl and Glider looked like a father trying to comfort her child.

"I know Gilda, and you have every right to be mad," Glider said in a soothing tone as Gilda fought to control herself. "But revenge won't help you." Gilda looked at Glider and his kind, nurturing eyes. She was still upset but no longer ashamed or fearful. "If this girl was still bullying you, then I wouldn't blame you. But she sounds like she wants to get her life together. You certainly know what that's like don't you?" Gilda let out a deep breath and silently nodded. "Like I said, you weren't exactly an angel when I found you. But I gave you a chance when it was hard to trust you. Maybe you need to be the one to give someone a chance, despite how hard it was for you."

"OK," Gilda said in a calm voice. "I'll....try."

"That's my little soldier," Glider said playfully.

"Thanks Sergeant," Gilda said.

"Why do you call me Sergeant?" Glider asked with a sad smile. "I've been raising you for four years. Why can't you call me dad?"

"I had one of those," Gilda said with her own sad smile. "He ran out on me when I was four." She wrapped Glider in a happy hug. "You're so much better then a dad." Glider responded with an amused smile and returning the hug as well.

Sunset walked to her locker to take out her science book for her next class, when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around and saw Gilda glaring at her.

"Hey Gilda?" Sunset said nervously. "How's it-,"

"Your schedule." Gilda said. Sunset's fear was replaced with confusion.


"Let me see your schedule," Gilda repeated in a stern tone. Sunset, quivering, pulled out her schedule and handed it over to the tall girl. Gilda looked it over before handing it back.

"You. Me. Library at Study Hall. Don't be late," Gilda uttered before walking away. Sunset watched her Gilda's walk away, confused at Gilda's order. But not that much fear. It didn't seem like she was planning some serious confrontation.

"Nobody has fights in the library," Sunset thought. As she walked away, she felt more nervous then afraid.

Sunset walked into study hall with a bit of trepidation. Her heart thundered a bit when she saw Gilda sitting at the table near the doors. Gilda spotted her with those angry yellow eyes, and silently ordered her to sit down. Sunset came to the table and sat down with a gulp.

"So what do you..." Sunset began cautiously, before noticing five magazines in front of Gilda. Saw that they all were military academies.

"Cloudsdale, Pansy, Firefly," Sunset read aloud. "Aren't these the top-"

"Military academies in the country," Gilda continued in a stern voice. "Yes they are. They want only the top people. Of course if you have academic probation on your record, it is harder to get in." Sunset caught the angry tone and looked down in shame. "Of course, a good application, and some connections, can make people...overlook certain things." Sunset's shame was replaced with interest.

"So, what do you want?"

"If you do my applications for me, essays and everything," Gilda gritted her teeth before continuing. "I'll let everything go." Sunset looked at Gilda with both surprise and a small amount of joy.

"Really?" Sunset asked Gilda in a hopeful tone.

"Yeah, I guess," Gilda said reluctantly. Sunset's face twisted into a grateful smile.

"Gilda, you don't know how much this-,"

"Don't start Shimmer," Gilda growled. "Just work."

"That's fine," Sunset said with a small smile, accepting that Gilda wasn't ready to be friends. A small, awkward silence hung over them. "Well, let's get started." She pulled the magazine for Firefly and read the instructions. "Let's start with the essay. It says you need to describe the three things that changed your life the most."

"Well," Gilda said, putting her hand on her chin. "Let's see." She was broken from her daydreaming with the arrival of a blue-skinned athlete.

"Hey Rainbow," Sunset said, trying to be friendly.

"Sunset," Rainbow said coldly as she passed the two. Sunset accepted that. Sunset noticed that Rainbow and Gilda didn't bother to greet each other at all.

"So," Sunset said as Rainbow walked away, trying to break the tension, "what happened between-," Gilda's eyes returned to their burning rage. Sunset took the hint that Gilda was far from ready to share her life secrets with a former bully. "Let's get back to the essay," Sunset said with an awkward laugh. Gilda's rage cooled and the two went back to working on the applications.

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