• Published 12th Sep 2019
  • 185 Views, 12 Comments

Distance Over Time - Nonchalant



Sunset Shimmer knows she deserves worse than Fluttershy. She knows Fluttershy deserves the world. They have each other, though, which they both want to think is enough. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, and six weeks can be an awfully long time...

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At Rest

Part One - At Rest

Sunset stretched her hand into the air briefly, then let it fall again. She closed her eyes, content to feel the warmth of the sun through gaps in the leaves of the tree above her, and the gentle caress of a hand through her hair. She wiggled her leg to ensure that the edge of the bench hadn’t lulled it to sleep before letting out a contented hum. Cracking a wide grin at the light giggle she received in response, she opened her eyes again and looked up.

“Oh, did I distract you? I’m sorry. Please, go back to whatever you were thinking about.” The voice she so readily recognized as that of her girlfriend was as gentle and kind as ever, but now carried a distinctly teasing lilt. Fluttershy’s hand remained firmly entangled in Sunset’s hair, but it didn’t move while the two girls locked eyes for a moment. Soon, Fluttershy had joined Sunset in her amused smile, before breaking the staring contest and returning to idly gazing around at the line of trees across the park.

Sunset, however, kept her eyes on the pale girl above her while she fired off her own remark.

“Does that mean you’d rather I just keep thinking about exactly how comfortable you seem using your hand to keep my head on your skirt?”


Fluttershy’s hand froze again. This time, Sunset also heard an amused but reluctant sigh. After the obligatory light smack to her forehead, she heard Fluttershy mutter, “That wasn’t one of your best ones, Sunny.”

“I know, but it’s the only way I can keep improving!”

There was another stretch of comfortable silence as the two of them simply enjoyed the contact and the familiarity of the teasing exchange. As Sunset started feeling the effects of laying on a wooden bench for some twenty minutes, she stretched and got up. Fluttershy smiled warmly at her. “I really can’t get over how much you act like a cat sometimes,” she snickered. “Are you sure I can’t keep you at home?”

Sunset shook her head and sat down again. “Nope! I’m an outdoor cat. Pony. Whatever.” She shrugged. “Besides, aren’t you leaving soon? Same as every summer, right?”

Fluttershy looked down, hands meeting in her lap. “Yes,” she said. “We’re off to the airport in two days.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah… sorry I didn’t say anything earlier.” Fluttershy grimaced. “I didn’t want to pressure you into coming out today or something just because it would be your last chance in two months.”

Sunset shook her head, worriedly creasing her brows. “Come on, Flutters,” she said, “you know that even if we were gonna see each other tomorrow I’d do my best to come today as well.”

‘Besides,’ she thought, ‘it isn’t like we really hang out that much outside of school regardless, so of course I’d be excited.’ Sunset took Fluttershy’s hand and pressed it gently to her own cheek. It was true, of course. While they had been on their fair share of dates over the past year and a half, Sunset still thought back to lonely nights sprawled on her couch, wishing her cushions were a better substitute for the comfort she now knew came with human contact after a long day.

When she snapped out of her train of thought, Fluttershy was nodding thoughtfully. “I suppose you’re right,” she said. Then she looked down again thoughtfully, eyes unfocused. “Though I think that also makes me a rather poor girlfriend, doesn’t it?” She ventured, “I know we’ve talked about my lack of communication, and by the way you’re talking about it, I think this might have been one of the important ones…”

The whole time, Fluttershy was fiddling with the hem of her skirt, not looking at Sunset as she trailed off. Sunset waited for her girlfriend to collect her thoughts. It gave her a familiar hollow sensation in her stomach whenever the paler girl started clamming up again. But that wasn’t the kind of thing Sunset wanted to think about while someone else was having a hard time in front of her, so with a deep breath she smiled reassuringly and pulled Fluttershy closer by her shoulders. “There, there. It really isn’t a big deal, okay?”

As the other girl melted into her arms and looked doubtfully up, Sunset continued, “What matters is that you’re thinking about it and getting better, right? Of course, you can’t take it too far either, mmkay? Don’t want you hurting yourself with unrealistic expectations and stuff,” she chuckled slightly.

Fluttershy’s only response was to frown lightly and purse her lips. Upon seeing Sunset looking sufficiently mollified, she nodded tersely. “I heard your tone there. You’re going back to that mindset you had last year, aren’t you?”

“What? No! But you do have to admit it’s kind of funny that it’s me of all people telling you to stop being so hard on yourself.” Sunset Shimmer’s smile showed her acknowledgement that this was, in fact, not something most people would smile about.

Fluttershy remained unimpressed. “You really need to stop that, sweetheart. You told me to tell you to calm down whenever you started doing this to yourself...” She took a breath. “...So I’m really sorry to be interrupting like that, but this should be for your own good.”

“You’re right,” Sunset said. She shook her head and squeezed Fluttershy’s shoulder again. “Thanks.”

The two lapsed into a slightly awkward silence. The playful mood from earlier had effectively been shattered, bringing thoughts of less than romantic moments to fill the gaps. Though Sunset didn’t want to admit it, the reminder of her well-meaning but ultimately ineffective coping thought processes was something that would likely stay with her for the next couple of days. ‘But that isn’t something Fluttershy needs to have bouncing around her head right now either…’

So she did the only other thing she could. Perking up, she looked at Fluttershy with her head quirked to the side. “So… looking forward to your trip then?” she prompted.

The smile that lit up Fluttershy’s face was still a little brittle, but it was the type of brittle that Sunset knew she could coax into the masterpiece that the pale yellow face truly displayed best. She tuned back in as Fluttershy started describing the various features of her trip. “—the petting zoo, just to see if it’s changed at all. Maybe the owners will let me volunteer there this time around, actually. I’m old enough, at least. And after that there’s the beautiful river that I want to spend a night camping by. Oh, I really wish you could come with us, Sunset. I really think you’d like it!” She started to trail off again. “Though I promise, I’m going to keep in touch on DragonFlare. Even though there’s a time difference, I’ll make it work this time around. Okay?”

“Alright. I trust you, babe.”

‘Again.’

“After all, it’s only six weeks, isn’t it?” Sunset kicked her legs out in front of her. “I don’t think it’ll be too bad to only talk to you for that long. Provided you do it regularly, and maybe take a few pictures there, so I don’t forget your face?” Sunset gave her girlfriend a kiss on the cheek, followed by a light nuzzle.

Fluttershy giggled, turning her head for a proper, if chaste, kiss. “I can do that for you,” she said, “as long as I get a few voice messages too! You may think I’m lying, but I really do love hearing you talk. Or sing. Anything, really. It just makes me feel like you’re right there with me.” She smiled hopefully at Sunset.

The redhead groaned playfully. “Fine. If you’ve got such bad taste as to actually want to hear my songs, I leave you to your fate.”

“My funeral, right?”

“You got it, Flutters.” Sunset pulled herself off the bench, latching dramatically onto Fluttershy’s hand. “You’ll forever be doomed to listen to my crappy covers, bemoaning the day you ever told yourself that it was a small price to pay for love. And that’s not even getting into my actually original stuff! Even I can’t come up with a sufficiently dark and dramatic monologue.” Sunset paused. “Rarity just finished her English Literature course, right? Maybe I could ask her…”

“Maybe don’t?” Fluttershy grinned. “But speaking of leaving me to my fate… I really should finish packing.” She stretched her arms above her head, joining Sunset in standing. “But I do promise to text you goodnight, and again before I leave!” she chirped.

“Alright, babe,” Sunset said as she pulled the pink-haired girl into a familiar position, her left hand settling onto Fluttershy’s back as the right sought out her arm. “If you gotta go, then you gotta go.”

Wrapping her own hands around Sunset’s torso, Fluttershy looked up at her and smiled. “I’m not going to get very many chances to enjoy this kind of thing over the next several weeks, am I?” She pulled in closer, hugging her girlfriend tightly. “But really, I’m so sorry about the short notice. I’m not gonna let you down. Promise.”

Sunset didn’t giggle at the intensely determined expression now adorning her girlfriend’s face. She did, however, close her eyes and lean in for another kiss, prompting Fluttershy to do the same.

The two of them stayed in that position for a short while before Sunset sighed. Pushing Fluttershy to arm’s length she smiled softly and rubbed her shoulders. “Guess this is goodbye for now, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but still not for long!” Fluttershy pressed her finger against Sunset’s nose gently. “I will talk to you later tonight,” she nodded. “Stay safe on the way home, okay sweetie?”

“Of course. Can’t let you lose me before you’re ready to cut me loose yourself, right?”

Silence. A raised eyebrow.

“You know I was kidding! Come on, babe. I’m past that,” Sunset said. “For now, though, you’re right. I’ll talk to you later, then?” She asked, deftly pulling one of Fluttershy’s hands up to her lips and pressing it against her smile.

The ensuing light giggle was more than enough reassurance for her, and the two parted ways.

“Goodbye, Sunset!”

“Talk to you later, Flutters!”

It was only when she got home that Sunset noticed the hairpin she was now wearing. It was one that she knew well, since it traditionally rested on the head of her girlfriend. She took it off and smiled. “Something to remember you by, huh?”

In her hand were three pink butterflies.

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