• Published 15th Jan 2020
  • 5,026 Views, 470 Comments

The Sunset of a Frozen Princess - DaylightHobbyist

Sunset Shimmer is lost in a world that she can't move on from. Twilight Sparkle is lost in a world that moves on without her. Together, they each try to find their way again.

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Chapter 1: Moving On

“And, that’s basically it.” Sunset finished as she concluded the tale explaining her current dilemma to her six best friends.

Said best friends were of course not physically in the room at the moment, but that was one of the reasons human technology could be such a wonderful thing. Video chatting could never measure up to hanging out in person, but it made a very efficient means for staying in touch with each other after they had all gone their separate ways.

“So, let me get this straight,” Rainbow Dash started. “Twilight, as in royal Princess Twilight and not super-nerd Twilight- “

“Watch it!” interjected the mentioned nerd.

“-has invited you back to magical pony land to see if you can find the purpose there you can’t find here,” Rainbow finished unperturbed.

“Yeah, I guess that about sums it up,” confirmed Sunset while scratching the back of her head.

Applejack was the next to contribute to the conversation, sporting a look that made it apparent she was trying to put everything together.

“So, since you’re really a pony from Equestria, you reckon you’d find yourself more at home in a place with magic, bein' that your folk take to magic like ducks take to water, and we just don’t have none ah’ that here?”

“well, Kind of,” Sunset answered. “Generally, all ponies contain some form of magic, but that usually only goes towards helping out with a pony’s special talent, which is represented by our cutie marks.”

Seeing the collectively raised eyebrows on the faces of her friends, Sunset decided to elaborate further.
“Cutie marks are these magic marks that everybody, or actually everypony, receive when they discover their special talent. They just sort of magically show up on our flanks when we figure out exactly what that is.”

Sunset took a second to pull up her geode and gestured to the mark engraved on it.

“This was my cutie mark, back when I lived in Equestria.”

“Here I thought you were just running with a particular fashion theme,” Rarity idly commented.

“Well anyway…” Sunset continued. “My cutie mark represents my affinity to and mastery of magic. The same as Princess Twilight’s along with a select few other unicorns.”

“So, you’re saying that magic is what gives you that super-duper extra warm fuzzy bubbly feeling in your chest that I get when one of my pies puts a huge smile on someone’s face that nothing else in the whole wide world can replace?” Pinkie Pie rambled off in her typical hyperactive yet insightful manner.

“That sounds like the feeling I get when I’m caring for animals,” Fluttershy spoke up.

“Or when ay’m harvesting apples,” Applejack pitched in.

“Or when I’m designing my next fashion line,” Rarity breathily interjected.

It was then that Twilight decided to say her own opinion on the matter.
“I think you should do it.”

Shocked at the sudden declaration Sunset could only stutter out a quick, “w-what?”

“I said...I think you should give it a try. If studying magic is what makes you happy, and there’s magic there while there’s none here, it doesn’t make any logical sense for you not to at least give it a shot.” Twilight finished with a quick readjustment of her ever-present glasses.

Sunset was so taken off balance by her friend’s sudden conviction that her argument barely got off her tongue.

“You guys, I can’t jus-“


Whatever meager defense Sunset was prepared to give was quickly cut off by Rainbow Dash.

“I’m gonna level with you. We haven’t always been the best friends to you.”

If Twilight had taken her off guard, this next sudden change in direction left her completely speechless as Rainbow Dash went on.

“Don’t give me that look. You know that between that whole Anon-a-miss mess and that thing with Wallflower, we’ve left you hanging more times than any of us are proud of. I’d like to think we’ve become better friends since then. That means that there’s absolutely no way we’re going to let you be miserable for our sake.”

“Rainbow’s right Sunset,” Fluttershy cut in. “We’re your friends, and that means that we can tell when somethings been bothering you. If studying magic is what will make you happy, we’ll support you all the way.”

At this point, Sunset was practically floored. Perhaps she shouldn’t have been, considering this was pretty much exactly what Princess Twilight told her was going to happen, yet the sheer amount of love and sincerity that was directed at her was staggering. What had she ever done to deserve these guys?

Sunset’s composure was beginning to break as she felt tears welling up in the corners of her eyes.

“But…how could I live over there, when you guys are all right here?”

Rarity was the one prepared to answer this one, “Darling, forgive me for being curt, but we haven’t been, ‘right here’ for quite some time.” Rarity met Sunset’s eyes with a half-smile and a knowing look. “We’ve all gone on to bigger and better things. Rainbow’s bouncing around the country from game to game, I’m constantly moving around meeting people and looking for inspiration, Applejack, Pinkie, and Fluttershy are positively buried in demand for their services, and Twilight’s locked away in her bunker doing her nerdy science things”

“Ok, what do you people have against science!?”

“The point is, we’re all in different places now,” Rarity picked up after a quick chuckle at Twilight’s expense. “And yet, that doesn’t mean we aren’t still friends,” Rarity finished with a full smile adorning her face now.

Applejack nodded, “Rarity’s right sugar cube. It don’t matter if you’re here or in Equestria. We’ll always be your friends.”

Sunset was reminded of the story Princess Twilight had told her yesterday about her departure from Ponyville. She couldn’t deny that they had a point. Still, there was a slight difference in moving between towns and moving between worlds.

“Besides silly, if pony land isn’t your style anymore you can just come right back no problemo!” Pinkie exclaimed with a quick double fist pump.

A long sigh erupted from Sunset as she accepted the truth behind her friends’ words. There really was no reason not to at least give it a shot. There were just a few matters to attend to beforehand.

“What am I going to do about all the stuff in this apartment I can’t take with me?”

Applejack tipped her hat at the question, “I reckon I can make some room at the farm for whatever’s yours while you’re away. What do you say we all get together and help ya move out? Then we’ll be able to give ya a right proper sendoff.”

“I don’t suppose everyone is free next weekend?” Sunset sheepishly asked.

A chorus of affirmations and promises met her question, even from Rarity and Rainbow. This time Sunset failed to suppress the tear that made its way down her cheek alongside the contrasting smile she was sporting.

“You guys really are the best.”

Sunset found herself unable to sleep that night, only able to stare blankly at the ceiling with all the thoughts bouncing around in her head. She settled for lying in bed until she wore herself out thinking of what she was preparing to do.

She could scarcely believe she was going through with the entire thing to begin with. For as long as she could remember, going back to Equestria simply wasn’t an option.

It wasn’t like she had never considered going back. In fact, during her first few years in this world when she was the scourge of Canterlot High, going back was ALL she thought about. Every action she took was just a means of getting closer to achieving the power she had been denied and returning to rub Celestia’s face all over it. At the time Sunset had been little better than a child throwing a tantrum because her mother had refused her.

Then, Twilight had humbled her, stripped her of all her ambition and delusions of grandeur until all she was left with was a feeling of utter emptiness. She had given everything for magic and power. Forsaken bonds of any kind to attain the one thing that she was convinced would give her worth.

In the end, it had all amounted to a lonely smoking crater.

Twilight, on the other hand, had embraced the bonds of friendship she had dismissed as distractions and showed her a form of magic and power far beyond anything she could have ever imagined. She had shown Sunset another way. A better way.

After the Fall Formal, she remained in the human world to both make amends for the lives she had trampled over and learn more about the magic of friendship she had foolishly dismissed.

There was also the small matter of simply being too scared and ashamed to ever show her face to Princess Celestia again. The one who had taken her in at a young age when she had no one and raised her as one would a daughter.

Sunset had long come to terms with how even in her darkest moments, everything she had done was little more than a misguided attempt to impress the Princess. Years of carefully laid plans dedicated to proving her worth to the only pony who had ever given her the time of day.

Even after all this time, it still stung for her to think of the life she might have had if she had only listened to her teacher.

But in the human world Sunset had gone above and beyond in her quest for redemption, saving them from magical terrors time and again as well as all of Earth and Equus on at least one occasion. Past actions can never be taken back, but it was hard to deny that, by now, Sunset Shimmer had done more good than bad.

During a particular incident with a student named Wallflower Blush, she had even given a brief and long overdue apology to Princess Celestia.

After that point, Sunset remained in the human world simply because she was comfortable there. Part of her still longed to spend time with the pony who raised her and she would always miss the ability to call upon the full might of her unicorn magic, but she had friends, magic to study, and a steady life. Uprooting that to run off to another world a second time was simply not appealing.

Now the irony was, uprooting that life was exactly what she intended to do in just a few short days. Sunset wondered if she was crazy because of that.

The fact was, ponies were creatures of purpose. No matter how long she walked like a human, it didn’t change that she was a pony. She needed a purpose and she no longer had one here.

In truth, the idea of going back to Equestria after so long terrified her. Now that she was committed to the idea though, she was beginning to feel something else in addition to the terror. The feeling of excitement.

She had been cut off from true Equestrian magic for so long that the idea of being able to work with an endless supply of it once again made her shiver in excitement. She could scarcely imagine all the new information and forms of magic available after Equestria had changed so much. The thought of commanding and creating new spells once she was reunited with her beloved horn was enough to cause the long-restrained unicorn’s eyes to glass over. She could fill a lifetime with it all for sure. Perhaps several.

To top it off, that was only the magic aspect of returning to her homeland. Despite growing up in Equestria, Sunset had seen so very little of it, spending the majority of her life in Canterlot, learning about the outside world solely through her studies. This could be her chance to really see the world she came from.

Then there were the people, or rather, the ponies. The ability to easily see Princess Celestia again was both heartening and nerve-racking. There was just so much left to tell and ask her.

Then there was Twilight. The pony who changed her life. The idea of seeing her in person again stirred up all sorts of feelings Sunset couldn’t properly identify.

It seemed they would be at the very least in close proximity to each other fairly often once she crossed over. Truth be told, Sunset had always wished they could spend more time together. Corresponding through the journals was a good compromise for the dimensional barrier issue, but it also made the distance between them very apparent. It was strange, feeling close to somepony who was always so far away.

First thing tomorrow, she intended to write Twilight, to let her know she was taking her up on her offer, which would officially set their reunion in stone.

Sunset began to wonder what Twilight was like these days. How much had she changed since their last meeting so many years ago? Had the weight of the crown gotten to her at all or was she still the same nerdy princess who freaked out over a particularly old book?

Sunset found herself hoping she was still the same old Twilight but knew that realistically holding the throne for so long was bound to change anypony at least a little.

She reminded herself that whatever Twilight was like now, the mare was still one of her best and oldest friends. Getting to spend time with her again was perhaps what Sunset was looking forward to the most out of the whole affair.

These comforting thoughts were enough for Sunset to finally close her eyes with a tired yawn, in wait of the fast-approaching journey back to a long-departed home. Hazy images of a familiar landscape being watched over by a small purple alicorn flashed through her mind

"Besides," she thought just before she drifted to sleep, "how much could anypony change in all that time?"

The weekend arrived much too quickly for Sunset’s liking.

One by one her friends all arrived to help load all of her belongings into Applejack’s truck. The amount of work that was actually required was surprisingly little. Even after all this time, the items Sunset could truly call her own were depressingly few.

Several guitars she had collected, her electronic equipment complete with an admittedly sizable collection of video games, and various books and knickknacks she had used to personalize her living quarters composed the bulk of the moving items.

The amount of stuff she would be taking with her was even more scant. Merely a small satchel containing whatever notes and keepsakes she couldn’t bear to part with, such as her first magical journal, given to her by Princess Celestia, and her Geode.

With a final grunt, Applejack placed the last box into the back of the truck and turned to face Sunset without so much as a light sweat from the manual labor.

“I believe that there's the last of it. You're ready to go Sunset,” Applejack told her redheaded friend as their gang began piling into either Applejack’s truck or Rainbow dash’s sports car.

“Girls, wait!” Sunset cried out in alarm now that the moment she was anticipating was coming so near.

The group paused what they were doing to hear what their friend had to say.

“What if I’m making a mistake?” Sunset desperately asked her friends who were giving her their undivided attention. “What if I’m moving too fast? Maybe I’m being too rash with this whole thing? I mean, packing my whole life up in just a few days to go soul searching in another dimension is kind of crazy, right? With how I’ve been feeling, I just don’t know if I’m thinking clearly, and- “

The borderline hysterical tirade was cut off by Applejack placing a hand on Sunset’s shoulder.

“Calm down now Sunset. This here’s a pretty big deal, but I hope you know that we wouldn’t let ya go through with anything we didn’t think would be good for ya’.”

“Plus, you kinda already quit your part-time job and moved out of your apartment, so it’s a little late to be getting cold feet,” Rainbow interjected and was given a smack to the back of the head courtesy of Rarity for her troubles.

Regardless, Sunset’s nerves had been cooled for the time being and she let out a long breath to calm herself down. “You’re right AJ. I trust you.”

The peace lasted until she was suddenly crushed from behind in a tight hug and lifted off the ground by her hyperactive pink friend.

“Besides, we still have to have your super special going away party!” Pinkie Pie shouted while still holding Sunset off the floor.

The captive girl couldn’t suppress a laugh at the antics of her best friend. One wouldn’t think that Sunset’s more down to Earth cool girl slash nerd hybrid persona would mesh well with Pinkie’s hyperactive eccentric personality, but the two had developed a special bond even among their friends.

“It’s not a party Pinkie. We’re just going to have lunch together,” Sunset clarified through her own giggles.

“Silly Shimmy. Everything’s a party when you’re here,” Pinkie countered while actually managing to tighten her already firm grip on the redhead.

Despite how her life may have currently been in serious danger due to a rapidly decreasing supply of oxygen, Sunset could only find herself savoring the moment as all her friends shared a laugh at her predicament.

Soon, she would be far away from all of them, but the fact that she’d be able to hold moments like this in her heart no matter where she went made it all not seem so bad.

Compared to some of their adventures in High School, the rest of their day together was rather uneventful. Sunset couldn’t have been happier for the fact.

Just a peaceful day hanging out with her friends. It was so simple, yet so perfect at the same time. Sunset found herself thinking that if every day was like today, living without magic wouldn’t be so bad.

Unfortunately, the day eventually came to an end as all good things must.

After a lengthy drive that somehow still seemed all too short, Sunset found herself facing the place where it all began. Canterlot High School.

So many things were different now, but Sunset found comfort in the fact that some things just never changed. All these years later and the school stood the same as it had the day she first came to this world.

Fortunately, the school was completely deserted as a result of it being a weekday during the summer which would make what came next much easier.

“I guess this is it,” Fluttershy said, her volume barely louder than a whisper.

“Yeah, I guess it is,” Sunset muttered as she stood before the former base of the wondercolt statue, which was now adorned with a statue of a stone alicorn.

The new statue was commissioned to celebrate their class's graduation (as well as to seal off the magic coming through the base from Equestria once Sunset and Twilight located the source of the rogue magic that had endlessly plagued the school). The idea to model the new statue after a mythical horse was Sunset’s way of paying tribute to the princesses who helped make her into the person she was today.

The part of the statue that currently had Sunset’s attention, however, was the mirror embedded in the front of the statue's foundation. The inconspicuous reflective surface that occasionally served as a gateway between two entirely different worlds.

There was no point in turning back now, but there was no way Sunset was going to leave without first saying goodbye.

Sunset turned around to take one last look at her best friends…only to see that the composure they had all valiantly held onto since they had convinced her to give this a chance was finally coming undone.

Each one of the girls was clearly struggling to hold back tears now that the moment was finally upon them, and the strength Sunset had been building up all afternoon was quickly failing her.

“Girls, I don’t have to-“ Sunset started only to be cut off by Rarity.

“No no. None of that now,” Rarity got out through sniffles. “If this is what will make you happy…then it’s what will make us happy as well.”

Twilight stepped up and took both of Sunset’s hands in her own causing a strange warm feeling to wash through her.

“It’s...it's okay Sunset. You’ve done so much for all of us, and especially for me. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you, and I wouldn’t trade the time we spent together for anything in this world or the next,” Twilight spoke until she had to stop and take one of her hands to wipe away the tears building up in her eyes.

Sunset noticed that the hand Twilight had let go of now felt strangely cold.

Once Twilight had regained enough control of herself and readjusted her, after all these years, still ill-fitting glasses, she picked up her speech. “We’re really going to miss you. I’m really going to miss you. But…It’s time for you to move on,” she finished as she let go of Sunset’s other hand.

Sunset didn’t know what to do next as she rubbed her hands together in an attempt to replace the lost warmth. In her heart, she knew Twilight was right, but the truth was that Sunset had simply never been good at letting things go.

She met Twilight’s violet eyes wondering if this was how she really wanted this to end.

“ARGH! That’s it, I can’t take it anymore!”

The silence was mercilessly shattered as a pink blur rushed in and captured both Sunset and Twilight in a hug. Pinkie Pie was soon followed by the rest of the girls as they all collected into a massive group hug in front of the portal.

Whatever semblance of composure remained gave out as the sound of tears mixed with laughter filled the air.

A different but far more intense warmth filled Sunset as she was mercilessly smothered in affection from her dearest friends. Something about this moment just felt right to her, and for the first time in a long time, she truly felt at peace.

Several minutes later, when the sorrowful and joyful sobs subsided the group hug finally broke up, and Sunset felt ready to face what came next.

She removed her journal from her satchel and quickly scribbled in one more message.

Twilight, I’m ready.

“I love you girls,” Sunset said with a gentle smile on her face.

“Well, we are pretty awesome.”

“The feelings mutual darling.”

“You take care now Sugercube.”

“Say hello to all the cute animals for me.”

“And don’t forget to thoroughly document all the data you collect in Equestria.”

“And especially don’t forget to smile!”

The journal lit up after this final chorus.

The portal’s ready for you Sunset.

"Guess it’s time to go," Sunset thought after she read the message. There was just one final thing to do.

“Pinkie, I want you to have this,” Sunset said as she held her journal out to the bouncy pink-haired girl who now had a rare look of genuine shock on her face. “It won’t be of much use to me once I go through the portal, and I still want to keep in touch with you guys. You can all pass it around whenever you need to tell me something. I know it’s not the most efficient means of staying in contact, but it’ll do until I figure out something better.” Sunset explained

Pinkie Pie seemed conflicted between taking the book and pulling her hands into herself. “Wouldn’t you rather someone a bit more careful keep this Sunset?” Pinkie asked with a sheepish look on her face.

Sunset merely shook her head at the reservation that didn’t at all fit the hyperactive girl she had come to love. “I’m hoping that you’ll all get around to keeping it eventually, but I want my best friend to take first watch,” Sunset said as she placed the book into a pair of pink hands.

Pinkie Pie resisted the urge to burst into tears a second time that day, instead settling for tightly hugging the book to her chest as if her very life depended on it.

With the feeling of love fresh in her heart, Sunset walked over to the mirror’s surface and took in the sight of her own reflection. The face she saw had been her every day for the past several years. It would be strange not seeing it the next time she looked into a mirror.

She looked back once again to her friends still standing behind her with supportive smiles on each of their teary-eyed faces. Sunset flashed a genuine smile of her own in return.

Then, she pushed forward.

Traveling through the portal was never an experience Sunset got used to, regardless of how many times she had crossed between worlds. It was chaotic, disorienting, blinding, and overloaded just about all of one’s senses.

It also didn’t make for a very happy landing.

This time, when Sunset Shimmer emerged from the portal, she was shot face-first onto the smooth floor and continued to slide several inches before coming to a dead stop. The sight lacked an ounce of dignity or grace as she laid there with her face glued to the floor and her rear end pointed skyward.

“…owie” came the muffled groan of the unicorn returned to form. Determined to at least not look as ridiculous as she had when she met Starlight Glimmer, Sunset peeled herself off the tiled floor with an almost audible ‘shlap’ sound as she dizzily propped herself up onto her four new hooves.

“Not my best landing, but not my worst landing either,” Sunset said in an attempt to console herself as she shook her head and took in the sight of the room she had arrived in.

It was a rather dim and dreary room that wasn’t very well lit by the small windows in the rafters. It was most likely a tower storage area in the castle where the mirror was now kept based on the dark assorted shapes covered in tarps and the vaguely familiar architecture Sunset could make out.

“Hello! Is anybod-er, I mean is anyPONY there?” Sunset asked with a raised voice. She hadn’t been expecting a welcoming party, but she had figured there’d be at least one pony here to greet her.

Movement in the nearby shadows caught Sunset's attention as a large figure made its way to her. What seemed to be the sound of metal knocking against tile filled the air. The dark and oppressive atmosphere put Sunset more on guard than logic told her she should have been as she struggled to remember any spells that would be useful in a pinch.

Eventually, the figure came close enough to take definitive shape, though aside from the small glint of metal regalia they were still cloaked in darkness.

What features she could make out however were unmistakable.
It was undoubtedly a pony. A very big pony. Easily twice the size of an average mare. It sported an extraordinarily long horn and if Sunset’s suspicions were right, the protrusions by its sides were likely wings. Large as the pony was, its limbs were also extremely lanky and defined. The last immediately notable feature was the enormous mane and tail that seemed to be flowing in some sort of ever-present breeze despite the fact that they were clearly indoors.

Any one of those features would be remarkably distinguishing on their own, but there was only one pony Sunset Shimmer knew that possessed all of them.

“Princess Celestia? Is that you?!” Sunset called out to the shadow standing just outside of the dim light cast by the room’s windows

“I’m afraid not,” Came the even-toned response of the figure. That was certainly NOT the voice of Celestia.

Sunset certainly did recognize the voice however, yet everything her eyes told her was pointing to an entirely different pony than the one she had just heard.

The figure seemed to finally take pity on her as it took several steps forward into the light revealing itself in full to the fire maned unicorn staring in utter disbelief at what was before her.

“Welcome to Equestria Sunset Shimmer. I've been waiting for you,” Said the towering lavender alicorn in the most regal tone Sunset had ever heard the voice she was hearing take.


Author's Note:

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who read, followed, and favorited this story. Even my most optimistic expectations didn't match the positive reception the first chapter received. It's not every day your first story makes the featured page and garners over 100 upvotes. I sincerely hope I can keep it up, and please don't forget to give me feedback. It helps a lot.

Now, I learned while writing this chapter that balancing interaction and dialog between 7 different characters at once is HARD. I'm not as comfortable with the dialog and mannerisms of the rest of the mane 6 as I am with our two main characters, so please let me know what you think of my writing for them so far. I guarantee you this will not be the last we see of them.

Next chapter we'll finally be seeing a lot more of our favorite purple pony, so stay tuned.