• Published 2nd Aug 2020
  • 1,365 Views, 130 Comments

The Open Road - Krickis

After she marries Twilight and Fluttershy, nopony will stop talking about Sunset Shimmer. What was once her fondest wish has become a constant strain, so the three wives decide to get away from it all on a road trip through the human world.

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3 – Heavy Lies the Crown

Chapter Three

Heavy Lies the Crown

The day was not off to a good start. This trip was supposed to be a relaxing break from how hectic their lives had become in Equestria, and to an extent, it was. Things were certainly simpler, although Twilight was learning that was not always a good thing.

Oh sure, they had a lot of fun, but that wasn’t exactly the same thing. Every day brought new reasons to be glad to make the trip, but Twilight was getting increasingly tired. The fact that it was almost impossible to sleep on beds made for a maximum of two people certainly had something to do with that. Once in a while they stayed at a hotel with two beds and Twilight shared one with Spike, which was the only time she didn’t wake up sore from cramped sleeping arrangements.

Today was not one of those days. Today was also not a ‘get a nice meal to start things off’ kind of day. Most of them weren’t. The novelty of eating cheap to save Rarity’s budget wore off extremely quickly when it meant yet another complimentary bagel with cream cheese from the hotel breakfast. It didn’t help that humans offered little in the way of cheap vegetarian options for their food.

It wasn’t that Twilight didn’t understand the need to travel cheap, but it did grow tiresome after a while. Usually right in the mornings, when she was waking up sore and had to compromise on her breakfast, then the day would get better.

Well, sort of. She frowned at the motorcycle as they left the hotel, knowing what was going to come next all too well. “How far of a drive is it today?” she asked, dreading the answer.

“Not too bad,” Sunset said. “Maybe three hours or so.”

“Great…” Three hours felt a lot longer to Twilight than to the others, she thought. Sunset was distracted with driving, and Fluttershy and Spike got to sit in the sidecar. Only Twilight was holding on for dear life the entire time.

“Everything okay, Twi?” Spike asked.

Twilight glanced around to make sure no one heard him. He was bad about making sure the coast was clear before talking. Thankfully, there was no one, so Twilight just sighed and forced a smile. “I’m fine, just didn’t sleep so well last night.”

“You said that yesterday,” Sunset pointed out. “Everything okay? You’re not sick or anything, are you?”

Fluttershy placed a hand on Twilight’s shoulder. “I know what it is. I have a hard time sleeping as a human too sometimes.”

“Really? Sleeping as a dog is easy!” Spike grinned and chased his tail to show how much energy he had.

“At least one of us is happy…” Twilight grumbled.

“Cheer up, Twi, maybe we can find something you’ll like today.” Sunset grinned. “We could finally hit up a history museum or something.”

Twilight had wanted to go to a human history museum for years, and it didn’t make sense to complain when her family were all going through the same things as she was. “That’d be nice.”

So Twilight put on her helmet and got onto the motorcycle behind Sunset. At least none of the others could see her sigh as they drove off.

It wasn’t like Twilight hated the motorcycle. She’d always loved riding around on it with Sunset in the past, but that was back when they rode it for maybe half an hour at a time. For it to be their only method of travelling was another thing entirely.

But humans didn’t have the speed nor the stamina of ponies, so running places was always out of the question. Besides, America was bigger than Equestria, and not as well connected with trains. They needed to drive around themselves, and the motorcycle was what they had to do that with.

So it made sense. Twilight understood why things had to be the way they were, she just… wished they didn’t have to be that way. She longed for their big bed back home, real food to start her day with, methods of travel that were easier on her body.

Twilight longed for the comforts that came with being in Equestria, and, much as she hated to admit it, that came with being a princess.

Instead, she got the roar of a motorcycle engine, dulled a bit through the protective foam of her helmet. She got the wind cutting through her jacket combining with the summer heat that made her both cold and hot at the same time. She got the subtle bouncing on her backside from the motorcycle running, which would leave her sore all day.

There was no point in looking forward, where she would just see Sunset’s back, and looking to the right just showed Spike living it up, which didn’t help Twilight’s mood. So instead, she kept her head turned to the left and watched as the cityscape turned into countryside. It was a nice view, even Twilight had to admit that. But it was rapidly losing some of its novelty given the rest of their travel conditions.

And she had three hours to look forward to it until they got to the next city they were stopping at. That history museum better be bucking worth it.

There was no history museum. Twilight should’ve known better than to expect something like that on a day like this. They made it to town without issue – unless one were to count Twilight’s growing discomfort and moodiness as an issue – but once they were there and stopped somewhere for lunch, they learned that there were no history museums in town.

“We could still go to an art museum,” Sunset suggested. “It’s not like you’re familiar with the art of this world.”

“You say that like she’s familiar with the art back home,” Spike said with a snicker.

Twilight rolled her eyes. “It’s a nice thought, but it’s not really the same. Maybe if there’s an art history museum…?”

Sunset scrolled around on the cheap phone Applejack gave her. Apparently it had limited use of the internet, but the sandwich shop they were sitting outside of allowed it to use the internet freely. Twilight was curious about the nature of how that worked, but Sunset didn’t fully know herself and Twilight wasn’t in the mood to puzzle it out.

So instead, Twilight just sighed and plopped her head onto the table. She’d already taken off her hot biker jacket, so she was using that as a sort of pillow.

“Uhm, is everything okay, Twily?” Fluttershy asked.

“Just lovely,” Twilight deadpanned.

“What’s got you all moody?” Spike asked.

“Is it the museum thing?” Sunset asked. “I promise we’ll go to one by the end of the trip. I’ll look into it at the hotel tonight, we can plan a stop around it instead of just hoping to find one once we’re in town.”

“It’s not that,” Twilight said, then corrected herself. “It’s not just that. I’m just tired.”

“You did say you haven’t been sleeping well,” Spike pointed out. “And I think we all know how cranky Twilight gets when she’s tired.”

“I’m not cranky!” Twilight snapped.

Spike laughed, but none of the others seemed amused. “Is that it then?” Sunset asked. “You’re just not sleeping so good?”

“That’s… part of it, yeah. It’s just, I don’t know, how are you two so cheerful? Every day, we wake up cramped together on beds that are too small for us, then we have some pitiful breakfast, then we drive around for hours on – no offense – but on something that’s not meant for long trips like this.”

Sunset smiled softly. “Careful, Twi, your Rarity’s showing.”

“That’s uncalled for,” Twilight said sharply, not sure if she was offended for her own sake or for Rarity’s.

“Twi, I get it, you’re not used to this,” Sunset said. “But we’re all doing the best with what we’ve got.”

“It’s kind of nice to be extra cuddly,” Fluttershy said. “And we can make the rooms colder, so it’s not even that hot.”

“Says the one who isn’t afraid of falling off all the time,” Twilight grumbled.

“Fluttershy has a point though,” Sunset said. “There are a lot of things you’re taking for granted here. We have climate control in our rooms every night, hot water, a bigger food budget than I used to have when I lived alone. Things really aren’t that bad.”

Fluttershy nodded apprehensively. “I guess, I, uhm… Well, it was worse for me when I first moved to Ponyville, before I got my job from the mayor. My cottage was run down and I didn’t ever know where I was going to get food… Plus I was all alone back then.”

The reminder that her problems were insignificant didn’t do anything to help Twilight’s mood. “I get it, I shouldn’t complain about my petty problems.”

“Oh, I didn’t mean that,” Fluttershy said. “I just meant that I think that’s why this isn’t so bad for me.”

Twilight stood up. “I’m going to the bathroom.”

She walked off without waiting for the others to respond, going back inside the building and making her way to the bathroom in the back. She went through the doors, but didn’t bother going to a stall. Instead, she just walked up to the sink and turned it on.

She sighed as she waited for the water to heat up, wondering if the others were right. She’d always had basic amenities taken care of for her. No, she had a lot more than that. Fluttershy and Sunset had both been poor, Fluttershy had practically been homeless when she stumbled across an abandoned cottage.

And on the other hoof, Twilight was born to well off parents. No, they were rich, she might as well own up to herself how privileged she was. Her parents weren’t as wealthy as Sunset’s, but they made way more money than they’d ever need and their kids had benefited from that.

And then as if that wasn’t enough, she went on to become the Solar Princess’s personal student. Then when she was an adult and her friends were working to earn a living, Twilight was given a house to live in and was tasked to learn about friendship – a position that mainly meant she was being paid to spend time with her friends.

Twilight had never known financial hardships, and this was just the tiniest slice of what it was like to make do with what they had.

She splashed the water into her face and steeled herself to take the day more gracefully. True, she wasn’t in private train carts and gorging herself at the best restaurants, but she could still make do and have a good time.

By the time Twilight left the bathroom, she was feeling a little better and much more able to tackle the day. She joined the others back outside, and she was met with a smile from Fluttershy.

It was Sunset that spoke, however. “We think we found something you might like more than an art museum. What about a wax figure museum? Instead of pictures of historical figures, you could actually see them.”

Twilight smiled. “That sounds like it could be a lot of fun! And, uhm, I’m sorry for being such a downer before.”

“It’s okay,” Spike said. “That’s just what we come to expect from you!”

“Spike,” Sunset said sharply, then to Twilight she said, “It’s okay, Twi. We just hope we can make the rest of the day good for you.”

“As long as I’m with you three, I’m sure it’ll be a great day.”

They had finished eating already, so Sunset threw out their trash and then it was back to the motorcycle. Twilight’s first inclination was to go back to being upset, but she reminded herself to take the day with more poise. This was just a short drive through town, then they were going to stop somewhere fun and educational!

Having a better outlook definitely helped. The trip seemed to go by quickly, and Twilight was feeling pretty good about the day as they pulled up to the building. It wasn’t much to look at, but Twilight knew better than to rely on looks.

“Have any of you ever been to a wax museum?” Sunset asked as they dismounted.

“Spike and I haven’t,” Twilight said as she got Spike’s service dog jacket on him. That had been a loan from the other Twilight, who had actually registered her Spike as a service dog to get him into places dogs usually weren’t allowed to go.

“Me either,” Fluttershy said.

“Yeah, I haven’t either.” Sunset got the bike locked up, stowing the helmets in the sidecar and draping a cheap blanket over them. It didn’t offer much for security, but it was all they could do. The important things – Rarity’s credit card and the phone Applejack had given them – Sunset kept in her pockets. The odds of the locked-up motorcycle being stolen were small, and the few loose possessions they were forced to keep unlocked in it could be replaced if they needed to be.

Once everything was secured, the group walked into the building. There didn’t seem to be many other people around, so they were able to go right up to the ticket counter. As usual, Sunset took point. “Three tickets, please.”

The guy behind the counter eyed Spike, who was following Twilight’s instructions of being right by her side taking up very little space. That was what the other Twilight said was expected of him – he was allowed in places dogs couldn’t go, but he still had to play the part of a service dog.

The ticket seller didn’t comment on him though, just tapped on his console and told Sunset the total. He did take the chance as she was paying to remind them, “No touching the wax figures,” with a pointed look at Spike.

“You got it,” Sunset said as she took the ticket stubs he offered. She put all three into her pocket along with the credit card.

The group walked further into the building, coming to a sort of lobby that had split paths and several figures which provided photo opportunities.

“Hound Dog,” Fluttershy read off a plaque near one of them, a guy with a pompadour hairstyle and extravagant white suit. “I think Rarity would like this guy.”

“He’s a musician,” Sunset explained since the plaque didn’t have a lot of information. “Kinda a huge deal, so I guess that’s why they have him right up front.”

“It’s too bad they don’t say much about him,” Twilight said, looking at the plaque before examining the figure closer.

“Yeah, well, like I said, he’s a huge deal. They probably assume everyone knows who he is, you know?”

“I guess that makes sense,” Twilight said, though she couldn’t help but be a little disappointed.

One of the paths was labelled ‘movie monsters’ and another ‘stars, past and present’. Neither sounded like much of a history lesson, but they chose to go down the path with the stars.

“Oh hey, it’s The Junebugs!” Sunset grinned as she approached a display of four men with matching mop-top haircuts. “Oh, and that’s them over there too!”

“They’re here twice?” Twilight asked, perplexed at how differently styled the second iteration of them was. In the first one they all had matching black suits and hair cuts, in the second they were dressed in colorful clothes and had grown out their hair.

“Well, yeah. But I mean, come on, it’s The Junebugs!

“Uhm, who?” Fluttershy asked.

“What? Equestria seriously doesn’t have their own version of The Junebugs? Man, these guys did so much for modern music, you have no idea.”

“No, I really don’t,” Twilight said, a little annoyed. “I wish they’d give us some information about them. There’s just this weird dotted thingy on the plaque.”

“Oh, that’s a QR code.” Sunset pulled out the phone. “You scan them and it tells you about the band. Here, let’s check out what they have to say.”

Sunset held the phone up to the code, and a video started playing. She shut it off before it got very far in. “Shit, that’d eat up our data… and there’s no Wi-Fi here either…”

“So we can’t even learn about the band?” Twilight asked.

“Not without buying extra data for the phone. And I dunno how much we would go through if we were checking everything.”

Twilight sighed. “It’s fine. Even if I would like to understand why they have this same band twice. Just… why?”

Sunset smirked and gestured towards another band. “No, The Why are over there.”

“The who?” Spike asked.

Sunset snickered. “No, The Why. Sorry, it’s a dumb joke, but that’s what that band over there is called.”

“Human bands have weird names,” Fluttershy said.

“Because ‘The Ponytones’ is such a normal name?” Sunset asked.

“Human and pony bands have weird names,” Spike said impatiently. “Now come on, let’s check out some of their other figures.”

The group made their way farther into the exhibit, but most of what they found was the same. Actors, musicians, athletes, television personalities… it was all a bunch of pop culture figures from a culture that Twilight knew almost nothing about.

And worse, there was no good way to learn more about them. Sunset did her best to fill them in on the figures she knew – usually musicians; her knowledge on the other subjects was sorely lacking – but it wasn’t the same since she only had a general knowledge of the subjects.

The only historical figures they came across were actually quite interesting. The Founding Fathers of America, whom Twilight would love to learn more about. Unfortunately, Sunset didn’t seem to know much about them either.

“I always hated history,” she said with a shrug. “I do know that they didn’t look like that though. That guy there, Shot Taker, they made a musical about him, and these are modelled after the actors.”

“Oh.” Twilight couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. The most interesting figures in the whole exhibit, and they were still modelled after actors.

“Yeah, Apple Bloom is obsessed with it. She said we should try to see it while we’re here, but apparently tickets are pretty much impossible to get.”

“Too bad,” Fluttershy said, turning towards Twilight. “A historical musical sounds like something Twilight would like.”

“It could be fun,” Twilight said. At the very least, she would probably enjoy it more than this museum.

“Hey, what’s that over there?” Spike asked, and the others walked off. Not Twilight though, not right away. She stared at the founding fathers, reading their names and making a mental note to look more into them if she ever got the chance.

She couldn’t even blame humans for the way they seemed to prize pop culture over history. Most ponies thought the Hearth’s Warming play was historical fact, and Twilight could never quite manage to convince ponies how important figures like Starswirl the Bearded and Clover the Clever really were.

So what, if Twilight wanted to maintain her legacy, she’d have to make a musical of her life?

‘Where did that thought come from?’ Twilight frowned. Since when did she care about her legacy of all things? Twilight wasn’t that full of herself… Right?

Twilight shook her head. What was going on with her? First she spent the day being miserable because it wasn’t living up to her pampered lifestyle, now she was worrying about what ponies would think of her when she was gone. She finally got away from being a princess, and this was how she acted?

Feeling slightly disgusted with herself, Twilight walked after the others. What would they think of her if they knew she had let being a princess go to her head so much? Twilight wasn’t better than anypony, and she needed to remember that.

“What are we looking at?” Twilight asked as she walked up to a figure of a woman covered in tattoos wearing ripped clothes.

“Eternal Cowgirl,” Sunset said. “She’s the frontwoman of a punk band I like.”

“That’s some name,” Twilight said, smirking. It didn’t seem to fit her at all.

“Yeah, I know. They’re kind of a folk-punk thing though, so I guess it fits. Sort of.”

Twilight took Sunset’s hand in her own. “Thank you for trying to fill us in on what everything is.”

“Of course.” Sunset smiled sheepishly. “I just wish I knew more. I mean, I know all the words to like every one of Eternal Cowgirl’s songs, but that doesn’t mean I could tell you much about her.”

“That’s okay. And, uhm, I’m not sure she’d be my kind of music, anyway.”

Fluttershy giggled. “Yeah, I don’t think punk really suits Twilight all that – is that Rainbow Dash?”

“What? No way.” Sunset turned toward where Fluttershy was looking, and sure enough, there was a figure of Rainbow Dash. She was also dressed in punk attire and was frozen in place playing her guitar.

“I didn’t realize they were popular enough to get here,” Twilight said.

Sunset walked over to the figure. “No fucking way.”

Twilight walked over with Sunset. It was bizarre to see Rainbow immortalized in a wax figure, but she was more interested in figuring out what Sunset was feeling. She and Rainbow hadn’t exactly gotten along when she moved to Equestria, and they hadn’t spoken once since then.

“Sunset?” Fluttershy prompted.

Sunset shook her head. “Sorry, it’s just… like wow, you know? I didn’t even know they were big enough for something like this.”

“It is tucked away pretty far in the back,” Spike pointed out. “I guess she barely made it in?”

“Yeah, I guess,” Sunset said. Just when Twilight was afraid she was upset to have found a reminder of her past, Sunset cracked a smile. “Geez, wonder what she would think of me running into her wax figure like this?”

“Glad you’re taking it well,” Twilight said.

Sunset chuckled. “They didn’t get her quite right, though. I can’t remember the last time she looked this happy with me around.”

Twilight and Fluttershy exchanged glances.

“I’m happy,” Sunset said, sounding like she was very much trying to be happy but also like she wasn’t really quite there. “This is good for her. It’s good that she’s this successful. You don’t think it would hurt to watch one of those QR videos, do you?”

“Uh, you’re kind of the one who knows about that stuff…” Spike said.

“And do you really think that’s a good idea?” Fluttershy asked.

Sunset was already pulling out the phone. “I just gotta know what they say about her.” She scanned the code and a video started playing. They all gathered around to watch.

Rainbow Dash – the real Rainbow Dash – was standing beside the wax figure of herself. Although she didn’t have a guitar with her, she struck the same pose. “I dunno, I think I still look way cooler in person.”

Fluttershy giggled. Not the Fluttershy who was standing with them watching the video, but it was unmistakably the sound of Fluttershy giggling. And then if there were any doubt, it disappeared as she spoke. “Rainbow, we’re recording.”

“Oh, right. This is Rainbow Dash, standing beside Rainbow Dash, and as you can see I’m way cooler than this hunk of wax.”

“Why don’t you tell them who you are?” Fluttershy said.

“Right. I’m the lead singer and one of the guitarists of the band Bitchette, a little band out of Everton that’s now rocking the nation!”

The video cut to a performance of what Twilight assumed had to be Bitchette performing a song on stage. It was very loud and not really something Twilight could see the appeal of, but the audience seemed to be going crazy. She could make out Rainbow in the front and what looked almost like Gilda playing beside her. There were two other band members, but Twilight didn’t know them.

The video cut to the band backstage, and it was obvious that it was Gilda that Twilight had seen. Fluttershy’s voice talked over the video. “It was late in 2012 when Rainbow Dash formed the band Bitchette with original bassist Lightning Dust. Adding drummer Lemon Zest and guitarist Windfall, the band began playing the local scene and writing their first songs over the next year. In 2014, Bitchette released their self-titled debut album, which contained the hit song ‘Your Impatience’, which carried the band into the radio mainstream.”

The video returned to Rainbow Dash, this time sitting in a hotel room. “It’s been a crazy ride. The truth is that while I act cool and confident all the time, I’m really blown away by the love and support our fans show us. Every day, it just feels like this can’t be real, like this is just a dream and I’m going to wake up from it, you know?”

Next it showed the band on a tour bus, where they were playing a videogame together. “Lightning Dust would later leave the band in 2016 after recording their second studio album to form The Washouts. Her replacement Gilda, a childhood friend of both Rainbow and Windfall, joined as the new bassist and fourth member of Bitchette. This is the lineup that would go on to record their third album, ‘Fight or Flight’, in stores now.”

The scene returned to Rainbow with her wax figure. “I guess if there’s one thing to say it’s ‘thank you’. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of all of our awesome fans, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here. We’re always on the road, so if you can make it out to a show, come say hi! We do this for you all! Keep on rocking, bitches!”

The video cut out, and everyone looked to Sunset. She kept staring at the phone, even though there was nothing on it anymore.

“Sunset?” Twilight asked.

Sunset shook her head and looked up, smiling. “Wow, it’s great how successful they’ve been.”

Fluttershy put her arm around Sunset. “You don’t have to pretend to be okay.”

Sunset bowed her head and sighed. “You know what’s dumb? It still weirds me out that she sounds just like you.”

Twilight leaned against her wife. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Sunset shook her head. “No. You were right, watching that video was a mistake.”

“Well…” Spike shifted in place. “That’s what this trip is about, right? Meeting your past and moving on from it.”

Sunset scratched his ears. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“What do you say we get out of here?” Twilight suggested. If they could watch more of those videos, the museum might actually be pretty fun. As it was, though, only Sunset really had any idea whom they were looking at, and she was certainly no longer having fun here.

“I’m fine with that if you all are,” Sunset said. There were murmurs of agreement, then the group left the way they came.

On the way out, Twilight and Fluttershy each held one of Sunset’s hands. It was easy to see that she still had complicated feelings towards her ex-girlfriend, and even towards Rainbow. Although she wouldn’t say anything, possibly afraid to make her wives uncomfortable, that was sort of just it. She wasn’t saying anything, just staring at the floor as she walked in silence.

For her part, Twilight wasn’t really sure what to do or say. She had finally reached a point where she didn’t have a problem with the fact that Sunset clearly had lingering feelings for her ex, but that didn’t make the way to comfort her any clearer. She just hoped surrounding her wife with love would help.

At least Fluttershy wasn’t in the video, even if she did the voiceover. True, she would just look like the Fluttershy holding Sunset’s other hand, but if even her voice left Sunset feeling like this, there was no telling what seeing her would do. All Twilight could do was hope that once this road trip was over Sunset would get the closure that she needed.

Although it did strike Twilight as a little strange that the focus of the video and the display had been so heavily on Rainbow. It brought Twilight’s mind back to where it had been earlier. When they were all gone, would Twilight go down in history – to whatever extent that she went down in history – by herself, or would her friends and wives be remembered along with her?

Between that and Sunset’s situation, Twilight found herself with a lot to think about. Although she hadn’t intended to be, she wound up walking along quietly as well. At least Spike and Fluttershy tried to keep things going.

“So what are we doing next?” Spike asked.

“I think we’ll probably check into the hotel.” Fluttershy cast a look to her wives, although it went unanswered.

“Can we go to the pool?”

“We’ll see. They probably don’t want dogs in there.”


“Sorry, Spike.”

Twilight and Sunset continued to stay out of the conversation, and their silence lasted the entire way to the motorcycle.

Once they were there, however, Sunset surprised them by turning to the others and smiling. “Since today hasn’t been all that great, how about we try and turn it around?”

“How?” Fluttershy asked.

“We could go out for ice cream,” Sunset suggested. “I saw an ice cream shop on the way here, and it’s impossible to go wrong there, right?”

“I think that sounds good,” Fluttershy said.

“Uh, I can still eat ice cream, right?” Spike asked.

“Vanilla, yes,” Fluttershy answered. “Or strawberry. No chocolate, though.”

“I can make do with that.”

“Twilight?” Sunset asked.

Twilight blinked, realizing that she was getting too distracted by her thoughts. She smiled. “Ice cream sounds good to me.”

With their next destination settled, they each put on their helmets and jackets, Twilight helping Spike with his, then climbed onto the motorcycle.

Although Twilight wasn’t looking forward to the bumpy ride, she did enjoy getting to hold onto Sunset as they drove. She smiled to herself as she remembered to take more pleasure in the little things.

Keeping that in mind, the trip to the ice cream parlor was much better than the trip to the museum had been. Twilight even opted to watch Spike instead of the scenery, finding amusement in how much he clearly loved driving around. It was also nice to see Fluttershy keep her arm around him as they drove. Seeing their little family get on so well made her wonder why she had even had a problem with this trip in the first place.

The ice cream parlor was nearby, like Sunset had said it would be. They reached it within ten minutes, but the short drive had given Twilight just what she needed to clear her head. And judging from the way Sunset was keeping her head up as they walked into the shop, it seemed to have helped her as well.

They got in line and placed their orders. Since he couldn’t order for himself, Twilight got Spike a caramel sundae. Perhaps not the best thing for a dog or a dragon to eat, but it wouldn’t be harmful to him at least. Twilight herself got a banana split, while Fluttershy got strawberry and Sunset settled on a chocolate milkshake.

There was outdoor seating, so they chose that. It meant that Spike could talk if there was no one around, and they were less likely to get complaints about letting a dog eat ice cream. The day was a bit warm for eating outside, but that just meant they were the only ones out there. Sunset and Spike sat on one side of the table, Twilight and Fluttershy on the other.

“This looks great,” Spike said, licking his ice cream right from the bowl. It wasn’t the cleanest way to eat, but he couldn’t very well work a spoon with paws.

“It sure does,” Fluttershy said, eating hers much more neatly.

“This was a good idea, Sunset,” Twilight said.

“Yeah, it was,” Spike agreed through a mouthful of ice cream.

Sunset nodded and took a sip of her milkshake. “I think we could all use something good about today.”

“As long as I’m with you three, it’s bound to be a good day for me,” Fluttershy said. Twilight mussed her hair.

“So I was thinking,” Twilight said.

“Uh oh,” Spike said with a smirk. “This is gonna get us in trouble.”

Twilight smiled and rolled her eyes. “I was thinking… We should do more to emphasize the importance of the entire Friendship Council.”

“I think everyone knows about us, Twily,” Fluttershy said.

“Yes, but I was thinking… I don’t want to go down in history alone. If there’s any chance I’m going to be remembered when I’m gone, I’m going to want to be remembered with all of you or not at all.”

“Aww.” Sunset smiled. “On the other hand, I’ll go down by myself. Let ponies just try and forget the name Sunset Shimmer!”

Twilight smiled as well. “I’m serious though. I’d rather be remembered as part of the Friendship Council than as a princess.”

“Maybe you can open up a museum, like the one we went to today?” Spike suggested. “Just… maybe not with wax figures. Those were kind of cool, but also kind of creepy…”

Twilight chuckled. “I don’t know if I want to have our own museum, but I’d like to think of something.”

“And we will,” Sunset said. “We’ll all put our heads together when we get home. Maybe write a book or something. But for now, that sounds a little too much like work.”

“Fair enough.” Twilight took a bite of banana and didn’t press the topic anymore. There would be time enough for that later.

As expected, the rest of the ice cream trip was nothing but nice conversation over their frozen desserts. The summer heat melted their ice cream a little faster than they would’ve liked, but that wasn’t a big deal.

They finished up, threw out the disposable bowls and spoons, then leisurely made their way back to the motorcycle. They were just getting their helmets on when two men in uniforms approached them.

“Excuse me, mind if I have a word with you?” one of them asked.

Sunset’s eyes widened and she frowned. “What can I do for you, officer?”

Officer? So this was a police officer in this world. Twilight had never seen one, although she’d seen their cars out on the road.

“We’re investigating a fire that happened nearby last night. Don’t suppose you’d know anything about that?”

Sunset shook her head. “No, sir. We’re from out of town, just got in earlier.”

He looked at the motorcycle skeptically. “You’re travelling around on a motorcycle.”

“Yeah, on a road trip.”

“We’re from Everton,” Twilight said, hoping to pull some of his attention off Sunset. It wasn’t that Sunset couldn’t handle herself, but she didn’t like the way that the officer seemed exclusively focused on her.

He only cast Twilight a quick glance before returning his focus on Sunset. “Everton, huh? That’s out east of here, right?”

“Yes, sir.” Sunset shook her head. “I’m sorry, but we really don’t know anything that could help your investigation.

“Would you mind coming down to the station with us?” he asked. “I’d like to ask you some more questions.”

“Uh, sorry, but I kind of would mind. I’m the only one of my friends who can drive, and we need to go check into our hotel.”

The two police officers looked at each other, then the one who hadn’t spoken yet said, “Here’s the thing. We got video footage of a woman matching your appearance fleeing the scene of the crime. We know you were there.”

“What?” Sunset was starting to sound agitated. “No, that’s impossible, we weren’t in town until this morning. We drove three fucking hours to get here.”

“Why don’t you come down to the station and we can talk about it? We can show you the video and everything.”

“Are you detaining me?” Sunset asked.

“If we have to.”

Sunset’s jaw fell open. “This is bullshit. You have the wrong person!”

“No one’s saying you’re guilty, we just want to look into this further.”

“And what if I refuse?” Sunset asked defiantly.

“It would be best for you if you didn’t,” the second officer said.

Sunset looked at the others, then back to the officers. Eventually she sighed and pulled off her jacket. “I don’t have a choice. Looks like I’m going with them.”

“But… but you didn’t do anything!” Twilight said.

“Yeah, no shit. But what am I going to do? They’re taking me one way or another.”

“Sunset…” Fluttershy put her hand on Sunset’s shoulder.

Somehow, Sunset managed a smile. “It’ll be okay, Fluttershy.” She tossed her jacket and helmet onto the motorcycle, then turned back to the officers.

“You’re doing the right thing,” the first officer said.

“You’re gonna owe me a hell of an apology,” Sunset muttered.

All Twilight could do was watch as Sunset marched to the cop car and get into the backseat. She called after them, “Call Twilight, she lives around here.”

A dozen questions ran through Twilight’s mind, but she couldn’t voice any of them. Instead, she just watched as they took Sunset away.

Fluttershy fell into Twilight’s arms as soon as they were gone, already crying. “Twily, what… what’s going on?”

Twilight shook her head. “I don’t know.”

“What the buck…” Spike muttered, and Twilight didn’t even bother to chastise him on his language.

Instead, she picked up Sunset’s jacket. As she suspected, the phone was in the pocket. That had to be why Sunset left it behind, so they would have a way to reach out to the other Twilight for help.

“What are we going to do?” Fluttershy asked.

Twilight tossed the jacket back onto the motorcycle and opened the phone’s contacts. They couldn’t do much of anything, since they didn’t understand this world and its laws. But thankfully, they had friends to rely on.

“What else,” Twilight said as she hit the button to call the other Twilight. She pressed the phone to her ear. “We’re going to get her back.”

Author's Note:

I’ve actually wanted Sunset to get arrested since Looking Glass, so this twist was a bit of wish fulfillment to my sadistic side :twilightsheepish:

One of my proofreaders called me bold for using real years in this chapter, but I didn’t know how to do the documentary style thing without using years :twilightblush: I’ve been using these years internally since Looking Glass, this is just the first time I’m making the years publically known.

Bonus points to anyone who catches all the wax figure references! Most are obvious, but one of them I think will fly over most readers’ heads.