• Published 2nd Aug 2020
  • 1,355 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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4 – Staying Grounded

Chapter Four

Staying Grounded

As usual, Fluttershy was useless at times like this. There were things she could do in their day to day lives, of course, but when something really big happened? It was always Sunset and Twilight that fixed things then.

Of course, Sunset had just gotten arrested, so it was all on Twilight to figure out what to do. All Fluttershy could do to help was kneel down with Spike and hold him to try and keep him calm while Twilight called the other Twilight on the phone.

Twilight hung up the phone and sighed, so Spike left Fluttershy’s side to rub up against Twilight’s leg. She didn’t react to him, so Fluttershy stood up and put her arms around her wife.

“Twilight’s on her way,” Twilight said, putting an arm around Fluttershy. “She’s not sure what she can do exactly, but she’s going to do what she can.”

Fluttershy nodded, holding Twilight closer. “It’ll be okay, right? We’ll get her back?”

“Of course we will,” Twilight said, putting the phone into her pocket. “She’s innocent. Once they realize they have the wrong person, they’ll have to let her go.”

Fluttershy nodded. “Come on. Let’s find somewhere to sit down and wait.”

Somewhere wound up being inside the ice cream parlor. Twilight had to ask for the address so she could tell the other Twilight where they were, then there was nothing to do but wait. It was painful, but there was nothing they could do to speed things up.

They found a seat in the corner and waited for help to arrive. Twilight and Fluttershy sat beside each other, while Spike curled up at their feet. Fluttershy pulled Twilight closer so that she was leaning on her, then stroked her hair while they waited.

“Do you want anything while we wait?” Twilight asked. “Sunset left the credit card too.”

“No, I think I’m going to be sick if I eat anything,” Fluttershy said. Spike huffed, which they took to be an agreement.

And that was all there was to it. There was nothing else to say, not without understanding what was going on better, so they waited in silence. After a while, Fluttershy asked if she knew how long Twilight would be, and she learned she lived an hour away from where they were.

It was a painful hour. The only thing that compared with how hard it was to wait around and do nothing was when Spike had been taken by Twilight’s parents after they learned about Sunset. At least then there had been a cold comfort in knowing he was with ponies who loved him, even if they were misguided in how they showed it. Sunset was all alone with people she didn’t know being accused of crimes she didn’t commit.

“If it was one of us who got arrested,” Twilight said suddenly, “Sunset would already be on the case to free us.”

“Sunset knows how things work around here,” Fluttershy said, as much to herself as to Twilight. “And we are on the case. It doesn’t feel like it because we’re just waiting for Twilight to get here, but waiting is just the first hill we have to climb.”

Twilight sighed. “You’re right. I shouldn’t be so negative.”

“It’s okay. We’re all worried.”

Twilight shifted so she was facing away from Fluttershy, then leaned back so she was lying on the bench and on her wife. Fluttershy in turn wrapped her arms around Twilight, holding her protectively like she wished she could do to Sunset.

“I love you, Twilight,” Fluttershy said, almost to fill the air as much as to remind Twilight they were in this together.

“I love you too, Fluttershy.”

“And you too, Spike. I love you.” Fluttershy couldn’t reach him from where she was, but she knew he had to feel even worse being stuck on the floor. He responded by rubbing against Fluttershy’s leg.

Twilight could reach Spike, so she did, reaching down and stroking his head. “Love you, Spike.”

They resumed waiting in silence, but Fluttershy felt just a little better. Not good, not by any means. But she felt just the tiniest bit calmer.

The waiting was still torturous, however. They had nothing besides each other to take their minds off their situation, and none of them were feeling particularly talkative. And so, the hour stretched on for what felt like far more than an hour, sneaking extra seconds into each minute.

It did, indeed, take longer than an hour for Twilight to show up. Fluttershy could only hope that was because she was busy looking into how to free Sunset, but whatever the reason, it came as a huge relief when she showed up. She was with someone that Fluttershy didn’t recognize, another mare.

“Sorry I’m late,” Twilight said as she walked over to the others, who were getting to their feet. “I had to get Moon Dancer from work.”

“We’re just glad you came,” the pony Twilight – or Twi, as they referred to her when both Twilights were together – said with a smile.

“Neither of us know how to drive a motorcycle, though,” Twilight said. “Will it be okay here?”

“It’ll have to be,” Twi said. “Sunset locked it up, so it should be fine. Maybe we can just take all the loose stuff in your car?”

“Of course,” Twilight held the door open for them, and everyone walked outside. “This is Moon Dancer, by the way. My girlfriend.”

“Nice to meet you, Moon Dancer,” Twi said.

Moon Dancer looked between the Twilights. “I don’t know what it says that seeing you two together barely even feels strange to me anymore.”

“I guess once you meet a talking dog, everything else becomes relative,” Twilight said.

“Speaking of Spike, does this one talk too?” Moon Dancer asked as the door closed behind them.

“I sure do!” Spike said, seemingly glad to be able to speak again.

Twi scratched his ears, then gathered things from the motorcycle. “I’m glad we’re all on the same page with Spike. Poor guy wasn’t able to talk while we were waiting for you.

“If he’s anything like our Spike, that’s gotta be a challenge for him,” Twilight said as she helped Twi load their stuff into the trunk of her car.

“It’s not that bad,” Spike said.

“Spike’s a very good boy,” Fluttershy said with a slight smile.

“Hmm…” Twilight studied Spike. “You’re normally a dragon in Equestria, right? I wonder if there’s a difference in your behavior since our Spike was always a dog.”

“Wait, he’s a dragon?” Moon Dancer asked.

Twi shifted in place. “Uhm, does she know about… you know, where we’re from?”

“I know about Equestria,” Moon Dancer said. “We study Equestrian magic together.”

“Which, in this world, mostly means Spike,” Twilight said quickly. “As far as we know, there hasn’t been a new source of Equestrian magic since the Friendship Games.”

“Uhm…” Fluttershy looked around at everyone. “Maybe we can talk about this on the way to get Sunset?”

Twilight facepalmed. “Right, sorry.”

Moon Dancer got into the driver’s seat and Twilight took the seat beside her, so Twi, Fluttershy, and Spike climbed into the back. Spike sat in the middle between the two human mares.

Moon Dancer started the car, but she didn’t pull out. Instead, she waited for Twilight to tap on her phone a few times, then a voice sounded in the car, “Turn left onto Eastside Drive.”

“What was that?” Twi asked.

“GPS,” Twilight answered. “It gives us directions while we drive.”

“Too bad we don’t have something like that,” Spike said. “Sunset has to pull over to check maps, and sometimes we get lost.”

Moon Dancer pulled out of the parking lot, following the instructions of the voice that told them where to go. After every turn, it would tell them the next step on their trip. Fluttershy wondered how it all worked, but she knew better than to ask; she’d never understand the explanation.

Besides, she had more pressing questions. “Do you know how to get Sunset out?”

“You said they had a video of her?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah, that’s what the police officer said.” Twi shook her head. “But it’s impossible! She was with us! Besides, Sunset wouldn’t start a fire!”

“It was probably just a mistaken identity,” Twilight said. “Once they have her right there with the video, they’ll be able to see it’s not her, just someone who looks similar. She’s probably already free and just hasn’t gotten a way to get a hold of you.”

“So you think we’ll just have to pick her up?” Fluttershy asked, finally feeling relief that this nightmare may be over soon.

“Probably,” Twilight said. “If they did arrest her, she’ll be free to go if we can make bail. They’ll want her to stay in the area for a trial, but it’s not like they’ll be able to find you back in Equestria.”

Twi sighed. “But then she’d be a fugitive. There are still people in this world that are important to her, like AJ and Pinkie.”

“And Sky,” Fluttershy said. “At least AJ and Pinkie can visit us in Equestria, but she needs to be able to visit Sky too.”

“Well, we’re pretty far from Everton,” Twilight said reassuringly. “It might be best for her to lay low for a while, but it’s not likely anyone will remember her once this all blows over. It’d be a problem if she were to, I don’t know, apply for a loan or try to renew her license, but she could probably still come and go.”

Fluttershy breathed a sigh of relief, but Twi still looked uncomfortable. Fluttershy took her hand. “You can’t expect Sunset to go through a trial like this.”

“I just wish we could prove she’s innocent,” Twi said. “She shouldn’t have to go to a trial!”

Spike rolled his eyes and nudged Twi. “You’re just worried about Sunset actually breaking the law by not showing up to the trial.”

“I don’t like that either,” Twi admitted.

“Let’s worry about one thing at a time,” Fluttershy said. “Like Twilight said, they’ll probably realize it was just a mistaken identity and let her go.”

Twi nodded and smiled.

“Maybe,” Moon Dancer said. “But I wonder…”

“You can’t think she was guilty,” Twilight said. “Moony, she wasn’t even in town. Besides, I know Sunset. She wouldn’t do that.”

“Oh, I know she’s innocent,” Moon Dancer said. “I just wonder. We’ll see soon enough though.”

Fluttershy wondered what Moon Dancer meant, but she didn’t press for an answer. In truth, she wished Moon Dancer hadn’t said anything at all, given that Twi was looking more worried.

They reached the police station before too long, and Moon Dancer parked and turned around to look at the others. “I don’t think both of you going in is a good idea,” she said to the Twilights.

“You’re probably right,” Twilight said. “I’ll wait in the car.”

“No, I will,” Twi said. “You have a better idea of what to ask then we do.”

“I’ll wait with you,” Spike said. “I’m worried about Sunset, but I don’t think a dog being around is going to help much.”

“Oh, you’re definitely different than our Spike,” Moon Dancer said. “He’d never miss a chance to go somewhere and see new people. Mind if I stay and ask you some questions?”

“Uh, sure, I guess,” Spike said.

“So Twilight and I will go in,” Fluttershy said. “We’ll be back before you know it.”

The two mares left the car and walked up to the building. Immediately, Fluttershy wished either Twi or Spike had come with her, but it wasn’t like Twilight was a stranger. Her trips to Equestria were less frequent because she didn’t live in Everton, but she had visited a number of times over the years.

Besides, Sunset needed her. She couldn’t do much, but she could at least be there for her wife when she was freed. Fluttershy could be brave for that.

The police station opened to a lobby with numerous windows labelled for different purposes. Fluttershy followed Twilight to one labelled ‘Sheriff’s Office’ and stood quietly as Twilight did the talking.

“Hi, my friend was taken here earlier. Her name is Sunset Shimmer?”

“Sunset Shimmer?” the receptionist repeated, then typed on her keyboard as Twilight nodded. “Oh yes. She’s being held on charge of arson, with bail set at seven thousand dollars.”

“Seven thousand!?” Twilight repeated, her mouth hanging open.

The receptionist nodded. “That’s a standard bail for the crime.”

“But she’s innocent!” Fluttershy said, unable to keep to herself. “And we don’t have seven thousand dollars!”

“Can we see her?” Twilight asked.

“Give me just a moment to see if she can get visitors now.” The receptionist picked up a phone and pressed a few buttons. After a few moments, she said, “Hi, I have two women here to see a Sunset Shimmer. Is she available for visitors?”

There was a moment’s pause, then she said, “Okay, I’ll let them know,” then hung up the phone. She smiled at Twilight and Fluttershy. “Have a seat over there and someone will be back to get you.”

“Thank you,” Twilight said, then she led them to some seats.

“What are we going to do?” Fluttershy asked as they sat down. “This is so unfair!”

“I can’t believe they didn’t just release her…” Twilight muttered. “It has to be a different woman on the video…”

“Of course it’s a different woman,” Fluttershy said. “Sunset was with us, and she’d never do that!”

“Maybe we can get a loan for the bail.” Twilight pulled out her phone and started searching.

Fluttershy folded her arms. “This whole world is horrible… This never would’ve happened in Equestria…”

In a few minutes, a police officer came and found the two of them. She wasn’t one of the ones from earlier, which Fluttershy was grateful for. Maybe it wasn’t their fault that Sunset looked like this other person, but Fluttershy was still angry with the two of them for taking Sunset away.

“You two are waiting for Sunset Shimmer, right?”

“Yes,” Twilight answered.

“Then I’ve got some good news for you. You came right in time, because it looks like there’s some new evidence turning up which might prove her innocence. So she’s back in questioning, but she might be released soon.”

“That’s a relief,” Twilight said, bowing her head. “Can we ask what the evidence is?”

“Sorry, right now it’s classified. But if she’s not released, I’ll take you to see her once she’s back in general.”

“Thank you,” Twilight said. Fluttershy said nothing; she wasn’t in the mood to thank the people who had taken Sunset on false pretense.

The police officer left, leaving the two mares alone. Twilight kept doing things on her phone, while Fluttershy just looked around at all the people in the lobby. It wasn’t surprising, but she noticed no one seemed to be happy to be there.

There was a clock on the wall, which Fluttershy kept returning to. That was how she knew they waited for almost half an hour, painfully slow as it was. But then all at once, Fluttershy felt relief flood into her as Sunset walked out with a police officer.

Without even thinking of what she was doing, Fluttershy stood up and ran over to her wife, throwing her arms around Sunset and burying her head into her shoulder.

“Sunset! Is everything over now?”

“Yeah, I’m free to go for now,” Sunset said. “They’ll be in touch with me as the case develops, but while they had me here, there was another sighting of this woman who looks like me.”

“Oh.” Fluttershy wondered if Sunset had any intention of showing up when they wanted to talk to her again, but now wasn’t the time to discuss that.

“I’m glad things are cleared up for now,” Twilight said. “You wouldn’t believe what they wanted to bail you out.”

“Yeah, they told me.” Sunset shook her head. “Forget about it for now. We’re free to leave. Spike and Twi are outside?”

“Yeah, they waited in the car with Moon Dancer,” Twilight said.

Sunset nodded. “Cool, ‘cause I’m ready to get the fuck out of here.”

Fluttershy kept her hold on Sunset as they left, and Sunset kept an arm around her. Twilight led them to the car, where Twi and Spike were waiting. Before they could even walk all the way up to it, however, Twi got out and ran up to Sunset, throwing her arms around her.

Sunset smirked. “Geez, I should get arrested more often if this is how you two are gonna take it.”

“Don’t even joke about that!” Twi softly hit Sunset on the shoulder. “I was so worried about you…”

“I know.” Sunset kissed Twi. “Come on, let’s get in the car and I’ll tell you more.”

Twilight once again took the front passenger seat, so the rest of them climbed into the back. Spike had to sit across the three mares, but no one seemed to mind. Sunset sat in between her wives, who both clung to her tightly.

“So what happened?” Twilight asked.

“They showed me the video.” Sunset shook her head and frowned. “And… it was me. I mean, obviously it wasn’t me, but she looked exactly like me.”

“I thought so.” Moon Dancer looked between the two Twilights. “Sounds like it was the other version of you, the one from this world.”

Sunset nodded. “Yeah, that’s what I think too.”

“But… there’s never been another version of you,” Fluttershy said.

“We’ve always thought there must be one somewhere,” Twi said. “Just because we’ve never seen her around Everton doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist.”

“I guess that makes sense…” Fluttershy wasn’t sure why she found it strange, she had met so many doubles including her own. Of course there was another Sunset.

“I guess I can see why they thought it was you,” Twi said with a frown. “It’s a good thing they found her.”

“Well, they didn’t find her, but there was another fire, and guess who was there?”

“Wait, she started another fire?” Spike asked.

“Yeah, so the other me is a serial arsonist. Apparently they’ve been after her for quite a while. Thankfully the video wasn’t that good. Like, it was easy to tell it was me – or rather, my double – but it was hard to be a hundred percent sure.”

“So now what?” Twi asked.

“They want me to show up for court again, but they can suck my –”

“Language!” Twi interrupted.

“– dick,” Sunset finished anyway. “Sorry, Twi, but I’m a convict now. Jail changes people.”

“Like I’ve ever gotten you to stop swearing before…” Twi muttered.

Fluttershy laughed though, leaning against Sunset. “I don’t care how much you swear, I’m glad you’re back.”

“See? Fluttershy gets it.” Sunset and Fluttershy kissed.

“So where are you four heading?” Twilight asked.

“There’s a hotel in town we’re gonna stay in,” Sunset said.

“Do you want to come back to our place instead?” Twilight asked. “It’s not much, but we have a spare bedroom.”

“We’d hate to impose,” Twi said.

“It’s no problem!” Twilight answered with a smile. “And I’ve been your guest at the castle before, so really, this is just a small way to pay you back. But I understand if you have more you wanted to do in this city.”

“No, we were just going to turn in before I got arrested,” Sunset said. “I’m for it if the rest of you are.”

“Sounds good to me,” Fluttershy said.

“Does that mean I don’t have to sleep on a couch?” Spike asked.

“Spike, you’re like half the size of a person,” Twi pointed out. “What does it matter if you sleep on a couch or not?”

“I roll off sometimes…”

Twilight laughed. “Our couch pulls out into a bed, so you can have that.”

“Then let’s do it!” Spike said.

“Sounds like we’re settled,” Twi said. “But we do need to go back for the motorcycle.”

Twilight told her GPS to take them back to the ice cream parlor, and Moon Dancer left the police station behind. Fluttershy was certain that the others were just as relieved to leave it behind as she was.

All things considered, it proved to be a pretty good end to a pretty horrible day. Fluttershy cooked for everyone while the two Spikes played out in the backyard. Meanwhile the Twilights, Sunset, and Moon Dancer all got together to talk about what each of the couples were working on.

As they ate, they watched a movie. They picked a cute animated movie about a rat that could cook since the Equestrians wouldn’t need to know much about the human world to keep up with it, and Fluttershy decided it was her single favorite thing about the human world. According to Sunset, Equestria was very far off from being able to make movies like that, which she said was animated using computers, but she said other forms of animation were around the corner for the technologically developing world.

Since it was already late by the time they started eating and everyone’s day had been exhausting, they decided to turn in once the movie ended. Twilight and Moon Dancer pulled out a bed for Spike, which left their Spike grumbling about having to share since he usually had the couch to himself. The bed was more than big enough for the two boys to have their own space, though.

“So, uhm…” Twilight turned to Moon Dancer. “What do you say we give them our bed and take the guest bed?”

“I guess that makes sense,” Moon Dancer said. “The guest bed is only a full, but our bed is a king. You three would probably be pretty cramped trying to all sleep in the guest room.”

“You have a king for just the two of you?” Sunset asked.

“Well, sometimes Spike sleeps with us,” Twilight said with a shrug.

“We’d hate to take your bed though,” Fluttershy said.

Sunset quirked an eye at her. “Fluttershy, do you know how big a full-sized bed is?”

“Uhm, no?” Fluttershy cocked her head to the side. “It sounds big though.”

“Smaller than the ones we’ve been sharing,” Sunset explained.


Twi grinned sheepishly. “I, uhm, I think we’ll take you up on that offer.”

Twilight and Moon Dancer shifted pillows and blankets around, making sure the couple and the triad both had plenty of each, then they wished each other good night.

When Sunset shut the door, Twi was quick to fall into her arms. “Uh, everything okay, Twi?”

Twi shook her head. “I was so scared… I don’t know what I would’ve done if anything happened to you.”

Sunset frowned. “I mean, the worst that would’ve happened was you and Fluttershy would stay here for a few days while we sorted things out. They wouldn’t be able to keep me forever, you know.”

Fluttershy joined Twi in holding their wife. “I was worried too. You were gone, and I couldn’t do anything…”

“You did, though,” Twi said with a small smile. “You kept Spike and me grounded.”

“That’s not an easy feat, you know.” Sunset mussed Fluttershy’s hair. “Come on, let’s get comfy.”

Since they had limited ability to store clothes and stuff on the motorcycle, they had all forgone pajamas, so getting ready for bed amounted to taking off their pants and bras. For Fluttershy and Twilight, it was still more than they were used to sleeping in. For Sunset, she was still a little embarrassed to be in her underwear whenever Spike was around, but she adapted well enough.

Sunset and Twi were the first ones in the bed. Before Fluttershy could suggest Sunset take the middle spot, the others were already in bed waiting for her to get into the middle. She just smiled to herself as she took the spot, looking forward to the fact that Twi would be reaching across her for Sunset through the night.

She let out a yawn as she snuggled in between her wives. Fluttershy had never been much of a night owl. “Good night, girls. Love you two.”

“Love you, Shy,” Twi said as she kissed her, then she leaned across her to kiss Sunset. “And you too, Sunset.”

“Love you both.” Sunset kissed each of them in turn as well.

Twi snuggled close to Fluttershy while keeping one hand over her to hold Sunset’s. “I mean it, you know. I really don’t know what I’d do without you, Shy. You do more than you know.”

Fluttershy nuzzled Twi. “If you say so.”

“That goes for me too,” Sunset said. “You keep both of us grounded.”

“Only because you two are there for me, too.” Even though they couldn’t see her in the dark, Fluttershy beamed at each of them. “I guess we just make a great team.”

“Yeah,” Twi said, “we do.”

“Time for this team to get some sleep, though,” Sunset said. “We’ll have to figure out our next move tomorrow.”

“Mmm.” Fluttershy closed her eyes and focused on having both her wives together with her as she drifted off to sleep. She didn’t really care what they decided to do in the morning, she was surrounded by love and that was all that mattered.

Author's Note:

I think my favorite detail of this entire story is Fluttershy watching Ratatouille haha :rainbowkiss: