• Published 7th Apr 2020
  • 1,329 Views, 34 Comments

Consonance and Dissonance - applezombi

After an unfortunate injury while hiking, Pinkie Pie accidentally sets into motion of a chain of events that leads to new friendships, romantic encounters, and even the salvation of an old enemy.

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Dear Princess Celestia,

Thank you so much for your kind letters. They were thoughtful. What meant even more, though, was your words of support and approval. Knowing that you approve of my and Princess Twilight’s relationship has been an unexpected gift.

As far as our injuries, here’s the final rundown. Me: bruises, lacerations, twenty four total stitches. Pinkie Pie: lacerations, eleven total stitches. Sonata Dusk: bruises, lacerations, including a full impalement of her hand. Possible contamination via Equestrian magic, but the doctors have no way of assessing that. Twilight Sparkle: bruises, lacerations, dislocated shoulder, significant blood loss, minor concussion, one hundred and forty three stitches total. Shining Armor: minor skull fracture, major concussion, seventy-one stitches. Everybody is healing fine. Twilight Sparkle is already back attending classes, and Shining Armor is back at work, though he says he’s ‘riding a desk’ for now. It means he’s on light duty until he heals all the way.

I’m sure you heard the whole story from Princess Twilight, but here’s the aftermath. Aria is in a psychiatric prison. She’s locked up, but also getting help. Adagio’s in a rehabilitation program for her alcohol problem. The prognosis is bleak. Sonata and Twilight are both seeing a therapist for ongoing issues, but they are happy, healthy, and doing well. Sonata is struggling with something humans call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but she is safe and healthy and getting all the help she needs. I find it both impressive and terrifying that the human world can be so frightening and depressing that it can leave permanent, lasting scars on someone’s brain, but also that they have the infrastructure and know-how in place to treat people for those very same scars. I guess that’s the beautiful duality of the human world. Every day they find new amazing ways to overcome the horrors they often created for themselves.

After Sonata first got out of the hospital, she almost refused to move in with Twilight. She was absolutely terrified Twilight’s poor parents would hate her for putting both of their children in danger. You’ll be gratified to know that this was not the case. When we finally dragged her out of the hospital to Twilight’s house, her parents had thrown a party for Sonata (with Pinkie’s help, of course). It was a ‘thanks for saving our kid’s lives’ party, complete with banners and balloons and everything. She fits right in at that house, and Twilight’s mother absolutely dotes on Sonata. Sonata seems to go through life with a bewildered sort of rapture on her face; like she’s utterly confused that things could possibly be going so well for her.

It’s been a rough few weeks of doctor visits, healing, and that sort of thing, but it looks like things are better than normal now. The only thing that’s got me worried is that the human government on this side of the mirror has contacted me. It seems they’re at least a little aware of what’s going on, and I’m a little worried they may try to interfere with the portal, block my access, or even lock us away somewhere for study (worst case scenario, I know). No matter how much I love Princess Twilight, I know that I have a responsibility here, to these people. I can’t let them cut me off from Equestria. Honestly, the agent I spoke with didn’t seem too aggressive, and she hasn’t said anything since, so I think I’ll be okay.

Princess Twilight invited me, as well as Twilight and Sonata, through the portal this weekend to discuss something important (she’s being annoyingly mysterious about it). Any chance that I could also get a visit from my second favorite teacher of all time? I’d love to see you again.

Forever your student,

Sunset Shimmer.

“So, we just step through? And we’re back in Equestria?” Sonata said, her voice quavering. Sunset nodded.

“Just like that. You’ll be back in your Equestrian form, as well,” Sunset warned, though inwardly she had a suspicion that she might be wrong. Sonata blanched.

“Um, yeah. About that.” She glanced nervously at Twilight, who was smiling supportively at her girlfriend. They were holding hands. “Are you gonna be okay, Twilight? With me being, um, scaley?”

“I’ll love you whatever you look like,” Twilight said confidently, her heart in her eyes. Sonata blushed, and the two kissed. It made Sunset miss her Twilight. “Ready?”

“Are you gonna panic again, Twilight?” Sunset was unable to help herself from teasing her friend. “Last time, she became nearly incoherent.”

“I was not!” Twilight protested. Sunset laughed.

“Pony Face!” Sunset yelled, mimicking Twilight’s voice. “All my things are horse things!” Twilight swatted at her friend angrily, and Sonata giggled. “Okay, enough. Let’s go.”

Pressing forward, Sunset stepped through the portal and into Princess Twilight’s castle. The transition was a familiar one at this point. She no longer tried to stand awkwardly on her hind hooves, only to make a fool of herself when she toppled onto all four. No longer did the sudden casual nudity of the pony world bother her. With a flash of light, she trotted out into Princess Twilight’s castle, immediately searching for the one face she wanted to see above all others. To her surprise, there was not one, but three princesses waiting for Sunset as she emerged. She spared Celestia and Luna a smile before galloping right into Princess Twilight’s warm embrace.

“I missed you,” Princess Twilight said, crushing her marefriend to her in a tight, needy embrace. “How are you healing?”

“Depends on if you pop any of my sutures,” Sunset grunted, and Princess Twilight let go with a yelp, checking Sunset over in such detail and intimacy that Sunset finally had to swat her away with her tail. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna looked on with amused expressions. “Please, Princess. Your other guests should be…”

The portal flashed again and Twilight emerged. While as human, both Twilights looked nearly identical, it was quite easy to tell them apart as ponies. Princess Twilight was nearly two inches taller, with a slightly longer horn. And of course there was the wings. Like Sunset had on older trips through the portal, Twilight emerged swaying clumsily on two rear hooves, wobbling back and forth before remembering to be quadrupedal. She quickly got out of the way, turning to look at the portal behind her. Finally it flashed a third time, and Sunset smirked. What emerged was not a serpentine reptile monster, but an earth pony with light blue fur and her usual ponytail. She looked around confused for a few seconds, dropping back onto her plot to stare at her hooves.

“But… uh… horse things?” Sonata blurted in utter confusion.

“Oh my god you are so cute!” Twilight gushed, rushing over awkwardly on her unfamiliar hooves to embrace her girlfriend. She even lifted a hoof to stroke at Sonata’s mane. It was exactly what Sonata had needed, because she blushed and grinned, hugging Twilight back.

“Uh, duh,” Sonata said with false confidence. “I’m always cute. But, um, why?”

“I kinda thought this might happen,” Sunset admitted. “I didn’t want to say anything in case I wasn’t right, but I was. I think your transition to a normal human also means you get to be a normal pony on this side. Um, sorry if…”

“I love it,” Sonata said, still looking at her hooves. “Like, a symbol of a fresh start, right?” Suddenly she noticed the others in the room, and tapped unicorn Twilight on the shoulder. “Um, love? There’s princesses present.” Reluctantly they split apart, and Twilight glanced almost fearfully between the three alicorns.

“Am I supposed to bow?” she whispered nervously. Princess Celestia shook her head, smiling serenely.

“Please, Miss Twilight. You are not one of our subjects, so you need not bow to us,” Princess Celestia said. “Now, if you will follow us to Princess Twilight’s throne room, we have something important to discuss with the three of you.”

“A-all of us?” Sonata stuttered, suddenly realizing what sort of company she was standing in. Sunset was comfortable in the presence of three alicorn princesses, but after all, she was dating one of them. Twilight was silent, but her face reflected her own nervousness.

“Yes, little ponies,” Celestia said. “Recent developments have created a situation that we could use your help with. Please,” she finished, gesturing at the door with her regalia-clad hoof.

The three girls from the human world followed the three regal princesses into a vast throne room, topped with a brilliant chandelier made of preserved tree roots. Each root was adorned with dozens of tiny crystals, and each one held a magical image inside. Sunset had heard the story of the chandelier from Princess Twilight herself, and was suitably impressed by it. She’d have to make a point of showing it off to Twilight and Sonata when their business was done.

To call the room a ‘throne room’ was probably a misnomer. Rather than a standard audience chamber, there were six thrones surrounding a large table. Two ponies already sat on chairs around the table. One, Sunset recognized as Raven Inkwell, one of Celestia’s personal aides. The other was a gorgeous black-furred pegasus that Sunset didn’t recognize, but looked oddly familiar. She looked deeply uncomfortable sitting on the throne, and there was a scattering of manila file folders sitting in front of her.

“Please, take a seat wherever you like,” Princess Twilight said. “I know the thrones are marked for my friends, but they won’t be present for this meeting.” Princess Twilight herself took the throne marked for her, and the others filled in to the other seats. Raven rose to give up her seat to the other guests, and the black pegasus nearly did so again, halting only at a headshake from both Princesses Twilight and Celestia.

“Thank you for coming, all three of you,” Princess Luna began, and Sunset looked between her and Princess Twilight in surprise. She hadn’t expected the Princess of the Moon to take charge. “The four princesses of Equestria have decided that I will spearhead this issue, and therefore will chair this meeting.”

“Well, three of the four princesses agreed,” Princess Twilight muttered, sounding a bit upset.

“You were too emotionally invested to be able to consider issues objectively,” Princess Luna responded firmly. “You agreed as well, once the facts were presented.” Princess Twilight huffed, but said nothing else. “Well then. It has come to our attention in recent months that the portal you three arrived through is not the only point of contact between our world and the world you three inhabit.”

“You mean like the portal on the island! During the cruise!” Twilight chimed in, then slumped back into her stone chair with a blush when every pair of eyes glanced her way.

“Princess Twilight warned us that your world didn’t really have experience with royalty,” Princess Luna said under her breath. Twilight paled. “Oh, don’t be concerned. You have no need to fear from a simple breech of protocol you did not even know existed. Please, calm yourself Miss Twilight.” Twilight nodded, though she looked completely mortified that she’d practically interrupted a monarch. “Yes, that portal is but one of dozens we’ve identified and located within the past few months. Every week we’re finding more. And we’re not the only ones. If you don’t mind…” Princess Luna waved a hoof at the mysterious black pegasus, who slid a black tablet out from under one of the folders.

“Is that…” Sunset stared, confused. Clumsily, the black pegasus tapped the tablet screen with her feather tip. The screen lit up. “That shouldn’t work here. How is that working here?” She’d tried once before to bring a cell phone through the portal. It had simply disappeared with the rest of her human clothing, only to reappear when she went back.

“We can discuss the theory and practice of inter-dimensional preservation and stasis spells later. For now, just watch,” Princess Twilight whispered at her side. The pegasus pulled up what looked like a video from the human world.

“This is from Scotland, about a month ago,” the pegasus said, her voice oddly familiar. The video was a traditional Scottish caber toss, where two large burly men in kilts competed to see who could throw a giant log the furthest. The two men, nearly giants, went back and forth throwing the tremendous weights until finally one of them was declared the winner. Afterwards, they roared their congratulations to each other and hugged. “The runner-up is a man named Tartan Trail. His husband, the winner, goes by the name ‘Ashburst’, and I’m informed that until sometime last year was a dragon flying about the wastelands of Equestria until he found a portal hidden behind a lava pool.” She tapped the screen again, and a second video queued up. “Remember three months ago, when that group of hikers was stranded by an unexpected blizzard and found by a rescue party up in Nunavut? Well, we kept it out of the news, but the rescue party was assisted by two mystery women. Search and Rescue never would have found the hikers without help. Here,” she pressed play on the video, turning up the sound. It showed two tall women, covered head to toe in strange, fluffy cold weather gear, high-fiving each other as the other members of the rescue team helped the rescued hikers into stretchers being pulled behind snowmobiles.

“Yaks are best at cold-weather rescue!” one of the women declared loudly.

“Yes, yaks are best!” the other agreed, and the two of them laughed heartily. The pegasus pony paused the video.

“We have hints of portals being opened in Scotland, Canada, Samoa, Madagascar, and South Korea. There’s Equestrian zebras crossing over in Australia, and somebody from this side named ‘Capper’ is already trying to facilitate some sort of cross-dimensional trade between Osaka Japan and a place called Klugetown. This isn’t something we can ignore any more, nor is it something we can pretend isn’t happening. My bosses wanted to shut down the entire portal, block it off entirely.” The pegasus got three angry glares from three different alicorns. “I suggested that not only would it not work, with several other portals opening up, but that it would in fact alienate and infuriate an immortal, godlike horse woman who was romantically involved with somebody from our side of the portal.”

“Agent… Oracle?” Sunset asked, and the FBI agent turned pegasus smiled and nodded.

“For the last few months, Miss Lyrica Oracle and I have been working on a combined response to this situation,” Luna said. “What we’ve discovered is that we both need representation on both sides of the portal to facilitate communication, open exchange of ideas, and to manage the unintended spillover of Equestrian magic into your world.”

“So we’re here to help with that?” Sunset asked.

“Miss Sunset, you’re in the best position to bridge any misunderstandings or cultural gaps,” Agent Oracle said. “Miss Twilight, your experience with Equestrian magic is probably deeper and more intimate than anybody else from our world. Miss Dusk, you grew up in Equestria and then went on to experience hundreds of years of human history. Frankly, I’d like to offer both of you jobs working for the FBI on the spot but there are requirements to be met. Mostly, college degrees.

“So I’d like to offer all three of you a paid internship, while the Bureau pays for your education, full ride. I don’t even care what you major in, as long as you get that requirement. Meanwhile, your internship means the three of you consult with me on Equestrian issues. We’d start pretty small, ten or so hours a week depending on incidents. It also gives the three of you an excuse to cross over as much as you’d like. What do you think?” The agent looked back and forth between the three ponies. Twilight looked ready to burst from excitement, which was understandable. Full ride scholarship? Internship with a brand new division of a government agency? Of course the scientist in Twilight would be ecstatic.

Sunset looked at Sonata, who was maybe a touch apprehensive, though she was smiling at Twilight. She would be supportive of Twilight.

Finally, she looked at her marefriend. The question of Sunset’s future, either in the human world or the pony one, had been a subject of some heated discussion between the two of them, finally landing on an agreement to not discuss an issue that made them argue. Now, in the alicorn Princess’ eyes, Sunset saw hope and pride and love. She saw an opportunity to stay with her friends, in her adopted world. She saw a chance to stay close to the pony she loved.

“I’ll do it!” Sunset said enthusiastically. “When do we start?”

The End

Author's Note:

Well, that's it! Thanks everybody who read my little coronavirus quarantine project! Now that it's done, I'm returning to work on my epic, Rekindled Embers, the first chapter of which should be out soon.

If you liked my silly little story, I'd love to hear why. If you didn't like it, I'd really love to hear why too. Either way, thanks for reading! This was a blast to write, and I hope I entertained a few folks on the way.

Comments ( 9 )

I hear the winds of an uncertain sequel come forth.....

I agree. A follow up sequel, even if it's composed mostly of vignettes, would be nice.

Well done, Applezombi. :twilightsmile:

I actually do have plans for a very short sequel, and a much longer prequel. I have no idea when I'll have time to get to them, though.

The sequel's going to be about Agent Oracle spending her weekends and free time chilling in a park in Ponyville, reading Equestrian books and maybe falling for a pegasus pony.

The prequel is probably going to be the story of Sunset and Princess Twilight falling in love over the course of a friendship map mission. It's going to have a bit of a mystery element to it.

A good combination of both verses meeting and a positive outlook for the future.
And Sunset doesn't have to choose she can and should be part of both worlds.

Would love to see more of it :yay:

Yay! A review made just for YOU. <3

Absolutely cannot wait!!!:pinkiehappy:

This was an incredible read from start to finish and I’m so glad I found it while searching for something to read while at work.
Each character was well written and fully had a solid grasp on each of their personalities that didn’t go too astray that would make one question “who so-and-so really act that way?”

Another point I would like to make is how well you handled Midnight Sparkle and not treat her as a malicious evil but an actual part of Twilight that feeds off her emotions and isn’t something to be banished away but accepted as a part of her(best reference I can make is P4’s Persona Awakening 😅)

Another point is how well you did the Sirens. I truly love what you did with Sonata and Aria, making them not just a ditz nor just a tsun musclehead, but actual people doing what they can to accept their new mortality albeit in different ways that is befitting of their characters. We didn’t see much of Adagio but I think that helps. Other fics do have her going through a downward spiral of failing the BotB and usually have her come out of it but here she just doesn’t and just wallow away, which I think would be a more realistic way for someone like Adagio to go through after centuries of being around and having the failures stock up to BotB…..what else would one do when your leadership is finally shaken to its last peg?

Also I’ll like to point out on how you handled the therapy sessions and feelings of reaching out when one needs it and not feel bad about it or going to do something to better yourself for a next crisis(Sunset learning first aid) I do hope that anyone who happens to read this and is struggling a similar way can take what’s said here and make that first step, which is always the hardest but worth it in the end.

And I can’t forget to mention the ending with that good sequel hook. I would love to see where, if ever, that goes as it certainly do wonders on setting a great world building.

Howdy, hi!

A review from the mansion to you.

Great story! Enjoyed reading it. :twilightsmile:

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