• Member Since 26th Apr, 2012
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MarvelandPonder


Surrender to the fun. Writing: Empathy for the Devil (Part I Out Now, Part II Coming Soon!)

T

Sunset Shimmer and her friends receive remarkable news: Princess Twilight is poised to become the queen of all Equestria! As the girls celebrate the invitation to their friend's upcoming coronation, Sunset's horrified to find that she's not just selflessly happy for her best friend. If not princesshood, what's she meant to do with her life anyway? What's her destiny in the human world?

As Equestrian Magic grows more powerful due to an ominous, inter-dimensional rip in space-time above Canterlot High, Sunset's friends are affected by a dangerous, new magic and she's left to wonder if she's done more harm here than good.

This story is a sequel to The Exes Club. Helpful, but not required reading. Themes and ideas introduced there are developed further here.

Story development, visual direction, and illustrations by the badass Bevin Brand.
Editing and support by the lovely Space Jazz.
Special thanks to one of my best friends, Bookish Delight, for her immeasurable support, guidance, and all around awesomeness.

Featured on June 2nd, 2020
Featured as a Scouted Fanfic on Equestria Daily June 5th, 2020

Tagged with Sex for sexual discussion, no graphic depictions. Tagged with Profanity because teenagers.

Chapters (7)
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Comments ( 118 )

This is starting so good I'm just SO HAPPY. I like how conflikted Sunset it's in chareckter. and Flash's powers semes awezome

You know, I (disappointingly) hadn't even considered how seeing Twilight take the throne would bring up those emotions from Sunset. She's got some angst coming on this one for sure.

Also - awesome unexpected sequel! Surprises like this are great.

It's here! Huzzah!

And so, we're off to the races. Sunny's still dealing with her insecurities, Flash's powers seem to be an amplifier, Princess Twilight's impeccable timing with dragonfire mail. I'm really looking forward to where this goes.

From what I gather, Twilight and Flash got a dose of what Sunset was feeling due to proximity. I hope Twi's going to spend some time giving her girl some extra affection to help her feel better. I have a feeling Sunny's going to need it.

Interesting start, I'll keep watching where it goes.

oh my god, okay, first of all, love the art!! Bevin did such a good job! second, i loved this chapter. i can definitely understand all that Sunset's going through, especially the parts where she forces herself to be 100% happy with things going on when she's not. and so far with Flash, my theory right now is that he somehow amplifies (??) the girls' power (basically agreeing with The Voice in the Water) and that's so cool. but even if it's not that, i'm excited to see what comes out of this!

Been looking forward to this for a while and its off to a fantastic start. The artwork is also fantastic.

Well this is interesting. Also, really like the artwork. Is it your or did someone else draw it?

I will definitely follow this! It reads great and the art is awesome.

Then the fire alarm went off and Sunset swore in Equestrian.

"(vulgar horse noises)!"

Oh, Sunset. Burying your feelings don't make them any less real. It just twists them up something awful. This won't end well...
Oh, good, people are calling her out on that.

She’d make the perfect leader and didn’t even realize it. Sunset thought it would be adorable if it wasn’t a little tragic.

The irony is palpable.

And Flash is a supercharger. Makes sense to me. He always strives to be helpful. and in Timber's case, it was a case of enhancing the faintest spark of magic into something visible... presumably. I could be making some invalid assumptions there...

In any case, Sunset's issues have been laid bare. What her friends do with that information remains to be seen, to say nothing of what else may come from the interplanar fissure. Eagerly looking forward to more, especially since I've seen the art going up on Derpibooru for weeks now.

You’ve got my attention. This will be interesting.

I'm sorta waiting to see how that image for the cover fits with the story...That's what I'm waiting for.

That was great!! Definitely tracking this one

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Bevin Brand is the kickass artist behind all the rad art in this story! She used to be a storyboard revisionist for Equestria Girls back when it was still in production. We're best buds, so this collab is 1000% out of passion and the joy of working together.

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"art by bevin brand" right there on the cover...

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Its "right there on the cover" if you expand the info page. But thanx for taking time out of your day for snarky come back. Hope it made you feel special.

Good first chapter!! :D I'm intrigued ^^ I really would like to do a reading of this someday O:

Princess Twilight is poised to become the queen of all Equestria!

:facehoof:

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Wow, oh my gosh, thank you so much!!! It's entirely up to your interest (and schedule) as the story progresses 💯

If you ever feel you want to give it a try, you know where to find me! ^^

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Only reason I thought about is because when I saw the MLP finale, I was hoping beyond hope that they'd sneak Sunset in even just in the background of Princess Twi's coronation. Just somewhere. Wishful thinking on my part, for sure, and I wasn't disappointed she didn't make a cameo, but well, fanfiction is a wish your heart makes 😉

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I hope Twi's going to spend some time giving her girl some extra affection to help her feel better.

Hahaha, I think Sunset hopes that, too

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"(vulgar horse noises)!"

HAHAHA! This single the best interpretation of that line. One of my friends who preread for me had this very thoughtful explanation that using the phrase "swears in Equestrian" makes it sound like Equestrian is a whole other language than (presumably) English, and how it raises all these questions about Sunset's linguistic abilities. Meanwhile I'm here all basic thinking it's something along the lines of "Ponyfeathers!" (a swear that just wouldn't make sense in the human world).

But the best and now canon way to interpret that is that the first thing out of Sunset's mouth in this story is a horrible braying horse noise. Now that's how you open an Equestria Girls story

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I'm sorta waiting to see how that image for the cover fits with the story...That's what I'm waiting for.

😉
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Oh, that's a good point. Do you think I should change it to "ruler of all Equestria"?

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Oh, that's a good point. Do you think I should change it to "ruler of all Equestria"?

No. That’s not what I meant. You seem like a good writer. Don’t waste your talent on anything concerning that terrible final season and its premise.

“Whoa, you have medic powers?!” Rainbow Dash’s eyes lit up like the industrial-grade lights CHS got last year on the football field for home games and late practices. “That’s so boss! When we’re out on the battlefield, popping the bad guys in the face and maybe getting a scratch or two, we can be all, medic! Medic! And then you can come and heal us!”

*spams E*

Meeeeeeeeeediiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic!!!!!!

Is that a mother-loving PatchworkPoltergeist reference?

But, in theory, Sunset could sustain herself on the little texts Twilight had been sending like Are you okay??? and If you're not okay, I'm here.

But is she answering said texts? Failure to do so will only going wind up Twilight until her mainspring threatens to snap.

Sunset just cannot accept that people might legitimately sympathize with her. That they see how far she's come and want her to see the same degree of progress. They want to take the flagellant's whip away, and she clings to it all the tighter. Forget Principal Celestia, someone needs to send Princess Luna to talk to her.

And after that...

Oof. "And then what?" can be the three hardest hitting words in the English language.

I haven’t had that much power on my own since… uh, well, you know when. She-demon me.

Interesting. Did Sunspot Shimmer have more power than Daydream, or is Sunset just editing out one of her greatest triumphs because it doesn't fit with her self-loathing narrative? Or she just has the demon on her mind.

Sunset knew for a fact Rarity already had their measurements ten times over, but she was frankly impressed Rarity wasn't triple-checking every inch for the coronation outfits

I'd argue that they're going to have entirely different measurements on the other side of the portal, but I suppose good tailoring carries over... assuming the mirror won't eat their outfits completely. (Goodness, the look on Rarity's face if that happens...)

Twilight frowned back at them. “What? It’s not abstract. That’s clearly Sunset!”

:rainbowlaugh: Twilight Sparkle cannot draw. This is a multiversal truth.

Humility was fine and good (and, admittedly, not always Sunset’s area of expertise), but Twilight had every right to feel confident leading their friends.

My word, you could build a tank out of this thick-headed irony.

Magical combinatorics! What fun. Though we already know what happens when all seven girls combine their powers: Rainbow Beam of Fix Everything but Sunset's Insecurities.

Huh. Timberporting. Didn't see that one coming, but goodness knows he could use it. It's a long way between Camp Everfree and Canterlot.

If Princess Celestia was retiring, what did that mean for Sunset’s old room, her old stuff?

You can always ask Twilight, Sunset. Journal's right there.
Of course, anxiety so rarely listens to logic...

Oh yeah, Sunset, you're definitely not the leader.

The room had about as much teenage boy as it ever did.

Arguably more, given Flash's continued presence.

I really do hope Sunset gets some therapy soon. Goodness knows she needs it. But at this rate, it may take a nervous breakdown before she admits it. (I also hope Timber isn't lost in the æther, of course, but that's a relatively simple problem.)

Oh Sunny. I love you dearly, so your self-esteem issues really hurt. I know that the sympathy they're showing you makes you feel like you're being pitied, but maybe they're showing it because they care. Maybe they don't pity you. Maybe they see you for who you are, not who you see yourself as.

I had a feeling from the line last chapter about Timber ending up in the lake that he was a teleporter. Suspicions confirmed. Now hopefully he's okay. Magic A ≠ Magic B conflations are always fun.

Beautiful work as always. Looking forward to the next one.

I love this group of friends.

Ohh teleportision is something I also thougt about but Thed do it together and it played out diffretnly and more GORE. I won't lie I reaally liked the stress Flash got from his boyfriends disepperence and just thinking about him while Twi and Sun goes on there date he's frickin out. but now for the chapter it's some good shit really the pasing is good it's cures my dyslexia like Harry Potter! I was really exited for this and I don't ever remeber liking something Mlp related this much. Chapter 3 HERE WE GO!

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She did make a cameo in the Last Problem in the song The Last Song where you see her in a montage.

Hey A story Were nobody hating on Timber. Love the story by the way.

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I might! ^^ keep up the good work!

Is that a mother-loving PatchworkPoltergeist reference?

It is now! I mean we're both referencing an indie song called Somewhere Only We Know, but hey, I'll take the association!

Twilight Sparkle cannot draw. This is a multiversal truth.]

Oh god, I don't even want to know how she reacted to getting anything below an A+ in art class...

Sunset just cannot accept that people might legitimately sympathize with her.

I really do hope Sunset gets some therapy soon.

cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/635521175224844361/718675358584668241/hqdefault.jpg

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Maybe, just maybe people can actually care about you... sounds fake but okay

Also eyyy, glad you caught the bed in the lake thing! Poor Gloriosa, taking the wrap for magic once again. When will that girl catch a break? (She says, not planning to give her one)

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Awww, I'm so glad this is readable with your dyslexia. That's awesome!

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For once, Timber doesn't have to be characterized as an asshole. He's a good guy who just got a raw deal in the fandom! And glad you're enjoying it so far!

okay so three things: one, i screamed because waiter flash sentry, fuck yes, two, *INSERT KEYBOARD SMASHES OF FANGIRLSIM BECAUSE SCISET*, and three, how the fuck did sunset and timber switch bodies if timber’s power is teleportation, i am confusion??? but am also intrigued???

basicallyyy, i loved this chapter, haha. looking forward to the bonus features of this as well as the next chapter!

Ok this magic is getting weird now.

yo did sunset and timber switch bodies? 😳

Cool mate it's an intresting power I did get confused on what heppend near the end but I figured it out so for the Importent quistion for the next chapter is will Flash kiss Sunset? well we'll find out on monday! and also whatr did Timber wear?

Comment posted by Krack-Fic Kai deleted June 6th

So, here I am, reading a wonderfully romantic chapter that's making me feel all floaty with just how darn cute and precious SciSet are being, and I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and "bam!" there it is.

Then, I'm thinking, "happy reunion, back to the date, etc. etc."

Then I'm like "okay, I did not see that coming. Gaia I hope this isn't permanent, or the two of them are going to need to learn a whole bunch of new skills when using the bathroom. Among other things."

Twilight Sparkle looked sharp! Sunset was pretty amazing too, but Twilight stood out more because she's usually less flashy.

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Our guess is that is the combination of Sunsets and Timbers power. Sunset using empathy and Timber using teleportation, effectively teleported their emotions and personalities into the other person's body.

The date was so beautifully written I honestly have no idea what to say. The whole scene just felt so warm and full of love. You did an absolutely fantastic job.

And the ENDING had me audibly saying “oh noooooo”— I can’t wait for the next chapter

Once upon a time, a Sunset fresh from the portal found, to her horror and shuddering dismay, that Canterlot City boasted the most mom-and-pop shops per capita.

And now I dread Covid-19 hitting this world and city...

"Pedantiprattle" is an amazing word, especially when applied to Kibitz.

Oh, hello women in suits. I wasn't expecting my greatest weakness here today. Seriously, I don't care how you're built or how you identify, everyone looks good in a well-tailored suit.

Yeah, she’d have your heads. She’s nice like that.

Rarity in a nutshell. She'll eviscerate you for your own good and stitch up the wound herself.

"...any classmates I had back at Crystal Prep who had that many family connections at country clubs or rode show ponies at their summer homes could be... “ Her eyes searched the ceiling. “I’m trying to find a nice way to say snobby stiffs.”

"Honestly," said Sunset, "I'm still stuck on the show ponies."

A-and she’s older than us, I’m decently sure...

Let's quietly ignore that Sunset was probably born before Princess Twilight. There's definitely some kind of temporal jiggery-pokery going on with the mirror.

You’re my princess, okay?

One could unpack a lot of layers from this. Sunset was Celestia's personal student, to say nothing of the culture of Canterlot she grew up in. She's used to having a princess, someone impossibly perfect to be there for her and bring the sunshine. She tried to be that for herself in this world, and now doesn't trust herself to do so. Now Sunset looks to her girlfriend, all but begging Twilight to accept the crown so she doesn't have to.

If we have someone to unify us, we might stand a chance.

Never mind that they already do. Oh, Sunset...

Could she even call them that after putting them through so much danger?

Why not ask them? If you feel so guilty about endangering them, then at least respect their opinions, you—
Okay, I already knew this was a good story, but it's clearly amazing given how I want to crash their date and shake Sunset until she can get over herself. Of course, it won't be anywhere near that easy.

...out of curiosity, have you ever had sex before?

I'm mildly disappointed Flash didn't come in with their orders at that exact moment. :raritywink:

But mostly because Timber Spruce came crashing down onto the table.

This is also acceptable.

Okay, Sunset? Gloves. Invest in them. You know what they say, enchant me once, shame on you, enchant me twice, shame on me.
At least the power combo makes perfect sense. What is mind switching but simultaneous teleportation of two consciousnesses? And if Timber can get this kind of range on his own, linking up with Flash may offer an alternative route to Equestria.

Absolutely looking forward to more.

“You’re so down to earth,” Twilight told her, and Sunset tried not to smile too wide or braggadociously that she’d take that compliment back. “Not that you can’t be down to earth and have an appreciation for high culture⁠—I mean, I can’t pretend my family’s not well-off, too, but I don’t know. It’s just. My more recent friends there notwithstanding, any classmates I had back at Crystal Prep who had that many family connections at country clubs or rode show ponies at their summer homes could be... “ Her eyes searched the ceiling. “I’m trying to find a nice way to say snobby stiffs.”

I do wonder how Sunset first reacted to non-sapient equines in this world...

Reaching to hold her arm, Twilight edged as close as the table between them would allow. “No, no, I understand what you mean completely! A-and she’s older than us, I’m decently sure, so gosh, does that mean I’m supposed to turn into her? Sunset, AP classes give me anxiety, and I’m good at those! Now I’m destined to— gah, I don’t even know! Charter world peace? Solve everyone’s friendship issues? Run for president?”

Weeeeell... as FanOfMostEverything said, seeing as Sunset was Celestia's student before Twilight, Sunset is certainly older than Twilight by a pretty significant degree. She was already a mare by the time Twilight was but a filly.

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I want to crash their date and shake Sunset until she can get over herself

That does seem to be one of the most consistent signs of a great Sunset characterization, doesn't it? :rainbowlaugh:

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Flash's little waiter outfit made me real happy, too. What a prim and proper boy!

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Timber's got on a Nordic hat that he picked up while in Northway. Other than that, he's currently in the same day clothes he was wearing when he teleported.

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Then I'm like "okay, I did not see that coming. Gaia I hope this isn't permanent, or the two of them are going to need to learn a whole bunch of new skills when using the bathroom. Among other things."

You aren't wrong, my dude, you aren't wrong. The awkward realities of magic

But also, yeah, this was definitely a "when's that other show gonna drop?" kind of chapter. The vast majority of it is so what the characters want that you know I had to take it away at some point. Aye, narrative momentum be a harsh mistress.

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Bevin did a fantastic job showing how Twilight cleans up nice 😉

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The sweetness and softness can only last so long, sadly! I wanted to indulge and give us a nice, long date before taking it all away so having a full date chapter was a joy to write. Of course, Sciset is always a joy!

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It's a joy to read your comments, it really is. And not the least of which because we share the same Greatest Weakness.

Oh, hello women in suits. I wasn't expecting my greatest weakness here today. Seriously, I don't care how you're built or how you identify, everyone looks good in a well-tailored suit.

Being a bisexual woman myself, oh my god, I can't tell you how much yes this statement deserves. All the yes, if possible.

It was very tempting to have them both be in suits, I gotta say. Curse the Daydream dress and its symbolism!

Let's quietly ignore that Sunset was probably born before Princess Twilight. There's definitely some kind of temporal jiggery-pokery going on with the mirror.

Ha, yeah, no kidding. I've seen it addressed well in other fics. I think here, if I had to have a headcanon, I'd say Sunset... doesn't entirely know what age she is anymore??? She obviously would know how old she was when she went into the portal, but if she went back to being 14 at the start of her high school years at CHS, then I feel like she herself doesn't entirely know how old to consider herself.

It's that wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff I've heard so much about since about 2014...

One could unpack a lot of layers from this. Sunset was Celestia's personal student, to say nothing of the culture of Canterlot she grew up in. She's used to having a princess, someone impossibly perfect to be there for her and bring the sunshine. She tried to be that for herself in this world, and now doesn't trust herself to do so. Now Sunset looks to her girlfriend, all but begging Twilight to accept the crown so she doesn't have to.

😉

I'm mildly disappointed Flash didn't come in with their orders at that exact moment. :raritywink:

Flash: "Bavarian sausage for the lady? It's tonight's special."

Okay, Sunset? Gloves. Invest in them. You know what they say, enchant me once, shame on you, enchant me twice, shame on me.

This is why we always use protection, kids.

Apparently, Sunset's second magic ability is being able to rode a motorcycle in a tight dress.
All kidding aside, this story seems interesting and definitely has my attention what with all the magic shenanigans.

The vast majority of it is so what the characters want that you know I had to take it away at some point. Aye, narrative momentum be a harsh mistress.

One of the harshest in existence.

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