• Published 26th Jun 2020
  • 3,118 Views, 106 Comments

In the Safety of the Night - ShimShamLover

Sunset ran away from the Sun. Now she must find solace in the Moon.

  • ...

Show Me All The Scars You Hide

"Sister, I fear we have a daunting task ahead of us."

"I figured as much," Celestia sighed, rubbing her temples. "I'm assuming she wanted to be left with the girls?" She leaned back into her chair, eager to hear about their wayward student while also dreading the headache this whole ordeal would bring come morning.

Luna nodded, taking a seat across from her sister. Though the desk separated them, she no longer felt the gulf present in their youth. "She had a panic attack when I suggested otherwise." She crossed her arms over her chest as she leaned back into the chair. Ahh, it feels good to finally sit down.

"She what?"

In an instance, Celestia was on her feet and ready to fight an invisible enemy. Luna stood just as quickly and roughly pushed her sister back into her seat. "Calm yourself, Tia."

Celestia huffed in annoyance and indignation, crossing her arms and slouching down in her chair.

"No need to get physical, Lulu," she grumbled, blowing a wayward stand of hair out of her face. Luna smirked at her sister, letting herself feel the small amount of satisfaction before focusing on the topic at hand.

“She specifically did not want to come with us,” she stressed, resting her hands on the desk. The blue woman studied her sister, waiting for the spark or recognition she knew needed to happen.

"Is she… afraid of us?"

There it is.

“I fear the answer is yes, dear sister.” Luna plopped back down into her chair, her arms crossed again. She’s not going to like what I have to say, she thought as she prepared to give Celestia her feelings on the matter. Though their relationship was improving as the years went by, she still felt anxious at the prospect of confronting Tia with sensitive and difficult information. But she needs to know what we're getting ourselves into.

“In my years as a guidance counselor, and from my experience during my lost years,” Celestia flinched, “I have learned that children respond in fear to authority when they need something such as validation or support, or have been abused.” Luna paused for affect, hoping the Principal would connect the dots. Silence filled the space between them, adding to the tension.

Luna sighed, disappointed that she would need to spell it out for her sister.

“I believe Ms. Shimmer has suffered abuse, and perhaps did not have the support system she needed to cope with her trauma."

Celestia blinked at her sister, her eyes misty. “If she is so afraid, why did she do her best to wrap us around her finger?” The Principal knew she was playing devil’s advocate, but she had to put her mind at ease. Sunset has manipulated us for years. We could never pin anything on her, and yet Lulu believes she is a victim? She had a hard time wrapping her mind around the idea, especially the implications it brought to their inaction since Sunset enrolled. We don't even know when she came over. If what Luna says is true, how much did she endure before she came to us? Her brows furrowed further. Did the abuse ever stop?

Luna was prepared to assuage her fears. “It was a way to protect herself. She needed our approval, while she needed fear from her peers to maintain the image she carefully cultivated.” Not to mention all the violent students she helped me with. The Vice-Principal knew unhealthy relationships with authority when she saw it, and Sunset was on her radar from the moment she won the Spring Fling competition a year and a half ago.

Celestia nodded, her resolve crumbling a bit. “So what should we do?” She knew it was a loaded question. As administrators, they were in charge of keeping the school running. Sometimes children were the collateral of the red tape they had to maneuver around. It was why they didn't try to dig into Sunset's past too much.

“First and foremost, we must take the girl to Dr. Hu.” Luna slipped her phone from her pocket and pulled up a list she intended to send to her sister. “I suspect Sunset is more injured than she is letting on.”

“What makes you say that?” Celestia asked, her curiosity and motherly instincts kicking in.

“I noticed blood on the bottom of her blouse, and she flinched rather violently when Fluttershy rubbed along her shoulder blades.” The blue woman had her suspicions about Sunset’s injuries, but the little fact about its origins still boggled her mind. Luna chuckled.

Celestia was flabbergasted at the sudden sound. “What are you laughing at, Lulu?” This doesn’t seem like the time for mirth.

Luna shook her head before looking her sister dead in the eyes.

“We are harboring a magical fugitive from an alternate pony world who sought to use an ancient artifact to attack her home world with a bunch of teenagers.”

The two sisters stared at each other without blinking, each taking in what Luna had said.

Suddenly they broke down in a fit of giggles.

“Oh goodness, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would assume you were talking about some science fiction show,” Celestia laughed out, wiping a few stray tears from her eyes.

“Indeed,” Luna chuckled, glad for the broken tension. There is still much to do, but for now we can enjoy this flicker of light in the darkest of nights.

“I think I'm gonna puke,” Rainbow Dash muttered through clenched teeth as she and Fluttershy took in the sight before them. Both girls, having experience with moderate injuries, were completely unprepared for the extent of Sunset's wounds.

Before them sat the former queen bee on the edge of the empty tub, back facing them and her jacket hung over the ledge next to her. Her magenta shirt was stained red with blood that had been slowly but steadily soaking into it since they hit her with the Rainbow Wave. Sunset sat still, her hands gripping the tub with all her might.

Celestia, I didn’t realize how much my back hurt. Getting just her tattered jacket off had been painful, though Sunset had to wonder why. Maybe this is my punishment, she thought bitterly to herself.

“Sunset, why didn’t you tell us?” Fluttershy’s broken voice tore at Sunset’s heart, bringing her gaze to the girl back and to the left of her. Fluttershy looked horrified and absolutely heartbroken, tears streaking her cheeks. Sunset hung her head in shame.

“I… I didn’t think it was this bad,” she whispered, tears welling in her eyes once more.

“Dude, you gotta tell us when you’re hurt,” Rainbow scolded, taking a seat next to Sunset. “What if you bled out? We wouldn’t have known until it was too late!” The chromatic girl crossed her arms, staring at Sunset much like she would Scootaloo when the girl would try to practice a stunt on her scooter without her helmet.

“I’m sorry,” Sunset muttered despite her earlier warning, feeling a strange mix of guilt, annoyance, pain, and shame. Maybe it would be better if I bled out. The flame haired girl couldn’t help but think of the last time she had bled this much. This world would have been much better off if the Hive hadn’t saved me.

“Please don't apologize, Sunset.” Fluttershy sat on the other side of Sunset, gently picking up the soiled jacket and folding it on her lap, careful to keep any blood off of her. “I thought I told you that earlier,” she tried to joke, her hand reaching out and gently cupping the injured girl’s face. Sunset couldn’t help but lean into the soft touch.

By the Gods, why does it feel so nice to have her touch me? Sunset knew the answer, of course. I’m so pathetic…

“The next part will hurt, so we’ll go slow with it.”

Sunset nodded at Fluttershy’s words, her hands clenching even harder at the ledge. Fluttershy stood up and motioned for Rainbow to follow her lead.

“Ok, Sunny,” Rainbow started as she stood back up. “The blood is probably pretty sticky by now, so put this in your mouth.”

Sunset stared at the leather bracelet that was suddenly in her field of vision.

“Ummmm.” The former pony couldn’t help but feel like she was going to throw up. “There is no way I’m putting that in my mouth.”

Rainbow looked between the bracelet and the girl before her. “Uh, why?”

“She’s a vegetarian,” Fluttershy whispered in her ear, pausing from gathering supplies to inform her oblivious friend.

“Ohhhhhh,” Rainbow said, pulling back the bracelet and rubbing the back of her head awkwardly. “Sorry,”she offered sheepishly, though she was surprised that Fluttershy knew. Maybe all vegetarians know each other?

“It’s ok, it’s not something I advertise very much.” Sunset looked curiously at Fluttershy who had gone back to getting supplies. How did she know? I mean, I knew that she was a vegetarian but that’s only because I needed to get as much dirt on everyone as possible.

Sunset cringed at that and sighed quietly. Celestia, I have so much to do.

“How about this?”

Sunset looked back up at Rainbow. The chromatic girl was holding out a tongue depressor with a look of excitement and hope.

“I think I can work with that.”

Sunset took the wooden stick and placed it between her teeth. She clenched her teeth a little to test the give before looking up at Rainbow and giving her a thumbs up.

“Alright Shy, she's ready.” Fluttershy nodded from the sink and came over.

“Let's get started.”