• Published 26th Jun 2020
  • 3,113 Views, 106 Comments

In the Safety of the Night - ShimShamLover

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

  • ...

Beyond the Sea of Pain

Author's Note:

I edited one of the paragraphs at the end of the last chapter if anyone wants to reread it before reading this one!

"Shall we stay at your place for the night?"

Luna waited for her sister's response, adjusting her laptop bag and pulling out her car keys.

"Yes, I think it best we stay together until the bulk of this has been dealt with."

Luna nodded before unlocking her car and opening the door. "I shall meet you there. But first, I require sustenance."

Celestia laughed, leaning on her own open door. "Do you mean tacos?"

Luna gave an indignant huff. "You dare mock me, but I caught you eating two of them last time!"

Celestia stuck her tongue out, only for Luna to mirror her.

"I'll see you at home," Celestia eventually chuckled out.

Luna nodded again, waving goodbye before stepping into her car. Though she had agreed, her sister's implications didn't sit well with her.

Judging by what the princess told me, Sunset will not agree to her plan. At least I have experienced a similar downfall. I fear Celestia will not understand the poor girl enough to give her the support she needs.

Luna knew what she had to do, but by the gods was she dreading the fallout.

"C'mon Sunny, you gotta stay awake!" Pinkie whisper-yelled at the wilted girl.

Sunset sat on Fluttershy's bed in a fresh set of borrowed sweats, the girls sitting around the room save for Pinkie who claimed the spot next to the injured girl. Pinkie held a piece of reheated cheese pizza in her hand, waving it around like a toy.

"Here comes the choo-choo!" She whispered excitedly, moving it closer to Sunset's mouth. Sunset grimaced and turned her head away from the food.

"Darling, you really should eat before you fall asleep," Rarity chimed in from Fluttershy's vanity, looking between the gorgeous girl and her freshly polished fingernails. “Especially if you want to take more medication.”

Sunset grimaced, the ache in her back pushed to the forefront of her mind. With reluctance, she opened her mouth enough to allow Pinkie Pie to feed her.

Pinkie smiled maniacally, happy to help Sunset eat since her shoulders were too sore to let her lift her arms up. “Here comes the Pinkie Express!”

Sunset only just managed to stop herself from giggling at the ridiculousness that was Pinkie Pie. Wouldn’t want to choke after all the trouble they went through helping me tonight. It took a while, but with the party girl’s help, Sunset managed to eat almost two slices.

“Way to go Sunny!” Pinkie cheered, excited to see some color come back to her new friend's face. Fluttershy smiled at Pinkie’s antics before getting up from her spot by her TV. She disappeared into her bathroom, reappearing by Sunset and the party planner after a moment.

“Here are some more pain pills, Sunset.” Fluttershy held out two more white pills and a glass of water. Sunset reached out to take the glass, though not without wincing at the way the movement pulled at her bandages.

Fluttershy’s heart broke more when Sunset struggled to lift the glass to her lips, but the injured girl waved off any advances she made to help.

“I got this,” Sunset said determinedly. Using every ounce of strength left, she tossed the pills back and washed them down with the water Fluttershy gave her, making sure to gulp down as much as possible. That first time wasn’t pleasant, Sunset mused thinking back to earlier that night. Though she gave no indication, it felt like the pills had gotten stuck on their way down.

“Thank you,” Sunset whispered gratefully once the glass was empty. Fluttershy beamed and nodded, taking the glass from the former pony so she didn’t have to struggle lifting it. I do hope the pills help. I really don’t want her to be in pain tonight. She’s suffered enough as it is.

Fluttershy paused in thought. As she walked to the bathroom to place the glass on the counter, she couldn’t help but think back to the events of the night. It was hard for the timid girl to recall just how horrible and mean Sunset had been before the Rainbow Wave, as Dash had taken to calling it.

I suppose trauma does change people. Fluttershy had seen the tears in Sunset’s eyes before she transformed. She looked like she was in complete agony. Still, part of the animal lover worried that Sunset would revert back to her old ways once she was healed.

But she said thank you.

And there it was. Fluttershy couldn’t remember a single time where the former queen bee had said thank you for anything, even to a teacher. And the only time she had ever apologized was to Vice-Principal Luna that one time she spilled coffee on the woman’s shoes. And yet she had apologized nonstop over the last hour, and just now thanked her.

Maybe there’s hope for her.

Remembering their promises to the Vice-Principal, Fluttershy typed up a quick report before emailing it to the administrator.

I do hope Miss Luna takes Sunset to a doctor tomorrow.

With a hopeful smile, Fluttershy went back into her room with her friends.

"Lulu! What took you so long?" Celestia walked out from the kitchen, holding an empty mug. One look at Luna's puffy eyes and tear stained cheeks was enough to figure out what had kept her little sister.

"Oh Lulu, come sit with me on the couch," she cooed softly as she placed the cup down on the counter. Luna nodded, barely pulling off her coat and laptop bag before falling face first onto the couch. Celestia smirked a bit at her sister's antics but forced it away in favor of helping her deal with whatever had transpired.

"Would you like any tea?"

Luna shook her head, burying her face even further into a throw pillow.

Celestia frowned. Normally Luna would kill for a cup of the special blends the older woman had on hand. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Rather than respond, Luna fished out her phone and fiddled with it a bit, tossing it to her sister when she found what she was looking for. Celestia looked between the younger woman and the phone in confusion.

"Read it," Luna mumbled. Celestia nodded and began to scroll through the email on the screen.

With every movement of her thumb, Celestia's eyes became more and more cloudy. Her hand migrated to her mouth, shocked at what she was reading. When she was done she dropped the phone to her lap, looking at her sister in agony and guilt.

"While I admire Fluttershy's chosen profession," Luna chuckled mirthlessly as she sat up, "I would have preferred a less descriptive report about Sunset's injuries."

Both sisters took a few moments to compose themselves, the silence thick and heavy between them. Luna couldn’t help but roll her shoulders, remembering her own scars. First thing tomorrow I am taking her to Dr. Hu. He'll know just how to help her. She tensed her shoulder. He knew how to help me.

Celestia grabbed a tissue from the side table, wiping her eyes delicately. “Why wouldn't she tell anyone?" she wondered aloud, her voice gruff and full of tears.

Luna hugged her pillow tighter, shaking her head. "I think," she said, biting her lip as she debated sharing her suspicions. I don't want to make her feel guilty.

“You think what?” Celestia probed, desperate for any sort of meaning.

Luna looked into her sister’s eyes, studying them. She found no malice, only concern and hurt.

“I think,” Luna sighed as she looked down, “I think Sunset believes she deserves to suffer.”

Celestia gasped, though Luna knew she was right. It’s exactly how I felt. The blue woman stole a glance at her sister. Perhaps Sunset is more like me than I care to admit.

“No one deserves to suffer, regardless of the things they’ve done.” Celestia couldn’t understand that line of thinking, nor could she ignore the obvious parallels between Sunset and the woman before her. You should have never known that kind of suffering, Lulu. And it's my fault that you do.

“Sunset doesn’t believe that,” Luna whispered, bringing her knees up to wrap her arms around them. Both sisters knew they were no longer talking about their wayward student.

Celestia scooted closer to her sister, careful not to touch her yet. “Lulu?”

Luna remained curled up, blinking away her tears.

“Luna,” Celestia soothed, leaning over just enough for her arm to touch her sister’s leg. “You know none of what happened was your fault.” It was mine. “You didn’t deserve any of it.”

Luna shook her head violently. “I made my own choices sister, ones you were not privy to.” I gave my trust to those who would rather me die than live as I am. The blue woman sighed, unwilling to let the conversation drift even further from the original topic.

“I wish to continue this another time, Tia.”

Celestia nodded, though she was reluctant. She still blamed herself for the past. If I had been more aware, I could have saved her. Celestia was sure of it. Unwanted bitter thoughts filtered in. If it hadn’t been for me, she would have made friends, real ones that wouldn’t betray her. She wouldn’t have lost half a decade. Celestia shuddered.

She wouldn’t have tried to kill herself.

“Sister,” Luna called out when she noticed Celestia’s far-off look. “Now is not the time for blame.” She nudged Celestia with her knee. “We must focus on Sunset, not our own misdeeds.”

Celestia studied her sister’s eyes, searching for the forgiveness she craved. After a moment, she nodded. “You’re right, we need to help Sunset.” Though Celestia knew they needed to talk about their past, now was not the time. Will it ever be the right time? She bit her tongue in an effort to push away the bitter thought.

“Have you eaten?” Luna asked abruptly, pulling out a bag of tacos from her discarded bag. Celestia laughed at the sheepish look on her sister’s face.

“Yes, but I certainly won’t say no to a taco.”

With the tension broken, the sisters let themselves relax. Tomorrow the real work begins.