• Published 24th Oct 2020
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Danganronpa: In Harmony's Wake - Dewdrops on the Grass



Trapped on a cruise ship with fifteen others, all with lost memories, Sunset Shimmer struggles to survive a killing game orchestrated by a mysterious being only known as Monoponi. Post Season Nine FIM. Now complete!

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Chapter One: Forgotten Dreams on the Ocean Breeze Part 3

Chapter One:

Forgotten Dreams On The Ocean Breeze

Daily Life Part 3

The sporting goods store had a larger supply of goods than I expected. All kinds of backpacks, from large hiking backpacks for mountain trips to little tote bags, to even duffel bags. Then there was all the sports equipment for various sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, even volleyball and tennis. Exercise equipment abounded, such as dumbbells, free weights, and medicine balls and yoga mats.There were also shoes of all kinds and sizes displayed on the racks. It was more like a full sized department store than the small kind of store you’d typically expect to see on a cruise ship. All the shops were like this too, same size. Probably so Monoponi could give us more options for murder.

I decided to pick up a smaller leather backpack with a side zipper for easier access to my Monopad, along with a pair of running shoes in my size and a refillable water bottle. Registering my “purchases” was just like any kind of self-check-out lane at a store: you just run them on the register and then swipe your Monopad and it prints out a receipt. I noticed with interest there was a function on the checkout machine for printing out all the receipts ever registered. That might prove handy someday.

I stuffed my receipt into my pocket and was about to leave when I heard Rainbow Dash call out, “Hey, Sunset! Wait up!”

I looked back: she had a length of parachute cord, a pair of carabiner clips, and a bungee cord in her hands and was scanning them through the register. “What’ve you got those for?” I asked.

She snatched up her receipt, balled it up and tossed it in a nearby bin. “Oh these? Just gonna make some exercise equipment with it. They didn’t have any kind of hand grips or arm stretchers or anything, so I’m just gonna improvise.” She bundled up the goods together and slung it over her shoulder. “Anyway, I just wanted to say sorry for last night. I was thinking about it this morning, and while I still dunno if I believe you about that Eques-whatever place, I was being a bit too harsh. So uh, sorry about that.” Her face broke into a sheepish smile and she stuck her hand out for a shake.

With a half grin of my own, I shook her hand firmly. “Apology accepted. I don’t blame you. This is a pretty stressful place we’re in.”

“I know, right?” She shivered, her face twisting up into a grimace. “Poor Shy, she’s so scared, you know? She’s worried someone’s gonna try to hurt her. And, not gonna lie, I’m not feeling too great about things myself either. I dunno how many of these people we can really trust. I mean some of ‘em, sure, like that farmer chick, she seems pretty honest.” Her grimace became a leer. “And pretty hot. All the chicks here are.” Then she blanched, holding up her hands and shaking them. “Uh, sorry, sorry, no offense meant!”

I nearly doubled over in laughter. “Don’t worry about it, none taken. You’re not bad looking yourself. But uh, aren’t you with Shy? I kinda got the impression you two had a thing for each other.”

“Nah, no, I’m not dating her if that’s what you mean. She’s just my best friend. Been that way since we were kids.” Rainbow Dash’s eyes turned misty, brimming with nostalgia. “I’ve been looking out for her ever since some bullies tried to pick on her. She was having a hard time at the summer camp we went to when we were, like, seven. That’s when I first met her. She’s like a sister to me.”

I nodded in understanding. “Okay, that makes sense. Wow, that long, huh? No wonder you’re such good friends.” A thought occurred to me, causing me to frown. “Wait, where is she?”

“Right over there,” Rainbow said, pointing. I looked behind me to see Fluttershy emerging from the office store, with an all-in-one arts and crafts kit in her hand.

“Oh, um, hello Sunset,” Fluttershy said nervously as she approached, ducking part of her face behind her hair.

“Hey.” I greeted, waving.

“Anyway, nice talking with you, Sunset,” Rainbow said as she sidled up to Shy. “See you later.”

I said my goodbyes, then made my way over to the office store to meet up with Twilight. She had a number of things balanced in her hands, including notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, and a clipboard of all things. “Ah, there you are,” she said, giving me a small smile. “Can you help me carry these to my room, please?”

“Sure thing,” I said, taking most of them from her and placing them in my backpack. “What’s all this stuff for?”

“Oh I’m just going to be recording observations, things people say that stand out, and so on. Given the situation we’re in and the suspicion we’re all feeling for each other, I just thought it would make sense,” Twilight answered.

I chuckled wryly as we entered the cabin corridor. “Gotta record what I’ve been saying and doing, huh?”

She blushed profusely, shaking her head and hands. “Oh no no no, you’ve been fine! Better than fine actually! You haven’t done anything other than that, uh, talk you had with Adagio.” Her blush deepened when she said the word talk.

With a cheeky grin I teased, “It was just a talk, Twilight, nothing more. Jealous?”

“Noooo. No no no. Definitely not!” she gasped, her face turning pale as she furiously shook her head. “I’m, I’m uh, not into girls. Sorry.”

I burst into laughter. “No need to apologize. I’m just kidding with you.”

As we reached her door she brought out her keys to unlock it, letting us in. “Oh, okay. Phew. I didn’t… didn’t want to send the wrong message,” she murmured, looking away from me and holding one arm with the other in embarrassment.

Oh dang it. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad,” I said while taking out the stuff she gave me so I could set it on her desk.

“It’s fine, you didn’t,” she responded, giving me a little sheepish grin. “I just, kinda maybe sorta accidentally led a girl to think I was into her once, a long time ago, and it was just a big messy scene, and I didn’t want anything like that to happen here.” She looked back down, fiddling with her hands. “Especially since in a tense environment like this, with a killing game putting our lives in serious jeopardy, people are known to, to make bonds far faster than they usually would, and relationships get more intense and bloom wildly because we could die any moment so we get scared and--”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” I said, holding up my hands in surrender. “Don’t worry, it’s okay.”

She gulped, and let out a nervous laugh. “Ahehe, sorry, I get… nervous easily.”

That much is obvious, I thought, but I said nothing.

She took a couple minutes to get together a notebook and the clipboard, plus a pen or two, then started jotting down some notes. “Okay, we can get going now. I was just writing down my observations for today so far. You haven’t done anything suspicious that I’ve seen, like I said, so I’ll just stick with you for the rest of the day, then we’ll call it good.” She shrugged. “Seems like everyone’s letting what happened last night go anyway. No one’s said anything to me.”

“Yeah, Rainbow Dash apologized about it to me even,” I said. Then my stomach rumbled. I popped out my Monopad just long enough to check the time. “Woah, it’s already 1 o’clock. Want to get some lunch?”

“Sure.”

After we got some lunch, I decided to try to track down Pinkie Pie, since she said she wanted us to find her if we wanted to contribute. “Oh hey, look at this,” I said to Twilight after pulling up my Monopad and checking the map. “Looks like we can see where everyone is on this map.”

She pulled out her own to see. “I see what you mean. It must be tracking us in real time, using some kind of ship-wide wifi.” She curled up one side of her mouth. “Too bad we can’t use that to call for some kind of rescue.”

I scanned the map, and found Pinkie’s icon by the pool. “This way.”

We found Pinkie zipping to and fro, staring at one corner of the pool, then another, then at the high dive, then the area around it, all while scratching her chin and muttering under her breath. Then she’d zoom back to a notebook sitting on a table, write something down, and get back to moving around the pool. “Hey Pinkie,” I said.

She scooted to a halt. “Oh, hiya Sunset, Twilight!” she greeted cheerfully with a big grin on her face. “What’s up?”

“Sunset and I were just wondering what we could do to help with the setup,” Twilight replied.

“Great!” Pinkie said, snapping her fingers. “Quick, c’mere, take a look at this.”

We approached the table with her notes, where she held them up to us so we could see them better. “See, look, I’m thinking we can put three big tables, here, here, and here,” she said pointing to different locations by the pool, “which we can get from the food court, so we can use them for setting up food and drinks. I’m thinking I want to do a couple of big punch bowls for beer and cider, then have some bottles for people who want something else like an ale or whiskey, or wine. Then maybe set aside an area for soda, juice, and water, for people who either aren’t gonna drink or want to do mixers. Then we can put salty snacks over here, and sweet stuff over here.”

Twilight nodded, and suggested a couple of minor modifications which Pinkie wrote down. “Great, that should work.”

“So did you want me and Twi to help bring out tables and snacks?” I asked.

Pinkie nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah huh! That’d be perfect! I mean I’m still gonna pick out the stuff so everyone gets some tasty things. Maybe I’ll bake some things too. I bake a mean cupcake, and I dunno if I trust that weirdo automatic bakery to do a good job. And Sweetie Belle said she’d help bake too!” Pinkie cocked her head to the said. “Scootaloo then said she was already baked, but I’m not sure what she meant by that.”

I snorted. “Dunno how she accomplished that.”

“What do you mean?” Pinkie asked innocently.

I waved a hand dismissively. “Nevermind.”

“Okay, when do you want us to start, then?” Twilight asked, pen at the ready to notate on her clipboard.

Pinkie scratched her chin. “Hmmm… I’m thinking we’re gonna hold the party from 8:00 PM till about 3:00 AM. So maybe 7:00? We shouldn’t need more than an hour to set up.”

Twilight and I exchanged a look and nodded to each other. “Yeah, we can do that, no sweat,” I said, grinning.

“Hurraay!” Pinkie cheered, bouncing a good foot in the air before landing back on the ground with a slam of her shoes against the deck. “Oooh, this party is gonna be so good! I just wish I had my party cannon. Then I wouldn’t need any help! Just one touch of a button and wha-bam! Instant party!”

My face screwed up in confusion. “Party cannon? What? How does that work?”

Pinkie launched into a complicated explanation of physics, chemistry, and metallurgy that had my eyes glazing over after about fifteen seconds from the sheer speed at which she was talking. Even Twilight seemed just as baffled as I was. “...and there you go! That’s how you build a party cannon! I just don’t have any of the equipment and you can’t build a proper party cannon without equipment because I mean you can’t just shove party supplies down a regular cannon it’ll just blow them up and scorch them and then you just have a big mess to clean up and no one wants that!” Pinkie finished in a huff, panting heavily to catch her breath. “Understand?”

“Uh, not really, but nevermind, that’s okay,” I mumbled. “Anyway, we’ll uh, we’ll leave you to it.”

“Okie dokie Loki!” Pinkie chirped.

As we walked away, Twilight held a hand to her head and grunted. “Ugh, talking to that girl gives me a headache,” she complained. “I mean she’s nice, but sheesh.”

“Yeah she’s a bundle of energy, that’s for sure.”

“So, what do you want to do now?”

I pulled out my Monopad again and checked the map. The map available to us only showed the areas we’d already explored--the cabin corridor, the promenade, the outdoor lounge, and the bridge deck/pool area. “I think I want to spend some time poking around places, just to see if there’s some kind of access hatch or something to the rest of the ship.” I flashed Twilight a confident grin. “I fully intend to escape this place and get everyone out of here with me if I can manage it.”

“But the rules do say that the engine room and bridge are off limits, and we can’t open locked doors,” Twilight replied with a concerned frown.

“Exactly. Locked doors. Doesn’t say anything about unlocked doors, or vent shafts or something else like that.”

Twilight slowly smiled, chuckling in a low voice. “Oh, I get it. A loophole, huh? Sure, let’s explore then!”

We decided to start with the promenade, since it was the widest area. We started by searching the shops, and while we found doors in the very back of each one, they were all firmly locked. Then we moved on to the restaurants.

Like Monoponi told us, the restaurants, despite being automated for our convenience, were fully explorable. Each kitchen had its own unique setup too, ready to go with various typical implements, as well as a number of dangerous objects. When I saw a set of iron skewers in one kitchen, a cold shiver ran down my spine. But like the shops, there were plenty of locked doors.

It was in the Sushi King kitchen where we finally hit on something. Like the other restaurants it was set up perfectly for use if someone wanted to cook inside, including a large knife set with, oddly, four different sizes of meat cleaver. There was also the standard janitor’s corner with sink, pantry, and walk-in freezer. This one had bags with large amounts of ice for some reason, in varying blocks from cup-sized cubes to slabs similar to cinder blocks. I was in the middle of pushing one aside when I discovered a vent behind it. The vent was rather small, too small for either of us to fit, but it was unlocked.

“Where do you think it goes?” Twilight asked.

“Dunno. We’re not going to be able to go down there ourselves. Hrmmm…” I brought out my Monopad and briefly browsed the profiles. “Looks like the shortest of us is… oh crap. It’s Diamond Tiara.”

“Uuugh,” Twilight said with a shudder. “She’s been nothing but a jerk since we woke up here. Is there anyone else we can ask?”

I took another look. “Scootaloo, I think. She’d probably be up for it. Looks like she’s hanging out with Timber Spruce by the shops.”

“I’ll go get her then,” Twilight said, standing back up from the vent.

“Alrighty.”

I decided to sit on the kitchen floor outside the freezer, rather than stay in the cold for a second longer than I had to, because it was making me shiver something fierce. I gripped my jacket closer and hunched over to try to warm back up. It wasn’t that cold, but it would help me warm up faster.

And lucky thing I was doing it too, because when a squeaky voice about whispered in my ear, “What’re you doing?” I only jumped slightly and didn’t crack my head against the freezer door.

I looked to my left to see Monoponi’s grinning face almost nose to nose with mine. “Waaugh!” I yelped, and scooted away as quick as I could, right up against the nearby shelf full of bags of uncooked rice. “Why the hell do you keep doing that?!”

“Because it’s hilarious!” Monoponi replied with a cackle. “Upupupupu…”

“Whatever,” I groaned. “What do you want now?”

“Your Captain,” he growled in a low, sinister tone, “wants to know what you’re doing poking around that vent in the freezer!”

My blood chilled in my veins. “U--um, we were exploring. That’s not a-against the rules, is it?”

“Exploring? No, not exploring. Exploring’s fine. So long as you don’t try to open a locked door, you’re good!” Monoponi answered cheerfully. Then he crouched down and bared his teeth. “But what matters is the reason! Why are you exploring? Hmmm? Hmmmmmmm? Don’t think I can’t hear what you say on my ship! Everything can be seen and heard by your Captain! Everything!”

I reached up for the shelf and shakily pulled myself to my feet, just so I could back away further. I was shaking like crazy, fear crawling all over my body. Oh god, oh no, I screwed up, I thought as my heart raced at near light speed, thundering in my chest. “W-what d-do you mean?” I stammered as my eyes started searching my surroundings for something, anything to defend myself with. Not that it probably mattered. A human with no magic and no weapons wouldn’t stand a chance against an alicorn, even one as tiny as Monoponi.

“You know exactly what I mean!” he shrieked. His horn lit up with violently crimson energy as he rose to float in the air. “You think you can find loopholes in my rules?! Trying to escape without a Rescue Attempt is treason! It’s mutiny! It’s a violation of the rules, it is! And do you know what happens to rule violators on my ship?!” Eerie crimson light began to wrap itself around my body, holding me in place.

“No, no, please!” I babbled, tears running down my face as I vainly struggled against his magic hold. An intense pressure gripped my throat, turning my voice harsh and forced. “I wasn’t trying to escape! I wasn’t! Please, please don’t kill me!”

Monoponi froze in place and stared at me for a good long moment. Then his horn dimmed and he settled on the floor, dropping me in the process. “Upupupupu eyahahahahahhahahahahahahaha!” he cackled, quivering with mirth. “Oh Sunset you should see your face right now!”

“W-what?” I gasped, blinking past my tears as I struggled to get my breath back, taking great heaving lungfuls of air. Sweet, delicious, precious air!

Monoponi started rolling on the floor, laughing his ass off. “You were so scared! Sunset Shimmer, such a brave soul, crying and pleading for her life! Ahahahahaha! It’s so pathetic I can’t stop laughing! Eyahahahaha!”

My heart settled down as the icy tendrils of fear were replaced with the white hot river of rage. I balled up my fists so hard I was almost bleeding from my knuckles, shaking with anger. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Oh, Sunset my dear girl, you haven’t even begun to see the depths of what’s wrong with me!” Monoponi replied as he hoisted himself back onto all four hooves.

“So you were just messing with me?!”

“Of course! Upupupu…” Monoponi gave me a grin that stretched from ear to ear, which is damned wide on a pony face. “You weren’t breaking any rules. I just wanted to see how you’d react. I’m actually disappointed. I thought it’d take more than that to make you crack. Guess I was wrong!”

“You… you little piece of trash!” My hands opened and closed as I pictured grabbing him by the throat and throttling him for all he was worth. Every last bit of pride from the old Sunset I used to be flared up to fuel my fury. We’ll see how you like it, asshole!

“Ah ah ah! Better calm down now, Sunset,” Monoponi said, waggling a hoof like it was a finger. “Don’t do anything hasty. Unless you really do want to see what I do to rule breakers first hoof.”

“You… you… Uuugh!” I slammed a fist into one of the nearby bags of rice. It hurt like hell, but it served well enough to vent enough frustration for me to take some deep breaths and calm down.

“Better. Much better. Oh, and before you ask: exploring the vent? You can do that all you want. I don’t care if you manage to explore the entire ship, no matter why you’re doing it! Just remember one thing.” He raised a hoof and pointed it at me. “As soon as you actually try something that would result in your escape, without killing someone? That’s mutiny. Just remember that. If you can.”

“Fine. I will,” I grunted. “Now get out of my sight!”

Monoponi took a bow, extending his wings. “Your Captain is happy to oblige. Ta-ta!” He vanished in a flash of crimson light.

“God damn it!” I shouted as I slammed my fists into the bag of rice again. The pain helped me focus, helped me try to calm my shaking body. The combination of fear and rage had flooded my body with adrenaline and it was all I could to keep from unleashing a full flurry of attacks on the unfortunate bag of rice. I knew the person behind this was messed up. I knew it, and I still let them get to me! It was so unbelievably frustrating. I’m not someone prone to acting like this, not under normal circumstances. Yeah, I get scared sometimes. Angry sometimes. But I’d never felt such terror, such unrelenting fear as I did for that brief moment when I thought he was going to kill me. It was gut wrenching horror, unlike anything I’d ever faced.

He was a monster. They. Whoever it was. A complete monster. What kind of messed up person did this to people?

I heard the sound of approaching footsteps and turned to see Twilight and Scootaloo walking in. Scootaloo had her own backpack by now, carting something rather bulky from the way it bulged. “Sorry that took so long,” Twilight said, wincing. “Timber asked me to help him with something.” Then her eyes widened as she took a step towards me, extending out a hand. “Woah, are you okay Sunset?”

“Yeah, what happened? You look like a mess,” Scootaloo added.

“Nothing. It’s… nothing. Don’t worry about it,” I answered. I wasn’t about to give Monoponi the satisfaction of watching me complain about him. So I put on a fake smile. “So Scootaloo, did Twilight tell you what this was about?”

Scootaloo raised her eyebrows and her mouth twisted in concern, but then she shrugged and said “Yeah, she did. Gotta crawl through some kinda vent, right?”

“Yeah, in here,” I replied, opening up the door to the freezer.

“Wow that’s cold!” Scootaloo shivered in her boots as she stepped in, kneeling down to look at the vent. “Seems like a tight fit, but I think I can do it. I’ll get through it lickity split!”

“Okay, just be careful,” Twilight said. “Don’t get yourself stuck. And if you can, take pictures with your Monopad.”

“Got it!” Scootaloo flashed us a thumbs up. She doffed her backpack, then got on her hands and knees. Thankfully she’d brought a pair of gloves to protect her hands from the cold metal. She scooted inside the vent and soon all we could hear was grunting and banging of metal.

Twilight took this moment to set a hand on my shoulder. “Hey, are you sure you’re okay? You seemed pretty upset.”

I blew out a breath through my teeth. “Yes! Just… drop it, okay? It’s not worth talking about.”

She pulled her hand back, an expression of hurt on her face. “Okay. Sorry I asked.”

For a couple moments, we stood there in silence. Then I said, “Just try to watch out for Monoponi. He likes to mess with your head. Don’t let him.”

She raised her eyebrows, looking at me over her glasses. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Hey!” Scootaloo called, her voice tainted with an odd metallic echo. “Can you guys hear me? I reached some kinda big fan blowing air! But there’s nothing else here! It’s just a dead end!”

“Seriously? Ugh!” I almost snarled my response as I called out, “Just get back up here then!”

“Got it!”

I stood back away from the vent to give Scootaloo enough room to get out. Soon enough she returned, falling flat on her belly as soon as she reached the relatively wide open space of the freezer. “Woof. That was rough! I think I bruised myself a few times.”

“Here, let me help you,” I said, hefting her to her feet.

“Okay, so that was a bust,” Scootaloo groaned as she knelt down, snatched up her backpack, and slipped the straps over her shoulders. “What was even the point to that vent?”

“That’s what I’m curious about too,” Twilight agreed, staring at the vent while scratching her head. “The other freezers had vents, but they were all in the ceiling. Why was this one in the wall by the floor?”

I rolled my eyes hard enough to make my head hurt. “Probably because Monoponi’d get a laugh out of us wasting our goddamned time,” I growled, roughly shoving the vent cover back in place in disgust and throwing the bag of ice back so it landed in a messy fashion instead of being evenly lined up with the rest of them. I didn’t care though. I was just too mad.

Scootaloo threw her hands up in the air, then let them fall to her sides as she bent over in frustration. “Uugh, he’s totally the kind of guy who’d do that too. What a pain.”

“Thank you anyway for your time, Scootaloo,” Twilight said, patting the shorter woman on the shoulder. “We’ll call you if we need anymore help.”

~*~

Twilight and I spent the rest of the day searching everywhere else that was open floor to ceiling, but other than the locked bulkhead at the end of the cabin corridor and the one leading up to the bridge there was nothing to be found. Feeling thoroughly exhausted, I decided to head to bed before the nighttime announcement, after taking a hot shower to try to wash away some of the tension in my muscles. It didn’t really help.

Of course, not long after I managed to fall asleep, the night time announcement woke me right back up again. Like I cared about the shops closing or that it was 10 PM. Monoponi probably played it louder in my room just to mess with me.

I threw myself back into the covers and put one of the fancy pillows over my face trying desperately to get back to sleep. It finally came, but it was ridden with nightmares, of me as a pony racing through a dark forest or endless prairie from hordes of Monoponis cackling that stupid laugh. I woke up more than once during the night too, including right before the morning announcement.

DING-DONG BING-BONG

“Uugh!” I slapped the pillow around my ears so I didn’t have to listen to his grating, irritating voice. Once it played out and the screen switched off, I flopped over and tried to fall back asleep. I don’t know how long I laid there, drifting in and out of a vague half-conscious state but just as I was finally starting to properly slip into a deep slumber, there was a massive loud banging at my door.

With a grunt of frustration I tried wrapping the pillow around my head again, but the banging wouldn’t stop. So I threw it aside, stomped my way over to the door, and threw it open. “What?!”

Flash, fist raised to knock again, flinched back and fell over in shock. “Oh thank god you’re here!” he said as he pulled himself back up.

I frowned, my whole face creasing up in confusion. “Huh? Yeah I’m here. I was just trying to sleep. What’s wrong with that?”

“But it’s almost noon!”

“Wait, seriously?” I whirled and grabbed my Monopad off the bedside table, checking the clock. “Holy crap, it is!”

“Diamond Tiara had us whipped up in a frenzy searching all over the place for you,” Flash said, staring at me with sad eyes. “We were worried sick! We thought… I thought…”

“Oh damn. You thought someone killed me, didn’t you?” I finished for him. The shock of the situation was helping to wake my brain up from its fogged up lack of sleep state.

He didn’t answer for a moment, looking down at the floor. “...yeah. We did.”

“Flash! Did you finally get inside?! Was she in there?!” came a cry from the hallway. The stomp stomp of several sets of shoes against the floor preceded Apple Bloom, Rarity, Adagio, and Twilight running into the room.

“Oh my stars, Sunset! You’re alive! Thank goodness!” Rarity shouted as she hurled herself on me, squeezing me tight enough to cut off my circulation before releasing me and flopping onto the bed in dramatic fashion. “Heavens, we were so worried!”

“Why didn’t you answer the door when I knocked earlier? We could’ve avoided all of this!” Twilight said, glaring at me with a mixture of anger and relief.

I held up my hands in a defensive posture. “Woah, hold up, I didn’t do this on purpose, okay? I just couldn’t sleep. And I didn’t even hear anyone knocking. I was using my pillows as earplugs.”

“Hmmph.” Adagio stepped right up to me and shoved a finger in my chest. “You should tell someone before you do something so foolish. What happened to watching each other’s backs, hmm? It was complete chaos this morning. Someone even stole my first aid kit!”

Apple Bloom’s eyebrows shot to the top of her head. “Wait, why would someone do that? It ain’t like they couldn’t just buy one fer themselves! There’s tons of ‘em in the pharmacy!”

“I don’t know,” Adagio retorted in a mocking tone. “If I knew that I’d have gotten it back already!”

“Nevermind your first aid kit, you can just go get another,” I said before this could turn into a serious argument. “I don’t even know why you were lugging that around in the first place anyway.”

Adagio’s eyes flashed as she snarled, “Why do you think, idiot?”

At that moment I realized, as I looked into her predatory eyes, that she was just as afraid as the rest of us, in her own way. She feared for her life, just like I did, have been doing, ever since we woke up here. She wasn’t breaking down into tears like Fluttershy, or trying her best to be cheerful like Pinkie. She was lashing out in anger, a typical predator trying to look bigger than everything else so everyone else would be scared away. And she was trying to be smart about it too, having medical supplies ready in case she ever did get injured. Maybe I should get my own first aid kit. Yeah. Probably a good idea.

“Right, sorry,” I said, laughing sheepishly.

“Listen, Ah’m gonna go tell the others we found you,” Apple Bloom said, giving me a contrite look with her hands at her hips.

“Yes, please,” Flash added with a relieved laugh as Apple Bloom sped away. “I’m just glad you’re okay, Sunset.”

“Me too,” Twilight added as she walked over to the bed to offer Rarity a hand back up.

“Yes, darling, I do understand the need for beauty sleep, of course, but given the situation, perhaps you should tell one of us next time, hmm?” Rarity said gently as she hopped off the bed with Twilight’s help.

I nodded gently. “Yeah. Okay. Sorry I scared you all. I just wasn’t sleeping well.”

“None of us were,” Flash said sympathetically.

My sleepy brain finally woke up enough to notice something missing from Twilight’s head. “Hey, Twi, where's your bandage?” I asked.

“Oh, that?” Twilight asked, reaching up unconsciously to touch the wound. “I was going to change it this morning, and then we had to track you down.” Her hand came away clean. “It’s not bleeding anymore anyway, so I’m not worried.”

I nodded slowly. “Oh, okay. I guess that’s good then.” I was a little surprised, but if she didn’t want to rebandage it, that was her decision.

More boot stomps on metal preceded everyone else showing up too, almost all of them repeating the same general thing, that they were glad I was okay, and mad that I made them worry. Even Wallflower Blush was mad at me over it, and not just because she had to spend time searching, which was surprising. She’d been keeping to herself so much I thought she didn’t care about anyone at all.

Diamond Tiara though… “Sunset Shimmer!” she roared like thunder, pointing directly at me with a furious glare. “How dare you waste my time and energy whipping these people into a search party!” She stomped up with a slam of her boots on the floor as she got up in my face to shout, spittle flying to cover my face in a gross mess. “It’s bad enough you’re under suspicion for being a traitor, but now you do this too?! Are you trying to infuriate us?! Because it’s working!”

I wiped the slobber off my face and glared back with just as much anger. “How many times do I need to say I’m sorry I needed extra sleep?!” I roared. “Excuse me if I wasted your oh so valuable time miss Rich Bitch, but I--”

SLAP!

I staggered back, reeling from the blow. It stung like crazy, the sensation tingling across my left cheek. I’m sure my face must’ve borne a mark from the blow, because I could see it on Tiara’s hand as she balled it up into a fist to shake furiously at me. “Never! Ever!Use that word to refer to me again! Do you hear me?! Never!!”

She spun on her heel, forced her way past the crowd to slam her fist into the door, then trudged away, making massive amounts of noise with every step.

I stood there in shock, holding a hand to my face to try to stop the stinging. Emotions roiled within me. Anger, of course, but also sorrow, frustration, and… shame. I was ashamed of myself. For wigging out on her, for making everyone worry. I’d been acting like a complete idiot.

Everyone just stood there silently as well, sharing looks with each other but no one spoke up until Rarity dared to reach out a hand to set on my shoulder. “Are you all right, darling?”

I gave her a quick half smile that didn’t even come close to reaching my eyes, and reached up to squeeze her hand. “Yeah, don’t worry. Excuse me everyone. I, uh, I’m going to go take a shower.”

She gave me a slow, hesitant nod, then helped rush everyone out the door. I made sure to lock it before I went to go strip in the bathroom. It was going to take a lot of hot water to wash all of this away.

Author's Note:

Twilight's not wrong about human behavior. We do tend to bond much faster in tense situations. Just ask any soldier who's fought in war.

Monoponi, meanwhile, is a complete dick. Even more so than Monokuma, Monoponi is just cruel, and loves to torment them. Poor Sunset. And poor everyone else, having to look for her.

Tiara... I have things I want to say, but they need to be saved for another, more appropriate time.

On Saturday, the party! I'm sure nothing will go wrong. Nope. :scootangel:

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