• Published 5th Feb 2021
  • 1,820 Views, 87 Comments

Hostile History - Jest



Sunset Shimmer's is happy for the first time in a long time. She's accepted, has wonderful friends, and a life many would envy. Or is it all an illusion forced upon her by the very people she trusted? Only time will tell.

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Chapter 38

“And then the memory was over,” Sunset concluded, pausing to take a sip from her can of pop. “After that I left Perfect’s vault, we went out for some dinner, then came back here.”

“We didn't learn all of that in that order though,” Twilight quickly added, the girl continuing to pace in front of the large window overlooking the city. “But we thought we’d tell it in chronological order so it wasn't confusing.”

“Like the original star wars trilogy!” Pinkie Pie proclaimed before digging her hand back into a bowl of popcorn.

“Wait, original? There are more than six of those movies?” Rainbow Dash remarked.

Applejack rolled her eyes. “Of course there were more. Where did you think Darth Vader came from?”

“That spin off thing with the plans for the death egg,” Rainbow Dash replied.

“I am surrounded by philistines,” muttered Applejack as she fell back on the couch and crossed her arms across her chest.

“What's a philistine?” asked Fluttershy.

“Not the point,” Sunset interrupted. “The point is that we need to train harder. Celestia has plans for our world, and it's safe to assume that they aren't good.”

“We were already training though,” Rainbow Dash pointed out.

“That was without teachers, without mentors,” Twilight replied. “Perfect Tempo has offered to remedy that.”

“I know the man is quite talented but I don't think he could teach Fluttershy how to heal or I could utilize my shields better,” Rarity exclaimed.

“He has friends,” Sunset Shimmer stated. “Friends who would be able to help us become stronger.”

“I don't know about this,” Applejack murmured, hand caressing her chin. “I don't mind trusting this guy, but he's got some shady folk under his employ.”

“We won't get taught by that crazy siren chick, right?” Rainbow Dash asked.

Sunset Shimmer shook her head. “No, absolutely not.”

“Daw, but she's a ninja Dashy, don't you wanna be a ninja?” Pinkie Pie inquired, the girl pretending to throw shurkians around the room.

“Nah. All that cloak and dagger stuff is for cowards,” Rainbow Dash retorted.

“I wouldn't mind some lessons on hiding,” Fluttershy spoke up.

“If anything she should be asking you for lessons,” Applejack declared.

“Look, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Twilight exclaimed. “Right now I think we should seriously consider taking Perfect up on his offer. If Celestia came here it would be bad.”

“Very bad,” Sunset added.

“I’m in,” Rainbow Dash immediately replied. “I’m down for anything that makes me even awesomer.”

“I still don't like all this fighting,” Rarity interjected. “I didn't mind it so much when it was plant monsters or whatever, but these people. They don't pull any punches.”

“We could get seriously hurt, or… worse,” Fluttershy whispered.

Rarity wrapped an arm around the shy girl and pulled her in close, a hand running through the healer’s long pink hair.

“Not fighting just ain't an option,” Applejack began. “If we don't deal with whatever this Celestia person is throwing through the mirror then who would? The police? They couldn't handle that evil statue, or heck, even half the things we fought back in the day.”

“Many more people would get hurt if we don't step up,” Sunset Shimmer added.

“I know,” Fluttershy whispered, hugging Rarity’s arm tight against her chest. “I know its the right thing to do but that doesn't mean I want to do it.”

“Look,” Twilight began, kneeling down in front of Fluttershy. “I know you don't want to get dragged into this thing but were a part of it now. All we can do is get stronger, and protect who we can.”

“I wish this Celestia person would just go away. Or at least act more like our Celestia,” Rarity remarked.

“No kidding. She let me skip class after my grandpa passed away,” Rainbow Dash stated.

“Unfortunately our duplicates aren't exact copies,” Sunset Shimmer explained. “Or else that Celestia wouldn't be quite so willing to alter the minds of anyone she disagrees with.”

“So is everyone in or what?” Pinkie Pie proclaimed.

“I think so,” Rarity replied. “Provided Fluttershy is up to it.”

The shy, pajama wearing girl nodded slowly. “I want to learn how to heal people with my magic. Do you think anyone could teach me?”

“Didn't Platinum already offer?” Sunset Shimmer countered.

Fluttershy shuddered. “Yeah, but she's scary.”

“Aww come on, she ain't so bad,” Rainbow Dash declared, slapping Fluttershy on the knee. “After all, she's a lich, not a zombie so she wont eat you or anything.”

“That's not better. Liches eat souls,” Applejack pointed out.

The color drained from Fluttershy’s face. “Oh, oh my.”

Sunset Shimmer rolled her eyes. “She does not eat souls… as far as I know.”

“Not helping,” hissed Rarity.

“I think I need to lie down,” Fluttershy murmured.

“I’ll talk to Perfect,” Sunset offered. “In the meantime just relax and get some rest. We’ll get started tomorrow.”

“Sweet!” Pinkie Pie declared. “Now who wants to eat pizza and play mario party?”

“Augh not that game again,” whined Applejack. “You always manage to win.”

“And in the most random ways to!” added Rainbow Dash. “It's such bullcrap.”

“Your just mad because I keep beating you in Smash,” Pinkie Pie retorted.

Rainbow Dash snatched up a free controller. “Oh it's on.”


“So what are we doing here again?” Rainbow Dash asked, gesturing to the large, indoor gymnasium they were now standing within. “I thought we were going to meet these teacher people.”

“Or at least get some sick new digs,” Pinkie Pie added, the girl posing in her jeans and a tshirt. “I mean we are superheroes now, so we gotta get awesome suits.”

“We are not superheroes,” Sunset Shimmer stated. “We are just people who have powers and… you know what that sounds a lot like a superhero.”

“Please tell me we don't have to wear a cape,” Rarity whined. “They are so gauche.”

“And they always get stuck on things,” Fluttershy added. “Or at least I assume they would.”

“Yes darling, no capes,” Rarity declared.

“I don't think Perfect’s the type to get uniforms,” Twilight remarked.

“I much prefer armor,” declared Perfect Tempo.

The seven girls all turned to Perfect Tempo as he strode into the room along with several others. Unlike the high schoolers who were all wearing their street clothes, Perfect Tempo wore his usual suit and tie. His associates were less formal, save for Ghost who sported a long black dress that fit loose about her curves and ended just below the knee.

The others were far less concerned with looks, most notable of which was the hulking dragon trundling along at the back. He had on a thick black vest that barely covered his red scales or white underbelly, while also leaving his large blue wings free. Other than that he wore only a bored expression, unlike the man closest to him who eyed the seven girls intently.

With a sharp, critical gaze, the towering dark skinned figure studied the high schoolers, judging them silently. He sported the leather underlay usually worn beneath plate mail, as well as a pair of high topped black boots. Contrasting with the naked curiosity of the strangely intense man was Platinum who’s face betrayed not a single ounce of emotion.

She wore a black and white Victorian era dress that was more suited to a funeral than a gymnasium. Without a word spoken, she took position next to Perfect, and the others who fanned out before the young girls. Who were eying the new arrivals as closely as Harvest Moon was watching them all.

“I’m assuming you’ve all met before,” Perfect Tempo began, extending a hand.

“Yeah but I don't remember any of your names,” Rainbow Dash replied. “Except Perfect Tempo and Ghost. Kinda hard to forget you two.”

“And it was easy to forget the dragon?” Thevetat exclaimed.

“Buddy I never forget a face, but name? Pfft, in one ear and out the other,” Rainbow Dash answered.

“It's true,” Applejack added. “It took her like, five years to remember that my last name is Apple, and my first name is literally Applejack.”

“I think some introductions are in order, just in case,” Sunset Shimmer interrupted, gesturing to each of her friends in turn. “I’ll start. From left to right we have Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Twilight, Sunset Shimmer, and finally Pinkie Pie.”

“You should remember Platinum, myself and my wife Ghost,” Perfect Tempo began. “And this is my good friend Thevetat and finally my cousin, Harvest Moon.”

“Can we get on with it already?” Platinum exclaimed. “I have important work to get back to and very little time to spend babysitting.”

“Yeah, and I got a drink with my name on it waiting for me,” Thevetat added, the dragon cleaning his ear with a pinkie. “So if we could hurry this along.”

“Patience you two,” Harvest Moon cautioned. “Let us see what these young ones have to offer.”

“I’m assuming you wish to see the extent of our powers and not our grades,” Twilight reasoned.

“That would be why I asked you to come to the gymnasium, yes,” Perfect Tempo replied.

“Sweet, I’ll go first,” Rainbow Dash declared, stepping up in front of her friends. “I’m Rainbow Awesome Dash, and I am the fastest thing on two legs. Just watch.”

Before anyone could utter a sound, the girl took off, becoming a rainbow colored blur as she raced around the room. In the blink of an eye she had done several laps around the place, and had appeared in front of the group with a grin.

“Pretty fast huh?” Rainbow Dash declared while brushing some dirt off her shoulder.

“I’ve seen faster,” Thevetat declared.

“What? No way! Humans can't even break forty kilometers, that was like… a kajillion times faster than that!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

“Oh yeah, humans are weak little apes,” replied the dragon. “I’m saying I’ve seen faster creatures before. Besides, speed doesn't mean much if you can't do something with it.”

“Oh I so can!” Rainbow Dash declared, the girl becoming a blur and reappearing in front of the dragon’s fast. “I’ll have you know I totally beat up a whole bunch of those stupid soldiers that Foxtrot threw at us.”

“Pfft, those guys are weaklings,” Thevetat retorted. “Like the rest of you humans.”

“I’ll show you weakling!” Rainbow Dash shouted before punching the dragon and recoiling in a cry of agony. “It's like punching a brick wall!”

“Ha, I barely even felt that,” remarked Thevetat. “Like a gentle breeze.”

“I’ll show you a gentle breeze!” Rainbow Dash yelled.

The girl then punched using her uninjured hand, only to stumble back in pain.

“Its even worse the second time,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

“Now why in the sam hill did you think that was going to work?” Applejack asked, her hands resting on her hips.

“My right hook’s better than my left?” Rainbow Dash half answered, half asked back.

Applejack sighed and planted her face into her palm. “Sometimes I worry about you sugar cube.”

Thevetat laughed aloud. “You are one funny little monkey thing. I’m going to enjoy putting you through your paces.”

“Wait what? You’re going to train me?” Rainbow Dash inquired.

“Unless anyone else has any arguments,” Thevetat remarked.

Platinum tsked disapprovingly, Ghost chuckled quietly to herself, while Perfect Tempo remained quiet.

“She is too brash,” Harvest Moon declared. “She would need to be broken of that habit first.”

“Well it's a good thing you ain't teaching me,” Rainbow Dash retorted, blowing a raspberry at the tall man.

“Oh I’m liking you more and more already,” exclaimed the dragon with a smirk.

Harvest Moon tsked, and crossed his arms over his chest.

“I already know who it is I will be teaching,” Platinum declared, pointing at Fluttershy and Twilight. “These two will make excellent students.”

“Wait, us?” Twilight replied.

“I thought Perfect Tempo was going to teach Twilight and I,” Sunset Shimmer inquired, glancing at Perfect Tempo.

“No,” Perfect Tempo answered simply. “Platinum was one of the greatest unicorn sorcerers of her time. The only reason I can teach you, Sunset, is because you remember how to use magic from your other life.”

“I don't have the basics,” Twilight openly wondered.

“Prcisely,” Platinum stated. “You have skill and a desire to learn, but you need still need someone to show you the way. Much like how your burgeoning necromancer here will require my assistance.”

“What, me?” Fluttershy exclaimed in shock.

“I don't think Fluttershy wishes to become some sort of dark mage,” Rarity added.

“She already is,” Platinum explained. “She is quite adept at manipulating the internal energies of a living creature.”

“Do you mean my healing?” Fluttershy asked.

“What did you think healing was, light magic?” Platinum scoffed. “You are manipulating life, child. Twisting it to your own ends, be they good or bad.”

“But I don't want to be a necromancer,” Fluttershy muttered.

Platinum clacked her heeled foot against the ground. “Enough whining. Twilight, Fluttershy. Follow me. Now.”

“I guess we’ll see you guys later,” Twilight murmured.

“Do I have to go?” Fluttershy whispered.

Rarity gently moved the hair from Fluttershy’s face and flashed her a wide smile. “Just remember that she’ll be teaching you how to heal better, and that by doing so you’ll be learning how to protect us.”

“I… your right,” Fluttershy murmured. “Thank you.”

“Your quite welcome darl-” Rarity was interrupted when Fluttershy leaned forward and planted a quick kiss on the fashionista's lips.

The shy girl then immediately sprinted away, a blush dominating her mostly hidden features.

“Well that just happened,” Rainbow Dash muttered.

“I err,” Rarity touched her lips absently. “I don't know what to say.”

Platinum rolled her eyes. “Teenagers.”

The woman then walked away with a confused, and slightly apprehensive Twilight following close behind.

“Oh you guys are hilarious,” Thevetat remarked. “I feel like I’m watching a sitcom, only with less canned laughter, and terrible jokes.”

“Popcorn?” Pinkie Pie offered, the girl having procured a bag of the stuff from her mane.

“Don't mind if I do,” murmured Thevetat before tossing back the entire thing in a single bite.

“Shall we continue, dear?” Ghost prompted.

“Of course,” Perfect Tempo answered. “Applejack, why don't you pick up where Rainbow Dash left off?”

“I’m good,” Applejack replied. “I rather enjoy not having broken hands.”

“I think he means the showing off part,” Sunset Shimmer whispered.

“Err right,” Applejack muttered. “I knew that.”

The farmer then looked around curiously, searching for anything she could use to display her strength. Her gaze immediately latched onto a series of weights arrayed on the ground nearby. Ranging from just heavier than a sack of potatoes, they went all the way up to the weight of a small S.U.V.

Clearly arrayed for the super powered members under Perfect Tempo’s employ, Applejack was a bit intimidated at first. That was until she remembered her most recent feats of strength, and decided to walk over to one of the bars close to the heavier end. Though the white marks on the side indicated that the total weight was over a thousand pounds, Applejack stopped in front of it.

“Don't hurt yourself,” called Fluttershy.

“I won't,” Applejack replied.

The farmer then wiped her hands on her jeans, and spread her legs slightly, widening her stance. She then leaned down, picked up the bar and after a few seconds of struggle, lifted it high over her head. A moment later and it was dropped back to the ground, where it hit the specially reinforced floor with a loud clunk.

“Not bad,” Ghost remarked. “Though I’m curious as to how high you can go.”

“I too would be interested in testing your upper limits,” Harvest Moon declared.

“I think that's about as high as I can go,” Applejack replied.

“You are unused to the power thrust upon you,” Harvest Moon exclaimed while slowly circling the farmer. “On some level you fear your abilities, and are scared to hurt others.”

“Well I mean. I don't exactly like hurtin folks,” Applejack replied, shrinking slightly under the man’s intense gaze.

“You imagine your strength as a warhammer. Large, unwieldy, and ultimately clumsy,” Harvest Moon continued. “But you must change your perception, and understand that it can be wielded as precisely as any blade.”

The man then plucked the weight Applejack had just lifted off the ground with a single hand. His arm muscles rippled, and with disturbing ease, he twisted the weight around until his palm was up. He then tossed the bar into the air, and grabbed it with his other hand before it could fall more than a few inches.

“Strength is important, but control should be your focus,” Harvest Moon declared.

“Pfft, showoff,” muttered Thevetat. “Come on fancy hair, let's get out of here.”

“Oh? Are we going to train?” Rainbow Dash asked, bounding along next to the dragon.

“Something like that,” replied Thevetat.

“I believe we should depart as well,” Harvest Moon remarked, glancing down at Applejack. “I have much to teach you, and something tells me, not a lot of time to do so.”

Sunset glanced over at her two remaining friends. “So uh, who's next?”

“I will teach the refined one,” Ghost declared suddenly. “I have little to offer the pink thing.”

“Err that's very kind, and a bit rude,” Rarity muttered.

“Hmm, yes that might be a problem,” Perfect Tempo added, the man rubbing his chin. “Pinkie Pie’s abilities are unique, and thus I don't know of anyone who could actually teach her.”

“I mean. Surely she would benefit from some strength training, if for no other reason that she could throw stuff further,” Sunset Shimmer offered.

“Oh yeah totally! My throwing arm is pretty good but it's not like, super great,” Pinkie Pie admitted.

Perfect Tempo nodded slowly. “That is an excellent suggestion. I shall have a friend from the patriots come teach you everything he knows. After that you will go to each of the mentors and receive what little they can offer you.”

“This is just like school,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed. “A little of everything, only less spares and probably fewer field trips.”

“Yes yes. Now come along Rarity. I am many things, but patient is not one of them,” Ghost remarked.

“Um before we go. I must ask, why did you choose me?” Rarity inquired.

Ghost stopped, and turned back to the girl, flashing her a small, subtle smile. “I see a part of myself in you. All you require is a little push and I am certain that you will flower into an expert killer of men.”

“I’m actually a little more of a lady killer, but I see your point… I think,” Rarity muttered.

“Man eater or lady killer. They all bleed,” Ghost flippantly replied, flicking her wrist. “Now do come along. I have just the thing in mind for your first true test.”

“I guess I’ll see you later then Sunset,” Rarity muttered.

“Good luck,” Sunset Shimmer muttered.

“This was more expedient than expected,” Perfect Tempo exclaimed, glancing about the mostly empty room. “I had expected my wife to at least demand a show of things before she declared her mentorship in her usually confident manner.”

“I still don't quite see the connection,” Pinkie Pie admitted while scratching her head. “Ghost has ice powers, and Rarity makes shields.”

“Did you know that my wife primarily used her ice powers to defend me and our friends from harm?” Perfect Tempo began.

“I suppose that makes sense,” Sunset Shimmer admitted.

“Creating barriers, and walls to stall those who wished us harm was all she thought she was capable of,” Perfect Tempo continued. “Eventually she was forced into an unpleasant situation where she had to use her skills in a more direct manner. I believe as though my dear Ghost is trying to ensure Rarity avoids ever landing into such a situation.”

“No offence, but that's not how it came off,” Sunset Shimmer replied.

Perfect Tempo chuckled. “I know my wife has an icey demeanor, but trust me when I say there is a heart beneath all that.”

“Oooh, good pun,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

Perfect Tempo’s smile fell from his face. “Just, don't use any ice jokes around her. She's heard them all before and can get a bit testy about that kind of thing.”

“Fair,” Sunset Shimmer murmured.

“So,” Perfect Tempo exclaimed, clapping his hands together. “Let us get started. First I will need to make a quick call, then Sunset and I can begin practicing.”

“Would you mind if I watched?” Pinkie Pie inquired.

“I don't see why not,” Perfect Tempo replied, glancing down to Sunset. “Unless you could think of a reason.”

Sunset Shimmer shrugged. “Not really.”

“Well alright then, let us begin,” Perfect Tempo declared.


Pinkie Pie hummed contentedly as she moved about the kitchen, flitting this way and that with the speed and grace of a dancer. A bowl filled with pasta and topped with freshly melted cheese was pulled from an oven and placed onto a platter next to a tall garden salad. A quick flick of the wrist removed the baked potato from its casserole dish and placed it onto a plate next to a link of sausage. Gravy was then drizzled all over it before the nearly empty boat was deposited onto the silver serving plate. After retrieving an apple pie from a second oven, as well as triple decker burger from atop the flat top grill, it was complete.

“Oh woopsie, one more thing,” Pinkie Pie muttered, wiping her hands on her pink, polka dot pajama bottoms.

The girl then twisted, and leapt across the room, stopping in front of the fridge. Which she opened, and retreived from within a cake, as well as a large half eaten plate of shepherd's pie. They joined the other meals on the large silver platter that was then balanced atop one of Pinkie Pie’s hands.

“Perfect,” Pinkie Pie whispered to herself.

With platter in hand, the girl hummed a jaunty tune as she walked excitedly into the living room. Where the rest of her friends lay sprawled out on the couches, a half forgotten music video playing on the television screen. Everyone present had larger concerns than the upbeat pop music coming through speakers, and didn't even seem aware of what was going on.

Twilight held a notebook packed with the girl’s tiny, almost unreadable script in one hand, while massaging her temple with the other. Beside her lay Fluttershy, the girl staring blankly up at the ceiling, her occasional blinking being the only sign she was even alive. Rarity seemed intent on helping the shy girl, but struggled to stay awake due to how exhausted she was.

A trait she shared in common with Rainbow Dash, who was sprawled out face down on the floor. The speedster’s hands were wrapped in bandages, and her clothes were in a truly sorry state of affairs. Applejack had no such issues with her wardrobe, though her arms hung down against her sides limply, as if it was a struggle just to lift them.

Only Sunset seemed unbothered by her training, having gained only a bit of eye strain and a few new scorch marks. She was also the first to notice Pinkie Pie approaching, and swiftly began clearing a space for all the food.

“You didn't have to do all that for us,” Sunset remarked. “We could have just ordered pizza again.”

“Nah. You girls needed something home cooked to recover from your long day,” Pinkie Pie eagerly declared.

“Home cooked?” Rainbow Dash asked, peeking up over the side of the large mahogany coffee table. “What is… oh wow.”

Pinkie Pie placed the platter down in the area free of phones, random bits of papers, and open video game cases. She then plunked down in an open chair and pulled a granola bar out of her hair before biting into it with a satisfied crunch.

“Well would ya look at that,” Applejack murmured. “If I could move my arms I’d be thrilled.”

“Augh,” Rainbow Dash groaned, dragging herself up onto the spot next to Applejack. “Just do my laundry or something and we’ll be even.”

“What are you-” Applejack’s question ended when Rainbow Dash stuck a forkful of potatoes into the other girl’s mouth.

“You’re welcome,” Rainbow Dash muttered, the blushing girl digging into her own plate of pasta.

That seemed to be the signal for everyone to start digging into their meals, as that is precisely what the girls did. All save for Twilight, who continued to shift hands, allowing her to massage her temples one by one without stopping to eat.

Sunset leaned over and elbowed the other girl in the side. “Hey, you should probably eat something,” Sunset Shimmer whispered.

“Can't. Not yet,” Twilight muttered, flipping a page. “There is too much to learn.”

“And it will be there for you when you're done,” Sunset Shimmer retorted, only to frown when Twilight continued to read. “Do I have to send you those studies on carb intakes and their positive effects on student’s grades?”

Twilight paused, and put down the book. “Okay, you made your point.”

“Good,” Sunset Shimmer declared.

“So…” Pinkie Pie began after a long pause. “How was training? Something tells me you didn't practice throwing a football for three hours while watching Sunset burn herself every few minutes.”

“Augh, don't even get me started!” whined Rarity, the girl jabbing a salad filled fork at Pinkie Pie. “Did you know what that demon woman did for her so-called training?”

“No, what?” Pinkie Pie replied.

“She had me raise a shield and then just beat on it over and over until it broke!” Rarity exclaimed, inadvertently throwing a leaf of lettuce over her shoulder. “That was the entire afternoon! Just shield, break, shield, break. By the end it felt like I ran a marathon while someone punched me in the stomach the entire time.”

“Ha! You think that's bad?” Rainbow Dash retorted. “That's literally what that overgrown lizard did to me.”

“No offence darling, but something tells me you would be a bit more injured if he punched you,” Rarity countered.

“Okay, so that part wasn't true, but he threw dodge balls at me the entire time and it felt like I was getting punched,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

“If I could feel any part of my arms I would rearrange that guy’s face,” Applejack proclaimed.

“Well I mean, it worked,” Rainbow Dash admitted, pausing to put another forkful of food into Applejack’s mouth. “I got faster, learned how to dodge stuff without slowing down and really pushed myself but still. That felt like bootcamp.”

“You're telling me,” Applejack quickly added. “All I did was lift heavy things, then stand in place and swing this sword that was so big it felt like a hunk of metal rather than a real weapon.”

“Did you at least learn something?” Sunset Shimmer inquired.

Applejack chewed and swallowed before shrugging. “I mean I guess, but it feels like there should be a better way of doing it.”

“Like repeatedly injuring someone and forcing you to heal them every time?” Fluttershy all but whispered.

“She didn't,” Rarity exclaimed in shock.

“I mean kind of?” Fluttershy half asked, half stated. “They volunteered, and they were unconscious but she was just so… cold you know? She broke his arm without even batting an eye.”

“Becoming undead dulls one's emotions considerably,” Sunset Shimmer explained.

“Remind me never to die,” Rainbow Dash remarked.

“Less talky, more apple pie,” Applejack demanded.

“Yes mistress,” Rainow Dash replied, only to pause when she noticed how red Applejack’s face had become. “Wait, don't tell me that turned you on?”

“I plead the fifth,” Applejack replied before lurching forward and taking a bite out of the pie without moving her arms.

“Anyway,” Sunset murmured, turning to Twilight. “How was Platinum’s lesson? She certainly left you with a lot of homework.”

Twilight swallowed hard and nodded. “She did, but I’ve already got most of it done. This is largely self guided study.”

“Really?” Sunset asked incredulously.

“Oh yes,” Twilight replied. “She seemed quite impressed with how quickly I picked up the basics, even if it was rather difficult to focus while she injured the volunteer and took time to berate Fluttershy.”

“And I thought Ghost was a demon. Perhaps I should have a talk with Platinum,” Rarity exclaimed.

“No, please,” Fluttershy urged. “I know she can be rather callous but I’ve learned so much already. I don't want to ruin my chances of learning more.”

Rarity hummed softly to herself. “If you insist, darling, but if she insults you again…”

“She won't,” Fluttershy exclaimed. “The only reason she did before was because I accidentally did something that endengared the patient. Platinum may be cold on the outside, but I feel like deep… Very deep down, she has a good heart.”

“Good luck finding it,” murmured Applejack.

“Well I’m glad you all got something out of it,” Sunset Shimmer began. “Perfect mentioned that he planned some more group exercises in the future, but that wouldn't be for a while.”

“Hey, why aren't you all beat up or exhausted?” Rainbow Dash demanded. “That hardly seems fair.”

Sunset Shimmer shrugged. “Before I came here I was trained extensively in magic, and magical duels. This just felt like a refresher course for me, only with hands instead of hooves.”

“Well at least one of us is having an easy time of it,” Rainbow Dash muttered.

“Oh I’m sure once you get into the groove of things it won't be so bad,” Twilight countered, the girl picking up her book of notes and reading while she ate.

“Well it better be soon. I don't know how much I can take,” Rarity declared before angrily biting into a forkful of salad.

Sunset Shimmer narrowed her gaze, looking more intently at Twilight as the other girl ate. “Say, Twilight. Is there a reason why you are throwing yourself into studying so much all of a sudden? I know Platinum can be intense but this seems a bit much.”

“Oh uh, no reason,” Twilight muttered.

“So it isn't anything to do with that call you had with Timber on the way back here?” Fluttershy inquired.

“I don't know what you’re talking about,” Twilight whispered.

Sunset Shimmer bit her lip, quietly wondering if she should push the conversation further, or just let it lie. Thankfully she didn't need to decide one way or the other, as all eyes soon turned to the Television. Which had muted the music video and was now showing the sobbing face of Timber as he stared up at the camera.

“Visitor alert. Playing video,” alerted a calm, mechanical sounding female voice.

“I know your there Twilight!” Shouted the young man. “Your mother said you didn't live at home anymore, so you have to be here.”

“What is that idiot doing here?” Rainbow Dash muttered.

“Oh god,” muttered Twilight shamefully, covering her eyes with a hand.

“You can't just say that over text. We have to talk about this together, as a couple,” Timber continued.

“Should I send him away?” Sunset Shimmer asked.

Twilight winced. “No. I’ll go talk to him.”

Sunset Shimmer frowned. “Okay…”

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