• Published 24th Jul 2022
  • 1,332 Views, 40 Comments

Reflections of Unity - applejackofalltrades



Sunset and her human self are in love. They kiss and cuddle and watch movies together and that's all cool and good and normal. She just has to tell her friends about it.

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Rule 1: we don't talk about it

One little thing, just one little thing. One insignificant, tiny little thing. That’s all it would take, all she would need to do. But she just couldn’t muster up the courage to do it.

Uuuugggghhhh.” Sunset dropped her hands over her eyes and rolled onto her back. The phone screen lit up her ceiling in the darkness of the room as it fell face-up on her chest. She stared into the popcorned ceiling above her as the dim glow of the device faded once more, leaving her in the night-coloured emptiness she called home. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness after the sudden disappearance of the contrasting bright white. Instead, now the soft midnight blues of winter filled the room.

“Fuck,” she muttered. “Okay. Okay, it’s easy. Stop freaking out.”

Next to her, the bed shifted. “Hey, some of us are trying to sleep,” a growly, angry voice whispered from the clump of blankets next to Sunset.

Sunset, for her part, rolled her eyes and turned onto her side to face the lump, propping her head up on her palm as she lay on top of the blankets. “I’m sorry, I’m just kind of… freaking out.”

“Still worried about your friends?”

With a sigh, Sunset nodded. “Yeah. I just, I don’t know how they’ll take it, you know?”

A fiery head of hair to match Sunset’s own came into view from under the warm blankets. It was cut shorter than her own, though, but the owner was quite literally a mirror image of the nervous girl. “Your friends sound cool, Sunny. I don’t think they’ll… be weird.”

Memories of their first meeting came to mind, and Sunset let out a long groan, shutting her eyes to avoid having to look at Shimmer’s. She knew the look she’d have; Sunset had seen it on herself enough. “Well, I told Twilight about it that time. After we… you know…”

Shimmer, Sunset’s originally human counterpart, scoffed sharply. “Yeah, I remember. You told me. You know. After we...” Her voice trailed off as she wiggled her eyebrows and licked the air with a suggestive, pierced tongue.

Shimmer!” Sunset reached out to punch her counterpart in the arm.

The redhead laughed and shifted her weight to one side, providing easy access to the attacked limb. “What? We literally just went down on each other, like, not even four hours ago,” Shimmer reminded her, all the while rubbing her arm.

“Not at all like the first time!” Sunset huffed with a blush. “And yes, I did tell her because it was surreal and I needed to tell someone.” She relinquished herself and fell onto the bed fully, pressing her back up against Shimmer’s side. “Twilight’s my best friend, you know. So I had to tell her.”

“Right, right,” Shimmer dragged out sarcastically, “you and your friends. Sorry, I’m still trying to get used to that. I used to be a real bitch. Still kind of am.”

“Turn that I into a we and you’re spot on,” Sunset grumbled, pressing a pillow into her face. The world was only darkness. Warmth and blackness and the smell of citrus shampoo. She could have stayed there forever.

But of course, Shimmer had different plans. The bed shifted once more and in time with a grunt of effort, the pillow of safety was removed from Sunset’s vision. She furrowed her eyebrows and opened one eye. “What.”

“Sunny, we’ve been together for, like, two months,” Shimmer pointed out, now sitting up next to her. Sunset thought it was a pretty good view; the subtle lighting from the winter night sky made Shimmer’s edges glow and her hair seem like it was really on fire. But, then, the same question she always had…

Am I really a freaking narcissist?

“Yeah, and?”

And,” Shimmer continued, “it is still a bit weird, but I mean, fuck, it’s been weird since I found out there was another me and then f—”

“Okay, you’re right,” Sunset interrupted. She reached over and grabbed her phone from the side of the mattress and once again returned to the blinding screen. Blue-green eyes squinted as they once again readjusted to the blue light. “We get that we’re different people. I’m sure they’ll get it, too. I mean, they know they have Equestrian counterparts, and I’m sure they don’t think that the pony them is the same as they are. Princess Twilight and human Twilight are actually very different.”

Shimmer said nothing for a moment, then sighed and put her head in her hands. “I’m never going to get over that.”

“What?” Sunset glanced over at her girlfriend with an amused smile as she opened the group chat with all her friends. “The fact that there are other dimensions with alternate versions of everyone or the fact that I come from the one where we’re magical colourful ponies that come in variants including winged, horned, and all of the above?”

Without even looking up or digging her head out of her palms, Shimmer responded, “Yes.”

Sunset couldn’t hold back the short giggle that escaped her. “Right, well you better get used to it,” she told her doppelgänger, only half-joking. “Weird stuff happens to us all the time. Don’t be surprised if some… magic-crazed villain bursts through the streets singing a power song. Oh and definitely don’t be surprised if we sing a better song while kicking their ass with the magic of friendship.”

“…

What?!”

And done. Sunset looked proudly at her screen and smiled, ignoring Shimmer’s outburst of righteous confusion. “How’s this? ‘Hey guys, sorry to text so late but there’s something I want to tell you. Can we meet at the Sweet Shoppe tomorrow afternoon around four’?”

“Just peachy.”

With that, she hit send. “Cool, thanks, Shim. Now I’m kind of excited!” She grinned eagerly at the sleepy Shimmer next to her. “Terrified… feeling like I might die, actually, but excited.”

Shimmer leaned forward and pecked Sunset on the lips before throwing herself onto the bed again and dragging the covers over her head. “Okay, well, don’t die. Just get under the sheets and sleep.”

Sunset wasn’t going to argue with that. With her previous issue solved, she felt tired all over again and realized that none of her friends would be likely to respond at three in the morning. Well, maybe Pinkie Pie, but if Sunset was being honest, she wasn’t sure she could handle talking to Pinkie that late at night. Instead, she let out a deep yawn and placed her phone on the bedside table.

With a long stretch of her arms, she crawled under the covers and sighed contently as Shimmer’s body warmth instantly helped to bring hers up. She couldn’t help but inch closer to her bedmate, accidentally touching her feet against Shimmer’s.

“SUNSET, YOUR FEET ARE FUCKING COLD!”

“…Sorry.”


Morning came as an assault on Sunset’s eyelids. Nothing new, really. As her eyes fluttered open, urged forth by the bright sun coasting in through her open blinds, Sunset exhaled sharply through her nose. The sharp, cold feeling of her unheated room was always a strangely welcomed sensation to wake—

Wait, open blinds?

Sunset sat up quickly and looked next to her. Shimmer was already out of bed and she could hear the shower running. With a groan, Sunset rubbed the sleep off her face. “Why does she have to open the blinds…”

A tired hand fell back on the bedsheets. Sunset knew she couldn’t still be in bed once Shimmer got out lest she trigger Shimmer’s annoyed ranting, so she forced herself to rip the covers off and expose her legs to the brisk, cold air of the room. Winter was coming to a close soon, but the butt end of the season was still colder than Sunset felt it really needed to be. At least there wasn’t much snow anymore. Then again, that just meant the ground was always covered in gross, icey slush.

Sometimes, Sunset missed the way winter magically ended so suddenly in Equestria. Literally magically. Hell, if she could, she’d clean up winter all by her damn self!

Goosebumps rode their way up her legs as she shivered once, then pushed herself out of bed. Sunset stretched her arms over her head and shook out the drowsiness, deciding that she should probably make breakfast. Though, not before a quick time check and a change of clothes. She picked up her phone from the bedside table and turned it on. To her surprise, it was already almost one in the afternoon and her friends had responded to her late-night text. Though, the latter wasn’t all that surprising.

After reading the replies over, Sunset chuckled at her phone and hopped down the stairs—surprisingly not breaking her legs in the process—with her eyes glued to her screen. The worst offenders were Pinkie Pie, who was overly excited to learn something and gave her best guess as to what it could be, and Rainbow Dash, who gave her worst guess as to what it could be. The redhead rolled her eyes as she included in her response that no, much to her sarcastic dismay, she did not suddenly grow a magical set of horse genitalia and that no, Rainbow Dash could not see it.

With that out of the way, Sunset quickly made her way to her workstation beneath her bed and threw on some clothes that she had left on her chair. Once in a set of relatively clean clothes, she opened the minifridge and took out a pair of frozen waffles. She stuck them in the cheap toaster she bought when she first moved in and pushed the tab down, then sat heavily on the desk as she waited for her breakfast to be ready.

If she hadn’t already known that Shimmer had helped herself thanks to the plate still full of crumbs on the desk, she would have made something for Shimmer as well. In a way, it was cool that Shimmer was so independent, just like Sunset herself was. But she also had to wonder why that was the case. For Sunset, it had been because she forced herself into a world where she was alone. So then, why was Shimmer like her?

Shrugging it off as a question for another time, Sunset picked up her phone again. After mindlessly scrolling through her Snapgab feed, Sunset yawned. Halfway through that yawn, though, the toaster popped, which turned the yawn into a snort. It never failed to surprise her, but it was a fright worth experiencing as she pulled out the waffles and set them on the plate that Shimmer had used.

They were chocolate chip—her favourite kind. They reminded her of one very specific breakfast she had had in Equestria with Princess Celestia as a filly. She smiled through the bite she took and savoured the warm, chocolate flavour of the delectable waffle.

Not long after she ravenously devoured her breakfast—she was a lot hungrier than she first thought—Sunset poured herself a glass of orange juice and drank from it slowly as Shimmer got out of the shower, already fully dressed in her signature black turtleneck and skinny jeans, then made her way up the stairs once more. Sunset waved at her as she gulped down the last of her juice and set it on the desk to be washed later. She thought it was smart that Shimmer got dressed in the warmth of the bathroom after a shower, especially since it was cold in the actual loft.

It was just a shame that she was already clothed after coming out of the shower, though.

“Hey, so we’re meeting your friends soon, right?” Shimmer asked from above, just out of view from the lower half of the space.

Sunset nodded even though Shimmer couldn’t see her and decided to sit on the couch in front of the television instead. “Yeah, in around three hours. Why, did you have something to do before?”

“No, not really.” Shimmer’s head popped out from behind the railing and looked down at Sunset. Her hair was damp and flat against her head, but in a way that really worked for her. “But maybe we can watch a movie to pass the time. You already showered last night, so I’m guessing you won’t shower now, right?”

Sunset nodded. There was no point in showering before bed and in the morning, though Shimmer liked to do it. Sunset thought that was quite interesting. They were almost exactly the same… but they still each had their quirks. That only strengthened the argument that they’re different people. With a smile, she gestured in the air and waved off the thought. “Yeah, I’ll shower tonight. What movie do you wanna watch? I have a few DVDs, but I’m sure I could pull something up on the internet, too.”

“Do you have Fight Club?”

“Considering I’ve never heard of it,” Sunset started with a grin, “no I don’t think so.”

From the way Shimmer reacted, Sunset wouldn’t have blamed anyone for thinking she had just confessed something horrible to her partner. Shimmer’s jaw dropped as wide as her eyes grew. “What?!” She practically jumped down the flight of stairs and vaulted over the couch next to Sunset, landing with a thud that made the dingy sofa groan. “You haven’t even heard of it? But it’s a cinematic masterpiece!”

Sunset shrugged and snuggled closer to Shimmer. She smelled good, like citrus, but also vaguely of old smoke. I guess that smell burns into your skin, Sunset quipped to herself with a lopsided smile. Next to her on the empty space on the couch was her old laptop. It was basically a brick, but it ran everything she needed and the battery was still good. She opened it up and opened the internet browser. It took a second to load, but once it did, she clicked her way to a certain website in her bookmarks.

“What did you say it was called?” Sunset, with much experience on the site, clicked off an ad. She really had to look into the adblock that Rainbow Dash had told her about instead of, as her friend put it, ‘raw-dogging it’. “Fight Club?”

Shimmer nodded and wrapped an arm over Sunset’s shoulder. “Yeah. Trust me, it might seem like some macho, misogynist guy movie about fighting, but it’s so much more than that.”

After she found the movie, Sunset happily clicked play and nestled the laptop so they could see it. The movie started and instantly, Sunset could feel the build-up from the low, bassy music. The juxtaposition of the intense, exciting music and the dark, blue-tinted scene that followed made Sunset quirk her head in curiosity.

People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden,” the main character asked, battered and bruised. A gun was held in his mouth, which made Sunset’s eyes widen a bit.

Though, despite the continuing dialogue in the obviously intense scene, Sunset couldn’t help but snort. “What kind of a name is Tyler Durden?”


Sunset blinked at nothing.

The movie ended and it felt like… like her life was different somehow. Next to her, she could feel Shimmer’s stare. Her eyes focused back on the screen, which played through the rolling credits, before lazily flipping over to her mirror image. “Shimmer. That. Was. Awesome!”

At Sunset’s giddy laugh, Shimmer nodded. “I know right! Totally throws you for a loop. The first time I watched it I swore I could feel my life change right then and there.”

In her excitement, Sunset couldn’t help herself. She leaned over the laptop and pulled Shimmer into a kiss that ended only a few moments after it started. “Thanks for making me watch that, Shim,” she whispered to her, keeping their foreheads pressed against each other, relishing in the absurdly tender moment after such an intense movie.

“Well, you had to watch it. Everyone should watch it at some point,” Shimmer pointed out before giving Sunset a quick peck and pulling away. Blue-green eyes stared at each other. “What was your favourite part?”

Sunset’s brain went into overdrive for a moment, though the answer came instantly. “The part where he’s in the hotel and he finds out he is Tyler!” she blurted out, pushing the laptop back behind her onto the empty seat. “I mean, it all made sense then! A–and the ending! I mean all those little snips of Tyler cut into during the movie just made sense!”

“Me too!” Shimmer responded with equal enthusiasm. “God, every time I rewatch that movie, I notice something new. You really just… it’s like a different movie every time you watch it.” She smiled happily and wrapped her arms around Sunset’s waist gently. “It makes me wanna fight society,” she said a bit too plainly for the tender hold she had on Sunset.

For her part, Sunset snorted in amusement. “I feel like you always want to do that,” she pointed out. Shimmer didn’t deny it and instead smiled a bit, to which Sunset responded with a roll of her eyes. “Okay, well, that was really fun. And a good movie, but I think we should get going now.” She glanced at her phone and showed the time to Shimmer. “Gotta meet with my friends, remember?”

Shimmer groaned and leaned back on the couch, dragging Sunset with her until she was sandwiched between her and the cushion. “But I’m so comfy, Sunny…”

Compared to the tough girl exterior that Shimmer always had on display, the girl beneath Sunset was a marshmallow. The scar dividing her eyebrow into two meant nothing as the fake pout she sported spoke louder than any jagged edge she could attempt to put out there. It was something that Sunset was very sure that Shimmer never showed anybody else, and she knew it for sure because she herself was the same way.

But since she knew all her tricks, Sunset wouldn’t allow Shimmer to pull a fast one on her. If Shimmer was going to resort to unfair tactics, then two could play at that game. Sunset licked her lips and slowly leaned down into Shimmer’s lips, teasing them with the same kind of tender, yet needy kissing that she knew she loved. Shimmer, as if on instinct, leaned into the embrace, but just as Shimmer was about to get into it, Sunset pulled away and pushed herself off of Shimmer, who simply frowned at her.

“Come on,” Sunset repeated, “we have to go.”

For a moment, she thought that Shimmer wouldn’t comply, but finally, the short-haired double acquiesced and brought herself to her feet with a sigh. “Fine,” she muttered, sniffing once in annoyance. “You’re such a tease.”

“Only for you, Shimmy,” Sunset sang. She skipped to the door and jumped into her motorcycle boots.

Shimmer begrudgingly did the same and tossed Sunset her helmet. “We’re taking my bike,” she grunted, shoving her own helmet on her head and flipping the shield down, forcing Sunset to stare at her own reflection. “And I’m driving.”


The drive to the Sweet Shoppe was nothing out of the ordinary. As expected, the ground was covered in icy, wet slush, but Shimmer’s exceptional riding skills made for quick and efficient travel. Even in the less than favourable conditions, not once did Sunset feel unsafe with Shimmer at the handlebars.

Once the bike was firmly stopped outside and parked, Shimmer kicked the kick stop down and rested one foot on the ground as Sunset jumped off the back of the bike. Her nerves were steeled by the icy cold that permeated through her layers of clothing, and yet she craved the warmth of the store.

That could wait a moment longer, though, she figured as her eyes set themselves on Shimmer and the way she gracefully took her helmet off and shook out her hair. With her back turned to Sunset, she ran a still gloved hand through the fiery locks that lived upon her hand and exhaled a loud breath, visible through the little cloud that formed in front of her.

Sunset couldn’t shake the tiny smile that formed on her face as she slid off her own helmet and rested it on the bike’s seat. She fixed up her own hair as Shimmer turned to her and put her own helmet back with an amused grin.

“Why do I always catch you staring?”

Sunset reached forward and gave Shimmer a firm punch in the arm. “I can’t help it,” she admitted teasingly. “It’s impossible not to.”

Shimmer took a small step back, making the affectionate punch seem a lot more impactful than it was. “I can’t blame you. We’re a sight for sore eyes.”

As humorous as the statement was, Sunset gave Shimmer a frown. “Maybe keep the us and we statements to yourself for a bit? Remember, we have to sell the ‘We’re different people’ argument in case of anything.”

“Yeah, okay, you’re right,” Shimmer admitted as she waved toward the entrance with one hand and reached in her pocket with the other. “I’m gonna take a quick smoke break, but you go on in and talk me up to your friends. I bet they’re already there.”

Before Sunset could agree, Shimmer turned away and took a cigarette from its carton and put it in place in her mouth. Leaving her to her habit, Sunset made her way into the shop, passing both Applejack’s truck and Rarity’s SUV. They must have carpooled in each of their cars. If Sunset were to guess, Applejack would have picked up Fluttershy, who lived on the edge of the city, and Rainbow Dash, who lived close to Fluttershy, while Rarity, who lived closer to the inner city, would have picked up Twilight—who didn’t drive—and Pinkie, who was on the way.

She decided that it really didn’t matter and that she needed to stop delaying and pushed her way into the shop. The warmth and the heavenly smell immediately set her at ease and pushed life back into her frozen bones. At their usual round booth, she saw her friends. Fluttershy, Rarity and Twilight sat facing away from the door while Rainbow Dash and Applejack sat against the wall, poking and prodding at each other in what could have only been a typical teasing competition. Pinkie glanced up from her friends’ antics and waved enthusiastically at Sunset, practically bouncing in her seat on the edge of the booth.

Strutting in an attempt to feign confidence, Sunset made her way over and sat next to Pinkie, who shuffled over and practically into Rainbow Dash to make room for the newly arrived Sunset. She looked over her friends, who each fell silent and stared at her with wide eyes.

Pinkie Pie took a long slurp of her milkshake and set the glass down heavily on the counter. “Someone has unspilled beans at this table and it isn’t me, Fluttershy, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, or Applejack!”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes.

Finally given the chance, Sunset gave a tiny wave. “Hey, yeah…” She glanced at the door. “So…. Um?” Sunset smiled and crossed her arms, letting her voice trail off.

After a moment of awkward silence, Rarity—to no one’s surprise—broke through the veil. “What do you mean, ‘Um’?” she demanded, interrupting the greetings that were awkwardly started around the table. “You said you had something very important to tell us, and I know we have all been eagerly awaiting your arrival!”

If anyone was going to demand the details on something that could be loosely labelled as ‘drama’, it was definitely going to be Rarity. Sunset held on to this fact as she shyly smiled. “Yeah, I do.” Her eyes flicked to Twilight, who had set her stare steadfastly on the still full glass of soda in front of her. She must have felt Sunset’s gaze because for a moment, her purple eyes met Sunset’s. A brief grimace was all that she could offer before averting eye contact again.

Pinkie Pie practically vibrated next to Sunset, who nervously glanced at the pink ball of excitement. “Your beans are still unspilled, Sunset!”

Everyone around the table murmured in agreement and politely urged her to share. Even Rainbow Dash had said nothing more than a simple “Yeah”.

Swallowing the ball of nerves that had built in her throat, Sunset let out a steadying breath. “Well, first things first, I’m seeing someone.”

Rarity was the first to react, letting out a loud squeal that brought the whole room to a silent lull. Fists clenched in excitement at her cheeks, she flushed a moderate pink and waved the restaurant back to their own business before clearing her throat and dropping her voice to something more appropriate. “I got excited, so sorry.!”

Applejack snorted and brushed her shoulder to Rarity’s dismissively. Her green eyes met Sunset’s blueish ones inquisitively. “So, who are they?”

“Yeah, tell us about this mystery person you couldn’t tell us about over text,” Rainbow added, leaning back in her seat and spreading her arms out behind Pinkie Pie and Applejack.

The blonde moved Rainbow Dash’s arm back to her own space, while Pinkie simply embraced it and did the same, laying her arm on top of Rainbow Dash’s.

“Well, you don’t know her,” Sunset supplied, glancing at Shimmer, who was faintly visible from out the door. “But she’s actually really great. You just… well, it’s a little weird, or at least, you might think so…”

“Come on, it can’t be that bad,” Rainbow Dash insisted, tapping the hand that Applejack had moved on the edge of the table. “I mean, you wanna talk weird? Ask me about that whole thing at the mall.”

Twilight muttered something under her breath but ultimately kept the thought to herself. Sunset rubbed her nose to hide the frown that crawled its way on her lips. She was expecting Twilight to still be a bit weirded out. That was accounted for, and Sunset could change her mind. Twi just needed to actually meet Shimmer.

“I’m sure whoever she is is lovely,” Fluttershy added, gently mixing her tea with a spoon. “You have good taste, I’m sure.”

Rarity nodded in agreement. Pinkie, who opened her mouth to say something, instead stared slack-jawed at the door. Recovering quickly, Pinkie sheepishly laughed. “Oh, I get it.”

At that, everyone turned their attention to Shimmer. Sunset kept her eyes locked on her girlfriend, who offered the group a wave. “Hey.”

Pinkie waved back just as enthusiastically as she had waved for Sunset, while the rest of the group—minus Twilight, who had suddenly found something on her hands interesting to look at—stared at Shimmer, who chuckled nervously.

“Wow, I thought you’d love me ‘cause I look like your friend. Tough crowd.”

Sunset facepalmed.

Rainbow Dash shook her head briskly and turned to Sunset. “What the f—“