• Published 28th May 2023
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A Certain Scientific Twilight - Babroniedad

Sunset and Twilight's Continuing Adventures in Academy City. A crossover with A Certain Magical Index / A Certain Scientific Railgun.

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03 - Sunset - The Goddess Awakes

Tuesday, September 9, 8:00 AM Tokyo time.

Sunset woke to the gentle but insistent buzzing of the alarm. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes and turning off the alarm, she noticed Twilight snoring gently, a small puddle of drool on the pillow under her cheek. Smiling, Sunset rolled over and pulled her into a hug, kissing her cheek.

“Good morning, Sparky! Sleep well?” Sunset grinned.

Twilight’s eyes fluttered open. She blushed. “Hi Sunny,” she mumbled, smiling. She closed her eyes and snuggled up into her friend's hug.

Pressing her head against her friends, Sunset smiled. “None of that, Sparky. School day! We need to get up and get going. Do you want to shower first, or fix breakfast?”

Twilight stretched and grinned. “I’ll hit the shower. You can be the cook today.” She kissed Sunset back then pulled back the sheets, got up, put on her glasses, and pulled her uniform from her dresser. “Love you, Sunny!” she said as she headed out for the bathroom.

“You are such a brat,” Sunset called after her with a grin. She turned over and transferred to her chair. Yawning, Sunset stretched, waited for a minute, then rolled over to the bathroom and poked her head in. “How’re you doing, Sparky? Need any help? Want me to wash your back?” she teased.

Twilight poked her head out of the shower and threw a sponge at Sunset. “Get out, you dork!” she laughed. “Weirdo!” She pulled her head back behind the curtain to finish her shower.

Sunset laughed. “All teasing aside, I’m making porridge for breakfast. Come on out when you're ready.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. You just wanted to tease me in the shower. I’m onto you, Shimmer!” laughed her BFF.

“Guilty as charged, brat!” laughed Sunset as she pulled back out of the room and shut the door. Rolling over to the kitchen, she started breakfast. Pulling out the pot for the porridge, she filled it with water and put it on the stove to boil. Next, she pulled the box of porridge mix out of the pantry, along with a measuring cup, wooden spoon, and bowls for their breakfast.

“Four cup pot, half full,” hummed Sunset as she worked. While she waited for the water to boil, she made two cups of coffee, one for herself, and one for Twilight. As she was mixing the cream and sugar into Twilight’s coffee, her BFF snuck up behind her then wrapped her in a hug.

“You spoil me, you dork!” she laughed, hugging Sunset tightly. She let go and took the coffee. “Thank you, Sunny,” she smiled.

“Anytime, brat!” grinned Sunset back, taking a sip of her own coffee. “Just waiting on the water.” She grinned. “Hope you left me some hot water,” she teased.

“Hahaha, Sunny. You know it’s all-electric. We can’t run out,” laughed Twilight. “Not that you don’t test that often enough.”

Sunset rolled her eyes. “Hey, pot! Kettle here! Black!” she snarked. Twilight grinned and gave Sunset’s shoulder a gentle shove. “Whatever, dork!”

Sunset put her coffee down, having barely avoided spilling it with the shove. She reached over and pulled Twilight into a hug. “We’ve really got to work on your comebacks! Your snark-fu is weak, my padawan.

Twilight put her own coffee down, grabbing a towel to wipe off the spot where it spilled on her lap when Sunset pulled her down. “You really are a dork sometimes, Sunny,” she grinned. “Are you trying to make me have to change before I leave?”

“Can I help?” grinned Sunset back.

Twilight grabbed both Sunset’s cheeks in her hands. “Stop! Teasing! Your! BFF! Sunset Shimmer, I swear you are completely incorrigible!”

They both laughed. Twilight grabbed her coffee and continued to sit where she was.

“Uh, Sparky? Are you sure this is where you want to sit? Kind of hard to work with you here like this,” laughed Sunset.

“Best seat in the house. I’m not moving,” teased Twilight. The water started to boil. “Water’s boiling, Sunset. Best get cracking.” She sipped her coffee again.

Sunset grinned and shot her friend a stink eye. “Okay Sparkly. If that’s how it’s going to be…” She grabbed her friend's sides and tickled her mercilessly.

“Gah!” Twilight nearly spat out her coffee. She hurriedly placed it on the counter before she dropped it. “That’s it! You’re going down, Shimmer!” she laughed. She turned on Sunset and started tickling under her arms.

“No!” shouted Sunset, laughing hysterically. “Not there! That’s my ticklish spot!” She tried to push her friend off to no avail.

Twilight laughed evilly. “Don’t I know it!” She continued to torment her friend.

After a few moments of shared happiness, Sunset called out. “Okay! I love you dearly. But please… Off my lap! I need to finish breakfast!” Twilight got up, then bopped Sunset on the nose. “Sure thing, Sunny! You just had to ask.”

Sunset rolled her eyes. “You are so lucky you’re irresistibly adorable!” she grinned.

Sunset measured and mixed the porridge into the boiling water and stirred it. Twilight brought over the pitcher of apple juice and two glasses, pouring for both of them.

A few minutes later, Sunset served up the porridge, bringing both bowls to the table. She passed Twilight her porridge. Twilight got out the cream, chopped fruit, and honey and put them out on the table. Breakfast served, they sat and held hands as they said Harmonic grace.

“I miss having the girls around. I can’t wait until they get back from their trip,” mused Sunset.

Twilight nodded. “The place has been much quieter without them,” she agreed wistfully.

Breakfast over, Twilight cleaned up while Sunset grabbed her uniform and bathroom kit, then rolled into the bathroom. Several minutes later, she emerged dressed and ready for the day. She rolled into the bedroom to swap out the bathroom kit for her daypack, then rolled out to Twilight. “Ready Freddy?” she called out.

“Ready Freddy!” agreed Twilight.

“Then let’s ride! Ready Freddy!” She rolled to the door, which opened for her, and headed down to the waiting elevator. Twilight shut the door behind them. They entered the elevator, which took them automatically to the lobby.

As they rolled out, they both bowed in greeting to the concierge, who grinned and returned their greeting. “Ohayō!” they called out.

As they were strolling, Sunset’s phone alerted her to a text message. Smiling, Twilight stepped behind her friend and started pushing. “Go ahead Sunny, I got you,” Twilight grinned.

Sunset nodded and smiled. “Thanks, Sparky!” She pulled her phone out from the pocket on the daypack and read the message. “It’s from Dr. Long! Some good news!” she informed Twilight.

“So, what’s the news?” asked Twilight.

“NASA is starting on the Martian base. One of the first things they did is bring over a rover we can use. It’s an eight-seater, all-electric. Sweet! We can finally take that trip with everyone to the caldera!” enthused Sunset.

“That’s awesome! So I guess I know what we’re doing this weekend,” added Twilight.

“Don’t you know it! We’d better let Dashie know, she did beg to come along,” agreed Sunset.

“And we should bring the girls,” added Twilight.

“It’s a date! Okay, I’ll text her back and let her know what our plans are. And text Dashie,” Sunset nodded, sending out the reply and the notice to Rainbow.

They pulled up to the Academy gates. Twilight got out their IDs and handed them over.

Collecting back their IDs, Twilight put them away and pushed them past the gate and into the Academy. Sunset continued texting.

“So who’re you texting now?” asked Twilight as they rolled towards their homeroom.

“I am sending a message to Kaori. Not sure if she and Stiyl want to come too. Figured I’d offer at least,” replied Sunset.

“That makes sense,” agreed Twilight. They arrived at the class. Putting away her phone, Sunset wheeled in while Twilight held the door for her. They took their places at the back of the class, prepared to study. The bell rang, roll was called, and everyone studied for the remainder of the period.

When the bell rang for the next period, Sunset and Twilight parted with a friendly hug, both heading off to their next classes.

After their classes, they gathered together for lunch before heading out to their internship for the afternoon.

Sunset turned to Twilight. “Can you ask our Judgment supervisor Mii if it’s okay for us to investigate? Normally I’d ask Kuroko to do it, but with the girls still gone, guess it’s up to us. We need her to get us access to the missing mage’s stuff and dorm room. I’d like to examine her belongings. I’m hoping we’ll find some clues about who else is involved, and maybe something that might lead us back to the coven she was working for.”

“On it!” agreed Twilight, typing into her phone. A minute later, she nodded and looked up. “She agreed. It’s all set, we have full access to her office, dorm room, whatever we need. We just tell them it’s Judgment business, and refer them to her if they have any questions.”

“Thanks, Sparky!” smiled Sunset

They finished lunch, then headed off to the Institute, this time to investigate.

When they arrived, Twilight informed their supervisor they had Judgment work they needed to do at the Institute today. She referred them to Mii. A quick phone call later they had access to the missing mage’s office as well as the keys for her room and personal lockers. Together she and Sunset went to the mage's office and let themselves in.

The first thing she noticed was that the room was well organized. Bound notebooks filled the bookcase over the desk. The shelves of the office were filled with boxes, labels handwritten and neatly displayed on each one. The papers on the desk were stacked in trays, the trash can was empty. Several bookcases lined the far wall, filled with titles on magic and esper powers. There wasn’t a spec of dust anywhere in the room.

“Wow,” said Sunset, looking around. “And I thought you were meticulous, Sparky.”

Twilight flashed her an annoyed look. “I am meticulous. This is something else. It looks like it’s been cleaned since she left. No way there wouldn’t be more dust in two days.”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to offend you,” said Sunset, rolling over to her friend. “And yes, that would certainly make sense. I wonder if they put anything away that was out while they were cleaning.”

Twilight rolled over to a terminal and attempted to log in. “Gah, annoying. She has some high-level security in place on this terminal. I’m going to call Kazari and see if she has any ideas on how to get into this thing without breaking it.” She took out her phone and dialed their friend.

While Twilight spoke with Kazari, Sunset began looking through the journals. They were written in Japanese, so she couldn’t do her usual speed reading on them. She skimmed through them, noting that most of them dealt with research on the incompatibility of esper and magic energies. As she skimmed she saw a reference to an artifact that supposedly mitigated the destructive nature of magical energy for espers.

“That’s new,” she noted. Reading further, she saw that apparently she had several samples of such artifacts she was testing for their properties. Noting their designations, she moved over to the shelves of boxes and looked for matches.

Finding one of the boxes, she carefully removed it and placed it on the workbench before the office windows. Opening the box, she saw a small red amulet, with a central gem, shaped as an alicorn head and wings in the setting. She breathed out in awe. “No way! Sparky! She was researching artifacts. I think she found this realm's version of the Alicorn Amulet!”

Twilight nodded to her and gave her a thumbs-up, still on the call with Kazari.

Reaching out with her magical senses, Sunset probed the amulet. She could feel dark magic deep in the amulet, so deep it was not easy to discern. She carefully flipped it over, examining the back. She could see runes etched into the edges of the amulet, but it was in a writing that was unfamiliar to her. She placed the Amulet back into the box, and set it aside on the workbench.

With a find like that, Sunset decided to scan the rest of the boxes, looking for any magical signatures, however slight. After running through all the shelves she found a total of seven boxes containing similar magical artifacts. She carefully set them all aside on the workbench with the amulet and went back to scanning the research notebooks.

Twilight hung up the phone. She typed several more commands. Seconds later, the terminal was at the normal workstation interface screen. “Thank you, Kazari. Whoever set that up really didn’t want anyone getting in. I wonder what we’ll find?” She started searching through the files and directories.

Sunset found some boxes and proceeded to box up the journals and artifacts. She pulled out several Judgment evidence labels she’d printed before they came over, applied the labels to the boxes then proceeded to input the inventory for each one into her phone. Twilight took a brief break from her work and moved the evidence boxes into her hammerspace portal.

Sunset continued to examine the office, looking for any further signs of magic or artifacts. She used her telekinesis, moving boxes and looking through drawers for anything that may be important or of interest. While she did that, Twilight continued to examine the files on the terminal. She created an encrypted archive of all the files on the terminal in a temporary directory on the system. When completed, she took out her fob, then used quantum entanglement to link the memory to the fob, and copied the archive over.

“Okay, I got it,” Twilight noted. She scrubbed the temporary directory and blank space on the drive to remove any evidence of what they'd done.

Sunset finished her search of the room with no further interesting finds. “You done there, Sparky? We got a dorm room to search if you are,” she grinned.

“Ready Freddy!” smiled Twilight.

“Okay then, onward!” smiled Sunset, opening the door. Twilight locked up the office as they left.

They left the Institute offices and headed over to the Institute dorms. They took the elevator to the second floor and strolled over to the room of the missing mage. Twilight used the keys to let them in.

Sunset rolled into the middle of the single-room apartment, extending her magical senses out. “There is strong magic in her,” she noted.

They spread out, searching for anything of note. Sunset especially looked for any additional magical artifacts.

As she rolled around the room, she looked for the source of the dark magic. Passing by the foot of the bed, she reached over and pulled up the mattress. There, under the bed visible through the frame slats, was a medium-sized box. Sunset could feel the magic radiating out from it.

She pulled the box out, and carefully opened the lid. Looking in, she let out a shocked gasp.

“Sweet Celestia! There’s another one!” she called out.

Reaching into the box carefully, she pulled out a blade almost identical to the one that had been used on Twilight. The only visible difference was some of the artwork and a few of the runes. The evil intent radiated from it. Sunset quickly put it back into the box.

“Ugh!” She shook her hand, wiping it on her opposite sleeve. “It makes sense they would have a backup, maybe one for each of us. But I seriously hope I never see another one of these again.

She turned to Twilight. “Sparky, can you toss this garbage in with the other one? I’d like to get our friends’ opinion on this one as well.”

“Sure thing, Sunny.” Twilight opened the portal and floated the box with the blade into her hammerspace. “I’ll keep it safe until we can show Necesarius.”

“Thanks, Sparky,” Sunset said, relieved. She continued to search the room, looking for other artifacts.

Twilight had found a box of notebooks and was going through those. “Okay, some interesting stuff here, but I don’t have time to go through all of it now.” She turned to Sunset. “Sunny, can you tag this box as evidence for me?”

“Sure thing!” Sunset answered, rolling over. She opened the box for a quick inventory, then closed the box and affixed a Judgment evidence sticker on it, recording the inventory and tag into her app on her phone. “All done!”

“Thanks, Sunny,” nodded Twilight, opening her hammerspace portal and moving the box in with the other evidence they had collected. Closing the portal, she went back to searching the room.

Sunset resumed her search. Near one of the bookcases, she found rocks, with runes on them. There were several boxes of them in the bookcase. Sunset examined one of the stones. “I can’t read these Runes. This is not a script or language that I know,” admitted Sunset in frustration. “I guess we will need to ask our friends about these as well.”

“Not like we weren’t going to anyway,” commented Twilight, skimming through the books in the bookshelf. “I’m sure even if they can’t read it, they’ll know someone who can.”

“Good point,” agreed Sunset as she continued rolling through the small apartment in her search for artifacts.

Twilight came over to tag and inventory the boxes of rocks found in the bookcase. When she finished, she moved them into her hammerspace as well.

A brief while later, they finished their search of the dorm room. They straightened everything up, then left. Twilight locked it up, and they returned to the institute where Twilight returned the keys to Mii, thanking her for the cooperation. Mii thanked them for their discretion.

They sat at the table in their small kitchen, sipping hot chocolates.

Twilight went to the door. She thanked the concierge for bringing up the take-out they ordered for dinner. Bringing it over to the table, she set the bags down.

“Okay,” Twilight said. “We’re just waiting on Stiyl and Kaori. They said they’d join us for dinner. They should be here soon.”

Shortly, Sunset’s phone pinged her with a message. Checking it, she rolled over to the door. “That was the concierge. The mages are on their way up,” she informed Twilight as she opened the door. Stiyl and Kaori were just stepping off the elevator. “Come on in!” Sunset invited, rolling back to let them by. The door shut as they passed by. They joined them at the table.

“Hope you didn’t have to wait too long,” offered Kaori as they sat down.

Rolling up to her spot next to Twilight, Sunset smiled. “Nah, only a bit. Happy to wait for you. Okay, grace, then let’s eat!”

She took Twilight’s hand. Everyone joined hands and bowed their heads as Sunset led them in harmonic grace. “Dig in please!” enjoined Sunset, passing the servings around.

“So, did you find anything interesting?” asked Kaori as she filled her plate.

“We did, in fact,” offered Twilight between sips of soup. “And we found another blade, similar to the first one. Nasty piece of work,” she shuddered, then took another sip of soup.

“It was. I really hate those things with a passion. I would love to meet these so-called old gods and show them what I really think of them,” Sunset growled, as she nibbled on her vegan tempura. “Anything that gets off on eternal torment deserves to be permanently dealt with in my book.”

“No disagreement from me,” nodded Stiyl as he tucked into his sushi. “A warning though, there’s a reason the old gods are old gods. Even as OP as you think you are, I would hesitate to face off against one of them. As powerful as you may be, I’m fairly certain any one of them would wipe the floor with you both.” He sighed. “Much as I would love to see anyone put them in their place.”

“Maybe someday,” agreed Kaori, also enjoying her soup. “I agree with Stiyl though. Girls, stay away from the old gods, at least for now if you can. Save that fight for another day. Maybe you’ll get more power. Or something. I know gods and goddesses grow. Honestly though, having had to deal with them before? Please don’t.”

“That’s disappointing,” sighed Sunset. “But it's good to know. Thanks for the warning.” She finished off her tempura and started on her soup.

“What else did you find?” prompted Kaori, filling the brief pause.

Twilight refilled everyone’s tea. Sunset thanked her. “Well,” stated Twilight, “We did find a great deal of notes. And several artifacts full of dark magic. We were hoping maybe you two might be able to read, or at least recognize the runes and the make of them.”

“Sure, we’ll take a look after dinner,” agreed Stiyl, finished with his sushi and sipping his soup.

“Sounds like a plan,” agreed Sunset, finishing up her soup. “Who’s up for dessert? We have servings of sweet noodles, as well as pastries and cupcakes.”

She got up from the table, clearing out the empty dinner trays, and exchanging them for the dessert trays on the counter. Twilight passed the trays to the mages. She set aside two servings for herself and Sunny, placed on the table by their empty dinner plates.

Sunset grinned at her BFF. “Thank you, Sparky!”

“For you, Sunny? Anything,” Twilight smiled back.

Kaori laughed. “You two are absolutely adorable,” she teased. Twilight blushed.

“Shuddup you,” grinned Sunset. “Just enjoy your dessert already.” Everyone laughed.

Dinner finished, kitchen cleaned, they sat in the living area, gathered around the boxes Twilight had pulled from her hammerspace with the artifacts and notes they collected during their investigation.

Sunset pulled out the first of the artifacts, the faux Alicorn Amulet, and handed it to Kaori to examine. Sitting next to her, Stiyl leaned over to examine it as well. “I see what you mean,” he commented. “I can feel the dark magic radiating out just as you stated. Clearly dark intent in this one.”

Kaori flipped it over to read the runes etched into the back. “What do you make of this?” she turned to ask Stiyl.

“Ancient Sumerian,” noted Stiyl. “Moloch, it’s tied to his magic. It’s sealed with Blood Magic, as are most of his artifacts. One of the worst of the old gods.” He shook his head. “Nasty piece of work, that one. This artifact essentially makes the wearer his avatar, giving them godlike power, but also his nasty thirst for human blood and suffering. It darkens the soul of its user, making them more like their master the more they use it.”

Kaori passed it back to Twilight, who placed it back into the box. She passed them the next artifact.

This one had three spikes in its center, stained with red that appeared to be dried blood. Stiyl took this artifact directly. Turning it over, he examined the runes with Kaori.

Stiyl shook his head. “This one belongs to Xipe Totlec, the Flayed God. Another nasty being, she was a Fertility god in the new world.”

Back in the box it went. The next one out had three pink fish surrounded by blue waves. “That’s Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of birth and suffering,” Stiyl noted.

Then next one was three shredded red human hearts. “That’s Tonatiuh, the Sun God. He traded human blood for the strength to battle darkness,” continued Stiyl.

The next featured three diamond-shaped stars. “That’s Coatlicue, the night mother,” added Stiyl.

This was followed by an artifact with three ghosts in lightning bolts. “And that’s Huitzilopochtli, the collector of spirits,” continued Stiyl.

The last one was three crowned flies. “And that is Baal Zebub, prince of the flies, Lord of all suffering and master of the Outer Realms.”

Stiyl shook his head. “And this after I warned you to avoid the old gods. Well, I guess it can’t be helped. Nasty business.”

Twilight hugged Sunset. Sunset smiled. “I’m not going to worry about that. When the time comes, I’m sure things will work out.” She hugged her friend back.

Twilight returned all the artifacts to her hammerspace. She then removed the second ceremonial blade they recovered. She floated it over to Stiyl, who took it from her magic.

Turning it over, he and Kaori examined the markings on it. “Yes, as you suspected, this is a second sacrificial dagger,” Stiyl confirmed. “This one was meant for you, I believe Sunset, as it is tied directly to Baal Zebub.” Sunset shuddered, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath.

“I can’t wait for the day when I can face that demon down and deal with him directly,” she shuddered. “It hurts me deeply to imagine something so foul hurting others.”

Twilight nodded, hugging Sunset again. Kaori and Stiyl nodded too. “If the Maker Wills it,” added Stiyl.

“Amen to that,” agreed Twilight.

Back into its box it went, and back into Twilight’s hammerspace. Next out were the boxes of notes. Stiyl’s eyes opened wide at the number of boxes. “Wow, that’s a lot of stuff to go through.”

“These are all the notes we collected. We were hoping you two could help us go through them and flag anything you find of note,” commented Sunset.

“Happy to help,” agreed Kaori, “Though this looks like more than an evening's worth of effort. Let’s table these for now, and find a time to go through them together later.”

The girls agreed, so Twilight returned them all to her hammerspace.

It was getting late, so Kaori and Stiyl excused themselves for the evening, agreeing to return tomorrow to begin going over the notes.

After they had left, Sunset turned to Twilight. “Okay, do you have time for a little fun? Or are you tired out and ready to head to bed?” she asked with a twinkle in her eyes.

Twilight grinned, “Just what do you have in mind, Sunny?”

“I think it’s time to visit a friend of ours again, and let her know what we’ve found,” answered Sunset. “Not that she probably doesn’t know already.”

Twilight smiled. “She does seem to stay remarkably well informed. I blame your great grandmother,” she laughed.

Sunset smiled. “They do seem to share. A lot.”

Sunset took Twilight’s hand, and they disappeared in a flash of Teal.

Looking around as they appeared in the Tranquility base receiving bay, the girls felt a pair of arms surround them.

“Oh my goodness! What a delight!” teased Chang’e, hugging them tightly. “Coming to visit me yet again! How delightful!”

“Hi Chang’e!” called out Sunset. “We found out more about the group that is after us. Have time for a chat?”

“For my dear friends, always!” smiled Chang’e, letting them go then taking Sunset’s hand. “Come! Let’s retire to my room and discuss what you’ve found.” She led them down the hall towards her, or rather ‘Dr. Hang’e’s’ quarters.

“Do you spend all your time here now?” asked Twilight as she pushed her friend.

“I still keep up my fortress,” answered Chang’e. “But I spend my time here. I have so missed having company. And everyone here is so kind and friendly. I delight in helping out with what I can.”

“And how is that?” questioned Sunset.

“Admittedly, it’s mostly with relationship advice,” smiled Chang’e. “Although I was able to help Dr. Long with a problem she was working on. The advantage to an extremely long life, I have seen techniques long forgotten. I was happy to share them with her.”

Twilight smiled. “I can’t wait to hear all about that. I’m always up for learning new techniques.”

Sunset turned to her friend with a grin, eyebrows wiggling.

Twilight laughed and smacked her arm. “Not what I meant, Sunny!” she laughed.

Chang’e smiled at them both. “You too really are a matched set,” she grinned. They arrived at Dr. Heng’e’s quarters. She opened the door and let them in. They moved over to the living room area, taking seats on the couch. Twilight sat on the end, next to Sunset in her chair.

Chane’e gathered up the gifts and notes from the table outside her door, taking them to her kitchen, where she set them on the counter next to a smaller pile already there. “I’m falling behind,” she noted with a smirk, returning to the living room area to sit with the girls.

“So,” Chang’e began, “What happened? Fill me in.”

“We searched the office and quarters of the woman who tried to kill me,” answered Twilight.

“And we found tons of notes, and several artifacts,” continued Sunset. “She also had another sacrificial knife, apparently this one was for me? I was to be offered to Baal Zebub.”

Chang’e blanched. “There’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. I’d always hoped someone would come along and put a nasty end to that nasty piece of work.”

Sunset nodded. “I volunteered. But was informed that I wasn’t up to the task and would just end up as another sacrifice.”

Chang’e nodded. “As much as it pains me to admit, few are. I myself would be in the same predicament. Maybe someday my dear. For now, you would not do well against him.”

Sunset nodded with a sigh. “Understood. I get it. But I look forward to the day when I don’t have to avoid those who make others suffer for their enjoyment. The day I can take down the elder gods and their sick fascination with eternal torment will be the most delightful day of my life.”

She turned to look at Twilight. “No one will ever think of hurting my dear ones again.” Her eyes flashed with a Teal burst of light, then went completely white. “No one,” she repeated in a lower voice.

Twilight looked concerned, but before she could say anything, Sunset’s eyes resumed their normal appearance. Sunset smiled at her. “So, want to hear the names of the elder gods we are apparently set against?” Sunset asked.

Twilight proceeded to relate the names Stiyl related to them when they reviewed the artifacts with the mages. At Chang’e’s request, Twilight brought out the artifacts, which she reviewed in interest.

“You have knowledgeable friends,” Chang’e agreed, returning the artifacts to Twilight. “Indeed, these are the anti-artifacts, opposing their Harmonious elements. Though the elder gods chosen to back these are a rather odd set. I am curious why Chalchiuhtlicue and Coatlicue for example would want anything to do with this mess. They never really struck me as the blood thirsty types, more interested in helping their followers than any really demented interests. Unlike Baal Zebub and Tonatiuh, both of whom have always delighted in the suffering of other creatures.”

Next Twilight brought out the sacrificial knife they had found. Chang’e opened the case, but did not touch the blade herself, turning it over in her magic. “Yes, this is Baal Zebub’s blade,” she commented, returning the knife to its box and sending it back to Twilight, who returned it to her hammerspace. “Everything about that creature is wrong. If ever there was a force that opposed Harmony, it would be him.”

Closing her eyes and shaking her head, Chang’e sighed. “I am sorry that you are the one that has been chosen to oppose him. You have my prayers and support, dear one,” Chang’e said, taking Sunset’s hands in her own. “Anything I can do to aid you in your efforts, I will do. You need only ask.”

Sunset smiled, squeezing Chang’e’s hands in return. “Thank you, Chang’e. You’re a dear friend.” She smiled.

Twilight pulled her into a hug. “We’ll get through this together, Sunny,” Twilight promised.

“Yes we will, Sparky. Together forever,” Sunset promised. A tear rolled down her cheek.

Chang’e smiled. ‘You have chosen well, Maker,’ she thought to herself as she watched the heartfelt exchange before her.

A while later, Sunset, Twilight, and Chang’e sat with Rainbow Dash in Chang’e’s castle gardens. Despite the lateness of the hour, they were clearly still having a delightful time.

“Thank you again for bringing this joy back into my life,” smiled Chang’e.

Sunset smiled at Chang’e. “And thank you and my dear great grandmother for being a part of our lives,” she answered.

“It was the Maker's Will,” smiled Chang’e.

“Indeed it was,” sighed Sunset, content. She sipped her tea.

Twilight served tea while they enjoyed some of the sweets Chang’e had set out. Dashie enjoyed the pastries that were set out, except for the pies Sunset and Twilight were clearly enjoying.

A while later, filled and content, they bade their hostess farewell for the evening, and returned to their apartment.

Sunset pulled her friend into a hug on her chair. Twilight hugged her tightly so Sunset wheeled them both into their bedroom to get ready for the night.

Once in the room, Twilight looked into her friend's eyes. “I love you, Sunset Shimmer,” she smiled.

“And I love you, Twilight Sparkle,” Sunset smiled back. She kissed her friend on the cheek, then gently lifted her into bed. “There you go! Curbside delivery!”

Twilight laughed. “You mean bedside, dork,” she grinned, leaning over and kissing her friend on her cheek. “Always have to kill the romance before it starts, don’t you,” she laughed.

“Romance, what’s that?” teased Sunset. “Isn’t that a type of lettuce?”

“That’s Romaine, dork,” laughed Twilight as she changed for bed. “You eat enough of the stuff, you ought to know.”

“Are you saying I eat like a horse?” accused Sunset, affecting shock. “I never! How could you say such a thing! I’m no horse. I’m a pony princess!”

Finished with her change, Twilight rolled onto the bed. Grabbing her friend, she pulled her into bed with her. “Really!” Twilight said, snuggling up to her friend who was not struggling very hard to escape. “You seem a little horsey to me,” she teased. She kissed her forehead, sniffing her hair. “Mane and Tail. Yup, a bit horsey.” She laughed as Sunset finally broke away and rolled back over to her side of the bed, transferring back to her chair.

“Oh hahaha! Make fun of my hair products, why don’t you!” she grinned. “I’ll have you know that brand is all the rage where I come from,” Sunset laughed.

Don’t I know it,” smirked Twilight. “And tack is considered bedroom foreplay.”

“I regret the day I ever shared that with you,” sniffed Sunset in mock offense as she changed for bed. “Who knew you would use my very words against me!”

“I learned from the best!” agreed Twilight, scooping her friend back into bed with her when she finished dressing for bed.

“I wasn’t done yet, Sparky!” snarked at Sunset. “I still need to brush my pearly whites! And other stuff!”

“No worries! Let’s go!” Twilight rolled off the bed, looping Sunset’s bathroom bag over her shoulder. She scooped up her BFF and set her on her back. “Piggy back rides to the bathroom now in service!”

Sunset laughed, burying her face in her hands. “What would the girls say?” she groaned.

Twilight grinned as she carried her girlfriend into the bathroom.

Twilight waited outside the bathroom. “Alright, I’m ready! Come on in,” called out Sunset from the bathroom. Twilight opened the door and poked her head in.

“So, need me to scrub your back?” She snarked to her friend.

“Not going to let that go, are you Sparky?” sniped Sunset, sitting on the toilet, dressed and ready for bed.

“Nope,” Twilight grinned. “Hop on Sunny! Your chariot is ready!” She crouched down before Sunset, who leaned into her and held onto her shoulders. Twilight grabbed her legs and settled her onto her back, then stood heading back to their bedroom. “Sunset express, next stop bed! All aboard!”

Sunset blushing and hiding her face, laughed. “You’re enjoying this entirely too much I think!” she accused.

Oh, don’t you know it!” agreed Twilight with a grin. Sitting down on the side of the bed, she lowered her friend into bed, then took the bag from her and placed it on the end table by Sunset’s side of the bed.

“Just like old times,” snarked Sunset, giving Twilight a kiss on the cheek. “Good night, Sparky!” she smiled, turning off the lights. The citiscape twinkled through the clear window as they dropped off to sleep, smiles plastered on their faces.

SciTwilight Sparkle and yes that is Tokyo Disneyland in the background. :twilightsmile: