A prisoner is given a chance to reform, but not in Equestria. Sunset felt reforming villians weren't one of her strengths...especially when they won't even talk!
After capturing an enemy pony, the Princesses decide on reforming them...in the Human World. Princess Twilight places the task on Sunset, trusting her to make use of the friendship lessons that she has learned. But Sunset finds herself at odds with their new guest. Without communication, can Sunset break through the prisoner's wall? Or will she play the warden until the Princesses grow tired and take drastic measures?
“Twilight, darling, are you quite certain we can’t change your mind?” Rarity asked, uncertain about what they were about to do.
Twilight groaned as she hid in her hooves, her friends looked at her. Their worry clear as they sat on their own thrones.Even Rainbow Dash seemed nervous as they waited for Twilight to speak. Fluttershy looked behind Applejack’s throne and glanced at a white cloaked cage, chains could be heard moving. Next to the cage stood six Royal Guards who circled the cage, never taking their eyes off it.
Twilight finally answered, “I know it seems like a bad idea…I even think it is! But Princess Celestia has made her decision.”
“Now hold up there Sugarcube, I don’t know what you were hearing, but that ain’t no order.” Applejack looked at Rainbow Dash for support. Rainbow Dash threw in her own two bits.
“Applejack’s right! Princess Celestia SUGGESTED it. Waayyy different.”
“Girls! If Princess Celestia suggested it, don’t you think she has the right idea?” Her wings went down slightly as she continued, “I’m sure things will work themselves out…somehow.”
Fluttershy frowned, “…But there isn’t any magic there, I don’t want them to get hurt because of us…”
Twilight brighten up slightly at this concern, “Oh!I forgot to tell you. I perfected a spell that Princess Celestia showed me in one of my books. Even if there isn’t any magic, it will still activate since it was cast by me while there.” She gave a half-smile, but it quickly faded. “It’s not the most…encouraging push, but it will help. I’m sure.”
Rarity raised an eyebrow at the wording, “Darling, what exactly does this spell entail?I certainly hope you didn’t pick an…ugly spell.”
“Rarity, it’s fine…It’s just a spell to keep her in line…by using invisible chains on her wrists and ankles that are unbreakable and be used a moment’s notice,” Twilight smiled sheepishly, it faltered when Applejack narrowed her eyes.
“I don’t know…Doesn’t exactly sound like a good intro to friendship, don’t ya think?” She sighed, “But I get it. Prisoner, first. Friend, second. Did ya at least think about who’s gonna be pulling the chains?”
Before Twilight could answer, Rainbow Dash spoke up, “Back up there, Applejack. I agree you too, but it doesn’t sound very cool to chain her up.”
“Oooh what if we use silly string!It’s soft and fun!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed as she pulled out Fun Spray cans.
Twilight smiled at Pinkie’s antics before replying to Rainbow Dash, “It’s the only way to make sure she doesn’t harm anyone. I have full confidence that the one in charge of the chains will be the best example of the reform we expect.”
“I’d imagine so…What about her dreadful magic?” Rarity threw a wary look at the cage. “I don’t suppose the Princesses have thought of this important matter?”
“Don’t worry. We used the same spell that took away the Sirens powers. Though this time, we’re keeping the necklace.”
“Splendid. Quite the relief.” Rarity smiled at the answer and raised a hoof, “I support this decision. I was a bit doubtful, but I trust Twilight has it all covered.”
Fluttershy hid behind her mane and continued to stare at the cage, “…Why don’t we help her?”
Twilight gave a sad smile to her shy friend, her heart ache slightly but she pushed past it. “…It’s different from Discord…I don’t think we’re the right ponies to help.” She stared at the cage and cleared her throat.
“I reckon our guest can’t be worse than old Discord…right?”
Rarity shuddered, “Ugh.Perish the thought!”
“Oh, don’t be like that!I liked the chocolate and the sweets!” Pinkie licked her lips thinking about it. “But the other stuff was kind of mean of Discord.”
Twilight sighed, “Listen, we need to do this. IF something goes wrong, we’ll take care of it.”
Rainbow Dash scoffed, “And what about the ones watching her? Can THEY do anything? Cause it seems like we’re asking for a lot…” She flew above before pointing towards the cage, “I say we lock her up in Tartarus!”
“Normally I’d be all with ya Rainbow, but I ain’t sure the Princesses want us to…” Applejack looked at Twilight, “Ain’t that right Sugarcube?”
Twilight gave an uneasy smile before replying, “Yes…The Princesses have reasons for not sending her there…but they wouldn’t mention it.” She spoke the last line through gritted teeth.
Silence fell on the room as they considered their options. Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes toward the cage and flew back to her seat. Pinkie put her hoof on her chin while pondering. Twilight slowly rose from her seat and began walking towards the cage.
“…I can’t help you.” She looked behind to look at her friends before staring back at the cage. “WE can’t help you. As much as we liked to, no one in Equestria can help…” Twilight placed a hoof on the white sheet, the guards became tensed as they watched intently, “…I’m sorry.”
Chains could be heard being pulled and a low growl filled the air as Twilight bowed her head. The chains continued to be pulled as hooves could be heard scarping the ground, trying in vain to reach Twilight. Fluttershy’s ears shrank back as she heard the scarping and closed her eyes. Rainbow Dash and Applejack averted their eyes, never taking a glance at the cage. Rarity and Pinkie Pie had opted to play with their mane.
The sounds finally stopped, and Twilight began walking to a nearby door, beckoning the others to follow. The guards dragged the cage behind them, using their magic and ropes to keep a distance away.
Spike frowned from inside the room, “I hope you know what you’re doing…”
Twilight smiled at his assistance, “Me too, Spike… Me too.” She frowned at the sight of a familiar mirror. The mirror was surrounded by a purple horseshoe border which sat on a blue base. The top of the mirror had a small window and a pony inside. Several equipment were hooked to it, connected to two rods above the mirror.
Twilight walked toward the mirror and levitated a hardcover brown book. The book had Celestia’s Sun Cutie Mark on the front and once placed between the two rods, began to glow and powered the equipment. The mirror transformed into a swirling purple portal and gave off a soft glow.
Twilight looked towards her friends, “I’ll be going in first, I want to make sure everything is ready…”
“Take your time, Darling. It is important to prepare for this.”
Twilight nodded back before walking through the portal.Just as she was out of sight, the cage began rattling again as a grunt was heard.The unicorn guard’s horns glowed, and a thud echoed in the room as they held whoever was in the cage.Rainbow Dash glared at the cage and commented.
“Just cause Twilight ain’t here, doesn’t mean we can’t take you.”
A growl was heard before silence was brought by the room. Fluttershy hesitantly walked closer to the cage and asked, “Um…What’s your name?”
She was met by silence.
Fluttershy looked at the ground, “Oh…Sorry. It’s just we were only told some things…but never your name.”
“…If it helps, we won’t see each other again…in a way. So it wouldn’t be a bad thing to tell us, right? I mean if you want to, of course.”
“Fluttershy, she’s not go-“
Rainbow stopped talking as Fluttershy smiled slightly at the answer, "That sounds like a lovely name.” She attempted to look past the cover, only to be stopped by an earth pony guard who placed himself between Fluttershy and the cage.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Fluttershy. I cannot allow you to come any closer.” Fluttershy shrank back and nodded nervously.
Applejack raised an eyebrow, “You let Twilight, heck she put a hoof on it.”
“Princess Twilight could handle herself, however I fear the safety for anyone else. Please understand, we are under orders to place your well-being as priority.”
“Um…ok.Sorry.” Fluttershy sat down and the guard returned to his position, “…W-What’s your Cutie Mark? Um…if you don’t mind me asking.”
“…I have none.”
Before Fluttershy could respond, Twilight returned and let out a loud sigh, “Ok, they’re ready…as much as they can be.”
Canterlot High School, full of colorful and unique students from all corners of life. The school bustled with students roaming around, staff doing their duties, and the occasional event of the month. After school, however, and after all extracurricular activities ended, it was quiet. With the exception of seven students stood in front of the broken statue. Sunset Shimmers looked at the portal with uneasy as they waited for Twilight to come through.
“So, let me get this straight, we’re supposed to babysit a criminal from Equestria?” Rainbow Dash asked with her arms crossed. “Don’t you guys have pony prisons or something like that?”
“Rainbow, I told you. Yes, but Princess Twilight wants us to try and reform her.” Sunset said, frustrated that she had to repeat herself. “I don’t like the idea of a Siren incident happening, but if Princess Twilight thinks we can then let’s just give it our best shot.”
“Ain’t complaining here,” Applejack reassured Sunset, “and if we need to put her in line, you can go all magicy and blast her.”
“I can’t ‘pony up’ whenever I feel like it, so don’t keep your hopes up.” Sunset said with a smile as the portal sounded, signaling someone was entering.
Princess Twilight smiled as she came into view and was body slammed by Pinkie who gave a crushing hug. “Ah! It’s so good to see you Twilight! I mean Princess Twilight, not our Twilight but you’re our Twilight too but we have two now!I- “
“Alright Pinkie, I think she gets it.” Rainbow Dash said with an amused face and pulled Pinkie away from Princess Twilight. “Good to see you, Princess.”
Princess Twilight frowned at the name, “I’ve told you guys to not call me that. You’re my friends, not my subjects.”
“Why, we wouldn’t dream of it darling. After all, someone or somepony of your standing should be respected and called the appropriate title.” Rarity said before sheepishly smiling. “Of course, it did become apparent that we needed a different name to call you by since another Twilight is here. And since you’re a Princess, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to call you that.”
Twilight smiled nervously and apologized, “I’m sorry. If you want, we can just call me ‘Sparkle’?” Her hands were fumbling with each other as she tried to keep a smile. She still hadn’t lost her nervousness since entering and didn’t want to somehow anger her other self if possible.
Princess Twilight smiled to reassure her counterpart, “No, No.It’s fine, I mean it’s not like you’re teasing me or anything unlike SOMEPONY else.”
“Not to be rude, but ya mind telling us what’s gonna happen here?” Applejack pointed to the portal. “All we know is we’re on babysitting duty?”
Princess Twilight nodded and spoke to all of them, “I’m sure you all read what I wrote to Sunset, but I’ll explain again.” She frowned. “We will be sending a recently captured prisoner into this world. It’s the same situation as the Sirens, but a little…different. The plan is for all of you to teach her about friendship, like with Sunset.”
“How are we going to deal with her if it turns into a Siren situation? She has magic too, doesn’t she?”
Princess Twilight perked up slightly and replied, “Oh she does. But we’re going to take it away and keep it within MY world. As for any trouble, I learned a spell to keep her in check.” She cleared her throat. “It creates magic shackles on the prisoner’s wrists and ankle. The person who controls the shackles, controls the person. So to speak anyways.”
“Oooh like a leash?” Pinkie panted like a dog and imitated paws.
Princess Twilight giggled, “In a way…”
“Leash? I reckon our new ‘friend’ will like that…” Applejack mumbled, frowning at the spell.
“Applejack, I know it may not be pleasant. But this is for the safety of everyone here, can’t just leave her running around free like the sirens were.” Princess Twilight stated, attempting to calm her friend.
“I get it. So, who’s gonna be the hogtier?”
Princess Twilight smiled sheepishly and looked at Sunset, “Sunset.”
Sunset’s eyes widen at the mention of her name and pointed to herself, “Wait wait…Me?! I-I can’t do that!”
“Sunset, listen- “
“No, No.” Sunset waved her hands at Princess Twilight, a stomachache growing already. “I’ve barely been reformed too! I’m sure- “
“Sunset!” Princess Twilight grabbed Sunset’s shoulders and jerked her forward slightly. She gazed into Sunset’s eyes and reassured her, “I trust you. You’ve been working so hard to prove yourself…and I believe that you will do an amazing job.”
Sunset looked at each of her friends, all of them smiled back and nodded. It was heartwarming to see them reassuring their trust, but this was completely different! Not only was the pony…person…whatever they were! Not only were they a CRIMINAL, they’re an ACTIVE criminal! At least Sunset was on the path to reforming when they gave her a chance! How was she going to do this…?
“Please, Sunset,” Princess Twilight looked into Sunset’s eyes, “I can’t help her. She’s cautious around us, she doesn’t trust or believe anything we say. If this keeps up, she’ll be either placed in the void or executed.”
Sunset turned away. She couldn’t say no if Princess Twilight pleaded like that…but the princess had a point. Usually enemies were imprisoned or punished by the Elements of Harmony, but never executed. For the most part, the Princesses were supportive of second chances or even third chances. They hadn’t executed someone in…she didn’t even know how long!
“…Fine. But I’m going to keep you up to date!” Sunset relented.
Princess Twilight gave a wide smile and hugged Sunset. Sunset was surprised, but hugged back regardless with a soft smile.
“Thank you, I know it’s a lot, but it’ll be alright in the end.”
Sunset doubted it…They usually always had problems.
“So…um, what’s your name?” Sunset asked with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.
The girl in question was sitting on one of the steps in the Band Room. She wore a loose grey jacket, jet black sweats, black and grey shoes, and navy blue gloves. Her black hair was short, barely passing her neck, and her steel color eyes glared at them. To be fair, they didn’t meet at the best moment…
After Sunset had agreed to Princess Twilight’s plan, Princess Twilight had brought the prisoner through the portal. The introduction had gone…poorly. Princess Twilight had warned them that the spell would need the prisoner to be in both Equestria and human world. While they didn't know what happened on the other side, the prisoner had been surrounded by purple magic once she came through. The prisoner was still in chains, but still tried to escape and attack them. It would have been more frightening if the screams weren’t so full of…pain. She hadn’t even stepped into the human world for more than 5 seconds and she was already on her knees screaming. The sudden transformation hadn’t helped since she couldn’t even stand up or use her hands, even if her arms were chained up.
The spell had taken away every bit of magic and stored it inside a small silver orb. For convenience sake, Rarity had placed it on a necklace and Princess Twilight took it back to Equestria.
After everyone had calmed down and the prisoner was no longer in pain, they explained the situation to the prisoner. Despite her not talking, Sunset figured the prisoner knew more-or-less what was going on. But that didn’t make things easier…
“Oh come on, you can’t even tell us your name?” Rainbow Dash whined from her own spot on the seats.
Sunset flinched slightly, but couldn’t deny the exasperation they were all feeling. So far, their new guest had only walked, growled, and sat down.
“Um…I know you probably don’t like this right now,” Fluttershy spoke softly nearby. “But it would be nice…if, um…we knew your name? If that’s ok…”
Sunset groaned internally. If they couldn’t get a peep out of the prisoner, then what hope did Fluttersh-
Much like her name, silence fell in the room. For about two seconds.
“You answered her, but not us?!”
Rainbow Dash reacted first as Sunset looked back and forth between Silent Dusk and Fluttershy. Maybe Silent Dusk thought Fluttershy was less annoying?
“Oh be quiet, your voice is unbearable.” Silent Dust countered, her arms crossed and looked away.
“Now, Rainbow Dash,” Rarity cut between them. “You have to understand her position. She’s in an unknown world with strangers and we’ve taken away her magic!” She covered her heart with her hand and sat close to Silent Dusk. “Why, it’s no wonder you don’t want to speak to us. You must feel absolutely horrible around us!”
“To be torn apart from everything and everyone you’ve ever known! You must be-“
“Rarity!!” The rest of the girls yelled at last.
Rarity blinked and turned to look at them. Applejack pointed a thumb at Silent Dusk, she had long since tuned Rarity out and was reading a book she found.
“Maybe we should just calm down a bit and start over.” Sunset continued as she walked in front of Silent Dusk. “You’ll be staying with me while you’re here. Not only that, but apparently you’ll be attending class too.”
Silence met Sunset. Silent Dusk turned a page, never looking up.
“You won’t need to study or anything, but you could learn whatever we are.”
Again, silence. Sunset's left eye twitched slightly.
Twilight spoke next, “I could bring more books too? If you have any favorite subjects, I’ll do what I can.”
This time, Silent Dusk nodded, but didn’t bother looking at Twilight.
Sunset smiled a bit while the other girls shuffled their feet. Even Pinkie was feeling deflated by Silent Dusk…Sunset puffed out her chest regardless, they would make this work. It’ll be fine. Give it a couple days and she’ll be talking in no time!
‘No time’ was the biggest lie Sunset had ever thought of…
The noise was muffled once Sunset buried her head into her arm. Silent Dusk glanced at her before turning back to her book. Twilight scratched the back of her head and laughed nervously when Sunset glared at the offending book.
It had been one long week and Silent Dusk was as close to talking as Pinkie getting tired to parties.
“I reckon you ain’t having the best of time?” Applejack sat across from Sunset and frowned at Silent Dusk, “She STILL has her nose in those books? No offense.” Twilight waved it off with a giggle.
“It’s like talking to an actual wall!” Sunset gritted her teeth, the past week had been the ultimate test of patience.
After the first day, Silent Dusk didn’t talk the next day…. or any day after that. She hadn’t even insulted any of them. Day in and day out, Silent Dusk would barely interact with anyone. She wouldn’t even ACKNOWLEDGE them when it came to the simplest things! Food was nearly impossible. She would just take whatever she wanted, even if it wasn’t hers! Not only that, but Sunset had to make sure she didn’t steal anything; books, food, wallets, and even pets! She had to apologize to Fluttershy and Twilight more times than she wanted to count. It was only a week and she already felt like it’s been months.
It’s not like they weren’t trying either.
Twilight was trying to connect through books. Silent Dusk was a big reader after all. Well…there was a lack of things to do for her, but they were taking whatever they could. Twilight would bring three different books, usually different genre, and Silent Dusk would simply pick one to read. For the most part, she would finish the book within the day and Twilight would try to talk about the book. After a while, Silent Dusk would nod for comments she agreed on and raise an eyebrow for more explanation.
Fluttershy was…interesting. She would try to talk about the animals at the shelter, but Silent Dusk wouldn’t really reply. But at least she looked at Fluttershy while she talked…sometimes anyways.
Applejack would try to bride her with apple cider. Surprisingly, that did something. Silent Dusk has a liking to the drink and would put her book down to savor the taste. Applejack had been using the trick to talk a bit about her farm and how they were the ones who supply the cider.
Rarity would nitpick Silent Dusk’s outfit and talk about different clothing styles. It was all one sided, but at least it gave Rarity freedom to suggest outfit after outfit.
Sunset cringed as she saw Pinkie Pie rushing around the cafeteria. She was finishing up ANOTHER party for Silent Dusk. Luckily, she was keeping it small after the first two attempts.
Rainbow Dash’s approach was as direct as always.
A soccer ball slammed in front of Silent Dusk. Sunset groaned as another headache started up. At least Silent Dusk raised an eyebrow at the multicolored distraction.
“You and me. Soccer field. Now.”
The two locked eyes for the first time in a while. While Rainbow Dash’s eyes were filled with fire, Silent Dusk’s eyes were filled with ice. For a moment, Sunset believed Silent Dusk would speak. But as quickly as the tension appear, it was broken by Silent Dusk turning back to her book.
Rainbow Dash slammed the ball again against the table.
“Hey! I’m talking to you!”
Sunset sighed. She should have known…
“Rainbow Dash, she’s not going to play a game with you.”
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and sat down next to Applejack, who took a bite of her apple before commenting.
“Our little guest could use a few laps though.” Applejack pointed out, “I would have reckoned she was rearing to go.”
“Not all of us are willing to run for fun.” Rarity scrunched her nose at the thought.
Twilight nodded, “I wouldn’t do any physical activity if it wasn’t with friends or for school either…”
“Yeah, but we got nothing else! She won’t do anything!” Rainbow Dash pointed a finger at Silent Dusk. “If she thinks she’s so hot, then let’s settle this outside!”
Sunset rested her head against her hand and replied, “Right…and how do you expect to move her outside?”
“Oh, that’s easy.” Rainbow Dash moved her finger from Silent Dusk to…Sunset?
The former she-demon was taken aback. “Me?What can…” Sunset stopped herself when she realized what Rainbow Dash wanted. The magic chains between herself and Silent Dusk. They haven't used them yet since Silent Dusk wasn’t trying to harm them.
Sunset didn’t even WANT to use them yet…
“Whoa whoa. I know she’s being difficult, but that doesn’t mean-“
Rainbow Dash cut her off, “What do you expect us to do?! She doesn’t want anything to do with us. If we don’t make her do something with us, then she won’t ever change.”
Sunset bit her lip as she turned to the others. They were either nodding or shrugged at the reasoning. Finally, she relented.
“Maybe group activities would be a promising idea…”
“I don’t like having to pull Silent Dusk out, but if that’s how we have to do it…” Applejack stood up. Fluttershy stood up as well, not comfortable, but not going to argue.
“As much as I abhor soccer, I’m willing to participate.” Rarity stood alongside Applejack.
Twilight looked at all of them, her eyes uneasy as she followed suit.
Sunset nodded and took a deep breath. Silent Dusk had placed the book down, her body had stiffened when Sunset stood up.
“Silent Dusk, I really don’t want to use the chains…Please go outside with us?” Sunset attempted. She dreaded the answer…Silent Dusk was going to fight, wasn’t she?
Silent Dusk looked at Sunset in the eyes. For a moment, no one said anything. As Sunset prepared to raise her hands, there was movement.
A nod. A simple and small nod.
Sunset smiled as Silent Dusk stood up and followed Rainbow Dash to the exit.
Maybe this won’t be so bad…?
Sunset groaned. She might have just jinxed herself…
“Alright!” Rainbow Dash shouted in the soccer field. “We’ll play up to 5 points! No goalies! Unless you want to hang near the goal!”
There were 12 players in total. Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, Sunset, Silent Dusk, and Bulk Biceps were on the left side. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Twilight, Lyra, Bonbon, and Flash on the right side.
Fluttershy and Rarity had decided to stay near the goal. Better chance to not be hit or dirty.
Surprisingly, Silent Dusk was already in position on the left field. Sunset still stayed close in midfield, just in case. The game went smoothly for the most part. To her surprise, Silent Dusk was playing and working alongside the team. Sure, she was still aggressive, but then again, so was Rainbow Dash.
Sunset smiled when Silent Dusk made another pass to her. They were in sync as they passed Lyra and Bonbon. Maybe Rainbow Dash was right? Oh, she wouldn’t let them live this down for a long while…
As they ran closer to the goal, Silent Dusk dribbled the ball around Flash. Instead of going straight for the goal, she ran closer to Sunset for some reason.
‘Maybe she wants me to score?’ Sunset shrugged as she came closer.
That’s when things went wrong.
The soccer ball slammed against her face, the force and shock sent Sunset to the ground. She heard her friends yelling her name, but could barely understand what was happening. Looking to the side, she realized what had happened. Silent Dusk had made her move.
A short distance away, Silent Dusk was running towards…the portal! She was going to get her powers back!
Rainbow Dash activated her geode and sprinted to Silent Dusk. She didn’t get to do much as Silent Dusk suddenly turned and clothes-lined her. Rainbow Dash gasped as she clutched her chest.
Silent Dusk didn’t look back as she kept running, the others already too far behind to catch up. Sunset’s eyes snapped open as Silent Dusk was getting closer to the portal. She did the only thing she could think of…she pulled.
Silent Dusk’s hands suddenly jerked behind her, a faint yellow glow surrounded her wrists, and caused her to fall onto her back. Sunset didn’t let up and pulled the air again. She couldn’t see the chains, but she could feel them. She concentrated on Silent Dusk’s wrists, pulling her farther away from the portal.
Silent Dusk growled and pulled back, but Sunset couldn’t even feel the attempt. She kept pulling and dragged Silent Dusk through the ground before Applejack activated her own geode and carried her back to the soccer field.
“What in tarnishen was that!?” Applejack scolded Silent Dusk.
Silent Dusk didn’t speak. She only glared at Sunset and stayed on the ground. Sunset had used the chains to tie her legs and hands together in front of her. It’s a good thing since Silent Dusk threw herself at Sunset, only to be held back by Applejack.
Rainbow Dash stood between them as they yelled at the (almost) escapee.
“Hey! I know you aren’t liking this, but that doesn’t mean you get to hurt anyone!”
Silent Dusk snarled at Rainbow Dash before looking down. There wasn’t much she could do in her position, but Sunset figured the most she’ll do is not answer again…
“Sunset, your nose!” Rarity’s voice reminded Sunset of the small injury.
Touching her nose, she found blood dripping and Fluttershy cleaning it up with a tissue. There wasn’t much, but it still hurt…a lot! Sunset gently held her nose and held back her tears as Fluttershy began to take care of it.
“Rainbow Dash, Applejack. Let’s calm down a bit…” Sunset cringed as she continued, “It was partly my fault for not talking to her clearly before we went outside.”
“Oh, come on, Sunset!” Rainbow Dash groaned, “Don’t make excuses!”
“I agree, Darling. We’re just lucky that you have those chains. Otherwise, who knows what could have happened?” Rarity frowned at their prisoner on the ground.
“Listen, I know how it looks. But we have to think about what she’s been through too!” Sunset defended, “Like all of you have said, she’s in a tough situation. It’s not exactly a strange thing to try to escape.”
The rest of the girls frowned. Pinkie Pie was the first to break the silence.
“Sunshim,” She placed a hand on Sunset’s shoulder and gave a glance at Silent Dusk, “That’s…great!” The rest groaned as she continued, “Sure, she’s still a little meanie…but! We can get those pesky mean vibes out of her eventually!”
“Pinkie Pie, as much as I love you,” Rarity cut in, “this isn’t something you can just laugh away.”
“Psh!” Pinkie Pie rolled her eyes with a smile. “Laughing is the best medicine, other than actual medicine!”
“I’m all up for having fun together, but this ain’t no time for that.” Applejack narrowed her eyes at Silent Dusk, “This little critter hurt Sunset AND tried to get back to Equestria. We gotta do SOMETHING to punish her, otherwise what’s stopping her from doing it again?”
“We ought to keep her in a room along for a while.” Rainbow Dash pondered, “…Chained up would probably be best.”
Sunset flinched as she tried her best to calm the group, excluding Fluttershy.
“Whoa whoa, let’s not get overboard here…”
“I don’t think we should either…”
“Then what do we DO? We can’t just let her off with barely a slap on the hand.” Rainbow Dash grumbled.
“I know. I do have an idea, but…” Sunset laughed nervously as the others eyed her.
Sunset smiled sheepishly when Silent Dusk sneered at them. She had her arms cross as she stood beside a light post on a street corner, her hands and the post had a slight yellow glow.
The girls were watching her from inside Sugercube Corner while Silent Dusk sulked outside. Pinkie had gone as far as to move one of the tables near her, but Silent Dusk didn’t want to give them the satisfaction. Applejack chuckled and turned back towards Rainbow Dash.
“I don’t see how any of us are punished.Just giving us a free show.”
Rainbow Dash had a flat look before pointing back at Silent Dusk. Everyone turned and saw Silent Dusk glaring at everyone about to enter. For good measure, she even prepared to throw a chair at Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, who ran almost immediately. The group cringed at the realization of the lack of customers around them as well.
“Yeah, real free…”
Rainbow Dash shook her head and flinched under Mrs. Cake’s glare. She turned to Sunset, “Eh…maybe we should bring her inside?”
“Good idea, I don’t think any of us want to be banned from the Sugar Corner, right?” She stood up and walked outside. Sunset flinched at the glare that received her, especially once Sunset forced Silent Dusk to clasp her hands together in front of her. They walked back inside and made her sit in a chair nearby.
Fluttershy gave a small smile while Twilight waved slightly. The rest of the girls averted their eyes and kept talking.
“So, are you girls going to Trixie’s Magic Show?”
All the girls, excluding Twilight who asked, groaned at the question. Trixie had been nagging everyone about her show for a month now.It wouldn’t be long until Trixie tried it on them.Twilight was the only one who was even considering going.
“Don’t tell me we’re actually going to that thing.” Rainbow Dash whined.
Twilight laughed nervously, “Well, I wouldn’t mind. I-I mean she hasn’t been that bad.”
“To you, darling. She’s still dreadful to us, thanks to that horrid Battle of the Bands.” Rarity rolled her eyes.
It was true. Trixie still had her vendetta against the RainBooms but was more annoying than anything else. When she met Twilight, they got along since Twilight wasn’t the same as Princess Twilight. For Twilight’s part, she was just interested in magician tricks; she had already seen real magic, of course. They weren’t exactly best friends, but the two were at better terms than the others.
“Don’t let it get to you, Twilight.” Sunset reassured her with a smile. “If you want to go, that’s completely fine with us. You don’t need our permission though.” She ended off with a chuckle.
“Yeah, but don’t think Trixie gonna be inviting us. She’s as stubborn as a mule.” Applejack huffed, not noticing Pinkie Pie stealing her milkshake.
“We’ll find out tomorrow either way. Pretty sure Trixie isn’t going to want this baggage.” Rainbow Dash pointed a thumb at Silent Dusk.
Their guest didn’t pay much mind since Twilight had given her a book to read. They were a little worried she was going to throw it, but as always, she read quietly. The girls continued chatting about their practices; wary but getting used to the odd grumpy reader in the background.
After a brief time, Rarity realized something that the others hadn’t noticed. “Sunset, dear? I was wondering if Silent Dusk had any issues with her clothes?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I notice she was just ‘dropped off’ so to speak. She didn’t exactly have any time to bring extra clothes.” Rarity motioned to Silent Dusk before continuing, “I’ve been dabbling in unique styles and I’m sure I could find something that suits her…style.”
“Oh, that sounds fun!” Pinkie Pie bounced in her seat as she balanced cupcakes on Silent Dusk, occasionally catching falling cupcakes and putting them back. “Won’t it, Dusky?”
Silent Dusk didn’t respond but twitched very slightly under her eye.
Sunset laughed nervously and responded to Rarity, “That would be great, but I don’t know if she’ll like that…”
“Not like she can say no.” Applejack pointed out. “We can just make it part of her punishment.”
“Oh come now,” Rarity smiled.“I’m sure Silent Dusk will enjoy the selection. Bring her over this weekend.”
“We’ll be there too, so she doesn’t try any funny business.” Rainbow Dash pointed at Silent Dusk, who was surround by several cupcakes.
Sunset waved off Rainbow Dash and turned to Silent Dusk, “It’ll be fine. Silent Dusk, we’re just going to try on some clothes. You don’t have to worry about anything.”
The others cringed internally at the words.
“Welcome, welcome!” Rarity greeted the girls as they entered her home. Silent Dusk had a large scowl as she looked around at the various clothes in progress.
“Now, I wanted to design a bit more of a lineup.” Rarity led them to another room. “But I figured Silent Dusk wouldn’t be patient enough, oh I don’t mean to offend you in any way of course,” She apologized as they filed in. Silent Dusk didn’t pay attention as she sat down and stared at Rarity with distain.
“Sugarcube, maybe you should get started. You know, before Silent here blows a gasket.” Applejack pointed at the prisoner next to her.
Rarity rolled her eyes before moving the front of a curtain.
“Oh very well.Let me introduce…”
She pulled the curtain away.
“The Dusk Line Up!”
Rarity revealed an assortment of outfits. The girls marveled at the beautiful outfits, each were dark shade of colors and were a variation of Silent Dusk’s current clothes. There were six outfits in total, each with matching gloves. Rarity pulled out one outfit. It was a sleeveless gray light jacket, black and white wave pattern shirt, and gray cargo shorts with a black outline. Clipped to the hanger was a pair of black gloves with soft gray on the back.
“I know, small selection but I had little time.” Rarity defended, “I skipped the formal wear, but that doesn’t mean these lack grace.”
“They look great, Rarity!” Sunset exclaimed and looked through the clothing.
Applejack nodded, “Sure do. Leave it to Rare to find something that even our new guest would like.”
Silent Dusk stared at the line up and even seemed interested. Fluttershy glanced at Silent Dusk and smiled.
“I’m sure they’ll look lovely on you, Silent Dusk.”
Silent Dusk looked away while Rarity brought out two outfits to show her.
“I must admit, it was a bit worried the measurements wouldn’t match up. I’m delighted to see they should fit…” She held both in front of Silent Dusk. “What do you think?”
“I don’t need new clothes.”
Silent Dusk said with a glare. She snarled at the clothes but made no move to the door. Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes at this but made no comment.
Rarity gave off a smile, that didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“O-Oh, is it the wrong color? Perhaps you would like a dark blue or-”
“I don’t need or want new clothes.” This time Silent Dusk growled, baring her teeth at Rarity. Rarity flinched and backed away while Applejack and Rainbow Dash moved in front of her. Before they could speak, they were interrupted by hands clasping onto her shoulders from behind.
“Don’t be such a grump grump!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, her smiling face appeared besides Silent Dusk’s. “You’ll look great! If you don’t like the matches…” She dramatically whispered, “I always mix them up for fun~”
Pinkie Pie hopped back with a giggle when Silent Dusk snapped at her.
“Um.” Fluttershy began, “Maybe we shou-”
“This is stupid.” Silent Dusk retorted, her eyes still glaring, “I’m not going to change clothes. Especially if it’s to wear something given by a group of airheads.”
She said the words as facts, rather than opinion. It was what irked the others more than anything. Rarity grimaced at the harsh words, not knowing what do with the clothing. Fluttershy choose not to speak and inched away from Silent Dusk while Pinkie Pie deflated slightly before joining her. Applejack and Rainbow Dash rose to the bait.
“Ok, that’s enough,” growled Applejack. She moved in front of Silent Dusk and crossed her arms, “You got a lot of nerve. Rare went through a lot of trouble to fix some clot-”
“Then she’s lacking brain cells.” Silent Dusk interjected. Her voice was flat again.
Rainbow Dash finally snapped, "That's it!" She grabbed the first set of clothes and stomped over to Silent Dusk, her eyes narrowed. Silent Dusk frowned as she got closer. "You're gonna at least wear the gloves! Stop being such a princess."
"I'm not taking off my gloves."
"I bet you are."
"And what if I don't?!" Silent Dusk shouted, "Chain me up again? Treat me like some kind of show dog while you get your stupid kicks?"
Rainbow Dash threw her hands up, exasperated, "Sure! Whatever you want to think!"
"Rainbow, calm down, this isn't-," Sunset tried to intervene.
"No!" Rainbow Dash cut off, "She's been acting like WE'RE the ones who decided to keep her here!"
"Yes, because you're not aligned with those Equestrians." Silent Dusk commented sarcastically, "Please forgive my ignorance, guard."
"Well at least we weren't the ones who committed crimes." Rainbow Dash responded with equal venom.
The two continued to argue, but didn't notice a certain farmer creeping behind Silent Dusk.
"A-Hah!" Applejack held up her prize, a dark blue glove, Silent Dusk's glove. "See? That wasn't so ba-"
Applejack gasped at Silent Dusk's exposed hand. Three scars were across the back of her hand, outlined by jagged lines and filled with a deep pink color. The front wasn't much better. Discolored patches of skin littered her palm and some could be seen trailing up her arm, covered by the long sleeve.
Before anyone could speak, Silent Dusk quickly snatched her glove and clad her hand again. She didn't look at anyone, preferring to look at the floor. She cleared her throat and tried to bury herself into her book again. Sunset didn't need to read her mind to see she was just reading the same line or see her biting her lip ever so slightly. Right before Sunset could speak up for Silent Dusk, another did.
"...It's not ugly."
Every head turned to Fluttershy who stepped towards Silent Dusk. She continued.
"Your hand isn't ugly."
Silent Dusk clenched her jaw and tightened her grip on her book. She didn't turn her head, but stared at Fluttershy from the corner of her eyes.
"...Is it a birthmark?"
Silent Dusk didn't respond at first, but quietly replied, "Yes, it's not something I like to show to...anyone."
"It's ok." Fluttershy smiled, "I think it's unique though. A lot of animals at the shelter have birthmarks, on their face, body, and paws." She paused before continuing, "Some have scars though..."
Silent Dusk's shoulder stiffen at the comment but stayed quiet.
"Not everyone's a good owner...They can be mean and take it out on their pets. They scare them, yell at them, throw things at them, even leave scars on them..." Flutteryshy frowned and shook her head, "Those are usually the most aggressive. Not because they're bad or mean, but because they think everyone else is going to be the same."
Silent Dusk slowly closed her book.
"It's scary, but I don't want to give up on them." Fluttershy gave a faint smile, "When they do get adopted, it always puts a smile on my face. They finally got a second chance to be happy."
Silent Dusk turned to Flutteryshy, "...Are you calling me a dog?"
Fluttershy immediately brought her hands up to defend herself, "N-No! I didn't m-mean it like that! I just-"
"I wouldn't mind helping them." Silent Dusk cut in, "With those kind of pets I mean. If that's...allowed anyways."
It took a moment for Sunset to regiester what was happening and quickly agreed, "Yes! I mean, that's completely fine with us!" She couldn't believe it, Silent Dusk was volunteering? It was a good sign! She took a step and nudged Applejack. When the farmer looked confused, she nodded towards Silent Dusk who was still talking with Fluttershy.
"Apologize," Sunset harshly whispered, "for the glove?"
Applejack's grimaced, but cleared her throat anyways.
Silent Dusk tensed again, but didn't turn from Fluttershy.
"Listen," Applejack began, her eyes darted to the floor and back to Silent Dusk as she picked her words carefully, "I'm awfully sorry about what I did. It wasn't right and I shouldn't have done it, 'specially when we don't know each other that well." When she didn't get a response, she continued, "I understand if you don't want to talk. Just know th-"
"Two cases." Silent Dusk interrupted and held up two fingers in front of her. She didn't turn, but Fluttershy smiled with glee in front of her anyways.
"Two cases..." Applejack snapped in realization, "Oh! Apple cider? Of course, ain't a problem at all!"
Silent Dusk nodded before returning to her conversation.
"So, what kind of pets are there?"
"Oh, we have all kinds. I can give you a tour of them this week, maybe we can even find a pet."
"Let's not get carried away..."
The others smiled at the scene before they left the room to Silent Dusk and Fluttershy. The clothes hung forgotten, but Rarity didn't miss the longing looks Silent Dusk kept giving the set of clothes. She made a mental note to give them to Sunset, surely she'll come around eventually.