>"...your faithful student, Sunset Shimmer"
>Another successful letter wrote to Princess Twilight.
>Sunset lifted her head up and stared at her wall.
>The magnificent , six-sided star cutie mark adorned a whole side of her room.
>Each point housed a different picture.
>A different memory that Sunset held dear and close.
>And in the middle was an important reminder.
>It was a photo of her, and Princess Twilight.
>Practically hugging each other.
>Sunset couldn't get the smell of her hair out of her mind for days afterwards.
>Just glancing at the photo brought that smell back to the surface.
>How she wished she could press her face deep into Twilight's mane and never turn away.
"Su-Sunset?" came a familiar sounding voice.
>Sunset turned in her chair to face the locked door.
>Where the voice was coming from.
>"Yeah?" Sunset replied.
>Slightly annoyed her alone time was interrupted.
"Just wanted to tell you dinner is ready"
>"Oh, okay just leave it by the door!"
>Silence for a moment.
>Then a small barely audible sigh.
>The sound of an object being placed softly on the carpeted floor was all Sunset could hear.
"It's your favorite"
>A lingering moment hung over Sunset as she could see a shadow stay from under the door.
>She tapped her pen to the side of her journal.
>The shadow walked disappeared.
>A huge weight felt like it was lifted off of Sunset's shoulders.
>She had more important things to do anyway.
>Sunset was the personal and number one student of the Princess of Friendship.
>It was like she had a connection with Twilight no one else on Earth did.
>She was special.
>And the warm tingle in her stomach made her feel extra "special" tonight.
>Blank, white pages lay before Sunset.
>As if they were cruelly mocking her with their empty space.
>Flipping back through the last few pages of the journal.
>Sunset saw all her thoughts, and words still pressed onto each page.
>The same sight she's been used to for weeks now.
>For being Princess Twilight's number one she sure was pretty lax about answering letters.
>She mindlessly clicked her pen and looked at her Twilight wall
>As soon as she saw Princess Twilight's bright and shining face she felt her worries slowly vanish.
>"Maybe she'll answer this time" Sunset had the giddiness of a schoolgirl.
>"Dear Princess Twilight." How she began every page in her special journal.
>"Hey, it's me again"
>"Your number one, best student in friendship training."
>"Although with how little you've wrote back to me these last few weeks makes me think you have other students besides me."
>"That's not a problem or anything!"
>"I just want you to realize I'm serious about this whole friendship thing."
>"You remember that alternate version of yourself?"
>"She's my girlfriend as I've probably told you, but her and I have become the best of friends."
>"And that gives me hope in my heart that we'll be even better friends than that."
>Sunset's stream of consciousness was interrupted by a knock on the door.
>"Yeah?" she answered annoyed.
"I figured if you weren't too busy...you'd want to watch a movie or something tonight" a demure voice spoke through the door.
>Sunset looked down at her current letter.
>It was nowhere near what she would usually send to the Princess.
>And what if she replied while she was in the middle of the movie?
>Sunset could miss her biggest chance to be part of something great.
"I...I..." whatever she was trying to spit out she wasn't having any luck finding the courage to say it.
"I...I did that thing to my hair"
"You said it'd fit me better..."
>It felt like lightning had struck Sunset.
>In the good way
>"Dear Princess Twilight"
>"What do you think love is?"
>"I mean, I know you have a princess for it there, but what does it really mean?"
>"Love seems to be when the mere thought of someone stays in your mind like it's glued there."
>"No matter what you do you can't stop thinking about them."
>"How they look, what they're doing, etc."
>"You feel something close to them."
>"It's like digging a hole because you want to plant a tree, but you ignore all the gems and junk you find.
>"Because you can't stop thinking about how wonderful that tree will look when it's fully grown"
>"Heh, listen to me."
>"I sound more like the Princess of Love's student than your's"
>"But that would never happen Twilight"
>"It is because of you I have a new lease on life."
>"So I will follow you to the ends of the Earth and Equestria if need be."
>"And I know you'd do the same for me."
>"We just have that kind of connection."
>"Feeling satisfied with her daily ritual.
>Sunset set her pen aside and longingly stared at the blank spots in her journal.
>She had a good feeling about today being the day Princess Twilight would write back.
>Nothing concrete, but just a lucky feeling.
>Smiling, Sunset pulled open a drawer beside her.
>She dug around until she found her prize.
>A crude looking, but soft feeling pony looking plush.
>That vaguely resembled Twilight.
>Sunset stroked the misshapen mane of the plush.
>Just like the real one
>Sunset stretched her arms up over her head.
>It was getting about time to hit the hay.
>If she had to guess it was past midnight at least.
>Another late night waiting for some sort of response back from Twilight.
>Tomorrow's a new day at least.
>The tired girl stood from her seat and made her way over to the door.
>Carefully she grabbed the handle and slowly turned it open.
>She stepped out into the dark hall.
>"We should really get some night lights" Sunset thought.
>Using her key she locked the door behind her as quietly as possible.
>Sunset felt a cold wave chill her entire body.
>She would always try to do everything in her power to prevent this.
>But some nights her luck just runs out.
>Turning around her face was assaulted by a bright light.
>As her eyes adjusted she saw it was only the small flashlight on a phone.
>The light reflected back to the owner and revealed a very sleepy looking Twilight.
>It looked like she was wearing a hoodie as Sunset couldn't fully see her hair.
>Just some bits and pieces.
"You coming to bed soon?"
>"Yeah, I'll be there in a minute"
>Both girls just stood there awkwardly for a minute more.
"O...Okay" Twilight said as she turned back around towards the bedroom.
>Sunset swore she saw her glance back at the door to her private room.
>Despite giving her a weird feeling she just shook it off.
>And finished locking the door.
>Tomorrow was always another day.
>"Dear Princess Twilight"
>"Me again, but you probably knew that."
>"No one else has been using this book to send you messages that I know of"
>"Heh, that's a little joke"
>"Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about trust."
>"In your circle of friends is there a certain level of trust between you all?"
>"Do you understand how the other feels most of the time?"
>"I imagine a strong trustful bond is the foundation to any good friendship"
>"It's why I figured I'd get to know the Princess of Friendship's thoughts on it"
>"The other girls they don't really care about this sort of thing."
>"But it's all I can think about."
>"Friendship, friendship, and even more friendship."
>"The girls, like I said, don't seem to care."
>"If I trust you enough to put my faith into you that should be enough for them right?"
>"Why don't they see what I see, Twilight?"
>"Don't they trust me?"
>Once again Sunset's private time was put on hold.
>"What?" the vitriol in her voice made obvious for Twilight to hear.
"It's...it's Rainbow on the phone"
>"...What the hell does she want?"
>The sound of a soft sniffle mumbled through the door.
"She...she just wants an apology Sunset."
>A painfully long silence passed them both by.
>"I don't care"
>"What part of "I don't care" did you not understand?" Sunset yelled through the door.
>"How about you tell her if she keeps bothering me about this I'll make her other eye match!"
>Her voice seemed to make the entire room quake.
>But she could still hear the sniffles slightly through the door.
>Sunset thought she heard Twilight say something else before she walked away.
>But she just chopped it up to the adrenaline high she was on.
>At least she had Princess Twilight on her side.
>No matter what.
>Days had blurred into weeks.
>Still no message back from Princess Twilight
>There was still an inkling of hope.
>A bitter ember that refused to die inside Sunset.
>With her makeshift plushie on her lap.
>She decided to flip through the journal and reread letters she had wrote.
>It was a good way to kill time.
>As she skimmed over the last few pages, the memories of when she wrote those letters filled her up like a beaming balloon.
>Truly she felt at peace when writing.
>The thought that her words were being looked at by Princess Twilight's eyes.
>Well, that was worth any wait.
>But as her eyes fell upon the most recent letter.
>She noticed something not quite right.
>Something was off.
>She didn't remember writing that much last night.
>Upon a closer look.
>The writing was more organized.
>More evenly spaced.
>Like a machine had wrote it.
>Sunset's heart threatened to burst from her chest.
>If someone violated her most sacred item then there would be hell to pay.
>But like a cat near a fish bowl, curiosity got the best of her.
>It was nowhere near as long as one of her usual letters.
>Another giveaway that someone's tampered with things.
>But Sunset swallowed her hatred for now and continued on.
"Dear Princess Twilight."
"I don't know much about you, but I feel like who we are in our universes should tell me all I need to know.
"We're both awkward, clumsy, nerds who somehow managed to make mistakes our great achievements"
"And that's our burden"
"We will continue to make mistakes until the inevitable death of the universe."
"I made a huge mistake recently."
"I held out hope that love would conquer all."
"That as long as I was there and gave unconditional love my love would grow strong."
"Instead she grew more bitter, and more angry"
"And after finding this journal, I see she's grown obsessed with you."
"When you see these notes I know they will shock you at first, but remember that there is a good girl deep down inside Sunset."
"However, I fear she's too far gone for hope."
"She needs someone else besides you or me."
"She needs help"
"And how you loaded that burden onto us will forever be your mistake Princess."
"By now I imagine she's found this particular note and is possibly fuming about her privacy being invaded or something."
"She doesn't need to worry about that happening anymore."
"Because by the time she reads this I will be long gone out of both of your lives."
"Maybe this is my next grand mistake."
"Maybe it isn't"
"Only time will tell"
>A chill crept up Sunset's chest.
"Sunset, I loved you with every ounce of my being"
"Above everything else, you were my best friend"
"I wish you nothing but happiness"
"I hope it finds you"
"With love, Twilight Sparkle"
>The room felt like it was shrinking.
>Sunset's eyes widened as her breathing picked up the pace.
>Throwing the plush to the side, Sunset bounded from her chair and stumbled out into the hallway.
>"Twilight!" she screamed.
>But was greeted with silence.
>She barged into the bedroom.
>Desperately she ran to the dresser and yanked them open.
>Hoping to see anything that looked like Twilight's.
>All of them.
>Nothing but the sounds of silence whistling in the nonexistent breeze.
>Sunset sat down at the foot of the bed.
>Her hand grabbed a small wad of something soft.
>Dark purple strands clumped in the palm of her hand.
>Sunset held them like one would a pet and snuggled it against her cheek.
>They smelled comforting.
>As close as it can be to the real thing.
>Without a doubt.
>The crystal hallways were a refreshing sight to behold.
>Although any sight that wasn't a nationwide crisis at this point was refreshing, especially to the Princess of Friendship.
>The purple alicorn gently trotted along.
>Noting how everything looked exactly as when she left a few months back.
"Starlight and Spike sure did better than I thought they would" she mumbled to herself.
"I should treat them to dinner tomorrow"
>As she rounded the corner to her study.
>That's when she started to hear a low buzzing noise.
>Almost like a familiar buzz.
"Like from that other wor-"
>The princess of friendship felt her stomach do a back flip.
>With hooves of lightning, she charged through the door of her study.
>Where on her desk was the still vibrating and still pulsating purple journal.
>The one with the red and yellow sun adorning the cover.
>She hurried to it and quickly pulled up a seat.
>Planting herself down she used her magic to open the cover to the first page.
>"Dear Princess Twilight."
>"I guess this is my first official letter as your student isn't it?"
>"My stomach feels like it's covered in knots."
>"And as I'm writing the pen feels like it's going to slip away due to how sweaty my fingers feel."
>"But you know what?"
>"This is my calling."
>"To be your friendship student."
>"Thank you again Princess."
>"I promise you won't be disappointed."
>"Your faithful student, Sunset Shimmer"
>The nerves inside Twilight's stomach started to unravel.
>Maybe things didn't go as far South as she thought they would.
>She grabbed a quill from her side and prepared to write a message back.
>But that's when she noticed there wasn't space for one.
>It was another letter she had wrote the very next day.
>At least that's what it looked like.
"Well...I guess it wouldn't hurt to reply on the next empty spot."
"Right?" Twilight asked herself rhetorically.
>"Dear Princess Twilight"
>After reading her own name countless times in a row.
>She started to not recognize it.
>It blended in with the other words.
>All of Sunset's letters flowed from one ending into the new one's beginning.
>"Dear Princess Twilight."
>"What's it like living in a castle?"
>"Dear Princess Twilight."
>"What's your favorite color?"
>The first dozen or letters were full of questions like that.
>Like an overzealous child writing to their favorite celebrity
>But still nothing to worry too much about.
>Twilight however, noticed as more letters went on, the more Sunset's writing took on a certain..."tone"
>The questions were starting to become more personal.
>Her statements regarded her alternate self were like she was mentioning a passing rain.
>A can she collected on the side of the road.
>When Sunset brought up herself though.
>The most beautiful and flowery expressions were used.
>Like she wasn't even talking about a pony, but the elegant idea behind her.
>Each page turn was faster than the last one.
>Twilight continued to skim through the increasingly disturbing letters.
>The knots in her stomach starting to tie themselves back together..
>"What is love?"
>"What is trust?"
>"What is my purpose?"
>Just when she couldn't handle one more existential question.
>Twilight came across a page in the Journal not all the way filled.
>There was only one letter in the middle of the page.
>Shorter than the other ones for sure.
>The writing looked different than usual.
>More like hers.
>But it started out like all the others.
>"Dear Princess Twilight."
"With Love, Twilight Sparkle"
>Thoughts failed Twilight.
>Words failed Twilight.
>Whatever she wanted to express after reading that last letter.
>It never came to her.
>Was her other self right?
>Did she put too much on Sunset from the get go?
>Trying to make sense of her dopplerganger's words.
>A rogue memory rose to the surface in Twilight's mind.
>It was back when she was called to the other world to defeat the sirens.
>With Sunset Shimmer's help of course.
>The day she was so proud and elated of the journey Sunset had undertook.
>She made her a friendship student on the spot.
>Twilight had never seen a more joyous looking face in her life.
>She embraced Twilight in a wet hug.
>One of her arms wrapped around her back.
>Gently massaging her new teacher.
>Sunset turned her head so her forehead was slightly pressed against Twilight's cheek.
>She sobbed into Twilight's hair.
>A happy student.
>Flashing back to the present though.
>That memory takes on an entirely new meaning.
>Twilight's heart was like a massive drum pounding in her ears.
>Just hoping this was all just a really bad dream.
>The glow and low-droning sound coming from the journal proved that wrong however.
>Practically heaving the journal open once more with her own hooves rather than magic.
>She quickly returned to the page with the last letter once more.
>Nothing new on that page.
>But there was a faint glimpse of something new beneath the words.
>Flipping one more page.
>That's where she found what appeared to be a new letter.
>Starting out a little different than all the other letters in this journal.
>"Love makes you do some pretty crazy things doesn't it?"
>"Your love kept you from leaving, but my love pushed you away""
>"I know the last few months weren't the best."
>"And I know I wasn't the best either"
>"No one ever gave me a second chance before."
>"Usually at the first sign of any trouble I'd be tossed to the side."
>"Like yesterday's news."
>"It happened with Celestia, and Flash, and it almost happened to our friends."
>"Until Princess Twilight showed up and saw there was something worth saving."
>"You were the same Twi."
>"When I helped you control Midnight you helped me realize that I wasn't useless."
>"That someone could care about me even with all I've done wrong."
>"I honestly didn't know what to say and I kick myself everyday since then for not letting you know how much I care about you Twi"
>"But now you're gone, and...and I'm starting to think Princess Twilight is gone from my life too.
>"I'm still that scared little filly, cold and wet, on the streets of Canterlot trying to scavenge her next meal."
>"Trying to just survive."
>"But now I have no one."
>Princess Twilight put her hoof in front of her mouth and bit her tongue.
>Tears were pooling in the corners of her eyes.
>This was getting worse every passing minute.
>"I have no idea if you'll even see this letter Twi and..."
>"There was a pause in the writing.
>Small dark circles were showing up on the page beside the writing.
>Twilight panicked and brushed her cheeks on her arms to wipe away anymore tears.
>But strangely, her tears hadn't begun to fall.
>Her cheeks were bone dry.
>Twilight continued on through the pause.
>"If by some chance you do though."
>"Your legacy isn't making mistakes;"
>"Everyone makes mistakes and like you said so does the Princess of Friendship"
>"I should have told you how pretty you looked, how beautiful your eyes sparkled in the sunlight, how soft your hair was, the love I felt being in your arms.
>"...I took that for granted"
>"I miss you Twi."
>"A day won't go by where I won't think of you."
>"You'll always be a part of me."
>"And I'm sorry that I'll always be a part of you."
>"I'm so, so sorry."
>" Yours forever, Sunset Shimmer <3"
>Everything but the kitchen sink swarmed Twilight's mind like an angry hornet's nest.
>She quickly picked up a quill and hovered it over the empty space besides Sunset's letter.
>There had to be someway to make this all better.
>Some words of comfort or an explanation about everything.
>So Sunset wouldn't feel so alone.
>But, nothing came to mind.
>Nothing felt genuine coming from her.
>Not in this situation.
>She had caused it.
>This was all her fault.
>This was her big mistake.
>Just like the other Twilight said.
>In Twilight's heart there was only one thing she could write down that was 100% true.
>A feeling that deep down even she can't deny it.
>With the quill still in her magic, she wrote just two simple words.
>Two simple words that could fix anything, or nothing.
>But that didn't matter because they came straight from her heart.
"Dear Twilight Sparkle, and Sunset Shimmer."
>She wiped her eyes and without a second thought.
>Closed the journal and left the room.
>Shutting and locking the door behind her.
>She held her hoof up against the door.
>And leaned her head towards it.
>Letting out silent tears.