>Another day, another morning at CHS.
>And where there was another morning you were certain to find the one and only, Sunset Shimmer.
>Greeting the day as a new opportunity to do something right.
>Which was why she was walking with her dear friends, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash, to their next class.
>Talking about important school related things
>"So, Soarin tells him to stick it where.the sun don't shine." Dash laughed as she told the story.
>However Applejack rolled her eyes harder than a dung beetle during chili season..
"Rainbow, we know what happened"
"Me an' Sunset were kinda there" her eyebrow raised as Dash just continued to laugh to herself.
>"But you should have seen Spitfire tear him a new asshole afterwards." she wiped a tear away from her eye.
>Clearly enjoying the suffering of others.
>Applejack lightly smacked the top of her head.
>As Sunset lightly shook her head.
>How they stayed friends no one really knows.
>Dash's laughter suddenly came to a halt.
>Sunset saw Rainbow's eyes fixate towards something at the end of the hall.
>"Speaking of trainwrecks, here comes your sperg now Sunset" a hint of malice coated her words as Sunset's eyes widened just a little bit.
>Wild, messy hair like the color of fallen leaves.
>The ugliest, greenest, and way too biggest sweater.
>Normal gray sweatpants marked with drying sweat stains.
>And to make the outfit complete, the beaming smile that could rival a lion.
>Sunset instantly knew who it was as soon as she saw that smile.
>The girl's sweatered sleeve waved frantically at the gaggle of girls.
>Then without blinking she made off in a mad dash towards them.
>Sleeve still waving in the breeze.
"Hey-Hey Sunset!" the excited girl's voice echoed down the hall.
"It's me, your best friend, your pal, your amigo, your compadr-" In the middle of her sentence she failed to notice her shoelace was untied.
>Her shoulder collided with the tile floor as her arm scraped alongside.
>Sunset rushed to the poor girl's side.
>While Rainbow Dash just laughed.
>"Jeez Autumn, I always tell you to make sure those shoes stay tied for a reason." Sunset scolded the floored girl.
>She looked over her arm and a wicked bad bruise was already starting to form on her shoulder.
>Autumn turned her arm towards her face.
>To inspect the wound.
"Wow that's a pretty shade of purple, what shade do you think that would be?"
"Lavender, lilac, mulberry, wine?" the words continued to pour out of her mouth.
>As if this was just another day for Autumn.
>She poked the bruise with her finger.
"Ow, hurts more like a periwinkle if I'm being honest here" she giggled to herself.
>Already Sunset had been fed her daily quota of Autumn and it wasn't even lunch yet.
>Pinching the bridge of her nose as she let out a sigh, she continued to stare at Autumn.
>And she stared back like an energetic puppy.
>"...You were running at me because...?" she tried to get the conversation back on track.
>The lights finally came on in Autumn's head.
>She gasped like a fish desperately trying to get some air.
"Oh gosh, I'm so sorry Sunset you know how awful of a scatterbrain I am." she put her hand on Sunset's shoulder.
"I get that from my mom...or was it my Aunt?"
"Nono, she was the one who got Nana's knobby knees." she drew her hand back and looked up towards the ceiling.
>Thinking back through her family's medical history.
"All I know is don't give my dad anything spicy because my mom said he got "a plastic bag colon" from my grandpa-"
>"Autumn!" Sunset raised her voice.
>It was the only surefire way to get her back on track.
>The rambling girl in the green sweater softened her expression.
>She shook her head and went back to smiling.
"Right right, sorry Sunset." she began to dig into the pockets of her sweatpants until she found her prize.
>A crumpled piece of green construction paper.
>Quickly she unfurled it and handed it over to s Sunset.
>"Autumn Blaze's Birthday Bash?"
>Sunset's eyes glanced over the piece of paper.
>A crudely drawn house with a smiling Sun hanging over it adorned the middle of the page.
>Stick figures of what one could only assume as other people.
>All on thicker than normal, green construction paper.
>Sunset was surprised it wasn't caked in glitter.
"Yupsi-doodle!" the spirited ball of energy and sweater said.
"Had to get my mom's help to mail out everyone's invite." she rubbed the back of her neck with her sweater sleeve.
"Heh, she didn't trust me not to get my head stuck in the mailbox again." she admitted plain as day.
>The look on Sunset's face said it all.
>As did the look on Autumn's
>But for once she wasn't gushing out all the details of whatever happened.
"It's a...uhh long story-Anyway!" she clapped her sleeves together.
"I figured I'd hand deliver your's since we're the bestest of best super spectacular buddy buddies!" her saccharine attitude was so overabundant it was practically sickening..
>A snicker came from behind Sunset as she swore she heard Dash whisper something.
>"Huh, forgot it was today" was all Sunset said.
>Then she caught a look of Autumn's bright and shining face.
>Her smile extruded pure glee, but her eyes clearly said "Please say you're coming"
>Without missing a beat, Sunset found the courage to speak in spite of an urge not to.
>"Wouldn't miss it for the world though!" she flashed a big, toothy grin Autumn's way.
>You would have thought someone was blowing a pile of dog whistles with how high-pitched Autumn's squee of joy was.
>But for Sunset, this was just another Friday.
>Without warning, Autumn shot from the floor and ran away down the hall.
>She nearly tripped once more before rounding another corner, but she managed to steady herself.
>Even with her shoelaces still untied.
>Rainbow burst out laughing.
>"I-I can't Sunset."
>"I-haha-nearly pissed myself when she gave you that invite." Rainbow clutched her sides.
>Sunset looked over the invite again.
>Thankfully she already had a general idea where Autumn's house was.
>"D-Don't tell me you're actually thinking about going Sunset." Dash wiped another chuckle from her mouth.
>That small question did hit a small nerve as Sunset quickly turned her head back towards Dash and Applejack.
>There was a small part of Sunset that didn't want to go.
>But she just chalked it up to peer pressure jitters.
"Why wouldn't I go?" she asked.
>Sunset saw the two girls share a look of confusion
>She should have seen this coming.
>"You do know who that was right?"
"...Yeah?" Sunset shrugged.
>Rainbow mimicked the overzealous hand waving Autumn was just doing a few moments ago.
>"Autty Autumn." she spoke as if that was supposed to mean anything to Sunset.
>"The spaz in the sweater."
>"Scatterbrain Sweatstain." another nickname rattled off by Dash.
>Before another word could be uttered though.
>Applejack gently brought her elbow back and let it find a nice home in Dash's stomach.
>Knocking the wind out of her temporarily.
>"Ah think what Rainbow is tryin' to say is that girl does carry a bit of a reputation, Sunset."
>"Ah mean, this is the girl not even Pinkie could get a full party for." she crossed her arms as she glared at Rainbow.
>Who was still holding her sides and coughing.
>"Literally-cough-only her and Pinkie were at her Welcome-versary-cough" she managed to spit out.
>There in Sunset's stomach a small glow appeared.
>But when she noticed it Sunset knew her mind was already made up.
"Well, that's not going to happen again." Sunset spoke with fierce conviction.
>"Have fun...Ah guess?" and as soon as Applejack said those words.
>Sunset was off out of the school.
>Ignoring Rainbow Dash's continued coughs of disapproval
>Eyes moved back and forth between the invite and reality.
>Sunset didn't know whether or not Autumn wasn't good at drawing or secretly Picasso.
>The simple, brown, two-story house was actually surprisingly well translated into crayon on the invite.
>But there will be other times to admire artistic skills.
>Sunset slipped the invite into her pocket and approached the front door.
>With a steady hand, she knocked on the wooden frame.
>Almost instantaneously Sunset heard an excited gasp from the other side.
>The door swung open, and there on the other side was Autumn.
>Looking exactly the same as when she was at school.
>Except the sweat stains on her pants were in different spots.
>But her sweater was still as green and as big as ever.
>However, upon Autumn's face, Sunset found the latest edition to her wardrobe.
>A red spiraling scribble moving in a figure-eight motion on her right cheek.
>The image drew itself closer as Sunset realized Autumn had wrapped her up in a bear hug.
"Oh my gosh, Sunset's here yay!" her shrill voice drilled into her eardrums.
>Autumn dropped the hug as Sunset proceeded to unwrinkle her now wrinkled shirt.
"Not that I didn't think you were coming it was just when I saw you I was like "Ah" and you were like "Ah!" and I got really really excited and when I get excited I get kind of huggy."
>"I can tel-" before Sunset could finish her thought Autumn invaded her personal space once again.
"Is that for me? she pointed towards a small, rectangular box Sunset had in her bag.
"Sunset, did you get me a present?" she gasped once more as she hopped in place.
>"Heh, it's just a little something I thought you'd lik-" Sunset held out the gift and as quick as she did Autumn grabbed the present from her.
"Daww, you shouldn't have Sunset."
"You being here is gift enough" Autumn threw her arm around Sunset and put her hand on her shoulder.
>Sunset tried to hide the small smile that appeared on her face.
"...Can I open it though?" Autumn shook the box around in her hand.
>A faint jingle sound could be heard.
>"I don't see why no-" it took only took a simple movement of her hand and the lid was popped off.
>Autumn gasped loudly again.
>Same as the other times before.
>Inside the box was a shiny, sparkling necklace.
>It glinted under the Sun and its silver color was soothing on the eyes.
>To Autumn though it was one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen.
>At least that's what the look on her face felt like to Sunset.
>Resting in the center of the necklace was a little golden dragon ornament.
>Which Autumn quickly realized as her fingers held it gently.
>Her pupils looking like shining stars.
>Sunset was still smiling.
>"It goes well with that dragon folder you have."
>The girl in the sweater pursed her lips as her expression was still in awe.
"...My dragon folder?"
"You...you remember that?"
>Sunset simply shrugged.
>"Not the finer details you probably gave, but yeah, I remember you said something about it."
>If Autumn had a tail, Sunset was certain it'd be wagging like a puppy.
>It's like it was her birthday or something.
>She shook her head as she resumed her lion-like smile.
"Come in, come in, Sunset." Autumn stepped to the side of the door and invited Sunset inside.
"Sorry we kind of got the meat of the party underway before you even got here." Autumn pointed to the swirl on her cheek.
"The guests were getting kind of rowdy so I'd figure we bust out the facepaint."
"It works like a charm. " smiled Autumn smugly.
>"Wait" Sunset spoke as she entered the home.
>"Other people are here?" her hopes rising a little bit.
>Autumn nodded confidently
"Well, just the one person for now, but you gotta watch out she can be a downright party animal." she nudged Sunset's shoulder as they walked into the living room.
"Isn't that right Nana Blaze?" her eyes fell upon a form sitting by an empty table accentuated by red balloons.
>The shape slouched in the chair did not move an inch.
>Snow white hair draped down from her head.
>Age was seeping out of her numerous wrinkles.
>The years had not been kind to her appearance.
>Sunset heard a sound that she thought was the accumulated dust in her mouth being coughed out.
>Autumn giggled in response.
"Oh Nana, you're such a card"
>Nana Blaze made another odd sound like a wooden step creaking.
>A shade of red fell upon Autumn's smiling cheeks.
>Her teeth gritted as her pupis shrank.
"...Haha, that's...probably not something you should talk about with Sunset in the room." she nervously shifted her eyes back and forth between Sunset, the floor, and her Nana.
>"What did she say?" the now very confused Sunset asked.
"...Please don't make me say it" her face flushed deeper as she tried to will herself out of existence.
>"Autumn." she injected her mother-like tone into her words as she crossed her arms.
>With a loud gulp.
"I'll tell you after birthday cake okay?" she leaned towards Sunset.
"Nana has really good ears for being ninety-two."
"But also the cake will be delicious because I made it with love."
>She leaned in to whisper once again.
"And tons and tons of butter" Autumn's infectiously happy grin still plastered on her face.
>What a silly girl.
>"Fine, let me head to the bathroom and we'll get going on some..." Sunset looked around at the living room.
>Trash was scattered about the carpeted floors.
>Empty cans and plastic plates were piled high in a corner.
>Like a monument of garbage.
>"...You have a bathroom right?" Sunset asked with hope in her heart.
"Psssh, of course we do!" she raised her finger down a dimly lit hall.
"Last door on the left."
"Just uhh, watch your step" she spoke cautiously.
"I mean, I know this place like the back of my sweater, but even I don't know what's down there sometimes."
>Sunset's heart dropped down out of her chest and to the floor.
>The girl in the green sweater couldn't keep a straight face.
>She busted out laughing and snickering like it was the funniest joke in the world.
"I can't believe you bought that!." she wheezed in between laughs.
>Soon she calmed down after wiping away another tear from her eye with her sleeve.
>"...So it's down that hall?"
>Autumn's face softened instantaneously as she saw Sunset's weirded out expression.
"Ye-Yeah, just watch your step for real though."
>Sunset walked to the entrance of the short hallway.
"What have I told you about trying to spike the punch?" Sunset heard shouted from behind her.
>With a quick sigh she quickly found her edge once again.
>She just needed a bathroom.
>Carefully she stepped through the still piles of garbage.
>While convincing herself anything that was small, black, and moving was just her eyes playing tricks on her.
>All of a sudden she began to hear a muffled noise to her right.
>Just before the bathroom there was another door.
>This one was shut tight, but as Sunset approached it the muffled sounds grew louder.
>It was yelling.
"Get the fuck off my back you bitch!"
>And just like that, Sunset was frozen in place.
>She couldn't move if she wanted.
>"Keep your goddamn voice down!"
>"You're going to ruin Autumn's party!"
"Pssh, you call that a party?"
>"Don't you fucking sta-"
"What am I going to start?"
"About the fact that Autumn is almost eighteen and I've had to get her head unstuck from more places than anyone should have to?"
"Or how about how she has no friends huh?"
>"She's a late bloomer that's al-"
"You can't keep defending her!"
"Sooner or later you have to accept facts!"
>"Oh yeah, what are you trying to say you miserable bastard?"
"Our daughter's a fucking loser!
>Words could not express anything Sunset was going through.
>The voice practically rumbled the house with it's ferocity .
>"...Do..do you like the play they're rehearsing?" Sunset heard a faint sniffle from behind.
>Pained words traveled on hush lips.
>Sunset slowly turned her head behind her.
>Around CHS, there was always one thing positive people would say about Autumn.
>Despite the mannerisms, scatterbrain personality, and even the clothes she wears.
>Her bright and beaming smile was infectious.
>Like an innocent child who just found a bag of candy or a dollar bill.
>But those feelings are lost as Sunset looks upon Autumn now.
>Gone was the happy shining beacon of light.
>Replaced by sorrow.
>She lifted one of her sleeves up to her eyes and wiped the pooling tears.
"It's c-called "We're a Normal, Happy Family and...and...and..." Autumn trailed off.
>Her knees slumped to dirt gray carpet.
>Sunset took off in a flash to her side, but also avoiding making too much noise.
>She knelt down in front of the dejected Autumn.
>But words failed her.
>Autumn sobbed and sniffled.
>Another tear rolled down her cheek.
>Smearing the face paint into an unrecognizable glob on her cheek.
"I'm sorry" her chest heaved as her hushed words rang around Sunset.
>In that a moment something inside Sunset clicked.
>The light inside pushed her on.
>She hugged Autumn in a tight grip.
>Letting her tears fall on her jacket's shoulder.
>Her body shuddered and trembled in Sunset's hands.
>Autumn lifted her head off of Sunset and looked into her eyes.
"You...should probably go, Sunset" her voice broke slightly.
>Sunset gazed back into Autumn's wet, messy face.
>Then took a quick look back to the door where the voices were still shouting.
>There was a chilling realization.
>All she could do was just comfort.
>Be a friend.
>Sunset's shoulders rose and fell with a heavy sigh.
>She helped Autumn off the floor and carefully walked her back to the party area.
>Neither girl said a word.
>Nana Blaze's snoring was the only sound in the room.
>So Sunset grabbed a nearby dusty blanket and covered Autumn with the clean side.
>Cleaner of the two.
>Before leaving, she made sure her giftbox was right where Autumn could find it.
>Right next to her on the table with red frosted cupcakes.
>She waved at Autumn and tried to muster up a happy face.
>The poor girl weakly waved back through the blanket.
>With lead in her steps and sorrow in her heart, Sunset turns to the door.
>However before her hand could turn the doorknob, a meek voice spoke up.
"Wil-Will I see you tomorrow?"
>Sunset turned over to the couch where Autumn was sitting.
>Innocence still radiating out of her very core.
>That part of her oddly gave Sunset hope.
>In some weird way.
>A warm smile appeared on Sunset's face.
>Words did not fail her that time.
>Autumn sniffled once more, but the faintest glimpse of a grin could be seen.
>The blanketed ball turned on her side.
"...Thank you Sunset"
>And with that, she turned the doorknob and exited the home.
>Conscience still heavy.
>Mind still in a daze.
>What could she do?
>No idea yet.
>But she'll think of something.
>She always does.
>Home is where the heart is.
>But for Sunset it is where her bed lives.
>Not to mention her incredibly supportive girlfriend, Twilight Sparkle.
>They were the yin to each other's yang.
>Sunset felt like they could conquer the world together.
>Or at the very least, explore it.
>Her thoughts drift back to Autumn.
>Maybe her and Twilight could think of something.
>Something to let Autumn know she's not alone.
>Sunset could feel her gut beginning to catch ablaze with passion.
>Her mind latched onto the "birthday party" Autumn threw.
>That is when the little lightbulb went off above her head.
>All she needed now was a pair of helping hands.
>Sunset turned into her apartment complex's parking lot.
>Something immediately stood out to her.
>A familiar car was parked in where Sunset usually parks.
>A sleek, asphalt gray.
>Very top of the line.
>On the bumper was a small graphic of a cluster of three diamonds.
>"Rarity's here?" Sunset asked herself and looked down at her phone.
>No new messages.
>No missed calls.
>"Huh..." she muttered.
>Sunset didn't recall Twilight talking about any plans with Rarity today.
>An odd feeling usurped the passion in her gut.
>Feeling gross, and green.
>"Maybe it was just a last second thing." she rationalized.
>Walking to her front door.
>She feels a strange instinct to lean her ear against the door.
>She stood there.
>As if waiting to see if she was being hunt by a wild beast.
>Listening to the first sign of trouble.
>But, thankfully there was no sounds coming from beyond the door.
>That put her heart slightly at ease.
>Without worry, she pushed open her door and was greeted with her favorite sight.
>She kicked her boots off and placed them in the corner by Twilight's pair.
>Her eyes focused on her couch.
>It was calling to her.
>The call was too mighty.
>So Sunset let herself fall into its soft embrace.
>She loved doing that.
>But a sudden poking in her back made her sit straight up.
>"Ow." she grunted.
>Her hand reaching behind her to find out the source of the discomfort.
>She felt it between her fingers and pulled it into her line of sight.
>A diamond-shaped amethyst earring.
>There was no doubt about it.
>"Just like-" her ears perked up as she heard the slight sound of giggling.
>Her head turned towards her room.
>The giggle made itself apparent once more.
>A tenseness filled Sunset's very being.
>Carefully, she eases herself off the couch and steadily begins to head towards her room.
>The giggling turning into almost steady laughter.
>Nearly right outside the door.
>That's when she heard it.
>Sunset's pupils shrank as her now trembling hand pushed open her bedroom door.
>Slowly, the creak was like nails grinding upon Sunset's soul.
>Her eyes fell to the floor.
>Clothes strewned about the room
>Some she recognized and other bits she wished she didn't see.
>Her heart was thudding against her chest.
>Her breath was short and raspy.
>The giggling and moaning had ceased.
>Silence replaced the tenseness.
>A shadow cast upon solely that room.
>On Sunset's bed, underneathe the covers, was Sunset's gf and bf Twilight Sparkle.
>Clutching the blanket close to her chest.
>Her hair a royal mess.
>Cheeks flushed bright red.
>Twilight was laser focused on Sunset.
>Who was still standing dumbfounded in the doorway.
>So focused she didn't budge when the second form under the covers revealed itself.
>Bone white skin.
>Frazzled, messy purple hair.
>Holding the blanket above her mouth.
>As if too ashamed to lift it down any further.
>It was Rarity.
>A dear friend.
>Sunset immediately felt her stomach turn inside out.
>She fell to her hands and knees.
>Puking until her throat was raw.
>Unable to grasp the reality of the situation.
>She heaved and convulsed as her thoughts grew twisted.
>Rarity and Twilight turning her home, their home, into a nightmare.
>This was hell
>Pure vitrol spewed forth from her mouth.
>Her insides were on fire
>She couldn't get her footing on the carpet.
>So she shambled and slunk into the bathroom.
>Face smacking on the edge of the sink.
>Her forehead was throbbing.
>But she didn't care.
>She turned the cold tap on the sink.
>Trying to prevent more of her from coming out.
>Cupping her hands together she splashed the refreshing mist against her steaming face.
>Wiping it dry and clean with a convienent towel placed nearby.
>Quick, jagged breaths came from her mouth as her thoughts ran wild.
>Something caught her eyes in the mirror.
>Purple, very purple.
>Without even turning around.
>Her insides twisted, but her tone was calm.
>The girl standing over the sink put her hand up.
>Refusing to make eye contact even in the mirror.
>Desperation plagued the air.
>And rage was the tinder around Sunset's feet.
>"I'm only going to ask once"
>The moment lingered.
>But Sunset never turned around.
>Didn't make eye contact.
>Her heart wouldn't let her.
>In the mirror, Sunset saw some movement.
>Before she could turn around she heard the door open.
"I'm so sorry, Sunset" came a hushed whisper as hasty footsteps traveled to her front door.
>A soft close is the last thing she heard.
>Her stomach still in knots.
>The bitter taste of betrayal stuck on her tongue.
>Her eyes refused to look away from the mirror.
>Sunset noticed how dark and baggy they were.
>How the light reflects off them.
>What she saw didn't feel real to her.
>Her trembling hands gripping the sides of the sink.
>Knuckles turning white.
>Teeth grinding against one another.
>There was nothing to do.
>Suddenly her pants pocket was vibrating.
>There was nothing more she wanted to do than ignore it.
>But thinking about anything else was truly a godsend.
>She reached into her pocket and held the phone up to her face.
>"Rainbow Dash" it said with a picture of a rainbow haired girl giving a thumbs-up.
>She thought for a moment whether or not she should answer it.
>Sunset shrugged and pressed "answer"
>"Hey" Sunset's greeting was weak.
"Wassup?" Dash's annoying voice came through the speaker.
"You still at ole sweaty sweatpants?"
>Even Sunset couldn't have a moment of despair in peace it seems.
>"Something came up and Autumn had to move the party back a bit."
"Did someone die?" Dash snort laughed.
>"Rainbow Dash" Sunset said with her annoyed motherly tone the girls were all too familiar with.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding"
"So..." she paused.
"Pinkie and I were thinking about hanging out."
"Doing some cool stuff maybe."
"You in?" Rainbow asked.
>There was another lull in the conversation.
>Before she knew it, Sunset realized she was looking away from the mirror.
>Into her bedroom.
>Her bed a mess.
>But not a single item of clothing left on the floor.
>Except for that damn earring.
>Left on Sunset's nightstand.
>As if it were mocking her.
>To remind her that her entire world was just rocked only a few moments ago.
"You in or what?
>Dash impatiently asked.
>Sunset's fire sparked a little higher in that moment.
>"Yeah, alright, sure." the certainity not one-hundred percent, but Dash didn't seem to notice.
"Meet us down at 'The White Rhino' in fifteen"
>"Yeah, I will"
"Sweet, later Sunset"
>Sunset hung up and sat down on the edge of her bed.
>Forehead still throbbing.
>Heart still pounding.
>Stomach still knotting.
>But, maybe this is what she needs.
>A night out with friends never hurt anyone.