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Com - Chill In The Pool by HomunculusLover

As this picture features a lot of elements that you haven't done before, I'll start by talking about that. I have, on occasion, dabbled...

Call My Name by RedApropos

As with many MLP fan-art, I give a great deal of credit to those who are able to make their work look and feel like the style of the so...

Fall of the Moon by Ookami-95

I’ve made it known in past critiques that I give a great deal of admiration to those whose fan arts have been able to capture the look ...

Fluttershy by Underpable

When it comes to fan-art, I’ve often given credit to images that are able to capture the feel and look of the source material. Here, wh...


The school's bell had long since been rung, and as such, many of the rooms of Canterlot High now lay vacant. Students of all stripes were busying themselves with their daily trek home, and those who were not had taken to simply lounging around the outside of the school, catching up with one another. One of the notable exceptions to this was in the school's music room. This place was known around the whole campus as one of the favourite hang-out spots of the school's local heroines, the Rainbooms. But today, it was not that group that was using it. Instead, it was simply Sunset Shimmer, and her former enemy, Adagio Dazzle. The latter was leaning against the wall, her arms folded as she regarded the former. After some silence between them, Sunset finally turned to her, her guitar in hand.

"You ready?"

The Siren smirked at that, standing tall and placing her hands upon her hips.

"Always, dear."

Sunset smiled back at that, and stood still as Adagio got herself ready. The Siren raised her hand to her throat, clearing it somewhat before taking a few deep breaths. With that done, she turned to Sunset, giving her a short nod, which the latter returned soon afterwards. Placing her fingers upon her guitar strings, Sunset stroked them once, letting out a single tone. As she looked back up to her companion, she watched as Adagio opened her mouth, letting out a long note of her own. It was, in all honesty, not as enchanting or stable a sound as what her voice once was. And yet, it was a vast improvement over the poor singing voice she had after her defeat at the Battle of the Bands, and could easily be considered somewhat decent-sounding. The two continued this for some time, with Sunset plucking note after note on her guitar, with Adagio attempting to match it with her own voice. After some time of this, the former unicorn stopped, looking to her old rival with a smile.

"You're getting better."

Adagio nodded at that, brushing aside some of her hair before looking straight at Sunset.

"It would seem so."

Sunset noted the nonchalant manner in which she'd spoken those words, and raised an eyebrow.

"You're not happy?"

Regarding Sunset carefully, the eldest Siren sister let out a sigh before speaking in a softer tone to her.

"I...I am happy about it, yes. It's just...not good ENOUGH."

Understanding her, Sunset gave a nod.

"'re improving. Chances are that you may get your old voice back one day, assuming you keep practising of course."

Thinking on that notion, Adagio's smirk returned.

"Yes...that WOULD please me."

Chuckling a little, Sunset shook her head slightly, after which she turned around and started packing away her guitar. As she did this, Adagio moved over to a nearby table, where there was a single bottle of water. Lifting it up, the Siren took a quick sip of it, before looking back to her companion.

"I must confess, I wouldn't have considered doing this if my dear sister hadn't kept pestering me and Aria to get back into it."

Sunset turned to face her, smiling at those words.

"Sonata's been pretty happy practising with Fluttershy on her own voice. Maybe she figured you'd enjoy doing it too?"

A softer smile crept onto Adagio's face at that.

"Yes...I suppose I SHOULD thank her, given my progress. It'll be nice to finally start singing like I used to."

Silence fell between them, during which, Adagio seemed ponderous for a few moments, while Sunset continued packing her things away. When the silence was finally broken, it was Adagio who did it.

"So, how have things been with you recently, Sunset? All good, I hope?"

Looking back to Adagio, Sunset's expression became one of uncertainty, possibly even a little serious.

"It''s been fine. Mostly I've been trying to help out Derpy with...PERSONAL matters."

Immediately, Adagio understood, and her own face became one of like-minded seriousness, with her giving a few knowing nods.

"Ah, yes. How IS the poor dear?"

Sunset, having finally put her guitar away, set the case to one side, letting out a sigh before giving her answer.

"It's...fine. I mean, obviously this is a tough situation, but...I think she'll get through it."

Adagio folded her arms, leaning against the nearby wall once more.

"I'm sure she will be. People often underestimate those in her position. But, if she's strong'll be no issue for her."

Sunset paused after hearing that, looking to Adagio just as the latter was looking away from her. The Siren seemed deep in thought over something, which was far from the confident image she usually presented of herself. There was something in her eyes that Sunset couldn't quite pin down. Recognition? Nostalgia perhaps? Regardless, something big was on her mind, that much nobody could deny. So, for the time being, the former unicorn simply tended to her own business, moving over to her school back-pack, which had been resting on the nearby table. However, as she started rummaging around inside it, she stopped. Her own mind was conjuring up memories, perhaps triggered by her thinking of Adagio just now. Memories of some time ago, and of certain things that had been said. Slowly, Sunset turned back to her, seeing her still thinking on something. She opened her mouth to speak, only to find herself hesitant to do so. But, in the end, she finally got her words out.


The older girl turned to her, raising an eyebrow and prompting Sunset to continue.

"A while back...I could be wrong, but...I think you said something. Something about..."

She was clearly worried about saying whatever was on her mind, hence her constant pauses. But, without even hearing the end of her sentence, Adagio finished it for her.

"About motherhood?"

Sunset looked to her, somewhat surprised at what she'd said, leading to a dry chuckle on Adagio's part.

"Trust me, Sunset. When you live as long as I do, you learn to read people rather easily."

The former unicorn remained silent for a few moments, never once taking her eyes off the Siren. And when she finally DID speak up again, it was in a low and hushed tone.

"'s true?"

To that, Adagio let out a sigh, giving a brief nod before looking Sunset in the eye once more.

"'s true."

Sunset stood there, her mouth hanging open for some time over the weight of what she'd just discovered. Even though she'd clearly suspected it, she nevertheless appeared utterly dumbfounded. As for Adagio, she took a certain delight and amusement in seeing the usually well-spoken Equestrian reduced to such a speechless state, and let out a hearty laugh after some time had passed.

"You know, you CAN comment on that if you like."

Shaking herself out of her trance-like state, Sunset let out a few false starts before finally getting her thoughts in order.

"I'm sorry, it's"

Adagio nodded.


Another silence fell between them, but this one was far shorter, and as Sunset twiddled her thumbs in a clear display of nervousness, she started speaking up again.

"'re a Mother?"

And it was here that Adagio's expression became one of seriousness, as she folded her arms and looked away from the girl.

"...I WAS."

The moment those words had been spoken, Sunset understood what they meant, and instantly clasped her hands over her mouth. After a few seconds had passed, she lowered those hands again, speaking in a far quieter voice than before.

"Oh...Adagio...I'm...I'm so sorry."

But the Siren simply shook her head.

"I thank you, Sunset...but it was many years ago. Centuries, in fact. You need not weep now."

But Sunset, just for a moment, saw a flicker of emotion in Adagio's eyes as she said that. Clearly, the Siren felt more strongly on the matter than she was letting on, though Sunset was loathe to prod too deeply into it. However, before she got the chance to say anything further, Adagio turned to her, raising an eyebrow.

"You want to know all about it?"

Sunset shut her mouth tight, looking away for a moment, which prompted Adagio to let out a sigh.

"It's fine. Curiosity is no sin, Sunset."

Slowly, Sunset looked back to her, and after hesitating quite a bit, she finally managed to say something.

"You''re SURE you're okay about this? I mean, I don't want to..."

But she was halted by a raised hand by Adagio.

"If I was NOT okay about it...I would have told you."

The words were harsh, though Sunset could not really blame her, given the subject matter. So, after nervously clearing her throat a little, she spoke up again.

"Alright then...what IS the story?"

Adagio looked to her, seeming thoughtful herself for a while, clearly trying to think on how best to put this. Turning away again, she walked over to a nearby window, looking out at all of the students who were still in the process of walking away from the school. After a few minutes of nothing between the two girls, Adagio finally looked back to her, her eyes narrowed as she spoke.

"Very well. Allow me to set the scene for you. A kingdom, whose name has long since been forgotten by history. An old king, strong and fierce. A young prince, weak and timid."

A sly smirk crept onto the Siren's face.

"And...three unassuming young girls."
It was the late afternoon, and many of the students of Canterlot High were making their usual journeys to their respective homes and hang-out spots. Smiles were abound on many of the girls and boys walking out of the place, but, in one room in particular, there was an air of seriousness. The school had a number of study rooms, all ready to be used by students who needed some extra time on homework or on their other studies. And today, one such room was being used, not by a whole group, as the teachers would prefer, but rather just two girls. Sunset Shimmer, a former unicorn of Equestria, and beside her, staring at an open textbook, was Derpy. Now, it was not usually common to see these two together, and yet, today, they were spending time together as though they were close friends, with Sunset breaking the long silence between them.

"Okay now, Derpy. You sure you have this?"

The blonde girl nodded, looking from her textbook over to a nearby notepad. She seemed deep in thought for a few moments, chewing on the end of her pencil, before breaking out into a small smile. She started writing furiously on the paper, until finally, she looked to it with satisfaction. Turning, she then handed it over to Sunset.

"How did I do?"

The Equestrian took the pad, looking it over for a few moments before breaking out into a smile of her own.

"Very good, Derpy. Your equations are getting better every time."

Derpy smiled sweetly at that, after which she started closing up her book and getting ready to pack it away.

"Thanks for all the help you've been giving me, Sunset. I'd have NEVER figured this kinda stuff out without you."

A chuckle escaped Sunset's lips as she started packing away her own things.

"Don't mention it. It's the least I can do."

As soon as she'd spoken those words, and unbeknownst to her, Derpy began looking over her shoulder towards her. For a moment, her expression, for whatever reason, seemed one of unease, perhaps even fear. But, in the end, she put on another smile, giggling slightly before speaking up again.

"You don't HAVE to be giving me so much help, Sunset. I'm sure I could've..."

But, she was prevented from saying anything further, as Sunset chose this moment to turn and face her once more, her expression one of determination.

"No, Derpy. After everything I've done, I promised that I would help you in any way I could. Be it homework, or trying to sort out other stuff, I'm going to be there for you."

Nervously, the blonde girl started poking the ends of her fingers together.

"Sunset...I appreciate that. Really, I do. But...but maybe...maybe you don't have to feel you HAVE to do this."

Sunset stared at her, her face bearing a look that made it clear that she didn't understand Derpy's words. But, as time went on, the former unicorn took on a more morose look, staring down at her hands upon the desk, looking more than a little upset.

"Derpy...please. This IS something I have to do! After everything..."

A grimace crossed her face before she carried on.

"...after everything that's happened to you....and because of's my responsibility to see you through whatever troubles you have during this transition."

Derpy said nothing, instead watching as Sunset let out a long sigh. The latter closed her eyes, looking just as serious as ever, and in the silence that followed, Derpy developed into an unsure expression. Eventually, she looked down, gently placing a hand upon her stomach, and looking quite thoughtful. There was a hesitancy to her face, the kind of look that suggested that something was on her chest. But, as ever, she kept quiet. Looking back to Sunset, she saw the girl finally look to her, offering her a smile. Raising a hand, Sunset placed it upon her shoulder.

"Derpy...I know that what's happened to you is going to be difficult. And I know you have every right to blame me for what you're going through. But I promise matter how difficult your situation...I'm going to be here for you."

And that was it. That was the final push that sent Derpy over the edge. The uncertainty in her expression had now reached it's zenith, and before long, she got up. Sunset watched, taken aback by this behaviour, and she watched as Derpy sped off, heading straight for the nearest window, wherein she looked out at the rest of the school. A few moments passed, and then, she started pacing up and down the length of the room, over and over again. Sunset continued to observe her, as confused as ever as to what was going on.

"Derpy...I know you're upset, but..."

But, she was halted, as Derpy looked to her with anger in her eyes.


Needless to say, Sunset took a step backwards at that outburst, shocked at the uncharacteristically aggressive behaviour her friend was displaying. And Derpy herself soon realised what she'd done, her eyes widening as she clasped a hand over her mouth. Slowly but surely, she started to move back to her chair, before sitting down. It took a few moments longer, but then, the girl finally started to let out a few sobs.

"I...I can't! I can't keep doing this!"

Sunset stepped forward, getting down on one knee and gently holding onto Derpy's hand.

"Derpy? What is it? Please, tell me. I can help."

But Derpy just kept shaking her head.

"Why? Why do you have to keep doing this? Being so helpful? It just...I can't keep going on like this!"

Sunset regained her look of confusion, shaking her head slightly as she spoke up again.

"Derpy...I don't understand."

Derpy looked her right in the eye, seeing the clear confusion there, and for a moment, she hesitated once more to say anything. She seemed to be in the middle of a fierce debate with herself, and so took a while to actually get her thoughts in order. But, when she did, she avoided looking at Sunset, speaking in a low and almost hushed tone.

" don't need to be giving me any help. This...this isn't your fault."

But Sunset, seeing the distraught look on Derpy's face, gave her a soft look before shaking her head.

"But it IS my fault. If I hadn't brought that magic to this world to begin with, then..."

But, she was halted once more as Derpy interrupted her.

" don't...I wasn't..."

It was clear that Derpy was having a hard time getting her words out. So, she stopped, taking a moment to take in a few deep breaths, all while Sunset watched her. In the end, the girl opened her eyes once more, looking to Sunset with a mixture of both seriousness and shame.

"...The heat didn't do this to me. It COULDN'T have done this to me. And I...I know this."

But Sunset just kept on looking to her with confusion, tilting her head slightly.

"What...what are you talking about? Of COURSE the heat was to blame! It made you susceptible to another person's advances. It guaranteed that you'd end up with child. I mean, the only way it COULDN'T have been to blame was if...was if...if..."

The more she spoke those words, over and over, the slower she got. Eventually, she stopped, her expression becoming one of thoughtfulness. It took a while, but eventually, the former unicorn looked up, right into Derpy's eyes. And it was here that the latter looked away, the shame on her face becoming all the more evident now. Sunset saw it there, as clear as day, and her own expression became one of both disbelief and shock.

"Derpy. Were you...ALREADY pregnant?"

And here, Derpy could no longer find it in her to stand, instead becoming somewhat weak at the knees. She took to her chair, looking down at the ground before burying her face in her hands. Sunset stood there, looking at her with that same shocked expression, and the silence that followed was about as unbearable as you could imagine. But, when it ended, Derpy looked up to her, her eyes looking as if they were well on the edge of crying once more.

" happened about a month ago. There was this new student, here on that temporary exchange programme."

Sunset finally shook herself out of her shocked state, looking to her blankly as she slowly nodded.

"Yeah, I think I remember him. Brown hair, a bit...eccentric. What was his name? Turny or something?"

Derpy nodded in response, looking back down at the ground as she answered.

"Turner. Yeah, that was him. When he got here, I was assigned to show him around, help him get used to being at this new school."

A look of nostalgia crossed her face as she continued.

"During his time here...well...we got to talking. We were both nervous, but he was really nice, and...and he seemed to like ME too. We got close."

Unfortunately, her nostalgic look faded, replaced instead by one of regret.

"Then, one night, we...we..."

She couldn't finish, and instead, she shut her mouth tight, looking away. Sunset, having stayed silent this entire time, looked at the girl before her. Once more, a silence fell between them, and as it persisted, the former unicorn remained deep in thought over everything that had happened. Derpy kept quiet, but after a good deal of pondering, Sunset finally broke the silence.

"When I first heard about...about you, I was shocked. Like Twilight said, it shouldn't have made sense, finding out that you were pregnant so soon after the heat."

Briefly, she frowned, letting out a sigh.

" it makes sense."

Derpy, placing her hands upon her knees as she sat, clenched them into fists. She took a few sharp breaths, making it very clear that this was a difficult thing for her to be going through, though nobody could really blame her for that. When she'd finally worked up the nerve to speak up again, she looked to Sunset as she did so.

"When I found out...I...I panicked. I never told him. And he ended up going back home. He said his goodbyes, thanked me for...for everything. I never once gave him the impression that I wanted this thing between us to carry on, even knowing how far it went. It was one-time, and before I'd found out...we'd already talked about it."

Again, she looked away.

"He was as worried as I was about what we'd done, but...but we calmed each other down and reassured ourselves that it'd be fine. When I found out about...THIS...I couldn't...I couldn't bring myself to tell him the truth, or anybody else. So...I just kept quiet."

Raising both her arms, Sunset folded her arms, staring intently at Derpy.

"Why did you lie? About the heat?"

Derpy's eyes flashed in her direction for a moment, but, as ever, she looked away soon afterwards.

"I was scared. When I found out what had happened to me...I didn't know what to do. Then...then the heat came. It affected ALL of the girls, including me. When I found out what it was, and what it COULD have done to us..."

Closing her eyes, she let out a deep sigh.

"...I figured...I finally had a way out. A"

"A way to make people not look down on you?"

Sunset's interruption was unexpected, but when Derpy looked to her, her expression softened, becoming one of shame.

"Yeah...I guess that WAS the plan. If people thought I'd ended up this way because of some magical heat and stuff...they'd understand. They'd see it as something I couldn't control. But..."

Her eyes began to well up again.

"...but if they knew the TRUTH...if they knew that it was just because of what I let happen...I...I don't want to think about it!"

Once more, she buried her face in her hands.

"I could hear them in my head as I made my choice! Stupid Derpy, they'd say! The idiot girl! Silly, wall-eyed Derpy, getting herself into trouble again! All the things I know they say behind my back!"

And here, the tears finally came, and she kept her face within her hands, sobbing as she tried her best to keep on talking.

"I just...I just wanted to be away from all that!"

The girl could see nothing around her in this state, and so remained where she was. Her crying was the only sound for quite some time, but, after what seemed like a good few minutes, there was a new sound to her ears. It was the unmistakeable sound of somebody taking a step closer to her. Instinctively, she flinched, expecting Sunset to let out a barrage of anger towards her. She expected rage and indignation over her deception, and all manner of things that would no doubt make her feel worse than she already did. But that's not what happened. Instead, the girl felt something on her hand. A warmth. A comforting feeling of being held. Slowly but surely, she lowered her hands, and as she opened her eyes, she saw Sunset there, looking to her with understanding.

"'s alright."

As the blonde girl lowered her hands, with Sunset still gently holding onto one, she stared at her, looking confused and unsure.


Sunset offered her a small smile.

"I mean it. It's alright. I'm not angry with you."

Derpy opened her mouth to say something, only to find herself continually dumbfounded.

"But...I...I don't understand. How? How are you not furious at me? I made you think this was YOUR fault!"

To that, Sunset nodded.

"I know. But...but that doesn't change anything. You were scared, Derpy. You were terrified. And fear makes people do things they wouldn't do otherwise."

She let out a sigh as she continued.

"I can't imagine what it must have been like for you to go through all of this. It must have been like feeling you were backed into a corner, seeing no way out. And given that...well...I suppose it's not unreasonable that you'd try and find a way out of it, even if it meant lying."

Derpy turned away, looking as ashamed as ever.

"But I lied to EVERYONE! To my FRIENDS! You've done everything you can to try and make me feel better and...and THIS is how I repaid you! With guilt and blame!"

Sunset nodded.

" did. And while I can't say I'm not disappointed that you did doesn't matter."

Derpy looked back to her as she continued.

"We're friends, Derpy. Friends forgive one another, even over things like THIS. I know you wouldn't have done something like this under normal circumstances. And besides...I still mean to help you through everything you're going through."

She held her hand tighter, looking to the girl with determination.

"We'll ALL help you. Your friends, your family...and the Father too."

Derpy's eyes widened with shock, and she shook her head frantically.

"No! I...I CAN'T tell him!"

But Sunset frowned somewhat.

" know you have to. You know he at least has the right to KNOW he has a child on the way."

Much like earlier, Derpy carefully placed her free hand upon her middle, even though there was, as-yet, nothing there to feel. Her expression became one of thoughtfulness as she considered Sunset's words.

"What...what do I do?"

Sunset looked away, pondering that for a moment before looking back to her friend, letting out a sigh before giving an answer.

"Well...the first step is to tell your parents the truth. After that, you'll need to get in touch with Turner again. Then hopefully you, and he, and your parents and his, you need to just come together and talk about this. And'll be able to work something out."

Though she had long since stopped crying, there were nevertheless tears still staining Derpy's face. But, as she raised a hand, she wiped them away, sniffling slightly before looking to Sunset. The look on her face made it clear to the girl that this was something that was needed. She knew she was right, and though it was undoubtedly difficult, she let out a sigh, her expression softening considerably before she looked back to her. It took a while, but eventually, she nodded, giving Sunset a silent agreement to her suggestion. The former unicorn smiled back, and just for a moment, Derpy felt as if things might actually get better. But, after a few more moments, Sunset took on a brief look of confusion.

"Wait...if TURNER is the Father...then...who was that OTHER guy? The one from the cafe during the day of heat?"

Derpy scratched the side of her face as she answered.

"Oh, him? He was just a friend of mine who was in town for a few days to visit."

The girl then looked away, seeming somewhat embarrassed.

"When I heard the rumours flying about that people thought HE was the Father...well...I knew nobody knew who he was when he came to me, so...I kinda let the rumour be. Having some unknown guy be seen with fit the lie."

Again, she took on a look of shame.

"One of a LOT of things I'm not proud of right now."

A look of fear crossed her, causing her to look to Sunset again.

"Wait...nobody DOES know about him, right?"

Folding her arms, Sunset shook her head.

"No. Flash seemed pretty determined to find out about the guy though. But, I discouraged him from pressing the matter."

Derpy's face became one of relief, and she broke out into a small smile.

"That's good. I know Flash is a good guy, but...that would've been REALLY awkward to explain if he ever found him."

A chuckle escaped Sunset at that.

"Yeah...that it would."

Another silence fell between them, during which, Sunset regarded the girl before her carefully. She seemed less worried about everything now, albeit very slightly, and she knew in her heart that she had a long and difficult road ahead of her. Even so, she too began to smile, offering her a hand. Derpy looked to her, and after a small wait, took the hand, offering her a look of appreciation. Helping her up, Sunset took her free hand and gently patted Derpy's shoulder. There was a moment of comfort between the two girls at this time, and as they finally got around to packing their things away, Derpy looked to the former unicorn. As they made their way out of the room, the girl said the only thing she felt should have been said to her.

"Thank you, Sunset...for everything."
As one would expect of one of Canterlot's most popular hang-out spots, Sugar Cube Corner was abuzz with activity. From students enjoying one another's company to the frequent other customers the place saw, the whole cafe had a real feeling of friendliness to it that just put a smile on the faces of all who came here. Mr and Mrs Cakes, as always, did their best to give comforting service to their patrons, and were always busy at the counter, or behind the-scenes, baking their often-demanded confectionaries. But, as pleasant as the atmosphere was of this place, there was one face that, by contrast, didn't seem all that relaxed. That person was Flash Sentry, a noted guitar player of CHS, who was sitting in a lone booth in the corner, frequently seeming to take calming breaths, muttering to himself as he did so.

"Okay, Flash, relax. There's nothing to worry about. It's just you and her...together...on your very first date."

Needless to say, such words were soon followed by a look of nervousness on his part. Oftentimes, he would look around, making note of the different people who would pop in and out of the place, but always, he seemed concerned, perhaps even a little worried, about what he knew was to come. Eventually, and after a VERY uncomfortable wait on his part, the doors of the cafe finally opened, it's distinctive bell informing all of a new arrival. As always, Flash turned, looking upon the new arrival, and when he did so, he finally broke out into a smile. For there she was; Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship. To say that Flash was happy to see her would have been a great understatement, as he now raised his hand and waved to her, gaining her attention immediately. Seeing him, Twilight smiled right back, and before long, she moved over, sitting beside him in that booth.

"It's good to see you again, Flash. I hope you haven't been waiting TOO long?"

To that, Flash shook his head.

"No, not long. But, I've gotta say...I was a little surprised. Your message was kinda sudden, after all."

Looking away slightly, Twilight developed a small blush on her cheeks as she responded.

"Yeah...I've been thinking lately about your invitation. You know, from when we last saw each other? I figured now's a good time to take you up on it."

However, before Flash got a chance to say anything else, Twilight seemed thoughtful for a moment.

"'s everything been this side lately?"

Flash considered that, looking over his shoulder to the nearby window, looking out on the rest of the town, his face becoming serious for a moment.

"Well...some things have been better than others, but...overall...I'd say things are as good as they CAN be right now."

Twilight, just briefly, noted his expression, but elected not to enquire too deeply on the matter. Instead, she put on a smile as he looked back to her. And Flash, for his part, took a brief moment to look up at the nearby counter before looking back to Twilight.

"So...can I get you anything?"

Twilight considered that for a few seconds before looking to him with a small-yet-sweet smile.

"Just some tea for me, thanks."

Nodding, Flash got up from his seat and made his way over, wherein he started speaking to Mrs Cakes about their orders. While he was gone, Twilight too was starting to look a little unsure, and had begun taking a few calming breaths of her own.

"Okay, Twilight. Just relax. If you can face down dragons and monsters, you can get through THIS."

Not long afterwards, Flash returned, and, as instructed, he was holding a pair of still-steaming cups of tea. Smiling to him, Twilight reached out for her own, taking it when the boy offered it to her. Now only holding his own, Flash blew on it a few times to cool it off, after which he resumed his spot from before. A silence followed, during which the two youths took a few careful sips of their hot tea. When they at last looked to one another, there was a brief moment where it was clear to both of them that they had no idea what to say to the other, ultimately resulting in nervous chuckles all around. When that laughter died down at last, Flash broke the silence.

"So...our first date then."

The blush returned to Twilight's cheeks as she turned to him.

"Yeah. I'm...I'm actually not sure what I'm supposed to do."

To that, Flash let out a brief-yet-hearty laugh again before replying.

"Me neither. I's been a while since I've done this."

Another pause followed, but, after a while, Flash turned to Twilight, his face bearing a clear look of curiosity.

"You''ve never been on a date before? Not even back home?"

Twilight cast a glance back in his direction, and while she opened her mouth to speak, she soon shut it, turning away and regaining her blush, albeit far more fierce than before.

"Well...I've always had a lot of work back in Equestria. I never really thought about"

Lifting her hands slightly, she started nervously poking the ends of her fingers together.

"Can...can I tell you something?"

For a moment, Flash seemed uncertain to that request, but, not long after, his face softened and he gave her a nod. Twilight took a few deep breaths before finally turning, looking him right in the eye before speaking up.

"You're...kinda...the first boy I've ever really...well...LIKED."

Immediately, Flash was taken aback by that, his eyes widening slightly. Although he had clearly been dumbfounded by such a remark, he soon composed himself, clearing his throat and setting his cup of tea down, before speaking to Twilight.

" that case...I'm pretty honoured."

Twilight raised an eyebrow, displaying some confusion on her part, prompting Flash to smile and start explaining himself.

"I mean, not to sound too cliche or anything,'re pretty special, Twilight. Any guy would be lucky to be the first to catch your interest."

It took a few seconds, but soon, Twilight broke out into an affectionate smile of her own. However, it wasn't long after that when she started to seem more thoughtful, and while Flash was curious of this, he nevertheless gave her the time she needed to get her thoughts in order. When she spoke, it wasn't with the nervousness or uncertainty she'd spoken with before, but a far more thought-out tone.

"Flash...I need to tell you something. One of the reasons I decided to arrange this meeting was that...well...I know very little about you."

Becoming somewhat more serious in his own expression, Flash gave a nod in response.

"I know. I mean...I like you, Twilight. And I know we've enjoyed the time we've had together...even if there HAS usually been world-shattering stuff going on at the time."

Twilight stifled a giggle at that remark, but kept on listening as Flash continued.

"So...if you and me...if US is going to be a thing...what do you want to know?"

A smile crept onto Twilight's face as she heard that, and she clasped her hands together.

"Oh! I'm SO glad you're okay with me asking this sort of thing! SO much easier than trying to study you in secret!"

Flash's face became a brief grimace as memories of those days resurfaced in his mind.

"Yeah...please tell me you're not ever gonna do that again."

Another giggle from Twilight was followed by her placing her hand upon her chest.

"I promise. No more studies or arguably-unethical experiments on unsuspecting subjects."

Looking to her, Flash raised an eyebrow, and after a few moments of silence, Twilight rolled her eyes and let out a sigh.

"Okay, fine. No more of those things on AWARE subjects either."

At last, Flash gave her a smile.

"Thanks. So...what's first?"

Twilight considered that for a moment before looking to him with a smile.

" about we do it together? I ask a question, then you ask ME a question, and so on?"

To that, Flash nodded.

"Okay. Seems fair."

Clasping her hands together again, Twilight let out a little squeal of joy, although it was, admittedly, far more quiet than one given by someone like Pinkie Pie. After clearing her throat and brushing down her skirt slightly, she spoke to him in a more business-like tone.

"So, first things first...who are your friends? I mean, besides me and the girls?"

Flash turned away from her, folding his arms and appearing deep in thought.

"Well...there's Bulk, Wiz, Sandalwood and Micro. The guys in my band of course. A few others here and there."

Twilight nodded, now smiling again.

"Sounds like a fun group."

Flash chuckled.

"Yeah...I guess they are."

Turning, Flash looked to his date and regarded her carefully.

"Okay, my turn. What's YOUR world like? It's so hard to imagine that there's a whole world of talking ponies out there somewhere."

A giggle escaped Twilight before she answered.

"You know, it's probably the first time I've ever actually been asked to DESCRIBE my world before. But, if I had to, I'd say Equis and Earth are about as different as you can get. There's magic, a whole bunch of creatures you don't have here. Lifespans going on for thousands of years. But, for most ponies...I guess they can be considered pretty similar to you humans, aside from the obvious differences of course. They have ordinary lives, hold down jobs, you name it."

But, rather than seeming HAPPY about what she'd described, Twilight actually started looking down at her drink, seeming a little down on herself, though it wasn't until she spoke again that Flash understood why.

"Are...are you bothered by it? By my being a pony?"

Again, Flash was taken aback by that, but, after thinking about it for some time, he gave her a smile.

"Does it bother YOU that I'm a HUMAN?"

Twilight was, for a while, rendered speechless by the counter-question, but soon composed herself enough to think it over. When she did, she offered him a smile of her own.

"If it did...I doubt we'd be having this date right now."

To that, Flash gave a nod.

"And there you have MY answer."

Twilight nodded back, her own expression softening back to what it was before, along with that previous blush. Afterwards, Flash actually cracked a smile, letting out a brief laugh as he spoke up once more.

"Besides...I already dated ONE pony without issue. So I guess there's no real problem in doing so TWICE."

Twilight couldn't help but giggle at that admittedly corny line. With that done and over with, Flash scratched his chin for a few seconds before looking back to Twilight and asking his next question.

"So...what's being a princess like?"

To that, Twilight let out a dry laugh and rolled her eyes.

"It's been a long road, I'll say that much. Aside from getting used to new powers, having to learn how to fly, having everypony look to you with took some getting used to."

Flash gave a quick chuckle.

"Well, I've known quite a few girls in my time who would have just LOVED being in your position right now."

Looking back to him, Twilight offered him a somewhat sly smile.

"Oh yeah? Well, I promise you, Flash, they wouldn't be so eager once they start having people come to them with their problems."

Flash nodded, expressing an understanding of that sentiment, but, when Twilight looked away, her face softened and she took on a thoughtful look, before finally cracking another smile.

"Still...I wouldn't trade it for the world."

Flash smiled back to her, clearly happy that she was comfortable and content with where she was right now. But, it wasn't long before she looked to him again, asking HER next question.

"So...I know what MY future is going to be for some time, but what about YOU? Do you have any plans once you leave high school? Your music perhaps?"

Flash gave a brief laugh and took another quick sip of his tea before giving his date his answer.

"Nah. As much as I love my music, I don't plan on having it be the only thing I do with my life."

Twilight raised an eyebrow at that.

"Oh? You have a career in mind?"

The boy nodded, but, as he looked to her, he started to look somewhat nervous.

"Yeah. But...promise you won't laugh?"

Twilight was confused by that, but nevertheless nodded, giving her silent promise. Flash looked over his shoulder, and then to their immediate surroundings, making sure they weren't being overheard, before finally explaining.

"'s kinda always been my hope that, one day...I could join the police."

To that, Twilight looked surprised.


Again, Flash nodded.

"Yeah. I know it's sounds cheesy, but...I've always admired them. Going out there, ready to protect and serve. just always appealed to me, you know?"

But, as Flash slowly looked back in Twilight's direction, he found that she did not look back to him with any hint of mockery, but rather a genuine smile.

"That sounds wonderful. You and my brother would get along well I think."

Looking to her in earnest, Flash took on a little look of surprise himself.

"You have a brother?"

Twilight's smile widened as she gave a nod.

"Yep. An older brother. Shining Armour. Back home, he was Captain of the Royal Guard, and served as Princess Celestia's right-hoof stallion for many years, until he got married and became a prince, of course."

Looking to her, Flash seemed utterly dumbfounded by those words.

"...Your world sounds pretty awesome."

As before, Twilight giggled a little.

"Yeah, I know."

But, it wasn't long before she looked back to him, taking another gulp of tea before asking another question.

"What about you? Any family you want to talk about?"

Another smile grew on Flash's face as he leaned back into his chair, looking thoughtful.

"Yeah. There's my Mom and Dad of course, and they've always been good to me. And then there's my sister."

Twilight's eyes widened with surprise, albeit a pleasant one.

"A sister?"

Flash turned to her and nodded.

"Yep! Wanna see her?"

Reaching into his jacket pocket, Flash pulled out his phone, and, after rummaging through whatever images he had stored on it, he found himself smiling at one picture in particular. Leaning closer to his date, he showed her the screen, and Twilight, naturally, was keen and curious to see this mysterious sibling. The picture in question appeared to be a birthday party of some sort, with cake and everything. In the centre was Flash, smiling and standing next to what had to be the sister in question. But, while Flash looked at the picture with nostalgia, Twilight looked at it with shock, her eyes never leaving the face of the girl.

" that...Scootaloo?!"

Nodding, Flash turned to his date.

"Yeah. You know her?"

Shaking herself out of her shocked state, Twilight chuckled nervously for a moment before giving a nod.

"I do. I mean, not THAT one. But the one back home, in Equestria. I used to teach her a few things, along with Sweetie and Apple Bloom. But, as far as I know, you and PONY versions of you and her, aren't related back home."

Nodding, Flash seemed interested by such knowledge, but soon looked back to his picture, cracking another smile.

"Well, we're related HERE, and I wouldn't give her up for anything."

Nostalgia crossed his face once again.

"You should've seen her when she was younger. Always following me around, wanting to be part of whatever I was doing. It was cute, her looking up to me like that. Her BBBFF."

Immediately, Twilight looked to him, taken aback by what he'd just said, which the boy did not miss.


But, Twilight soon shook herself out of it, giving him a small smile.

"It's nothing. Just...just remembering."

Flash watched her as she looked back to the photo, a look of affection and nostalgia upon her own face. Then, for a moment, Flash looked left and right before leaning in closer and keeping his voice hushed.

"Although, just between you and me, she's kinda disappointed that I'm seeing YOU and not Rainbow Dash."

But, rather than seeming offended by such words, Twilight simply let out another giggle.

"Yep. That's Scootaloo alright."

Together, the two youths shared a laugh together, and it was safe to say at this point that, whatever doubts Flash and Twilight might have had about this meeting, they were long gone at this point. Instead, they simply felt comfortable around one another, having a nice time, and in the end, that was really all they wanted of one another. When the laughter finally died down, Twilight took another sip of her tea before looking to Flash, offering him a sweet smile.

"You know...I've really enjoyed being here with you, Flash. I know our time together has been brief most of the time, but...I've still liked it."

To that, Flash looked to her, nodding and smiling in agreement.

"Me too. I know I haven't had the best track record when it comes to girls, but...well...I'm glad that I can at least make something work with YOU."

Twilight's smile widened at that, and she watched as Flash leaned back into his chair and afforded himself a brief chuckle.

"It's still kinda weird to think about it. I mean, a princess, from another WORLD, and she comes all the way to OUR world, just to spend time with ME."

While Twilight did share in the laughter for a time, it was comparatively brief, and when she stopped, she began to look deep in thought. As she did this, Flash resumed drinking his tea, and so never noticed Twilight's expression turn from thoughtfulness to worry, and then, finally, to what could only be described as sadness. Slowly, she turned to him, retaining that look, and spoke softly, so he wouldn't hear.

"Yeah...I DID, didn't I?"


United Kingdom
And here we have a reading of my fanfic, "A New Look", performed by the always-talented :iconwubcakeva:

Thank you to her for doing such a great job on it :)…

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Mr-2k1d0dl3s Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your stories
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Halem1991 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thanks for fav the deviant "My tiny little fish"!!!!!
saber360 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016
Hey, Jay? I know this might be a random question coming right out of nowhere, but I've been wondering for a long while now: do you think they'll ever do something about the Pony of Shadows? Because I for one think it could make a pretty interesting Luna story.
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2016
I was hoping they'd get around to it, but I think it might be one of those ideas that Hasbro has just forgotten about by now.
saber360 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016
Well if they don't get to it by season six or at least do an official comic issue based on that, then I guess I'll have to.
saber360 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2015
Hope you had a great holiday, Jay-bro :)
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