A Sunrise to Remember

by Flutterpriest

Chapter 1: Main Story

"See you tomorrow, Sunset!" Rainbow Dash called to Sunset Shimmer.

"I'll see you around girls!" she replied, waving gently to her friends. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity and the rest of the gang left the grounds of Canterlot High School as she leaned against the flagpole. After Princess Twilight came and took her crown back, everything had been different for Sunset. Things, for the most part, were good.

For one, she had friends now. Once the rest of the student population began to warm up to the idea that she wasn't an infernal she-demon, the whole school seemed to be a happier place. It felt great for her to not sit at the lunch table alone anymore. In fact, being invited to weekend Pinkie Parties was one of the best things she had to look forward to every week. Just the chance to hangout with all of her friends and sleep on the floor of one of their homes meant everything to her. The chance to share a meal with them, that wasn't the mystery cafeteria food of the day, was an elixir for her soul.

However one thing still hadn't changed...

She sighed to herself and looked to the sky. While the grass was green and the sun was high, the world seemed dark and grey to her. She didn't belong in this world and she never had. Shoving her hands into her pockets, she walked towards the back of the school with her head down.

The fact was this: This world did not run the same way Equestria did. In Equestia, even the youngest foal could run across the world, find a job and slowly create a life for themselves. This world didn't work that way. There were laws preventing those under certain ages from getting work or purchasing homes. In this world, she couldn't restart. She had nothing here.

She had no parents. Absolutely no family. Plenty of friends, but only 5 that understood that she wasn't from this world. Sunset had nowhere to live or even get a warm meal at night. She heard of somewhere in town called a 'homeless shelter', but it was at the far edge of town. There would be no way for her to get across town and back in time for school the next day. Worst of all, what if something happened to her in the middle of the night?

This world was a dark place.

Sunset reached the maintenance door of the school and looked upon it with dread. This was the only option she found. The janitor wasn't really a bad guy, just lonely. She had learned not to cry anymore. All she had to do was say she loved him after he was done.

She draw a shallow breath and shakily let it out. Sunset looked down to her trembling hands and reminded herself she didn't have to do this again. Not every night. Except, he would let her borrow the keys to the kitchen and get food. She could go sleep in the nurse's office on the cots. There were washing machines and dryers in the maintenance rooms of the school. She could shower in the swimming locker rooms. She could keep up a semblance of normalcy. She could look strong. She could look happy.

Sometimes, looks really are everything.

This would be the last night she let him use her for food and shelter. Tomorrow was the day for the portal to open. Meaning there would be another chance to go back. She had to go back. When she got back, everything would be better. It couldn't possibly be any worse than here. She knocked at the door and tried her best to fake a smile. He always liked it when she smiled.

The full moon stood high in the sky amidst the frigid air. She stared at the portal within the statue of the high school mascot. All of her prized possessions were packed to take with her. An empty backpack. A backpack gifted to her by Principal Celestia. It was only gift that was given to her once she came to the human world.

She left her locker untouched. She didn't tell her friends goodbye. It would only worry them more. Her mind was made up. There was no other decision to be made. She had to go. She had to go home.

A guilty feeling in her stomach boiled to the surface as she took her first few steps towards Equestria. What was Celestia going to think when she came back? She shook her head. At this point, she couldn't afford to think like that. She let out a deep breath and stepped into the statue.

The world rushed past her with blinding speed. A bright wave of colors and light burned her eyes and she closed them out of instinct. Her muscles ached as they were pulled in every direction, as if she were on a rack. Fingers were pushed into her hands and her back was was lit aflame in an inferno of pain. She could feel hands wrap around her neck and squeeze tightly as she tried to breathe through the transformation process. She tried to scream, but nothing came out. Just as quickly as the sensations began, they ended.

Sunset fell flatly onto a cold surface once the pain stopped. The first thing she noticed was that it was much less frigid here. She groaned and raised an arm to try and get up. However, instead of her hand grabbing the floor, she heard the loud sound of a hoof on tile. She recoiled instantly, shocked by the sound. Maybe getting up wasn't the first thing to do just yet.

Her eyes burned. She raised her forelegs to try and rub her eyes, but she promptly stabbed them with her hooves.

“Great,” she groaned. “This will take some getting used to again.”

Taking her time, she slowly set her front two hooves on the floor and tried to get on all fours. She had spent so long in a human body, that it actually felt foreign to be in the body that she was born in. Sunset stretched and cracked her neck, readjusting to all of her new muscles and ranges of movement. She looked around at the ornate marble walls and to the windows.

“Hmmm. I must be in the castle,” she said to herself, walking around the room. It was dark outside and the stars shone brilliantly in the night sky. If it weren't for the brilliant moon casting light into the room, it would have been impossible to see where she was or where she was going. Her eyes fixated on the only door leading outside of the room she was in.

“I suppose I better figure out if anybody's home,” she said, walking to the door. “Wait. Everypony. Crap. I better be careful with that.”

Walking down the hallways of Canterlot Castle, she navigated nearly on instinct. These halls were what she used to navigate with her teacher on a daily basis. She knew them like the back of her hand. At one point in her life, she walked these halls with pride and a sense of self-satisfaction. Today she full of worry and concern. What would happen when-

"HALT! STAY WHERE YOU ARE!" called a strong male voice. Sunset stopped in her tracks, turning to the night guard with a light smile. He shined his light on her and his expression turned to shock.

“Uhm... hi?” she said, unsure of how warm her welcome would be.

"Well, I'll be honest Sunset, I didn't expect you to come back," Celestia said, taking a sip of her tea as Sunset stared at the cup in front of her.

"It's like they say Princess, the grass isn't always greener right?" she replied.

The ruler of Equestria nodded in approval.

"I'm happy to see that you are still able to learn from your mistakes,” she said in a warm, caring tone. "The real test will be to see if you can keep it up.”

Sunset immediately set her tea down and looked up to her former teacher with glimmer of hope in her eye.

"You mean..." she said hopefully.

Celestia looked at her with concern.

"I'm afraid... that's not quite what I meant. I am not willing to make you my student," the alicorn replied.

Sunset stared into her tea for some form of consolation or empathy. The drink provides none.

"I understand,” she says, taking a gentle sip.

"However, perhaps Twilight will be able to help you rebuild your life here in Equestria," Celestia said.

Twilight Sparkle. There was a name that she missed. Princess Twilight was a massive help for her to get out of her shell and lighten up a little more. However, part of starting fresh and creating a new life requires hard work. Sunset wanted to do this alone.

"I would enjoy visiting Twilight, but I would prefer to build my life myself, Princess," Sunset answered politely.

"Then how do you plan to visit her?" Celestia asked flatly.

Sunset leaned back in her seat, caught off guard. Celestia was right, she had no bits. No job. No home. Nothing to get herself started. She shifted uncomfortably. Maybe coming here wasn't quite the immediate upgrade that she expected.

"I-I don't know, but I'm working on it. I know I can do it if I try."

With a golden flash of light, a train ticket and a small bag of bits was placed on the table in-between them. Sunset looked across the table at Celestia with curiosity and concern. Her mouth opened slightly, but no words could escape their cage. She had many, many questions and was more than uncomfortable to accept the items that were placed in front of her.

“I also know you could,” Celestia said gently.

Was this a test? Was there something she had to do?

"Why?" Sunset asked.

"Because I believe you deserve a second chance,” Celestia replied. “I think Twilight and her friends can do a lot of good for you. I have faith in them and most of all I have faith in you. I can tell that the unicorn I see today is not the same one that I saw leave through the portal. I see, one of my most faithful students, coming home."

A gentle smile slowly curled on Sunset's lips as water gathered at the edges of her eyes.

“I believe, if you check your ticket, you have a train to catch,” she continued.

Standing up, she trotted towards her old teacher and wrapped her hooves around her.

"Thank you Princess. Uhm. I... I won't let you down," she said as a tear leaked out onto the pristine white coat of Equestria's ruler.

Celestia wrapped a wing around her old student and held her closely. A warm, homey smile worn on her face, as if she had been reunited with a long, lost family member.

“I probably better go...”

“Yes, yes,” Celestia hummed.

Sunset broke the embrace and levitated the items in the air as she made her way towards the door.

"Oh, Sunset, one last thing,” she called to her.

The mare turned and looked at her teacher with interest.

"Yes, Princess?" Sunset replied.

"Just be careful to... not get yourself too deep into something you aren't ready for, before you get your new life on track," she says, her voice full of concern.

Sunset snickered and shook her head.

“I doubt that I'll get to Ponyville and immediately get myself into some sort of trouble. I'll be on my best behavior, I swear,” she said before turning and leaving.

Celestia sat alone, looking down at her tea cup.

“I'm not concerned about you getting in trouble. I'm concerned about you meeting the human,” she said.

"Aaand there. I think that's the last signature," Sunset said with a smile.

"Alright, I'll finish these documents this evening. Welcome to your new home in Ponyville, Sunset," said the real estate mare, packing her papers into a small folder.

"Thanks!"she replied. The agent left Sunset's quiet home, leaving her to daydream. Daydream about what her new life could be. It would probably take a few weeks of doing odd jobs until she could get a reliable job with a steady income, but all she needed was a bit of time. Sunset looked proudly at her empty four walls and let out a contented sigh.

"Well. Better earn a bed to sleep in. I wonder if there is anything on the bulletin board in town?" she whispered under breath.

Heading out of her home, she wandered aimlessly through town and towards the Ponyville market. The hustle and bustle of the crowds helped her blend in as if she were no different than anypony else. For once, it was nice to just be normal. Just another face in the crowd that wasn't recognizable to every other person. Er, pony.

She reveled in the moment and scanned her eyes over the faces in the crowd that would soon become her new normal. However, something stopped her. What she once thought was a statue or part of the scenery… moved. It was talking. It was a low, masculine voice with a form that she recognized. And instantly, she was terrified. Was she dreaming? Was she going to wake up in the nurse's office and turn out she had some form of terrible fever?

Because, It was a human.

He was tall. Well, taller than she was, which wasn't hard considering she was a pony now. He looked just a few years older than the humans she came to know at Canterlot High. However, that wasn't the best part.

He was gorgeous. His muscles were toned, but not too toned. He stood with confidence at a pear stall, looking over the different fruits. For a moment, Sunset forgot she was now a pony, living in a pony world. Butterflies filled her chest. What was a human doing in Equestria? This didn't make any sense.

She had to know. She had to know who he was. That's why, without any conscious thought, she walked towards him. Once she got within ear shot, Sunset listened in on his conversation.

"Are you kidding me?!” he screamed at the vendor. “Three bits for a pear? I might as well just eat apples for the rest of my life."

"Sir, they were four bits last week…" the vendor weakly replied.

"No wonder the Apples are running you guys out of business, they only charge two bits per apple," he interrupted him.

"Sir, pears are harder to-"

"Oh suuuurrre. Harder to make. Tell it to someone who cares," he replied.

The human walked away proudly, his ears open and waiting. The stallion who owned the cart sighed and called to him.

"Two bits per pear, sir," the stallion said.

The human immediately returned with a wide smile on hisface.

"Perfect. Give me a dozen," the human said.

As he sweeped up the pears with a wide smile, the pony looked down at the ground with tears in his eyes. The human paused and looked at the stallion.

"Hey, you did really good today. I bet if you held on just a little longer, you could have convinced me at three per pear."

“But I didn't, I still gave in,” he said.

The stallion sighed as the human slowly counted out three bits per pear.

“I'll be back next week so we do another negotiation practical. Keep working at it. Your skin is getting thicker. I didn't think I'd get you that time.”

The stallion smiled weakly.

“I'll do better next week,” he said.

“Good,” the human said with a smile. “Then take care, bro. See ya!”

He carefully placed his fruit into his bag, turned on a dime, and slammed directly into aSunset.

"Oh, my bad," he said.

"S-sorry," she stuttered.

Sunset's mind reeled at the sudden change in demeanor. Why was she stuttering? Come on. She can do this. She was able to manipulate anyone she wanted to in the human world. This is nothing.

"Hey. I don't recognize you... are you new here?" the human asked.

"Yeah. My name is Sunset. Sunset Shimmer," she replied, holding out her hoof.

"Nice to meet you. The name's-" However, the sound was downed out by the market bell ringing, signaling that the stalls would close in an hour. The man extended a hand and shook her hoof.

“Nice to meet you too,” she replied, a blush forming on her cheeks as her hand tingled from his touch.

"Hey! You know what? Here," the human said with a smile.

He took out a pear from his bag and handed it to her. She looked at the fruit carefully and returned her gaze back to him.

"Consider it a welcome gift. Hope you enjoy Ponyville. We should hang out sometime."

"Y-yeah… I'd like that," she replied with a voice that felt like it's coming from somewhere else.

An awkward silence fell between the two of them as she stared into his eyes. She couldn't believe it. A real human in Equestria. He had real arms, legs, a head and even hands. Soft hands. Wait. How long had she been staring? Wait, shoo-

"Well.. uh. Bye," the human said with an uncomfortable smile.

"Oh, uhm. Bye~" she replied. She continued to watch as he walked away while he casually glanced back over his shoulder out of interest. Eventually Sunset remembered how to make her hooves move again, but her brain didn't kick back on just yet.

Throughout the entire day, the human was on her mind. It felt like a little part of the old world followed her back. Not the bad parts, mind you. The human seemed nice. Not like…

Sunset shook her head and reminded herself not to think of that place. She sat on the edge of a hill on the outskirts of Ponyville, watching the sunset. As cliché as it was and as teased as she got for it, there was something calming and serene about this time of day that made her feel more at peace. Sunset was never a morning person. Erm, pony. Well, she wasn't a morning person either.

The point is, she liked to sleep in.

But, the sunset was when she finally had the chance to daydream, and did she sure have things to daydream about today. Who was that human? What was he like? He seemed kinda nice. Does he like reading? Is he seeing somepon-

Sunset shook her head and looked off in the distance.

Perhaps… perhaps now wasn't the right time for that. It should be more important that she spent time on herself rather than with somepony else. Erm, someone.

Her reverie was cut short when she heard footsteps in the grass. She turned, curious to see who might be coming. To her surprise, it was the human, his eyes focused on the sunset, with his hands in his pockets and wearing a bright smile.

"Oh! Hey there, stranger," Sunset said to her new visitor.

The human looked down, startled by the voice.

"Oh. Hey. It's the newbie. To what do I owe the pleasure this time?" he asked.

"Well, uh. I got done working today and thought this would be a nice spot to relax," she said.

"Well then, you certainly have good taste. I come here every day to watch the sunset," he replied.

He sat down on the ground beside her and the two of them sat in silence, watching the sky fade from a yellow to an orange.

“You know, it's a little funny that your name is Sunset and-” he pauses, thinking for a moment. “You've heard that a million times, huh?”

She chuckled, nodding her head.

“More times than you could imagine,” Sunset replied.

She tried to watch the celestial body slowly make it's way back down to the horizon, but her eyes darted back to the human. Curiosity overwhelmed her and she finally decided that it was the time for her questions to be answered.

"So, uh. How long have you been here?" she asked.

"Well, to be honest, I lost count. I started a journal, counting the days I was here. I got lazy for awhile, so I just started to assign names and topics to the days once I forgot what number I was on," he replied. “I think… over two years now.”

"I see. Well, what's your story?" she asked.

"Well. I just sorta appeared here one day. I couldn't explain it. It was like I went to bed there, then woke up in this weird forest. I lost everything I had from home. I mean, it wasn't much, but it was something,” he said.

"I bet it was like where I was before I came back to Equestria," she replied, looking back to the scenery.

He turned to Sunset with curiosity written all over his face.

"You mean... somewhere with other humans?" he asked.

A shiver ran down Sunset's back.

"Yeah. There were humans over there in the same way there are ponies here. The portal I took let me change forms,” she said.

"Why did you leave?" he asked curiously.

Sunset opened her mouth to say something, but her entire body shook at the thought of answering the question. She felt violated as the image of the lonely janitor entered her mind. The air suddenly felt colder as her eyes fell to the ground and her ears went flat. She could feel the way that he touched her. The way his hands ran down her bare back. Sunset stared at the grass, trying to hold her composure.

"I... don't wanna talk about it right now," she said.

She closed her eyes and started to shiver. The human moved closer to her and placed his jacket on her back.

"You don't have to say anything," he said.

Sunset smiled and her eyes reopened, looking up to the human, who stared off gently at the setting sun. She turned and stared off too, not wanting to say a single word that could ruin the moment.

Slowly, Sunset opened her eyes at the hard wood floor of her new home. Her entire body ached from being curled in a corner without a bed for her first night in Equestria. She rubbed her eyes with a hoof and managed to not gouge out her eyes this time. After the sun was gone from the horizon, the two of you made your goodbyes and went home. Something about this human was special, and she knew it. When she was with him, everything seemed right again. Sunset spent time in two different worlds trying to find a place that she could call home and was unsuccessful both times.

This time, she could do something about it. Sunset quickly did her hair and washed her face. Without even a second thought, she took off at a gallop towards the path where the human returned to his home last night. It headed towards a rural part of Ponyville where there was only one or two homes on the path. She could figure it out. She was smart and there was no time to waste.

Sunset bumped into a familiar yellow pegasus along the path towards his house. She turned an exclaimed an apology, but continued to push on for the homestretch. She had to make a move. Hopefully he was awake. Sunset approached the first home on the path that was slightly unkempt and had absolutely no floral landscaping. It seemed like the house of a man. Er, stallion. Whatever. Sunset knocked on the door hard and took a step back as her fur stood on edge.

"God damn it Fluttershy for the last time..." she heard call from the inside.

'Fluttershy?' Sunset thought to herself. 'Why did he say her name?'

The door flew open and the human stood in the doorway in just a pair of underwear. Her face flushed as he looked down at her.

"Oh... it's you, Sunset,” he asked happily. “What's up?"

“U-uhm,” Sunset muttered. “Boxers...”

“OH!” he exclaimed, partially covering himself with the door. “Right. You were a human and had the whole clothes thing. Sorry.”

“It's fine,” she redoubled instantly. “It was really nice to look at.”

Sunset's voice instantly died as her face flushed red. Did she say that? Did she really just say that? The human blushed and laughed.

“So, uh. What can I do for you?” he asked.

Sunset looked at him and her mouth opened slightly, but she forgot what she was going to say. Did she even have a plan? Sunset instantly regretted not thinking this through more.

"Take me on a date," she commanded awkwardly.

Her eyes bore into him with hope. The human looked at her with shock and he glanced away.

"Well. Uh. Sorry, Sunset. I'll tell you what I've told every other pony in town. I'm not really interested in ponies."

Suddenly the warm, fall day felts much colder to her, although any other pony would have said it was beautiful out.

"I mean, I really enjoyed hanging out last night and I wouldn't mind if it became a normal thing. I'm sorry. I just can't," he said.

He slowly closed the door and left her standing on his porch. She turned around, as a small twinge of anger settled in her heart.

Not interested in ponies, he says? We'll see about that. He just doesn't know what he's missing. She could show him just how amazing she is. He'll see. Sunset knew walk back to home was going to feel long and arduous. Grinding her teeth together, Sunset's mind reeled to come up with ideas. How could she get him to be interested in her? If she were still human, then this would be a million times easier, but she couldn't go back. Not again. There has to be some other way.

The gentle orange trees along the way shed their leaves on a yellow mare with pink hair off in the distance. Didn't you bump into her along the way? She seemed kinda familiar.

"Uhm... excuse me," the yellow pony asked as she approached her. Anger leaked into her voice as she replied.

"What?" she spat out.

"Oh... um, sorry. Never mind," she whispered.

Sunset eyed the mare carefully. She swore she knew this pony from somewhere.

“Is your name Fluttershy?” she asked, curiously.

The pegasus's eyes went wide and she took a step away as she looked at Sunset.

“H-how did you know?” Fluttershy replied.

Sunset opened her mouth and was going to explain, when she shook her head and decided now probably wasn't the best time to explain the story. She was angry. His face was buried into her mind.

“Nevermind, I'll talk to you later,” Sunset said, turning away from Fluttershy, as she watched on with a horrified gaze.

There had to be a way to get into his heart. Should she give him gifts? He did give her that pear... Then again, she hardily had any bits to spare right now. Sunset groaned as she rejectedly stomped her hooves down the dusty path back to her home.

What was she going to do? Come on girl. Think. Her eyes traced the pastel landscape leading into Ponyville. Her mind wandered to how she got her boyfriends back in the human world. It wasn't quite because of her ravishing good looks or her stunning body. She got them through being forceful. Blackmail, extremely forward advances, and especially guilt. All she had to do was fight for what she wanted and everybody was too scared to take it from her. Er. Everypony.

However, is that what she really wanted to do? She just came to this world. Wouldn't she want a new start? To do things right? Just because it worked in the past, doesn't mean it should be what she did now.

As sunset walked into Ponyville, the ponies moved past her and kept out of her path. Not that she noticed. Her stern face and focused eyes, combined with the fierce trance struck fear into the others around her. With a blink, she finally noticed it when one a little filly leaped out of her path to avoid her. She shook her head and tried to put on a smile. Perhaps Twilight would be able to help her out. She's a clever girl and almost as smart as Sunset was.

Okay, maybe a little smarter.

Sunset's hooves guided her to the Ponyville library, but the town's streets decided to fight back wit ha vengeance. With the help of a few townfolk, she finally managed to find her way to the building after thirty minutes of searching. Why was the town library in such an awful place? Whoever designed this town layout should be fired.

With a scoff, she approached the door and gave it a gentle knock.

"Just a minute!" called out a familiar voice from the inside from the inside. Sunset smiled and relaxed at Twilight's voice. It was going to be nice catch back up with Twilight. After she left, Sunset didn't get to talk to this one very much. Not in person, anyway. The one in the other world was probably her closest friend, but even that had it's limits. With a wide smile, the purple alicorn opens the door to her treebrary and gasped loudly.

"Sunset! W-what brings you here? When did you come back?" Twilight asks in shock.

"I suppose, I just got tired of things over there... I wanted to get back to my roots," Sunset answered with a smile, only half lying.

"Well, come on in! Come on in!" Twilight said, ushering her inside. “Let me make some tea and we'll catch up.”

"Him? Really?" Twilight asks in mild shock.

"Yeah. I dunno. There is just something about him," Sunset explained to Twilight while sipping a cup of warm, jasmine tea. "He just reminds me of all the good things from, well-"

"No, I totally understand. It makes perfect sense. For you, I mean. More than Fluttershy anyway."

"Fluttershy?" Sunset ask. "You mean the yellow one with the pink hair?"


"I knew she was familiar. Is she the pony version of Fluttershy from the other world?" Sunset asked.

“That's right. Still just as nice as could be, except all of her animal friends are at her home instead of the shelter,” Twilight explains. Sunset didn't care about this. She set down her tea and focused her attention on Twilight.

"Anyway, Fluttershy is in love with him too?" she ask with notable concern. Twilight smiled and shook her head.

"I didn't say anything about love..." she teases. “Are you implying something, Sunset?” Sunset puffed her cheeks and scrunched her face. "But yes. She's head over heels for him. She visits him every morning, and they go out on trips throughout town. You would swear they are dating... but he always insists that-"

"He doesn't like ponies."

"Well, yes," Twilight answered. Sunset look down into the reflection of her teacup for some form of reassurance that everything would work out. “Except, he says that it's not the way it looks. I not fully sure though. It seems like he's always trying to get away from her.”

"Do they do a lot of things together?" Sunset asked.

"Almost everything... Rarity said they should just come out and say they are a couple already... but I'm not convinced it's like that," she explained.

With a sigh, Sunset began to beat herself up. Of course. Day late and a dollar short. Story of her life. It certainly didn't leave her many options.

"Wait a minute...” Sunset asked, looking up with curiosity. “You said she had a weird reason for liking him." Twilight shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

"Well. Yes..."

"What is it? May I ask?" Sunset asked.

"Well... I don't know if I should tell you this..." Twilight says slowly, fidgeting with her hooves. Sunset leaned in towards her friend with some glimmer of hope. Every piece of information would count if she were going to steal him from Fluttershy.

"I think Fluttershy's attraction is more... physical," Twilight explained. Sunset leaned back in her chair and instantly gulped down more of her drink. "Fluttershy likes animals... and he's a human. I'm not one to judge... but humans looking like monkeys and all... "

"Please. Not another word," she interrupted. Sunset felt sick to her stomach. A timid pegasus like that? She would never have expected a pony would do something like that to an animal. But then again, Sunset wanted to be with him and he was still an animal. The circumstances were different though. Sunset loudly groaned and shook her head. This was too confusing.

"Sorry... but yeah. At least you are aiming for something a little more meaningful. Or at least that's the feeling I'm getting,” Twilight said.

"Of course!” Sunset exclaimed louder that she should have. “I guess... I just guess there's nothing I can do.”

"It's a shame really... I think he could do better."

"Me too," Sunset said under her breath, involuntarily. A chill seeped into her words that seeped into her bones. It wasn't fair.

"But, if it's love, there really isn't anything you can do about it. Some things you just can't force," Twilight said with a tone of sympathy. "I'm sorry Sunset... I'm sure there will be somepony else in this would for you."

Just then, Sunset felt a small twitch inside of her. Why couldn't she force it? It's worked before. It could be easy. It could be simple. All she needed was a plan.

He could be all hers. All she had to do, was take him.

Think Sunset. Think.

She paced back and forth in her quiet home, trying to think of some way that she would take the human all for herself. If only there were some way that she could turn herself into a human without going back to the other world. However, there wasn't any sort of magic that she knew that could turn her into a human again. Plus, if you asked Twilight, she might be worried of what you might be planning. She might be worried that you might be going back to your old habits.

No way. Sunset could do this all by herself and nobody would have to know. Erm, nopony. They would hold it over her head until the end of time if they found out that she forced him to love her.

Sunset looked at herself in a full sized mirror. Turning her head back and forth, and twirling around to see her flank, she looked over her new body. A stallion's dream, she thought. She wiggled her flank a bit. Seduction could probably work... except, that's what Fluttershy has been trying. She sighed and returned to her pacing. What else could she try?

She could just try to be good friends with him and hope something blossoms from that. Sunset stifled a groan and shook her head. That wouldn't guarantee anything! Plus he would suddenly be a museum to her. Look, but don't touch.

It seemed like there was only one option. She would have to take him by force. But how? Blackmail? Sunset wasn't opposed to the idea, but typically it doesn't work for a long term relationship and had a chance to get messy. Love Potion? It might be too difficult to brew and she was on a budget constraint. Otherwise it would be perfect. Abduction?

Sunset stared blankly into the distance and realized that she considered such a dark idea. Except, she continued to entertain the thought. What would happen if the only Human in Equestria just... disappeared? Everypony would notice very quickly. There would need to be a solution that made him yours, while could keep him enough in the limelight to have others not worry about him. Then, the idea hit her like a ton of bricks.

Stockholm Syndrome.

If she mentally beat him to a point where he felt captive by her, then he will begin to love her for it. It worked with the Snips and Snails boys in the human world. It could work here. It's would be risky though. If and of the other ponies caught her...

Sunset shuddered thinking of the consequences. However, It's the risk she would have to take to take him. She looked at herself in the mirror one more time and did a little twirl. She smiled, thinking of what it would be like to have the human as hers. He may not be interested in ponies, but he was going to love her.

When Sunset left her home, the sun was just beginning to lower in the sky, illuminating the world in a bright yellow glow. The trot to the hill where she sat yesterday was a short one, but felt longer than yesterday. Yesterday she didn't know that he always watched the sunset on that same hill. Now she did and her stomach tightened just thinking about it. All she had to do was stick to the plan.

The minute she showed weakness in her resolve, this wouldn't work. As soon as Sunset showed show her true colors, the feelings wouldn't take effect in his mind. The most important thing, was time. The first step, was to to get into his house.

She walked up the grassy hill to her look out point. Just as she expected, he sat there, staring out at the sunset as if he was waiting there for her. He seemed to be deep in thought, his brow furrowed and his eyes not focused on enjoying the scenery. Sunset could only wonder what he was thinking. What sort of stress did he have on his magnificent mind? Trotting quietly towards him, she sat down a few feet away from him. Sunset hoped this would create some sort of reaction out of him, except he's not even phased.

Was he ignoring her? The unicorn's eyes darted from the sunset to him and back again. Honestly, she couldn't decide which is more beautiful. She wanted to say something. Sunset had to do something to get his attention. Something. Anything.

"Hey," Sunset managed to choke out.

Hey? Really? That's it? She just ruined everything. Great job. Mission failure, let's pack up and try again next w-

"Oh, hey," He said, turning his head to her in surprise. "A part of me thought after this morning..."

"Don't worry about it," She replied, turning to look at the sunset. "You never know until you ask... right?"

"Yeah," He answered distantly. "You definitely got me thinking though." What? Why would he say that? Don't show too much interest Sunset. Don't look desperate.

"About what?" she asked as if her life depended on it. The man sighed and looked into his strong, masculine hands.

"I dunno. Things have been... different lately," He began to explain. "I've been deep in thought about our talk last night."

"Really? What about?" she asked. He's been thinking about you? Really? Butterflies filled her chest, but she tried to net them away. Stick to the plan.

"The whole... other human world. I went and asked Twilight about it this afternoon. It sounds really risky. Who knows what would happen if a human went through? I could come out the other side as a pony or something terrifying like that," he said. “Not that it wasn't bad for you, or anything. Ugh. That's totally not what I meant. Ponies aren't terrifying.” Sunset giggled lightly.

"I know what you mean,” she said. “It would be risky for anyone." He looked at her carefully after she finished her sentence. "Oh. Crap. Anypony. Sorry.”

"No, it's fine. It's refreshing to hear that word again. How long were you in that other world exactly?" he asked. Sunset shifted her position and laid in the grass in a more comfortable way.

"Too long..."

"I just noticed that you aren't really like the rest of the ponies here. I mean, you use human words. You talk with more assertion in your voice and a few mannerisms that you only get by experiencing that world. Honestly, to me, you feel the most human out of everyone here. Erm. Pony,” he said. Sunset stared into the distance at the orange sky, as the sun fell slowly. A frown formed at the edges of her lips.

"Is this supposed to make me feel better about you turning me down? It's not really working," she said.

"No, I just," He sighed to himself. "Never mind. Forget it. I've always been shit with saying what I mean to say." What's that supposed to mean? It doesn't matter. Stick to the plan, Sunset.

The two of you sit and watch the sun as it falls gently across the horizon.

"Why did you leave anyway?" He asked out of the blue. You bite your tongue and watch the sky turn an orange-red. "I mean, you don't have to tell me... but I'm just-"

"I was alone." Silence fills the gap between you two. "I was alone in a world where no one understood me. A pony in a world of humans, trying desperately to fit in. It made me angry. It made me vengeful. Why wouldn't they like me? I never really felt like I truly belonged," she said. He listened intently. "So I got aggressive and made a lot of mistakes. I just couldn't live with the consequences anymore."

"So you tried to get a fresh start in your homeworld?" he asked.

"Yeah," she answered, lying her head in the soft grass. The sun began to make it's final few minutes on the horizon, as it paints the sky a deep blood red.

"Hey, uhm. This is going to sound... really bad, but have you had anything to eat?" he asked. She looked over to him. Did he just say that? "You don't really have a job yet, do you? I was just going to make dinner when I get home. Would you like to join me?"

Well. This was easier than expected. She didn't even have to guilt trip him like she planned.

"I'd really like that," she said warmly.

"Awesome," he said, standing up. "Ready?" Sunset nodded and got to her hooves, following him down the familiar path to his home. "I hope you like salad, because it seems like it's the only thing these ponies got that I can eat every single day and not get too tired of."

She smiled and followed him closely as the home comes into view. Sunset's mind was reeling with delight. He took the bait. The lamb was leading the wolf in sheep's clothing. Oh, how wonderful it would be when he was all hers. The picture of holding him in her hooves as he looked up at her lovingly kept a smile permanently on her lips. It's only a matter of time.

"It's not much, but it's what I have," he said as the two of them approached the familiar doorstep. He walked up to his door and unlocked it, holding it open for her. Step one was officially complete.

Sunset stepped inside his house and looked around, drinking in the scenery. His home was remarkably clean, for a man. Er, stallion. No, he's a man. This is getting ridiculous.

Sunset's attention was caught by several bookcases that lined the walls of his living room. She walked up to them curiously and began to examine the different titles. Some on them were ones she recognized from when she was a filly, while a few others were ones she'd never heard of. Dramas, romances, horrors and science fiction filled every shelf, and some of them overflowed into the empty space left on top of the books.

"I had no idea how much you enjoyed reading," Sunset said, liking this new development of character for her human.

"Oh, well. Yeah. Sort of. I like to read the novels... then pretend that all the characters are humans. Kinda stupid huh?" he joked.

"No, I don't think so..." she said, turning to face him.

"Really?" he asked.

"Yeah... I think I understand," she said. “I did the same thing when I was in the other world. It was just a way of reminding me of home.” He leaned in the doorway to his kitchen, watching her face carefully. He smirked and shook his head.

“You have no idea what it's like to have someone that understands,” he said with a smile. “Anyway, I'll get things started. Make yourself at home." He stepped into the kitchen and Sunset looked around carefully for any sign of interruptions. Now it was time for step two. Knock him out.

"I will..."

All she had to do was knock him out and drag him into the basement. She'd have to tie him up, of course. Can't have him getting away. Then all that will be left is the third step. Conditioning.

Sunset sighed to herself and whispered under her breath as she prepared herself for her task. “You can do this. You can do this.”

She moved back to the front door of the house. Focusing her mind on the lock mechanism on the door handle, her horn glowed with energy. There was a small click, and she knew her deed was done. With a quick tug, the door wouldn't budge. Perfect.

As quietly as she could, she walked into the kitchen, where her new human was chopping lettuce on a cutting board. As soon as she entered the room, she saw what she would be able to use. A large, metal frying pan that hung over the stove would provide more than enough blunt force to knock him out, but not kill him. Taking a few steps closer, her horn lit up with teal energy and grabbed her weapon. Now she just had to lift it without making a sound.

"You wanna hear something kinda stupid?" he asked as he focused on the dinner.

"Try me," she answered, focusing on quietly lifting the pan off of it's rack and into the air.

"You, sort of, got me thinking this morning."

"Really? About what?" she asked, not really paying attention to him.

"About the time I've spent here. In Equestria."

Almost there. Just a little more to the left. Another pan catches the one you are trying to move. Shit.

"The more time I've spent here, I've focused more on how different I was from the other ponies. How they didn't understand what it was like to be a human," he said.

'Just jostle it a little bit,' she thought. She took another step closer, ensuring she was still in the human's blind spot.

"But I think now... it's sort of changed. At first I thought you were just another pony with more weird quirks and some weird back story." He put another load of lettuce into the bowl and grabbed a tomato to slice up.

'Just a little more,' Sunset thought, her mind competely focused on her weapon. 'Oh, heck with it.' She pulled her magic harder, and the weapon breaks free, clinking into a few of the other hanging pans, but he wasn't paying any attention. Now she just had to finish the job. She hovered the pan over to her and held it in the air. 'Quick and upside the head. Stay focused. Follow the plan.'

"But I think things are different now," he said.

'What in the world is he talking about? You probably should have paid attention. Oh well. There will be plenty of time for that later,' she thought.

"I feel like I met someone who really understand what it's like for me here. Heck, I even had to go to Twilight last night to talk about it," he said.

"She's smart. I don't blame you," she replied carelessly. She approached him carefully, preparing to strike. Quick and painless. If she do it right, he will just have a mild concussion and a splitting headache.

"She told me do to what I think is right. Which was weird. Normally she loves bossing others around."

"Ain't that the truth," she joked. Carefully, she lined up the hit. Pulling back the pan in mid-air, she focused as hard as she could on the area of his skull she wanted the pan to hit. She took a deep breath.

Three. Her muscles tensed up, knowing she could never take back this moment. Two. The consequences would be dire if anyone ever finds out. One.

"I think... I want to take back what I said earlier," he said.

Sunset paused. Frozen in time.

“Wait. What?” she asked, her chest tightening and her eyes grow wide. The human sighed to himself and puts down the knife, leaning his head over the cutting board. The plan was now the last thing on Sunset's mind

"I'm really terrible at words, but I just feel like... I dunno. Like you get me," he said. Sunset stood breathlessly behind him and watched in shock. The magical grip around her weapon loosened. "I've spent so much time here, forcing myself to be alone and being unhappy because of it... I think it's time to try something different." Carefully, she set the pan on the stove, and the human turned around to face her. "I wanna give this a shot."

Tears well within her eyes. She was going to hurt him. She was going to corrupt him and here he is, with his arms wide open.

'How could I be so stupid?' she thought to herself. With a hard gallop, she leapt into his arms and he held her tightly as her tears stained his t-shirt. He held her in his big, strong arms as she looked up at him lovingly.

"You've made me the happiest girl... ever." Er. Pony. Screw it. It doesn't matter anymore. He knows what you mean. She leaned upwards towards his face and he raised her towards him effortlessly. His lips connected with hers and Sunset felt a warmth spread through her entire being. She felt comfortable. She felt like the world was a safe place to be in. Everything seemed to just feel right again.

She broke away from the kiss and pressed her face against his chest, and a pang of guilt rang through her soul.

“Are you sure this okay?” Sunset asked.

“Yeah, why would you ask that?” he replied.

“Well, I'll never be a human for you...” she said. “And... you deserve a human.”

"It's funny you mention that...” he said with a smile. “Because Twilight wanted me to tell you something."

Twilight awoke with a jolt to the sound of hard knocks on her door. She immediately ran downstairs, wondering who it could be at this hour, but she seemed to have an idea, with the way she was smiling. She opened the door to see Sunset and the human standing outside.

“Twilight, turn me into a human,” Sunset immediately said.

“Do you two have any idea what time it is?” Twilight asked. Sunset and the human looked at each other with glances of discomfort.

“Well, we had to eat first,” he said.

“A-and then there was dessert,” she replied.

“It's 4 A.M.” Twilight said flatly. The two went silent. After a long pause, Sunset opened her mouth for an answer.

“Cuddling,” Sunset said.

“Okay, now it all makes sense,” Twilight said with a smile. "Anyway. I'm happy he delivered the news! I can totally make you a human again. I turned my friends and I into breezies not too long ago," Twilight explained to the two of them.

“Let's get started,” Sunset immediately volunteered.

"Are you sure? Don't you want to think about it a little?" Twilight asked.

"Not in the slightest,” she said.

“Alright, alright. Come on in, I'll get the things I need to do the spell,” she said. The two lovers stepped inside Twilight's home and she ran to her study. Sunset looked down to her hooves and half-heartedly smiled.

"You know, I was just getting used to these too,” she said.

"You can always go back to being a pony again, you know," he said, leaning down to her.

"I know... but I think this will feel better anyway. I'm just more used to it," she replied. Sunset did her best to stifle a yawn. Time seemed to be flying through the early morning hours. Today was the dawn of a new day. A fresh start.

Twilight returned with an old, worn out spell book. She flipped through the pages until she stopped, humming when she found the right page. The purple alicorn read through the spell one more time, to refresh herself on how to perform it.

"Ready?" she asked with a smile. Sunset and her human nodded at the same time.

"Here we go," she said. Twilight's horn illuminated with bright, purple magic and gently lifted the two lovers up into the air. Sunset's body began to feel warm and tingly, as she closed your eyes. The world felt as if it were spinning around her in a blinding speed. Her body felt as if she were being pulled apart at the edges. Small appendages prouted from her hooves and her back stretch backward. She felt a gentle massage pushing her physical form into a shape that she felt more comfortable with. Something that felt natural.

"Alright. Open your eyes Sunset," Twilight said.

Carefully, Sunset opened her eyes to find herself still in the Treebrary. She looked down at yourself and find two long, slender legs, covered by an orange skirt with black and purple boots. She looked up to find a hand outreached. His hand. Raising her own hand in the air, she grabbed his. He pulled firmly, yet gently, helping her rise to her feet. Everything was so much... smaller now. Perhaps, littler was a better word.

"That's the Sunset I remember," Twilight smirked.

Looking back down at herself, Sunset noticed that her purple shirt and black leather jacket managed to come with her in the transformation. She always loved that jacket. Twilight doesn't get enough credit for how good at this she really is at this whole magic thing.

"Well..." she said, looking to him. "What do you think?"

"What do I think?" he responded, looking up and down her body. She looked up at him, hopeful that he'd still like the person she wanted to be. He smirked and gave her a sly look. "I liked it the other way. Go back." Sunset slapped his arm and Twlight and the human laughed. "No, seriously. I love it."

"Good. You're stuck with me now," she said with a smile. He made a mock sigh.

"Fine! If you say so."

"You two are going to make quite the couple. I can tell," Twilight smiled, closing her book. "Now get on outta here you two lovebirds. I need to get some sleep." Sunset knelt down beside Twilight and wrapped her in a big hug.

"Thank you Twilight," she whispered into her ear. "You are a true friend."

"Of course Sunset. I'm happy to help," she said with a proud smile. Rising back to her feet, she turned to him, who leaned against the doorway, smiling at her.

"Ready?" he asked. Sunset smiled back at him.

"Ready," she smiled. He nodded and stepped outside, holding the door open for her.

Sunset followed him out, when the frame of the door gives her a vigorous high-five to the forehead, sending her tumbling back to the floor.

"SHIT. Stupid door," Sunset groaned. “Why are these damn ponies so little?”

"That takes a while to get used to," he said with a smile.

"This is stupid. You're stupid," she said, a splitting headache forming.

"Sure, sure. Come on crabby pants," he said with a smile. She followed him outside, admiring his facial features more closely. It was easier now that she was much closer to his height now.

"Hey, look," He said, pointing out over the horizon to the gently rising sun. "Should we?" he asked. She looked up to him with a smile.

"Yeah," she said. The two of them, without a word, moved back their spot on their hill, but this time, facing the east instead of the west.

This time, there is no gap between the two of them as they laid on the grass, watching the rising sun. His arm was wrapped around her tightly, holding her closely to him. Will she ever tell him that she nearly clocked him upside the face and took him hostage in his own home?

She thought on the idea for about a second. Probably not. It would have to be her little secret.

But all that mattered right then, was that very moment. The two of them laying in the grass, overtired, but never feeling that happy at any other point in their lives. Finally, Sunset had found a place that she could call home. His arms.

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