For the Love of Sunset

by Oroboro

Chapter 1: And Harmony

Rainbow Dash tossed a rubber ball into the air. It arced gracefully and landed on top of one of the hanging fluorescent light fixtures in the lab. It rolled all the way down the length, then fell into a trashcan below. “Ugh, I’m so bored. That would've been way cooler if I hadn’t already done it like a dozen times!”

Sunset pinched the bridge of her nose and rubbed at her eyes. “We know, Dash, and you complaining about it won't make the computer run any faster.”

“I'm not normally one to agree with Rainbow Dash’s griping,” Rarity said. She rested her chin on her palm and blew her bangs out of her eyes. “But this is less fun than previously indicated.”

“Eyup.” Applejack leaned back in a folding chair, her arms crossed behind her head and her hat draped over her eyes. “I promised Apple Bloom I’d help her with some homework tonight, so I’d like to be outta here sooner rather than later.”

Pinkie Pie giggled as she swung upside down from a large piece of lab equipment. “I don’t mind! The longer you wait the bigger the anticipation and build up, and the more excited we’ll all be! So it’ll just be super amazing, right?”

A silence fell over the room after Pinkie’s words, and after a few moments everyone turned to look at Fluttershy.

“I, um. Don’t really have any complaints.”

Sunset growled, slamming her fist down onto the table. “Look, Twilight worked really hard to get this all ready for you, so just have some patience and appreciate it, okay?”

Twilight blushed and reached up to fidget with her glasses. “I’m really sorry, everyone. The computer is almost done calculating everything. Just another minute or so.”

“Yeah yeah.” Rainbow Dash fished her rubber ball out of the trash can, backed up, and repeated the same shot.

A few minutes later, the computer finally dinged, and Twilight’s face lit up. She cleared her throat several times to get everyone's attention. “Alright then! As you may already know, Sunset and I have been working really hard to develop a portal that can travel to other worlds and isn't just locked to Equestria. Last week, we succeeded, and had a rather… eventful first test.”

Sunset glanced over to the table where some of their souvenirs—including a very nice spear made of a metal not native to either Earth or Equestria—rested.

“Still wish y’all had warned us about that,” Applejack grunted.

“What’s done is done, darling,” Rarity said. She held up her nails, inspecting them in the harsh white light. “We’ve already said our parts, and they’ve both apologized.”

Twilight bit her lip, then glanced down at the cue cards she had prepared. “Well, we determined that simply barging into alternate worlds unannounced can be a rather dangerous thing to do, so I have instead modified the portal to act as a visual filter. I can cycle through realities, and we can see a brief peek of what it looks like on the other end.”

Fluttershy let out a held breath. “Goodness, that actually sounds nice. We’re all perfectly safe on this side, right?”

Twilight nodded. “Like ninety-nine percent.” Without further fanfare or chance to object, she pulled down a lever. The circular ring of steel that made up their interdimensional portal hummed and crackled to life. A silvery sheet of energy coalesced into existence and the quiet energy it radiated tickled the back of Sunset’s brain. What they had created was distinct from, but related to Equestrian Magic, and it relied on a lot of similar principles.

“Oooh, shiny,” Pinkie Pie cooed. She stood up and stepped forward, as if to rush into the portal, but Sunset grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her back into her seat.

Twilight typed some things into her keyboard, and color bled into the portal, swirling around in greens and browns until it became a window to another world. They could see a clearing in an idyllic forest. Sunset could remember being there not too long ago, she could still feel the sun on her face and the breeze blowing her hair about.

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow. “I mean, the portal thing is cool and all, but that’s just a forest. Not like you have to go far outside of town to find trees.

“I had a feeling you might say something like that,” Twilight said with a smirk. She pressed another button, and the image changed. Beyond the portal was darkness and smoke, barely lit by an orange haze.

“I don’t see anyt—”

There was a flash of light and lava erupted onto the screen, causing Rainbow Dash to take a step back. While the portal wouldn’t allow any of it to pass through, such an up close and personal view was something rarely afforded to the living, and it put most nature documentaries to shame.

Twilight giggled, then switched the image again, this time a view from the top of a tower overlooking a vast kingdom.

“Y’know, I’m a little reminded of when we get out the projector and go through old vacation photos,” Applejack said. She leaned forward in her chair, eyes glittering with interest. “But somehow it’s different. These are all real places, and we could just walk right through to them if we really wanted, right?”

“Yep! Though, obviously we won’t.”

Sunset grinned as she watched Twilight continue through her slideshow. She’d helped to pick out the realities worth showing off, after all. Their last adventure had been a rather humbling experience, and even though Twilight wanted to convey the majesties of interdimensional travel to the rest of their friends, Sunset tempered her enthusiasm and suggested this approach instead. It seemed to be effective enough.

The girls gasped and cheered as they saw mountain vistas, underwater palaces, a jungle filled with dinosaurs, the interior of a spaceship, and anything anyone could dream of. The multiverse was truly an infinite place.

“And with that,” Twilight said, flicking the switch one last time, “We’re back to the start. I hope you’ve all enjoyed this tour of what could be out there, and I—”

Pinkie Pie suddenly leapt out of her seat and began waving frantically. “Hiii!”

Twilight and Sunset blinked at her, and then turned back towards the portal. It had apparently turned into a mirror, and was reflecting the interior of the lab.

Sunset rubbed at her eyes. No, it wasn’t a mirror. It was all seven of them and the inside of the lab, but they were seated differently. The other Sunset had her hand on Applejack’s shoulder, and was pointing towards the screen, saying something.

Both Twilights met each other’s eyes, glanced down at their notes, then at the computer screen. “Huh, I guess we connected to a parallel reality by accident. My bad.”

Before anyone could get too interested in the idea of their parallel selves, Twilight pressed the button and the image blurred… and stayed the same. No, again, the seven of them, but different. This Sunset was wearing much nicer clothes for some reason.

“Ugh, Twilight growled. “Sunset, can you give me a hand here?”

Both Sunsets moved over to peer at Twilight’s screen. She watched the numbers fly by. “I mean, it looks like the dimensional coordinates are off. We’re peeking next door now.”

“But we shouldn’t be!” Twilight pressed the button three more times, each view showing a slightly different variation of the seven of them in the lab. “This is basically a jacked up powerpoint presentation, and it’s only supposed to be showing the realities I had preset!”

“It’s fine, Twilight,” Sunset said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “We’ll just turn it off for now, then find out where the error is later. Not the end of the world.”

Rainbow Dash caught the eyes of her alternate self, then grinned. She stood up, then dropped the rubber ball onto her foot, casually bouncing it around as the movement was mirrored. Then she reared back and kicked, the ball arcing perfectly towards the portal. It connected with the ball on the other side.

Sunset gasped. In theory, the portal should be visual only right now. It should’ve have just passed through harmlessly and bounced around the back of the lab for a bit. But for whatever reason, the ball rebounded from the energy of the portal and ricocheted up towards the ceiling with a shower of sparks.

“What?” Rainbow Dash said when everyone turned to glare at her. “That was a great shot and you know it.”

Something clattered above, and Sunset looked up to see Rainbow Dash’s ball rolling down a light fixture again. This time it fell onto a table, where it bounced along before knocking over a beaker which shattered on the ground.

Fluttershy sighed. “How many times have you broken things by kicking balls around the house, Rainbow Dash?” She stood up, then made her way over to the supply closet where she began digging around in search of a broom and dustpan.

Twilight shook her head. “You don’t need to clean that up Fluttershy, I can—”

“Eep!” Fluttershy stumbled and dropped the bundle of mops she was holding aside. The bundle fell, landing on the butt end of Sunset’s spear, which flipped dangerously through the air.

“Consarnit!” Applejack swore as she leapt backwards, the spear stabbing into the chair she had been sitting in moments before. She crashed into the shelf behind her, which toppled dangerously.

“I’ve got it!” Rarity shouted. She grabbed the shelf from behind, steadying it as Applejack tried to regain her senses.

An academic achievement award from Crystal Prep rolled off the top shelf and landed with a thunk on some of the heavy machinery powering the portal. It continued rolling along the top, straight towards an open soda can that Pinkie Pie had left on top of it.

Sunset watched everything happen, feeling an odd detachment. In her peripheral vision, she could see the same unlikely series of events transpiring just across the way in the reality next door.

Right before the award could crash into the soda can and spill its contents all over the delicate electronics, Pinkie Pie snatched up the can and chugged the whole thing. “Ugh, it’s kind of warm.”

Everyone in the room let out a collective sigh of relief.

And then the ceiling buckled and gave out as a torrent of water poured into the room.

Derpy poked her head through the hole from above, looking aghast. “Oh my gosh, is everyone down there alright? We had a broken pipe and a flooded bathroom, but I never thought the floor would break!”

The machine sparked and hissed and belched smoke.

Sunset turned, horror growing in the pit of her stomach. The portal began to fluctuate wildly, wisps of energy zapping their way into the lab. Their alternate counterparts didn't seem to be faring much better.

Twilight lunged to the side and smashed her fist down on a big red button. When nothing happened, she started cursing. “The emergency shutoff isn’t responding!”

“Everybody get down!” Sunset screamed. A wave of force washed over them, emanating from the portal, sending papers and pens and cups and beakers crashing to the floor. She could feel the dangerous hum of magic in the room, and sensed how chaotic and unpredictable it was.

Somehow, she knew what she had to do. Her own magic flared to life inside of her, her hair growing longer, her ears becoming equine once more. She had to protect her friends. She stepped forward, positioning herself in between the portal and everyone else.

“Sunset!” someone screamed.

A bright white light erupted from the portal, followed by pain, and then darkness.

“Sunset? Sunset, please, wake up!”

Sunset blinked open blurry eyes to the sound of muffled voices. As consciousness returned, she immediately wished it hadn’t. Her skull throbbed with immense pain, like the Wonderbolts were putting on an aerial thunder-show in her brain. She tried to say something, but only managed to cough and groan.

“Oh thank goodness…”

Sunset felt something wet on her cheek, and she looked up to see messy purple hair and tear-filled eyes staring down at her.

“Twilight…” Sunset mumbled. She reached up a shaky hand to cup the cheek of the crying girl above her. She wanted to say something more, but her words caught in her throat, and sweet Celestia did her head hurt.

Twilight sniffed and took off her glasses so she could rub at her eyes, then smiled weakly. “Don't scare me like that.” She hiccuped and leaned down to press salty lips against Sunset’s.

A flurry of emotions rushed through Sunset all at once. Twilight was kissing her. Why did it feel so right?

Because... They had agreed to start a relationship during their recent otherworldly adventure, wasn't that it?

Twilight pulled away from the kiss, her face bright red.

Sunset did her best to grin. “Is everyone else o—”

“S-sunset?” The quiet voice of Fluttershy stammered from nearby. “What are you… I thought we were… I'm sorry.”

Sunset blinked, and turned to face Fluttershy. Her friend sat there with her hands clasped over her mouth and her eyes filled with tears.

Sparks showered from above, illuminating everyone in brief flashes. Sunset took in a moment to take in the state of the lab. All the lights had been blown out, and everything that hadn't been anchored to the ground was strewn about in a mess that would take ages to clean up.

Fluttershy sniffed, no more words coming to her. A small trickle of blood ran down her leg, from a skinned knee.

Sunset smiled and shook her head. She gently extracted herself from underneath Twilight. She grabbed a first aid kit from the nearby wall and knelt down in front of Fluttershy. “Hey, this might sting a bit, okay?”

Fluttershy hissed as her scrape was dabbed with alcohol, then stared at Sunset through the gaps in her fingers. “I, um… what are you doing?”

“Taking care of you, what does it look like? Even before we started dating, I promised to protect you.” Sunset paused, then grinned wickedly. “Or would you prefer that I kiss it to make it all better?”

Her words echoed in the destroyed lab, followed by a deafening silence. She could feel several pairs of eyes boring into her.

Sunset turned to see Twilight's mouth hanging open, and a dusty Pinkie Pie standing on an overturned chair, her expression strained. She could hear rustling, and saw the others too, as they pulled themselves out of the rubble in the darkness.

“Wowza,” Pinkie Pie said, her voice filled with forced cheerfulness. “You really are an amazing person, Sunset. Fluttershy’s a sweetheart and if she's the type of girl that makes you happy then go for it! I mean, I wouldn't mind sharing, or just stepping aside if that's how you really feel, but it seems kind of not very nice to do it all without telling me.”

This wasn't right. Sunsets heart hammered in her chest and she stood up, taking a step forward towards Pinkie. “Pinkie, come on, you know that we're together, I'm not going to—”

Pain assaulted her senses and Sunset cried out, falling to her knees and clutching her head. “What's happening to me?” Worried voices called out to her, surrounded her.

The voices of the girls she loved. Was in love with.

“Something’s wrong,” Twilight said.

“You mean other than the fact that you've been macking on my girlfriend behind my back?” Rainbow Dash growled. “I thought you were my friends!”

“You must be mistaken, darling,” Rarity said, her tone icy. “Ever since our charming evening together at my cousin’s wedding, Sunset and I have been an official couple, and we have certainly not shied away from letting everyone know about it. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse.”

“Which is a complete load of baloney,” Applejack said. “When Sunset helped me out on the farm…”

Their voices all pounded through Sunset’s head, ricocheting inside her skull like a dump truck full of super bouncy balls. Their words rang with truth, even as they blatantly contradicted each other. It was enough to tear the torrent of emotions in Sunset’s heart to shreds.

“Enough!” Sunset screamed.

Silence filled the room, and Sunset unsteadily rose to her feet. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she tried to fight through the pain. “Something is wrong. I can remember it. All of you are my girlfriends. Somehow. And no, I wasn't sneaking around cheating on any of you.”

Twilight gasped, then turned towards her burnt out computer screen and grimaced. “The explosion… It must have done something to us, to our memories.”

Applejack took off her hat and ran a hand through her hair. “Our heads are really messed with so easy? Feels to me like this is the way it’s always been.”

“Not for me,” Sunset growled. She took a deep breath, trying to steady her nerves. “All of these contradictions bouncing around in my head really hurt.

“Oh Sunset,” Fluttershy cooed, and she took Sunset’s hand in her own. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to jump to conclusions earlier. I should have known you'd never do anything like that on purpose.”

Rarity shot Fluttershy a nasty glare, then clenched a fist and turned away. “You might be looking at this from the wrong angle, darling. We saw our alternate selves, didn't we? Maybe we somehow ended up in the wrong dimension.”

“Hmm.” Twilight pursed her lips, then started digging through the remains of the lab. She came up with a purple device and pointed it at each of them in turn. It hummed quietly, and Twilight compared it to something on her phone. “Good theory, but I'm afraid you're wrong. This is our home dimension, and we all have the same dimensional signature.”

Pinkie Pie rested her hand on her chin and blew a poof of her hair out of her eyes. “This is going to take a whole big chart to sort out, huh?”

“There’s nothing to sort out,” Rainbow Dash said, teeth clenched. “Fine, Twilight screwed everything up with some magic bullshit. Just fix it so that it’s just me and Sunset dating like it's supposed to be.”

Applejack raised an eyebrow. “And what makes you think your romance is the natural one, or whatever? Hard to muddle through all this nonsense, but I’m pretty sure my relationship with Sunset is the longest.”

Sunset tried to sort through her thoughts. If she really focused, she could separate what seemed like seven separate sets of memories, though they were all muddled and overlapping. Applejack was right, but also… “I think… I think at least some part of me has memories where I wasn’t dating any of you.”

The girls fell silent, the wind stolen out from under what was surely another argument.

“Well that’s no fun,” Pinkie Pie said.

Twilight sighed. “We all need to calm down and think about this logically. We all have feelings for Sunset, and Sunset has feelings for all of us. I have some vague ideas about what might have caused this and how to fix it, but it'll take some rebuilding and a lot of research, and there's no guarantee it'll work at all. We're all friends, right? We can't fight over this. We have to work through it together.”

“My my,” Rarity said, touching a finger to her lips. “That's quite the friendship speech, Miss Twilight Sparkle of Crystal Prep. You're really coming into your own.”

“Um, thanks?”

Sunset let out a soft sigh. The pain was starting to fade as she got used to the overflow of information. “So I just avoid all of you until we can get this sorted out. Not too hard.”

Something squeezed Sunset’s hand, and she realized Fluttershy was still holding onto her.

“I, um, don't want that at all.”

“Ooh, I know!” Pinkie Pie shouted, raising her hand into the air. “We could always try polyamory!”

Everyone turned to stare at Pinkie and she nodded emphatically. “We're all super best friends, so sharing shouldn't be a problem.”

“I dunno about that,” Applejack mumbled. “Don’t quite seem natural.”

“Hmm. I admit, I can be the jealous type.” Rarity eyed Fluttershy up and down then sighed. “But there's a certain appeal to it as well, and if anyone could handle it, well, we've certainly all dealt with worse.”

Sunset looked between all six of her lovers, and with growing apprehension saw that there was serious consideration of the idea in their eyes. “Uh, girls? I'm not sure I can handle all of you at once.”

Rainbow Dash snorted, then burst out laughing. “Now I'm just picturing Sunset as one of those Desert Queens who's so rich and powerful they keep a bunch of hot girls and boys just lying around at their feet.”

“The word you're looking for is a harem,” Twilight said. “The variety you're describing is a largely discredited trope that was once used by the rich and powerful to demonstrate their luxury and to oppress…” Twilight trailed off as she glanced at Sunset. There must have been a rather striking image she was imagining, because she turned a deep crimson and forgot to finish her lecture.

“You’re right, that is a rather interesting thought,” Rarity said, her eyes twinkling. “Even if not for the reality of the situation, it would make for an incredible photoshoot. I could do up the costumes, and you’re still doing the modeling thing, right Fluttershy? We could get a professional to do the photography.”

Fluttershy squeaked, and shrunk back. “That, sounds, um…”

“Now hold on just a durned minute,” Applejack said, stomping a foot. “Look, I’m right fond of Sunset and all, and being with her makes me happy. But won’t trying to share her just drive us all crazy?”

Sunset snorted. “I feel crazy already. Which is why Twilight’s going to fix this as soon as she can, right?”

“Well, I mean, I’ll try, but…”

“Hmm.” Broken glass crunched under her soles as Pinkie Pie tapped her foot on the floor repeatedly. “But if Twilight fixes the problem, doesn’t that mean I’ll stop loving you?”

Everyone froze. It was true, and generally the point, but the part of Sunset that loved Pinkie Pie didn’t want for that to go away.

“We’re all just completely screwed, aren’t we?” Sunset groaned. She found a turned over chair, righted it, then sat down and buried her face in her hands.

Sparks fell down from the ceiling. Rarity sighed. “Look, this probably isn’t the best place to be discussing all of this. We need to get this all cleaned up, explain this to the authorities, then have a nice bath and a good night's sleep to sort this all out, I’m sure. As much as it would hurt to lose these feelings, I’m certain Twilight is our best option for a solution that doesn’t leave anyone too heartbroken. In the meantime… maybe we just take turns?”

There was a long pause, a silence that stretched well into awkwardness.

Twilight coughed. “I guess I could draw up a schedule.

Sunset sighed. “Whatever. I don’t even care anymore. Look, I love all of you, that much is clear. If you think you can handle something like that without tearing your friendships apart, I guess I’ll try.”

Fluttershy glanced at the others, and nodded. “I, um. I won’t get mad or anything, I promise.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “This is dumb. But it better only be temporary.”

“Shoot, how the heck am I gonna explain this to Apple Bloom?” Applejack muttered. “Probably better if I don’t.”

“This is going to be one heck of a party!” Pinkie Pie shouted. “And I mean, if we’re all dating Sunset, then—”

Rarity held up a hand to cut Pinkie Pie off. “Not so fast, darling. I like what Twilight says about a schedule. But if we’re together as a group, we should keep it all strictly platonic. PDA is annoying enough when you’re not in love with one of the participants.”

There were murmurs of agreement throughout the room.

Twilight fidgeted. “This is all going to be an awful lot of pressure but… I can handle it. I won’t let you all down.”

Sunset smiled. “Thanks, Rarity. I’m still a little too overwhelmed to be taking charge like that.”

Rarity gave a coy smile that sent a shiver down Sunset’s spine. “Anything for you, sweetheart.”

After the sudden barrage of scowls directed her way, Rarity coughed, her cheeks coloring. “Right. That’s a perfect example of what we’ll have to refrain from doing when we’re together until this is all sorted out.”

Sunset stared up at her ceiling, the seams of her pillow digging into her neck.

It was hard to properly categorize all of the emotions that held a brutal tug of war for her attention. Boredom? Loneliness? Love? Loss? Any time she let her thoughts drift towards one of her friends, her mind filled with the memories they'd shared in their brief relationship, and pain at the thought that this incident might cause her to lose one or all of them.

The worst part was, that she had no idea which set of memories belonged to the “real” Sunset.

So here she sat, alone in her room with all of these feelings boiling inside her. They’d given it a day so everyone could think things through, and so that Twilight could come up with a schedule that worked for everyone. It was a good thing Sunset didn’t have anything else going on right now, because it seemed like until this was over, it was romance day in and day out. And her first companion in this rotation was supposed to be—

Her phone buzzed on her nightstand and Sunset snatched it up immediately. The caller ID read Applejack. She smiled, her chest warm merely at the thought of getting to talk to her again.



“Ya sure you ain't interested?” Applejack held up a fish hook and a worm and jiggled them about.

A cool breeze blew across the lake, swaying reeds and providing welcome relief to the pair of sweaty girls on the boat. Sunset smiled sheepishly at Applejack and shook her head. “Sorry. Fish aren't sapient, even in Equestria, but it still weirds me out too much.”

Applejack shrugged, then put the worm back in the container of bait. “Ain't nothing to worry about. I just figured it'd be worth a shot. Mosta the fun in fishing comes from just sitting around and relaxing with your buddies anyway. You uh, up for that at least?”

Sunset felt so excited to come out here at first, but now her fragmented heart faltered. “Is this really okay?”

“I dunno. All this multidimensional whatever is too much for me to wrap my head around.” Applejack leaned back and stretched. “All I know is, you're my girl, Sunset. Shouldn't be any more to it than that.”

“Should is easy. But life isn't.” Sunset met Applejack’s eyes and did her best not to blush. “You sure I can make everyone happy like this?”

“Not sure you can, sug.” Applejack opened up the cooler and grabbed two bottles of cider. “But whatever else, we’re still friends who enjoy spending time together, aren't we?”

Sunset took the bottle, cracked it open and took a sip. “No matter what, I can promise that much.”

They leaned against each other, back to back as they drank, serenaded by the croaking frogs and buzzing insects.

It was serene, peaceful. Exactly what Sunset needed after all of the chaos. Her hand snaked backwards and she found Applejack’s, their fingers intertwining.

The part of Sunset’s psyche that loved Applejack was steering the ship at this point, and no other objections could find purchase.

Applejack belched, then chuckled. “Shoot. Whatever else happens, Sunset, I'm glad for every moment I spent with you.”

Sunset giggled, then squeezed Applejack’s hand a little tighter. A thought occurred to her, and she turned around, whispering into Applejack’s ear. “Just curious, what happens if we decide to, say, rock the boat?”

“Well, uh.” Applejack coughed, then shifted her position so she could face Sunset. “I mean, it ain't impossible, but can't get too crazy or we might actually tip over.”

“Good to know.” Sunset placed her hand on Applejack’s cheek and kissed her, her lips tasting of sweat and bug spray. “Guess we'll just have to be careful.”

“One, two, three and four. One, two, three and four.”

Sunset had the steps down, but she faltered when Rarity moved into her flourish. Weight pressed against Sunset as a silky smooth leg wrapped around her midsection. With a startled yelp, they both lost their balance and toppled into a heap.

Rarity sat on top of Sunset, panting. Stray strands of otherwise perfect hair fell into her eyes, and she reached up to brush them away. Rarity’s evening gown glistened in the lighting of the gym. “Is something the matter, darling? You seem a bit out of it today.” After a brief pause, she lit up with a devilish grin. “Or are you just trying to get me onto the ground?”

“Sorry,” Sunset mumbled. Her mind was such a maelstrom of conflicting emotions, it was a wonder she was able to function at all. As much as she loved Rarity, here in this moment, it felt so weird knowing what she had shared just yesterday with Applejack.

When Sunset didn't respond to Rarity’s flirting, Rarity sighed and pulled herself up off the ground. “I'm terribly sorry, Sunset. I know how crazy this must be for you. I just thought a good workout would help take your mind off things.”

Sunset sat up and shook her head. “Look, I thought you should know. Yesterday, I—”

“Went fishing with Applejack and made love to her on a boat?” Rarity crossed her arms, staring down at her.

Sunset blinked, then looked away.

Rarity clicked her tongue. “Applejack called me yesterday because she felt weird about it too. Maybe there is a part of me that’s jealous, but we had a good long discussion about ourselves, and you, and what it was in our memories that brought us to you in the first place. And as much of a nightmare as this all is, well…”

With a soft smile, Rarity reached out a hand and pulled Sunset to her feet. “Either I allow myself to be unhappy with jealousy, or I give myself the space to be happy with you, even if it's not exclusive. Since this whole arrangement seems temporary, I'm sure I can handle it until then.”

Sunset’s heart fluttered in her chest, and she licked her lips. “That's a noble philosophy, but what about the others? Does everyone really feel the same?”

“I've been floating my thoughts towards the other girls. They seem okay so far. Look, even beyond all that, I just want to learn to dance with you, Sunset. Surely there's no harm in that?”

“Alright, you win.” It was hard to resist Rarity when she batted her eyelashes like that. Sunset grabbed Rarity’s hand and began counting beats in her head.

“Although,” Rarity whispered as they made their way across the dance floor, “if this tango goes in a more horizontal direction, I certainly won't be complaining.”

An incessant pounding at Sunset’s door pulled her out of a deep sleep.

Groaning, she did her best to pull herself out of bed. Her body ached, between the mental exhaustion and her… exertions with the girls, this wasn’t nearly enough sleep.

“Hey, Sunset, come on! I know you’re in there. Open up!”

Sunset blinked. That wasn’t coming from her door at all. When the pounding continued she moved over to her bedroom window and pulled aside her curtain to see Rainbow Dash precariously balanced between her window sill and her rain gutter. “Dash, what the hell are you doing?”

Rainbow Dash grinned through gritted teeth.. “About to fall if you don't open this damn window!”

After blinking away the bright assault of being exposed to sunlight, Sunset opened up the window and pulled Rainbow Dash inside.

“Thanks,” Rainbow Dash grunted. She fell to one knee, panting heavily.

Sunset crossed her arms over her chest. “You know I have a door, right?”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Well then maybe answer it. Or your phone.”

“I didn't hear…” Sunset trailed off as she glanced at her nightstand and saw that her phone was dead. “Crap. Sorry.” She yawned, stretching. “I'm just really tired.”

A flicker of annoyance crossed Rainbow Dash’s face, but was gone in an instant. “Well, too bad. Today's my day to hang out, so we're going to hang out. I'm kind of feeling just chilling out and playing video games all day.”

Sunset sat down on the edge of her bed, picked up her hairbrush, and started tugging it through her hair. “In case you forgot, I don't have a TV.”

Rainbow Dash blinked. “Oh, right. Well, then what do you want to do?”

“Eat breakfast? I don't know, Dash, I just woke up. You'll have to give me a minute.”

Rainbow Dash shrugged, then began wandering around Sunset’s room, idly looking over her desks and drawers. “So, you banged any of the others in your room yet?”

Sunset cursed as her hairbrush caught on a particularly nasty snarl. “Nope. Are you asking because you're jealous and this whole situation is super weird, or are you just messing with me?”

“W-what?” Rainbow Dash stumbled mid step, then turned to scowl at Sunset. “You don't have to get all real on me all of a sudden. It's… weird. I'm jealous but not like, normal jealous. I'm jealous that you have six hot chicks that are totally into you. Who are all awesome. And one of them is me. It doesn't seem fair, you know?”

Sunset blinked, and opened her mouth to orate about the burden of managing everybody’s feelings and the stress of so many relationships, then stopped herself. Rainbow Dash wouldn't want to hear it, and at some deeper, lowest common denominator level, she was right. Having the affection—both physical and emotional—of so many wonderful people was kind of awesome.

Rainbow Dash noticed the change in Sunset’s expression and grinned. “See? You're just now really starting to think about it, huh? I know Twilight’s going to fix everything, but if she didn't, and we managed to keep this going, you'd be the most legendary student in Canterlot High’s history. More than you already are, I mean. They'll be telling stories about your mad game for years!”

“Of all the reputations I've developed, I suppose that wouldn't be the worst,” Sunset said with a wry chuckle. She set her hair brush aside, then stood up to place a hand on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder. “Still, I want you to know that the part of me that loves you would be perfectly happy with just the two of us.”

“I, uh…” Rainbow Dash's eyes widened and her face turned a deep scarlet. She turned around and coughed. “I guess that's cool too, or whatever.”

Sunset giggled, gave her a quick peck on the lips, then turned to find some clothes to wear.

“Hey,” Rainbow Dash called out a minute later. “How come I haven't read this one before?” She pulled a Daring Do book off of Sunset’s bookshelf, and blew dust off of it. “And why is there a pony on the cover?”

“Because it's an Equestrian original,” Sunset said as she threw a shirt on. “Had it with me when I first came to this world.”

Rainbow Dash’s eyes sparkled, then fell as she opened to the first page. “I can't read this.”

“That's because the script is Equestrian. I could read it out loud for you, if you want.”

“Yes yes yes yes!” Rainbow Dash jumped up and down, squealing like a school filly.

Sunset smiled, then plopped down onto her bed. “Alright, get comfy.”

Sunset screamed. The world dropped out from under her and her stomach did somersaults in her gut. Her primal terror was complemented by Pinkie Pie, who whooped and hollered with jubilation in the seat next to hers.

Ten minutes later, Sunset stared up at a monitor with her own horrified expression on it, still trying to settle the turmoil in her stomach. “Ugh, this is why I’m glad I wasn’t born a pegasus. Also, I can’t believe they want twenty bucks for this.”

Pinkie Pie grinned from ear to ear as she munched on some sort of fried nightmare of sugar that made gods weep when contrasted against her flawless teeth. “It’s a bit pricey, sure, but where else can you get pictures that capture moments like this, huh?” Without waiting for a response, Pinkie Pie ran up to the photodesk with her credit card in hand. “I’ll take two!”

“Pinkie, come on, you don’t have to spend that much money,” Sunset said, grabbing her arm.

“Sure I do! Well, I mean, I don’t have to, but I want to! This is us spending time together, and if Twilight does her mind zapper thing, then we won’t be doing this anymore, at least not like this. So I want pictures!”

Sunset blinked, then let go.

They left the rollercoaster, Pinkie Pie skipping alongside her. It didn’t take long to get dragged in another direction.

“Come on,” Pinkie Pie shouted. “I want to win you a stuffed animal!”

Sunset raised an eyebrow. “Really? Usually it’s me who has to win the prizes all the time.”

Pinkie Pie slowed down a bit, looking up at her with wide eyes. “Oh. You already had an amusement park date with the girls?”

Crap. Maybe that hadn’t been the best phrasing. Sunset scratched at her chin, trying not to blush. “Not exactly. I mean, not in any recent romantic memories. But I have in platonic trips with you girls in the past. And well, in a more general sense, I’ve always been the one who takes charge and gets stuff done, you know? Even back with Flash, he tried to win me a stuffed animal once, but couldn’t sink one lousy shot and I had to show him how it was done.”

There was a brief silence, undercut by the general murmur of the crowd that flowed past them. Then Pinkie Pie lit up, and she nodded emphatically. “Okay, I think I understand! You work really hard and are really awesome and take responsibility for a bunch of stuff because you trust yourself to get it done and don’t want anyone else to deal with the burden. I get how crazy this is, and it must be driving you absolutely nuts, so if I can do something nice to make you feel better, then yippie!”

Sunset opened her mouth to respond, but her words caught in her throat. Pinkie hit the nail on the head, as usual. But she found it surprisingly touching. “Okay,” she said, smiling. “Treat me all you like!”

“Alright, I’m going to get you that one!” Pinkie Pie yelled, dragging them towards a booth with some sort of giant, pink, fluffy monstrosity.


While the stuffed animal clutched into her arms was certainly comfortable, it couldn’t beat closeness of Pinkie Pie leaning against her side. Dim light and the splashing of waves assailed her senses as the cheesy swan boat sailed through the Tunnel of Love.

“Psst,” Pinkie Pie whispered, leaning close enough that her lips brushed Sunset’s ear. “If you wanted to turn this Tunnel of Love into a Tunnel of Making Love, I know where there’s an empty service corridor around the next bend.”

Sunset swallowed and licked her lips. The offer was certainly both tempting and exciting. But as young and healthy as she was, sex with three different partners in the past three days taxed both her physical and emotional resources. And Pinkie Pie certainly had a lot of energy to just keep going and going.

But on the other hand, those big blue eyes were hard to say no to, and the actual ride was a little dull anyway.

With a grin, Sunset took Pinkie’s hand.

Sunset sat down backwards on the chair in Fluttershy’s room and folded her arms across it. “Hey, it’s good to see you. You been holding up alright?”

Fluttershy sat on the edge her bed, hands folded in her lap, eyes glued to the floor. She spared a brief glance upward at Sunset, then immediately looked away, her cheeks already burning a deep crimson. “Um, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.”

Well, that was a bit of an extreme reaction, but it was Fluttershy, so seeing her flustered for whatever reason was hardly unusual. “Well, you asked me to come over. Did you want to go somewhere?”

“Um…” Fluttershy bit her lip. “N-no, not really.”

Sunset shrugged. Well, she had been run ragged by the other girls already, so just relaxing a bit was welcome enough. “Did you have something in mind to do here?”

Fluttershy shook her head.

Silence hung in the room for minutes, mostly because Sunset wanted to see if Fluttershy would willingly volunteer any information or conversation on her own. She didn’t, and playing the quiet game against Fluttershy was a losing proposition.

After she couldn’t take it anymore, Sunset put her phone away. “Do you want to go to the zoo or something? I heard they got a new bear exhibit.”

“No thanks. I’d rather um, stay here, if that’s okay.”

Sunset sighed. She sat down on the bed to sit next to Fluttershy, who squeaked and scooted a few inches away. “Look, Fluttershy, something’s bothering you. I’m not an idiot. If you just talk to me, I’ll be glad to help. I can only assume it has to do with this whole polyamory thing. I’m not sure we can put the cat back in the box at this point, but whatever your feelings, we can work them out together.”

Fluttershy licked her lips and shivered. “Um, n-no, that’s not really it. I guess it’s weird, but…”

“Is it about vet school again? Or the modeling thing? You can tell me, I promise.”

“I…” Fluttershy squeezed her eyes shut, then took a deep breath. “Um, how long have we been dating now?”

“In real time, less than a week. But in terms of our memories, our relationship has only lasted a month so far. The only one shorter is Twilight. Why?”

“We’ve been, um, taking it pretty slow. Which is good. I like slow. And careful.” Fluttershy trembled, her voice raising in pitch. “And it would be just awful if you randomly tore off all my clothes and did whatever you wanted to me.”

Sunset stared blankly at Fluttershy as the real context to her words slowly dawned on her. Then she groaned audibly and smacked her face into her palm.

Fluttershy squeaked and turned away, burying her face in a pillow.

Well, it was kind of cute, at least. Sunset stood up, then began to stretch out her aching muscles. Were all her friends such horndogs in every universe? “Fluttershy?”

“Y-yes?” Fluttershy asked, her voice muffled.

Sunset rested a hand on Fluttershy’s shoulder, who jumped at the touch. “Fluttershy, I’m not going to do something like that. But, if you want to have an adult conversation about sex first, I’d be happy to pretend to do something like that. Do you think you can handle talking about it?”

Fluttershy stayed silent for a minute before she finally sniffed and mumbled, “No?”

“Do you think you can try?”


“‘Atta girl.”

Sunset finished tightening the final bolt. She stood up and wiped the sweat off her brow. Good, solid work. “Hey, Twi, I'm all finished up over here.”

“Mmm.” Twilight's lab coat flapped around and her hands worked furiously. Her left scribbled math into the diary as she worked out equations with Princess Twilight. Her right clicked through a dozen tabs on her computer, each displaying a monumental amount of data. “Give me a minute to figure what you need to do next.”

“Sure.” Sunset nodded, then made her over to the corner of the room where she had stashed a cooler. She grabbed two water bottles and some power bars for good measure.

They'd spent four hours now piecing together the equipment needed for Twilight to perform her next sci-fi miracle. It all needed to be done of course, but so far the day had been all work and no play. It was a rather marked difference compared to how the week had been going so far.

Sunset peered over Twilight’s shoulder as she took a sip of her water. “Hey, you wanna take a break? We could walk down to the store, stretch our legs, get some sun, maybe get some ice cream or something.”

“No thank you,” Twilight said curtly. The light from her monitors reflected off her glasses, her hands not resting for a moment. “Feel free to go if you want, but I need to keep working. Then everything can go back to normal.”

“There's diminishing returns on overworking yourself, you know. Regular breaks and proper nutrition keep the brain refreshed and ready to tackle complex problems.” Sunset grinned, then sidled in close to Twilight, wrapping an arm around her waist and whispering in her ear, “And besides. I've been waiting all week to spend some quality time with you, Twilight. What do you say we get refreshed in more ways than one?”

Twilight stiffened under her embrace, then pulled away roughly. “No thank you. Please, just let me work, okay?”

Sunset blinked and took a step back. That certainly wasn't the reaction she'd been expecting. “Twilight, I… I'm sorry. Are you alright?”

With a sigh, Twilight turned around, pulled off her glasses, and rubbed them on her lab coat. Her face was a neutral mask, as sterile as any scientist. “Look, Sunset. I arranged the schedule like this on purpose. Our minds are filled with imprinted memories from your dimensional counterparts. I've been spending all week trying to figure out how to erase them so things can go back to the way they were before. These feelings are temporary, and there's no point in dwelling on them. Besides,” Twilight said as she put her glasses back on. “In these false memories, we were only dating for about a week. I like you, Sunset, but… I'm sure we're quite happy together in another reality, but it's not going to be this one.”

“Oh. Okay then.” The words hit Sunset like a kick to the chest, but even as she reeled, she couldn't find anything in them to object to. Just a vague sadness that there couldn't be more. But Twilight was right. Their relationship was the weakest, and the one most likely to break away.

But that was okay. It's not like romance was the entirety of their relationship.

Twilight took a deep breath and turned back to her screen. “I’m sorry. But please, I’d really like to focus.”

Sunset moved in between Twilight and the screen and crossed her arms over her chest. “Okay, fine. We’re not girlfriends anymore. I’ll live. I wish we could have done better under different circumstances, but it is what it is. But no matter what interdimensional memories I’ve inherited, there’s something that hasn’t changed, and won’t change. You’re still my friend, Twilight. And as your friend, you really need to take a break.”

Twilight’s eyes went wide and she took a step back. “This whole thing is my fault,” she spat through clenched teeth. “I screwed up in the design, and it’s caused this whole mess. Who knows if I didn’t inadvertently cause some sort of horrible side effect we haven’t seen yet? I’m a failure, and I put my friends in danger. Again. I don’t deserve to be your friend.”

“Uh-huh,” Sunset muttered, rolling her eyes. “And I literally tried to murder all of my friends once. This isn’t the first time you’ve torn open dimensions. I was forgiven. You were forgiven. I forgive you here and now. Besides, I helped a ton with the whole experiment, it might’ve been my mistake that screwed us. Or it was just a random fluke of the universe. We’ll make the next portal waterproof. Now come on. You, me, ice cream. Together. As friends.” Sunset took a step back, then held out her hand and smiled as broadly as she could.

Twilight stared at her for a long time, her hands held close to her chest. Machines hummed and whirred around them, punctuating the awkward silence. Finally, Twilight sighed, and shook her head. A slight smile played at her lips, and she took Sunset’s hand. “Okay, but only because your logic is sound.”

“Alright,” Twilight said. “Everything is in place, and ready to go as soon as we are.”

Sunset took a deep breath and looked around the lab. She stood in the center of a complicated geometric pattern on the floor full of rings and triangles. At six outer points stood each of her friends.

Rarity glanced about, twirling a finger through her hair. “This all looks rather complicated darling. And, I'll admit, a bit on the intimidating side. Can you maybe explain some of it in a way that makes sense?”

Twilight adjusted her glasses and stood up a little straighter, already switching to lecture mode. “This won't just be technology. We’ll also be utilizing our own harmony and the magic of friendship, augmented by the machinery thanks to my correspondence with Princess Twilight. The false memories in our brain will be removed, and we should return to our normal selves.”

“Hold on,” Rainbow Dash said, raising her hand. “Isn't removing our memories kind of, I dunno, bad? Are we just going to forget everything?”

Sunset shook her head. “As I understand it, no. We’ll lose the memories of living a different life, but still have the memories of having those memories, if that make sense. It'll just be more like a movie you watched, rather than something you actually lived through.”

“But we’ll still stop loving Sunset,” Pinkie Pie whined with an exaggerated frown.

“Ain't it possible some of us still will love her?” Applejack asked, taking her hat off and scratching at her head. “I mean, even if those memories are gone, feelings ain't always that easy.”

“In my case, I'm fairly certain the original me is actually straight, so it won't happen on my end,” Rarity said. “But you're right, love is complicated. At that point, it will be a friendship problem rather than a magic one. But we made it through this week remarkably well. I'm sure we can handle whatever comes next.”

There were murmurs of agreement through the room which eventually faded into a tense silence, full of anticipation.

“Right.” Sunset took a deep breath. “I guess then, in some ways, this is goodbye. I love you all, and I'm really glad we got to spend what time we did together.”

“In that case, group hug!” Pinkie Pie shouted. She dove forward and nearly tackled Sunset. It didn't take long for the others to join in.

Twilight held back, looking unsure until Pinkie Pie dragged her into the embrace forcibly.

“You girls,” Sunset muttered. It was hard to keep tears from her eyes. Their warmth and love flooded her, and she could almost feel herself transforming. She held back. There'd be time enough for that shortly.

As they pulled out of the hug, Pinkie Pie grinned wickedly. “You know, we could always have an orgy while we still have the chance!”

Sunset burst out laughing, especially at the looks on everyone else's faces.

“I think not, darling,” Rarity said smoothly. “This would be a dreadful place for it anyway. But…” She ducked in close to Sunset and pressed their lips together. “I did want one last kiss before this is all over.”

Sunset blinked, her mind fuzzy as she watched Rarity sashay back to her spot in the circle. The other girls scowled at them both.

Rarity flipped her hair back and raised her nose in the air. “Don't look at me like that. You know you all want to as well. Get in there and give her a proper goodbye.”

Fluttershy. Applejack. Rainbow Dash. Pinkie Pie. Lips met lips in succession, each with its own unique flavor, passion, and feeling behind it. If Sunset was more of a woman, she could have kept this up for everyone. But it was time for this dream to come to an end.

“Last chance,” Sunset said with a smirk as she faced Twilight.

Twilight took a deep breath, adjusted her glasses, then held out her hand. “It's been a pleasure working with you, Sunset.”

Sunset chuckled, accepted the grip, and shook vigorously. “Let's do this.”


Machinery whirred to life, energy flowing through the circle around them.

Honesty. Generosity. Loyalty. Laughter. Kindness. Magic. Love. Light flared around all of the girls, transforming them, their hair growing longer, their ears becoming equine. Wind rushed through the laboratory. Their radiance grew, each linked to each other by a bond deeper than friendship, this time directed with mutual affection.

Rainbow luminescence surrounded Sunset, lifting her off of the ground, filling her eyes, her nose, her ears, every sensation blotted out by the overwhelming essence of harmony.

Sunset lost consciousness as her soul was torn into pieces.


Sunset groaned when she regained consciousness. She sat up slowly, blinking tears from her eyes and asked, “Is everyone alright?” Her voice echoed strangely.

Trying to sort through her thoughts, she realized that the procedure had worked. She was no longer stuffed full of memories of other Sunsets, of experiences in which she had fallen in love with her friends.

She was just ordinary, single Sunset again.

It felt kind of empty.

Sunset yawned, stretching before she stood up fully. Then she froze when she found herself face to face with, well, herself.

The other Sunset stood completely naked, and looked just as startled as she was.

Before either of them could react, there were shifts of movement around them, and the rest of the girls stood up.

Along with five more naked Sunsets.

Twilight looked around the now crowded lab, her face bright red. “I, uh, may have made a miscalculation somewhere.”

“You think?” Seven Sunsets echoed in unison.

“I, um, think it didn't work on our end either,” Fluttershy mumbled. Her face burned crimson and she couldn't keep her eyes off of the other Sunsets. “I think that I still—”

“I'm still totally in love with Sunset!” Pinkie Pie shouted. She grabbed one of the Sunsets and smooched her on the cheek. “Dibs on this one!”

The Sunset with Pinkie rolled her eyes. “There's nothing to dibs, Pinkie. We're already dating.”

Sunset’s throat tightened as the reality of the current situation started to weigh down on her. “Okay, who here is in love with whom?”

The six Sunsets looked at each other, then back to the girls. Each of them moved to stand next to their respective love interests.

Twilight fell to her knees. “I'm so sorry… I failed again. It's back to the drawing board I guess, but I don't even know how to start with this one.”

“Let's not be too hasty now,” Rarity said. She pulled off her jacket and scarf, offering them to her Sunset as meager clothing. “I mean, the crux of the problem is that we couldn't share Sunset long term, right? But now there's clearly enough of her to go around.”

“Come on, Rar,” Applejack said. She mimicked Rarity’s example by unbuttoning her flannel overshirt and handing it to her Sunset. “We can't just have seven Sunsets running around. Where would they even stay? I guess I could put, uh, this Sunset here up at Sweet Apple Acres. I mean, if she wants.”

Applejack’s Sunset shrugged. “I don't mind. Ever since I started dating you most of my time has been spent there anyway.”

“Yo,” Rainbow Dash said, tossing her Sunset some clothes from her gym bag. “You can crash at my apartment, no biggie.”

“Eugh, gross, this uniform is dirty, Dash. I'd rather stay naked.” Rainbow Dash’s Sunset laughed. “But yeah, sure.”

Sunset blinked, rubbing at her eyes. Was this really happening? It was all so surreal.

Pinkie Pie crossed her arms over her chest. “Hmm. We're going to have to come up with a lot of nicknames and ways to tell all these Sunsets apart. Maybe different haircuts? Oh, and the Cakes have an extra room they're renting out at Sugar Cube Corner, I can put in a good word for SunPie here.”

“SunPie?” SunPie asked, raising an eyebrow. “No way in hell we're sticking with that.”

“Hey,” Fluttershy's Sunset said as she wrapped an arm around Fluttershy’s shoulder. “This is all super crazy and sudden. Just want to say that you don't have to make any decisions right now. Living together is a big step, and I'm sure I can handle myself.” She glanced over at Sunset and frowned. “Technically I think we all have a claim over our own house.”

Could Sunset handle having herself as a roommate? Maybe one or two, but certainly not six.

“No, um, I actually think that sounds like fun. Mom and Dad won't mind.” Fluttershy squeezed her Sunset’s arm, smiling brightly.

The Sunset near Twilight looked over at Sunset, then back to Twilight. She held out a hand to help Twilight back to her feet. “I know we ended things because it was too weird for you, and I don't think this makes it much better. Sorry.”

Twilight looked around the room, then threw her head back and laughed with manic desperation. “We're all completely insane, you know that? Look, how about we all take some time to let this sink in, then talk about it more tomorrow? Sunset, you can…” Twilight glanced at her Sunset, who was still naked, and licked her lips. “You can stay with me, I guess. We're friends, right?”

There were murmurs of agreement throughout the room. After exchanging a few more pieces of extra clothing, everyone was on their way home to make sense of this new insanity.

Everyone except for Sunset. She sat alone in the laboratory, forgotten, still trying to wrap her head around what had happened.

She was single again. She wasn't in love with any of her friends. They now all had wonderful relationships of their own with a wonderful her. It would be weird living with so many doppelgängers, but not impossible.

“What about me?” Sunset whispered. The darkness of the lab absorbed her voice and gave no reply.

Sunset stared up at the three-story house that loomed over her. It was wide and spacious, with a well cared for lawn, some trees, an iron wrought fence, and even a pool in the back. It wasn't quite a mansion, but it was close. A stylized sun and moon motif hung over the door.

Either being a principal paid more than Sunset thought, or the two sisters had some other source of income.

Sunset rang the doorbell, and after a minute, Principal Celestia opened the door. She had dark circles under her eyes, but smiled warmly.

“Sunset! Thank you so much for coming in on short notice. None of us were quite expecting this, but I think you're the person best able to handle it.”

Sunset accepted an awkward hug from the older woman, then followed her inside. The upkeep and furnishing of the inside was just as impressive as the outside of the house. She wondered if this Celestia used servants as well, or if she did all the work herself. “You said as much over the phone, but I'm still not entirely sure what you want.”

Principal Celestia stopped outside of a thick oak door and nodded. “Right. I'll get right to the point. I've received an application for transfer to Canterlot High from a rather gifted, if troubled, young student. I've offered to take her in myself, and I think she shows a lot of promise, and with the guidance and friendship of someone like you… Well, I suspect you'll find a lot in common.”

“I’ve got a lot in common with a few too many people these days,” Sunset muttered under her breath. The rest of her friends were all happy with her doppelgängers. She was happy for them. It was still weird. “I'll consider it, though I'm not going to promise anything just yet. What's her name?”

“That's the problem.” Celestia sighed, then pulled her phone out of her pocket. She fiddled with it, then showed it to Sunset. “This is her class photo.”

Yellow and red hair, pulled back into a ponytail. Stylish glasses covering a familiar face that Sunset had seen far too much of recently.

Sunset groaned and smacked her face into her palm. Of all the times, this was when her human counterpart finally made an appearance?

“I've already told her that you exist… A part of her thinks it's a practical joke, but she wants to meet you. I'm sure it'll take a lot of getting used to, knowing you share a school with an interdimensional identical twin.”

“She'll need to get used to a lot more than that, now.” Sunset grimaced. The other Sunsets had collectively decided they didn't need to finish high school, so most people didn't know about their situation yet.

“Well, it's ultimately up to you whether you want to meet with her or not. She's not as… abrasive as you once were, but she's still a little rough around the edges. She goes by Shims.”

“Yeah, fine alright.” Sunset took a deep breath, then opened the door to the study, striding in like she owned the place. “Hey.”

Shims looked up from a book she had been reading, her eyes going wide and her mouth falling open. “Holy crap. I'm not dreaming, am I?”

Sunset sat across the desk from her and leaned forward. “Hi Sunset Shimmer. It's nice to meet you. I'm Sunset Shimmer. Look, my friends showed me a movie once. I forget what it was called, but a guy in it was all like, ‘take this pill if you want to go back to your normal life and forget everything, or this one if you want to see the crazy truth.’”

“Uh…” Shims blinked several times, then glanced over at the doorway for support from Celestia. The door closed. “Do you mean The Matrix?”

“Yeah, that.” Sunset held out both hands. “Go home, back to wherever you came from, and pretend this never happened. Or I tell you about things and show you things that will shatter your worldview, and get way crazier than just one extra you.”

Shims stared at the proffered hand as if one of them held a poisonous spider. Then she took a deep breath, threw back her head and laughed. “Wow. I'm not sure what this all means, but you, I look so awesome saying it, how could I say no?” She paused, then grinned wickedly. “They always say when you meet your clone you have to either fight them or fuck them.”

Sunset laughed, and returned her own wicked grin. “Let's not rule either one out just yet.”

Author's Notes:

Thanks to Kalan for editing and pre-reading!
Coverart by Buryooooo

This story is part of a collection of oneshots, each focusing on a relationship between Sunset Shimmer and a member of the humane six. The other stories will be released as follows.
Applejack - The Sun Sets Over the Apple Orchard
Rarity - A Suit With Sincerity
Rainbow Dash - A Heartfelt Goal
Pinkie Pie - Pinkie Pie and Sunset Shimmer Get Trapped In An Elevator
Fluttershy - Sunset Isn't Your Color
Twilight Sparkle - A Sunlit Journey

There are also a few other story contributions to this madness. Check them out!
(Human) Twilight Sparkle - The Nightmare I Need, by Dubs Rewatcher.
(Pony) Twilight Sparkle - Anemesis, by TheAlbinocorn.

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