A Newspaper Solves Everypony's Problem

by Justice3442

Chapter 1: Every Little Thing She Does Without Supervision Often Ends in Disaster

Sunset Shimmer felt her body shift and pull inwards, changing in form and compacting from that of a gangly teenager to that of a pony. The dizzying sight of swirling colors and magical energy suddenly gave way almost as if she had just surfaced from water and in place of bombardments of bright, colorful energies, Sunset was treated to what looked like a comfortable welcome room with light purple crystal walls and a few padded chairs arranged around a small table.

Sunset slowly trotted out of the shimmering mirror portal and into the room, enjoying the feeling of four hooves once again touching ground. Trotting always felt a bit more natural than the sort of ‘controlled falling’ of walking. She also took a moment to enjoy the familiar weight atop her forehead which also meant that she could once again use magic. However, the wings on her back still felt a bit foreign to her. Still, Sunset couldn’t deny their usefulness.

The arrival into Equestria was always rather gentle in stark contrast to roughly being thrown into the human world. Somehow going through the portal back to Canterlot meant arriving at an alarming speed and crashing chin and hands first onto a hard walkway. Sunset frowned to herself. There’s gotta be a metaphor in all that… Also I really should invest in some sort of cushy outdoor mat or SOMETHING to make going back to Canterlot High less likely to result in a concussion or chipped tooth…

Snapping out of her thoughts, Sunset reminded herself why she was here and pointed her muzzle up slightly. She sniffed the air and glanced at the ceiling, noting that she did not see nor smell smoke. Good, nothing seems to be on fire, at least yet

Sunset trotted past the furniture in the room to a door of checkered green and yellow glass with a brass colored frame. Cautiously, she opened it and poked her head through, looking left then right down a hallway full of identical looking doors. She noted that the hallway seemed normal, both in terms of appearing as it usually does and also being a regular hallway devoid of dimensional rifts or creepy ghost twins inviting one to play with them for extended periods of time up to all of eternity.

Sunset trotted down the hallway and soon heard the familiar sound of five female voices chatting happily amongst themselves. Sunset smiled despite a slight twinge of anxiousness that had started as she heard the voices. This was partially because while the voices were very familiar to Sunset, being identical to that of her friends, they technically belonged to this world’s equivalent to her comrades. While seemingly nearly everything about these five ponies and her friends back home was exactly the same, Sunset often found that she had to remind herself that she technically barely knew these ponies…

Sunset stepped into the foyer and smiled warmly at the five ponies who were talking to each other as a collection of animals that clearly had injuries that were on the mend hung about.

“Sunset Shimmer!” Pinkie said excitedly with a wave of a forehoof.

“Well hiya, Sunset Shimmer!” Applejack greeted.

“’Sup, Sunny!” Rainbow Dash said as she hovered in place.

“Good to see you again, Darling,” Rarity said with a polite nod.

“Oh, um, Hello again, Sunset,” Fluttershy greeted meekly.

“Hey, girls,” Sunset replied. Still smiling, she looked over each mare carefully as if giving them a quick visual inspection.

The other mares present exchanged slightly confused glances. Confusion that only increased as Sunset began paying a bizarre amount of attention to their flanks.

“Uh, everything alright there, suger cube?” Applejack asked.

Fluttershy looked at Sunset anxiously as Sunset stared long and hard at Fluttershy’s cutie mark. “I’m fine. I’m just making sure you five are alright.”

The girls exchanged more confused glances.

Eeerm, why wouldn’t we be?” Fluttershy asked in a worried tone. “Did Twilight ask for you to come and check up on us?”

“Spike, actually…” Sunset said as she trotted over to Pinkie and eyeballed her three balloon cutie mark causing Pinkie to giggle in response. She looked back up. “He got ahold of Twilight’s journal and warned me Starlight was trying her hooves at friendship lessons again. I’m making sure you all still have your cutie marks or they haven’t been swapped or anything.” Sunset pursed her lips and looked up to stare Pinkie in the eyes. “Pinkie, what’s your favorite type of cake.”

Pinkie narrowed her eyes at Sunset. “I’m actually sorta offended you’d think I’d have just one.”

Sunset nodded. “Great, looks like you haven’t had your brain swapped or anything.” She looked up at the other ponies. “Everypony else feel the same? Fluttershy, you’re surrounded by animals so I’m guessing that’s a good sign. Rarity, still focused on being fabulous?”

Rarity tittered. “Always, darling.”

Sunset looked up at Rainbow Dash and gave her a half smile. “I see you’re still flying every opportunity you get.”

“Heh, you know it.” Rainbow Dash replied.

Sunset finally turned to Applejack. “Hey Applejack, still uh… hungry for apples?”

“Well, I wasn’t hungry until you said something and apples do sound pretty good about now…”

“Okay, so everypony is themselves…” Sunset cast a worried glance across the room. “Where’s Starlight?”

Pinkie smiled wide. “She excused herself for one second, which was over a minute or two ago actually…” Pinkie frowned. “Rude. I guess I see why she’s still doing friendship lessons.”

“I take it that’s why you’re all here?” Sunset said.

“Yep!” Applejack said. “Starlight wanted us all for a different activity and I think she got a might bit flustered trying to schedule them all out.” Applejack chuckled. “Maybe she’s learning a little too much from Twilight.”

Sunset’s eyes widened and her body tensed as her blood began to run cold. “Or… or not enough… She invited you all here with a different activity in mind?!”

“Oh yes,” Fluttershy said. “She’s helping me take care of animals.” She motioned to the injured animals about her which nuzzled Fluttershy in response.

“We’re baking a cake!” Pinkie said with an excited bounce.

Rainbow Dash grinned. “We’re going to chillax a bit la—”

“Okay, thanks,” Sunset said hurriedly. “Which direction did she go?!”

“She went that way, dear,” Rarity said as she pointed to the door.

Sunset swallowed. “The library…” she whispered to herself. “Gotta go! See you all soon!” With a turquoise glow of her horn and a similar flash of light, Sunset Shimmer disappeared with a ‘bamf’.

Sunset reappeared in the library, trepidation having composed its memoirs across her face as she stared at rows and rows of books.

“Oh! Sunset Shimmer!” Starlight’s voice said in a greeting tone. “What a nice surprise!”

Sunset wheeled around, her worst fears confirmed. Starlight had a couple of open books in front of her and a wide grin on her face. “Hey! Maybe you can help me,” Starlight said. “I’m having a little trouble with my friendship lessons and thought a few spells would smooth things over with everypony… So far I’m thinking Fiducia Complus mixed with Cogeria and just a little of Persuadere. What do you think?”

Sunset’s left eye twitched. “I think I need a newspaper before you cast anything.” Sunset forced a smile over the perturbed look on her face. “You wouldn’t happen to have one handy, would you?”

Starlight smiled. “There’s a newspaper right over there!” Starlight said pointing to a desk. “Twilight reads the Canterlot Times every morning.”

Sunset nodded. “Good, good,” she said as she took the newspaper in her magic, rolled it up, and floated it towards her.

Starlight looked back at her books. “How’s a newspaper going to help exactly? I mean the spells here should—”


Starlight recoiled as the rolled up newspaper was forcibly smacked against her head. It took her a few seconds to process what had happened before she turned towards Sunset. “Sunset?! Why did you—?”



“No Starlight Glimmer, that’s a bad Starlight Glimmer!” Sunset shouted.

Starlight rubbed the spot on her head where she was just whacked repeatedly. “Ooooowww!” She moaned. “Why’d you do that for?!”

“Starlight! You can’t just use magic to solve all your problems!”

Starlight frowned. “… What about just a little magi—”



“GHA! Right in the snout!” Starlight said as she raised her forehooves over her snoot.

Sunset sighed as she floated the newspaper by her once more. “Starlight, when has using magic to solve social problems ever worked out for you in a way that didn’t mean you became a crazy despot or almost destroy the world?”

Starlight paused and stared at Sunset then up at the ceiling.

“See!” Sunset said. “No—”

“Shhh!” Starlight said. “I’m still thinking…”

Sunset furrowed her brow. “Thinking? I just mentioned the times you used misused magic in a way that blew up in everypony’s face! I mean… It was just the two instances…”

Starlight nodded. “That you know of.”

Sunset’s face involuntarily twitched.


“OW!” Starlight rubbed her head again. “Well how am I supposed to do this?! The girls out there aren’t cooperating at all and I’m having a really hard time figuring out how we’re going to schedule everything we have planned!” she whined.

“Why did you invite all five girls over to do different activities in the first place?!”

“I’m just trying to get as much friendship lessons done as quickly as possible!”


“OUCH! STOP IT!” Starlight cried.

“I’ll stop it when you stop deserving it,” Sunset said. She gave Starlight a serious look. “Starlight, you can’t speed run friendship! I’m quite certain this is not what Twilight had in mind when she gave you these lessons.”

Starlight gave Sunset a pout. “But… but why would Twilight give me such specific things to do with everypony if she wasn’t hoping she could quickly check them off one of her lists?”

“Well that’s…. that’s…. That’s a good question actually…” Sunset shook her head slightly. “STILL, I’m sure she wanted you to get to know each pony out there individually. You stacking all these activities together is not going to help that!”

Starlight sighed and looked towards the door. “But if I just do things how the girls say I should, that’ll take forever!” Starlight cringed then closed her eyes, shielding herself from the newspaper drubbing she thought she’d receive.

Much to her surprise, she felt a forehoof gently wrap behind her neck and a wing drape across her back. She opened her eyes to see Sunset’s smiling face inches away from her. “I know it takes time,” Sunset said. “But trust me it’s worth it… Plus I don’t see why I can’t maybe spend a little time with the girls myself and hang out with my good friend who has good intentions but uses magic like some sort of super-powerful mad sorcerer.”

Starlight’s face lit up, “You think I’m super-powerfu-I mean-You’ll help me?”

Sunset nodded. “Of course!” she said cheerily. “Now let’s get out there and take this nice and slow…”

-o~A Bit Later~o-

“So, how do you think Starlight did?” Twilight Sparkle asked Spike as the two walked towards her large crystalline castle.

“Well, normally I’d be worried a complete disaster with me having to do tons of cleaning is what would wait us when we open the castle,” Spike answered. He grinned to himself, “But I took steps to make sure that wouldn’t happen.”

Twilight looked at Spike in confusion. “Why would… Why would there be a disaster for a bunch of simple friendship lessons?!”

“Uh… Because Starlight is vying for your position as ‘freak out queen’? And when she freaks out she kinda goes nuts with magic like… kinda a lot?”

“I…” Twilight’s eyes went wide as if the full weight of what was going on just hit. Starlight was certainly trying to do the right thing, but she always tried to do the right thing… Problem was in the execution of doing that. Twilight felt herself go cold. This… this could be bad… “Come on, Spike!”

Although the castle was close, Twilight broken into a gallop.

“Twilight, wait!” Spike shouted as he tried to keep up. “My legs are stubby and my body’s not really built for running! So unfair!”

“There’s no time!” Twilight said as she reached the entrance to her castle. Twilight pushed open the door to her castle with magic, her breath catching in her lungs as the massive door opened. She quickly released the breath as she saw Starlight and Applejack sitting at a table with stacks of photo books and pictures littering the surface. She turned to Spike and smiled. “See! Nothing to worry about.”

“Right,” Spike said. “Because I took care of it,” Spike said pointing to himself with a thumb claw.

Twilight just smiled and shook her head. “Applejack, Starlight! It’s so good to see you two working together!”

Applejack and Starlight looked up with smiles, Starlight’s eyes looking slightly tired.

“Well howdy y’all,” Applejack greeted warmly. “Ah was just telling Starlight about the time our barn got destroyed in a freak accident.”

Spike looked at Applejack in confusion. “Erm… Doesn't that happen kind of often?”

Applejack shook her head. “Not like this…” Her eyes focused to a point far, far away. “There were freaks everywhere…

“Hey Twilight,” Starlight greeted. “Welcome back!” Starlight pointed to a door in the foyer. “If you’re hungry, Pinkie, Sunset, and I made a huge cake that’s sitting in the kitchen.”

Twilight put on a massive grin. “You made a cake with Pinkie Pie?! Wow! You’ve outdone yourself!” Twilight paused momentarily. “Wait… Sunset?” She turned towards Spike. “As in Sunset Shimmer?”

Spike grinned to himself as a he leaned against the table. “Told you I took care of it… or more specifically delegated somepony to take care of it, more specifically.”

“Alright, alright,” Twilight said. She looked around a bit. “Well, where is Sunset Shimmer? She taking a break?”

Applejack and Starlight flinched slightly.

“Well, somethin’ broke…” Applejack uttered.

Starlight grinned at Twilight sheepishly. “Sunset had to go out to get a newspaper.”

“Newspaper?” Twilight replied. “But I already had one in the library.”

Starlight nodded. “Yeah… Sunset used that one up.”

“… What?” Twilight asked in confusion. “How the heck does a pony use up a newspaper?”

Starlight glanced behind Twilight. “Oh, I think you’re about to find out.”

“Huh?” Twilight looked behind her. Her smile returned. “Sunset! It’s so good to see you! I heard you’ve been helping—”


“OW! What—”



“AH! Sunset?! Why?!




The End

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