UNuncommon Bond

by Justice3442

Chapter 1: In hindsight, this was probably inevitable

It had finally happened.

Starlight had finally found a situation where she could tell she needed help. Usually, Starlight prided herself on being self-sufficient. Seriously, there just weren’t that many situations in which a liberal use of magic didn’t well… magically make her problems go away.

However, this was different.

This problem couldn’t be solved with magic!

… Mostly because she had been told repeatedly that using magic to solve this sort of problem was ‘not right’ and also maybe ‘morally repugnant.’

So, this had left her mentally floundering trying to figure her away around the fact that she and her dear childhood friend Sunburst didn’t seem to have a lot to talk about! Yet, every single of one Starlight’s other mare friends just happened to share hobbies with Sunburst and hit it off, just like that!

Why couldn’t Starlight hit it off with Sunburst?! They had spent tons of time together when they were foals! And the games they would play like Dragon Pit! Plus they used to talk about all sorts of things like magic! Magic which… which Sunburst got his cutie mark in and then was promptly whisked away to Celestia’s school and it wasn’t fair! I just wasn’t—

Oh… and Dragon Pit! They had loved to talk about Dragon Pit.

So, Starlight had admitted to herself she needed help from a friend. One that wouldn’t end up bogarting Sunburst with their stupid ‘common interests.’ Spike was an option, of course, though as a Crystal Empire Resident, Sunburst mostly knew Spike as the ‘Brave and Glorious’ so who knew how that would backfire…

This left Starlight with only one pony she could trust - her dear friend Sunset Shimmer. A pony who had barely anything in common with Sunburst except for maybe looking like they were related. Okay, sure, it was all still a risk adding another mare into the equation, but adding more fuel to a magical fire had to mean it would burn itself out even faster, right?!

And no pony was more fiery than Sunset Shimmer!

It just seemed so perfect! Sunset and Starlight loved to share advice with each other and Sunset was great at social interactions pretty much all the time, near as Starlight could tell! Who better to coach her on how to best break through to her friend than Sunset who was just a quick portal visit away?!

Of course, there was a slight hiccup in the execution…

Really?!” Sunburst exclaimed, both tone and facial expression suggesting he just couldn’t get enough of what he was hearing.

…and that was the thing she most feared would happen, literally happened!

Sunset Shimmer nodded. “Oh, yeah! Just one heavy rainbow-friendship magic blast later and ‘poof’ destroyed magic and-heh-‘normal’ teenaged girls,” Sunset said as she air-quoted with her forehooves. “No more magic. No more immortality.” A frown seemed to fight Sunset’s smile for control of her face. “So, I’m possibly partially responsible for dooming those three to an eventual death which brings up lots of philosophical questions about killing I don’t like to think about!”

“Oh, um, certainly,” Sunburst replied. “I can see how that might keep a pony up at night! Still, it’s a shame the gems were destroyed! To think that three little things had so much power and even changed the sirens physiology!” He shook his head. “It boggles the mind.”

Starlight said nothing, instead opting to silently sit completely unacknowledged to the side of her friends and get frustrated over the situation like she had already done three times before. Hopefully, Sunset, or maybe even Sunburst, would turn and realize she was being left out then try to include her a conversation all three could discuss! Hopefully Sunset used to play Dragon Pit... It was a stratagem that was bound to work eventually, right?

Sunset let out a laugh. “You sound just like Twilight… er… the human one that is. I like to think of her as Sci-Twi to keep them straight. She was quite interested too. I mean, one day maybe a bunch of us magic users can put our heads together to figure out how the gems work, so long as we’re prepared to deal with the aftermath of one or all three of the Dazzlings getting their gems back and wreaking havoc because that would pretty much be inevitable."

Sunburst cocked his head slightly. "Sci-Twi?"

"Oh! That world's Twilight is really into science… like… imagine this world’s Twilight didn’t have magic to keep her occupied when she was growing up.” Sunset clarified. She giggled to herself. “Having both of them in the same room is adorable. It's like dork-ception."

"R-really?” Sunburst stammered out as a not-so-slight blush entered his cheeks and his glasses nearly fell off his face. “Is there uh... anyway we could... you know, uh, bring her here?" he stammered, pushing his glasses back into place

Sunset thought for a moment and shrugged. “It’s short notice and with her magic hang-ups, that might be like giving a 5th of tequila to an alcoholic, but I’m sure I can—Ooff!”

Finding herself pushed out of the small waiting room by Starlight, Sunset managed to shoot off a ‘Hey, what gives?!’ expression before Starlight got out. “Excuse us a second, Sunburst.”

“Uh, erm… okay?”

Sunset managed a small smile before Starlight pushed her into another room. “Girl talk, Sunburst.”

“Oh!” Sunburst said as Starlight pushed Sunset into a room full of bookcases and one massive mirror with a crystal frame. “Okay!” he called after them. “I’ll go find Twilight and ask her about this ‘Sci-Twi!’”

Starlight visibly shuddered.

“Take your time!” Sunburst added.

Starlight slammed the door shut and wheeled on Sunset. “‘Girl talk’?” Starlight practically demanded.

“Hey!” Sunset protested. “It worked, didn’t it? I mean, at least it’s better than you cryptically saying you need to talk to me than pushing me out of the room.” Sunset shook her head. “I can see why you asked for a crash course on ‘talking to a guy 101’. You can seriously use the help.”

“Yeeeeaaaaaahhhh…” Starlight drawled. “About that…” She gave Sunset a death glare. “Why are you getting in the way of me hanging out with Sunburst?!” Starlight demanded.

“Huh?” Sunset replied, clearly somewhat taken aback by the question. “Well, I have to talk about something with him! I mean, we technically went school together even if I barely knew who he was and—” Realization finally hit Sunset. “Oh! The other Twilight thing!” She shook her head. “Sorry, girl! I guess maybe now isn’t the time to put ideas in Sunburst’s head regarding the mare he’s crushing on.” Sunset blushed and started to stammer, “Er, I mean, he’s probably not though, even though they spent hours antiquing and she was like the first thing he asked about when you woke him up before the crack of da—”

Please stop talking!” Starlight said angrily.

Sunset nodded. “Right, my bad. Though like”—

Starlight groaned.

— “Look, hear me out! I’m not a psychologist or anything, but it kind of sounds like your obsession with Sunburst is just… specifically to a foal you knew as a child? It just seems like you’re doing that thing you kinda always do where you get an idea in your head, and instead of figuring out a healthy way to deal with your feelings or talking out your problem, you’ve plotted your course and you really just want me to attach rockets to your own personal ship so you can just ram it right through all obstacles, sand-bars, or giant ROCKs you might encounter.”

Starlight cringed. “Did you have to mention rocks?!”

Sunset threw her forehooves up in the air. “I can’t tailor every metaphor I make up on the fly to avoid ALL the sensitive topics you acquire in a day, Starlight!” She took a deep breath. “Look, maybe you just need to accept that Sunburst just isn’t that into you! Maybe what you need is a night out on the town so you can meet a new guy!” Sunset thought for a moment. “Some town far away where they don’t know exactly who you are and the problems that seem to follow in your wake like…” Sunset’s face lit up. “Las Pegasus! This totally calls for a Las Pegasus ru—”

“Just stop, okay! Don’t think for a hot second that I don’t see through you, Sunset Shimmer!”

“I er - I don’t. It’s not... Please don’t think that?” Sunset replied haltingly. “Well, wait. I guess I do think that you don’t see that now on account that we’re having this exact conversation.” She frowned. “Okay, so what is it that I should not think that you don’t not see?”

“Even ignoring the second Twilight issue, you two were totally hitting it off!” Starlight declared as she leveled an accusing forehoof. Starlight motioned to herself with both forehooves. “Sunburst and I were supposed to hit it off!”

“Hi-hitting it off?!” Sunset replied. “We were just having a little talk about my mom’s school and it’s magic curriculum! I mean, he’s a drop-out and the whole thing was mostly a breeze for me, magically and academically speaking. It’s interesting hearing his different perspective.”

“Oh, please!” Starlight cried, the anger in her face only increasing. “You were checking him out the entire time!”

Sunset shifted in place nervously. “Well…”

Starlight sucked in a breath through clenched teeth and then let it out in the form of an angry tirade. “You totally want Sunburst for yourself so you can pick up your past right where it started to go wrong and live a happy and completely perfect and fulfilling life together instead of obsessing over the past absence of any friends as a filly which lead you to eventually commit acts other ponies would call ‘questionable’ or ‘completely unethical’ even if they’re acts you knew would right a wrong the universe so unfairly visited on you!” Eyes somewhat crazed and chest heaving up and down, Starlight simply glared at Sunset, the fury inside the unicorn clearly still roiling.

“Oh. Okaaaaay…” Sunset drawled out in a worried tone. “Just going to power right past that one.” She relaxed her features a bit. “Look, I’m not romantically interested in Sunburst!” she said plainly.

“Really?” Starlight exclaimed in an incredulous tone. “He looks so much like you I figured you’d be all over that so you can know what it’s like to go fuck yourself!”

Sunset’s turquoise eyes shot open wide as she stared at her friend in disbelief.

Starlight’s own eyes opened wide as the full realization of what she said set in. “Sun-Sunset?! I’m so sorry!” she cried in a ‘I might actually lose a friend over this manner’. “I-I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that! ,. er, Today’s just been sooo frustrating, but that’s no excuse for—”

Sunset interrupted Starlight’s attempt to dig out of a hole with uproarious laughter. “Wow! You sure have my number,” she answered jovially.

“Wha-what?!” A thoroughly befuddled Starlight replied.

Sunset tittered to herself. “I mean, yeah, I’d totally hit that if Sunburst were my type, personality-wise.”

“Oh?” Starlight replied raising an eyebrow. “Well, erm… I guess I’m glad you’re not quite that shallow.”

“Oh, totally,” Sunset said with a nod. “I mean, I tend to prefer guys with a bit more self-confidence. I mean, maybe if he took the time to clean up his hair and a goatee and then like, maybe had a few drinks, or I had a few drinks then I could definitely see me getting that stud into a room full of mirrors where I’d—”

“Okay!” Starlight exclaimed hastily as she wasted no time pushing Sunset back towards the mirror portal. “Back through the portal you go!”

“What?! No wait!” Sunset said as she resisted the pushing. “You still have a lot of emotional baggage to work through! Like… your entire life, but we should at least work through today!”

“It’s okay!” Starlight insisted as she pushed harder. “You’ve given me a lot to think about and I’m sure Sunburst and I will work it out together~!” she warbled.

“No, that’s part of the problem!” Sunset said. “You need to not concentrate on your past with Sunburst and don’t not figure out what he’s into now!”

Starlight stopped pushing. “Wait, what did you say?”

Sunset frowned slightly. “I’m not - don’t… Okay, I probably piled in too many negatives in that last one—”

Starlight’s eyes lit up. “That’s it! I got it!”

Sunset scrunched her lips. “Uh… Do you? Because I don’t think this is just an epiphany moment, Starlight! It should be a ‘hug it out and let’s be rational’, too, moment.”

“If I can just take things a little further in terms of reminding Sunburst of our past, we can pick things back up again!”

Sunset clamped her eyes shut. “That is the exact opposite of what I was suggesting!”

Starlight’s lip began to tremble. “But-but all I have with Sunburst is the past!”

Sunset groaned, took a deep breath, then rested forehoof on Starlight’s shoulder. “So you need to figure out how you can connect in the present!”

Starlight grinned. “Or how to make the past present! So that means this is a magic problem”

Sunset’s eyes narrowed in anger as she clenched her teeth hard. She stomped her fore-hoof with enough force that the room shook. Without a word, her horn ignited with a red glow and she summoned her weapon of choice. A newspaper - fresh off the press - floated menacingly beside its new mistress with gleeful, walloping intent.

“A simple memory recall—”

Sunset swatted that newspaper across Starlight’s snout. “No! No messing with ponies’ minds! That plan already has an 85% chance to erase his memories, I can tell!”

Starlight rubbed her nose. “Ow… okay, yeah… Guess that’s gone bad before… So I’ll send us both back in ti—”


“OW!” Starlight exclaimed.


“Okay, okay! No time-travel!” Starlight thought some more and then a smile once again began to unravel onto her face.

Sunset took a deep breath and let it out. “Please tell me that smile is you’ve figured out a healthy, non-magical way to talk to Sunburst, finally, or at least have settled on the slightly healthier alternative of getting banged by a stranger.”

“No! But I know how to fix this with magic without using mind control or time-travel!”

Sunset shook her head. “I know I’m going to regret this, but what is it?”

“So, Sunburst and I spent a lot of time as kids together!”

Sunset nodded. “Yes, that’s literally the entire problem!”

“Right! We’re not kids anymore!”

“Exactly!” Sunset said, her features starting to soften. “You’ve both grown up and changed!”

Starlight grinned. “So if I transform us into kids again and things will be just like they were when we were young! It’s the next best thing to living in the past!”

Something behind Sunset’s eyes seemed to snap… literally! A stream of blood shot from her nose and her magic faded in an instance, her newspaper falling to the ground.

Starlight cocked her head. “Are you alright?”

“Just - just an aneurysm from sheer insanity! It happens to me from time-to-time.”

Starlight chuckled to herself. “Hehe… Well, I knew you have a tendency to be quite mad at times.”

Sunset let out a howl of pain as another stream of blood shot out of her nose and she collapsed on the ground.

“Sunset!” Starlight called out in alarm as she knelt next to Sunset. “Are you okay?!”


Starlight pursed her lips. “Hrrrmmm… Okay, I have no idea how to fix this, but maybe if I cast a spell that makes you forget your brain is hemorrhaging—”



Starlight began panickedly galloping in place as the door to the room opened.

“What’s up, girls?” A familiar, small purple dragon asked from the open doorway holding up a moist towel that was wrapped around something. “I heard Sunset screaming and thought some pony might need a cold com-Sunset!” Dropping the item in his hand, Spike rushed over to his fallen friend and cradled her head in his arms. Clearly disoriented as she was, Sunset looked at him like he was a bubble of clean-fresh air in a dirty ocean filled with crazy. He looked up at Starlight. “What happened?”

“I don’t know!” Starlight said. “We were just talking! And then she got like all these nose bleeds and fell down.”

Spike nodded. “Got it!”

“You do?” Starlight said.

“Yep!” Spike said as he leaned down grabbed Sunset’s foreleg.

“Well, I don’t!” Starlight said.

“You would if you had to live with you!” Spike quipped as he picked Sunset up and began supporting her entire weight on his back.

“I am me!” Starlight said. “So, what…” Starlight trailed off as she regarded the dragons incredible show of strength. “Uh, do you need any help there?”

Spike shook his head. “Naw, she’s lighter than Rarity’s luggage. I’ll just take her to the hospital and maybe Nurse Redheart—”

Sunset cringed. “N-no!” she cried.

Spike glanced up. “Uh, no?”

Sunset glanced down at her own bleeding nose as an image of the aforementioned Nurse Redheart collected the blood in a goblet while making a slurping sound that would make Cannibal Lecture’s skin crawl. “C-Canterlot!” she insisted.

Spike frowned. “Canterlot? That’s a whole train ride away!”

Starlight let out a small laugh.

“What? It is!” Spike said.

“Just send a letter to Celestia!” Starlight said. “When she finds out her precious adopted daughter is in trouble, she’ll take her home in an instant!”

“Oh, yeah!” Spike said as he began to lower Sunset.

She could feel herself beginning to lose consciousness, but the image of Celestia showing up, demanding to know what happened, then going on a roaring rampage of Starlight-targeted revenge before Sunset was confined to the castle until she could convince her Mom that she was fine again danced through her head. “Ponyville! Ponyville!”

Spike grunted in annoyance. “Are you sure this time?!”

“C-Celestia fire! Fire bad! Ponyville!”

Spike thought for a moment, glanced at Starlight, and then cringed. He leaned down and hefted Sunset onto his back. “Okay! But I call nexties as far as who rides who when you’re better!”

Sunset was almost at her limit. It was simply all too much and no matter what creepy things happened to her, she had to trust she’d at least wake up and have enough time to fix Starlight’s mess. With this in mind, Sunset knew time was short, and that she had one word, at most, left before she passed out.


And then everything went dark.

One unnerving trip to the hospital later, Sunset and Spike found themselves walking back through the halls of Twilight's Castle.

“Are you sure you don’t want to just go home?” Spike said. “My brain has plenty of calluses from when Starlight is being a little too… Starlight.

“It’s fine,” Sunset insisted. “Also, I don’t think that’s how brains work.”

“Which one of us lives with Starlight Glimmer~?” Spike sang.

“… Okay, point,” Sunset conceded. Her horn flashed red as she began to open a set of frosted-green double-doors with golden trim. “But, on that note, I just need to check in on Starlight. You know, make sure Twilight or some pony actually convinced her to move on and be an adult before I go home and lay—”

The first thing Sunset saw was the mock volcano in the middle of the room, next was the fake cloth ‘lava trails’ leading away from it. However, the thing that really caught her attention, and Spike’s as well, where the five full-grown ponies who had donned costumes. All so they could apparently let Starlight live out her fantasy instead of having her confront reality.

“—down.” At least, that’s as far as Sunset Shimmer’s thinking get before she suffered a complete aneurysm relapse and collapsed to the floor. Spike didn’t get any further than the fact he was seeing a bunch of ponies, two of which were quite near and dear to him, wearing, rather unflattering, dragon costumes.

“Spike! Sunset!” Starlight greeted with a wave. “Come join us! Also… I got what I wanted! Isn’t that great?!” she asked with a big toothy grin framed by sharp teeth attached to a blue dragon costume with a large single horn and angry eyes.

Sunset responded by losing more blood out her nose.

Spike, however, responded with, “Guys, what the fuck?!”

While startled expressions befell Starlight, Sunburst, Trixie, and Maud… While three of the other four ponies in the room all looked at Spike in surprise, Twilight, from inside her wide-eyed purple dragon outfit, gasped. “Language, young dragon!”

“Fuck you, Twilight Sparkle!” Spike shouted as he pointed a claw at Twilight. “Even out of all the portals you’ve almost sucked me in, and curious, groping tentacles you’ve accidentally summoned, this is the worst thing you could have done!”

Twilight let out a distressed whimper as she gave Spike a genuine look of sadness and confusion.

Sunburst looked down at the green dragon outfit he was wearing and swallowed. “Ooooh… Uh… I think I, uh, see the problem!”

“Yes, I see it, too!” Trixie exclaimed.

Sunburst inhaled a big gust of air and let it out. “Yes, sorry Spike, the Brave and Glorious. We didn’t mean to be insensitive.”

Trixie nodded. “You can have nexties!” she exclaimed with a massive smile.

Twilight and Starlight exchanged glances, and both let out chuckles.

“Oh, Spike, I’m so sorry!” Twilight said in a cheery voice. “I really should have thought to invite you to the dragon game.”

“Yeah, Twilight’s bad,” Starlight said with a grin. “But hey! At least you don’t need your own costume to join in on the fun!”

Something behind Spike’s eyes snapped literally as a small trickle of blood squirted out his nose and he collapsed backward next to Sunset.

“Awwww!” Starlight uttered. “They’re so excited for me they both collapsed out of pure joy!”

Twilight just smiled. “You know what, I’m so terrified as failing as a mother figure to Spike, I’m willing to accept that!” Twilight stared off into an invisible void, seemingly of her own creation for a moment. “That is literally the thing I fear most.”

“S-Sunset?” Spike uttered from the ground as the game continued in the center of the room. “Sorry, but I don’t think I can see through all this red in front of my face to navigate us back to the hospital.”

“C-Celestia!” Sunset exclaimed.

Spike's eyes opened wide. “Whoa, really!?”

“B-burn it down!” Sunset muttered resolutely.

Spike chuckled to himself. “I’m tempted to do it myself but seeing momma-bear Celestia in action sounds delightful right about now,” he quipped as he reached to his sides and pulled out a quill and small piece of parchment.

“P-pockets?!” Sunset exclaimed.

“Yeah, yeah!” Spike replied. “Get over it, seat-belt alicorn.” He dipped the quill into the pool of excess blood and scrawled out a quick few sentences. He glanced down at Sunset. “Anything to add?”

Sunset flopped a forehoof forward into her nose blood, then swatted at the note, causing a smear of blood.

“Yeah, that’ll get her attention!” Spike said with a smile demonic enough that even Sunset had to admit she was impressed.

“Uh, girls?” Sunburst interrupted as the rock die rolled across the floor. “Maybe we should see if Sunset and Spike need help? There seems to be a fair amount of blood loss for two creatures experiencing ‘pure joy’.”

“You’re just saying that because you’re losing!” Trixie snapped.

Spike shot out a breath of green flame, and the note was gone. “There. Now we just lay back, try not to pass out from blood loss, and wait until Celestia gets—”

There was a sudden, fiery explosion next to Spike that seemingly hit with the brightness of a supernova and flooded the room with heat. “WHERE IS MY BABY?!” Celestia bellowed.

“… here,” Spike finished as he looked up in Celestia with a mix of awe and dread.

“Oh, I guess we’re all losing now,” Starlight mused as panic began to set in her face.

Sunset woozily raised a forehoof and waved it about.

“Sunset?!” The orange alicorn was scooped up into the forelegs and wings of the larger alabaster alicorn in a second. “My Little Shimmering Sunshine! What happened?! Who did this to you?!” Celestia bellowed. “Tell me and they shall burn a thousand times before they know the peace of death!”

At once, the group of ponies wearing dragon costumes all beat a fast retreat to the opposite side of the fake volcano.

Sunburst swallowed. “Well hello, all my School for Gifted Unicorn nightmares made real!”

“Crap, crap, crap!” Twilight exclaimed. “Celestia’s here and angry, and I still have a hero complex with her, so this is literally the thing I fear the second most… Oh, and also she might kill us all,” she quickly added.

“I have a cunning plan!” Starlight announced.

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “She’s a millennium old alicorn who is quite literally out for blood, Starlight. She’d roast you out of your coat before you even got a shot off.”

“I have no plans!” Starlight clarified.

“Trixie is too successful and gorgeous to be baked to death! I at least wanted to leave a beautiful corpse if I was going to die!” Trixie wailed.

“Maybe if we all run at once a few of us will survive,” Maud deadpanned.

“That’s not a very good plan!” Trixie exclaimed.

“No,” Sunburst interrupted, “but it was at least calmly delivered.”

“I’m panicking on the inside,” Maud informed simply.

“Excuuuuse me…” Celestia said as she craned her head over the top of the volcano

“Maud’s plan it is!” Starlight exclaimed.

“Magicians and entertainers first!” Trixie cried as she rushed forward and slammed into the shimmering, canary-yellow dome that had suddenly inglobed the five ponies. Five ponies who all looked up fearfully at the—

“You’re really good at panicking in the inside.” Sunburst whispered to Maud.

“Thank you,” Maud replied.

Four ponies who looked up in fear at the—

“Trixie feels she has a Grrrrrrreat and Powerful concussion!”

Three ponies, who were totally scared, looked up along with Maud while Trixie laid on her back and tried to figure out why everything tasted yellow.

“I just have one question for you,” Celestia said darkly.

A series of gulps ran through the group of ponies.

“Can I play, too?!” Celestia asked excitedly as she began to giddily gallop in place.

“Oh, C’MON!” Spike shouted from across the room.

“Ohhh! I’ve always wanted to have a nice game of Dragon Pit, but when I used to play with Sunset, she’d knock the board over and set it on fire if she was going to lose!”

Starlight gasped. “So that’s why she’s been acting so strange!”

Sunset managed a scream from the ground.

“See! Like that.”

Twilight let out a sigh of relief. “Of course, you can play!” she said. Blushing slightly, she added “Eh… but the pieces might be a little small…”

Closing her eyes and smiling to herself, Celestia disappeared in a flash of yellow. A second later, a seemingly teenaged off-white pink alicorn with a long pink mane cantered from around the volcano with an excited smile on her face. “How about now?”

Starlight gasped. “I love it!”

Sunburst shifted uncomfortably in his dragon costume. “Well hello ultimate dream from my days at Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns…” he mumbled to himself.

Twilight took a peek past the volcano to take note that Spike had seemingly begun to eat the floor in a rather angry fashion as Sunset was shooting a glare in their general direction as if she hoped she could get the fake volcano to erupt via sheer rage. “Uh, but Sunset looks like she might need your help!” Twilight frowned, “Spike too.”

Mini-Celestia waved a forehoof around dismissively. “Oh, she’s just having one of her nose bleed episodes where she gets super-woozy super-mysteriously and needs to lay down for an itty-bit!” She shook her head. “She used to get them all the time back when she was a filly.” Celestia tapped her chin thoughtfully. “Especially when talking to my nephew Blue Blood for some reason… He used to run down the halls screaming because they happened so frequently that Sunset would aim the blood squirts right as his eyes before collapsing.” Her smile returned. “Still, some juice, a cookie, and maybe a sandwich and she’ll be good as new!”

“Okay…” Twilight said in a somewhat unsure tone. “What about Spike?”

“Oh! Well… He’s clearly already eating!” said Celestia. “So he should be fine, too!”

Sunset gurgled out an angry protest as Spike gripped the side of his head with his claws.

Twilight frowned. “Well, I am a bit skeptical-is what I would say if you were literally any other pony!”

Celestia just laughed for a moment. “Hey!” She began excitedly. “What if we all where little fillies and colts?! I mean… I didn’t get a lot of chances to play with other foals when I was young and this would be a great opportunity to live out my fantasies of being normal when I first became a princess and my childhood waylayed by horrible, horrible, responsibilities!”

Starlight gasped. “All my dreams are coming true!”

Twilight chuckled. “I don’t know if that’s necessary. You see, I’m trying to teach Starlight that even though you grow up, you can still find creative ways to wallow in nostalgia and force it on your closes—”

“Too late! I’m doing the thing!” Starlight exclaimed. A second and an electric blue flash later, the five dragon-costumed ponies where now smaller, younger versions of themselves.

Her sigh coming out notably higher pitched, Twilight shook her head. “Well, did you at least learn something?”

Grinning, Starlight nodded her head causing her twin ponytails to bob up and down. “By having a breakdown in front of the right friend, they’ll come up with a clever solution to get you exactly what you want!”

“Sounds good to me!” Celestia exclaimed as she once again began to gallop in place. “Now let’s play, let’s play, let’s play!”

Twilight just shrugged. “Well, if it’s good enough for Celestia…”

“Uh,” colt Sunburst interjected, “should we check with Sunset? See if erm, she wants to be turned into a filly again...?” He asked in a perhaps somewhat hopeful tone followed by a quiet chant of “Please say yes, please say yes…”

Celestia thrust her pink snout into the air. “No! She’d just get all mad and pouty later about how I don’t treat her like a grown-up! Well now I get to be the filly, and Sunset has to be the boring old grown-up!” She exclaimed, punctuating her statement with sticking her tongue out at Sunset who turned up the heat on her glaring.

“My eyes are still trying to figure out floor from ceiling,” Filly Trixie said, “but I heard that chant!” She flopped her head to point it in a vaguely Sunburst direction. “I’m more than a little creeped out.”

Sunburst shuffled in his costume nervously. “I had a crush on Sunset when she was younger…” he admitted.

“Okay, but you’re older now!” Trixie pointed out.

“Well, not now-now,” Sunburst pointed out.

Starlight nodded in agreement. “Yeah! Today I’ve also learned that obsessions with events that happened in childhood are perfectly valid and natural to hold onto in the hopes that you can rope others into living out fantasies that some ponies just think you should move on from.”

Sunset managed another angry scream as a ‘splurt’ of blood fired off from her nose across the room.

Starlight pointed at Sunset. “Like that pony right there.”

Twilight thought for a moment. “OH, what about Spi-and no… no… He’s flipping a claw at me… two claws… I’ll just… talk to him later!” She concluded in a chipper tone. “Let’s get started!”

Trixie clambered to her hooves. “Not without Trixie finishing her epic victory you won’t!”

“Aren’t you, uh, terribly concussed?” Sunburst asked.

Trixie turned to a potted plant. “Maybe I am, Starlight. Maybe I am…” She thrust a foreleg into the air. “But death before dishonor!”

Watching the madness unfold in front of her Sunset worked her mouth a bit before she could once again manage speech. “Sp-spike?”

Spike just sighed heavily. “Yeah, Sunset?”

“You-you know… mmmmm whatcha… what they say about not b-being able to beat them?”

“Join them?!” Spike asked in disbelief.

“No,” Sunset said, her words and eyes suddenly focusing into laser accurate clarity. “Beat them HARDER!” she exclaimed as her horn burned a glowing red and a beam fired out from it, aimed high above the group of ponies playing their game.

The stone die bounced across the floor to the delight of the players and finally came to a halt near Starlight. “Uh-oh, Princess! It’s a four! You know what that means.”

Filly Maud spoke out in a higher pitched, but unmistakable deadpan. “Giant newspaper.”

Starlight and the other ponies looked over at Maud in confusion.

“Wait, when did we get another volcano?” Trixie asked.

Starlight and most the other ponies looked over at Maud in confusion.

“There are no giant newspapers in Dragon Pit!” Starlight insisted.

Maud pointed up and everypony playing the game with the good sense to look up felt a dragon pit form in their stomach.

Celestia clicked her tongue. “A thought occurs that there’s probably a lesson in all this about not getting so fixated on the past that one blinds themselves to the pres—”


For a moment, there was only silence as six ponies considered their current situation from under a giant newspaper conjured into existence possibly out of sheer mind-melting anger.

“…Trixie would like to go to the hospital, now…”

“Well, even though the writing’s on the walls and ceiling, it could always be worse,” Maud said simply.

At once there was a brief jet of green flame and the entire newspaper suddenly caught fire.

“The bad news is it just got worse.”

The End

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