|A new reality! Princess Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer bond more strongly!|
Sunset mmhmms. Then laughs softly. "I guess here we're on the same footing, not having a clue what's going on with the magic present." But some of what came up in the conversation really did need to get out, and she certainly seems to be in a better mood for it.
Twilight Sparkle has, of course, settled in atop her apartment's semi-spartan couch, and she turns to share a friendly smile with her companion. "Honestly, I kind of like it. Not as much of a need to worry about my royal life, since - as far as I can tell - I'm just another commoner here. And as Cadance taught me, that is really good for destressing."
Sunset folds her hands behind her head as she leans back. "To be honest, Twilight... this is part of the reason I decided to stay at Canterlot High instead of coming back to Equestria. Sure, the magic was unpredictable and made little sense compared to what we know from Equestria. But working with the other you, I've found that to be part of the adventure. Not knowing something is a challenge to pursue, not be afraid of."
Twilight nods in agreement, taking a moment to stretch out on the couch and work her wings free of tension. "Between going to CHS and coming here... It's far more exciting, I agree, than just staying in Equestria. Sure, Tirek and Starlight were enough to incite an adrenaline rush, on account of how dangerous they both were, but... Somehow, the fog-monsters here are more menacing."
Sunset rolls her eyes to the side, though her sigh is more one of acceptance than anything else. "And in the end we end up fighting some kind of magical threat anyways? The more things change the more they stay the same I guess."
Twilight says, "Well, yes and no. From time to time, there's this really eerie fog that rolls in, and it brings monsters that are unlike anything in Equestria. Faceless men, shapely female figures with masks of flesh and knife-like fingers... I've run into those here, and they can be pretty dangerous, as they move in packs."
Sunset makes a bit of a face at that description. "That sounds a bit beyond misused magic and musical temptresses. I hope I'll actually be able to help."
Twilight Sparkle looks over towards the window. "Thankfully, they're easily dispatched, for the most part. But if enough manage to gather, they can do some serious harm. I know because they were able to cause enough resonance back into my mind to force me to drop a protective barrier. I would think you did experience that at one point or another, back when you were in Equestria."
Sunset cringes. "Enough to know it's one heck of a headache afterwards. Though I wasn't really much for protective spells, since my unicorn magic was primarily fire based." She leans over the side to grab her bookbag, the only other thing she had with her when she converged or whatever it had been called. Not that there was a whole lot in it that would be useful. It does however have a notebook, which is what she was looking for. "Are these creatures connected to the fog then, or just using it as an advantage?"
Twilight says, "They're connected to the fog. But supposedly they also come out at night, or at least that's the full theory behind their appearances."
"So they're connected to it but not limited to it. At least for a portion of time." Sunset flips a few pages until she finds an empty one, and pulls the pen from the binding to jot down a few notes. While she preferred a hands-on approach to things, she knew better than to not have her information in order before hand, too. Then looks at the pen for a moment, and smirks a little at Twilight. "Remind me to get pens that are drool proof," she teases, though she figures Twilight is more likely to use her magic to write now.
Twilight Sparkle smiles sheepishly, scuffing her forehooves together and hiding a faint embarrassed blush by looking down somewhat. "I will admit that could've gone better... But, as Hearth's Warming is around the corner, maybe I'll get you some new ones. ...hopefully without bite marks or drool."
Sunset chuckles softly. "I only tease because I know just how awkward it was." Though she did her fair share of hunching over and pretending to hide her answers with her arms until she got the hang of not using her mouth, too. "I guess there's no shortage of magic and mystery to explore here, either."
Twilight says, "While that is true... I still feel like getting you something, as a gift between friends. I still think of that day as Hearth's Warming, but I know you have a different name for it."
"Christmas," Sunset replies, as she'd pretty much expect that would be coming. Following it with a sigh. "Holidays weren't really a big thing until the Rainbooms, I spent most of them alone outside of school events." She shifts a little to the side to rest an elbow on the end of the sofa and rest her chin on her hand. At least with Twilight in pony form they weren't going to crowd it much. Tapped the end of the pen against the notebook. "But it's pretty much the same celebration, yeah."
Twilight looks down in thought, tapping her lower jaw with one forehoof. "So it's going to be your first real Christmas away from the others. And I'm dead-set on getting you something, Sunset. Because that's the biggest part of this season, no matter where we are. Besides... We're friends."
"Yeah. Last year Pinkie kept abruptly dragging me off to sleepovers at the others' houses without warning, I had to keep a pair of pajamas stuffed in my bag just in case." Sunset chuckles softly at the memory, even if some of the other ones with those holidays aren't entirely as nice. But that seems to be a story of her life. "... Speaking of, I probably need to find some more clothes. I can't just wear the same thing over and over."
Twilight says, "Then it's settled. I'll use what money I have to my name, and see about shopping for new clothes."
Sunset blinks a couple of times from her musing. "That's not what I meant... I mean, it doesn't have to be that. Not that I'm going to be able to talk you out of it by the sound of it." Thoughtful pause. ".. What -do- they use for money in this mixmatch world?"
Twilight Sparkle pauses, somewhat uncertain. "I... Actually don't know. Bits definitely aren't going to be of any use here, and I don't have any dollars on me..."
Sunset ahehs. "Well, I do have some money, so I guess maybe later we can go find out. If this place has a lot of people showing up from different worlds, maybe they have an exchange rate or something."
Twilight says, "That might actually work... But it's too late for anything right now, and there's no telling if those fog-beasts are running around out there. So I'm guessing we'll have to find something to do here."
Sunset mmms. Really she should of thought of asking something like that when they were talking to the other people, but she's still getting her bearings with this new situation and it never occured to her. "I suppose... it wouldn't be pleasant, seeing if I don't even know what I -can- do around here. I've always had the Rainbooms to back me up the times I've needed to 'pony up' as they started to call it."
Twilight Sparkle gets up off the couch to trot around her apartment for a bit, though she keeps her attention on her friend and roommate. "Considering how randomly the magic seems to work here... Who knows. You might end up having that happen during the night, in your sleep. It's certainly strong enough to randomly switch me from pony to human and back at unexpected times."
Sunset drums her fingers on the notebook cover. "The randomly is what I'm worried about, Twilight. Part of the reason I was trying to find out how the magic works is so we wouldn't have to rely on a big musical number or estoic circumstances. If we could activate it willingly, we would be more prepared for if something else like the Dazzlings showed up. Or something... worse."
Sunset sits back up and opens the notebook again, this time flipping back a few pages. "I guess I shouldn't say I don't completely know. It seems to be related to enacting on the traits of Friendship the girls represent, and music was more of a catalyst than a cause. Dash did it without singing to save me during the motorcross race, and even the Prep racers too, acting on her Loyalty instead of trying to win the race." She stops on a page with a few scientific like formula scribbles, and sketches of what would be the other Rainbooms cutie marks for their Pony counterparts. But there's one empty spot on the page, no such writings near her own mark. "But... that still leaves a big 'no idea' for -me-."
"Well... If I was in m-" As she keeps walking around, the unpredictable magic Twisted has once again kicks in at random, with both Twilight's wings and horn disappearing as she's suddenly lifting up onto her hind legs with no trouble. Her forelegs lengthen and split apart at the ends, forming her hands at the same time her tail simply disappears. "...we're going to need to set up a lab somewhere nearby, where both of us can get to actively researching. Three times in a row..."
Sunset blinks a couple of times. "Despite having been through that happening, it seems a lot weirder actually -seeing- it happen." She had gotten use to having hands and fingers but it looks just bizarre seeing them actually form from someone else. "... Yeah. Probably not a bad idea. Hehehe." The backfires that time she tried to study the Rainbooms' transformations with scientific equipment comes to mind. "Even if that group you're working for has something we can use."
Twilight, of course, makes a full-on sprint for her bedroom to get some nightwear on, blushing profusely the entire way at her state of undress following the painful magi-physical transformation. "You're telling me... And it gets embarrassing without clothes..."
Sunset was being polite and looking the other direction. Which also hid the bit of red at her cheeks when she'd realized Twilight was still... yeah. "I guess you only magically get clothing if it's coming through the portal." She sets her notebook aside and gets up from the sofa. "Even knowing it's probably an effect of this world's twisted magic, that it started happening just before I arrived still makes me think it's connected somehow."
Twilight Sparkle, after a while, emerges from her room with proper clothing, still quite red-faced and sporting a highly embarrassed smile. "It's got to be that... A-anyways..."
"I patched up the portals Midnight Sparkle had made and restored the statue one while I was super-powered, but that doesn't mean the dimensional bounderies weren't still weak from the strain. Some of the essense of that world may of started leaking into, or even been drawn to, this world because of it. Until it pulled an actual person through with it. Why me, I don't entirely kno--" Sunset started to walk in Twilight's direction, only to cut off as she seemingly tripped.
"--oof!" Or more likely lost her balance, as when she lands sprawled out on the floor, it's as a unicorn instead of a human. Her now oversized jacket just sort of flumps over on top of her. A grunt emits from underneath it. "So much for it not affecting me."
Twilight Sparkle blinks, before promptly facepalming and going over to pick her friend up off the floor. "I can so sympathize with you there, Sunset... And that sounds about accurate, as a basic cause of how we got here. Are you alright?"
There's a shimmer of teal magic as she's picked up as Sunset pulls the jacket collar down from her head. It's just hanging off of her oversized, but her dress is in a few torn pieces on the ground. Being one she had gotten in the human world, it wasn't just gone when she transformed. "Yeah, mostly just caught me off guard. By the time I realized what was happening I was already falling down."
Twilight says, "Well, it's good to see that you're alright. But it further serves to show you need clothes... You really liked that dress, didn't you?"
Sunset glances over at the remains of fabric on the floor. "Less the dress in itself, more that it was one Rarity helped me pick out as part of my 'new image'. She said the lighter colors made me look less... ominous?"
Twilight Sparkle nods, taking a seat on the counter and resting one arm atop the cushions. "And I'd have to agree. You certainly did seem a lot friendlier with those colors. But then again, I'm not a fashion expert or a martial-artist."
Sunset laughs a little at that. "I was just as surprised as you when I learned that. She said it was for the excersize to help stay in shape like a fashionista should... But when you've seen her hold onto a ledge with one hand while holding onto to people long enough for someone else to pull her up, it's paid off either way." Sunset sits down on her haunchs, then yelps softly, gets partially up again, and swats her tail out of the way to sit down again. "I am so not use to having one of those anymore."
Twilight says, "Tell me about it... Back when Discord first tried to turn us against each other, Rarity actually hammered Applejack with a FLYING DROPKICK. I was there when it happened, and still a unicorn..."
".. Makes me kind of glad that I never drove them apart enough to actually fighting." Yeah. Really. "Hmmm." Sunset considers for a moment, then tries to concentrate. Her horn glows with a bit of teal light as she does, and then in a brighter flash of it she disappears, reappearing right next to Twilight. "Well that still works when I'm like this at least."
Twilight Sparkle watches, whistling a bit. "Though I've seen you use it before, back in the Crystal Empire... I'm happy to know it's more benevolent now." And, oddly, it's at that moment, for no real reason at all, that her wings and ears manifest, tearing holes in the back of her sleepwear in the process. "...now I'm not even surprised. It's as if the magic here is a living, breathing entity in and of itself."
A flicker of teal magic pulls her notebook and pen back to her... Though even with remembering how to use unicorn magic it takes a moment for Sunset to get the book open and... in the end, she ends up grabbing the pen between both forehooves to scribble some lackluster writing just because she's more use to doing it physically than use magic. "Maybe its the fact that we have more than one form we've used, and it's not entirely sure how to handle that."
Twilight says, "That might actually be the most logical explanation... And we'll have to wait until one of the others shows up to see if it holds true."
Sunset laughs a little. "I probably confuse it more than you do, if that's true. I may be from Equestria originally, but I've come to think of Canterlot High and the others as my home now." She pauses, sticking her tongue out of the corner of her mouth cutely for a moment as she manages to scrawl another note. "I associate more with that, and I'm starting to think that's why I stayed in my human form at first when I came here..." Sunset pauses again, staring at her scrawling. "... Hmmmmmm."
Twilight Sparkle nods, absently leaning in to scratch at one ear as she flexes her wings. "Seems to make sense... Nothing happened to me until a few days ago, during my training match with Rayne."
"It's a bit farfetched, but I'm starting to see a possible theory." Sunset Shimmer set the notebook aside after making her haphazard notes. "I've been close to you almost the entire time I've been here. But I didn't change until we were talking, and you reminded me of things before I went through the mirror." The unicorn got up and turned back to Twilight. "I think there might be some connection between the magic's reaction and an emotional state. You said before that you were unsure of your place here, because you want to help but your stature as Princess doesn't mean much, this magic isn't like any we are familiar with..." She pauses a moment, tilting her head to one side. "And would I be remiss if I thought you're not so sure of yourself without your friends here? You've always had their support, be it your friends or the Rainbooms. Your own uncertainty may be why Twisted's magic is having this unpredictable reaction."
Twilight says, "Actually... You may be touching on exactly why all this is happening. I've switched between forms twice in less than two days, and even ponied up..."
Sunset gently tugs the oversized jacket off with her magic, and tosses it over a chair. If and when she suddenly changes forms again she doesn't want to ruin that as well. "The magic here isn't as subtle as around Canterlot High, but it seems to be rather responsive. Even with no idea how it actually works, that theory seems to fit to some degree from observation." Followed by a soft chuckle as she rubs the back of her head with a forehoof. "Maybe because I'm more of a hooves-on learner it started to make a little more sense once it actually happened to me."
Twilight says, "So you're convinced that the magic here is more driven by emotions, and responds more when they're stronger?"
Sunset makes an expression to go with the "Nnnnh" sound she makes. "I wouldn't say convinced, there's not enough observable data to make that sort of definite conclusion. But from what I have seen even if it's not entirely correct it certainly seems to have some relativity to the situation." She's not entirely sure of herself, but at the same time, tackling the problem seems to have helped pick up her mood again.
In a rather humorous parallel of the earlier situation, Twilight's leaning over to scoop her friend into a firm hug, though she's still careful not to go overboard and risk injuring the golden-furred mare.
Sunset is still rather soft and cozy, even if she hasn't been a full pony for a long time. ".. By this point I should be getting use to us ending up in reverse situations of each other... Though this is just as nice as it felt hugging you." Kind of funny that despite both of them being back and forth they've never been in a position this was possible before.
Twilight says, "I know what you mean, and I'm really grateful for it, Sunset. Thank you."
As cozy as it is, Sunset only gets to enjoy the gratitude for a few moments before she feels compelled to teleport herself out of Twilight's arms. Though as she starts to glow moments afterwards in what's not her teal colored magic, it's probably for the best. She grabs her bookbag with her magic and then bolts to the bedroom before the transformation is done.
A few moments later she walks out, wearing her PJs. When she said she had to keep a pair stashed in her bag because of surprise Pinkie Slumber Parties, she wasn't kidding. Though more notable than the familiar PJs is that she's got her pony ears and the tail-like extension to her hair. "What an awkward way to find out I can pony up here after all!" It's probably because helping Twilight helped restore her own confidence too.
Twilight says, "But now it makes me genuinely curious if the others will end up here, to help deal with some sort of threat or keep everyone safe. I mean... We've both seen that we can pony up. So naturally they'll be able to as well, by the same virtue."
"Right now I wish Rarity was here. Then we wouldn't have to worry about clothing at least." Sunset laughs a little as she sits down next to Twilight once more, dropping her bag off to the side. "I still wouldn't call it one hundred percent definate, but I think this," she gestures at her own anthropony form at the moment, "is a good indicator that the theory may have some merit. I may not have an Element... but I was trying to help you for no other reason than you are my friend. And it seemed to have a similar effect as the others ponying up from acting on their Friendship traits."
Twilight Sparkle giggles at that, leaning back into the couch and lifting her legs up onto it as her wings twitch a bit. "Well, I'd do the same for you in a heartbeat. As Celestia herself once told me, when I became a Princess... I think it's safe to say that 'we've come a really long way'..."
"Yeah. I might of not gotten to be a Princess like I once wanted, but honestly?" Sunset leans over to put her arm around Twilight's shoulder again. "In the end I think I got something even better. Between friends like you, the other you, and the Rainbooms." It feels a little odd to refer to them by the band name casually, but it was the easiest way to distinguish between her group and Twilight's pony group. Then she frowns a little. "... Though I do kind of wish I had gotten a chance to go back to Equestria, even if just long enough to apologize to Celestia for being so stupid when I was her student."
Twilight says, "In that regard, at least... You may actually have a chance to reconcile with her. If, and when, we find a way back home, I'll see about arranging for her to come visit us at my castle in Ponyville. I sincerely mean that, Sunset."
Sunset smiles. "Thank you, Twilight. That's as much of a reason to keep researching here as getting to see our friends again ist... I mean, if they don't someday end up here first."
Twilight says, "We'll work through it. Together. And you're welcome, my friend."
"We DEFINITELY need to go clothes shopping tomorrow, though." And realizing how absurd it sounds that -that- is their biggest worry after all the other things the two of them have been through, Sunset starts laughing.
Twilight says, "A girls' day out? I haven't had one since I got pulled here... I'm so there, because it's going to be a lot of fun!"
Sunset says, "Yeah, that's a nice way to look at it. Despite all the things we've been through together, we've never really gotten a chance to bond like that, other than the slumber party." Sunset ehehes softly. "Maud and her 'pet' rock are still kind of odd. And that's saying something knowing she's related to Pinkie Pie."
Twilight Sparkle nods, expression turning amused. "And I've seen her Equestrian half actually work, on two separate occasions. She may be unemotional, but when a large boulder threatens... She can PUNCH it into little more than pebbles."
Twilight says, "The first was when Pinkie was threatened by a falling boulder. And the second was when I was traveling through time to try and stop Starlight."
".. That's a good reason to not make either version mad." Sunset has seen her friends do some impressive things even without ponying up, so she doesn't want to find out how hard an angry human Maud can punch if her pony version can punch rocks into bits. "I guess you mean as part of that time loop you were stuck in."
Twilight Sparkle nods, with a bit of relief followed by concern for her first student flashing across her face rapidly. "I'm glad she saw reason after all that, before any lasting damage was done. But I've also got to wonder how she's doing with me gone. I shouldn't be worried, because Applejack and the others are there."
Sunset smiles a bit. "I'd say the same thing about our Twilight. After the games she transferred to Canterlot High, so the Rainbooms will be sure to be there for her." Then the smile tugs into a bit of a frown. "Too bad we just used our phones so I never tried to duplicate my magic book for her. Or we'd have a way to send a message back to them."
Twilight says, "Offering to create a copy of the one you and I used for correspondence between there and Equestria won't do any good until we discover a way back. So we might as well make the most of being stuck here while we look for something."
"Yeah, no point fussing over it." Sunset rolls her shoulders. "But neither of us are the sort to give up once we've got an objective in mind, so it's all really a matter of when rather than if, right?"
Twilight Sparkle gets up to pour them both some iced tea, before returning to her seat with two glasses held in her hands. "Of course. And it also kind of ties in to two of our friends, or four in my case. Applejack and Rainbow Dash are both known for being very headstrong and unwilling to quit, so maybe they've rubbed off on us to some degree."
Sunset ahehs. "Trust me, as someone who once used that very same trait to push them apart, I know." She accepts the cup of tea with a nod and takes a sip. "It's kind of funny like that, how friends can influence each other like that, even without really trying to."
Twilight leans back again, half-pinning her right wing between the cushions as she takes a small sip of her own iced tea. "Oh, I know... But it's why I hold out hope, and do the best I can, to be a positive influence on them."
"Same. At least now, at least." Sunset sips more of her tea. "And here too. Even if being a Princess doesn't count as much, you've taken up protecting it with TASK and people are going to be looking up to you all the same."
Twilight says, "And I won't let them down. I didn't then, and I'm not about to begin now."
"And I'll help you." Sunset pushes herself off the couch and stretches. "But right now, I think I'm ready to call it a night." Then pauses mid-stretch. "... Uh, do you want your bed back tonight?"
Twilight says, "I think it's big enough to hold both of us, but I'll respect it if you say you're not comfortable with us sharing yet."
Sunset smirks faintly. "Considering earlier I think we're a bit past that being awkward already."
Twilight just rubs her right shoulder, nodding in agreement. "So it's agreed then. Sleep well, Sunset."