|Aftermath of Dissolution|
One day was unusual, but understandable after everything that had happened. Two days was peculiar. Three days had Sunset Shimmer outright concerned for her friend, and someone she knew wouldn't normally let such issues hold her down very long. Concerned enough that she's willing to ignore Rayne's preference to keep her distance, to a point, and go knock firmly on her friend's apartment door.
Yang, of course, jumps and hides under the couch at the sound of the knocking, while Yin merely flicks an ear from her current perch. As for Rayne... she rolls over. In her bed(itself mounted over the couch in a space saving manner), she was prior facing the wall, her back to the room itself. After the knock... well, she rolled over to at least face towards the door? She looks blankly at the hallway to the door, but doesn't actually respond at that first knock.
The lack of a response isn't really a surprise, but not very reassuring either. She knocked a bit harder. "Rayne, it's Sunset. I know you're most likely in there, so please open the door?... They won't be very happy about safety deposits if I have to magic my way in."
Rayne grumbles slightly. It takes another moment, likely too long, but she does move to the side of the bed, finally causing Yin to move from her warm spot of next to Rayne, and drops to the floor. Bleary-eyed and bushy-haired, she makes her way to the door with a sigh and opens it, still wearing her pajamas. She opens her mouth, then manages to not figure out what exactly to say and thus just says, "Hi."
It took long enough that Sunset was about to knock again just as the door opens, and thankfully stops herself before she knocks her fist on Rayne's face instead. "Oh thank Celestia." She partially raises her arms, likely about to go for a hug before she forcefully reminds herself about the 'no touching' with Rayne, and just somewhat awkwardly scoots through the open door instead. "I was really starting to get worried Rayne. It's not like you to miss work even with the proverbial crap hits the fan."
Rayne does take a step back as the hand is nearly at her face, then steps to the side as Sunset more or less forces her way in. She sighs, then says with a somewhat ragged voice, "Yeah, well... I'm not really feeling it today." She makes her way back into the main room and plops somewhat hard onto the couch. She's gone a bit red, now feeling embarassed that Sunset is here.
Sunset sighs a little. That was a bit excessively forward of her to just walk in, but she did it out of concern. "I know, I know." She rubbed a hand to the back of her head for a moment, then sighed again as she wandered over to find a place to sit. "I also know that after a point just sitting around and moping over such things doesn't do more than make a person feel worse about it." Unsurprisingly that, while she doesn't know the whole real story of what's happened and only the rumors so far, she's gotten pretty darn good at picking up on her friends' feelings. Even without using some of her 'special' abilities.
Rayne takes a deep breath in, then out again. Yang pulls himself out from under the couch again, by now used to Sunset enough to actually show himself, and he jumps up into Rayne's lap. No, not familiar enough with Sunset to actually approach her. Fraidy cat is Fraidy cat. And Yin just doesn't seem to care. "So. Yeah. That happened. Just... dismissed like something in his way."
Sunset is unbothered by feline snobbery. Rarity's longhair persian was pretty much the same. She leaned forward a little, resting elbows on her knees as she laced her fingers together. She at least got Rayne to talk a little, that's a small start. But this wasn't a matter that was going to be solved with one little chat, and she knew it... Not like that was going to stop her from trying. Because her friend really needed the support right now. "It's not just that, is it," she eventually murmurs thoughtfully. "I mean, it is... But it's also because it's effectively stabbing the heart out of all the work and effort you've put into things, isn't it?"
Rayne sighs again plants her face into her hands. "No. Yes? I don't know. I just, I..." She sniffs, then removes her hands from her face again. "It's like... it's just... it's one thing after another. Everything was going well. I was about to leave TASK to focus on the Welcome Center. I'm put on the council as the voice of the people. Then everyone vanishes. I'm in charge of TASK entirely. The city gets sent into chaos from that... Power incident and then even Setsuna and Gegoshi are gone and this... Bishop... person is there in Gegoshi's place and... and now he just tosses me aside. I feel like... like I'm just being tossed around constantly, and I can't... I can't take it anymore."
Sunset holds up one hand. "Just for the record so we're clear, I've never blamed you for having to leave the Welcome Center to me more than intended. It's given me plenty to do...Knowing how awkward the going from one world to another can be." With that she leans back, rubbing her own face with her hands. "I still don't entirely understand all the things that have gone on recently. Maybe partially glad that I don't." Followed by a soft sigh as she lowered hands back to her lap, fussing a little to keep them to herself, as it were. Good grief, how does Pinkie Pie stand having to deal with someone that doesn't like being hugged? It's almost more annoying than the bigger problem. "But this isn't a something that can just be coped with and move on. I know how hard it is to be here, and not have the people you've grown to rely on being here... but however it might feel you're not alone, Rayne, and you don't have to deal with this alone, either."
Rayne sniffs once again, not making eye contact, instead looking more at Sunset's knees. "I know. But it was... it was my project. It was what I created. And I was pulled away from it. I know, I know, you're extremely qualified for it, more than me, but... I don't know. But I know." Well, that certainly could have made more sense. "You know how this works better than anyone, don't you? Multiple times and all. It's why you're perfect to actually run it." She laughs. "'Hey, at least you don't have to worry about species change! Before I entered my second world, I was a pony!'" The laughter ends and she shakes her head. "Sorry." She suddenly picks up Yang from her lap and squeezes him gently... but apparently he's not to fond of being squeezed at all and he's bolting again as soon as she lets him go. "Sorry!" she calls again, not that the feline can actually understand human language. Yin's tail flicks from her perch on the cat tower. Rayne then takes a deep breath and says, "I know I'm not completely alone, Sunset. Thank you. If it weren't for you, I'd probably have cracked months ago."
Sunset laughs a bit herself. "Honestly when I first came here I was just as surprised I was still this. But I think 'playing human' for so long, and making stronger bonds with that world than my original, is probably why." She shrugs a little. "For as much as anyone understands how this reality works, at least." She gives her eyes a little roll. "Not to mention hooves would be -so- impractical in this city. If it wasn't for magic I'd have to open doors with my mouth, and THAT is just... uh... I know the city doesn't have the strict sanitary efforts that Canterlot did." Sunset shivers a little at the thought. Then smiles at the reassurance. "I know... and I also know, maybe better than I'd like to admit, how being in this sort of situation can make it hard to remember that. I figured you could at least use someone to talk to."
Rayne lets it go unsaid that she still did crack a few days ago, and fiddles with her hands while looking down at them since she no longer has a cat there to pet with them. "Bishop understands how it works, I'm betting," she finally says darkly. There's more than a hint of anger there, and the temperature of the room raises by half a degree, but she takes a deep breath again and calms herself. "Yeah. I can't imagine trying to open doors with my mouth," she says quietly instead of raging any further against Bishop. She takes another breath in and out again before finally looking up to Sunset's face with a smile. It's perhaps a bit weak, but at least it doesn't look fake. "Yeah. You're right. I guess I needed this."
Sunset has to resist the want to reach over and put her hand on Rayne's shoulder, so she rests her arm across the back of the couch instead. The gesture is close enough in proximity and keeps her from fidgiting over the matter. "No one blames you for needing to take time to yourself to work through this Rayne. It's not like you to completely shutter away though, and that's what got most of us worried." Sunset closes her eyes for a moment and exhales thoughtfully. "It's a pain that's not going to be easy, or quick, to get over. I know." More familiar than she'd like to admit. "But eventually you're going to need to start moving on. Find something new to work towards... a new motivation." She puts a smile back on her face as she leans a little closer, while still being conscious of Rayne's 'personal space' issues. "You and I both know there is still plenty that can be done without needing some high seat of authority in the land.. hell, probably some things that are better tackled withOUT it."
Rayne sighs and leans her head back. Did she notice Sunset's hand back there? Probably not if she did that, but there's that rare physical interaction as Sunset's hand comes in contact with Rayne's hair, as unkempt as it is at the moment. "I... I'm sorry. I should... I suppose I should get out more. Remind myself who I'm still working for, as head of TASK... assuming I'm still there... But I can't exactly imagine Cosgrove really taking over. He's very much a 'status quo' kinda guy. Kinda a fatherly figure, which is why so many of the troops listen to him." She looks down at her own hands again at the mention of a new motivation. New? It's been... What, a year and a half? Two years? It's hard to say in Twisted, but that would be a record turnaround for her, ending a career that fast that she's put that much effort into... Usually it's right around that ten year mark. But being this much in a leadership position is very much unlike what she's used to, still. She then looks back at Sunset with a blink at the mention of things that can be done without it. "Uh... probably. Maybe. But for now, even though I wish I could say otherwise, I'm still the best we have for leading TASK. When I'm not like... well, the last few days."
Sunset smiles reassuringly. "I know, and so the rest of the organization." Then rolls her eyes a little. "Cosgrove doesn't seem to like being on the top of the chain very much... But he'd rather deal with it to give you the time to get your head back in order. Dealing with him is like trying to deal with stubborn old mule though!" Then a moment she flinchs, realizing what she just said. Or more so how it would of sounded in Equestria. "Figuratively speaking!" she quickly blurts out.
Rayne nods a moment, saying, "He can be, sometimes..." She then blinks and looks back to Sunset again. "Huh? Oh! Uh, there were mules in Equestria, then, too?" She pauses a moment, then says, "I never did really ask much about Equestria..."
Sunset shrugs her shoulders a little as she draws her arm back to her side. "There's a lot more than Ponies in Equestria, but before Twilight and her friends got involved most of them kept to their own lands, or were thought to be no more than legends."
Rayne glances away. "Ah, yes. I seem to remember her mentioning once the princess having a pet phoenix. Must be like you hearing about people having pet horses, I'm guessing." She sighs, then laughs. This is what she needed. Just... talking about stuff. Getting back into just being a person again, even if she is the head of TASK still.
"Yeah. That's actually a pretty fair comparison." Despite it being a little awkward Sunset chuckles a little. "Philomina is certainly intelligent for a bird, and every bit as mischievous as her keeper, but it's not... you know.." She gestures in vague not quite sure what words to use manner with her hands for a moment. "Sapient? Is that the term I'm looking for?" She taps her chin. "Sapient and sentient are so hard to tell apart, especially when you're not dealing with one dominate species."
Rayne tilts her head, then nods. "I think it's the same thing, for the most part? Though sentient is the one I've usually heard. I'm from a universe where there's a lot of sentient species in the two and a half galactic arms, after all." It can be hard to remember that she's from a more sci-fi setting when she prefers blades and arrows as weapons and wears medieval armor on the job.
Sunset shakes her head a little, though she's still smiling with a hint of amusement. "Let's just stick to the 'pet' analogy, and save us both a dangerous headache."
Rayne nods a few times, "Yeah, that works." She pauses a moment, then jumps up to her feet. The sudden motion causes Yang to dart under the couch again. And he'd just come back out! "Oh, um, would you like something to eat, or drink, or... something?" She blinks, then says, "Oh, gods, I look an absolute mess, don't I?"
Even Sunset briefly jerks back, startled by the motion simply because its an abrupt shift from the sullen mopeyness she had come in to. It takes her a moment to recompose herself and construct an appropriate answer. "Possibly, but I certainly wouldn't expect you to put something together right here and now, and... Honestly, Rayne, you look like a wreck." She quickly holds up her hands. "But it's entirely understandable considering the last couple of days I'm sure you haven't done much more than eat, sleep and sulk."
Rayne laughs nervously, then admits, "Um, honestly, really just the latter two... um, I'm kind of starving right now, so... I'm going to make something anyway..." She rubs at the back of her head in embarassment, then says, "I, uh, figured I'd offer you some, too..."
Sunset sits back with a nod. "I'm not gonna stop you, or turn down that you're offering if you feel like it." Rayne probably needs to something to get up and do, so we'll let that be facilitated. "It has been a while since I've had something other than walking over to the Unusual for something."
Yin plops herself down from the cat tower and pads her way over to Sunset, looking up at her for a moment before hopping up into her lap. There, she allows pettings. Or perhaps demands them. It's hard to say. This is, after all, a sentient but not sapient creature. "Well, I can't say I'll be able to make something really worth while... I don't know what all I have in the fridge at the moment," Rayne says as she makes her way into the small kitchen. Like everything in her apartment, it's quite small but very space efficient, reflecting her apartment's design of being a duplicate of a civilian starship. Regardless, she ties her hair back and washes her hands before even looking into the fridge. "Um... I have... eggs. I don't think this leftover lasagna is edible anymore."
Sunset accepts this and gently runs her palm down Yin's back. Like everything else involving a cat its done on the cat's terms. "Well, you can do a lot with eggs, and they are really nutritious. You need the sustinance more than you need to worry about fanciness, Rayne." She then makes a face at the mention of the outdated lasagna. "I'm a pony in disguise, not a goat. Best just feed that one to the trash can."
The sound of something being dumped into the trash is heard. "Don't need to tell me that one once. I'm a little low on seasonings, but I can still make you an egg however you want, if you want one. Um... what time of day is it, again?" She's already cracking open and frying an egg, by the sounds of things. No, not waiting until Sunset has decided before starting something for herself. Rayne is a hungry woman right now.
"Just make whatever you're making for yourself, Rayne." We'll keep it simple for now. Sunset looks up in thought rather than bothering to look at a clock. "You've been sleeping a lot, so your body is probably more geared towards something breakfasty, regardless of what time it actually is."
"I'm certainly breaking a fast, that's for sure," Rayne calls from the kitchen. Another three eggs are going onto the frying pan, from the sound of things. It's not long before she's out with two plates of two eggs, sunny side up, with a few sprinkles of herbs and spices thrown on top. "And I'm not really one to talk against eating at the Usual too often," she quips. Look out, Yin is starting to kneed as she purrs. No, she's not declawed. "Well, Yin seems to be enjoying herself, at least," Rayne says with a glance at where Yang's tail is poking out from under the couch. She sets the two dishes down on the coffee table... yeah, Rayne's apartment isn't very well suited for meals. "Um, enjoy, I guess."
Sunset winces a little when Yin starts kneading. She'd forgotten how sharp little cat claws can be! She quickly bites it back and forces herself to relax by the time Rayne returns with the eggs. "Yeah.. Considering cat behaviors I'll take it as a compliment." Followed by a little ahem as she sat up and reached for one plate while attempting to 1) not disrupt the cat in her lap and 2) keep said plate out of reach of said cat long enough to sit up and lean back again. "Hey if it helps get you properly fed again, I'll take it... and I haven't eaten most of the day either," she murmurs, before chowing in.
Rayne nods. "Yeah, you should, but if it hurts don't worry about shoving her off." She carefully sits down as well (No plopping like last time) and eyes Yin carefully, making sure she doesn't go for the people food. No, do not want that habit starting. Normally Rayne won't eat with a cat in her lap. She may be a bit of a cat lady, but she's not that much of a cat lady. "...Or if she just gets in your way, for that matter. And yes, fed properly. Then shower. Likely a long one."
Sunset is use to eating around animals, mostly thanks to Fluttershy and Dog-Spike. So she at least knows how to maneuver to keep out of their reach. She takes a few bites, and nods a bit. It's acceptable for food, she was more worried about Rayne eating something in general than exceptional quality right now. She swallows, takes a few more bites and repeats, before she finally replies. "I'll let Cosgrove know you're okay, and just need the time to get your matters in order so you can focus on TASK properly."