Fan Fic: Long Road To Friendship

"You mean I have to be good all the time?"
Sunset Shimmer

Long Road to Friendship is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, written by The Albinocorn.

Immediately following the events of Equestria Girls, Sunset Shimmer wants to move on with her life and try to rebuild her shattered social standing at Canterlot High School. However, the Elements of Harmony have placed a magical compulsion on her, as penance for trying to use the Element of Magic to conquer the human world. She has to do whatever anyone politely asks of her, and she must always tell the truth when asked a question. To complicate matters, the friends Twilight Sparkle made while in the human world won't leave Sunset alone, and she keeps running into this world's Twilight time after time.

Though ostensibly a ship fic between Sunset and Human Twilight, the fic provides a look into Sunset's psyche as she slowly begins to see what her actions have caused, and how she adjusts to the effects that the curse has on her life.


This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Sunset takes on multiple thugs early on in the story who were planning to assault Human Twilight.
  • Adorkable: Human Twilight, especially when talking about Sunset Shimmer. Sunset even notes that Twilight's incredibly awkward attempts at flirting are even more endearing than if she was any good at it.
  • After-School Cleaning Duty: Sunset Shimmer gets a lot of this, being hit with months of detention for destroying the school.
  • Alpha Bitch: Sunset Shimmer is trying not to be one of these anymore. While she's still aggressive and fairly cynical, she's at least trying to improve.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Sunset asks Trixie, "Have you ever considered the possibility that, real or not, you're not good at magic?" This gets Trixie so angry, she nearly fries Sunset with a magical blast that covers her father's shop in soot.
    • Sunset also gives one to Rainbow Dash, when Dash calls her out on her years of abusing Fluttershy. Sunset asks, "Where were you when I was pushing her around? When I was knocking papers out of her hand, shoving her into the lockers and taking her lunch?" This question gets Dash so angry that she attacks Sunset.
  • Asleep in Class: Sunset falls asleep in class a few times after she can't get any sleep at home.
  • Awful Truth: Sunset points out to Rainbow Dash that, during Sunset's bullying days, Dash never once came to Fluttershy's defense. This gets Dash so angry that she attacks Sunset.
  • Badass Family: The Lulamoons, as seen in Chapter 33 when they come to Sunset's aid against Gilda and her gang. Artemis uses spells to fend them off, while Selena proves handy with a saber. Trixie's teleportation sometimes backfires on her, but she's working on it, and it's hinted that she catches Sunset with telekinesis after Gilda pushes her off a three-story building framework. This eventually comes to include Sunset herself after Artemis takes her in.
  • Berserk Button: Sunset hates the word "demon," especially being called one.
  • Big Bad: Trixie. Though she's not really a villain, she's the main source of stress and trouble in Sunset's life as her superior at her job. Moves into proper "villain" territory in Chapter 29, where she blackmails Sunset about her living conditions, threatening to go to the police and turn her in to child services, and also revealing she stole her science fair project with Twilight.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Lulamoons save Sunset from what was going to be an otherwise fatal attack by the Griffons.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Applejack most certainly has it, as Sunset notes to herself when Apple Bloom and the other Canterlot Motley Crew get lost in the Everfree Forest. One moment Applejack is just about ready to strangle Apple Bloom, and the next she's talking calmly to keep Apple Bloom from falling down the cliff she's hanging on to once they find her.
    • Shining Armor also shows a Big Brother Instinct to Twilight, giving Sunset a Death Glare before the two of them study in the library. He gives her another one after Sunset is forced to tell Twilight that she hates her. And, even though he lets Sunset go with Artemis, he does so only on the condition that she patches things up with Twilight.
  • Broken Tears:
    • Sunset, to Twilight, at Pinkie Pie's sleepover. Sunset confesses that she finally understand what a monster she was to everyone else, and now truly regrets what she did.
    • Sunset sheds a few more after the Humane Five's argument at the pizza parlor, feeling like she was the cause of her friends starting to hate each other.
  • Brutal Honesty: Sunset is forced to be brutally honest to Pinkie Pie, thanks to her curse. Sunset says she finds Pinkie annoying and obnoxious, which hurts Pinkie's feelings. Sunset thinks that "this is why people tell little white lies" when it happens.
  • Can Not Spit It Out: In Chapter 32, Sunset discovers that she physically can't tell anyone about the curse. Her throat closes if she tries to talk about it, and her hand cramps up if she tries to write it down.
  • Cassandra Truth: After Sunset and the rest of the Mane Six tell Human Twilight about what happened a few days ago and the pony world, Twilight thinks it's a joke, hazing the "new girl." Shining Armor also things Sunset might be on drugs when she says she's from a world where everyone's a magical pony.
    • This happens a few other times with questions Sunset is asked throughout the fic. Just because Sunset has to tell the truth doesn't mean anyone has to believe her.
  • Catapult Nightmare: This happens to Sunset Shimmer after every one of her nightmares. Sometimes, multiple times a night.
  • Clothing Damage: The leather jacket Sunset wears gets ripped, torn, and partly eaten by a goat. She eventually throws it away, along with all the crowns she won at the Canterlot High dances, to symbolize her attempt to make a fresh start.
  • Continuity Nod: Fluttershy's line on how "sometimes, we all need to be shown a little kindness" is lifted straight from the second episode of the TV show.
  • Cool Bike: Sunset has one, but it's undergoing repairs when the fic starts. She gets it back several chapters in, though it gets defaced with pink paint.
  • Curse Cut Short: When Rarity asks Sunset's opinion on jewelry.
    Rarity: "What do you think, Sunset? Does this make me look good?"
    Sunset: "I think it makes you look like a wh—"
    Rarity: "Ooh, is that a ruby necklace?"
  • Curse Escape Clause: The Elements of Harmony tell Sunset that the curse will end when she learns to trust people.
  • Cuteness Proximity: In chapter 23, Sunset befriends a cute little puppy named Spot. She eventually devolves into petting and baby talk with Spot, until she's caught by Fluttershy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sunset Shimmer, Rainbow Dash. Twilight gets a little of this too, after she starts hanging out with the main characters more.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sunset Shimmer and Rainbow Dash, though the latter is an ice queen just to the former.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Sunset is more than a little put-off by her new friends wanting to buy her things to spruce up the factory where she lives, saying that she "isn't a free-loader." She also preemptively shoots down what Sunset believes would be Rarity's offer to stay with any of them. Sunset finally acquiesces to "small gifts" in Chapter 25, then returns to the factory with armloads full of gifts.
    • The fic also deconstructs this by making it Sunset's Fatal Flaw. The times her friends actually want to help Sunset are all met with hostility, even when accepting would be in Sunset's best interest, out of a misplaced sense of pride or guilt. Even the normally cheerful Artemis is incredulous when he finds out she hadn't mentioned that she was homeless because she didn't want to impose.
  • Driven to Suicide: Fluttershy almost considered it a few times, thanks to Sunset Shimmer's bullying over the years. When Sunset finds out, she's horrified.
  • Evil Feels Good: When Sunset briefly resorts to angrily interrogating anyone she comes across about her stolen science fair project, she reflects later that it felt good to be in that level of power.
  • Exact Words: In Chapter 31, during Thanksgiving dinner with Twilight's family, Sunset's honest answers to their questions about her background start to raise suspicions. Twilight asks her to lie - and since she says "please," Sunset has to do it. It backfires on her at the end of the chapter, when Twilight asks Sunset what she thinks of her. Since Sunset is still stuck in "lie" mode, she blurts out a string of insults that sends Twilight running off in tears and asking Sunset to leave her alone. Which Sunset also has to do because she said the magic word.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Sunset gets these after being sleep deprived. It gets her out of detention one day after Principal Celestia notices it.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: This is what ultimately happens with Sunset Shimmer and Rainbow Dash. The two come to blows in a park, only to get interrupted by Dash's old gang, the Griffons. Sunset and Dash fight them off, at which point Dash isn't interested in fighting Sunset anymore.
  • First-Person Smartass: Sunset. Much of the narration concerns Sunset snarking about what morons everyone else is.
  • Geas: The curse placed upon Sunset by the Elements of Harmony. Sunset has to tell the truth when someone asks her a question, except about the curse. She later discovers that she physically can't tell anyone about it. And, when someone politely asks (not demands) something from her, especially if they say "please," Sunset has to do it.
    • The curse also shows itself to be pretty flexible, too. The part about doing favors extends even if the question wasn't directed at Sunset, as she found out in Artemis Lulamoon's magic show. Also, if someone asks Sunset to be somewhere at a certain time, Sunset will start going there against her will as soon as the clock strikes that time if she's not already there.
    • Chapter 31 also shows that the part about doing favors overrides the part about telling the truth when Twilight tells Sunset to "please lie," and Sunset starts compulsively lying.
  • Halloween Cosplay: The "Spectacular Seven" all dress up as characters from The Wizard of Oz for Halloween. Sunset Shimmer, appropriately, is the Tin Man... er, Tin Girl.
  • Hello Again Officer: Shining Armor pulls Sunset over for speeding. Later that day, he spots her again when she drops Twilight off at home.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Human Twilight can play the violin exceptionally well. Sunset uses this to convince her that her new friends don't see her as a "replacement" for Princess Twilight from the pony world. After all, Princess Twilight could never play the violin, so Human Twilight has something that separates them.
    • Sunset is a former student of Celestia, so she's very intelligent, both in book smarts and in strategic analysis and planning.
    • As catty and cruel as she is, Trixie nonetheless loves her parents very much. Just the thought of getting their disapproval is enough to give Trixie pause. Also, as much as she hates Sunset, Trixie is grateful when Sunset saves Trixie's life at the apparent cost of her own, as much as Trixie hates to admit it.
  • Humiliation Conga: Chapter 30, for several characters. Trixie causes a small EMP that destroys lots of projects, which causes her to lose. Dexter and Quick Wit have their chess-playing robot beaten easily by Twilight. Sunset all but admits she's falling for Twilight, and gets scapegoated with the Winter Ball's preparations by Lyra.
  • I Am a Monster: Sunset, twice. Once after finding out her bullying nearly drove Fluttershy to suicide and once at Pinkie Pie's Halloween party, in a tearful confession to Twilight after her curse starts getting to her.
  • I Hate Past Me: Sunset comes to greatly despise the side of her that made her do the things she did in Equestria Girls.
  • Incoming Ham: Artemis Lulamoon always seems to make an entrance in an over-the-top fashion.
  • Insistent Terminology: At Halloween, Sunset isn't the Tin Man, she's the Tin Girl.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sunset, after a good dose of Character Development. She's noticeably upset when her curse causes her to be brutally honest with Pinkie Pie, with Sunset saying that she finds Pinkie annoying. Past Chapter 20, Sunset has gotten much more polite and courteous without realizing it, though she's still pretty snarky to everyone.
  • Kill It with Fire: Sunset repeatedly threatens to do this to a pink pony doll.
  • Large Ham: The Supreme and Mystical Artemis Lulamoon. Trixie had to learn it from someone. He likes to use his own last name as the magic word to trigger his spells.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Artemis Lulamoon's magic tricks. He appears out of nowhere in a grocery store, miraculously fixes Sunset's broken nose, and Trixie is able to cause a small explosion that covers their store in ash. Sunset initially chalks the two up as particularly impressive stage magicians, but later chapters all but say outright that it's actual magic. Chapter 33 makes it explicit, with telekinesis and teleportation displayed, and Artemis confirming actual magic exists in the human world.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sunset's reaction to finding out she nearly drove Fluttershy to suicide shocks and horrifies her.
    • She has another, smaller one of these after Rainbow Dash reveals she joined the Griffons gang because of Sunset.
  • New Transfer Student: Human Twilight.
  • Oblivious to Love: Sunset is entirely unaware of Twilight's feelings for her. She eventually starts to suspect in Chapter 24, but brushes the idea off as silly.
  • Oh Crap!: The end of Chapter 2, when Sunset realizes what the Elements of Harmony meant when they cursed her.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Trixie. The first thing she does when Artemis gives her control of his magic shop is to try and fire Sunset. Artemis shoots her down immediately.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Sunset tells Rainbow Dash that she's not going to hurt Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash snaps back with "Bullshit!"
  • Precocious Crush: Twilight develops one on Sunset Shimmer. Sunset only starts to figure it out in Chapter 24 after Twilight tries playing footsie with her under the table.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Chapters 28 and 29 are not kind to Sunset, to say the least. Her bike is painted bright pink, and she has to spend all night wiping it off, though some of the damage is permanent. And then, it goes From Bad to Worse when the science fair project Sunset and Twilight were working on is stolen. It's enough to make Sunset briefly revert to her Alpha Bitch personality, angrily interrogating everyone she comes across.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Principal Celestia ensures Sunset Shimmer keeps to the school's rules and does her time for the events of Equestria Girls. However, she is more than willing to overlook one or two transgressions if selfless intentions are involved.
    • Twilight's brother Shining Armor is a cop, and dedicated to the law from what is shown so far. However, despite Sunset's speeding by about 20mph over the limit, he lets her go with a warning because she saved Twilight's life. Later, after he finds out that Sunset is homeless and using forged documents to attend school, he knows he should either arrest her or send her to a shelter. Instead, he goes with his gut feeling and lets Artemis take her home.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sunset gives one to Trixie after Trixie threatens to turn Sunset into the police for being homeless. Sunset counters that it would make her and Trixie Not So Different, and that Trixie's father, Artemis, would no doubt be ashamed after finding out Trixie might do something so heartless.
  • Reality Ensues: Sunset has no family, no public records, no official identification, and few practical skills. The result is she had to get by in the other world by stealing and mooching off boyfriends, lives in an abandoned factory with nothing to do in her spare time, and has very few material possessions. The Humane Five are surprised when they find out her living situation and see it for themselves.
    • This is later exploited by Trixie in Chapter 29. Trixie threatens to tell the police that Sunset is technically homeless and squatting in an abandoned factory, which would get Sunset arrested and/or sent off to a shelter, the nearest one of which is two towns away.
  • Recurring Dreams: Sunset keeps having nightmares, mostly involving her demon form from Equestria Girls and the zombified students. She starts having them so often that she loses sleep.
  • Redemption Quest: Invoked. The Elements of Harmony place Sunset on one against her will.
  • Rescue Romance: Sunset saves Human!Twilight from muggers, which starts Twilight's attraction to her.
  • Sanity Slippage: After the events of the film, Sunset starts having trouble sleeping due to nightmares and her geas makes her very irritable. As an example, she wins a pink unicorn at a fair and names it "Twilight Sparkle", and begins to talk to it as if it were Equestria!Twilight. After a while the writing drops the idea of Sunset voicing her responses and narrates entire conversations between it and Sunset. She also has a conversation with a reflection of herself in the mirror in Chapter 32.
  • Searching the Stalls: Sunset finds Human Twilight crying in the bathroom after a particularly rough day, thinking that the rest of the Mane Six are only friends with Princess Twilight, not her.
  • Shipper on Deck: Cadance. Justified, as Cadance is a love advice radio talk show host.
  • Shout-Out: One of the things Sunset sees in the haunted house is clearly the Slender Man.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Human!Twilight and Sunset play a particularly intense game of it during their first trip to the mall. They have another one when they hang out with the Humane Five and Flash Sentry, though Sunset grumbles that Flash Sentry caused her to lose after hovering over Twilight's shoulder.
    • Becomes a Chekhov's Skill in Chapter 30 when Twilight embarrasses Dexter and Quick Wit by beating a chess-playing robot.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Flash Sentry, to Twilight. While Twilight is polite and courteous to Flash, it's clear that she's not interested in him. And besides that, Flash is crushing more for Equestria's Twilight.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: Invoked by Sunset, who has Twilight ask her to "please go to sleep and dream of something nice." It works. She dreams of defeating the demon version of herself, with Sunset as the Tin Girl and the demon as the Wicked Witch of the West. It also gives Sunset the best night of sleep she's had in weeks.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Shining Armor is conflicted about what to do about Sunset when he finds out that not only did she forge documents to get into Canterlot High, but that she's homeless. He ultimately chooses to be "good" by letting Sunset go with Artemis instead of arresting her or sending her to a shelter, because he wants to help her, and also because Shining has no idea what the protocol is for Sunset's situation.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: Sunset's fight with the thugs that harassed Human!Twilight. This happens again when she and Rainbow Dash have to fight each other, and then the Griffons gang. Notably, when Gilda has Sunset in a headlock, Dash clobbers Gilda with a cheap shot to the side of the head.
    • Escalates further in Chapter 33. The Griffons all attack Sunset and Trixie with butterfly knives.
  • Tsundere: Sunset is a classic Type A; outwardly cruel and mean-spirited, inwardly more mature and kind.