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  • E Dinky's First Kill

    Like every little filly, Dinky loves everypony and everything... except spiders.
    3,649 words · 6,173 views  ·  538  ·  6
  • E Dance 'Til We're High

    Twilight looks for love at the Winter's Eve Ball. What she finds is like nothing she expected.
    12,494 words · 11,399 views  ·  779  ·  20
  • E Whisk

    A colt and his fathers move to Ponyville to start a new life.
    13,364 words · 1,926 views  ·  113  ·  1
  • T Epic Unicorn History: The Beards of Harmony

    Barely three years old, the fledgling nation of Equestria is threatened by chaos foretold in a dream. It's up to Star Swirl and five erstwhile, beardy stallions to brave the Forest Ever Free in search of their only salvation.
    30,755 words · 2,196 views  ·  228  ·  5
  • E A Lovely Apology

    Spitfire decides to make up for an embarrassing mistake by inviting Filthy Rich out for a night on the town.
    6,802 words · 1,825 views  ·  136  ·  2
  • E The Sun Shines Brightest at Night

    Nightmare Moon's defeat meant more to Equestria than just the return of the sun and their Princess. Witness the conclusion of a story one thousand years in the making, through the eyes of a Hoofington nurse.
    6,108 words · 936 views  ·  90  ·  1
  • T Laugh, Laugh

    Though she admired him, Pinkie Pie was never close to Ponyacci. She wasn't expecting him to call her to visit. She really wasn't expecting to find him like this...
    1,122 words · 661 views  ·  111  ·  2
  • E ACT OF WILL

    A mysterious machine shows up in Ponyville, and things quickly get out of hoof.
    3,001 words · 3,337 views  ·  154  ·  4

Blog Posts637

  • Sunday
    Fic recs, October 26th

    Man, do you realize Leap of Faith is a look at how scammers play on the fears of the elderly? Heavy.

    Griffin from City of Doors has started posting redirects to his blog on his Fimfic account, along with rewrites of old reviews! So if you didn’t have a way to follow his site, now you can be one click away by following him here!

    Have today’s Sonata dose.

    This is another monster review blog because I wanted to get one story out from each of the collections I’m now trying to get through. Expect lots of Cold in Gardez, Esle Ynopemos, Benman, Chris and Pascoite in the future!

    H: 0 R: 7 C: 10 V: 1 N: 0

    I’m Afraid of Changeling by Cold in Gardez

    Genre: Comedy

    We kick off the story collections with a short piece about a changeling going to a psychiatrist. What a comedy this is! The centerpiece is the psychiatrist, who remains unflappable and entirely professional while his client does very changeling-like things. There’s a lot of great wordplay in this, and the punchline is fantastic. For feeling shorter than it is, it manages to pack in a lot of laughs.

    Recommended

    A Night in the Barn by Esle Ynopemos

    Genre: Sad

    Granny Smith can’t sleep one night, which ends up being rather fateful. Honestly, I’d hate to think what would’ve happened if she hadn’t been up to see Applejack leave the house. This is a pretty solid little piece, giving us some nice background on Granny and approaching Applejack’s reaction to the loss of her parents in an original way. Definitely check this out if you’re into stories about that.

    Recommended

    One Giant Leap by Benman

    Sequel to One Small Step

    Genre: Politics

    Princess Luna seeks to reclaim her role as Princess of Equestria starting with a few titles, including... Captain of the Wonderbolts? I was kind of hesitant to get into Ben’s collection, because so many of the stories are abandoned, but despite being marked so, and being a sequel to a story of his I haven’t read yet, this stands on its own remarkably well. It comes in two parts, first Celestia and Luna playing Go and discussing Luna’s plans, then Luna and Spitfire racing for control of the Wonderbolts. It’s obvious that there’s room for continuation, but I was satisfied by the ending, not to mention it’s pretty funny. As for connections to One Small Step, all I saw was a mention of Luna’s assistant Lodestar, who I’ve seen in other stories of Ben’s, so I wasn't bothered by it and now you know enough to deal with her yourself. This is a good followup to Luna Eclipsed, and it’s well-written to boot.

    Recommended

    Doppelganger by obabscribbler

    Genre: Comedy

    Rarity takes over for Vinyl Scratch. The whole situation is as well-explained as it is far-fetched. My only complaint is that this is all setup with no denouement; I wanna know how the show goes! Still, if you ever wanted to see two characters interacting who normally never would, this is your chance.

    Recommended as Light Reading

    Dream Pony by Dimondium

    Genre: Shipping

    Pinkie recounts her relationship with Twilight. This is pretty average as shipping goes: Pinkie likes Twilight, finally works up the courage to tell her, and finds out Twilight secretly liked her back. The draw is the follow-through and the voicing. I started off feeling like this was too serious to be Pinkie, but in short order the narrative really takes a turn for her style, and the serious bits are understandably mixed into that. As for the follow-through, we don’t see much of the courtship, but this goes into the wedding, and them dealing with other life issues: losing friends, relationship troubles. That said, it is all told, so YMMV.

    Recommended for Shippers Only

    One Day in the Crystal Library by FanOfMostEverything

    Genre: World-Building

    The last three collections are (mostly) writeoff-based, and rather than read and review the literal dozens of entries for my writeoff edition, Imma just do ‘em with these guys. This one deals with Sombra and Cadence before all that “taking over the Crystal Empire” business. The ending scene feels rushed, but otherwise this posits a scenario that is both believable and interesting. I do wish a little more had been done with it.

    Recommended If You Like World-Building Vignettes

    Of Course, You Realize… by Chris

    Genre: Comedy

    Rarity and Rainbow Dash play War; it doesn’t end well. This is maybe the definition of “just enough” as stories go: at not even 300 words, it's sufficient to get the scene established and lay out the punchline. I will make some bones about Rarity’s behavior, but it’s kind of worth it given that it's Rainbow Dash falling for it. Reading this won’t put a dent in your day, anyway.

    Recommended as Light Reading

    Sweet Temptation by Pascoite

    Genre: Comedy

    Dinky Doo is taunted by a muffin. This is mostly light comedy for the sake of cuteness, but it takes a bit of a turn when Derpy Ditzy shows up. Also, there’s something truly amazing about Dinky saying “By Celestia, I’ll unmake you!” There’s a good balance of adorable and super-serious meant for comedic effect, but I can see a few places where word choices could have been improved. Granted, that’s comparing something two years old to the author’s current works; had anyone else written this, I might not have even noticed. Definitely worth it if you’re into cute stuff, especially as it doesn’t go overboard.

    Recommended

    From a Filly on a Hill by littlerobotbird

    Genre: Slice of Life

    This is written very strangely, making it hard to suss out what’s going on. What I think it is is Dinky recounting a time she lay out on a hill after either a fight with her mother over having gotten into a fight at school (likely started by Dinky trying to protect her), or that fight itself. There are concrete things I can point to, like the tense shifts and certain spots where repetition doesn’t work, that are definite errors. And then the perspective starts getting all wonky toward the end, and the overall effect is simply confusing. I’m not sure what the purpose was of writing the story this way. (Up until the very end, I thought the narrator might be the spirit of Dinky’s departed father, watching over her.) I’m just baffled by it.

    Vaguely Recommended

    Trixie’s Favourite Pony by Blueshift

    Reading by Sleipniiir that I am not linking to because the cover image is kinda NSFW

    Genre: Crackfic

    Trixie finally works up the courage to tell her favorite pony she loves her. This is an extraordinarily silly (and old) piece, written by the master of silliness himself. The central joke is amusing, things ramp up nicely, and it’s no longer than it needs to be. If you want Trixie silliness, look no further.

    Recommended If You Like Silly Things

    Scent by DegeTheMighty

    Reading by Scribbler, et. al.

    Genre: Horror

    After Ponyville’s first Nightmare Night celebration featuring Princess Luna, Big Macintosh goes in search of his missing little sister, all the while aware of an unfamiliar scent in the air. This does at least one thing majorly right, which is using an unusual sense to instill foreboding over the narrative. And “foreboding” is the right word, for that’s what I was filled with by the end. I was waiting for the proverbial skeleton to jump out, but this story doesn’t bother with trying to explain itself. I however was intrigued and wanted to know what the heck was going on. The answer is in the comments, but I’ll say this much: the one thing missing is an indication that the scent is a signifier in the first place. Once you know that, it’s just a matter of piecing together the fridge horror yourself, spoiler comments or no. Going through the story myself, I wasn’t quite looking at it from the right angle to get the full effect, and that’s fine, because I did at least get something out of this. If you’re looking for a spooky scare this Halloween, check this one out! (And if it spoops you too much, check out the parody in the comments.)

    Recommended for Horror Fans

    Rainbooms and Marshmallows by electreXcessive

    Reading by Doctor Cobra

    Mature: Sex

    Genre: Clopfic

    Rainbow Dash visits Rarity, her self-esteem crushed after her encounter with Prince Blueblood, and cheers her up with sex. I’ll hand it to the author, the intro to this is pretty well-crafted, though it also contains my major issue with the piece. Rarity is clearly shown to be in the throes of self-doubt, her self-worth entirely nil. So is it okay that she has sex with the first pony to compliment her, genuine compliments or not? Beyond that, this has some weird issues with POV and cheesy dialogue. Face it, if you’re coming at this story for anything but the clop watch out for the fisting, you’re doing it wrong.

    Recommended for Cloppers Only

    The Words Won’t Come by True Blue Spark

    Reading by Hero541

    Genre: Shipping

    Fluttershy tries to work up the courage to tell Applejack how she feels about her. At its core, this is pretty much every shipfic with Fluttershy on the attack. In true anime style, she “accidentally” cooks too much food, invites AJ out for a picnic, and then tries her damnedest to say the words she wants to. In true February fic form (I think; it’s been a while since I used that term), she starts out already liking AJ, and they end up practically married by day’s end. Non-shippers will definitely want to skip this, but if you like shipping — and this is one of my favorite pairings, I should add — this is fluffy and cute and features a great cameo by Apple Bloom.

    Recommended for Shippers Only

    Maud’s River by ArtichokeLust

    Reading by Akash the Reader

    Genre: Character Study

    Maud’s reaction to Pinkie’s first party. As character pieces go, this is quite good. Maud’s voice subsumes the narrative, and it makes a good case for her having some kind of mental issue. (Not autism, though, she’s too good with metaphors. If anything, her inability to understand the actions and emotions of others sounds more like sociopathy, at least in this story.) It’s also a very admirable and believable effort to reconcile season four canon with season one. (Remember that period of time between Pinkie Pride and Maud Pie where the question on everyone’s mind was “Who is the third sister?”) Though I will say that adding in Maud finding Boulder was a bit of an overreach, but probably the only issue I have with this. I’m just glad someone not only tried to do this, but got it right.

    Recommended

    The Brief Reign of Princess Twily by Forthwith

    Reading by Dr. Wolf

    Genre: Comedy

    Wanting to give Celestia a day off, Twilight Sparkle finds a loophole in Equestrian law that will allow her to do just that. Hopefully. This story has a “Lesson Zero but not terrible” vibe to it. (The scene when Twilight is contemplating ways to cause a national crisis got me worried, but the execution pays off.) It’s a really fun piece, even if it drags just a bit in the middle. We get to see both Twilight and Shining Armor as kids in the palace, and Celestia having a little fun at Twilight’s expense. Plus, filly Twilight as a cranky tyrant is just lots of fun. Also, there’s plenty of Cakelestia. If you missed this back when it was in the featured box, now’s the time to check it out!

    Recommended

    PETAshy by Chelis

    Genre: Crackfic

    Fluttershy ends up as part of an animal liberation raid on a facility, coordinated by the Eco Kids from school. What strikes me about this is how she gets involved in this: she’s got a crush on the kid with the green dreadlocks, if you remember him, and what she thinks is going to be a midnight tryst ends up being, well, this. That’s hilarious. That said, the ending is played rather straight, so this isn’t quite as funny as it could be. This is in major need of proofreading, with colon misuse and “they” instead of “the” all over the place, but if you’re here for lols, you’re probably not going to care much.

    Recommended If You Like Silly EQG Stuff

    Bad Sonata! by Syeekoh

    Genre: Crackfic

    The Dazzlings accidentally meet up with Twilight and Sunset at Donut Joe’s after their defeat, where a horrible truth comes to light. This story is kind of amazing for a number of reasons. First, it shows the Dazzlings post-defeat as actually caring about one another, Adagio for Sonata in particular. That’s definitely not how the trope has been going lately. Second, Sonata has a “stupid attack”. Third, it balls up a bunch of EQG-related fanon into a single explanation that manages to be the most Cards Against Humanity-style hilarious thing ever. And then we learn about the power of forgiveness. This is pretty good, but be warned, it does take a turn.

    Recommended for Terrible People

    Hooves of Clay by iisaw

    Genre: Political

    Twilight attacks Lyra in broad daylight, revealing her as a changeling, then vows to do something about them. It doesn't turn out well. I have my misgivings about this story, and though it tackles most of them during its course, the primary one remains: I can’t imagine Twilight getting that angry. I mean, we’ve seen her that angry, two seasons after this story was written, but problems of using later show canon for critique aside, it took a clear and present threat to all five of her friends, the princesses, and Discord before she acted on her emotions. Still, this ends up being more about Luna, and Twilight bonding with Luna, and the state of modern American politics than anything. Yeah, that last one’s totally in there. This gets maybe a little tangled up in the allegory, focusing on it more than is necessary, but I nevertheless appreciated it, and that it ends on a positive note. Given how things stand at the start of the second chapter — from where most of my misgivings stemmed — I was expecting another The Hanging of Twilight Sparkle. It’s just a matter of getting everyone to calm down so they can talk things out like rational ponies, after which they don’t seem to be so out of character. And Twilight learns a letter about politics. Definitely a worth read, as it left me with a lot to chew on.

    Recommended

    24 comments · 275 views
  • Saturday
    If you liked Awful Rumors...

    And you're also into creepypastas or just the SCP Foundation in general, check out my newest skip, SCP-2080, which is based on a similar idea. That's kind of not a coincidence. (Also neither it nor its companion tale explain what's happening in Awful Rumors. Just to be clear.)

    6 comments · 112 views
  • 6d, 8m
    The Loneliest Laundromat followup blog!

    18 comments · 112 views
  • 6d, 20h
    Fic recs, October 23rd!

    Did you know I follow 26 people who haven’t written anything? Crazy, right? Some of them are admins who aren’t writers. Some are musicians or VAs who aren’t writers. And then there are the people who I hang around with all the time and tend to forget are not writers. And then I judge them. I am judging them right now because they need to start writing. :|

    Pascoite’s begun an interesting conversation about EQD, fic rejection and decreasing numbers of writers seeking help over here.

    Neighrator Pony needs more exposure! He’s done a reading of Old Friends by RBDash this time, which is an excellent story. Dude just keeps cranking these out. :D Remember, you can follow him on Fimfic to get the updates, he cross-posts the videos. :B

    Lastly, after the my last blog’s impromptu poll, I will be doing a Skywriter edition of fic recs sometime in the future! I chose him out of a three-way tie mostly because he has fewer stories that need vs. posts than Cold in Gardez. <.< (Also damn, it’s amazing how many stories from both of them I read before I started reviewing.) So he can expect to have his entire life’s work shit upon get some analysis of his stuff soon! :B Ish. My next project is reviewing all the writeoff fics, of which there aren’t as many (in the group anyway) as you’d think. (It’s also worth noting that, since he got a number of votes, I have added all of autumnschild’s stories to my RIL, and I added a few stories by other people who were voted for, but who I'm not following. Expect some reviews eventually!)

    Anyway, I have no idea how this one got so huge that’s what she said, but hold onto your butts RILs, 'cause it’s about to get bumpy!

    H: 0 R: 9 C: 3 V: 3 N: 0

    Mr. Lonelyheart Meets Miss Lovestruck by scoots2

    Genre: Romantic Comedy

    Cheese Sandwich is called upon to throw a wedding party for Braeburn. The only problem is, Braeburn hasn’t exactly met his bride-to-be, and neither is what the other expected. This is fun for a couple of reasons, and the big one is Cheese. He makes a great foil for Braeburn, and he’s characterized really interestingly. In Pinkie Pride, most of what we remember of him is the wacky party pony, but it’s easy to forget that he spent the first and final few minutes of the episode being very serious. It’s suggested, in no small amount of words, that he only gets silly once there’s partying to be had, and because no wedding party is imminent in this piece, he remains stoic. I will say I was a bit put off by the reasons why Braeburn and Cherry Jubilee are disappointed in one another, mostly for Braeburn’s side, though they do balance. Cheese sees her as older than expected, overweight, and very much made-up, while Braeburn is too young and not the rich, middle-aged ranch owner Cherry was expecting. The clincher is that one is meant to stay on an apple farm, and the other on a cherry farm, and they sort of neglected to mention that in their letters. I want to give this points for having a really great punchline, which is something that’s been rather lacking in stories I’ve seen of late. On the whole, if you’re up for a low-key comedy featuring an interesting mix of side characters, check this one out.

    Recommended

    The Great Ponyville Snowball Fight by 8686

    Reading by Goombasa

    Genre: Comedy

    After Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie declare snowball war on Twilight and Applejack, things begin escalating. This is one of the best slice of life (that is, no-stakes) fics I think I’ve ever read. Central to it is a true understanding of the ethos of Equestria: that it is perfectly reasonable for an entire town, even its leaders, to drop what they’re doing in order to engage in what is essentially a huge game of pretend. Missteps were few. There are a couple spots where the comedy is meant to come from overblown language that doesn’t really fit the tone. I was surprised when, partway in, Twilight was addressed as “Princess”, because given her “what is the point of this frivolous activity, oh wait, now I am experiencing this emotion known as ‘fun’” reaction to the snowball fight, I had this pegged as a season one fic. The Princesses’ arrival was, I felt, wholly contrived, though Luna absolutely steals the fic with a single line. Derpy’s scenes were maudlin and helped drag the story out a little too long, and that is where the major issue lies. There are so many spots where it seemed like the comedic beat of the moment would be the perfect punchline to end the story on, but it kept going and going. For the most part, this worked, but the author got greedy and kept pushing for more, driving up the chance of narrative overreach. Derpy’s scenes were partly to blame for this; the CMCs were another part. I wouldn’t hold this story up as an example of pacing, but as a light, show-tone comedy, it’s really fantastic. I like this 8’s and 6’s man.

    Recommended

    Lyra Grows Fingers by Scramblers and Shadows

    Reading by Doctor Cobra

    Mature: Gore

    Genre: Horror

    So I went into this expecting a little of this action, and I was so very, very wrong. Lyra grows fingers… from her shoulder. Oh my god this story is creepy. D: Body horror is a really good way to get a reaction from an audience, but few are the ponyfics I've seen that have actually been able to pull off any real kind of horror. It’s not just that fingers are growing from a place they have no business growing, nor that they’re sentient and start attacking her, nor even that they keep fucking growing. What sells the body horror is that Lyra feels through them. And much like Ash in Evil Dead, she’s gotta hack them off herself. The writing is perfect, showcasing Lyra’s obsessions in good order and using the “pop” sound effect to make everything that much creepier. (The innocuous noise Doctor Cobra uses for the onomatopoeia in the reading really helped.) Missteps are few; mostly I was just concerned by how bitchy Bon-Bon is. She wasn’t selling “they’re in a relationship” very well, though she makes up for it by the end. There’s also a good bit of swearing and some other, minor asides that didn’t feel too pony, which surprisingly bothered me more than anything else. I was thrown by the phrase “horn field”, though it’s at least easy to figure out what it means. I did like making Lyra a music teacher, as that’s a rather unusual, but entirely believable step for her as a character. I was absolutely riveted by this story, and fans of Stephen King will find a lot to enjoy. As for the rest of you, ‘tis the season for creepy shit, so turn off your Mature filters (it does get very gory toward the end, and though somewhat gratuitous, I will say this is the one fic where gore actually adds to the narrative) and go check this out! As horror, it’s up there with NIGEB, and as an inversion of fandom tropes, it’s tops.

    Recommended

    Best Friends Forever by Obselescence

    Reading by Scribbler, Ghostly Hamburger and Wish Lotus

    Review #1400!

    Genre: Psychological

    Celestia pays Twilight and her friends a visit. I would love to leave the review with just that non-descript summary and “it’s Obselescence, go read it”, because going into this story blind is so very rewarding. But if that's not enough for you, let me give you a taste of what to expect. It’s obvious that something is wrong early on because Celestia is flying over an abandoned Sweet Apple Acres and she has to disable magical wards to get into Twilight’s castle. Most importantly, the castle has a nursery, and its cribs are filled with… Twilight’s friends. The rest, you get to find out yourself. Suffice to say this is one of the best “Crazy Twilight” fics I’ve ever read, and the ending is fantastic. It carries a really weird idea all the way through. I will say that there were a couple spots where I wished the narrative wasn’t telling us what was going on, but in the end, this one’s totally worth reading. And in season!

    Recommended

    Fluttershy’s Night Out by Bad Horse

    Reading (part 1) by Hero541

    Genre: Real Issues

    Fluttershy goes out to a bar and meets someone. This is a story about a lot of things, but I’m not sure I can figure out what it’s about about, and I fault myself. I feel like all the parts are there and I’m just not putting them together. If I had to sum it up, I would say “sex doesn’t make you a whole person”, but I think that would be missing something. There’s Fluttershy, pre-show, trying to find her place in Ponyville, conquer her fears and grow up all at once. There’s the ponies vs. animals thread, which I couldn’t figure out at all. Then there’s the fact that this was written by Bad Horse and I spent the whole time reading it in a tizzy, waiting for the big R to drop. But while you could read consent or lack thereof into this story, it’s plainly obvious that that isn’t the point. The point, as I think is more clearly stated by the epilogue (added in after a year), is kindness, and forgiveness, and quite possibly that forgiveness is more about the forgiver than the forgiven. Definitely worth a read.

    Recommended

    To Be a Mule by archonix

    Genre: Politics

    A young mule in love with a unicorn has a lot to learn about the rules of life. I like this because it focuses on Equestria’s institutionalized racism without having that be the entire reason for the protagonist’s problems. It’d be a little pat if it had. Added to this is Dal’s father’s views on romance, which are wholly realistic and entirely appreciated. This is a short piece, but in it we get a lengthy view of Equestrian society from those on the bottom of it, not to mention a rundown of one man’s regret. It’s really worth the read.

    Recommended

    Gateway to Happiness by Spacecowboy

    Genre: Epistolary

    I ran into this feller while in the midst of Project Bookshelf, and he basically goaded me into reading one of his fics. :V That said, most of his big ones were pretty long, so the chances of me picking something good out of the short ones were low (as I have found tends to happen). This one, for instance, needs some work, mostly just in the writing. It takes a few paragraphs, for instance, to really sound like Twilight, and there are some spots where sentences could use some ironing out. But at its core, this presents an interesting idea: Twilight telling Celestia what she’s learned about other ponies by looking in their eyes. This is, if anything, a refutation of your standard immortality fic, taking place as it does between seasons 3 and 4, and I appreciate that.

    Recommended If You Value Substance Over Style

    Magic, and Mayhem, and… Murder? Oh My… by Invictus

    suggested by Blood_rose_doll for being my 468th follower

    Genre: Psych Crossover

    An Earth-banished Nightmare runs afoul of fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer in her attempts to return to Equestria, and ends up dragging him along with her. I don’t know jack shit about the show this is a crossover with, but from what I can glean through the Wikipedia page, main character Shawn Spencer is a gifted, Sherlock-Holmes-level detective who, for some reason, isn’t really a detective and has to use his deductive powers and eidetic memory to pretend to be a psychic so he can actually help the police. It sounds funny, at least. Needless to say, when I was assigned this story to read, I was dubious. I certainly wouldn’t have read this story on my own, but happily, I’m glad I did, and I’d like to thank Blood_rose_doll for recommending it and being patient while I got around to it. (I might even consider checking out the show now!)

    So what worked? For starters, Shawn comes off as your standard snark-fueled protagonist, which may turn off those leery of HiE’s. However, what the author does right by him is A) not make him the only POV character (though the first switch to someone else was rather jarring), and B) not make him the only funny character. (I was impressed, for instance, that Shawn was not the one to make the requisite “only the Shadow knows” joke.) This story has a good Pinkie Pie, and Shawn plays off Rainbow Dash remarkably well. He actually turns out to be an interesting character on his own merits. We get to see him both exercising his detective skills, and putting on his psychic act not only to bamboozle his opponents, but to impress his allies. I particularly enjoyed the running gag of his malapropisms, which was never overused. (Oddly, I found myself comparing him to Harry Dresden a lot; I mean, he even has a tiny car with a name!) Ultimately, the story ends up being about Celestia trying to atone for her mistakes, which is a plotline I always find compelling.

    There’s a huge amount of really great world-building in this, as the last half takes place in a lawless city of thieves and smugglers, whose existence is explained quite well. (And in the ballsiest use of canon to justify breaking tone, Pinkie is linked to it just as believably.) The best world-building involves the minotaurs, though I also liked the snatches of Diamond Dog language. And on that note, this is one of those stories that revels in spotlighting all the ‘major’ races of Equestria, yet manages to do so without feeling contrived. There are plenty of great side characters, not all of them ponies. This is also a story an example of a crossover done well. There was only one spot where a reference to Psych lost me and was never explained, but it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sort of thing whose loss didn’t negatively affect the narrative.

    The story comes in three acts. The first quarter or so is more or less your standard HiE: Shawn comes to Equestria, has to figure out what’s going on, makes friends with ponies. It’s honestly the weakest part of the story, with only one bit making it interesting: the question of what will happen to the Nightmare in his head. (An aside: I fully expected that Shawn would end up possessed by the Nightmare, or at least unleashing it into the world; that’s not what happened, so I have to assume I read something into the story that wasn’t there. Hopefully that doesn't ruin the first part for you.) The second third or so involves Shawn getting caught up in a murder investigation in Canterlot. Now, while the reasons for this happening are pretty contrived, once you’ve made that transition from HiE to “oh, now he can can show off his detective skills”, things really pick up. Not to mention, the ponies’ reaction to things like crime and death really sells the difference between Earth and Equestria. What follows in the rest is a long adventure piece, with lots of politics and skulduggery and all that world-building I mentioned before, not to mention explosions and some really excellent action scenes. The story pacing isn’t perfect, but on the scene level, nothing ever felt dragging or overly detailed.

    What didn’t work? Well, the humor was kind of hit-and-miss. Shawn does a lot of pop culture referencing, which I have to imagine is true to his show, but wasn’t always appreciated. (Another similarity to Dresden.) Most of what I didn't like was just little things, but there were also a couple of big, sexually-themed “it’s not what you think it sounds like” jokes that I didn’t appreciate. There were a couple spots where the narrative went in a direction I expected and didn’t want; the identity of the noble’s daughter is the big one that comes to mind, though it ultimately was a non-issue. This is one of the few stories I’ve ever seen whose writing is a valley; that is, it starts out fine, gets worse in the middle, and then recovers by the end. I’m not sure what happened there, but having a mostly typo-free ending was appreciated. Also, Shawn thinks Val Kilmer is the best Batman, and that is just not cool. Really, in hindsight, far more worked than didn’t.

    Ultimately, whether you read this will come down to two things, and I’ll say this: don’t let the crossover balk you. It’s fine. The HiE stuff at the start is both pat and a bit of a slog, but once you hit the first investigation, it all becomes worth it. I’ll be holding this up as an example of a good crossover for a while.

    Recommended

    A Bad Plot by Achaian

    Reading by Akash the Reader

    Genre: Metafic?

    After overhearing what she thinks is Rarity and Rainbow Dash deriding her posterior, Twilight goes a little nuts trying to find out the truth. There’s a lot going on in this story, and it’s all baffling; suffice to say, this is an awful lot of work to make a pair of bad jokes. The first is the old fanon standby of “plot = ass”. The second is the book Twilight sharing a name with one of this show’s characters. And that’s more or less all there is to this. You’ve got Twilight acting like an idiot for a few thousand words, a la Lesson Zero. You’ve got a background running gag about Fluttershy that, while humorous in its reveal, is very transparently meant as a red herring/distraction from the main story. Pinkie is admittedly pretty funny in both of her main scenes, and I was amused by Luna’s awkward attempts at the end to be amorous. Oh, and I called this a metafic because I'm pretty sure there's a running thread of comparing the standard story plot -- rising action, climax, all that -- to an orgasm, while both are happening in real time. But honestly, I'm just not sure. Really, I just don’t think this was worth it, though given my opinion on Lesson Zero, I have to imagine the whole fandom will enjoy this story.

    Vaguely Recommended

    Scootaletter by Poultron

    Genre: Flashfic

    You know, I had Poultron in my “need to review one story by everyone I follow, but only has incompletes” pile, but he’s also got this story, which I had already read! There’s honestly not much here. It was published before the encoded word limit and doesn’t even hit the minific limit of 400 words, and it’s just a short letter written to Rainbow Dash by Scootaloo. I don’t really get anything out of it, but I’ll say this: he captures the mindset of an excitable six-year-old writing about something she dearly loves. It’s just unfortunate that that mindset is kind of… annoying. You won’t find any deep character reveals or plot twists… or plot at all, really. But if you like slice of life stuff, this won’t take up too much of your time.

    Vaguely Recommended

    Coming for to Carry Me Home by MillenniumFalsehood

    Genre: BiE

    I’m reading this piece for the same reason as the last one, though it’s kind of unfair to really critique it since it was apparently a commission. Well, beggars can’t be choosers. This tells the story of Mark Adams, the brony son of a minister, who ends up going through a lot of shit when his parents find out he likes ponies. The approach to bronies here is pretty light; phrases like “He’d watch Rainbow Dash create a Sonic Rainboom later” feel disingenuous in this sort of story, like the author doesn’t really know what MLP fans do in their spare time. Mark’s conversation with his friends likewise feels more like a pastiche than a real discussion. What’s worse, Mark’s dad is pretty much every ultra-religious stereotype rolled into one character: he’s raised his son to be manly, he hates “fags” and of course he won’t stand for any of that sissy, sinful stuff influencing his children. If not for the fact that this purports to be based on real events, it would be comical. And that’s what this really comes down to. The writing isn’t the best and the characters are stereotypes, but real people have gone through real situations like this for the same reasons. I do wish this hadn’t gone the BiE route, because it adds another layer of preposterousness to the whole thing, not to mention cheapening whatever real ills others may have gone through. Then there’s the whole “Celestia as agent of God” thing that just… I really can’t take that seriously. It’s no surprise, though, I knew this wouldn’t appeal to me when I went into it, so I’ve got no one to blame but my own silly OCD.

    Recommended Only If You’re Actively Smarting from Your Ultra-Religious Parents Having Found Your Pony Stuff and Thrown the Book at You for It

    Hips Don’t Lie by Syeekoh

    Genre: Crackfic

    Rarity is mesmerized by Adagio Dazzle’s swaying hips. This is actually a pre-Rainbow Rocks fic, written based off the Battle of the Bands promo video, and as such, a few bits of it don’t line up with the movie, which is fine. It’s obviously not meant to be taken seriously, and it’s amusing as-is. I do find it odd that Rarity was picked as the one for the joke to center around; it could have been any of them, honestly. And I kind of feel like the ending joke about Sunset Shimmer eating meat is somewhat funnier than the one all the buildup was for, but that’s just me. This is short and fun, and that’s all I needed.

    Recommended If You Like Silly Stuff

    Overture by SuperGiantRobot

    Genre: Monologue

    Vinyl Scratch tells the story of how she met Octavia. My review shelf is getting me into trouble already. City of Doors reviewed this, and I noted that I had read but not reviewed it myself and had to wonder just why I upvoted a ScratchTavia. (One not tagged Romance, I’ll note.) The draw here is the voicing: it actually sounds like (stereotypical fanon) Vinyl telling the story. Not just being the “I” in something that could just as easily have been third person, but actually relating a tale to an audience sitting right in front of her. Her asides are humorous and she injects a lot of personality into a story that’s basically “I was curious about classical music, went to see it, and it was generally not my scene, except, oh, that cellist was hot”. The buildup makes her getting sappy about everything work even better. And, well, other than the first scene telling us that they got together afterward, this ends up not being a ScratchTavia at all, just an emotional recounting of a musical performance by someone who didn’t expect to get caught up in it. And now I know why I upvoted.

    Recommended

    Rarity Sprains Her Hoof Applebucking by SuperPinkBrony12

    Reading by Goombasa

    Genre: Alternate Episode Ending

    Story synopsis is right there in the title. I am thoroughly baffled by the existence of this. The “Pony Does X” title, tags, and general setup suggest a crackfic. Instead, we get Rarity spraining her hoof, Applejack taunting her a bit, Applejack taking her to the hospital, and Rarity ending up in a wheelchair for a little while. It’s played completely straight, and I have to wonder what the point is. (That she and Trenderhoof have a sober conversation toward the end of the story might be a clue to the author’s intentions.) I really don’t know who would want to read this, but I suppose it works as a thoroughly realistic “what-if” for Simple Ways. It's certainly not written poorly.

    Vaguely Recommended

    Spike’s Hoard by Shotoman

    Reading by Dr. Wolf

    Genre: Future Fic

    Spike meets the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ newest member ahead of a day filled with crusading. This is the second piece in today’s journal that I would consider a refutation of standard immortality fic tropes. It’s obvious what Spike’s hoard is going to be from the start, but overall the tone is upbeat and the ending happy, if also genuinely touching. I really appreciated the use of fandom characters as descendants of the mane six; I also liked that Pee-Wee shows up, but only as having found Spike centuries after they last parted. The author set out to show that memories of past friends and family make outliving them bearable, and he has done precisely that.

    Recommended

    I love how "brony son of a minister" sounds like an epithet. :B

    34 comments · 309 views
  • 1w, 1d
    Project Bookshelf finished!

    Yes, I'm done spamming people!

    Project Bookshelf (which is what I’m calling adding all those fics to my new Reviewed Shelf) has turned up some interesting things. Like just how long it took me to start bolding the titles of the reviews, and that that was after I put in the “HRCVN” tallies at the top. Also, my greatest conditional recommendation remains “Recommended for Sneeze Fetishists and People With High Degrees of Self-Loathing”, which came from Ethesto’s peachfic. (Of course, I fucked up My Little Rarity: Rarity Is Rarity by not rating it "Rarecommended".) Good times! :V

    God, I hope I got everything though. c.c Interestingly, going through the reviews led me to find a number of stories, mostly from contests, that had been deleted. I’ve struck-out the titles and removed the links for those, but the reviews will stay.

    ALSO! I ended up adding a bunch of story collections to the shelf because someone did a reading of one or two entries. Because I am OCD (for srs), I want to get all those chapters read, so expect to see a lot of stories from a LOT of the same names in the near future, especially Cold in Gardez, Benman and Esle Ynopemos. (I am not, however, doing the one with 316 thirty-minute stories. I’m sorry, no.)

    The upshot is, things will be better for me in the long run, because when I run into a story marked read and it doesn’t have that big red checkmark on top, I’ll know it’s time to reread it and review!

    Speaking of which, now I find myself wanting to go through various authors' galleries and finish up reading all their stuff. People like The Descendant and Pascoite, who I tend to follow but occasionally miss releases from, and who likely don't have more than a half-dozen stories I still need to read. The only author on the site who I've made a concerted effort to read all the fics of is Device Heretic (oh, well, and Goris the Deathclaw). So who would you want to see me do a featured author fic rec journal for? Note that if you say someone like RainbowBob, it'll just be one story per page. :B Also, it'd help if they had 5-10 fics in their gallery, to increase the chances that they have five stories I haven't read. Make suggestions in the comments! (No voting for yourself! :V)

    28 comments · 277 views
  • ...
 23
 2,016

Honestly

by Present Perfect

Applejack couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"All right, sugarcube, lemme get this straight: ya tried bakin' muffins, but they jumped outta the oven, ran across the kitchen, and then exploded all over you.  Twice."

Rainbow Dash nodded vigorously, sending congealed blobs of muffin batter splattering onto her hooves.  "Yeah!  It totally wasn't my fault, AJ, I swear!"

"Uh-huh.  Ya sure you followed the recipe?  To the letter?"

Rainbow rubbed the back of her head.  "Uhh... Well, maybe I cut a few corners..."

Applejack stomped a hoof.  "Cut corners?"

"Yeah, but nothing major!  Recipes are just guidelines, you can leave stuff out sometimes, you know?"

"And just what, pray tell, did ya cut?"

Rainbow ducked her head.  "Maybe the baking powder.  I mean, I couldn't figure out if I needed baking powder or baking soda, so I just kinda threw in some of both..."

"Consarnit, Rainbow Dash!" Applejack put her hoof over her face.  "Just stop, I don't wanna hear no more.  I ain't never seen you set foot in a kitchen before save for dinnertime.  Tell me again why you're so dead set on bakin' things yourself instead of, I dunno, havin' Pinkie Pie help?"

"No, see, that's just it!  She's done so many nice things for me lately that I wanted to do something for her for a change.  Something, I dunno, that would mean something to her.  When you're always baking for everypony, it's probably nice when somepony bakes for you, right?" As she talked, Rainbow's face gradually grew redder and redder.

Applejack nodded slowly.  "So them rumors is true.  You're sweet on her, ain'tcha?"

Rainbow Dash's entire body shook.  "Wait, uh, no, I, what?  What rumors?"

Applejack chuckled.  "Ponies talk, Rainbow Dash, it's just how things are.  Besides, I can't think of no other reason why the Rainbow Dash I know would be so dead-set on doin' something she ain't no good at."

Rainbow bit her lip.  "Well...  That's why I came to see you, AJ.  You're just as good at baking as Pinkie Pie.  You gotta help me put something together for her, please!  I'll do anything!"

"Well, it ain't gonna mean much if'n you don't do the work yourself.  So I'll supervise and direct, how's about that?  And in return, you can maybe send a little extra rain over to Sweet Apple Acres next week?"

"Perfect!  Name your day; I'll push the clouds there myself!"

Applejack spit on her hoof.  Rainbow Dash did likewise, and they shook.  "All right, then, sugarcube!  Let's get bakin'!"


Rainbow Dash had always found that following rules made it hard to concentrate.  Phrases like "do this" or "make sure you" were like hooves on a chalkboard, and she immediately tuned out whenever anypony started using them.  Sure, it sometimes strained her work life; but it wasn't like they could keep the skies clear without Rainbow Dash there to help them, so she was able to get by.

But this wasn't a situation where getting by would cut it.  Applejack was a harsh mistress in the kitchen, and it took all of Rainbow's mental fortitude to keep from balking at her friend's every command.

"Focus, Rainbow Dash.  Remember Pinkie Pie.  She's your goal.  Pinkie Pie."

She and Pinkie had never really hung out before Twilight Sparkle had come to Ponyville.  Sure, Pinkie knew when Rainbow's birthday was and had thrown her parties before, and Rainbow liked attending the parties thrown for other ponies, but otherwise, she had never been more than a mild acquaintance.  Even after Twilight had brought the Elements of Harmony together, Rainbow had treated the pink mare with a certain amount of aloofness.  Her giddy randomness was entertaining, but a little too goofy for a pony as cool as herself to be associating with.

It wasn't until the unfortunate events with Gilda that Rainbow had seen a different side of her friend: both a cool prankster and a sensitive, caring pony.  That she could pull stunts the way she did and get away with them, without hurting anypony's feelings, made Rainbow just a little jealous.  Her own pranking at Junior Flight Camp had nearly gotten her expelled once, and she always got in trouble regardless.  Pinkie Pie worked her pranking magic with just the right combination of mischievousness and thoughtfulness.

It had been the pranks that brought them closer together as friends, and it was that caring mischief that had made Rainbow realize that her feelings for Pinkie Pie didn't end at friendship.  She wanted something more; she wanted Pinkie's caring directed at her in particular.  There was nothing saying whether Pinkie would accept, of course, but that kind of fear had never stopped Rainbow Dash before.

Even if she really wanted to let it stop her now.

This baking was her chance at popping the question, as it were.  There would be no better time to ask Pinkie about her feelings than over a hot pan of muffins.  Or cupcakes.  Or maybe strudel; she thought Pinkie might like strudel.

"Naw, I don't think you're ready for somethin' that complicated yet.  Let's stick to cupcakes."

Measure, stir, measure something else, stir again: all the work was really getting to her.  Especially since Applejack, having picked up on the gravity of the situation, was being a severe fussbudget about everything and a complete pain in the rear.

"Now make sure you watch the meniscus, Rainbow Dash... See how that water curves up?  Y'all gotta account for that so the measure's accurate."

"Three-quarters cup doubles to a cup 'n a half, not a cup 'n a quarter!"

"Don't crack them eggs on the bowl, you'll get shells in the batter!"

It wasn't like Applejack at all, but as annoying as she was being, Rainbow Dash was glad her friend was forcing her to be extra careful and make sure that the cupcakes would come out perfect.

Or as perfect as possible, anyway.  The first batch hadn't burned, but they had stuck to the pan.

"Oh my stars!  How in the hay did we both forget to put in the cupcake cups?  I reckon I'm a-worryin' about all the wrong things, I'm so sorry!"

"Ohmygoshohmygosh, I blew it!  Everything's gonna be ruined!"

"None of that now, this is no time fer panickin'!  Quick, get them other two pans and put the cups in; I'll try pourin' the batter back outta this one and we'll do it again."

It was a good thing they'd made enough batter for more than one batch.  Missing six cupcakes overall would be less of a blow than having to do an entire dozen over again.  That said, they both had to agree, tasting the few salvageable bits, that the cupcakes themselves were excellent.

Rainbow Dash had picked out a recipe in Applejack's collection that the cowpony hadn't used before.  She'd warned her that by doing so, they risked making something that might not come out the way they expected, but Rainbow was insistent on making something that Pinkie wouldn't have already tried.  She wanted it to be something memorable.  The recipe of course called for apples, but also carrots, strawberries, and bananas, which just happened to be in season.  The resulting cake was light and chewy, pleasantly fruity, sweet without being sugary, and with just a tiny bit of crunch from the shredded carrots.

"All right, sugar, these look perfect!  Yer really doin' great!"

"Thanks, AJ." Rainbow wiped the sweat from her brow, only some of which was due to the heat of the kitchen.  "Do you think she'll like them?"

"Of course she will, don't you worry none!  I'll make up the frostin', and why don't you start pipin' in the cream filling?"

"Cream... filling?" Rainbow Dash began sweating anew.

"Yeah, these're filled cupcakes.  I was kinda surprised you wanted to do somethin' so complicated, but I reckoned you were up to the challenge.  Cupcakes're still easier 'n strudel!"

Ohmygoshohmygosh, so much can go wrong right now!  Her first instinct was to make for a window, but she stilled herself.  Don't chicken out now, Rainbow Dash.  You're halfway there already!  Just think about your goal, think about the filly.  Think about Applejack too, she's put a lot of hard work into making sure you aren't a total screwup!  You can't let her down!

She watched Applejack for a moment, busily mixing a few tablespoons of milk into a heap of powdered sugar.  They'd been rivals for so long, but in the end Applejack had always proven to be a great friend.  Sure, Rainbow could be kind of overbearing occasionally; okay, she could be really overbearing all the time.  But that was just how she was, covering up insecurity with blustering, and Applejack had never let her down when she'd needed help despite all that.  This baking help was just one of the most recent examples of her dedication.

Rainbow found herself a little jealous of Applejack, too.  She, after all, was supposed to hold the Element of Loyalty.  She'd come through for her friends if they were in a bind, sure, but she had a tendency to stick to the blustering and overbearing thing when the chips weren't all down.  Applejack's innate understanding of her friends' needs -- like Rainbow Dash wanting to get everything perfect for Pinkie -- was what Rainbow liked about her.  She would've made a great Loyalty.

"Rainbow, them cupcakes ain't fillin' themselves!  D'you need a hoof?"

"Wha?  Oh, sorry, Applejack, I was just..."

"What?"

Rainbow felt herself blush.  "Sorry, I thought you had some flour in your mane."

"Oh, do I?  Pshaw, I'll wash up after we're done." She laughed.  "I reckon we'll both need a bath!"

She turned back to the frosting and Rainbow back to the filling.  Suddenly, her heart was pounding in her chest, like she'd just been flying at top speed until she was completely winded.  Thinking about Applejack was bringing up the same feelings that thinking about Pinkie had!  What was wrong with her?

You silly filly-fooler, you can't go falling for all your friends!

"Ugh!  No, Rainbow Dash, you really gotta press it in there or the fillin's gonna squish out all over the place!  Here, let me give you some help."

Without waiting for her to respond, Applejack pressed up against her back, forelegs curled around her, directing the filling bag in her hooves into the cupcake.  Rainbow Dash suddenly knew how those cupcakes felt, fresh out of the oven.  Her hooves went numb, just following along with whatever Applejack was doing.  Her friend's instructions were like the buzzing of summer insects in her ears.  The blood coursing through her veins made her feel like her head was ready to explode.

She dropped the filling bag, whirled around and embraced Applejack, kissing her passionately.  Applejack stood stock-still.  Rainbow's breath caught in her throat.  In an instant, she was out of the kitchen and flying anywhere.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid, Rainbow Dash!  What is wrong with you?" Tears ran into the corners of her mouth, the salty taste adding sting to her recriminations.  She didn't get much further than the edge of Sweet Apple Acres before she couldn't see anymore and skidded to a stop under a tree, flat on her belly, head buried in her hooves.

She lay that way for quite some time before she heard Applejack calling her name.  Unable to stem the waterworks, she did her best just to quiet her sobbing, and hoped her friend wouldn't find her.

"Rainbow Dash, there you are."

"Go away!" She sniffled and smeared her face into the grass.  It burned.

"Sugar, I dunno what's goin' on in that head o' yourn, but I ain't leavin' until you tell me what's up.  I don't care if you gotta let it all out first or what, but I'm waitin' right here with you until you do."

She sat down next to Rainbow, who gradually calmed down, though every time she glanced at her friend, who was stoically avoiding meeting her eyes, she felt a knot pulling tighter at her heart, threatening to start her up all over again.

At length, Applejack said, "You feelin' any better now?"

"Yeah...  I'm sorry you had to see me like this...  And what I did, AJ, I'm..."

"Don't say it!  Don't you say it."

"Wha?"

Applejack pointedly looked away from her.  "I got a hunch there's somethin' goin' on right now, and it ain't between you'n me.  So don't apologize none."

"I don't understand...  I don't understand you, or me, or..."

Applejack scooted closer.  "Understandin' yer feelin's is hard, sugarcube.  Sometimes it hurts a lot.  Shucks, I ain't even the best pony you should be talkin' about this to.  But, well..."

She sighed.  Rainbow waited for her friend to continue, but she didn't.  Out of tears, she heaved herself up onto her flanks and wiped at her face.

"Applejack, I feel so stupid."

"I can understand why ya might feel that way."

"I don't even know why!  I just... It felt good, you being so close, being such a good friend and all..."

"And you just got caught up in the moment, is that all?"

Rainbow was ready to agree, but she stopped.  "No, there's more to it than that.  I really like you, Applejack, a whole lot.  Maybe as more than just a friend, I don't know.  I respect you an awful lot, I... I look up to you, even if I have a hard time admitting it."

Applejack smiled.  "You do, really?"

"Y-yeah... But I wouldn't think that you'd..."

Applejack leaned over and pecked her on the cheek.  She got red-hot once again.  Her legs felt shaky.

"That's mighty sweet o' you to say so, Rainbow.  But I wouldn't want to get in the way o' you and Pinkie Pie."

"Applejack, you..."

"I been thinkin' about it lately; I guess my barn door swings both ways, you could say.  And yeah, so maybe I've thought about you like that." It was Applejack's turn to blush, a look that was entirely bizarre on her.  "I dunno if anythin' would ever work out between you 'n me, though, us bein' rivals for so long and all.  I really think you got a better chance with Pinkie.  I... I hope this works out for you, Rainbow Dash, I really, really do."

"But I haven't even asked her yet, and I..." She swallowed, and her voice came out in a squeak.  "I betrayed her.  Some Element of Loyalty I am."

"Betrayed nothin'!  Sometimes, a pony like you just has more love than she knows what to do with.  And I'm... I'm mighty flattered you shared a little with me.  I hope we can be better friends for it." She stood.  "As for your element, ain't no one I know that's more loyal than you, and that's a fact.  So don't you go second-guessin' or worryin' yourself about that none."

Rainbow smiled at long last.  "Thanks, AJ.  Although I kind of feel like the Element of Honesty right now, since I've been spilling my guts all over you."

Applejack laughed.  "I reckon we'd be able to swap Elements pretty easy, if it came to it.  But what's that matter now, anyway?  C'mon, Rainbow Dash, race you back to the kitchen!"

She joined in the laughter.  "Last one there has to fill the cupcakes!"


Applejack didn't mind doing the filling.  Rainbow Dash had really taken to the frosting, after all, and it was the one part of the whole process she seemed to have any knack for.  Applejack even let her do the final decorating without any interference.  And in the end, they had a dozen and a half beautiful cupcakes, with cream filling and strawberry icing, cherries on top, and maybe just a few too many sprinkles.  But that was okay; where Pinkie Pie was involved, you could never have too many sprinkles.

She sighed as she watched her friend leave, saddlebags brimming with cupcake boxes.  Rainbow had wanted to deliver them in person, and AJ felt, after all that had happened, that that would be best.  She still needed some time to think.

Everything she'd said to Rainbow had been true, of course.  She was still wrestling with her feelings, with who she was.  The thought of coming to one of her friends and being rejected was terrifying; that's why she'd kept it all to herself.  But after opening up to Rainbow Dash, it felt like a whole peck of apples had been taken out of her saddlebags.  She realized she'd needed that for a long time.  The affection her friend had shown had been extremely tempting to give in to, to accept wholeheartedly; but thinking back over it, Rainbow's dedication, and her desire to impress Pinkie was way more important.  She couldn't risk Rainbow's feelings while indulging her own.  Then she'd be the betrayer.

It don't matter too much, she told herself.  She wasn't ready to settle down with anypony yet, anyway.  There was too much work and not enough time for it; she was married to the farm, at least in this stage of her life, and she was fine with that.  Letting Rainbow go didn't hurt as much as she thought it would have, and that alone let her know that it was the right thing to have done.

Besides, she kind of preferred the rivalry.  It kept life fun.

"Love ain't gonna get in the way o' Loyalty, Rainbow Dash," she said to herself, "and that's the Honest truth."  Then she smiled, shook her head, and went back into the kitchen to clean up.

Author's Note:

Thanks again to Twilight Snarkle and Samurai Jack Anon for a little last-minute tweaking on this one, and thank you for reading!

#1 · 130w, 3d ago · · ·

This story made me slightly sad when I originally read it. It's quite well written and moving, but I almost wish AoE had stood alone entirely without additional context.

#2 · 130w, 3d ago · · ·

It stars Rainbow and A.J.  ...But it's a Pinkie Dash fic...  

:pinkiecrazy:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#3 · 130w, 3d ago · · ·

>>521448

The decision to tie this into EoA was an afterthought. I call it a happy accident. There's more coming! (Eventually.)

>>521855

I noticed that as I was tagging this. Funny, huh?

#4 · 130w, 3d ago · · ·

Alright that was good, one shots ain't normally my thing, but that was really well done.

Looking forward to your next story!

#5 · 130w, 2d ago · · ·

I remember reading this quite a while back and thinking it was cute. A quick reread reveals that my feelings on the matter haven't changed. Interesting to see AppleDash get rejected in the actual story.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#6 · 130w, 2d ago · · ·

>>524468

PinkieDash > Appledash :V

Unless you're talking Combinatorics Project, of course.

#7 · 129w, 6d ago · · ·

IS there going to be a second chapter?

#8 · 129w, 6d ago · · ·

And the story was great. Awesome read from start to finish.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#9 · 129w, 6d ago · · ·

>>540018

This is (as I said), kind of the second chapter of my fic The Elements of Awesomery. There will be a sequel to both fics that will tie up the events of Honestly... someday.

#10 · 128w, 4d ago · · ·

Pinkiedash to Appledash and back to PinkieDash again. :rainbowhuh:

:pinkiehappy: Pinkie approves this story!

:ajbemused: Applejack doesn't.

...

Socially Awesome Penguin: THREESOME!

#11 · 128w, 3d ago · · ·

Come for the AppleDash, stay for the PinkieDash. Good job dude, thoroughly enjoyed.

#12 · 122w, 2d ago · · ·

This was really cute. I liked it. :twilightsmile:

#13 · 116w, 4d ago · · ·

I feel a little empty inside. I always feel betrayed by "I want my love to be happy" stories because it's usually the one I like getting the shaft. All old time anime fans remember the tragedy that is Tomoyo. And to a slightly lesser (and odder) extent, Koaru in Evangelion.

It was well-written and powerful but is hurts like a mofo and always will.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#14 · 116w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1029491

Yay for hurt! :V I think.

Tomoyo? What anime?

#15 · 116w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1034655

Hurt shows you did well. Bravo, all my feels, etc. It was beautiful but tragic to me (because I'm an Appledasher.)

Cardcaptor Sakura. For the entire series Tomoyo was Sakura's biggest fan and interested in her in more than a friendly way. But she was so self-sacrificing she encouraged Sakura's many crushes. She was almost saintlike in her devotion to Sakura, such that she even set aside her own ultimate happiness. It frankly got a bit frustrating by the end.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#16 · 116w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1035091

Ahh, yes, I remember her now. It's been quite a while since I watched Cardcaptors. :)

#17 · 106w, 2d ago · · ·

You brought up how AJ would have made a good Element of Loyalty.  I will now present my case for AJ as best pony.  Ramble mode activated.:ajbemused:

Applejack has shown through her actions that she can represent every element, barring Magic, for obvious reasons.  However, if you boil the elements down to base virtues, a la Nimaru, she covers them all.  Zen:ajsmug:, Selflessness:raritywink:, Grounding:rainbowdetermined2:, Empathy:yay:, Positive Energy:pinkiehappy:, and Love:twilightsmile:.

AJ has not been the sole cause of an episode's conflict since episode four.  Her only real character flaw is that she works too hard.  She's always there for a friend in need, gives excellent advice, and has a good sense of humor.  She's smart too, smarter than most realize.  Successful business owners usually are.  Even when she's only partially at fault for a problem, she's the first to work on a solution.  She's practical, but not uncaring.  Tenacious, but not stubborn.  Selfless, but not careless.  Empathetic, but not sympathetic.  Funny, but not immature or disrespectful.  She cares about her friends, but it doesn't cloud her judgement.  As far as measuring how "good" a pony is, Applejack is "best" pony.

That being said, and being that there are multiple definitions for "best," I'm not trying to say anyone's preference of pony is wrong.  Enjoy who you want to enjoy, just remember that AJ can do no wrong.  That's all I'm saying.

/ramble

#18 · 56w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1446135 Sorry I couldn't hear you over the sound of MA BASS CANNON!!!!

#Vinylforbestpony2014

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