• Member Since 18th Aug, 2011
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Dubs Rewatcher

Fandom veteran, journalist, sixteen-time EqD published author. I hope you have a lovely day! Come visit my official website at www.williamantonelli.com


Worthless, weak, ugly—as far as Twilight is concerned, that's all she'll ever be. Even three months into their relationship, Twilight still refuses to believe that an absolute goddess like Sunset could ever love a loser like her. And it doesn't help that Twilight spends every night being tormented by nightmares of Midnight Sparkle, the one being who hates Twilight more than she hates herself.

Twilight can only remember a single moment in her life when she felt strong: the five minutes that she spent as Midnight Sparkle. The five minutes she spent with magic.

Now, tortured by fear, anxiety, and never-ending nightmares, Twilight knows the only way to win Sunset's love is to make herself stronger—even if that means resurrecting the demon inside of her.

Originally written for the January 2016 Writeoff, "Look, I Can Explain...", where it made finals.

Thanks to Horizon, Bookplayer, and FanOfMostEverything for offering advice on the original. Thanks to Quill Scratch, Oroboro, Monokeras, Lise Eclaire, Monarch Dodora, Majin Syeekoh, PegasusMesa, Reneigh Haycart, and Hazeyhooves for helping me brainstorm certain parts. Preread by Pascoite.

Art by Ta-Na!

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 68 )

I never saw any of the early drafts of this, but reading it now, I really enjoyed it! It's a great look at the darkness and insecurities in SciTwi, and overall is powerful and ends sweetly.

You should sue hasbro.

Oroboro's ???? - 9/25

Sunset's harem will be complete and human and pony alike will squeee in the glory that is their polygamous tie.

So much Sunset shipping of late. It is glorious.

Yeah, she thought, clamping them shut again. Probably.



I'm literally in love with the Sunset Shimmer Shipping Week Project.

This was a great story, Dubs. I enjoyed reading about the insecurities of SciTwi, and learning more about her, and how she dealt with this problem of hers. I also loved how Luna was involved in this story, it was great to see her interacting with SciTwi.

And that ending was sweet, just reading it made me happy for her. Go SciTwi! :twilightsmile:

Thank you!! I'm so glad you liked it.

7583820 You're welcome!, I'm glad that I enjoyed it!


Oh man, this was rough, but a great read. Although, what happened here?

Her limbs ached like they had been beaten with bats and every breath came with a gasp, but atb]

That's called "last-minute editing at 5 am" :scootangel:
Fixed. Thanks for reading!

Seriously, this is just a great tale. It's so sad, what with Twilight's insecurities and yet so romantic at the same time!

7583533 Obobobo! I didn't know you were here.

You guys need to chill out. Midnigh' Spahkal does not equal Nightmare Moon.

This was a fantastic read! You captured SciTwi's insecurities so well and what it's like to live with them. Constant self depreciation, anxieties about things that are so obvious, even feelings of worthlessness. Overall I thinks it's a great addition to the Sunset Shimmer Shipping Septenary. :twilightsmile:

7584871 Oh, of course she does. And it's only a matter of time before she appears in FiM too.

Not a good sign...

Before I read: Does this contain any spoilers for Legends of The Everfree?

It does not. The plot for this was sketched out over half a year before Legends of Everfree was even announced.

Very nice.

I do think you laid on the insecurities a bit thick... even considering the Tantabus. If Twilight were a real person I'd be yelling at her to SEEK A GREAT THERAPIST IMMEDIATELY!

Someone with that level of self-loathing and depression doesn't get there without something being horribly wrong. It sounded like Twilight had a relatively normal, even happy, upbringing. Barring emotional scarring from childhood, pretty much the only way she could end up with those kind of crippling insecurities is actual mental illness.

Anyway, even if it got a little hard to be invested at times, it was still an enjoyable read!


Honestly, I saw the Tantabus as having boosted/intensified already existing fears. That was how it seemed to work in canon, and frankly, I can imagine Twilight just having that kind of anxiety to begin with (the story seems to indicate that she already had it for a long time, and even without the Tantabus, I can't imagine the magic battle would make it any better).

Also, I feel like trauma isn't quite a requirement for depression--brain chemistry imbalance can also cause it (which counts for your "mental illness that needs to be treated" bit). To put a personal anecdote to it, I didn't get my depression treated for a while because it didn't make sense based on my "happy" upbringing. (Thankfully, a lot of that's past me now and I can live a fulfilling life.) Plus, Crystal Prep and other uber-competitive atmospheres can only make it worse on students like her.

Nothing against you--you made some really good points. I, too, feel like this is only the beginning in Twilight's journey towards self-love. Just adding my two cents in for you to consider.

Really liked this story, by the way.

Dark romances? My fav <3

“My poor horse brain can’t handle all this studying!”


“It’s a punk rock magazine.”

My first thought was about the punk rock band Green Day. Which is actually my favorite band.


Twilight is actually...realistic. With human flaws and stuff.
Not something I can "relate" to, but someone with the same problems I have; of course that'll change soon, as she'll fix them while some of us can only embrace them, but still. Looking forward to Midnight dropping some truth bombs.

Ah, so close...

Word of advice: look into Asian and Indian religions. The "no worldly connections" clause to transcendence is there for a reason, you know.

Hmm, a three act comedy. Alas, the enjoyable part was too short...

Twilight opened her mouth to respond again, but her mind had already conjured up hours of fantasie, sturning all her words into mere babbles—evidently, her subconscious really liked the idea of Sunset recording lab data in a bikini.

fantasies, turning

I would also accept “Twilight Prime.”

I see what you did there.

even with the sweet cinnamon scent of her skin

More proof Sunset is a beautiful cinnamon roll.

hooked...you write these two very interestingly and I love it! But nah Sunset is perfection taken form!(sorry i love my waifu a lot)

Messing with the brain is playing with fire. Just one mistake could cripple you for life.

She makes a very valid point.

The beaker of boiling water had melted, and flames covered about half the desk, jumping from paper to paper.


She only prayed that fixing up her device and finally getting another taste of the magic she so craved would save her.

You sound like an addict.

“No!” Twilight clutched it to her chest. Jolts of blue electricity filtered through her shirt and into her skin. “It’s mine! I need it!”

You're sounding like an addict again...

And across from her: a pony. Her starry mane flowed in an unseen breeze, and her horn shone like a spotlight. Wings spread wide, the pony descended from the darkness, narrowed eyes aimed straight at Midnight.


“The Tantabus causes nightmares, yes, but it only exploits what already exists.”

Creating fear out of nothing just like that is not easy, however, manipulating and amplifying fear is much easier.

“That does not sound like ‘nothing’ to me. Inside you lives a spirit that refuses to be crushed.”

Fear is strong, yes, but willpower is even stronger. That, and plain old human stubbornness.

Her words burned in Twilight’s chest, hotter and hotter until Twilight had to look away. “You sound like a holiday card,” she said, hiding a smile.
“A holiday card who knows what she is talking about,” Luna corrected.

Considering she probably wrote or inspired quite a few of them, she ain't wrong.

“Sunset?” Twilight choked out after a moment.
Sunset beamed. “Yes, Twilight?”
“Could you… could you…?”
Twilight nodded.

Yeah, smart.

“Doesn’t your mom also say she can talk to squirrels?”

“Yeah, so? It’s true! I’ve seen it!”

Unless your mother is Bubbles I don't believe it.

Love does not see worth. Love does not see inferiority.

Truer words never spoken.

I was curious before. Now I'm hooked on to this story.

Jeez, Dubs, when you write, you freaking write. I admit, I avoided this for a while because of the Dark and Sex tag, but I'm really glad I got into it. You captured Sci-Twi's self-doubt and self-loathing, something that's common for a lot of people. I'll bet almost everyone can see a little of themselves in her reaction to Midnight. The desperation to prove oneself worthy of something they're convinced they'll never be worthy of?

Ironic that I end up reading this now as I was writing a story dealing with the same themes. In fact, I think this story ended up unlocking the rest of the story I'm currently on.

The twist of the true nature of Midnight was excellently played (and the appearance of Twi's savior). While it's a tiny bit of a stretch, it's a stretch I'm more than willing to make. And the comic drop at the end was just brilliant... especially after Sci-Twi finally gets her validation.

Now having read this, I'm quite happy indeed with that cover. :twilightsmile:

As Twilight squirmed, trying to come up with some excuse, some way to wallow in her pity again,

Yeah ... that's exactly what self-hate feels like. You'll think of any way to keep it going, and if someone says you're not as bad as you think you are, then they just don't know you well enough.

I've aways viewed Midnight as Twilight through a mirror darkly. It's her ambition to learn completely stripped of morality and decency. She cared not for the consequences of her actions, whereas SciTwi was concerned with the unexpected outcomes of her experiment. Her strength became her darkest obsession.

In that light, why wouldn't the Tantabus as Midnight in her dreams - curious how I never picked up on that till the reveal choose to pick at the strongest part of her as well? Take her love for Sunset and subvert it into jealousy? And let's be honest, in part her motivations were induced by jealousy just as much as insecurity. It may not have been the intended takeaway, but it can be drawn.

All in all, Like, put into my Recommended shelves, upvoted, and off to read again! :twilightsmile:

Dangit, FimFiction, please notify me when I have unread chapters!

I read the full version of this story when it came out, but I don't think I commented. Well, this original draft is still pretty darn good! I like this insecure take on Twilight, and of course I always love Sunset. Parts of this draft felt a bit rushed, so it's definitely better fleshed out in the version initially posted on the site. It's earned its spot on my favorites shelf!

>>>“Take it from someone who has lived through seven marriages,” Luna whispered. “I am. Just promise me that you won’t let your anxieties overcome you.”

Oh? Now that sounds interesting...

Lovely story here. It was so worth reading!

yes yes yes

Priceless line.

I particularly enjoyed when Twilight was finally allowed to have a pleasant dream. I'm sure she did, too.

An exquisite expansion of the original, with a painfully accurate portrayal of anxiety, even when it isn't enhanced by a rampant arcane intelligence. Thank you for it. Sorry it took me so long to get to it.

(Also, it's quite interesting to compare and contrast this to Legend of Everfree. The attitudes about magic shift, but much of the interaction remains sinilar.)

“Do you know how scared I was, Twi? How I felt carrying your body halfway across town, praying that you would wake up?””

NOOOO!! Pls don't let this ruin their relationship or even their friendship :fluttercry: I can't take this much drama... I also can't stop reading.

Ugh this was so Good. Beautiful story!

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