• Member Since 18th Aug, 2011
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Dubs Rewatcher


Hey friends, Dubs here! I'm a tired college student, an EqD Pre-reader, a Formidable Feather, and a sixteen-time EqD published author. I hope you have a lovely day—be kind to strangers!


E

It's been a few weeks since Starlight Glimmer nearly destroyed all of time and space, and she hasn't gone outside since. At least, not until she receives an invitation from Princess Celestia to meet for tea. This can't be good.


Thanks to Haze and Monokeras for pre-reading.
Cover art by Novel Idea!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 54 )

I'm glad you wrote this. I'm a person who often locks myself away (without any of the noble intentions Starlight had), and this story's been more helpful than any of the bits of advice I've been fed over the years. Thank you.

Good job catching the characterizations of Celestia and Starlight both, and very nice work with the sunrise imagery. :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by Boulder deleted Jun 20th, 2016

ז Have faith Starlight!

Speaking as someone that battles some pretty severe depression from time to time, this fic puts so much of what I deal with into such fantastic words. Bravo!

"Living might mean taking chances, / but they're worth taking. / Loving might be a mistake, / but it's worth making" (Lee Ann Womack--I Hope You Dance).

From another agoraphobic recluse: this was beautiful.

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7323622
Thank you for reading! I'm glad I could write a story that you were able to relate to. I hope it brightened your day, even just a little bit.

7322490
I was worried that the sunrise stuff might have been too heavy-handed... happy that you liked it. Thanks for reading.

7323494
Back in the days before puberty came along and ruined my voice, I used to perform with my father as a singer/guitar duo. Womack's I Hope You Dance was one of the first songs I ever learned as a child. Thank you for reminding me of it—it really is relevant here.

I'm not sure that I entirely agree with the way you chose to characterize Starlight, but it was a good story over all. I think it makes an interesting rebuttal to fans that are so caught up on the season 5 finale that they think Starlight should be 'locked up' somewhere for her 'crimes'... When the pony that's doubting and punishing Starlight the most is probably Starlight herself.

Good work.

Loved it in the writeoff, loved it even more now.

I forgot to comment on this earlier, but it's good, and nicely expanded from the writeoff version. Rock on. :twilightsmile:

the authors of this site continue to amaze me.

but the moral of the story begs to be asked.

Do i leave poni behind to live actual life, or continue to live through others written word?

luckily, i've got 8 months to decide.

time to add this to my library, you to my follow list, and to consume your other works.

I think... you may have given me a lot to think about, just now...

Saving this one in my favorites so I can reread it whenever the existential dread starts piling up. Wonderful read, thank you. :heart:

I like this story but its nothing to go crazy about. Most of the story is celestia and starlight just talking about risk which I have to commend to the writer. Like I said nothing to go crazy about 5/10

I think it's strange that so many people found this so touching. It starts off close to home, but no one has such clear and well-reasoned justifications for their anxieties (or if they do, the stated reasons are incomplete).

The fact that a single rational discussion is sufficient to break Starlight's habit strikes me as way off. As the saying goes, you can't reason someone out of something they didn't reason themselves into, and very few people reason themselves into mental disorders.

Celestia was right. You break nothing by doing nothing. But by doing nothing you don't live.
Nicely written, this was a lovely read :twilightsmile:

7323741 I like to imagine that Starlight still has nightmares about the wasteland timeline she saw, but she refuses to let Luna help her with those nightmares because she sees them as her punishment.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

7324722

To be fair, if we hold to the theory that time travel just creates alternate timelines/parallel dimensions branching off the point from when the affected event occurs, then Starlight Glimmer is responsible for death and suffering of almost everyone in each world Twilight went to. All those upsets and wars. And that last one, with what may very well have been a world that was completely dead. Those people lived out their lives in misery and bloodshed, or... they just died, in one case.

Far as I'm concerned Starlight's got a bigger killcount than anyone remotely related to MLP. If she truly reflected on what they'd have had to have gone through, for what was to her a couple of minutes, but for them their entire lives... severe and crippling depression would be damn near automatic, and essentially reasoned into.

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*nods*

Emotions aren't necessarily rational; it's not always possible to rationalize your way out of them.

I think the author did touch on how much effort it takes to overcome irrational emotion. Starlight didn't just leap out and enjoy the rest of her life, she had to make those first few terrifying steps before she got rolling. It was kind of a fast transition, though I think that may have been the brevity of the story's falling action.

I really loved the sentiment in this... but I really couldn't feel invested simply because this is such an enormous departure from Starlight's character that we've seen in the show. Almost the polar opposite in fact. It's hard to reconcile the difference and stay immersed.

But the ideas spoke on are always worth talking about, the dialogue was great, and it was technically excellent to boot. Editing and format were tip top.

Very good overall!

I reviewed this story as part of Read It Now Reviews #84.

My review can be found here.

I found this to be enjoyable. Although Star felt to depressed here....wait is that.....oh I get it. That's what it's suppose to be. Hmm well over all good story.

-BFBL

This is a very good one-shot.

No, not maybe.” Celestia smiled. “I know Twilight.

She sighed and face-hooded, "Knowing Twilight, if you died she'd probably go mad trying to resurrect you with Really Super Dark Magic and either turn into a necromancer or end up opening a portal to Satan Land and dooming us all to eternal demonic torment. Honestly, I have to wonder why I picked a student so obviously prone to turning to evil in fanfics..."

Starlight Glimmer blinked, "Fanfics? Wait... you mean... WE DON'T EVEN ACTUALLY EXIST?!" She instantly went catatonic.

Celestia facehoofed again, "Great, take a pony out of one existential crisis and lead her straight into another. Way to go, Celestia."

:trollestia:

It’s true: when you step out your door, you’re taking a risk.

Doing nothing to is a risk. Heck! Killing yourself is a risk, one you won't see the consequences of, but still a risk.

...
Well, probably why I've got anxiety trouble.

What about a battle of dread at night?

Maybe ‘scones’ was a code word for some type of ancient alicorn torture.

No, but if she offers you any bananas, then run. :trollestia:

Call me an egotist, but I’ve always loved sunrises.

Flawless delivery. :pinkiehappy:

“Easy for her to say. Twilight doesn’t have to worry. She never worries about anything—”

We are talking about the same neurotic lavender alicorn librarian here, aren't we?:rainbowlaugh:

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I admit I thought more of this:
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
:twilightsmile:

Interesting to see how Starlight tries the other extreme. It does fit. She is a mare of extremes.

That is a very different interpretation of a guilty conscious. I rather like it.

TRYING REALLY HARD TO HATE CELESTIA! YOU ARE MAKING MY JOB MUCH MORE DIFFICULT!!!

Seriously though, this is good.

Awesome story! I read it on write off. :rainbowlaugh:

This here?
This should have been the ending of the Season 5 finale, rather than that montage.
Beautifully written. :twilightsmile:

7331965 Why are you trying to hate Celestia?

7482745 She is a stupid idiot who has done barely anything useful in the last 1000 years. That 'nuff?

An excellent job of bridging the gap for Starlight. A scene like this should have really been in the show, as it would have actually given her arc a lot more weight. Also, an excellent reminder that fear can paralyze us completely. Well done! :twilightsmile:

Fantastic story and a great look into what Starlight's frame of mind could have been like after the Season 5 finale.

Pretty well written. The message is relatable, especially for people who may have suffered from some kind of depressive mental problems, or guilt, or things like that.

Maybe ‘scones’ was a code word for some type of ancient alicorn torture.

Insert Trollestia joke here. :trollestia:

7324722 I thought it was implicit that Celestia used an aspect of her Sun magic. The bit about "sunrise in her chest" wasn't really metaphorical, but rather a description of that magic.

This is why Celestia is so fantastically popular is that a diffuse version of this effect comes just from seeing sunlight.

I admit that's just personal headcanon, but I think it's reasonable headcanon for the series. Esp recalling the way Twilight reacts to Celestia at the Summer Sun Celebration: having magical sensitivity just makes her more sensitive to the effect.

Good story about Celestia & Starlight having a talk: student's student to teacher's teacher!

Starlight snorted and snatched her hoof away. “You don’t understand. I mean, you’re an immortal alicorn princess; what could you possibly know about suffering? About messing up so bad that ponies die?”

Umm...because Princess Celestia's immortal, she's had to have fought countless battles or wars.

First confirmed one: putting a stop to Discord. While the draconequus might not directly harm ponies (he's never been shown using any sort of weapon or offensive magical blasts), his indirect actions can, and have, led to indirect suffering. Examples: poison joke, those black vines, 'Discordification' (doesn't leave wounds, just changes the target's personality. Any wounds that result are from the changed pony's conscious actions, not directly from Discord).
So Celestia and Luna must've faced some serious threats getting to him.

Second: Nightmare Moon. Celestia had to suffer through being the subject of her sister's scorn, and then the fact that she was forced to fight her in order to protect not only herself, but her subjects (which is the reason why Luna fell in the first place). Despite constantly pleading with Luna to stop, the white alicorn had no choice but to use the Elements of Harmony (three of which 'belonged' to her sister) against the dark alicorn, and then deal with not being able to see her for goddess-knows-how-long (until she found out about the 'millennium-long' thing, then she had to wait the rest of the millennium). That must've been awful - heck, if Nightmare Moon had defeated the new Element Bearers, then Celestia might've been forced to end her. Sororicide. Eurgh - I would not want to be in Celestia's situation, considering I have a younger brother...
Not to mention that Celestia would be eternally reminded of her failures, and the resulting loss of her sister, every time she had to move the moon - I expect never-ending nightmares and centuries-long mourning period, if she ever recovers at all. Ugh. :pinkiesad2:

Celestia also said she fought against Tirek, but not much is known about this, compared to the other two. Still, fighting a magic-devouring monster can't have been suffering-free, considering how Alicorn Magic x4 Twilight failed to seriously hurt 'absorbed all normal pony magic' Tirek - Celestia didn't have that same amount of magical might, so it would've been harder. Then again, there was most likely a significantly smaller pony population, so not as much magic for Tirek to absorb...Eh, it'd be a difficult fight regardless.

While this next bit isn't explored at all in the show (I've never read the comics, so I don't know if they cover this or anything else), there's also the aforementioned millennium between Luna's banishment and Luna's return. Celestia could not have had a millennium of peace; she would've had to deal with dragons, griffons, diamond dogs, and other naturally-violent races whilst trying to broker deals and enter negotiations. If those broke down? I expect quite a number of fights occurred before everyone settled down and stopped announcing wars on their neighbours. Heck, from what the show's, er, shown us, dragons will not listen to anyone unless they best them in combat (or manage to terrify them - FlutterRAGE :flutterrage:), so violence almost certainly occurred between whoever the Dragon Lord was and Celestia, resulting from a most-likely minor dragon-on-pony assault charge.
Griffons tend to be more hot-blooded than ponies, so a minor incident could easily result in a major battle, or heated discussions between the griffon leader and Celestia.

Lastly, Celestia lost her previous student due to their arrogance and stubbornness. If Sunset had managed to pull off her Element-of-Magic-fueled mass-hypnosis and demon-self-transmogrification plan, then she would've sent her army, and herself, through the mirror portal and after Celestia. If that had occurred, then the Princess would've had to duel with, and possibly even kill, said previous student. One that Celestia still cares for. It would be like another Luna, in terms of suffering felt, and we both know how painful being forced to end someone you still care for is.

So basically, Starlight, Princess Celestia knows exactly what suffering's like. She's witnessed countless deaths (most from old age or sickness, but some from combat), she's seen countless ponies suffering (including herself), and she was almost forced to kill two ponies she loved dearly. That's not even counting alternate Celestias, such as Sombra-War-Celestia. Being forced to send ponies to a vicious war, and create unnatural factories instead of farms, and see countless deaths occur around you because nopony could stop Sombra from invading the Crystal Empire? Horrifying. And Celestia's not even shown in the other timelines, so who knows what she encountered in them.

sunrise in her chest
Nice turn of phrase.

That’s the sort of selflessness some would die to possess.

This phrase is so self-contradictory in some way that it is beautiful.

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Yep, that's all very true. It's terrible that Starlight would make an assumption like that. I mean, whenever I'm in the throes of a major depressive episode and don't believe there's any way my life could possibly have any positive effect on the world, I'm always perfectly open to rational arguments to the contrary. I certainly would never blindly generalize the worst case scenario. That would be very out of character.

When the time came to head home, Starlight didn’t want to leave—in fact, she didn’t want to spend another minute in the dungeon she called a bedroom ever again.

So instead she just slept on the sofa until Twilight Kicked her back into her room. :pinkiecrazy:

Seriously though, this story is excellent.

Call me an egotist, but I’ve always loved sunrises. There’s no better time for tea, in my opinion.

I don't think that word means what you think it does.

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Egotist: "a person who is excessively conceited or self-absorbed; self-seeker."

That's exactly what I meant.

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Enjoying the sunrise isn't going to make her an egotist because she and the sunrise are completely separate things. Admiring the sunrise isn't admiring herself, she raises the sun but that doesn't make it or the sunrise part of her so again, she's not admiring herself.

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Celestia causes the sunrise; in the excerpt you quoted, she's saying that the best part of the day is the part that she creates. Her and the sunrise being separate concepts/entities has nothing to do with it. If I go around saying that the only good stories on this site are mine, or that people only visit to read my work, that'd still be an egotistical statement even if I'm talking about my stories and not myself.

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