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Two lovers pass along the same path with the same problem. Rarity and Twilight are in the doldrums of life, and find that answers are few, far between, and sometimes wordless.


Written for Monochromatic's Interwoven Colors contest.

Cover art by Multiversecruise.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 18 )

This was adorable, in it's own poignant way. It had character to it that few could pull off.

DEATH CAB

I liked this story a lot. The thing that stood out to me the most is how, even though Twilight and Rarity both talked about the same issue, they did it in subtly different ways. Twilight focused on how she had done things wrong, and how she was worried that she was too worried, while Rarity talked about their issues without putting any blame on either of them, and instead wondered if there was some fundamental problem in their relationship. Lately I've read a number of stories where all the characters sound the same, so it's refreshing to read one that manages to keep them distinct in such a natural way.

As for the plot, well, it's bleak. But in a good way! If I were forced to describe the mood, I'd call it "melancholic optimism." Coming to terms with the fact that one's relationship might not be able to survive forever, while still clinging onto the hope that it's not too late to save it, is a serious idea with a heavy, suffocating sense of reality to it. By showing both sides of the story, we can see that it's not necessarily Twilight or Rarity's fault that they are where they are, and they both want to fix it, so there is still hope! So when we saw Rarity's trepidation about facing Twilight upon her return I was worried that maybe she was finally letting go of that hope. If it wasn't for the very end of the story, this would probably have ended up being a soul-crushing read, so I'm happy that it managed to keep that small bit of hope alive in the end.

So, strong characterization, a moody atmosphere, and a serious take on a serious topic. That all seems pretty par for the course with your stories, which is a very good thing. :twilightsmile:

Always sweet to see more of these two, even if it's tinged a little bitter.

At least it's clear they still care deeply for each other, it's just that life grinds on you like that.

Oh god, this hurt to read. Not because it was bad, mind you, because it was amazing, but because of how much damn emotion it pulled out of me. It certainly wasn't Injuring Eternity bad, but damn if the sensation of imagining their relationship falling apart didn't wreak absolute havoc on my heart.

As one of the guys up there said already, it's amazing how you gave the same problems that they see between them a different voice for each. It makes it all that much more powerful when you see how they think of the issues in their own way.

No more though, please. I need fluff now.

8187860 I wish I could write fluff. If you don't mind Raridash, you might enjoy "A Lady Does Everything With Feeling". It's about that warm domestic atmosphere.

8187898 I'm pretty sure I've read it already. Hard to say since I've read a lot of your stuff.:rainbowlaugh:

8187898 Or i thought i did, but it apparently seems to be one of the things i meant to read but never got around to. My to read list is never ending and continues to expand ever further.

Everything flows, and nothing stays.

NOTHING IS CONSTANT

Also, TIL that it's basically impossible for you to be anything but profound with your horsewords. I could literally find the meaning of life in them. Or be kept up trying to think of it because of your gosh-darn horsewords.

It drives me to write. And to be distracted. Or anything, all of which work surprisingly well together.

Is it weird to say that it's nice to see a story that focuses on this point that happens in some relationships? It's nice to see a story that acknowledges the ebb and flow that every long term relationship goes through. Some relationships will never get to the point of where Rarity's and Twilight's is here, but a large number of them will. That point where you still love the other (or maybe not), but some part of it just isn't working or is stagnated, and you reach the point of "Can we/should we/could we, save this relationship?"

It's strangely nice to see and it's portrayed so perfectly here. I'm glad for the ending too, open ended, but on a optimistic note.

The characters were well done, in character, yet perhaps showing a slight tinge more maturity than the canon characters, which makes sense considering they are older here. I enjoyed the idea of Celestia creating a code name at this psychologist/psychiatrist's office specifically for royal family members to have immediate access without reveling identities to other clients as well. Overall, a very enjoyable read.

Thank you for sharing this story with us. :)

psst, cynewulf! i completely forgot to ask you to include in your description that I drew the cover art for you! heh... and congrats on the win! ;)

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Oh gosh!!!?! I am so sorry I forgot

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no worries we wee both so busy a month ago (i cant believe its been an entire month!) anyway congrats again, and feel free to bother me anytime youd like more cover art. quite frankly I think I can do better than this: it didnt do your amazing story justice!

Congrats on winning the contest! It was very well-deserved. You've managed to capture the characterizations of Rarity and Twilight perfectly, and explore a side of romance that is very much lacking in the fandom. The feelings you stirred up in me were profound and genuine, a sense of melancholy of hope that will stay with me for a while, and I can't thank you enough for that. I'm only sad that I didn't read this story before the contest finished, so that I could cheer for you as I read the results.

Once in a while, you come across a story where you find yourself in the words on a page. Where you’ll go in expecting a fun shipfic and instead find a mirror. I don’t know how many of you have experienced it. It’s both amazing… and terrifying. We Will Become Silhouettes cinched my personal first place for Interwoven Colours on my second readthrough of it. I didn’t get it all the first time. But the second time… that was a harpoon through the chest. But why you ask?

First of all, I love the setup. A special counselor, set aside just for the Royals. One that has an arrangement, down to specific illusion spell allowing them access without causing undue alarm. (After all, we can’t let it slip that the Princesses need counseling to deal with ruling a damn country of magical ponies can we?) I loved that he reacted very differently to Twilight than he did to Rarity.

Even more powerful is the first-person narrative. Both Twilight and Rarity’s narratives felt like them in a perfect way. Twilight’s distraction and somewhat rambling diction. Analysis and focusing on specific elements. Down to her panic attack and what helped settle that. Rarity’s diction, her focus on different elements of the relationship. The shared elements through another lens. Cute stories, cute moments of their romance.

But more than anything, this story captures something very, very real: the mundane routine of daily life. Better than any story I’ve ever read, be it ponies or otherwise. They’re both just so tired. Both so worn out from living their lives that they have nothing left by empty smiles and empty hearts at the end. The forgotten project collecting dust on the metaphorical shelf. Rarity’s tired and running out of things to say. Twilight’s tired and worried that she deserves to not be loved anymore.

There’s a reason marriage vows include both “good times and bad.” But the thing to remember… is that sometimes the dull middle can be even more deadly.

This is a perfect representation of the reality of life for a married couple who's been together long enough to start to lose the passion, question the future and in some ways, hate the present. The farce, the rut, the routine that dominates. And this does it without the added complication of children. If Rarity and Twilight had children in this... well, I couldn't cope with it all.

This story felt very, very real. Far too real… and far too personal.

But when I read the ending? I remember the first time, I was confused. I felt like part of it was left out. But the second time, I got it. I so very much got it. Rarity’s desperation to have an emotional connection with Twilight (crying would be better than “that smile” stabbed me straight through) to her small breakdown… to finding Twilight, asleep in the kitchen… holding an empty bag of coffee grounds next to an empty coffee pot.

“Make us some coffee, darling,” she said with a smile. “If you’re up for it, I think I might pull an all nighter. I have a dress to finish.”

The story ends with hope. It’s not fixed. It’s a long road (It’s always a long road). You can’t fix these kinds of problems without years of effort, pain and heartache. But you can still try. Every day will be a battle. It’s easy to slide back in. And with that single closing line, Rarity and Twilight both commit to trying (well, Rarity does. Twilight’s is pretty strongly implied). And in the end… that’s all you can do. Cynewulf captured this perfectly.

I can find no fault in this story. Not a single wasted word, not a single second that isn't heart-wrenchingly perfect.

For anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship (I’m speaking of 5+ years. 10+ even more so), this is either going to be a mirror or a warning. If you want to be in a long-term relationship, you need to read this until you get it. This is so important.

The best way to prevent this is to consciously choose to never allow your relationship to reach this point. The problem is… this isn’t a single choice. This is a daily choice. And you’ll need to make it every day for years. Decades. You’ll need to do it when you’re tired. When you just want to rest and watch TV. When you just want to play a video game. Sometimes… when all you want to do is write pony words. You’ll need to make the decision to focus on the person you promised to share your life with.

Remember, it’s not about the decision tomorrow. It’s about the decision twenty-three months from now on a hot Thursday after a grueling day at work. That’s the real moment of truth.

No matter what, Silhouette is hands-down the most personally powerful story I’ve read since Lost Time, which hit me for radically different, but also intensely personal, reasons.

Cynewulf, thank you for writing this. Just personally. Thank you. It kicked my tail and stabbed me in the heart… but all truly great stories do that. And you did it. You deserve first prize and so much more.

It was astounding.

This is beautiful. And so real :pinkiesad2:

Mmm yes

Yes this is satisfactory

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