• Member Since 15th Jul, 2016
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The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don.



Feeling introspective and adrift after the ordeal at Rainbow Falls, the last thing Spitfire wanted to think about was having to fly all the way back to Cloudsdale, let alone do so with Soarin, Fleetfoot and an uncomfortable atmosphere. So she took the train instead, where she ended up talking to a pegasus from the Ponyville team. Turns out they have rather different outlooks on life.

This is not an accusation story, and it was not written for the purpose of humbling Spitfire. Quite the opposite – this is about forgiving her.

If you like, this can be a standalone story, or it can be a prequel scene for Haunted Wasteland, of which King Of The Stingers is another, though with a completely different cast and situation to this one.
Proofread by NaiadSagaIotaOar.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 32 )

Really loved the development Spitfire here, the way that she tries to be as non offensive about Derpy's crossed eyes was touching as was Derpy's speech about life not being all about winning was great. Each of them are as happy as they can be with their places in life.

8327936 Thank you very much, that's very kind of you to say.

And that's exactly what I was going for in the story:twilightsmile:

I'm particularly happy you mentioned liking Derpy's line about life not being all about winning; I nearly scrapped that one as I just couldn't get away from it sounding like some cliché platitude, and even lampshading it as one didn't quite solve that for me, so I'm glad you felt it worked in the story.

Oh, now this was a great story. I have to admit, I've never imagined Spitfire and Derpy interacting before Parental Glidance, and I think you're the first person I know of to write a story with them as the leads.

8327969 Thanks very much :twilightsmile:

When I first watched FIM, I wasn't keen on the Wonderbolts; to me they were representative of the worst side of Rainbow Dash's brash ego. But then, after ploughing through all the Dazzling fanfiction, I read most of the Derpy stories out there, including the one I think best, Firedance. And that made me notice Spitfire for the first time as a character, and in one night she went from somepony I hardly knew the name of to somepony I had to read every story about. So for me, Derpy and Spitfire have been linked from the beginning, and it feels natural.

I have strong feelings about that scene in the otherwise-excellent Parental Glidance. Would you like to hear my rant?

No thank you, really. I'm really not in the mood for long rants, most of the time. One thing I find interesting about Spitfire, character wise, is because we don't see her off-duty that often, we really don't know what she's like when she's not on the job that much. That means we can get quite a bit of freedom to explore her character in other types of situations.

I'm glad that you didn't and while it is a cliche, it could still work in the right context like it did in this story.

Yeah, I'd definitely say it did work quite well here.

8328000 Of course, thank you for saying. In brief, I think it causes so many problems with continuity that I prefer to think Rainbow was just telling Scootaloo a story and chose to populate it with characters Scootaloo already knew, rather than having to introduce a whole new set of colts and fillies Rainbow went to flight school with.

So in my mind, the only other time Derpy and Spitfire interact (besides this story) is when they're both charging at Tirek a few weeks later, which gives this tale a slightly sad edge.


Thank you both! :pinkiehappy: I am glad I left it in then.

I guess the post-Rainbow Falls Spitfire story is hardly original to begin with, so a smidgeon of dialogue to match doesn't hurt too much :twilightblush:

I know I already said it, but I just love that ending :raritystarry:

Regarding the platitude dilemma, I think that line about winning would have sounded trite in a bad way if it were coming from a different character, but I feel it’s extremely appropriate for Derpy; it’s not the most eloquent way of expressing an idea, nor is it particularly clever, but it’s true, it’s simple and it works, and for someone like Derpy that’s really all she needs to think it’s worth saying.

And, of course, Derpy being so true to her own name would naturally make her quick to forgive the earnest errors of other ponies. So, from the broad strokes to the finer details, I think you’ve captured her character quite well here.

8328196 Thank you! :pinkiehappy:

That is a very good point about it being different because it's coming from Derpy, though now I wonder in the opposite direction if it was too sophisticated of her to mention that is sounded trite :unsuresweetie: I think you're right, those are exactly what she'd see as requirements to say something, and not much else would figure into it.

And, of course, Derpy being so true to her own name would naturally make her quick to forgive the earnest errors of other ponies.

I think so :twilightsmile: The very existence of the screenshot that she comes from in the title image (which I only found after writing the bit about her giving the happiest shrug ever), which has Bulk and Fluttershy looking upset over not being able to compete in the Equestria Games and Derpy just accepting it, strongly suggests that I think.

So, from the broad strokes to the finer details, I think you’ve captured her character quite well here.


This was an admirable effort, and I loved the dynamic between Spitfire and Derpy. Their different personalities, especially with the former feeling guilty about what she'd done, make for an interesting conversation that strengthens their characters in the context of the story. Better yet, it manages to focus on Spitfire's failings without bashing her character too much and having someone as an obvious mouthpiece like so many fics about Rainbow Falls end up doing. By extension, a kindhearted and understanding mare like Derpy was the perfect choice in character for this kind of story. I can definitely see her acting this way.

There were a few problems with the story in terms of prose. A few words could've been swapped out, such as changing feet to hooves, and there could've been more instances where the characters' emotions were described by mentioning just their facial expressions or gestures as opposed to what they meant. It's nothing major, but something to consider for the future. However, you've got the hang of character relationships and personalities.

Anyway, this was an enjoyable story, and while there's room for improvement, it's a refreshing take on one of the more controversial episodes of the show. Thank you for bringing this story to my attention, and I wish you the best of luck on your future writing projects. :twilightsmile:

8352010 Thank you very much, that's lovely of you to say :twilightsmile:

I'm really glad to hear from someone I know is a Spitfire fan that the story didn't bash her too much, I was worried around the time I mentioned switching a new teammate for an old one in a team-based challenge that I wasn't giving Spitfire enough credit and was criticising her from too many different angles, so that's good to know. I think she'd probably see things a little more balanced if she weren't on a bit of a downer during the scene. But the worry was that she herself would come across as an author mouthpiece, in the 'I've done wrong, punish me!' vein, which was the complete opposite of my intention, and it is good to know that's not how it sounded in the story. I guess the one thing I do have to say about Rainbow Falls is that Derpy did get yanked around a bit, being drafted onto the team and then kicked off again, which I don't think many other stories have mentioned, from what I remember reading.

It totally did say feet, didn't it? :twilightsheepish: I noticed a couple of mouths in there too, reading it back - would you say it's ever ok to say mouths rather than muzzles for ponies? When you mention letting their expressions or gestures speak for themselves without saying what they mean, is this the kind of thing you're talking about?

The grey of the mare’s ears flushed with a tint of red, and she smiled bashfully, almost as if she felt guilty for being worthy of a compliment.

Which is a good point, and now you mention it I do do that from time to time, I'll have to keep an eye on it going forward.

No problem, thank you again for such a detailed comment and your kind words :twilightsmile:

No problem! Since you asked, you can use mouths and muzzles whenever it fits. As an example of gestures indicating a character's mood, things such as blushing can show embarrassment without pointing out that the character is embarrassed, but a little extra detail doesn't hurt whenever it's necessary. It's primarily used whenever the meaning isn't clear with just the action, or if a character's thoughts or reaction can add more to the scene. As for the passage you quoted, I'd remove the part about feeling guilty, but everything else looks good. Of course, that's just my opinion. Anyway, I'm glad I could help, and I wish you the best on your future projects! :pinkiesmile:

I'm a sucker for unusual character pairs, romantic or otherwise. Making one of then Best Pony only makes me more intrigued. This was a fantastic dual character study, allowing opposites to bounce off of one another in a philosophical discussion free of the accusations and recriminations others bring to this episode. Well, other than the ones Spitfire lays on herself, and who can blame her for doing so?

Also, nice touch with Coloratura in the background and setting the stage for her turnaround.

Thank you for this.

8499936 Thanks very much, that's very kind of you to say :twilightsmile: I don't know if the two ponies have quite enough in common to become close friends, but I like to think they'd at least get on well when they did see each other. I'm working on a sequel at the moment, but have only published the first part so far, and Derpy hasn't shown up yet; I'd like to see how they're doing when they meet again a few years later.

Awesome! Really glad you got the Coloratura thing, I think you're the first person to put that together :pinkiehappy:

Thank you; I am glad you liked my take on everyone's favourite mailmare, I hadn't tried writing her before.

Nice little introspective piece, shows some great insight into Spitfire and her motivations. I think you handled her character pretty well, especially after this episode. She's a fascinating character and I love learning more about her every time she shows up on screen.
I'm surprised how well her and Derpy got along, it was a neat concept and good development.

8515382 Thanks very much! :twilightsmile:

And thanks for giving it a read even after I so shamelessly messaged you to promote it :twilightsheepish:

I think, in a way, Spitfire and Derpy would be so different that they wouldn't clash on much, because they'd have so little common ground to begin with. Rainbow argues with Spitfire more than she does with Fluttershy, I'd say, and I think this would be taking it even further. Like a chocolatier and cheesemaker having a chat - what each does is so different to what the other does that there's very little overlap for them to disagree on, it's just, 'Well, that's what that guy does, he seems happy, I wouldn't know much about it either way, so, cool?'

I'm rather saddened by Rarity being the least popular of the mane six, but I like the counterargument of her fanbase that she's the only one nuanced enough to have mature, realistic flaws in addition to her positive attributes. I think something similar is true with Spitfire. I really like her mostly-good-aligned status. I've even thought of her as comparable to Adagio Dazzle before; the difference being that Spitfire happens to be in a profession where competition and wanting to be adored as the best are seen as pretty much normal, rather than villainous.

Now that was nice. I am kind of annoyed at myself for not noticing that was Coloratura until Derpy gave her sage advice. I now wonder if she thinks the lyrics came to her in a dream.

Man, this was a really nice read. I don't know why I put it off so long, I guess I just wasn't in a Derpy mood :derpytongue2:

I'm still kind of lost on how the King of the Stingers fits in here :derpyderp2:

8571377 Thanks :twilightsmile:

If it helps, you weren't meant to notice, so it's good to hear that that slipped by until it was crucial. Describing a bystander's cutie mark without drawing too much attention to it (especially when Derpy's own cutie mark is left unmentioned) was tricky; I had to go back and rewrite that bit at least once as it was unclear. And then I realised that all the reference shots for Coloratura I'd been looking at were under stage lighting, where she's pretty much white, when in normal light she's a pale blue, and so I'd been describing her wrongly all along :facehoof:

Yep, that was pretty much my thinking with Coloratura. I don't think she'd have done anything with them in a song until it came to the personal crisis of her episode, so she might have remembered them upon waking here, then forgotten them again until she was wracking her brains to write a song expressing how she felt. Or they could have been dragged from her subconscious at that point, having lain there dormant ever since first being heard. But I really like the idea that Derpy is responsible for a song that might have sold millions of copies, and brought joy, hope, and self-acceptance to half of Equestria, and she has no idea.

8636379 Thank you, there's something about this one that's just rather pleasant :twilightsmile: Probably that no one is allowed to be nasty to Derpy, ever. Yeah, just by virtue of its characters this one is quite different to most of my other stories. It's kind of like the Chrylestia one if both the characters were on the same side, sort of the lost villain approach from that and TSTMYLI.

Did the Christmas blog post I saw you commented on make it any clearer how they fit together? They're both prequels for Haunted Wasteland, and that's the work that binds them, but they're independent of each other as stories, just existing within the same universe (if you want them to).

Haha, yeah, I read that blog after this story, so I kind of answered my own haha. Still, I think you can list Haunted Wasteland as the sequel for both of them, if I'm not mistaken. It's probably not necessary, but that might save some confusion for future readers.

Putting two characters like this is bound to lead to unique results, it's true.

8639900 I'm not sure you can, I think it has to be one then the other for the link to work. I did originally have Haunted Wasteland linked directly to this one as a sequel, but I was concerned it put people off. I can understand not wanting to read the sequel if you haven't read the original, and I doubt this story would appeal to many siren fans (the sirens being the focus of Haunted Wasteland). So I left it off :twilightoops:

Oh, yeah that makes sense. I guess it's the other way around, because I swear I've at least seen stories with multiple listed sequels. But regardless, there's always going to be some confusion linking multiple stories haha.

Author Interviewer

I love how you rolled in everything from the enhanced third (second?) season opening to Mane Attraction. :D

9581323 Getting Coloratura in there took a bit of wrangling, but that centrepiece statement of her song is the most Derpy thing I've ever heard, so I had to find a way :twilightsmile:

Author Interviewer

An interesting parallel to make. :D


I can't even...

Just two ponies on a train. Talking.

And from that, one incredible story.

I was there, listening. Dust tossed into the air where the rails didn't quite match perfectly. The motes in the air, as they floated in the light of Sun. All the truck the passengers brought with them; and was that the smell of oranges here, and turnips there?

The blare of the whistle, because some tenant heifer for a nearby farm was grazing too close to the right-of-way, and paying no attention whatsoever to the big, noisy machine she's seen a thousand times before. The head, coming bolt upright, startled into a trot away from the shiny tracks, leaving the best grasses near the ballast and ties for another time...

Just talking.

Now, I know them both a little better...

10621660 Thanks, I'm glad to hear you liked it that much :twilightsmile: This has got to be one of the most evocative comments I've ever received!

There's a danger that too high a percentage of the scenes I write are just two characters talking, but it does work wonders as a setup :twilightsheepish:

Not if the two are handled properly...

Most of the time, our conversations are between two individuals. At least these two had things to say...

Well done!

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