• Published 29th Aug 2017
  • 1,315 Views, 28 Comments

Pointlessly Cruel - forbloodysummer



The princess was crowned, the battle was won, and the dancers had since grown tired and gone home. Only Flash Sentry remained after the Fall Formal. Prince charming, in need of a princess. What was he to do?

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How Sunset Found Love

Summer

She was perfect. Flash knew it from the moment he set eyes on her. Her wide eyes and eager smile, her multihued hair and adorably awkward outfit, her generic height and body shape, the whole lot. And she was perfect for him, too. They were always bumping into each other, because they both loved going to all the same places. And they had so much in common! He played guitar, she sang; he want to Canterlot High, so did she for a few days.

And she’d let him play guitar over her final chorus, and not even mentioned it when he’d just played the same lick twice as it was the only one he could play in that key, or how his first solo had been just two notes. And she’d danced to his band and then with him, and let him know that she might have said no but didn’t really mean it, which was cool as it meant they’d never have any misunderstandings further down the line. Why couldn’t they teach all girls to be that cool about it? He loved everything about her.

It was like it was fate, or destiny, or some other nebulous concept of predestination that Flash hadn’t really thought through and had just fallen back on as a lazy cliché without considering how far-reaching its implications were if true. Everything happened for a reason, and he and Twilight were obviously meant to be.

Autumn

But if that were the case – and he knew it was – then why were they now in two separate worlds? What kind of pointlessly cruel universe would create such perfect partners, introduce them to each other, and then banish them to different dimensions for the rest of forever? How could that be fair? He was condemned to know that she was out there, feeling just the same way about him as he did about her, but always out of reach.

He’d find a way to get to her, of course. That was why he was standing outside the front of CHS, staring at the Wondercolt statue, after everyone else had gone home for the night. Somewhere behind him, he could hear Sunset Shimmer grunting away as she tried to cement the school back together brick by brick. But the wall of the statue was even more solid. Just cold, smooth stone. How could he even know where to begin, when it came to getting Twilight back?

Twilight had talked about magic after she’d beaten Sunset, and what she’d said implied it wasn’t to be found in Flash’s world. So there’d be nothing he could use to unlock the statue portal. No reference books to research it with. No way back to her. He was just a skinny guy in a suit with artfully messy hair, and the love of his life was trapped in a parallel world on the opposite side of the same wall. Hadn’t he seen that in Doctor Who somewhere?

Winter

So maybe it was hopeless. Maybe that was it. He’d never see her again and nothing in the world could change that. He’d be alone for the rest of his life, because no one else could ever compare to her, or live up to the perfect vision of what he imagined she’d be like for which he had no actual basis because he’d spent only a few minutes with her in total. All that he’d really got out of meeting her, from that perspective, was the knowledge that he’d never be happy again. What kind of pointlessly cruel universe, indeed?

He hadn’t asked for it. Hadn’t requested a vision of perfection he couldn’t touch. Didn’t deserve being shackled to a miserable future. He’d just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’d meant to be there, though. And she’d known about the time limit all along, and still flirted with him and stolen his heart. Had she truly felt the same, if she knew in advance that it couldn’t last? Had she just been toying with him? Would she even miss him, waking up tomorrow to a life without him, or just get on with her day as she would otherwise, not sparing him even a stray thought?

Her fault. It was her fault. Maybe she’d acted without thinking how it would affect him when she left, or maybe she just collected broken hearts for fun. How many others did she already own? And why had she chosen him? He was just a guy. Just a normal, average guy that you might expect to find in a high school, generally amiable with few distinctive personality traits, and a far-from-unique hobby as a one-dimensional appeal to coolness. Had he done something she thought worth punishing?

Spring

That did it. He wasn’t going to play by her rules any longer. If she chose to treat him so callously, then he’d respond in kind. He had to get free of her, and the quickest way to do that was to find someone else to distract him. Some new green shoots to push through the frozen brambles Twilight had wrapped his emotions in. And the sooner he could start, the better, because a night alone at home would be nothing but misery. But everyone had already left and–

A particularly loud grunt came from a way behind him. Or had it been a sob?

Sunset.

Turning on his heel, Flash saw Sunset slotting a brick into place on the wall she was building, patting it down into the cement. He couldn’t make out much detail from that distance at night, but she looked worn out, judging by how she slumped. After a moment’s hesitation, he shifted his legs into gear and walked over to her.

Who better to get back at Twilight with than her rival? Or, would that be making it still about her, rather than escaping from her hold on him? Either way, Sunset would be like a microwave meal, he just had to say a few things and she’d be right there. Just the distraction he needed.

Flash wandered up the steps to the CHS front entrance, or what was left of it. Sunset had done a pretty good job, from what he could see, but there was a long way still to go. Snips and Snails were nowhere to be seen, of course, having disappeared long before.

“Sunset,” he said, by way of announcing his presence, as she hadn’t seen him coming. She jumped at the sound of his voice, and when she turned to look at him he saw the tears in her eyes. Everything about her was a state: bruised, tattered and caked in dirt. Though from the lighter lines running down her cheeks, he guessed she hadn’t stopped crying in hours.

“Wanna swing by mine when you’re done here?” he asked. “Clean yourself up a bit first, maybe.”

Sunset’s whole face probably lit up or something. Flash didn’t see, having already turned away to head off. He heard her choke on tears as she answered, though.

“...Y-you really wanna see m-me? After everything I’ve done?”

Bits of you, he thought.

Already striding off towards his car, determined not to look in the direction of the horse statue or bothering to glance back at her, he called, “You’ll do.”

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Comments ( 28 )

Um, I don't know if this is just me, but Flash seemed a bit OOC, he's a lot nicer in the movies. Still, good story. :ajsmug:

8395221 Quite possibly! Or maybe he just hides it well...

8395279 I mean, I'd act nice too, if I were trying to bone a princess...

8395280
:rainbowlaugh: In all seriousness though, he acts nice even when Twilight isn't around.

8395292 I'm not sure he does at this point - I don't think there are any scenes in Equestria Girls where we see him but not Twilight. The ones I'm thinking of when he's nicer on his own are much later, like in Legend Of Everfree. So he's potentially had quite a bit of time to develop by that point :trixieshiftright:

8395301
Eh, I'm pretty much it was only half a year or so. :applejackunsure:

8395221
If you ask me, this seems more like the story channeling some Flash Sentry dislike than him just being OOC. There were the typical jeers directed at the character, hammered into the narrative in a way that thoroughly distracts from what's happening and makes the tags more or less moot.

8395311
I guess. Also, you wrote OC, not OOC.

8395307 Yeah, the Fall Formal is around October I think (since it's Fall/Autumn, but they've been back from summer holidays/vacation for long enough to organise it), and then Camp Everfree is during summer break the year after. But goodness, look how much Sunset changed in that time :raritywink:

8395311 For what it's worth, I don't mind Flash particularly. His 'Just one no would have been fine' is probably the funniest moment in Equestria Girls, and you can't fault a girl for falling for a guitarist.

Doesn't mean the criticisms aren't valid, though :rainbowlaugh:

Yeah, I have to agree with>>8395221 here. Flash was way too out of character for me to actually enjoy this story. He's too much of a nice guy for this story to be even plausible without very good explanations for this OOCness.

8395317
Yup. Fixed now.

8395317
8395321
Yeah. It really is a problem. It's like naming the protagonist of a romance "Unreasonable Reader Expectations" and not ever address that in-story. Readers are left confused whether the whole things is just meant to be a parody, or are too busy rolling their eyes to take the narrative seriously.

That ending... :fluttershyouch:

Regarding the potential OOC-ness, I feel like it's more of an issue of pacing. To me, Flashes actions don't seem all that out of line; his heart's been broken, he's at an age where he's already prone to moodiness, and so on.

The problem, I think, is that he seemed disappointed but not exactly heartbroken in the movie (As I remember things, anyway) and the brevity of the story may not have adequately conveyed that.

I still liked it, personally :twilightsmile:

8395357 That sounds like a good defence :twilightsmile:

Weirdly (or not, given that the love plot hardly fit the show anyway), we don't really see what happens to Flash afterwards. He's freed from Sunset's mind control, comes to stand beside the CMCs around the crater she's in, asks Twilight to dance, and then him dancing with her is the last we see of him in the film. Photo Finish takes a group photo of the mane six, but he isn't there, and then it's the six of them saying goodbye outside, but again he's not there.

I may have watched a youtube link of the last few minutes of the movie at beyond-terrible quality a few times last night while writing this :facehoof:

Good news, though - Apples & Eyeballs isn't the least-popular story on my page anymore!

Oh shit. I was wondering why one of your stories had such a mixed reaction, then I saw the Flash tag :rainbowlaugh:

What a "nice guy"

CGPH #19 · Sep 20th, 2017 · · 2 ·

I don't know if this was intended as a comedy, but I laughed out loud at that last line :rainbowlaugh: The like/dislike on this is shocking! I had to read it to find out why, and while it's justified in-canon because of what a dick Flash is being, it definitely doesn't reflect the quality of the story. People need to understand the like/dislike bar is a quality guide, not for whether you liked what happened in the plot :trixieshiftleft: I really liked your quick pacing of the seasons, it was a cool way to fit a lot of character development into a short period of time.

Overall, I like this. But then again, I am a sucker for Anti-Flash propaganda :twilightblush:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Pfft. Flash has to have a character to be out of it. :V

Bits of you, he thought.

Savage.

8804198 Oh dear, PP, did it have to be this one of mine you read? :twilightblush: I almost took it down leading up to the RCL feature :facehoof:

This is the one on my page that's covered in downvotes but is actually good, in my opinion at least. Whereas this one is, uh, kind of an exercise in insulting everyone involved?

Thing is, I like Flash when he's being horrible. I think he's at his most watchable during Rainbow Rocks. That's the time he has some actual personality, even if it is personality he borrowed from the sirens.

That said, three of the stories I've read recently which stood out most were those involving Flash. He can be great if authors keep him well away from Twilight and Sunset, and make an effort to avoid the other pitfalls he encounters in the movies.

I must've scrolled past any number of stories with good like/dislike ratios today, but was attracted to this one specifically because it has a bad ratio. Methinks the feature is not working as intended.
The comments make me think it's probably not as bad as it seems.

Edit: That was not as bad as it seemed.
Flash was believeable. Dude's just having a bad day.
...on the other hand, why is Sunset still repairing that wall? It's been months!

9070553 Looking down the comments, I see at least two others who read the story just to see what the fuss was about with the like/dislike bar, so it’s sort of been an advertising banner rather than a hindrance :twilightsheepish: Wish I could recapture that effect for a newer one in a similar condition, but there we are!

Regarding Sunset, the story is set on the night of the Fall Formal, so she’s rebuilding it still, a few hours after we saw her at the end of Equestria Girls. Can I ask what about that wasn’t clear, so I can try to address it please?

Was it yourself who also read Rainbow Dash Is A Massive Fanny, by the way? I noticed a new like appeared it on the same day as your comment here :twilightsmile:

9085599
Ah, I think I see the problem. I interpreted the changing seasons literally. I'm thinking now that the changes are just in his outlook.

Yes, that was probably me. I think I read a few of your shorter stories at the same time I read this one. I have a terrible habit of spending three or four days doing nothing but reading Fimfiction stories... and then not coming back for weeks... :twilightoops:

9085930 Ah, I see! Thanks for saying, because I totally wouldn’t have guessed that that might happen :twilightsheepish: The seasons are the result of it being written for a contest with the prompt ‘changing seasons,’ and me only remembering that that was the prompt when 2/3 of the way through the story. Which is why it’s only Spring that directly alludes to the season metaphor within the story. For the best, I think; it would have been heavy-handed to do so more, and I’d be tempted to omit even the Spring reference if I redid it.

At least you get a good three or four days of reading, though, between those several week breaks?

9086074
To be honest, I think it would probably work well at the other extreme. Completely remove the Season linebreaks and instead just have a few more subtle metaphors scattered throughout, even just one for each season. That way you're still sticking to the theme in a clever way, without having the confusion of whether or not seasons are actually passing.
...although that was really just me being way too literally-minded :facehoof:
Now you've pointed it out it makes far more sense that it's all one scene.
I might be wrong, creative writing has never been my strong point. And this is mostly hypothetical anyway, seeing as the story is a year old now.

9086667 True, doing any rewriting on it at this point is unlikely, truth be told! Though there’s a new Sunset shipping contest on the horizon now, so I suppose a sequel isn’t off the table. I think it could go either way, either losing the headings and adding more references in the text, or keeping the former and removing the latter :twilightsmile:

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