• Member Since 4th Jan, 2015
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NaiadSagaIotaOar


"Naiad is indeed not a person." — forbloodysummer

T
Source

Adagio, who everyone knows is an immortal sex goddess, is determined to give her girlfriend a perfect eighteenth birthday. If only she weren't secretly a virgin, it would be easy.


Preread by Tethered-Angel and forbloodysummer.
Art by imDRUNKonTEA.
An entry for FamousLastWords' Two-Faced Charade contest.


Review by PresentPerfect
Review by PaulAsaran
Author interview

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 47 )

Well, it's really well done and interesting, but I had to look several times to confirm that this story said 'complete'. It just doesn't feel complete at all, this chapter was a fantastic hook, and explained a lot, but it feels half finished as opposed to an ending. Loved the characters, Adagio's confusion and the way she experienced the world and other people was especially unique. Rarity was good, not breaking into hysterics, probably in part from how confused and freaked out Adagio's look would have been throughout the 'talk'. A great start to something that is missing a end in my opinion.

“And you’ll be seeing plenty of me tomorrow to make up for it, won’t you?”

derpicdn.net/img/view/2016/8/13/1224400__safe_screencap_rarity_28+pranks+later_cropped_discovery+family+logo_lidded+eyes_pony_solo.png

“Darling, that’s… that’s so sweet of you I can almost overlook how stubborn you’re being.”

I really liked this line :pinkiehappy:

You, with the Hot Topic leather jacket

Also, Sunset, girrrrl, we need to talk about this:

img00.deviantart.net/f7ab/i/2017/353/c/c/_vector__sunset_shimmer_cute_by_thebarsection-dbtkxxi.png

That top with your skin tone? No. You look like someone's standing behind you holding puppet arms up with sticks. Mr. Tickle chic really isn't in this year, darling.

shop.mrmen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MRTICKLECANVAS_f40b5cb3-63d9-4cf8-9679-3c66f8829a9f.jpg

Seriously. This is good Sunset:

pre00.deviantart.net/af33/th/pre/f/2017/327/a/b/sunset_shimmer_by_agavoides-dbulce7.jpg

That is not.

8761588 Out of interest, what was it you felt wasn't resolved, and needed to be?

8761815
Just because Rarity isn’t always subtle doesn’t mean she can’t be :raritywink:

I really liked this line

I think it’s my second-favorite out of Rarity’s, or first favorite if we’re excluding single-word outbursts :scootangel: Ah, if only Adagio’d taken it more to heart... :fluttercry:

Seriously. This is good Sunset:

Why the hell is this not canon? :rainbowhuh: Because it’s not cute. Right :ajbemused: Adagio probably thinks it’s cute :heart:

8761848 I agree, the single-word outburst is the highlight :pinkiehappy: Also this line of hers:

“I’m sorry, did you say ‘was’?”

You can feel the temperature drop in the room!

Why the hell is this not canon?:rainbowhuh: Because it’s not cute. Right :ajbemused: Adagio probably thinks it’s cute:heart:

That's just it. You're dealing with a franchise where the characters we're supposed to cheer for are dressed like this:

derpicdn.net/img/2014/10/28/752743/large.png

(I hardly know where to start here. The mismatched neon tights are the obvious sin against decency, but... Applejack's shoes? Pinkie's waist disappearing into her hair?)

And the ones we're supposed to rooting against never fail to look spectacular:

vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/f/f3/The_Dazzlings_laughing_EG2.png/revision/latest?cb=20141029124229

(That's how you rock an off-the-shoulder top, Sunset, not with a jacket collar which renders the whole thing pointless. You've failed so hard that you need to learn from Sonata Dusk).

Yeah, I think Adagio would be completely on side with how Sunset looks there. And it's still cute, just in a biker babe way. But, if there's one thing we've learned from the changeling transformation, it's that black is bad, and colourful is good.

8761588
I’m glad you liked most of it! And thanks for the bookshelf add! I’ve not read many of those other stories, but the ones I have have been good enough that I’m pleased and flattered to be put amongst them :pinkiehappy:

I can kinda see where you’re coming from when it comes to the ending, to be honest :twilightoops: That’s the part I think I most wish I could spend a lot more time on, but, you know, deadlines and stuff. And I completely agree that this could have been a first chapter instead of a one-shot, as there’re definitely some directions in which the plot could keep going. But, seconding what forbloodysummer said, what do you feel still needed to be resolved at the end? I can definitely agree that not everyone gets a resolution, since Sunset, Rarity and Aria all kinda don’t, but it’s much less their story and much more Adagio’s, and the ending seems like a kind of resolution for Adagio to me.

But that’s just how I see things. I’d love to hear more detailed thoughts from you, if you have any you wouldn’t mind sharing :twilightsmile:

8761815

8761905

Hmm, this might be a little long, so forgive that. Answering both of you makes the most sense since it's the same question. Before I start, let me say this is my opinion, and this is not meant to badger or sound annoyed, or even change your mind if you feel this ending is how you want to go. In the end, you are the writer and you should do or feel whatever you like about your story. :pinkiehappy:

With that in mind, I suppose I'll look at the main point in my head that revolves a bit around this quote.

but it’s much less their story and much more Adagio’s, and the ending seems like a kind of resolution for Adagio to me.

For me, the greatest issue is there are too many ways for this to go to be a resolution.

Everyone involved in this is in a emotionally fragile state when it ends. Adagio is completely off kilter and feels she is horrible and it was better to stay away than harm others, Rarity is hurt and angry at Sunset taking advantage of Adagio 'and probably due to the love confession and amazingly poor timing', and Sunset is torn apart because she just had her own heart broken and is now trying to defend herself at the same time. Noone is thinking straight, so it is going to be time before any of this is talked out, and emotions are going to dominate action.

Because of this, we are more at the half way point of the story to me, we've seen the dilemma and the drama, next is often resolution or a choice to be made to make it a sad ending. If not resolution, then a definite end on what path occurs. Right now, with Aria's utter lack of communication on the phone, we don't even know if she is just going to say 'no', and let Adagio flounder on her own, as opposed to being let back into the group.

If it had ended with her meeting up with the other two Dazzlings and resolving to put what she had with Rarity and the others behind her, that would have been a resolution, but as it stands, she's in her room, on the phone, awaiting a reply an hour or two at best after the conflict between the three of them occurred. We are still waiting to see if she goes back to them or gets rejected, of it Rarity pounds on her door in the next few minutes, or even Sunset. Or even Applejack as a neutral party between the three of them. There is no defined way the story is going to go, or expectation that would let me say this is the path that will be taken by Adagio. For all we know, in the morning, she might reconsider and stop by Rarity's.

And yes, a cliffhanger ending can be just fine, but this is more of a cliffhanger to me right when we are meant to see how the blow back of this hits everyone, what they will do or respond to the situation now that the issue is out in the open and contact has injured all parties in differing ways. I would not have been surprised if Adagio had hid behind a couch while trying to understand what went wrong instead of running. Her emotional plight is quite unique which makes it very effective.

In this case, I really don't see Rarity leaving Adagio on her own, I was almost expecting it to end with Rarity banging on her door, so it is almost impossible to me to really believe Adagio is going to manage to get back to her old group without a few more encounters to say the least. Rarity and/or Sunset being the main two. So, in that regard, it feels unfinished to me.

I hope this helps and made sense. :twilightsheepish: Good luck on the contest!

8762005
Firstly, I would just like to say that I deeply wish I got more comments like this one, because I think you’ve just made me think about my own story more than any other commenter has, and that’s wonderful :twilightsmile: This kind of open ending thing isn’t something I’ve really tried before, so getting this kind of thoughtful criticism is quite delightful, and the length is of no concern whatsoever :pinkiehappy:

Now, I’m not entirely sure I agree with everything you said. The way that I see this story (Which is by no means unbiased, since I’m both interpreting what I see differently, perhaps, and also seeing what I meant to write instead of what I actually wrote, so please don’t take this to be the absolute truth), I think it should end about where it does right now.

Here’s my reasoning: the thing that’s motivated just about everything that’s happened has been Adagio’s desire to be a different person. Instead of trying to act like a conninving, conflict-causing siren, she’s trying to act like Rarity’s perfect girlfriend. She’s trying to play the rules and do the things she thinks Rarity will like and all that, and that’s why she does most of the things she does.

The ending, right now, is the first moment where she’s not acting on that desire any more. If she were, she’d be trying to set things right, but instead of doing that she reaches out to Aria, thereby taking the first step on a path that she believed led to exactly the place that she didn’t want to go to. To a certain degree, I don’t think that the ending should go any farther, just because I don’t think the question of whether or not Adagio succeeds in getting back with Aria is nearly as important as the fact that she tries, nor as connected to the rest of the story.

That being said, I do think I agree that there’s an extra layer of ambiguity in there, which perhaps detracts from the ending. Namely, that Aria doesn’t respond at all, and that there’s nothing to base her possible responses on. The ending I had in mind is somewhat contingent on Aria being at least somewhat agreeable, but there’s nothing in the story that suggests she is, and that opens up the door for Adagio to be stuck in a limbo of sorts--if Sunset and Rarity don’t sort things out on their own and Aria says no, then she’s stuck not moving in either direction, whereas either group reaching out for her would pull her along in either a good or bad direction, which I think is more like what I wanted to leave a little ambiguous.

So, the way it is right now might be too vague: as it stands, the question the ending introduces isn’t so much “What happens next?” as it is “Does anything happen at all?” which I think isn’t quite what I would like.

The speed with which the deadline is approaching makes me hesitant about changing very much, unfortunately :twilightoops: I’m sorely tempted to at least try and address that excess ambiguity, though. There probably isn’t time to add very much to it, but maybe making Aria give some kind of response and having at least a possibility of Sunset/Rarity/Applejack coming back would help clear things up?

I hope this helps and made sense.

Definitely made sense, yes! And it’s notified me of a potential problem I would never have thought of on my own, which I think can only be a good thing :pinkiehappy: Thank you very much for taking the time to write all that out :twilightsmile:

Good luck on the contest!

Thank you again! I haven’t looked at the other entries much, but I see some names I recognize and think I might be needing it :twilightsheepish:

8762638

This kind of open ending thing isn’t something I’ve really tried before

Heh, I have tried the cliffhanger ending many times, some successful, others involved me making a new chapter or two to correct how poor it went over. :twilightsheepish:

Here’s my reasoning: the thing that’s motivated just about everything that’s happened has been Adagio’s desire to be a different person. Instead of trying to act like a conninving, conflict-causing siren, she’s trying to act like Rarity’s perfect girlfriend. She’s trying to play the rules and do the things she thinks Rarity will like and all that, and that’s why she does most of the things she does.

Hmm..I may have missed that, in some context. While I did see that she was trying to be a good girlfriend to Rarity, I did not connect that to the rest of her last, I guess six months *since she has only been dating Rarity for three, I have to assume there was some time where they got to know eachother and all that*? I assumed that she was trying to be a good girlfriend, specially with Rarity's special day coming up, but not that she was trying that behavior with everyone else. The whole "How would Rarity's perfect girlfriend respond to this situation?" deal. If she has been doing that with her life for the last few months, then I can see her melting down as walking on eggshells like that would be...intense for so long.

That is a hard thing to fully convey in a single chapter like this without going over multiple time jumps, you do well on getting most of that point across, I just did not get the...time context I suppose on just how long Adagio has been acting this way, and that she acts this way with everyone, not just Rarity.

The ending, right now, is the first moment where she’s not acting on that desire any more. If she were, she’d be trying to set things right, but instead of doing that she reaches out to Aria, thereby taking the first step on a path that she believed led to exactly the place that she didn’t want to go to. To a certain degree, I don’t think that the ending should go any farther, just because I don’t think the question of whether or not Adagio succeeds in getting back with Aria is nearly as important as the fact that she tries, nor as connected to the rest of the story.

Ah, now here's the amusing part. As a writer, I agree with you. As a reader, I want more. :scootangel: So I'd rather encourage more to be written than the easiest solution of just having Aria speak and give us a idea of how it could go.

So, the way it is right now might be too vague: as it stands, the question the ending introduces isn’t so much “What happens next?” as it is “Does anything happen at all?” which I think isn’t quite what I would like.

Pretty much, I mean, it would be kind of amusing for it to end with Aria telling Adagio to go fuck herself or something, buut that's more comedically dark and probably not what you are looking for. Plus that gives the reader more of a feeling that Rarity and Adagio will patch things up as opposed to the nebulous unknown Aria saying something like 'About fucking time you woke up' over the phone would bring *I tend to view Aria as the one in the group likely to swear the most...apparently*. :rainbowhuh:

The speed with which the deadline is approaching makes me hesitant about changing very much, unfortunately :twilightoops: I’m sorely tempted to at least try and address that excess ambiguity, though. There probably isn’t time to add very much to it, but maybe making Aria give some kind of response and having at least a possibility of Sunset/Rarity/Applejack coming back would help clear things up?

Yep, if you really just wanted, altering it so Aria says something confirming she is good with Adagio coming back would be enough. Actually, it kind of gets more intense if Aria says that, and then Adagio hears someone running up the steps of her apartment, or if she hears a frantic knocking on her door. More so if Aria says they'll be there to pick her up in ten minutes...means a possible showdown between the two groups on Adagio's fate...but those are just some quick thoughts I had.

Per normal, hope that helped and I feel you wrote a good entry, regardless of who you are up against. I didn't win the last contest I tried, but I gave it a good try and don't regret it. :pinkiehappy:

8764390

but not that she was trying that behavior with everyone else.

This, I completely get, because I think that aspect of her behavior is much more subdued when she’s with Sunset and she doesn’t really interact with anyone else throughout the story. I’d say it’s still the motivating factor behind the most important decisions she makes with regards to Sunset, though (She withholds information because she thinks Rarity would like to keep it a surprise and doesn’t want Sunset worrying about her, and agrees to sleep with Sunset because she thinks that’ll make for a better birthday experience for Rarity, and so on). So I like to think that it’s present in her interactions with most people, to varying extents, but it’s mostly Rarity’s high expectations for her special day that get Adagio freaking out and panicking a bit.

*I tend to view Aria as the one in the group likely to swear the most...apparently*

Ah, you’re definitely not the only one. I seem to be mentally incapable of writing any Aria that doesn’t swear like a sailor :twilightsheepish: Dunno what it is about her, I guess I just think she’s the one most likely to not give a damn how other people see her, whereas, say, Adagio might be more interested in at least keeping up a polite persona from time to time.

Ah, now here's the amusing part. As a writer, I agree with you. As a reader, I want more.:scootangel:So I'd rather encourage more to be written than the easiest solution of just having Aria speak and give us a idea of how it could go.

This, I can completely sympathize with, because I think that open endings are somewhat satisfyingly artistic, in some sense, but I tend to treat literature and fanfiction as light entertainment that I don’t need to think about to enjoy or appreciate, which I think is what makes me normally gravitate towards longer stories that can more properly reach firm conclusions. Alas, that 15,000 word limit got used up surprisingly quickly :fluttercry: I might revisit this idea after the contest’s over, just because I most definitely wouldn’t mind doing more with it, but for now I just don’t think there’s space or time to expand it very much.

So, unfortunately, I might have to settle for giving Aria a line indicating her agreeableness.

Actually, it kind of gets more intense if Aria says that, and then Adagio hears someone running up the steps of her apartment, or if she hears a frantic knocking on her door. More so if Aria says they'll be there to pick her up in ten minutes...means a possible showdown between the two groups on Adagio's fate...but those are just some quick thoughts I had.

I love that idea, and if this were to be turned into a longer story I might very well end up doing that, but I think that might end up taking the ending in a different direction than I want right now. Maybe that’d make for a better story, but I’d much rather not be second-guessing myself too much the day before the deadline. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

Yeah, honestly, I’m not expecting to win. But I really love how most of this story came out, and I only started writing it after a day-long brainstorming session with a friend who also entered the contest, so I’m definitely glad I was able to participate :twilightsmile:

An excellent find for me indeed; I'd seen this story as a suggestion after reading a particular story about cosmetology, and I have no regrets.

So, I see that there are numerous mentions being made of the ending, and I must say that I both agree and disagree with them. By the look of things, the "I thought you'd never ask" line was what you put in to help make it feel more like an ending, yes? I can imagine what it must have looked like to others without it, and feel that this little snippet was all it took to both give a sense of conclusion that the readers wanted and still keep at least some of the ambiguity you aimed for. It leaves my imagination reeling with different answers for my own "What comes next?" in my head, which I would think was the end goal in the first place.

As for what I think would come next... I see independence on the horizon. After a brief stint with Aria and Sonata, Adagio realizes that she can't return to the toxicity that was the Dazzlings' dynamic. However, she can't see anything good coming of her returning to the Rainbooms either (or at least, not initially), and decides that she'll have to go through a sink-or-swim phase of life, learning how to stand on her own without a rock to lean on. Once she indisputably becomes her own woman, she gives both the Rainbooms and the Dazzlings another chance to reconnect and befriend her, but on her terms.

When it comes to the relationships depicted therein, I have to admit that I'm a little bit more on Sunset's side than Rarity's, but I have a noteworthy bias when it comes to Sunset adding to her ever-increasing harem. The actions on all three parties' ends are understandable and about as in-character as I can say an Equestria Girls story involving sex can be. Adagio's trying so hard already, so when Rarity and Sunset make the argument more about each other than Adagio and the siren sees that, apparently, abandoning her nature as a strife-inducing witch is virtually impossible, it all makes my chest painfully tight. She even tried to be the bigger woman and take at least part of the blame for it, but the kind of helplessness she must feel when she can't seem to so much as touch anyone without somehow becoming a source of animosity between others makes her decision to leave her two now-former lovers all the more justifiable. And even if Rarity and Sunset can get over their scorn for one another, they're still going to have to deal with the fact that them not really listening to Adagio has driven her to flee back to the only thing she's known before the Rainbooms came into the picture.

And then there's Adagio herself. While I did say that everyone was "in-character," the way Adagio behaves is so entirely unlike how she is in Equestria Girls... and yet it feels like exactly how she would act anyway, were she to try to make amends with the Rainbooms. She's had not just immense power, but also entire layers of perception ripped away from her, and with those empathic and telepathic senses available to her no longer, everything is going to be borderline terrifying for a long time, if not for the rest of her life. That her new girlfriends are willing to help does soften the blow and perhaps hasten a recovery, but for her to lose those powers still is to a siren what going blind or deaf is to a human. It's really quite an effective way to draw sympathy from the reader.

There is one other thing I have to agree upon with those who also bothered to leave comments, and that's a desire to see a continuation of this concept, if not this story. Were it not for my own piece that I'm working on, I might have declared that I would do so myself, but alas. 'Twas not meant to be. All in all, an excellent read, and I'm ever-thankful for the site's suggestion protocol having pointed it out to me.

8947898
So. Regarding the ending. Yes, once Phaoray brought it up that the ending was too ambiguous, there were only two lines that were added, and I think they’re the most critical of that whole last scene. The original ending did not have Aria responding, which I think was the change I was most reluctant to make simply because I liked keeping her be totally silent. The problem, though, is that, like you were saying, I wanted to be hinting at what Adagio might possibly do next, and having Aria’s reply be omitted felt like it added an extra layer of obscurity that made things lean too far towards “Nothing at all.”

Anyway. The rest of your thoughts have been an absolute joy to read, because there’re a couple of places where you basically parroted what my own analysis of the story would be, and that’s just fantastic to see, if only really for my own benefit :heart: So, thank you very very much for reading and enjoying and taking the time to write all this up for me, because it was a fantastic thing to wake up to :pinkiehappy: I would reply to it in more detail, but there’re so many places where I would just be saying, “Yes, I completely agree,” that I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble.

When it comes to the relationships depicted therein, I have to admit that I'm a little bit more on Sunset's side than Rarity's, but I have a noteworthy bias when it comes to Sunset adding to her ever-increasing harem.

Ah, well. I would argue with you, but, eh... Sunset adding everyone to her harem kinda would make all the problems that cropped up in this story go away :heart: So I can’t fault you for having good taste, is what I’m saying :raritywink: I do like that you said that, though, because I think that Sunset and Rarity here both did some things right when it came to Adagio and some things very, very wrong. I’m not entirely certain if I’m inclined to favor one or the other more, though. Perhaps slightly Rarity, I think--she seemed like the one of the three who’s closest to being a “victim” here--but now I’m thinking about what we’ve seen of Sunset and Adagio here and thinking that might not be the “correct” conclusion.

Now. Regarding the possibility of a continuation. Adagio, by the end of this story, having been exposed to both Sunset and Rarity, has too much of an idea of what good relationships can do for her to be truly satisfied going back to Aria and Sonata. They could perhaps offer her a kind of kinship and understanding that the Rainbooms simply couldn’t give her, but I feel like Adagio would see Aria in particular as very dark, antagonistical figure. But, as you said, she also would not at all feel like she could go back to the Rainbooms without stirring up a whole lot of trouble. So, what I imagine would probably happen in a hypothetical continuation is pretty much what you predicted, where Adagio stays with Aria and Sonata for a bit until they wear her down too far, then break away a second time and begin her long, laborious ascent into independence.

Which sounds absolutely lovely, by the way :heart:

Unfortunately... well, I’m just not sure I could do that idea justice right now. It’s unfortunate to say, but I think that’s honestly how I feel about right now. If, when you are done with your own story, you would like to come back and write a continuation to this one, I would love to see that, and I’d love to talk about it with you.

Thanks again for commenting! I have to say I do wish this story would get a little bit more attention, but when I get comments like this on it I simply don’t think I have anything to complain about :twilightsmile:

Soge #13 · June 3rd · · ·

What a great fic! I love the characterizations for all involved, and how they eventually collided. It reads like a train crash in slow motion, and the conclusion completely blindsided me, in a way that was really effective. I was expecting this to be resolved in a more "typical shipfic" manner, so the fact that you went into this particular direction was really effective in my opinion.

8963527
It's a little odd to say, because I'm actually quite fond of both the pairings in this story, but while I did consider a happier, more "typical shipfic" ending (Most likely, it would've been something like Sunset arrives during Rarity's big announcement, sees how happy she and Adagio are together, and resolves to not ruin it by speaking up) I just don't think the end result would've been half as interesting to me as this one turned out to be :twilightoops:

Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it :twilightsmile:

This ending could also be a time for the other Main Six to shine. Applejack was already suggested as a level head to mediate between Rarity and Sunset, while Adagio needs a Flutterhug, badly. Rainbow and Pinkie could run interference with Aria and Sonata if needed. Sci-Twi can coordinate communication between teams.

Or maybe just explosions?

8984446
Explosions are probably the most likely result of the Humane 7 hanging out after the end of this story :raritystarry:

I have reviewed your story! You can find it here. My only hope is that you find it at least somewhat helpful, and as always, I thank you for the time and effort put into your creation. This was a quite well-made story.

Looking back on one of the other comments, I seemed to have somewhat similar issue with its climax. However, I still enjoyed this story. It was well worth the read. :twilightsmile:

8995530
Thanks for the review, I'll make sure to take a look at it!

I will admit, the ending was the one part where I wished I'd had more time before the contest's deadline, so it doesn't surprise me that's it towards the end where people tended to start to have issues with it.

And, of course, I'm very glad you enjoyed it :twilightsmile:

8995609

Yeah, I figured it may be something like that. I was honored to review this piece. :pinkiehappy:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Beautiful, sexy and devastating, absolutely brilliant ending.

9001702

Beautiful, sexy and devastating

I think I’d be fairly hard-pressed to come up with a better list of qualities that Adagio stories should strive to be than that one :raritystarry:

I wish I could take all the credit for the ending, because I love it, but I don’t think it would’ve been half as good without the input that forbloodysummer and Phaoray had, so I probably shouldn’t :twilightsheepish:

Thanks for reading! I’m quite glad you enjoyed it :twilightsmile:

This was an excellent story, and definitely earned the Tragedy tag. All the pieces are there for things to work out fine if somebody just acts a little bit differently, and at so many different points in the story. But they wouldn't--sometimes perhaps even couldn't--could they? And it just hurts, both the anxiety running straight through and each new jab as it comes.

There does seem to be a bit of an unstated additional element to Adagio, in that besides never having learned to read people she's never thought in any depth about their emotions, relationships, or how they fit together. But that's something you come to realize over the course of the story, and something perhaps she wasn't fully aware of herself, where she was focusing more intently on the primary, immediate sensing than her weakness in collating that with deeper, longer term, and more complex aspects of people.

9047960
This is the kind of comment I love the most :raritystarry:

I think you’re right; there’re multiple places where at least one person could have stopped it all from going so wrong, and it often wouldn’t take much to do so. Part of the difficulty in writing this one was working out why everyone had those capabilities but didn’t exercise them, so it makes me happy to hear that it all fit together for you :twilightsmile:

That’s a good point you make! I’m actually not sure I ever thought of that consciously as I was writing this story, so it’s something of a happy accident, but I think it fits really well! Her magic seems to rely on negativity being present in the moment she wants to feed on it, so I think it’s plausible that she wouldn’t have ever needed to think much about the long-term ramifications of the morsels she fed on. But, when she’s got a flawless real-time analysis of how people feel, yeah, she probably is pretty terrible at thinking about the more deeply-rooted, enduring feelings people may have.

Thanks for reading and especially for commenting! :pinkiehappy:

I'm not sure I can add much here, but I will be keeping an eye out if any continuation happens, I'd love to see where this could go.

9048953
Thanks for your interest!

I hate to disappoint, but I wouldn’t count on seeing a continuation of this anytime soon, if ever. I’ve been vaguely tempted now and then, and there are parts of this story that definitely have an appeal that I might not mind revisiting and expanding on, but it’s far from a priority for me right now.

Now this was something else. Masterfully crafted, simply delightful to read.
What seems peculiar to me is Adagio's inability to say anything in the last confrontation. There can be multiple reasons for that, and I think my favorite is: after recalling the wish of the old Adagio, to see the friendships broken, she finds herself on the other side - dealing with the consequences of the devastated social bonds - and she realizes at that exact time, perhaps subconsciously, the deeper ramifications of what such an event means for those two persons in the future. The magnitude of the situation, and the running thoughts along the lines of "is this what happened to each of my prey after I was done and forgot all about them" is what keeps her from intervening.
Also I loved how at first, Sunset's clues seemed as obfuscated and fleetingly unimportant to the reader as they were to Adagio, but then when I returned and paid attention to them, in the light of the new reveal too, they all made a lot of sense - this literary experience was basically repeating what Adagio went through, and that made the story even more enjoyable.
Or maybe I'm just a special kind of reader, since I never try, at the moment of reading, to predict how the story will go, or look for deeper clues unless prompted.

9056566
Thank you, both for reading and for leaving this lovely comment! :pinkiehappy: It’s always fun to see readers picking my story apart and analyzing it like this.

Anyway, that’s a good thought! That, I think, lines up very very neatly with something that happens earlier in the story, so while I actually don’t remember if that was more or less what I wanted to convey, I’m happy to see you suggesting it :twilightsmile:

I like what you said about Sunset’s clues--I think my intent there was to communicate early on that something was up, but not allude to it too specifically, just so the revelation later is at least something of a surprise. At the same time, though, yeah, Adagio’s understanding of things here is often muddled and not quite clear, so the fact that that showed in the writing is a wonderful bit of feedback :raritystarry:

This was a good story – really unique for Fimfiction, too. It's rare to get something that's actually, y'know, sexy and not stupid, silly, or straight-up pornographic. And it's an EqG story, too, which usually miss the mark for me.

I tend to be wary of stories that involve the protagonist having some form of mental 'condition' – I guess this technically isn't a condition in this story but I'm gonna call it that for expediency – but it was subtle and used to good effect here. In fact I'd almost say it was maybe too subtle, in that while the effects of it on how the events the story panned out was interesting, I wasn't really sold on the 'condition' itself.

I'm not sure how you could have emphasised that more, however, without also ruining a really careful balance and returning to the issues that usually tend to come with protagonists with 'conditions'.

Anyway, yeah, sorry about the ramble-y comment. It was a strong piece from an author I've never heard of and it was absolutely worthy of being RCL'd. Shame that more people haven't read this, to be honest.

9066746
Thank you for the kind words!

Could I ask you to clarify in what way you weren’t sold on the ‘condition,’ though? Sorry, it’s just that I could see it being lacking in a few different ways, and for my own benefit I’d like to know what part of it wasn’t sold so well.

I think you’re right to be wary of those stories, personally. I’m sure there’re plenty of good ones out there, but it seems like it’d be an awfully tricky balance to get, having the condition feel tangible and impactful while also not having it be the character’s defining trait.

And here, I think you’re right. It could perhaps have been emphasized more, but at the same time I’m not sure how I would’ve gone about doing that. The way that I saw things, it would’ve just been cruel if Adagio’s ‘condition’ was the thing that made it all go wrong, since that’s not entirely within her control, so I wanted to lean much more towards it being too subtle than it being too prominent--ideally, it would’ve perhaps impaired her, but not to the point where she would’ve been incapable of sorting things out because of it. Here, I’d like to think there was a good balance between her not entirely seeing things clearly but also her final decision being made due to her own faults.

Thanks for reading! I don’t mind the ramble-y-ness at all--it’s fascinating to see the kinds of things people find to talk about with this story :twilightsmile:

9067294

Nah, man, thank you for writing this. I honestly don't comment on stuff much these days because it's rare that stories get my brain all fired up and thinking about them after I stop reading. It's refreshing to read something like this on the ol' fimfic-o-sphere.

Could I ask you to clarify in what way you weren’t sold on the ‘condition,’ though? Sorry, it’s just that I could see it being lacking in a few different ways, and for my own benefit I’d like to know what part of it wasn’t sold so well.

So, I've been looking back over the story and looking again at examples of how you've been portraying Adagio's 'condition':

Sunset started to move, and opened her mouth, but then she frowned, and went still and silent; her sudden melancholy was a riddle Adagio couldn’t see through right away, and just when she thought she might have unraveled it, it was yanked away and earnest, straightforward kindness took its place.

But what had that been, that came before the soft, kind-hearted smile Sunset now wore? Sadness? That was what it looked like, but what place did sorrow have in Sunset just then?

Or was it just concern? That didn’t quite seem right to Adagio, but she couldn’t fathom anything else.

As much as I appreciate what passages like this are being used for, the effect is diluted just by the sheer amount of narration you have to use
to describe something quite subtle in a really precise way, and it doesn't really help me actually envision what the body language looks like.

Usually, my suggestion for this sort of unique perspective is to represent what we're seeing with something else – so, for example, dream sequences often replace subtlety with specific, meaningful pieces of abstract imagery – and I was wondering if it might not be more succinct and effective to just... not describe anyone's faces at all?

It's definitely a much more extreme 'condition' than what you're depicting here – but it's also subtle in that the reader would just be reading dialogue without the described body language, so one would just read the dialogue and form their own conclusions along with Adagio's train of thought in trying to intuit what her friends are implying. I was mostly thinking of how I've seen some socially-disconnected characters portrayed in fiction before, and often the reactions from other people for these characters is just noticeably absent more than anything, even when emotions are at their peak.

I think the way you could represent characters' faces could be something straight-up metaphorical when Adagio is really out of it – porcelain masks or blank smears or something else that's kind of unnerving – or, if you wanted to get really into the 'condition' side of it, describing them in terms of 'lines and shapes' would actually be very accurate to how people sometimes view other things when they're undergoing a dissociative episode.

...Okay, now this was very ramble-y and probably not all that helpful, but I was enjoying having a bit of a brainstorm. Looking back at your story a second time helped me see your methodology a little more – it's genuinely a hard thing to represent when the point of the 'condition' is that things are deliberately unclear in a medium that thrives on being as clear as possible as to the surface-level meanings of actions.

This is a super cool thing to think about and I might try something similar in a future story. Thanks, again, for writing this.

9067441
It was exactly this same topic, basically, that got me really interested in writing this story, so I’m very happy to have gotten someone else thinking about it :pinkiehappy:

As much as I appreciate what passages like this are being used for, the effect is diluted just by the sheer amount of narration you have to use
to describe something quite subtle in a really precise way, and it doesn't really help me actually envisionwhat the body language looks like.

Ah, okay, I can totally see that being an issue. Thanks for putting it that way!

and I was wondering if it might not be more succinct and effective to just... not describe anyone's faces at all?

... I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I never thought of that :twilightblush: That would have been really interesting, I think! My initial reaction, though, is that it wouldn’t have been the best way of implementing it in this particular story. Great idea, it just feels to me like it pushes Adagio’s handicap more into the realm of ignorance when I wanted it to be confusion; the idea is that she’d know some kind of emotion was being expressed, just not be certain what exactly it was. But the metaphorical approach, of abstracting things a bit more, I think I could perhaps have done more with, and might have fit this story better--I think there’re one or two places where I tried that out a bit, but not many.

But taking it further like that would be ridiculously interesting, both to write and read, in a different kind of story, I think. Like, wow, okay, that’s getting me excited just thinking about it.

This is a super cool thing to think about and I might try something similar in a future story.

I think so too, and I really hope you do that, because I’d love to see it happen!

A fascinating presentation of the siren sensorium and what happens when they go emotion-blind. The rest cascaded in a way that the fault of everyone involved and no one. They had the best of intentions all around, but poor communication and blinding love unraveled everything. Note how the only one who blames Adagio is herself.

That said, the ending... it's a poignant one for Adagio, but leaves Rarity and Sunset in the lurch. I imagine their friends are going to do their best to mend that bond and track down Adagio, not necessarily in that order. Hogtying may or may not occur. (:ajbemused: "You made this mess as much as the other two. Yer gonna help clean it up, even if I gotta drag ya all the way back.")

Great stuff all around. I just think there needs to be more of it.

9068632
Thanks for reading! I’m glad you liked it :twilightsmile:

I am a bit torn when it comes to this story, because there’re definitely places it could go if I felt like continuing it, some of which seem quite appealing. And, you’re right, the ending doesn’t exactly treat all the characters very nicely. So I think there’s a case to be made for it needing more, and it would be dishonest to say I’m not tempted.

At the same time, though, I feel like this is a story about Adagio much more than it’s a story about Sunset or Rarity, and I struggle to think of many things that would happen to Adagio afterwards that could be as significant as what she’s already been through by the end, which makes me a bit leery about continuing it.

9068632 Have to say, I felt the ‘what happens next’ with this story was rather clear-cut. Maybe it’s just the ending I wanted to see, but I figured the parting blows of Rarity and Sunset’s argument damaged their friendship beyond repair, especially when Rarity had already worked hard to forgive Sunset once after the Fall Formal. Whether that splits the Rainbooms down the middle, with two each accompanying Rarity or Sunset, or leaves one of the two completely cast out on their own, doesn’t matter all that much - their harmony magic is useless unless they’re united as a unit, which isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. So in swoop the sirens again, at Aria’s pushing to move before the Rainbooms can recover their footing, and this time there’s nothing which can stop them. Adagio perhaps isn’t quite sure at first, but world conquest comes so easily at that point that by the time she’s really contemplating whether she properly wants to go along with it or not, she’s already being crowned empress, and gains nothing from backing out by that time.

I like stories that leave the ending open, so people can choose whatever suits them, but this was firmly how I saw this one playing out :twilightsmile:

9070117
There's the small matter of the sirens still not having their powers. Kind of hard for three nonmagical teenagers to conquer the world.

As for the Rainbooms, I like to think this isn't wholly irreparable. It'll be rough, yes, but still possible. Still, as you said, that's the beauty of open endings.

9070148 True! Aria must have been working on something during their time apart, though :rainbowdetermined2: But I agree, that’s a definite stumbling block!

I won’t deny that I could write a gushing comment or review like the rest of these kind people. Nothing more needs to be said about how great this story is. I simply and respectfully request more of this

9079715
Thanks for reading and especially for commenting :twilightsmile:

Unfortunately, I don’t see myself writing more of this anytime soon. That’s not entirely because I don’t want to, but the truth of it is that there’re several other writing projects I’d like to finish first, so continuing or expanding on this just isn’t a priority right now. If you want to see more Adagio, I will certainly be doing more with her in future stories, but if you want to see more of this Adagio, I’m afraid I’ll likely have to disappoint you.

Hi Naiad. Thank you for writing this story. You had asked for more comments on why I put this on my “Undecidable” shelf.

The story is well written. The presentation of Adagio’s unusual viewpoint is well done and interesting. It’s a unique and interesting idea. There’s a little bit of character stretching and idiot balling (Adagio is so busy puzzling out Sunset’s face that she can’t give Rarity ANY answer to “what is she talking about”?) but it’s clearly in service to the story and not a deal breaker.

The only real problem is that it’s not the kind of story I like, which is not the story’s fault. Not only are we watching a train wreck (not necessarily a deal killer - see “The Railway Ponies”) but it is a train wreck in which it EVERYONE DIES, or worse, turns BACK to the dark side! Oh great, you made a horrific ending appallingly plausible! I need at least some hope or something positive in my stories!

So, yeah, it’s good but, well, I don’t care for it. :pinkiehappy: However, this story does deserve to be found by the readers who can appreciate it!

9081757
Hi, thanks for reading and commenting! :twilightsmile:

Some amount of character stretching was perhaps hard to avoid here--Adagio’s very different here compared to how she ever was in canon, for one. I would like to think I generally avoided idiot balling, at least for the most consequential decisions, but I can see how I might have veered into that in places.

And, uh, yeah, sorry, if you were looking for something fairly positive, this story wasn’t the one for you :twilightsheepish: I’m happy you gave it a chance, though!

Well written, but I'm not sure I can upvote, because I didn't personally love it.
The whole "Adagio needing to learn how to read emotions from body language at her age" is a really clever idea, something I never considered about the sirens, but here, it feels more like something that exists solely to promote conflict, rather than an interesting character trait.
Also, I came out of this furious at both Sunset and Adagio. Sunset, as Rarity pointed out, took advantage of Adagio, and logically, she probably should've realized that Adagio wasn't referring to her. I can forgive Adagio not reading Sunset's emotions, but a) There's no real reason for her to avoid telling Sunset it was Rarity, it's not like she doesn't understand emotions themselves, and b) Adagio cheating on Rarity, even if it was "for" her, is still cheating. Which is a terrible thing to do.
I'm sorry, I just didn't enjoy it.

9084332
Fair enough, thanks for giving it a chance! :twilightsmile:

And thanks for offering some criticism! Haven’t gotten too much of that for this one, which is a bit of a shame, so thanks for stepping up and offering it. You made some good points here.

The whole "Adagio needing to learn how to read emotions from body language at her age" is a really clever idea, something I never considered about the sirens, but here, it feels more like something that exists solely to promote conflict, rather than an interesting character trait.

I can see that, yeah. It was an issue of space, partially. In a oneshot like this, there wasn’t much room to dwell on that aspect of her life outside of how it related to the immediate conflict. But that’s a very valid criticism and I can see why that would stop you from enjoying that part of the story.

and logically, she probably should've realized that Adagio wasn't referring to her.

I don’t think she was entirely wrong for at least thinking it, personally, but logically, yeah, there was no reason for her to leave it at an assumption instead of clarifying (A simple, “You’re talking about me, right?” would’ve cleared everything up right away), and it’s a bit of a leap that isn’t entirely justified. My intent there was that neither of them were making decisions logically in that moment, and my hope was that their motivations were established to be strong enough that they would plausibly make being logical difficult.

There's no real reason for her to avoid telling Sunset it was Rarity

This, I think was addressed in the story? Adagio is fixated--probably more than she should be--on Rarity’s birthday being perfect. That is, arguably, the one motivation driving everything that Adagio does. Rarity, being theatric and dramatic, wants to surprise all her friends by announcing she’s dating Adagio. I think you’re right, it was not the most sensible thing for Adagio to withhold, she didn’t have the most rational of reasons, and the consequences of her withholding it were bad, but I’d like to think that there is a reason for that particular misstep.

Adagio cheating on Rarity, even if it was "for" her, is still cheating. Which is a terrible thing to do.

Totally fair :twilightsmile: The intent behind the story was not for it to not be a terrible decision, because it absolutely was and I hope the narrative reflected that, but for Adagio to not have realized how terrible it was at the time--the prompt for the contest was not to excuse cheating, but to make it understandable and sympathetic, and I can see how I might have failed to accomplish that.

Thanks again for reading, and especially for commenting :twilightsmile:

Definitely a well done train wreck.

I really like the idea of them not understanding body language now they've lost their empathy, much more than the standard of their being mute.

I would definitely like to see a follow up where they at least recover enough to be friends again, even if they have a hard time trusting each other for awhile and can't try a relationship again. Or even better if they can understand it was an awful mistake and move past it. But Aria won't make that easy, of course.

9168024
Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it!

I must say, the idea of them going mute just never sat well with me. It feels like it’d be such a massive deal for them, losing their voices like that, that it just wouldn’t be a happy ending, and I’ve not seen many stories treat it with the gravitas I think it deserves.

Sorry, who’s the “they” you’re referring to? I can see Adagio eventually making up with Rarity and/or Sunset. As FanOfMostEverything said, nobody’s blaming Adagio for it but herself. Rarity and Sunset, though... I have a very hard time seeing them ever being friends again.

Anyway, sorry to disappoint, but I don’t see myself doing a follow-up to this anytime soon, if ever. Not to say there aren’t places it could go from here, but it’s far from a priority for me right now.

9168064
Yeah, the they was a bit ambiguous there wasn't it. I meant Rarity, Adagio, and Sunset sorting things out so they don't wind up hating each other. Too bad if Rarity won't be able to forgive Sunset, but so it goes.

Anyway, like I said, definitely enjoyed it.

9168076
Ah, right, okay. Yeah, I dunno, I could maybe see them sorting something out, but I don’t know if I can see Sunset and Rarity ever being on good terms. Especially not if Aria tries to mess things up (And she’s rather naughty, so you know she will).

9168082
Yeah, yeah she definitely would. Though once the figure it out that might also motivate them to be civil just for spite :p

Only one other thought, this was definitely one of the stories that was harder to read not because it was bad but because kept hitting really well written uncomfortable moments or you knew characters were about to do something really stupid.

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