• Member Since 11th Oct, 2011
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I'm older than your average brony, but then I've always enjoyed cartoons. I'm an experienced reviewer, EqD pre-reader, and occasional author.


This story is a sequel to My Past is Not Tonight, Either

Derpy is that one relentlessly happy person who never lets anything get her down. That’s one of the things Sunset most loves her for.

But lately, Derpy doesn’t look happy.

An entry in oroboro’s Sunset Shipping Contests: Endings.

Featured on Equestria Daily.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 25 )

Is this a two part?

Nope. This is it.

OH YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! You leaving it off as some cliff hanger where there no clear ending?!

It's not intended to be a cliffhanger. It's heavily implied what happened to both of them.

Yeah it crystal clear. they died or Didn't die!

Well yeah, those would be the two possibilities, but I don't think it's very ambiguous which, especially for Derpy. But if you need it spelled out, they both died.

Ouch, that ending. I have to say, I wasn't completely sure at first which one of them had died. I think it works better if it's both of them, though, so no complaints there.

That switch from past to present tense was gorgeous :raritystarry: I love how succinctly it captured the sudden shift in mood. Everything past then was pretty much one thrill after another.

Well it a a ultra sad tragic ending I give you that, wish you do one more chapter love to see how Prim handles losing her daughter and causing Sunset's death.

I think that's definitely an avenue that could be explored, though I don't have any plans to. By the way, did you edit your comment? The one I got through email notification was different. To both though, yes, Prim has to take responsibility for her share of this, but she didn't want it to happen. I'm sure you've met people like her in real life, who have trouble acknowledging and expressing affection, so they come across as hostile when they don't mean to be. And as also happens too often in real life, she's just tragically misinformed about what Derpy's going through so that she doesn't respond to it how she should have.

I know it sounds like waffling, but as I said in the author's note, I see this more as a cautionary tale of what could have happened, not what actually did. I'm just not someone who likes downer endings much, but the contest provisions seemed to be begging for it, particularly a couple of oroboro's responses to them:
can the relationship end due to death? yes
can it be Sunset's death? you monster, but yes
then my mind immediately goes to having both die.

I once tried a tense shift long ago, and I got yelled at for it. To a degree, some readers are just immediately going to assume it's an editing mistake, and that's probably why my first attempt didn't go over so well: I just flipped to present after a scene break. Here, I at least transitioned it a little more gradually in hopes readers would notice and catch on. The best way to put something in that might be seen as a mistake is to pretty explicitly acknowledge that the author knows it's there, after all. Glad it worked for you,

And I will definitely be checking out your entry. I love your takes on Sunset and Adagio and—hey, wait, you didn't ship those? Heh. Now Rarity does seem like another character right up your alley, sly and intelligent like your Sunset and Adagio are.

I... would say the gradualness helped, because it seems like it would, but rereading it now, the first switch to present actually happens earlier than I thought it did. The first time I read it, I only noticed the change when I got to a full paragraph of present tense. But I think the consistency of it helped, too, since it's really hard for me to picture a generally competent writer switching tenses for more than a word or maybe a sentence at a time.

Thanks for your interest in my entry! I hope you'll let me know what you thought of it if you read it :twilightsmile:

you didn't ship those?

Nothing can compare to the raw existential agony that came with posting a story with not a single fluffy, lovable siren in sight :raritydespair:

But no, I did not. I thought about it, but my entry for last year--which I really, really like--had Sunset and Adagio breaking up, and I just wasn't sure I could think of a better premise, not when this year's prompt would force me to split them up again. Rarity is definitely my favorite of the mane cast, yeah--in no small part because she can manage some of the same larger-than-life theatrics that make writing Adagio such a joy.

Denial is still denial, and it the end when she needed to step up for her daughter she failed.
My family dealt with depression before, we didn't assume everything be fine, we worked hard at helping our love one, it was a hard road, and painful and left scars but we faced it.

It's different when you know what you're supposed to do, though. Prim doesn't, not until Sunset tells her.

Dang, it really was seamless. I didn't even notice, I was completely with Sunset the whole time, emotionally.

Wow. This feels like an ultimate challenge for me. Can you kill both Derpy and Sunset and still get FoME to like the story?

And the answer, as it turns out, is yes. Devastating portrayal of depression getting its claws in deep, and the kind of unthinking, rapid action that has caused so much wonder and grief for Sunset over the years. Brilliantly done, you monster. Best of luck in the judging, and thank you for explicitly saying how this is merely one potential future of many for these two.

Two of my favorite characters, too. What kind of terrible person would do this to them?


I've been debating whether or not to comment on this story for a few days, now, but I've come to the conclusion that I owe it to myself and to the author to share my thoughts. I'm going to preface this by admitting that I have... first-hand experience with the subject matter, let's say, so perhaps being objective is off the table.

I really disliked this fic. For a number of reasons.

On a general scale it felt very... almost bland? to me. It felt very much like an archetypal "suicide drama", the kind you see in the new column with some frequency. I feel like the entirety of the plot is given away purely in the tags. I didn't find the characterizations of the main characters particularly engaging; the end result of the plot felt inevitable. Ditzy in particular feels like a construct whose only real flaw is her depression and her own perceived self-worth, rather than a real person struggling with the affliction. But perhaps that is only because of the story's narrator being Sunset. Likewise, Sunset didn't really feel like Sunset to me, either.

The depiction of depression in the story, while accurate symptom-wise, felt similarly shallow. Again, I may be too close to this, and again this is perhaps not so bad given the POV character is an outside observer, but in this the idea of depression that comes across is... not very nuanced, and very rushed. It takes a long time to erode someone's will to live; here, it feels like Ditzy goes from feeling normal to wanting to kill herself in a week or so (this may not be the actual time frame, but with the rapid pacing of the story this is what it feels like). Ditzy also doesn't act depressed, really, before shutting herself in her room? She acts moreso openly insecure, which can be part of it, but... I don't know. It feels like there's a lot of finer details to this condition and the way people suffering from it act which are simply not present here. The opening text was good, though. Again, I understand that this is depression as seen from an outside observer through Sunset, but frankly it just doesn't feel right by my own experience.

In terms of actual writing, the prose itself felt kind of clunky, overall, and the two main metaphors presented in the story both seemed to fail to find their way home. The lily comes full circle, but is generally somewhat forgettable, and the wings completely fail to have any sort of payoff, which is strange for how prominent they are (and, perhaps, how easily they could have been pulled into the ending, given their other common symbolic use).

Speaking of the ending... I think that may have been what I disliked the most. Not because the two main characters died, but moreso because it seems tacked on for the sole sake of making the audience sad. What purpose does killing off Sunset serve, here? The only thematic throughline that is presented in the fic that it could be relevant to (that I saw, at least) is the idea of neglect: that the people in Ditzy's life haven't been doing enough for her. But if that's the case, then why is Sunset, the only character to actually do anything, killed off at the end? The story is marked tragedy, but what flaw of Sunset's is it supposed to be that led to her own tragic conclusion? Reckless driving? What purpose does any of this serve?

Ultimately, I was just... really disappointed. I've been impressed by your work in the past, Pascoite (the whole reason I read this was that I saw it was by you, and I saw the surprisingly low rating, and I wanted to know what had happened), but this just left me feeling empty. Maybe it just missed the mark for me. Maybe I just missed the point. I don't know.

In any case, sorry for clogging up your comment section with my overly-long ramblings, and best of luck.

I don't have a lot to say in response, but there are a few things that I feel are off the mark. One, that you were surprised to see a low rating on the story. That's mostly symptomatic of the tags. Seriously, go look up the contest folder for this and see how surprisingly low the vote ratios are for even the really good authors there. Aragon? Aquaman? Is there any chance his entry deserves to barely crack a 3:1 ratio? The fact that the contest required a relationship to end just set up most of the stories to be downvote bait, and we all went into it knowing that. Any marked with the tragedy or death tags fared particularly poorly, and numerous authors who like to write those genres will tell you it's just the price of admission they have to suffer through. ROBCakeran53 was just discussing that with me not long ago. And frankly, there are other reasons people give knee-jerk downvotes. I usually get at least 2 just because I'm the author and a couple more just for making the feature box. Under the circumstances, I don't find the voting alarmingly low on this.

I will say that I don't think it's fair to ding a story for being spoiled by the tags. It's not my fault I have to tag it with those, as I would have much rather kept those as surprises. If the synopsis gives it away, then that's on me. There are a lot of people who wish trigger tags could be spoilered, and then only people who get triggered badly enough to want to see the full tag set would ruin the surprise for themselves. There's no way to evaluate how you would have seen the story differently without them giving away the ending.

The wing metaphor was incorporated throughout the story, even into the final scene. They weren't explicitly mentioned, but Sunset does keep referring to the feeling of flight and soaring.

I think it's a dangerous thing to apply too much of a personal experience to this and expect it to match up. Different people experience depression in very different ways, and odds are it's not going to mirror your own. As a reader, I wouldn't require it to, unless it goes against pretty universally factual things.

On the other hand, personal experience can be a dangerous thing to write from. It really depends. This is pretty close to my own experiences with depression, so by definition, I don't think anyone can call it inaccurate, but here comes the other edge of the sword: it can be hard to convey the depth of an experience when so much of the personal investment is tied up in having been through it rather than having a more external view. I see this a lot in stories where an author has written something inspired by the death of a pet, for instance. It's hard to become invested in it because it takes knowing and caring about that pet as a given instead of building it up.

I don't know what you mean by clunky writing, since the only thing you mentioned was the two main metaphors, and I've already talked about that. I was hoping you'd elaborate on that somewhere, as it's a pretty broad thing to say when you're only backing it up with one specific point.

As to overall quality... eh, it's not one of my better stories. I had a couple of things I wanted to try with it, mostly to see if I could pull off the tense change. I don't like it that much myself, but I won't go into why, since that would require digging back to the prequel. I liked the idea, but I lost interest in it halfway through. I still felt obligated to finish it, so it wouldn't feel like wasted effort. While I'd never half-ass completing it, which would be very disrespectful to readers, it's still hard to give something that oomph when your heart's not in it.


19 (now 20) upvotes is low for a popular, well-known author with 1000+ followers, I meant. Regardless, it's simply what made me click.

I'm not dinging it for spoilers, I'm dinging it because the plot is predictable enough that it can be immediately gleaned from the tags.

I recognize that the wing metaphor is carried throughout the fic, but I can't point to any point where it actually pays off in any dramatic fashion.

I understand that our experiences with depression may not be analogous. However, my issue with the depiction here is not with accuracy, but with depth. By what your comment has said it seems as though you kept the portrayal of Ditzy's experience with depression largely surface-level in order to try and make it relatable; I feel that you have accomplished the exact opposite. It's the little things about how people react to and act under the condition that make it (and the character it is affecting) feel real and nuanced. The fact that by what you've written I would have assumed you did not have any experience with the subject matter is telling, perhaps (and my condolences for that experience, by the way). But then I did preface the comment by saying that being objective was likely off the table with this subject.


Everything you've said about the supposed dangers of putting too much of yourself and your own experience into your work I vehemently disagree with. I am of the belief that it is by channeling our own experiences and emotions as authors that we make our fiction better reflect our reality. The issue with the scenario you cite is not the usage of personal experience, it is a lack of understanding of the craft; using the death of a pet for inspiration is in no way exclusive to knowing how to build up an emotional attachment. If this story that is meant to be about intense, personal emotions is the end result of such a philosophy, then I now understand why I couldn't enjoy it.

Author Interviewer

Now you need to write the other sequel. :B

There are infinitely many.

Author Interviewer

Romance with infinite Sunsets?

That's not a particularly low upvote count for a story these days, especially one with unpopular tags. Look at my last 5 stories: 21, 30, 27, 47, 59. I have to go back 6 stories to find one with over 100. I'll refer you again to Aquaman's entry in the same event. He has over 1000 followers. 14:4 voting on a story with suicide, death, and tragedy tags is not that surprising these days, even for him.

The only tags you can glean the story from are the ones I'd rather not have to put on it. If all it said was [Romance][Drama], you really would have pegged that as the outcome? There's obviously no way to say for sure now, but that's hard to believe.

Thematic links don't have to pay off in a dramatic fashion. I don't know why you think they do. Sometimes they're just atmospheric.

The last bit is not as black and white. The issue I see with personal death-of-a-pet stories isn't that the author has no idea how to write it effectively. I mean, that does happen, but not at any higher a rate than for stories in general. The thing is that the author feels it so sharply that they assume it's being communicated to a reader as well as it is to the author, and even good authors fall into that trap, sometimes because they're deliberately trying to tone it down and not be so over the top about it. That's why I usually recommend getting someone else to read it and see what they get out of it. Alas, I personally felt it was against the spirit of the competition to do so in this case, but that was my risk to take.

When I was reading this, I wasn't sure what to think.
Partly it was the characterization and feeling like I was walking partway into a story (enough to a bit disorienting, but certainly manageable), but it was also just odd at times. Some of that is because I never quite bought into their relationship as being genuine, it lacked a certain depth which kept it feeling like a high school romance (which is admittedly appropriate, but lacking).
What really caught my attention and had me desperate to read more was the final part of Sunset getting those last texts (which was so sad and felt so real as they got worse and worse, that part hit harder than I'd have expected) and then of her grabbing Derpy and riding off to the hospital on a motorbike.
You did a great job there, because from the get-go I knew this was probably going to end poorly, it was just a really dumb idea only an overly emotional and headstrong teenager would make, but as you took us on that journey with Sunset, I was waiting with baited breath to see what happened. And then one thing happened after another and she was getting close--the lights were green, the hospital was just there, and it was *so close!*
But of course we have that ending. Damn.
I know you have it in your comments that they both die, but it's just ambiguous enough that I can imagine Derpy might survive if given immediate treatment (and being limp might have actually helped, from what I've heard). Otherwise it's just so needlessly tragic and pointless, it's just such a downer of an ending with no redeeming factors, no silver lining, and damn that's hard.
Still, I enjoyed this, I actually thought the depiction of depression was good (speaking as someone who hasn't experienced it). It was understated, with enough hints that this wasn't just out of nowhere, and Derpy did a good job hiding it. That's the scariest thing, to me.

Have an upvote, and good luck!

Now that I know who you are, it's always funny seeing where you pop up!

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