• Member Since 29th Jul, 2012
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This story is a sequel to Noradrenaline

Sunset Shimmer is not a good person. She knows this.

She may be better than she was, she may have learned how to help rather than hurt, but she’s far from perfect. The scars lining her arms? She’s earned them. She deserves them.

But that doesn’t mean that someone else deserves the same.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 17 )

Stress raises Cortisol. Cortisol increases body-fat. Relacore helps reduce belly-fat. You NEED Relacore!'

There's more than one chapter??????? wtffffffff GIVE IT TO ME

Anyway this is great. I can see you took a few cues from Dave re: describing outfits, which is a really nice touch. Beyond that, there's so much that goes unspoken in this chapter, but it's all still clearly there between the lines. Like the words alone have more than enough meaning, but if the reader really thinks about what's going on, it's like piecing together a puzzle in story form, and it all comes together in the best possible way. Love it.

ok but for real GIMME

You'd better believe it! I aim to try something at least slightly different with each story. This time it's multiple chapters, and that means everyone's favourite: Cliffhangers.

Oh my word. You're absolutely spot-on, spotting Dave's influence there. I wanted to include that bit of foreshadowing somehow, and well, what better way than stealing someone else's narrative techniques?

It's really uplifting to hear that what's been omitted plot-wise still makes sense when pieced together - one of my concerns was how to tie it into the first two stories while now understanding more of the canon material. Good to hear it hasn't come across as a mess, honestly.

And fear not, if all goes well you won't be waiting too long...

If this story doesn't have them at the very least hold hands in a homosexual manner, I am going to destroy the UK. I'm half Irish, don't fuck with me on this.

On another note, I love the slow burn of this. It feels so genuine, and more than a little familiar. I guess it can be pretty liberating to be around someone who makes one's greatest source of shame and self-loathing into a casual, even ironically humorous topic. I think I'm starting to understand where this story comes from now.

One of the things i really enjoyed about a multi-chapter format was exactly the ability to have that slow burn, to be able to call back to past scenes and let the themes of dwelling and rumination show through, perhaps a bit more than the prequels since they only focused on a single scene.

And, as always, it's great to hear that it comes across as genuine. For such a sensitive topic, and especially where both characters sometimes do the 'wrong' thing (Sunset's outburst, Wallflower's assumptions in the first chapter), it's always a fine line to walk to have them make those mistakes and come out of it stronger, without either coming across as preachy or doing a disservice to the topic itself.

I am going to destroy the UK.

Welp we had a great good okay mediocre run, eh.

Having read the other two previous stories just for understanding this one, it makes me happy that this is the first truly positive ending they have.

Sunset's right. It's a start. A very important start. And even if she falls back at some moment or other, she has to remember this first start. That first moment when she saw a bit of clarity through the fog of depression and self-loathing. That she recognized the lies she had told herself over and over.

Great job here.

And if anyone else tried to say that to her? I think I’d kick their teeth in.


This is excellent lesbian foreshadowing and if you deny it I will send an army of cats to poop on your pillow.


I remember the first time I had the urge to hurt myself, put the razor to my skin, then pulled it away minutes later without doing anything. This chapter perfectly captures the intensely confusing and self-contradictory feelings I had that night.

I wasn't proud. I wasn't happy. I didn't feel good about myself or feel like I was better or that I ever would be. But I felt something, something small and fragile and precious that I knew, even if I couldn't identify it, that I had to acknowledge it was real. That little seed of self-worth took years to finally bloom into something sturdy, and even then I cut it down to size more than a few times. But the seed was always there, and as long as I acknowledged that, I never felt like I'd given up on myself.

That's what this story is about, more than anything, I think. Learning not to give up on yourself, because you can't bring yourself to give up on someone else. Caring about someone else is so much easier than caring about yourself, but the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. After all, we're all just someone else to someone else. Caring about someone else is still caring for someone, and that's enough to start.

Being strong enough to care about yourself doesn't always feel like strong. It's a not towering, immutable sense of self-worth, but it's not the opposite of that either. It's something in the middle, something that takes nurturing and resilience to see it grow, but it has so much potential to change Sunset's life, and Wally's life after that, and then they are going to wind up together and get married or you will suffer the monumental consequences of your sins.

Anyway. Good story. It reminds me of where I've been and makes me all the more grateful and proud of where I am now.

It's kinda interesting how the thing that finally helped Sunset break through the fog was the fact that she met someone who has similar problems, the fact that she isn't the only one like this, rather than somebody empathizing.

"But I've learned so much! I can feel the Force something outside of self-inflicted Clarity*!"
"But you cannot control it. This is a delicate time for you."
* - 'Clarity' as a euphemism, naturally

This is a solid installment in your series -- it shows us the beginning to moving forward and some reasons why and how. Good work.

I never thought this series would get another sequel but I love that it did

Wow. Thanks so much for reading the previous entries to get the whole story, that's really thoughtful. I tried to make this at least accessible to those who haven't, but naturally, there'll be a lot of finer detail and context missing in that case.

"Positive" ending is a nice way of putting it, because one of my goals for Cortisol was specifically "don't give it a happy ending". And I hope you didn't find it happy in the traditional sense, but... yeah, you're right - positive. Hopeful.

Thanks for the comment.

It's nice to hear that you picked up on that. One of the things I find myself doing a lot in fanfics is breaking down a cliché I've seen all too often - that dramatically (and often forcibly) confronting someone about self-harm is a fantastic way of helping and then everyone was friends and everything was better.

I guess this time, I tried to break apart that cliché in a positive way, by potentially showing that 'help' can come from, as you mentioned, true empathy instead of confrontation or surface-level sympathy. Thanks.

Okay, welp I think I'm gonna have to steal "clarity" for my own degenerate uses, thanks for that!

And thanks for your comment as well, particularly that it's as much about the why as it is the fact that Sunset, as you mentioned, is beginning to move forward.

Honestly, that's really sweet to hear, thanks very much. Man, I never would've thought that people would actually be wanting a sequel to some vain projection piece from two years ago.


This is excellent lesbian foreshadowing

Hahaaa, man, trust you to take the one part of the story that could possibly be interpreted in that way and bring it to its insane fanatic natural and logical conclusion, bloody fantastic :rainbowlaugh:

…I think I need an ‘ahem’ of my own now.

So first off, I must apologise for taking so long to reply. I actually had to build myself up to respond because this is honestly one of the most meaningful things that anyone’s ever commented on something of mine. Beyond just the thoughtful and thought-provoking comment, it means a lot because I see a lot of myself in those first two (serious) paragraphs, and it means a lot to hear it from someone else’s perspective. Kudos for having the bravery to confront and share it.

This chapter perfectly captures the intensely confusing and self-contradictory feelings I had that night.

It’s a pretty thin veil that the section you’re talking about is basically me projecting hard enough to show off PowerPoint slides. So on that note, even through the self-imposed stigma, the discomfort, the feeling that I ‘should’ve’ felt like overcoming the urge was a victory, the sense of shame and failure that I would still go to bed stressed and worn out… your reassurance that I wasn’t alone in those feelings – and that somehow I managed to put them into words that you could relate to – is genuinely, deeply uplifting in a way that surface-level positivity can’t reach.

And I think ‘not giving up on yourself’ is a great interpretation, a great way of summing up the series. Of (slowly, and with great difficulty) learning to embrace and work with the often conflicting and self-demeaning feelings that come with struggles of self-worth and self-harm. Of recognising that progress is still progress, even and especially when it doesn’t feel like it.

Of course, because this is me, I had to throw a few curveballs in there as well, try to smack down some of the clichés when a story includes someone who, sarcastic quotes, ‘helps’. It was honestly pretty fun, and at times almost felt like a reversal of the standard Sad Sunset/Sad Wallflower interaction.

That’s a hard-hitting thought, about caring about someone else. Because you’re spot-on about it being easier, and you’re spot-on about how it can boost one’s own self-esteem in turn, when managed well with adequate self-care. You nailed it in your own comment: It’s enough to start.

Thanks again for the comments throughout this, and you should be damn proud of where you are now. I’m proud of you as well.

Yeah, I didn't want to say a 'happy ending' because I know this isn't the happy ending, but the first step on the long road to one.

Mine was secluding myself for a week and painfully convincing that voice in my head that I shouldn't be angry for failing to live up to others' expectations of me. And that was after a full year of mental health care.

There's never an easy solution to things like this, and that's what makes these first steps so important. Even if they don't seem like it. Even if they feel like the opposite.

And I'm glad you're showing it with these stories.

Thank you.


I know this isn't the happy ending, but the first step on the long road to one.

What a wonderful way of putting it, that is just poetry. I might have to steal that for myself, actually.

You're bang-on about there not being an easy solution, and honestly I appreciate you mentioning it - basically the main reason I even started this series was in an attempt to convey that message (as well as the shameless projection, of course).

So thank you, and it's good to hear that you were able to convince that little niggling voice of your inherent self-worth; I've no doubt it was achieved through your own grit and determination. I've no doubt that there have been times when it's tried its damndest to pull you back down again, too, but... well, you put it perfectly.

You took the first step.

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