Thursday, August 3, 2017

Species Dissonance (MLP:FiM + EG)

I did warn you that Sunset Shimmer fanfiction might appear at some point, granted I wasn't really expecting it to be so soon or to skip the entire story just to address a point about . . . yeah.  So, anyway, I have this fragment.

Things it would be useful to know:
  • Sunset Shimmer was a unicorn pony in Equestria but then spent her teenage years as a human in ??? (definitely not the earth we know since skin and hair color match My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fur and mane colors which are generally not real life human colors.)
  • Luna is an apparently immortal co-ruler of Equestria, god of night, and can visit the ponies of Equestria in their dreams.  She's what the series calls an alicorn: she has the wings of a Pegasus, the horn of a unicorn, and the *mumble mumble* of a non-Pegasus non-unicorn pony (called an "earth pony".)
  • Both Luna and Sunset originally appeared as villains until Twilight Sparkle, with the help of five friends, slammed them with the rainbow magic of friendship which instantly reformed them but didn't help so much with aftereffects of being evil like feeling guilt or being shunned.
  • The following takes place while the two are in Equestria (pony form both) and sharing a picnic with each other.

* * *

Luna leaned forward, into what would have been a wonderfully romantic first kiss if Sunset had met her in the middle instead of jerking backward.

Luna pulled back herself, "I'm sorry, I thought . . ."

It isn't often one sees their immortal god-pony ruler at a flustered loss for words, but this had been bound to happen eventually.  Sunset had known that it would, just as she'd known the right thing to do would have been to keep their relationship from ever reaching this point.  She'd just felt too drawn to Luna to keep an appropriate distance.

"It's not--" no, wrong words.  Sunset tried again, "You didn't do anything wrong, it's just that I . . ." how exactly could she explain this?

There was a long, very awkward, silence.

Sunset sighed.

"It would be easier to show you," Sunset said.  "Could you visit my dreams tonight?"

"I could," Luna said.

Sunset closed her eyes and nodded.

"Please do that," Sunset said.  "I can show you my problem --mine, not yours-- and you'll at least know that nothing is your fault."

"I will," Luna said. "However, I do not believe you have done anything wrong."

"There are things I should have told you," Sunset said.  "But I was . . . I'll just show you tonight.  Thank you for the chance."

It was tense as the two ponies finished their food, Sunset felt she'd ruined the picnic and royally-- nope, wrong choice of words.  Massively screwed everything up.

Luna would probably hate her when she learned that Sunset had known from the beginning that the relationship couldn't work, but Sunset considered that . . . acceptable, if it meant Luna knew that she wasn't at fault.

* * *

Sunset's dreams were only somewhat visual, a lot of it was made of thought-stuff and abstraction.  She didn't necessarily see that Twilight was over there so much as have a feeling indicating that the concept of "Twilight Sparkle" was located in the concept of "over there".  What was visual didn't really mesh well with itself as her mind tried to construct a world from the perspective of a human and of a pony at the same time.  She'd never really noticed how disjointed it could be before.

Things, though, were coming into a sharper focus than they ever had before.

Then other people, human and pony alike, started fading away and she became aware of another presence in this world.  She glanced down at her own body, noted her hands, and then focused on the other presence.

Soon she and Princess Luna were face to face and everything other than the two of them had drifted away into insignificance.

"I'm seeing a human form, I presume," Luna said.

"You're seeing me," Sunset said.  "I may have been born in Equestria, but I finished growing up as a human in the human world.

"This is who I am."

"I see," Luna said.

"It doesn't bother me to be in a pony body," Sunset said, "but being human has left other marks on me.  I . . . I'm only attracted to other humans." Sunset looked away so she wouldn't have to see Luna's reaction. "I want to love you." That wasn't right. "I do love you," that was right, "but I can't find a pony attractive.  I just . . . there's nothing there."

Sunset looked at her feet, in her shoes.  Her very human feet.  "I can tell that you're beautiful, but I don't feel anything.  I wish that I could control my attraction, because I love you and I want the same kind of relationship you seem to want, but I can't.  I'm just . . ."

Luna said nothing.

"Unless you have one Hell of a strange kink that happens to be incredibly useful as part of a vanishingly unlikely coincidence, there's no way a relationship between us can work and I am so, so sorry for leading you on," Sunset said.

There was silence.

Luna finally broke it by asking, "Are you finished?"

Sunset nodded.

"Please look at me."

Sunset looked at the majestic blue Alicorn with starlight in her mane and tail.  Beautiful, but Sunest felt no attraction.  Luna was just a pretty a pony, no different than a pretty duck, a pretty squid, or a pretty flower as far as Sunset's human-conditioned libido was concerned.

"Perhaps what matters," Luna said, "is not what kink I have, but what I'm willing to do for the one I love."  Luna's form melted away and was replaced by a young woman --college age, like Sunset-- with skin the color of Luna's fur and hair like a starlit night, the same as Luna's mane had been.

Sunset worried a bit that Luna hadn't really come to visit her and this was merely a good dream.  Still either way the correct response was to treat it as real.

"You--" Sunset tried, and failed, to start.  "You're really ok with . . . with taking on a human form for me?" Sunset asked.

"I don't pretend to know if this will work," Luna said, "but I am willing to try."

Luna took a step forward and the world around them sprang from nothing to a perfect memory of their picnic as it had been when Luna had leaned in for a kiss.

"Now," Luna asked.  "Where were we?"

The kiss was something Sunset could happily spend eternity feeling.

When they broke off, Luna said, "If the real world is this good, our next date should be in the human world."

"And if it isn't?" Sunset asked.

"We'll always have dreams," Luna said.

"I love you," Sunset said before kissing Luna again.

* * *

It wasn't long after Sunset woke up that there was knocking on her door.  She opened it to find Luna, pony-Luna not dream-Luna, standing just outside.

"I'm very busy today, and will not be able to spend time with you," Luna said, "but you requested I verify that what happened last night was more than just a dream."

* *
* * *
* *

Ok, so . . . canonically Twilight Sparkle has no problem switching from pony-attraction to human-attraction in a real hurry, because what would a movie be if it didn't have an awkward semi-romantic subplot?  (Better.  It would be better.)

That said, I'm not really on board with the idea that jumping through a magical portal rewrites what you're attracted to so that it matches the dominant species in the dimension.  I'm not entirely sure why I'm not on board with that idea given the other out-there things that I have absolutely no problem accepting as part of the story universe, but I'm just not on board.

If we flip things and have Sunset, who is presented as almost exclusively human in spite of her pony origins, go to Equestria I'd can definitely see her looking at ponies the way an average human does: with zero lust.

Luna being a dreamwalker presents the possibility of dealing with the problems that would create in a romantic relationship in a novel way.  Where I took the story allowed me present Luna as someone who isn't tied to a specific way of how a body should be either in terms of her own identity or in terms of her lover's form.  Granted Twilight Sparkle's experiences in the Equestria Girls movies try to set that up as default, but I feel would be a good deal rarer.

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