Address Unknown is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic written by Remedy and published on FIMFiction. It is a shipping fic, focused on Twilight Sparkle and Ditzy "Derpy" Doo.Sometimes you just have a bad day. But for Derpy Hooves, it seems like every day gets worse than before. Her whole life she has been seen as nothing but a rolling disaster. She's seen as a clueless, quirky, messed up pony, simply due to her walleyed disability. How can she possibly hope to erase the stereotypes she was assigned? For Derpy, it's impossible. Impossible, that is, until she chances into a certain purple unicorn. Will this meeting be yet another failure, or could it be the opportunity she's been looking for to turn her world around?
Address Unknown features examples of
Benevolent Boss: Post Haste, Derpy's boss at the Ponyville Postal Service, who wastes no time in offering her a job after Crafty Crate fires her for the accident Twilight caused, and makes it clear that he has considerably more tolerance for mistakes that Crafty, who he openly despises.
He shows a similar kind of support to individual customers - because he believes that Fluttershy's mail being delivered by Mr. Zippy may be an unpleasant reminder of a previous encounter with him, he asks Derpy take over that portion of his route, after learning of her relationship with Twilight.
Beware the Nice Ones: Fluttershy, as usual, when she sees two Cloudsdale mailponies bullying Derpy for her clumsiness.
Blank White Eyes: Derpy, after Twilight screws up the spell that was supposed to fix them. It doesn't last, thankfully.
Brain Bleach: Rainbow Dash wishes her head came with an unsee button, mentally noting that "Derpy plus Twilight should NOT equal that mess on the floor".
The Caretaker: Rainbow Dash is temporarily forced into this role after Derpy is accidentally blinded by Twilight's spell. She's resentful at first, but it leads to them burying the hatchet.
Cast From Lifespan: The spell that Twilight uses at the end to fix Derpy's eyes requires her to permanently donate some of her magic to keep the spell going. Twilight agrees to it, but not without Derpy's informed consent.
Celibate Hero: Spike thinks Twilight is this, being so invested in her studies that she'd never be interested in romance. He's wrong, as he discovers when he walks in on her kissing Derpy.
Character Development: With help from Twilight and Post Haste, Derpy's self-confidence in her job improves, and as their relationship continues she starts to show a playful, teasing side around Twilight.
Cordon Bleugh Chef: Pinkie is in an experimental mood, using ingredients such as mustard and oyster sauce as flavouring agents in her confectionary. Twilight was supposed to be her taste-tester before her collision with Derpy, and she sends Spike to take her place.
Crash into Hello: Twilight runs over Derpy while rushing out of the library, scattering her mailbag into the mud.
Distant Finale: The epilogue takes place a few months after Twilight permanently fixed Derpy's eyes, by which point the two have just gotten engaged.
Drama Queen: When Twilight contemplates coming out to her friends, she imagines a ridiculous worst-case scenario for how they're going to react. It involves Rarity spreading the news and ruining her reputation, Rainbow Dash's work and speed training suffering from depression over loss of faith in her friend, resulting in miserable weather all year round, Fluttershy becoming a Hikiko Mori and becoming negligent in caring for animals, resulting in them spreading diseases all over Ponyville, Applejack banning her from Sweet Apple Acres, Cheerilee banning her from the schoolground, her students avoiding the library, resulting in reduced literacy rates, and Pinkie Pie being thrown into depression when nopony shows up for the New Marefriends party she'd inevitably throw for them. She gets a grip on herself by the time she gets back to Ponyville, though.
Even Jerks Have Standards: Admittedly it comes after Rainbow has resolved to stop being a jerk to Derpy, but her authentic outrage at Crafty Crate monitoring Derpy's first shift on probation so he could fire her at the first opportunity, regardless of whose fault it was, comes across as this.
Eye Scream: Celestia tells Derpy in detail about the horrific damage Twilight's spell could have done to her eyes.
Finagle's Law: The spell Twilight finds to fix Derpy's exotropia has to be cast several times before it becomes permanent, and any mistake could cause serious damage. In addition, the scroll she finds it on is very old, badly damaged and almost illegible without a lot of effort. So when she tries it on Derpy in Chapter 10, it ends up blinding her entirely. However, her vision has returned by the following morning, and Rarity manages to pinpoint Twilight's mistake - though the spell continues to be enough of a risk for Celestia to ban her from using it.
Harmful to Minors: In Chapter 9 Rainbow Dash and Applejack sensibly attempt to keep Spike away from the library while Twilight and Derpy are alone together. He gets back just in time to see them making out, but it could have been worse, as the two had sex while he was out.
Heel Realization: Rainbow Dash in Chapter 13, after realising how much she's contributed to Derpy's life of misery. She tearfully apologises in Chapter 14:
Rainbow Dash: Iím sorry for everything that Iíve ever done to you, since the day I first met you. I never gave you a chance, I never got to know you, I just joined in the crowd making fun of you, and itís only gotten worse since. You never deserved any of it, and if I had only stood up for you, your life may have been so much happier. Thatís why Iím sorry, and why Iím asking for your forgiveness. Iím apologizing for years of undeserved misery for you that Iíve been an eager part of.
To a lesser extent, Applejack, who jumps to the conclusion (based on a vague summons from Spike, who didn't have all the facts) that Derpy has hurt Twilight, and launches into an angry accusation when she arrives at the library, before seeing Derpy's eyes and realising that Twilight was responsible. She immediately feels ashamed of herself and apologises.
Twilight, after her rampage in the library, when she realises that her anger wasn't on behalf of Derpy - who had accepted Celestia's decision to stop their use of the spell - but because she was trying to shirk her guilt at risking Derpy's life and using Celestia as a scapegoat.
Irrational Hatred: Both Rainbow Dash and Applejack hold the Town Hall incident against Derpy, the latter because of how much pressure she was under to earn the money to repair it and how the situation almost alienated her from her friends.. She admits to herself that it's a petty reason for dislike and tries to put it aside once she recognises Twilight's feelings for her.
Jerkass: Crafty Crate, along with two unnamed Cloudsdale mailponies. Rainbow Dash crosses her usual line a few times, bluntly telling Derpy that she finds the idea of sitting at her place all day painful enough, but she gets better.
The Klutz: Derpy, as in canon, though she gets better once she's on solid ground And then worse, after Twilight's spell to fix her eyes leaves her having to adapt to walking with normal vision.
Lethal Chef: Rainbow Dash is a downplayed example. She's not as bad as Sweetie Belle (the liquified burnt toast incident is mentioned), or someotherversions of herself, but her attempt at making pancakes for Derpy doesn't go well. Derpy as well (likewise downplayed), thanks to her lack of coordination. She gets better in the epilogue, with help from Pinkie Pie and Spike.
Mean Boss: Crafty Crate, the head of the Cloudsdale Mail Delivery Service, who belittles Derpy at every turn, putting her on probation and telling her that permanent demotion to ground delivery is the best she can hope for. Worse, he fires her over an accident that Twilight was fully responsible for and gleefully badmouths her to Post Haste. We later learn that he had also grossly underpaid her, though admittedly she hadn't shown her full talent for mail delivery before her transfer to Ponyville.
Mood Whiplash: In chapter 20 Derpy returns to the library after successfully befriending Fluttershy and Applejack to find Twilight Burning with Anger. In the following chapter, Derpy reads Princess Celestia's letter, which abruptly shifts from congratulating Twilight on her new relationship and expressing her interest in the mystery of Derpy's Cutie Mark to admonishing her for using such a dangerous spell and ordering her to hand over all her information on it.
No Sympathy: Played with, as Rainbow Dash continues to resent Derpy after the latter has been temporarily blinded by a mistake Twilight made with a spell that was supposed to fix her eyes, arguing to herself that Twilight wouldn't have gone looking for the spell if Derpy hadn't "pressured" her into it. It's a case of Rainbow trying to resist letting go of her grudge and acknowledging her responsibility for contributing to Derpy's miserable childhood, which she stops doing over the next couple of chapters.
Nocturnal Emission: A rare female example from Twilight, who falls asleep while researching possible solutions to Derpy's exotropia and has an Erotic Dream involving her. When she wakes up, she fails to notice the big mess on the floor and rushes to Canterlot, leaving Spike to clean up. When Rainbow Dash comes by, she recognises the smell for what it is.
Not So Different: Rainbow Dash realises this about Derpy and Fluttershy, which fuels her Heel Realisation. Derpy herself has one when she reacts to Rainbow's apology with the same irrational anger and scorn that Rainbow has long shown her, then sees that Rainbow's dejection at realisng the pain she's caused to Derpy mirrors her own. This prompts her to forgive her.
Oh Crap: Twilight's reaction when she returns to the library and realises she can smell the results of last night's erotic dream. And again when Rainbow Dash makes it clear that she knows who got Twilight riled up.
Punishment Detail: Derpy's reassignment to Ponyville, as Pegasus mailponies see ground deliveries as humiliating.
Reformed, But Rejected: Subverted, as Derpy very briefly reacts with cynical anger at Rainbow Dash's apology before looking at her and recognising that she sincerely hates herself for what she's done. She hugs her and accepts her offer to start over.
Room Full of Crazy: Derpy decorates her room with eye charts from her numerous visits to opticians over the years. Rainbow Dash describes it as thought-provoking in daytime, but creepy at night. It becomes a plot point when Derpy wakes up the morning after Twilight's disastrous attempt at fixing her eyes (temporarily blinding her) and realises that not only can she see again, she can see the top rows of letters clearer than ever.
Sweet and Sour Grapes: Derpy chooses to sacrifice her chance at a risky spell that would have fixed her eyes for the sake of Twilight's relationship with Celestia, and says repeatedly that she can live with permanent disability as long as she has Twilight and the rest of the Mane Six as friends. Soon after, Celestia comes to the library with a much safer spell, and she gladly accepts it after discussing the possible repercussions with Twilight.
Title Drop: In Chapter 4, after Twilight agrees to do some research into magic that might fix her eyes:
Derpy: You know, occasionally when Iím delivering mail I get a letter addressed to a place that doesnít exist; maybe somepony moved, or maybe somepony miswrote the address. When we get those letters, we just send them back to where they came from and move on to the next destination. There is nothing we can do in the Post Office to make that address appear. Maybe that same thing will happen with fixing my eyes. Maybe there is no answer; maybe there is no fix. It doesnít mean we canít look, but if itís not there, then itís just an 'address unknown'. We accept it, we move on. And then I can move on, too.
Took a Level in Kindness: Rainbow Dash, after she spends the night at Derpy's house and is forced to confront her partial responsibility for Derpy's lifelong misery. Applejack as well, who rushes into the library ready to make good on her If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her... speech before realisng it was Twilight who hurt Derpy.
She gets over it during the epilogue when she asks Pinkie for help learning to cook. Shortly afterwards, she finds out that Applejack was to blame for them.
Unishment: Zigzagged: Derpy's probation and reassignment to ground delivery in Ponyville is supposed to be humiliating for a pegasus, but she quickly realises she's much more suited to walking than flying, especially in a storm, and her spirits are lifted by the prospect of her new, friendlier colleagues at the Ponyville office. Then the collision with Twilight happens, and she gets fired by the Cloudsdale office - leaving her free for a position in Ponyville, which Post gladly offers her after she returns from her rounds ahead of schedule in spite of the accident.
Unstoppable Mailpony: Not so much in the air, but Derpy shows a definite aptitude for this once she's on the ground, finishing her first shift in Ponyville well ahead of schedule even after the hours she lost waiting for the letters to dry after Twilight scattered them in the rain.
What the Hell, Hero?: Celestia calls out Twilight on putting Derpy's life at risk with the Exotropia spell she found. It takes a few chapters, but Twilight realises she was right.
Applejack as well, after Twilight tears apart the library in her anger, injuring her friends and coming close to killing Derpy.
Applejack: Twilight. Look around you, Twi. You just look. You went and lost all control you had, and this is what the result is. If this is what you can go doiní just by gettingí mad, Ah canít blame the princess for telliní you to stop that spell. Youíd best go get yer head on straight before you even think about talkiní to Derpy. Ah ainít gonna lecture you about this. You just take a look at her. Take a good, long look, and then go somewhere quiet aní private aní figure out what it is yer thinkiní before freakiní out like that again.
You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After Derpy breaks down in the library, Twilight gives her this speech: "Derpy. You are not a failure or a featherbrain. I can tell deep down that you are a very kind and intelligent pony. Trust me, Derpy. Most ponies out there donít look at you for who you are. They see what they feel like seeing and then go on with the rest of their lives, oblivious to what hurt they may be causing. You need to look past that, because the ponies who donít take the time to care, donít deserve the satisfaction of making your life miserable."
Twilight's theory on Derpy's Cutie Mark also qualifies.
Derpy: They just appeared when my eyes were starting to get to the point where I had real difficulty seeing. I never knew what they meant, but everypony else thinks itís just because thatís whatís filling my head most of the time. Itís the only explanation Iíve been given that comes close to making any sense, but I really hate that idea. I donít want my special something to be that Iím an "airhead".
Twilight: No, Derpy. I donít think thatís it at all. Youíre obviously not an airhead, and anypony who thinks that doesnít know anything about the real you. Bubbles are a symbol of innocent joy, but also of beauty. A filly blowing bubbles doesnít see soap filled with air; if they did it wouldnít be any fun for them, would it? Bubbles are ever-changing; theyíre unique, showing brilliant colors and endless possibilities to those who look for them. But, they are also vulnerable, fragile. They are blown about, at the mercy of the winds they are caught in. To really see its beauty, a bubble needs to be in a stable environment where it can be appreciated while it lasts. And, when you look through a bubble, it causes significant visual distortion - just like what you were starting to see when you got your mark. Derpy, I think your cutie mark set you aside as special because despite your distorted view, you were, and are, a beautiful, unique individual with something nopony else has. You have a deep inner splendor that can only be seen best when you accept yourself and somepony else accepts you as you are.
And she seems to be on the right track, because as discovered in Chapter 14, the bubbles on her Cutie Mark have started changing colour, matching the fur and mane colours of the Elements of Harmony - in order, Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity Fluttershy and Applejack - as each of them come to accept her as she is. The seventh changes in Chapter 23, to Derpy's own colouring. This is a phenomenon that neither Twilight nor Celestia have ever seen or heard of before.
In chapter 6, Derpy tries to preemptively apologise to Post for the accidents she's likely to cause sooner or later. Post assures her that accidents happen to everypony and that he doesn't want her to doubt herself.