Shining Armor has been married for one month, and things are a little difficult for him. Despite his loving relationship—and their assistance in defeating both a changeling army and an evil king—life is anything but happy for the new husband. Shining Armor's new position has him swamped with the duties of a pencil-pusher; he can't seem to shake these disturbing, recurring dreams; and, worst of all, he's having a little bit of...bedroom trouble.
With much prodding from his concerned wife, Shining Armor signs up to see a sexual counselor. Shining Armor's sure he doesn't need it, though. What sort of issues could he possibly have?
Cadence in a Minor is a mature fanfic of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The story follows Shining Armor in his journey of self-doubt and self-discovery following the events of the show. What sets this fanfic apart is its mature handling of sensitive subject matter, and its mastery of Mood Whiplash: the story has standout comedy, sad moments, and horrifying scenes—sometimes all in the same chapter.
Written by Isseus and now complete, the fic can be found here.
This My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic provides examples of:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: The Loins Sleep Tonight when it comes to bedding his wife, but self-stimulation helps Shining Armor get some relief.
- Adorkable: Princess Luna's attempt to bond with her new nephew are both awkward and incredibly endearing. Twilight Sparkle is also her usual Adorkable self as well.
- Bad Dreams: Both of the newlyweds have them regarding their experiences during "A Canterlot Wedding." Princess Cadence has nightmares about being trapped in the caves beneath Canterlot again, and Shining Armor has nightmares about being brainwashed by Chrysalis. Among other things...
- Black Comedy: Some of the comedy is just straight laughs, and but a lot is dark humor.
- Blue Blood: Shining Armor is a commoner who married a princess. Trying to fit in with the nobility is pretty hit-and-miss for him.
- BrotherSister Incest: Shining Armor does not actually desire his sister in a sexual way, but eventually masturbates while fantasizing about her in an attempt to vent his sexual frustration. The shame of doing this drives him to tears and sends him spiraling into self-loathing.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Starts off silly, remains somewhat silly while continuously approaching darker themes.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Iron Sight got Shining Armor drunk and spooked Cadance. So naturally, he gets charged with treason.
- Does Not Know Her Own Strength: As an alicorn, Cadance physically outpowers Shining Armor and often forgets herself, accidentally hurting her husband. Including breaking his ribs when she accidentally hugs him too hard. 16 times prior to the events of the story!
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. Shining's rape by Chrysalis is treated as a horrendous event by Shining himself and his therapist as well, and there's no doubt it's responsible for a lot of his current issues.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted, Shining Armor and his wife make up from their fight pretty quickly but they don't fully trust each other and still have more of their relationship to repair.
- Fan Disservice: Despite its "mature * sex" tag, this is no clopfic. There are definitely sex scenes, but Shining Armor having graphic nightmares about being raped by Queen Chrysalis or him venting his sexual frustration by fantasizing about his own sister, while hating himself and crying are not particularly palatable.
- The Ghost: Queen Chrysalis, despite having more influence on the story than almost any other character, never appears in person.
- Henpecked Husband: Shining Armor feels like one. Whether he is one is up for debate.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Part of Shining Armor's discomfort in his new role as prince is that he is now surrounded by mares like his wife and the other two princesses who are not only politically influential, but as alicorns also physically intimidate him, wounding his masculine pride. There's a lot of indication that this isn't usual behavior on Shining Armor's part, and that he's projecting some of his post-rape trauma onto them.
- I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Shining Armor calls his "The Prince" and "Little Shiny".
- Interspecies Romance: A soldier under Shining Armor's command has begun dating a griffon. Shining Armor and Cadence might count themselves, depending on how you view alicorns in relation to the rest of the ponies.
- In Vino Veritas: Shining Armor ends up spilling a lot more beans than he intended after a night drinking with his soldier buddies.
- Lemony Narrator: All over the place in the first chapters, appears sporadically in the later ones.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: Shining Armor can't get it up for his wife, and it's why he eventually goes to therapy in the first place.
- Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: Shining Armor has this mindset, attributing curious or enigmatic behavior on the part of his wife or the maids to their femininity, though there are hints this isn't usual behavior for him. And most of the motivations behind the mares' actions aren't tied to their gender.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Iron Sight comments on how hot Twilight Sparkle is. Shining Armor warns him not to try anything if he doesn't want to be in a world of hurt. Doesn't stop Iron Sight from setting things up for Flash Sentry to make an attempt.
- "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Played with, and for drama as well. Shining Armor directs this attitude towards himself, displaying self-hatred for the fact that his rape by Chrysalis was pleasurable for him—so much so that his own wife is sexually unsatisfying in response.
- Non-Indicative Title: His name doesn't appear in the title, but Shining Armor is the main character. Princess Cadance is, however, probably the most important supporting cast member.
- Poor Communication Kills: Shining Armor has difficulty telling his wife the truth about what happened, and that's not getting into the assumptions Cadance makes about him, because of the way he was acting because of the assumptions he made about the maids, because of the assumptions the maids made about him and Cadance...
- Power Perversion Potential: What finally makes their bedroom business work? After Twilight told them about the age spell Trixie used in "Magic Duel", Cadance learns it and turns herself into a teenager.
- Raging Stiffie: To his chagrin, Shining Armor keeps getting these when he's with mares other than his wife.
- Rank Up: Shining Armor was recently promoted.
- Rebellious Princess: According to Cadance, she had this attitude as a newly-coronated teenager, which is why she did things like babysit.
- Recurring Dreams: Shining Armor's nightmares.
- Sex Slave: Chrysalis turned a brainwashed Shining Armor into little more than this.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Shining Armor and those two maids. Deconstructed, their hate for one another, while initially comical, is very real and it does some real damage to all parties involved.
- Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Starts on the "silly" side, but the deeper we probe into Shining Armor's issues the further we drift down to the "serious" side.
- Stepford Smiler: Cadance is not as well-adjusted as she appears.
- Talking in Your Dreams: Princess Luna visits Shining Armor during some of his dreams, and the two chat it up quite nicely.
- Those Two Guys: Broom Sweep and Feather Duster, Cadance's maids/nannies/lifelong friends.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Shining forgot about the exact instances of Chrysalis using him for sex; Luna unlocked his memories in an attempt to determine if there was some kind of magic left behind that caused his panic attacks and inability to get it up for Cadance.
- Wham Episode:
- Chapter 4. Shining Armor admits to himself and his counselor that he was raped by Chrysalis.
- Chapter 8. Shining Armor and Cadance have a huge fight.