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Fan Fic / Within And Without

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Twilight Sparkle and her friends are approached by Princess Luna, who presents them with a set of questions:

Did you ever stop to wonder what became of Trixie, Gilda and Blueblood after your encounters? What did these episodes truly mean to you? What role will they yet play in the lives of the Elements of Harmony?

Last, are these questions as relevant as the journey towards the answers? Who will benefit from seeking these answers - you, them, or I?

Originally written by Cloudy Skies in August-September 2011, Within and Without portrays the Mane Six confronting these and other issues in an lengthy, emotionally-driven quest that spans all of Equestria. It was among the first My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fics to blend well-written adventure narratives, character exploration and development, and shipping. It was recently revamped with new scenes and additional edits, all of which can be found here:


This My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic contains examples of:

  • The Atoner: Luna.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: From Fluttershy to Rainbow Dash.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Star Hammer.
  • Back from the Dead: Luna breaks the covenant between herself and Celestia to revive Trixie.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Nowhere near as sexual as most shipping fics, but Twilight and Luna's relationship takes a long time to develop and almost never goes smoothly.
  • Break the Haughty: Trixie gets the worst of it.
  • Brick Joke: Princess Longleap, Winter Sun, and the Somewhere Far Away epilogue.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Trixie loses her magic.
  • Brutal Honesty: Applejack's blunt honesty and straightforward nature create several issues within the group. They also convince Luna to revive Trixie.
  • Butt-Monkey: Princess Longleap.
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  • Cannot Spit It Out: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, for similar reasons.
  • Call-Back: Luna promises to give Dash anything she wants - with reason - as reward for going on the adventure. The story ends with Dash asking to have her marriage with Pinkie made official.
  • The Chessmaster: Luna obviously has her own plans, and Celestia has a hoof in how things play out.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Gilda.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Rainbow Dash accuses Gilda of being like this.
  • Coming-Out Story: Part of Rainbow Dash's character arc.
  • Cowardly Lion: Fluttershy is the only one brave enough to yell at Luna for her actions after Grey Hollows.
  • Dark Secret: Luna's reason for going on the adventure.
  • Death by Despair: Trixie loses her will to live. She gets better.
  • Determinator: Twilight goes to incredible lengths to save Luna from herself.
  • Doom Magnet: Winter Sun.
  • Driven to Suicide: When she's finally found and cornered, Trixie threatens to kill herself.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Not quite dying, but Twilight becomes badly injured and delirious near the end of the story, and bluntly tells Luna how she really feels.
  • Dynamic Entry: Princess Celestia.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And how.
  • Eldritch Location: Crepuscin, specifically the palace containing Luna's magical artifacts.
  • Every Body Knew Already: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's romance. Despite their best efforts to keep it hidden, everyone except Twilight quickly picks up on it.
  • Everyone Can See It: The connection and eventual romance between Twilight and Luna.
  • Foreshadowing: All over the place, though Fluttershy's is the most subtle.
  • Hero Insurance: The more expensive aspects of the trip - especially property destruction - are paid by the royal treasury.
  • Hidden Depths: Fluttershy is the most experienced traveler of the Mane Six. This is because she roamed Equestria searching for Rainbow Dash after leaving Cloudsdale.
  • Hospitality for Heroes: Luna uses her planning and foresight to give Winter Sun ownership of a hotel, exactly where they group would be staying several chapters later.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Fluttershy thinks this will happen once her issues come to light.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Luna.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Fluttershy doesn't take Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie's relationship reveal well.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Twilight walks in on Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie early on. She's too oblivious to realize what's going on, though.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Fluttershy for Rainbow Dash.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Luna is the biggest offender, but everyone is hiding something. The emotional turmoil nearly breaks the group apart.
  • Love Redeems: Luna doesn't overcome her problems until Twilight helps her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Chief Blackclaw, Gilda's father.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Between Twilight and Luna. However, Twilight still has the choice of becoming immortal.
  • My Greatest Failure: Luna spends her nights reliving the memories of her final moments before being banished to the moon.
  • Mysterious Past: Luna tries to keep hers as hidden as possible.
  • Noble Savage: Brenliana.
  • No Hero Discount: Applejack, Rarity, and Luna handle the adventure's finances. Twilight didn't even think to bring money.
  • The Oath-Breaker: Luna breaks a covenant with Celestia to save Trixie, and stands by her decision.
  • Parental Abandonment: Fluttershy suffered from this. Her character arc focuses on her gaining enough independence to stop using Rainbow Dash as an emotional crutch.
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: Pinkie Pie is much wiser than she acts.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Said almost word for word by Fluttershy.
  • Polyamory: After Fluttershy's feelings of loneliness and love for Rainbow Dash are revealed, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie promise to share their love and accompany her. Rarity calls it "terrifically modern."
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Many of the members of the griffin tribe.
  • Race for Your Love: Done literally between Rainbow Dash and Gilda, with the future of the griffin tribe at stake.
  • Rebellious Princess: Gilda.
  • Road Trip Romance: This story manages to combine a long adventure with a healthy dose of shipping.
  • Scenery Gorn: Crepuscin. The palace courtyard is still full of the bones of the ponies Luna killed as Nightmare Moon.
  • Secret Keeper: Nearly everyone is keeping secrets from each other.
    • Luna deliberately withholds information on Blueblood just to get Rarity's attention. She also tries to keep her past hidden, to the point of casting a spell on Twilight to prevent her from seeing Luna's dreams.
    • Twilight sees Luna's vulnerabilities and eventually learns about her descent into Nightmare Moon.
    • Applejack questions Luna's motives and overall personality, but not openly early on.
    • The Pinkie Pie Promise is used to prevent Pinkie from revealing her relationship with Rainbow Dash, despite it being obvious.
    • Rarity's insecurities about her future and sense of self-worth.
    • Fluttershy's severe abandonment issues and unrequited love for Rainbow Dash.
    • Despite appearing in only a couple of scenes, Princess Celestia knows what's happening during the adventure and enacts her own plans.
  • Secret Relationship: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie think they have this, but fail miserably.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Rainbow Dash is too afraid to publicly admit her feelings for Pinkie Pie until she's called out on it.
  • Shout-Out: As everyone is deciding whether or not to go on the adventure, Pinkie Pie states that it's dangerous to go alone.
  • Spanner in the Works: Luna underestimated Twilight, even if it ended up being for the better.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Played with. Before leaving, Rainbow Dash asks if they're going to get something for going on the adventure. Amused, Luna promises to give her anything she wants, as long as it is within reason. Luna agrees to make Dash and Pinkie's marriage official.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Twilight's friends physically protect her from Luna, despite knowing they could be killed.
  • There Is Only One Bed: The rooming arrangements at the inns are occasionally problematic, often leading to development between certain characters.
    • Amusingly, Applejack chooses to stay with Pinkie Pie early on, hinting that Pinkie and Rainbow Dash would be too noisy if they shared a bed.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Luna frequently invokes this to keep Twilight from learning the truth. She does anyway.
  • The Storyteller: Trixie.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Everyone in Grey Hollows really hates Luna.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Grey Hollows.
  • Transparent Closet: Almost everyone knows Rainbow Dash loves Pinkie, yet Dash tries to keep it hidden.
  • Unrequited Tragic Maiden: Fluttershy for Rainbow Dash. She gets better.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Fluttershy has the confrontation with a suicidal Trixie almost under control, but Dash's loud mouth ruins it.
  • Wandering Minstrel: Trixie is a tragic version.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Winter Sun.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: One of the driving questions of the adventure.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Luna is on the receiving end of a few these.
    • Rainbow Dash gets a called out on a few of her mistakes as well.
  • Wham Episode: The events at Grey Hollows, and Trixie's death.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Explored with as Luna comes to terms with her past mistakes. It's also revealed that the Elements of Harmony grant their bearers the choice of immortality.
  • Yes Mare: Twilight is often accused of being this for Celestia and Luna. She spends her character arc learning of her own self-worth in relation to the princesses.
  • You Are Not Alone: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie eventually do this for Fluttershy.

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