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Full title: Anchor Foal: A Romantic Cringe Comedy.

Although Discord has been apparently reformed, it has not gone unnoticed that his bonds of friendship consist of a single kind-hearted pony. One solitary individual. What would become of Equestria if Discord remains reformed only so long as Fluttershy lives? In recognition of that potential disaster, Princess Celestia summons Fleur Dis Lee and charges her with a single goal: use all of her talents in the seductive arts to ensure that Fluttershy gains a true lover and produces at least one foal, in hopes that this will ensure Discord remains interested in staying nice to Equestria after Fluttershy herself passes.

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Of course, this also serves as a way to kill two birds with one stone, as it lets her deal with the third-most feared mare in Canterlot by removing a notorious blackmailer from her city.

Written by Estee, as an Alternate Continuity tale of their Triptych Continuum. Read it here.


Tropes found in this story include:

  • Abusive Parents: Invoked, as Fleur clearly believes that Fluttershy's parents had to do something to result in Fluttershy being so messed up. However, in chapter 18, Snowflake is adamant that Fluttershy and her parents love each other, implying that whatever pain they caused her, it was unintentional rather than deliberate malice.
    • In chapter 18, there's a subtle implication that Fleur may have been raised by griffons...an upbringing that, amongst other things, saw her forced to consume Putaverunt Dolore ("Thought Pain").
  • Adult Fear: In chapter 19, Fleur is horrified when she realizes she just let Snowflake take Zipporwhill away without using her Talent to make sure he wasn't a pedophile. The first thing she does after Snowflake returns is use her Talent to specifically look for any puzzle pieces that would indicate an attraction to foals.
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  • Alternate Continuity: Officiallynote , this story takes place in a "splinter" timeline to the Continuum proper; in the canon, Fancy Pants has undertaken Fleur's redemption by taking her on as a student, but in this timeline, he considered her to be "too far gone" and left her.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Fleur clearly has a touch and go relation with morality but her worse traits seem to stem from her desire to move up in the world however she can.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: After his first meeting with Fleur, Discord sneaks into the Canterlot Archives to learn about dating, doing so through bringing the books in the relevant section to life and having them lecture him on the subject. This quickly turns frustrating: while the books agree on what dating is, none of them can reach a consensus on how to do it, and he soon restores them to normal — with the exception of a harem fantasy novel which wasn't even supposed to be in that section. (One of the junior Archivists had been reading it on the sly.) He winds up taking that book with him as a declared "research assistant." It's capable of speech and getting headaches without the benefit of having an actual head, it's a female, and as of Chapter 10, he's named her Harem Fantasy.
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  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Celestia gives Fleur a choice; either go and help Fluttershy find a lifemate to produce children with, or be taken to court, formally charged with all of her many, many abuses of her position, and sentenced accordingly.
  • Anything That Moves: According to Fleur's talent, Pinkie Pie is one of the incredibly rare "trysexuals" — individuals who will happily try anything relating to sex, as long as she thinks it sounds like it could be fun. It's unclear whether this translates into this trope (as, essentially, a bisexual who will indulge in any sexual kink or act their partners want to try) or as an Extreme Omnisexual (if that "try anything" also includes things like pedophilia and bestiality).
    • Word Of Fanfic Author thankfully has it as the former — and Pinkie may be a little bit closer to pansexual.
  • Asexual: Fluttershy is something like this, but much darker in nature. According to Fleur, her talent allows her to find what even asexuals want; Fluttershy, on the other hand, has no wants, something she could only possibly have if she has spent her entire life deliberately rejecting the idea that she could or should be allowed to want anything. This doesn't render her immune to Fleur's talent: the "solved" puzzle displays a blank white slate — but Fleur finds the image so discomforting that she begins to habitually (and eventually, instinctively) shut down her talent when she's near Fluttershy, just so she doesn't have to directly sense that again.
  • Bad Date: How Fluttershy's date with Caramel goes, thanks to Discord's intervention, but Fleur already set it up to fail.
  • Bi the Way: Fleur has no issues about having sex with stallions or mares if it'll get her what she wants, and part of her inner dialogue suggests she's been with someone from one of the other species at least once.
  • Blackmail: It's almost second-nature for Fleur to seek this out, and her talent can provide ample material. After all, once you know what a pony really wants — and would rather not have everypony else find out...
  • Book Dumb: Part of Harem Fantasy's description of Passionate Sports Girls:
    They may not be too bright.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: A reply from Estee in the comments section states that Flankington could be a Founder — the pony whose breakthrough creates a whole new category of Talents — but Equestrian science and magic just aren't advanced enough yet to support his natural Talent for food chemistry; all he can do is make anything edible, without making it tasty.
  • Boxed Crook: As part of her "informal" prison sentence, Fleur is outfitted with a titanium bracelet that comes with a built-in tracking spell, allowing the palace to know exactly where she is at all times. Add to this Fleur's escort license having been formally revoked, with most of her assets seized (Celestia allowed her to keep what she would have earned on her standard salary), and she's not going anywhere. However, the palace is being practical about this: a trip to Canterlot in order to scout a date would be understood, and because Fleur needs to survive while in Ponyville, she's earning her typical salary while the task proceeds.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In the first chapter, Fleur is revealed to have come to Celestia's attention by trying her usual blackmailing antics on Fancy Pants, the stallion Celestia considers her most trusted and closest friend.
  • The Bus Came Back: Chapter 12 establishes that the extremely pretty pegasus mentioned six chapters earlier is Joyous Release, who's briefly spotted in attendance at Fleur's welcoming party. All we currently know is that she's now living in Ponyville, along with her parents — and that Fleur develops an instant 'I. Want. That.' desire for her without Joyous' talent being involved: that first sighting establishes Fleur as being upwind.
  • Call-Back:
    • In chapter 10, a reference is made to the recent removal of Ponyville's very unpopular local plumber on criminal charges. This is an oblique comment on the fate of Pipe Fitter, from 360 Degrees of Saturation.
    • In chapter 18, the ugly reality that Fluttershy often has to euthanize animals that are beyond help, something revealed in 500 Little Murders, is made use of when Fleur has to do that same ugly task for a mortally wounded groundhog.
  • Celibate Hero: Invoked, Zigzagged, and Played for Drama. Fluttershy is a celibate hero, but the whole plot of the story is about getting her laid, and the reason she can't do that without help is because of a childhood that was so traumatic that she's artificially restrained herself into being asexual, with neither the confidence to pursue a mate on her own or any internalized desires to help her define what a mate is.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Played with and gender-flipped. Discord isn't particularly offended at the idea of Fluttershy dating, other than that it's more competition for her attention. In fact, he seizes onto the idea that she finally wants something, and that he might be able to provide for that want. However, as far as he's concerned, if she's going to have a mate, then she's going to have the best mate possible — and so he begins interfering with her dates, to make sure Fluttershy's future mate is worthy of her. Harem Fantasy lampshades this in chapter 17, noting that Discord is acting in many ways like a stock archetype from her stories, but confusing the issue by not overtly doing what he does out of romantic attraction or lust.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Caramel takes Fluttershy to a horror movie called The Beast with Five Fingers (a horror movie built around some vague concept of a centaur), he's expecting her to be scared so he can cuddle with her in the name of comforting her. However, he's dealing with Fluttershy: a professional biologist/vet in everything but title, who also happens to be a Fluffy Tamer and, when it comes to animals, nearly borders on Nightmare Fetishist. Her reaction to the "centaur" isn't fear, but a near-instinctive questioning of how its biology operates — which leads to her quickly diagnosing it with bowel torsion (which extincted the rest of the species), breathing issues from a shortened airway, knee issues, and chronic joint pain.
  • Complexity Addiction: Downplayed. Celestia's plan is actually pretty straightforward (get Fluttershy to start a family so that Discord chooses to stay nice towards them after her her death in memory of their friendship) and the method chosen isn't complicated so much as a bit roundabout in getting the desired result. But it does get pointed out there are simpler methods to use that would sidestep several of the problems that are inherent to Celestia's chosen method. This is justified however because Celestia's plan accounts for issues the simpler methods do not. (Namely that Fluttershy getting a mate to have a foal with is meant to ensure she has help as a parent because she's busy enough with her animals)
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Celestia's plan isn't that much of a longshot but it does rely on factors she can't reliably know for certain will be in effect (Fleur actually doing the job effectively, Fluttershy overcoming her crippling timidity, the "transfer of affection" concept that is the cornerstone of the plan actually applying to Discord, etc.) Despite that it seems to not just be on track but having yields Celestia wasn't even expecting. Fleur is actually dedicated to doing the job she's been given and is going well above what Celestia herself dictated, Fluttershy has seen her lot in life improving because of Fleur's efforts, and Discord's response to her looking for a mate been not only support but actually going out of his way to provide assistance t ensure she gets the best matchup possible albeit in his own distinctly chaotic manner.
  • Cringe Comedy: Its in the title. Fleur's attitude isn't going to go well with mixing into Ponyville, and that's before she has to actually try and get Fluttershy, of all ponies, a soul mate.
  • Cross Cultural Kerfuffle:
    • It's interesting to speculate how much of Fleur's perceived sociopathy stems from her being a migrant from Protocera — a place with a far more predatorial culture than Equestria.
    • In chapter 20, having spent the last day or so trying to "make friends" with Ponyville's natives, when a pegasus enters Fluttershy's clinic, Fleur unthinkingly reveals she's preparing Protoceran Pony Cuisinenote  — and then she offers to share. She's morbidly impressed that the pegasus manages to simultaneously fly out of the cottage whilst projectile vomiting in disgust.
  • Cute Bookworm: Mentioned in Chapter 10 by self-aware genre novel Harem Fantasy as a common character type, and one who frequently wins the battle to be the last mare standing. Any resemblance to Twilight is probably coincidental.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: There are hints that the childhoods of both Fleur and Fluttershy were very, very much wrong.
    • Fleur has the ability to recognize whether tearstains are old or new by sight and makes comments implying she was effectively forced into developing her Cutie Mark. She later reveals that she was forced to consume Thought Pain as a filly, and she has an instinctive paranoia about letting adult ponies be around foals without making sure they're not pedophiles first.
    • Fluttershy, meanwhile, was so traumatized by something in her childhood that she's never allowed herself to believe she's allowed to want something for herself. Weirdly, in chapter 18, Snowflake insists that Fluttershy and her parents actually get on pretty well, implying that, if they were Abusive Parents, it was an unintentional kind of abuse.
  • Dark Shepherd: Celestia is not above blackmailing Fleur Dis Lee to make her do what she needs her to do.
    • Fleur herself seems to be shaping up to be this to Fluttershy; no matter how malevolent she can be, she is determined to do what it takes to succeed at her task, and she considers the idea of arranging for a romantic mismatch in general to be absolutely unthinkable.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In chapter 7, despite being close to pissing herself in terror at Discord's stunts, Fleur manages to scold Discord into introducing himself like a normal being, bluntly tells him that she's not here to "be his friend" and in fact has no interest in him at all, then asks him if he actually understands what the term "dating" means. However, it's partially deconstructed later on: she didn't negate the fear so much as postpone it. His departure leaves her trembling in the pasture for several minutes, and she easily recognizes that she's going to be having severe nightmares as soon as she falls asleep.
  • The Empath: As explained in chapter 4, Fleur's talent is a very specific and narrow superlative of this which means she overlaps with The Pornomancer; she can, through spending some time in a pony's vicinity, reach deep into their emotional state and tease out what they most strongly desire in terms of both sexual appeal and the type of sexual activity that pony wishes to engage in. Essentially, she can quickly recognize their deepest fetishes, the various things they want in a partner, and understand both intimately. (This counts as normal casting (with no visible corona) and can be countered, but the subtlety of mark magic means it's almost impossible to pick up on Fleur's efforts.)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Fleur is utterly aghast when she learns that, despite the obvious poverty Fluttershy lives in, she receives no official salary for being a Bearer of Harmony and only recently started receiving financial compensation for her missions at all (an indignation that grows stronger the more she sees how impoverished Fluttershy is). She also considers things like deliberately mismatching a couple or striking an employer through their employees to be wrong, albeit with some shades of Pragmatic Villainy for the latter.
    Sun and Moon, what kind of monster kicks somepony into a fight with Nightmare and doesn't even pay...
    • It's become very clear that regardless of how much she hates her assignment, she intends to take it seriously right up until the moment she finds a way out of it. Fluttershy (who may not know the exact circumstances of Fleur's arrival) just about apologizes for hijacking the escort's life during Chapter 12, and Fleur immediately places all mental blame on Celestia.
    • It's been noted in the Comments section that Fleur seems to have something of a protective streak. She often thinks of Fluttershy as being "her charge" and actively moves to prevent the pegasus from being harmed — but if she doesn't care about somepony, then she has no concerns about what happens to them. For the lesson in rejecting somepony after a date, Caramel was chosen as her designated victim — and he still thinks Fleur is his friend.
    • In chapter 18, it's established that Fleur may insult others for "voluntary ugliness", such as excessive weight, improperly applied makeup or poorly chosen clothing, but she won't do the same thing for ponies who have legitimate physical afflictions, such as Dulcinea's crooked eye.
  • Fantastic Drug: Putaverunt Dolore, which, translated from Protoceran, means "Thought Pain". It's a deadly concoction made from three different parts of three different plants; black velvet leaves, red petals and blue flowers. In a sapient creature, it causes intense, agonizing pain. In a non-sapient, it causes them to quickly, but painlessly, die. As such, Equestrian vets use it to euthanize animals.
  • Fetish; Fleur's Talent basically includes the ability to instantly sense every last one of a pony's fetishes and how strongly they feel attracted to those fetishes. In chapter 6, she absently takes note of all the fetishes she senses from those waiting to get breakfast at Sugarcube Corner, including multiple hoof fetishes, a horn fetishist, a mare who likes both Fleur's horn and her hindquarters, a pegasus who likes a well-turned and unshorn stallion fetlock, and Mr. Cake, who turns out to be a Chubby Chaser.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Fluttershy's ability to "tame" Discord, and the hope that this trait will pass itself on to her children, drives the story. Especially since those other ponies who've outright tried to befriend Discord (admittedly from implied selfish motivations) have all failed miserably.
    • Fleur herself manages to terrify Fluttershy's notorious bunny bully, Angel, into backing down by sweetly informing him that she cares about his life exactly as much as he cares about hers and giving him a grin. One which displays teeth.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • The entire plot of this story is born out of this trope applying In-Universe; if Fluttershy was the one who reformed Discord, and seems to be the only pony he actually cares about, what's to stop him from going back to his old ways after she dies?
    • Applies In-Universe again in chapter 19, where Fleur wonders just how Discord will react if Fluttershy gets killed on a mission.
  • Generation Xerox: Discussed and invoked; Celestia's plan hinges on the possibility that, even if he's too crazy still to make further friends on his own, Discord will transfer his friendship to Fluttershy's child or children in order to continue honoring his friendship with her, and that over generations this will eventually tame him sufficiently that he can make further friends on his own.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Caramel attempts to invoke this in Chapter 17; he takes Fluttershy to a horror movie at the local cinema, feeling she'll be scared enough to snuggle against him for comfort. Subverted in that, thanks to Fluttershy's finding monster biology fascinating, the movie he chose doesn't scare her in the slightest, and she ends up more interested in diagnosing the creature's obvious medical issues.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: In chapter 4, it's revealed that seeing the magicked parasprites eat everything in his old bank save the stone has driven Ponyville's bank manager, Mr. Croesus, a little loopy. As a result, he now makes everything out of stone, up to and including using stone tablets for ledgers.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Inverted. When talking with Fluttershy in chapter 5, Fluttershy explains that all she really knows about Fleur is that she's "not nice" — however, Celestia told her that, in this case, that lack of niceness was probably an asset. Given just how emotionally crippled Fluttershy has been shown to be, that may actually be the case.
  • Hands Play In Theater: Well... wings play. Fleur judges one of Caramel's expressions during the movie date to be regret at the lack of usable stretch-and-drape limbs.
  • Happily Married: Fleur notes that Mr. Cake's puzzle has "the special glow to the piece which indicated that his desire had found lasting fulfillment."
  • Hate Sink: In-Universe, Photo Finish is quite despised by Fleur, and implicitly by every other pony who she's tricked. Fluttershy also mentions having had to actually hold back one of her friends to keep them from assaulting Photo Finish when she revealed that Fluttershy would not get so much as one bit for her work as a model.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Fleur's talent is, in many ways, a simple one: it's a very limited form of empathy which allows her to quickly deduce any sapient being's sexual interests, including those they may not be consciously aware of. (She describes the process as being like solving a puzzle, reaching out to gather in pieces so she can assemble the whole.) As an active escort, this allowed her to fulfill a few fantasies by doing exactly what her clients wanted without their ever having to ask for it. But when this talent is pressed between her hooves, it's also an incredible blackmail tool, rooting out the desires which ponies keep hidden. It gives her incredible insight into quite a bit of psychology — she's noted that if she wasn't trying to keep her talent hidden, she could easily rewrite books — and as her talent counts for an extra sense, she can track ponies with it: simply memorize their puzzles and she'll be able to feel when they're in her vicinity. Word Of Fanfic Author is that she's meant to be an example of what can happen when a pony truly explores their mark's subtle magic and starts pushing that talent to its logical limits: Fleur's talent is somewhat stronger than the average, but it's her willingness to experiment with all the possibilities which makes her dangerous.
  • Hidden Depths: Fleur starts showing she's more than just some blackmailing whore during the chapters in Ponyville. She's one of the few ponies to be nice to the Crusaders, reveals she can actually fight off an ostrich, terrifies Angel Bunny into leaving her alone, she's horrified to hear that Fluttershy receives no salary for being a Bearer of Harmony despite her obvious poverty, is outraged when she believes Celestia is forcing Fluttershy to have children, is aghast when she realizes that Fluttershy is completely devoid of desire given she realizes what that entails, is determined to do a good job with pairing up Fluttershy because it is a job and her hatred of Celestia doesn't trump that, and she just hates the idea of setting somepony up with a mate they don't care for.
    • Also, it turns out that Fluttershy came up with the idea of her having children to help prevent Discord for going rogue when she dies, and deliberately asked Celestia for help in making it happen.
    • In chapter 10, Fleur helps Fluttershy out with a particularly horrific injury to a cat's leg, a process that involves realigning a broken bone that's thrust itself through the skin, and unthinkingly confesses that it's something she's helped with before.
    • In chapter 17, towards the end of the chapter, Fleur thinks over the disaster at the restaurant and recalls that, to her own surprise, Fluttershy's first response was to try and shield Caramel. As she puts it, "(You) move towards flame", when every other pony tends to flee from it.
    • Chapter 18 reveals she knows how to brew Thought Pain, a toxic compound that vets use to painlessly euthanize animals, and that she's used it twice before coming to Ponyville.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: The existence of The Most Special Spell, which allows lesbian mares to have their own biological fillies, is brought up in reference to how Fluttershy's sexuality is of no concern to Fleur's mission.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Part of Harem Fantasy's description of Cute Bookworms:
    She studies and puts herself into her classes, she probably doesn't date at all, and the main character is the first pony she's ever really noticed.
  • Hypocrite: In chapter 18, despite it being well-established that she hates how others judge her on sight for her crooked eye, Dulcinea (aka "Derpy") is described as hating Fleur on sight just because she's beautiful, with Fleur's internal montage noting that ponies have been judging her as a brainless, sex-craved bimbo for her beauty all of her life.
  • Irony: As it turns out, simply getting Fluttershy a sperm donor would probably have been not just the easiest option, but also the one she would have most readily settled for: her desires are so artificially stunted that she doesn't have any subconscious attractions to other ponies, she just knows she wants a foal.
    • Celestia also firmly puts a hoof down against this in the first chapter. She wants Fluttershy happily married, raising the foal with somepony. In her opinion, the pegasus already has enough dependents: single motherhood would be pushing things too far.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Fleur's attitude in a nutshell; at the end of the first chapter, she can only instinctively whimper a question about what she's done to deserve this punishment, despite the considerable chewing out she just got from Celestia.
    • Fleur's opinion of Rainbow Dash, to the point that she actually feels a moment of self-acknowledged uncharacteristic pity for anyone who tries having sex with her.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The audience is never quite sure how to feel about Caramel. On the one hand, he's definitely got his flaws, most frustrating of all being a seeming refusal to learn from his mistakes and just keep committing the same misdeeds over and over again. On the other hand, his brief time in the limelight also highlights that he's a very lonely stallion, he really does treat Fluttershy quite well on their date — to the point Fluttershy herself actually seems to be surprisingly comfortable — and given how his date is messed up by Discord, which leads to him being soaked by a sudden downpour (Discord again, but Rainbow gets Misblamed), it's not hard to feel a little sorry for him. Especially when it's subsequently revealed that Fleur was basically setting him up to take a fall all along, and she even thinks of him as her "designated victim" before he bows out of chapter 17.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: As Fluttershy admits, sometimes "not nice" is necessary. Fleur's caustic tongue, fierce pride and ruthless confidence allows her to completely savage ponies who deserve it.
    • Admit it, you cheered when Fleur sent Angel Bunny running with a single sentence and a smile, especially if you've read Snowflake Shoe-Hare before this story.
    • In chapter 19, it's mentioned that Fleur forces a number of ponies to finally pay up their long-overdue bills to Fluttershy, whose meekness they have been exploiting for years. Mention is even made of her using her field to literally hold one pony's medicine over their head and refuse to give it to them until they paid.
    • In chapter 19, Fleur finally goes to see Sweetbark and gives her a well-earned "The Reason You Suck" Speech. She then makes plans to puncture Sweetbark's artificial veneer as "the perfect local vet" and expose her for the technically-accredited but mentally unfit mare she is.
  • Loophole Abuse: Fleur is viciously invoicing the palace for every expense associated with Fluttershy's social training, and making sure to get the most expensive items available.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: Played with. Fluttershy wouldn't necessarily be unwilling, probably, but A: Celestia needs her to have children, and B: she's going to get a soul mate so she can have those children, no matter that she's too shy to get them on her own. Then it turns out in Chapter 4 that the whole plan was actually Fluttershy's idea, and she asked Celestia to help make it happen.
  • Master of Illusion: Chapter 17 seems to indicate that Discord can create masterful illusions; he ultimately ends Fluttershy & Caramel's date by enchanting Caramel's prototype 3D Glasses so that, to his eyes, the monster in the movie suddenly springs out of the movie screen and charges directly at him, causing Caramel to flee in terror. However, this may have also been direct manipulation of perceptions.
  • Mortality Phobia: One of Fleur's defining traits. When she is thinking over what Celestia did to her, it is the effective loss of the time she spent in Canterlot that she fixes on, and she instantly and categorically rejects Time Turner upon seeing that his mark is an hourglass, a rejection only enforced by finding out his name.
    • Also confirmed to be the case for Sweetbark in chapter 19.
  • The Napoleon: Fleur's assessment of Angel Bunny in a nutshell:
    I know you.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: Fluttershy's problem in one half of a nutshell — the other half being Shrinking Violet. As Fleur realizes after seeing a picture, Fluttershy is incredibly attractive.. she just does't understand that she is. Her impression is only deepened when she actually does meet Fluttershy in person.
    • This gets worse in Chapter 16: Fleur takes time to tell Fluttershy just how beautiful she is — and Fluttershy tells Fleur to stop lying.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Another frequent character in the harem fantasy genre, mentioned in Chapter 10 by living novel Harem Fantasy. This could indicate Rainbow, or it could just mean there's a lot of that type spread across the realm of harem stories.
  • Pet the Dog: Fleur's interactions with the Cutie Mark Crusaders in Chapter 3 are surprisingly sweet. As is her outrage on Fluttershy's behalf when she believes Celestia is deliberately not paying her and forcing her to go through with her Mandatory Motherhood in Chapter 4.
  • Poisonous Friend: Fleur becomes this to both Fluttershy and Caramel, in different ways, by the end of chapter 17.
    • For Fluttershy, Fleur is determined to sincerely help Fluttershy get into the dating circuit. However, she believes that Fluttershy's many problems in that area is that she's too nice; therefore, her early focus in the project is teaching Fluttershy that necessary level (in Fleur's opinion) of cruelty and selfishness, so she can learn to put her own interests first for a change. This doubles as Toxic Friend Influence.
    • For Caramel, he sincerely believes Fleur is his friend because she not only tries to help him get a date, she sets him up on a date with Fluttershy, whom he has been crushing on from afar for a while. Even after it all goes horribly wrong by the end of chapter 17, he sincerely thanks her for being his friend and trying to help. And then it's revealed that Fleur was expecting Caramel to strike out with Fluttershy all along; she chose him to be Fluttershy's first date only because she was positive he'd be a good example to teach Fluttershy the importance of rejection.
  • Primal Fear: Invoked by Discord for the first of his two "pranks" on Caramel during his date with Fluttershy in chapter 17. By subtly tweaking the written order for Caramel's meal, he causes the chef to serve him Mélangés Grán Flambé... which is one of those dramatic dishes that are serve with a flamboyant eruption of fire: one which looks startling, but has no actual danger attached. Of course, the mere sight of a sudden burst of flame causes practically the entire restaurant to take off in terror; the only exceptions are Caramel (too scared to move), Fleur (trying to protect Fluttershy), and Fluttershy (trying to protect Caramel).
  • Punch-Clock Villain: According to Chapter 4, Fleur considers her potential plan of finding ways to blackmail and exploit the Bearers to try and rebuild her web of power to be "just work". At the same time, she's also a consummate professional who, as much as she's angry with Celestia, never even considered the idea of doing anything other than sincerely working to solve Fluttershy's problems — right up until she finds a way out of her sentence.
  • Mundane Utility: It's mentioned in chapter 17 that pegasi wings are very useful for pulling the old Yawn and Reach trick.
  • Raised by Orcs: Evidence in chapters 18 and 19 suggest that Fleur was raised by griffons, which explains her more... predatorial nature compared to the average pony. Pretty much confirmed in chapter 20: Fleur enjoys the taste of meat. Well, vegetables soaked in meat stock and marrow, which is a pony adaptation to griffon cuisine. That's something only a Protoceran pony would eat.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In chapter 19, Fleur gives Sweetbark a well-deserved chewing out for her behavior towards Fluttershy.
  • The Reveal: Fleur reveals in chapter 7 that Photo Finish actually has a long history of using fine print to swindle her models out of receiving their proper pay, and also bribes myriad judges to keep getting away with it. Also, Photo Finish deeply hates Fleur for the fact that Fleur managed to evade this fate, and because Fleur knows that "Photo Finish" is actually a stage name and the unicorn's real name is Lens Cap.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Chapter 7 is titled "She's from the Ministry of Sexy Walks", a clear reference to the "Ministry of Silly Walks" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • As the author mentions at the end of chapter 17, The Beast with Five Fingers is an actual 1946 horror movie. The Earth version revolves around a murderous severed undead hand, whilst the Equestria version is a standard monster movie with a centaur.
  • Snow Means Death: As mentioned in an aside in chapter 17, Fleur hates winter and snow because she finds them unpleasant and completely unneccessary.
    The world would be manipulated until it turned against its residents, for there were fools who said winter was necessary. Death had to come before renewal could truly begin. That you couldn't be warm again without first being cold.
    (Fleur didn't understand that belief. If you had the power to control the weather, to make your environment, your life better, and you just made ponies suffer anyway because ponies had always suffered on schedule, and so there was clearly no need to make any of that change...)
  • Spoiled Brat: Fluttershy's "miraculous" brother, Zephyr Breeze. Snowflake describes him, as per the description he received from Fluttershy, as "a 5 year old colt who will never stop being 5 years old until somepony forces him to grow up", as well as being the kind of pony who believes the world owes them, and thus sees everything in the world as belonging to them. He's such an asshole that Fluttershy literally drove him out of her house and will never be in the same room as him. Of course, in typical Fluttershy fashion, she's described as still loving him, and hating herself for being unable to trust him despite the fact he has proven he can't be trusted.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Averted. Fleur is told in no uncertain terms that just getting Fluttershy knocked up from a one-night stand is absolutely not an option. She knows Fluttershy's life is too busy already to add the burden of being a single mother to that, so it's imperative that Fluttershy has a husband or wife to help take care of the foal(s) as well.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fleur initially knows that the Bearers are in Ponyville, but not who they are. It means she could have been a lot more careful in some of her initial interactions than she was, as just about any mare might have been one of them.
  • Tsundere: The first type of harem character brought up in Chapter 10 by Harem Fantasy, who's in a position to know. It's mentioned that for Equestrian literature, such characters tend to hail from Protocera, as it gives them an excuse for a more forceful personality — one which frequently attempts to dominate its environment.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Fleur, full stop. To put things into perspective, initially, she believes she's been summoned to the Solar Throne Room to arrange for her to have sex with Celestia. And then she thinks that she's supposed to bang Discord.
    • In chapter 7, after her first meeting with Discord, she wishes she could go back in time and slap herself upside the head for thinking the latter thought.
  • Yawn and Reach: Invoked and subverted in chapter 17; Caramel wants to do this, but is foiled because Fluttershy is so distracted by the movie he can't reasonably get close to her. Also, they're both facing forward on a twin bench, legs only move in so many directions, and earth ponies don't have wings.
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