In a grey, dull, dying city, one man comes across a box on his way home from work. Upon opening it, he finds a filly-fied Rainbow Dash. When he takes her home and raises her as his own, she takes his life in new directions he never imagined possible.
It has been known to be up to par with Cupcakes in terms of notoriety, and is often considered to be the ultimate bittersweet literary contribution of the MLP fandom. It can be found both on Equestria Daily and FIMfiction.net, and a plethora of readings have been released under YouTube. It has also been heavily parodied in FiMFlamFilosophy's Rainbow Dash Presents series, found here.
There is also a sequel that gives closure to the open-ended conclusion of the original, and a "threequel" which looks to tie up the loose ends remaining (it's worth noting, however, that these are just some of the many fics based on this work; neither the sequel nor threequel are by the original author). In addition, it has spawned a Comic-Book Adaptation, complete with its own original sequel that the author of the original has given his blessing for.
There is now a Mini Movie on Youtube.
This My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic contains examples of:
- Abandoned Pet in a Box: The premise; a man finds a filly Rainbow Dash in a box and adopts her.
- Adult Fear: The man's reaction to Celestia and the other Mane 5 showing up to retrieve Rainbow Dash.
- Apologetic Attacker: "Attacker" isn't quite the right word for it, but before she erases Dash's memories, Twilight breaks down and apologizes to her and her father for having to do it and insists that she wishes there was another way.
- Bittersweet Ending: On the one hand, Dash is gone. However, as the protagonist says, "These last fifteen years have been the best of my life," as well as "I have a lot of life left to live. I will make the best of it."
- Celebrity Paradox: Explicitly discussed; the man is a brony, and does his best to hide the existence of the show from Rainbow Dash to avoid the inevitable confusion. When she finally discovers it, the resulting identity crisis leads to her running away from home for a while.
- Dewey Defeats Truman:
- When Rainbow Dash discovers the show for the first time, the author implies that it has been a while since the show concluded after its eighth season. In reality, the show concluded after a ninth season.
- The author also makes the reasonable assumption that the show would continue to air on The Hub. While technically true, the station was rebranded as Discovery Family in 2014.
- Extra-Strength Masquerade: Even though there's mention here and there of the man taking precautions as well as the fact that the setting seems to be a dying town where not a whole lot of people live anyway, it's amazing that a blue talking Pegasus - let alone one that's a main character in one of the most popular television programs in the United States - can live on Earth for fifteen years and never, ever be seen or noticed by anyone else. The only reason this doesn't happen is because the author didn't want to address the ramifications.
- Foregone Conclusion: From the very moment he finds Rainbow Dash, the man knows that the other Mane 5 will come back for her someday, and never lets himself or the readers forget this fact.
- Fountain of Youth: Coming to Earth from Equestria de-aged Rainbow Dash from her show age to a newborn.
- The Glomp: Pinkie Pie does this, first to Rainbow (who doesn't recognise her) and then the protagonist, to thank him for taking such good care of Rainbow.
- Happily Adopted: Rainbow Dash by the man.
- Hope Spot: Throughout the story, the man keeps reminding us of the aforementioned Foregone Conclusion, but later in the story it eventually slips into the background as he stops bringing it up. Then it happens.
- Humans Are Bastards: The man is hesitant to even let Dashie watch TV let alone go on the internet at all, worried about the depths humans can sink to and how readily visible it can be. When Celestia and the other 5 ponies show up, Celestia is surprised and relieved that, not only was Dashie over here for a whopping 15 years, but she wasn't tainted, abused or harmed, and was fortunate enough to be shown the best of humanity. To think what would have happened if he never went back for that box.
- Innocently Insensitive:
- The man accidentally upsets Rainbow Dash when she considers trying to get a job by saying that she can't because she's a pony and chuckling. Cue My God, What Have I Done??
- Pinkie Pie and Rarity are also this when the Mane 5 come for Rainbow Dash. Pinkie due to wanting to check out the "alien house"'s kitchen, and Rarity when she feels the man and Dash have gotten friendly quickly (at this point, none of them know the time difference between the worlds).
- Meta Fic
- Modern Stasis: Although no exact dates are given, the numbers of years that pass between events combined with pinpointing the beginning of narration to premiere of MLP:FiM second season indicate that the story takes place between 2011 and 2026, yet no changes in technology or lifestyle are mentioned.
- No Name Given: The man who finds Rainbow Dash goes nameless until the threequel, presumably to allow the reader to feel more like they are the protagonist. Until then, he is referred to as "I" or "me" due to the first person perspective, and several variations of "Dad".
- Wham Line: Curtesy of Celestia.Twilight? Do you still remember that memory spell? From the Discord incident?
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: A day in Equestria is a year on Earth.
The sequel contains examples of: