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Fanfic / On a Cross and Arrow

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On A Cross And Arrow is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction by Conner Cogwork.

Twilight Sparkle and her friends have planned a day trip to Manehattan, using a new teleport spell Twilight's been studying. Unfortunately, due to a slight mix-up the girls are instead sent to... Ponyville. It's not the Ponyville they know, however, but one in an alternate universe where everpony's genders have been switched. Now the girls have to figure out how to get home without drawing too much attention to themselves... especially the attention of their counterparts in this dimension.

A voice drama is in production. See here for more information. A fully voiced reading of the entire series can be found here. Can also be found at and FiMFiction.

Cogwork has also written a sequel, On A Whisper Of Wind, where Applebuck travels to the Mane 6's universe to find his "cousin" again.

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Agent Peacock: Assuming Elusive is anything like Rarity
  • Amazonian Beauty: Big Macintosh's counterpart Red Gala is not seen, but she is implied to be quite attractive, given that male-Applejack has caught Dusk Shine admiring her.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Elusive's attracted to Rarity, no doubt, but some of his thoughts regarding his masseur hint that he might have some... tendencies. Since he's Rarity's counterpart, this applies to her by extension.
  • A Simple Plan: The entire adventure started with Twilight just wanting to teleport the group to Manehatten for a day trip.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Rainbow Dash and Rainbow Blitz, apparently.
    • Twilight Sparkle and Dusk Shine both start crushing on the idea of each other's mentors. It's never stated outright if they feel the same about their own mentors, but they do touch on the idea of admiration easily turning into love, so the possibility is definitely there.
  • Camp Straight: Elusive (although his thoughts toward his masseur hint otherwise...)
  • Celibate Hero: Even to the point where Twilight felt extremely awkward about sleeping in her gender-swapped version's bed. See Sleep Cute below.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Elusive to an extent. He rather blatantly eyeballs Rarity - particularly her flanks - and primly compliments her figure in a way that Rarity knows is code for "you're hot." But of course, he's nothing short of a gentlecolt to her. Obviously, being technically the same pony, the same goes for Rarity in a rare female example of the trope.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders' tree house is mentioned.
    • Pinkie Pie still has her Pinkie Sense, as does Berry.
    • When Dusk offers to let Twilight use his bed while he sleeps in the spare bed, she asks if the spare is full of lumps from his sleepover with Applejack and Elusive.
    • When Dusk performs a Bubble Berry swear, he pauses to make sure his eye is closed because of last time he did it.
    • In Chapter 12, Applebuck makes it to the Mane 6's universe. How? With the help of someone known as "The Great and Powerful...Presto".
    • Here's a gem, from Chapter 3:
      "Somewhere in the back of Fluttershy's mind, an alarm bell rang off that said at any moment now, she would be exploding. Twice."
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Dusk Shine has to make a conscious effort not to ogle Rarity.
    • Male!Applejack also makes mention that Dusk sometimes shoots some looks at his big sister.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Fluttershy's first meeting with Butterscotch. They fall in love instantly.
  • The Dandy: Elusive to Rarity's fashionista.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Rarity first meets Elusive and looks him over, her inner schoolfilly squeals at the length of his horn.
  • Double Take: Elusive and Mrs. Cake from seeing Berry Bubble followed by his double, Pinkie Pie.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: After Rarity leaves the hedge to buy shampoo (for herself) and sunflower oil (for the spell to get them back home), Applejack realizes there are only two stores in Ponyville that sell shampoo...and one of them is the Luxury Lotus Spa, which is closed on Sundays...and Twilight realizes the only other one is Carousel Boutique...which means Rarity is heading there to meet her male self. Cue panic!
  • Female Gaze and Male Gaze: When first meeting Elusive, Rarity inwardly compliments how his cutie mark is set upon "such firm cheeks," and seems delighted over the length of his horn. Likewise, when she's invited into his boutique, she struts in to show off and begin seducing him, and is "not disappointed, as she felt eyes upon her flanks."
    • Male!Applejack comments that he's noticed Dusk Shine looking at his older sister, Red Gala (which probably means that Twilight Sparkle has been admiring Big Macintosh, as well.)
  • Glasses Pull: Pinkie Pie in Chapter 2, directly mimicking the master himself (and then comments on the missing Big "YES!" and song afterwords).
  • Hammerspace: Where Pinkie Pie got the sunglasses for her Glasses Pull, with even the text saying that they came from hammerspace.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: This is what happens when you put Rarity and Elusive (being differently gendered versions of the same, histrionic pony) in a room together. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Ironic Echo: "And that's how Equestria was un-made."
  • Keet: Pinkie Pie's counterpart, Berry Bubble.
  • Love at First Sight: Justified with Rarity and Elusive, because they have identical personalities, their narcissism does the rest (the phrase "romancing your reflection" applies).
    • Also, Fluttershy and Butterscotch.
  • Meaningful Title: "On A Cross And Arrow" refers to the female(♀) and male(♂) gender symbols, respectively.
  • Meet Cute: Fluttershy's and Butterscotch's meeting, straight up.
  • Most Common Card Game: Chapter 10. They call it "Go Graze".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Rarity, on seeing Silver Bell, Elusive's little brother, realizes that in her wanting to stay in Elusive's world, she was ready to abandon Sweetie Belle to do it. She then tearfully admits to Elusive, "I...I have a sister. I-I haven't seen her in so long...seeing your brother just now, made me realize...howmuchIreallymissher!!" And goes into Inelegant Blubbering as the guilt and longing hits home. Knowing Rarity has a little sister like he does a little brother gives Elusive the strength to tell Rarity "Go to her."
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Ditzy Doo is the name of the famous googly-eyed clumsy female pegasus in the normal world, in the gender-swapped world, he is named Derpy instead.
    • Probably unintentional, but Butterscotch shares the same name as one of the first ponies in the early G1 toyline.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Twilight is initially worried about this, but luckily her worries prove unfounded.
    • She keeps it up for most of the fic, not sure what them interacting will cause. A majority of it appears to be her being just plain scared of meeting her alternate selves.
  • Noodle Incident: Applejack mentioned a time Rainbow Dash got stir-crazy from being cooped up too long. Apparently it wasn't pretty.
    • Spines brings up the poison joke incident when they recount Butterscotch's (actually Fluttershy's) strange behavior, referring to him as "Butterbabe". Presumably Butterscotch was cursed with a very sexy female voice that time?
  • Oh, Crap!: Everypony's reaction to the chaos that would be created if Pinkie Pie and her counterpart Berry Bubble collaborated on a party.
    • Also to the realization Rarity has tricked them so she can go see Elusive.
  • Palette Swap: Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Cake's gender-swapped selves are just each other's body shapes with their natural colors. Applejack is shocked to see this.
  • Porn Stash: Both Rainbows have a version of this.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Twilight in Chapter 4, due to the stress of the whole situation, explodes on the group, and instantly feels horrible when she's finished.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Sweetie Belle travels to this story's universe during The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments.
  • Retcon: Sweetie Belle's male counterpart was originally named Sweepy Bell before his name was changed to Silver Bell.
  • Rule 63: The plot focuses on the canon characters meeting their opposite gender selves.
  • Screw Yourself: By the end of the fanfic, half the Mane cast is in love with their opposite gendered self. It's also implied the same between Celestia and her male self Solaris as well—though in that last case, it's difficult to tell, since they could just be trolling each other.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Butterscotch and Rainbow Blitz, fitting counterparts to Tomboy and Girly Girl duo Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.
  • Sequel Hook: The last chapter of Cross and Arrow set up and is the prologue of Whisper of Wind.
  • Ship Tease: Many of the ponies find themselves attracted to the opposite-gender counterparts of the ponies they are often shipped with. (Rainbow Dash towards Berry, female Applejack towards Rainbow Blitz, Twilight and Dusk towards their mentor's gender-swapped selves, etc.)
    • There's also the fact that Celestia and Solaris do some light flirting at the end of the fanfic.
      • Depending on how far you want to look into it, every possible two-pony combination of Dash, Blitz, and both Applejacks is also teased.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Both interdimensional couples; Rarity/Elusive in a gushing, over-dramatic Shakespearean-love sense, and Fluttershy/Butterscotch in a painfully shy, cutesy sense.
  • Sleep Cute: According to Solaris, Dusk and Twilight. Celestia gave the most unladylike Squee when he mentioned it to her.
  • Speak in Unison: Pinkie keeps a tally of how many times Twilight and Dusk do this when hiding from him. Likewise, she and Berry are prone to this.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Pinkie Pie: I've heard a lot about Sugarcube Corner and I've always wanted to come visit, but I've been busy being kept in a cave, so I haven’t had a chance until now to visit! I'm so glad to finally see the place, even if it may be like I HAVE seen it all before, but that would be silly, it's not like I fell out of a dimension that's just like this one, save that everypony's genders are opposite, right?
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Rarity knows a spell to temporarily make a cutie mark disappear because, as a filly, her classmates were jealous of her for getting her cutie mark early.
  • Tsundere: Both Rainbows.
  • Twice Shy: Actually subverted with Fluttershy and Butterscotch.
  • Your Universe or Mine?: Both Applejacks fall for the alternate universe counterpart of their Rainbow friend, while Fluttershy and Rarity fall for their own male versions.