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Fanfic / The Sun Will Come Up, and the Seasons Will Change

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A fanfic of Infinity Train, the focus is on an autistic girl named Mary Summers. One day, after she learns her mother hates dealing with her daughter’s autism and sees something on her blog that absolutely terrifies her, Mary decides to run away from home. Suddenly, a magical train appears in front of her and she climbs on, ending up on the Infinity Train.

Back home, Mary’s sudden disappearance causes things to go out of control as Mary is declared a missing person and the town starts a desperate search for her.

Can be found on Archive of Our Own


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This work of Fanfiction contains examples of:

  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Around Mary's seventh birthday, Dana is needlessly cruel to Mary (only buying a gift if Mary promises to stop being autistic).
  • Abusive Parents: While Todd is a very good father to Mary, Dana is a complete and total nightmare, emotionally and even physically abusing Mary whenever she displays any signs of her autism and badgering her to act more “normal”. It extends even further than that, with her trying to “fix” Mary by sending her to various programs meant to fix or cure her and her claiming that "Mary ruins everything" on her blog.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The fallout of Mary's disappearance into the Infinity Train is explored here, with Mary's family freaking out and being worried sick about her.
    • At one point, Reagan's boyfriend Oliver suggests, with some hesitation, that Dana kidnapped Mary herself or hired somebody to do so just to get rid of her. While Reagan denies that out loud, she can't help but wonder if Dana really did have a direct hand in Mary’s disappearance.
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    • After Todd finds out about Dana wanting to sign up Mary for chelation therapy for another effort to "cure" her autism, he does some research on it and discovers that some autistic children have actually died from it.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Vic the hamster is not very well liked among his hamster kin, because he's much more blunt, brave, and genuinely interested in exploring life outside the Hamster Car, whereas the rest of the hamsters are easily frightened and can't fathom why he would want to study beings that almost destroyed their home.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: Dana treats Mary like a baby, insisting on buying her a picture book meant for toddlers and saying the book her daughter wanted seemed too advanced for her.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: All the denizens in the Sweets Car are this. Blanca, a giant talking marshmallow, joins Mary on her train journey.
  • Animal Motifs: Rabbits for Mary. She has a rabbit plushie, a lamp with rabbits on it, and her dad calls her 'bunny'.
  • Arc Words: Seasons. The story starts in the autumn, the subtitle of the fic is "The Seasons Will Change", and Mary's last name is Summers.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: While canon does confirm that the families of the Passengers do notice when they go missing, the series never really puts any focus on them. This story's subplot is dedicated to Mary's family discovering she's gone missing, and the Adult Fear that comes along with it.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Dana always tends to assume that everybody else is out to get her and that Mary is always acting up when she's the one who always creates a scene. For example, after the bookstore incident, Dana complains on her blog that people were staring at her in horror, and most likely thinking "what the hell is wrong with that kid?". As Edith points out in Chapter 5, all of the witnesses were actually horrified that somebody was abusing a girl who wasn't doing anything bad in public and were most likely thinking "what the hell is wrong with this lady?". In fact, Chapter 7 reveals that most people who know Dana refer to her as a Karen because of her behavior.
  • Berserk Button: While Dana is already not a very cheerful person, she gets especially angry when Mary stims.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Reagan loves Mary with all her heart and makes sure to always defend her from Dana. She also passes out several missing posters when Mary goes missing to help find her.
  • Bitch Slap: At one point in chapter 7, Edith reaches out to Dana at the park to try and show compassion to a mother whose child is missing. But when Dana goes on a diatribe about how Edith's methods of raising Lianna are incorrect because she'd rather accept her for who she is rather than try to cure her, and makes one snide comment too many, Edith is so angry at her that she slaps her across the face and calls her out on not only degrading her daughter, but for her treatment of Mary.
  • The Bully: Greg is a big jerk to almost everyone at school, but especially to Mary, mostly because she had gotten him in trouble for stealing things from his classmates. He threatens Mary with violence, insists that no one actually cares about her, and later expresses delight at her having gone missing, outright stating that he hopes Mary is dead.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Mary is packing her backpack with things she needs when she decides to run away, she accidentally brings a cell phone Todd gave her for emergencies with her. In chapter 6, Reagan realizes that Mary must have brought it with her, so she and Todd start texting it in an attempt to reach out to Mary.
  • Continuity Cameo: Ben Greene, one of the denizens shown in the Train Documentaries, appears in the second chapter and helps Mary through the Green Car when she first wakes up on the train.
  • Control Freak: Bar none, Dana's biggest problem is her intense need to control the life she leads. When she learned from Dr. Goldman that she needed to be hypervigilant and control every aspect of her daughter's life, lest she run rampant, she didn't hesitate to start looming over her daughter, trying to control her and keep her in line to the point of hurting her in an effort to control her.
  • Cool Big Sister: Mary’s sister, Reagan, is a loving, protective older sister who does her best to keep her little sister safe and happy. She’s even willing to bring Mary to her boyfriend’s house to get her away from their overbearing mother.
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. Bryant, Mary's fourth grade teacher, is a kind, friendly, supportive man who defends her when Dana gives her a hard time about her stimming, and is quick to punish Greg for bullying her. He even calls out Greg's apathy in regards to Mary's disappearance, and although he also has to punish Mary's friend Caitlin for fighting with him, he's at the very least fair.
  • Cute Bookworm: Mary is an adorable young girl who loves reading books.
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Goldman, whom Dana had consulted, is the one who "confirmed" her fears of what Mary being autistic meant for her, insisting that she had to be controlled lest her "primal desires" take control of Dana's entire life.
  • Daddy's Girl: Mary and her father Todd share a strong father-daughter bond, and he makes it clear he accepts Mary for who she is. Same goes for Reagan.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lianna makes barbed retorts when Dana tries to justify her misguided actions.
    Dana: I also read a lot of informative articles put out by Autism Speaks that detail how to deal with raising an autistic child. They also have some very good videos—
    Lianna: Citation needed.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Tyrus, one of Greg's friends, doesn't like Mary, but he's horrified when Greg expresses happiness that Mary is gone and hopes that she got killed. Then when Caitlin attacks Greg in response, Tyrus quickly tells Mr. Bryant (who rushed over to break up the fight) what Greg said so he would be punished for it.
    • In Chapter 5, Reagan invokes this on behalf of Dana, saying that while she doesn't like Mary being autistic she would never want her dead. But she can't help but wonder if Dana really did have a hand in Mary's disappearance.
  • Fiery Redhead: Subverted with Edith and Lianna. The former only lets her temper get the better of her when Dana makes one snide comment too many about how she raised Lianna, in which she reacts by slapping Dana across the face and calling her out for how she treated Mary.
  • Foil: Dana Summers and Edith Kesserling. Both are mothers with an autistic daughter; but while Edith is caring and supportive to Lianna, Dana has nothing but contempt and disgust for Mary.
  • Gentle Giant: Mr. Bryant is a large person who looks like a rugged mountain man, but he's a very nice and good teacher who all of his students like.
  • Gingerbread House: The Sweets Car that Mary visits contains quite a few of these.
  • Hate Sink: Dana. An abusive mother who humiliates her daughter in public and refuses to accept her daughter's autism? Yeah, what a likable character.
    • Greg is even worse than Dana, not only being a vicious bully who claims that Mary gets "special treatment" when he gets punished for his bad behavior, when Mary disappears he laughs about it and says that he hopes she was kidnapped and murdered.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: All the hamsters in the Hamster Car, sans Vic, are terrified of humans, namely because a group of them, implied to be the Apex, ransacked their home a while before the story starts.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Dana claims that Todd and Reagan babied Mary, making her more vulnerable to predators, but she once attempted to buy Mary a book intended for three-year olds and loudly reminded Mary to thank somebody when she was in the middle of doing so. Dana also claims that Mary is always being embarrassing in public but she acts far worse than Mary does.
    • In chapter 5, one of the mothers tried to stop Dana from being cruel to Mary on a field trip they supervised, but Dana fires back at her, demanding that she not tell her how to raise her daughter. In chapter 7, Dana winds up doing exactly that when she runs into that same mother, Edith, at the local park, claiming that Edith is letting Lianna control her life by accepting that she's autistic.
  • Lack of Empathy: Greg insists that Mary is given special treatment despite the fact that he gets himself into trouble by acting like a bully. Later, when Mary disappears, he laughs about it and expresses hope that Mary is dead.
  • Level Ate: One of the cars Mary visits is a land full of sweets and candy, and its denizens are Anthropomorphic Food.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Greg is a bully who finds joy in Mary's disappearance and hopes that she got killed. His mother, Edith, on the other hand, is a nice woman who approaches Todd with information about the abuse she saw Dana do to Mary on a school field trip two years ago and apologizes on behalf of her son's behavior in case either of those two things had anything to do with why Mary ran away.
  • Mama Bear: When Edith and her daughter, Lianna, run into Dana while walking their family dog, Edith invites her to walk with them. Edith privately tells Lianna that she doesn't support Dana's actions towards Mary, but is still trying to show compassion to a fellow mother whose child is currently missing. That changed when Dana insults Lianna for also being autistic, which prompts Edith to slap Dana, tell her off for her abuse towards Mary, and then ditch her.
  • Motherly Side Plait: Dana is a mother who wears her black hair in a side ponytail, but she is anything but motherly.
  • My Beloved Smother: Dana acts like this towards Mary, convinced that she has to be hyper-vigilant 24/7 and thinks Mary will have a meltdown if she do much as does anything.
  • Mythology Gag: The book Dana tries to buy for Mary features the Pig Baby from the Pig Baby car.
  • Never My Fault:
    • No matter what she does or what effect it has on those around her, Dana NEVER believes that she is the one in the wrong. All her efforts to “cure” Mary aren’t helping? She insists it’s because everyone else is enabling her "bad habits". Causing a scene in a bookstore when she tries to stop Mary from stimming and actually hurting her, much to the horror of Todd, Reagan, and all of the other witnesses? She blames Mary and everybody else without hesitation and even rewrites things in her blog to make herself look like the one in the right. Mary runs away because of the abuse Dana heaped on her? She believes Mary must’ve actually been kidnapped by a predator and blames Todd and Reagan for making her “vulnerable”.
    • Greg claims that Mary gets special treatment from Mr. Bryant, despite the fact that he often bullies her.
  • Obnoxious Entitled Housewife: Dana is the epitome of a Karen, throwing fits in public and at home whenever Mary displays signs of her autism, namely stimming. She will always insist that Mary is being embarrassing, but acts far worse than Mary does.
    Reagan: You really give new meaning to the words Karen and drama queen, Mom!!
  • Original Character: Many members of the main cast, and some incidental ones, are this, though canon characters, such as One-One and Ben Greene, make cameos, and some canonical cars do get more fleshed out.
  • Overly Long Name: Vic's real name is Victorino Achilles Isidoro Liberatore VIII.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Edith gives a huge one to Dana:
    Edith: Don’t you ever, EVER, degrade my daughter like that and suggest that I basically abuse her and mold her into some kind of puppet!! I really thought you were just misguided, that you just needed a hand. I even tried to reach out to you in your time of need. Clearly, that was a mistake on my part! What the hell is WRONG with you?! Honestly, I feel more sorry for Mary than I do you, what with how I’ve seen you treat her! I’m surprised the police don’t suspect you of being involved with her disappearance! And you’d rather just sit here, whining about how she makes you soooo miserable, and have a pity party than actually go out and search for her! You need to pull the wool from your eyes, woman! Even I can see that Mary has never been the problem! You’re the one going off on her for absolutely nothing!
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Everyone, except for Dana, thinks that Mary ran away because of Dana's abuse. While that was a factor towards her getting picked up by the Infinity Train, what prompted Mary to do so was finding out about her mom's blog and seeing something that terrified her into doing so.
  • The Runaway: Mary sees something on her mother's blog that convinces her to run away from home despite normally being too shy and safety-oriented to even attempt such a thing. She only gets as far as the local park before the Infinity Train picks her up. Everyone assumes Mary ran away because of her mother's treatment of her.
  • Start of Darkness: It is shown in Chapter 7 that the thing that caused Dana to become as hypercontrolling and paranoid as she is was Dr. Goldman, whose "words of wisdom" and pamphlets only fed into Dana's latent fears, allowing them to take control of her. Potentially subverted, however, depending on whether he was the first she spoke to or he was the first to confirm what she already believed.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Unlike the TV show, where a character's disappearance into the Infinity Train is never explored in any way, this fic goes out of its way to show how Mary's disappearance has affected her friends and family.
    • When Mary visits a car made of sweets, she immediately seizes the opportunity to gorge herself on candy — and she winds up rather sick from overeating sugar. According to Blanca, this is a common enough occurrence among passengers for the denizens of the Sweet Car to request medicines and toilets from One-One so the passengers can recover from their stomachaches.
    • Dana just won't stop dragging Mary to various doctors and camps claiming to be capable of curing autism. It left their family saddled with heavy debt, and Todd outright calls Dana out for wanting to try yet another quack treatment while they are struggling to pay the bills.
  • The Mentor: Blanca serves as this for Mary, giving her advice and helping her when she needs it. Ben Greene serves as this when Mary meets him in the Green Car.
  • The Resenter: Dana, over years of being hypervigilant and overly controlling in an effort to keep Mary's autism from "ruining her life", has come to greatly dislike her daughter and see her as a nuisance. It got to the point of creating an entire blog to complain about her daughter.
  • Trapped in Another World: Mary finds herself on a magical train, but doesn't want to go back home, as she's deathly afraid of her mother and the particular blog entry she saw on her mother's blog.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The story's chapters are divided into two parts, with one focusing on Mary's adventures in the train, and the other focusing on her family and friends in the real world and how her disappearance affected them.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Blanca is a sentient marshmallow who can turn into basically anything and everything she wants, though she can't change her color, as chapter 5 shows.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: While she doesn't use the phrase outright, Dana makes absolutely no attempt to hide the fact that she can't stand Mary being autistic.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Mary is extremely uncomfortable with slugs, which ends up making her increasingly uncomfortable as she and her group stay longer and longer in the Black Market Car.

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