—The story's Tagline at Fan Fiction Dot Net
The Times They Are A-Changin' is a Littlest Pet Shop (2012) fanfic by HoldTheTruthForever. It's named after the famous Bob Dylan song, whose lyrics are interspersed with the story; the intro advises that "To make it more dramatic, pretend everything is going in slow-mo like in the opening to Watchmen".
In case that didn't tip you off, this is a Dark Fic. The story imagines what the future might be like for Blythe Baxter and her animal friends, and its vision is pretty depressing. It all starts when Penny Ling's owners move away from Downtown City, forcing her to leave the group. From there, things go From Bad to Worse. Sunil gives up being a magician after an embarrassing Epic Fail. The pets become lazy and apathetic—when they're not fighting, that is. And Blythe is no help; she gradually drifts away from the pets as she matures, getting a new job and a boyfriend in the process. The End. (This is a very short story.)
The Tropes, They Are A-Changin':
- Absentee Actor: Blythe's human friends Youngmee, Jasper and Sue aren't mentioned.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Neither are the Biskit twins.
- Bittersweet Ending/Downer Ending: The pets lose Penny and Blythe, but they still have each other—at least for now.
- Breaking the Fellowship: By the end, both Penny and Blythe are gone. While the remaining pets are still together, Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
- Break the Cutie: Happens to all the pets.
- Burger Fool: Blythe leaves LPS to work at someplace called "Burger Slot".
- Demoted to Extra: Mrs. Twombly appears very briefly, while Roger is only mentioned.
- Eye Scream: Happens to Pepper when Zoe swipes her across the face during a fight.
- Furry Reminder: The story mentions Pepper's scent glands, Zoe's "refined nails", and Russell's "five-year hedgehog lifespan".
- Growing Up Sucks: Not for Blythe, but for the pets affected by her absence.
- Hurt/Comfort Fic: How the story is classified at Fan Fiction Dot Net, though there's a lot more hurt than comfort here.
- Jerkass: Pepper laughs at Sunil's failed magic trick "in a rather callous, bitter manner", which is one of the reasons why he gives up magic afterwards.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Played With. Everything goes south after Penny leaves. This leaves the reader to wonder: Was Penny the character who kept everyone together, or would the result have been the same if one of the other pets had gone?
- My God, What Have I Done?: Zoe is "horrified and ashamed of herself" after she injures Pepper.
- Reality Ensues: The entire premise.
- Rouge Angles of Satin:
- Script Fic: A variation; the story's narration simply describes the events in Beige Prose, and there is no dialogue.
- Smelly Skunk: Subverted. "Pepper just hasn't been the same since her scent glands were surgically removed".
- Time Skip: The story takes place over the course of a year.
- Wham Line: Saved until the very end.She grew up.