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Flash Forward Fic

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Some fanfic writers want to explore what the characters feel during the work. Others want to explore what will happen shortly after the work ends. Others want to explore what will happen long after the story ends.

A Flash Forward Fic takes place long after the story has concluded and the characters have new concerns. While a Continuation usually aims to tie up loose ends or explore unresolved story threads, the Flash Forward Fic is more often used for character study, exploring how the characters reckoned with the events of canon and how their world changed after the fact. Essentially, it's crafting a Distant Finale or "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue for a work that never got one. If the work explicitly takes place a decade or two in the past, this also allows the writer to explore how the characters would behave in modern times.

Works with canon child characters often attract this type of fanfic. Skipping several years into the future to when the characters are teens or adults allows more flexibility with plotlines, since the characters are more mature and the fanfiction can put them in situations involving driving, employment, independent living, sexual situations (including, controversially, Rule 34), and parenthood (allowing room for Fan-Created Offspring).

For canon variants of this trope, see Distant Finale, Distant Sequel, "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, and Flash Forward. Compare High School AU, which can also involve aging up child characters but is typically an Alternate Universe, not necessarily part of the same canon. Likely to be Outdated by Canon if the work eventually has a Time Skip. See also Kid Hero All Grown-Up and Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up.

Examples (sorted by medium of canon):

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Assassination Classroom has Adventures in Solitude, taking place 15 years after the finale.
  • Death Note:
  • Mai-HiME: Future is a future fic for My-HiME, obviously. The focus is shared between the canon cast and the younger generation, leading to even more characters than the source material.
  • The Neon Genesis Evangelion fic HERZ continues the series changing the outcome of the Final Battle against SEELE (due to a chain of events the Third Impact was averted). The story begins twelve years after, showing how the world and the characters have changed and what challenges they are facing while gradually showing how they got to that point.
  • Tricanon is set sometime after the timeline of Pokémon: The Series.
  • Elemental Chess Trilogy is a Fullmetal Alchemist fic, and the first story takes place three years after the Promised Day.
  • Flowers Drenched in Vodka is set a few years after the events of Love Live!.
  • ''Spirited Away 2 : Return to the Spirit World'' takes place twelve years after the events of Spirited Away, and has an adult Chihiro stumble back into the spirit world after spending the past twelve years trying to go back.
  • The Shin Sekai is set 20 years after the ending of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan and focuses on Rikuo's children.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Decks Fall Everyone Dies takes place about eight years after the main events of Yu-Gi-Oh!, where the collapse of Duel Monsters has turned Domino City into an urban hellscape where dice games reign supreme. In the fic, Tristan and his former classmates are twenty-four and Mokuba is eighteen.
    • Next Generation of Shadows takes place six months after the incident with Diva, featuring a nineteen year-old Yugi adopting a five year-old Zane and a two year-old Syrus. The first part of the story takes place over about a week, then undergoes a timeskip to three years after that point.
    • Say Something takes place five years after the end of the series.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! Forever is set in 2018, over a decade after the end of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and follows the exploits of Yugi's son Yugo, Kaiba's son Seta, and their classmates, allies and rivals from one adventure to another, including Duel Monster tournaments.
    • The Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic The New Millennium set in the year 7006 (exactly 5,000 years after the last episode of classic Yu-Gi-Oh! aired), follows the adventures of Bennu Tamaki and her co-star, Celeste Blackstone, who obtain two Millennium Items through mysterious circumstances. Upon donning the Items, the two experience strange memory gaps. (Word of God states that they're reincarnations of classic Yu-Gi-Oh! characters, although Celeste's Yami, Aclina, is a character reused from a different plotline.)

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: We Are the Night focuses on Damian Wayne, now in his twenties, has succeeded Bruce as the Batman, and his fourteen year-old sister Helena is Robin. Many of their allies and adversaries are the children of the Batfamily, the Justice League, and the original Rogues Gallery - some canon, but some original.

  • Paradoxus: Given this is a crossover, the exact amount of time in the future varies from one franchise to the other. But, overall, it's enough for the Winx Club to have spawned and raised teenage-to-young-adult daughters or, in Sylvanas' case, adopted one.
    • Paradoxus diverges from World of Warcraft at some point between the end of the "Warlords of Draenor" expansion and the Battle for the Broken Shore. Since Sylvanas doesn't become Warchief, a good chunk of the ensuing canon events never occur. So the tense peace between the Horde and the Alliance extends for a longer period of time. When Magix makes a rather random contact with Azeroth, 150 years have passed since then. The actual present in Paradoxus is set about 30-40 years after that (at least if we go by Iladris' age).
    • The time we have flash-forwarded in Magix (from Winx Club) is easier to keep track of. When Bloom gets forcefully teleported to Azeroth, it's been 5 years after Domino's restoration, which would make about a year after the sixth seasonnote . The course of time is slower in Magix than in Azeroth, so between first contact with Azeroth and the actual present, only 18 years have rolled by.

    Films — Animation 
  • Take a Stand: Star of Ceartais takes place 17 years after Zootopia, 16 years after the first installment of "TAS", and features Nick and Judy's daughters Luna and Robyn and their friends and lovers as superheroes. Third installment The Broken Mirror is another five years on when both Wilde sisters have spouses and are planning families.
  • The Lion King: Kiara's Reign stars the next generation of lion cubs after The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.

    Films — Live Action 

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
  • Discworld:
    • The fics of A.A. Pessimal are now routinely taking place up to twenty years after the end-point in the canonical timeline caused by Pratchett's death. note . Things have begun to change in Ankh-Morpork; a seemngly ageless Vetinari still runs the City and Sam Vimes is older and determined not to retire as Watch commander. Housemistresses at the Assassins' Guild School are now younger than the canonical characters Pessimal began with, and the guild itself is poised to change its Master, as Lord Downey contemplates retirement. Social change has happened in Ankh-Morpork with its equivalent of "housing projects/council estates" appearing to replace slum landlordship. The city has a Standing Army, a well-resourced Navy, and the beginnings of an Air Force. Pessimal's second-generation OC's are coming of age into a changed world.
    • The fanfic The Brain Thief stars older versions of the canonical Young Sam and Princess Esme, and adds a number of Original Characters such as Carrot and Angua's daughter and Sgt Colon's grandkids (since he already has adult children by the time of the novels).
  • Warriors:

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Arrowverse series Legacy, Oliver and Felicity have been married for over twenty years, happily retired from vigilantism with two children. The story is told through the eyes of their reckless teenager.
  • The Brittas Empire fanfic Can You Forgive? first takes place, around about 13 years from when the last episode of the show took place. Notably, the characters are shown to be on the career trajectories predicted by "In The Beginning..." which is the show's canon Flash Forward episode.
  • The Cousins Crane by Phoebe Roberts is written as a pilot for a sequel television series to Frasier, focusing on the children of the main characters, Freddy Crane, David Crane, and Alice Doyle living through millennial malaise in Boston.
  • Glee fics of this type often feature an original New Directions member returning to McKinley to coach a new group of underdogs, either the kids of the other originals or an all-new cast. One of the examples, Twice Gleeful, features an example of the latter, but with a few children of the canon characters (including a now pushing-twenties Beth Corcoran) thrown in for good measure.
    • Glee Reprise twists it with Rachel coming to Akron rather than Lima due to Shelby falling into a coma and 14-year-old Beth needing a guardian as she enters high school. While she still takes over a glee club and has to contend with Vocal Adrenaline, her club is run out of a local community centre and is composed of students from multiple local schools.

    Multiple Media 
  • Ducktales: Twenty Years Later is a Crossover between DuckTales (1987) and several other cartoons and comics from the Disney canon. It focuses on Huey, Dewey, and Louie as adults, who have separated after disagreements over how to spend their deceased uncle's massive inheritance.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

  • Homestuck:
    • The creator-approved "ambiguously-canon" sequel series The Homestuck Epilogues and Homestuck^2 are parodies of these kinds of fanfics, focusing on the originally-teenage characters going through the motions of adulthood, including relationship drama and raising children, on top of the issues with their politically-tense society and the crumbling of reality.
    • The fancomic The Motley Two is set on Alternia some generations after the original, and descendants of the original characters play some role in the plot.
    • Another Homestuck fic, the text-based forum adventure Adult Stuck, mostly focuses on the next generation of ectochildren and occasionally the children of the canon characters.

    Western Animation