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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.

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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, and sexual situations (including, controversially, Rule 34).

For canon variants of this trope, see Distant Finale, Distant Sequel, "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue,and Flash Forward. Compare High School A.U., 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 Likely to be Outdated by Canon if the work eventually has a Time Skip.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. Often involves Fan-Created Offspring.

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Examples (sorted by medium of canon):

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    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.

    Film - 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.
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    Film - Live Action 

    Literature 
  • 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 Author Existence Failure. 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 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.

    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 

    Webcomics 
  • 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 
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