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Take A Third Option / Fan Fiction

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  • Many fanfiction writers, when faced with Love Triangle issues, will decide not to go with a One True Pairing, but instead a One True Threesome.
  • Likewise, you have two (or more) continuities in a fandom and you like them both too much to disregard one canon entirely? Go with Patchwork Fic.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Should Italy choose Germany or should Italy choose Japan? He chose both.
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  • Advice and Trust: Due to her growing bond with Asuka and Shinji Rei considers neither Gendo's way nor SEELE's way are acceptable anymore, and she will find another way to protect her friends:
    Decision firmed in her chest. Her friends. Their love. The possibility of her own one day... They had to be protected. Rei no longer wanted to see a world where any of those things could not exist. The Commander's Scenario for Instrumentality was no longer acceptable. Nor was SEELE's. There had to be another way. And Rei would fight for that path, the path that ensured her friends would live to be happy.
  • In Rise Of Empress Midnight, Twilight gives Midnight the option to either stay in her destroyed world or join Twilight and reform herself. Midnight instead calls for a third option and attempts to kill Twilight and herself via the destroyed world.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero:
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    • Take A Third Option: Haruhi can't unbottle her feelings about the consequences of her powers because it will cause even more strain to others, and she can't ignore it either because she cares about the SOS Brigade. In order to prevent a Heroic BSoD she runs a Memory Gambit on herself so she doesn't destroy the world on an accidental whim.
    • What do you do if you are part of a Harem but don't want anybody to lose? Marry Them All.
  • In Exoria, Leonore wants Zelda to stay in her safe room during the Valentine invasion and wait for rescue teams to arrive. Zelda wants to find her military and lead them as commander-in-chief, even if it means risking capture. They eventually reach a compromise; Zelda will go to Gerudo to cement an alliance with Ganondorf and command her forces from there.
  • Harry Potter SSHG fic The Occluded Soul. It's all about Snape's Third Choice.
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  • In another HP fic, primum mobile, or ten forgotten things , Draco Malfoy realizes he may have moved he and Harry Potter to a reality where the wizarding world does not exist as a subconscious example of Taking a Third Option:
    '''The Dark Lord gave me two choices: one bad, the other worse. I suppose this is door number three.
    Eventually, both Draco and Harry begin to forget the wizarding world altogether.
  • The Wise Prince protagonist of this expansive Dragon Age fanfic actually started off by creating a third option for a certain situation that came to pass later, after his Zero-Approval Gambit.
  • In Rainbooms and Royalty, after Rainbow rejects Nightmare Moon's temptation, the dark alicorn, after restraining Fluttershy's wings and preventing Twilight Sparkle and Rarity from using their magic, hurls the Mane Cast sans Rainbow to their deaths. Nightmare Moon then taunts Rainbow to choose who to save, because as fast as she is, she can't save all of them. Rainbow manages to pull off a Sonic Rainboom for the first time since her fillyhood, and does fly fast enough to save all of them.
  • In the Digimon/Star Wars: The Clone Wars crossover A Sticky Situation, Aayla is kidnapped by Cad Banes and questioned for useful information before he intends to kill her on Darth Sideous's orders. The clear choices are for her to submit to the torture and share a secret that could alter the entire war if the Separatist find out (and die) or remain silent while suffer intense pain at the hands of the bounty hunter (and die). Instead, because she has learned to think outside of the box thanks to her time with the digimon and tamers, she decides to pay her captor more than Darth Sideous did and have him both release her, keep the digimon a secret, and start working for the Jedi.
  • Justice League of Equestria: During the second arc of Mare of Steel, Brainiac sets up Rainbow Dash/Supermare with a Sadistic Choice: either save Cloudsdale from a bomb capable of destroying the whole city, or save Scootaloo from being electrocuted. Being a creature that runs on pure logic, Brainiac is unable to anticipate that Rainbow Dash would be unwilling to let either happen, and thus acting to prevent both.
  • In the Dead or Alive/Devil May Cry crossover Dead or Alive 4: The Devil Factor, this is Dante's reaction to Kasumi's dilemma (be pursued by her former brethren in the Mugen Tenshin for the rest of her life, or enter into an Arranged Marriage and sever all ties to her clan for good, thus never being able to return home). He explicitly says that when someone only gives him an A-and-B choice, he'll choose C every time.
  • Calvin defies this in the original version of Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, when faced with a Sadistic Choice, the President decides to stall Dr. Wily until help can arrive.
  • Reimagined Enterprise: Meta-example. Many fans disliked the overly TNG-like aesthetic from Star Trek: Enterprise and most fan reimaginings give Enterprise a more TOS-like aesthetic instead. Rather than doing this, BlackWave instead created his own 22nd century aesthetic that's halfway between contemporary spacecraft like the Space Shuttle or Dream Chaser and TOS, logically enough.
  • During the events of The Teacher of All Things, Tai and the other V-Tamers are left with a conundrum: When you can't get to Odaiba because the bridge has collapsed and the waters are too full of enemies to swim- not that Greymon are great swimmers anyway- and flying in would only get you noticed and mean you have to fight off an entire army at once... what do you do? Why, take the still-under-construction tunnel, of course!
  • In Harry Potter and the Chalice of the Moon the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, due to a centaur prophecy that death would take place on that day, is faced with either killing Harry's twin brother Mark or letting him kill her with the Sword of Gryffindor, costing Harry a mentor figure and important ally. At the last second she decids to knock Mark out and kill the only one for whom death won't be permanent - Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes.
  • In the Gensokyo 20XX series, earlier we have it where Ran, Chen, and Flandre encounter a starving Reimu. At first, Ran has the notion to take Reimu to a hospital but acknowledges that cannot really be done without either Reimu dying en route from the cold, as a hospital is a long ways off from where they were, or having a risk of being captured for being youkai, something that could lead to all of their demises, so Ran decides to eliminate both possibilities by placing her under a hibernation spell (Think Sleeping Beauty) that wasn't to be broken until Yukari returns.
  • Sight has Ichigo's hollow try and fight for control. If Ichigo loses, the hollow takes over his body and if he wins, the hollow doesn't try anything for awhile. To everyone's surprise, Ichigo vehemently refuses to fight at all, which results in a forced truce where the hollow can't fight him, but still hangs around. It's also lampshaded.
    "Where do ya get off choosin' a third option?"
  • In Labyrinth fanfic Her Kingdom As Great Sarah is embodient of the third option, and doesn't understand how one would not choose it:
    "That too. But no, I still think it's a false alternative. He made a choice between the two dreams, forsaking one to have the other, because you told him he could only have one and he believed you. When you told me the same thing, I believed you too, for a time. Then I decided I could have both, and so I can. But here he is sixty years later and he still thinks his ability to write poetry is lost."
  • In Halkegenia Online Zero Hour, Shino is confronted by the Laughing Coffin guild and is given the choice of joining them or being killed by them. Instead she chooses to kill them all.
  • Intercom: In chapter 13, Riley admits about Tracey accusing her of being Schizophrenic. When Bill probes on whether she's hearing voices, Riley mentally thinks that if she lies, she'll be found out. But if she tells the truth, they might send her off to a psychologist. So instead, she storms out on them, fuming that they'd never believe her if she told the truth.
  • In The Witch of the Everfree, Sunset does this when cornered by guards on the train to Ponyville, teleporting off a bridge rather than either fighting them or talking to them.
    Guard: There isn’t anywhere to run, so you can either listen peacefully or we can do things the hard way.
    Sunset: There's always a choice, as long as you’re willing to accept the consequences.
  • Sunset Shimmer is faced with a choice: Remove all magic from the human world, or allow Equestrian magic to transform all of humanity into ponies. She instead asks the personification of human magic what she wants; Magic chooses to meld human and Equestrian magic together. Thus starts the Oversaturated World...
  • A Good Compromise: Captain Tyria Sark puts herself in a bind in part one, which is lampshaded by her comms officer Azira Shelon. Her orders say she's supposed to abandon the Teplans if the Dominion makes an issue of the Federation putting them under their protection, but she promises the Teplan head of state that, "I'll do right by you." When the Dominion comes, a third option presents itself: turns out neither side wants to fire the first shot, and Tyria is able to convince the Vorta to resolve the situation diplomatically: the Teplans become independent but the Federation cannot arm them or use their planet as a base. There's also a third option within the third option, as Tyria notes that the agreement only prevents the Federation from arming the Teplans; other factions in the Alpha Quadrant aren't restricted by it.
  • Consul of the Underworld: The Game Begins: When Dumbledore tries to blackmail Alkaid into helping him to drive Narcissa Malfoy from Hogwarts or he will reveal her existence to her uncles, Alkaid chooses to silence him before he gets the chance to blow the whistle on her.
  • In the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service Eggsy is presented with a Sadistic Choice: shoot his beloved dog JB or fail and lose any chance of becoming a Kingsman. In the fanfic Trials he takes a third option: he shoots Arthur. This puts him on the fast track to become the next Arthur, as a knight does what he's told, but a king does what is right. Predictably, Arthur is pissed at the current turn of events.
  • In Into Darkness Harry's late father tells him that according to the Fates, if Harry doesn't break up with Hermione so she can go back to Ron then she'll never learn to control her dark side; while if Harry tries to teach her to control it she'll eventually decide it's a lost cause and end up destroying the world. Harry eventually decides to go dark right along with her.
  • In RWBY: Second Generation, Verse is forced to make a Sadistic Choice. With his teammates held at gunpoint, he is given the option to either kill himself or watch them die in front of him. Instead, he shoots the people behind the gun, allowing them to escape.
  • In Time Enough For Friendship, Star Swirl the Bearded must try to manipulate the timeline to allow the Bearers to become strong enough to defeat Tirek. The problem is that both ends of the timeline are fixed (the Bearers first gain their Elements when the Nightmare returns and not a moment before, and Tirek's escape cannot be altered by even Star Swirl's chronomancy). When Star Swirl tries to fit all the necessary challenges into the time he has to work with, they become overwhelming and break the Bearers instead of strengthening them. But if he gives the Bearers time to recover between adventures, Tirek comes for them before they are ready. Star Swirl's ultimate solution? With Discord's aid, he decoheres time for the Bearers, rendering it impossible to track or define what happens when. Effects still follow from causes, but unrelated causes cannot be placed in any kind of order. And so the Bearers may have as much time as they need to adventure, rest, and grow close.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has a pretty big one in Chapter 34. Sabrina kidnaps Ash Ketchum using an Abra to teleport him to her gym, and intends to force him to fight his way through her hordes of Psychic-type Pokémon. He could try and go to the top floor to get a Marsh Badge, or to the basement where she has Ash's Primeape captive. In the end, Ash's Pokédex uses a group of Exegguttor Ash caught in the Safari Zone to teleport all of Ash's Pokémon from Oak's ranch, and they break through the ceiling to join the fray and level the playing field. During the break in, a few Marsh Badges fall from above, and Squirtle snatches one, while Ash sends the Raichu that used to belong to Paul to the basement to rescue Primeape.
  • In Wolf And Cub After the Kumo incident Hiashi Hyuuga is faced with two difficult choices. Either hand over his brother to be killed by Kumo or let Konoha be dragged into a war that they cant afford to fight. He instead invents a political fiction that Hizashi had a psychotic breakdown, kidnaped Hinata, went missing-nin and killed the Kumo ambassador on his way out of Konoha. That allows everyone to keep face.
    • Later on he has to chose if his nephew Neji is going to be branded, as the elders demand, or defy tradition. He instead emotionally blackmails Asuna into making Neji his apprentice and taking him to the Twelve Ninja Guardians.
  • If Lord Brocktree and Aslan had to fight each other (they don't), who would win? Answer: food.
    The animals feasted for hours, occasionally singing folk songs and reciting poetry to entertain their guest.
  • In this Bungou Stray Dogs fanfiction, Ryuunosuke Akutagawa has the choice between going with Chuuya to do paperwork, or go with Kouyou to do preparations for a birthday. Halfway, Dazai mixes in the choice panel, who wants him for training. At the end, he decides to go with none of them and go out for food with his sister. note 
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