/mlp/ Fanfic Reviews

Two Beats

FimFiction Link - Short ID: 54202/two-beats

Published: Oct '12

Review in No. 40273039
"Two beats" is a 7 thousand word fanfic about passions and hard decisions. Crossfade, a young pony who ran away from home, spends his days doing mind-numbing work at a factory, and lives for night gigs where he(she? It's not clear whether they are a stallion or a mare) truly shines as an electronic music prodigy. However, something happens and Crossfade begins to realize that they can't carry on living like this.
It is a great story about the necessities of everyday life clashing with one's passions. Just read it, it's good and only 7k words long.
No. 40273668
>[Dark] [OC] [Other]
>no other tags
This was a major red flag, but I gave it a shot anyway. I'm not sure it was worth it.
It's left vague in the story, but I'll assume the MC is a mare, since it's how it read to me. While two mares making out is hot, stallions fucking stallions is hella gay. Blame my homophobia or something. Implications of whoring out for money or being called a "fuckhole" is instinctively more of a mare thing to me, too.
One thing that was immediately made clear was that the fic is criminally undertagged by 2023 standards. We get to see, among other things, severe drug addiction combined with depression, swearing, a sex scene with a late fade-to-black, and the MC waking up with dried cum on her cheeks. The T rating is really borderline, especially with the heavy use of hard drugs. My guess is that the "Dark" tag was meant to cover all of this, but it doesn't, and this ended up being a deep AU with how miserable the depicted world is. Avoiding spoilers, Crossfade (aged 15-and-a-half) has been working ten hours a day in a steel mill under a physically and mentally abusive boss, since - as she says - the only alternative she's got at that age is selling her body.

It didn't have to be a pony story. More than that, it shouldn't have been a pony story, in my opinion.
Any and all elements of the pony setting are completely unused and no canon characters appear. You could just as well tell the exact same story with humans. I know some people don't mind it, but to me that's a strike against the fic. For fuck's sake, Crossfade is a rebellious DJ; she could've just been Vinyl instead.
If you're one of the people who like (much) bleaker settings that aren't very pony at all, the story is pretty decent. Otherwise I can't recommend it.