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The Morning After · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
A Night (Not) to Remember
Berry Punch staggered through the creaky barroom door, already rather tipsy from the last bar she’d been to. But as the hour had grown late, she'd begun feeling a certain itch that needed scratching, and this was her favorite place to try and get it scratched.

She looked around the barroom, sizing-up each of the stallions in turn. Big Mac sat nursing a cider nearby, but she knew from experience that he was no fun. Most of the others scattered around the room already looked to be with someone. There was one, though, who looked promising: a brown-coated, darker-brown-maned earth pony sitting alone at the bar. She smiled as she studied him; he had a nice enough build, with strong flanks bearing an hourglass cutie mark.

Berry walked over and plopped down on the stool beside him. “Two ciders,” she said to the bartender, before giving him a toothy grin. “Hey, handsome. What’s your sign?”

He considered this in silence for a moment. “I can’t say I’ve been asked that one before. Maybe, ‘Question Authority?’”

She smiled, and not just because of their ciders arriving. “You’re funny. I like that.”

“Really? I know I've been called peculiar, quirky, sometimes a bit oblivious… but almost never funny.”

Berry shrugged. “Well, what’s your story?”

“It’s a bit embarrassing… I woke up with a strange mare in my bed this morning, and I’m retracing my evening to see how she got there.”

“Been there,” Berry said, grinning. “So that means you’re not… tied-down?”

The stallion gave her a nervous frown. “Not currently, at least.” He cocked his head, and took a good, long look at her. “Hold on… it’s you!”

Berry furrowed her brow. “Uh… me?”

“Yes, you!” he shouted. “You’re her! What did you do with me last night?! Or… tonight, as it may be.” He paused, frowning. “You know, moments like these are why I usually don’t let myself intervene in my own timeline; it just gets confusing.”

Berry felt a growing sense of uncertainty, which she did her best to drown in a long swig of cider. “It sounds like I gave you a night to remember. Or… maybe I’m going to?”

He looked aghast. “You will!”

“You’re sure?”

“I am! It happened!”

“But… it hasn’t, yet.”

“It has, let me assure you!”

Berry rubbed her face in frustration. “Wait… so you’re saying that we did something together on your last night, which is my tonight… so where’s your last night?”

“That’s tonight.”

“No, I mean, where is he?!”

The stallion stood up in panic. “What time is it?”

Berry pointed to a clock on the wall. The stallion cursed, then gripped Berry's shoulders. “You must go home with me. The integrity of the space-time continuum depends on it!”

“Of all the lousy pick-up lines…”

The door creaked again, and the stallion vaulted over the bar just as a perfect doppelgänger of himself shuffled into the room.

“Hey!” the bartender shouted.

“Here!” The stallion proffered a bag of bits. “Did I see me?”

Berry glanced at the doppelgänger, who was moving sullenly toward the bar. “I… don’t think so?”

“Then listen closely! Our going home together is a fixed event, but there are always choices! Getting drunk is one thing, but as a courtesy, I would appreciate only the appearance of sordid goings-on!”

Berry frowned. “Well, how’s that fair to me? I’m stuck going home with you anyway…”

“Hello, miss,” the doppelgänger said, dropping onto the stool that the stallion had just vacated. “I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve come to get ‘properly wasted,’ as the foals say.”

Berry glanced down at the stallion, before turning a drunken leer on the doppelgänger. “Sounds great, champ. What’re you having?”

“How about… one of everything?”

“What’s the occasion?”

“I suppose you could say I’ve had a falling-out with my companion.”

“Ah, rebounding. That makes sense now.”

“Excuse me?”

“Nothing.” She smiled. “Barkeep, a Manehattan for my friend here!”

“You’re quite accommodating,” the doppelgänger said.

Berry sighed. “Look, sometimes things don’t go your way, but maybe sometimes if you do the right thing, somepony might end up owing you one.” She peered over the bar, and the stallion nodded curtly. She looked back at the doppelgänger, who seemed very confused.

But then the barkeep set a tall, thin glass of off-clear liquid with a long straw and an orange slice in front of the doppelgänger, and Berry grinned. “Drink up, handsome. One of us is gonna have a night they won’t forget.”
« Prev   8   Next »
#1 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
This...was an interesting enough concept, but Berry's complete acceptance of time travel, no questions asked (except in trying to clarify what the other pony is saying) really threw me. I hope someone else can give more useful feedback.
#2 · 3
· · >>Trick_Question >>CoffeeMinion
Yeah, given the way she calls Dr. Whooves' antics a pick-up line, you'd think she'd just accuse him of setting up a scenario with an identical twin brother to increase the chances of his getting laid.

The audacity of it might convince her to sleep with him, though...
#3 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>CoffeeMinion
I find this to be a pleasant and amusing little romp. I wasn’t bothered by Berry’s quick acceptance; her fanon fondness for tippling doesn’t necessarily mean she’s slow on the uptake, and in a place like Ponyville where new Alicorns and magic castles almost pop out of the ground underneath you, I imagine she’s seen a lot of weird things and can adapt to them.

Tier: Strong.
#4 ·
·
Genre: Time-travel crackshipping (sorta)

Thoughts: Recent evidence suggests that the genre by itself should be right up my alley, but I'm not as much into the blatancy of what Berry is going for here. Fortunately that ends up taking a back-seat to the humor of the Doctor's predicament, which I thought was great. Others have noted that Berry rolls with the situation rather quickly, but I think either >>GroaningGreyAgony explains it, or it's just the alcohol talking. Either way, this delivers a complete, satisfying, and funny story, which is pretty much all I could ask for.

Tier: Top Contender
#5 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
I’m half-expecting an Evangelion crossover with a title like that.

I have no issue with Berry rolling with Dr. Turner’s*… unique situation. She’s clearly at that level of drunk where everything sounds reasonable if said with conviction. Plus, I’m a huge sucker for these sorts of shenanigans. In all, quite fun.

*His name in the story is uncertain, so I’m splitting the difference.
#6 · 2
· · >>CoffeeMinion
I like this. It might use a little edit tweaking, but I have no specific recommendations to make it better. I'd like to see a little more depth on the message-y bits you barely hit upon near the end, though.

After the event, you'd better add a few words and put this up on FF. :V

(Also I hope Derpy is alright. Derpy is best Derpy.)
#7 ·
·
>>Posh
Since Berry's looking for action, I don't see why she'd need to be convinced with a pickup line.
#8 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
This was certainly fun, and will end up quite high in my slate. I can’t say I’m fully satisfied because, as someone pointed out, the time travel loop is too readily accepted to be honest. But, granted, verisimilitude is not something we must look after in that sort of story.

Yet, I can’t help longing for a story who would’ve begun the same way, but with no time loop. Just Berry Punch chatting up whatever his name is (Dr Hooves?). Sounded fun enough without having to add another icing on top of it.

Will Berry end up in a three way with both Dr Hooves? :P
#9 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
A strong story here. Took me a second to catch on to Berry's target being who he is, but that's all on me. The Doctor stepping into his own immediate past is a fun narrative choice, and Berry takes the weirdness like a champ, as drunks often do. Since she wakes up in his bed I feel like there's a glimmer of a chance she still got that itch taken care of...though the future Doctor explicitly withholds consent in the matter, present Doctor might not, so alcohol notwithstanding there's a bit of a moral quandary here.

I also might be thinking too hard. Either way, well done.
#10 · 2
· · >>CoffeeMinion
This sort of easy-going low-stakes conflict is a great choice for the minfic format--it's going to almost always pay off no matter who reads it. Dialogue was entertaining, and overall this was just really fun to read. On the other hand, I have to mention that the pacing does feel a little weird to me. I feel a little odd for saying this about a minific, but the start of the fic felt a little slow, and the end felt almost dragged out. We aren't introduced to the crux of the plot (the fact that we're seeing the butt-end of a time loop) until very nearly the half-way point, and after this is revealed, everything sort of just happens the way you'd expect. Overall, I'm probably still going to end up rating this one rather highly, though, but this might be something you'd want to look at for a revision/rewrite.
#11 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
First off, "What's your sign?" How is the answer not "BAD WOLF!"

Quibble aside, this... didn't really work for me. The timeloop is presented in the wrong order I think. We need to see "You must go home with me, the spacetime continuum depends on it" first. That's the hilarious bit, then an explanation of things that already happened works better, with Berry taking her own desires into account as well.

Written as-is, I find the punchlines land wrong for me, and am still slightly unsure what the doctor's actual goal is in altering his timeline (or maintaining it?)
#12 · 3
·
It's a day late and a dollar short with:

A Retrospective (Not) to Remember About A Night (Not) to Remember


>>Kitcat36
>>Posh
>>GroaningGreyAgony
>>FanOfMostEverything
>>Trick_Question
>>Monokeras
>>Rao
>>Bachiavellian
>>Xepher

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting! I guess I'm guilty of tapping the well of time-travel pseudo-romanctic shenanigans for two Writeoffs in a row, but it's an interesting well, and I don't regret the attempt.

Fun facts: I wrote this in a restaurant, about 20 feet away from (and with an excellent view of) the bar (inspiration!). Berry and Doc are two characters who I've written before and who I enjoy writing. I've never gone in for the random drunk hookup thing (srsly, why), but it seemed like a reasonable setup given the prompt. Any resemblance to the cafe scene in Back To The Future 2 is completely intentional.

A number of people commented on Berry rolling with the situation too quickly. While I (obviously) side with >>FanOfMostEverything's take on this, it's something I'll address in the cleaned-up version. And thank you >>Trick_Question; it's already got more words and is approaching release in the foreseeable future. (Also, I imagine Derpy's fine; I headcanon that his adventures sometimes get her home to Dinky later than expected, leaving the poor filly home alone sometimes, which makes Derpy sad and mad.) >>Rao highlighted the moral quandary that the situation presents, which is awesome; this will get fleshed-out a little more in the final version. I didn't really notice the pacing issues >>Bachiavellian mentioned, but I can kind of see them in hindsight, and I'll try to tune that up, but it might not be perfect.

But then we have the money comment by >>Xepher. And all I can say is aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh, you are completely right!! WHY WASN'T IT BAD WOLF?!?! I was struggling to come up with a suitable gag there, and the perfect answer should have been obvious. Rest assured, that's going in the final version. :-p Also, I've tried to move the line you mentioned as high as possible, as I agree it should be part of the story's hook. As for his goals in the situation: He's genuinely trying to figure out what happened the previous night, and he's horrified about the possibility of having cheated on Derpy (because aaaaarrrgghhhh I ship it), but he can't stop it from happening, because the space-time continuum really will go all pear-shaped if he does (and of course, he hates pears). So it's kind of like a thing where you want to look away from the trainwreck but you can't.

...

And th-th-that's all, folks! :heart: