Today’s story, unlike its protagonist, doesn’t have to cheat to win your heart.
Who We Are in the Dark
[Equestria Girls] [Romance] [Tragedy] • 11,505 words
[Note: This story contains sexual themes.]
Adagio, who everyone knows is an immortal sex goddess, is determined to give her girlfriend a perfect eighteenth birthday. If only she weren’t secretly a virgin, it would be easy.
FROM THE CURATORS: Our inaugural Siren fic is “a doozy,” as Soge put it in his nomination — and the rest of us quickly saw why. “What follows the simple-yet-intricate setup is a beautiful disaster, like a train crash in slow motion, and yet manages to keep this undercurrent of optimism through the whole thing,” Soge said. “The conclusion is striking, unexpected, and effective, elevating the whole thing far beyond what I would expect of a typical shipfic. It’s a perfect Romantic Tragedy.” An equally impressed Horizon added: “The prose just pops off the page, and Adagio’s characterization walks a heck of a tightrope between redemption and villainy that serves the character well.”
That wasn’t the only praise the characterization got. “Who We Are in the Dark shows Adagio in an innovative light, trying to deal with the aftermath of losing her Siren powers, which has the aftereffect of making her unable to actually read people, since she always relied on her magic for that,” Soge explained — and all of us found that unique and striking. “Adagio’s portrayal is what takes this above and beyond just being another beautifully written fic,” Present Perfect said. “I connected on a deeply personal level with her struggle to read faces and body language. I suspect more readers will connect with her inability to know what to do in stressful situations, to say nothing of sitting, helpless, while watching your world fall apart.”
That combined with fluid writing and solid structure to make this coast to an easy feature. “There’s so much care put into setting up the characters’ desires and letting those play out naturally,” Horizon said. “And that care is seen throughout; the confrontation scene is properly crushing, and it manages to take the situation into full meltdown without ever taking the lazy way out of making someone the villain.” All in all, as Present Perfect said, it was the sort of story that turns heads and changes minds about a character: “I came into this story with no particular love for Adagio Dazzle. By the end of it, watching her world crumble was absolutely heartbreaking.”
Read on for our author interview, in which NaiadSagaIotaOar discusses fanfiction optimization, hilarious ineptitude, and squip removal.