FimFiction Link - Short ID: 510408/growing-together
Published: Jan '22
'Growing Together' is a four thousand word oneshot. Several generations after the show, Twilight's help is requested to solve a problem that literally grew too big to handle.
There is much I like about this fic. The first scene depicting Twilight as dazed and confused about what the year is and who she's talking to is in itself an awesome core for a fic. The burden of remembering everyone but in the process losing track of time is nice drama. I also like most of how the future is depicted. There is some progress (like the vertical farms,) but it's not cyberponk, which is something I personally appreciate. The intertwining families are a nice touch as well, especially in the way the author mashes some previous characters' traits together. I'm not wholly sure about the pairings themselves, but since I'm not into shipping, I won't dispute them. One more thing I have to mention is how nicely Twilight's zoning outs are depicted. The reader almost sees through Twilight's eyes as she reminisces about some past event, completely isolating herself from the outside world, before she's forcibly yanked back to the present.
The actual crux of the story for me is a bit more complicated to discuss. The reveal that Tank can speak was unexpected and I like it. However, I think I would've much preferred if he only spoke in fairly simple phrases. I recognize and respect that this isn't what the author was going for, but to me personally Twilight reinventing herself after hearing the simple utterances of the turtle would have likely felt a lot more impactful. What's more, I'm not sure I agree with the message of the fic. The story takes the idea that grief never fades and can only be dulled. Of course emotions are a very subjective thing, so if this is how the author feels then that's their choice, however, to me the ending felt a bit needlessly cynical. While on cursory glance it seems like an uplifting finale with Tank and Twilight reassuring each other that they'll be there for the other when the pain comes up, to me it also felt like the characters are in an indirect way expressing their inability to move on. I think there is a massive difference between grief and loss. One can still feel loss years after a tragedy, but not being able to move past grief - and even exacerbating it by surrounding yourself with someone who's similarly stuck in the past - is definitely not something that should be celebrated or considered beautiful. This is, of course, not an attack against the author; hell, perhaps I'm seeing things into the story that aren't there, but this was something that kind of bothered me.
Overall: 7/10 Personal opinions and wishes aside, this the story's prose and narrative is nicely written. If you're interested in post-S9 dramas dealing with Twilight outliving her friends, it might be worth a gander.