The coverart on FIMFiction
|Date published||January 21, 2012|
|Words||33,092 (as of chapter 10)|
Slice of Life
Social Standards is told mostly from Braeburn's perspective in first-person limited, allowing the audience to grow and flourish and learn with Braeburn's development as a character.
The story begins at the point where Braeburn learns that he is slightly different from other colts and continues onward, keeping a slightly dual storyline as we see his linear experiences in his childhood as he flashes back to them later on as an adult, comparing them to current situations he finds himself in.
Visuals are strong in RadaVonVon's style as she presents the dilemma Braeburn is faced with, and his thought process is strongly explained by the narrator, making his viewpoints and confusion clear.
Symbols are often used. The most common one appears to be a pair of flight goggles to represent the way one sees the world.
The story follows Braeburn throughout his adult life.
His parents are continually trying to get him to meet mares and get a girlfriend, and in their efforts, send him to Sweet Apple Acres to meet a nice filly whom Applejack claimed to know. During his stay, Soarin' comes in to buy a pie from his favorite baker, Applejack. Watching the Wonderbolt eat so crudely both disturbs and intrigues the confused and oblivious Braeburn as Soarin flirts with him. After explaining the Wonderbolts are in town, Soarin' hands Braeburn two passes to the Ponyville show in hopes to see him there.
While a lovestruck Rainbow Dash goes on a date with the uninterested Braeburn, she decides to try to assuade him with alcohol and offers him cider. After a bit too much, he begins to flirt with her and even has his first kiss with her in a sloppy mess of tongues and lips.
In his haze, he comes to the conclusion that something isn't right about what he's doing with her, and inevitably feels guilty for leading her on. He stops the tipsy Rainbow Dash and explains to her that this simply isn't right, and accidentally allows it to slip that he's gay, something he doesn't even really realize himself. Offended, she flies off, leaving a sonic rainboom in her wake.
Soarin' offers Braeburn to come meet him for lunch. The next day, Braeburn meets him, and Soarin' loudly says something about him being a coltcuddler, which panics Braeburn and sends him bolting off.
Wanting to apologize, Soarin' shows up several days later to Sweet Apple Acres, asking Applejack if he could ask Braeburn to come up to Cloudsdale with him to visit, and maybe meet some mares. Applejack obliges, calling Braeburn down to meet him.
Soarin' forces a cloudwalking potion down his throat and tells Braeburn to hop on his back, much to Braeburn's distaste and concern. But, eventually, they make it to Cloudsdale. Soarin' takes Braeburn into a local club, introducing him to various strange faces including Vinyl Scratch.
After Soarin' knocks back several trot island teas, the inebriated Pegasus leans forward and kisses Braeburn on the lips.
Braeburn, horrified, runs out of the club to the edge of the cloud city, and Soarin chases after him. Standing on the unstable, thin cloud, he falls through and Soarin' swoops down to save him.
Soarin' is tired and drunk and opts that they spend the night in a hotel. In order to get home safely, knowing that drunk flying is a crime, Braeburn agrees, in spite of the fact that he knows Applejack will be concerned.
In the morning, Soarin' brings a breakfast of cherrychangas, but soon finds that they are horrific and offers to take Braeburn out for breakfast.
They have a legitimate, long conversation about Braeburn's sexuality, and Soarin gets Braeburn to quietly admit that there is a small chance of him being a coltcuddler. Unfortunately for Braeburn, he doesn't know that Applejack has sent Fluttershy to check up on him and make sure he was okay, in her concern.
Soarin' drags Braeburn to his rehearsal with the Wonderbolts. Spitfire finds him as Soarin' is still in the dressing room and tries to convince him about Soarin's past sins and bad history of relationships with both mares and stallions.
Soarin' interrupts with Fluttershy in tow, introducing her and Spitfire. Soarin' had known her from her brief modeling career, and Spitfire had been a fan.
Braeburn recognizes her and begs her not to tell Applejack of his secret, and she agrees nervously.
Upon returning, Braeburn begins to feel only very slightly attracted to Soarin', but brushes it off. As soon as he walks into the door of Sweet Apple Acres, Applejack tells him there is terrible news.