The Wheel and the Butterfly: A Dan X Pinkie Saga is a romance-comedy crossover between My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and Dan Vs. It is written in novella-length parts that are centered on different subplots. The parts themselves are also broken down into chapters.
The story is written in a third-person, past-tense perspective with the occasional breaking of the fourth wall by Pinkie Pie. The story is also written a way in which the reader does not need to have seen any of the “Dan Vs.” episodes in order to fully grasp the plot; however, several references to the show add in a little something for the readers who are a fan of both and does encourage non-fans to at least watch it. The chapter titles are variations of the “Dan Vs.” episode titles, with one or more of the characters versus something.
Pinkie Pie is attacked by incorporeal beings described as “blue, black shapeless clouds” who call themselves “The Order Keepers” and send her to the “Dan Vs.” universe. After being saved by Dan and Chris from a mugger, she quickly befriends them and Elise, Chris’ wife, and eventually shares the apartment with Dan. What starts out as rage-filled loathing rapidly turns into a close friendship between Dan and Pinkie and then blossoms into a surprisingly well-matched, albeit strange romance between them as they face everyday problems, supernatural beings, and people and enemies from the Dan’s past that seem to find their way across the two while trying to find a way for Pinkie to return home.
Part 1: Pinkie Vs. Van Nuys
Part 1 is about Pinkie’s adjustment to her new human and her encounter with Dan and Chris, who are on a vengeance run against apostrophes. After Dan saves Pinkie from a mugger, Chris offers to help Pinkie with Dan angrily objecting to the idea. Chris takes them to Burgerphile and afterward to Casa Paradiso, where Pinkie rents the apartment next to Dan’s and suffers a severe head wound. After having it doctored by Dan and being sent to her own apartment, Pinkie hears Twilight’s voice coming from the compact mirror in a bag that Pinkie had when she arrived in Dan’s world. Upon opening it, Twilight tells Pinkie that she, Princess Luna, Princess Celestia, and Rarity turned a mirror into an image portal so they could communicate with Pinkie. Twilight also reveals that as soon as she disappeared from Equestria, The Order Keepers vanished from Equestria. At the end of the part, Pinkie paints Dan’s car pink and bedazzles it with fake, plastic jewelry as a prank before she and Chris leave to go to the mall; and Dan swears vengeance against Pinkie Pie, leading into the next part, “Dan Vs. Pinkie.”
Part 2: Dan Vs. Pinkie
After Dan swears his revenge, he follows Pinkie and Chris to Lenny’s and then the mall. Despite his rage toward her, Dan acts nice and friendly toward her to bring her into a false sense of security with him. It isn’t until after Pinkie arrives at her apartment after meeting Chris’ wife, Elise, that Dan enacts his revenge by burning a scrapbook Pinkie made in front of her. Pinkie converts to her despairing state with flattened hair. Overcome with regret, Dan enlists the help of Chris and Elise to recreate the scrapbook he burned and to throw an impromptu party for Pinkie, which succeeds in helping her revert to her bubbly self. At the end of the part, Dan finally accepts Pinkie’s friendship and lets her have the couch to crash.
Part 3: Pinkie Vs. Daily Life
Part 3 isn’t too pivotal of a part and has more of the feel of a slice-of-life story. It is essentially about some of Pinkie’s adjustments to daily life in Van Nuys. The only chapter of real importance is “Chapter 17: Dan Vs. Friendship (is Magic)” where Dan finally gets to meet some of Pinkie’s Ponyville friends (and a few ponies from Canterlot).
Part 4: Dan Vs. Roommate
Part 4 could also be considered as another “Dan Vs. Pinkie” part. Pinkie tries to change some of Dan’s bad habits (usually by using threats of violence or doing it herself), like having him eat vegetables, take showers, and brush his teeth, which all annoys Dan to the point where he schemes to get rid of Pinkie by reverting back to some of his old habits from prior to Pinkie moving in with him. He tries walking around in his underwear, playing loud music, and eating meat; but all is to no avail. Dan eventually gives up trying once finding out that Pinkie is comfortable with this; but Elise lets it slip to Pinkie during dinner one night about Dan’s scheme. Pinkie runs off; and Dan chases after her, explaining that he’s used to being alone and not used to having a roommate and claims he felt threatened. He asks her stay, which she does. For a single chapter, Part 4 breaks into Part 4.5, where Twilight learns that Discord is partially responsible for Pinkie being sent to Dan’s world. Discord explains that The Order Keepers were going to send Pinkie to a solitary world, but he changed the their chosen destination to one of his own—Dan’s world.
Part 5: Pinkie Vs. Balance
Another slice-of-life part, “Pinkie Vs. Balance” is basically about what the title states: Pinkie is trying to improve her balance. She first tries parkour but fails, heavily injuring herself. At the recommendation of Elise, Pinkie, a reluctant and properly bribed Dan, Chris, and Elise go to a military-style obstacle course; Pinkie also fails the obstacle course and assists its incineration when she, Dan and Chris discover that the operator is just like a robot that Dan and Chris had faced in the past. Deciding to go with something, that Elise isn’t good at, the group goes ice-skating and enters in an amateur couples’ figure skating competition, where they meet that universe’s version of Sunset Shimmer and Flash Sentry. Initially, Pinkie couples with Dan and Chris with Elise; but after seeing their partners excel at skating and with the desire to see that “red-headed floozy” beaten; Dan and Elise cancel their entries and start a fresh one pairing Pinkie and Chris together. After tying with Sunset Shimmer and Flash Sentry, Chris and Pinkie beat the other couple in a tie-breaking skate-off. Flash Sentry breaks up with Sunset Shimmer after the match and leaves her to freeze to death in pool of water in the ice rink, and Pinkie is satisfied with having her balance improved just a little.
Part 6: Pinkie & Dan Vs. Camping
After being beaten repetitively in a video game, Pinkie jumps to violence threatening to destroy the offending machine with her crowbar. But when Dan defends the video game system, Pinkie turns the crowbar to him, which he defends against with a baseball bat. After swordplay-like combat with the crowbar and bat and close, hand-to-hand combat, Dan and Pinkie end up with Dan’s knee buried into Pinkie’s sternum and one of Pinkie’s thumbs gouging one of Dan’s eyes. Pinkie admits she was wrong, explains that the city and the lack of nature is getting to her, and indirectly suggests that she and Dan go camping. Dan explains that camping is how people are mauled by animals or brutally murdered by a serial killer but accepts reluctantly after Pinkie uses “the face.” They invite Chris and Elise to come along, and Elise agrees and says that they can use her parents’ cabin in Canada, increasing their chances to be killed by a serial killer or a malevolent spirit according to Dan. However, Elise is contacted by her agency and is instructed that she is to find and capture the memories of a man named Hiram. At first, Elise expects this to complicate the camping trip until she learns that Hiram is making his way into Canada. She decides to go on the trip anyways, using it as a cover without telling Dan, Pinkie, or Chris about her mission.
During the road trip to Canada, the group (with Mr. Mumbles) heads into Las Vegas, where Pinkie and Chris’ appetites cause The Bellagio’s restaurant to run out of food and Pinkie wins a fairly large amount of money (her back was itchy). They stop in Idaho Falls for the night, where Pinkie is attacked by the official state fish, tree, vegetable, bird, and insect of Idaho, leading to the theory that the state of Idaho attacked Pinkie. The group finally reaches the cabin, where Elise’s parents and Colby, Elise’s ex-boyfriend, make a “surprise” visit. Pinkie tries to befriend them, but she quickly decides that she can’t stand them because they are “the most self-centered people ever.” The tension between Pinkie and Elise’s parents, particularly her father, increase while Dan and Pinkie are blessing and protecting the cabin for spirits and during dinner. That night, Hiram attacks the RV Elise’s parents and Colby are residing in; but Elise saves them and brings them into the cabin. She then proceeds to beat her father over their plan to get rid of Chris (again). Dan goes to a window to check on Hiram, where everyone discovers that he’s possessed and the blessings that Dan and Pinkie placed onto the cabin prevent him from entering. Colby decides to go out and fight Hiram, a fight that he quickly loses and gets his throat ripped out. After doing so, Hiram turns into a Wendigo; and Dan and Pinkie run through their solution list. Pinkie tries to befriend the Wendigo, which backfires. The group then plans to boil lard so they can pour it down the Wendigo’s throat (to melt its icy heart). Chris drives away from the cabin, surprising Dan, Pinkie, and the others, leading the Wendigo away. He crashes into a tree, and when the Wendigo reaches the wreck, Chris turns into a bear (a reference to Dan’s idea that Canadians can turn into bears, and Chris is one-sixteenth Canadian). He and the Wendigo fight, a battle that Chris nearly loses until Dan, Pinkie, Elise, and Elise’s parents save him. Dan cuts at the Wendigo’s Achilles’ heels, making him fall over; and Pinkie cuts at its chest until its heart is exposed. Dan pours the boiling fat into the heart, killing the Wendigo spirit.
Tension between Elise’s parents and the others diminish somewhat. The next day, the group leaves the cabin, heading for Havre first and then to a lodge. Pinkie finally relaxes and gets revenge against Idaho in the part’s epilogue. One night, when Pinkie falls asleep on the couch, Dan picks her up and carries her to bed. Instinctively, Pinkie nuzzles into Dan’s chest; and Dan realizes he loves Pinkie.
Part 7: Dan Vs. Love
After winning obscene amounts of money from Las Vegas, Pinkie convinces Dan to give some of it away. She also convinces Dan to help her find a job as a baker because she has been feeling empty inside. Dan objects to the idea but helps anyways. Down the street, they find a bakery called Wally’s Emporium of Cupcakes and Muffins that was opened by Wally of Wally’s Emporium of Hardware and Explosives with a “Now Hiring” sign out front. Pinkie applies and is hired on the spot after presenting a rainbow-frosted cupcake that sends Wally into a cupcake euphoria. She tosses all of his ingredients and replaces them with natural ingredients. Dan leaves for home, but he becomes bored without Pinkie around. Applejack tells Dan that Pinkie’s birthday is a couple weeks away, and Dan schemes to find Pinkie the best birthday present so that she will fall in love with him. He has Chris help, and Dan finds an old antique mirror with a butterfly on it that costs about eight hundred dollars. Dan then decides to get a job to pay for it and goes to Wally’s Emporium of Cupcakes and Muffins, which is incredibly packed. He is hired on the spot by Wally under the duress of the rush and an overworked Pinkie Pie. Two weeks later, he gets his paycheck, buys the mirror, and hides in Pinkie’s closet. She is overjoyed with Dan’s gift, which she has Twilight switch to from the compact mirror. Twilight insults Dan, which gets to Dan and he becomes unlike himself. After a small revelation that his “scheme” was for selfish reasons, Dan convinces Chris to help him bake all of the orders and restock the display cases in a single night, just to make Pinkie happy. Meanwhile, while out with Elise, Pinkie realizes that she is love with Dan. Upon seeing what Dan did for her, Pinkie jumps Dan in the kitchen bakery, nearly causing Dan to be fired (after some “persuasion” from Pinkie, Dan is instead promoted to assistant manager). Dan becomes his old self again, and after another exhausting day at work, he and Pinkie finally confess their love for each other and kiss several moments of ship teasing throughout the story.
Part 7.5: Pinkie Vs. Virginity
After ruining a romantic moment with Dan, Pinkie “decides” to enlist the help of Rarity and Elise to find a piece of lingerie to grab Dan’s attention. Meanwhile, Dan enlists Chris’ help to find a way to sweep Pinkie off her feet during an impromptu vengeance run. Chris advises a romantic night in, which Dan sets aside as a plausible idea but eventually resorts to it. The evening goes well for the two.
Part 8: Dan & Pinkie Vs. Ordinary Week
After officially becoming a couple, Dan and Pinkie are faced with several things within a single week: Pinkie learns about the dark side of anime; a superhero that comes for revenge against Dan and ultimately turns into a supervillian; Dan and Pinkie’s video game system is stolen by a fairy and a league of vampires that have claimed the underground tunnels underneath Los Angeles as their home. After a heroic clash, the superhero-turned-supervillian Terri-Man (originally Terrifi-Guy) is defeated. While Chris and Elise are vacation, Dan and Pinkie must resort to a couple other friends of theirs, Ninja Dave and Becky, to help them find the fairy and vampires responsible for stealing their video game system and recover it. They eventually find themselves in the tunnels underneath Los Angeles during their search, where the group first loses track of Pinkie Pie, Mr. Mumbles, and Cratey (who is just a crate wrapped in silver wire). Dan, Becky, and Ninja Dave find the fairy that had a hand in the theft of the video game system. Dan sends off Becky and Dave so they wouldn’t fall for the fairy’s hypnotic powers and squares off with the fairy, killing and taking its magic ring that can create forceful gusts of wind. Becky and Ninja Dave meet up with three vampires that they quickly kill. In the heat of the moment, Becky kisses Dave, leaving a bit of awkwardness between them right before a trap door opens up from beneath them. Pinkie, Mr. Mumbles, and Cratey are found and taken away by a small group of vampires to the Vampire King. Dan meets up with Pinkie and the Vampire King, and Ninja Dave and Becky arrives with a “medium-sized” army of lizard people that used to reside in the tunnels until they were run off by the vampires. A large battle ensues, ending with Pinkie killing the Vampire King with a stake blessed by Princess Celestia and she and Dan recovering their video game system.
Part 9: Dan Vs. The Order Keepers
After a double date at Lenny’s (where Pinkie meets Dan’s imposter) Dan and Pinkie find themselves attacked by The Order Keepers (TOK, for short) and are sent to their residential world (called the Nexus) where Pinkie reverts to her pony form. The Order Keepers take Pinkie away from Dan, but he fights back, mauling several of the supposed “incorporeal” beings and killing fewer, eventually taking on The Order Keeper King. Dan and Pinkie make their escape after Dan uses his newly found powers of spawning anything that he desires in the Nexus. Upon returning to Dan’s world, Dan rips apart the portal through which they were sent and returned. Pinkie, however, remains a pony, prompting for the next part, “Dan & Pinkie Vs. Interspecies Relationships.”
The only characters that really change throughout the story are Dan and Pinkie Pie, for better or for worse. Pinkie tends to resort to violence a little more quickly than she used to do (however, the desire to make friends first is still there). Dan, despite still being a sociopathic pyromaniac, has achieved a lot because of Pinkie. He has a well paying job, a clean apartment, and a circle of friends that he can call upon when he needs them (unless he is sent to voicemail)..
With over 750 favorites on Fimfiction.net, it is safe to say that “The Wheel and the Butterfly: A Dan X Pinkie Saga” has been well received by readers. It also has an “interquel” called “Dan and Pinkie Take a Slice out of Life” that explores the slice of life episodes of Dan and Pinkie’s friendship. There is even a dramatic reading by Ysengrimmus (see link below).
- "So we can all spend hours in the emergency waiting room just so an actor in a lab coat can fondle her, give her a lollipop, and send her on her way?"
- — Dan, “Part 1 Pinkie Vs. Van Nuys, Chapter 5 Dan Vs. Forehead Wound”
- "You ship your friends? You’re sick."
- — Dan, “Part 5 Pinkie Vs. Balance, Chapter 29 Dan Vs. Ice Skating”
- "Speaking of which. You’re not allowed to touch any books with faces on them…Unless you WANT to be molested by your precious nature."
- — Dan, “Part 6 Pinkie & Dan Vs. Camping, Chapter 31 Dan Vs. Road Trip”
- "…and behind that lies a warped, debauched individual; no doubt stockpiling her strange cult paraphernalia behind closed doors and pouring over it when no one is around…Mark my words, when you come back you’ll be asking me to wear a cape, cover you in chocolate syrup, and flog you with a spoon as you call me ‘Count Chocula’…"
- — Dan, “Part 8 Dan and Pinkie Vs. Ordinary Week, Chapter 53 Pinkie Vs. Yaoi”
- "Chris, that is Pinkie Pie…you’ve met her…MANY times… and while I’m quite sure you’ve never been formally introduced to her breasts, I can assure you WHAT THE BAKERY IS SHORT ON IS NOT WRITTEN ON THEM."
- — Dan, “Part 8 Dan and Pinkie Vs. Ordinary Week, Chapter 58 Pinkie Vs. Heat”