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The Five Elements

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A knock was heard at the door. Fluttershy opened it, and saw Pinkie jumping with joy and smiling at her. She was carrying three balloons; two of them were blue and the other green.

"Um, hello," said Fluttershy, knowing what was about to be said.

"You're invited to my party!" Pinkie shouted back excitedly, dropping an invitation in front of Fluttershy's feet, who looked down at it. Pinkie left, happily hopping along as she usually does. The Pegasus opened the letter and began reading. She felt nervous, though she knew she had no reason to. Her friends have loved and accepted her for who she is. She knew very well she had no reason to fear them. Then again, it just felt that something bad was going to happen, even though there was nothing to worry about. She set the letter down, thinking more and more. The more she thought of what could go wrong, the worse she felt. She didn't exactly want to go to that party, nor did she want to hurt her friends' feelings by not showing up. Fluttershy looked back at the invitation, staring at it. She eventually decided to go.

Not wanting to be seen by any pony, she immediately flew as high as she dared. She was looking at Ponyville, at all the ponies, unicorns, and other pegasi walking along. A few were going into the shops or where at stands to buy something. A few more were in small groups, usually of two or three, talking to each other. Fluttershy's attention became so focused on the ponies on the ground that she failed to notice Rainbow speeding towards her.
Five elements

"Woah! Look out!" screamed Rainbow, trying desperately to stop. Fluttershy lifted her head up, and then ducked as quick as she could. Before Rainbow could stop herself, her front left hoof hit the top of Fluttershy's mane. Neither of them could believe how close that was. Neither of them wanted to think of what would have happened if they weren't so lucky.

"I... I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash," said Fluttershy, feeling miserable.

"No," began Rainbow, "It was my fault. I just figured the sky was clear, since not many Pegasus ponies actually fly up this high. Speaking of which, why are you flying this high?"

"I'm going to Pinkie Pie's party, but I don't want to any pony seeing me."

"You didn't used to have a problem just walking by. Are you becoming even more shy?"

Fluttershy's heart skipped a beat as she heard this question. She paused for a second, thinking.

"Yes, I'm becoming even more afraid. I don't even know why, though."

"Would you feel more comfortable if you were going there with me?" asked Rainbow, more concern in her voice.

"Well," said Fluttershy, looking back at the ground, "I mean I just got in your way, but, if it's what you want, then yes, I'll go with you."

"Fluttershy. Look at me."

Fluttershy lifted her head up, facing Rainbow. As soon as there was eye contact, it was broken. Fluttershy was looking somewhere else nearby.

"Look at me, please," repeated Rainbow.

"I... I can't," said Fluttershy.

"Just know that no matter what, we will always love you for who you are."

Fluttershy smiled for a second, feeling some sense of happiness.

"Now come on, let's go to the party."

The two pegasi were flying side by side. It was going to only be a short flight, but both of them wanted it to be longer. There was just something about it was magical all in itself. Within moments, they reached Pinkie's place. They landed, and Rainbow checked to make sure her friend was okay. She seemed to be alright. The first thing Fluttershy noticed was her friends, all ready to party, smiling at the remaining two guests. The room itself was well lit, with ribbons hanging on the walls, balloons pushing up against the ceiling, party posters hanging on the wall, and music playing in the background.

"Hey there!" said Apple Jack.

"Hello," said Fluttershy and Rainbow together, though Rainbow's loud voice overpowered Fluttershy's quiet voice.

"Do you think you can handle this?" Rainbow asked Fluttershy, looking concerned. The rest of the ponies watched, wondering what was going on. All eyes looked at Fluttershy, who was beginning to feel terrible. She sighed, thinking to herself, "What kind of friend am I if I don't want to party with them?" She sighed again, too scared to say anything. Twilight walked over.

"Is something wrong?" she asked.

"She says she's been feeling more shy than usual, that's all," Rainbow answered.

"I hope she feels better soon," Twilight said, looking at Fluttershy, who looked as if she just wanted to run away.

"Fluttershy," began Rarity, "As your friends we are here to help you. We want you to be happy. We can't help you, though, if you won't talk to us."

"None of you would ever understand what it's like to be shy," responded Fluttershy. The other ponies looked shock, as they were at a loss for words of what to say. She was right. None of them could understand.

"I should just leave," Fluttershy continued, her voice making it clear she was about to cry. "I'm just wasting your party time." With that, tears began falling. She turned around, and quickly ran out the door.

"Wait!" Rainbow screamed, flying after her.

"A party without Fluttershy isn't a party worth celebrating," Pinkie said sadly to no pony in particular.

"I agree," said Apple Jack, staring out the doorway their two friends just left. The other ponies were also staring out the doorway, not knowing if it was better to stand there and wait for something to happen, or to go after them and see if they could help.

Meanwhile, Rainbow was chasing Fluttershy.

"Wait! Let me talk to you, please!" said Rainbow, flying right above her.

"Go away from me!" responded Fluttershy through her tears. Rainbow stopped following her, watching Fluttershy open the door to her cottage, quickly go in, and slam it. She couldn't believe what happened, and she didn't want to. She sighed, wiped away the tears starting to appear, and flew off. Five minutes later, Twilight, Apple Jack, Pinkie, and Rarity were all right outside the cottage.

"Fluttershy!" began Twilight in desperation, "Let us talk to you!"

No answer.

There was nothing but the sounds of crying heard from the house. Crying that broke the hearts of every pony who could hear it. For moments, the crying continued, until finally, there was silence.

"Fluttershy?" said Rarity.

Fluttershy's door rattled with a thud. Something hit it. the four ponies wondered what just happened. The door rattled again. Twilight knew what was happening.

"Oh no," she said. "Fluttershy! Stop! Please!"

Fluttershy did not stop, however. The door rattled a third time. For a moment, there was silence. Then, loud crying was heard. Twilight quickly levitated the door off its hinges with her magic, setting it aside. They could all see Fluttershy. Her forehead had large cuts in it, and blood was falling down from them.

"Why were trying to kill yourself?" asked Rarity. Fluttershy noticed everything was becoming blurry. Then, everything went black. She was unconscious.

"We need to tell the Princess about this," said Twilight, wiping tears from her eyes.

"We need to look after her, to make sure she doesn't try something like this again," said Pinkie.

"Yes, and we also need her majesty to be here, maybe she will be able to help her," added Rarity.

"We've got no time to waste," said Twilight. "I have a plan, I'll get Spike to send the letter, the rest of you, stay here and take care of her!" She ran off, teleporting as soon as she reached top speed. She appeared at her house, the library, quickly going inside.

"Spike!" she called.

"Yes?" answered Spike, quickly walking in front of Twilight.

"Something terrible has happened, I need you to send Princess Celestia a letter right away!"

"What happened?"

"You'll know as I'm telling you what to write down."

Spike grabbed a quill and a piece of letter paper, ready to write.

"Dear Princess Celestia," began Twilight, "We truly need your help. Our friend Fluttershy is becoming so shy that it's painful for her. She seems to think she no longer deserves us. She even tried to kill herself a few moments ago, by slamming her head against her door. I stopped her, but she still had huge cuts in her forehead. It was just awful! None of us are sure what to do, or even say. Can you come here and help us? Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle."

It took a few moments, but Spike eventually finished writing.

"That's terrible," he said, preparing the letter to be sent.

"I know," Twilight agreed. "I just wish there was some way I could help, how we could help, but I don't know what we could do."

"Have you tried talking to her?"

"Of course, but she wouldn't answer back, or just run away."

"I...I don't know what to say. I hope she gets better soon," Spike said as he sent the letter with green flame.

"I should go now," said Twilight, teleporting as close as she could to Fluttershy's house. She ran for a few more moments, until she returned to her friends.

"Where is Rainbow Dash?" Rarity questioned, looking around.

"Up here!" responded Rainbow.

"What are you doing up there?"

"I'm watching what's happening, of course."

The five ponies watched Fluttershy. They were all still recovering from what was happening not too long ago, and refused to believe it to be true, yet they were staring at evidence. For moments, no pony said or did anything but watch. Then, Rainbow flew down from the clouds, landing a few inches in front of Fluttershy. A tear dropped to the ground, only a few centimeters in front of Fluttershy, who was waking up. She first noticed the extreme pain in her forehead. She looked at the grass, and then saw her friends, who were looking at her. Finally, she noticed Rainbow. They hugged.

"What is wrong with me? Why am I like this?" Fluttershy asked Rainbow, hugging her even tighter. She looked at her other four friends, who were watching in sadness.

"I don't know," Rainbow responded. "I don't know."

"I had Spike send us a letter to the Princess about this, Fluttershy," said Twilight.

"No, Twilight," began Fluttershy, taking a few steps closer to her friends, "I'd just be a waste of her valuable time."

"You're not a waste, though," said Pinkie.

"The Princess cares about all of her subject, though. Why should you be any exception?" Twilight said, trying to reason with the Pegasus.

Fluttershy said nothing, though. She looked at Rainbow again, and then back at Twilight.

"It's getting late," said Rarity. "Maybe tomorrow will bring a better day."

"Yes," Fluttershy started, "I ruined today, so tomorrow, when I stay inside my home all day, I can't ruin tomorrow. Then it will be a better day."

"That's not what I meant," responded Rarity.

Fluttershy knew that, of course, but she didn't feel she deserved to be told that.

Spike shouted to them.

"Twilight!"

Twilight looked at him and said, "Shhh! Ponies are trying to sleep!" with the best inside voice she could through her sadness.

"The Princess sent a letter back!" Spike said, waving the letter in the air. He opened the letter, and read aloud.

"Dear Twilight, my faithful student, I-"

He noticed Fluttershy looking so miserable, and was having trouble keeping back the tears.

"Please continue," ordered Twilight. Spike looked back at the letter and continued on.

"I realize just how much sadness this is causing, not only to Fluttershy but to you, and your friends. So, I will be visiting you all tomorrow, to see if I can help. In the meantime, I want you all to hang on tight until that time comes."

"Goodnight, every pony," said Fluttershy, going back into her house. Rainbow followed her in.

"What are you doing here?" questioned Fluttershy.

"I'm here to make sure you don't try to kill yourself again."

"Well, okay then."

The rest of the ponies returned to their homes. For all of them, it was difficult to sleep. When they finally did, they woke up just as the sun was rising. Fluttershy opened her eyes. The pain from her cuts were still there, but they were not as bad as last night. She looked next to her and saw Rainbow sleeping soundly at least two feet from her. Rainbow yawned, and then opened her eyes. She noticed Fluttershy looking right at her. She got up, and so did Fluttershy.

"Good morning, how are you feeling?" Rainbow asked.

"I feel terrible, but it's to be expected, as I should feel terrible."

Rainbow shook her head.

"Fluttershy, you've got to stop being so down on yourself. Try to be nice to yourself, then you'll feel better."

"That's just the thing," responded Fluttershy, starting to cry. "I don't want to get better. As much as it hurts, not only to myself but to all of you, I strangely want to continue feeling like this." She hid her face in her hooves, and started sobbing. Rainbow wasn't sure what to do or say. Instead, she just kept watching her friend. Finally, she thought of something.

"So you're just going to stay in your home forever?"

"Yes... that's exactly... what I'll do," responded Fluttershy, wiping some tears away.

"You're going to have to go out of your house sooner or later today, you know who's visiting."

"Well, I don't want... I mean, I don't want to disappoint..."

A knock was heard at the door. Fluttershy started to get up, but Rainbow stopped her.

"No, I'll get it." With that, Rainbow flew over to the door and opened it. There was Princess Celestia, and to the left of her, Twilight.

"May I come in?" asked Celestia.

"Of course, your majesty," responded Rainbow. Celestia walked into the home, and noticed Fluttershy sobbing straight away. She turned to look at Rainbow and said, "I'll have to ask you to leave. I need full concentration if I'm going to be able to help her."

Rainbow simply nodded, and left the two ponies to talk.

"Fluttershy," began Celestia, "You can talk to me. Now, why don't you tell me exactly what you're feeling."

"Oh, your majesty, it's terrible. I'm scared every pony is going to judge me in the wrong way if I even show up around them. I don't feel like I deserve friends, I hate myself too much."

It took only a few moments for Celestia to think of a response.

"So, why do you hate yourself?"

"I just feel like my shyness prohibits my own and my friends' lives from being lived to their fullest. There's been a few times that I feel it has ruined things for them. If I wasn't there, it would've been so much better."

"Is there anything you wish to add onto this?" Celestia responded, already preparing possible replies.

"No, your majesty."

For too long, it seemed, there was no other noise than Fluttershy attempting to recover from sobbing so much. Now that the Princess knew what was on Fluttershy's mind, she was able to start up another conversation.

"I've been told you plan to stay in your home and never leave. Is this true?"

"Yes, your majesty."

"What if you need to buy something? Are you going to ask one of your friends?"

"I just won't buy anything, maybe I'll just die here. I don't want to bother any pony, anyway."

"You should expose yourself to talking little by little. This will make you get used to being around ponies, and you won't feel so miserable. This could also make your confidence higher, which would make everything so much better for you. Do you think you would be up to do this?"

Fluttershy was looking unsure of herself. She didn't think she would be able to do it.

"I... I... I don't know," she responded, hiding her face in her hooves and sobbing as soon as she said it. Celestia prepared to leave. She took one last look at Fluttershy, and stepped into the doorway. Fluttershy lift her head up to look around, and was surprised to see Celestia about to leave.

"Where... where are you going, your majesty?" she asked.

"I have already given you tips on how to help yourself. As much as I wish I could say otherwise, I'm not able to stay here for too long, I am the Princess, after all. I hope you understand."

"I do, your majesty."

Celestia unfolded her wings, and said one more thing to Fluttershy.

"I will be checking on your progress. I just want you to know that."

She flew off, and Fluttershy kept watching until she was out of sight.

"Guess I better... leave the house for a bit," she said to herself.

Cautiously, she went to her doorway. No ponies were in sight. It was safe to leave. Still, she kept on the lookout for the slightest sign of supposed danger. After a few moments, she started walking. No ponies yet, either. Though not seeing any ponies yet did seem suspicious to her, at the same time, she was relieved she could finally walk in Ponyville feeling relaxed. Not sure of what to do, she went to Twilight's house. Fluttershy walked up to the door, and raised a hoof to knock. She put the hoof back down. She did nothing for around ten minutes, except stare at the door.

"Fluttershy, what are you doing standing at my door?"

Fluttershy jumped, and then turned around to see Twilight, who was carrying two books in a saddlebag.

"I wanted to... well, I don't know. I just would've wasted your time anyway," said Fluttershy.

"Though you're always welcome when you need me, I'm afraid I'm just too busy today. I'd love to be here for you, especially with what you're going through, but there's just too much to do," responded Twilight.

"I understand. I'll just go, then."

Both Twilight and Fluttershy were feeling horrible. Fluttershy stared at the ground and started walking, not looking or caring where she was going. The grass seemed to zoom behind her even though she was walking at a normal speed. She noticed she was now staring at her reflection in a puddle of water. She could see the cuts from when she tried to kill herself. To her, it was a reminder of what happened that night. She continued her walk, seeing the occasional tear drop down.

"Don't move, Fluttershy!" Apple Jack yelled.

This froze Fluttershy in her tracks, and made her lift her head up. She realized she almost entered the Everfree Forest. Apple Jack walked over to her.

"What are you doin', goin' to the forest like that?"

Fluttershy indirectly looked at Apple Jack to answer.

"I didn't even realize it."

"You need to watch where you're walkin'. You could end up hurt!"

"Like it would matter if I got hurt," Fluttershy sighed. "Are you busy today? I just need some pony to spend time with."

"I'm awful sorry, but I'm busy today. We have to get those zap apples ready."

"Well, okay, that's fine," Fluttershy responded, sighing and then looking at the ground again. She changed direction so she wouldn't go into the forest.

Several minutes later after walking, she sat right there in the middle of Ponyville, hiding her face in her hooves and crying because it seemed no pony had time for her. She noticed how ponies around her looked as if they felt bad for her, but they did nothing but watch and then continue on their way. Fluttershy spread open her wings and began flapping them. She was slowly rising into the air. The height was bothering her, so she closed her eyes, still going higher. She was nervous as to what height she might be at. Still, she kept gaining altitude.

"I wonder how high I am?" she thought to herself. To find out, she opened her eyes and looked down. She was at least five hundred feet in the air. Instantly, her wings became folded out of fear. She was falling. She could feel herself gaining speed, the wind flowing through her mane and tail. It wasn't a pleasant feeling for her. The ground was getting closer and closer by the second.

"Fluttershy!" Rainbow Dash screamed when she saw what was happening. She flew as fast as she could to catch Fluttershy. Just inches from the ground, she caught her, and gently set her on the ground.

"Why did you do that?" Fluttershy asked.

"Why would I not? I care about you," responded Rainbow, looking relieved Fluttershy was still alive.

"I just want to end it all."

"That's why we're trying to help you."

"Can I ask you a question?" Fluttershy asked, trying to sound as calm as possible.

"Of course you can," replied Rainbow.

"How high would a Pegasus need to fly in order to be dead when he or she hits the ground?"

Rainbow moved her head back, as she was surprised she asked this.

"Sorry! Was that a bad thing to ask?" Fluttershy apologized, starting to hide.

"I'm not answering this."

Rainbow moved closer to Fluttershy.

"Please, don't end it. I know you're going through a lot of pain, but if you die, you won't feel anything."

Fluttershy stepped a little closer to Rainbow.

"Well I don't feel anything except sadness anyway, so what difference would it make?"

Rainbow hugged Fluttershy.

"Without you, we would be incomplete."

The two pegasi stopped hugging, and then stood around for a moment to see what was happening around them. They could see several ponies watching them. Fluttershy immediately felt judged, even more from the fact she did not know how long they have been watching. Their expressions were all of sadness, except for Scootaloo. She looked angry at both of them. Sweetie Belle was to the right, and Apple Bloom was to the left of her. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom noticed Scootaloo's expression, and then their expressions became a mixture of sadness and confusion. Scootaloo looked at Sweetie Belle and then at Apple Bloom. She rolled her eyes and groaned.

"Do you not see what is going on here?" Scootaloo asked them.

"Fluttershy is going through a rough time and needs help to get through it," said Apple Bloom.

"Exactly!" Sweetie Belle added.

"No!" Scootaloo screamed loudly, every pony looking at her in shock. "Don't let her fool you! She's just trying to make every pony feel bad for her so they'll say nice things! You're with me on this, right, Rainbow Dash?"

Every pony's expression turned into an angry frown, all focused on Scootaloo. Fluttershy was watching the scene through the tears ready to burst from her eyes.

Rainbow Dash was disappointed in Scootaloo, and she was going to make sure the young Pegasus knew about it. She walked closer to her, spreading her wings open to be more intimidating. Despite this, Scootaloo was still standing with an angry confidence.

"No, I'm not. Not at all," said Rainbow Dash.

Fluttershy's tears were bursting from her eyes. She began sobbing heavily. All eyes turned to Fluttershy, and some ponies were crying over her. All eyes turned back on Scootaloo, turning back to anger. Scootaloo did not look the least bit sad, in fact, she was even more outraged.

"You are all such gullible fools!" she said.

Rainbow has had enough. She flew right in front of Scootaloo, so their faces were inches away. She glared at Scootaloo as much as she dared to. She shouted, "If this is how you're going to treat my friends I don't want to have anything to do with you! You can forget about me taking you under my wing, because right now, I would never do such a favor for somepony as mean as you!"

Scootaloo stepped backwards for a moment, looking hurt. Every pony else was watching in shock. She closed her eyes. A tear appeared under her eye, and then she turned around. She started sobbing as quietly as she could.

Though every pony else was looking at Scootaloo with faces of disapproval, Fluttershy was feeling bad for the young Pegasus. She calmly walked over, already thinking of what could go wrong. She put a hoof on Scootaloo's upper back to try and comfort her.

"Oh Rainbow Dash," began Scootaloo, trying to stop her tears, "I'm sor-"

Her words were cut off when she saw it wasn't Rainbow Dash but Fluttershy who was trying to comfort her.

"You!" Screamed Scootaloo, kicking Fluttershy with both of her hind legs as hard as she could. Fluttershy cried in pain as she fell backwards, hitting the ground with a considerable amount of force. The back of her head hit the ground, and she was knocked unconscious.

Thinking Fluttershy was dead, Rainbow flew over to her. She was relieved to see she was still alive. Her attention focused on Scootaloo, who looked shocked.

"You've gone too far this time, Scootaloo!" Rainbow screamed to her. Scootaloo turned around and ran away. As much as Rainbow wanted to go after her, she didn't want to leave Fluttershy alone. With Scootaloo away from the scene, everypony continued on their ways. It was as if nothing has happened, other than faces of sadness, confusion, and anger having appeared on the ponies' faces, and the unconscious Pegasus.

Dirt and grass was on Fluttershy's mane and tail. Her cuts were nearly healed now, they were just scabs. There was nothing to do right now but make sure Fluttershy would be alright. Rainbow sat next to her friend, looking around. She saw ponies leaving and entering buildings, ponies walking, and ponies talking. Off to the distance, she could see Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom talking to Scootaloo. They were too far away to be able to know what they were talking about. Sweetie Belle's head turned to face Rainbow's, followed by Scootaloo and Apple Bloom turning their heads. They stopped talking, and went out of Rainbow's sight. Rainbow shook her head and sighed, and then looked back at Fluttershy to check on her. She was still unconscious, and it was getting dark out. It must have been at least several hours since she was knocked out. Fluttershy opened her eyes and began blinking. At first things were blurry, but then everything was clear. She quickly stood up.

"Why do I exist?" Fluttershy asked Rainbow Dash.

"You exist because you're a very nice and caring pony," answered Rainbow.

"Well, yes, but, all I ever seem to be able to do anymore is cause sadness over me. Why do ponies feel bad for me? I don't' deserve it!"

"You're too hard on yourself."

"Actually I don't think I'm hard enough on myself, but whatever you think is fine."

Fluttershy's head turned to the left to see Twilight running over to them, levitating a scroll.

"Princess Celestia sent a letter," said Twilight, unraveling the scroll. "She says, 'Dear Twilight Sparkle, my faithful student, I wish for you to tell me how Fluttershy is doing. If she is not improving at all or is getting worse, I will be down there as soon as I can to try and help.'"

Twilight wrapped the scroll back up.

"Fluttershy," she began, "Are things getting better or worse?"

Fluttershy kept quiet, turning her head so eye contact with Twilight wasn't possible.

"Fluttershy," repeated Twilight.

Fluttershy looked at an object near Twilight, and frowned even more.

"Oh," said Twilight, realizing she was trying to say things are getting worse.

There was silence for a moment.

"Should we try to get to sleep?" Rainbow asked Fluttershy.

"If you want."

The two pegasus ponies were flying to the cottage. They were flying slower than they normally would, as it didn't feel right to fly too fast at the time. The air around them was chilly, and there was a slight breeze out. They reached the cottage.

Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle were at the door.

"Rainbow Dash, I-" Scootaloo was cut off by Rainbow.

"I know you're not sorry."

"I am! I really am!"

"Then prove it to me."

Scootaloo walked up to Fluttershy, who was taking a few steps back.

"I've been so mean to you, Fluttershy, and I'm sorry. I don't know what made me kick you like that, I take it all back!"

Fluttershy cried a bit as she smiled for a second. "Don't feel bad, I deserved it."

"No you didn't," said Rainbow.

"Do you forgive me, Rainbow?" Scootaloo asked.

A look of disapproval appeared on Rainbow's face when she looked at Scootaloo.

"I feel you're sorry, but I will never be able to forgive you for kicking her."

"You don't hate me, do you?"

Rainbow Dash faked a yawn. "We should all try to get to sleep."

"You don't hate me, do you?" Scootaloo asked louder.

"No, of course I don't hate you. I just don't like you anymore."

Fluttershy starting sobbing.

"I'm the reason she doesn't like you anymore!" she managed to say.

"But-" Scootaloo tried to say before Rainbow cut her off again.

"Just leave her alone, Scootaloo! You've already caused enough pain not only to her but to me and yourself! Now if you'll excuse us, we're going to try to get to sleep!"

Fluttershy was hurt at the fact that her existence was the reason a strong friendship was broken.

"Let's just go to sleep," Rainbow told Fluttershy.

Fluttershy just kept staring at Scootaloo, refusing to move.

"Damn it, Fluttershy! Get in your cottage!" Rainbow Screamed. As soon as she said it, she wished she took it back. Fluttershy was looking even worse than she normally was.

"Fine!" said Fluttershy, flying into her cottage has fast as she could while she sobbed. She flew too fast, she couldn't stop herself from hitting a wall. There was a loud thud, and Fluttershy fell backwards on the floor. She was crying even more from the pain, and she hid her face in her hooves.

"Fluttershy!" Rainbow shouted, going after her.

"I'm so sorry! It's just that the way Scootaloo expected me to forgive her after what she did to you... I just lost my cool. I take it all back. I didn't mean to yell at you like that."

Fluttershy stopped sobbing. She slowly moved her hooves down from her face, and then got up.

"I know you didn't mean it, I'm sorry I reacted the way I did," she told Rainbow.

"I would've reacted the same way, too. Let's try to get to sleep."

"Whatever you want is fine."

"Goodnight, see you tomorrow."

Rainbow yawned, and then went to sleep on the couch. Fluttershy stood there, watching. She wanted to sleep so she could escape life for a few hours, but she couldn't get to sleep. She didn't try yet, but she knew she would not be able to do so.

Fluttershy yawned. She walked to the stairs and went up them. As she went up the stairs, they creaked silently. At the top of the stairs, she went into her bedroom. For some reason, nothing seemed like it belonged to her.

"Where am I?" Fluttershy asked herself. She knew it was her bedroom, but it felt like she didn't belong here, like it was somepony else's home. She took a few steps closer to her bed and stared at it. She set a hoof on the bed and then climbed inside. She was tired, but there were too many things going on in her mind; it was impossible to get to sleep. Even when she did manage to keep her eyes closed for a few hours, she would open them again when she was thinking about her current life. By this point, she gave up on sleeping. She got out of bed. The floors seemed to creak more than they usually do as she stepped on them.

Fluttershy silently walked out of her room, and walked to the first step of the stairs. As she stepped forward, there was a loud creak. She paused, became alert, and looked at Rainbow. She was still sleeping. She took another step forward. There was another creak of equal loudness. Still, Rainbow was sleeping. Fluttershy quickly went down the stairs, and there were more creaks.

"I'm not asleep," said Rainbow Dash.

"Oh, I'm sorry, did I wake you up?" replied Fluttershy.

"No, I never was asleep. I've been too worried about you."

"I'm not worth worrying about."

"If you weren't worth worrying about I wouldn't worry about you."

Fluttershy was unsure what to respond, so she said nothing. After what seemed like hours, Rainbow broke the silence.

"Would you feel better if you told me what's on your mind?"

Fluttershy thought for a moment and decided to give it a try.

"I can't believe you and Scootaloo aren't friends anymore. The fact that I exist... is the fact that broke the friendship apart. I'm horrible."

"It's not your fault you exist."

"I know, but, well, I don't know."

"What do you mean you don't know?"

"I just don't have the courage to say it."

Fluttershy was walking to her doorway.

"Where are you going?" asked Rainbow, ready to go with her.

"I just... need some time to myself... and fresh air," Fluttershy replied, trying to hide her sobbing.

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going away,"

"You're leaving Ponyville?"

Fluttershy turned around. Tears have already started flowing heavily down her face. For the first time, she was able to make eye contact and keep it.

"I'm leaving life," Fluttershy said as she wiped away tears. "Don't grieve over me. Don't remember me." She turned around and started walking out of the cottage.

"Fluttershy, wait," Rainbow protested.

Fluttershy stopped and turned back around. Rainbow then said, "You're looking at my eyes. I think your shyness is improving!" She was trying to get Fluttershy see a light of hope.

"It'll never improve. I'll never improve. Goodbye, Rainbow Dash."

Fluttershy turned around once more and continued walking. It was probably early in the morning, it was hard to tell. Princess Celestia hasn't risen the sun yet. Fluttershy kept walking. About thirty feet from her cottage, she stopped walking.

Rainbow stood at the doorway, keeping a close eye on Fluttershy. When it was safe to do so, she flew as quietly as she could to a decent height. She stopped flying, and was looking down at Fluttershy, waiting to save her. Fluttershy held her breath. It was becoming painful for her, but she knew it would mean an end to her suffering. Her lungs were begging for air, but she used her hoof to make sure she didn't open her mouth to breathe in.

Rainbow was still waiting for something to happen. Then, Fluttershy started moving around strangely. She had tears falling through eyes shut tight as she went in any given direction. Immediately, Rainbow dove as fast as she safely could.

"Fluttershy! Stop!"

Fluttershy opened her eyes and saw Rainbow, and shut her mouth tighter. Everything was becoming blurry for her.

"Fluttershy, breathe!" Rainbow pleaded. She went up and used all her strength to get Fluttershy's mouth open. "Breathe! Breathe!"Fluttershy refused to inhale.

"G...good...b....goodbye," she said with what little air she had left, hugged Rainbow, and then collapsed.

Rainbow hugged Fluttershy, crying. Normally she'd be able to hear Fluttershy breathing, but there was no sound from her. No sign of life at all. Rainbow set Fluttershy gently on the ground. She looked at Fluttershy, who was on her side.

"What are you two doing out of your homes?"

Rainbow turned around and saw Princess Luna flying towards her.

"Your majesty," Rainbow began, "Fluttershy is dead! What do I do without her? What do we do without her?"

Princess Luna looked over to Fluttershy, and then back at Rainbow. Though her expression did not change, she did feel sad.

"I'm sorry this happened, how did she die?"

Rainbow sighed. She looked at Fluttershy, and then at Princess Luna.

"She killed herself, stopped breathing on purpose. There was nothing I could do, your majesty."

"That's terrible. My sister has told me a lot about what has been going on with her."

"I wish there was a way to bring her back."

"Tomorrow is another day for more possibilities."

Princess Luna's horn glowed, and Rainbow Dash fell asleep instantly, right next to Fluttershy. She was already in a deep sleep. The night continued on until Princess Celestia rose the sun.

Rainbow woke up a few hours into the morning. She saw Fluttershy and remembered what happened. She had to tell Twilight about this. Rainbow ran as fast as she could and then took flight. She landed at Twilight's door, which was around three hundred feet away. Rainbow knocked on the door. There was no instant answer. Panicked, she knocked again.

"Twilight!" she yelled as loud as she could. She was constantly knocking and calling Twilight's name.

The door opened.

Twilight looked at Rainbow and saw how she wasn't in the best mood.

"What's wrong?" she asked Rainbow.

"Follow me!" Rainbow replied, running off.

Twilight followed her, running as fast as she could, but Rainbow was still too fast for her. She ended up having to teleport every few seconds in order to keep up. Rainbow stopped running when Fluttershy was ten feet away. When Twilight saw Fluttershy, she didn't believe what she was seeing.

"Rainbow, tell the rest of our friends about this," Twilight ordered to Rainbow, still not believing Fluttershy was dead. Rainbow took flight again, flying in every direction. Twilight was alone with Fluttershy. She decided to take a closer look. Upon further examination, the fact she feared most was the fact that was true: Fluttershy was dead, and there was nothing anypony could do about it.

"Oh, my..." Rarity said at the sight of Fluttershy. Twilight turned around to see the rest of her friends. They all had sad expressions. They all started tearing up. Rainbow Dash seemed to be especially sad. She could still feel Fluttershy hugging her right before she died. She could still hear the farewell echoing in her mind.

"How could we go on without her?" asked Pinkie, not even caring to wipe away her tears.

"Just... remember the good times we've had with her," said Twilight.

"She said not to grieve over her or remember her... but how could we not?" questioned Rainbow.

"She was the nicest pony around," said Rarity through her sobbing.

>"It just won't be the same without her," said Apple Jack.

The five ponies stood around quietly for the next few moments until they heard a voice behind them.

"I am so sorry I am too late."

The five ponies turned around. It was Princess Celestia. The ponies bowed and then stood back up. Celestia spoke.

"There was a situation back at the castle. I really do wish I could've come sooner, but it was impossible for me to go, I was just too busy, and now it looks like I'm too late."

"I don't think you could've done anything about this, your majesty," Rainbow was saying. "She would deny any comment I made to try to make herself feel better."

Princess Celestia was unsure of what to reply.

"Permission to speak freely, your majesty?" Twilight asked, an angry frown starting to appear on her face.

Princess Celestia nodded. "Of course you may, Twilight."

Twilight took a deep breath.

"What kind of situation would be more important to take care of than one of your most important subjects? We are not complete without her! She was special! She was the nicest pony I have ever known!"

Princess Celestia was surprised at Twilight's tone of voice towards her. She understood why Twilight was acting this way.

"The elements of harmony are not complete without kindness. You have many other kind friends who come close to the kindness of Fluttershy. As to what happened back at the castle, that is not for you to know."

Twilight became even more furious.

"Are the elements of harmony all you care about? To me, it sounds like as long as a pony's personality fits an element, you could care less what happens to that pony as long as you have replacements ready. Also, no, your majesty, no pony even came close to how nice Fluttershy was! No pony was like her!"

Princess Celestia was beginning to become angry with Twilight for questioning her.

"The elements of harmony are a responsibility. I do not take pride in saying what you have said is almost true. The part you were wrong about is that I don't care about those who are the elements. It was never my intention to wait for Fluttershy to commit suicide. We need the elements of harmony to continue. Surely one of your friends is nice enough to make the cut. The past is the past, I recommend you all forget about Fluttershy and move on, into the future."

"So it is all you care about? Making sure the elements of harmony are still able to exist?"

Princess Celestia raised her voice.

"Twilight Sparkle, as I have said before, the elements of harmony are a responsibility. It is a painful responsibility, but it is something I must make sure is maintained, at all costs."

Rainbow Dash stepped forward and then said, "Your majesty, that makes sense, but I thought you said you cared about your subjects. This isn't caring for subjects. Even though you might not of been able to say anything to make her stop from killing herself, you still could've tried. Right now, I don't want to be a part of this anymore."

Princess Celestia was starting to lose all control of her emotions. She said something she would not normally dare say.

"Then I will banish you to the Everfree Forest, Rainbow Dash."

The rest of the ponies were shocked. Then, Twilight joined Rainbow.

"I agree with her!" She stood right by her side.

"Me three!" said Apple Jack, joining Twilight's side.

"I really do agree with Rainbow!" Rarity said, going next to Rainbow.

"Rainbow Dash, you said it!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed, standing next to Rarity.

The five ponies were staring at the majestic Princess Celestia.

"You're going to have to banish us all! No ponies other than us are perfect for the job, and anything under perfection isn't good enough!"

Princess Celestia spread open her wings.

"Why can't you see I am not your enemy? I really do care about my subjects! Why else would I have taken efforts to make sure they were alright? I am just trying to give you my guidance. I know that when I said how you all need to forget about Fluttershy sounded ignorant, but it would just be the best decision here."

Twilight frowned even more. "Explain."

"You are all grieving over her. For someone like Fluttershy, you will never forget her. She will always be in your hearts. Without being able to see Fluttershy right there in front of you as you are used to, you will feel sad. Your sadness could continue until one of you commits suicide. By then, the rest of you might commit suicide. This is something I cannot have. You are all too important to me, not because you are the elements of harmony but because you have made a special place in my heart. I have already lost one of you, and I do not want to lose another. I am sorry I threatened to banish you, Rainbow Dash. My emotions took over, and I wasn't thinking."

The ponies were processing her words. After thinking about what she said, they seemed to understand. Their frowns disappeared.

"I'm sorry I got angry with you, your majesty," said Twilight

Princess Celestia smiled and then said, "It's alright. I would've done the same thing." She looked at the rest of the ponies. "That goes for all of you. What you did is completely understandable, and I am in no way angry at any of you."

The ponies watched as Princess Celestia gently levitated Fluttershy into the air. At the same time, Princess Celestia levitated a nearby log and then turned it into a casket with her magic. Fluttershy was gently set down inside the casket. Everypony ran to it. They were hoping to see her eyes suddenly open, but they knew they wouldn't. They were all thinking of the good times they have had because of Fluttershy. They would never forget her. Almost all at once, the ponies burst into tears. Thousands of pink butterflies came from the trees, and flew around the box in a large circle, forming into one large butterfly. A bright white light appeared, and the casket disappeared.

No pony will never forget Fluttershy, the one who was the kindest of them all. Though she was no longer around in their world, she was always around in their hearts.

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