by MetalandPonyFan2578

Business as Usual

"Rarity, fire your blast at the left side of the bear! No, not your left, my left!" Twilight yelled as she ran around the great beast. It was a wild one that Fluttershy had attempted to tame, but it didn't find the kind yellow pony's company as pleasing as other animals did. It was odd, considering animal communication was Fluttershy's special talent, but those thoughts had quickly been brushed aside. They had to protect Ponyville from the marauder.

The bear had been taken in by Fluttershy's wildlife sanctuary when he was injured. He had multiple broken bones after being in a fight with a timber wolf, and needed time to rest and recuperate. Twilight's friend was happy to give him that time. Unfortunately, it seemed that the bear did not quite appreciate the kindness shown to him. He had gone on a rampage as soon as the bandages were off, injuring one of Fluttershy's wings.

"Alright, everypony!" Twilight yelled as she coordinated their attack, "now! Fire of Friendship!"

They all ran together and joined hooves. Twilight used her horn to cast a spell over them and they rose off the ground as one group. A great flame shot out from everypony as their eyes all went snow white. The fire burned the ground and caused the bear to become trapped. They didn't want to hurt him, but they couldn't allow him to rampage through Ponyville. He had gotten close enough already.

When they got through, they stood and watched as the controlled flames ran wild around the outside of the animal. Fluttershy stepped up and shook her head. "Now, now, Mr. Bear," she said, "you know better than that! What has anypony ever done to you?"

The bear roared in her face, and swiped at her with a paw. He recoiled in pain as the flames caught him, and Fluttershy turned to see Twilight. "Can you stop the fire, please?"

"Why? If I do, then he'll come out and destroy Ponyville!"

"But if you don't, then then poor thing will be trapped in there forever!"

"That's kinda the idea, Fluttershy," Rainbow Dash pointed out as she fluttered down beside them.

"To save Ponyville, we lit the Fire of Friendship," Twilight said, "which seeks to prevent anything from harming good friends. It will attack and annihilate whatever stands in the way of ponies, or other creatures, being together and sharing unity in their individuality. In this case, the bear was standing in our way, and the fire was glad to help trap him."

"You say that as if you communicated with the fire, Twi," Applejack said, "I mean, it's technically an inanimate object. Ain't you a little…ya know…too alive to be talkin' with it?"

"I didn't communicate with it, AJ," Twilight said, "I simply trusted it to take care of our friendship, and it did. Mission accomplished."

She smiled as she looked around at the ponies she loved more than anything else in the world. Her friends meant so much to her, and she knew she would always hold them in her memory. This is what friendship is, she said, a group of ponies united under a banner, but not giving up their true selves. We don't erase our differences, we celebrate them. That's what keeps us together, and we can never be driven apart. We could live thousands of miles away from each other, and still be bound in both heart and soul. To borrow an older pony colloquialism, we are kindred spirits.

"Hey, everypony! What do you say we go to Sugarcube Corner and get some cake to celebrate?!" Pinkie Pie asked excitedly, "my treat!"

"Shoot, that sounds like a great idea!" Applejack said, "let's do it!"

Everyone quickly agreed to the party obsessed pink pony's suggestion, and they all trooped off to celebrate yet another friendship fueled victory. But Fluttershy was still nervous about her bear. She considered him her friend, just like she did all the animals she took care of. She was scared that the fiery bear trap they had him in would reinjure him. So, she ran up beside Twilight and begged her to take it away.

"I can't do that, Fluttershy!" Twilight said in exasperation, "I know you're trying to show kindness to that bear, and believe me, I respect that. But, I can't put everypony's lives at risk like that. The bear stays in the fire until we figure out what to do with him."

"Can't we put him back in my sanctuary?"

"I don't think that's an option," Rainbow spoke up, "I mean, look at what he did to that small part of the forest. I think I saw him rip a fox in half."

Fluttershy gasped and her lip quivered. "R-r-r…r-r-r-r…rip a fox in half?! But he would never do something so terrible! I've trained him better than that!"

"Sure," Dash said sarcastically, "you've trained him SO WELL that he nearly ran into Ponyville and hurt all our friends!"

"Dash is right, Fluttershy," Twilight said, trying to quell the rising tempers between the two Pegasi, "he is a threat, and we must treat him as such. Now, when we get back from Sugarcube Corner, I think the prudent thing to do would be to release him back to the wild."

Fluttershy's ears drooped. She loved caring for the animals, and she wished she could keep all of them in her cottage. She had especially taken a liking to this particular bear, whom she had rescued herself. She had worked day and night nursing him back to health. She didn't want him to be ripped away from her. She sniffed and felt tears come to her eyes.

"Oh, it'll be okay, Fluttershy," Applejack said soothingly.

"Yes, darling," Rarity agreed, "you'll be a lot better off once that horrid beast is put back in his proper place."

Suddenly, Fluttershy whipped around. "HE IS NOT A HORRID BEAST!" She screamed before running off into town, sobbing.

"Fluttershy, wait!" Twilight said as she flew off.

"Oh, great," Applejack said, "way to go, Rarity."

"But, he is a horrid beast!"

"To you and me, yeah, but to Fluttershy, that thang is as beloved as my faithful ol' Wynona. Come on! We've gotta catch up!"

They raced into town and caught up to Twilight, who had Fluttershy in something of a very tight hug. "You've gotta calm down, Fluttershy!" She said urgently, "you're making a fool out of yourself!"

"I don't care!" Fluttershy wailed, "that poor bear depended on me for life and love, and now he's trapped in fire! What's worse, Rarity insulted him!"

"Good grief, darling, you don't have to get so offended on the bear's behalf! I mean, he is a beast!"

"He might be a beast, but he's not horrid! How would you feel if someone called your dresses horrid?!"

"Darling, I deal with fashion critics all the time. There's no pleasing those ponies…"

"Then you know exactly how I feel!"

"You can't compare dresses and bears, sweetheart! It's apples and oranges!"

"Well…I think your dresses are horrid!"

Rarity gasped. "You take that back right now! My dresses are delicate, divine works of fashion artistry!"

"What?" Fluttershy asked, "I thought you said comparing the two wouldn't work! Why are you so offended on your dresses' behalf?! After all, they're nothing but BIG HUNKS OF FABRIC!"

Rarity couldn't stand it anymore and leapt at Fluttershy. The two feuding friends rolled around in the dirt for a minute until Twilight used her magic to yank them apart. "Both of you, I order you to STOP!" A bolt of lightning and a crack of thunder sounded overhead when Twilight said that. Rarity quivered a bit. "You…you've never ordered us to do anything before."

"As the Princess of Friendship, I won't tolerate senseless fighting, especially between my good friends. You're both acting like fillies. Now, apologize to each other."

Rarity gave Fluttershy a bit of an embarrassed look. "Oh…I'm sorry, Fluttershy," she said sincerely, "I should give more thought to what I say before I say it."

Fluttershy smiled. "I'm sorry too, Rarity," she said, "I need to learn to not be so overly sensitive about things."

The two friends embraced and Twilight smiled, gleeful that their friendship had been repaired so easily. "What would I do without you girls?" She asked.

"Probably go completely insane," Applejack said. This earned a laugh from the rest of the group as they hugged each other. Then, they all turned to resume their celebratory trip to Sugarcube Corner.