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A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic written by Jordan179 in 2014. Set in Season 1, early September 1500, this is a text adaptation of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S1 E7 "Dragonshy", told mostly from Fluttershy's POV, with extensive exploration of Fluttershy's character, thoughts and motivations. As in the original episode, when Twilight Sparkle must drive out a Dragon endangering the land with his smoke, Fluttershy is torn between her fear of Dragons and her desire to help her friends.

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All tropes from the original TV episode also apply, unless contradicted below. Tropes also appearing in this tale include:

  • Acrophobic Bird: Fluttershy's fear of heights are wholly justified here, because her fear of Dragons is causing her wings to clench tight to her body in response — a posture in which she is incapable of flight, or even gliding.
  • Berserk Button: Both instances involve Rainbow and Fluttershy's friends being hurt or endangered.
    • Rainbow Dash loses it and charges the Dragon when it harms Pinkie Pie.
    • Fluttershy finally overcomes her cowardice and stands up to the Dragon when it seems about to attack the other Mane Six.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: What Red Haze the Dragon learns a moment after proclaiming to Fluttershy that Might Makes Right.
    In a sudden winged leap Fluttershy vaulted high and hovered above the Dragon's snout, staring directly into those great yellow eyes. Each eyeball was bigger than her whole body, but her will and power were far greater than his own. She opened her own eyes wide, and her slumbering Stare awoke to slice through Red Haze's own mind shields, pinning him to the spot, unable to do anything but obey her.
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  • Big Damn Heroine: Applejack runs into an avalanche, runs and leaps to save Twilight Sparkle from being crushed by a house-sized falling rock.
    ... and an orange blur came from her right and powerful forelegs picked her up as if she were no more than a foal, pushing her out of the danger zone. Twilight's head turned to see Applejack somehow running on her hind legs alone, leaning far forward in a position rendered even semi-stable only by the immense speed and strength of Applejack's hindquarters. Applejack tucked Twilight into her own belly and rolled, taking the bruising impact of flesh against stone with her own hips and back and shoulders, not letting her leader so much as scrape a limb against the rough surfaces until their speed had slowed sufficiently to render it gentle.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Pinkie exhausts her Reality Warper powers to save Twilight from an avalanche, after which she is little more than a normal Earth Pony.
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  • The Captain: Twilight leads her friends as if they were The Squad.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Pinkie Pie can see probable worldlines and use it to avoid being hit by falling stones in an avalanche.
  • Cool Shades: Pinkie Pie wears a (silly) version of these when she goes into the Dragon's lair, after being Brought Down to Normal.
  • Courtly Love: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy have been playing at a version of this since they were small fillies.
  • Cowardly Lion: What Fluttershy proves herself to be at the climax.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Red Haze the Dragon defeats five of the Mane Six, one after another, with absurd ease. Then he defeats all five of them together with his Dragnonfear. Then, Fluttershy does the same to him.
  • Darker and Edgier: The fanfic makes explicit several rather cruel aspects of the story glossed over for humor value in the original episode.
    • Fluttershy is in stark, paralyzing terror through much of the story, not just simple fear. During the events of the story, she humiliates herself in terms of her own aristocratic Pegasus code of honor, in front of the one whose good opinion matters most to her in the whole world (Rainbow Dash).
    • Fluttershy nearly gets her friends killed in the avalanche zone.
    • Pinkie Pie wasn't just amusingly bopped offstage by the Dragon, she was struck by a tail-lash that would have shattered her bones and probably killed her save for her Reality Warping powers interfering (about which the Dragon did not know) and as it is, she suffered severe and painful bruising, and possibly slight internal injuries. She's in agony for hours afterward, even though she never really complains about it.
  • Deconstruction: Of the concept that fear is inherently funny. Fluttershy's fear, from her own point of view, is horrifying and humiliating; not only does she suffer the physical effects of extreme fear, but she is fully aware that she is letting down not only her whole Kind and her True Companions, but also Rainbow Dash, with whom she has a Romantic Two-Filly Friendship.
  • Dirty Coward: Fluttershy is horribly certain that she is this when she proves helpless before her fear of Dragons.
  • Emotional Regression: As she approaches the Dragon, Fluttershy's fear grows to the point where she begins to manifest foal-like behavior — specifically, cowering behind Applejack as if Applejack were literally her mother.
    Fluttershy screamed and hid in what instincts dimly remembered from her foalhood told her was the safest place possible: behind Mother! She tried to crawl under Mother, but for some reason her mother was too close to the ground, so instead she pressed her own hindquarters against Mother's, crouched to the ground, and curled herself up very small.
    Her actual mother, of course, was interned in a mental hospital in far-off Cloudsdale, in part because of an even more extreme and irrational fear of Dragons. So how could she be here? As the capacity for logical thought returned to Fluttershy, she discovered that she was, in fact, hiding under Applejack's tail. Applejack, with her usual kindness, tolerated this familiarity.
  • Emotion Eater: Because she's actually half-Changeling, Fluttershy draws strength from love. This is one reason why Applejack's kindness toward her is so effective at helping her get up the mountain.
  • Face Your Fears: What Fluttershy must do in order to save her friends. When she does so she can Stare the Dragon into submission, a riskier strategy than negotiating with it at the start would have been, but by this point it is the only alternative to further physical combat with the drake. Her fear of Dragons is not exactly cured — she still fears them two years later in 'Dragon Quest'— but she knows she can overcome it when she has to, which makes all the difference.
  • Family Honor: Explicitly in the thoughts of two characters one wouldn't expect to think in these terms, based on their external portrayal in-show.
    • Fluttershy herself is of the highest birth among Pegasi, being a daughter of the Wind Clan (the old Mandatial family), and though she is a rebel against her own kind's generally martial ideals, she in many ways shares the Pegasus world view. This affects her in three ways:
      • She is very aware that she is a Wind and that the Winds have never been cowards; one reason impelling her to dare the Dragon's mountain is to avoid letting down her Clan.
      • She greatly admires Rainbow Dash as a true exemplar of the best ideals among Pegasi, which increases the powerful love she feels for her, which also fires her bravery.
    • Pinkie Pie also comes of an old family with proud traditions, and when Paradise urges her to desert after her Reality Warper powers are (mostly) exhausted, leaving her vulnerable to the Dragon, Pinkie makes this memorable mental statement refusing to obey her sire and god:
      It's not about the odds, thought Pinkie to her sire. I'm not just your Daughter. I'm a Pony. A Pie. And a Pie doesn't cut and run on her friends.
  • Foreshadowing: The first line of the story hints that the day this story takes place on was one of the most harrowing days of Fluttershy's existence.
    One of the most terrifying days in Fluttershy's life to that point began as a fairly normal morning at the start of the September of the Year of Harmony 1500..
  • Little Hero, Big War: All The Way Back makes it clear that Twilight's quest was just one small part of the successful repulsion of a widespread incursion of Dragons into Equestria. This is Lampshaded when Applejack spots Luna and her squad of Night Guards on the way to Dunnich.
  • Lovable Coward: Rainbow Dash's opinion of Fluttershy, but not in a positive way due to the circumstances. Rainbow's love for Fluttershy drops noticeably (as sensed by Fluttershy herself!) as Fluttershy's fear creates increasingly-severe problems for their quest.
  • Might Makes Right: Specifically argued by Red Haze the Dragon, to Fluttershy.
    "Because there's nothing anypony can do to stop me," Red Haze said to her, conversationally. "The weak must yield to the strong."
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: What Fluttershy realizes when she actually sees the full-grown Dragon — it's scary, but not as scary as she had imagined.
  • The Quest: And one of the most classic ones in storytelling — Twilight is charged by royalty to defeat a Dragon.
  • Reality Warper: Pinkie Pie exhausts her reality-warping powers saving Twilight and her other friends from a deadly avalanche.
    And behind them, unseen, Pinkie Pie collapsed in exhaustion upon a rock, satisfied in the knowledge that she had succeeded. The effort had drained her — she had shifted worldline after worldline, grasping at every straw of possibility, every improbable but conceivable coincidence that could have altered the trajectory of this or that boulder, safely out of sight of any observer and hence not directly threatening causality. She had never done anything this complex on such a scale before — her mass unweaving of Nightmare Moon's spell in the forest of fear had been by contrast a repetitive effect which merely acted to destabilize an existing alternation of reality. Within Pinkie, her reserves of entangled particles were dangerously depleted; her link with Paradise at the lowest bandwidth it had been since she had gained her Cutie Mark. She would not be able to warp reality again until she had rested for a good, long time.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Fittingly a friendship-based version of the trope. Pinkie Pie is well aware that Twilight Sparkle is a reincarnation of G3 Minty, who was the best friend of Pinkie's earlier self, G3 Pinkie Pie (in a world of asexual immortals in which "best friend" was the emotional equivalent of One True Love). Pinkie is not only willing to exhaust herself to save Twilight Sparkle, she will stand by her even when Pinkie's own powers are exhausted and she is close to defenseless.
  • Relationship Upgrade: A slight one happens with Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash — they don't become lovers, but they do implicitly acknowledge the romantic overtones of their strong friendship.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash have a relationship like this. It is tested almost to destruction by the strains of their mission, and then restored after their victory.
  • Team Mom: Applejack's tendencies in this regard are strongly on display in this tale. She helps Fluttershy all the way up the mountain, calming and comforting her in every way possible in an attempt to help her get over her paralyzing fear of the Dragon; charges into an avalanche to save Twilight Sparkle; then on the way back down the mountain, similarly tends to an injured Pinkie Pie, including taking her watch when they camp that night, so that Pinkie can get a full night's sleep and thus recover more rapidly from her wounds.
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