• Published 13th Feb 2014
  • 3,524 Views, 68 Comments

Sleepovers And Such - Sunset-Chan

Diamond Tiara is stuck with her three worst enemies over the course of the weekend. Not only is she generally unamused with the poverty around her, but she also has to keep problems of her own a secret.

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Step 5 ~ The Crusaders, Being Early Birds

Step 5
~The Crusaders, Being Early Birds~

The morning’s start could have easily been compared to a pig’s first attempt at flying. Either horrifyingly adorable or horrifically gruesome, and it all depended on the point of view. Diamond Tiara herself found the latter to be her sentiment. What sane person liked waking up on straw, the summer sun still only reaching up from beyond the horizon, and the blanket that should’ve covered them kicked to the other side of the room and the blasted undergarment soaked?

The only relief she was able to find was in the fact that Scootaloo’s experience with Apple Bloom’s snoring must’ve kept her from waking up, and the yellow, dirt-poor pony seemed to busy dreaming about being a cute little bunny (conqueror of the grasslands). Neither being awake allowed her to quickly make a run for the bathroom and get herself sorted out, however. So that was one good thing.

Once in the bath, she found some time to admire her bedhead, which lightened the mood considerably. Looking good was great and all, but her mane tended to look ridiculous in the mornings. The way the strands twisted in every direction reminded her of the beard.

For a moment she wondered whether she should just keep it the way it was? Maybe rub some dirt into it and play bush outside. She felt in the mood to do something ridiculous outside and since there were no marble floors to dance across, no servants to annoy, her options fell short.

She smiled at the thought though, being a bush and scaring all those who came by. Her father had first taught her that game, and when they had first played it both Pinkie Pie, Derpy and, strange as it was, even Mayor Mare had joined in. It had been a glorious day, and apparently they had managed to foil some sort of world-conquering scheme of Dinky’s.

“Today isn’t going to be fun like that,” she told her mirror image, spotting the reflection of her diaper in it.

I don’t want to wear that blasted tiara, she thought, grumbling to herself. The headaches were a pain, but she didn’t look like a baby with it on. And wearing it won’t change the fact that I need a change.

Rolling her eyes, she got to it, going so far as throwing the rolled-up diaper in an extra trash bag that she then stuffed into her diaper bag. Nopony would ever find out about it. As for her new one, she chose one of the thinnest she had for wear. It wouldn’t be pleasant day here, but she needed to minimize the damage the incontinence did to her looks.

On a personal note, Diamond Tiara thought it not that bad. Being herself made looking good easy, but she was aware that others would not share her mindset. This was the kind of thing that could make her street cred to plummet into the depths of Tartarus, and no money would ever save her.

Yeah, right, she thought, snorting. There was actually no situation money couldn’t fix.

Then she remained for a few minutes more. The window was open and through it she could hear the chirping of the birds. It seemed so careless to her, so free. Yet for Diamond Tiara this morning was like every other. She had placed her tiara on the sink, and felt her muscles tensing. She really didn’t want to wear it, but she also needed to.

It was a small price to pay for an intact reputation, just a bit of a headache, just a bit of a tense day. The foal was used to it by now and she most certainly didn’t want the cutie mark failures to find out. She’d rather dress up in a bunny suit and dance to some stupid song than let that happen.

Nevertheless, she made to comb her hair, turning the mess into a shining, calm sea of undeniable beauty. Only then did she take the tiara in her hooves, weighing the silver carefully. It was fairly light, close to a feather. Diamond Tiara knew that there were as many enchantments on it as there were gemstones. Her first one had looked different, a mere band of silver, she remembered. Her parents had given her the new one minutes before her cute-ceañera’s start. And it looks just like my mark, she thought with a smile.

Once more she looked into the mirror and put on her brave face, her fiercest gaze. “You can do this,” Diamond Tiara told herself and lifted the crown to her head.

A second before she allowed it to land on her head, however, she stopped her motion, putting on a sly grin. “Your majesty,” she added, imagining it to be her crowning ceremony.

As the silver touched her mane, she could see it before her eyes, the huge hall with columns throughout. Golden flowers were planted beside the red carpet she stood on and all the ponies were cheering for her. Cheerilee, the mayor and every other adult. Even her classmates were there. She thought of Silver Spoon standing by her side, of Twist crying like she did during weddings, and the cutie mark misfits roaring the loudest, accepting that they would never be as good or rich or beautiful or mature as Diamond Tiara.

The tiara touched her head, and the spell stung for a moment, before the glamor washed over her. It quickly eradicated all signs of her wearing any kind of absorbent padding. Diamond Tiara looked into the mirror to spot her new, more mature self.

She would have loved to trade a bunny suit for it.

The table was set, with two ponies hurrying around it, setting up breakfast. Diamond Tiara stumbled into the room rather awkwardly. She wasn’t exactly fond of the Apples, so she needed to force that smile up on her face. “Good morning.”

Big Macintosh offered her a nod, before placing silverware and porcelain on the table, swiftly ignoring her with the same stoicism that had earned him much of a reputation over the years. However, Applejack smiled right back, as honest as ever. “Good mornin’ to ya too, Diamond Tiara.”

And how the filly hated that accent.

“Did ya sleep well?”

“Yes, I did,” she lied.

Applejack sighed the kind of sigh that let DT know that her lie had been uncovered immediately. “Ah know ya don’t like Apple Bloom that much, but our families have been friends for a few generations now. If ye gave it a chance, ya would like her.”

“My mother says the same about beans and no matter how many I eat, they only taste awful,” Diamond answered, huffing.

Applejack frowned. “Well, even then, they’re still good for you. Right, Big Mac?”

Instead of answering, he simply put down a bowl with a variety of fruits (and not a single apple, as DT noted) on the table and continued on from there. The silence was a thing to behold.

That Applejack’s own brother wasn’t supporting her gave Diamond Tiara more confidence. Still, she didn’t feel too happy, since it didn’t change anything about her situation anyway. She was still stuck here with the Apples, and would so for the whole weekend. At least with the tiara on, she wouldn’t need to worry about getting exposed or anything.

“Well, no matter. Ah trust ya had no problems changin’ yerself?” Applejack suddenly asked, like she was casually throwing a hammer right at DT’s face, allowing the filly to just stare at her for a moment.

“Wha–”, seemed like the most appropriate noise to make when confronted with the awkwardness of having one’s self-esteem crushed so thoroughly and immediately.

Applejack shrugged. “Yer father told me to make sure that ya keep to tha’ schedule of yours. Ah wouldn’t want ya to get a rash.”

For a moment Diamond Tiara felt like a void was surrounding her, a complete nothingness of colors, smells and sounds. She stood in the middle of a blackness so deep, it must’ve been what a blind pony saw day in and day out. And as she was thrown into that pit, she felt like she was falling not away from the world, but from herself. Diamond Tiara was becoming the nothing that was around her. Whatever thoughts she held, whatever dreams she had, they were all vanishing before her.

And then she realized what Applejack had just stated, in front of Big Macintosh, in front of the whole world.

“I–I,” Diamond Tiara said, fumbling for a proper response.

It was one thing when her parents asked this, she might’ve even survived it if it had been Silver Spoon’s elder sister who asked that, but this wasn’t somepony that close to her, that trustworthy. This was Applejack.Applejack! What sort of thing went through that earth pony’s mind as she asked that? What sort of horrible person was she to readily inflict such wounds on her young (and elegant) guest?

The orange earth pony tilted her head, thinking, before she seemed to reach her own conclusion over why Diamond Tiara wasn’t answering. “Oh. Well, if ya need help, I could always help. It’s been a while since I last changed some–”

Diamond Tiara felt the room growing warmer with every word, her cheeks turned into hot plates. Applejack, luckily, never got to finish that last sentence, as a large hoof covered her mouth before the last words could leave it. Big Macintosh was glaring at his sister.

“Nope,” he stated grim, shaking his head.

The magenta filly felt tears welling up in her eyes, however. Not even two hours in and this is already the worst day.

The stallion sighed. “I’m sorry, Diamond Tiara,” he said, his voice sounding gruff, and weirdly used to speaking more than one word. “Ya already took care of everything yerself?”

She nodded feebly, and he gave her a smile, looking to Applejack, who seemed to wake up on her own, realizing what she just asked. “Oh, gosh. Ah didn’t think it was that big a deal. Sorry, Diamond. Yer already grown-up, so Ah shouldn’t worry. Really Sorry.”

She looked up to the two, and a part of her wanted to yell at them for being so insensitive, tell them that they were poor and stupid and should be grateful that she even considering staying over here. It was just a part though, and she wasn’t about to do anything unsightly. So all Diamond did was wipe away her tears and take a deep breath.

“It’s fine,” she said, though not ready to give Applejack any reason to come up with worse questions involving her disability, “but I can take care of it on my own.”

As a bonus to the apology, she was allowed to immediately get to her breakfast, seemingly killing the worst of this worst day ever. Nevertheless, the conversation made Diamond Tiara weary. She didn’t want to appear childish or infantile, not in any shape or form. So there would be no fun breakfast.

Applejack went up to wake the other two, while Big Macintosh remained. That left the house as quiet as the villa was when nobody was within. The only noise was the sound the food made as it got squashed between Diamond Tiara’s teeth and her own gulps as she washed it all down with milk. Every bite weighed on her nerves, every motion the other party made filled her with anger. She just wanted to get it over with.

The food wasn’t that good either. Bread with wheat and flowers wasn’t something she would usually consider as she broke her fast, but it was what other adults seemed to eat. Being adult apparently meant that you shoved every unlikeable food down your throat pretending that it tasted great so your own kids would eat that stuff, because it’s good for them.

Adult logic, while flawed, was something Diamond Tiara understood without a problem. She hated it nonetheless and eyed the chocolate warily, wanting to empty half the glass onto a loaf of bread, just to finally have some taste in her mouth. But if she didn’t want to be treated like a baby, she needed to act mature.

She decided that this would be step one for her master plan. It had been somewhat simpler before, since she had intended on putting Apple Bloom down, thus getting her attention the proper way. Yet, if she was mature and intimidating, nopony would think that she had problems staying completely dry. Mature ponies didn’t do that, she understood that this was the common assumption going around.

Sometimes her own smartness truly, truly scared her.

She finished her breakfast by the time Apple Bloom and Scootaloo appeared by the table, and she decided to play it maturely and wait for them to be done with their food. That’ll show them, Diamond Tiara thought behind an evil grin.

As they seated themselves she decided to open herself up for proper conversation. “Oh, good morning. I hope you slept well,” she said, putting an effort into coating every word with deadly venom that could bring down mountains.

Apple Bloom yawned, too groggy to notice. “Oh, we slept quite good. Thank you for asking, Diamond Tiara,” she said, grinning adorab–Diamond Tiara halted her thoughts. She’s smiling uglily. Ugily? Ugyli? Not-good-looking!

Scootaloo eyed her from the side however, not giving answer, and not touching the food either. She bit on her lower lip, turning to Apple Bloom for a moment, and then back to Diamond Tiara. The pegasus filly looked like she deserved to get bread thrown at her face, DT noted quickly, but decided not to. What she needed to do was be mature and intimidating. It’s the perfect set-up, she reassured herself once more.

“Did you sleep well, Scootaloo~?” She asked in a sing-songy voice.

“Uh,” was the answer she got and if Diamond Tiara had to tell the truth, any sort of body sound would have been a better answer.

Though the silver did not weigh much on her brow, she did feel the tiara in that instance, and the slight headache that let her fuse burn short. “I asked you a question,” Diamond said, making herself bigger than she was.

While, from an objective standpoint, she did fail completely at doing so, Scootaloo seemed to react nonetheless. She twitched nervously, before turning to Applejack. “I’m not hungry anymore.”

“Ya didn’t even eat,” the orange earth pony said, raising an eyebrow.

“Uhm, I’m … On a diet, yeah, totally a diet. And I want to go to play, both me and Apple Bloom, right Apple Bloom?”

Said Apple Bloom was too busy buttering her bread with closed eyes and a wide smile on her face that let everypony know that she was back to her dreamworld, being the big mother bunny (preparing the meal before the final, epic battle for the free world).

“Now for wrath, now for ruin, and the red dawn,” she whispered in a soft voice.

And for one moment longer, everypony just looked at little Apple Bloom.

“Alright,” Scootaloo suddenly said, jumping up and grabbing her friend by the wrist. “We’ll be outside. Playing. Games and stuff, no need to stop us. Can’t stop kids. Bye!”

There was the noise of bread falling onto porcelain and the flutter of wings as Scootaloo departed together with an half-asleep earth pony fast behind her. Big Macintosh blinked once more, before taking an orange and taking a bite from it. Applejack didn’t fare as well.

“What the hay?” Was what she put forth as the door shut behind Scootaloo, sounding throughout the house.

Diamond Tiara herself had to admit the truth. This came completely unexpected. She knew that she was a presence in the room, but to send Scootaloo into a panic just by talking? Honestly, even Diamond Tiara was unaware of having so much raw talent for spreading fear. Had she reached the level of such evil historical overlords like Sombra or Grogar? Was she the next dark prophet sent to spread angst and terror among the ponies?

As awesome as that would be, she hoped not. Being a villain never paid off in the stories and she was awesome enough without being evil.

Nevertheless, she had made Scootaloo run away from her. That’s how good she’d gotten at being mature and intimidating. While her head ached a bit, Diamond Tiara still decided to change her assessment of the current day. This was shaping up pretty nicely already.

A sudden thought struck her then. Either the pegasus had been intimidated, or something had happened …

Something that might make Scootaloo be afraid to be in a room with her, something she’d want to keep a secret from her. The question was what? And then the second question was how to exploit it?

Oh, if she’s wet the bed I’ll never let her live it down, Diamond Tiara thought casually and turned to the orange earth pony. “Miss Applejack?”

The earth pony turned around. “Ya want to go play with them too?”

A cackle escaped her. “Oh yes, I would love to play with them. Muhahahaha!”

If she was entirely honest, this was perfect. If she could find some dirt on Scootaloo, this weekend would go from worst to best in about half-a-minute, and not only that, the rest of her life was basically done then, or at least school life. She would need to move on once she was done with the cutie mark doormats. Maybe find a boyfriend, get a job, a family, build a space rocket and defeat some aliens with a giant robot, that kind of stuff. The world was hers now. Hers entirely.

And as she followed the two other children out, Diamond Tiara laughed all the way.

Applejack blinked, slowly turning towards her brother. “Why was she laughin’ like that?”

Big Mac stared at her with a gaze that told her how little he cared about that and how much he cared for this orange. Sweet Celestia, how fine it was. It basically exploded once he bit into it, with the juices running down his mouth and dripping on his lap, and the taste was such that words could not describe. Heavens, there was no sentence eloquent enough to ascribe the divinity of the experience this meal offered him.

“Am I missin’ something?” Applejack asked, pressing her hoof against her forehead. “I mean, it’s early, an’ I already misjudged Diamond Tiara’s ability to handle her incontinence. I mean–” Applejack started into a full on rant about how she should’ve handled everything better, and maybe Diamond Tiara had actually needed help with something ...

And she did not notice the oranges! That was the greatest sin of all, for their saturation was beyond mere orange, it was the fiery red of a heavenly gold, and they smelled like the warmest summer, offering respite and happiness to all those who dared to take a bite. How could she not see? Big Macintosh did not understand.

“... And above all else, why did they run out like that? Do you think something happened tonight?”

Big Macintosh looked right into his sister’s eyes, and she leaned forward, expecting an answer.

“You should really try these oranges,” he said, deciding to, for now, let the kids handle their own lives.

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