• Published 23rd Apr 2014
  • 2,518 Views, 130 Comments

Apple Bloom and Diamond Tiara: The Reason For The Feud - Never2muchpinkie

The Apples and the Riches have had a good relationship for a few generations, up until Apple Bloom and Diamond Tiara. What is it about Apple Bloom that makes Diamond Tiara so mad, and can they ever reconcile their differences?

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Chapter 3: My greatest shame

When Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle left Applejack said, “Apple Bloom, what’s this all about now? It’s not like you to skip out on school.”

Apple Bloom didn’t respond. She only turned around and began walking, her head low. Applejack followed behind her, figuring her sister would tell her what was going on when they got to… well, wherever they were going. Ten minutes passed. They continued walking on in silence, curiosity digging at Applejack’s mind.

Focusing on her sister, and not their surroundings, Applejack noticed when Apple Bloom began hesitating in her steps, and slight tremors started going through her. She finally looked around, and understood where they were going. Trotting a little faster to be even with her sister she took off her hat, put her head under Apple Bloom’s stomach, and threw her sister onto her back before putting her hat back on.

As they walked under the arches of the gate to the cemetery Applejack moved without thinking. She had taken this path so many times she had lost count. When she finally stopped she was looking down at the graves of their parents. Their mother, Pacific Rose Apple, as well as their father, Summer Macintosh Apple.

It was quiet for a few minutes more, until the sound of crying and sniffing came from Apple Bloom. She placed her hooves around Applejack, holding her hard.

Applejack took her favorite hat, placing it on Apple Bloom’s head, before lowering her head to see if she was going to get down. When she didn’t she lifted her head back up, asking in a gentle voice, “So what’s going on, Apple Bloom? What happened at school?”

“Diamond Tiara,” she responded simply.

Applejack tsked. “Well, t'aint so surprise there. What’d she do this time?”

“She got me so mad! We got into a big fight today because I was tired of her being nasty to me. When Miss Cheerilee broke us up I asked her why she was always picking on me, and she told me that she was jealous.” With another hard squeeze she continued, “She was jealous of the great relationship we have, and she said her parents don’t pay a lot of attention to her. At least she still HAS parents.”

“It don’t make what she says and does to ya right, but I can understand that. What’s the point of having parents if they don’t pay no attention to you?”

“Well, I know Mom and Dad died before I got a chance to know them, but…” Once more she gave a hearty squeeze. “Since I didn’t get to know them I’ve always thought of you as both a sister and a mom.” She felt Applejack twitch beneath her, and the next thing she knew her sister was putting her on the ground.

Applejack turned away from the graves, saying in a quiet voice, “That’s mighty nice-a ya to say, Apple Bloom, but the best I could ever be is your sister. I could never be your mom.”

“What’s wrong, Applejack?” Apple Bloom asked, distracted from her own sadness at Applejack’s sudden change of tone.

“I never did tell ya about the day our parents died, though ya asked many times. I kept telling myself I would tell ya when you were ready, but I kept putting it off, because I didn’t think that I could handle it. I just don’t feel proud of what I did.”

“What do you mean?”

There was a long silence, then, “Our parents both died on the day of your birth.”

“What?” asked Apple Bloom, feeling a cold feeling in her stomach. “How?”

“There were… complications during your birth. I don’t remember the exact details, as it’s been so long, but the doctors told us she wouldn’t last the hour. The best they could do is give her medicine to alleviate her pain and make sure she passed peacefully.

"While ya were being cleaned up she said her goodbyes to our dad, Granny Smith, Big Mac, and finally me. She made us all promise that we’d all take great care of you in her place... that we’d raise you with strong family morals and teach you to be an amazing pony with a heart full of love.”

Apple Bloom walked forward, sitting next to Applejack. “After that, the doctors placed the little bundle that was you into Mom’s hooves. She held you as tight as she could, rocking ya and speaking words of love and hope and protection. The whole time, up until her last breath, she just held you. She died with a smile, knowing that you had been born healthy and that you had been entrusted to a family who would always love you.

“All of us cried when she died, but our father took it the hardest. In a fit of hysteria he ran out of the hospital, right into the path of a cart carrying heavy construction materials, and he was crushed. On a day that was supposed to be filled with happiness and joyful times I lost two of the most important members of my family.”

There was another period of silence as Apple Bloom digested what she had heard, but then came confusion. “But what did you mean? You said that you did something you weren’t proud of.”

Applejack began shaking again, and Apple Bloom could see some tears coming down her eyes for a second before Applejack pointedly turned away from her. “Yes, I did.”

“What was it?” Apple Bloom asked, moving so she could be next to Applejack again.

Once more Applejack turned away, and found herself staring at the gravestones again. A sense of buried guilt emerged. “I… I hated you. That’s what.”

That sentence struck Apple Bloom to her core. In all her memories of her sister she could recall, she couldn’t think of a single time that her sister seemed to hate her. All she remembered was a lot of laughter, togetherness, joyful smiles, love; had a lot of it been fake? “What do you mean?”

“I… I wasn’t able to do what Mom asked. I… I couldn’t stand you. I treated you horribly. I ignored your need for attention. I let you do dangerous things without stopping you. I didn’t want to have anything to do with you.” Taking a few steps until she was directly in front of the graves she continued, guilty tears burning her eyes as she let out her greatest shame. “I blamed ya for it all. I told myself it was all yer fault that I didn’t have parents anymore. I was young then, and so very stupid. I took it out on somepony who had no idea of why I was treating her the way I did. Because I had to blame somepony for it, or else I might’ve blamed myself.

“One day, Big Mac tried to talk to me about it. I let my temper out on him. I told him it wasn’t fair. Big Mac had gotten along well with Dad, and I was like Mom. I was older than you, and mom gave me a quick goodbye, while she spent the last of her life on you. I told him I wished you had never been born, because trading in my two parents for one younger sister just wasn’t a good deal to me.

“Big Mac exploded on me. I ain’t never seen him get so mad. You know Big Mac ain’t big on words, but when he gets angry… well, I’m sure you remember what happened during your Gabby Gums days.”

Apple Bloom gave a quick, “Yeah.” She remembered all right, but she wanted to hear the rest. A lot of this felt so foreign to the little girl, not fitting with the Applejack she knew at all. So strange, in fact, that she couldn’t even picture the Applejack she was being told about.

“He told me that I was being totally selfish. I had had ten years with both my parents. I had tons of memories of being together and family life and the like. While you, on the other hand, had less than an hour with them, with a memory you probably wouldn’t even remember of being held. He told me I was breaking my promise to our mother, and sullying the last gift she had ever given the family: you, Apple Bloom.

"I couldn’t even respond to him, because he was so right. I ain’t never felt so ashamed of myself in all my life. I felt like I was a disgrace to the family. I bawled my head off, apologizing and crying like there weren’t no tomorrow. I resolved to do better, and I like to think I did a good job.”

She rubbed her hoof gently across their mom’s gravestone, leaving it on the name for a few seconds before putting it down. Apple Bloom tried once more, walking over and sitting next to her sister again. This time Applejack didn’t turn away. “I wanted to do right by our parents, and I found my hatred for you disappearing. I did my best to protect you from the things that would harm you. I tried to treat you to as much love as possible, so much so that hopefully you wouldn’t feel too crushed at not having a mom and dad like a lot of the rest of the kids.”

She finally turned to Apple Bloom, tears beginning to stream down her eyes again. “I’m sorry, Apple Bloom.” She put her hooves around her sister, squeezing her tight. “I’m so sorry!”

A memory came to Apple Bloom then. “I remember something. Every year on my birthday you would hold me on yer lap and hug me really tight. It kinda sounds like what ya were saying about what Mom did with me.”

“It was the only thing I could do. It was the only way to feel like I could connect with Mom. I did it to remind myself of how important ya are to me, and to try to do what Mom would have done for you. A birthday is supposed to be a happy occasion. I didn’t want to ruin it for you by being a blubbery baby.

"So I would hold ya close, hugging ya tight, and I would remember Mom’s last moments, doin' the same thing with a smile on her face even though she was dyin’. And that’s also the reason I would make that day one we went to visit the graves. You didn’t question it. You just liked to come to tell them it was your birthday and you were happy.

“It was wrong of me ta hide the truth from ya fer so long. Can ya ever forgive me?”

“I already did.” Apple Bloom responded, throwing her hooves around Applejack. “I don’t even remember those days ya didn’t like me.

"All I can think about when I think of you is the best memories of my life. Yer someone I can always talk ta when things get hard. Ya taught me the importance of family, and of working hard. Ya did an amazing job raising me. I know it was hard to tell me that but I feel much happier knowing that, because now ya don’t haveta feel bad about it no more.” As she let go she placed Applejack’s hat back on her head, her eyes shining with pride. “If Mom and Dad could talk ta ya right now I know they’d tell ya that they’re proud-a you.”

A shuddering breath racked Applejack, her sisters words destroying her feeling of guilt and self-loathing from all those years ago. She rubbed her head against Apple Bloom. “Thank ya, Sugurcube. I… I really needed ta hear that.”

“No problem. Yer the best sister a pony could have.” She nuzzled Applejack back. “I’ll say what I said before. Yer as good as a mom to me. So what ya was dumb when ya was young? I’m young, and I know I do dumb things all the time. Ya showed me what a mom should be like. Ya’ve always been there fer me when I needed it. So yer right. I don’t feel too sad about not being able to meet Mom, because I know now that we got to spend a special time together, even if it was only for a short time, and you help me to remember it every year on my birthday. And if you’re anything like her, then knowing ya is just like knowing Mom.”

Apple Bloom placed her hooves around the gravestone, hugging it like her life depended on it. “Thank ya, Mom. I love ya! Ya have a really amazing daughter.”

Applejack patted Apple Bloom’s head and said, “Two amazing daughters.” Apple Bloom just smiled.

They heard hoofsteps approaching, and soon enough, to their surprise, they saw their brother approaching. “Big Mac!” said Apple Bloom.

Carrying some flowers in his mouth he let out a muffled, “Eeeeyup.” He walked over to the graves, placing the flowers down, then he turned his attention to Apple Bloom. After looking back and forth to be sure no one else was around he asked, “Shouldn’t you be in school?”

“It’s okay, Big Mac,” said Applejack. “There was an issue at school and she just needed a little time to settle down.

“Y’know, yer such a strong stallion. Ya really should try ta stop being so dang shy. Most of the time you say so little that other ponies may think ya ain’t that bright.”

Big Mac let out a sheepish, “Eeeyup.” He couldn’t deny that. He just shut down around other ponies who weren’t his family.

“Well, she got into a fight with Diamond Tiara about parents. That’s why she needed to get out of school and visit the graves. I… I told her about the day our parents died. I thought it was the right time.”

Big Mac gave her an apprehensive look before he walked over to Apple Bloom, giving her a nuzzle. “Are you alright, little one?”

“Yeah…” Apple Bloom gave him a nuzzle back. “I think I am. She let me know how much Mom truly loved me, even if I only had her for a short time.”

“I also told her about the way I treated her when she was really young,” said Applejack.

“You can be really scary can’t ya, big brother?” Apple Bloom said with a small laugh.

Big Mac gave a look at the graves as the memory came back to him, of losing his temper at the way his sister was acting. He wasn’t too many years older than Applejack, but with his father gone he had taken over as the stallion of the house, determined to keep the family together. And what Applejack had said to him had felt like the biggest insult she could give. It was not the way she was raised. ‘Why should I have ta give up two parents fer one stupid sister? I hate her! If it hadn’t been fer her Mom and Dad would still be here! I wish she’d never been born!’

‘You’ve got quite a lot of nerve! Do you even know what you’re saying? That is the most selfish, most ungrateful thing you could ever say. You’ve had a mother and father since you were born. Taking care of you, loving you, teaching you. TEN… YEARS! And what is it Apple Bloom got? An hour? An hour that she won’t ever remember because she’s too young? Mother died with a smile on her face, entrusting her to her family to take care of…’ It had gone on for a while, and he saw that Applejack had understood as she broke down crying and apologizing.

“You’ve gotten better since then, AJ.”

“I know. I feel a lot better about it, now that I’ve finally talked to Apple Bloom about it all.”

“I’m glad. I don’t like to yell at anyone.”

As Apple Bloom laughed and talked with her two older siblings, she felt like a very lucky filly. The two of them had each taken on the role of a parent to her as well as a sibling role. And suddenly, sitting on her sisters back, Applejack’s words came back to her. “What’s the point of having parents if they don’t pay no attention to you?”

Apple Bloom felt like she finally understood. “Applejack, Big Mac?”

“Yes, Sugarcube?” said Applejack.

“Eeyup?” said Big Mac.

“I think I get it,” said Apple Bloom.

“Get what?” asked Applejack.

“Diamond Tiara. On the Apple farm we may not have a whole lot of money, but we’re as close as a family can be. I wouldn’t trade my relationship with all of ya fer anything. I don’t think Diamond Tiara is all that different than me. Her family has a whole lot of money, and she has probably always gotten whatever little thing she’s ever wanted. Everything but the most important thing. Ya kin have all the stuff in the world, but it can’t compliment ya, it can’t tuck ya in at night, it can’t hold ya tight and tell ya it loves ya. THAT’S how ya guys make me feel I’m special. All the money in the world can’t buy that. If I were in her position… I would be jealous of me too.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“I gotta do what I can. Ya said that when Big Mac yelled at ya he made ya feel ashamed fer letting down Mom and Dad. It wasn’t right of me to hit her, no matter how angry I was. I want ta be able to come here and feel proud of what I tell our parents. Even if she doesn’t accept my apology I still have to try. If I don’t I’ll only hurt ya, because ya taught me better. Ya finally got over yer guilt. I don’t want ya to feel that again.”

Applejack gave her sister a loving nuzzle. “Thank ya, Apple Bloom. And yer right. Ya discovered fer yerself what Big Mac had ta tell me. One of the things he asked me when he was yelling at me that day was whether I could go tell our parents what I had been doing and hold my head up high with pride. And the answer o’ course was that I couldn’t. I woulda felt embarrassed and ashamed ta come here and tell Mom that I had been mistreatin’ ya the way I was.

“So, ya ready now, Sugarcube?”

Apple Bloom walked up the graves again, giving them each a hug. “Goodbye fer today, Mom and Dad. I have to go fix a mistake.” She walked over to Applejack, climbing up onto her sisters back. “Yeah, I’m ready.”

“I’ll see ya later, Big Mac. I gotta take her back ta school.”

Big Mac nodded, saying, “Eeyup.”

On the walk there Applejack said, “Ya know, friendship begins with a common element, something ya can feel empathy for. Like how Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle knew nothing about ya at the party other than ya were being bullied fer being a blank flank. They understood the pain of being picked on for the same thing, which is why they stood up fer ya and how ya became fast friends. Now yer startin' to see another side ta Diamond Tiara. If ya work at it, maybe she can be a friend too.” Applejack expected a sarcastic denial of that statement, but Apple Bloom was quiet.

She was quiet because she really was thinking about it. “Maybe… maybe she’s like Babs.”

“Yer cousin?”

“Yeah. Babs was bein’ a bully so she wouldn’t get picked on in Ponyville. She was actin' like she was real strong, when she was really afraid. I think that Diamond Tiara is scared, too, and that’s why she has to bully me, so she doesn’t have ta admit it.”

“And what do ya think she’s scared of?” Applejack knew the answer, but she wanted to be sure Apple Bloom had the right train of thought.

“I think she’s scared that her parents don’t love her. So when she sees us, acting happy and lovin' and havin’ a good time, it reminds her of how her parents aren’t that way. I think she just wants to be loved, but she’s too afraid to ask for it.”

“Well, didn’t ya just say that her parents probably bought her everything she ever wanted? That sounds like love ta me.”

“Well… um…”

“Come on, Apple Bloom. Yer on the right track. Ya should know the answer. After all, ya told me it before.”

“I did?” She thought about it, and then it came back to her. “Oh, yeah. It just ain’t as good as bein’ held and spending real time together.”

Soon enough they reached the schoolhouse. The sounds of happy fillies and colts echoed the closer they got. They saw it was recess period, the perfect time to talk with Diamond Tiara without interrupting class.

Author's Note:

Constructive criticism and comments always welcome! =)

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