• Published 26th May 2012
  • 7,077 Views, 209 Comments

Tarnished Feelings - DJLowrider



After a falling out with Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon re-discovers who she is and finds new friends.

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The Best Policy

Silver had given patronage to many restaurants over the past few years, but she had a hard time remembering the last time she’d visited Sugarcube Corner. According to Sweetie Belle, the bakery’s business boomed over the years which led to its expansion. Now no longer just a bakery, the shop also offered full party planning courtesy of Pinkie Pie and a full-service cafe. The increased business, coupled with raising two foals, had forced Mr. and Mrs. Cake to pass off more control of the shop to Pinkie so they could focus on baking and securing bigger catering contracts. Pinkie, in turn, immediately sought an employee to help her handle the crowds at the shop and café. It was as much of a dream job as Twist could have ever hoped for. Silver saw as much for herself as she spotted the bespectacled mare with the curly red mane cheerily taking an order as she and Sweetie entered the shop.

“So that’s two slices of coffee cake and two fruit thmoo-”

Twist caught herself mid-sentence and, stifling a frustrated groan, gave it another attempt.

“Two fruit smoothies,” she said slowly and carefully. “I’ll have your order out to you in a jiffy!”

She turned and headed back to the counter grumbling silently to herself as she went. Growing up had seen plenty of changes for the better in her, but her lisp was something she continued to struggle with daily. After filling and delivering the order to her customers, she turned towards the front doors of the shop and spotted Sweetie Belle and Silver Spoon waiting to be seated.

“Uh, hey Sweetie Belle,” Twist said as she approached her while eyeing Silver somewhat warily. “Table for one, I guess? Or are the others coming a little later?”

“Actually, I’m here with Silver Spoon, Twist,” Sweetie told her with a smile. “We’ll sit wherever.”

Twist looked back and forth between Silver and Sweetie and, with a concerned look on her face, led the pair to a table not far from the shop’s counter. Once they were seated, she stood on the opposite side of the table from them and tried to make sense of the scene in front of her.

“Is, uh… Diamond Tiara meeting you here or something?” she asked Silver.

“Um… no,” Silver replied while avoiding eye contact with Twist. “Definitely not.”

Twist’s mind went from curiously concerned to completely confounded as she leaned across the table towards Sweetie Belle. “Thith ith- dang it! I mean…this is really weird, you know,” she told her.

“I can appreciate where you’re coming from, Twist, but it’s okay,” Sweetie replied quietly. “Silver’s been through a bit of a rough patch recently, and she wants to try to make some new friends.”

“Seriouthly?” Twist asked in surprise.

“Seriouthly.” Sweetie replied with a wink and smirk. Twist stuck her tongue out at the Unicorn mare and then moved back a bit so she was looking at both of them again.

“Well, feel free to order whenever you’d like,” she told them. “We just got a fresh batch of blueberries in so we made some blueberry muffins this morning. They’re really tasty, but they’re going fast. I also recommend the hash browns. We fry ‘em in peanut oil with your choice of additional ingredients. Oh, and I’m afraid we’re all out of hay bacon right now. Ms. Pinkie used up what we had left last night.”

“What in Equestria was she making that she needed that much hay bacon?” Sweetie asked.

“I have no idea what it was,” Twist said with an exasperated sigh. “All I know is I got to clean up what was left of it this morning when I came in. Not exactly how I wanted to start my day.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” Sweetie said, making a mental note to see if she could find out later what Pinkie had been up to. “I’ll keep my order simple: Milk tea with honey and a blueberry muffin.”

“Gotcha,” Twist said, nodding to her. She then turned to face Silver. “And what’ll you have, Silver Spoon?”

“I don’t suppose you do bagel and flax here, do you?” Silver asked.

Twist paused to think for a moment. “Not usually, but I know we’ve got some flax seed right now. We can make it special for you if you’d like.”

Silver nodded to her. “Please. And an Earl Greymane tea as well.”

Twist nodded and smiled at the both of them. “Right. You ladies sit tight and I’ll be back shortly with your order.”

Sweetie nodded her thanks to Twist and then turned to Silver to begin chatting with her again only to see Silver looking intently all around the café. Sweetie just sat and watched her as she silently adjudicated the establishment. She had a discerning look in her eyes as she methodically examined the ceiling, walls, furniture, dishware, tables, and even the silverware and glassware.

“Don’t tell me you’re actually critiquing this place,” Sweetie said as Silver was judging the flowers on their table.

“Why not?” Silver asked in response without looking at her. “This is what I do, or at least it’s what I want to do for a living. I want to know if Sugarcube Corner’s café is going to be worth recommending to the elite of Equestria.”

“And you’re going to figure that out by counting the number of spots on the glasses?” Sweetie asked skeptically.

“Any establishment worth its salt will not overlook any detail. If the glasses are dirty or the tables are in disarray, who knows what else they skimp on?”

Sweetie couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Silver, the ‘elite’ of Equestria are never going to be this place’s main source of customers. I don’t think that’s what the Cakes had in mind when they opened this café and I’m pretty certain Pinkie has no desire to try and turn it into that kind of place.”

“That’s not the point,” Silver replied exasperatedly. “Just like normal ponies like to experience high society, sometimes high-class ponies like to see what regular ponies do. I want to let them know if this place would be worth their while or if it’s a little too common, if you will.”

“So you’re figuring out if this place is okay for rich ponies who want to go slumming.”

“If you’re intent on putting a frown on it, then yes. But like I said, this is what I want to do Sweetie Belle.”

“I’m not about to tell you to stop doing what you love, Silver. I guess I just wonder why you’re limiting yourself to reviewing places for the upper class. Normal ponies would benefit from that sort of knowledge as well.”

Silver was fully prepared to continue the debate when Twist returned with their tea. She set the cups down in front of each of them with practiced carefulness and then stood back with a smile on her face.

“Oh Sweetie Belle, Ms. Pinkie wanted to talk to you in the back,” Twist told her.

“Why?” Sweetie asked with a confused look on her face.

Twist shrugged at her. “All I know is she looked really excited to find out that you were here and all but threw me out of the kitchen to deliver the message.”

“Guess I’d better see what this is about before she makes a scene out here,” Sweetie said, reluctantly leaving her spot at the table. “This shouldn’t take too long, Silver.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Silver replied as she inspected her teacup, more for its design than the tea it held. It was only after she was done judging its merits that she realized Twist was still standing there looking at her just as discerningly as she’d been looking at the cup.

“So was Sweetie Belle telling the truth?” Twist asked.

“About what?” Silver asked in reply, doing her best to try and evade both the forthcoming questioning and eye contact with Twist.

“About you having had a rough time lately.”

“Yes.”

“Did something bad happen?”

“More or less.”

“Are you doing okay now?”

“Better than I was.”

The ambiguity of Silver’s answers was beginning to bug the redheaded mare. “Come on, you’ve got to tell me more than that!”

“Why?” Silver replied, finally making eye contact with Twist. “So you can finally get a good laugh at me and my misfortune?”

“I admit that part of me does like knowing you got a taste of your own medicine,” Twist admitted. “But that doesn’t mean I actually find it funny. No one deserves to be treated poorly, even you Silver Spoon.”

“You… actually mean that, don’t you?” Silver asked, completely taken aback at Twist’s honesty. Twist nodded vigorously, her curly, red mane bouncing around her face. “I see… I’m sorry, Twist. I guess I’ve just become too accustomed to being around ponies who never say what they really mean.”

“Well that seems pretty silly,” Twist noted. “What point is there in not being honest with others?”

“There are just some things better left unsaid. Troublesome opinions or thoughts that might upset someone… you know how it is.”

“No… I really don’t,” Twist said, looking truly confused. “If you don’t say what you mean or tell others what you really think, how would you ever know what they really think of you? If someone is really your friend, you’ll work things out somehow so long as you’re honest with each other.”

“But what if you can’t work things out? Wouldn’t it be worth keeping even just a few secrets to make sure your friendship stays intact?”

“If you really feel like that about someone, Silver, then maybe they were never actually your friend to begin with.”

Silver found herself struck silent at the simple yet profound observation Twist had just made. Before she had a chance to challenge it any further, though, Sweetie Belle returned and took her seat again.

“Everything okay, Sweetie Belle?” Twist asked, turning her attention back to the unicorn.

Sweetie Belle nodded to her. “Yeah. Pinkie’s just making a big deal out of something that isn’t that big a deal. Nothing new there.”

“Well I’ll let you two get back to your chat,” Twist replied with a smile and nod. She then turned and headed for another table of guests as Silver looked at Sweetie once again.

“What was she making a big deal out of?” Silver asked, curious about the matter.

“Oh, she found out that Rarity went to see your dad last night,” Sweetie told her. “I tried to explain the whole thing to her, but she was bouncing all over the room so much I doubt she paid me any attention.”

Silver looked at her skeptically. “Are you sure that’s all that was about? It hardly seems worth the level of excitement Twist said she had.”

“I dunno,” Sweetie said with a shrug as she levitated her teacup up to sip from it. “All she’d keep saying was, ‘I knew Rarity would be the first to go,’ whatever that means.”

Silver shrugged and took a sip of her own tea, finding it surprisingly tasty in spite of her previous judgment of the establishment based on its less-than-high-class décor and dishware. A similar revelation came when Twist delivered their food not long after. For not being something normally on Sugar Cube Corner’s menu, the bagel & flax she was served was remarkably tasty. She looked around as she ate, noticing that the café’s other patrons all seemed to be enjoying themselves and their food, even if it wasn’t all top quality or all that refined.

“Whatcha thinking about?” Sweetie Belle asked, having been watching her while eating her own meal.

“There’s something about this place,” Silver said distractedly. “Despite it not being all that fancy and nothing about it being all that remarkable it’s… comfortable. Relaxing. There’s a kind of honesty to things here that I don’t see in many of the places I usually go to eat.”

Silver looked back down at her own empty plate and teacup, a small smile forming on her face.
“It’s… refreshing,” she admitted looking back up at Sweetie Belle, who beamed a smile back at her.

“I think you’re starting to get it,” Sweetie told her. “Let me settle up our bill and we’ll get going again.”

“Are you sure?” Silver asked, seeming alarmed. “I could at least pay for my own.”

Sweetie Belle smirked at her a bit. “Silver, did you bring any money with you?”

Silver blushed a bit as she remembered that she indeed had none on her at the moment. Sweetie giggled and waved a hoof at her.

“Don’t worry about it,” she told her as she headed for the counter where Twist waited. “You can treat me the next time we come.”

Silver nodded and waited by the door as Sweetie Belle paid for their meals. She saw Twist wave to her as Sweetie rejoined her and she found herself waving back a little.

“Right,” Silver said, smiling a bit more. “Next time. There certainly will be a next time. I’ll make sure of that.”