• Published 26th May 2012
  • 7,451 Views, 209 Comments

Tarnished Feelings - DJLowrider

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

  • ...

Life's a Dirty Job

Farm work was hard, no matter how you looked at it. For decades the Apple Family had worked the land that Sweet Apple Acres encompassed with all manner of tools, from hoes and rakes to plows and pitchforks and more. Such tools certainly helped their efforts, but it was still hard work nonetheless and even hardy Earth ponies like Big Macintosh and Applejack themselves would be positively exhausted at the end of a hard day’s work.

When the time finally came for Apple Bloom to start doing her own fair share of the farm’s chores, however, she took a rather different approach to things. Hard work could be rewarding, that much she knew; however, her mantra was “work smarter, not harder” and she brought that notion and her own ingenuity to the farm. Over the past few years, she’d worked to not only improve the tools they had, but to craft and maintain new tools, devices, and machines that promised to not only make work on the farm faster and easier, but also help them rake in far greater profits for the fruits of their labor.

Her siblings and Granny Smith were at first hesitant about the changes Apple Bloom wanted to bring to the farm, having grown quite accustomed to the traditional way things had been done. This was also not to mention they still remembered the incident years ago with the Flim-Flam Brothers and their machinery and the problems that had caused. When Granny’s health took a turn for the worse a couple of years prior, Apple Bloom took it upon herself to promise Granny that she wouldn’t get carried away with her improvements to the farm and that she still understood and valued how they used to do things. It was a timely promise, as Granny Smith sadly passed away a few months later. Since then, Apple Bloom had continued to work both on new things to help the farm and also repair and maintain what they already had in place. It was a happy balance that even Applejack and Big Macintosh were more than pleased with, and Apple Bloom herself was certainly satisfied.

At least, she was satisfied when her siblings managed to perform even the most basic of maintenance on the machines themselves. As it was, she was presently having to spend her time working on their tractor. Applejack seemed to perpetually forget to check the oil level on the machine, and as a result it was almost always in and out of operation. To say this sort of thing annoyed Apple Bloom was putting it lightly.

“Ah swear, she’d better never forget that dang hat ‘o hers,” Apple Bloom muttered to herself as she crawled under the tractor. “Probably keeps all her brains in it. Well, let’s get this thing drainin’.”

As she went to loosen the plug keeping the oil in the tractor, she found it almost impossible to budge. She gritted her teeth in order to muffle a bit of rage as she remembered the last time she’d done this she’d had Big Macintosh handle it under her supervision. He must have tightened the plug too much and now she couldn’t even turn it.

‘Work smarter,’ she told herself once again as she took a moment to calm down, ‘not harder. Get the ratchet and some spray lubricant and it’ll come right off.’

She quickly grabbed her tool and the can of lubricant and slid back into place under the tractor. She held the can up and pressed down on its nozzle, expecting it to spray its contents onto the underside of the vehicle. It certainly did so, but instead of lubricant, all of a sudden silly string was coating the entire bottom of the tractor.

“What the... aw fer Pete’s sake, SCOOTALOO!” she cried, sliding back out from under the tractor again. There was only one pony in Ponyville who’d pull this sort of stunt on her, and sure enough she found the orange Pegasus mare laughing herself silly not far away along with Sweetie Belle and one other mare she didn’t immediately recognize until she got closer. When she did recognize her, she found herself even more bewildered than she had been when silly string had come out of her can of lubricant.

“Classic,” Scootaloo said between fits of laughter. “Just classic, AB! Oh that never gets old!”

“Speak fer yerself, ya wingnut,” Bloom replied with a snort. She canted her head towards Silver Spoon, who stood next to Sweetie Belle also enjoying a chuckle at her expense. “Mind tellin’ me what she’s doin’ here?”

Sweetie’s laughter tapered off as she looked over at Silver, who was suddenly far less jovial herself. “At least this should be the last time you have to explain everything,” she told her with a smile.

“For now,” Silver added. “I have no doubt there’s going to be more of this in the near future with other acquaintances of mine.”

“You two should probably talk alone,” Scootaloo said as she began ushering Sweetie Belle away. “We’ll just be over at the house visiting with Applejack.”

Sweetie protested some, wanting to be there to support Silver, but lost out to Scoot’s insistence on dragging her away. Silver watched them head off for a bit and then turned back to Bloom who had a rather scrutinizing look on her face.

“This better be good,” Bloom told her, an edge to her voice. “‘Cuz Ah got plenty Ah’m of a mind to tell the likes of you, an’ Ah reckon y’know what it’d be about.”

“I do, and I wouldn’t blame you for any of it,” Silver replied. She was getting used to feeling like there was a lead weight in her stomach after as many times as she’d been in this situation that day, but it still wasn’t the kind of feeling of which she was at all fond. Once again, she went into the details of what happened at Diamond Tiara’s party, her falling out with the pony heiress, and her experiences so far that day with Sweetie Belle, Twist, and most recently Scootaloo.

“Sounds like ya got a good dose of yer own medicine,” Bloom said once Silver finished the explanation. “And if ya ask me, ya had it comin’ too.”

“You’re not the first to say as much,” Silver told her, looking off to one side a bit.

“Ah’m bettin’ Ah won’t be the last. Ya sure didn’t do yerself any favors when we were fillies, Silver Spoon, bein’ all high ‘n mighty.”

“In my defense, in a way I was in just as bad a situation as you three were from a certain point of view.”

“Excuse me?” Bloom asked, taking a step towards her which caused Silver to shrink back some. “No, you don’t get to even try and compare what you went through puttin’ up with Diamond Tiara to what you two’ve put the three of us through. Ya bullied us fer the dumbest of reasons, ya got mah own cousin to turn on us fer two whole weeks, and Ah ain’t even gonna go into all the times since Ah even got mah cutie mark y’all seemed to go outta yer way just to try ‘n convince folks the things Ah do fer the farm ‘n the town weren’t worth anythin’! Been pretty clear to me fer a while now y’all just got it out fer me. And now Ah’m s’posed to just wipe the slate clean because you had one bad day?”

“What do you want me to say or do, Apple Bloom?” Silver asked, sounding a bit desperate at the mare’s growing ire. “I was wrong, I get that now! I can’t make up for what happened. All I can do is swear things are going to be different from here on out.”

“That so?”

“It is.”

“Y’all willin’ to prove it?”

“I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“You mind if Ah put that to the test?”

Silver felt a bit of a chill go up her spine, but she had to stand her ground so to speak. “What do you have in mind?”

Bloom smirked at her and canted her head back towards the tractor she’d been working on. “Ah got a tractor all covered in silly string. You can start there.”

“You... you want me to clean it up?” Silver asked, a bit incredulous.

“Eeyup,” Bloom replied. “And when yer done, Ah’m gonna have ya finish changin’ the oil in it.”

“What?! Wait a minute! I don’t know the first thing about machines or mechanic stuff!”

Bloom rolled her eyes at the mildly panicking gray mare. “Cool yer hooves, Ah’ll be tellin’ ya what needs doin’. Not like Ah’d expect a prissy britches like you to know a salad fork from a crescent wrench anyway.”

“That comparison makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

“You gonna jaw at me or get to cleanin’?”

Silver stammered as she tried to protest the idea as Bloom just looked expectantly at her. She ultimately caved, though, and a short while later she was on her back underneath the tractor, doing her level best to clean the underside of the machine. Her hooves were entirely unaccustomed to this kind of work, though, and she found herself grimacing and wincing every time she came in contact with even the slightest bit of oil, grease, or grime.

“This is so unseemly!” she cried from her prone position. “And I went to a lot of trouble to clean up at Sweetie Belle’s home this morning too. I’m going to need another shower or three to feel right again.”

“The more ya complain ‘bout it the longer it’ll take to git ‘r done,” Bloom told her simply.

Silver grumbled and just tried to get over herself a bit as she continued her work. “Apple Bloom, listen... I know Diamond Tiara and I made things really hard on all of you over the years, you more so than Sweetie Belle or Scootaloo. You might not believe this coming from me, but I never really bore you any ill will.”

“Is that so?” Bloom asked, equal parts curious and skeptical at the admission.

“What use would it be to me to try and mislead you at this point?” Silver replied. “And yes, it is. I’ve always been impressed by the things you’ve helped design or build to help the town. I honestly think Diamond is, well... jealous of you.”

“Come again? She’s jealous of me?”

“It’s just a hunch of mine, but you get so many accolades from the mayor and others in town that I think she sees it as you stealing her spotlight. And at this point, I’m not sure she knows any other way to cope with it than to lash out at you like she does. It doesn’t help that she has so many around her willing and eager to feed her ego for that. That includes me, at least until yesterday happened.”

“Didn’t ya ever try ‘n talk sense to her?”

“Well... yes and no,” Silver said, punctuating her words with a sigh that was laden with regret. “Anytime she got it in her mind to do something else to discredit or marginalize you I tried to redirect her to do something else instead. Sometimes I’d succeed, but more often than not she just got her way anyway. You really don’t know what life is like in that scene. She has more influence than you realize, all because she’s heiress to the Rich Family fortune.”

Bloom scoffed a bit at the notion. “Money ain’t everythin’ ya know.”

“Maybe not in your circles, but in mine she has plenty weight to throw around. After what happened yesterday for me, I’ll be lucky if the career I want to have will actually go anywhere. Her word alone can have high-end restaurants refuse to let me review them or even get a hoof in the door. Magazine and newspaper publishers won’t consider me for columns to publish either. I may even lose contacts and acquaintances I’ve made all because they don’t want to incur her ire for being associated with me.”

Bloom stepped over and crouched down to look underneath the tractor at Silver, concern evident on her face. “She wouldn’t really go that far, would she? Ah mean, y’all were close friends all the way back to grade school after all.”

Silver finished cleaning the last of the string from the tractor and tilted her head back to look at Bloom. “If that counted for anything with her, I probably wouldn’t be here now doing what’s undoubtedly the messiest thing I’ve ever done. Now how do I go about doing this?”

Bloom chewed her lip a bit and then quickly slid down under the tractor next to her. “Ah’d better show ya rather than just tell ya.”

“Are you sure? I was intent on following your instructions to the letter.”

“Yeah, Ah know. That’s why Ah’m doin’ this instead.”

“I don’t follow.”

Bloom sighed a bit and looked over at Silver. “Ah was gonna make ya do everythin’ and end up all messy ‘n such, but... Ah reckon you’ve been punished more ‘n enough as it is. Me doin’ that to ya just wouldn’t be right. Ah almost let mahself become the bully again, like back with Babs. But just like with her, you’ve got a reason behind why ya did what ya did. It don’t serve as an excuse, mind ya, and a proper apology would be appreciated, but the way Ah see it if Babs deserved a second chance then you do too, Silver.”

Silver couldn’t help but smile back at Bloom for her earnest explanation and nodded some to her as best she could given their current position. “I really am sorry for everything I’m responsible for doing to you over the years, Apple Bloom. I do want things to be different between us from here on out, and the same goes for Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo as well.”

“That’ll do,” Bloom told her with a smile and a nod. She then directed Silver’s attention back to the tractor’s engine as she pulled some tools down for them to work with. “Now then, first we gotta get this plug offa the engine. It’s what’s holdin’ the oil in. This time Ah’ve got the right can ‘o lubricant, though, so just a lil’ spray ‘n then we use the wrench... and... dagnabit Big Mac, ya sure did tighten this down way too-”

Bloom’s work trying to loosen the plug was finally successful, though neither she nor Silver was prepared for the sudden gush of oil from the engine. Neither of them said anything for several seconds as they lay blinking up at the underside of the tractor after Apple Bloom pulled the drip pan underneath the tractor to catch the old oil that was now streaming from it. Finally they both looked at each other and slowly but surely began cracking up in laughter not only at the whole matter. It was a laugh far more satisfying than the one Silver had gotten from the prank she and Sweetie had helped Scoot play on Bloom, and it was the first moment that day where she truly felt that maybe things really would turn out okay.

A short while and two thorough showers later, Apple Bloom and Silver Spoon met back up with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo just outside the farmhouse at Sweet Apple Acres. Silver couldn’t help but feel her confidence swelling some now that she’d mended fences with Apple Bloom, the one mare who she’d been all but certain wouldn’t even consider her as a possible friend. Maybe her future wasn’t as bleak as she’d thought.

“I’m glad to see you two managed to work things out,” Sweetie tells them, looking and feeling fairly relieved herself to see them again. “Honestly, I was a teeny bit worried about leaving you two alone.”

“A lil’ dirt can clean everything up,” Apple Bloom said with a grin. “Sis always loves sayin’ stuff like that.”

“That… doesn’t make any sense at all,” Sweetie said, her brow furrowed as she tried to make sense of it.

“As much as I’d love to hang around and watch Sweetie try to wrap her mind around that idea, I kinda have a thing at a place to get to,” Scootaloo added, turning to look towards town. “But I’ll try to catch up with you gals later, okay?”

“Sure thing,” Apple Bloom said, then grinning wider added, “Say ‘hi’ to Rumble fer us, ‘kay?”

“Wait… what?” Silver asked, looking confused. “I missed something. What does Rumble have to do with this?”

Sweetie likewise looks at Apple Bloom with some confusion. “Yeah, what does- wait! Ohmigosh, Scoot! Are you two finally…?”

“Bloom! Dang it! I didn’t want this getting out yet!” Scoot said, stamping a hoof and sounding a bit upset.

“Well that’s payback fer messin’ mah tractor engine up with silly string, then!” Bloom told her, punctuating the statement with a chuckle. She turned to Silver and Sweetie, then, figuring to explain since Scoot clearly wasn’t going to cop to it.

“Ah’ve been seein’ the two of ‘em hangin’ around together a bunch, an’ just a couple days ago ol’ Rumble finally got the gumption up to ask our Scoots out on a bona fide date!”

“It’s not a date!” Scoot insisted. “We’re just going to see this cool movie is all!”

“Is anyone else going with you?” Sweetie asked.

“Well no, but-”

“Is he paying for the tickets and snacks?” Silver asked.

“Well yeah, he got the tickets ahead of time, but-”

“Then it’s a date,” Both Sweetie and Silver replied in unison.

Scootaloo groaned in frustration and flared her wings out. “I don’t have to take this! I’m outta here. Later!” She took to the air to the sound of the three mares she left behind chuckling and giggling at her defensiveness. She flew for a little while away from town just to clear her head and then turned back towards town to head to the movie theater to meet Rumble. For the movie they were going to see. That he was paying for and had asked her to go see with him. Dang. This really was a date after all, wasn’t it? She finally rationalized it out by figuring that if she was going to date someone, she could do far, far worse than Rumble.

“We should get going and get out of your hair too, Bloom,” Sweetie said after Scoot was well on her way. “Thanks again for hearing Silver out.”

“Before y’all go, maybe you can clear somethin’ up fer me?” Apple Bloom said, stopping them from taking off on her. “Ah was headin’ out to the barn to get started on that tractor earlier when Ah saw Pinkie come racin’ up to the house lookin’ fer Applejack. Ah listened in a lil’ bit an’ heard somethin’ ‘bout Rarity an’ somethin’ that happened last night? Any idea what it was all about?”

“This is the second time that’s come up now,” Silver noted. “Pinkie pulled Sweetie aside earlier at Sugar Cube Corner to gush about it as well.”

“Yeah, I have no idea,” Sweetie added. “Pinkie was just blabbing to me and didn’t say anything specific. Also, I haven’t seen sis to talk to much yet today. She headed over to Silver’s house last night to let her dad know she was staying at our place. I imagine she just stayed there rather than come back home. The rainstorm got pretty bad after all. She was back this morning briefly, but was right out the door again after that.”

Apple Bloom pursed her lips as she mulled over what Silver and Sweetie had to say about the matter. “Hmm… well, okay. Maybe Ah’ll just ask Applejack ‘bout it mahself here. You girls have a good day, an’ maybe Ah’ll come into town to catch up with y’all some more later on.”

With that, Sweetie and Silver bid Apple Bloom goodbye once again and started heading back to town. It was a quiet walk back for them until they actually got back into town. Sweetie could see Silver starting to look worried again, no doubt because she was wondering if or when she’d cross paths with Diamond Tiara again.

“A bit for your thoughts?” Sweetie asked as they walked.

“Oh just still thinking about everything that’s happened,” Silver told her. “I mean… I’ve made up with all of you girls now, and you’ve all pretty much accepted me at this point. I can’t help but wonder if maybe she might be able to do the same as well.”

“You mean Diamond Tiara, don’t you?”


“Anything is possible, Silver. If Diamond really values you as a friend at all, my guess is she’ll come around.”

“What if she doesn’t, though?”

“Then she’s missing out, because you’re a pony who’s certainly worth having as a friend. I think so, and I think it’s clear that Twist, Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom do too.”

“I suppose you’re right. I should stop worrying so much. Today’s turned out to be a pretty good day all things considered.”

“Yup, and- hey!” Sweetie stopped herself mid-sentence to point over where a pair of familiar ponies were walking not far from them. “There’s Rarity and your dad! We should go tell them about all this.”

Silver looked in the direction Sweetie had pointed. Sure enough, there were Rarity and her father, Art Deco, walking in the direction of Carousel Boutique. They certainly made for a rather striking pair between her white coat and his steel blue coat, so they were easy to spot. Silver nodded to Sweetie and the two quickly made their way over to them, calling out to them once they were in earshot.

“Silver! Are you alright, dear?” Art asked, quickly hugging his daughter upon seeing her. “Rarity told me what happened to you last night. I felt just dreadful for you.”

“I’m fine, daddy,” Silver replied, hugging her father back. “Thanks to Sweetie Belle and her friends.”

“Is that so?” Rarity asked, looking to her sister with a smile. “It sounds as though you’ve made quite an outing of this then, little sister.”

“Yup, and we’d love to tell you both all about it!” Sweetie told her with pride.

“We’d love to hear all about it,” Rarity said with a light laugh and nod to her sister. She then paused to look over at Art for a moment. “But first… we should tell them, shouldn’t we?”

“I believe the cat is already out of the bag, so to speak,” Art replied with a smirk. “Besides, they certainly do need to know as well.”

“Know what?” Silver asked.

“I’m surprised Pinkie didn’t tell you yet,” Rarity noted. “We did tell her she was welcome to spread the word after all.”

“Spread what word?” Sweetie asked.

Rarity smiled and blushed as she stepped back next to Art, leaning against him slightly as she said five words that gave the two young mares the biggest surprise the day had yet presented to them.

“We’re engaged to be married!”

Author's Note:

Cliffhanger! But don't worry, I've actually had the next chapter of this story planned since the beginning so it should come together reasonably quickly and it will cover how this turn of events came about. You may now flood the comments and my inbox with your rage at me for shipping a canon character with an OC. :D