• Published 2nd Nov 2015
  • 9,652 Views, 2,420 Comments

A Mother's 'Love' - deadpansnarker

Diamond Tiara finds out the consequences of her actions against Spoiled Rich after she stood up to her in front of the entire school. Disgraced, her precious tiara taken away...Then, somepony knocks on her door late at night, and everything changes.

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Part 10: Family

It didn't take long for the attentive Applejack to cover each of Tiara's hooves in a fine coat of fragrant smelling cream, and the pink filly immediately felt the cooling effect on her skin.

"There we go, It should dry pretty quickly, just in time for you to get to school. But for now, I suppose I better carry you downstairs. We want to give the stuff chance to sink in." Applejack pondered, as she lifted Diamond up for the third time that day.

Tiara was unused to being transported in such a manner. She started to feel a little embarrassed at being so reliant on somepony else. True, she had been waited on hoof for most of her life, but the likes of Randolph had never done such personal tasks for her, or been so touchy-feely...

Still, it was better than her mother's usual tactic of tugging her by the mane and tail, and the fact that Applejack seemed to take such great care and pleasure in fulfilling these tasks softened the blows to her ego considerably.

As they approached the stairs together, Tiara continued to glance around at her less-than-elegant surroundings. Wherever she turned, there were rickety fixtures, peeling walls and damp ceilings. Every step Applejack took seemed to creak, and her equine load began to genuinely worry about falling through the rotting planks, onto the ground floor.

There were also pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Diamond squinted at a few while they descended, but barely recognised anypony. The Apple clan was a large and varied one, and she knew that every year there was a big reunion of the family where they reminisced, played games, exchanged apple recipes. Her Dad had told her all about it, and at the time she could remember sneering at the whole idea and saying "Those mud ponies can drown in their own filth for all I care, I've got a pool!"

Forgetting she was an Earth pony herself. Hypocrisy? What's that?

This callous remark had been met with a giggle from her mother. "That's my girl!" she could remember Spoiled stating, proudly. Filthy frowned at the impudence though, and then spent the next few hours lecturing his daughter on exactly how much the Rich's owed to the Apples, and why it was wrong to make fun of them just because they were less well off.

Tiara had rolled her eyes at his sermonizing, in the same way she had dismissed Granny Smith's tale at Family Appreciation Day. Even insulting Applejack's grandmother in the process. Her father very rarely got involved in her discipline, but when he had heard what his child had called one of his oldest friends in class that day, he was absolutely mortified.

In one of his few incidences of taking the initiative away from his wife, he punished his daughter by forcing her to wear a pair of bunny ears, and participate in a recreation of the ancient zap apple ceremony. Tiara still didn't understand to this day the bizarre rules of this venerable ritual, but they seemed to work. All over the town, ponies queued for hours to get a taste of this local delicacy.

Despite her rudeness at the time , the Apples had been kind enough to offer Tiara a crate of the popular food for her coerced involvement in the reenactment of the ceremony , but as prideful and as stubborn as she was, she'd refused point blank. Her mother had given her more kind words on her return "You did the right thing, sweetie, who knows what kind of muck those rednecks put in that swill. We have all the imported spreads from Canterlot that you'll ever need" she'd said back then.

Not to mention, reassuring Diamond that she'd never have to go back to 'that disgusting hovel' ever again, and having serious words with Filthy about their progeny taking part in such an undignified activity. "What would have happened if a paparazzo had taken a picture? I'd never be able to show my face at the ladies bridge club ever again!!" she'd screeched.

And, as usual, Spoiled had got her way. Filthy's half-hearted attempts to socialise his daughter with everyday ponies came to naught. It just wasn't worth the aggro, and all the sleepless nights that would follow. Diamond never went back to Sweet Acres ever again, save for now. And the time Babs Seed came to town...

Speak of the... There was the Manehattanite now, staring back at her from an image on the wall amongst all the others. Tiara recognised that arrogant smirk and short red mane anywhere, but what she didn't spot before, that she noticed now, were her eyes.

Was it her imagination, or did they look, Kind of sad?

No matter. She doubted they'd cross paths again, which was fine with Diamond. It was yet another shameful chapter in the pink filly's history she'd rather forget.

From misusing her power of influence over Babs to make her pick on her cousin, to the acrimonious circumstances of their last meeting where the Manehattanite had inexplicably changed her attitude and threatened to tell her mother about their misdeeds (causing Tiara to fall into some mud in surprise that anypony would think Spoiled would actually care) it was another reminder of the kind of pony she was...

And hopefully, would never be ever again.

As wrapped up in her thoughts as she was, she failed to see Applejack reach the bottom of the stairs, turn left and go into the dining room where the rest of the orange mare's family were hard at work. Not kicking trees, but demolishing plates full of scrambled eggs.

Tiara returned to reality just in time to see a grinning Apple Bloom motioning at the seat next to her, while Granny Smith stopped eating for a minute to give the pink filly a welcoming nod and Big Mac kept right on with his meal, a neutral expression on his face.

Applejack moved over to the table, and deposited Diamond on an empty chair by Bloom. The farm filly immediately saw the fresh bandage on her new friend, and with a hint of worry asked her "Are you alright, now?"

Tiara knew that her roommate wasn't just asking about her injured leg. "Well, my hooves feel better, though I'll have to wear this thing for a while. As for everything else, don't worry, you won't be catching me tearing the place apart again. I'm going to try to talk about my feelings more now. Your sister is a great listener, by the way."

Bloom smiled broadly at this compliment to the sibling she idolised. "She is, isn't she? I don't know what I'd do without her..." She began, before the farm filly ended the sentence abruptly, to cast a wary glance at Big Mac who'd recently had a few jealousy issues regarding the achievements of the orange mare.

Seeing her big brother continue shoveling down his breakfast unabated, Bloom continued. "Yeah, she does everything for me. Gives me great advice. Sing me songs. Kisses me goodnight. And she's one of the six heroines of Equestria! Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I'm not living in a dream, that I could be related to somepony so awesome!!"

Tiara may once have thought all this was hyperbole from a doting little sister, but the way Applejack had made her laugh upstairs, a happy, snide-free laugh, and had seen to her wounds with more tenderness than her own mother could ever muster made the pink filly wonder just how much she'd been missing out on.

"B-but songs and kisses goodnight?!" stammered Diamond, seeking to reassure herself. "Aren't you a bit old for that sort of thing?"

Bloom responded to the question with the look of somepony who was trying to understand another language, before she burst into a fit of giggling. Slightly phased by this unusual reaction, Tiara was caught by surprise when Granny Smith replied in the farm filly's absence. Her sharp old ears had been listening to the conversation from the start, and the elderly pony felt she had something of substance to add.

"You ain't ever too old to sing to and kiss your loved ones." She told her new house guest, in her cracked but clear voice. "You young un's these days might think you're too cool and hip to show affection for those you're closest to, but they'll come a day when you'll have to say goodbye to them, and you might just regret not showing them more love when they were around, just to keep up a reputation among ponies who shouldn't matter a lick to you, if they find such important things demeaning."

Diamond wasn't sure if the veteran was directly addressing her or making a more general point, but she nodded back at Granny Smith anyway, just to be civil.

"You like that, did you? Well, there's a lot more where that came from, and if you're willing to listen, I'm willing to tell you. I didn't have chance to say hello last night, on account of the fact you just wouldn't wake up. Welcome to Sweet Apple Acres, Miss Tiara. We're happy for you to stay as long as you like. Just remember though, that all guests must put in at least 10 hour shifts each day for their bed and board. You better start learning how to buck those trees lickety-split..." the matriarch of the Apples announced stiffly.

Diamond's mouth was the size of a small cave. She was about to launch herself into the most vocal of protests. How she wasn't trained. How it was unfair for a child to work such long hours. How her injured foot precluded her from any strenuous work...

But it took was one little chuckle from Granny to set off a chain reaction of laughs from everypony else at the table, save for Mac, who just smiled in an subtle way. Tiara's incoming tirade died before it left her mouth, and the only reaction from the pink filly was a lopsided, sheepish grin.

They'd got her. again.

Those darn Apples.

Dark horses, one and all.

After the fun at Tiara's expense had faded, Applejack finally seemed to notice her new charge's empty plate. "So, what do you want for breakfast, sugarcube? I'm afraid we've got nothing fancy here, just eggs as you can see, and a few other bits and pieces if you're lucky. Any requests?"

Diamond carefully considered her options. She wasn't very fond of eggs, no matter how they were prepared. She'd always found they played havoc with her digestive system, which wasn't the most comfortable experience around.

Even being given the choice of what to eat was a novelty in itself, usually she'd ended up with the blandest of cereals picked out by her mother, under the guise that she should 'maintain her figure' so she could be shown off at various functions to VIPs.

A bit much too expect from such a young filly, but considering the amount of control Spoiled had in every other aspect of her life, perhaps no great surprise.

So, presented with such a unique opportunity, Tiara racked her brains to think of a) Something the Apples might actually have and b) Something she might actually enjoy, as opposed to pieces of cardboard with milk.

What to do, what to do...

Suddenly, it was perfectly clear what she was going to ask for.

She'd been wondering what it had tasted like for a while now.

She'd been cutting off her muzzle to spite her face for too long.

And, now her mother wasn't around to stop her, It was time to see if the hype was justified.

"Could I have... some zap apple jam on toast, please?" She plaintively requested.

All of a sudden, the Apples were a stir. They didn't know what they expected their new house guest was going to ask for, but it certainly wasn't anything like THAT.

It was Applejack who responded first. "I don't know about that, sugarcube. Hey, Big Mac, do we have any left over from this year's crop? I seem to recall it going pretty quickly..."

The red stallion finished off his mouthful, wiped his lips and looked directly at Diamond Tiara. "Yup" he matter-of-factly stated.

Author's Note:

Part 10. Hope you liked... What else is there to say?

Comment if you want. I'm always happy to hear from my readers... :raritystarry:

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