• Published 2nd Nov 2015
  • 9,567 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 12: Heading To School

Just the simple act of petting Winona began to calm Diamond Tiara down after the stress and strains she'd suffered recently.

Maybe, if she hadn't had her beloved cat taken away from her by Spoiled so long ago, she would've been less unhinged during everyday life, and she wouldn't have taken her frustrations out on everypony around her. Three fillies in particular...

'Oh well, I can't change the past she thought, as the dog licked her left forehoof, But I can do something about the future... Her mind flashed to her apology the previous day to Randolph after arriving back at the mansion. It had helped her conscience immeasurably, and she knew what she had to do...

"I think she likes you." Applejack nudged Tiara, to bring her out of the daydream. "She's never usually this affectionate with ponies she's just met. I dare say you've made another friend already..."

Diamond looked at her foster carer for a minute, before daring to ask the question which had been weighing on her brain since her radical change in attitude. "H-how difficult is it to make friends, Applejack?"

The orange mare stopped stroking her pet for a moment to put a hoof around Tiara's neck. "Not too hard at all, sugarcube. All you have to do is to be thoughtful, kind and willing to listen, as well as sometimes put others before yourself. If you want to learn from an expert, see how Apple Bloom does it. There's your ticket, right there."

Applejack finished her little speech with an encouraging nod, and Tiara again realised the sharp contrast between the orange mare and her real mother. No room for talk of friendship at Rich mansion. It was either get to know somepony to improve your social standing, or they weren't worth your time.

After all, the lower classes were only after one thing when they were nice to you, and that was called 'bits'.

It was amazing how quickly how many of Spoiled's old teachings which had been drummed into the pink filly's head since birth were crumbling away now. Perhaps that's exactly what Diamond needed all along: Some time and space to be herself.

"I need to go and see somepony a minute..." Diamond stopped petting Winona too, eliciting a whine of protest from the animal that she was being neglected by both ponies.

Applejack nodded at her charge. "Okay, but remember, you have to leave for class in about five minutes, so please be quick about it, sugarcube."

Tiara simply replied "Yes, of course," before navigating her way around the table, towards the kitchen.

Inside the other room, Granny Smith was busy filling up the sink with hot water, ready to clean off the remnants of the morning's meal. Diamond snuck in beside her under the radar, and the first time the elderly mare became aware of the pink filly's presence was when the veteran heard a little voice pipe up.

"Hello..." Tiara hesitantly greeted. What was to follow would be hard for her, but if she wanted to make things right it was essential.

Granny Smith jumped a little at the unexpected noise. "What...? Oh, it's you child. you nearly scared the skin off this old timer. Is there something I can be doing you for?"

Diamond stared down at the ground, and began scratching the flooring with her hoof. "I would just like to say..." She took a deep breath. This was even tougher than she thought. "Imverysorryforbeingrudetoyouwhen..."

"Wo there, Miss Tiara!" Exclaimed Granny Smith, as the matriarch held the youngster by the shoulders in an attempt to settle her down. "You're going so fast, and my brain is so slow. Now. Close your eyes. Say one word at a time. and try to relax."

Diamond listened to this sage advice, and decided to give it a go. After all, her method didn't seem to be working. She shut her eyes, let all of her cares drift away, and began her dialogue anew.

"I am very sorry for being rude to you when you arrived in class for Family Appreciation Day. I now realise my family owes everything to you Apples, regardless of what my mother says. If there's anything I can do to make it up to you while I'm staying here..." Tiara recited her apology as if reading it from an autocue.

Granny Smith stared down in confusion at the pink filly for a second, before suddenly erupting into mild laughter.

Diamond was somewhat disappointed at this underwhelming response to her heartfelt words, and wondered what the joke was.

"My goodness child, I'd forgotten all about that. Is that what's been eating away at ya? Don't worry your head about that. I've heard much worse things in my life from other ponies, most of them old enough to know better. You're still a young 'un, so you can grow out of that sort of thing. And by the looks of it, you're well on your way to doing that already." Granny Smith was able to truncate her mirth long enough to reassure the pink filly that the past was in the past.

Tiara was somewhat torn upon hearing this. On the one hoof, it was good to hear the older pony wasn't going to hold a grudge and had forgiven her for the unpleasant incident. On the other, she had wanted a more fervent reaction to her 'courageous' decision to try and make amends.

Maybe she was looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps the only reason she wanted a more ardent acknowledgement of her so-called bravery was her own selfishness. It was enough that Granny Smith was willing to let bygones be bygones, so she should be happy with that, and just move on...

Then, the veteran unexpectedly pulled the pink filly forward, and planted a big wet kiss on her cheek.

Yuck.

" Thank you for making the effort to tell me so though, sweetheart. You'd best be running off to school now. I didn't get where I am today without a proper education. You have a good day, ya hear? Now, where did I put that scrubber?" Granny Smith's thoughts wandered off somewhere else, leaving a blushing Diamond behind, clutching the side of her cheek where the lips had been in contact.

Tiara's legs seem to move of their own accord, as she left the kitchen. She still had a stock expression of shock on her face, and held onto the spot where she'd been smooched as if trying to hide an embarrassing birthmark. Then, as if the situation couldn't get any more mortifying...

She soon discovered Applejack and Apple Bloom had seen the whole spectacle unveil.

After getting her items for school from upstairs, the farm filly had helped her big sister clear away the table of cutlery and plates, like she did every morning. En route to the kitchen, the pair had heard the beginning of Diamond's blurted out apology and had decided to silently observe, willing to give their new house guest the time and space to complete her arduous task.

Now the siblings were smiling widely at Tiara, looking as if they were about to crack up there and then. They had to hold in their amusement though, otherwise the only things that would be cracking were the crockery they were holding onto, when it was dropped onto the floor.

As it was, Applejack was still proud of the adopted child's actions. Stifling her giggles, the orange mare said "You did a good thing in there, sugarcube. I'm sure Granny Smith appreciated you coming to her like that. I think you can expect an extra large portion of zap apple jam tonight."

Applejack then gave another one of her customary friendly winks, and Diamond began to think maybe this was all worthwhile after all.

"Yeah, and don't concern yourself about being kissed out of nowhere like that." Apple Bloom was the next to attempt to placate her new roommate. " I've had her smooch me on the cheek everywhere. At home. In public. It ain't nothing to be ashamed of. It's just what old folk do to show you they like you, you'll get used to it."

Diamond Tiara wasn't sure about that last part, but the fact there was somepony else who had shared this ignominious experience cheered her up a little. Still a little flushed, she nodded her thanks to both Bloom and Applejack, before sidestepping past them into the dining room.

"You know, I can't believe she just did that without even being asked..." Applejack quietly said, half to herself.

" Are you talking about Diamond's apology, or Granny's kiss?" Replied Apple Bloom. "Because I know which one I'm most surprised by..."

The orange mare looked down lovingly at her sister for a minute. " You know, I really think you are having a good influence on her, sugarcube. I meant what I said, stay close to her today. She's still got a ways to go before she's a better filly, and I want you to make sure she stays on the straight and narrow. Also, try to keep her safe. If anyone is going to jeopardise that girl's future, it's that mother of hers..."

Bloom looked up at Applejack as if she knew all this already. " Done, and done. From the minute we took Diamond Tiara into Sweet Apple Acres, she became a member of our family, as far as I'm concerned. And, like any member of our family, I'll be there if she needs me, whether she knows it, or not."

Applejack smiled with pride at the farm filly. " Oh, Apple Bloom, you're too much. Mom and Dad would be so proud of you..." Echoing similar words exchanged between the two before the younger Apple's cute cenera party.

Wiping away a stray tear, Bloom corrected her on one point. "Both of us, ya mean."

After sharing a poignant look, the sisters decided that carrying a load of dirty plates and cutlery into the kitchen wasn't exactly the perfect venue for an emotional moment, so they resumed their activity, with Granny Smith still hunting for that elusive scrubbing brush.

She found it. Eventually.

Under her right hind leg.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

"...So, Cheerilee is aware that you don't have your schoolbag with you, so she's prepared all the stuff you'll need today on your desk when you get in." These were Applejack's reassuring words to Tiara, as she got ready to bid farewell to both fillies at the farm entrance.

"Alright. Thanks Applejack. I mean, not just for that, but, for everything else as well..." Despite her gratitude, Diamond's eyes remained trained on the floor. Even though she was reformed, she still found it hard to say anything genuinely nice, after behaving the exact opposite way for most of her young life.

Applejack wasn't bothered at all by the lack of eye contact, though. She knew the pink filly was at the start of a long path, and while she might stray off it sometimes, it was the orange mare's job to offer her guidance to push her back into the centre if necessary. It would take time, perseverance and love to keep her there...

Fortunately, those were traits Applejack had in abundance.

The orange mare patted Tiara on the head. "That's okay, sugarcube. I know things might seem difficult at first, but whatever happens we can work through it together. Look after that injured foot today. Try not to get it too dirty. Study hard. Be good. Arrive home on time..."

If a passer-by was just casually listening in now, they could be forgiven for mistaking Applejack as an overly concerned, but devoted mother.

Adding Spoiled Rich to that equation wouldn't have changed their viewpoint one iota.

"Oh, and Apple Bloom, remember what I said to you in private. The same goes for you too, Diamond. Just look out for each other today, okay? I'll leave you to get off now. I have trees to buck, a bedroom to clean and a whole mess of torn up old material to gather for a unicorn friend of mine. See you later." And with those parting words, Applejack took her leave.

Bloom and Tiara watched as she went back into the farmhouse, before slowly trotting side by side to their destination. Unsure of what to say to each other, they spent the next few minutes in silence, before Diamond, unable to tolerate the awkward lull for any longer, decided to get the ball rolling.

" So, your sister..." The pink filly began.

"Yes?" Bloom replied.

"She seems nice...

"Yes, she is."

"How long have you known her for?"

"What?"

Tiara hoofpalmed. Why was she so bad at small talk?!

She guessed, yet again, it was down to her mother...

She'd helped her daughter master the art of snooty quips and belittling put-downs, but when it came down to actually helping her offspring to interact with other ponies on a more personal level, the teachings had left quite a bit to be desired.

It was as Diamond was removing her hoof from her face that she noticed a plume of smoke approaching her and Bloom.

Whatever it was, was going really fast. What on Equestria...?

Incoming!!!

It was all the pink filly could do to dive into the dirt to avoid it, while Bloom seemed less surprised by it's appearance.

A few yards in front of the grounded Tiara, this strange phenomenon came to an abrupt halt, and as the fog around it cleared, Diamond was able to see exactly what had caused her to take in a mouthful of muck.

It was a scooter with two fillies on the back, both wearing crash helmets of course.

Safety first.

Although, obviously that maxim didn't apply to the nearly turned-into-roadkill Tiara.

The driver was the first to take her headgear off.

"See, I told you it was a good idea to redesign my scooter so that two ponies could ride it. Come on, you can't tell me that wasn't fun!" The young orange pegasus underneath seemed very excited, flapping her little wings with great energy.

This was the unmistakable pony daredevil known as Scootaloo. A young Rainbow Dash in training, if you like.

Her passenger was a bit slower in removing her helmet, and even though she was a white unicorn, her face had taken on a slight tint of green.

"I think I'm going to be sick..." Was the only thing she could say, while holding her hoof to her mouth.

Yep, it was Sweetie Bell alright. A talented magic user, a great singer...Not so good at white knuckle rides, though.

Scootaloo rolled her eyes at her friend's nausea. "What a wuss."

She then turned to greet Tiara's companion. "Hey, Apple Bloom. Wanna take the next go?"

Sweetie, holding her headgear over her muzzle as if she was about to vomit into it, offered a warning. "I wouldn't. Not with her driving, anyway."

"Hey. Don't deny you loved it, and you better not be sick into my spare helmet... I had to save up for a month to afford that!" Scootaloo warned the unicorn.

Both of Apple Bloom's friends were so caught up in their little feud, they'd failed to notice the pink (now, more brown) filly sprawled out on the muddy ground.

"Girls..." Apple Bloom tried to divert their attention.

It didn't work. "Well, where else am I supposed to do it? On the road? That would just be rude." Sweetie Belle was fit to burst.

"I don't care! But you're not going to mess up my personal property. Now Give it to me!!" Scootaloo was desperate to retrieve her helmet unscathed.

The two engaged in a mini tug of war, in front of an exasperated Apple Bloom and an extremely annoyed Tiara.

Finally, sick of these childish antics, Diamond decided to put an end to them.

"Enough!!" She yelled after getting up, which caused not only all three fillies to stop and stare at her, but other ponies strolling nearby.

Upon seeing her, Scootaloo was so shocked, she dropped her end of the helmet. "D-Diamond, is that you?!"

The newly fostered child fumed "Well, who else would it be... Derpy Hooves?!"

Sweetie Belle dropped her side of the helmet too, and it fell to the ground with a thud. "N-no, you just look so different.

"That bow in your mane..." Scootaloo observed.

"No tiara..." Sweetie Belle had a knack for stating the obvious.

"You have muck in your coat..."

"How did you get that bandage?"

"Didn't you brush your hair this morning"

Apple Bloom listened to the obtrusive, non-stop queries from her fellow Crusaders, and saw Diamond's gradually angering face, which was beginning to resemble a tomato.

Keeping the peace with just her and Tiara was hard enough, but adding her two best friends to the mix...

Things looked like they were about to get combustible.

"

Author's Note:

Hope you like the longer chapters. Keep on reading, commenting, upvoting, sending me money...

Okay, so the last one hasn't happened YET... But I can dream, right?

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