• Published 2nd Nov 2015
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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 21: Nicknames And New Friends

Finally, after using the bathroom facilities, thoroughly washing her hooves and sprucing up her tawdry appearance in the mirror, Diamond was ready to confront her best friend.

There had been oh-so-many setbacks. Aside from the impromptu cutie-mark meeting fiasco, the whole toileting scenario had been one annoyance after the other. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom had insisted on pushing her to the back of the line, and of course the appliance refused to be flushed at the first time of asking, not surprising considering how many previous occupants it had already seen that day. The final straw was that the sink didn't even have any of that nice soap she liked.

She couldn't help but gaze at her unfamiliar reflection afterwards, and ask herself: Is this me now? Is this what I've become, for better or worse? What on Equestria did the future hold for this uprooted, ragged pink filly?

On the plus side though, her introspection had given her a little more time to work on what exactly she was going to tell Silver Spoon. Celestia knows, she could use all the help she could get...

But now she was pumped up for the challenge ahead. Full of vim and vigour. Nothing could stop her now...

That is, except for her overzealous new Crusader buddies, who were even now trailing her to the door.

"So, who are we going to see?" A smiling Sweetie Belle pushed herself to the left of Tiara.

Diamond rolled her eyes. " We? Listen, perhaps I should have mentioned this before, but I really wanted this to be a private conversation." The pink filly attempted to escape to her right...

Only to be boxed in securely by Scootaloo, who seemed equally as curious as the white unicorn. "Come on, Diamond... You're a Crusader now. We don't have any secrets from each other! Tell us!"

"Yeah, tell us!" Parroted Sweetie Belle, and between her and the orange pegasus, it was like having two minders for the day.

The more understanding Apple Bloom wasn't quite as pushy as her fellow Crusaders. "Listen, Di. I appreciate that you might want to speak to this pony alone, but I made Applejack a promise earlier that I'd watch out for you. I don't want to see you getting upset or hurt again, so if you could just tell us who it is, then perhaps we could help you..."

Tiara's mood went from defiance to feeling as low as a snake in an instant. It would take her a long time to get over the shame of making Bloom so petrified when the pink filly had thrown a major fit inside their shared bedroom. Now she knew why the youngest Apple was so insistent on following her about, asking how she was at every interval and even enlisting her friends to watch out for her.

Because, she cared.

Enough to see through her rough, diamond-hard exterior, and find the precious, shining jewel that lurked inside all this time, only hidden from view by her manipulative and conniving mother. Enough to let her into Sweet Acres without as much as a second thought, despite all the merciless bullying she'd put the farm filly through over the years.

Enough for Tiara, to see the concern reflected in Apple Bloom's eyes there and then.

There was nothing else to be done. She had to tell all. She owed Bloom that much, and a lot more besides.

"I'm going to see Silver Spoon..." Diamond muttered, turning her head away, feeling emotional all of a sudden. "To explain about everything that's happened since last night. She'll think it's odd now with me looking the way I do, and being all chummy with you three. I can't imagine how she's gonna react when she discovers I'm the newest member of the Crusaders and the Apple family..."

The trio of other fillies present looked dumbstruck for a moment, and even Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle backed off a little, as if realising just how difficult this encounter was going to be. Tiara internally breathed a sigh of relief, surely now her new friends would see sense, let her be on her merry way, and allow her sort it out by herself.

No way. Not with Apple Bloom, the master orator on the case.

Flummoxed, albeit briefly, the farm filly's natural compassion soon came to the fore, and Diamond found herself with a yellow hoof around her neck, and a warm, grinning face in front.

"Don't worry about anything, Di." Bloom's voice sounded so confident, that the pink filly almost believed it. "We'll go over there too, and be there every step of the way. If I know Silver, she'll see that none of what's happened is your fault, and even more so when she hears about your mother..."

"She's already aware of that." Tiara informed her roommate, bluntly. " I do tend to confide in my best friend about almost everything, you know."

Bloom put her hoof over her mouth. "Oops, sorry. My mistake. Still, at least that'll make things simpler, right? She knows what you've gone through, I bet she's as glad as I am that you're away from that mansion. In fact, now that we're all friends, it'll be as easy as apple pie to get her to understand! Let's all go over there as a group, Di. After we've cleared things up, we'll all have a good laugh and wonder what we were so anxious about."

Apple Bloom's words were straight from the heart, and movingly spoken. At least, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo seemed to think so, and it wasn't too long before Diamond found herself with a couple more hooves around her neck as they snuggled in close, and the poor pink filly found herself more squashed than ever.

"We'll help you too!" Sweetie Belle was desperate to be of service.

"Yeah, just tell us what to do, and we'll do it!!" Scootaloo joined in the chorus.

The old Tiara would have said something along the lines of go jump off a tall building, then, but fortunately these days she was above such vulgarity.

So Diamond resorted to just mumbling "Well, you can both try giving me some space, for a start."

Sweetie and Scootaloo looked over at each other with a little consternation. "Well, actually that's the one thing we can't do." Sweetie Belle began to speak."You see, when we were talking together earlier on, Apple Bloom made the two of us pledge to protect... OW!!"

The farm filly in question had just decided to give the white unicorn a not-so-subtle nudge which abruptly shut her up, while Scootaloo just stared at the wall and whistled.

Tiara narrowed her eyes in suspicion. Maybe her wild ideas about being assigned minders weren't quite so far-fetched after all...

"Anyways, shall we continue?" Bloom seemed desperate to move things along, as she rejoined the group, and it wasn't too long before Diamond found herself once again being put into motion by the two fillies crammed either side of her.

Tiara had no idea how this was going to work out. What should have been a sincere moment between two BFFs had now seemingly been hi-jacked by the goon squad, and she was just going to have to hope for the best.

"One final thing before we get there." Sweetie Belle squeaked to the left of the pink filly "We've noticed that Apple Bloom has started using the word 'die' a lot around you. At first, we thought she was just being rude, but then we realised..."

"Actually, I realised..." Scootaloo chimed in, cosseting Tiara from the right. "That it probably wasn't that kind of 'die', but maybe the other sort of 'dye'. Your mane and tail are both 100% their natural colour, aren't they?"

Diamond was about to respond with the most withering of put-downs, before she caught Apple Bloom's eye from two fillies away. Her roommate gave her a look which seemed to scream Now do you see what I have to put up with, but ended with a disapproving shake of the head, as if she knew what her new roommate was going to unleash verbally.

Tiara growled at being unable to vent her anger, but nevertheless decided to at least try the diplomatic approach for once. As insanely difficult as it would be.

"No, Apple Bloom doesn't want me to lose my life, Sweetie. Yes, all this purple and pink you see on me is the real deal, Scootaloo. I might be one day, but currently I am not the mayor!!". It was hard to enunciate through gritted teeth, yet somehow Tiara was managing it. " It's spelled D-I. Di is a nickname, short for Diamond. Now that me and Apple Bloom are sharing a house, and I've been adopted by her family, we decided it would be okay for her to have an alternative way of greeting me. Do you understand?"

*A few uncomfortable seconds of silence later*

"Oh, yeah! I knew that!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed unconvincingly, as the tight-knit quartet stepped sideways so they could fit through the door. "That was totally my third choice. And I get nicknames too. In fact, Rarity calls me 'Sweets' all the time, on account of my sweet personality of course!" The white unicorn beamed at the notion.

"More like, on account of your raging sugar addiction!" Scootaloo remarked, pointing out Sweetie's grin was not quite as gleaming as she'd have you believe. "What was it you told us once, your parents threatened to take away the broom you use to practice magic with, if they caught you hanging around Sugarcube Corner again, begging for snacks?"

Sweetie blushed upon hearing this outrageous slur "N-no, of course not. You must have imagined me telling you that, last week. How about you, 'Scoots'? From what I've seen of your motoring skills, I think 'Crashes' might be a more applicable moniker for you. The reason why I need to eat so much, is because I always seem to lose what's in my tummy after going on a ride in your safety hazard of a scooter!"

"Alright you two, knock it off!" Apple Bloom once again had to act as peacemaker between the two warring factions, especially as both fillies were arguing either side of piggy-in-the middle Tiara, who was longing for a pair of fluffy earmuffs around about now. "So, now you know her nickname. Was there anything else?"

"Yes, there was, actually." Scootaloo finished giving Sweetie a dirty look, to turn to Diamond." Do you think I could start calling you 'Di', too? I mean, you and Apple Bloom might be family now, but you're also a Crusader, which makes us pretty close too, I reckon!"

A little too close for my liking... Was Diamond's underhanded answer, before she gave her real one. "I'm only a Crusader for another... Let's see... twenty-two hours and forty minutes, Scoots. Is it REALLY worth..."

Tiara was interrupted by the orange pegasus flapping her wings excitably, tickling the pink filly's back in the process. "Aha!! You just called me 'Scoots'! Now you HAVE to let me call you 'Di'. It's only fair, Isn't that right, Apple Bloom?"

A trying-really-hard-not-to-giggle Diamond cursed her big mouth, and looked to her roommate for support. Alas, none was to be found in the perplexed shrug she got back in return. "Scootaloo is right, Di. If you're going to refer to her by her nickname, it's only right and proper she can call you by yours..."

"But-I-she... Was an accident... HEE HEE HA HA!!" Tiara was unable to contain her amusement any longer at Scootaloo's ever-increasing wing-speed, especially after the orange pegasus heard Bloom's statement agreeing with her.

"Yes!! I win." Scootaloo exclaimed in triumph, to a chortling, ticklish Diamond. " Nice to meet you... Di! I'm sure we're going to get along really well, I mean, just look how happy you are, hanging out with us already! You're even counting down to the exact minute when you leave the Crusaders, the thought of it terrifies you so much! Apple Bloom, you did tell her we offer extended membership options, didn't you?"

"Well, I did mention it..." The farm filly scratched the back of her head. "But Scoots, I'm not sure that's the reason she's laug..."

"Great!!" The orange pegasus was so excited, she cut Bloom right-off, while Tiara was rendered helpless with hysterics. "Another friend to help people out. Who'd have thought, when me and Sweetie were crouching under that table at your cute-cenera, it would end like this, Di?!"

"Ooh ooh!! Don't forget about me!" Sweetie Belle felt she was being left out of this conversation." Hey Diamond, call me 'Sweets'! Then I can have an excuse to start calling to you 'Di' too! Go on, just say it, S-W-E-E..."
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The little group was at this point passing a corner of the building towards the schoolyard, and happened to be glimpsed by an on-break Cheerilee from a window. The mare was enjoying her freshly brewed morning coffee, but nearly spat it out at the unbelievable sight before her.

Between the four former foes so cloistered together moving in perfect synchronisation, the friendly chatter shared between them and, most implausible of all, Diamond Tiara's heedless, carefree giggles, the teacher had to rub her eyes twice just to confirm what she was seeing.

Once she confirmed she wasn't going crazy through overwork, a warm smile found it's way onto her lips. Maybe combining three somewhat-occasional-nuisances and a reforming bully for the day wasn't such a mad idea after all. She credited Apple Bloom that much.

Cheerilee was pleased, most of all, for Tiara's sake. Her new friends seemed to be really helping her emerge from her shell, especially considering all the recent upheaval in her life.

She saw all the little notes the pink filly had been passing around with the Crusaders during the recent Crystal Empire test, but the teacher was just so happy to see Diamond interact with other students besides Silver Spoon, she chose to turn a blind eye to it. Not very professional, but she had no regrets.

The only blot on the landscape was that mother of her's. Spoiled seemed awfully confident of 'winning' Tiara back that morning before her little fainting episode, and Cheerilee would have loved to find out why.

All the teacher knew is that Tiara was apparently blossoming away from the constrictive and abusive regime Mrs Rich had imposed. And all the wonderful progress the pink filly had made since her enforced removal would be placed in jeopardy if the situation was reversed.

There was even a moment, just a brief moment, mind you, that Cheerilee had hesitated in calling the paramedics that morning, as she watched Spoiled slip into unconsciousness. She could have left her on the floor. Looked around for clues as to why the head of the school board was so sure of regaining her child so fast. Then called for help...

The teacher felt guilty just thinking about it. As an educator for future generations, it was her job to uphold the highest moral standards in her own conduct, to influence the youngsters to become model citizens themselves. That was her guiding principal, and one she'd never faltered from.

But, at the same time, seeing Diamond Tiara with her new friends that day, with a real smile on her face, as opposed to a smirk or a sneer, treating others as equals instead of stepping stones to reach some higher goal, and thinking how all that might be at risk if her mother ever got her tendrils back into her...

It made her sick to her stomach.

Sicker even than Sweetie Belle after a ten mile run with Scootaloo on her new, deluxe SuperScooter (copyright pending).

That one thought...

Changed her priorities completely.

She sipped her coffee pensively.

She was going to do it.

The doctors said that Mrs Rich wasn't going to be up and about until the afternoon at least.

Cheerilee could easily sneak into her office, just before lunchtime.

Do a little digging...

And try and find out exactly what made that beast of a mother so positive of her chances.

Yes, she'd be putting everything at stake.

But, if it helped save the future of this one child...

It would all be worth it.

First though, the last morning lesson...

And, of course, the coffee. Slurp.

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Silver Spoon was usually a patient filly, that's what her parents told her anyway.

Despite all the tedious parties she was forced to attend, all the intolerable guests she had to be nice to, all the over-the-top dresses she was made to wear...

She never complained once. That was a quality her mother and father truly admired in her...

It also made her the perfect stooge for Di.

Over the course of many years, Silver had bitten her lip at the countless atrocities her best friend had perpetuated upon other ponies, wanting to say something, but unwilling to risk the only real friendship she'd ever known.

She'd be lying if she said she didn't enjoy some of it. Who wouldn't like being top of the proverbial food chain, even at elementary school level...?

There was always something niggling at the back of her head though. That what she was doing wasn't right. It had all come to a head that day at the election, when Silver thought she'd turned her back on those kind of misdeeds for good. And, her former best friend with it.

Thankfully, all had been resolved peacefully. Now, a new Di lay on the horizon, who didn't pick on anypony, and used her talents for good. Silver could look forward to the future with complete optimism...

Or at least, she'd thought.

The events of that morning had been surreal to say the least. Unable to focus on them all at once, and her reaction to them, Silver decided to make a mental note of each one in turn, just for clarity's sake:

* First, Di stands me up at our usual meeting place.
* Then, she arrives half-an-hour late for class.
* Apparently, she's also now really close to the Crusaders.
* She's wearing what looks like Apple Bloom's ribbon, instead of her precious tiara.
* She's been rolling around in muck, or something equally dirty.
* Her mane looks TERRIBLE, and what's with her bandaged leg...
* She ignores me in class, preferring to help those other three with their test...
* And now, she's left me on this stupid bench, waiting for her to come out.

Silver glanced around, at the play equipment her best friend had helped pay for, and organise the building of. Rumble was rushing down the slide, Twist was sliding down the twisty pole and Pipsqueak was doing his best to ascend the climbing frame using his puny little legs, but failing miserably.

The grey filly sighed. It seemed like only yesterday, she was helping everypony complete the construction. Working as a team. Together as one...

Things were much less complicated then.

Maybe she was blowing things out of all proportion. Maybe she looking at this from the wrong angle. It was great that her bestie was making new friends after so long with just her for company, even if it was moving at entirely too fast a pace for Silver. As soon as she emerged from the school, Silver was going to apologise to Di...

"Di!"

"Di!!"

"DI!!"

The sudden shouts from the approaching Crusaders and Di stirred the Spoon from her fantasy. Adjusting her spectacles, the grey filly saw and heard more bizarre sights to add to her checklist of oddities, and confuse her even more.

* They're walking together in a very closely-hunched group. She never walked that close to me before...
* My best friend is laughing hysterically with them. She never laughed that hard with me before.
* Apparently, now they've all earned the right to call her 'Di'. After refusing to let me refer to her as that for a whole year, she lets three fillies she's only befriended for little more than a day...

Something snapped in Silver. Forget waiting. Forget patience. Forget reasoning.

She got up and marched over to the happy group. She was going to get to the bottom of this. Right now.

Author's Note:

Yeah, yeah, I know things are moving at a slower pace then I'd like, but I'm enjoying writing about these great characters so much, I really don't care. Next up... The Big Confrontation. DUN... DUN.... DUN!!

(For realz this time. I swear) :scootangel:

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