• Published 2nd Nov 2015
  • 9,578 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 25: Shenanigans

After cleaning the chalkboard, picking up all the bits of paper off the floor, confiscating the comics which had been bought in illegally and deconstructing the fort so painstakingly assembled by her pupils, Miss Cheerilee was finally ready to leave the classroom to embark upon her mission of intelligence gathering. It had been a long morning already, but she had to do this.

Having rung the bell to indicate lunchtime, she'd watched her class slowly file outside with their snacks from home. She was always intrigued as to what they'd bought with them to eat, and sometimes, in her nosier moments, had a little peek.

In an unusual turn for somepony with a sweet related cutie mark, Twist always took a healthy green salad. It was hard to know exactly what the Cutie Mark Crusaders usual fare was, because they swapped and changed their meals with each other so often. The biggest lunchbox bought in by far was, somewhat prophetically, courtesy of a colt with a burger cutie mark. Now, what was his name again...?

No time to dwell on such matters now. Cheerilee had to make her way over to Spoiled's office, hope that it wasn't locked, find what the head of the school board was up to, then leave with no trace that she'd been there. It sounded like a task more befitting secret agent Sweetie Drops (aka Bon Bon) than a mare with nothing but a degree in foal development...

But sometimes, a teachers gotta do, what a teachers gotta do.

Stopping only to show Snips and Snails where the dining area was for the second time that week (she really needed to advise their parents to get them tested), and noticing Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo's morose faces as they ate alone, missing one (possibly two) of their number dearly, she forged on, feeling breathless all the way.

The area surrounding the office was clear. No witnesses, check.

The teacher gingerly inched her way to the handle and tried it. It opened. Check.

Things were going surprisingly wel...

BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Oh no. Was that the sound of a...

Yep, it was a hoof powered vacuum, alright. Coming from right inside the room. Darn it! She'd forgotten that, fearful of Spoiled's reaction when returning to work in a messy office, the powers that be would have insisted that everything be tidied up before her 'glorious' comeback.

Which meant, old Spick and Span, the veteran cleaners, were there to do their job. Spick was the older mare with the feather duster as a cutie mark, and Span was the younger one with the brush for her special symbol.

Both very nice ladies, although given half a chance, they'd talk your ear off.

And now, they were standing in the way of Cheerilee's task.

The teacher frowned at this unexpected complication to her plan. The window of opportunity was a small one. Spoiled could return at any minute, hide any evidence which might link her with whatever nefarious plot she was hatching, and then probably get away with it once her scheme came to fruition. By then, it would be too late for Diamond Tiara, and whoever else might be caught up in the head of the school board's tangled web...

Cheerilee wouldn't allow it. Even if it meant doing something as underhoof as lying, she would gain access to that room, there and then.

She began to formulate a plan...

.........................................................................................................................................

The place Silver Spoon was referring to as her 'special thinking spot' was of course, Sugarcube Corner.

The grey filly had shared many happy memories here with Diamond, despite her former best friend's constant insistence on trying to steal her desserts.

Spoon had told Tiara on many occasions, that if the pink filly hadn't wasted so much of her allowance on outfits she barely even wore, she might be able to afford more than just a tiny ice cream.

"Do you think I buy all that stuff by choice ?" Diamond had harangued back. Silver should realised something was very wrong, even at that stage...

But that was in the past. Silver was more focused on the future, which would be Tiara-free unless she got her away from the clutches of those pesky Crusaders, and return her (mostly) to her old self.

To produce an idea of such magnitude, Spoon was going to need refreshment. Of the most icky, sticky variety.

She opened up the door to the cafe, and looked around. As expected, being as almost everypony was eating either at work or school, the place was virtually abandoned. Good. She needed all the quiet she could get, to concentrate...

The only unusual element (in more ways than one) inside was Pinkie Pie herself, currently poring over a large tome on the desk, and not engaging in any of her usual manic nonsense to which she was known.

Beside her, was that baby alligator called Gummy, which was, in Silver's opinion, the most useless pet ever. In fact, it was more of a doorstop than a companion animal, and right now it lay motionless, head first, in the middle of an open book. Pinkie probably thought it was helping. That dozy mare.

Having not got any time to get involved with the party pony's randomness, Spoon approached the desk, intending to place her order and leave.

That is, until she heard Pinkie murmur something that caused the grey filly to prick up her ears. " Pie... Apple... Tiara... There must be something in here about our family tree. Let's try it in reverse order shall we, Gummy? eiP... elppA... araiT... No, silly! I meant like this: Tiara, Apple, Pie..."

At this point, Silver decided she'd heard enough. "Ahem!" She loudly cleared her throat in clear audible range of the party mare.

All at once, Pinkie nearly jumped ten feet in the air, as if somepony had exploded her party cannon next to her. "What, who, why, when, where? I swear officer, that's red icing sugar on those cupcakes..."

As she landed back on the ground, Pinkie glanced around anxiously, finally relaxing when she saw the small grey filly in front of them. "Oh, phew! Sorry about that. Me and Gummy were in the middle of looking up information on my ancestors, and we got a little carried away! Now, what else was I going to say. Oh, yes! Welcome to Sugarcube Corner, where..."

Spoon stopped Pinkie's rapid spiel in it's tracks. "Ancestors? Since when did Apple Bloom and Diamond Tiara have anything to do with ponies who work on a rock farm?"

The party pony gave Silver an odd look. "Whoever said they did? Have you been spying on me?! I'll have you know, I'm the only detective around here. And don't you forget it!" The mare then donned a Sherlock Hooves type hat, before proceeding to blow bubbles out of a pipe which appeared from nowhere.

The grey filly rolled her eyes impatiently. She had very little time for Pinkie's fun and games at the best of times, and this most definitely was not 'the best of times'. "Look, I only wanted to know because I thought it might concern my best friend, Diamond Tiara. You see, I'm..."

Silver never had the chance to finish off her sentence, as upon hearing that her guest was 'Diamond Tiara's best friend', the party pony gasped, and her pipe fell out of her mouth. Placing her headgear on top of the statuesque Gummy, she went on to grab Spoon under her front hooves, lift her up to within view and examine her thoroughly.

"Hey!!" Protested Silver, fidgeting madly. It was no good though, for Pinkie was deceptively strong, as befits a pony related to those who smash stones for a living.

"Coloured Silver...Check! Spoon cutie mark... Check! Last test... Is your name Silver Spoon?" Pinkie's eyes bore into the filly's with the same intensity as she'd shown with Gummy earlier that day.

Confronted with what appeared to be a rather stupid question, Spoon decided to resort to sass. "No, I'm Queen Chrysalis! What do you think?!"

Sadly, being completely sarcasm-blind, Pinkie's reaction was quite unexpected. "What?!" She hastily dropped Silver, before grovelling at her feet, a small puddle of tears wetting the grey filly's legs.

"Please don't take away my love! It's the only thing I have! How can I make other ponies happy if I can't feel happy myself? Leave me and Gummy alone! Please..." Pinkie was practically beside herself with misery, while an agitated Spoon slowly backed away, both from the damp floor and the pathetic sight in front of her.

"Look, I was joking!" The grey filly decided to reveal the truth. "I am Silver Spoon! I was just having you on, that's all!"

"Are you sure about that?" Pinkie sniffled in return.

"Yes! Yes I am! I was just having a joke at your expense!" Spoon insisted.

"Well... It wasn't a very nice one." Pinkie rebuked Silver, wiping her tears, before conjuring a mop out of thin air to clear away the eye moisture on the floor. "I think you need to say you're sorry."

"What?" Exclaimed Spoon, her glasses almost coming off in the process. "I really don't think..."

"And apologise to Gummy too. You nearly scared him half to death, didn't she, sweetheart?" She gestured to her reptile friend still half-hidden under the hat, who for all intents and purposes, looked half-dead long before the grey filly's tasteless remark.

"What if I don't?!" Silver crossed her hooves. She was fed up of this weirdo's foolishness, and resolved not to play any further part in it.

"Because, if you don't..." Pinkie issued an ultimatum. "You'll never know what happened when your best friend came in through those very doors this very morning! So, decide soon, Silver Spoon. Tee hee! That rhymed!"

"Diamond Tiara was here earlier on?!" This was news to Spoon. Perhaps, if she found out what her former bestie had come in for, she may have a better understanding of what the pink filly's state of mind was, and what had precipitated such a radical change in her behaviour.

"That's right! And, we had a nice, long chat too. About her feelings..." Pinkie was practically goading her young listener with the information, as if the party pony knew full well why Silver wanted to find out.

"What? What did she tell you? Please, I have to know!" Now it was Spoon's turn to beg, as she completely forgot her usual decorum, and stood on her hind legs to pull on Pinkie's coat.

"Nu-huh!" The party pony looked away in mock disgust from Silver's tugging. "What you said was very wrong, and very hurtful. Either you say you're very sorry to me and Gummy, or you'll never know!!"

By this point, Spoon was so desperate, so eager to end all this pantomime and get a serious answer, she would have said almost anything. So, needless to say, she went a bit overboard with her apology.

"Miss Pie, I am very, very sorry I made you believe for one second that I was a love-stealing monster, and I bitterly regret any discomfort I might have caused you. Gummy, you are a fine, intelligent pet, and if I worried you in any way. I hope you can find it in your scaly heart to forgive me." The words came thick and fast, even before Silver knew how embarrassing they were.

Pinkie looked happy at this unfiltered, sincere acknowledgement of her misdeed, but still wanted more. "And what about all those colts and fillies you tease at school, too? I've heard stories..."

Spoon looked aghast. Wasn't her present humiliation enough? "Fine, even though I only really did all that because I was following Diamond's lead, I won't get involved in any of that stuff any again."

Pinkie paced up and down for a minute, scratching her chin, almost creating a rut in the process. "Hmm. You say that now, but I'm not sure if I believe you. I'll tell you how you could convince me, though. By making a Pinkie Promise!"

Now, everypony in Ponyville has heard of a Pinkie Promise, and how dangerous they can be. Everypony except Silver Spoon apparently, which might explain why she treated performing this major vow with such throwaway dismissal.

"And if I make this 'Pinkie Promise', do you swear to tell me all you know about Diamond Tiara, and her current predicament?" Silver was determined to get through this farce as quickly as possible.

"Yes, yes, absolutely!" Pinkie excitedly replied, relishing the prospect of enlisting another member into her Pinkie Promise club. After all, she hadn't had any new ones for quite a while. "Now, just do what I do..."

Cross My Heart...
Hope To Fly...
Stick a Cupcake In My Eye...
SPLODGE!

"Hey, what was THAT for?" Spoon had just had her glasses lifted up, and a triple chocolate cupcake shoved in her eye by the party pony herself.

"Don't worry, that ones on the house!" Giggled Pinkie. "Anyway, now I can tell you everything. Usually, I would keep this kind of thing secret between me and Miss Tiara, but I know that you're her best friend, and you're very concerned about her. I think that by telling you, I'll be helping you both! Are you ready?"

"Yes, I've been 'ready' for the last ten minutes!" Silver picked the squashed cake out of her socket, and almost by instinct put it in her mouth. It tasted quite nice, actually.

"One final thing, remember. Nopony breaks a Pinkie Promise! I'm sure you won't, but if you do, let me remind you... The consequences are dire. Almost too much for a child your age to compre..."

"Get on with it!!"

"Okay, okay. No need to shout. It all started this morning., when me and Gummy were involved in the most epic of staredowns. I was winning, or was it Gummy? Hmm. Let me ask him. Now, where did he go?"

"Groan..."

...........................................................................................................................

She'd got it.

Cheerilee had heard a lot of the loquacious cleaning ladies over-extended conversations in the past, so she knew pretty much their entire life stories. Including, some juicy details she wished she could wipe from her mind forever.

Among that tangle of broken dreams, gossip and hearsay, were their personal interests and hobbies.

Which Cheerilee had decided to put to good use.

Undeterred by the loud noise emitting from the hoover, she nonchalantly made her way into the room, waving to Spick and Span as she stood in the centre.

Both cleaners looked up in surprise at this unscheduled visitor, and Spick wasted no time in powering the vacuum down so she could discover the reason behind the teacher's sudden intrusion.

"Cheerilee!" Spick said, in a friendly tone. "So nice to see you again! I just wish we had more time to talk, but we've been given strict instructions not to let anypony distract us from cleaning this room from top to bottom in preparation for when Miss Bossyhooves comes charging through that door later on! So, if you've come in here to tell us something, you'd better make it fast!"

Cheerilee smiled at the nickname the cleaner had assigned to Spoiled. It was certainly one of the less offensive ones she'd heard.

"No, I'm not here really to chat..." The teacher announced to the pair of cleaners. "Actually, I have some news that the two of you might find interesting..."

"Oh, you're not getting engaged to that handsome stallion you were dating a while back, are you?" Span sighed, ever the hopeless romantic. "I saw the two of you walking in the park together, lovestruck. The things you said to each other, they were simply beautiful. I knew it was meant to be. So, when's the wedding?"

Cheerilee blushed majorly on Span's misreading of that situation, but thanks to the teacher's colouring, it was very hard to see exactly when she was embarrassed. " Span, I've told you before. Both me and Big Mac weren't in our right minds that day! There's nothing to tell! Anyway, what I really came in here to tell you both is..."

And, here's where Cheerilee's masterplan came into effect,

You see, the teacher knew, even under fear of death, neither Spick or Span would leave that office before it was as clean as a whistle.

And, considering who it belonged to, it was a perfectly understandable reaction.

They'd in all likelihood lose more than their jobs if they were caught slacking from such an important task.

Cheerilee knew something about both cleaners though, which might make them have second thoughts.

You see, judging by what she'd heard, when they'd commented on Celestia's lovely flowing mane, how Luna was being given a raw deal from the general populace, and the fact they'd wept buckets upon the announcement that Cadance had got hitched to Shining Armour...

Spick and Span were completely obsessed with the royal family.

So all it would take, was a little push in the right direction...

" I hear you were very disappointed the other day, when you found out Princess Twilight Sparkle was here to help with the building of the school playground. You weren't here to see her, as you were stuck cleaning up a nasty stain after one of our little darlings had too many hay sandwiches for lunch." Cheerilee smiled sympathetically at the two cleaners, who grimaced at the memory of missing out on meeting one of their idols.

"Well, guess what, ladies?" The teacher's face bore the appearance of somepony more hopeful, as she continued. "I've just heard from a very reliable source that she'll be back sometime in the next hour, to check up on the finished structure, to see if it's safe and whatnot. I thought I should let you know, seeing as how crushed you seemed when you just missed her the last time."

The two cleaners stared at each other open-mouthed, before looking back at Cheerilee, then at each other again. "What?!" They yelled in unison.

"That's right!" Cheerilee grinned at their enthusiasm.

"Spick... We have to see her !! We may never get a chance like this again!!"

"Span... I haven't even got my autograph book with me!"

"Spick... How does my mane look?"

"Span... D'ya think she'll let us take photos?"

On and on they rambled, all of the way out of the office door, so much so that neither cleaner heard Cheerilee's reassuring shout: "And don't worry about a thing! I'll cover for you!"

She felt a pang of guilt, exploiting the emotions of a pair of honest, working mares like that.

This was about something bigger than them and her, though. It was about protecting the future of one of her precious students, currently laid up in a hospital bed.

To those ends, she'd be willing to go to almost any lengths. Including fibbing and trespassing.

She pushed her failing morality to the back of her mind for a moment. She had to figure out exactly what she was looking for.

Those papers Spoiled was looking at this morning. When she'd fainted, they'd fallen all over the floor...

And now, they'd all been picked up, and carefully put back where they belonged.

Cheerilee huffed in frustration. Figures. The one time those cleaners decide to promptly do their job, it was to her detriment.

Oh well, she couldn't let a small thing like that stop her. She made her way over to the filing cabinet, intending to search all lunchtime if needs be.

Now, if only she'd bought her thermos of coffee with her, it would have made this arduous job so much easier...

Author's Note:

Just a little sidetrack chapter, focusing on other characters. Don't worry, I'm building up to something big...
Keep on reading. The fun is just beginning...

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