• 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 30: The Big Showdown: Spoiled's Lament

"Come on, everypony! Who knows what's going on in that hospital!" Applejack had seemingly taken on her role as caregiver to heart, and had overtaken Pinkie Pie in the group's rush towards their destination.

Flying alongside Rainbow Dash who'd politely limited her speed so the others could keep up, Fluttershy had a question for her blue pegasus friend. "So... I know part of the reason why Diamond Tiara was adopted yesterday, because Twilight told me about it this morning. But, do you know why she's being treated now, and what the hurry is to get to her?"

Dash was too impatient to relay all the facts again, and besides she didn't have enough time before their arrival. She decided to lay out the bare bones, and hoped that would placate her companion. "Tiara fainted at school. Now she's in the hospital. Her mother, who also collapsed, is in there with her. We don't want them to meet. Both because of an injunction, and the possible harm it could do to Diamond. Understand, now?"

"Yes. Sort of. I suppose." Fluttershy meekly nodded, while it was all Rainbow could do to stop herself from face-hoofing. How on Equestria was she supposed to know if the yellow pegasus was up to speed with everything, with a non-committal answer like that? Oh well, she'd just have to play it by ear.

Silver Spoon, despite her initial burst of energy when hearing about her bedridden friend, was now way behind the pack, her short little legs struggling to keep up with the older ponies. Her tiredness was starting to catch up with her again, and her lungs felt in danger of imploding in on themselves. Although the mantra in her head constantly chanted your friend needs you now and urged her forward, somehow mind-over-matter wasn't working.

Then, just as she was about to slow down to a trot, and give up on ever catching the rest of the party, a strange magic field enveloped her, and carried her exhausted form upwards. Only when she saw who's horn was lit, and to where the spell was taking her, was she able to relax.

"Here you go, darling. And I even remembered to retrieve the chiffon saddle, before we departed!" Rarity was happy to help out. "Travel in comfort if you have to go anywhere, that's what I always say."

Silver Spoon nodded her appreciation. This was a mare after her own heart. She settled down on the white unicorn's back, still held in place by that blue aura.

Pinkie might have been a little jealous over the grey filly's choice of transportation, but was far too enveloped in her own thoughts as to how to cheer up Diamond Tiara once the group got inside the medical facility.

Would she start off with the whoopee cushion, or the classic glasses and moustache combo?

Oh, what fun'n'games they'd have!

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

Unfortunately for the party pony, fun'n'games were the last thing on Tiara's mind at that present moment.

Hanging onto her once hated rival as if for dear life, the pink filly felt a wave of nausea overcome her at the mere sound of her mother's voice. It was a familiar feeling.

But in this instance, it had returned with a vengeance. She thought she was safe from the rants. The shouting. The petty punishments. The isolation. The outright abuse. At least for a little while.

She should have known things wouldn't be that easy.

Alongside Diamond, whispering comforting homilies in her ear such as it'll be alright and massaging her mane tenderly was Apple Bloom, who after a bit of friction had apparently returned to her self-designated role of protector.

The farm filly had never actually witnessed Spoiled's cruelty firsthand, bar the encounter with her daughter outside the flower shop and her belittlement of the students by the school entrance. But the sight of the normally headstrong Diamond, cowering in her hooves like Winona during a storm, made Bloom very mad indeed.

Just what had gone on in that mansion, for Tiara to be so nervous around somepony who she should adore? Diamond's reaction around her female parent was more akin to that of a foal with an imminent date with the school bully.

Perhaps, judging by how Spoiled's behaviour had rubbed off on her offspring, that's exactly what the head of the school board was. A big, cowardly bully. Used to getting her own way.

Well, this grown-up bully wasn't getting her hooves on Diamond again as long as she lived with the Apples, that was for darn sure. Bloom had already made it her sworn mission to make sure Tiara stayed reformed and stayed safe, both of which would be in major jeopardy if she returned to the Rich household.

Now, seeing how just hearing Spoiled's voice triggered her friend into a state of panic, Bloom's efforts would be redoubled.

Both fillies began to listen to the conversation coming from above the mattress. After all, it wasn't like they had much of a choice.

"...So, as I was saying, you have to train them from a very early age! When they want to socialise with somepony from a lower caste, shout in their face and send them to their room! When they think that 'just taking part' and 'not winning' will suffice, remove their dessert privileges and take away their toys! It worked with my Diamond, if you two ever decide to procreate, I guarantee it'll do the same with your youngsters!" No prizes for guessing who that was.

"Actually, running around after a bunch of snotty nosed little brats sounds like rather too much hard graft for me..." Upper Crust was not exactly ecstatic at the prospect of motherhood. "Maybe one day, if we can find somepony willing to sit on the little blighters, while we tour the social scene and light up the big cities. Until then, I think we're happy with just the two of us, isn't that right dear?"

"... Yes, of course." came the timid response. In reality, Jet Set would have liked an heir and to even have some input in raising it himself, but in such matters he always abdicated to his wife's superior judgement. After all, in most things, she knew best.

His compliance seemed to please Upper Crust too, and the sound of a cheek being kissed could be heard. "There you go, you see? The secret of a happy marriage. Work as a team. As in: I make the orders, he writes the cheques!"

Audible tittering. Spoiled joining in, familiar with this particular dynamic. Jet Set's hooves, seen from under the bed, all tensed up. It would have made for fascinating drama, if the fillies in hiding weren't so jittery they felt like they were about to pass out.

"So anyway, you never told us, darling..." Upper Crust changed the subject. "If your daughter was such a model filly using your methods, why is she such a disappointment and failure now, to the extent that she's even taken to siding with the enemy? "

The sound of teeth being gnashed. " Listen, darling" Spoiled responded with venom. "She never used to be like this. She was a cold, calculating, merciless filly I could be proud that I'd taught everything I know to, a future leader of society, spawn forth from the fruits of my own loins. I was beyond chuffed I'd given birth to her, and you should have seen the way the mares at my ladies club would look at me with envy, as they compared their failing progeny with my shining Diamond...!"

Upon hearing this, both Jet Set and Upper Crust gasped, while Apple Bloom shook her head in disgust. As for Tiara, well, Her response was a little odd. She stopped quaking so much, and seemed to be listening more intently.

Spoiled went on. "As I said, everything was going splendid. I was minimising her contact with that soft-hearted fool of a husband of mine, who'd have infected her with a bunch of jibber-jabber about respect for others and everypony being special in their own way. All stuff and nonsense of course, it's elite ponies like me and you that keep Equestria going, everypony else was just put here to serve us. My daughter used to believe that too..."

Apple Bloom wondered if that was the case, and was about to murmur a question to Diamond, when she noticed the usually pink filly was suddenly beginning to turn a nice shade of red. Oh, dear. Best to leave her to scowl this one out, she thought.

"So, what went wrong?" Upper Crust could not hide her interest." What horrible event could turn this perfect daughter you're describing, into such a delinquent? What caused her to rebel so much, that her own loving mother seems on the verge of despair?"

"Oh, that one's simple..." Scoffed Spoiled, with utter scorn. " Three of the most insignificant low-lives you'll ever have the misfortune to meet. I barely want to even say their names, for fear it might leave a bad taste in my mouth. But, here goes: Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo. And Apple Bloom. Especially Apple Bloom. You tell me you've a run-in with them already, and they caused you a lot of grief. I have to say, they seem to be very good at that."

Apple Bloom visibly winced upon hearing her name stated with such emphasis, while Tiara looked like she was just getting crosser and crosser. Now the roles had dramatically been reversed, with the farm filly being the shrinking violet, and Diamond as the reassuring friend shielding her from the nasty comments above.

"Yes, I must say..." Jet Set agreed. "When me and my wife tried to engage with them outside that tawdry little eatery in your town, their rudeness took us completely by surprise! We kindly offered them money to make way, they refused! We tried to put them in their place, they wouldn't listen! And the worst part is, they even tried to give us business cards! As if we'd ever use those uncouth types for anything! Oh, apart from to clean our gutters, maybe..."

More laughter. More cringing from Apple Bloom. And, more glowering from Tiara.

"Well, that's quite outrageous, I agree..." Spoiled grunted. "But that's a mere trifle, to what they did to me, and my daughter. They crashed her cute-cenera, and ruined the day for her! They forced her to humiliate herself in a bunny costume! They made her get fired from a fine editor job! They caused her to come home covered in grime! They cost her the chance of recognition at the Crystal Empire Games! They rigged the school election, so she lost to a dwarf! They made me waste my money on a statue, and a stain glass window for nothing! But that's as nothing compared to their worst crime of all..."

"What, what?" Upper Crust and Jet Set were on the edge of the bed, rapt with attention, eager to hear what could possibly be more devastating than the already long list of these despicable ruffian's acts.

"They stole my precious Diamond from me!" Unable to control her emotions any longer, Spoiled sank down into the bed, and began to sob uncontrollably." T-they abducted her from outside the school. T-they took her to their shack of lies, where they probably beat out all the wisdom and the good advice I ever gave her. T-then, just as it looked like her real self might be coming back, as she ran back to her school to reclaim the position of president that had been pilfered from her, g-guess who was lying in wait to finish off their brainwashing job?!"

Jet Set had his head in his hooves, and Upper Crust had a look of pure sympathy in her eyes. "Oh, no." The yellow mare exclaimed.

" Yes, that's right." Spoiled used a scented tissue to wipe her face. "They pursued her everywhere, shouting their foul untruths in her ears, until she couldn't take it any longer, and cracked. Now, instead of the headstrong filly I raised to believe in the motto Take what you can, when you can, now I have some pathetic little milksop who lives by the slogan You can redeem yourself, but by helping others, not by being mean. I even caught her assisting our butler with the washing up, the night before she was taken from me! And, guess who informed the authorities, to make that wonderful event possible?"

Her two adult listeners were surprised by nothing at this point, and just waited for her to name the guilty parties. Meanwhile, Apple Bloom was distracted from the waffling of the snobs above them by Tiara's transformation from nervous filly, into cauldron of boiling water. As in: Getting hotter every minute, and bubbling just under the surface.

"That's right, those pests again." Spoiled confirmed the adults' worst suspicions. " Anypony would think they had a personal slight against me, for all the horrible lies they've spread, all the disorder they've caused and the brazen way they've ruined my daughter's life. Not only by blocking her from achieving her desired goals at every turn, that wasn't good enough for them. Not only by warping her still evolving brain so she's become like a stranger to me. No, they, and their relations had to take it much further."

Spoiled paused for effect a minute, before unveiling what she thought was the masterplan of those against her.

"The ultimate strategy seems to have been to ingratiate her into the worthless Apple clan of dirteaters. Just think, In just a few short months, my precious Diamond, who was born with the ability to command legions into doing her bidding, might be as good as a common labourer! She'll forget all about her old privileged existence, and be 'persuaded' eventually to use her talent to lead others to erect hundreds of those ghastly little farm buildings, and create a whole plethora of those filthy fields for crop growing. This will attract even more rough types to lower the tone of this wretched town than it is now, if that's possible. Then, Ponyville truly will be dead. And I will feel like I've created a monster..." Spoiled's tale ended on a mournful note.

Jet Set and Upper Crust were utterly taken in by this apparently brilliant scheme to get back at the ruling order by a jealous underclass. The riff-raff would take one of their own brightest prospects, forcibly indoctrinate her in their ways before perverting her natural ability for their own ends. Not only would a skill like leadership be extremely useful for the peasants to get one over on their aristocratic brethren, it would also strike a hugely symbolic blow against their kind, that a child of the gentry could be so easily converted to the other side.

"So, what you're telling us..." Upper Crust pondered, suddenly beginning to understand things. " Is that your daughter is just a pawn to them, part of a vicious ideal that one day the serfs will sweep Equestria, starting with your town, then overthrowing everything in their sight? And they see your Diamond as a figurehead of that movement? Oh my. I knew the vermin were cunning, but I never in my wildest dreams thought they'd go that far. This has become about far more than just our petty revenge. This could hold the balance of power in Ponyville, and possibly beyond."

Spoiled nodded once again. "Even if they haven't thought that far ahead, which wouldn't surprise me as their kind seem to have rocks for brains, the fact remains the opportunity would always be there. That Tiara mark, still present on her flank, a ticking explosive, waiting for somepony to exploit. It might as well be us who reap the benefits of it! That's why I planned to send her to boarding school, to ween her little head off this drivel about 'friendship' and 'love' she's been hearing at her elementary. That's why I put so much stock in raising her personally, away from the soft-hearted dribblings of her father. That's why I need your help to get her back for me now. So she can fulfill her true potential for her people, not these mud ponies who've erroneously taken possession of her."

As each piece of new information began to sink into Jet Set and Upper Crust's craniums, they looked at each other in progressively expanding abject horror. This couldn't be allowed to pass. The scenario put forward so convincingly by Spoiled would not be allowed to happen. They'd make a stand, here and now, to keep this poor, innocent, deluded pink filly who had no idea how much power she held, out of harm's way. The very future of decent society seemed to rest on it.

Jet Set, showing some gumption for a change by electing himself as spokesman for the pair, gave their answer. "We can see how dangerous your daughter could be in the wrong hooves. The end result could be catastrophic for well-bred ponies like us across Equestria, and we cannot allow that to happen. We'll postpone our trip back home for as long as it takes until the child is back in the loving embrace of her mother, and until then we are completely at your disposal." All three then proceeded to shake hooves, as part of their new pact.

"And of course, along the way, we can look into getting our own back on a certain meddling trio, and show up a fabricated princess who, by all rights, shouldn't be allowed anywhere near true royalty..." Spoiled provided an added incentive.

Upper Crust humphed upon hearing this. "If you're referring to Miss Twilight Sparkle, I'm in complete agreement with you, darling. You should see her dance, talk about four left hooves! I doubt she can even walk properly, let alone fly!"

Jet Set concurred. " And she hasn't exactly got superior taste in fashion, either. You should have seen the dress she was wearing at her own birthday party. It was almost as plain as her face! What an embarrassment to the monarchy she really is. Celestria must have been mad the day she afforded the luxury of alicornhood to such an unsuitable candidate. Is this not living proof we truly live in crazy days?"

More arrogant tittering was heard from above the bed. Quite unable to attach the abundance of delusions, insults and plotting together for now, one thing was clear to Apple Bloom: Spoiled had her two new proteges right under her hoof. She turned to Diamond, to make a comment along the lines of I can see where you got your former manipulative side from. Thank goodness that's not you anymore...

But, she wasn't there. Tiara had disappeared.

Bloom gulped. She had a notion what had happened. Over the course of the last few minutes, the pink filly had been getting more and more agitated by what she'd heard, as the outright lies and misrepresentations from her mother flew thick and fast.

It was all Bloom could do to stop Diamond from punching her hoof through the mattress, so irate was her friend. She was pretty hot to the touch, too. And now that Spoiled's little recruitment speech was over, and the farm filly had sat transfixed for a moment to take it all in...

Tiara had taken the chance to slip away, and face her mother head-on. She didn't care about the risks, nopony badmouthed her new friends, and the Princess like that. Not to mention, all the other blatant fibs that had been exchanged that day.

Diamond had to hand it to her mother, she was a brilliant puppet master. As she'd found out through countless failed attempts to win her approval, yet still came back for more.

But her grudging admiration for Spoiled's techniques of control did not extend to letting her continue to use them. Tiara was going to put an end to this, here and now. For everypony's sake.

"Hello, mother." Apple Bloom heard her friend speak with tranquil fury, out in the open.

Jet Set and Upper Crust were completely taken aback by this sudden emergence, but Spoiled remained relatively calm, even smiling a little. "Hello, darling." She purred. "Nice bow. I wonder who gave it to you..."

Realising there was no point in her concealment any longer, Apple Bloom sheepishly made her presence aware to those gathered in the small room.

Spoiled's demeanor changed completely upon seeing the youngest Apple. Her eyes turned to daggers. Her upper lip curled in disgust. She regarded the farm filly with the same contempt one might have for a piece of dirt on a spotless white dress.

"As if I didn't already know." She spat out. "The homewrecker."

Author's Note:

Yup, it's another chapter to be divided into two parts. There's just too much epicness coming to condense it all here. Hold onto your saddles, folks, because Pinkie is right... The fun'n'games are just beginning... :pinkiegasp:

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