• Published 2nd Nov 2015
  • 9,518 Views, 2,419 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 32: Opening Up

Applejack looked on at the scene unfolding between Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara with an ever-increasing sense of unease. If the pink filly couldn't even open up to her best friend...

She returned to her sister, still clinging onto the orange mare's fur as if for dear life. Her sniveling had somewhat abated a little, but Applejack still felt a wet patch where Bloom's face had been ensconced for the best part of five minutes.

Applejack's gaze fell on the two mares left outside. Could they do anything to break the tension and calm a few nerves? She noticed the face of Pinkie Pie, who'd been building up the 'big reconciliation' in her head between Spoon and Tiara, and obviously was not best pleased at the results. In fact, she looked on the verge of entering the room, to try and smooth things over, with her unique blend of insanity and vivacity...

Which Applejack instinctively knew, in the tenuous circumstances, would perhaps be the worst idea ever.

Mouthing to a crestfallen party pony not now, which Pinkie unusually obeyed, maybe finally learning her lesson from the whole Ponytones fiasco, Applejack's attention landed on the yellow pegasus standing next to her.

Fluttershy had been very subdued all this time, perhaps wondering why she traveled all this way to the hospital, when her contact with Diamond up until this point had been at a minimum, and worried that her poor pet Angel was starving to death back at the cottage.

Applejack thought about the mellow nature of the pegasus... How she hardly ever raised her voice... Her kind and patient demeanor... Her knack for empathising with almost everypony.

The orange mare had an idea. It was a bit of a long shot, but it surely couldn't make things any worse than they were right now.

"Hey Fluttershy, could you come here for a moment, please?"

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

Rainbow Dash sped off to Twilight's castle as fast as she could. She ignored all distractions, such as tempting cloud formations she could have kicked into oblivion in seconds, and even dodged the occasional greeting her fellow pegasi dished out as she rapidly passed them in the sky. She was a mare on a mission, she could deal with the weather and catch up with her flying buddies later.

There was one small oddity that struck her as she set off from the clinic, though. A pair of unicorns, that Dash could have sworn she remembered from somewhere, anxiously glancing around, while trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible. This behaviour would have seemed strange in itself, but their attire would indicate they were more used to the salubrious surroundings of Canterlot, than the far more moderate charms of Ponyville.

Was there a snob convention in town, and Rainbow hadn't been told about it? Maybe I should inform Rarity she thought to herself with a laugh, before realising that she was in a hurry, and had no time to investigate the admittedly unusual pair.

Upon reaching the ornate new structure, the blue Pegasus went straight through an open window without knocking, and flew into the main chamber. Stopping just short of the table, she hovered above the Cutie Map and regarded the sight below her with interest.

For there was Spike, fast asleep in Twilight's throne, a (non magical) Power Ponies comic book being levitated by his snores, and a bowl of gems spilt all over the floor under his feet.

What a sight. Dash couldn't help herself. She knew that Twilight wouldn't mind for one second the dragon taking a little nap on her chair, but was the paranoid, ever-so-careful Spike aware of that?

Rainbow was banking that he wasn't.

"Spike wake up!" She yelled, affecting the voice of somepony in a state of panic. "Twilight is back, and she's looking for you! She asked me to check in here, and there you are, having some shuteye on her throne. I'll warn you in advance, she told me herself... If I catch that assistant of mine using my special chair as a bed again..."

The dragon yawned, stretched, and looked at peace for a few seconds... That is, until Dash's words began to sink in. "Oh no!" He exclaimed, springing to his feet. "She'll ground me for a week! She'll take away my ruby privileges! I won't be able to attend Blueblood's party with her! And, I haven't even done any cleaning, or fed Owlicious!! What do I do? What do I do?!" He ran around aimlessly, bumping into furniture during his groundless hysteria.

Rainbow would have loved to prolong the joke for a little longer, but alas her gag reflex got the better of her "Bwhahahahaha!" She laughed out loud, while holding onto her sides in midair. Spike stopped his frenzied rush to stare at her quizzically, before finally putting two and two together, and realising he had been duped.

"Yeah, very funny, Rainbow!" He frowned, crossing his arms and casting the pegasus a dirty look. " You don't know how many times I've nearly been caught in here. I wish I could ignore the allure of that throne, but there's just something about it. It's so much bigger, and more comfortable than my puny little seat, sigh..."

"I wouldn't worry about that." Dash landed next to Spike, and gave him a friendly rub on his head. "I'm sure Twilight has more than enough to deal with all the friendship problems around Equestria, than her number one assistant rubbing his scales against her throne. I'm sure if you asked her, she'd let you sit on it when she's not around, or maybe get you a bigger chair for yourself..."

"Yes, well I'll think about that, I suppose..." Spike walked over to the gems he knocked onto the floor during his nap, and began to pick them up. " Right now, I have to do some sweeping, get a bird to eat his lunch, deal with you..."

The dragon stopped for a moment, unconsciously putting one of the retrieved jewels in his mouth. "Why are you here, anyway?" He asked with a hint of suspicion.

"Oh. Oh! In the middle of all our fun, I forgot..." Rainbow put her hooves over her mouth in reproach.

"Our fun?!" Spike raised an eyebrow at that slightly biased comment.

Dash wasn't listening, though. " Yes, now I remember. I was supposed to check in with you to see if there was any way you could contact Twilight from here. I know she's in Canterlot on direct orders from Celestia, but this is something really important. Would it be possible to speak to her, now...?"

Recognising how serious it must be for the usually carefree Rainbow to sound so dramatic, Spike began to rack his brains. "No, I don't think so. I think she's due to return early evening anyway, are you sure it couldn't wait until then?"

"I don't know about that, Applejack made it sound pretty urgent." Dash was a little disappointed at the dragon's response. "But I suppose, if there's no other option..."

"Hang on just a second..." Spike had a sudden flash of inspiration, dropping all of his collected gems in the process. "There might be a way, if we're lucky. Just cross your hooves, and follow me..."
................................................................................................................................

"Hello, darling. It's me again." Rarity made her presence known to Loving Care at the reception desk.

"Oh, it is you! Welcome!" The hospital worker was desperately trying to hairdry the tea stains off of her important documents, without much success. "What can I do for you, and the Princess, this time...?"

"Well, actually it's just for me." Rarity pointed out. "And you needn't be so formal. I may like to be treated like a lady, but I know for a fact Twilight prefers a far more humble approach. You needn't roll out the red carpet on my account, in her name..."

"Yes, yes! Of course! Whatever the Princess wants!" Loving Care had obviously not taken any notice to what the white unicorn had told her at all.

Sighing internally, Rarity decided to put her cards on the table. "Listen, you know we were here earlier discussing Miss Diamond Tiara's mother, Spoiled Rich, who's also presently a patient here? Well, if it's not too much trouble, we'd very much like the number of her room, please. You see, she may be responsible for a unsavoury incident that took place in this very hospital..."

Loving Care's mood suddenly flipped on a coin from respect, to apprehension... "Oh no!" the receptionist wailed. " Is this involving the filly under the Princess' personal care? And you say her mother was to blame? What happened? What happened?"

Unwilling to make things even more frenetic than they already were, but always loathe to tell a lie, Rarity decided to be straight with her. "Well, you see, there was a restraining order against her on behalf of her daughter, so that she couldn't go within..."

"What!" Loving Care eyes began to bulge to the size of apples. "Nopony told me this! Why did nopony tell me this?! I'm not getting fired because of somepony else's mistake! What do I do? What do I do?" The clinic worker started hyperventilating, to the extent that it looked as though she'd need hospital treatment herself soon.

"Now, now dear, there's no need for that kind of display..." Rarity tried to calm the situation. " I promise that nopony is going to lose their job over this, the blame lies all around. If you'd just give me the number as I requested, I'll get out of your mane, and everything 'll be fine. You have my word..."

Loving Care looked unconvinced, but saw that her erratic behaviour in front of one of the Princess' attendants made her appear a little foolish. "Well, if you're sure... It's on 4A. Now, if that's everything..."

"Yes, darling. That's all I wanted. And if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, I've always found hot water and vinegar work wonders at removing tea stains. Give it a try. Hope to see you again, soon..." The unicorn took her leave.

Meanwhile, Loving Care was caught in a bit of a quandary. What should she do first, mix Rarity's concoction, or hire a lawyer for a potential employment tribunal...?

Decisions, decisions...

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

She didn't know why she did it.

She'd been given strict instructions to find out the room number, and return to Applejack...

But she just couldn't help herself.

And now Rarity stood, right outside Spoiled's door, planning her next move in earnest.

Why had the unicorn walked all this way, instead of going back as she was supposed to?

If Spoiled had done something as bad as Applejack suspected, she was probably long gone, anyway, having had plenty of time to make her getaway...

Rarity suspected there was nothing inside, but an empty bed, and a long checked-out mare, but she had to see for herself.

With extreme trepidation, she trotted forward, ready to grasp the handle and turn it...

But then, it moved of it's own accord, and there Spoiled stood, in all her glory.

"Ah, Rarity. The only one of you six troublemakers with any class..." She casually remarked. " I trust after this little misunderstanding with my daughter has been cleared up, I win her back and receive a full apology, I can go back to shopping at your boutique. You're just had a new line of shimmery dresses in, yes? I can't wait to see them..."

Taken completely aback by Spoiled's nonchalance, the white unicorn stammered in her reply. "E-er y-yes, b-but t-that's n-not w-what..."

"Let me guess, my Diamond has been telling tales about me again?" Spoiled rolled her eyes in mock annoyance. "Honestly, fillies. You can't live with them, and you can't live without them. They can be a hoofful, but you know that already, right? I bet your Sweetie Belle gets up to some mischief, too..."

Forgetting who she was talking to for a moment, Rarity's natural friendliness bubbled to the surface. "Why, yes dear! She most certainly does! Why, there was that time she nearly messed up my deal with Sapphire Shores! Not to mention, when she helped to write that gossip column for the school newspaper. I believe your daughter was the editor... Wait a second!" She suddenly recalled why she was there in the first place, and snapped to attention.

"Yes, I remember the Foal Free Press incident, and my Diamond's subsequent demotion to printer." Spoiled's mask of amiability slipped for a moment, and she pursed her lips. "It took Randolph two hours to scrub all the ink off of her that night. He almost didn't serve my dinner on time! I don't know why my pushover of a husband still keeps that doddery old fool in a job, any self-respecting family would have put him out to pasture years ago..."

Feeling they were veering somewhere off topic, Rarity interjected. "Yes dear, that is a shame, but I'm afraid I'm here regarding slightly more important matters than your difficulties with your servant..."

"Yes, I suppose..." Spoiled let out a long sigh. "Maybe we can talk about it more over coffee and scones at my mansion, once this whole sorry saga is over. I think I know what this is about, and I'll willingly come with you. I have nothing to hide, as you'll soon find out. Don't forget about our dinner date, though. After all, we have so much in common..." And with that, she sauntered off down the corridor, nose held high.

I very much doubt that Rarity thought, before following her lead.

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

"Come come dear..." Jet Set was desperate to get out of the hospital.

"I told you, darling. I wasn't going anywhere until I'd washed my hooves. Don't you know where they've been..." Upper Crust emerged from the bathroom at last.

"Yes, I was a little surprised at what you did myself..." Jet Set commented. "What exactly was that in aid of?"

"I just wanted to be certain we weren't being played for chumps, my dearest..." Upper Crust took up her position at the side of her husband, as they stealthily left the building. "Don't you know how valuable a cutie mark like that could be in the wrong hooves..."

" I understand your worry..." Jet Set replied. "But to go to such lengths, just to be sure..."

"It was mildly unpleasant, to say the least..." Upper Crust wrinkled her nose. "But in the long term, I'm sure it'll be worth it. If we can get on the good side of that filly, or whoever controls her, we could..."

"Stop, who's that?" Jet Set had abruptly halted his slow stride forward, so his wife bumped into him.

"Ow, what the..." Upper Crust exclaimed.

"Shh!" Jet Set motioned for his wife to be quiet, pointing at a strange blue blur above them that appeared to be monitoring them closely.

"Who in Equestria is that?" Upper Crust shielded her eyes from the sun, trying to see the identity of their spy in the sky.

"I have no idea..." Jet Set replied, though something niggled at the back of his mind that he'd seen that pegasus before.

They didn't have much time to ponder though, for a few seconds later, the figure seemed to lose interest, and flew into the horizon.

"How bizarre." remarked Upper Crust. "You don't suppose they're onto us already..."

"Nonsense dear. We've only just gone outside." Jet Set was sure they'd escaped undetected. "Now we must return to our hotel room like Spoiled said, and plan..."

"Yes, let's..." Upper Crust smiled a little at her husband showing initiative for a change. She liked the rare occasions he took control...

As long as he didn't do it too often.
...................................................................................................................

It had been around quarter of an hour since Rarity and Rainbow Dash had been dispatched on their respective missions, and Applejack was still waiting to hear back from them.

Apple Bloom had wrung herself dry through crying, and was now just holding onto her sister, a downcast expression set in her face.

Silver Spoon had long since given up on eliciting any emotion from the distant Diamond, but still refused to leave her side.

The pink filly in question continued to stare at the remains of her tiara, the only clue she was still even alive being the occasional blink.

As for Pinkie Pie, she'd been relegated outside the room, her usual antics not readily appreciated in such a solemn atmosphere. To pass the time, she'd been trying to solve the new puzzle sensation, known as 'Rubuck's Cube'. It looked easy enough, but she always ended up with one mismatched colour each side.

She was so frustrated by the whole experience, she was on the verge of cheating. After all, nopony would ever find out if she swapped a few of the stickers around, surely...

Fluttershy on the other hand, had a slightly more important task to fulfill.

Waiting for her cue from Applejack, she carefully made her way over to Diamond, firstly addressing the nearby Spoon.

"Um... Silver, is it? Listen... I hate to be a bother... But if at all possible, could I have a little word with your friend on my own, please? I promise I'll be quick..." Fluttershy requested, hopefully.

The grey filly looked at the pegasus, then back at Tiara. "Okay, fine." She reluctantly agreed. "But, I'm going to be right over there. Do you hear that, Di? I'm not going anywhere."

Spoon looked at her friend, wishing for a response, more in hope than expectation. Getting none, she frowned in concern, before making her way over to where Applejack and Apple Bloom stood, and all three watched as Fluttershy sat next to the unresponsive Diamond.

"Hello there. You might not know me very well... My name is Fluttershy." The yellow pegasus attempted to break the ice. " I'm not going to try to get you to talk to me if you don't want to, and I don't want to cause you any more anguish than you've suffered already, you poor thing. But if there's one thing I can tell just by looking at you now, it's that you're in pain. I see it in the eyes of the animals I treat, the birds I heal and even everyday ponies who I walk past in the street all the time. I can't say I know what you're going through, but if I've learnt anything about pain, it's that bottling it up never works..."

At this point, Diamond's gaze slightly drifted to her right, where the yellow pegasus was sitting. As soon as she realised what she was doing however, she quickly returned them to her smashed jewelry.

It's not much, but it's a start Applejack noted.

Undeterred, Fluttershy continued. "You'll just get sadder and sadder, until the feeling becomes unbearable. Of course, I don't expect you to open up straight away, but please remember, anytime you might want to confide in somepony, me, Applejack or any of my friends would be more than happy to listen. The only thing I ask of you is to not leave it too long. You're too young and pretty, for something like this to be eating away at you from the inside. Just think about what I've told you today, and when you're ready, we'll be here waiting for you."

Having said her piece, the yellow pegasus simply stood up and slowly walked away.

Applejack watched her slow retreat with trepidation. It had been a bit of a gamble to expect Fluttershy to act as a trainee counselor for the obviously disturbed pink filly, but in the short term the farm mare felt it was a better option than doing nothing.

At least Tiara hadn't blown up in Fluttershy's face, which is what had happened when Applejack had tried to comfort the child earlier. Only time would tell if she'd had made the right decision...

"I...I'm ready to talk."

Huh? Where did that come from?

It was Diamond, finally turning her cold stare away from her shattered tiara, and looking apprehensively at those present in the room, Fluttershy in particular.

Everypony present jumped a little in surprise, and even Pinkie, in the middle of deciphering her toy, poked her head around the doorway.

Applejack was the first to speak. She took a tenative step forward.

"Are you sure, sugarcube?"

"Yes... Yes, I am."

Author's Note:

Alright, guys this is gonna be a long note, so brace yourselves...

I've been writing, and proof reading five chapters for this story for almost the equivalent of a day in the last week alone. I have been doing my best to make it enjoyable for the readers, as well as introduce pathos and unexpected twists to the mix. You can like it, love it or hate it. Opinions are subjective, and I respect that.

What I don't appreciative is some person sending me abusive PMs about how I've apparently 'ruined' it, just by talking about some hot button issues. This individual could have shown their disapproval by just turning their upmark into a downmark, and unfavouriting and/or untracking my story. They told me they did all that already, in two separate PMs. Fine. Their decision. I. GET. IT.

What I don't expect is being insulted, sworn at, and in the second PM, even given a veiled threat. I have now been forced to accept that not every brony in the community adheres to the old 'love and tolerance' ethos, and will now soon have my first experience of blocking someone, if I get one more message like that from this person. Let's hope they're reading this now, and their future rants are about the quality of my story rather than the themes, and less personal in nature...

Onto lighter matters now, hope you're enjoying quick updates! Keep on commenting, reading, upvoting, (It would be nice to reach 400 upvotes before the end of February :pinkiesad2: ) etc. Remember, the more responses I get, the quicker I churn out the chapters. Thank you. :twilightsmile:

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