• Published 2nd Nov 2015
  • 9,569 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 40: Confidence

Fluttershy had dealt with many unusual maladies over the years. A porcupine with puncture wounds. A rooster with laryngitis. A dragon with a serious attitude problem.

But never, ever, had she heard of anything like this.

Yet here the pegasus sat, listening to the shaking voice of a little filly wrapped securely in both her wings and hooves, trying to coax the child to let it all out.

Diamond Apple thought she could handle it. She'd felt fine just a minute ago, ready to tell everything in a calm, collected way before moving on with her life. It had all been so easy in her head...

When she got to the part where she'd felt her tail being lifted up and what had ensued afterwards, all of her best laid plans came crashing down. The tears, which had been nowhere just a minute ago, had returned with a vengeance, and she constantly had to repeat herself just so Fluttershy could hear through her gurgles.

Apple Bloom of course, was a permanent fixture of comfort, stroking her new sister's mane, telling her to breathe slowly , letting her know that everypony was there for her, that she could substitute for telling Fluttershy the tragic story instead if Diamond didn't feel up to it.

But the pink filly knew this was something she had to do alone. She was not going to let her mother, or her powers of intimidation win the day. So she fought through the twin barriers of pain and trauma, she battled the uncontrollable sobbing that her mouth expressed and she pushed to one side any shame or embarrassment that might have cut short her testimony.

Fluttershy remained the patient and empathetic soul she always was, never interrupting the victim in front of her for one second, listening carefully to every single word, even when it had to be stated again due to muffling. And, together with Apple Bloom the other side, encasing Diamond in a warm cocoon that dried her flowing tears and let her know she was safe and protected.

Diamond eventually, through great powers of endurance she didn't even know were there, was able to tell all. The names of the perpetrators, who Fluttershy recognised immediately. The role of her mother in the crime, who just sat back and smirked as her daughter was molested. The tirade that Spoiled thrust upon her afterwards, when the pink filly was at her lowest ebb and ripe for manipulation. The heroism of Apple Bloom, who came to her new sibling's side just when she was needed, to drive off Mrs Rich before further damage could be done. Finally, the feelings of worthlessness afterwards which had almost overtaken her, if not for the thought of her new life with a loving family who actually had time for her, and where she could truly be who she wanted.

After all of that, Diamond began to feel a little faint, as her mental exhaustion from reliving the tragedy threatened to consume her. She'd done her part bravely though, and both Fluttershy and Apple Bloom couldn't be prouder of her. Letting her rest for a moment, Fluttershy turned to Apple Bloom with a look of clear admiration on her face.

"You know, Diamond is so lucky to have somepony like you around to support her." The yellow pegasus remarked. " The amount of commitment and compassion you've shown towards her is astounding, considering your past history. This is going to be the start of a long, difficult ordeal for her, but I can't think of anypony better to fight in her corner with her than you. I think we can honestly say, whatever else you do in your life, you've changed her fate for the better. And I'm sure she realises that."

Apple Bloom was about as humble as a pony could be, but the thought that she'd helped out Diamond in such an important way gladdened her heart for both herself and the pink filly. It was especially meaningful coming from the mare who'd successfully reformed and befriended Discord, so she was bound to know something about the subject.

"The problem is, though..." Fluttershy continued, a frown etched on her face. "What do we do next? I mean, my first instinct would to be tell Applejack, but we all must also respect Diamond's wishes. She sent everypony else out of this room apart from us for a reason. With you, I think it's because you knew her secret already, and she trusts you implicitly. With me, I'd say she realises I'll always listen to other ponies difficulties, and I'll always try to always be as patient as possible. I have to say though, I've never dealt with anything like this before..."

"I really wanted my big sister to be told too..." Apple Bloom agreed with the older mare. "But right now I'm kinda thinking I see it from Diamond's point of view. She rightly or wrongly believes she owes Applejack a lot, and doesn't want to weigh her down with even more stuff than she's got already on her mind. Plus, I know what her temper is like... It's second only to Rainbow Dash when it gets going. I don't know what would happen to Spoiled if my big sister caught wind of this before the court date, but I tell you this much: I think they'd be holding the trial in this here hospital, mainly for Mrs Rich's benefit."

This frank comment made Fluttershy hesitate even further in doing what she knew was 'the right thing', but she resolved to tackle it at a future date. Certainly during the upcoming case to decide who Diamond was going to live with if it made the difference between if she stayed with the Apples, or returned back to her former abusive environment. Maybe her devoted yet often missing father still loved her, but Spoiled would face the full extent of the law, whatever happened. The same with Upper Crust and Jet Set. Who'd have thought, at the time of Twilight's birthday, that these two snobs would later contribute to causing so much damage...

Fluttershy's musings were cut short by a tug on her wing, as Apple Bloom pointed to the now dozing form of Diamond leaning against the yellow pegasus's hind leg. "After all she's been through, she deserves forty winks..." She whispered to the older mare, while watching the gentle breathing of the pink filly. "I really want to do everything I can for her. To make her pain go away. To have her feel like a member of our family. To show her how good life can be. But I know now... I can't do it alone. We're going to need a strong group of as many ponies as possible. This includes your friends, my friends... And Silver Spoon. If Di knows that we're all around and rooting for her, I'm sure she'll pull through this! Are you with me?"

Taken aback that somepony so young could demonstrate such innate wisdom, Fluttershy stroked Apple Bloom's mane with her hoof. "Of course I am. Me and the others will do everything we can to protect your sister. It almost feels like she's a member of our little extended family already. There may be difficult days ahead, but one thing you can rely on is that we'll never stop caring about those we love, and doing what's right for them. Like now, I'd say it's a good idea for us to put little Diamond Apple here to bed, and for you to sit with her until she wakes up. What do you say?"

To the tune of Apple Bloom saying "I was gonna do that anyway", the yellow pegasus gently prised the napping child from her side, before carrying her over to the mattress and tucking her in. As the farm filly sat beside Diamond on the quilt, Fluttershy took the decision to give those cloistered outside a status report, seeing as both children seemed settled enough for now.

"I'm just going to talk to my friends a minute, 'kay?" She made her way towards the door. "You'll both be safe here. We'll be nearby, so if you need anything, just tell us..."

"You're really not going to say anything, are you?" Apple Bloom attempted to clarify Fluttershy's standpoint on the secret they were all now privy to. "At least, not until Diamond is ready to... You know..."

"No, I won't tell anypony else, if that's what she wants." Fluttershy replied, against her better judgement. "But there will come a time when your sister is going to have to make a decision about that. And I have faith, that even without our input, she'll make the right one. Now, I must go. They'll be wondering what we've been doing in here, all this time."

"Just one more thing..." Bloom stated, as the pegasus was turning away.

"Yes? What is it?" Fluttershy asked in puzzlement.

"This..." And with that the farm filly left Diamond on her own for a moment, and ran towards the pegasus to clench her in a firm hug. Initially taken by surprise, Fluttershy soon found herself crouching down to hold the smaller pony in her own hooves.

"Thank you for everything you've done, and for everything I'm sure you're gonna do for us in the future..." Bloom rubbed her head against Fluttershy's fur. "I was starting to doubt myself a bit, in whether I could really be the sister Diamond needs, but you've just given me the strength to know I can be. Applejack always tells me she respects your advice, after that thing with the bats. And now I know why."

Blushing a little, Fluttershy nevertheless tried to play down her accomplishments. "I'd say you're doing quite well yourself, without my assistance..." She reassured the farm filly. "But as I'm sure you already know, my door is always open to you and Diamond. Just be sure to knock around mealtimes, because my animals can get a bit cranky if their eating is disturbed. Especially my dear Angel..."

She stopped at this point, and realised something very important. As in: she'd left the most spoiled, petulant and vengeful bunny in town alone for hours. Without any food. Oops.

The first time this had happened, he'd kicked her out of the house (literally), which had led to her joining a minotaur's self assertion class, and in the events that followed nearly cost her two of her best friends.

The second time, having not learned her lesson, he'd unleashed all of her pets from their various homes, and she'd had to miss out on a fun picnic day with the others so she could gather them all up.

On this occasion, the consequences could be even more dire. Third time was most definitely not the charm for this rascally rabbit.

"Seeyoulatergottagomustflylookaftereachother!" Fluttershy was barely coherent, as she politely nudged Bloom away, got to her hooves and sped through the air and out of the door.

"What's eating her?" Apple Bloom was unaware of the irony of what she'd said, as she shrugged her shoulders before returning to Diamond's side. "Oh well, I suppose everypony's got a bit of Pinkie in them somewhere..."

"Why Miss Pie! I'm surprised at you! don't you know it's rude to eavesdrop?" Rarity exclaimed, shocked at her friend's chutzpah.

The party pony, caught with a stethoscope pressed against the door that she'd 'borrowed' from a nearby room, froze upon being caught in the act. "I-I was only doing it to help D-Diamond..." She stuttered. " As you know, I hate to see anypony sad, and I felt if I learned anything, I could tell Applejack, and then they could both make each other feel better!"

Pinkie glanced over at the farm mare, who was feeling pretty down in the dumps about apparently not doing enough yet to earn her new charge's trust. Her hat was pulled over her eyes, with a glum expression cast on her face.

"I appreciate what you're trying to do, Pinkie..." Rarity approached the party pony to confiscate the medical implement. "But invading the privacy of a filly is not the way to go about it! All of us are trying to get Diamond to open up, but we have to be patient. How do you think she'd feel if we asked her about something she hadn't already told us about? She'd never confide in us again, and then how would we help her? Consequences, dear. Consequences..."

"Oops, never thought about it that way before..." Pinkie backed away, feeling a little embarrassed. " That's the trouble with me. Sometimes..."

"Yes, dear. You don't think. We have noticed..." Rarity gave the party pony a small smile. "But at least your intentions are always good. Just give her some space. She'll tell us when the time is right..."

"Are ya sure 'bout that?" Both ponies spun around at the sound of Applejack's voice, the first time it had been heard since they'd left the room together. "I mean, if she'd rather talk to Fluttershy, a pony I reckon she's barely exchanged a word with before today, than me, her own foster mother, who's supposed to be looking out for her, what chance is there of her ever telling me anything? If she can't even keep me in the loop about something this important, is there any hope to have any communication between us in the future?

Rarity went straight over to the farm pony to put a comforting hoof around her neck. "Listen, darling." She reassured her friend. "This is all very new to you, so don't lose heart. I'm sure she has her reasons for what she's doing. She's an intelligent filly that one, and maybe she doesn't want to worry you. Fluttershy has a knack for things like this, so try not to fret. You saw yourself how excited she is to live on the farm. Why, within a few months, I bet calling calling you 'mother' will be like second nature to her! Not that you have much competition with the current incumbent, but even so..."

"I know, I know, I'm whining about nothing..." Applejack continued to moan, not really hearing the fashionista's words of inspiration. "It just feels weird that I'm supposed to be her guardian, yet it's my little sister who's been doing all the 'guarding', so to speak. If a ten year old filly can do a better job then me, am I really cut out to be a parent? Can I really support all of Diamond's needs? Did I really think all this through before I signed up to it?"

"My dear, I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job." Rarity answered with confidence, turning her friend's head around to make sure she was actually listening this time. "You'll handle it the same way you do everything else in life. With efficiency, determination and most of all, tenderness. After all, I never tire of hearing you extol the praises of Apple Bloom, but who raised her almost single-hoofed into the model citizen she is today? Who taught her to respect others, the difference between right and wrong, and how to buck a dozen trees in record time ? That was you, darling. All you need to do is get to know your new daughter, pass those same valuable lessons onto her, and you'll connect easily! You might want to take it a little slower on the apple-bucking side, though..."

Applejack felt her spirits lift considerably upon hearing her unicorn friend's compliments, and rose to her hooves. "You're right Rarity. I don't know what I'm getting so worked up over. I already felt something special pass between me and Diamond during our little talk earlier on, and now she's whole-heartedly accepted Sweet Apple Acres as her new home, it won't be too long before we'll be able to share everything. As soon as this is all over, I'm going to host a big par... get-together, and invite the rest of the Apples to meet their new kin. If that don't make her feel like one of us, nothing will."

Rarity grinned: both at Applejack's renewed enthusiasm for the joys of parenthood, and her subtle avoidance at using the 'P' word, to avoid a shakedown by Pinkie. "That sounds great, darling. I'm sure you'll all have a fantastic time. Unlike now, it has to be said. Where is that Rainbow Dash?! The corridors are all clear now, so she should have been able to find Twilight quickly enough. What could be keeping..."

"Here I am! Here I am! Didya miss me?!" The aforementioned blue pegasus was flying through the air, once again disregarding the notices on the wall. Twilight trotted underneath, either because she chose to respect the rules, or she still preferred to walk, mainly due to her previous incarnation as a unicorn.

Rarity rolled her eyes at such a boastful display "Like a hole in the head, dear." She mumbled, unheard by anypony. Nevertheless, she went over to greet the return of her two friends with the others, eager to hear the news of how the princess had cleared the hoards of medical personnel from outside.

"Well obviously I tried talking to them." Twilight confirmed. "I prepared a long speech about how they were putting the health of their patients at risk, causing a ruckus that was putting the reputation of Ponyville at stake to visitors and even informed them that I no longer wished to even have a drink. I spent fifteen whole minutes talking to them, then..."

"It worked?" Rarity was impressed. The alicorn was an even more affluent speaker than she'd thought.

"...No." Twilight admitted, looking flustered. "I'm not even sure any of them even heard me, the noise was so intense. They just kept on coming. Their steaming mugs in hoof. Trying to pour them down my throat. You must try this, they cried. I felt trapped. Cornered. Too nervous to even remember how to teleport away! That's when Rainbow here arrived, and..."

"Ooo! Ooo! I'll field this one! It's the best part!" The blue pegasus flared out her wings in triumph. "I flew up as high as I could, and I announced that the hospital was due for an review that day, from the new inspector. Who got the job? A certain draconequus we all know and love..."

"... Really?" Rarity raised a skeptical eyebrow at this news. "I hardly think he'd be the kind of creature Celestia would assign to such a delicate task..."

"Yeah, but they didn't know that, did they?" Rainbow laughed uproariously, her sides about to split. "They rushed back to their positions so quickly, I swear I could spot speed marks in the air! Problem. Solved. Of course, I don't envy the cleaners afterwards, having to mop up all that spilt tea and clear away that broken china..."

"Rainbow, I don't mean to question your methods..." Applejack looked at her friend crossly. "But frightening everypony half to death like that. Doesn't that strike you as a little over-the-top?"

Before Dash could answer, Twilight stepped in to surprisingly defend her friend. "Usually I'd agree with you, Applejack, but in this particular case, other ponies were suffering due to my slip of the tongue, and my plans weren't working. So, in this one instance, drastic measures were possibly justified... As long as we don't make a habit of this sort of thing. I trust you won't, Rainbow?"

"Of course not, Twilight. This was strictly a one off. I would never dream about undertaking such an activity again, as saving your royal hindquarters. I bow to your authority in everything." The blue pegasus gave a giggling Pinkie a little wink, as Twilight wondered what she'd done to deserve such an unruly 'subject'.

"Anyway, apart from that..." The alicorn proceeded on. "I introduced Mr Eagle to Spoiled, back at the holding room. And may I just say, they make quite the matching pair. I don't think they'll be too many disagreements on their tactics at the upcoming trial, that's for sure. I've allowed them a bit of time alone to talk, and as soon as they've finished, I've notified Legal to inform one of the employees here to let me know, and then maybe we can finally think about leaving this hospital. Providing Diamond is all rested up, of course. Come to think of it, why are you all outside? And where's Fluttershy?"

Noticing Applejack's slight humph at her question, it was Rarity who answered the princess. "She's inside, dear, with both of the fillies, talking to them about whatever's bothering Diamond. Applejack here feels a little put out that her new daughter chose to go to Fluttershy first about her personal problems, but as I've already told her, she mustn't worry. Your child is in good hooves right now, with that mare..."

Seeking to expand upon Rarity's comforting words, Twilight approached her farm pony friend. "Listen Applejack..." She confidently predicted. "Diamond knows what she's doing. I'm sure this won't impact your relationship at all. And, look on the positive side. Your child couldn't ask for a more calm, level-headed, placid pony to confide in..."

It was at this point that the door burst open, nearly making Pinkie see stars in the process, as a yellow-hued blur swept past them to the strains of "HavetoleaveAngelprobablytearinguptheplaceinmyabsencetalktoyoulaterbye!"

The accompanying wind disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, leaving the remaining five mares in a state of utter confusion. And a very annoyed Rarity with a sudden fluffed-up mane crisis.

"Was that..." "Nah, it couldn't have been..."

The coach arrived at it's destination, and all three fillies jumped out, ready to see their friends.

"Thanks, that was a great ride!" Enthused Scootaloo.

"Yeah, I can't wait to do it again!" Sweetie Belle agreed.

"It was okay, I suppose..." Silver Spoon was less impressed.

"I'll wait for you kids here..." Serving Spoon nodded at each one of his passengers. "Take your time. These four stallions need rest, anyway..."

"Hey, we do have names, you know..." One near the front growled.

"Yes, and I promise you, one of these days I'll make the effort to learn them..." Serving told him, possibly sounding more arrogant than he meant to.

The trio of fillies made their way to the stairs near the entrance, with Scootaloo and Sweetie chattering away excitedly in front, and a silent Silver languishing behind, wondering exactly what she was going to say to her best friend, or how Diamond would react to seeing her again...

"Hold on you three. I'm coming too!" Came a female voice back in the coach, as Sterling Silver hopped off to join them.

All the children were surprised at this decision. "What?" Silver sputtered. " I thought you were going to wait for us. Haven't you told me before how much you hate this place? The smell of disinfectant in the air. The tatty uniforms. The fact you can't even get a decent meal..."

"I don't think they're that bad, Spoonie..." Sterling called her daughter by her nickname. "Remember, you were born in one of these 'places'. Try not to make me sound that much of a snob in front of your friends. I just prefer to be treated at home, that's all. If you have the means, you might as well use them. And I want to see how Diamond is doing too, believe it or not. She might have caused you a lot of hassle over the years, but I still care about her well-being. Besides, from everything you told me in the coach, it doesn't sound like her behaviour was entirely her fault. I might even be able to help her out with her situation, too..."

"How?" Silver continued to be perplexed at her mother's sudden interest.

"Oh, you'll find out soon enough!" She gave a cryptic smile to her daughter, as she took her hoof to guide her up the steps. "Come on, let's go! No dawdling! We should be able to get you some new prescription lenses in here, as well. Not as nice as your old ones, but beggars can't be choosers, right?"

"Yeah, let's go... Spoonie!" Scootaloo was trying hard to hold back a smirk, without much success

"That's right! No dawdling... Spoonie!" Even Sweetie was getting in on the act.

Silver rubbed her already blurred eyes in frustration. Great, more ammunition for my former victims to use against me in the schoolyard. Couple that, with what sounds like a big, bulky new pair of glasses. Karma is certainly biting me in the...


Suddenly, a yellow flash darted past, in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, along with a strong breeze.

All ponies present stopped for a moment, to ponder this strange phenomenon.

"What was that?" Sweetie Belle wondered.

"What was what?!" A myopic Silver squinted.

"Never mind, sweetheart. It's gone now." Sterling was equally nonplussed, but wanted to press on.

"I have no idea, either..." Remarked Scootaloo. "But if it's Rainbow Dash's new look, I'm going to insist that she changes it back. Yellow just isn't her colour."

Author's Note:

Ploto1953 has written a spin-off of this fic.. Basically it revolves around Diamond being sent to the dreaded St Whinneans as mentioned in my story, and the 'mischief' she gets up to there. Check out their profile to give it a read. :pinkiehappy:

I have lots of great ideas for the upcoming chapters, so don't expect writers block to creep up anytime soon. Thanks for sticking with this fic so far... And remember, accept no imitations! :twilightsmile:

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