• Published 2nd Nov 2015
  • 9,567 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 9: A New Way

Applejack warily scanned across the room, both at the shredded garments that now cluttered the floor, and at the two startled fillies, looking nervously at each other.

She might have guessed this would have happened at some point, what with all the baggage, both mental and physical, her new young charge was carrying around with her. Well, she knew what she was taking on when she agreed to let the heiress of the Rich family stay. It was time to put on her 'soft but stern' face.

"Now, now, both of you calm down. Nopony is in any trouble, we just need to get this mess cleaned up. Diamond, your feet look a mite sore. You can come with me to the bathroom in a bit, and I'll sort them out". Applejack smiled sympathetically at the pink filly.

"What? That was it?!" Tiara couldn't believe the leniency of her new caregiver. If she'd got up to these kind of dastardly shenanigans at the mansion, Spoiled would have had her guts for garters. Or at least, locked her in her room for an entire week.

"You're just going to let me get away with this?!" Diamond couldn't prevent herself from blurting out the question. This lack of discipline was completely foreign to her. She had to know if it was some kind of joke.

Applejack gave the pink filly a solemn nod. "From where I'm standing, punishment wouldn't serve any purpose. The only pony hurt around here is you when you destroyed all your clothes, and made your hooves sore. We can talk about it more later, but in the meantime you can help me and Apple Bloom pick up all this stuff. I can think of at least one boutique in town we can donate it to as haberdashery, so it's not a complete loss..."

The orange mare afforded Tiara a warm smile, and the fostered child felt a strange glow spread throughout her being. What the cause was of this sudden feeling the youngster didn't know. Relief? Pleasure? She had no idea, but it felt good. Really good.

Either way, it was time for Diamond to help clear up. She wasn't used to doing any work at all, but she guessed she was responsible for the state things were in. She worked her way out of the impression she'd left amongst the strips of fabric on the floor, took a step forward...

OUCH!!

Tiara had stepped on something sharp, which had gone through her hoof and pierced her skin. She winced, before lifting up her right hind leg to see what had caused the pain.

It was one of the slivers of glass from the broken picture frame that had been smashed during her tantrum, and a rather big one at that. Diamond could just see it protruding from underneath her foot, and so decided to try and remove it by herself.

YOWCH!!

The pink filly only succeeded in taking out half of the piece, which left the other part firmly embedded under the skin. It was worse than she'd thought, If it hurt that much now, who knows how much it would sting if she tried to walk on it? She was at a complete loss what to do next...

Before she felt a pair of strong hooves pick her up off the ground, and carry her over to the bed.

It was Applejack of course, who had seen Diamond's distress and her injury, and the orange mare had taken it on herself to get their house guest to a safer location to inspect the casualty's foot.

"Oh sugarcube, why didn't you tell me you'd broken some glass on the floor?" Asked Applejack concernedly, while Tiara blushed at the unfamiliarity of such close contact. "Hey, Apple Bloom. Forget what I said a minute ago. Stay where you are, me and Big Mac will clean this room today while you're at school. It's too unsafe for little hooves to go stomping around..."

Diamond listened with her mouth wide open. More selfless kindness, from somepony who her mother would have dismissed as a worthless hillbilly on the spot. More and more of Spoiled's lessons were starting to unravel in her mind, and it was becoming apparent that her sheltered upbringing had taught the pink filly very little about the world around her, and the ponies in it.

Just how much her mother's propaganda was going to be blown to smithereens in the days to come Tiara didn't know, but one thing was for sure: It promised to be an interesting ride.

In the meantime, the pink filly felt herself being carried to the bedroom door, as Applejack told her "Looks like I'll be opening that first aid box I got from Golden Delicious for Hearth's Eve sooner than I thought. Don't worry, sweetheart, we'll get that nasty bit of glass right out. "

The orange mare then addressed her sister. "Apple Bloom, you can go downstairs for breakfast now., but when you leave, try to stick to the perimeter of the room. Watch out for any sharp pieces that might be on the floor, too. I'll come and join you, Big Mac and Granny Smith as soon as I've taken care of business up here."

Bloom watched Applejack leave, carrying a hapless Diamond in tow, with mixed feelings. On the one hoof, it was good that her new friend was finally getting the mothering she deserved from her big sister.

On the other hoof, she remembered a certain incident from around a year ago which had caused Applejack to massively overreact to safety issues regarding the farm filly, and caused the older mare to treat Bloom like a baby for the duration of a day. She sincerely hoped that Tiara wasn't about to experience the same kind of mollycoddling.

On second thoughts, where did she put that camera?

Yes, every pony has a slightly mischievous side, even the basically decent Apple Bloom.

Don't worry, she soon ditched the idea.

Maybe...

**********

"So, who's idea was the bow?" Asked Applejack, as she got the disinfectant and medical pliers out of the kit.

"Who'd you think?!" Humphed Tiara, as she self-consciously fidgeted with it, while looking in the mirror.

The orange mare chuckled at the moody response. "Of course it was her. Silly question, really. And you say your tiara is at home. I'm surprised you left something as important as that behind..."

Diamond looked at Applejack as if she was mad. "Of course not! I had it confiscated from me the moment I got back, on account of my 'disreputable conduct'. I probably wouldn't have seen it for ages anyway, even if I were still living there. So, it really makes no difference if I remembered it or not..."

Applejack tried to hide the scowl that appeared on her face. Fancy being punished like that, for doing the right thing. "Well, I know you miss it a lot, but if you want my honest opinion I think I prefer your new look to your old. And I'm not just saying that, because my little sister wears a ribbon every living minute."

Tiara would have been inclined to scoff at the opinion of somepony so obviously biased in this matter, but then she realised, she was talking to the Element Of honesty, which gave the orange mare's words more credence than most. "R-really?" she spluttered.

Applejack smiled back at her. "Yup. You look more free, a lot less full of airs and graces, as a child should be. Getting dirty and playing with their pals, not strolling around, thinking they're lady of the manor. Just my opinion..."

Diamond considered this carefully. She'd been wearing her valuable headgear ever since she'd gotten her cutie-mark. It had been a present from Spoiled at her cute cenera, and from that moment on became almost an extension of her persona.

It was something her mother was very firm about. Wherever her daughter went, the proles must know about her illustrious bloodline, and the tiara was symbolic of that. To remove it for any length of time would be almost sacrosanct, and Spoiled made sure to drill into her offspring the importance of always leaving it on, and the unbearable shame of removing it for any length of time.

That's why taking it away had been such an efficient punishment. The intended effect had always been for Diamond, conditioned as she was, to feel utterly worthless without it, and make sure there were no more outbreaks of disobedience from the unruly filly.

Now however, free from the yoke of her mother's rules and expectations for the first time in her young life, a different mindset started to creep into Tiara's thoughts. What if, all the affection she had for the piece of jewelry that rest atop her head every single day, was...

Fake?

Manufactured?

Something instilled in her by Spoiled, and not an opinion she'd formed herself?

Whenever she'd worn it to school, she'd always stood out from her fellow pupils. She'd always used to think this was a good thing, set her apart from the commoners, assured her position as a precious stone in a sea of mediocrity.

Now, she saw the error of that viewpoint. Instead of making her important, all it had achieved was to isolate her. Made the others fillies and colts feel inadequate and intimidated. This, combined with her haughty attitude, left her all alone, save for Silver Spoon.

And even the grey filly's unimpeachable patience with her had cracked the day of the election. Who knows what awful, lonely future had laid in store for her, if it hadn't been for the timely intervention of Apple Bloom and her friends. She owed them all so much...

"Now, try not to move while I take this out. It might sting a bit, so brace yourself...". Diamond's train of thought was interrupted by Applejack's warning, as the youngster felt her affected leg being lifted in the air from her seated position, And the tiny pliers were drifting ever closer...

Tiara closed her eyes. Grit her teeth...

A little throb aanndd...

"That's it, we're all done here!" Applejack's declaration bought Diamond out of her stupor, and the pink filly was shocked at how painless the whole process had been. Her eyes flickered open, and there was the offending shard, held aloft triumphantly by her caregiver like some kind of trophy.

She really thought the orange mare was going to have to dig deep.

"Is that it?" Tiara asked, unable to believe the ordeal was over.

"Yup." Stated Applejack, matter of factly. " I'm used to this sort of thing. Why, Apple Bloom used to get splinters all the time playing on the porch when she was younger. Now, I'm going to put a bandage on your hoof. You'll still be able to walk on it, but it might ache for a few days. Try to take it easy, okay?"

"Yes, Miss Applejack." Diamond politely responded, relieved beyond all measure.

The orange mare sighed gently. "I told you before. Applejack is fine. Jus' plain old ordinary Applejack. That's who I am, and that's all I'll ever be. Now, as regards your injury, I guess that means you won't be as active round the farm as I'd like you to be. Are you sure you didn't plan this little escapade in advance?"

Applejack gave Tiara a wry smile, which turned the pink filly's face an attractive shade of scarlet. "What?! Nnnooo, of course not..."

Her caregiver stared deep into her blue eyes for a minute, before bursting into laughter. " Got you good, didn't I? You should have seen your face! It was as red as the top of a jar of zap apple jam!"

Diamond initially frowned at Applejack's juvenile prank, but, oddly enough, the more she thought about it... The funnier it seemed.

She began to chuckle...

Then, giggle...

Until finally, a hearty laugh emerged...

And the two of them were clinging onto each other, guffawing away as if their lives depended on it.

Finally, they both stopped their revelry to wipe away their tears (happy ones on Tiara, for a change).

That simple moment of levity had already formed a bond between filly and mare...

After all, it was far more fun that Diamond was used to at home, where Spoiled would have been more concerned with blood on the carpet, than comforting her daughter.

Having got her in a good mood, Applejack decided to move to the next part of the conversation she'd planned to have with her charge, and this one was a bit more serious "Listen, sugarcube... "

"Yes?" Tiara was all ears for the mare who'd helped her experience joy for the first time in months.

"I appreciate you're going through a very rough patch at the moment, and Celestia knows, I'm always up for somepony destroying a heap of overpriced, useless outfits worn by ponies with more bits than sense. But please darling, if you ever feel like blowing your top like that again, come and talk to me or one of my friends about it. Don't injure yourself by taking it out on inanimate objects. Twilight is trusting me to look after you, and Apple Bloom really cares for you..." The orange mare looked away sadly for a minute.

The spurt of happiness Diamond had felt melted away, to be replaced with hard guilt. "R-really?" she croaked.

Applejack solemnly nodded her head. "Yup. Ever since she had her cute cenera, she's been talking about all the things you and her friends can do together. She was so excited last night when you showed up with me, I think she's looking forward to having somepony her own age around the place when I'm away on Cutie Map business. So be good to each other, okay? Try not to worry her too much, that one has a heart of gold, and I'd hate to see it weighed down by the problems of those around her."

Tiara's eyes watered up, and a wave of humility washed over the formerly stuck-up filly. She looked straight at her new caregiver, and uttered possibly the most genuine sentence to ever leave her lips. "I P-promise, Applejack."

The youngster got a smile, and a light hug in response. "Good girl. Now, let's get some of this healing cream on those chafed hooves. Granny Smith swears by it. Incidentally, she's really looking forward to seeing you, just be patient with her if she goes on a bit. Now with Big Mac, you'll have the opposite problem..."

Diamond Tiara continued to listen, as soothing lotion was applied to each hoof.

She felt cared for.

Appreciated.

Valued.

It would take some getting used to.

.

Author's Note:

Well, lookee here... Third update in three days. I hope you're all enjoying the story, as much as I am writing it. See you soon! :)

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