• Published 10th Aug 2016
  • 669 Views, 31 Comments

Light Pollution - Quillamore



When her mother drops her off on the Manehattan streets to fend for herself, Diamond Tiara takes the opportunity to mend ties with Babs Seed...and to regain just a bit of the light she had always kept herself from.

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Seventh Night: Diamonds are Forever

By the time Diamond returned to Ponyville, the sun had already sunk sleepily into the sky, and somehow or another, she felt like doing the same. Whether it was from trying to comfort Babs, the continuing events she’d faced in Manehattan, or just normal fatigue, all the pink filly wanted to do was flop back onto her familiar bed and try to avoid drama for at least a couple of days. And, for a short while at least, she was able to do just that with no distractions.

She’d been laying in her room for at least an hour, trying to will herself into sleep without really finding it. All she could really do was take the whole situation in and think about just how peaceful things were here. For a while, she’d missed the hectic life that’d come with her Ponyville misdeeds, but after visiting Manehattan, she’d felt as if she’d had enough adventure for a lifetime. So she lay quietly, thanking the stars above that she could leave this drama behind and start anew. She knew all too many ponies who didn’t have that privilege now.

As she tired of her idle routine, Diamond trotted over to her mansion’s kitchen, where newspapers folded out like tablecloths every day. As a business stallion, her father was expected to know all the news in every sector of Equestria, so the Riches were one of the few families in Ponyville that subscribed to more than one paper. Diamond’s first instinct, of course, had been to check the Manehattan Times to see if the Spellshock incident had made the front page, and she slowly moved onward to the other papers from there. Sure enough, Manehattan had been the only town to mention it, but with the way stories moved through Equestria, it would only be a matter of time before Ponyville knew everything as well.

Diamond hadn’t heard anything when the cart took her and her father towards her house, but for all she knew, the news might already be out there. Regardless, she knew the mystery she’d spent all week uncovering would be common knowledge within days. And strangely, even with all the guilt that brought her, it somehow didn’t feel that bad this time.

She couldn’t lie and say that she’d recovered, but from what she could tell, Coco was going to have more time with her family again and Spoiled would be out of the picture, at least for a little while. That in and of itself was enough to satisfy Diamond for now.

Yet again, she ended up lost in her thoughts as her eyes scrolled through the newspapers, barely even noticing that somepony else was approaching her.

“That should do it,” Filthy Rich muttered in the tiredest voice Diamond had ever heard. “I was barely able to get everypony together on such short notice, but tomorrow morning, Barnyard Bargains should be meeting about the Orange deal. From some of the letters I’ve gotten, it might not be a popular decision, but I’ll make sure everypony knows what a disaster getting involved with them could have been. Seeing this story blow up in the news should be able to do the rest.”

At first, Diamond could barely manage a response, but she still eked out a proud smile. If her mother and father would have still been married, and if Spoiled had still held any position in Barnyard Bargains besides the ceremonial one she had now, the process might not have been so simple. But here her father was, doing what he did best and delivering a big heap of justice in the process. And for once, she’d been a part of all of it.

As if he could read her thoughts, Filthy added, “Though I couldn’t have done any of this without you. You may not have gone in there expecting any of this, but you were able to get some good information out of it, anyway. I get the feeling you may have gotten even more out of it, too.”

“Absolutely,” Diamond finally said. “It might sound weird saying this, but I actually felt like a regular foal this week. As bad as it got back there, there wasn’t any pressure or anything. I could just be the pony I wanted to be, and that time, that pony was Babs’ friend.”

For the briefest of moments, she noticed that her father was looking towards some other document he’d been holding. From what Diamond could tell, it wasn’t any correspondence between him and his employees. Rather, it had a far different look to it, one that seemed like some legal documents Cheerilee had showed her in class. As much as she tried to hide her curiosity, though, Filthy caught on quicker that she’d thought.

“I figured that was how you felt,” he whispered, bringing the document closer to the table. “I know you’ve probably already heard it from a few other ponies recently, but I’m sorry, too. When I first married your mother, I thought she was a different pony, and even after that, I thought she’d go back to the way she was eventually. For a while, I thought you even needed somepony like her in your life. All those things kept you from being like other foals, and I just want to say that it doesn’t have to be like that anymore.”

Her first instinct was to console him as she had with Babs, but just when she was about to move towards him, Filthy simply placed a hoof towards her.

“It’s fine. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, even. Ever since those three fillies earned their cutie marks, you’ve become a different pony, and now I realize I want that pony to stay the way she is. Even if it means giving up on somepony I loved once...for good.”

He finally extended the document out towards Diamond, but it might as well have been written in another language. It couldn’t have been a divorce--her parents had already gotten one--and the only hint she got as to what it was about was a tiny snippet of a phrase.

‘Filthy Rich, Full Custody’

Even those weren’t the full words, but everything else around it made Diamond’s head swim in confusion. The second she was about to ask, her father answered her in simple terms.

Even if the charges against Spoiled were cleared in Manehattan, the way she’d abandoned Diamond to the streets was still enough to prove that she was an unfit mother. If this piece of paper made it through the courts without any objections, it would mean she would never have to see her mother again.

Once, a long time ago, she might have seen this as the worst punishment possible. But now that she knew the world outside Spoiled’s standards, it would be her saving grace.

“It might be hard on the two of us for a while,” Filthy admitted. “I’d have to step down as the president of Barnyard Bargains and take a lower position. But if this is what you really want, I’ll make sure I’m there for you every day, so you’ll never have to feel as alone as you did when we lived with her.”

“You’d do all that for me? Even give up the thing you love most?”

With a playful spark in his eye, Filthy Rich shook his head and picked up his filly.

“I’d do that all for you, because you are what I love most. Not some position that anypony in Equestria could fill. If I had known that from the beginning, maybe none of this would have happened.”

Somewhere, on the other side of Equestria, Diamond hoped Coco was giving Babs this exact talk right now. Because somehow or another, just seeing a parent’s love could be enough to clear all the clouds sometimes.

If this decision meant Diamond would be able to see more of it, then she would pick it every time, even if doing so made her the most selfish pony in Equestria. If it meant becoming somepony new, even if that somepony was only half of what she’d been in Manehattan, it would always be worth it.

“Besides,” Filthy whispered yet again, “if what I saw in Manehattan was any indication, I feel like the best leader of Barnyard Bargains will be right here.”

If she would have heard that any other time, her mind would’ve jumped straight into fantasizing about the future, of the day she could finally make her mother proud. For once, though, issues of pride were the least of her concerns, and for once, just being a friend had been enough to save everything.

Her father’s business. Her family’s honor. Coco’s freedom, and her own, too. There was one more, too, but it almost seemed too dramatic to even think about it. Too frivolous, the sort of thing a pony everypony should know should never think. But Diamond could certainly feel that way, and so she shouted it in her mind with pride.

Friendship saved my life.

Author's Note:

My full commentary on this story should be up on my blog tonight. For now, thank you to all the people who read it to the end!

It took me a while to get into this new setting, but I might even write a oneshot about Diamond's new life with her dad...eventually...

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Comments ( 4 )

I kinda want to see a few epilogues, specifically concerning Spoiler Milk, Mosley Orange, Coco and Babs, and how this little event would affect relations between the Oranges and the Apples.

8945891

I may just have to write some of the epilogues with the Rich family. However, since this story takes place during a part of If You Give a Little Love, more stuff about Mosely and Apple/Orange relations comes in starting in Act III.

My apologies for the shameless(?) plug.

Well, I finally got around to reading it.
And this was the perfect ending to the fic.

8990966

Glad to see you enjoyed it! Spoiled Rich getting arrested was actually my BF's idea--I was about to have her just live in shame with a ruined reputation as a punishment (specifically, her writing a memoir about "dating a child abuser" only for it to bomb immensely), but when I explained the plot to him, he asked why the police hadn't gotten involved already. It was a last-minute change, but it seems to have worked just fine.

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