• Published 2nd Sep 2017
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My Little Pony Friendship is Magic What If?: Volume 5 - SuperPinkBrony12

The fifth installment of a What If series, that involves the rewriting of episodes. But this collection contains only ten episodes from Seasons 1, and 4-6 (Warning!: Episodes rewritten based on personal opinion, please respect it. Thank you.).

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S6 E23: Where The Apple Lies (What If?) (Bonus Chapter)

Diamond Tiara was trotting down the road, talking to her friends, the Cutie Mark Crusaders (who had made her an honorary member not too long ago). "I never realized how much fun you girls have in one day," The pink coated filly commented with a bright smile. "It sure beats Mother's idea of fun, that's for sure. I don't see what's fun about etiquette lessons and 'learning how to be a rich pony' as she puts it. It's like she doesn't realize I'm not the same pony anymore, and I'm never going back to who I was."

"Well, if you ever need somepony to talk to, we're always here for you," Apple Bloom offered. "Once a Cutie Mark Crusader, always a Cutie Mark Crusader!"

"Yeah, and we never turn our back on a crusader in need!" Scootaloo vowed.

"You could stay the night at one of our places if you want. Once we got permission from our families of course," Sweetie Belle suggested. "It's been a long time since I last held a slumber party."

"That's a great idea!" Scootaloo exclaimed, buzzing her wings in excitement as she leaped into the air! "How about we-"

But just then, in the distance a familiar sweet sounding voice could be hearing calling "Scootaloo!". And if one glanced toward the horizon, it was possible to make out the faint outline of an amber coated pegasus mare with rose colored eyes. Scootaloo knew who that pony was, and she sighed. "Sorry, girls, guess that'll have to wait for another day. Mom wants me home early. Guess Dad must be working late again." And she quickly turned and trotted off in the direction of the voice.

"You know, I need to get going too. Sorry, Diamond Tiara," Sweetie Belle apologized. "Rarity's busy with her newest boutique, and Mom and Dad live all the way on the other side of town. They usually don't mind where I am, but even they will throw a fit if I'm not home by sundown." And she too turned and trotted off.

Now Apple Bloom and Diamond Tiara were alone, the two fillies whose families were business partners. "Let me guess, you're going to leave me too for some reason." Tiara said to Apple Bloom, eyeing the farm filly suspiciously.

Apple Bloom sighed, and nodded. "Yeah, sorry 'bout that, Diamond Tiara. I got some chores I need to get done, and I don't think my family would approve of ya helpin' out. We Apples do our assigned chores on our own with no fuss and no help unless the situation calls for it," But before she trotted off, she asked Diamond. "See ya tomorrow when your dad comes by to pick up the zap apple jam for his store?"

"Sure, I guess." Tiara sighed, then watched as her last friend trotted off into the distance. Seeing no other options, the pink coated filly decided it was best to just head home. With any luck, maybe her mother would still be at the spa and the filly would be spared another harsh lecture.

Making her way up to the front gate of her family mansion, it was only now that Diamond got a good look at herself. She was covered in tree sap and pine needles for reasons she still couldn't believe. "Guess that's the last time I let Scootaloo talk me into bungee jumping," She thought to herself, just before the pink coated filly spotted the faint traces of a turned up snout, and she nearly jumped back in surprise! "Oh no, just my luck Mother would be home early! I can't let her see me like this, she'll surely ground me!" Stricken with panic, the filly's mind started to scheme! She needed to find a way to sneak into the mansion and get cleaned up, before her mom could lay eyes on her disfigured state of appearance.

"I know, I'll sneak around to the pool and come in through there!" Diamond decided. "Nopony would ever suspect that! And even if Randolph spots me, I can always pay him to keep quiet. It's worked before." And that's just what the filly decided to do. Unfortunately, trying to squeeze in through the pool side gate proved to be rather difficult, thanks in no small part to the sticky sap still clinging to Tiara's pink coat. "Stupid tree sap!" She mumbled, a bit too loudly!

Having heard the angry shout of protest, Spoiled Rich darted around to the back! Sure enough, her eyes fell upon her head strong daughter, covered from head to hooves in tree sap and pine needles, not to mention an unhealthy coat of dust. "Well, well, well, what have we here?" Spoiled remarked with a frown. "It's not enough that you've publicly humiliated me twice, now you're tracking dirt and grime into my house? And after all I've done for you?"

"Nice to see you too, Mother," Diamond muttered under her breath, as she finally managed to squeeze on through the gate and land right at the hooves of her mother. "If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to wash off the sap and pine. And I'm in no mood for one of your lectures."

But Spoiled's eyes narrowed, and she grabbed her daughter by the ear (one of the few places void of tree sap or pine needles). "Well too bad, a lecture is just what you're going to get, young filly! I've had up to here with your ungratefulness, especially since you're hanging out with those 'Cutie Mark Crusaders' losers!"

"I wasn't hanging out with them!" Tiara protested.

"Oh, and just how do you explain your current state of appearance?" Spoiled asked with a snarl, dragging her daughter along (even as Diamond dug her hooves into the ground to try and resist). "I wasn't born yesterday you know."

"Well I... uh.... I..." Diamond stuttered, before she quickly thought up a lie. "I was just playing with Silver Spoon! Yeah, that's it! We were playing hide and seek and I accidentally hid in a tree!"

"Really?" Spoiled remarked. "Then how do you explain that torn piece of red cloth sticking to your back leg? I can think of only one way you could've gotten that. Now you're lying to me too? Well, that's strike three for you, young filly. Just wait til your father gets home and hears about this," And she dragged Diamond kicking and screaming into the bathroom. "You can just sit here til Randolph comes to clean you up, while I think of a proper way to punish you for your bad behavior. And don't think you can go pleading to 'Daddy', I'm sure he'll frown upon your behavior as well."

Fortunately, Diamond didn't have to wait long for Randolph to enter the bathroom and start a bath for her. But although it felt nice to finally be rid of the sticky sap and pine, and rinse off the dirt, the pink coated filly couldn't help but worry. Her dad seldom got mad with her, the most recent occasion had been when she'd exploited Sweetie Belle's stage fright out of pure jealousy (something Tiara suspected Sweetie hadn't truly forgotten), but when he did he was always scary and very strict. Just what would he have to say about all that had transpired just a short time ago?

Tiara soon found out. Just after she'd gotten out of the bath and had dried off, the filly exited the bathroom only to run straight into the hooves of her father, still sporting his favorite neck tie. The pink coated filly gulped. "Uh, h-hey Dad," She nervously greeted. "How was work today?"

"Fine, just fine, thank ya for askin'," Filthy Rich said in a somber tone. "I heard about your recent unsuccessful attempt to sneak back home unnoticed. Your mom made sure to provide plenty of details."

"You're in big trouble now, young filly. And you've got no one to blame but yourself!" Spoiled taunted with a snarl.

Filthy put up a hoof and silenced his wife. "That's enough, hun. No need to frighten our little Diamond anymore than you already have. I'll take care of the lecturin' and punishin', why don't you just go read your magazines? That always calms you down."

"But Filthy-" Spoiled began.

"No buts, Spoiled," Filthy interrupted. "I need to start takin' a more active role in raisin' our daughter, and that includes settin' her straight when she does wrong. If I need your assistance, I'll gladly call for it. Now please leave my sight, and leave the rest to me."

Spoiled reluctantly obliged. "Fine, but you'd better not let her push you around like she always does, dear," She grumbled. "I swear, she probably likes to boast about how she has you wrapped around her little hoof. Both my mother and my father made sure that wasn't the case with me."

"And we all know how that turned out." Diamond thought, but didn't dare say it out loud.

Spoiled turned and trotted off without another word. But the silence once she'd left didn't last long. Filthy cleared his throat and spoke. "Let's adjourn to my study, Diamond. I ain't mad at what you did, but I am disappointed."

"Why is that, Father?" Tiara nervously asked, swallowing a lump in her throat.

"You'll know soon enough." Was all that Filthy replied with, and needless to say those vague words created a lot of uncertainty for his daughter.

Soon, father and daughter were in Filthy's private study. The fireplace crackled, as a roaring fire lit up the room. Diamond had opted to sit on a small leather couch, while Filthy sat in his favorite reclining chair made of soft cloth. "So, do you know what is you're in trouble for, Diamond?" Filthy asked his daughter.

"I... think so," Diamond gulped. "I tried to sneak into the house, didn't clean myself up before I entered, and lied to Mother about where I'd been."

"Actually, only that last one," Filthy said to his daughter. "Lyin' is a serious thing, Diamond. Maybe once in a while it won't do any harm, but in time it can become a very bad habit to keep. One that I don't want ya pickin' up if I can help it."

"It was just one little lie, and Mom easily saw through it," Tiara protested. "It's not like I've been doing it a lot."

"Even so, you know better than to lie about things like that," Filthy lectured. "I know you and your mom don't really see eye to eye on a lot of things, includin' your choice of company, but that's no excuse to lie. What if we didn't know where ya were, 'cause you lied to us or didn't tell us the whole truth? Or what if you got hurt while hangin' with your friends and didn't tell us?"

"And why do you care so much about honesty?" Tiara asked her father. "You're not the Element of Honesty, and as far as I know you've never told a lie in your life. In fact, you have a reputation for being the most honest and humble business pony in all of Equestria."

All of a sudden, without warning, Filthy Rich threw back his head and laughed. He laughed long and hard, to the point where Diamond wondered if her father had snapped and gone crazy for some reason. Fortunately, the stallion eventually regained his composure, wiping tears from his eyes. "Well, that may be the case nowadays, but it certainly wasn't always the case."

"What?! You must be joking, there's no way you were ever dishonest!" Tiara exclaimed.

"It's true, I tell ya," Filthy replied with a nod. "My honesty and humbleness is somethin' I picked up over time. In fact, I once told a lie that nearly cost me the business deal with the Apple family, and got me on Granny Smith's bad side. I've never told ya story before, have I?"

"No, I don't think you have." Diamond recalled, raking her brain for any memories of that story. There were none, her mind drew a blank.

Filthy smiled, before he looked all around to make sure he and his daughter were alone in his study. Once the stallion was certain the coast was clear, he leaned back in his chair and said with a smile. "Well then, get comfy, my little Diamond. Because I've got quite the story to tell, and I think you're very much goin' to like what you here," Then he began to narrate: "It all started before you were born, heck I'd only just met your mother 'bout half a year ago when it all happened." And this is how the story unfolded:

Filthy Rich and his young bride to be Spoiled were out in town, taking in the sights. "I can't tell ya how pleased I am to have ya as part of the family," He said to Spoiled. "It's almost all I've been thinkin' 'bout for weeks."

Spoiled (her mane and tail styled into a pigtail held up by a braid) just replied with a faint smile. "Whatever you say, dear. I know you're thrilled to be running your grandfather's store now, and you're eager to show me off to your clients, but is all of this really necessary? Why not pack it up and move to Canterlot? A town like this isn't really my taste, it reminds me too much of my parents' farm."

Filthy only laughed. "Come now, Spoiled, hun. I like to keep the business firmly in its roots. My grandpappy founded Barnyard Bargains right here in Ponyville, and I ain't 'bout to soil his legacy by uprootin' and movin'. Canterlot is at the top of cities to expand to someday though," Then suddenly he spotted two familiar looking earth ponies, and called out to them. "And look, here come two of the ponies to whom my family owes everythin', the apple siblings, Big Macintosh and Applejack."

"Oh, hey there, Filthy Rich!" Applejack greeted (at the moment she didn't quite come up to Filthy's height, not that she was small, it's just that her brother was abnormally high for ponies his age and those genes hadn't been passed on to Applejack).

"Just Rich, please," Filthy insisted. "And I'd like you to meet my fiancée, Spoiled Milk. Honey, this is Applejack and Big Mac, the two hardest workin' ponies at Sweet Apple Acres."

"You work on a farm? How... quaint," Spoiled remarked, trying to sound interested. "Guess it's a small world after all, I happen to be from a line of dairy farmers myself. Not that I particularly like the idea of it, too smelly for my tastes."

Filthy chuckled a little as he cautioned. "Oh, now, dear, be nice. After all, Sweet Apple Acres makes zap apple jam. It's one of Dad's best-sellers."

"You mean one of your best-sellers," Spoiled corrected, as she then said to Big Macintosh and Applejack. "My amazing husband-to-be is running the Rich family business now. Did you know that? Well, now you do. After all, it's all he ever talks about, when he's not gushing over me."

"Honey, I just told ya to be nice," Filthy lightly scolded, and then he apologized. "Don't mind Spoiled Milk. She's just proud of me, and I'm eager to please," Then he added. "Uh, but she's right. I'm in charge of the store now, and I'm just burstin' with new ideas I wanna try! Ideas that'll really bring in the profits and make Barnyard Bargains a household name."

"Like what?" Applejack asked, her curiosity aroused.

Having been unexpectedly pressed, Filthy decided on the first idea that had come to his mind, one that he hadn't actually gotten approval for just yet. "Well, how 'bout this?" He proposed. "Cider season's just around the corner. So why not let me sell it for ya in the store? We can split the profits."

"That is an interestin' idea." Applejack agreed.

Big Macintosh thought otherwise. "Well, maybe it's interestin' for the likes of you. But it's definitely not a new idea. Granny Smith told us that your grandpa, Stinkin' Rich, used to ask her every year if he could sell our cider in your store, and Granny told him every year about the tradition of everypony in Ponyville linin' up out at Sweet Apple Acres to get their cider. I don't think she'd change her mind just 'cause you're runnin' the store now."

"So, maybe it's time the next generation had a say in things," Filthy suggested. "Maybe it's time to start a new tradition. After all, I'm sure some day, one o' y'all will take over the farm just like I've taken over the store. Now, I ain't a bettin' stallion, but I'm guessin' it'll the one with the best ideas who takes charge."

Big Macintosh quickly spoke up. "Well, now, as I've said many a time before, ideas are all well an' good, but you can't plow a field—"

But Applejack interrupted, thinking otherwise. "Ya know what, Mr. Rich? How 'bout this? We'll give ya three barrels of cider early, and if it sells well, then we'll make a deal for the rest? Sound good to you?"

Filthy's eyes lit up with delight! "Oh, hey, now! That's perfect! You provide the cider, and I'll take care of the rest!" He told Applejack, then he turned to Spoiled Milk and happily told her. "Come on, honey. I've gotta get everythin' ready. Dad's gonna be so proud of me!"

Once Filthy and Spoiled had left the Apple siblings, Spoiled nervously looked at the stallion to whom she was engaged, and said to him. "Uh, dear, you do know that your father didn't give you permission to make deals without his approval, right? To say nothing of how your grandfather will feel about you making deals with the Apple siblings and not telling Granny Smith about it."

"Ah, what the Apple siblings don't know what hurt 'em," Filthy retorted. "So maybe I lied a bit about what runnin' the store actually meant. It'll be all be water under the bridge once that cider sells, and Barnyard Bargains is rollin' in the bits. Granny Smith would have to be a fool to say no, with the profit split we'll both get what we want. I'll be able to expand, and Sweet Apple Acres can finally get that renovation it's been long overdue for."

"Whatever you say, dear." Spoiled replied, knowing full well that when Filthy got one of those crazy ideas he was so famous for, there was no stopping him.

"Boy did I bite off more than I could possibly chew," Filthy laughed, pausing his story for a brief moment to catch his breath. "I really should've listened to your mom's advice, would've saved me a lot of trouble."

"I never knew Mother had a past that was so.... unwealthy," Diamond commented, surprised at this revelation. "She always told me her cutie mark was the result of her being raised by the finest jewelers in Equestria. Should've figured that was an exaggeration."

Filthy nodded. "Your mom ain't exactly proud of where she comes from, especially not since she got her cutie mark. But if you wanna know more about that you'll have to ask her on your own terms. And if she asks, I told ya nothin'." Filthy ended the last sentence with a wink.

"So, what happened next?" Tiara asked. She had found herself growing suddenly intrigued by her father's story.

Filthy leaned back in his reclining chair, taking a moment to think about some things if the hoof put up to his chin was any indication. Then he explained. "Well, part of this story I got filled in on after the fact. Granny Smith wanted to know just how things got so out of hoof, and when I told her 'bout some of the stuff that baffled me, she let me in on her side of things. Anyway, it turns out Big Macintosh and Applejack were havin' a feud 'bout who was gonna take over the farm from Granny Smith when they got older. And that's part of what led to things gettin' so out of control." And the story resumed from there:

"I just can't believe you'd make a deal with Filthy Rich without even talkin' to Granny!" Big Macintosh lectured to his sister. "What would Ma and Pa say if they were here now, 'stead of on vacation?!"

But Applejack replied. "Who says they'd have to know, it wouldn't concern them anyways. And besides, Granny's gonna love the idea. And then she'll decide that I'm the one who should take over the farm. You'll see."

"See what?" Granny Smith asked, appearing in the barn where Applejack and Big Macintosh were standing. "Shouldn't you two be workin' on your chores, not makin' idle chit-chat 'bout nonsense? I'm tired of hearin' you two bicker back and forth all day. No wonder your parents left ya in my care while they went off on vacation, they're probably tired of dealin' with it too. And I for one don't blame 'em. Now what's this all about?"

"Applejack here had another one of her 'big ideas', like the time she thought it was a good idea to scare the pigs into eatin' their slop," Big Macintosh answered. "And I think we all know my position on such 'big ideas'. You can't—"

"'Can't plow a field with 'em.' We know!" Both Granny Smith and Applejack responded at the same time.

"Ee... right, reckon that was obvious." Big Macintosh agreed, while in his mind he thought. "I gotta think of a better response when somepony guesses what I'm trying to get at. 'Eeright' doesn't quite roll off the tongue."

Granny Smith then turned her attention to Applejack, and she sternly asked her granddaughter. "So, what's this big idea of yours, hmm? Big Mac's right that most of your other ones haven't worked out."

In spite of that comment, Applejack confessed. "Well actually, it's more of an opportunity, Granny. Y'see, we ran into Filthy Rich and his 'fiancee' or somethin' like that in town. Did ya know he's runnin' the family store now? Just took over from his dad."

"Yes, Applejack, I know," Granny Smith remarked. "Why ya think I keep such close contacts with the Rich family? Get to the point. What does this here 'opportunity' of yours mean for Sweet Apple Acres?"

Nervously, Applejack tried to explain. "Well, uh, since cider season's almost here, he—or, I-I mean, I—thought it'd be a good idea to give him a few barrels of cider to sell at the store before the season starts. Just to see if it works out."

"Oh, is that all?" Granny Smith asked, then she quickly answered. "Absolutely not!"

With a groan, Applejack pleaded. "But, Granny, why can't we sell a few barrels o' cider to Filthy Rich, just this once? And how is it any different than when you gave zap apple jam to Filthy's grandpappy to sell? I'm just tryin' to follow your example, Ma and Pa said I could learn a lot from ya."

"I'll tell you why not, Applejack. And you'd better listen too, Big Mac," Granny Smith said sternly. "Cider and zap apple jam ain't the same thing, and ya can't sell 'em the same way. The jars for zap apple jam preserve the flavor for months, it takes a long time before it goes rotten. Cider on the other hoof, that stuff spoils the second it comes out the press. And that is why every cider season, all of Ponyville lines up at Sweet Apple Acres for fresh cider! First come first serve, that's the way we've always done it! Now, ya got anymore questions you want answered?"

"Just one," Applejack replied. "Look, I get what you're sayin', Granny. But couldn't you make an exception just this once? I sort of promised, and I don't wanna soil our family's relationship with Filthy Rich. It'll only be for the three barrels I promised him, then I'll tell him what you told me. I'm sure he'll understand."

Granny Smith only shook her head. "The answer is still no, Applejack," She said firmly. "Besides, cider makin' is iffy business, ya need a good apple crop to make the best cider. And unfortunately, we're probably not gonna have a lot this year anyway, what with all the blight and all. I'm sorry, Applejack. But you'll just have to unpromise. And if Filthy Rich has a problem, he can take it up with me! I'll set him straight!" And with that, she turned and trotted away.

Big Macintosh snickered, as he taunted. "I hate to say I told you so, Applejack, but—"

Applejack growled, interrupting her brother. "You an' I both know you don't hate to say anythin'. So zip it!"

The Apple siblings weren't the only ones who got a talking to from their elders. When Filthy Rich told his dad, Stupid Rich (though he was actually rather clever), the elder Rich was anything but pleased at the deal that had been made without his approval. And sure enough, he marched Filthy to the back of the store where his office was, and his green eyes looked into his son's blue eyes. In a lot of ways, Stupid Rich looked like his son, even down to the coat and the style of the mane and tail. But Stupid Rich had a golden mane and tail, and his cutie mark depicted a sack of bits. Plus, he preferred to wear an entire suit, and not just a tie.

"Son, what in samhill were you thinkin'?!" Stupid scolded, pounding his hooves on his desk. "I finally agree with my dad to let ya run the store with me, so you get a feel for how things are run, and you go about makin' deals behind my back. And with the family to whom our family's fortune was founded on no less."

"But Dad!" Filthy protested.

"Don't you 'But Dad!' me young stallion!" Stupid lectured as he shook his hoof in front of Filthy's face. "You done screwed up somethin' fierce! My father gave up on tryin' to get Granny Smith to sell her cider in the store years ago, and I figured that was a good enough reason for me to leave well enough alone! I don't know what's worse, the fact that you struck a deal with the Apple siblings without consulting their parents or Granny Smith, or the fact that you assumed I'd approve of such backroom dealin'! That's not how we run things at Barnyard Bargains! Sure, we work our tails off to outsell and outperform the competition, but we do it the honest way, never through underhoofed tactics like secret deals! If your mother were here today, she'd be ashamed of the stallion you're turnin' into! You know full well she didn't raise you to act that way!"

Filthy hung his head in shame. "Look, I'm sorry, Dad," He apologized sincerely. "I really am. I just thought it wouldn't hurt to maybe do somethin' nice for the Apples, and do what you and Grandpappy couldn't. I reckon their folks at least will be takin' over the farm before long, Granny Smith's gotta be gettin' close to retirement. Figured the least I could do was try to strike a deal to help the next generation."

"This is exactly why I told you that all business deals had to be run by me for approval!" Stupid scolded once again. "So the next time you see those Apple siblings, you tell them the deal is off. And if they ask why, tell 'em your pappy said so. Is that clear?"

Filthy gulped, and nodded. "Yes, Father, I understand. I'll keep an eye out for 'em first chance I get."

Stupid smiled, his mood slowly improving, as he patted his son lightly on the head. "Excellent, glad ya see things my way, son. There may be a business pony in you yet. Now you'd best be on your way, I'd like this whole ordeal to be sorted before I leave for Vanhoover to talk to the Pears. Grandpear seems interested in possibly sellin' his merchendise back here in Ponyville again. And I don't want any distractions."

Filthy left his father's office, relieved to see that Spoiled had spent the entire time browsing the isles of the store and doing a little window shopping. She seemed to be especially interested in the foal care isle. "She must be really eager to be a mother," Filthy thought to himself. "Well, I reckon we'll have to hold off for a few years and get settled into our married life. A foal's gonna be quite the investment, and I wanna make it when we know we're ready to pay the price."

"Oh, there you are, dear," Spoiled greeted, strolling over to her husband. "I must say, your family's store is certainly more glamorus than it seemed from the outside. So, how did things go with you and your dad?"

Filthy sighed, as he confessed. "I'm afraid he didn't like what I had to say. He told me to tell Big Macintosh and Applejack that the deal's off. But I already went and set up a display stand for the cider."

"Well, what does that old coot know?" Spoiled remarked. "He's never worked on a farm, I have. My family used to sell milk to stores all the time and it worked out just fine for us. Maybe it's time you showed your father who really deserves to be running things around here. You know full well you want to be in charge, so why not use this as your chance to prove your father wrong and show your grandfather that you have the vision to bring Barnyard Bargains into the future."

Filthy pondered Spoiled's statement for a little bit. True, he wanted to take over Barnyard Bargains someday, and he was determined to prove himself to his father. But at the same time, he loved his dad very much, did Filthy really want to undermine his father's position just because his wife to be supposedly knew better?

While Filthy was still stewing over this, who should come trotting into the store but Big Macintosh and Applejack themselves? "Uh, hey there, Mr. Rich." Applejack greeted with a nervous way.

"And don't forget about the pony soon to be known as Mrs. Rich, Rich with a 'R'." Spoiled snorted, perceiving herself as having been insulted.

"So sorry, Mrs. Rich," Big Macintosh apologized. "We'll be out of your mane soon enough, I promise. But uh... Applejack has here somethin' she'd like to say. Ain't that right, Applejack?" And Big Mac nudged his little sister forward.

"And I've got somethin' I need to tell the both of you," Filthy Rich reluctantly began, as he prepared to confess. "You see, about that deal we made, ya know how we shook hooves and everythin'? Well..."

But before Filthy could say anything else, Applejack blurted out. "Y'see, Mr. Rich, Granny's uh... sick! Yeah, sick!"

"Wait, Granny's sick? I-I had no idea." Filthy gasped.

Nervously, Big Mac added. "Ee... yeah. Nopony did actually."

Before Filthy could press that statement, Applejack hastily added (as beads of sweet poured down her face). "Uh, what Big Mac means is, uh, we've been tryin' to keep it quiet. Don't want others to make rash decisions about doin' business with Sweet Apple Acres just because we're, uh, a little short-hooved at the moment. Hope you understand, that's why I made the deal on her behalf. Figured it's what she'd want."

"Oh my!" Filthy exclaimed, and he forgot all about telling the Apple siblings what his father had wanted him to say. "O-Of course, of course! I am so sorry. Please let me know if there's anything' Spoiled or I can do for you."

Sensing that her brother was about to speak up, Applejack simply replied. "Much appreciated. But right now, we-we only ask for your understandin' during this difficult time. Rest assured we'll let you know when Granny's feelin' better, the deal's still on."

"Mm-hmm." Filthy nodded, then watched as the Apple siblings disappeared before he had a chance to open his mouth again. "Well, so much for that opportunity. Guess there's only one way to straighten this mess out." He thought to himself.

Later that day, Filthy and Spoiled decided it would be best to pay Granny Smith a visit. It helped that doing so would give Filthy a chance to tell the Apple siblings about that cider deal, and how he'd have to call it off. Filthy knocked on the front door of the house next to the barn, even though part of him felt bad for disturbing the Apple family during supper time.

When the door opened, Big Macintosh and Applejack were there to greet him. Filthy proceeded to apologize. "Sorry to drop by unannounced. We just wanted to come by to wish Granny a speedy recovery."

Accepting the flowers, Big Macintosh seemed to almost sarcastically say to Applejack. "Look, sis. Our good friend, Mr. Rich and his fiancée... are here. Oh, and they brought flowers! For Granny! On account o' she's sick! Like you said. Ain't that sweet?"

Hearing the kitchen door rattle, Applejack said. "Uh, excuse me one second!" And then she rushed away before anyone could stop her!

"What's goin' on here?" Filthy asked Big Macintosh. "Is your sister okay? She's actin' kind of weird."

"And where is Granny Smith exactly? Perhaps we could come in and see her?" Spoiled suggested.

"If not, that's fine. I've got somethin' I'd like to talk to you and your sister about if possible." Filthy insisted with a smile.

Just then, Applejack came bursting back into the room and she shouted! "You can't see Granny, neither of you can! She's sick, like really really sick!"

"With what exactly?" Spoiled asked with concern. "It's not anything fatal or contagious, is it?"

"Oh no, nothin' like that," Applejack hastily answered. "But we had to take her to Ponyville General just before you got here, just to be safe. Doctors say she's been workin' herself too hard in her advanced age and it wore her body down. They reckon it'll be a while before she's back on her hooves. 'Course, we Apples know Granny's a fighter! Don't we, Big Mac?"

"Huh?" Big Mac asked, as if he wasn't aware of any this. When Applejack ribbed him he quickly answered. "Oh, ee... right, right, of course. Guess it just slipped my mind so we've got so many other things to worry about. Bad luck it had to happen while our parents on vacation. Hope they don't have to cut it short to come and get us," Hastily changing the subject, he asked Filthy. "So, you said you wanted to talk to us 'bout somethin' if it were possible?"

"I... uh..." Filthy stammered, the words he wanted to say refusing to come out. At last he managed to croak out. "Just wanted to offer my condolences for your granny's condition and ask for directions to her hospital room. I'd hate to see these flowers go to waste."

"I don't remember the room," Applejack hastily answered. "And I don't think Granny Smith would want anypony to see her in her weakened state. But I'll let her know you stopped by, thanks a ton, Mr. Rich."

"Same to you, Applejack." Filthy replied, and then he and Spoiled left without saying another word.

However, once they'd left Sweet Apple Acres, Spoiled was quick to turn to her husband to be and ask him. "Dear, why didn't you tell them the deal was off back there when you had the chance? I thought that's what your father told you to do. Or are you suddenly taking my advice? I certainly didn't intend for you to do it now that Granny Smith is sick."

"I'm sorry, honey," Filthy apologized. "But I just couldn't bring myself to say it to their faces. They've been through enough as it is, they don't need to be worryin' about what me breakin' off a deal means for their family. I figured we'll just stop by the hospital to see how Granny Smith's doin', and tell her to tell her grandkids I'm callin' off the deal. Granny's an understandin' pony, she'll know how to break it to 'em. And my old stallion won't have to worry a pretty little hair 'bout Granny refusin' to work with us. See, I'm smart, everythin's gonna work out just fine."

Spoiled eyed her husband, as if she somehow doubted him or had another idea in mind for what he could do. But all she said to him was. "Fine by me, Filthy, darling. I'd have told it to those... young ponies the first chance I got, but then I'm not in your horseshoes, so it's not my place to say. I'm sure this will indeed work out in your favor."

But upon entering the hospital's waiting room and trotting up to the desk, both Filthy and Spoiled were surprised to learn that there was no record of Granny Smith being admitted for any reason. At least, not from the records the nurses could pull up. "I'm sorry, we're a bit overwhelmed at the moment," Nurse Redheart apologized. "We've been asked to assist a hospital in Fillydelphia with a sudden flu outbreak. It's possible Granny Smith's room number was lost in the chaos, our book keeping staff have been struggling to keep track of all our patients. If possible, try to track down one of the doctors, they might be able to help you."

Just then, Applejack came trotting up to Filthy and Spoiled as she said with a nervous laugh. "Fancy meetin' you two here!"

"Of course, my husband to be figured it would be nice to pay your dear old granny a visit." Spoiled said to Applejack.

"Well, I'm glad we found you, because I can't seem to find Granny's room or any nurses who know where she is," Filthy told Applejack. "You sure she's sick? Or did she just hurt herself and the doctors patched her up and sent her home?"

"Oh no, she's plenty sick alright. But I reckon it what she got ain't contagious if you're just comin' for a quick visit," Applejack insisted. "If you're lookin' for Granny's room... Well, just go down here, take a left, then a right, go down some stairs, up a bunch more stairs, uh, through the cafeteria, left three more times, and then you're there! Easy as Granny's apple pie!" She finished that sentence with another nervous laugh.

Spoiled looked at Filthy as though she wanted him to say something, but Filthy took no notice, especially since he saw Applejack trotting off down the corner. "Uh, aren't you comin' with us? I was hopin' we'd get a chance to talk." Filthy offered.

"You go on ahead!" Applejack hastily encouraged. "I gotta find Big Mac! I get the feelin' he'd love to talk with ya two!"

"Once again, I didn't take the chance to just tell Applejack 'bout the fact that the deal was off," Filthy narrated to his daughter. "Instead, I let her slip away. And you'll never guess what happened next. Even to this day I can hardly believe everythin' turned out the way it did."

Diamond, now fully intrigued by the story and the events surrounding it, eagerly asked with eyes all a glow! "What happened?! Tell me, please!"

"Alright, but I reckon you ought to know that a lot of this I only learned about through Granny Smith after it all went down," Filthy cautioned. "Anyway, your mom and I followed Applejack's directions, not realizin' we'd been sent on a wild goose chase. And while we were wanderin' about, Applejack was puttin' her own plan into motion." And here is the rest of the story Filthy told:

By a stroke of luck, Applejack had found an unoccupied hospital room with an unused bed. And she was currently instructing to her brother. "All right, climb up here and I'll cover you up. Then I'll just bring Mr. Rich and his... whatever he called his special somepony in, tell 'em you're Granny, but you're not allowed to take the sheets off 'cause you're so sick. You moan a few times, they leave, and this whole thing is over."

Big Macintosh, naturally, opposed the entire idea! Putting his hoof down he told his sister. "This is spinnin' way out of control, Applejack! Don't you know what throwin' the sheet over somepony usually means?!"

"I do, which is why your mane's gonna stick just a bit." Applejack answered.

Big Macintosh wasn't convinced at all. "Now, sis, I know you thought that sellin' cider in Filthy's store was a good idea, and maybe in your mind it was. But I'll tell ya, it ain't worth lyin' to him about Granny bein' sick and needin' to go to the hospital, or fibbin' to Granny to get her to come here 'cause she thinks they need her help solvin' blight on ponies, or-"

But Applejack loudly shouted at her brother, interrupting him. "For the love of Celestia, Big Macintosh, please just listen to me for once! This ain't about my ideas. If Mr. Rich finds out about all the lies, then he'll cut off ties with us forever and the farm'll go under! Now do you want that to happen, or do you wanna help?"

Big Macintosh grumbled, even as he reluctantly obeyed. "Why can't you be Granny?" He complained. "You're her size, your coat's closer in color to hers, you're a mare like her, and this is all your fault in the first place. Let me do the talkin' like ya should've done in the first place."

"I would, but if I let you do the talkin', you'd just ramble on and on until we all got caught!" Applejack protested, then instructed. "Now, just lay down, keep still, and promise me you won't say anythin' for once in your life! Okay?"

"Eeyup." Big Mac reluctantly obliged, even as he was thinking to himself. "This is the stupidest idea I've ever followed through on. There's no way this will work, not in a million years."

"Okay, now just stay quiet while I make sure Granny's out of the way and won't blow our cover. Don't even cough." Applejack instructed, and rushed out of the room to look for Granny Smith.

Having reached the end of Applejack's instructions, Filthy and Spoiled found that they were nowhere close to any hospital room. Both of them were out of breath, their legs aching from all the running and trotting they'd done.

"Dear, I hate to speak ill of your family's business partners, but I'm starting to think this is all a set up," Spoiled commented, in between gasps for breath. "And I don't think they like me very much for some reason."

"I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation behind this misunderstandin', honey," Filthy insisted. "Look, there's Applejack now. I'll just tell her 'bout the deal bein' off, and then she can point us to Granny Smith."

"Hey you two," Applejack greeted. "Looks like ya got a little lost. Sorry I wasn't there to help you follow my directions, but Big Macintosh got a little lost too. This hospital's pretty big."

"So, where's your granny?" Spoiled asked Applejack. "I mean, she is here, isn't she?"

Applejack nodded. "Well, you're in luck, 'cause it's-it's right over here, and this time I'll make sure you don't get lost," But just as Applejack was going to lead Filthy and Spoiled into the room where Big Macintosh was waiting to fool them, she saw a gurney come squeaking past, and she quickly spotted the trace of orange mane poking through the top of the sheet. "What in the dadgum—?!" She exclaimed.

"Oh great. What now?" Spoiled grumbled.

Applejack hastily (and rather nervously) answered. "He– I mean, she was right here! Oh, no. We gotta go! There's been a misunderstandin'!"

"I'll say there is!" Spoiled remarked, as she took notice of the squeaking gurney. "I-Is that Granny Smith?" She asked Applejack, who nodded in confirmation.

"Well, where are they takin' her?" Filthy asked with worry.

Before Applejack could explain, the gurney was wheeled into the operating theater! Applejack's face nearly turned pale! "You two, don't lose that gurney whatever you do!" She instructed, and took off running while frantically calling out. "Granny! Granny Smith! Granny, where are ya?!"

Fortunately, neither Filthy or Spoiled heard any of it, as they had already made their way into the operating theater. A doctor quickly escorted them to the stands. "You two just stay here, this is a sterilized environment. We can't risk contamination to the patient." He instructed quite seriously.

Suddenly, the doors to the theater burst open, and Applejack came frantically rushing in! "Stop! That's my brother!" She shouted at the doctors.

"Big Mac?!" A familiar female voice called out, soon revealing itself as Granny Smith dressed in a doctor's outfit and wearing a mask over her face.

"What's going on here?!" Doctor Stablehoof demanded! "Who let this kid into the operating theater without a mask and gown?! And who is this new doctor?!"

"Doctor? Me? Oh no, I ain't ever been to medical school, sunny," Granny quickly answered. "I'm afraid there's been a misunderstandin' here, doc. Seems my grandkids have gone and gotten themselves into trouble behind my back."

"What?!" Everyone in the audience exclaimed.

"But then, if you're Granny Smith-" Filthy Rich began.

"-Who's that under the blanket?" Spoiled finished.

As if to answer the question, there came a loud and masculine sounding cough. Granny Smith quickly rushed over and pulled the blanket off, revealing a very frightened Big Macintosh shaking and sweating like there was no tomorrow. "I might have known it," Granny Smith said seriously. "Big Mac, Applejack, I reckon you two got some 'splanin' to do, don't ya?"

"Eeyup." Was all Big Mac could bring himself to say.

Applejack sighed, she was on her own for this one. She proceeded to explain. "I'm not sure if I was worried that nopony was listenin' to my ideas or just nervous that I wouldn't be the one to end up runnin' the farm someday, but... I ended up promised somethin' to Filthy Rich that I couldn't deliver, and I was too embarrassed to admit it."

"So, Granny Smith was never sick?" Filthy asked.

Applejack nodded. "It was all a bunch of lies. A-And I thought if you found out, you'd stop doin' business with the farm. So I just kept tellin' more. I'm truly sorry, Mr. Rich, I never meant for any of this to happen. Please don't make Granny and the farm suffer for what I did! This whole thing is my fault."

Looking down at the younger Apple sibling, Filthy's guilt finally caught up to him and he confessed. "Applejack, this ain't entirely your fault. My father told me to tell you that the deal's off. And you weren't the only one lyin', I lied too. I may have been allowed to run the store, but I certainly wasn't allowed to make deals like the one we did behind our elders' backs. I just couldn't bring myself to tell you the truth, largely 'cause I was too ashamed to admit it. If I hadn't lied the way I did, you'd have never made the deal, and none of this would've happened."

"Well, that's very nice of you to say, Filthy," Granny commented, then turned to her grandchildren. "But as for you two, I don't know what in blazes you're goin' on about when you say one of you is gonna take over the farm! Far as I'm concerned, that's a long way away, I ain't goin' anywhere anytime soon!" She proceed to blow a raspberry. "Runnin' the farm. Not after this display! Not likely! And you just wait til your folks come home, I reckon they won't be happy to hear 'bout any of this."

Both Applejack and Big Macintosh gulped, as Applejack insisted. "But Granny, they'll be so ticked off! I reckon' they'll ground us for the rest of our lives!"

"Seems a bit extreme, but I'm sure they won't let either of ya off easily," Granny Smith lectured. "And sorry to say, you're gonna have to reap what you've sewn with all your lies! No Apple family member's gonna grow up rotten on my watch, not if I have anythin' to say about it!" Then she turned her attention to Filthy Rich and told him in no unclear terms. "And don't you go gettin' any ideas about cuttin' ties with Sweet Apple Acres, or I'm goin' right to your grandpappy. Get me? I can imagine he'll have some choice words if he hears about all of this."

Filthy gulped, shrinking in his seat. "Um, yes, ma'am."

"So you see, Diamond?" Filthy asked as he finished his story. "All those lies Applejack and I told made a simple misunderstandin' turn into a great big mess. If we'd just been honest with each other, we could've saved ourselves the embarrassment and the harsh punishments we got as a result. It took years before my dad was able to convince my grandpappy to give me another chance. And even then I didn't take full charge of Barnyard Bargains til the year you were born."

"I understand, Father," Diamond nodded in obligement. "I'm certainly going to think twice about lying from now on, even if it's easily seen through. But I may have to kind of 'omit some details' whenever Mother asks me where I'm going. I still don't think she approves of my choice of friends."

"Well, I'll try to have a talk with your mom in the near future 'bout lettin' her mane down a bit," Filthy suggested. "But although she has a strange way of showin' it, she does care about you and wants you to grow up right. You do need to be aware of your social standin', just a little. And you need to make sure you've got a reputation for honesty and trustworthiness. After all, when someday you take over the family business, I hope you won't make the same mistakes that I did."

"Or the mistakes Mother made." Tiara commented.

"Your mom ain't perfect, and neither am I," Filthy replied to his little princess. "And I know you and Spoiled have been havin' 'issues' on and off lately. But like it or not, you're livin' under this roof, so that means you at least have to agree to disagree with her, and the both of ya are gonna have try to at least 'pretend' to get along. You don't have to like it, but it's not healthy for the both of you to be snippin' at each other all day. That's the kind of stuff that led to the problems in that story I just told ya. You understand what I'm sayin', Diamond?"

"Yes, Father," Diamond reluctantly agreed. "But you'll stick up for me if Mother tries to make me be like her, right?"

"Of course, sweetie," Filthy said with a fatherly smile, patting his daughter on the head. "Don't you ever be afraid to talk to me 'bout stuff like that. I'll always do my best to be there for you and support you." And he and his daughter shared a passionate embrace.

Author's Note:

This episode more or less tried to explain why Applejack's honesty was so important, but the problem was that the show itself had been contradictory on her honesty prior to it. The previous episode had Applejack being dishonest with no trouble, but two episodes earlier it was a plot point that Applejack was always honest. Kids don't always need to have someone die or be seriously hurt to value things like honesty, but when the show itself can't make up its mind about the only thing close to a defining trait Applejack had at that point, trying to explain how Applejack came to value it was going to be difficult.

Not helping was the decision not to ellaborate even a little on the Apple parents, even if they were saving that for the next season. This ended up fueling a headcanon that Applejack is Apple Bloom's mother and conceived her with Filthy Rich (which why would Filthy do that and risk Granny Smith's anger after he'd already ticked her off in the flashback), which I personally despise, especially since Filthy and Spoiled are not married yet.

I decided to shift the focus to Diamond Tiara here, and I apologize for the abrupt ending. But I felt that this episode would function stronger if it was from Filthy Rich's perspective, especially since it would ellaborate a little on what he saw in Spoiled and why he married her. Which is what I tried to show here in this rewrite.

I'll try to get the final rewrite out by the middle of next week, but as always the date isn't set in stone. It's dependent on inspiration, real life issues, and free time to write.

Episodes to be rewritten:
Swarm of the Century
Twilight Time
Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?
Rarity Investigates!
Starlight and the Pies (Gift of the Maud Pie)
A Hearth's Warming Tail (Two Parter)
28 Pranks Later (Bonus Chapter)
Where The Apple Lies (Bonus Chapter)
Top Bolt

Previously rewritten episodes:
Boast Busters
Look Before You Sleep
Feeling Pinkie Keen
Green Isn't Your Color
Over A Barrel
Luna Eclipsed
The Cutie Pox
Hearth's Warming Eve
The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000
It's About Time
One Bad Apple
The Show Stoppers
Owl's Well That Ends Well
Dragon Quest
Spike at Your Service
Just For Sidekicks
Games Ponies Play
Rainbow Falls
Three's A Crowd
Filli Vanilli
Somepony to Watch Over Me
A Bird In The Hoof
A Friend in Deed
Apple Family Reunion (Bonus Chapter)
Power Ponies
Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3 (Bonus Chapter)
Castle, Sweet Castle
Appleloosa's Most Wanted
Princess Spike
Canterlot Boutique
Scare Master
What About Discord?
Bridle Gossip
Family Appreciation Day
Magic Duel
Keep Calm and Flutter On (Two Parter)
Flight to the Finish
Tanks for the Memories
Fillydelphia Follies (Made In Manehattan)
The Cutie Re-Mark Parts 1 and 2
No Second Prances
Newbie Dash
Applejack's "Day" Off
Spice Up Your Life
The Cart Before The Ponies (Bonus Chapter)
Every Little Thing She Does
Swarm of the Century
Twilight Time
Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?
Rarity Investigates!
Starlight and the Pies (Gift of the Maud Pie)
A Hearth's Warming Tail (Two Parter)
28 Pranks Later (Bonus Chapter)

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