• Member Since 10th Jul, 2011
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Some dork on the internet that likes ponies and flower symbolism way too much.


This story is a sequel to Diminishing Returns

In the months following the school election, Diamond Tiara has made good on her word to become a better pony. She's behaved herself in and out of class. She's kept her grades up. She's attended family therapy without complaint.
Diamond has done everything that was asked of her.

And now, it's time for Spoiled Rich to hold up her end of the contract. As part of their joint effort to grow closer, come together as a family, and ease Filthy's mind, Diamond can choose a pet. Any pet she wants*.

*Terms and conditions may apply.

In continuity with The Silver Standard and Diminishing Returns. Familiarity is recommended, but not required.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 118 )

Oh hey, there it is!

I looooooved prereading this, and I am eagerly awaiting more of it.

Patches being Patches, you guys. You know what to expect, and that is quality.

Seconded. Patchwork is knocking it out of the park with more foalhood dramedy. Fun, feels, and feathers. Can't wait for more! :pinkiehappy:

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10/10 would Patch again

Oh, this is going to be amazing.

Raspberry fondue? That doesn't seem like it'll end well unless the fondue itself is raspberry-based. Those things are so fragile, I'm not sure how many could survive getting dipped in chocolate.

Compassionate Cadance in coitus, what is THAT?

And in the Crystal Empire, Cadence sighed. It was kind of nice to know that ponies considered her enough of a "real" princess to swear by her, but the way they phrased it...

Brilliant brick joke with the handkerchief.

I love Diamond's perspective. A fascinating blend of her father's lessons and her own ruthlessness, even now. Eagerly looking forward to more. And yeah, Dainty had best run for the hills, change her name, and possibly shave off her cutie mark.


I don't think Spoiled is a good mother.

Also, I love this dove/pigeon/winged rat already.

Of course Diamond decided to pick the Philomena of pigeons. And coincidentally, this makes me much more understanding of Spoiled. Being a wedding organizer means that you have to constantly deal with not just the newlyweds, but their families... and Canterlot, it seems, is full of Very Obnoxious Ponies.

Feels like less Philomena, more Heihei from Moana lol

Just so long as 237 doesn't decide Ferdinand looks delicious.

Run, Dainty Dove! The Mexicolt border is only three days away!

Spoiled is a terrible mother, but she does seem to be trying. She's just wildly out of her depth. I think she has been told by the therapist the solution to their rift is to just spend as much time as possible with her daughter, so that's what Spoiled will do. Not compromise or show affection, just "spend more time."

Good stuff, if this is even close to the standard set by, well, The Silver Standard, this is going to be excellent.

"or a teacher rap multiplication tables."

Which can actually happen in Ponyville if Pinkie Pie does some tutoring.

Hei Hei was mostly a danger to himself: no, I think this may be the Inspector Clouseau of pigeons. With Spoiled Rich as the Commissioner.

“Oh, that’s right! I did hear you finally tied the knot some years ago. Goodness, I thought that had been a rumor. Suppose I owe Silver Frames that martini.” Carat Cut chuckled to herself. “Well, a belated congratulations to you, Mrs. Rich. It took only—what, two decades? Twentieth time’s a charm, am I right?”

Ah, the exquisite bad manners of the upper class. In our universe they'd be more vulgar. But Equestria is a magical world ruled by an all-loving godhead, so this...is the best it can make of them. And no wonder.

(But--but what about Versailles? What about l'Esprit? L'Esprit was invented by a bunch of nobodies who got invited to court because they'd do anything for a laugh. King Louis could get one just by stomping on an old man's foot. Double points if the fellow had gout.)

Something weird happened to Spoiled’s face, then. Little wrinkles creased around her round eyes, suddenly gone bright and sparkling. The hard lines of her cheekbones softened and rose like a plump biscuit out of the oven. Her bottom jaw slackened, and the corners of her mouth turned upwards.

After a moment, Diamond realized Spoiled Rich was smiling. Like, smiling the way normal ponies smiled, all happy and stuff. It fuzzed Diamond’s mane and made her feel all jumbled and weird and messed up inside. Watching her felt like watching a goldfish tap-dance, or a teacher rap multiplication tables. She might have laughed if it didn’t also feel like somepony had stepped on her stomach.

This is very acutely observed and deftly written.

On one level it says that Spoiled Rich rarely smiles and that Diamond Tiara has noticed this. But on another it states a universal but little-acknowledge truth: children find it unsettling whenever grownups behave out-of-character, even in a good way. Kids are still figuring out the world and they want the parts they think they understand to to stay constant while they figure out the rest. So when a normally-happy grownup bursts into tears or a normally-grumpy one breaks out in smiles, a kid is like No! No! Bring back the OLD Facebook!

Carat Cut narrowed her eyes. “I’m sorry?”

Diamond fluttered her baby blues and tilted her head. “You know about multitasking, right? When ponies work on more than one thing at once? Here, lemme explain it.” She clapped her hooves as if eagerly explaining a science project. “See, our family works for a living, and we do this, like, totally wacky thing where we raise our own foals. Also, I outgrew daycare eight years ago.”

This right here is the prestige. This is the crux of the story. This is beauty and tragedy and head-smacking duh-ness all rolled into one.

Because Diamond Tiara is sticking up for her mom. And neither of them realize it.

She does so indirectly, unconsciously, and only in consequence of sticking up for herself. But it's a positive acknowledgement of the fact that on some level, she finally considers Spoiled her mom. She's already acknowledged it negatively, in making Spoiled the one she rebels against (not Golden Glitter, who's never there, and not Filthy Rich, who's more of a sugar daddy than a father, but Spoiled Rich, who makes sure manners are minded and vegetables are eaten and bedtimes are observed--the parent of the three). But this is Diamond doing so for the first time in an affirmative way.

And in a very Diamond way, by being an impertinent brat who nonetheless takes no shit off anyone.

Furthermore and in conclusion, I give you the happy couple:


Their son will grow up to take Applewood by storm and scandalize Equestria with his Abyssinian girlfriend.

That ending is just deliciously devilish, you gotta love it when the shoe drops! Ohhh I can't wait for chapter two. :trixieshiftright:

Oooh a partial sequel! Good timing as I just finished TSS :twilightsmile:

Yeah, the fondue itself is raspberry based.

And in the Crystal Empire, Cadence sighed. It was kind of nice to know that ponies considered her enough of a "real" princess to swear by her, but the way they phrased it...

It also crosses over with ponies tending to swear by something related to their talents (love/matchmaking/etc. in this case) so poor Cadance gets caught in the crossfire of being both. On the other hand, she's a bigger rockstar than Celestia for the entire field of ponies with love-related cutie marks, so there's that.

Brilliant brick joke with the handkerchief.

Stuff like that is why I'm glad I do multiple drafts. I would never have thought to bring that joke around if I hadn't written the whole thing twice.

I love Diamond's perspective.

So do I, but gosh writing a post-redemption Diamond is tough. There's not much of a canon basis for how she's doing after CotLM, or how her old personality gels with trying to be less of a butt. Luckily in this case, I'm also just building on my own material, so I can at least know three things: 1)Diamond is still a grumpy little firecracker of a horse, and 2) she's not under her mother's hoof anymore, and 3) this pony is done.

Good timing! Nice to have you c:

She's a Not As Bad As She Could Have Been mother. Maybe a World's Kinda Okayest Mother?

(Full disclosure, this story's partially inspired by this episode, too)

9021731 9024239
Something like Hei Hei meets Turdy, meets the troubled youth from a 90's hood drama.

Yeah, that's basically the job: Trying to make sure everything runs smoothly and fits the clients demands while also getting the third degree from ponies she knows and hates. If she didn't honestly love the end result of her job, Spoiled would have quit years ago.

I keep imagining senarios where 237 tries it, and it gets funnier every single time. He'd probably half drown himself before he even got close, bless his heart.

Excellently observed as always, Ed.

“I wanted,” Spoiled softly said, “to do something nice for you. I thought if we started on the same page with terms we could both agree on…” Her eyes scrunched tight. “You did this on purpose.”

Lost, Diamond stared back at her. “What?”

“You… you took a gesture of kindness and twisted it.” Spoiled’s voice had become so quiet, Diamond strained to hear her. “That’s why you chose the worst possible option. Isn’t it?”

Ugh. I'm reminded all over why I don't like Spoiled. More than anything else she said in this chapter, this shows what a self-absorbed bitch she is.

Diamond kept her end of the deal and chose a pet within the rules. Yes, it's a horrible choice for a pet, but instead of chalking it up to the stupidity of youth, Spoiled assumes it's all about her. Diamond isn't an angel by any stretch, but to assume that she's just doing this purely out of pettiness is very narcissistic.

Kids make dumb choices all the time. A good parent would live up to their word and let the kid learn a lesson from their decision.

That line had low mileage, but it’d work at least another four times.

That...speaks uncomfortable volumes about Diamond's home life

A deal's a deal, Spoiled, and you have to honor it. You should be lucky you're still able to be with Diamond after all that you've put her through. :ajbemused:

My favorite part of this chapter is Dainty Dove's reaction when Fluttershy's name comes up. :flutterrage:

Also -- though Diamond isn't seeing it, I think Spoiled is genuinely trying to spare her of some hurt, because she feels Menace is not for long in this world. And I kinda think she may be entirely correct.

Dainty Dove survives after all.

Doctor Batina Belfry

Dammit, PP.

Silk napkins. I can't think of a better symbol for foolish excess than making something used to wipe up spilled food out of a fabric that should never get wet. Right up there with the limestone statue of Diamond from The Silver Standard.

I noticed the This House Has People In It reference. Nice.

Then again, she hadn’t believed Dad about his “discussions” with Mom, either. Wanted to, but didn’t. Not really.


I can't decide if "Batina Belfry" is the worst possible name for a pony therapist, or the best.

Lovely if all-too-brief moment of genuine bonding as Diamond and Spoiled avoid the mother of the bride.

Wow. Did Diamond count the contents of her coinpurse entirely by feel?

Perfect name for Diamond Tiara's pet... even if he may or may not be long for this world. At the moment, all the evidence we have there is Spoiled's desperate wishful thinking. I'll wait for further data before coming to any preliminary conclusions.

In any case, looking forward to more.

when Doctor Batina Belfry struck gold, she struck the motherlode.

This is almost as good as giving the nurse who deals with ailing ponies the name

Quite good fun with Dainty Dove.

Ah man, Spoiled totally thought there was going to be this elaborate thing where she and Diamond picked out a pet together, and walked and trained it together, and did everything together, and now she thinks Diamond is picking a pet she hates to ensure they can't bond.

Looking at last chapter and Spoiled actually smiling at the vows, it really makes you think about her special talent: She probably got that setting two ponies up, didn't she? It really makes you wonder how different Spoiled would be if she'd somehow found and married Filthy like 15 years earlier than she did.

That, while funny, ended up being a bit more serious than I expected. Quite good, though.

I love Menace's and Diamond's bond so much, it so adorable oh my god.

I was have such a heartwarming silly time, then Spoiled brought the mood down at the end. Makes for good drama and reading, so I'm glad you did it, but at the same time awwww why she have to go and ruin the mood for! :rainbowlaugh:

We have a dove. It just landed in the yard one day, probably after someone else tossed it.

7 years we've had the thing now and...

It's so dumb. My god... it's just... the dumbest thing ever. I am of the opinion a sponge has a larger brain.

All you need is Dove.

Dove will find a way.

What's Dove got to do with it?

That's the power of Dove.

Mmmmm.... Dove...


“She, um, showed up in apricot pink instead of salmon and wants to know if she needs to change.”

This has immense familiarity...

It references a wedding in Doctor Who where one bridesmaid turned up in the wrong color wedding dress. Now was that the Father's Day episode, or the End of Time part 2?

The head kept going. Slowly the neck leaned back and back and back until bopped the bottom of the shelf. It fluttered its wings, blinked out of synch, and pooped on one of the white doves.




I can't wait to see their bond grow and Spoiled be proven wrong.

Gotta love that bird!

Good job, Patches! I look forward to more!

237 is a perfect example of the consequences of inbreeding, physically and mentally screwed up. Well maybe a loving home can fix his mental problems, his physical mutations how ever...

Like I said Menace is mentally messed up, since Equestrian animals are smarter that earth ones mental problems would be worse, seeing Fluttershy is probably the best thing that could happen to him. Flutters can talk to animals and help Diamond figure out what the bird's problem is before it becomes fatal. Much to Spoiler's dismay Menace may be with them a long time.

Is he just old? Stress tends to cause serious molting as well. Who knows what he's been through under Dainty's care. Would explain her reaction to hearing getting Fluttershy to check him out. He certainly didn't feel any better after being so roughly treated by Dainty when she got upset at him.

Can't wait to see more.

ohh I didn't know you started a new story. I thought I followed you but I guess I didn't.

and this seems to be another great story from you

Smart call on Fluttershy, best to get an expert's opinion.

This is going to end in tears and/or feels, isn't it?

Dove is all you need...

That was both very scary to see the impending argument between Spoiled and Filthy from Diamond's POV and very heart warming to see how she headed it off and brought them together. Hopefully, it helps Spoiled to understand that Diamond doesn't hate her, she just hates how much of bitch Spoiled is 90% of the time.

The chapter where we hear Rich's side of things.

Diamond lashed her tail with a snort. “Right, like her life’s just so important. It’s HER fault Menace crashed in the first place because he shouldn’t have been at a wedding anyway, and then he didn’t want to get up after he fell, and she never bothered looking for him or anything.

I finally feel like I understand what Diamond sees in Menace.

I mean, would youlet someone go back to somepony who didn’t treat them right?”
For a little while, Dad sat in the empty game room and didn’t say anything.

You jerk. You're really just stabbing poor Filthy right in heart, aren't you?

This discussion was riding a fast track to a Discussion.

This part was really moving. Diamond may not be getting along with Spoiled, but she's not going to lose her!

The only part that confuses me is this: Filthy and Spoiled seem pretty sure the bird is going to die soon, but based on that doctor's note it seems like he's healthy, just a really ugly bird who is probably a bit inbred. I can't wait to see what Fluttershy thinks.

“Daddy? Do you mean ‘unique’ like a specially tailored Carousel Boutique dress, or like how Miss Cheerilee calls Scootaloo’s singing voice?”

“Like a serial number at the bottom of a paycheck.”

Exactly as unique as every other member of its kind. Though I'd argue that Menace's serial number has a few letters in it. And possibly an ampersand.

In any case, we get some deeper insight into Diamond's motivations. She sees herself in Menace, and Fil sees that she sees herself. Especially after that laser-guided guilt trip.

And the anxiety attack sent chills down my spine. Bad enough when a child feels like she's responsible for holding together a marriage. When she feels that way because she's trying to convince herself she doesn't ruin everything she touches? :fluttershyouch: It's okay, I'm sure that shot to the gut will heal soon enough.

In any case, definitely looking forward to the Fluttershy visit. It should answer a lot of questions... if Fluttershy can bear to divulge them.

The consensus here is that Menace is inbred, possibly as a consequence of trying to conserve his bloodline.

No matter. He could still build an Armada, lose it in an attempt to invade England, and bankrupt the Fugger* family of...where were they from, anyway? Ah, here:

* In an attempt to stop all the jokes, some of the Fuggers changed their name to Fokker. This did not help.

#please #pleasedontdie

Poor Diamond though, that weight of feeling like you're directly responsible for other peoples happiness, that's a hard thing to deal with... I really hope she doesn't have to deal with a dying bird too, I think it would just be too much (for me, not her :fluttercry: :raritywink:).

Thank you for the new chapter!

9133573 Menace's head will split open and reveal it was The Thing the whole time! :fluttershbad:

Or feelful tears. Maybe cupcakes and a dance party, IDK

The Thing That Came From The Wedding Registry

If he dies, she's stuck with the bill of explaining the finality and unfairness of death to a child who doesn't need another reason to dislike her. Of all the ponies in the kingdom, Spoiled's one of the worst choices for this kind of thing.
On the other hand, if he lives she has to live with the menace. Toss up which is worse.


"I sure as sugar can’t do a thing with him; he’s already off the breeding roster and flies like a baked potato."

Yeah, there's a reason for that.
I'm pleasantly surprised how many people noted the probable inbreeding. He's got top-notch papers and Dainty, while not cruel or heartless and cares for her birds, isn't the most responsible breeder in Equestria. At least she realized the mistake; a lot of real-world breeders would just run with it and hope to roll a 20 next time since Menace oughta be hitting home runs in the show ring save for... all the stuff Menace does.
D: Chapter title leak!


I'd argue that Menace's serial number has a few letters in it. And possibly an ampersand.

(I mean, he already does freak outs)

And the anxiety attack sent chills down my spine. Bad enough when a child feels like she's responsible for holding together a marriage. When she feels that way because she's trying to convince herself she doesn't ruin everything she touches?

She already ruined the last marriage, she doesn't need to ruin another one. Not after her dad finally started to be happy again.
It sadly doesn't matter how many times Diamond's been told the divorce wasn't her fault. The fact is the final catalyst was a fight about her, and half the time her birth parents meet the fights are still ultimately about her. So how can that NOT be her fault?

That was both very scary to see the impending argument between Spoiled and Filthy from Diamond's POV and very heart warming to see how she headed it off and brought them together.

The real sad thing is this really was just a mild argument. It would have led to speaking firmly at worst. Still, you can't pick your triggers. (At least she didn't go into as bad of a disassociative state this time)

You jerk. You're really just stabbing poor Filthy right in heart, aren't you?

Suffering is the price of being a favorite character. I didn't make the rules.


If he dies, she's stuck with the bill of explaining the finality and unfairness of death to a child who doesn't need another reason to dislike her. Of all the ponies in the kingdom, Spoiled's one of the worst choices for this kind of thing.

"Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective."

--P. J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners (or, Etiquette for Rude People)

Hanging out with Silver Spoon meant that she kind of had to; the filly lockbox smiled every ten seconds (along with lockbox scowls, sighs, giggles, eye-rolls, screams, and revenge fantasies).

This is perhaps the most brilliant one-sentence summation of The Silver Standard I could ask for.

One heard Fluttershy’s cottage long before they saw it.

The smell came somewhere in between.

Wow. One coo and the menagerie's ready to reenact a Hitchcock movie? Menace really is the perfect pet for Diamond.

Oh my. I wasn't expecting this level or kind of urbanity. Again, that kind of prickly facade really does mesh well with Diamond Tiara.

Spoiled stepped closer and cleared her throat again, louder this time.

“There’s cough drops in the drawer.” Fluttershy didn’t even turn her head.

:rainbowlaugh: Leave it to Fluttershy to be absolutely savage in the quietest way possible.

Ah. No luck in outsourcing this one, Spoiled. The Bearer of Kindness does not break foals' hearts on demand. Especially not when there's a chance the patient can recover... though she never said how much of a chance that was, beyond greater than zero percent.

Lockbox queen or not, Silver has become one of the pillars supporting Diamond's world. And right now, that world is teetering.

What kind of slacker woke up later than five?

Now I want to see Diamond and Apple Bloom swapping gossip on just how lazy some of their classmates are.

"I heard the Dink doesn't wake up until ten some days."
"Well no wonder she ain't never summoned a demon. How's anypony s'possed t' get anything done like that?"

In any case, this next discussion could definitely hurt. Of all the times for Spoiled Rich to listen to somepony else...

Loved Fluttershy in this one, seen through Diamond's eyes as she was. And soft as she may be, 'Shy's all business when it's the wellbeing of animals -- or little fillies, for that matter -- in question.

Also, sneaky planning has clearly been rubbing off of Silver Spoon.

Also also, poor Menace, poor Diamond, and poor Spoiled, even.

Interesting. Did Spoiled send word ahead of time "lady, you need to tell my foal their pet will die because I don't want to?" It seemed like Fluttershy was already aware of what Spoiled wanted.

Man, when Angel looks sympathetic, you are in a bad way.

I wonder if Menace's aggression is because his concussion has left him as the pigeon equivalent of Phineas Gage?

Spoiled stepped closer and cleared her throat again, louder this time.

“There’s cough drops in the drawer.” Fluttershy didn’t even turn her head.

Get absolutely wreckt, Spoiled.

Interesting to note that there is something definitively wrong with Menace beyond possible inbreeding. Although, a concussion would explain a lot. It's also hilarious the way he set off all of the other birds and insulted Fluttershy's mom to boot. Diamond could not have chosen a more perfect pet.

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