• Published 20th Nov 2011
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Facets and Flaws - Scarlett



Diamond Tiara is spoiled, Silver Spoon is sheltered, both have secrets, will friendship survive?

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Twists and Rumors

WARNING: This story will contain adult themes including homosexuality, gender dysphoria, and other controversial themes. I will be avoiding explicit sex, however if you are offended easily, please do not read.

Facets and Flaws

By: Scarlett

Chapter 2- Twists and Rumors

For weeks, Scarlett and Silver had been inseparable, some days they played in Scarlet’s room, on others they visited town together. Whatever Silver decided on; it was a new experience for Silver— being the leader. Scarlett wasn’t quite as passive as Silver had been in her friendship with Diamond Tiara, and she occasionally asked to do something else, but for the most part, it was Silver Spoon who chose their games and what they would do.

Today’s plans called for a visit to Sugar Cube Corner.

Snips and Snails sat a corner table splitting a wheat-grass shake into separate glasses, when the two fillies walked in. Snails looked over at the two of them, and his orange brow furrowed in confusion, “Since when is Diamond Tiara a white unicorn?” he asked Snips quietly, and in all seriousness.

Snails looked over at the new arrivals, and then back at his friend; he shook his head sadly. Snails could memorize all the weird recipes from those foreign cookbooks of his, and yet he couldn’t add two plus two to get four unless it involved cups of flour. “You dummy, that's not Diamond Tiara, that’s some new pony,” he said in his scratchy voice, then pausing to consider the implications before asking, “Hey, are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Yeah, that day it was raining chocolate milk was pretty awesome,” Snips answered.

Snips face-hoofed, “No, not that— I just realized Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon haven’t bullied us in weeks, and now one is here and the other isn’t, what’s it mean?” Snips was mostly asking himself, even if he got a reply from Snails, he knew it wasn’t likely to make sense.

Snips turned in his seat to get a good look at the new filly in town. She was a bit plain, not really his type, but she was dressed really nice, her red jacket and black skirt looked expensive. Another rich brat, he made his snap judgement, still staring.

Snails spoke up again, loudly, as things finally clicked in his tiny brain at the worst possible moment, “But, why isn’t Diamond Tiara here?”

“Just drink your shake Snails,” Snips groaned, hurriedly turning away as the girls looked over at them, the back of his neck prickled with their stares.

The two fillies whispered to each other, and giggled, “I just loathe a pony who, like, leers at young fillies and noses into other pony’s business, how about you Scarlett?” Silver asked her friend.

“Oh, yes, especially the colts that look you up and down, but lack the courage to say hello.” came the reply.

“Who can blame them for that? Who would want to talk to tall and stupid, and a little fatso?” Silver ramped up the vitriol, giggling at her own awesomeness, she had missed the insults, the gloating, the power over lesser beings.

Silver Spoon had looked over at her friend who had remained quiet, she was expecting her to continue the assault, but instead Scarlett was looking sadly at her in disappointment. Scarlett had felt the two colts had deserved some chastising for their rudeness, but she didn’t realize Silver would be so so cruel. Silver’s smug expression slowly deflated; for minutes an awkward silence hung over the room.

Mrs. Cake arrived to take the girl’s order, breaking the silence, and allowing the two colts to slip out of the store, but not before Snips tossed Silver a venomous glare. Silver fidgeted in her seat. She didn’t quite understand what had just happened, this wasn’t the way it was supposed to work, the boys were supposed to run out in tears while they laughed at them. Her new friend needed to be taught the way the game was played, “Why did you stop me from picking on those losers?” she asked, feeling a bit let down.

“Silver, you are my friend, but that was really mean.” Scarlett began with a sigh, “They were rude, but attacking somepony personally like that, about things that they can’t change really hurts. Has nopony ever called you four-eyes or something, don’t you know how it feels?”

“Well, sure, but they were only losers and blank flanks, so its not like they mattered,” Silver said with full conviction.

Scarlett was amazed, she didn’t think anypony could get over such things so easily. Hurtful words like those had always hit her hard, “Well, it matters to me, I wouldn’t want anyone saying something like that about you, what if someone was saying those things about me? I’m not as strong as you Silver, I’d probably cry, I’ve been teased before and I know how it feels.”

“But I’d never say anything like that to you!”

“No, but someone else might.”

“Well, I’d tell them to stop.” Silver said, smiling as if that solved everything.

“That’s why I made you stop. Those two aren’t my friends or anything, but its the same thing,”

“But, they are such creepy dweebs,” Silver complained, not ready to give in completely.

Scarlett laughed, “Hrmmm, well, he was creepy; I didn’t like those beady little eyes of his staring at me,” Scarlett gave Silver a bright smile, and let the subject go knowing she wouldn’t get any further right then, “Just try to be nice, okay?”

Silver smiled back, she still didn’t understand why her friend was being so uptight, but she did not want to feel her disapproval. The past few weeks had been great- though her friend’s stuffed animal obsession was getting a bit exasperating. She had made her three plush toys already, and after the last one had made Scarlett promise not to ask for another until next summer. Though maybe she would surprise her for Hearth's Warming?

“Its gonna taste so good,” Scarlett cooed as their tarts arrived, ready to focus on lighter topics, her eyes flashed as she suddenly remembered something, “Hey Silver, did you get a new dress for the Summer Sun Celebration? I got mine its so awesome, a Rarity Original.”

***

While the girls lost themselves in their discussion of fashion and gossip, Snips and Snails were spreading gossip of their own. First they ran into Archer, and told him that Silver seemed to have ditched Diamond Tiara for some new girl. Archer in turn told Mirror, who told Peppermint Twist, who immediately galloped over to Sweet Apple Acres and the Crusader’s Clubhouse (They’d dropped the Cutie Mark portion of their name when the the last of the group had finally gained her mark). From there it spread to every filly and colt in Ponyville, and the story grew with each telling.

***

One day, as midsummer neared, Applebloom, a yellow earth filly with long, bright red hair and freckles, had just finished telling the latest rumor to the other Crusaders: Sweetie Belle, a unicorn, and Scootaloo, a pegasus. There was something about pirates and ninjas and a duel to the death; Sweetie really hadn’t been paying much attention. Scootaloo on the other hand had acted out every scene of the story, and as it wrapped up was balancing on the back of one of their chairs, which was in turn balancing on only two of it’s legs. Sweetie Belle marveled at her friend’s agility, it was only to be expected- the orange filly had a scooter on each flank, a sign of her athletic prowess, she had been the first. Applebloom had been the next of the trio to get her cutie mark, the Apple family’s newest barn was replicated in miniature on the flanks of it’s designer. Gaining her mark had taken a lot of hard work, and judicious use of power tools. Sweetie Belle had been the last.

She still didn’t like singing in public much, but the silver bell and purple music notes on her white flank meant she was good at it. She liked writing songs, and she loved singing songs, maybe with practice she would get used to the knots and butterflies that appeared in her stomach every time she so much as thought about doing it in front of anypony.

“So do yah reckon its true Sweetie Belle?” Applebloom asked, bringing Sweetie out of her daze.

Sweetie paused, far longer than most ponies would, “If whats true?”

“The story, with the duel an’ all.” her friend replied patiently.

While she considered the story, softly tapping on her cheek, Sweetie thought that something about the story just couldn’t be right. What was it?

“No, its not true at all,” she finally said, stating matter of factly, “Cause nopony is dead.”

“How do you know?” asked Scootaloo excitedly, “Nopony has seen Diamond Tiara in weeks, I wonder where Silver Spoon hid the body.”

“I have,” said Sweetie, leaving her friends a bit puzzled.

“Have what?” her friends said at nearly the same time.

“I’ve seen Diamond Tiara,” she replied.

“You have?! Where? Did she say what happened? Is she sad? Was she bein’ a jerk? Did she call you names again? Should ah beat her up?” Sweetie Belle lost track of who said what in the flurry of questions.

Sweetie paused, sticking out her tongue a bit as she went over each question in her mind, her friend's faces were brimming with excitement, but as the pause grew longer, they both calmed down, and Applebloom began to get a little suspicious.

Sweetie Belle took a deep breath and began:

“Yesattheplaygroundyesshewasreallysadatfirstnowsheisnotwellmaybealittleandnononamecallingandnodon’thurthersheismyfriendnow.” There, she had said it all, and she knew that an argument was coming.

Applebloom and Scootaloo looked at each other while trying to piece that all together. “So ya’ll are sayin’ you an that snobby varmint are friends naow?” Applebloom asked.

“That is so not cool, you can’t be friends with her,” added Scootaloo.

The two began to recount the many mean things that Diamond had done to them over the years, their protests growing louder as they went on. Sweetie’s new friend was being called horrible things by her two best friends, and Sweetie was getting mad. She began to stamp her hooves in frustration, “Shut up! You don’t know, you were gone at camp, and I was all alone; we played everyday, and she doesn’t call me a foal when I wanna swing on the swings!”

Scootaloo winced as she remembered saying just that, the last time Sweetie had wanted to play on the playground, “About that, umm, it was mean,” Scootaloo shrugged as she tried to swallow her pride, “I’m sor-”

Sweetie cut her off, “No you’re not! You just can’t stand to see me cry, and I always cry when I get mad,” she sniffled and wiped at her cheek, illustrating her point.

“Yeah, you do, and it breaks my heart every time,” Scootaloo sighed sincerely, “By Celestia, its just too cute,” she pinched Sweetie's cheeks between her hooves. Scootaloo quickly resigned herself to Sweetie Belle's determination, and said, “Well just don’t let her tell you what to do, that's my job.”

Applebloom knew she had to give her blessing as well, it seemed to be important to Sweetie Belle after all, but that rich pony sure rubbed her the wrong way. “Well, long as she ain’t bein’ mean to yah— I guess.”

Swiping Scootaloo’s hooves away, Sweetie Belle gave each of her friends a short hug. “She’s been really nice to me,” she said, “But you two will always be my best friends, you know that.”

Scoot and Applebloom felt their hearts warm with the Magic of Friendship, and they both wrapped Sweetie up into a long group hug.

****

Removing the band that held her mane back in a ponytail while she worked, Peppermint Twist let out a deep sigh, her mane poofing out into its usual curly red mess. Work for the day was done, all the taffy and caramel was made, all the pots and thermometers were cleaned and prepped for the next day, and the white earth filly could finally relax. Not that work wasn’t fun, she made candy all day, and its always fun to sample the wares, but it was hard to keep it up day after day. She was very grateful for the work- it let her provide a few extra bits for her family, and she was learning the trade her cutie mark meant she was destined for, but it would have been nice to be able to just be a foal like all her friends at school. At least in the summer, she had the afternoons off, and that extra cash meant more food on the table; Twist loved to eat. She knew she’d have hips like Pinkie Pie's before too long.

Twist was very excited to get off work, she would see Appplebloom and the other Crusaders today. She was a bit jealous of Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle at times, as Applebloom spent far more time with them even though she had known her longer, but she enjoyed her friendship with all of them.

She looked around at the empty shop, adjusting her glasses, it looked like Bon Bon had left early. She would need to lock up again. Her boss had been doing that every night since she and Lyra had made up from their most recent fight. The two were more than friends, and while some ponies had an issue with that sort of thing, Twist tried not to. She didn’t quite understand it, and still felt a bit awkward when she was around the two of them; her only crush had been on Snails, but it all seemed to make sense when she saw Lyra’s eyes and the fascination they held everytime she and Bon Bon were together.

Twist had so many reasons she was thankful to Bon Bon— in fact, the year she first started working for the mare the carrot crop had gotten the blight, and because Twist's dad was a seasonal farm-hoof the family hadn’t been sure they’d make that month’s rent on their tiny apartment above the flower shop. Her employment was technically illegal, what with all the foal labor laws, but Ponyville was a small town, and everypony had turned a blind eye to the situation once they knew the details.

Cleaning up a few last messes, Twist left the shop, locking the door and taking one stair at a time down the short steps in front of the cottage. As she reached the street she looked left, then right, but didn't see anypony. She grumbled, those three were supposed to meet her here after work today, but she didn’t see them anywhere. If those three had forgotten again she was gonna— “Oh No!” Twist groaned, she saw somepony after all- Diamond Tiara was walking her way.

“Hello Twist, I just love what you’ve done with your hair,” Diamond mocked with false sweetness as she approached, the snobby pony's eyes had an edge to them, something even worse than her usual disdain, “Dweeb sweat and powdered sugar is soooo in this year.”

Twist flushed with embarrassment, the other pony had always made her feel small, Twist knew she worked harder and got better grades, she even had more friends than Diamond, but she still managed to make her feel inferior. Diamond was only popular in the way that bullies sometimes are, everyone sucked up to her so they wouldn’t be targeted, nopony really liked her, but still, Twist was always so conscious of the other pony’s fine clothing, her well groomed mane and hooves, even the confident way she acted. Sometimes the other’s taunting made her want to curl into a ball and disappear, even when nopony else was around to hear the insults.

“Oh, whats the matter, are you ashamed of your new look? I would be too,” Diamond sniffed at the air, continuing the barrage, “Eww, what is that, it smells like poor. Haven’t you ever, like, heard of perfume?”

Diamond had backed Twist up onto the stairs and up against the door of the shop, her cruel eyes gleaming as she kept up her assault of words until Twist’s eyes had begun to tear up. She took it even further, and added a forceful hoof to Twist’s shoulder, just enough to cause her to wince and stumble as her flank hit the wood behind her, she was forced onto her hind legs as Diamond tiara pinned her fully against the door. The filly leaned in, she was so imposing just then, something in the way she was moving, or in her glare, made Twist feel frozen, powerless, she couldn't move, she couldn't fight back. Diamond licked her lips as she started to move one of her fore-hooves down Silver's chest— Diamond's eyes went wide in shock, and she jumped back from the pony, causing Twist to fall forward onto the landing at the top of the stairs. Diamond's heart was racing, her breath was shallow— how could she have hit somepony like that? She didn't want to think about what else she would have done, her face flushed as she thought about where exactly her hoof had been headed.

"I'm sorry," said Diamond, those words were ones that Twist had never heard from that pony, and in her voice, was that concern? "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to— what was I doing? How could I have done that, did I hurt you?" Diamond was kneeling down next to Twist and lifting her to her hooves.

Twist couldn't remember anything in her life that had come as a bigger surprise then Diamond Tiara lending a helping hoof, especially after what she had just done— 'and what was it that had happened, exactly? One moment she was being insulted as usual, but then— attacked?— caressed?' Twist swallowed, 'she must have been imagining it right? Wait, no. Why would she imagine that?'

Twist let the other girl help her to her hooves, and she brushed some of the dust from herself. She looked Diamond Tiara up and down- nope. Twist was definitely into colts. Was Diamond into fillies, did she like her? Why would she buck her shoulder then— she'd never seen the other filly get violent with anyone before, except to trip somepony in the aisle at school. Ouch! It still hurt; Twist grabbed at her aching shoulder and gave Diamond a puzzled look.

'Where had that come from?' Diamond wondered. That anger, that sadness- that desire. Somehow Twist had vanished before her eyes, and it had been like Silver was really there, and she had wanted to- hurt her. Diamond Tiara had started to shake, she was afraid, why was she feeling this way? She felt a hoof on her shoulder, it was Twist's.

A long awkward silence was broken by the sound of hoofsteps on cobblestones.

They both turned to see the Crusader's skipping down the street towards them, laughing and playing. Twist quickly let go of Diamond and tried to wave at them- with the wrong leg. Ouch, again.

Scootaloo and Applebloom looked at each other and fidgeted uncomfortably. What had Twist done to her shoulder, and what was that bully doing here?

Sweetie Belle scampered past those two, stopping at the base of the stairs to greet her friends "Hi Twist, Hi Diamond! What are you doin? Are you making up with Twist now too? She is a really sweet pony you know?"

Diamond was panicking, if Twist told Sweetie what had just happened. . . she'd be friendless again. Diamond wasn't used to consequences, she had never really had to think before she acted. Daddy's money solved most problems, and had opened doors most ponies never see. Also, no matter what happened before, she'd always had Silver. This summer had been trying for her. She'd had to make a new friend, and this friendship required something of her, she knew Sweetie wouldn't understand why she had done it, would hate her for it— she wasn't even sure she understood why she had done those things.

She looked up at Twist with pleading in her eyes, now it was Diamond who was powerless.

Twist saw her expression, she felt conflicted, she hated Diamond Tiara, didn't she?

"She was jutht helping me up afther I fell," Twist lisped cheerfully, internally surprised at her own decision, "and when I told her you all were coming, she offered to threet us all for ith cream!"

****

At Sugar Cube Corner, Diamond Tiara had been very careful not to let Twist out of sight with any of the Crusaders, she couldn’t have the little nerd blabbing now, but why hadn't she told? Diamond knew what she had done to each of these ponies over the years. She'd been a total bitch, and today she'd actually bucked another pony. Why was Twist protecting her?

Diamond Tiara made extra effort to be friendly to Twist, maybe she could make up for what she had done? Diamond was on her best behavior all afternoon, the epitome of politeness, and it made Applebloom shudder. Sweetie and Diamond had begun talking about the new school year, and how excited they were to be in high school. It was all so mild, so inane. It was driving her crazy.

"So Twist you're like, totally gonna go to South Canterlot too, right? Maybe we'll be in the same class again," said Diamond.

Twist had begun to fidget, was Diamond coming on to her? "Ummm, Yeth of courth, ith the public thcool afther all," she replied.

Applebloom frowned, Twist's lisp hadn't been that bad in years.

"That would be so cool," Diamond said with a fake smile, (she was adept at those), but inwardly she was laughing, as if, like she really cared if she was in the poor pony's class, she just needed her to not tell Sweetie Belle what she had done.

"Hey remember that time. . ." Scootaloo began, and hours passed in idle conversation.

Diamond was enjoying herself, she realized. She had known how kind Sweetie Belle was, and how foal-like she could be at times even before they became friends, but she had never before really gotten to know any of the others. Twist was a complete nerd like she had thought, but she wasn't afraid to say what was on her mind, and she was actually better at being a part of the conversation than Diamond was. Diamond was used to being in charge, so she kept on interrupting ponies on accident. Scootaloo was excitable, she liked to tell stories, and jumped around from topic to topic at times. Things like school bored her, so she would bring up one of the adventures she had had with her friends. Diamond Tiara had gasped when she had heard about the cockatrice, how come nopony had ever told her about that? Then there was Applebloom, she was the leader of this little group, and Diamond found herself butting heads with her occasionally. She didn't seem to like Diamond much. . . well, none of them did except Sweetie, but most of them were hiding it well. Applebloom was taking every opportunity to pick at what Diamond was saying, but she quickly discovered that the nicer she was the angrier Applebloom was getting, and it became even more interesting after that.

Eventually the fillies began to go their separate ways, Diamond Tiara had tried to insist on escorting Twist home, but Applebloom had tagged along. She had wanted to talk to Twist alone- she was still confused about some things, but that wasn't happening.

The hairs on the back of Diamond’s neck rose as Twist entered the flowershop and headed upstairs, leaving the pink filly alone in the street with the farm girl. Applebloom suddenly looked alot bigger in the dark street at night than she had in the light of the bakery. “Ah don’t know what ya’ll are doin’ tryin’ to be friendly with Sweetie Belle,” the yellow coated filly began, stretching her shoulders, “or what yah did to Twist, but I know yer up to no good, and if ah catch yah at it, I’m goin’ at yer face like its applebuck season,” Applebloom said, her threat delivered in a calm, quiet voice, with a coldness to it that Diamond had never heard before from anypony.

Diamond hadn’t spared Applebloom from teasing before, but like Silver Spoon had discovered weeks before, it isn’t so easy to be a bully when you are all alone. It wasn’t so easy when the pony before you looked like she would follow through on her threats of violence without a second thought. She hadn’t noticed before, just how strong Applebloom’s flanks were, how tight the tendons had become through years of helping out at harvest. Diamond Tiara gulped silently, hiding again behind her false smile. “How crass, and when I’m just trying to be friendly. Didn’t I just pay for a nice afternoon snack?” she asked, unable to resist a little dig at the pony in front of her.

Applebloom snorted, “Ah don’ care what yer daddy paid for,” and stomping a front hoof, she said, “ah don’ get you.” Appleblooom pawed at the dirt in frustration, “Yer daddy pays for fancy stuff, an’ yer mama teaches you ballet, ya’ll got everthin’ but yah still poke fun at everypony— ah don’ even got no parents an ah’m a better pony then yer ever gonna be.”

Diamond forced herself to keep smiling, but Applebloom had struck deep. Her shoulders grew tight and she felt the darkness coming. In her heart she knew Applebloom was right; They were all better than her. There was nothing good about her, she was rich because her father was rich, what was so great about that; She was worthless, and she had to push other ponies down just to feel like she was someone special. She couldn't do anything right, she wasn't good enough- No- Diamond, hide it deep, push it down, keep smiling. Keep smiling. Her mind drifted back to earlier in the summer, when she had asked if she could join Sweetie Belle on the playground. She had treated Sweetie as bad as she treated everyone, but Sweetie had just smiled and nodded. Sweetie Belle was better than her too, Sweetie had lifted her, treated her like any other pony— like a friend.

Diamond lost her composure and her lip began to quiver, she had sunk back into old habits today, if she wasn’t careful she could lose Sweetie as a friend. She didn’t mean to, Twist wasn’t so bad, she was really cool to be honest, she worked hard everyday after school, and still had better grades than Diamond. It was never really about Twist at all, or any other pony she had belittled or insulted; the pony Diamond hated was herself. Diamond's walls were crumbling, the world was going dark, her head was throbbing, her cheeks felt wet, her legs felt weak.

Applebloom had expected a snotty reply, not tears, and now she was flustered and confused. “Horsefeathers! Don’t nothin’ make sense this summer? Stop your snifflin’ filly,” She said, her fore-hoof had moved forward, but she stopped it before doing something silly like patting Diamond Tiara of all ponies on the head. What had gotten into the little bitch? Applebloom’s frustration culminated in the mental swear, as the other filly sat down in the middle of the dusty street and bawled, tears and snot running down her face.

Applebloom was still standing in the street ten minutes after Diamond finally left, pawing at the ground.

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