CMC in Manehatten: An Apple and Orange Mature

by Never2muchpinkie

Chapter 1: Chapter 1: New friends and old bullies.

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“Hee hee hee!”



Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo were hopping around excitedly around their car as the train pulled along. Applejack was going on a trip to Manehatten to visit her Aunt and Uncle Orange. Apple Bloom wanted to come along to visit her favorite cousin Babs, and, after some begging, she agreed to bring along her sister’s closest friends as they had missed the chance to see Bab’s during the Apple family reunion.

Applejack let out a playful sigh as she watched the three rambunctious fillies. “Settle down now, y’all. Don’t wanna be all plum tuckered out before ya even get there, ya know?” Thinking back she was glad Apple Bloom had wanted Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle to come along. After all, all four of them were still blank flanks and bothered by it. Having seen firsthand how Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon had teased them the first time Bab’s left, she knew that all of them understood the pain of being teased and bullied for something that came at a different time for everyone.

Apple Bloom rushed up to Applejack, bouncing from hoof to hoof. “Oh, Applejack! How’em I 'posed to calm down? This is the first time I’m gonna see Manehatten, and I get to spend time with Babs! This is gonna be a great day!”

“You said it, Apple Bloom!” said Scootaloo as she walked up next to her friend. “I can’t wait to see what it’s like.”

“I can’t wait to see Bab’s again. I’ve sure missed that ‘bad seed,’ ” said Sweetie Belle, completing their trio as she also walked over.

“I know. Just make sure y’all behave yourselves, ya hear? Ponies in Manehatten behave differently than they do in Ponyville,” Applejack said warningly.

“Yeeesss, Applejack,” all three of them responded, though in that way foals do when they’re just telling you what you want to hear.

An hour later the train pulled into the station.

“Now, all of y’all stick close by me,” said Applejack sternly. “I don’t need y’all getting lost the first five minutes you’re here. There’ll be plenty of time to explore once we get there, alright?”

“Fiiinnee,” The trio responded.

“Don’t worry. It’s not that far. We’ll be there in a couple minutes.”

The three excited fillies hopped around as they took in all the sites during the short walk.

When they arrived Applejack raised her hoof and tapped unnaturally softly on the door. Seeing Apple Bloom’s questioning look Applejack said, “Your Aunt and Uncle Orange are a bit hoity-toity. Don’t you remember what I told you about them when you asked for my cutie mark story?”

“Oh, yeah.”

The door opened, and there stood Mrs. Orange. “Oh, Applejack, darling. Glad you could make it. It’s been so long.”

“Oh, shucks. I missed you too. How’ve y’all been?”

A slight frown crossed her lips at Applejacks’ country tone, but she reined it in quickly. “Everything’s fine. We have a nice big group working our orange orchards, so business has been good.

“Hmmm? And who might these three be?” Mrs. Orange asked as she noticed the three ponies behind Applejack.

“I’m Apple Bloom, Applejack’s sister!” she said with pride, giving her sister a quick nuzzle.

“I’m Scootaloo.”

“And I’m Sweetie Belle.”

“Ah,” she replied. “So you’re the three that Babs has been talking endlessly about. Well, this is good. You can keep our daughter occupied while we catch up. Well, come in, come in.” As the three fillies walked inside the fancy looking apartment Applejack closed the door behind them. “I do say, that daughter of ours is so rebellious. Refuses to act like a proper Orange.”

“Well, just give it some time,” Applejack responded. “I’m sure she’ll come around eventually.”

A voice rang out, sounding abnormally loud in the spacious apartment. “Mom, Dad! I’m going out to see my friends.” As Babs turned the corner she gasped in surprise to see the fellow members of the Cutie Mark Crusaders in front of her. “Apple Bloom! Scootaloo! Sweetie Belle!” She ran over to them, and the four all hugged each other. “What are youse guys doing here?”

Apple Bloom responded, “My sister’s here for a visit so I asked if we could come along. We really wanted to see you again.”

“That’s great! You can meet my new friends.”

“Sure! I can’t wait to see the newest members of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.”

“Hey!” cried out Sweetie Belle. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if all of us got our cutie marks today?”

“That would be awesome!” said Scootaloo. “With twice as many of us now that’s twice as many ideas we can think of to get our cutie marks!”

Yeehaw!” Apple Bloom reared back, pumping her front hooves a few times. “Let’s get to it. Cutie Mark Crusaders, let’s go!”

Babs took the lead as the four of them went galloping out of the house.

Applejack cried out, “Apple Bloom! Girls! No running!” But it fell on deaf ears. They were too excited to listen. She looked awkwardly at her Aunt Orange, who looked disapproving.

Aunt Orange rolled her eyes before regaining her composure again. “It’s for the best, I suppose. At least they’ll be out of our manes for a while. I’m sure they won’t get into too much trouble.”

Knowing her sister as well as she did, Applejack wasn’t so sure about that. However, it was obvious that each of them was very happy to see the other. As long as they were together they would be okay.

As the four fillies walked down the road Babs looked on with amusement at how easily amused the other three were at every little thing. “You’ve never been to Manehatten before?” she asked.

“No,” said Apple Bloom. “I mean, Applejack’s been here before, but I’ve never been here. It’s so much better in person.”

“Well, why don’t I show you girls some of the sights around here?”

“That sounds great! Oh, but what about yer friends? Aren’t they waiting fer ya?”

“Oh, right. Let’s go get them first.”

After about ten minutes of walking a voice called out, “Well, well, well. If it ain’t ‘ol Babsy Wabsy.” A shudder went through Babs as her tail automatically slammed to her side, covering her blank flank.

Up ahead was a pegasus filly a little bit bigger than them, with a gray mane and eyes, and a pink coat. “Been missing you at school, Babsy. Heard you transferred out. How pathetic.” She took a quick look at the other three with Babs, and laughed uproariously. “I see you got a whole blank flank brigade with you! Where did you find these losers?”

“Hey!” snapped Apple Bloom. “You leave my cousin alone!”

“We are not losers!” said Sweetie Belle, her voice cracking slightly.

The filly smirked. “Well, I have to give it to you. You at least have a little bit more fight in you than Babs over there.”

“We got a lot more than that!” Scootaloo exclaimed, rearing back onto her hind legs and making punching motions, knowing that Rainbow Dash would do the same thing for her friends.

“Cute,” she replied sarcastically. “Well, I’d love to play around with you little tots a little longer but, unfortunately, as someone with talent, I’m busy at the moment.” She turned to the side, showing off her cutie mark of a soccer ball. She walked past the frozen Babs, saying back in a dismissive childish tone, “See you around, Baby Blanky Babsy.” With that she continued on her way.

“Hmph! What a jerk that girl was. Who was that, Babs?” As Apple Bloom turned towards her cousin her anger instantly went away as she saw Babs with an empty look on her face, looking completely out of it. “Babs,” She called out, getting no response. “Babs!”

“Huh?” Babs said dully, shaking her head.

“Who was that?”

“T-t-that was the biggest bully of my old school,” Babs replied. “She got most of the school to make fun of me. She gave me the nickname Baby Blanky Babsy, and everyone else started calling me that too. It was horrible.”

“Baby Blankie Babsy?” asked Sweetie Belle. “Did you bring your baby blanket to school one day?”

“N-no,” she replied. “Not blanky like a blanket. She was talking about my blank flank.” Tremors ran through her body as memories began assaulting her, of the fillies laughing at her, mocking her for not having her cutie mark. Her tail pressed more firmly against her side. “Every day it was the same thing.” A tear ran down her eye. “Every day people would pick on me, and she was the worst. Her name is Diamond Spoon.”

The trio shared looks of mutual disgust. Scootaloo crossed her hooves, saying, “Well, if that isn’t the most appropriate name for a bully I’ve ever heard.”

“You said it,” replied Apple Bloom.

“It never stopped,” Babs said, more tears running down her eyes. “Everywhere I looked were cutie marks. Everywhere but on me. The teachers couldn’t stop it all.” Her trembling legs lost the strength to support her as her despair increased, and she fell down to the ground, covering her face with her hooves, sniffing. “No one would help me, or tell me it would be okay. I didn’t have a single friend who was there for me. It… it hurt so much.

"I… just didn’t know what to do. Why couldn’t they just be NICE? I… I just felt so worthless and… stupid.” More tremors ran through her body as she began sobbing, the laughter of her tormentors ringing through her mind, drowning out all other sounds.

The three looked at Babs with pity. They could understand her pain all too well, having their own bullies back in Ponyville.

Apple Bloom was distinctly reminded of Fluttershy as she saw her shivering cousin. She walked the short distance to Babs, kneeling down and gently rubbing her hoof through Babs’ mane. “Come on, Babs,” she said gently. “It’s okay.” In her mind she was thinking of Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, and how they treated her. Most of the rest of their class didn’t bother them about their lack of a cutie mark. Even at their worst she had never been this hurt by it. Her eyes went to Babs’ tail, stilled pressed firmly to her side. Maybe it was just a bigger deal in Manehatten to be a blank flank.

As she looked at her friends suddenly Apple Bloom got an idea. “Hey, Babs. Did I ever tell ya how the Cutie Mark Crusaders were formed?”

Babs shook her head, still hiding behind her hooves and crying.

“Well, a few months ago I was sorta in the same position as you. Everyone else in my class had their cutie mark. I was feelin’ jealous and upset, and the one person I expected ta understand me had just gotten her cutie mark right when I needed some help. I was feelin’ really lonely. I felt like I would do anything ta get my cutie mark, ta be like everyone else, especially as Diamond Tiara was throwing a big party ta celebrate getting hers. I didn’t want ta go, but I just happened ta be there when it started.

“I tried ta hide the fact that I didn’t have my cutie mark, but they found out, and they started makin’ fun of me. Everyone else started laughin’ about it. But then someone spoke up…”

Apple Bloom looked meaningfully at Scootaloo, who caught on to what Apple Bloom was trying to do. She walked over by Babs and said. “I asked, ‘You got a problem with blank flanks?’ ”

“And Diamond Tiara said it meant that I was totally not special at all, and Sweetie Belle said…”

Sweetie Belle finished, “ ’No, it means she’s full of potential.’ ”

“The two of them spoke up fer me because they also didn’t have their cutie marks, and they knew how much it hurts ta be made fun of fer it. That’s when we decided ta form our group so we can all work together ta get our cutie marks. But that’s not the only reason we’re together. It’s because we’re all friends.

When I got a cutie mark (well, a fake cutie mark, long story) Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle weren’t jealous at all. They cheered me on and told me they thought I was the most special pony ever. So even after all of us get our cutie marks it won’t matter, as we’ll still be together, and we can still be the Cutie Mark Crusaders, helping other ponies who are looking for their special talent.

“And so, now that I have them, even when Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon make fun of me and it hurts, I have two very special friends by my side, and knowing that makes the pain feel a whole lot smaller because I know they’ll stick up for me and share the hurt I feel.”

Apple Bloom moved her hoof in between Babs’, gently lifting her teary face back out into the open. Babs put up no resistance. “It’s alright, Babs. Yer not at yer old school anymore. And don’t ferget… you’re not alone. Not anymore. Ya have yer new friends here in Manehatten, and in Ponyville ya have us, yer fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders. Yer a part of our group because yer our friend and family, and so all of us will share some of yer hurt. Right, girls?”

“Right!” “Yeah!” Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle responded.

Sweetie Belle spoke up, “Remember that you were sworn in in front of your fellow sisters, friends, alleys, bosom buddies…” She gave Scootaloo a joking smile, remembering her friend’s overly long speech.

“That’s right, in front of yer gal pals, amiga’s, chum-o-chums,” Apple Bloom responded with the same expression.

“Oh, ha ha. That was so funny I forgot to laugh,” Scootaloo responded sarcastically, looking annoyed, but then all three of them started laughing.

A fourth laugh caught their attention. It was weak, but a small smile crossed Babs’ face. By unspoken consent all three of them gave Babs a strong hug. Babs just closed her eyes, enjoying the sensation as her cousin’s words sank in, and some more tears fell down her face, happier this time. The laughing, taunting voices of her tormentors became the laughter of her close friends, and a measure of peace entered her heart, knowing that this was what her cousin was talking about. The love she felt around her made the pain seem absolutely miniscule by comparison. She wasn’t alone anymore. She had people who would help her now.

“I love ya, Babs,” said Apple Bloom. “Don’t ya ever forget that.”

“Thanks, Apple Bloom,” Babs replied, standing up, her tail slowly returning to its normal position.

The rest of the journey was uneventful. They entered a small park, something they were more used to, apart from the cramped buildings of the city.

They entered a cluster of trees to a small clearing where they saw two ponies: a unicorn and a pegasus. The pegasus was a golden color with an orange mane and blue eyes. The unicorn had a green coat, with a mane alternating yellow and green with yellow eyes.

“Hey there, guys!” Babs cried out.

The two turned towards her voice, their eyes lighting up as they ran over to her, calling out her name and putting a hoof around her.

Apple Bloom felt a burst of happiness at seeing with her own eyes proof that there were a few people outside of her family that cared about Babs. It seemed so familiar to her own situation with Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle.

As the two let her go the unicorn asked, “Hey, Babs. Whose these new guys?”

“Let me introduce you,” she replied. “This here’s my cousin Apple Bloom, and two of my best friends Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo.” She pointed to each of them in turn as she said their names.

“Oh!” said the pegasus. “So these are the Cutie Mark Crusaders from Ponyville you were talking about. Nice to meet you.”

“Same here,” said Apple Bloom. “So who are you guys?”

“These here are my new friends Lemon-Lime and Silver Wing.” Babs pointed to the unicorn and then the pegasus.

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo all looked with confusion at Silver Wing. They didn’t see an ounce of silver on her. Silver Wing laughed, understanding their puzzlement. With a look of pride she said, “My mom and dad named me Silver Wing because they believe I am a very special pony. You see, I have a strange pattern on my wings, one that I haven’t seen in any other pegasus I’ve met.”

With that she unfurled her wings, and the trio oohed and aahed. While the outer part of her wings were the same color as her body, the other side, usually hidden, was pure silver. “My mom said that my name is a symbol of how you shouldn’t judge people just on how they look, because hidden deep down may be special things you can’t even dream of.”

“That’s so cool!” Scootaloo exclaimed. “I’ve never seen wings like that before, not even on Rainbow Dash.”

“Who’s Rainbow Dash?”

Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom rolled their eyes, smiles on their faces. “Hope y’all packed a lunch,” Apple Bloom said. “Once she gets started on Rainbow Dash it’s hard ta get her ta stop.” A joint laugh went throughout the group with the exception of Scootaloo.

“Aw, you guys are just jealous YOU don’t have a sister that cool!” Scootaloo replied. “Rainbow Dash is only the best flyer in ALL OF EQUESTRIA! She created the Sonic Rainboom, and she is just so cool! She has an awesome cutie mark, and if it wasn’t for her YOUR sisters wouldn’t even have cutie marks!” With that Scootaloo stuck out her tongue at them.

Babs let out a little laugh, but then she sighed, her eyes fading out.

“What’s wrong, Babs?” asked Lemon-Lime.

“I ran into Diamond Spoon on the way here.”

“Oh, no. Are you okay?”

“Not really. If it hadn’t been for my cousin and our two friends I don’t know when I would have been able to get myself up to get over here.” Her tail twitched, moving partially over, but it didn’t completely cover up her side.

“We need ta do something about this!” said Apple Bloom strongly.

“Like what?”

A smile came to Apple Bloom’s face as an idea popped into her head. “We are gonna challenge Diamond Spoon ta a soccer game!”

“What?” Most of the other ponies responded flatly. Babs was the only one who didn’t, and that’s only because she was too busy trembling.

“Why?”asked Babs.

“She has a soccer ball cutie mark, so that makes it her special talent. So that means if we kin beat her then she’ll be too embarrassed ta make fun of ya anymore.”

“Ooh!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed. “That’s a great idea!”

“Hmm?” Scootaloo looked thoughtful. “We’ve never tried to get a cutie mark for that before. Maybe we can kick her butt AND get a cutie mark at the same time!”

Babs felt faint. “I can’t! We can’t win! It’s impossible. We’re just going to humiliate ourselves!”

“Come on, Babs,” said Silver Wing. “We won’t know until we try. If we work together we can do it. I’m sure of it.”

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADER SOCCER PLAYERS!” The Ponyville crusaders exclaimed, putting their hooves on top of each other. Silver Wing and Lemon-Lime followed suit. All five of them looked at Babs, patiently waiting for her to join her hoof in.

Babs looked between each of her friends. Part of her wanted to just run home and forget about the whole thing, but Apple Bloom’s words rang in her ears. ‘You’re not alone. Not anymore.’ Back then a huge part of her pain was that she had no one her own age to confide in. Her parents were so stuffy and believed she should just not let it get to her, telling her to work harder at getting her cutie mark if it bothered her so much.

She took a deep breath. She knew she might regret it, but she hesitantly joined her hoof with the others. Reluctantly, as she put her hoof back down, she said, “Follow me.”

“Where are we going?” asked Apple Bloom.

“To the soccer field. If we’re going to do this then we’re doing it now, before I change my mind.”

“Sounds good to me.”

Next Chapter: Chapter 2: The CMC vs. Diamond Spoon Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 2 Minutes
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