So this is the story that everypony has been waiting for. I originally planned on making it a One Shot, but in the end I decided for a number of reasons to make this into a mini story. There's a reason why I'm writing this story like this. I hope you enjoy it.
This first part takes place before Twilight returned to Ponyville.
And to get rid of any confusion, Apple Bloom's birthday was coming up in Inner Demons.
A New Friendship: 10 years left
It had been three weeks after Equestria's Darkest Hour, and life was beginning to return to normal. Sugar Cube Corner had been rebuilt and they planned on reopening in another week. All the damage in the town had been repaired, and there was finally a wave of peace.
Unfortunately, life wasn't returning to normal as quickly for Apple Bloom. Her week as an adult left an impact on her. That week changed Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo as well, but it was Apple Bloom who felt the most weight from it.
Three weeks ago she made a choice to return to her life as a filly so she could live her life to the fullest. It was the right choice, she knew it, but that also meant that she wouldn't be able to be with the stallion she fell in love with. Even now, she still dreamed that they were together. Walking together, nuzzling each other, kissing...
And in all of those dreams, she was an adult...
"Lezard..." Apple Bloom said to herself. Her friends all knew what was wrong with her, even if she didn't share it. They all felt the weight of three weeks ago differently. Sweetie Belle still had that walk from when she was an adult, and had become a little more sensitive. Apparently she and Rarity were getting along a lot better nowadays, even going shopping together.
Scootaloo on the other hand became tougher. Apple Bloom heard that Scootaloo got in a serious fight with her dad, which ended with her punching him in the face and actually flying out the house (okay, she more so jumped out the window using her wings to glide, but that was more than she could do before). This was a crazy incident, because Rainbow Dash walked into her house a few minutes later, caused a big commotion, and then walked out with a saddle bag filled with Scootaloo's stuff.
Even Silver Spoon had changed a bit. Apple Bloom always thought she was mature for her age, but that week definitely hardened her. She still had issues with her parents, but they were talking now. She ultimately did enter the beauty contest with Diamond Tiara, who was also showing shocking changes. Diamond Tiara actually spoke up during the contest saying that she thought Silver Spoon should win the contest. Whether she was going to win anyway or not no one knew, because the judges felt that Diamond Tiara showed true beauty that day and they both tied for first place. They seemed to be a lot closer after that.
Speaking of Diamond Tiara, that was where Apple Bloom was going. She had no idea why, but after Equestria's Darkest Hour, Diamond Tiara began insisting that Apple Bloom start visiting her. This was weird, because it was so sudden. They hadn't even talked yet, but Diamond Tiara seemed to be reaching out. Her mother seemed to have a problem with Diamond Tiara spending time with a "commoner", but strangely that didn't stop her.
It was like she wanted to reach out to her.
"Well, here it is..." Apple Bloom said to herself looking up at the large mansion. How could three ponies live in such a big place? Apple Bloom's house only had two floors, complete with a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and four bedrooms (Apple Bloom, Applejack, Macintosh, and Granny Smith), and there was plenty of room. This just seemed over kill.
Apple Bloom walked over to the door and rang the door bell. She prayed and hoped that the pony who answered the door was anypony but her parents. Thankfully the pony who answered the door was her butler.
"Ah, hello Miss Apple Bloom," he said.
"Hi, Benson," Apple Bloom said, "Um, Diamond Tiara and Ah..."
"Yes, the young mistress told me to wait for you. Please, follow me."
He lead her into the mansion. Of course she walked past Diamond Tiara's parents. Her father seemed pleasant, but her mother gave her a dark look. Apple Bloom guessed she still had a problem with them spending so much time together.
Benson lead Apple Bloom to the back garden, which much like everything else in the mansion was huge. There was a "small" play house in the garden (about the size of Apple Bloom's house), where Apple Bloom was sure Diamond Tiara was waiting for her.
"Um, Miss Tiara," Benson called out, "Your friend Apple Bloom is here."
Friend, huh? Apple Bloom never thought she would be considered Diamond Tiara's friend. A second later the pink filly walked out of the play house with her nose up in the air as usual.
"It's about time," Diamond Tiara said haughtily, "Thank you Benson. You can go now."
Benson bowed and trotted back into the mansion. Apple Bloom walked over to Diamond Tiara.
"Sorry Ah'm a little late," Apple Bloom said, "Applejack needed mah help wit somethin at home."
Diamond Tiara sighed, "It's fine. Come on," she said walking back to the play house. Apple Bloom shook her head and walked after her. She had never seen the inside of her play house. Usually they stayed in Diamond Tiara's room, but Apple Bloom figured that ended when she had a yelling fit with her mother during her last visit last week.
"Wow," Apple Bloom said looking around once they got inside, "It's huge. Compared to our treehouse, that is."
"It's not that special," Diamond Tiara said dismissively, "They had it made for me so I'd have extra space for my toys, but since it has a refrigerator, a bed, and even a bathroom, I sometimes spend the night out here."
"Well, Ah still think it's nice," Apple Bloom said looking out the window, "Are you an' yer ma alright?"
"She's still being annoying. Dad had to push for this visit. They came to a compromise, hence why we're out here instead of in my room."
"Ah see..." Apple Bloom suddenly understood why Diamond Tiara seemed so somber about it. They were basically out here because her mother didn't want her inside. That was wrong. Diamond Tiara walked over to the window Apple Bloom was looking out of and sighed.
"She's really gets on my nerves," Diamond Tiara said darkly, "It's because of her I don't have any friends besides Silver Spoon, and that's just because she's rich too."
"So, ya don't bring nopony else here?"
"Hell no. My mom doesn't want me hanging around with anyone unless their allowance is two hundred bits or more."
Was that really her allowance? Apple Bloom resisted the urge to ask that and instead stood next to Diamond Tiara.
"Ya shouldn't let yer ma run yer life like that," Apple Bloom said, "If there's somepony ya want ta be friends wit, then be friends wit 'em."
"It's not like anypony would even want to be friends with me. Everyone thinks I the wicked witch of the west."
"Well, Ah'm yer friend, right?" Apple Bloom asked, clearly shocking Diamond Tiara a bit.
"I don't know, are you?" Diamond Tiara asked slightly harshly. The poor filly never had anyone actually reach out to her, so she didn't even know how to reach back.
"Well, ya invite me over every week, an' we do have a lot of fun. Ya even showed me sum really cool stuff in yer room. That's sounds like a friend ta me."
"But... I never..." Diamond Tiara looked a little confused.
"Ya don't always have ta state openly that yer friends ta be friends. The moment ya started invitin me over like this Ah figured we were friends."
Diamond Tiara looked down as if thinking really hard. Apple Bloom knew that she wanted to be friends with her, she just couldn't ever bring herself to ask outright. In the end she just sighed and turned around.
"I set up a few things upstairs," Diamond Tiara said, "Let's go."
Apple Bloom nodded and followed after Diamond Tiara. If Apple Bloom didn't know better, she could have sworn that Diamond Tiara seemed a little happier after that talk. Maybe there was hope for them becoming friends.
They stayed in the play house for a few hours just talking. Diamond Tiara actually had really nice stuff, and although at first it felt strange playing with the pony that made her life hell growing up, Apple Bloom had started coming to an understanding of her. She felt like there was something that had her really frustrated, but she wasn't telling anypony what that was, more than likely making her even more frustrated.
After a few hours, Diamond Tiara got tired of being inside, so they decided to go outside. Apple Bloom knew of a really nice place where you could see the sunset, so she decided to take Diamond Tiara there (a/n: this is the same cliff that Fluttershy tried to throw herself off of in Inner Demons).
"This is amazing," Diamond Tiara said as they reached the cliff.
"Ah started comin here after everythang ended. It's a good place ta clear mah head," Apple Bloom sighed and sat down. Surprisingly Diamond Tiara sat down next to her.
"Where did you go?" Diamond Tiara asked, catching Apple Bloom off guard.
"Whut do ya-"
"When you and your friends disappeared. First you left, and then Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo were gone. A few days later, things got really weird here in Ponyville," Diamond Tiara closed her eyes, "I know you and your friends had something to do with that, so just spill it."
"Whut makes ya think Ah had somethin ta do wit that attack?"
"Well, a little before you came back, three really weird ponies came to stay in Ponyville. One was a pegasus, one was a unicorn, and one was an earth pony. The earth pony spoke to me one day, and she sort of... reminded me of you... Just tell me the truth, that was you, right?"
For a few seconds things were really silent between them. Apple Bloom knew she was caught, so there wasn't a reason to deny it.
"How long did ya know?" Apple Bloom asked.
"After you ran off. I looked up the name Bayonet, and I saw a picture of what ponies thought she looked like. She looked so much like you, but I knew that wasn't you, so I guessed you were using her name as a cover. Also, they called her the Master of Harmony in the book, and the way you spoke sounded to me like you were going to do something dangerous."
"Yeah, well, Ah wus..."
"Also, I noticed that you seem different lately. I can't put my hoof on it, but you seem frustrated all the time. Even in school you have your head in the clouds, and I saw you drawing some pony in glasses."
Damn it, she had to bring up Lezard. She was that obvious, huh? Apple Bloom sighed and rested her head on the grass.
"Yer right, that wus me," Apple Bloom explained, "Twilight turned me, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo into adult ponies. Ah wus fightin fer an entire week, tryin ta save Equestria."
"And the pony in glasses?" Diamond Tiara asked softly.
"He's... a pony Ah met on mah journey. Bein stuck in an adult's body changed me, an' Ah started gettin feelins... fer him."
"You fell in love with him, you mean?"
Apple Bloom nodded, "But Ah had ta go back ta bein a kid, so he an' Ah couldn't be tagether. He's a unicorn who uses time magic, so he said that he'd wait fer me, but Ah don't know..."
"He's going to wait for you? How long?"
"He said that if Ah still loved him, then in ten years Ah wus ta go to the fountain in Canterlot Square. Ah don't think Ah'll ever fall out of love with him, but Ah still can't see him waitin fer me fer a whole ten years. Even if he can halt his aging process or time travel, the thought of ten years..."
"If he really loves you, he'll wait," Diamond Tiara said.
"Do ya think so?"
"I know so. Something like this happened in a book I read once, where the couple had to wait a certain amount of time before they could be together. You'll see, when you turn twenty, he'll be there."
"Ah hope so," Apple Bloom blinked back a few tears thinking about how much she missed him.
"In the mean time, do you think... you and I... could..."
Apple Bloom looked up at Diamond Tiara, who looked really pained for some reason.
"That we could whut?"
"W-well, I heard that you and Silver Spoon were friends... and... I wondered... if..." she closed her eyes tightly, "Be my friend too, okay?" she shouted suddenly, shocking Apple Bloom.
"Um, come again?"
"You heard me! I... want you... to be my... friend... too..." she sounded so afraid right now. This had to be the first time Diamond Tiara actually reached out to somepony for a true friendship. The only thing she knew how to do was put herself up high. Apple Bloom had to laugh a bit on the inside though, because her asking sounded more like a demand.
Well, she couldn't say no to that.
"Ah already said Ah wanted ta be yer friend," Apple Bloom said smiling, "Ah plum fergot all about all the rotten things ya said ta me."
Diamond Tiara slowly looked at Apple Bloom in shock, "You did?"
"Why don't we start over with a clean slate," Apple Bloom held out a hoof, "Ah'm Apple Bloom."
For a few seconds Diamond Tiara just stared at Apple Bloom's hoof, unable to decide what to do. In the end though, she smiled and met Apple Bloom's hoof with her own.
"I'm Diamond Tiara."
From that day forward, Diamond Tiara became a full time member of the Cutie Mark Crusaders (Silver Spoon was already considered a member). Sometimes they met in Diamond Tiara's play house, but usually they met either in Silver Spoons mansion or the tree house.
Apple Bloom had finally done it. She and Diamond Tiara were now officially friends.