Cadance ran as fast as she could in an effort to catch up to the gurney. Images of her mother on her deathbed flashed before her eyes, and she clenched a hand into a fist. Now was not the time. She had to stay strong!
Upon reaching the infirmary, Cadance took a chair and sat down next to Sunny Flare, simply staring at her nearly immobile form. The poor girl had suffered so much as of late, and the Dean wished there was something, anything she could do for her. At the very least, she could keep watch. She'd gladly stay a little later than normal to catch up on her work if that was a result of her actions.
A couple of hours had passed, and Dean Cadance had left Sunny for a moment to use the bathroom. By the time she returned, she saw a familiar blue-haired student turning away from the unconscious girl.
"Indigo? What are you doing here?" Dean Cadence asked.
Indigo Zap started, then saw the Dean. "Making a mistake." she said, paling slightly. "I...I just wanted to see how she was doing," she said, gesturing in Sunny's direction. "B-But I didn't take into account how freaked out I'd be," she said, then shuddered.
Cadance smiled. "I told you that she's going to be okay," she said, gently putting her hands on Indigo's shoulders.
Indigo took a deep breath, then exhaled, sighing heavily. "I know you did. But that doesn't stop me from freaking out." Before Cadence could say another word, Indigo said "Please don't ask me if I'm going to be okay, I've heard that question so many times today already. And to answer that very question... I don't know. I'm just shaken. God I hope this doesn't give me nightmares."
"Indigo." Cadence said, gaining her attention. "It's commendable that you would want to check up on her, even if you two hardly know each other." She took her hands off of Indigo's shoulders. "Do you need to sit down?"
"I think I'll be okay... maybe I just need some fresh air," Indigo said. "Good talk, Dean. Good talk," she said, almost devoid of tone.
Cadance frowned slightly, worried for Indigo as she watched the student walk off. Once she was out of eyesight, the Dean sat back down next to Sunny Flare.
Some time later, Sunny Flare stirred and opened her eyes. She looked at Cadance.
"Well," Cadance said with a smile. "You did want something to do to pass the time."
Sunny rolled her eyes. "Yeah, yeah... I know."
"Have you ever thought of taking medication to curb the stomach pain," Cadance asked.
Sunny blinked. "I don't know if I want to."
"I understand why you wouldn't, but aren't you at least a little worried about the potential damage to your body?"
"You mean besides the damage already done by my..." Sunny trailed off, then sighed.
"I'll tell you what," said Sunny. "I'll talk to my parents about it, then get back to you."
"I suppose that's fair enough." said Cadance.
"What time is it, anyway?"
Cadance looked at the clock on the wall. "It's about time to go," she said. "You'd better hurry if you want to catch your bus home." Sunny bolted out of the nurse's office, leaving the Dean to blink in surprise. At least she seems to be feeling a little better. She got up, waved to the receptionist, and headed for her car. She'd come back early tomorrow to make up for lost time.
As she reached the school's exit, she noticed Lemon Zest slowly walking towards the doors. She called out her name to get her attention.
No response. Cadance sped up until was at an arm's length, then put one on her shoulder. "Lemon." The student turned around, then suddenly hugged her tightly and began crying.
When Lemon had finally calmed down, Cadance brought her to her office.
"Before I tell you what's going on, I need to send a text. I don't want my mom and dad to worry about me," said Lemon.
This must be serious if she's not calling her parents her "parentals". She always calls them that, thought Cadance.
Lemon sent a few texts back and forth with her parents, then pocketed her phone. "Sorry about that," she said. "You know how it can be with families."
"That's fine," said Cadance. Her smile turned into a look of concern. "I've noticed you haven't been yourself since lunch period ended. What happened?"
Lemon took a deep breath, and shuddered when she exhaled.
"Take your time if you need to, Lemon Zest," said Cadance.
"Thank you," said Lemon. After a few minutes, she finally began telling Dean Cadance what happened.
Once she finished, Cadance simply said "I see. That's...rather unfortunate."
"To say the least," said Lemon. "I betrayed her trust. You have no idea how bad I feel, and that's just compounded by the fact that I was her first friend." She sighed with her head in both of her hands. "At least I still have Twilight... and no offense to her, but that's little consolation to me at this point."
Cadance smiled. "That's okay, I understand."
"I do feel a little better, though." said Lemon. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to text my parentals so they can get me home and I can bawl all over them."
That's a good sign, thought Cadence.
"Thank you, Dean Cadence." said Lemon.
Lemon Zest left Cadance's office, and the Dean sighed heavily. The woes of the students at Crystal Prep, whether or not inflicted by Cinch, could be a burden at times. Feeling drained yet again, she walked over to her car and made her way home.
Cadance returned home with a heavy sigh and immediately searched through her pantry. She took out a bottle of whiskey and poured a shot. Staring at the glass, she sighed again. The Dean almost never drank alcohol and usually saved it for special occasions. This wasn't a special occasion by any means, however. After the day she had, she could use some warmth...
Cadance sighed heavily again, and downed the shot. With a sputtering noise, she put the whiskey back into the pantry and closed it as the burning in her throat persisted. At least she felt something now... Walking out of the kitchen, she headed straight upstairs, damning the rest of the world until she had to face it the next day.
Cadance closed her bedroom door behind herself and stayed in there until morning.