by FlashFoward

The Strength I Need

“Why would you even leave pain killers around him at time likes this?” Even if Red was yelling at a nurse in the hallway, her voice carried over through the walls of your room crystal clear.

“It’s not my fault he injected himself with Methadone!” The nurse retaliated.

What the nurse said was true; it wasn’t like she helped inject you with Methadone. You succumbed to your addiction because the pain in your body was just too much to bear. As of the moment, your senses were on overdrive. The thumping of your heart and the expansion of your lungs for air could be felt. Perhaps the near death experience made you more appreciative and aware of your major organs. Ace slides the door open to your room and takes a seat next to your bed, sliding a bag under his chair before getting settled in.

“You’re sure looking great!” Ace chirped happily. You couldn’t help but smile, Ace’s positive attitude was infectious like Vinyl’s.

“I feel like junk, but thanks anyway. Hey Ace, what happen after I hit my head? I can’t remember much.” You notice Ace started to look uncomfortable when you started to ask.

“It seems like you suffered a relapse, which might have been one of the reasons for you passing out. Mind you that it wasn’t long before the nurses had to shock you with the fibs. Your heart couldn’t take all the abuse.” Ace explained, looking at you anxiously.

You let out a sigh at the news and lean back into your pillows. “I’m sorry for causing so much trouble Ace.”

“Nah, I don’t blame you one bit! Personally speaking, I would have probably stabbed my eye out though.” It was hard to tell if Ace was being serious or joking around. Nonetheless, you felt grateful.

“Great, you’re awake. Hey Ace, did you get it?” Red entered the room and looked at Ace expectantly.

Ace nods and pulls out the bag from under his chair. He digs in it for a bit and pulls an even smaller bag from it. Just as you were ready to see Ace pull out another bag from within the smaller one, he removed a necklace from it. Your jaw goes slightly slack when you start to realize that Ace’s necklace was almost an exact copy of the one you got for Vinyl. The only difference was the musical note was no encrusted with small little rubies, which reminded you slightly of Vinyl’s eyes.

“I know it’s not the same exact thing but I tried my best.” Ace stammered.

“It’s perfect.” You give Ace an approving nod for his efforts. Strength

Ace smiled sheepishly and handed the necklace over to you. Indeed, it really was just perfect. You try to get up from your bed but your ribs scream in protest. Seeing that getting up was near impossible, you sink back into your bed. Red notices the defeated look on your face.

“You broke four ribs. Walking at this point is going to be near impossible without crying in pain. It’s for the best that you stay
here and get some rest.” Red advised.

“No can do. I need to get him back to Erotica to save Vinyl.” Ace replied.

“Are you mad? You nearly died twice in the last few hours!” Red’s voice was getting so shrill and high only bats might hear her eventually.

You falter under the wrath of Red but Ace wasn’t backing down. “You saw how he broke down after seeing that the original
necklace was broken. If the necklace meant that much to him I can only imagine what’ll happen if he can’t see Vinyl again. Relapsing and breaking a few ribs will pale in comparison to what he might do.”

“I won’t let you go so easily. Besides, how do you plan on saving Vinyl when you can barely save yourself?” Red demanded.

“To be honest Red, I think he’ll have a harder time living without Vinyl around.” Ace muttered.

“He just met her a few days ago!” Red yelled back.

For a moment, it looked like Red was about to slap Ace around. She somehow calmed herself down and left the room but you could see how livid her face was. Red slammed the door behind her, making the glass in the door crack.

“That was terrifying.” Ace whispered, looking at the cracked glass with fear. “She will stop at nothing to keep you in here now. However, that won’t stop us from trying.”

Ace handed you some crutches hidden in a closet. Your ribs screamed in protest at this abuse but you had to push on. The only benefit the crutches offered was taking a load off your legs. Once you got into the hallway, there were a few nurses, including Red, talking close to a few rooms down the hallway. They were too deep into their conversation to take notice in you're presence yet. This wasn't the time to slack off; you and Ace walk to the other side of the hallway to avoid them. The crutches made the progress just too slow and with the risk of Red catching you, this had to be fixed fast.

Two mare nurses exited a room and started to walk down the hallway and Ace took advantage.

“Hey ladies, mind helping me out with my friend here?” Ace called out to the nurses happily.

“Sure, we’ll grab a wheelchair for him.” One of the nurses answered, signaling her companion to get the wheelchair.

“They are suckers.” Ace snickered in your ear.

After obtaining the wheel chair, mobility no longer was an issue. Ace pushes you in an elevator and hits the fourth floor button before the door closes.

“We need to win the numbers game if we want to even think about fighting off Frost. With that in mind, talking to Gold is our best chance at gathering a nice crew. That won’t mean I won’t grab some more buddies but this is a start.” Ace explained to you as the elevator traveled up to the fourth floor.

The elevator doors slide open and Ace pushed you out into the hallway. Hospitals always freaked you out. Either it was all the sick ponies coughing all over the place or that the hallways gave you that claustrophobic feel. Honestly, at times, the walls looked like they were squeezing ever closer together.

Ace stops pushing your wheelchair and starts knocking on a door, room 468.

“Come in.” A mare called from within.

Now wasn’t the time for Ace to start hooking up with nurses! Ace disregards your glare and pushes you in the room. You notice Gold, who looked rather bruised, was resting on a bed and a mare nurse was treating him.

“I see you’re still treating Gold, Clara. But I need you to do me a favor.” Ace trots up to the nurse, leaving you to be forgotten.

“What do you need from me?” Clara demanded. She took one glance at you and her eyes widened. “I thought Red was taking care of him.” She pointed an accusing hoof at you while giving Ace a serious look.

“She is…or rather was. That doesn’t matter right now though. Red refuses to help my buddy to be able to save his marefriend.” Ace explained.

Clara disregarded Ace and trotted up to you. She leaned down and started to whisper in your ear. “This mare must be really important to you. I heard how much pain you been going through for the last few hours.”

“Vinyl is really important to me.” You whisper back, Ace was trying to eavesdrop on the conversation now.

“How important is she?” Clara asked quietly.

“I’m pain free when she is around. That almost never happens to me when I took pills.” You reply, speaking at a regular level again.

Clara nodded and left to the room suddenly. Ace just shrugged and sank into a vacant chair while Gold shifted a little in his bed. You notice a large scar on his cheek, probably the doing from one of Frost’s thugs. Clara shortly returns and brought a small box on her back. She places it on a table in the room and starts sorting through it. Just when you were going to ask Clara what she was looking for, she pulled several syringes from the box. Each syringe contained a liquid in it and you notice one of them was labeled “Methadone”.

“I’m helping you not only because I think what you’re doing is heroic, I just hate Red a lot as well.” Clara muttered as she placed the shades over the door to the room. “Take the adrenaline Ace; you will need them later on.” Clara points at three syringes sitting next to the methadone.

“Why is that?” Ace asked as he grabbed the syringes and slipping them into a saddlebag that Clara gave to him.

“His heart shut down after taking that last dosage of methadone. If his heart shuts down again when you’re trying to get Vinyl, inject him with this.” Clara explained.

“Aren’t you going to inject methadone in him again?” Ace pointed out the syringe held in her teeth now.

“Why do you think I brought a box full of them?” Clara replied before injecting you.

You start to feel a numbing feeling spread throughout your body. This was probably the second time in your life that you felt absolutely pain free since your injury. Ace looks at you in shock once you get up from the wheelchair without a hitch.

“Come on champ, we got to save Vinyl from that loser Frost.” Ace happily declared.