• Published 12th Feb 2018
  • 5,010 Views, 204 Comments

In the Days That Followed - shallow15

Sunset Shimmer and her friends try to get their lives back to normal following the events of "Repercussions."

  • ...

I'm Fine

The alarm clock went off at its usual time of “far too damn early in the morning for Rarity.” And, as had happened ever since she came home, she swung her arm to turn it off, only to forget that the nightstand was on the other side of the bed now and smashing her hand into the wall.

“Owwww!” Rarity pushed herself up into a sitting position, holding her injured hand. “Not again!”

“Rarity?” came her mother's voice from the hallway. “I heard something. Are you all right?”

“I'm fine, Mother, just hit my hand on the wall... again.” She rolled her eyes, huffed, and drew back the covers. She looked down at her feet and frowned.

All right. Today we make progress.

Rarity concentrated, trying to force her toes to move. True, she had barely started physical therapy, but she was determined to get herself moving under her own power again, especially after the doctors told her such a thing was possible. So, every morning, she made the attempt.

And, as had happened every morning since she began, her toes refused to move. Rarity sighed and re-positioned her legs so she could get out of bed and into her chair, which sat next to the bed. She shifted herself into the chair and wheeled her way out of the downstairs guest room, which had become her room since the incident at the football field.

In the bathroom, she ran a bath for herself, adding bath salts that added nutrients to her skin. Paralyzed or not, she would never let it be said she couldn't take care of herself. When the tub was sufficiently full, she turned off the water and began removing her nightgown. Getting out of the diaper (which, admittedly, she wore more for insurance than anything) was still a bit of a challenge but she managed it. With the aid of the handrail her father had installed over the weekend, she began transferring herself from the chair to the edge of the tub. From there, she slowly began working her way into the tub itsel –

SPLASH! “Damn!”

Rarity sputtered as she slipped off the edge and into the tub, sending water everywhere. She had landed hard, with one leg folded up under her, and the other wedged into the wall with her knee up. Pain shot up from the part of her spine she could feel and she let out a cry as she tried to get herself situated.

The sound of frantic footsteps came from the hall and the bathroom door burst open, admitting Cookie Crumbles, Rarity's mother. She took one look at the situation and rushed over.

“Hang on, sweetie, I'll help you!”

With her mother's help, Rarity got herself situated correctly in the tub, sitting up with her legs out in front of her. She looked up at her mother, blushing slightly. It was embarrassing for Rarity to have her mother see her naked at this age.

“Thank you, Mother dear,” she began, grabbing the loofah from off the wall where it hung. “I'm situated now.”

“Are you sure?” Cookie's voice and expression mirrored her concern. Rarity resisted the urge to roll her eyes and groan. She loved her mother deeply, but whenever Rarity was ill or something happened, Cookie became inordinately overprotective.

“I'm fine,” Rarity answered. “Truly, I am.”

“All right,” Cookie said, getting to her feet. “But as soon as you're done, I want you to call me. No trying to get back out by yourself.”

“I'm not an infant, Mother. I can handle it.” Rarity hated the petulant tone in her voice, but she had to convince her that she could function perfectly well.

“I know you can, sweetie,” said Cookie. “But I'd feel better if I were here just in case something happened while you try.”

Rarity sighed. “Yes, Mother, I'll call when I'm done.”

Cookie leaned over and kissed Rarity on the cheek, adding to the awkwardness of the moment. “All right. I'll leave you to it then.”

Cookie left the bathroom. Rarity sighed in exasperation.

Fluttershy had been kind enough to pick her up for school that morning. While there was some concern whether Rarity's wheelchair would fit in the back of the quiet girl's smart car, it had turned out to fit just fine in the small cargo area when collapsed.

Fluttershy pulled her car up against the curb of the school's drop off area. She got out and retrieved Rarity's chair, setting it up on the curb. Rarity unbuckled her seat belt and opened the door. She studied the level of the car versus the level of the seat of her chair.

“Do you need some help, Rarity?” Fluttershy asked.

Rarity smiled. “Thank you, but no, darling. I'm fine. Just give me a moment.”

Rarity shifted her legs out of the car, then reached out for the armrests of the chair. She grabbed them and began levering herself out of the car. She got herself partway out of the car, and frowned as she realized she should have reversed the position of her hands to turn so she could sit in the chair.

All right, Rarity, you can do this. Just... take a small jump and swap hands. Easy.

Fluttershy saw Rarity's expression and leaned in. “Are you sure you don't want my help? I don't mind.”

“I'm fine, Fluttershy, thank you. Just give me a moment.”

Rarity took a deep breath and pushed off the armrests. She swapped her hands in mid-air but her left hand failed to grab the right armrest and she fell, slamming her shoulder into it. She let out a cry. Fluttershy rushed over and helped her into the chair. Rarity caught her breath and looked up at her friend. Fluttershy wore an expression of deep concern.

“Are you all right? Did you hurt anything?” she asked. Rarity flipped her hair back into place and gave her a small smile.

“Only my pride, darling. I'm fine.”

Rarity rolled her chair down the lunch line, the tray rail just below the level of her shoulders. She moved the tray along with one hand, her other hand moving and steering the chair. She stopped in front of Granny Smith.

“How's it goin', dearie?” the lunch lady asked.

“I'm fine, thank you,” Rarity answered. “Could I get the green salad, please?”

“Blue cheese on the side?”

Rarity smiled. “You always remember, Granny Smith.”

The lunchlady smiled, reaching over the counter with the salad bowl. Rarity reached up and took it, placing it on the tray. Granny Smith passed over a small container of blue cheese dressing. Rarity reached up to take it when there was a commotion behind her and someone slammed into the back of her chair. She lost her grip and rolled forward, her fingers smacking the bottom of the container, causing it to fly out of Granny Smith's hand.

The dressing spun in the air and landed on Rarity's lap with a loud splat, spilling all over her skirt. A couple of inconsiderate students who saw what happened let out a laugh. Rarity looked at the mess in her lap, then back up at Granny Smith.

“Oh, I'm so sorry, dearie. One sec, I'll come help you clean up.”

“Thank you, but no,” Rarity said, her voice free of any sort of annoyance or anger. “Accidents happen. I'm fine. Could I have some napkins please?”

Napkins were passed over and Rarity cleaned herself up. She got another side of dressing and wheeled her way to her friends' usual table.

The final bell rang and Rarity skillfully navigated her wheelchair through the throng of students to her locker. She dialed the combination and rolled back so she could open the door, then rolled forward. She reached in, took out a few books and placed them in her backpack. She zipped it shut, rolled back again and closed the door.

She wheeled her way through the halls and stopped in the main atrium of the school. She looked at the main exit where most of the student body were exiting. She sighed, and rolled down the corridor to her right, heading for the exit with the wheelchair access ramp.

“Rarity!” There was a multicolored blur and Rainbow Dash appeared next to her. “Glad I found you. Me, AJ, and Pinkie are going over to Sugarcube Corner and Pinkie's buying for once! Wanna come?”

Rarity considered then smiled up at her friend. “Thank you for the offer, Rainbow, but I'm afraid I have a physical therapy session this afternoon.”

“I thought you only did that every other day?”

“I know, but that sadistic mountebank that dares to call himself my therapist thinks an extra session a week will be helpful. Personally, I think he just wants to push me until I cry like I did at our first session.”

Rainbow smirked. “Well, with a name like Tough Love, you could be right.”

The two giggled. “Thank you anyway, darling, but I really need to go. Tell the girls I'll join you next time.”

“You sure? I could go with you if you want some company while Tough Love puts you through your paces.”

Rarity smiled. “I'm fine, Rainbow. Go. Have fun. I'll see you all tomorrow.”

“All right, Rares, as long as you're sure.”

“Shoo, darling!” Rarity fluttered her hands. “And make sure Pinkie pays you back for all the times you covered her.”

Rainbow grinned and ran off back toward the main entrance. Rarity heard her friend's footsteps as she disappeared down the nearly empty hallway. Rarity sighed and wheeled her way toward the west exit.

She had no physical therapy appointment today.

Rarity wheeled her way into her room. She tossed her backpack next to her dresser and made her way over to the desk where her sewing machine sat. A small glass orb-shaped paperweight that she used to keep her fabric form falling off the desk while she worked sat next to it.

She pulled out the chair under the desk and wheeled up next to it. She pushed off with her hands and gingerly started transferring herself to the chair. She slid one hip onto the edge of the desk chair and began pushing.

Suddenly, she felt the wheelchair slip out from underneath her. She threw out her arms, grabbing hold of the sewing machine as she began to fall. It slid along the smooth wood of the desk and Rarity pushed herself away form it as she, the machine and the wheelchair all toppled to the ground.

Rarity smashed her fists against the carpet. She reached out and grabbed the first thing she could: the paperweight. With a scream of anguish and frustration, she hurled the paperweight across the room, where it shattered against the wall. She heard running footsteps, most likely her mother or Sweetie Belle, running down the hall.

She pushed herself up and braced her arms, her hair draping around her as she looked at the floor. Words tumbled out of her mouth like a mantra as tears fell from her eyelashes.

“I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine...”

Author's Note:

No update tomorrow as I have to work both my jobs. See you Thursday.