• Published 5th Mar 2019
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Oddball - BittyBug



After the Fall Formal, Sunset struggles to fit back in to life at CHS. Will she shove aside her pride and make some friends, or is she doomed to remain an outcast for the rest of her high school career?

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Chapter 3 - Tuesday

Chapter 3 - Tuesday

The first thing Sunset did when she woke up was rush to the kitchen.

‘Waterwaterwaterwaterwater-’

The tap squeaked as Sunset thrust the handle upwards, unleashing a spray of cool water into the sink. She dipped her head beneath the stream, taking in greedy gulps.

It took Sunset several minutes to find the strength to tear herself away from the sink. When she did, she snagged a clean cup from the cupboard and filled it to the brim with the still-running tap water before shutting it off.

Still naked, she took the water with her to her bedroom, taking sips every few seconds. It was a sparsely furnished room, with an old mattress pushed up against one wall and a desk occupying another. Two piles of laundry graced the floor; one clean, one dirty.

Sunset moved over to the clean pile and grabbed herself some underwear and a pair of black sweatpants. She set the water down on her desk and wriggled herself into the clothing, careful as not to agitate the tail-wounds above her rear.

As for her top, Sunset chose an old, baggy hoodie. It was a tacky thing, stamped proudly with the logo of some irrelevant company. She had picked it up somewhere for free and never wore the thing, but she found herself glad that she had hung onto it.

Holding her breath, Sunset slowly dragged her arms through the sleeves and pulled the garment over her head. It settled around her frame loosely, barely brushing the open injuries on her back. She released a sigh and reached for her glass.

‘Those websites all mentioned something about dehydration,’ she noted as the rest of the water was downed in a single gulp. She snorted. ‘I guess it’s really starting to hit me, then. ’

The redhead trudged into her living room. ‘Okay,’ she thought as she snatched her backpack from the floor near the couch. ‘I need to stock up on medical stuff.’

After rummaging around in the pack for a few minutes, Sunset produced her battered wallet, which she tucked into the hoodie’s pocket.

The journey to the nearby corner-store was far more arduous than it had been in the past, but Sunset managed to make it quickly. She returned home with a few rolls of gauze and medical tape, a pack of sterile pads, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide disinfectant. She winced as the cashier handed her the receipt; twenty dollars was a pretty big hit to her dwindling funds.

Sunset unceremoniously dumped the newly-bought materials into her bathroom’s sink and braced herself against the ceramic. The pale skinned girl in the mirror was almost unrecognizable. Sweat clung to her forehead, and her eyes were bloodshot.

‘Let’s get this over with.’

The disinfectant stung, and the small washcloth Sunset had soaked with the liquid was slowly absorbing the remaining dried blood. It wasn’t the uncomfortable sting, however, that had Sunset worried.

‘Everything hurts, but…’ she pressed the cloth harder against the wing wounds. Her brow creased. “I can’t feel the cloth. There must be extensive nerve damage.” The odd non-feeling, she found, was not just on the wing slashes themselves, but in much of the surrounding skin.

Sunset finished disinfecting her wounds, her arm bending at an awkward angle in order to address all the trouble spots. She was almost afraid to turn and check her progress in the mirror, but she did anyways.

The harsh redness around the two main wounds had lessened, but the surrounding skin was still a sickening, charred black. The blisters around the tail mark remained a gross, yellowish colour.

The open cuts the splintered out form the main wounds had already started to heal. They had a thin film over them, and Sunset noted that they seemed a lot less fragile than she imagined they would.

‘That’s odd,’ she thought. ‘I didn’t expect them to improve that much.’

But Sunset certainly wasn’t the type to look a gift-horse in the mouth. Or a gift-pony, in her case.

She simply shrugged and continued cleaning herself up.

***

There was an air of acrimony surrounding the students of CHS as they started populating the front courtyard of the school. The newly repaired front of the building didn’t catch much appreciation; everyone seemed to be looking out for something, like lions searching for prey. Rainbow Dash got a few friendly waves she waited by the Wondercolts statue for her friends, but otherwise, the students of Canterlot High School were on a mission.

“Hoo-wee! This place is tenser than a turkey on Thanksgivin’!”

Rainbow chuckled as Applejack approached her, Rarity following close behind.

“You can say that again, darling,” the fashionista exclaimed with a flip of her hair. “I wonder what’s got everyone in such a tizzy this morning?”

Rainbow Dash scoffed. “They’re probably keeping and eye out for a certain redhead. I mean, just look at Curly!” She gestured to Curly Winds who had an arm wrapped protectively around his boyfriend, Wiz Kid. They were waiting by the entrance, scanning the crowds as people slowly filed into the building. If looks could kill...

Pinkie Pie, who had joined the group moments ago, was looking around quizzically. “What redhead are we talking about?” She asked. “Spitfire? Rose Heart? OH! I know! It’s Raspberry Fluff, isn’t it?”

Rainbow face palmed.

Applejack hid a snicker behind her hand. “Ah think she means Sunset Shimmer,” the farmer clarified.

“Ohhhhhhhh, that makes WAY more sense!”

The group shared a laugh. They chatted comfortably as they waited for the last member of their group to arrive.

It took a few minutes, but just as the first bell was about to ring, Fluttershy ran up to the cluster of friends.

“Sorry I’m late,” she huffed, resting her hands on her knees as she caught her breath. “I found a stray cat and I just had to run back to my house to get her some food!”

Rainbow smiled affectionately. “No worries, ‘Shy. Someone’s gotta help the little guy, right?”

There was a blush on Fluttershy’s cheeks as the group migrated into the school, but she hid it behind her hair.

***

The atmosphere around the school calmed down significantly by lunchtime, once everyone realized Sunset was absent.

“Serves her right,”

“If she shows her face around here again, I’m gonna beat her up,”

“Count me in, dude!”

Wallflower Blush listened to the various conversations about Sunset Shimmer as she waited in line for her lunch.

‘Sunset Shimmer, huh?’ She thought to herself. She reached for a container of milk only for it to be snatched by the person behind her as he cut in front. The gardener huffed, grabbing a different container. She was used to things like that happening on the regular.

Wallflower finished getting her food and left the cafeteria through the fire exit doors. She let her thoughts wander as she made her way to her garden.

She had never had an issue with Sunset Shimmer. The school’s resident ‘queen bitch’ had left her alone during her reign over Canterlot High, so Wallflower never had a reason to hate her.

‘I mean, I’m probably just as invisible to her as I am to everyone else, so why should I care about what she’s done?’ Still lost in her own world, Wallflower sat on the bench overlooking her garden. She poked at her salad absentmindedly.

‘I wonder why she’s not here today,’ she queried. ‘Knowing her, she’d show up just to make a point. She wouldn’t let anyone take her pride.’

A part of Wallflower admired that bit of Sunset. She was the center of attention and she took no shit from anybody. She was noticeable, she was powerful, she was strong.

Wallflower clenched her hands into fists, envy filling her chest. ‘She’s everything I can’t be.’

She continued eating in silence, her shoulders hunched and tense.

After a bit, Wallflower heard the bell ring in the distance, announcing the end of lunch. She stood with a sigh and tried to turn her mind back to her classes.

***

“Take your time, Twilight,” Clear Voice said with an encouraging smile. “And try to keep your breathing even.”

Twilight bit her lip. She glanced around the room; anywhere but the book in her hands.

The walls were painted a soothing yellow that matched nicely with the deep brown bookcase on the back wall. There was a wide range of material, everything from children’s stories and poetry to novels and psychology manuals.

The girl shifted in her seat. It was a cushy white couch that matched the chair Clear Voice was sitting in, across from her.

With a deep breath, Twilight began reading from the book.

“O-once upon a mid...night d-dreary,” her words were slow and deliberate as she concentrated on every syllable. “Whi-ile I pondered, weak and- weak and… weak and-”

Her eyebrows scrunched together and she made a frustrated noise. “Weak. And... Weary!” Twilight beamed, her eyes darting up to Clear Voice. The doctor returned the proud look, then gestured for her to continue.

The process went on until Twilight had read the first two stanzas of the poem. Clear Voice stopped her here and there, offering pointers and reminders as the poem went on.

Twilight leaned back in her chair, pausing for a moment as she read the third stanza in her head.

‘And the silken, sad, uncertain… uhg, stupid alliteration, she thought with a huff.

Luckily, she didn’t have to continue. The timer Clear Voice had set went off, signalling the end of their session.

‘Oh thank goodness.’

“You’re making great progress, Twilight,” she said as she took the book from the girl’s hands. “You’ve been handling the more difficult poems very well.”

Twilight smiled, but remained silent. She brought her hand to her chin, fingers straight, then dropped them outwards.

“You’re welcome, Twilight.”

Twilight walked to the door of the office accompanied by Clear Voice, and waved over her shoulder as she entered the main lobby. She spotted her dad’s car in front of the building and made her way over with a grin.

“Hi, sweetie,” Twilight’s dad, Night Light, greeted his daughter as she jumped into the passenger’s seat. “How was speech therapy?”

“Better,” Twilight responded by pressing her hand flat against her mouth, then slipping it to the right, her fingers curling into a thumbs up. Several more gestures followed. “I started on The Raven by Poe.”

Night Light read the hand motions and nodded. “That’s great! Poe was always a favourite of mine.”

Twilight settled into her seat as her dad pulled out of the office park. A comfortable silence fell across the two.

Ever since she was little, sign language had been Twilight’s preferred method of communication. Growing up with a stutter had made speaking far less desirable. ‘Besides,’ Twilight thought as she watched the scenery pass through the window. ‘People can’t make fun of the way you speak if you don’t speak at all.’

Traffic was surprisingly light for the heart of Canterlot’s cityscape, so the drive to Twilight’s home was quicker than usual. Soon, the sights of high-rise buildings and rushing cars were replaced by a quiet neighborhood. Sidewalks and well maintained front yards passed by until a friendly lavender hue, similar to that of Twilight’s skin, broke the otherwise uniform colours of the houses. A small garden of daffodils just below the front porch complimented the paint job well, and Twilight smiled when her dad pulled into the driveway.

“Hey, you two!” Twilight’s mom welcomed her husband and daughter they entered their home.

Night Light removed his jacket and hung it on the coat rack. “Hello darling,” he said. He kissed his wife on the cheek, then moved to the kitchen to start on dinner.

Twilight shut the front door, cutting off the chill from the darkening outdoors and relishing in the warmth of the house. She gave her mom a little wave before making her way up the stairs to her bedroom.

“Hey Spike,” she mumbled as she shut the door to her room. The dog yipped, stumbling over his paws to great his owner.

Twilight stroked his soft fur for a moment, then promptly collapsed on her bed with a groan. Therapy was often draining for the girl.

Spike gave a sympathetic whine and hopped up to the bed. He settled himself at his owner’s side, giving her hand a small lick.

“Tha-anks bud…”

Even with speech therapy, few people ever heard Twilight speak. Her family, Spike, and her therapist were among those few that she trusted enough to use her voice around. On a good day, the girl was actually quite talkative, especially when her favourite topics were involved.

‘Uhg, I just wish it weren’t so difficult ninety percent of the time.”

Twilight lost track of how long she simply lay there, thinking. About Canterlot High, about the strange energy waves, about Moondancer…

A quiet knock at the door interrupted her rumination.

“Hey, sweetie,” Twilight Velvet opened the door with a creak. “Dinner’s ready.”

Twilight gave a small grunt of affirmation. She waited for the sound of footsteps receding, but turned her head to the doorway when she heard none.

Velvet still stood in the doorway. “I talked to Principal Celestia today,” she said.

That got Twilight’s attention. She sat up, giving her mom and inquisitive look.

“We’ve got your accommodations all set up,” Velvet continued. “She said not to worry, the students at CHS are apparently very accepting. You’ll also have most of the same classes you were taking before.”

A smile graced Twilights lips. “Th-thank y-ou.”

“Of course, honey.” The two shared a tender moment before Velvet gestured towards the hall behind her. “Come on, you don’t want your food to get cold.”

Author's Note:

Wowie! Sunset's wounds sure are healing pretty well! That's definitely normal and has nothing to do with Equestrian magic! And it certainly isn't because I don't want her to be fatally wounded right now and needed a way for her to not die from those injuries! :derpytongue2:

Ehehehehe... In all seriousness though, even if it doesn't look like it I promise I have a plan for where this injury stuff is headed :rainbowlaugh:

Anyways! Twilight has a stutter! :pinkiegasp: I know that the way I'm writing her stutter will probably be a bit awkward to read, but I think that makes it more... authentic? Accurate? Eh. But yeah sorry in advance for that. Oh! And since Twi uses ASL:

"Sign language will be written with italics and quotation marks"

'Thoughts will be written with italics and half quotation marks'

P.S. - (For those who are wondering; yes, Twilight spoke pretty normal in chapter 2. Her stutter is less severe if she's comfortable around someone or is alone - it's more severe if she's anxious, upset, tired, those sorts of emotions.)

P.P.S. - (I personally do not have a stutter but I've made sure to do some research! Please let me know if I get anything wrong/misrepresent so I can fix it :heart:

Hope y'all like it so far! Things will pick up a bit in the next chapter.

~Bitty Bug

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