Limpet by Star
Disclaimer: I don't own the Mighty Ducks, I wish I did because then I'd be fairly rich, could cheerfully say, "Ah, I knew Josh Jackson before he was famous", and wouldn't have to do boring repetitive work. I could write for a living. Terri, aka Purple Girl belongs to me.
Published: 02-22-02 | Updated: June 2016 | Status: Complete
Summary: The obligatory first fic of almost every Duck fan: New girl at Eden Hall finds it hard to fit in.
Yes, once upon a time, Terri McDowell was known by another name. This has been changed for reasons that make sense to Star.
This isn't really set in any timeline from the film. I guess it's after D3
I'm a Brit, so anything that doesn't seem right, please point it out to me!
CHD exists. If you want to point out any inconsistencies I will laugh at you. I've had 21 years of living with it. *grins*
Terri has purple hair. It's her trademark, without it she'd just be another character to forget about. So we're just going to have to overlook the fact that she's in school and probably wouldn't be allowed purple hair.
I did a quick edit of this in 2015 (and forgot to upload the updated files to ), which is about 15 years after I wrote it, and realised the unfortunate implications of it.
The story was never meant to say "Ha, my disability is less impactful than someone else's disability, lolz". The moral of the story was the Terri ought to woman up and stop being a reclusive bell, because she's not a special little snowflake, and if a kid half her age can face difficulty with grace, she ought to be able to as well. My younger self did not have the deftness to pull that off, and my older self wouldn't touch it with a barge pole (not for a story she wrote years ago and isn't all that fussed about now). Anyway, I apologise to anyone who read it that way. You're right to be upset, because I was clumsy in my execution of this story, but I honestly never meant to be offensive.
Chapter 1: First Day aka Hell
Terri pushed her purple hair out of her eyes and sighed. They should give out campus videos before enrolling, she decided. Not so she could check what the 'beautiful people' were wearing and then copy, but just so she could get an idea of how acutely out of place she would feel on her first day.
Not that she usually cared, but her dad had promised that this would be the last move before graduation. This final year at school would actually count.
He'd even asked her to try to make friends this time.
She glanced around the quad. Fat chance. Everyone looked so preppy here. Even the losers had laughed their asses off at her.
Of course, the purple hair was did make her a walking target. The purple contact lenses had nearly made the headmaster's head spin.
What she was wearing didn't really matter. No-one's eyes ever made it past her hair.
And her bizarre Irish accent didn't help at all. She had spent the first nine years of her life in Ireland, then moved to the USA.
A bunch of cheerleaders walked past her, all bubbly and perfectly groomed, and so all-American that Terri wanted to hurl. A smiley blonde glanced at Terri, then whispered something. The rest of the group all looked pointedly at her, then laughed loudly.
Terri blushed, and rummaged around in her bag for her walkman. She clipped the earphones on and tuned out the world.
"What are you staring at, dude?" Portman asked.
Fulton blinked, coming out of his daze. "Nothing." He and a few of the other Ducks were sitting under a tree, enjoying a few minutes of sun during lunch.
Portman followed his friend's line of vision. "Cheerleaders? You're staring at cheerleaders?"
"No I wasn't," he protested.
"Which one?" Charlie joined the conversation, his interest piqued.
"None of them."
"We're not complaining, man. We just want to know which one caught your eye," Portman told him.
"I bet it was Natalie," Adam said with a rueful smile. "Everyone in the school wants Natalie." Adam had been turned down by Natalie only a few days ago.
"Natalie doesn't want anyone that's in school though." Charlie patted Adam on the arm. "She wants a guy with a car who can get her a fake ID."
"What about Bethany?" Adam turned to Portman. "Is she Fulton's type?"
"Are we talking cheerleaders again?" Connie asked as she approached with Julie in tow. When she reached the tree they were congregated beneath she dropped her books to the ground and took a seat next to Guy. "When are you guys gonna admit defeat? They like football players."
"Not for us. Fulton's gawping at some chick," Portman explained.
"Really?" Julie asked, looking around. "That's the lamest excuse ever, because he's not even here."
The rest of the Ducks looked around. Fulton was nowhere to be seen.
Terri frowned at the wall of lockers, very close to tears. She had remembered that her locker was in the third bank of lockers, and that it had the words "Lucy + Nick 4Eva" scrawled on it.
Unfortunately, Lucy – whoever she was – loved Nick so much that she had written it several times.
She was almost convinced she had found the right locker by now, and she put down her bag to rummage around for the code she had written down.
Someone bumped into her as she fiddled with the dial. She turned just in time to see her bag being kicked down the hall. She watched in dismay as her bag burst open, scattering pens, papers, folders and text books along the corridor.
The guys who were kicking it quickly lost interest after that happened. Terri bit her lip and started to pick up her stuff, acting as if she didn't hear people whispering about her and staring at her.
She had been here for little over two hours, she already knew she hated it.
She knelt down and began to pick up her pens. Lord knew there had only been about three in there before her bag burst open, now it appeared she was housing Bic's head office in there.
"Here you go."
Terri didn't even look up. No one had spoken to her so far, the voice couldn't be aimed at her. When a hand tentatively touched her shoulder she nearly launched into outer space.
She looked up and met a pair of hazel eyes and a smiling face framed with brown hair. He was holding out her folder.
"Thanks," she muttered, shoving it in her bag, and getting to her feet in order to make a quick exit before he managed to make a cutting comment in front of everyone. "Hey–"
"I have to go," she cut him off and walked away without looking back.
Terri groaned. This was deeply unfair. After the hell that had been this morning, did she really deserve double Phys ed?
Naturally she was surrounded by cheerleaders and athletes that moved with ease and grace. Phys ed was the only time in the world when she wished her hair was a mousy brown so she could slink away into the corners and be invisible.
"Right girls!" The teacher, who had introduced herself as Ms Joy to Terri, bounded in exuberantly. "Today we're doing cross country running. I hope you're feeling perky!"
Terri's jaw dropped. Cross country? She felt like bursting into tears. She couldn't do it. It was plain and simple.
She reluctantly raised her hand.
She considered correcting Ms Joy about her name, but decided to get straight to the point. "I can't do…"
"Just do your best," Ms Joy cut her off.
"But my doc–"
"Come on girls. Anyone who takes longer than five minutes through the woods is on detention!"
"You too, Theresa." Ms Joy glared.
Terri reluctantly followed.
But my doctor told me not to, is what she was going to say.
Terri changed from her gym clothes as quickly as she could, trying to ignore the cat-calls.
"How's the carousel working out for you?"
"Limpet, you should try out for cheerleading, we could use a laugh."
"Purple, you really are lame at sport!"
She bit back the tears and finished getting changed. She tried to keep her head high as she left the changing room.
Of course, her proud exit was somewhat diminished by her prominent limp.
Terri was on the verge of tears for the nth time that day. She had "accidentally" got lost on the way to class, unfortunately because it was her first day at school, she'd become genuinely lost.
She wasn't upset because she was lost, in fact, knowing that she was where she shouldn't be made her feel a bit better about herself.
It was where she was that was making her want to cry. She was stuck in athletic hell. The hall she was in was a shrine to those with perfectly able bodies. She felt slightly sick at her pathetic self. She could walk, there were people that couldn't.
Naturally, none of them were actually at this school.
She ran her hands through her hair, trying to calm herself.
She was in trophy hell. One for every year since the school was established. All of them were First Place. Hockey, Baseball, Track, even cheerleading. She blinked. Cheerleading was a sport?
Sure enough, there were trophies to prove how perfect the cheerleaders were.
She suddenly realised why she didn't fit in with anyone at this school.
Eden Hall didn't allow losers.
"Why me?" Fulton asked the teacher.
"Because I asked you. Now run to the office for me and collect my lesson plan book."
Fulton rolled his eyes as he got up, Portman gave him a smile. Usually any reason to get out of a lesson was a good thing. However, there were exceptions, and going to the office was the said exception.
He would be lucky if he managed to get out of the office unscathed. There was always something that he had done wrong. His hair was too long. He looked too messy. Someone had seen him roller-blading in the halls.
He wandered along the halls, lost in his thoughts. Mainly about the girl with purple hair he had seen in the quad this morning. She was new, that was for certain. You couldn't overlook a girl with purple hair for long.
She'd looked unhappy, he could empathise. Before the Ducks people had made assumptions about him without taking the time to talk to him. And that scene in the hallways earlier probably hadn't given her a lot of faith in the student body of Eden Hall.
She was definitely cute.
And she was standing right in front of him. He blinked several times just to make sure that he wasn't hallucinating.
She turned to look at him, shook her head sadly then turned back to the wall of trophies. Her purple hair fell around her face, hiding from him, but not before he noticed the unshed tears in her eyes.
"Are you ok?"
"Five by five," she responded woodenly in a faintly Irish accent.
He frowned, obviously she didn't want to talk about what was wrong, so he tried another tactic. "You a hockey fan?"
She whirled around on him, taking in his Ducks jersey. "Yeah!" she snapped abruptly. "Oh yeah, I'm a big sports fan. Why don't you just get to the point?"
"What?" he asked, confused.
"The punchline. You know, the bit where you laugh your ass off at me because I limp. You know!" She laughed sharply. "When you say how lame I am at sports! Or when you call me hop-a-long, or Limpet, or ask about the carousel. You guys think you're so god-damned original. I've been hearing those taunts all my life." She bit her lip. "The sad thing is, they still make me cry."
She picked up her bag and walked away quickly.
For the first time, Fulton noticed that she limped.