This story originated in the "Disabled Daria" Iron Chef on the PPMB. I'll be adding updates to this occasionally but my primary focus at the moment is on The Mageborn Cynic. Thank you for reading, any and all comments gratefully appreciated.
Daria and all recognizable characters are the creation of Glenn Eichler and the intellectual property of MTV/Viacom. This is fanfiction, written for fun and no money is being made.
'Look girls, I know it's not easy moving to a new school in a new town, right?...Right?' Jake Morgendorffer glanced sideways at his youngest daughter then in the rear view mirror at his eldest. He sighed then, realising he was talking to himself, both girls had earbuds firmly planted in their ears and each was bobbing her head to a different beat.
He'd always hated minivans on the road when he'd been driving his Lexus but he had to admit that the higher driving position and commanding presence of the larger vehicle was quite pleasant, not to mention the fuel mileage he was getting from the ultra quiet diesel engine, the thing must run on fumes!
He arrived at the school quicker than he'd expected but he'd have to wait for a couple of other vehicles to disgorge their passengers and drive away before he could maneuver the big VW into the curb. He was surprised when the passenger door opened and was slammed shut, Quinn hadn't waited and was practically sprinting away from the minivan without a word or backward glance. He sighed again in disappointment.
He got a little jolt when a hand landed on his shoulder and gave it a squeeze. Daria said 'Don't worry about it Dad, she did offer to help but I told her I could manage, she respects that.'
'Yeah but... she didn't have to run off like that... like she was ashamed...'
'She is ashamed, Dad, she told you it was social suicide to be seen in a minivan, remember?'
He had to smile at Daria but determined to have a quiet word with Quinn that night anyhow. A space opened up and he pulled in and cut the motor. He turned around to look at Daria. 'You sure you're ready for this Kiddo? I mean...'
She cut him off quickly. 'Heard it all before Dad, we've talked about this, I'm as ready as I'll ever be.'
'I don't like that Li woman, the Principal? Those ramps should have been installed in this school by law 15 years ago! You'd swear the money was coming out of her own pocket! Listen if she gives you a hard time or picks on you because she had to fulfill her obligation to a Federal law...'
'I know Dad, take notes, take pictures, make recordings, find witnesses and put it all in Mom's lap, right?'
'Right, Kiddo! Now are you sure you..'
'YES! Could you get my chair please and Dad...'
'Put the brake on this time, huh?'
A little shamefaced Jake got out, popped the trunk and unfolded Daria's chair, putting it in the spot they'd worked out for her and making sure the brake was on. He went to lift her but she waved him away.
She put on the leather hand grips then took hold of the brackets on the roof and door of the car and swung herself out and into the chair. He noticed it seemed a lot easier for her now, she'd really toughened up and the newly developed muscles on her upper arms bulged as they took the strain without much effort. She reached back in and grabbed her bookbag and slung it over the push handle behind her.
Jake leaned in nervously but she didn't push him away as he gave her a peck on the cheek, a rarity for her. He watched as she easily manipulated the chair up the low step and onto the path leading to the school. She turned back and said 'Bye dad, thanks for the lift.'
'Kiddo, are you sure you don't want me to come pick you up this afternoon? It would be my pleasure.'
'I'm sure Dad, I came here and back twice yesterday to get the feel for the distance, I can manage, no problem, seeya.'
Daria turned the chair and made her way up the approach to the big double doors. There were three steps which she could have managed in a pinch as they were quite wide but instead she headed to the left and the new ramp which had only been finished over the weekend and was the reason why she had missed the start of term. She had to pick her way around some bags that had been carelessly left on the ramp then there was the door.
She knew the type it was, barely wide enough for the chair and with strong closing springs. It was a tricky job to hold one open with one hand while moving the chair forward with the other but with a grimace and a little effort she was in the foyer. A security guard waved her through the metal detectors which immediately set off an ear splitting alarm. She gave him a dirty look, he was supposed to turn it off and sweep her over with the handheld unit and she could tell he knew it too.
Two other guards came over and made an issue of checking over her chair and going through every single item in her bag. 'And so it begins' She thought to herself. 'This is the terrible revenge of Li Fu Manchu. Bring it on, bitch, step over the line, just a little, just once and you'll think you were born in a courtroom and you'll wish you'd died before you ever decided to cross me!'
Finally allowed access into the school she headed for the inner door, of course none of the security goons offered to hold it for her but she was surprised when a ginger haired boy pulled it open and held it for her with an extravagant bow. 'I can manage.' She growled at him.
'I'm certain that you can sweet lady, but would you deny me the pleasure of holding a door for a pretty girl? My old granddad always says that good manners cost nothing but they can be the most valuable thing you possess, please proceed Madame.'
'Fine, but tone it down a notch or ten huh? I don't need sympathy.'
'I wasn't offering sympathy, merely courtesy. Charles.'
'Daria, I guess I'll see you around... wait a sec, could you tell me how to get to the principal's office?'
'Certainly. Around that corner to the left you'll find an elevator which us humble students are forbidden to use. Go up to the third floor, turn right when you come out of the elevator and you'll see the office in front of you, it's actually right above us, two floors up.'
'Thanks again, later.'
Charles waved and hurried off to class as a bell rang.
Daria took a deep breath and headed where he'd indicated. 'Let's go.' She thought to herself. 'How bad can it be?'