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A Prolonged Stay

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Papyrus fidgeted anxiously. His medication was starting to wear off, and he wasn't nearly as tired without it. It was easier to sleep the day away, but at this point all he really wanted to do was move. Nyeh, like that would happen anytime soon. Sans was sleeping in the chair at his bedside, skull tilted at a weird angle and snoring softly. Papyrus would love someone to talk to, but at the same time he felt bad trying to wake Sans up again. He's barely gotten any sleep in the last nine days as it was, and Papyrus had only been awake for two of those! Really the mere idea of him sleeping so long was completely absurd.

The skeleton glanced at the television in the wall corner, watching the puppies running around a grassy field on the Animal Channel before switching it off. Those pesky mutts certainly weren't making him feel better, no matter how cute they were. With a sigh the skeleton glance over at the monitors strapped to his soul. The stupid neck brace kept his skull locked in place, so just looking around his room was challenging enough. He could barely see the screen, though the beeping assured it was certainly working. Stars he probably looks like such an idiot right now. Growing tired of trying to view the equipment Papyrus stared at the charts littering the wall instead. That just reminded him of another problem… finances.

He wasn't sure how they were going to afford all these medical expenses. That was just another thing to top off this horrible situation. Papyrus’ job as a nighttime security guard didn't offer any benefits for new hires, and Sans’ insurance from the University wouldn't cover this either. He heard Sans grumbling about it yesterday when he thought Papyrus was asleep. It was clear the younger brother’s condition wasn't the only thing on the elder’s mind. The two were going to be drowning in debt, possibly losing the house they recently bought too. They might have to live in Papyrus’ car. That is… if his car hadn't been completely totalled in that stupid accident!

“You hangin’ in there Pap?” Sans asked groggily. He was waking up slowly, cracking his sore neck and giving a stiff yawn.

“Everything is fine brother.” Papyrus tried to say cheerfully, though he wasn't sure how well it came across. Sans didn't seem to buy it.

“Ya sure? It's been a while since the nurse gave ya more pain meds.” Sans reached towards the call button but Papyrus stopped him with his only movable arm.

“Really Sans, there is no need for calling her prematurely. I feel fine!” In all honesty he really didn't. Papyrus could feel the aching returning to his bones as the morphine started wearing off, but he thought getting more than necessary would be several hundred more dollars on the bill. At least, he was pretty sure they would charge for each dose he received. The skeleton could wait if it meant less worry for Sans later. “Shouldn't you be getting a shower or something? Your really starting to smell.”

“Nah, I think I'm diggin’ the BO stench. It’s the in thing right now.” Sans leaned back and crossed his arms with a stupid grin. Papyrus huffed but couldn't help smiling a bit. He hasn't had a real shower since the accident, and the younger skeleton absolutely hated feeling this gross. He probably smelled too. Papyrus knew this was either an attempt by Sans to help him feel better or find an excuse to not bath. Either way he did hope for the former. Well, no matter how bad this was at least no one else has seen him like this. Papyrus would hate for everyone to see how gross and uncool he's become.

“Comic!” An ecstatic Blue burst into the room much to Papyrus’ surprise. “We came as soon as we heard the good news!”

Wait… did he just say WE?!

Suddenly a full army of skeletons flooded into the small hospital room. Blue was practically dragging Stretch full force followed by Red and Fell soon after. Slim was also with them, sticking close to the Fell brothers.

“S-Sans?” Papyrus stuttered completely horrified. “Why is everyone here… right now?!” Papyrus could feel the color draining from his skull. Of all the people he didn't want knowing about his current condition, the alternate skeleton brothers were near the top.

“Sorry, I forgot to warn ya.” Sans said with a nervous chuckle, now seeming to realize Papyrus’ distress. “This is actually the second time they've visited.”

“Did you say SECOND time?!” Papyrus questioned completely mortified.

“Yes!” Blue chimed in. “I called last week asking why you both missed movie night, and when Sans answered I knew something was wrong and-”

“The short version…” Stretch interrupted before Papyrus worked himself up too badly. “Is we tracked him down to the hospital and made him talk. No need to be upset with him.” Papyrus tried to nod, already forgetting the brace around his neck wouldn't allow it. Stars he must look so stupid!

“You already appear far better than you did.” Fell said thoughtfully while examined the visible injuries on his bones. “You were hard to recognised with how severe the bruising was.” Papyrus whined quietly while trying to pull the blanket further up his chest. The light green gown was embarrassing enough. He really didn't want them seeing much more, even though they probably have already…

Stars why was everyone staring at him now?! He must look incredibly sloth and uncool! The only thing he wanted to do currently was jump out the window, but his leg casts wouldn't allow it.

“Hey Comic.” Red finally said. “Why don't you, me and Blue head out for a few hours. Maybe stop at Grillby’s? No offence but ya look like shit.” Sans shook his head while trying to crack his stiff neck again.

“Nah, I'm good here.”

“No brother! You should go with them.” Papyrus interjected. “You need a break.”

‘And you need to take everyone else with you!’ Papyrus thought to himself. He hated this, and he really didn't want to be around Sans, much less anyone else right now. Sans looked like he wanted to argue but Red wouldn't let him.

“Welp, the important one has spoken.” Red grabbed both Blue and Sans before taking a shortcut, leaving the Papyruses to themselves.

“Well, since there is more room I suppose I'll get things prepped.” Fell walked over to the built in wall length dresser by the window, removing several puzzle boxes and other bags from his inventory. “Fear not! For we are here to help with your recovery!”

“... huh?” Papyrus asked, still not sure if he heard that correctly.

“Your always around to cheer me or Blue up on a bad day, or help Red when he's been drinking too much. Heck, ya even make special ‘healing spaghetti’ whenever Slim gets the flu.” The shy skeleton nodded in agreement, clearly in on this whole charade. “The least we could do is return the favour.” Stretch finished with a grin stupid enough to rival Sans’.

Papyrus forced a small smile, not even sure how he could respond to that. This was all just… too much to handle.

“It's hard to believe how stupid humans can be.” The edgy skeleton started rambling as he sorted the items. “Honestly, more people drunk driving then normal simply because it's a holiday?! It seems like every human celebration is nothing more than an excuse to get inebriated!” Stretch rolled his eyelights and made his way closer to Rus.

“So, what’d the doc say?” Stretched asked while Fell continued ranting. “Comic made it sound pretty serious.” Papyrus cringed. He didn't want anyone to know his current condition, much less that he was stuck in a hospital looking THIS horrible! Why did Sans have to tell the others about this?!

“Is that a necessary question?” Fell finally interrupted after finishing his rant. “If you couldn't tell by the casts and pins in his jaw I'd say it's pretty bad.” Papyrus glanced down at his legs, both of which were bound in full length cast, though everything but his wrapped feet and toes were covered in a thick blanket. The two began bickering as they normally do. Well, Stretch did everything he could to egg the edgy skeleton on, and Fell took the bait as usual. At least Papyrus had time to think on his answer now.

With a sigh the skeleton glanced at his right arm, wrapped close to the shoulder in a thick cast with several stabilizing pins sticking out. In all honesty the crash had been very serious, and the doctors were all surprised that he didn't dust from it. It was after dark according to what Sans said, since Papyrus couldn't remember it for the life of him. The authorities told him the drunk human was weaving into the wrong lane and collided with oncoming traffic, which happened to be Papyrus at that moment. His car actually went over the railing and part way down a ravine. Thank goodness for seat belts at least, since that's what kept Papyrus from becoming chalk across the asphalt. The human had made it out just fine though…

“Rus?” Slim asked worriedly. The skeleton flinched a bit at the voice. The others were now watching him with clear concern, thought Papyrus tried to play it off as no big deal.

“Do not worry!” Papyrus tried to say with more bravado then he could currently muster. “The human doctor said I would be alright in no time! Nothing can keep the Great Papyrus down for long!” Fell glared with narrowed sockets clearly not believing a word of it. Slim chose be ring his phalanges and look elsewhere, while Stretch tried to give a reassuring smile.

“That's good to hear Rus. We'd hate for ya to be stuck in bed for too long.” Stretch replied. A sudden silence fell over the group, and it only made Papyrus more restless. If they weren't going to say more could they at least stop staring at him?! Maybe his headache would go away if they gave him a chance to calm.

Suddenly Slim made his way closer. So much for that wishful thought. The quiet skeleton seemed unsure how to best approach his injured counterpart before finally taking a box and toy from his inventory.

“From my bro…” Slim quickly placed the box on Papyrus’ chest. “And me.” He set a stuffed teddy bear next to it.

“Thank you Tiny-me.” Papyrus said at a lower volume. He never expected Razz to be concerned about him, or at least care enough to send a get well present. Papyrus grabbed the cardboard lid with the fingers available on his left hand, attempting to open the box before it became a full on struggle.

“I got it.” Stretch moved in to assist after cringing through the first minute. Using both hands Stretch opened the box with ease, setting it back on Papyrus’ chest so he could get a good look.

“Chamomile tea?” The skeleton read the the package of ten tea packets.

“Mas- I-I mean bro said they would help you recover faster.” Slim stated while rubbing his arm.

“I very much appreciate the gifts. I'll be sure to put the tea to good use.” Slim seemed pleased by that response, deciding to take a seat on the dresser.

“If you are ready I've also prepared something.” Fell added.

“I thought we went over this already.” Stretch groaned in frustration. “Your stupid method of ‘suck it up and deal with it’ won't work here!” Fell waved him off, taking a bowl out of his inventory.

“We aren't in the Underground anymore! Things for us Fell monsters have changed since moving. If you'd care to pay attention you would know this already.” Fell stuck his nasal bone in the air and walked over to Papyrus’ bedside. “I've done my research, and since it's apparently not a well known fact that hospital food is terrible for you, I've made some dishes myself that should help with quicker healing.” Fell pulled up the bowl of mush with plastic wrap on top. He removed a clean spoon from his inventory before pulling the chair closer to Papyrus’ bed and peeling off the cover. It was still steaming, apparently made right before Fell’s arrival.

“Now open wide.” Fell held the spoonful of mashed paste up to Papyrus’ face expectantly. The injured monster blushed bright orange, embarrassment drowning his soul.

“Ummm, Edgy-me… you know I can eat by myself, correct?” Papyrus lifted his left wrist which was only splinted rather then fully wrapped in a cast.

“Oh no you don't. Taking unnecessary risk will only result in further injury, and we want your stay here to be a brief one.” Fell huffed. “According to the book you should be doing as little as possible. Now open up.”

“Heh, says the guy that nearly dusted trying to defend a few girls from some thug humans.” Stretch looked over from his seat and grinned smugly. “How long did it take to get you to lay down? I think Red needed to get the ropes out.”

“Oh! I remember that!” Papyrus chimed in despite Fell’s angry squawking. “Edgy-me sawed through the ropes with a bone attack! Didn't Red bring out some old shackles from downstairs?”

“That's right. It was turning into a ‘bone’dage situation.” Stretch and Slim both laughed heartily while Papyrus attempted to suppress a chuckle. Fell tried to hide his embarrassment though the red magic flushing his cheeks didn't help matters.

“Shut up! I refused to take that much time off of work is all!” He quickly recovered and moved back to the current task. “Would you just eat it!” Fell didn't give Papyrus a chance to protest this time, roughly shoving the spoon between his teeth. The skeleton mashed the substance around his mouth before forcing himself to swallow. He shivered as magic flooded his soul, but could barely feel any cracks closing up. “That's odd.” Fell rubbed his chin in thought. “That didn't do much of anything! I know I stuffed it full of magic…” the Fell monster took a thirty year old medical textbook from his inventory and started flipping through the pages.

“Wait, were you referencing a human book?!” Stretch squawked.

“No, I'm reading a book on treating plants.” Fell drawled sarcastically. “Of course it's a human book! Do you know how small our database is regarding long term care for sick and injured monsters? That was not a priority until reaching the surface!”

Stretch just gawked at him before facepalming. “Of course it didn't work you stubborn idiot! The monster receiving the healing magic needs to be receptive to it for any effects to happen. Clearly that isn't the case currently.”

“Nonsense! Rus obviously wants to get better, don't you?” Fell turned to eye him critically.

“Ummm… yes?” Papyrus tried to give the correct answer, but was honestly too stressed to know what was said. The throbbing in his head and body wasn't helping matters either.

“You see!” Fell flailed his arm dramatically. “He just needs to eat more and he'll be right as rain!” The Fell monster took another spoonful and shoved it into Papyrus’ mouth. This time the poor skeleton couldn't even swallow. It fell out of the hole in his jaw and dropped onto his neck brace and gown.

“Do ya get it now?” Stretch growled angrily. “It's a psychological thing, but I guess your ‘death to the weak’ universe wouldn't understand that.” Fell stood up and set the bowl down, making his way around Slim and standing face to face with his lazy double. The quiet skeleton wanted nothing to do with it, instead grabbing some wet paper towels and wiping up the mess.

“T-thank you Tiny-me.” Papyrus whispered gratefully. At least one of his counterparts could be reasoned with. Hopefully the other two would take the argument outside but he highly doubted it.

He knew the two monsters had started fighting, but most of what they said was lost on Papyrus after that. He was far too distracted by his own pains to listen. The loud bickering only exasperated his terrible migraine, and other parts of his body were gladly joining in. His spine and ribs were really killing him now, as if nails were being hammered through every inch of bone. Each time he attempted to breath several larger nails were added, until he thought his ribs would shatter. The skeleton decided not to breath, instead trying to focus on anything else. With less movement in his ribs the attention soon shifted to lower section of his body. His pelvis was radiating pain, the pins holding the arches together digging real horrific holes through his bones. They were unnatural, unwelcome and uncomfortable, pushing aggressively in from being in the same position for too long against the mattress. Every time he attempted to shift however fresh flames shot through his pelvis and legs, forcing his face to contort in agony.

Why?!

All he wanted to know was WHY?!

The only thing he wanted to do right now was try walking off the pain, or perhaps roll on his side. But could he do that?

NO!

He had to be stuck helpless on his back feeling like garbage with his friends having to take care of him and see him like this! What did he ever do to deserve this?! Papyrus always tried to be positive, do his best at everything he worked at, but now life just throws him off a cliff and left him stranded in a miserable corner of hell!

He just… just wanted to… he-

“... Rus?” Slim asked carefully. Papyrus sniffled but didn't make eye contact, shakily moving his arm up to try and hide his tears. Stars why did he have to be stuck like this?! He could barely move anything and his whole body was aching horribly and he looked so uncool and the others probably thought he was such an embarrassing loser!

Both arguing skeletons ceased their shouting, now watching their injured friend warily. Slim sat on the bed and rubbed Papyrus’ shoulder. The injured monster shuddered but tensed when a wave of fresh pain hit at the movement. Holy Angel why did everything have to hurt so much?!

“I think we might of overwhelmed him.” Stretch mentioned quietly to Fell while Papyrus’ sniffling turned into full on sobs.

“Or his pain medication is wearing off.” Fell mumbled thoughtfully while examining the chart at the end of Papyrus’ bed. “Looks like it's been several hours since his last dose.”

“I'll hit the call button then.” Fell nodded while Stretch made his way to the white device by Papyrus’ hip. The injured monster didn't even try to stop him, far too distressed to even care at this point. “Is there anything we can do to help?” Stretch asked while setting the call button back.

“I-I just want to roll over…” Papyrus whined. The skeletons looked at each other, all aware that was something they couldn't allow.

“Why would ya want that? Being on your backs the best sleepin’ position. Take it from a professional napper.” Stretch tried to act much like Sans had earlier. “Ya just need a few adjustments and everything will be fine.” The lazy skeleton made his way to Papyrus’ other side, fluffing the pillows behind his back and head. Slim seemed to catch on, using the bed controls to recline his double back a little further. Fell even tried helping, ditching his book in favour of adjusting the pillows propping both of Papyrus’ leg casts. He had to admit the changes in his body's posture had alleviated some of the pressure on his pelvis, and the fluffier pillows were certainly appreciated. Sadly it did nothing for the pain currently tearing through his body. Fat orange tears were still streaming down his face when the nurse finally entered.

“Do you need anything?” The middle aged woman in scrubs asked.

“More pain meds would be nice.” Stretch motioned towards the bedridden monster. Papyrus couldn't even speak, afraid he'd start screaming in agony the second he tried. The woman grabbed his patient charts and read them quickly, face softening when she realized what was wrong.

“Awww sweaty. I'll get you set up in a jiffy.” The plump nurse made her way to Papyrus’ bedside, scanning the band on his wrist then the medication bottle in her hand. The three guest were a bit confused by her actions, but soon enough she was pulling out a syringe and injecting the medicine directly through an IV bag attached to Papyrus’ soul. “Please call as soon as the medication starts wearing off next time.” Papyrus only gave a small whimper as a response, but the effects were pretty immediate. He could feel the pain receding as his body began to feel numb. Soon it was like the pain never existed at all.

“How ya feelin’ champ?” Stretch asked carefully. Rus’ face had relaxed considerably, and he felt far more tired than anything else at the moment.

“M’ fine.” Papyrus mumbled. He could honestly say he did feel fine, good even. It was as if all of his problems were an ocean away. “The lady has lovely cheekbones.” Papyrus comment as his thoughts seemed to melt and flow from one subject to another.

“I'll let her know when she comes back.” Stretch said with an air of humor. It was getting harder to tell though, as his voice seemed to be drifting away.

“M’ k.” Papyrus mumbled, or at least he thought he did anyway. The world just seemed to melted into a sea of black.

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The two Fell monster watched as Stretch conversed with their drugged up friend. Rus had stopped crying thankfully, and now seemed to be half asleep and rambling about all sorts of nonsense. Somehow Stretch managed to work around all that to have a genuine conversation with him. Fell could feel something welling up in his soul. Was it… jealousy? No. Fell refused to be jealous of his lazier self. Instead he would concede defeat to his double. Stretch clearly won with regards to bedside manners. If his lazier self could play up to his strengths to help their friends recovery however, then Fell would just have to rely on his.

“Come along Slim.” Fell announced as he turned towards the door. “We'll be back later.” The smaller monster nodded and followed quickly. Stretch turned and watched the two monsters suspiciously but didn't intervene, instead going back to their bedridden alternate. The two monster walked along the quiet hallway, eventually finding a corner to converse in.

“So…” Slim started. Fell perked a brow bone but waited for him to finish. “Does this mean we're tracking down the human that hurt Rus?” Fell couldn't help but crack a smile. Stretch and Rus would certainly hate that idea, but a little backwoods law to a Fell monster is rather common.

“There shall be no need for that.” Fell started. “He's already awaiting trial in jail. However, my Alphys did track down his address.” He held up his smartphone, showing the location on his GPS and several pictures of the estate. “If the asshole can afford to crash a Lamborghini I'm sure he wouldn't miss a couple more sports cars in his collection. Perhaps enough to pay for Rus’ hospital bills? Certainly he wouldn't mind his money going to such a good cause.” Slim nodded in agreement, clearly excited to get started.

“And replace Rus’ car?” Slim asked eagerly.

“Yes, I think that's a marvellous suggestion.” Fell smiled deviously. Oh how he's missed these types of bonding activities with Slim. Normally he'd be loathed to stoop to such petty levels of revenge, but after seeing how this douchebag likes to flaunt his money on social media he'd make an acception.

“Were going on a joyride?” Slim asked practically bouncing in anticipation.

“Yes. We're going on several joy rides.” Fell offered his hand to his small double, who quickly took it and teleported to their new destination. Oh Fell was going to enjoy this immensely.