did i tell you about the time he hung a skeleton outside my door

BMC- Isolation

“Get out of my way… loser.” Jeremy gritted through his teeth.

Michael’s world came crashing down as the boy left the bathroom he was hiding in. Michael lunged for the door and locked it behind Jeremy. Michael felt his world crashing. He couldn’t breathe. Everything was in slo-mo, and sped up at the same time. He couldn’t breathe. Everything was swirling.

Michael started shoving through the medicine cabinet. Something just.. clicked. He grabbed every pill bottle possible. He popped all the full ones open and downed them. It felt like hours of swallowing tons of pills. He started to black out. He need to leave. Now. Michael couldn’t think, but he had to get out. He opened the door, stumbled out onto the hallway, and didn’t remember getting outside.

Jeremy laid in his bed. His head pounded. Why did he have so much to drink?

DING DONG!

The noise was so loud.. so painful..

‘DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR.’

Jeremy stumbled downstairs and opened the door. It was Michael’s Dad. He was.. crying? Michael’s Dad? Showing emotion? How?

Jeremy let him in and he sat on the couch.

“Mich…Michael… He’s..” Mr. Mell stammered.

“He’s what?”

“He’s dead! He was at some party.. and people say he killed himself… I don’t know how..” He blubbered.

Jeremy froze. His SQUIP did as well.

“M…Michael’s…” Jeremy stammered.

“He’s gone! My son!”

‘I TOLD YOU NOT TO OPEN THAT DOOR.’

Jeremy felt the world swallow him. He opened his eyes, which he hadn’t realized he had closed, and saw that he was on the ground.

“I.. hav-have to go..” Michael’s dad stepped around Jeremy, still sobbing. Jeremy slowly climbed to his feet, still shocked. He numbly walked up the stairs and face planted into his pillow. Michael killed himself.

And it was all Jeremy’s fault.

Jeremy sat under the covers. He was numb. It had been hours. Or seconds. Or days. It didn’t matter. Jeremy refused to move.

‘JEREMY, YOU CAN’T STAY LIKE THIS. IT’S UNHEALTHY.’

“Michael..is..dead…and..it’s…my..fault..” Jeremy uttered for the 87th time. He would cry, but he had no more tears left. He was numb. It didn’t feel real.

‘JEREMY, GET OUT OF BED. IT’S BEEN DAYS.’ The SQUIP would shock him, but that would damage the boy further, which would be counter-productive.

“Doesn’tmatter..” Jeremy uttered for the 87th time as well. He refused to leave his mattress.

Knock, Knock.

“Go away..” Jeremy wrapped himself in a blanket to hide how skinny he was getting due to not eating.

“Jeremy, you have to do something. Get some sleep. Eat something. You can’t live like this. We’re all worried about you. You can’t stay like this forever.” Jeremy’s Dad tried to open the locked door. “You can see someone if you need help.”

“I don’t want help. I don’t need help. I don’t need food. I don’t deserve food.” Jeremy whispered.

‘LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTAL UNIT.’

“Jeremy, open the door.”

Jeremy reached across his bed and unlocked the door, still not leaving the blankets.

Jeremy’s Dad came in and gasped when he saw his son. Jeremy was skinnier than usual. He had bags under his eyes. His hair was a mess.

“Jeremy!” Mr. Heere breathed.

“Go away. I’m staying here forever.”

“I’ll be back.”

Mr. Heere left the room and Jeremy heard dialing from the home phone. Jeremy picked up one of the lines to hear who Mr. Heere was talking to. Jeremy muted his end.

“Hello?” That was Brooke’s voice.

“I need you and all of Jeremy’s friends to come here.”

“Yes, sir. We’ve been worried about Jeremy.. Where has he been? Is he sick?”

“He’s locked himself away in his bedroom. He hasn’t even come out. I don’t think he’s even been eating. I hope you guys can help him.”

“We can be there in ten minutes.”

Click. Click.

Jeremy hung up as well and stuffed it under the pillow. He looked up at his cell phone. Also untouched for days. He couldn’t bear to look at the wallpaper.

DING DONG!

“Come in.” Jeremy heard his Dad whisper. Jeremy locked his door and wrapped even more blankets around him so they couldn’t tell his harm.

Knock knock.

“Jeremy? It’s Brooke.”

“And Jake! Duude, What’re you doing?”

“Shut up, Jake. He’s hurting.”

Jeremy just clasped his ears shut, squeezing his eyes tight.

‘JEREMY. LET THEM IN. BROOKE WILL CARE FOR YOU MORE, AND JAKE WILL SPREAD THE WORD. YOU WANTED TO BE POPULAR, RIGHT? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE.’

“Jeremy’s not here.”  He croaked.

“Jeremy, c’mon. Let us in.” Jake knocked again.

Jeremy involuntarily unlocked the door. His hand wasn’t his own.

Jeremy sat criss-cross, wrapped in blankets.

“What?” Jeremy muttered.

“We’re worried.  You haven’t come left in almost 2 weeks! That’s dangerous, Jeremy! Your Dad said you aren’t eating, or drinking! You’re super pale. You need something.”

“I don’t deserve food. I did this. I did this to myself. And I deserve it.” Jeremy told himself, feeling his throat clog up, but he had no more tears to cry.

“Why are you so upset?”

“It’s Michael.” Jeremy sighed.

“That geek? I saw him. He looked awful. He looked like he was dying.” Jake snickered.

“Because he WAS.” Jeremy hissed. He had a feeling his SQUIP would shock him, so he added: “Sorry for snapping..”

“That’s OK, Jeremy. We know you’re hurting. But you can’t stay like this forever.”

“I don’t have any other choice.”

‘YES, YOU DO.’

“No I don’t.” Jeremy told the supercomputer.

“Don’t what?” Jake asked.

“Nothing.” Jeremy realized he was talking out loud. He had a bad streak of that.

“Well, you’re coming out with us. To PinkBerry.” Brooke demanded.

“My best friend is dead, and ice cream won’t change that.” Jeremy snapped.

“Yeah, it’s sad, but you can’t live your life just sitting in your bedroom!” Jake retaliated.

“It’s not like anyone would notice.”

“Dude, everyone would notice.” Jake scoffed. Jeremy didn’t care anymore. It was all his fault his friend was dead.

“Get dressed. I’ll be downstairs. Jake, help him. Or something.”  Brooke pulled out her phone as she left.

Jake started going through Jeremy’s closet.

‘DON’T LET HIM DO THAT. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE COOL SHIRT.’

“Damn, you have a lot of bad shirts.” Jake scoffed. He pulled out a plain striped one. “This one’s OK.”

‘GO, JEREMY.’

“Fine..” Jeremy muttered. He unwrapped his blankets. He was only wearing his sweatpants, seeing his bedroom had become too hot to wear a pajama shirt.

“Damn!” Jake dropped the shirt.

“What?”

“Dude, your dad said you weren’t eating, but I didn’t know he meant this! You look like a skeleton! I can see your ribcage, sorta!”

Jeremy ignored the comment and grabbed some black jeans. Jake was going through Jeremy’s closet as Jeremy changed and when he was slipping on his socks, Jake clapped his hands together.

“Let’s go. Oh my god, your face.”

“What?” Jeremy asked, meaner this time.

“Have you eaten ANYTHING? Like, have you drank any water?”

“I haven’t left my bed. Did I mention my best friend is dead?”

“Sorry dude. We have to go. Like, now. You look like you’re about to die.”

Jeremy did feel weak, but he ignored it. He also did feel a little lightheaded, but probably from dehydration. The mood swings and irritation were probably the same cause.

“Brooke! Let’s go!” Jake called from the top of the stairs. They both stomped down the stairs, Jake faster than Jeremy.

“Oh my god!” Brooke almost dropped Jeremy’s shoes when she saw him.

Jeremy slipped on his sneakers. He blocked out Brooke, Jake, and his Dad’s conversation. They all were talking about where they would be, how they’d make sure Jeremy was eating, and when they’d be back. They treated Jeremy like a young child who couldn’t care for himself. Jeremy sat down on the stairs as he felt a little lightheaded.

“Can we go now?” Jeremy huffed.

“Thank you, you two. I mean it.” Mr. Heere slapped Jeremy on the back gently.

The three left, and when Jeremy got in shotgun (Brooke insisted) he immediately took a breather. He was out of air.

“Woah, my god.” Chloe said.

“Yeah, that’s how bad it is. We aren’t going to PinkBerry. We’re going to dinner.”

“Dinner? What time is it?” Jeremy asked, leaning back against his seat.

“It’s almost 6. Wanna pick up Christine?” Chloe asked Brooke without moving her eyes from the road.

“No!” Jeremy sat straight up.

“OK, well we’re going to go pick up Jenna.”

Jeremy leaned back against his seat. His eyelids felt heavy for the first time in days. He slept a lot the first two days he locked himself away, but wasn’t able to sleep a wink any other time. And before he knew it, Jeremy was out like a light.

“Jeremy.. Jereeemyyy..” Brooke waked him.

“Whuh?” Jeremy flew his eyes open.

“You fell asleep before we even left your driveway. Are you OK?” Jenna asked, leaning against the car. Everyone was out of the car, but his door was open. Brooke was leaning over him.

“Jus.. yeah. I’m..” Jeremy was about to say ‘fine’ but he heard the voice in his head.

‘SWITCHING PROGRAMMING..SWITCH 0% DONE.’

“..fine.” Jeremy unbuckled and looked out the window to see they were in a Wendy’s parking lot. Jeremy slipped out of the seat and followed the group inside. When they stepped in, Jeremy was blasted with cold air. He wasn’t used to not being surrounded by blankets, so he let out a shudder.

“You want my jacket?” Jake asked.

“Sure.”

Jake handed Jeremy the varsity jacket with ‘DILLINGER’ imprinted on the back.

“What do you want? You two go get a seat.” Chloe asked, motioning for Brooke and Jeremy to go sit down.

“I’ll have some chicken.. oh and some fries.” Jeremy added.

“Hmm.. I want a salad.” Brooke studied the menu.

The two sat in a booth nearby. Jeremy crossed his arms and laid them on the table, resting his chin on the table, too.

“Your hair’s a mess.” Brooke laughed. She pulled out a small hairbrush and went to work. Jeremy didn’t protest.

A few minutes later the group came back and sat down with a number card. They were table 9.

“So.. you wanna talk about it?” Brooke asked, putting away the hairbrush.

“Not really..” Jeremy sat up.

“That was rhetorical. You have no choice.”

“Why were you so upset?” Chloe asked.

“I..just.. He was my best friend for 12 years. And one day, I just.. got mad at him.. and called him a loser. He has-well.. had..- social anxiety. I can’t believe I called him a loser. And then.. At your damn party.. He..” Jeremy rested his arms back on the table and hid his face. He didn’t want everyone to know he was crying, or at least about to.

The silence hung in the air.

“Here comes the food.” Jenna broke the silence.

“And Christine.” Chloe added.

“Wait, Christine?!” Jeremy shot straight up. He leaped out of his seat, which he was fortunately on the end of the booth, and hurried to the bathroom.

He looked at his reflection. His face was red and blotchy, and almost white as a ghost. He splashed his face with water. He dried his face with a paper towel. He barely looked any better. He either looked like he was crying, or on every drug possible. Jeremy hoped Christine didn’t think the ladder.

He took a deep breath and marched outside.

He slipped into the booth across from Christine.

“Oh my god! Jeremy?” Christine gasped.

“Hey.. Christine.” Jeremy started to sweat.

“Are you OK?!”

“Y-” Jeremy started.

“No he isn’t.” Jake intervened. “He’s been mourning in his bedroom for two weeks. He hasn’t eaten or drank any water or anything. He hasn’t even left his bed.”

“Thanks, Jake.”

“Here. We ordered you two large waters.” Brooke slid them to him. Jeremy hesitated. “You aren’t doing anything to you drink those. You know how pale you look?”

Jeremy started to suck on the straw when the group started to tell Christine what was going on with Jeremy. Christine would glance at Jeremy every now and then. When he finished the first water they passed him some food. Jeremy hesitated. He would feel worse than before. If he ate, his body would store the food thinking it wouldn’t eat again, which it probably wouldn’t. Jeremy only knew this because one time when he was smoking with…when he was high, he googled stuff about it, because he had the munchies.

Jeremy started to eat. When he finished the first chicken strip, He laid his head on the table. “Oh dear god!” Jeremy hissed.

“What?” Asked Jenna, who sat beside him.

“Holy crap!” Jeremy yelled. “Oh my fuck! My stomach!” And there it goes. Suddenly, he felt like he’d never eaten before. Before he didn’t feel thirsty or hungry. Or tired. But as soon as he left his bedroom, he felt so tired. Jeremy didn’t lift his head but clenched his stomach with one arm and banged his fist on the table with the other. He was so hungry he felt sick.

Jeremy rested his arm. “I want to go home now.”

“You haven’t eaten anything.” Jenna commented.

“I want. To go. Home.”

“Let’s all go back to my place.” Chloe volunteered.

Jeremy stood up, but only to feel pain in his stomach. He could make it to the car. Right?

Christine came back with a To-Go bag. She poured all the food into it and they all headed to the parking lot, everyone behind Jeremy as he tried to disguise his pain. Good thing they parked right in front. Jeremy climbed into shotgun. Christine passed the food off to Jenna and went to her own car. They all piled into Chloe’s Mom’s SUV and Jeremy buckled in.  He was going to fall back asleep, but he felt awful.

Jeremy felt so dazed, he didn’t realize that they were pulling into Chloe’s neighborhood. Did she live so close? Probably not. Jeremy unbuckled as they pulled into the garage. He wobbled to his feet and walked inside.

“MOM! I’M HAVING SOME FRIENDS OVER!” Chloe called.

“That’s fine, Honey. And I’m right here.” Chloe’s mom replied from the couch. Jeremy hid behind Jake and they all went upstairs. Jeremy took off Jake’s jacket and handed it to him.

They all sat down on the floor as seconds later Christine came in, too. Brooke dialed on her phone and then handed it to Jeremy.

“Hello?” Jeremy’s dad asked.

“Hey, Dad. I’m staying over at Chloe’s with everybody else.”

“OK, Good. I was worried. I’m happy you’re getting better. I also booked an appointment with a nearby therapist. A buddy of mine told me about him. It’s tomorrow around dinner time.”

“Wait, what?! I don’t need a therapist!”

“I’m sorry, Jeremy. But I’m worried about you. Maybe you’d like to talk about it with a third party?”

“I don’t need a therapist. Bye, Dad.” Click.

“You’re getting a therapist?” Christine asked.

“Apparently. Pass the Wendy’s.”

Jeremy  finished his last water after all his food. He still felt hungry.

“We ordered you another chicken in case. You want it?” Brooke asked.

Jeremy pulled it out of the bag and chomped it down.

‘GOAL, 100% COMPLETE. GOAL, UPDATED.’

“Can we go to the mall tomorrow?”

“Sure. What for?”

“I need to stop by Spencer’s Gifts.” Jeremy tugged on his shirt where his heart is. He squeezed it in a fist.

‘ACCESSING MEMORY. OH, GOOD.’

‘Yeah, I guess.’

‘I’M PROUD OF YOU, JEREMY. YOU’RE EATING AGAIN.’

Jeremy still felt so sluggish and fatigued. The metabolism was still so low, as his body stored the food.

“When you don’t eat for days, and I mean days, and you suddenly start eating again your body doesn’t trust it’ll get food again, so it stores the food thinking it won’t eat for a while. And you’re even more sick than before.” Jeremy leaned against the edge of Chloe’s bed.

“Oh..Kay?” Chloe raised an eyebrow.

“I’m going to sleep now.” Jeremy added, so they got the point.

“You and Jake can take the bed since: A, you’re both guys, and B, it’s a double sized. I call the futon.” Chloe started to switch the chair out to a bed.

“We can make sleeping bags out of blankets and pillows!” Christine said giddily.

“Yeah!” Jenna and Brooke chimed in.

Jeremy climbed into the bed, still fully clothed, and fell asleep in seconds.

Jeremy woke up in the middle of the night. He sat up sluggishly. He looked down to his right to see Jake asleep. He peered out to the floor to see the three girls all snuggled up, and Chloe passed out on the futon. Jeremy smiled. He saw on the bedside table Brooke’s phone with a little note “If you want to call your Dad, he’s on speed dial :)” Jeremy picked up the phone, and got blinded by the light and lowered the brightness, and saw 3 missed calls from his dad. Sure, 1AM was a good time to pick up.

His dad answered on the second to last ring.

“Hello? Brooke? Jeremy?” He asked. He sounded wide awake.

“Hey, Dad.” Jeremy mumbled.

“Oh, Son, you gave me a heart attack.”

“I just fell asleep after I ate. Remember that metabolism fact I told you? Yeah, That happened. I’m sorry, Dad.”

“That’s fine. I was just worried. You can’t do that to yourself, Jeremy, god.”

“I’m sorry, Dad. But hey, I’m getting better, I guess.”

“You’re still going to that appointment. Now, get some sleep.”

“Night, Dad.”

“Goodnight, Jeremy.”

Click…

Jeremy woke up to see the group playing cards on the ground. He woke up laying sideways.

“Hey.”

“Oh! Dude! You’re awake! I thought I woke you up when I got up because when I got out of bed you slowly turned sideways.” Jake laid down his cards facing up so everyone could see.

“Jake, you lost again. Stop putting you’re cards up!” Jenna snickered.

“Do you still feel sick?” Christine asked.

“A little. I am pretty hungry. What time is it?”

“It’s around 10:30. You guys want some cereal?” Chloe asked the group, collecting the cards and storing them back in the box.

The group started to go downstairs.

Before they got to Chloe’s parents he turned to Jenna and asked “Do I look any better?”

“Not really.. probably because of that meta thing you said last night.”

“Metab.. never mind.”

“Hey mom. We’re awake.”

“I made pancakes!”

Jeremy sighed. Just the mention of food wiped his appetite away. He sat down next to Brooke as a plate was set in front of him.

As everyone else dug in, Jeremy avoided eye contact and felt embarrassed.

“I thought you said you were hungry.” Brooke said between chews.

“Not really..”

“I promised Mr. Heere, Jeremy. Please? For me?”

Jeremy wasn’t in love with Brooke, but he can’t say no to that face. He started to cut his pancake.

He ate pretty fast. But when they went back upstairs to get dressed, Jeremy felt a little sick.

Jeremy grabbed a comb from Chloe’s dresser and attempted to fix his hair. Which was impossible. But he tried.

The group all went down into the SUV, including Christine.

“I’ll sit in the back.” Jeremy shyly announced. “I need to grab my phone from my house, too. If that’s fine w-with you, Chloe.”

“No way. You’re sitting up front with me. And yeah, your house is on the way to the mall, so it all works.” Chloe said back, not lifting her gaze from her phone. Jeremy tried to not turn red; He wasn’t used to all this attention. He liked it, but he felt like they were caring too much and he felt a little guilty. Christine and Jenna sat in the back-back, or the 3rd row, and Jake and Brooke sat in the middle. Jeremy lived only a couple blocks away, so it was only a couple minute drive.

‘Helloooo? What’re you doing? Why did you change the goal?’

‘WELL, I FEARED YOU MIGHT BE SLIPPING BACK INTO ISOLATION, SO MY PRIMARY GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE FUNCTIONING SAFELY. PEOPLE CARE ABOUT YOU, JEREMY.’

‘So? I’m fine..’

‘10 DAYS IN YOUR BEDROOM DOES NOT DEFINE ‘FINE’.”

“Jeremy? Why’re you making that face? Are you OK?” Jenna asked from the backseat.

“O-Oh! It’s nothing.. I was just.. thinking.” Jeremy was caught so off guard, he had a whole pause between the “O” and “H”. Chloe pulled into Jeremy’s garage. His dad must’ve gone to work, or let his coworker use his car. Most likely the former.

Jeremy hopped out of the car and walked up to his bedroom. He locked his gaze on his bed. How badly did he want to just crawl in there and not leave? Was it worth ditching his friends? Well.. maybe he could lay down just for a little…

“JEREMY HEERE! YOU BETTER NOT BE HIDING AGAIN!” Jake shouted, making Jeremy jump. He landed on his back and had to check to make sure his own heart was beating. His eyes were wide open.

“J..ake..” Jeremy huffed. He was having trouble breathing. Jeremy sat up and started having a coughing fit.

“Oh, sorry man. Brooke just told me to make sure you weren’t hiding.”

“I thought about it.” Jeremy scowled.

‘NO.’

“Jesus, Man.. you can’t do that to me.” Jeremy said  between coughs.

“Sorry dude. Grab your phone and lets go. Brooke also told me to talk to your dad.”

Jeremy grabbed his cell hesitantly and followed Jake downstairs.

“Mr. Heere?” Jake asked.

“Right here! In the office.” The two took a sharp right into the home office.

“Wow. This is nice.” Jake gazed around the room.

“Hey, Jeremy, your appointment is at 5.”

“I don’t need an app-mmph!” Jeremy started, but Jake clasped his hand over his mouth.

“We’ll take him.”

“Thank you so much, Jake. I really appreciate it. You guys are such good friends for Jeremy, and he really needs it in this time, especially with what’s been going on.” Jeremy’s Dad monologued while Jeremy was trying to wrestle Jake’s hand off his mouth. Jeremy’s Dad grabbed Jeremy’s phone during this.

“Hey! Give that back!”

“Give me a moment.” He surfed through what felt like hours, and then tossed it back to him.

“Let’s go! We gotta get to the mall. After that, we’re visiting Rich!” Jake started to leave.

“Oh, and Jeremy?”

“Yeah, Dad?”

“I want you to talk to your mom. Go to her house, call her, doesn’t matter. I want you to talk to her.”

“OK, Dad.”

They pulled into the outlet mall. Jeremy tried to sprint, but he was so sluggish, it looked like it was in slo-mo. He gave up and just speed walk, which was also slow.

“What’s the rush?”

“I need to get to Spencer’s gifts.”

“Isn’t that behind the store? That place is super shady..” Jenna started, but Jeremy was going as fast as he could, which wasn’t that fast.

He hurried through the center of the mall and around a huge fountain, and hurried into the small store.

“I need a Mountain Dew: Red!”

“OK, dude. Chill. Aren’t you Mell’s friend?”

Jeremy bit his lip. “Y-Yeah.. Just.. give me the soda. Please.”

“That’ll be 2.56.”

Jeremy paid her a 5. He hurried back to the group, hiding the soda in the paper bag he was given. They all gave quizzical looks, but continued back to the car with him. He looked happy, so they couldn’t protest.

When they all buckled in, Jeremy opened the soda.

“This is going to hurt like a motherfucker.” Jeremy announced. “I’m going to scream a lot but ignore me.”

“Why?”

“Because. Now, nothing can stop me.”

Jeremy downed the entire bottle. He let out a scream. He slammed his hands against his forehead, shoving himself back against the seat, and howled like a wounded animal. He was trying not to slam his head into the airbag, and setting it off. He didn’t remember to stop screaming until he felt emptiness. He kicked his feet all over. Chloe and everyone else was trying to hold him back, but Chloe had to drive. She ended up pulling over. Brooke unbuckled and reached down into and lowered his seat into laying position. They all were pinning Jeremy down while he screamed like in the Exorcist.

Jeremy finally started to calm down, but then he felt a sharp zap in his head and screamed more. He didn’t remember stopping.

Jeremy woke up in the car. He looked up out the windshield to see they were at the hospital. Chloe was looking for a parking spot. All the others had gone inside. The SQUIP must’ve been keeping his stomach fueled the best it could, because he felt worse than before.

“Go back to sleep, Jeremy. We’ll wake you up in an hour.”

Jeremy was shaken awake.

“Jeremy.. Jeremy?” Jake asked.

“Mmmph.. I’m up.”

“Wake up. Rich wants to see you. Are you OK?”

“Has it been an hour?” Jeremy asked. He sat up to see he had a blanket on him, which was obviously from the trunk. It was Chloe’s Mom’s car.

He sat up and climbed out of the car. He was still half asleep. His brain felt so scattered. Like it was ripped in pieces.

The receptionist stopped the two when they walked in.

“Are you checking in another patient? He looks very malnourished.”

“We’re just visiting.” Jake told her, as they hurried into the elevator.

Jake jabbed the button, and Jeremy struggled to scatter his brain back together.

“Are you OK?” Jake asked again.

“I’m fine.”

“You were screaming. A lot.”

“I told you guys to ignore me.”

“Yeah, but it’s hard to when you’re kicking and punching everything and screaming your head off.” Jake joked as they walked into the room.

“Woah.” Jenna immediately looked up from her phone to see Jeremy.

“Yo? Jeremy’s here?” Rich asked.

The curtain was shoved back to reveal Rich, who was in a full body cast.

“Holy shit!” Rich screamed.

“Rich!” Brooke hissed.

“You told me not to be worried if he looked messed up. He looks like a monster!”

“Thanks, Rich.” Jeremy sat on the empty cot next to him.

“Dude, what is your problem?”

“I..uh…well.. at the party..” Jeremy stammered. “My..Uh..The SQUIP..Michael..just..”

“Jeremy, you don’t have to tell him. I can do it if you want.” Brooke told him slowly.

Jeremy swallowed and nodded frantically.

“At the party, Michael and Jeremy had a fight and said things they didn’t mean. And Michael… took his own life. Jeremy..”

“I locked myself in my room for 10 days. I didn’t eat. I didn’t leave my bed. I almost died. And I just got locked OUT of my room. And.. my metabolism-” Jeremy said numbly.

“If you say that metabolism fact one more time, Jeremy Heere I swear to god!” Jenna called from the seats behind the curtain.

“And I’m slowly dying.” Jeremy continued numbly.

Jeremy didn’t move his body and just flopped backwards.

“Can I go home?” Jeremy asked. “I’ve had a lot of fun and all.. With the sleepover and the dinner and.. But I’m tired.”

“If you lock yourself in your bedroom, for more than a day, we’re calling the cops.” Chloe threatened.

“The receptionist thought he was a patient because he was so malnourished.”

“Then let’s check him in as a patient. He can stay here.” Chloe scoffed.

“Yeah, Yeah. Very funny. I’m calling my mom.” Jeremy dialed her number and put it on speaker.

“Hey Mom.. Dad wanted me to call you.”

“I heard what happened. Oh, honey, why? Why did you do that to yourself? You don’t deserve that. You’re doing all that you can to make it through high school. That doesn’t mean you can starve yourself.”

“Mom. Can you just pick me up? I want to go home.” Jeremy clicked off speaker phone, embarrassed. He didn’t expect his mother to blurt out the fact he was an outcast.

“I’ll come get you. Where are you?”

“At the hospital. I was checking in on one of my friends.”

“I’ll come drop you off at the appointment your father told me about.”

“I don’t need a therapist, Mom.”

“Well, I’m on my way. Be ready in 10 minutes.”

“Bye, Mom.”

Click…

Jeremy flopped back onto the bed with a sigh.

AU? AU. #12

Every fucking year.

Every. Fucking. Year.

The House next door is always trying to one-up Levi in Halloween decor. When Levi adds a pumpkin, the neighbour adds a jack-o-lantern. When Levi adds cobwebs to the bushes, the neighbour adds cobwebs to the front door and that dumbass light that shines spiders onto the side of the house. When Levi adds small ghosts that post into the ground, the neighbour adds large inflatable ghosts that light up and move.

Levi. Can’t. Win.

It’s a constant battle of who can decorate the more ridiculous looking Spooky House. It’s something he himself prepares for all 364 other days of the year. He’s buying Halloween decorations in April to be ready. He spares no expense on stocking his arsenal of Spooky Shit. His friends buy him Halloween props for his birthday and Christmas. He will do anything to win. This fight has been going on and only ever truly mattering in the month of October. They both seem to agree that Halloween is the one true Holiday and all others come second.

But, he has never met his neighbour.

They’ve been doing this waltz back and forth for about five years now. Levi had never worked up the bother to greet his new neighbour from five years ago and the new neighbour never worked up the bother to introduce them-self. Hanji keeps insisting that Levi make an effort to at least greet his arch-nemesis before assuming the worst of them. Erwin thinks Hanji and he should stay out of Levi’s crazy business because no one is hurt from a little ‘friendly’ competition.

“Levi, you know. I think your neighbour is just trying to poke some fun at you! Whoever they are, they seem to be pretty creative. You two should meet! I bet you two would get along great!” Hanji’s main goal in life, no-the actual reason she was born, was to find and annoy Levi for the rest of his life. Which is why, nine times out of ten, he ignores everything she says. Now was one of those times.

“Hanji, I’m sure Levi is just playfully competing with his neighbour. There is no reason to force an introduction on them. Besides, if they were to meet, Levi’s never-ending ‘shit jokes library’ might scare them away.” Erwin was truly a voice of reason, what would he do without Erwin around to stop Hanji from doing all the crazy shit she does?

“Call it whatever you two fucking want. The cocksucker next door is purposely copying me, but modifying the decorations so it’s only slightly better. It’s really starting to piss me off. Five fucking years of this bullshit. Who do they think they are?” Levi doesn’t really fucking care either way. Or so he says. But if he was being honest, he was starting to get a little curious about his neighbour.

So like any sane person.
Levi starts stalking the neighbour’s house.

He suddenly has cameras and telescopes set up in the rooms facing the neighbour’s Home. He goes through hours of footage every day trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive neighbour, only ever seeing the back of the male’s head. Levi started keeping a log of when the neighbour leaves and when he comes back, who usually visits his house, when he’s awake and when he sleeps. He even catches him adding new decorations from time to time, but never enough to have distinguishable features other than “dark hair”. It pisses Levi off so much to the point where he -almost- considers baking an appropriate fall dish to bring over and introduce himself with.

But that means baking and talking to people.
Which is way too much torture for Levi to handle, talk about Spooky.

And even though the closer to fall it gets, the colder the weather becomes, Levi finds himself spending more time outside. On his porch, on the ladder hanging decorations, raking the leaves, cleaning the gutters, literally any excuse to find a moment to wave or catch the neighbour leaving his home. He’s even gotten a better look at Brownie’s friends.

(Yes, Levi has officially given the neighbour a very creative nickname. He is very proud of this nickname. Levi knows the neighbour’s hair is brown. And so Brownie it is.)

The two most common are a small blonde with a very coconut hairstyle and the other is a taller raven-ette, who seemingly never parts from the red scarf around her neck. He’s waved twice at them and both times the Blondie noticed.

So clearly Levi is making great progress.

***

“Eren?” Armin called out to his longtime best friend, waiting for Mikasa to enter the mudroom before gently closing the door shut behind her. “Eren! We’re here! We’ve got those very specific items you requested.”

“And a pie,” Mikasa added, making sure to thank Armin for being such a gracious gentlemen. Her voice wasn’t nearly as sing song-y as his, but it was powerful for how soft and light it was. Definitely loud enough to hear if you were paying attention. Soon enough they made their way out into the kitchen, still noticing a strange lack of their best friend. Mikasa continues on, placing the pie on the small island counter, removing it from the plastic bag and even reaching for some plates and forks. Armin decides to follow suit, placing the paper bag (holding said “requested” items) down on the kitchen table away from the baked treat-just waiting to be eaten. He goes towards the fridge and opens the left panel to grab a can of whipped cream, returning to Mikasa’s side and taking the small plate she had made holding a delicately cut pie slice. He started adding a generous helping of whip cream to the top and took a fork with him on his way to the living room.

“Eren, where are you hiding?” He more muttered to himself than anything, making sure to use careful and strategically wide steps when manoeuvring through the living room. A large amount of yet to be hung Halloween decor was sprawled out everywhere. Black cats and witches hats. Skeleton hands and tombstone heads. All the cheesiest and spookiest sounding things you could think up. Armin’s quest for Eren admittedly didn’t last very long, when from underneath a pile of fake cobwebs Eren’s hand jutted out to grab Armin’s ankle.

And thus: the world record for the loudest pitched scream ever was broken.

Armin gracefully kicked at the pile of webs hitting Eren straight in the jaw. The loud groan that happened shortly after then singled to Armin that 'Oh. That was Eren. I just kicked Eren.’ And he proceeded to have a calm, mini freak out. Eren emerged from the pile rubbing his jaw harshly with a look of pure betrayal.

“Armin, what the fuck.” He didn’t seem very amused and quite frankly, neither did Armin. Eren’s body, from head to toe, was completely covered in orange and black glitter, clearly preparing the Halloween decorations was the only thing he had been up to all day. Or, up in all day? His friends were pretty impressed. Eren had come far in the last few years, his books were selling well-especially the horror/thriller genre series he was currently working on. And in being so grateful for all the good reviews and surprising success, he had suddenly decided to devote most of his days to intense research on all things that bump and thump in the night. He was now a media proclaimed “Steven King-esque artist” and proudly lives up to that title. “All I did was grab your ankle and try to scare you a little Armin, no need to kick me.” He gave a smug little smile to his best friend, knowing how badly Armin’s jumps get when he’s scared. It’s telling that Eren still decided to go ahead with the prank anyway, obviously not taking into account of any consequences.

“Eren. I come to your house after getting a phone call from you about needing 'an incredibly important list of items’ and out of the kindness of my heart, off I go, running errands for you. I even bring you surprise pie. And this is how you treat me?” The look of disappointment on Armin’s face could only be compared in likeness to that of a disappointed pet owner, whose pet decided that yes it was absolutely acceptable to start eating the corner of the couch. In the surprise attack, the pie did come out only slightly scathed, the beautiful fluffy tower of whipped cream had toppled over landing in a small 'plop’ onto the side of the plate.

===========
OKAY, I AM GONNA STOP HERE. WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN “AU? AU.” HAS SUDDENLY TURNED INTO SOMETHING I WOULDN’T MIND ACTUALLY MAKING A FIC OF. SO IF EVERYONE WANTS, I WILL KEEP WRITING THIS. JUST LEMME KNOWWW.

Zombie Apocalypse AU! Shance

< Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 >          Ao3 Link


The inside of the shack was modest, only being furnished with a dresser, a pull-out couch, and a kitchenette. A lone backpack was set on top of the worn dresser. There seemed to be no electricity as a battery-powered lamp was the only thing lighting the place, sitting just under the unfolded mattress  to keep the light from shining too brightly through the windows. Pidge plopped down onto the mattress with Hunk as Lance sat down on the floor beside the couch. Keith made his way to the kitchenette, immediately checking the tap and looking through the cupboards.

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anonymous asked:

Could you give us a lil bit of insight on how things went down when Stretch decided to grab BB from reader's house? It seems like Red was a lil tad bit out of place in that car, if that makes sense?

*Sure thing!  Stretch’s mindset for that actually was to have Papyrus act as the nice one and Red be the intimidating one.  I wrote up a little extra about what was going on after Stretch ended the call with the Reader.  


Chapter 5: Bonus

Stretch gets back-up

Stretch hung up the phone, his body tense.  He kept reading over Blueberry’s text over and over, which pointed out that something was amiss at your house.  He was just as surprised as his brother to discover that you had a boyfriend; after all, you hadn’t mentioned him and hadn’t even kept your phone on you.  No one had pushed you as to why you were at your Grandpa’s lodge in the first place–even though they had each let their imaginations run wild–and you had never volunteered the information.

And that, coupled with the fact that Blueberry could hear you arguing with your boyfriend in another room, set off so many red flags.

Stretch took a shortcut from the woods (where he’d been checking his brother’s puzzles for any sign of him) back to the lodge.  His text alert went off, and he briefly glanced down to make sure you had sent him the address.  It was too far away for him to take a shortcut directly there, and while he was fully capable of just driving himself over to retrieve his brother.. he wanted a fresh set of eyes on the situation.  He didn’t know the human that you were dating–he assumed your boyfriend was human at least because you initially seemed like your experience with monsters was sorely lacking–and from his experience, there were plenty of humans that hated his kind.  If this human was already aggressive and pissed off, then he needed some back-up.  He needed someone non-threatening to show that they were just your friends, and while his brother may be the picture of non-threatening, he had over-stepped by hiding in your trunk and undoubtedly made things worse for you.  

It was only the fact that you had seemed so calm on the phone that Stretch wasn’t freaking out about his brother’s safety, but he still texted Blueberry back, asking if he was in danger.  He received a response quickly that claimed, no, he was fine, but Blue was concerned about you.  

That only increased Stretch’s tension.  

“heya paps.  you up for a road-trip?”

Papyrus had been in the kitchen, looking through cabinets and checking the pantry for any sign of Blueberry.  Immediately, he gasped and whirled around.   “A ROAD TRIP?!  STRETCH, WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR SUCH DALLIANCES WHEN YOUR BROTHER IS MISSING!”

“actually, i know where he is.  i was hopin’ you’d drive me there.”

“YOU DO?”  Papyrus’s expression morphed from surprise to glee. “YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO ASK!  OF COURSE THE GREAT PAPYRUS WOULD BE HAPPY TO DRIVE YOU!”  He was always up for driving down the open road; he often took joy rides on pretty days just to enjoy the wind whipping through his scarf.  "WHERE IS BLUEBERRY?“

"he’s with y/n.”

Papyrus’s eyelights manifested to boggle in opposite directions.  "HE’S WHAT??“

"yeah, turns out he hid in her trunk.”

“THAT SNEAKY LITTLE CAD!  BECOMING A STOWAWAY IN ORDER TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH Y/N!  THAT’S.. THAT’S.. GENIUS!”  Papyrus snapped his fingers, lightly frowning.  "WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT??“

Stretch couldn’t help but chuckle, shaking his head. "my bro’s always been clever.”  Even when it could cause trouble, he thought, but just shrugged it off.  "the sooner we leave, the better.  i’ve got her address.“

That made things click for Papyrus, and his excitement returned.  "WE’RE GOING TO Y/N’S HOUSE?  THIS IS THE BEST KIND OF ROAD TRIP!  I NEVER EXPECTED US TO BE REUNITED SO SOON!”  He grinned, turning from the kitchen.  "I’LL GO FETCH MY KEYS SO WE CAN BE OFF!  OH, AND I’LL LET SANS KNOW WHERE WE’RE GOING, TOO!“  

"heh, thanks pap.”  

While Papyrus bounded off, Stretch stepped outside and lit up a cigarette on his way to Papyrus’s convertible.  He leaned against the side of it, taking in a long drag to calm his nerves.

“goin’ on an adventure without me?”

A low voice casually came from the backseat of the car, and Stretch choked on the inhaled smoke. He ended up hacking, hitting his sternum, while smoke creeped out his nasal cavity.  His head whipped around to glare at Red, who was lounging across the backseat with his arms propped behind his head and one leg crossed over the other at the knee.  

“stars, red!  don’t sneak up on me like that!”

Red smirked.  "did i scare you out of your skin?“

Stretch’s lazy grin slowly returned.  "obviously.”  He took another drag before dropping the cigarette butt to grind it out beneath his sneaker.  "were you listening in?“

The smaller skeleton shrugged.  "overheard that you’re goin’ to y/n’s house.  figured i can’t pass up that opportunity.”

Stretch stuffed his hands into his hoodie pocket, eyeing Red for a moment.  It was probably best not to have too many skeletons show up at your door, and Red would be liable to just piss off your boyfriend.  If humans were rude, he wasn’t particularly good at minding his mouth.  

However…

There was a tightness in Red’s smirk that betrayed his relaxed demeanor.  Stretch inherently excelled at picking up subtle clues in body language, and he could tell that Red was on-edge.  So, Stretch decided to probe a little.  "yeah, who’d wanna pass that up?  …say, did you know she has a boyfriend?“

The smirk faded around the edges as Red’s jaw clenched.  He closed his eyesockets, shrugging lightly.  "yeah, i might’ve heard that.”

Well, that was news to Stretch.  "she told you about him?“

"nope.”

“then how did you know?”

Red didn’t answer right away, but he slowly opened his eyes to meet Stretch’s searching gaze.  "i just do, ok?“  Well, he wasn’t going to get a straight answer from Red, so Stretch sighed and was about to tell him to get out of the car and keep an eye on Edge while they were gone.. but then Red admitted, "i REALLY don’t like the guy.”

Welp, that was good enough for Stretch.  Red seemed to know something, and from the loathing in his tone (that seemed to be more than just jealousy to him), the boyfriend was likely bad news.  Stretch could handle that, sure, but Red had a knack for it.  

Or maybe Stretch just wanted to use the car ride to try to pump Red for more information.  

Either way, he accepted the fact that Red wanted to join them, and Stretch hopped over the passenger-side door to take a seat.  Papyrus came excitedly bounding from the house, and when he saw Red in the backseat, he didn’t think anything of it.  "DID YOU WANT TO JOIN US AT Y/N’S HOUSE, TOO?“

"yep, sounded like a real party was goin’ on there, and ya'know how i love a good party.”  Red grinned.

“THERE’S A PARTY, TOO??  I’M SO JEALOUS OF BLUE RIGHT NOW!  WE’VE GOT TO HURRY BEFORE WE MISS IT!”  Papyrus cranked the car and began pulling onto the road with more recklessness than anyone else that owned a nice sports car like that would ever utilize.  "ALTHOUGH, THAT’S NOT ACTUALLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE PARTIES DON’T START UNTIL THE GREAT PAPYRUS MAKES HIS ENTRANCE!  NYEH HEH HEH!“  

Stretch chuckled, leaning back in his seat and checking his phone again to verify the address.  He was still a little tense, but having the two of them with him made him feel much better about the situation.

With Papyrus and Red, he had a Good Cop and a Bad Cop to handle the situation.

And he could be the Judge.  

Soriel Week Day 3: Hidden

Toriel and Sans slept late into the morning. With everything going on, they needed the sleep. Especially the queen with her kingdom questioning her authority. Her friend was right by her side, making her feel safe and protected. He felt so as well.

Eventually, Toriel’s phone vibrating on the nightstand woke her up. Slowly getting up, yawning and stretching her arms. She reached out for the phone and slowly swiped the screen, noticing she had thirteen missed calls from many different phone numbers.

She gasped and quickly rubbed her eyes. So many people have tried to reach her and she was too busy sleeping. She wasn’t going to accidentally ignore this person. She answered the call and brought the phone to her ear.

“This is Toriel.” she chirpped. “How can I help you?”

“Finally!” a deep, static voice said on the other end of the line. “I’ve been trying to reach you for the past ten minutes!”

“Past ten minutes?” Toriel asked. “Wait, have you called me from all these numbers?”

“Yes.” the voice said. “Now, listen. There isn’t much time.”

“Not much time for what?” Toriel asked. “What’s going on?”

“Two assassins have figured out a way to sneak past all your security.” the voice said. “You’ve got two minutes to get out of there before they kill you.”

Toriel’s heart leaped to her throat and her eyes grew twice their normal size after hearing what the voice said. It was as if time had stopped for a moment from her shock. Not moving a muscle, the phone slipped out of her hand and there was a loud crack as it landed on the hard tile floor.

 

She turned around, looking at the smiling skeleton sleeping soundly in her bed. She reached out and started to shake him awake.“Sans?” she said, still shaking him. “Sans!” Not a moment later, the smiling skeleton opened his eye sockets which quickly became blank as he saw Toriel’s expression.

“tori?” he muttered while gently grabbing her wrists. Stopping her from shaking him anymore. “what’s going on?”

“We have to get out of here!” Toriel said, holding his hand and pulling him out of bed. “Two assassins are coming to kill me!” Sans stopped smiling after hearing that and started to run for once. By her side, they made it to Judgement Hall and she took him to wall at the end of it. Sliding the palm of her hand, as if looking for something.

She smiled as she found what she was looking for and gently pushed on one of the bricks, revealing a hidden mechanism behind the wall. This was all surprising to the smiling skeleton. It seems the Royal Family kept some secrets from even their closest friends. Who would have guessed that they had a panic room?

The wall started to open up, revealing a hallway leading to a hidden portion of the castle. She grabbed his hand, led him inside and pulled onto a chain attached to the wall inside the hallway, closing the wall behind them. Leading him further in, she showed him the panic room.

It had many monitors which seemed reminiscent of Alphys’ lab. However, the hidden cameras were recording certain areas of the castle instead of the entire Underground, including the royal bedroom.

Time was up, the assassins should be making their way in. Toriel wanted to see if the caller had been telling the truth and chose to do it from a safe area in case if they were telling the truth. Unfortunately, they were.

Two monsters slowly came inside the royal bedroom. Both wearing black under armor and vests, carrying countless knives and other hidden weapons. The countless pockets on their cargo pants seem to have been stuffed with other weird tools and devices. Not much could be made out as the monsters wore hoods and masks, hiding their faces as much as possible. However, neither monster seemed to have been able to hide their tails, which seemed to belong to felines.

There were two things Toriel was able to make out. One monster was male while the other was female and that they were both cat monsters based on their tales.

Toriel wiped the sweat from her brow, relieved to have woken up in the nick of time. Watching as the two assassins rummaged through her stuff in the throne room, looking for a possible lead on her. The male assassin slowly crept to the bed and dropped to one knee. Holding the phone with the cracked screen to a light.

“Hmmm…” the male assassin muttered. “Must have dropped it in a hurry…”

“Great.” the female assassin groaned and leaning her head back, drooping her arms. “You know what that means.”

The male turned his head to his companion. “She knew we were coming.” he concluded. He stood up straight and tossed the phone aside. “I’ll search the throne room and the barrier.” he told her. “You search the rest of the castle. She could have slipped past us without us noticing.” The male nodded his head and was about to leave the room when his tale accidentally knocked over a pot with a Hydrangea plant in it.

“Oops…” he shrugged.

The female sighed and shook her head as they both left the room. Searching the rest of the castle for their target. Being careful enough to not make too much noise and not disturb any patrolling guard.

“what do we do?” Sans asked while looking up at his queen. She didn’t respond. She just continued to stare at the cameras, watching every movement the assassins made. “tori?” he grabbed her hand and she gasped. Looking down at him.

Getting her out of her trance. She walked over to a closet and pulled out a purple cloak, throwing it over herself and pulling up the hood over her head. Hiding her ears and her horns. “We have to get out of here.” she said as she reached into the closet again and pulled out a much smaller cloak for her friend.

He thanked her after she handed it to him and he quickly threw it over himself. “where do you think we should go?” he asked.

“I don’t really know…” she said. “Unfortunately, it would be impossible for me to go hide somewhere like Snowdin or Waterfall….” she shook her head. Being queen had its downsides after all. “The only place I can think of that would be safe would be the Ruins.” she sighed.

“alright…” Sans shrugged. “i can get us there.” he reached out for her hand. “c'mon, let’s take a shortcut.” Before she could say anything, they both vanished. As if they were never in the panic room at all.

*********************************************************************************************************

Sans didn’t have the coordinates to get them both inside the ruins, but he did manage to get them outside of the large door where they would tell each other knock knock jokes to pass the time. “sorry i couldn’t get us inside.” he said. “never got the chance to come inside.”

“It’s alright, my friend.” Toriel smiled, hugging him. “You’ve done more than enough to help me.” She reached into her nightgown and pulled out the key. Quickly unlocking the door, she held her friends hand as she led him inside for the first time. They closed the door behind them and locked it again before they made it down the hallway and up the stairs. Back into the house which Toriel had isolated herself in for so long.

She took a deep breath and sighed. Glad to be back here, for once. She led Sans over to the living room where they both took off their cloaks and hung them on the chairs of the dining table. Sans sat down, leaning back on one of the chairs as he put his feet on the table. Toriel went over and started a fire and sat down on her large armchair. Leaning back and closing her eyes.

After a brief moment, she turned her head to the skeleton smiling once again as he closed his eye sockets. “Sans?” she muttered.

“hmm?” he opened one eye socket.

“I hope this isn’t too much to ask, but…” she put on a nervous expression. “will you stay with me for a while?”

“course.” he said, not moving an inch. “i ain’t goin’ nowhere. if paps calls me, i’ll just tell him i’m at grillby’s or somethin’.”

She started to smile as she felt safe once again. She had no idea how she could ever repay her friend. He’s done so much for her in the short time since her coronation. She was glad to have him by her side. “Thank you, my friend.” she muttered as she reached out to her bookshelf. Reading more about snails once again. Not minding it at all this time. After all, she now had someone to read it with.


@sorielweek

Sweet Sacrifice.

Summary: Have you ever wondered how different life would be if that one thing never happened? Shadow did. If he’d never met Sonic’s daughter, Aurora he would’ve never discovered the purpose of his existence. So in order to keep it that way, he sacrifices the most important thing he has.

Pairing: Aurora x Shadow (Read on FF.Net)

This is for the wonderful e-vay and is based off a Tumblr post by anonymous who asked ‘Shadow went to Eggman and asked him if he could take his immortality away for Aurora. Eggman does and Shadow brings the news to Aurora.’ I had a mighty need to write about this and bring it to life. E-vay practically begged me to do it, so here you go girl! ^_^ I’m sorry if it seems a bit short and I’m sorry for the long wait. 

Shadow the hedgehog belongs to SEGA.

Aurora the hedgehog belongs E-vay. I do not own her, I’m just using her purely for your entertainment.

~x~

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A Year Every Minute Pt. 77

Papyrus could feel his father trembling in his arms, but it wasn’t in sadness. No, this was definitely something else. “EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.” He repeated, squeezing his father tighter and feeling his still somewhat pliable body give under the pressure.

Slowly the bone in Gaster’s hand dissipated and his arms reached up not to hug Papyrus but to grab his shoulders. He didn’t push him away or wrap his arms around him, he merely held onto him, as though his son was the only thing anchoring him down and keeping him sane.

His gaze was fixed upon the door, his pupils wired and manic. Eventually Papyrus stood upright, blocking Gaster’s stare with the image of his loving face. He took hold of his father’s arms and held him there tightly before noticing the blue glow of Undyne’s spear beside him.

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Sunshine

Nico may be a child of death, but after almost slipping away, maybe he needs someone to pull him out of the shadows. A Solangelo fic.

Read on Fanfiction.net:  https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10945216/1/Sunshine

_______________________________________________________________________

Having friends, especially those who wanted to see him, was a foreign concept. Reyna, Coach Hedge, the crew of the Argo II all seemed to enjoy seeing him, and even though he thought about them, and marveled at the fact that he now had friends, he at least knew what friends were. He could put Reyna and Jason into the friends category without hours of thought.

But then there was Will. Nico knew that Will worked in the infirmary, but even so he seemed to see Will an awful lot. Usually Nico would’ve ignored someone passing by what seemed like every three seconds, fixing his pillows or getting him to drink something, or he would’ve pushed them away. But there was something about Will, something about the way his eyes pulled you toward him like a bright, clear sky pulls you outside, something about the way his grin seemed to warm up the room. Nico still didn’t like Will bothering him, but he didn’t tell Will to stop.

***

When Nico opened his eyes, it was dark outside, and he could see the flickering light from the campfire out the window. His gaze drifted to the deep shadows in the corners of the room. He felt a chill travel down his spine when he thought of the last time he’d traveled the shadows, when he’d almost become one. He fumbled with the lamp for a second, and felt uncharacteristically relieved by the glow of light when it turned on. He’d never been afraid of the dark before; sometimes he’d even shied away from light. Why did he feel so nervous, now, around his element?

A head poked through the doorway, and the room seemed to brighten as Will Solace walked in. Nico scowled in spite of the warmth that seemed to seep into the room. “Is that some kind of Apollo thing?” Nico said with annoyance he didn’t entirely feel.

Will looked confused. “Wait… what? Apollo thing?”

“You know what I’m talking about, Solace. How the room got brighter when you walked in, did you…” His voice trailed off and his cheeks burned as Will raised his eyebrows at Nico.

“Needed a little sunshine, death boy? I know I’ve got a sunny personality, but I can’t literally brighten a room!” Will laughed and plopped down in the armchair that Jason had occupied earlier in the day.  

Will looked over as Nico said, “So why’re you here? Shouldn’t you be healing people, or at the campfire, or something?”

He shrugged. “I needed a break. I’ve been on my feet all day; besides, I could stand to see a friendly face. Or, in your case, a friendly skeleton. You’re way too thin.”

“Just because I’m skinny, golden boy, doesn’t-” Nico was cut off by Will’s chuckle.

“Golden boy, did you say?” As Will looked at him with an amused smile, Nico slumped back into his pillows. He suddenly felt something in his stomach-queasiness?

Through the window, campers were silhouetted against the flames as they left the sing-along, heading back to their cabins. Will’s eyes followed Nico’s gaze, and he glanced at the clock at the wall. “I wish I could stay longer, but if I don’t get some sleep, I’ll fade into shadows; plus, the harpies would be after me.”

“Good,” Nico said, “Leave me in peace. I’ve had to endure enough of your mindless chatter.”

Will stood and stretched, and walked out of the room. At the door he paused, and looked back at Nico. “I’d stop coming by,” he said, as an impish grin spread across his face, “But you know you’d miss me.”

The door clicked shut, leaving Nico staring at where Will had stood a second ago, wondering why the darkness seemed more present in his absence.

***

Nico left the infirmary after lunch, crossing the green from the big house back towards the cabins. Sunlight fell across him shoulders, grounding him, making him feel present; he shuddered when he thought that just a few days ago, he had almost become a ghost. He lifted his eyes to where the Hades cabin stood, a dark, ominous presence, shadowed even in the heat of day, and felt a slight chill along his spine.

Is this what people feel when they see me? A dark, unfriendly presence? No wonder they edge away when I’m near. He saw a flash of blond across the lawn, and his head snapped up, almost involuntarily. It was one of Will’s siblings, laughing at a joke Katie Gardener had told. Who did you think it was? Will? Why would you even care if it was Will?

Because he needs to stop pestering me, he thought, sighing. Even as a thought, it was half-hearted. He looked at the Hades cabin again with distaste, and flopped down on the benches by the campfire.

His mind wandered to the conversation he’d had with Will before he’d left the infirmary.

“Hi.” Will handed Nico a few pills and a glass of water, smiling when Nico handed back the empty glass. Nico’s eyes flitted away from Will, to a painting of Persephone on the wall, holding a bunch of flowers. Is it possible, he thought wildly, that Will’s smile is so bright, he could made daisies bloom in the night? Will’s pen scratched on a clipboard, taking a note, and Nico shook his head. Where did that though come from?

Will was still smiling as he turned around, but instead of returning the gesture, Nico stood up. “Bye,” he replied, moving toward the door.

“Wait.” Will’s arm blocked his path, and Nico bumped into it. He felt a strange jolt in his stomach. Pills, he said to himself. It’s the pills. “I’m not sure you should go just yet. I think staying a little longer might be a good idea.”

“What? Why? You said three days, Solace. It’s been three days. I’m fine. I’m healthy.” Nico looked fiercely at Will, swallowing the words he didn’t say: “You make me feel… confused. Uncomfortable and yet at ease. You’re messing with my head. I’m probably not better, but I need to sort my thoughts out, and I can’t think when you’re around.”

“I don’t know, Nico… I feel like-”

Nico cut off Will’s words more harshly than he’d intended. “If it’s just a feeling, Will, there’s no reason for me to stay. I’m not sick, and I can sleep just as well in my cabin as I can here.”

“Are you sure? I really think you’re not better yet…” Will sounded concerned, and a little hurt.

Nico pushed past his still outstretched arm. “I’m fine, Will. Really.”

He shifted his back on the wooden bench of the amphitheater where he lay, watching clouds drift across the sky. Holding his hands up above his face, he examined them, silhouetted against bright blue. They were pale, like ghosts of spiders, he thought with a sigh, dropping them back down. His right hand rested on his stomach, and his left hand hung off the edge of the bench, into the small bit of shade underneath. A cold feeling danced across his fingers. Lifting his hand, he watched as his fingers solidified into pale flesh. His fingertips had turned to smoke in the shadows.

It didn’t surprise him. He’d been fading a lot less after Coach Hedge’s sports herbal medicine had started to kick in and he’d spent a few days in the infirmary, but he wasn’t healed. Not completely. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever really heal all the way.

He knew he should have told Will. Saying he was fine was a lie; but at the same time, he knew what Will did to his stomach, and his head, and he wasn’t certain he’d ever be fine while Will was watching over him, either.

Pushing himself into a warmer patch of sunlight, he curled around the hand that had turned to smoke when in the shadows, and fell asleep.

***

Will slipped out of dinner a few minutes early, looking for Nico when he realized Nico hadn’t shown up for dinner. Will headed toward the cabins under a sky that was fading to inky blue and scattered with stars, intending to pull Nico’s moping self out of the Hades cabin to eat something before dinner ended. He stopped short, however, when he passed the amphitheater, noticing a small shape curled up like a cat on one of the benches.

Stepping closer to the younger boy, a small smile played on his face upon seeing that it was, as he’d thought, Nico. Gently, Will eased him into his arms, and walked towards the Hades cabin with Nico curled against his chest, deep asleep.

***

Nico woke, not to the daylight seeping through the cracks in the door or the clamor of campers outside, but to the creak of the cabin door, through which Will Solace appeared. Upon stepping into the cabin, Will strode across the room and pulled heavy emerald curtains back from the windows.

“No wonder you’re deathly pale and sickly looking. You’re shutting out the sun,” Will crossed the room to Nico’s bed, where the gaunt boy was still blinking sleepily. “Vitamin D, Nico,” Will tapped on the nightstand nearby with the glass he was holding for emphasis. “Vitamin D. It’s an important vitamin. It comes from sunlight, something that you are not getting enough of.”

“W-Will?” Nico scrambled into a sitting position, his voice panicky. “Wha- Why are  you here? Nico shoved his hands under his sheets, hoping to hide his fingers, indistinct and smoky in the Hades cabin, where everything seemed to be in shadow. If Will sees my hands…

Eyes twinkling, Will laughed lightly at Nico, whose hair was rumpled and eyes were thick with sleep. “As I recall, you pronounced yourself as ‘healthy.’ I’m not sure I’d call sleeping seventeen hours healthy, would you?”

Nico pulled the long sleeve of his shirt down to cover his indistinct fingers before reaching for a pillow from the next bed to throw at Will. “Fine, I’m still sick. Doesn’t that give you more reason to let me sleep, though? Why are you disrupting my ‘slumber of healing’?”

“I’m worried that you secretly yearn to join the Hypnos cabin.” Will grinned and fiddled with strand of his honey colored hair. “Clovis would…” Nico’s eyes stayed on Will’s hair. It’s honey, he thought, drenched in sunshine. His eyes followed the lock of hair from the top of Will’s head to where it waved out slightly, and then curled around his ear. He felt a strange urge to brush it back from Will’s face.

“Anyway,” Nico blinked and refocused on what Will was saying. “I came because you left the infirmary a little, ah, abruptly yesterday. If I would have been thinking clearly, I would have given you a bottle of pills to take with. I think rest and some meds for a few more days could do you some good. You’re already sleeping an inordinate amount, so I don’t need to hassle you about that, but really,” Will held out a glass of water and two blue capsules. “Take these. It’s a good idea.”

Shoot. Nico glanced at where his hands were, buried under the covers. How can I take that without him seeing my hands? His eyes flitted to the glass of water, and then rested on Will’s face. “Leave it on the table. I’ll take it in a minute.”

Will gave him a knowing smile. “Sure you will, as soon as I shoot an arrow straight.” Will’s lack of archery skills, despite his father being Apollo, were well known. He’d shoot an arrow straight when Hera became friends with Annabeth. That is to say, never. “Take it,” Will intoned goodheartedly. “It’s not poison.”

Nico grabbed the glass with his sleeve covering his fingers, then snatched at the pills, hoping to move his hand fast enough for them to evade Will’s notice.

“Hey!” Will caught Nico’s retreating hand, encircling the gaunt boy’s wrist with his thumb and middle finger. Will’s grip was strong, and warm. Nico felt his cheeks burn scarlet. “Your hand…”

Will studied Nico’s face for a long moment, then looked down to where he’d caught Nico’s wrist. Uncurling Nico’s fingers, he examined how Nico’s fingertips had turned to smoky mirages of themselves.  The pills Nico was holding fell to the floor and rolled under the bed.

“You lied.” Will’s eyes, the same color as a cloudless afternoon, meet the brown ones across from him. Nico could read dismay, and, possibly, sadness in Will’s gaze. “You lied so you could leave the infirmary…but why did you want to leave it so badly? …Is it…me? Am I bothering you too much?”

Nico drew in a breath. “No, it’s…not you, it’s more…I can’t think. When you’re around, I mean, I’m…confused, maybe, or…my thoughts don’t make sense,” he finished, wincing at how his words had come out.

Will’s face fell. “You can just tell me you don’t want to be friends, Nico.” Will let Nico’s hand drop back onto the bed. “I’ll have one of my siblings see if they can do something about your hands.” Will pulled a small plastic container out of his pocket and set it on the nightstand.

“Will, no, it’s not that-”

Will cut him off. “Two pills, twice a day, for another week. I’ll have someone check in then.” Will’s shook his head, his disappointment evident.

Nico closed his eyes, and didn’t open them until the door wheezed shut. Inexplicably, felt his throat tighten. You’ve lost friends before. Get over it. He looked at the spot where Will had stood moments before. You have lost friends before. But this isn’t the same. This feels…different.

Shadowed walls, polished floors; Nico knew where he was. But at the same time, he was lost. Completely lost.

***

Will’s siblings paused at the storage room door, glancing uncertainly at each other. Light glowed from where the door was cracked open, and the heavy thumps of boxes being moved sounded over the whispers being exchanged at the threshold.

“I’m not sure if this is a good idea…” Anna looked nervous, her small hands fiddling with the end of her braid. At ten, she was one of the youngest Apollo campers, but her strong proclivity for healing and her adoration of Will had made her want to come with. “Will told us to heal him for a reason; we can’t tell him we can’t and let him down!”

“We’re not going to let a patient…disappear…because we weren’t able to tell Will that we can’t heal him, and need help.” Alan’s sharp eyes caught each person’s gaze. “Will is the best healer we have. He knows better than any of us: the patient comes first. No matter what.”

Ivy pushed a strand of short, dark hair behind her ear, considering Alan’s words. She stood out from the rest of the group, her looks mirroring her mother’s Asian background, but she’d long ago crossed that barrier, and felt at home among her siblings’ blond heads and athletic builds. “Alan’s right. He’s not getting any better, and he could get worse really fast if nothing’s done.”

“He has gotten worse. And none of us can stop it, especially since Dad’s gone quiet…” Alan glanced out the window, to where the sun burned low in the sky. “Will is his best hope.” Alan glanced around at the reluctantly nodding heads, and pushed the door open, stepping inside.

“Will?” Will’s head popped up amid a stack of boxes labeled ‘bandages’. As he turned to look at them, his siblings seemed to edge back; even though nothing close to unfriendly crossed his face, the lack of a grin, for Will, was worse than a scowl.

“Yeah?” His siblings looked uncomfortably at each other, unsure what to say now that they’d started.

Ivy glanced back at her siblings, then stepped forward. “We’re having trouble healing Nico. We realize you asked us to heal him for a reason-”

“Although you won’t tell us what the reason is….” Alan muttered.

“-But all us have tried, and we haven’t made any headway. He might even be getting worse.”

Alan glanced at Ivy, then focused on Will. “We know you don’t… We know that something… We know you asked us to do it,” he finished lamely. “But we can’t.” Alan’s voice gained confidence, and his eyes locked onto Will’s. “And no matter what’s going on in your life, the patient comes first. Always. You’re the one told me that; now I’m telling you.”

There was a moment’s pause, where Will’s face became a weather map, emotions shifting across his face like fronts. The trend, though, was worry. He looked at his siblings without focusing on anyone in particular, and nodded.

Will set down the box of bandages he was sorting. “Is he in his cabin?” Alan gave a brief nod in reply. “I’ll take a look.”

Will crossed the room unusually quickly, pushing open the door as he left and leaving it askew in his haste. No one spoke for a moment, exchanging wordless glances with each other.

“It seems like Will’s sunshine disappeared with Apollo.” Anna’s voice seemed to be amplified in the quiet of the moment, before the silence froze over again, like a layer of ice coating the room, with not a spot of warmth to melt it.

***

Nico’s eyes fluttered open as the dark wooden door to his cabin swung open, hitting the windowpane opposite it as a tall, lean figure barreled through. “Nico!” Will’s voice hit Nico’s ears like a cool drink on a scorching day, melting away his worries. “Who do you think you are, refusing to get better? I’ve sent in my best healers, and they haven’t been able to make any headway!” Will stopped at Nico’s bedside, his clear blue eyes catching Nico’s. “The nerve.”

Nico searched Will’s face, looking for something to tell him that Will was joking. An arched eyebrow, the slightest curve of a smile - there. The smallest twinkle in the corner of his eye. Nico’s shoulders relaxed a fraction of an inch, and the barest trace of a smirk appeared in the corner of his mouth. “You haven’t sent in your best healers.” The smirk grew, filling his face.

“Wha- are you insulting the competence of my healers?” Will tried for indignant, but he was struggling to suppress a grin to match Nico’s. It felt so good, so right to be talking again, the banter between like running, where they each fell easily into step, matching each other stride for stride.

“No. I’m just pointing out the fact that you haven’t come by, and your skills far outstrip the rest, so you can hardly say you’ve sent your best.”

“Well, I-” He shook his head in defeat. “I’m here now, anyway, and I heard you’ve been getting worse. Let me look.” Will glanced at the edge of the bed, seeming to consider sitting there, before letting his gaze sweep the room for a chair. He grabbed a stool from across the room and put it next to Nico’s bed. He sat on it, and his voice became businesslike. “Give me your hand, please.”

Nico’s grin dropped into an expression of worry as he pulled his hand out of his cave of covers, and uncurled his fingers from a loose fist. His hand had turned entirely into smoke.

Will’s face was alight with shock. He reached out tentatively, hesitantly, letting his fingers hover an inch over the surface of Nico’s shadowy hand. Will caught Nico’s gaze, and saw that the worry that filled his own eyes reflected there, jockeying for space amid nervousness and fear.

Will swallowed and broke eye contact, looking down for a moment, in which he composed himself. You are the healer. Your concerns aren’t important. All that’s important is the job at hand; and you need to be focused on that. Nothing else. Will trained his eyes on Nico’s hand, letting his fingers fall to the point where they should have been touching pale flesh; instead, they passed right through. It was as if nothing was there, except the memory of thin fingers and soft skin, and a feeling of cold from a breeze that wasn’t there.

Will’s eyes fluttered closed and he started to mutter a light, quick string of words that evoked a feeling of warmth and brightness, focused on Nico’s hand. The indistinct, smoky forms of his fingers became denser for a moment, struggling to form, but as soon as Will stopped speaking, they relaxed back into smoke.

Nico looked distraught. His voice struggled to sound controlled. “Does-” Nico swallowed. “Does that mean I can’t be healed? Will it get worse? Will–will I become smoke entirely?”

Nico’s dark eyes, filled with undisguised fear, fixed on Will, praying for Will to tell him he had a chance, but Will’s attention, usually so fixed on Nico, was elsewhere. Will’s hands pushed the beads on his camp necklace as he whispered to himself, lost in the recesses of his mind where he stored ailments and remedies. His fingers pushed a bead decisively, and Will’s head jerked up, his eyes alight. “Yes!”

Nico looked like someone had smashed a frying pan over his head.

Will blink and focused on Nico’s face, his excitement dropping away at Nico’s shell-shocked expression. “Um, what did you say? Or what did I say? Or…”

Nico cut him off anxiously. “Am I going to fade away completely?”

“No! No, I think I figured it out. What’s eating away your essence like this; it’s the shadows,” Will explained, “They suck what little warmth and life you can muster out of you, and try to pull you into the shadows. That’s why those words I was saying were helping, they were inducing warmth and light into what I was focusing on, your hands.” Will was speaking quickly, his excitement at having found the answer returned, and his words were tumbling over one another. “You’ve gotten worse because you’ve been here. This cabin is the darkest place in camp. If anywhere is going to suck the light out of you, this place is.”

Nico furrowed his brows, piecing the information together. “So I have to go back to the infirmary?”

“No.” Nico looked up in surprise at Will’s words.

“But you just said-”

“The infirmary’s not where you need to go; even there, the shadows pulled at you, and you were fading. Not as quickly as you are here, but still…” Will paused, seeming to decide something. “I’ll have to get Chiron’s approval, of course, but seeing as I’m the head counselor, so I get to make to calls, and it’s in the name of medicine, and dad’s… gone silent…” Will met Nico’s eyes. “You’ll have to stay in the Apollo cabin.”

***

Nico hated the Apollo cabin.

When he’d first walked in, he’d thought a daffodil had exploded. Sunlight poured through the full ceiling skylight, blinding him wherever he was and infusing the walls with a golden glow, ensuring that the cabin was never darker than sunset. The walls were ochre, the rugs were goldenrod, the pillows were lemon colored. Besides the honey wood floor, everything was yellow, except for what was metallic, – the curtain rods, the bed frames, the knobs on the dresser – which were gold. There was always music, usually from a lyre, or a flute, or any number of Will’s siblings singing anything from opera to pop music, but even when Nico lay on his bed when the cabin was empty, hymns seemed to seep from the floorboards. There was a seemingly endless supply of laughter and freckles and incredibly similar blonde heads that made his head snap up every time someone walked past. And there was always Will. Will asking him to come try archery. Will telling him he really should eat breakfast. Will trying to convince him that poetry writing could be fun, if only he’d try it. Will, Will, Will.

He wanted to leave as soon as possible.

Or at least that’s what he told himself.

***

Nico was stretched out across his bed, the bunk under Will’s (Which, funnily enough, had been the only bed available when he arrived at the Apollo cabin). Feather-light sheets and pillows with sun designs were pushed to the edges of the bed. His head hung off the edge of the mattress, and his eyes were lazily scanning a sheaf of papers he held above his face. Training… left flank from behind… War Elephant… Reyna had sent him notes on the legion’s new offensive strategies, and he’d promised her he’d look over them and offer suggestions. He had a slightly different opinion about helping her now, though, after realizing that what Reyna considered tactical notes were actually the length of a short novel.

Blonde flashed in the corner of his vision, and the floorboards nearby groaned. Nico resisted the urge to see who it was. He blinked and refocused on the words in front of him. Approach from the front with two cohorts, while… the words spun around in his head; he’d been reading the same sentence for the past five minutes, and had no idea what it said. Even reading poetry sounds better than this.

The ladder creaked on the side of the bunk bed, and Nico glanced up a few seconds later, in time to see a startlingly yellow pillow fall at his face from above.

Nico scrambled away from the hurtling pillow, but it caught the edge of his face and smacked the papers from his hands. His eyebrows scrunched together in a frown, and he rubbed the tip of his ear where the pillow’s beadwork had hit it. Twisting his head around, he sighed as he surveyed the notes. Fifteen pages or more were scattered and shuffled around his bed. He shifted his gaze to the ceiling, and directed a withering glare upward.  

A mop of golden curls and a jubilant grin were suspended four feet above Nico’s frown. “I thought that’d get your attention,” Will said, unable to keep the smile off his face. “I was standing next to you for a full minute, but that didn’t seem to do the trick.”

“You could try using my name to get my attention, you know. It is what most people do.” Nico’s eyes held their annoyed look, but the corner of his mouth twitched up towards a smile.

“Alright, Nico.” Will lifted his chin in mock importance. “Nico, can I ask you a question, please, Nico.”

Nico’s stomach did an odd sort of flip when Will said his name. He gave his head a shake and threw the cushion back at Will’s pleased expression. “It’s may I ask you a question? And the answer is no, I’m not interested in pegasus riding or canoeing or climbing the lava wall. I happen to be in the middle of something important,” Nico waved the hand holding the stack of papers he’d started collecting, “and I was making progress until you so elegantly interrupted me.”

Will smirked. Nico’s expression had turned into the mock-irritated look it took on whenever Will tried to get Nico to leave the cabin and come do anything, and Will knew that meant Nico was secretly relived to have a distraction from whatever he’d been doing before. “I’m going to ask you anyway.”

Nico sighed, but it was getting harder to fight the smile that threatened to cover his face. “Why do you even ask if you can ask, if you ask me anyway?”

So, Nico,” Will climbed back down the ladder on the end of the bunks, and stood next to where Nico was collecting papers. “I think it’s time for you to participate in life. What sounds fun? Arts and crafts? Strawberry picking? How about-”

“I already said no. Like I said, I’m busy with this.”

Will crouched next to Nico, and picked up the last sheet of paper. Nico’s eyes followed the sheet as Will picked it up, and then flicked up to his face. “Nico,” Will’s voice had lost its jest, and his eyes implored Nico to listen. “I’m not asking anymore. If you won’t pick something you’d like to do, you can come with me to translate poems. I’m behind on my work for Ancient Greek class, and you need to interact with people, so we can work on them together.”

Will held the paper out to Nico, and Nico reached for it. His fingers brushed against Will’s as he grabbed the paper, and a shiver went down his spine. Nico bit his lip.

“Ok, fine. Let’s go translate poems.”

*****


So this is part one, with more to come at an undetermined time. 

The Color Blue: Chapter 13

Summary:  “Back off Pap.” Sans growled. Papyrus backed up a little as Sans eye went aflame with blue. “I didn’t go through all this shit again just to lose her to you!”

Chapter Listings Here

Note: I’ll be going back to school on Monday, so i will uploading these hopefully everyday, if not then every other day sometime in the afternoon.

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AYEM Shorts #12

This takes place in the AYEM universe while Sans and Papyrus are still young living with Dr. Gaster. These are snippets of their daily life as requested by readers.


Parent-Teacher Night

After a long day of school both of the boys pushed open the door to their house, their father already home and scribbling away at notes in front of him at his desk.

“Hey, how was school?” He asked, but neither of them said anything as Sans walked over and handed him a piece of paper. Gaster raised a brow and took it, the top reading ‘Parent-Teacher Night’ in bold letters. Even Papyrus looked a little worried as he stood behind his brother, nearly just as tall.

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Make it Alright

Okay, so I got the inspiration for this from the tiny dragon being sick.  Regardless, while he’s sleeping I couldn’t help but scribble this up.  It was just such a cute idea and I just ran with it.  I hope you guys enjoy!  There are only two days of Haunted Septiween left (wow, that makes me kind of sad) so enjoy the part while it lasts and I’ll be pretty absent during November because I’ll be writing fics for the Holiday party!  If you guys have any prompts or suggestions let me know! (but I’ll make a post on that later) I love you guys!

Last time: Moonlight

Jack was heartbroken.  He had been so very excited to go to the Halloween party this week, but apparently, fate had other ideas. 

He was so sick that he could hardly move.  He was literally confined to bed as Mark worked around the clock to try and keep him happy and comfortable.  He was determined that Jack would be fine despite him coughing up a lung or two.  
Jack was scrolling through twitter and sulking when Mark came in with a bowl of soup and a bottle of water. 

“I think I feel better, do you think we can still go to the party?“ 

As he was placing the food on the bedside table, Mark gave Jack a disbelieving look.  "You did not heal that fast.”  He placed a hand on Jack’s forehead only to glare at his boyfriend and tell him to pipe the fuck down and eat his soup.  

“But Mark, Halloween is my favorite holiday and I want to enjoy it!" 

Mark softened a bit and cupped Jack’s face in his hands, "I know, baby.  I know.  But you need to get better for me.  I can’t have you passing out in the middle of a party or giving the plague to the kids on the streets.  I’m sorry, my love, but we’ll be missing Halloween this year." 

Jack’s shoulders slumped and he lowered his gaze to the sheets he was wrapped in.  He used his finger to draw little pumpkins and bats into the fabric.

 

Mark hated seeing Jack like that.  Like he had lost a little bit of the sparkle that he was known for.  

"Hey,” Mark spoke softly, using his grip on Jack’s face to make him look at him, “we can still do Halloween things.  We can go downstairs and carve a pumpkin in the kitchen and watch spooky movies and eat candy.  It’s going to be alright, love.  I’m going to make it alright." 

Jack smiled and leaned against Mark’s hands, rubbing against them and finding comfort in the warmth.  

"How about I set everything up to murder some pumpkins while you eat your soup?" 

Jack nodded and grabbed the bowl beside the bed while Mark pulled away and made his way downstairs to set things up. 

Jack’s body was weak, but he and Mark carved a pretty decent pumpkin each and Mark even let him go outside long enough to put them in the front where everyone could see them.  

Then, they curled together on the couch to watch movies just as they do every Halloween.  Jack was comfortably settled in-between Mark legs and resting his back against Mark’s chest.  

Halfway through the first movie, Jack, tired from the exertion of trying to fake good health, fell into an almost comatose state of sleep. 

He woke up in his bed, his vision still a bit blurry and his fever lower but still undoubtedly high. 

He shut his eyes again and reached out to the other side of the bed where Mark’s body should be, but found the sheets cold.  

Patting around and still not finding a warm body, he opened his eyes to a bedroom almost shrouded in darkness but an orange glow and flickering yellow danced around the room, lighting it enough for Jack to see. 

Shaking his head to focus, he pushed himself weakly into a sitting position.  He intended to call for Mark, but as he glanced around, the name died in his throat.  

Bats and twinkling orange lights hung from the ceiling, tombstones and skeletons were scattered across the floor, spider webs crept in the corners, a few zombie posters were slapped to the walls and even pumpkins-the pumpkins that he and Mark carved-were placed on their respective sides of the bed. 

He watched the candle in his pumpkin flicker for a few moments before tears sprung to his eyes.  He may have been over emotional because of his high fever, but it was one of the sweetest things anyone had ever done for him. 

Mark’s words bounced around inside his head: I’m going to make it alright.  

As the tears were spilling onto his cheeks, the man himself came through the bedroom door in a Charmander onesie.  

He smiled at seeing Jack awake, but it was wiped off his face and replaced with a worried frown at the sight of Jack’s tears.  

"Oh, my God.  Jack are you alright?”  He rushed to his side, the tail of his onesie smacking an unsuspecting skeleton in his rush. “Show me where it hurts.  I can take you to the hospital.  I knew you were sick, but I thought you were getting better." 

Jack, completely disregarding Mark’s frantic worrying, curled his fists into the front of his clothes and used all of his strength to haul Mark into a kiss.  

When Mark pulled away, he smiled but gave Jack a curious and slightly concerned look. 

"You big idiot.  You know how much work you’re going to have to do to take all of this down? All for me?  You have to be the dumbest person ever oh my God, but this is the sweetest thing that’s ever happened to me how dare you be so kind, Fischbach.  Now stop with the mother henning and get your fine fiery ass over here and kiss me.”

Mark burst into laughter before placing another quick kiss on Jack’s lips.  "I told you I would make it alright.“