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A Cut Above The Rest

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Everyone he had inquired after the incident happened to reply with a similar response. Something along the lines of "It all happened so fast-" or "It was all such a blur-" or "I couldn't even tell what was going on-" and one especially memorable response that he could deeply agree with; "It was like a whirlwind, and honestly; I think it took a piece of me with it." Well, he could agree with the latter statement only partially. As for Sans, it had all immediately slowed down at first, like the world was suddenly in slow motion and he could see the trails of his own bated breath as his brother lay there before him. Still. Unmoving. Like the beat of his own soul in that very moment. His eyelights had begun darting every which way, trying to help his mind wrap around just what was happening. He could barely comprehend the sounds that were buzzing around him. Like that constant awful screeching sound. Stars, it was deafening. Until finally everything sped up, like someone had finally put batteries in the clock whose hand had been stuck in one singular position for far too long; it all whirred into motion once again. However, that blaring screeching sound was still very imminent he realized, and he could finally pinpoint where it was coming from. Himself.

 

He was screaming.

 

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"You know it's going to take a little while for them to get used to us, Papy." Sans stated softly, but with an air of vindication.

"Heh. 'A little while' my ass." His big brother, trailing slightly behind Sans, spoke up. Dubbed the nickname 'Papy' by most who knew him, as he had a particular love-hate relationship with his full name, Papelli. 'It makes me sound like some sorta pasta dish' he'd claimed a long while ago. His response to Sans came out snappy, teetering on almost venomous.

"Papy!!"

"I know. I know. I'm sorry, Blue. I just- I don't know. We've been on the surface well over a few months now, and I can't help but feel that we're just as trapped up here as we were down there. I mean- come on! I get that we're intervening into the 'human's domain' now, but does that really justify in them making every damn monster from the Underground having to be required to wear this shit!?" He gestured to a metal brace firmly clasped around his wrist.

Sans opened his mouth to interject, but his brother raised the slender right hand, in which the brace was adorned, to quickly silence him.

"Now, I know what you're gonna say. First: Language, and yeah sorry. That's my bad, I'm just- I don't know. Worked up, I guess. Second: I understand that the human's are weary of our magical capabilities, and these are to prevent from using large quantities of it to 'keep the peace'. But I don't think they understand that magic is a fundamental property of all monsters alike. Like the flesh and blood of a human, magic keeps us going. Keeps us alive. Yet, they clasp these bracelets on us to keep us in check like we're all some detestable group of villains." As he spoke, he shuffled his left hand around in the large pocket of his hoodie. He was really itching for a smoke, but refrained from pulling one out. Releasing a defeated sigh, he shook his head and continued. "I just- I don't know, Blue. I'm just so sick of the looks they give us sometimes. I know not all humans are bad, but hell- I just can't stand the way some of them see us. Ya know?" He had happened to quicken his pace as he ranted, and came to a stop about a half a foot in front of his shorter brother. He turned and looked down at him, awaiting his retort.

Sans let out a huff of air himself as he let his brother drone on. He couldn't deny a small part of him that did bubble up in the back of his mind that perhaps the way they were treated was a bit too harsh, but the larger more forbearing part of him took the forefront. The humans had a right to feel threatened by something in which they could never truly comprehend. Most beings tend to fear the unknown regardless of the situation.

His eyelights faded in understanding at what his brother meant by the 'looks'. Though some humans did tend to look their way and nod politely, or even chance a rare smile that would make Sans feel light on his feet the remainder of the day after; the majority of the looks they would get from passing humans were anything but friendly. Some would hold a sinister glare if they even came a few inches too close for comfort, others would indignantly lift their noses at them if even a glance was tossed their way. Sometimes he could even feel the eyes boring into the back of his skull. They were filled with unbridled contempt, blatant accusations, and false assumptions. He could feel his soul drop significantly harder each time he managed to hold one of the harrowing scowls, having to tear away fearing his soul would drop straight out his ribcage. His entire demeanor had fallen at his brother's words, and his mouth at a slight frown when his brother turned towards him. However, he still had high hopes for the future relationship between monsters and humans. As difficult as the road towards peace between them was now, it could only get better, he had decided obstinately. He turned his head up to his brother, a small empathetic smile adorning his face.

"I-I… Yeah. I know what you mean, Papy. That's why I'm so insistent on trying to make a difference for how humans see Monsterkind. I want to try and become an officer of the law up here, like a Police Officer or something. Maybe once monsters are allowed to branch out into different fields that humans hold high respect for, they'll be able to hold high respect for us, too."

"Yeah. Emphasis on "allowed to"." Papy grunted, which in turn had him putting up both hands in a gesture of peace at the unamused look in which Sans had shot at him. He continued in defense towards his statement however. "Seriously though, Blue. They still haven't even allowed Monster kids to attend human schools, let alone attend colleges. Thank the gods Eslon got the permission to finally start working on that Monster Academy he always wanted to open. Our kids need education, too. I have no doubts you'd be an incredible asset to the law enforcement up here; I doubt the police they have now would even lift their finger to a conflict if Monsters were involved."

Blue bit down on his lower jaw in contemplation at his brother's words. His nickname had also come from his first name, Bluelmin, in which his brother declared to be 'too much of a mouthful' and 'not cute enough for his baby bro' much to his chagrin on the latter statement. And thus his name was shortened, and like his brother, most knew him by his nickname rather his full first name.

What his brother had expressed was, again, very true. Even Monster children had yet the ability to access human schools, and Blue had a slight fear that even if he were allowed to go to school at some point, he would likely be limited for what he would be allowed to learn. It would probably be a long while until Monsters would be seen as equal enough to be trusted in acquiring the education to become policemen or lawyers. He winced at the last sentence, again, his words had a chord of truth in them. Blue's sockets closed lightly, despondency clear in his eyelights once they reopened. His dreams seemed all the more fleeting when his brother put the hard truths out on the table like that, but he refused to give in to a sense of hopelessness. He'd just have to find another method towards making a difference. With newfound encouragement, he rushed past his brother twirling around a few feet in front of him. He struck a powerful stance, hands on his hips and his chest puffed out.

"Well, even so, I refuse to have my hopes for change dampened. I'll find a different way to help pave the way for humans and monsters to be able to walk the same path."

Papy just shook his head, a small but loving smile gracing his lips at his brother's actions. He trudged up next to his brother, placing a gentle hand on the smaller ones shoulder. "Well, if anyone can do it, I know you can, bro." He replied lightly, but with all the honest belief one could possibly muster.

"Well, come on then, Papy! We gotta meet up with Dire and Alvy. I don't want us to be late!" With that he turned and began walking along with his brother, side by side now. "Um... hey, Papy?" Blue asked airily.

"Yeah, what's up, bro?" His brother quirked a brow ridge at his younger siblings change of tone.

"Could we maybe… go to that abandoned lot to watch the stars again tonight?"

Papy's sockets widened, but relaxed quickly after, an amused grin overtaking his face. "Of course we can, Blue. Hell, why don't we ask if Dire and Alvrous wanna come, too?"

"What? Really?! You mean it!? Promise!?" Blue bounced happily around his brother as they continued along the sidewalk. His eyes sparkling with unbridled excitement.

"Yeah, why not? Not like we're doing much the rest of the day anyway. Besides, might as well enjoy one of the truly good things about finally being up here after all." He shrugged nonchalantly, a slender finger coming up to scratch at his zygomatic arch bashfully at his brother's reaction.

"Yes!! Come on, Papy! I wanna go ask them now! Let's hurry!" Blue took hold of his brother's hoodie sleeve as he began to tug him along.

They were to meet Undihre and Alvrous at a nearby café, one that was more friendly towards serving monsters. Once Alvy had exclaimed 'Their Pains are the BOMB!' in which she was corrected by her girlfriend that they were indeed 'Paninis not Pains', it had been decided that since Blue and his brother had yet to try them, they all would meet up for the afternoon.

Their meetup spot was the park entrance right by the café; Blue had been allowed to pick it and hoped to be able to get them all to walk through the park together before heading to the eating establishment. As Blue and his brother rounded the corner he could see his two friends waiting at the park gate across the way. His smile grew all the wider as he waved vigorously to them.

"HEY, BLUE!" Alvrous nearly roared as she saw him waving from across the street. Undihre stood beside her shyly, offering a small wave of her own back towards the two skeleton brothers.

Just as Blue was ready to bolt across the road towards his friends in waiting, his brother's hand rested firmly on his shoulder again. He looked back questioningly, his eyelights following along as Papy pointed towards the streetlights. They were still green, and even with no one coming at the moment, his brother had grown ever the more careful now that they were on the surface. Blue nodded in understanding, and pushed the button labeled 'Wait' at the edge of the crosswalk. Bouncing on the balls of his feet, he watched a few cars zoom by, until finally the white walk sign lit up on the opposite side of the road. He began to dash across the painted white lines, but stopped to turn towards his brother again. His hand outstretched to hopefully interlock with his big brothers, so they could walk hand in hand.

Just as he was nearly facing Papy again, he heard a hysterical shriek come from him.

"SANS! WATCH OUT!"

Within those few seconds from hearing that overought cry from his brother, he had suddenly found himself pushed to the other side of the road. His hands had reached out instinctively to try and soften the impact as his body hit the curb. His mind buzzed. He began to register a sharp pain crawling up his spine from the impact; his eyelights hazy as they searched for his brother. They blacked out completely at the sound of a sickening crack.

"HOLY SHIT! PAPS! SANS! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!" That was Alvy's voice. "HEY! GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE, YOU FUCKING BASTARD!" Or was it? He was having an incredibly difficult time wrapping his head around just what was going on. He tried to scramble to his feet, feeling someone's gentle caress on his humerus from behind. He tugged his arm out of their reach. What was that loud cracking sound? He cleared his head as best he could from the fog that seemed to placate itself within his skull. He had to find his brother.

It's at that moment that time decided to stop for Blue. His eyelights hovered over a crumpled mass of bone and bright orange in the middle of the crosswalk before him. He felt his legs tremble as he looked over at Undihre who had run over from behind him, hastily struggling to stop the flow of an orangey substance that was leaking out from under the pile. Alvrous was halfway down the street, yelling at a black van that was nearly past the horizon now. Undihre was looking at him. Lips moving. What was she saying? Why couldn't he hear her? There was just a blaring ringing in his head. And a god awful screeching sound; that seemed far too close for comfort.

Alvrous was suddenly bounding back towards Undihre and the heap of clothes and bones. Her mouth moving frantically as well, but still Blue heard nothing. Her voice a mere hum amongst the persistent wail so prominent in his skull. Rough clawed hands were on him then, shaking him abruptly.

"BLUE! STOP SCREAMING AND GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF!" Alvy's voice was clearer now, most of the ringing that was muddling his skull finally clearing the way for her thunderous hollering. The unrelenting shrieking had begun to die down as well as Alvrous continued to jostle him about. He heard himself whimper as it finally stopped completely. He discerned then, that it had been coming from himself. That he indeed had been screaming without realizing it. There were tears streaming down his face.

"W-What-?" He managed to choke out, a harsh trail of coughs following afterwards. He had screamed himself hoarse.

"Your brothers been hit, Blue! A car came speeding down the lane and almost got you instead! Paps managed to push you outta the way in time, but…" She paused and her eyes flickered over to where her girlfriend lay beside the wrecked skeleton. "Listen! Dire's been calling out to get you to help her with trying to heal Paps. She can't do it alone, not while these braces are hindering the majority of our magic. I can't be of much help since I don't have a good grasp on healing magic like you two do."

A good gathering of onlookers happened to surround them forming a small crowd, at which Blue only realized now. The majority of them happened to be Monsters themselves, looking on with an aura of melancholy about them. Some humans had also gathered, a few gasping in shock and mumbling hushed words amongst themselves. Muffby, who happened to finally get hired as a waitress at the café in which they were supposed to head, had come running out to view what the commotion was as well. She stepped forward, her cell in one of her trembling hands tapping away at the dial pad. She looked up at Alvrous timidly, her eyes darting every now and then back to the heap that still lay crumpled in the street. She lent out her hand, holding her cell out for Alvrous to take.

"I got an emergency number from one of my coworkers, and it's ringing now. We need to try and get someone here to help before... before Papy starts…" Muffby suddenly was choking back tears, rendering her to cut her sentence off. Alvrous took the cell from her, gesturing to Blue to go to Undihre's side.

Blue stumbled numbly over to where Undihre was frantically rushing about the orange heap. A muted green glow emitting from her hands in an attempt to heal the mutilated form. Blue raised a shaking hand to his chest, in fear his soul would burst out his ribcage with how hard it was beating against it. He slowly shook his head as he grew closer, the state of his brother's spine twisting in such a nauseating position almost had him keeling over into a screaming, sobbing mess again. His darkened eyelights looked over at Undihre for instructions, for anything.

"Blue please g-get on his other side and try and muster u-up as much healing magic as you can. I-It isn't looking good. I can't seem to g-get the f-fluid to stop." Her voice was tinny, perturbed and ending in an almost whisper. Blue immediately went to his brother's side, summoning the healing magic and letting it overtake his form. He began trying to feed it into Papy, who still lay limp beneath him. Tears welled in his sockets as he was able to catch a glimpse of his face.

There was a large crack running down the left side of his skull, narrowly missing his eye and coming to a stop just below his cheekbone. His sockets were closed, mouth hanging open as his jaw was slightly offset. Why wasn't it working?! He tried to draw out more of his magic, but it was continuously obstructed. Undihre had torn off her coat and tightly wrapped Papy's twisted protruding bone, trying to stop the flow of sickly orange marrow streaming out from it.

"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! WELL, YOU CAN ALL GO TO FUCKING HELL THEN!" Alvrous had a sudden outburst behind them. She thrust the cell phone back into Muffby's quivering arms.

Muffby fumbled with her phone before holding it tightly against her chest, her eyes questioning and fearful. "What did they say? Are they comi-"

"No one's fucking coming." Alvy sharply cut her off. She began to storm over towards where Blue and Undihre were struggling with Papy's collapsed form.

Undihre's eyes snapped up then, searching her girlfriend's as she came towards them. "W-What do you m-mean 'no one's coming'?!" Her eyes searched Alvrous's face for any implication that what she said wasn't true. Someone had to be coming. Paps wouldn't last much longer if… if-

"You heard me. There's no hospital around here that'll take monster patients. They claim they don't understand our vast anatomy, or would even begin to know what's necessary to help. They said that we'll just have to work it out amongst ourselves." Alvrous offered flatly.

"NO!" Blue cried out, his voice breaking towards the end of the exclamation. His breathing had quickened as his eyelights shrunk to miniscule pinpricks once Alvy finished. "No! Someone has to help! Anyone! They can't- I can't- Papy is…!" Tears were streaming down his face again, but he shook his head bitterly at the ones dwelling in his sockets. He jumped to his feet, teetering on his toes as he became lightheaded at his own sudden motion. His eyelights scanned the crowd surrounding them, many of them had their eyes downcast or their hands covering their mouths, afflicted. "Please! Is anyone here a doctor, or… or anything!?"

There were hushed whispers amongst a few of the mass, but many were shaking their heads solemnly. A few were even struggling back cries of their own at Blue's pleading wails. The few humans that had filtered into the crowd looked just as distraught, some even looking a jumbled mix of furious and on the verge of tears. Blue looked over each of their faces his hope fading more and more at every shake of the head; each downcast eye. His teeth snapped tightly as he fell to his knees beside his brother again. His eyelights roaming over his magic dampened hoodie, cracked face and mangled spine. He shook his head violently. "No… no no no NO NO NO!" A hurried chant of no's tumbled from his mouth as he continued to try and break through the blocker on his magic. He summoned forth a vast amount of magic, trying to push it through to his brother, but only having it wind up recoiling in on himself as it was forced back.

Alvrous's clawed hands were on him again as she realized he was near depleting his magic reserves with the amount of magic he was trying to emanate. "Stop it, Blue! That isn't going to work, dammit! You're just gonna wind up hurting yourself, too!"

"I DON'T CARE! I have to! I have to help, Papy! He can't… I need to do something… anything! He's not gonna- hic- gonna-" The waterworks had begun once more, his words becoming incoherent as he collapsed next to the taller skeleton. His arms covering the heap gently, but in requisite desperation. "Please Papy… don't leave me! This isn't fair!"

Undihre clamped one hand over her mouth to try and quell her quivering lips; her eyes blinking away tears as she still let the green magic glow from her other hand. Alvrous was nearly tearing at her face with her claws in exasperation. She wanted to do something to help, but there was no way she could help heal. She tried to bring forth even a wisp of the green, but to no avail. Instead she, too, knelt down by the crumpled skeleton.

"We were gonna watch the stars with everyone! You promised! Please! You can't- You just can't-!" He croaked out, his voice a mere dying wail at this point. "I love you! Please, Papy!" Blue droned on, his voice losing all the strength it had finally regained from when he had previously strained it.

"MOVE! MOVE IT! LET ME THROUGH!" A strained voice cut through the saddened hum of the crowd, in which had dissipated only a little, that still surrounded them. A slender woman pushed through the majority of the wall of Monsters and humans, breaking through to the center. Her sharp viridescent eyes scanned over the mess in the center of the street. She clambered towards them, her hands reaching out towards the still leaking bones. "You! You're his brother, right? Help me lay him out flat! We can't have him crumpled in on himself like that! I need to see what sort of damage was done to his bone structure!" She pushed herself to squeeze next to a baffled Alvrous as she looked over the smaller skeleton by her left.

"I-I- Y-Yes, I'm his brother…" Blue managed to gasp out through his seemingly never ending flow of tears. He immediately began to help the stranger in pulling his brother's arms away from his chest, allowing her to spread him out on his back on the pavement. His orange hoodie was crumpled up, revealing the twist in his spine to be far worse than what Blue had initially thought. The orange sweatshirt also had a steadily growing dark stain spreading through it from what must be another break somewhere underneath it.

"ALRIGHT WAIT A FUCKING SECOND- who the hell are you?!" Alvrous got to her feet, staring the human down with a midst of curious suspicion. She felt tempted to push the woman off of Paps, but eschewed from it. Whatever she was doing did seem to make the magic that had been steadily leaking before cease a bit, but Alvrous still had her doubts. No one came out from the crowd before to help, so why would someone now?

"I'm Dr. Jaxy Liri. I'm the owner of a small clinic a few minutes from here. I happened to be driving down this way when I noticed the large gathering of people here. I only want to help." Alvrous studied the doctor's face as she spoke, her mouth drawn in a taut line. "Please." Her eyes scanned the doctor's visage looking for ill intent, but found none. After she came to the conclusion that the woman could be trusted, she nodded her head in acknowledgement.

The doctor trailed her small hands over the skeleton's lanky frame, checking every crack, divot and twist. She inhaled deeply at the sight of his spine, biting roughly on her lower lip as she eyed the stain on the hoodie scrunched up over his ribs. "He has severe debilitating damage along his spinal cord. It seems like he may also have a serious fracture-dislocation along his lumbar spine."

"W-Would you perhaps have an oximeter, or something to monitor his v-vitals? With the st-state he is in right now I think it would benefit if w-we could get an electrocardio diagram of his soul. I've b-been trying to apply pressure on his arm here where th-there is a-another larger f-fracture." Undihre managed to sputter out, her gaze meeting the human doctor's.

The doctor's eyes widened in surprise, but she nodded. "I do, but I would need to get him to my clinic. There I can try and set what I can in place without fear of furthering the injuries, as well." Her eyes darted up to Alvrous stern, but hope prominent within them. "If possible, would you be able to carry him over to my car?"

Blue's eyelights brightened greatly as he watched the doctor go to great lengths to try and help his brother. He looked over her small stature, his mouth agape as hope began emblazoning in his soul again. Alvrous nodded curtly, reaching down to gather Paps in her arms as best she could without ruining the doctor's efforts in stopping the marrow outpour. Dr. Liri led the way through the crowd, the beings still gathered, looking on with glimpses of hope as well. They separated allowing the group to rush through them and over to a compact navy sedan. She flung the backdoor open, letting Alvrous lay Paps gently over the leather seating. His body nearly took up the entire back row, but had just enough room left for one other person. The doctor's eyes fell to the smaller skeleton again. "I'm going to need you to sit in the back with him. Try and make sure he doesn't jostle around too much, alright? I can't take all of us, unfortunately." She had turned to Undihre at that point, offering the passenger's seat to her. "I'd like for you to come with me, as you seem to have a decent amount of knowledge on medical supplies and procedures." Undihre nodded and hastily climbed inside. Dr. Liri moved around the car over to the driver's side. She looked up to Alvrous. "I'm sorry but I won't be able to bring you right now. I need to get there as soon as possible, and I don't want to risk moving his spine too much to try and fit-"

"Don't worry about it. I'll catch up. If you couldn't tell, I take leg day pretty seriously. Just get him there safe, doc. And…" Alvrous allowed a gentle sharp grin overtake her features. "Just… thank you." She waved her claws sporadically at the woman then, ushering her through the driver's side door. "Now get going!"

Dr. Liri offered a smile of her own through the window after Alvrous slammed the driver's side door shut. Without another's second hesitation, she twisted her keys in the ignition, slamming her foot on the gas and making a sharp turn around from where she had parked on the side of the street. About just under three miles, and less than two minutes later, they arrived at the front of a small off-white healthcare facility. Dr. Liri pushed herself out the door, along with Undihre, both of them coming around to Blue's door to help usher him out as well. "Alright getting him out quick and painless is gonna be a hell of a lot harder than getting him in there, but I'll help as much as I can. You two go around onto that side and take his upper body into your arms." The doctor instructed, settling herself in the small space that Blue had managed to squeeze into.

They managed to heave his body out the door with minimal difficulty, Blue holding his brother by the shoulders nearly cradling them as Undihre clasped his femurs as gently but firmly as possible. Dr. Liri fumbled with the key to the front of the facility before finally pushing the doors open, holding them wide for the other two to hurry in with the tattered skeleton. The doctor then hopped forward in front of them again, steering them a bit of a ways until she finally stepped foot into her own designated room. She pointed to the inclined bed in the center where Papa's body was laid down carefully.

Dr. Liri turned away from them, shoving some light blue non-latex gloves over her hands. "We're going to need to remove his sweatshirt if we're going to connect him to a vitals monitor or even chance at an EKG."

Blue bit his lower jaw as he nodded his head at the doctor's statement. He began to slowly but steadily lift his brother's arms, raising the sweatshirt up over his head and Undihre helped steady his still unconscious form. He gasped loudly at the state of his ribs, two of his lower ribs were very close to near breaking off completely and the rest seemed to have hairline cracks running through them, but what was far more worrying was the state of his soul. The bright orange was faint, and there was an evident crack running from the point almost cutting it in half. He failed to realize how quick his breathing became again, fresh tears threatening to spill again. What could they do? Oh stars, it was worse than he thought. So much worse.

"I'm not too sure how this'll work, but if you have knowledge on what this is, then you must have dealt with something similar. Let's get his vitals going." At this, Dr. Liri handed a few wires to Undihre that trailed along to a small box attached overhead. Undihre worked towards settling them gently inside his ribcage around his soul. The box suddenly had colorful lines going across with numbers that Blue couldn't quite understand. However a few were stuttering which he couldn't help but feel was not supposed to be happening. "Oh God. Alright I'm gonna start trying to push some of his bulging discs back into place. Once everything I can do right now is acutely in place, I may even be able to work on using some artificial discs for those too far ruptured." The doctor moved over the taller skeleton and got to work with adjusting his spinal column back to a slightly more normal form. She piped up at Undihre. "Um… miss? Would you mind unwrapping that arm of his? I wanna see what I'm dealing with there."

"Oh. M-My name i-is U-Undihre, m-ma'am." She stuttered in response. "Oh! O-of course!" She began to unwrap his humerus from her torn jacket. Her breathing hitching as she saw it in better light. Much like his lower left ribs, it was nearly broken off.

Blue's eyes wandered over what the doctor was doing. The marrow spillage had stopped almost indefinitely after she had moved the discs somewhat back into place. His eyes then had travelled to Undihre as she unwrapped his upper arm, his eyelights shrinking slightly at the sight of it. Dr. Liri looked at him, his eyelights meeting her stare. "Don't worry. We'll do all that we can for him. Could you wheel that monitor over for me? I want to get him hooked up to the leads on it to trace his 'soul' if that's what you call it."

Blue's eyelights reverted back to almost normal, now with a deep determination in them at the doctor's statement. He moved to grab the monitor of which she had implied and wheeled it over. He held out the six cords that were attached to it. "Alright. What do you need me to do? I want to help, too." He said shakily, but with blooming newfound strength at the doctor's reassurance.

Dr. Liri nodded at finally getting the smaller skeleton to come back down to earth. Her mouth drew taut again as she moved over to assist Undihre with dealing with the shattered humerus. "Perfect. Take each of the ends of the leads and adjust them around the wires attached to the vitals monitor. If you need to place them on a few of the ribs surrounding his 'soul' that should work just fine."

Blue did as he was told, affixing them as close to his brother's soul as he felt he comfortably could. Undihre left the doctor's side, who happened to be wrapping the fracture anew and adjusting a makeshift cast over it, and went over to the machine once Blue had managed to place all the leads accordingly. "How- How is this-?" She muttered aloud, her eyes looking over the screen. "He's nowhere near stable as of yet. His soul's state is still worsening- I-I don't know what we-" Suddenly a loud beeping sound was coming from the monitor overhead, a very apparent red line seemed to be hiccupping at random intervals on the screen.

"Wh-Whats going on?!" Blue exclaimed, startled. His eyelights darted up to look at the line that at first had been bobbing and weaving steadily, which had grown to becoming slower, bumps raising in the middle of it only seldomly now.

"Oh! O-oh S-Stars! H-he's f-flat lining! W-We're losing h-him! Oh G-Gods! W-What d-do we d-do?!" Undihre's stuttering was becoming increasingly apparent as her own breathing began to quicken in dreadfulness.

"WHAT!? No! No Papy!" Blue felt his legs give out beneath him as he buried his face in his brother's scapula. They finally got help! This couldn't happen now! He couldn't lose him now!

"Stop that attitude now, Undihre! You, too, kiddo! We haven't lost him yet, and I sure as hell ain't bent on losing him now. You guys were emitting some green glow earlier. It was faint, but you were trying to heal him right? I'm no scientist on the facts of Monsters, but there was a line of green running along that crack within his 'soul'. Your healing technique was keeping him at least a little stable, I think it was even trying to bring the two separating halves together again. So we're going all out with it." With that said, the doctor scurried over to a tall cabinet of sorts in the far corner of the room.

"W-wait! W-What do you m-mean? With these b-braces there's n-no p-possible way t-to bring f-forth enough magic to heal him in t-time! Besides we can't t-take them off even i-if we wanted to. One: It's t-technically illegal! All M-Monsters are r-required to wear these b-by l-law! And, T-Two: I've t-tried everything I-I can to try and g-get it o-off myself. N-Nothing works!" Undihre was standing in the middle of the room, looking for answers as to what the doctor had meant. It was true. She wasn't going to deny that she had tried to break the damn brace off before, the lack of magic was draining half the time and she had a scientific need to know what kind of materials it was made from. Unfortunately, every time she had attempted at removing the thing, all she could do was barely scratch or dent it. Nothing seemed to make it give even a little bit.

"Of course you wouldn't be able to break it. It's not a natural metal that can be found within the earth, let alone the Underground you came from. That's why they used it. It's a man-made material. Of which only humans currently have possession of." Dr. Liri had started to stalk back towards the bed once more, her hand clasping something tightly. "It's called Tungsten Carbide. It's a human alloy that comes from the strongest man-made metal known to humankind, and from what you've told me, Monsterkind as well. And from my experience the only way to break something so indestructible, is with something even more so." She held out her hand, showing a jagged piece of metal within it. "Pure unaltered Tungsten itself."

Undihre looked incredulously back and forth from the doctor, to the metal showcased in her palm, and to her own wrist in which the brace was firmly clasped. She shook her head suddenly, brows furrowing as she realized what the doctor meant to do. "You can't! I-If you were to go th-through with this, y-you would h-have to deal w-with dire consequences, too! We c-cant have s-someone who was s-so willing to help, p-putting their own l-life on the line l-like this!"

Blue's eyelights grew in understanding at what the doctor was getting at. He looked at his own brace, the beeping from the monitor an adamant sound blaring in his skull. Would it be okay? Breaking the law like this? It was one of the first laws that was decided upon their arrival to the surface. Something that had been dealt out without question. Blue hadn't even tried to wring himself free of the brace, seeing it as just a mere accessory that allowed to finally be able to breathe the fresh air and a chance to mingle with so many others. But… it truly was hindering him now. Stopping him from saving the single most important person in his life. He had never felt so conflicted at a mere object before. His head snapped up as the doctor's voice boomed over Undihre's.

"Doctors have to make drastic choices every goddamn day! I already said I refuse to lose this man, and I'm sticking by it! He's a patient of mine now, and in my 15 years of doing this profession I haven't lost a single soul to it! It sure as hell isn't happening now! Either I lose some credibility amongst the trash of my species, or we save an actual worthy life. And by God, I've already decided which path I'm taking!" She flitted over to where Blue had gotten to his feet again. She put out her free hand, her other gripping the piece of Tungsten tightly. "And I know you have, too, kiddo." Her voice softened significantly. She smiled.

Blue's sockets welled with tears again. He held out his wrist that was encased by the brace, nodding decisively as he met those green eyes a third time. The larger piece of metal came down on it and with a few clean hits to the same spot, the alloy brace fell to the tile floor. He felt a jolt of energy arise throughout himself he hadn't known was being so easily combated by the magic dampening brace. "Alright, kiddo. Get to work, yeah?" The doctor's smile broadened at Blue's increased vigor. Blue offered a watery smile back up to her as he finally could summon a greater amount of healing magic, feeding it through to his brother's soul. "Let's get at it, Dire. He can't do it alone." Dr. Liri turned towards Undihre, who held back tears of her own as she held out her own wrist. A smile quirking her lips at the familiar nickname used amongst her friends.

The two Monsters, now free from the braces, stood at either side of the bed, vibrant green encasing the taller lax form within it. The doctor had took hold of the unconscious skeleton's right hand, chipping away at the brace around his wrist as well, until finally it, too, fell apart on the bed sheets. Dr. Liri went to work at the scar along his skull then, cleaning it of crusted marrow with disinfectant and wrapping fresh bandages around it. Her eyes were watching over both monitors, as well as the soul encased in green. The beeping was beyond deafening, but in that moment, it almost seemed far away rather than surrounding them within the creamy white room. She went back to overlook his spine once more, and as she had stated before, began working on trying to replace some of the heavily ruptured discs with false ones in their place.

 

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Finally, after what seemed like eons, the atrociously loud beeping coming from the monitor above settled into a more constant pattern.

"H-he's stabilizing! The crack in his s-soul is c-closing up! Thank the G-Gods!" Undihre let out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding, as all signs of Paps's vitals were returning to normal. Blue's spine shook trying to withhold sobs of relief, still pumping as much healing magic as he could out through his hands.

Dr. Liri leaned back against the counter that was aligned with the wall, her hand covering her eyes as she sighed out heavily through her nose in a sense of relief as well. "Alright. His vitals are perfectly stable now. He's coming back around to us." She allowed her head to drop back, the back of it hitting a low cabinet behind her. "Holy shit."

At that moment, Blue clasped onto his brother's uninjured arm, his teeth clenched as he really didn't want a waterfall of tears to start again. Undihre had walked around to his side and gave him a hug from behind, Blue turning to reciprocate it face to face. "He's gonna be okay! Papy is- is-! Uwaaaah!" Blue's dam broke as Undihre had begun to squeeze him tightly in confirmation. Her own body now shaking with sobs of repose.

Dr. Liri looked back over the two rejoicing Monsters and tossed a genuinely adoring smile at the scene. She got up from her slouched position against the counter and went up beside Undihre once Blue had turned back to his brother's, now stable resting, form. "Hey, Dire? If you don't mind my calling you that. You do tend to have quite a bit of a grasp on the use of some of my medical supplies. Have you happened to work in the medical field before?" The doctor asked, honestly curious.

"I-I don't mind at all! It's a nickname commonly used b-by my friends a-anyhow. Oh! W-Well, not t-technically. I-I happened to work as the head scientist wh-whilst in the Underground. Wh-whatever happened to fall from the surface I was l-left to work with. Some of it indeed happened to be o-older or slightly defective m-medical supplies, though." Undihre wiped the remainder of the tears from her eyes as she spoke with Dr. Liri. "S-Since there wasn't a medical f-facility within the Underground, I was technically also m-more in tune with medicines and happened to w-work on my magic to steadily p-produce healing magic more prominently. I-I guess, in retrospect, you c-could say I was a doctor of sorts f-for the monsters when we were d-down there." She blushed heavily.

Dr. Liri nodded, her tongue darting out to lick her lips before she bit down on her lower in heavy consideration on what she wanted to say. "If I were to offer you training, would you care to learn more about medicine and medical procedures? It wouldn't have to be anything drastic, but…" Her eyes narrowed as she eyed a particularly fascinating spot on the wall, before finally coming back to meet Dire's eyes. "I would like you to come work for me."

Undihre looked at her in disbelief, even Blue popped his head up from where it had returned to resting on his brother's scapula. "B-But- M-Monsters aren't a-actually capable of taking up p-positions in h-hospitals! L-Let alone w-working as a d-doctor or c-caretaker themselves!"

Dr. Liri snorted at Undihre's claim. An amused grin on her face. "Yeah, yeah. I know all that. And I also know I just broke the law three times over breaking those braces off your wrists." She gestured to the broken metal on the floor. "I also know that there isn't a single medical facility within 100 miles of here that's even partial to the idea of taking in Monster patients." Her face turned serious again as she looked over the unconscious skeleton. "I can't stand that, ya know? It was one thing nearly taking away something as valuable and rudimentary like magic from all of you, but it's another thing entirely to discriminate the lot of you from necessities like hospitals and schooling. I'm understaffed as it is here anyways, and with as big as this building is, I want to try and do something. Anything to fix what the underlying rubbish part of my species has been doing to Monsters ever since you've arrived here." Her eyes fluttered closed. "I get that I'll be in deep shit with even having an idea like this, but to hell with it. As long as I promise to 'keep the peace', or whatever bullshit they spout, they won't be able to do much of anything about it. I'm just saying to give it some thought. I'd be glad to have you as a colleague here." Her eyes opened, meeting Undihre's still baffled gaze, and she offered a genuine smirk.

"I-I- W-Well-..." Undihre sputtered out flushing darker at Dr. Liri's final assertion, but just as she had finally found her words, the form on the bed began to stir. Blue's eyelights glowed brightly searching his brother's face as slowly, his eyelids began to open. Papy's eyes began to hazily look over the room, taking in where he was. Gods, his head was pounding. What the hell happened back there? First they were walking across the road to meet Dire and Alvrous, and suddenly the car- that's right! The car! Sans! Was he alright?! His brother! Where was his-

"P-Papy?" A quivering voice to his right called out to him. He cocked his head towards it, meeting the watery eyelights of his younger brother. As he finally met his little sibling's gaze, Blue's whole posture regained his old familiar exuberance. "Papy! You're okay! You're okay! Stars! N-Never do that to me again, brother! Never again!" He wrapped his arms around his brother's neck, new tears flowing over his cheekbones and falling into the soft, white pillow beneath his brother's head.

Paps's eyes narrowed in slight confusion, but happily allowed the loving hug from his brother. He tried to reciprocate, but only his left arm would lift freely. He could vaguely see that his other arm was wound tightly with bandages, and a cast? Damn, whatever happened after he had pushed Blue out of the way of that car really messed him up, huh? Blue tore away from him again. He smiled up at his little brother hovering over him. "Yeah. I'm okay now, and alright. Alright. Whatever happened, I promise it won't happen again, bro."

In that moment, Blue knew what kind of difference he wanted to make for Monster and Humankind.

Blue offered a bright smile then, his hands coming up to wipe at his wet sockets. He leant forward to press a soft skeleton kiss to his brother's forehead, over the white bandages. "Good! And I'm gonna make sure it never happens again." He turned from his brother, towards the two women that had been overlooking the heart lifting scene of the brothers. "Please, Dr. Liri. I-I would also like to maybe work here, too, so..." He took a step away from the bed as he looked up into the doctor's virescent eyes.

"Train me, too."