Pick 'em up, watch 'em fall.
They hadn't even come to a full stop in front of the diner before Jet had the car door kicked open and was starting to climb out, Party still firmly tucked in his grip.
Ghoul ran ahead and held the door open for Jet to duck in and head straight toward the back to Party's bedroom.
Kobra rushed passed, carrying their med bag over his shoulder.
Ghoul let the door shut again as he moved across the room to the serving counter.
"I'll get a hold of the Doc, let him know what's going on and make sure Grace got there safe."
Kobra nodded as he made his way to Party's room, dropping the duffel on the floor by the bed as Jet was carefully removing Party's jacket and settling him on the bed.
"How ya doin' Party?"
Kobra hadn't even realized his brother was awake, but the prone male turned his head to the side before giving a groggy, "'m fine."
Jet chuckled slightly. "Yeah, ya sure look it. Let me look ya over and get ya cleaned up."
Party shook his head and started to rise onto his elbows. "I mean it Jet, I'm fine."
Jet Star knelt next to the bed and placed a hand between Party's shoulder blades, helping keep his balance.
"I know you are Party. Let's just clean your wounds so ya stay that way."
Party gave a tired sigh and anod as Kobra moved closer to the bed to help Jet remove their leader's dusty shirt and boots. Party's jeans were still fully intact, if not just completely filthy, leading the boys to believe that he wasn't injured anywhere below the waist.
Kobra set the shirt on the floor as Jet ran a hand carefully down Party's back, avoiding the bandaged side for the moment.
"Anything hurt where I'm touching?"
Party's face scrunched and he bit his cheek, but he shook his head. "No, just my side."
Jet nodded, having seen nothing but a few deep bruises on the lower back, and laid him flat on the bed.
"Well, seems like your jacket kept ya from the worst injuries. Couple scraps here and there but nothing major. You ready for this?" He gestured to the bandaging.
Party took a deep breath and closed his eyes before nodding. His fists started to bunch the sheets in anticipation of the pain.
Jet looked over his shoulder at the silent man behind him. "Hey Kobra, could ya go get me some water and cloth to clean this out with?"
Kobra nodded before turning on his heel and leaving the room.
Jet turned back to the bed and saw that Party's eyes were focused on the doorway.
"He's all right Party, I think ya just freaked him out a bit."
Party nodded slowly, keeping his gaze locked on the open doorway, but as soon as Jet unwound the binding and began to pull back the gauze, the redhead howled in pain.
Jet cringed and let go of the gauze, yanking his hands back. "Sorry, the gauze was stuck from the dry blood. I'll wait till Kobra gets back with the water to wet it down."
The shot of pain helped Party clear his head of the numbing fog and he began to focus more on his surroundings.
"He hurt at all? How'bout you and Ghoul?"
Jet shook his head. "Nah. Ghoul got a crack to the head when he caught you, but other than that I think we're good."
Kobra returned with a large bowl and what looked like a worn old t-shirt torn into strips. He smiled slightly and visibly relaxed when he saw how much more lucid and aware Party seemed. "Hey, how ya doin'?"
Party started to shrug, but stopped halfway through the motion and hissed quietly. "Been better, I'll be fine by tomorrow though. How 'bout you?"
Kobra handed the supplies to Jet. "Bit of a headache, but I've had worse. Ghoul's on the radio with Show Pony; they got there safe and he will bring Grace back later tomorrow."
Party nodded, gritting his teeth and balling his fists into the sheets as Jet wet the sticking gauze and tried to carefully pull it from the wound. He saw Kobra's face turn two shades whiter as it was removed inch by slow inch.
"Hey, would ya mind getting me something to eat Bro? I'm fucking starving."
Kobra knew it to be the lie that it was, but he nodded anyway, knowing that his brother was giving him an out from seeing the wound.
Jet pulled the soiled, blood soaked gauze away and cringed. Blood was still seeping out sluggishly and the skin around it looked slightly inflamed and covered in dirt.
"This is gonna be fucking painful to clean out. Just a heads up."
Party sighed and rolled his eyes to the water-stained ceiling, pulling together his nerve and nodding when he was ready.
Jet had the med bag open next to him and was digging around inside. He pulled out a small white bottle and a grey toothpaste-like tube that was rolled up to show it was almost empty.
"Okay, this is the last of the ointment and pain pills. We really need to make a med run. Take these and I'll get started."
He took two of the four pills, along with the bowl of water, and helped Party take both before settling back on the ground and dunking a piece of the cloth in the remaining water. Jet gave another deep sigh to help steady his hand.
"Here we go. Put your right arm behind your head so it's out of the way."
Party did as he was told and Jet carefully wiped the dirt from around the wound and along the edges of the torn skin. Once he got the area as clean as he could, he wet a new cloth and began to pat the center of the wound as gently as he could.
Party's raised arm grabbed the top of the mattress as his other traded between balling the sheets and smacking the mattress to keep from screaming.
Jet moved as quickly as he could and as soon as the wound was as clean as he could get it, he used the last of the ointment and covered everything with fresh gauze.
"Okay, just need to sit up and wrap this around your ribs and we'll be done."
Party took a deep breath and held it as he hoisted himself up enough for Jet to place a hand between his shoulder blades and help him the rest of the way up.
Kobra returned just as Jet finished wrapping the bandaging, carrying a can of Power Pup.
"You're looking better already."
Party carefully swung his legs over the edge of the bed, holding his ribs and grimacing.
"Almost good as new, just alittle tender." He took the can from Kobra and moved the contents around with the spoon, trying to hide the disgust on his face even though he had been the one to ask for it.
Jet's eyes moved between the can and Party's face a few times, a slightly annoyed look crossing his lips.
"You know you're supposed to eat that, not play with it, right?"
Party rolled his eyes before sticking a spoonful into his mouth and blanching at the taste. He tried to take one more bite, but his stomach rebelled against him and he carefully leaned forward to set the can on the ground, hissing and holding his side as he sat back up.
Jet gave an equally exasperated eye roll and sigh before getting to his feet.
"And also let the record show that I've told you to stay in bed and rest for a while, even though I know you won't. I'll be out checking on Ghoul's thick head."
Just as Jet reached the door, Party said a quiet "thanks Jet", causing the taller male to turn around and smile before ducking out of the room.
Kobra quickly moved across the room and took the now vacant spot on the edge of the bed next to Party, carefully placing his head on his brother's shoulder.
"You sure you're okay?"
Party gave a small nod, his chin running across the top of his brother's blonde hair.
"Yeah, hurts like a bitch and I'm kinda dizzy, but I'll be fine."
"You lost a lot of blood Party."
"Hence the dizziness dumbass. I'm gonna be sore for a bit but I'll be fine by morning otherwise."
Kobra could only shake his head at the stubborn words and hope that they were right. The two sat quietly for a while, taking comfort in the others presence. Kobra slowly raised his head and smiled slightly at his brother.
"I'm gonna go make sure that Jet has checked over his own wounds now that he's checked everyone else. You are going to lay down and rest. Your body needs time to restore your blood."
Party gave a mock salute and acocky "yes sir" before lying back on the bed with a small chuckle.
Kobra rolled his eyes and helped his brother cover up with the blanket before leaving the room.
As soon as the blonde Killjoy was out of hearing range, Party let out the shaky breath he felt like he'd been holding forever and touched his side with a wince. He tried to lay as still as possible and not let out the whimper that was trying to claw up his throat.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes to try and wait out the pain pills.
By the next morning, the inhabitants of the diner had fallen back into their normal routine. Jet Star tried to check on Party Poison's wound a few times, but the redhead leader would brush him off and say he was fine.
Fun Ghoul had stowed himself away in the garage with the Trans-Am, tinkering with the engine and more or less avoiding the others and Kobra Kid had commandeered their table in the diner to work on some of the gadgets he'd had piling up.
A loud rumbling from outside, followed by a car horn blaring continuously pulled them all from their personal worlds and back into reality.
Kobra rolled his as he slid out of the bench, yelling over his shoulder toward the bedrooms. "Motorbaby's back with Grace."
He was beat to the front of the building by Ghoul, who was yelling loudly to be heard over the still blaring car horn. Kobra couldn't understand what he was saying over the noise, but Motorbaby seemed to read lips well enough as an evil grin spread across her face and she let go of the horn, leaving Ghoul screaming loudly.
"-take that goddamn fucking horn and shove it down your thro-wuh oh."
Ghoul gave a sheepish grin toward Grace, who was giving him a murderous glare from the passenger seat, before opening her door and climbing out. Motorbaby turned off the engine and climbed out after her.
Growling quietly under his breath, Ghoul crossed his arms and gave a glare of his own toward the older female Zone Runner.
"You did that on purpose."
Motorbaby patted him on the shoulder happily, "Sorry love, couldn't resist. You always make it so easy."
Jet walked through the door as Ghoul continued his quiet mumbling to himself.
"Hey Motorbaby, you mind going in to knock some sense into our fearless leader? He hasn't let me near his side wound since last night."
Having been a paramedic before the bombings, Motorbaby was in charge of everything medical in Zone 2. She nodded before heading into the building and to the back rooms.
The others followed her in but remained in the dining area, fully aware of the attitude that would most likely come from both of the people already back there.
Grace was already in the middle of explaining the things she got do to while hiding out with Dr. D to Jet Star, who gave the appropriate sounds of approval when needed.
Within five minutes, Motorbaby came stomping out of the back, muttering loudly to herself. "Stupid, stubborn, idiotic example of the male race. Doesn't even know when to turn down the freakin' testosterone."
She looked up as she entered the room, noticing all the raised eyebrows and confused looks.
"Your illustrious leader won't except any help, even though I know for a fact that he's in a lot of pain right now. He's pale, sweaty and not good at hiding the wince when he twists his hips. I don't have my kit with me right now; Dynamic Crusher used the last of my supplies when the idiot decided to fall from the water tower outside of camp. Boys are going to be the end of me I swear!"
Kobra rolled his eyes before clearing his throat. "Motor, you're rambling."
The brunette snapped her mouth shut and rolled her shoulder for a second to regain some composure. "Sorry, been a long week. I have some pain meds in the jeep you can give him at least. You know the rest of the spiel about fluids and rest and shit."
Jet followed her outside to the jeep and waited as she rummaged through the glove compartment for a small white bottle. When she handed it over, he noticed that the BLI/nd logo had been viciously scribbled over with dark marker.
"Thanks for trying Motor, we know how he gets."
Motorbaby nodded as she climbed into the driver's seat. "Yeah, everything's always fucking cupcakes and puppy dogs with him, huh? I saw your lovely excuse for a med kit is no better off than mine, so I'll grab ya some supplies when me and Raging Riot are hunting later."
"Thanks again. Keep us updated on Zone 2."
A sassy wink along with a "you got it baby", and she was gone.
Jet rolled the small pill bottle over in his hand for a few seconds before turning to the door again, intent to at least get Party to take a couple.
Party Poison wished more than anything that the lock on his door hadn't been busted during the last Drac sweep, he had locked it before they left the building and came back to find the place ransacked and his door kicked open.
Now he just wanted to have alittle peace and quiet from the others.
He had taken the last of the pain pills earlier that morning and they were already starting to wear off, leaving a sharp, pulsing pain in his side whenever he moved. His bangs were sticking to his forehead with sweat and he was feeling slightly dizzy, but he didn't want to let the others know.
A light knock was the only warning before Jet Star opened the door and entered. He was carrying a small bottle and a cup of water.
"I take it knocking is just something ya do for the hell of it huh?"
Jet shrugged as he tossed the bottle on the bed beside Party and held out the cup.
"Motorbaby left some pain meds for ya. Thought you could use them seeing as you refuse everything else."
Party made a point not to grab the bottle and just looked at his companion, trying not to show any kind of emotion.
"It ain't refusing when I don't need anything. I told you guys yesterday that I'm fine. Maybe a little sore, but nothing else."
Jet sighed quietly, setting the cup down on an overturned box next to the bed that was used as a makeshift table. "All right, I believe ya. But you still have to drink that, you lost enough blood yesterday, you need fluids so your body can make more."
Party rolled his eyes. "Yes Mother. If ya wanna spoon feed me dinner, I'll be out in a minute."
It was Jet's turn to roll his eyes and give a little smile before turning back to the door. "Yeah yeah, I'll feed ya something..."
Once he was sure Jet was gone, Party let out a shaky breath and ran his hand through his sweaty bangs. Carefully lifting his t-shirt and the dressing beneath, he looked at the wound again. It was puffy with red splotches and streaks running from it down his side and around to his back. It was still bleeding sluggishly, but had seemed to slow down since the last time he had checked it.
Hissing against the pain, he replaced both pieces of material and slowly stood from the bed. He'd almost made it to the door before thinking better off it and returning to the bed, grabbing the pill bottle and swallowing three with the full cup of water.
Taking a couple deep breaths to try and steady his shaking hands, he tried to pull his features into something resembling normal, and made his way to the main room.
The group ate their meal in relative silence, only passing a spare word here and there, and trying to hide any looks being made toward their leader.
His skin did seem pale and he was still sweaty, but he just told them it was due to them living in a fucking desert and they let the subject drop.
A few hours later, they had all broken off into their own worlds once again; Kobra at the table with his gadgets, Party sitting across from him with his sketchpad and pens. Ghoul and Grace were in a corner, playing a game Ghoul had come up with using only acouple sticks and a rubber band (Kobra's still trying to figure that one out), and Jet sitting on the floor leaned against the counter playing his guitar.
Kobra couldn't help but notice the way his brother's hands were trembling so much that he had to clench his fist every few minutes to try and steady it enough to draw. He could also see the conscious struggle Party was making to try and keep his breathing even and unnoticeable to the others.
He wasn't able to look away quickly enough this time for his brother not to notice. The redhead narrowed his eyes just slightly as he looked from Kobra, to his clenched fist and back again. He carefully set all of his art supplies on the table and stood, trying not to show how stiff the movement actually was.
"I'm going for a walk." He took a couple shaky steps toward the front door.
"I'll go with you," was Kobra's immediate reply, already sliding across the booth, but he was quickly shot down.
"I don't need a babysitter. Really you guys, its healing. I'll be all right. I'll just-"
His words were abruptly cut off as he suddenly grabbed for the doorframe to steady his balance, trying to fight off the sudden dizziness. His right shoulder slammed into the frame, causing pain to shoot straight from his side and into his brain and eyeballs.
Next thing he knew he was on the ground.
Kobra couldn't remember getting up from his seat, he was just suddenly on the ground next to Party, trying to turn him onto his back.
"Party! Shit, you okay?!"
Party didn't answer; just lay in his brother's arm panting for breath.
Jet slid to his knees beside the two, carefully lifting the dark t-shirt and pulling aside the gauze. He hissed loudly at the wound before him, bright red splotches and streaks covered in fresh blood from hitting against the wall.
"Fuck, we need to get him to the other room. Kobra help me. Ghoul, you try to get a hold of Motorbaby and Dr. D."
Ghoul nodded and ran across the room to the radio, leaving a wide-eyed and confused Grace in the corner. The little girl had both hands covering her mouth and was trembling from head to toe.
Kobra and Jet lifted Party between the two of them and moved as carefully as they could to the bedrooms.
After what felt like forever, but was only about a half hour, Grace heard the squeal of tires outside. She raced to the front door and looked out the windows before throwing the door open for Dr. Death Defying to wheel through. She looked out and saw the familiar beat up van, but she didn't recognize the man who sat behind the wheel.
"Dr. D! Where's Motorbaby!?"
The radio pirate continued forward with a determined look on his face and Grace ran to keep up with him.
"She took some of her crew and Show Pony into the city for supplies. They won't be back till morning. That's Static Shocker, one of Motor's group, he's gonna head back and see if he can get a hold of her."
Grace nodded as she led him back to Party's room, stopping at the door as he continued in. She watched wide-eyed as Kobra and Jet stood over the prone form on the bed, both mumbling quietly and quickly moving to the side once they noticed Dr. D.
Fun Ghoul looked up from his place in the corner and saw Grace standing in the doorway. Seeing the look of horror on the little girl's face, he crossed the room and put an arm around her shoulders.
"Come on Girly, we don't need to see this."
Grace nodded slowly, feeling like her head was filled with molasses and let Ghoul lead her from the room.