A/N: so, here's my contribution for this year's Monkey Fist Appreciation Day on TUMA (link on my profile, as usual). I wasn't sure I would get it done and I had to rush a little (fine, that's one heck of an understatement: when I wrote the last sentence it was 4 am here in Italy XD) but hey, how could I not write something about my favorite KP character for the occasion? Besides, I've had this idea poking me for a while and thus it was great finally getting it out of my skull.

A little warning: at some point in this fic, someone (gee, I wonder who? XD) gets hurt very, very badly. There isn't any kind of graphic description or anything, but since I know people who are easily upset by such stuff I guess a warning never hurts.

"…just what in the world happened to him? Good Lord..."

"…no way we can fix this…"

"...too much damage, the bones are little more than dust…"

"…he needs a blood transfusion, quick…"

"…doctor, he's waking up…"

Monkey Fist let out a wheezing sound as he opened his eyes with what felt like the greatest effort he had ever done in his life. He could barely see as if through a daze the shape of a few people towering over him and discussing animatedly, but he couldn't really understand one single word, dazed as his mind was. Who were those people? Where was he? Why was he there? He faintly recalled that something must have happened, something horrible, but he couldn't remember…still, he did remember being in so much pain that it almost drove him insane. But the pain was gone now, wasn't it? Wasn't it…?

"No," he barely heard someone saying before a hand rested on his forehead, pushing his head back down as he tried to lift it "stay down."

Monkey Fist found himself unable to react in any way, for his body simply wouldn't respond to his commands. What had happened? Had he been drugged? He opened his mouth to speak, to demand an explanation, but he could only let out another wheezing noise that was lost under the sound of someone else's voice. "Give him more morphine and get the surgery room ready, we have to amputate as soon as possible…"

Surgery room? Amputate?

For a brief moment his brain almost managed to give a meaning to the sounds he had just heard, but then he faintly felt a needle in his arm and his mind fell into nothingness once again.

Ten hours earlier.

The monkey – the youngest member of the pack – paused only a moment to swallow the last bite of banana before throwing the peel aside and rushing forward to join the rest of the group. He didn't want his master to scold him for bringing yet again snacks on a mission, but he was so hungry…!

"I should hope you weren't once again snacking on the job, Chippy," Monkey Fist said with a frown, barely turning to glance at the monkey that had just joined the group. Chippy immediately shook his head and whimpered some excuse, but his master had already turned his attention back to the ruins. If his assumptions were right – and they always were – the entrance should be…

"Here!" the monkey man exclaimed, a wide grin spreading on his face as he removed a few rocks to reveal the entrance to the hidden temple. He held out a simian hand, and one of this monkey ninjas immediately handed him the flashlight. Monkey Fist switched it on and pointed it to the darkness ahead to see a small tunnel whose end he couldn't see.

He grabbed a small rock nearby and threw it inside. It took a few seconds to hear it hitting the ground, not quite as long as he had expected – the tunnel probably made a turn at some point, which prevented him form seeing the end of it – and since nothing had happened, he supposed there were no traps that could easily be triggered. There would probably be later on, but at least that first tunnel seemed safe…and he had no time to lose: any second he wasted could mean giving Team Possible more time to catch up with him – he had experienced their annoying habit to show up in the wrong moment too many times to not expect them to appear sooner or later. Monkey Fist scowled at the thought those fools could try to stop him once again.

I won't let them stop me. Not this time – the scroll will be in my possession before they even get here.

He turned to his monkey ninjas. "You two, stay here and guard the path from the threes. If you see anyone approaching, don't let them notice you and hurry to warn us. The rest of you follow me," he ordered before he entered the tunnel.

His monkey ninjas immediately followed him, while Chippy stayed behind for a few instants. Truth to be told, he would have preferred his master to ask him to guard the path instead of following him: maybe he had eaten too many bananas, and with his stomach full he couldn't really be agile…not to mention his tummy was starting to ache a little. Maybe the master was right: on the job snacking isn't a good idea, the small animal thought before he unwillingly followed the others inside, still not knowing how much his little misdeed was about to cost his master.

"Sometimes I wonder if they do it on purpose," Kim muttered with a sigh, looking at the empty jeep parked just at the base of the mountain, barely feet before vegetation got to thick to make it impossible proceeding in any other way but on foot. Maybe the villain community actually kept an eye on her and her habits – she couldn't think of any other reason why the would always choose the busiest moments to come up with some scheme to take over the world…or, in this case, to try retrieving some kind of scroll.

That was hardly something she's usually worry about, but if said scroll was actually about some monkey stuff related to Mystical Monkey Power…well, in that case she had all reasons to worry. Especially if the one on a quest to retrieve it happened to be Monkey Fist, she mused, reaching for her Kimmunicator. "Wade, we're too late. We missed him."

The boy genius frowned a little. "That could be a problem – if he left the jeep there, I have no way to track him down now," he said. That was one of the main problems with Monkey Fist: unlike Drakken, or Dementor, he almost never relied on anything technological that could somehow help him detect his position. Old-fashioned villains could be a real pain in the neck, he mused.

Ron made a face as he glanced at the wilderness ahead of them. "Tell me we don't have to get in there on foot," he said almost pleadingly. Vegetation seemed so thick that it would certainly be a struggle to take each step, and he was pretty sure that place had to be just filled with rabid, stinky monkeys. As if the monkey ninjas weren't bad enough, he thought.

"I'm afraid you'll have to," Wade was saying "I thought about getting you a ride above the forest – that guy you saved from the helicopter crash last months isn't too far from here – but you wouldn't see anything. Too many trees."

"Too many trees with too many monkeys," Ron made a face, and standing on his shoulder Rufus encouragingly patted his ear.

"In that case we better get going, we have that science project to get done for tomorrow morning," Kim said, walking towards the jungle and trying to not think of the fact they could need hours to find Monkey Fist…given that they'd find him.

Ron's scowl deepened. "Oh, and she just had to bring up all the stuff Barkin assigned. As if dealing with monkeys wasn't bad enough," he grumbled a little, but he did follow Kim without protesting too much. He kind of hoped it would be over quickly, but unless they had some incredible stroke of luck he doubted it: Monkey Fist and his monkey ninjas knew how to move in environments like that, and with all those threes and leaves and stuff it was a miracle that he could see past his nose already.

"How am I supposed to know how close we are? I can barely see past my nose!" Monkey Fist snapped. He had be hearing that question from his monkey ninjas for the past ten minutes or so, and he was getting tired. A ninja was supposed to be patient, so why weren't they patient? "Why don't stop asking and just--"


Both Monkey Fist and the monkey ninjas froze at the sudden, loud noise. It was far from the first time he found himself in a situation like that, and he knew it could only mean one thing: some mechanism had been activated…and nine times out of ten, the mechanism was meant to trigger a trap.

The monkey man tensed, and so did his minions – no matter how easily their training allowed them to avoid most booby traps they could find in ancient temples, all of them knew exactly how deadly they could be…and the fact they were in complete darkness with only the light coming from the flashlight wasn't going to help them, Monkey Fist thought with a grimace: they could barely see where they were stepping. If only there were any other source of light…!

As to fulfil his unexpressed wish, there was a grating noise coming from ahead of them, and a sudden light suddenly hit his eyes. It wasn't much, but it was still enough for him to see a little better their surroundings. Not that there was much to see since they were still into the narrow passage, but now he could see that the room they were heading for wasn't too far – the light was coming from there. He relaxed slightly.

"Looks like we simply activated some mechanism to open the ceiling," he muttered before he resumed walking, carefully placing each step to avoid activating any other mechanism that could turn out to be far more dangerous. His monkey ninjas followed him just as carefully, none of them noticing how Chippy had stayed behind. "Be careful to not touch anything," their master recommended them, barely able to control the excitement in his voice as they stepped closer and closer to the end of the passage. If his assumptions were right, he would find what he was looking for in that room: a scroll containing invaluable information on the mystical weapon he had only found a few mentions of scattered in several ancient books. If that weapon was just half as powerful as those bits he had gathered seemed to suggest…!

A wide, insane grin spread on his face. He was so lost in his thoughts that despite all his training he didn't realize something was wrong until one of the monkey ninjas let out a nervous screech. He turned to his minion. "What's that?" he asked. The monkey only whimpered, nervously looking around.

All the other monkey ninjas seemed to get nervous as well and stopped on their tracks. Monkey Fist frowned before he stilled and listened intently. At first he heard nothing, then an odd noise reached his ears, a noise he didn't like at all – it was the sound of something rolling down some kind of slide, immediately followed by the even less reassuring sound of stone hitting stone.

The realization hit him just one instant before the ground began to shake and dust and debris began falling from the ceiling. What a fool he had been! The mechanism had indeed triggered a trap, a trap would take long enough to actually get working for them to walk deeper into the narrow tunnel, drawn to the light that now shone from the room at the end of the passage. Now the ceiling would collapse on them any moment and crush them under tons of stone, and they were too deep into the temple to get back in time…and the room ahead of them was still so far that no man could hope to make it in time.

But of course, his monkey ninjas were quicker than men…and so was he. "Quick, we have to get out of this passage!" he shouted, bolting towards the light, and his minions immediately followed him. As the room at the end of the passage got closer and closer, Monkey Fist didn't allow himself to think for a single instant about the possibility there could be an even more deadly trap waiting for them there. He wouldn't be too surprised, of course, but now he simply had no time to think about it: if they didn't leave that passage now, it would become their grave…and he certainly couldn't die there like a mice caught in a trap! He had a destiny to fulfil, and…!

He was only a few steps away from safety as he heard a loud screech behind him. He abruptly stopped and turned to see Chippy had stayed behind. He seemed to be having trouble running, one of his paws resting on his belly as if it hurt, and he realized he must have eaten on the mission again – he always got stomach ache any time he are too quickly so he wouldn't notice, that foolish monkey!

"I've told you a thousand times to not eat on the job!" he bellowed, but he also yelled to the other monkey ninjas to go ahead as he rushed back towards his minion to grab him – if they didn't move fast, they would be crushed under--

His thoughts were cut short as the ground shook harder and the ceiling began to actually collapse, pieces of stone big enough to crush a man falling around them. Monkey Fist didn't stop to think – any hesitation would be fatal – and he acted out of pure instinct. He grabbed Chippy by his garb and threw him as far as he could so that he would land safely, if a little sore, in the next room and immediately rushed forward as well.

Every happened in a few instants. He had almost made it to the door when the whole ceiling finally collapsed at once, and he did the only thing he could do to avoid being crushed for yet another instant – he lunged forward and rolled across the floor. He almost made it, and for a brief instant as he saw his monkey ninjas shrieking so close to him he actually thought he had made it, then his tumbling was suddenly cut short as if someone had just pinned him down.

For a split of second he didn't realize what had happened, he didn't recognize the sickening sound of crunching bones as several tons of rock crushed both his legs just above his knees. For that one split of second, he felt nothing at all.

And then there was the pain. Unspeakable, unending, unlike any other pain he had ever felt, unlike any other pain he could ever imagine, shooting from whatever was left of his legs to the rest of his body like fire. Monkey Fist opened his mouth to scream in agony, but no sound came out for a few moments, pain making him unable to emit anything but a chocking noise at first, his features twisted in a horribly pained grimace. He tried to sit up, but he collapsed on his back again as another wave of agonizing pain hit him, and the realization of what had just happened hit him as he finally managed to catch his breath and scream.

His blood-curling scream was enough to make the monkey ninjas stop screeching and suddenly fall silent. They couldn't see their master – the ceiling had raised so much dust collapsing that they wouldn't see anything past their nose – and while the fact he was screaming at least told them he was alive, his scream terrified them because it could only means he had been badly hurt. They all stayed still as if glued to the ground for a few instants, at a total loss now that they were facing a situation no training could prepare them for, and all they could do was staring to the point where their master probably was as they waited for the dust to settle enough for them to see what had happened to him, cringing at his agonizing screams.

When the dust finally settled and they could see their master, none of them seemed capable to find enough voice to even screech…and even if they did, it was highly unlikely that their master could hear them over his own screams. Monkey Fist was laying on his back, his back arched as he threw back his head to scream, his hands digging into the dirt beneath him. And his legs…they simply couldn't see them, but the fact there were several tons of stone hiding them from sight didn't leave much room to speculation over what their condition could be. They had to be both broken in several places if he had been lucky, and if he hadn't…well, the monkey ninjas didn't really want to think about that yet.

Monkey Fist wasn't sure how long he had been screaming. It had probably been only a few instants, but it felt like hours; hours of horrible, unending pain. He couldn't feel anything but agony – how it could be possible for anyone to be through that much agony and not pass out?

He stopped screaming as his lungs ran out of air and drew in a convulsed intake of breath, not even taking notice of how raw his throat felt. "Make it stop, make it stop, oh God someone make it stop…!" he sobbed to no one in particular, not even knowing what he was saying, not even knowing if he had really uttered those words or had just thought them – it didn't matter, nothing mattered, the only thing he wanted was to get the pain to stop

Another wave of agonizing pain rushed over him as his body convulsed. He screamed again, calling for help and cursing in the same breath, until his voice failed him. He coughed and opened his mouth to scream once more, but his stomach turned and all that came from his mouth was a violent sob before he abruptly turned his head to his side and threw up, not even remotely aware of the pain in his already raw throat and the bitter taste of bile as he finally – finally – slipped out of consciousness.

His monkey ninjas recoiled as if snapping from some kind of trance and hesitantly stepped a little closer. A few of them approached him to check his pulse and breathing, hating it how they couldn't do much more. His breathing was fast and irregular, his face and hair drenched with sweat, his eyes tightly shut, the pained grimace still twisting his features. The monkeys looked up to glance at the ones who had approached the rocks under which their master's legs – or wherever was left of them – were blocked, but from the way they were shaking their heads it was immediately clear that there was no way they could remove them.

They needed to find help if they wanted to get their master out of there – any kind of help. They chattered for a few moments, then most of them climbed up to the opening in the ceiling and back to the jungle to look for help while a few others stayed near Monkey Fist. There wasn't much they could do other than providing him water should he need to hydrate, but none of them felt like leaving him alone.

Only a few minutes had passed since the accident had happened, but they had felt like hours to Chippy. The small monkey had stayed motionless all the time, staring with widened eyes to everything that had happened as if hoping it was some nightmare he would soon wake up from. But as minute passed it became painfully clear that it wasn't a nightmare at all: the master had been hurt, badly hurt, and it had been all his fault. If only he hadn't eaten on the job once again his tummy wouldn't have hurt that much and he could have run quicker and his master wouldn't have had to get back to help him, and…and…

A small whimper left him and he tentatively walked closer to his master. The other monkeys glanced at him in disapproval, but it looked like they couldn't really be mad at him given the circumstances. Chippy, however, couldn't bring himself to walk any closer or to even look at them or the master. He slumped his shoulders a bit and glanced around to see a small shrine on the far side of the room, an ancient scroll on it – none of them had noticed it even though that was the reason why they were there to begin with. Chippy walked to the shrine, took the scroll and stuffed it under his garb.

Maybe his master would be happy to have it once they found help and he felt better, and so maybe he'd forgive him, the monkey thought before climbing outside as well; he couldn't do anything for his master there, so maybe he better join the others and find help.

"But Kim, that was a monkey! I'm sure it was!" Ron repeated as they made their way through the jungle.

"Uh-hu, monkeys," Rufus nodded.

Kim sighed. "Ron, last time you said you had a monkey on your back it turned out to be a branch."

"It was a monkey-shaped branch," he replied a little sulkily "but what I heard now was definitely a monkey."

"I hope so, it could mean we're getting closer," Kim grumbled a little. She was getting tired of playing hide and seek in that jungle: they had been walking for nearly two hours, and still no sign of Monkey Fist. Why did he have to be a ninja? Couldn't he be one of those villains with doomsday devices? A doomsday device would be easy to spot even in a jungle, she mused. She was considering the idea of climbing up a tree to try getting a better look of their surroundings – it hadn't worked previously because vegetation was just too thick, but she couldn't think of anything else – when she was snapped by her thoughts by someone hugging her from behind and screaming painfully close to her ear. "MONKEY!"

"Ron! That is not help--" Kim trailed off as she realized there was really a monkey standing a few feet from them…a monkey wearing a ninja garb. "Monkey ninjas! He must be close!" she exclaimed, dropping in a fighting stance as she waited for more monkeys to appear and attack, but much to her surprise nothing like that happened – the monkey just raised its paws in what looked like a gesture of surrender and squealed something, making no move towards them. "Wha…?" she began, but she was cut off by Ron's exclamation.

"Hey, that's Chippy!" he exclaimed enthusiastically, and he laughed as the monkey squealed happily and jumped on his shoulders "how are you, buddy?"

"The one you thought was me?" Kim muttered, lowering her guard and smiling a little, faintly wondering how could Ron tell him from any other monkey ninjas "right, I remember you. But where are the others?" she turned to glance around, but she could see no monkeys around.

Ron frowned a little. "Yeah, are you alone or… hey, what's wrong?" he asked as Chippy suddenly jumped off his shoulders and tugged at his pants, gesturing towards the threes to their left with his free paw "hey, easy! I still haven't lost my pants today, and it would be so cool if I could keep them on," he protested, then he took a step forward and Chippy squealed louder. He turned to Kim. "I think he wants us to follow him," Ron said.

Kim frowned a little. "How do we know it's not a trap?" she asked, but she didn't seem too convinced.

"C'mon, KP, this is not some stinky monkey – this is Chippy!" Ron gestured to his simian friend "you know this little buddy wouldn't do that to us. Well, not to me, at least…"

"Fine, whatever," Kim said as they began to follow the monkey ninjas through the jungle. Even if it was a trap – she didn't really think it was, but it was a possibility she couldn't ignore – it still was the only way they had to get close to Monkey Fist: she was starting to think they would never find him if they kept just wandering in the jungle. "He looks nervous, uh?" she muttered after a few minutes, glancing at Chippy as he walked ahead and sometimes turned to look at them, urging them to go faster with some whimpers and squeals.

"Yeah. Maybe something happened," Ron suggested "I mean, this is a jungle, and it can be dangerous, and…what if there was some trap in the temple?"

Kim frowned a little. She didn't really like the idea, still… "I guess we're going to find out," she said. She was about to add something else when a loud, threatening screech suddenly filled the air. Both her and Ron stopped in their tracks as they realized there was a group of monkey ninjas on their path.

"Uh-oh," Ron muttered, taking a step back.

Kim just narrowed her eyes and dropped in a fighting stance, ready to fight them off, then she blinked as they just approached Chippy without showing any intention to fight them. They chattered with their companion for a few moments before they turned and walked ahead in the same direction they were following. As Chippy turned to gesture them to follow him, Kim was frowning again. "Something must have gone wrong," she muttered.

"Anything involving Monkey Freak is wrong. Sick and wrong. And wrongsick," he muttered, but he did seem worried as he resumed walking as well.

Even though they had pretty much no means to keep track of time, the monkey ninjas who had stayed with their master could easily tell at least a couple of hours had passed just by how the sky was starting to get darker. And that certainly wasn't good news for someone who clearly needed help as soon as possible – a kind of help they certainly couldn't provide. The most they could do was trying to have him drinking some water, but he just wouldn't cooperate and the most they could do was drenching a cloth with water before pressing it on his lips. One of them was doing just that now, getting pretty much no response.

They worriedly glanced at each other before uneasily looking at their master again. He was unconscious now, but they couldn't tell how long it would last. Ever since he had passed out the first time he kept slipping in and out of consciousness, muttering incoherent nonsense and letting out a sob from time to time, his face glistening with sweat. Sometimes he would wake up for a few moments and even had the strength to scream and call out for help – they could have sworn he had called out for his mother a couple of times – but then he'd lose consciousness again after just a few moments, and that was a relief both to him and to them.

A few of them began walking back and forth impatiently. None of them had really thought their companions could find help really quickly since they were in the middle of a jungle and very far from civilization, but the waiting was still unnerving. What if they couldn't find any help at all? They simply had no idea of what they could do in that case, and their master would probably be doomed. If the others couldn't find anyone, maybe they should try to make it back to the car and somehow drive to someplace where someone, anyone could--

"Aw, c'mon, what's up with monkey carvings everywhere? I can't believe there were so many people who thought it would be a good idea building all this stuff for mon-- hey, hey! Don't push! Don't-- ow!"

The monkey ninjas scattered away just a moment before Ron Stoppable heavily hit the ground with a yelp. "Not cool, guys!" he groaned, pushing himself up in a sitting position "not cool!"

"You okay, Ron?" Kim asked as she landed on her feet net to him, immediately followed by Chippy and the other monkey ninjas who had led them there.

"I felt better before they pushed me into a hole filled with monkeys," Ron grumbled, getting back on his feet "so, what's up down he--" he trailed off as a whimper resonated in the stone room – Monkey Fist seemed to be stirring. All the monkeys turned to look at him, and Kim and Ron followed their gazes. They stared at him for a few instants, their eyes widening as they saw him laying on the ground, barely conscious, his face and hair drenched with sweat, his legs apparently trapped under tons of rocks that had certainly crushed them.

"Oh, crap," Ron muttered quietly, his gaze fixed on what he had grown to think of as his arch-foe, and he suddenly didn't feel like complaining about his aching knee anymore.

"Ouch," Rufus muttered from his pocket.

Monkey Fist groaned and opened his eyes, his gazed gaze not resting on any of them. He instinctively tried to move, and a hoarse cry escaped him as another bolt of pain reminded him just what had happened. His head fell back on the ground and his whole body shook, a harsh sound coming from his mouth – the sound of someone about to throw up but unable to.

"I'll…call for help," Kim heard herself saying, her gaze still fixed on Monkey Fist as he kept convulsing and dry retching – but it seemed like there was nothing left in his stomach for him to throw up. He made a few more chocking sounds before his eyes closed again and he passed out again. Kim reached to grab the Kimmunicator. "Wade, can you see what our position is?" she asked.

Wade nodded. "Sure, I got you tracked down. Have you found Monkey Fist?"

"Yes, we have, and he needs help. No, not that kind of help – yes, I know a psychiatrist wouldn't hurt – but this is a tad more urgent. He got caught in a trap, and…he must be brought in a hospital. Also, we need someone who has the means to remove something like twenty tons of stone.

"Uh?" the boy blinked "Kim, what happened?"

Kim sighed. "This happened," she said, turning the Kimmunicator's screen to Monkey Fist so that Wade could see what was going on. She heard the sound of someone chocking on their soda before she brought the Kimmunicator back in front of her face. "Got what you have to do?"

Wade immediately nodded. "Sure, I'll get help in no time – a ride for him to the closest hospital and a ride for you home."

"And someone to get those rocks off him, or they won't be able to move him at all."

"I'm on it. Just wait there, help is coming."

"You rock, Wade," Kim replied with something resembling a smile before shutting off the Kimmunicator and sitting on a flat rock with a sigh. "Well, I guess now we have to wait," she said just a little sourly. She hated being unable to do anything but waiting – it made her feel so useless and powerless – but she realized there was nothing else she could do; she certainly couldn't lift several tons of stone just like that, and even if she could she knew a wrong move could result with making the situation even worse, given that it could get any worse – she honestly doubted Monkey Fist could ever hope to walk again. Even though she tried to remind herself that he was a villain and thus that he had been pretty much asking for it, the thought still made her feel as if she had swallowed ice.

"KP?" Ron said quietly, keeping his voice low so it wouldn't startle the monkey man awake again – it was clear it would be much better for him if he stayed unconscious "this is all we can do. And you're saving his life. You know that, right?" he asked, reaching to grab her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze.

Kim smiled a little, feeling a tad better. "Sure," was all she holding back his hand as they just sat there and waited.

Monkey Fist stayed unconscious the whole time, not even waking up as help finally came. He only began stirring as the rocks crushing his legs began to be carefully removed, but before his mind could really make it back to consciousness someone stuck a needle in his arm and everything went once again blissfully black.

It felt like his awakening had taken forever. He couldn't exactly tell when his mind has exactly began slipping in and out of consciousness; it had probably been only a few minutes, maybe half an hour, but it seemed to so much more. It took him an awful effort to finally open his eyes – for a moment he thought his eyelids had been glued together – but when he finally did he found himself staring dumbly at something so white that it hurt his eyes, and it took him a few moments to realize that he was staring at a ceiling and that he was laying on a bed.

What happened? Where am I?

He opened his mouth to demand an explanation, but he could only make a hoarse sound. God, his throat felt so dry…! He instinctively licked his dry lips – not that it helped much – and finally turned his head slightly to see his surroundings. He grimaced a little at the whiteness that greeted him, and he only knew of one kind of place that could be that white.

"A hospital room," he murmured, not even minding how faint his own voice sounded. He tried to sit up, but he could barely lift his head and shoulders off the bed before suddenly felt so awfully weak that he just let himself fall back on the pillow, unable to even move. He groaned and tried to lift himself once again, and he frowned as he felt something tugging at his right arm. He lifted it with some effort to see the IV needle stuck in the inside of his forearm just for a moment before the effort became too much and he had to let his arm fall back on the bed. He turned a little to his right to notice a few machines that were clearly monitorating his vital functions.

"What in the world…?" he murmured to the empty room before the sudden sound of a door opening. He turned to see a doctor walking in.

"I see you're awake," the man said, giving him a smile that he probably wanted to be reassuring but only came off as fake "you might want to stay down, you're still weak."

Monkey Fist didn't listen and struggled again to rise on his elbows, but his strength failed him once more and he fell on the pillow again. "What happened?" he demanded to know, glaring at the doctor.

"I have to ask you to not try moving. You lost much blood despite the transfusion, and the anaesthetic--"

"Anaesthetic?" the monkey man repeated, a sudden sense of fear starting to spread in his chest as something in his mind seemed to click. Something had happened, something horrible, but he couldn't remember…! He struggled again to sit up. "What happened?"

"Sir, you really should--"

"What happened?" Monkey Fist shouted, and that effort was enough to drain him of any strength he had left. He rested his head back on the pillow, his breathing getting faster.

"You had an accident. But it's alright now, you're well out of danger and modern technology--"

Monkey Fist blinked. "An accident…?" he repeated, and unspeakable dread filled him as everything that had happened in the temple came back in his mind like an avalanche – the trap, his desperate attempts to get away, the sickening sound of crunching bones as tons of stones had crushed his legs, and then the pain, that unspeakable, unending pain

And then something else resurfaced, some the faint voices he had heard for a brief moment between oblivion and awareness.

no way we can fix this…

...too much damage…

get the surgery room ready, we have to…to…

The monkey man's eyes widened. "No," he murmured, unable to even fully wrap his mind around the idea. It couldn't have happened, not to him, it just couldn't! "You haven't…you didn't…!" he babbled, something close to despair in his voice.

"We had to – there was too much damage…no, stay down," the doctor told him, but Monkey Fist just wouldn't listen. He finally managed to sit up with a sudden burst of strength, grabbed the sheets and tossed them away…and then he froze as he stared down at the bandaged stumps where his legs should have been.

For a few instants he couldn't even think, he could only stare down, his mind completely blank before the realization finally sank in – he had lost both legs. He opened his mouth, but no sound came out, and he felt something heavy setting on his stomach. It was over – his life was over: how could he fulfil his destiny as the Monkey Master now that he was nothing but a cripple?

He couldn't.

He slumped his shoulders, feeling utterly devoid of any strength, but he somehow managed to stay on a sitting position, unable to tear his gaze from the stumps. "No…" he whispered, horrified.

"It's not as bad as you might think," the doctor said encouragingly, reaching to put a hand on his shoulder so he would rest on his back "as I was saying, modern technology--"

"NO!" Monkey Fist screamed, his hands shooting out to grab other man's neck. His grip immediately tightened until the poor man was chocking, his attempts to get those simian hands off his throat useless – in his fury and despair, the monkey man's weakness seemed to have vanished. "You have no idea of what you've done! You have no idea!" he screamed again, his voice growing louder and even more insane, which was what caught the attention of another doctor and a couple of nurses – and their intervention was probably what saved the doctor's life.

Even in his weakened state, it took quite some effort to make Monkey Fist let go of the poor man and even more effort to force him to stay down – he would keep trashing and screaming and cursing all of them until a nurse managed to inject some morphine into the IV still miraculously attached to his arm. It only took a few instants for his mind to sink back into oblivion, and just one instant before he lost consciousness he just wished his life had ended in that temple.

Even though some of his younger colleagues insisted for him to report what had happened to the authorities, Dr. Carlson had decided against it. He had been a doctor for most of his life, he knew people could have extreme reactions when facing such traumas and he couldn't really blame them for that. Fine, maybe that one patient's reaction had been more extreme than usual – he got pretty close to murdering him, to put it bluntly – and from what he had been told he was far from someone whose hand he'd be glad to shake should he meet him outside the hospital, but he was still a patient who had just lost both legs. He had always treated all his patients exactly the same, and he would keep doing so until his last workday.

That was the reason why he had never stopped worrying over the patient's state, and the news he got were anything but reassuring. He wouldn't speak to anyone, he wouldn't move, he refused to eat; he just lay on the bed, turned to the wall, keeping the lights shut off and refusing to acknowledge anything that was going on around him.

He wasn't the first one to take a such thing that badly, but most other people who had to deal with a trauma like that had someone who would pay them a visit, someone to help them dealing with what had happened. On the other hand, Lord Montgomery Fiske apparently had nobody who would visit him…or so he had thought until that woman had showed up to see her 'Montykins'.

"I hope you understand, what happened was a real shock to him and his reactions might not be pleasant," he told her as they walked to the door of the room Monkey Fist was into "are you sure you don't want anybody else to be there…?"

"Oh, my honey bunny is just a little moody, but I know how to take him," the woman said impossibly cheerfully for someone who's about to visit a person who just lost both legs "leave me alone with him and I'll cheer him up in no time, you'll see!"

Dr. Carlson hesitated, but she seemed to convinced that he eventually just nodded. "As you wish – in any case, if you wish to call for assistance you just have to press the button near the nightstand…"

The woman just waved her hand. "Oh, you're just a sweetie, aren't you? But don't worry, I won't need it!" she told him before she just opened the door and walked in, and Dr. Carlson could only hope she knew what she was doing.

Monkey Fist grimaced as someone turned the light on, but he didn't turn to see who had just walked in – why should he care? – and just kept staring at the wall. "Go away," he growled. What did they want from him? They had taken everything away from him – his ability to walk and fight, his life, his destiny. What else did they want from him? Couldn't they just leave him alone and let him meet a somehow dignified end? "Go away and turn off the--"

"Aw, but honey bunny, there is no need to be always that sulky!" a dreadfully familiar voice scolded him.

The monkey man let out something close to a shriek as he turned to see DNAmy standing only a few feet from him, looking absolutely delighted to see him.

"You! What are you doing here?" he sputtered wishing with all his might he could run away. The fact he would no longer be able to escape from her terrified him. How had she found him?

Amy giggled. "Your adorable little monkeys showed up and they let me know what had happened. I needed some help from a few people to find you – Mr. Hench was just so nice! – and here I am! I knew you'd be happy to see me!"

"No!" Monkey Fist almost screeched, trying to somehow scramble away, but he certainly couldn't go far and he just pressed his back against the wall, the sheets falling on the ground and uncovering the stumps where his legs should have been "stay away!"

"Oh, poor baby!" Amy cooed, walking closer to the bed and giving him a tight hug, causing him to whimper and try to somehow break free from her grasp without much success – he was still weak, too weak. "You really shouldn't roam through jungles all alone, look what happened! Did it hurt that much?"

For a moment Monkey Fist almost gave a bitter laugh at her words. Hurt didn't even begin to describe the pain he had been through, and yet the pain was nothing compared to how horrible the loss had been. His life was over: being a cripple would prevent him to fulfill his destiny as the Monkey Master and keep him glued to some wheelchair for the rest of his life. He had lost everything – everything – and she asked if it had hurt?

"Let go of me!" he finally snarled, trying once again to get her off him without much success. He wanted to be alone, he didn't want to see anyone – let alone her!

Amy, on the other hand, just sighed and released him before wiggling a finger a little accusingly. "You shouldn't give me scares like this, honey bunny," she scolded him, something surprisingly similar to a scowl on her face.

Monkey Fist incredulously stared at her for a few moments, his brain just refusing to process the fact she had just scolded him for scaring her while he had just lost both legs. "I…you…what?" he nearly yelled, his voice shaking with rage "do you think I care of what you might think? Look what happened to me! My destiny will never be fulfilled! I was meant to be the Monkey Master – what use am I as a cripple?" he snarled, a horrible pain in his chest as he spoke.

"Oh, you really shouldn't put yourself down like this!"

"Haven't you heard me? I-- ow!" he trailed off with a yelp as she hugged him again.

"Don't worry, honey bunny, we're going to fix this!" Amy said happily, still holding him tightly enough to steal his breath.

Money Fist opened his mouth to yell at her to stay well away from him, then his voice died in his throats as his brain finally processed what she had just said. "Fix this?" he repeated incredulously, barely daring to hope that she really could… "You mean you can…?"

"But of course I can, silly!" she said cheerfully, pulling back just enough to give him a pat on his back that would have made him grimace if it wasn't for the fact she was actually telling him she could fix that dreadful mess.

"But how?" he demanded to know.

Amy gave him a wide grin before she reached to pinch his cheek, but this time he barely reacted. "Oh, you wouldn't believe what one can do with the right DNA and some equipment," she said, winking at him.

Monkey Fist was tempted, so tempted to believe her, but he still couldn't quite dare to: if it turned out to be a false hope, the disappointment would be just too great. "And might I ask what are you exactly planning to do?" he inquired.

"Don't get all impatient now, cuddle monkey, it's a surprise I'll show you when we'll be in my lab – but everything will be alright, I promise!" she said, literally beaming with happiness.

The monkey man was about to argue that he wasn't going to let her drag him anywhere until he knew exactly what she had in mind, but he eventually decided against it. After all, what choice did he have? Even if there was a small, insignificant chance that Amy could actually help him, he would give it a try: the mere idea of spending the rest of his life like that was just too horrible for him to stand it.

For the first time in his life, he truly had nothing to lose. Nothing but his life, but then again his life would be worthless if he couldn't fulfill his destiny as the Monkey Master. "You better hope so," he finally muttered, and at least judging by the way Amy hugged him again she had probably mistaken his less than subtle threat for a 'thank you'.

Monkey Fist wouldn't admit it under the worst torture imaginable, but he almost felt touched when he saw his monkey ninjas greeting him as Amy pushed the wheelchair through her lawn and towards her home, whose sight made him wrinkle his nose in disgust before he turned his attention back to his minions. Since when he had woken up in the hospital he had barely concerned himself with their fate – he had been far too busy mourning what he had lost to actually bring himself to think wonder what had happened to them – and now he was rather surprised to realize he had missed their presence…not to mention he was relieved to see they still showed the utmost respect to him despite his current disability.

But that wouldn't be a nuisance for much longer, he forcefully told himself, then he blinked as he noticed one of the monkey ninjas standing a little apart, as if uncertain if he should approach or not. "Chippy," he said a little coldly, but he wasn't truly enraged. Yes, his minion had disobeyed to his 'no snacks on the job' rule, couldn't be as agile as he should and thus had fallen behind…and hadn't that happened, he probably would have made it away from that trap without a scratch. Still, getting back to help out his minion had been his own decision – a foolish decision, maybe, but still his own.

Chippy winced a little as he addressed him. He shyly whimpered something before taking something from under his garb and stepping forward to hand it to his master. Monkey Fist blinked as he saw the scroll he had been meaning to get in the temple – he had completely forgotten about it. He reached to take it and took a look – he couldn't translate much at first glance, but it looked like he was supposed to look for another section of the scroll in Yamanouchi for more information on a mysterious mystical weapon. "And I will," he forcefully said to no one in particular before turning handing it back to Chippy "keep it safe for a another while. And mind you, next time I see you eating while you're not supposed to you'll regret the day you were born," he told him before turning to Amy "fine, now we're in your home – tell me what you have in mind."

"Aw, but honey bunny, you just got here!" she exclaimed "don't you want to spend a few more minutes with them…?"

"No! Tell me what you're planning to do!" he barked.

Amy sighed. "You're so impatient, cutie pie," she said before she whistled, and Monkey Fist blinked as some kind of sick creature that made him think of a mixture between a rhino and a rabbit came outside and approached them bouncing.

"What in the world…?" he nearly screeched.

"Monty, meet Charlie!" Amy said happily, reaching up to gently tug one of that monstrosity's long ears "he'll get you in my lab. There are stairs and I can't bring you there with the wheelchair," she said somewhat apologetically.

Monkey Fist gritted his teeth, but he decided to just keep his mouth shut as that…thing just picked him up and bounced across the lawn and into the house. If Amy could really give him back the limbs he had lost, he supposed he could keep up with such things.

He wasn't sure of what he had expected to see in her lab, but what he actually hadn't expected was that the only machine he could see was the DNA mixer, which looking everything like it looked when she had used it to give him his monkey hands and feet. "So, what is it you have in mind?" he asked as the sick creature that had brought him there carefully leant him on a stretcher and Amy secured the straps on him so he couldn't fall off once placed in the DNA mixer.

"Oh, don't worry, sweetie pie – it's not going to hurt. It will be just like when I gave you your monkey hands and feet, remember?" she said merrily.

Monkey Fist frowned. "But this time I literally need new limbs – it's not going to be like modifying already existent ones!"

Amy giggled. "But I told you, all you need is just a bit of the right DNA and things will fix themselves," she told him, pushing the stretcher closer to the DNA mixer "you know what happens when lizards get their tail cut off, right?" she asked.

The monkey man blinked as the realization sank on his mind. "The lost tail grows back," he muttered "it regenerates. You're going to use lizard DNA on me," he stated, and he suddenly felt a rush of excitement. It was so simple, and it could really work – why hadn't he guessed it could be something like that?

"Yup. Just a little, don't worry – you won't get a tail and scaly skin and cold blood if that's what you think," she giggled a little at the thought "I'm still not sure if your new feet will be mutated already or will grow back as human again, but that's something we can always fix later. Now just relax, alright? It will only take a few seconds, and then we'll just wait a few weeks for your legs to just grow back!"

His throat tightening by the mere thought he would be able to walk and fight again, Monkey Fist just nodded and leant his head back on the stretcher. He shut his eyes as the door closed, sealing him inside, and the machined hummed to life, the intensity of the noise increasing until it felt like it was resounding in his skull. Just like the time he had gotten monkey limbs, he felt an almost unbearable heat and a slight sense of nausea for only a handful of seconds, not even half a minute before the machines went silent and the door opened again with a loud hissing sound. He drew in a deep breath as Amy pulled the stretcher out.

"Here you go, honey bunny!" she said happily "now you just need some rest! I got your bed ready, with fluffy pillows and everything, so you can wait comfortably for your legs to regenerate! Oh, and I could make you some tea! Would you like some tea, sweetums? I'll make you some and then we could cuddle a little…!"

Overwhelmed with what had just happened Monkey Fist could just nod without even listening. He would soon be whole again, and he would be able to fulfill his destiny – anything Amy could say or do to him was absolutely irrelevant.

As he observed his monkey ninjas training on the lawn, yelling some instructions from time to time, Monkey Fist shifted a little uncomfortably at the itching sensation on his legs. Still, he didn't complain – how could he? Both limbs were regenerating rather quickly, and according to Amy he would be able to walk again pretty soon. He felt some kind of grudging gratitude at the thought: after all she had saved him from a hellish life by giving him new limbs that would allow him to fulfill his destiny, so he definitely owed her, no matter how much he despised owing anything to anyone.

There had been a few more drawbacks aside from the itching, really: his skin had gotten a little scaly – a problem Amy had thankfully fixed right away – and he had developed a rather disturbing tendency to start feeling slightly hungry any time he saw an insect, but he could deal with it. He could even deal with DNAmy now that he knew he would soon be able to get back on his feet and run away if he wanted…!

"Honey bunny!"

…and he just wished that day would come soon. "What? I'm busy," he told her, his simian hands holding the scroll he had been trying to decipher while keeping an eye on his monkey ninjas' training. If she was up to ask for some cuddling, she was going to be disappointed. He had lost enough time already: now nothing could distract him from the scroll he had risked his life to get and that could help him encrypting an ancient prophecy about--

"Oh, too bad – I made you some tea. Earl Grey since I know it's your favorite," she said with an impossibly wide smile, holding out a tray with a steaming cup of tea and some biscuits – she seemed to love it how she got to have him around all the time, he mused with a scowl. "Are you sure you don't want to take a break?"

Monkey Fist opened his mouth to tell her that when he said he was busy she was supposed to just leave him alone, then his gaze fell on the cup of tea before resting on the scroll still in his hands and then back on the cup of tea. "Just the time to drink the tea," he finally said, reaching to take the cup, Amy couldn't hold back a satisfied grin before cooing something about what a cute cuddly monkey he was and hugging him tightly, making him almost spill the hot liquid all over himself and mutter something about how burns were just about the last thing he needed to get now.