Hi! This fic was inspired by the 2 part/mini-movie episode Luther Waffles and the Skateboard of Doom. In the episode, it is mentioned that Luther blows up his nana and Carl's home (or summer home, I can't remember) and I felt like there needed to be a bit more of a backstory to that. So here it is...
Luther Waffles awoke early one morning while staying with his Nana and Carl at their summer cabin in the woods. He decided to make them his famous "Helium Pancakes" as a 'Thank You' for letting him vacation at their cabin with them for the week.
Nana Waffles and Carl's room was in the basement while Luther's room was on the first floor along with the kitchen and den. Just as he was pumping the helium into the first dollop of batter on the fryer, the door to the basement opened, mildly shocking him. He jumped slightly, but it was just enough to cause the flow of helium gas to hit the flame of the gas stove.
Nana Waffles pushed open the door leading from the basement to the kitchen, startling Luther. She smiled as he jumped at the noise, but her amusement quickly turned to shock and fear as a huge flame leapt from where he stood making his special Helium Pancakes. She saw him jump back, shouting, then a white flash, intense heat and next thing she knew she was pushing the door off of her and sitting up looking around. The kitchen was virtually nonexistent.
"Luther!" She cried, standing immediately, ignoring the burning on her arms and face. She scanned what was left of the ground floor for her grandson, praying he was ok. She saw him just as Carl emerged, pushing through the debris up the thankfully intact stair case.
"What in blazes happened?" Carl asked, eyes wide. Nana ignored him and ran over to where Luther was lying, clothes burned, unconscious. "Call an ambulance, Carl." She cried across the room, using her wig to smother the still smoldering fire near her grandson's head.
Luther groaned as he came to wakefulness, rolling his head from one side of his pillow to the other. He slowly opened his eyes, blinking as the white light hurt them. Eventually he was able to open his eyes fully and focus on the white room. A hospital room. Why was he in the hospital? And why did his whole body ache? What happened?
"Luth? Luther? You're awake!" He heard from somewhere to his right. With a painful effort, he rolled his head back to find the owner of the familiar voice.
"Zeke?" He croaked out, eyes narrowing as he could produce nothing more than a whisper.
"Oh, man. Thank goodness. We were so worried. Dude, how do you feel?" Zeke asked, standing from the chair he was sitting in.
Luther looked his friend over for some clue as to why he was there before answering. Zeke looked like he hadn't slept at all last night, given the state of his hair and clothes.
"What happened?" Luther managed, locking eyes with his best friend to try and read the severity of the situation.
Zeke looked down and suddenly became very interested in the sheets on Luther's bed, picking at them.
"Well…W-What all do you remember?" Zeke asked, hesitantly, not entirely sure where to start.
Luther thought for a moment, looking down at his bandaged arms in confusion. Pain. That was the first thing he remembered. And heat. Intense heat. Hotter than he'd ever felt in his life. And… something else. Something important. No. Someone important. Nana Waffles.
"Nana? Is-is she alright?" Luther asked suddenly.
"Calm down, bro. She's fine. Just a couple of bruises and small burns, alright?" Zeke answered quickly, looking up.
Luther nodded, looking down before his eyes widened and he looked back up at Zeke. "Wait, burns? Burns from what? Zeke, please, just tell me what happened."
Zeke took a deep breath before explaining that there was an explosion from the helium creating a flame that caused the gas stove to react in a combustible explosion. Luther took the brunt of the explosion, which destroyed the entire kitchen and most of the first floor of the cabin, gaining him third degree burns on his arms and places on his face and second degree burns on his chest and legs. Nana Waffles was far enough away that she only sustained minor second degree burns and bruises from where the door fell on top of her.
While Zeke was explaining things, a far away look came over Luther's face.
"Where is she? I wanna see her." He muttered looking down.
"They're re-wrapping the burns right now. She stayed with you as long as she could, but they made her leave about an hour ago. Sorry, dude."
Luther nodded. "What about Carl? Is he ok?"
"Yeah, he was still downstairs until the… until 'it' happened. He called the ambulance and put out the fire. He saved your life." Zeke said, finally looking up.
Luther closed his eyes, leaning back against the pillows, going so still that Zeke thought he'd fallen back asleep.
Shortly after their conversation, Nana Waffles came in with Carl. Zeke decided this would be a good time to take his leave, giving them a moment of privacy and heading to the vending machines, despite his lack of appetite.
He sat on a cushioned bench a little ways down from Luther's room and unwrapped the package of donuts he'd bought. He didn't eat them, though. Instead he sat them next to him and laid his head in his hands, finally taking a moment to breath and let the relief of seeing his friend awake wash over him. He'd been virtually holding his breath since he'd gotten that hysterical call from Luther's Nana less than 24 hours ago. He hadn't actually been able to get to the hospital and to see Luther until hours after he was admitted, which caused him even greater worry, though seeing his friend in such a state didn't exactly help the worry. But the doctors…they said he would be fine. They said he'd recover well, just be in a lot of pain. But what did doctors know, anyway, right? Dr. Ricardo had said Luther would be 7 feet tall, and he was wrong. What if there was nerve damage or something? What if his best friend would never be able to skateboard again? What if-?
"Zeke?" He jumped as he felt someone suddenly place their hand on his shoulder and sit next to him. Looking up, he saw Nana Waffles, bandaged and wigless, smiling sadly at him. "Are you ok, honey?"
"Uh, yeah. Just still…worried. How are you, Nana?" He asked, trying to distract himself with whatever conversation he could.
"Oh I'm fine. And Luther will be fine, too. I promise. I know him, and he'll be back on that skateboard in no time, right?" She said, winking knowingly as though she'd read his mind.
"I really hope so." He answered, looking back at the floor.
"I know so. Thank you, Zeke, for staying with him the whole night. I would have hated for him to wake up alone in there."
"There was no way I wouldn't have been there for him, Nana."
"I know, sweetie, but thank you all the same. He feels really guilty about it. Feels bad about destroying the cabin. I told him that as long as he was ok it didn't matter, but he's offered to pay to fix it back up. And to let us stay in his room for the summer. Carl and I wouldn't have it, but he's insisted. I think it'll make him feel better to help."
Zeke nodded. Knowing Luther, his first thought would be that he was inconveniencing his nana and would try to make it up, despite being laid up in a hospital bed, hardly able to move.
"You know what? I'll let him stay at my place until he's recovered enough to share a room with both of you, you know, so it's not so crowed while he's still trying to get better?" He offered, smiling at being able to help his ever-giving friend.
It was four days later -five days after the explosion- that Zeke was listening to the nurse's instructions for cleaning, medicating and bandaging Luther's burns. She showed the both of them what to do, and explained that it would be very painful to move about for several weeks.
Then they were riding home in Nana Waffles' truck. Carl would be dropping them off at Zeke's house, where Luther would sleep in Zeke's bed, upon Zeke's "orders", whereas he would take an air mattress on the floor. Luther tried his best to protest staying at Zeke's, but eventually had to concede to the reasoning, as well as his own desire to sleep in a proper bed. Zeke had even warned Ginger not to come close to Luther while he was recovering.
The night Luther came home, he and Zeke ordered a pizza and sat in Zeke's room watching one of the Sammy the Ape movies until both boys drifted off to sleep. It was the first night since the 'accident', as it came to be known as, that Zeke was able to sleep decently. Luther, however, had been having nightmares of the explosion, and tonight, it seemed, was no different.
It started the same as it had, Luther got up early and decided to make his Helium Pancakes. He poured the batter into the frying pan, and turned the helium on, puffing up the pancakes. He turned as Nana Waffles walked into the kitchen, smiling. As she walked up to give him a hug, his hands moved of their own accord, and he watched in horror as the helium caused the fire to leap up, catching Nana's wig on fire. As he was helping her, the flames traveled up the tube of the helium tank, and he turned just in time to see the terrified look on Nana's face seconds before the tank exploded.
Luther sat up, shaking, sweating, gasping. Hot. He was too hot. He kicked the covers off, wincing as everything hurt. Another dream. Another nightmare. Each one was different. Each one was worse than the last one. He couldn't take it anymore. Water. He needed a glass of cold water. Something to drive back the memory of the heat. Anything. He stood. His legs were still shaky, not only from the dream, but he hadn't really walked much during his stay at the hospital and he was weak. Careful not to step on Zeke, he made his way to the bathroom, closing the door and turning on the light.
He splashed some cool water on his face, wincing as it got into the still healing blisters, and sighed. He grabbed a cup and filled it with cool water and made his way back to the bed.
He sat on the bed, freezing and glancing at his sleeping friend when the movement caused the bed to squeak, sighing as Zeke moved a little, but stayed asleep. Luther leaned back against the pillows slowly. Just as he was finally getting comfortable (or as comfortable as one could get covered in burns and bandages), Zeke sat up, glancing blearily up at him.
"You alright, bro.?" he slurred out, still half-asleep.
"Yeah, man, just couldn't sleep. M'alright now." Luther half-lied.
Zeke nodded, then collapsed back into his sleeping bag, out in seconds. Luther sighed and closed his eyes. Happy thoughts. Puppies. Kittens. Cheese puffs. Skateboards. Anything but pancakes. And fire. Or explosions. Or hospitals. Or… His eyes snapped opened as awoke from yet another nightmare and saw Zeke standing over him looking freaked.
"Dude, are you alright? You were screaming for a whole minute."
Luther gave him a confused look, sitting up a little, "What? I'm…I'm fine, just…just a nightmare, I guess..." he trailed off distractedly.
Zeke nodded and sat back on the bed. "Alright, well Mom's almost got breakfast ready. And don't worry," he added with strained amusement, "no pancakes."
Luther nodded, smiling halfheartedly. "Um, yeah. Just give me a minute to get dressed, alright?"
Zeke nodded and awkwardly patted his friend on the shoulder before leaving the room, closing the door behind him.
Zeke leaned against the door and sighed. It'd been a almost week since the…the accident, and Luther still wasn't acting like his happy, goofy self. He was beginning to wonder if he'd ever get the old Luther back. And now, now he was having nightmares about it. Zeke didn't know the details, of course, but he knew that they must have been horrifying. Actually, not knowing the details proved even more how bad the dream must have been. Luther rarely kept anything from Zeke, not unless he was afraid.
And of course Zeke was worried about Luther physically, too. He nearly died in that explosion. When Zeke heard the news, he freaked out. Didn't sleep for 36 hours straight until he was absolutely certain Luther would be alright, and then only slept maybe three decent hours a night until Luther came home, last night.
Zeke glanced down at his phone, noticing that it'd been nearly 10 minutes since he'd left Luther and he still hadn't come out yet. He realized that he probably ought to go help him change the bandages and such before he was completely dressed anyways, so he turned around and went back into his room.
Luther was sitting on Zeke's bed, still in his flannel pants and undershirt, doubled over with his head in his hands. Zeke paused, then moved to sit beside his friend, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"Dude, you alright?" He murmured quietly.
Luther slumped over, surprising Zeke when he leaned in the crook of Zeke's shoulder and neck, making a pitiful groan.
Zeke was shocked. He'd never seen Luther this miserable, and he'd seen Luther break bones and even get a bolt stuck in his butt.
"Hey, Luth, why don't…" Zeke started, unsure if it was the right course of action, but figuring it was better than nothing, "Why don't you come on to breakfast, alright? Some solid food'll do you some good, right?"
Luther sighed and sat up, shaking his head. "'M not hungry."
"Oh. Is there anything I can get you, bro?"
"No." Luther answered, standing. "No, there's nothing you can do. I'm going to… take a shower."
"Wait, Luth." Zeke stood as well, grabbing Luther's shoulder. "You can't do that."
Luther looked a little indignant. "Why not?"
Zeke nodded to his friend's bandages. "You can't get those wet. You're supposed to change them when you get up anyways. We could go ahead and do that…" Zeke trailed off as Luther slammed the bathroom door in his face.
Something was going on with Luther, but I couldn't quite figure it out. He's never this secretive about anything. Ever. And I had a feeling it wasn't just the pain.
Zeke sat on his bed in confusion, wondering what he said that had been so offensive. He stood up, about to go downstairs and leave Luther to himself when the bathroom door opened and Luther came out, looking down.
Zeke smiled, "S'okay, bro. Sit." He said, pointing to the bed.
Luther gave him a confused look, doing as he was told. Zeke pulled up his computer chair and sat in front of his friend, pulling the white box that held all of Luther's meds and fresh bandages off the bedside table. He slowly and carefully unwrapped the outer layer of gauze before setting to the painful process of removing the inner layer.
Zeke gently pressed a warm, damp clothe over each blister, causing the gauze to loosen so it wouldn't be quite as painful to remove. He cleaned Luther's arms with several fresh gauze pads, then rubbed the medicated cream over his arms, rewrapping the two layers of gauze. His chest and face were easier as the burns were smaller and less severe and only took half as long. Just as Luther was putting his shirt back on, Ginger came in with a tray of toast, eggs, bacon and two glasses of orange juice and a "you so owe me" look on her face.
"Mom said to bring breakfast up for you. So here." She said, carelessly depositing the tray on the bed and walking out.
The rest of the week went much the same way: with Luther waking up multiple times in the night in a cold sweat or screaming after a horrendous nightmare ending worse than his real life experience did, and that was bad enough. His morale improved, somewhat, throughout the week, though, and he was far less harsh with Zeke than he was the first day.
Friday rolled around, at last. The day Luther was going back to see the doctor who'd taken care of him at the hospital to see how he was healing. That morning started much the same as usual, with Zeke getting up first -he was uncomfortable sleeping on the floor and, as much as he liked being able to keep an eye on Luther while he was recovering, he was looking forward to sleeping in his bed again. He went on down to grab a couple bowls of cereal and some juice to bring back up and let Luther sleep in later than usual.
When he came back upstairs, he found Luther sitting up rubbing sleep out of his eyes, hair all mussed up. "Hey." he said, sleepily, eyeing the food.
"Hey. Hungry?" Zeke said, setting a bowl and glass next to Luther and taking his own to his computer desk.
"Starving. Thanks." Luther said, though he looked somewhat distracted.
"What's up?" Zeke asked, cramming a spoonful Captain Crunch into his mouth.
Luther looked up out of his reverie. "Huh? Oh, just thinking… I feel bad about destroying their house, y'know?"
"Well yeah, but it's not like you can do anything about it now, though." Zeke said, turning back to his cereal.
Luther slumped back into the pillows behind him, moving his bowl away and sighing. But he had to do something to make up for it. It was his fault, after all. He even caused his nana to lose her best wig and both of them to lose their entire summer vacation. He was letting them use his room for their vacation, but that really wasn't enough. In fact, it was really nothing. If he could only get their cabin rebuilt. But that could cost thousands of dollars, and he didn't have that kind of money. Maybe he could get a job. He probably wouldn't earn enough to rebuild the whole cabin this summer, but at least he'd be able to help pay some of it.
Luther looked up, startled out of his thoughts. "What?"
"I asked if you were ok. You were staring off into space…" Zeke answered, having set aside his bowl out of concern.
"Oh, yeah. I think I'm going to get a job this summer to help pay to repair Nana's cabin." Luther said, decidedly.
"A job? But it's summer. You're not supposed to work over summer."
"Well… I still am. I need to make this up to them somehow."
"You'll never be able to get enough to rebuild the whole cabin in just one summer, though."
"No, but I can at least pay part of it."
Zeke thought for a moment. He didn't want Luther to get a summer job. They were supposed to learn new tricks and had a few competitions lined up for the summer. There was no way they'd win those if Luther was working all the time. Plus he'd be really bored. Not lonely. Bored. What kind of summer would it be without spending it with your best friend, anyways?
"Then I'll help you out." Zeke said finally.
"W-what?" Luther asked, confused and slightly startled.
"Yeah. I mean, what's the point of the summertime if not to spend time with your best bro? Even if it is working…"
"Z, you don't have to do this. I messed up, so I'm gonna be the one to take care of it. I can do this." Luther said, getting slightly defensive thinking that Zeke was only offering to help because he was worried that Luther would screw it up.
"I know you can. But I want to help. You'll have twice as much by the end of summer. It'd really help Nana Waffles and Carl."
"You'd work and give the money to fixing the cabin?" Luther asked, perplexed.
"Yeah. It's that whole Musketeer thing, y'know? 'All for one and one for all'. We're a team, yeah?"