Meta Knight wasn't sure if puffballs had legs. Other creatures did, but puffballs had a general lack of any limbs whatsoever, so when Sailor Dee went off screaming and gurgling, "It's a bro-leg ken! A leg broken!" he had to question his own species' anatomy. Whatever it was, his foot was twisted at a very odd angle and it probably wasn't safe to move, so he lay back down and stared at the inside of the Halberd's engine.

It kind of hurt, but nothing new to him. It was more of an inconvenience that the Halberd wouldn't be able to fly for a few more days than a physical pain to him. As much as he loved his ship, it had way too many parts. He didn't even know what his foot had slipped into that had caused him to flip over onto the floor. He wasn't sure how he managed to land right on his face.

As Sailor Dee's siren-like screams sounded closer with more than a couple of footsteps following, Meta Knight remembered he'd been forced to promised to attend a picnic with the other three the following day. Maybe he wouldn't be coerced into playing tag.

Kirby was humming.

It brought sound to Meta Knight's usually-silent home, which he really never visited because, as Kirby had aptly put it, "You live in the Halberd, Meta." (And also proceeded to politely ask if the knight would sell the house to him for a cheap price.) Kirby was busy slaving away at something in the kitchen, and when Meta Knight had turned around on the sofa to have a peek, the pink puffball was putting in four too many tablespoons of sugar, so it was safe to assume the worst.

On the television a show about the nervous system was blaring, but he was too busy staring at the cape slung on the coatrack to pay attention to neurons. He heard a ping from outside the speakers and then the shuffling of feet.

Ceramic clanged against each other and after a few minutes, Kirby slid a slice of a foamy brown cake onto the table. It looked innocent enough, but Meta Knight had witnessed its sinful procedure of being baked, so he didn't dive right into it.

He settled on, "Thanks." And then just eyed it from where he lay down.

It was Sailor Dee who insisted he remained bedridden (or couchridden, for this instance), even though he could move himself around just fine with crutches.

Kirby hummed and shoved the plate closer to Meta Knight.

"You didn't have to cancel the picnic," Meta Knight fervently added, trying to draw Kirby's attention away.

"No, we had to. You're injured. You need rest," Kirby said simply, no chiding tone, no concern, just matter-of-fact. "If you strain yourself it'll be bad."

Never mind that the people who were making him strain himself were them. "Then I could've just stayed here. If I needed help with anything, I could call my crew."

"No, we had to," Kirby repeated. He rested his hands on the table and sat down on the floor. "Anywhere can be a picnic as long as there are friends. Too bad Bandana and Dedede are taking their stuff to bring over here. We can still have a picnic now, though."

Thankfully, Kirby couldn't see Meta Knight's facial expression. "That's good news."

"It is. And because it's a picnic," Kirby pushed the plate closer, right to the edge of the table, "eat."

Following Kirby's attempt at giving Meta Knight diabetes, Bandana Dee arrived at the house next with a tote bag, and switched places with Kirby, who claimed he was going out to pick fruits. It was a relief, seeing as how Kirby had somehow managed to stuff half the slice of cake into Meta Knight's mouth.

"Sorry," Meta Knight coughed, trying not to gag, "can you get me a glass of water?"

Bandana Dee lay the tote bag by a leg of the table. "Sure! Um, wait a moment, please." Then he went tottering off into the kitchen. "Which cup should I use?"


"Err… any? I'll use this mug. Is it okay? It's plain, it's white-coloured… oh, the kitchen is a mess. Was Kirby using it? N-Not that that's bad, of course! I'm sure he was just so focused on taking care of you he forgot to clear up… um, how much water should I take?"

Meta Knight resisted the urge to stuff his hand into his mouth so he'd taste salty skin instead of sugar. "More than half is fine. Thank you."

"All right!"

Bandana Dee came scrambling over with a filled-to-the-brim mug of water, and, in his hurry, splashed half of it all over the floor before it even got to Meta Knight. Meta Knight ignored the mess and downed the remains of water. While he did, Bandana Dee adjusted his bandana far more than necessary, and after a couple of seconds, decided to duck down and dig at his tote bag.

Once the mug was drained of its contents, Meta Knight set it back onto the table. "Thanks – "

"No problem!" Bandana Dee said too quickly, rocketing up to his feet. He slid something onto the table. "Here – um, I brought books. I didn't know what else to bring, and my doctor friend said you're all good to go and all you need is to just let it heal, but that'll take time, so, well, to kill the time, I normally – reading kills time pretty well, doesn't it? So I brought whatever I had over."

Reading was pleasant. Meta Knight had many books himself, enough to warrant a small library room in the Halberd. Too bad that's where it was – the Halberd. He really would've preferred to recuperate in the ship, but his whole crew had pushed him out and stood firm on repairing the Halberd themselves, so no staying in the Halberd. At least he had books to keep him company now.

Meta Knight turned his head. "Thank you, that's really – "

There was a stack of children's picture books on the table.

" – helpful…"

And Bandana Dee was positively shining, he almost hurt to look at. "Really? Great King loves them a lot, so I brought his favourites over! Em, I guess he'll be upset since they're here for now, but it's fine! You need them more right now, I think… Kirby really likes them, too, so I think you'll enjoy them." He took a few steps backwards and because he was looking around the room, he missed out on Meta Knight's twitching eye. "Um – what should I do? Do you need help with something? Oh, I left a mess on the floor! I'll go clean it up. I'm sorry! I'll clean the kitchen too, so, um, just – read the books, okay? Just relax!"

Bandana Dee was the one who needed to relax, Meta Knight thought.

With the waddle dee frantically working away at tidying up, Meta Knight separated the stack into two and opened one of the books on top to its middle, just so Bandana Dee wouldn't be upset he wasn't reading them.

Kirby was very straightforwardly pushy and it was hard to fight back against him. Bandana Dee was a constant worrywart and it was hard to disappoint him. Dedede, on the other hand, was very easy to be honest with.

"Great King," Meta Knight began, dramatically gesturing to his foot, "I have a broken leg."

Dedede folded his arms and blinked his eyes like nothing was wrong. "I gotcha."

"I cannot do boxing."

"I don't gotcha." Dedede's brows furrowed. Meta Knight wanted to plant his hands onto his face but his mask was in the way. "Your feet are injured so your hands should still be working. You only gotta use your hands."

Meta Knight wildly gestured to his coatrack where his cape hung limply. "By right, flying only involves the cape but I cannot fly because flying involves movement, and my foot will no doubt be affected, and any pressure on it, excessive or not, will – "

"You can sit and do it," Dedede suggested, dragging the pole with the punching bag tied to it closer to the couch. Meta Knight slumped back down. "It's physical strengthening, Meta. Helps make sure you won't break your leg again. Might not help in the recovery but it'll help make sure you don't get smash another thing next time."

That would perhaps make sense if Meta Knight wasn't injured, which was what Dedede was failing to see. The penguin ran mostly by experience. He probably hadn't gotten a broken leg before, then.

And that aside, Meta Knight would feel bad for bashing the punching bag, broken leg or not. Bandana Dee had mentioned a budget for repairing the castle, and then the next day a secret arena had been constructed out of nowhere in the castle and the boxing bag probably came along with it. It no doubted costed more than just a bit of money. This was why the castle was wormed with holes and open areas; the castle had never been fully prepared from the first time Kirby stormed into it.

To sum things up, the boxing bag was the product of irresponsibility and Meta Knight didn't want to partake in it. Surely the castle deserved better.

"Thank you for the offer," Meta Knight started as courteous as he could sound, "but no."

Dedede patted the punching bag. "Sure?"

"Very. Thank you, but – "

Dedede shrugged. "'Kay, then." Meta Knight gazed at him as he effortlessly unhinged the punching bag and lay it onto the ground like it was as light as a pillow.

"What are you doing?"

"Didn't bring it here for nothing, even if you aren't gonna whack it." Dedede looked at it contemplatively. "Wanna use it as a bolster?"

A large punching bag more than thrice his size and as hard as a brick wall for a bolster.

"No, I'm fine," Meta Knight huffed, and remembered to add, "but thanks."

Night fell quickly.

Kirby was sprawled out on the table, face-up and drooling, Bandana Dee was curled up quietly on the corner of his carpet, and Dedede was snoring while clutching the punching bag close to him like a precious bolster.

He chose not to go through the trouble of maneuvering all the way back to his bedroom when the couch worked just fine. They settled fine with that, but for some reason or other they ended up wrapping a few more layers of bandages around his cast and now he looked like he had a bandage-boulder for a foot. It was getting sweaty.

All he needed was time for it to heal itself, so the fuss was pointless. If anything, he only got more work out of them fussing over him. He ended up having to crush the remaining cake in tissue paper and convince Bandana Dee it was trash to throw it for him, ended up having to reassure Bandana Dee it was fine when he put some belongings back in the wrong place, ended up having to stay awake correcting Dedede's misconceptions about… a lot of things.

Meta Knight was tired. He pulled the thin blanket over himself and turned on his side, shutting his eyes. The day had been far too troublesome.

And strangely, he felt content about it.