Rememberick - Chapter 2 - Lol_DoesCrime (2024)

Chapter Text


Pure misery. That’s what strikes Morty in the beginning of this memory.

The space sheets have made another appearance, as well as a fairly similar pair of pajamas, but this time, the window isn’t shrouded in darkness, but inviting a light that’s oddly uncomfortable. A little more familiar with the concept now, Morty gets the sense that he’s around four years old, maybe five.

On this particular day, Morty’s feeling under the weather, to put it lightly. The memory is almost uncomfortable to sit in as nausea burbles in his belly and into his throat, not quite puking, but close— lucky he’s got a conveniently placed bucket by his bed. Geez, Mom and Dad really thought of everything, didn’t they?

His bedroom door is cracked open as usual, but today he can hear Mom and Dad’s voices carrying up the stairs and down the hall. Dad’s getting defensive, and Mom’s getting angrier and angrier. She sounds drunk.

An unfamiliar man slips into his room and closes the door just enough that there’s no visibility, some odd, antennae-ed gadget in his hand, lab coat swishing behind him as he whips around, first to close the door, then when he realizes he isn’t alone. Despite never having seen this man before that he can remember, Morty doesn’t distrust him. Something about him feels familiar, even good. Besides, he can’t possibly be concerned about who is who right now, he’s too busy feeling like utter garbage.

“Oh, uh… hey, buddy. What are you doing here?”

No response. Even if speaking was easier right now, even if speaking was ever easier, what would Morty say?

“Shouldn’t you be in school? sh*t, are you not old enough to do school yet?”

Morty is, in fact, an avid preschool student— He used to love school, back then, until maybe 3rd grade, geez, what happened?— but stayed home today sick. His mom had tried to drop him off that morning, sick or otherwise, but he remembers the nice lady at the desk waving something over his forehead and then making some ‘tsk tsk’ sound before addressing his mom further, who was distinctly not happy to have to take him back home. Morty remembers feeling unwanted, a distinct taste that cements when he eventually learns the word ‘burden.’

None of this makes it out of his mouth. All Morty can do is whine and hope the man understands that it’s about the spinning in his stomach and the throbbing in his head. Sure enough, the man looks on with sympathy, tucking his gadget into his coat pocket and kneeling in front of Morty’s bed with all his attention.

“Aww, y-are you- you sick, buddy? Don’t feel so good?”

Morty nods miserably. In hindsight, Morty knows that Rick expression very well, despite rarely seeing it. It’s fondness. It feels so good, especially that it came so easily, so in-the-moment, like it’s normal, like he could have it all the time—

”Here, I bet I can find some-a f*ckin’— something to give you for that, make you feel all better. Wouldja like that?”

Morty nods with vigor, then immediately regrets it as it sets off a wave of vertigo. He lurches, and the man sees the signs and grabs the bucket just in time, other hand temporarily falling to rub Morty’s back.

“Shh, it-it’s okay little buddy. Let it out. Let it-let it all out, that’s it.”

Once it’s ’all out’, Morty sits back up in bed as Rick the man wipes his face gently with some tissues. Now, Morty’s curiosity is a little more piqued. Who is this guy?

He doesn’t even have to ask. Something in his face makes him Understood, and oh, why does that feel familiar—

“I’m uh, I’m your Grandpa Rick. You don’t know about me, cause… it’s complicated. That’s all. But I’m your grandpa!”

The sentiment is punctuated with jazz hands and Morty giggles. For now, for a time like this, that’s enough of an answer to suffice.

“And you’re Morty, yeah?”

He tries to get words out, but doesn’t try all that hard. When he fails, he just nods.

“Yeah, it’s… it’s good to see you, kid. Hope you’re doing okay. Well, guess you’re not going okay right now, huh?” The shouting downstairs picks up Morty flinches, which makes Rick wince sympathetically. “They don’t always get along, do they?”

Morty shakes his head sadly. It’s not even about that, though— if it was just fighting, he could deal with it. It’s about how often he gets left behind.

“I-I-I th-think they f— f— forgot about me.”

The words rip themselves quietly but viciously from Morty’s throat, and Grandpa Rick’s face falls into a frown.

“Aw, buddy, I’d— I’m sure they didn’t really ‘forget’ about you, they just…” he trails off searching for the words, but the shouting drives him to give up. “Eh, they’re trying. You’ll be fine.”

Grandpa Rick takes a deep breath, like shaking the thoughts away.

“Anyway, I got some stuff here that’ll help you, I bet, let me just,” and Morty’s eyes go wide as a sci-fi gun emerges from that lab coat, points at the side of the room, and shoots. A bright green portal is formed, glow illuminating the already daylit bedroom in an ethereal, otherworldly glow.

Rick scoots just far enough to reach into the portal, sticks his hand in, rifles around, and produces two little cylindrical jars. One is tall and skinny and clear, filled with what might be some kind of candy, the other short and wide with writing all around the outside.

Taking advantage of Morty’s surprised stupor, Rick unscrews the shorter jar and starts rubbing some kind of gel on his forehead. It’s cold and uncomfortable and Morty tries to squirm away to no avail.

That’s the stuff Morty got when he caught the flu and had an awful fever. His dad, who had been trying to keep Rick out of it for whatever reason, gave in when the temperature was high enough that he genuinely considered seeking true medical intervention. The cream calmed down the fever quite a bit, stalling his sweating and calming his shakes, even clearing up his mind a little. The pills, he recognizes from the same day, and many other days. It’s an ‘anti-emetic,’ something to help with nausea, though he thinks a different dose or brand or something is kept around now. If he weren’t enthralled and encapsulated by a memory right now, Morty would laugh.

“I bet you can’t swallow pills, huh?” Grandpa Rick’s mouth is a thin line of consideration as Morty just tilts his head with lack of understanding. After a moment, a shrug, the man grabs the sippy cup of water beside the bed and hands it to Morty.

While he’s drinking the water, before he can fully put his cup back down, Grandpa Rick pushes it out of the way and slips something into Morty’s mouth. Before he can reject it, Rick uses one massive hand to cover his mouth and plug his nose.

“Swallow that.”

There’s no other option. It’s like there never was. It’s like nothing else ever happened or ever could have happened or ever will. He has his orders. Morty swallows.

Geez, is this why Morty never had trouble swallowing pills?

“Attaboy! See, that was easy— good job, little buddy!”

Grandpa Rick ruffles his hair and Morty’s never felt so correct.

There’s a blur of Rick putting gel on the back of his neck, then at some point, Rick sidles up next to him in bed with a picture book. Something with pigeons and hot dogs. The closeness was more comfort than the content.

Grandpa Rick suddenly stops reading, his head darting up and some words muttered under his breath. Morty tilts his head and listens— footsteps, oh, Mom—

Rick scrambles out of the bed and tucks himself into the closet, a finger over his lips as he looks at Morty,

“I’m not here!”

And the door is open and the closet is closed and Mom’s hand is on Morty’s forehead and okay, sure, Grandpa Rick isn’t here.

“How’s my poor baby doing? Oh, seems like your fever is starting to clear up. Are you feeling any better?”

Morty shrugs— he’s feeling better, but mostly because of he-who-is-not-here.

“That’s good. Alright, sweetie, why don’t you lay down and try to go back to sleep?”

“Mom-mmy, I’m, I’m h- h— hu— mm— h—“

Mom runs out of patience and pats him gently on the head.

“Sorry, sweetie, Mommy has to go up to work. I hope you feel better soon. Dad will come in and check on you a little later.”

She kisses him on the forehead and leaves, fully closing the door behind her, and Grandpa Rick’s head pops out of the closet to the silent room. He gazes around before his eyes land on Morty.

“W-what’s up, buddy?”

So he goes for it.

“Grandpa R-r-Rick, I-I’m-hu-hn— hunm—“

Rick walks calmly back to the bed and waits, patient, one hand folded in his lap, the other holding his weird green portal-shooter-blaster, typing something in.

“h-hum—hungry.”

Morty breathes out, almost exhausted from the work of speaking with illness and impediment combined, but Rick smiles, and there’s that Understanding again. He shoots a portal and sticks his hand through it again, this time producing a pack of some kind of cracker.

He typed that in before Morty was finished. He knew. He knew what he was going to say and he still waited. He waited. He waited?!

“How about these?”

“T-th-t-thanks.”

With another ruffle of Morty’s hair, Grandpa Rick checked his watch— which definitely wasn’t a normal watch— and sighed.

“I should pr-ooobably get out of here, kid.” Disappointment and nonchalance swirled in his voice and Morty matched it.

“Oh. O-okay.”

“I mean, I-I’m glad I-I got you feeling better.”

Sensing the need for it— in a sharing of the Understanding, perhaps— Morty pulls a smile. He’s right; Rick smiles back, if only for a brief moment. Something else emerges in his hand from within the lab coat.

“Damn, I wish you could keep this. I-I wish it wasn’t so risky. I’m— f*ck— I’m sorry.”

Morty tilts his head. The contraption points dead into his eyes. Grandpa Rick looks so, so tired.

“I-it’s okay, Grandpa.”

Morty returns to his normal-aged, normal-consciousness body with a start.

Rememberick - Chapter 2 - Lol_DoesCrime (2024)
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