"Hot juice, huh~?" There was a slight laugh to his words, eyebrows raising as he watched Smokes genuinely enjoy the beverage he immediately denied seconds ago. "I’ve never heard it called that before… usually people just call it… tea~." A wicked smirk curled around his lips, leaving him looking like the cat that ate the canary.
He leaned up, pressing his forehead against Smokes’ temple and lowering his voice to a murmur. “It makes your smoke smell nice~.” He pressed a kiss to Smokes’ cheek before settling back down against the tinbot’s shoulder and deciding on a channel; it was his go-to station, when there was nothing else on. The cooking channel. He watched with mild interest as the show hosts explained how to make and decorate a rather convoluted looking cake.
"You might not like the fruity teas like I do, but I have other spiced blends that you might like, since you said that one isn’t bad~." His tone had a slight teasing bite to it, his hand moving around to scratch along behind Smokes’ bad ear. Fidget let his other arm drape across Smokes’ lap, his hand slipping up under the borrowed sweater and running his fingers along the grooves of Smokes’ stomach plating.
Benji’s expression faded back into something stoic, eyes continuing to pierce the ceiling with their gaze. As Fox’s words and fears sank in, he raised a hand to rest against the side of Fox’s head; lightly scratching along the automaton’s metallic scalp with overgrown claws. “I’m… different… from you, and pretty much everyone. Part of the reason Smokes and I get on so well is because he’s about as emotional as us Demons. Killing… dying… it pretty much is a fact of life. At least to us. One way or another, everyone ends up in the ground, whether by the hands of someone or by the hands of nature.”
His voice wasn’t completely unfeeling and harsh, though it lacked any real empathy. “There’s about a fifty percent chance that I’ll die, and the only way it’ll happen is either by my own stupidity or because someone killed me. Time is irrelevant to me… the cold, and the destruction of my heart are my only enemies. So… it’s a fact of life that I may ultimately die because someone has murdered me, just as Fidget and Smokes have murdered people. It may happen tomorrow, or it may happen a thousand years from now when all of the people in Gideon’s employ have died away and begun to rot.”
Benji stopped the scratching to Fox’s head, lowering his hand back down to rest against Fox’s shoulder, giving it a light squeeze. “But… you won’t be like them. Gideon, your brother… my brother. You’re different from them, and you probably always will be. That being said, you’ll have to hurt people… they’re not good people, Fox, and we’re at a point where we can either hurt them or be hurt by them. I don’t know what happened between Smokes and Fidget in that warehouse, because I wasn’t with them… but Archer was. And when I visited him in the hospital, he started crying because the sounds my brother made were still haunting them… he was half out of his mind, and he was positive that he had just spoken with my mother, but then he started bawling and asking me why — out of all the things he’s forgotten — he couldn’t forget the screams.”
Benji turned his head just enough to look down at Fox, his eyebrows stitching together slightly in a soft scowl. “You already went through something like that once… I’d rather it not happen again, and neither would the rest of the family. So… as much as it might upset you… you will have to hurt some of Gideon’s men, in order to survive. And that’s just another fact of life.”
As the truth was told, Smokes gasped. He glared Fidget down with a firm pout, turning back to his tea with a new disdain. “Aw man… why… ” Even if he was upset with the new found fact, he still liked it. Begrudgingly taking another sip.
His vents heated up at the news that it made him smell nice. He tried not to show just how excited for that he was. He coughed, whether for illness or to clear his throat you couldn’t be sure.
"There was this one time… Kal made me eat sandal wood stuff… made my smoke smell nice, kinda spicy taste to it." He huffed, taking another sip. "But if I’m not sick… I don’t think I’d bother…" He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. How could he really say that? he could breathe for once. Real air. No wheezing, flavored Smoke. Damn it.
His new found breath hitched in his throat as Fidget’s hand grazed over his stomach. It was a very welcomed touch after so long of none. His eyes almost fluttered a bit and he fell back on the mattress, setting his mug on his chest. A smile on his face as he enjoyed each stroke of his finger. Maybe he should get sick more often. Or try this tea thing…
At the fleeting soft touch, Fox closed his eyes. Willing to take as much as Benji was willing to give. His ears falling relaxed and his tail sliding off their bodies as he stopped holding it up. He listened to every pained word. Suddenly feeling so guilty for being so mortal. One day they would all be gone… and Benji would be the only one left. Maybe Archer too, but how things for him worked out that was never a promise.
He raised his head, watching Benji carefully as he spoke about visiting his father in the hospital. That seemed like such a bad day for the demon, Fox could see it on his face when he returned, but he refused to talk about it. And now he knew what had happened, mostly. He gave him a tight squeeze around the middle. Closing his eyes at his own memories, and what he could only imagine Fidget had gone through. He almost prefer them trying to kill him again, rather than go through that again.
When he felt Benji’s eyes, he slowly tilted back up to him. Struggling with that bit of emotion. “I… I know I have to but… what if they are like Smokes, trapped because Gideon told them to? They could be you… or Fidget or… or Jimmy.” He quickly buried his face into Benji’s side with the visual of having to fight any one of them. “…. I can’t just think someone is completely… utterly bad… there has to be something good in them… There has to be….”
((So i’m stuck on the bad computer and don’t have any of my threads saved here. if you are up right now and want to rp send me a link! And i’ll respond!))
Here’s Cyber’s picture for the roster! My computer’s being a dork, so I can’t submit this. Sorry! :(
((Its cool! Thank you I got it!))
Fidget angled his head to watch as Smokes cautiously sipped the tea, grinning at the question and quirking an eyebrow. “Why…? Do you like it?” He wouldn’t lay down the reveal until he managed to goad Smokes’ true feelings out; telling the truth now would only get him stubborn disgust. Smokes barely even knew what tea tasted like, and yet he so vehemently hated it for the sake of hating it.
He tilted his head into the kiss, not minding the borderline unpleasant chill and slime. He had experienced far more disgusting things on his person in his lifetime. Still, he discretely raised a hand to wipe away the residue when Smokes wasn’t looking. “We’ll see how you’re faring tomorrow. If you’re too ill, I’m not taking you anywhere. Especially not out with Lucy and I… you’d be a liability, but you’d also be putting yourself at risk.”
To pacify Smokes, he raised a hand; snaking his arm around Smokes’ neck to rest across his shoulder and scratching along the glass of his skull. His other hand reached over to grab the television remote from the bedside table, clicking the electronic device to life and scrolling for something to watch.
Benji listened patiently, his tongue flickering out every few seconds as he mulled Fox’s words over. He slung an arm around Fox’s shoulders, his idea of cuddling. He huffed a breath through his nose at Fox’s final statement. “Well… right now, working for Fidget is the best thing for him. No one else has the balls to stand up to Gideon… all the other mobs are in his pocket, they’d sell Eamon right back to him in a heartbeat. I think he knows that. Which is why he was willing to put up with that beating Smokes gave him.”
He snorted a laugh, giving the ceiling a crooked grin as he mulled everything over. “Who would’ve thought the Primadonna had it in him to strike fear into the hearts of men… I just can’t see it…” His voice softened, if only a little. “He’ll probably never scare me.”
What little emotion there was became chased away with a sigh, “If you think he’s decent enough, fine then… he can be my ‘yes man’ for a while. At least until Smokes cools off and learns to deal with him being around. You saw it earlier… Fidget alone wasn’t enough to be a buffer between them. I’ll need to keep Spyro under my thumb until the dust settles.”
"It… well it ain’t… bad…" Smokes took another sip. He closed his eye at the touch, listening as the tv clicked on. Watching it at the moment made him sick, but he was thankful for the distraction from the chill in his metal.
His other hand fell against Fidget’s arm, gently stroking up and down it as he sipped his tea. “Its like… hot juice er somethin’… I don’t usually go for the juice… I dunno… It kinda tastes like grass I… think… but it kinda tastes like those cookies. You know the ones.. the uh… simmer… slimmer? Snoodle doodles… whatever they’re called…” He took another long sip and exhaled. For a moment his smoke thinned and even puffed out the aroma of the tea. Able to breathe he took another deep breath. “… this shit clears out my nose holy fuck…” Amazed, he took another sip and exhaled again. Filling the room with that cinnamon scent.
Fox nodded in agreement. “I think… Smokes was just sorta… looking for a scapegoat. Not that he didn’t deserve the beating but… I think more than that might be excessive. It’s supposed to be whatever makes Fidget feel better… right?”
He pouted, drawing light circles in Benji’s shirt with his fingertip. “… I mean like I wanted to punish those guys from the party… but if Smokes did that to one of them… I’d be mortified. I just can’t. I know they deserve to hurt, but… I could never hurt, or let someone be hurt like that.” He swallowed hard, eyes falling to the floor. “…. Gideon pushed Fidget so hard he kills without thinking about it… like its a fact of life… Benji I-… I’m scared that could be me… I don’t want to be like Smokes… I don’t… I don’t want to hurt people…”
Fidget gave Smokes a smile, handing the mug over before crawling into bed alongside his husband, finally able to sit with no distance between them, His comfort was slow returning, but there was noticeable progress in the last two days. “Just some flavored water~.” It technically wasn’t a lie.
He tilted his head to one side, resting it against Smokes’ shoulder as he cuddled up to the sick ‘bot; burrowing under the blankets alongside Smokes and wrapping his arms around his husband’s middle. “Depending on how you’re feeling tomorrow, I might take a break from working and stay home with you… or~… if you’re feeling well enough, I might go out and cross a few more off my list~.” He couldn’t keep the smirk from his lips. Now that he knew the kink was there, he couldn’t help playfully exploiting it whenever possible.
Al laid her ears back in annoyance, swatting Fox’s tail out of her face unkindly and dragging the lanky automaton towards her eldest brother’s room. It was little effort for her — still, she made no attempt to properly carry him. Once they were there, she gracelessly dropped him onto the mattress and stormed away with her head held high.
Benji was soon to follow, nose buried in a sketch book that he used for on-the-go designs and projects. A few quick scribbles and he snapped the book shut, tossing it onto the floor before throwing himself onto his bed, draping an arm over his eyes and flashing all of his dangerous teeth as he heaved a hard yawn. “Spyro’s teeth should be easy enough to make… could probably knock them out in an hour or so tomorrow.”
Slowly, he lowered his arm away from his face, a scowl passing his features as he stared up at the ceiling; contemplating something. After a moment of silence he turned to look towards Fox. “What do you make of that guy?” He would likely never admit it in front of judge and jury, but Fox’s opinions influenced the majority of his own — if Fox liked someone, then Benji could learn to tolerate them; if Fox hated someone, then Benji would obliterate them.
Smokes was thankful for the cuddles. Not only that he loved having Fidget close, but it also meant another source of warmth. He put the cup to his lips, taking a nervous sip. He mulled it over a moment, unable to tell that spice but he knew it was more than just flavored water. “Whats in this?” he asked, licking his lips and taking another bigger sip.
At the prospect of Fidget staying home he raised both eyebrows. The heat from his team fogged up his vents and glass. “OOoh yeah uh… I’ll probably need ya home.” he smirked, leaning in for a kiss to Fidget’s cheek. It was very cold and very wet. “Or… I dunno… I could come with… an’ watch ya take those fuckers out…”
One he was plopped down, Fox gave a delighted cheer. “Thaaaaank you All!” He blew her kisses as she left. He stretched out his legs, his toes, his arms and his fingers with a big yawn before collapsing again on the mattress. He chuckled as Benji plopped down as well. “We should see if the old married couple is in too… at some point… see how the funeral went.”
He didn’t waste anytime, always desperate for cuddles, he rolled towards Benji and latched himself against the demon’s side. Nearly double Benji’s height, he had to pull his legs in tight to spoon against him. His tail flopping over them like a blanket and happily flopping away at Benji’s chest.
He thought it over a bit, staring out of the corner of his eye as he thought. He was pretty good with people, maybe not as good as Jim. “Well… I… I think he’s scared. He’s probably the youngest in his family… or definitely had older siblings… From what I gathered talking to him. He really is a sorta… yes guy. Like… you give him reason to follow and he’ll do it… but he won’t go against the grain unless he’s really scared… probably why he got involved with Gideon to be begin with. I think Fidget convinced him it was the wrong side.”
He took a hard breath and slowly released it. “I will say this though… Smokes was with Gideon for years. He was told to-… to do the stuff that Eamon did to Fidget, and he refused. He wouldn’t do that to somebody, no matter what Gideon threatened or offered… and… and Eamon did… and they both are still here so… I dunno… I think he’s just really eager to follow orders from somebody stronger than him. He tries to be a good person I… I think… but he’ll do whats best for himself in the long run.”
Fidget scowled down at Smokes, pressing his index finger to the center of Smokes’ forehead and giving it a light push — as if it might help the message to further sink in through Smokes’ thick skull. “No beer! You’re sick. You get water or tea, and that’s final.”
His stern expression faded as Smokes continued speaking and reminisced about his lackluster childhood. Fidget leaned over to snatch up a tissue from the box resting on the nightstand. As gently as one would expect, he cleaned the lubricant from Smokes’ face; pinching the issue around his nose and softly ordering him to blow, so that less lubricant might make an appearance during the next sneezing fit.
"Well… you always took good care of them, day-to-day… it was the least they could do. You were good to me, when I was still in hiding. You were patient, you kept me company… even though I didn’t know I needed it… and Lucy always told me when you left food. They always made sure to take such good care of you, because you never needed it often… and any other time, you’re always spent making sure that the rest of us never go without. You’re a good person~."
He bent forward, pressing a kiss to Smokes’ forehead before straightening back out and standing to his feet. “I’ll be back with your drink. Don’t move around too much… just relax.” Fidget gave Smokes a final smile over his shoulder before striding across the room and slipping out the door.
Fidget was only gone for a few minutes — still, a bit longer than one would expect for a simple cup of hot water — and when he returned he was carrying a mug filled with a steaming colored liquid. The bag had been removed, but anybody with a decent sense of smell would be able to tell that it was tea. An enthusiast would know it was Hot Cinnamon Spice. It was a small, personal payback for Smokes denying his wonderful teas in favor of something as bitter and tasteless as beer. Still, he figured Smokes would at least appreciate the spice of the drink, once he figured out what it was.
He frowned, blowing his nose into the tissue. A little embarrassed that he had to be helped to even do that. He pouted and sunk further into the blankets.
He could never take compliments well, especially ones of how nice he was. He puffed smog and sniffled, dropping his eyes to the blanket. “I just… do what I can…” He snorted, closing his eyes and ready to sleep under the pile of fabric. He relaxed at the kiss and gave a slow nod, not like he could move if he wanted to.
He sat up, dreamy eyed, as Fidget returned with the tea. He sniffed, unable to get a good scent with the smoke and the fluid in his sensors. He tried to sit up but didn’t get very far, the blankets folding at his middle. “Whats… that?” He asked with a yawn.
By now it was late enough that the others had come back from the warehouse. Fox was exhausted, hunched over Al’s shoulder with a yawn. Their sparring matches always tuckered him out. “Carry me to Benji’s bed…” He moaned, dropping his arms over her shoulders. His tail flipping over their heads and blocking her faceplate. He paused, sniffing the air as they came. “Oooo someones on a tea kick.”
"Easy, old man…" He took a step forward, ready to catch Smokes and keep him from collapsing completely if he lost consciousness. Though, at the remark of snapping the mage’s neck, Fidget scoffed. One half of his mouth quirked into a smirk as he gave Smokes a devilish expression. "Not if I break it first."
He stood there, waiting patiently, for several more minutes. Though the water showed no signs of running cold anytime soon, he eventually reached over and shut the shower off. He moved forward and supported Smokes’ weight as he helped his husband back onto his feet. “Come on~… if you stay in here too long, you’ll rust.” He shuffled Smokes out of the shower, pausing only to grab a towel from the rack and dry the tinbot off.
Once Smokes was free of any remaining water, Fidget ushered him back into the bedroom and forcing him to sit on the edge of the bed. Digging through his closet he picked out some of the clothes that Smokes kept at the beach house — still adamant on keeping some at the apartment and denying that he had moved in — picking out a pair of flannel pajama pants. Though, instead of the dozens of ratty old wife beaters, Fidget came away with one of his own sweaters. The thickest he owned.
"You’ll have to deal with the pastel color for a while… none of your shirts will actually keep you warm." He gave Smokes a sympathetic look, helping his husband to dress. With the new clothes donned, he forced Smokes back against the mattress; pulling the blankets up over him. Fidget inadvertently wound up put his chest in Smokes’ face as he leaned across to fluff up Smokes’ pillow and ensure that his husband had enough support under his head.
"You should really try to drink something warm… give your boiler something hot to digest." Fidget sat himself on the edge of the bed at Smokes’ side, raising a hand and running it along the top of Smokes’ head softly. "Do you want hot water, or do you want to try one of my teas?"
Smokes snickered as he was dried, even making a few barks and pretending to pant like a dog. Though interrupted with more sneezes.
He plopped on the bed with a pout, peeling on the flannel pants. He was moving better at least. At the sight of the sweater he groaned. “Aawww man… I’m already sick… don’ make me puke too…” He rolled his eyes but still put it on.
He grumbled and crawled back on the mattress with Fidget’s help. This was a little odd for him, never being mothered quite like this before. His eyes went wide as Fidget’s core passed over his eyes, he couldn’t help but stare at that sleek metal. His vents began to warm up, puffing momentary light steam before fading back to smoke again.
"… tea no thank you…" He pouted, then a thought. "Hey… hey isn’t there a beer that’s served hot?… its like… earth beer or somethin’… that could work?" He raised both eyebrows, forever hopeful.
He sighed, wiggling under the mound of blankets over him. “Ya know… this… this kinda reminds me of when I’d get outta the hole… my boiler was always super cold. Fox would bundle me up like this sorta… an Jim-” He paused, licking his lips as another sneeze came on. He tried to fight it off. “He’d get Boss ta… ta make him a second or third dinner… eat half of it, an… an bring the rest up to me…” The sneeze finally came, and a few after it. His face covered again in the lubricant but his hands too bundled to wipe his face. “… they always took good care of me…. when I needed it…”
le TOUR de FRITES: 21 stages, 3,664 kilometres, NO KETCHUP.
Fidget could help the smirk that curled around his lips at Smokes’ praise, folding his arms across his chest and continuing to lean against the glass wall of the shower. When his husband attempted to woo him, he only rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I have an idea too… it’s called sit in the hot water~.” He scoffed a laugh, sneering down at Smokes playfully. “Most organics don’t make a habit of trying to court people while sick.”
He quirked an eyebrow as a thought occurred to him, his smirk spreading into a grin that gave all of his teeth. “Smokes…” there was a playful and teasing air to his voice, “Is it an aphrodisiac for you, when I murder henchmen…?” He couldn’t help the slight giggle that laced into his words towards the end of his sentence.
With a coy smile, Fidget raised the arm that he had driven through the chest of one of the men, examining his metal that was still coated in now-dried blood. “Who knew~.” He took a step forward, holding his arm out under the shower’s spray and letting the water rinse his metallic skin clean. He might not coddle the sick, but he couldn’t help but exploit this new-found information and taunt Smokes a while longer.
Smokes watched him wave that arm around. His sick smile spreading further over his cracked lips. “Ya… kiddin’ me?” The green matter certainly was pumping through his pipes now.
He lifted his head and watched as Fidget cleaned the blood off. He looked like he was about to sneeze, or yawn. His face stretched long from his nose. But in actuality he was trying to get the lubricant to stop running.
"If… Ifin’ I wasn’t… so… fuck." The image of Fidget pinned against the shower wall was almost too tantalizing. He jumped to his feet, puckering his lips and ready to plan a multitude of kisses along that gorgeous titanium neck, but his green matter was still too cold for such quick movement.
He groaned, falling against the shower wall and sliding down it. Dizzy from the sudden movement and the quick temperature change. He moaned, sitting under the water and wrapping his arms back around his middle. “… fuck that guy… put me in an ice cube… I’ll… I’ll break his neck…” He muttered under his breath, sniffling and sneezing some more.