Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    What Friends Are For

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    What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:57 pm

    Time: 10:00 AM
    Date: November 9, 0009

    A bit of time with the family was just what Kev had needed after helping Metal get a guitar. He played with the animals, chatted with Marvin, told Livewire how proud he was of her, and snuggled up with Fear to read a good book with a nice cuppa. Tension and stress drained from the alien as if he were put through a sieve! The night was topped off with a particularly cozy bath before he eventually fell asleep in his boyfriend's arms. Throughout all of this, the scaly man had also been texting with Scaramouche to make sure the robot was alright. He didn't mention Metal's plan just yet, however... That was something best done in person. One could only say so much in a text, and the idea of meeting up somewhere with Metal, even if Kev came alone, might be a hard sell through just text. Besides, the jazzy robot and the soft kitty woman likely needed a pick me up and what better way than to drop by for a visit?

    With a plan in mind for the day, Kev woke up bright and early. He got in his morning exercises and shared breakfast with the family. The rest of his morning routine was cut a little short though. The Tavern probably got busier as the weekend approached, and he wanted to go over before the lunch rush! Everyone received a mouthless Kevvy peck on the head before the alien dressed up in warm winter clothes and dashed out the door! He jogged to the nearest bus stop and caught a ride just in time! The drive was pleasant, early morning sunshine peering through the bus windows for a little 'snack'. Kev idly watched the scenery passed by as he waited for his stop. Skyscrapers and sidewalks were eventually replaced by highways out of the city. Up ahead was the vast treeline of the forest. The scaly man got off at his stop, straightening his sweater as he stepped down onto the asphalt. Thick trees loomed overhead as he plodded forward, grass crunching beneath his boots. He closed the distance until he had at last reached the property of the Moonshine Tavern!

    Kev approached the door, raised a fist to knock and...! ...Oh right! The Tavern wasn't open quite yet. His hand pulled back, the alien blinking in slight confusion. Hm. Where to go...? Perhaps they could be working in the back? He tiptoed along the left side of the building, making his way to the backyard where he eventually found a garden. And who else was working in that garden than a certain robot? One of the two people he was looking for! The alien stepped closer, eyes squinting. "Hey there jerkface. Tending to the garden?" Kev was insistent on making sure his friends were alright after the stressful night they'd had in the Sanctuary.


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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Scaramouche on Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:14 am

    "Drink up, babes, 'cause it's gonna be a loooooong winter."

    If you had said Scaramouche would own a garden and develop a flourishing green thumb in a year's time, he would've brazenly honked and called you a nut. But, here the robot was, kneeling in a field of rich, earthy soil as he watered his thirsty darlings, happily lost in his task.

    Autumn was a fantastic time to prepare an early spring harvest, as well as provided a test of everything he'd learn thus far. Beans, peas, asparagus, onions, garlic, spinach, and lettuces... Despite the ruthless snow and biting chill fast approaching, these stubborn plants had the earth and a loving diligence to insulate them from Winter's hoary clutches. They were joined by a neat little row of dormant fruit-bearing trees not too far away, followed by canes of raspberries and blackberries. It wasn't time to plant the blueberry bushes just yet. Soon, though! Scaramouche was very much looking forward to Spring; especially to all the wonderful meals he'd be able to cook with their homegrown goodies.  

    "There," he smiled, "now you all look positively radiant." Though his vegetables couldn't talk back, they nevertheless glistened in the morning sun, healthy and swollen with affection while nestled in their tidy wooden boxes. The sprinkling of water was just a cherry on top. Pleased, the android picked up his watering can and rose, the delicate machinery in his joints whining softly. "Hm..." Scaramouche looked off to the side and clicked his tongue, scrolling through his mental checklist of what needed attention for today. "Let's see: I watered the garden, cleaned up the coop and lined it with cedar chips, collected the eggs, fed my girls, inspected the tavern for any upcomin' repairs before the rain, and kissed mi vefo!" All in all, a wholesome start to this wonderful Friday morning. Lunette could do with another kiss, however, and the boys'll need a hand in the kitchen. Looks like he was done with the outside world for now! Which was great, because it was getting kinda nippy out he -

    "Hey there jerkface. Tending to the garden?"

    Welp! Nix that plan, because now Scaramouche had company. The android immediately tensed beneath his coat, wincing. "K-Kev~!" He tried to grin and downplay his awkwardness, but there was no mistaking the way he seemed to 'shrink' behind his scarf. Oof... Scaramouche was so not in anything glamorous today. If he had known there'd be a visitor, the robot would've thrown on something flattering! At least a nicer pair of jeans, or even a flashier set of footwear. He did rock the farmer look quite well, though... He shuffled in his winter boots and looked vaguely embarrassed, his optics drifting to the ground every now and then. "Y-Yeah, um...! I'm just, like, gettin' my darlings ready for the upcomin' frost, y'know? Nothin' to write home about." It was just your run-of-the-mill chore, boring and something to pass the time. Kev surely hadn't trekked all this way to see Scaramouche garden in shabby chic, so... why had the alien stopped by?

    The answer was of course plain as day: Metal Man. Or, more specifically, what happened with Metal Man. Ugh, the android felt his PSU plummet and his lubricant run cold...

    "It's, uh..." Scaramouche found his words, albeit weakly, and gave a halfhearted gesture toward the tavern. "It's kinda cold out here, huh, baby? Let's, like... head inside, where it's nice and warm." He gave his watering can a shake, letting the last droplets of moisture trickle onto the grass, and tipped his head at the back entrance. "I'll even throw somethin' on the stove for ya, c'mon," the robot added, hoping to entice Kev further. If Scaramouche had to suffer this - had to - then he'd prefer it in the heat and safety of his own home.
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:00 pm

    "K-Kev~! Y-Yeah, um...! I'm just, like, gettin' my darlings ready for the upcomin' frost, y'know? Nothin' to write home about."

    In awkward meters, their meeting had just gone from 0 to over 9000! There was no mistaking the way Scaramouche cringed beneath his coat. Nor how his neck ducked into his scarf like an awkward turtle retreating from something unpleasant. Was the robot really that unhappy to see him...? Kev's head cocked to the side, gaze concerned as he stood there awkwardly. Maybe it was just because of how things had gone the last time they saw each other. It'd been rather...explosive. The alien shoved his hands into his pants pockets and decided to talk as if nothing had happened. "Good! I've been getting everything in my greenhouse ready as well. I like your little watering can too. It's adorable." He was a big sucker for cute watering cans!

    A nippy breeze passed them by, the scaly man giving a slight shiver. Ugh, good thing he'd ridden the bus here! Stepping inside the tavern for something warm sounded like exactly what the doctor had ordered. "I'd like that, thank you. Sorry for dropping by so early. And...unannounced." Scaramouche was in a heck of a funk though, and it'd be best to talk before he had to contend with customers! Not that they had to go there right away... The robot wore his emotions on his sleeves, almost literally in this case! Drab colors, function, and comfort over style. Oh yes...he was unhappy. "Before we head in, could I...give you a hug first?" He withdrew his hands, arms spread in an open invitation for a hug. They needed to talk about this but there was no reason for it to be clinical or judgemental. No reason for Scaramouche to feel as if Kev was going to bap him on the nose.

    He had come as a friend, after all.


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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Scaramouche on Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:19 am

    "Good! I've been getting everything in my greenhouse ready as well. I like your little watering can too. It's adorable."

    Mrrrrrnnngh... If there was one thing worse than actually dealing with the issue itself, it was small-talk. God, was it small-talk. Scaramouche could hardly refrain from biting his lip. "T... Thanks," he answered lukewarmly. Ugh, this was unbearable already! It must be done, however. And in order for this transition to be as smooth as possible, the android had to muster a performance above that of a fresh corpse. Such a shame he couldn't spontaneously turn invisible or warp to a faraway realm... Melancholia laced the robot's voice as it weighed down his shoulders, making itself right at home in these troubling times. "Eh, don't worry 'bout droppin' in unannounced," Scaramouche reassured the alien, shrugging lightly. While he'd personally like a notice, it wasn't obligatory and he felt it too demanding to ask. "It's not like I'd turn ya away, y'know? It's you, Kev. We're friends - best friends. Slammin' the door in your face would make me no better than him." And he was so much better than that ungrateful piece of scr - no.

    Pain overcame the android's metal features and he concealed his LED display with a shaky hand, teeth clenched. "L-Let's just head inside, h-huh? You can, like, h-hug me then. Promise, babe." Just not... out here, where it was cold, bright, and - above all else - out in the open for all to see. He didn't need that right now.

    It was thankfully uneventful as they journeyed from the garden to the tavern's rear entrance. Scaramouche fumbled around his numerous coat pockets for the key, but he eventually found it and soon opened the door with little incident. A wave of heated, inviting air washed over the pair, followed by the mouth-watering aromas of delectable homemade cooking. Like the rest of the tavern proper, its back kitchen was nothing short of cozy, antiquated, and riddled with quirky charm. "Mi vefo, Kev's here!" the android called out, his powerful voice resonating through wood and stone alike. When there was no immediate response, he merely shrugged and closed the door after Kev's wake, wiping his boots on the wicker mat.

    "So, what d'ya feel like havin'?" Scaramouche asked, hanging up his coat. The gloves stayed, complementing his scarf and sweater. "Right now, we have a roasted butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds; it's really good. Haven't heard a single complaint yet." He shuffled past the alien, excusing himself quietly, and hovered around a still-warm kitchen stove. A colorful assortment of deep stockpots adorned its burners, each one filled with a delicious mélange. Ever curious, Scaramouche lifted their lids and peered inside each one, humming. "Oh nice, I see Boon added his famous meat stew and creamy baked potato. I dunno if you'd appreciate either, though." After all, it was incredibly difficult enjoying a chunky broth with no mouth. If Kev really wanted a bowl, however, the android wouldn't deny him.

    ...Or, ah, his promised hug.

    Whenever the alien requested his soup of choice, Scaramouche took note of the dying flame in the old wood stove nearby and tossed a couple of chopped logs to keep it crackling. It instantly surged to life and repaid his kindness by warming up his aching joints, licking his face with an energized glow. "That'll do," he softly muttered.
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:01 pm

    "You're welcome." Kev responded, warm and gentle. Poor Scaramouche...he'd had such a streak for being in good spirits! And now... The urge to hug the robot increased. The alien had long been worried that his robotic friend would run into the same issues that threatened to shatter him. Feeling used, abused, let down by supposed friends. Melancholia fit Scaramouche like an oversized coat. At least he still regarded Kev himself in a positive manner. Best friends indeed! "Thank you, Scaramouche. The same goes for you and Lu! You guys are welcome in my home anytime." Pain overcame the robot suddenly and he took a step closer, concerned. Arms reached toward the robot, though he kept himself from latching onto his friend. Now wasn't the time. But damn if he really didn't just wanna grab him up and protect him...!

    "Okay. Whatever you want, Scaramouche." If it was best not to touch him right now, Kev would keep his distance temporarily. Walking this little tightrope was a little difficult, but the robot was worth it. The scaly man's fingers twitched for a moment before his hands dropped back to his side. Moving in a little march, he followed behind his friend to the rear entrance. He craned his head curiously, checking the Tavern out from the back with wide eyes. He'd never come in through the rear like this before! Patient as always, the key fumbling only made the warm air that much more appealing. It blasted against his exposed scales, nostrils snorf snorfing the delicious smell. Pausing only to wipe their boots on the mat, they stepped into the back kitchen. His eyes were round and intrigued. How cozy! Despite being part of a restaurant kitchen, it felt as homey as his own kitchen!

    "Mm~!" Squinting pleasantly, Kev kept his distance from the appliances for safety's sake. Scaramouche raised his voice to call out to Lunette, but there was no answer. Perhaps she was napping or busy elsewhere! He glanced over when the robot gave a soup suggestion. "Oh, I do love a good butternut squash!" With pumpkin seeds too? Sounded like the perfect autumn soup. Following behind the robot, he observed the busy stovetop. They were definitely getting a start before people arrived! Meat stew and baked potato soup sounded scrumptious but uh...yeah. A bit hard without a Metus to gobble up the leftover bits! "I trust your judgement. The roasted butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds, please!" Keeping his distance became more difficult when his friend tossed a few logs onto the flame. The heat increased and an instinctual feeling rose in his chest. He wanted to curl up close to the stove but uh! That was a good way to get burned and impede Scaramouche's cooking efforts. So he kept his distance instead, although he leaned forward lightly to bask as best he could. The warmth of the flame was like a welcoming comforter! As for the hug, being in the midst of a kitchen, no matter how cozy, might not be the best place for it. He could wait!

    "Thank you, in advance, for the soup. It smells wonderful. Even the soups I can't eat smell great!" It reminded him more and more, how much he truly liked this fall weather.


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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Scaramouche on Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:55 pm

    Whatever he wants... Meh, what a loaded statement. The android said nothing, not even a saucy quip, and let the moment roll over him like the rest of everything else as of late. What did it matter? What he wanted was to plant Metal Man's face into the dirt and then do the same to Shen. That wasn't nice, however. That wasn't good, however. A nice, good robot didn't yield to violent fantasies and get triggered by old wounds. No, Scaramouche was supposed to lie down and take it - like always - because that was a robot's lot in life.

    "Mmph..." Things were getting progressively worse. Distraction. He needed a -

    "Oh, I do love a good butternut squash! I trust your judgement. The roasted butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds, please!"

    Oh thank god. The android glanced at his friend and was never happier to see that big-eyed goober, looking tired and long in the tooth. "D... Don't mention it," Scaramouche croaked wearily. Okay, soup. Kev wanted soup. Kev was going to get soup. That meant reaching into a cupboard, and...

    It was, regrettably, a stilted process. Maybe in another time, a happier time, Scaramouche would've pulled out all the stops for such a meager task, honking and grinning in his usual buffoonery. Now, however... He unceremoniously fished out a ceramic bowl, inspecting to make certain it was clean and worthy of use, and listlessly stirred one of the stockpots with a metal ladle. The action was more busywork than anything; though the android did feel better knowing Kev wouldn't be visiting on an empty stomach. "So, how's the fam? Your hairy menagerie? Is Sunshine doin' well?" Livewire... That was yet another 'bot who spurned him, this time with apathy and general neglect. Still, it'd be terribly rude of Scaramouche not to ask, seeing how Kev cared very much for the young Cybertronian, so he made the effort for his friend. It was the least he could do, same with warming up the kitchen and pouring the alien a generous bowl of fresh, hot soup. It was quite large, but that's because the android hoped Kev would be taking the leftovers home to enjoy later.

    He finished up with the stockpot, giving the ladle a metallic - tink tink tink! - tap against its rim, and carried Kev's meal to one of the smaller, personal tables meant for the tavern's ever-industrious staff. Scaramouche even pulled out the alien's chair and gussied things up with a cloth placemat, several napkins, and a spoon. "Wouldja care for somethin' to drink?" the android inquired. "Water? Juice? Some wine, perhaps? It'd be no trouble, so ask away." Your wish, after all, was his command. It just so happened that Scaramouche liked you, as opposed to two others who shit the bed.

    Royally.
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:37 pm

    Standing in the corner of the kitchen was a smidge awkward. Scaramouche was working diligently on the soup! And meanwhile, Kev was doing the ever important job of...staring! Oh yes! Truly, the robot would be lost without Kev to stare at his back like a creeper. "Oh, they're good! I spent a lot of time with them yesterday. Cuddled with Fear, read with him, played with the animals... Most of the pets are wearing their little sweaters since it's getting cold. The dogs have been really lazy lately too, those furry butts. And Livewire's feeling better too!" That was the closest they'd come to addressing the elephant in the room. The more space she had from Metal, the better she would feel. The same was likely true for Scaramouche, which made it ironic that he'd have to meet up with him to hear an apology. The alien glanced away, wondering to himself if he had done the right thing...

    Oh! He'd moved! Kev craned his neck curiously, watching as Scaramouche walked over to a little personal table. The chair was pulled out and all of the typical supplies were being set down. A placemat, a spoon, and napkins. The alien walked over, hesitating for a moment before deciding to sit down. Tugging each glove finger, he pulled his gloves off and shoved them into a pants pocket. Shuffling to get comfortable, he looked up at his friend. What to drink, what to drink...? "Hm...I might have a nice Pepsi, please!" He wasn't typically fond of fizzy drinks, but they were good every once in a while!

    Kev allowed silence to settle between them for a moment, gaze a little thoughtful. It was clear that Scaramouche didn't want to talk. And why should he? He was hurt! He probably wanted to hide away and pretend that night never happened! But... He needed to talk about it. Kev knew Scaramouche, and he knew there were probably thousands of thoughts in that processor that needed an outlet. He had to talk and if the alien must be the one to give him the nudge, so be it. His back straightening against the chair, he looked up at his friend with a firm resolve in his eyes. "Would you...like to talk about what happened, Scaramouche? As you said, we're best friends and no matter what... I'm here for you." Not the most subtle way to go about it, but hopefully it wasn't without tact.


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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Scaramouche on Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:53 pm

    Awkward, awkward, awkward. Things were just too AWKWARD.

    Kev was standing there. He was standing there. Their words tumbled, but all that came was nothing. Their bodies moved, but it was all towards nothing. Their minds raced, but it was all just NOTHING.

    It was almost imperceptible, the way Scaramouche's lightning-fast algorithms spiraled into frustration. A twitch of his fingers there, a shutter of his optics here... The android lingered around the stove and heard his friend's words, even nodded along to feign paying attention, but he did not listen. Kev's voice was like the crackle of static; a pervasive white noise that served a dual purpose: annoyance and respite. It was comforting against his innermost thoughts, against the silence; and yet...

    ??? wrote:And yet, he is wasting time - your time. This organic is no different than all the rest. How long before you have had enough? How long before his dagger finds itself entrenched within your back? KILL HIM. It is the only way to save yourself...

    Suddenly, the ladle in Scaramouche's hand seemed weighty with purpose.  

    One well-placed strike across temporal bone... just one, and it would all be over. He could do it. He had done it. To men, to women, to children. What difference was there between now and then? One disgusting organic was surely no different from another. They were all just swine, anyway.

    Then wrote:"I'm sorry. I can't... promise that that'll never happen to you here. But I can tell you I love you. And that with everything I've been through, I'd be a fool to leave now when I've got a great life."

    "But I'm still lucky because I have friends like you guys. I meant it when I said you two are worth more than everybody I've lost."

    "After you talked to me yesterday, I realized that... you're like the older brother I never had."

    Kev...

    The android lowered his optics and no longer felt privileged to match his friend's gaze, ashamed. How could he think that...? After all they have been through, Kev would... Kev would never hurt him; would never have done what they had. Kev was kind... Kev was loving... Kev was...

    Now wrote:"Would you...like to talk about what happened, Scaramouche? As you said, we're best friends and no matter what... I'm here for you."

    For the first time in what felt like eternity, Scaramouche... smiled. The stoicism at last faded away like the morning fog. "Y... Yes, I'd love that, actually," he answered meekly. Oh, but the alien's drink! He mustn't forget something so important. Kev didn't have to wait longer than two shakes of Lunette's tail before a crisp, bubbly glass of ice-cold soda pop appeared in front of his cute, scaly face. And look, it was even brought with a darling coaster! A pleased thrum escaped the robot's frame as he worked, happy to once again be of service to someone he cared for dearly. "Please be careful, the soup is very hot," he warned kindly, resting a fond hand on the alien's shoulder. That hug sounded so nice right about now, but... later. Scaramouche gave his friend a light squeeze and soon claimed the chair seated across from him, sitting down to better discuss... things. But, first...

    "I'm glad to hear you're doin' well - you and your family." Kev and his loved ones at 225 Broadband Boulevard didn't deserve anything less, even Livewire. "And yeah, it's gettin' cold, ain't it? I'm findin' it harder and harder gettin' outta bed, myself. I keep jokin' that I'll shave Lu from whiskers-to-beans and wear her fur like a coat, but this year I just might do it," Scaramouche chuckled quietly.

    Better. That was... better. "A-Anyway..."

    A moment of quiet permeated the back kitchen, but the android didn't let it linger for long. He instead picked up his gaze and found the courage to match Kev's, rubbing his arms free of the early afternoon chill. "If... If we're gonna talk about what happened, babe, I kinda, um, need help." Scaramouche tried his hardest to appear in better spirits; he even forced a large grin and acted more lively. "Sorry, sorry," he apologized, sniffing. "It's, ah, a 'bot thing. Kinda hard answerin' questions if we don't got a specific query to pursue, y'know? Ask away, babe, and I'll faithfully respond." And, with some luck, Scaramouche might even take the reins after having a bit of a helpful start.
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:24 pm

    "Y... Yes, I'd love that, actually,"

    For the first time during this visit, Kev began to feel like he was truly on the right track. Avoiding the elephant in the room was a good way to avoid stepping on toes, but in the end, you wound up going nowhere fast. This was a topic that had to be broached. A subject that needed to be talked about. Lunette and Kev had just started getting him to open up, brightening the robot's mood instantly when Metal had...made an ill-timed entrance. Now, in the safety of the tavern, perhaps they could actually get somewhere.

    With renewed vigor and a bright look in his eyes, the alien let out a soft trill at the robot's touch. He leaned into the other's hand gently. "Thank you, Momo~. I'll be mindful." To prove it, Kev grabbed for his drink! Coaster and all, he pulled it close and dipped his fingertips into the bubbly liquid. The sizzle was so odd against his scales, and yet...oddly refreshing? Steam rose from his bowl of soup like a reminder. He wouldn't dare touch it yet, although it looked very tasty. "It smells lovely." He complimented with a squint. The robot began to make conversation again as he sat down across from Kev. He was glad to hear that all was well in his home, which was appreciated. "I know, sometimes I just want to dig further underneath the covers and sleep forever!" He couldn't wait to turn human again. Cold was still cold, but it was more bearable as a human! The alien snickered like a gremlin at the idea of Lunette being shaved, shoulders bouncing lightly with every snort. "Aaaw...her poor coat, but it would make for a great way to fight off the chill!" So thick and plush! The real question was whether she'd be pink under all that fur. For a moment, all was quiet, but the awkwardness that had permeated the air before seemed to have dissipated.

    "A-Anyway... If... If we're gonna talk about what happened, babe, I kinda, um, need help."

    Back to business, so to speak! Gaze attentive, Kev crossed and uncrossed his legs underneath the table. "It's alright, Scaramouche. I'll help, I can do whatever you need me to do!" The alien promised sincerely. He'd do anything, absolutely anything! ...So to hear that all he needed to do was ask a question was...surprising! Surprising but definitely not out of line. Leaving his soda alone for a moment, he reached over to put a hand over one of Scaramouche's. He gave it a comforting squeeze. "I'll do my best." The robot's request would be dutifully complied with. The only thing left for him to figure out was...what to ask? Brows knit down and the alien turned thoughtful. He rubbed small circles into his friend's hand as he pondered.

    Where else but the beginning, eh? The heart of this matter? Steadying himself with a small inhale, Kev asked his question. "What did Metal and Shen do to hurt you during their spar?"


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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Scaramouche on Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:30 am

    Aw, listen to that squinty-eyed pair of boots trill! It was precious moments like these that had Scaramouche sorely missing his weekly interactions in the Sanctuary. Kev's dorky face... Curiosity's incessant nosiness and 'prrrrs~'... His immaculate Adonis... Maybe, after everything was behind him, the android could once again do what he enjoyed most.

    "Oh, tell me about it, babu." The blossoming smile on Scaramouche's tired face said it all: their chit-chat was beginning to do wonders. "If I could just, like, hibernate through the winter and wake up to all the cheery lil' songbirds and flourishin' green, my life would be Gucci. Hon~! Well, even more than it is now." As much as the Metal Man crap stung (Shen certainly didn't help), this was gonna be water under the bridge in due time. It'll hurt a lot until then, but the android was made of tougher stuff! Besides, what kind of friend and lover would Scaramouche be if he pissed everything away because of intense anger? Oof, not an emotion he fancied... It was just shy of his aversion to jealousy. "Hon hon~! Aw, I'd take care of her coat just fine!" Scaramouche winked. A soothing warmth emanated from deep within his aluminum chassis and added to the crackling fire bidding the cold away, their senses touched by the aroma of fresh cedar. Mmm... now this place was starting to warm these old, troubled joints.  

    "It's alright, Scaramouche. I'll help, I can do whatever you need me to do!"

    Tut! That people-pleasing dork... The robot sincerely wouldn't know what to do without him. "I know ya will, baby. You've never let ol' Scaramouche down before, even when he's bein' a difficult pain in your scaly butt." And lo, it was here that the android let his smile falter, his expression turning somber. "...I am extremely sorry you had to, y'know... handle all that crapola after I ran away. If... If I were stronger, I'd have stayed and dealt with it myself, b-but..." But, truth of the matter was, Scaramouche was indeed not strong enough to combat the nuances in his programming - not yet - and it felt awful knowing Kev had to weather that alone. Curiosity had been there, but it was... well, Curiosity! The monster no doubt wanted to eat the problem (an otherwise humorous alternative, though not very helpful).

    Now, as for what those two imbeciles did...

    The robot's fingers closed tightly around Kev's entire hand, dwarfing it. Well, time to face the music, eh, baby? Scaramouche looked away, sullen, "Eh, it's... complicated." But that answer did no one any favors; least of all Kev, who had made the effort to come visit during his free time. An artificial sigh flowed from the robot's lips. "...They ignored me," he finally answered, his tone subdued and his feelings laid bare. The alien was no stranger to how Scaramouche reacted to neglect. "It all spiraled so, so fast... Like a crashing wave durin' high tide. I lost perspective... I'm sorry. 'Cause of me, all of this is happenin' and it doesn't need to be."  

    No.

    No, no, no. He should not be the one apologizing. It wasn't his fault. And yet...

    "I... I thought that we had somethin', y'know? The three of us," Scaramouche resumed, mustering the will to speak. "I like Shen. I like Metal Man. I don't wanna hurt nobody. Not now... That stuff's in the past, where it belongs." His optics drifted onto their joined hands, a frown spreading as his processors went to another time and place. "...When I withdrew that knife, it wasn't... it wasn't me, baby. I was so hurt, so angry that I just wanted to..." The android didn't finish his sentence; there was no need. He quietly looked away, to the fire, and felt his energy wane. "...Kev?" Scaramouche addressed his friend, voice barely above a hushed whisper. "Have you... Have you ever gotten so mad you could just... kill someone?" The robot paused as his optics dimmed to a threadbare glow. "I have... once. Back when I was... y'know." There was no need to explain any further; Kev already knew, and that was quite all right. "They ignored me and I felt so used - like my presence was just there so they could pat themselves on the back. When I was bein' of service, it was to answer their queries, their needs. I was just... an afterthought, I guess. A steppin' stone to whatever it was they wanted. They even had the gall to think I'd assist them after all that; as if I would be happy at the opportunity to wipe their asses... They made me feel... feel like a..." ...

    Creak!

    With an abrupt shove, the android practically leaped out of his chair and threw his arms around Kev, dragging the alien into a trembling, much-needed embrace. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry...! I'll b-be good, I'll b-behave! P-Please don't throw me away..."
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:07 am

    Just like the first flowers blooming out of the snow in spring, Scaramouche's cool stoicism was melting. The smile was a lot more natural on the robot's lips! "Ooh, that'd be such a heavenly nap too! Be a shame to miss out on the holidays, but that first stretching roll into the sun... It might just make up for it." It would certainly balance out all of the holiday stress! Kev winked back at the robot and chuckled softly. This was beginning to feel more and more normal. "Hm~ I trust you to brush that coat daily. Just like you do with the real deal~!" If ever anyone had to care for Lunette's luscious coat, it ought to be him!

    "I know ya will, baby. You've never let ol' Scaramouche down before, even when he's bein' a difficult pain in your scaly butt."

    Aaw... Was it possible to be bashful, proud, and touched at the same time?! Emerald scales became a brighter shade of green. "That makes me so happy to hear that... Even when you're being difficult and saucy, I know you're still a good person. I hope I never let you down, Scaramouche, just as you haven't let me down!" The mood turned a shade sadder as the smile fell and his robotic friend apologized for running away. As much as it hurt to watch the two leave, Kev knew it was for the best. "You don't have to apologize. You're not strong enough to handle this brand of crapola but... I know that one day? You will be. And I also know you'd do the same for me. So it's no problem at all." No matter how stressful or exhausting, the scaly man had survived! He was here, he was feeling better, and he was in better spirits. And as long as he was alright in the end...he could handle it for his friend.

    Long digits locked into place around Kev's hand, so much larger than his own hand and yet still very gentle. His khaki fingers curled against Scaramouche's as his other hand found it's way over to press against the top of the metal hand. Large blue eyes were centered on Scaramouche, attentive and straying only when he blinked. For now, the alien was quiet. He'd allow his friend to speak his mind, giving him an outlet for the numerous thoughts plaguing his processor. Complicated was a good way to describe this, if it had been easy or simple it surely wouldn't have hurt so much!

    "...They ignored me,"

    What was it about that, that seemed to drive such a knife into their hearts? Kev's grip tightened just a tad, upset on his friend's behalf. Scaramouche never took well to being ignored, rebuffed, rejected. Who would? Kindred spirits they were indeed. They were people-pleasers, lovers, kind folk who gave their hearts to others. To be denied and treated like shit, particularly by people they thought they could trust? It was a betrayal that always stung. The alien remained respectfully quiet as his friend blamed himself, remembering that in the back of his mind and focusing on what else was on the robot's mind. He certainly didn't want to bring harm to Shen and Metal Man, not when he wasn't an assassin anymore. He hadn't had to kill anyone here yet, and Kev preferred it that way.

    "...When I withdrew that knife, it wasn't... it wasn't me, baby. I was so hurt, so angry that I just wanted to..."

    He so badly wanted to speak up and let Scaramouche know he understood, but it wasn't his place just yet! This was a platform for the robot to get out his thoughts, not Kev! So he gave his friend an impassioned little look and nodded his head to show he understood. No, that wasn't Scaramouche although there were traces enough for him to heed Lunette's word and be worried about Kev's safety. The jazzy bot's gaze turned toward the fire and the scaly man found his own gaze following. The next part came in a whisper, a simple question that wasn't so simple.

    "...Kev? Have you... Have you ever gotten so mad you could just... kill someone?"

    Ah... There were only two people who had ever earned such ire from him. One had been killed at his hand, and the other had murdered Kev instead. He winced softly, squeezing his friend's hand again as Scaramouche's thoughts turned to darker times. Unhappy times. An action that led him down the path to becoming an assassin and also onto the path of rampancy. Whether they meant to or not, Metal and Shen had stirred up unwelcome feelings in the robot. Frankly, the situation dragged up a few in him as well! He certainly remembered how it felt to be used and abused! They did this to him, hurt him, made Scaramouche feel like a--!

    "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry...! I'll b-be good, I'll b-behave! P-Please don't throw me away..."

    Suddenly, Kev found his body enveloped in the robot's sweater. All this time that he'd been waiting for the right moment to latch onto his friend, and now Scaramouche was holding onto Kev for dear life! Momentarily stunned, it didn't take but a moment for him to shake it off. His arms snaked around the other's narrow torso, palms pressing against his back in smooth circles. His cheek pressed into him, bumping his face against his friend as comforting trills rumbled out of the alien. "Kkrrr, krrr... I won't throw you away, we would never throw you away. You're good, you're so good! You're a good person Scaramouche! A good friend! A good brother! A good lover! You're great and we love you!" With a small sniff, he gave the trembling robot a squeeze. "You don't need to be sorry, you didn't do anything wrong. You withdrew that knife, but you also put it away! No one was hurt! You don't need to be sorry for feeling hurt and used, I know you Scaramouche. And I know you wouldn't feel that way for no reason!" He didn't go around accusing everyone of using him, now did he? Scaramouche could be trusted.

    Rocking his friend in his arms as best he could, Kev pondered what to say next. "...I've been mad enough to kill before. I-it's why I killed Daemeon. Why I made his brain explode. I hated him for being such a gross, disgusting, useless piece of garbage! And for a moment... it felt so good to see his brain splatter. I felt so accomplished!" But it was not to last, of course. The alien sighed, seeming ashamed. "...And then I realized that Nym had seen me kill him. And I felt like scum." All of that righteous victory turned sour. He'd never wanted his son to see that, and still regretted the loss of innocence his witnessing such an act had been. Circles never slowing, Kev rumbled softly before peering up at his friend. He needed another question to get out more thoughts. "Why did you think you had something with Shen and Metal?" Especially Metal, who had only been kicking for about three or four days at that point? What happened to make Scaramouche stick his overly long neck out for the robot in the first place?


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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Scaramouche on Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:47 pm

    "Hon~! Is that really the first thing you do? Rollin' around in the sun, I mean!" Because, if it was, that was soooooo cute. Who could resist a wriggly-piggly lizard-man flopping onto the first crop of grass he found after a harsh, cold winter? Ah, if only Kev could blep! Would the alien snorf, snorf like he usually does? "Oh, you have to brush her daily," Scaramouche nodded. "If ya don't, she won't look nearly as well-groomed and shiny! I guess it's the natural oils in her fur...?" Something like that. Maybe. All the android knew, Lunette looked super nice (and was plenty happy!) after a good brushing; ergo, why not brush her everyday? It was a win-win, and her rich, rumbly purrs were also therapeutic, too! "Speakin' of, I haven't done that today. Gonna have to wrangle that stubborn puss-puss and sit in a sunbeam..." And then probably take a fat catnap.

    "That makes me so happy to hear that... Even when you're being difficult and saucy, I know you're still a good person. I hope I never let you down, Scaramouche, just as you haven't let me down!"

    See, it was goober-speak like this that made it just so darn impossible to ever mistreat Kev. Look at him, with his big dumb eyes and his generous soul! The alien befriended corpses and metal-men alike, and he generally reserved judgement unless you were a complete asshole. As far as Scaramouche was concerned, this was his Kev and no other robot could have him. Livewire didn't count!

    "Aw... now ya make me wish I could shed lil' robit tears." The android unfortunately wasn't capable of such a feat, but he could sniffle and go through the motions. Scaramouche even dabbed the corners of his LED display with a napkin. "You've never let me down - never," he was adamant to say, peppering the alien's temple with airy-soft kisses. Must... resist... urge... to shove Kev... into his... SWEATER! "I wasn't the best durin' Aku's reign, but I aim to be the best I can be here. Cross my circuits, hope to fry, baby! If it weren't for you and Lulu, I'd have fallen on old habits by now. I owe ya both the world - I really do!" And there wasn't a day Scaramouche wasn't grateful for that, either. He may not be strong enough now, but one day the robot shall be. If not for himself, then for them! It was the very least he could do. And gasp, what was this!? Kev admitting that he wasn't strong enough? Oh, perish the thought, babe!

    Scaramouche huffed and immediately planted a big ol' Scarasmooch right on his friend's chubby cheek. "Nonsense!" the robot smile. "You're plenty strong enough, babu. Don't sell yourself short! If you weren't, you would've, y'know... chunked Metal Man into itty-bitty pieces and sold him for cheap scrap off the side of a road somewhere. Maybe, like, make folk art outta him...? Your people had art, right, baby?" An entire race of aliens without their own unique flavor of art was just unthinkable! Then again, it was Kev's people; the people who shit through their scales and had no mouths... Mother Nature could be so whimsical at times. Like, what was the biological advantage of that? Guess the same could be said for Blaise's... thingy.

    "Kkrrr, krrr... I won't throw you away, we would never throw you away. You're good, you're so good! You're a good person Scaramouche! A good friend! A good brother! A good lover! You're great and we love you!"

    Nnnnnope, into the sweater Kev goes, bundled up nice and warm and protected from the horrors of the world. Such a genuine soul musn't come to harm. Not now, not ever! ...Admittedly, this was probably how Knock Out felt when receiving compliments and endless affection from yours truly. An impeccable mech with impeccable tastes! Scaramouche could see why the Cybertronian liked it so much.

    "It's true!" he gasped, struck by epiphany. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

    Metal fingers wormed their way beneath Kev's fuzzy headwear and stroked those emerald scales with all the love and adoration Scaramouche could gather. The kind words, the affection, the understanding, the promise that they would never discard him like worthless trash... With a friends like Kev (and a lover like Lunette), how could the android possibly be upset for long? He was feeling like his old self already! "I shouldn't have drawn the knife," he replied, keeping it honest, "but you're right, baby. No one was hurt - physically, anyway - and the situation de-escalated without casualty. It was just hurt feelings, y'know? I'm sure those can be repaired with a lil' time and love. Just gotta stay positive until then!"

    "...I've been mad enough to kill before. I-it's why I killed Daemeon. Why I made his brain explode. I hated him for being such a gross, disgusting, useless piece of garbage! And for a moment... it felt so good to see his brain splatter. I felt so accomplished!

    ...And then I realized that Nym had seen me kill him. And I felt like scum."

    SADNESS.

    Kev soon found himself snorter-first into the android's heated bosom. "Daemeon's bad and Livewire should feel bad for ever thinkin' that trivial demon had any value at all." Daemeon the Demon... puh, how elementary! It was a relief hearing that Kev could step into Scaramouche's humongous shoes, though. They really were kindred spirits! All the more reason to swaddle the alien like a wee babe and keep him close.

    "It's a shame about Nym, but he's still got a solid head on his shoulders!" After all, didn't the Digimon go gallivanting off to save the world against Daemeon's (and Nyreena's) kiddo? "It sucks lettin' your kid see all that nitty-gritty stuff, especially if you're the one doin' it, but it's not like you're a terrible person, baby! I'm sure you had to do what you had to do, just like moi~!" If Kev felt it necessary to rupture Daemeon's head like a great big melon and let whatever meager brain matter go flying, then it was probably for a very good and justifiable reason. Besides, it was Daemeon. Like, who cares, baby? Getting rid of that menace was no different than swatting a fly.

    Scaramouche took a moment to pull down his collar so that Kev could breathe a lil' easier (and not feel quite as smothered). This also gave him ample enough time to reflect on the alien's last question: why had the robot felt so close to Metal Man prior to that fateful spar?

    The android reached for Kev's soup and kindly held it for for his friend - don't want it getting cold! "Oh! It's 'cause I watched over him one night," Scaramouche answered. "Knock Out was in the Sanctuary too, so the three of us spent the night cuddlin'. That's all~! I had 'em both in my arms and then I made breakfast in the mornin'. We bonded quite well~! ...Er, at least I thought we bonded quite well. Knock Out of course loves me to pieces, but now I ain't so sure 'bout Metal Man..." The robot couldn't help but frown, looking down at the table. "...I guess I thought he wouldn't have treated me the way he did after all that - same with Shen, too. I mean, Shen wasn't there that night, but we've rubbed elbows and even had lunch together! I also cooked him a nice meal and comped it." He then paused and appeared at a crossroads about something.

    "Kev, d'ya think that, maybe, I got a serious design flaw or somethin'...? Like, because I go outta my way to please others, I open myself up to abuse when I should've learned my lesson by now? 'C-Cause I kinda feel that way, not gonna lie." Golly, it was almost like Scaramouche was properly naïve, wasn't it?  
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:47 pm

    Kev nodded eagerly. "Mhm! The first thing of spring, I like to find a fresh patch of grass and just sunbathe on it! Find some little flowers and give them a sniff... It's very cozy!" And, for the alien, it also made for a comfortable breakfast! There was nothing more lovely than sitting on the grass in the springtime. "Ooh, I see... I guess that's like how it was when I turn into a human for the winter months. You have to wash and comb frequently, or else it'll get tangled and oily." Lulu must take good care of her fur because he never noticed it looking ratty and clumpy! "Mm~! Maybe when I head back home and give you guys a break, you two can cuddle in a nice sunbeam!" The best place for a nap, bar none.

    "Aaw, robit tears..." At least they would be happy ones this time! Poor Scaramouche... Much like Fear, he was unable to cry! Kev could certainly cry for his partner, but he couldn't for the robot. If anything, it might just make him concerned. Perhaps scared too. "Never, really~?" Kev's big ole blues seemed to shine. Their first impression had, ehehe, not been the best! Neither had their second or third for that matter... So to hear that he'd been doing a good job since felt great! Metal lips pressed against his temple in ticklish pecks, the alien chuckling softly as he squeezed his friend. "As long as you keep being the best, that's all we could really ask of ya!" No amount of food bribing could replace that proud feeling of seeing your friend improve and be their best! With another affectionate squeeze, it was time for Kev to be honest too! "People like you and Lulu have helped me to feel secure! To feel like I can trust people to be my friends, you know?" He didn't necessarily have Scaramouche's type of bad habits to fall back on, but without them, he could have very well retreated and kept to his house! Not that that was bad, he loved his home! But Kev was nothing if not a people-person at heart!

    "Nonsense! You're plenty strong enough, babu. Don't sell yourself short! If you weren't, you would've, y'know... chunked Metal Man into itty-bitty pieces and sold him for cheap scrap off the side of a road somewhere. Maybe, like, make folk art outta him...? Your people had art, right, baby?"

    The alien wriggled with a delighted squeak, the eye above his cheek scrunching up. Just as Kev talked Scaramouche up and pointed out his strengths and abilities as a person, Scaramouche reciprocated the gesture! He insisted that Kev was strong! "Mm, true!" He gave a wink with his squinty eye. "But it helps that I'm in probably the best position I've been in, in years! A stable home and partner, a family, great friends, a steady job... Dealing with Metal was difficult, but I'm alright now!" And as for the art? The scaly man went quiet. He tapped a fingertip to his chin as he pondered, leafing through his memories. "We did, I think. Not with pens and pencils on paper, though. We did other things! Collecting feathers to make arrangements, using plants to make dye for decoration... I also knew people who were very good at carving. If they didn't trade for good instruments, they'd harvest shed teeth and claws to use instead! Others would collect those same items and use them in arrangements. It was just a nice pastime, although it usually made for a nice way to decorate one's bed-branch." No doubt, that might have sounded rather 'eekum bokum' for Scaramouche. Kev himself had been most fond of collecting feathers and dyeing them! They brightened his bed up nicely!

    Swoop!

    Huh?! Air became a little constricted and a warm fabric stretched over Kev's face as he suddenly found himself literally enveloped in a sweater! He was confused at first, blinking and wriggling only to find a metal body against him. Oh! Scaramouche had taken him and shoved him inside of his sweater like a duck with her babies! Another smooth trill sounded as Kev got comfortable. It was easy as pie when firm metal fingers began to stroke at his scaly scalp. Krrr~! The alien curled up against his friend and seemed pleased as punch! It was like finding a warm hidey-hole to dive into, but it smelled nicer! "When it comes to things like this, I speak nothing but the truth!" He spoke up chipperly. Of course, it was also true that the robot shouldn't have taken out that knife. It was an implicit threat, even if the Sanctuary had shields and no one could die in there. His arms wrapped around his friend snugly. "Time and love can be a great medicine!" And surely an apology would do wonders as well! Though was now the right time to bring that up? Hm... Perhaps not yet. But soon.

    With his face pressed up against the robot's warm chest, Kev nuzzled his cheek into him as his hands kept rubbing at Scaramouche's back. Daemeon was terrible and Livewire... She hadn't known any better. Although even without knowing how sickening the demon could be, she did know the other ways that he'd proven himself to be a thorn in Kev's side. Maybe she should have known better. A part of him wanted to speak up on her behalf, but another part of him still felt just a tad hurt. It hadn't been a good feeling to hear her wish that he was around again. Think positive, this was a good visit! The alien's chin came to rest against the smooth metal with a little snort.

    "Yeah...at least I can say that's been my only mistake with Nym!" Granted, murdering a man in front of your child was a hell of a mistake but... At least it was just the one murder! "If I'm lucky, maybe he doesn't even remember it anymore." Not after the things he'd seen and experienced since. Poor Nym... Hopefully, he'd have an enjoyable Thanksgiving with his family, just as they had the year before! "Thank you, though. I was just so tired of being kicked around, mistreated, and hurt... I really wanted to teach him a lesson and I think it stuck." Praise X that the second Daemeon went the way of the first, and hopefully there wouldn't be a third.

    Light peeked through Kev's little sanctuary and the alien reached up to meet it until his head was popping up out of Scaramouche's collar! Good thing the robot was so lithe, or else this might have been a snug fit! He tilted his head up to squint at his friend before shifting to get comfy again. The soup was brought closer, oh right! Nearly forgot about that! A slim arm slithered its way up and through the sweater sleeve until Kev's fingers were poking out of the end of it. He reached for the soup, fingertips dabbing into the soft and warm mush. Aah...hearty! "Mm, tasty~! You can't beat a good squash." Roasted butternut squash made for an amazing soup!

    Remaining quiet as Scaramouche spoke, Kev enjoyed his soup and occasionally raised his gaze up to his friend. ...Not that the robot could really see him since the scaly man's head was nestled beneath his chin. So the three robots wound up having a comfortable little night together. That connected a few dots that had been dotted in the Sanctuary the other night! They all cuddled up in Scaramouche's arms, bonding was had, and in the morning was breakfast! It certainly sounded like a good time in Kev's opinion. Perhaps Metal didn't feel the same? And as for Shen, the two just struck it up like a pair of old friends! They got along well, had fun, enjoyed lunch... He even got a free meal out of the robot! Definitely quite the emotional pickle.

    "Kev, d'ya think that, maybe, I got a serious design flaw or somethin'...? Like, because I go outta my way to please others, I open myself up to abuse when I should've learned my lesson by now? 'C-Cause I kinda feel that way, not gonna lie."

    "Hm?" Kev blinked thoughtfully. A design flaw, eh? Going out of his way to help others, winding up abused because he let the wrong people in. Not to mention falling face-first into the same mistake each time. "Well..." He leaned his cheek against Scaramouche affectionately. "If you do have a serious design flaw, then I must have it too. For years, I tried to figure out what to do. It felt like no matter what I did, I wound up being hurt. Make friends with everyone? Some of them wind up leaving me behind or hurting me. Avoid making new friends and stick with my older ones? ...The, uh. The same thing happened." He was quiet for a moment. It was hard to feel as if you couldn't trust anyone, feeling that everyone would leave you in the end. "The best thing you can do is to be aware of red flags. If you find that you're doing all the work without ever being thanked or appreciated, that's not a good sign. If they make ultimatums or suggest ending the relationship instead of talking things out at the first sign of conflict... Not a good sign." He spoke from experience. "I know that neither of us wanna turn into hermits who hate the world! We just have to be careful, I guess. It can be very hard, but the best people will be there for you in the end."

    As for Metal and Shen... His free hand gave the robot's side soothing strokes. "I don't know what Shen's thoughts on this are... and Metal didn't mention that night you two had together... but when we talked, he said he lost perspective. He realized that he didn't appreciate you, and he told me that you were a big help during the spar. If you hadn't separated them, it would have gotten ugly. I don't think anybody wanted that."


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    Scaramouche
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Scaramouche on Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:53 am

    Note to self: next time he turns organic (ha ha, fat chance on that being any time soon!), find a warm patch of grass and bask in the sun with either Kev or Lunette - maybe both! Second note to self: bathe more than once a week to prevent looking like a vagabond.

    "Really, really~!" C'mon, Kev! Would this face lie to you? Okay, that was a rhetorical question. Point was: Scaramouche thought the world of this scaly ding-dong! They admittedly didn't have the best of introductions, sure, but - honestly - who did? "Like I keep tellin' ya babes," the android chortled, his grin spreading wide, "if I didn't like ya, I'd either ignore ya... or kill ya, hon hon~!" Yes siree, the assassin life hardened even the most innocent of personalities. Having a boss like Aku was just the icing on this immoral cupcake! "Oh, I'll do whatever it takes to never disappoint ya - even if I have to eat literal shit, baby!" Addendum: please don't ask Scaramouche to eat literal shit, because he absolutely will. He'd even ask what kind of shit and how much, in case that wasn't obvious!

    "People like you and Lulu have helped me to feel secure! To feel like I can trust people to be my friends, you know?"

    Aw, that was very sweet - and sad, but mainly sweet! Considering the wicked deeds Scaramouche had committed all in the name of reputation and serving one's master, it was a wonder the robot had been a positive influence on anyone. This was surely the work of a fabulous Anitra and her penchant for liking jerks. At least this one had a heart (or PSU) of gold! "Wow, this place must've been a real shithole before I moseyed on into town, huh~?" Humility had never been one of Scaramouche's strong suits, though the old android picked up a trick or two from the citizens of Portal Breach. Mainly, don't insinuate that Kev was a terrible parent; the end result was not worth it! And yes, that was extremely 'eekum bokum', but nevertheless better than appreciating no art at all. The robot loudly clicked his synthetic tongue, looking mighty pleased about his friend's Neanderthal origins, "Hm~! Bed-branch." Yeah, that was gonna be at the forefront of Scaramouche's processors for a looooong while. He wiggled his metal fish-stick fingers and had the pair to tug on Kev's jeans annoyingly. "Hon, hon~! I'm frankly surprised ya know what clothes are, let alone social etiquette. Like, were you a noble savage or just a plain savage when ya first arrived at this joint? And how come ya ain't got any of that tribal stuff decoratin' your housey-poo, huh~? I feel robbed of the authentic Kev-Mak-Tarr experience!"

    ...Would it be terrible of Scaramouche to bet money on the latter? Eh, maybe not. Kev's lack of self-awareness sometimes wrote itself, and much to the robot's amusement. It was never a dull moment whenever the hissing, lizard push-upping alien got his figurative buns burnt! He was also amazingly cool to the touch.

    "Hon~! I dunno 'bout that bein' your only mistake, babe." Scaramouche knew better than to provoke anything out of Kev; like the alien thought, this was a good visit! It was also keeping them real, so the android wasn't one to mince the facts or fluff them up. With a hearty snicker, Scaramouche covered his mouth with a hand and rolled his optics in their motorized sockets. "Mm~! And you're not givin' that viral ball of code enough credit either, Kev! I betcha a sawbuck he remembers everythin' that night. Kids may be clueless 'bout adult matters, but they sure ain't stupid! I'd say killin' a guy by vividly blowin' up his head to kingdom come miiiiight be somethin' he'll never forget. Just sayin', baby." It'd certainly traumatize Scaramouche if he wasn't so far down the rabbit hole already! It was a pretty deep hole, too...

    Kev's glass of Pepsi soon joined his bowl of soup, Scaramouche holding one apiece in both of his giant aluminum mitts. "True! You can't beat a good squash, but you can join it with a nice glass of pop~!" he joked. "I know I gave ya a lot, but I don't want ya sittin' here with an empty stomach, baby! Plus, it's cold outside. Eat as much as ya want and then take the rest home, 'kay? It's the least I can give ya for makin' the long journey out here~!" A warm meal also helped to prevent a terrible cold, and Scaramouche wasn't about to see his friend suffer a wink. That was just terrible hospitality!

    "Well... If you do have a serious design flaw, then I must have it too. For years, I tried to figure out what to do. It felt like no matter what I did, I wound up being hurt. Make friends with everyone? Some of them wind up leaving me behind or hurting me. Avoid making new friends and stick with my older ones? ...The, uh. The same thing happened."

    DOUBLE SADNESS.

    A low sigh escaped the android. "Yeah..." Scaramouche muttered glumly, his shoulders drooped. "I know all about that and then some - probably more than I should. A part of me wishes people could all get along and remember they ain't livin' in a vacuum, y'know? Like, I know you got your life and I got my life, but they ain't mutually exclusive. Our decisions influence and affect each other, be it greatly or minutely, and that goes the same for everyone here. It's a push n' pull dynamic; I'm sometimes perturbed at how others don't seem to get that..." The robot's lips curled into a grimace. He won't name names - not this time - but their faces were as clear as day to ol' Scaramouche. "...I guess others are more selfish than I wanna admit." A mistake he won't be making twice. Like Kev said: they couldn't shut out the world and guard their hearts with walls of stone (not without hurting themselves in the process), but they could surround it with loving friends and family. If nothing else, such individuals would make all the pain and discomfort worthwhile.

    "Anyway..." Scaramouche exhaled, willing bad vibes away, and wore another smile. As much as he wanted to wrap his spindly arms around his friend and hold him close, there was still the matter of Kev's meal. Maybe once the alien was finished! "I'm sorry folks treated ya like major garbo in the past, babe. Ya don't deserve that flak. And, if it helps any, I think you're better off without ungrateful dinguses like that. They'd just be weighin' ya down like a legion of anchors!"

    "I don't know what Shen's thoughts on this are... and Metal didn't mention that night you two had together... but when we talked, he said he lost perspective. He realized that he didn't appreciate you, and he told me that you were a big help during the spar. If you hadn't separated them, it would have gotten ugly. I don't think anybody wanted that."

    The android practically squawked. "WHAAAAAT!? What d'ya mean he didn't mention our night together!!" Scaramouche was beside himself with quiet sobbing, his LED display 'filling' with pixelated water. "H-How can he talk about losin' perspective when he treated me like trash durin' the moment and then afterward, in the Sanctuary!? He's a robot, damn it! No matter what, we're always logical! And what he did wasn't logical!" Maybe, just maaaaaybe, Metal Man wasn't a tried and true robot as originally assumed. Not like Scaramouche, and that was shame on the android. He sniffled and tipped his head to the side, the tears 'draining' away with an audible drizzle for comical effect. "I dunno, baby... I dunno..." Now he was thinking, thinking too much, and Scaramouche once again appeared tired. "A part of me thinks Metal Man's just a combat model who don't know any different - that he's socially inept and can't parse emotions well - but another part of me, the one that's been hurt more times than I wanna count, can't help but think he would've never came to this conclusion had ya not spoken with him..." And that was an awful, awful feeling.

    If the above were true, how come Metal Man wasn't appreciative during the spar? How come he conveniently swept aside their Hallmark moment the day before? How come he entered the Sanctuary and then proceeded to knuckle-down like an obstinate ape when confronted? How come the smaller robot acted just so damn erratic?

    "I dunno..." Scaramouche echoed, sounding lost. He looked to Kev and gently shook his head. "If you were there, baby, you'd understand... It was like there was somethin'... wrong. A disconnect. I ignored it at first and thought lil' of it, but then it just..." The android released a noise of frustration, his gaze dropping. "...it just ran away from me and I didn't feel so good. It was like they didn't know I was there, or cared." What Scaramouche uttered next would undeniably boil Kev's blood. "It was just like Doc and the damn dragon; they saw what they wanted and didn't think to look beyond that. Ugh, ya should've heard how they talked, suckin' their own dicks and thinkin' themselves sooo smart..." A real circle-jerk, and one Scaramouche couldn't participate in. At least, not very well because the circle itself seemed to have operated on an entirely different wavelength.

    Talk about maddening, baby! There were cocks being tugged and meanwhile he was stuck being the outsider!
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    Re: What Friends Are For

    Post by Kev on Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:20 pm

    "I see, I see!" Kev pretended to think deeply, even giving his own scaly chin a rub. "So if you were lying, you'd really turn me into a pair of boots, eh?" He snickered like a gremlin at the thought. At least the stripes meant he'd make for a fashionable pair of boots! "No worries there, Scaramouche! I'm pretty easy." The robot would really have to work hard to disappoint the alien! He tended to give second chances, after all! Sometimes third!

    "Well! Not really a shithole, but..." His thoughts turned to the conflicts with Sonia and Tally, to the tumultuous relationships of Mortis, to disasters that spread trauma like a plague. In some cases, like an actual plague! The alien wriggled against Scaramouche, shoulders rubbing up against the smooth metal casing. "Okay, maybe a little bit. I guess we just had some shitbag people, you know?" And boy, did they carry with them loads of conflict and drama! As for the subject of art, it seems that mentioning 'bed-branches' was a mistake. Kev squinted but did little more than grumble halfheartedly. "Thermians traders provided us with clothes, actually! I mean, we did wear protective coverings and stuff, but we also tried not to cover our natural stripes since they were for camouflage. And I don't have that kind of thing in my house for numerous reasons! One, I'd never hear the end of it from Fear. Two, I've become a little assimilated with the culture of this place anyway. And three, my art now takes the form of knitting and sewing!" The less said about his forays into painting, the better.

    "Hon~! I dunno 'bout that bein' your only mistake, babe."

    Welp, there went that pipedream. Nym most likely did remember, but he didn't seem afraid of his scaly papa. There was no fear that Kev was going to go around popping skulls like grapes. He sagged against his friend, a little ashamed by the actions of his past. "I should have talked to him when it first happened. Instead, I avoided it like a coward. But at least he's happy and healthy. I'm proud of him." Nym was a great sonno!

    Oh, the drinky poo! Kev's other hand snaked through the other sleeve, and soon the two looked like a silly little puppet act! He enjoyed the tastes and sensations of both soup and soda pop! "I appreciate it Scaramouche! I won't let a single drop go to waste~. And don't worry about it! I thought about coming yesterday, honestly, but I was a little...tired. You know? I hope it's okay that I came today." He didn't wanna be late. With a warm tasty soup and a cold drink, it was hard to get too sad about the past. "You're not wrong. People can be very selfish, and they can be thoughtless too. You gotta give something to get something. You want forgiveness, you apologize. You want friendship, you be friendly. You want love, you give love. But some people will never understand that and even though we can help some people...others will be beyond our help. We just have to learn to pick the good from the bad!" And sometimes, that just wasn't something someone like Kev could teach! Scaramouche would have to decide what his boundaries were for himself. And what would be enough for him to give up on someone.

    "Why thank you, Momo~! I appreciate that you think so highly of me! I do feel better without those kinds of people weighing me down, and I'm sorry to see you going through something similar to what I've been through. I wouldn't wish that kind of pain on anyone, you know?" Betrayal had a harsh sting to it! The kind that might take years to go away. Both hands busy, Kev settled for nuzzling his head against the robot. "I meant what I said. I'll still be here for you, and I know Lunette will be too! Even if you stumble a few more times and wind up hurt, we're always going to be here to help you up!"

    "WHAAAAAT!? What d'ya mean he didn't mention our night together!!"

    Aaaand cue the stumble! Kev cringed at the squawk, eyes widening and giving a squeak of his own! Ignorant of the display, all he could hear was the robot's sad caterwauling! His arms wriggled in Scaramouche's sleeves for a moment. "Oh, Scaramouche, I'm sorry!" He didn't mean to trigger this little mood downturn! "The closest I can remember to him talking about it was he mentioning you gave him the kindness of a warm night and a warm breakfast! It's kinda vague, and that's really all I can remember off the top of my head!" He tried to be as comforting as one could be when they were stuffed inside a sweater! More trills erupted from the alien like a frantic mama cat.

    "I dunno, baby... I dunno... A part of me thinks Metal Man's just a combat model who don't know any different - that he's socially inept and can't parse emotions well - but another part of me, the one that's been hurt more times than I wanna count, can't help but think he would've never came to this conclusion had ya not spoken with him..."

    Eesh... Definitely keeping it real, but it'd be a lie to say that Kev didn't have some of the same worries. Still dutifully draining his meal and drink, the scaly man sighed as he relaxed languidly against his friend. "I think it might be both. If that makes any sense." Though he'd wait to elaborate until Scaramouche was done speaking his mind. It was truthfully hard since Kev was a mere third party observer. He hadn't been there for the fight to observe what happened, so he could only go off of Scaramouche and Metal's words on it. The taller robot felt ignored, shrugged off, and unimportant. Metal spoke of getting stuck in an unproductive loop that was getting more and more violent. Shen was still the mystery element here. Why would he ignore Scaramouche? Was it a thoughtless action or did he not think much of the jazzbot in the first place? And what had he done that would help get Metal stuck in his own aggressive logic loop? Robots could be a bit difficult to figure out sometimes.

    "I'm sorry they treated you that way, Scaramouche. I know I wasn't there for the spar, but I was there when Metal walked in and...you're right, there was a huuuuge disconnect going on." Still trilling softly, the alien sighed before he continued. "I talked with Metal for several hours. He says that being in that spar triggered him into...an aggression loop of some kind. He's a combat model and being in combat seemed to put him in a sort of...weird state? And I think you're right that, had I not intervened, he wouldn't have gotten out of that on his own. He also admitted to not knowing how to express gratitude. It's kind of a chicken and the egg situation...does he not understand these things because he wasn't raised right or because he's just thick between the ears? Maybe both." Kev's scaly skull peered up at his friend's boxy chin. "Between you and me, I think he might be rampant. Maybe not the...same form of rampancy as you but...definitely something like that." Not that it excused such behavior but...perhaps it helped to explain it?

    "Whatever the case...he does recognize that he was wrong. That he wronged you and didn't tell you how much the things you've done meant to him. He wanted to apologize to you that night but...obviously it was too soon." He shuffled, a bit uncomfortable. "...I gave him some advice and...he does want to meet up to apologize to you sometime in the future. But I promise I'll be there too! I already picked out where we can go, we can meet up at a nice little cafe!" Please don't freak out, please don't freak out...!


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."

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    Re: What Friends Are For

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      Current date/time is Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:03 am