'What's our mopping robot doing here?' had been a nice attempt at covering up the heaviness of what’d been put out on the table, but it wasn’t working. Surprise flickered over Elec’ face, soon replaced with a strange sort of approval as he turned toward Cut Man. “Is that true?” He asked, looking away from him only briefly when two drinks were set out before them both despite neither of them placing an order for anything. The bartender had probably just given them the same as what Flash was having. Hopefully it wasn’t anything TOO unpalatable, but this was Flash after all.
Elec, of course, had already known that there’d been a lot more to Cut boiling just below the surface. They’d ALL grown so much from when they were first built, but this… “You’re wrong. Doctor Light would always accept him back into his home.” he corrected forcefully. The old man was anything but a cruel father… for a moment he almost looked a little guilty for saying so, though.
His back stiffened at Flash’s offer. …Why wouldn’t he go home? No, that was feigned innocence—Cut knew exactly what he meant. Dr. Light wasn’t a cruel father, but he was a paranoid one. Blues seemed worried too.
And now Elec was looking him right in the eyes. That was the Elec he knew and it should have made him feel safe. It was too late, his secret was already out.
He confessed. “It’s true. I don’t want this.” The little DLN felt heartbroken for what he was about to admit. ”My eyes are open and now I see what’s always been there. I didn’t want to change but nothing matches inside. …I’m not who Dad built. I can’t even stay hopeful anymore, everything sucks.”
Perhaps more so than Ice, Roll or even Rock, he aged rapidly and poorly. A stubborn and immature personality couldn’t contain him. His passion and idealism always turned to anger and bitterness. Perhaps Elec knew that about him more than anyone.
Cut was slow to nudge the drink closer to his side. Though skeptic, he didn’t want to seem out of place. He braced himself and took a quick gulp of it down as if it were nothing. (Not the whole thing of course! Just a drink.) His sense of smell and taste were disabled to not tear up or cry in from of them over how bad it was. It wouldn’t hurt to pretend.
"You know, I’ve come to hate this body. I can’t believe I’d hate my own body now. This useless, frail body."
"Its not frail, its well built you ungrateful little shit." Flash grumbles, his cheeks flushed as he gets a refill to his drink, his nights goal was almost complete; become completely shitfaced on free alcohol. Maybe he could go find Plant later on and put his hands in his pants, or maybe…his eyes wondering to Elec and then Elecs pants.
He flushes a bit more. “What I MEAN, before you completely take what I say out of context is; Light bots are very well built. Why do you think Rock is so sturdy? Blues? Despite his core issues. Elec here? Do you want to know WHY you are as old as you are and still running?” He leans towards Cut a little bit. “Because you are well built. You are just stuck in a well built childs body.”
Flash stands up. “If you get an upgrade, Doctor Light may accept it and he might not. That is also what I’m saying.” He looks at Elec, as seriously as you can when you are 3 sheets to the wind. “You know for a fact, Elec, that if Cut was upgraded by anyone but Light the chances of him over reacting about it are pretty high. So Cut could return home, of course, but would he be able to keep his upgrades? That is the real question.” He puts a hand on the back of Elec head, to look the other in his optics.
"You are a perfect and beautiful accomplishment of science and skill." He leans forward and puts his drunk face against Elecs lapels.
"I didn’t think you would, what with this being a recognized holiday for industrial man-machines that only comes once a year. Wouldn’t want to go ruining your only day off, right? It’s not often we get any acknowledgment for our work, so its best to enjoy it to the fullest." Elec replied breezily to Cut Man, looking over Flash’s chest across from him to the other DLN, who was also being pulled along toward the bar seats. "I don’t think I ever asked if you were programmed to be able to feel the effects of alcohol, Cut? I wouldn’t imagine so, I mean, I wasn’t even programmed with anything like that.”
Elec’s brows lowered at the sight of DJ Mix ‘n Pour… was that… the mopping robot that Light kept in the garage? DJ Paintmop Supreme? How’d he get here? At least it made him feel better about not knowing what was good to order, since any drink made by a mopping, rapping, car-washing automaton probably wasn’t going to be the greatest anyway.
Cut blushed. “I’m not a drama queen,” he said as they moved forward. The bar and its seats were all too tall for him. It couldn’t have been more obvious he didn’t belong. “…What do you mean poison?”
After a struggle, the small DLN hoisted himself on one of the stools. He placed himself conveniently next to Elec. He was going to serve as Cut’s shield whether he liked it not. “I don’t drink. I snuck beer once but I hated it. The taste was bad. So I wouldn’t know what I like. Besides, it doesn’t do anything to me because I’m—”
Stuck in a child’s body.
The way Elec prattled off to him didn’t help either. It made him feel like a school kid being lectured, a staple in their relationship. At first Cut chuckled uncomfortably and then fell silent. Like if Flash told an extremely nasty joke.
"Funny you mention that Flash," he croaked. His voice cracking juuust a bit more than he intended. He could feel his whole body cringe as he smiled. ”I already talked to Blues about it. I, uh…”
He really didn’t want bring the news up yet, especially not in front of Elec.
"I don’t want this body anymore. I made up my mind. …I’m not a kid so they can’t make me one." He tried to sound matter of fact, but couldn’t help but wonder the reactions. He recoiled. "But there’s nothing to do about it. I don’t want to be reset like Blues or held back like Rock."
He loved his father but he wasn’t blind. Small hands strummed nervously along the counter and he looked up.
"…Elec, what’s our mopping robot doing here?"
"Oh he hated it? Shocker." He snorts as he drinks, giving Elec a smirk. But when Cut talks about not wanting it anymore he looks surprised. "Then ask Doctor Wily? Or me." He stats, setting his drink down. "You don’t have to stay in that body, but once you do change, there is the chance you might not get to go back home to Doctor Light." Flash chuckles into his glass, the pixels on his cheeks getting a bit brighter.
"This robot? I don’t know, I think Plant found it." He shrugs. "Its been at every dance we’ve had, but it makes a good drink." Flash turns to look out at the dance floor and at all the other guests. He turns back around. "Bar keep! Another!"
"Oh, c’mon." Elec wheedled as he was pulled away from Cut, giving the little orange DLN an apologetic look over his shoulder. "Cut’s a little argumentative but he can’t help it." he explained to Flash, sounding more like he was talking about a naughty puppy caught in the trash than a 25 year old manchild. "Let’s get drinks before we dance, all of us.”
> Don’t worry though, if anything starts to get out of control we’ll ditch him, okay?
He wrote to Flash, giving him a winsome smile.
Appropriately, said manchild’s face was starting to look like a kicked dog’s. Cut carefully removed the glass on his head cupping both hands around it. One last sniff didn’t make it any less repulsive.
Elec’s face looked forgiving and kind, but something about his tone pricked the boy’s skin. His apology was like 100 little needles.
And yet some irrational part still wanted to be with him.
His hands clutched the glass tightly, but he slowly walked up and handed it back. ”I won’t cause any trouble,” he murmured. Their presence kept looming over him.
He sends back, before rolling his eyes as he looks down at Cut. “Come on, you little drama queen.” He reaches down and takes the glass. “Lets get some drinks, whats your poison, Cut?” He says, and pulls them all towards the bar.
DJ Mix’n’Pour was juggling tumblers not far down, before he slides sideways over to them to get their orders. He asks for a refill to his mojito. “So Cut, must suck to be stuck in a kid body.” He says, sitting at a bar stool.
Sure, here you go. [Frequency Sent]
Elec didn’t seem nearly as bothered by the minor collision, and he turned on his heel to watch in amusement at the small lumberbot’s flustered reaction. But what Cut Man had to say next was nothing to smile about, not in the slightest. His chipper expression gave way to something more serious, and something Cut was far more used to seeing on him. “That’s not—” He began to say, but the sudden appearance of the (slightly tipsy) DWN had derailed him pretty hard.
"Flash-" He grinned, giving him a playful sort of shove. "Maker, he’s not a table. How much have you had to drink? We’ll dance, just hold on a second." He promises, waving his hand as if to say it wasn’t a big deal and he didn’t need any help. "We’re just talking."
Flash came staggering in and grabbed Elec before Cut could respond. The tiny bot’s face scrunched as he was swat at like a fly. “I’m not bothering anyone—HEY!!" A drink was set on top of his head, flatting down two stray strands of hair. He wobbled backwards so the drink didn’t fall, the awful odor offending his nose.
Just like that, he was trampled over again. Stomped on like a little weed. He wanted to take that glass of Flash’s and slam it to the ground.
But watching them play and banter, Cut didn’t even look angry.
He just looked hurt.
"…You’re leaving again?"
"Of course he is." Flash says, grinning down at Cut, his sharp teeth showing as he. "And not enough, bot yet." He takes Elecs hand in his, lacing fingers as he leads him off towards the dance floor. "Don’t worry about Cut."
"I’m sure he has other people he can bother, and when he’s calmed down you can talk to him later. Its a party, Cuts always a downer. I’ll get you a drink, what do you want? Want me to request some Journey?" He muses.
"Do you think I’m that sensitive?" Elec chuckled.
They weren’t walking exactly side by side as they spoke, but with as close behind him as Cut was, it might as well have been the case. At least he seemed to be easier to speak his mind now that they weren’t face to face.
"I didn’t hate working at the plant.” Elec corrected. He’d stopped so suddenly that it was possible that if Cut wasn’t watching his step carefully he might have walked right into his back. It was such a heavy responsibility, but it’d always appealed to his efficacious nature; plus there was the added bonus of knowing so many people were relying on him each and every day, but it really was a thankless job sometimes.
"It was stressful and unappreciative, but I didn’t hate it. But let’s be honest here, you never got to see me back then, so what’s so different now? I was tired of being worked so hard I was having daily part swap outs and then having to take the flak for the way the humans used me when I was allowed home.” he paused. “Apology accepted, though.”
It’s true—it was much easier to talk to the ground. ”You know that’s not what I meant—h-hey!” Cut wasn’t looking ahead and soon found his face pressed against Elec’s back. It’s been too long since he got that close to him. Too close. With a small yelp the little DLN steps backwards, arms out to distance them. He was practically trying to wipe the red pixels on his face.
"What I meant was that job still made you unhappy." As arrogant as Elec was over Cut’s apology, it calmed some part of him. Trying and trying, using every little bit of smarts, he was going to talk this out. "Hell, we’ve talked about this before. We’ve fought about it before. Your line misses you, Elec.
And I appreciate you forgive me.
But while it’s great you’re free and all, is it really that different for the rest of us? You’re still not there, and now you’re even farther away. It just kind of hurt that you’d rather be with the guys that used you for power than
"Heeeeeey~" Flash says, his arm wrapping around Elecs shoulders, a drink in his other one, his cheeks just a little flushes. "Is this kid giving you trouble, Elec? Shoo, go away Cut, go bother someone else." He laughs. His blond head leaning against the 1st gens. "Lets go dance? Me and you? I don’t see Quick anywhere yet, so maybe I can steal you for a little bit?" Elec looked very handsome, he set his drink on Cuts head.
To say Concrete had arrived late would be misleading: a late participant, yes, but he had been here since before the party began, diligently checking on the electrical systems in the outside sections of the garden to make sure nothing suddenly went awry, leaving everyone in the dark. That it gave him some time to collect himself after his best friend’s mysterious disappearance and the altercation with Tornado was purely secondary.
That wasn’t really important. What WAS important, was that he was here and oh look the whole family made it too. Even Charge made it, adorned in what looked like a luxurious, oversized bib. The sunflower machine swung his arm wide in the air, not really sure the engine would catch the sight of his greeting. But since he and everyone else looked vaguely occupied, that made this a good a time as any to wet this whistle before schmoozing it up with both the locals and the interplanetary cornucopia. “Yo barkeep! Caipirinha, it’s gonna be a rough night.”
"A rough with smooth drinks! DJ Mix n’ Pour will be here pouring classic favourites until sunrise!" came the robotic reply, his red eyes flashing with each syllable spoken. A tumbler filled ice, a squeeze of lime, a dash of sugar, and a crushing of ice happened all within seconds. Seemingly pulling a bottle of cachaça out of nowhere, exactly 2.5 ounces of liquor was dispensed, and the drink was placed on a napkin in front of Concrete.
"Revolution" was displayed on DJ Mix n’ Pour’s screen, but was hidden behind his well-fitted vest and dress shirt.
Nearby, a tip jar sat empty.
Flash sidles up to the bar. “Mojito, please, DJ Mix n’ Pour.” He asks, spots Concrete, is about to say hello when he spots Forte at the same bar. Grabs his made drink and just leaves.
"Glad we’re on the same page then. No use fretting over it more than we do. If I’m to be completely frank, just the fact we can talk about this straight faced is something I like about you." And with that, Air opened one side of his jacket to reveal a small flask. He pours a little of it into his own cup.
"…I was bringing this regardless," he points out. "Want some? I don’t intend to lose myself this early, if at all. It’s too lovely tonight. Shame I almost wasn’t going."
And so it looked like Time showed up. He laughed just looking at Flash’s expression. “I could let you two catch up if you’d like. Or you could stay with me, the choice is your’s.”
"I think I’ll stay with you." He holds out his punch, leaning his chin into his hand, smiling at Air. His brother really was handsome, it was nice to see him out and doing things. Perhaps this party was good for the both of them, he hoped he’d see his other brothers soon.
"Of course I do," he said without hesitance. A sadistic grin stretched all the way across his face. "Even when I’m not bored, it’s fun. I know you hate that little clock. And besides, no one truly knows what the future holds. If we do die, it better be interesting."
For how utterly deadpan his tone was, he know Flash thought about their line as much as he did. “But, honestly, who’s to say we’ll die? Perhaps under new management we’ll secure our future. I’ll go anywhere if it’ll keep our line safe. We need the numbers, but ultimately it’s every man for himself. Surely, you can get behind that notion.”
Conversations of the existential sorts were always a delight.
"Ahh, but that is the point of the future, you can’t pin point it. We could be alive, we could be dead. We could all be terminated by a meteor right now, who’s to say. But you are right, I will keep with my line until the last pulse of my core." He sips at his punch, and looks over at the other robots showing up. Motioning to Time.
"Looks like the little reject showed up after all, oh well, can’t always get what you want." He puffs vapor into the air above him.