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If You Weren't...-

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"Alittledustinghere-" Rev races through the living room with a half empty bag of coffee filters and some windex that's got about a centimeter of liquid left sloshing in the bottle.

"alittlewindexthere-" A mist of the glass cleaner falls over Duck's piece of free pizza, curtesy of the recently saved pizzaria owner, leaving a foul look on the narcissist's face.

"abitofrearrangingtotheleft-" Rev shoves a game chair over into a corner before placing a perfectly folded quilt over the back.

A quick trip to the kitchen has Rev freaking out, spastically scrubbing what little single celled organisms that were on any plates in the cupbourds to a quick santitizing death, "CANANYONEELSERUNTHEDISHWASHER?!?!?!"

"Rev, what's the rush? Dig in." Lexi coaxes gently, holding up a particularly spinach overloaded slice of pie.

"Sorry.Can't!Notime,Gottacleanup.Gottagetorganized!"He garbles as he frantically nitpicks at every possible little imperfection in the HQ living quarters. Even going so far as to brush Tech's teeth and harshly swab Ace's ears. Which earns him a glare from their leader and a raised eyebrow from the coyote.

"Gottagetya'llreadyforvisitorswhoaremakingasurprisevisitasofthreeminutesago.I'm-sorry-for-not-telling-you-but-they're-always-like-this. Andtheywillbehereanysecondnow." Rev stutters, brushing Slam's hair with a fork as he wipes Duck down with a coffee filter in his frazzled state of mind.

Ding-dong

"WhichwouldbE-tHiSsEcOnD!" Rev meeps, sprinting to the door and holding his speed back just enough to make sure he doesn't catch the carpet on fire.

But when Rev opens the door he's greeted by a tornado of feathers, swirling around him almost as quickly as Taz's own powers with the three bodies combined. "THEREHEIS!How'sthatsonofminewhowehaven'tseeninsuchalonglongwhilewithoutseeinghim.Butwe'refinallyseeinghimnowinhisnewdigswherehehangshisfeathers."

And just as suddenly as the spinning whirlpool of birds started, it's stopped. And there standing before the team is what they never expected, but in all honesty, felt like they should have. "Ohthesemustbethenewcrimefightinggroupourfinefeatheredboyhastoldusabout! I'mRalphRunnerandthisisHarriet, justcallusMa&PaRunner. AndthisisourothersonRip."

"Heeeeeeeeey." Rip nods at them, his speech is a lot easier to understand than the whirlwind tongues of his family.

"WOW!Settledownson, letthegrownupsgetawordinedgewise!-" Pa Runner chastizes, patting his son's crown of feathers down a little heavy handedly. But the aroma sends him into a sort of feeding frenzy.

"AndIseeyou'veorderedPIZZA, whichIlove, especiallywiththoselitttledelicioussesameseeds-" Not able to help himself, Pa Runner helps himself to the pizza, or should it be said, just the toppings on every slice.

Lexi and Ace share a grossed out look as they keep up their smiling even though they're cringing on the inside for Rev.

"Itissogoodtoseeyouagainhoney, butIshouldscoldyoufornotcallingme, butjustlookatyou, you'rejustfeathersandbones!" Ma Runner nags, poking and pinching at every little fault she can find in Rev's uniform. even slicking back his feathers with a wet saliva covered hand. "Youneedtoeatmorelikeyourfather, nowthere'samanwithanapetite! Youshouldcomehomeandeatwithyoufamilyonceinawhileyouknow! OhandlookatthatPizza! OhbutIcouldn't, butmaybeIshould! Butmaybejustasliver! Abit!Abite!Asmudge!Asmidgen!" And then she's joining her husband in gorging herself.

"AAAH! My brain is melting! There's a whole FAMILY of them!" Duck yells overdramatically, disgust written clear on his face, "I'm checking into a hotel."

"A-folks-I-think-you-need-to-slow-down-just-a-little-bit-for-their-sakes-ok?" Rev requests, handing his mother a napkin. She nods her head as she daintily dabs at her mouth beforre rushing over to the only other woman in the room.

"NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Toooooooooooooooo MEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEt YOOooooUUUUUUUUU!" His mother says, her mouth twitching at the uncomfortable amount of time it's stayed in one oval shape.

"O-Kaay-not-quite-that-slow-Ma." Rev grimaces from the sidelines.

"How-are-ya-nice-ta-meet'cha. Don't-tell-me-I'm-really-good-with-names. Mace!" Pa Runner zooms over, shaking Ace's hand much to Ace's confusion.

"Alexis." Lexi almost yells in outrage, but thinks better of it and shuts her mouth with a click of her teeth.

"Spam!" Slam shakes his hand enthusiastically, but blinks and scratches his head for a moment.

"Dork!" Pa Runner nearly lifts Duck up with swing.

"Oh-yeah-and-the coyote." Pa Runner sweeps his hand back swiftly avoiding the willing hand Tech had held out, not judging Rev's family's quirks for a second.

But it seems judging was the other way around this time.

Ma Runner rushes forward, grasping her husbands arm with a tense grin on her face, "oh dear, he meant no offense."

Tech narrows his eyes at the father of his best friend. Prejudices still held even to this day, Rev new that. The team had even had situations where they had to rescue less than willing citizens who would much rather beat them up with their words rather than sing their praises. He knew his Pa was narrow-minded, but he didn't think it would be this much.

"Pa-this-is-Tech, my-best-friend. Me-and-him-have-saved-each-other's-hides-more-times-than-we-can-count." Rev zooms to Tech's aid, grabbing his shoulder and turning him around. Rev can feel the vibrations of a deep but quiet growl run through Tech, his canines on full display, something Rev knew his Pa could never see if he hoped for Tech and his family to be on good terms.

"He didn't mean it Tech. I'm sorry, he just has Coyote issues." Rev furvently whispers.

Tech huffs, shaking Rev off his shoulder, "I should get back to work." Tech looks back at the man who's currently looking at him with outright disgust.

"Before I accidentally decide to eat your Ma and Pa."

Rev's eyes bug out in alarm as Tech stomps away. The rest of the team choose this moment to make their escape as well.

Before he can even slam the door on the happy family reunion Pa Runner is already next to his son and Ma Runner is wiping a sanitary wipe over his clothes.

"Now-son-let's-talk-about-you-joining-the-family-business." Pa Runner grasps his sons arm, crushing him to his side with white knuckles.

"No-but-Pa-I'm-a-crime-fighter! Not-a-gadget-salesman, let-Rip-help-you-out!" Rev jumps back. He knew this conversation was going to happen, as it was always brought up, no matter how many times he declined his father. And his poor overlooked little brother, who came up with some of the best business ideas and second best gadget designs he's ever heard of, the best being Tech of course. But Rip got brushed over everytime they were in a room together, which was one of the reasons, one of the many reasons he moved out in the first place.

"Rip? Ohno,businessisnoaplaceforaslacker!" Pa Runner declines.

Rev wanted to calm the headache growing behind his temples. His father, Ralph Runner, was a man who sold machinery of any kind to those who would pay for it, many of which were in the medical field, especially in the neuroscience department. But still he denied the existence of Bradykinesia. Rip was diagnosed with it in 3rd grade after he got knocked out by a baseball straight to the side of his head in a little leagues game. Yes, he was rather slow in road runner terms, but for any other species that didn't actively have a heart rate of 6 beats per second, Rip's speed was perfectly NORMAL. His father called him lazy, when it was a medical condition that dictated Rip just couldn't move as fast as his healthy and heavy weight father.

Rip stood behind his father and in front of his brother, a hateful glare was directed at Rev in that moment. And honestly, Rev couldn't blame him.

"There he goes again. I am soooo out of here." Rip mutters, turning away and walking out the front door, much to the displeasure of Ma Runner.

"BoytalkssoslowIcanbarelyunderstandhim!" His father grouses.

Rev rolls his eyes at that.

"NowsonIknowyou'vealwaysbeenexceptionalonwhateveryousetyoursightsondoingbut- tsk-savingtheworldisadeadendjob." Runner nags.

Ma Runner slides snuggly into her husband's side, magicing a wad of cash out of her purse in the same motion. "Hereyougoson, justalittlesomethingtotideyouoveruntilyournextpaycheck."

"Payche-we-don't-get-paid-Ma." Rev murmurs, feeling the oncoming, increasing pain in his skull that that statements going to bring on.

"ugh! WhatdidItellya! Volunteer Work!" Pa Runner berates, Rev already walking down the hallway, the sooner he got the tour over with the sooner his family would leave, "SoI'mguessingthefamilybusinessisjustbeneathyounowisit?"

****************************************

And last on the list of where to lead his overly handsy father, is Tech's lab. He can already hear future arguements now.

"And-this-is-Tech's-lab. But-whatever-you-do, do NOT! and-I-mean DO NOT touch-anything-in-here. Tech-forgets-to-turn-the-safety-on-most-of-his-toys-when-he's-working-on-them-and-I-don't-want-to-know-what-errands-he'll-make-me-do-to-turn-you-back!" Rev mutters the last part quietly.

Pa Runner looks at it all in awe, striding over to the worktable Tech's tinkering at as slow as Rev has ever seen him,"Well-speakin-of-gadgets!" And what does he do?

The one thing Rev told him NOT to do.

"WAIT DON'T TOUCH-!" Tech yells, holding his hands away, but too late.

"SweetMeepMeep!" Pa Runner is shot with the gun, shrinking before their very eyes. Ma Runner is plucking out her feathers as she bends over to look at her husband. Rev looks at his father, then at the gun, and then at his friend. The only one he knows that could reverse what his stupid father did to himself.

Tech sighs at those pretty green eyes, flipping the switch and pressing the same button that had caused this madness. Ralph Runner was lucky Tech had been nearly finished with the gun before he had pressed that button or his atoms would have popped from the shrinking without the dampener he had finished installing. But he was luckier still that he had a soft spot for his son, otherwise knocking the obnoxious road runner down a peg or two would be largely exagerated an expression in this case, and likely long lasting, as long as Tech was entertained by Ralph Runner's size.

"WoW-Ho-Ho-YEAH! Sweet MeepMeep! This-place-is-a-gold-mine-of-gadgets! I-mean-not-bad-for-a-coyote-. Hmmmmm-so-how-much-for-one-of-these-babies?" Ma Runner is swatting her husband's hand before he can blink, having already seen him shrink once she's not going to take her son's warning lightly. Rubbing the smarting pain, Pa Runner turns to Tech in askance, all business now with nearly all of his disdain for the coyote hidden behind his smile.

Tech crosses his arms, if the man couldn't even follow such a simple instruction as to not touch, he wasn't going to be liable for any mess Ralph Runner was going to get himself, or anybody else, in with his inventions. Keeping in mind the fact that most all of his babies were meant for violence in the name of peace and highly dangerous in anyones hands let alone someone who'd likely buy it off the road runner with malevolent intent and little to no training.

"My inventions are NOT for sale."

Ralph's grin spreads, either enjoying the challenge of bartering, annoyed in the fact that he was going to have to lower himself to barter with a coyote, or a bit of both if Tech were to take a guess. "I-see-playin-hard-ball. But-I-can-play-hard-ball-too! 70/30 split-that's-my-final-offer."

Tech got better offers than that just to tutor genius's at the university, "No."

"I-meant-65/35."

A 5% difference? This was what he thought was bartering? "No way."

"60/40?"

Tech starting to feel a little better about this now. "Not today."

"55/45!"

And boy was he enjoying rubbing his denial in this man's face. "I've got to go~"

"54/46-"

Tech turns with a smug smirk. "See ya~"

"52/48?"

He waves behind him, mile wide grin of triumph hidden, and trusting Ma Runner and Rev to smooth the feathers he'd just ruffled. "I'm gone~"

Pa Runner grunts in anger after Tech leaves, business facade gone in a blink. Rev sighs, "Pop, he's really not interested. Not-only-that, some-of-his-stuff-Tech-can't-even-legally-sell-you-because-they're-not-finished-or-the-gorvernment-has-outlawed-it's-comercial-use. Any-malfunction-from-one-of-these-could-likely-level-a-city."

Ralph Runner was many things, and one of them was petty, "WellIthinktheCoyotehas-Road-Runner-issues."

"Paaa-if-you-want-a-gadget-so-bad-why-don't-you-look-at-what-I've-been-working-on!" Rev tries, fighting his stubborn old man never ended well. But the art of changing the subject was one that had become vital early in his life because of him.

******************************

"What's-this?" Ralph asks, eyes lighting up at the small dismantled robot on the table.

Rev chuckles nervously, tapping his fingers together sheepishly, "It's-a-Roboamigo."

Rev always new his father would want whatever he had to offer. Being the genius son and never being able to do anything wrong in his fathers eyes was both a blessing and a curse in and of itself. "Now-we're-talking!"

"That old scrap? He's been working on that thing forever." Duck slaps it's head clear across the table. Rev grabs it before Duck can put another dent in it via the fall to the floor, silently seething Yeah, I have, because you and Slam like to play soccer with it's head whenever I leave the room unsupervised.

"We'll-finish-it-back-at-home-together-just-like-the-old-days!" Pa Runner cackles happily, petting Rev's crown of feathers with tender care. Something he distinctly hated his father doing.

"hmmm-well-I'd-really-like-to-but-I-have-important crime fighting duties... here." Rev rejects, looking to Duck and Ace for help.

Duck started playing with the detached metal arm on the table completely ignoring Rev at this point and being more of a nuicense than anything close to help.

"No sweat Rev! Spend some time with your family!" Shit.

"If any end of the world crissis comes up... we'll give you a buzz." I should have known better than to count on Duck the self-absorbed and Ace the mother hen of the gang seeing as his own sister couldn't get away from him and Duck has the attention span of a squirrel.

******************************

A few days at his parents house was driving Rev up the wall. With his pop's constant hovering and praise and his cold shoulder to Rip any time his little brother so much as opened his mouth, Rev was ready to strangle his old man.

And then he added the time constraint, thinking Rev's the stuff of miracles he'd be able to magic up a working interactive a.i. in the span of a few weeks, alone.

"Super-speed-won't-help-me-make-this-work-but-there-maybe-a-certain-Tech-genius-who-can~!"

******************************

"Ohpleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasehelpmemakemypopproud, becauseI'veneverlethimdown, andIcan'tdoitalonewithoutasupergeniustohelpmefinish. AndbythewaydidItellyouhowsharpyoulooktoday??"

"Ok, ok!" Tech blushes at the compliment, even though he's wearing what he's always wearing since a new crisis could happen at any time. Tech calms himself, "Since you're admitting you're out of your league, I'll help. But... what about your dad and his" Tech waggled his eyebrows and quoted in the air, "Coyote Issues?"

Rev had already prepared for that one, "Weeeeeell, I-told-them-you're-a-vegetarian, so-if they-offer-you-birdseed... go along with it?"

Tech sighed as he looked at the emerald-eyed bird begging at his feet. He never could deny Rev.

*******************************

"Itdoesn'tfeelright,himbeinghere,evenifheisavegetarian."

"Oh-he-just-wants-to-learn-from-the-best, right-Tech?" Rev chuckles nervously, his high pitch giggling going unacknowledged in favor of eyeballing the sweat running down his face as he was lying through his gritted teeth.

"That's riiiiight~! And the best is definitely in the room." Tech snarked. But Ralph Runner seemed to be impervious to sarcasm.

"Well! I'm-glad-to-see-a-coyote-who-knows-his-limitations!"

Rev wrung his hands and changed the subject quickly after that. Because when Rev saw Tech's face as his father walked away he was restraining himself from turning around and slapping his own father. But Tech? Tech looked like he was ready to go through with that threat he had made jokingly, when he'd unfortunately made the aquantance of Ralph Runner. And the snarl that Tech made when he knew Rev's Pa was out of earshot.

Although Rip still was and he just shook his head. "He's a stubborn old ass, don't really blaming you for leaving Rev, Dad's a dick on the best of days. Just ignore him Tech-y, best way to deal with him."

*******************************

The work was difficult, Rev's finger's ached from the tiny cogs and chains he'd had to pinch and the constant turning of the small screwdrivers he'd had to use.

Even Tech was impressed with Rev's tenacity. Although Rev botched a few things, had him jump off the cliff a few times, the damn thing the Runner family had annoyingly been perched precariously on for generations and electrocuted him so badly it took a few minutes to regenerate, Tech was proud of his partner, even if his father wouldn't be.

The reveal was simple, and Harriet and Ralph even patted Tech on the back. Which was a step forward in his books even if they took out sanitizer wipes once they thought they were out of his sight.

But what really made it worth it?

Was the blinding grin on Rev's face, he seemed almost revitalized by his family's praises.

*******************************

Pa inviting Rev into the family office and denying Rip was the straw that broke the camel's back. Rip was done with them.

"Super speed, super inventor, super salesman... I'm super sick and tired of it!" Rip grouches on the couch, throwing the remote across the room. It knocks over Rev's bag and something catches Rip's eyes.

"Hmm... what's this?"

*******************************

And just when everything was going good, something went wrong. Rev didn't believe it until he saw his and Tech's invention eating it's eyes out.

*********************************

"pleasePLeaseplEAAASEpleasepLeAsE,PLLEEEEEEEEEASEdon't-make-me-beg!" Rev cries, latching onto Tech's leg like a child being difficult when it's parent was dropping them off at daycare.

"uh, you are begging." Coyote huffs in annoyance, eyes rolling, even though he felt a bit smug in the fact that Rev was coming to him, the coyote, likely behind his father's back, which irked him a little bit, but Rev came to HIM just the same.

"Then-please-make-me-Stoooooop!" Rev pleads, eyes tearing up as desperation tears his heart apart. The family business was all his family had to fall on in hard times, and times kept getting harder with every destructive diabolical scheme that accompanied every new villain that sprung up out of the wood work like an annoying rough patch you could never sand down.

"OK, OK! But only because I want to know how something I designed malfunctioned this badly." Coyote placates, patting the crown of fluffy red down that Rev kept rubbing against his thigh. His main reason going unsaid But only because you asked for my help. Indecent thoughts kept popping into his head lately, and with Rev innocently doing things that did not equate to innocent in his filthy mind, Tech was finding it hard to restrain himself from pouncing. If it was your dad then I'd have said no.

"Thankyou!thaaaaaaaankyouTECH!!!Ifyouweren'tacoyoteora-guy-I'dkissya!!!!!" Rev exclaims, dropping Tech's leg in favor of squeezing Tech's organs into mush with a bone crushing hug and then racing off without even a glance back at the broken hope in Tech's golden eyes as he stared after Rev's dust trail.

"Then lucky for me, I'm both." Tech whispers, a soft red feather that had come loose still sticking to his hand. Tech spins it between his fingers, eyeing the small silky fibers that latched so seemlesly together like a zipper. A small imperfection near the end catches his eye. But oh so fragile, one little tear... One of his own nails gleams deadly sharp as a small bit of light reflects off of it's smooth surface. And it's irreparable.

Tech sighs, going to one of his white boards to distract his mind with the possible bugs his invention might be causing so many cases of deadly recalls. Clutching onto the small seemingly insignificant problem rather than drowing himself in his love life problems, or lack there of.

Chapter Text

Tech and Rev had gone over every circuit they put in the little guy.

"Maybe-it's-the-remote?" Rev questions, what they didn't expect was for it to shoot out from Rev's grasp and slam into Tech driving him over the edge of the cliff, a situation that Tech was prone to becoming a victim of around the Runner family's backyard by now.

Rev managed to grab the roboamigo before it tap-danced to it's death, but Rev was still worrying over Tech. He knew he was the clumsiest person on the team, aside from Duck and Slam, which never really counted because they never hung around Tech's lab, knowing better than to tempt fate. But Tech's had to regenerate too many times to count just making this damn thing. Rev had tried to keep any such clumsy actions controlled since he electrocuted his best friend. Yeah, no villain has figure out how to permanently kill the coyote, yet, so him going splat off a cliff wasn't too worrying but Rev knew something most of the team didn't know, or chose to ignore.

Dying still hurt him. And regenerating? Tech said sometimes it hurt worse. It's not as if his nervous system didn't work. He still felt the pain from his bones breaking from the impact from such a height. Rev was already running to the bottom to retrieve him but the sound of a certain invention had him skidding to a stop.

"I came prepared this time." Tech smirked, the rocket propulsion boots keeping him from adding one more fatality via jumping off of the backyard cliff.

Rev sighed in relief, "Well-if-it's-not-an-internal-problem-then-what's-flippin-him-out?"

The metaphorical lightbulb turns on in Tech's head, "Something EXternal! Roboamigo's being controlled by an outside source. I should have thought of that potential problem sooner! Especially after fighting Mallory, I should have KNOWN!"

Rev pats his pal's shoulder, before going back to the work table and setting the steaming hunk of malfunctioning metal down. "You-didn't-have time Tech. I-had-super-speed-and-a-week-off-of-super-hero-duty-and-I-still-had-to-ask-you-for-help-to-meet-my-Pa's-holiday-deadline. And-you-were-juggling-work-and-helping-me-at-the-same-time. It's-not-your-fault-for-letting-it-slip-your-mind. If-anything, it's-my-fault-for-even-trying-to-make-this-stupid-gadget. I've-always-tried-to-make-my-Pa-proud, and-I've-gotten-so-brainwashed-into-never-failing-when-it-comes-to-him-that-I-run-myself-ragged-doing-it. Rip-would-have-been-able-to-help-too-if-my-pops-wasn't-constantly-hovering-and-berating-him-any-time-he-so-much-as-lifted-a-wrench. He-keeps-calling-him-lazy-but- He's NOT!! Rip-is-one-of-the-most-hard-working kids-I-know. Bradykinesia-isn't-an-impairment-for-Rip, but-Pa-just-doesn't-see-anything-he-doesn't-want-to. When-Rip-got-hit-by-that-stupid-foul-ball-in-his-first-and-last-baseball-game-and-he-kept-swaying. D'you-know-what-my-Dad-did? He-pushed-him-back-into-the-game-and-said-Runner's-ain't-quiters! His-coach-had-to-demand-that-he-be-looked-at-for-concussion-and-dad-knew-he-wasn't-going-to-like-the-answer-so-he's-denied-it-even-to-this-day. D'you-know-that-Rip-didn't-even-want-to-play-baseball? He-wanted-to-play-volleyball-instead-but-pops-wasn't-gonna-have-any-of-that-because-every-son-in-every-generation-has-played-baseball. I've-always-felt-guilty-for-moving-out, for-leaving-Rip-here-with-him. Ma-tries-in-her-own-way, but-she-doesn't-see-how-controlling-and-manipulative-he-is. Sometimes-I'm-glad-Pops-doesn't-pay-attention-to-him-because-I-wouldn't-wish-what-he's-done-to-my-psyche-on-anyone-else."

Rev grips a screwdriver enough to make his knuckles turn white, "But-the-one-thing-I-regret-the-most, is-dragging-my-best-friend-into-my-family-mess. My-best-friend-who-my-pops-has-been-insulting-and-jabbing-at-since-you've-met-face-to-face. And-even-now-I-get-freaked-out-about-what-he-thinks-of-me, and-what-he's-going-to-trash-talk-about-you-next, but-I-don't-want-to-lose-him-even-though-he's-horrible. But-I-don't-want-to-lose-you-either, I-don't-want-to-disappoint-you-"

"Enough!" Tech growls, flicking Rev on the forehead, "Yeah, your Pops is a dick. I got that. But you're not birdbrain. That's why you're who I build pet projects with and who I try to go all out to impress with my inventions. Your bro understands you had your reasons for leaving, why do you think he still hangs around the work table even with your dad breathing down our necks? He misses you. And as for dissappointing me? Pffft, I don't think you're even capable of that Rev. Your my best friend, I've got standards but you've also got lee-way. You've already technically killed me a dozen times this week."

Rev winces in guilt. Tech flicks his forehead again, "Which means you're stuck with me by your side for the rest of your life... or until you save me as many times as you've killed me. And even then, your debt's likely going to grow even more over time with how many times I will save you, I predict an increase of 3.574% each week." Tech smiles softley, combing his fingers through Rev's fluff of feathers gently. "So, we ready to leave the pity party? Cuz honestly I think finding the external problem would be easier at my lab, where there's no ledge for me to fall off everytime this hunk of junk decides to careen over it."

Rev wipes the tears from his eyes and grins up at Tech, "Yeah, we-could-have-probably-cut-your-mortality-rate-in-half-if-we-had-just-stayed-in-your-lab-instead-of-working-at-Pops-house."

Tech snorts in disbelief at that, "And have your pops sticky mitts all over my babies instead of helicopter hovering? I think my mortality rate would have doubled and your dad would have been dead three hours in."

**************************************************

When the doors to Tech's lab opened, they were met with an unexpected surprise.

There, floating in the center of the spinning whirlpool of Tech's, likewise, floating weapons, was Rip.

With the parasitic thing that had latched onto a pizza boy and had made him terrorize his boss a week ago. Getting it off had been difficult before and that was after it had apparently been attached to him for a little less than an hour.

"Rip! What are you doing kiddo?!" Tech asks, observing the situation as best he could. Thinking a mile a minute trying to calculate how long it had been attached and how long they had before it was permanently bonded to him.

"I'm-downloading-all-of-your-weapon-designs-and-overriding-your-systems-to-allow-me-access-and-to-lock-you-and-brother-out." Rip replies quietly, but fast. Something both Rev and Tech take note of.

Rev walks forward slowly, hands in the air and voice sincere with worry. The best distraction he can make at this moment. "Rip, uh bud... that's-not-a-nice-thing-to-do-"

"I-know-it's-not, and-what-I'm-going-to-do-with-access-to-Tech's-weapons-and-knowledge-will-be-downright-mean. But-it-needs-to-be-done, Pa's-gonna-get-a-taste-of-his-own-medicine. But-don't-worry-bro, I'm-not-gonna-do-anything-to-you-and-Tech. I-know-you-guys-haven't-done-anything-to-me, you-even-tried-to-include-me-and-give-me-the-credit-I-deserved, but-I'm-done-with-the-old-man." Rip growls. Tech's already moving, to grab one of his weapons from the air.

"I'm sorry kid," Tech murmurs, knocking the parasite off with a blast. Rip falls and not a second before he hits the floor Rev's caught him ."but you're going to have to settle with having a nice long chat with your family rather than what you've likely got planned." Rip groans and looks blearily at his brother, "mm sorry bro... I don't know what happened-"

But the parasite doesn't roll into a ball like it did before; Instead, it scuttles to the closest living thing to it. Which just so happens to be the very coyote that shot it off.

Tech tries to shake it loose, but it just continues to climb his body. "AAAAAAAAUGH!!!!!!" It snaps on with a violent click as it digs a metal stinger into his spine.

"TECH!" Rev screams.

Tech is terrified, he knows what his deepest darkest desire is. He knows what this parasite will make him do if he doesn't get away from Rev before it takes over. "REV RUN!!!!" Tech uses his magnetism to lock onto the metal lining in Rev's suit to fling him and his brother out of the room, and then he crushes the door beyond repair immediately after brother road runners are safely outside.

*****************************************

"Rip, you-gotta-get-up-bub." Rev whines frantically, shaking his unconscious brother to not effect.

well, shit.

Rev picks up his brother and hauls tail to the team.

"ACE! LEXI! SLAM!... DUCK! Anybody!?!?" Rev yells.

He finds Duck first, lounging in the living room. Rev deposits his brother gently on the couch.

"Where's the fire Rev? And what happened to your little bro? I got the impression he was too old for naptime." Duck comments, the joke feeling stale in the current situation.

"You-remember-the-weird-backpack-bug-thing-that-was-controlling-pepperoni-boy-a-few-week-ago?" Rev asks hastily.

"Yeah, and my stomach won't let me forget it. That pizza was good going in but coming out it's still on the back order. Ugh." Duck complains.

"Forget-your-stomach-problems! We've-got-BIG-problems! We've-got-evil-brainwashed-Tech-problems!" Rev yells.

Duck blanches, "What do you mean? Black Velvet has been locked up for 2 years Rev!"

"Duck! Wrong-villain! I'm-talking-about-that-living-helmet-of-hypnosis- or-whatever-that-pizza-boy-got-controlled-by! It's-latched-it's-creepy-centipede-legs-onto-Tech!" Rev exclaims.

"oh... but isn't Tech always wanting to stay in his lab? He doesn't seem the type to have some secret wish to rule the world. So I think we probably lucked out there." Duck waves it off.

Just as the metal doors from the lab fly off their nonexistent hinges.

"I-don't-know-what-Tech's-darkest-desire-is-but-I-don't-think-that-it's-something-we-want-to-find-out. I'm-going-to-find-the-others-and-take-Rip-somewhere-safe. Distract-Tech-and-buy-everyone-some-time-so-we-can-figure-out-a-plan." Rev yells, zipping off without even a meep meep of warning.

Duck splutters at the blatant order, muttering about rude road runners. But when he rounds the corner, Duck can't move. Not because of any trap or weapon. But because Tech is snarling centimeters from his face with the eyes of a predator, mean glinting gold and dilated to pin-pricks.

"mother..."

Chapter Text

Duck gulps as Tech lifts him up by his throat. Duck is a quivering mess, the fight or flight instinct gone and never coming home with his knees rattling against each other. Tech leers closer towards Duck's neck and sniffs. Duck cringes when Tech huffs, dropping him like a sack of potatoes and stalks past him. In search of something else.

Duck clutches his arms and curls into a useless ball, too jarred to quack to the others until he can collect himself. Duck's encountered a lot of villains, and he's tucked tail and run when the situations were undoubtably hopeless without back up. Duck may be arogant but he rarely ever stayed in a situation where there was the possibility of biting more off than what he could chew. But this time? He was close to becoming a chew toy if the menace in Tech's eyes was anything to go by.

Duck has never encountered something quite like this controlled Tech, driven purely by his desires. Thankfully his desire wasn't to shred Danger Duck into the perfect material for a feather boa. But whatever it was... no, Duck knew what this was. It had only happened in the world a few times over the years but a super regressive loon? Duck could only come up with one reason why regressive genes like that would suddenly appear in Tech, the lab-shut-in.

Duck gulps, slowing his breathing and calming his mind as it raced, "Rev is right...because I DEFFINITELY don't want to find out who Tech is after."

Without another moment of hesitation, he Quack's himself out of the living room in search of the others. Because distracting Tech was definitely going to end with someone as a chew toy.

************************************************************

Rev managed to snag everyone, and his brother had woken up with a bit of a migraine but none the worse it seemed. Taking Rip home was going to have to wait though because Duck would be quicker about getting him to safety than Rev would even at his top speed and a lot less traumatic since jarring his possibly concussed brother wasn't the best idea. Explaining what they needed to do was the easy part; however, coming up with a plan was proving to be just the opposite.

"Listen, last time Tech shot it off of the pizza boy. So all we have to do is shoot it off again." Ace advised.

But Rev shot that down immediately, "And-he-did-with-Rip-too-but-we-don't-know-what-gun-he-used! Even-then, Tech-mentioned-that-the-longer-it's-attached-the-more-likely-it'll-become-permanently-fussed-to-someone's-spine. And-he's-been-attached-to-that-stupid-thing-for-more-than-an hour! The-pizza-boy-was-under-that-things-influence-for-less-than-that!"

"Well then, what do you think is gonna get it off of him? Some gadget it's gonna take you a week to make? Oh wait, you had Tech's help and even then it had enough bugs to be recalled!" Lexi yells in frustration, the longer they take to plan the longer that thing has to bond to Tech.

"HEY! That wasn't Rev's fault, that was... mine." Rip interjects, sighing at the admission. "I tampered with the design throughout the week they were making it... I-I did it to stop my Dad because he thinks Rev's the perfect example of what a road runner should be, but he's been putting so much pressure on him that he DROVE him out of the house. Dad's been nicer since he's been home and he hasn't hit m-he-he hasn't been mean-"

"Dad's-HITTING-YOU!?!?!? HELL. NO!" Rev stops his plans of getting his brother home to his, now fully realized, monster of a father in it's tracks. "And.Mom? Does-she-just-bake-in-the-kitchen-and-turns-up-the-radio-to-drown-you-out?"

"ye-yeah... but she's always handing me a bag of frozen peas afterwards... and she's been fighting with him more lately than she used to. Dad's been less noticable about it when you or mom are around though-"

Slam just scoops the little roadrunner up at that point and gentely hugs him. Rev's rage isn't tamped down by the display, if anything, it's risen ten-fold. Slam's own speech impediment was a result of childhood abuse. And seeing them hugging each other right now just makes his sight tinge red.

"Shtaip, Tek Teck, sthben kip Rwip!" Slam insists.

Duck quacks into the room without any warning, clutching his knees as he straightens his back. "Well fwirst we've gotta make sure he doesn't rip anyone's throat out while we're shooting that lovebug off his back."

"Duck-where's-Tech?" Rev asks frantically, "I-told-you-to-distract-him-to-buy-us-time-but-also-to-keep-an-eye-on-him-Duck! For-some-reason-I-can't-get-a-lock-on-his-location."

"Well I needed to tell you what just happened! Tech's gone Feral!" Duck gasps, "He was holding me by the throat and sniffed my neck. That's something only a Feral would have a reason to do, he let me go after he didn't smell what he wanted but he's definitely on the hunt."

Lexi, Rev, and Ace all gulped. Loons are a term for those who did not come from human descendants. But a Regressive Loon is a Loon that's been driven into a corner with something that threatens there life and requires that they rely on their base instincts to accomplish. Starvation and dehydration were a big one that the world had had to combat before they were even Loonatics. But there was one other reason, one that had only happened a handful of times and was looked on by the population with disgust or pity. And seeing that Tech E. Coyote was in his prime...

"Are you telling me Tech's deepest darkest desire is to fondue with someone? That he's got a big crush and the bug fed on that and turned him feral to accomplish that?!?!" Ace rubs his temples in the beginnings of a steadily growing headache.

"Alright, so at least we know a little bit about his-the bugs motives now. And, I mean, he hardly ever leaves the tower so it's probably someone on the team. And we already know it's not Duck. So it's one of us four." Lexi exclaims, knocking her fist into her hand. "So who does Tech hang out with the most out of us four?" Every pair of eyes unanimously looked in Rev's direction at that, all excepting Rev of course.

"Then lucky for me, I'm both."

"Well-I-know-it's-not-me, he-said-as-much-when-I-asked-for-his-help-when-roboamigo-was-going-batshit." Rev dismisses, crossing his arms. "But-I-do-know-he-went-out-with-a-certain-villainess-in-his-college-days-so-Lexi-would-be-my-gue-"

"Bro, I may be pretty out of it right now but Tech is definitely crushing on you. He yelled for you to run when he flung us out of the lab. And I don't beleive there's anyone capable of turning the other cheek to dad's racism for a straight week without knocking him out. But he did, because he likes you." Rip interrupts.

"That's why you're who I build pet projects with and who I try to go all out to impress with my inventions."

"Dissappointing me? Pffft, I don't think you're even capable of that Rev. Your my best friend, I've got standards but you've also got lee-way. You've already technically killed me a dozen times this week."

"Which means you're stuck with me by your side for the rest of your life..."

Rev gulps, reanalyzing near every conversation he's had with the coyote, "The-there's-no-way. Tech-likes-girls-I-know-he-does-"

"But he could like guys too feather brain. There's nothing wrong with being bi, and I mean finding a guy that gets that can be hard to find out there." Duck interjects softly.

Ace blinks at that, a new awareness lighting his eyes. But he files that little nugget of information away in his mind for later, "Which means Tech's crush is probably you. But even so, restraining Tech is our mission right now. So, first and foremost, Rip, you can't be in the tower. Our first priority as Loonatics is making sure no citizens are caught in the cross fire. When we got things done here, we'll call you to come back to settle in. We ain't lettin' you go back to that house anytime soon. So go hang out at the mall or somethin', Duck'll quack you there. As for us, we're splitting up in pairs. Slam with Rev and me with Lex, just in case we are wrong and Tech has a huge crush on my lil' sis… well, I gottta give 'em a little grief anyway. When you get back Duck, you're going to be quacking one of our groups to the basement level to so he doesn't weasel out of the building. And then it'll be your job to quack back and forth between our groups to keep an eye out and tell the other group If they find Tech first and where they're at. As for where to put 'em if we can corral him-"

"The-training-room. Tech-may-have-added-a-brainwash-proto-call-after-his-tryste-with-Black-Velvet." And all eyes are back on Rev at that.

"And whyyy didn't he mention this to anyone before?" Duck asks, a question on the tip of near everyone's tongues at this point.

"Hey! He-didn't-tell-me, I-figured-it-out-when-I-looked-at-his-blue-prints-when-he-was-remodeling-the-training-room. I-guess-he-figured-everybody-would-have-guessed-it-at-some-point. Or-he-was-determined-not-to-be-mind-controlled-again. I-mean, he-still-has-nightmares-"

"Okaaay, we get it. You cuddle your boyfriend after he wakes up from nightmares." Duck grouches, crossing his arms and waving it off.

Ace rolls his eyes at that and nudges him with his shoulder, "What Duck's trying to say here is that we need to know about stuff like that so we can all be better prepared for occassions like this rather than just Tech, or no one in this situation actually since he's gone dark, again."

**************************************************

"Give 'em some grief huh? Turnabout is fair play big bro." Lexi cackles at her brother, opening the door to the dining room.

"Hey, I know for a fact that Tech's got no chance with you cuz you bat for the same team. So any affections of the ... romantic category, towards you, would be unwelcomed." Ace tries to defend, opening the pantry door quickly and scanning for Coyote. Finding nothing he closes it softly and turns back to his sister.

"And we both know that you've been drooling over Duck's feathered arrogant butt since you first layed eyes on him. So you're not gonna get outta this one. Just ask him out already. That was one of the most awkward coming-outs I've ever witnessed and I saw yours, but it was genuine Ace. I don't think he's gonna reject you." Lexi reassures, as they both walk out of the dining room, close the door, and lock it.

"Maybe... maybe I will, if we can get Tech back. I just hope that Rev stops obliviously flirting with him, poor guy's been wrapped around Rev's primary feather's since college. D'you know that he broke up with Mallory the day he met Rev? Rev was delivering him pizza and complimented his experiment after it exploded." Ace laughs, shaking his head.

"I can believe it, I've always gotten this puppy dog vibe from Rev, but Tech's always given in to him no matter if it was the last slice of pizza or playing with his gadgets." Lexi adds, a slight tone of envy creeping it's way out of her mouth. Wish I could find someone like that.

"Yeah, I don't think Tech's capable of saying no to that face." Ace snorts, grinning at a few memories where Rev got away with murder but if anyone else dared to touch one of his babies in his lab they'd be gunned down and kicked out before they could press a button.

"Like how you can't say no to Duuuuuck~!" Lexi sing-songs, waving her fingers in the air just to taze him in the side, digging her fingers into his ribs. Ace swats her hands away and shoves her head towards a wall.

"No, I tell him NO all the TIME." Ace retorts, "He just chooses to ignore me."

"But you let him get away with it." Lexi shoots back, skipping in front of him, only to walk backwards to keep him in her sights.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, see if I ever feed you details about my juicy gay love-life again. You're always teasing me afterwards and you never share yours-" Ace halts to a stop and his eyes get as big as dinner plates.

Lexi turns around quickly, going into a defensive stance, ready to aim low and hit hard. But there's no one there, well... no one in the hallway. But there is a metal door lying on the ground... Rev's bedroom door to be more precise.

Chapter Text

Duck and Rip didn't talk much when they Quacked to the Achmetropolis mall.

But Duck was the first to break the silence, resting his hands on the roadrunner's shoulders, "If you start feeling dizzy or like you're about to pass out snag a security guard. They'll get you looked at. But, listen kid-Rip... None of this is your fault. So don't be getting silly thoughts into that featherbrain of yours. Just hang out here, make some friends, see if they're hiring anyone. You're going to be part of the family but crime fighting ain't in your future. So pick a shop you like and maybe flash one of our names, it'll probably get you a job right off the bat. We'll meetcha at the biggest water fountain in this germ infested-I mean teenage wonderland when Tech's back to his nerdy old self. capisce?"

Rip nods his head slowly, "I-I just hope Tech's ok, he's a pretty cool dude. Rev knows that too, but his head's probably still ringing about Tech crushing on him."

Duck sighs, letting his hands slide down to Rip's hands, "I think Rev does, he's just scared of, well, ya know, losing a friend. Getting the rug pulled from under you... it takes time to adjust. A luxury Rev doesn't have right now. If worse comes to worse that that thing is permanently bonded, and it's only gonna come off him when it wants to... And if it's only gonna come off if he get's his deepest darkest wish, the teams gonna choose a whole Rev rather than two traumatized Loons. Tech really likes your brother, and if he were in his sound mind right now, he'd be as self-sacrificing as ever. Guy can regenerate himself from being a molten puddle, physical pain's a lot easier to deal with than emotional. And tends to heal quicker too even without a freakish healing factor. In his heart, I think Tech would rather die than live by his instincts, he's a scientist after all. But more importantly, I don't think he'd ever be willing to hurt your brother."

Rip squeezes Duck's hand at that, the corners of his mouth quirking up, "Sounds like you're talking from experience. I saw how Ace eye-balled you when you talked some sense into my brother. Seems like your deepest darkest crush might be mutual."

Duck snorts at that, dropping Rip's hands and waving one in the air in firm denial, "Sure when, pinkster manages to fly or Slam can resist stealing food outta my hands for a solid three seconds."

Rip huffs at that and Duck quack's back to the tower.

Rip wanders a bit, stopping by a few stores, taking a break every now and then when he feels slightly light headed, this was his sixth time since he'd gotten here. But he was holding his hands behind his head just in case, helping the dizziness he was getting leave quicker. A trick he'd picked up a long time ago.

"'Ey Mate, you've been 'ere for a couple of hours now, I saw you teeterin' a few times. You okay?"

Rip looks up, before him is a pastel blue duck, her hair's in a long braid with blue highlights among her black locks.

"Yeah, my head just decided to do something stupid a few hours ago but it's not a concussion, that was the first thing bro checked for." Rip informs, trying to give only a little bit of information. She is a stranger after all, and with the loonatics being who they are and vulnerable right now... there's no way he'd want to try and get a job with any one of their names. They've got enough on their plate because of him. It'd be like painting a giant red target on his tail saying 'come kidnap me, I'm perfect bait.' Or even worse, make his work place a target and endanger everyone there.

"Good on 'im, brother's are suppose to look out for their youngers. But if it's all the same, you lookin' for a job any where 'round 'ere? I just fired another bloke at my skate-shop, every new drongo I get keeps trying ta sample the merch, Pietro's about ready to pull 'is ears off with how many times 'es had to escort one of my former employees out. But you seem like a good kid, you even know a little bit 'bout first aid. I saw you taking breaks with your hands above your 'ead, keeping the blood flowing to your noggin. Not a single dunce that's worked in my shop thought to put a helmet on when they take out the merch, so I'm guessin' you'd probably be the first." She rambles, putting out a hand to shake, thick new zealand accent making itself prominent, but not entirely unwelcomed, "Names Torrie Whio, I own the Buro Board, it's the shop you've past three times with the big blue wave display with the hover boards out front."

Rip grins shyly, shaking her hand at that, "I'm Rip. But I don't think I'm gonna be riding any of the merch anytime soon. I've got Bradykinesia, my motor skills are shot when it comes to quick movements. So you won't have to worry about me not wearing a helmet, I'm not even gonna set foot on one of those. I'd rather not tempt fate."

Torrie laughed, shaking her head and steering Rip to her store, "All the more reason why I should hire you. You can hang out 'ere if you're waitin' on someone to pick you up, since you pro'bly can't legally drive. And I'm guessin' it's been a few hours since you've eaten too, I've got some nachos Zippy left behind after Pietro tossed 'im out. I'll get them from the fridge, you're free to follow me to the back or stay 'ere, I'll just be a mo' nukin' it in the microwave."

Rip hesitates, choosing to stand in the doorway to watch her rather than risk following her into the back room.

She didn't do anything outwardly suspicious but he did notice a few posters of Lexi hanging on the walls.

"You a fan of Lexi?" Rip asks curiously.

Torrie freezes up, cheeks flushing red as she sheepishly rubs the back of her neck. Coughing into her hand she looks away from thee posters. "Yeah, I actually met 'er once, before she joined the Lunatics. I used to be on a cheer squad and we made it to internationals. But one of the other teams sabotaged our sneakers, girls can be vicious, mate, 'specially the pretty ones. Except 'er, nicest bunny I ever met, and gorgeous ta boot. She came right up to our squad and lent us her blimey team's sneakers. They were going to go on after us, everybody thought that was kind of suspicious but the sneakers didn't 'ave anythin' wrong with 'em. We managed to rank second place because of 'em, and they placed fourth. She was just so genuinely nice, not the slightest bit superficial, a real stand up sheilah, brightest damned smile I've eva seen. I've been crushin' on 'er ever since. And when I found out she joined the loonatics? Well, I may 'ave flown the coop to set up shop in Achmetropolis to catch a glimpse of 'er again."

Rip internally rolls his eyes at this point, Does everyone here have to have a crush on a Loonatic?

"Any who, here's your nacho's kiddo. Eat up, one thin' I can't stand is wastin' perfectly good food. So, you in?" Torrie prods, stealing a nacho and pointing the end with a good glob of the good stuff on it at him.

Rip looks down at the tantalizingly delicious smelling nachos, then at Torrie, "Sure, but is it really ok that I hang out here? My bro and his friends might be a while, they had a little bit of an emergency to get to."

Torrie munches on it, shrugging her shoulders, "I'd don't gotta problem with it, might just put you to work a bit, show you the ropes. And I'd hope so, what othe' reason would your brother 'ave to leave you wobblin' 'ere all by your lonesome. If 'es playin hookie I'll chew 'im out myself."

Rip bites into the nachos with a grin, happy that something is going his way for once.

*******************************************************************

Lexi blinks at the door, the heavy scratch marks marring it's heavy duty metal surface giving her shivers.

"Damn, Tech sliced through that like butter, that's something I've only seen Slam do. Geeze Louise!" Ace yelps, Rev's room was a mess. But oddly enough, his bed was missing, upon further investigation so were his clothes. The empty dresser drawers smashed to splinters on the floor telling.

"Why'd he take Rev's stuff? I mean, I thought he had a crush on hi-oh..." Lexi stops. The symptoms list running through her head and stopping on one of the less gruesome of them.

"He took 'em back to his 'den'. Bet ten buck it's his lab, dude never leaves it." Ace mutters.

"I don't know, I'm a betting girl, you know that. But something seems off." Lexi mumbles.

"What d'ya mean, 'off'?" Ace presses.

"Don't Ferals try to kill anything in their territory? Whether it's their family or their friends or even some stranger... But, he let Duck go, and he hasn't confronted anyone else that we know of yet... Which is weird because Ferals constantly patrol to keep perceived enemies out." Lexi tries to explain.

"Hmm, you might have a point there, but he's also a lunatic, and the smartest guy I know. We know the bug triggered that gene... but what if it didn't turn it all the way on? He might still have his smarts along with those instinctive urges-"

fwip fwip

Ace and Lexi crumble to the ground, a small tranquilizer dart stuck snug in one of their ears.

"Congrats, you're right on the money Lexi. Looks like you owe her $10 Ace. But you're a little too late. I figured Duck would come to the conclusion that I've gone Feral, well he was partially right. Anyway, I've been watching everything up until now. And for me to get what I want, I've gotta lock you guys up. But in order to get all of you, I had to have the perfect bait. Duck and Rev are the only ones I've got to worry about escaping really, but I can hit two birds and Slam with you two stones, non-lethally of course. I don't think Rev would forgive me if I hurt you guys, and I actually really don't want to do you any harm, I want to do quite the opposite actually, so I gave you a bit of a paralysis agent I whipped up on the fly. I mean, you guys might be a little roughened up from falling but I couldn't really think of a gentler way to nab you." Tech's voice sounds through a small hovering droid.

Lexi and Ace watched with betrayed eyes, horror filling them.

"Oh don't look at me like tha-well I mean it's not me obviously it's a droid with a camera and a speaker but, I-I need him. I can't- I can't live without him, even more so now. I may not be completely Feral, but it's enough to where I can barely think of anything but him. I-I'm sorry guys." Tech whispers, sincerity working into his voice, as he presses a button. The droid shoots out a net that encompasses the two rabbits. "It kind of goes without saying that this net negates your powers. So I suggest saving your energy for when this is all over."

The droid drags them away as Tech rolls his chair to the other side of the control panel, "Now for Phase 2."

*********************************************

Rev screeches to a halt, hand stopping Slam from taking another step. "I-I can't find Ace or Lex... wha-"

Duck Quacks to Rev and Slam a bit alarmed, "Hey, is the resident bun-bun siblings with you? Or..."

Slam shakes his head no, they all share alarmed looks at that. "And I can't sense them-WAIT!"

Rev startles when their signatures reappear, "THEY'RE IN THE TRAINING ROOM!"

Duck doesn't have to hear him twice, Quacking to the entrance of the training room, plasma eggs ready and expecting to roast some Coyote if the feeling in his gut was anything to go by.

What he wasn't expecting was the sudden loss of floor under his feet. He yelps in shock but quacks back a few yards from the trap panels he had stepped on.

Duck sighs in relief, "This place is Despicable."

And just as he peered over the edge of the hole a flying droid nets him and drags him inside with an undignified squawk.

Chapter Text

Duck was quickly pricked by a paralysis dart and dragged to the back of the training room dome wall, laid to only reveal his back. Visible but only after going through the doors.

Tech watched the monitors, keeping an eye on the two lunatics he needed to go through those doors.

"Just a bit more..." Tech whispers, nails digging into the chair arms as fantasies run through his mind. He shakes his head to rid himself of them. He needed to focus, When Rev was his, when he caught his prey he could enact and dream up more ways to spoil the roadrunner, of making it up to him. But right now, he must be a patient hunter, he must wait to pounce and watch the lure with an avid stare.

And there they were...right outside the door.

************************************

Rev and Slam were on high alert after Duck's signal vanished. Rev had a theory, one he shared with Slam.

"We know he has something to take away our powers. I know he was studying Mudds net technology, so avoid getting netted at all costs. But knowing Ace and Lexi they would have put up a big fight, so he must have got the drop on them. Duck was easy pickings after that, luring Duck in was probably just to insure he didn't interfere as he does with every other villain we've faced. He knows our every move Slam. So in that regard me and Duck are his highest risks if his main goal is to keep everyone immobilized. You're gonna be our trump card Slam. You're strong and you're fast. But going to the training area without a plan is gonna land us in the same boat as Duck and that ship is sinking fast. But it's a double-edged sword, he knows us but we know him... well, except for his u-um crush, I didn't know about that. So we have to do something that he's not expecting..." Rev explains slowly, Slam nods. Rev gulps as he reveals his plan, getting an alarmed look from Slam in return.

"You have to admit he won't expect it." Rev says shakily, "S-so-you-can't-be-late-Slam."

Slam looks at the roadrunner worriedly, "Arg youhoo slaure ablout shtith?" Are you sure about this?

Rev huffs out a laugh in false bravado, "It's ok big guy, I know this is gonna work, just so long as we don't have any hiccups."

Slam looks down but back at his friend, "blit bettarg." it better.

***************************************

Rev breathes in slowly, steeling himself for the words he never thought he'd ever say.

Rev pushes through the doors without hesitation, marching to the center of the dome and cupping his hands as he yells with all his heart...

"I LIKE YOU!"

****************************************

Tech blinks at the screen, eyes dilating at the words his prey has just spoken.

"Wh-what...?" Tech sits up, chair spinning away at the motion. "I-I-I-since when? Th-This has got to be a trick of some kind. H-he... fine I'll bite, I know you're trying to pull something Rev. But I'll let you play your little game, it doesn't matter now anyway. The drug's already in your system."

The droids net the bird and lift him to the observation deck. Tech is already there, nervous bounce to his leg as he looks at the very being he's been longing for since his college days.

Rev is sitting cross-legged on the ground, his nervousness showing itself through his fingers constantly fussing with his mohawk of feathers.

"I-I mean it Tech. You've liked me for years, and I've been this-stupidly-oblivious-idiot-which-you-already-knew-that-but-you-still-like-me, butittookyougettingmindcontrolledasecondtimetogetmetoreavaluatewhatexactlyIfeelforyouandnowthatI'vereallythoughtaboutitIshouldhaveseenthesignswhenIhadthatgoodsolidweekofsilentseethinggoingafterMaloryandBlackVelvetpoppedupand-"

"You got jealous? Wait that's not important right now- yo-you actually like me? Like Like-like me?" Tech stutters, the bug on his back inching it's legs out of his spine.

"Well-duh! Why-the-heck-wouldn't-I-like-you!?!" Rev yells, holding up a finger for each reason he gives, "ONE-You've-been-my-best-friend-since-I-came-to-this-stinkin'-city. And-you-were-the-only-guy-that-EVER-broke-the-rules-and-gave-me-a-tip."

Tech huffs at that, but Rev eyes him for the interruption. Tech holds up his hands in a placating gesture, so Rev continues. The light from the bug's eyes seems to be dimming.

"TWO-you-spent-a-week-with-my-monster-of-a-father-and-maybe-you-were-a-bit-grouchy-and-had-a-good-death-threat-to-say-when-his-back-was-turned-but-you-took-it-with-a-grain-of-salt-and-didn't-punch-him-in-the-face-when-I-was-ready-to-kill-him-myself."

Slam sneaks through the doors and crawls up the wall, keeping out of sight the best he can, waiting for his cue to jump down and bag the bug.

"THREE! And-this-is-the-most-important-one! So-you-better-be-listening-closely-cuz-I'm-pouring-my-heart-out-here-" Rev yells, pointing his finger at Tech crazily. "You're-the-augh-"

Rev curls in on himself, sweating and panting frantically, suddenly feeling hot and cold at the same time, vision blurring at the edges. "Wha-what'ssss happ-happening?" Rev whimpers. Tech turns around and shoots a good three darts into Slam's visible foot. The Tasmanian devil slides to the floor paralyzed.

Tech gently takes hold of the net, lifting Rev up with a single hand. The bugs legs clenching into his spine once more and it's eyes are glowing that malicious red again. "That, Rev, is an aphrodisiac that you were exposed to the moment you breathed in when you entered the training dome. It takes a minute or two to activate to it's full effect. And there's only one way of detoxing it. Your body has to be exposed to seminal fluid with a specific DNA signature."

Rev grits his teeth at that, "Why does it *huff* *huff* have to be like this? I-like-you-isn't-that-enough?"

"Unfortunately it's not, I've loved you for years, a fully realized, full-blown romantic crush that I never thought could be mutual. Because yes, you're one of the most oblivious people on the planet. Even Duck new about my feelings and you didn't. But that's a thing of the past. If you had come to me before I got this new attachment, that does away with that fickle thing holding everyone back, a conscious. Then yes, just hearing those pretty words fall from those pretty lips would have been enough. Every instinct is driving me to you Rev. And I'm not in the mindset to hold back anymore." Tech states, caressing Tech's face through the net, "So let's go to our den, shall we?"

Chapter Text

Rev couldn't concentrate, the few seconds of blistering heat and then the goosebumps that followed wouldn't abate, the cycle repeating itself and draining Rev more than that time he got his powers yoinked by that flame headed bozo.

Every step closer to Tech's lab was causing Rev to hyperventilate, but at some point he calmed himself by just counting his own breathes. His mind was blank, for once he wasn't thinking a mile a millisecond. His thoughts were stuck, which he guessed was a good thing considering he was moments from sobbing himself into another panic attack.

Rev is gently tossed, having been distracted, he had not noticed that he and Tech were in the lab already.

"Tech-"

Tech didn't give him a chance to answer, much less move. He was already hand cuffed to a pipe in the wall behind the bedframe. "Shush, don't distract me Rev. I'm going to take you but I'm not a barbarian. You're going to enjoy this, at least the physical aspects of it, as much as I can give you. I don't want to hurt you." He pulled the net off of Rev and tossed it away, it landed half-hazardly on the couch the coyote often crashed on after a few all day-ers.

Tech opened a drawer in his bedside table and procured something Rev was both grateful for and dreading, setting it down on the bed next to him. Tech slowly dragged his hands down the Road Runner's face, nails never coming into contact with his skin beneath the small down of feathers, but the fabric of the suit however... when his nails snagged on latex he sliced it straight down the middle, and from there he delicately sliced Rev's pants into shreds. Next were the boots, Tech tugged them off and chucked them off receiving a startling clatter when they landed in a cardboard box of spare parts. All that was left were the intact sleeves, and his dark green boxers.

And holy hell did Tech's fingers feel good on him, a searing warmth branding the coyote's fingerprints into his skin. A relief from the sudden chill from the lack of clothing. But when Tech started pulling Rev's boxers down his struggle renewed. He got a single kick in his weakened state, but it was enough force to knock Tech back a foot, nearly sliding him off of the bed. Tech growls at him then, all fang and agitation, his pupils slitted and small once more.

"Stop struggling Rev, it's time for you to face the facts instead of running away like always, granted I've enjoyed our chase but it's gone on long enough." Tech leans forward. whispering the last of it in his ear. His breath against Rev's ear earns him a soft moan, enough of a distraction for Tech to pull Rev's boxers clean off. Rev gulps, squeezing his legs together, but the friction that comes with it makes him grunt in surprise, his dick standing ramrod straight, and his ass tingles from the sheets against his cheeks.

Tech grabs the bottle and coats three of his fingers, "Now, I've got to open you up Rev, or you'll tear. I'll take you with or without prep but I would think you would prefer the former rather than the later. So calm down for a sec and breath, deep breaths will help the stretch."

Rev grits his teeth as a single finger enters him, slippery and wet, but still slightly uncomfortable. His stomach churns in an awkward tumble while his rim twitches almost questioning the digit going in. After a few moments Tech starts to pump his finger, and even trails a lube covered nail around his rim. Rev moans quietly at the unusual feeling, not stopping for a moment as his insides are rubbed in just such a way that makes his dick tingle.

Tech continues on slowly, even taking a break, after scissoring Rev and getting a gasp of pain out of him, by pumping Rev's cock. Pleasure overrides the pain for a moment or two before his body adjusts again. This continues on for a couple of minutes until all three of his fingers are pumping inside of Rev, and then, he finds it

"Te-aaaaaaaUGH! Wha-what was that?" Rev asks, pupils blown wide, so out of that he can barely remember the basics of human anatomy.

Tech smirks, licking a stripe up Rev's stomach and suckling a nipple, "That, my fine feathered friend, was your prostate, something you and I are going to get to know pretty damn well in the next few hours."

"sss-shit-" Rev whimpers as Tech meanders down to his cock.

Tech's smiling mouth has never scared him before now, but with a new breath ghosting over the tip of his dick and those sharp canines in full view... his father's prejudiced voice ringing in his head about predators and their teeth has got him shaking even more.

"Pl-please Tech-" Rev whispers, scrunching his eyes shut as he feels the warm heat hovering over his member.

Tech can visibly smell the terror in Rev, something that was most definitely not what he wanted. So Tech starts rubbing soothing circles into Rev's neck and has a finger delicately circling Rev's asshole. He opens his maw wide and wraps his tongue around Rev's prick.

Rev opens his eyes and stiffens immediately, holding his breath, tension building up in his muscles, as Tech licks up and down his mate's pretty cock. Looking into those eyes that are eating him up alive and then some.

"I'm not going to hurt you Rev, I'm not going to stop until you're mine, but I refuse to make this painful. I can just show my affections better now instead of being a cowardly coyote." Tech murmurs, inserting a second finger smoothly, with barely a pinch of pain.

After a few more laves of Tech's tongue, Rev starts huffing at the stimulation, his muscles slowly starting to relax.

"Th-that stupidbugiscoming off-ff rightafter thi-thissss…" Rev whines, slowly rocking his hips as pleasure overrides his brain.

Tech's grin is genuine as he let's his hand engulf Rev's dick and kisses up Rev's chest to his neck, his third finger wiggling it's way inside alongside the others. "Promise, won't need it anymore sweetheart, for you... anything."

Rev's whimpers turn into cuus as his climax reaches it's peak. "T-Tech!"

Tech rubs his fingers against that magical button inside Rev and picks up the pace with his hand, rubbing his thumb unforgivingly onto the tip of his mate's cock.

Rev comes with a pitiful wail, Tech can feel the roadrunner's inviting walls clenching around his fingers as Rev's cum dribbles onto their stomachs.

Rev lays there panting as Tech pulls his fingers back, Rev wriggles in Tech's embrace, "Wh-why Is-it-still-hot-Tech? Why-isn't-the-pain-going-away?"

"Because, the paralytic effects might be wearing off but the false heat isn't going to wear off until I've claimed you." Tech murmurs into Rev's neck, taking his forgotten member into his hand. Something he'd refrained from letting Rev actually see thus far. It was average size for a coyote, not too terribly long or thick, it would fit in easily after the prep he just did... It was the knot he had to worry about.

It was just a barely there bulge right now, but as soon as he breaches Rev it would expand, which is what he'd been worrying about before hand. once he's locked in it'll get to be about the size of his fist and won't go down for at least an hour or two.

But if he stretches Rev too far before hand then it won't stay in and his instincts will force him to repeat the act all over again. So Tech had come up with an alternative solution. The "lube" he had prepped Rev with also had a very potent numbing agent and also had a bit of his own healing factor worked into the mix. It couldn't heal mortal wounds but a bit of tearing would definitely be taken care of in less than a minute or two.

Tech straightens up and away, looking down at the fine feathers and peacock green eyes beneath him as he lines up to Rev's entrance, hands gripping his love's hips and slowly pushes into the forgiving heat.

Rev trembles at the overstimulation, "T-Tech, too-fast!"

Tech leans forward and grabs a fist full of Rev's mohawk of feathers, gently moving Rev's head back so he can get a better view of the avian's neck, "Nope, too-slow."

Tech forces himself in with a precise push that has Rev trembling in his arms. "TT-Tech-it H u r t s! Takeitouttakeitouttakeitouttakeitout takeitout!!!!" Rev's hyperventilating is making him buzz pleasantly around Tech's knot, and it's already expanded to the size of a tennis ball.

Tech holds himself back from moving, because if he does it'll just rip Rev and then he'd have to do this again.

So Tech does what he can to distract his partner from the pain. Taking mate's spent cock gently into his hand and curling softly around it.

When Rev's whimpers start turning into cuus once more, that's Tech's que to latch his teeth into Rev's neck with a calculated snap. Deep enough to draw blood and scar, but not deep enough to kill. His instincts could be trusted with that at least.

Rev gasps at the sharp pain in his neck now. Fresh tears streaming down his face, and it's all he can do but to weakly breath.

Despite Tech's control thus far, the pleasure coursing through him has him pumping into Rev, the part inside himself that is crying in despair and guilt makes it his duty to hit Rev's prostate each and every time.

Rev's body curls into Tech's as he cums for a second time in the span of five minutes. Tech growls in approval, and realeases inside Rev.

A few stuttering thrusts into Rev and Tech slowly unclenches his jaw, tongue licking at the wound.

A small mechanical beep and click reaches their ears as the malicious bug that caused this horrible nightmare falls off of Tech's back and clanks to the ground, curling into it's dormant unassuming state.

Rev blinks up at Tech, his Tech. Those glossy gold eyes going glassy with tears.

A tear lands on Rev's beak, Rev reaches up to swipe the rest forming there but Tech flinches away and is already leaning over the side of the bed to puke.

Rev twinges at the pull against his entrance, Tech's knot hadn't gone down and if rumors were true, then a Coyote's knot could last for hours. Rev leans over to Tech and hesitantly rubs his back.

"I-I don't know what I can say Tech, to make this easier for you. But I do know that saying 'its not your fault' while true... Won't make you feel any less guilty. I-I definitely don't hate you, and yeah, this wasn't consensual, but I do know that you would never have done this if it wasn't for that fucking bug."

Tech stills, swiping a hand across his mouth, "If I hadn't been a coward then that bug wouldn't have had any effect on me at all. It took something that got rid of all my inhibitions so completely to even TELL YOU REV! If I wasn't such a coward then you-I-we wouldn't be in this situation at all. I-I wouldn't have..."

"Had sex with me?" Rev supplies, pulling Tech closer, resting the Coyote's head against his unmarked shoulder. "I'm not stupid Tech, even in my drug addled brain I can still register that you didn't want to hurt me. You said it a couple of times in fact. Hell, a rapist wouldn't-"

"Don't say a rapist wouldn't Rev." Tech glares at Rev, but it quickly wilts and Tech's tears are back. "I-I can't- I'msorryI'msorryI'msorry-"

Rev's fingers card through Tech's hair as he sobs into the shoulder of the one person he never wanted to hurt, never wanted to betray, never believed he would EVER do something so barbaric and evil to. And he just had.

"You're guilty Tech, I sure as hell know you didn't want this either, not like this. That's not what a rapist is, a rapist is someone who would stay dry eyed through the whole thing. They wouldn't have been so repulsed by the act that they puked, or be sobbing 'I'm sorry' over and over again into their victim's shoulder afterwards." Rev scratches behind Tech's ear and hugs his best friend closer, "If anything, your the biggest victim here."