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“Ohmygod, that’s the shitthat’sso-”


Sugizo threw his body backward, moaning in ecstasy. Yoshiki’s hands moved deeper inwards, slender fingers working their way around the mess of feathers.


“M...Move closer down- Ohthat’sgood!


Yoshiki crossed his legs, shifting his position as Sugizo’s back arched. Even though this wasn’t really supposed to be anything sexual, just him helping with the molt, but with the lovely sounds Sugizo was making, and the expressions on his face, he might just have to-


“Hey! Do any of you have… Oh.”


Yoshiki turned his head. Hide was leaning against the door frame. He walked forward, somewhat unsteady.


“You could have invited me, you know.”


Sugizo turned to face him. “It’s not what you think. He’s just helping me with my molt.”


Hide moved closer, a tentacle reaching out. “Molt?”


“Do you not have feathered animals on your homeworld?”


Hide rolled his eyes, flopping down on the bed. “I’m a soldier, not a biologist. What’s with all the feathers?”


Sugizo weakly flapped one of his wings, sending a cascade of dead feathers down on the bed. “All Lar’ya lose our feathers once a year. Then we grow new ones.”


Yoshiki moved to reach a clump of dead feathers, eliciting a moan from Sugizo. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Hide staring at the scene with rapt interest.


“You don’t have to sit there and watch, you know.”


Hide tentatively reached out, one hand and one tentacle reaching out and plunging deep into the mess, massaging the roots.


Sugizo jerked up, before falling face forward onto Hide’s lap, mumbling something into his chest. Hide tentatively reached out with another tentacle and his other arm, massaging deeper and causing Sugizo to moan.


“Mmmm...so good…” Sugizo moved closer to Hide, head pressed into his chest.

“Can he...he just ta...mmmm...take over from you, Yoshiki?”


Yoshiki laughed. “I’m not letting go of you that easily. Hide, could you move over for a bit?”


He moved closer to Hide, a smile on his face, hands moving closer to Sugizo’s other outstretched wing, causing Sugizo to hum happily.


Hide turned to Yoshiki. “Should we keep just keep going?”


Yoshiki smiled, reaching next to one of Hide’s hands. “Why not?”   


Chapter Text

Mana touched the ceramaplastic mask, his fingers tracing around the eyeholes, which were shredded, messy pieces of shit. They were twice their normal size, and judging by the looks of things, the holes were rough to the touch. He couldn’t feel anything though, only hear his shell’s clumsy fingers scrape against the jagged cuts.

 

He sighed, standing up and grabbing a small hand mirror from the shelf above his head, setting it on his knees. No reason putting it off any longer, he thought and looked downward.

 

He was almost tempted to smash it against the wall, god he hated that too feminine face, with those creepy bug eyes and face covered in hooks but he stayed, picking up the mask with his other hand, attempting to fit it around his shell’s face. The hooks on the back of the mask connected with the hastily attached ones covering his too-smooth face, but the eye holes were once again too small for the bulging visual sensors stuck on his shell’s face.   

 

Mana’s shoulders slumped, and he picked up the microfiber scalpel again, slowly shaving off another layer around the eyes. Then another. Then another. Don’t want to fuck this up with the shell’s stupid shitty dexterity. Don’t break it in half. Madame would kill you.

 

After some time, he decided to try the damn thing on again, only to have his vision obscured by a few centimeters near the bottom. Mana then grabbed the scalpel again, set on returning to his work.

 

This would be so much easier if Madame had bothered to get tactile sensors installed on my shell. Actually, everything would be so much easier if she gave me a proper shell, period. None of this Cenayi’atu Corp pleasure shell nonsense. I’m not even asking for wetware here! Just something that I don’t have to spend hours modifying just to not stand out to every sapient in a fifty-mile radius!  

 

A sharp scraping sound jolted him out of his thoughts, and he looked down to notice that he had made a deep cut through the mask, extending down to the upper lip. He jumped up from the metal table he was sitting on and walked into the main room, mask in tow.

 

He looked at his roommate, Közi, who was sprawled out on the couch in the main room, an extension cord leading from the nape of his neck to a large, buzzing machine in the corner. Mana walked up to him, and with one hand, yanked out the cord.

 

Közi jerked up, looking at Mana before he got up and snatched the mask out of Mana’s hands, turning it over and over.

 

He looked Mana dead in the eye. “What gives?”

 

Mana sighed, making the gesture for pen and paper before Közi walked into the kitchen, beckoning Mana to follow.

 

The two sat down, Mana grabbing the pen in his fist and starting to write. God, why the fuck does the dexterity of this shell have to be so shitty? Shouldn’t it at least be good enough to give a handjob? That’s what it was built for, right? He finished with his sentence, clumsily picking up the paper and brandishing it towards Közi.

 

Közi looked at the sentence. “Notice crack?”

 

He glanced back at the mask, before beginning to process an answer. “I. t. ‘. s. space. n. o. t. space. t. h. a. t. space. v. i. s. (god, why the fuck couldn’t she have installed me with a proper communication program instead of this shit) i. b. l. e. Send.

 

Mana jerked up from his stupor, oh god you know he’s bored of this shit, grabbing the paper and writing a response.

 

Közi read the paper again. “Really?”

 

Y.  e. s. Send.

 

Mana grabbed the other sheet of paper, furiously writing. “You aren’t just saying that to be nice?”

 

Y.  e. s. Send.  

 

Mana made a clumsy thumbs up before picking up the mask and walking back to his room. If Közi says it isn’t that visible, it isn’t that visible. He isn’t just saying that to be nice. He isn’t just saying that to be nice. God, Madame’s going to be so pissed off that I broke the mask.

 

Meanwhile, Közi walked back to the couch, picking up the cord and sticking it back in his neck, the sudden jolt as he transitioned from realspace to the net almost overwhelming him.

 

quian56@@@@@lllllllll: hey where are you?

quian56@@@@@lllllllll: are you dead?

quian56@@@@@lllllllll: are you recharging?

quian56@@@@@lllllllll: do robots even do that now?

RedJester890: i wasnt recharging, and im not a robot

Red Jester890: mana asked me something

quian56@@@@@lllllllll: oh, your boyfriend. <3 ;)

RedJester890:  we’re not dating

RedJester890: would you shut up about that for one minute

quian56@@@@@lllllllll: chill, i was just joking.

quian56@@@@@lllllllll: but...you know...you seem really intense about this...anything you want to talk about? (...) ;)

RedJester890: SHUT THE FUCK UP ASH

 

Mana sighed, hooking the mask over the shell’s face before glancing in the mirror. It...actually wasn’t too bad. The ceremaplastics were bone white, and the singular expression looked like he was trying to glare someone to death, but he actually looked like a Terran now, not the villain of an android slasher. He didn’t know what to pass off the crack as. Perhaps a scar, but those were rare.

 

Yes! Finally! He jumped instinctively before remembering why that was a bad idea as the floor shook beneath him, the cheap microfiber walls groaning at the strain.  

 

Fuck this shit. Uggggggggggg.

Chapter Text

 

It was bright, too bright, a green sun beating down over the ruined city, the sour smell of Rkh-nt blood filling the air, sticky and hot, a cacophony of screams piercing the air, the ground shaking with each blast of the fighter pilots' plasma guns, enemies and allies alike falling under the strain. Hide pushed on, his tentacles plunging into the chest of an alien soldier, the horrible screams piercing his ears, blue blood splattering all over his red scales, the screaming, so much fucking screaming, raw and harsh and cutting. Hide grabbed his helmet, yanking it off in one swift motion, his pink hair falling over his shoulders in waves, the smell of the battlefield hitting him like a solid wall. 

 

Another, more familiar scream sounded out over the chaos of the battlefield, Hide whipping around his head to see Ina fall from the blast of an alien pulse beam, his eyes wide, his tentacles deflating and going limp, the chest wound sizzling through his uniform and burning his skin, the smell joining the oppressive sensescape of the battlefield, it all making Hide want to run, to escape, but he couldn’t, enemies bearing down on him…! 

 

I’mgoingtodieI’mgoingtodieholyshitI’mgoingtodie! Hide grabbed his skwl from off his belt, pressing a button on the hilt so that the gleaming yellow blade popped out, whirling around to face the oppressive alien force, his heart pounding in his chest, the sound of an explosion nearby rocking the ground- 

 

Darkness. 

 

He could still hear it, the screaming and the blood and the fear, the all-consuming panic racing through his body. There was a crash as his tentacles lashed out in the dark, a pair of arms trying to wrap themselves around him, screaming, someone babbling out nonsensical words getoffmefuckLETMEGO! With a dull thud, his attacker fell to the ground, Hide shoving open the door and running out into a dark hallway. Unfamiliar. Am I being held prisoner? He fumbled against his belt for his weapon, his fingers only touching against loose fabric. They disarmed me. Shit. The soldier whirled around to face his two captors, a pair of men, one attempting to sneak behind him. Hide whirled around, his tentacles hitting Captor Number One in the stomach, causing him to fall to the ground, but falling into Captor Number Two’s trap, as the man grabbed his face, his scaly fingers worming their way through Hide’s hair, saying something incomprehensible. GET THE FUCK OFF ME! 

 

Hide lashed out with one of his tentacles, scraping the side of Captor Number Two’s face, the smell of strange blood filling the air, the ringing in his ears tuning out any sounds that they were trying to make towards him the blood so much blood I want to go and leave and get out please please help me please let me go please it’s so fucking loudandiwanttoleaveletgoofmefuckingdiejustplease- 

 

“Daddy, what’s going on?” 

 

“Hide, Hide, sweetheart, it’s okay, you’re safe, you’re safe, nothing’s wrong, you’re here, with me-” 

 

Hide collapsed into Sugizo’s arms, the Lar’ya’s wings wrapping around him like a warm blanket, his scales shifting to a darker blue.  

 

I...I was home the whole time. I...please don’t... 

 

“Luna, it’s okay. Hide-oji just had a nightmare. Go back to bed.” 

 

Yoshiki. Hide bit his lip, shifting closer into Sugizo’s arms as he felt Yoshiki stroke his cheek. His eyes shifted upwards to see a wide gash on Sugizo’s cheek, the man’s eyes filled with tears. Oh, fuck, I’m a horrible person. I fucked up, they’re not going to want me anymore-

 

“Hide, are you okay?” Yoshiki turned Hide’s head to stare at him, his face twisted with worry. 

 

Hide bit his lip. No. No, I’m not. I sit all day and recall this shit, day after day after day, for the benefit of a government that doesn’t care about me or the fact that I just want to forget this, forget and move on and now I have to see all this shit in HD in my dreams forever- 

 

“I’m fine.” 

 

Yoshiki shook his head. “No. No, you’re not. You were screaming like a fucking madman.” 

 

Sugizo nodded. “You can talk to us, love. It’s okay.” 

 

Hide sighed, falling onto his knees. “I don’t want to talk about it. Please?” 

 

Sugizo picked him up in his arms, the feeling of comfort making Hide’s heart rate calm down slightly. “Okay. Okay. Do you want to go back to sleep?” 

 

Hide vehemently shook his head. I’d rather die. Yoshiki sighed. 

 

“So I’m not seeing any other options. Either we take you back to bed, which you don’t want to do, or we talk about what exactly you dreamed about.” The human ran his fingers through Hide’s short pink hair, causing the Rhkh-n to smile slightly. 

 

Hide’s hands were still shaking. “In the morning. I might. Can I watch that stupid futurism show that Sugi likes?”

 

Sugizo huffed. “Star Trek is not stupid. ” There was a slight smile on his face, though Hide could still see the tears in his eyes. I’m so sorry for worrying you all. Please don’t hate me. 

 

Yoshiki sighed. “I think I might have to side with Hide on this one, love. Whole thing’s dated as hell.” 

 

Sugizo simply fluffed his wings and huffed. “Bullied. In my own home. Unbelievable.” He lifted Hide up before depositing him on the couch. 

 

“I only speak the truth.” 

 

“Oh, really? Your truth is nothing but mist in the wind, blown away by a breath of fresh air.” 

 

“Was that a smart person quote?” 

 

“Oh, you bet it was a smart person quote.” 

 

Hide laughed, trying to push the images in his head away, the shaking ground and the smell of blood, to be replaced by Yoshiki and Sugizo’s joking tones and the Star Trek theme song, but it didn’t work. He could still see it. He was no longer there, so viserally in the moment, but he could still remember it, in his dreams, and as he snuggled in between his husbands, the topic seemingly gone between the three of them, he desperately hoped that it would stay that way. 

 

Please let it stay like this forever.