It wasn't often that dreams were this sweet and gentle for Zane Flynt, he could feel the uncertain hands on his biceps as he guided his partner through the steps of the dance. The song he heard around him was one in Irish, an old song he vaguely remembered his mother teaching him the steps to. His dance partner was clearly inexperienced in the art of dancing, slow or otherwise. The hands holding his arms were hesitant and tender. Zane felt the soft and warm fur brush his ankles, he smiled down at the fennec fox weaving between his legs and his partner’s, following their steps in perfect unison. Meg had always loved to dance with him, especially when they had been young and swinging around the kitchen holding Ma's hands. Zane watched in amazement as Meg rubbed up against the legs of his partner, no pain rolled up his spine from the action, confusion made Zane look up from the fox to see who he trusted enough to allow to touch his Daemon. His one good eye widened as he took in the face of Fl4k.
Zane dragged himself from sleep with a quiet groan, Meg was still curled against his chest, her brown eyes blinking slowly at him. He knew it wasn't out of grogginess like his heavy eyes where , Daemons only slept because their humans did. She was basically drugged off all the sweet emotions that had been shared between them in the dream. Which if you asked Zane, sounded like an evolutionary disadvantage, Daemons were already a human soul outside the body, It seemed like it would be more efficient for them to stay awake all night to keep their human alive. The universe of course wasn't going to listen to him, he's just a human, and it wants to make lives hard for everyone.
Zane grumbled to himself as he sat up, a hand cradling Meg so she could remain cuddled against his chest. He ran his other hand, through his grey hair and then rubbed at his face trying to chase away the sleepiness clinging to his body. Meg moved so she could reach his face, he blinked down at her as her rough tongue dragged over his beard. The commando stifled a yawn and stroked a hand down Meg's back, her fur flawless despite the harsh conditions of the places his work brought them to.
Meg bounded from Zane’s hands silently. She yawned, stretching out her back as her long tail swished behind her. She padded along at Zane's heels as he quietly meandered around the camp he shared with his companions. Amara and Moze's tent was quiet when Zane wandered past, hoping they still slept peacefully as the sun hadn’t risen above the horizon yet. The commando paused as he spotted Fl4k, the robot was feeding their pets, giving them some handmade mystery jerky. Meg gave Zane’s pants a tug before bounding forward with a yip in greeting, he frowned, but followed after the fennec as the distance started to tug painfully at his heart.
"Good morning Fl4k!" Meg chirped as the robot's optic settled on her, her long tail wagged slowly under their gaze and gave the closest thing to a smile the Daemon could muster: an intimidating little grin of razor sharp teeth.
“Good Morning,” Fl4k returned the greeting with their own version of a smile, Optic flicking to the Operative standing a polite distance away.
"This is a strange hour for you two to be up," Fl4k reached out and offered their hand to Meg. Her tiny black nose wiggled as she considered those four metal fingers, she leaned forward to nuzzle against their hand. The robot gasped in delight, they had offered Meg the same gesture multiple times in the past and she had refused. They were clearly excited to be given the honor of petting the little sand colored canine. A long tail wagged as Meg leaned into the hand that ran down her back and scratched behind her giant ears.
Zane’s eyes slid closed as the warm feelings of love and trust rolled through his chest. Briefly Zane let himself share the intoxicating sensations with his Daemon. Meg’s large ears twitched as metal fingers scratched behind that sensitive spot. Those same metallic fingers grazed along her thin back, smoothing down a plush tail. If possible, Zane would be crooning along with his Fennec, the delight running through her spreading through him to his very core.
"She is such a lovely creature," Zane snapped away from sharing with Meg, his blue eye focused on the robot.
"Don't stroke 'er ego now," Zane replied with a crooked grin. Fl4k huffed and they tilted their head as the bottom of their optic lifted up, they looked amused.
“If her ego is anything like yours, it’s impossible to make it any bigger.”Zane chuckled, he reached down and scooped up Meg who nipped at his fingers in annoyance, immediately Meg released his hand, licking at the small dents she left in her wake.
"That's probably true," Zane reasoned. Meg bit at his beard in retaliation playfully as the fennec groomed his cheek chirping happily. Zane noticed that Fl4k was watching them, sharing his questioning thoughts with Meg, her fluffy tail flicked in excitement, enthusiasm shared between the duo.
Zane shifted his grip so Meg was cradled between his hands. He held the fox out to Fl4k, whose optic was doing a rather good impression of surprise. They looked hesitant as they reached out and gently took Meg in their own hands. The fox yipped and licked at one of the metal fingers, her fluffy tail wagging rapidly in delight. The happy croons continued as Meg rolled in Fl4k's grip tucking tiny paws under her body. She balanced herself effortlessly in the robot's hands and licked along what counted as their face.
Zane steadied his breathing, unused to such an emotional overload. The warmth of intense emotions making him lightheaded, it had been so long-too long, really-since he’d let another touch his Daemon, the gesture so intimate he swayed on the spot.
Zane’s one good eye blinked in confusion when he felt a cold hand on his bicep holding him steady. Fl4k was watching him with a clear look of concern, their optic curved downwards.
"Zane, you were swaying," The beastmaster informed him, even as they continued to pet the fennec now curled under the collar of their hood. The human moved his gaze from the robot to meet the blissful brown gaze of Meg, she looked about ready to fall back asleep.
"Sorry for worryin' ya. tis been a while since Ah've allowed anyone else ta hold Meg," Zane replied, firmly planting his feet in an attempt to stop his head from spinning. Fl4k had stopped actively touching Meg. It wasn't doing much as Meg still had herself all pressed up against their neck, warmth flaring through his corresponding side.
"It is uncommon to let others touch your Daemon?" It sounded like a question, but by the way Fl4k tilted their head that he knew it was a statement. They looked uncertain as Meg bumped her head up under their chin, they brought a hand up to gently stroke a finger up a large sensitive ear. Zane had to close his eyes and stifle a shuddering breath from the shared sensation from Meg.
"Perhaps we should sit before you fall over," Fl4k suggested as they steadied Zane once again.
"That's a grand idea," Zane breathed as he let himself be guided back towards camp settling by the fire pit, Meg’s ears flicked back and Zane could hear Mr. Chew panting happily, Meat Thief making quiet, curious sounds and Broodless making clicking sounds in interest as Meg jumped from Fl4k's shoulders to his own. Her soft fur rubbed against the back of his neck as she nuzzled against his jaw. She purred happily as he scratched under her chin, a lengthy plush tail thumped against his throat.
"Is it also common to share this much affection with your Daemon?" Fl4k inquired as they settled down next to the human, their pack relaxing around them.
“No, it’s not,” Zane chuckled and turned his head to rub noses with Meg, she licked his cheek and playfully nipped at his nose, careful to not hurt him with her sharp teeth. The robot tilted his head curiously in Zane’s peripheral.
“Y’see, on most planets ‘tis seen as right strange ta have almos’ constant contact w’ yer Daemon. Seen as Narcissism er some shite.” Zane offered even as he continued to scratch under Meg's chin and behind her ears.
"I'm sure that can't be the case with you." Zane laughed, he was grinning as he turned to look at Fl4k, who looked pleased to have gotten a laugh.
"Ah, but oi do love maself," Zane wiggled his eyebrows, earning a chuckle from the robot.
"But in 'ruth, it's been Zane and oi against da world, got to get our fill of affection from somewhere." Meg continued for Zane, long tail wagging as she flopped across Zane's shoulders like a puppet with cut strings, she slid from his shoulders and dropped to the ground. She stretched and then weaved through the legs of broodless who clicked in alarm. She climbed into Fl4k’s lap, the robot blinking their optic in surprise before scratching behind her ears, extremely pleased when she began crooning.
“Perhaps...I could provide both of you with a source of affection,” Fl4k offered, reaching their free hand towards the operative. Cool metal brushed through Zane’s silver hair. He tensed at the touch, quickly relaxing and all but melting into Fl4k’s hand. Zane turned his head, leaning further into their palm, he wanted, no, needed more.
“We don’t have any complaints about dhat,” Meg chirped in agreement, rolling over, not wanting to be left out. Zane groaned quietly as his Daemon shared the sensation once more. The human slumped against the robot as he relaxed fully under the fingers in his hair and all the warmth and love rolling through his bond with Meg, said Fennec had gone limp in bliss on Fl4k’s lap. The robot’s optic fondly curved up, amused as they observed the blissed-out pair. They could get used to a human's need for constant affection, that is, if the affection was strictly for Zane.