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The Experiment

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This was odd. This was  very  odd.  

Robotnik  put the latte on the desk and checked his bpm. Well that was higher than normal, and why he feel so hot? He hadn’t been dancing, nothing interesting had happened, the air  conditioner  wasn’t broken- he hadn’t even made an agent piss themselves today yet. So why was his body acting like this?  

All that had  happened  in the last half an hour was Stone fetching him his morning latte as per usual.  

“You can leave now Agent Stone.” he said, pointing his finger towards the entrance to the lab, back turned to the agent that he was addressing who in turn left the lab without a word.  

The doctor flopped into his  spiny  chair with a sigh and picked up the latte, taking a sip.  

He pondered over why he was acting like this. Maybe google would know? No  no - he couldn’t trust  Google;  he was a scientist for god’s sake! He could figure this out by himself.  

Sitting  up in his chair, he put the latte back down and opened a new file on his computer and hovered over the keys  momentarily , then he started typing out a plan.  

‘I think it’s high time I started another experiment.’  

After 20 minutes of typing, Stone was called back into the lab.  

“Stone! Get in here!”  

The agent walked back into the lab, hands behind his back.  

“Yes sir?”  

“It’s been a while since we’ve had an experiment,”  Robotnik  turned his head towards Stone, “Don’t you think?”  

Stone appeared to perk up like a dog, before returning his usual composure.  

Of course  sir, I'll ready the  badniks  for  yo -”  

“No  no  Stone, this one  doesn't  require my babies.”  

The agent raised an eyebrow questioningly at the doctor, he hadn’t heard anything about the doctor building a new series of robots.  

But who knows,  Robotnik  did like to keep things from him.  

Robotnik  seemed too pick up on his confusion.  

“Call it a social experiment if you will, but if I do anything seemingly out of character for me from this moment on, it's all for the experiment, capiche?”  

Stone pondered over the doctor’s words for a moment, looking away from the older man, before apparently making up his mind.   

Capiche  doctor, whatever you say.”  

“Now, go make me another  latte,  would you?”  

Stone  immediately  obliged and seemed to forget the  suspicions  about what  Robotnik’s   latest experiment could be and nodded, turning on his heel and walking out of the lab.  

Unknown  to  the agent, a grin creeped its way across  Robotnik’s  face.  

----------

Stone flicked on the expresso  machine  and opened the jar of pre-ground coffee beans. He didn’t bother  measuring  the beans like others would’ve, he always knew how to get the perfect amount for his  boss's  lattes.  

Lost in the process of making the latte, he didn’t even notice a body sneaking up behind him.  

On instinct, Stone’s arm jerked back towards the man behind him and elbowed him in the stomach  

“O- Stone!”  

Hold on, he recognised that voice.  

“Sir? Oh my god I am so sorry are you ok?” Stone turned around and was met with the sight of  Robotnik  clutching his stomach, “If I realised it was  you,  I wouldn’t have elbowed you- wait- why were you sneaking up behind me in the first place?”  

Moving his left arm away from his stomach,  Robotnik  grabbed onto the table that was holding the expresso machine and let out a shaky gasp.  

No,  I-It's my fault I shouldn’t’ve sneaked up behind you like that. You know, sometimes I forget you’re a government agent with extensive combat training- goddamn.”  

Stone’s face scrunched up in confusion laced with worry.  

How does one just. Forget that their assistant is a highly trained government agent.  

Well  let's  think about that later, first making sure the doctor is ok.  

“Doc are you ok? I know I am uh, quite powerful- a-are you good?.”  

Robotnik  let out a laugh and looked up, one eye scrunched in pain.  

“Yea I'll be fine just- give it a second.”  

The agent’s face instantly changed into that of an “Are you serious?” one.  

At seeing his  assistant's  expression change, his small smile of “I’m going  to  be fine” dropped with a sigh as his head flopped back down.  

“’Quite powerful’ you say? I think you’re underestimating your strength agent.”  

“Well uh,” Stone turned his head away and brought a hand up too rub at the nape of his neck. “I don’t want it to seem like  I'm  gloating.”  

At that the doctor looked back up, mirroring the expression that Stone was previously wearing.  

“Stone you are literally the best agent anyone could ask for, saying you’re really strong wouldn’t be seen as gloating in the slightest, it’d just be a fact.”  

Was that a compliment? Eh, who cares, at least the doctor wasn’t mad at him.  

“Uh, thank you?”  

Robotnik  scoffed.  

Don't  thank me for telling the truth.”  

Something seemed to click in Stone’s brain as he remembered the second  question  that he had for Robotnik.  

“Why did you sneak up on me in the first place?” The doctor froze.   

“If you wanted my attention you could’ve just called for me.” His boss said nothing.  

“Uh, sir?” Still  Robotnik  remained  unresponsive.  

While Stone was trying to get  Robotnik  to talk to him, the man in question was mentally blue-screening.  

Now how was he going to go about explaining this without it sounding weird.  

“I told you that if I do anything seemingly out of character for me it’s all for the experiment, did your pea sized brain forget that already?”  

Wha - Well-  No  I just-”  

“So you did forget, oh well, I couldn’t expect someone like you to retain that to memory.”  

“I-”  

“I expect my latte to be done and on my desk in the next ten minutes.”  

“Wh- Sir-”  

“Good day Agent Stone.”   

With that  Robotnik  tore himself away from the still stuttering agent and almost ran towards his lab, slamming against the wall next to the lab door his chest heaving.  

‘Fuck.’  

His hands felt clammy and his heart was pounding in his chest.  

‘We were so close- too close- fuck. Why am I acting like this, me and Stone have been closer than that before why am I acting like this too being close to him  now .  

Reminding himself of “Pin yourself to the wall” and “Open your mouth.” really wasn’t helping him get over it, in fact, his heart seemed too pound harder at the memory of the agent’s face so close  to  his.  

He let out a groan and put his face in his hands, sliding down the wall.  

Up may has well have been down and left may have well have been right seeing as everything else he knew was being flipped on its head.  

Oh well, at least Stone wasn’t here too  view  his mental blockage.  

“Uh, sir? Why are you on the floor?”  

Well shit.  

Robotnik  let out a yelp and jumped to his feet.  

“Stone! What’ve I told you about sneaking up on me like  tha - is that my latte?”  

Stone arched an eyebrow at the doctor and the  corner  of his mouth quirked upwards.  

“Yes sir, and not too be disrespectful but I think  I'm  well justified in sneaking up on you after earlier.”  

The  doctor's  eyes widened, shocked at how fast the agent snapped back at him.  

He quickly recovered and grumbled, snatching the latte from Stones hands muttering  to  himself.  

“Remember your place agent.”  

How  could I forget.”  

Robotnik  shot Stone a look from the corner of his eye.  

“You can leave  now;  you are no longer needed. Go back too uh, answering emails or whatever it is that you do.”  

Stone would’ve laughed if he didn’t know that the doc would’ve killed him for it.  

“Yes doctor.”  

Once again Stone turned on his heel and left the lab.  

The older man let out a sigh that he wasn’t aware he was holding hearing the click of the agent’s  Hugo  Boss shoes fading as he walked away from the lab.  

Robotnik  took a second too breathe before turning on his heel mirroring Stone, his  custom-made  jacket acting more like a cape that a cheesy villain from old super hero comics would wear as it fluttered behind him.  

The doctor walked towards his desk, gently placing the latte on the desk before dramatically collapsing into his chair for the second time today,  momentarily  pausing all actions and reflecting over what’d happened.  

He soon grabbed onto his desk and hoisted himself up, leaning over the keyboard and typing what had transpired into the file he had made about the experiment, the writing looking more like a  never-ending  stream of  consciousness from a boy obsessed teenager rather  than a  cohesive report that a man with 5  phds  would write.  

After what felt like hours of abusing the keys on his keyboard, the tore himself away and slumped back into his chair, his back caning.  

God he could use a drink.  

He snorted and looked over at the latte sitting on his desk, that’d suffice for now.  

 

Robotnik   grimaced , looking down at the cup in his hands.  

That’s what he gets for wasting so much time writing an event that had lasted 15 minutes, now his latte was that disgusting not cold but also not lukewarm taste.  

Gross.   

As  Robotnik  was mourning the loss of the heat in his latte, the agent mulled over the doctor’s actions.  

Robotnik  had told him not to put that much thought into it, that it was all for the experiment- but he just couldn’t stop thinking about it.  

The doctor was weird but THIS was weirder. Why didn’t he tell him what his experiment was like he always does? Why did he stand behind him? Does the experiment involve him? Was-  

It all seemed too click into place in Stone’s head.  

Of course  the experiment involved him,  it's  not like the doctor was going out into town for this “social experiment” and he wasn’t holing himself in his lab to do the experiment online. That  must've  been why the doc didn’t tell him what the experiment was, only that if he was acting weird (weirder than he normally acted) that it was all because of the experiment. The results would be ruined if Stone knew what  Robotnik  wanted from him.  

Now he knew that he shouldn’t be thinking about what the experiment be lest he ruin the outcome of the experiment for the doctor and  disappoint  him, but Stone just couldn’t help it. It wasn’t like there was anything else to think about.  

He must be testing Stones will as an agent. Testing his reflexes, how well he can hide his emotions and desires, if he can stay calm under high stress situations. There’s no reason that  Robotnik  would willingly stay that close to him for that long- well unless he was telling him how incompetent he was. But that just wasn’t the case, if anything  Robotnik  seemed too compliment his fast reflexes.  

‘Well if the doc wants me  to  be the best agent the military has ever  seen;   I'm  not going  to  let him down.’  

----------

A week had passed and Robotnik couldn’t take it. He was almost at his wits end.   

Instead of being so upfront in testing like he was in his first test, he’d decided  to  take it slower. Such as taking his lattes from Stone with his gloves off so that he could feel their fingers brush, putting his hand on Stone’s shoulder while  loudly  gloating about his  successes , standing up and grabbing Stone by the arm before storming out of the room whilst declaring that he’d had enough of the government meeting and many more subtle ways to touch the agent. It driving him insane.   

But it’s not like he could just call off the experiment, then Stone would get curious about what it could’ve been and start asking questions.  

Maybe he could just... ask Stone what the feeling was? No- No- That's stupid. If Dr 300iq didn’t know what the feeling was god knows Stone wouldn’t know.  

Speaking of Stone, the man himself had been more on edge the last few days. Was how touchy the doctor was making him uncomfortable? Not that  Robotnik  cared of course no- he'd never care about  anyone's  feelings let alone Stones. Stone was probably just going through the motions right now. Perhaps a family member had recently died, or his favourite show had been held off until further notice, or maybe- god he was putting too much thought into this.  

On second thought maybe the loss of a family member may be a bit more important to the agent than his  favourite  show being held off.  

Robotnik  paused the show he had  on;  it wasn’t like he was paying attention to it anyway.  

Should he... ask Stone about what was bothering him?  

He groaned and took off his round glasses, rubbing his eyes in frustration.  

‘Why are humans so needlessly complicated?’  

----------

God how was he going to ask him this. He couldn’t just walk up and be like “Agent Stone I noticed that you’ve been on edge lately what’s wrong not that I care and don't think that I’ve been paying closer attention too you now than I ever have in the 3 years that we’ve been working together no that's absurd.” could he now- well he could but he wasn’t going to.  

The click of shoes heading towards the lab  snapped him out of his trance.   

Stone was clocking in already? It couldn’t have been 6:45- could it?   

Robotnik  took his feet off the desk and scrambled out of his chair, trying to look like he wasn’t just day dreaming for the last hour and a bit. His spinney chair narrowly missed the agent and banged against the wall next to him.  

“Good...  morning...  Doctor?"  

The older man swirled around, his jacket swaying around haphazardly as he moved.  

S..  Stone!” he huffed, “The more you say good morning the... the more that  I'm  convinced you  aren't  actually thinking the morning good and you’re just... so used  to  saying it by now  that  you say it even if... even if you don’t think the morning is good.”  

Stone raised an eyebrow at the doctor.  

“What do you... do you want... Stone...?”  

“I was simply  delivering  your morning latte, sir.  

The agent raised his right arm towards the older man and Robotnik realised Stone was just giving him his morning latte. As he did every day. Nothing to get stressed out about.  

“Ah.”  

Pushing himself up from where his he was leaning against the desk,  Robotnik  walked over to Stone and took the latte  off of  Stone, taking a large sip and letting out an exasperated sigh as the warmth of the drink seeped throughout his whole  bod y, easing the pain in his joints.  

“I know  I  probably shouldn’t be asking but,”  Robotnik  took another sip and looked  quizzically  at his- at the agent, “how’s the experiment going?”  

Robotnik’s  eyes widened and he choked on his latte, the warm, safe feeling of the latte  immediately  evaporating into thin air. He doubled over, reaching towards the agent in a silent cry for help and grabbing him by the left  lapel  of his suit jacket, causing Stone too stumble as he  attempted  to keep the older man standing.  

The doctor slammed the latte onto the desk,  determined  not to let any of it spill before slamming his clenched left fist into his chest in an attempt too clear his airway. A minute later he tore himself away from the agent and stood up straight, his eyes teary.  

“Why- Yes the experiment is going fine why do you-,” he sniffed, “why do you ask?”  

“I was simply wondering doctor.”  

Robotnik   furrowed  his brow and scrunched his nose in annoyance, before realising something odd.  

He  hadn’t  taken another sip at his latte, yet his right arm was heating up from the elbow .  H e   h a d n ' t  be en  loudly fl apping  his lanky arms about, yet his breat h in g   was  la b o ur e d  an d h eav y, his heart  pounding in his chest.  That’s  when it hit him.  

The agent  hadn’t  let go of him yet.  

The older man looked down at his arm with  trepidation.  

‘Fuck.’  

Though the feeling of the  Lebanese   man's  hand on his arm was making his heart  thump  in his chest,  actually see ing  his hands on his coat made him feel like he was on a rollercoaster. The organ had  seemingly leaped  up into his throat and made him unable  to  s wallo w.  An   almos t pai nfully  hot feeling crept up his spine. His hands began  trembling, growing clammy under his gloves . His hair was sticking  to  his forehead,  the   sw e a h e’d  work ed  u working as an adhesive.  

“Sir are-,” the agent cut himself off when he noticed a warm feeling in his left hand and looked down, realising that he was still grabbing onto his boss’s arm.   

“Oh my-  I'm  so sorry sir, I  didn't  realise-” Stone ripped his hand away from the doctor and nervously tugged on his suit jacket whilst clearing his throat, “I wasn’t aware I was still holding on, my apologies if I made you uncomfortable.”  

Robotnik   was harshly pulled  out of  his blue-screening at Stones words.  

Stone was sorry if he had made him uncomfortable with his touches? No  no Robotnik  was  supposed   to  be saying that, not Stone.  

“I’ll leave you too get on with your experiment now sir, good day.”  Stone fixed his tie awkwardly and turned around, heading towards the entrance of the lab.  

Impulsively,  Robotnik  stepped forward and grabbed Stone’s right wrist with his left hand and spun him around.  

“Stone wait-”  

Before capturing his lips in a kiss.  

Their lips slotted together perfectly, like two puzzle pieces finding each other. God Stone’s lips were as soft as they looked, he could practically taste the pancakes t ha t the agent had  eaten for breakfast. But while Stone’s  lips were s oft,  Robotnik’s  lip s   w ere c happ e d   and Stone could taste  he  latt e   h e d   made for him on them. The older man slowly moved his shaking right hand up with  trepidation , grabbing onto the other  man's  left arm and stepping in closer, filling in the space between them.  

Stone placed his left hand on  Robotnik’s   bony  chest and shoved hard, their lips  separating with a gasp from them both.   

The man in question’s eyes shot open at the feeling and looked the agent with a hurt glint in his eye and a shocked yet confused expression on his face.  

What was wrong? Did he fuck it up? Was his first kiss really going  to  end this awkwardly because of his own lack of experien-  

“Alright  fucko   your  experiment was fine at first but it needs  to  stop. Now.”  

What?  

“I was cool with you testing my abilities as an agent, seeing if I would crack under pressure but playing with my emotions like this?  It's  too fucking far.”  

“Playing with your- Stone what are you talking about? That’s not what the experiment was.”  

Anger rose in the agents face as he clenched his fists, his shoulders shaking.  

“Then what is it Dr Arrogant, what else would it be? Standing so  unnecessarily  close  to  me, touching me for no apparent reason- it all makes way more sense if  it's  about testing my capabilities as an agent. Come on then doc! Tell me!”  

Robotnik  was stunned too  silence . Stone was so riled up he couldn’t believe it. He was under the impression that Stone could never get mad at him this was just so odd for him. Stone meanwhile was just getting angrier with every  silent  second that ticked by.  

“Say something you di-”  

“You’ve obviously misread my  intentions;  it  wasn't  an experiment on you it was an experiment on myself. Whenever I touch you, whenever we are too close- whenever I even think too hard about you my entire body heats up and I  can't think anymore. My heart pounds in my chest, I struggle  to  breathe and I just  can't  for the life of me figure out why. I’m the smartest man on planet earth- 300iq- 5  phds  yet  I   can't  figure out what’s happening too my own fucking body so tell me Stone- what are you doing too me!?”  

With every word that R obotnik  said, the agent’s furious expression shifted to that of realisation and he stepped backwards, the doctor stepping forward in turn almost becoming a dance between the two men. The agent’s back hit the far wall with a thud as the doctor uttered his name.  Robotnik  stepped in close and yelled the end of the sentence at his assistant, his chest heaving with the pain of finally saying it.  

.  

 

 

“Oh you fucking moron.”  

Don't  call me a moRON-”  

Stone reached up and gripped the lapel of  Robotnik’s  jacket in frustration,  catching  him guard as he flipped their positions, slamming his boss into the wall that he was pressed against just moments before slamming their lips together with fury and frustration. It was different than their previous kiss. The other was soft and delicate but this one had fire behind it. It was desperate and full of passion, like they needed each other more than they needed  to  breathe. The doctor reached his hands up and wrapped them  desperately  around the back of the agent’s head, gripping at the hair he found there like it was the only thing keeping him grounded on earth.  

They  separated  and gulped down the air that they’d been so deprived of, not daring too look away from the other.  

“God for... a guy with 300 q... 5  phds ... and who likes too... make people piss their pants  every other  day you really are an idiot, and a fucking dork at that.  Can't  even figure out when  he's  fallen head over heels in love... for fucks sake... you always have  to  make things so  difficult  don’t  ya  doc’.”  

Robotnik   grimaced  at Stone.  

“Again don... don’t call me an  idio ... an idiot...  I'm the smartest man on the planet ... And...  I'm  not a d... dork... wait I-”  

Cutting himself off, the doctors eyes widened and his face fell as Stone’s words set in.  

No  it couldn’t be. He didn’t allow himself too... too fall in love- surely not. But it all made sense if he thought about it that way. Everything that was unclear and confusing just, clicked.   

“So uh,”  Robotnik  swallowed a lump in his throat, “ I'm  assuming you feel the same way then.”  

Stone paused and laughed at the doctor’s words,  Robotnik  feeling a sense of dread overwhelm him.  

“Sir I’m-” he paused  to  laugh again before looking back, “Ivo I’ve pinned you too the wall, kissed the lights out of you and told you that I was frustrated that you didn’t figure out that you’d fallen in love for your hot government agent assistant sooner do you honestly think  I'm  not in love with you.”  

Embarrassment  flooded the doctors face, a heat creeping up his neck and warming his face.  

“Well uhm, when you say it like  that,  I suppose it uh, it does sound rather  ridiculous   doesn't  it.”  

A toothy grin spread across the agents face.  

“Round 3?”  

“Oh god yes.”