subtract: today you're falling away (I-0035)
Add [ Diabolic Esper ] ([personal profile] subtract) wrote in [community profile] mutantsgohome2016-08-26 02:19 am

rip the alternate timeline where add can pop his eyes out

He's been exceedingly careful during the disassembly process. Though it's the first time he's tried something like this since becoming a shinki, he feels like it's something he performed many times during his life... for how many years had he owned these artificial eyes? Did he make them himself, maybe? It's hard to be sure, but as he carefully exposes more and more of the device's inner-workings, the anxiousness he initially felt starts to melt away. He definitely knows what he's doing.

Add does know what he's doing... but perhaps working on something so delicate without a proper night's sleep or meal since at least two days ago isn't the best of plans. He's halfway into the slow and tedious process of putting all the pieces back together when his hand slips. A tiny, seemingly innocuous metal piece snaps off. Add freezes, falling completely silent.

And then he swears loud enough to be heard from the other side of the temple.

And here Jakob thought he’d spend a nice, quiet night doing chores. He hardly ever sleeps, after all, and when he hears that noise he immediately storms (figuratively speaking) right to the source of the commotion.

It probably doesn’t help that he feels a touch inferior to his fellow shinki in the temple—he is, after all, only a newcomer, still trying to make sense of how the Far Shore works. Technically, that would make Add and Ludger his seniors, and something about the former in particular being better than him niggles.

So maybe he enjoys this. Just a little.

“What do you think you are doing?” he demands. Fittingly enough, he isn’t even in his night clothes just yet, although he has taken off his weapons and armor for the evening.

More’s the pity. “If you dare to rouse Lord Roxas at this hour…”

He jumps up with a start when he hears Jakob stomping towards his room—shouting like that was a mistake. Unfortunately, he's not quick enough to hold the door shut before Jakob can barge in. He almost tries to slam it in his face anyway, but that would probably just get the butler on his case even more, so instead he just grips the handle and stands there awkwardly in front of him.

Okay, whatever. Play it cool. Add puts on his most neutral of scowls, trying not to make it look like he fucked up and might be panicking inside.

"Lord Roxas doesn't sleep, so you can stop worrying," he scoffs. Although, that's also a good point, he doesn't really want Roxas finding out about this. He pauses to nudge Jakob out of the way a bit so he can poke his head through the doorway, checking the hall. No sign of their cloaked god so far...

"... Anyway, everything's fine so go back to whatever you were doing. I'll be quiet."

This might almost be a convincing response from Add, if it weren't for the fact that one of his eyes is just a gaping empty socket right now. Everything is totally fine, really.

Jakob promptly wedges his foot between the door and the sill anyway—as a sort of precaution, since he’s quickly figured out that Add can be pretty fucking unpredictable sometimes, and that it would be wrong if he used his martial arts skills on this guy.

Lord Roxas would be upset. Although Jakob makes a mental note to talk to him about his sleeping habits—or lack thereof. Not that gods probably need that sort of thing.

In any case Jakob relents a little when Add tries to peer out for any signs of their shadowy master, before looking his fellow shinki sternly in the eye.

Or lack of it.

How this guy is even managing to function without it is beyond him, but that…can’t be painless. At least, not to his reasonably limited knowledge of the human body. Or whatever Add passes for.

“Yes,” he agrees. “Everything will be fine as soon as we take you to a healer. We need not worry Lord Roxas over this.”

He relaxes a little when Jakob agrees with him. Yes, good, maybe Jakob can be a pain but it seems like they can reach some mutual ground when it comes to... wait, what?

"A healer?" he echoes back, confused. Why would he need a healer? He glances down at himself briefly, wondering what could possibly convince this guy he's injured... ugh, he doesn't have time for this!

"I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm busy right now, so go bother someone else." And with that he'll try to gently nudge Jakob back out the door. He has damage to assess and repair, he can't be wasting his time dealing with a nosy butler.

“Are you so blinded that you have failed to even notice it?” Jakob demands, immediately grasping both door and sill to stubbornly stay in place. You wanna wrestle him, Add? He will fucking wrestle you.

“Your eye, man! You might have little regard for a great many things, but if you continue to disregard your health I will be forced to resort to extreme measures—”

Whoa now okay fine, no pushing. It's not like Add could physically overpower anyone over the age of twelve anyway...

At least he points out the issue more directly this time. Ah, right. Add touches the edge of the empty socket lightly to remind himself that yes, he's definitely missing an eye right now.

... But it's not even an injury, really. It's not bleeding and it doesn't hurt, all he did was unplug the implant and take it out for awhile. Something like that wouldn't actually cause him any harm. He sighs, holding a hand up defensively.

"It's on my desk, relax," he calmly explains, hoping to diffuse this mix-up quickly and get back to fixing whatever he fucked up just a minute ago. His eye is currently dismantled into several pieces and organized next to the external shell. He steps back slightly to gesture at it. "I was doing regular maintenance. That's all. So you can stop making so much noise and go back to doing whatever it is you do around here."

Not that it was unheard of for anyone in Jakob’s homeland to replace injured eyes with glass or cover up the healing scars with an eyepatch or something, but implants? All Jakob is seeing is someone with surprisingly formidable balls dealing with the gap in his eye (which is not bleeding, his professional healer’s mind notes) as coolly as if it’d been nothing to him.

“On your desk?” He immediately looks up, morbidly fascinated despite himself, but all he’s seeing are several tinkerer’s implements and…oh. Oh gods. That shell

That is your eye?” There might have been a faint sound of something like nausea in his voice.

"What do you mean, that?" He replies a little too quickly—he might be a tiny bit offended. What's with that tone, does Jakob not like his cool implant? "It's a highly advanced piece of technology, if it doesn't look the case then that's only because it's taken apart right now. Not that I'd expect someone like you to know a good cybernetic implant when you see one."

If that's not enough to convince him right away, though... it'd be a pain to put it all back together in his presence just to prove a point, so he'll just have to do it the other way.

Without any warning, Add reaches up to spread open his empty socket's eyelids using his fingers. Yep, there's definitely no eye in there. But it is quite clean for a gaping, empty hole in his face, and there appears to be some kind of metal socket in the back.

"See? Implant." And once he's sure Jakob's had a good look, he lets go of his face and gently wipes his fingers off on his shirt. "A healer would be both unnecessary and completely pointless, so don't bother. Are we done here? Do you need further demonstration?"

What’s cool about a little thing like that? Even though the engineers of his day and age have yet to make anything so…intricate

He can’t help but jump when Add pokes a finger into his eye sockets, despite otherwise endeavoring to look unimpressed. There isn’t a lot he cares to learn about unless it is somehow relevant to his own master’s interests, generally speaking, but ever since their first meeting Add just niggles at him and he will never not be horrified at having woken up after getting tossed out of a school building to find out that he’d be working with…with him from now on.

It’s galling enough to make him want to stay dead.

“Enough of that!” he snaps, relieved despite himself when Add pulls his fingers away. The fact that he doesn’t truly comprehend what he’s seeing only niggles at him all the more—but that’s par for the course for everything about Add.

“If your eye is not the issue”—apparently. He’s not totally convinced on that note—“then what, pray tell, is the cause of that screaming earlier?”

[ continued from here ]

[Add could of course be as evasive as he likes. For his part, Roxas is entirely the opposite, peering down at him from within the shadows of his hood, legs folded and elbows propped on his knees. He's making no secret whatsoever about the fact that he's leaning over to look right at his friend-turned-shinki]

What'd you do to your eye?

[If it was somebody else, Add would've said something about it, or he would've caught some thug like Hibari hurting him. Instead, there hadn't been a word about it, just some strange efforts to hide it from him. There's also the fact that he never bothered to prompt any sort of care or assistance, despite knowing that Roxas was capable of healing injuries...

Which suggests whatever happened to Add's eye, he'd done it to himself, and he knew that healing magic wasn't going to help]

[Ah yes. Of course. Well, he knew this was coming eventually when he realized the damage wasn't going to be repaired overnight...]

Maintenance. I took it out for cleaning and to check the internal parts... [... even if he makes something up, can he really convince Roxas he had to take his eye out for maintenance for five days straight? He lets his words trail off into a sigh. Alright, fine.] I wasn't being careful and I broke something. I don't have the right tools to fix it, but I'm working on it...

[... That's the best answer he's got. It feels lame, it's been almost a week and he's made barely any progress. Taking something apart and putting it back together is easy, but reconstructing a tiny part that's been damaged... the tools he needs for that kind of work are a lot more complex than a screwdriver. And expensive.]

Anyway, I'm taking care of it myself, so there won't be any more issues.

[It's good to hear the truth of it, even if it's concerning that Add was a bit too cavalier with part of his own body like that. The explanation accounts for some of the feelings that have seeped into him this last while, though Roxas isn't inclined to call attention to nor comment upon that.

The fact that Add was honest about it is something in and of itself. He remains still, perched right where he is and studying his features further for some moments longer]

...You didn't think I'd help you?

[The question comes with no accusation or bite, bearing the same sort of neutrality his voice often does. As much as it worries him that Add will get into trouble and not seek his help, he doesn't want to discourage the fact that he's at least being more forthright now]

[He snorts.] You're not a mechanic. That's my job description, not yours.

[It's a matter of pride. Letting someone else help him with this, isn't that just like saying he can't take care of his own technology? He'd rather solve all of this by himself. That would be better than having to rely on someone else.

And considering his god's distaste for theft, he doubts how much he'd be willing to help with the tools. There really not much Roxas could do for him.]

[Roxas may be far more adept at code than anything else, but he's watched Add at work plenty of times. Doubtless he's the only one aware of the fact, something that is a little frustrating, but that doesn't mean he can't ask something else-]

Is that to say something like me is incapable of assisting?

[Of course, Add also won't remember the title he'd once given him. That purpose had grounded him once when he felt adrift, and even though he's been given another distinction as Chang'e now, he'll never forfeit that title for anyone or anything else. Even if he's the only one who ever knows he had it to begin with.

Maybe he's not a mechanic, but he never forgets. And Add's not very well off all by himself]

[... Something about how he says that, it just seems weird to Add. He steals a sidelong glance. Not that it does much since Roxas is complete covered by that damn cloak. After a few seconds of cautious staring, he goes back to looking at his drink.

Something like him... actually, things have gone a little more smoothly over the past couple of days thanks to Apocalypse. Even if he still didn't make much progress, having something that can fetch and carry things and reach difficult places certainly sped up the attempt. But Apocalypse's AI and skillset is limited, so it can't do everything.]

... Hm. Give me an example. What can you do for me?

In terms of resources, I'm the one with an income.

[But such glib remarks aside, Roxas takes pause to consider what he can tell Add. He has no doubt that he can't mention his familiarity with some of the technology his friend had worked on. What he saw most had nothing to do with his eyes, plus there's whatever-it-is preventing him from actually voiding the fact, annoying as he finds that reality.

The simplest things seem like the easiest ones to list off, for now. He doesn't know how easily he can convince Add that he's able to help, but there are certain advantages to being what he is that he can probably offer...]

But aside from that... I don't forget anything, for starters. My hands won't shake or become unsteady. I don't get tired, and while I may not be made for mechanics, I know enough about tools.

[At least he can say that part]

[Where the hell does Roxas get his income from, anyway? Another job on the side? Add frowns, but decides to let Roxas finish with his list of skills first. He has some good points, but...

Allowing Roxas to help with the mechanical work, it's completely out of the question. With another project, maybe, but not for this one. It would mean getting a more intimate look at Add's eyes. There's something wrong with them, with him, and that's all Add really understands right now. It doesn't appear to be related to Ghouls but it's still so... unnerving to him. Maybe Roxas wouldn't notice, but he just can't feel comfortable with the idea of someone noticing that before he has an answer to it. At least the way things are now he can say it's a regular feature for cybernetic implants, but the lie would fall apart once he realizes there's no such feature in Add's eyes at all.

Still... there are other things he could use help with, and Roxas mentioned his income, so maybe he'd be willing to assist Add with funds after all... then again, Roxas hasn't seen the price tags on his list yet, either. And he's still a little iffy about accepting anything expensive as a gift.

He sighs again, leaning back into his seat.]

This is delicate work, so I'd rather just do it myself this time... but if you're able to assist me in acquiring a few supplies, I'll pay you back somehow.

[While Add considers what he's said, Roxas simply waits. He's as still as ever as he sits there, elbows still propped against his knees, entirely motionless. At times he's taken up the practice of breathing because people expect it and seem more comfortable with him doing so, but Add is fully aware that it's a useless action taken out of habit rather than need.

Part of that, of course, is his anticipation of a reply. He hadn't known whether Add would even entertain the idea of accepting help he hadn't asked for, stubborn as he is, and so this much strikes him as better than he would've expected. A bit more honest, and at least giving thought to what he has to say...

It's something. Without any memories between them, it's a relief to see Add yield even this much]

I only bother with money for you guys. [The fact is, he could get on well enough without it. At least, Roxas fully believes that's the case] What'd you need though?

[It feels almost like giving up, but... let's just call this an act of desperation. He's been distracted by this mess for too long already, so...]

... I have a list. I'll show you later.

[Even if it's giving up, it does feel a bit better to get some of the truth out there. He holds out his drink for Apocalypse to take it again, giving the cube a small pat and scratch behind the ears at the same time. Good cube.]

The only reason I didn't tell you sooner is because I thought it would be taken care of quickly. I won't let it happen again. [He doesn't want to end up being a burden all the time.]

[He waves one hand, careful to come nowhere near hitting Add's cat-cube friend]

You like to experiment, don't you?

[At least Roxas can phrase it as a question. It's something he already knows the answer to, of course, but he can't really tell Add about himself. Much as things would be easier if he could, and much as he wants to, he's so limited in what he's actually allowed to express]

If something happens...just let me know what I can do. We're a team.

[He thinks it the most general way that he can phrase it. No pressure for Add to do things a specific way, much less to avoid ever having something go awry. It'd be a lot of pressure to expect him to never have any problems. Not to mention...there's just no way Add wouldn't find trouble]

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