It began as any other day. Toy set about arranging chairs and making sure that their regulars were okay for about the forteenth time that day. They hadn't seen Chase or Stroupie since the early hours of the day, and they were beginning to get restless. Grimm had sent Bon on an errand what felt like hours earlier. Toy cast a side-glance at Grimm. Tall, aloof, mysterious, and seemingly uninterested in interacting as ever. They sighed and ran a hand through their hair.
"Not that I'm upset. I know that he's uh, busy," they told themselves as they watched Grimm clean the same glass that he'd been cleaning for at least ten minutes. "See? Totally... busy." They nudged a barstool gently to "put it back into place."
Grimm zeroed in on the glass in his hands. He couldn't help thinking that he really should have paid more attention to who exactly was downstairs before he sent Bon off to get more glasses for the bar. That maybe he could have sent Toy with her. He surreptitiously watched as Toy ran a hand through their hair.
"Perfect...ly distracting," he mentally batted the thought aside and continued cleaning the glass. Just how long had he been doing that again? He barely kept himself from snapping his attention to Toy as they scooted a barstool they'd already adjusted at least ten times. Grimm let out a long breath through his faceplate.
"Hey kid, c'mere. I got something for you to do," Grimm said in what he hoped was an uninterested manner.
"Hmm? Oh?" Toy came over quickly and leaned excitedly against the bar. They looked up at Grimm and for a moment couldn't help but notice how nice his hair looked, or how his eyes were actually pretty when he wasn't mad. "What's up Grimm?" Toy asked hoping that the burn of Parafluid in their cheeks wasn't as noticeable as it felt.
Grimm froze. This was probably the stupidest he'd ever felt to date.
"Yeah sure, call them even closer to you. Great idea Grimm." He focused on taking a deep breath and drawing out a blink to avoid looking at Toy feeling grateful yet again for his faceplate. When he heard Toy ask what was up he nearly jumped out of his chassis.
"Right, well. Can you get the shelves wiped down for the new glasses?" He tore his gaze away from those huge cyan eyes and motioned with his head to the shelves tucked beneath the counter. Normally, he'd just use the space at the center of the counter to serve from, but it with the new glasses coming he figured it would make sense to spread them out a bit more.
"Maybe save some more of them if those glitched out humans keep insisting on destroying my property," he thought irritably.
"Oh, you mean, come behind the bar?" Toy asked in a tone Grimm wasn't sure he could place.
"I mean, if you don't want to th-"
"Yes, I mean sure yeah, however, I can help," The frustratingly cheerful bot replied.
Grimm nodded and set the glass, now probably cleaner than the day it had been made, onto the bartop and reached for another. He kept his gaze low to avoid noticing the way that the sweater hugged Toy's body. He clenched his jaw. Great. Now he was thinking about it again.
Toy took a moment to get cleaning supplies and a rag and went to work starting at the far end of the bar cleaning with abandon. They would periodically glance at Grimm, but it seemed the other bot was in his own world. They still couldn't believe how Grimm's hair always looked so perfect despite the fact that they'd never seen him do anything with it. Then again, Grimm spent a lot of time in his room. Who knew. They hummed cheerily to themselves as they worked their way through grubby dusty shelf after grubby dusty shelf until they glanced over and realized that they were eye-level with Grimm's leg and that they would have to turn their body to see him properly.
"Whoa, Nelly!" Toy whipped their head to the side so fast they were sure they could feel their bearings spin. They froze. What were they supposed to do? There was no way that Grimm didn't hear them jump like that. They could practically feel how tall Grimm was with him standing so close like that. Slowly, Toy moved to clean the shelf and try to act natural. They were sure that their face was blue with how hot it felt.
Grimm had only gotten through two or three glasses in his distracted state. He'd made the mistake of looking over as Toy knelt to clean exactly once and he did not plan on repeating it. He set the glass he was working on down and bent to reach for another when a shape caught his eye. Exactly when had Toy managed to get so close? He hesitated, looking down at the bot crouched beside him. His bright gold accents and polished face were so unmarred compared to his own steel plating. Grimm forced himself to swallow and stiffly turned away to retreat to the far end of the bar where Toy had started to inspect their work. This "inspection" mostly involved him staring vacantly at the space for longer than was strictly needed until Toy finally got to the other half of the bar and Grimm could return to his central post in peace. He cursed himself for this entire situation. Next time, he was definitely sending Toy out with one of the others instead of putting himself in this position. The door swung open and Grimm turned, happy with the distraction for once.
"How can I- oh. I'm going to have to ask you to please step outside," he said evenly. It was another one. Why did they keep coming here? He made to step around the bar, but something told him to stop. He turned to see Toy in that frozen state again. Closer to the human than he was. "Shit."
"Hi welco-" Toy said automatically as they stood to greet whoever was coming in. They felt it again. That desperation so fierce it made it impossible to move. Toy instinctively willed themselves closer. They had to help somehow. It wasn't right for someone to be in so much distress. Oh good, they were coming closer. Toy tried to take a step but found themselves still struggling to move. They didn't want this poor person to have to struggle all the way to them. If they could just...they felt themselves being moved. It was the wrong direction, but there was no stopping it. They were being all but launched backward. As they took a small blow to the head from the bar they found they could move again. Toy sat up, and what they saw was not good at all.
Grimm saw it unfold in slow motion. That idiot standing there without an idea of how much danger they were in. Hadn't they learned from the first time.
"Move!" He yelled to Toy and to himself as he reached the other bot in two huge strides. He managed to grab them by the shoulder and bat them behind him. When he tried to bring up an arm he was too slow. The glitched human's hit sheared through his thick chassis easily. He brought a hand up to his chest to see bright blue. There was too much. It was a bad hit. He turned to make sure Toy was okay, but the motion threw him off balance and he tumbled backward landing heavily on the floor as the bar caught fire.
"But they just...cleaned that. Shit." For some reason, he couldn't remember why he was on the floor when he felt someone on top of him. Right. He looked expecting the human but saw Toy with their arms up to block.
"No...don't," he started, but as the human touched Toy they stopped. They seemed to notice the rapidly spreading blaze and hauled ass away. Grimm felt himself being moved. Could hear Toy saying something, but the fire was so loud already.
Toy didn't think. They saw the Parafluid pooling rapidly and the human and just...threw themselves forward. They weren't sure what they thought they were doing, but they knew they couldn't let Grimm get hit again. He was already losing too much fluid. They didn't stop to wonder why the human turned suddenly. Brilliant flames leaped and crackled as Grimm's Parafluid seeped into the floor. Toy shifted the larger bot to get a better grip on him. The floor beneath his chest had already given way, and there was nothing left of Grimm's shirt or vest. Toy hadn't noticed their own sweater had already burned away as they hauled Grimm up into their arms.
"Grimm! Grimm stay with me! Gosh darn it! What do I do what do I do what do I do?!" Toy started in about three directions before barrelling through the front door. They looked helplessly up and down the road. "HELP! SOMEONE! WE NEED HELP!" Toy looked down at Grimm at the way that the other bot's eyes seemed unable to focus. They could feel panic welling up inside them and started to scream for help again but were stopped abruptly.
When had they gotten outside? Why did they leave? Grimm held his hand to his chassis, but he couldn't remember why he was doing that. He looked down. Oh. He was hurt. But then how was he moving? He looked up and saw Toy. How'd they? Had their eyes always been so blue? Grimm started to lift a hand to Toy's cheek.
"Y'know. 'msorry. Should'a s-sent you wit' Bon," Grimm slurred. His vision swam. Oh look, they were outside. Why did that feel so familiar?
"Shh, shh, it's okay I've got you, big guy. Just stay awake okay?" Toy rambled frantically looking around.
"No 'snot okay. You could'a...you idiot... wouldn'ta been okay for you ta get hurt," he pressed on. Was something burning?
"There's gotta be something gotta be gotta be gotta," Toy started one way, but then whipped back the other. They had no idea what to do when they saw an older man waving frantically as he ran up the road to them.
"Hey, 've gotta tell you somethin'"
"Shh, it's okay you can tell me when you're better," Toy said trying to sound confident as they ran to meet the man.
"Nnno dunno if. I think 'm dying kid... 's just. 'm sorry you're jus' so beautiful. jus' would've gotten you hurt," Grimm couldn't stop watching Toy as they said something. Were they talking to him? He should've talked to them more. His vision flickered and went black.
Toy and the man rushed Grimm to his shop. Toy held onto every word Grimm said trying to will him to stay awake. If he kept talking then he wasn't dead right? They watched as ice-blue eyes flickered and closed.
"Nononononono, Grimm?! GRIMM?! HELP HIM! PLEASE!"
When Grimm came to he couldn't place what was wrong at first. He felt...weak. He couldn't tell where he was. He shifted, but could barely move his body. Then he remembered. The human, fire, Toy looking so scared. He groaned and, with extreme effort, lifted his hand to his chest. His chassis seemed to be repaired, but upon running a diagnosis he discovered that he'd lost a lot of Parafluid.
"Ohmygosh you're awake!" Something clattered to the floor.
Grimm forced himself to turn his head. It was Toy. Perfect, and unhurt, and...mad?
The smaller robot threw themselves onto Grimm with a wail.
"You could have died... Why did you do that?! I'm just me, but how would everyone else get by without you?" Toy held onto Grimm like he was the only thing keeping them from falling off the planet.
It took Grimm a second to navigate the situation. Toy...was hugging him? Toy...was crying...over him? He stiffly moved his arms to wrap around the other bot.
"What do you mean just you? I...couldn't see you get hurt. It's okay. I'm still here," Grimm said. Why was his voice so uneven? He did a quick reboot of his voice modulator but found nothing wrong with it.
"You, you lost a lot of Parafluid. The old man said that your body won't work right if you don't modify it," Toy said with their face still buried into Grimm's chest.
"Mmm, okay. I see. I'm...sorry I scared you. I..." he strained to pull Toy closer, "I was just so...scared when I saw you frozen up like that." Yeah, he'd blame his voice breaking on a lack of Parafluid.
"Never," Toy reared back and lightly hit him in the shoulder, "do that again. I was so scared..."
Grimm did his best to offer a smile in return.
"Only if you promise not to get hurt too," he replied knowing that he would do it all over again to keep the bot in front of him safe.