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Here We Go Again [Boxman Edition]

Chapter Text

He had been tangled in the pages for hours. The fire was still burning brightly beside him and Makayla was still curled in one of the few things he still had from before-

He was deep in the pages of the book he'd been reading, this wasn't the first time he had been absorbed into what the words where telling him. Reading that he was the important thing and to value what he had built. It wasn't new to him, he'd always thought that he was really the most important man in any room, and that what he had was better than what anyone else had. But the value he held had been superficial.

The first time he took value in something bigger than the moment was when he took the step into the study.

He hadn't realized that he was doing. He hadn't realized that pushing out the person he rushed into a relationship with and finally stating that he was not happy with what the man had become since ignoring his advice and their plans to make it easier on the child.

But in the pages he found ways to help him keep it going. Way's to help him show his kids he loved them, more than just the gesture when they had been soaring off into the sun. Ways to help him move on with actually fulfilling himself and passing on his life's work to Ernesto, who was now rolling in profits so far into the black they where going to have to make a new colour just for Boxmore. Way's to encourage his other kids to find what they really wanted and help them succeeded.

He never understood why Darrell had loved the country but he made sure that he had everything he needed to run that farm for years. Darrells first profitable year had brought him enough to try and pay back his loans, Boxman refused the money.

Shannon had just wanted to be in the spotlight, he gave it to her. He had built his own studio and while Shannon was no longer the only tenant, he found he loved funding young bots' ideas, and small time villains, an maybe a hero or two, in getting out the media they wanted. Executive Producer was a fun job until he passed it onto Shannon, who was having just as much fun.

Raymond had already been established as a designer, he had always been proud of how hard he had worked. Boxman didn't have to do much for his little entrepreneur but he was always happy to sit down and think tank with Raymond, and give him his own advice from running his own business. He was also happy to give out a loan or two, even if he never wanted the money back.

Jethro and Makayla never had big dreams, or at least there dreams where grounded in home. Jethro was just happy to work with Ernesto and make Boxmore ever stronger. Once he found his voice, and got his legs back, all he wanted was to give that to every other robot that came out of the factory. Makayla just wanted to sleep. He felt that. But the Makayla Mk.II as a personal pet had been the first bot he hadn't had a hand in, his three kids making the perfect house pet to see to anyone and everyone was admirable, he loved it, and he loved Makayla Mk.II 00001, the prototype who loved sleeping by his fire with him on cold nights when the snow was flurrying down and he could curl up with a good book.

He could sit like this forever.

Chapter Text

He heard a knock, he brushed it off on a branch in the wind, or his shovel falling over again. There was another, and another. He looked up and saw a shadow in the window. Tall and thin.

It couldn't have been Darrell, too tall, Shannon wasn't that thin. Raymond was taller and much bulkier and there was no way it was any of the others. He didn't get visitors, but maybe it was someone he couldn't recall right now, maybe one of the plaza kids who had stopped by that one time to just see what he was doing now. They weren't kids any more, so it made it harder to tell who was who, he's still ways see the brats that loved each other when he though about them. Boxman put down his book. He stood and started for the door, Makayla Mk.II was still happily sleeping in front of the fire, so it couldn't have been anyone programmed in as a threat. Boxman walked to the door.

He opened the door.

He wasn't expecting anyone, let alone him. Boxman felt a jumble of emotions in his chest, but he knew better than to turn to them. He had found ways to get past them, he had grown past the days where at the thought of a colour he went weak in the knees and started to see in shades pink with flower petals drifting around him. But he still didn't expect what he saw. A noise of confusion left his mouth as he looked out of the house and at him.

He was sweating, despite the cold. He was wearing only a scarf despite the cold. Boxman didn't know that he could even sweat after he had become cold blooded, but maybe a bit of the humanity was still inside him. Boxman watched as Venomous took a deep breath and shifted.

Boxman was not ready to see a cake shoved in his face, and he wasn't ready to hear it.

“I'm sorry.”

Boxman looked at the cake, he could tell it had been hand frosted, he could tell that the letters had been piped on. He could tell that the man in front of him meant it. He never remembered seeing the man cook, and he could never remember if the man had ever even mentioned cooking. He felt the tangle in his chest unravelling, but he took a deep breath.

He felt his face soften, and he put his hands on his hips, shaking his head.

“Here we go, again.” Boxman said.

The man outside stayed in his pose, shaking in the cold. Boxman couldn't tell if was the cold making the man shiver, or something deep inside of him. Boxman didn't feel his knees buckle, he hadn't felt that in a long time. He didn't see anything but the sparkle of flurries behind the man, which did shine just as the flower petals in his mind had done, but this time they didn't detract from what he rationally knew was real.

“You know, you should be wearing more than a scarf.” Boxman stepped back into the house a step or two, he looked up from the cake, opening his eyes. “Come in.”

He stepped inside and Boxman closed the door behind him. Makayla Mk.II stretched on the floor, coming to see what was going on.

“You look frozen, lets get you warmed up, how long have you been out there?” Boxman said, the man stopped by the door, Boxman walked to his couch and took a blanket from the arm, he walked back. “Please put down the cake, Venomous.” Boxman said softly, Venomous looked at the man and was quiet, hand shaking he put the cake down on a near by table. Boxman gently draped the blanket over Venomous' shoulders. “Lets get you a cup of tea.” Boxman gently lead Venomous into the living room and sat him down in the chair by the fire. Boxman walked into the other room, not before picking up the cake and glancing back at Venomous. Boxman stepped into his kitchen. He walked to the stove and put on his kettle, he took a second to put the cake he collected down. He could take the minutes to make the tea so that he could deal with himself.

Boxman leaned back onto the counter, sighing. He hadn't seen the man in, what felt like a full montage of life. He had heard about how Venomous had Shadowy punched out of him, and then relented to letting himself die at the hands of the monster Shadowy had made. He heard about Venomous and his planet, he didn't think the man would have already fully destroyed it.

Venomous' words echoed in his mind, “I'm sorry.”

It felt sincere, it felt nice, but he also knew he couldn't just fall back into Venomous' arms because he was back, and he had made an attempt at an apology. Boxman looked at the cake.

Boxman knew that Venomous would never buy him a cake- let alone any food, with poultry products in it. Even when his faith in the man was at it's lowest Boxman still trusted that the man had enough respect and love for him that he would never have to worry about Venomous doing anything to hurt him. Well, Venomous had hurt him when he had agreed to Shadowy's promise of power, but after that Boxman had faith that Venomous was truly out of control.

Boxman looked at the cake, he could see where a letter had been scoped out of the frosting, and how the cookie had been fiddled with after being placed into the frosting. He knew how much it would have cost to get a cake with no eggs, and he knew no bakery would have let a cake like this leave the back. Boxman felt a smile start to clip across his face. It was slightly lopsided, probably from the wind that it had been exposed to, and it was plenty cold to eat. Boxman turned around and pulled a platter off his shelves, and started to collect tea plates, cups, and silverware. He carefully adjusted the spread, until the kettle started to call. Pouring the hot water into a tea pot, he added tea leaves and settled it on the plate. There wasn't much room on the platter for anything else, so Boxman pulled out a knife and, with a small smile on his face, and a little tingle in his chest, cut into the cake.

He placed two modest pieces on the tea plates and got to finalizing the spread. He hadn't this meticulous about anything in a while, it felt nice to look into the details and make everything to his liking. He'd hadn't just made anything in a while, the kids where all so happy and in control he had maybe left them a little too in control.

He couldn't dwell on that right now. He picked up the tray. He turned to the door of the kitchen.

Boxman started to walk to the door, but felt himself hold back.

He had been alone all this time, he had been engulfed in bettering himself. He had been engulfed in making his life mean something. When he had told Shadowy to get out of his life and that everything was over between him and Venomous, he had given up his own children and went in search of nothingness. He had given up, just roaming the Neutral zone for anything.

That's when he had found something he had never expected. He had put it down as an mirage when he saw blue dancing in front of him. He had never expected that Jethro was okay, that there where several Jethro's left, and that his Jethro who had become a housing for more glorbs that necessary would be here in a quiet field, surrounded by his brothers and his followers. The story on how Jethro had finally been done with seeing his brothers smashed and lead the un harmed Jethro's from Boxmore, and too a place un touched had made Boxman first feel rage and fear. He had been terrified for the bot, he had mourned the bot. But those emotions died fast, he had felt proudness and happiness well up in him. He had cheered with his sons. He saw that Jethro, his baby Jethro saw the value of himself and made a choice to leave for the betterment of himself, and his brothers.

Boxman had seen something in Jethro that opened his mind and soul. Suddenly it was no longer depression for not being able to make his relationship last, and self hate for just abandoning his children when he didn't know what to do.

Now he knew that he had made the most powerful choices of his life. He had spoken up because he wouldn't stand for the abuse that had Shadowy sent his direction. He had told Shadowy that what was happening was not okay and he wouldn't stand for the destruction that was happening to him, his kids, and his home. He had stood there, directly told Shadowy to get out and leave him alone, to stop hurting his children, and to stop destroying everything that he himself had built up from the ground. When he had been told he didn't even own his own company any more and that he had to leave, he had felt destroyed, but he gulped and took that box. He had yelled for his children, the only thing important to him, and had learned that Jethro was no longer in production with no models in the factory. He had made his sadness seem like nothing in front of the kids, but he had to scream to himself internally not to be weak, and not to cry and sob. When he had stopped before leaving to speak to Fink one last time he had to bite his tongue to not cry. He when told her to 'hang in there, kid,' he had wanted to pick her up and put her in that box, and take her away from the thing that had consumed her caretaker. Deep down he knew that wasn't what she wanted and restrained himself. She was stronger than him and would leave when she was fed up. When he had crossed the highway, he had to use everything in himself to not start sobbing. Declaring to himself he knew that it wouldn't have lasted had felt like a bandage to fix the hole in his heart. He had put down the box, feeling himself become over come and told his kids that they where free. He knew that he couldn't take care of them. He knew someone else could feed and clothe them, and that the Plaza was full of people who would. He knew that someone else could, and he couldn't. He had walked into the sun knowing that he had done everything in his power to make everything better for his children, even if it hurt him to the point of wanting to collapse into tears and never move again.

Boxman knew that Venomous wasn't Shadowy, and that Venomous had no control over what Shadowy had done. But he still knew that he had made the choices to leave, and that he was able to make himself better and fulfilled from that pain. He was able to find inner piece, come back to his kids, express his love for them clearly because he now had love for himself in a way he hadn't had before. He had read self help book after self help book teaching himself to get over Venomous, and how to help his kids succeed. He had been reading another about finding himself, he knew he felt lonely, the kids had all moved on, and Venomous had been gone for so long. But he also knew he couldn't just fall back into the arms of Venomous without a care. He couldn't do that to himself, he knew himself better than he ever had, and had the respect for his own feeling to not let his judgement get blinded.

He opened the door and walked into the living room. Boxman looked at Venomous, curled tightly in the blanket and shivering. He walked over to the couch and set down the tray on the table in front of it.

Chapter Text

“How much sugar?” Boxman asked as he picked up the teapot. Boxman watched Venomous as he waited for the answer. Boxman watched Venomous try and answer, and fail. He saw Venomous look away from himself, looking scared.

“I-I don't need that much.” Venomous stuttered out. Boxman nodded, he heard the words and knew exactly what they meant. He picked up the sugar bowl and started to dump sugar in the glass. He poured the steeping tea into the cup and mixed it. He picked up the cup and it's saucer, holding it to Venomous. Boxman went back to the tray when the cup was taken. He started on his own tea cup, he sat down with the cup and watched Venomous sit with the steaming cup close to himself. Boxman watched as Venomous bathed in the steam, starting to shake slightly again.

Boxman could see that Venomous was fighting something in himself, he took a sip of his tea. Boxman watched as Venomous opened his eyes, make eye contact, and then look away as fast as he could.

“How have you been?” Boxman asked, trying to find if small talk would help put the other man at ease.

“I've been fine.” Venomous mumbled, “Fink and I just got back to this planet.”

Boxman nodded.

“And how's Fink?” He asked, hoping that if he just kept the conversation light and easy that Venomous would calm down.

Venomous took a deep breath. “She's been fine as well; she missed her videos game, of course, but I'm sure she's happier now with them.”

Boxman nodded and took another drink. “I'm sure that she was happy without them. She really is happy with you.”

Venomous chuckled, but Boxman could hear the pain in it. “I couldn't imagine why.”

Boxman sighed. “She loves you and looks up to you, that's why.” Boxman stated, he didn't want to be rude or forceful but something inside him felt like Venomous needed more help dealing with what was happening now than he did.

Boxman felt the tangle in his chest budge as he saw Venomous sniffle. “She shouldn't; I'm not the best person to look up to.”

Boxman put down his cup and folded his hand together, he mulled on his words for a minute, trying to find what he could say.

“I don't think she wants a good role model.... I think she just loves the person who loves her and takes care of her. Your unwavering love for her is more than enough for her to be able to look up to.”

“I hurt her.” Venomous whispered. Boxman watched the man try and force down the emotions bleeding through his voice.

“People make mistakes; you helped her learn that before you made your own mistakes.” Boxman said softly.

Boxman watched Venomous put his down his cup, shaking so bad that the cup was nearly spilling. He watched as the man tried to calm himself with a few deep breaths. “It doesn't make what I did any less acceptable.”

Boxman gulped, he shifted and looked directly, at Venomous. “No, it doesn't.... But... you know what you did was wrong, and you have accepted that. And she knows the loving and caring man you where before you succumbed to power, she knows that you are sorry that you messed up. She knows that now your trying to live your best life with yourself.”

Boxman watched Venomous adjust the blanket tighter. “I don't deserve her.”

Boxman felt the tangle jump as Venomous' voice cracked sadly. Boxman gulped and sighed.

“You deserve to be around people who love you.” Boxman stated.

“That's the last thing I deserve.” Venomous laughed. Boxman huffed.

“It's what everyone deserves, Venomous. As long as you make an effort you deserve someone to be there to help encourage you. There is no helping yourself if you don't have any support to help you.” Boxman eclipsed, quoting something he had read to himself in the past and he had found helpful for keeping himself grounded.

“How-” Venomous' voice cracked. “How can you still sit here after everything I've done to you and your kids and say I deserve any of that?”

Boxman was still chewing on that question, but he sighed and leaned back, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath and looked back at Venomous. “Because part of me growing past what you did was accepting that I was partially responsible for putting myself into a rushed relationship. If I had taken a moment to think to myself and actually act on my own doubts what happened might not have even happened. To accept myself and learn to love myself I had to accept that you where part of my life, and that you had made mistakes, and that even under your scales you where still just a person who wanted love, but also had insecurities that lead you to need power in your life to feel any self worth. Your flaws don't make you a horrible person and you learned your lesson and resigned yourself to death before the monster you made before you could even think about anything else.”

Boxman felt the tangle jumping in his chest as Venomous gained a small smile, full of pain. “You seem to have everything worked out.”

Boxman sighed, and shook his head. “There is still a lot to work on. Everyone has room for improvement. And any ways I sicked Mk.II on a door to door sales man yesterday for knocking because I was half asleep, not the best move.”

Venomous laughed, genuinely. Boxman smiled as he heard the man's laugh, his real personal laugh, for the first time in a long time. “It was the salesman's fault then.”

“I could have at least had the courtesy to threaten him and slam the door in his face first.” Boxman said with a small cheer.

“I've missed you.” He blurted out without thinking. His face flushed as his eye widened.

Boxman was lost for words. He wasn't expecting Venomous to just state something like that. Boxman looked away from Venomous as he felt the tangle start to flutter and knot up. He wasn't ready for this, even with the books and soul searching. He had no idea what to say, but he forced down his first thoughts, and bit his lip as he constructed what he really needed to say.

“I've missed you as well,”

Chapter Text

Boxman felt the tangle pull at itself as Venomous buried his face in his blanket. Boxman couldn't see his face, but his shaking shoulders told Boxman that the man was crying.

“You know, we've had a lot of time to be angry at ourselves and each other for what both of us did. I forgive you.”

Boxman felt the knot start to unravel. There was no longer a pain of regret, he was no longer saddened by what he had lost. He now had someone here that he could have a connection with, even if it wasn't the same. Boxman felt the knot finally come fully apart as Venomous looked at him, make up flowing down his cheeks with his tears.

“Please don't lie to me.” Venomous whispered as he sobbed. “I don't think I can handle it.”

“I would never lie to you. I'm a villain, not a monster.” Boxman said softly, he adjusted to sit up and picked up his cup, taking a sip. “You don't have to worry about me not being genuine, Venomous. Trust me, I've learned that lesson.”

Boxman watched Venomous sob. Boxman stood and picked up a piece of cake, he walked over to Venomous, and sat on the arm of the chair, he offered the cake to Venomous.

Boxman knew he was probably going to get himself back into the mess he had been in, but this time he knew how he could fix some of the problems that came from it. He also knew he had enough self control to say no. He didn't have an answer for himself at the moment but he did know that he could at least do his best to help calm down the other man.

Boxman felt relieved as Venomous took the cake and curled up.

“I'm sorry.”

“I know. You don't have to be.” Boxman felt a brooding intrinsic kick in and gently wiped a tear off Venomous' face, before licking a finger and trying to rub some bled to death eye liner off the man's cheek.

“You don't-” Venomous cleared his throat “You don't have to do that.”

Boxman hadn't really even realized he had started cleaning Venomous' face and halted himself for a second, before smiling softly at Venomous and continuing. “I know.”

Boxman cursed himself a bit for being foreword but he wanted to be, right now he wanted Venomous to feel okay and this, he knew for a fact, would help put him in a better place.

“Thank you.” Venomous sniffled.

“You're welcome.” Boxman said softly, he finally pulled his hand away as most of the streaks down Venomous' face had been faded. There was a long pause between the two. Boxman refused to make any moves, even if he felt confident and in control of the situation. The mulling look on Venomous' face gave Boxman a feeling that, what ever happened now, it was something that Venomous needed to say. He had told himself that he wouldn't make a move on rekindling any relationship with Venomous first. It didn't matter if Venomous never wanted to speak again or if Venomous just wanted to be friends, or If he needed a babysitter desperately. He knew better than to reach out to someone who hurt him, he had learned that first of all when the loneliness set it after everything had been set right.

Venomous sighed, which brought Boxman out of his thoughts. “I... I don't want to make you uncomfortable, but I'd like to talk more....”

Boxman smiled at Venomous. “What do you want to talk about?” Boxman asked back.

“Well, I visited Boxmore while trying to look for you. What made you give up your company?”

Boxman chuckled a bit, he sighed and looked up to the ceiling. “I wanted to take the time to get to know myself, and work on projects that I wanted to work on. Ernesto was destined to take over and I thought it was time. I still do work for the company, but I don't work as the CEO any more.”

Boxman glanced at the vase on his mantle that held the face of his son.

“You must be proud.”

“There's no way I couldn't be.” Boxman looked back at Venomous.

“What about the others? I didn't see them there.” Venomous asked.

“Oh, you know, Shannon's working at Boxmore media corp as a executive producer. I started that little side project when she wanted to work in television and there was no opportunities for robots to get into talk television. Raymond started a band but he still runs that little fashion business he started when he was young, one of the top selling fashion designers still. Darrell got himself a little farm; he's happy with the simple life and I don't blame him.” Boxman said, rattling off proudly was one of his favourite activities these days.

“A lot sure has happened.” Venomous pulled at his sleeves.

“Yes, but it's not like the planet completely renewed itself while you where gone.” Boxman chirped.

“It sure does feel that way.” Venomous sighed. “I'm going to have to get used to all these changes.”

Boxman nodded, he didn't really know what to say, he wanted to offer to help Venomous, maybe explain some things to him, help him learn what hero was doing what and where Villains had gone, but that was pushing himself further into something that he told himself he wouldn't do.

Venomous stood, Boxman watched him. “I should probably go get Fink; we have to figure out where we're living now that we're back.”

“Are you sure you can go back out in that cold with just a scarf? Where did you leave her any ways?” Boxman called, not wanting to put the man on the spot but wanting him to think through his already poor choices and see if he wanted to go back out into a blizzard.

“I don't really have a choice, Boxman.” Venomous looked out the window; it surely was snowing a lot more than when he had arrived. “And Fink is at Boxmore. Ernesto said he'd watch over her while I visited.”

“Well then I'm calling him.” Boxman crawled across the chair and reached for a near by phone. “You can't just walk there in this storm, it's miles away. I'll at least get you a car or something.” Boxman started dialing.

“You don't have to go out of your way for me, Boxman.” Venomous looked out the window. Boxman picked up the phone after he dialed and put it to his ear.

“Ernesto... Yes I did get my visitor... Yes I'm fine-... No Ernesto it's okay calm down... Okay, yes I know... One thing, I need a favour... I need you to send a car over there is no reason that-... Oh really... Oh really?... Of course, I'll call back in the morning... Tell her that she can watch anything in my PG 13 movies if she gets bored... Goodnight Ernesto....” Boxman put down the phone. “Alright, Boxmore is under enough snow that they can't send out a car until the snow stops in the morning. If you want to walk all the way back in this storm go ahead. But you don't have to.”

“Boxman, I don't want to make you uncomfortable by staying here....” Venomous said.

Boxman sighed. “You can stay in the guest room, it's okay.”

Venomous sighed and looked around, “Alright, you win.”

Boxman chuckled. “If your going to be stubborn about it fine, but I really don't mind.”

“Are you sure?” Venomous asked, looking at Boxman.

“Absolutely.” Boxman said, he laughed a little. “I don't get many visitors any more, now get back over here in this blanket, you're already starting to shake again.” Boxman stood from the chair and walked back to the couch.

Boxman smiled as he watched Venomous rush back to the chair and curl back up. Boxman finally picked his piece of cake up and took a bite.

“It's good.” Boxman said, taking another bite.

Venomous blushed, “Really? I don't really bake that much....”

“Baking is kind of hard to mess up if you know how to measure and turn on an oven. You a chemist for Cobs sake.”

Venomous got redder. “Well, I mean- I just, um....”

Boxman cursed at himself for being a bit blunt and insincere. “I mean, it's a good cake, Venomous. You could have made a worse cake, I've eaten worse cake. I've made worse cake.”

“That sounds like you're trying to cover up what you said before. You can be honest; I don't actually like cooking, let alone baking.” Venomous said after a pause.

Boxman sighed and put down his plate, he pinched the bridge of his nose and inhaled deeply. “No, Venomous I'm not trying to cover up what I said or take it back. I just have a bad habit of not thinking about what I say. I'm trying to start saying what I mean and not just saying the first thing that comes to mind. I really like your cake, you did a good job on it.”

“I lived with your for a long time; I know that you say what comes to mind first.” Venomous said as his face grew red again. “But thank you.”

“You're Welcome. And I know that I can be really rude, and harsh. I realized that my kids never knew that I loved them, because I always just thought they did. I never said it because it was never the first thing that came to mind, because even if I was always thinking about loving them and being proud of them I never really said it because the newest thought was always what came out first.” Boxman adjusted himself and took a deep breath. “I guess it's just something I'll always have to work on.”

Boxman brought his hands to his face and rubbed it a bit, he took another calming breath.

“I guess It's also something I have to apologize for.” Boxman took another calming breath. “I'm sorry for never actually telling you how I felt. I don't know if It would have changed anything but I want you to know that I never wanted you to feel put down because I had trouble expressing myself.”

Boxman felt something little get taken off his list of mistakes, it wasn't much but now he had the chance to say sorry for something he learned was a problem that he had to fix, and did fix.

Venomous adjusted to hold back tears. “At least your learning for your kids. I'm sure they appreciate it.”

“I'm doing this for more than my kids. I'm doing it for me. I don't want to live the rest of my life not knowing myself. I want to live my life so that I have value in myself, and spread the happiness that makes me feel with the people around me.” Boxman called, he picked up his tea cup and leaned back.

“I'm happy for you, Boxman.” Venomous smiled at him. He then sighed. “Boxman. I...” Venomous took a deep breath and looked away from Boxman. “I know that I messed up, but I really don't want you out of my life. I know that we may never be able to be what we were, but my best life can't exist without you.”

Boxman felt his heart do a flip. He took in a sharp breath and wanted to yell out how he felt. But again his voice in his mind told him to think. He had been doing a lot of that for a while. Now he needed a tack full way to say what was on his mind.

“I'm not the best with my words, you know that.” Boxman took a breath and coughed, trying to calm down from the blushing mess he had become for a few second. “But I would love to start things over between us. No, it wont be the same, but I think if this time we take things slowly and not get ourselves caught up in the same kind of reckless head first attitude to our relationship, we can make something better.”

Boxman watched Venomous scrub at his cheeks. Boxman felt his heart melt seeing Venomous genuinely smiling.

“You really want to start over with me?”

“Absolutely.” Boxman held back the stronger emotions that where welling inside of him. “I think, before we do any starting over, we need to find you a job, and a place to live. I think I can fiddle a job for you at Boxmore if you would like to work under Ernesto.”

“That sounds great.” Venomous really couldn't keep the smile off his face, he blushed. “But, um, you know I don't really have the strength I used to.... I can't really do manual labour.”

“There are plenty of bots that can do manual labour in the factory. I'm sure that synthesizing new ways to make those organic parts could be valuable to the company. We really haven't updated that side of things since I figured out how to do basic compositions. And of course there are always positions in other parts of the company.” Boxman called.

“I could do that. It's been a while since I worked in a lab. I miss it really.” Venomous nodded as he spoke.

Boxman laughed a bit, “Good then. I might just have to join you to Boxmore tomorrow then!” Boxman chirped. He started thinking of all the ways he could subtlety tell Ernesto to give Venomous a job. Subtlety wasn't a skill of his, but he didn't want to flat out tell Ernesto to give someone a job and where in the company. Boxman shook his head, he'd figure that out tomorrow, he picked up his tea cup and took a drink.

“Thank you.” Venomous called, smiling. “I really do appreciate it.”

“It's no problem. I'm not really sure where else you could have gotten a job and be used to your full potential. And some new Box bot designs have come onto my platter lately, and having some more biological parts integrated would be just the thing for the new models. I can't even think of anyone else whose been able to integrate biological parts into my designs as fluidly, even myself!” Boxman called, he sighed and took another drink of tea.

“You really know how to compliment someone, huh?”

Boxman snorted his tea a bit, he cough a little, not even realizing he'd complimented the other man. He flushed up. “Well, I've been working on that too.”

“I like it.” Venomous said looking away from Boxman.

Boxman giggled a bit. “I'm glad.”

Boxman watched as Venomous got a bit worked up over the compliment and what he was thinking about. It had been a long time since was was just able to sit and enjoy the man's company. He missed quietly reading together, or when Venomous would spend time just relaxing in his workshop. He missed being around to just enjoy time with the man, and he missed being able to sit down and cuddle with the man, who looked snug in his blanket but a bit small for the chair. But he didn't want to put Venomous on the spot for anything.

“it feels strange being back on this planet.” Venomous commented. “There's so many different biospheres and plants and animals. The planet Fink and I were on was just so bland. There wasn't anything on it besides dust and rocks.”

“Wasn't there also buildings?” Boxman chimed.

“Yes but they where empty and- Wait how did you know that?”

Chapter Text

'shit' Boxman went bright red very suddenly. “Well, uhmb.” Boxman gulped and took a large drink of tea. “I might have just glanced through a telescope once or twice in interest of the new planet in our solar system.”

Venomous blushed. “O-Oh really?”

Boxman laughed a little awkwardly. Cursing himself for forgetting to think before he spoke. “It was just once of twice, I never really saw much more than some buildings or whatever.”

“O-Oh. Well, I, um. I never really noticed how close Earth was from there.”

“Oh well it's only about 672826.5 kilometers away.” Boxman said quickly, he cursed himself again.

“How'd you figure that out from on a few glances?” Venomous tilted his head. Boxman felt himself get more flustered, he looked away from Venomous and tried to think of something to get him out of this one. His entire brain was screaming at him for making multiple mistakes that lead to now getting called out on his wandering eyes to the sky.

“I heard it from, uhhhh.” He forgot to think of who he heard it from and now it was too late. He completely blanked out.

Venomous gave Boxman a look. “Did you look through that telescope more than a few times, Boxy- Boxman.”

Boxman literally couldn't hear himself think through the noise of his mind screaming in panic. Not only did he had to find a way to make it not look like he had a been a total creep, but now Venomous had said his name in that way that made him turn to a puddle. Boxman didn't know that he still had the instinct in his mind to just shut down when he felt flustered, but he hadn't been this flustered in years. He felt his face grow hotter and hotter as the sirens in his mind where on full alarm, he was about to start throwing brain cells overboard to at least save them from the eminent implosion. Boxman glanced back at Venomous and saw the man Smirking at him. That was it it was a full evacuation of his brain cells at that point. He felt his entire face heat up and his palms get sweaty, he hadn't felt like this in ages, and while he missed being this head over heels over someone he forgot how much it made him want to die.

“You can admit it, Boxman.” Venomous said smoothly with laugh that made his ears melt. Boxman didn't have a brain cell left in his entire body and didn't know what he could say, the screaming was still too loud for him to do anything. He finally relented to doing the dumbest thing he could at least think of. He just spoke.

“Don't worry I tried to not look when It wasn't day time I didn't want to invade your privacy or anything. And I never looked for Fink because that's weird I mean what's that gotta look like! And I did not once look for you but If I did just happen to find you I would only watch for a few minutes! And I haven't really done it recently just when you first where there to make sure that you where okay!” Boxman spouted, the screaming got louder in his head.

Venomous started to blush, which made Boxman feel more like an idiot. “I-I umm....” Venomous blushed harder. “It's kinda flattering that you cared enough to check up on me after all of that.”

Boxman didn't have any more capacity to scream in his head, his blush starting to fade, but only slightly. “Well, I was kinda concerned after you didn't initially come back, and when Fink wasn't anywhere to be found. When I was told about where you where, I just thought about seeing what the planet was like. So I pulled out a telescope and just made a small cheque. I really didn't want to invade on you I just wanted to be sure that you where okay.”

Venomous pulled up the blanket. “That was really sweet of you, Boxman.”

Boxman coughed and laughed a bit, he was finally calming down and his brain cells where slowly coming back, chequeing for damage. “Aw, thanks.”

Venomous looked away from Boxman. “You know, I sometimes watched earth., wondering what was going on and how everything was doing. How you were doing....”

Boxman gulped, he bit his lip tightly as he stopped himself from saying 'I'm doing fine' like an absolute idiot. Good. He now got back his speech processing functions, hopefully his brain would find the lever to turn off his blush soon. “I guess we both had our minds on each other, then.”

Venomous blushed. “Yeah I guess so.” Venomous got quiet. “You were actually the reason I came back.”

“O-Oh.” Boxman had to physically restrain his braincells from jumping ship again, his blush heating up again. “Do you want more tea? Cake? A sandwich?” Boxman asked, finding an escape route to go calm down.

Venomous looked at his full tea and un eaten cake, Boxman started to scream internally again. “I think I'm fine.”

“Oh, well alright then.”

Boxman watched Venomous take a drink of his tea.

“Well, ah. It's getting pretty late.” Boxman coughed, He looked at the clock which only read about 1030 but oh well.

Venomous looked at the clock. “Yes, it seems so.”

“Well, do you want me to show you your room?” Boxman asked.

“Yes.” Venomous blurted. He stood and made a hissing noise as the blanket fell off.

“This way!” Boxman said, literally falling over the couch and standing up on the other side fazed. Makayla Mk.II followed him. Boxman walked to a door and stood in front of it. “Here, there should be extra blankets in the dresser.”

Venomous opened the door. “Yes, thank you.”

“Well. Make sure you use them, It can get pretty cold.” Boxman started to back away from the door. “Goodnight.” Boxman gulped, and shrunk down a bit. “PV.” He muttered.

“Um, yes, goodnight, um, Boxy.”

Boxman watched Venomous sprint into the room and close the door.

Boxman buried his face in his hands and internally screamed. He laughed with joy and walked back to the living room to clean up the tea tray and put away his book, giddy and giggling to himself.

Boxman dealt with the tray first, putting all of it's contents in the sink for tomorrow him to put on week from now him to do. He walked back to the living room and put out the fire. It was a little smokey in the room now but he had learned how to not cause an ash cloud by now. He walked to his chair and picked up he book.

Who am I?

Boxman, for the first time in a while, didn't really know, he was just happy that he now had someone to ask that question with.

Chapter Text

Boxman knew not to make breakfast for two when he woke up, that was a given. He had woken up and desperately held off the urge to make a scene about wanting breakfast. He settled for a piece of toast and a new book for the morning. He'd read the book on moving on from bad relationships before but now felt the need to read the last third about finding love again, after, well. It was almost ten by the time he looked at the clock and sighed.

“Alright, Boxy, you can do this. Just knock on his door and he will get up, he's been asleep almost 12 hours.” Boxman put the book back on a shelf and walked to the door of the gust room, he stopped half way there and put a hand to his head, looking at the floor. “Who are you fooling Boxy, He slept through the annual blunt trauma of the kids jumping on us on St. Presents morning.”

Boxman gulped and strutted to the door. He quietly knocked on the wood. No response. He knocked again, slightly louder. No response. He knocked again. No Response. He did this for about ten minutes before finally getting pissed off. He banged loudly on the door. “YOU KNOW IT'S 1030 IN THE MORNING!” Boxman sighed, hearing a light shuffling noise. “I KNOW YOU HAVEN'T SLEPT IN A BED FOR A LONG TIME BUT COULD YOU PLEASE GET UP SO THAT WE CAN GET GOING BEFORE NOON!”

Boxman watched the door open in front of him, he was about to happily chime when, “Boxy, could you keep it down?”

“I tried that for 10 minutes before I screamed.” Boxman stated bluntly, starting to go bright red from the nickname but trying to hold his ground on getting up.

Boxman felt Venomous lean forewords into him. He coughed and took a deep breath as he heard Venomous whine. “Boxy....”

“PV, we have to get you ready for a job interview.” Boxman called roughly. Boxman watched as Venomous woke up a bit and jumped, backing away from him, face flush and eyes wide.

“Um, yes, right!”

“You're going to need a suit, and some make up, I also assume that you haven't done anything for your resume for a few years but luckily your future employer already has that on record because you never deleted it from the Boxmore PC back up system.” Boxman said. “But you, need to brush your hair and get ready to leave before anything.”

Venomous nodded. “Yes, yes! I'll, uh, do that!” Venomous ran a hand through his hair, but caught tangles. He snapped his head back is a hiss.

“And let's add a shower too.” Boxman walked away from the door. “You have a bathroom on your room. Towels free of charge.”

“Will do!” Venomous closed the door behind him. Boxman shook his head and thought about how he could have been tactful about that. He sat down in his chair, Makayla Mk.II curled up in Boxman's lap as soon as he sat. Boxman smiled and pet her softly. Boxman closed his eyes and took in a breath of crisp air, it was a nice morning.

Boxman shifted a bit, feeling his cheek get tapped. “Boxman?” Boxman smiled a bit.

“Mmm, yes?” Boxman called, leaning into the hand.

Boxman opened his eyes and looked at Venomous. He short-circuited. He stood, launching Makayla Mk.II off his lap.

“Well, now that we are ready to go, lets go.” Boxman laughed awkwardly.

“Yes, let's.” Venomous said, looking away and blushing.

Boxman walked to the door and looked at Venomous. “We need to get you a coat too.”

“I guess that would be nice....” Venomous said following. Boxman opened the door to the winter wonderland outside, already shovelled with a car waiting outside. A Ernesto stood next to it.

“Hello Father! Professor Venomous! Are you ready to go!” Ernesto called.

“Of course, Ernesto, but we have a few places to stop before Boxmore!” Boxman called, skipping to the car. Boxman got in the car and scooted over for Venomous to get in as well.

Ernesto closed the door and skipped to the driver seat.

“Fink is doing well, right?” Venomous asked the bot.

“Oh yes, she played videos game until she dropped last night!” Ernesto called, starting to drive.

Venomous chuckled. “She sure did miss those.”

“I can imagine.” Boxman laughed back.

“She needs to get back on a proper sleeping schedule, though.” Venomous sighed.

“Well, once we get you back on your feet you can get her back into a normal life.” Boxman called, he smiled at Venomous hoping to calm the man down.

“I probably should have considered this on the other planet.” Venomous sighed.

Boxman searched his brain for a way to make Venomous feel better. “You two where having a break, who needs a bed time on vacation?” Boxman laughed.

“It was too long of a break. Fink is still growing; she needs proper sleep and I completely slacked on her homeschooling.” Venomous sighed, resting his head in his hands.

Boxman mulled on what Venomous said for a little while, he put a hand on Venomous' shoulder. “It's okay, we all make mistakes.” Boxman looked at Venomous with sympathy bleeding from his heart, hoping that the man would stop beating himself up over mistakes.

Venomous looked away. “I feel that I may have made to many, and now I don't know what to do....”

Boxman sighed. “I felt that way two when I got back from space. But If I've managed to find something in myself, I know you will be able to as well.” Boxman said. “You just need to start with little steps.”

Boxman squeaked a bit as he was suddenly hugged.

“You make me wanna try.”

Boxman felt warmth in those words, and felt his heart soar with the hug. He wiggled his arms free and wrapped them around Venomous. “I'm happy to help you.”

Venomous pulled himself out of the hug and crossed his arms.

“That was too far, wasn't it?” Venomous asked.

Boxman looked at Venomous quietly. Yes it was sudden and he was taken by surprise, and he really didn't want things to go too far to fast, but he also couldn't fight the voice in his head saying 'that felt nice' so he decided that maybe the indulgent little brain cell could at least get something.

“I don't mind occasional affection. I just don't want to take it too much farther than that for now.”

He saw Venomous sigh and nod. “Alright.”

Boxman nodded and smiled. He looked out the window. “Ernesto, could we stop at this tailors shop?”

There was a 'yes father' as the car pulled into the parking lot. Boxman opened the door to the car when they pulled to a stop. He hopped out and smiled at Ernesto. “Hopefully it won't be that long.”

Boxman walked into the store.

Chapter Text

“Father!” Raymond yelled. Boxman looked over to see Venomous freeze.

“Ray! Could I get a hand with this guy over here?” Boxman called.

Raymond gasped, seeing venomous, he jumped into the air and aimed a arm cannon at him suddenly.

“You-”

“RAYMOND!” Boxman screamed. Boxman put his body awkwardly between Raymond and Venomous.

“Father what are you doing?” Raymond called. Boxman sighed.

“Can we just, get a suit or two, please?” Boxman looked at Raymond with absolute petty love and care. Raymond sighed.

“Well, he would look good in a new sport coat.” Raymond said, strutting off to the back.

“He sure wasn't happy to see me....” Venomous said quietly. Boxman cursed himself, he should have expected at least one of the kids to over react, and he should have guess it would have been the over dramatic one. Boxman looked at Venomous.

“I'm sorry but I maybe should have given a heads up.” Boxman sighed and shifted a bit.

“It's fine, I can't say I blame him.”

Raymond burst out of the back with at least 6 suits. “Alright! What do you need a suit for!”

“I just need one for a job interview.” Venomous said.

Raymond gasped wildly. “But what company is it for? Who is the interviewer? What's their favourite colour?” Raymond called.

“I'm, uh, doing a job interview for Boxmore....” Venomous said blankly.

Raymond gasped loudly. “I know the prefect suit!” Raymond tossed the suits in his arms and ran back in back.

Boxman saw the glance of fear Venomous gave him. He gave Venomous a thumbs up.

Raymond came skipping back.

“This sleek sport coat with subtle pin stripes and a full flair collar should pair absolutely wonderfully with a vest and a high waited pair of straight legged pressed pants. You absolutely need a pair of winged saddle shoes to go with it.” Raymond presented to suit to Venomous. “Now please go put it on.” He shoved it at Venomous and gestured at the changing room.

Boxman watched Venomous walk to the changing room.

“I know that you weren't expecting to see Professor Venomous again, Ray, but he needs some help right now. He's been off earth for a while.” Boxman said softly to his son.

“I don't see why you would even let him near you after-”

“Boxmore, and our family, is all he has on this planet. I can't just turn him away. Especially when he has Fink.” Boxman said softly, he took one of Raymond's hands. “Nothing will happen again. I swear to Cob.”

“Alright.” Raymond huffed. “He looks like shit by the way.”

“You aren't wrong.” Venomous called as he stepped out of the room. “I guess that's just what spending years on a deserted planet does to you.”

“Both of you stop!” Boxman gasped, his parental instincts bleeding through his voice, absolutely a gasped at both of them. “Now Raymond, what else do you need to do to make him look better for his interview with Ernesto!”

“He needs a bit of make up, and to properly shave.”

“I need a lot more than a bit of make up and I'm going to ignore that last part.” Venomous rolled his eyes.

“If you insist.” Raymond walked over and pulled Venomous to a chair. He got to work as fast as possible on Venomous' face. Raymond pulled out a mirror. “How's this.”

“This is acceptable.” Venomous nodded as he looked over his face. He turned to Boxman. “What do you think, Boxman?”

Boxman stared at Venomous, he took a sharp breath and held back all of the blush he had been holding in. “I think you look like new hire material.” Boxman said, he gulped as he hoped he wasn't blushing about Venomous in front of his kid who had just tried to kill Venomous. Venomous smiled at Boxman, who was now dieing. “Well, thank you Ray.” Boxman pulled out his wallet and slapped a pile of cash on the counter.

“Father if you insist on paying, you could at least pay the proper amount.” Raymond huffed, looking at the cash he'd have to count.

“It's a tip.” Boxman squawked, He turned to head to the door. “Let's get going, can't be late!”

Boxman smiled at Venomous as Venomous stepped out of the store. Boxman hopped into the car.

The car started again.

“You look nice.” Boxman said quietly, letting the little bit of blush from before graze his face.

“Thank you. Your son really does have talent.” Venomous said, blushing a bit as well.

“Thanks, I like to think he got his style knowledge from me but that's probably not true at all.” Boxman said honestly.

Venomous laughed a bit. “I quite like your style.”

“I know that's a lie.” Boxman shot jokingly, laughing.

“Why do you think I let you go to Billiam's party dressed in an under shirt?” Venomous laughed.

Boxman chuckled, remembering that night clearly. “Because I had already ripped off two terrible options and the gold chains where better than that red jacket.”

“You had on so many layers that day; I honestly wonder why.” Venomous said, still laughing.

Boxman shrugged. “I guess it's a weird habit.”

“Trust me, if I cared about what you looked like I would've made you change before the party.”

“You probably should of, looking back.”

“Since when did you care about what other people thought?” Venomous raised an eye brow. Boxman gave a small chuckle and looked away.

“I would have been wearing overalls or suspenders in any other outfit.” Boxman said, his face going flush remembering what the body guard had done at the end of the night.

Boxman felt Venomous put a hand on his shoulder. “It wasn't that bad. At least you didn't ruin a really expensive suit.”

“Now I just ripped three outfits in half.” Boxman shot back, smiling.

“It was cute to see how excited you were.” Venomous chuckled, Boxman laughed.

“I was always excited to spend time with you back then.” Boxman sighed, calming down a little bit. He sighed as he remembered how much the visit to the lab had made him giddy to the point he wouldn't shut up about it, and then after that night not shutting up about having spent the night with Venomous.

“I could tell.” Venomous said with a small smile. “I really liked seeing how excited you would get. It made me feel, I don't know, important for once, I guess.”

“You were picked as the best of the best of only two hero's under Foxtail for P.O.I.N.T. and I made you feel important?” Boxman sighed.

“Well, yeah.” Venomous glanced away from Boxman. “I mean, it's not like I ever actually felt like part of the team. And besides, look how I turned out.”

“To be fair none of the original P.O.I.N.T. members worked out.” Boxman said offhandedly.

Venomous burst into laughter. “Y-You're not wrong!” He stumbled out, barely choking out the words.

“Of course I'm not, I'm the only Villain who ever actually attacked their base. If anyone has an authority on how much a failure P.O.I.N.T. Was It's me! One guy lost his powers, one guy got kicked out for killing you, the kangaroo decided they liked books more than punching people. One girl had a kid, and you ran off into the sewers and became a twink snake man! Foxtail has the worst judgement of any hero I've ever seen!” Boxman called, he gestures largely as he went over the list of hero's in his mind.

Venomous gasped through his laughter, barely breathing. Venomous wiped away some tears that started perking in his eyes.

“Oh calm down, your going to smudge your make up.” Boxman called, he thought about what he had been saying, and then started to burst into laughter as well.

“I ran into the sewers and became an twink snake man!” Venomous laughed. “You're hilarious, Boxman!”

“Did this just occur to you!” Boxman laughed.

“I guess so! I never thought about it before!” Venomous leaned against Boxman, still laughing.

Boxman leaned back into Venomous as well, holding himself as he laughed with Venomous.

“Aww, they are getting along!” Ernesto called from the front seat, driving perfectly.

Boxman sighed and felt himself blush as he went from histaminic laughter to a calm chortling. He looked to Venomous who was also calming down, feeling a loving smile form on his face. They stared into each other's eyes for a while, Boxman feeling his face heat up even more.

“Ernesto please pull into the next department store.” Boxman called.

Boxman saw Venomous look towards the window and sighed, he calmed down as he let his vision wonder.

Ernesto pulled into a parking lot.

Boxman saw Venomous shoot him a uneasy look before calming down a pit.

“We just need to get you a coat, shoes, and a folder for your resume.” Boxman said firmly. “And a good pen.”

Boxman opened the door as Ernesto stopped at the door. He jumped out.

“Alright, lets get this over with!” Boxman skipped to the door. Venomous followed, glancing around. Boxman slowed down and walked next to Venomous. “So what kind of coat do you want?”

“I don't really care. As long as I don't freeze-sleep, I'm fine.” Venomous shrugged.

Boxman nodded, “Alright, lets see what they have for mountain climbing.”

Boxman saw that Venomous became tense. He wondered if maybe putting him into a large store had been the best idea. How long had he been on the planet alone? How long had he really been back? Not to mention what Shadowy had done before he left. Boxman shook his head a little, pushing away the thoughts. He had to acclimate this man somehow. Boxman walked over to some winter coats, bulky and heavy.

“How about something like this?”

“Yes, something like that is fine.” Venomous said, shrinking himself down a bit as he nodded. Boxman gave Venomous a supportive smile.

“They have one in purple.” Boxman pulled it off the rack. “Try it on.”

Venomous took the coat and put it on, relaxing a bit before tensing back up. He looked around. Boxman sighed.

“Alright, lets get you those shoes then.”

Venomous took off the coat. Boxman skipped off towards the shoes, making sure to stay close to Venomous. Boxman noticed as Venomous wrapped his arms around him and avoided looking at the people around. He was starting to feel bad about making Venomous come to such a busy store. Maybe he sould have had the idea to go to a few smaller stores, or maybe they should have stayed in and ordered online. The last thing he wanted was Venomous to get a bad taste for being around people and close himself into work and do nothing but stress and drink coffee and- Boxman gulped down those thoughts. He knew that now there was plenty of time to help Venomous acclimate after this store was just a memory.

“Raymond said saddle shoes, right?” Boxman asked.

“Yes,” Venomous took a deep breath. “I believe so.”

“Well, I guess that we should start looking.”

“W-We're looking together, right?” Venomous asked.

Boxman saw the panic grow in Venomous, and he swore at himself. He should not have dragged Venomous out here this soon.

“Of course.” Boxman said softly.

Boxman gently took Venomous' sleeve and started to pull him down the aisle. Boxman felt his brain reeling, trying to find the shows and ignore the fact his hand was so close to Venomous' again, but he wouldn't hold it even if he knew that Venomous and him probably would both calm down if he did. He was beyond that. Boxman stopped at a pair of saddle shoes.

“How do these look!” He peeped, letting go of Venomous' sleeve.

Venomous wrapped his arms back around himself. “Yes, those are fine.”

Boxman nodded and picked up a box in Venomous' size. “Alright, time to get the pen, and the folder! Maybe leather bound?”

Venomous nodded. “Yes, lets hurry and do that.”

Boxman started to another section of the store. He made sure to keep exact tabs on Venomous this time. He wanted Venomous out of this situation as much as Venomous probably did. Boxman stopped in front of some professional supplies.

“I can't pick what pen you want,” Boxman said, he looked at the pens that where all grossly over priced, that didn't matter.

“These are a bit overpriced, don't you think?” Venomous questioned.

Boxman shrugged. “It's good form to take notes in an interview and meetings, having a high quality pens shows you take value in what the person has to say. You wouldn't hire someone with no interest and with a cheap broken pen!”

Venomous looked away. “I never really needed a pen for the one job I did have, and I started my own company after that, so I guess I just don't really know....”

Boxman huffed, and gave Venomous a smile. “You're going to need more coaching than I thought.” Boxman looked at the pens. “Do you like fountain pens or ballpoint pens?”

I like using ballpoint more.” Venomous said. Boxman frowned a bit as Venomous shrunk into himself further.

“Alright, how about just a simple sleek one, here.” Boxman picked up a random ballpoint pen and handed it to Venomous.

Boxman saw Venomous nod and picked up the box for the same pen. “Then we'll get it.” Boxman plucked a folder off a shelf and started walking to the front of the store. Keeping Venomous at his side. Boxman noticed the sigh and gulped, they walked to a register. Boxman put down the items and pulled out his wallet.

He passed over a credit card.

“You, um-” Venomous took a deep breath. “I feel bad that you're paying for everything....”

Boxman laughed a bit, trying to calm his buzzing nerves. “I used to feel the same way.” Boxman said, passing over his card. “Don't stress it.”

Venomous looked down. Boxman took the bag from the cashier and smiled weakly at Venomous. “It's not like I don't have any money, let me just do something to help, okay.” Boxman said, starting towards the door.

“Things really have changed, huh?” Venomous sighed and kept his arms wrapped around him.

Boxman remembered when Venomous would tell him the same things. He had always felt a bit awkward when Venomous was flaunting around cash and trying to impress him, but now he just wanted to help Venomous, and cob be damned if he was going to let a little cash get in the way.

“It's okay,” Boxman looked at Venomous and handed him the coat. “I think I owe you at least a little spoiling, after all you bought me an entire company.”

Venomous put the coat on. “I don't want you to think that you have to do that because I bought your company back.”

Boxman gave Venomous a gentle smile, and put a hand on his arm. “I don't have to, I want to.”

Boxman looked at Venomous as he blushed. Boxman sighed and smiled at him, feeling his face heat up a bit.

“Now, we have an interview to ace.” Boxman chirped. Venomous smiled.

“Yeah, let's do this!” Venomous called.

Boxman lit up seeing Venomous had a bit of confidence. Boxman pulled him to the car and the two got in.

“Ernesto! On to Boxmore!” He chirped, he passed the bag to Venomous. “And you have some shoes to put on.”

Boxman watched as Venomous changed out of his regular knee high boots and into the new shoes.

“Alright, Venomous. What's your experience with interviews.” Boxman asked quickly.

“Uh, I was put through a rigorous training course in my first interview. After that I was self employed.” Venomous shrugged.

Boxman sighed. “Alright, lets crash course this then. You are applying for a scientist job in Boxmore as a former employee. Try and keep is casual while maintaining professionalism. You should answer honestly and directly with his questions and look out for double edged questions. If he asks you if you have transportation say yes, if you have a place to live, just say yes. He's trying to bait you into giving details on your current living arrangements which if they don't sound good he won't hire you. If he asks you what you're five year outlook is, you should absolutely say self fulfilling words that denounce you as being a happy Boxmore employee. Try and bring up facts about Boxmore, and how it's being run. Boxmore profits have been on the rise and show no plateau. The newest robot announcement was the Makayla Mk.II and you think that it is a great product.” Boxman looked directly at Venomous, “You get all that?”

Venomous nodded.

“Alright. I don't think Ernesto would try and do anything crazy in the interview, but can you remember any fancy science stuff that you can spit out enough jargon to confuse him into thinking you have an answer?” Boxman asked.

“I can hear you!” Ernesto called.

“Shut up.” Boxman hissed.

“I mean, I did make prototypes of bio-robotic combinations back when we were running Boxmore together.” Venomous stated.

“Bring that up.” Boxman called. Venomous nodded.

“We are here!” Ernesto called.

Boxman looked at his watch. “Good, still early.” Boxman chimed, he jumped out of the car.

Venomous got out and looked across the street.

Boxman looked across the street and saw the plaza kids playing in the snow. He saw one in particular.

“Let's go inside.” Boxman said softly.

Venomous gulped and nodded. “Yes, I'm sure Fink is waiting to see me.”

Boxman walked to the front doors of Boxmore and waited for Venomous.

They stepped inside.

Chapter Text

“Boss!” Fink called, running and hugging Venomous. He smiled and hugged her back.

“Hey there, Fink. How was your night?”

“It was great! There are so many new videos game!” She was obviously going to go further, but she noticed Boxman and stopped.

“Long time, no see, kid.” Boxman chirped. He was happy to see her again. She was still the gamer she always had been but she looked happy to see Venomous and to have her videos game back.

She pulled Venomous down to her and whispered in his ear.

Venomous gave her a thumbs up. She then turned to Boxman and smiled. “It's great to see you again!”

“My how you ave grown!” Boxman opened his arms gesturing at her. “You going to be taller than Venomous at this rate!”

“Heck yes I am!” She called.

Venomous laughed. “I'm sure that's true.”

Boxman laughed. “You getting so big I'm going to have to make something bigger than those trike for you now.” Boxman was already running new blue prints through his mind. It was going to be a bit of a waste of some old designs but he was content in that. He'd have to make her something to scare the plaza kids. He smiled, seeing her light up.

“Really!?”

“Absolutely!” Boxman called.

“See! I told you making up to him would be great!” Fink called to Venomous.

“Well I'm glad at least someone had priorities straight.” Boxman called, watching Venomous chuckle and look away. “We can go to my workshop and look at some little designs while Venomous has his interview.” Boxman said, winking.

“Interview?” Fink looked at Venomous.

“Yes, hopefully I will be getting a job here.” Venomous explained. He looked at Boxman. “But if you're going to make something for Fink, please just make sure it's safe.”

“No promises!” Boxman yelled, once Fink was distracted by yelling in happiness he gave Venomous a thumbs up and a smile. Boxman could see Venomous was revealed by that.

Boxman hummed to himself. He leaned over the reception desk and stole a legal pad from an Ernesto, who voiced a small 'hey' but didn't argue as they pulled out a new one. He skipped to Venomous and handed it to him.

“Take this and go get 'em.” Boxman called, pushing Venomous towards the inside of Boxmore. “Put in in your folder!”

Venomous nodded and did as told, “Fink, be good! And be careful!”

“I'll be fine!” Fink called. Venomous walked out of the room.

“Do you want a convertible?” Boxman asked.

“Hecks yeah!” Fink yelled.

The two ran to Boxman's workshop cackling loudly.

“Alright, kid lets get one thing straight! It's going to have flames.” Boxman called.

“Yeah!” Fink called, Boxman tossed aside his coat running into his workshop and rolled up his sleeves, running to his computer.

“I think that we should totally make it with a v12.” Boxman called.

“With rear wheel drive so I can do burn outs!” Fink added, jumping over next to him, perching on a near by chair.

“I think if we do rear wheel drive we should make it manual, then you can do better Rockford's!” Boxman called. He started typing into his systems, building diagrams and parts, and cading them into moulds and production orders quickly.

“Can I have a rocket launcher!” Fink yelled.

“Of course!” Boxman said. “And two full benches for all those friends you're going to tear rubber with!”

“YAY!”

Boxman smiled and laughed as his finger flew across the keyboard, he hadn't just built something in a fury of emotion in a long time. It felt nice to agree to everything Fink yelled in his ear. He felt at home typing away on his huge keyboard, each macro doing exactly what he wanted, without having to stop and mess with a mouse. He laughed and stopped.

“It's done!” Boxman pulled out a button remote. He held it to Fink. “Do the honours!”

“Whoo!” Fink smashed the button, sending the new convertible to the production line.

“FATHER!” Ernesto's far off voice shook the room.

“What?” Boxman yelled back through the intercom.

“We've talked about this.” Ernesto sighed.

“What am I supposed to do, ask permission every time I want to see how a prototype functions?” Boxman huffed.

“Yes!” Ernesto said, completely exasperated.

“Well I already sent the order!” And Boxman turned off his intercom.

“Haha! You sure told him!” Fink called.

“Of course I did!” Boxman turned in his chair and looked at the conveyor belt.

Fink yelled and ran to here new convertible.

Boxman looked as the door was pushed open.

“Well howdy! How'd it go!” Boxman called, his face brighter than the sun as he stood next to him new piece of work.

“Did you-” Venomous sighed, “Did you make make Fink an convertible?”

“Yes.” Boxman said bluntly.

“WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE COMPANY!” Ernesto yelled. “FATHER WE TALKED ABOUT THIS!”

“I made all the specks for Cad, we can start development of the lines for it in about two week and it's base cost is only about 1053 techno's so we can sell it as a car for teens at a low price.” Boxman crossed his arms and huffed. Ernesto put both his hands on his face sighed. “And I made a version without the weapons.”

“Oh well I can sell that!” Ernesto called, cheering up.

“Boxman, Fink can't have a car.” Venomous sighed.

“She's almost 13 to 17, she's going to want one eventually.” Boxman informed, looking please with himself.

Venomous rubbed his face. “She's too young.”

“Aw, c' mon, boss! It's so cool!” Fink called, giving him her begging face.

“It only max's out at 65, standard high way speed!” Boxman chirped.

Venomous looked at Boxman tiredly. “She's too young to driving! You never know what could happen!”

“But you allowed her to drive when she was previously living at Boxmore?” Ernesto called.

“Yes, but that was before-” He cut himself off.

“Alright, well when she's ready, it'll be here.” Boxman said, seeing Venomous start to stress out and wanting to avoid conflict.

Fink pouted and crossed her arms, but didn't comment, seeing her boss stress. Venomous sighed. “Alright.”

“Well now you better tell me how it went!” Boxman called.

“It went fine; I got the job.” Venomous said.

“Congratulations!” Boxman jumped up and ran over to Venomous, but stopped himself before tackling the man with a hug, electing to pat the man's arm. Venomous smiled.

“Thanks.”

Boxman smiled back at him and looked back at Fink. “It looks like I'm going to have to make you something else now.”

“Really Father?” Ernesto called.

“I'll get it approved this time.” Boxman huffed.

“I doubt it.” Ernesto huffed back.

Venomous crossed his arms. “I hope you'll run it though me before as well.”

“Well lets deal with that now!” Boxman looked at Fink. “What do you want, anything you want!”

“Oh! There's this cool weapon from my favourite videos game-”

“No” Venomous cut her off.

“Aww, your no fun any more!” Fink huffed.

“Fink.” Venomous sighed. “Please.”

“Alright.” Fink groaned in thought. “Oh, I know! I want a new gaming keyboard!”

“Of course!” Boxman jumped to his computer. His mind started ticking out piles and piles of designs. He looked back at her. “Do you want any modifications to... help you win?” Boxman smiled wildly.

“Heck yeah-”

“No.” Venomous sighed, shutting her down. “Fink, you don't even like cheating.”

“Oh, I though he meant I could shoot other people with it.”

Venomous glanced to Boxman with a stern look. “That's not what you meant, right.”

Boxman gasped offendedly but decided not to lie. “I wasn't going to have it shoot people or cheat, I was going to add an electrocution element!”

Venomous freaked. “What!?”

“I mean, a button to send little shocks through the internet and out the other side. You can't play when your fingers are on fire!” Boxman called. “But if you don't want any of that.” Boxman clicked the red button.

“FATHER!” Ernesto yelled. The conveyor belt produced a keyboard.

“Hush we can copyright her gaming name and sell this for triple the price.” Boxman called over.

Fink grabbed her new keyboard. “This is so cool!”

“It's RGB and fully programmable!” Boxman called, he crossed his legs and knitted his fingers together. “I also added a back suspension board so when you press harder on the keys they cushion out and cause less stress on the stitches, I did double stroke switches that give a smoother full press while still registering at half stroke! It also has a a gaming switch that can turn off certain keys to avoid pressing misshapes! And I just threw your cute little logo on there as well, it's RGB too!” Boxman called.

Fink's smile was wide as she ran to Boxman and hugged him. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Boxman smiled and laughed as she hugged him, petting her hair softly and hugging her back. “It's no problem. You little rat, now go and pown some scrubs.”

“Ernesto! Can I use your Computer!” Fink quickly asked, excitement in her eyes.

“Of course, little one!” Ernesto called. Fink quickly ran out, laughing all the way.

Venomous looked to Boxman with a fond smile. “That was really sweet of you.”

“Ah, what can I say. I have a soft spot of bastard children.” Boxman said, turning back to his computer, quickly starting to type again, he pressed the red button.

“Father-”

“It's for our new employee!” The conveyor belt whirred and popped out a little plaque for a desk.

Venomous picked it up, “Boxmore lead biologist: Professor Venomous.” He smiled at Boxman. “Thanks Boxman.”

“No problem-O, Venomous!” Boxman finger gunned at Venomous and winked. Venomous blushed and chuckled.

“Well, I'll let you two get back to... catching up!” Ernesto said, he blinked at his father and walked out, finger gunning at Boxman.

“IT'S NOT LIKE THAT YOU BUCKET OF BOLTS!” Boxman yelled. Venomous blushed, and coughed.

“Yes, well, I should probably find a place for Fink and I to stay.”

“Well, if you need any help with finding a place, I'm sure I could find a few listings in the area, or help you look for a agent.” Boxman called.

“Thank you, Boxman.” Venomous smiled. “I think I want to find some place a bit secluded. After all people are going to find out I'm back; I might as well find a place that's easy to hide.”

Boxman sighed, thinking about the reaction the general population would have to Venomous, even if the worst of it wasn't even his fault. “I'm sure if you want, we can install some security after you find a place.”

“That would be great. Thanks.”

“No problem.” Boxman laughed a little and shifted in his chair. “I was actually wondering if, once and and Fink where settled in.” Boxman didn't want to make this weird but it'd have to happen some time. He gulped, his mouth feeling dry and his mind buzzing. “I was wondering if you would like to get dinner? Talk about some of what's changed since you've been gone.”

Venomous blushed slightly. “I'd love to, Boxman.” Venomous smiled.

Boxman smiled, a bit of flush crossing his face. “Wonderful, there is a new restaurant you've never seen before, I've not had an excuse to try it, we can go there.”

“That sounds like a plan.”

“I'll be sure to keep in touch until then.”

Boxman really hoped that he wouldn't move this too fast again and mess up his new chance at love.

“Of course.”

Chapter Text

Boxman hadn't felt nerves like this in years. He had made sure to steal a car from Boxmore to pick up Venomous with. He didn't want to have a third wheel Ernesto, or worse a third wheel Darrell or Shannon, and Cob forbid a third wheel Raymond where to join them. Boxman looked at his phone, he picked it up and typed out a extremely fast 'I'm here' and sent it.

Boxman watched the house. He felt his palms grow sweaty and his face go red as he started to think of ways the date could go wrong. His mind wandered to spilled soup and intrusions by hero's. That had been a wreak of a day, and he never wanted to relive that horrible dinner but he had to look back and remember he had done something right even if he was a wreak and the Plaza twerps where there.

He took a minute to breath calmly, bringing himself out of the panic.

Suddenly the door opened, and Venomous got in.

“Hello, Boxman.”

Boxman looked at Venomous, the man was put together with the same tact that Boxman remembered.

“Hello, Venomous.”

Venomous leaned back and looked at Boxman. “So, tell me about this new restaurant?”

Boxman nodded, and put the car in first gear and started to drive off. “Well, it just opened in the plaza a few weeks ago. It's a little cafe. I wanted to see if it was really all the hub-bub that it's been getting. I heard it had cats as a gimmick, I though that'd be cute.” Boxman said, barely paying attention to the road.

Venomous smiled. “It sounds nice.”

“Yeah, I just wanted to go some place casual and chill.” Boxman made a vague gesture and shifted the car as he drove. “You know, no pressure.”

Boxman felt how awkward his 'casual and chill' had been in his soul, but nothing could be done about that now. He'd have to keep the hand gestures down for sure. His mind wandered about how this date would go as he looked out the wind shield. He didn't want anything major to go wrong but he also didn't know if he really wanted a date where everything was absolutely perfect with a connection that would last for the centuries. After Venomous had left he had really sat and though and read about his future, and he wasn't really sure if he really wanted to even bee going on a date with the other man this soon. But he had made a date and he refused to cancel it. Things had already, started moving. He was already thinking about venomous again. But he refused to subject himself into the same spiral of relationship that had once been between the two. He's have to keep his wits about him. These small casual dates could really test there relationship. Was it really just puppy love the first time, could it last under more mature undertones. Was Boxman the same person as he was all the time ago? Was Venomous the same person he was all that time ago?

Well no, neither of them where the same person. But Boxman knew everything that had changed in his life, he knew almost nothing about Venomous' besides him being secluded to his planet.

Boxman glanced at Venomous. “We are almost there.” Boxman announced, looking back at the road. Boxman slowed down and pulled into the parking lot for the plaza. It was an evening on a week night, so the plaza was a bit sleepy, but there where still shops open and cars parked around the place.

“Well, here we are.” Boxman said, he turned off the car after pulling into a spot. He gave himself a little pep talk. He could do it, it it went bad that was okay, if it went well that was okay, if he was uncomfortable, he would say something, if he could see Venomous was uncomfortable, he would say something. Basically he'd open his mouth about how he actually felt. That's what he had taught himself for all this time, now it was time to use those skills.

Boxman got out of the car at the same time Venomous did.

Boxman looked to the new little cafe.

“Well, that's the place.” Boxman called, he straightened out his sweater and looked back to Venomous.

“It's cute.” Venomous commented.

“Long name.” Boxman added, starting to walk to the cafe, he turned to Venomous, waiting for him to follow. Boxman walked next to Venomous, he smiled at Venomous as they crossed the parking lot. Boxman skipped to the door and held it for Venomous.

“Thank you.” Venomous smiled as he walked in.

“Your welcome!” Boxman stepped inside.

A cup was thrown and shattered right beside them. “Dang it!” A voice called.

“Well, that sure is a greeting.” Venomous quipped.

“Are you really going to throw your china at your future Father-in-law you little punk!” Boxman shouted. He took a deep breath, trying not to get angry at Rad beyond belief but also being mad that he didn't even get the chance to ruin his own date yet.

“Sorry! It was just a reaction!” Rad laughed awkwardly.

Venomous choked. “Father-in-law?”

“He decided to move from my daughter to my son.” Boxman said, eyeing Rad. “At least he didn't try and kidnap Raymond.”

Rad blushed. “That is not what happened!”

Boxman knew that he could play this for hours but he decided to end it fast. “Well, at least you asked before making a big decision with this one and I guess he won't shut up about you.” Boxman said, putting his hands on his hips. “Now can we get a table?”

Rad nodded and looked at Venomous, before showing the two to a table.

“Thank you, Rad.” Boxman said, sitting down. Venomous sat down.

“Uh, no problem!” Rad handed them each a menu before going to another table, he still had an eye on Venomous.

“When did that happen?” Venomous questioned.

“A few months ago when Rad got back from being the captain of the space force.” Boxman said, he put down his menu. “Nothing could stop those two after Rad got back, I guess that's for the best, Raymond wouldn't shut up about being lonely.”

Boxman laughed, remembering the day Raymond had come to his home and started blabbering on about the wonderful dates he had gone on and how happy he was with an alien that had moved back to earth recently. Four weeks later Rad had arrived on his doorstep asking if he could have Raymond hand in marriage. Boxman was not so impressed in Raymond's taste but knew the hero would at least be good to him, and he couldn't say no to his son having happiness, even if it was hasty.

“I think I'm going to get a, oh boy these names, a 'kitty cocoa' and a- uhm, I guess a 'Tail long cake' to go with.” Boxman stated to Venomous. “I mean, it can't be that bad.”

“I think I'll go with a 'black catfee.' And the 'jelly-bean scone' doesn't look completely awful....” Venomous said stressfully.

Boxman nodded and put down his menu. Rad came back to the table, with a pad of paper and a pen.

“Are you two ready to order?”

“I'll have the cocoa and the tail long cake.” Boxman said, passing the menu to Rad. He collected the menus.

“I'll just have the black coffee and the scone.” Venomous said, looking away from Rad.

“On it.” Rad nodded and left.

“The cats are a cute touch.” Boxman stated as he saw a cat strut passed them. He knew Raymond hated animal hair, he didn't know how much of an argument the cats had been, probably a long one.

Boxman giggled as a cat jumped into Venomous' lap. It was a small fluffy thing with a bow.

“Aww, someone likes you!” Boxman called.

Venomous blushed. “It seems so.”

“So, is there anything you want to know about, from where you where gone?” Boxman asked. He felt himself make another hand gesture. He felt the awkwardness in it. Was he becoming flippant. Oh no it was the soft and flamboyant sweater gay consuming him. He could work out that problem later.

Venomous looked up at Boxman, and then looked away. “Could you... tell me about KO?”

Boxman had expected that question. Maybe not before drinks but he had prepared for it.

“I've heard he's been leveling up faster than ever. He fused with TKO and accepted that part of himself. He started to have a bit of a freak out a few summers ago when Carol and Gar got married. I think he was just having some trouble with getting used to the idea of growing up. I fought him for a while before I retired. He's still working at the bodega and I hear he's happy and getting tall. I try not to bother the Plaza to much any more, Ernesto has that covered.” Boxman hummed to himself. He had more details, but right now it was just about catching Venomous up. Details could be later.

“So I didn't ruin his entire life.” Venomous sighed.

“If anything, you helped him find his inner peace with TKO.” Boxman said earnestly.

“The heck he did!” Rad called out defensively.

“He would have never found that stupid song if he never had to go swimming in his own subconscious now would he!?” Boxman yelled back.

“It's still my fault that TKO even existed in the first place.” Venomous frowned.

“TKO was the product of Shadowy figure. You never had control over what he did.” Boxman stated.

“He was still part of me.” Venomous sighed.

“That doesn't mean that he was any reflection of what you actually wanted.” Boxman stated.

“I'm a terrible father.” Venomous muttered. Boxman didn't really know what to say, he had already worn out his two well planned ways to help Venomous get past Shadowy.

“You know, you can always work on what you don't like about yourself. You already are making an effort, that's a lot to start out with.” Boxman said, he desperately wanted to impart anything to help Venomous see that he could grow as a person, without just flat out shoving a self help book in his arms and telling him to read it and stop holding a grudge against his past self.

Venomous smiled a small smile. “I want to. I really want to.” He looked up at Boxman. “That's why I came back here.”

“I know, and we are going to help you move past your mistakes and be your best you.” Boxman said softly.

“You sound like a cheesy self help book.” Venomous laughed. Boxman flushed up a bit, he looked away from Venomous.

“They do know what they are talking about.” Boxman said, admitting to his maybe excessive collection of self help books he'd read since he found inner peace.

“Have you read any?” Venomous asked.

Boxman sighed and looked at Venomous, he smiled a little. “A few, here and there.”

“Are you kidding me?” Rad laughed as he set down there orders. “You bought out the whole book store!”

Boxman went bright red, not expecting to be called out like that. Maybe he did over do it on the self help books. He had spent a lot of money on something that basically told him the same thing every time. Or told him something that he couldn't use or-

“I hope you know I didn't mean anything bad about it. I'm sure they helped you, and that's all the matters.”

Boxman felt himself smile as he looked at Venomous. “They didn't do all the work, but they do help you find the right tools you need to start picking up the pieces and re build yourself.”

“Re build yourself, huh.” Venomous smiled. “I could probably use a few of those.”

“I could give you a few recommendations.” Boxman said, his blush finally calming down.

“That would be nice.” Venomous looked at the kitten on his lap. “Thank you.”

“It's not a problem.” Boxman sighed, he picked up his cocoa and looked at the face looking back at him. “Oh?”

“Hm?”

“It's looking at me.” Boxman said blankly, his words just falling out.

“What's looking at you?” Venomous asked, looking around.

“My cup.” Boxman stated.

“Your cup?”

“Yeah.”

Venomous stood up and looked at the cup. “It is looking at you.”

“I know.”

“How?”

“I don't know.”

“Oh dear Cob.” Rad walked back over to them. “It's foam.”

“With eye's?” Boxman snapped his attention to Rad.

“Well, yeah, I made its myself.”

“I didn't know you dabbled in bio engineering.” Venomous looked to Rad.

Rad just blinked. “Have you two never been to a coffee shop before.”

“No.” They said at the same time.

Rad sighed. “It's not real.”

“Then why is is looking at him?” Venomous asked.

Rad facepalmed. “It's art.”

“It winked!” Boxman threw the cup, it hit Venomous and exploded.

Venomous winced, feeling a burning sensation. “Why would you give him a living cup of coffee!?”

“The coffee probably just moved the foam!” Rad was very obviously exasperated.

“It winked!” Boxman yelled. He looked at his cake. “Does this have eggs in it?”

“Don't worry! Ray told me that you don't eat anything with eggs, so I made you a fresh one!” Rad clarified.

“Is this alive as well!?” Venomous quickly questioned.

“What!? No! None of this is alive!”

“So you killed it!” Boxman yelled, standing.

Rad had to facepalm again. “Ray didn't warm me for any of this.”

“This is insanity!” Boxman slapped a pile of techno's on the table. “I refuse to eat murdered food!”

Boxman strutted out.

“And I refuse to eat living food!” Venomous said following him.

“I've seen you eat a live mouse once!” Rad yelled after them.

Boxman huffed, leaning on the trunk of the car. The nerve of Rad serving him living coffee. He looked at Venomous, soaked in Coffee.

“Oh my Cob.” Boxman gasped. “I'm so sorry!”

“It's fine.” Venomous smiled. Suddenly Venomous burst into laughter.

Boxman followed suit.

They where both just cackling in the parking lot.

“This might just be our best date yet, Boxman.” Venomous gasped out.

“I didn't know I could do worse than blowing up your house!” Boxman said hysterically.

“You literally paid him a down payment on his whole house!” Venomous doubled over.

“You threw a cat across the room!” Boxman doubled over as well.

 

~~~~hi

 

Boxman was still calming down, his sides aching from laughing. He pulled up to Venomous' house. It had been a few hours since they had left.

Boxman smiled at Venomous.

“I had, an interesting night.” Boxman peeped.

“I really enjoyed myself.” Venomous replied.

“He too. It was a nice night, besides the living cup of Coffee.” Boxman sighed, he beamed at Venomous.

Venomous thought for a moment before laying a hand on top of one of Boxman's. “I's like to do that again sometime.”

Boxman felt his face heat up a little. His mind was racing as he adjusted his hand to squeeze Venomous' back.

“I'd love to.” Boxman giggled a bit seeing Venomous go bright red. “I'll find a real restaurant that doesn't serve such weird food.”

“Sounds great.” Venomous smiled.

Boxman let go of Venomous' hand, and continued to beam at Venomous. “Good night, Venomous.” Boxman weighed his options and found just the thing to give Venomous. He blew a kiss at Venomous.

Venomous went bright red.

“G-Good night, B-Boxman.” He stuttered out. He quickly blew a kiss back.

Boxman felt himself go bright red and he felt his mind go numb as he looked at Venomous.

Venomous finally opened the door and stepped out of the car. He turned around and looked at Boxman, but suddenly music blasted from the house.

“Fink!”

Venomous sighed. “Good bye.” He ran into the house.

Boxman sighed, “Goodbye.” He said, knowing that Venomous didn't hear him but he felt he needed to say it as he watched Venomous sprint into his house to deal with the uncontrollable 6-11 year old who was growing into a spirited 13-17 year old.

Boxman shifted into first as he heard her name, loudly over the music. He laughed as he pulled off.

Tonight had been a disaster. He had loved every minute.

Chapter Text

Boxman had escaped the board meeting. He was sure that they would look for him in the workshop and the lounge, and the living room. Boxman wandered down halls he hadn't really wandered down since he moved out. He had heard a few loud bangs from this part of the factory earlier. The smell of sulphur and moss was strong, it was familiar but he couldn't place it.

 

Boxman was humming to himself when there was a fire ball down the hall. Boxman had ducked for cover before looking down the smokey hallway. Moss and Sulphur. He knew now. He stood and ran down the hallway, he skidded to a stop in the door.

 

“Was that a bio destabilization!” Boxman yelled.

 

He saw Venomous jump.

 

“Boxman!?” Venomous wiped soot off his face with his equally sooty sleeve.

 

Boxman smiled, he hadn't smelt and felt an explosion in a while. He hadn't see the other man working with his weird equations and chemicals in even longer. He tried to keep himself from jumping up and down in excitement.

 

“I didn't think that you'd be put in a lab this far away from the main factory but look at you! You look like a real scientist! I like the new lab coat!” Boxman chirped.

 

Venomous smiled. “Uh, thanks.” He looked Boxman up and down. “I never thought I'd see you looking so dapper. I like it.”

 

“Oh this old thing?” Boxman tossed the jacket off into a pile of soot. “I just wear it for board meetings. This is much more exciting though.”

 

“That's going to be hard to get out.” Venomous pouted.

 

“Good, I don't want to attend another board meeting and if I look bad enough Ernesto might let me sit them out. Just because I'm former CEO and he enacted past presidents into the company by laws doesn't mean I want to do anything.” Boxman said, he ran a hand through his hair, effectively messing it up. Boxman really did hate the stuffy meetings, and dressing up for them was worse than any of the meetings he'd ever had with previous investors in his lab coat.

 

“If you don't mind messing up the suit, then maybe you could help me!” Venomous asked.

 

Boxman lit up. “Absolutely!”

 

Boxman felt his mind yelling with excitement. The table was pretty much clean from the explosions. It could have been any experiment in the world and he was happy to just be able to sink his hands into science. Real and labouring science.

 

“Excellent!” Venomous smiled. “I've having a bit of trouble with bonding the bio-life with the metal. Have you changed anything with the designs?”

 

Boxman thought for a second. “Who is this for?”

 

“It's for your new little project.” Venomous clarified.

 

Boxman lit up and pulled a blueprint from thin air. He looked at the design on the page and quickly pushed the soot off the table. Boxman spread out the large spread, looking at the lines and the specs on the page. He had been working on this one for a while. He had been given a simple task, all he needed to design was a vacuum cleaner. Well he was about 6 months deep in development at the moment and he didn't car if he had passed his dead lines.

 

“Teagan is going to be a sweet little run about! I am making him an absolutely loveable little guy! He's gonna have a really good pack bond! I'm also going to make sure that he can protect himself around his older sibling though!”

 

“I was told this was going to be a vacuum cleaner.” Venomous raised an eyebrow.

 

Boxman puffed and huffed, he looked at his blueprint. “There is no reason that just because there mainstream job is being a vacuum cleaner doesn't mean that I can't put extra work into making sure my design is absolutely perfect.” Boxman laughed a little as his mood shifted again, he looked at the blueprint and smiled. “I made him with the ability to be anything the little guy wants to be be. Well at least the promoted unit.” Boxman leaned on his elbows and looked over his blueprint. He had been in a frenzy making this bot, almost as much as he had been in when the other kids where drawn up. Maybe this bot wasn't for the same things, but he did put his soul into every one of them. Maybe he'd add in some more functionality. He'd love the guy to become part of the family's he'd serve, but Boxman also knew Hero's and Villains would find a place for Teagan in there homes, you could get a earthling to pack bond with anything.

 

“After all these years, I still adore your passion.”

 

Boxman looked at Venomous, his mind wandering off of Teagan and to the man next to him. The words made his ears buzz happily and it made his heart rock.

 

He started to sniffle.

 

“Boxman? Are you okay?” Venomous asked. Boxman felt his emotions rising wildly in his chest.

 

“I'm just so happy!” Boxman started to sob. He was suddenly overwhelmed with everything. Being loved, finding Venomous, the date, the board meeting, his bundle of joy, all of it.

 

“Father! You can't just leave in the middle of a board meeting!” Ernesto called, kicking in the door.

 

Venomous jumped.

 

“I'm sorry!” Boxman wailed. He suddenly felt disappointed in himself for failing Ernesto and running off. How badly had he made Ernesto feel. How could he just run off like that.

 

Ernesto put his hands up and scooted towards Boxman slowly. “It's okay father. Did you just need a moment to calm down?”

 

“I'm sorry!” Boxman ran to Ernesto, hugging Ernesto and burring himself in the bots suit jacket. Boxman had already forgotten why he was crying but he still just felt overwhelmed.

 

“It's okay, Father.” Ernesto rubbed Boxman's back, he looked at Venomous. “He's been getting a bit emotional when it comes to, you know.” Ernesto gestured at the blueprints.

 

Boxman didn't like that Ernesto was talking about him while he was right there but now he was just so proud that Ernesto was able to handle to handle the meeting on his own, and started blubbering away into the suit jacket about it.

 

Now he was fine.

 

Boxman coughed and pulled himself off Ernesto.

 

“I was, just seeing where the explosions I heard where coming from. I thought that'd be more important than sitting through profits.” Boxman stated, he walked to the table and collected up the blue prints, making sure they where still clean. Boxman looked at Venomous and now felt a bit embarrassed he had started to go through one of his mid blue print mood swings. “Sorry about that. I get like a 8 months pregnant mother when I'm starting to get to the stress of forging the first prototype of a new little one.” Boxman held his blueprints and smiled, looking at them softly. He'd make this one of the best first prototypes yet.

 

“There's no need to apologize, I understand.” Venomous sighed.

 

Boxman smiled at Venomous, knowing he didn't.

 

“Well, if you need a hand with the bio components, I should be able to give you a full break down of the metal's and synthetics that are going to be used in there framework and exoskeleton!” Boxman chirped.

 

“That would be great; thank you.” Venomous smiled.

 

“I'll get right on that!” Boxman chimed, he held his blueprint tight and skipped out of the lab. “I'm going to do a write up on your synthetics! You're going to have perfect exoskin! Yes you are!” Boxman blabbered to the paper.

 

Boxman skipped to his workshop, humming and happy with thoughts of chemical compounds for new rust proof metal and maybe a new chip resistant paint. Maybe he'd finally start on the first pieces this weekend. He'd need to start soldering on the boards soon if he was going to get done with Teagan by spring.

 

He put the blue print down on his drafting table. He stood and walked to his work bench, looking back he pulled out a few chip boards, wires, and capacitors. Yes Teagan would be done by spring.

 

 

Chapter Text

Boxman was singing loudly. He had his sleeved rolled up, his welding mask pushed up and a spark apron wrapped round him. He was trying to forge a simple outer housing. This wasn't rocket science but right now he had been fighting the warped and slightly flawed sheet for what felt like hours, and probably was.

 

He quenched the hot piece and looked over it. He went in for a second quenching just to get it a bit cooler. This time as he pulled it out he looked over it, he picked up a smaller hammer and put it on the anvil, tampering the silt off from the heat being pulled out of the metal.

 

Boxman cheered for himself as he finally got out the stubborn warble in the plate.

 

“You did it Boxy! You beautiful piece of-”

 

Boxman looked at the door as it rang out.

 

“I told you that I don't want a sandwich Ernesto!” Boxman yelled. He put the pice back on the table and get back to his tampering.

 

“Then how's a walk?” Venomous questioned.

 

Boxman felt his world go small. He had been so caught up in chasing off his kids he had never even thought about the possibility of Venomous at the door. He felt himself heat up and he cursed himself.

 

“C-Come in!” Boxman squawked.

 

Venomous stepped in the workshop.

 

Boxman couldn't help but smile as he looked at Venomous. “Ah, I haven't seen you in weeks.”

 

Boxman nervously laughed. He was starting to remember the chemical write out he was supposed to have delivered before he had gotten caught up in his work.

 

“I have been, in a moment of inspiration. Not that I've been trying to avoid anyone or anything with it I just, needed to get my hands into Teagan.” Boxman put a hand over his face, and took a deep breath. He felt a bit embarrassed but he knew that this was going to happen with another bot on the way.

 

“Don't worry about it.” Venomous smiled. “I can see that you've been busy, but you should probably take a break.”

 

Boxman looked at the silt that needed tampering off on his anvil. He mulled on an answer for a while. He could always come back to the tampering when it was cool but He did like the smoothness of tampering while the metal was still hot. But he could heat it up later. He looked at Venomous. Venomous wouldn't be able to be put back in the blast heat forge in a few hours to get back into working condition, he would probably be asleep. What time was it any ways. Boxman looked at his watch, which had melted sometime around last Tuesday from a indecent dropping the welding torch. Or was it two weeks ago Friday, he couldn't tell from the melted blob.

 

“Well, I should take a little pause, I do need to pry my watch off and I don't have a crow bar in here.” Boxman said, he stood up straight and pushed his welding mash all the way back, pushing it off. Boxman put the mask down next to the piece of plating. He started to undo his apron but thought against it. He looked pretty bad and the apron at least hid how badly he had stained the shirt. Boxman looked at his watch again.

 

“How'd you melt the watch this time?” Venomous asked. Boxman laughed.

 

“I dropped the welding torch.” Boxman sighed, he ran his tongue over his teeth, yep. “It chipped a tooth on the way out of my mouth and took my watch as a bonus casualty along with the skin around it.” Boxman shook his head. He shouldn't have been welding with his mouth, soldering was one thing.

 

“And you didn't get help?” Venomous said, his voice drowning in worry.

 

Boxman shrugged. “I stuck my arm in the quenching tank.”

 

“Boxman.” Venomous' voice was stern, “You shouldn't do that. You could be seriously hurt!”

 

“Oh please.” Boxman waved his arms at Venomous in a swift motion. “It's just a little burn.”

 

Boxman had had plenty of burns, and it's not like he set his feather on fire this time. He was brought back into reality as Venomous grabbed his arm. He jittered a bit as Venomous looked over his burns.

 

“PV, I'm fine, I've had a lot of burns.”

 

“Stop treating this like it isn't a big deal!” Venomous hissed.

 

Boxman looked at Venomous, seeing the man covered in worry and care. Boxman softened a bit. “Alright, what does the Professor prescribe then?” Boxman said, a laugh lining his voice.

 

“We have to get the watch off before I can do anything.” Venomous pressed the edge of the burn. Boxman definitely was cognizant that it hurt, but it wasn't the worst burn he'd ever had had. He wouldn't need to replace parts of himself with this one. “Does it still hurt?”

 

“A bit, but not too much.” Boxman knew this would put a bit of ease on Venomous.

 

Venomous nodded and let go of Boxman's arm. “Right, well you're coming with me.”

 

Boxman watched as Venomous had started to leave. Boxman sighed and followed Venomous. He could be distracted for a while, it wouldn't hurt any worse than his arm.

 

Boxman followed Venomous outside. He saw a car that was new, Venomous was already doing well for himself. That was always a good thing.

 

Boxman followed as Venomous got in the car. Boxman scooted into the passengers seat. Boxman looked over and saw Venomous had already had bought himself a pair of white driving gloves. It was an old fashioned, but a cute quirk. It reminded him, this was Venomous and everything was working out.

 

Boxman looked around, it sure was bright out here. Where there trees and clouds? He didn't remember because the sun was trying to make a vacation home in his corneas.

 

He heard tapping. It wasn't forging, that was weird.

 

“Is there a kink in the steering wheel?” Boxman asked, he looked at Venomous, who was next to a blinding white window. Venomous sighed. Boxman saw Venomous reach into the blinding void and then reach out to him.

 

“Put these on.”

 

Boxman took the sunglasses and slid them on his face. He could already see smudging on the lenses from just being in his vicinity but now he could look around and not feel like he was back on the sun. “Better?”

 

“Thanks.” Boxman chirped, he looked around. The snow was gone, when did that happen? “I wouldn't think the snow would be gone in early February.” Boxman called as he thought about the weather. Could it still be reeling from his poor choice in business advisors.

 

“It's late March. Did you seriously not come out for all of that time.”

 

“Teagan was being difficult. I needed to hand build his boards three times. I ended up having to make my own chip boards.” Boxman leaned his elbow on the door and the side of his head on his hand. “And my new rust proof alloy has been nothing but a pain because it's so strong. I have to do at least three long exposures on each piece before it gets soft enough to work with and if I just leave it in the furness it explodes cause of the materials, so I have to keep it moving the whole time.” Boxman had found that out the hard way, and was surprised he hadn't gotten molten metal embedded in his skin again. On second thought he probably did. There where a lot of pin holes in his shirt.

 

“And you didn't take a single break. I had faith that you were at least taking care of yourself!”

 

Boxman looked at Venomous, who was gripped into the steering wheel and tense. His mind suddenly clicked, it stopped hitting the skip in the record and he suddenly felt like an idiot.

 

He looked away for Venomous. “You're right. I just get caught up in the work. And with the little one on the way I think I just sort of, spaced out.”

 

“I was worried when Ernesto said you weren't eating, but this!?” Boxman watched as Venomous got tenser still. HE felt like a completely idiot and this time around he'd do something about it.

 

“I know... I know that I need to stop doing this to myself. But when I get going I just can't stop myself. It's always been a problem and of all the things I've worked on, I don't think I ever really thought about dealing with this. Cob, I haven't even exhausted myself like this since I was working on Makayla and Raymond. Since I was working on... It's just been a long time.”

 

Venomous pulled into his driveway and turned off the car. He looked at Boxman. “I don't care what you say, I'm treating this, and then you're going to eat and get some rest. No arguing with me.”

 

Boxman looked up into Venomous' worried eyes and found himself lost in the feelings of being wrong and lost. He watched Venomous' eyes start to soften while they looked back at him. Boxman felt a bit of relief dig itself into his heart. He'd try to make sure that he wouldn't keep falling into habits older than what he'd been working on.

 

“I won't. I'm all yours until you say I'm rested.” Boxman called. He gave Venomous a soft and sincere smile.

 

“Thank you. I don't mean to be so strict, but you really worried me.” Venomous looked away as he sighed.

 

Boxman unbuckled and opened the door. He got out of the car just as Venomous did as well.

 

Chapter Text

Boxman followed Venomous to the front door. He watched the man fumble out his keys. Venomous opened the door and stepped in. Boxman followed, already hearing the sound of videos game echoing in the house.

 

“Fink, I told you to work on your piano.” Venomous groaned.

 

Boxman was confused as to why Fink was at home. Shouldn't she have been in school? She was, he remembered that Venomous had always made it clear that if she wanted to be home schooled she could be. Boxman never agreed.

 

“I was just taking a break!” Fink called.

 

“Please go get my smaller saw.”

 

Fink ran off. Boxman saw Venomous' gesture towards the couch. Boxman walked to the couch and sat down. He didn't really want to cause any problems. He felt bad because he knew he'd leave a soot stain on the couch but Venomous was really worried. Boxman looked at Venomous and his outstretched hands, kneeling in front of him. Boxman passed his arm over to Venomous.

 

Boxman watched nervously as Venomous went to touch the watch. Life slowed down and he bit his lip. The agonizing descent towards the watch felt like minutes. And then the pain hit.

 

Boxman tightened the bit he had on his lip, forcing down any noise of pain.

 

“I'm sorry.” Venomous stopped. Boxman held back the gasp of relief.

 

“It's nothing, Venomous.” Boxman said firmly.

 

“Don't lie to me.” Venomous held a stern glare at Boxman.

 

Boxman really didn't want to. “It's just, hard not to.” Boxman said. He cursed himself for that wording “What I mean is, I just. I can't just, go around being in pain at every little burn I get welding. Not around the factory.”

 

“You're not in the factory. Be honest with me.” Venomous took a deep breath. “Please.”

 

Boxman felt his throat dry out and he felt his mouth feel like it was full of cotton. He really didn't want to lie about anything. But he'd gotten used to fusing watches to his wrist. It wasn't something that should have hurt any more.

 

“Of course. Venomous.” Boxman said, forcing a smile at Venomous.

 

Boxman could tell that he hadn't given the right answer to Venomous, but he couldn't find what the right words where right now.

 

“I got your saw, boss!” Fink called tearing rubber back into the room. She had a large saw. Boxman felt the amputation eminent.

 

“I said my smaller one.”

 

“But this one is so much cooler!” Fink whined.

 

“I'll do it.” Venomous stood and let go of Boxman's arm. Boxman felt the little voice in his head make a whine as Venomous let go. “You stay here. Fink, be nice.”

 

Fink bounced onto the couch next to Boxman. She looked at his arm.

 

“That look gross.” Fink called.

 

“It feels gross too.” Boxman said, not trying to be patronizing but also stuck in parent mode when it came to the girl. He smiled at her. “So what game are you winning at?”

 

Fink lit up like a Christmas tree. “I just got this from Boss! It's all about shooting these gross aliens and then you get to hang out with girls!” Fink smiled wildly as she turned her game back on. “Boss doesn't know about the pretty girls!” Fink winked at Boxman.

 

Boxman chuckled. “He won't hear it from these lips.” Boxman called, he recognized the game from his own kids. Nuke-man or something. Fink wasn't going to be damaged by getting to see hot girls in a video game. Venomous would never actually notice any ways.

 

Boxman watched as Venomous walked back over and knelt in front of him once again. Venomous put down his first aid materials but kept his saw in hand. He held his other hand to Boxman. Boxman gently passed his burnt arm back to Venomous. He really didn't want to show just how much pain as starting to seep into his bones now that he was no longer distracted by his work, but letting his face settle in a uneasy frown would be okay.

 

 

“Please stay still. I promise I know what I'm doing with this.” Venomous said, Boxman felt the reassurance in the man's voice, but also didn't really trust a saw gnawing at his wrist. He at least knew that Venomous could put his hand back. Boxman nodded numbly.

 

Venomous put the saw to the watch.

 

Boxman watched the man as he started to saw at his watch. Boxman kept praying to anything that would listen. He held his bottom lip between his teeth tight enough to start taste the flesh in his own mouth. He felt his heart rate shoot over the moon. Every vibration of the saw shot pin through his skin, crawling up the bones in his arm and causing him to start to twitch. He tried to hold back all signs that he was in pain, including the tears prickling in his eyes. He never really had thought about the burn when it happened, he had just soaked it and moved on. It didn't hurt as long as he was working non stop.

 

Finally the saw was removed, along with the watch. But now the crisp air was eating at what had been under the watch, which was full of brass and nickel, good conductors. Boxman had seen worse.

 

Boxman saw the ointment get grabbed. He knew what was coming. It didn't make the stinging feel any better. His teeth found a new section of cheek to dig into as he tried to keep himself composed.

 

Boxman met with Venomous' glance when Venomous looked up. Boxman couldn't do anything but try and force down any pain he had been feeling. When venomous looked back down and grabbed bandages, Boxman let a little more pain creep onto face. Boxman felt him flinch a few times as the bandaging was wrapped around his wrist and lower arm. Venomous finished the wrap quickly. Boxman saw the man dip down and felt the sweetest pain he'd felt in a long time. He saw Venomous' face flushed as he stood up.

 

“I'm going to get you something to eat.” Venomous rushed to the kitchen without even looking at him.

 

Boxman finally gasped, letting go of his lips and cheek. Fink looked at him and paused the game. “Do you need a pillow?” She asked.

 

Boxman nodded. Fink passed the man a couch pillow, which he took with his un harmed hand, and buried his face in. Loudly calling out despite the pillow. Boxman passed the pillow back to Fink.

 

“You really burnt your hand good.” Fink said, taking off one head phone but unpauseing the game.

 

“I've had worse.” Boxman said bluntly, he leaned his elbow on his knee and his cheek on his hand. He started drumming his talons into his cowl.

 

“Really?” Fink called, she glanced at Boxman, trying to figure out where.

 

“Yeah.” Boxman met her glance, he gave her a crooked smile, his bottom lip swelling up a bit.

 

“Where?” Fink asked. “Or do I not wanna know. If I don't wanna know don't tell me.”

 

Boxman chuckled a bit, he tapped his talons harder on his cowl. His thoughts where still cloudy and hazy from the pain. He thought about if the girl would have wanted to hear about the welding mishap that had caused him to loose a chunk of thigh. Or maybe when a baby Ernesto had shot him in the chest with a laser. He tapped harder on his cowl. Fink turned and was just about to ask him to stop clicking when it clicked.

 

“Ah, yeah that had to have been a bad one.” Fink said, she looked back at her game.

 

“What had to be?” Boxman said, mulling on what she had said, he tapped harder at his cowl. “Never mind, I'm sure you don't want to hear about Ernesto's first ray gun.” Boxman sighed.

 

“I thought Ernesto only did stuffy office stuff.” Fink said, getting a triple kill.

 

“He didn't want to use lasers after he shot me between the ribs.” Boxman said, he chuckled and kept drumming on his cowl. Fink snorted. “What, don't believe me?”

 

“Ernesto is too much of a weenie to even hold a gun.” Fink called.

 

“You wanna see the scar?” Boxman asked, Fink paused the game.

 

“YEAH!” She called.

 

Boxman laughed and rolled his eyes. He pulled the top part of his apron over his head and started to unbutton his shirt. He pulled a sleeve down and lifted his arm. Fink gasped.

 

“How high was the beam!” Fink called.

 

“Full!” Boxman called back.

 

“And you lived!” Fink yelled, she threw down the controller and her head phones.

 

“Luckily I was wearing a welding apron, like this one!” Boxman chirped. He pulled his sleeve back up.

 

“Wowie!” Fink was now fully engrossed in hearing about these injuries. “What else should you have not survived!”

 

“Well once I was just pulling a block of steel from the forge and Darrell and Shannon ran into me, I dropped the entire 45 pounds on my foot!”

 

“How did that not crush your foot off, let alone melt it!” Fink gasped.

 

“A little trick called 'getting jumped on by two child bots', they snapped my ankle as my foot was pulled free.” Boxman called.

 

“Did you're dumb bots give you the cowl too!” Fink nearly screamed.

 

Boxman looked at her, he gulped. The tension in the room shifted.

 

“Er, no.” Boxman looked away from Fink. “No that was, that was from something else.”

 

“What! What!” Fink grabbed Boxman's good arm and shook it. “A plaza kid! A Hero! P.O.I.N.T.! The president of the universe!” Fink kept shaking as She screamed.

 

Boxman took a deep breath and looked at Fink. “Another Villain.”

 

“OH MY COB!” Fink yelled. She was so gob smacked her speech was unintelligible after that. “You fought off another entire Villain! What was their score! Did you know them! Did they try and take your turf!”

 

Boxman looked at Fink. He felt something in his mind that had been making it hard to think about that day suddenly become a little easier. Fink's excitement was rubbing off on him.

 

“You bet I fought off that Villain! They wanted in on the Hero I was fighting and I shook them right off! They had to resort to trying to send me to the cornfield in the sky to get in on my prize, one of the original P.O.I.N.T. Members!”

 

“NO WAY!” Fink started shaking Boxman again.

 

“Fink.” Venomous snapped from behind them.

 

Boxman snapped his attention to Venomous just as fast as Fink had.

 

“Be careful.” He hissed.

 

“Sorry, boss.” Fink quickly sat down, not shaking the other. Venomous sighed and walked over. He put down the bowls.

 

“What where you two even talking about to get you so riled up?”

 

Boxman didn't know if the story he had started to tell might have conflicted with what Venomous wanted Fink to know, so he tried to keep it smooth and simple. “Oh, just about some old-”

 

“It was so cool! He fought off another villain and he got that cool cowl from them because they were trying to fight the hero he was fighting-”

 

“Alright, alright.” Venomous held up his hands. “Slow down, Fink. I can hardly understand you when you get so excited.” He looked at Boxman, and raised an eyebrow. “Your prize, by the way.”

 

Boxman suddenly felt the entire conflict of ten wars in his mind. What could he say here, he never did know if Fink was ever fully told the extent of Venomous' history. Then again she had known everything about Shadowy, it wouldn't be a surprise if she had known about KO before Venomous.

 

“It was my first win against a Hero, even if he did run off into the sewers later.” Boxman said, he smirked at Venomous. He went to knit his fingers together but tried to bend his wrist, he put that arm down, but crossed his legs and held the look at Venomous.

 

“Well at least he didn't need a villian's help after he got shot.” Venomous fired back.

 

“Is this some weird kind of flirting or...” Fink trailed off, watching the two just smirking at each other.

 

“At least I didn't retreat.” Boxman smirged, he started to laugh.

 

“You were dying!” Venomous shouted, but he couldn't suppress the chuckle that came out.

 

“YOU DEFEATED LASERBLAST!” Fink shouted, jumping up and down on the couch.

 

“It wasn't hard!” Boxman chirped, still laughing.

 

“I could've just left you there.” Venomous rolled his eyes, crossing his arms. “If I was so easy, you probably could've managed yourself.”

 

Boxman flipped his wrist and leaned back into the couch. “I was just acting more hurt than I really was, to make you feel better about having lost to a pie.”

 

“I was surprised, okay!?” Venomous laughed. “You don't usually expect pies in your face when you're fighting cute villains.”

 

Boxman snorted. “I guess you where distracted by my good looks back then as well.”

 

“Perhaps.” Venomous smirked.

 

Boxman laughed a bit more, he felt the pain in his wrist die down as he was distracted.

 

“To bad the cat ears covered your drop dead eyeliner.” Boxman snarked, “You may have been able to distract me enough to stop your defeat.”

 

Venomous flushed. Boxman felt his smirk turn into a beaming grin, seeing Venomous fluster up.

 

“Oh please. You wouldn't have batted an eye.”

 

“I probably would have, a lot.”

 

Boxman sighed, he remembered back in the days of Original point. Laserblast had been the Villain favourite cause he was the trickiest to catch. And the nicest to look at. Or maybe that was just him. Not it definitely wasn't just him. Billiam wouldn't have funded him that fast when he still almost looked like a hero and his purple was splotchy. Yes Laserblast was the villain favourite because he was the trickiest, loved the banter, and liked to flirt his way out regardless of who it was. And it worked.

 

“Ew, you made it all lovey dovey.” Fink stuck her tongue out in disgust.

 

Venomous ruffled her hair and gave her a bowl. Her eyes went wide as she sat down.

 

“You cooked!?”

 

“Heh, it has been a while....” Venomous smiled and grabbed another bowl. Boxman took the bowl he was given. “But I figured just this once I'd attempt something.”

 

Boxman smiled and looked at the bowl. He started to remember his wrist and his stomach wasn't to happy with having been so empty and now Boxman was in pain. He took a small bite.

 

Boxman had forgotten what the capacity of a organic being in the kitchen, even when they sucked, could be. Having more than a sandwich with the distinct flavour of motor oil on it drove him to the edge. Before he could finish the thought he had taken down the bowl.

 

“Wow this is actually pretty good!” Fink piped up.

 

“Thank you, Fink.” Venomous smiled and looked at Boxman. “Would you like more.”

 

Boxman was already regretting eating the bowl that fast. “It was great but no thank you.” He was a grazing kind of man, he told himself as his stomach started to ache.

 

“Maybe you should get changed, and get some rest. I'm sure I have something for you to wear. After all you haven't changed you clothes in weeks.”

 

“Nasty!” Fink scooted away from Boxman a bit.

 

“Fink, that's not nice.”

 

“It is true.” Boxman stood, the front of his apron falling down fully. He looked at his shirt and remembered the metal fragments that had eaten through his shirt, and he remembered that they all stung as-well, now that his watch was gone some of the sting from the wrist relented and he could focus on other things. He may have also had a broken finger. The detail's where foggy.

 

“What did you do?” Venomous said, his voice spiking.

 

“Oh, just a minor molten metal explosion.” Boxman smiled at Venomous and rubbed the back on his neck.

 

Boxman watched as Venomous finally burst a seam. Fink yelled as Venomous went down like a brick.

 

Chapter Text

Boxman took only a second to think before acting.

 

“Fink get me a bowl of water and towel!” Boxman called. Fink sprinted off. Boxman shot forewords and to the side of the crumpled up man. Boxman quickly pulled him up and flattened him out on the couch. Boxman quickly undid the top button of Venomous' shirt. Boxman felt Venomous' skin. Damp and kind of cold, normal for him. Boxman started to fan off Venomous as he waited for Fink to return.

 

Fink ran in with the towel and bowl. “I have the water!” she called, she ran to Venomous' side and dumped the bowl on his face, to Boxman's horror.

 

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU COULD DROWN HIM!” Boxman screamed. “HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TOLD WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE FAINTS!”

 

Venomous groaned and sat up. Boxman gasped and quickly started to feel Venomous' face again for any significant changes besides wet.

 

“Oh good, it's okay now.” Boxman put his good hand on Venomous' shoulder. “Now.” Boxman cleared his throat. “HAVE YOU NEVER TOLD YOUR KID WHAT TO DO WHEN A PERSON FAINTS! SHE COULD HAVE HURT YOU! OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER!”

 

“What?” Venomous said softly.

 

Boxman put a hand to his forehead and took a deep breath. “Lets not over react.” Boxman took a few deep breaths. “Let's get you something for your blood sugar. Fink has a towel for you.”

 

Boxman turned and walked towards the kitchen, still doing deep breaths, trying to calm down. Boxman entered the kitchen and looked around. He saw the fridge and opened it. It was practically empty. Boxman sighed, closed the fridge, and smacked his forehead into the door. He heard a metallic twang but he could buff a dent out later.

 

He had put Venomous into such a panic that the man had fainted.

 

Boxman cursed himself and berated himself. He shouldn't have let himself get sucked so far into working on something so meaningless in the grand scheme of things. He was just doing another dumb project for no reason. And now he was burned, he was bruised, he was injured. He was always injured like this after the kind of too focused work that he always sucked himself into but now it was worse because now someone cared about that. He was so stupid with his own body. He didn't even care about what hurt and how it hurt. It was just some alloy in his skin, he was fine. He was fine.

 

Boxman smacked a fist into the fridge. He had made Venomous so stressed that he had caused the man to black out. Then he had nerve to yell at him and Fink. He wasn't doing so much good for Venomous, was he. He had promised that he'd help him acclimate, and he spent over a month locked in a room working on something that didn't matter. He couldn't just once say that his stupid projects meant nothing and make a real connection with someone. He wanted to take it slow but he didn't want to flat out ignore and neglect Venomous. It was just a stupid project.

 

Boxman felt himself start to shake a bit. He was at his edge. He hadn't been here for a while. He'd had lash outs since Venomous had left. They where part of his healing process and learning about himself. But this was the first one in a long time and this one made him sick. He was angry, he had lashed out. It was nothing new to him but this time he had taken it too far. He had lashed out at a child.

 

He had lashed out at one of his kids.

 

And it was all over the fact that he couldn't look up for two seconds and leave the stupid project alone. Maybe he should have just told Venomous to go away like everyone else. Maybe he should have told Venomous later when he was asked about alloys. Maybe he should have just written his alloy list instead of suddenly getting the urge. The same urge that had ended with his foot being broken for almost a year. The urge that had almost punched through his ribs and killed him on the spot. The urge that had brought chipped teeth, broken bones, deep burns, and sickness spells that had left him bed ridden and near death.

 

He had to stop being an idiot one of theses days.

 

He had made it all better. He had read those books and he had learned that he was more than a crazy man and a bad father.

 

There was no changing the man who never took care of himself. The man who ran his company into the ground. The man who had hurt his own children so many times.

 

“You're so bad at this.”

 

Boxman grunted under his breath. His relationships never worked out. Now he was killing the man he was trying to take life slow with and yelling at his kid for not knowing any better than what they where taught. He had screamed at Venomous right out a fainting spell. How was that supposed to help him calm down and keep himself from fainting again.

 

And it was all because of that stupid project. Why couldn't he just make a normal vacuum cleaner. Why did he have to get grand plans and a think he had the right to bring another bot into this world where he would just be a terrible father like he had always been. It was just a dumb project. It was a dumb project where he should have just let the alloy explode and called it quits. Or melted a watch into his arm and said that it wasn't worth it. He could have just put the blueprints into the machine and he could have avoided the entire lock away period of several months because he had been working on the project that was just going to collect dust in the workshop.

 

There was no way he was even going to be allowed into his workshop again. Not after Someone who could actually feel pain had seen what he just did to himself as he worked. He could have taken off the watch but he didn't, or worn gloves and kept the torch in his hands.

 

His kids never understood that. His kids where unfeeling and didn't have a concept of death. His kids could just, reboot. He couldn't. And that's why he had just hurt himself. For years. If they didn't know they were special they wouldn't have to be sad.

 

Was that selfish of him? All he wanted was to keep his kids innocent and unaware of pain. Well what would he have done if he couldn't have managed to crawl to a hospital on his own when he actually needed attention. To come home and act like he was fine, even though he had been destroying his body. And what was going to happen when he finally keeled over.

 

He had been selfish? He was going to die, no matter what. He was just a organic life form. Even if he pulled miracles and found a way to reboot himself, which would never happen, who's to say it would last more than one or two reboots before becoming unstable. He was, in all situations, going to leave his children who didn't understand death, and never felt pain, to have to mourn for a man that they couldn't even comprehend wasn't coming back. Would it hurt more if they just thought he left again. Would it hurt more if he just keeled over in front of them.

 

It wouldn't hurt him. He'd be dead. And that was selfish. He was able to just die, and his kids weren't.

 

And it was all because he was an idiot, and he had started into a stupid project, and not had the decency to even pay attention to anything else.

 

“I'm so stupid!”

 

Boxman brought his human hand up and back.

 

He screamed as his hand hit the metal fridge, denting the stainless steel appliance, and shooting pain through his entire body, starting at his hand that was already burned beyond fixing.

 

“Boxman!”

 

Boxman felt himself choke. He came back into the moment from his spike of pain. He turned towards Venomous. He held his unharmed hand and tried to forced back the tears in his eyes. He smiled falsely at Venomous.

 

“I-I was just getting something for your blood sugar, but you don't have juice.” Boxman called. 'Play it smooth' he said to himself as he felt his hand cramping with pain.

 

Boxman watched Venomous put down Fink, the man rushed to him. Boxman looked up as Venomous put his hands on his shoulders.

 

“Are you okay!?”

 

Boxman tried to laugh, but it sounded choked, the motion causing pain in his arm. “I'm fine, don't worry!” Boxman peeped, he tried to smile harder at Venomous. This was not smooth.

 

Venomous looked at the fridge. “Did you break your hand!?”

 

“Oh, that!” Boxman laughed. “I can buff that out!”

 

“I don't care about the fridge!”

 

Boxman felt his throat tighten as he looked at Venomous. He was fighting his thoughts again. He didn't care about the fridge even if his safety deposit was now meaningless. That was probably supposed to make him feel better but not right now. Not when he was being a idiot like usual.

 

“I'm fine.” Boxman said, he felt his jaw start to twitch. His hand was cramping tighter by the moment. He could see the worry in Venomous' eyes.

 

“Boxman, quit lying to me!”

 

But he was fine. He'd dealt with worse. His hand would get better so it wasn't important what was wrong with up.

 

“My hand has seen worse, Venomous. I am fine.” Boxman felt his shoulder twitch because of the cramp in his hand.

 

Boxman watched anger flood through Venomous.

 

“Get in the car! We're taking him to the hospital!” Venomous yelled, turning around.

 

Boxman was still making Venomous' life hard, and now he didn't even know what to say. If he had just not been stupid. If he had just not been stupid and wasn't working on that dumb project. It would have all been fine.

 

Boxman gulped as Venomous looked at him. “Come on.”

 

“I'm... fine....” Boxman said, he felt anger starting to rise again. His pain was not helping him. He tried to take a deep breath but just seethed.

 

“Are you kidding me!?” Venomous shouted. He clenched his fists. “I get that you want to lie to me about how you feel, but this!? You need help!”

 

“I have not once lied to you about how I feel!” Boxman yelled, he felt himself boiling over.

 

“Not lied to me!? You've been lying to me all day! You're fine! You're fine! Sure, yeah, it sure looks like it!”

 

“I have not once lied to you about any of my feelings!” Boxman screamed back. Boxman felt his entire arm finally crap fully from pain. He felt his face start to go red, but he tried to keep himself from screaming out.

 

“You're not fine.” Venomous' voice cracked. “Did I do something?”

 

Boxman felt his chest tighten. “It's all been my fault for being such a useless person and not being able to function! You've done nothing! But I'm now fine!” Boxman let out in a scream. He felt his entire body start to shake as tears started to perk in his eyes. He could have just avoided all of this if he had just given the damn alloys to Venomous. But he was an idiot.

 

“You're not useless.” Venomous sniffled.

 

Boxman felt himself scream inside. He was hurting Venomous more. He was making Venomous hurt and ache again. If he had just been normal, this wouldn't have happened.

 

“I'm a failure who locked himself in a room injuring himself over stupid projects for months at a time. Just to bring functionless AI's into existence to yell at them. I've always been useless.” Boxman had to bring his claw up to wipe away the tears that had started pouring down his cheeks. It was finally out and now Venomous could go on with his life. Venomous hadn't even needed him to acclimate, he hadn't even kept that promise.

 

“Stop that! I love how much you care about all of your children, how much care you put into them! You're better than I am! I hurt both my children in one go because I wanted to feel powerful! If anyone has the right to call themselves useless, it's the one who's actually useless!”

 

Boxman looked up at Venomous, his eyes a blurry. “You've only hurt them once or twice.” Boxman gulped. “I can't stop myself from hurting them.”

 

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” Venomous gripped tightly at his hair, tears where pouring down his face. “Please stop!”

 

Venomous hit the floor.

 

“BOSS!” Fink screamed. She pulled out her phone.

 

“Fink-”

 

“JUST STAND THERE AND KEEP QUIET!” She screamed at Boxman, she punched a number into her phone.

 

Chapter Text

Boxman felt like shit.

 

Everything was groggy, and everything hurt. He tried to open his eyes but the light above was blinding.

 

He felt like there was a ball of slime in his mouth. He swallowed and regretted it. He felt dizzy, the taste had been horrible and now he wanted to throw up. He felt like his veins where boiling, he could feel something cold in them. He could feel an itch in his arm that was the source. His nose was burning with a soft breeze. He still didn't want to open his eyes.

 

“Sir?” Boxman heard a voice outside of his fog. He looked towards the sound. “How are we doing sir?”

 

Boxman only saw a blurr. “What is?” Boxman groaned, his body felt stiff and he didn't quite remember what had happened before,l what was before? He was, asleep?

 

“Just rest, we'll get you anything you need when you wake up a bit more.” The nurse peeped. “Do you want.....?”

 

Boxman hadn't really comprehended what she had said. “Sure.” Boxman said, the fog still hazed over him. He felt his mouth fill with saliva that tasted just as bad as the ball of slime. This at least wasn't thick.

 

He tried to remember what was before. Yelling? A siren? Doctors? He tried to bring his hands up to rub his face. Once hand started to numbly throb. Boxman put that one back down. The other stung at the itchy little cold spot that was eating at his vein. Boxman put that arm down as well.

 

He heard the rustling of something. He tried to open his eyes again. The light was less dissociating this time. Boxman looked towards where the rustling was. He couldn't make out anything but a purple blur.

 

“Ernesto?”

 

He regretted talking, it made the taste worse. He tried to blink but every blink made his eyes feel like sand was being poured in.

 

“No.”

 

Boxman couldn't recognize the voice. He pulled the hand with the itchy cold spot up to his face. He saw the spot. An IV? And IV!

 

Boxman shot up off the bed. His head spun, they form had said no, it wasn't Ernesto. “Thank Cob.” Boxman gasped. He felt like passing out and his head spun.

 

“Boxman! Lay back down!” The voice called. Boxman was starting to tunnel vision and both his arms hurt like heck. He threw himself back down. He couldn't argue those words. Whose words?

 

Boxman looked at where the sound had come from. He saw a purple blur, it wasn't Ernesto. Boxman blinked as hard as he could. The picture started to un fog.

 

“PV?” Boxman moaned. He started to get blurry details. He couldn't make out any features of the man. But he could now see he was right. “PV.” He felt his voice chirp in his throat, maybe it had been a crack, he couldn't tell.

 

“Yes, it's me.”

 

Boxman looked back at the celling, it was hard to try and clear his vision right now.

 

“Where am I?” Boxman asked, he had an IV, why did he have an IV, there where doctors at some point. There was a lot of black though.

 

“You're at a hospital.”

 

Boxman looked at the white celling, the IV, the doctors, the black. He'd really done it to himself this time.

 

“Great.” Boxman grunted. The taste was going away finally, his spit wasn't goo any more either. He still felt vaguely like throwing up.

 

“It is great. You'll be better in no time.”

 

Boxman felt himself snort in response, he didn't mean to and it kind of hurt to breath through his nose in such a sharp way.

 

“When am I going home?” Boxman asked.

 

“A few hours at most.”

 

Boxman felt himself sigh and roll his eyes, well maybe eyes? He might have to turn his cowl back on now that he's awake, his vision was still cloudy and weird.

 

“How are you feeling?”

 

Boxman blinked a bit more, vision still not clear, yep the cowl needed to be powered on. “Like shit.” Boxman sat up again, slower this time, he tried to use his normal hand to push up but it was, not right. He looked at it and saw shines of metal. “They could have asked for my blueprint before making a new one.”

 

“What?”

 

Boxman blinked a few more times. “I broke it beyond repair, right?” Boxman felt the bitterness on his tongue as he spoke.

 

“They just finished surgery. Your hand will be alright.”

 

Boxman took a sharp in hail, that was better than he thought it'd be. He brought his claw up to his cowl and awkwardly started to look for the little impute in an edge. He really needed to see now.

 

He shivered as he flipped the little toggle. His vision cleared out as he heard a static noise in his ears.

 

He saw the metal and fabric splinting on his hand, basically holding it together. He sighed. He'd expected worse.

 

“Father!” Ernesto!

 

Boxman looked up, his vision still calibrating. That was definitely Ernesto.

 

“Fuck.” Boxman said bluntly.

 

“Father are you okay!” Ernesto called. Boxman looked at the bot, his vision started to focus in as he looked at Ernesto, standing at his bed side.

 

“I'm fine, nothing to worry about.” Boxman forced himself to smile at Ernesto.

 

“Of course, Father.” Ernesto replied.

 

Boxman heard Venomous cough. “He had an incident with the fridge....”

 

Ernesto turned to Venomous. “How bad was it?” Ernesto asked.

 

“I'm fine!” Boxman snapped.

 

“How bad was it, Professor?” Ernesto asked pointedly.

 

“He had to have his hand reconstructed....” Venomous said bluntly. Ernesto nodded.

 

“Looks like someone is going to have to keep an eye on him for a while, then.” Ernesto sighed.

 

“I'm fine, it wasn't that bad.”

 

Boxman felt desperate. He was fine. He wasn't hurt. Ernesto didn't have to worry.

 

“Boxman, stop saying that.” Venomous snapped.

 

“Father, we are going to get that hand all healed up. Have you talked with the doctor yet?” Ernesto said softly.

 

“It's all fine, Ernesto. I'm going to be out in a while and then everything will be okay.” Boxman stated firmly. Ernesto sighed. Boxman gulped.

 

“Have you spoken with the doctor? What did they say about care? I assume physical therapy once it's more healed?” Ernesto said calmly.

 

“I'm fine!” Boxman shouted. “I've never needed physical therapy before and I won't now. I'll get the cast off in a few weeks, and I'll be back to work. It's okay, Ernesto.”

 

“Boxman, you should listen to what the doctor says.” Venomous said. Boxman looked at Venomous and felt his emotions start to dance around in his head and chest.

 

“Whatever, I'll get this thing off in a few weeks and then it will all be back to normal.” Boxman said firmly.

 

Ernesto sighed again. “I want to talk to the doctor when he gets here.”

 

Venomous took a few deep breaths. “Yes of course.”

 

Boxman huffed. He started to try and scoot back in the bed to get more comfortable. Ernest almost fell to help him.

 

“Do you need a pillow, father? Do you want the bed up?” Ernesto called.

 

“Whatever.” Boxman huffed, Ernesto sped to get Boxman's comfort as high as he could. Boxman sighed as Ernesto left him alone.

 

“There father, all comfortable, right?” Ernesto peeped.

 

“Of course, Ernesto, thank you.” Boxman said softly, he brought up his good hand and patted Ernesto's head, knocking his hat off centre. Ernesto would have been beaming if he had a mouth.

 

Ernesto stood up and adjusted his hat.

 

“You're welcome, father.”

 

Boxman finally laid back a bit and scanned his room. He saw a ball of green.

 

“Sorry,” He said, looking directly at her.

 

Fink turned away and huffed. “Yeah, whatever.”

 

“I shouldn't have raised my voice, I'm sorry, and I'm sorry that I couldn't help the second time.” Boxman elaborated. He felt his heart bleeding for forgiveness even if he knew he didn't deserve it. “You don't have to forgive me. Bite me if you want to, but I made a mistake. I don't want you to think you did anything wrong.”

 

Fink looked up from her game. She sighed and looked away. “I forgive you. But... could you please stop stressing my boss out? I don't like when he faints.”

 

“Fink.” Venomous sighed. “I'll deal with it. I told you that it wouldn't happen again, and I'm going to make sure it doesn't.”

 

“If I every stress Venomous out again, you have permission to shoot me worse than Ernesto did.” Boxman said straightly.

 

“Father!” Ernesto gasped.

 

“Deal!” Fink smirked.

 

“It wont happen again.” Venomous affirmed. “I'll take care of it.”

 

“Mr Boxman!” A nurse jumped in, she looked at the people around. “Oh hello! Mr Boxman the doctor is coming in a few minutes. Do you need anything to eat or drink?”

 

“No thank you. I'm fine.” Food was the last think he wanted.

 

“Water, Sprite, Gator-aid, coffee?” The nurse listed.

 

“No, I am fine.”

 

“How about some ice chunks? We could get you some Jell-o or crackers!”

 

“No really, I am fine.”

 

“Father you can't be released until you have something to eat.” Ernesto reminded.

 

“I'll take some Saltines and some water.” Boxman said, still not wanting to eat but he could get down a few bites to get out of here.

 

“Of course! I'll be right back!” The nurse skipped out. Boxman groaned.

 

“I don't even like Saltines.” Boxman huffed. He would have crossed his arms if he didn't have the soft nagging of itchy cold in his arm.

 

“Well, it'll just be a few and then we can go.” Venomous said.

 

Boxman sighed and waited for his eventual crackers.

 

The nurse popped back in. “Here you go Mr Boxman.”

 

She walked over and shouldered Venomous and Ernesto out of the way, pulling the table across the bed. She set down a little pile of crackers and a cup of water.

 

“The doctor will be right in!” She chimed and skipped out.

 

Boxman looked at his crackers and water. He still felt like throwing up.

 

He picked up a Saltine and ate a nibble of a corner. Yep, wanted to throw up. He put his cracker down.

 

“Don't force yourself to eat; it's okay if you can't.” Venomous smiled.

 

“I don't even like Saltines.” Boxman huffed. He still felt like throwing up. He picked up the water and took a drink, he barely swallowed the tiny sip. He put the water down.

 

“Hello!” The doctor jumped into the room. “I'm Dr Steiner.” The Doctor walked to the end of the bed and picked up the chart. “Lord?” They looked up at Boxman.

 

“Uh-”

 

“Don't worry my brother was named after a toy company.” The doctor peeped, they looked over the chart. “Phew, you had a rough hand. But I got those fingers back into place, maybe a little nicer than they were before!”

 

“So that means I can leave.” Boxman huffed. He glared at the doctor.

 

“Oh, of course your insurance only approves out patient surgery.” The doctor called. They started writing in the chart.

 

“Well, what do I have to do for my Father, ma'am?” Ernesto asked, he put his hand on Boxman's little table. The doctor gave Ernesto a tired look.

 

“It's 'Doctor' Steiner, and he's going to have two week in the solid cast, they we will re x ray his hand and decide if he should move into a less braced cast. If it goes well he should be able to start physical therapy then.” Dr Steiner said flatly. “The standards should apply, don't get the bracing wet, and keep an eye for excessive swelling. Lord, if you could do one thing for me it's take at least ten minutes a day to wiggle your fingers. I'm scribing pain meds high enough to make that at least not feel like getting stabbed. It'll make your PT much better.”

 

“I don't need physical therapy.” Boxman hissed.

 

“Well then say good bye to all the finite functions in your hands because you severed several ligaments and tendons and it's honestly a miricale I got you hand back together in one piece.” Dr Steiner said, still writing in the chart.

 

“Please, Boxman. Just do the physical therapy.” Venomous sighed.

 

“Listen to the twink.” Dr Steiner grunted. “You're also lucky that I didn't have to take a graft after I removed the worst of the burn, cause I would not have made that scar pretty. You will get the stitches in your fingers out when you come back in two weeks.”

 

“This is stupid. When do I get the darn thing off.” Boxman huffed.

 

Dr Steiner laughed a bit. “When your bones refuse together and we are able to take the bracing pins out of your hand. Or you can always take it off tonight with a saw-”

 

“Please don't give him ideas.” Ernesto cut over.

 

Steiner laughed a bit more. “Well, keep your father under close watch then. Unless you want me to give you sedatives for him.”

 

“That would definitely be helpful.” Venomous quipped. Steiner nodded and pulled put a Prescription pad, scribbling out a couple of sheets. Boxman gasped offendedly.

 

“You won't even consult-”

 

“Don't worry, the pills you don't use are worth 20 each on the street.” Steiner laughed. “Now, the nurse will be in to test if you can do the rest of your basic functions. Your shirt was thrown out because it was destroyed, the rest of you stuff should be in the little cabinet over here. I'll be back with your arm sling before you are released. Enjoy your crackers and water, Lord, and be sure to yell if you need anything.” Steiner put the scripts down on the end of the bed, hung the chart up, and whistled away and out of the room.

 

“She should be audited for informing patients to sell pills.” Ernesto stated.

 

“She seems nice!” Boxman called.

 

“Very straight to the point.” Venomous nodded.

 

Boxman snorted, hearing something he couldn't place his broken finger on in Venomous' voice. He took another bite of cracker.

 

“Well, someone going to get my clothes?” Boxman sighed.

 

Venomous nodded.

 

“If needed I brought Father some fresh clothes.” Ernesto called, pulling a very neatly folded pile of clothes out from behind him.

 

Boxman shook his head, he smiled and laughed a little. “Very prepared, as always.” Boxman looked around the room. “Now get out.”

 

“Come on Fink.” Venomous gestured to her. She looked up from her game and followed him out.

 

“Father are you sure you don't need help?” Ernesto asked.

 

“I'm fine now get out.” Boxman huffed. Ernesto stepped out of the room.

 

Boxman took a deep breath. He picked up the pile of clothes and smiled. They where not only folded, washed, and pressed, they smelt like the factory. Ernesto did always know what would make him feel a bit better. He pushed the table out of the way and sat up on the edge of the bed. He started to struggle out of the hospital gown, he looked down at his chest as saw a littering of little Band-aids and a few gauze pads. He figured they would deal with that.

 

He started to get the overalls and sweater on. The arm of the sweater easily rolling up past his splint cast. Boxman looked down at his hands. He prided himself on being ambidextrous but he couldn't really do any engineering work with his claw. It wasn't easy to write with claws that dug into the page. Boxman sighed and scooted himself back onto the bed. He leaned back and sighed, resting his claw behind his head and his splint on his stomach. It was starting to hurt. It wasn't as bad as when it had shattered on the fridge but it was becoming a particular note of pain.

 

“Oh Family!” Boxman chimed flippantly, yikes he still hadn't worked on that. That was next on the to-do list, right after re read his most helpful books

 

Chapter Text

“Father! Do you like your clothes?” Ernesto called.

 

“Of course I do!” Boxman chirped.

 

“Well then, I'll have to stop by your house on our way home. That was all I had at the Factory.” Ernesto said.

 

“What?” Boxman sat up. “Why can't I go home!”

 

Ernesto suddenly got stressed.

 

“Boxman, it'll be difficult living alone in your state.” Venomous said, backing up Ernesto.

 

“On that point, it's not really safe for him to be at the Factory either.” Ernesto said, starting to ponder options.

 

“That is true.” Venomous sighed.

 

Boxman huffed and sat there, waiting for the two to make a choice. He could tell that he didn't have agency in this conversation and he had built Ernesto to be a strong and uncompromising negotiator so he probably couldn't win unless he turned him off.

 

“Well, what if he stayed with Fink and I?” Venomous suggested.

 

“Are you sure you have the ability to handle Father for a few weeks, maybe even longer?” Ernesto called.

 

Venomous laughed. “I lived with the man; I think I can handle him.”

 

“Well, if Father agrees.”

 

Boxman knew it was either he agrees or Ernesto was going to send an army to live with him in his home.

 

“One condition.” Boxman leaned back, he crossed his legs. “Mk.II can come with. I bet she's getting lonely.”

 

“Of course.” Venomous smiled.

 

“Well then that's all set.” Boxman said firmly.

 

The door knocked. “Knock knock.” Dr Stein called, leaning back in. She stepped into the room. She looked at Boxman on the bed. “I see you're relaxed, seems the nerve block hasn't worn off.” She walked to the bed, a box under her arm. “I have your sling, there are some rules about the sling.”

 

“Who needs rules.” Boxman snarked.

 

“People with kids as large and threatening as yours. Now sit up.” Steiner huffed. Boxman rolled his eyes and sat up on the edge of the bed.

 

“You know, he's not the one with a desire to always carry two switch blades. He's the one who makes dinner and hugs too tightly.” Boxman huffed as Steiner opened the box. “He also knits.”

 

“Nice hobby but my brother knits and I've been stabbed with one of those needles.” She said off handedly, he pulled the sling out.

 

“You can stab somebody with those!” Fink's eyes lit up.

 

“You can also strangle them with the yarn.” Steiner informed.

 

“Boss!”

 

“No.”

 

Boxman looked back and smiled at Venomous.

 

“Alright, rule number one, always keep the strap set to the length I set it at.” She slid the sling over Boxman. “Put your arm through- okay good, now rule two, always wear it in public because if you hit your arm on something your gonna wish you did.” She started to fiddle with the length of the strap. “And third, if you don't just let you arm rest in the sling, your shoulder is going to hurt like heck.” She placed Boxman's arm in the sling. She kept adjusting it until his arm was at an angle she liked.

 

“That all?” Boxman huffed.

 

“You don't have to wear it around the house. Keep your hand elevated, so pull all the slick stretching moves you want on Snake man over there.”

 

“Oh I think I can manage that.” Boxman puffed.

 

“Ice and heat, and take your pain pills, unless you don't think you need them, then suffer.” Steiner backed up and nodded at Boxman. “The nurse will get you for check out. It's been nice, but I have other loser's to sew back together. Nothing as fun as a shattered hand. I'll see you in two weeks, Lord.” She gave him a very lazy and unfeeling salute and walked out. Boxman looked back at Venomous and saw his bright red.

 

“How unprofessional.” Venomous gasped.

 

“Well, you said I have to listen to the doctor.” Boxman shrugged, he grinned at Venomous.

Chapter Text

 

Boxman sat up from the couch as he heard a loud sneeze. He had just started to wake up with the sun when the noise shocked him. Venomous didn't wake up early. That was definitely not good.

 

Boxman stood, his hand stinging as he got his sling on. It sure did feel better than just letting it dangle. Boxman wasn't going to bother Venomous, but he thought about making three cups of tea, two for just in case either of the the others decided to get up.

 

Boxman was in the kitchen putting on the electric kettle when he heard another sneeze. That was Venomous for sure and that was not a good sign. Boxman sighed as he got a mug of tea for the man. He walked through the small house and listened to drones of coughing. He knocked on the door of Venomous' room.

 

“Yeah?”

 

Venomous' voice sounded like heck. Boxman quietly opened the door.

 

“I heard you from the living room. Do you want some tea?” Boxman asked, he gave Venomous a gentle smile. Venomous sniffled.

 

“That would be nice..... But I can get it myself.”

 

“That wont be necessary.” Boxman pushed himself into the room, a cup of tea in his claw. “I already made one.”

 

Boxman watched Venomous stare at him as he walked forewords, he passed the tea to him as he got closer. Boxman smiled at Venomous. “Do you need anything else?”

 

“Hey,” Venomous laughed a bit, “I'm supposed to be taking care of you.” The man started to cough.

 

“Says the man who hasn't woken up before me in his life.” Boxman sighed.

 

“Maybe I just wanted to try something different?”


“You have snot in your hair.” Boxman turned and started to walk out. “I'll get you breakfast, and Fink too.” He stepped out of the room and walked to the kitchen, as he passed the room with a bomb shelter sign heard a small sneeze. He'd get more tea.

 

Boxman was back in the kitchen looking for something to cook for the pair. He had found half a back of ground beef, a dozen eggs, oatmeal, and bread.

 

He'd save the beef for later, but right now oat meal and toast would do. Eggs where good when you where sick but. Boxman stared at the eggs until they went back in the fridge.

 

Boxman got to the meal, he had just finished the cup of tea when a ball of fluff rolled into the kitchen.

 

“Morning.” She yawned, she then coughed. Boxman smiled as she climbed into the seat at the breakfast bar. Boxman passed her the cup of tea.

 

Fink groaned and took a drink. She muttered as Boxman finished off some toast and her bowl of oatmeal. He put it in front of her. He picked up a plate with a bowl and toast on it.

 

“I'm taking this to your Boss!” Boxman chirped. He walked through the hallway to Venomous' room. He nudged the door open with his foot and saw a cocoon. “I have some food if you want.” Boxman called.

 

Venomous groaned. “Yes, thank you.” He yawned. He started to cough.

 

Boxman tisked and walked over, handing him the plate.

 

“I see you have a little bed mate.” Boxman chimed, seeing a angry Mk.II who had been disturbed by Venomous' cocoon at the end of the bed.

 

“It seems so.” Venomous smiled, sniffling.

 

Boxman walked over and pet Mk.II. “Now be a good girl and tell me if he starts to die.” Boxman planted a kiss on her head and stood. He went to walk out. “I'll make sure Fink gets some more rest after breakfast.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“You're Welcome.” Boxman walked back to the kitchen. He saw Fink face first in her oatmeal. He walked up behind her and gently shook her shoulders.

 

Fink sat up from her bowl of oatmeal. She had at least eaten it first.

 

“If you are done, you can go back to bed.” Boxman said softly. Fink whined and coughed. Boxman sighed and pet her head. “You feel really bad, huh?”

 

“Yeah.” Fink coughed, she smacked her chin onto the counter top and whined.

 

“Well you aren't going to feel better sitting here. Come on.” Boxman leaned over and scooped her up in his good arm. He carried her back to her room and laid her down on her bed. She quickly cocooned herself like Venomous had. Boxman sighed and walked out of her room. “Sleep well.” Boxman said, he closed her door. Boxman started looking around the house for tissues. Eventually finding them in the back of a cabinet he picked up two boxes and walked to Venomous' room, he poked in the door. He looked at the quiet cocoon. He snuck over to next to the bed and put down a box. Venomous sneezed.

 

Boxman jumped, Venomous then groaned and opened his eyes. Venomous jumped.

 

“Shh I was just dropping off tissues.” Boxman said as soft as possible. He picked up the plate and bowl. He backed out of the room. “Go back to sleep.” Boxman said softly.

 

Boxman walked back to the kitchen and dropped the dishes off. He grabbed another box of tissues. He went to Fink's room and knocked on the door. She sneezed loudly.

 

Boxman opened the door and walked to her bed, he put the box down next to her and left again.

 

Boxman was now alone in the rest of the house for at least half a day. Boxman started on washing dishes. It was a bit difficult and he hoped Venomous wouldn't notice the chipped bowl but otherwise he managed.

 

He took a deep breath and walked out to the couch, he leaned back and put his feet up, he guessed he could watch something for a few hours on TV, it wasn't reading but he guessed he could get something out of educational programming. 'Super Sitter' or 'Dr Tom', who cared.

 

 

 

~~~~hi

 

 

 

He figured that by episode 4 'Super Sitter' would have been more boring but it was better than 'Dr Tom' for more than one episode at a time.

 

Boxman heard foot steps and looked back, he saw a living blanket.

 

“Hey, PV.” Boxman called.

 

“Hey.” It sounded like Venomous had been gargling gravel.

 

“Did you get sick of bed?” Boxman asked, looking back at the TV.

 

“I hate being bed ridden.” Venomous coughed.

 

“I know the feeling.” Boxman said blankly, he could maybe admit to becoming engrossed in the family of this episode.

 

“What are you watching?” Venomous asked.

 

“'Super sitter,' it's about a hero who goes to peoples homes and basically tells them they are terrible parents and then teaches them how to be actual parents.” Boxman said, “Come and sit.” Boxman patted the couch next to him and adjusted so there was room for two instead of just him.

 

Venomous walked over and sat down, cocooning next to Boxman.

 

[I lost my fucking document so here is Lava's]

 

Venomous walked over and sat beside him, immediately cocooning again.

 

“How are you feeling?” Boxman asked.

 

“Absolutely disgusting.” Venomous groaned.

 

“You’ve looked worse.” Boxman said.

 

“Excuse me?” Venomous tensed, pouting.

 

“I mean, there was the time your skin didn’t shed right, and you were patchy for weeks.” Boxman

said bluntly.

 

Venomous blinked, feeling an embarrassed blush arise.

 

“Don’t take it to heart, that insult is coming from the man who stained your couch and was in your

trash can. That’s still better than I’ve looked.” Boxman laughed.

 

Venomous sunk more into his cocoon. “I take everything you say to heart….”

 

Boxman looked at him, sighing and turning the TV down. “You know, I’m just playing around.

Even when you’re covered in snot, you still look good. I still like the way you look.” He shifted and took his arm out of the sling, putting his arm over Venomous’ shoulders. “Now, stop being all sick and mopey.”

 

His face was burning, something he was starting to get used to. “I know, I just- I don’t know- I guess I just feel my looks are all I have left.”

 

“You have a lot more left than just your looks. You might be drop dead gorgeous, but that’s not what’s important. I wouldn’t deal with your snot if all I liked was your eyeliner and fancy boots.”

 

He felt himself sink more into his cocoon, leaning a bit towards Boxman. “I know it’s dumb…. I know that I shouldn’t worry about that in front of you. I guess the eyeliner and fancy boots make me feel like I still have a bit of power left. I mean, I’ve seen how people fell over for Laserblast, so, ugh, I don’t know! It’s dumb.”

 

“It’s not dumb. If looking your best makes you feel better about yourself. Then you are allowed to take time and treat yourself to making yourself feel nice. But you shouldn’t put agency into what you think other people think. If looking like you stepped out of a make over every day makes you feel like you have power, then that’s okay. I’d feel powerful in knee high heeled boots too. But most importantly, don’t feel bad for worrying around me. If you have anyone on your side who you can feel okay to vent to, that should be me.” Boxman leaned his head over and rested it on top of his cocooned self. “It’s alright.”

 

Venomous sniffled, trying to hold back the tears that decided to just appear. He shifted closer to

Boxman, curling up beside him. “Thank you, Boxman. Really.”

 

“You’re always welcome, Venomous.”

 

The tears were streaming down his face now. How did he manage to get such a good person to care about him?

 

Boxman held a box of tissues to him. “You sound a bit stuffed up.” He said softly.

 

Venomous looked up to him with a small, loving smile, taking the tissue box. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you.”

 

“You existed.” Boxman cuddled more into Venomous, humming.

 

Ah, yes, there was the heat again. When did this man get so smooth? He could’ve sworn it was the other way around a few years ago.

 

“I really missed this.” He said, laying his head on Boxman’s chest.

 

“I did as well.”

 

He smiled, closing his eyes.

 

“C-Can I join?” Fink sniffled, also having a blanket wrapped around her.

 

He opened his eyes and smiled to Fink, feeling Boxman open up his free arm. Fink ran over to them and cuddled up on the other side of Boxman. Venomous smiled and wrapped his free arm around her. She sighed happily as she closed her eyes, quickly falling asleep. Venomous smiled and closed his eyes.

 

Sleep came much easier.

 

Chapter Text

Boxman looked at the celling. He felt like he had been hit by a bus. His arm felt like heck. He felt like heck. He had no idea how long he had just been laying there looking at the celling.

 

He heard footsteps.

 

“Morning.” He grumbled out.

 

“Morning.” Venomous nodded. “Are you feeling alright, Boxy?”

 

Boxman looked around the room. “What time is it?”

 

“It’s half past noon. Do you feel sick?” Venomous said, face looking worried.

 

“The room has been spinning since I took my pills at five.” Boxman admitted.

 

It had been weird to admit it, but he knew Fink was off playing videos game locked up in her room. He remembered her having come and gotten her game with her breakfast.

 

Boxman saw Venomous lean down over him and then start lightly caressing his cheek. “Can I get you anything?”

 

“I’m an hour and a half late for my pills.” He replied.

 

“I’ll get them for you.” Boxman watched Venomous walk away.

 

Boxman looked back up at the celling. He was bored. He had spent the first few hours thinking up blueprints but when it realization hit that he couldn't actually put them down on paper he firmly stopped. His claw was coordinated enough to write when he needed to, but his talons had made it hard to pull straight lines.

 

He laughed and remembered when Mr Logic had come up with a solution for that. File down his talons. Well after a few hours of intense filing, he had had smooth talons. But the pain had lasted for weeks, and they had bled for a good few hours. The next logical conclusion was that if he kept doing it it wouldn't hurt as much the next time. He had not liked that idea.

 

Boxman heard footsteps. He turned to look at Venomous. “Hey.”

 

“Hey.” Venomous smiled, holding out the water bottle.

 

Boxman sat up and took it. Venomous held out the hand with the pills and Boxman took those as well, he knocked them back then closed the water bottle. He flopped back into the couch. He noticed two new pieces of dust in the dance above his head.

 

“Thanks.” He looked to Venomous. “Did you give me all of them or did you skip the sedative?”

 

“Did you want the sedative?” Venomous raised an eyebrow in question.

 

“No, I’m asking if you gave it to me.” Boxman huffed.

 

“Yeah, I did.”

 

“I need that one with food.”

 

“I’ll order some now.” Venomous stood.

 

“You don’t have any food left.” Boxman stated, he had remembered eating the last bowl of oat meal as he read the pill bottle that morning.

 

“That’s why I said order.” Venomous retorted. Boxman felt Venomous lightly boop his nose, he could now see why the bots had let Venomous boop then, it was nice is a weird way. “It’s what I usually do any ways.”

 

“Alright.” Boxman grumbled.

 

Boxman watched as Venomous grabbed his phone and thought. Venomous dialed the number and started to order. Boxman listened to the order as he leaned his head back and watched the dust.

 

“The food will be here soon. Could you call for me when it does? I need to get to my lab and figure out this whole fainting thing.” Venomous said.

 

“Whatever.” Boxman groaned as the piece of dust he had been rooting for drifted off course.

 

Venomous hummed and leaned over Boxman. He pressed a gentle small kiss into Boxman's cheek.

 

“Don't cause too much trouble.” He chuckled, walking out of the room.

 

Boxman looked at the ceiling. He felt his body start to feel light and his face heat up.

 

He felt the passion that he had felt for Venomous, that he had really always felt for the man, course through his veins. He would have been celebrating if he thought he could stand. This felt better than it once had however. Something about the fact that Venomous had done it out of comfort, naturally, something about how deeply his emotions run. Something about the fact this was a serious relationship, and they had been together for months before they had had any form of a real kiss.

 

He liked being head over heels with the ability to think about it without finding himself non-functional. It was a better feeling than being head over heels and just being able to stammer and drool over the other.

 

His mind started to flutter around. He had daydreamed about the other before. He had spent many hours back in the day thinking of hasty and self fulfilling nonsuch that would rile him up for more. But now it was subtler. He thought about the smaller things. What if he taught Venomous how to wire something for a project, and Venomous had been confused, so Boxman took a hand and told him it was okay and explained it slower. What if he and Venomous went for a walk and saw some birds, and held hands. What if he and venomous spent a quiet night eating junk food and watching bad movies, both wearing some soft and cosy and laughing with bad puns, the finest comedy known to earth. He could just see a quiet night laying in bed, drifting to sleep with Venomous curled up at his side, face snuggled into his feathers and drifting to sleep.

 

There was a knock on the door. Boxman suddenly stood.

 

His head spun, his vision went out. He felt like that Bus had hit him again. Even the skin on his arm felt like gravity was tugging at it. He went right back down, tumbling over the table. He had managed to cradle and protect his hand but the rest of his body started to ache immediately.

 

“Venomous!” He groaned out. He was too dizzy and disoriented to be able to get back up, or move any part of his body. The floor felt comfy enough.

 

“Boxman! I told you to call for me; you didn't have to get up!” Venomous said, rushing to Boxman's side.

 

“The food's here.” Boxman stated, he really didn't want to get up again.

 

Venomous sighed. “Don't move.” He didn't have to say that twice. “I'll get the food then get you back to the couch.” Venomous left.

 

Boxman felt stupid for standing up. This time the feeling felt a lot more valid and reasonable. He should not have stood up if he was disassociating.

 

Boxman heard a bag hit the table, he saw Venomous kneel next to him.

 

“Alright, let's get you back up.” Venomous' voice was soft, and Boxman felt a bit of the spinning stop, he smiled and looked at Venomous.

 

“Thanks. I wasn't thinking when I stood.” Boxman admitted.

 

“I can see that.” Venomous smiled at Boxman with a playful glint. Boxman laughed a little as he felt Venomous wrap his arms around him and lift him up. Boxman felt himself get whisked away in the arms of the snake. And then set back down into the plush soft cushions of the couch.

 

Boxman looked up at Venomous, he could feel the awe bleeding into his expression. His chest felt warm and fuzzy and he felt a soft blush cross his face.

 

Venomous started to blush as he looked back at Boxman.

 

“Thanks, Pv.” Boxman sighed.

 

“No problem.” Venomous smiled. He then went to the food on the table. “Fink! Food's here!”

 

Fink came running. Venomous handed her a styrofoam box and she ran off.

 

“She must be hungry.” Boxman said blankly.

 

“I guess so.” Venomous turned to Boxman. “Do you need help sitting up?”

 

Boxman sighed and started to slowly shift up. “Just don't let me keel over.”

 

“Of course.” Venomous nodded. Boxman took a deep breath as he sat up. He room was still spinning but he didn't have to stand so that helped. He looked to Venomous.

 

“Could I get my food?” Boxman asked. Venomous nodded and handed Boxman a box.

 

“I special ordered it, so it doesn't have eggs or chicken.” Venomous chimed. Boxman nodded and opened the box. He looked at the pile of off colour fried rice topped with house special blend of sesamed meats [minus chicken.] Boxman picked up a fork and took a bite. Which then turned into shovelling.

 

Boxman stopped shovelling as his body said no. He went back to eating calmly. He wanted to eat as much as he could to try and stomp down the constant spinning.

 

“This is good, thank you.” Boxman chirped.

 

Venomous smiled back at Boxman. “You're welcome.”

 

“I feel better, I guess, but the room is still spinning.” Boxman said quietly, almost whispering. He sighed and looked at the floor. Saying how he was was still weird.

 

Venomous frowned and laid a hand on Boxman's shoulder. “I'm glad you're feeling better, but we should probably deal with that whole room spinning thing. What do you think could be causing that feeling.”

 

Boxman shrugged. “The opioid and the sedative might be interacting.”

 

Venomous nodded. “Then we'll hold off on the sedative.”

 

“Yeah, that should help.” Boxman said, he leaned back into the couch as he slowed down his eating to a crawl.

 

“Good.” Venomous sighed.

 

Boxman put his box in his lap. The spinning was starting to kick back up. He closed his eyes and tried to breath through the disorientation.

 

“Maybe you should rest.” Venomous suggested.

 

“I've been laying down all day.” Boxman sighed.

 

“You've been staring at the ceiling. That's not rest.” Venomous said

 

“That's a lot of rest, for me.”

 

Venomous sighed.

 

“Just please don't hurt yourself. I have to go back to the lab. Will you be okay.

 

“I'll be fine.” Boxman said, still sitting leaned back with his eye closed.

 

“Please call if you need anything.” Venomous said. “And I mean before you do anything.”

 

“Alright.” Boxman sighed. Boxman heard Venomous leave. After a bit he put his box on the table, he laid back down on the couch. He opened his eyes and saw the dust was all new. He started placing bets.

 

Chapter Text

Boxman felt himself jittering. He couldn't stop, page after page, regardless of if his talons where pulling it apart. He had found a pad of paper and a crayon. He was running out of both now and his broken hand cramped with pain. Every line he pulled he felt himself tighten the stabilized hand.

 

There was a puff with every cramp.

 

“Boxman?” A voice yawned. Boxman snapped his gaze off the table. Blurry un focused vision starting to auto focus. He saw Venomous, how long had he been here? “What are you doing off the couch?”

 

“I made a new, uh.” Boxman looked at his papers. “I made some new parts for the kids.”

 

“That still doesn't answer my question.” Venomous yawned, he stretched and started the groggy trek towards the promise land of coffee.

 

“I just, I didn't take the sedative for bed, and I decided to wear myself out with a few scribbles, and.... And....” Boxman really just knew he had been ripping paper for an amount of time.

 

Boxman watched Venomous slick back his hair, he watched flower petals fall. He was just about to start cursing himself to heck when they stopped on Venomous' shoulders, he finally focused in on Venomous.

 

“Are those? Posies?” Boxman was flabbergasted.

 

“Yes. Please don't ask.”

 

“I know you asked me not to ask, but why?”

 

He looked at Boxman and picked some petals off his shoulder.

 

“If you must know, I've been trying to reverse the effect Shadowy had on my psyche. The whole reason I've been fainting is because my body got used to Shadowy whenever I got stressed or felt helpless. In my efforts, this happened.”

 

Boxman chewed on those words, but most had bounced right through his head.

 

“Maybe before turning yourself into a garden, you might want to try a therapist.” Boxman said bluntly.

 

Venomous turned back to the Coffee. He took a mug. “I don't know, Boxy. I've never been to good at talking about these things.”

 

“Well, if your fainting because your brain is relying in Shadowy, that's not going to be solved with experiments.” Boxman looked around. “You know, there might be a breathing exercise to start helping, or maybe meditation. I'm not a mental health guru but I bet I have a book that might help.”

 

Venomous took a sip of coffee. Boxman looked at Venomous with sympathy for a bit before his attention snapped back to his paper, where he once again started to scribble and rip the pages.

 

“Did you get any sleep last night?” Venomous asked.

 

“Did you?” Boxman shot back.

 

“Touché.” Venomous took another sip.

 

“My next invention is removing my talons with a saw.” Boxman said as he swiped right through another piece of paper.

 

“Boxman. No.”

 

“I tried the making them filed down thing and that went, so well.” Boxman shivered. “It'll probably hurt less to just take them off.”

 

“Don't you dare.” Venomous hissed.

 

“I mean they can declaw cats.” Boxman said, he tossed a page into the pile of pages and started a new one.

 

“Don't remove your talons, Boxy.”

 

“Well then they need to find a way to make it not hurt like all heck when you try and smooth them down.” Boxman kept scrawling despite his talons destroying a section of page.

 

“I like your talons the way they are.” Venomous pouted. “Besides you're going to hurt yourself.”

 

“Trust me, my hands already cramping up from all the little movements I've been trying to make with it.” Boxman glanced at Venomous. “It's supposed to do that though.”

 

“Maybe you should take your sedative and sleep today.”

 

“I don't think that that's going to do anything but make me want to throw up.” Boxman tossed another page and started a new one.

 

Venomous took another sip of coffee. “Just don't go too crazy. I'm going to get Fink so we can start with her schooling.”

 

“You're still trying to homeschool her?” Boxman called, he stopped scribbling and looked at Venomous.

 

Venomous nodded, more petals falling. “Yes. Why wouldn't I?”

 

Boxman snorted. “Because you work full time. She has a lot to catch up on. And there is no way that you've actually been able to teach her anything in the past week.”

 

“I don't know. Wouldn't putting her in school be worse off for her? I mean she's not the most social kid, and what if something happens? What if she's bullied? What if she gets hurt?”

 

Boxman sighed, he turned to face Venomous. “PV, the teachers are there to help her get the fullest of her education. And what kid of social learning is she going to do cooped up at home all the time. And what if something happens? Well she'll either be able to handle it or she's in an environment where she should be able to get help. And if she doesn't get help it's your job as a parent to be able to step in and bring it to the schools attention.”

 

Venomous looked at his coffee for a long moment. He sighed. “Alright.... I'll put her in public schooling.”

 

Boxman smiled at Venomous. “Trust me, I did months of looking into schooling for the bots at one point. I ultimately couldn't loophole them into being able to attend but the benefit is massive. You're making a good choice, even if it's hard.”

 

Venomous took a sip. “Yeah, alright.... I'll.... I'll get her contact with a school. Maybe I'll do some research for the school's in the surrounding area.... Yeah I'll go do that now.” Venomous yawned.

 

“Maybe you should get a bit of rest first.” Boxman said softly.

 

“You first.” Venomous replied.

 

“Fine.” Boxman stood from the table and started to sort his papers into a neat pile.

 

Venomous set his mug down. Boxman slid the pile of papers into the note book they had all been salvaged from and put it under his arm.

 

“I'll see you in a few hours.” Boxman started to walk to the living room. He heard Venomous walk to his room behind him. Boxman got to the couch and collapsed onto it. Falling asleep.

 

Chapter Text

Boxman was stairing at the celling. He had gotten about an hour of sleep before the sun woke him up. Now he was watching the dust again. If he knew anything it was that the smaller specs where able to keep course better and that betting on larger specs was more risky but the pay off for a well controlled larger spec was at least 10:1 on any given event. What was the event? Good question.

 

Boxman felt something touch his cheek.

 

That's when he sat up, croaking out a inhuman crowing.

 

Boxman watched Venomous jump back wildly. He got into a fighting pose before relaxing and clutching his heart, breathing heavily.

 

“Uhh, sorry.” Boxman croaked, also in shock that he had just, crowed in surprise. Venomous still clutched his chest.

 

After a minute, Venomous composed, and ran a hand through his hair. Petals fell.

 

“I, uh, didn't know you could do that....” Venomous coughed.

 

“Oh, well... I guess it's just, a new weird habit. It started when I moved in on my own. It might be a territorial thing.”

 

“Well, um, I'm sorry for scaring you.” Venomous took a deep breath.

 

“I'm also sorry for giving you a heart attack.” Boxman said, he made the worlds most sad and awkward chuckled.

 

“I-It's fine!” Venomous said in an attempt to reassure Boxman.

 

“No, I really need to not do that. I guess my body is so used to me doing that when I get up it just, had to.” Boxman sighed.

 

“I mean, I still hiss at people without thinking, so I understand.” Venomous chuckled.

 

“Well, alright then. We can work on that together then.” Boxman chuckled as well.

 

“I should probably clean these up now.” Venomous said, looking down and nodding.

 

“Do you need a hand?” Boxman asked. “I only have one to offer though!”

 

Venomous chuckled. “I think I can manage cleaning up petals. It's going to be a regular part of my life now, I guess.”

 

“Have you tried ground killer?” Boxman asked. “If you wear a mask, you should be safe.”

 

“I guess I can try it.” Venomous plucked a few posies out of his hair.

 

“Looks like I don't have to get you flowers ever again.” Boxman chirped.

 

Venomous' face heated up, the posies around his head starting to expand and sprout, curling together into a halo of glowing purple flowers. Boxman giggles a bit and looked at Venomous, who almost looked like he was glowing with the light catching the petals.

 

“You in this lights is really making my heart bloom.” Boxman sighed, he felt his face grow a little warm and his smile get weird as he tried not to laugh at his own line.

 

“Well aren't you just ready with the flower themes pick up lines.” Venomous, his blush growing, and his crown filling out more.

 

“I'm villain, I'm supposed to have bad puns at the ready.” He sighed, he starred at Venomous and his halo of soft petals. “Go look in a mirror if you don't want worse ones.”

 

Venomous hummed and went to look in the mirror.

 

“Oh?”

 

Boxman looked over the back of the couch. And watched as Venomous looked at his new crown. He saw Venomous glance back and beamed.

 

“It seemed your experiment is really budding.”

 

Venomous chuckled and walked back over to Boxman. “You are awful.”

 

“I know!”

 

Boxman smiled up at Venomous and laughed a bit.

 

Venomous smiled back, leaning against the back of the the couch. “I guess the flowers show my emotions, hm?”

 

Boxman blushed a bit more as Venomous leaned in a bit closer. “I guess so.” Boxman said quickly.

 

“I guess I'm stuck with these now.” Venomous sighed.

 

“Well, they are a bit different but they are pretty. Not as beautiful as you are normally though.” Boxman sighed. He rested his chin into his claw.

 

Venomous' face went red. “Y-You think? You don't they, um, make me look soft or something?”

 

Boxman sighed, he leaned closer towards Venomous. “Nothing makes you look soft or silly. You always look great.”

 

Boxman brushed a few lower hanging flowers out of the way and smiled, he pressed a soft kiss onto Venomous' forehead. “You always will.”

 

Boxman felt his chest tingle with love as he went back to lovingly starring at Venomous, Who was bright red. Boxman felt his head buzzing with thoughts of the other man as he felt a little more blush cross his face. He had missed this. He missed just showering affection onto Venomous, and now he could enjoy every moment of it without falling into hysteric blushing and internal screaming. He could just enjoy his partner.

 

“I love you.” Venomous blurted.

 

Boxman felt his smile turn into a larger beaming grin as he heard those words. They made him start to slip a little back into his old puppy love but. He liked it just for this.

 

“I love you, too.” Boxman sighed back. It felt like the flood gates of his heart where open now. It felt so good to hear it, it felt even better to say it back. He had forgotten just how amazing it felt to have someone just say that they held him that high. It made him feel respected, even if that was a weird stretch. Hearing those words from Venomous if he could take on the world and everything it threw at him.

 

“What's going on?” Fink called, pulling Boxman out of his haze. Boxman looked at Fink, her eyes went wide as she looked at Venomous. “Boss! Your hair!”

 

“Yes I know.” Venomous chuckled, “It was an accident.”

 

“Wow! That's so cool!” She smiled and ran up to Venomous. “Can you do that to me!?”

 

Venomous laughed awkwardly. “No, that, um...” Venomous couldn't find and excuse.

 

“Hey, kiddo, you know what. I can do the same thing for you!” Boxman chirped. “Not as permanent but just as pretty!”

 

Venomous sighed as Fink smiled wide. “Really!?”

 

“Yeah!” Boxman coasted over the back of the couch and landed in front of her and Venomous. He looked at the snake. “Can I have a flower or two?”

 

“First of all, don't you ever do that again with your injured hand!” Venomous the sighed. “But yes.”

 

Venomous reached into his hair and with a wince tugged a few flowers off his head. He handed them to Boxman.

 

“Thanks!” Boxman peeped, he put the flowers between his lips and got to making a section out of Fink's hair, he pulled a flower out from his mouth and gently knitted it into her hair. He repeated this until he was out of flowers.

 

“Look! Now I'm like you boss!” Fink cheered, she looked at Venomous who laughed.

 

“It seems you are.”

 

Boxman smiled at the two and stood from his crouch next to Fink.

 

“I learnt that trick- oh, uh- with Jethro.” Boxman peeped. He wanted to shoot himself into the sun for almost bringing up any of what had happened.

 

Boxman wanted to kick himself as he watched the flowers start to droop and loose petals. “Oh yeah? I'm sure-” Venomous took a deep breath. “I'm sure that it was nice.”

 

“It was just, nothing.” Boxman said, he found a way to move the conversation along. “Hey, PV, don't we have something to tell Fink?” Boxman nudged Venomous with his elbow.

 

“Oh? Oh yes! Fink we have some very big news!”

 

Fink glanced between them, tail twitching a but with suspicion. “What is it?”

 

Boxman glanced at Venomous.

 

“Well, me and your boss have been talking about doing some things to help improve your future.” Boxman nudged Venomous again.

 

Boxman saw some petals fall as Venomous took a deep breath. “Well, um, you see-” Venomous closed his eyes and took a breath. “You're going to public school!”

 

“WHAT!?” Fink yelled instantaneously. “But boss-”

 

“Well, your boss was concerned with how your education had been going, concerting that you two went and blew up a planet for so long. So putting you in school should help you catch up on what you missed. And you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet new friends!” Boxman chirped. “And I heard that it's pretty easy to blow up the school once you know the ins and outs. And there are plenty of hero's to torture as well!” Boxman winked at Fink.

 

Fink's glare turned into a wide grin.

 

Venomous coughed. “Yes, I have already signed you up, and you'll be starting next week.”

 

“You're going to have so much fun!” Boxman peeped. “We need to deck you out and get you ready for the new school year! You'll need a bag, and notebooks, pens, pencils, a good calculator, new clothes-” Boxman kept going but I don't want to make Lava suffer by listing for an hour.

 

Venomous nudged Boxman slightly. Boxman stopped his list. “Yes, we will be going shopping for those items tomorrow.”

 

Fink nodded and ran off, most likely already finding ways to burn down the school. Venomous sighed.

 

“You know, your going to have to start getting up early, and making lunches everyday. And probably breakfast too.” Boxman said quickly.

 

Venomous groaned.