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Fiora’s still not quite used to her new body, and she’s not sure she’ll ever be. What doesn’t help, she finds, is the looks the rest of the group sometimes send her. Dunban’s eyes full of worry, Melia’s brow furrowed when she glances her way, Sharla’s lip biting, and Shulk… Well, something about Shulk’s expression always makes her want to flinch. Unreadable, but surely not good.

She’s spending some time alone, running her hand against her unfeeling arms and legs, flexing her metallic fingers and tapping the ground with her solid feet (she doesn’t have toes anymore, such a small thing but something she notes anyway), when Shulk finds her. There’s that look on his face again, the one Fiora can’t quite read.

“Shulk.” She puts on a smile for him, like she always tries to do. “Do you need something?”

“Fiora…” He wrings his hands together, looking side to side. “I’ve been thinking. I’m so happy to have you back, but… your body… it’s… almost all metal now, right?”

She holds in the urge to flinch at the comment and instead just nods. “That’s right. Only really the head and neck are still flesh and blood…”

“Do you think…” His voice is soft as he speaks again. “I could… poke around a bit? I-I mean, you aren’t just a Mechon I can take apart, of course! But that’s why I’m asking! I would love to… uh…”

He’s losing steam and red in the face. Fiora chuckles a bit, placing a hand to her chest. That’s just like Shulk… He still sees her as Fiora, despite the cold metallic body that she now possesses. He always will, even if he wants to poke around it… It makes her smile, just a bit.

“Sure, Shulk.” She nods. “I trust you more than basically anyone with this body, well… save maybe Linada!”

Shulk laughs and rubs the side of his neck. “Really? I… thanks, Fiora! I promise, I’ll make it as comfortable for you as possible!”

“As you always do~”

--

Shulk swallows hard as he looks down at Fiora, resting against the medical bed on Junks. Linada was kind enough to give them the space, and even waits nearby in case something goes horribly wrong… It’s exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time.

Fiora smiles at him and he feels a bit relieved as he bends over her, slowly opening her chest. He can see the false veins that blood is running through and is careful not to disturb that or the compartment that seems to hold her heart. Instead, he begins poking at the wires and the silicone in place of muscles.

Fiora lets out a squeak as he presses two wires together and he notices the way her face reddens more than it has since he found her like this. Her face looks a little less gaunt, a little less dead… He likes that, and so presses them together again.

“Shulk!” Her voice is high-pitched and screechy as she yells out his name. “Don’t do that! That tickles!”

“S-sorry!” He flushes and pulls his hand from the wires, letting them fall back into place. “I’ll just…”

He moves his hands to the muscles and he runs his fingers across them. Fiora giggles a bit and he smiles to himself. Looks like everything is a bit ticklish under that harder exterior, eh? He supposes that fits for someone like Fiora, who has so much she keeps buried under her exterior.

Continuing, Shulk moves lower and he pokes and prods where a stomach should be. A sickening reminder that Egil removed that in all the Face Pilots… but he continues, pulling a few wires here and earning a few shrieks there…

Soon enough, he’s had his fill. She looks so human and so not at the same time… He closes her back up and gives her a smile. “Thank you, Fiora…”

“No problem…” She sits up and lets out a sigh. “But that sure was a lot! I never realized it would tickle so much…”

“I never expected that, either.” He shakes his head. “I’ll be sure to make note of it.”

She pouts a bit as she stands next to him. “Just don’t use it against me, alright?”

He let out a huff. “I would never, Fiora!”

“I know, I know…” She slaps his back, a bit too hard. “I was just kidding with you~”

--

Faced Mechon Bodies Notes:

  • Only the heart and brain seem to remain -- no signs of the stomach, kidneys, or anything else. All water seems to be used to keep the blood and systems flowing.
  • Sensitive wires -- often led to screams and laughing from Fiora.
  • Muscles made of silicone, just as sensitive as the wires. Is the outer casing to fight off this ticklishness?
  • Sturdy, but not made for longevity, I need to work on that somehow…

 

--

Vanea notices when Shulk is staring, and she frowns. He’s been doing this through all of the Central Factory, and she’s starting to wonder if he has a problem with her. She sees no other reason for him to stare as he is, and so, she comes to a sudden stop.

“Do you need something?” She finally asks, keeping her voice even despite her annoyance.

“Ah, well, see…” He scratches his cheek. “Fiora let me look at her body before, the… uh… insides. I was wondering if that’s possible to do with Machina, and, if so…” He trails off and Vanea crosses her arms.

“...Are you asking if you can open me up and see what makes me tick?” She asks. “If so, I ask you to remove that idea from your mind right this instant.”

He nods, but looks a bit like a kicked puppy at her response. It makes Vanea feel bad, but not bad enough to put her body on the line like that. Instead, though, she uses it to her advantage. If she gives Shulk more reason to keep her brother alive…

“However, if you are able to convince Egil and bring him out of his plans alive, I’ll make sure you have free reign to study his body as you please.” She turns away and does her best not to smile at the thought of her brother working off his crimes via being Shulk’s test subject. “If that is acceptable, that is.”

Shulk is quick to move in front of her, nodding. “I’ll do what I can, Vanea… I… I want to end this with as little death as possible, so… I think this should work out for both of us.”

Vanea smiles and ruffles his hair. “Wonderful, I look forward to seeing what you accomplish.”

--

 

Shulk looks down at Egil and frowns a bit, seeing as he’s been strapped down. Fiora’s never needed this before, and he wonders if this means Egil is here against his will. This is Shulk’s last chance to tinker before they head off to defeat Zanza, and he’s looking forward to it, but…

“Is this really alright?”

Egil nods in response to his question. “Vanea explained your interest, and it is the least I could do to start making up for… everything. I can handle a bit of discomfort.”

Shulk nods and squeezes his shoulder before opening up his chest plate and getting to looking around. The first thing he notes is it's quite different, even from Fiora’s chest.

There are two cores that seem to be warm, humming and spinning constantly… If Shulk is to guess, he supposes they may be the equivalent to a heart for a Machina. He reaches out and touches one, earning a hiss of pain from Egil.

Shulk pulls his hand away and frowns, making mental note of that. He continues to poke and prod and finds what must be the lungs of the Machina. He runs a fingernail against it and Egil tenses.

His hand goes lower and soon, he finds himself entranced with the inner workings of the Machina. He pulls and prods at everything, barely registering the yells of pain and the jerking against the restraints.

He places his other hand on Egil’s shoulder again, mumbling that it’ll be alright as he tugs on a few wires. Egil lets out a groan of pain but Shulk doesn’t stop… He’s sure Egil would be angry if he stopped just because of some pain.

The tugging and pulling and pushing continues until Fiora comes up and places a hand on his with a frown. “Shulk, that’s enough!”

Shulk pulls his hand away and blinks, guilt flooding in when he sees the sweat on Egil’s face. “Ah… sorry… I…”

Egil shakes his head. “That was nothing. I’ve had worse, really--”

“Don’t start with that!” Fiora flicks his forehead and closes up his chest plate. “Shulk, be a bit more gentle next time, alright?”

Shulk just nods. “Okay…”

“Next time…?”

--

 

Machina Bodies Notes:

  • Two cores in the place of a heart -- aren’t as fragile as Homs hearts but touching them still hurts. Same goes for their lungs.
  • Feel hurt when touched under their silicone skin, notably less able to handle it than a Face Unit.
  • Bodies can withstand quite a bit of pain, Egil didn’t pass out once when I explored his body.
  • Wires can be tugged quite far without any snapping.
  • Note to self for future: Be more careful, Fiora says Egil is delicate.

 

--

“Alvis… is a machine.” Shulk shakes his head. “I still don’t know how to feel about that…”

Fiora hums. “Sad, maybe? Since you can’t exactly tinker with him like you did me and Egil.”

Shulk flusters a bit, because he knows she’s right. “...Well, maybe we’ll meet again in the future and I can!”

“For now, try and have fun with Egil, but remember! He’s delicate, just like you.” She pokes his chest with a smile. “I won’t be quite as metal when I come out of the chamber, but maybe I’ll let you tinker around a bit with my body, too.”

The plan for Fiora is simple -- she’ll enter the regeneration chamber that had been found and when she comes out, her body will look more like a Homs. A lot of it will still be synthetic, and while the skin and body frame will look like her old body, it’s to be silicone like Machina skin. New organs will be grown as well, a mixture of synthetic and organic material… Basically, a robotic body built to last unlike her last one.

The idea of tinkering with it is intriguing to Shulk, but he worries it’ll be too risky now. At least he still had Egil’s body to poke around, he supposes. If anything it makes him more depressed knowing he’ll be down to one.

If only he got a chance to poke around Alvis’s body just once

Oh well, he supposes. Saving the world comes with some pluses and some minuses. He’ll just have to get used to that.

But maybe, someday in the future, he thinks, he’ll get a chance to poke at Alvis, too.

 

--

Alvis Body Notes:

  • Have yet to be able to play with it.
  • Maybe one day? For now Egil will have to do…
  • Wonder if it looks more like a Machina, a Face Pilot, or something else entirely?