Jake snuggled more tightly into Brobot, the metal chassis long since grown warm against his skin. AR cannot adjust the volume on eir speaker, so Brobot does it for em, allowing the synthesized voice to emanate from Jake's discarded coat at a much-lowered tone that won't wake up the boy nestled on his chest.
"What's it like?" ey asks. Brobot tilts his head toward Jake. "To hold him." The bot pauses, unable to communicate in this restricted position without waking Jake--which isn't an option.
Instead of answering, he slowly works one arm free, snaking it down to snatch up the compu-coat and spreading it over Jake with one hand, tucking it around him like a blanket. The AR is startled at first, then silent, then "Oh."
“Oh. This is.”
Ey’s not sure that it’s feeling, as humans experience it, but he registers that the coat is draped over Jake, and imagines that he feels something like warmth—another concept he does not grasp in full. Still. It is very pleasant.
Jake’s chest rises and falls under the cloth of the coat, and it is almost as though ey can feel the slow down of processes, the gradual onset of sleep.
Ey says, feeling like it is halfway to a dream, blurry and surreal, “Thank you.”
Brobot does not say anything back. But as his friends go silent, their respective electrical connectors slowing down, he runs his free arm over the coat and Jake's back, keeping sentinel while they rest.