The door flashed open, briefly letting in the noise from the rest of the busy space station. As quickly as it had come, it was gone. The only noise filling the apartment was the heavy metal clang of footsteps down the hallway towards the living room.
“You’re home exactly two days, fifteen hours, twenty-three minutes and four seconds early from your three week space flight battle simulations training,” the voice was deadpan, smooth without a hint of emotion.
Tavros flung his uniform jacket over the back of the recliner. The airman turned towards the voice.
Before him stood a machine, for that’s the highest that anyone would consider this being. Specifically, he was a Domestic Assistant and Vigilant Escort unit. He smiled at it. Reached a hand to caress a smooth silver cheek. The metal wore the heat of his fingerprints as he pulled away. The machine seemed to follow his fingers away, begging silently for more touch.
Tavros eyed the static hair, the removable eyeshields and clothing this mess of gear and wires wore. How seamless this creature was, how captivated he was by it.
Tavros nodded and walked towards the kitchen.
“If you had informed me sooner, I would have prepared for a meal to be ready upon your arrival,” and no one would believe Tavros if he said it sounded concerned.
Or well, if they did think the machines had any sort of emotions or free-thinking, they’d probably have it melted down to comply with safety protocols for possible artificial intelligence outbreaks.
“Don’t trouble yourself, D.A.V.E. I simply completed my tasks faster than the others,” he explained, though he didn’t think he should have to.
The machine moved to pull out a pan to begin making a meal.
He opened the cooling box with a quick “don’t worry about it,” and pulled out ingredients for a sandwich.
It was as he was spreading the mayo that the fighter pilot stiffened to the feeling of smooth arms under his shirt snaking their way around his waist.
“I missed you,” a desperate emotion from the once flat voice.
“D.A.V.E.!,” Tavros cried.
He spun around, dropping the knife, one hand over the machine’s mouth and frantically looking around.
Cool fingers pried him away, an argent eyebrow raised from behind the eyeshields.
“I checked the place 16 times today alone for surveillance equipment. We’re safe, Tav. Come on and trust me on this one, fly boy.”
Tavros relaxed his shoulders a little and sighed. He wrapped his arms around the cool metallic body, hand cradling the back of his head.
Their lips met. The metal’s pliancy a miracle of modern technology, but still foreign when compared to real flesh. The tongue moving against his own stronger than anything a natural human could be. Tavros’ nails scraped along the back of D.A.V.E.’s head rather than through hair, while hard fingers work his cropped mohawk upright.
“Come on, Tav,” the machine mumbled against his lips. “You’ve been gone far too long… I need you.”
“Bedroom,” Tavros breathed out.
Sandwich abandoned, D.A.V.E. led the human down the hall.
The machine smiled at Tavros, looking out over his eyeshields as he leaned back onto his elbows into the plush mattress. And it’s the unspoken emotion there that melts the pilot every single time, why he’s risking everything he worked so hard for to keep him a secret.
And yeah. It’s worth it. It will always be worth it.