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Nicer Than a Cylon

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Incidentally, the robot was an accident.

"Your house is filthy, Gerard," Brian had said, crossing his arms and glaring. "Fucking filthy. Clean it up."

"Can't tell me what to do," Gerard said, because whatever, Brian was his manager, not his babysitter.

"Clean it up, or I'm sending someone in to do it. And you'll feel guilty."

It was probably true, actually, but Brian had that look on his face that meant he knew he was right, and there was no way Gerard was giving in so Brian could gloat. He turned his nose up and went back to painting.

It wasn't actually unusual for big fucking boxes to be delivered at his house, because his house used to be a warehouse of dubious repute. It was unusual for big fucking boxes to be delivered upright and addressed to him, though.

"Um," he said, and cut the tape.

A robot stepped out.

"Hi!" the robot said brightly, stepping out. His hair sproinged up, like it was celebrating being let free of the box. "I'm here to pleasure you."

Gerard choked on his coffee. "What?"

"I'm here to pleasure you." The robot smiled. It was a nice smile, Gerard thought, and took a step backward. "You are Mary Johnson, right? My information bank says you live alone, so it has to be you."

"Do I look like a Mary?"

"According to my files on human sexuality and gender expression, you could be, though your body appears to be male." The robot's smile faltered a little. "Are you saying you're not?"

Gerard shook his head. "I think. Fuck, I think maybe they shipped you to the wrong person."

The robot turned to look at the address. "Gerard Way? That's you, right? They must have mixed me up with another model."

"Yeah, obviously. Except I didn't fucking order a robot."

"Maybe this will help," the robot said, and passed him the note taped to the inside of the box.

"Dear valued customer, thank you for choosing US Robotics! Blah blah blah." Gerard skimmed the letter. "Oh, a personal message." Let the robot clean your house or I'll clean the floor with you, Gerard. - Brian

"What does it say?" The robot sounded eager, but he didn't move.

"You're supposed to clean my house."

"Definitely mixed up models, then." He stepped back in his box. "Could you depower me? You have to press each side of my spine."

"Um." Gerard was suddenly regretting tuning Mikey out every time he droned about robotics. "What?"

"Depower me. I have to be sent back to the factory and reformatted so the person who ordered me receives a clean copy."

This was probably one of those times Mikey would make fun of him for not keeping his mouth shut, but - "That seems kind of inhumane."

The robot sounded amused when he said, "I'm not human."

Gerard frowned and scratched the back of his neck. "How long would it take to get the right robot sent, do you think?"

"A week, about."

It was maybe unethical to use someone else's robot, but cleaning had to be better than being stuck in a box, right? "Do you think you could maybe clean instead of being, um, depowered?"

The robot tilted his head. "Most of the cleaning I know how to do is sex-related."

"I can show you." Brian was going to be so proud.

"You're sure it's okay? I'm not human. You won't hurt my feelings if you'd rather package me to be shipped back."

"Yeah, except my manager will kick my ass. So it's okay."

"I can learn, then," the robot said, but he didn't move.

" can come out of the box. And turn around, man, it's weird talking to your back."

The robot obeyed right away, smiling. "You're not used to robots, are you."

"Not really." The robot wasn't blinking. Did it need to? Fuck, this was weird. "Do you have a name?"


Right. "Right," he said out loud. "Okay. Um, I think I have Windex somewhere, so...follow me, I guess."

It was easy to teach Ray how to clean, but less easy to back off when Ray said, "It's okay, I've got it." He cleaned all day and into the night, not letting Gerard help unless he needed to be shown how to do something specific.

Gerard didn't sleep much, but robots apparently didn't sleep at all, because when he got up the next morning, coffee was made and the entire apartment was gleaning.

"I didn't clean up your workspace," Ray said, folding his hands, "because it looked like a personal space."

"Thanks." Gerard had flipped his shit when people fucked with his brushes before. "You're really good at this."

"I wasn't programmed to be," Ray said brightly. "Thank you."

Gerard couldn't stop himself from returning the smile. "I'm going to call Mikey," he said. "You can do whatever. Make yourself at home."

He stood to get the phone, but Ray didn't move. "Are you okay?"

"Yes. Did I do something wrong?"

"You're not moving."

Ray blinked. "You really don't know much about robots, do you? Like, at all."

Gerard shook his head.

"I'm not a live-in model," Ray said. "I was created for sex. Cleaning was fun, but I can't think of anything I'd enjoy."

"So you're just going to sit there? Seriously?"

"It won't hurt me."

And, okay, probably not; he was a robot, Gerard told himself sternly. But it was still kind of creepy and weird. "Look, the Xbox or something, okay? It's freaky to have you just sitting there."


Gerard sighed. "Hang on," he said, and flipped his phone open.

"I'm at work, man," Mikey said in greeting.

"You cyber with your girlfriend at work, asshole," Gerard said. He knew because Mikey apparently can't differentiate between "" and "" and had sent the chatlog to Gerard. "I have a problem."

"It's not cybering-related, is it?"

Gerard glanced over to where Ray was sitting, kind of half-smiling and watching Gerard talk. "Not cybering, no. Brian bought me a cleaning robot."

"Damn. He knows you don't like them, I thought."

"Yeah, uh, it's worse. They sent me the wrong robot."

"Does it matter? It's not like they have personalities."

"No, but they sent me a sexbot."

Ray smiled in recognition at the same time Mikey burst out laughing. Gerard sighed and held the phone away from his ear, waiting.

"Seriously?" Mikey said finally. "Like...seriously?"


"You're sending it back, right?"

Gerard nodded before remembering Mikey couldn't see him. "Yeah, of course," he said. "He said I should depower him, but..."

"You're a giant softy," Mikey said. "Right. So what's the problem?"

"No problem," Gerard said, glancing at Ray. He was still watching Gerard with that same non-expression on his face. "Just wanted to let you know."

"We're still on for tonight, right?"

"Yep," Gerard said. "See you then."

"Love you. Don't get too bleeding-heart-y." Mikey hung up.

"Xbox?" Ray said. He looked kind of hopeful. Gerard wrote it off as imagination, because robot.

"Come on," he said, moving over to the couch.

They played until Gerard passed out - literally. He didn't remember falling asleep. When he woke up, though, a blanket was tucked around him and coffee was on the table.

"You like coffee, right? You have a lot of it," Ray said quietly.

"Mrpgh." Gerard blinked at him.

"I wasn't sure if I should move you to your bed," Ray said. "But I do know how to do this part. Um, not with video games, know."

It was too early to stop himself from thinking about it. Gerard turned bright red. "Yeah," he said, sitting up. "Thanks."

Ray nodded and sat on the other end of the couch. "I can make breakfast too, if you want."

"It's cool." Gerard downed the coffee and checked his phone. "Oh, fuck. Fucking models."


"The guy who was supposed to sit for me bailed." Gerard scrolled down his contacts, looking for someone to replace him, but he didn't know very many last-minute people, and -

"Sit for a drawing?"

Gerard looked up. Ray was watching him, perfectly still again. Duh. "You want to?"

"If you want me to."

Which was creepy, actually, but Gerard wasn't going to look a gift model in the mouth. Right now, anyway. "Please do."

"You should shower first, though."


Ray held up a pad of paper. "Brian called while you were asleep," he said. "I have a checklist now."

Fuck Mikey and Brian. Gerard groaned. "Fine," he said, and let Ray bully him into cleaning up and eating.

It was a pretty simple portrait, nothing too time-consuming and thankfully not a nude; Gerard had been right to ask him to do it, because Ray was absolutely still and infinitely (inhumanly, Gerard thought, and made a face) patient. "Okay," he said after two hours of sketching. "That's enough for today."

Ray relaxed instantly. Gerard smiled at him. "And thanks."

"Oh." Ray blinked. "Oh."

"What?" He looked...not upset, exactly, but there was definitely an expression on his face, and it wasn't happy.

But Ray just shook his head. "Nothing. Do you mind if I sit outside for a few minutes?"

"Knock yourself out," Gerard said. "I didn't know you guys needed fresh air, or I would've offered alrea - "

Ray had already left. Okay then, Gerard thought, and turned on his computer. He needed to check the status of his bid on the vintage D&D gear.


"Should I stay in the box?" Ray said when Gerard told him Mikey'd be showing up for dinner.

"Why would you?"

Ray shrugged. "Don't you want the night to yourself?"

It made sense that a robot would be programmed to stay out of the way, but it was still freaky as hell. "No," Gerard said firmly. "You can eat with us."

"I'm going to shower, then."

Gerard did a double take. Ray looked completely human, but - he thought of water getting into his eyes, short-circuiting him. "You can shower?"

"Um. Yes? I was made for - "

"Sex, but - oh." Shower sex. Gerard looked away and swallowed hard, very carefully not thinking about not-his robot naked in the shower. Or naked in the shower with Gerard, fuck. "Right. Have fun."
He was toweling his hair off in the living room when Mikey let himself in. "Hey, Gee, I brought baguettes." He raised his eyebrows. "Is that your robot?"

Ray looked up and beamed. "Mikey! Hi!" He stuck out a damp hand.

Mikey shook it, making 'what the fuck?' eyebrows at Gerard. Gerard shrugged helplessly. "This is Ray."

"I'm the wrong robot. But I guess he told you that part." Ray took the baguettes, carrying them over to the table he'd set despite Gerard's protestations that he could do it himself.

"Seriously, what the hell," Mikey muttered.

"You're the robot geek," Gerard said. "Think of how I feel."

"Yeah, but that's not - later," Mikey said when Ray walked back over.

But Ray was apparently psychic now, because he looked from Gerard to Mikey and back again before saying, "I'll be right back," and leaving the room.

"He's fucking emotional," Mikey said. "He has expressions. That's not normal."

"Maybe he's a new kind of robot." Gerard shrugged. "Or like, a super-expensive one."

"Maybe," Mikey said, but he sounded dubious. "You're planning on sending him back, right? You haven' know?"

"Mikey!" Gerard punched his arm. "You know I wouldn't!"

Mikey rolled his eyes. "'cause of outdated morals," he said.

But it was an old argument. By the time Ray came back in, they were hanging on the couch, watching Star Wars.

"Oh, hey, my programmers put this in," Ray said happily. He smiled and sat down next to Gerard.

Which didn't mean anything, and fuck Mikey for grinning anyway. Gerard shrank back into the couch pillows.


The rest of the night was uneventful. Ray insisted on doing dishes, but watched TV after that, cheerfully calling goodnight when Gerard went to bed. He woke up the next morning to coffee and toast and went to a meeting with Brian and a client, greeting Brian by saying "If you say anything about the sexbot in my house I'm going to kill you," and then came home and drew until he fell asleep.

That was pretty much how the next two weeks went. The factory called and said they were making a model, but due to demand it would take longer than usual; Gerard lied and said Ray, who was out buying milk at the time, was depowered and boxed. He didn't think too much into it; Ray was nice and smart and fun to be around, but he was also a robot. Not depowering him was just Gerard's way of saying fuck idiots who abused AI.

Frank got back from his "cross country, motherfucker, don't even say anything about how half of it's in Canada" trip five days before Gerard was due to get an actual cleaning bot.

"Hey, dude, where's your sexbot?" he said when Gerard answered the door.

"He's not my sexbot," Gerard said automatically. "Where's your Bob?"

"I'm not his Bob," Bob said, rounding the corner. "Hey."

Gerard hugged both of them. "He's online," he said, pointing to where Ray was hunched over the computer. "Apparently he can talk to the Internet, or something."

"Even your robot's a freak." Frank hopped onto the back of his couch and jumped, landing on Ray. "Hi! I'm Frank."
"I'm Ray, Gerard's - "

"Sexbot! I know." Frank patted Ray's hair. "Ooh, neat."

" - friend," Ray finished. He was bright red.

"Sorry." Frank hugged Ray's shoulders, still batting his hair around. "He's been nice to you, right?"

"The best," Ray said, grinning at Gerard.

Gerard blushed.

"Hunh," Bob said. "That's..."

"What? What what what?" Frank stomped on Bob's foot, but Bob just shook his head.

"We were planning on going down to Main Street," Bob said. The guitar shop he was referencing was actually called Smith's, but it was on Main Street.

"We'll come," Gerard said. "If that's okay with you, Ray?"

Ray always agreed, and today was no different. "Just don't forget, you have a meeting with that lady who likes cartoons of her grandkids at four."

Gerard manfully ignored Frank's snickers and got his keys.
Frank made a beeline for the guitars, and Bob struck up a conversation with the owner's son Spencer, who manned the counter when he wasn't kissing one of his not-boyfriends. Gerard wasn't sure what his relationships with the others were, and Bob apparently didn't either, but he approved of Spencer because Spencer kept practice pads on the counter for when they didn't have any customers.

Gerard wandered. He liked music in theory, but wasn't nearly as big on the playing and composing as Bob or Frank. He was getting ready to leave for a smoke when Frank all but yelled, "Do that again!"

He turned and stared. Ray was standing with a Gibson, tearing through - well, okay, Gerard had no fucking clue what. But it sounded impressive, and judging by Frank's wide eyes, it was.

"Goddamn," Bob said. "Who the fuck taught him that?"

Gerard made confused noises, waving his hands helplessly.
"He can shred." Bob tapped his fingers on the counter, looking thoughtful. "You know, pretty much everybody says you can't teach robots to play well. They don't have the emotion for it."

The defensiveness came out of nowhere. "He's definitely a robot and definitely playing, Bryar."

"I know." Bob's smirk matched Spencer's.

Gerard watched Ray stop with a flourish, laugh when Frank fell over clapping. "How much does that guitar cost, do you think?"


Gerard shrugged, not looking away from Ray and Frank. "Impulse buys don't have to be just for yourself, right?"

Bob patted his shoulder. "You should check the tag, then."



"I'm going to make this up to you," Ray said. "I swear. Does your bathtub need caulking? Roof need fixing?"

"I live in a warehouse," Gerard said. He was still blushing like crazy, and Ray's ridiculous levels of gratitude weren't helping any more than Frank's giggles. "It's good, seriously."

"You bought me a Gibson," Ray said reverently.

"It was cheaper than you probably were. Relax. Ow!"

Bob hit Gerard's head again. "Then shut up," he said.

"The fuck, man," Gerard said, but then Spencer shoved the guitar into his side and he saw Ray's face.

"Let's go," Frank said, for once remembering to have tact.

Ray hung back when they left. Gerard knew he didn't want company, but he walked back with him anyway. "Sorry. That was a fucking dickish thing to say."

"No, it wasn't," Ray said quickly.

"It was. Here, let me carry it," Gerard said, making a grab for the guitar.

Ray laughed. "You'd fall over."

"Let me carry it anyway, asshole." He curled his fingers around Ray's wrist, digging in, but Ray didn't let go.

They wound up walking all the way back to the warehouse like that, half because Gerard was stubborn and half because Ray was indecently, unmechanically warm. Frank was laughing when he said goodbye, and if Bob wasn't Bob Gerard suspected he would have been, too.

Gerard couldn't even really blame them, because when he let go of Ray's wrist, all he could think about was how much he wanted to keep holding on.


Ray played all day and into the night. Gerard recognized a few things, but most of it blended together into "Ray-one, Ray-two, Ray-three," riff after riff until Gerard finally fell asleep, still straining to listen.

He didn't realized he'd fallen asleep too early until he looked up and the clock said 3:30 AM. There was no way he'd be getting back to sleep now. "Fuck," he muttered.

Something moved. Gerard went still, mind racing the line from otherworldly invaders down to robbers. "Who's there?"

"Sorry," Ray said quietly. He moved closer, until Gerard could see him in the shitty nightlight glow. "I...can I ask a question?"

It wasn't creepy, Gerard told himself. It wasn't creepy because robots didn't sleep. Probably they didn't eat people either. Fucking vintage science fiction books. "Sure."

There wasn't enough light to read Ray's expression; some combination of embarrassed and confused, maybe. "Are you - is it - " He stopped, taking a step back. "Are you beautiful?"

Suddenly it seemed like aliens were back in the realm of possibility. "Ray?"

"I have a dictionary in my head," Ray said. "But it's a subjective meaning."
"You lost me," Gerard said.

A robot shouldn't need to breathe at all, much less so slowly and carefully Gerard could hear from across the room, but Ray did anyway. "I don't know if you're beautiful. I think you are, and I think you might be generally, but I'm not sure. I can't find anyone to compare you to."

And fuck talking, Gerard couldn't even think. Mikey's admonishment ricocheted through his mind: robots couldn't feel desire.

"Christina Ricci?" he croaked finally.

Ray looked down. "I'm sorry."

"It's not..." you, it's me. Gerard barely restrained the urge to laugh hysterically. "If you weren't - but you are, is the problem."

"A robot."

Gerard nodded.

"...well," Ray said finally, and fuck but Gerard couldn't look at him, couldn't stand to see the expression that would match such a broken tone. "Well. Okay."

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay."

Ray grabbed his guitar and left before Gerard could say anything else. He listened as hard as he could, even went to the door and cracked it, but all he heard was soft, almost indistinguishable chords.



They tiptoed around each other the entire day - or rather, Gerard tiptoed and Ray watched him more sadly than a machine (machine machine machine, he told himself) should. The only small blessing was that it was a Brian-designated Get Shit Done day, so no one stopped by.

Usually he and Ray would eat dinner together, but when Gerard sat down with leftover spaghetti, Ray was nowhere to be found. He ate, cleaned up, and went to the bathroom, planning on just brushing his teeth and fucking off to bed.

Ray was in the shower. He wasn't a shower freak like Frank, but he did like to stay clean. Gerard thought almost nothing of it, ignoring the sounds of washing and the thoughts running through his head, until he heard Ray whimper.

There were plenty of reasons to whimper in the shower, Gerard thought. He shrugged and kept brushing.

A shaky breath, a half-muffled moan, and Gerard was pretty sure Ray wasn't dying or crying (or at least he hoped Ray wasn't crying), which left only one option.
He didn't know what made him hit the button that opened the shower door. Cowardice, curiosity, want, it didn't fucking matter: the door was open, and Ray was staring at him, one hand wrapped around his cock.

"Fuck," Gerard whispered.

"No," Ray said. "I - why? Get out."

It was the most even remotely assertive thing Ray had ever said to him. Gerard stumbled backwards, settling on his bed and staring at the wall numbly.

Ray, unsurprisingly, came out a few minutes later. Gerard took a deep breath and got ready to launch into his apologies, but Ray looked at him and said, "I'm sorry."

"I know I was wrong I just - what?"
"I'm not supposed to," Ray said. "And before you say anything about consent and politics, I mean I'm really not supposed to. I'm not programmed to at all. I get hard when someone wants me, when they need...and you don't, you..."

It was painfully obvious what he meant, it just didn't make any sense. "Why, then?"

Ray shrugged. "I write music too. I don't know. You, I guess."

Gerard was, he realized, a complete asshole. "It's good music," he said.

Ray hunched his shoulders. "Thanks."

"I'm going to go to sleep," Gerard said. "We'll...we'll figure something out. Okay?"

He was really bad at this. That fact was highlighted by the way Ray's entire face was crumbling. "Right. Goodnight?"

"Goodnight," Gerard said.

He didn't sleep for hours.


Two days of awkward silences and frantic, half-whispered calls to Mikey later, Gerard was no closer to figuring out exactly what he wanted to do. All he knew was that he couldn't stop thinking about sex, and he was a horrible person.

"Look," Mikey said finally, "if he really wants you...then he does. I have no clue how it's possible, but it's even less likely that he'd lie to you, so go for it or whatever."

Go for it. Gerard swallowed hard. "Okay."

"And don't give me details," Mikey added, then hung up.

Gerard hung up and leaned back against his pillows, thinking. It didn't take Ray long to poke his head in and say, "Hey, are you okay?"

"Yeah, um. Do you think you could maybe come here?"

He hated that Ray looked fucking wary when he moved forward and stood in front of Gerard. It was an ugly reminder of how human Ray wasn't, watching him clasp his hands and stand obediently, when anyone half as nervous as he looked would just refuse to move.

Gerard almost asked him to kneel but thought better of it at the last minute. Instead he stood on the bed, wobbling and uncertain, and draped his arms over Ray's shoulders.

"You're kind of special, you know?" he said, petting Ray's cheek.

Ray's eyes were wide. "Gerard?"

Gerard just shook his head and leaned in slowly, unsteadily, kissing him as best as he knew how.

It wasn't very good – not at first, at least. Ray was clumsy and Gerard was nervous, touching Ray's hair and his cheeks and hoping to whoever was listening that Ray wouldn't pull away.

After a few seconds Ray ducked his head and said, "You..."

Gerard fell backwards before he could finish. "I'm sorry," he said, trying and failing not to sound pathetically desperate. "I'll keep my hands to myself."

Ray touched his leg. "Please don't. I was just going to say you feel good."

Staring just made whoever was doing it look stupid. Gerard stared anyway.

Ray sat back against the headboard and held out a hand. "You don't have to, but if you want..."

Someday Gerard was going to make Ray a holographic presentation detailing exactly why not wanting was impossible. Right then, though, he just took Ray's hand and let Ray pull him between his legs.

"It's a little easier like this," Ray said, and leaned forward.
This time the kiss was slower, more deliberate; Ray held Gerard so carefully that Gerard was tempted to push back just to keep himself from melting like an over-romantic teenager. He didn't, largely because the last thing he wanted was to stop this.

Ray sighed quietly, moving his hand from Gerard's head down to his lower back. "How much?"

Gerard blinked. "Uh?"

Ray kissed the corner of his mouth, fingers tracing circles on the small of his back. "How much do you want?"

It wasn't a trick question, Gerard knew, because Ray was about as tricky as...something really untricky that he couldn't think of with Ray's hands on him. But it sounded like one, because the truth was, "Anything you want."

Ray smiled and pulled Gerard close against him, pressing their hips together. He was hard again. Gerard shivered, thinking about programming and consent and -

"Stop," Ray said. He shifted a little, pressing his hips up, and Gerard moaned involuntarily, suddenly painfully aware of how hard he was.

"It's for you. I swear, it's for you." Ray's hand felt huge cupping the back of Gerard's head. "I've thought about it."

"Think I haven't?" Gerard couldn't stop touching Ray's arms, his shoulders, bunching his hands in the fabric and tugging.


Ray bent easily, letting Gerard pull his shirt off. "Did you?"

Gerard had no idea if the shudders when he dragged his hands over Ray's chest were supposed to happen or if Ray was pretending to need to breathe for Gerard's benefit, but when Ray's mouth went slack and his eyes flicked shut, he didn't care. "Fuck yes, I did," he said. "A person can't look at you and not want whatever you'll give them."

Ray smiled. "But?"

"But I'm the only person you're going to give this to," Gerard said. His fingers dug into Ray's shoulders.

Ray nodded, and Gerard leaned in to kiss him. "What do you want?"

Ray went still. "I...a lot of things. I've never - but I know about things. I've thought about..."

Gerard stayed close, stroking his back. "Anything," he said again.

"Would you suck me?" Ray whispered, lips brushing Gerard's neck.

Gerard pushed Ray's legs apart gently and kissed his chest. "That's never a question."

"Can I ask a real question, then?" Ray said, and curled his hands on his own thighs.

Gerard flicked his tongue over each nipple, smiling when Ray keened. "Sure."

"Will you do it the way you like it?" Ray's eyes were wide, but he didn't look scared or even nervous, just...eager. "I want to remember. It's not something I already know how to do."

Apparently he was going to have to get used to the bottom dropping out of his stomach during sex. He kissed Ray's thigh. "How about you tell me what you like, and I return the favor?"

"...that works, too."

Ray's hand was heavy and perfect on his head. Gerard smiled, pressing a deliberate kiss to the head of Ray's cock. "Good."

"More of that," Ray said. "Please."

"More of this?" Gerard kissed him again, pressing a thumb into his hip. "Or some of this?" He licked up Ray's cock and around the head, moving with Ray when he moaned and jerked his hips a little.

"Try to stay still for now." Gerard curled his tongue a little, grinning. "You can fuck my mouth soon."

"I can't think." Ray sounded disbelieving, fingers moving restlessly in Gerard's hair. "I should be able to think but I can't, it's...I..."

Gerard hummed quietly, wrapping his lips around Ray's cock and sliding down as smoothly as he knew how.

"Oh fuck," Ray said dimly, "that's...ohhhhh fuck." He was still now, one hand fisted in the sheets next to them. The tugging made the sheets brush over Gerard's cock; he made sure he was down as far as he could go before giving in and moaning showily.

Ray made a noise Gerard wasn't even sure was humanly possible. It was pretty gratifying; Gerard moaned again, sucking lightly.

"I won't last," Ray said. "I could, but I don't - " He shook his head, hips moving minutely. "Don't really want to."

Gerard could have restrained himself, but Ray was watching him and he knew damn well what it looked like when he moved his hand down to jack himself off, fucking his mouth on Ray's cock as best as he could.

"Gorgeous," Ray said, high and breathy.

Gerard twisted his free hand around Ray's cock, hollowing his cheeks and waiting. Ray's face contorted and he bit his lip hard, whispering Gerard's name as he came.

It was enough to make Gerard's head spin. He pulled back and rested his head on Ray's thigh, coming with a hoarse yell before Ray could even move.

"Gerard," Ray said, sounding something close to stunned. "You - oh."

He was shaking a little. Gerard reached up and petted his stomach, kissing his thigh. "That was good."

"Um, yes," Ray said. "Very good, actually. Amazingly good. Addictively good."

"That's the general idea."

Gerard moved with Ray when he pulled Gerard back up to lie on top of him. "Two days," Ray said quietly. His expression was unreadable; it wasn't robot-neutral at all, but full of enough emotions that Gerard couldn't pick a label for them.

And - two days, fuck. "I forgot."

"I didn't," Ray said, and that look was easy: sadness.

"Hey. Fuck, no, I'll call them and tell them I changed my mind." Gerard wrapped himself around Ray as best as he could, hugging him with his whole body. "You can clean, right? So you count."

Ray nodded slowly. "Okay," he said. "That works."

"Fucking right it does," Gerard said, and kissed Ray's collarbone.

"You're relaxing." Ray trailed his fingers down Gerard's spine. "Will you sleep?"

"Won't you get bored?"

"We're built to be sensitive. I can feel everything your body does." Ray smiled. "That can't be boring."

And fuck impossibility, really, because that was one of the sweetest things Gerard had ever heard. He leaned up and kissed Ray, shifting so he was pressed against Ray's side. "Way more than two fucking days," he said.

Ray held him until he fell asleep.


"Hey," Gerard said a week later, "Wanna go out this Friday?"

Ray beamed.


After that, they slid into domesticity without even really realizing it. Ray's only home was Gerard's, and Gerard tried not to feel guilty about taking advantage of it, instituting cuddling and sex in weird places ("Oh my god, I never needed to see that," Mikey said after catching them in the kitchen. Frank was too busy laughing to comfort him) way before they'd normally happen. "You're sure I'm not rushing things?" he asked, but Ray just smiled and kissed Gerard and told him to shut up.

So most of the time, he pretty much figured it was okay.

Occasionally Gerard met people who didn't know about his music-writing robot boyfriend. They never guessed, especially not when they saw Ray talking about Gerard; "You're such a sap," Mikey said, but it made Gerard prouder than anything regardless.

More than two days eventually turned into forever, to absolutely no one's surprise. Somewhat surprising, though, was Bob learning robot repair and marrying Brian. "Seriously?" Gerard said, but he was one of four best men at the not-wedding anyway.

They didn't live happily ever after, really, but they came pretty damn close.