Chapter 1: Dear Diary
When Françoise gifted Jet a journal to ‘express himself through less violent means’, he honestly thought she was crazy to think he, of all people, would actually use something as girly as a diary. He must have thought that a little too hard, hard enough to make him grimace, because she stormed off, not before tugging on his ear, hard, for ‘being rude.’ ‘It wasn’t his fault,’ he reasoned when he was confronted by Joe to apologize, though nothing he said would allow him to get out of it. So, he apologized. Awfully, yes, but he did apologize.
Currently, he was alone in one of the storage rooms of the Dolphin, the small journal in his hands, oddly enough, squinting at it. The team was stopping at a nearby abandoned facility for fuel, Geronimo and Albert volunteering themselves to go collect it while the others kept an eye on the ship and performed any maintenance if necessary. Though, Jet was… doing none of that, instead working his mind on what the hell to use this pink, sparkly diary for. As cool as he knew he was, writing about himself just… didn’t seem fun, and there’s no way he’d be able to do it more than a couple of days. Writing about their adventures might work, but… it would probably be depressing to look back onto them, if he ever did, so that was a no. What to do, what to do…
Oh—duh. It was obvious, he’ll write about his companions, of course. Not all of them, though, since some of them had such predictable routines it would be boring. Ivan was out, considering he was always sleeping and a literal infant. Françoise… would not be interested in becoming his muse after he dissed her idea to begin with it. Albert was a contender, and so was Geronimo. Chang and Great Britain’s relationship could have a whole saga with their constant bickering and almost painful flirting, but Jet would really, really prefer to use his time doing literally anything else. Joe, while his closest friend, was… not extremely fascinating, and what would be the point of writing about him when the two could just hang out? So, it was either Albert or Geronimo-- … or Pyunma! How could he forget about him? If he had to be honest, out of all of them, he knew the least about the aquatic cyborg. It wasn’t that the two didn’t talk or anything, because they did, occasionally, more so that… Pyunma kept his distance?
Now that he thought about it, Pyunma was always the first to leave dinner, first to retire for the night, first to excuse himself to work on the Dolphin… It made him wonder. Did he not like anyone or something? If that was the case, then he could have just left by now. After all, who would risk their life alongside people they couldn’t stand? Hm. Hmmmm. Well. That solved it, then; he’d write about Pyunma. Being so bored, he felt it necessary to start this project this instant.
So that’s exactly what he did. Strolling through the ship, he kept an eye out for Pyunma. The smaller cyborg seemed to have a talent for concealing himself, not in the same wavelength of Great Britain’s ability, more like it was easy for him to blend in with his surroundings; it was how he was able to skip out on the team’s many social events. Jet’s find himself getting more and more irritated as he wandered, though it was more like stomping, around, finding himself going in circles. It almost didn’t seem worth it until he just so happened to stumble across Pyunma in the… kitchen, literally cooking something? Huh? He checked there like five times, how did he miss him?!
“…Are you looking for something?” Pyunma asked with a raised eyebrow, posing the question mid-slice of an onion. “I saw you a few times. You looked in a hurry.” He had their regular uniform on, though a dark blue apron was draped over top of it. Jet wondered if that was his favorite color, guess it would be something he’d find out, eventually.
“Yeah. Just found it, don’t worry.” Jet was silently thankful that the other man didn’t question what exactly he was looking for. With the journal tucked under his arm, he slowly approached and sat at the kitchen table, making sure the diary was obscured in his lap under the table’s shadows. The scent of Pyunma’s cooking finally hit his nose when he was finally able to relax. The growling of his stomach followed shortly after. “Whatcha cookin’?”
“A stew I used to have at home.”
“Home, huh. And that is…?”
“…Kenya.” He seemed almost hesitant to answer, with the pause and hushed response.
“That’s cool. I was born and raised in New York!”
…Oh. Damn. Not only did he feel like a dick, he felt like a huge dick. Did the two talk about this earlier, and he just forgot, or was it something that was practically common knowledge among all of them? Neither explanation was a particularly good one.
The kitchen stayed silent for a few minutes, the only sound being water rushing whenever Pyunma washed a vegetable. Jet took this as an opportunity to study the other’s physique. He knew he was a bit taller than him, though he didn’t know the exact difference, maybe a few inches? Pyunma was slimmer too, having a body suited for a swimmer. While his back was facing Jet, he could tell the other had a softer, rounder face. The redhead angled himself in his seat to see more of the other’s face. His skin was smooth and his lips full, features he knew many would be jealous of. His dark eyes reflected the amount of concentration he was putting into prepping the meal, and… there seemed to be a hint of something else—almost like… a glint of sadness? The deep frown on the cyborg’s face matched what he suspected, too.
…Pyunma missed home, didn’t he? Or maybe he had some bad memories tied to it? Most likely a mix of both. That must be why it he was reluctant to state where he was from, it brought back a lot of memories. Stupid Jet, why’d he have to start by asking the worst question? Just his luck.
Jet, being the impulsive man he was, suddenly got up, leaving the diary in the seat of the chair. With a few steps, he stood behind Pyunma, staring down at him before slowly moving one of his hands.
Before the other cyborg could do anything about it, Jet’s hand was already on the top of his head, ruffling the faint amount of hair left from his recent cut. It took him by surprise, his eyes wide and mouth open slightly. While it caught him off guard, it wasn’t long before Pyunma caught hold of his hand’s wrist, prying it away from his scalp. He released his wrist once he began to speak.
“What was that for?”
“You could have asked first.”
“Are you done?”
“…I’ll call you when this is finished, if you want it.”
Jet left, not without the journal, of course.
When he was alone, he was able to get started with the writing part.
1. Pyunma is from Kenya.
2. Pyunma’s hair is soft.
Chapter 2: Investigations
Jet is nosy.
URGH FINALLY I UPDATED sorry it took so long! but it's done! thank you for reading if you do! i'll try to update faster this time ;;;;
Now that Jet had two things down, he quickly realized he was stuck. Unless he wanted to keep bugging Pyunma, there wasn’t much else he could do. Well, actually… he could ask the rest of the cyborgs… With the threat of Black Ghost off their shoulders, at least for now, they were taking a break at Doctor Kozumi’s place, and with no threat meant no action, and no action meant… boredom. While it was nice not being sought after to be killed, Jet’s boredom got the best of him… a lot. Flying around with his jets was only entertaining for so long, and finding new hobbies was frustrating, especially since he got pissed every time he wasn’t immediately good at something.
With a sigh, he rolled out of bed - clothes wrinkled and hair a mess- and glanced at the green digits on the bedside table’s digital clock: 9:42 A.M. A yawn escaped his dry lips as he tiredly headed to the nearest shower. He might as well try to do something today.
‘I can sense that you want to ask me something, 002.’ The baby’s voice entered his mind as soon as he stepped foot into 001’s room. The youngest cyborg was in a blue crib Geronimo recently built, his head poking out of the blankets he was wrapped in.
“Ah—” Of course he did. “…Yeah, I do.”
‘What is it?’
“What do you think of Pyu— 008?”
This was met with a painfully long silence between them. Even though Ivan’s eyes were hidden under his bangs, he could feel them boring into him.
‘…He’s a pleasant caretaker. It’s obvious I am not the first baby he’s interacted with.’
That was… kind of cute. Pyunma was good with kids.It made some sense. As he thought about it, he could picture it clearly: Pyunma surrounded by a bunch of grade schoolers begging for his attention, and while he acts reluctant at first, he’d give all of them a piggyback ride. The image left him with a stupid grin on his face, and if it weren’t for the fact that Ivan was there, he would’ve kept that stupid grin. Hurriedly he turned his back to the infant, muttering a quick ‘thanks’ before attempting to dart out of the child’s room.
Jet stopped mid-step, turning his body to glance at Ivan with a raised eyebrow.
‘I want something in exchange for that information, and I think you know exactly what that something is.’
He should’ve expected this, truly, but there was a sliver of hope that he could get out of that. A heavy sigh escaped his lips as he stomped over to the child’s crib, leaning his face over Ivan, his hair still faintly wet. With no hesitation, Ivan reached his hands out to gently touch and play Jet’s nose with the curiosity normal for a baby. If only it was that easy— Ivan gave no warning as he soon pulled on Jet’s nostrils, hard, and while he was a tough guy, the strength of a cyborg baby was nothing to underestimate, his yelling echoing throughout the Dolphin.
Françoise wasn’t willing to talk to him at first until he agreed to ‘accompany’ her on a ‘quick’ shopping trip. ‘We have to!’ is what she insisted, ‘it would be criminal to miss out on the fashion Japan has to offer!’ Though, accompanying really meant carrying all her bags full of colorful outfits and expensive makeup, and quick really meant a solid three and a half hours of stumbling through store after store. The only thing he ended up buying was a nerf gun.
Once he was finishing loading the car up (he didn’t know how the hell he was able to fit everything in the back), he decided to start the questioning.
“Françoise?” He called as shut the door to the trunk, making his way to the front passenger seat.
“Hm?” She turned to face him with a slight tilt of her head. “Wait— before you continue, put on your seatbelt, and don’t take it off this time! Don’t think I didn’t notice you taking it off on the drive here. I only didn’t say anything because it would have distracted me!”
Jet rolled his eyes but did as he was told, though he didn’t understand why she was so stubborn about stuff like this. The ends of her pink lips curled up into a sweet smile, and she promptly started the car’s engine and began the drive to their temporary home in Japan.
“Anyways. I was wonderin’ what you thought of 008.”
“Oh? What brought this on?”
“...Just curious.” There was no way he was going to admit he was using her gift to write about Pyunma.
“If you say so… Well… he is a friend, of course! He seems to be busy, so we don’t talk as much as I’d like, but, lately, he’s been giving me English lessons! With us having translators, I’m aware that I don’t need to know English, but I’m interested! When I briefly mentioned it to him, he offered to teach me, and it’s been going very well!”
So Pyunma knows English, huh? …Wait—
“Why didn’t you ask me for help?! I was born and raised in America!”
“I assumed you wouldn’t enjoy it! You don’t seem like the teaching type, Jet…”
“What the hell does that mean?!”
The two continued to bicker during the drive, though it was mostly on Jet’s part until Françoise allowed him to have control over the radio. She immediately regretted it, with Jet horribly singing to Frank Sinatra the whole ride. The worst part was that she knew he was a good singer; he was just doing it to be annoying! By the end of the ride, though, she couldn’t help but start humming along.
Jet was stuck with unloading the bags—a punishment from Françoise for his dreadful singing. He could feel eyes on him as he went in and out, hefting load after load and obviously struggling. He didn’t bother checking who it was, though - that could wait. By the time he was finished, his body ached—being a cyborg didn’t help with foot or back pains after a long, arduous day of shopping. He was grumbling as he trudged into the main living space of the home, noticing Geronimo and Albert occupying themselves in a game of chess. However, it seemed they were more amused with Jet struggling than their game. Of course it was those two who had been watching him.
“…You guys are assholes! You’re both strong as hell, but you didn’t think to give me a hand?!” He huffed, crossing his arms as he took a seat on a nearby couch to watch their game - not that he knew what the hell the rules were.
“We’re busy, can’t you see?” Albert retorted, moving a queen to the left. Jet couldn’t tell who was winning. If only they were playing checkers, or something.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever…” He paused, uncrossing his arms and leaning back into the couch. “…What do you guys know about 008?”
“…Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Geronimo replied, moving a knight forward and to the side. This got a glare from Jet, but Geronimo didn’t seem bothered by it in the slightest. “He’s quiet but kind. Even though I am older than him, I feel like I learn much from him.”
Albert nodded, moving his queen yet again. “Yeah, I agree, he’s a good guy. Good at advice, too. He’s helped me through a few things, but… kind of makes me wonder what he’s been through, you know?”
“Mhm. Being wise isn’t without its sorrows.” Geronimo moved his rook diagonally. “Checkmate.”
Albert’s eyes widened, and he sunk his face down to closely inspect the board, sighing at his loss. “How are you so good at this?” Geronimo shrugged.
Jet took all of this in without a word but quickly got distracted by the aroma of fresh food wafting into the room. He nearly started drooling; he didn’t realize he had forgotten to eat at all today! Letting his hunger get the best of him, he rose from the couch and sneakily made his way into the kitchen.
His eyes quickly caught sight of a cherry pie, steam still emitting from it, sitting by its lonesome on the kitchen table. It was strange that the kitchen would be empty with this sitting here, but he wasn’t complaining. Lately, when Chang wasn’t around, he would ‘sample’ some of the dishes he left out, and so far, he hadn’t been caught yet. His tongue ran across his lips as he made his way over to the table, hands extended to take the whole thing for himself—Smack!
“Ow, shit! That fucking hurt!” He yelped, rubbing the stinging sensation on his left hand, teardrop teasing at the corner of his eye.
“I knew it was you! It really isn’t hard to wait, you know!” Chang erupted, pointing a wooden spoon accusingly at Jet. “You don’t even help!”
Jet clicked his tongue, going back to look at the pie to discover… GB laying seductively on the table, giving him a quick wink. “Surprise!”
…Jet suddenly didn’t have an appetite anymore.
“If only you were like 008. He helps, and he doesn’t steal!” The chef frowned and put his hands on his hips. GB slipped off the table - being dramatic about it, of course - and stood behind Chang, resting his arms on top of his head, despite his obvious displeasure.
“008 seems to be the only one who appreciates my references in my literature, too. Everyone is so uncultured, it seems!” That got GB a smack to his wrist.
“You wouldn’t know actual culture if it sat on your big, bald head!”
Jet took this as a sign to leave.
Once dinner was finally done, everyone made their way into the kitchen. Some slower than others, such as Françoise having to change Ivan’s diaper, but even slower than that was… Pyunma. In fact, he didn’t even show up. Jet didn’t notice it immediately, since he was stuffing his face, but once he did, he turned to Joe, who was sitting next to him, and muttered, “You know where 008 is?”
Joe took a moment to process what Jet actually said, since it was hard to tell with his mouth stuffed, but he shrugged and replied, “Last time I checked he said he was working on something, but he didn’t elaborate more on that… He was outside, if that helps.”
…That was weird, suspicious even, and Jet couldn’t help but feel anxiety brewing in his stomach. Swallowing the food in his mouth, he quickly excused himself, to everyone’s surprise, and darted out of the house, frantically looking around for Pyunma.
He was about to yell out his name, but Pyunma spoke first.
“Hey. What are you doing out here?” A large canvas with a scene of the nighttime beach sat in front of him, and he had a small paintbrush, the tip a royal blue, in his hand. He was sitting on a log, the light of the full moon showering his frame.
“…Dinner’s ready, you know.”
“Oh. I didn’t hear, sorry. I’ll come once I finish this.” He turned to face the painting again, adding some details in the water with faint strokes.
Jet nearly went back inside before he stopped and turned to watch Pyunma paint. He was finding himself captivated by the scene, for whatever reason, so he stomped over and plopped himself next to the other cyborg, staring at him.
Pyunma was… reasonably weirded out by this, pulling the paintbrush away to meet his gaze. “…What are you doing?”
“Watchin’ you draw.”
“Isn’t that boring?”
That was the end of their conversation, and the two sat in silence as they went on with themselves, with Pyunma continuing to finish the piece, and Jet watching him do so. While he was intrigued by it, Jet found his eyes getting heavier… and heavier… and… before he knew it, everything went dark.
When he woke up, there were two things on his mind. How did he get into bed, and why was he dreaming about Pyunma?
Chapter 3: Stumbling
Jet is a dumb motherfucker.
AUGH FINALLY I POSTED ANOTHER CHAPTER!! the next chapter shouldnt take this long. i enjoyed writing this!
Jet’s project had to be put on hold after the whole ‘stop-another-world-war’ thing in Kenya, mainly due to his injuries, but also since Pyunma had been more distant than usual. At least that’s what he’s heard from the gossip Chang and GB had to offer. Due to sitting out for the latter half of the mission, he had to rely on the words from the other cyborgs to fill him in. Strangely enough, they didn’t seem too enthralled to talk about it and described it as vaguely as possible.
However, he did make a few observations before he had to be brought back to the Dolphin. For one, he had never seen Pyunma smile that much before. When around that guy — what was his name…? Kabore, right. When he was around Kabore and the others, he had a completely different vibe, one more… pleasant? Maybe pleasant wasn’t the perfect word, but… he was noticeably more relaxed and… happy. Pyunma hadn’t seen those guys in years, yet he still was more at ease with them than with his own team! He clicked his tongue and turned over in bed, pulling the blankets over his head.
The team was taking a stop in Kenya for a couple days to refuel the Dolphin and simply relax. Jet’s injury was healed by now, but he was milking the coddling from the other cyborgs for as long as he could. The range of their expressed worry was drastic, but they all visited him to check his condition… All except Pyunma. He turned over once again, kicking his legs and getting them tangled with the blanket. Why did he even care? It didn’t matter. The two weren’t even that close. Though, Pyunma was insistent on bandaging him after he got shot. That had to mean something, right? Right? Not that it mattered—Ugh. He turned over in bed once more, throwing the blankets off him and onto the floor with a shout. There was no point in trying to get another nap in when he was this agitated.
Grumbling to himself, he sat up, just about to scoot himself off the bed to stretch when he heard a knock on the infirmary room. He quickly scrambled to get back into bed with the covers messily thrown on him. With a feigned weak voice and a couple coughs thrown in to sound as pitiful as possible, he muttered a quiet ‘come in.’
The door to the infirmary opened and closed, a short figure stepping inside the room. He squinted through the blankets, trying to see who it was. The lights flickered on, revealing— Pyunma…? That was the last person he expected to be visiting him so early in the morning. As he got a full look at the other man, his eyes moved down to the bag in his hand.
“What’s that you got?” He asked as he sat up, already giving up on the fake sickly voice.
“Some things I got while I was out,” Pyunma replied with a gentle smile. He pulled up a chair next to Jet’s bed and placed the bag onto his lap. “You can look through it.”
Jet did just that. He pulled the bag up into the air and emptied its contents onto the bed. A small, brown teddy bear, assortment of different colored pens, and some cutesy stickers now laid in his lap.
“…You sure you got this for me?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Pyunma huffed, crossing his arms with a frown. “The teddy bear was from a girl, Njeri. I was telling her how one of my friends was sick, and she told me to give you this to feel better. Its name is Kubebwa. It’s a pun, basically the equivalent of ‘big bear’,” He paused, taking the stuffed animal into his hands and moving its arms, “I ended up buying her a bigger bear later. I felt bad about taking it from her.”
…God damn it. That was too cute. While he was sure of it before, this confirmed that he was a natural with children.
“Tell her I said thanks.”
“I will.” Pyunma placed the bear back into Jet’s lap, making sure it sat upright. “The other stuff is for that journal you’ve been writing in. I didn’t pin you to be a writer, if I’m honest.”
Jet felt his heart lurch. Pyunma had been noticing? At least it seemed that Pyunma didn’t know that he was the object of his writings. The thought of that made him not react to the subtle insult. He stared at the other cyborg with wide eyes for an uncomfortable amount of time before nervously laughing, shuffling the gifts into the bag they were in. Pyunma quirked an eyebrow at this but nothing more.
The awkward exchange left them both silent.
“So. Uh. How’d that mission go?”
Jet quickly found that this was the absolute worst thing to bring up, as Pyunma immediately tensed up as soon as he uttered the words.
“Fine.” Pyunma sounded colder than usual.
“Can you elaborate on that?” He found himself talking in a gentler tone.
The silence returned, tenser than before. Pyunma’s gaze went from Jet to the floor and back to Jet, taking in a deep breath and wringing his hands.
“We stopped Black Ghost, for now. I wouldn’t say things are perfect, but I think Kenya can recover from this. I trust Kabore to help our country.” He took in another breath. “I… had to fight some of those cyborgs.”
“That doesn’t sound too bad. What’s the big deal?”
“They’re people, Jet. That’s the big deal.”
“Barely! Those guys were practically robots. They didn’t show any of us mercy, and—”
“No, that isn’t true, he did—" Pyunma immediately cut himself off, covering his mouth with a hand. Jet hadn’t seen the other man look so… fragile before. Pyunma was always so calm and collected, but in this moment, his walls were down, and his expression was twisted in devastation. The urge to pull him into his arms was brewing in the back of his mind.
Pyunma didn’t respond. He hunched over in his seat and turned his head, obscuring his face.
“What? 008, what are you talking about? Did you know one of them?” One of Jet’s hand drifted over to Pyunma’s shoulder, but it was smacked away before could he touch him.
“I’m tryin’ to help! I— we all had to bury people, 008! Losing a friend is… It’s hard, but we’re here for you!” He sputtered. The hand that reached out for him clenched into a tight fist.
“I don’t want to talk about this, 002.”
“Pushin’ people away won’t fix anything.” Jet would know.
“I know that—”
“Then what’s with you? You never act like this!”
“002, stop it.”
“Stop what?! God, sorry for caring about you when you’re obviously upset! Would you listen to me if I was one of your old friends?”
“What are you implying?” Pyunma finally looked back at him again. There was no trace of the soft smile from before on his scowling face.
“I’m not implyin’ anything. All I’m sayin’ is that you care about those guys over us.”
“That isn’t true.”
“Oh, yeah? You didn’t seem all that concerned when I got hurt. I could’ve died! You don’t even know for sure if that was your friend. Even if it was, you haven’t seen ‘em in years! You’re acting like he was your boyfr—”
Jet wasn’t able to finish with Pyunma lunging forward, grabbing him by the collar, the two nose to nose. Though, as soon as it happened, it was over, as Pyunma released him, taking a few steps back. He looked more shocked about what he did than Jet did. Pyunma then turned away once more, his back facing Jet. Jet was almost thankful for that; he didn’t want to see the other’s expression.
“You’re… really bad at comforting people, 002,” Pyunma muttered, his voice cracking with his name as he rushed out of the room.
That wasn’t what he wanted to say. At all.
He absentmindedly ran a hand through his hair as he replayed the conversation over and over in his head, getting angrier with himself by the second. Pyunma’s grief-stricken face was embedded in his mind.
What was he thinking? He let himself get carried away. What he said wasn’t a lie, really. It was how he felt, at least, but…
Pyunma deserved an apology, and soon, but he didn’t trust himself to say the right thing. He didn’t want to have to talk to the others about this, but there wasn’t anything else he could do unless he wanted to fuck this up even further. He forced his self-loathing thoughts away to get up, pausing when he heard the shuffling of the bag. With a frown, he pulled the teddy bear out of the bag, caressing its soft, brown fur. He buried his face into the stuffed animal. Maybe this bear really was healing… His was feeling somewhat better after the nuzzling, as embarrassing as it was.
Gently, he placed the bear back into the bag and placed the gifts on a nearby table. After that, he quickly got dressed and headed out to find some much needed advice.
Chapter 4: Better
i'm trying to write chapters more frequently now... if the timeline is confusing this takes place during episode 16-17
also please look at pyunma's speedo
The Dolphin was unusually quiet. As he headed to the main hub of the ship, the familiar chatter from the rest of the cyborgs was nowhere to be heard. With the quietness, it was no surprise to find the control room was empty—Well, not completely empty. Professor Gilmore was seated in one of the hub’s seats, gently rocking a sleeping Ivan in his arms. He raised his head up and smiled at Jet once he noticed him.
“Why, hello, 002. It’s good to see you up. How are your injuries?”
“Hey,” Jet sauntered over to a seat next to the two. He leaned into the chair with a sigh, staring out one of the ship's windows and distractedly cracking his knuckles one by one. “They’re fine.”
“I’m glad to hear it. If that’s the case, I think we’ll be able to bid Kenya goodbye soon.”
“…Is something troubling you, 002?”
His lips parted to speak, but he hesitated, instead popping the rest of his knuckles. As much as he wanted to be honest, it didn’t feel right. There was no point in bothering the professor with his stupid problems, especially with all the default stresses the man had piled up. Although… he was finding it hard to change the topic with Gilmore staring at him concernedly. He supposed it would be fine to be straightforward with his feelings… just this once.
“Well… kind of, yeah.”
The older man’s face lit up at Jet’s reply, nodding for him to continue.
“I… made 008 real upset. I didn’t mean to, but you know how I am. I always end up sayin’ the wrong thing. I don’t think he likes me that much, and this didn’t help. Basically, I wanna apologize to him, but I don’t know how.”
Gilmore listened intently, taking a few moments to respond.
“I can’t tell you exactly what to say, but I think I can ease some of your worries. I believe you tend to let your emotions build up, and that leads to situations like this. If you’re able to talk about how you feel constructively, like this, I think it will benefit you,” He combed his fingers through Ivan’s hair, the baby unconsciously leaned into the touch, “As for your relationship with 008… I think you’re severely misunderstanding it.”
Jet tilted his head, not looking very convinced. He restrained himself from saying something snarky.
“You and I are aware of 008’s habit of… keeping you all at an arm’s length, but the reason behind it isn’t because he holds any ill feelings towards you. I believe it’s the opposite, actually. He may be afraid to become close to those he cares for, and that habit isn’t likely to change since no one has reached out to him, either.”
“More shit that’s my fault, great.”
“That isn’t what I mean, 002. Neither of you are entirely at fault for this. All I mean is that if you wish to become closer with him, I advise you to take the first step, and this apology could be a good opportunity for bridging the gap. Does that help?”
“…Yeah, it does. Thanks, Professor.” Jet rose from his seat to move closer to the two, gently ruffling Ivan’s hair. Babies were lucky; they didn’t have relationship problems. “Got any ideas on where 008 went?”
“Unfortunately, I don’t. He couldn’t have gone too far. I would try a transmission.”
“Got it.” Jet pulled his hand away and headed to leave, casting one last glance to Ivan and the professor.
“I wish you luck, 002.”
“So do I.”
Being a cyborg had little perks, but he had to admit, being able to soar above the clouds was amazing. It was easy to get lost in the blues of the bright sky. He couldn’t recall the amount of times he would glide through the sky for as long as he could, watching the blues melt into black as day turned into night. It was one of the few things that could calm him down, so he let himself hover in the air for a few minutes before sending a transmission to Pyunma.
‘Hey, 008. You there?’
There wasn’t an immediate reply which made Jet incredibly nervous, but after a few seconds of silence, he heard Pyunma's voice.
‘Do you need something?’ He didn’t sound thrilled to hear from Jet.
‘Uh—’ He winced. There was so much he wanted to say, but he didn’t have faith in himself to say it right. It made him want to hang up and fuck off into the sky forever. ‘I… wanna apologize to you. In person. So can you tell me where you are?’
He didn’t hear anything for a while, and it made him more nervous than he’d like to admit. Just as he began to think Pyunma hung up on him, he got a response.
’The big lake northeast from the Dolphin.’
His jets were already propelling towards that direction before Pyunma could finish. Of course he’d be there, why didn’t he think of that? Pyunma properly found the water comforting like he found the skies. Although, the thought of him being the reason for Pyunma’s stress made his stomach churn.
It didn’t take long for him to find the lake; it wasn’t too far, but it was far enough to have some privacy. He slowly lowered himself to the ground, jets sputtering to a stop as his feet hit land.
With his hands on his hips, he craned his head around and squinted, looking for any sign of the aquatic cyborg. Before long, he noticed a shimmering of ripples in the water that soon broke apart as Pyunma breached. His face was one of complete concentration, eyes fluttering at the sun’s brightness. When his eyes met Jet’s, his expression relaxed ever so slightly, and he began to drift towards the shore.
Water cascaded down his dark skin as he stepped out of the lake. It was a test of his willpower to not stare at Pyunma’s speedo. Somehow, he was able to manage. The two simply stared at each other before Jet finally broke the silence.
“I’m… really sorry. I shouldn’t have said that shit from before. I went way too far, I just—…” He stopped himself. He shouldn’t— He really was gonna fuck it up. Gilmore’s words from before briefly ran through his mind. He clenched his fists. “I just worry about you, a lot. You always keep things to yourself, and I feel like I don’t know how to help you! You’re my friend, and friends are supposed to be there for each other. I’m bein’ honest with you here, so I want you to do the same with me!”
Jet didn’t know when he closed his eyes, all he knew was that he was afraid to open them. It wasn’t until he heard a soft laugh that he let himself take a peek.
Pyunma looked… carefree. His eyes slightly crinkled with his dimpled smile, and his posture was a lot more relaxed. There wasn’t a single hint of that usual frown and calculated gaze. It was reminiscent of how he looked talking to his old friends.
His smile was contagious; Jet returned the smile with a toothy grin.
“You were that worried about me, Jet?” Pyunma moved over to stand beside Jet. He didn’t realize how drastic their height difference was.
Hearing Pyunma call him by his actual name made his heart race even faster— Wait, since when was it racing to begin with? He decided to ignore it, for now.
“I can stop if you want me to, Pyunma.”
That got him a playful elbow to his side.
“I didn’t say that.”
“Sure sounded like it.” He experimentally wrapped an arm around Pyunma’s shoulder. Pyunma didn’t pull away.
A transmission from Francoise called for all the cyborgs to return to the Dolphin; it was time for them to go. The two left the lake talking a storm, attached at the hip, and in the moment, things almost felt normal.
Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to test his and Pyunma’s relationship when their ship was resting at the bottom of the ocean and Black Ghost was barraging them with bombs to find them. Then again, most of his ideas weren’t the best, anyways, and he was sick of sitting and waiting. His foot tapped aggressively against the metal floor, and eventually he sat up with an aggravated groan.
“This is just ridiculous— I can’t take it anymore!” He shouted, drawing the attention of the rest of the cyborgs. He turned to Pyunma, who was giving him a perplexed look. “008, give me a hand, will ya?”
“What are you up to? Huh?” Albert called out, watching Jet stroll across the other side of the hull, towards the door leading to the ship’s main hallway.
“I’m gonna check them out.” Jet’s grin grew wider as he heard a softer pair of footsteps behind him.
“Hey—” Both Jet and Pyunma ignored Albert’s words of protest. In unison, they paused in front of the door, glancing at Albert with the same cheeky look.
“Don’t worry, my friend, it’s recognizance,” Jet reassured, opening the door and promptly leaving, Pyunma following suit.
Pyunma only spoke when the door behind them shut.
“I’m not sure what you’re planning, but it probably isn’t a good idea.”
“Says the guy who’s going along with it.”
Smoke oozed from his jets as he fell through the skies and dove face first into the icy waters. It was horrendously cold, but he was starting to understand how Pyunma could relax down in its depths. Maybe he’d be able to enjoy it too if he didn’t hurt like hell.
He barely registered Pyunma pulling him along into the Dolphin. The air from inside the ship made him shiver. Pyunma propped him against the wall, quickly inspecting him for any signs of worrying injuries.
“Told you it was probably a bad idea.”
“Why didn’t you stop me, then?”
“You really think I could?”
Jet just laughed.
Jet couldn’t help feeling responsible for their capture, but at least it seemed to be working in their favor. He still had a headache from being knocked out from the high frequencies from before, but he was quickly distracted from it with a familiar hand resting on his shoulder.
“You ready?” Pyunma had a fire in his eyes that Jet had never seen before.
“Heh. I think you know the answer already.”
They were the first two out when the Dolphin’s doors were opened.
The battle was over. Well, at least for now. Jet wasn’t confident that Black Ghost would be destroyed so easily, and he was sure that everyone else felt the same way.
Jet sat alone in the hub of the Dolphin, keeping eye on its radar and monitors in case of a surprise attack from the enemy. The rest of the cyborgs were rightfully resting after such an exhausting day of battle. Or so he thought. He jumped in his seat at the sound of the hull's entrance opening. Whoever it was must have noticed since he heard them quietly laughing. Jet didn’t even have to turn around to know it was Pyunma, but he did anyways.
The other cyborg looked cozy, dressed in dark blue and white striped pajamas, holding a mug of warm tea in one hand. He waved with his free hand and sat down at the chair next to Jet’s.
“It’s my turn. You should sleep for a bit.” Pyunma blew away the steam emitting from his tea before taking a sip. It was cute.
“Don’t think I could sleep even if I wanted to.” Jet muttered, leaning back into his chair and staring up at the ceiling.
“I hear you.” Pyunma took another sip, one-handedly fiddling with one of the ship’s monitors."
“What are you doing?”
“Putting in the coordinates of my village.”
“…What? What for?”
“I’m going back.”
Jet nearly fell out of his chair.
“What do ya mean you’re goin’ back?!”
He didn’t realize how loud he was being until Pyunma shushed him, his index finger against his lip.
“Black Ghost is gone. I don’t have any reason not to.”
He had a point, but… he didn’t want Pyunma to go. He didn’t know why, and he wasn’t going to find out why, but he just didn’t want him gone just yet. He grumbled, crossing his arms and turning so his back faced the other cyborg.
“Hmph! Do what you want. It’s not like I care.”
“…Can you look at me for a second?”
He hesitated for a moment before doing what Pyunma asked, turning around to— Woah. Suddenly Pyunma was a lot closer, their chairs facing each other and legs nearly touching. Jet enjoyed his personal space, so having someone this close to him usually meant they were going to get decked in the face or shoved away. Though… for some reason, he didn’t mind this. He enjoyed seeing Pyunma’s expression up close, enjoyed feeling the ghost of his warmth, enjoyed— “Ow!”
Jet rubbed the tip of his nose. Pyunma flicked him!
“I’m not leaving forever, Jet. Plus…” Pyunma paused, glancing around for a bit before reaching for a loose piece of paper and a pen, scribbling a bunch of numbers on it before sliding it into Jet’s hands. “We can keep in touch. You can call or text me whenever you want.”
Jet felt the urge to reach for Pyunma’s hand, to intertwine their fingers for more than just a brief instance, but he refrained, instead slipping the paper into his pocket.
“You know… back in the day, we didn’t have this ‘texting’ thing.”
“You sound like an old man.”
Jet grinned and hoped he had enough money to buy a phone.