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Burn Your Heart to Disc

Chapter Text

No matter how dire the circumstances, a good day is bound to come eventually.

…or, at the very least, a day that sucks a little bit less.

…which, if one spends enough time going through hell to grow at least somewhat accustomed to it, doesn’t seem all that different from a genuinely good one.

Such is the aeons-old maxim to which humankind and robotkind alike owe their continued existence.

But for R3, for Carol, for Rio, for innumerable others, its promise rings as hollow as a funeral bell.

So, as long as the certainty of a brighter future only holds true for “enough” rather than “all”, Janperson will keep on fighting for justice.


But today, at least for a while, he can afford not to.

Because even in a city plagued by not one, not two, but three entire evil organizations with explicit world-conquering potential, good days do happen sometimes.

And today is one of such days. Nobody is being attacked. Nobody is waving around weapons of mass destruction like pool noodles. Even the world news is overwhelmingly, uncannily positive. It’s almost like the entire Earth has just stopped turning and said “Enough of this bullshit, I’m taking a day off!”

And if the whole planet is taking a day off, what difference would one more overworked robot make?

So, Janperson sleeps.

Well, technically he doesn’t sleep per se. The closest approximation of the state he’s in would be low power mode, like a laptop with a closed lid. But this tale of love and memes has little use for arguing with yourself about semantics, so I digress.

So, Janperson sleeps. He sleeps soundly, and he dreams robot dreams. Pleasant, relaxing, cozy robot dreams. Pleasant, relaxing, cozy robot dreams that indeed involve electric sheep. A great flock of electric sheep, their synthetic wool painted in pastel tones. A stormy sea of soft that engulfs and drowns him in the best possible way.

Janperson hugs the electric sheep, burying his face in their wool, which is exactly as impossibly soft as it looks. He runs his hands through it, drawing a chorus of pleased beep-bleats from the clouds of floof.

He feels like he's on top of the world…And as for the world itself, it is now changing. It is changing because it has to. If it is to accommodate the happiness and contentment overflowing from this one robot’s heart, it has no choice but to change.

As its constituent sheep clone themselves over and over with gentle bleeps, the sea of pastel softness wells up in a great and warm wave, carrying Janperson along towards the stars…

We're no strangers to love

You know the rules and so do I

A full commitment's what I'm thinking of

You wouldn't get this from any other guy

CLANG!!!

Janperson was violently yanked back into reality by the sound of his own fist clocking Gun Gibson in the face.

I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling
Gotta make you understand

As a state-of-the-art combat robot (well, a reformed one whose battles alternated with gardening, Monopoly and hugs, but a combat robot nonetheless), Janperson was equipped with one of the most powerful processors in the world. So, disorientation notwithstanding, it didn’t take long for him to realize what he’d just done – and regret it dearly.

He jerked to his feet with a gasp, hands clamped over his mouth in shock. Distantly, he noticed that something in his mind was now stuck, endlessly iterating over the words “cheese and rice”.

Time nails-on-a-chalkboard-ed to a halt.

Across the room, Gun Gibson stared back with a similarly flabbergasted expression. His visor was shattered on the left side of his face, the remaining half cracked and loose in its frame. A drop of oil was trailing down his temple in a manner that seemed almost consciously cautious…

Neeee-veeeer goooon-naaaa giiiii-…

The glitching cheese and rice generator inside his mind must’ve had evolved into an excuse generator, because now it couldn’t stop stammering “I-it’s not my fault! I am equipped with an automatic defense system that activates in response to sudden standby interruptions! I swear I didn’t mean to punch you!”.

-ve yoooouuu uuup

“Shut the fuck up and apologize properly!” Interjected Janperson’s indomitable sense of justice.

So he did just that.

“Oh, Gun Gibson, I am so, so sorry!”

As if on cue, time seemed to resume. And so did the odd but, at least in his opinion, beautiful song that he’d only just noticed was playing.

Never gonna let you down

Never gonna run around and desert you

Never gonna make you cry

Never gonna say goodbye

 “…It was…just a prank…bro….” muttered Gun Gibson, palming at the dent in his facial plating and sounding decidedly shaken.

“…eh?”

Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you 

Only then did Janperson notice where the song was coming from. Not from a radio, not from a TV, not from any other external source, but rather…from himself.

Everything clicked together so suddenly and rapidly that his processor was left reeling.

“Gun Gibson…did you put a CD into my tray while I was in sleep mode?”

“…yes.” Said Gun Gibson, whose shocked expression was now rapidly shifting into that of someone desperately trying not to burst out laughing.

Janperson was equipped with a diverse array of functions. And apparently, that included the ability to moonlight as a portable music player. There was a CD tray in his chest, and two speakers in his midsection. Although tiny in size, these speakers were able to rock with the best of’em. Every part of Janperson was state-of-the-art, after all.

But, state-of-the-art as it was, Janperson’s processor was still left guessing. As someone who’d spent a large part of his life only marginally less alone than the 52-Hertz Whale, he was largely unfamiliar with the concept of practical jokes…Or internet memes, for that matter. So, totally unaware that Gun Gibson was, in fact, rick-rolling him in the most ghoulish way possible, all Janperson could do was keep racking his mind for answers…

Why? Why would Gun Gibson feel the need to do something like that? What does this mean?

The CD whirred on and on inside his chest. Almost like…an exaggerated pulse?

Was this what humans felt when their hearts were pounding from strong emotion?

...their hearts…

Suddenly, Janperson caught himself feeling like this whirring sensation in his chest, this haphazard imitation of human tachycardia was…strangely fitting.

Why?

Why? Why? Why?

We've known each other for so long

Your heart's been aching but you're too shy to say it

Inside we both know what's been going on

We know the game and we're gonna play it

…Oh.

And if you ask me how I'm feeling
Don't tell me you're too blind to see

…OH!!!

“…..Skkkrkrkkrjkjkdgfdghgkkktktkttttttttt

A sound best described as an ungodly staticky hurgle marked the end of Gun Gibson’s composure before the gunslinger doubled over in a fit of howling laughter punctuated by exclamations of “Holy shit”, “I can’t”, and “Get memed on you fucking eggplant!”.

But it all fell on deaf audio sensors. The emotional gutpunch of his realization had left Janperson down for the count and all but dead to the world.

Never gonna give you up

This song was a love confession.

Never gonna let you down

These lyrics…were a representation of Gun Gibson’s feelings…

Never gonna run around and desert you

Gun Gibson LOVED HIM! Gun Gibson LOVED HIM BACK!!!

Never gonna make you cry

He must’ve been too flustered to confess directly…Ahem, okay, now that sounded way too much like self-projection BUT ANYWAY…

Never gonna say goodbye

For all intents and purposes, Gun Gibson’s very soul was now burning inside Janperson’s chest…

Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

Inside him…as though Gun Gibson has sharpened his feelings into a blade and run him through!

Conveying how he felt by stabbing…How very Gibson-like...

For a moment, Janperson was struck by a wild, irrational thought that Gun Gibson had never switched sides after all. Because if this was an assassination method, it certainly was working. Janperson felt like he was about to splinter at the seams and rattle apart into a soggy pile of nuts and bolts.

But at the same time…Cuddling a metric fuckton of electric sheep paled in comparison to the warmth spreading across his circuits.

He was distantly aware of malfunction alerts blaring through his systems, popping up red and angry on his HUD.

WARNING! MAXIMUM CPU TEMPERATURE REACHED!

OPTICAL CLEANING FLUID LEAK DETECTED!

ACTIVATING SECONDARY COOLING SYSTEMS!

Dying. He was dying. Gun Gibson’s love confession had killed him.  Such were the thoughts racing through Janperson’s poor overclocked CPU as his unrepentant murderer lay wheezing on the floor.

He was dying, and that was ok.

Never gonna give, never gonna give

(Give you up)

No.

No. He couldn’t die yet. Not without letting Gun Gibson know that he, too, was loved. He couldn’t allow himself to break Gun Gibson’s heart…. especially right after breaking his face!

WARNING! MAXIMUM CPU TEMPERATURE EXCEEDED!

He was still alive.

He could speak.

HE COULD DO THIS!!!

“Gun Gibson…The feeling…is mutual…” Janperson ground out through sheer bloody willpower, every word a cubic ton of rusty metal.

…The sensation that followed could only be compared to transforming into a deflating balloon. Strangely, the only thing his damage alert system had to offer in response was “TEMPERATURE STABILIZING”.

Gun Gibson stared up at him from the floor, mouth agape, optics bugging out from their sockets.

Never gonna give, never gonna give

(Give you up)

“Janperson, what THE fuck?”

To be continued…