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A short story about things Genos puts in his mouth

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“Sensei, I’m home.”

“Ahh. Welcome back. You got that pork and cabbage from the sale ad?”

“Yes, Sensei, as well as a carton of milk about to expire, day-old curry buns, and on the way home I passed the greengrocer’s just as she was putting out the damaged produce. We should have plenty for tonight and leftovers, so no need to leave the house tomorrow.”

“Nice, Genos! Good going. Cheap is good. Cheap and easy, that’s how I like it.”

“I know, Sensei. It’s a good thing I remembered our new eco-bag; I wound up buying so much it didn’t quite fit in the usual bags. They tried to make me pay for a plastic bag, but I assured them it was no trouble to carry the larger items loose.”

Genos. Dude. How many times do I have to say you don’t have to spend your wages on drinks for me. This electrolyte stuff is a total ripoff, especially the premixed kind. I know this wasn’t on sale, and you bought two bottles? If you’re gonna waste your money on me at least get the powder--oh. This other one’s. I didn’t know this came in liters. Erm. Genos. Do you, uh. Need some privacy?”

“Sensei?”

“I mean I just figured. Since you’re a cyborg. Stupid of me, stupid assumption, you’re nineteen and I’m being prejudiced against inorganics. Part-organics. Sorry, I’m gonna shut up now. Just, if you need me to, like, clear out for an hour sometimes, I totally can. Put a sock on the door handle or something, I’ll get it. I know it’s technically my place but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?”

“Sensei, I appreciate the offer, but I think you misunderstand. That bottle is for my mouth.”

Dude. Don’t tell me, okay, I don’t need to know what you’re into! Not that it bothers me, to each his own, just, none of my business.”

“It could be.”

Genos.

“My artificial tongue, Sensei. Natural speech emulation, primarily, though it also assists in my organic fuel intake and respiratory exhaust self-cleaning functions. Since I do not have the ability to produce natural lubrication, I need to buy it.”

“So, your mouth is full of…”

“Currently, KY brand water-based personal lubricant.”

“One-point-five liters of it.”

“A disadvantage of water-based personal lubricants, yes. Oil- and silicone-based lubricants typically last longer, but I have found they interfere with my taste and texture sensors, which negatively affects my ability to cook for you. And, incidentally, my ability to enjoy food, which I find more pleasurable with company.”

“So many things are.”

“...Please forgive my bluntness, but was that an invitation, Sensei?”

“...No.”

“I see. In any case, I buy this brand in bulk because it’s most economical, but lately I’ve become dissatisfied with the taste. Hence, the ones in the blue bag.”

“There’s more? Oh good grasshopping gerbils, what stores have you been in? Were you seen? People are going to make assumptions about us! Me! Again!”

“Does that bother you, Sensei?”

“Well if people are going to make assumptions about my lube consumption I wish they were at least true.”

“Was that an invitation?”

“No!”

“All right. As I was saying, I hope to find one among these vegan, certified organic, pH-balanced, water-based lubricants which will maintain sufficient viscosity without clogging any sensors.”

“This one says it’s cinnamon flavored.”

“That brand comes in vanilla and lavender-bergamot as well. I chose cinnamon because I like it. At least, I did before my conversion.”

“Hmm. Spicy. I prefer vanilla, myself.”

“Was that a request, Sensei?”

Seriously. It’s your mouth, dude, put what you like in it.”

“...Sensei.”

“Dammit.”

“Forgive me if I’m being presumptuous, but there is something I hope you might be interested to know.”

“Whatever you’re about to say, I deserve it.”

“Sensei, I do not have a gag reflex.”