Spoils of Love
Jonnys partners spoiling him, because they know how much he likes stuff.
Ships: Polymechs, Nastya x Aurora (Nastya is also part of the polymechs, it is what she deserves)
Warnings: none really, but tell me if I missed anything or if you want me to tag something!
Jonnys partners knew he loved things, especially shiny or expensive things. He tried to hide it of course, but he could never fully hide the way his eyes lit up whenever he saw an expensive store display or how he let his hands run over the nice clothing.
From that it wasn’t such a leap to make that Jonny would love getting said shiny or expensive things from one of his partners, a task they didn’t mind doing.
It started with Ashes. They were usually the one on Jonny-sitting duties while on planet, since they were violent enough that he wouldn't get bored and run off. This also meant that they saw Jonny around stores the most and first noticed the tendency towards shiny and expensive things.
So when Tim took over for them, coming to pick Jonny up after xe’d found a huge bank with what xe thought to be lackluster security, they decided to get him a gift.
The two pillows they picked out were big and soft. Ashes even let the cashier wrap them nicely before they pulled a gun on him and took them without paying. They grinned to themself, Jonny would love the addition to his collection of plushy things for the monstrosity he called a bed.
Back on Aurora, when everyone was done with their violence, errands and other occupations, they found Jonny once more. He was drinking with Tim, TS, Brian and Marius. When he saw Ashes with a wrapped gift, he called out: “What you got there, Ashes?”
Curious little thing he was, Ashes thought. They handed him the gift and said: “I got you a little something, darling. Open it.”
“It’s not going to explode, right?” Jonny asked, poking the gift, seeming surprised when he found it was soft.
“What is it?” Tim asked, looking curiously over Jonnys shoulder to the gift.
Ashes rolled their eyes: “No, it’s not going to explode and you would know if he opened it.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Jonny grumbled as he tore open the wrapping paper gleefully. When he felt the soft pillows, his eyes lit up. He looked up and said: “It’s velvet, the casings are velvet.”
“Only the best for you, of course.” Ashes replied, before leaving a small kiss on his forehead, “Thought they would fit nicely on your nest.”
“Not a nest.” Jonny pouted, but he blushed slightly and there was a small smile playing at his lips. It was a rare soft one, he usually wouldn't allow.
With the mission successful Ashes sat down and poured themself a glass of whiskey and leaned back in one of the chairs. They watched as Jonny petted the pillows, obviously pleased.
After a while of just admiring them, Jonny suddenly got up and said: “I’m gonna put them away before anyone spills something on them.” as he was about to walk out of the room, he turned back and added in a softer voice, “Uhm, thank you, Ashes.”
“Not a problem, darling.” Ashes smiled in return, for once not minding the soft look that would undoubtedly be in their eyes as they followed Jonny while he left.
Then they were distracted by Tim, who sat down in their lap and grinned: “So, when am I getting some fancy pillows?”
“You say this like I didn’t help you steal a machine gun a few planets back. And like you want soft pillows when you and I both know you would much rather lie in Jonnys bed instead of having your own.” Ashes said as they tucked a strand of loose hair behind Tims ear.
Tim was quiet for a moment then xe pushed their face away and grumbled: “Shut up.”
“I know you love me, sweetheart.” Ashes teased.
“Sadly.” Tim replied dryly, before getting off their lap and draping over Brian while exclaiming: “At least Brian will be nice to me.”
“Dramaqueen.” Brian told xem.
Tim rolled off him and clutched xyr heart as xe cried: “Betrayed. Tossed aside. Unloved. Oh, how cruel can faith be. Abandoned by my own lovers- Oh, hi Jonny.”
“What the fuck are you doing?” the newly returned Jonny asked.
“Xe’s being dramatic over nothing.” Marius told him.
“Ah, so the usual then.” Jonny commented, getting a pout-y “Meanie.” from Tim.
But with Ashes gift, the seed had been planted in the brain of the people who had been there and had seen how happy Jonny had been with the small gesture. So it was soon after that Brian decided to give him something.
With the end of making Jonny smile like that, he had slipped the beautifully adorned knife into his pocket. The knife had a hand carved ivory handle with a sunset on it inlaid with gold, while the blade had a cut out of a small town in the middle.
Since he had stolen it and his hands could be clunky, Brian had decided not to wrap it, instead he handed it to Jonny while they were walking to dinner together: “Here, I saw this and thought of you, so I got it. Hope you like it.”
Jonny seemed surprised, then he gently took the knife and inspected it. It was sharp and he cut himself on it, but that only made him smile. He quickly hugged Brian as he said: “Thank you, I love it.”
Then he skipped off excitedly with Brian hurrying behind him to see what he was going to do now. He was slightly too late, because when he arrived Marius already had the knife in his heart as he lay on the floor.
“It works perfectly, Brian.” Jonny grinned, cleaning the knife with Marius’ sleeve. And Brian would have scolded him for that if he hadn’t gotten a peck on his cheek right after, something Jonny rarely did since he hated that he had to get on his tiptoes for it.
Brian got shook out of his stupid happy daze with Nastya yelling: “Where is my kiss, d’Ville?”
“Maybe if you get me something nice you will get one.” Jonny stuck his tongue out at her, but he still gave her a kiss on her temple before he sat down.
However, she later did show up to his door with in her hands a box with a bow on it. He looked at it with a furrowed brow and asked: “What’s that for?”
“For the kiss.” Nastya grinned, “Come on, open it.”
“You didn’t have to do that. I was joking, you know.” Jonny told her as he gently lifted the lid of the box. When he saw what was in it he gasped: “You didn’t.”
“I know how much you enjoyed the satin pjs the doc lend you, fancypants. I figured they must have perished since then, so, you know.” Nastya explained.
“Not a fancypants.” Jonny told her, but there was a twinkle of delight in his eyes as he ran a hand over the satin with a soft grin and red dusting his cheeks.
“Whatever you say.” Nastya said, “Now, go, try it on.”
Jonny didn’t protest that, just pulled her into his room and closed the door as he changed clothes, while Nastya made herself comfortable on his bed, sinking into the thick mattress. She was just contemplating how soft the pillows Jonny got from Ashes were, when Jonny snapped her out of it: “So, what do we think?”
He twirled around, showing off the soft lilac color as the camisole billowed around him, revealing his soft tummy and the shorts with lace on the underside that matched perfectly. Nastya just appreciated him a moment, then smiled: “You look absolutely gorgeous, Jonny.”
For a moment it seemed like he was going to protest, but then the words caught up to him and the dusting on his cheeks intensified as he started spluttering.
“Come here, I didn’t just give you that to be pretty, but also so that you feel nice to hold.” Nastya beckoned him closer.
Apparently his brain wasn’t fully back online, because he crawled onto the bed without comment and made himself comfortable in her arms. She smiled and gave him a peck on his forehead, then a kiss on his lips when he wiggled closer to her.
About an hour later the door slid open to reveal Tim also dressed for sleep. Xe asked: “Can I sleep here tonight?”
“Yeah, of course, Nastya is here too.” Jonny answered.
Tim smiled and bounced over to the bed: “Hi, Nastya-dear, how are-” then xe spotted Jonny, “Oh, wow, you look beautiful this fine evening, princess.”
“I’m still not a fucking princess, Tim, why the fuck do you keep calling me that?” Jonny groused, curling into Nastya grumpily, but mostly to hide the blush everyone knew would be on his face.
“I will stop the moment you stop being beautiful, princess.” Tim told him.
Jonny sighed, then rolled back again and said: “Alright, whatever… And it was Nastya who got me the outfit.”
He sounded happier at the end, he was clearly loving the outfit. Nastya had noticed how he’d kept rubbing the material between his fingers the entire time and with the tone she grinned proudly at Tim.
“Nastya-dear, you make the best choices, I could kiss you right now.” Tim exclaimed.
“Dramaque- hmpf” Nastyas eyeroll was cut off by a quick kiss, before Tim flopped fully down on the bed and made xemself comfortable to go to sleep.
“Idiot.” Nastya told xem, but she didn’t really mean it and just snuggled up to the other two, leeching as much body heat as she could.
The next morning Nastya and Tim had the pleasant sight of Jonny still in the pjs to wake up to, who yawned slightly and blinked his eyes open slowly.
“I know I already told you this, dear, but you really do make the best choices.” Tim commented to Nastya, who just pushed xem over.
But Tim did mean it, Jonny looked soft and sweet, something he was absolutely not, but it did do funny things to Tims heart. So, xe decided Jonny would need to look like that more and Tim was going to make sure he did.
Xe knew Jonny was loathe to part with his usual outfit, but xe also knew his tendency towards soft things if shiny wasn’t available or fitting.
This was what xe kept in mind as xe wondered through stores on the latest planet they were on. Xe had ditched Marius, Ashes and Jonnys attempt to rid the planet of its booze by drinking it and just hoped they wouldn't run into xem. Xe wanted it to be a surprise.
Xyr hand ran over multiple sweaters, feeling how soft they were. Xe was in a fancy uptown store and the store lady was looking at xem judgmentally as if xe couldn't afford to be here. With the way Ashes hoarded gold xe probably could, but xe wasn’t planning on paying.
Mentally xe was picturing how xe was going to kill the store lady when xe robbed the store, when xyr hand touched something extra soft.
The thing xe touched was a white sweater with a tag on it that stated that it was fully desert worm fur imported all the way from the Briar’s Desert Moon. Tim didn’t exactly know what that meant, but it sounded fancy and it was incredibly soft.
With a grin xe took the plushy fancy sweater and made sure it would be a bit oversized on Jonnys already short frame.
Xe made xyr way over to the counter, completely fed up with the judge-y store lady. With fake politeness xe said: “Hi, uhm” quickly reading her name tag, “Karen. Could you please wrap this for me, it’s a gift.”
“Of course.” she replied, equally fake making Tim cringe.
When she was done wrapping, she put it down on the counter and told xem the price. Tim pulled out a gun and said: “So, I will not be doing that.”
Karen was easily convinced to let xem go when xe shot her, but Tim did have a bit of law enforcement on xyr trail by the time xe met up with the others. She had managed to push a button before she’d died, apparently.
Marius saw xem first and called out: “Tim! We’re planning to go to a few more bars, you with us?”
“I’m afraid we have to fucking run, love.” Tim yelled, not stopping just running past them as xyr chasers came into view now as well.
The others cursed and set to running as well, knowing that Nastya would leave them behind to spare damage to her precious Aurora if they weren’t there too. Ashes came up next to Tim and said: “Hope it was fucking worth it, sweetheart.”
Tim held up the gift and said: “I think it is.”
“For Jonny?” Ashes asked and Tim nodded.
“What for me?” Jonny almost fell on his face when he tried to turn around and see what they were talking about.
“You’ll find out when we’re on Aurora, princess.” Tim grinned when xe saw Jonny stumble before grousing something inaudible.
Crashing onto an already taking off Aurora, Marius panted: “So what did you do this time?”
“Robbed a fancy store.” Tim answered.
Jonny perked up, remembering what he had heard on their run back. Curiously he asked: “What did ya get?”
“Why don’t you unwrap and find out, princess.” Tim told him.
Taking it eagerly Jonny didn’t even seem to mind the pet name. He gasped when he felt the softness to pick the sweater up and ran his fingers over the fabric.
“It’s apparently fully desert worm fur imported from the Briar’s Desert Moon, if that means anything to you.” Tim said.
Jonnys eyes got big: “Really? God, we must be before King Cole then, I heard it was super rare and stuff.” he hugged Tim and squeezed xem tightly as he softly said: “Thank you, Tim, I love it.”
“No problem, princess, did it with love.” Tim said, planting a kiss on Jonnys forehead, before the other let go to try the sweater on.
Like Tim had guessed it was slightly oversized. It hung a bit of one shoulder and the sleeves came to Jonnys fingers, something that he didn’t notice for a few seconds. He looked incredibly cozy as he hugged himself and petted the fabric happily.
Ashes leaned over to Tim and softly said: “You are right, sweetheart, completely worth it.”
Then they walked over to Jonny and grinned: “Don’t think you can get away with looking this soft without getting a hug, darling.” before sweeping him up into their arms.
Jonny shrieked lightly and struggled, but the others could see he didn’t really put up an actual fight.
Marius smiled softly at two of his partners, then remarked: “He sure does love getting things, doesn’t he?”
“Yeah, did you see the pjs Nastya got him?” Tim asked.
“I did and I felt the knife Brian gave him.” Marius replied, wrinkling his nose.
Tim cackled at that and grinned: “I told you he wouldn't appreciate you calling him doll.”
“But he lets you call him princess. How is doll worse than that?” Marius hissed, displeased but trying to make sure Jonny didn’t hear them.
“You think I was just allowed to do that?” Tim raised a brow, “I died like a hundred times for that pet name. It’s the dedication.”
Marius pulled a thinking face then called out: “Can I get a hug too, doll?”
The last thing he heard before the bullet hit was Tim laughing and when he was revived the hallway was empty.
However when he woke up he had a mission. Marius died about forty times before they reached the next planet, but he hadn’t given up. The last time he’d used the pet name, Jonny had hesitated before pulling the trigger. This was progress.
Marius had also observed that he was nicer after getting a gift, he probably wasn’t used to people getting him stuff with his youth and the fact that people suddenly were was foreign but nice, which put him in a better mood.
This is how he ended up in a leather working store on the latest planet, trying to figure out which of the belts Jonny would like best.
In the end he settled on a broader belt with an eagle buckle. It was a bit large and extra, but that just made it more fitting in Marius’ not so humble opinion. So, he got it and prayed that this would be his in to calling Jonny doll.
He didn’t even know why he wanted to so bad.
No, that was a lie, he knew exactly why. Calling Jonny a pet name was something the whole crew had almost agreed upon. A combination of the blushing and stammering with a small smile, if you were lucky, made it so much fun.
Some of the others had the same reaction and people made sure to exploit that, but Jonnys was the most extreme out of all of them and as the oldest who always wanted to look tough, so extra it was nice. Nice to let him know they loved him in a small way, before he could start to doubt it.
And Marius wanted to call him doll.
It was more fun than calling him something another crew member already did. And if a belt was the way to do it, then that was the way it was. Jonnys reaction to getting stuff, might be up there with the reaction to pet names anyway.
That night when they were hanging on the couch Marius got the gift out of his coat pocket and said: “Doll, I got you something.”
Jonny looked up and the pet name and immediately seemed annoyed at himself that he did. However before he could shoot Marius the rest of the sentence had registered, so he lowered his gun with a suspicious look and accepted the gift.
He was surprised by how it felt and the gun laid forgotten by his side as he unwrapped it curiously.
His eyes lit up at the shiny buckle that glinted in the light and he moved it from side to side, admiring how the light bounced off it with a happy little grin.
“Thank you so much, Marius.” he said with a big smile, looking up to Marius, before busying himself by wrapping the belt around his waist.
“Glad you like it, doll.” Marius replied, waiting for the moment he’d get shot.
It never came, instead he got pulled onto the couch and had a Jonny curling up into his side after a peck on his cheek, then softly Jonny admitted: “Okay, so maybe the pet name can stay.”
Marius grinned proudly. A success.
Farther up the couch The Toy Soldier began: “I Do Not Get It, What Does The Belt Have-”
It got cut off by Tim, who muffled it by putting a hand over its mouth as xe said: “Leave it, teacup, he just got there. I’ll explain later.”
Tim kept xyr promise to explain it later to TS and it was soon after that it came up to Jonny with a gigantic bouquet of roses, must have been over fifty, as it exclaimed: “I Understood That Giving Gifts, Like Flowers, Is A Romantic Gesture And I Have Understood That You Like Getting Them Especially.”
Jonny got extremely red, more so then normal, as he spluttered: “It’s not just- the others also- I don’t- where did you get- why would I like flowers?”
The Toy Soldiers face could not change, but all saw the sadness as it asked: “Do you- do you not like my gift?”
“No, no, I do, I do.” Jonny quickly assured it. Then he bashfully took the flowers and softly added: “It’s just that no one looks at me and thinks of flowers, but really, thank you, TS.”
It looked happier again as it saluted: “You Quite Are Welcome, Chap.”
“Idiot.” Jonny told it fondly as he gave it a kiss on its cheek.
After Jonny had admired the roses some more, he suddenly asked: “Why did you say that I like getting gifts especially? I’m sure the others like getting them too. I mean, Tim was ecstatic with xyr machine gun and Nastya didn’t shut up about the new tools Brian gave her for a month.”
“You Get Soft.” The Toy Soldier explained, “The Others Have Told Me That You Like Getting Them And Have A Fun Reaction To Them. I See And Like It Too. You Get Happier And Soft When Someone Gifts You Anything.”
“Wha- I don’t?” Jonny tried to deny it.
“It is quite correct.” Ivy said from where she was pressed between Marius and the edge of the couch, “Your face temperature increases, causing your skin to get 60% redder and you are in a better mood for the follow week at least. This is a 15% better reaction than our other partners, who still appreciate the gifts, but will not carry the effect around for that long.”
Jonny got even more red as he once again tried to deny it, hiding his face behind the flowers as he whined: “I don’t blush.”
“You do, doll, it’s quite cute.” Marius told him.
“If I didn’t have these nice flowers in my hands, you would be dead right now, von Raum.” Jonny told him, giving him a glare. And with that he turned around, marching of to put the roses in a vase in his room.
After a moment of silence Ivy asked: “Did I say something wrong?”
“No, of course not, m’lady.” Marius assured her, “Jonny just doesn’t like to be confronted with the fact that he has emotions and feels things.”
And that was that, but the statistics of Jonnys reactions to gifts kept floating around in her head. She couldn't help but think that she had upset Jonny and she wanted to make it up to him. However for all her knowledge she didn’t know what to pick.
“Do you really think it’s good?” she asked again.
“Yes, of course, dearie.” Raphaella assured her for the twentieth time.
“You know Jonny loves anything shiny.” Marius agreed.
“I do know that, there is a 89% chance that his attention will be drawn to anything shiny the moment he sees it, but it needs to be perfect. Is this perfect? Do you think he’ll like it?” Ivy replied, still not completely sure.
Raphaella slung an arm around her and pulled her into her side as she said: “He’ll like it, I’m sure. From what you told me he’ll appreciate the gesture alone a lot already.”
“But what if he doesn’t and gets mad at me. There is a 65% chance of that happening as well.” Ivy worried her lip between her teeth.
“I think you’re not taking his emotional issues and need for affection into that calculation, m’lday.” Marius told her, “He likes getting spoiled, it’ll be fine. I don’t think he’s even mad at you.”
“There still is a-”
“Don’t. Stop. Bad archivist.” Raph cut her off teasingly, “Just get the bracelets, dearie.”
“Alright, alright.” Ivy gave in and took the bracelets.
On their way back Ivy listed all the reasons Jonny wouldn't like it and the statistics of him never talking to her again, while Marius and Raphaella tried to distract her and cheer her up. In the end they even robbed a bookstore.
Back aboard most of the crew was chilling in the creatively named couch room where all the couches were. Ivy hesitated in the doorway, stumbling forward when Raphaella gently pushed her: “Come on, dearie.”
Most of the others had noticed the three now as well and Brian asked: “Are you alright, Ivy?”
Ivy nodded, then walked up to Jonny and held out the gift. She said: “Here, this is for you. I don’t know if you’re still mad at me for what happened when TS got you flowers, but I didn’t mean it like an insult, it’s sweet.”
“Oh.” Jonny looked surprised as the took the gift, “Uhm, I- Thank you, but you didn’t need to do that, really. I wasn’t mad, just…”
“Embarrassed?” Marius filled in, getting an elbow in his side from Raphaella.
Jonny glared at him as well, but then admitted: “I didn’t know it was that obvious.”
“You don’t have to be embarrassed, Jonny. 100% of the crew likes, it, well 88.89% since Raph never saw it.” Ivy said, “What I wanted to say is: don’t be, you deserve nice things.”
“That really depends on your definition of deserve with us being criminals and all that.” Raphaella commented.
“Not now, angel.” Marius whispered to her taking the common sense braincell from her.
Jonny fiddled a bit with the wrapping paper, not replying to Ivys comment nor looking her in the eyes. He unwrapped the gift to distract himself from the conversation, which succeeded when he gasped at the shiny expensive material. His eyes glittered as he let the gold reflect the light with a grin on his face.
He got up and pulled Ivy into a tight hug: “Thank you so much, Ives.”
Ivys cheeks got the same color of her hair as she mumbled something about it not being a problem, but there was a smile tugging at her lips as well.
“Can you do the clasps for me?” Jonny asked her, holding out his right wrist.
“Yes, of course.” Ivy replied, gently taking the bracelets from him and putting them around his wrist before clasping them, “There you go.”
They smiled at each other, a moment that was quickly broken by Tim, who tackled them both onto the couch as xe squealed: “You two are just too cute.”
Jonny grumbled something and trashed lightly, but both of them gave over to the pile, especially when Raphaella jumped on it, causing TS to join as well as Marius, before it turned into a big cuddle pile.
A while into the pile Raphaella crawled over to Jonny and asked: “Can I do an experiment on you sometime in the future?”
“Wha- oh, sure, whatever.” Jonny replied, who was currently getting crushed under Nastya with her heavy blood and trying to fight off Brian holding a tomato while ranting about scurvy, so not really realizing what he said yes to.
“Great!” Raphaella said, before crawling back to Marius who had promised her a back-rub, already planning in her mind.
A few planets later that experiment came to fruition. She’d had to use the clip made by Aurora to get him to come and even died a few times because it was apparently unfair to ask that in those circumstances.
“I still think this is unjust.” Jonny pouted, sitting before a table with sensors on his head and a few cameras trained at him.
“You don’t even know what we’re going to do.” Raphaella rolled her eyes, “Maybe you’ll like it.”
“Not to burst your bubble, but the last time I was here you pulled out my teeth to study them and dissolved my eyes with chemicals.” Jonny told her.
“Well… This is different.” Raphaella assured him.
“If you say so.” Jonny did not sound convinced.
“I do say so, this is a social experiment to see your reaction, nothing physical.” Raphaella said cheerfully.
“Reaction to good or bad things?” Jonny called out, but she had already disappeared into a box filled whatever she was going to show him.
“Okay, so we’ll need to space it out, so that the previous ones won’t interfere with later data.” it wasn’t clear if Raphaella was talking to herself or Jonny as she put down three covered objects near the table.
At this point Jonny had decided to give up and just go with it, so he just sat there and waited for instructions, something he rarely did. He knew Raphaella could get distracted by her science, but she could be nice when you were patient, maybe he could get cuddles out of this.
“Ah, of course, I forgot.” Raphaella turned around, getting three more covered things and putting them down as well.
“So,” she now focused on Jonny again, “I need you to sit there and react to what I show you. That sound good?”
“Sure.” Jonny shrugged, trying to think of whatever she could be showing him.
“Alrighty.” she put down the first object and lifted the covering to reveal a pair of earrings with diamonds in them.
Jonnys eyes widened and he looked to Raphaella with questioning eyes, before back to the earrings. She could see he wanted to touch them and take them, but did not dare do so without her say so, still careful not to mess up her experiment, how thoughtful.
“These are for you.” she said.
“Really?” he asked, gingerly taking the earrings and admiring them in the light, a happy flush on his cheeks as he inspected them, before putting them in and looking at his reflection in the table to see how they looked.
“Thank you!” he grinned, looking up to see Raphaella writing furiously in a notebook. He rolled his eyes fondly and waited for her to finish, when she looked up he did a little pose and asked: “So, how do I look?”
“Very pretty.” Raphaella answered without taking a moment to think or hesitate.
The flush on his face became more prominent as he gaped a few times, before grouchily telling Raphaella to shut the fuck up.
She just smiled knowingly, which he also hated, before putting another item on the table. Jonny looked at it curiously, but reeled back slightly when Raphaella pulled the covering off to reveal the cut off head of a moon beast.
“What the actual fuck, Raph!” Jonny exclaimed, “Why the hell are you showing me this?”
“I call it a neutralizer, my first idea was to kill you, but Brian vetoed that and had a reasonable enough explanation for me to listen, which I cannot tell you because that would ruin the experiment, so you just have to trust me.” Raphaella said.
“I never trust you.” Jonny told her.
“That’s probably for the best.” she agreed, already moving on to the next item.
It was bigger than before and Jonny eyed it with suspicion, which was replaced by a glint when it was revealed to be a huge fluffy blanket.
“I know you have your bed exactly as you like, which is why I thought I’d get you something for on the rest of Aurora, so you don’t have to mess up your bed.” Raphaella explained.
Jonnys bottom lip quivered as he looked at the blanket, quickly hiding his face in the softness, rubbing his face on it with an in awe look when he felt just how incredibly soft it was.
The blush had returned when he looked up again and the grin from before turned into a full beam as he said: “I don’t know why you’re doing this, but thank you so much, it’s very thoughtful.”
“It’s no problem, it was also very sweet of you to help with this experiment.” Raphaella replied.
“Still, I was a prick about that.” Jonny told her.
“You’re always a prick.” Raphaella grinned.
Then she grabbed another plate and showed Jonny a weird gooey substance and informing him that it was octokitten vomit. Jonny pulled a disgusted face, but inside he was starting to see a pattern, so when she grabbed the next thing, he looked closely. Only to come face to face with a fungus.
“Why?” Jonny yelled.
“To keep you on your toes.” Raphaella explained, not caring about his pouting as she took the next object that Jonny did not trust at all. When it got revealed he asked: “Is that…?”
“Yggdrasil ale? Well, yes, it was very hard to get from a prison cell, you know, and the shop keep was not happy that it went missing.” Raphaella answered.
“I can imagine, this is super expensive.” Jonny said with wide eyes, taking the bottle in his hands after an encouraging nod from Raphaella.
“You like it?” she asked.
“Raphaella, light of my life, I love it.” Jonny exclaimed, “This is great and very sweet,” he clutched the blanket in his hand, “though I still don’t get it.”
“It’s an experiment of your reactions to gifts.” Raphaella told him, “I still have to work through all of the data, but I’m trying to figure out the optimal gift based off your reactions.”
Jonny became beet red instantly and spluttered for a long while, before he managed: “You don’t- why would you- I don’t get- what?”
“Interesting.” Raphaella nodded thoughtfully to herself, observing Jonnys reaction as he got more flustered.
After a moment of silence, Jonny said: “You really didn’t have to do that.”
“But I wanted to, it’s nice to do something nice for you and this is kind of the only thing I know how to do nice, except for that time I tested how magnetic each mechanism was and we all got stuck to the wall until TS-”
“It’s alright, Raph, I know.” Jonny cut her off, his laugh audible in his voice.
They smiled at each other, before Raphaella got up to detach all the wires. When she was done Jonny gave her a soft kiss, after which he allowed her to lead him out of her lab as he held on to the blanket and ale, earrings shining proudly in his ears.
When they opened the door, they saw the rest of the crew standing outside. Jonny nearly jumped and asked: “What the fuck are y’all doing here?”
Brian rubbed the back of his head sheepishly and admitted: “We knew you were doing an experiment with Raph, but then Tim walked by and xe didn’t hear any screams, so we got worried and kind off waited to… check in on you?”
It was silent, then Jonny laughed, the laugh was bubbly and not at all his usual cackle: “That’s very sweet, but also kind of funny.”
Tim crossed xyr arms and pouted: “Yeah, yeah, laugh it up.”
“What did she do?” Ivy asked, always needing to know.
“She got me gifts, it’s part of an experiment apparently, but I don’t really get part. It was very sweet though.” Jonny explained.
“It’s comparing his reaction to personal, shiny, or expensive gifts, I still need to work out the details, but I think I got a solid testing done today.” Raphaella smiled.
“You got him three gifts?” Marius exclaimed, “Now we’re all behind.”
More protest and angry noises were heard, though all in good sport. Jonny however quickly said: “You are not behind at all. I got enough gifts to last a lifetime, which was really nice, so thank you, again.”
“You forget you have many lifetimes, Jonny-darling.” Ashes told him, throwing an arm around his shoulder and pulling him into their side so that they could plant a kiss on his temple.
Jonny mumbled something incomprehensible, a deep flush coloring his cheeks.
“I Did Not Hear You, Jonny. What Did You Say?” The Toy Soldier asked.
Exploding a bit, Jonny yelled: “I said that I am making you all a big dinner!”
“I Am Confused What This Has To Do With The Conversation.” The Toy Soldier cocked its head to convey said confusion.
“Well, y’all can’t be the only one being nice.” Jonny said, grumbling a bit more and marching off grumpily when the others dared to coo over him.
A few days later a big dinner was served that had everyones favorites. It had taken Jonny a while with organization and they had to drop by a planet for some ingredients, but all could see how pleased he was with his own hard work.
“Dig in.” he told them with a flourish and a grin.
The others didn’t need to be told twice as they practically attacked the food with delight. It was a rowdy dinner, which was par of the course, as everyone tried to talk over one another or upped their volume to be heard over the racket.
“This is delicious, thank you, darling.” Ashes said with their mouth full.
“Yeah, it’s great, princess.” Tim agreed.
More sounds of content and agreement as well as thank yous floated up from the group, making Jonny beam with pride as he focused on his plate without meeting anyone's eyes. The chaos soon continued, when Tim decided to steal a bite of Nastyas plate, who retaliated.
However, all fell silent to listen to Raph, when she had told Jonny: “I got the results from my experiment, if you’re interested.”
Before Jonny could answer, Ashes yelled: “We’re interested, poppet. Explain your science.”
“Alright, so I had three categories, which I’ve already told you before but they were personal, shiny, and expensive gifts. I wanted to do more of each one to get a more statistically sound experiment, but I thought that more would be overwhelming, which would also throw the data off, so I just stuck to three, but I might want to do a repeat or study camera footage of Aurora.” Raphaella began.
The others nodded along, happy to listen to her ramble about her science.
“Anyway, I got a blanket for personal, earrings for shiny and Yggdrasil ale for expensive and then some other fascinating but experienced as unpleasant neutralizers to ensure that the reaction to one wouldn't carry over to the next.” Raphaella said.
“Was that the mold, the cut of head and the vomit was for?” Jonny asked.
Raphaella nodded enthusiastically: “Yup and they did their job marvelously. Your brain activity shifts and the heat of your cheeks decreased to a more usual level.”
“I don’t blush.” Jonny mumbled.
“Oh, but you do! I can show you the footage or the heat signatures and my calcula-”
“Yeah, okay, whatever, just- just move on.” Jonny slumped in his seat, pointedly ignoring the annoying smirks of a few of his partners.
“Alright then, if you’re sure.” Raphaella said, then she moved on, “The final rankings were personal first, then shiny and then expensive, although the reactions were all positive and endorphin levels were huge, which should have a good effect on your health and mental well being.”
“Not expensive first?” Nastya asked, “But he’s such a fancypants.”
“Why do you always have to call me that?” Jonny complained.
“She is right though, darling.” Ashes defended Nastya, making Jonny pout.
Raphaella thought about the question and answered Nastya: “Well, I’m still trying to figure that out, but I will have to dive deeper into Jonnys personality, maybe do interviews and social sciences have never been my main focus so I’ll have to read up on it.”
“Please don’t dive deeper into my personality.” Jonny said with an edge to his voice.
All eyes were now on him and he shifted in his seat and scratched his nose, not making any eyecontact. When the quiet dragged on, he glanced up and made eyecontact with Marius, who gave him a concerned look and cocked a brow at him.
“What?” he threw his hands up in the air, “So, I don’t like people prying into me, no matter who they are. You’re going to psychoanalyze me over it?”
“No, doll, not if you don’t want to.” Marius replied, feeling saddened with Jonnys surprised look.
The following quiet was broken by Tim, who draped xemself over Jonnys side as xe said: “So, personal gifts, eh, princess?”
“Shut up.” Jonny pushed xem, but it wasn’t hard enough to actually make xem move.
“Ahw, you’re so sweet.” Tim cooed.
“No, I’m not.” Jonny grumbled, then he admitted softly: “It’s just nice that people think of you, you know?”
“Then I Shall Think Of You On Every Planet, Jonny, Ol’ Chap!” The Toy Soldier exclaimed.
With wide eyes Jonny said: “Oh, no, you don’t have to do that. It will get a bit out of hand if you do that, TS. The sentiment is sweet, though.”
“No, I’m with TS here.” Nastya grinned at him and gave him a wink.
More agreed and Jonny stopped functioning for a second, before he weakly protested: “It’s really not necessary.”
“Darling, it’s literally scientifically proven that it is beneficial to give you things.” Ashes told him.
“I hate you all.” Jonny said, burying his face in his hands.
“No you don’t.” Marius smirked and he was right, even if Jonny wasn’t currently admitting it.
The evening moved on and on the next planet Ashes came back with a fancy gun and later Brian with a bag of sweets to cater to Jonnys sweet tooth.
And so they collectively assured that Jonnys collection of things continued to grow throughout time, because they all saw how happy it made their First Mate and the small smiles, thank yous and kisses made it all completely worth it.