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Hikari had always been the favourite; that was to be expected. Kuron was too sharp, too harsh, and Nick was too self-effacing. To say that there was jealousy on the part of any of them would be dramatizing what was really a simple dynamic: when something was given, it was taken for granted that Hikari would get it, and the other two would get what was left.

Koko had to be aware of this, had to recognize the balance she had created. She simply didn't care, and that was part of what made her Koko. She was easily distracted, lavishing her attention on any new toy she came across. Why spend time trying to win something you already owned?

But they were okay with this. It was important to recognize that they weren't human, that they didn't operate on the same levels that we do. They were built to serve, and they serve as they were built. It was only natural that they love their owner.

Koko was a child when she first found them – saved them, really – and as children do she took them for granted. They were her family, but not in the sense that a parent takes care of a child or an older brother supports his younger sibling. From the beginning they were servants. They denied her nothing.

Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that she never really grew up, in a way, always expected to get what she wanted. There was an unbalance there; the adult who had taken care of herself and the child, born then, who wanted to be served.

It took her many years to discover what they really were, though. When she first found them, they appeared as young men chained in cells, quiet, unresisting (waiting for an end, or waiting for a savior?). Something about them called to her; she knew what it was like to be a prisoner. Children don't make very efficient jailbreakers, however, and Koko only managed to free three when the guards came running. Hikari carried her then, and Koko recognized the feel of his flesh as firmer than human skin, an electric warmth running through it. She couldn't remember her father's arms, though, couldn't remember anything else, and didn't recognize the embrace as anything but human.

When you watch something grow, it seems to stand still. Conversely, if you watch something stand still, you'll never notice that it doesn't grow. Years passed and Koko grew towards maturity, but she didn't notice that her guardians remained the same faithful young men they had always been, inside and out. Only she changed, in relation to them, and they grew in her mind.

As young girls are wont to do, Koko fell in love. Hikari was really the ideal – strong, outgoing, just a bit if a temper – he was enough of a romantic to appeal to a young Koko, and she didn't waste any time. There was no need to, really – she knew that he loved her; they all did.

Later, exactly what had happened would all make sense. After meeting Toune, it clicked into place; Toune, who blushed at the thought of Bio Concerto and had ridden Sky Blue as a machine long before she rode him as a man.

Koko came from the other direction. She pressed her cheek into Hikari's chest and asked him why they had followed her all these years – just because she had saved them didn't mean she owned them.

“You know why,” was Hikari's simple reply, and her cheek burned with the mark lurking under her skin.

There are different kinds of denial. Maybe Koko had known from the moment she unlocked their cell, or even before that, when the little girl with no direction and no family had been drawn to a facility of dead metal and broken circuits in the first place.

It was then that she recognized what they were to her.

Koko had always been friendly to the point of flirtatious, but the first time she expressed interest in backing up her words to another man Hikari asked her not to.

“Why not?” she replied.

Hikari frowned and said the first thing that came to mind, like he always did. Let it be Nick or Kuron, one of us. His face told her the rest: don't we do everything for you? Tell me where I'm lacking.

“You'll never leave me, right?”

Of course not.

“You'll do everything I say.”

As long as it doesn't hurt you, yes.

“You'll always love me.”

Always.

“Then you can never give me what I want.”

Just to be perverse, maybe, Koko played with Nick and Kuron after that. Nick was the oldest, the one who kept his thoughts behind his teeth unless asked, the type who observed rather than acted. Koko told him to watch, first, as that was what he was best at. His gaze told nothing, but Koko had known him for too long.

Kuron was the newest model and the most powerful, but he also was the most insecure, wanting to prove himself through leadership. He tried to hide it the most, but he was the most eager to please.

Maybe she was hurting them, but they could take it. They were built tough that way. They'd never rust or break, never falter. And they were made for her.

Hikari was the favourite; that was to be expected. That she hurt him the most was only natural.

 

 

-And a semi-unrelated motorcycle-kinky extra!-

Kuron didn't like the idea of sitting on Hikari. It was strange, unnatural of him to ride another Ivermachine. He didn't feel the rumble of the engine as Koko did.

She made him do it anyway, slipping into the seat in front of him and leaning back into the line of his body. Nick stood by Hikari's side, his thigh just brushing the front tire and his palm resting on the handlebars as Koko leaned back further, turning her head to bring Kuron into a kiss.

Koko curled her legs around Hikari as she twisted in her seat, pressing a soft noise out of Kuron with her hip, Nick's gaze devouring every movement as his hand tightened around Hikari's handle.