Where have you been? (1)
*This takes place in the Cursed!Bf au. This is pretty focused on Pico's point of view. Not a lot of shipping in this chapter, but I had a lot of fun writing this. This will be a 2-parter. Btw, swear words.*
Pico had challenged Boyfriend to another rap battle for fun and awaited his arrival. He was late, but they did plan to meet up at 5:00 pm so Pico figured it was just rush hour traffic holding him up. So he waited patiently. Minutes turned to hours, and the sun had set below the horizon. Pico tried to text him, but got no response. This was bullshit. He waited for hours like a fool and now B was ghosting him? If he didn't want to rap why didn't he just cancel?
Pico grit his teeth in frustration as he got into his car. He began driving to Boyfriend's and Girlfriend's house. His grip on the steering wheel was unnecessarily tight. Sure, maybe he was overreacting a little. It was just a rap battle, but it angered him that B had wasted his time. He could have done something to let him know that they had to cancel. So in the moment, telling him off just sounded cathartic. He muttered random obscenities under his breath, as if reciting how he was gonna tell him off.
By the time he had reached the house Bf and Gf shared together it was dark out, some stars had started making their mark on the blackened sky. Pico could see the living room light was on. Good, they were home. Pico slammed the car's door, then walked up the little path to the house's front door. He knocked on the door and waited. He tapped his foot impatiently. He had spent his whole afternoon waiting for this guy to show up so the idea of waiting any longer annoyed the hell out of him.
He could hear the door being unlocked and was about to start his angry rant when he saw it was Girlfriend at the door. The look on her face was odd, she looked surprised and… worried? That seemed off to Pico, as she usually opened the door with more enthusiasm no matter who was there. She was wearing a red crop top and black sweatpants, her comfy clothes.
"... Pico? What are you doing here?" She asked, her tone came off as nervous. "I just wanna ask Boyfriend something." He decided not to yell at Girlfriend, she wasn't the one he was pissed at anyway. "Oh… He isn't with you? He doesn't… live here anymore."
Just like that, all the anger built up in Pico had just fizzled. Replaced with confusion and shock. And a little bit of worry. "Why doesn't he live here??" Pico asked, what was going on? "Bf and I… we broke up. He left a few weeks ago and I haven't seen him since." She seemed nervous, she avoided making eye contact as she spoke. She left fidgeting with her hair, a nervous habit of hers.
"So you don't know where he is, huh?" Pico asked, he too, started feeling nervous.
"I haven't seen him since we broke up. He left most of his stuff here too. Even his phone. I figured he had run off to stay with you but I guess that's not the case." Girlfriend continued. Pico's worry only grew from there. He put his hands in his pockets and awkwardly continued their conversation. "How long has this been going on? Like, when was the last time you saw him?" Pico had to know. How long had he been out of the loop here? Girlfriend looked him in the eyes, almost shamefully. "Two weeks."
Pico couldn't help but be shocked by this. "Do you know anyone else he might have talked to? Anyone he might be staying with right now?" Anyone who would know where he is? That was what he really wanted to know. Where could he have gone? Girlfriend shook her head. "No, I don't know who he'd go to other than you. Most people we know don't really like him that much as far as I know." Pico couldn't help but grow more worried. This just wasn't like B… was he in trouble? "Well.. I'm gonna try to find out where he is. You wanna help?" Pico gestured towards his car, thinking they could ask around. Girlfriend averted her gaze, once again avoiding eye contact. "I'm pretty sure I'm the last person he wants to see.."
Pico couldn't argue with that. Hell, when he and Bf broke up they still kept in contact to some degree. Boyfriend completely ghosting someone was rare, so he must've really wanted to avoid her. "Yeah… I guess that makes sense. Uh, have a good night." Pico and Girlfriend shared goodbyes and went their separate ways. Pico never liked being alone with her, to be honest. It was always awkward, now it was made worse with Boyfriend being who knows where. Pico drove off in his car, contemplating what he should do. 'Maybe I should just call some of B's friends. He might just be staying at one of their places.' He thought to himself.
Pico had to think about who Boyfriend trusted the most (not counting himself or Gf in this case). He started thinking of people B had introduced him to. 'I have Hex's number, he's friendly, maybe Bf talked to him? It's worth a shot.' Pico scrolled through his contacts until he found Hex's number. The phone dialed for a few seconds, then he heard a robotic voice greet him. "Hello friend!" Hex exclaimed, enthusiastic as always. Pico wasn't really sure if he'd consider himself as Hex's 'friend' per say, but he never disliked the guy.
"Hey Hex, it's Pico."
"Greetings Pico! Haven't heard from you in a while! How are you?"
"I'm alright, thanks. I actually need to ask you something. Could you help me with something?"
"You sound worried. How can I help?"
"I know this might sound random but… is Boyfriend staying with you by chance?" Pico nervously tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. He hoped that by some chance that maybe Hex knew something.
"No, why?" Just like that, Pico's hope was dashed. Despite that, he decided to fill Hex in on the situation. Maybe having another person looking out for B would help their chances of finding him.
"Well, he and Girlfriend split up 2 weeks ago and he just kinda… disappeared. I've tried to reach out to him but he's not responding. Gf said she has no idea where he is."
" I'm sorry, I don't know any more than you do."
Pico let out a small sigh. "Yeah, I'm worried about him. Hey, if you see him, will you let me know?"
"Thank you, I appreciate it." Pico was about to hang up the phone when Hex said one last thing.
"Actually, my friend Whitty sometimes hangs out with Boyfriend. I'll call and ask him if he knows where Boyfriend is." Hex sounded hopeful, which made Pico feel a little better. "Thanks, Hex. Let me know what he says."
"Will do! Bye for now!"
Pico hung up. Deciding to drive home for the time being. He couldn't help but suddenly wonder though… who was Whitty? The name sounded familiar, but he couldn't recall meeting someone named Whitty. Maybe Bf had mentioned the guy to Pico before. Regardless, if this guy knew anything about Bf, he'd take it.
Pico got home and felt exhausted. He kicked his shoes off at the front door, and dragged his feet as he walked towards his bedroom. He changed into some pajamas and started preparing to sleep. Part of him wanted to stay up and wait to hear back from Hex, but he was tired, and he needed to rest. He'd continue his search after getting some sleep, he decided. Pico pulled his bedsheets over his body, closed his eyes, and eventually drifted off to sleep.
Pico got up the next morning at around 7:30 am. He got dressed, brushed his hair and teeth, all that usual morning routine stuff. Then, just as he was about to start calling more people to see if they knew anything about Bf, he got a call from Hex.
"Pico!" Hex yelled, sounding excited. "I have good news!" Now Pico was beginning to feel excited. "I talked to my friend Whitty. He said he saw Bf a few days ago!"
"Does he know where B is now?" Pico was nervously fidgeting with the collar of his shirt. He wasn't entirely sure why, but ever since his conversation with Girlfriend, he just had a gut feeling that something was wrong. He hoped it was just paranoia. "Does he know where Bf is now?" Pico asked. 'Please say yes.' He pleaded in his mind. "Hang on, let me ask him." Hex replied, then his voice sounded distant. He was talking to someone in person, their conversation muffled. "He said no, but he saw Bf in the same general area a few times last week. Maybe all three of us should go there and look for him together! Like a search party!" Hex sounded hopeful, and honestly it wasn't a bad idea. Pico took a deep breath. This was a good thing, this narrowed the search a bit. Pico reminded himself. "Okay, let's do it." He said, feeling determined. "I'll send you the address so we can meet up. See you there!" Hex proclaimed. "Thanks, I'll be there." Pico hung up, then rushed to get his keys, his gun, and other supplies then got in his car. Hex, as promised, sent him the address. Pico entered it into his phone's navigation system and drove there. It was in an oddly run-down neighborhood, with rundown buildings and dark alleys. He wondered what Bf would be doing there. He honestly didn't like the idea of parking his car in this neighborhood, do you worried that it would get stolen or broken into. So he parkes a little ways away, and walked the rest. It was for the best.
He walked to their agreed meet up spot. The sidewalk was in poor condition, as well as most of the buildings around him. Cracked and discolored walls, boarded up windows, shattered glass and trash was all over the place. The street alone looked as though the city gave up on it. This whole place was run down. Even one of the street lamps was knocked over, luckily it was the morning so it didn't matter.
Pico could see Hex's monitor head and basketball jersey from a distance. Said robot noticed him and waved to him. He saw someone else there with him, presumably Whitty. Upon closer inspection, Pico noticed a few things about Whitty. The first being that he was fucking tall as hell! Pico knew that he was short in comparison to most people but even so, this dude was TALL. Pico standing at his full height wasn't even half this guy's size. He had to be close to 9 feet tall. The next thing he noticed was the fact that his head was a bomb. His eyes were orange and glowed. Pico couldn't help but stare at the guy. When did Bf come into contact with this guy? How did they meet?
"Hey." Said the tall bomb-headed man. Pico flinched slightly, realizing he must have noticed him staring. His voice was kind of gruff, but not the usual kind of gruff. It reminded Pico of an electric guitar for some reason. Though he figured it probably was best not to say that out loud. Pico snapped out of his thoughts and finally replied. "Hey, I'm Pico. I'm guessing you're Whitty?" Pico held out his hand to shake Whitty's, the taller man returned the gesture. "Yeah, that's me." When their hands touched, Pico was surprised by how warm Whitty's hand was. It was definitely hotter than his own human hand. Not to mention how smooth his skin was, it felt somewhat like metal, but not quite. He kind of wanted to keep holding it just so he could examine it more, but he figured that would be weird to do to a guy he just met. So he let go.
"So… you saw Bf around here?" Pico asked, and decided it was time to start their search. "We crossed paths a few times but every time he ran away. He seemed… upset." Whitty explained, somewhat trailing off towards the end of his sentence. He too, seemed like he was worried about Boyfriend. Pico wondered how close they were. "Can you show us where you last saw him?" Hex asked, a question mark appearing on his screen. Whitty nodded "Yeah, follow me." He turned on his heels and began walking in front of them. He seemed confident, like he knew the area well. Pico and Hex quickly followed.
It was mostly quiet between them, Hex played some simple tune to break the silence. Something Pico appreciated. He felt a little awkward, he didn't know anything about Whitty, but apparently he was a friend of Bf's. He quickened his pace a bit so he could walk next to Whitty, he decided to break the silence between them. "So… how'd you meet Bf?" Whitty looked at Pico with an unreadable expression. "He challenged me to a rap battle." Pico chuckled at Whitty's answer and replied jokingly with "Ah, so the same way he meets everyone." Whitty chuckled. "Yeah, pretty much." He could hear Hex laugh a bit too. It really was the way he met most people. "So, how long have you known each other?" Pico asked. "Hmm… I think months now, almost a year. What about you? You two seem close." Whitty looked at Pico quizzically. Pico rubbed the back of his neck "Aw geez, a really long time. Since we were kids." Whitty's eyes widened in surprise. "Wow. So you're really close then huh? That explains a lot actually." Pico tilted his head in curiosity. What did he mean by that? "Yeah? Like what?" Whitty shrugged. "I dunno… B talks about you sometimes. He told me several times that I should meet you. Said he thought we'd get along." Whitty chuckled. "He always looked so happy when he talked about you.."
Pico couldn't help but feel flattered, but he also felt a little jealous. Bf told Whitty so much, he trusted him. He knew He longer than Whitty did, yet Bf apparently didn't trust him enough to tell him about his and Gf's breakup. Pico tried to ignore those thoughts. Bf, wherever he was, needed him. It wasn't time to be bitter. "Wish we could've met under better circumstances." Pico muttered, Whitty nodded. "Yeah."
Hex then decided to interject their conversation. "Hey Whitty, are we close to where you last saw Boyfriend?" The robot asked suddenly, startling Pico. For a second, he actually forgot the robot was there. 'Oh yeah.. We've been walking for a little while now.' Pico realized that he had lost track of where they were. "Yeah, sorry. It's just around this next corner, we're almost there." Whitty instructed. "Ok!" Hex replied. Pico nodded, observing their surroundings. This part of the neighborhood was… odd. It didn't seem quite as old as the rest of this beaten-down area. It seemed more… recently abandoned. The buildings, though still a mess, seemed more modern in comparison. Like at some point, this was a nice neighborhood, possibly even upper class at one point.
The trio turned right at the faded crosswalk, about three buildings down the street, they stopped. Whitty turned to face Pico and Hex. "This is where I last saw him. I tried to talk to him but he ran off and I lost track of him." Pico looked at the rundown building they were in front of. Unlike the other buildings in the area, it didn't seem that old. What surprised him though, was the obvious damage. It looked like the building caught fire at some point. The windows looked like they were shattered from the inside. Pico looked through them, he could see the remains of what appeared to be a restaurant. Broken and burned tables, shattered plates and collapsed support beams were all over the place. He could see the remains of broken speakers towards the back of the dining room, close to what was probably a bathroom. Pico took a few steps back and tried to read what was left of the restaurant's sign. Then it clicked.
He had heard of this place, about a year ago it was on the news because some lunatic blew up the place in the middle of a rap battle. He remembered seeing Boyfriend and Girlfriend escaping the smoldering wreckage on the news. He called them as soon as he saw it and let them stay at his house that night to comfort them. He could vividly remember the look on Girlfriend's face when they watched the aftermath on the news. Complete and utter terror. He had never seen her more scared in his life. Apparently the arsonist was never caught, for some reason. Pico never understood that. It was a restaurant full of people, surely somebody would have seen where he went, right? The thought made Pico uneasy. Why would B come anywhere near this place after that?
"Yo, Pico. You listening?" Whitty's voice suddenly pulled him out of his thoughts. He wondered how long he was zoning out for. "Sorry I- I just got lost in thought. What were you saying?" Pico felt bad. He was supposed to be looking for his missing friend, not zoning out. Pico mentally chastised himself for it before focusing on Whitty again. "I don't know where he went from here, but I don't think he left this side of town." Pico nodded, then looked up at Hex, his monitor was processing something. Pico guessed he was thinking up a plan. Then the monitor showed a map. "Maybe we should split up into different areas" the robot started, his now map that was once his face highlighted three different areas in the neighborhood. "After each of us surveys their area we can check in with each other over the phone." Hex offered. Pico, though he appreciated the thought, didn't really like the idea of the three of them splitting up in a neighborhood like this. Sure, he could take care of himself. Hell, he was an assassin for fucks sake. But even he knew he wasn't invincible. He was vulnerable. Especially in an area he wasn't familiar with. Before he could politely object though, Whitty commented on the plan. "Sorry Hex, that's a no go. This place ain't a good area. If we split, we could get ambushed." Pico was relieved that Whitty agreed with him. "If there were more of us, then we could split up into teams. But it's just too risky to do as is." Pico added, making his stance on the situation known. Hex sighed (or at least did the robot equivalent of sighing), his arms dropped and his now disappointed face appeared on the monitor's screen again. "Ok… this is far less efficient though." Hex replied, defeated. Pico gave him a comforting pat on the arm. "We appreciate the thought, Hex." Pico said, hoping it would appease the mechanical man. Hex smiled and let it go. "Where should we start looking?" Hex asked the group. Pico couldn't help but eye the burnt restaurant. "Let's check in here first." Whitty and Hex both looked at Pico quizzically, but shrugged it off and agreed.
Pico attempted to open the front doors, but they wouldn't give, the restaurant's double doors were stuck shut. Pico was about to slam into it when he was stopped by a large hand. Slightly startled, he realized it was Whitty who lightly grabbed him. The bomb man gently moved Pico away from the door."I got it." Was all he said before he gripped one of the door's handles and yanked the whole door off its hinges. Wood splinters flew everywhere as the door cracked and broke. Whitty tossed the door aside with one arm. Pico's jaw almost dropped. 'Holy shit. Either that door was weak or he's strong as hell!' Pico was tempted to comment on it but didn't want to come across as rude so all he did was thank Whitty. Hex on the other hand clapped his metallic claw hands, the metal making numerous "ting" sounds. "Great job Whitty!" Hex exclaimed before walking through the now open doorway. Whitty rubbed the back of his head, seeming a little embarrassed. Pico noticed Whitty's cheeks were slightly glowing orange. Was that how he blushed? "Err.. Thanks. It's nothing." Whitty had to lean down in order to fit through the doorway, Pico walked in after him.
The three of them spread out a bit to investigate the remains of the restaurant. Pico honestly thought it was depressing to look at. This had once been a peaceful place to take your loved ones to and enjoy food. Now it was just a husk of its former glory. An ashy, decrepit ruin. After a few minutes, they found nothing and decided to leave. Pico felt bad for wasting time in this old building, but he was glad the others were still willing to help. The trio decided to keep looking around the neighborhood, continuing their search for Boyfriend.
Hours. They had been searching for hours, and there was still no sign of Boyfriend anywhere. Pico felt his legs getting sore. He hadn't walked so much without stopping in a long time. Hex seemed unfazed, but maybe that was because robots couldn't get sore muscles. Whitty seemed a little tired, but didn't show signs of really slowing down. Pico really wanted to just power through it and be helpful, but his legs were in agony. He needed to sit down. It didn't help that it was past noon and he hadn't eaten much that day. "Hey guys. I need to sit down for a bit, my legs are killing me." Pico admitted, hopong the others would be cool about it. "Okay, let's take a break. We've been doing this all day." Whitty agreed. Hex noticed a bench in the distance. "Why don't you rest over there?" The robot offered, and the other boys agreed. The bench was a bit tall, Pico had to hop on to it. Whitty on the other hand had no such trouble, being the vertically-blessed giant he was. Pico was a little jealous. Pico let out a sigh. "Where the hell is that blue-haired dumbass?" Pico asked rhetorically, he was getting frustrated with this. He was worried, tired, and felt lost. He thought he knew Bf well, but he didn't know him well enough to predict this. "I wish I knew." Whitty added, sounding worried as well. Pico was thinking about what to say when his stomach growled loudly.
"Hungry, huh?" Whitty chuckled. "Fuck yes, I'm starving." Pico replied. "You know what? I'm gonna get lunch. You hungry?" Pico asked, standing up despite his legs begging him not to. "I'm always hungry, sure." Whitty chuckled again. "I'm never hungry!" Hex happily chirped. That time Pico chuckled. "Well, you could still come with us, even if you don't eat anything." Pico offered. "Thank you friend!" Hex smiled. "Cool." Pico gave a thumbs up. "So… where are we going?" Whitty asked, tilting his head a bit. He stood up, ready to follow Pico. "First to my car. Then I'll drive us to a restaurant or something." Pico explained, beginning to walk towards said vehicle. "Just a heads up, I parked a bit far, but it should only take, like, 20 minutes to get there." Pico warned, knowing the others (or at least Whitty) were tired as well. "No problem friend! Lead the way!" Hex declared enthusiastically. Whitty just shrugged and said "We've been walking for hours, 's not like 20 minutes will kill us." And just like that, they were off.
Pico, as promised, drove the three of them to a small diner that wasn't too far away. It was thankfully in a nicer neighborhood. The three sat together at a booth table near the back. Hex had powered off to regain some energy. More or less leaving Whitty and Pico alone.
"Hey, lunch is on me, k?" Pico stated. He had been paid generously on his last job, so he wasn't worried about meal prices. Whitty seemed caught off guard. "Uh, y-you don't have to do that-" "I insist." Pico bluntly interjected. Whitty again, tried to decline. "I shouldn't- you don't need to do that, really." Whitty stammered a bit. Pico doubled down on it. "I'm not budging on this man." Whitty tilted his head to the side curiously, but still seemed slightly flustered. "Why are you so persistent in paying for both of us?" Whitty asked. Pico shrugged. "I just want to thank you for all your help today. I've been stressed out trying to figure out where B is and I really appreciate you helping us out." Pico said earnestly, he was still really worried about Boyfriend. "I.. You're welcome. I'm not gonna lie, I care about him, and I'm worried for the guy. Last time I saw him, he seemed off." Whitty confessed, rubbing the back of his head. Pico's curiosity piqued a bit. "Off? In what wa-" ''Hello boys! Can I get you something to drink?" Pico was suddenly interrupted by their waitress. "Oh. Right. We should probably order something haha." Pico joked, chuckling a bit. "I'll take a Coke. What about you Whitty?" Pico asked, gesturing towards the taller male. "I'd just like water, please." Whitty replied, the waitress wrote their drink orders. "Okay. Are you ready to order your meals as well?" She asked sweetly. "I think we need a few minutes." Admitted Pico. "Okay, I'll give you some time to think about it and will be back with your drinks in a bit, okay?" Whitty and Pico politely thanked her and looked at their menus.
"What're you thinking of ordering?" Pico asked, he wondered what kind of food Whitty enjoyed. "I don't know. I'm still surprised that you're paying for both of us." Whitty responded unsurely. "It's all good man. I got it" Pico gave a reassuring smile. "I just want to warn you that I eat a LOT. I'm not exactly cheap to feed." Whitty warned, embarrassed. Pico chuckled, "I'm not exactly peckish, either." "I really mean it, Pico. I eat more than humans do." Whitty once again gave a disclaimer to Pico. "And I really mean it when I say I'll cover it. Just get what you want." Pico stated adamantly.
"Are you sure?"
"Whitty if you ask me that again I'm gonna smack the shit out of you."
(To be continued…)
(I wanted to write more but this is long so I'm gonna break it into two chapters. The next one is gonna have more angst so I wanted to end this one on a bit of a lighter note