Adam doesn't indulge in junk food often. Doesn't. Didn't. Back when he'd been all flesh and bone, whether SWAT or security, keeping his body in top shape had been a priority—high demand for regular gym visits and no room for the crap Detroit's fast food restaurants had to offer. The only gustatory vice he'll admit to is breakfast cereal made with exorbitant amounts of sugar, while the occasional burger or pieces of fried chicken had been a rare luxury (and he's hard pressed to even call it a luxury when he'd never had much of a taste for it to start with.) Fries had been nice, though. Salty, Belgian style dipped in mayonnaise that Megan had found exceptionally weird. Adam could appreciate that on occasion.

Things are different now. There's no Megan around to tease him about his European fast food tastes or his fondness for cereal brands marketed mostly towards children. His body doesn't place the same demands on him it once did. Mechanical limbs with no demand for oxygen make proper cardio training near impossible, though with an energy converter mounted on his heart extracting fat and carbs from his bloodstream before there's ever chance for them to be deposited, nor does Adam feel much concern for the deterioration of his remaining organic parts. The protein distributor in his Sentinel implant takes care of his muscles and vascular system. The rebreather in his lungs already maximises his aerobic capacity. He suspects he could live a long time on a diet of junk and have all the tech grafted onto him nullify the side effects while extracting more nutritional value from it than it has any right to.

Small pleasures, he supposes. Even cigarettes don't seem able to touch him anymore. Seems like a free pass to overindulge and maybe find something he's still capable of enjoying.

On the way home from his second appointment at the LIMB clinic as an outpatient following the surgery, Adam stops at a street vendor and buys a serving of fries. Loading it up with more salt and mayonnaise than he ever would have allowed himself a few months ago, he stands on a street corner and eats.

Counter to his fears, his sense of taste hasn't been dulled by the painkillers or the presence of new circuitry in the sensory processing centers of his brain. It tastes good. Shutting out the rest of the world for just a few precious minutes, he eats the fries slowly and savours eat bite. Unlike the signals coming from his new limbs, the textures and flavours on his tongue remain familiar and natural and vivid, and from them Adam draws what small pleasure he can.

Once he's done, looking down at the empty bag, he sees the traces of salt and sauce left behind on his sleek black fingers. There's a trash can only a few feet away, but with his hand already raised halfway to his mouth, Adam pauses. He'd have licked it off once, without a thought. Now he's hit with the bizarre sense that he isn't looking down at his own hand, but a tool.

When you eat with a spoon, you rarely let it actually touch your tongue, do you? Funny what you never notice.

Tentatively, he raises his fingers to his lips and tries to lick away the condiments as casually as he would were his hand still flesh. The remnants of the lingering flavours hit his tongue, and then behind that, there's an altogether sharper taste, metallic, belonging to a texture that's cool and smooth as if it really were nothing more than a utensil. The hard edges of articulated knuckles bite into his lips.

Should have picked up a napkin. Adam pulls a face and wipes the remainder of his fingers on his jacket instead, then walks briskly to the trashcan and thrusts the carton in without looking at his hand.

His jaw is clenched as he continues to head home, the aftertaste in his mouth turned bitter. In future, he thinks he'll stick with the cereal.