AN: Hey there guys, this is a little gift for Ms. Brown, my beta, that ties into her series, the Light Brigade. While reading it won't be essential for understanding this little oneshot, I'd still suggest checking it out; it's pretty damn good.
Three years; three long, excruciating, tortuous years since they had failed to stop his resurrection. It still kept him up at night, staring at his ceiling despite the exhausting day beforehand. It probably kept the others up too, although they never talked about it; there was never any time to mull over the past, all their efforts had to be focused on the present and planning for the future, if they were to have any hope of survival.
Gibson surveyed the room; what was once their rather inviting lounge had become what was for all purposes, a war room. Numerous papers and equipment ranging from communicators to spare circuit boards were scattered across the room, along with several maps charting the Skeleton King's steady march.
Sprx wandered into the room, looking exhausted with haggard face and ruffled fur; not that this was out of the ordinary. If you weren't exhausted at the end of the day, then either you had a very good day, or you were shirking your duties.
But Sprx was a special case; no matter what happened, no matter how well a day had gone his face usually held the same look. Dulled eyes and near permanent frown; despite his attempts to joke and flirt with Nova, everyone on the team could see it. They had tried to tell him time and time again that it wasn't his fault, but eventually most of them came to reluctantly accept that until Skeleton King was brought down, Sprx would keep blaming himself.
Not to say that the old Sprx was completely gone; Gibson knew exactly why he was down here. "So what are you up to Gibson?" He asked with an annoying smile rarely seen anymore.
Gibson looked down at the papers he was surveying, the ones that contained info he was supposed to enter into the robot's database, then back up to Sprx, "If I say it's important will you leave me alone?"
The smile grew larger, "Nope!"
The blue monkey sighed, "Of course not." They both knew he was faking it though; any distraction was preferable to the depressing monotony of data collection, and wasn't like it could wait a few hours.
Sprx propped himself up onto the table, scattering the papers Gibson was trying very hard to pretend to care about. "So get this, you know that explosion you heard earlier?"
Gibson haphazardly collected the papers, "Yes, what did Otto do this time? He wasn't in my lab again was he?"
Sprx snickered, "Even better, the goof thought he could improve the efficiency of our kitchen appliances."
Gibson froze for a second as the various scenarios of how many ways that could go wrong flowed through his head, "That sounds… liable to cause injury."
Sprx used the opportunity to casually flick several more papers about with his tail, creating more 'work' for his teammate, "Yeah, so get this, he actually managed to do all of them fine until he got to the toaster."
Gibson interrupted, stopping in his task of reorganizing to directly address Sprx, "Wait, all of them? As in every other appliance in the kitchen has been tampered with by Otto?"
Sprx smirked, answering his question wordlessly.
Gibson shook his head, "Remind me to test all our meals for radiation and toxins for the next few days. So what happened next?"
Sprx waved his hand disapprovingly, "I was getting to that." His smirk reappeared, "So anyway, me and Nova came into the kitchen just as Otto was testing the toaster." He began to laugh hysterically, "And flaming toast shot out of the toaster like it was a freakin' turret! It singed Nova's fur in streaks like a skunk, and left burn marks on the wall and everything!"
Sprx's raucous laughter was so intense it caused the table to shake, dislodging a few more papers; this time Gibson did not attempt to pick them up.
Sprx's laughter began to calm down; as he began to catch his breath he looked over at Gibson. "Hey, what's up with you?" His blue teammate wasn't laughing, or even smiling for that matter; instead his face wore a rather glum deposition as he stared into empty space.
"Have you ever wondered what we would do if…" The blue simian trailed off.
"Do if…? What? You got an idea for a replacement kitchen or something?"
Gibson smiled slightly, placing the papers he had been collecting down on the table, "Well, a replacement wouldn't be an entirely bad idea, if we were ever able to find one."
Sprx shook his head in disbelief. "Wait a Shuggazoom second here buster, you aren't thinking what I think you're thinking. Cause if you are!" Sprx made a vaguely threatening gesture.
Gibson sighed, "Sprx, you know that we've almost lost each member of the team several times already, what if our luck runs out? The fighting ability of the robot drops every time someone isn't piloting a part, we can't afford that in a war."
It was obvious that Sprx was furious now, "So what? Besides, it's not like kids like Chiro are born every day you know!"
"I know that…" Gibson looked slightly ashamed, "That's why I've been studying the Alchemist's notes."
Sprx's jaw dropped, "You've been what?"
Gibson played with the papers next to him, unwilling to meet his teammate's gaze, "On one of their expeditions to try and find more allies, Chiro and Antauri stumbled across some of the Alchemist's notes. They were much more technical then any we had found before, and was essentially a detailed guide on how he created us."
Sprx was stunned, "Tell me you're joking."
Gibson looked up with a very false smile, "I'm joking."