R! FO3 Companions React to a Lone who Doesn't Know How to Handle Softness Due to Bad Past Relationships
Ask: if you’re still doing requests, could i get romanced companions with a courier/lone/ss who’s only experienced bad relationships and don’t know how to handle softness?
Aww, this was sad to think about, but the same time, it's sweet that the protag can find solace in their companion (and vice versa for the companions honestly).
This is just part one of this prompt, I'll be doing the FONV and FO4 crew as well as soon as possible, but it was just too damn long if I did them all at once 😅
Included Below: Butch, Charon, Clover, Cross, Fawkes, Gob, and Jericho
Thanks for the ask and your patience (I know you asked this like... very long ago) but I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you want to see anyone else with this prompt as well!
Also, just some TWs for you all: mentions of problematic/unhealthy relationships, and allusions to emotional and physical abuse.
The instant Lone recoils as he reaches to put an arm around them, he remembers. Butch internally smacks himself for not thinking about it sooner; he knows Lone’s past, he was there when they were being mistreated. At the time, back in the vault, he always told himself it was none of his business. He wasn’t even their friend at the time, what would his word of advice or defense have meant? Now though, Butch wondered how he could’ve sat by and done nothing, even as he saw the way Lone was being treated. After witnessing the way that these experiences still affect his partner to this day, even with him, after knowing him all their life, he's pissed at himself for never saying anything, or doing anything to stop it before it could get so out of hand.
Butch spends the first few months of the relationship just trying to make up for the mistake he made before. He’d be very open about his love for Lone; idle touches and PDA are common, if Lone is okay with it. Even when they look uncomfortable, Butch tries to get them to talk about it, and walks them through returning his little touches, his hand holding, his shoulder rubbing, his kisses upon their cheeks. Butch may have a certain kinda reputation he wants to uphold, but when it comes to Lone, he’s a real softy, and he’s happy to be soft and tentative with them for as long as they need.
Charon isn’t familiar with softness in any capacity, but still, seeing the way Lone flinched away as he reached towards them, the way their eyes sunk to the floor when he tried to meet their gaze, he couldn’t help but clench his jaw at the thought of what could have inspired these reactions. The people that have been awful to him, that have beat and mistreated him when he was under their service were his employers; no matter what he did, he couldn’t escape them, but Lone? How could Lone have stayed with someone who abused them, who made them fear the little amount of contact that Charon desperately tried to muster? Once they told him of their past, worried that he might think it was him who made them uncomfortable, Charon would be reminded of his own reservations about physical contact. He’d think back and wonder if he’d ever been touched in a way that made him actually feel good.
The pair would have to take everything slow, the amalgamation of their prospective trust issues making each small touch a victory, each kind word something worth celebrating, but eventually, they would make progress. One day, they would both be able to show each other the kind of tenderness neither of them had ever experienced, but that was long overdue in both their cases.
“Oh, sugar, I understand that better than most. Don’t worry sweetie, I’ve got you.” Clover tells them, as Lone reveals the truth about their past. She slowly brings a hand up to stroke over their arm comfortingly, trying to be more subtle with her movements than she’s used to. Clover has gotten better over the years at working through her own history of cruelty, and she’d try to help Lone to do the same. However, once she does so, she finds it odd that her partner reciprocates her soft, sweet touches. That, she isn’t used to.
The physical affection she’s become used to showering her old employer with wouldn’t have been reciprocated, the way Lone is trying, despite their past. And the fact that she knows it’s difficult for them to show this sort of tenderness towards their partner makes it all the sweeter for her. She lets them know how much she appreciates the effort; and, over time, she finds that her own forms of showing her affection become much less of an automatic instinct in response to the way she had to live her life before she met Lone, and more of a conscious decision she makes in order to convey her genuine love for her companion. It’s a welcome change for her, being able to show the one she loves some tenderness on her own terms, wanting to convey her true feelings, rather than just doing what she knows they would want. For Clover, Lone's past and her own seem to emphasize the trust that they have for each other now, in the way that they can both find comfort in actions that once were painful and insincere for them to perform.
Her chest feels hollow as Lone tells her the truth about their reservations with romantic touch, and their unfamiliarity with kind words. She thinks back on any of the instances where she raised her voice, said something without the sensitivity she should have been applying, or when she moved very suddenly around them, and now Lone's reactions made sense to the Paladin. She wishes she could take back her actions, that her partner never had the chance to feel unsafe around her, that she could have been there to protect Lone from those that mistreated them before she came along. The Star Paladin would never allow such things to happen again, it wasn’t just a promise, it was her duty to ensure Lone’s safety, their happiness, now that she was with them; and she would take this responsibility as seriously as any she has received from the Brotherhood.
As far as softness is concerned, Cross isn’t an expert, but she will try to be more affectionate with her partner than she is with… well, anyone else. Mostly, her affection starts out verbal, since that’s what she’s most used to (though it is still quite foreign). She gives Lone compliments and support, and provides advice when she feels that they may need or want it. Later, she would give them affectionate pats or soft punches on the shoulder, put her arm around them, or lean her head against there’s, but she’ll start performing these actions very slowly, both for her own comfortability and for Lone’s. She would never try and do something to make them uncomfortable, especially after finding out about their past.
Fawkes takes issue with Lone’s confession about their past relationships. He simply doesn’t understand how anyone could mistreat this good, kind person, especially when they label themselves as their significant other. He’d feel anger burning low in his chest any time he noticed Lone’s discomfort, and before they told him the truth, he was sure it was him who was at fault, given his appearance, and his partner's extensive experience with violent mutants. However, when they revealed to him the details of their past relationships, when he saw how it upset them, and how their trauma affected them now, even years after the fact, he could feel the dull ache in his chest and the fury boiling in his blood. How could anyone do this to them?
Fawkes was gentle with his partner from the start, but now? All the more so. He never touches Lone without clear consent, and even still, he does so slowly and carefully, and tends to check in with them every so often to make sure they’re okay every step of the way. He’s defensive of Lone and their feelings, and if anyone decides to speak harshly to the vault dweller at his side, they’ll find out how sharp the mutant's tongue can be in the right circumstances. If these people take it far enough, they might just get a taste of Fawkes's not so gentle side as well.
It’s difficult for him at first, given his isolation for so many years, Fawkes finds himself extremely starved for any kind of contact, but now that he’s effectively in love? That makes it all the more difficult to hold himself back from unabashedly showering Lone in his affections. But for them, he can exercise restraint, and help them work through what they are going through with a kind hand and a gentle word.
Lone and the ghoul are one in the same. Gob has rarely seen softness in his long life, especially in his most recent years, and even as Lone braves their own issues with physical affection, they find their partner often flinching away from their touch. Once Gob gains the confidence to try and show his partner the affection he knows that they deserve, and he sees that same familiar way they shy away from him, he can’t help but feel a distinctive pang in his chest. How could anyone mistreat someone as selfless and kind as Lone? How could they live with themself after hurting someone who is so compassionate, who would never hurt them in return? It made his heart hurt to even think of it.
Gob would vow to show them the kind of attention he knows they need to feel; to love them as gently as they’ve tried to do for him. Though he tries to shut it out, there would always be a cruel voice at the back of his mind trying to convince him that Lone was repulsed by him, that’s why they flinched when he reached out for them, why they sometimes didn't register the compliments that spilled from his mouth all rough and gravelly. However, as long as they reassure him, and try and show him the softness that they themselves were denied all their life, as Gob sees them making the effort to prove that they aren’t disgusted by him, his confidence will only grow. After this, the ghoul is more than happy to work through his own anxieties and convey the love and appreciation he has for his partner by returning their tender words and gestures tenfold.
Admittedly, the ex-raider has his own issues with softness, so the pair will end up pretty reliant on each other to figure out boundaries and forms of showing affection. Jericho hates that someone mistreated his partner. He may be an asshole, but dammit, he’s an asshole who still cares for his partner. He’s not a monster. If Lone ever stumbles across the ex(es) that treated them badly, Jericho won’t hesitate to inflict all the pain onto them that they left Lone with. That he can do. But for this whole tender affection type shit, he’s going to need some help.
It’s been a long while since Jericho's last relationship, if you could even call it that, and now, well… He’s gotten used to a certain kind of aggressive lifestyle, but luckily, if Lone tells him to knock it off, he’ll listen and won’t take offense. He tries for them though. As he becomes more used to their dynamic, he gets better about not touching without permission, and moving more slowly, handling them with more softness, even though it all feels very foreign to him. Lone’s the best thing that’s happened to him in a long ass time, he’s not an idiot, he knows he doesn’t deserve them, and that if he wants to keep ‘em in his life, he’s gotta treat them right.
He can’t fight his nature though. Jericho would end up becoming quite multi-dimensional. Anyone else who has contact with the grumpy ex-raider gets the usual quick to anger, foul mouthed, violence prone scoundrel; but when he’s just with Lone, his grizzly voice grows softer, his sharp tongue seems to dull, his roughened touch is anything but aggressive, and though he’s still his grumpy self, that smile of his that was once so rare tends to make more frequent appearances as the pair works to heal one another of their past wounds.
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