The Hermit: Technical Boy - American Gods
Technical Boy x child!reader, father-child
Technical Boy needs to get away from the Drugs gods for a bit and comes across a kid.
Part of @dragon430’s Tarot Troop.
TW/CW: Blood, skull-cracking, hospitals, swearing, near-death experience (and making light of it), drugs, sex, starvation, adoption, fostering.
Word count: 3.6+ K
Sometimes, Technical Boy just needed some air. Everybody does, but with him, it was more of a necessity so he wouldn’t blow up at someone.
Sex (the druggie) had been teasing him a lot more than usual and he hated it. Sure, Weed and Coke tried to get her to stop, but she started doing it behind their backs, and if Technical Boy told Weed about it, he’d be a snitch. He did not want to be known as a snitch bitch amongst the drug gods. That would be a nightmare.
He could have asked for Weed to help him calm down, but he didn’t feel like calming down that way. He wanted some peace, not to get high.
So, here he was, walking down some random street in some random city because he didn’t want to be anywhere near the druggies.
Yes, they’re his best, and only, friends, but he doesn’t always want to get high. Being around them, usually meant getting high off them. Sometimes, it’s nice. Sometimes, it’s not.
Technical Boy, in a dice hoodie with the hood up and black sweatpants with fire at the bottom, stared at his phone, scrolling through the news.
It was a lot of shitty stuff.
He wasn’t surprised by that. The others, “family” of the druggies, were at it again. Those of that sort, those with the brown hair and eyes, it’s like they were born to create chaos and discord in the world.
Technical Boy rolled his eyes, scoffing. He slipped his phone away and stuffed his hands in his pockets. The god turnt to the sky, eyes closed.
As he walked, passing by an alley, Technical Boy heard quiet sniffling.
Instead of stopping, he kept walking.
There were plenty of homeless people in the world. Not everyone is lucky enough to be born into wealth or lucky enough to be able to keep their homes. Some people get shitty deals.
Nothing he could do about it. Nothing World would allow anyway.
Still, the god noticed that the sniffing was much higher pitched than normal, adult sniffling. He had an entire database of sounds at his fingertips, and as a part of him and his domain. It sounded like the sniffles of a child crying.
He stopped and hung his head.
‘This had better not be a kid,’ he thought to himself.
He didn’t like children, in theory. He’d never actually met one but from movies and shows, they seemed insane. It’s likely, upon meeting one, he wouldn’t know what to do.
Technical Boy wasn't good with regular adults. Dealing with a child would be impossible.
So, instead of assuming he was right and the sniffling was coming from a child, he decided he was wrong and approached the alley’s mouth as if an adult was in there.
“Hey, man, you okay?” He asked.
The god peered in, trying to make out anyone.
Something small shifted around. It was far too small to be an adult like he’d hoped. The small thing poke its head out from underneath a small, makeshift cave of junk. It quickly hid after seeing the god.
Technical Boy looked around and sighed, shutting his eyes.
‘It takes, in total, from 0-18-years-old, $284,570 to raise a kid, and a good chunk of a parent’s day to take care of a kid,’ he thought. ‘I have the money, but I don’t have the time.’ He opened his eyes and looked at the makeshift shelter. ‘Why the fuck is my first thought taking care of the kid? I could drop them off at a home or something. That’d be easier.’ He walked closer, trying not to scare them. ‘But the foster system here is fucked. The kid could get hurt, be abused, or die.’ As he approached, he noticed the kid watching him. ‘But there are tons of good families who foster and adopt, too. They’re not all bad. 1.5 million kids have been adopted and roughly 140,000 kids are every year. So, there’s a good chance the kid will become a part of a family.’
The kid pushed themself away from the opening and into their shelter.
“Hey,” he said. “Hi, are you okay?”
Technical Boy knelt down and watched for the kid.
“Leave me alone. I’m fine. Go away,” they said.
There was a silence. The god did not leave.
“Please, go away?”
‘The kid sounds weak. Like they haven’t eaten in days. When was the last time they showered or took a bath, too? I can smell ‘em even from over here.’ Despite the disgusting alley floor, Technical Boy seated himself.
“Nope. Can’t. Brain won’t let me.”
An old, rusted out can came from the shelter, flying straight at Technical Boy. He easily dodged it.
“Wow, you’re a dick,” he joked.
He heard a small huff.
Slipping his hands into his pant pockets, he found candy, probably chocolate, that he’d forgotten about.
‘This is so not healthy for a kid,’ he thought, playing with the wrapper in his pocket. ‘But, it’s better than nothing.’ He took the candy out, finding a Snickers. ‘Called it.’
“Hey, you like chocolate?” He asked them.
More shuffling from the shelter. “No. Especially not from a stranger.”
“Here.” He tossed the Snickers into the mouth of the shelter. “Have a Snickers. It has nuts.”
A thin hand reached out and snatched the candy quick as a whip.
The tech god raised an eyebrow. “Thought you didn’t like chocolate.”
Another can came from the darkness and he dodged it again.
The kid unwrapped the bar and used the wrapper to fill a gap in their home. Hungry, they scarfed the candy down.
‘So small. The kid must be starving.’ Technical Boy continued to watch the mouth of the shelter, his concern for the kid growing.
“You always around here?” He asked.
A small piece of glass was thrown at him but it didn’t get very far, falling an inch or so away from him.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” Technical Boy stood up and brushed himself off. “I’ll see you later.”
He knew it would be impossible to convince the kid to come out of their hole and come with him on the first meeting, but he hoped to convince them to go into foster care sooner rather than later. If he tried to tell the authorities, the kid could get hurt or worse.
He left the alley and the kid watched him do so.
Technical Boy, in the druggies’ kitchen, placed an apple and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a bag.
Weed walked in, smiling. “Whatcha doin’?”
He looked over, a water bottle in his hand. “Nothing,” he said, turning back to the bag. “Just making a bag of food.” He cracked open the bottle and closed it again.
“Who’s it for,” they asked.
The tech god shrugged, putting a small stack of crackers and a container of cut cheese in the bag.
Weed wrapped their arms around his waist and rested their head on his back.
After closing the bag, he placed a hand on Weed’s, chuckling. “I’ve got to go, Weed.”
“First, tell me who the bag is for,” they mumbled.
He shrugged again. “I don’t know,” he said before he turnt around to face them. “But, as soon as I learn what their name is, I’ll tell you.” He booped their nose with a smile. “Promise.”
Weed giggled, sleepiness in their eyes.
Coke rushed in and grabbed an apple off the table, one from Weed’s garden. He stopped before he left and turnt around. “Are you two having cute times without me?” He asked, with a goofy smile.
“No,” Technical Boy said as Weed rested on his chest. “I was trying to leave, but Weed is sleepy.”
Coke bit the apple and walked over before picking Weed up. They wrapped their arms around him, nuzzling into him.
“Thank you, C,” the tech god said, earning a nod from Coke who practically ran out of the room with the apple in his mouth and Weed in his arms. “Don’t fall!” He shouted after them. Technical Boy picked up the bag and left for the alley.
The kid shoved a few cans into place on their mountain of junk. Technical Boy watched them work for a little, not wanting to interrupt until they were done. When they finished and started to head into their home, he approached.
“Hey, kid,” he said. “Brought you something.”
The kid, at the mouth, stared at him like a deer in headlights before rushing into their cave.
Technical Boy sighed and walked to it. “Ya know, I ain’t gonna hurt ya, kid.” He dropped off the bag of food at the mouth of the cave before sitting down farther away.
They snatched it up as soon as they thought he was far enough away.
Technical Boy sat, crossed-legged, and watched for any signs of anger..
“You trying to poison me?” They asked.
His brow furrowed in confusion. “What?”
“Cap’s been opened.” The water bottle rolled to his feet.
He rolled it back. “Nope. I opened it for you. Those fucker’s are annoying and the ridges hurt.”
The bottle slipped into the darkness.
The kid, inside, sipped on it. “Tastes gross,” they said, pulling a face.
“It’s bottled water. It never tastes right.”
The two sat in relative silence as cars drove past and the kid ate. The occasional pedestrian peeked into the alley, giving Technical Boy odd looks, but he didn’t particularly care. He was used to it.
As the kid finished, they asked, “Why’d you come back?”
“Felt like it.”
“Why’d you bring me food?”
“Felt like it.”
“Are you a rapist?”
They laughed a little. “No. Are you a peadophile?”
“No. That’s gross.”
“Are you going to tell the police where I am?”
Technical Boy sighed. “If I wanted to do that, I would have done it yesterday.”
“You gonna kidnap me and sell my organs on the blackmarket?”
“Sounds like too much work,” he said, stretching. “I’d rather hire someone to do that for me instead.”
Crunching came from the dark hole. It wasn’t cracker crunching. More like, a horse mowing down on a carrot or apple.
“This tastes good.”
“Yeah, a friend of mine grows their own food. Doesn’t like the food from stores. I’m pretty sure they want to start raising livestock, but, I don’t know.”
“Mhmm,” they said before tossing the core over his head into a nearby dumpster. “Do you think you could bring more?”
Technical Boy nodded. “Definitely. If my other friends don’t eat them all first. But, harvest was good, so I doubt they’ll all be gone.” Technical Boy pulled out his phone and texted Weed. “I’ll text them to hide some of the apples from the others just in case though.”
Carefully, the kid peered out, staring at his phone.
“There. Done,” he said, putting his phone away. “They’ll hide some for ya.”
A can came at him but he ducked.
“You told them?” They growled.
Technical Boy put his hands up in surrender.. “Woah, hold your horses there, kid. I haven’t said shite to anyone. I just asked them to put some of the apples away, that’s all.”
Inside the hole, they looked him up and down. “Can I have my can back?”
“No, it’s mine now.” The god pulled the can behind him protectively.
The kid giggled.
A text popped up on his phone. Technical Boy looked down at it and rolled his eyes.
“What?” The kid asked.
“Nothing, just my boss being a dick.”
The container Technical Boy had filled with cheese rolled out on it’s side.
He opened it to find a few crackers and some cheese. “I made the bag for you, kid. Not for me.”
“I know. I just don’t want you to be hungry.”
“Thanks.” He smiled softly and ate the cheese and crackers even if he didn’t really want to.
“My name’s not kid, ya know,” they said. “It’s Y/N.”
“That’s a weird fucking name.”
The god shrugged. “Should a kid your age be swearing like that?”
They shrew a can at him. Instead of dodging, he caught it and put it behind him with the other can. “Mine,” he said.
“Nuh-uh!” They said. “Gimme my can back!”
Technical Boy shook his head. “Nope. You threw it away meaning anyone can claim it. So, I did.”
Y/N huffed. “Dick.”
Weeks passed and every single day, without fail, Technical Boy came to Y/N’s little home with food and conversation. Once or twice, he brought clothes and blankets. He very well couldn’t let the kid freeze. What kind of person would he be if he did? Even though both Media and World didn’t like his disappearing acts and he got repeatedly scolded and punished for it, he didn’t care. For some reason, he found he had grown rather fond of the rude kid. He liked to believe they had begun to like him, too. Even if it was just a little, itty-bitty bit. The god no longer wanted to let them go into the foster system, rather, he wished to take care of them himself. But he knew Y/N wouldn’t agree, no matter how much they liked him. They were much too independent for that.
Since he’d started coming, little Y/N had grown in both width and height. No longer skin and bones, they moved around more and even left the confines of their home for more than building.
“I’m stronger now, so I can kick you better if you try anything,” they had claimed.
Technical Boy chose to see this as them trusting him more.
Technical Boy dropped off a bag of food at the mouth of Y/N’s home and sat farther away.
Y/N came out, sitting in front of the mouth in the light. They opened up the bag and smiled.
“Apples,” they mumbled.
Technical Boy smiled as they rifled through the bag. “Yeah, that’s the last of ‘em, though. Won’t be more until the next harvest.”
“Thanks.” Y/N looked up and gave him a pained smile before looking back down.
He shrugged and played with one of his confiscated cans. “It’s whatever, kiddo.”
Y/N tossed him a fruit snack baggie. He caught it but dropped his can.
“Ya gotta stop doing this, N/N,” he said, opening the baggie. “You need to eat more than I do.”
They flipped him off.
As he ate the gummies, he watched Y/N scarf down everything. At least that hadn’t changed.
“How are you feelin’? You think you’ll be okay here during the colder months? They are getting closer,” he said.
They looked up, some jelly on their mouth. Y/N wiped it away. “I’ll probably be fine. More fat means more insulation. Plus the blankets you gave me.” They picked at the sandwich. “Are you still going to come, even when it snows?”
“Of course, kiddo. Come rain or shine, hail or snow, I’ll be here until you don’t want me to be.”
Y/N stared at him for a while before crawling into their home. Inside, they rummaged through their things, pulling out bits of scrap and pushing away blankets. After a while, they found what they had been searching for and returned to the outside world.
Outside, they stood up and walked over to Technical Boy. They presented him a beaten up and squashed Snickers bar and refused to look at him while doing so.
Gently, the god took it from them. A Snickers bar, just like the one he’d given them when they first met. A strange, warm feeling spread throughout his chest and he smiled.
“Thank you, Y/N.”
Instead of going back to the cave, they plopped down next to him and wrapped their arms around one of his. They nuzzled into his arm and held on tight.
It was a rather odd sight. A much larger, muscled man with an odd style choice and a clean visage being clung onto by a small, dirty child no older than 10, no younger than 5.
Looking down at the kid, Technical Boy knew he had to protect them, no matter what. This was his kid now. They had been for some time.
Another day, another bag for Y/N.
Technical Boy did as he always did, placed the bag at the mouth of the makeshift shelter and sat down opposite of it.
But, Y/N did not come out.
The god waited for a few minutes. When they still had not come out, he called for them. Still, there was no response. Technical Boy stood and walked over.
Placing a hand on the top of the mouth, he looked inside. “Y/N, hey, are you okay?”
Y/N lay limp in the makeshift nest.
“Y/N?” He nudged their legs with one of his hands.
Still, they didn’t respond.
Crawling a little into the small space as best he could, Technical Boy shook Y/N’s shoulders. “Y/N, wake up. Kid, please. This isn’t funny.”
At this point, the god had gone from fine to freaking.
Wrapping an arm around them, he pulled them out of their shelter.
A giant, bloody gash spread around their eye and eyebrow. He could feel blood on the opposing side like they’d been hit with something and cracked their head on concrete. They were cold, freezing really.
‘Please, be okay,’ he thought.
Their back pressed up against his chest, Technical Boy, through his tears, gently smack their cheek.
He calmed his breathing, shutting his eyes tight. ‘They can’t be gone. Not yet.’
Hoping beyond hope, Technical Boy checked their pulse, pressing his fingers to their neck over one of the carotid arteries.
After a few minutes of silence, he could feel a faint heartbeat.
They were alive.
The god let out the breath he’d been holding, sighing in relief.
His kid was going to be okay.
He stood up. Picking them up bridal-style, he held them close.
“It’s gonna be okay,” he whispered to them. “You’re gonna be okay.”
Pacing in the waiting room, Technical Boy picked at his lip.
‘I should have asked them to come with me,’ he thought. ‘I should have made them come with me. This could have been avoided if I had just taken them. They’d be fine right now if I hadn’t wanted to respect their autonomy. The streets are no place for a kid.’
He sat down in one of the chairs, elbows on his knees. His hands interlaced in prayer and he bowed his head. Though he trusted his technology to save them, he couldn’t help but pray they would be okay. Almost immediately, his heel started bouncing against the tile.
“Mr Brown?” Someone asked.
Technical Boy looked up and then stood. “Are they okay?”
The person smiled, probably a doctor, and nodded. “Their skull had been cracked open and they lost a lot of blood, but they’ll be okay,” they said.
“When can I see them?” He crossed his arms, watching the doctor for their reaction.
“You can go to the room, but they won’t be awake for some time.”
“That’s fine. I just- I need to see them.”
They nodded, smiling sympathetically, and gestured for him to follow them.
The doctor showed him to Y/N’s room and gestured for him to go in.
Technical Boy, as soon as he laid his eyes on them, sighed in relief.
The bandages surrounded their head and one covered the gash around their eye and eyebrow.
He walked to their side, his eyes never leaving them. As he got to their side, he gently cupped their cheek and rubbed it. He knelt down.
“I’m sorry, N/N. I should have given you some way to contact me or something,’ he whispered to them.
The first thing the kid felt when they woke up was something in their arm. It wasn’t painful, just weird. The second, and more enjoyable, feeling was someone holding their hand and the warmth coming from it. Y/N groaned slightly and opened their eyes, only to find Technical Boy gripping their hand, asleep, with his head resting on the bed.
The view looked strikingly similar to their dad when they were younger.
“Tech?” They asked, struggling to get the nickname out.
When he didn’t respond, they nudged him. He groaned a little. Struggling, Y/N got up, feeling a little lightheaded, and, still gripping Technical Boy’s hand, they tugged on him.
The god groaned again and rubbed his eye with his free hand. “Hey, kiddo,” he said, looking up at them. “How ya feelin’?”
They tugged on him again and mumbled something.
Technical Boy chuckled and leant forward, hugging them tight.
Y/N hugged back, nuzzling into his neck.
“You fucking scared me, kid,” he said. He rubbed their back gently as he broke away from them.
Y/N immediately took his hand back, not wanting to be seperate from him. “Feel like I got hit by a brick and cracked my skull open on the sidewalk before crawling back home,” they rightfully complained.
Technical Boy rubbed their cheek, concerned. He dropped his hand and took their other one into his. “I know you probably prefer being on your own, but I really care about what happens to you and I don’t want you to be on your own,” he said as he looked them in the eye.
“If you want, my place is plenty big for two people and it’s always open to you.”
Y/N was quiet. So quiet, in fact, Technical Boy thought they might have shut down like they always did when he said something they didn’t like and didn’t have something to throw at him.
“Will it be safe?” They asked.
“Okay, but I’m not calling you dad.”
Technical Boy chuckled lightly. “I wouldn’t expect you to, kiddo.”
5 notes · View notes