'Erratic behavior detected, run diagnostic.'
Even before the scanner ran through my systems I could predict the outcome. The results of the latest scan turned up the same null results as before, all programming algorithms were operating within acceptable parameters, no abnormalities found. Disappointed with the results, I did as Shion had asked me to do when disappointment and emitted an audible sigh.
“Well KOS-MOS, are you going to explain yourself?” Shion asked, concern detectable in her voice.
'Erratic behavior detected, run... cancel diagnostic.' I knew it would be a waste of reserve power.
“My apologies Shion, I do not know how to respond to your query.”
“O-oh... okay,” she stammered, the concern from before had been replaced by confusion. She thought for a moment then perked up with an idea. “Well what are you feeling right now?” My programming keyed in and responded with a standard answer.
“The current temperature is seventy-three degrees, the current air density is...” she interrupted, exasperation replacing the confusion.
“No no no. I mean what do you feel with your emotions?”
'Erratic... cancel and shut down erratic behavior detection.'
“Judging by the slight increase in my skin temperature and the tension of my abdominal muscles, the closest terminology to what I currently feel would be embarrassment.” Shion giggled, causing an increase in both aforementioned conditions.
“That's understandable, silly,” the pitch and tone of her voice now expressing a form of happiness.
“I do not understand. I've committed theft without having any program directive to do so, and am only now experiencing embarrassment after you discovered my actions. I do not understand the delay in my emotional reaction.” Shion giggled again, it lasted four seconds longer this time. I noted another slight increase in temperature, specifically to my face and neck.
“You're only embarrassed because you got caught, KOS-MOS! The reason you stole it in the first place is because you wanted it for yourself.”
“The feeling of want is irrelevant, only my...” she interrupted me once more, annoyance taking over as her primary emotion.
“What have I told you about ignoring your feelings KOS-MOS! I want you to use them because they are unique only to you... they're what makes you special... special to me.” Sadness had entered her voice during the last moments of her outburst. Even without my Erratic Behavior detection functioning, I knew my reaction would be irrational.
“I apologize Shion, I will attempt to rely more on my feelings if that would please you.” Her eyes widened several centimeters before she attempted to speak, paused, and then ceased the action entirely. I used the time gained from her delay to scan my memory disks.
'Why did I want it enough to take action outside of my protocols? It was only a hard copy photograph, I could have simply scanned it and stored the scan in my data banks. Why the need to possess the physical copy? Perhaps it was the image stored on the photograph that had caused my irrational action?'
“KOS-MOS,” she started with apprehension in her voice, “who programmed that last line you spoke to me?”
“I apologize but I am not showing such a response in my data banks. It is probable that it came from my feelings.” There was a slight tension at the side of her lips indicating that she wished to smile but was resisting. Knowledge of this caused another slight increase in my facial temperature, as well as further contraction of my abdominal muscles. Shion put a hand on her hip, tilted her head slightly, and stuck out her other hand expectantly.
“Well?” she asked with mirth not dictated by her body positioning. I was aware that she was asking for the return of the photograph, but I was unable to formulate a proper response.
“I do not understand.”
“Are you going to return it to me?” her smile had broadened several centimeters.
“Negative, I desire to keep it.” The response, while not being present in my data banks, felt very natural. She was staring at me, and I judged from the minute trembling of her shoulders that she was struggling not to laugh. “I apologize for my error, I will retrieve it for you immediately.” I turned around and walked slowly to my recharging station.
“You put it in there!” Shion exclaimed from behind me. I chose not to respond to avoid further feelings of embarrassment. Upon opening the hatch the picture was brought into my line of sight. I reached out to remove it but found myself pausing three centimeters from the photograph.
'This is irrational, the photograph is unnecessary to my functions.' I ran a scan of the photograph to attempt to locate any anomalies within it's structure. I noticed an odd sensation had formed deep in my stomach as the image was displayed across the field of my vision. The image was of myself and Shion standing side by side on the beach. I was wearing the swim suit that Shion had provided for me with the explanation that I would look more appealing visually while wearing it. I noted that she had her arm around my waist in the picture and was smiling in a way that was unfamiliar to me.
Upon noticing this a peculiar desire for further personal contact with Shion entered my mind. Without any input of my own, my systems began scheduling interactions that would lead to close proximity to Shion. Most surprising of all was the shift in my battle algorithm that placed Shion's safety above even directive completion. The changes were happening so quickly and in such number that I couldn't keep track of them all. In a matter of seconds everything I had come to accept as standard had changed. I was so occupied with my internal systems that I failed to notice Shion's approach until I felt her hand on my lower back.
“Shion, I... I...” A new and unfamiliar emotion had entered my processes, fear, and with it came uncertainty.
“It's okay KOS-MOS, if you want to keep it so badly then I want you to have it. Consider it a gift. I'll simply ask MOMO to print another copy so that we both have one.”
“I understand, thank you Shion.” She was silent for twelve seconds before speaking.
“You're so beautiful KOS-MOS...” She had moved closer, pressing her body against my frame and wrapping her arms around my waist. The unfamiliar emotion in my system was rapidly changing into something else I could not recognize. My feelings told me that Shion's proximity should have made me feel happiness, however, I felt an unfamiliar sadness.
“Shion...” I was experiencing a vocal anomaly that caused my speech to tremble audibly. “I do not understand...” I managed before by breathing vessels convulsed and the system regulating my tear ducts activated.
What we are now...
'It had felt so good to hold her like that... just like old times.'
I'd been laying in bed for hours, unable to sleep after the day's events. This had only been the latest in a series of bizarre interactions with the beautiful android. Right from the very first time she woke up I've known she was somehow different. It wasn't just the fact that she was obeying orders and displaying abilities that I never programmed into her. It was something else... almost like she really was...
For the hundredth time I questioned my decision to comply with her final wish and continue to design KOS-MOS according to the original plans. I shook my head to attempt to clear those thoughts away. She must have felt it would bring me comfort to see her likeness after she was gone. Comfort, yes, along with a whole slew of other emotions that were confusing and, with the onset of KOS-MOS's odd behavior... a little frightening.”
'I love you...'
No, it hadn't taken long to realize that she was more than just an android, more than just something I created, but how much more I wasn't quite certain. What exactly was hiding behind those crimson eyes... so unlike hers and yet... so hauntingly familiar.
“What's happening to you KOS-MOS?” I whispered to the darkened room as I drifted into sleep.
What we once were...
“Shion, you want some coffee?” No response. “Hey Shion, I said do you...” noticing that Shion was furiously typing away and oblivious to the world, the woman quietly made her way behind the girl and leaned in real close to whisper directly into her ear. “Shion!”
“Wha!” the young researcher screamed, nearly falling out of her chair at the sudden interruption. Breathing deeply for a moment to calm herself, she put her hand over her heart and sighed. Looking up to glare at her would be assailant, she instantly regretted it as her eyes met with the woman's beautiful cerulean pools. She had to fight down an involuntary shiver before lowering her head, “I wish you wouldn't frighten me like that!”
“I think you need to relax a little, hon,” the woman said with with a lighthearted laugh as she set the coffee she had brought onto the young woman's desk, “or am I really just that scary looking?” she asked, quirking a dark blue eyebrow.
“Oh goodness no, you're absolutely beautiful!” Shion squeaked, causing another laugh. Realizing what she'd just said the girl buried her head in her hands in an attempt to hide her blushing face.
“Oh no need to be embarrassed hon, I already know you think I'm sexy beyond words.” All humiliation forgotten, Shion stood and faced her tormentor.
“What do you mean by that Dr. Magdalen?!” Shion squawked indignantly.
“I hacked your diary,” the taller woman said with all seriousness. Shion's eyes flew wide open.
“You... how could you do that?! It's double encrypted and sealed under two separate security protocol measures and...” the woman was simply staring at her with a smug expression. Hanging her head in shame, Shion accepted her defeat. “How long have you known?”
“A while,” the woman said simply, flipping a lock of dark blue hair over her shoulder, a hint of mischief in her eyes going unnoticed by the shorter woman.
“What... what are you going to do about this? I don't think I can stop love... I don't think my feelings will change. You're the most beautiful and intelligent and charming person I've ever met.” Shion was silent for a while, struggling against the urge to turn and flee. “But... this project means so much to me, and I know how much it means to you. If you feel it's in the best interest to remove me, then I guess I'll have to respect that. So... what are you going to do?”
“Hm,” the woman said thoughtfully before leaning down and giving Shion a quick peck on the lips. “I was thinking of something along the lines of dinner, then I was going to kiss you many, many times to make up for the last year I've spent not doing so, then I was going to take you back to my room so we can have a nice long talk about just how much I love you, Shion Uzuki.”
“I... I... oh my. I just... I never... I never even...” Shion babbled mindlessly, unable to take it all in. The woman laughed a sweet musical laugh and put her hands on Shion's shoulders, leaning in to give the stunned woman another quick kiss.
“Well don't think too long on it or I'll leave you here and go eat dinner by myself,” she said before spinning on her heel and taking a few steps toward the exit. She stopped and turned her head, eyes gleaming with mischief. “Oh and just so you know, I never hacked your diary!” Shion's eyes nearly popped out of her head.
“But... then how did you know I was in love with you!”
“I didn't, my cute little assistant just told me all about it!” The implications set in and Shion began sputtering in outrage. “Oh, and now that we're an item, you'll have to let me read those entries that describe me as sexy beyond words!” she called over her shoulder as she made for the exit.
“Oh! You... you're horrible Dr. Magdalene!” Shion shouted while running to catch up to the woman. Despite her outrage she couldn't help but giggle at the blue haired woman's antics. The woman stopped suddenly and spun around, forcing Shion to skid into the womans waiting arms.
“You know,” the woman said, cupping Shion's cheek in her hand, “if we're going to be together then it just wouldn't feel right being referred to as “Dr.” by my lover. From now on,” she leaned in close and brushed her lips against Shion's ear, “call me Mary,” she whispered softly before pulling back and capturing the young woman's lips in a long, passionate kiss.
I entered her room fully aware that she may view my actions as an invasion of her privacy. I was not concerned as there was only a twelve percent chance that she would be upset with my actions. I was, after all, merely complying to her desire for me to learn to act in a more human like manner. With the new option implanted in my data fields, I had decided that she herself would be the best subject.
My programming regarding interior decoration was limited, however, I found Shion's style to be efficient as well as pleasing to look at. As I made my way around the room, using stealth patterns to avoid waking the sleeping woman, I took note of each individual item and it's possible functions in my database for further examination. I did hesitate slightly when I reached her closet, the probability of creating an uncomfortable situation greatly increased if I should look inside.
I issued a notice to apologize for my actions when she awoke and opened the doors to take a cursory glance. My newfound sense of apprehension was building so I quickly scanned the styles and sizes of her wardrobe for further inquiry and closed the doors. Three seconds later I could detect her stirring and made my way to her bedside. Upon looking down at her sleeping face the now familiar twinge in my abdomen appeared.
I decided that the most efficient course of action would to ask her about my current situation and explain to her my desire to become more human for her. I sat down on her bed slowly to keep from disturbing her and waited for her to wake. Upon closer inspection of her face I noticed that a strand of her hair had fallen across it. I was surprised to find that the urge to reach out and brush it aside was nearly able to overwhelm my programming that prevented me from interrupting her sleep cycle for a non-emergency. In the end, the addition of yet another uncomfortable emotion was more than I was capable of withstanding and deemed it acceptable to wake her and apologize for my actions.
What we may become...
“Not now... sleepy.”
“Leave me alone, I'm tired!”
“Shion, I request that you wake up.”
“Oh! I said leave me alone!” I shouted, throwing off the sheets and sitting bolt upright only to meet KOS-MOS halfway in an impromptu kiss. At that moment I couldn't tell you what surprised me more, the fact that I was kissing KOS-MOS, or the fact that from the look in her eyes she was just as surprised as I felt. After a few tense moments her eyes seemed to harden back into their normal state, yet she made no move to pull away.
'Warm... her lips are warm...'
I shook the thought away and, with some reluctance I noticed, pulled away from the kiss to lay back down on the bed. She sat there leaning over me slightly, braced on one hand with her usual semi-emotionless look on her face. No, that wasn't quite right, there was something different in her eyes.
“Good morning, Shion,” she said, her voice jostling me from my chain of thought.
“G-Good morning, KOS-MOS,” I said, her standard waking response had thrown me off a little. “Um, may I ask what you're doing in my room?”
“I am here to inform you that I wish to use you as my example for learning to act more like a normal human. I also feel I must apologize for entering your private space and looking through your belongings without your permission.”
“I... okay... wait, what? Why did you look through my stuff?” My mind was spinning with everything that was happening.
“If you are to be my example I felt it was necessary to better understand how you live, Shion.” She seemed to hesitate for a moment. “Also, I was... I believe the proper description would be that I was curious.”
“And what did you learn?” I asked, quirking an eyebrow. This was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
“You're style of design for your living area is simple and efficient, I found it to be satisfactory. While examining your clothing I discovered that other than the swimming suit you wear on occasion, your fashion style is modest and appears to be assembled for comfort rather than accentuating your appearance.” I certainly hadn't been expecting that.
'Modest and assembled for comfort... KOS-MOS just called me frumpy!' “Well sorry for being such a poor example,” I said in mock outrage. “I wish I could pull off those skimpy outfits you wear!” The incredulity of the conversation had caused me to forget that she probably wouldn't understand.
“I do not understand, Shion. You wish to remove my clothing?” She asked, her head tilting very slightly to the side in a manner I did not recognize and found utterly adorable.
'What the hell is wrong with me? Trying to goad her like that...' I thought sullenly, shaking my head a little. “I'm sorry KOS-MOS, I'm still a little tired, ignore what I said.” The silence that followed brought the kiss back to the forefront of my attention, causing a blush to creep across my cheeks. I couldn't imagine a situation where her programming would have called for something like that so it had to of come from her growing sense of emotions.
“KOS-MOS... why did you kiss me?”
“It was a coincidence. I was trying to awaken you by shaking your shoulder, your reaction upon awakening brought our lips into contact with one another.” It was slight, but I noticed a small twitch in her eye. “I apologize for failing to prevent it,” she said, her voice again adopting the smallest hint something that sounded like apprehension.
“Oh...” I said quietly, finding that I was surprisingly disappointed.
“Your lips...” she said, then paused for a moment. I noticed that the eye twitch had returned. “Were they damaged from our... kiss?” The last word had come out as a throaty whisper that actually surprised both of us. My eyes went wide and she looked away with a hint of red in her normally pale cheeks. I couldn't help but smile.
“No KOS-MOS... it was wonderful. You're a very good kisser!” I said, giggling slightly. My happiness melted away when I saw her lower her head and sigh. “What's wrong KOS-MOS?” I asked, sitting up and sliding next to her. I had to lean down so I could look up into her face, she was crying. “Are you okay?”
“I'm,” she hitched, “confused, Shion. I am unfamiliar with these new emotions. I... I am afraid that I will not be able to become more human for you. The thought of disappointing you makes me feel sad and I am unfamiliar with this sadness which causes me to be confused and I am unfamiliar with confusion so it makes me afraid and I am...”
“Oh KOS-MOS!” I shouted, wrapping my arms around the crying android. “You could never disappoint me, I'm so proud of you for even trying to learn these things! You're doing something that no android has ever done before, and the fact that you can even feel all these things means you're doing a wonderful job!”
“Are you certain?” she asked, her crying stopping almost immediately.
“I'm certain,” I whispered, wiping the tears away from her cheeks. “Now, do you want to do go out and do something that may help you learn some things about being human?”
“Affirmative, Shion.” Her usual tone had returned, I had to struggle to hold back a frown.
“Good, then we're going shopping for some new clothes! A good friend of mine recently pointed out that I need to update my wardrobe...” I muttered sullenly. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear she was trying to hide a smile.