1:46 – The truth of the matter

With both kids off visiting Itsuki and Nagisa for the day, she had managed to make him promise that they would be home, and talk properly about everything.

“You realize you missed their birthday?”

She hated the way this made her feel, part of her wanted to hug him and try and just make things better, but the side of her that wanted to protect what they had, and their kids knew this time, a hug just wouldn’t help them.

“I need to know what you work so hard for.. Luna thinks you hate her, Hank.. well he is Hank, he just says you have to work.”
“Wait.. what?”
“Yeah, since you are never home, and she doesn’t see you, she thinks you hate her, and her brother. Since.. their not your’s.”

He just looked at her dumbfounded. He knew he had worked a lot, but that it had this affect on them all he hadn’t imagined.

“Do you think so too.. that I am spending all this time at work, because their “not mine?”
“I don’t know what to think, whenever I ask you, it’s just work, and about keeping us safe, but is it?”
“Of course it is.. why would I lie?”
“Because they are not your’s are they.. “

She noticed the led light on the side of his head flicker, before it went back to blue.

“I see them as mine, why wouldn’t I see them as mine?”
“I was never your’s.”
“That is completely different, and you know it.”
“Is it? How is it different? You don’t have DNA, you are an android! None of you is in them….”

She stopped, as the words left her mouth it hit her what she had just yelled at him. For the first time since she was little, she had called him an android, and the intense yellow to red flicker of his led light told her just how much that had hurt for him to hear.

“I’m sorry.. that was..”
“It’s true, they don’t have any of me in them biologically, but I do see them as mine..”
“Then be with them, make them see it, make me see it.”
“I want to.. I wish I could.”
“Then tell me why you can’t and not the old answer of work, the real truth.”
“I don’t want you to have to handle the same worry..”
“I already do, by not knowing, but only having to guess.”

He sighed, he didn’t want to tell her all of it, he really didn’t want her to have to share his worry, to scare her with something that might not ever happen to them, but if it was what he had to do.

“The short version.. androids were killed, their human friends missing never to be heard from again. Even children went missing with if they were human.”
“And.. ?”
“They all have certain things in common. The humans that are missing have or have had children, their androids were destroyed completely, beyond any repair.”

It suddenly dawned on her why he had been so adamant for them to move, and also, why he worked so hard all the time. They fit the description of these families down to a tee.. even more so after her having children.”
“Another thing is that all the humans that went missing was from Del Sol, they were also famous in one way or the other.”
“So.. in short, they were us?”

She could hear her own heartbeat, and how her palms went all cold and sweaty.

“You should have told me Liam.”
“I wanted to.. but I didn’t want to scare you.”
“Did Carl tell Marjorie?”

They sat there in silence for a bit, neither quite sure what to say, or how to take the next step from here. Madison trying to deal with the idea that they were all in danger, and perhaps if she hadn’t pushed it, she would have been better off.

“Has it happened recently?
“No.. and that worries me even more.”
“It does?”
“Yes, it makes them harder to find, and with that puts you and everyone else at a bigger risk.”

She noticed the telltale signs of a message coming in on his system, it was like a very specific eye twitch he did when they happened.

“I know this is the last words you want to hear.. but I have to go into work now. We had another incident. I promise I won’t be home late okay?”

As he walked off, it was like a chill swept over her even though it was a warm autumn day, and a part of her wanted to run and grab him and beg to go with him. Instead she just sat there, her mind repeating all the things he had just told her, trying not to let panic overtake her completely.

“Heeey, did you miss us that much?”
“Okay, so how about a trip to the dog-park?”

Madison had called them a little after Liam had left for work, telling them they could come home whenever they wanted too.

“I wonder what my mom and dad talked about though.. I guess you know?”
“It was important enough for them to send us away.. and talk to Nagisa for a very long time after telling us we could come home.. “

She shook her head, leaving a note that the two were going to the dog-park to practice Kaya’s agility training.

“Okay, let’s try this again.”

She had found some books in the library about how to try and run these courses, so they were learning as they were going. And although she tried her best to focus, her mind went back to what she imagined had transpired earlier that day.

“Kaya, do you think they will break up, all because of me and Hank?”

Kaya just tilted her head. She didn’t quite understand what she was saying, but as a dog, he easily understood that she was sad.

“Nah, they won’t, trust me.”

She spun around from the voice, seeing Ben stand there behind her with a smile.

“Why are you here?”
“Your dad asked me to see if you were okay.”
“He did?”
“Yup, both he and my dad came home early today.”

“Why would he send you though?”
“I think, he knows we get along well, and besides, I am sure he wanted some time to talk with your brother.”
“Ah.. “
“I dunno.. I still think he hates me.”
“Why would you think that?”
“Because he is never home, and mom always told me stories of how it was when she was my age..”
“Can I make a wierd suggestion?”
“Talk to him about it, give him the chance too explain.. I think after today, he will.”

“I’m not quite ready to head home yet.”
“That’s fine with me little lady, my parents are having yet another talk too, I’d rather just stay here with you for now.”

She smiled as they watched the stars together. She had always liked Ben, from when she was very little, but now, she had to admit, she did a little more than just like him. Not that she would tell him that of course, they were just friends.

“Heh, come on Kaya, I think it’s time we take your owner home, don’t you?”
“I knew you would agree.”

With a sleeping Luna in his arms and Kaya following beside him, he left the dog-park. He wasn’t exactly looking forwards to going home himself, but it would just be what it was.

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