Note: This was written for the Zexal Flash Bingo challenge, for the prompt, "multiply".


Orbital fidgeted on the Tsukumos' doorstep, listening as someone inside shouted, "I'll get it!" A moment later, Akari opened the door.

"Oh, hey, you," she greeted. She shouted over her shoulder, "Hey, Obomi - your boyfriend's here!"

There was an inaudible reply from somewhere in the house, identifiable as Obomi's only by the faint electronic reverberation. Yuma shouted louder, "She says she'll be out as soon as she finishes getting the maple syrup off the fridge door!"

Akari scowled. "Why is there... never mind, I don't want to know." She turned back to Orbital. "Come on in and wait, I guess."

Orbital did as he was told, still feeling awkward. He hadn't had any trouble convincing Obomi that she should move in with him at Heartland Tower. What he hadn't been able to do was convince her that she shouldn't spend part of her day cleaning the Tsukumos' house. The more people looking after Yuma, she said, the better off they would all be.

At least waiting in the Tsukumos' house was interesting. The family all seemed to be home at the moment, so the house was lively. It seemed that Yuma's parents had either just come home from an expedition, or were about to leave for one, or both. Either way, there were a lot of crates and suitcases strewn around, and people kept putting things into them or taking them out again. Yuma was begging to be allowed to come along, while his sister kept telling him not to be a pest, and his grandmother kept reminding everyone involved to be careful.

Orbital felt a slight pang. Watching them made him feel oddly isolated. He loved his human family, but it still made him feel a bit sad that he was never going to have a family quite like this. The truth was, robots just didn't reproduce like humans. Given that his original purpose had been for childcare, it saddened him that he would never have any of his own.

At last, Obomi declared the house livable, and the two of them began a leisurely stroll back to Heartland Tower. Orbital enjoyed this part of the day. It was a time when no one was expecting him to get any work done, and Obomi's anecdotes about what the humans she cared for did were always amusing.

When they reached the front door, they found Kaito leaning on the wall next to it, looking impatient.

"There you two are," he said. "I need you for something."

Here we go, Orbital thought. More work...

To his surprise, though, Kaito produced a handheld projection screen.

"You two look these over," said Kaito. "Let us know if there's anything you want us to change before I start building them."

"Change?" Orbital repeated.

Kaito rolled his eyes. "Yes, change. I got Father to give me the plans to the O-Bots so I could incorporate their design with yours. See?"

He turned the screen, and Orbital looked up at the first pictures of his children.