Nothing for Nothing
Summary: Roger Smith's life could be better: his butler needs a raise, his 'maid' is a snippy robot, and the closest thing he has to a girlfriend is a giant mecha in an abandoned subway system. [Possible prologue to a longer series.]

At precisely 6:00 A.M., in place of the alarm clock most citizens used, the delicate sounds of a complex orchestra piece reached the negotiator's sensitive ears and, as he did every morning, he muttered an incomprehensible curse and struggled to mold a pillow over his head in a sandwich of white fluff. This was a mostly useless effort, for his body operated in such a way that as soon as he was remotely disturbed from sleep he would remain awake, and this was why Dorothy R. Waynewright had hell to pay. As close to hell as a robot could get, in any case. "I'm up," he groaned into the folds of the overstuffed pillows, blindly ignoring the fact that his voice was swallowed up by the vastness of his room and the cloth obscuring his mouth. Despite the fact that his head was completely covered and that his bedroom door was closed, he swore he could hear the piano keys dancing merrily along.

Once his bedside clock blithely clicked to 6:02 A.M., he tossed the pillow aside and sat up, opting to fix his potentially lethal glare on the opposite side of the room. Nothing happened, of course, and he was left with a disgruntled feeling he felt he needed to share with the rest of the household, small though it may be. Thusly, he swung his feet over the bed and stretched his toes along the thick carpeting surrounding his oasis (for the most part) of sleep, standing after a moment. Once he focused on his closet, he crossed the floor in a few, quick steps thanks to his lanky legs; he stumbled once or twice in a drunken manner, due to extreme exhaustion, no thanks to the slightly homicidal citizens of Paradigm City.

With little pomp or flair, he threw the exquisitely carved closet doors open, stared at the ruffled white undershirts and silken black dresses for all of ten seconds, and slammed the doors shut once more, bellowing a single word.


In the kitchen, Norman busied himself with beating the brilliant golden egg yolks, allowing only the most miniscule of smiles to cross his mustached face. One must take extreme measures when one needed a raise.


"I do not know how my clothing got into your room," Dorothy insisted in a cool, detached voice, narrowing her onyx eyes in a way that should have warned him had he been paying the attention he normally gave her. At the moment, he was too busy fuming at the fact that he had to wear his pajamas to breakfast (and most likely for the rest of the day if he didn't manage to locate his damn clothes), and the fact that, suspiciously, his wardrobe had been filled with Dorothy's slightly more feminine clothing. And there was no way that he would wear any one of her dresses, come hell, high water, and Beck in a pink evening gown, so pajamas were his current clothes of choice.

"But they were in my closet!" he argued to the best of his ability, spearing his scrambled eggs a bit more viciously than normal. At the far end of the table, where she dipped at her tea disinterestedly, Dorothy arched a slender red eyebrow and tapped her spoon on the mouth of the teacup. As if in hopes to clarify it further, he repeated, "My closet!"

"Roger Smith, you are an idiot," Dorothy informed him and she sipped at her tea in a mood he could only describe as smug. Damn it, she was getting more human by the moment.

"So am I to assume your clothes magically left your chambers and reappeared in my own?" he continued, stuffing the eggs into his mouth angrily and chewing briefly before swallowing. "It's not possible!"

Dorothy was opening her mouth to comment yet again on her beloved friend's complete lack of any common sense when Norman, showing impeccable timing as usual, stepped gracefully into the room and deposited a large plastic basket on the table a scant inch from Roger's laden plate. Cautiously pulling his plate closer to himself, the broad-shouldered man eyed it carefully. "What the hell is that?" he asked punctually.

"Your clothing, Master Roger," Norman replied dryly. "Shall I recommend dry-cleaning?"

To Roger's horror, a pool of black-stained water trailed out through the grill opening on the side of the basket, permeating the polished wooden surface of the table like a horrid infection. Bolting to his feet, he stared down into the contents of the white basket, a wave of horror assaulting his stomach. What had once been black suits and white undershirts was now a hideous mass of revolting grey tones and soggy, knotted clothing.

"Oh, and Major Dastun is downstairs," Norman added as if in an afterthought, turning to walk smoothly out of the room. Dorothy sipped at her tea.


Blabble: Short fic? Oh, yes. Pointless? Of course! Continuation? If ya'll want one.

Disclaimer: In order to protect my financial future, I am obligated to say I Do Not Own the characters in the above piece of work. No matter how I try to delude myself into thinking so, I have never owned them. I only like throwing Roger and Dorothy into romantic situations and mocking the continuity of various series. I like the manga! But I don't own that either. However, I do own this fanfic, and I'll work out whether or not that's something to be proud of later.