Paring: Dylan/Rommie

Rating: PG-13 (for the angst)

Archive: AU yes, everyone else must ask first

Feedback: Constructive criticisms always welcomed. Flames cheerfully ignored.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but a twisted sense of humour

Spoilers: The Banks of the Lethe (#108)

Summery: Rommie's thinks about her friendship with Dylan…

Touch

I stand alone on the observation deck, just looking out at the stars. I don't know why I am, I just do. Maybe it's because it's what he does when he wants to think things through. Maybe I just like looking at the stars with my own eyes for a change.

I know he's coming even before the door open, and I am ready to go if he wanted to be alone, but instead he stands behind me and draped his arms around me in a friendly way. He's always doing that when we're alone: touching me in what he considers a friendly way, not know what it does to me, how it makes me feel.

"When I touch you, do you feel me?"

I remember that conversation well, but then, I remember every conversation I've ever had. Which also means I remember the pain I felt when he said it, the way he looked when he was told he had a chance to be with his beloved Sera again. He thinks I was just doing my duty as his fellow officer: to offer the other side of the argument, to play the devil advocate.

He doesn't know that I was scared of losing him to Sera once and for all.

I stand as still as I can, it takes all my self-control to hide my reactions to his touch. I wish I could show him how he makes me feel, and if I where human, I would. But I'm not human, even if I look and act like one: I'm just a modified General Utility Android that Harper adjusted to look like my AI persona. Or rather, Andromeda's AI personae: I think it's obvious that we're not the same person anymore.

Damn you Harper, why did you have to do such a good job building me? You said you wanted me to be able to experience the full range of human life, and you built me with parts that most Avatars manage quite well without. I have heightened senses of touch and hearing, as well as a few other bits he added for his own personal reasons. He then programmed me to react like a regular Human, letting me cry, laugh, and love. Thanks to Harper, I've been driven to the brink of insanity one more than one occasion when my emotions have gotten the better of me.

I suppress a sigh as Dylan gently rests his chin on the top of my head. He sees me as a friend, a college, a fellow officer, nothing more. I keep my eyes focused on the stars, trying not to look at his reflection, trying not to react the warmth of his body, the feel of having him so close to me.

We stand like that for over an hour, with me playing the caring friend, never disclosing my true feelings. In the end, he kissing me on the top of the head, bids me goodnight, and walks off. As soon as the doors close after him, I lock them securely, and collapse on the deck, sobbing, the built-up tension finally finding a way out.

"When I touch you, do you feel me?"

Yes Dylan, in more ways then you'll ever know.

The End.