Author's Note and Disclaimer: I do not own Cyborg 009 nor any of the characters. I just decided to write this after growing steadily involved with the series. I encourage you to go write your own Cyborg 009 fic as we need more! Only after reading this, of course. Hehehhe. Be aware that this contains slight 009/003 fluff. Enjoy!
001 = Ivan Whiskey
002 = Jet Link
003 = Françoise Arnou
004 = Albert Heinriche
005 = Geronimo Jr.
006 = Chang
007 = Great Britain
008 = Pyunma
009 = Joe Shinamura
The Swan's Waking
There was a routine of waking aboard the Dolphin, an ingrained schedule of events that commenced as soon as the sun peeked above the horizon line. It was enjoyable and perhaps even a little humorous at times but despite this he wouldn't have missed it for the world. Those cool and quiet pre-dawn hours were what he had come to dream of, a symbol of what could be good and wholesome about the world. The others knew it too and showed their gratitude in their own ways, some more subtle than others. Because of this, he wondered sometimes if she even knew how they felt. During the day, the team of mismatched cyborgs were a well oiled machine, every part clicking into place with usually a minimum of fuss. Times when they could actually sit around joking and teasing each other were rare and almost always ended in an attack that forced them to focus on more important things besides appreciating each other's presence. In Joe Shimamura's eyes though, this made the mornings even more precious to him.
They were hers.
Françoise Arnou was the only female aboard the Dolphin and as such held a few special privileges the others granted her without qualm. The crystal dolphins she hung about the control deck where occasionally grumbled about but never removed. If she spent extra time in the shower Jet would roll his eyes but would then offer to be the last one in and take the now cold water like a hero. At night there was a chorus of "sleep wells" when she yawned and said good night and if one or more of them walked by her room a few times more than necessary they wrote it off as making themselves available in case her enhanced senses caught any signal from Black Ghost. If she went off the ship there was an unspoken agreement that she wouldn't go alone if any of them could help it. She had become something important to each of them. Most the cyborgs thought of her like a little sister, to be protected and indulged and sometimes picked on good naturedly. To others she was a comforting presence if a weak point in their chain of soldiers. To him she was… Well, it wasn't clear exactly what she was but the thought of her kindness seemed to brighten his darkest moments. It was why he rose early just to watch her.
The others did it too, of course, while pretending they had risen because they didn't need to sleep or that they needed to get started on breakfast in Chang's case. Joe merely poured himself a glass of orange juice and watched as 003 went about her early habits.
As the Dolphin lay still and dim in the minutes before sunlight would spill in through the windows, Françoise would sit by Ivan's cradle and hum to him, bringing him awake to the sound of her soft voice. The baby would then lay there calmly, just listening to her as she filled the air with delicate notes that faded away almost before he could hear them. Albert would just happen to walk by during this time, glancing only briefly at 003 and 001 before settling himself down look at whatever reading material happened to be nearby. It all looked very casual and unplanned but Joe knew the truth. Albert liked to hear her sing.
For Ivan's part, he had always been most comfortable with Dr. Gillmore or 003. It was no surprise that she returned the feeling. She would sit there, the creamy skin of her swan-like neck exposed as she bent over the cradle, murmuring to the baby and Joe would have to look away, struggling to control a blush.
She was too beautiful in the morning.
After making sure Ivan was ready for the day she would go and help Chang in the kitchen, oblivious to the fact that she wasn't that great a cook. Her tender personality did not allow her to stand idle if someone needed help, the same way her naïve outlook on the world made her trust everyone she met. He would have thought she would have lost her faith in humanity long ago when she had been kidnapped off the streets and thrown to the mercies of the Organization's evil labs. That was not the case. If anything, Françoise cared more because now she knew there were other victims besides herself. She was a great champion of the underdog and he sometimes wondered if he loved her for it.
Geronimo, Britain, and Pyunma would then join the growing crowd in the lobby, Françoise coming out to talk with them cheerfully, her laughter easing all of their tension. And then Dr. Gillmore would come to stand next to him, his eyes on the female cyborg, and whisper his wisdom for the day.
"Sometimes I wonder what we would do without 003. Her delicate touch is what brings this place to life."
The good doctor would then smile at the contemplative look on 009's face before going off to wrangle a bagel from Chang. Joe would stay and wait and soon his patience would pay off. Chang's call for breakfast would get everyone moving and as Françoise went to get Ivan from his cradle, Joe would join her, watching as the new sunlight caught in the golden strands of her hair.
"Good morning, 009," she would say, lips curving in a smile that made his throat feel suddenly tight. He would answer likewise, admiring the grace of her movements as she lifted Ivan into her arms, the baby cyborg curling against her, perfectly at ease. When had he come to treasure those seconds by her side? To hold them in his mind during the worst of battles, a serene image he fought to feel again after everything was over.
To each of them she was something different. A sister, a friend, a mother, a teammate, a wish. She was that tiny piece of normalcy they all needed to get through their hectic days.
Her small hand would reach out and slip into his, her fingers linking them together as she pulled him gently towards the kitchen.
"Come on, Joe. 007 will eat everything if we don't hurry." And those blue eyes would look into him and he would forget about battles and assassins and Black Ghost, only one pure thought in his head.
Oh how he loved mornings.