Title: You're my family

Author: Danielle Swinton

Rating: PG

Archive: Sure!

Feedback: Please!!!

Disclaimer: DreamWorks owns them; I just play with them.

Warning: Alternative Universe, own characters

Notes: This fic is slightly inspired by the movie "E.T." (I'm not saying that if follows the E.T storyline, it just has some ideas from it) and Phil Collins's song "You'll be in my Heart" (this song talks about two different people who love each other against all odds)

Summary: What would have happened if someone besides the Swintons had adopted David? A simple college girl loses her brother, and she finds someone new to love. But this person is not like she expected it to be...will she be able to break her stereotypes and accept this special person?

Chapter 1: The Loss

Monday morning, 6 o'clock. Another class day...I woke up and took a quick shower. Then I got dressed and prepared the breakfast for my brother and me.

"Robert, wake up! You'll be late for class!" I screamed.

"In a minute, Emily!" he said from his room.

'Little brothers' I thought, as I put Robert's lunch in his lunchbox.

He ran down the stairs, almost falling down. He quickly stood up and laughed innocently. Then he sit down in front of me to eat breakfast.

He ate as I looked at him. A short, brown-haired and green-eyed boy. His skin was pale, slightly dusted with freckles. People says he looks like my dad, and that I look like my mom. They both died some years ago...

"Come on, Robbie" I said, as we ran to our car "We'll be late for class"

"Okay" he said.

We entered into the car, and I took him to his school. I stopped right in front of the school door, and I walked him there.

"Bye, Robbie" I said "Don't forget your sweater again, okay sweetie?"

"Fine" he said, and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

"Have a nice day! See you at home!" I shouted, and I went back to the car to go to university.

--------------------------------------

As I drove to university, I remembered everything I had to do, like checking my homework, take some tests, and in afternoon buy some food for Robbie and me. Needless to say that I live with Robbie; our dad died two years ago, my mom left us when Robbie was born. And I have to take care of my little brother. I have no problem with that, because I've always looked out for him, and I love children. My aunt comes to our house sometimes, but not very often; she just gives us some money and helps me in my half-time job. So I'm like a mom for Robbie. I'm the only mother he knows...

--------------------------------------

I arrived to the Faculty, and I found my friend Sarah. She's been my friend since the first year of high school, and we studied together. Her mother works for Cybertronics, and she always has the latest news about technology.

"Hey Emily" she said, as we walked to class "Have you heard of the new kind of Mecha?"

"What? A new Mecha?" I asked. Oh, God. She was so obsessed with those things. Okay, her mom's company builds robots, but...

"Yeah! Mom said that Dr. Hobby has just patented a new kind of Mecha...a Mecha child"

"A robo-child?" I asked, annoyed "Oh, Jesus...we have mecha chefs, Mecha-lovers, Mecha-Nannies, Mecha-Butlers, Mecha-Maids...what will be next?!" I rolled my eyes. Sarah put a hand in my shoulder.

"Don't be so silly, Emily" she said "These new Mechas are special. When mom brought him home, I thought he was some neighbour's son. They make them so realistic that you think they're just real kids"

"A Robo-boy like a real kid? Now YOU'RE the silly one" I laughed.

"Don't judge a book by its cover, hun" she said, and we entered to our class.

--------------------------------------

"A sensory toy, with intelligent behavioural circuits, using neurone-sequencing technology as old as I am." The man in the video said.

"Why do we have to watch this?" I whispered to Sarah, and the teacher paused the video.

"This video is really important, because it explains a lot about the new kind of robots being sold...we know them as Mecha-Childs" she answered "It's a big step for technology, and as future Computer Scientists, you should be interested on this...specially you, miss Santonio" she added, looking at me.

"Oh, great" I rolled my eyes.

"I shall continue with the movie, if you don't mind" the teacher said.

"Yeah, yeah...whatever" I said, annoyed; the teacher replayed the video.

"I believe that my work on mapping the impulse pathways in a single neurone can enable us to construct a mecha of a qualitatively different order. I propose that we build a robot, who can love."

Everybody gasped, and I yawned.

"Emily, please" Sarah said.

"Love like the love of a child for its parents. I propose that we build a robot child, who can love. A robot child who will genuinely love the parent or parents it imprints on, with a love that will never end"

'Oh, man…come on! That's stupid! How can a robot love? That's impossible. Completely ridiculous' I thought, and then I said "This is a fool! They're just Mechas, they have no will! They just do whatever we ask them to do!"

"But a mecha with a mind, with neuronal feedback. You see what I'm suggesting is that love will be the key by which they acquire a kind of subconscious never before achieved. An inner world of metaphor, of intuition, of self motivated reasoning. Of dreams"

"Did that answer your question, miss Santonio?" the teacher said.

I was so stunned that I didn't say a word.

"For next week, please bring a report about the Mecha-Childs, their system, robotic parts, their qualities and updates" the teacher said, as we left.

--------------------------------------

That afternoon, I was working in my aunt's office (I have a half-time job there, so I can afford my career and my other things), and Sarah called me. She came to my office and we got out when I finished doing some reports.

"Sarah, it's just stupid" I told her while we got to my house to study "A Mecha-Child? A robot with emotions? We all know that robots are the most senseless things in the world!"

"Emily, why do you hate mechas so much?"

"I don't hate them!" I protested "It's just that they're so..."

"Strange? Unusual?"

"Yes, specially this new Mecha-Childs. I don't know what would I do if I ever saw one"

"Just treat them as you would do with a normal kid" Sarah suggested.

"But it will be hard..."

"Tell me about it" she sighed "When my mom brought Darlene home, I was a little reluctant at the beginning. But she's so adorable and kind that now all my family loves her! She's a little angel"

"But that's your family, Sarah! They're used to see and treat robots full time! That wouldn't happen to people like me. Just imagine if my aunt Emma came with one of those robo-kids!"

"But she's like...from Stone Age!" she laughed.

--------------------------------------

We entered home, and it was desert. That was strange, because Robbie usually runs to me and gives me a hug...where was he?

"How strange" I said "Robbie? Where are you, honey? Come here!" I shouted.

The main door opened, and I ran, hoping to see Robbie, but there was a policeman instead. What was going on?

"Eh...what's wrong, sir? Where's my brother? Have you seen him?" I asked.

"Miss Santonio, I have bad news for you" he said "A school bus was in the road this afternoon. A truck passed by, and it hit the bus...the driver was probably drunk. No one survived"

I couldn't speak. I couldn't believe it. In that bus…there was my brother…he…

"Robbie…" I whispered, falling down to the floor "Oh, no..." I hid my face between my hands and cried...I knew what happened, but I didn't want to hear it. Robbie, my beloved little brother, had died...

--------------------------------------

Days passed by, but I couldn't forget him. I received all my friends' condolences, but I was so devastated that I couldn't attend the funeral. Everyday I visited his tomb, and all I could see was that blank, senseless piece of stone, which had an inscription on it:

Robert Armand Santonio (2025-2036)

Gone at the age of 11

I stayed there for a long time, praying. Then I went back home, and dumped myself into my bed. I didn't even go to class, I was crying all the time.

I was where it used to be Robbie's bed, with a picture in my hands. There were Robbie, my dad, and me. The 2 closest people of my life. My dad died 2 years ago…and now Robbie's gone…I cried again.

--------------------------------------

"This is a tough decision, isn't it?" a woman said to a man in front of a computer.

"Yes, it's always been" he answered "Dr. Hobby, we're choosing a student from Harvard to have one of our prototypes" he added to a man besides him.

"Well…who do you have in mind?" Dr. Hobby asked.

"I've thought about these students" the other man said, showing the students' pictures. "They're all good students, have a good life style, and…in this special case, a tragedy that might qualify her above the rest" he added, displaying the picture of a young, brown-haired, brown-eyed young woman. "Emily Santonio, 20 years old, Computer Sciences student"

"Fine. We'll meet her" Dr. Hobby said, and his team got out of the room.

*Author's Note: That part is not narrated by Emily, it happens in another place, and Emily doesn't know*