Why, Shimbo?

~*~ AN: hey guys!! This is just a short little one-shot, following a conversation between Chii and Shimbo. Just note that this really doesn't have a time to it as in where it would fall into the series, but I've only read 4 of the mangas and I only saw the first 4 episodes, so my knowledge is pretty much limited. Hey, go easy on me ~_^

disclaimer: whenever CLAMP decides to put Shimbo up for auction on E-Bay, I'll be there. Until then, no one's mine. ~_^

idea stealer: dude, so not cool.

~*~

"Chii? Are you dressed yet? I'll be late if I don't leave soon!" Hideki reminded his persocom as he waited in the other room for het to change. "Chii is done!" she called in response. He sighed as he walked back into the room, too lazy to hurry, even if he was late. He made his way to the door and put his shoes on, looking over his shoulder to say, "I'm just gonna go see if Shimbo left yet. I'll be right back, alright Chii?" Chii raised an eyebrow curiously. "Hideki go out now?"

"That's right, Chii. Just for a minute." he said with such patience you would use when speaking with a 4-year-old child. Chii nodded, and he turned to leave.

"Hey, Shimbo!" Hideki called as he knocked his knuckles against his neighbor's door. "You still here, dude?"

"I said OPEN!"

"I told you, Sumomo! I don't need it!"

"OPEN!"

Shimbo opened the door with a pant, having just run across his whole apartment trying to dodge Sumomo. "Oh, hey, Hideki. . ." Not sure he wanted to know what exactly was going on, Hideki evaded the subject of Shimbo's persistent laptop for the moment. "Er. . . You ready yet?"

"Ah, Sorry, dude. . . I'm not going to school today, I feel sic- OOF!" Shimbo cried, clutching his stomach, where Sumomo had poked him with a thermometer in an attempt to get up on his shoulder. Shimbo growled and tried to grab at Sumomo, who scurried across the room with a squeak. "That is IT, young lady! Give that to me, RIGHT NOW!" He scooped her up and pulled the thermometer out of her hand, letting her fall back onto the floor. "Now, you can go sit on your charger and think about what you've done."

"But Master. . ." Sumomo whined. "And you can come off when you're ready to apologize." he continued, as if he hadn't heard her. "Hop to it, Missy!" And with that, Sumomo dragged herself over to a small, black laptop charger in the corner of the room that automatically sent her into standby mode. Shimbo sighed and walked back to the front door. "Sorry about that." He apologize to Hideki. "I KNEW I never should have installed that health instruction program on her. Anyway, I'm staying home." Hideki nodded, and looked to his apartment to see if Chii was looking before motioning for Shimbo to come closer. He did, and Hideki whispered, "In that case, can you do me a favor? You know how I hate leaving Chii alone like this. She really worries me. Do you mind if she hangs around with you guys today? She'll give you a hand." Shimbo shrugged his shoulders. "Sure, no problem." Hideki sighed with relief. "Thanks, man. . . I really appreciate it."

"Don't think of it. Just send her over." Hideki nodded. "I will. Feel better, and I'll be sure to bring your work over, since the Good Lord knows you'll be thinking about it all day." He said with mock sarcasm. Shimbo grunted. "Yet I continue to do you favors. . . One day your luck's gonna run out, Motosuwa. Then we'll see who's bringing who's work home."

Hideki started to walk backwards towards his apartment before he saluted Shimbo and called, "You know it!"

"Hey, Chii!" Hideki called as he entered his apartment. Chii closed her book and looked to Hideki. "Chii?"

"Hey, how would you like to spend the day at Shimbo's? He's not going to school today, so you guys can keep each other company. How about that?" He asked gently as he sat down next to her. Chii looked at him for a moment. "Why does Shimbo not go to school today, and Hideki does?" She asked. "He's sick." Chii looked at him curiously. "Shimbo is sick?" Hideki nodded. "That's right, Chii." Her expression didn't change. "Chii does not understand."

"Well . . . Sick is like. . . when you don't feel normal, and you don't want to get out of bed." Chii pondered that. "But. . . Hideki never wants to get out of bed. . . So Hideki is sick?" At that response, Hideki gave an old fashioned anime-styled fall. "No, Chii, I'm not sick. That's different. Sick is when you feel all nasty, like you're gonna throw up."

"So that means Shimbo throw up?" She asked. Hideki shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe. Do you get it now?" Chii nodded cheerfully. "Chii understands."

"Good. So how about I take you to Shimbo's, and then I can come and get you after school. Ok?" Chii nodded. "Chii will go to Shimbo's house, and Chii will help Shimbo because Shimbo is sick." Hideki smiled and nodded. "Good girl, Chii. Now. . ." he started, checking his watch, "Let's go before I'm even more late."

~*~

"Chii did it!" Chii said proudly, bringing a small, steaming bowl from Shimbo's kitchen. She sat at his bedside and put the bowl down on the table next to her. "Now what does Chii do?" she asked him curiously. He smiled. "That's ok, Chii. I'll take it from here." And he slowly lifted the hand towel out of the hot water, wrung it so it didn't drip, and placed it on his forehead. "Ah, much better. Good job, Chii." Shimbo said cheerfully, following Hideki's strict orders to compliment her on a good job whenever possible, just to build a little self esteem in her. She beamed.

Chii turned her head and stared at the clock for what seemed the thousandth time that day. *I'll be home at 4:30.* Hideki had told her. But when was that, exactly?

"It's 10:23." Chii turned her head back quickly, startled. "Chii?" Shimbo nodded his head towards the clock. "The time. It's 10:23." Chii looked down into her lap. "Chii. . ." she said quietly, as if she understood what he was saying. He raised an eyebrow. "You mean. . . you can't tell time?" she shook her head. "Hideki says that Hideki will be home every day at 4:30, But Chii does not know when that is. And sometimes Hideki comes home later because Hideki goes to work so Hideki can get papers to buy stuff with." Shimbo raised an eyebrow. "Paper? You mean money?" Chii nodded. "That's what Hideki says it is." Shimbo nodded slowly. "Oh, so that's how it is. Well, if it's 10:25 now, then that means he'll be home in six hours and five minutes. . . That is, if he doesn't have work today." Chii looked sad. "Is that a long time?" Shimbo looked at her sympathetically. *Wow, she's really attached to him, isn't she?* he thought sadly. "Um. . . It's a little long. . . but it won't be all day, I promise. . . He'll be home before it's dark out, ok?" Chii nodded slowly, obviously disappointed. Shimbo paused before speaking again. He sighed and asked, "Are you sad?" She didn't move her gaze from her lap, but responded quietly, "Chii doesn't like it when Hideki goes out, because Hideki is away from Chii for a long time, and it makes Chii sad because Chii is all alone."

Silence followed her explanation. Sumomo switched back into active mode, having picked up on the conversation, but she did not move from her place, nor did she declare she had come out of standby mode. She just waited for someone to speak.

Knowing that Chii most definitely would not have taken the initiative to speak, Shimbo decided to go first. "He doesn't like to leave you alone. But sometimes, he has to. Because he has to go to school, and he has to work so you can both live. It's tough on him." Chii wrung her hands together. "Why does Hideki not let Chii go too?" she questioned, almost arguing Shimbo's logic. "Well, sometimes he can't."

Shimbo took a moment to really look at Chii. She looked as if she was close to crying. *Wow, her emotion software is really hi-tech stuff. . . It's almost as if she really is sad.* Chii looked up at the clock again, just staring at it, as if she was intent on waiting for every second until Hideki arrived back the apartment complex. All of a sudden, she lifted her hand and patted her chest, as if to put her hand over her heart if she was human. "Right here." she said simply. Shimbo tilted his head. "Hm?"

"Chii feels sad right here when Hideki leaves. Really sad." Shimbo's jaw dropped. "And when Hideki comes home, Chii feels happy here. Chii feels REALLY happy here when Chii gives Hideki hugs." Shimbo stuttered, at a complete loss for words. "Holy. . . You mean, you have actual emotions?! There's no way!" Chii looked at him, puzzled. "Chii?" "Right there!" he said excitedly, amazed at the discovery. He pointed at her chest. "You feel happy and sad right there, right?" Chii nodded slowly. "Haha! That's AWESOME! I've never heard of a persocom that has actual emotions!" She tilted her head. "Shimbo does not feel happy and sad here?" He shook his head. "No, people feel that way, but persocoms don't." She blinked and averted her eyes to Sumomo, sitting in the corner. "Sumomo does not feel?" she asked. Shimbo motioned his hand back and forth. "Not really. Sumomo's programming tells her how someone like her would feel about things, she doesn't actually feel emotions. But you. . . Your heart hurts, and it gets happy. . . That's amazing." he said thoughtfully. He gently placed her hand back on her bosom. "That's called your heart, Chii."

"Chii's heart. . ." She repeated. Shimbo nodded. "That's right. Your heart tells you all sorts of stuff. Like who you hate, who's your friend," Shimbo paused. "Who you love." Chii blinked. "Shimbo? What does that mean?"

Shimbo pondered the question for a moment. What IS love, anyway? How was he supposed to explain it? "Well, love is when someone makes your heart beat really fast. . . when you like someone a lot. When you REALLY like someone."

"Hideki?" Chii proposed. Shimbo paused. Even after listening to her say how much she missed him for the past half hour, he never would have expected her to come out and suggest something like that. He should have guessed. . . Whenever she spoke his name, her voice, her eyes. . . they became so gentle and warm. Almost even affectionate. The fact that she knew nothing about the concept of love definitely added to the possibility. Shimbo thought hard for a moment; what if Chii really WAS in love with Hideki?

"When you're with him sometimes. . ." he started. "Do you just wanna get up and hug him?" Chii nodded. "Chii feels like that lots." Shimbo continued. "And when he talks to you, do all of the bad things go away?" Again, she nodded. "Hideki makes Chii feel happy." Shimbo continued. "And when he hugs you, does your heart beat really fast? And you feel warm?" Chii closed her eyes, as if to remember the last time Hideki embraced her. "Chii feels like that lots, too." Shimbo smiled and shook his head in disbelief. "Chii. . . I think you might just love Hideki."

Chii paused. "Hideki is. . . The someone just for Chii?" Shimbo nodded slowly, questioning where she'd learned something like that. "Maybe he is." Chii smiled. "Chii loves Hideki. . ." she said, as if to confirm Shimbo's point. She looked up. "Does Shimbo love someone?" Shimbo smiled and nodded. "Sure. I love a lot of people. My family, my friends, Sumomo."

"Sumomo." Chii repeated. "Sumomo is the someone just for Shimbo?" Shimbo shook his head. "No, Chii. I love Sumomo, but it's a different kind of love." He looked to the corner, where Sumomo was still pretending to be in standby mode. "I love Sumomo a lot." Thinking that this was possibly the safest time to come off her charger, Sumomo slowly inched off, and continued a bit faster when Shimbo didn't tell her to go back.

"There's my pretty little girl." Shimbo said gently as she cuddled herself into the palm of his hand. He stroked her hair affectionately. "See, Chii? I love Sumomo as if she was my daughter. That's different for you and Hideki." Chi tilted her head. "Daughter? Chii does not understand."

"Master is my daddy." Sumomo clarified. Chii nodded. "Chii understands." Shimbo lowered his face to his little 'daughter' and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.

"What did Shimbo just do?" Chii asked curiously. "That's called a kiss, Chii. It's like saying 'I love you', only in a different kind of way." Shimbo explained. "Kiss." Chii repeated.

Sumomo blinked her eyes sleepily."Just because you kissed me doesn't mean I forgot." Shimbo looked at her, puzzled. "I still have to take your temperature." He groaned.

Chii giggled and looked at her hands in her lap, a fond smile on her lips. *Love.* she thought. *That is what makes Chii happy with Hideki. Hideki is Chii's special someone.* She looked up. "Shimbo?" He looked at her. "Hm?"

"Shimbo and Sumomo are Chii's friends."

Sumomo smiled. "That's right!" she said in her normal, cheery voice. Shimbo nodded. "Yup. Chii is our friend, too."

~*~

"Hello? Shimbo? Chii? You guys there?" Chii turned her head to the door. "Hello?" the voice came again. A smile sprang on her face. "Hideki!" she called, and she rushed to the door to let him in. She opened it and instantly jumped in his arms, more sunny than she had been the whole day. He smiled and put his arm around her. "Was my Chii a good girl at Shimbo's today?" Chii nodded obediently. "Chii was good! Chii helped Shimbo because Shimbo is sick!" He nodded. "Good girl. Now, why don't you go wait for me at home? I'll be right there." Chii nodded, gave Hideki one final squeeze, and rushed down the hall to Hideki's apartment.

"Well well. Look who's here." Shimbo mocked as he made his way to the door. "How was she?" Hideki asked. "She was great. She helped out a lot." Shimbo assured his friend. Hideki sighed. "Thanks for watching her, dude. I really appreciate it."

"It was no trouble at all. Oh, one more thing; Ya know how you've been pissed at the sanitation crew lately, because they take forever to pick up the trash?" Shimbo asked. Hideki raised an eyebrow, not aware of the point, but responded anyway. "Yeah. Why?"

"Don't be. In fact, I want ya to write a letter to them. Say thanks."

"Thanks for what?"

"Well, isn't it obvious?" Shimbo said with a laugh. "Thanks for the most important thing you'll ever have your entire life."

"Uh. . . yeah." Hideki said uneasily. "Well, thanks again. I gotta go."

"See ya!" and with that, Shimbo closed the door and went back inside. Hideki, however, went to his own apartment, where Chii was waiting patiently for him. "Shimbo said you were very good today." Hideki complimented her. She rose from her spot and gazed at him for a moment. Hideki paused. That wasn't how Chii normally looked at him.

"Hideki?" Chii whispered, breaking the silence. "Yes, Chii?" he replied, just as quiet. Slowly but steadily, she walked towards him, stopping only when she was but in inch from his body. She looked up, staring into his eyes. All of a sudden, she threw herself on him, holding on tight. "Can Chii hug Hideki longer this time?" she asked meekly. Hideki froze, unsure of how he was supposed to respond to that. Well, there wasn't any harm in it. . . Hideki slowly brought her closer to him and held on to her tightly. Finding himself deeply enjoying the contact, he relaxed himself and let her sweet embrace surround him. Unfortunately, Hideki's watch felt like claiming the attention, and it's shrill cry startled them both. Hideki quickly turned it off, panting a bit. He sighed before he looked to Chii again. If she looked disappointed now, he didn't want to see her after he spoke his next words. "Chii, . . . I have to go to work now. . ." He said quietly. Chii's breath caught in her throat. "Chii. . ." She replied, taking her gaze from him. She slowly sat down on the floor and opened her book again, and said quietly, "Take care of yourself." She pretended not to be upset, but that was like trying to hide the fact that dalmatians had spots; there was just no point.

Having not the slightest clue of how to handle the situation, Hideki just stood there. He had work in 15 minutes, and it took 10 minutes just to take the bus. Meanwhile, Chii and him had most definitely just connected, and he had basically dropped her on her head. If he didn't leave for work, then that was 750 yen less than he would normally have for the month's expenses, and with the lack of money he currently had, missing work was something he really couldn't at all afford. However, about 5 feet away from him, was someone he left all alone day after day with nothing to do, and when she had finally gotten a chance to be with him for just a moment, he was letting her down again.

He sighed. He had made up his mind. He couldn't hurt Chii like that; she didn't deserve it. He quietly removed his shoes and sat against the wall, gently dragging Chii by the waist towards him. She stopped, letting him bring her closer, trying to see what he was going to do next. "Hideki?" she whispered shakily, but he only shushed her and brought her up on his lap. He gently pulled his comforter over and covered them, so they were wrapped in each other's warm embraces. Emotions washed over them like they'd never felt before. He buried his face into her hair, drinking in its sweet smell, while Chii occupied herself with feeling his chest move in and out against her own from breathing. And in that one moment, it was almost as if they were complete; as if the missing piece to them could be found in each other.

After that one night, Chii and Hideki had grown so close that one was never seen without the other. Some called it pure fate, some called it damn luck. Whichever one it happened to be didn't matter to them. It didn't matter if the world ended, or if the sun never showed its face again. As long as they were still in each other's arms, they would see another day. It was kinda funny, though. Because if everyone took just a moment to think on it, they would all see that the beginning to all great things start small, and in this case, it happened to be a mere conversation between two good friends.

~*~

hope ya liked!! Please review!!

~Suki