Title: Imprinting Conflict

Author: Danielle Swinton

Genre: Drama

Rating: PG-13

Archive: Sure!

Feedback: Please!

Disclaimer: David and the Swintons were created by Brian W. Aldiss; Kubrick, Spielberg, Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks own them; I just play with them. However, Veronica, her family, Hal Peters, Dr. Sanders and Dr. Longchamp  are 100% mine.

Warning: Alternative Universe, own characters.

Summary: After Monica dumped David in the woods, he starts looking for her...but what would have happened if he found someone else instead?

Chapter 1: Dumping and Newcomer

"David, listen. Now you won't understand the reasons, but I...I have to leave you here"

"Is it a game?"

"No…"

"When will you come back for me?"

"I'm not, David, you...you'll have to be here by yourself"

"Alone?"

"With Teddy"

David huddled himself to his mommy, not wanting to be alone...

"David, listen...take this, alright? Take this. And don't let anybody see how much it is. Now look...Don't go that way, alright? Look! Don't look at me, look!  Don't go that way, alright? Go anywhere but that way or they'll catch you! Don't ever let them catch you!"

"Why do you want to leave me? Why-"

"Stay away from Flesh Fairs, away from where there are lots of people! Stay away from all people! Only others like you, only Mecha are safe!"

Monica tried to walk away, but David held himself to her body…and made a last effort to convince her…

"Why do you want to leave me? Why do you want to leave me?! I'm sorry I'm not real, if you let me I'll be so real for you!"

These words almost broke Monica's heart. Suddenly she thought about keeping him, but she knew what she had to do…so she pushed him away, making him fall down.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the world!"

With these words, she ran to her car, closed the door, and made the car engine work. David ran to the car, and tried to open the door, but Monica was much faster, and drove away, leaving the poor, helpless little boy in the forest…all alone...

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David walked through the forest, with Teddy in his arms.

"David, are we lost?" the bear asked, with a slight frown in his furry face.

"I don't know, Teddy" David answered "Let's go this way" he added, walking to his left side, where he saw some lights.

David and Teddy kept walking until they found a large, deserted road. Some cars passed by, but none of them seemed to pay attention to the little boy and the bear walking in the road…

"What can we do, Teddy?" David asked.

"Why not asking for a ride?" Teddy suggested, "I've seen it in the movies"

"And how's it done?"

"You extend your arm to the road, and lift your thumb, like this…" and Teddy taught David the way he should do it.

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19-year-old Veronica Adams was driving in the cold, dark road at 8:55 p.m., listening to some music as she smoke a cigarette.

"I know it's no good to smoke and drive, but…what the heck!" she said, as she opened the window to blow out the smoke.

When she looked back to the front, she found a very strange sight…

"What in the bloody hell-" she said when she saw a blond-haired little boy with a bear, asking for a ride.

"Hmm…how strange" she thought "What is this kid doing out here? I'd better check out"

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David was still with his hand stretched, when he saw a blue car stopping in front of him. The driver's seat window opened, and he found a young girl with pale skin, shoulder-length messy brown hair and brown eyes, looking at him.

"Hey lil' fella, whatcha doin' out here?" she said, with a hint of a southern accent.

"I'm lost" David said.

"And what's your name?" she asked.

"I'm David"

"Well…David…why are you out here? It's very dangerous for kids like you to be outside at hours like these" she said, and showed him her watch; it was 9:00 p.m.

"My mommy left me here" David answered.

"Hmm…and I guess you want to go home" Veronica said, and David nodded "Well, care if I help?" she asked.

"Mommy says I shouldn't ride with strangers" David hesitated a little.

"Well, David, your Mommy's right, but I'm not a big, bad man, am I?" she said "Not to worry, lil' fella, I won't hurt you"

David thought for a second…maybe she was right… criminals usually are big, bad guys…not young, pretty girls…

"O-okay" he finally said.

"Well, get in, hun" she said "We don't have all night, y'know" she added, and opened the door.

David and Teddy got in, and sat in the passenger's seat. Veronica closed the door, and told David to put his safety belt.

"We don't want an accident here, do we?" she smiled, and David obeyed, always looking at her.

Then Veronica took the steering wheel, and they drove away from that dark road.

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"And how'd you guys end up there?" Veronica asked.

"My mommy brought us to the country for a picnic" David explained "And she left us there and drove away"

"And why did she leave you here?" she said.

"I dunno" he answered, looking down, sadly "I guess it's because Martin didn't like me"

"And who's Martin?" she asked.

"He's Mommy's real son" David said.

"Real son? Maybe he's adopted" she thought "But why would somebody not want this cute little boy?" she wondered, looking at David's ocean-blue eyes.

"We're trying to get back home" Teddy said, looking at the girl. She smiled at him.

"That's a cute bear you got there" she said "What's your name, lil' buddy?"

"My name is Teddy" the bear answered.

"Well, Teddy and David, I'm Veronica" she said "Nice to meet you, guys"

"Nice to meet you too, Veronica" David said, and then he thought "Veronica…it sounds like Mommy's name…and she looks like her, also" he thought, as he saw her smoking a cigarette.

In fact, Veronica was still smoking her cigarette, but she saw David and Teddy looking at her.

"What's wrong?" she asked, but she saw the cigarette in her hand, and felt a bit embarrassed "Oh, sorry…" she added, as she opened the window, and threw away the cigarette "I forgot it's no good for kids like you"

"It's okay" David smiled.

"Well, well…we better hurry, because by the address you gave me, we're on a VERY LONG ride" she smiled again. In fact, Teddy had given her the Swinton's address because it was saved in his brain database "Maybe we'll need to stay in a motel tonight, unless you guys wanna sleep here in the car"

"If we sleep in the motel, we'll be safer?" David asked.

"Yes, David" Veronica answered "And we'll be more comfy sleeping in a bed instead of a stretch car seat"

"Well…fine" he said.

Author's Note: This is one of the hardest fics I've written. I hope you liked what I've got so far. Well, in next chapter, we'll see what happens at the hotel where Veronica and David will stay. Will she discover what David really is? What will she do about it? Reviews, please!