Author's Note: Sorry for the long delay, but I've been really busy. You see, I'm a college student, and I've had plenty of tests and homework to do, so I didn't have much free time. But here I am, back to wrap what's been the HARDEST story for me to write!!
I have to say that I've modified a teensy bit on Chapters 7 and 8, introducing a few characters, so I'd recommend you to re-read them.
With nothing else to say...enjoy the last chapter of "Imprinting Conflict"
Chapter 9: Mothering the Motherless: Transference of Imprinting
Veronica released David, and looked at Dr. Hobby.
"Um...would you mind...?" she said, and he understood. He and his companions got out of the room, leaving Veronica alone with David.
Veronica sat down in front of David's chair, kneeling herself, so she'd be at his height. David's eyes were looking at her, with a mix of fear and confusion...
"David, honey...remember your mom wasn't feeling well, right?" Veronica asked him, trying to help him remember Monica's death. David started to remember everything, and he looked at her.
"And...she..." he began to say, and he remembered the look on Monica's face when she died, that cold stare, the motionless body...
"Yes, David...she left us" Veronica said, and she thought "There, I said it...what will he do now?" while she looked at the little boy in front of her.
David sat down in the floor, curling himself into a little ball. He covered his head with his hands, and his body began to shake uncontrollably...
"No...she didn't..." he whispered, then he cried out "SHE CAN'T LEAVE ME!! SHE'S THE ONLY ONE I HAVE!! Nobody loves me but her!!"
"David, you can't keep her forever..."
"But she told me...she told me she'd live for ages!!" he whined "For...fifty years!! Fifty whole years!! She wasn't even 50!!"
"Hon, listen to me" she tried to explain to him what happened, so he'd understand "Nobody knows how long we will live...we as humans can't control that par of our lives...Look, your mommy said she would die in 50 years, but...that was just a...deduction, a hope" David looked at her, surprised, and she continued "We all want to have long, happy lives, but...we don't know when and how our lives will end. If your mom hadn't died today...she'd die anyway, in the future...we can't change that...No matter how many machines we create to prolong life, no matter how many medicines we take...someday, anyhow, we'll be gone"
"But she...she promised me...she'd stay with me!" he said.
"And she is, David! She's here" Veronica said, her fingertips gently touching his chest -where his heart would be if he were human- and whispered "As long as you remember the happy moments you had with her, she'll be alive...in your mind and heart. If you remember her with a smile, she'll be happy too, wherever she is"
"Is she in a place we can visit her?" he asked innocently. Veronica smiled.
"No, honey, we can't...at least for now" she answered "But she can see us, and if she sees you crying for her, she'll feel sad, because she doesn't want you to be unhappy...she's somewhere, protecting you..."
"But without her...I'm...alone" he said, while his voice came out in thin, sad whispers "I'm...completely alone..." he added, curling his body, looking even smaller than he was...
Veronica gently patted his back, and sat besides him.
"You're not alone, David..." she said, while she put a hand on his face "Your mom is there...protecting you. And...I'm here... I'll always be here" she added, as David looked at her with a surprised expression "David...let me be with you...let me continue what your mom started...all the love she gave you...I can give it to you too..."
"You...can you do that?" he asked.
"Only if you want me to" she answered, and he looked at her smile. Suddenly, he remembered Monica's smile, and how identical his mommy and Veronica were. Then he extended his arms to her, like begging for a hug.
"Hold me...please...hold me" he whispered, as she hugged him "Keep me safe..." he said, as his body trembled more violently and he finally stopped.
"David... David?" Veronica asked when she got no response from him. His eyes were still open, staring blankly to the ceiling. His motionless body was now into the scared girl's arms. "David?! What's wrong? Please, talk to me!" she cried out, shaking that fragile, tiny body. But David didn't answer..."Dr. Hobby?! COME HERE!! Something happened to David!!" she shouted, and Dr. Hobby quickly entered the room.
"What happened?" he asked as he saw David's frozen body in Veronica's arms. "Here, lemme check" he added, as he checked David, looking for some imperfection in his body...and he found the problem "Oh, there's no need to worry, miss Adams. David's brain just ran out...he's received too many emotions lately" he added, and she sighed in relief "Let him rest for a few minutes...I've restarted his memory cube...it'll take 2 minutes"
"Now, tell me...what will you do after he wakes up? Will you obey Mrs. Swinton's last wish?" he asked, and she looked at him, seriously.
"I'll do it...only if he wants me to" she finally answered, and he smiled.
"I thought so" he said, and looked at David, whose eyes were opening "See? It just took a minute...now...go to him" he told her, and she did so.
"David? How do you feel, honey?" she asked David, and he looked at her.
"Yes" he said "Can I ask you something, Veronica?"
"Sure...what is it?" she asked.
"What you said before...about wanting me...did you mean it?" he asked softly, and she surprised. Then, her surprise became a smile.
"Yes, David, I'm serious...I really love you, honey..." she answered.
"But if you keep me...Henry and..." he said, but Dr. Hobby stood next to him.
"Mr. Swinton agreed, David...we all agreed. In fact, it was your mother's last wish"
"But I'll forget her?" he asked scared, because it was a very important thing to him...he didn't want to forget Monica.
"Don't worry about that" Dr. Hobby said "We won't erase your memories of Monica...she'll stay in your mind, but you'll be able to love someone else, specially if this new person looks like her" he looked sympathetically at David and Veronica, and said "Think of this way: we won't take away your memories, we'll just help you to make new ones"
David looked at Veronica and Dr. Hobby with a serious expression on his face. Then, some small steps approached him, and a furry paw touched his back.
"Teddy?" David said, as the bear climbed to his lap.
"Yes, David" the bear said.
"Will Mommy hate me if I have a new Mommy?" David asked.
"I don't think so...why would she hate you?" the bear said, and David looked at them, with a broad smile on his face. Veronica and Dr. Hobby smiled too.
"It seems like we'll set a new parental file here..." he said, always with his practical tone, in spite of the highly sentimental moment.
"Now, David...stay still, honey" she said, as she sat him down on a chair, and kneeled in front of him "Listen to me, and look at me all the time, okay?"
"Yes, Veronica" he said, with that sweet smile she so loved.
"Well...here we go..." she said, as she pressed David's activation button -which was already unlocked by Dr. Hobby earlier, when he rebuilt his memory cube-, and began saying the words "Cirrus... Socrates... Particle... Decibel... Hurricane... Dolphin... Tulip... Veronica...David...Veronica"
When she stopped, she looked at the folder, checking if all the steps were right, but a tiny hand took the folder from her hand, and looked at her with seriousness, warmth...was it love, that light shining into his eyes?
"David...?" she said, as he smiled at her.
"Mommy" he said with a smile.
"What...what did you call me?" she said.
"Mommy..." he answered, and extended his arms to her. She immediately held him into her arms.
"Oh, David..." she said, with tears in her eyes, feeling the wonderful sensation of his warm, soft arms around her...
"I love you, Mommy..."
A new day had come...
new memories were now in his mind...
but Monica's love would never be left behind...
Now, for little sweet David, this was a new beginning...
The beginning of a long, love-filled life...
"Guys...I've got some important news for you" Veronica said when she arrived to her house. Her mom, her sister Anna and aunt Sarah sat down in the veranda of the Adams's house in Roswell, New Mexico. She knew that her family, especially her aunt, would be a little hesitant to accept David, so she tried to give them the news as simply as she could.
"And what's so important, darling?" her mother, a pale-skinned, brown-haired woman in her 60s asked.
"Well...do you remember that we saw a robot...a Mecha...when Anna and I were little?" Veronica said.
"Yes...and I don't have good memories from that moment" her aunt Sarah frowned.
"And you know they looked very real, right?" Veronica said, and her sister Anna stood besides her.
"All right, sis...what's the big bang here?" she asked.
"I...I have a..." Veronica tried to find the right words, but she couldn't. So she decided to tell it as it came out "I have a Mecha. I brought him with me"
"WHAT?!" the three other women gasped, and aunt Sarah talked.
"You're NOT meaning that..." she said, and Veronica nodded.
"Yes, I own him" she said, and she walked to her car and opened the door "David, come with me" she told him, and he took her hand as he got out of the car.
"Mommy? Who are they?" he asked innocently, as he saw the three women staring at him from the veranda.
"They're my relatives, David. I'm gonna introduce you to them" she answered, and she saw a slight worry on his eyes "It's okay, big guy. They'll like you"
"I hope so...how couldn't they like you?" she smiled at him, to reassure her statement, and David, relieved, smiled back.
They walked, hand in hand, to the veranda, where Veronica's relatives were staring at them.
"Mom...aunt...Anna...he's David" she said, as David stepped forward and looked at them.
"I'm David. It's a pleasure to meet you" he said politely, with a sweet, warm smile. Anna looked at him through her eyeglasses, and smiled.
"Awwww isn't this the cutest boy in the world?" she said with a childish voice, in spite of her age (she was 24 years old), and David smiled at her.
"Erm...sweetheart, I thought you said you had a Mecha" her mom said "Where is it?"
"Mom...it's right here" Veronica answered, looking at David, and her relatives again! gasped, and aunt Sarah talked again.
"Ohhhh no way...THERE'S NO WAY YOU'RE KEEPING THIS-" she said, but David stood in front of her, with a hand stretched out and his eternal smile.
"Nice to meet you, aunt Sarah" he said softly, still with his hand extended.
Sarah Adams looked at the little boy in front of her. She couldn't believe it was a robot, like the Mechas she -as a Christian fundamentalist- defiantly rejected...but what was that thing inside him, that feeling deep within, that kept telling her he was different from the others? Was it his childish innocence? Or his incredibly realistic look? Or that loving, caring nature he seemed to have? She didn't know...but his smile convinced her, and she gave him a hug, in front of the surprised looks of her nieces and sister.
"Hello? Isn't that our aunt Sarah, the biggest Mecha-hater of Roswell?" Anna joked, and Veronica laughed.
"Well...maybe he's not as bad as the others" her aunt said.
"I knew you'd like him!" Veronica smiled, as she took David's hand and they entered in the house...the place that would be David's home...for the rest of his life...
Days and months passed by, as for David was the happiest time he ever had. Veronica and her family gave him all the love and care he needed, but his mommy Monica was still in his mind...he followed his mommy Veronica's advice, and accepted what happened to Monica, remembering the happy moments he had with her...and the new happy moments he would have with Veronica...with all the love he felt for them, which would never fade away...
"Happy Birthday, dear Monica...happy birthday to you!!!" everybody cheered the 10-year-old girl in her birthday, and she blew off the candles, taking away some strands of her brown hair.
"Now let's open the presents!" Monica said, her brown eyes sparkling brightly.
"We'll take the birthday picture first, okay?" her mother said.
"Okay...grandma? Grandma Veronica? Come here!!" the girl said, and a slender, gray-haired woman in her 60s approached her.
"Anything for my favorite granddaughter..." she said, as she stood besides little Monica.
"Wait...where's David?" Monica said, as she heard a giggle besides her...everybody turned around, and they saw a blond-haired boy, his face all smeared with cake frosting. He was giggling uncontrollably, with a brown-haired little boy besides him...
"David, Adam!! Look what you've done!!" Monica's mom, Alicia, said "Go clean yourselves RIGHT NOW!!"
"Oh, Alicia..." Veronica said "They're kids! Let them be!" she smiled.
"Mom, you're sooo soft on them!" Alicia rolled her eyes.
David and Adam looked at each other, both of them all covered with cream, and giggled as they ran off to clean themselves.
At this point of the story, 45 years had passed, and Veronica had gotten married with Jack Longchamp, the young head doctor from Cybertronics's Medical Pavilion, whom she started dating a year after Monica's death. They had moved to Roswell, where Veronica found a job as an accounting executive in the Roswell's new Cybertronics offices, and Jack worked as a doctor in the main hospital. They had a child, Alicia, who some years later gave birth to Adam and Monica Longchamp Adams; an 8-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, who had been named after Monica Swinton, David's previous mother.
At this time, there were lots of David models on the market, as realistic as the prototype, created by Dr. Hobby a long time ago. But in Veronica's family, everybody treated David as a family member, especially Monica and Adam, who enjoyed greatly the company of their "brother", although David was their uncle, since Alicia was David's sister.
"Okay...we're ready..." Alicia said, as she set the camera "David, stand besides Monica and Adam, please...yeah, that's great!!"
"Mom, hurry up!" Monica said.
"Okay, okay...1...2....3....CHEESE!!" everybody said, as the camera flashed.
Once the picture was taken, the kids ran off to play.
"I hope they won't get hurt or dirty..." Alicia said, as she drank a glass of soda.
"Honey, they're children" her father said.
"And they just want to have fun" Veronica added, as she looked at the three kids playing with water guns in the patio "Look at them..."
"Mom...isn't it weird that David is their uncle, and they think he's their brother?" Alicia said, as she saw Adam shooting David with his water gun.
"It doesn't matter...as long as they love each other" her mother said, as she smiled at them...
David and Adam were now rolling in the grass, as Monica shot them with the water gun...their laugh, their giggles and fun, arrived to Veronica's ears and eyes...and she remembered all the 40 years of happiness she had with David...now her family would continue the legacy...and maybe, one day...he would be...real...
"He's so human..." she smiled again.
"Everything that has a beginning has an end" -- The Oracle, from Matrix Revolutions. (I love that quote)
Author's Note: So...what do you think of this ending? Was it good? Or did it suck? I'm waiting for your reviews!
For "Lost Survivor", who's been reviewing this story: I tried to use the Peter Pan tip you gave me, I hope I did it good. As you can see, Veronica's family has kept David, and they will, continuing the legacy.
Ehhh I guess that's all for now...if you want, you can visit my personal website, listed in my profile...