Disclaimer: Don't own these characters. It'd probably be good if you've already seen the whole series even though I don't really spoil anything big. R/R and see what you think.
It's weird what you can find on the internet. Really. Given the fact that the internet is a basically free forum of no definitive size, you can find almost anything you can imagine on it. Trust me; I've spent many a boring night searching for random things just because I had nothing else to do. There are some times, however, when you find a little more than you should.
I gaze at my computer screen as it flashes its ominous message. Subject Robin Found. I should be used to something like this happening. Haven't I tracked down dozens of people for STN-J using the wonders of technology? This time's different though, different for a whole host of reasons. I click on the window and there she is or, to be more precise, there they are. I stare at her longingly. Still the same blond hair although in this photo she's wearing it down instead of wound up into those tight buns. Still the same emerald-green eyes. Still the same smile. It's been a few years since the Factory, since she disappeared with Amon. Word from the top is all the tech geeks are supposed to be searching for them. I haven't been able to find them until now even knowing how Amon likes to operate. This is the first time I've seen even a photo of her since that night.
I stare idly at the image and it all just comes back to me. I remember days when I couldn't even go outside this building. I remember lonely nights watching her across the room as she worked late on cases. So beautiful in the moonlight. I was too shy to say so back then and I missed my chance. It wouldn't have worked out anyway. I could tell from the start she wanted him.
I feel a pang of jealousy hit me as I stare at the other person in the picture. Amon. I try to sit and envision what would've become of this whole thing if Robin had loved me instead of him. The possibilities are too numerous to compute. I entertain notions of keeping the picture and using Photoshop to put myself in Amon's place. Michael and Robin, the happy couple that will never be. I'm sure by now she and Amon have worked out their feelings. They're together now no doubt. Were I to find them again years down the road I'm sure they'd be married. Such a lovely couple. I'm sure she'll look absolutely gorgeous on her wedding day. Then will come kids maybe. Heck, those two events could be switched up. I stop the train of thought at that point. Having kids would mean they had sex and I'd rather not entertain that mental picture.
The computer is incessant in its proclamation. Subject Robin Found. I study Amon again. Amon, always Amon. My rival for her affections, my opponent in a contest I was doomed to lose from the start. What does he have that I don't? A lot of things. Looks, mystery, sex appeal, a dangerous lifestyle. Guy might as well be a rock star. Yeah, I honestly never had a chance and for that I will probably always resent him. But now I'm in a very precarious and interesting position. I've always had this hope that one day, some day, I'll see her again. I used to lay awake at night sometimes and imagined that somehow she'd make it back here and that she'd tell me how much she really loved me and not Amon. It's a vain and foolish hope. But the present dilemma is interesting. What do you do when your employer has marked the girl you secretly still love for death? Do you betray her and the man you resent or do you turn a blind eye and let them continue their life together knowing that you will never get a chance to love her like you want? I ponder my position for a moment.
"What'cha lookin' at?" I turn and meet the owner of the voice. When Robin vanished a lot of things changed. Without Zaizen I don't have to be collared and I can come and go as I please. We also had to get a new craft-user too. The two of us have been seeing each other for a while now and I love her very much.
"Just a photo of some friends who I haven't seen in a long time, Hope," I tell her. Hope's icy blue eyes tell me she knows there's more to the story but she doesn't press it.
"Girl's kinda cute," she tells me, "Guy's handsome too if you like that sort of type."
"What type is that?" I ask.
"The dark, silent type," replies Hope with a smile, "but I prefer the cute, nerdy type if it's all the same." We met each other randomly one day in the park. We ended up talking a lot. Even though she's a craft-user and a hunter, Hope's also probably one of the best programmers I've ever met. She's only a little bit older than when Robin came here. The two of them are so alike and yet so different. Hope's a lot more talkative than Robin but they both still have the same young innocence.
"Thanks for those files," says Hope as she wraps her arms around me, "I should go now though. Got a job to do and all." I feel the coolness radiating from her that accompanies her ice craft.
"Be careful out there," I tell her as I kiss her on the cheek, "Still on for dinner?"
"Your place," she tells me, "and you know I'm always careful, sweetie." She leaves me alone and I sigh as I look back at the picture. I am happy now, happier than I've ever been in my life. But still, some nights I can't help but wonder. I can't help but visualize Hope with golden blond hair instead of midnight black. I can't help but picture her in a long, black dress instead of a T-shirt and jeans. You never forget the first person you ever loved. No matter how many others you give your heart to you always remember the person you gave it to first. Is it just a copy-and-paste, my feelings for Hope? I used to ask myself that question when we first started seeing each other and I know now that the answer is no.
I stare at the personal information that accompanies the photo of Amon and Robin. Ms. Emily Robinson. Cute, Robin, real cute. Well, here's to you Ms. Robinson. May heaven hold a place for an angel such as you. I copy the picture to a folder, intending to crop Amon out later, and then begin deleting all traces of ever finding the information. Job security doesn't really hold much of a candle against keeping safe the girl you first loved.
"You better take care of her," I tell the image of Amon as I look at the photo for the last time, "because I will always be watching."