Self-Negotiation


"My name is Roger Smith. I'm Paradigm City's top-negotiator. In
theory, that means that I'm the person people call on when they need to
bargain with the city's less desirable elements. In practice, it usually
means I have to do a lot of work that isn't in my job description.
I've learned through my recent jobs that the old saying rings true.
Ignorance is bliss. Whatever The Event was that caused everyone in this city
to lose their memories forty years ago, I think we're better off not
knowing. Why the hell would people want to torture themselves anyway?"

"I prefer to work alone, but as of late, I've also learned that that
isn't necessarily a good idea. Fortunately, I have a few people I can count
on. Norman, my trusted Butler, is always ready to do whatever I ask of him.
He's also a damn good cook. Big-O is the ace up my sleeve, haven't met
anyone yet that can stand up to him. Last, but not least, there's R. Dorothy
Wayneright, or as Norman affectionately calls her, 'the woman behind the
man.' Dorothy is kind of like my wildcard, but sometimes she gets me into
more trouble than I would care to face. Of all my help, she's also the most
aggravating. She doesn't know how to keep her opinions to herself, and she's
obviously figured out that I'm not going to turn her out of my house,
because she delights in breaking one of my most cherished rules on a daily
basis. The way she wakes me up every morning is a crime against humanity!"

"I'll be frank, Dorothy is downright annoying. Sometimes. She
delights in making me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel as though I can
almost feel her laughing at me. Not in a mean-spirited way, mind you. I
think she just enjoys getting the better of me. I've also become identified
with her, somehow. Perhaps I was too kind when she showed up on my doorstep.
My client was dead, I was under no obligation to protect her. Maybe I'm just
a sucker for an android with a hard-luck story."

"Over the years, I've hardened my heart. Oh sure, I can have just
about any woman in this city I want. I just don't go in for that old 'love'
thing anymore. It's kind of overrated, if you ask me. And if there's one
thing that I've learned from women, it's that most are nice to look at but
not to be trusted. Perhaps one day, that will change. Perhaps it already
has. I've done some thinking about that lately. I haven't had a woman living
under my roof for sometime now. With Dorothy here, I've gotten accustomed to
it again. I have to admit, I like it. I know that Dorothy isn't a
full-fledged woman per se, but she's not so bad, given the chance. I've
often teased her about not having emotions, but I think that Norman has
finally convinced me that isn't really true. I admit it. He made me feel
really bad about not getting Dorothy a present for New Heaven's Day. Never
let it be said that Roger Smith would forget his best girl on the most
special day of the year, even if she is an artificial one. I suppose in the
grand scheme of things, it was only a small gesture. Still, she seemed. .
.happy with it. Most happy. She even modeled that dress for me. Perhaps I
should consider painting her in that outfit."

"So I admit it, I've opened up more to Dorothy than to any other
woman I've known. I really can't help it sometimes. As much as
she antagonizes me sometimes, I can sense that deep inside, she really wants
to please me. Like when she brought Pero home and dressed him up in that
little black outfit so that she wouldn't get in trouble for breaking my
cardinal rule. I don't like to use this word, but I really found that
adorable. And then I went and let her down, I couldn't get that little cat
back for her. She didn't deserve that. I guess when all is said and done,
she really is human after all. Her wants and desires seem to be on par with
most of the people of this city. She wants to know who she really is. I
guess she's on a quest to find herself. When I think about that, it makes me
wonder why she is still here with me. If anything, I'll probably just hold
her back."

"And so, here I am. The famous Roger Smith, growing a little more
attached to a quirky android every day. Perhaps it's wrong that I have come
to think of her as mine. But I knew that I was in trouble when I was lying
in my bed one night, listening to Dorothy play the piano, quietly for a
change. I was listening to her play, and all of a sudden I realized that
Dorothy was invoking greater emotional response within me than any 'real'
woman ever had. Perhaps there's something wrong with that. Or maybe I'm just
going slightly mad. I don't really know. It's not very easy to explain. I
just know that I want to keep her around. I want her to stay with me. I want
her to give me that rude awakening every morning, to insult my sense of
fashion, and attack my reputation with the fairer sex. God help me, there's
something appealing about that. You can believe what you want, but this
negotiator is blaming it all on this city. Paradigm City has screwed up more
than one life. If all it's done to me is cause me to have inappropriate
feelings for an android, then I consider myself to be pretty lucky. It's
fortunate in my line of work that luck happens to be a skill of mine, I
guess. Or maybe it's just that damn fate stuff. You know, how none of this
would have happened if it weren't for that one fateful case and the like. I
don't buy into any of that. Everything in this city happens for a reason.
Anyone who says they don't accept that is either a fool, or a liar, and a
big one at that."
"For the time being, I've decided not to tell Dorothy anything. Like
I said, she does seem to have this innate want to please me. I don't want to
end up coercing her into staying here against her will. Still, I wish she
would stop asking me questions about love. Not only does it make me feel
awkward, but it's a painful reminder how inadequate I am to explain it to
her. She's the only person in this city I've really come to care about. I
need to find out why. Sometimes I feel like I could descend into madness if
I keep thinking about these kinds of things. I need a drink. I suppose that
Dorothy is becoming more human to me every day. I used to think that it was
kind of inappropriate for us to live together. Now I could actually see
myself introducing her to people as my 'ladyfriend.' She's already been
mistaken for that a few times, anyway."

"But as long as she's driven to stay here, then I'm just going to
enjoy the ride while it lasts. If she wishes to go on living with me, then
so be it. I'm not going to stand in her way. I might chase her around the
place with the broom if she keeps waking me up every morning, though. She
keeps asking me to help her understand. Perhaps that's not the answer;
perhaps what we need is to discover the answers together. Either that, or
I've completely lost my mind. I doubt anyone in this city will notice. Until
I find out which one is correct, I'm just going to have to keep going along
as I have been. The negotiations with myself on this matter are completed."


We have come to terms.




I wrote this because I was encouraged to keep writing, because some
of you suggested it, and, generally, because I just wanted to complete the
circle I started in "Within and Without." It also helped me to vent some of
my recent frustration into fanfiction. I haven't had the time, energy, or
frame of mind to work on my magnum opus, " 'Round Perdition's Flames" for
awhile, but I'll be getting back to it in 2 to 3 weeks, as soon as I
graduate. But I can't work on that story properly until I relieve myself of
the burden known as school. And of course, I really like Roger and Dorothy.
They're both people that I can easily identify with. Admittedly, I'm
probably not as good at writing Roger as I am at writing Dorothy, but that's
probably because I have a lot more experience with writing for characters
that are like Dorothy.

I really enjoyed writing these two fics, it was a lot of fun. It felt
good. And it gave me an excuse to cut my biology class. Well, okay, there's
no real excuse for skipping class, but I really didn't feel like being there
today, but at least I did something productive with the time! I (hopefully)
made some other people feel good with what I've written. I know that I at
least made myself feel good, and that's what is really important.
Fortunately, there are so many Roger/Dorothy fans out there, I can count on
people reading this!

I admit that at the start of the series, I was actually pro
Roger/Angel. "WHAT?!!" You all scream. What excuse could I have for
committing such a cardinal sin?! Well, to be honest, it seemed that at the
beginning of the series, Dorothy was going to come off as a little bitchy.
Like someone who had a chip on her shoulder. I quickly realized that that
wasn't the case at all. Dorothy now even has elements of a slightly tragic
figure within her, and that's always a major draw for me. I love characters
like that. Now I am religiously pro- Roger/Dorothy, I wouldn't have it any
other way!


04/19/01


As always, let the author know how he or she is doing. Leave your compliments
and complaints in the review section (hint hint).


You may also feel free to send your questions, comments, love letters, death
threats, marriage proposals, and ransom demands to


Lord Malachite
ranger_writer@yahoo.com

As always, standard disclaimers apply. I don't own "The Big-O," I'm just
blatantly borrowing its characters without permission, in order that I might
express myself. I'm not making any profit off of your creations, Sunrise, so
don't bother! I don't recommend suing me either, because what little I own,
is already owed to the government, or to Mastercard.


This is the end of the file! Go outside and play!