1"STAY FROSTY"

I don't own ReBoot. But I do wish I could see season four. So, if any of this was at any time addressed in the fourth season, you'll have to forgive me, as I'm several "minutes" behind the times.

The sky undulated and whirled above Dot as she stared up at the scarlet monster. The Principle Office afforded an excellent view of the phenomena, but Dot couldn't appreciate it. Two cycles had passed since the Web creature had broken loose from the bowels of Mainframe and cut a rift in the sky, leaving her home open to the invasion of the Web.

Dot closed her eyes and breathed deeply, trying to block out the shrieking of the sky. Even here in the Principle Office, the most secure place in all of Mainframe, she felt terrified. Opening her eyes and seeing the sickening spirals again, she shivered violently.

"Not good, huh?" came a voice from behind her.

Dot turned to find Bob standing a few feet away from her, also mesmerized by the Web portal. "Bob...I didn't hear you come in," she stammered, blushing.

The guardian shrugged and walked over to her, still focused on the sky. "AndrAIa thinks it's beautiful." He turned to look at her.

"I think it's horrible," she said, turning away from the door she had been looking out of and heading back into the room.

"Dot," he called, and came after her, catching her by the shoulders and turning her to face him, "Listen. It'll all be over soon. I promise." Bob smiled encouragingly. Dot didn't budge. "Come on, where's the fearless planner that everyone talks about?" he teased, tugging at her arms.

Dot bit her lip."It's just...it brings back memories...things I'd rather forget..."

Bob's face fell. "Oh, right. Your dad." He paused. "Dot, I'm sorry. I am."

"I don't want to loose anyone again Bob," Dot said tersely. "If you or Enzo or AndrAIa or Phonge got hurt...or, or..." Her voice cracked and she stopped abruptly.

Bob held her arms more firmly. "Dot, you're not going to loose anyone. I'll make sure of that."

Dot looked up at him sadly. "You can't keep that promise, Bob." He frowned at her. Dot sighed and continued. "You're just one guardian, and we're just one tiny system, and we're facing the entire Web. Do you really think we can do this?" she asked skeptically.

Bob let go of her and paced away. "Yes. We can do this." He turned around and came back to her, looking serious. "Dot, about there only being one guardian... I can fix that."

Dot looked scandalized. "Bob, the guardians are the ones who betrayed Mouse and let that Web creature escape. You're not going to bring them here," she said firmly.

"No, Dot. I don't know why the guardians did that, but...that wasn't what I was aiming at."

Dot tilted her head and waited impatiently.

Bob took a deep breath and stepped closer. "Dot, I wanted to ask your permission to make Enzo a Guardian."

Dot's eye's widened, and she gaped at him. Ignoring her, he plunged on. "Adding to his programming would make him-"

"Reckless?"input Dot.

"No." Bob shook his head fervently. "It adds to your processing capabilities. You think faster, you feel more confident.." He stared at her hard. "Dot, this would help him. And everyone else."

Dot still looked unconvinced. "Bob, you'd have to train him, and you know his attention span; he's just a little sprite!"

Bob shook his head, raising his voice. "Dot, you've been calling him a 'little sprite' for at least two minutes. Haven't you seen him grow up?" Dot was still staring at him as if he was crazy. "He's been going into Games with us for a long time. Dot, he's been winning the Games! He's not half the little sprite he was when I got here." Bob sighed. "He's nearly old enough to be downloaded to the Academy. If you don't send him in the next few seconds, he won't have a chance of being accepted. Dot, this is what he wants. Can't you see that?"

Dot blinked back a few tears. "I just don't want to loose him. I don't want him to get hurt. Do you understand that?" she whispered.

"Yes, I do. But you can't hold on forever," he returned gently.

Dot nodded as she moved away from him, seeking refuge on a couch in the corner of the room. He was asking her to let go of everything she had...but for him...she trusted him. Having reached it, she turned around and stared at Bob. "All right, do it." She paused for a moment. When she continued, her voice was strained. "If he turns out anything like you...he'll be amazing." She sank onto the couch, her head in her hands.

Bob looked at the floor for a moment to hide the blush on his cheeks. "Thanks," he muttered. He looked up, grinning. "But...I hope he turns out like you. You always know what to do. I just make things up as I go."

"Things that usually work," Dot's voice floated away from her hands, muffled.

Bob strode over and knelt in front of her, pulling her hands away from her face and looking at her appreciatively. "You know, we make quite a team. We always manage to balance each other out. That's what I like about you. I never have to tell you what I'm going to do, you just seem to anticipate my moves and make me better." He smiled.

Dot laughed nervously. "Maybe Enzo will just have to turn out like both of us."

Bob's smile broadened, accompanied by a hearty laugh. He rose and positioned himself on the couch. "Maybe," he said, and he reached over and hugged Dot hard.

Dot pulled away a nano later and smiled. "You take care of yourself out there, okay?"

"Hey, it's me, remember?" he said jauntily. Bob stood up and crossed the floor, pausing to let the door slide open in front of him. He paused, looking over his shoulder, heart pounding. "Hey, Dot!"

She raised her eyebrows expectantly.

"Stay frosty!" He called, and then he was gone.