I'll never know when it happened. When I grew so attached. The moment eludes me to this day. It started out a simple relationship. She worked at my house and I gave her a place to live and protection. That woman drives me mad. She likes to be a smart ass and to prove me wrong. She wakes me up when I want to sleep late. Constantly she bends my rules or finds a loop hole in them. But still… In the end it is not because we are so different that we clash. It is more like because we have a lot in common. Both of us have little memories of the past and no knowledge of the future. We coexist in the same space. The biggest difference is our ways is talking about love. Her? She talks of it commonly, even jokingly some times. Me? I tense up like a kid who's just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. But there is a question I have yet to ask myself. What would happen if I lost her? What else? I'd move on. Well, that's the logical answer. Then again, my feelings have been anything but logical. To me, love is like fear. It is suppressed and contained., locked down deep inside. Love however is more persistent then fear. Always coming up when I do not want it to and at the most inconvenient times. Then I hear it ringing loudly in my ears. A concerto by some guy who's name is to hard to pronounce at this hour. Abruptly the song is cut off by the smashing of glass, and jolt upright. Something is wrong. Getting up I walked to the door and to the sitting room where I keep the piano. Norman lays limp on the couch, unconscious. The window by the piano is shattered. "Norman!" I rush to him and shake him.

"Master Roger…" He said faintly. He winces and sits upright. "I'm terribly sorry, Master Roger. I couldn't stop them."

"Stop who?"

"Beck… He took her Roger. He took Dorothy… To pier fourteen down by the docks. the docks."

At this moment all the curses I have ever heard could not describe how angry I am. "He is going to regret this. Damn it. Norman, I will defiantly be back for dinner." I get dressed and slam the car door as I leave. I punch it and plot a course for the docks. When I approach them I get out ,once again slamming the door. I stomp to the door and kick it open. "Beck it is to EARLY for this!"

Beck stands triumphantly atop a random box, "You really aren't a morning person are you? Shame, Dorothy and I wanted to play a little game."

He is really starting to piss me off, "I don't have time for games."

"If I were you I'd make time." Dorothy jumps up from behind a crate. She has Beck's headband on. Here outfit has changed. Now she wears a traditional maid's outfit. "Dorothy? Would you like Roger to play?"

Dorothy looks at me and said in a robotic voice, "Yes I would like that very much. Roger please play with us. We are playing hide and seek. You are the first to hide."

"You better find a place to hide quick. For if Dorothy finds you it's goodbye Roger Smith." Then he just laugh manically.

"You have until ten, Roger Smith." Dorothy said. "ONE!"

I started running. Dorothy has no more control. And would not hesitate to kill me. I had to give her time to break free or-"…EIGHT! NINE! TEN! READY OR NOT HERE I COME!" I ran fast and hard. Navigating through the crates I found one that was against a wall. It had just enough room between it an the wall for me to squeeze in. I hear crates smashing far away. She's going to level all the crates. I take a deep breath and try to concentrate on the sound of the wood as it splinters. From the sound of it, Dorothy is on the other side of the room. I'll take this as a good thing for right now. If I give her enough time she might break the hold Beck has on her on her own. If she can't… I don't want to think about that. Suddenly, the crate I am behind shatters and Dorothy and Beck stand next to each other about ten feet away..

"She's really quite lovely isn't she, Roger Smith." He puts his arm around her. And I suddenly wish looks could kill because the way I'm glaring at him he'd have burst into flames by now.

"Don't you touch her." I growl.

"Oh but she is so pretty. Is she not? That lovely snow white skin. Those deep black eyes." He holds her chin and turns her head towards his. I flinch and he grins. "She is flawless. Except for that emotionless look on her face. Nothing a little good love could not cure. Not the kind you've been giving her."

"If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. She is not my lover, you dolt!"

"Oh, but that doesn't mean you don't want her to be." I flinch again, and he grins letting go of her chin to dig in his pocket. He pulls out a gun and hands it to Dorothy. "Roger Smith has lost the game. It is time to say goodbye."

"Dorothy." I say almost pleadingly.

Dorothy points the gun a me. Her lovely pure white face does not show any hint of emotion. "It is over, Roger Smith. Goodbye." Then she pulls the trigger. I'm staring at her wide-eyed, wondering if I just died. My whole life flashes before me in a single moment. There were my years in the Military Police. But those ended abruptly when I quit and became the Negotiator. After that it ass filled mostly with empty rooms and loneliness. I hadn't had any real companions after I became the Negotiator. But then came Dorothy. When she came the house was suddenly alive. I no longer spent my nights out on the town. I had something to come home to. And it irritated me that only once had I ever seen her smile. It was when she sang for her father at the Nightin Gale That may have been the only time she was truly happy. I only wish I could have made her smile... I am certain that if she was human, we would have fallen in love. Though she was the exact replica of Dorothy Waynewright, to me she was always just our Dorothy.

I'm surprised I don't feel any pain. I turn my head a bit. There is a smoking bullet embedded in the wall not a inch from where my ear was. Dorothy is staring at me wide-eyed. The gun clatters to the floor. Beck is dumbstruck, not completely certain of what has happened. Dorothy then turns, grabs the collar of his shirt and hoists him up in the air. He struggles to get free to no avail. "Dorothy, put me down. I command you to put me down."

"What shall I do with him, Roger?"

I shake myself a bit and look around. "Just put him in that crate over there, Dorothy. We'll drop him off at Military Police headquarters on the way home."

After I turned Beck in me and Dorothy drove on in an awkward silence. Dorothy stare out the windshield, "I am sorry."

"Huh?"

"I was almost to late." she said looking down at her lap.

"But you weren't and that's what matters. Don't waste time thinking about what might have been."

"I am sorry."

"What for now?"

"For wasting time."

I sighed, I'm just going to let it go, "Just try not to let it happen again. Alright, Dorothy?"

"Alright." There was a long pause. In it we worked our way home. When we were almost there Dorothy looked at me and asked, "Roger?"

"Yes, Dorothy?"

"You could have picked a better hiding spot."

"Huh?"

"When you were hiding. It was a bad spot."

"You remember that?"

"Yes. When we get home I must wash. I can still feel Beck's arm around me…" she rubbed her shoulder. Then looked at her lap. "I did not like it."

"I hope you wouldn't. Beck is a criminal. You wouldn't see him much between jail sentences."

"I believe Beck was only toying with us then. He dislikes any relationship between humans and robots… Do you think we have heard the last of him?"

"No, he's a stubborn one. He'll be back. But don't you worry you're pretty little head about."

Dorothy didn't say anything at first. But as we turned on to our street, she asked. "You think I am pretty?"

"I-well… It's a figure of speech, Dorothy."

"That was not my question." Dorothy said, sounding close to irritated. "I asked if you think I am pretty. Now I would like an answer."

"There isn't a simple answer to your question, Dorothy."

"A yes or no would suffice."

I parked the car and opened the door abruptly. "Yes, Dorothy I think you are pretty alright? Get off my back!" I get out, walk around the side of the car, and onto the sidewalk.

Dorothy opens her door, "Roger, I am not on-"

"It's a figure of speech, Dorothy!" I yell over my shoulder as I stomped off. She could be so complicated.

"Where are you going, Roger?"

"For a walk. I'll be back by dinner."

"Alright. Good day then."

I walked down the street to a bar where I sat in an end booth near the window. It began to rain hard outside. I watched the rain roll down the window in clear streaks. It distorted the view of the street and gave it an otherworldly look. An old man at the bar walked over and sat down across from me. "You look like you have a problem. Would you like to talk about it?"

"No but I think I will anyway if you're willing to listen."

"I am." So I told him. I told him about my relation ship with Dorothy and our conversation in the car and my departure. He sat there and listened as I spilled my guts out to him. He nodded and hmm-ed as I talked and seemed to be absorbing what I was saying. "Well, son, you're obviously in love with the young lady. A man reserves his truest and deepest love not for the kind of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy. All to often do men fall in love through their eyes and not their hearts. We are all born for love. It is the principle of life, and perfectly natural. The fact that she is an android does not stop you from loving her. Why should it stop her from loving you?" At that I stood and thanked the man. The rain had let up during his speech and I wanted to be home by dinner. I walked out the door and there stood Dorothy just out of the window's view with and holding an umbrella.

She walked up to me and held the umbrella over my head, "It is not wise to stand in the rain without an umbrella."

"Some people choose to stand alone in the rain without an umbrella. That is what it means to truly be free."

"Well I choose to hold an umbrella over your head. That does not make us any less free now, does it?"

"You're a trip Dorothy. What's it matter if I stand here in the rain."

"If you get wet you'll get sick." I didn't know what to say, as Dorothy stood there in the rain. We stood there for a minute or two. Then I smiled.

"Thank you, Dorothy." I said taking the umbrella. "Why don't we share it."

"That is very kind of you." she said stepping in closer. Quickly she stood on her toes and kissed my cheek. When she pulled back I saw the smallest turn of the corner of her mouth. Then we walked home together in a blissful silence…

I'll never know when it happened. When I grew so attached. The moment eludes me to this day. It started out a simple relationship. She worked at my house and I gave her a place to live and protection. That woman drives me mad… And I enjoy every mile.