Whohoo! And my Tyzonn/Mack inspiration has continued!

I shouldn't be posting this right now, because I should be getting ready for work, but I couldn't help myself once I finally finished it.

Because everyone wants to know what your boyfriend is going to really think when you have to tell him that you're really an android. -Pauses- Although, I really want to see more of the aftermath of that episode-Mr. Hartford's whipped puppy expression when Mack didn't want to talk to him was so sad! Damn you, ABC! Who cares about Hannah Montana? I want more Operation Overdrive! -Cries-

Much angst and sap ahead. And Will being smirky and all-knowing. Enjoy!

Artificial

He stared out the library window at nothing in particular. The room was darker than the dim streetlights outside, making his eyes ache as they strained to see. But were they really straining? Was his vision actually perfect, and things like pain and hurt and frustration all in his head? Were these feelings of loss and uncertainty even real? Or were they as artificial as he was?

He heard him coming, and wondered if that was just part of his programming, too. He never learned any observational skills, so was always knowing when his boyfriend was nearby just another part of his twisted creation? Was their relationship even real anymore?

He still stiffened slightly when his hand settled against the small of his back. He shivered the way he always did and wondered if he'd been programmed with Mercurian culture for it to feel that way. No, Da-his creator hadn't known about Mercurians before they'd met Tyzonn. Then did it just so happen that he was made to believe those particular nerve endings were his turn-on spots? Did he even really have turn-on spots?

"This is strange." Tyzonn murmured, wrapping an arm around him.

"Finding out your nineteen-year old human boyfriend is actually a two-year old android?" he suggested bitterly. "Yeah, realizing you're in a pedophilic relationship would be strange, I guess."

Tyzonn frowned. "I meant that it's strange to see you...brood?" He rested his chin on Mack's shoulder when there was no answer. "Usually it is you who comforts us."

He wondered if he was programmed to monitor team morale.

A lot of things made sense now that he knew the truth. Da-his creator's surprise when he told him he was gay certainly came into a whole new light-obviously that wasn't part of his programming. A new thought occurred to him, and he instinctively made a face. Did this mean Spencer was like...his mom?

"Gross..." he muttered under his breath, looking disgusted as the thought of his dad and Spencer together wouldn't leave him alone. He tried to banish the images, groaning and covering his face with a hand. "Oh, that's gross."

"What is gross?"

"Dad and Spencer." he answered, squeezing his eyes shut. "Together."

There was a moment of silence. "The idea of your father in a relationship bothers you?" Tyzonn sounded puzzled.

"It's not the same thing." he grumbled, then stiffened, his expression darkening. "And he's not my father."

"He has cared for you and raised you as a father would." Tyzonn pointed out.

"No, he built me because he was too lazy to have a kid the normal way, and then lied about it for my whole-" He cut himself off, shaking his head. "Not even my whole life apparently. Everything I thought I was...is a lie. I'm not even real, so how do I know anything else is?!"

He paused, looking down at Tyzonn. In the middle of his ranting, the other had suddenly moved to place his head against Mack's chest, keeping arms around his waist and closing his eyes. "Uh...what are you doing?" he asked at last.

Tyzonn smiled. "It's strong."

He blinked. "What is?"

"Your heart." One hand moved to touch his chest, just in front of Tyzonn's face. "I can hear it beating."

Bitterness swelled again. "That's not my heart. It's just...wiring and stuff. Made to sound like a heartbeat. It's not real."

"It sounds real to me." Tyzonn returned calmly.

"Because it's supposed to." he sighed. "You're not supposed to be able to tell the difference between me and a real human being."

"Then what is the difference?"

"Because I was built." he explained patiently. "You don't build humans-they're born."

Tyzonn seemed to consider this. "Then you were born from your father's knowledge."

He sighed again, getting frustrated. "That's not how it works. Two people get together to have a child together-because they want to raise one together." He paused, frowning as the many variations of how kids could be born came to mind. "Usually, anyway."

"Your father wanted to raise a child. Was the second person that important?"

He groaned. "You're trying to make this too simple. There's more to it than that!"

"Maybe you're making it too complicated." Tyzonn returned.

"How is it not complicated?!" he demanded hotly. "I'm...I'm artificial! Not even a real person! Everything is different now! How can you not see that?!"

Tyzonn made a thoughtful noise. He still hadn't moved from where he'd positioned himself, head against Mack's chest. "I still hear a heartbeat." he said quietly. "I still hear anger and fear in the voice of the person I care for." After a moment he finally pulled away, straightening to look Mack in the eye. "I know that you still care for the team. That no matter how angry you are, you still care for your father. And I believe you still care for me." He cocked his head. "Is that not real?"

He faltered, looking away. "I..." After a moment he closed his eyes, wondering if he felt like he was going to cry because that was a programmed response, too. "I don't know." he whispered. "I don't know what's real now."

Soft, warm lips brushed his and held. Arms came around him, pulling him close. The hand returned to its place at his back, and he shivered again without thinking.

His eyes drifted open to find Tyzonn staring at him with an equally warm, caring expression. "My feelings for you are as real as ever." Tyzonn told him softly, placing a hand against his chest again. "You are still the person who rescued me from Moltar, the person who has fought so hard to protect his friends and his world. As long as this heart is beating, none of that will ever change."

He swallowed hard, bowing his head.

"You called me buddy." he muttered suddenly, sounding sulky.

"Are we not 'buddies'?"

"You don't call your boyfriend your buddy." he complained. "That's what you call...well, friends."

"So we are not friends?"

"That's not what I-" He made a frustrated noise, looking up at last. "I meant-"

Tyzonn was grinning at him. "As I recall, we had made an agreement not to inform the Rangers or your father until a better time." he pointed out innocently.

His eyes narrowed. "Oh, you are so in for it." he growled.

Tyzonn actually winked at him, then bolted.

"You-" he sputtered, charging after him, "Get back here!"


"Hey!" Rose yelped, ducking swiftly to the side as Tyzonn nearly bowled her over.

"My apologies!" the Mercurian gasped over his shoulder.

"I said get back here!" Mack howled, not even noticing the rest of the team staring after him as he continued to chase the other.

"Did...I miss something?" Dax wondered, glancing around at the other four.

Ronny frowned. "You don't think they're really fighting, do you?"

"Nah." Will chuckled to himself as he continued to browse the book he'd borrowed from Mack. "I wouldn't worry about it. Tyzonn's probably just cheering him up."

"They do seem to be really close these days." Rose admitted, looking after the pair worriedly. "I hope Tyzonn really can help Mack feel better after...everything he's been through."

Dax grinned abruptly. "Hey, maybe they're having a lover's quarrel!" He yelped, ducking behind the couch as the girls proceeded to pelt him with cushions.

Will laughed quietly, smirking as the sounds of Tyzonn and Mack's chase continued in another room.