This idea has been sitting in my notebook for the longest time, waiting patiently for its turn at bat. Finally it got its chance to be a story when I woke up this morning in the mood to write something introspective in first person. Also, I love writing Xana, and I really wanted a chance to do it in a Xanacentric oneshot. So that's what this is. I went so wide of the mark from my original idea that I almost scrapped it completely, but at the last minute changed my mind. Cookies to anyone who can guess who I'm talking about with each of the three different carbon bonds. An extra brownie if you find the irony at the end of the story (not that I'm expecting you to, it's kind of deep and more obvious to me because I just finished discussing it in English class). Feedback will be framed and hung up on my wall, as this is my first time doing something like this, so I would love to know if I did well or not. And now I should let you go before this author's note gets any longer than the story. Enjoy!

Carbon. One of the most abundant elements in the human body. A solid, non metal. Six protons, six neutrons, six electrons. Four valence electrons.

I find it a strangely appropriate choice as the building block of such clingy creatures.

The Octet Rule states that atoms become stable by having eight electrons in their outer shell, a phenomenon that happens either naturally or, more commonly, through the process of atoms bonding. Just as humans continue to struggle to become whole through bonding with their fellow humans.

Place two carbon atoms together, and they will bond so as to complete one another's outer shells, forever passing the entirety of their valence electrons back and forth in a never ending tug of war. Place three carbon atoms together, and they will still combine. Only now their bonds are weaker- the carbons only need to take two electrons from each of its companions to be complete. And should one of the carbons be pulled away by another atom, the remaining two will continue to pass electrons back and forth, without missing their stolen mate.

It is rather…sad, this micro drama playing out on such an infinitesimally small level. And yet, so fascinating in the ways that it mirrors the more macroscopic actions of humans.

How often is it that two humans come together, looking for the person who will complete them? Like carbon, these people join themselves together, giving everything they have to the other. Give and give and give until they have nothing left. While at the same time, they take and take everything given to them by their partner until the point that neither one carries even the littlest bit of what was originally theirs- and then they start again, this time passing everything back.

I assume my dislike for humans could be clouding my thoughts on this matter. Not always must two humans simply battle for everything from their companion without ever realizing that the other human is doing the exact same thing. Just because two atoms don't realize the futileness of the fight, it doesn't mean that some humans can't figure it out. It won't stop them from combining- after all, they still need to be completed, stable- but at least they understand how to do it in a way where they actually get something of value from the other, something they won't be giving up soon after they've got it.

Sort of like if two atoms realized that they could simply hand one electron over when they thought the other atom needed it, but only one and a time, and when it was good for them both.

I have seen humans who coexist this way. It seems…healthier almost, that they hold on to what is theirs, at least for a little bit, before deciding when to give it away. I have seen a human who interacts in the first way with one human- giving and giving and taking and taking- and with another human the other way. Even with my minimal knowledge of humans I know that, while the first bond is more intense, more electric and powerful, it is the second bond that will last long past the first has broken and decayed.

Of course, I have also seen a human with that second, stronger bond, engaging in the weaker bond of three- three carbons swirling about one another, always giving away a little of themselves without ever having to share it all. It seems such an odd thing to wish to be a part of, so less concrete than any of the other, smaller bonds.

Thought I loathe thinking about human's emotions too deeply, I cannot help but fathom whether or not the human understands this fragile bond- if he knows that another atom could swoop in at any time and snatch him away, tearing him from the other two. Or that one of the other carbons could be ripped from the trio without warning.

And then I remind myself that three carbons link together in a straight line and wonder Does he know that there is another carbon on the other end? Surly he can feel that there is more than one carbon pulling on his electrons, taking his charge and splitting it between the two, as if to defuse it.

Maybe he does know it is there. Maybe he simply refuses to acknowledge that second pull, certain that it won't be long before it is caught in the pull of another atom and drug away.

When looking at humans in such an abstract way, comparing them to something as simple as atoms, it's hard to remember what kind of looming threat they can pose to me. Because they're simply clumps of particles, so tiny that they may never be properly seen by the eyes of man, and even with all of their extra emotions and thoughts and feelings, they still continue to act as atoms, going through the motions designed by nature specifically to allow life all those billions of years ago.

Though, while it is easy to understand the same actions in atoms, in humans I am continually flabbergasted at their continual atomic dance, something they should have evolved out of so many years ago.

Maybe I would understand better, were I built of carbon instead of computer data, built of particles that have to connect and combine to form the amazing things that that they do.

Instead I am simply a series of electric pulses and chunks of data, designed only a decade ago, for a purpose that even I still have yet to fully unlock.

I'm sure devoting my time to trying to understand my own existence would prove a more fruitful endeavor than sitting about trying to puzzle out the human race. So I let thoughts of carbon and atomic bonds filter from my computer mind, and move on to the more pressing matter of my own life, knowing that I will never quite understand the humans need for others in their lives.