It was late in the night - or early in the morning, depending on how one judged time - and an eclectic group of people found themselves in the lobby of the hospital emergency room. Well, "people" might not have been the proper term, as roughly half the group were robots.
"What time is it?" Crow asked impatiently. The out-dated issue of Time Magazine was providing him with little entertainment value, particuarlly after having read it for the past five hours.
Mike looked at his wristwatch. "1:15," he replied before going back to his book, The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck. "You knew this might take a while and I told you to bring something you'd find entertaining, but did you listen? Noooo..."
"Don't be so hard on him," said a female voice sleepily. Mike looked at his shoulder to see his dozing fiancé. "This is new for you, isn't it Crow?" she said, sitting up in the vinyl-lined chair. "Of all those movies you watched...did any of them talk about this sort of thing?"
"Waiting in the emergency room? A few of them di -"
"Nono, I meant…you know, babies," she said with a smile. "Or rather, did anybody ever teach -" she elbowed Mike, "- you about it?"
"Joel always told us people were 'telling secrets'," Tom cut in from his spot a few feet down, where he was playing a card game against an eight-year-old. The boy had arrived a few hours ago with his parents, his mother being in labor, and was left in the lobby, but far too intrigued by the scrap-heap robots to even care about being left out.
"Telling secrets, clever...Mike, why didn't you tell them about this stuff?"
"Why should they have to know?" the blonde replied with a huff, still staring at his book. "The only time something even vaguely related to baby-making came up was with Parts: The Clonus Horror, and that was just about cloning. Hell, Crow didn't even believe in women for a while." He paused. "Besides, how was I supposed to tell them? The hot dog and the taco?"
Mike sighed. "That's how Eddie taught me..."
"That explains so much and yet so little," Servo quipped softly, placing down a card, to which his game-playing compatriot quickly countered.
"...I'd have to agree with Tom on that one."
Looking up, Mike announced, "Guys, I'd like to once again thank you for making the love of my life think I'm an idiot."
"Yeah, sure thing buddy."
"Aw, honey, I'm supposed to think you an idiot because you're a guy," she said, leaning up to kiss his cheek. "But you're my idiot."
"Bridget, tell us, will ya?" Crow pleaded. "It's been realllly obnoxious not knowing for roughly twelve years."
"Twelve years, huh?" Bridget pondered, leaning her head on Mike's shoulder as he went back to reading. "You guys would've gotten those puberty sessions by now. Nothing, huh?"
"Okay, well…" Crow began moving his hands around to accentuate his speech, "I know that a man and a woman get together and they have to like, occupy the same space and then…um…something. Something happens. And then nine months later a baby is born."
"That's…pretty good," Bridget replied, rubbing her forehead. "But um…Mike, can you help me out here?"
"Hey, you're the one that brought it up…"
"Tuh, fine…Tom honey, do you want to learn about this?"
"Huh?" Both robot and child responded. It took a moment for the boy to realize he wasn't being called on. "Oh…"
"Tommy, I don't know if your parents would appreciate me telling you…"
"Oh, I know," the boy waved off. "Mom and Dad explained it to me."
Servo gazed longingly at the cards in his hand, but placed them on the table and hovered off. "I'll be back," he declared, but deciding that he'd rather learn about the facts of life.
"Alright so…" Bridget leaned down as the 'bots leaned forward, and she quietly murmured the process. The two made motions every now and then before suddenly bursting out.
"It's a natural human thing," she insisted, hands on her knees. "I mean, Mike and I –"
"Woah woah woah!" Mike cut in, snapping his book shut. "They do not need to know about that."
Logic still remained simple and the damage was still done. "With MIKE?" Crow balked.
"Gross!" Servo wretched.
There was a pause. "Wait, then how come you're not having a baby?"
"Be…cause…there are…ways that you can have it without making a baby."
Bridget sighed, mentally exhausted. "Th-that's for another time. And Mike will tell you about that," she said, emphasizing it with a nudge.
"I will? Ouch! Okay fine."
"I think we're good," Servo replied, sounding faint. "Ma-an, you humans are – that's just so – wait, wait, oh my God, that means Joel –"
The two 'bots wretched simultaneously before crying into one another for comfort. Mike couldn't help but chuckle as Bridget stood up and stretched before turning to him.
"You want something to eat or drink?"
"Some coffee would be nice, thanks hon…"
Bridget walked out into the hallway, withdrawing a wad of bills from her pocket. Mike smiled and sighed, taking another glance at his watch. 1:22…
Gypsy and Cambot were camped out by the doors where, hours earlier, the Robinson parents-to-be had come running in. Their whole entourage was rather strange, but had taken the very straight route by simply explaining that the robots were, in fact, robots. Joel and Laura were taken to the inner sanctum while Mike, Bridget, Crow, Tom, Gypsy, and Cambot were left to their own devices, and had been doing such for going on six hours.
"So…what do you think they'll name it?" Mike asked as Bridget returned, handing him a cup of black coffee. He sniffed it before taking a sip.
"Depends on if it's a boy or a girl."
The two looked over at Servo and Crow, who were back into contemplation mode, along with Tommy, who had also abandoned the cards (seemingly a game of solitaire). The boy, it seemed, had made a comment that had not quite been processed to the robots.
"…I'm going to have a younger brother or sister?" Crow asked. He looked around the lobby at what had been his siblings all of his life. There was Cambot, the quiet big brother, Gypsy, the intelligent big sister, himself, and then Servo, the dramatic little brother.
"That's….going to be different," the red 'bot murmured. He, too, looked around the lobby, but instead landed sight on the two humans. Quietly, he hovered over to the two, his head turned away, and asked lowly, "What does this mean for me and everyone else?"
"What do you mean?" Mike replied dubiously. "We're not going to…"
"Joel's not…going to ignore us, is he?"
"Oh, Servo honey," Bridget cried sympathetically, reaching out and embracing the robot. "No, it isn't going to happen…But…"
"But?" he whimpered.
"But you gotta realize…this is…big."
"Big? I thought babies were small."
"She means life-changing," Mike said, rolling his eyes. "And she's right you know – this is going to be a new adventure for you guys. All of you, even Gypsy and Cambot. Now you've got a real baby brother or sister to look after. You get to teach it all sort of things, get to help it along…" The blonde smiled, resting his head on his hand. "That kid is…going to have quite the time growing up…"
"So Joel's not…going to abandon us?"
"Naah, no way," Bridget answered, waving her hand. "He'll need all the help he can get."
"That's…that's going to be so cool!" Crow exclaimed, leaping up. "Oh man! We can teach it all the best tricks and hiding spots! Then there are the special moves in the fighting games, and then there's that vending machine down at the laundromat that gives out free E7s…"
"We'll have to train it in the art of movie quipping," Servo pointed out, to which the gold 'bot vigorously agreed.
"Of course, I mean –"
Cambot suddenly exploded in a series of beeps and chirps, zooming around the lobby and causing the nurse at the front desk to jump in surprise. The camera robot spun around a few times and whirred before the doors he and Gypsy had been camping out by opened.
The man that came out was thoroughly and rightfully confused at the scene before him, but Tommy suddenly jumped up and ran over to him.
"What is it Dad?!"
"Well, you've got a little sister now…"
The rest of the group just sunk back into the anxiety of waiting, Mike once again cracking open his book, his fiancé snuggling back into his shoulder and closing her eyes. Crow and Tom decided to switch with what the other had been doing – meaning Tom picked up the magazine and Crow took to playing solitaire.
This was the state of which they would remain for another hour before Cambot once again made a plethora of noises, though these were slightly toned down from the previous. The doctor was just as confused as the man before him, but he quickly shook it off.
"You're…with the Robinsons?" he asked carefully. Mike looked up and shook Bridget awake while the robots snapped their attention on him.
"Yeah," Gypsy answered, waving back and forth. "What's the news?"
The doctor looked at her, slightly uncomfortable, and made a step towards the humans. "Well, the good news is that the baby is born, and both mom and infant are doing well. Secondly –"
"Is it a boy or a girl?" Mike blurted out, to which Bridget smacked his arm.
"Secondly…Mr. Robinson said he'd like you all to find out for yourselves, so if you'll just follow me…Oh, but um…these…these…robots…"
"Is something wrong?" the blonde asked, his voice rising in hostility. "They won't do anything, I can promise you that."
"That's nice, but they'll have to be cleaned off before seeing the baby. We just want to avoid any chance of coming in contact with harmful substances."
"Bust out the disinfectant wipes and let's roll!" Servo declared, zooming forward as the doctor led them back through the doors and down the hallway.
To be concluded in chapter two.