AN: Wow two years of inactivity on FF, I return with a Big O fanfic that has been sitting in my computer for a long time. Its my first one for this section so be kind. There is probably OOCness too?
Dorothy looked around the room, unable to bear Alan staring at her. So uncharacteristic of her personality, she could feel that insane smile stretch over his blood red mouth. His eyes followed her as she walked up to the piano that sat in the waiting area of Rosewater's office. How her fingers itched to play, to glide over smooth ivory with ease, hoping that one day someone would hear her song…
Why had that louse of a Negotiator leave her here, while he spoke with Rosewater?! She thought with irritation, sitting down on the seat, soft, so unlike the one at the mansion. Her hands came up to the cover and hesitated, catching the gaze of the bio android, who sat down, one thin leg thrown over the other. Casual haste.. Alan reminded her of a painting that she had once seen in Roger's room… A room that no one went in, not even Norman…
"You can play my dear" he purred
If Dorothy could be surprised she would have jumped, instead she gave a curt nod and opened the cover. Her breath caught, this piano was beautiful, finer and older then the one Roger owned.
Slowly it seemed her wired mind seemed to relax, the electricity that ran through her veins had become blood and in some strange way when she played, she almost felt human. Closing her eyes, long cool fingers glided over the piano, her tight lipped reaction loosening. Alan fetched a sigh, happy to see that she was relaxing. He had already known from what little record they had of Wayneright's factories that this android was far beyond any normal one. She possessed true memories, memories of a time before forty years ago. Memories of a plan that was created by the master of this stage…
"Dorothy do you know why you know that song?" he whispered gently, careful not to break the moment she had slipped into.
She didn't answer at first her pale lips parting her eyes not seeing the world in which was around her. A glint, a hint of a mortal life flickered in her eyes before she answered
"Because it is a memory, like the song I sing to Pero."
Alan nodded slipping next to her on the piano "I know this song too"
She slowed his eyes slipping over to his striped shoulder; she couldn't look him in the eyes then. His eyes… They disturbed her…
"It is my memory" she replied almost protectively
"But you never thought that you could share memories with another?"
"My data is limited on the information about shared memories. I cannot answer that question accurately" she began focusing back onto the ivory keys of the piano. Instro had told her of a slight variation in her tempo. She could not hear it, but it seemed that Alan did…. He had taken a deep breath and closed his eyes…
"You always have played it so beautifully…"
Dorothy opened her mouth to answer and he continued
Something in her snapped, she knew it could not be a damaged circuit malfunctioning, Norman had checked her this morning for such things.
Somehow her mouth felt dry even though she had no saliva,
"What did you call me?" she retorted a snap in her monotone voice.
"A nightingale, my one and only nightingale" he slipped even closer to her. The heat from his body touching her cold one… It was…. Roger had this heat all humans had this heat but…
Warm lips touched hers and she stopped playing, his lips lingered only briefly like the brush of a butterfly's wing. He pulled away and gazed at her, Dorothy just stared thinking about what just happened.
Was this what humans called a kiss?
"Why did you do that?" she asked genuinely interested.
"Because I wanted to see how you would react. But then I suppose you would act much different if Roger Smith was the one kissing your cold lips."
The very thought of that made Dorothy stiffen with sudden…. She didn't know what this illogical reaction was but… It made her uncomfortable… Such thoughts were not allowed in her well-ordered mind.
"I would act no different Alan Gabriel," she replied beginning to play again. Alan sighed positively overjoyed; he now knew that the gift he was going to give her was going to prove to be a real test for her.
"You're lying" he teased gently his voice rising in a softly flirtatious manner,
"I cannot lie I was not programmed to do so."
Alan really did love this side of her, the unflappable perpetually foul tempered android looked dare he say flustered? Her playing at the piano was rising and falling with more and more variation. Like her emotions that were sparking in all those circuits,
"I want you to have this as my gift" he said removing a brightly wrapped box from his breast pocket.
Dorothy turned her head though did not stop playing "Why should I take it?" she asked again.
"Because it is a gift from a man to a woman." Dorothy lips parted in what would have been a gasp. That flash of humanity flared once again in her eyes and Alan chuckled. He left it on the piano ledge and stood just as the door opened to Mr. Rosewater's office.
Dorothy stopped playing and her eyes settled on the pink box, quickly she slipped it into her breast pocket and followed Roger out the door.
When Alan was sure the both of them had gone he let out a very contrary chuckle before following Rosewater back into the office…
In the Griffon Dorothy clutched the box in her hand, Roger was oblivious to her sudden flustering he stared stoically ahead his brow furrowed lightly with concentration.
"Roger, what gift does a man give a woman?" she suddenly blurted breaking the tense silence. Roger's black eyes flicked momentarily over to her and then back to the road
"Why would you ask something like that Dorothy?"
Dorothy paused before her tiny lips parted "I just want to know, that's all."
Roger seemed to consider his words carefully before answering her "a man can give many things to a woman…" he began and trailed off as they came to a stoplight. He now glimpsed the bright pink box in her pale gray hands.
"What is that?" he snatched it from her and pulled the ribbon apart, letting it drop into his lap. Opening the box he gasped, Roger seemed frozen where he sat before a car behind blared a loud honk. Handing it back to Dorothy he cleared his throat
Dorothy waited patiently
"Where did you get that Dorothy?"
Dorothy's fingers tightened around the box, she still hadn't seen what was in there….
"I found it in Rosewater's office."
"You're a poor liar Dorothy."
If she were human she would have cursed Roger Smith.
"Alan gave it to me as a gift." She replied coolly
"Alan!" Roger exclaimed his gloved hands suddenly tightening on the large steering wheel. He took a breath
"And you took it!" he turned to her as he slammed on the breaks, another ancient stoplight red.
"Yes I did… You're such a LOUSE Roger Smith." Dorothy cried feeling something strange happening to her. Her throat seemed to be tightening up, even though she had no esophagus to speak of.
"Do you KNOW what that is?" he inquired
Dorothy gently lifted up the small cover of the box and gasped "It is a ring." She said after a time.
Roger sighed "Yes I know that, but do you know what that kind of ring symbolizes?!"
"No" she said bluntly, Roger looked like he was going to explode from exasperation.
"Its an engagement ring"
Dorothy went very, very still something flashing through her mind. Something warm and amber colored filled with… Happiness.
"An engagement ring?" she whispered reaching out and touching the cool platinum of the band. Knowing that ore like this was very rare now…. And the stone, it was a very beautiful color like quicksilver… She held it up to the light and watched it glimmer the facets winking and sparkling dragging her into a world of memory…
Dorothy turned calmly to the Negotiator of Paradigm City
"Why are you so worked up Roger, Alan has no feelings for me nor I for him. This is just another trick that Rosewater is trying to play on you…" she then turned sharply to the window her red hair barely shifting.
The rest of the ride was tensely silent; Roger opened his mouth a few times to speak and decided to keep quiet.
Dorothy all the while was silently thinking, why would… A thought came to her, it ticked at her like a frayed wire. Was it… that… Roger Smith…. Had feelings for…
Swiftly Dorothy turned to him as they pulled into the garage of the old bank building still under construction and cried
"Are you vexed with me because you would have rather given this to me?"
Roger threw the car into park and stepped out of the car without so much as a glance in her direction…
And so ended the days activities, Dorothy solemnly returned to her duties with Norman with no more word of the ring or what happened in the morning. Silently though in the evening when everyone had gone to bed she took the strange ring from its nest of velvet and placed it on her finger. Watching it in the lone light of the kitchen bulb…Observing how it sparkled and shined.