"These Days It's Hard to Tell"

He's pulling away again.

It was just a hand. Holiday should have expected it. They were at work, for one thing. Six was professionalism wrapped up in a crisp, clean suit-he probably couldn't even conceive of that sort of contact in a work environment. Besides, he had enough trouble with the concept just in itself. Holding hands, hugging-these weren't things Six did. Even in battle he used a blade, keeping the enemy at a distance. Not that he avoided it, either; she couldn't say that. Honestly, most of the time Holiday felt the blame lay in everyone else. It was too easy to buy into the untouchable vibe he put out, like he had his own portable force field radiating around him. Even she had found herself falling for it from time to time, back when they were together (years ago, too many years ago for her to really expect anything more than him walking away, she told herself). He just never seemed in need and never seemed eager to give, and before too long a person could get tricked into thinking that he didn't care one way or the other.

Rex certainly believed it. He'd never admit it, but she knew he looked up to Six. Today practically put that on medical record. Unintentionally, Six had become the closest thing to family he had. It was only reasonable; if she'd been here from the beginning she could have told anyone that it would happen. No memories of his family, no friends other than Bobo the past two years. He'd even told her once that his earliest memory was Six pulling him out the flames. Six might try to ignore it, but fact was, who else did Rex have to latch on to?

Now if only I could convince them both that Six feels the same way.

Holiday sighed, as the alarm from the console rang out. It wasn't long before Six's face popped up in a direct feed as well.


"Again." She was tempted to add "I told you so" but maturity won out (if just barely).

"Damn it."

She shrugged. "Boys will be boys?" she offered, and he glared.

"Not when retrieval costs half a million dollars."

With that, he disconnected, and she sighed again. It was things like this that told her she was right. Six was all about little things: small actions speaking a novel's worth of words. He was disappointed, probably a little worried. No doubt he and White Knight had a little chat about Rex's earlier behavior and this was hardly going to help. Problem was, she wasn't the one that needed to see these things. Rex was, and she wasn't sure the kid would pick it up in time like she had. She couldn't even remember when exactly she became fluent in the secret language of Six. For the entirety of their relationship, he'd never once told her he loved her. Over time, she realized he never would.

And, then, one day she realized she knew he did.

Little things, again, all of them. He always answered when she called, drove her when she needed it even if she didn't ask, listened when she talked even if he didn't know what to say. When he'd leave the room, he had this habit of brushing her hand so she'd know; practically imperceptible, but there. Little things-but put them all together and, somehow, she knew.

How he felt now, she admittedly couldn't say though. Maybe he knew that she could read all his tells and purposely shut them down. Maybe he'd just gotten better at hiding it. Or maybe it had always been intentional. Maybe he only telegraphed what he wanted to, could only convey that strange feeling of knowing if he decided he wanted you to.

But really, did it matter? If anything, it just sealed it. If she couldn't figure it out, how could she expect Rex to? And as long as Providence was so keen on believing Rex was the problem, well . . .

No doubt she'd be seeing his biometrics spike before long.

She checked the clock, pulled out her bag from under the console, grabbed a spare chair, and settled for a working lunch.

Generator Rex does not, and will never, belong to me. This fic is written for pleasure, not profit, with full respect to the correct copyright holders.