"Shouldn't she be hooked up to a recharging unit?" Rommie asked as she and Harper left Neleh's room that night after putting her to bed.

"She doesn't need it. I've had some time to refine the original plans I used to make you and I've modified her power cells to recharge while she sleeps. She will need a recharging unit, but probably only once a month, maybe less." he finished as he sat down on the couch and leaned his head back.

"Tired?" she asked as she sat down next to him.

"Man, I though Cass had a lot of energy, but put the two of them together and watch them feed off of each other. It's just wild." he said, keeping his eyes closed. Rommie chuckled softly and snuggled up to him, he instictively put an arm around her shoulder, pulling her close. They had been spending a lot of time together lately and it had deepened the friendship that already had. They were a lot more comfortable with and around each other and it showed. They had already gotten looks from Dylan and Tyr about it, but it didn't really faze them.


"Yeah Rommie?"

"How do you think of Neleh?" she asked without looking at him.

"What?" he asked as he looked down at her.

"I mean, is she just something you made, or is she something more to you?"

"Uhh . . .well . . .On some level she?ll always be something I created, but on a deeper level, I think she's something more."

"You think?"

"Well, she hasn't even been around for 24 hours. I mean, the whole calling me dad thing pulls at my heart strings, but I'm just not sure yet. I'm certain she will become something more, but for now, she's Neleh and I like having her around." he said. "Why all the questions?"

"I was just wondering." she said quietly.

"Rommie what is it?" she stayed silent for a moment.

"I think I love her already." she got out. "I mean, I just look at her and feel a connection. I can't explain it. That's not wrong is it?" she asked him.

"Nah, just don't tell Dylan or Tyr. You know, I had wondered if she'd affect you more. I mean, she's an AI. You're not the only one any more, you have some one to pass experiences down to, stories, stuff like that. I mean, we did essentially create a child. Maybe not in the traditional way, but we did. Let's just hope our weeks of careless flinging aren't going to be regreted." he said, the last part was very melodramatic. She laughed at him. "What?"

"You're funny Seamus." she said.

"Woah, you called me Seamus. Am I in trouble for something I don't know about?" he asked her.

"No. It just didn't feel like a Harper moment, more like a Seamus moment." He chuckled at her.

"You can be kinda funny some times, you know that Rommie?"

"Yes. I've also noticed how I'm not Rom-Doll to you any more. Why not?" she asked. She didn't really enjoy Rom-Doll, but it had started to grow on her. She was starting to find it cute when Harper said it.

"So maybe I decided you're not Rom-Doll any more." he said as he looked down at her.

"Why not?" she asked, a little scared that something was wrong. Harper studied her face for a moment and went for it. The kiss was long, slow and gentle, giving her the chance to push away from him, smack him and storm out of the room. When she didn't resist and started to get into it, he wrapped his arms a little tighter around her. He was breathless by the time they pulled apart and they both looked at each other for another moment.

"That's why." he said softly as he looked in her eyes. "I know I probably shouldn't have done that, but, I don't know. . ." he trailed off. She smiled a little.

"It's okay." she said. "It means you've grown up, even if it is just a little bit."

"What do you mean?"

"I was something you lusted over and your common decency, because I'm sentient, kept you from pushing it. Now, I think you might have done that for the right reasons." she said as she stood up.

"But you're still leaving." he said, a little rejected.

"No I'm not." she said as some soft music came on. "I just figured I'd teach you something tonight." she said as she pulled him up. He was always dancing to that fast music and sat the slow ones out and she decided it was time to put a stop to it.

"So," he asked, "does this mean we're, uh . . ."



"I think we might be." she said with a smile as she layed her head on his shoulder. He got a croked smile on his face.

"I think I like that idea."