Main Characters: Albert and Candy

Disclaimer: The characters, Albert and Candy, belong to author Kyoko Mizuki and artist Yumiko Igarashi, TOEI Animation, Co., Tokyo. 1976. This story is just for fun.

Author's Note: This is not, I repeat, NOT related to Candy Candy Anime series or Manga. I was inspired to write this story by 2000's anime 'The Perfect Boyfriend' by Yuu Watase, and 'Chōdenji Machine Voltes V' & 'Tosho Daimos' from the 1970's by the late Yatsude Saburou. Voltes V and Daimos were my first childhood Japanese animes, before Candy Candy.

Enjoy!

"Cyborg Albert"

Chapter 1: A Man in Hood

2011...

Los Angeles, the second largest city in California... streets were busy that evening, a golden, straight-haired woman in late twenties, wearing a dark, gray blazer and blue skirt named Candy, hurriedly came out of the Kentac Corporation building where she was working as an executive officer. She was walking on her way to the parking lot while talking to her best friend on her cellphone, irritated.

"Jamee, I told you I don't want a blind date anymore! The last time you set me up a date with was as genius as my hairdresser! And before that, the guy talks about nothing, but himself!" Candy complained hotly.

"I'm sorry about that, Candy! I didn't know the last one was gay. He looked so handsome I thought he was right enough to satisfy to your liking." Jamee apologized thoughtfully from the other line.

"I gave you few tips on what I want in a man million times! Those two are deadbeats! Are you trying to tick me off?"

"Best friend, I'm sorry if those men turned you off. You can't expect me to find someone as noble as Prince William of Wales, you know!" Jamee replied back in a ridicule tone.

"Wha- I beg to differ, I didn't ask you to find dates for me. You pushed me into it!" Candy corrected her friend. Hey, dating a real prince like Prince William wouldn't be so bad. His fiancée, Kate Middleton, is so lucky! Millions of women in the world are so eager to be his princess! What is it like if I dated a prince? Hmm? She secretly dreamed. Prince William had been her big crush since she was in high school.

"Please, give me one more chance, Candy! This time, he's for real! You won't regret this, I promise," she nagged one more time.

"Where did you find him this time? How do I know he is even from this planet?" Candy asked in sarcasm, as she entered the parking lot area.

"He is my cousin's old school friend. I had chats with him at my cousin's last birthday party, and he's very friendly and clever! You'll love him!" her friend boasted.

"No, no, no! I said no! I'm not interested!" Candy exclaimed in annoyance.

"Just this once, Candy. Please? I won't fail you this time, honest!"

"Jamee, what part of 'no more blind dates' do you not understand? I've had it! Look, I'm tired, okay? We'll talk about this when we meet on the next weekend. G'bye, best friend!" *click!*

"But, Candy-!"

Upon reaching to her Honda Accord Coupe car, she briskly looked for her car keys in her shoulder bag, when suddenly a gun was pointed to the back of her head. She slowly turned around and found three, young men wearing scary, Halloween masks on their faces. One of them demanded: "Give me your car keys and your bag!"

"No way!" Candy dauntlessly shot back. "Why don't you grow up and get yourselves a job, you lazy morons!"

The tallest one in the center of the group approached Candy, "Well, well, well, we have one tough, sassy b$*# here! Do as we say, or we'll kill you!" Then he forcibly pulled her bag away.

"HEY-let go of my bag!" struggled the young female, grabbing her bag back with her life.

The other young man spoke up, "Ha! Ha! Ha! Stop resisting! Give up your bag if you don't want the cops to find your dead body in the morning!"

Without thinking, Candy furiously kicked him under his pants. The man painfully cried in horror. "Y-You dared to kick me in the nuts! You crazy b$*#!" Two of his friends went to Candy's sides and forcefully seized her arms. She knew she was helpless, and nothing could save her from them. She didn't expect this would end her life so soon. "Now, time for payback..." He angrily clenched his fists and swung his hand toward Candy's face as the deafening sound was heard by her scream, however, he was held by another man standing behind him. "What the hell...?"

Everyone froze to their positions when they set their eyes on a man of six-footer wearing a heavy, black jacket. They couldn't see his face clearly for it was fully covered by his hood, except there were two holes for his eyes, and a zipper on top. They let Candy go. The man with a gun nervously released several bullets, aiming at the person's chest, though they were bounced off to different direction. One of the bullets almost targeted Candy, but she was safe.

T-The bullets didn't go through him! He-he didn't even move an inch. W-What kind of a man is he? Candy thought, as she watched the whole scene with terror.

Ultimately, the hooded man lifted up his head and zoomed in onto the shooter, and his unnerving, red eyes coming from the holes started to glow. The young man with a weapon was carried two or three feet off the ground. Great with panic, the young man put up a fight to free from the stranger's strong force, but he was too weak. The others who were with him were overly frightened and could not save their friend, instead they retreated. Candy was sure she heard the hooded man speak something in a language she couldn't fathom, then he let the inferior boy go, and ran for his life.

Candy gulped. She was left alone with a strange man who saved her life. If I remember from the news, some women were being raped or brutally murdered by men who wear hoods. Or worse, turn me into a chop-chop lady! Seconds later, the man gradually came closer to where Candy was sitting in fear. She had no way out, but to plead for her life. "P-Please, mister, d-don't hurt me! *Sniff!* I-I want to thank you for stopping them. I... I just wanted to go home. *Sniff!* Don't hurt me!" sobbed Candy, hoping he'd understand her words. There was no response. He kept on staring at her beautiful, emerald eyes. To her surprise, the man offered his hands to help her stand up. "Oh, t-thank you!"

In a while, the strange man unzipped his hood to allow Candy to see his face. She couldn't help covering her face as she was astounded by his attractive looks. He.. he is good-looking! Those soft, light-blue eyes remind me of my favorite actor, Brad Pitt. His lips strike as kissable. His hair is short, auburn with curls at the back like fashion model Gabriel Aubry's, whom Halle Berry dumped recently. His clothes are old and badly worn. He must be homeless. I wonder...I wonder if I didn't dream what I saw tonight. But, I was awake! That wasn't a dream! On spur of moment, the man in hood swiftly turned around and left.

"Huh? Hey, mister, wait! Stop!" He willingly obeyed. Candy followed where he was. "I...I don't know if you can understand me, but I want to show you my appreciation, may I invite you to stay with me at my house?" What the... CANDY, are you out of your mind? How can you just trust this man that popped out of nowhere so easily? She heard her conscience yelling at her. The blonde-haired man studied Candy if her intention was sincere, he smiled a little and nodded. "Good! There's my car! Let's go?"

o - o - o - o - o

As Candy was driving her newly-bought transportation, she and her strange hero were quiet.

"My name is Candace White, by the way, or call me Candy for short..," she introduced herself, breaking the silence. "What is your name?" There was no answer from the man sitting next to her. He remained looking at the road.

"I guess you're a little hard of hearing, or mute. I don't know sign language, sorry. Wait, I thought I heard you talk in another language. Let me try in Spanish, okay? I'm good at that subject. My boss insists that I study Spanish because he wants me to mingle with other people who can't speak English well. Here goes.. ahem.. ¿Cómo te llamas?" No reply. "Still nothing? How about in French? I suck at French. My accent is bad. Here it is.. Mon nom est Candy. Quel est votre nom?"

Candy was getting frustrated, but not giving up hope. "Ah, Japanese! I heard one of the clerks inquire me in Japanese when I stayed in Japanese hotel with my clients last year... Anata no namae wa nanidesu ka?" The man made no movements. "Last one. Maybe you only know Italian. How's this? Qual è il tuo nome?" Candy eyed the mysterious, yet beautiful person. How about that? I'm riding with a person whose body is here with me, but the mind seems to be traveling somewhere. I ran out of languages to spill, so help me! She fussed impatiently in her mind.

Ten minutes later, they stopped at the intersection. Then the man replied calmly. "Albert."

"Huh?" Her face turned to Albert. "What did you say?"

"My name is Albert," looking at her, without any expression on his face.

"Oh, thank God, you finally talked! And in English, too! I'm sorry for being rude. I was afraid I had to come up with another language trying to make you to talk. Pleased to meet you, Albert! So, where are you from?" Goodness, not only he is gorgeous, but his voice is splendid! By the sound of his voice melts me like butter.

"I... I don't have a place to stay," the man with a hood acknowledged, looking down to his feet. "I sleep everywhere."

"Oh, I see." Candy put herself on hold for a moment. "Ah! Don't worry, I will give you a room. It belonged to my parents," she offered in a cheery tone.

"Why would you give me a room if it's theirs? Where are your parents?" The man of hunk inquired, glancing at Candy with curiosity.

"They... they are gone." Candy noticed Albert's confused look. "Sigh...I mean, my Mom left Dad and me when I was three, then my Dad died in a tragic car accident. So... Uncle Nick, a police officer, is all I have," she simply stated, keeping her eyes on the road.

"Oh. I'm sorry I asked."

"Oh, no! No worries!"

"C-Can I ask you a question?"

"Fire away."

"Why are you not afraid of me? You should run away like those kids did," Albert let out a simple question.

"Well, your eyes tell me that you will not harm me. I really don't know. To me, you look like a trustworthy man," she honestly complimented. A bodyguard, more likely. I thought I needed one... for now. This isn't the first time that happened to me, she added to herself.

Looking freely out in the window, "T-Thank you."

"You're welcome, Albert," she responded. "Say, it's still early, why don't we go to a small restaurant for dinner? I haven't eaten any since lunch, and I know you're starving, too!"

o - o - o - o - o

Albert and Candy had enjoyed their small dinner. One and the other couldn't understand, but their small talk about outside their personal lives was somewhat delightful.

An hour later, they arrived at Candy's simple, middle-class neighborhood home, thirty minutes away from where she worked. She led Albert to her doorway.

"Well, here we are! Welcome! Make yourself at home!" Candy rendered, as she dropped her shoulder bag and folders on a table nearby.

"It... it looks nice," Albert said, a little flattered.

"Why, thank you!"

Albert scanned the entire place. He was uncertain if seeing mess objects such as clothes, used socks, shredded papers, candy wrappers, chips, canned sodas, dumbbells in every part of the house was proper to be seen by guests.

Candy jumped in with a big grin on her face. "Hee-hee! I'm sorry for the mess! You see, I'm not a neat freak! I just do not have time to tidy things up. I'm always on the go for work, even on weekends. It's my boss' fault! I used to work for only five days, and now six! But...", she reckoned immensely. "Guess what? He gave me two days off starting tomorrow! He was proud of the project I presented, and he recommended that I deserve a little break."

"You do. You seem to be smart and diligent," he remarked, praising her efforts.

"Thanks. Tomorrow, we'll go shopping for your new clothes at JC Dollar Menswear that just opened the other week."

Albert turned around, looking unhappy with Candy's generosity. "No, I'm fine with this outfit. I don't want to trouble you. Giving me a place to sleep is enough for me already," he retorted.

"Oh no, that is not right," the blonde-haired lady argued, shaking her index finger. "You can't go out of the house wearing that same outfit every day." Candy walked closer, the man, wearing a dark hood, gawked at the small, feminine hands that reached his. "It's okay, Albert. You are not a trouble for me. Don't worry about it. Think of this as a reward for saving me."

"Thank you. Wait.. what is that sound?"

Candy whirled her head. The wee cry sounded familiar. She ran to her medium-sized sofa. "Oh no, TEENY! What are you doing under the sofa, baby? Ooh, you were trying to push your toy. Hold on, let me get a broom!"

"Can I help you? I'll hold the sofa for you, and then, you grab him," he volunteered with a small smile.

"Okay, and it's a HER!" she exclaimed, correcting her pet's gender.

Albert grasped the edge of the sofa and gently picked it up as high as he could. That performance left his hostess dumbfounded with her mouth open wide. Amazing... the two delivery men who carried that sofa were having a difficult time, but Albert... using only ONE hand... had no problem with it. He must be Superman's long-lost son, perhaps?

Surprisingly, his new friend made no movements whatsoever. "Um, are you going to get them?"

"Oh, I am sorry! Come here, Teeny! There, got you!" she said, hugging her pet. "You little rascal, you made 'mommy' worry again."

"What is that thing?" Albert asked as he descended the couch.

"It's my Persian kitty. She's an animal, not a thing. Isn't she adorable? She is so small I call her Teeny," she told Albert.

The little kitten's chestnut eyes met Albert's, and suddenly, she jumped on his broad shoulder, and purred happily with her furry tail tied around his neck. "W-What is she doing?" his blue eyes blinked innocently.

"Hee-hee, Teeny likes you. It's strange, you know. I've never seen her reacted that way to my previous suitors before. When she spots a guy sitting with me, she will butt in and sit between us," she stated proudly. "Clever kitty! That means she doesn't like the guy. Go ahead, pat her on the head. She does not scratch."

Albert willingly stroked the kitten's head, and then responded by licking his hand. He featured a pleasing comment. "You're right. She is precious. I have never encountered any animal before. Do you mind if I play with her?" He inquired in a normal, friendly tone, looking at Candy.

"I don't mind, go ahead, please. Won't you sit down here while I go fetch something comfortable for you to wear, okay? Teeny, be nice to our guest!"

Soon, Candy came back with two sets of clothes. She refrained from walking when she heard her guest let out a soft laugh. She hid herself behind the wall, watching Albert, who was sitting on her sofa with his arms rested on the top, and her pet. Listen to him laugh... he looks so sweet and angelic when he smiles. "A-Ahem! I take it you two are getting along well."

"Watching your pet playing around with her rubber toy sure is entertaining. I...I've never laughed like this before," he pointed out jovially, without looking at his hostess.

"R-Really?" the last statement made Candy more curious, but chose not to ask what he meant. "When I have a bad day at work, Teeny knows what to do. She'll do whatever it takes to make me laugh. That is why I love her."

"Love? Uh, What is that?" Albert asked peculiarly.

Candy took a deep sigh before she began. "Love is a strong positive emotion of regard and affection. Like for example, number one, Teeny made you laugh today, or happy. Two, when someone or something that I love is gone, I'll be sad. Three, when you choose to give up your own happiness to make the other person happy, which is called sacrifice. Now, that's the definition of love," she softly explained.

Albert turned to Candy, and looked at her for a moment. The blonde female ignored his dashing, blue eyes, "Oh, here are your clothes. On my left, is your pajama, and on my right, are your regular clothes when we go out tomorrow. They were my Dad's. I hope they fit you. Um, I will show you to your room."

Candy walked away first, then Albert followed her path. She opened the door slowly for him. "This is your room," suddenly her kitten ran to the bed and helplessly climbed on it. "HEY! No, Teeny, this isn't our room! It's on the next one! Get off the bed!" The stubborn, little kitten brushed off her mistress' demands. "I can't believe my own pet dumped me!"

"It's okay," he said to Candy. Let her stay with me. I'll see you tomorrow, then?"

"Yes, Albert. We'll have fun tomorrow, so sleep well!" she waved good-bye, and then went straight to her room.

CONTINUED...

o - o - o - o - o

Well, guys, what do you think of the first chapter? I hope you like this! Please, leave a review.

Author's Note: I'm a big fan of cop-crime shows like Law & Order: Los Angeles, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and NCIS:LA. Candy's lines regarding the female victims' incident happened in real life.

© EnakaT 2011