Disclaimer: Don't own don't sue. I do own all the other characters that pop into this ficcy as well as the story itself. If you want to archive please ask, I'm a nice person. :)

Warnings: angst, Seventeen's POV, fluff

Rating: PG 13

Notes: Having completed the fic,'The Return' I wondered just how did 17 and 18 become androids in the first place? The TV series declines to give this information so all we know is that both were once human. Just how then did they come to be with Gero? And what did he do to convince them to become androids? The more I thought about this the longer this fic grew until what was originally intended to be the prologue rapidly turned into part one of the Android arc series.

Android Arc #1


Jan 2002 Debs-dragon

Chapter 1

Although ten years have passed since that fateful day the memory still lingers as fresh as ever and the pain has yet to diminish. The day started out just the same as any other day with my sleep being roused by the sun's warming rays through my curtains. I hopped out of bed and scampered downstairs. Dad had already left for work at the Orange Star Bank where he was the assistant manager and my mother and sister were still asleep. Quietly I filled the kettle and put it on to boil, then taking out my mother's favorite tea cup, I placed it on the tray and putting tea bags into the tea pot I waited for the kettle to boil. A soft noise behind me alerted me to my sister's presence. I turned and smiled and Krystal smiled back. She climbed up onto the stool and sat facing me, clutching her teddy bear in one hand as she tried to rub the sleep from her eyes with the other. She yawned.

"Morning, sleepyhead," I teased.

"Just watch who you call a sleepyhead," she replied and poked her tongue out at me.

I poked my own tongue back and was contemplating further action when the kettle began to sing. Carefully I switched it off and poured the steaming water into the pot. Krystal sat with her arms sprawled upon the bench, her head resting upon them watching my every move. She didn't have to speak, I knew what she was thinking. That was part of being a twin I suppose... we always knew what the other was feeling or thinking. Sometimes it was scary to have such an intimate connection with one's sister... but then it was also comforting as well.

Deciding that the tea had brewed for long enough I poured the amber fluid into the cup and added a drop of milk. There, nice and strong, just how mother liked it. I picked up the tray and began to walk towards the door... Krystal was right behind me. She knocked at mom's door and waited for the reply then opened the door so I could enter. Mom sat up in the bed and beckoned us forward. Carefully I passed her the steaming cup of tea.

She smiled as she took the saucer. "Why, thank you so much Jay," she said. "I was just thinking about how much I would love a cup and here you are. You must be a mind reader."

I smiled shyly and muttered "You're welcome," as I watched Krystal climb carefully on the bed and sneak up for a cuddle. Not wanting to be left out, I also wormed my way onto the bed. Our mother was what I termed to be a living angel. She had the softest blue eyes that were always twinkling with merriment. Her hair was the colour of pale corn silk and just as soft. When she spoke her voice rang out soft and gentle with a musical tone to it. Never once in my 7 years had I ever seen those eyes cloud or that voice deepen in anger.

Although we were twins, Krystal and I were nothing alike. While she took after our mother with her golden hair, I was more like our father. Dark locks framing a tanned face which looked at the world through clear blue eyes. Needless to say we were not identical twins.

Mother put her cup down having drunk most of the contents and then drew us both into her warm embrace. It felt so good to be hugged.

"So, my children, shall we go on that shopping expedition we have been planning?" she asked.

Krystal squealed with delight. "Oh yes please," she said.

Mentally I ran the image of my mother and sister shopping for clothes through my mind. It wasn't exactly my idea of how to spend a day.

"Jay... Jay..." My mother's voice broke into my daydreaming. I looked up, "Yes?" I asked, playing for time and trying to order my thoughts.

"Krystal and I are going on a shopping trip, you need some new clothes for school so you will need to come along," she said.

She must have seen the discomfort that flitted across my face as the thought of shopping with two females went through my mind.

"I promise it won't be that bad and we can stop and have an ice cream sundae when we have finished," she cooed.

I continued to scowl, but not as bad as before. The thought of an ice cream sundae did tempt me a little.

"And while we are in the store we will see if the latest title in your favourite anime series is out on dvd yet," she added slyly.

That was the final straw... I grinned from ear to ear. I was gone, hook, line and sinker. Boy did she ever know how to get to me. I threw my arms around her neck and inhaled the scent that was my mother. "Thanks," I said.

She pulled me close and squeezed me before patting my back and chasing us out so she could get ready for the shopping trip. As I ran down the hallway towards my bedroom bursting with happiness, I had no way of knowing that this was to be the last time I would hug my mother, the last time I would bring her tea in bed... the last time we would share such a close and warm moment.


An hour later we were ready to go. Mom wore a soft lemon sun dress that highlighted her hair and made her look a lot younger than her 30 years of age. Krystal was in her blue skirt and white shirt while I wore my favourite blue jeans with my white undershirt and black over shirt with my trademark red scarf around my neck. We piled into the air car and drove off into the town.

The trip was a short one as we lived just on the outskirts of the major city. I watched the landscape drift past as Krystal chattered non stop to our mother about school, clothes and shopping... girl stuff... yuk! I sighed inwardly. It wasn't that I disliked my sister, on the contrary, I loved her dearly. It was just that sometimes.. well... she could be really annoying. And now was one of those times. All I wanted to do was be left alone with my thoughts. It was bad enough having myself drawn along on this shopping trip without suffering the continuous barrage of questions from Krystal that were designed to slowly get me riled up.

I gave her my best glare. One that clearly said shut up or I will shut you up!. Before she had a chance to say any more Mother braked and parked the car. I looked around, noting that we were not in the car park of the shopping centre. I raised an eyebrow at Krystal but before she could say anything mother cut the engine and turned to face us both.

"I just need to stop in at the bank to get some money and speak to your father," she explained and then before we could object she began to exit the car. "Won't be a moment, be good," she said and with a wink she walked off towards the formidable looking building.

Silently we watched her go, both unaware that we had seen our mother for the last time.

I turned my attention to staring out the window again at the various cars in the parking lot. There were some nice, sleek models and some older types. One in particular caught my attention. "Ouch!" I jumped and scowled as Krystal poked me in the ribs. "Don't do that," I scolded, annoyed at myself for allowing her to catch me unawares.

"I like watching you jump," she giggled and tried to poke me again.

This time I was ready and moved out the way, managing to dig my own finger into her ribs as I dodged causing her to collapse in a fit of laughter.

"Not fair!" she gasped.

"Yes it is.." I called back and then smiling wickedly I slowly advanced on her, wiggling my finger in the air as I moved closer.

Her eyes danced with laughter as she tried vainly to get away from me. "No... no.. no... " she choked out between giggles.

"Agghhhh!" I screamed as I pounced and began to tickle her ribs mercilessly.

Suddenly I froze as a volley of shots rang out through the still air. I stopped my assault and looked up out of the window, eyes wide. Beside me I felt Krystal scrambling to look out the window as well.

"What was that?" she asked me as confusion crossed her face.

"I don't know," I replied. For some reason a feeling of fear ran through my body. I looked again at the bank doors, willing my mother to walk out of them. Then the doors burst open and two rather large burly men with masks on came running out and streaked across the car park yelling abuse at each other as they made for the unusual car I had been studying earlier. Before I could blink they had gotten themselves inside and the engine roared into life. Next thing the tyres screamed as the vehicle performed a feat that was not in its design to do so, and side swiping our car with a sickening sound of colliding metal it headed out of the area. I glimpsed the red rimmed, frightened eyes of one of the men and overheard the words.. "You didn't have to shoot" as they bounced off our car, out of the parking area and into the traffic.