"Why can't you learn to understand where I'm coming from?" 7 demanded, glaring defiantly at 1. "This isn't about you or your ego. I'm not doing this just to tick you off."
1 frowned at the female stitchpunk, weighing the truth of her words. By now he'd known her long enough to tell when she was lying. Or half lying in this case. Sure she went out and scouted a lot to help protect the others but she also knew how much the leader didn't like it and this spurred her on to do it as often as she could.
7 seemed to enjoy making him angry.
"Don't give me that, garbage, 7," he snapped, gripping his staff in an angry vice-like grip. "You know very well that's not the full truth. Just admit it. You like seeing me lose my temper."
"You're full of yourself, you know that?" she responded, grasping her spear so tightly the servos in her left hand whined in protest. "Not everything is about you, you know. If I didn't do what I did this place might have been found out by now."
There it was. The same old excuse. He should have known she'd use it again. Maybe there was some truth to her words but he would never admit it.
"That is besides the point," he snapped, taking a step toward her. She didn't even flinch but stood her ground, daring him to approach her. "Why can't you try looking at things through my perspective for once? What you're doing is causing more harm than good."
"Only to you," she shot back. "The others think otherwise."
Of course they would. If given a chance, they'd all choose 7 over 1 any day. Though he was the leader, none of the others really agreed with what he did but were too afraid to say anything. They would rather stay out of the entire argument. It was safer than taking sides in a discussion. Which probably explained why none of the others were ever around when 1 and the female had their disagreements.
"I don't care what they think," he shot back, his temper reaching its boiling point. "This doesn't concern them. This concerns you and your behavior. Why can't you at least try not to defy me?" he placed his hand on his chest. "I'm only trying to do what's best for you."
"No, you're not," she retorted. "You're trying to do what's best for you. You don't care about us."
"If I didn't care about any of you I would have sent you all out to die a long time ago," he informed her, sounding totally offended. "How dare you think such a thing about me!"
7 did not take back what she said. His defensiveness only seemed to be solidifying her opinion.
1 sighed, suddenly weary of the entire thing. Without a word he turned away.
"Giving up so soon?" she asked him, a slight mocking lilt in her tone.
1 ignored her and kept going. She was trying to bait him, trying to make him continue the discussion. He didn't want to go any of this further down the rabbit hole and felt it would be best just to walk away before it grew more heated. 7 called after him once more but he didn't even turn.
He stepped out onto the roof, thinking the night air would help him calm down. A blast of cold arctic like wind hit him, nearly sending him pinwheeling off the roof. He managed to keep his balance and walked along the gabled roof, his mind still on the argument with 7.
Why did she always have to start something? Couldn't she just let him win for once? Didn't she realize what she was doing would only lead to catastrophe? He looked back toward the church, toward his throne room where he knew she was still standing. Didn't she realize how much trouble she was causing for them all? Maybe she did and that was why she behaved the way she did.
"No," he finally admitted, ducking his head against the wind. "That's not true. She might be a rebellious and stubborn female but she would never intentionally jeopardize us all just to make me look bad."
No, she wouldn't, it wasn't a part of her character.
Something cold kissed his cheek.
1 put up his hand, feeling something wet land on his palm. He pulled his hand away in surprise then looked up into the sky. Though it was dark he could still make out the softly falling flakes as they swirled toward the ground.
He stared up at the silently falling flakes, his conversation with 7 temporarily forgotten. He'd never seen snow before, except for in books. For some reason the sight of it made him feel calmer.
"Soo..." he breathed, putting put his hand to catch some of the flakes in his cold, metal hand. "Life ends yet the seasons still change..."
He looked at the snowflakes in his hand which were beginning to melt from the heated metal. "Everything must go on..."
For some reason he felt depressed as the flakes slowly melted into water drops that slid between his fingers and plopped onto the cold, metal roof. It reminded him of how short life was and how easily it could end.
It will end for all of us.. one way or another... he looked out over the town, now deserted and quiet. Not one human had set foot there since the war.
There never would be. All humans, all organic life, was dead. It was only the eight of them. They were the only living beings on the entire planet. Six males and two females. The odds were kind of uneven there, though it wasn't like any of them could replenish the earth anyway. They were dolls with no organic parts.
Wait. Why was he even thinking about that anyway?
1 shook his head, scattering the thought. That had nothing to do with anything. It was merely wishful thinking, if that.
He looked up at the snow falling silently from the clouds. "Nothing lasts," he said out loud. "One day even we will wear out and fall to pieces. Then what will be left in this world? An empty planet with not even the smallest spark of life to grace it's barren surface?"
The voice made him jump. The stitchpunk hadn't expected anyone to bother him. Usually when he went out on the roof everyone understood that he wanted to be left alone. 1 turned to face the speaker.
7 stood in the entrance of the secret passage, looking out at him. She had a serious look on her face. He wondered briefly how long she'd been standing there.
"What do you want?" he demanded, frowning at her. "Can't you see I wish to be left alone right now?"
7 didn't move. She stayed where she was and stared at him with a look that seemed pitying. He finally looked away, feeling nervous. He didn't want her pity.
"1?" she said again.
The older stitchpunk looked at her once more. He noticed she'd stepped onto the roof and was coming toward him. He waited, wondering what she was going to say.
Before she could reach him though she lost her footing and slipped.
He moved without thinking, grabbing her arm and helping her straighten up.
7 looked up at him briefly then pushed him away, seemingly not wanting him touching her.
He frowned letting her go. Why did she have to be that way? Did her pride really have to be so foolish?
"Would you rather I let you fall off the roof?" he demanded.
"No," she replied sharply. "I just-"
"You just what?"
7 turned quickly away from him, giving up. "Never mind."
1 started to make a snappy comeback but held himself back. He wasn't in the mood for this now. Why did she have to come outside and bother him anyway? What was the point?
"Tell me what you want," he pressed.
"You shouldn't be out there," she told him.
Well this was different. "And why not?" he asked, frowning at her. "When you go outside all of the time and don't care about the danger."
"It doesn't seem in character for you." she said to him.
Her statement made him go silent. She was right, he didn't usually go outside by himself but this time he just couldn't stand to stay inside. Then again she didn't seem to be aware that he sometimes did go out just to walk along the roof. Of course he didn't tell her this, she'd just accuse him of hypocrisy.
Just then a snowflake touched 7's shoulder and he saw her shiver.
"Cold?" he asked her.
She looked away as if admitting it made her look weak.
"Now come on," he said as he unclasped the red worn cape he wore. "Let's not go through this because of your pride." he walked over and put the cape over her shoulders, much to her shock. "It's not going to kill you to admit you're cold."
As he did this she looked at him with shock and confusion. He was actually doing something nice for a change? She wasn't willing to believe that but she did know it was cold out and the cape helped her feel warmer. Maybe she should at least be grateful for it instead of denying the offer or thinking he had an ulterior motive.
1 didn't respond to her thanks, instead turning quietly away and focusing his attention back to the wastes and the snow that was quietly covering the carnage.
7 watched him, wondering what was on his mind. She'd expected him to say something, maybe even make a comment about her coming out in the cold without being prepared, this silence was surprising and also somewhat unsettling.
What was on his mind?
Should she ask him? Would he tell her if she did? Did she even really want to know?
7 watched him, studying him briefly. He didn't seem to be acting the same as he usually did at the moment. He was preoccupied and it looked like he'd completely forgotten that she was there instead of snapping at her and telling her to do what he wanted. She considered walking away then, figuring it would be wiser just to leave him alone to his thoughts. But something kept her there and she found herself standing in place, wondering why she was and feeling silly for doing so.
"Why did he create us?" 1 suddenly asked. "What was the reason? The humans are dead and we are all that is left."
"I don't know..." she said, though she wasn't sure if he was talking to her or to himself. "But he had to have a reason for it."
"Like what?" he demanded, glancing back at her. "Leaving us to a dead world with no real reason for existing?"
She had no way of answering his question.
1 repeated it, though and looked at her. Obviously he wanted her to give him an answer he himself could not find. "What is the purpose for us existing?" he gestured around them at the ruins. "Look at this world, look at the terror and pain. Look at the death. No one is left alive save for us. What meaning do we hold when there's no one to know or learn about us? We're left with a world of emptiness and we can't even repair it."
"And you, you're not helping either," he went on. "There's so few of us, we can't afford to lose someone else." he gripped his staff, his expression becoming empty. "I don't want to lose you, 7!"
She was taken aback by his statement. "I..."
1 seemed to have realized he'd said more than he should and turned away, focusing his attention back to the silent snowflakes falling around them.
"I'm sure there's a reason," she said finally. "If there wasn't he wouldn't have made us..." she said this to push away the awkwardness of his previous statement.
"I don't know," she said honestly. "I wish I did but I have no answers..."
He sighed, refusing to look at her. "And when we die what will be left? A dead world with only ruins."
7 didn't like this conversation. She wished she knew why 1 was being so fatalistic all of a sudden and wanted nothing more than to change the subject. "Why don't you want to lose me, 1?" she figured she'd go back to the subject that caused her to change it.
But 1 wasn't willing to give her the answer easily and grew silent.
"1, tell me." she pressed.
"Why?" he asked her. "You don't care about anything I say anyway. To you I'm just an old fool who wants to oppress you and lock you up in a decaying tower."
The female stitchpunk couldn't argue with him about that because what he'd said about her was true, still she wanted to know why he'd even brought it up. Maybe it really wasn't that important anyway, maybe he felt that way about everyone?
"1, you're right," she said. "But even so it's odd that you'd say such a thing about me..."
1 put out his hand to catch a snowflake before he responded. "Because I care. I don't do what I'm doing out of selfishness, even though you believe it. There's more to it than that. But you refuse to believe me. You refuse to accept how I feel and make accusations you. If I admitted to you how much I care about you would you believe me?" he turned to her then, holding out his hand. The snowflake had melted by then, leaving a small puddle of water in his palm. "Would you find me sincere or would you, like this snowflake simple melt into nothingness."
She looked away, unable to answer.
1 sighed and closed his fist with a sigh. "I thought so."
7 frowned. What did he expect her to say to him? She didn't even know what to say. His words were confusing and she didn't know what to do with them.
"Why don't you head back inside?" he said finally. "It's getting colder."
He was dismissing her now. Whatever chance she'd had she'd missed. She started to go but paused, looking at him.
1 frowned. "Yes?"
"Are you coming back in?"
"Soon," he said, looking back to the horizon. "When I'm ready."
She sighed and walked over to him, taking the cape off and putting it back over his shoulders. "Then you'll need this," she said.
As she pulled her hand away he grasped it."Wait."
She paused, looking at him curiously. What was he going to say this time?
"Please stay with me." he said. "Just for awhile."
7 started to protest than changed her mind. He wasn't demanding her to do anything, he was requesting it. It seemed odd for him but the way he'd spoken made her feel he was sincere so she nodded and stood beside him.
For the next half hour the stitchpunk duo stood on the roof as the snow came down, watching the silent flakes cover the ruins in a blanket of white.
For some strange reason the snow made everything look peaceful and that was something 7 had been looking for for awhile. She suddenly felt a hand grasping hers and looked down to see 1 had taken it. Usually she'd pull away but at that moment she allowed him to do so.
Just this once.
I started this fic like two years ago and just now got my butt in gear to finish it. While it didn't end exactly how I wanted it to it seems to be an ok ending. I wanted the fic to be a pairing fic but only implying it. Well I hope you enjoyed this one shot.