DISCLIAMER: I do not own anything.
A/N: This fan fiction is based a lot on the film "Bicentennial man." The concept is basically where a robot slowly becomes more and more human over a long period of time. It's about the robot discovering what it means to be human, what it's like to fall in love and feel emotions that only humans are capable of. It's a very moving movie and I highly recommend it, though you do not need to watch it to understand this fan fiction. Obviously there will be some slight moderations to the story to fit the characters of Sherlock in, and in this case Mycroft is the robot.
Mycroft Holmes started life as all robots did; in a factory as shining metal parts, cogs, and unconnected wires. The design of robots had really improved in the past few years as it became more and more common for human families to each have their own robot. It was a sign of power and money. The more things your robot could do the higher ranking you were in society. Mycroft can remember being created. He can still hear the grind and whir of machines working at a million miles per second just to create more and better robots. The sensation of being surrounded by dirt and oil is still painfully vivid even after all these years, and he can recall the exact moment a sharp shock of electricity was fired through his metal body to boot him up, having the same effect as starting a human heart after it had stopped. Except at the time Mycroft Holmes hadn't owned a heart. He'd been a lifeless and cold as the machines that had helped create him. He'd been fitted with a basic personality and was quite possibly one of the most cutting edge robots made up till that point. Of course, these days, there was a lot of speculation about whether he was a robot at all. It's a very long story my dear readers, so I hope you're holding on tight.
It all started in a house with a normal albeit quite rich family. Mycroft arrived in a long, almost coffin like, box. It would be safe to say that at the time Mycroft had felt dead. But then robots didn't feel such things as death and so he paid it very little attention. When the box was opened, Mycroft was in effect in an induced coma. That all changed when the head of the family pressed the activate button on the small remote that accompanied him. He awoke slowly, the cogs gently starting to whir within his metal skull once more, his wires sparking into life. His vision was hazy at first. He could only make three blurred figures; a man, a woman, and a small boy. Given a few seconds and he was able to make them out clearly, his pixelated vision becoming clearer by the second . The man was obviously the head of the house. He seemed fascinated by Mycroft, a truly enthusiastic grin tugging at his features. The woman seemed perhaps a little baffled. Her eyebrows were raised slightly and going by the slight fear in her eyes she didn't know what to expect. Humans, as Mycroft had learned through his existence, were often terrified of what they couldn't understand. Then there was the boy. The young human couldn't have been more than five or six and his face was caught in a mixture of curiosity and awe. He'd clearly never seen an android before, or at least if he had he hadn't seen one quite as grand as Mycroft was.
Mycroft's head turned slowly and robotically as he announced the title that had been assigned to him by his creators. "North and robotics- household model- Mycroft Holmes –NDO14. Serial number 98625."
"Hello." That had been the first word Mycroft had said by himself. It was a customary human greeting. It only seemed right at the time. He'd then inquired rather politely, because Mycroft had been programmed to be rather delicate in his words and was therefore well-mannered, if the three humans were his family.
"I guess so." The head of the family said, his enthusiastic grin not waning for a second.
Mycroft moved from his box, his legs and arms moving mechanically, soft whirring sounds coming from deep within him. Moving for the first time felt peculiar but it was nice and far more freeing than being enclosed in small, dark space. He heard the little boy mutter that he found Mycroft scary. Had he had the ability at the time Mycroft would have smiled fondly at the young human, instead he just cocked his head slightly.
"Welcome, Mycroft." The man moved forwards slightly and Mycroft regarded him through his unemotional eyes.
"It is a pleasure to be with you, Sir." Mycroft nodded curtly. "Would you care to hear the three laws of robotics? It is said to be the most entertaining presentation."
"Okay, sure." His master nodded and took a cautionary step back.
Mycroft stood stock still, his metal limbs and body freezing and then the show began. A loud bout of supposedly entertaining music arose from Mycroft's skull and a projection floated into the air showing the three laws of robotics that all robots had to abide to.
First law of robotics: Every robot may not injure a human being or through inaction cause a human being to come to harm.
Second law of robotics: A robot must obey all human orders except when those orders come in conflict with the first law.
Third law of robotics: A robot must protect itself so long as doing so does not conflict with the first two laws.
When the presentation was over however Mycroft quickly found out that the human hadn't found it entertaining at all. The boy was huddling close to his mother and the man looked down right shocked and appalled.
"Mycroft, never do that again." The head of the house said sternly.
"Of course not, Sir. It is a onetime only." Mycroft had reassured his humans.
That night Mycroft was taken into the basement of the family's house to rest. It was dark down there but it was dry and a perfect place for a robot to stay when it wasn't being used by its family. It held no purpose at night when the humans were asleep and therefore was expected to stay put until its human awoke. Mycroft didn't mind all that much. He was told goodnight by the human male and Mycroft nodded.
"It certainly is a good night, Sir."
His master laughed softly. At the time Mycroft hadn't seen what was so funny and had been quite puzzled.
"No, Mycroft. The correct response to goodnight is goodnight."
Mycroft shifted slightly. "Goodnight."
"Yes." The human male nodded and Mycroft felt a whir of what was supposedly confusion. He was still a new robot and the sensation didn't quite register with his circuits. "You just said yes, sir."
"The correct response to goodnight is goodnight."
This seemed to amuse the human even more. With a shake of his head the human said one last goodnight and left.
"Goodnight, sir?" Mycroft's circuits had been more than fried then. The correct response tonight was goodnight but in which case that would cause a never ending verbal loop. Surely that couldn't be the case. It was in that moment that Mycroft decided that there was a lot to learn about the endearing creatures that he worked for. Human beings were complicated things. He plugged himself in to charge and fell into not sleep, for robots did not sleep, but a dormant state. He stayed like that for the rest of the night.
Mycroft was soon set to work when morning came. He cooked and cleaned, and followed his humans orders to the letter just as every robot should. Everyday life was a learning process. Mycroft soon found himself asking questions about the world around him. He always looked up to the head of the house for answers; some of which appalled him completely. For example the reproduction process of humans. It had sounded messy and unsanitary.
But then Mycroft had discovered laughter. The sound had taken him rather aback at first. The light, bubbly sounds coming from the humans lips were strange. It was something new. One night he was sat in his master's office and he asked about laughter and what caused it. His master had grinned at him and had told him some supposedly funny jokes. Mycroft saved them to his memory banks and tried them out on the young human and his mistress the next day at dinner. He'd spat them out perhaps a little too fast and he was soon told that he should watch the appropriateness of his timing and his jokes. The small boy smiled and giggled for a good ten minutes though, and that was all that mattered. Mycroft had been successful in making a human laugh.
"You're funny." The small boy grinned up at him with a big, toothy smile.
"Why thank you, little Sir." Mycroft nodded curtly and retreated into the kitchen to wash the dirty dishes.
Over time he and his young master became close. Mycroft would often be requested to keep an eye on him. It was one day at the beach that would change his life forever. Little sir was playing on the beach. He'd built a huge sand fortress and was marching small glass soldiers around, barking out fake orders, a small frown of concentration embedded in his features.
"Would you like to hold him? He's my favorite."
Mycroft looked down. In the hand of the young human there was one of his soldiers. This particular soldier was saluting and it almost looked like he was directly saluting him. Mycroft leaned down and held out a hand and his young master placed the toy soldier on his metal palm. Unfortunately for Mycroft his hands were not made to handle such small and delicate things. The soldier slipped from his grip and fell to the ground, shattering into a million pieces on impact. The boy's face dropped in shock then it screwed up in anger. His cheeks went bright red and he let out a war cry, tears streaming down his face. "I hate you! They don't even make that edition anymore!"
Mycroft denied the way he felt a sharp twinge inside of his circuits at the boys words. It was not important. All that was important was for little Sir to be happy once more. Mycroft came to only one conclusion. He would make a new soldier to replace the one which had broken. He eyed a pile of drift wood on the beach's shore and his metallic mind conceived a plan. He gathered several large pieces of the driftwood and made his way home, the young boy following him reluctantly, glaring at Mycroft all the while.
Mycroft worked all night in order to make the soldier from the resources he'd collected. The head of the family was a clock-maker so he had all the tools he needed to make it. He studied books on how to create things from wood and took in all the information. He then proceeded to make a new soldier. This was one was a lot bigger than the one which had broken but it was still stood ramrod, saluting, and was perhaps even more detailed than the original. Mycroft was very pleased with his work indeed.
He crept into little Sir's bedroom and placed the wooden soldier on his pillow before retreating to the basement. In the morning he heard a small shriek of delight. The young master had found the soldier. The tiny thundering of small feet racing down the stairs could be heard, and before Mycroft knew it he was being hugged by the tiny human.
"This has to be the best present I've ever gotten!" The boy squealed and clung to Mycroft tightly, the wooden soldier clutched in one of his small hands.
"You are very welcome, little sir."
Mycroft felt his circuits spark with something close to the thing humans called joy. His metal exterior felt a little warmer as though to compensate for not actually being able to feel the human emotion. He watched proudly as little Sir ran off laughing, as he played with the crafted item Mycroft had made for him.
That evening Mycroft heard the most beautiful sound his cybernetic ears had ever come across. It was tranquil and beautiful, and soft. When he went to investigate what the sound was he saw little Sir sitting behind a large musical instrument. A quick search through his memory bank or as he liked to call it his 'mind fortress' told him that the instrument was called a piano. Fascinated, he listened closer. He studied the way the young humans fingers moved swiftly along the keys, creating a simple yet completely beautiful melody.
"Wanna do a duet together?"
Mycroft tilted his head and blinked. "I do not understand. A duet?"
Little Sir shuffled up on his piano stool and patted the space beside him. "Sit. I'll teach you."
"Certainly." Mycroft nodded and followed the order, sitting down beside the young boy.
Mycroft soon picked up the basics and he and little sir began to play in sync. Mycroft decided that the music was doubly magical when played by two people. The melody seemed softer and more charming this way. He wished sincerely that he could smile, laugh, and show the small human that he was enjoying himself, but that was impossible. His face remained cold and stoic, his features locked in a permanent blank expression that held no emotion whatsoever. It was quite frustrating to not be able to communicate with humans through expression. Mycroft decided that he wanted things to change.
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