Toward the end of the Motorball season is a week of grueling endurance games. These multi-hour grinds separate the Second Division contenders from those who would step in to the Champions’ League. It’s now time for Alita to face this trial. You do what you can to support her, but since Ido is her tuner, she stays with him for the week. For a week you catch small touches of her when there’s a spare second; little snippets of conversation between strategy and recovery. You do go to every round though, bringing signs and jerseys; screaming until your voice is hoarse as she endlessly circles the track. Finally, after a long week she makes it through the grind, and the two of you collapse back in to each other’s lives.
It’s a quiet Saturday morning; lazy in the springtime sun. You lie outstretched on the old beat-up couch, reveling in the peace in your apartment. Alita lies opposite, serene in her pink pajama top. You picked out a couple of actual books in celebration of her trials being over. Their covers are dusty, but the smell is earthy and rich, and the pages are well-kept. The two of you lie there, legs tangled together as the soft sound of pages turning fills the air. You’re lost in a world far away when you feel a little foot poke in your side. You lower the book and see Alita peeking at you; her own book discarded on the floor.
“What’s up, Ali?”
She smiles a little before responding.
“Thanks for supporting me during the trial. I’m sorry we couldn’t see each other more.” You feel the care in her voice through your very spirit. You put the book down and sit up a little on the couch. She matches your movements and you find your face inches from hers. Her smile makes little dimples in her cheeks, and you take her hand. Your voice is soft, with an affectionate glow.
“You were amazing. I went to every game- even the really late ones.”
Her eyes widen in response.
“Every game? You didn’t have to do that! What about work?” You smile back at her and squeeze her hand.
“I’d rather take a week off and see you than have the credits.”
You see as tears start to well in her enchanting eyes. She grabs you in a tight hug, and you feel the love pouring from her body in waves. You return it, matching her fire and spirit. The two of you break apart, and there’s a determined look in her eyes, mixed with the affection and tears. You feel pinpricks run up your spine as the love grabs your heart. She carefully guides your hand to her chest, and after discarding her top, places your hand over her heart. You feel it thumping through her artificial skin. Her voice is tinged by shakiness as you watch the plates in her chest retract.
“Here, feel this. I want you to know how much I love you.”
Your brain is spinning with questions and feelings, but you do your best to keep a level hand as you reach in to hold the heart. It beats soft and steadily in your hands; metal and synthetic muscle joined in perfect harmony. You hold it as she leans in, placing her own hand on your chest. The hearts beat together, and when she kisses you, the steady thrum increases with every second. It’s warm and vulnerable, and when you feel her tongue against yours you feel the two beat in perfect sync. You run your fingers through her hair, and she lets go of your hand, trusting her heart to you alone, as her hands ripple through your own. The trust between you is a bridge; your two loves interlinked as the beat reaches a crescendo. With one final moment of unity, you break apart, and as you sit there, staring in to each other’s eyes, you know that there’s no one you love more than her. Your hearts beat together, showing the universe the bond the two of you will always share.