- Today is the type of day which has left you buried in data recovery for hours on end. The problem before you twists and writhes as it fights you, making every step a struggle. So focused are you that you don’t notice the soft steps entering your study. It takes Alita leaning over your chair back; wrapping her arms around you and gently kissing the nape of your neck to break your concentration. Your brow relaxes, and you lean in to her hug. The smell of fresh lilies washes over you as she slowly moves in the space between your chair and desk. She runs her fingers across your chest as she walks, and before long settles in to sit on your lap. You wrap her in a tight hug and she rests her head on your shoulder. Her legs are curled up to her chest, and you feel the ever-steady beat of her heart through the nanomachine musculature of her body. She sighs in content and one of your hands moves to stroke her hair, feeling the silky threads part before your exploration. You sit for a moment, sharing the love between you before you break the silence.
- “Just coming to say hi?” You try to be a little playful, and you hear the smile in her response.
- “I’m bored.” There’s a short pause before she continues. “And I wanted a hug.” Though you sense her try to hide it, you can hear the edge in her voice. A sorrow which you rarely see. You squeeze her a little tighter before you ask.
- “Hey, what’s up? Talk to me, Ali.”
- She buries her head deep in to your chest, and you feel as much as hear her response.
- “What if- what if things change? I mean, I might have to leave soon with Motorball and you’ve been so busy with your work.” You feel her curl up even further; your grip shrinks to keep her tight and close. She speaks again. “I don’t want this to stop existing. I’m so happy here!”
- There’s a desperation to her words which sends a sympathetic pang through your heart. You slowly run your hand down to her face, and with an affectionate touch draw her face out of hiding. She looks up at you with her deep brown eyes, and you find a sea of feelings and fears clashing against each other. You voice is steady, and you hold her gaze as you speak.
- “Change isn’t good or bad Ali. It just is. All we can do is our best when it happens.” She frowns but before she can say anything you keep going. “But that doesn’t mean we lose the memories and things we shared. No one can ever take the happiness that you’ve given me away. Even if you have to go, I’ll always remember the joy you’ve shown me.”
- You see her smile finally, through it’s mixed with tears flowing freely down her cheeks. She stretches up to you, and the two of you meet in a tender kiss. It lasts for as long as it needs, and when you break apart her eyes are dry again. The quiver is gone from her voice when she replies.
- “I’m going to be here with you as long as I can. No matter what.”
- You can almost feel her determination in the air around you, and as you run you hands across her back, you respond in kind.
- “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
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