The Spine pulled away from her touch. "I'm sorry. I just…. I'm sorry." He said backing away.
Holly was still staring at him trying to make sense of the streak of silver that had appeared where she touched. She did something unexpected then, she walked towards him cautiously. She removed the handkerchief from his pocket with shaking hands and gently started to wipe away the make up.
The Spine caught her hand. "Why?"
She remained silent as she continued to wipe it away. The Spine let her, feeling it was the least he could do to show her who he really was.
"I guess I should properly introduce myself," he said once she finished. "Hi. I'm The-"
She cut him off. "I know who you are. I didn't recognize you under all that makeup…. Spine."
He flinched when she said his name. The truth was out, and she hadn't run away yet, this was a good sign, but then again, she hadn't truly reacted yet.
"Why didn't you tell me instead of all this?" She held up the makeup covered handkerchief.
"Most people find my….. appearance, to be rather intimidating. I just wanted to go out for a night and feel normal.
Holly sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "Why would you want to be normal? Normal is boring and uninteresting and," she sighed once again. "It's everything that you're not." She looked sown at the ground unsure of what else to say.
"I would give anything to be normal for a day…" he said longingly. He paused for a moment, "I should go now, shouldn't I?"
Holly kissed him, a kiss saying that it was all okay. "Does that answer your question?" she asked teasingly. She kissed him again, The Spine smiled against her lips, happy that she didn't feel betrayed.
The door to her opened behind them. Aaron's head peeked out. "Holly you out- What the hell?!" He shouted as he took in the sight of Holly kissing The Spine.
Holly was suddenly ripped from The Spine's arms by her angry brother.
"Holly?! I thought you were on a date! What are you doing with this," He gestured at The Spine. "scrap heap?" He spit the last two words as though disgusted with himself for saying them.
The Spine released an involuntary puff of steam at the insult.
Holly pulled her arm out of her brother's grip. :This 'scrap heap' " she mocked his tone, :is my date, and HE has a name."
"What happened to that guy Roy? What are you lying to me now too?!"
The Spine stepped forward hoping to diffuse the situation. "Maybe I can-"
Aaron cut him off with a sneer. "I'll get to you in a minute."
Holly glared at Aaron. "You won't be getting to anything in a minute Aaron. This is Roy, his real name is The Spine. he may be a robot, but he has been nothing but a perfect kind to me since we met."
Aaron laughed sarcastically. "Oh, so you're dating robots now? That's a real improvement."
"it's better than the bimbos you bring home!" She spat back at him.
"What would dad think if he could see you right now?!" He obviously struck a chord as tears sprung to her eyes. The look of regret that crossed his features showed he had never meant them, but it was too late to take them back. Holly turned from him and walked away, passing The Spine. "Holly wait! I didn't mean it, Holly!" he shouted after her.
The Spine followed her without a word as she walked away. "Holly…." he said softly once they had gotten several houses away.
She stopped and wiped the tears from her eyes, "I'm sorry you had to see that." she said quietly.
He wrapped his arms around her as she continued to cry. "do you want me to take you home? he asked after her tears had subsided.
She shook her head. "i can't go back there. Not tonight."
The Spine sighed. "Do you need a place to sleep? The Walter manor has plenty of rooms…."
She looked up at him with a mix of confusion and thankfulness. "Do you really mean that? I mean you barely know me."
"I could never leave someone as beautiful as you out in the cold." He said charmingly. He pulled out his phone and dialed Michael. "Mr. Reed? I was wondering if you could take us home." A short pause. "Yes I said us." Another short pause. "Holly and I." Another pause, "Yes I know that. There's really no other choice here." He paused for another moment. "Can you have Brianna prepare a guest room?" Another pause and The Spine responded semi-angrily, "Yes, Mr. Reed, a guest room, is that a problem?" A final short pause before The Spine responded, "Good, then I'll see you in a few minutes." He put away his phone without another word.
He looked at Holly, she was shaking slightly. "You're cold." he stated. Before she could protest he placed his jacket around her shoulders, and they waited for Michael Reed.
Back at the Walter Manor Paige and Rabbit found themselves in the living room once again, settling in to watch a movie. Paige settled onto to the couch, far closer to Rabbit than she had before, he draped an arm around her before poking her and saying "You're not gonna fall asleep this are-are-are you?"
Her only response was to smile and snuggle closer to him. Her head rested against his blue matter reactor, the soft whir mesmerizing her as she tried to focus on the movie. Rabbit had given up all allusions of watching the movie long before it had started. He watched Paige, the little ways she shifted as she breathed, the movement of her black lips as she mouthed along to her favorite lines.
She was beautiful, and she was his. For all his life he had shared with his younger brothers, but this? This was something they could never have. Paige looked up at him, she had lost interest in the movie a long time ago, content to listen to the hum of his core. He kissed her gently, savoring the moment. He moved a strand of hair away from her face. He had known her for only a few months, when she began to work at the manor, but right then, he knew. "I l-l-love ya, Paige."
She looked up at him with sweet eyes and said, "I love you too Rabbit." before sealing it with a kiss.