"Your- G-g-girlfriend?" Rabbit asked in disbelief.
"Yes Rabbit, my girlfriend." He said calmly, the shock was still setting in with everyone else. Brianna and Michael stayed quiet, unsurprised.
"How long have you had a g-g-girlfriend?!" He exclaimed, partially hurt that his brother hadn't told him about her before.
"I met Holly about a week ago, we hit it off, and we started dating." He neglected to mention they had only been on one date, but he didn't think that Rabbit, or any one else needed to know.
Holly remained quiet, she felt exposed. All of the eyes that were focused on her made her feel life hiding, her usual bravery left her, making her want to hide behind The Spine.
Paige noticed Holly's appearance and spoke up. She was the first one, to speak directly to her, "Holly is it?" Holly nodded meekly, "Are you alright there sweetie? How about I take you in the other room, Spine can explain to everyone." Paige said sweetly.
Holly nodded, and followed Paige, feeling more like a wind up doll than her usual self. Brianna muttered something about helping Paige and rushed out of the room after them.
Everyone, including The Spine watched as Holly left the room. The moment she was out of sight all eyes were back on him. He cocked an eyebrow at them all, they had something to say, but none of them were saying it. "Well?"
A chorus of surprise, happiness, and bitterness flowed through the room. "I'll answer any questions you have about her." He stated flatly, cutting off all speaking. "I just need to know what they are."
"Where did ya meet her?" asked Rabbit, animatedly.
"The bar a few miles away."
"She wasn't freaked out by the-" Norman gestured to his face.
"She didn't know about it at first, but once she did, she was more upset that I hid it from her than anything."
"How did she not know you were a robot?" Hatchworth asked.
The Spine shifted uncomfortably as Rabbit stared at him. "I uh, I used makeup, I made myself look human for the night."
A collective murmur ripped through the group. Rabbit looked at Michael, eyes narrowed. "You-you-you knew about didn't you?"
"What are you talking about Rabbit? Mr.Reed had nothing to do with it."
Rabbit looked at The Spine, "Don't l-l-lie to me Spine. Mr. Reed's been givin' ya rides home lately. He kn-n-n-new about it."
"Rabbit I-" Michael tried to cut in.
Rabbit Put a hand in the air effectively silencing him. "S-s-save it Mr.Reed. I know where I'm not wanted." Hurt that both his brother and his friend had lied to him.
"Rabbit wait." The Spine called after him, as Michael chased the coppery automaton down the hall.
"Are there any other questions? I have to try to calm Rabbit down." The Spine said, exasperated.
"Why is she here?" The voice came from Peter VI. This was far from expected, he had almost forgotten that Peter was in the room.
They all looked at him expectantly. It was The Spine's turn to want to hide from all the eyes, but he stood his ground. "She needed somewhere to sleep. Somewhere safe, and last night, there was nowhere else for her to go."
Peter VI cocked his head to the side, "And so you thought this would be the perfect place to take her to?"
"Well no I-I panicked. it was late at night, and she was cold, and I didn't know what else to do." He could feel the pressure building in his boiler. He felt like a little boy being chastised, despite the fact he had helped to raise Peter VI, he was still an intimidating man.
"Next time you decide to have company over, at least inform me." He said in a cold monotone. Peter was obviously unhappy, he stood up and walked out of the room.
Steve came over and patted The Spine on the shoulder, "Congrats on getting a girl buddy." He flashed a half smile and walked out of the room.
Matt was unsure what to say, so he just patted The Spine on the arm and left as well.
Wanda seemed on the verge on tears and left, with Norman following close behind.
With everyone else gone, The Spine sat down and buried his head in his hands, he should have snuck her out.
Holly followed as Paige and Brianna led her out of the room.
"You're shaking." Brianna said quietly as they sat her down in one of the chairs. Paige got her a mug of cocoa and they all sat down together. "Are you okay?" Brianna asked, slightly worried.
"I'm fine, just a bit nervous is all." Holly responded.
Paige cast a glance at Brianna and said, "I know the bots can be a bit scary at times, but they really are nice people."
Holly took a sip of her cocoa, and said, "it wasn't the robots."
Paige looked at Holly confused. "If it wasn't the robots…. then what was it?"
Holly looked up at her, "The people… all the eyes on me, watching, judging, as if they were all waiting for me to mess up. I'm an embarrassment, I should have accepted his offer to sneak out the back, it would have been far easier on him."
Paige looped an arm around Holly's shoulders, "No one was judging you, if you thought that was bad you should have seen the time Rabbit brought home a toaster."
Holly spit her cocoa. "I'm sorry did you say a toaster?"
Paige smiled and nodded, "Yep. He said her name was Jenny, and that they were in love. He dropped her on the ground seven minutes later."
Holly smiled, "Talk about tough love." It was Paige's turn to laugh.
"You're not an embarrassment sweetie, Spine never would have brought you home if you were." Brianna said, reaching across the table to pat her hand.
"Rabbit wait!" they could hear The Spine's voice a few rooms over. Holly's smile dropped.
Paige looked at Brianna, "Holly, Rabbit doesn't take very well to change, I promise he'll warm up to you, just give it time. I'm gonna go check on him."
When Paige left the room, Brianna thought for a minute, before taking Holly's hand and saying, "Come on, I want to show you something."
Wanda's tears broke into a devilish grin the moment she was out of eye sight. When they got back to their quarters, she took out her phone and dialed number. "Nathaniel will definitely want to hear about this.