The Spine reluctantly released Rabbit's hand. The copper bot seemed as lively as usual, as though nothing had happened, as if he hadn't died only minutes before.
"Glad to see you're feeling better, Rabbit." Peter said, leaning on his walking stick as he stood in the doorway.
Rabbit smiled at Peter and shifted in his place. He swung his long wiry legs over the edge of the bed, aiming to take his first steps since his breakdown. Hatchworth and The Spine flocked to his side, prepared to catch him if he fell, there was no telling what might have been shaken loose in his abrupt restart. With feet planted firmly on the ground, he lifted himself off the bed carefully, and took his first step towards Peter. When his legs didn't give way underneath him, he sprung towards him in leaps and bounds. Rabbit almost knocked him over as he wrapped his arm around him. "Thank you..." Rabbit whispered. He knew he still had Michael Reed to thank, but that was a thank you he wanted to give in private. He released Peter from the hug, smiling widely.
The Spine pulled Michael Reed aside from the rest of the group, "Thank you.... for saving my brother," he placed a hand on Michael's shoulder, "I don't know if I can ever repay you for this."
Michael smiled back at The Spine and said, "There's no need."
A quiet swept through the room, a good quiet. A quiet that said, we're all going to be alright. "Hey Spine?" Rabbit asked.
"Yes Rabbit?" He looked back too see his brother with an draped around the shoulders of each Walter Girl.
"Can we go get ice cream?"
The Spine smiled, only his brother would want ice cream at a time like this. "Sure Rabbit, let's go get ice cream."
"With chocolate sprinkles?" Rabbit asked excitedly.
"Well.... I guess, but just this once." Rabbit squealed and bounced with delight. The Spine picked up Rabbit's hat and goggles off of the nightstand and brushed them off as though it had been years rather than just a few days that had passed. "You uh.... You might want these Rabbit."
Rabbit rushed at The Spine with arms extended. "My hat!" He snatched it out of The Spines hands and plopped it onto his head with a satisfied smile, he was beginning to look more like himself every minute.
"So Rabbit, do you want to go get that ice cream now?"
Rabbit thought for a moment before saying, "Nah. Let's have a horse adventure!" The Spine smiled. Only his brother.
The family felt complete once again. No one noticed when Peter quietly slipped out of the room and made his way to his study. "I'm glad you're back..." He said to himself as he closed his door with a definitive click.
The mood of the Walter Manor changed dramatically as time passed, but The Spine continued to watch Rabbit like a hawk. Rabbit's every stutter and malfunction set The Spine on edge like never before.
When Rabbit finally managed to get some time alone, he pulled Michael aside. Without a word he wrapped his arms around Michael in an embrace like no other. He rested his jaw on the top of Michael 's head gently, steam like warm breath escaped Rabbit's vents and billowed through Michael's hair. They cried together, tears of joy. He was alive. Rabbit spoke softly, "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you Michael."
Michael tightened the hug, silently sobbing into Rabbit's chest, "I don't know what I'd do without you...." he whispered into Rabbit's chest. "You all mean so much to me, you're my family."
Rabbit let him a cry a little longer before looking down and releasing him from the embrace. He ran his thumb under Michael's eyes, wiping away the tears. "No more tears now, Mr.Reed. You're f-family to us too you know, and family doesn't let family cry." Rabbit kissed Michael's forehead in a gesture of almost fatherly love.
Michael smiled at Rabbit once again. "Thank you." he said.
"Shouldn't I b-be the one thanking you? You're the one s-s-s-saved my life."
"No, after all you've done for me I at least owe you that much." Michael left the room without another word.
Noticing a wet spot Michael had rested his head, Rabbit slipped off his jacket and hung it in the closet to dry. He slipped on his trench coat and set off to find someone, he didn't feel like being alone.