Okay, so this is my first Astro Boy Fan fiction (never really got into the cartoon). Hired the movie the other day and LOVED it - except for the end part with the aliens, that kind of killed the movie, like not just killed it killed it, shot it down with a flame thrower killed it!
But yeah.. My first dealings with Astro Boy… Be nice…
"Do you feel, Astro?"
The completely out of the blue question startled him away from his silent ponderings. The darkness of the room disguised his raised eyebrows as he glanced around to locate the source of the noise. It was quite obvious who was asking by the frequency and sound of the voice. Instead of answering the moderately basic question, the robot stuck with the intelligent enquiry of;
Cora leaned down over the railing of her bunk to look at him upside down. A small giggle escaped her when the dark haired boy tilted his head around to try and see her the right way up.
"I said; do you feel?" She repeated reaching out and pattering him on the nose. Another chortle found its way out when Astro crossed his eyes in order to look at the finger resting gently on his face.
"Yes…" He whispered flicking his deep brown eyes slowly up to lock with her profound blue ones. It was those eyes, she realised, that were the most convincing. The bottomless pools of swirling emotions that ranged from insecurity to hope, confusion to understanding. Overall it was the innocents and honesty in them that made her believe that there was a soul in there. A living feeling person, one that could mourn for loses and bellow with happiness. One that could love exceedingly and forgive effortlessly. Just one look had her qualms melting away. It was those eyes that held true to her conviction that Astro was sentient.
Using the ladder leading to her own bunk as a tool, Cora swung downwards to sit cross legged alongside the boy. Astro looked up from his somewhat hunched position against the wall. One leg was drawn up to his white tee-shirt clad chest for his chin to rest on, while the other dangled off the edge of the too soft mattress. They had been treated well since the clash that lead to Metro City uniting, once again, to the rest of the planet. Each of the children that assisted Astro in any way had been given a bunker to share in the repaired city centre. Modest as ever, Astro insisted on staying there with them, seeing as he felt they were as much heroes as he. Which is what lead him to having the slightly random, middle of the night conversation with his best friend.
"Do you feel pain?" The question was punctuated with a soft touch to the arm that had been dislocated and almost detached during his scuffle with the peacekeeper. Though almost completely invisible, the slight weld line was the only evidence of there being damage to the area.
'Like a scar' Cora mused tracing a finger tip along it. What she didn't expect, however, was to feel the synthetic skin shiver under her touch.
"Somewhat." He answered quietly staring at her hand intently as it mapped the small ridge of raised metal through his shirt sleeve.
"Somewhat? How does that work? You either feel pain or you don't" It wasn't meant to come out sounding snappy or harsh, but that was just Cora. The wall she had erected over her emotion was hard to get past. It was just habit to slip back into her old ways to shield herself from hurt.
Astro, bless him, understood the look of regret she was unaware of throwing his way and his eyes softened slightly. After getting to know Cora, he had figured out how to break down those walls and had made it his mission to do just that.
"I mean, I don't feel pain as acutely as I recall feeling it in the memories of Toby." He explained, glancing away to scan the other bunks in the room before continuing, "I remember the pain from a broken wrist when I was seven, I remember the pain of a stubbed toe or from biting my tongue. These aren't my memories, but I have experienced being human through them… if that makes sense…"
After a long pause while he assumed she was processing his words, she nodded.
"Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. But how do you experience touch in this body? I mean what does this," She paused to clutch one of his hands in both of hers, "Feel like to you? What do I feel like?"
"Soft, warm." He raised his eyes up from their interlocked hands to watch her carefully, as if willing her to understand, "I can sense the blood running through your veins, I feel muscle contract when you move your fingers. It feels like life Cora, you feel like life." The dark haired girl inhaled sharply at the unexpected answer, he quickly continued before she pulled her hands away, "You have something that should be cherished Cora, something I will never posses."
Her eye's widened as she stared at him. Vivid blue orbs flickering as she looked between each of his eyes. A sudden lump formed in her throat when she tried to speak. All she managed to get out was a wavering, "Astro…"
He drew his hand back and offered her a weak smile, "It's okay. I'm happy enough to be able to live as I am. Grateful, ecstatic even, that I am not just microchips and technology. I have been granted the gift of free thought and emotions. That's more then I could have ever hoped for."
Although it made perfect sense to her, she felt a tear roll down her cheek. She snorted and brushed it away before giving him a watery little smile, "Look at me, you're pouring your heart out and I'm the one crying."
"Its alright to cry sometimes you know."
Looking back in confusion she asked, "What do you mean?"
Not moving to look up, but instead smiling down at his hands that were folded on his now crossed legs, he answered, "You have always been strong for them Cora." He didn't need to specify who, they both knew he was talking about the orphans, "You even gave up moving back in with your parents to look after them. If you break and cry in front of them then where's that pillar of strength they so desperately need?"
Of course he was right, she couldn't argue with that.
"But sometimes you need to let it all out. You need to be a teenage girl for once... They're all asleep and I'm willing to listen."
All it took after that was for the robot to wrap an arm around her shoulder and she was blubbering incoherently. Fat tears welling up and pooling down her narrow cheeks. She cried for all the years she spent thinking her parents didn't care. All the times she was so frustrated or scared or even just emotional when she had to keep it all bottled up, came rushing out in the form of shaky sobs. After a while she couldn't even remember what she was crying for. Through it all, Astro calmly held her close and rubbed her back soothingly. For some reason she felt oddly thankful that he just stared straight ahead instead of looking at her. She could only imagine how weak she looked with swollen red eyes from crying.
"You know Astro," she started after she was calm enough to speak evenly, "You're really mature for your age. Sometimes I feel like you know me better then even I know me and we only met like a few weeks ago."
He grinned sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head, "So I take it you're feeling better then?"
"Yeah, thanks." She murmured sleepily, yawning and snuggling up to his side, as he had yet to release her from under his arm.
"I think you need to sleep now." He stated, "Do you want me to put you back in your bunk?"
"…Urm, okay?" He answered nervously, "Do you want to stay here?"
"Okay." He went to move to take her bunk when she pulled him back down beside her, "Stay" She mumbled.
Bewildered, he gingerly lay down besides her, as if any sudden moves would result in her snapping at him.
She giggle tiredly at his insecurity, before pulling him down fully and snuggling up to him.
It was a little awkward to begin with, but after a moment the boy relaxed. Hesitantly, he leant forward and pushed his wide forehead against hers. That shy, boyish smile that caught her heart every time he let one lose, appeared on his face and his eye's brightened happily when she pressed back.
"… Night Astro."
Decided to keep it short and sweet, I rather liked how the conversation played out (I'm the kind of writer that goes with the flow… No real plot to be found in any of my stories!)
The romance isn't quite there, but it has potential. I'm thinking about continuing this if people like it enough, not that I'm a review whore or anything… I just like them… A lot…