I dropped my bookbag and collapsed into the chair. Spinning a few times, I stopped and faced the table. First class of the day and my job was to finish the project I had started the week prior. Screws and wires were all over the place. I couldn't find half of the stuff that had been there the previous day.

"Guys, I have bad news."

I looked up at my teacher as the last two students walked in the door.

"The apparitions dvd we ordered is a blank. I'll call the company and see if they will send a replacement."

"Mr. Scrape, we need that dvd for the haunted house. How long will it take to get it?" my attention shifted to TJ.

"No clue. Let me call and I'll find out," Mr. Scrape started out the room.

"Wait, what is the name of the company?" I asked. Mr. Scrape informed me that the name was Unit Co.

I rolled to my assigned computer and looked up the company. Halloween apparitions weren't the only thing they sold. Life-size models of random anime characters were thrown in among their inventory. I figured they were robots, since it mentioned programming in the description, and thought of building a unit. Challenge accepted.

I went through a quick order process and didn't flinch at the steep price. My goal: Hetalia. I ordered one I thought to have simple wiring. Alfred F. Jones. Two business days meant it would arrive Friday. Just in time for a weekend project. I logged off as Mr. Scrape walked back into the room.

"Lousy customer service. Creepy Halloween recording daring me to go online," Mr. Scrape tossed his phone onto his desk.

"Web site doesn't help either," I sighed.

"I'll send an email later."

I brushed him off as I continued to hunt down pieces for the robotic arm I was almost finished with. Only the claw remained and I went through three other sets just to find the one that belonged to my robot. The evening class loved messing with stuff, and there were only two of them.

"Oh, guys. Don't forget to have your permission forms signed for Monday's trip. No form, no ride," Mr. Scrape reminded. I turned my form in the first day since I was my own guardian. Despite only being 17, my parents worked out a system with the school since they lived a few states over. I'll explain later.

By the end of the class, I had finished building the robot. The only thing left to do was test it. As soon as I plugged the robot in, the bell rang to dismiss us. I growled in frustration as I ran to grab my bookbag and lunchbox. The ride back to the high school was silent. Loren wasn't in a good mood, so I listened to music. The fifteen minutes dragged on and I was hungry, so when the bus stopped, I was the first one off. I pulled Loren with me into the school and to our table.

"Finally, a day when no stuck up morons have our seats," Loren didn't usually have that nice of a vocabulary when talking about people she didn't like. I figured she was hungry and didn't care about the girls that usually took our seats. We ate in silence until my two cousins joined us.

When the bell rang, Loren and Hunter shot off to their classes. Kaede and I walked slowly towards our classes, having an irrelevant conversation. We split our ways and I went to my civics class. After shimmying my way to my seat, I got comfortable and started looking at all the flags lining the walls. That class crept by and I kept thinking about building my own Hetalia character. My fourth block English class was the fastest class all day, and I, as usual, was the last one out the door.

I walked out to my car and turned the music up. I had a while to wait until the busses left and the other students cleared out. I text a few friends from my old school until the parking lot looked like it was straight from a western film, but instead of sand, it was snow. I drove the way home and passed out on my bed. I shifted a little to pull a stray wire out from under me.

"Sorry. You should be on my desk," I threw the cord in the general direction of my desk and pulled the pillow closer.


The next day went the same. And the day after. But after school, I had something to look forward to. I had just pulled in my driveway and a company truck was only a minute behind me. I met the delivery guy at his truck and signed while he took the crate up the six steps. I opened the door for him and told him where to set it, returning the clipboard in exchange for a manual.

"I ordered Alfred. This is Yao," I looked dismayed at the delivery man.

"What?" he looked at a plaque on the crate. "Huh. Guess it is. I'll talk to the shipping department. Since the unit is already here, you keep him free as a company promise that we apologize for the mistake."

I nodded slowly. "Thank you."

The man tipped his cap and left. I read through the manual and was disappointed that it wasn't a 'build it yourself' project. The good thing, however, is that I now had someone to help me take care of the house and finances. Although my parents paid for a lot of things, I had to pay my cell phone and the gas for the car. My job could cover that and the expenses for food that my parents wouldn't pay when I went out to eat.

"Russian? Ok." I faced the crate and took a breath to calm myself. "Zdravstvuy, moy drug." I waited for something, but nothing happened. "Privyet?" I looked at the manual for an answer. "Oh, no response."

I laughed a little to myself as I pulled the front of the crate off. A red blur tackled me to the ground and knocked the breath from me. I sat for a moment gasping for breath, and unable to do so since the unit hugging me wasn't planning to let go.

"Y-Yao," I managed out. Said unit stood up and helped me up.

"I apologize, aru," I snickered at the verbal tick. I had a few of my own.

"It's ok. I'm Emily," I held out my hand. He slowly shook it. "So, um, I guess gather your things? You can stay in the guest bedroom." I was looking about nervously. I wasn't used to housemates.

I settled Yao down and he decided to make dinner for us. It was unexpected, since I'm used to making Ramen noodles or a grilled cheese sandwich. Instead, I passed out in my room. When the food was done, Yao gave me a wake-up call.

"Don't get used to sleeping, aru. You need to have better habits," Yao said between bites.

"I'm a growing girl. Teenagers need between 8 to 14 hours of sleep," I was not changing my schedule. "Plus I have work some days and competitions other days."

Yao seemed to think over this for a moment. "If you went to bed earlier, you might not be as tired."

"Nope, I'd still be tired."

Yao seemed irritated, but he dropped the subject. I washed the dishes when we finished eating. With the dishwasher going, I sat in front of the tv and flipped through the channels. Yao got me to stop on Animal Planet because they were showing a documentary on pandas. I obliged and fell asleep on the couch. My unit woke me up around midnight and told me to go sleep in my room. I was apparently sleepwalking because I didn't remember any of it. When I woke up the next morning, I asked Yao and he told me.

I spent the whole Saturday cleaning up. I raked the leaves, rearranged the furniture, vacuumed, and swept. Yao spent the morning making an elaborate lunch and the evening making a more complex dinner. I had a distant feeling that he wasn't comfortable. The fact that my husky wanted to rip his head off didn't help much. When we were eating dinner, I decided to break the ice.

"How do you like it here?"

"It's peaceful, aru," Yao responded.

"Except for the barking, right?" Yao nodded.

The dinner was short, despite the amount of food. Anything left over was given to the dog. We watched tv again until I fell asleep, which was when Yao decided we both needed to go to bed. That night I had a nightmare. It was the kind that you don't remember, but you know it was something bad. I knew it was bad because Yao had to wake me up. It was a little awkward, since I didn't expect anyone to comfort me. Maybe it was just his personality. I spent the next day trying to remember what happened.