The world around Mae would slowly fade out, everything else around her turning completely black... that was, until she found herself sitting in a very familiar classroom... She sat in the middle of the class, observing a group of teens talking about something. A Girl which Mae recognized as herself grew more and more irritated by the words spoken by her classmates. The group in question consisted of 4 girls and one lone guy."Have you heard, guys?"
The boy asked the others in the group, immediately catching their attention. The girl with the buns was the first one to speak up. "You mean, about that freshman?"
The boy nodded excitedly. "Yes, yes! Is it true that it happened and that the culprit is the guy from our class?"
And the group kept up with their gossip until their eyes turned to look at the guy sitting in the back, their facial expressions showing disgust. Mae remembered this scene... So much so that she could even tell what Mae would say next.
"Hey! What's with that look?!"
The younger Mae rose from her seat quickly, glaring angrily at the group of teens. The present Mae felt the same way still. Talking shit about other people really grinded her gears.
"Don't you have anything better to do than talking shit about a fellow classmate!? Especially when he's sitting RIGHT THERE!"
The younger Mae pointed towards Charles sitting in the back of the classroom. It was abundantly clear that she had enough listening to their gossip, and as if that wasn't enough, the guy they were talking about was sitting right in that same classroom. Of course, back then, Mae didn't know that he was a robot, which is also why she couldn't really understand why Charles never fought back... But now she did. Back then, what would he care about what others thought of him? He was a robot, a tool to be used by mankind. Or at least, that's what the general majority would have you believe. Mae however, didn't care much if he was a robot or not. A friend was a friend, no matter who or what it was. And he would turn out to become more than just a friend to her later on...
"If you wanna talk trash about someone, at least do it where they can't hear you! Geez, you guys are so immature!"
The young girl took a deep breath in a vain attempt to cool down a bit. The only responses she got were..."Sheesh, what's up her butt?""Leave her be if she wants to have it her way.""Just don't run back to us if anything happens, hihi. Only an idiot would go hang around that guy. Hahaha.""U-uhm, yes...""..."
the younger Mae grabbed a chair, pulled it closer to where Charles was, and sat down, before turning back to the group, replying furiously as the group of teens left them alone.
"Just mind your own buisness!"
Now, Mae kind of understood why he had been so calm about the situation, in the light that he was very robotic at the time. The now, very human Charles (at least demeanour wise) would probably not have taken things that well...
"Ehh... Sorry about that. I have no patience when it comes to people like those. Anyway, I'm Mae Iharu, your new classmate. Nice to meet ya!"
That warm, welcoming smile looked so... odd. Mae wasn't used to seeing it herself. It really was weird watching a younger version of herself smiling like that.
"And you are?"
Charles looked up when he was addressed, and only replied coldly, even ignoring the question Mae had asked him. Geez... was he really that not-talkative back then? He had changed so much since then... Three years was a long time.
"They weren't a nuisance."
Then they started talking about what had happened. Charles being suspended and all that. Mae had of course tried to help him fight it, as she thought it wasn't fair of them to suspend him for something he did not do... Sure, it was only a temporary suspension, but still, it didn't make it more fair. Charles would then storm out the room, leaving Mae confused behind...
Once the door closed, the scene shifted to that of outside Charles' old apartment, the current time Mae looking down from the top of the staircase towards where the past Mae stood, waiting patiently for someone to open the door. The current Mae of course knew that the current tenant was out at present, so she just watched with interest what transpired. The tenant in question popped up not much later, startling the poor girl.
"Geez, don't startle me like that!"
The young pinkette cried out, puffing up her cheeks in slight annoyance at Charles.
"Were you looking for me?"
"Yeah, I was, actually. I just wanted to see how you were doing... The way you left had me worried for the last two days, silly!"
Seeing the two talk like this brought a smile to the older Mae's face. She followed them inside, where Charles gave Mae a gift... Upon seeing the small trinket, the older Mae looked at her own pin... "You really liked me back then... didn't you, Charles?
" It was one of her most prized possessions. Not because it was expensive or anything... it's value was more sentimental than that. Even now, a day wouldn't go by without her wearing this pin. Having it with her brought her strength. With it in her possession, he was always with her, no matter where she found herself. Even though he was a machine, he still had a human heart, and emotions like one as well... And while that was good enough on it's own for Mae... was it good enough for Charles? She remembered him telling her that he felt inadequate, and that he was only going to hold her back. From doing what? Having kids? She could always adopt (which was something she would be doing anyways.) Sure, he wasn't the best kisser on the planet, but he was learning. With time, he'd be better at that... Which wasn't to say that Mae was that great at it either. Sure, she had more experience than Charles did, but not by a very large margin. And Mae knew that there was more to a relationship than just intimacy. It was about sharing a life with someone else. Supporting eachother in times of strife, and sharing happiness with eachother when things got better. In many ways, it was like a friendship, but on a much deeper level. Sure, their relationship was still rather young, but as a friend, Mae would already go to great lengths to protect him.
The Scene shifted once more, this time outside the school gates... Charles and Mae were sitting on a bench, talking about something. Her old caretaker was briefly mentioned, and Charles brought up the issue of a friend's death... Mae to this day didn't know who that person was, but this moment right here was a very pivotal one in their relationship. It was here that they went from Aquaintences to actual friends. Not all that close, but still, it was a friendship nontheless.
"Sorry... I've been lying to you from the start... I-I'm not human and I will never be human... So how can you be so sure I am not a murderer?"
The android spoke, as he embraced the younger Mae tightly, hiding his face in her pink hair. She responded calmly, not letting the sudden embrace get to her.
"There's no need to be sorry, Charles. I understand why you didn't want me to know."
Indeed. Telling someone this was not a small ordeal. How he admitted this to her so soon, she'd never know, but Mae was grateful for his honesty. The fact that he wasn't human didn't matter.
"Don't... hate me..."
"Oh, Charles... Why would I hate you...? You're my friend... One that's very dear to me..."
The scene would again fade... What was her dreams trying to tell her...?