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All I want for Xmas is...
There was a peculiar chill that drifted over my bare metallic skin as I laid in bed. The one room apartment that I knew as home had barely begun to glow with the sun's welcoming rays, the frost on the window by the bed was a perfect picture frame for the imminent sunrise. In my half-asleep state of mind, I could clearly hear Retrostacja's mechanical snoring almost keep in time with the soft ticking of the kitchen clock. Everything seemed to be in perfect order, the way it should be, the way it was every night. And yet this cold....

Absently, I went to pull the covers tighter against myself, but my hand only lazily grasped air. When I made a second attempt and was met without success, my screen flickered a few shades brighter. Confused, I let my hand trail down and behind me, only to find that the blankets were nowhere within my reach. Sighing with a hint of resignation, I almost felt too lazy to turn over to my other side and reach for them further.

Nevertheless I extended my arm behind me, trying to fumble for any blanket; even the sheet would satisfy me at this point. When I expected to gingerly reach and find the exiled blankets only found an empty bed, my mind cleared rather quickly. Screen lighting up to normal brightness as I snapped awake, I quickly sat up and looked at the empty bed. I did not toss and turn as I slept so if the blankets were no longer on my bed, and I had not moved them, what was going on?

Turning my head in the direction of an odd noise, my confusion continued to mount. At this point, I realized that Retrostacja was no longer snoring but was in fact sitting next to my bed. Head cocked to one side and ears perked up, he looked as confused as I felt. Whatever those figures were, I knew they were not dangerous.Retrostacja seemed to analyze the situation as one with minimal threat. Or at least that was what I assumed he thought of the whole thing, considering his tail had started to thump against the floor with excitement.

My eyes followed where he was looking, and realized that one of the shapes was stationary, and that the other seemed very.....mobile. As I slowly moved forward on my bed to try and get a better look, the room was suddenly filled with a blinding rainbow of colors. With a cry of sheer surprise, I threw my arms up to shield my face from the light. It is one thing to blind the human eye, and another to overload a visual processing system. My mind was literally reeling from the cascade of information that I was trying to process at the same time; each individual color, the patterns, the flourescence, the size of each light, the list of information trying to be measured in that one moment was overwhelming.

There were then hands gently resting on my arms, which were still covering my face as I started to regain my bearings. The touch was cold, metallic, but very familiar. The lights were closer to me than they had been when they first came on, and I could vaguely feel their warmth. I resisted at first, not wanting to be blinded again. But then I heard a voice, its normally playful tone replaced with one of confusion. "Baby, are you alright?"

Finally letting my arms fall down by my side, what I saw in front of me made me break into laughter.

Kneeling on my bed in front of me was my significant other, Whitescarver, tangled up in a long string of christmas lights. From head to toe, the android's white skin was illuminated by the lights that were wrapped around him. As I tried to stop laughing, White smiled goofily and pulled at some strings without any success. Over his shoulder I could see that the other shadow had been a small christmas tree. White's companion, Jeffrey the G-Bot, was silently tending to it, sprucing up the branches and trimming it to perfection. Scattered around his feet were presents, wrapped up in newspapers and tied with old wires.

"I think I should be asking that of you," I finally answered, the giggles still tickling my throat. Reaching out, I carefully started to untangle him from the lights. Retrostacja came to the side of the bed and held the strings of lights I was able to get undone. Looking defeated, White still managed a smile.

"I wanted to surprise you," he admitted as I struggled to unknot a strand of lights wrapped around his neck. A flush of pink flickered across my screen as I paused to look up at him. "Kluteau let us in last night," White continued, lifting his hands to help me as best he could. "Jeffrey and I stayed up all night trying to wrap the presents. Then we snuck up here, and Retro helped move all the presents. I wrapped the lights around me, thinking it would be easier to carry them, but..." His smile faltered as he looked down at himself. "And then I scared you. I didn't mean to turn the lights on, honest!"

Pulling the last string of lights off of him, I then lifted my hand up to rest on his cheek. It got him to stop a rambling apology that I felt he was going to start, and to look at me. "Shut up," I said, a smile in my voice. "We have presents to open." The smile that had fallen from his face returned with a vengeance. Just as I was about to reach for my robe, White reached out and held my face between his hands. Turning my head towards him, he leaned forward and gently kissed my screen.

"Merry Christmas PQ," he whispered with a seriousness that seemed foreign. "I love you." The world seemed to shift into slow motion as I processed those words. It was the first time he had ever said that to me. And it was the first time that I truly felt someone meant it the way he did. There were things I wanted to say to him, things I wanted to do to him in that moment. But I couldn't get myself to move. All I felt was my heart come to a stop, and butterflies began to flutter viciously in my stomach.

The moment of shock was over rather quickly as Jeffrey jumped onto the bed, his arms wrapped around a present. Retrostacja gnawed contently at a large bone with a large checkered ribbon wrapped around the center of it at the end of the bed. I knew without a doubt that this was the way Christmas was supposed to feel like. It was mornings like this that people wrote about in stories, and dreamed of as they slept.

We spent the entire day in the apartment, opening and playing with the presents that were exchanged. It had been quite some time since I heard that much laughter in one room.

This year, Santa gave me what I truly wanted.

PQ and Retrostacja
Community Member
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