This was certainly not in his plans, Gaku never thought he would return to Kronos Heaven after wanting to quit for such a long time. But alas, the offers they made were simply irresistible. Everything appeared to be going well for the first few weeks, but a certain tension hung heavily in the air and somehow, Gaku knew that he would be punished for leaving the company in the first place; he would have his loyalty tested.
He pushed the thoughts away and focused on his current task, to deliver a Nigthy Lover model zero-five robot to a girl who had volunteered to test him for a week. The trial would serve to collect data and had no risk of automatically purchasing the product unless the tester specifically said she wished to do so. It was a simple procedure really, but be it luck, fate or a set up, it was doomed to fail horribly.
Gaku was loading the product into the company van, after having signed to do the delivery. The figure would be his responsibility until he obtained your signature after the delivery was made. Unfortunately, the glitched robot activated by itself and broke out of his box. "You're not supposed to be awake!"
The next few minutes passed with Gaku chasing after the rampaging robot all over the loading area. Employees tilted their heads towards the source of the chaos and stared.
With a sense of foreboding, Gaku watched as the robot stopped, turned to face him and held his head with both hands. Gaku watched in horror as the Nightly Lover pulled his head off, broken wires sticking out of the neck, and handed it to Gaku. The headless robotic body then collapsed, leaving Gaku holding the severed head.
"Gaku!" That was Gaku's boss... "What is the meaning of this?"
Gaku looked at the president, at the head he was holding and finally hid it behind his back before replying. "There was a slight problem with this unit, I'll just run over to the warehouse and-"
"This was a highly priced prototype, you were responsible for it and now it's ruined. Furthermore we are known for our timely deliveries and there is simply no time to make another one, the zero-five units are not even in full production yet. You have two choices Gaku, either you pay the company the cost of this figure or..."
xoxox xox xoxox
You were excited to see the large box arrive at your door. The delivery boy had you sign a clip board and helped you get the box inside. You felt like the luckiest girl ever to be able to test a Nightly Lover version zero-five figure for free, offering only data as a payment, and you could keep him for an entire week before Kronos Heaven sent someone to pick him up.
You tore the box open and stared at the man inside. He did not look like the picture in the website and wore clothing resembling some kind of cosplay, though you did not know what exactly he was cosplaying as. You reached into the box and touched the side of his face, he felt very much real.
You spotted the manual in the box and picked it up. One thing that caught your attention right away was the fact that the title of the booklet was striked through with a pen, replacing the version number of the Nightly Lover with the words 'special edition', that would explain why he looked different. You were not told which edition you would test and simply assumed it would be the latest zero-five, but you honestly had no reason to complain about the change of plans.
You flipped through the manual and found what you were searching for. "How to activate..." Just as you heard, the figures were activated with a kiss. You set the manual aside, you would figure out everything else as you went along, there was no need for excessive reading.
You leaned close to the product's face, noting that his expression slightly changed, but it was barely noticeable really. "Hmm..." You stared at him, observing the light raising and falling of his chest as if he was breathing. Out of curiosity you placed your head over his heart and did in fact, heard a heartbeat. "How realistic," you've heard about the quality of Kronos Heaven's figures, but never before did you think they were this real.
You giggled amused by the situation. It was like sleeping beauty except the guy was the one sleeping and the girl's kiss would wake him up. With no more time to waste you kissed the man you thought was a highly realistic, state of the art technology, robot.
With a light red tint on his cheeks which made you admire the detail put into the Night Lover special edition, Gaku sat up in his box, in disbelief that he was actually saying this, "hello girlfriend." One week, he had to stay at the mercy of this girl for one week and he would be debt free. Then he would quit Kronos Heaven for good and would not go back no matter how big a paycheck he was offered.
Like any other fan girl would do if a bishounen happened to wake up and greet her as his girlfriend, you squealed and glomped; it was the only logical course of action. Gaku fell back into his box with you on top. He wanted to remind you that he needed oxygen, but he didn't want to give away the fact that he was not a realistic figure, but a real man.
Luckily you got off him just in time for Gaku to take a deep breath. "What should I call you?" Usually, you left the default names on when you played video games, and the special edition Nightly Lover reminded you of something out of an anime or RPG. "Do you have a default name?"
Gaku thought he might as well go with his own name since he was used to answering to that, "Gaku."
"Okay then Gaku, be a good boyfriend and go clean the house, this place is a mess. I'll be busy playing video games, come get me when the house is spotless. The cleaning supplies are... somewhere around here... Did you understand that?" You asked wondering if whatever voice recognition devise he used had worked.
"Yes..." Gaku was not looking forward to doing house work. He was feeling lucky he got a cute owner but he wasn't as lucky as he thought if he had to work so hard.
"Good boy," you petted Gaku on the head and skipped away.
xoxox xox xoxox
After slaving away the entire day, the house was left spotless, and Gaku was exhausted. He collapsed on the couch, his stomach growling in protest of the lack of food, but he was too tired to listen.
"Well done Gaku, I wish I could keep you forever!" You were quite pleased with the results. The figure was good at cleaning and doing the house work, just as you asked for him to be.
Gaku was relieved that would not be happening, but he managed to reply in a more or less acceptable tone. "I'll do anything for you,' with a forced smile, then his stomach chose that moment to growl again.
"Do you require food?" You asked curiously.
"Yes, I recharge by eating and sleeping," Gaku replied, it was a believable excuse, and hopefully one that would get him a meal and some rest.
"Why didn't you say so? I don't want your battery to run dry so you have free access to the refrigerator, just eat whatever it is your system requires, okay?" You smiled.
"Thank you very much my girlfriend," Gaku managed to get up from the couch, off to find his meal, but he stopped when you glomped him again.
It took Gaku a moment to react, he was not used to this, but finally he hugged you back when you loosened your grip enough to allow that to happen. "Thanks for working so hard Gaku," you gave him a quick kiss then let him go. "Go recharge, I'm going to sleep. I mean rest, not sleep, just rest," you corrected yourself just in case.
"Sleep well my girlfriend," exhausted as he was, Gaku thought that maybe, just maybe, he would be able to survive the week after all. He just had to keep up his adorable naive act and do what he was told. It would certainly take more than a week of hard work to pay for the full price of a Nightly Lover version zero-five, those were much more expensive than the first version which was already expensive at a million dollars, hence this was his only real choice to be debt free.
After you went off to your room, Gaku went to check out the refrigerator, fixed himself a late dinner and returned to his previous spot on the couch where he collapsed of exhaustion.
When the next morning rolled around, Gaku woke up to find that you had at least been merciful enough to let him sleep in a little. He snuck around the house and quietly peeked into your room to find you typing something on the computer. He thought the display on the screen looked familiar but paid no attention to that detail and quietly left.
While you were busy, Gaku snuck to the bathroom to take a shower. He allowed the warm water to come raining down on him, feeling the soreness from the previous day's work, and his night on the couch, melt away. "I survived the first day..." the house was already spotless, so Gaku was pretty sure he was done with the spring cleaning. Maybe he would have to do a few chores here and there, but nothing of the same magnitude of turning the disarray that was that house into livable space. The house reminded him of Riiko's apartment, or maybe it was even worse... Yes, it was definitely worse, because he had to clean it. Gaku stepped out of the shower and dried himself with the first towel he found, then put his cosplay-like outfit back on. He exited the bathroom and found you waiting.
"Just as I heard, the figures are water proof." You approached and whispered in his ear, "next time, I'll join you." Maybe this would not be as easy as Gaku hoped for it to be after all. Just when he thought the hard part was over, it might still be yet to come. You observed Gaku's reaction, but he didn't say anything. With a satisfied smile you linked arms with him and led him out of the house. "We're going to get you some new clothes, the cosplay is cute but you shouldn't wear the same clothes the entire week."
Gaku feared the worse and started to think about all the dangers that lurked ahead. He feared being forced to wear ridiculous clothes, or worse yet being discovered by someone who might have seen him before and ending up with an upset client and a large debt.
xoxox xox xoxox
The way to the mall went by uneventfully. To everyone who passed by, you and Gaku were just another couple. Sure he was dressed in some kind of unknown cosplay, possibly an obscure character from an unknown anime, but other than that, people concluded that the two of you were a normal couple in everyway.
Arriving at the store was easy enough. You looked around the men's department and pointed out what you thought would look on Gaku, nothing strange much to his relief.
The task of buying new clothes for Gaku was completed quickly and easily, and he started to relax thinking he was worrying over nothing. However was too early to head home, so instead the two of you visited a local arcade, and Gaku began to sense trouble...
"I heard the Nightly Lovers are excellent at videogames," you commented.
Gaku wondered if 'skilled gamer' was entered into the options of the unfortunate headless figure. If so, then the girl would expect to him to be a skilled gamer. It wasn't that he was bad at videogames, he was actually pretty good, but not as good as the Nightly Lover robots. Gaku doubted any human could possibly beat them at videogames. By the time Gaku woke from his thoughts of remembering his many futile gaming battles against spare units as part of a series of tests; you had already picked out a game and were getting ready to play.
"Ready Gaku? Let's win this thing!" You announced.
Gaku quickly reacted, taking the control as you started the game. He didn't move with the perfection of a Nightly Lover gamer, but the two of you got pretty far before the last of your lives was taken away.
"I thought you would beat it..." You gave Gaku a suspicious look.
"My apologies, my girlfriend," he blurted out hoping that would be enough, he was becoming quite tired of trying to fit into the role he was given by Kronos Heaven, even more so than before. This could have been somewhat fun if he could just be himself instead of guessing what the Nightly Lover zero-five special edition would do.
You poked Gaku, "your AI needs work."
Gaku blinked. "AI..." he automatically repeated.
"Be a little more realistic, sure you look real but you need to stop making it look as if you're acting. I thought Kronos Haven programmed their figures better than this..." You observed his expression change in a mix of surprise and relief.
So she wanted someone a little more realistic? Then that was what she would get. "Why didn't you say so before? Activating secondary AI program now." He felt as if he was stepping into a sci-fi movie and at the same time stepping out of it. From that point on, anything he did that did not fit into what was expected of the Nightly Lover zero-five special edition could be blamed in the non-existent secondary artificial intelligence unit. "Shall we try out more games, my girlfriend?"
"Yes!" You cheered and let him pick the next game.
For a short while Gaku almost forgot his predicament and had fun at the arcade, sure his gaming skill were not as perfect as the Nightly Lover's but he was still really good, and good enough to win some prices.
After the arcade, the two of you went out for ice-cream, still laughing about the happenings of the afternoon. You carried a large panda plushie product of a few victorious games at the arcade.
Later, the two of you headed back home and things continued to flow relatively well. All Gaku had to do now was pretend to be your boyfriend, without worrying about acting out the part of a figure.
Today's activities included a date at an amusement park. Now that the technicalities with the AI were partly sorted out, it would be quite similar to a normal date, so Gaku felt that he had little to worry about. The final days of the week should be a breeze, his optimistic mood had returned as the two of you headed towards the amusement park.
But of course, it couldn't be that easy, upon arriving at the park, Gaku spotted Riiko and Soshi but they had not seen him yet and it could be a problem if they did. Even if he wasn't in his usual cosplay-like clothes and most of the time they had not recognized him at first when they saw him wearing normal clothes, there was still a pretty good chance that this time they would recognize him and come to say hi. If his secret got out he would be in trouble.
Gaku decided it was time for evasive maneuvers. He placed an arm around your waist and quickly led you away from Riiko and Soshi before they saw him. "Let's go this way."
"Okay," you played along and followed, leaning closer to him.
Gaku wasn't even sure where he was going, except for going in the opposite direction that Riiko and Soshi were at. It was not until he had arrived that he realized he was heading towards a rollercoaster, which was not a bad thing at all.
"This looks fun, let's ride it!" Gaku had no complaints with that.
"My girlfriend likes rollercoasters too?" The two of you stood in line to ride it.
"Yes I love them!" You cheered as your turn approached. You and Gaku were first in line after the rollercoaster filled up, which was great because it meant you would be getting front seats in the next round.
"Me too, they're fast and fun and..." and Gaku wasn't sure if his non-existent secondary AI would be programmed in detail to that extent. Luckily no further conversation was needed for the rollercoaster finished its run and it was time to board it.
The wind blew, some people cheered, others screamed and some were in pure bliss, you were one of them and you suspected so was Gaku. The rollercoaster twisted and turned in mid air, it felt like frying.
The ride ended all too soon. You and Gaku got off, falling into a natural conversation about how cool rollercoasters are. But alas the relaxed mood could not last too long, for Riiko and Soshi made their appearance in the crowds again and Gaku remembered that he was not on an actual date, but an acted date.
"Let's go on another ride, my girlfriend," once again Gaku led you away and you went along with him. He felt cool in a way, despite the risk, because this was similar to a spy movie where he couldn't be discovered. He tried to focus when he realized he was having so much fun he nearly forgot the risk and debt.
You and Gaku reached a crossroads. To the left there was an abundance of pink and red with glittery cute little hearts hanging all over the place, and to the right the atmosphere was dark, with cobwebs, paper ghosts and plastic spiders.
Gaku looked at two alternatives. Either he rushed into the tunnel of love, which is something an NL05 special edition might do, or he went to the haunted house which he actually wanted to check out. Caught between the act of pretending to be a figure to avoid a huge debt, and the idea floating faintly in the back of his mind to threat this as a real date; Gaku decided he would take the easy way out of his dilemma and simply ask, "where do you want to go, my girlfriend?"
You contemplated the two places, one of them appeared to be somewhat inviting, and the other rather scary. Finally you made your choice and replied, "to the haunted house, too much pink is scary." Gaku couldn't help it but to laugh. Ironically he too was thinking the overload of mushiness was quite scary in its own weird way, but he didn't think you'd agree.
After entering the haunted house, Gaku lost track of Riiko and Soshi. Riiko might not like the haunted house too much, or so thought Gaku. If he was right, there was a pretty good chance he was safe from being caught, and possibly discovered, accidentally or not. He walked slowly and you made no efforts to pick up the pace.
A paper ghost unexpectedly flew overhead, while at the same time poorly recorded spooky sounds played. Needless to say it wasn't scary at all, not that you were frightened by such things in the first place. Instead both of you laughed at the poor outdated attempt to scare people. No wonder there was no line to enter the haunted house. The tunnel of love, which was also practically deserted, was probably very cheesy, although most likely scarier than the haunted house with the excess pink.
At the other side of the haunted house, out the back exit, the coast was clear. There was no sign of Riiko and Soshi anywhere and the crowds were thick enough to hide in, but not so much that seeing them coming would be hard.
You spotted the colorfully lit ferris wheel near by and pointed at it. "Let's go ride it!" You and Gaku headed off in that direction.
Once again, voluntarily or not, Gaku started to forget that he was supposed to be acting, and wondered if there really was that big a difference between his robot act and actually going on a date. Well it was a date, except you didn't know he was a human, and you wouldn't have even met if not for the NL05 special edition week long test. But other than that, was there truly a big difference?
Wherever Riiko and Soshi were, Gaku did not know. He hasn't seen them for a while so maybe they went home. Now that the danger of being discovered was apparently gone, Gaku relaxed and went with the mood of things. The day was fun and ended with a grand fireworks display, as midnight rolled by and gave way to the forth day of the week long data gathering experience.
Things were looking good, and Gaku had become optimistic. The second and third day had been increasingly good so he thought nothing could go wrong at this point. "Gaku!"
"Yes, my girlfriend?" Gaku had a feeling that the difficulty of his little game was about to become harder or easier, but something would happen. He glanced at the ring he was given, it had been either white or red all the time.
"I was told that I should review my options with you sometime during your stay. I guess now is as good a time as any..." You held a pen and paper with a list of characteristics. There was a little square box next to each item, to be checked if the characteristic was present.
"The options?" That didn't sound good. Gaku wasn't sure if he was acting as everything he was supposed to be.
"Let's see... handsome, check, sense of humor, check, likes games, check, fun to be around, check," and one by one, it turned out he did fit perfectly into the profile you wrote up. "Looks like Kronos Heaven has done a good job." You patted him on the head like one would do with a pet and skipped away happily.
"That was easy..." Gaku thought. Good, things continued getting better. If that kept up, the week might end too soon. He felt lucky that he didn't have to act so much because it just so happened that the girl who was going to test the figure, liked guys just like him. Then the realization hit him like a ton of bricks, if you liked guys like him, you might like him as more than just a figure if you knew the truth, plus he was starting to take a liking to her as well.
He shook his head, that wouldn't work. If you knew you had been tricked you would be angry and any possibility of actually going out as more than just a robot and his temporary master would surely disappear. It was really too bad he didn't meet you in a different situation.
Gaku followed the sound of your voice and found you talking on the phone. He listened quietly. "Yes sir, everything is going well. He's working just as expected." It sounded as if you were talking to Kronos Heaven. Then Gaku's cellphone rang.
Gaku had kept his cellphone hidden and it had not made a sound until now. He quickly accepted the call to stop the ringing and glanced back at you. You were still talking and were not paying attention to him. Gaku snuck away to answer the call, the name of Kronos Heaven displayed on his cellphone's screen. "Hello?"
"What took you so long to answer? Don't forget that in Kronos Heaven you're on call twenty-four seven." It was the unmistakable voice of Gaku's boss.
"I was with the client, sir," Gaku reminded him.
"Yes, yes, but that doesn't mean you can neglect your duties at the company. I need you to do a few things, report to headquarters immediately and make sure not to fail the client." The call was ended.
"But how can I-" Gaku looked at the cellphone screen, the words 'call ended' displayed on it. He didn't even get the chance to explain.
Gaku heard you approaching and hid his cellphone. "What was that sound just now. It sounded like the ring tone from the Kronos Heaven cellphones..."
"It was nothing, my girlfriend," Gaku tried to think of something, there had to be a way of this. A good salesperson was a quick thinker... "My girlfriend, I would like to give you a gift. Kronos Heaven has prepared me for such an occasion and will provide funding for it." One thing that any good seller had to know was that people loved free gifts, and they would sometimes buy things they didn't need just for the sake of getting a free gift they also didn't need, but they wanted it because it was free. Or rather they were told it was free, because more often than not, the cost of the free gift had already been included in the price of the item that had to be purchased to obtain the gift.
In this case, Gaku would be paying for it with his own money since the funding from Kronos Heaven was a lie, but it would certainly be cheaper than disappointing the client and paying the price of a Nightly Lover zero-five robot. He could stay with you and skip out on his job, but then he would get fired and he wanted the satisfaction of conquering the trials of Kronos Heaven and quitting of his own free will once and for all.
"How sweet," you smiled.
"Anything for you, my girlfriend. Please allow me to go out by myself to buy it. I wish to give you a surprise," if you said yes the plan would have worked, but if you insisting in accompanying him, then the plan would be a complete failure and he wouldn't be able to sneak away to Kronos Heaven.
He watched as you took in a thoughtful expression and finally spoke, "are you sure you'll be okay by yourself? If something happens to you I'll be in big trouble."
Gaku nodded eagerly, he was so close to making his temporary escape he could almost taste freedom... well, not really since he was heading to work, but at least he would have a chance to avoid a huge debt without getting fired. "I'll be fine; I'll come back as soon as I find a nice gift for you."
You thought about it for a moment, suspense hanging in the air. "Okay, be careful out there and don't take too long."
Gaku smiled victoriously, but he knew it wasn't over yet. The challenge was just getting started. He hoped that his work would not take too long, but considering being absent for the past few days, work had probably piled up in mountains and no matter how fast he tried to get it done, he might not be able to come back until much later. He considered quitting his job and simply fulfilling the needed tasks to leave debt free, but he quickly disregarded that option, Gaku did not give up easily and he was not going to give his boss the satisfaction of winning. He would be the perfect Nightly Lover special edition, the perfect Kronos Heaven employee, and he would quit with his head held high, leaving Kronos Heaven to regret the loss.
You extended your arms as if waiting for a hug. Gaku took the hint and hugged you. You rested your head on his shoulder, faces lightly brushing as you parted and then you stopped, still close to each other, closer... The kiss was something that would be expected from a Nightly Lover figure of any edition, but it wasn't just an act, it was something done in the heat of the moment, even if you had only requested a hug, but you had no complaints about the extra kiss.
After the kiss ended, Gaku said a quick goodbye and rushed out. He dashed down the street heading towards Kronos Heaven while wondering to himself, "what did I just do?"
xoxox xox xoxox
Unfortunately, Gaku's prediction was correct and there was a huge amount of work waiting for him at Kronos Heaven. He zoomed all over headquarters collecting a dozen Nightly Lover zero-four figures that were due to be delivered. He packed them up in the back of the Kronos Heaven delivery van and drove off.
Gaku had lost count of how many red light he ran and how many close calls he had on the road, only narrowly avoiding car crashes. He really didn't need to put a dent on that van at a time like this. He stepped on the breaks and came to a screeching halt in front of a tall building where one of the customers lived.
After driving like a manic, Gaku's adrenaline was still high, so with relative ease he grabbed one of the boxes from the back of the van and rushed towards the elevator while checking his order notes. The girl lived on floor twenty, and Gaku stopped cold when he saw an out of order sign on the building's only elevator.
"Why me?" But regardless of the hardships he had to endure, Gaku would still not give up. He hauled the large box along the stairs all the way to the final floor of the building and out of breath but victorious, Gaku rang the doorbell.
A young woman answered the door and squealed recognizing the package she had ordered. "The Nightly Lover is here!"
A man who looked exactly like Night, but wasn't Night, as he was still sleeping at Kronos Heaven, peeked out from the apartment entrance looking curiously at the large box, big enough to fit someone his size inside. "My brother?" He asked.
"Yes, your brother!" The woman replied as the Night look-alike smiled and placed his arms around her waist, chin resting on her shoulder.
"I'm happy he's finally here," that man was obviously a figure. Gaku recognized him as being of the same model as Night, of course Night's programming was special, but he had many replicas that shared his physical appearance.
"I'm already quite happy with my Nightly Lover," the woman spoke in a cheerful happy tone, but it gave Gaku a bad feeling. "In fact I'm so happy there's no way I'll let him go even if there is a newer model available. I bought this as a birthday gift for my best friend. I asked for him to be programmed to be the brother of my Nightly Lover so now my best friend and I are in-laws!"
"That's great," Gaku smiled and nodded, the bad news was coming, he could feel it.
"She lives on this building too, but she's on the third floor. The elevator is out of order... Could you help take the box to her apartment?" Just as Gaku had feared, the woman made the request he knew was coming and did not want to hear.
Gaku's smile became harder to keep up and he smelled another set up, but he was determined to prove he could take anything Kronos Heaven could dish out. With a forced smile still plastered on his face, Gaku replied as politely as possible, "sure, no problem."
"Oh, thank you!" The woman squealed. She wouldn't be so happy when her credit card bill arrived, but the transaction had already been made, so it was the duty of Kronos Heaven to deliver the product, and she must be rich if she lived in that luxurious apartment building and was able to afford two figures. "Darling, please help the nice delivery boy carry your brother."
"Yes, love." At least Gaku wouldn't have to do much on the way down the stairs, he was truly exhausted but the Nightly Lovers were quite strong, so Gaku only needed to pretend to help carry the box and let the figure take the weight, he would have no trouble with it anyway. Why the woman didn't just ask her figure to carry the box alone, Gaku was not sure. Maybe she was so used to having him around she forgot he was a figure in the first place.
After that delivery was done, more deliveries followed, and Gaku traveled all over the city in the Kronos Heaven van, driving like crazy. Eventually, as it happens when one drives like that, a police officer went after him, siren blaring for the apparently insane driver of the van to stop. If he was caught Gaku would be in trouble, and even if he wasn't caught, he would still be in trouble when the report reached the company since the name of Kronos Heaven was clearly printed on the van. This was not Gaku's day after all.
The epic chase continued all over the city. Gaku thought he saw an opportunity to get away, and drove down an alley. He turned behind a tall building and drove down a path he was sure he wasn't supposed to take. He found himself in the parking lot of a hospital. How appropriate, because he might just end up needing one when Kronos Heaven was through with him.
Then the imaginary light-bulb above his head lit up. He had a little time before the police cars caught up and found him in the parking. He heard the sirens blaring and quickly jumped to the back of the van. He ripped a box open, one that contained a female doll in a princess Leia cosplay as requested by the client.
Gaku considered activating her himself but he thought his girlfriend might be angry if he did, so instead he ripped another box open, this one containing a male robot in a Han Solo cosplay as requested. Good, they matched. Gaku pushed them together, lips touching, and with the sound of a small short circuit, the two figures came to life and were in love.
That's when Gaku realized he had gotten himself into more trouble than needed by activating two of them instead of just the woman, because he had gotten too much into character and didn't want to upset his girlfriend who wasn't even his real girlfriend. Oh well, it might be more believable with both of them there. Now if only he could get the two figures to stop kissing and pay attention.
"Hey you two, listen up! I was the one who activated you and made you fall in love with each other and I need a little help," Gaku heard the police approaching, this had to be done fast.
"You brought us together?" The Han Solo look alike asked in a tone that was nothing like Han Solo.
"You're our cupid!" The Leia look alike was also horribly out of character.
"Yes, yes, I'm your cupid and I have a little game for you to help build up your relationship. He dug around the van for random spare clothing. "Leia, stuff this in your dress and try to look pregnant. Han, you're going to pretend Leia is having a baby. Both of you couldn't get to the hospital so I gave you a ride, understood?"
"Yes!" The two figures started the act. Although they were terrible in acting out their cosplayed characters, they were pretty good in acting out the roles Gaku assigned to them.
The police arrived as the couple exited the van. "Sorry about that officer, but they really needed to get here..." Gaku sounded completely innocent as if it was all true.
In a matter of seconds the nosy press arrived and things became tricky. Luckily, Kronos Heaven had caught wind of the entire thing and sent out someone to deal with it. The figures were recovered, deactivated and reset, and Gaku was sent on his way to finish the deliveries, driving a little more carefully this time.
All in all it turned out to be a positive publicity stunt for Kronos Heaven after that very nice employee helped the couple get to the hospital. Though Gaku was warned not to do it again, his job suffered no major consequences since it all turned out for the best in the end. He only hoped you were not watching TV when they news came on.
Midnight arrived and so did the fifth day. Time continued to pass as Gaku kept up with all the work from the previous days. It was not until eight in the morning that he was done and on his way back. He remembered the gift that he was supposed to bring. He glanced at his mood reading ring and noted it had turned black; that was not good.
Gaku stopped at one of the shops that opened early, bought a cute plushie, because he knew girls liked plushies, and rushed to your house. He found the door was locked and waited out there until you opened it at nine, his ring changing from black to blue. "My girlfriend, I'm sorry I took so long!"
You let him in. "If something happened to you it would have been bad."
"I'm sorry," Gaku apologized again and gave you the adorable plush panda. "I got this for you."
"It's cute," you hugged the plushie. "Thanks, but don't disappear like that again."
xoxox xox xoxox
The fifth day was quite slow. Gaku was exhausted and out of it for most of the day. He smiled and nodded at everything but he was too tired to think about what was going on. The night finally came and Gaku collapsed on the couch he had been sleeping on during his stay. The fifth day was a quiet one, especially in comparison to the forth, but the sixth day would bring more fun.
"Let's make cookies!" You announced loud enough for Gaku to jump awake. "I'm going to buy some ingredients I'm missing. Get the stuff that's already in the kitchen ready. I left a copy of the recipe there. I'll be back soon!" With that said you left.
Gaku wondered why you suddenly wanted to make cookies so early in the morning but a quick look at the kitty clock on the wall told him that it was actually the afternoon and he had slept in for most of the day. He had a little while before you came back so he showered changed and looked over the recipe. Fortunately he didn't feel lost in a kitchen so the task of making cookies wouldn't be too hard.
You returned and found Gaku looking over the recipe, a few notes and scribbles written on the sides of the paper. "Welcome back my girlfriend, I made a few changes if you don't mind." He had experience making takoyaki and classic sweets so this was no problem at all.
"Great, because I've never used this kitchen in my life," you admitted.
As it often happens in those situations, after the cookies are finally placed in the oven there's a mess of cookie dough everywhere.
"You have cookie dough on your face," but instead of cleaning off, you gave Gaku a kiss on the cheek to get the cookie dough off.
"You have cookie dough on your face too." For a moment he forgot he was supposed to be acting and so did you.
xoxox xox xoxox
After the cookies were done, eaten and enjoyed, you and Gaku went out that evening. You had no particular plans and he had lowered his guard, missing the fact that Riiko and Soshi were out on that same evening, walking around the city near by.
"Gaku!" He almost looked towards the source of the voice on instinct hearing his name being called.
"Gaku!" A second voice was heard; you stopped and turned towards the couple.
Gaku faced them as well, but didn't say anything. "Gaku must be the default name for all special editions..." you mused.
Gaku heard and got an idea. "Hello, I'm on a date with my girlfriend," Gaku acted as if he didn't really know these people but also as if he did. He was exactly in the in-between hoping it would be interpreted in the appropriate way for each side and also throwing the 'leave me alone' hint for Riiko and Soshi to catch.
"Oh, how nice!" Riiko did not catch the hint. "Let's all go together!"
Oh the bright side, you didn't appear to be suspicious, so Gaku assumed you must have thought the couple recognized him because they saw him in the Kronos Heaven website. You even played along. "Sounds fun!"
You and Riiko got along well. The good news was that nothing too suspicious was happening and apparently Gaku had not yet blown his cover. The bad news was that while you chatted with Riiko, Gaku and Soshi started to feel ignored. "They're going to spend the entire evening fangirling about the bishounen they like, aren't they?" Soshi asked.
"Yes they are," Gaku replied; he only hoped he wasn't discovered. His best chance might be if he got Soshi and Riiko to play along. Gaku walked slowly, indicating for Soshi to do the same and let the girls go further ahead.
"What is it?" Soshi asked curiously, it was obvious that Gaku had something to say.
"She thinks I'm a figure," Gaku whispered, going straight to the point.
"What?!" Soshi was surprised.
"Shh, not so loud!" Gaku wasn't sure what Soshi would think of the situation but he certainly hoped he wouldn't tell you what was really going on. "I have to pretend to be a figure for her for a week." Gaku lifted his hand where he had the mood ring. "She's happy about it so it's okay. I'll have to pay for a Nightly Lover version zero-five if I can't replace him by pretending to be the Nightly Lover special edition for a week. This is the sixth day so I only have what's left of today and one more day to go."
"Is it the right thing to do?" Soshi wasn't sure he liked how it was going, but if he revealed the truth it might be more painful than just letting the week end.
"It's almost over, I'm not happy lying to her either, she's actually pretty fun to be around, and cute too. After this I'll never see her again and life will go on as if nothing ever happened..." Gaku knew he should be relived about that, but he wasn't.
"I guess it's best to keep up the act until the end if you came this far. I'll help you out, but you have to treat her well. No taking advantage of being a robot," Soshi agreed.
xoxox xox xoxox
Riiko and Soshi returned to the apartment building where they were neighbors, and bid each other good night at Riiko's door. "Soshi, did Gaku tell you he was pretending to be a figure?"
Soshi was surprised by the question. He had helped Gaku maintain his cover during the double date out in the city, but he didn't realize Riiko already knew. "How did you know?"
"His girlfriend told me. She's been playing along pretending she didn't notice," Riiko explained. "But the truth is she's known since day one."
xoxox xox xoxox
It was very late when you and Gaku got home. The ring had turned black in sadness and Gaku wasn't sure why. "Why are you sad, my girlfriend?"
"Tomorrow is our last day together and Kronos Heaven will take you away," you replied.
"I'll try to make the last day a good one," the truth was, Gaku was sad about it too. Maybe he would tell you truth and maybe you would forgive the lies and date him for real.
"Thank you Gaku... Stay with me this time. I mean not sleep, just rest..." you requested.
Gaku agreed and got into bed, he noticed the plushie he gave you before was there, at least you seemed to have liked the panda. The ring however, still remained black until you fell asleep in his arms and he drifted off to slumber land as well.
The morning went by quickly; there was cuddling, blushing and fluff. Most of all, there was silence. Once the two of you were ready for the day Gaku asked to speak to you. "I have a confession to make..."
"Me too, but you first." The two sat down in the living room.
"I'm not really a figure..." He might as well just get it all out. "The Nightly Lover you were supposed to get malfunctioned and I had to take his place or pay for him. I think Kronos Heaven set me up..."
"Don't quit," you quickly said. "Kronos Heaven didn't set you up, I did."
Gaku stared at you in confusion. "How is that possible?"
"You know how the programmers and sellers practically never really see each other? Well I have a part time job as a programmer, I've been there for a few months but you never saw me. I saw you sometimes from afar. I was the one who sabotaged the Nightly Lover. I've been doing my programming online in secret; his head was reattached and I reprogrammed him. The prototype is fixed but I told the boss you were doing a good job collecting data, and that using the ring on a human might help collect data to make the Nightly Lover robots more human-like," you explained.
"All along, you not only knew, you were behind this..." Gaku should have known it was too much of a coincidence that you had not found out his secret yet, but he thought he was just being lucky.
"Sorry..." you whispered.
Gaku thought about the situation, and about the past few days. "I'll forgive you on one condition, after the data collection time is over, let's not break up."
"Deal!" You glomped Gaku and the mood ring turned bright red. Sure it all started as an act, but it came true in the end.
Day 08 Bonus: Your POV
Save... save, save, save. I hit the button a good four times just to make sure the file was saved. I spent a good portion of time working on this and even more time working bugs out of it. Sure I saved as I went along, it is a precaution that one must always take, but now that it is complete I don't want to have to go back to change anything. In fact, I'll make a backup or two, or three, of this file.
The data from this file contains an upgrade for all existing Nightly Lover units, the clients were complaining about the lack of follow up from Kronos Heaven, which ended with me doing overtime programming some updates and Gaku having to travel all over the place retrieving data directly from the units so that I may use it as feedback for the making of this update. Of course, this is extra work and after Gaku was done, he had to do his regular work which was delayed because of this.
Finally I'm done, I wonder if Gaku is done too. Maybe he went home... I shut down the computer, and walk out of my office, turning the lights off on my way out. The light in the programmer's lobby is still on, that is of no surprise since I left it on. However the surprise comes when I see Gaku sleeping on the couch that is too small to accommodate his entire body, his foot is gently tapping against the vending machine next to the couch in his sleep.
There is a piece of paper taped to the lobby's door. "Do not disturb, will bring donuts tomorrow. -Gaku" I can't help it but to giggle and wonder what Gaku had in mind bribing the security guards into leaving him alone in the lobby. I'm guessing this door was meant to be closed, so I close it, and lock it.
A pizza box is sitting on the coffee table and my stomach reminds me that it needs to be fed. I guess we were supposed to eat that together but I took longer than expected finishing my work. At least my overtime check will be juicy. Oh well, we can still have our pizza and get drinks from the vending machine.
I lean over Gaku and watch him peacefully sleep. I'm too tired to try to resist temptation so I just kiss him. He wakes up and smiles at me, a gesture that I return.
I feel his arms around my waist, gently pulling me down to lay on top of him. At first I thought the small lobby couch would be quite uncomfortable but it was all the opposite.