I carefully sat down next to Springfield. She lied silently on the bed as I did before. I didn’t know if she was shut down or what. She was a T-Doll, yet lay silently on a bed and breathed as if she was injured human personnel. I didn’t know what she was doing. I gently placed a hand on hers. Her hand was soft and warm. She was the same as any other young girl. I gazed at her beautiful face in silence. Eventually, I quietly said, “Springfield. Springfield, can you hear me…? I… I… I’m really worried about you… Can you tell me you’re all right…? Sorry… I failed to protect you… I’m to blame… Springfield… I don’t know what’s on your mind, but… but… when you wake up, I’ll confess to you… I like you, Springfield.”
“Remember what you said, Commander.” Springfield scared the living daylights out of me. She opened her eyes and held my hand, gradually tightening her hold. She giggled: “I have always waited to hear that from you, Commander. I always have. I am truly very happy… Commander… can you… kiss me?”
Springfield sat up. She posed a question, but she already had her hands around my neck. She pulled me down and kissed my lips. The kiss was different to the last kiss. She imitated humans this time. She carefully moved as though she was afraid of hurting me. I thought I should be more assertive, but I didn’t have any experience. Thus, I went along with her.
After she released me, I watched her touch her lips. With a smile, she said, “This one doesn’t count, Commander. I did say I wanted you to kiss me, so let’s try again.”
I smiled apologetically. I carefully leaned in. She shut her eyes. Suddenly, she grabbed my face and pulled it to her face.
“Still doesn’t count,” said Springfield, keeping her arms around my neck after we separated again.
Helpless, I smiled: “Springfield, you’re too sly.”
“Because I want to enjoy this type of moment more. I want to have you. I want to always be by your side.” Head titled, Springfield pulled me down to sit on the bed. She then gently leaned onto my chest and touched my chest. Voice quiet, she said, “But… but I am a T-Doll, Commander. I am not human. Are you sure you are all right with this… Commander…?”
I hugged Springfield and answered sincerely: “No, you’re no different to a human. You’re the one I like. Not a T-Doll. I realised how much I cherished you when you protected me… Springfield, I want to be with you. Springfield, I like you.”
“Mm… Me, too… Commander. My fire-control system has been removed. If possible, I would like to find a new job. I’d like to work by your side.”
I carefully took hold of Springfield’s hand and interlocked our fingers. She calmly and happily looked at me before shutting her eyes. I initiated a kiss with her for the first time. She backed off after the kiss and poked my forehead while smiling: “Sorry, Commander. I do not have a reproductive system yet, so… I don’t think we can do it tonight. I will ask Persica for one, though…”
“Oh, mm, there’s no rush…”
I didn’t even know that existed… Springfield looked serious, however, so it must’ve existed… I touched her face then stood up: “Springfield, I’m heading back first. S-So, I guess we’re, mm, we’re dating from now?’
My face went red. Springfield gently pressed her hand on her blanket: “That is not the status I want. Commander, when will you give me a ring?”
“I’ll get you one as soon as I can.”
I resisted the urge to kiss Springfield again and left. I bumped into Persica, who was standing at the door with her hands in her pocket. She gave me a subtle smile: “I can install a reproductive system in Springfield for free; however, I hope you can bring me Sangvis Ferri remains in the future. I need to research them. Also, I’m very grateful you protected Team AR.”
“There’s no need to thank me; I was just doing my job.”
Persica smiled: “There are still two missing from Team AR. I’ll need you and M4A1 to retrieve them. By the way, M4A1 asked me to give you this. It’s hard to get this these days.”
Persica held her hand out to me. I didn’t know what she meant. She flipped her hand over and showed me a withered white petal. I wasn’t a botanist. Nevertheless, I could tell it was a white flower petal from a lily. I spaced out as I recalled the smell. I took the petal and quietly remarked, “So it was M4A1…?”
“You only just realised?” remarked Persica. Her smile was odd. She turned around and waved: “Whatever. As I said, everyone has to make their decision. You made yours. M4A1 will also make hers. M4A1 is the T-Doll with the most human traits, yet she’s the one who’s always very confused. I’m sure she’ll find her own path working alongside you.”
“I see…” I had no clue what Persica was talking about, but I nodded.
Current time at a certain location.
“AR15, M16, can you hear me…? This is M4A1. If you’ve received my call, please reply. I’ll come and pick you up. M16, AR15… where are you two…?”