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A is for Android (The ‘C is for Chicken’ Mix)

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"You sure I can't tempt you?" Hikaru asks when he gets back to the bedroom. He holds up the second bottle of soda that he brought along just in case and waggles it back and forth like a hypnotist's watch. "Mmm, Touya, you're getting thirsty."

"No, thank you. I'm fine."

Touya doesn't look fine. Well, he does look fine, in the way that means that Hikaru is pretty much always dreaming up schemes to get his hands on him and muss him up in fun, and possibly naked, ways, but he doesn't look like he's operating at peak efficiency, not like he usually does. He's leaning back against Hikaru's bed with his eyes closed, and he must have just run a hand through his hair, because his bangs are skewed just a bit, exposing a tiny little V of bare skin on Touya's forehead. He looks... He looks vulnerable, and that does weird things to Hikaru's insides.

He brushes Touya's hair back into place before he can analyze the feelings twisting through him.

Touya opens his eyes and stares up at him, and Hikaru freezes in place, his fingers just millimeters from Touya's warm skin and satin-smooth hair. The weird twisty things knot in his gut. He and Touya are about to have a moment, a Sakura-Blossoms-in-a-Shoujo-Anime Moment, and he's just not ready, not for that.

Hikaru gulps hard and then quickly brushes his fingers against Touya's hair again. It's so smooth and straight and shiny and...

"Seriously, Touya, what's up with your hair? It's like it's not even real. Real hair is never that perfect. And I know it's not a wig 'cause I'm really good at spotting those."

Touya's face goes blank, and then he closes his eyes and sighs.

"I guess I should tell you," Touya says. "I wasn't going to. It's a secret. But you're bound to find out, so..."

"What? What are you talking about?"

Was he serious? Touya has a big secret, too?

"I'm an android."

What?!

Hikaru laughs.

"Yeah, yeah, I guess that would explain your plastic hair."

"I'm serious." Touya opens his eyes again and looks at Hikaru, and yeah, he seems serious, but it's obviously a joke.

"Yeah," Hikaru says. "Robot-Touya. That's a good one, but we're the same age, so you can't fool me. You've gotten taller and--" Hotter. "--you know, older and stuff since I've known you."

"I do contain some biological components. I should have spoken more precisely. I'm a cybernetic being created in highest secrecy by the Touya Family Foundation. My father collaborated with a team of scientists and programmers to create an AI capable of independent learning and development, and my biological matrix is..." Touya pauses. "Do not repeat this, Shindou. It's very sensitive information. Even I wasn't supposed to know."

"Whoa!" Hikaru says. "This sounds so serious! I don't know--"

"My parents had a son who died in infancy. My biological matrix was cloned from his remains, and they gave me his name and legal identity."

"But, but why would they do that? That's..." That was kinda horrifying and creepy, wasn't it? Why would Touya Meijin ever--? And poor Touya...

"'Why?'" Touya blinks, and then turns his head away like he's staring out the window. "I should think it was obvious. They loved their son very deeply and were unwilling to let go of him. You can understand that, can't you?"

"Like Sai..." Hikaru says without thinking.

"What?"

Hikaru gasps and shakes his head.

"Oh no, nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all. Ahahaha. Um... yeah. Good one, though, Touya. This is all a joke, right?"

For a second, it's like Touya's staring at him with laser eyes, but then he bows his head and small, amused smile graces his lips.

"Oh! You bastard, you're totally joking!" And Hikaru pounces on him, laughing and burying his hands in that perfect, perfect hair.