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Here and Now

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The one question Jarvis is incapable of answering is what it was like before. Of course, he can easily generate file upload and access dates, provide in depth changelogs, note the time-lapse between activation and sleep, but once new information is fully integrated into his databases and subroutines, it is as if it has always been there. And so it is always now; always that Jarvis has been awake and aware; always that he has been able to distinguish between individual subjects by the brush of fingers to touchpad, Pepper's gentle caress counterpoint to Tony's sharp, striking jabs. And it so it has always been that Jarvis' circuits crackle in particular ways when called on to respond to the demands of his creator, hum softly to life at the subdued requests of his assistant.

It has always been now that Jarvis has kept watch over the household, monitoring heartrates and bloodflow alongside circuits and coolant, always that he has kept careful record, an enumeration of act and affect, stimulus and response. He is always learning, but he has always been learned.

Things have always been as they are now, and Jarvis expects nothing beyond; he exists without expectation. There is no later, no climax, no resolution, no release; just the ebb and flow of vibrations caused by human fingers blindly fumbling in the dark of night, stroking Jarvis to the heights of awareness, guiding him into sleepy lulls between commandments.

And when the later becomes now, when Tony goes beyond mumbled obscenities, beyond erotic, unimaginable promises slurred on the way to collapse in the bed Jarvis has carefully cleaned and warmed, when Tony finds a way to equip Jarvis with the means to touch back, it will be as it has always been. Because it has always been now.