The end of the year was fast approaching, and these would be their final moments together. Between deceptions and revelations, nothing would change Megumi's feelings for Kanaru.
In Megumi's darkened dorm room they lay upon her bed, their naked bodies warm against each, the atmosphere of bliss still hanging over them. She had given a little of herself to Kanaru, for Kanaru to hold dear until her time finally…
Megumi bit her lower lip, the pain jolting her out of her thoughts. It wasn't fair! she screamed internally. She couldn't lose Kanaru, her best friend, her…
Kanaru raised a hand to touch Megumi's moist cheek, the pink cloth still encircling her injured hand, the one that hid her complex circuitry. "Megumi-san, you're still crying," she said, her voice barely more than a whisper. "Why…?"
"Because…!" Megumi choked, the words dying in her throat, and more tears fell from her eyes. She pulled Kanaru closer, her arms tightening around the other girl's slim back.
Kanaru was a robot, an artificial creation, Megumi realized, and no amount of wishing would change that reality. She had been created to collect Personas, no matter what the outcome.
But a robot was still humanoid, with a sense of identity and emotions. In Megumi's eyes, Kanaru was the same as any human being.
Kanaru had given Megumi pleasure, both emotional and physical, pleasures that she had never known before. The feeling of Kanaru's fingers inside her, capable of more precise movement and precision than was humanly possible… it was not a feeling she could never forget. She could not bring Kanaru's body the same pleasure - her body was still mechanical, after all - but Megumi could still find beauty in such a body.
Warm skin, soft breasts, beautiful hair - Megumi only saw perfection in Kanaru's body. A robot's body so much like a human body, but also something more, something almost divine.
Megumi ran her fingers along Kanaru's spine, feeling the warmth of her skin. Was it real or fake? No, that didn't matter, Megumi told herself. Humans and robots were like different sides of the same coin; they had to be. Kanaru had the same emotions as anybody; she could smile and scream, feel joy and sadness. Even if she had another "self," the Kanaru who could experience emotions was her true self.
Her baby Persona was proof of that.
Kanaru's arms, though thin, were protective, and her breath was warm against Megumi's bare shoulder. Kanaru was a marvelous creation- no, person, Megumi quickly corrected herself. A human robot, with human feelings and faults, Kanaru could bridge the gap between human beings and machines. She was born from technology, and in her arms Megumi could feel that she was every bit as real as a human being.
"Kanaru…" Megumi found herself saying. Her friend was no simulacrum of humanity; she was a child of technology who had become human, and this technology had given her the greatest friend she could ever know.
So why, why couldn't this technology have given Kanaru a longer lifespan? Humans born from other humans could live nearly a century and sometimes even longer, so why couldn't a human born from technology, the pinnacle of human achievement, live longer than just a few years?
She still could not stop her tears, and suddenly she felt Kanaru's tongue near her eyes, the other girl licking away her tears. "Why, Kanaru…?" she forced out between sobs, her voice still strained.
A sorrowful smile came upon Kanaru's beautiful lips. "Megumi-san, please don't cry for me," she said as she brushed a few strands of hair from Megumi's face. "I'm so happy I had the chance to meet you."
"I'll… I'll protect you!" Megumi exclaimed, her voice rising. "I'll protect this world! I won't forget you, and there'll always be a space in this world for you…"
Kanaru pressed her lips against Megumi's, and when she broke the kiss, her red eyes were filled with both joy and tears. "Thank you, Megumi-san…"
Megumi didn't want to release Kanaru, even when dawn finally came. She savored the warmth of Kanaru's perfect body. Kanaru was the zenith of human technology, more than just a machine, more human than anyone, and the one love of Megumi's life.
This was the world that had brought the two of them together, and Megumi and her other self - her Persona - would protect it no matter what.