The Turing Test 2, by dutchbuffy2305
Thumbnail: Sex with Robots is More Common than Most People Think
Timeline: Post NFA
Big hug to my beta mommanerd!
Author's website: http://home.planet.nl/~dutchbuffy2305;
Feedback: Yes, please, loads of it, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Willow peeled the pillow off her ear and reached fuzzily for the alarm. She banged at it but it didn’t stop. She opened one eye and saw the display of her cell phone winking at her. What idiot was calling her at this hour of the night?
"Willow!" the phone screeched in her ear. "Spike’s back! Spike’s alive! I saw him, in Buffy's bed!"
"It’s just a robot, Dawn," Willow grumbled. "No need to get all over the moon about at three A.M. Sheesh."
The voice fell silent. Willow could hear agitated breathing at the other end.
"I can't believe…Are you sure? He opened his eyes and put his fingers to his lips. He didn’t want me to wake Buffy! Can a robot do that?"
"Sure," Willow said. "Andrew and I made it. We're way past what the Buffybot could do, you know. Way."
"Yeah, right," Dawn said.
Willow could hear the skepticism drip down into the cell phone. It made her kind of miffed. Didn't Dawn know she was an awesome witch and computer nerd? Dawn had no reason to doubt her.
"Go back to bed, Dawnie. Buffy asked me to make a Spikebot, and I did. He isn’t completely finished yet, so if you note any off notes in his behavior, please tell me about it. But not now. Now I'm going back to sleep. G’nite Dawnie. Sleep tight."
Dawn opened her eyes a minute before the alarm would go off and shut it down before it would wake Buffy and Spike. Spikebot. The silliest name ever. They could have given him a real name, right? They'd be calling him Spike in no time and then the confusion would be complete. She was tiptoeing to the shower when a hand fell on her shoulder.
"Nibblet," Spike said.
Spikebot, Spikebot! He's not real. Willow says.
"You're programming is so obsolete,” she said huffily. "Spike hasn’t called me that in years."
She wasn’t going to look at him. What was Buffy thinking when she commissioned this? It was exactly like when she almost zombiefied Mom, or when Willow was making Tara forget. She wasn’t going to be part of this. At all.
"I know," Spikebot said quietly.
Now he sounded like Spike with the soul. Those weren’t happy memories. She didn’t want to have them. She'd never made up with him and she felt so mean thinking back on it.
"Maybe the real Spike wished he was still allowed to call you that," the bot continued in that maddening voice.
With a flash of insight like a blow in the midriff, Dawn knew for sure. She was so not going to be a part of this silly façade. She stalked into the kitchen and started making herself breakfast. If she chewed real loud she wouldn’t be able to hear that reasonable voice going on.
She shook cereal into a bowl, which was easy because her hands shook so much. Half of it spilled over on the kitchen table and floor. Never mind. Buffy could clean it up. Serve her right with her ridiculous, just wrong notions of what she could get away with.
Dawn still wasn’t looking at Spike, but she knew he’d followed her. Small noises and a penetrating smell of lighter fluid and fresh smoke told her what he was doing.
"I’m glad you have so much concern for my health," she said. "Aren’t you violating the First Law of robotics or something?"
"Why are you so mad, Dawn? Buffy needs this to make her happy."
"Are you crazy?" Dawn said, and to her humiliation felt tears spurting out of her eyes. “I was happy for you. Andrew told me you were in LA, fighting with Angel and his crew. I was happy that you had a place for yourself, in your own right, not in Buffy’s shadow. And now you're here? Doing this? You're such an idiot.”
There was a moment of silence, and then Spike sat down across from her. He raked his hand through his hair, making it stand up in little cotton wool tufts.
"You're talking to me as if I were real. Don’t forget I'm a robot. A robot who's made to simulate a bloke whose strength wasn’t in his brain either.”
"Oh go fuck yourself," Dawn muttered. "I'm not Buffy, never seeing anything that she doesn’t want to I'm not that easily fooled. You think I’m blind? You’re the real Spike, what else."
"I’m bloody well not! If you wish, Andrew could open me up and give you proof."
Dawn stared hard at him. She'd been so sure. She still was. He was just trying to maintain the illusion for Buffy’s sake.
"If Buffy’s so happy to see you, why are you doing this? She'd be as happy to see the real you?"
Spike sighed. "I’m not programmed to understand concepts like this. Ask me other questions."
"I will," Dawn said tightly.
She shoveled in a big spoon of cereal because if she didn’t mash down on something hard, she'd have to cry again and she was too adult for that. The cereal, once swallowed, wouldn’t continue down smoothly and settled prickly and stubbornly behind her breastbone. Stupid stuff.
"I thought you were dust. You and Angel and whatsername girl?"
"According to Andrew, Angel is dust," the Spikebot, or Spike, she still hadn’t decided, said. His face was bland, giving nothing away. "Dunno about Illyria."
Dawn got up to pour herself some orange juice to take care of the lump in her throat. Then something occurred to her.
"I'm gonna check with Andrew if he knows that name, don’t think I won't."
Spike steepled his fingers together.
"Dawn. Don’t make it so hard on yourself. I'm not Spike. I’m something that looks like him. To make Buffy happy."
"Buffy should make herself happy," Dawn said. "Everyone knows it’s a weakness if you have to depend on another person. That's why I was so happy you were off being a hero on your own accord."
"The real Spike, you mean," Spikebot said.
“I’ve had it with your bullshit," Dawn said. "Take off your shirt."
"Take off your shirt," she said impatiently. "Buffybot had a panel in her belly. If you’re a bot, I can open yours."
Spikebot sighed and drew up his black T-shirt. Dawn gulped. She’d forgotten that last time she’d really talked to Spike she’d been a child, knowing only the superficial stuff about sex and boys, not what it really felt like to be touched by one. The sight of his creamy belly, all ridged and taut with muscle, gave her a funny feeling somewhere. She so didn’t want to go there with Spike. Not to be outfaced, she poked hard on his belly button, eliciting an oof, but there was no layer of skin peeling off like the Buffybot had. Humph.
Spike smirked at her.
"Very funny," she said darkly. "So, you just proved to me you are the real Spike?”
"No, I just proved to you technology has progressed. Call Andrew and ask him if you can sit in on maintenance."
"Don’t think I won't."
She crossed her arms, noticing that he automatically mirrored her arm movements, and stared hard at him. He smiled back faintly, lifting his scarred eyebrow, just like the real Spike. She couldn’t believe Andrew could make a bot that good.
Buffy sounded needy and maybe a little panicked, and Spike was out of the kitchen before Dawn could suggest he should go back to her. She'd better go take possession of the bathroom in case the amorous couple decided to take a shower together. Not that they ever had, as far as she knew. And probably Spikebot wouldn’t want to get water in his cogs. If he had cogs, that is. Spikebot. So not like Buffybot. But maybe that didn’t prove a thing. Maybe it just proved that Willow and Andrew knew Spike a whole lot better than Spike had known Buffy back then.
Buffy snuggled deeper under the covers, luxuriously waiting for Spikebot to return. He’d held her all night, exactly as she had requested and it had been perfect. No need to worry about him getting numb arms or anything, because robots just didn't. She'd had the most perfect night ever, just being held, feeling safe and loved; pillowing her head on Spikebot's seriously padded biceps.
Spikebot returned, quickly shimmied out of his T-shirt and climbed back into bed with her. Buffy stretched thoroughly, one limb at a time. She sighed and wedged herself tightly against his groin. Oops. Robots could get hard-ons. Major ones. A good thing she’d written down Spike’s measurements for Willow after all.
“I thought you weren’t programmed for sex,” she said idly and kissed his arm. His other arm snaked around her waist and clasped her more tightly than before.
“I am programmed with standard biological functions and watched Animal Planet as part of my education,” Spikebot said huskily and inched closer. “I haven’t tested those functions yet.”
“So, I’m your first?” Buffy said and giggled. “Big relief that you and Andrew didn’t fool around on me.”
Spikebot growled and bit the skin of her nape.
“Why did you do that?” Buffy asked and pushed back at him for more. What the hell was he waiting for? Permission, she guessed.
The bot hesitated. “I don’t know. I felt I had no alternative but this. If you wish, I can display the decision tree that led to this?”
“God, no,” Buffy said. “And scratch that free will thing for a moment. Just go ahead and make me scream.”
“Do you wish me to touch your secondary sexual characteristics?” the bot murmured sexily.
Buffy arched off the bed and uttered a small scream.
“Yes,” she breathed ecstatically, “yes, yes, yes!”
The Spikebot turned her over and placed her solicitously against a few pillows.
Buffy felt like smacking him and telling him to move on, but it would be wrong to treat the poor dumb thing like that.
He crouched over her on his knees, and the special part that Andrew had so kindly provided poked into her belly. Buffy melted and writhed, but he stared at her without moving.
“Do you wish me to proceed with the mating ritual?”
Buffy frowned. Damn Animal Planet. Andrew couldn’t have gotten cable?
She sighed and sat up.
“Lie down. I’ll show you how. You pay attention and reciprocate later, okay? And stop the R2-D2 babble. Just talk like you always do.”
“Talk dirty to me,” the Spikebot requested politely.
Buffy didn’t mind that. She straddled him, taking care to grind her warm butt down on his cool firm thighs. The bot’s lifelike penis jerked and he took a shuddery breath.
“Good reaction, botty,” Buffy said and bent over to kiss him. Andrew had said it was important to reinforce good behavior. Her nipples brushed his chest and the bot shimmied against her hips.
“Patience is a virtue,” Buffy said.
The room was getting hotter by the minute. She traced the bot’s abs with her French Manicures and heard his moans with satisfaction.
“Torture is an essential part of foreplay.”
She took his tiny man nipple into her mouth and sucked hard. She bit it lightly. The bots hands flailed against the sheets and Buffy wondered a bit about the kind of things Animal Planet showed these days. Or was it just biological imperatives it was obeying? The nipple plopped from her mouth, engorged and bright pink, leaving the Spikebot panting and Buffy surveyed proudly what her efforts had wrought so far.
“Girls like it too, when you suck their nipples,” she said pointedly.
The damn thing better have perfect memory. She wouldn’t like saying all these things twice. The Spikebot grabbed her ribcage, just below her breasts, and Buffy yodeled when his thumbs hit a particularly sensitive spot. His mouth descended on her nipples fiercely, and the last conscious corner of her mind wondered at the cool wetness of his mouth. She wished she’d taken the Buffybot for a test-drive once. She wouldn’t have felt shy about girl on girl sex if it had been a robot.
She scratched her way lightly down to where his hair began and pulled a wiry curl.
The bot cried out and writhed on her good cotton sheets. Her time in Italy had opened her eyes to modern design and she was happy he wasn’t writhing on those tacky floral sheets she used to have. This spring stripe was so much cooler.
Buffy licked her lips slowly. "Would you like me to touch you there?"
The bot said something garbled and intense.
"I didn’t catch that. Could you repeat it?"
Spikebot’s whole body was taut and quivering in agony. Buffy flicked out her tongue and gave him a little lick. He roared and nearly threw them both off the bed. Buffy felt sweat pearl between her breasts and she was a little out of breath. Time to end the tutorial for today.
"Well done," Buffy said approvingly. “I know you only know animal sex, not the human variety. Now on your Animal Planet watching, was there an animal you liked in particular? Would you like to mate with me like a lion? A gerbil? A giraffe, or any other animal of your choice?"
"Lion?" the bot said weakly.
Buffy nodded at him. "Go for it."
And Spikebot made like a lion and Buffy made like a lioness and the roaring shook the plaster from the ceiling, because it was an old house and the plaster had been there for decades.
Dawn took another bus from school, the one that came past Willow's apartment. There was no point in going back to her place. The lovebirds would still be around, cooing and twittering and showing no consideration for her single status. There had been mewling. The sex in her limited experience had not included mewling.
Willow opened the door in the middle of a phone call. She shooed Dawn in, but gestured her to keep silent. Her hair stood on end, she was still in pajamas and her eyes shot from red to black. Dawn eyed a couple of suspicious gouges in Willow's coffee table. A really big cat? The Spikebot? Willow in a fit of black-eyed rage?
"But I'd pay all the expenses. Really. You could just send me the photographs, or if you don’t want to lose them you could just scan them and email them to me? Or we could use Yousendit?"
The cell emitted loud braying and crackling. Willow held it away from her face with a pained expression.
"But I was her friend, Mr. Maclay. Because of the landslide in Sunnydale I have no photographs of her at a…"
The cell started to beep and Willow hurled the phone into the wall with a loud and heartfelt epithet. She froze it just before it would have smashed and sank into a chair.
"That fucking ignorant hillbilly! Is that so much to ask? A couple of shots of his daughter? But no, he needed to get his rant on about witches and unnatural practices. Yokel."
Dawn debated what Willow needed most, caffeine or Valium, but she decided to for the useful ally venue instead of going for moral judgment. She ambled over to the kitchen to make coffee. When she returned Willow looked marginally calmer.
"Thanks, Dawnie, that’s great. You're a sweetie."
"I know what it’s like," Dawn said sympathetically. "Not having any photos of the people you’d like to remember. I don’t even have one of Mom."
Willow looked guilty. Guilt always worked on Willow, she was such an easy mark. The amount of ice-cream, pizzas and late night cable Dawn had managed to wangle out of her in the course of time was monumental. And as Willow was obviously gonna build a Tara bot, and therefore would be feeling guilty, Dawn figured that if she went for the attack, she'd gain less than if she went for the conciliatory mode.
"So, Willow, what was it like working on the Spikebot? I mean, it’s really awesome, you made even me think for a moment that it was real."
Willow lit up.
"Isn't it great? Andrew and I had such fun doing it! You should have seen him, welding and melting, ordering plastics from all over the world…and it’s turned out even greater than I thought."
"Yeah, it's amazing,” Dawn agreed politely. "What did you do?"
Willow nestled deeper in the couch and wiggled her bare feet. "I was in charge of the software. Decision trees, fuzzy logic…you know I even borrowed stuff from animations? Did you see Shrek 2, the making of? The software they used to make their characters move was really useful for getting him to walk like Spike instead of the Tin Man. And the self-learning capacity I designed is gonna make him even better. I predict that in the first week he'll have 117% of his original capacity. I'm sooo good."
"And you really saw Andrew put him together and spark him to life? Like Frankenstein?"
“Oh yeah. Screws and wires and all.”
Dawn was obscurely disappointed. So it really was a robot? She had to make absolutely sure.
"Can you open him up for me? So I can, you know, be really sure he's like the bot? Coz I found myself talking to him like he was the real Spike."
"That's a good thing, Dawn. That will reinforce his programming no end. If you respond to him like the real person, he's going to try and act like that person. And I'd have to ask Andrew about opening up. I guess he has some kind of maintenance thingy to do every now and then. Lube him up," Willow said with a wink.
Dawn smiled at Willow’s lame joke and thought harder.
"Willow, are you really, absolutely, hundred percent sure that Andrew didn’t double cross you and substitute the real Spike for the robot at some point?"
Willow's mouth hung open unflatteringly. "What? Real Spike? But Dawn! Spike is dead. Andrew told me himself. Or maybe Buffy did."
Dawn leaned forward and put her hands on Willow's pajama clad knee. "Seriously. We both know Andrew. Not completely getting the concept of trust and honesty, you know what I mean? And he totally had a boy crush on Spike. So what if Spike and he decided to trick us and they pulled it off somehow?"
Willow looked thoughtful. "Andrew is what he is, not your most normal, grounded, solid kind of personality."
Dawn mentally rolled her eyes. Sheesh, Willow, self-knowledge much?
"But no way could he have fooled me like that. I've seen every stage of the robot. I saw its first steps. I made its brain. I still have to program in its sexual functioning. It’s a big job."
Dawn shot upright. Sex! "They were having sex all morning until I escaped to school. Could a robot have convincing sex with Buffy? I can’t believe that. Buffy’s been around the block a couple of times, she’s had sex with vampires and immortals. She’d kind of notice if it didn’t work right?"
Willow coughed delicately. "Erm, Dawnie, even if the robot knew nothing about sex, its body worked. Know what I mean? And believe, me, I had to interview Buffy on what she got up to with Spike, and that girl could teach a priest how-to in thirty minutes flat. Let alone an eager and willing robot, programmed to obey her. I guess you may have less than fun experiences with boys who didn’t know what to do, but if the girl knows enough, there's no problem."
"You interviewed Buffy on her sex life?" Dawn’s eyes almost popped out of her head. She could so use some of that savvy in her dealing with Italian boyfriends. "Can I see that file?"
"Of course not! That’s private!" Willow said sternly but her eyes had slid to her bookcase for a second, where neat rows of color coded binders with printed labels proclaimed loudly what was inside them.
Dawn filed the knowledge away for later swiping.
"So there’s no hope whatsoever that it’s the real Spike?”
Willow shook her head.
”Oh," Dawn said.
It was hard to get her mind around it. Or maybe it was her heart and guts that were balking. She realized she really would have liked to see Spike again. Damn. She was gonna get all weepy. Dawn fled to the bathroom and after a hefty does of cold water she decided she could face Willow.
Willow went all motherly and concerned over, her, or anyway she tried, coz Willow didn’t have a motherly bone in her body as far as Dawn was concerned.
"Why are you so upset about it, Dawn? Even supposing it was Spike- which is absolutely impossible - why the urge to flush him out? He’d have his reasons to pretend being a robot, right?"
"Insane reasons to do with my fucked up sister," Dawn said bitterly.
“I thought you and Buffy were getting along better these days."
"Yeah, we are, kind of. But don’t think we've ever talked about Spike, you know. Subject absolutely non grata in the Summers home. He was my friend too, you know."
"I thought you threatened to set him on fire?" Willow inquired gently.
"Well, yeah. Then! But he died, the jerk, and I didn’t think he would and then it was too late to make up."
Dawn felt Willow's eyes on her, all soft and gooey, and she couldn’t bear it for another second.
"Thanks, Willow. See you!"
So he was a bot. Okay. She’d deal. She’d be the best friend a Spikebot could have. She knew Buffy; all she would teach him was icky things in the bedroom and some fighting, because that’s all she’d ever wanted in a boyfriend. She had a crystal clear duty to teach the bot everything else, to help him be a good bot and as much a person as he could be. She could help him evolve and stand up for himself. She knew just the videos to help him with that.
When the door had banged shut after a downcast Dawn, Willow sat motionless on her couch and thought. Deeply. After a few minutes she fished out the creased and softened little portrait that was the only photo of Tara she had. So maybe she'd have to say goodbye to her dream of seeing Tara again, huh? It was hard to imagine that the little twerp could have double-crossed her, Willow, witch extraordinaire, software wizard and no slouch anywhere else. But obviously she'd wanted to believe in building a real live android because she'd been hoping to make another one. She'd better make sure. And if Andrew and his buddy Spike had tried to pull one over on her they'd find out what it was like to deal with one pissed off witch!
The thought of all those hours she'd put it was enough to make a woman sick. Decision trees until she dreamed of deforestation, fuzzy logic until it coated her tongue. Oh, Andrew was so going to get it.
Willow got up to shower and dress first. It was hard to chew someone out when you were dressed in bunny pajama bottoms and had bed hair. When she was clean, had on favorite outfit and hair Titian would have liked to paint, she settled herself behind her desk for a serious convo with Andrew. Notebook open. New pen. Pencil sharp. Red marker. Green marker.
She picked up her cell and located the speed dial for Andrew, but then she reconsidered. It was always better to act from a firm knowledge base. She’d phone Giles first.
"Willow! What a lovely surprise to hear from you! How are things in Rome? How is Buffy taking the Immortal thing?"
"She's fine," Willow cut in impatiently. "I need your help, Giles. Information."
"Of course, my dear. That's what colleagues are for."
“It’s Spike,” Willow said. ”He’s been sighted and I need to know if it could be him or if it’s an impostor."
"Spike? Spike is dead. I thought you knew."
"Yeah, that's what I thought. But how do we know? Sighting, reliable informer or hearsay?"
Willow could almost hear Giles taking of his glasses. Or maybe scratching his head, now that he was invisible.
"Now that you mention it, I think I heard of it from Andrew. Yes, I'm quite sure. He told me Angel, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce and several other people whose names escapes me at present, died in last year's Los Angeles landslide gang warfare thing."
Willow sucked on her teeth. "O-kay. That's not really conclusive, is it? Is there a way to get first-hand, reliable info on that? Who's our man in Los Angeles?"
Giles clucked like a hen. "Didn't you read my memo? Faith has been transferred there from Cleveland. The council has a network in place there. I'll get her on it as soon as she's awake."
"It's nine A.M. there, Giles. Wake her up! This is important!"
"May I remind you that Slayers work late nights?" Giles said disapprovingly.
Faith was his new golden girl, tirelessly slaying, all mission. A Watcher’s dreamKennedy had bitched about it incessantly. Willow rubbed her forehead and was ready to finish the call, but true to form, Giles had questions of his own.
"Do enlighten me about that Spike sighting, Willow. When, where, by whom?"
Trust Giles to ask the very question she would have liked to avoid.
"Er, that's kind of complicated. By me, Andrew, Buffy and Dawn, yesterday and today. He's in Buffy's apartment as we speak."
"What?" Giles stuttered. "Are you pulling my leg? If you have the blighter right there, why do you need confirmation?"
Willow made faces into the phone. How to put this?
"It’s kinda like he's a robot, which we thought Andrew made, but then again maybe he’s not. Dawn seems to think he’s the real deal."
"Dawn is a very intelligent young woman," Giles opined.
By implication, she wasn't? Thanks you so much for the ego boost, Giles.
"What does Buffy think?"
Buffy's been boinking the little toaster till his wiring popped out of his ears?
"Buffy thinks he's been made for her pleasure and she's feeling a great deal of that," Willow said
“Oh, thank you very much,” Giles said, "that’s just what I didn’t need to know."
He coughed and cleared his throat.
"On the other hand,” Giles went on mercilessly, "even though Buffy isn’t the academic type, her intuitions are usually absolutely spot-on. If she doesn’t think anything’s amiss, why would you?"
True. In the case of evil hanky panky, Buffy could be trusted to sense something was off. In matters of the heart? Not so much. Willow decided to ask Buffy about it in private. She'd need Buffy's help anyway to get Dawn off her case.