"Philly," Sam asked suddenly, breaking the rare piece of silence that consumed them on the open road. Below them, Casey was working on some kind of update for Bessie's functions, they were trying to add a few cheat codes that would enable the car's Raging Bull function without quarters and instead a specialized sequence. "I have a question, but I'm afraid it might be a personal one. But since you're my friend I feel that it's okay if I ask it!"
Philly glanced over at Sam from nearly nonexistent road. "Damn, go ahead. It's not like I get any privacy around here anyway." Despite the annoyed tone of his voice, a small smile curled at his lips and he looked back to the road. "Shoot."
"Well!" Sam's hands flew to her lap and she smiled, "I know you've had plenty of sexual encounters just from when we've been together, but I've never seen you with anyone in a romantic sense." She paused and when Philly didn't respond, she continued. "And I wondered why that was."
Philly opened his mouth to speak and when nothing came out he sighed. He took his hands off the wheel and instead started to steer with his knee while he dug around in the console of the car until he found a single hand-rolled cigarette. "What's a guy gotta do to get a light 'round here?" He asked himself more than Sam, placing the cigarette between his lips. He continued to dig around the console looking for a match or a lighter or anything that would light.
"Oh, here you go!" Sam said, causing Philly's head to snap up. She held out her index finger, on it there was a flickering orange flame.
Philly looked from Sam to the flame on her finger then shrugged, he leaned in and lit the end of his cigarette with her flame. "That's new," He said back in his seat and took a long drag before taking a hold of the wheel again. He exhaled and grey smoke came out of his nose and was blown away.
"Yes! It was an upgrade Casey helped me with, I thought that since you make a mess every time you search for your lighter that this would be quicker and keep Bessie a lot cleaner." Sam smiled, she brought her hand up to her face and blew out the small flame. She looked at Philly expectantly, "Are you going to answer my question?" She asked after he said nothing. "I was curious to why you ne-"
"Yeah, yeah! I heard ya, no need to ask it again." Philly grumbled, scratching the back of his neck. "I'm just not interested in people that way I guess?" He said in a questioning tone. "What does it matter to you anyways? I thought you were in love with your prince or whatever."
"While I do love Prince Kelby, I only love him as my best friend. I'm not programmed to feel romantic love, but I do feel love for my friends and I think that that can be just as good." Sam nodded. "I wanted to know why you've had no romantic partners when you're fully capable to have romantic feelings."
"Listen, just cause the majority of humans are all lovey dovey and all that shit doesn't mean that we all are." Philly avoided looking at Sam as he spoke, instead for once, keeping his eyes solely on the road. "That I am," he muttered.
Sam leaned over the center console with one of her hands on her knee and the other on Philly's shoulder to keep herself steady. "But, Philly! Not feeling romantic love is perfectly normal, why are you embarrassed about it? I don't feel it, and Casey doesn't either."
Philly slinked back in his seat as far away as he could from Sam's touch. "Yeah but what do you know? You're a bunch of damn robots! Robots aren't made to feel all that romantic shit, but humans are!" Although his hands were gripping the wheel so tight he could feel his heartbeat in his wrists, Philly had taken his eyes off the road to yell at Sam. "Dammit it's not normal for humans to not feel love!"
Slowly Sam retracted her hand from Philly's shoulder, but she did not sit back in her seat. "But, there are all different types of love, Philly, not just romantic love. You still feel love, just different types." She smiled softly and brushed some of her hair from her face. "You feel sexual love, and you feel platonic love for Casey and I since we're your friends, and you feel a love for Bessie!" She put her hand to her cheek and looked down, "Though I'm not so sure what type of love that is.. But the point is, Philly that you still feel love! All humans do no matter the kind."
And all Philly could do was stare at Sam, he wanted to scream something at her but nothing but air came out of his mouth. The cigarette hung limply on his bottom lip. For a second his eyes began to sting, then they just felt wet. He wiped under his eyes and looked down at his hand and saw tears. Tears.
"Oh no, Philly!" Sam gasped, "Are you crying? What's wrong?"
Philly looked back up at her, "Yes! I mean- fuck no I'm fine!" He rubbed his eyes with his fists until he saw stars behind his eyelids. "There was just a bug, a bug flew into my eye is all." He sighed and took his hands away from his eyes just in time to see a large boulder right in their path, "Jesus motherfucking shit!" He screamed, his hands flew to wheel and he cut the wheels as hard and quickly as he could. A giant dust cloud surrounded them as the car spun around the rock and stopped on the other side of it.
Philly's breaths came in large gasps. He had lost his cigarette when he tried to avoid the boulder and the dust in the air had fallen onto his face and dried his tear marks. He looked over at Sam, she was in the back seat, holding on to the front headrest with a grin on her face. "Great job on avoiding the rock, Philly!"
Instead of thanking her, he never thanked her, Philly put his hands over his face and sighed until he felt like his lungs would collapse. "Why is it whenever a day starts out good it turns to shit?" He asked himself even though he didn't know the answer. He heard Sam noisily climb back up to the front seat but didn't take his hands off his face to look at her. Bellow he heard the noise if a lot of clunking then Casey's footsteps as she came up from the lower level.
"Geez, Mr. The Kid, what happened?" She ran to the side of the car to look for scratches. "It felt like an earthquake or something."
"Nothing happened, Chatter Bot." Philly muttered, dragging his hands off his face.
"A bug flew into Philly's eye and he nearly crashed Bessie into a boulder." Sam said in her usual cheery manner. "Are you alright Philly?" She put her hand on his shoulder again and squeezed it softly.
Philly looked at Sam's hand then he looked up at her, her hand felt comforting but he pushed it away anyways. "Yeah, sure, I'm fine. Probably have whiplash or something, but fine."
Sam only smiled down at Philly, "I'm glad to hear that you're okay then, you're my friend after all and I love you. And even though you don't show it all the time, I know you love Casey and I too."
Philly felt his face heat up and he quickly looked away from Sam, "Oh fuck off," He grabbed a quarter from the messied counsel and popped it in the coin slot, Bessie came to life with a rev of her engine.
"Wait, Mr. The Kid loves us?" Casey asked from the other side of the car.
"Of course he does!" Sam smiled.
"No I don't!" Philly yelled as he put the car back into drive and started down the road again.