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Bonded Automatons and Zombies

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Shotarou was about to turn the TV set off when he noticed Philip staring at it. He wondered if the other man would mind if he turned it off, or if he'd have to listen to Philip's version of a lecture or something. "Philip, I'm going to turn the zombie movie off now." He really should be turning it off; horror movies sometimes still gave him nightmares, and nobody knew how it would affect Philip.

"Zombies… ah. The dead returned to life by reanimation, particularly in voodoo rituals. Also, a person acting like such a creature." Philip didn't seem to be even aware that he was speaking. His attention was locked on the silly movie.

"Yeah, yeah. They like brains, they moan a lot, and they're in a lot of horror movies. But they're not real," Shotarou said, hoping against hope that it was the end of Philip's research. He didn't want to be hearing about zombie legends for the next three days, not when a case could come up at any time that would require Philip's unique skills.

Philip was flicking through that damned book of his, which meant it had caught his interest. "Look," Shotarou said, "if you want to watch the movie, that's fine. But if you spend the next couple of hours researching, you are going to be a zombie yourself."

His partner ignored him, muttering under his breath in a language that Shotarou didn't recognize. "Suit yourself," he said, though he wished Philip would recognize common sense things. For a guy who had a library in his head, Philip seemed to have permanently lent out the books on social etiquette.

Leaving Philip to his latest project, Shotarou went to his office to get his cases together for the next day.

* * *

Philip was still talking to his book when Shotarou walked by him on the way to the refrigerator. In some ways, Philip was an automaton, a particularly organic computer that replied to search requests. And yet said computer could ignore anything if it didn't have to do with his current research project.

There was a certain single-mindedness about Philip that he found disconcerting. He was sure that Philip's first project once they got out of the building was him… which made sense, since they had to be W and all. But it hadn't helped the feeling of being studied by the younger man. Phillip had watched him do everything. Do paperwork, read novels, take his shower and his bath… no matter what it was, Phillip had to have a part in one way or another.

Philip didn't even have to be in the same room, sometimes. He'd go into his office to read a novel… only to be grilled by Phillip about it. And Philip hadn't even been in the room at the time. When he asked Philip about it, the young man had just replied with something about "multiple-location awareness between bonded individuals", whatever that meant. Shotarou didn't want to know. Shoutarou liked Philip, but he wished that he'd explain things sometimes. In less than a hundred words. With words of less than twenty syllables.

In any case, the bonding made him aware that there was another mind attached to his now. Not that he could really describe what it felt to be bonded to Philip, because most of the time, it was just a nagging reminder in the back of his brain that there was another attached to his own. Not physically, of course, but sometimes, what he saw, Philip saw.

Shotarou hoped that someday the bonding would be gone. He'd hate to get married and spend his wedding night with his bride only to discover that Philip had watched the whole thing through their link. Hell, there were things that a man was not meant to share, even with another man.

He glanced over at Philip. Philip probably didn't even care who he was with as long as it was interesting. Maybe he'd learn to block Philip on things, just for his sanity's sake. Philip didn't need to know everything about him, after all.

Leaving Philip to his zombies, Shotarou yawned and went to bed.