the_spine: (Dramatic lighting)
Continued from here...

The trip across the ocean had been, for The Spine, a slightly nerve-wracking one. Not that he technically had nerves to wrack, whatever that meant. While his new friends had been kind enough to help him work up a fleshy disguise, but the fear of somebody revealing him as a robot and then causing panic over it was an old one. The Walter robots had learned from a very early age that people who accepted them for themselves were few and far between, and they needed to approach the world with some caution. None of them had taken that lesson as deeply as The Spine had, perhaps because he was the only one of them who harbored a quiet desire to be human.

On the other hand, if he hadn't had practice disguising himself in secret so many times, he never would have been able to pull it off now.

After the boat came the train, and he'd almost forgotten how very far away from Europe California was, back before airplanes were the standard method of travel. The last time he'd come home from overseas was decades ago, now, and he'd been in pieces that time... But these weren't good memories to linger on. Every time his new friends found him quietly brooding somewhere, they pulled him into songs and stories, and he found himself glad for both the company of Francœur and his guitar. By the time they did reach California, he'd told his new friends about how Colonel P.A.Walter had built the robots for a woman he loved, only to have her die of illness before they could perform for her. He'd told them about the rivalry between the Colonel and Mr. Becile, and the 3 day war against Becile's creations -with the gory details very much glossed over. He'd told them about the other automatons; The Jon, Hatchworth, and his oldest and craziest sibling, Rabbit. There were others of course, but those three were the ones he was closest to, the ones who formed Colonel Walter's Steam Man Band.

After the train, they'd have to all cram into a cab, but when it finally brought them to the tall metal gates of the Walter Manor, there wasn't much further to go. The Spine was out of stories, full of worry of what his family would think of him now, and filled with a confused homesickness like he'd never felt before. While Raoul and the driver got the bags, the big robot leaned slightly against Francœur, and stared at the already slightly run-down mansion, and had no words left at all.

Date: 2015-01-22 08:56 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Maud ("You protect a monster?")
The trip was not easy on Francœur's very real nerves either. It was one thing to keep a disguise on stage but this was different and more troublesome. It was exhausting and he was just as thankful for The Spine's company. He listened to every word of his stories, and smiled in eager anticipation to meet the other robots. When they heard about Delilah's death, Lucille had to take Raoul's handkerchief to dab away her tears. But his favourite moments on their journey were when he could take his mask off and just play songs with The Spine. He wished moments like those could last just a little longer.

Francœur stretched his legs once they were out of that cramped cab. He supported The Spine's weight and he gently squeezed his shoulder to comfort him. Looking at the gates, a strange swirl of emotions built in his stomach. He was happy, and yet he could not shake this feeling of dread. Once this was over, The Spine would be gone. He would lose him, a friend, or maybe...

"We could use some help here, big guy. Guys," Raoul called to them. His voice strained as he carried the bulk of their luggage. "Either one of you, hey!"

Lucille laughed as she watched Raoul struggle. Yet when she looked at Francœur and The Spine, her smile disappeared. There was something going on with them, or at least with Francœur, and she was beginning to have an inkling of what it could be.

DW has been doing that a lot lately

Date: 2015-01-27 08:04 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Raoul ("He's got your eyes and my hairy legs.")
They did not miss the allusions to the wars. Yet as they lived in a time and place where such great wars were unthinkable, they did have difficulty grasping the full gravity of the situation. Francœur appeared the most relieved that The Spine and his fellow robots would never be called to war again. He did not want him to have to go through such hardships ever again.

Raoul's shouting brought him out of his state of emotions and he walked beside The Spine to help as well. While it would be the easier choice to leave all the heavy lifting to the biggest members of the party, Raoul distributed the load evenly between all of them.

"Well the letter probably got here before us," Raoul said. "Should've been enough, right?"

Lucille took a deep breath. Whatever was going on would have to wait. She focused her stare at the door. It was difficult from this distance to see who it was, but she was sure that someone was watching them. She waved and gave her best smile.

"Bonjour!" she greeted.

Once the cab driver was gone, Francœur chirped in a questioning manner to The Spine. Was that one of his fellow robots, he wondered.

Date: 2015-01-29 12:21 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Maud ("You protect a monster?")
"You could wipe off the makeup with Raoul's handkerchief," Lucille offered, ignoring Raoul's protest. That man had already ruined a few of her makeup sponges so it was the least he could do.

But before they could get a handkerchief out, the three of them were all surprised to see such a drastic display of greeting. Lucille cried out in surprise and Raoul fell over, dropping his luggage. Francœur did not move, but he did chirp and tilt his head.

Francœur exchanged glances between his friends. However, Raoul and Lucille could not help him, as they did not know any English. He looked at The Spine, silently asking for a translation.

"You must be The Jon," Lucille said in French. "It's nice to meet you."

Date: 2015-02-02 08:10 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Lucille ("Have you ever heard anything so sweet?")
The corner of Francœur's lip lifted into a half-smile. The Jon did an excellent impression of his chirps. Yet as it was not an actual language, they could not communicate through that.

Lucille giggled, quite entertained by this half-dressed robot. She curtsied to him in return. Francœur slipped one of his arms out from his glove and sleeve so he could take the garland off. After admiring the beautiful flowers, he touched it to his face and deeply breathed in its fragrance. He chirped at The Spine, wondering if all their guests were treated like this. He liked it. Usually he did not get flowers until after a show.

Raoul rolled his eyes. "Yeah, perfect." He stood up and he wiped the dirt off his clothes. "Oh, thanks," he said aside when he noticed The Spine took his baggage.

Lucille noticed the woman coming to greet them. She also noticed Francœur was not fully disguised, so she stepped in front of him in the hopes that no one would notice.

"Good day," she greeted. "I'm Lucille. Are you Mrs. Walter?"

Date: 2015-02-04 08:49 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Lucille ("He wouldn't hurt a tiny fly.")
"Wha, hey," Raoul stuttered. He was just puzzled enough to lose the ability to form a coherent sentence. He batted at The Jon's hands to keep the robot away from the only good coat he had left.

Lucille spoke for them, since Francœur could not speak and Raoulw as preoccupied with The Jon. "That sounds delightful. We thank you for your hospitality, Mrs. Walter."

She could see that Mrs. Walter and The Spine needed a moment so she left them alone for the moment. Meanwhile, she tugged on Francœur's sleeve, getting him to put his claw back in and she tied the flower garland around the hat he was borrowing. He seemed enamoured with it, until he noticed how much The Spine was steaming.

Ignoring Lucille's quiet protest, Francœur went over to comfort The Spine. He put a hand on his shoulder and he reached out to wipe away the oil welling at his eye. Lucille could not look; the very thing she was afraid of was that Francœur would dirty his new gloves. He tipped his head, silently greeting Mrs. Walter. With a glance and a soft chirp, he gently encouraged The Spine to say something to her.

Date: 2015-02-08 05:11 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Lucille ("Do you have a name?")
Francœur stepped forward, despite being one not easily nudged. He knew there must have been a reason so he bought The Spine some time as he briefly doffed his hat to Mrs. Walter. The mask muffled the chirps he uttered by accident. Lucille greeted Mrs. Walter with a curtsy in return, though Raoul did not seem to notice the introductions were happening.

"Can anyone tell me what's going on?" Raoul asked after The Jon suddenly left. On top of the language barrier, he had been more preoccupied with keeping his coat free from robot hands. He made one last check that his coat was in order.

Lucille led Raoul by the hand. "Follow me. I believe we are going inside." She then leaned in and whispered to him that he needed to watch his manners.

Francœur kept close to The Spine. He could tell that this must be an emotional moment for him. He carefully moved around his heat sinks to give him a one-armed embrace around the shoulders, trying to communicate comfort and encouragement without any words. If there were anything that he could do, he would be there for him.

Date: 2015-02-20 03:20 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Lucille ("He wouldn't hurt a tiny fly.")
For that brief moment, Francœur cooed like a bird. He closed his eyes and gave The Spine a gentle squeeze. It felt wonderful to be so close to him, and he realised that he needed this as well. He was still fearful at the prospect of losing The Spine. He only wished it could last longer.

"Perfect," Raoul said with a big smile. "I haven't had a drink since we got off the train. So what are we waiting for, let's go."

Once inside, Francœur placed the luggage next to where The Spine set down the bags. He left the decision to Raoul and Lucille. Instead, he looked in the direction of where those clanks and hisses were coming from. He was familiar with these sounds, and he appeared eager to meet more automatons.

Lucille caught onto his warning. "It's quite comfortable here, this is fine," she said. "So this is where you live? It's very impressive."

Date: 2015-03-04 06:34 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Lucille ("It means honest heart.")
Lucille and Raoul sat next to each other and the two could not look any more different. Where Raoul slumped into his seat and stretched out all the cramps he had acquired over the lengthy journey, Lucille sat as prim and proper as ever, folding her hands over her lap and crossing her ankles.

"I'm sure it looks lovely," Lucille gently reassured.

Francœur opted to sit next to The Spine. He looked a little nervous; as if he were afraid he would break the furniture. Once he had settled in, he chirped for the automaton's attention. He tipped his head in the direction of the hall, indicating that The Spine had been spotted.

He chirped in a pleasant manner, could he get to know this one as well?

"What's everyone looking at?" Raoul lolled his head aside so he could see what was going on. "Aha, I see you there. There's no scaring me this time. Hey, you don't have to hide, we don't bite."

Date: 2015-03-14 05:23 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Maud ("You protect a monster?")
Francœur chirped under his breath and he smiled to himself as he felt he could discern at least a few English words. He felt sure Rabbit was a name, at least. The stare in his direction, however, was quite shocking and brought him out of any sense of accomplishment. He sank low in his seat, as if he could hide somehow. Yet the moment he heard that deep voice, he knew it immediately. He stopped shrinking back and he leaned in to get a closer look. If only his mask did not obscure his vision so much. He reached to take it off, trusting The Spine and his fellow automatons.

Lucille quietly protested, but Francœur took his mask off regardless. She nervously wrung her hands and she kept a watchful eye for Mrs. Walter's inevitable return.

Without a doubt, this was The Spine, only younger. His exterior was different, but he could see that his heart remained the same. This fact made him smile. He chirped at The Spine, the one that he knew best, and made a few gestures. The eyes were the biggest difference, he seemed to be asking what brought this change about. He quite liked his green eyes, though that did not make these blue eyes any less beautiful.

"Okay, let me see if I'm getting this right, that's Rabbit, and that's past-Spine," Raoul pointed at each robot respectively. "Well, it's more obvious where The Spine gets his name from now, so would that make this one, Spineless?"

"Raoul!" Lucille said aghast.

"What? It's funny." Raoul laughed, but not for long before Lucille jabbed her elbow in his side.

Date: 2015-03-16 04:31 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Raoul ("He's got your eyes and my hairy legs.")
Francœur watched the two Spines, looking at how different they were in appearance. The technology of the future must be far beyond his comprehension. He felt thankful that The Spine could explain the reason for the mask; otherwise, it would have been difficult to gesture. He did not feel awkward about it at all. Although not everyone accepted, he had friends who cared for him and that was enough.

The Spine glanced at him, and he smiled, but when he heard about green matter, his smile disappeared. Blue matter, green matter, while he may not know much about either of these, he knew it was something that could be very dangerous. He nodded once to show that he understood. He did not pry. However, he cast a worried look on the older version of The Spine. Regardless of the fact that having two Spines here meant he survived whatever this incident was, he felt awful that this Spine may undergo some danger in the future. He dearly wished he could protect him.

Raoul opened his mouth to make a retort, but one glance at Lucille made it clear that she would not tolerate another one of his puns. He folded his arms and shut his mouth.

"Monsieur Le Spine," Lucille nervously called. "Do you think it will be okay for Francœur to keep his mask off?" She asked, worried that Mrs. and Mr. Walter may not take his appearance as well as the automatons.
Edited (Thought of more introspection to add) Date: 2015-03-18 08:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-03-25 03:07 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Lucille ("He wouldn't hurt a tiny fly.")
Francœur did not seem to mind, in fact, he looked happy that Rabbit had an interest in the mask. It was rather nice. He chirped positively as he handed the mask to the copper robot.

He politely waved at Mrs. Walter upon her return. Meanwhile, Raoul was all too eager to get a cup of tea and several cookies.

"Thanks," Raoul spoke through a mouthful. "These are delicious!"

Lucille rolled her eyes but otherwise did not attempt to stop him. She took a cup a tea and gently blew over it to cool it.

"Merci," she thanked.

Francœur took the tea and a single cookie. He took a bite, and waited a moment to savour the aroma of the tea before sipping. The smile and chirping sounds he made suggested he liked the taste.

Raoul looked at the nodding automatons. "I have no idea what's going on but you'll tell me if it's anything important, right, big guy?" He waved his teacup in the future Spine's direction.

Date: 2015-05-03 02:09 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] smallest
smallest: Quote by Lucille ("It means honest heart.")
Francœur smiled behind the teacup as he watched the robots and Mrs. Walter. It was easy for him to see that, regardless of their biological differences, this was a family. Upon seeing The Spine steam up, his eyes softened. He found his bashfulness to be endearing.

"Think nothing of it," Raoul said in response to the copper robot. "He's a good friend, we wouldn't let him down."

With one hand holding the cookie and two other hands wrapped around the teacup, Francœur reached out to gently rest his fourth hand over the older Spine's. His gaze and posture conveyed that he was not taking this situation as lightly as Raoul, and that he was thankful to be part of such a meaningful reunion.

Lucille laughed under her breath when Rabbit tried on the mask. "I'm afraid it's only wax. You cannot drink through it." She set her cup aside as she reached for the sugar.

"We're all glad that we could help," she said with a smile. "Really, most of the thanks should go to Francœur. We found Monsieur Le Spine already in his care. We're still not sure how it all happened."

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The Spine

February 2015

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