A My Life as a
Teenage Robot Fanfic
Chapter Seven Hold
Me Closer, Tiny Dancer
The last techno song of the night blasted through the gym,
and the students whooped and hollered to the thumping bass beat.P Despite everything that had happened, almost
everyone seemed to be having a great time even the two towering robots who
didnt want to be there in the first place.
Hulking about in his monstrous new ten-foot body, Drew
couldnt help but laugh at his pathetic dancing skills.P He was pretty much limited to shuffling his
colossal feet back and forth; if he managed to keep to the beat, that was a
bonus.P He was more worried about
knocking down a wall, or falling over and putting twenty people in intensive
care.P But it didnt matter how ugly his
dancing was; the important thing was that XJ-8 actually seemed to be enjoying
herself.P He was getting a little better
at reading her face and she seemed to be more at ease around another massive
robot.P Which was what he was hoping
And some of the students even started to cheer them on
after all, how often did you see a pair of giant robots getting their funk on
at a high school dance?PP XJ-8 even got
adventurous enough to try a few different dances, like the robot which
seemed misnamed, because it wasnt how she or her sisters moved at all.P But it did start up a brief chant of Go
Ei-ght, Go Ei-ght which Drew had to explain was not a command to
leave the gym.
As the song built to its climax, Brad and Jenny whirled
around each other in a spectacular frenzy.P
Jenny was squealing with delight, barely in control of herself as Brad
spun her in circles.
Dont do it, Brad! she laughed.P Youll hurt yourself!
Brad grinned at her wickedly.P Whats the matter, Jen?P
Chicken?P Get ready!P On three!
Oh, no one two AAAAH!!!P Brad shifted his weight and swung Jenny up into the air.P She twisted and spun like a top, a few feet
over his head, and then came down to land in his waiting arms.P Of course Jenny weighed a little more than
the average teenage girl; Brads knees buckled, sending them both crashing to
the floor, laughing like a pair of lunatics.
Drew shook his head what a pair of fruitcakes
then got a devious little idea.P Get
ready to jump, he said to XJ-8.P She
was a bit confused as he grabbed her hands, then understood when he said, On
This maneuver is inadvisable, she bellowed.P But it looks like fun.P One .. two
Everyone gasped as Drew heaved with a titanic effort, and
pulled XJ-8s feet off of the floor. PShe twisted around him once, then with a metallic groan and a
mighty swing of his tree-trunk arms, he flung XJ-8 twenty feet into the
air.P People stared in awe as she
hovered in space; then she rushed back down towards Drew like a falling
piano.P He held his arms over his head,
and clenched his teeth in anticipation.
The impact shook the walls and ceiling of the entire
gymnasium, blasted a three-foot-deep crater in the floor, and knocked thirty
people off their feet.P But Drews
supersized body managed to catch her, holding her over his head to strike a
pose.P As Drew carefully set XJ-8s
titanic frame back on the floor, the song ended, and the gymnasium erupted into
Jenny ran over and wrapped her arms around XJ-8s waist in a
crushing hug.P That was amazing!P Sis, you were incredible!P I knew you had it in you.
I believe that I have successfully rocked the house,
XJ-8 smiled back at her sister.
Brad walked over, smoothing out his shirttails.P Dude, that was one of the craziest things
Ive ever seen in my life, he laughed.
Drew smirked back at him.P
Ahem.P At least I caught
Well, sure, youre like the robot Paul Bunyan here, Brad
shot back.P Whats up with that,
anyway?P I mean, youre huge!P So how did you grow?P Is this something new with the nanobots?
Not really, he explained.P
I just grabbed a little something to eat on the way back to the
school.P Well, a couple of tons
of something.P Then the nanobots went to
work, and voila, Im grande-sized.
You ate!?!P A
couple of tons?P Brads jaw hung
open for a second.P What did you
Just some metal I found lying around outside.
Howd you find a couple of tons of metal just lying
Drew glanced at XJ-8 with a wink.P Oh, it was easier than you might think.
H-hey Jenny, you were amazing out there, squeaked a
bashful voice.P Making his way over from
the far side of the gym, Sheldon walked up to them, looking tired and
downtrodden.P He was carrying a large
cardboard box filled with assorted pieces of equipment and robotic parts.P His mussed hair was hanging between his eyes
in its familiar way, and his shirt was rumpled and untucked.P I just wanted to apologize for the little incident
earlier, he said.
Thats okay, Sheldon, replied Jenny.P I feel kind of bad about what happened to
your date, but well she was a little how can I put this gently crazy.P And how could you not even realize that she
was a robot?
A drop of sweat rolled down Sheldons forehead.P Believe me I was just as surprised by her
behavior as you were.P Boy, was I
stupid lousy second-rate personality circuits!P I guess this is what I get for finding a date on the
Internet.P Heh-heh.P He chuckled awkwardly at his little fib.
Jenny peeked inside the cardboard box, to see a half-crushed
robotic head, sitting on a pile of gears, wiring, and circuit boards.P The eyes blinked a couple of times, and a
brief surge of power coursed through the circuits.P K-k-keep your mitts off my b-b-beefcake, sister, chirped
Helenas voice modulator.
Jenny arched an eyebrow.P
Gee, you sure can pick em, Sheldon.
Fzzt!P Crackle!P Bzzap!
Sheldon sighed in disgust.P
Oh, shut up, he said, as he slinked off towards the exit.
Then the DJ announced the last song of the night, and a soft
slow-dance number began to play.P The
chaotic mob of teenage dancers settled down, and started to pair off.P Jenny glanced at Brad, with a tinge of blue
flashing on her metallic cheeks.P Its
the last dance, Brad.P I know weve been
dancing all night anyway, but, umm I mean, if youre not too tired and your
feet arent too sore
No! he blurted out, then blushed himself.P I mean well since you went and learned
those dance steps, it would be a shame not to use them heh-heh
Oh, for Petes sake, this is pathetic, Drew said, rolling
his eyes.P Get your butts out there.
Might as well do this right.P Brad held his left hand out, looking very
gallant, and smiled into Jennys eyes.P
May I have this dance, madame?
She giggled and placed her left hand in his.P It would be my pleasure.P They both chuckled nervously as Brad fumbled
to place his other hand on her hip.P
Then they weaved their way into the crowd of spinning couples, gently
swaying back and forth to the soft guitar melody playing over the sound system.
XJ-8 stared at the dancers, with a puzzled look on her
face.P What is the purpose of this
slow dance?P Is it to safely cool down
and reduce heart rate after strenuous activity?
Actually its probably increasing heart rate for
most of them, Drew smirked.P Oh,
what the hey.P Here, Ill show
you.P We hold our left hands like this,
then your hand goes on this shoulder, and this hand goes on your hip.P We just slowly move to the music, and I try
not to step on your feet.
They took a few cautious steps, mindful not to crush any
unsuspecting lovebirds.P XJ-8 observed
the dancers for a few more seconds.P
This seems to be a romantic bonding ritual, she concluded, then she
turned to face him.P I wish to ask you
a question, Drew-for-short.
Oh great, he winced, she thinks its a mating
dance.P Look, XJ-8, it doesnt
exactly work like
Why did you not ask Jenny to go to the dance with you?
He stared back, speechless, as if hed just been hit in the
face with a two-by-four.P Wh-What makes
you ask a question like that? he finally stammered.
I am creating a program based on the writings of Teen Yak
to understand and predict romantic interaction.P Jenny is the only female robot in this school.P You are the only male robot in this
school.P Logic dictates that you two
would therefore make a compatible couple.P
Is that not accurate?
Sheesh. XJ-8 might have feelings, but she sure doesnt
have much tact.P Drew was still
shocked that shed even asked the question in the first place.P Maybe a little too shocked.P After all, its not like I have any
feelings for Jenny.P Right?P Dont get me wrong, Jennys one of my best
friends.P Heck, shes the only other
robot I know.P I dont know what Id do
He looked to the middle of the dance floor, where Brad and
Jenny slowly rocked back and forth, entwined in each others arms.P Jennys metal cheek was resting against
Brads face, and her arms had slipped around his neck.P His arms were lightly wrapped around her
blue metal hips, holding her close against his chest.P They each wore smiles of simple, perfect contentment,
occasionally glancing up to make playful eye contact.P They were blissfully lost in each others arms, oblivious to
everything around them.
Jenny was his friend.P
Brad was his friend.P And I
need two friends more than I need one date.
Drew shook himself from his brief daydream, and returned his
attention to XJ-8.P Thats an
interesting theory, but you probably should put a little less stock in Teen
Feedback logged for future reference suddenly she shuffled to the
side, as they almost bumped into another couple.
It was Don Prima, with yet another beautiful girl on his
Hey, watch out, you oversized freaks, he growled in a
condescending tone.P Then he turned to
his dance partner with a sneer.P Come
on, lets get out of this dump.P The
whole place is starting to stink with the aroma of loser.P And with a pair of upturned noses, they
XJ-8 watched them walk away for a few seconds, then turned
back to Drew.P Searching for
appropriate phrase.P Her eyes flashed a
few times, then stopped with a soft ding!P What a jerk.
Drew smiled in relief, welcoming the diversion from XJ-8s
uncomfortable question.P Oh, I wouldnt
be too hard on him.P After all, we
managed to have a little fun here tonight.P
And you got a dance partner thats more your size.P And that wouldnt have been possible
without Dons help.P He smiled evilly,
then they broke into laughter, as they slowly spun across the floor like a pair
of waltzing zambonis.
Another successful evening for the master, Don
thought to himself, as he strolled towards the parking lot.P He had shown up at the dance with one girl,
and he was leaving with three.P A blond,
a brunette, and a redhead.P The
complete set.P Oh yeah, the evening is
Ladies, what do you say we leave the losers behind and go
somewhere a little more private?P
Time to turn up the charm.P
Its a beautiful night, and I know this fantastic little place on Lake
Tremorton.P We can sit in my brand new
car and watch the moonlight reflect off of the water.
Ooh, Don, youre such a romantic, giggled the blonde.P Can I sit next to you in the front seat?
As long as you keep your hands off the dashboard, babe.P Dont want to get any smudge marks on it.
Umm, Don?P Didnt we
park, like, right around here somewhere? asked the redhead.
We parked right underneath that lamppost, he gestured.
Then wheres your car?
What do you mean? he said, with a touch of annoyance
then he realized that the only thing there was an empty parking place.P Well, it .. it must have been a different
Don I dont see any red sports cars in this
parking lot, the redhead huffed.
The brunette noticed something on the pavement, and bent
down to pick it up.P Its a license
plate, she announced, D-O-N-S-T-E-R.P
Doonster?P Whats a Doonster?
WHAT?!? screamed Don.P
He checked for himself, and sure enough, it was his personalized license
plate.P My car!P My beautiful car!P He dropped to his knees, and burst into wet, heaving sobs.P Oh, my beautiful, expensive, imported
Donmobile!P Gone!P Vanished!P
Taken before her time!P He
buried his face in his hands, wailing like a schoolgirl.
The redhead and the blonde exchanged uncomfortable looks,
while the brunette turned the license plate over in her hands, making a
Ewww why does this license plate have a bite taken
out of it?
Brad, Jenny, Drew, and XJ-8 casually strolled down the
sidewalk towards the Wakeman house, enjoying the crisp air and the starry
sky.P They were finally starting to wind
down from the excitement of the dance, and everybody was feeling a bit
fatigued, after a physically and emotionally exhausting evening.P But everyone was in high spirits, especially
Brad and Jenny, who had barely stopped talking since they walked out of the
That was the raddest school dance ever! Brad laughed.P People will be talking about it for years.
I know! beamed Jenny, barely keeping her feet on the
ground.P That DJ they had tonight was
so phat!P Every song he played
just totally rocked.P I think I danced
to every single one!
You did dance to every single one.P I can personally vouch for that, he
smirked.P Even that weak girly-man
She gave him a playful punch in the shoulder.P Hey, thats a great song!
Oh, please.P The DJ
plays that fantastic remix by Acid Reflux, and then he plays Love Your Lovely
Lovin Baby?P Lame-o.P Can I get some guy backup on this please,
Drew?P Brad looked back over his
shoulder.P You guys still alive back
Drew who had shed his extra tonnage, and was back to
normal size just shrugged and smiled back.P
Hey, were just back here listening to you two go back and forth.P Its more entertaining than the dance
was.P I feel like I should be holding a
bucket of popcorn.
Jenny grinned back at them.P
Oh, stop it.P So what do you
have to say, XJ-8?P What did you think
of your first big night out?
Please standby while I calculate fun level, her
synthesized voice boomed.P Her eyes
blinked rapidly, with a series of electronic bleeps and bloops.P Program complete.P I had a very nice time.
I can tell Ive never seen you so excited!P Well, here we are, sighed Jenny, as they arrived
at the walkway to her house.P Shed been
looking forward to this evening for three weeks, writhing with anticipation,
wondering if it would ever get here and now, all too quickly, it was over.P Even with the all the drama shed gone
through this evening, her first school dance had been everything she could have
hoped for.P But the evening wasnt
completely over yet.
Jenny and Brad took a few steps towards the front door.P Well, Brad, I guess this is the end of our
first official date, she said to him, with a soft smile on her face.
I guess it is, Brad smiled back, playing with the cuffs of
his shirt.P I had a really fun time
tonight, Jen.P I mean, I always have fun
when Im with you, but tonight I had more fun.P Um not that the other times arent a lot of fun too, theyre
just different.P Er not bad different,
just different different
She mercifully interrupted him.P I had a lot of fun, too, she giggled, fidgeting with her hands.
Uh-huh yeah, right. Drew took the hint.P He grabbed XJ-8 by one of her massive
fingers, and led her away from the door, towards the street.P Hey, XJ-8, have you ever noticed this
manhole cover in front of your house before?P
Check out the craftsmanship on that City of Tremorton logo.P Wow, you just dont see fine art deco
styling like that on most manhole covers these days.
Brad and Jenny chuckled nervously for what seemed like
forever; then each of them awkwardly realized how stupid they mustve looked,
just standing there like statues.P Of
course, realizing that made them even more nervous.P But the quick glances they shot at each
other gradually grew into a long, warm stare, and the rest of the world faded
away into the background.P Brad took
Jennys smooth, metal hands in his, and a bright flash of teal-blue blazed over
Sorry, she stammered, my robot hands must seem awfully
They dont feel cold to me, he said, squeezing them a
He gently pulled on her arms, slowly drawing her closer; as
strong as Jenny was, she offered no resistance now.P Brads heart felt like it was going to leap out of his
chest.P Their faces drew to within
inches of each other.P Jenny steadied
her nerves, closed her eyes, and gently tilted her head, ensuring that her
pigtails were safely pointing backwards.P
Brad moistened his lips, took a quick breath, and leaned forward to
They nearly bashed their heads together as the front door
flew open, bathing them in a blinding light.P
XJ-9!!! shouted an annoyed voice.
GAHHH!P Jenny flung
her arms behind her back, and jumped away from Brad.
Mrs. Wakeman, dressed in a housecoat and slippers, with
curlers matted in her hair, tucked a magazine under her arm and marched a few
steps out onto the walkway.P Do you
have any idea what time it is, young lady?!?P
Eleven oclock means eleven oclock, not eleven-fifteen!P And unless you had to stop a meteor on the
way home, Im not interested in hearing any excuses!
Jennys electronic mind raced to decide whether she was
humiliated or furious.P She decided on a
little of both.P Moth-errrr!P I dont believe you!P Stop it!P
Youre embarrassing me!!!
Well, Id be embarrassed too, if Id forgotten how to tell
time, she glowered at her daughter.P
We have rules in this house, and I expect you to obey them.P Now, youve had enough fun for one
evening.P Say goodnight to your friends
and get in this house right now.P You
too, XJ-8 wha XJ-8?
The massive robot girl seemed to shrink under her creators
glare.P Hi Mom, she blared sheepishly.
Mrs. Wakemans drowsy eyes suddenly sprang wide open.P She dropped her magazine to the ground, and
her mouth hung open for a moment.P Then
she ground her teeth together, shaking with fury.P XJ-8!?!?
Ooooh, not good, winced Jenny.P All right, Ill just say goodnight now, like you said,
Mom.P She ran a few steps over to Drew,
who was desperately trying to look innocent.P
Thanks for coming out with us tonight, she blurted.P Then she surprised him with a warm hug.P And thanks for taking such good care of my
Then she hurried over to Brad, with an apologetic smile
the one he recognized as the here-we-go-again smile when she was about
to go toe-to-toe with her mother.P
Sorry about my mom spazzing out there.P
I had a wonderful evening, Brad, she said then quickly gave him a
gentle kiss on the cheek, and pulled away with a teasing, flirty glance.P Thanks for everything.
Mrs. Wakemans hands balled into fists.P X-Js eight and ni-yun, in the house, NOW.
The ground thundered as XJ-8 plodded into the house, dragging
her massive feet along the walkway.P She
looked down at her mother for sympathy, but the doctor wasnt in the mood.P Jenny quickly darted inside just behind her
sister, and waved one last time before Mrs. Wakeman shot the boys a nasty
glare, and slammed the door shut.
Brad heaved a sigh of relief; for such a small lady, Dr.
Wakeman could be plenty intimidating.P
But even despite the doctors interruption, he was feeling pretty
good right now.P He clasped his hands
behind his back and strolled to the sidewalk, humming a tune to himself.
Drew leaned backwards against a utility pole,
exhausted.P Thank goodness thats
over, he gasped.
Oh, admit it, you had fun, Brad chuckled.P Look, I know we kind of surprised you with
the blind date thing.P And I figured the
night was over when Jens sister took off after the fight, but you pulled it
out of the fire.P Nice job!P I owe you one.
Youre darn tootin you owe me one.P I should be inducted into the Wingman Hall
of Fame for this.
Come on, now Jenny only did this because she wanted to do
something nice for you.P Think about
it, said Brad.P She spent all last
night and today trying to find you a date, when she could have been shopping at
the mall, or getting her nails done, or shopping at the mall.P And then, she decides to entrust you with
the happiness of her little sister, on her very first special night.P If thats not a symbol of trust and
friendship, then I dont know what is.
Drew squinted, analyzing Brads face.P He had an amazing ability to spread it on
thick, yet sound totally sincere at the same time, and it was tough to tell
when he was doing it.P Okay, okay I
realize that you guys were just trying to help me out.P Sorry for complaining so much, Brad.P I have to admit, it was one of the more interesting
Saturday nights Ive ever had.
He turned to leave, then snapped his fingers.P Oh, right.P
Just one more thing.
Drew reached up and clutched the collar of Brads
shirt.P If either one of you ever ever
hooks me up on a blind date again Ill get you.P Ohhh, I will get you.P You wont know how, you wont know when,
and you wont see it coming.P Remember
Im a shape shifter, and I know where you live.P Capiche?P Do we have an
Understood, laughed Brad.P
No more blind dates.P Although
Jenny did seem to enjoy doing the whole double date thing.P You know, she has seven more sisters.
Dont even think about it, moaned Drew.