matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (A.I. Monica and David)
[personal profile] matrixrefugee
Hoo... I need a change of pace from the more... steamy fics I've written lately, and what better way to supply some contrast than a sweet little "A.I." fic featuring David and Teddy.

A red rose and a white rose tied together with a golden silk ribbon, for Henry and Monica Swinton;
A tiny pink rosebud and a thick thorny stem without any blossoms at all for Kenpachi Zaraki and Yachiru
A rose so dark a red that it is almost maroon, with heavy thorns hidden under its lush green leaves, and a brighter red rose with few thorns, tied together with a delicate silver chain, for the Merovingian and Neo
A twig of pink and a twig of white wild roses, with thick, brambly stems, bound together with a red velvet cord, for Phedre no Delaunay and Melisande Shahrizai.

A small blue rose and a white and yellow daisy tied together with a big blue ribbon for David and Teddy

"A Valentine for David"

by "Matrix Refugee"

Rating: G

DISCLAIMER: I do not own “A.I., Artificial Intelligence”, its characters, settings, concepts or other indicia, which are the property of the late, great Stanley Kubrick, of DreamWorks SKG, Steven Spielberg, Warner Brothers, Amblin Entertainment, et al, based on characters and concepts created by Brian Aldiss

Author's Note: Written for [livejournal.com profile] ladyneferankh and based on the prompt "hugs; the best moments are with you": This started off as a sketch, but it turned into a follow-up to "David's First Christmas", but I wouldn't really call it a sequel, since the stories aren't technically interconnected, though they do take place in the same alternate continuity in which David has returned to his family and is continuing to discover the world around him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

It seemed they had hardly taken down the Christmas tree and the decorations and packed them away, when Mommy started to decorate the living room and the dining room with red garland and heart-shaped cutouts, red and white flowers and figures of angels with little bows and arrows.

"Is this for another special day?" David asked.

"Oh yes, this is for Valentine's Day," Mommy said, kneeling down next to Teddy and tying a big red satin bow around the bear's neck. The bear grumbled at her and eyed the bow as if he didn't like it very much, but he did not try to run away.

"What's Valentine's Day?" David asked.

"It's a special day to give cards and candy or other little gifts to the people whom you love, to show them how much you care about them," Mommy replied.

"But you're supposed to love the people around you every day, aren't you?" David asked.

Martin came through the dining room and grabbed an apple from the bowl on the table. "Yeah, well, it's a day to get really mushy about it," he said. "It really only works if you've got that 'special someone' to call your Valentine." He added 'finger quotes' around the last two words, which he usually did when he made fun of something.

"I think David has a slightly better idea of it than you do, Martin," Mommy said, laughing a little.

"Yeah, well, we know who you like better, Ma," Martin said, with a mischievous glare at Mommy.

"Isn't there a girl at school whom you like?" Mommy asked, with a mysterious little smile.

"What? No, there's nobody like that," Martin sputtered, but David sensed that he was hiding something.

David looked up at Mommy. "Does it have to be a girl? I really don't know any girls."

"Well, your Valentine doesn't have to be a girl," Mommy said. "It could be anyone you really care about, like Daddy or Teddy or me or Martin."

Martin made a gagging sound. "Ugggh, anyone but me, I'd choke on the cuteness," he said, heading out of the room, but scruffling David's hair on the way out.

David and Mommy watched Martin leaving, then looked at each other and giggled. "Martin's being silly again," David said.

"Well, he's at an age when he's feeling awkward and confused about some of the emotions he's feeling," Mommy said. "Children and grown-ups feel their emotions a little differently, and since Martin is growing into an adult, he's finding these new emotions a bit confusing and upsetting."

"If I had become a real boy and I started to grow up, would I feel the same way Martin does?" David asked.

"Maybe, but maybe not: everyone experiences growing up differently, and for some people it's harder than others, while for some people, it's easier," Mommy said.

"Maybe it's good that I didn't find the Blue Fairy and she didn't make me into a real boy. I like my feelings the way they are," David said.

---------------------------------------------------

The next day, while Martin was at school, Mommy showed David how to make Valentine cards out of red and pink and white card stock and lacy white paper cutouts shaped like hearts. Later, when Martin came home from school, they noticed he had a plastic bag tucked under his arm that looked like it contained a heart-shaped box of chocolates, which he quickly took up to his room.

Mommy smiled mysteriously. "Do you think Martin has a Valentine?" she asked David.

"If he does, he doesn't want us to know about it," David said. "That's silly."

"Mmm, boys at Martin's age often act silly, especially if they've found a girl that they like," she said.

"If I like someone, I like people to know about it; being silly about it is just... silly," David said.

Mommy reached out and touched his face, smoothing his hair away from his forehead. "Yes, David, you have a very sweet and honest way of showing your love."

A little while later, David sat in his room writing messages on his Valentine cards. He liked making them with Mommy, but he really enjoyed putting messages on them: that made them more special for the person who got the card. As he finished one for Mommy, he looked over at Teddy, who sat carefully removing a glob of drying library paste from his fur and trying not to grumble too much at the bow around his neck.

David smiled to himself and started writing something on one of his cards. When he had finished, he got up from his desk, tiptoed up behind Teddy and set the card beside the bear before heading to the kitchen to see if Mommy needed help cooking dinner.

As David was setting the table, Teddy came into the dining room, carrying the Valentine card in both his paws. "David, did you make this card for me?" Teddy asked.

"Yes, I did," David said, putting a clean plate at Mommy's place at the table.

Teddy looked at the card then looked up at David. "Martin never made me a card."

"Now I made you one," David said.

Teddy held up his paws to David, who knelt down to him and hugged his furry friend. Somehow he felt a little sad that Martin had never made a card for Teddy, but seeing that Teddy liked it made him feel happy to have done something nice for the gruffy little bear.

Daddy came into the room at that moment, carrying a bowl of fresh salad, which he quickly set on the table before he left the room. A moment later, he came back with Mommy, the two of them standing just outside the dining room doorway.

"Oh, that's so sweet," Mommy said, in a low voice. "Quick, get the camera: it's like something on a Hallmark card."

"I was hoping you'd say that," Daddy said, going away and coming back with the camera, and Martin following him.

"What is this? 'When you care enough to send the beary best'?" Martin asked.

"Oh shush," Mommy said, laughing as Daddy focused the camera on David and Teddy and took the picture.

It wasn't until later that night when Monica went to check on David as he lay "asleep" on his bed, with Teddy cuddled in his arms, that she got a look at what David had written on the card that Teddy had been holding. Dear Teddy, You are my Valentine. You are soft and cuddly and you give the nicest hugs. They are almost as good as Mommy's and you always have time to give me one. Love, David.

Monica smiled and set the card back beside Teddy. My little boy is growing up and learning to love, she thought.
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