Disclaimer: I don't own ReBoot. Really. I mean it this time. I'd also like to point out that I don't claim to own ReBoot. And for the record, I'm not making any money off of this. You can quote me on that.
At the instant a girl's attitude was changed from that of a easy-going punk to one of a person overloaded with responsibilities, the attitude was tested for the first of many times.
Dot had a little brother to take care of, and there were hundreds, thousands, of deleted friends, family, co-workers, and people Dot would never meet to mourn.
Dot's life had gone from a happy, simple existence, one that was stable and never changing, to another kind of life entirely. Dot felt that life had turned upside-down and sideways, and she had to take immediate and complete control of it - no matter how hard she'd have to work.
Bob was the wrench thrown in the gears of her new life. The guardian, newly upgraded from a "cadet" was a nice guy. Dot had to admit that to herself. All he wanted to do was help. What had happened to the Twin City wasn't his fault, Dot knew, but it took her awhile before she could look at him without feeling guilt, anger, deep sadness, or outright suspicion. Bob had done nothing wrong, but for the first few weeks, whenever Dot looked at him, the guardian reminded Dot of the awful mess her life had turned into.
But, now, things had calmed down. Dot had thrown herself into the roles of parent and businesswoman, and was taking both these jobs very seriously. Bob made doing that hard.
Dot had gotten the diner repaired, if only to convince herself that she would not give up, and that she couldn't be beaten down. Just as she had jumped into being a parental figure to Enzo, she had charged into the business world. It was something she could work to control, and it got her mind off of her father's death. The more time Dot dedicated to taking care of Enzo, or managing accounts, the less time she had to feel sad.
Still, there were things Dot just could not control, as young and determined as she was. There were two viruses in Mainframe and half the system's population was gone. And if not being able to control that wasn't bad enough, this bright-eyed, silver-haired...KID was consuming way too many of her thoughts, and try as she might, she just couldn't control that, either.
Bob was two years her junior, but just as sharp, and twice as energetic. He was an eternal dork, but in an endearing way. He also seemed to be on a constant caffeine rush, but he seldom took a sip of java. He was nice and a decent person, and as cute as all heck. Despite this, Dot didn't want to waste her time mooning over some guy when she had a life to get in order.
Bob was hard to forget about, because he wouldn't let himself be forgotten; whether or not it was intentional, Dot didn't know. After their initial meeting, Dot, who had embarrassingly yelled and sobbed into the man's (admittedly nice) chest, felt terribly embarrassed about the whole "it's your fault" tirade. Yet, after she had clung to Bob like a sobbing child, the blue sprite seemed to be almost overly friendly, not seeming to care, or to have given any thought to her juvenile outburst. Bob always seemed to be around, at the diner...or talking to Phong, and even making plenty of time for Enzo.
Dot had been biting her tongue when it came to Enzo spending so much time with Bob. The guardian filled the boy's mind with tales of the Supercomputer, but Enzo obviously needed a male figure in his life, and with the Matrix patriarch out of the picture...
Well, it was best not think about that.
Always around and always wanting to be helpful, Dot couldn't get the sprite out of her mind. Dot had never really given much of her time to dating, but she could tell when a guy was interested in her. The thing with Bob was, she got definite I-like-you vibes from the guardian, but he never made any moves and he was so friendly, so nice, it was hard to tell what he really had in mind.
Dot tried not to pay attention to him, but she found herself drawn to the guardian for the very reasons she didn't want to get involved with him. He was such a goof, and his easy smile was hard to receive without a flutter in her stomach. He was a major distraction, and Dot wanted to feel the attentions of such a great guy, but she didn't want to lose focus on the things she considered truly important and deserving of her time. Dot had learned the hard way that life wasn't a game, and things needed to get done. Bob just didn't seem to get that. Or didn't want to.
Dot sat in the diner, in a booth that she had quickly claimed as her own workspace. She was looking over a number of bills, when the diner doors swung open, admitting the sprite.
"He just HAS to be so damned cute," Dot grumbled under her breath. Bob grinned easily and slid into the seat across from Dot. "C'mon," he said, still smiling. "Take a break, Dot."
For an instant, Dot was fully prepared to jump up and follow that incredibly good-looking guardian out the door and to wherever he had in mind, and have some fun. But she had work to do, and she wasn't a child anymore, and if she was late getting the work done...well, Dot didn't want to ever be late again. Period.
So all Dot did was give Bob a friendly smile back, look back to her organizer, and say, "Not now, Bob. I'm busy."
Bob didn't look fazed, and leaned over the table, to catch Dot's attention. He looked her in the eye and spoke. "Hey, Dot, take a minute to stop and smell the daisywheels."
Dot just smiled again, shook her head and muttered something about having work to do.
Dot HAD to get her work done on time, but Bob?
He's not going anywhere, she reasoned, and left any further thoughts she had about his nice bitmap, or friendly attitude at that.