"Oh my God, Mom, it's hopeless!" Terry pulled at the top of her wedding dress, exaggerating the gap between the dress and her breasts. Tears started to well up in her eyes as she slouched and dropped her arms to her sides. She flopped back into the bean-bag chair behind her as her hoop skirt bounced up above her line of sight, showing her perfect pale legs covered in white stockings, a blue and white garter halfway up one thigh. Her mother noted there were no panties but didn't comment.
"Now Terry, don't get all worked up, we can fix this." Terry's mom, Mabel, stood in the center of the room wringing her hands together, the sleeves of her tasteful turquoise blazer rubbing against it. She took a step towards her daughter and, fighting the hoops, looked at Terry and took an assessment of the situation.
Her hair was OK still, the dark black ponytail was intact. Her makeup needed some touch-ups, but that would be doable. The rest of the dress was fine, but the chest, well, it was mostly empty, and the low back and scoop sides weren't going to allow any improvisation by using sweat socks or the like. In fact, the front of the dress had flopped forward and had exposed her C cup breasts which, for the first time, were feeling inadequate to her.
"Don't cry, dear. Your makeup will run."
"Fine by me. It will keep people from looking at my boobs." Terry looked up at Mabel.
Mabel couldn't help it; she started giggling, and then laughing. Terry smirked a little at first, and then stated laughing herself, the tension of the moment momentarily broken.
A knock came at the door. "Hey you two, the limo will be here in about 10 minutes."
"Thanks, Dad." Terry called back, the giggles dying down. "Mom, can you help me up?"
Mabel took Terry's hand and pulled, lifting her out of her chair. "Now, my leaky bride, I have the perfect fix in mind, but we need to get your face cleaned up first."
"How bad is it?" Terry asked as she took a step across the room, stumbling for a moment in her grandma's shoes. She leaned into the mirror above her chest of drawers.
"Bad, but nothing that can't be fixed. Here, let me," Mabel reached around her daughter's head, pressed firmly into her temples, and lifted her face panel off. Terry's expression of concern on her disembodied face softened and relaxed almost instantly. Mabel opened up what looked to be an old-fashioned wooden jewelry box and placed the face panel inside. Pressing a couple of buttons on the inside, she closed the box. It beeped, and then began a quiet low-frequency hum.
"A little warning next time, OK?" Terry said, a little louder than she meant to with no face attached to muffle the sound, as she turned her head towards her mom. Mabel could tell, even without a face panel attached, that Terry was trying to look annoyed.
"Sorry. Didn't want you to dwell on something so easily fixed."
Terry's head nodded. "OK, so that'll take a few minutes. So what about these?" She reached up and grasped her breasts to make her point.
Mabel sighed while she removed her blazer.
"No, no way mom, I'm not going to do it."
"Do you see a better idea? We can't shrink your dress and stuffing it with tube socks will be a little obvious." Mabel untucked her blouse and pulled it carefully over her head, making sure to not unsettle her expensive hairdo.
"I've seen you naked, mom, and, no offense, but I don't think anyone will believe your saggy boobs belong on a twenty-one year old college student." Terry's voice was now getting louder on purpose.
Mabel unclasped her large, industrial front-clasp bra with one hand. "Well, you see, since you were leaving home, your father and I were planning a vacation of our own." She shrugged her shoulders and allowed the bra to fall backwards to the floor.
Mabel stood before her daughter sporting the most impressive, expansive and perfect chest Terry had ever seen. "We are going to go to Hawaii, and he wanted me to be comfortable with how I looked in a swimsuit. These were a present from him."
"My God, mom! Those are huge! When did you get those?"
"Last weekend. Like I said, they are a gift from your father."
Terry shook her head. "I don't know, mom, I don't know."
"Look, you take them." Mabel reached up to collar bone, dug her fingertips into the skin, and pulled downward. The skin peeled in a perfect outline around her breasts to just below her ribcage. "Today, you need them more than I do."
"But what about our honeymoon? We leave directly from the reception. Danny knows about you and me, but his family doesn't. I can't give these back before we go."
Mabel shrugged. "Just get them back to me when you can."
"Thank you." Terry whispered, and, in a similar motion as her mother, removed her breasts.
The two fembots exchanged chests, silently and carefully setting the bottom of the skin fragment onto their frames and rolling the covering up towards their shoulders, ensuring all the seams matched.
Mabel picked up her bra and opened up her daughters topmost drawer. Pulling out a pair of tube socks, she stuffed them into the cups before she redid the clasp.
"Damn, mom. These are nice." Terry said as she turned and looked in the mirror again. Noting something odd, she looked first in the mirror and then back down to her current breasts. "Mom, are these pierced?" Terry grabbed one nipple and rolled it between her fingers, feeling the small hole and confirming her suspicion.
Mabel's cheeks turned beet red. "Well, um, your father-"
Terry's hands reached into the air, stopping her mom's explanation. "No, no, that's OK mom. I know waaay too much already." Terry replied as she reached down to pull up the front of her dress. It was a near perfect fit, the dress now a tad small if anything. She settled her new bosom into place and pulled the cover from the built-in tape strips, effectively gluing the dress into place for the next several hours.
Mabel, meanwhile, had just finished putting her blazer back on. "Turn around, let me look at you." Terry did, and Mabel smiled. "You are beautiful. Danny is such a lucky guy."
"I know." Terry replied. "I love you, mom." Terry leaned down and gave her mom a strong and deep hug.
"I love you, too." Mabel replied. They held their embrace in silence for a few moments.
Another knock came from the door. "Girls, the limo is here!"
"Coming!" Mabel replied. She let her daughter go and stepped past her to the chest of drawers. Opening up the jewelry box, she picked up Terry's face plate and turned towards her daughter. Silently, Terry leaned forward and Mabel reattached her daughter's face, the makeup fully and perfectly refreshed. Nearly instantly, Terry's face came to life with a warm smile.
Hand in hand, Mabel walked her daughter out of her room, through their home, and out to the limo. Her new husband awaited.
The park was a favorite place for them. It was where they met, where they had their first date, where they shared their first kiss, and, since they moved into their new apartment just a block away, where they spent many evenings together.
As they sat on one of the many secluded benches that night, Terry scooted a tad closer to Danny, tucking her arm under his and laying her head on his shoulder. "Thank you for another wonderful evening." she said with a wispy sigh.
"Anything for you," he replied. They sat together in silence for a few minutes, listening to the natural sounds the park provided, searching for stars in the city's cloudless sky.
Eventually, Terry lifted her head and looked at Danny. Her expression showed her concern. "Are you OK? You feel a little hot."
Danny laughed quietly. "Well, I guess I would be. You would be too."
Sitting up fully, she turned and looked at him. "What?"
Danny slowly got up from the bench, standing with purpose. He looked off into the distance for a brief moment, steeling his nerves, flexing his hands and forcing his arms to relax.
Terry's expression turned from concern to interest; Danny was clearly very, very nervous about what he is about to do, but she was still oblivious to what was coming next.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small velvet box. He knelt down in front of Terry, who then knew exactly what was coming next. Her hands shot up to her face in expectation.
"Terry, you are the most amazing woman I have ever met."
"Oh my god oh my god oh my god" Terry was whispering through her fingers. Danny paused and opened the box, being careful not to show her the contents just yet, and took her hands from her face and placed them into her lap, revealing her beaming smile. He gently held her hands while he continued.
"I would be honored if you would choose to be my wife, to spend the rest of you r life with me, to be with me, to marry me." He then turned the box around to show it's contents. It was a simple ring, a small stone, very modest in its presentation.
Terry didn't seem to care. "Yes, yes, oh my god yes!" She took the box and gently removed the ring. It was a truly simple ring, a thicker than average band with a very sturdy looking mount for the average sized stone. It looked to be colorless, but in the limited light of the park it showed no inclination to sparkle or shine. Although she tried to hide her disappointment, it was clear to Danny that she was hoping for better.
"Try it on. Please?" Danny urged, still down on one knee.
Terry nodded, trying to hold back her tears as the ring wouldn't even make it past her first knuckle. It looked to be the right size for the base of her ring finger, but her knuckles were too thick to allow the ring to pass.
Danny, now quite uncomfortable, moved to sit next to Terry on the bench. "I measured the base of your finger while you were recharging; it will fit, but you won't be able to get it on that way."
Terry didn't look up at him. She understood what he meant. Even though she knew there was no one close enough to see, she glanced left and right before she removed her left ring finger with a forceful twist. It broke away just before where the finger met the third knuckle and the palm of her hand, exposing an electrical socket base and a single mechanical metallic cable. Deftly, she disconnected the cable and the finger went limp.
"Allow me?" Danny asked as he took the ring back from Terry. She offered up her disembodied finger to him, pointing the socketed end towards him. Ceremoniously, he slid the ring onto the base of her finger, about halfway from the socketed end to the nearest mechanical joint. She quickly took the finger back from him, reattached the mechanical cable and twisted the digit back into place. The skin covering resealed itself as it should have, and she flexed her whole hand to ensure everything was in working order.
It was then that she noticed it; she thought she saw the ring was now shining in the dim light, making the stone look larger and more impressive than it did before.
Danny could see the confusion on her face and smiled. "It has a built-in inductive coil tuned to your system's operating voltage, which then powers a micro-LED under the stone's mount."
She looked up at him, not sure what he was saying.
"It will sparkle, but only when on your hand. It is your ring."
She took a closer look at the ring and then up at her fiance. He was looking directly into her eyes, hopeful that his efforts would be appreciated. She smiled warmly then excitedly, her opinion of Danny's taste in jewelry completely reversed, as she reached out and met his instinctive embrace.
"I love you Danny."
"I love you, too, Terry."
A woman jogged past them on the path in front of what they now both thought of as their bench.
They never noticed.
Beyond the Glass
The room beyond the glass was dark, lit only by the various instruments and machines which were keeping Jessup's wife and daughter alive.
The police officer who spoke to him said it wasn't anyone's fault, really. When the boat broke away from the truck that was pulling it up the hill towards the stop light, the truck surged forward and pushed his family's car into the intersection ahead, where the semi crossing the intersection sheered the top of their car off and ran over the rest. All that was left were their heads and upper torsos, now kept active by a room full of machines.
He was no doctor, not any more at least. Sure, he had the education, but not the license. He could never stay on one field long enough to finish a grueling program like an internship. But he had found other ways to make his mark on the world.
Noticing motion, he focused on the reflections in the glass in front of him, and, beyond his own deep and haggard expression, he could see the young doctor behind him.
"Sir, may I speak with you?" the young man said. He looked like it was his first day on the job, with his perfect white lab coat and shiny name tag, which read 'Dr. R Nabo'. He held an aluminium clipboard in one hand and was nervously clicking a ball point pen in the other.
Jessup nodded, not turning away from the glass. Now that Jessup thought about it, R. Nabo was the first doctor to speak with him directly since he got to the hospital. Before now, it was all nurses and lawyers. A quiet "What?" was Jessup's only verbal reply.
"Um, I'm Dr. Nabo," the young man began. "I would like to speak with you about the available treatments for your family."
Jessup nodded again. He looked beyond the glass. He looked past the machines and saw his daughter's face, his little girl all grown up. She was in college now, starting her second year. Her face looked peaceful, her eyes closed. No movement could be seen, but the machines told the story. Her blood was pumped by machine, oxygen supplied to her blood by machine, waste filtered from her blood by machine, and pain killers added to her system by machine.
Raja, Dr. Nabo, glanced left and right to the empty hallway around them and continued his explanation. "Our medical technology is very extensive, but your family cannot survive on these machines for more than a week. We can pump and clean the blood indefinitely, but the artificial lung is not perfect, and cannot oxygenate their blood as well as actual lungs. I'm sorry."
Jessup looked over at his wife now. She was in worse shape, at least by the looks of her bruised face, but by the nurse's previous description, she faired better in the accident. An entire lobe of her left lung was intact. With the proper treatment, she could last a few days longer than Terry.
"But there is hope, if you will listen to a possible new treatment which-"
Raja cleared his throat regrouped. "Sir?"
Jessup looked down and to the side, breaking eye contact with the glass for the first time. "You were about to offer the F.B.P., and I said 'yes'."
"I don't know what you have heard about the Flannigan/Castillo Full Body Prosthesis. I am obligated to explain. The brain is scanned using a sub-atomic resonance scanner, and the entire person's thoughts and-"
"I understand the treatment. There is no need to explain."
"I'm sorry, sir, but I cannot allow you to sign off on the procedure until I have explained it."
Jessup turned and gave Raja an angry, determined stare. "I understand everything. There is a one hundred percent chance of transfer success, but about a twenty percent chance the subject goes insane shortly after regaining alertness. If that happens, you can retry the transfer once, maybe twice if the subject's organic state hasn't deteriorated. Five or six percent chance of dead is a Hell of a lot better than one hundred percent chance of dead." Jessup reached for the clipboard. "Now give me the damn papers and I'll sign."
After a moment, Raja handed him both the clipboard and then the pen. Jessup signed his full name, Jessup K Flannigan, on each paper and returned the clipboard and pen to Raja.
Raja took it back and, examining the signature on the top sheet, realized everything. "I'm sorry, sir, I didn't know." He turned to head down the hall, paused, and added, "We will do everything in our power."
Jessup nodded and watched Raja's quick steps as the intern left down the corridor towards the nurse's station. He turned back to watching the two most important things in his life, the two women beyond the glass. His lips curled up in a tentative smile. He knew the transfer would work, that in a few short weeks, his family would be whole again. He knew everything was going to be all right. It had to be.