The next day it rained, so Chirp only powered up long enough to move to a dry part of the room and then powered off again. It rained for another week and he worried about his flowers, but could do nothing but wait. His leg seized up when he tried to get up after the rains and he used his hand to knock it loose, noting that more rust had formed on the joint. He tested it carefully, found it sound enough again, and went out to check the damage. Water had pooled in the center where the hole in the roof was, forming a surprisingly deep pond between the metal husks. He peered over one of the husks into the water and noted an unfortunate little frog had gotten trapped. He tried to help it out but his hands were not equipped for catching things and it slipped free and swam away to the other end. He left it alone since it seemed alright, and went up to the roof. The water had cut a path in the grass slope off the broken side of the roof, and he could see some of the dirt had broken free and fallen to the ground. The flowers up there looked over watered, but not quite dead. Inside the plants had fared pretty well, with only two areas getting drowned. He got his tools and carefully dug up a few of the drowned plants, moving them to a dry patch to give them a chance. Near the entrance was a puddle of mud which he was forced to stomp through, and he went to check on the pond. The pond was dirty from rainwater and several of the lilies had floated to the shore. He reached into a shallow part, found the root, and carefully dug around it. He hadn’t brought anything to store it in, but he stuck the plants on a large piece of soggy bark that had broken free and brought them back to the ruin. Chirp planted them in the pond and was pleased to see the little frog hop up on one after only a moment. He went down to the entrance, pushed the mud away as best he could, and went back upstairs to power off.
It was a month before Ellie visited again, brimming with excitement. She showed him the ring and talked about how Darvin had surprised her a week ago. They were to be married next spring, and she talked about the plans they already had, and what flowers she would have there. “It’s such a pretty little pond, but how do you keep the water fresh?” She said, watching the little tadpoles swimming about. Chirp had built them a ramp so they could leave the pond when they wished, but that only seemed to attract more frogs. He chirped and pointed to the little circle of rocks he had found in the ruins. “What are those?” She watched a tiny stream of bubbles crop up and float to the surface. Chirp shook his head and would have shrugged if he was capable of it. She admired the lilies a little bit more before moving on to tour the other changes. He had moved a small lilac bush into a bright spot on the floor above the pond, and it was slowly recovering from the move. “The plant worked, I haven’t had nearly as much trouble with pests since I planted it, and I found a few more closer to home to add.” Chirp clicked and chirped, pleased at the news. “I don’t know when I’ll be able to visit next, what with the wedding and all. I’ll have to mind the house too, and the garden.” Chirp nodded and chirped softly. “If I can come back I promise I will though.” She stood up, and walked slowly to the entrance, Chirp a few feet behind. “I suppose I should say goodbye though, just in case.” She looked away suddenly and Chirp was alarmed to see her crying. He felt his emotion switch activate and he put a hand on her shoulder. She looked at him and smiled, although still crying. “And now I’ve got you all sad, I’m sorry.” Chirp whirred at her and switched back to normal. “Goodbye, Sir Chirp.” She turned and walked away down the path without looking back. Chirp waited until she had disappeared, then went back for his tools. He carefully dug up the purple flower, planted it in a bucket he had found the other day, and brought it up to the room. He set it in the spot he knew got the best light, sat down and looked at it for a long time, running through a few memories. He deleted a few bits of information he knew would no longer be necessary, archived memories to clear up space on his damaged drive, and powered off.
The next morning, he powered up, looked at the flower thoughtfully, then went about watering the plants. He looked down in the little pond, and a memory activated of Ellie trying to say click and whirr and then giving up. She had chosen an easier name, but he couldn’t remember what. He whirred and clicked a little, startling the frogs, and then retreated to his room to power down for the day. The night fell on his still metal form, a lifeless a heap of scrap metal to the casual eye.