Rockman.EXE is not mine. Don't sue.


Us After This
Chapter 3
~by Shimegami-chan

A/N: Please excuse any minor mistakes and the clashing between the EXE anime and Battle Network. :) Not too long ago; which makes writing this infinitely easier. Yatta!


Netto awoke for the second time that day in his hospital bed.

His brain slightly foggy, the teen stared at the white ceiling, a peculiar feeling of hesitation and dread flowing through him. Something was wrong.

He could not feel.

He could not feel the sheets beneath him or the gentle tickle of the air conditioner on his face. His could not move his arms or legs, and suddenly--horrifyingly--his eyes shifted position to blink confusedly at his surroundings, when he had made no effort to do so.

He tried to speak, and found that no sound would emerge.


Am I....dead?

His body rose of its own volition and struggled into a sitting position. No, not dead. Yet Netto had no control whatsoever over his movements.

Neither could he feel his mouth open to speak, but the sound of his own voice scared him even more badly than waking up as he had. "W-what...?"

Noises drifted down the hallway as a number of doctors hurried into the room, all breathing sighs of relief to see "Netto" awake. Dr. Hikari was not among them.

"Netto-kun?" one of the nurses said gently, touching his arm in a place where Netto could not feel or even see. "How are you feeling now? You gave us quite a scare."

"Netto...-kun?" His voice sounded shaken and disoriented. "What...where am I? Why did you call me that?"

Get out! Netto screamed silently. Give it back to me!

The young Netbattler would not even have known that his anguish had gone noticed if not for the widening of the imposter's eyes. "Who's there?"

Two doctors Netto recognized exchanged a look. "Now, Netto, you're going to be a bit disoriented at first, you've only just come out of your coma. It's best that you take it easy."

The teenager's arms flailed in panic. "No! This isn't right...! Where is he? Where's my father!?"

"We're going to call your parents right away," the nurse said gently. "Lie back, why don't you?"

"He's gone...?" Netto could hear sheer terror in "his" voice. "Netto...Netto, where are you!?"

I'm here. I'm here! the trapped boy said, frustrated almost to tears.

Netto's hands flew past his eyes to hold his head, as though the imposter were in agony. "This isn't right! I don't understand what's going on!"

"We might have to sedate him," a female doctor said softly.

"No! Don't do that!" Panic began to rise in both the real Netto and his comandeered voice. "I need to see my father!, I need my PET, quick, where is it!?"

"You're worrying about your Navi at a time like this?"

"Netto" did not reply, instead flung himself out of bed, bringing a wave of nausea to the real Netto's addled brain. Sure enough, his PET lay on a nearby table, and the frail boy hit a button to clear the screensaver.

Windows were open, but the PET's Navi was clearly missing. "Gone..." Netto's voice said miserably. "I don't understand. Then where...?"

"Sedate him," a doctor said, and the nurse stepped forward.

"No!" the imposter screamed, bolting past all the doctors with amazing speed.

Desperately, Netto tried to pry back some control from the entity that had taken over his body and was running with it right out of the hospital. Stop! Stay there!

The the fake Netto cast a glance over his shoulder, where at least ten doctors had given chase. Netto groaned inwardly. Fine, then, keep running! Find my dad, if that's what you want! He'll know you're not me in a heartbeat!

This made "Netto" stop again, clutching his head. "I feel so...sick...what are these emotions?"

Run! Netto commanded, somehow feeling in his heart that the imposter meant him no harm. Obiediently his body began to run again, this time out through the main doors of the hospital and down into a Metroline station nearby. He wasn't wearing shoes, but the real Netto couldn't feel the pain he should have been going through.

Netto could hear his heart pounding in his chest--not one, but two heartbeats, beating in synchronization. A sudden realization hit him very hard. Rockman...?

The other presence in his body did not answer, and Netto fell silent, doubting his suspicion. He rose unwillingly and got off the train at the Kagakusho* building, running full-out across the sidewalk and into the building.

Fortunately, the imposter seemed to know exactly where he was going. He headed into an elevator and went up a floor to the office of one Dr. Hikari. The doctor was immersed in a heap of papers and wiring. "Netto" spoke. "Father...?"

"Netto!" Dr. Hikari rose and ran to embrace his son. "You're awake! What are you doing here!?"

"I'm not him! I can't find Netto! He's gone!"

"Gone...? ARE Netto. Are you sure you're all right?"

"No, you don't understand! I'm not Netto at all!"


"I'm Saito!"

~to be continued...

A/N: "Hub's" Japanese name is "Saito." Lan/Hub, Netto/Saito (Net/Site). Very cute. :P Kagakusho = SciLabs