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


Us After This
Chapter 5
~by Shimegami-chan

A/N: Please excuse any minor mistakes and the clashing between the EXE anime and Battle Network. I hope the story is shaping up the way you wanted it to. :D Please read and review~!

Quick recap, since I've gone totally AU with this thing. First, as you've noticed...I always use the Japanese names. Netto, Saito, Dekao, etc. For those wondering about Saito, he is yet to appear in the anime--but if you've played the English version of the game you'll recognize him as Hub. There's no point in hiding THIS spoiler, since you're on chapter 5. :P Hub/Saito is Netto's twin brother who died of heart complications at a young age. Dr. Hikari converted his DNA into data, and desynced it by 0.0001% from Netto's. This program became Rockman. At the end of the Battle Network game, Rockman was injured very badly and Netto applied a program called Saito.bat that re-synced their DNA, which created a link between the twins. When Rockman is injured, Netto is injured, and vice-versa. This is why Netto was slowly dying as Rockman was infected by the virus.

I fluctuate a lot between calling him Saito and Rockman--basically I do it at appropriate times. Netto calls his brother Rockman, so that is how he'll refer to him. But when he is being described, often I will interchange between Rockman and Saito when it seems right. :)

I really hope everyone's enjoying the fic. I'm having a ball writing it! Please feel free to email me, I'll love you forever! :)



"It's not an impossible theory," Dr. Hikari declared, inspecting the readings Emdee was sending to his PET. "Somehow the drone deposited Rockman's data into the heart monitor--probably after Netto pulled the plug on you and Roll. Since the biomedical system was linked to the medulla oblongata in order to control Netto's heartbeat and breathing, many neurological pathways were mapped by the other Navis. Some remaining fragments of Rockman's original program integrated the systems into themselves, and he became more connected to Netto's functions than Netto himself. It's very similar to the cyborg research they did a few years back."

"You mean my program was controlling Netto's body?" Saito asked.

"Until Emdee shut down the security systems, yes. You had a lot of protection programs--it was so surprising that a virus managed to penetrate them. Those scripts were still functional in what was left of your program, so they were transferred to the CPU itself." He paused. "Basically, you have control over Netto's bodily functions, and were blocking Netto's access for a time. Now that the system is disabled and you're aware of what's happening, you only control those systems when you want to."

Saito looked dismayed. "But I don't want that. I wouldn't want to take it from Netto-kun."

"It's okay, Rockman," Netto interrupted. "Papa will rewrite your Navi program just like before--right? Until then, you can stay here with me. You're safe here."

"It's not going to be as easy as you think," his father warned. "You will have another person living in your head. I don't know if he's connected to all of your brain functions, but obviously he's tapped into your speech and movement sections, and could wander into your thoughts at any time and leave you in a bad situation. Saito, can you remap any of the computer systems in there? Make sure your data comes from the CPU backups and not Netto himself. If you start thinking for him you could do some serious damage."

"Ah...all right," Saito said hesitantly. "Maybe once I figure out the computer I can block off that area of activity, to give Netto-kun some privacy."

"Good idea," Dr. Hikari agreed. "Meanwhile, I'll start recreating Rockman's executable file."

"Okay," Netto replied, standing weakly. "When can I--we--go home?"

Dr. Hikari laughed. "Now that Rockman's been transferred, you're not in any danger. The virus should have been destroyed with his Navi body, and now that he's out of danger your body should function like normal again. Rockman's taking up all the CPU functions, for certain, but you shouldn't need the monitor anymore. You should make a perfect recovery--but I suggest that you go back to the hospital and rest for now. Take Emdee with you and keep him there to make sure no one deactivates the monitor or tries to rewire it to work the way it was supposed to. I'll call your mother, if they haven't already contacted her to let her know that you've escaped." Dr. Hikari looked pointedly at Netto's bare feet.

"Sorry, Papa," Netto said sheepishly.

"That's my fault," Saito said a moment later, in an identical voice.

The man shook his head and disconnected the PET. "Just be careful. Here, take my slippers and lab coat at least."

The boys thanked their father one after the other, earning another eyebrow twitch from the doctor. Netto then slid the slippers onto his feet and padded back to the elevator, down to the lobby, and out to the Metroline station. "Netto-kun..."

"Yeah, Rockman?"

"I didn't mean for this to happen, you know."

The conversation continued in whispers throughout the train ride back to Akihara-cho. "It's okay. I don't mind--really."

"But this is all my fault." Saito said, his voice strained. A few of the other Metroline riders gave Netto a puzzled stare. "If it hadn't been for that virus..."

"Relax. It wasn't your fault, and I don't know what I'd do if I lost you--even if I didn't lose myself in the process." His last words were nearly cut off by a giggle from his twin. "I missed you," Netto said softly, when he had control of his speech centres again.

"I missed you too," Saito replied. "Even though such a crazy experience did this to us, it's still amazing--being able to hear your voice in my ears, being able to walk around the outside world...I never dreamed it could ever happen."

"Me either," Netto agreed. "You know, people are staring." He looked pointedly at several other patrons, who averted their eyes.

Saito let out a chuckle. "Netto-kun..."

"That's so surreal, hearing my own voice say that. But I know it's you, because you always talk so softly."

"I do?"

"Yeah." Netto smiled. "Especially when you say 'Netto-kun.' It has a very Rockman ring to it, no matter whose voice is doing the talking."


"There it is again!" the brunette laughed, stepping off the train. "Well, shall we go back to the hospital?"

"Glad to see you're feeling better." Another voice cut dryly into the conversation.

"Uh-oh..." both boys chorused at once, but neither was able to tell which one of them had spoken.

Meiru gave them a hard stare, taking in the pajamas, lab coat, and slippers. "Hikari Netto, what on Earth are you doing!?

~to be continued...

Shi-chan: And another chapter wrapped up!