Rockman.EXE is not mine. Don't sue.
Us After This
A/N: Please excuse any minor mistakes and the clashing between the EXE anime and Battle Network. I just ep 25 of the EXE anime...it's gone totally AU from the game. :P So, this fic will continue to follow the Battle Network game storyline, and any mistakes in earlier chapters with anime references will be fixed.
January 3, 2003 - Now they're fixed. ^_~
Minna-sama, thanks for your comments! :D Please keep reading!
"M-Meiru-chan!" Saito managed to choke out, since Netto seemed to be mostly in shock.
"What are you doing out of the hospital?" she demanded, hands on hips.
Saito released his control so a flustered Netto could reply. "I went to see Papa."
"In your pajamas?"
Before Netto could say anything, Saito was back in charge. "Where's Roll-chan? Is she okay!?"
Meiru gave the boys a curious glance. "Of course she is. She transferred back to my PET after you disconnected your dad's."
"How's Rockman?" Roll's voice emerged from the terminal at Meiru's side.
He hesitated suddenly, so Netto took over. "We're both fine now. The transfer was successful."
Meiru handed Netto her PET so Roll could speak to the boy directly. "I'm so glad you two are okay! Where did Rockman's data go after Gutsman and I logged out?"
"Uh..." Netto hoped that his twin would answer, but Saito made no move. "The drone program put it into my computer for safekeeping." He did not mention that Rockman was tapped into his biotechnological networks.
"He gave us a scare," Roll said, and Saito quirked a slight smile.
"Anyway, it looks like I don't have to head to the Government Complex," Meiru declared. "I was going to your dad's office to ask about Rockman, but now I've found you instead. How are you doing?"
"Much better, thanks," Netto replied.
Saito, thinking as always of his twin, gently led Meiru out of the train station and out into the sunlight. "Actually, we were just going back to the hospital."
Netto made a face. I wonder if we should tell her. She is my best friend after all. Out loud he said, "Just me, sorry. I'm a little sleepy."
He wished he knew what Rockman was thinking about as the Navi led them through the streets of Akihara. Saito mused to himself aloud, dropping obvious hints for the brunette. "I want to get some normal clothes, and shoes."
"Then I have to go to the hospital and get my PET," Netto added.
Meiru looked at Netto--who now had control of both movement and speech--strangely. "You sound so odd."
"Your voice keeps fluctuating," she said slowly. "I can't put my finger on it. You're being very soft-spoken one moment, and then talking very fast the next. Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah," Netto said quietly, trying to modulate his voice. It was the same difference he'd pointed out to Saito on the train.
Meiru and Netto entered the Hikari house, the latter calling a greeting as they paused in the door.Getting no answer, the boy plodded upstairs to his room. Saito spoke the moment they were alone. "Well, what do we do now?"
"I'm not sure," Netto confessed a moment later, pulling on a pair of shorts. "Why aren't we telling Meiru-chan that you're here?"
"We're not? I was just expecting you to tell her."
"You had control of my voice!"
"I let it go every time I finished a sentence!"
"Well, I didn't know that!" Netto said sourly, slipping on his blue bandanna.
"Fine, you handle it." Saito said lightly. He then fell silent.
"Aw, Rock...Rockman?" Netto scowled and jokingly rapped on the side of his own head. "Rock?"
Saito replied only by shrugging.
"Oy." Netto grabbed his rollerblades and ran downstairs to where Meiru was waiting. "Sorry about that, Meiru-ch--eh?" The room was empty. "Meiru-chan?"
A muffled thump came from the back room, and Netto instinctively followed it. Meiru sat on the floor with a gag in her mouth as a tall man Netto didn't recognize tied her hands together. He looked up with a smirk as Netto entered the room. "Well. Hikari Netto. Just the person I wanted to see."
"Who are you?" Netto demanded.
"No one in particular," the stranger spat. "Just one of the faceless World Three supporters whose life you and your Navi destroyed."
"Get away from her," Netto said sharply. Meiru's eyes were wide with fear.
"I don't think you're in a position to make demands, kid," the man laughed. "I'm going to delete your Navi, and then I'm going to kill you!"
The voice that next came out of Netto was bitter and cold. "Delete? I think I'm much too far gone for that now."
Even Netto was surprised by the vehemence in his twin's voice. "Rock..."
"Let me handle this, Netto-kun," Saito said quietly.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah." Saito smiled tightly and shifted his weight, sinking into a battle stance.
The intruder looked confused by the exchange. "Are you crazy or something, kid? Where's your PET?"
"You want the Navi?" Saito said with a feral smile. "You've got him." With that he sprung forward, launching himself at the ex-WWW member.
Every bit of fighting skill and instinct to protect himself and his partner went into the attack, and Netto was carried along for the ride. Saito tackled the loyalist and knocked him to the floor with a grunt. Meiru inched away from the fight.
"What--what the hell!" the man gasped as soon as he regained his breath. He grabbed "Netto's" arm tightly. "Kid...that was a bad idea."
"Oh no," Saito whispered, so quietly that Netto himself barely heard. "That was a bad idea."
Though Netto's body didn't have half the strength Rockman's did, Saito still possessed the fighting prowess and agility that his Navi body had. Saito's hand shot out to grab the loyalist's arm and slipped under it, catching the man so off-guard that he was unable to stop himself from being hurled to the floor.
The loyalist wheezed and grabbed for Saito, who darted back in an instant. The older man didn't even have time to move before Saito was on him again. Two punches connected with the man's gut before he doubled over in pain, unable to move.
"Well. That got out a little pent-up frustration." Saito grinned and stretched sinuously, his voice once again mild.
"R-Rockman?" Netto breathed, realizing that the Navi had released his control.
"Eh...sorry," his twin said with a blush. "I shouldn't have reacted like that."
"No apologies needed. Actually...nice work."
Saito sighed and untied Meiru, wrapping the ropes around the loyalist, who was still immobile with pain. "You're lucky he didn't have his Rockbuster," Netto admonished. Saito stifled a laugh.
Meiru stared at Netto in disbelief. "What just happened?"
Netto waited for Saito to answer, but he was beginning to realize that his twin kept silent at the most inopportune times. "Meiru-chan...Rockman's data...is inside of me. In my implant. He's linked to me...he's inside my head."
~to be continued...