"So, how does this work?" Leviathan asked, looking at Zero in front of her. Each were sitting on his bed currently. She had on a borrowed tank top from Ciel and a pair of draw-string shorts she stole from his dresser. Zero, in turn, was in a red tee-shirt and loose black pajamas. "Do I just give you a chip or something?"
Reploid: Zero VII
Zero pondered this. "How did me and X do it…?" She close his eyes and tried to think back. "I know I've swapped armor to him several times before…We're both old-style reploids, so the schematics should be remotely similar. Especially since you were based off of Copy-X's designs…"
Leviathan looked at him, rubbing her foot absently, trying to warm it. Although it was winter time and they both had been in the pouring rain not too long ago, he didn't seem cold at all. Her armor was meant to insulate her skin, keeping it warm. Without it, she felt a little chilly. "Anything?"
"I remember… going back to base. X would wave to me and we would do our standard greeting…"
"What was that?"
Zero held up his arm, which she copied. "we would just do a high five kind of, gripping hands."
Leviathan shrugged and took Zero's hand, wrist connecting. A sharp feeling went from Leviathan's heart and into Zero, making them both gasp and eyes dilate in a memory.
Zero barged through the elevator top and jumped onto the top of the construction site. X was there, hurt and bleeding. His Falcon armor was torn to shreds and barely stayed attached to him anymore. "X! You okay!?"
"Sigma!" He called to him. "My armor was thrashed by some weird ray! I can't move my joints well until I can take it off!"
"I feel him…"
X suddenly darkened. "Me too… He's close…"
"The colony is falling to earth. The blast we fired only destroyed half of it, then remainder will have to be destroyed by the shuttle." Alia nodded to the model on the table in front of all of them. "The cargo that is attached will be filled with nothing but explosives. The pilot must get close enough to de-attach and clear out before the blast kills them. It's a suicide mission.
"I'll do it." Zero stated suddenly, standing. "I'll come back, I promise."
"Zeroooooooo!?" X couldn't believe his eyes. Zero's shuttle crash landed on earth after successfully destroying the shuttle, but he was different. Infected.
"This power…" Zero said hauntingly, glowing a dark purple. "I feel so alive… I must destroy something…"
Both Zero and X lay next to each other, panting heavily. Zero was battered and X was torn. Even though they had almost just killed each other, they laughed lightly. "Wow, X," Zero began with a grin. "You sure kicked my ass. I don't think I can move."
X laughed softly. "You fight like a demon when you was infected by that virus. I think you dislocated my arm three times."
A sudden laugh shot cold fear into their mechanical hearts. The presence of Sigma always did that. "You two did my work for me."
X's eyes lit up. "Zero! Zero, you're alive!"
Zero grinned. "Ah. I hid while making repairs to myself. Had to rebuild over half of my own body." He winced lightly. "I still get queasy thinking about having to do that…"
X tackled him in a hug. "Zero, I missed you man! It was so hard fighting on my own."
"Hey, hey! Let go you little blue freak!" He looked around. "People are going to start wondering things!"
X laughed, but Zero hugged him back. "I am not touching you again for a week after this…"
Both shared a laugh and did their signature greeting.
Leviathan slowly opened her eyes and pushed herself up. Somehow she had fallen asleep after touching Zero and had a strange dream that she was him. Shaking her head, she looked down to see Zero below her. She had, apparently, been using him as a pillow. Blushing, she rolled off as he sat up
"Man, X sure was a good fighter. I can't believe I lost that battle with him…"
Leviathan quickly turned to him and looked shocked. "that was…"
"Oh, sorry. It was a part of my past. You see, I went kind of berserk and…"
"And X fought you, because you were infected…."
Zero blinked. "Yeah…"
Zero awoke the next morning a little later than usual. His hair sprayed out behind him and onto the bed in a thin lair of silky mass. Sitting up, he yawned and slid his feet out of the bed and walked past the study part of his room and into the bathroom, stepping over Leviathan who was sprawled on his floor with a blanket on top of her. Ignoring his new room mate, he continued to his morning shower and turned on the hot water.
Leviathan sat up, woken by the sound of water. Rubbing her eyes, she yawned and stretched out. Zero dropped a towel on her head as he walked past, drying his hair with one hand and drinking some coffee in the other. The girl pulled it from her head and went in, closeting the door behind her.
The blond drank his coffee slowly, absently rubbing his head. He sighed to himself and brought the coffee to his lips.
"Emergency! Emergency! Zero, Leviathan, report to the command center immediately!" Ciel's voice rang loudly into his room, making him spill the coffee on himself. "All resistance members report to your post! All reserves and trainees meet with your instructors for details! This is not a drill, I repeat, this is NOT a drill!"
Leviathan scrambled out of the bathroom just in time to see Zero pulling on his helmet and pushing a button, His armor instantly appeared onto him.
She nodded and ran out after him, calling her armor to her as she did so.
The two team mates made it to the command center room just in time to see X's face appear in the air, on a holographic screen. "Greetings." He stated. "By now you've realized a army is heading to your base." Here Zero quickly looked to the radar, which showed a large green blur on it. "The war will end today, one way or the other. I will allow Zero a chance to fight me personally."
The screen blipped off, leaving the room silent for a full three seconds before bursting into activity. Ciel turned to Zero quickly. "The army will reach here in five minutes!"
"It will take me almost two hours to get to Copy-X and fight him!" Zero basically screamed in a high pitched voice. "Can you hold out that long?"
Ciel looked really worried. "I don't know…"
"you can." Leviathan stepped forward. "It's my turn to help out around here." She looked at Ciel. "You took me in, despite what I did for you. I'll lead the Resistance members against him. Zero can go fight."
Zero nodded. "Lev, I'll leave it in your hands." With a glance to Ciel, Zero teleported out, seemingly knowing where he was going to.
"The fighters are in the dispatch bay." Ciel said quickly, showing just how much she trusted Zero's judgment. "You know where it is."
She turned to the voice. It was Cerveau. "Yes?"
"I hope you don't mind, I installed a new component into your armor while it was being repaired."
She blinked. "What is it?"
"A humidity converter. It will literally suck the moister out of the air and into your armor, to your hand."
Leviathan put out her hand and concentrated. A stream of water shot out slightly. "Wow…"
"It won't be much unless the humidity is dense, but…"
"It's enough." She nodded at him. "Thanks."
Zero looked around the area he was at. He had been there twice before, each time it was packed to the brim with X-droids and other mechanical defenses. This time, however, it was almost quiet. Looking around, he started to walk, sword drawn and in his hand, pulsating softly against nobody.
Leviathan swallowed as she saw the massive army of robots coming to her. They knew no fear, only their programming. Her side consist of Reploids, able to understand the fear of death and nervousness. The only difference was,
Her side was fighting for a cause they believed in.
Leviathan held out her trident. "FIRE!"
Plasma rained on the approaching group, making explosions rip through the air. The robots attacked next in all different shapes and sizes.
The reploid Resistance yelled a battle cry as they followed Leviathan into battle.
Zero stopped and turned slowly. Across the dark room X sat in a chair, legs crossed. "Well, well, well, if it isn't the bootleg?"
X didn't seemed phased by the remark. "You seem to have collected all the pieces to your armor."
Zero smirked. "You're at a disadvantage now."
"It would be that way… If I didn't find my own." He stood slowly and walked into the light. Black armor covered him, with golden spikes jutting out at the joints. "I call it the Gaia armor…"
Zero frowned. "Looks like this won't be an easy match."
"Especially since you will be watched." He snapped his fingers, revealing a cage across the room. "Did you not find it off your little fairy friend didn't come to you at all?"
Zero looked at the cage. "X!"
Cyber-elf X flew in the cage lightly. "Zero! Get me out of here!"
The crimson reploid grit his teeth. "I'm gonna rip you to shreds, you bootleg!"
The copy X grinned. "That's not all." He motioned around him. Cameras were everywhere. "The whole world will watch the fall of the resistance!"
Leviathan literally smashed through a shield robot and spun her trident, clearing a path around her. Her left hand shot a stream of water, quickly frozen by her right. The ice lance impaled the closest robot, stopping a small flow from reaching her from that direction.
Jumping up, she sent several ice balls down. Upon landing, se saw a shadow over her. Turning, Harpuia came into view. He silently ignited his swords and gave her only a second to prepare herself before slashing.
Zero glared at the copy X. "You're insane!"
He only started to charge his buster. "I will destroy all reploids!"
"You're killing innocents!"
"I don't care! I will destroy everything until only humans are left!"
"You're nothing but a cold blood murderer!"
"So be it!"
X shot the blast, sending a massive plasma ball at him. Zero slashed it with his sword, making it fizzle and split into two pieces. Zero's sword was yellow instead of the normal green. A lighting chip had been activated. "You forget, copy…" he spoke, deadly serious. "I have my past back as well. That means I am at full power…and I have no restrictions this battle. Not like in the past. This time it's for fatal wounds…"
X laughed sickingly, on a berserker high. "Interesting… Let's see what you have!"
Zero blurred with speed, slashing angrily. X flipped over him and jammed his cannon into Zero's back and fired. The plasma went right through Zero before fading out. "After image!?" The crimson warrior appeared behind X, throwing a hard right hook onto his helmet, sending him reeling and crashing into a wall that instantly gave way under the pressure.
Hot yellow plasma ripped through the smoke of the plaster, making Zero cartwheel away. Ice, fire, and wind all seemed to blur into one as X shot one after the other, changing colours with almost every attack.
Zero swerved under the attacks and rolled on the ground before going air born from a pushup. His body fanned into an 'x' shape before tucking in and flipping, landing right in front of him. X instantly threw a punch at him to try and gain some distance. He ducked X's punch and spun around his follow up. Grabbing the offending hand, Zero twisted around and pulled the hand behind X. Slamming his foot on X's back, he jerked back, sharply dislocating the shoulder.
A sharp scream of pain went through the air as Zero quickly let go and gripped his hands together and slammed them on top of X's helmet. Before he could even fall, Zero was in front of him, grabbing his head and slamming it into his knee. As his foe reeled back in pain, Zero swung his saber hard.
X grabbed Zero's wrist and stopped the blade of plasma. Not giving him a chance to respond, X pointed his cannon into Zero's face directly and fired repeatedly, gripping his wrist so he couldn't get free.
Leviathan dodged Harpuia's attack and kneed him in the stomach, followed closely by a right hook. As Harpuia fell to the side, Leviathan kicked him back up and thrust her trident into his shoulder, making him scream and fly backwards.
'What was that…?' she asked herself mentally. 'I've never fought hand-to-hand before… But… But I knew exactly what to do…' An image of Zero flashed in front of her. 'Those were his moves! I got them when-'
Her thoughts left her as she blocked an attack and parried. Harpuia stabbed a sword at her, tearing long ways up her forearm. Gritting her teeth, she doused him in water seconds before freezing it.
His movements slowed drastically, allowing her to grip her trident perfectly and rear back, spinning while she swung. The blow landed firm and without interruption. Harpuia's side armor shattered, revealing a green shirt under it, torn now. He doubled over in pain and gripped his side.
Leviathan went to kick him over, but he grabbed her foot and stabbed one of his short swords into her thigh. The plasma cut through the armor as if it wasn't there. The end of the plasma sword erupted from the other side of her leg and was crudely twisted before being ripped out.
She fell hard on top of him, slinging her left hand as she did so. Harpuia's helmet soared off, showing brown spiky hair. He, in turn, grabbed Leviathan's face and pushed away, making her fall off and he took to being on top of her. He pulled her helmet off as well, throwing it across the battle field.
Leviathan grabbed Harpuia's other sword at his waist and pulled it out, igniting it. Her staff was to her side, just out of reach after being knocked back. She blocked one of his attacks and quickly slid his blade so it would impale next to her head. The chance paid off and she clearly had an opening, which she exploited fiercely. The short sword of Harpuia betrayed it's master as it was shoved directly into the hole in his armor. She then quickly pushed it, tearing him slowly in half.
Through a long reaching screech of absolute pain, He somehow managed to pull his sword out of the ground and raise it above his head with both hands before bringing it down…
Zero pulled copy-X's hand and flipped him over his head, slamming him roughly into the floor. X jumped up quickly and dashed right back at him, blasting his plasma with everything he had.
Zero ran through the plasma and slashes his sword, making him dodge and jump back. Zero activated his EAS and was right along with him. Punches and curses flew thick as they battled it out. Scuffs, dents and cuts steady appeared on both of their armor. It was only seven minutes of fighting before small flecks and pieces started to fling off.
Zero found himself at the wrong end of one of X's distance gaining throws. Twisting in air, he landed on his feet, but still slid back several yards.
"Zero!" Zero turned his head. He had landed next to the fairy-X. "Let me out!" Zero did as he was asked, slashing the cage and freeing his real partner, who hovered next to him loyally. "Zero, I can stop him. My power after sealing the elf only became one thing: to return to my own body."
"But your body was destroyed two months ago!"
"That one was…"
His eyes widened in realization. "How do we do it?"
Copy-X was already blasting plasma, however. The two age-old partners flew in the same direction and seemed to know exactly what the other was going to do. Zero leapt up, clung to the wall, then leapt off of it and grabbed a hold of the ceiling, one of his old moves from the fifth maverick war. Dashing across the ceiling, he shot downwards and ignited his sword with fire, crashing down on the copy.
Copy-X somehow managed to knock the light saber away from the reploid, leaving them both to roll on the ground, punching at every given chance. Finally, Zero shoved him against the floor and pinned hi shoulders. "X!"
The fairy X flew forward and crashed into the armor of the fake. It glowed sharply before breaking off of him and falling to the side. Zero got off and stepped back quickly, watching with a shocked expression.
The copy screamed, rolling around on the ground. "Get out of my head!" He roared, throwing off his helmet and gripping his hair. "Get out! I am a perfect copy of you! I don't need the real one!"
Zero swallowed hard, being only able to watch.
"Get out!! Get out! Get out. Get out…" He sank to his knees and panted hard, going into spasms. "I have a purpose. I have to destroy the threats. I have to… have too.. Get ouuuuuuttttt!"
An increadable light blinded Zero momentary. When he was able to see again, X was standing before him, beaten up pretty badly, but otherwise the same. Above him, however, floated a dark looking cyber elf.
"Zero?" X asked, in a sort of girly voice.
The cyber elf screamed and flew quickly away. "Don't let him get away!" Zero screamed, forming his buster and blasting repeatedly.
X dashed forward and grabbed Zero's light saber and ignited it, slinging it into the air and neatly cleaving the fairy in half. It was destroyed before it even hit the ground.
Zero panted, looking at X as he inspected himself. He ran a hand along his arm and then to his chest, seemingly not able to believe it. "I'm…I'm back…" He spoke softly. "Zero! Zero I'm alive again! I have my body back! Ha ha!" He ran over to him and gave his best friend a hug.
"Man, X, it's good to see you be yourself again. That copy was... the copy! He's attacked the base!"
X quickly ran over to a control panel across the room, followed by Zero. His fingers danced over it quickly. "I'm setting them all to shut down." He explained as he worked. "There. That should have done it. Get back to base, I have a few things to do here. Like freeing all the prisoners the fake me took and disbanding the army."
Zero nodded. "I'll grant you entrance through my teleported signal." He tapped his helmet, sending him his access code. "Meet up with me as soon as you can."
Zero's feet met the ground as he formed into being from his teleportation. All around him bodies lay. Several resistance members were scouting the area. "What's the status?" He yelled out, getting a scouter to run over to him.
"Sir, Zero, sir!" he saluted. "The droids attacking all shut down, sir!"
Zero nodded. "Good. That was the plan. What is our casualty rate?"
"Thirty percent, sir." He informed. "The way things were going, we would have been run over completely!"
Zero nodded. "Continue to scout for wounded survivors."
Ciel's voice flashed into his ears. "Zero! X is making a statement! I'll swap it over!"
Zero walked across the field, listening. He had forgotten the Copy-X was broadcasting their battle. Everyone was probably listening to this. "Greetings," X began. "I'm sure all of you know who I am. But the thing is, I'm not. You see, several years ago, I fought against something known as the 'Dark Elf'. To stop this elf from accidentally destroying the world with its uncontrollable power, I sealed it inside my body, thus forcing me into a body of a cyber elf."
Zero smiled as he saw a flash of blue and began walking over to it.
"A scientist made a copy of me, to try and maintain the peace I had fought for." X went on. "But that copy of me began to slowly go Maverick, killing innocents. He is gone now, and I have reclaimed my body."
Zero slowed down.
"Neo Arcadia will no longer be a dictatorship. Now we will be a center for restoration, helping any and everybody the war has affected. Funds will be granted to scientist to solve the energy crisis. Ciel will head this." He laughed a little. "I hear she's almost done with it anyway."
He swallowed. "Lev… Lev, get up Lev…." Zero knelt down and picked up her body gently. A large hole was in her chest, where a light saber had been planted. He put a shaking hand to it and it dis-activated. "Lev… Come on, open your eyes."
"All prisoners will be let go." X stated. "They should be being released as I speak."
Leviathan slowly opened her eyes. "Zero…?"
"Lev! You're alive!"
"Is Harpuia…dead…?" She asked softly.
Zero looked to his side. Harpuia was laying in a pool of his own blood, almost cut in half. "Yeah, yeah he's gone. You did it. You saved the base, Lev!"
She smiled softly up at him. "Thank you, Zero…"
His eyes started to water. "Lev, you'll be fine."
Her eyes were soft. "Zero. You… know I'm dieing."
"No your not…" His voice cracked. "You're fine…" He looked at her chest, realizing it was a miracle she was even with him right now. He could almost literally see through her.
Leviathan weakly raised a hand and touched his cheek. "Zero…You gave me so much…You gave me… a reason to live…"
He took her hand and supported her with his other. "Lev. Don't die. You can't die…"
Her eyes were fond, smile was soft. "Thank you… for making everything…worth it…thank you… for showing me…what love was."
Leviathan's eyes slowly fluttered closed and her head titled slightly to the side. Zero didn't say anything else. A tear fell onto her cheek, followed by another one. Slowly he gathered her closer to himself and wept silently as reploids walked around him, helping the injured.
"Together," X finished up. "We will rebuild and once again live in peace. "
But the sobs of the legendary hunter went on through the cheers of triumph. The tears still fell as people celebrated the end of a long war. Zero's life was once again robbed of happiness. Once again he was a hero. It was who he was. He bled so people wouldn't get hurt. He cried so people could smile. He fought so people could live in peace. It was who he was. He was Zero. The legendary hunter. It was his life. And you know what?
He would do it again if he ever had to. He would die on the inside countless times over as long as people like Iris and Leviathan didn't have to die. He would go on. He would make sure nobody else would ever feel the pain that he was feeling.
She would have wanted it that way.
"Emergency! Emergency! X, Zero, report to the Hunter dispatch bay to intercept on Ride chasers! Maverick located at Area 26, Block B! Meet with and destroy!" Ciel's voice was firm.
X and Zero ran down the hallways.
"Ready, partner?" X asked as they dashed through the doors and leapt onto their bikes.
"Ah!" Zero replied with a smile and a thumbs up. "As long as reploids are alive, there will be those who hurt humans. That's why, no matter what, we will go on."
X nodded as they sped out. "Ah. It's who we are."
"And I'm proud of that."
X stood up on his bike and formed his cannon, taking aim at the reploid causing terror to the humans.
Zero leapt from his bike and his light saber roared into life. Swinging, he left a blazing trail of blue hair following it, attached at the handle. "Let's rock, X!"
A/N: Took longer than I thought for such a short chapter… I hope you enjoyed the story as it unfolded. I know most of you reading don't like that Leviathan died. But some of you reading have had your emotions touched by it. That's the reason we right. Although this is my first, and probably only, sad ending fanfic I still wanted to see if I could reach a sentimental side of my readers. Zero will always fight on for those he loved. They will always be remembered by him as he goes on in his life.
Dedicated to Isiah. 1985-2003. May you rest in peace my friend.