Shi-chan: I know it's been a while. ^^; This morning I was just inspired to write something for Valentine's Day... and be sure to take a look at Semi-Sweet if you're in the mood for more V-day sap. :)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Tried to deviate as much as usual from last year's sapfest. XD This one includes my favorite Navi pairing and a little bit of something new and fun. Thanks to Nobi for his assistance, and here's a shout-out to some friends--Ryou, Nobi, Song, and Buru--happy peach day!
To my own sweetheart--I love you! Hope you're having a great day too. :)
Rockman nervously smoothed his hair as he waited for the standard reply. Less than a second later it came back--
"Rock~! Hi!" Roll smiled cheerfully and waved as he appeared in her Operator's PC. "I wasn't expecting you today! Do Meiru-chan and Netto have plans?"
I'm certain they will shortly. Rock smiled faintly, keeping one hand behind his back. "Don't you remember what today is, Roll-chan?"
"Of course, it's Saturday." Even as she hesitantly spoke, Rock caught a glimpse of data flitting across her green eyes. "Oh! I had forgotten--!"
"It's Valentine's Day," he reminded gently, taking his hand out from behind his back. "These are for you, Roll-chan. Will you be my Valentine?"
"Ah!" She blushed as she accepted what he held--a red rose and a box of digital chocolate treats. Smiling widely, she threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly. "Rock--"
"--who could that be...?" Roll disentangled herself from the embrace as swifly as she had gotten into it. "Come in!"
"Roll-chaaaaaaaaaaaaan~!" Gutsman linked into the PC directly between Rockman and Roll, looking happily oblivious to the scene he had interrupted. "Your Valentine is here de gutsu~!" Grinning eagerly, he held out a daisy and a card to Roll. The pink Navi accepted it with her free hand and looked at the card with a smile.
It was a flat bitmap image of two shapes that, judging by the color schemes, were herself and Gutsman together. He beamed. "And a beautiful flower for a beautiful Navi de gutsu!" Behind him, Rockman held back a chuckle.
Gutsman spun, as if noticing the third presence in the PC for the first time. "You! Looks like I got here just in time de gutsu!" Rockman held up his empty hands and assumed an expression of innocence. "Gutsu...I hope you weren't trying to steal my Roll-chan!"
"Never," Rockman deadpanned, looking the other way.
Gutsman continued to glare. "Why are you here?"
"Well, Netto-kun is visiting Meiru-chan, so--"
"--he's what?" Dekao suddenly broke into the conversation, and the three Navis heard a scuffle outside the PET window hovering above Gutsman's head. "I knew he'd go after my Meiru-chan the moment I turned my back!"
"Your Meiru-chan?" both Rockman and Roll wondered aloud. Dekao did not reply and the window abruptly closed.
Gutsman looked confused, but immediately got back on track. "So Roll-chan, you'll be my Valentine de gutsu?"
"Uh." Roll looked at Rockman, startled. "Well, that is--"
Rockman facepalmed, though he was grateful for the distraction.
"Just a minute," Roll said hurriedly, creating a window and opening the email with her antannae. A block of text appeared before her and she scanned it, finally blinking in confusion. Curious, Gutsman moved to stand behind her. "What is it de gutsu...? Oh...oh! Gutsuuuu..." He looked angry, prompting Rockman to stand at Roll's side and read the message as well. "Will you be my Valentine? From your secret admirer!"
"There's an attachment as well," Rockman noted as Roll opened the two files. The first was a dozen roses, the second a Navi modification program.
"Who on earth could this be from?" Roll wondered as she inspected the second attachment. "It's for some accessory changes. A new hair ribbon and a formal dress."
"Expensive." Rockman commented, his face falling. Gutsman was one thing he had expected, but now another Navi was trying! Worse, he couldn't even imagine who the gifts were from. They were costly, but not impossibly so. Glyde? Iceman? Or someone he knew less personally..? She didn't even get a chance to answer me...
On the plus side, Gutsman was fuming. "I'll kill him de gutsu! I'll delete his legs and arms!!"
"Now, Gutsman," Roll soothed, trying to mollify the bigger Navi. "You'd hurt a friend?"
"If he was trying to take you away," Gutsman replied sourly. "But you'll be my Valentine, of course."
Shooting an apologetic look at Rockman, Roll assumed a hesitant expression. "Well, I can't promise anything until I know who sent this, right? I mean, it wouldn't be very nice to just tell him no because I didn't recognize him right away."
"Gutsu!" The other Navi looked crushed, but nodded in agreement.
"So...I can't answer right now."
"But you'll tell me when you find out, won't you?" Gutsman pleaded.
"Sure." She smiled, relieved.
"Okay, de gutsu." He stepped back and met her eyes. "So I can break his legs."
The big Navi linked out, cutting off any protest.
"...Um." Rockman smiled at Roll. "So...were you just--"
The blue Navi sighed.
Roll, looking wary, granted the new visitor access, but nothing prepared the two for what they saw next. A troop of Mettools marched in and arranged themselves in two ranks as Rockman and Roll looked on in shock.
"Where on earth did those viruses come from?" she finally managed to stammer. "What are they doing?"
"So long as they're not attacking..." Rockman trailed off. The Mettools stopped moving around and turned pointedly in Roll's direction. She took a step back.
"Metto..." the virus on the end said loudly.
"Metto," answered the one next to it.
"Metto!" chimed in a third.
Abruptly the dozen Mets broke into what Rockman thought could only have been an attempt at a serenade. Each virus continued to repeat its name at a different pitch than the one beside it, creating an eerie harmony, and continued for two long minutes. They finished their musical number as the Navis looked on in shock and bowed as one, then trooped out and vanished into the warp. As the last virus disappeared a window popped up above the portal. From your secret admirer.
Neither Rockman nor Roll spoke for a long moment, only turning to look at one another when the Mettools were long gone. "Someone's really going all out," Rockman finally said, disappointedly.
"No kidding..." Roll looked sheepish. "So I guess you're not responsible for this?"
"Not your fault." She frowned.
"I know, but--"
"Come in," Roll said hesitantly. "What's next? A troupe of ballet Navis?"
Fortunately, only one program appeared, and it was a generic delivery bot. "Are you 'Rollchan-san'?"
"Yes, that's me, I suppose."
"Sign please." Roll put her hand on the authentication board and the program handed her a heart-shaped box before disappearing. "Thank you."
"Chocolates," Rockman observed glumly.
"From your secret admirer," Roll read from the card. "I'll see you at 1900."
"Gee, Roll-chan..." Suddenly the whole fiasco was too much for Rock. He didn't really want to see what the mysterious Navi would send next. "I should get back, I have some file organizing to do."
"But Rockman..." Roll looked troubled. "I thought you wanted to do something today."
"You ought to stay here, right? Wouldn't want to miss any deliveries." He linked back to Netto's homepage without waiting for her reply.
"Rock..." Roll's face fell as he disappeared, the blue warp pixels fading into nothing. "But I didn't even get a chance to say it to you..."
The pink Navi sighed.
When the email alert popped up in front of him, Rockman was almost too irritated at hearing the "New Mail" sound again to even answer it. But the seal was marked with a familiar icon, so open it he did, and read words written in a loopy pink font. Dear Rockman. I need to talk to you about something very important! Please meet me in Internet City at A Byte to Eat around 7 o'clock. Love, Roll.
Rockman glanced at the digital clock in the corner of the PET. 6:30...is she giving me one last chance to impress her more than this other guy? Because anything he does, I can do too...and better!
Face set, Rockman scrawled a quick text message, left the window open for his Operator, and took the closest warp to Internet City.
Roll sat in the restaurant, nervously watching and waiting for her date to show. I can't hold back just because of all these gifts...someone's being very kind, but I chose Rock a long time ago. I have to tell him that he's the only one I'm interested in.
A waiter came by the table at which she sat. "Would you like some XORs d'oeuvres, miss?"
"No thank you, I'm waiting for someone." She waved him on, straightening the folds of her pink dress. Meiru had saved the accessory change program to a chip and applied it without question, just a knowing smile. Roll supposed her Operator thought it has been a gift from Rockman.
Less than a moment later he appeared, exactly on time. His arms were full of pink roses and he wore several accessory changes, primarily a navy blue formal suit. His helmet was missing (Roll hoped they wouldn't run into any trouble tonight) and his dark bangs were swept to the side of his forehead. She stood to greet him. "You came..."
"Of course." He smiled dashingly and handed her the roses with a flourish. "Pink--your favorite."
"Yes..." Roll smiled as she breathed in the sweet scent of the flowers. "Thank you!"
They sat down, grinning shyly at each other. "So...what was it you wanted to talk about?" Rockman finally asked, trying to hide his hope.
"Listen, about all the presents...stuff like that doesn't really mean anything unless they can come out and say they like me. I don't even know who it is." She took a deep breath. "And even if I did, I've already decided who I want my Valentine to be."
"Excuse me." It was the waiter from before, hovering at Roll's shoulder. "Are you Roll-san?"
The female Navi looked wary. "I am."
Relieved, the waiter bowed. "You have a delivery waiting. Shall I bring it out?"
Rockman slumped facefirst onto the table. "Get it over with."
The tuxedo-clad Navi nodded at someone behind him, and another waiter came out bearing a huge three-tiered cake on a platter. It was frosted white with strawberries decorating it, and there was a small envelope stuck in the icing on the bottom tier. The waiter deposited it on the table, smiled, and turned to depart.
"Wait!" Rockman called. "Do you know who sent this?"
"It was delivered here just a moment ago with emailed instructions to present it to a blonde Navi in a pink dress. A regular delivery program brought it by."
"Oh. Thanks anyway." He sighed.
Roll was staring ominously at the envelope. "How did he know I'd be here...?"
"He's reading your mail somehow?" Rockman suggested, looking unnerved.
The girl picked up the envelope and opened it, sliding a pink card out and reading it aloud. "Roll-chan! Strawberry cake, your favorite. I know you can't resist me now. Will you be my Valentine? I'm waiting for your answer. Love, your secret admirer."
Rockman's eyes grew wide. "He's waiting?"
Both Navis looked around the restaurant, but they were the only ones in sight. "Could he be watching from somewhere?"
"He'd better not be," Rockman said in a low voice. A flash of red caught his eye and they both turned to look at the cake, which seemed to be spawning a heart-shaped balloon from the top tier. A portal had opened in the top of the icing. "What on earth...?"
The balloon, marked "I love you!" in white script, rose and bobbed in the air a foot above the cake. A second later a paw appeared, attached to the string tying it, and a familiar head popped out of the portal. "Aup!"
"Rush!" Roll stood hurriedly and held out her arms. The little virus hopped out of the cake and into them, licking her cheek.
"Rush?" Rockman's jaw dropped.
Roll patted the dog on the head. "Why are you here? Do you know my secret admirer?"
Rush winked and stood up on the table, handing her the balloon. "Aup!"
Roll blinked once, then twice. "You want me to be your Valentine."
"Aup~!" Rush bowed deeply, producing a single red rose.
"You did all this?!" Rockman said in disbelief. "The cake and the Mettools and--?"
Roll blushed. "Well, who else could find an army of singing Mettools?"
The little virus grinned slyly and ignored the blue Navi, holding out the rose to Roll. She accepted it with a smile. "Why, how romantic! Of course, you're not the only one asking to be my Valentine...as a matter of fact, I was just about to..." She trailed off as the little dog pouted. "Oh, don't be like that!"
"Looks like he went to a lot of trouble for you, Roll-chan." Rockman said with a grin. Knowing that her admirer wasn't actually competition had doubled his confidence.
She smiled. "Then, I'll gladly be your Valentine."
Rockman stood up so fast he almost knocked over the table. "Roll-chan! But I thought--"
"Jealous?" She grinned at him good-naturedly. "Come on, I've got to humor you both."
"Humor me!?" Rockman sputtered. "After all that!?"
Roll leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. "I'll be both of your Valentines. It would hardly be fair for me to refuse either of you."
"But Roll-chan..." Mollified by the kiss, Rockman glared at Rush, who looked innocent.
"Now, who wants cake?"
Cheerful once again, Roll cut generous slices of the strawberry cake for them all. Rockman watched her as she did so, grateful at least for the happiness gracing her delicate features.
What are you looking so disappointed for? At least she agreed to be yours...or at least half-yours! Just enjoy it!
Rockman finally smiled, accepting the plate from his sweetheart's hand. Next year, I'm asking first--and not even Rush is going to interfere this time!
"Now, let's have a great night, together, okay? I'm just happy that all the mystery is over!"
"Right!" Rockman agreed with a genuine good-naturedness.
"Waiter, could you bring us some menus...?" Roll reached her hand across the table to hold his. "It should be safe to eat without any interruptions now, right?"
The two Navis froze.
"It's a video email," Roll said hesitantly.
"Go ahead," Rockman replied.
Roll opened a window above the table, and Gutsman appeared in it. "Roll-chan! I've been looking everywhere for you de gutsu! We haven't done anything for Valentine's Day yet de gutsu! I hope you found that secret admirer bastard so I can delete him. So you're my Valentine, right?"
Rockman missed his girlfriend's reply as he sunk down in his chair and stared at the ceiling, watching the metallic red balloon bob in the air. "Next year..."
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CHOSE THAT RUSH GUY, DE GUTSU!? I'LL DELETE THAT SCRAWNY LITTLE VIRUS!!"
"But Roll-chaaaaaaaaan!! You can't do this to me de gutsu--!"
"Why you little--!"
Rockman sighed loudly. Maybe we should consider just eloping next year. Yeah...right.
"Mou! Gutsman, calm down!"
And the shiny balloon danced in the air, taunting him.