Notes: The characters aren't mine and the story is! All hail Capcom!
Treble watched blankly as the colors of the sunset vanished into the oncoming twilight. First the pink faded, then the lavender, then the orange and red. And then night began to fall, as it had fallen wearily and predictably ever since Treble could remember. But he didn't care what the sky looked like now. He really didn't care about much of anything. For the last several days he had remained in this spot, never moving, lonely for his master and friend, Bass. But Bass was dead, killed by the devious Dr. Wily. Treble remembered the explosion all too well. He had escaped without a scratch, while Bass had wound up sacrificing himself to rescue Megaman!
The wolfdog whined sadly, swishing his tail in the grass. Even when no one else had realized, he had known that Bass was good at heart. If he had wanted, he could have been just as demanding for justice and right as Megaman. Really, Bass had proven he could be that way all through the problems with King. For him to even want to stop the menace at all showed that he had some sense of what was right. And then he had given up his own life for Megaman's, when Wily had tried to destroy them both.
Would Wily remember about Treble and come back for him? The dog growled at the thought. If, by some strange chance Wily did, Treble wouldn't go with him. For what had been done, Treble felt like going as far as to violate the first rule of the robot code---namely, that robots could not attack humans. For what did Treble have to lose now? Wily had killed the only one important to him. Treble might as well do whatever rash thing he wished.
No, Treble. . . . Don't do something stupid. I don't want anything to happen to you.
The dog's head shot up and he looked around hopefully, as he had everytime that he had heard Bass's voice, but upon seeing no one again, he laid back down in resignation. He had heard Bass several times since the fateful explosion, but it was always just his imagination. He was certain Bass would say the things being said if he were still around, however. Bass wouldn't want him to attack Wily and risk facing the punishment of breaking the first code. And yet, if things were reversed, Treble was certain Bass wouldn't hold back in attacking. He growled low, staring into the blades of grass.
He recognized the voice. It was Megaman, coming to check on him as he had every night. He would ask Treble if he wanted to come in and the dog would do nothing, just continuing to lay where he was and ponder over the past. Then Megaman would give up with a sigh and go back inside. Tonight was no different. This time Rush was with Megaman, however. The red dog barked at Treble, attempting to get his attention, but Treble wasn't in the mood.
Megaman was determined to try a bit harder this time, though. "Come on, Treble," he coaxed. "If . . . if Bass was here, he wouldn't want you to keep being so sad. He'd tell you that you needed to go ahead with your life." The blue robot bit his lip, knowing that he was asking too much of Treble right now. Bass's death had hurt him just as much as the death of any mortal dog's beloved master would hurt them. He couldn't expect Treble to get over it so easily, but he wished he knew what he could do for the lonely canine unit. Slowly he reached out in an attempt to pet the wolfdog. He knew it perhaps wasn't a good idea, but he wanted to try something!
Instantly Treble rose, snapping and growling at Megaman. He wasn't going to let anyone else take Bass's place! Only Bass had been allowed to pet him in the past and Treble wasn't about to let things change now. He didn't want to forget how things had once been. He didn't want to forget Bass's gentle touch or the way sometimes they had just sat for hours doing nothing and yet being completely content. Treble had stood by Bass while the black-and-yellow robot had cursed his fate and his misfortune at not being able to defeat Megaman. He had stood by him as Bass had rebelled against Wily, tired of obeying their insidious creator. And Treble had stood by him as the bombs were set to go off in the castle. But then . . . then he had left. He may have left at Bass's command to search for exits, but he had still left. He hadn't been there to attempt to protect his friend when the castle started coming down. If he had been there to push Bass outside the instant after the red-eyed robot had pushed Megaman out, they might both still be alive.
Megaman drew back with a sad sigh. "I'm sorry," he said, standing up. "It's too soon to expect you to accept me. After all . . . I was Bass's enemy, according to him. And . . . well, if it hadn't been that he rescued me, he probably would've gotten out." Megaman admitted that he blamed himself for what had happened. If only he had been more attentive, more alert! If only he had stopped to defuse some of the other bombs they had found. So many if onlys. . . .
Treble growled again, softer this time, and barked. He understood Bass better than anyone else ever had. He knew why his master had done what he had. And Treble didn't blame Megaman for Bass's death. It was just that it truly was too soon for him to be expected to allow anyone else to show affection toward him. It reminded him all the more that Bass wasn't here to do so.
At last Megaman and Rush both left, going back inside Dr. Light's home and leaving Treble outside to ponder again. The wolfdog gazed up at the sky, looking at all the bright constellations as they appeared, and then whined. He pretended sometimes that Bass was here with him, silently watching and musing, but it wasn't the same. In the end, Treble knew he was out here alone. And he hated it.
He remembered something that had happened during one of Bass's battles a while back. They had been fighting against an extraordinarily rough opponent that also possessed a canine unit---a viciously strong one that resembled a pit bull. Treble had wound up injured with the other dog bearing down on top of him, ready to deliver the finishing blow. But Bass had turned his attention away from his own enemy to blast the pit bull away. In the split second it took to do so, the gangster robot was able to pounce upon Bass and hurt him quite badly. Treble had limped over then, baring his teeth and biting down on their opponent's hand before the killing blow could be administered. Bass had been able to get back up and defeat the once-strong robot before then collapsing. Treble recalled how he had laid down beside Bass, licking his cheek gently and being on guard for any further trouble. Bass had petted the dog gently, whispering a thank you for his help, before attempting to get back up. Treble had half-dragged, half-carried Bass back to safety, though he had been hurt himself.
Actually, if it were to be considered that all robots made by the same creator were then "siblings," then Bass and Treble had been brothers as well as a kind master and his loyal dog. Above all, they had been best friends. Bass had been the only friend Treble had had and vice versa. Treble felt so lost and alone without him. Eventually he slipped into a nebulous dream world, filled with strange scenes and people that didn't make sense. He seemed to be wandering through this tangled mess in search of something he knew he wouldn't find. And yet he continued to press on in desperation, something telling him that he couldn't allow himself to stop now, that he had to keep looking. . . .
He started awake abruptly from something unknown. With a low rumble building in his throat, Treble began gazing about the property. There had been a sound in his dream, an odd sound that had caused him to awaken. It must have had its roots here in the real world. So convinced of this was Treble that he got up and started quietly walking around to the side of Dr. Light's house. Then the sound came again. Treble came to attention, looking over in the direction of the laboratory. Someone was attempting to break through the back door into the room where the deactivated and damaged robots were kept. He could see a silhouetted form trying the doorknob. What would anyone want in there? Treble didn't know, but he did know that he would make certain the intruder didn't get in. When Megaman and Protoman had brought Bass's body back, Dr. Light had stored it in the back room, determining that nothing could be done but knowing that Megaman didn't want Wily to get hold of the remains.
"Did you hear something?"
Treble slunk behind a tree, watching as a second shadowy figure appeared. They both looked like robots, but in the dim light Treble wasn't certain. They could be humans wearing armor, for some reason.
"It was your imagination," the first one retorted. "And this door's locked tight. We have to be careful in opening it. If we're not, we'll wake everyone up in the house." He took a small device out of his pocket and placed it against the door, seeming to be listening for something.
"Forget the door," his companion growled. "I have a glass cutter. Let's go through a window and then unlock the door from the inside. The boss gave us orders not to leave without getting those robots."
Now Treble knew what they wanted, but not why. He didn't intend to wait to see if they would talk about the reason behind their actions, however. If they wanted robots for some nefarious purpose, what if they would take Bass? With a vicious growl the wolfdog stepped out from his hiding place, his eyes dark and foreboding.
Both would-be intruders instantly snapped to attention. "It's a dog!" the first one cried indignantly. "I knew it would be stupid of the professor not to have something guarding the place!" In the moonlight he now appeared to be a human, only his right arm and left leg looked robotic in appearance. Treble growled softly, confused at this.
"Well, we'll take care of it easily," the second replied smoothly. He, also, seemed to be a human, save for the control panel that was opening up in his chest. Treble soon recognized the blaster that was emerging and quickly dodged out of the way as it went off.
The first didn't seem pleased at this action. "You idiot!" he roared. "Now Light and his other robots will be alerted for sure! No one could miss the sound of that blast!" He kicked Treble as the dog ran over, sending him back hard against the laboratory wall. Then, deciding that a little more noise wouldn't make much difference now, the thief blasted the door off by transforming his right arm into a cannon.
In all the confusion Treble was never quite sure what was going on. He only knew that he got up again and was attacking both of the men. From the house came the sound of shouting and the flickering of all the lights being turned on. Then the second man blasted Treble away forcefully, the first one following suit. Eventually the dog lay stunned on the floor, drifting into unconsciousness but being aware of faint voices and footsteps running away."Hey!" he heard Megaman cry in stunned shock. "What are you doing? Where are you taking those robots?! They don't belong to you!" He only got rude laughter and cursing as a reply and then Treble heard the sounds of blaster cannons going off again. But Megaman had apparently been unsuccessful in his attempt to stop the intruders. A moment later Dr. Light came rushing in, followed closely by Roll and Rush.
"Megaman!" Dr. Light cried. "What's been happening in here?!"
"I don't know!" the blue robot replied in distress. "When I got out, two men were running out, each of them taking two of the robots from this room! And . . . one of them was Bass," he added in a near-whisper.
Treble, too weak to do much else, growled at this news before accepting the darkness.