A/N: This takes place
between Axess and Stream. I suppose you could interpret this as
either strong friendship or light shounen-ai. I hope I didn't make
either of them too angsty.
Clack clack clack clack.
The sound of fingers dancing on keys filled the air, rhythmic as raindrops falling. Only it came at the same time daily, unfailingly. Sometimes it never left.
The clacking stopped. "What is it, Blues?"
"It's almost 4 in the morning. You should get some rest."
"This is important, Blues. I have to finish it."
"That's what you said last night. And the night before. And the night be-"
An exasperated sigh cut him off. "I get it, Blues."
"It's been exactly 65 hours and 17 minutes since you last slept," he persisted
Enzan rubbed his temples. "Blues, I have enough numbers to deal with as is."
"Well, 65 hours, 17 minutes sounds like a higher quantity than a little over 2 days, does it not?"
"Well, yes… but that doesn't change the fact that they refer to roughly the same amount. And that also doesn't change the fact that I have to finish this." The clacking started up again.
"I've noticed you nodding off several times in the past half hour. You'll burn yourself out if you continue like this." He observed with an amused note that the young vice president's hands had never faltered during those times, though he could not vouch for the quality of the results that emerged then. Knowing Enzan, though, they likely retained their high caliber.
"I'm fi-" The escape of a long yawn cleaved off the end of his protest.
That elicited a raised eyebrow, though no one could see it behind the shades.
Another sigh emitted from the exhausted boy. "Oh, don't look at me like that."
"Enzan-sama, it's never a good sign if even coffee can no longer keep you awake."
"Blues..." The name wielded an edge, albeit one slightly worn. Whenever that tone made its presence known, the taciturn navi knew better than to argue further.
As silence – save the clacking – dominated again, Blues' mind began to wander, as it was wont to whenever Enzan had no tasks for him to fulfill. Lately the time the dark chip had corrupted him drew it as a magnet drew iron fillings.
All the times he had tried to kill him replayed themselves in front of his mind's eye, including when he had missed decapitating him by literally just hairs.
He could still see the two yellow rings of energy that had sliced through his operator's shoulders. The shots he had fired at him that caused not a falter in his pace. Enzan in R-Blues form walking towards him through the smoke the shots had stirred up. Even the dark wave that punctured his chest, drawing a pained gasp, failed to deter him.
And he had spoken to him so gently, had hugged him. Blues could still feel the warm embrace, could still hear the gentle warm voice.
Enzan usually did not forgive or forget easily or let personal feelings drive any of his actions. 'Why that time? Why? I certainly hadn't - don't deserve it…'
"I should have been deleted."
The bang caused him to flinch, and the icicles the piercing blue eyes seemed to be shooting at him pierced him deeper and shook him more than any enemy attack ever had. It was only then Blues realized he had spoken aloud.
"Don't. Ever. Say anything like that again."
"Enzan-sama…" He turned away. "It's not like it matters – even if I was deleted, you could just rebuild me. After all, I'm just data." The words came out before he could stop them, but he may have as well been reciting his operator's schedule with the tone he employed.
"Well, yes, but…" Enzan faltered, struggling to find the right words. "That's not the point ... I …" A long pause as a sadness crept onto his face. "I guess the effects from the way I used to treat you never completely faded, huh?"
"You did what you felt was right," came the simple reply. He tried to change the subject. "I'm sorry … I disturbed you while you were trying to work …"
The reprise of narrowed sapphires told Blues he had chosen the wrong course of action. "Don't try to change the subject!" His expression softened upon seeing his navi cringe slightly. "Blues…what brought this on?"
He still could not bring himself to make eye contact. "It's… been on my mind for quite some time, sir."
A sigh as Enzan closed his eyes for a moment before he averted them. "If anyone should take the blame, it's me. I'm the one who slotted in that Dark Chip in the first place…"
"But I should've been strong enough to fight it… I'm sorry I failed you then, Enzan-sama. I…" He lowered his head.
"But you shouldn't have had to fight in the first place… I'm the one who failed as an operator because I had to resort to that…"
"And do you really think I would've done that for just anyone? You know I don't just jump into things unless the odds are in my favor – or if I have a very good reason to take the gamble."
Blues started slightly and widened his eyes, though Enzan couldn't see. "But… how did you know…?"
"I didn't. You're the best reason."
A silence settled in as the words sunk in. Finally, a hushed voice chased it away. "Enzan-sama… But why? I've nearly killed you several times…"
The dual haired boy paused and bowed his head so his bangs concealed his eyes. "It was only during that time that I realized... I can't imagine living the rest of my life without you. That's why… even if it cost me my life, I had to at least try to get you back." He picked up the PET, a gentle smile on his face. "You're the best partner anyone could ever ask for – as well as my best friend."
Blues returned the smile in kind – until the world in front of him suddenly grew black. The normally reticent navi called out his operator's name, his calls becoming gradually more frantic when they went unanswered. They calmed again upon detection of a soft, steady sound – a heartbeat. He stood still, simply taking in the soothing pulse.
Only when the monitor illuminated the black did he fully realize Enzan had just hugged the PET, as close as they could get without a dimensional area. A glance up – and when the PET's screen angled further up - told him that exhaustion had finally won the battle the young vice president had been fighting for over two days. Another smile formed on his face as he jacked himself into the computer, saved the work, and shut everything down before returning to his PET.
"Goodnight, Enzan-sama" were his final words before entering sleep mode himself, leaving the room completely silent as the first wisps of sunlight drifted in.