If you haven't read 'Where it all Starts (the Halloween fic), then we suggest you read that, for this will seem sort of random. It is the prequel, and the OCs that are in there reappear in here. So read that before you read this, please!

Summary: Christmas is just around the corner and Lan can't figure out what to get everyone. On a trip to the mall, a Navi gone nuts locks him in after hours... with Chaud! Will they kill each other or will their Net Navis figure out what's locked all the doors before then?

Pairing(s): Lan/Chaud (. Yay!)

We own nothing! Merry Christmas!

Reason for late postage: Shade was being tugged from one side of the family to the other all Christmas Day and was busy Christmas Eve. Gomen, but I tried... –sniff-

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It was two weeks until Christmas and Lan Hikari was anything but happy. He was pacing his room on this fine Saturday, thinking of what to get his friends for the merry holiday. He had made a list, but nothing seemed to be helping. He sighed and flopped down on his bed.

"What's wrong Lan?" Megaman asked. Lan held his PET up to eye level and stared at the blue Navi.

"I still don't know what to get the others for Christmas..." Megaman smiled.

"Why don't you give Higsby Bass' Navi Chip, huh? He would appreciate the rare chip, huh?" Lan smiled back.

"Please don't do that... One Higsby is enough and it took friggin' forever to get that chip!"

"Weeeelllll... You know, after the whole Halloween incident where Bass went crazy... I kinda managed to get another chip from him..." Lan sat up calmly.

"What?" he said after a while. "You got a double of the rarest chip in the world and I didn't know about it?" Megaman nodded.

"Yeah. What about your other friends? Roll mentioned that Maylu wanted that new piano book... and Gutsman said that Chisao wants his own PET, but I have a feeling that Dex is getting that for his bro..."

"Hey, I have an idea!" Lan said, jumping off of his bed. "Lets go SHOPPING!"

While Lan proceeded to get dressed and grab whatever he'd need for the trip, Megaman tried to knock himself into oblivion. He hated shopping. Everything went WRONG when they went shopping! Last time they had been shopping, Brightman had taken over... What would be so different this time?

'I just hope that no Navis gone berserk decide to attack us. What I wouldn't give for one day of peace...' he thought as Lan ran out the door, giving his mother a quick hug and a kiss.

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"Gosh, there sure is a lot of people here..."Megaman commented from his PET. Lan nodded in agreement. His navi was right. The ACDC train station was filled with people, all of them either going to the Shopping District or the Beach Station. Lan pushed his way through the sea of people to get to the ticket booth. Some people shot him evil glares, but Lan decided he didn't care as he asked for a BeachPass. He thanked the ticket booth person and went through the barrier and onto the train.

"Woah... That is a lot of people. I wonder what they're doing..."Lan said as he took a seat. A few minutes later, the train started moving. Having nothing better to do, Lan decided to gaze out of the window into the nothingness that was outside.

"Hey, Lan... Wanna play a game?"

"What game?" Lan asked dully. Megaman opened his mouth to speak but the train suddenly gave a gigantic lurch and the lights went out.

"HAHAHAHAHAAAA! Electricity is the greatest of powers!" came a voice. People in the other compartments started screaming.

Lan knew this voice all a little too well. "Come on Megaman, we have to get to the plug in port on the metroline!"

Megaman seemed to be in thought. "Yes, but it's all the way in the front compartment, we'll have to get there somehow.." Lan gave a shrug as he stood up and started moving in the opposite direction of the screaming people.

"We got there once before and we can do it again!" he said confidently. "Count Zap isn't a match for us. Who knows, maybe he's just really bored and forgot that he's tried this before..."

"Yeah," Megaman said, brightening up. "Yeah, that could be it..."

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"Okay, that was definitely the fastest battle in the history of Count Zap and Elecman..." Lan mumbled sourly as he sat back down in his seat. The train was moving along nicely again, and Count Zap had ran when Elecman got hit with Megaman's buster. Neither of the Hero Team were very happy about this fact. And Lan was bored again.

"So, what was that game you wanted to play?" Lan asked, looking back down at his PET after a while. Megaman, happy to be addressed, opened his mouth to reply.

"It's-"

"Attention, passengers, we have arrived in Beach Station. All passengers wishing to visit Beach station, please disembark," the announcer person said, cutting a now very pissed Megaman off. Lan gave Megaman an apologetic look as he hurried off of the train before the train doors closed.

"Sorry, Mega. But, we're here, so let's just forget about everything besides shopping, okay?"

"Whatever, Lan..." Megaman said sourly, crossing his arms and leaning on the frame of his PET. Lan shrugged off his navi's behavior, thinking that it was just some phaze that they all went through at some point in their existence, and raced off towards the mall.

Three hours, forty-seven stores and not a penny spent later, Lan collapsed on a bench in the large Beach Mall. He had looked everywhere, but nothing seemed to fit his needs. He was out of ideas now, even though he had a list to help him.

"This is getting us NOWHERE!" Megaman said, rubbing his temples. Lan nodded, getting up. As he started walking away, he bumped into somebody. Lan stumbled back and fell back onto the bench.

"Watch where you're going, Hikari," said a voice he was all too familiar with. Lan rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest.

"Sorry to disrupt you, your majesty," he said sarcastically.

"You know, it should be Lord Chaud to you." Lan growled as Chaud Blaze pushed past him. "Well at least I have better fashion sense."

This got the desired reaction out of the white haired teen. "Excuse me? And what exactly is that supposed to mean?"

Not resisting the chance to further annoy his 'nemesis' Lan curl his lip upwards in a sly smirk. "Exactly what you think. What, do I have to spell out everything for you?"

"No, I would think it would be the opposite, don't you think so lord Chaud?" This caught both the teens off guard. It seemed that Protoman didn't have a mind to sit back and relax while his operator was being attacked verbally.

'So, he's getting his navi to fight for him now, eh?' Lan thought bitterly. Two could play at this game. "AND you call ME weak! You have your own navi mouth off instead of yourself! What? Is he a better arguer than you are?"

"Protoman, do not speak again until I ask you to!" Chaud snapped curtly at the PET hanging from his side.

"I am sorry Lord Chaud, I will not do that again." In some way the voice sounded disappointed, Lan thought to himself.

Seeing as he had enough of this himself, and Christmas shopping to do, Chaud waved his hand airily in a dismissive manner at the youngest member of the Hikari household. "I don't have time for you Hikari. Don't bother me again!" And with that started to walk off.

"Like you don't have time to use proper hair dye for your hair!" Shocked, both boys looked in the direction of Lan's PET. Holding in rage Chaud strutted off into a few stores, while Lan just stared at the screen of his terminal. Megaman looked back at him with a flustered complexion. A phase. Definetly a phase.

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Finally Lan had found one gift. It was a light pink hair barrette, weaved in and out with silvery beads and dark pink feathers. It was the perfect gift for Maylu. Only it had taken quite a few hours to find. If it was going to take that long for each of his friends... he shuddered to think about it. At this rate he would have to stay overnight in the mall! But.. what time did the mall close? It's not like he ever stayed until closing time, usually he tried to drag his mother out before supper time. Super. Darn, it had been a while since he had eaten breakfast and already his stomach had started to growl for more fuel. It wouldn't hurt to spend a few extra dollars and go to burger world, now would it?

"Lan, aren't we supposed to be looking for gifts? Presents? Items unto which you bestow to your best friends? Not food!" The last part was said almost hysterically. Megaman looked from his operator to the food line desperately.

"But Megaman, we've been in the mall for 5 hours now. I'm starving, and it won't be good if I faint." Lan complained rather loudly and whiningly to make his navi embarrassed to reply otherwise.

"Your grammar needs improving." Megaman had the same sour expression on face from the train, he was leaned up against the side of the PET again, very 'unamused'.

"See! I need food!" Lan looked at the screen, a smile forming.

"No. Your grammar is ALWAYS horrible." Megaman diverted his eyes to the populace around his operator. People usually interested him. How they interacted, moved and went about their daily routine. Maybe he would find some entertainment from this new found source of stimulation. The line moved slowly, and by the time that they placed their command, most of the mall was deserted probably because it was a Sunday.

Grabbing his tray Lan moved over to a table by the front of the fast-food restaurant with a straw in his mouth. Sitting down he prepared himself to devour the entire 'feast' in front of him. Until he caught sight of another person opposite him a few tables away. Grunting indignantly his eyes locked with the others'. Picking up his burger he unwrapped half of it's juicy contents and bit into it ferociously, giving the other a death glare, signaling what he thought of him. The other took some fries from his container, salted them, bit them and then ripped them from his mouth. The glares went up a few notches. That was it. He had warned him! The other had silently insulted his position as the biggest eater. Murder was in Lan's eyes.

Both grabbed their second burger. The eating contest was on.

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After a full chastisement on the part of both navis to the now sickly green teens that were bent over the toilets pucking their guts out, they had decided one thing. The next time they would make sure that they turned their PETs off.

"Exactly what possessed you Chaud Blaze! Getting into a food fight with Lan Hikari! YES! YOU BETTER BE PUCKING MISTER! THAT IS THE LAST TIME I EVER-"

The white haired boy pulled some toilet paper off the rack and put it up to his mouth, trying desperately to calm his churning stomach. But in a second his cheeks puffed out and he resumed his bent over pose. In the similar stall next to him the other teen did not seem to have any peace at all either.

"LAN HIKARI! OF ALL THE DUMB, STUPID, IDIOTIC THINGS YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR LIFE-"

His stomach was in turmoil. Grasping non too lightly at the rectangular paper he ripped a chunk off. Bringing it to his lips he tried to quell the storm in his belly just enough to breath for a minute. He couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that his 'nemesis' was enduring the same fate as he was: the mother hen navi. But this sudden motion made a certain liquid seep up his throat, forcing him to quickly bend over and... well you know the rest...

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Finally both teens were free from their solitary confinement within stalls. Both stood facing each other ready to pounce, even after their previous endeavor.

"Hikari, I swear God so help me if I have to spend anymore time in your presenc-"

Cutting the billionaire off, chained barricades and doors slammed shut. Lan looked around fearfully. "Dammit Chaud, you're a jinx!"

Even Chaud himself was dismayed. "B-But how? The mall only closes at 8!"

Grabbing his PET Lan demanded to know what had happened. "Megaman did someone do a forced shut down?"

His navi's face reappeared on the screen seconds later. "Yes Lan! They did! But I'm having trouble locating the source."

"Hmth. If there is a source, I'll find it." Came Protoman's gruff annoyed voice. His operator tapped impatiently at the hilt of his PET holder. "Well! Anything!"

"Lord Chaud... I can't find a source whatsoever." The voice was now clearly filled with shock. "Well try HARDER!"

"Chaud there's no point. Whoever did this knows what they were doing. We'll have to find the culprit ourselves. There's no other way."

As the boy finished his sentence he could have sworn he saw Chaud mouth the word 'useless' to his navi's PET screen. He could have sworn also that he heard a rasberry in response. Weird people...

After searching to and thro the pair was overconfident in one fact. They were the only people in the mall. Whoever had done this was targeting them.

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! COME GET ME FOOLS!" The intercom rang.

This time even the navis looked up startled. That voice. It sounded so familiar! But who?

"That's it! Protoman jack in!" The white haired boy 'classically' shoved his plug-in cable into the plug-in port.

Not to outdone, Lan decided it was best for Megaman to check out the area as well. Both navis landed on a mound of snow. Which to them, was something extraordinary.

"What, what is this stuff? It's...cold?" Megaman sputtered.

"I think Chaud had told me of something like this before, he said it was called.. um.. snow." Sitting up the red navi peered at his rival. "He also said it usually accompanied something else. I can't remember what it was called or did.." Leaning over towards the edge of the hill to see what laid beyond Protoman accidentally started to slip forward. Not knowing what to do, he grabbed the other's arm as he started to move forward. Seconds later both were tumbling uncontrollably down the slope at a very high speed.

"It was called ice! And it made you slip!" Megaman yelled as he tumbled along, being battered against the icy path. Soon they stopped after ramming through another mound of snow. Popping his head out Protoman looked around.

"This place... is familiar..."

Sticking is his dazed head out of the wet thick substance Megaman peered up to see exactly what his crazed companion was talking about. He got his answer. Something about this place was extremely familiar alright. Slapping his forehead he let himself fall backwards into the snow. "Everything goes bad when we go shopping."

After hearing a 'plop', Protoman curiously turned his head towards the figure's outline in the white substance. "When was the last time you went shopping?"

"When Brightman took over."

"Oh." Sighing, the red navi did the same exact motion as Megaman. Except he landed right on top of him.

"YOU IDIOT! GET OFF ME!"

"MAKE ME!"

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In the 'real world' Lan and Chaud were having a similar fight. Since their navis were taking their sweet time in finding a way out, and the brunet was in desperate need for amusement, he 'stepped' rather non-to lightly on his nemesis' toes. Thus a wrestling match ensued from this act. Both were locked on the floor in make shift positions, trying to get on top to force the other down, which would have been a very comical sight, if there had been anybody to witness it. Actually, there was. Two people, actually. Looking down at the two furious teens, a figure looked at its PET screen.

"I guess it's time to show ourselves."

"Right."

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"GET YOUR HAND AWAY FROM MY AR-" A high cackle drew Protoman's attention away from his rival's flailing hand. Megaman stopped also and looked at his left. There, what seemed to be a simple three toned navi floated in the air, grinning cockily. The bottom part of it's body was white until the chest part which turned into navi blue. It's arms and hands were also white but only until it's elbows. It had electric yellow hair that stood up, spiked backwards and a yellow scarf which had a yellow star at the end with 1 red mark on each end point. Megaman knew this fellon all to well.

"STARMAN!" Clutching his fists in anger he stared back at the navi. This one was smart, thinking before he would act, unlike most of the other competition he usually faced. This navi didn't need a net op to tell him how to fight, a very tricky opponent, especially since the fact that he had almost completely infected the net with an antiviral vaccine that rewrote netnavi programming. "What are you doing here!"

"What am I doing here? You tell me." The navi scoffed. Starman glanced at Protoman for a second. Apparently this navi was the N1GrandPrix champion and didn't mind fighting dirty. He would have to watch this guy. Judging by the pissed off look on Megaman's face his taunt had worked. How much fun it was too taunt his adversaries! He had been warned though to not overdo it by his net op. This was supposed to be a trial battle. They needed to find out exactly what these two were capable of on the spur of the moment.

Just before Starman launched his StarArrow a loud beep sounded from the area around Megaman and Protoman. Megaman lifted his index finger towards Starman, indicating that he would have to wait a few minutes. Grumbling the sparkly navi crossed his arms over.

Gawking up at the screen that appeared above him Megaman addressed Lan. "Lan! Hey, Lan! You have an email from Maylu!"

Curious, Lan's mug appeared on the other end. "Really?" Wide eyed he watched his navi open the email. Maylu's face seemed to be a bit red, but before Lan could mistake it for being embarassed she started to shout at him.

"Lan! Where have you been! I've been waiting for you forever! Did you forget that you promised to come over!"

Gulping Lan cowered, oh great. Two days ago he had promised to visit Maylu on Sunday to show her better net battling techniques. How could he have forgotten? "Megaman can you open a new email? I need to respond back to Maylu." The boy sheepishly asked rubbing the side of his head.

Now his navi was wide eyed as well. "I'd say you'd need to respond to her too!" Opening a new email for his operator he motioned another '1 more minute' signal to the extraterrestrial net navi, who in response crossed his arms tighter and muttered some dark curse words.

"Hi Maylu, it's Lan. I'm sorry that I couldn't get over to your house; I'm stuck in the mall. It closed down with Chaud and I still inside." Lan had decided it was better not to mention that he had forgotten about this little rendezvous. "We can't get out. It seems somebody's trying to keep us in purposefully! We need some help!" He sent the email waiting for the reply. BEEEP! Opening the new email he saw Maylu again, this time she didn't look pissed, but just worried.

"I'm so sorry Lan! I didn't know! I'll get Mister Higsby and your dad to help you guys, I hope you can hold on for a minute, Roll's sending the messages now." Seconds later both teens received an email. Mr. Hikari had sent Chaud a Blower chip, and Higsby had sent Lan a PopUp chip with a clear warning that he wanted it back unharmed.

"Alright! Time to fight!" Lan pumped his fist in the air, he wanted some ACTION!

Blinking Starman came back to his senses. "Hu? What?... Oh! uh." Barely dodging a flame from a blower attack he angrily shouted at his aggressor. "HEY! I WASN'T READY!"

Smirking Protoman jaunted. "Well you definitely had enough time to prepare!"

With an angry grunt, Starman unleashed 3 StarArrows directly at Protoman, but as soon as they were a meter away from their target they changed direction at smashed into Megaman at full speed. Cursing under his breath Megaman hauled himself upwards, slicing with the program advance Beta Sword 1 at the silvery navi, who dodged the attack before it hit his legs. Retaliating he shot a volley of StarArrows at the blue navi, but to his surprise, he dodged every single one. Coming up from behind Protoman cut down with an even stronger program advance, Beta Sword 3, which landed a direct hit on his opponent. While the smoke still encased the field both shot off a double pronged GigaDeath program advance. Screaming in rage the sparkly navi disappeared leaving both his adversaries oblivious to his presence.

Protoman glanced around the area trying to figure out where he would come out of next. "YUKE METEOR!" Suddenly both navi's launched themselves backwards as millions of meteors crashed down around them.

"Shit he's good." Protoman landed next to Megaman with pure balance.

"NO! That's impossible! He took a program advance straight on, he should be deleted!" Lan hit his PET with his fist. He was starting to panic. Was there even a software that could enhance your navi like that? How was this possible! Could the professor win this time?

Refusing to let the latter happen, Lan slotted in 3 extra chips. Not on his watch. After witnessing Megaman launch off an Arrow program advance, Starman dodging most of them and still fighting though, Lan's optimism started to plunge. Soon the white clad navi shot off 7 StarArrow at Megaman, of which the blue navi dodged as well.

Starman was starting to get a bit unnerved. The net savior was just not giving up! His operator suddenly downloaded to him the chips for a GigaDeath program advance. Perfect! Arching backwards Starman let off the program advance.

Thinking quickly Lan used the PopUp chip that Higsby had lent him. Grinning from ear to ear Megaman taunted the sparkling navi.

"You aim is off!"

But the other replaced his scowl with his trademark cocky grin when he saw exactly 'what' he had hit. "Says you."

Looking back, Megaman saw Protoman sprawled out on the floor. Horrified his eyes widened. Not knowing what took over him, he rushed behind Starman, jumped up and slammed down with his fist knitted with all his force. Not expecting this reaction Starman fell rather dazed to the floor. Rolling over onto his back he fired a StarArrow straight up at the navi that was over him. The arrow buried itself in its target, forcing the other navi to hit the floor very hard.

Getting his second wind, Protoman raised his head just in time to see the attack. Something inside him lurched when he saw Megaman slam against the floor. He couldn't control his thoughts of death to the sparkly one. Racing towards the staggering navi he took out his sword. Someone was going to pay with blood.

Starman just barely turned when he saw the sword slash at the area he had just been. He silently thanked for the fact that he teleport. Reappearing above the red navi he prepared to make his final blast. 'Nobody makes a fool out of me' He thought bitterly. Megaman's chest was paining him unbearably, barely lifting his head he saw Starman preparing to obliterate Protoman. His heart started to race. He wondered why Protoman didn't see the threat from above until he realized that everything was going in slow motion, or so it seemed. He couldn't let his best friend get deleted, not his friend, not his...love? Pouncing forward, Megaman smacked Starman one of the hardest hits he had ever dealt to someone. Moaning the white and blue navi disappeared in a cluster of data blocks. It seems that he HAD been weakened.

Sighing from pure exhaustion he plopped himself next to the sitting Protoman.

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"YAHOOOO! WE DID IT! WE DID IT CHAUD!" The younger teen started to dance vividly up and down around the bench that they had been sitting on. Chaud, annoyed got up and started to walk away, but before he got very far the youngest member of the Hikari household bounced into him, knocking him to the floor.

Startled Lan looked down at the boy he had fallen 'so gracefully on'. Starring into his blue eyes he watched the pupils shrink. Chaud was an annoying bastard, but there was something more to him that everybody always ignored. What was it? What was that one aspect that everyone didn't bother to see? Gazing into the other's eyes, Lan started to feel his cheeks burn slightly. The older boy's stare was starting to make him feel embarrassed. There was just something about him that... made him feel light all over. Just want to hug hi- Before Lan could finish his train of thought he accidentally let his head fall down, kissing the white haired boy.

Needless to say, both were utterly shocked out of their minds. Cat calls rang from Lan's PET as Megaman viewed the scene in front of him. Sitting Indian style still on the ground, a grin spread across his face. "Haha! Go Lan!" Suddenly Protoman grabbed the blue clad navi and kissed him straight on the lips. Megaman froze into shock, until the red navi pulled him closer, he let himself fall into the kiss.

Chaud and Lan laughed the hardest they ever had in their life at the spectacle.

Somewhere above lying across the railings a girl looked down at the two net ops. She glanced from her PET to the figures below.

"Ugg.. Sickening isn't it?"

"Yes, I would have to agree Uzu."

The girl rolled herself off of the rails, yellow bangs tapping her forehead. The only reason her hair was deep purple and yellow was for the fact that she wouldn't be recognized with her chocolate golden brown hair and eyes. She had to keep her identity unknown. Even her name wasn't her actual name. They had all decided to be given code names so that their secret identities would not be known. It would be an awful day for all of them if they were ever found out. Especially for the daughter of Meijin. Better known as Mr. Famous. "Let's go. We have what we need."

The girl left the railing walking towards the exit. The doors to the mall opened as her ponytail swished from left to right as she strutted out into the light.

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Note from Uzu: DAMN! I WROTE A WHOLE NOTHER FIC! Heh, least it explains HOW Uzu could possibly get Starman after the professor got jailed! NYAH! SO THERE!

It's shorter ... amazingly... But when you read it, it seems to have more information than the first fic. o0.. go figure.. what do you think?

Note from Shade: Well, that was random, now that I read it over. The next one is my favorite one, though, most likely cause I wrote most of it. So everyone give a hand to Uzu for writing this by herself! -Cheers- Next fic, in February! See ya! Review please!