Firstly this is set in the anime verse. Therefore there is no Saito and so we are spared the danger of incest. Which means if I get any reviews maturely stating: ZOMG, U R SICK! THEY'RE BROTHERS!….I will merely regard you with pity and come to the realisation that not only can you not read, but you have only ever played the games which do have Saito's presence in them. Either that or you have selective reading that allows you to completely ignore the author's notes, which I have wasted a few minutes of my life typing to prevent you from displaying your own stupidity.
I have taken liberties with the idea of Rockman being able to remove his gloves, helmet etc…basically because what little plot there is would be lost and the idea of having blue armour as your real skin is a terrifying thought. I merely altered a possible fact of the series to make certain elements work.
Since shounen-ai has the danger of becoming stereotypical, I wanted to try something that felt a little more…natural. No sex or big smutty confessions with suicidal tendencies…
Instead you get fluff with a pointless plot. Depends on how you take it.
There was something strange, almost unheard of, of taking a night time swim. Or at least Netto thought so.
Which was why he was here, on the upper balcony of the leisure centre café watching with a vague sense of amusement as he observed a finely toned body cut through the water in the dark below. Only…it wasn't actually darkness. A slice of moonlight echoed through the large glass skylight high above their heads providing enough light for ample viewing pleasure.
The swimmer arched up suddenly, shaking his head as the water bounced off his back and rained down from his hair. A shaky gasp and he dived back under again, the moonlight staining his skin a milky-white.
Netto felt the breath catch in the back of his throat before shaking his head. He was not a stalker damnit!
This…was just not like Rockman.
It was a fairly new practise. Letting navis come into the real world at the whim of their operators. In fact, the final design flaws were still being tweaked out. And so it was that only those who held the ultimate trust of the highly-esteemed researchers were allowed to participate in a pilot scheme to erase the general public's concern over the matter.
He had heard that Blues and Searchman were enjoying their new-found freedom with the usual quiet dignity they processed. And he was sure it wouldn't be long before Roll had wormed her way into the affections of the security navi in charge of the program significantly enough before she had a taste of the same kind of liberty.
But Rockman…well, that was a whole new puzzle. He had seemed appreciative enough, happily tagging along to Netto's usual haunts with his customary shyness. But breaking into a leisure centre at two o'clock in the morning for a calm swim did not constitute with any part of Rockman's personality that Netto knew of.
The brunette sighed, making his way over to the café bar, briefly letting his eyes scan over the colourful menu pinned up above the counter. It was the usual fare, cold drinks, snacky foods and Netto half-debated over whether to use the stained machinery twinkling in the background to make himself something. Toying with the idea, he eventually let it slip away on the grounds that they were probably in enough trouble as it was for being in a sports centre six hours before it was due to open it's doors. Plus the slight problem that the hum of the appliances would also alert Rockman to the fact he was here…and he hadn't thought up of enough teasing jibes to torture his navi with yet.
Grinning, Netto sauntered over to the balcony railings yet again, feeling the cold clash of steel rise up against his skin as he leant over the edge. He good naturally watched Rockman's progress as he skimmed through the waves, feeling a bit sour at the knowledge that he himself would never possess the muscular power needed to ride through the water in a similar fashion. As he watched the slip of white flesh flash by beneath him, it once again dawned on his young mind that this was the first time he had ever seen his navi naked. Flushing he stepped back suddenly before telling himself firmly that the water distorted all details of what was beneath it and it was merely Rockman's head and arms that were arching above the surface. Relieved at this thought, Netto pushed away the nagging doubts circulating around his head and thrust up against the railings again, a frown creeping over his features.
Where was Rockman's suit?
It seemed improbable that it had vanished into thin air. Netto had seen him leave the house with it on…indeed had he gone out without a trace of it, Netto would have had real cause for concern. As it was, he had maintained a steady distance away from his friend as he tailed him, pausing for a few minutes after Rockman forced the side door to the centre open and made his way up to the cafe that oversaw all the facilities.
His brown eyes swept the sides of the pool in confusion before lighting up as they spotted a familiar blue boot sticking out under a shrivelled hump of something navy. They could even make out the rounded contours of something helmet-shaped resting in the far shadows.
It was then, at that precise moment in time, that Netto had an idea. This was marked by the way a wicked grin steadily spread over his face. Glancing down at Rockman, he noted that the navi was still too preoccupied with his routine of counting lengths to even spare a glance at his outfit. Confident that he wouldn't be seen, the boy slipped down the stairs, rushing over to the main door to the pool area and easing it back gently. He then crept over to the offending items.
It wasn't much to look at. It seemed more impressive when Rockman was clad head to toe in it. Netto spread out the bundle, touching the Hikari emblem gingerly as he did so. He was well aware of what it felt like to be clad in a skin-tight battle suit in cross-fusion. But this was Rockman's original suit, without any fancy gimmicks or lines and with an un-ridged helmet. Netto allowed himself a wide grin. He had always wondered what the real deal felt like.
But how to put it on?
Netto furrowed his brow. The suit did not allow for a lot of space apart from muscle and so slipping it on over his usual clothing would be impossible. Shrugging after a few moments and pretending that he really couldn't care less, Netto tugged off his outer layers and shoes and struggled to pull the suit over himself as quickly as possible. It rode over his knees and thighs, coming to a stop as it refused to make space for his boxers.
Netto growled, inwardly questioning how badly he really wanted to do this. The next instant after envisioning the shocked look on his navi's face, he practically tore off the suit and boxers in a heated attempt to try again. This time he worked himself wholly inside the garment, grinning at the way it seemed to become a part of his skin. Breathing deeply, he reached for the boots and gloves, tugging them on with inexperienced hands before crawling over to the helmet. Over a few moments of fumbling and whispered cursing, he rightened the helmet and carefully tugged off his prized bandanna as he slid the headgear over his hair instead.
Netto smiled proudly as he inspected his work, checking over his limbs and torso for any creases or stretch marks, opting to ignore the itching under the helmet where his messy hair had ridden up under the new-found imprisonment.
He never noticed the way the air had become deadly silent. Not even a splash resounded.
Rockman hovered nearby, legs giving the lightest of kicks to stay afloat as his wide eyes observed the sight of his operator dressed up as himself. Ducking down and submerging the lower part of his face in the water, he grumbled to himself, berating his own carelessness at being followed by his partner like this. Closing his eyes briefly, he inwardly sighed letting the small ripple of currents tug at the end of his blue spikes of hair in an effort to calm himself. Going up against Netto hotly was never the best approach.
Emerald eyes flashed open as he carefully drew himself alongside the edge of the pool and pulled himself up by his elbows, shoving down the giddy rush he received at seeing his operator in his skin-tight clothing.
The boy looked up, his mouth forming an 'o' of astonishment before he puffed his chest out and smiled snidely.
"Hello Rockman. Nice night for a swim?"
Rockman sighed, already sensing the direction this conversation was going.
"Netto…kun. Give me back my suit."
Netto wrinkled up his forehead, glancing up in mock thought before grinning widely and shaking his head cheerfully.
"Tell you what, let's talk about why you came out here first? Body-building? For Roll?"
Netto clapped his palms down on his knees forcefully, as his teasing tone took on a serious edge.
Rockman's eyes narrowed.
"Alright, we'll talk this through…but now is hardly the time or place! Just give me back my things and we can sort this out reasonably."
"Give me back my things", Netto mimicked in a high-pitched voice, absently pulling on a glove as he did so.
Finally having enough, Rockman heaved himself up from the water, the droplets cascading down his pale sides as he did so only to be halted by a squeal. He glanced up inquisitively to see Netto covering up his eyes and turning an interesting shade of red.
"Rooooocckmaaan! You're naked!" he protested, waving one of his hands in a halting motion.
Rockman glanced down, flushing at the truth of the statement before his head snapped up and his eyes took on an uncharacteristic glint.
"Yes…and you've been watching my 'nakedness' for quite some time before I even noticed you I suppose!"
Netto's eyes widened from behind their protective wall of fingers.
"N-no! It's not like that at all!"
Rockman observed him thoughtfully for a few seconds before suddenly reaching out and seizing part of Netto's tangled heap of clothing strewn on the floor beside him. Before his partner had time to react he had already slipped beneath the surface. He didn't require oxygen to survive after all.
"What! Rockman! Come back! You'll get my clothes all wet!"
The navi ignored Netto's outraged yelling as he pulled on his white shirt and shorts underwater, then rippling over to the side and pulling himself out. Sighing, he proceeded to squeeze water out of his hair.
Netto watched memorised, his shouts firmly squashed out of his mind. He had never seen Rockman's hair in such detail before or so close. Hell, he had never even seen the Navi's bare legs until now. He decided that he liked his partner's hair. It looked much more efficient and manageable than his own, appearing smoother at the top and more rugged and wild at the ends.
He cocked his head to the side suddenly smirking.
"Huh, you needn't have bothered putting on a top, Rockman."
The navi looked up puzzled.
Netto's smirk deepened.
"It's white", he announced as if this explained everything.
Rockman's eyes trailed downwards to see that, as is the fate of all white shirts when becoming drenched with liquid, it had become completely see-through.
Tonight was definitely going to haunt Rockman for a while.
"Not that this hasn't been fun and all…but we should be getting back home. I can't wait to tell everyone of your little night time hobby."
The boy stretched as he stumbled to his feet, almost tripping over the uneven floor tiles.
Rockman frowned as many unanswered questions filtered through his mind, answers he suspected that would take the two of them to solve. They had been in existence long before tonight and he was slowly beginning to accept that Netto had a few of his own as well. And these questions were forever pestering him, like a plague upon his mind, one of the reasons he had decided to try swimming as a form of therapy in order to ease this ailment out of his system. But now that he could see that Netto had exactly the same problem as him…
Rockman was tired of waiting.
Netto faltered mid-yawn as Rockman's eyes met his meaningfully and he shivered a little.
"What? What's that look for? Sheesh, you scare me some-ARGH!"
Netto let out a screech as Rockman dived forward and pushed them both off balance, twisting himself round to take the brunt of the fall.
Netto landed with an 'oomph' against a lithe form the same size as his own before he felt Rockman's chest slide out from underneath him and flip itself over his own, firm inhuman hands grasping his wrists and pinning them down to his limber sides. He stared up to see Rockman's cheeks stained the same shade of pink as his own.
Silence for a few vital beats.
Netto strained upwards, wrists thumping against Rockman's firm hold. The navi didn't even budge simply staring down as his operator.
"Let me go."
Rockman shook his head.
Netto bit his lip wondering if his friend had been infected with a virus without his knowledge. Was this one of the design flaws those researchers had been mumbling about? It was at times like this that Netto wished navis hadn't been given the amount of superhuman strength they had.
"We need to talk."
Netto was shocked out of his thoughts by the serious manner his navi had employed.
"Uh…sure? But did you have to pin me down for that?"
Rockman smiled sadly.
"You would have tried to run away if I hadn't."
"No I won't! Don't be stupid! As if I would run away from you!"
Netto was feeling quite uncomfortable. He hated being restrained in any form or manner and there was something quite terrifying about being held down by someone a lot stronger than yourself without your consent, no matter how much you trust them.
"All right…we're going to talk about…well, Netto do you remember how Meiru-chan commented on how you've been distancing yourself lately?"
"She said you're spending more time with me than anyone else. She was quite hurt…but then so was Roll. She's been noticing…stuff too. And…you and me…I'm not saying recently but over the years…I don't know how to say this Netto-kun…"
Netto froze, eyes widening at he absorbed all of Rockman's stumbling talk. He knew exactly what was happening. But he was not entirely sure that he was ready to hear it…or if he even wanted to hear. Because then everything would change.
With a snarl he arched upwards, attempting to shake Rockman off, struggling furiously. Caught by surprise, Rockman ground his teeth together, pushing down and trapping Netto against the ground with a combination of his own weight and strength. He stayed still against Netto's flailing, thanking whatever deity out there that he had pinned Netto's arms back when he did. Although weaker than himself, Netto was fiercer than a wildcat when angry.
Eventually Netto ceased in his struggles, looking up his friend with the fire fading out of eyes. He knew that he couldn't move Rockman but had been counting on the fact that the navi would rather delete himself than hurt him. Unfortunately he had not foreseen that the navi had found a way to literally ground him without doing so.
"I'm sorry Netto-kun. But I'm tired of running away. Maybe it's easier for me. I've never had parents and there isn't hundreds of years forming human society's social expectations weighing down on me. But…just let me…"
Rockman paused, listening to the gentle lapping of the water against the pool edges as he nervously ran his tongue alongside his teeth.
"I like you."
The blue-haired boy glanced down at his partner with a mixture of surprise and concern at the subdued tone.
"I do like you…more than I probably should. But what would Papa think? Enzan would probably be alright with it…but Mama's set her heart on me getting married to some nice girl one day and Meiru-chan….well you know what she's like. She might be awkward around stuff like that but she's still my oldest friend and I do care about what she thinks. I just don't want to lose anyone."
"You're not happy", Rockman said calmly, his eyes never leaving Netto's face.
Netto smiled weakly.
"Maybe...but it's better than making everyone else upset."
Rockman stared up at the ceiling, letting the light from the skylight pool down around the circumference of his face.
"You're not happy, I'm not happy…there's something not right about this…" he drawled.
"I should never have followed you here."
A sharp glance from his navi cut back his words and made him regret uttering them.
"And what good would that have done us? It would have all come out sooner or later. But I think we both know what we feel."
Smiling a little sadly, he lowered his head, letting it come to a rest above Netto's familiar heartbeat. It drummed in his ear, shaking and pounding with the rush of life that kept his Netto-kun breathing.
Netto stiffened before relaxing gingerly.
"I don't know what to do. I knew what I felt…but now that you've told me this…I can't just ignore what you feel. That's cruel."
Rockman's smile didn't falter.
"I'll do whatever you want me to do, you know that Netto-kun."
Netto paused, feeling an urge to smother the navi with his characteristic affection.
"I want…I want us to try it. We can make it work, it's just other people that might try to stop us. And then what?"
"We'll think of something. We just have to take it slowly."
Netto grinned at Rockman's decisive statement feeling a lot more confident.
"Yeah…slow sounds good…"
There was another moment of silence before Rockman raised his head almost sleepily.
"You know…I still need my suit back…"
Rockman would never do this. Ever. But I made him do it anyway for I love the couple so…but be very scared. I've done a Dark Rockman/Netto one that will be published at some point in the near future…and it is completely the opposite of this one with even more of a plot.
I warnd you there would be no ploy. It's just a scene of something that could happen as to opposed to Netto being sucked into a vortex of DOOM(TM) that would involve Rockman in having to engage in a messy battle with blood and gore…