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Megaman Legends: Love Heist

Legends Arc Four: Wild Heart

By Traingham

Author's Note: [[...]] -Intervening Memories-


Episode Eighteen: Kiss Me Deeply


[[ Second Commander Trigger and Mistress Yuna sit side by side atop the roof of the Hunter's Headquarters. The reploid district stretches out below before their eyes until they can see no more over the horizon, with the exception of the top of a large tower-like structure, the EDEN main building, where the members that governed all of Elysium resided.

Yuna looks to Trigger amidst the silence that is shared between them, and breaks it. "Trigger?" She calls his attention softly, getting him to turn his head toward her questioningly.

"Yes?" He asks her, a bang of his unruly hair just getting in the way of his left eye from the movement.

"What brings you peace?"

"Peace, huh?" Trigger echoes her last word, a curious expression gracing his handsome features for a moment before he answers her. "I'd say whenever I'm able to spend time with my friends; Nero, Iris, Striker, Alia, and you, of course." He emphasizes the word 'you' when he says it and it brings a warm smile to the gentle mother unit's lips, one that he admits, comes so naturally to her charming face. Of course, he'd never say that to her face out loud. He'd come to an understanding long ago that complimenting her was never a good idea. She could get very mischievous and affectionate whenever he did that, a grand mixture of trouble if someone caught them. It was something that mistress Sera had been developing a disturbing knack for whenever Yuna had one of her more aggressive days.

Yuna giggles a moment before turning her attention back to the horizon with a dreamy look. "You know...of all the people I know on the colony, I only have two close friends: Sera and you, but I only feel most at peace whenever I'm around you, Trigger." She looks back to him, her face noticeably burning with embarrassment. "So, it made me wonder..."

Trigger's eyes study her intensely. He always did that whenever they had their heart-to-heart conversations, and it made her timid to have him stare at her like that; perhaps more. "Wonder what?"

Yuna swallows nervously, finding it hard to keep eyes locked with him as she answers. "That maybe...j-just maybe..." Her face turns red as a tomato, and her lips begin to quiver.

"Yuna," The second commander places a hand on her shoulder, and she squeaks at the contact, "There's nothing you could tell me that I'd laugh at." He tells her with the outmost sincerity in his eyes, but he still feels her trembling at his touch.

"I d-don't understand why this is so..." Yuna pauses to place a hand over her eyes, and opens her mouth to speak but no words leave her in spite of the effort she puts in trying to form them. Trigger opens his mouth to voice his concern, but the door to the roof opens, drawing his attention away from the flustered mother unit and to his most trusted partner, Alia, who just stares at the two of them from the door like she has just spotted the wrong doings of a maverick. It almost makes the commander nervous when she stares at him so.

"Alia." Trigger says her name casually, unaware of the situation that he's in or what bizarre conclusions his second in command might have come to. "Is there something you need from me?"

Alia's eyes are wide, her face flushing crimson as her lips tremble to speak. "W-W-Well, C-Commander..."]]

...

Trigger shook himself free of the memory that temporarily clouded his thoughts, ignored the feelings of warmth that came of it with an iron resolve. It wasn't the first scene from his life that took hold of his static frizzed mind as he did battle with the nearly indomitable form that mistress Sera took on. Many others came and went, and more would follow, he prepared himself for that, but he was running low on time, and he was at a severe disadvantage, even with his trump card in effect. He was fighting in Sera's domain and here she was practically a god. Here she moved faster than he did, hit much harder than he ever could, and could force her influence on his body on mere whim. He could feel his bodily movements slowing down with every punch he threw, and every kick he whipped at her. At this rate, she would overcome him before he even reached the point of completely burning out, which was, of course, what she intended to do.

With desperation firmly rooted in his mind, Trigger did not hold back an ounce of his gradually deteriorating strength as he traded fierce blows with Sera on the hillside overlooking the city of beginnings, and while he was convinced that the mother unit clearly held the upper hand by a large margin, his adversary's thoughts were not as confident and collected as he imagined them to be. Sera was scared, she was angry, but most of all she was vexed beyond all common levels of vexation. Her emotions were controlling her down here, and they were threatening to overwhelm the cool, composed rationality that she founded her life in. She felt her brows knit with consternation, her lips twisted in frightening scowl that refused to settle into a thin line. These strange sensations and feelings were so foreign to her and she wanted them to disappear. She had no time to meddle with them, she did not have the luxury to taste and savor the spices of unfamiliarity, she could not give into the seduction of that inner reflection. Trigger was going to leave her, he was going to vanish again, and it was all due to her carelessness, her neglect of the emotions that were rebellious prisoners within her. Making matters even more desperate was the manner in which he intended to make his escape from her. He was killing himself, and that only left her with two dire choices: break him before he broke her, or release him before he destroyed himself. Unsurprisingly, Trigger was not making her options easy and she would do everything in her capable hands to prevent him from forcing her hand in choosing the latter choice.

Sera leaned away from a flaming fist that was thrown at her and leaned into the second commander with a kick that should have sent him flying across the field of green, but to her concealed amazement his feet never left the ground, dragging along the grassy terrain and shredding the simulated earth like a plow. Trigger leaned forward to stop himself short and bent at the knees quickly before launching himself at the mistress like a bullet, throwing out his right hand as he came within reach and gripping Sera by the helmet when his open palm slammed into her forehead. Sera could do nothing to stop it as her feet were stolen from the ground by the savage lunge.

"Eeeeyah!" Trigger roared, raising the hand gripping Sera by the head up high, and slamming it into the ground as he touched down perhaps a few yards from the spot she had just been standing prior from being snatched up. The ground exploded under the full force of the slam, sending chunks of hardened earth flying around them that disintegrated into fragmented data as they fell to the ground, but the commander did not let her go. He lifted the mother unit from the human sized crater, still gripping her by the helmet and tossed her up in the air like a rag doll while she was still recovering from the shock of the attack. He whipped around as she came back down and jumped in the air, connecting with the side of her body through a vicious mid-air roundhouse that sent her flying from the force of the impact. Trigger bent at the knees as soon as his feet touched the ground again and kicked off to come after her like a flaming, blue arrow, but Sera had taken enough abuse from her beloved nemesis. Her body came to an abrupt halt in the air with a flap of her shining wings, and she extended out a clawed hand to Trigger as he quickly closed the distance the separated them.

CLAZZT!

What the purifier felt, stopping inches away from Sera as she floated before him, was the equivalent of crashing into an invisible wall, which was exactly what happened. Trigger's eyes squeezed shut reflexively from the excruciating pain that hit him as his physical form flickered like a damaged, fluorescent light. The blue flames that burned around him resonated in like, extinguishing and rekindling furiously in short spurts. "Urgh..." The vibrations from the impact rattled throughout his entire body like a tuning fork, robbing him of his senses just long enough for the armored Sera to reach out and take him into a choke hold with the hand that stopped him. The sound of her sharp claws clicking against each other behind his neck got a strained twitch from his left eye as he groaned. At that moment he was struck again, but not by her fist, at least not yet.

[[ MED smiles at Trigger, stunning him, as it's his first time ever seeing her do so. The medical reploid was pretty, that he confirmed long ago from his first appointment with her, but now she seems beautiful, facing him with that expression on her face. "You must be the only one who hasn't noticed it yet, you clueless kid." She tells him with a warmth in her voice that seems uncharacteristic of her. In all of their appointments together she'd always kept things between them professional. She never allowed her personal feelings to unveil in his presence before, but for reasons privy only to her, this was not so today. "But that's usually the case with you types."

Trigger knits his brow with curiosity. "I haven't noticed what?" He asks, unconscious of how his body leans off his seat as if he's drawn to her. "Is it important?"

"No, it's probably not. Well, not yet, anyway." MED tells him with a shake of her head. "But someday you're going to have to come to facts with it, and that day will surely be hard."

"You're going to have to be clearer about this, MED." Trigger tells her before he chuckles softly. "I'm not very good at picking up subtle messages. They're always lost on me, unfortunately."

"Don't I know it." MED mumbles with a dark look.

Trigger perks up, "What was that, MED?" His question elicits a sigh from her lovely lips.

MED extends a hand out to him gently, though the expression on her face remains somewhat dark, almost as if she is thinking back on something unpleasant. "C'mere, Trigger." She wiggles her fingers to beckon him forward. The second commander does so and she caresses the side of his face, stroking her thumb against the side of his mouth delicately. She is surprised when he rests his cheek against her palm like a cat, staring at her with innocent eyes that threaten to melt away her coolness of her professional image. "I'll give it to you straight so you don't spend the rest of the week mulling over it like some tragic philosopher. I'd hate for you to stay distracted on the job because of me."

"Works for me." Trigger responds crisply.

"You're irreplaceable, Trigger. The higher ups in the EDEN council can find ways to replace me, to replace Alia, to replace all of the other reploids on this colony, in fact, but they will never find anything capable of taking your place."

"W...Wait." Trigger's features show the disturbance that wells in his mind after he hears MED's words. "What does that mean?"

"You're one of a kind, is what I mean." MED answers him with a strange tenderness in her voice. "And slowly, but surely, all of Elysium is beginning to realize that. You probably don't realize it, but you're a hot subject all around the colony, Trigger. Your fellow commanders admire you despite their complaints about your refusal to retire abhorrent units, the other hunters look up to you, council members Veronica and Rebecca actually look forward to your visits at the main building, professor Ciel requests personal reports about you at the end of every week, The Master meets with you whenever he is free from his EDEN duties, mistress Yuna considers you her closest friend, and even mistress Sera has shown a personal interest in you." MED scoffs. "I'm actually a little protective of you, maybe even a little jealous that everyone is so desperate to get a piece of you."

The mention of mistress Sera gets a noticeably negative shift in Trigger's demeanor, and MED spots it easily. "But what interests Sera so much?"

MED leans in close and whispers softly, "Which brings me to the main reason why I'm telling you all of this." The warmth in her voice vanishes as she continues. "You need to be wary of mistress Sera, Trigger. I don't know what you've done to get her attention, but it doesn't appear to be healthy, whatever her interests are. Please...be mindful. If there's anyone on this colony that can be considered dangerous, mistress Sera is that person."]]

"Don't burn out on me, Trigger!" A desperate cry brought the commander back to focus from his momentary lapse and he found himself hanging in the air by a choke grip. His eyes looked to the arm connected to the hand wrapped around his throat and slowly fell upon Sera herself, a stunning sight to behold in her gold, phoenix armor. "This world, this life is your own! Why throw it away for that defective back up?"

"Sera." Trigger spoke her name softly, getting a startled hiccup out of her. "The only reason I'm even here before you is because of a mistake."

"A mistake?" Sera shook her head. "This is no mistake! Your being here is not a mistake. Why do you persist in believing such a thing?"

"But it is, Sera." Trigger retorted. "My time was up after you killed me on our fight so long ago. Don't you remember?"

"I...I killed you." Sera's eyes went blank from that startling information. "I d-did that?"

"Sera." The former commander smiled at her ruefully. "Why do you think I ended up losing myself? I died. My regenerating capabilities started up after I let go of my dying breath, so in a way I was forcibly brought back to life. I was turned into a walking corpse by the very system meant to preserve my life, and so I was born anew. Megaman is the rightful owner of my body, not me. He has people to live for, he has a right to this life."

Sera's lips twitched as if she really wanted to speak, but all that left them was, "It-It can't be true..."

"Now," the reploid's body took on a blue glow and seconds later he was ablaze again in a vicious inferno, forcing Sera to snatch her hand away from his throat to protect herself, "Let me go!" He came at her with punch directed at her face but her hands were at his arm the very moment his fist was about to make contact and his world was flipped upside down as Sera swung his body over her left shoulder and slammed him to the ground. Her eyes burned red and Trigger felt a strange sensation from the ground beneath him. It felt as though the earth was melting away into a puddle, and when he looked over his shoulder to investigate the cause of the odd sensation he realized that was exactly what was happening. The ground was sucking him in.

"Stop resisting!" Sera snarled at him, holding him down with both hands. "I do not want to risk hurting you anymore than you are hurting yourself!" The moment she finished talking Trigger forced his right hand out of her grip and buried his fist into her stomach, stunning her long enough for him to kick her off of him and free himself of the void that was absorbing him. With that taken care of he glanced over at her as she doubled up on the ground, her image flickering and distorting from the damage, and took off running to the edge of the cliffside to get closer to the prison in the sky. Sera's claws scraped at the ground angrily at the sight of him getting away and she forced her body to stabilize prematurely, getting back to her feet and making chase.

"Megaman!" Trigger cried out to the prison, watching the blue light from within crack at the walls like a restless beast pounding from the inside. "Hungh!" The commander jumped down from the cliff and landed in the city below. The streets were deserted, not that he expected to see any of the inhabitants from the original city. The entire city was nothing more than a perverse illusion after all, but it left chills running though him nevertheless. He had no time to let it get the best of him, though. Trigger looked up when he heard something slicing through the wind and rolled out the way just in time to avoid being crushed beneath Sera's taloned feet. The mother unit landed in a crouched stance with her wings folded around her to prevent any preemptive strikes on his part, looking for all the world like some mythical creature of legend before she stood up, straightened out, and spread out her wings with a deafening flap that sent Trigger flying backwards into one of the building from the force.

"Trigger!" Sera launched herself at him without a moment's hesitation, splitting the street beneath her feet with each thunderous step. Trigger leapt up before she could bury her clawed hand into the concrete illusion behind the space his head had been occupying and kicked off of her left wing to wallkick from the side of a small shop on the opposite side of the street from the partly destroyed residential building, but he was stopped short by a tug at his right ankle. Sera caught him by the leg with one hand before he could slip away from her reach and swung him back down into the floor savagely with a roar that echoed through the empty streets like a shrieking valkyrie in the night. She attempted to pin his chest down with her other hand as his body rocked from the impact, but he parried her descending hand with a swipe of his right foot, rolled over onto his stomach and sprung up with a push of both hands to deliver a kick to her face. Sera stumbled backwards, holding her face as the commander landed on his feet and he whipped around, dipping low to knock the legs out from under her with an elegant sweep.

"Hm?" Trigger spun around when he heard a loud crash and turned his attention to the floating prison above. The bottom portion had fallen to the city below, destroying one of the buildings positioned beneath it. As a result the blue light was able to pour out from the crevasse like a searchlight from the heavens. Megaman was calling him, and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to answer him. "Almost there." He said to himself before running to the shop with a jump and kicking off the side to send himself up to the ledge of the adjacent building. He looked to the tallest structure, a tower at the center of the city, and took off in its direction, kicking from ledge to ledge without looking back to check if Sera had gotten back up. He kicked off another ledge and readied himself to roll upon touching down on the roof of the next building when-

[[ "Commander!" Alia cries out to him, reaching out for him. "Watch out!" ]]

"Dammit!" Trigger cried out, the vision momentarily stolen from him, and *SHBAM* he crashed onto the roof sloppily with an unsteady skid from the impact. His body skipped across the length of the roof, rolling without any signs of stopping until he reached the edge, falling to the street below with a thud. Then, as if the sound seemingly alerted Sera of his location, she appeared in his line of vision and descended upon him again. He reflexively aimed his right hand at her and it responded naturally, turning into his trusty buster cannon. "Huh?" He gasped at the unexpected transformation, but he steeled himself and began firing. The plasma shots pelted against her in a torrent, sending her nose dive off course, into the side of the building that he fell from. The structure groaned as if it had been mortally wounded. He was going to have to get away quickly or the whole thing might come down on him while he laid there savoring the relief.

Trigger sighed and kissed the side of the cannon like a dear friend. "Missed you." He breathed out before getting back to his feet, however, his recovery was short lived as the wall beside him was smashed open without a warning to anyone.

"RAAAGH!" A taloned hand reached out through the hole and gripped his face, holding him in place as Sera tore down the remains of the wall with the rest of her body. "I tire of this, Trigger!"

"Not to worry!" The commander directed his buster cannon to her face smoothly. "It'll be over soon!"

Sera's vision was engulfed in a white light as the first shot was discharged, but her grip remained firm around his head much to his annoyance, so he shot again and again until he felt her claws tremble from the strain of trying to keep hold of him. Just when it seemed like she was about to let up from the barrage of shots, Trigger got an unexpected retaliation in the form of-

"Enough!" With that scream Sera's body exploded in a blinding, gold light and he felt her talons retract from him; shrinking away, he noted to himself.

"Wha-" Trigger blinked, unsure of what she had done until a disorienting fist struck him across the face. "Guh!" He stumbled back, put off balance by the swift attack and tried to focus his eyes, but-

Wham!

Another fist struck him across the face, wiping out his vision a second time. He detected quick footfalls approaching from his left side and attempted to defend himself blindly, throwing his arms up in a defensive position.

Whack!

A kick whipped him across the jaw from his right, knocking him down to his knees as he desperately rubbed at his eyes with one hand in a vain attempt to get his vision to return, all the while trying to keep from falling on his side by supporting himself with the other. His opponent was relentless, snatching him up by the neck with one hand to force him to stand back up on his two feet before continuing the brutal assault. He could feel anger with every sound strike of her fist.

Shpab! Shpow!

Two punches knocked him back, followed by a nearly endless pounding of uppercuts to his stomach. Trigger swore that he heard the beating of her heart in his ears before Sera was done with him, finishing him off with a kick to the stomach that sent him skidding across the street on his back until his head hit the curb of a sidewalk.

"...Ungh." Trigger groaned. He was getting too weak. At this rate she would either take him, or he would lose grips with himself and be absorbed into raw data, and yet... "Ha...haha..." He couldn't help, but laugh at his situation. He could hear Sera approaching him, but he couldn't care for it. He made no attempt to defend himself against the inevitable strikes that would come raining down on him like shotgun shells. He simply laid there, and bided his strength. This would be his last run. Victory or self destruction.

[["Ah…I see." The Master sounds disappointed in him. "Sera has planted the seeds of doubt within you." ]]

"M-Master?" Trigger groaned the name of his oldest friend.

[[ "Remember, the Master says illogical things at times. If he does, ignore him." Sera lectures Trigger, staring down at him contemptuously. ]]

Trigger smiled to himself weakly. "O-oh...just a memory."

[[ "Trigger…don't do anything rash." Yuna tells him, taking cautious steps toward him. "You're smarter than this." ]]

"Trigger." The former commander feels himself get lifted up to his knees as Sera's voice cuts through to him. "Are you listening to me?" Her voice is surprisingly soft.

He didn't open his eyes, but he nodded to her with a smile still gracing his handsome face and it mystified her. "I'll try."

"Will you continue this fruitless endeavor?" Sera asked. "Judging by the sight of you, I can safely assume that you're reaching the limits of your strength."

"Sera?"

The silence hangs between them for a while before the mother unit responds with a simple, "Yes?"

"Why do you hate me?" His question hits her harder than any kick or punch he can deliver, and he punctuates it with a tear that swells in his left eye. One that slips down the side of his face far too quickly far her to follow, and for some reason she feels her own shoulders begin to tremble. "I've got to say...I've put up with it practically all my life, but only now am I really curious to know." His smile never leaves him. "I guess it never really hurt me so much as it does now."

[[ "Do you have friends, Sera?" The second commander asks Sera, not wanting to appear too curious about her personal life.

"Friends?" Sera blinks before she answers him. "...I don't believe I do." ]]

Sera swallowed, averting her eyes from his face despite him not opening his eyes to stare at her. "Hate you...?"

[[ "You can never belong, Trigger." The cold mother unit stands from her seat, looking down on him with a frightening air of superiority. "Not in the age that I represent." ]]

"I don't..." Sera paused, for the first time, feeling a lump in her throat. "...not anymore."

"Sera." Trigger says her name again, making her flinch for reasons unknown even to herself. "I don't want to do this anymore. These fights between us...they need to end."

"I don't..." Sera feels the lump in her throat again. "...but...T-Trigger..."

"My friends..."

[[ "I'll never forgive you for leaving a flower like Alia behind, but...we're still partners." Nero smiles at him. ]]

"Nero..."

[[ "This pain inside you, Trigger..." Iris smiles up at him as she grips his hand. "Share it with us. You can't let it hurt all alone." ]]

"...Iris..."

[[ "I worry for your safety, Trigger." Striker tells him grimly. "Your compassion, it may bring down sorrow upon your friends one day, and I include myself in that unfortunate group." ]]

"...Striker..."

[[ "GET GOING WILL YA?" Alia screams at him, tears stinging her eyes. ]]

"A...Alia...It's time that I came to see you guys."

"Trigger!" Sera snapped at him. "You dare say farewell when you still have a person who considers you a dear friend?"

Trigger grunted uncertainly.

"I understand," Sera's voice began to crack. "I understand that you and I have never been what can be labeled as friends, a-and I understand...I...I understand that I have no right to be your friend, but..." Sera paused again as she studied the commander's face. "But Yuna...is she not a reason to linger in this world? Do you realize how important you are to her...that she would shed bitter tears if you were to leave her? Do you bother to consider her feelings at all?" Sera rattled him as she berated him fiercely. "Even in the past she spoke so fondly of you, returning every afternoon from her walks with tales of Trigger, her most beloved friend! Am I to believe that you didn't feel the same way toward her?"

"...Yuna...I'd almost forgotten about her." Trigger's smile settled into a grim, pressed line.

[["And there are people who fear me?" Trigger asks, his emotions hidden beneath the chilling coolness in his voice.

"But, Trigger, I don't fear you." Yuna speaks up immediately, approaching him without a shred of doubt present in her. "In fact, I feel far more comfortable whenever you're near me then when you're away." ]]

"Then stop this, Trigger." Sera pleaded to him. "If not for me...then for her. I beg of you..."

[[ "M-Me, too." Veronica adds, a small smile on her face, though she does not approach him. "I guess that's just one of the characteristics about you, Trigger. You make others feel secure." ]]

"Oh, Ciel..." Trigger mumbled as he brought a hand to his forehead.

[[ The second commander is caught off guard when Rebecca wraps her arms around the back of his neck and practically buries his face into her rather generous bosom. "It's very difficult not to adore you, Trigger. Of all the people I know, none of them can fill me with such warmth, not like you can." She holds him away much to his relief. "Veronica, for once, has said it best. That's just something that comes naturally for you." ]]

Trigger's fingers trembled as he tried to keep a grip of his forehead, "These memories...make them stop."

[["What she means to say is," Negative Sera interjects, taking her place beside Positive Sera, "It saddens us to know that we may never cross paths again, so it hurts to say goodbye." ]]

"Please." The purifier groaned in pain.

"Are you suffering, Trigger?" Sera inquired in a gentle voice, holding his head to her chest. "...I wish I could be the person you could depend on to take away the pain, but I suppose all I truly know is how to inflict." The mother unit looked up into the starlit sky and stared at the crumbling prison with an unreadable expression, clutching Trigger tightly against her as if to protect him from the blue light. "Once again I find myself cursing my own existence because of you, Trigger. So much power...I'm gifted with so much power, intelligence, all that I need to be capable of doing what it is that others desire of me, and yet these hands cannot grant me the things that I desire most."

"...And what is it that you desire most, Sera?" Trigger's muffled voice reached her ears, and she held him away to see that he finally opened his eyes. Since the blue flames of his soul had long extinguished themselves she could now see the color of his eyes, and they were no longer green and vibrant as they had always been when she looked into them. Right now they were giving her flashbacks of her confinement on Elysium with Yuna and Megaman. His eyes were dull gray, similar to Megaman's before he expired from the internal exhaustion of sacrificing himself.

"You." Sera answered him honestly, the barest of smiles tracing her lips.

[[ "Why?" Rational Sera asks Trigger, a smirk gracing her lips. "Because you're afraid that you might lose your resolve? It's understandable, Trigger. After all, how could you be sure that they're not alive out there, experiencing the same thing that you are right now? Asking themselves if going on in this world is really worth the effort if it means being left alone."

Trigger stares at the emotional node long and hard before he responds, "...I have no right...to ponder that." ]]

"What am I fighting for?" Trigger muttered so low that Sera thought he merely expelled a breath. His mind was slipping away, and his body was getting numb. "I've forgotten it all. What is it...that I'm trying to..." The former commander of the second unit was just about ready to resign himself to Sera and close his eyes, but something at the back of his mind tugged lightly. It was faint, however, it wouldn't allow him to slip away so easily.

[[ "MegaMan, I don't know what your life was like before we met, but...Do what you think is right, no matter what! I'll keep, looking until I find my parents, but...you're the most important thing in my life! If not for you, I wouldn't have been able to do all the things I've done! That's why I know you'll do what's best for me-for everyone!" ]]

"Ah..." A glimmer of green flashed in the reploid's eyes and he leaned against Sera, catching his breath. "That's right. This was never a choice for me to make."

"What?" Sera blinked. "What choice?" She asked him, but she leaned back when Trigger brought his face up close to hers.

"Sera, I'm sorry." And with that apology he leaned forward pressing his lips against hers gently, and the flustered mother unit could only tense up helplessly at the unexpected turn out of things. She didn't know what to do, how to react, so she simply allowed him to kiss her, closing her eyes and accepting the warmth that he offered her. She leaned against him as she parted her lips, acting on some strange instinct within her and Trigger took her silent invitation. For one moment the two of them truly became one, or at least that's how she felt at that instant, moving her tongue against his in a slow yet intense rhythm that made her quiver with a pleasure so foreign to her that it made her forget all of her fears and doubts for a single, crucial moment-

And that's all he ever really needed.

Trigger pulled back a little too early for Sera's expectations, bewitching her with a charming smile that stopped her dead in her tracks when she attempted to lean back into another kiss. "Sera, you've always been beautiful in my eyes." His words drew a soft gasp from her lips, and just as she was about to open her mouth to respond he cut her off- "So don't curse your own existence. You'd only trouble Yuna with that sort of outlook."

Sera stared at him with uncertainty in her eyes, looking lost and innocent, and Trigger made sure to burn the image in his fading mind. "Trigger?" The cold mother unit said his name questioningly.

"Promise me." He winked at her and snapped his fingers.

At that very moment Sera felt an odd sensation course through her body and- "AAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH!" She threw her head back and screamed at the top of her lungs as blue flames ignited from her body in an explosion. She brought her hands to her head and clutched it, digging her nails against her skin as if intending to strip it off. "MY EYES!" She shrieked like she never had before in her entire life. Memories that weren't her own were invading at light speed, so loud, so bright, so colorful and filled with emotions. These memories, who did they belong to?

"Again, I'm sorry, Sera. I'd like to say the same to Yuna, but time isn't a luxury for me anymore, so I hope you'll do it in my place." Trigger apologized a second time, approaching her without a care for how the blue flames licked at him. He brought the suffering girl to his chest in a gentle embrace and kissed her forehead before lowering her down to the ground carefully where she writhed, tossing and turning about as she continued to clutch her forehead. "This is where I take my leave." And he turned away from her, walking to the tower without looking back.

"TRIG...!" Sera screamed, unable to get his entire name out of her mouth because of the pain. She reached out to his retreating form with one hand, falling on her face in the process and willed herself to crawl, but he was moving away too fast for her to catch up. "NOOOOOOOO!" She bellowed sorrowfully. "YOU C...CAN'T..." She tried to crawl faster, but her head hurt so much. It was pounding so hard. These voices, these names, the sounds of laughter. Whose memories were these? It wasn't Trigger's, it couldn't be his, so who did they belong to? Kattelox? Tron Bonne? Mother Lode? Roll Caskett? Were these Megaman's memories? She hated them! She wanted them out of her head!

"TRIGGER!" Sera wailed on and on, but he didn't come back to her. Why was he leaving her? It wasn't fair! It wasn't fair at all!

It took a while for Trigger to climb to the top of the tower in his half-dead state, but he managed without incident, holding the rails carefully so he wouldn't lose his footing somewhere along the winding staircase. Sera's screams must have echoed through the entire city, but he didn't react to any of her calls, he couldn't. So he climbed and climbed until finally he came to the spire where the blue light shined strongest. He aimed his buster cannon at the roof obstructing the light and concentrated, gathering energy into the cannon for a charged shot. The energy in his body poured into his right arm with a soft whirring noise and he let it off, obliterating the final obstacle separating himself from Megaman in a brilliant explosion. The destroyed fragments of data sparkled like hundreds of fireflies, consumed by the blue light the poured through the gaping hole.

Trigger's body began to glow when the light touched him and he closed his eyes, letting out a long sigh as the connection began. The prison above imploded, being reduced to chunks of raw data that swirled around the blue orb of light that was being held captive within. In time the chunks were reduced to small sparkling balls of light that were absorbed by the pulsing, blue orb causing it to grow slightly in size. It appeared to be using all the damaged data around it as a means of sustenance for the sleeping hero. Trigger looked closely to the center of the orb and distinguished a humanoid figure at the center curled in a fetal position. That was him alright.

"Well then..." Trigger reached out his hand to the sleeping young man. "...I guess it was kind of fun!" The reaction was immediate. Gradually bits of his fingertips were broken down into data to be swallowed up by the orb above, down to the roots of his fingers, to his hand and arm, and so on. It was a strange sensation, being broken down, but it wasn't unpleasant for him. In time his whole right arm had been absorbed and the absorption moved on to his left arm in a methodical process that seemed to move so slow it was almost painful to wait for it to end, especially with Sera's calls still ringing loudly in his ears. It was getting closer so she must have still been crawling to the tower in a desperate attempt to get to him.

"She'll be fine." Trigger told no one in particular, looking down to see his feet beginning to break down. "Sera and Yuna...they'll both be fine together on this planet." He smiled, though it was not a happy one. "And miss Caskett and Tron...they'll be happy to have Megaman back. It's not like I'll miss any of them, not in the short time I've had." He sighed. Both of his legs were gone now, and his lower body was following them in the absorption process. "...But I'll admit it feels a little lonely."

[[ Trigger, listen to me. ]]

"Hm?" The purifier perked up at the voice in his head. "I thought the memories had left me already."

[[ There's a very likely chance that you don't recognize my voice. I'm sure they removed every record and memory of me from your databanks before they brought you out of stasis, but I've left this message encrypted in your shutdown program to ensure that you'd hear it. ]]

"Aria?" The name rolled off his tongue so naturally that even he didn't notice it.

[[ Now, if you're hearing this I can only assume that something major has happened to you and...well, I'm sorry, Trigger. I wanted so much to be there with you, for you. It was my greatest hope that I'd be able to have you at my side, but the EDEN fears me. They fear the reploids, and perhaps some of their fears can be justified, but there will be those who hate for petty reasons, and I can only hope that you haven't suffered their cruelty. But enough of that, forget that I even mentioned it. I'm sorry, I tend to say unnecessary things when I'm nervous...but that's fine. I have more than enough time to say as much as I want on this recording. Heh. If only I could have another conversation with you...that would really make me happy, but...ah, I'm doing it again.

Look, Trigger, I don't know how you've spent your life up to this moment, but I want you to know something: This life has always been yours. I created you because I wanted you to see the beauty in this world, and cherish it as I have. I wanted you to have friends that you could depend on and love, people that you could trust in. If these things were available to you then I'm overjoyed. I've done something right for a change...but if these things have been denied to you then just know that I love you; I always have and always will and I hope that you'll forgive me. That is all that I can ask of you at this point, but I will be selfish and plead a request of you. Please, don't die, Trigger. Fight whatever this hardship is that has brought you to the brink of death, and live. Please, live! Live so that we may meet each other one day. Live for me. Live so that I can see what has become of you in our time apart. Live so I can be reunited with the one I love above all else. Please Trigger...live, and I will find you someday. This I promise you. ]]

"I'm sorry, Aria." Trigger apologized. He'd been making a lot of those today. "I've failed you again."

...

...

Sera was halfway up the tower by the time she managed to quarantine the memories that Trigger forced on her. She gripped the rails unsteadily as she proceeded upward, but she proceeded all the same, mumbling to herself the entire way up as if she was chanting a personal prayer. When she got to the top she saw the destruction that was left in Trigger's wake and she stopped herself. Her eyes slowly moved away from the savagely made skylight to the figure lying on the floor, and she turned away as soon as she got a glimpse. That was enough for her. She knew that this fight was over.


Sera awoke within the living room of the flutter without a start. She found a sheet draped over her and realized that everyone had fallen asleep, including her sister. The lights were off and the Flutter must have been docked somewhere because the sensation of flight was absent. That established, Sera stood from the couch, letting the cover fall to the ground without paying any mind to it, and proceeded out the room. She did all of this with her usual coolness. Here she wasn't a slave to her emotions, she wasn't the same person she was when she ventured within and she preferred it that way. It made this easier for her to do. So she climbed the ladder at the end of the hall, walked to the corner and turned, proceeded down to Megaman's room and turned the knob to open it. There Megaman's body laid atop the bed like a sleeping princess, and here Sera was to play her role as the prince to awaken him.

She approached the empty shell with a fluid walk, doing nothing to alert the blonde engineer that was sleeping at the corner of the room in an uncomfortable looking chair, arms crossed and cap tipped over her eyes. The mother unit sat beside him and reached out a hand to touch his face, but she thought twice about it, retracting her hand and resting it on his chest. Staring at his face for what almost seemed like forever, Sera finally decided that it was time to do what she came for. She leaned forward, dipping low to bring her face closer to his and she kissed him on the lips, not tenderly, but with a purpose.

When she pulled back she stood up and waited beside the bed silently, like a statue, and so she appeared, with such a cold expression on her face. At the first stir from the young man, which had come long after she had pulled away, her right hand clenched into a fist...and she waited.

"Hmmmm?" The young hero groaned, opening his eyes groggily as though he had just awoken from a very long sleep. He blinked at the ceiling curiously for a long time before propping himself up on his elbows and turning his head to the side, a very confused look coming upon his face as he came to regard her. It appeared as though he hadn't recognized her, but then the question came. "...M...Mistress Sera?" He spoke in a disoriented voice.

In the space of the moment that it took for him to send the signal to his brain to close his mouth, Sera's right fist came down on him faster than a swung sledgehammer. "Sleep a little longer, Megaman." Sera told the young man that she had just knocked out cold with such abhorrence in her voice that it sounded like a curse. She turned around to face Roll and she approached the girl, her fist now unclenched, but her face, surprisingly dark with suppressed emotion. "And as for you, miss Caskett...I apologize." Sera's expression softened. "If what I feel right now can hold a candle to what you felt when he was taken away from you, then you have my respect. You are strong...and I have much to learn."

Those words having been said, Sera turned away from Roll and made for the door. She closed the door behind her quietly and walked to the hatch, opening it with a turn and stepping outside into the darkness of night. A light breeze caressed her face when she did and Sera closed her eyes...and began to cry. Tears swelled behind her eyelids and trailed down her face. She closed the hatch behind her and descended from the docking platform, walking away from the Flutter without any particular destination in mind. She ventured into the forest that laid beyond the town Roll docked them at and walked on until the darkness swallowed her up completely, never looking back.

...And the girl was gone, never to return...


To Be Continued


Chapter Nineteen: Six Months

Legends Arc Four: Wild Heart