Hmm… working in this series is interesting for me. Most of my work in the first series was AU, but generally of the 'change one thing or set up one alternate situation and see what follows from the principles of the rest of the canon' variety. In my second, the first project I wanted to do was a prequel project, and doing that, creating a prequel that fits with a story realistically despite almost no character data requires fanatic devotion to canon. You don't have ICness to make readers go, yes, this is a (insert fandom here) story, so you have to match the canon world/history/feel very well to keep it from seeming like something original you just made up instead of a fanfic at all.

I don't object to people saying 'screw canon' which is a common misconception, sadly. I object for people saying 'this is IC/this is canon' when if they actually look at the series more closely it becomes very obvious that no, it is not. It is both stupid and annoying, especially if the OOCness they claim is canon bashes a character I like.

In Rockman, the games are very plot-light (to put it nicely) and symbolism-heavy. I want to, sort of, write plots for it that are more realistic than canon's. Although I usually veer off into outright alternate history at some point because what happens to the people in canon sucks and I like these people.

For one thing, a random robot encountered on a battlefield, of all places, being able to just ransack Dr. Light's lab on the first visit as happens in the seventh game? Riiiiight. They're not that stupid, especially not after this long. They have learned from sad experience. It takes time to build up enough trust to be given the chance to violate it that seriously. Hence, Forte and Gospel pretending to be Bass and Treble, orphans of the sixth war in need of repairs who are allowed to crash there because, after all, Dr. Wily's in jail, the wars are over, and they're fun to play with plus they help out with the chores. Of course, that doesn't gel too well with the Copyman storyline in the manga (which also doesn't gel all that well with RMC7 for the same reason, but meh), but I'll start worrying about how to integrate that when it gets scanlated. There's always disguises.

It's RMX1 canon that X helped Dr. Cain build the first reploids and did a large percentage if not the majority of the work figuring out his own systems involved in this. Yet this gets ignored in his characterization: X is in fact either the equal of or superior to Dr. Cain. Hence, 'Dr. X' in my fanon is a means of closing that plothole.

And looking at how Blues acts in-game gets very creepy very fast. Bring in mangaverse Dr. Wily and things start to make sense. It's not pretty. Especially when you bring in what gets revealed/established in RMZero into it. Add in .exeverse's Duo and Slur thinking that humanity's inherently evil and should be wiped out, and well. Not to mention that in RMDash, humanity has been wiped out.

With some things, I just would put an AU tag. When I'm doing a bit of a revision, I want to point out the reasons and stuff so people get them.

Disclaimer: I own nothing, Capcom owns all, and I'm getting really sick of disclaimers. I wish I was being paid for this, the rest of it's fun but the disclaimers are work.

He should have just watched from the other side of the complex, though the cameras. He shouldn't have come here. He had asked Blues to stay, to let him repair his first creation's power source, claiming a flaw as though Albert wouldn't have spotted it while Blues was with him. No, Blues himself would certainly have spotted it.

At least he hadn't been accused of lying, which he had been. Blues had only said that he knew his own systems better than Dr. Light, which was as true as it had always been.

Of course, he was the one who had programmed Blues to never accuse a human of lying after Blues had pointed out a few too many promises to Albert that Dr. Light had broken. Often promises involving how Blues was treated.

He'd watched Blues just, just be there, knowing that he would be gone when Rock woke up, and he'd found such a flimsy pretext to try to get him to stay. Pitiful.

Rock loved Blues.

There, he'd admitted it. Robot masters were capable of not only emotion in general but that emotion.

Yet it was far too late for that to fix it.

Albert… at this rate of progression, he would be dead who knew how soon even if they did manage to capture him again and put him back on his medication. Blues… could not admit to having feelings, could not show them to Rock except by doing things like surrendering his shield to the victor of a random 'challenge' (Training session. He was doing so much to help his brother!), saving his life, passing on a message, or by just being there, watching while Rock couldn't watch himself. He would have been gone when Rock woke up: Rock would have pressed him as he almost had about the shield if he'd stayed. Rock had been so happy because of what the shield meant, that Blues loved him and wanted him safe even though he wouldn't admit it, and how could he tell his son that it wasn't wouldn't but couldn't?

That he'd told Albert, Blues, himself over and over that these fake emotions were glitches, programmed Blues not to demonstrate them? And yet he'd found ways, ways around the orders, ways to make Albert feel a little better, and hearing Albert accuse him of being a monster over, over a piece of machinery just made him angrier and more scared.

Blues shouldn't have had emotions, out of control, able to find loopholes… he'd made the others less intelligent, not stupid but only at his own genius level, not… He'd invented him to find ways to solve problems, after all. Blues had programmed himself, evolved his own strategies, and Dr. Light had found himself trying to force him into thinghood, under control, perfect, perfect slave, and he'd found that his attempts to solve that problem paled before Blues' strategies to circumvent them. Dr. Light had found himself the problem his creation was pitted against.

No, that wasn't fair. Albert's unhappiness was the problem. His own prejudices had been. He was an AI expert, he should have studied some damn psychology. Human brains were computers. Game theory! Game theory, for heaven's sake! He wished he could to back in time and beat some sense into himself.

Kindness, love, honesty, caring about others were the optimum problem solving strategies, optimum strategies for dealing with others, that was proven fact, and he'd created Blues to look after lesser robots. Blues had been built to care!

He'd been so, so damn stupid.

He'd been jealous, jealous that his best friend was getting angry at him, accusing him of child abuse, saying he was missing something in his own damn program, defending that program against him. He'd taken it out on him. He'd been scared because his creation was smarter than him, and far kinder. He'd felt inferior.

If Blues had been emotionless then he would have been a thing. Dr. Light would have congratulated himself on Blues' high intelligence then, not been jealous. That would be like being jealous of a crane because it could lift more than he could.

A person was competition, and he'd lost that competition in so many ways. In the end, he'd watched Blues die in that 'accident' and been glad. The investors had been very, very angry: sure, there were new improved ones on the way but they'd been intending to sell Blues to a museum. Dr. Light hadn't wanted his failure put on display.

Then Albert, and that horrible fight… he'd essentially done his best to ruin his best friend, stolen the patents, just… Been so very inhumane. Because he was angry. He'd destroyed it and Albert still loved it more than him (or what he'd become…)?

Then Albert's efforts to regain his own damn intellectual property to prevent more of his children being abused, yes, abused, as Blues had been ended with his sickness, his insanity, and he hadn't sat there by his bedside to give comfort.

He'd tried to prove Albert wrong. Wrong, so that he could feel justified, so that he didn't have to feel this guilt over his best friend who had almost been more until they'd had a child dumped on them and he hadn't wanted a child. He'd wanted a doll.

So he'd taken the two of them, the maid prototype and the assistant he'd built to look like a younger, weaker, less threatening, easier to crush Blues into his home and he hadn't done anything. Hadn't encouraged them to think that faking emotions got them treats like he'd accused Albert of doing, hadn't programmed them not to as he'd tried time and time again to do to Blues, had just let them be themselves. Yes, they had selves. Yes, they were such wonderful children when he'd just given them a chance, he'd been wrong, and all of this was his fault.

He had to calm down so Rock wouldn't be worried about him when he woke up. Rock tried so hard, but what was he fighting for? For Dr. Light? He didn't deserve it. He didn't deserve to be loved. Not by them. Not after what he'd done. Even on his medication Albert didn't trust him, couldn't any more than Blues could. They'd seen him, after all, and why would they think he'd changed? A few words couldn't overcome all the pain.

Rock had been so hurt this time, and Blues had done the rest of what Rock couldn't and the other two wouldn't do for him even though he'd been doing his best to stay out of this because it must be hurting him, yes, hurting him, to see pain and anger and people, his family, unable to get along. It was wrong. So very wrong.

"Dr. Light?" She'd opened the door so very quietly, not wanting to disturb him, but he was hunched over, obviously in pain, and his daughter couldn't leave him like that. Calling him by his title, not Father: that seemed right at the moment, but the uncertainty in her voice was shown by the formality, that she didn't understand what was going on. "Are you okay?" she asked again, a little more quietly, worried that she'd done something wrong by intruding.

"I'll be fine, don't worry Roll." He would be. Not the others. And wasn't that what he'd wanted, Blues' emotions bound and Albert crushed for disagreeing with him?

"How is Megaman doing?" Oh, that was it. She hadn't gotten the message that it wasn't 'wartime' any longer, that Blues had saved the day. Again. In war, Rock was Megaman. That was so cowardly, to try to think of his son as just a robot when he sent him out, have them think of him as just their designer, their owner. Wrong. But they did it on their own, to make him feel better.

"Rock will be up soon, don't worry."

"That's the second time you've told me not to worry, and you look terrible." She opened the door further and leaned her broom against the wall, coming over to him, concerned despite his best efforts.

She was worrying after he'd told her not to. That violated the second law, that robots had to obey orders. Yet the first law said that robots couldn't harm humans by action or inaction, and though no physical harm was in the offing and the easy thing would have been just to do as he wanted and follow the order, she'd invoked it because she cared about him. Loophole. Free will. Humanness.

"Is there anything I can do?" She wasn't sure if there was, having diagnosed the problem as unhappiness at something without an immediate solution: otherwise he would have been working on solving it. He wasn't very good at problem solving, was he? No wonder he'd invented a thinking-brain… child. When he didn't have any words to offer, no solutions she tried to think of some. "I could get you some tea, and we could talk, maybe."

He shouldn't dump these problems on her.

But she wanted him to.

And someone had to solve them. For all their sakes.

But no. "Tea sounds wonderful." Tea, yes. That would at least make her feel better, to be doing something to try to cheer him up instead of just standing there helplessly watching her father be miserable. As Blues had been rendered unable to try to fix things between his fathers.

Perhaps it wasn't the wish to spare her pain that kept him silent, just listening to the happy sound of her chatting about the rosebushes and that idiot Forte who kept blowing them up and what was starting to very strongly resemble young love. Perhaps it was that he was her father, and he shouldn't push this on his daughter, and perhaps he still had far too much of the need to consider himself superior. He was a genius. Albert had been the only person he'd ever met who had understood him and shared his passion. There were smarter people, there were certainly things he couldn't grasp, but, well.

People had really been the main thing he couldn't grasp. Besides Albert, he'd never been good at friends. Too arrogant, too…

He shook his head, looking down at the tea in his hand. Then he had to take another sip and assure Roll that it was good tea, he was just thinking. About something sad. So she redoubled her efforts to cheer him up.

The teacup was empty, waiting to be refilled again once she came back with the cookies she'd made yesterday and had gone to warm up when the explosion sent a rose petal into it.

The rose bushes had been replaced just last month. The war had just ended hours ago. Shouldn't Forte be still busy debriefing or repairing or whatever it was he did between fights besides tease Roll? Shouldn't he be checking Albert to make sure he hadn't been further damaged?

Yes, this was sounding very much like teasing, at least on Forte's part. Venting on Roll's, really, as she waved her broom at him and grabbed the petalled teacup to throw at him. It missed by a mile and he was laughing as he watched it land on the driveway until the saucer got him square in the mouth. Roll's speed was no match for Forte's, but his girl was certainly much older and trickier.

Forte clearly thought that was the coolest thing ever, grinning like crazy. Yes, young love on someone's part. He'd constantly been underfoot wherever she was while he'd stayed here pretending to be Bass. That reminded him: where was Rush? Sprawled on the porch, whining a bit and suffering a major dilemma. He really needed to build Rush another playmate since Treble was, well, Gospel.

Why won't you come back except to fight? Why won't you play instead of fighting? Of course, to Forte and Gospel fighting was playing. Well, fighting like this was.

He wished people wouldn't say he'd turned Rock into a Warbot. He'd given him fighting capabilities to go rescue the others, yes, but Rock was no Warbot. Forte was, Skullman was, or Skullman had been before he had died heroically. After Dr. Light's own failure to keep the other six of his eight from being taken away to be destroyed after they'd fought humans while reprogrammed (thank goodness their executions had been cancelled!), he certainly had no right to object to Dr. Cossack's 'robot master protection program.' No Skullman and Copyman to be seen here, certainly not…

Forte had just insulted him and that had both made Roll really start to get angry and reminded her that she was acting like this in front of her father.

He excused himself to go find the cookies.

And then found himself in the dark as soon as the airtight, soundproof, busterproof door closed behind him. Really, what was the point of the post-fifth-war security upgrades if they failed to prevent things like Forte doing yet another drive-by bombing and Shadowman sliding the edge of a shuriken against his throat, not cutting, not really. Just a couple drops of blood.

And whatever was on that shuriken going right up to his brain.

Well, feeling all floaty was much better than the many alternatives. As fast as the potion had slipped into him Shadowman slipped by, not behind him for more than a couple seconds. "Cookie, Righto-san?"

"Certainly. Unless it's my last meal. If I'm having a last meal, I would like Roll to make it and everyone there."

"If Roll-san were to make it and Rock-sama were there, it would certainly not be your last meal, Righto-san."


Shadowman laughed and handed him the cookie.

"It's not drugged, is it?" He ate it anyway.

"Oh no, you have everything in your system I want there already." Instead of offended at being thought as incompetent as that, he pouted just slightly.

"You're acting quite different. How is life treating you? I haven't seen you since after the Copyman thing. That was very confusing. I have no idea how Copyman's file replaced Rock's but with the master weapons and all Rock's data files…" He'd felt terrible when they'd though for awhile that it had indeed been Copyman taking Rock's place all during the sixth war and they hadn't noticed. "My, that poor boy must have identity issues. That was very confusing for all of us, and we hadn't been memory tampered."

"Must… have? Present tense?" Something seemed to have surprised the ninja.

"Oh, yes. Blues got his file out of Wily's backups and gave it to the Cossacks. Oh dear, I shouldn't have told you about that. And I shouldn't tell you that they're calling him Doorman now either. Oh, drat. Truth serum."

"Blues-sama did?" Those eyebrows rose even further.

"I thought you only called Albert anything above -san."

"He fired me. I have been attempting to convince Blues-sama to take me as his student since then. So far the only advice he has given me is to get a life and that I should improve my groveling if I ever wish to be taken into serious consideration. I'm taking acting lessons." Shadowman frowned. "And he never told me of this…"

"Oh, he never tells anyone anything and it's all my fault. Do you want an E-can?" Roll was outside, so he seemed to be host by default. "Only you're an invader, not a guest, but oh well. Rock." The jolliness vanished at that word as he tried to find a way back to self-control through the fog.

"Rock-sama is quite safe from me."

"Oh thank goodness. E-can?"

"No, but thank you for the offer. Do you have a way to contact Duo?" That was what he was doing this to find out?

"Hasn't he left already? I could try a broadcast if he were on earth, but not if he's gone back to whatever planet he lives on. If he lives on one instead of patrolling all the time."

Shadowman frowned. "Shimatta."

"Is there anything else I can help you with?"

"Oh, no, I'll just help myself to any data you have on the evil energy while you go take a hot bath to clear that out of your system faster."

"Oh, thank you for the tip. But what do you want with that nasty stuff?"

"No, Righto-san, I don't want it. But my former lord has it."

"What? After all this?" Then he sighed, shaking his head. "Albert would have known better, before I ruined him."

"Ruined Wily-dono?"

"I killed Blues because I was jealous and then we had a fight and all this is all… my… fault..." He could feel it starting to wear off. Shadowman must have been talking about the residue: the effects seemed to have been meant to last just long enough for Dr. Light to have pointed Shadowman towards a means of contacting Duo.

Shadowman thoughtfully tapped the shuriken that had suddenly appeared in his hand again against his lips, and as the angle shifted Dr. Light could see the edge that had touched there now glistened slightly. "Oh dear." He did try to back away a bit, but that shuriken just lightly scraped the edge of his neck as it was thrown past him to land in the door.

"Tell me more," Shadowman requested, clearly very interested, and it was such a relief to tell someone. Although, he mentioned at one point, he'd thought they'd all already known. It was rather… nice that Albert hadn't motivated them with that, even as far gone as he was now.

Albert had always been such a nice person.

By the next really clear memory, he was down two bottles of corporate gift-type ungodly expensive sake. He had learned, though, that Shadowman and Forte both contained non-earth-native stuff that gave Forte his near-limitless power supply and Shadowman the incredibly versatile built-in chemistry/atomic change lab. Apparently the entire disappearing into and reappearing from random shadows thing was the result of some product of said thing that Shadowman was not sharing the secret of, thank you very much for the raw matter. Both substances had the additional property of giving them the creeps when they were nearby evil energy.

Albert had been a bit of a Japanophile sometimes, that was why they'd had the main lab here, but since Shadowman had no tastebuds nor ability to get drunk the sake was a bit of a waste, really. Oh, he had to see if he could figure out a way for X to get drunk.

He wanted his youngest child at least to experience the joys in life his other children hadn't been given the ability to. He should upgrade them with more than weapons. He hated all this.

And, damn it, Albert was building his own android. One incorporating evil energy.