Title: "Infecten - stage 2 - Aggravation" 1/2
Fandom: Rockman.EXE (MMBN)
Genre: Romance. Humour.
Word Count: 2.824.
Characters: Hikari Netto (Hikari Lan), Rockman (Megaman), Blues (Protoman), Ijiuin Enzan (Chaud Blaze).
Rating: PG-13 for implied... intimate intercourse between consenting, cybernetic/virtual young males. XD;;
Disclaimer: Rockman.EXE, its characters, places and themes belong to Capcom, Shogakukan, ShoPro, TV Tokio, etc.. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warnings: Shounen-ai. Fluffy stuff between Navis. Also, (and I claim ownership on this idea) Navi-preg.
A/N: Kane-Niisan wanted more. Neme-Niichan gives her more. 'nuff said.
Summary: "...this is ALL your fault!"
"...multiple overlay networks making independent routing decisions could experience race conditions, resulting in oscillations in both route selection and network load, which--" and then the door burst furiously open, nearly coming off its hinges, and Enzan didn't even see the boy, let alone his fist, but suddenly he was sprawled on the floor and the sting was spreading across his cheek like fire.
"...this is ALL your fault!"
The words speeded out of Netto's mouth like a train from a tunnel (which had been about the speed of his punch, as well) as he towered above Enzan, red-cheeked and bright-eyed with fury.
"Hello, Hikari," Enzan remarked absently, as he gingerly poked and prodded his abused cheek. He rose to his feet with an economy of motion, and added: "You're dead, Hikari," in the same tone of voice he'd use to comment the weather.
Netto gave out a squeak of fear (if questioned later, he'll deny it, but you can trust me on this) and tumbled to the floor, Enzan on top of him and fighting like a wild cat. He was only dimly aware of Enzan's secretary herding the investors out of the office, of the door squeaking close and their excited hubbub dimming away, attention all focused on hitting Enzan as many times as he was being hit, rolling with him across the room - on top of him, the underneath, and then on top again - in a tangle of limbs.
No small amount of rolling, punching, kicking and biting later, the two boys stumbled apart, crouching at a safe distance and nursing their bruises. There was a minute of pure silence, during which they refused to break eye-contact for the simple reason that looking away would be a sign of weakness, then Enzan lost whatever ounce of patience he might have had.
"Would you be so kind as to tell me what's wrong with you?" he snapped out. "Or it's just that what little sanity you had, has left you for good?"
Netto pouted, realized that wasn't quite the moment to feel offended, and bared his teeth.
"And you have to ask?!"
"That's my name."
"Don't play dumb with me!"
"Listen." Acidly now, and not without cause. "I have no idea what possessed you to barge into my office, disrupt one of the most important reunions in my schedule, and assault me. I think I'm entitled to an explanation."
Netto narrowed his eyes.
"You don't know?"
"You really don't?"
"I said so."
"Well, I still expect you to take full responsibility for it!" As if that clarified things any. Enzan arched an eyebrow his way, dutifully confused.
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm--" plunging his hand in his pocket, fishing out his PET and pushing it towards Enzan like a weapon of sorts, "-talking about your Navi taking advantage of mine and infecting him with a virus!"
"He didn't take advantage of me!"
"Blues is infective?"
"Are you all right?"
Three lines, three voices, thirteen words all jumbling together, since they were spoken at the same time.
It was kinda funny how it was the last, and most soft-spoken of all phrases, the one that caught everyone's attention. Maybe because it came from Blues, and Blues seldom spoke, and never in such warm, concerned tones, and especially not from Rockman's PET.
Netto looked down, and saw Rockman spin around, three-feet in the air with shock, and come face to face with Blues, who'd taken advantage of the commotion to link himself to Rockman's PET.
"Blues! You just about gave me an heart-attack! What..."
"Are you all right?" Blues asked again, just as quietly as before. Rockman stiffened.
"I...err... y-y-y-yes. Why?"
Stuttering. And Rockman only ever stuttered if there was a ghost around, or if he was lying. Seeing as there were no ghosts in the neighbourhood, we can safely assume he wasn't telling the truth, no sir.
Blues must've reached the same conclusion, because the line of his mouth tightened, and the muscle of his cheek twitched dangerously. Rockman squirmed under the force of the scowl he knew to be hidden behind the visor, and suddenly became fascinated with his boots.
Warningly. I'm-about-to-go-Advanced-Program-on-you warningly. Rockman squirmed.
"T-Truly," the blue Navi began, obviously set to say another lie. Unfortunately for him, Blues would have nothing of it. Reaching out, he cupped Rockman's cheek, which warmed up a little under his touch, and gently tugged Rockman's face to towards his own.
"Netto-san mentioned a virus."
Rockman bit his bottom lip, shifted his weight from one foot to the other, then surrendered to the inevitable. He grasped the hand still cupping his cheek, twined his fingers with Blues's own, pushing his face into the caress that really wasn't a caress.
"I've got ICL, Blues."
Soft voice, soft skin, soft eyes, full of emotion... everything about Rockman was soft, and warm, and so terribly, terribly nice, that Blues found himself leaning down and--
"--he got it from you, you know?" Netto supplied, before the Navis could get any closer, or the romantic tension get any higher. His was a tone of voice that promised extreme pain to the person addressed - namely, Blues. Aforementioned red Navi glanced up, gave the boy a once-over, then proceeded to ignore him altogether.
"I had gathered as much," he informed coolly. Pausing when Rockman's eyes grew wide and a little wondering, searching fruitlessly for his own through the visor. "I wasn't aware to be infected - if I was, I would have taken the necessary precautions -" read: would've abstained from touching you even with a stick, "-but I have no doubt on who infected you."
"Ehy! Rockman's not the type to be unfaithful! It's you who infected him!"
"That's what he said, dimwit." Enzan pushed Netto out of the way and peered down at the PET screen. "Blues's virus screening are clean, but he trusts Rockman enough to know he's been with no one else but him. Which means..." he paused, making everyone turn towards him. (truth be told, the Navis seemed to have some difficulty diverting their attention from one another, but we'll not get into that). "Blues, you must be a carrier."
Blues dipped his head in acknowledgment.
"I had reached the same conclusion, Enzan-sama."
"A carrier, Netto-kun." Rockman to the rescue. "It means he has contracted the virus agent, but he isn't affected by it."
"But he can transmit it to others." Netto scowled. "Just my luck!"
"I second that."
"Oh, shut up you!" Netto poked Enzan in the chest. His left cheekbone was going to bruise, Netto realized with an interesting mixture of guilt and pride. "This is all your fault, anyway. So take responsibility for it."
"How is any of this my fault?"
"You let Blues do that to Rockman!"
"First, I couldn't have stopped this--" gesturing eloquently towards the Navis, arching both eyebrows for added effect, "--from happening even if I tried. Second, neither Blues nor I knew he was infected. Third, it's all your fault."
Netto gave out an outraged cry.
"Yes. If you had kept a better eye on your Navi, he wouldn't have seduced mine and nothing of this would've happened."
"Rockman didn't seduce anyo--" There the Navi went, blushing yet again. Netto introduced his palm to his forehead, and groaned. "I can't believe it."
"He didn't as much as seduce me," Blues tried, once the chances of Rockman's cheeks blending with his armour reached 97 percent. "As... greet me rather... enthusiastically when I returned from deletion."
Rockman worked his jaw, fishing for something - anything! - to say. He glanced up, then down, then off to the side (as if expecting to find the right words flashing in neon-light somewhere inside his PET). Shrugging, he settled for the honest truth.
"He'd just come back from deletion, Netto-kun. I had just destroyed Gospel and frankly, seeing Blues alive was the single most beautiful thing ever happened to me." Another shrug, small, sheepish. He reached up, scratched his nose. He was shy about the subject at hand, yes; but not in the least embarrassed by his conduct. "Before I knew it, I was in his arms and tugging his head down to mine for a kiss. And when we touched, there was this feeling, as if..."
...he was slipping slowly but surely into daydream. Highly-detailed, sugar-coated daydream! Counter-measures! Counter-measures! Quick!
Netto clamped one hand down on his PET's screen, not at all surprised when he saw Enzan's own hand clam over the mini-speakers.
"...I don't think I want to know the details!" Netto, shaking his head.
"Again, I second that." Enzan, bobbing his own up and down.
When Netto removed his hand, he saw that Blues was coughing discreetly in his fist, and Rockman had turned entirely new shades of red.
"Of course not, Netto-kun."
Netto wondered briefly if his Navi was going for a world record there, blushing so many times in a row, then sagged back into a chair, shoulders slouching.
"Aaaah, away with that frown, you. I told you already I'm all right with this. And I am! I just don't think this is a subject we should discuss, at least not in public, not where Enzan can hear-" insert an eloquent finger-pointing, here, "-and not while I'm still a minor."
It got Rockman laughing, and Netto realized with a smile he'd been missing the sound.
Netto nodded, then turned towards Enzan.
"Which reminds me, how is any of this even possible?"
There was a light that might, or might not have been amusement in Enzan's eyes when he said: "I thought you didn't want to discuss this? Especially - and I quote - not with me present?"
"Yeah, well, bite me. I'm curious." He tied his words down with a pout - because who could resist Netto with a pout? - and looked appealingly up at the other Net-Op. Enzan walked over to his desk and gulped down the last of his coffee, pulling a face when he realized it had gotten cold.
"You wouldn't understand."
That got Netto riled up, and ready to fight.
"I'm not stupid, you know!"
"I know." And this time, the glint in Enzan's eyes was definitely not amusement. His eyes were earnest, and bore no trace of mockery. Netto sank back in his chair, as pleased as he was confused.
"Then what did you mean?"
"Nothing more and nothing less than what I said - you wouldn't understand. Mainly, because no one does. Not completely." Enzan made a sound in the back of his throat, sharply raising a hand to tell Netto not to interrupt him. "It's not like someone ever designed Navis for pleasure. But that capacity is not the result of a bug, either. You know that Navis have transducers that enable them to feel pain, right?"
Netto nodded. Duh. Of course he knew.
"Well, the pain circuit works like this: a sensor detects the energy, then a converter turns the voltage variation into a numerical parameter which is transmitted to the Navi's core. There, the parameter is encoded, the Navi feels the pain and reacts accordingly to it. With me so far?"
"Good." Sounding relieved; and if Netto wanted to go there, also proud. But Netto didn't want to go there. Definitely not. "Turned out that the pain-sensors are sensible to the other end of the spectrum as well. To be precise, they can react to pleasurable stimuli as well as painful ones. Like any other social creature, Navis decided to exploit this capability, and started to seek pleasures among themselves - oh, I know Blues." This was addressed to the Navi, who was, for all the world, doing nothing, but a nothing that in some Blues-Enzan exclusive code obviously meant something. "Commuting, as they call it, is not merely a form of pleasure."
Enzan shook his head.
"Apparently, commuting serves a deeper function, one of social nature. When two Navis commute they share their innermost, most intimate data. They open up their core to the other, and create a circuit that makes data, and electric signals, move from one to the other, allowing a deeper level of insight and generating pleasure at the same time. In some rare instances, this link becomes permanent, but there isn't much factual data about it."
Enzan paused. Considered.
"Well, there isn't much data about commuting, period. We know it's not a necessity, and it surely doesn't follow a cycle. It's an activity Navis engage in to establish and strengthen relations, usually permanent, but that's about al... what?"
"...my Navi is married to yours?"
That was when Rockman broke the world record on blushing.
Enzan flattened Netto with a glare, opened his mouth to explain that no, of course their Navis weren't married, when it occurred to him that he really had no idea.
"...you know what? That's a good question." Personally, he had no knowledge of Navis bonding to one another in marriage, but at this point, he was ready to believe anything. Besides, he was curious. "So, are you?"
Blues didn't say or do anything. Well, his mouth might have tightened, but it could just as well been their imagination. Rockman fidgeted.
"I... well... I don't think...I mean..." he threw a glance at Blues and, not for the first time in his life, wished the visor all kinds of misfortunes. Just break, you stupid thing, or vanish, or become transparent or... or something! "...no."
Netto put his feet on the chair, sat cross-legged and clasped his ankles, leaning towards the Navis.
"Ah... got it. He hasn't popped the question yet, has he?"
"Well, he should. I mean, the least Blues can do is make a honest Navi of you!"
"No, seriously, Rockman!" But he was laughing. Enzan wore a look that flickered from amusement to disbelief and back with uncanny speed.
"I can see it already, the whole thing. He'd go down on one knee..."
"...and bring out the ring... would Navis use rings, Enzan?"
"Beats me." A shrug. "But I can have the lab make a custom-chip."
"Right." Netto tapped his lips. "Where was I? Oh, yeah, the ring. And then we'll have to fix the wedding outfits..."
"Netto-kun..." feebly now, with his face turning redder and redder. Blues noticed Rockman's distress, and frowned.
"Netto-san, could you please..."
But Netto was chattering on and on, unstoppable like water breaking from a dam, hands fluttering wildly around and managing to get even Enzan to smirk and laugh every so often, and all the while Rockman was protesting, PET-processors cranking up at top-speed, voice getting weaker and weaker, cheeks glowing red, eyes bright, and then, suddenly, he was swaying precariously, and he would've hit the ground hadn't it been for Blues's Faster Than Lightning Reflexes (he was just that good, yes).
Netto scrambled to catch the PET, brought it up to his face and shook it frantically. Without a word, Enzan took the PET from him, held it up and out of Netto's reach. As Netto bounced, bounded, tiptoed and whined, Enzan explained that jumbling Rockman like that could hardly help, told Netto he would have the PET back once he calmed down enough, and reminded him to breathe, Hikari, breathe!
Netto did as he was told. Once his breathing had evened out, Enzan grabbed his hand, and reverently put the PET down on his palm.
"...all good, Netto-kun."
The truth, more or less. He was still unable to stand, and was sprawled on Blues's lap, managing to somehow look pale and feverishly red at the same time. But at least he was conscious. Netto clutched the PET tighter.
"I'm sorry. I knew ICL makes you weak, and that your PET is always overheating, but I still went and riled you up for no reason--"
Enzan looked at him with a flash in his eyes.
"What did you say?"
"T-that because of ICL, Rockman's PET has been almost constantly in overheat." He held the PET in front of his face again, squinting into the screen. "And he's always moody."
Enzan made a noise in the back of his throat, sounding worried.
"Constant overheat, weakness and moodiness? Anything else?"
Netto shook his head, paused to consider, and gave a nod.
"He's always sleepy, and his processor works way too much - which is actually what causes it to overheat."
Enzan made another worried noise, and something in Netto's brain began wailing in alarm, telling him that Another Bomb Was About To Be Dropped On His Head.
"What? What is it?"
"Netto..." Carefully. Probing. Softly, yet with an edge of steel. Netto's knuckles turned white around the PET. He swallowed.
"Those aren't the symptoms of ICL." Netto eyes grew huge, so very huge. "Rockman may have caught it, but there must be something else affecting his systems."
Oh, they had no idea.