I would like to warn you all that this story is pure FLUFF, and is thus mostly pointless. I'm also aware that this kind of story has been done a million times before... but never EXE style, so I'm going to give it a try! (Never mind, Necchan beat me to it! Gasp)
This is meant, at the very least, just to be a cute story. It's a little stupid, but I enjoy it. I hope you will too! Thanks go to Midnight Critic for telling me the beginning is not crap, and to Necchan for helping me get the courage to post this!
Oh, and nothing -related belongs to me. Thank Capcom for that.
Time never changed things much.
"Have faith in your dreams… and someday… rainbow… come shining through…"
Roll smiled fondly at her operator. It was a Tuesday, and that meant it was "Kitchen Cleaning Day". Every Tuesday for the last sixteen years had been that way.
When Hikari Netto turned five years old, his father gave him his own Net Navi as a birthday gift. Being five, Netto couldn't help but show off and make all of his friends super jealous. It took Meiru two and a half years of pestering her parents before they relented and bought her Roll. Even though Roll had also been a birthday gift like Rockman, she was one of the most expensive gifts Meiru had ever received. Meiru wanted a fully customizable Navi like Netto had, and, in exchange for getting the more pricy model, she agreed to do more chores and not get extra allowance for doing them.
Roll felt bad about this at first. Meiru told her not to worry; even at the age of seven, Meiru was pretty tidy person, so there were rarely any big messes to clean up. The only chore Meiru did not like was sweeping, because at the time she was too short to hold the broom properly. The only way she could sweep the floor was on her hands and knees with a dustpan and a small brush, which took about four times longer than a broom would have. Because of this, Meiru grew to hate cleaning the kitchen. When it came time to do chores, she always saved that room (and its large linoleum floor) for last.
Roll, wanting to be helpful, suggested that they make the cleaning a game. Meiru's favorite movie at the time was Cinderella, so Roll told Meiru to pretend she was Cinderella. Meiru was the beautiful heroine, her least favorite cousins were the evil stepsisters, and Roll was her Fairy Godmother. They dedicated Tuesdays solely to cleaning the kitchen, and Roll would play a Cinderella song from her PET so they could sing together as Meiru swept.
Now… It was hard to believe almost sixteen years had passed. Roll closed her eyes and could perfectly picture the slightly chubby seven-year-old cleaning on her knees. The Meiru that was currently humming and sweeping the kitchen was twenty-two years old, 5'4", and had long red hair that fell about halfway down her back. Looking around the new kitchen, Roll decided that maybe things had—
"Gah! This cabinet still won't stay shut! I told him when he put it together that it was missing a screw, but would he listen? No!"
No, time didn't change things much.
Almost two years ago, Meiru married her childhood sweetheart, Netto. After growing up a bit and getting over his obliviousness (and a brief period of shyness), Netto had proved to be quite a dedicated boyfriend. Not wanting to wait until after college, he proposed to Meiru in their sophomore year. That following summer they had a small, happy, and very lavish (thanks to Yaito's insistence that she be both decorator and benefactor) wedding.
After the ceremony, both husband and wife agreed that a small apartment would be best. What they eventually settled on was impossibly small, but it was dirt cheap. They saved as much as they could for a year and a half with the intention of moving somewhere nicer after graduation.
When they finished college, Netto got a full-time job at SciLabs which doubled as his doctorate research, and Meiru became an assistant elementary schoolteacher until the school district had the resources to hire her full-time. Figuring that they were more income-stable and wanting to move closer to SciLabs to avoid the commute, they took the plunge and bought a small home.
Now, they were regretting this decision a little. Roll secretly agreed with them; who knew that moving into a house was so much work? Shaking her head out of memory lane, Roll decided that she should be optimistic about the situation. "It's a new house," she smiled, "of course there's going to be a few things that need fixing, but think how nice it will look when it's finished!"
"I know," moaned Meiru, "but it just seems like we've gotten nothing done, and we've already been here for two weeks!"
"Do you want me to ask Rockman to remind him?"
"No. He'll just get annoyed that I keep pestering him," Meiru frowned.
"Well…" said Roll pensively, wanting to be helpful, "try "accidentally" banging into that door tonight after dinner. If it slams against the broken frame loudly enough, it will remind him that it's still broken and you won't have to say a thing!"
Meiru laughed. "Clever, but you know he'll figure it out and blame me. He never believes me when I tell him that you're the real mastermind behind all these plots."
Finished sweeping, Meiru crouched down to brush the dust pile that had accumulated into a dustpan. "Whew. That's one less thing to do," she commented, standing back up. "This room looks so much nicer without boxes all… nngh."
She swayed suddenly, and dropped the dustpan.
"Meiru-chan!" Roll gasped. "Are you alright?"
Meiru blinked a few times. "Yes, I— oh darn."
When the dustpan fell, it twisted and fell top down, spilling its contents back onto the floor. With an irritated grunt, Meiru knelt back down to scoop it up again.
"I'm fine. Just stood up too quickly."
Roll bit her lower lip. That would actually be a good excuse if this was Meiru's only recent dizzy spell. But it wasn't. This was… what, the fourth? This week? Roll mentally kicked herself for not being more observant. "Meiru… chan…" she began timidly, "are you sure you're feeling alright?"
"I just said I was fine."
She was lying. Roll knew Meiru better than any other person in the world, and even though she sounded sincere, she had responded a little too quickly to the question. "Meiru-chan…"
Meiru gave her the cold shoulder as she again (and more cautiously) stood up. After knocking out the dustpan in the trash and putting away the broom, she sighed and surveyed the room. "What's next on our list?"
Roll shook her head. Meiru was probably just tired from the stress of buying and moving into a new house. That had to be it. Meiru was a very motivated person, and nothing, not even sickness, could stand in her way if she had a goal to accomplish.
"We're ahead of schedule," Roll lied. "Why don't you plop down on the couch and rest for a minute? You've been running around all day."
Meiru gave her a suspicious look.
"Really! We're ahead! Well… technically, we're supposed to unpack your wedding china next, but the chairs for the dining room haven't arrived yet and I don't want you standing on a five-dollar-piece-of-unsafe-junk folding chair trying to put fine china into a cabinet. It's not safe for you or the china."
That part at least was not a lie.
"Oh. Alright then," Meiru conceded. "Anything good on TV?"
"Dunno. Let's see."
After Meiru was settled on the couch and sufficiently distracted by daytime soap operas, Roll pulled up a small internet window. Very quietly, she searched the word "vertigo".
Two days, three dizzy spells, one shouting match, and one failed threat to tattle to husband later, Roll paced her PET angrily. Meiru had left over an hour ago to pick up a few things from the hardware store, and she had conveniently "forgotten" to take Roll along.
Roll smiled smugly at the sound of a key being inserted into the front door. Two could play at this game...
The next day, the phone rang.
"Ack, Roll? Can you get that?"
Surrounded by a sea of boxes and discarded newspaper wrappings, Meiru was trapped. Despite that and the fact that Roll happily agreed to answer the phone, she still made a valiant effort to extricate herself from the mess.
Just as Roll expected, Meiru reached the phone right as she hung up with the caller.
"Shoot. Who was it?"
"What?" said Meiru, sounding alarmed. "Why? What did they want?"
Roll tried her best not to fidget or display any other of her nervous behaviors. Looking back, what had seemed like a good idea yesterday had only seemed good because she was mad. Now that they had apologized to one another, Roll didn't want to be responsible for starting another fight.
She took a deep breath. It was too late to go back now. "It was an automated call confirming your appointment with her at one o'clock tomorrow afternoon."
"Appoint…? I don't remember…" Meiru suddenly gave Roll a distrustful stare. "Since when have I had a doctor's appointment tomorrow?"
There was a moment of stunned silence, which unfortunately only lasted a total of ten seconds.
"Roooll!" cried Meiru. "Why… why would you do something like this without telling me?!"
Roll bit her lower lip and looked away from the screen. "I was worried," she said in a small voice.
"Worried about what?" asked Meiru. "I keep telling you it's nothi—"
"No," Roll interrupted suddenly.
"No!" she repeated, stomping a pink boot down for emphasis. "It's not nothing! It is something, and I want to find out what it is! If you're not going to do something about it, I will! I care about you, and I don't like it when you hide things like this from me! What would Netto-san say if he knew about this?"
Meiru opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out.
"He would be upset," Roll continued, now much softer, "like I am. Refusing to acknowledge this problem won't make it go away, Meiru-chan. We both love you and just want what's best for you. Please. Even it if it's nothing, I want to hear a doctor tell us that."
Meiru turned sideways, and hugged her right arm across her chest.
"I just confirmed over the phone with the doctor's that you were coming tomorrow. Can I please keep that appointment on our schedule?" Roll asked gently.
Meiru gripped the fabric of her shirt so tight that her knuckles began to turn white. "Yes… yes that's probably for the best," she said in a wavering voice. "I…"
Her left hand shot up to hover over her mouth, and Roll noted with alarm that she looked ready to cry.
"Roll, I think I'm pregnant."