Really Long Author's Note Part One: Hello readers, new and possibly old. This story is several years old and sadly went unfinished due to real life issues and, ultimately, lack of interest. However I have re-discovered this story and, disgusted at how horribly written it is, would like to re-write and finish this fic, if for no other reason than for me to say I did. My pen-name will change with the wind, but I can assure you I am the original Kid-chan and creator of this fanfic.
However, this is both a re-write and I guess you can say re-planned out story. Some things will be taken out, more explained, and some things added. Also this story is not based on any of the games, therefore, all characters such as Iris and Double are alive and well, ready to be abused. Because of changing things, I won't be popping chapters out my ass, but I can assure you the updates will be regular as compared to, say, my new VHD fic Wilted Utopia.
Anyway, please enjoy, whether you're a new MMX reader or an old fan of this fic.
Oh yes. This fanfiction contains shounen-ai, male/male love. This shouldn't surprise you considering Zero and X are borderline canon anyway. AS OF MAY 16TH: Chapters 1-10 have been beta'd by Beth and are now uploaded! Hopefully the newly practically typo-free and better flow will improve the story. Also, apparently now hates the tilde '~' character when used as a seperator, so I'm stuck using their's til I figure something else out. Bear with me please.
AS OF MAY 16TH: Chapters 1-10 have been beta'd by Beth and are now uploaded! Hopefully the newly practically typo-free and better flow will improve the story. Also, apparently now hates the tilde '~' character when used as a seperator, so I'm stuck using their's til I figure something else out. Bear with me please.
Chapter One: Song of Memory
It was seven in the morning, a little before than scheduled shift start time. As such, the entire Headquarters was, for the most part, quiet, and the halls were empty save for the few early birds or graveyard-shifters, all striding slowly and enjoying the gentle sunlight sparkling through the windows.
All were striding, except for one.
Megaman X power-walked through the halls, looking here and there and poking his head into every unlocked room he came across. The few that passed him paid him no mind, for what he was doing was age-old tradition. X was looking for Zero, whom had again disappeared without a trace.
X looked everywhere, from Zero's dormitory room to the Hunter Recharge room. Everywhere X looked, he saw no golden-haired red-clad Reploid, and each dead end and empty room made the blue-armored hunter sigh in frustration. Since the recent outbreaks of Maverick activity, rumors buzzed throughout all of HQ, and they made X worry almost excessively. Zero wasn't one to go off and kill people, but he did not appreciate being gossiped about, and was more likely to let his fists or saber show his dissatisfaction than a simple, 'I don't appreciate it.'
But that's what X was for.
X jacked up his sensory circuits, trying to see and hear anything he may have missed. It wasn't just Zero knocking some rookies around that worried him. Zero had been acting odd for days now, and the random disappearing was starting to look bad.
X paused outside the door to the garden. At the behest of several female Reploids and humans, the old unused lot had been transformed into a natural Eden of plants and trees, and had a small river and pond. There was even a man-made hill that, when standing at the top, one could see most of the city. It was, admittedly, X's favorite place to relax, but Zero had openly said he disliked the garden and would never be caught there. Remembering that, X turned to leave, until something seemed to click in his mind.
Zero declared it wasn't a place he'd go, so, therefore, people would say he never goes there. It would be the perfect hiding spot. Still at HQ, so no one can say he was sneaking off, but isolated enough away from people.
X opened the door and stepped out, but the instant he did he wished he had turned down his sensory circuits. The aroma of flowers, so strong and disgustingly sweet when amplified, nearly made the blue Hunter gag, and the sunlight flared un-filtered through his artificial retinas and straight into his eye scopes, glaring and blinding him for a moment. Quickly, he turned the sensory reception back down, but his hearing picked up something that did not normally belong…
A string of music, and by the sound of it, a violin. X closed his eyes and focused entirely on the music, and his breath way taken away when the song circulated his mind. It was gorgeously depressing, that song. And yet, as X couldn't help but try to analyze it, the song peaked at times with what sounded like hope. Low drones of sad memories, uplifted by few yet powerful and wonderful experiences that could never be replaced…
X followed the music, eyes still closed, and when he began to ascend the hill, the music was getting louder and louder. When X opened his eyes, his breath was again taken away, but not by a sound, but by a sight.
Zero, his best friend and comrade in arms, stood relaxed at the top of the hill. His helmet rested peacefully at his booted feet, the only piece of armor removed from the usual red and white wear. His ponytail, Zero's signature feature, flew out gently like a flag of spun gold and silky radiance in the morning breeze. The rising sun's light reflected off Zero's majestic figure as he smoothly glided the bow over the violin strings, producing such music not even X knew he was capable of. Somehow, despite all the hot-headedness and the violent tendencies Zero had, this image of him fit, and was perfect. X could barely breathe, although he would never admit he was captivated by the sight.
So enthralled was he that X didn't realize Zero had stopped playing and had turned around to look behind his shoulder. X shook himself of the reverie when he realized Zero said something.
"I said," Zero repeated, "I knew you'd be looking for me."
X couldn't help but smile. "So this is where you hide? Nice deception."
His friend's eyes held amusement. "You found me. So what can I do for you?"
"You…" X paused, then, "never told me you played the violin."
Zero turned to fully face him, and shrugged, this time smiling. "You know me, X. I am a man of many secrets, many talents, and often, they're strange."
"True enough." X walked up to his best friend, hands folded behind his head. "That song… I never heard it before. Did you make it up?"
"Yeah," Zero shrugged again.
"It's beautiful," X said, and by his tone, he truly meant it.
Zero pulled the violin from his neck, as he had kept it posed there this entire time. "Thank you."
"Does it have a title?" X asked, curiosity making his green eyes dance, much like a child.
Zero paused, smile fading, before admitting, "I'm not sure on that. I was just tuning when I just started to play, so I don't have a title."
"Well, if you don't mind me analyzing," X smiled. "It sounded like you were reliving your memories… some sad and heartbreaking… and yet, it was okay, as there was hope in that sadness, and besides…" The blue-armored Hunter dropped his arms and looked a bit shy. "The memories, and maybe the people too, that you have now make it okay."
"How…" Zero's smile returned. "How quaint of you, X. I think you just titled it."
"Song of Memory. How's that?"
X chuckled, whatever shyness he had gone. "Doesn't a song require lyrics?"
Zero huffed, but then donned a thoughtful expression. "Your heart will sing the lyrics that it hears; therefore, the song doesn't need words on paper."
"Oh, you're a poet now?"
"I'm a man of many talents."
X laughed, then sat on the hill grassy ground. "Can I hear it again? I'll let you know if my… how'd you put it… 'heart sings.'"
Zero snickered. "Sure, I'll completely move you." Without another word, Zero brought the violin up and resumed playing.
To be truthful, X did find himself feeling something. It was hardly singing in his core, but there was something. It was as if this song was a bind, a bind between him and his best friend.
X decided, even if Zero didn't think so, that this was theirs – their Song of Memory. He softly hummed with the violin, and although he didn't think Zero heard it, the red-clad hunter did, and was smiling.
-Later that day-
X decided he wanted to see if he also had any hidden talents, and had gone out and bought himself a violin. He endured Zero's teasing, but he did get the blond to promise to teach him the song. Zero did warn him that if he wanted to learn music, it didn't have to be a violin, but X wanted to try it. Maybe he could seem just as majestic as Zero did when he played.
Zero had been called on a mission, leaving X in the waiting queue and bored. He lay leisurely on his recharging pod in the Hunter Recharge Room. Although they had their own rechargers in their dorms, the room was meant to be used by all Hunters and was good for quick charging as opposed to thorough charges and scans. X and Zero had long ago laid 'claim' to two pods that were side by side. No one argued, and no one used them without their permission. Now, as X lay there, not using the pod but just relaxing and waiting, he was grateful to be a high class Hunter.
X picked up the violin case and opened it, running his hand along the new instrument's wooden body and virgin strings. Zero hadn't had much time to teach him anything before leaving, and X hadn't bothered to try without him. But now, he had the urge to try. He was a robot after all, how hard could it be?
Despite downloading some data and basic techniques and even replaying the recording of the song he downloaded, X's attempt resulted in the most horrendous sound of squeaks and nails-on-chalkboard. X winced, stopping and stashing the instrument away, but it was far too late.
"What is that terrible noise?" a voice called out. It was none other than the esteemed Doctor Cain. The old human hobbled into the room. "X! Whatever you're doing, stop it, it offended my hearing!"
What hearing? X thought sarcastically. Instead he said, "Sorry, Dr. Cain."
Behind the human, the new Reploid navigator Alia poked her head into the room. Wait, she wasn't the new one… X couldn't possibly keep up with all the new recruits, and in trying, he often forgot who had climbed up the ranks.
"I'll admit," Alia said, "it was pretty terrible. What were you doing?"
"Nothing," X said, embarrassed his first attempt was that bad. "I was… doing nothing."
"You lie horribly," Alia noted.
"Fine," X huffed. He fell back onto his pod, arms crossed under his head and one leg propped on the opposite knee. "I was trying to play a violin for the first time. My bad."
Alia giggled even as Cain grumbled, "I'm glad you're expanding your interests, X, but if you're going to play that horribly, do it outside of HQ!"
"You're encouraging," X replied dryly. "Truly."
Zero wandered the halls like a ghost, and people didn't bother him as he did so. Zero was known to wander around HQ when not on duty, never staying in one spot unless X was with him, and they could sit in one spot and chat for hours. Or, if the occasional reports were true, they would sit in complete and utter silence, sometimes just staring at each other.
X, his best friend, the one Zero swore to protect from the evils of the world even if X was ten times more powerful than Zero himself. Best friends.
"Damn," Zero muttered.
"Damn what, Zero?"
Zero halted and a growl issued from his voice box. "Go away, Double."
The short, stout Reploid sneered as Zero glared at him. Despite being one of X's other friends, Zero had instantly disliked Double. There was something about him that rubbed Zero just wrong, and he was sure Double felt the same. X urged them to be at least civil, but they could hardly be civil for more than two seconds.
"I was just asking a question," Double said, pretending to look hurt. "You seem troubled."
"Go to hell," Zero muttered as he tried to walk away.
Double trailed after him, persistent and annoying like a fly. "Been there. But if I go again, I'll save a seat for you, Zero."
"I didn't give you permission to refer to me by name, fatass."
"Oh, now we're using insults! How… human."
"Leave me alone," Zero warned, his voice dropping to dangerous tones.
Double paid no heed, obviously not caring for his own health. "Why not just tattle to your dear friend, X? Or wait," he mocked, "aren't you trying to make X your little sweetie pie?"
Zero turned to fully face him. "Get away from me before I rip you limb from limb."
Double stopped and took a step back, only now noticing the murderous glare in Zero's blue eyes. He had heard rumors that Zero wasn't afraid to make art with his enemies' bodies, and by that look, Double could see the truth. He quickly walked away, Zero glaring at him until he turned around a corner. With a snort, Zero turned and continued his way.
"I said…!" Zero turned, and all anger slowly seeped away as X leaned against the wall, looking at his expectantly. "Oh, X. I thought you were Double."
"I heard you two fighting…" A long sigh, "… Again."
The silly hopelessness in X's voice made Zero crack a smile. That only annoyed X, who continued, "Why can't you two get along?"
"He's fat, ugly, disrespectful, can't keep his pudgy nose out of anyone's business, let alone his own garbage chute—"
The crack of a smile became a full one. "Sometimes, X, not everyone can get along."
X let out another heavy sigh. "You can say that again."
"Sometimes, X, not every—"
"Shut up, you know I didn't mean it like that."
Zero chuckled, and then X himself grinned and pushed himself off the wall. He stood close to Zero and stood on the toes of his boots, and Zero, although not backing away, blinked several times.
"Let's run away, before Cain can give us work," X said.
Not quite the romantic suggestion Zero was mentally preparing himself for. "Sure. Where to?"
"I dunno… maybe the park or something. Just away."
Zero shrugged. "Why not? Let's run off."
X's grin became a satisfied smile and the two disappeared in beams of indigo and crimson.
Despite the gaping humans, X and Zero enjoyed their leisurely walk along the park's path. They had forgone changing out of their usual armor, and although they stuck out like sore thumbs, no one had approached them. The peaceful walk settled X and, although it was hardly action-packed, spending time with X kept Zero calm.
"Better than hunting," X said, breaking their comfortable silence.
"Better than paperwork and reports and filing…" Zero mumbled. X nodded, agreeing wholeheartedly.
Before X could recount his violin practice (because even he had to admit it was funny), a pair of humans approached the Reploids. Zero tilted his head slightly, studying the two: it was a man and woman, possibly married. The woman was short and stout, but not unhealthily large. Her man was hilariously thin compared to her, however, and it reminded Zero of those mindless shows on TV.
"Wow, it's really you!" the woman gushed. She clapped her pudgy hands. "I always wanted to meet you guys, what an honor! You two… you saved my mom's part of town from Mavericks a few months ago. We're all indebted to you!"
X smiled, suddenly shy. "Just doing our jobs, ma'am. Might I ask your names?"
"Oh, oh," the woman laughed, and Zero founded it more on the annoying side than the endearing one. "I'm Ashley, and this is my husband Jon. Ohhh, oh," she lifted the camera that Zero hadn't noticed was hanging around her neck. "Can we take your picture? Please? We'll send you copies, of course…"
X shrugged and looked at Zero, who smiled a bit. "Sure, why not?"
Jon had to keep his wife from jiggling insanely in her happiness. "Okay, any pose you want!" she said as she lifted the camera.
Before X could even move, Zero pulled him close, chest against chest. X's only option was to wrap an arm around Zero's waist, as one of his friend's arms trapped him as well, and let his other hand give a thumbs-up as Zero's free hand pointed toward the sky and he had the silliest grin X had ever seen on his face.
When the camera flashed and the humans gaggled away, X turned to Zero. "I never knew you liked taking pictures."
Zero grinned. "I'm a man of many talents, many secrets…"