the start of this one, and most of it is character development on Forte. Tell me what you think of what I've done with him, and be honest, please?

I own nothing related to /Megaman NT warrior, except my OCs, the idea for this story, Forte's (unintentional) personality changes, and the plot. SO DON'T SUE ME! And check me out on Deviant Art, with the EXACT same username.


"This place..." They were on a cliff that overlooked the city. Saphire had led him here quickly, but calmly. There was a tree behind them that looked as though it had been around for thousands of years. And it had, sort of. He could tell that just by being around it. It just radiated pure life energy. Not that anyone knew why. "Where the heck are we? Saphire-san?" She had let go of his hand and was walking over to the tree. Saphire seemed to think that an introduction was necessary for him...

"Hello, Sage." She spoke to the tree calmly, as though it was the most natural thing in the world, and not at all wierd to talk to trees as though they could hear you. She even looked at it's leaves and branches for it's reply. "How have you been? Good? That's wonderful! I know I haven't been visiting as often as I used to, but I made some new freinds. This is EXE Forte-kun. Forte-kun, this is Sage, the tree of life."

"Uhh...Hello, Sage. Nice to meet you...I guess." He was starting to think that Saphire was crazy, yet again. But he also figured that if this really was the tree of life, then it would explain why even he could sense the life-energy from the tree. It would also explain why Saphire could sense life-energy when noone else in her family could.

"Hello Forte." Forte nearly fell over in surprise. He had actually heard the thoughts of the tree. But that's not even possible! he thought, and then as though it had read his mind, the tree spoke again. "Isn't it? You've accepted much harder things to believe than the fact that a tree can speak, haven't you? I've watched your progress with some interest.

"W-why?" He asked. Wether or not he was dreaming, he would take this in stride as always. It wasn't the first time something strange had happened to him. His sister was proof of that. "Why would I interest the tree of life? There are far more influential people in the world than I."

"Ah, you mistake me. I did not mean to imply that I was changing things in your life, but rather that I was watching you with interest." He got the sense that this Sage person was actually smiling at him. "There is none in this world with more influence on the fate of the world than you and Saphire-hime. You are the only ones who can... No, I've said too much already. Just know that as long as you work together nothing can stand in your way."

"H-huh?" He nearly fell, but some of it's roots were holding his feet in place. What does he mean, too much how? He hasn't said anything that makes any sense! Saphire... hime? She can't be a princess... can she? While he had been talking to the tree he had found that he was looking up at the tree' leaves, much like Saphire had earlier. "I don't understand... What do you mean? Is there something I need to know in that cryptic message?"

Watch over her. She's not as strong as she seems. As long as you do that the true darkness will never find it's way to her true heart. And as long as it does not find it, the darkness will not be able to destroy her. You and only you can protect her.

"Great. So I'm supposed to protect her from this... true darkness thingy." He was trying to pretend that it was a bad thing, but was secretly glad to be able to help her and repay the favor. She had been willing to end her life to save his sister, how could he do anything less? He would fight to protect the only person to fight to break through his walls and befreind him. She was much more open with him than with anyone else, so he knew she had been making some kind of effort to do so. "Well, how the heck am I supposed to do that?" He was asking himself, but he may as well have said nothing becaouse Sage was done talking to him.

"Forte-kun?" Saphire said to him, once she was done talking with Sage. She had spoken so low that even Forte couldn't hear her, and he had the best hearing in the school. "We need to plan for our fight with Plats, right?" When he indicated that this was correct she continued. "Well, I think I've got a plan." And she told him. Then they began to practice the same move that she had had so much trouble with the night before. It was a little complicated, so Saphire had to explain it to forte before they began practicing it. This is how the time passed untill the round was about to start.

"N-no!" They were almost too late to sighn up for their match, just like the rest of her life. Saphire was late. Or, at least she thought she was. Forte just shook his head, holding in a smile. Not that Saphire noticed, she was too busy trying to get to the register before it closed. "I can't be late this time! Please no!"

"Saphire-san." He grabbed her shoulder and shook it lightly to get her attention. She looked at him, still trying to run to the sign up sheets. Forte was staring at the clock intently. "Did you misread the clock again. We have got tons of time. In fact, we have the entire lunch time to sign up for the tournament. You do realize this, right? I mean it's not like you forgot to check the clock, is it?"

"Right..." She laughed nervously, and Forte noted this. He didn't mention it after that, though. They moved up to the registration desk, which was located in the front office of the tournament building. How they got one in so little time Forte would never know, not that he was all that curious.

Some things are better off not known if you can help it. And I think this is one of them. Forte silently told himself.

"Forte-kun?" Saphire snapped him out of his silent musings, just as he was about to convince himself to ask how they had gotten the building the two were currently in. "We need a name. They say that the name of the top duo will be the name of the squad..."

"Hmm..." Forte thought for a minute. He had to drag his thoughts from a stray strand of her hair, however. For some reason even the smallest things about her are drawing my attention lately. It's getting a little annoying, but in a good way. "How about the Guardians? Would that work?"

"Perfectly!" She beamed at him, making him even more distracted. He just couldn't stop thinking about her. And she was going through a similar situation, albeit with more success. She had had a lot of practice hiding how she really felt, but she just couldn't help herself sometimes late at night. He crept into her thoughts like a ninja, or a hero sneaking into the enemy's base. "It sums up everything that our squad would focus on, the protection of others!"

"Then I guess we'll use this name." He said. Dang! She's just too cute to resist... I got to work on that. Badly. But how... I just can't stop thinking about her... What the heck does this mean? He thought similar things the whle time they were registering. It took all he had in him not to randomly spout how he felt about Saphire to some random person in line, the whole prosses took five minutes for them, but it felt like an hour to Forte.

They waited in the contestant area. Not everyone was going to take part in the tournament that day, only those with high grades in the Hero Classes. The longest round would be, in fact, the first round. And as such each match would have a time limit in the first and second rounds, but not afterword. If you had failed to defeat your opponent in the alloted time you would have to have scored sufficient points. In the event of a tie both teams would move on to the second or third round.

Saphire was reading the rule book, in particular the section on how to get a tie. In the case of their opponents being stronger she had a backup plan to get a tie untill the third round, where she would have had enough practice to be able to use some of her new powers to their advantage.

Forte was practicing his part of the new move, trying to get a feel for it, but he was being pulled to her eyes. He was actually starting to get angry with himself for not being able to concentrate properly. In fact, he found himself wishing she would at least say something so that he had something else to think about, other than how soft, calm, and beautiful her blue eyes looked...

"Forte-kun," Saphire's voice broke him out of his thoughts yet again. It was almost as though she knew just when to speak to help him stay as decent as he was. For that he was grateful. "I came up with a contingency plan in case our opponents are stronger than we anticipated." The british accent had creeoed back into her voice, he could grow to love that quirk of hers. "We need to show exceptional teamwork, apparently, in order to get points. If we can do that, we may win without defeating them, or we may just end it in a tie, but either way we just need to keep it up untill the third round. Okay?"

"I understand. How exactly do we do that?" He was starting to think that she was actually a better strategist than him. "It's not like you can plan teamwork, after all. It's just not possible."

"Haven't you noticed?" She sounded surprised, and she was. "We already make a great team. We know each other's moves like they were our own, there's no better team in the world."

"True, but that doesn't exactly promote teamwork. We only know each others moves because we fought every day for the past week. That situation doesn't exactly breed teamwork." He pointed out. Forte was also trying not to stare at her, which was getting harder by the second. Then he started to realize why he couldn't perform the move as though it were his own, he just wasn't the tagteam type. "Isn't teamwork really a state of mind?"

"I do beleive you're right. I never knew you were the philosofical type, Forte-kun." She was looking at him in that way that made him want to give her a hug. Which was definitly not usual for him. At all. "But maybe we need to figure out how to get into that state of mind..." She trailed off when one of the desk people in the fornt hall of this building walked in. She bowed to Saphire and Forte in turn, then she told them that their fight was about to start.

"Very well." Saphire said calmly, but Forte could tell that she was worreid that their teamwork wouldn't be up to par. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything. I just hope we win. Not that there's much of a doubt. I will never lose to weaklings like them. "We shall follow you to the colluseum room. Lead the way, ma'am."

"This way please." She led them to a door that wouldn't open untill the fight actcually began. "Please wait here. There are a few inspirational plaques that I suggest you read before the fight begins, you may find them helpful." She then left the small waiting lobby.

"Well, we may as well read them." She started to wander around the room. Forte just stood there looking bored. In his mind he was trying to figure out how to win the next fight without teamwork, mainly because he didn't know how to act around his closest, and only, freind right now. How the heck do you show teamwork? I HAVE NO CLUE!

"Huh, Forte-kun, this one is kinda interesting." She waved him over to where she was standing. "It says "When the road get's tough, one cannot walk alone. To be truly strong is to know your own weaknesses and strengths, and to play to them. Only the best can truly work as one. Only the strongest can be a true team." And that's all it says..."

"Well that makes no sense." He was getting the feeling that this wasn't an accident. "Strength is a measure of how good you are in a fight, not how well you work together."

"Forte-kun..." She was looking at him as though she were slightly disappointed. "... this is a definition of teamwork. We know where the other is weak, all we have to do is cover up each other's weaknesses, but not in such a way as to constrict the other person's style of fighting."

"O-oh..." Forte was starting to feel really stupid now. That's when he noticed the plaque next to the one Saphire was looking at. "Huh... "The road to victory is long and hard, but when one has someone to share it with it can also be a sweat one..." What does... oh." He started to blush. Why does one of these plaques talk about love?

"The fight is starting, I just know it, Forte-kun." Saphire said from over her shoulder. "We have a tournament to win!"

"Right." He followed her into the colluseum, thinking to himself that it didn't really matter anyway.

"Well, Plain-faced Hikari. I guess this is where we finally fight over who shall have Forte-sama's attention." She was wearing the generic clothes of the un-emblemed.

"I see no need to fight for that which is not mine to give." Saphire answered, once again playing up the british accent of hers. "However, let this be a battle to see who is better suited to be Forte-kun's partner, since you must fight about him. I personally prefer to fight for more... important matters."

"YOU DARE TO SAY THAT FORTE-SAMA IS NOT IMPORTANT?" She was getting mad, and starting to look ugly for it. "FACE MY WRATH!"

"I never said he wasn't important, I just stated that fighting over one who can fight for himself is pointless. I prefer to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves." She put up her guard, disposing of the handicap she usually used when not fighting Forte.

"I agree." Forte said and put up his guard as well. In that moment they syncronized perfectly, not having to, or even starting to, worry about their teamwork any Serena struck, only to be blocked by Forte and kicked in the back by Saphire.

"W-wha...?" The girl tried again and again and failed every time that she tried. If she attacked Saphire Forte blocked it, and if she attacked Forte Saphire intercepted her before she had even gotten close. Her partner had dropped out when he saw who their opponents were.

"Pathetic." Forte told her as he kicked her out of his way. She was trying to hide behind him. "Stand your ground, fool!"

"Why, Forte-sama?" She had become frustrated and refused to fight untill she got an answer. "Why won't you just accept my feelings for you?"

"Look. I'm just not interested." He said impatiently. "I'm sure some guys like your type, but I'm not one of them. I like girls who aren't afraid to fight for what they beleive. I like girls who won't give up, even if it's a lost cause. I like girls who don't try to put others down. I like people who know when somethings wrong and try to fix it, even when it's not their problem. I like-" He was interrupted by Selena.

"That british chick, Hikari Saphire." She finished for him. Luckily Saphire was busy retying her hair-ribbon and scarf, so she didn't notice. "Right, Forte-sama?"

"Y-yeah. Your just not my type." He was blushing, but had too much dignity to deny it.

"I knew it. I'm not the one you love. I could tell the moment I saw you fighting together." When she saw his bewildered look she clarified. "Only love is strong enough to allow you to fight with such perfect teamwork. Well, with your personality anyway." Then she did something unexpected. She surrendered, and she then called to Saphire: "I won't surrender Forte-sama to you, I promise. I'm going back to America for a while, though. See you when I return!"

So, what did you guys think?