Sorry, folks. Yet another oneshot that has nothing to do with Reign In Blood. However, now that I've played through Cave Story and beaten Ballos on Hard mode, as well as playing through Curly Story... I am ready. I am prepared.

Here we go.

Curly had said she wanted to live some place that was nice, somewhere that had a view. She'd always been like that, though, from the day they were programmed; she was wild and free-spirited, and she loved adventure. It was part of what made their working partnership (or, rather, what had begun as a working partnership) so strange... He'd always been the silent one, the one who took and followed orders despite any misgivings he may have had; she was younger than him by about a year, newer than him, supposedly more advanced than him. All they'd done for him was redesign some scrap metal and add an emotion interface, so he wouldn't have been able to break orders no matter how much he may have wanted to.

He rarely spoke, and she never stopped talking. He barely even recognized emotions, but she was rarely without a smile. Curly Brace was the radiant sun, with her golden metal hair that flowed with the wind, and he was the moon that could only borrow her radiance.


He turned, seeing Curly in his optical receptors.

"You're still staring at the floating island, huh?"

His neck moved back around, and he continued to gaze upon the distant blotch of earth that was the Island of the Mimiga. The thoughts came rushing back, from before his first mission, and he was swept up in the memories it caused.

"Yeah, I'm just thinking. About the first time we went to the island, all those years ago..."

Curly raised an eyebrow, showing her surprise; even to her, he rarely spoke. "Oh? You mean, before all that stuff with the Doctor? We had to take down..."

"Miakid... He'd led an armed robotic invasion on the island, and we were sent for two reasons: clean up and destroy the Demon Crown."

They'd gone, alright. They'd seen what their robot brethren could do. The bodies had been everywhere, scorched and bloody and rotting to pieces... It had been horrible, they'd seen hell before going ten feet. The images of the corpses once belonging to helpless Mimiga, burned into their memory banks, had been traumatizing for them both. Quote, especially, had been helpless; he had seen it all, even the things he'd shielded Curly from viewing, and his programming prevented him from doing anything to help himself from wanting to vomit like a human.

Out of the year they'd spent on the island before their amnesia, the first two months had been the most horrific for them. There were none that could be saved, none that could be protected... But, one day, Quote had stumbled upon a young Mimiga who was trying to pick a fight with him.

Quote had wanted to laugh at the time, but no longer. He'd given the young creature his sword, a simple nodaichi, and had taken great care to ensure that the boy made it back to the village full of his subordinates.

That Mimiga had been Arthur, and the Blade had been given to King upon Arthur's death. King had then passed it back to Quote, both of them unaware that it was simply the return of a gift...

The first months may have been the most terrifying, but the third month was far more dangerous; they'd been sent to the Labyrinth by Misery (it was funny, he thought, how history always seemed to repeat itself) and had to fight their way out as a broken team... That had been when they first used the Tow Cable, guarding one another's backs, and they'd switched their means of self-identification. Curly had taken his programming core, which prevented him from abandoning orders, and he had swapped it for her chevron-laden hat.

Even now, that thought amused him. Her name was Curly Brace, and what would another name for a chevron be?

That's right, a curly brace.

Regardless, the fourth month had been when things had gone to hell... They'd encountered Miakid for the first of three times, and had been absolutely outgunned by the power of the Demon Crown. Sure, they'd mowed through his robot army with their machine guns and twin Nemesis weapons, but Miakid's power had been overwhelming; he'd regenerated all of his soldiers, and the robotic pair had to retreat and attempt a final conclusion later on, when they would have been better-equipped to deal with the Demon Crown. Curly had been heavily wounded, and Quote had spent two weeks searching the island for parts to replace her broken ones...

In the fifth month, once Curly was repaired, new orders were received from the surface. Their true objective was no longer to destroy Miakid and the Demon Crown, but to explore the island. That had been the point when Quote had first spoken any words about the people who were supposedly controlling them... "Fuck no, you bastards." His exact words, as he'd thrown his order-processing core off the side of the island with the strength only a robot could possess.

"Yeah..." Curly responded. "His name was Miakid. He was trying to do the exact same thing as the Doctor, but he had a robot army at his back instead of just Balrog and Misery. And, worse, he used the Demon Crown to regenerate them and give them better weapons..."

"But we had the Cthulu race on our side." Quote pointed out. "And they helped us out a lot, especially you."

"What, you mean the one in the Plantation?"

"Yeah. And they remembered us, too..."

The fifth and sixth months were spent in the caves, secretly guiding Mimiga to a location that should have been well-hidden. It was where they founded a village, and there were never fewer than twenty of them in the village at any one time. Even amidst the hell that was Miakid's reign with the Demon Crown, a semblance of peace had been found... Quote and Curly had gone to Jenka with Arthur, who had assumed the leadership role in the Mimiga Village, to talk about the red flower.

"And, even if she didn't say anything, I'm pretty sure that Jenka remembered me."

The argument was long and drawn-out; Jenka at first outright refused their request, but Arthur had very good points about the Red Ogre and Miakid's robotic army. Even if the red flower would permanently doom them when consumed in whole, perhaps it would've been of great benefit when used sparingly... He'd actually been right, testing the theory on himself by eating a single petal. He'd grown taller, become braver, and his muscles had surged. He was more aggressive, but that was a side effect that was minor when it meant that Quote and Curly had another capable warrior to fight beside them.

Thunderous steps resounded, and Balrog soon appeared in the clearing; where Quote and Curly were humanoid robots, with bodies that perfectly resembled the bodies of human beings, Balrog was most definitely NOT. He looked like some odd combination of a toaster, an oven, a bento, and a soap bar.

"Oh YEAH! What's up, guys?"

"Ah..." Curly grinned sheepishly. "We were just reminiscing about our first mission to the island, when Miakid held the Demon Crown."

"Oh, and the war... Yeah, that wasn't fun for me either. I was stuck on clean up and patrol duty the entire time. It was so boring..."

Quote ignored their conversation, and continued to stare at the floating island.

By the end of the seventh month, things were beginning to look hopeless for them. They'd lost all contact with their allies, and their guns were being worn down from constant use. No matter how many foes they destroyed, it was obvious that Miakid could simply bring them back to life and grant them even greater power.

In the middle of the eighth month, they once again pitted themselves against Miakid; Misery, however, prevented them from getting to actually fight the man... She'd broken Quote's machine gun, and he'd fared poorly against her with the Nemesis. Misery was, however, severely wounded.

The last four months were the most difficult, though they managed to find their way to Arthur again. He'd slain the Red Ogre and become the village hero, and went with them to see Jenka again; she had, after much deliberation, given Quote a replacement gun. It was called the Spur, and it was invaluable for not needing energy crystals to power up. Curly was given the Snake, a wall-passing weapon of great power. Upon the completion of their task, however, the weapons would disappear.

They left as soon as they were acquainted with the powers and abilities of their weapons, and the final trek began; they moved through the caves, they crossed the open terrain on the outside, they scaled cliffs, they crossed giant lakes. They eventually made it to the Prefab house after a long time, and took a few days to rest their taxed bodies... They were so close to victory that they could've tasted it if they'd had tongues.

That was when the final battle truly began in earnest, and it started out as a repeat of what had happened in their first encounter with Miakid. But that was when Arthur appeared, leading the charge of a Mimiga army that had all imbibed small portions of the red flower. They had battled the robotic army, leaving Miakid to Quote and Curly.

"And then there was Arthur, who probably literally saved the day when he arrived."

Miakid, for all his ability as the wielder of the Demon Crown, was helpless against the power of the two robots that shared something he couldn't have dreamed of: the Iron Bond of their friendship and trust surpassed Miakid's power, and Miakid was completely incinerated by a laser-canon shot from the fully-charged Spur.

But the Demon Crown was a vicious artifact, and so it struck them back; their memories were erased, and they were separated for what likely should have been eternity. While Curly was eventually awoken by the Colons after a few years, remembering nothing of her past, Quote had been brought back to activity by a falling drop of water that had made him spark.

"Hey, Balrog... In Jenka's house, you called her your aunt. Does that mean your father was..."

"Ballos? Yeah, though I wouldn't really call him my father after his magic turned me into this. I'm glad he's dead and gone, because it means I can be free."

Quote stood up, then, and began to move back to the house that they shared with the Colons, the Sakamoto family, Doctor Booster, Misery, and Itoh. "Let's head back, I've thought enough for one day."

"Huzzah!" Balrog exclaimed, beginning to fly back to the large cabin.

Curly smiled at him, and he indulged himself with a reciprocation of the act. He walked, and soon they were moving side by side. His arm was wrapped around her waist, while hers was draped across his shoulders. Once they got to the house, which Quote and Balrog had built before the Sakamoto family had come along and improved it, they stopped.

"All those battles we faced, and we still came out on top... If I weren't programmed to believe that no gods exist, I'd probably never stop thanking them for the miracle that is our survival."

Curly's smile widened. "We did better than just survive, Quote. We've made friends, we have a family, and we accomplished our mission in addition to helping out those friends."

"I guess you're right... I love this, I really do, and the fact that I can even be here with you is enough for me."

He grinned when her programming forced red marks to slowly appear and flush her face, and he leaned closer to her before dipping his head for a surprise kiss.

Upon separating, he smirked. "I know it's been a long day, but I still have a while before my battery needs to recharge... If you know what I mean."

He walked into the cabin, leaving a stunned Curly to realize what he'd meant with those words.

"Hey!" She raced inside with an even deeper blush, tearing after him amid the laughter of the home's other inhabitants.