Forgive me if I misuse the word "android" in this fic; I always considered X and Zero to be more than just robots. (And I know they're not actual Reploids, either.) This is just a one-shot done in fun, but maybe I'll do an X-related fic series in the future. Just don't expect it to happen anytime soon. Also, if I get anything wrong in general, I apologize; I'm not an avid Megaman X fan, I just had this cute idea about how two robots would view the stars.
Oh, and for the record, I find the relationship between X and Zero absolutely adorable.
"COUNT THE STARS (I DARE YOU)"
The year was 21XX.
The mysterious android known as "X" had recently been recruited into the Maverick Hunter Squad, with revered veteran android Zero as his commanding officer. Though he was clearly an old model and way out of his element, not to mention having the personality of an innocent child, X showed all the potential of a skilled marksman and even had the ability to copy the powers of other sentient machines. Under his mentor's watchful eye, X adapted to his new life as a soldier of justice in no time flat. But even with such heavy training under his belt, the blue-armored android had his moments when his human-like qualities won out.
For example, one night in his starting week as a Maverick Hunter, X broke protocol just to climb to the rooftop of HQ and stare up at the night sky. Still new to the world, X was far more enthralled by the little things in life than sharpening his fighting skills. That included staring up at the stars, taking in their beauty and wonder as their twinkling lights reflected in his green eyes. As he stared at them, his mouth gaped open slightly, giving him the appearance of being under a spell… and perhaps, in a way, he was. But while in this bedazzled state, he didn't hear his mentor creeping up behind him.
"What are you doing?"
"Huh?" he blinked once and turned to the red figure behind him. "Oh, hey Zero."
"This place is off limits," replied the unamused red android. He didn't seem too displeased, but his arms were crossed and his eyes were narrowed. It was enough to make X shiver in guilt.
"Sorry," he frowned. "I just had to come up here and watch the stars. The city's usually really cloudy, so I look up at them whenever I get the chance."
"Why? What's the point?"
"Just… Just look at them." Glancing upward, X began to go on a small tangent. "Aren't they beautiful, Zero? And there are so many of them… So many, you couldn't count them all even if you tried."
Curiously, Zero glanced upward- perhaps for the first time ever. But still, he remained unamused. "I still don't get why you like them so much."
X gave him a soft smile. "It's the wonder of nature, Zero."
Not much left was said between them after that. Zero simply motioned to the door leading downstairs for X to get the hint. After a few more seconds of stargazing, X finally gave in and descended from the roof, leaving Zero alone to ponder what his new protégé was babbling on about.
Then, a new thought crossed his mind: So many stars, you can't count them all?
The next morning, on the floor of HQ that X called home, he was leaving his sleeping quarters and marched down the hallway toward his new assignment. There, leaning up against the wall, was his mentor. The red android's head was slumped and his eyes were closed; he looked like he was sleeping, and yet there was a clear smug grin on his face.
As X walked by him, Zero blurted out, "63 billion, 589 million, 942-thousand, 421."
"What?" gasped X in surprise, as he stopped in his tracks and faced Zero.
The confident soldier in red opened his eyes to gleam at X's dumbfounded face. "You said you couldn't count the stars. I took a quick scan of them last night, and counted exactly 63,589,942,421."
X raised an eyebrow. "Wait… You actually counted them?"
Zero planted his index finger on the tip of X's nose. "In your face, Rookie."
Just as the red solider began to take his victory march down the hallway, X spontaneously broke into a fit of laughter. "Hee-hee-hee-heh-hehahahahahaha!"
Confused and offended, Zero stopped and turned back to his protégé with a grimace. "Why is that funny?"
Not even realizing what he was saying (and if he did, he probably would have taken it back), X replied with, "Aw Zero, you're adorable."
Zero grit his teeth. "What?"
"You only counted the visible stars, Zero, but the sky is endless. You couldn't possibly count all the stars, because most of them are too far away to see."
As X continued on his way, he failed to notice the look of utter shock in his mentor's face. Heck, Zero probably would have gone pale if his artificial flesh was capable of pigmentation.
A soldier Reploid in green armor happened to be walking by and overheard the conversation, and relished in seeing Zero's bulged eyes and dropped jaw. Not able to help himself, the green soldier gave the commanding officer a soft elbow to his side. "He gotcha there, boss."
He was then greeted by a swift punch in the face.