Ask Away

A Megaman Classic fanfic by Neo Qwerty
Prequel: Locked In

Forte was in a fouler mood than usual. He'd seen the traces when he had terminated King, he'd seen how hurried Wily had been, quickly hiding discs and shredding on-paper blueprints. But it had taken the latest battle against Rockman to realize that Wily had tried to get rid of the blue robot while keeping Forte out of his hair. And the visitor in his recharge room only pissed him off more.

"What do you want, Blues!"

The grey and red robot didn't speak up, only looking down at him from his perch over the recharge "capsule". His lips were pressed together, thinly, his hands linked together and his knees brought up to his chest, and Forte could feel Blues' gaze locked on him. After a few more moments, Forte snorted and walked to the capsule, reaching up and pulling at Blues' left boot.

"Get off of it if you're not going to talk. I'm going offline and I sure as hell don't want you here."

Blues only let his leg unfold, danging it down without trying to shake Forte's grasp off, still staring down at him. He finally tilted his head back, letting his helmet and visor vanish in a flare of red, and Forte glared at the eye-searingly stupid hairdo on the Blues, paying little attention to Blues' strange and pleading look.

"Shit, you haven't gotten rid of that yet?! That does it!"

He pulled on the left leg, hard, and watched Blues slide off the capsule and land down with a yelp, eyes widening and one leg stuck in the air until Forte dropped it, looking around his room. While Blues managed to stand up again, the odd expression replaced by confusion, Forte had quickly stomped to Gospel's pod, looking at the base before grabbing a sharp shard of metal, torn from some white robot's hide. Forte quickly moved back toward Blues, slamming him against the capsule then driving a knee into Blues' midsection to hold him there, grabbing at Blues' throat and digging fingers in until he felt the voicebox under them.

Blues stared at him with wide eyes, even more confused before his eyes narrowed, opening his mouth, and then Forte squeezed his fingers, making Blues wince and manually muting him. The white shard with a black stripe closed in on his face… then his hair was pulled at, and something brown fell between them. Forte glared venomously at Blues' hair, and used the sharp-enough metal to chop at the stupid hairdo, muttering.

"You look so fucking stupid all the time with this retarded hair style, and then you have the nerve to annoy me with it!"

Blues' hands, on their way to grabbing at Forte's wrist to convince him to let go of Blues' throat, stilled as Blues blinked, another lock of syntethic hair falling down. …Whatever he had expected, it wasn't getting a haircut from an irrate Forte. As soon as the fingers loosened enough to let his voicebox operate again, Blues started talking.

"Wha…—"

"Don't fucking start asking me questions! Your hair looks stupid! The retro look is stupid! You look damn stupid!"

Blues' mouth, Forte noted with a hint of satisfaction, made a snapping 'clok' when it closed fast enough. Forte gave him another glare, before continuing to speak.

"I'm going to be the one asking the questions this time."

"…If you tell me what happened for me to challenge you."

"You're not in any position to bargain right now, junkbot!"

Blues only looked at him with that weird look again, shoulders slumping and looking enough like Rockman whenever he pleaded for Forte to become his friend that it angered Forte further. He tugged hard on another long lock, pulling it out of the odd spirally sweep, and he glared when Blues winced and his head jerked back slightly.

"Stop looking at me like that."

Blues didn't obey, this time.

"I'm… I need to know what I said. If I forgot I challenged you, who knows what else I forgot! What if I promised Rock something, what the—"

The fingers dug in again, a hard glare freezing him in place. A warning.

"So what if you forgot. It still happened. And if your brother," he spat it out like the worst insult there could be, "can't get enough of a spine to remind you of what you owe him, he doesn't really deserve to have the 'promise' you dealt with him done."

Blues looked at Forte, a bit surprised, but another lock of hair, quite a bit bigger than the others, fluttered down between them.

"…Are you telling me to trust others…?"

"I'm telling you to stop shitting bricks over things that only weaklings wouldn't call you out on! Now shut up, will you!"

Blues, obviously distraught, obeyed Forte and quieted down, frowning and closing his eyes. Satisfied, Forte returned to getting rid of the stupid-as-hell coiffe, chopping it away only slightly unsteadily. It took about twenty minutes, all in all, but once he was done, he let go of Blues and discarded the shard over his shoulder, carelessly.

"…You were supposed to ask questions, weren't you?"

Forte blinked, before narrowing his eyes at Blues and reacting with annoyance, both at his hesitation and at Blues, overall.

"Uhh… …Why do you always have to ask questions?!"

"Because I want to know as much as I can."

"Psh. That wasn't a question!"

Blues raised a hand to his head, tentatively sweeping his fingers through his hair, feeling the locks part, and he tried not to show how odd it was, feeling a different hairstyle than he'd worn since his activation. Blues dropped his head down, chin sinking against his sunny yellow scarf, and peeked at Forte, partly hidden under brown hair.

"Sounded like one to me. You wanted me to answer…"

"Well, you suck at answering!"

Forte glared at Blues for a few more moments, before glaring a bit more thoughtfully at him. He could always try to take advantage of the unwanted guest and his obsession with knowing as much as he could.

"How much do you know about the fuck-up with Light's Robot Masters?"

"How willing are you to help me out with remembering that challenge?"

Forte threw Blues a dirty look, once again annoyed at his presence (and the questions, always the questions!), before he rolled his eyes and snorted.

"The information you have better be damn well worth connecting to you!"

Blues gazed at him for another moment, watching Forte grab at his neck and take out a connection cord, before he turned away. He raised his scarf out of the way and struggled with his jumpsuit, opening it enough to expose his neck and the otherwise uncovered ports. Forte looked at that, a bit bemused, before he shoved at Blues' back, leaning in to make sure that he was going to stick his connector in a clean slot.

"Even your design is stupid! Who the hell would let a robot go around with all their sockets bared, anyway?"

Blues clicked his tongue at that, a sharp, loud and quick noise that carried ridiculous amounts of disapproval with it, and Forte only reacted by jabbing a finger at the back of Blues' head.

"Quiet you, you don't get to bitch."

The connection opened with the click of notches biting down on Forte's link cable, and Forte didn't waste time moving in, ready to dump a copy of the memory Blues wanted. …or at least, he would have, if Blues hadn't started acting weird and tried leaning back against Forte.

"What the hell are you doing?!"

"…I'm not doing anything…"

"Like hell, you aren't, stay against the capsule and stop trying to back up into me! I don't want to—to… I don't want to cuddle!"

"…I'm doing what!?"

"Leaning back toward me, bastard!"

Forte shoved Blues back forward against the capsule, satisfied that the other tensed, but while he copied the memory, Blues relaxed again and snickered.

"What's so damn funny now!"

"…Wouldn't you like to know, right?"

"Tell me!"

"That's not what you're giving me the memory for, though…"

If there was one thing he hated more than Blues' mysteriousness in general, it was when he was combining that and his infuriating singsong tone. Forte growled and shoved Blues against the glass surface again, reaching out and disconnecting the cable. Blues shuddered against that and lowered his hand to trace the edges of the port, and Forte slapped his hand away with a snarl.

"Do I have to start being your supervising unit?! Don't start sticking your dirty fingers in there!"

"…You just like hitting me with flimsy excuses to cover it."

Blues expected the slap to the head. When the sparks behind his eyes died down, he turned back toward Forte, zipping his jumpsuit back up and smoothing his scarf back in position around his neck. Blues accessed the file, dividing his attention between Forte's memory and Forte's impending questions.

"Ask away, now."

"How long did Wily plan for that?"

"I don't know. What I do know is that he already had six out of eight Robot Masters created before he changed his mind and decided Light's would give him a better chance at defeating Rock. I think he was banking in on his compa—"

"Yeah, yeah, I get it, Rock's so kind and caring, blah blah de blah. So that's why Tengu Man and Astro Man were rebuilt. What about King?"

"Wily already had that one planned. Had the early drafts ready as early as Duo's arrival, even. He just decided to throw King in as his ace to get rid of you and Megaman without needing to fight you and leave the Lightbots unsupervised."

"Will you just shut up and answer me with what I want to hear?"

"If I don't give details, you'll yell at me, and I missed the day the mind-reading program was downloadable content on the robot upgrade channel."

"Smartass."

"Coming from you, that's a compliment."

"And a bootlicker at that!"

"You don't even want to hear what I could say about it."

Forte looked at Blues, serious as he could ever look, and he made a sneering grimace at the prototype.

"That's just nasty. Tell me your antivirus is up to date."

"Of course it is! Next question!"

"…Why are you so hellbent on annoying me about my programmed goal? And if you give me some poetic mysterious bullshit I'm…"

"You're…?"

Blues raised an eyebrow, smirking like he was invulnerable, and Forte narrowed his eyes.

"I'm not going to let you connect with me again!"

Blues' eyebrows raised, his eyes widened, and his mouth opened just enough to carry the shock very visibly. Blues wasn't expecting that… And he was preparing to answer, suddently looking off to the side without facing away from Forte. Bingo. Forte had tracked a weakness down correctly, again.

"Alright. …I'm just looking out for you. You're autonomous. You're smart, smarter than Rock could hope to be. I don't want to risk losing you in case there's a fluke and Rock loses. if you're following that part of your program, that means end of the road. If you're not…"

"You'd better be ready to get your ass kicked so hard every Metool you've used the Master Control on will be crying in pain for a week straight."

Blues looked at Forte for a long time, before finally nodding.

"I guess my fears weren't founded, were they?"

"You're just as much of a weakling as your brother, with your 'fears' and 'happiness' and 'friendships'!"

Forte shoved Blues away from the capsule, opening it with a hiss, and reached inside for something black and shiny.

"Just shut the hell up and get out of my room, I'm done pulling info out of you."

He grabbed Blues' wrist, turning his palm upward, and slapped the object into it before shoving him toward the dark corner of the room.

"Go away the same way you got in, junkbot, and don't come back! I don't need to feel nauseous with your sugary talk about how I'm important to you!"

Blues looked down at his abandonned shades, slipped them back on one-handed, and then disappeared in the corner with sounds of something heavy crawling on the floor and then into the ventilation shafts. Forte looked at that corner, before he stepped into his capsule and let it close up again in front of him, sealing off the noise of the outside world and locking him in for his recharge stasis.

"…wish there was a way to Blues-proof rooms, I've already lost a half-hour of charge…"

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