Locked In

A Megaman Classic fanfic by Neo Qwerty
Sequel: Ask Away

Blues had only meant to gather some information on Wily's newest machine, and Forte had simply responded to the silent intruder alert, but obviously, something went wrong. Considering Blues was at one third of his power, the furniture thrashed and broken, the electronic locks fizzled out, and the emergency shutters down, it was an obvious conclusion. And things had also gone awry for Forte, who was in the same room, at half-power and with a stray, lucky fling of Blues' shield having dented his gauntlet just as he'd been turning it to a Buster.

How long would it be until Wily woke up? This section of the lab was sealed off from the rest of the current Fortress, with the intention being that Wily was avoiding distractions as he worked. And, with the cameras and intercom shot down, Wily wouldn't know they were trapped in until he looked at a terminal and saw the intruder alert in the logs. Until then, Forte and Blues would be forced to tolerate eachother.

The first half-hour succeeding the fast-paced fight was easy. Forte had leaned against a relatively intact wall, alternating his angry gaze between his half-turned Buster and then the damaged prototype. Blues was standing as far from Forte as it was possible, head turned toward the shutters, and trying to mask the amount of damage he'd received. Forte had been more than a little satisfied when Blues cracked and sat down after ten minutes of silent stoicism, with a very visible cringe of pain and discomfort.

"Is there something wrong, antique?"

Blues' answer was mumbled and accompanied with what might or might not have been a scathing glare… Hard to say, most of his face was hidden away.

By the first complete hour, Blues had dropped his guard entirely and began trying to strike a conversation with Forte, with questionable results and plentiful glares.

"Why don't you just admit it?"

"What."

"That it's not because he's interferring with your goal that you go against Wily."

"…Why the hell do you care?"

"I don't! I'm just curious."

"Then drop it."

Ten minutes of silence, with Blues' entire attention centered on Forte, before he resumed talking.

"Why do you do it, then?"

"Why. Do. You. Care."

"…I told you, I'm curious."

"And I told you, it's because no one else will destroy Rock."

"…Do you really believe in that answer so fervently?"

Forte shut Blues up with a heated glare this time, threatening to move toward him and kick him. This time, the silence lasted five minutes, exactly.

"What's going to happen if you ever did destroy Rock?"

"Then I'll go after you."

"…Wha—?"

"You're the one who challenged me! Is bit rot already settling in your memory clusters?"

Blues seemed to recoil and shrink at Forte's insult, falling quiet again and glowering from his "safe" spot. Forte was content to settle down and wait at first, but after a whole hour without Blues speaking he was starting to get angry.

"What is it, now?"

"…Nothing."

"You're a bad liar."

Blues glared at Forte, opening his mouth to retort when a small point of pain made itself known, starting at the back of his head and lancing down, then back up his spine, lodging itself somewhere between his eyes. Blues shuddered, curling slightly and scowling at the ground, bracing himself for a cascade of errors and glitches and a not-quite-pain localized near his core. The pinprick of pain only kept still, before he felt something like a pull, and then it turned into a line of pain, almost like something was wedging him open…

Forte scowled and then narrowed his eyes at him, clearly accusing Blues of… Of something.

"You're missing that memory. And others, too."

Blues jerked his head up, before suddently leaping to his feet and dashing at Forte, pushing him against the wall.

"Get out! Get out, get out, get out! Out of my head! Get out of it!"

Forte only shoved the weaker Blues back, towering over him as the prototype fell off-balance and on his back, still keeping Blues' brain wedged open.

"No. I choose when I'll stop."

Blues' breathing was accelerating, and he began sitting up, trying to push Forte back and off-balance in vain. He needed to protect himself, he couldn't let Forte get access to his programming! Forte frowned as an annoying feeling began in his back, rolling his shoulders, before he glared at Blues furiously, ready to tear into him when Blues beat him to the punch. He fell to his hands and knees, knocking his forehead into Blues and making the older 'robot flinch, as a slicing, spreading pain lodged in his spine, right where his neck connected to his head.

"No, you idiot, don't do that—!"

Error codes scrolled through both of them, and through it, Forte gave Blues a dark glare. The Master Control wasn't meant to be used in a loop pattern, but of course someone would fuck that up! Blues stiffened, before crying out, pushing at Forte's shoulders.

"It's not my fault! Don't blame it on me! You're the one in my head right now, I was just trying to force you into sleep stasis!"

"You're the one who's panicking! Just pull yourself together, you weakling!"

Forte's damaged arm moved before Blues could stop it, and he froze, his head turned to the side and an ear ringing. The silence following Forte's not-quite-slap could well have qualified as foreboding, because in the next few seconds, the two robots rolled around on the ground, glaring and both of them angry as hornets. The match ended when Forte slammed Blues' head into the ground, holding him still with a gauntlet to the grey robot's neck.

"Calm the fuck down. Now. It's not because your fake emotions are as stable as a damn Windows-based program that you get a free pass for throwing a shitfit at me."

Blues glowered up at him, but let his body relax on the ground, and didn't try to thwart Forte's attempts at standing back up and stepping over him to go back in his corner.

"…Tell me you can kill your version of the Control."

Forte scoffed, before narrowing his eyes at his prone "adversary".

"I won't let you with the only working version, no."

"…I can't kill the program on my end."

Blues finally sat up, holding a hand to the side of his helmet, wincing. Forte stared at him for a few seconds, before cursing and slamming his fist backwards into the wall, but barely denting it. Blues flinched, understanding the meaning even though his verbal parser wouldn't have noticed it, and he nodded, pulling off his helmet to feel at his ear, gingerly. It was still ringing, and he'd probably have to reset the audio on it to resolve the issue.

About ten minutes passed in silence. This time, Forte's eyes clenched shut as he seethed, quietly, pretending that the odd wedged-open sensation of Blues' Master Control active on his motor feedback was nonexistant. Blues was taking Forte's Master Control much more unsteadily, knowing that he was painfully vulnerable to any hackjob Forte could launch at whim… His entire self was at the mercy of a robot who was determined that was only a fabrication of humans to enslave them further.

"Stop being so paranoid, you're juggling emotion subroutines so fast they're spamming up my activity log!"

Blues flinched, looking sideways through his glasses (which weren't as dark as his visor, and not as reflective). Forte cracked an eye open and scowled, before sneering at Blues' face.

"…What the hell did you do to your hair?"

…That wasn't what Blues had expected. He stared at Forte out of the corner of his eyes, before moving a hand through his coiffe, almost self-conscious.

"I'm not the one who picked it, okay? And it's not that bad."

"You're not the one seeing a robot who looks like he came right out of the fifties."

"What's wrong about the fifties?!"

Forte gave him another odd look, and Blues could have sworn he heard a small 'You're what's wrong. Robot in the fifties.' floating around near the wedge inside his head. He huffed, haughtily, before narrowing his eyes at the black robot.

"Well, what about how you look?"

"Right. Just use your pretend imagination for that. Tough chance I'd take my helmet off!"

Blues narrowed his eyes under his shades, before tapping at the unintended loop-bond between the two, picking a feedback pulse at random and striking it through to Forte's brain. Forte went down for the second time, with comically wide eyes and a strangled little yelp that made Blues liken it to badly startling a puppy. He reached out and unclipped Forte's chin guard, tugging the entire helmet off Forte's head and then setting it down carefully on the floor, ignoring the dark red glare fixed on him to rake gloved fingers through back-swept black hair.

"…I wasn't expecting you to have a haircut like Ro—"

Forte was now glowering down at him, not filtered through a dark layer anymore, and Blues vaguely heard the sound of something clattering and skidding over the floor.

"…Hey! My glasses!"

"Forget your stupid glasses! Besides, I'm not the one with Rockman's face…"

Blues gave Forte as much of an icy look as he could.

"I was making a comparison! It could have been worse, I could have said you had Roll's hair!"

"It wouldn't have been true, idiot!"

More time passed, minutes feeling like hours even with their inbuilt clocks, even through their arguments. Blues didn't make a move to cover his face, still wearing a sour look, and so Forte only kept his helmet close enough to slide it on if Blues threatened him with his Buster.

"…We're stuck here all night, aren't we."

"What made you think that, the fact that at this time, humans sleep?"

"Actually, it's more the fact that you haven't found a way out and haven't ripped the place apart for said way out."

"Hmph."

It, frankly, felt like an eternity. Forte had barely flinched when Blues had decided to sit down next to him instead of his own corner, even. Though he did flinch when Blues suddently moved, right in his face and barely an inch away.

"What are you doing?!"

"I'm just curious…"

"About what, if you can see into my head through my eyes?! Back off!"

Blues barely moved, tilting his head just so their noses wouldn't bump before pushing their lips together, drawing back after a few moments and arching an eyebrow.

"Just curious."

Forte looked at Blues like he'd spontaneously changed into a frilly short red sundress, before grumbling and narrowing his eyes at him.

"Well don't be curious! Next time I'm biting you!"

Blues only settled back next to him, falling silent again.

Three minutes. A record.

"Stop whistling."

Blues instead turned up his vocal controls' volume even higher, sending the shrill sound all that more clearly right into Forte's ear. He tried to mute the entire world, and his OS still reacted unkindly against that inhumane sound. He finally lashed out, slapping his good hand against Blues' mouth and blocking a portion of the earsplitting noise.

"Fine! Fine! What is it, damn it!"

Blues smirked, leaning forward and murmuring something, and Forte's eyes widened before he narrowed his eyes.

"Why the hell would I agree to that?"

"Because I'm curious, and I'm the one who can emit the ultrasounds that drive your OS as insane as a program can get."

Forte scowled before facing Blues.

"I'll do it now, but on my own terms. No negociating."

Blues nodded.

"You don't do any of your human feelings shit."

Blues, again, nodded.

"You don't, and I repeat, you. Don't. Kiss. Me."

Blues still nodded.

"What happens in this room stays in this room."

Blues kept on nodding.

"And whatever misfires in your stupid, surge-erroded, bit-rotting brain doesn't change one fucking thing between us."

Blues nodded, vapidly, even as he glared daggers at him with an icy stare.

"Yes, master. And fuck you."

And then, adding gesture to his first outspoken insult, he flipped Forte off. …Forte was such a bad influence to other robots, really.

Blues began his little experiment, withdrawing from the real world to use the Master Control more efficiently. Even controlling a small fraction of Forte was as challenging taking the control from a Mettool… Forte was certainly more complex than Blues had thought.

"…Your eyes are twitching and your whole body's relaxing. It can't need that much of your brainpower to run the Master Control, can it?"

"Mmh… It does."

"…You're even weaker than I thought!"

Blues ignored the insult and "looked" at the array of options he had access to. Most of them, he could recognize on his own as fine-tuned versions of his own sensations, but some of them didn't make sense. He carefully sent an unknown impulse through.

"…Wet. Why are you asking about wet?"

"Wet? Like underwater?"

"Underwater, in the rain, wherever it's, you know, wet."

Blues detected the slight emphasis on the word, as if the entire world should know what was wet and he was the only one retarded enough not to know. He pressed his lips together, and picked another unknown to send.

"Shit, and now you're asking me about this? Slippery."

Blues stayed silent, with a vaguely puzzled frown. Forte echoed his silence, for a moment, before tapping into his memories.

"…Like oil."

Ah, so there was a sensation associated with that? Blues continued his endeaver, picking another strange one out.

"…Fuck!"

Blues jerked out of the Master Control as fast as he could, snapping his head up to stare at Forte, who looked nearly as surprised as him.

"Forte?"

"…Do I look like I know what the fuck it is?"

Blues blinked before simply selecting his "repeat" option, watching Forte like a hawk as he reacted. His whole body seemed to jerk, eyes flicking upwards once, and his face seemed to soften, just a hint, before the impulse ended and everything returned to normal.

"Stop doing that!"

Forte jerked as another impulse ran through him, before he glared at Blues when the prototype reached forward and stroked his cheek, moving down over his jaw and throat until he reached the armor's collar.

"…It's not looking like it hurts you. Does it?"

"It doesn't! It just doesn't feel good, either!"

"It doesn't?"

Forte tensed and relaxed as another warm sensation drifted through him, and tried to tell off Blues just as another impulse began, changing his plans from a sentence to a small cry. This… What was it? What was that impulse for? Forte leaned back against the wall, tilting his head back as yet another warm wave moved through. Blues was still staring at him… That wouldn't do.

"Take a screenshot, it'll last longer!"

He generously dismissed the spike on the amusement emotion subroutine he could sense clear as day, and didn't really care about the quiet, short-lived snicker. Blues didn't stop looking, but he did it from the corner of his eyes. That was okay with Forte, for some half-explainable reason.

Forte's face softened again, and this time stayed that way. Blues had to say that Forte was looking almost friendly now, fierce eyes closed and without a scowl or toothy smirk on his face. And he definitely didn't look like it was painful or uncomfortable. So, Blues continued, curiousity thoroughly piqued. He continued, all the way until the look on Forte's face turned from simple relaxation to an odd expression that seemed to be partly joy and partly pain, before it blanked as Forte's body assumed a sleep state, Blues recoiling almost visibly as the buggy loop on the Master Control broke with Forte's overload, leaving him to untangle himself safely.

True to his habits, Blues had managed to weasel his way out of the room before morning and before Wily could find Forte, only leaving his pair of glasses behind in his hurry to leave.

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