Kia Purity

(Alternative Universe of Mega Man X)

Note: The standard disclaimer from The Quiet Shadows and The Reincarnation of the Shadows applies. You know the rules. :P Except, the new characters are Akarui and Ankoku. Zero fangirls, please do not maul me because I'm writing this story because I want to.  I can't help it, because Damaru's my favorite character and I felt that I was being unfair to her with the sad endings! @_@

    On a clear, sunny day in a small town, just few miles away from New York, two people stood outside the house.  They were staring at the sky, searching for any clouds to try to guess the shapes of.
    "Hey, Aka! This looks like a metool!" The young teenager male dressed in a dark blue t-shirt with black jeans rose his finger and pointed at the formation for his twin sister who was wearing a red shirt with her light blue jeans to see.
    "Hehe, you're right, Ank." Akarui giggled as a slight breeze blew through her jaw-length blonde hair. "I wonder what other shapes we'll find so far."
    "Not very many, I suppose. It's just so perfectly sunny. A bit too bright for my taste... sorry, Aka."
    "It's alright."
    "Hmm, I smell something good cooking. Hey, mom! What are you cooking?" Ankoku released his slightly dark purple hair with black streaks from the pony tail while Akarui opened the door. "It smells really good."
    The woman looked up from the stove, towards the direction of the door. "Oh, just some chicken teriyaki."
    "Mmm! I'm really starving!"
    She chuckled and went over to hug her twins. "Have I ever told you two how much both of you mean so much to me?"
    "Many times, mom." Akarui waved her hand. "You seem to sound worried about losing us."
    "I guess it's because..." the mother froze mid-sentence and just walked back to what she was doing.
    "I wonder why she keeps getting so quiet whenever we ask her why... it's almost as if she did something bad in her past."
    "Maybe we can ask our aunt and uncle."
    The twins rushed out of the living room as the woman stared at the stove, silently.  She grabbed the flipper and flipped the chicken over.  Sniffling, she blew a strand of purple hair out of her face, trying to blink back the tears.
    "I couldn't tell you two... even if I tried. I don't think you two will understand..."
    The phone suddenly rang as her hand reached out and grabbed it.
    "Hello...? Oh, Seth, it's you."
    "Damaru... er, sorry, Kristis. Forgive me."
    "I do. What's going on?"
    "Nothing bad. Have you checked with any of your friends at the Maverick Hunters Headquarters?"
    "You mean to tell me that you haven't contacted them at all since you left?!"
    "Yes. I promised myself that I'd start anew."
    "Oh, by the way, how are Akarui and Ankoku?"
    "They're doing very well."
    "Speaking of the two... when will you tell them about their father? Much less, everyone else! You haven't told anyone."
    "Seth." Kristis scowled in such a way that Seth could hear it in her tone. "You know how I stand on this subject. No one needs to know." She promptly hung up the phone and resumed cooking.

    "Man... are you up to a trip to New York City?" Akarui flipped through her magazines. "We should visit Grandpa Seth and our Aunt Berry an' Uncle Perry. After all, they'll know more."
    "Mom wouldn't let us go." Ankoku paced around the room while his twin stared at an article. "Hey... what's that?"
    "This? It's just an article about history of the Robot Wars. Oh no." She leapt up and shoved it in her closet. "Ugh."
    "What was that for? I was reading!"
    "Remember mom's rules. Nothing about Robot Wars or anything to do with either Reploids or Mavericks. I don't know why she's so picky about this."
    "Maybe it's because of the violence involved."
    "Jeez. Okay, hey, let's say that we're going to New York City for, like, research for a paper."
    "That'll work. You think she'll fall for it?"
    "I hope."

    At the dinner table, the family were eating silently as Ankoku glanced at Akarui and at his mother. "Hey, mom, Aka an' I need to go to some libraries in New York City for research on our paper."
    "Oh?" Kristis smiled. "What is the topic?"
    "Well, you see, it's the history of computers."
    "Hmm... should be an interesting paper. It's alright with me if you borrow the car for this, but please be careful."
    "Thanks!" Akarui beamed as her brother went back to eating.  "This means so much to us. Thanks again!"
    "You're welcome. Now, don't forget to get some plenty of rest... and if you're hungry, just contact Grandpa Seth."
    "We know the drill." The twins chimed in.
    About ten minutes later, Akarui finished putting the dishes in the dishwasher and rose her eyebrow.  She seemed to be staring at the wall as if she was searching for something.  Puzzled, she snapped out of the trance and washed the dish soap off her hands.
    "You look like you've seen a ghost."
    "Very funny, Ank. It's just that... I feel there's something weird. Totally weird... that something about us is different."
    "Uhm, aside the fact that our father has never been present at our birth?" He clenched his fist and slammed it on the counter.  Twitching, he pulled his fist back and rubbed it with his eyes narrowed.  Not knowing about his father or where he was really irritated Ankoku quite a lot.  It irritated him even more that his mother wouldn't even tell him about his father.  It was like she just got pregnant and that was it.  Secretly, he felt an overwhelming urge to find his father and pound him for abandonment.
    "Ank... why are you still so mad about him?"
    "Don't pretend. You hit the counter."
    "It's just that the bastard hasn't been around at all. It's like, he decided to have some fun with our mother then just. Poof. No contact. Nothing. It doesn't even help that mom won't say anything."
    "She's just worried about our safety."
    "But still! It's NOT right."
    "I know, but there's nothing we can do for now."
    "Oh, but there is."
    "Yeah... that's right."

    Seth yawned and stared at the television, bleary-eyed.  He still couldn't grasp the concept Kristis having been a young girl who was killed then brought back to life as a reploid only to turn back to human.  She had twins to boot and wouldn't even reveal the father to anyone at all.  Shit, why was this eating away at him?  Of course! He was like a father, he was the one who brought her back from the limbo into her new reploid body. He had helped Zexandra develop the conversion process that would just allow her to become a human once again along with her cousins.
    "Damnit, my life sucks."
    "No, it doesn't."
    Seth whirled around and saw Zexandra floating. "Oh, nice floating act. Drop it."
    "Heh! Why are you moping around... okay, correction, WHY HAVE YOU BEEN MOPING AROUND FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS?"
    Seth promptly fell out of his chair.
    "It's so annoying, it's not even funny. Honestly, I've have a half mind to grab the twins and get the dna tests done, but of course, I'd have to deal with a very pissy Damaru or Damasu. Whichever."
    "You know, I did think of that, but I got lots of threats to... Little Seth."
    "What, she's that pissed enough to snap at you."
    "Shit, yes, she hung up on me today."
    "Damnit, what is wrong with her. I should just go over there and see if there's any chance I can override the safeguards."
    "Hey, wait, wouldn't that confuse her children?"
    "Confused or not, they NEED to know."
    "It's not our place to tell them anyway... it'd hurt them if they had to find out from us. I mean, how would you feel if you knew that our mother was like, a robot?"
    "Pfft." Zexandra rolled her eyes. "Jacylina Pepper... dear mother."
    "Too much like you."
    "And you. Are. Just. Like. Father."
    "BLEH!" Seth nearly choked and started gasping for air. "Since when!?"
    "Since our mother decided to seduce him for his body."
    "...I don't even want to think about it. It's bad enough that our parents had sex, but must you remind me!?"
    "I don't see why not. You're fun to freak out."
    "Damn you... hey, wait a minute. Like father, like son... if we track the twins' behaviors closely, we can find out which parent they resemble."
    "Um... I tried. Nothing."

    Ankoku let out a big sigh as he steered the car on the highway. "Feels good to get out of the house."
    "Hell, it feels even better out of the town! Too small for my taste."
    "Right, Aka. First stop, The Pepper Apartments!"
    "Um, where is it?"
    "Damned if I remember."
    "Wasn't it on this street...?"
    "Yeah, you're right."
    Akarui sighed and fingered her necklace with the pale blue sphere on it.  She eyed Ankoku's identical necklace only that his sphere was dark blue.  Idly, she recalled the memory of receiving the necklaces as a birthday present from their mother.

    "Happy birthday!" Kristis smiled as she handed two small boxes out, watching them open with delight.  "These necklaces were a special relic in the family."
    "Thanks! This is so pretty." Akarui beamed and put the necklace on. "It's glowing brightly... just like my name."
    "Of course..." Ankoku frowned at the dark blue sphere.  It seemed to be glowing... rather, with darkness instead of lightness.  Ironies were rather odd in this situation.  Hell, he recalled that their lives were riddled with ironies. "Thank you, mother."
    "You're welcome. Oh, your aunt and uncle will be coming here soon for the party."

    "The birthday party seemed like it was yesterday."
    "It was only about a year ago... hey, did you remember that our birthday is next week...?"
    "Huh? Oh. Funny... how I'm always thinking of the past instead of future."
    "Maybe it's because... there's something missing from our lives."
    "Yeah... our father."
    "Him. I'm going to find and demand." Ankoku spat with venom. "He shouldn't--"
    He was interrupted in his mid-rant by Akarui. "Hey, look, what's that?!"
    People were running out of their cars, screaming in terror as a maverick stomped through, slashing through the cars.  A nearby car exploded, sending debris raining over the fleeing crowd.  Some of them were cut to death by the debris while others laid wounded from the attack.
    "This is terrible... we need to get out of here..."
    "Right!" Ankoku hit reverse and forced the car to back up very quickly, but the maverick took a sudden interest in the vehicle.
    The maverick ran and leapt onto the car, slashing the roof open as Akarui screamed, her fist slamming into the maverick's leg.  It slipped and grabbed a hold of the hood as it glared at the twins.
    "You two... are not true humans. I'll destroy your existence!"
    He rose his blade as the twins grabbed each other with their eyes closed, awaiting for the moment of death.
    Ankoku opened his eye and looked to see a giant spear-like object through the maverick's chest.  The maverick fell off the car as he heard a deep voice call out.
    "Ank! Aka! Are you guys ok!?"
    "UNCLE PERRY!?" Akarui instantly recognized the voice as she climbed out of the car and stared. "What... the... hell...?"
    Her uncle was apparently armored in his green reploid armor, as indicated by the giant boot armor.  His slightly long neon-green hair glowed in the sunlight as he grinned.
    "Surprised to see your uncle?"
    "How the...?"
    "It's a long story." He grabbed the twins and teleported them out of the arena as a cloaked figure watched from the scene.
    "This should be interesting." The figure whispered and walked away from the scene. "Come, Treble."
    The purple wolf-like dog looked up at the figure and growled a bit.  Soon, both of them could be seen walking out of sight as the figure muttered again.
    "I never thought this would be possible."

    Akarui opened her eyes, staring up at the tiled ceiling with soft lights shining down.  She could smell the standard smell that was always associated with medicine, doctors, and hospitals.  She almost jumped out of the bed when she heard a voice speak out to her, very crisply.
    "Wait. Lie down. I'm not done yet."
    "Who are you...?"
    "Oh, I'm just Lifesavor." Lifesavor smiled and walked over to Akarui as Fruit slid over to Akarui.
    "Psst, Akarui. You're in Tokyo."
    "How?! Aunt Berry... how did I get here?"
    "Pine teleported both of you guys here... New York's in chaos."
    "What about mom...?!" Akarui cried out and leapt off the table. "We can't just leave her all alone!"
    "Trust me. She'll be fine."
    Akarui froze for a second.  Everyone around her in the room with the exception of herself and Ankoku were... reploids?!  Just... what the...?  Slowly, she realized that she had to be in the medlab of the infamous Maverick Hunters Headquarters of Tokyo.
    "Oh... my. So this is where the famous X and Zero is!" She jumped up, beaming with pride. "I wanna meet 'em!"
    "You will." Fruit smiled.  However, when she looked at Akarui for a long time, her smile faded immediately.  There was something to Akarui... that Fruit felt was very familiar.  Just that... the blonde hair and blue eyes echoed that of a familiar person.
    "What's wrong?"
    "Nothing." Fruit smiled again. "Just thinking about how well you look."
    Ankoku sat up and looked at Fruit. "Aunt Berry...? Um, since when did you turn into a reploid?"
    That was when Fruit started to cackle like mad. "OK! I'll tell you guys about that soon. I'll get Pine to give you the tour! Now, where is Pine..."
    This was odd... never before had the twins heard their aunt call their uncle by a different name.  Then again, it was as if they  had fallen into a rabbit hole and wound up in an alien land.  However, they felt a odd sense as if they really did belong to this world.  Akarui shut her eyes and sighed happily.  Ankoku only glowered because he felt very betrayed.  Betrayed by the fact that their mother did have connections with reploids and suddenly wanted to have no part with them.  He twitched slightly and made a silent vow to himself to find out why.
    "I'd like to see the computer room." He sighed. "I'm very interested in obtaining some bits and pieces of information."
    "Oh, sure! It's just down the hall on the right."
    Akarui stared at her brother. "What are you up to?"
    "Don't worry. I'll be back." He smirked as he slid out of the medlab and into the hall.
    He was on the ground in less than a second and he glared up at the reploid that he was about to give an earful.  Suddenly, he froze.
    "...Are you ok?" The reploid in red with the long blonde hair held back in a ponytail just like Ankoku's asked.
    "Yes." He regained his composure. "I'm fine." He hopped up with ease and watched the reploid nod.
    Soon, the reploid was out of sight as he took a very deep breath.
    "The hell was that...? That reploid looked like Akarui. Just what's going on?"
    "...?" Zero stared at Ankoku's retreating form. "I could've sworn that he's related to Damaru... maybe I'm losing it."
    "I don't think you are."
    Zero jumped at Fruit Tree's presence. "When'd you get here!?"
    "I was standing outside of the office. Anyway, that's Ankoku Collins... rather, Yuuwaku."
    " mean to tell me..."
    "..." Zero didn't look very thrilled.  In fact, he started to turn green with envy at the thought of another man having been with Damaru.  Hell, he felt like going maverick on that man, but then, again, he couldn't cause Damaru any grief.  After all, the two had promised each other that they would remain friends.
    Okay, so they hadn't been in contact for seventeen years. 
    "Did she really forget all about me...?"
    Fruit scrunched up her face. "I doubt it. She probably still thinks of you."
    "Yeah, in the bed with another man."
    "Zero... are... you... JEALOUS?"
    "..." Zero ran down the hall, making sure that no one heard him.
    "Wow. Even for a reploid, he's sounding very human." Fruit cackled and turned around to see a rather confused Akarui. "Er. Hi?"
    "Uh, so that guy... is Zero?"
    "Wow, I never thought a reploid could look like me."
    Click. Click. Click.
    Fruit blinked slowly. She looked at Akarui then at the direction where Ankoku went and at the opposite direction of where Zero was.  The pieces fell in place.  Only problem was that she couldn't EVEN tell the twins the truth.  She swore under her breath about kicking Damaru's butt for lying to her own children.

    Tap. Tappity. Tap.
    "Let's see..." Ankoku drummed his fingers on the keyboard. "First, I'd like to know who this reploid was... that blonde guy."
    Subject name: Zero.
The purple eyes widened at the flashing screen with photographs of Zero and information that scrolled across the screen.  He stared at the last part of the information.
    Current subject has been displaying human emotions as of late. Mostly of depression over subject Damaru Yuuwaku's retirement from the unit about seventeen years ago.  Subject Zero refuses to communicate with anyone or even get involved with any. Records shows that all he cares is about doing his job.
"...the hell? Ok, who is Damaru Yuuwaku?"
    He keyed in the command and looked up at the screen.  His mouth dropped wide open as his purple eyes focused on the picture of a woman who seemed to be... his mother.
    "Mother...? She's Damaru...?"
    Subject: Damaru/Damasu Yuuwaku/Kristis Collins.  Age: Approx 19.  Possibly 36 by now.  Subject was a victim of an unknown robot gone awry about 100 years after the Robot Wars ended.  Along with her cousins, the subject has been transformed into a reploid, but still retains humanity.  Subject arrived here 20 years ago with her cousins to work at Maverick Hunters Headquarters.  On a mission, subject found a maverick chip and was infected with what was thought to be Sigma virus.  Since subject has retained some human dna, the virus caused her to develop a split personality known as Damasu.  After the battle with Sigma, the subject was shut down and thought to be sealed forever.  Two years later, subject came back in search for Zero.  It's unknown to as why the subject has a connection to the reploid.
"Unknown, my ass." Ankoku narrowed his eyes. "Mother, why didn't you tell me the truth?!" His hands slammed on the console as tears flowed.
    Something shuffled behind him as he glanced up and turned around.  He seemed to be very wary of the presence that started to walk towards him.
    He blinked, relaxing slightly. "Who are you...?"
    "Why don't you look at the records?"
    The computer flashed pictures of a certain reploid in blue, stating the subject name as Mega man X.
    "...You're Mega man X?"
    "Yup! May I inquire you about your name...?"
    "Ankoku Collins... but according to the records, it's Yuuwaku."
    "So, you're Damaru's son? Well, dang." X remarked, amazed by the resemblance. "I wonder why she didn't tell everyone about you?"
    "Uh, I don't know. She never told me and my twin sister about her past either."
    "...Really? That's odd." X glanced at the computer and at Ankoku. "But I would have thought there was a reason for her to be quiet about it?"
    "Oh, hey, does your father know about her past... or...?"
    Ankoku interrupted rather hastily.  He looked at X with what seemed to be despair and angst.  "I have... no father. I've never met him. I don't even know who he was."
    "Weird. Anyway, where is your twin?"
    X turned around. "Hey Zero... uh? Who are you?"
    Akarui blinked. "Wow, why'd you call me Zero?" She walked over to X and giggled at the thought of resembling a famous reploid.  What X just stated was rather obvious due to Akarui's blonde hair and blue eyes. Plus the fact that she seemed to be wearing quite a lot of red didn't help X any.  Amazingly, Akarui just had to be Zero with breasts.  X choked at the image of his partner with breasts and shoved away the vile image.
    X was still stunned beyond belief and it hit him so hard in the head.  
    Even more than a 90 lb worth of bricks.
    Even if they were Zexandra's infamous bricks.
    Ankoku rose his eyebrow at the fact that X had confused his sister for his partner... for about a second. "What, Zero's my father?" There was sarcasm in his tone.
    X honestly wished the sarcasm wasn't there because, hell, it was more than obvious.  "I don't know about that. Call your mother and annoy her."
    "Oooh, wouldn't that be cool? Hehehe..." Akarui immediately started daydreaming to Ankoku's annoyance. "To have a father like Zero...!"
    "I was being sarcastic."
    Akarui looked injured and stunned. "Oh. well, daydreaming isn't bad, is it?"
    X escaped from the twins, wondering about what to do.  He secretly feared that if Zero had approached them... that there would be quite a lot of questions going on here.

    "WHAT DO YOU MEAN!?" Kristis screeched with anger. "You brought my children to Japan!?"
    "So they would be safe. I mean, shit." Pine scowled back. "Damaru, you're not being fair to them. They're here and confused. Look, you deprived them of your past. Shit, it's bad enough that you won't tell us about their father, much less them! You're such an irresponsible mother. Whatever happened to the maverick hunter who would do her job efficiently? Since you got knocked up by some man, your intelligence's dropped."
    "... I was not knocked up by some man."
    "Yes, you were. Your children... proof. Get it? Okay, now, everything started to screw up once you told everyone that you were quitting. Wow. Damaru quits? What the? Did the world end? First of all, if you want to clear up this, you better get your sorry ass over here."
    "Fine, I'll get over there." Kristis shut off the communicator and slumped.
    This was not what she wanted.  She quit for a good reason... just to have a chance to live like a human.  Hell, her chance to live normally got screwed up once she found out that she was pregnant.  She just could NOT tell anyone who the father was, much less, bring herself to tell the father himself.  Now, the moment that she was dreading all these years was going to have to happen.  Pine was right, she would have to start being responsible for the mess that she caused by either being quiet or lying.

    Pine fumed in the corner while Fruit sweatdropped.
    "I think you bitched her out more than necessary. She's going to come here and go maverick-- oh, wait, if she can even go maverick. That part's been buried for a long time."
    "Well, shit. She's going to have to be mature again."
    "I agree with you... it was wrong of her to not to tell her children about Zero being their fat---"
    "..." Fruit squeaked quietly. "Nothing."
    "That wasn't-- OH, NOW I SEE. I GET IT." Pine fumed some more. "No wonder. I know Ankoku is VERY pissed off about not having a father figure in his life. Akarui doesn't seem to be bothered by it."
    "You know, I'd be scared if Ankoku does end up going maverick. I did a bit of dna test."
    "YOU WHAT?"
    "He was born with the Zero Virus. The version of it is... well, let's say... if his blood comes in contact with any humans. We have a huge problem."
    "Oh lord. Like mother, like son."
    "Sort of."
    "What about Akarui?"
    "Very much immune to the virus."
    "Well, shit. Okay, how'd you find out that Zero's the father?"
    "Even without the test results, you just have to LOOK at both Akarui and Zero. Bingo."
    "Why didn't I see it before?"
    "Akarui has shorter hair and breasts."
    "ALRIGHT." The door slammed wide open as the two reploids fell over at Seth's sudden appearance. "How did Damaru and Zero get together?"
    "What took you so long?" Fruit stared at Seth who was holding the door wide open.
    "I compared Akarui and Zero!"
    "You idiot... you had seventeen years to do that!"
    Zexandra smote Seth with a brick and he fell to the ground as the door swung shut, knocking them out of the room.  Fruit and Pine sweatdropped at the antics of the heirs to the Dr. Pepper company.
    "Anyway." Zexandra coughed as she opened the door. "Is Damaru on her way?"
    "Very pissed."
    "That means she's coming in less than a hour. Either that, or she's going to teleport here. Which, in case, we're going straight to the lounge."

    Zero scowled to himself as he slumped on the roof.  This sucked a lot for him because of his feelings in the past which he could never be able to express. First, it was Iris and now, Damaru.  Twice, he lost his chance to say something.  Just seeing Damaru's son made it worse.  To think that a man got lucky and was able to bond with Damaru in that way.  Shit, didn't he even bond with Damaru once? No, it was an illusion created by Damasu... she even said so herself.  Then why did he have that feeling that his heart shattered when she left...?
    "Moping isn't exactly healthy, buddy."
    "Hello, X." Zero said without any emotion to his voice.
    This was starting to get old and very annoying for X.  Every day, it was the same... Zero would be on the roof, moping around over his lost loves.  His depression had hit a new low, X supposed; was because of the twins' presence.  Then again, he wondered if he should explain to Zero that he had a feeling that maybe the twins were really his own.  Damnit, conflicts suck.
    "You need to stop being depressed."
    "I was going to, but... I didn't know that Damaru had children with some other man."
    "...some other man? Ankoku told me that he doesn't even know his own father."
    "Oh? So, the man broke Damaru's heart!? I'LL KILL HIM!" Zero leapt up, displaying anger for once. "He has no right to just leave her and his children!"
    X resisted the temptation to laugh, although, it was a VERY strong temptation.
    "Well, it's just... amazing that you snapped out of it."
    "Plus, have you really talked to Ankoku? I think maybe... you'll understand him and you should tell him about his mother. She hasn't told him anything at all."
    "Not even the fact that she was a hunter and a maverick at the same time? Why?"
    "I have no idea."
    "GUYS. Get your asses down here. We have a visitor teleporting in!"
"Ok, Alia! Well, let's go, buddy."
    "I wonder who the visitor is."

    Damaru stared at the building and exhaled.  Old times... again.  She wished she still had her own armor, but it was still back at the headquarters.  After all, Pine had told her that a maverick attacked her own children.  Things were starting to get too serious... and it seemed as if the deception that she tried to protect so much was crumbling to dust.  Sooner or later, the twins would have to learn how to defend themselves from the mavericks.  Damaru gazed at the sign on the building and forced the door open to receive quite a reception.
    "... the hell."
    "Welcome back!" Some of the reploids cheered and sang.
    She eyed the decorations in the lounge and made her way inside the room. "Where's Akarui and Ankoku...?"
    "Here, mother." Ankoku's voice was laced with bitterness as he stepped out of the crowd. "It's so nice that you lied to me."
    "You told me that the truth was important. Well, now that I know you're a reploid... I don't even know what I am. You still have to explain to me about my father." His purple eyes started to darken as he spoke with pain increasing in his tone. "Who is he and where is he? TELL ME!"
    "Ankoku..." Damaru blinked, unable to react. "I... I couldn't tell you if I wanted to! He doesn't know about you."
    "So? You know who he is. Tell me and I'll tell him for you. At least I can be truthful, unlike you."
    "...That's enough. You're not talking me down. I had reasons. You will not talk to him!"
    "Ankoku... mother... why are you two fighting?" Akarui stared at her family. "Why? What's the point of this fighting? We're together again, right...?"
    The two stared up at Ankoku as his eyes slowly turned from dark purple to red along to the sound of his teeth grounding against each other.  Nothing else happened as he turned around and walked away while the crowd stared.
    Damaru blinked as she was hugged tightly by what seemed to her as a flurry of blondeness.  She registered the presence as familiar, yet, comforting.  She looked up into his blue eyes and blush spread on her cheeks.
    "Oh, hi... Zero."
    "Damaru! How have you been?! You've worried me for 17 years... never called! Never wrote! Do you know how many years I lost over that?!"
    Ankoku froze in an instant.  He turned around, only seeing Zero's back and then he stared at a baffled Akarui.  Finally, he realized why Akarui looked baffled.
    "So, you're Zero?"
    Zero spun around at Ankoku's voice and stared at him. "Yes, I am. What about it?"
    Ankoku only grinned and stared at his mother then back at Zero. "Hello, father."
    Damaru's face turned white as Akarui's mouth dropped open, a hand racing up to cover it.  Zero looked pretty much stunned while the crowd started to whisper amongst themselves.
    "Isn't that right, mother? He's the father of me and Akarui? Is that why you wouldn't tell us? Because of the shame?"
    "NO! Ankoku, it was because I was afraid that people would take you two away from me and study..." She sighed and slid to the ground. "I didn't want everyone to know... but how could you have figured it out on your own?"
    "Bits and pieces... mainly with messing around with the computer."
    Zero just managed to look straight ahead while still trying to take all of this in.  Wait, of course, this all made sense!  What had happened seventeen years ago.  That day where he was rebuilt... as a maverick for the second time.  Could it have been possible...?
    "Ankoku, are you serious?!" Akarui exclaimed and she turned around to look at Zero. "Woah, now I know why I'm a blonde. With those blue eyes and the red obsession. It makes perfect sense!"
    Zero muttered something under his breath while Damaru sweatdropped.
    "So, the cat's been let out of the bag?"
    "Shut up, Fruit." Damaru scowled at her cousin.  With that remark, she bolted out of the room as Zero yelped, following after her.
    Akarui turned to Ankoku. "You scared me... being so mad. It's almost like you were turning into someone else."
    "I was...? Er, oh, I guess my temper gets the best of me."
    Fruit wrinkled her nose at Ankoku. "I'm beginning to suspect that there's something totally bogus with you, Ankoku. Come with me!" She grabbed his arm but Ankoku dodged the arm and hid behind Pine. "Hey, I won't bite."
    Akarui sighed and looked at Pine and back at X. "Well, now that I know I have some reploid blood in me. I'm really at home, aren't I?"
    "When do I get my own red armor?"
    Everyone fell over in disbelief.

    Damaru turned around and stared at Zero, sighing as she uncrossed her arms.  "Yeah... what is it?"
    "How come you never told me that you were pregnant?"
    "I couldn't." Tears flowed out of her eyes as she shook her head and slammed her fists on his chest. "I just couldn't! I promised you that I'd try to live a normal life... if I had told you... or if anyone else. My life would never have been normal. I didn't really know what to do. Even now, I realize what I did was wrong. If I had to live it all over again, I'd still done it! You see? I didn't want them to know that their own mother died young as a human then reborn into a reploid body only to become a hybrid of both! Just how...?"
    He grabbed her fists and sighed. "You didn't have to. I'd have protected you... no matter what. It's kind of sad that I never really knew my own children. Although, you were justified in that decision. I must admit... when I saw Ankoku. I thought of you and felt insanely jealous at the thought of another man had been with you."
    "To be honest... no other man has taken your place."
    "I'm surprised. Why?"
    Damaru frowned at the why.  She just couldn't begin to explain, but it seemed as if a part of herself was too interwoven with Zero to even let go and choose another mate.  She opened her mouth to speak but he shook his head.
    "You couldn't?"
    She sighed and rest his head against his chest. "Yes. I never really thought about it... and I was so distracted with the twins."
    "They're good kids. Hmm, how amusing." Zero chuckled. "Akarui got my good looks."
    Damaru thwapped him. "And your annoying pride for red. Honestly, I've never known anyone obsessed with the color more than both of you two!"
    "Now... back to the serious subject at hand. Do you remember the time...?"
    "Of course." She pulled away from Zero and walked over to the railings, sitting down.  She stared over at the city lights as breeze blew through her hair, revealing a old scar on her back that peeked out from her shirt. "I couldn't forget the pain and emotion."
    He stared at the scar and swore to himself loudly.  When she received the wound in the past, it was the maverick Zero who had cut her all over, thirsty for blood.  At that time, it was because the maverick wanted revenge against Damasu for the illusion.

    Damasu cried out as she found herself being grabbed by the wrists and shoved down.  She stared upwards into the maverick Zero's darkened blue eyes, feeling fear for the first time through those eyes.  How odd... for a maverick persona to be truly afraid of another maverick of equal strength.
    He reached over to her ear and whispered. "You did want this. Didn't you? You wanted me so badly back then. Have you changed too?"
    "Zero... I haven't changed. Why would you WANT to screw!? This doesn't even make sense!"
    "It does, Damasu. We're both mavericks." He started to nibble at her ear. "Isn't that right?"
    Damasu struggled to summon every bit of her powers over illusions.  Just this once!  She was going to have to hit him very hard.  The act would have to seem real, but only she would know that it wasn't.  A deep fire within stirred as her eyes widened in surprise.  It would have to take more than normal strength to combat the desire that was threatening to consume her.  Oddly though, she found herself disturbed by being submissive.  Wasn't this what she wanted?  Maybe not for Damaru, but Damasu wanted this at one point.  She'd have to switch personalities to allow Damaru to fight it off.
    The personality switch never came.  
    The raven-haired female found herself frantically searching for any sign of button that would release the armor.  She made a small noise in her throat, crying out for a small protest against the desire that was threatening her sanity.  Just as at that moment, her lover touched her hand and glided it over to the secret button.  Her dark purple eyes watched with surprise as the armor fell away, revealing a sleek, well built body in a tight, black second-skin suit.
    "So... you do like this too. This is what you dreamed of?"
    "Yes..." Her breathing started to pace as the fire started to overwhelm her sanity. "I want you, Zero." Damaru whispered as she willingly let herself be overtaken by the fire of desire.  The change had been slow as the desire had swept away Damasu, letting Damaru through.  Her gentle purple eyes gazed upwards into the blue eyes she had always known and loved.
    When everything was over, she sat up and looked at her lover.  Tears started to flow as she kissed him, recalling the passion.
    "I love you... and may you only think this was a dream!" She hugged him close and felt the warmth of the powers fade from her hands. "First, you show me death, hate, despair, then... love, life, and joy. I don't know how I can ever thank you for the emotions... both positive and negative. You're right, I shouldn't have shut myself up. Zero, you freed me."

    "You told me it was an illusion. The dream I had... or so what I thought was a dream. I've always had a feeling that it wasn't a dream all along. It was just so real and that was how you finally got the maverick part of me to die."
    Damaru sighed. "It'd have been better if it was an illusion. I even tried to make myself believe it."
    "Then, oops?"
    "Yeah, the 'oops'. But. Happy twins oops. I'm just happy with being a mother and all. I don't know why, but I prefer being a mother rather than fighting and killing mavericks any day. That sounds so odd, coming from me. Hell, back in my younger days, I'd always want to find a maverick and just kill it without mercy."
    Zero cringed at the 'without  mercy' part.  In fact, he cringed so hard, almost popping into a Super Deformed form with teary eyes at the memory of having killed a certain bunch of kids without even showing any hint of mercy.  He popped his helmet off and stared at the red luster.  Red, like blood, he thought to himself.  Once again, he cringed at the mention of blood.  That was true, as a maverick, he had a slight obsession with blood.  Suddenly, he started to worry about Akarui, especially since that the resemblance between both of them was strong.
    "Damaru, do you ever worry about Akarui turning maverick?"
    "To be honest, no."
    "Ankoku is the one that I'm worrying about. He has a temper... you've seen it. He gets angry and suddenly acts like he had never been angry before. I keep wondering if he's the one with the virus."
    "What do you mean?!"
    "Long time ago, I ran some data on the twins... like to see how high the chances were. Amazingly, Akarui has the immunity to the virus." She sighed. "I don't know how it was possible that Ankoku has such a strong form of the virus, and yet, not know it."
    Zero blinked. Hey, wait. Didn't that sound like someone he knew? Damaru was ALREADY displaying that kind of behavior ever since she picked up that chip, nineteen years ago. "Damaru... uhm. There's no question about it, Ankoku is as much as you as Akarui is as much as of me."
    "What do you mean? Other than appearances."
    "You were always pissy at me back then."
    "That was before I became Damasu--oh."
    "Yes. Oh."
    "Don't mock me."
    "Sorry, but you kind of snapped."
    "...I guess I'll just have to be the good mother and wait this out."
    "By the way, your armor's still here."
    Damaru perked at the mention of her armor and a grin was plastered all over her face, quicker than Kia Purity could say 'Dr Pepper flavored jelly beans'. "Oh? Armor...? GIMME!"
    Zero yelped loudly at Damaru's sudden enthusiasm. "Where DID that come from? You were all depressed and now you want to fight already!?"
    "Yes, I do." She smirked. "But."
    He looked at her. "But?"
    "How about a go in bed?"
    "You better be joking."
    "Oh well, you turned down that offer. Bye." Damaru walked over to the door and smirked.  Her hair seemed to have taken a touch of raven color. "Too bad."  With that, she went inside and promptly escaped into the crowd.
    Zero stared with his mouth wide open.  He slammed his mouth shut with the help of his hand and growled at himself for having ruined his chance.  He stared back at the door and felt a twang at his parts.  He blinked again and stared up at the sky.
    "...I wonder if anyone ever bothered to ask if reploids could reproduce... now to think of that. Apparently, I can." He sighed.
    His eyes returned to the door and he suddenly thought of how beautiful Damaru looked on that floor, sleeping.  Damn to it all.  He bolted inside after Damaru.
    She already had disappeared inside the crowd.  Desperate, he looked around and almost crashed into a very surprised X.
    "Hey, buddy... how are you doing?"
    "Alright, why?"
    "Aheh... you know, what you said earlier about wanting to kill the guy who abandoned..."
    "Fine, I'm eating my own words. I've done more than enough of kicking myself around." Zero muttered under his breath. "Anyway, I'm going to have to get to know the twins better."
    "I'm almost afraid of what the mavericks will say when they see the crimson duo." X sweatdropped. "You do know Akarui is getting a red armor, right?"
    "Of course! Red suits her perfectly!" Already, he felt like a proud father.
    However, the reploids looked VERY disturbed at Zero. It was bad enough that Zero used to be insanely happy about the color, but now that his spawn was going to be doing the same thing.  They wanted to be saved from this alternative universe created from a crazy Kia Purity who was being bribed by Damasu with Dr Pepper jelly beans.
    X ripped open a dimensional hole while the reploids blinked.  He stuck his head in the hole, "KIA PURITY, STOP GOOFING OFF!"
    Kia Purity fell out of her chair. "Sorry! I got hit by a nasty block." She stared up at X with tear-streaked eyes.
    "Why don't you just play the games again? Perhaps, X6 could refresh your memory?"
    "Silver has it." Kia whined. "I can't beat it if he still has it. Then again, I need to beat X5 as you. I really hate that stage with the energy spheres and the stupid ride armor." The authoress twitched and hurled one of Zex's bricks at Capcom.
    X closed the hole and received odd looks. "What?"
    "Ummm... back to the plot." The reploids mumbled amongst themselves and shuffled off.
    "Anyway, Zero... well, you have a second chance."
    "I'm not so sure about Ankoku. He might be pissy towards me."
    "You deal well with pissy people." X grinned as Zero scowled at X. "You were able to calm down Damaru."
    "She didn't have a mecha." Zero shot back. "Iris was a bit psychopathic with that machine..."
    "Then again..." X glanced away. "Damaru can flip back and forth in her maverick state... so, that's worse than a mecha, essentially. Oh, yeah, don't forget that... Sigma was in your body."
    Zero's forehead turned blue. "Yeck. Thank you for reminding me. I'm going to take a shower now to wash off the ewwwy ewwwy Sigma tentacles."
    The blonde shuffled off to his room as X sweatdropped. "You know, you could have DONE that seventeen years ago..."
    "I DID! I just need to wash the thoughts out!" Zero grimaced at the fact that he somehow had retained some memories of Sigma using the tentacles to transfer data to activate the Ultimate Maverick machine. "I can't believe Wily implanted that little ultimate maverick thing... eewwww..."
    " could be worse." X rose an eyebrow.
    "It'd have turned hentai rather quickly when Damaru was fighting you."
    "You're the pervert for thinking of it."
    "Seriously, I only brought it up and you visualized it." X replied calmly while Zero was trying to scratch his eyeballs out. "Scratching your eyeballs out isn't going to help."
    "...alright, alright!" Zero sighed. ", I'm so clueless about what to do. I don't know how to act like a father!"
    "...which brings up this question."
    "How can you even breed?"
    "...I never thought of it! Maybe Wily did something? ...wait a second...!"
    "What if he gave me this ability so I could be able to 'replicate' the virus and the cure at the same time?"
    "...that's an interesting thought, Zero."
    "Of course, that'd make sense... SHIT! ANKOKU!"
    "Ankoku has the virus!"
    "...this isn't going to bode very well."
    "I'm going to find Fruit!" Zero flailed, running off to find the wacky pink-head reploid nurse.
    X only shook his head and went to mingle with Alia. "Hi."
    "Hey." Alia looked up from the couch, sipping a drink of energy. "What do you think will happen now?"
    "Utter chaos that I would rather not want to think about." X sighed. "At least Sigma's dormant for now."
    "Yeah, it has been pretty quiet without him around... but the virus levels are still the same..." Alia pondered.
    "Still the same?"
    "No change at all during the last seventeen years... just the same levels."
    "I wonder why the virus has quieted down..."