Characters: Multiple OCs, Hoshikawa Subaru (brief cameo) and War-Rock (an even briefer cameo)
Warnings: There are some darker implication about the consequences of mass-producing heroes, but it's very light hints. Also this is my first story that is pretty much OC driven, so I'm slightly worried about how it came out.
Notes: Based off Hanun's comic, Star Child, which introduces an AU in which after Subaru is no longer to take on the mantle of Rockman in the public eye, WAZA clones War-Rock in order to create Rockmen based off the various powerups he's imbibed throughout the series. The first few lines of the story are actually taken right out of the comic itself. The comic itself is just a snippet from the Angel Tribe Rockman's point of view and his interactions with the Black Ace Rockman, and initially it was supposed to be based on only the two of them. However, it grew into a sort of worldbuilding story with the initial snippet appearing at the end, so I don't know if Hanun would actually accept this headcanoning on her part. So I guess until she says something, it's an AU of an AU? Ahaha.
Summary: With the original blue shooting star too tired to fight, WAZA creates a legion of Rockmen to replace him. See the inner workings of the Rockman Project through the eyes of it's newest recruit, the new Angel Rockman!
Ever since the original blue shooting star became too tired to fight, WAZA decided to copy and split the source of his power: his Wizard, War-Rock. After successfully splitting the power, hosts are needed to contain them. Therefore, after thorough experiments, the “War-Rocks” are free to choose their hosts. The chosen hosts are mostly teenagers to young adults, and they are entrusted specific roles based on the power their War-Rock has received.
“A Rockman is born…”
To the public eye, the group of heroes was simply that, heroes. They were all Rockmen, they were all public servants, with no identity other than that of the hero that they were all copies of. On first coming into the fold as the new partner of the War-Rock holding the power of the lost Angel Tribe however, the newcomer quickly found that the Rockmen had their own unique way of identifying themselves.
The War-Rock clones, over time, had come to be collectively known as the “Warlocks.” (The first chosen partner of the Beserk War-Rock had been a foreigner. While he could speak Netopian quite fluently, he still retained a strong accent. His constant mispronunciation of his partner’s name had been a constant source of amusement to the other Rockmen, and over time it was accepted as a fairly clever pun. After all, the War-Rock clones were very special Wizards, were they not?) Each individual Warlock, however, received further designation: they named themselves after the power they wielded.
Their human partners, however, were named by the duties they had taken up. This way, each pair could communicate with the others without confusing the warrior with the Wizard, even if the public simply called each and every one of them “Rockman.” There were six “veteran” Rockmen, who had been there since the beginning of the Rockman Project roughly five years prior. They had positions of authority over five “grunt” Rockmen, who often rotated between human hosts every one or two years, as well as ten “regular” Rockmen who cycled through people so seamlessly it was difficult to guess how often they changed (most estimates put them at roughly six months per host).
The veterans had much more power to be sure, but could not flaunt or use it unless absolutely necessary. Their respective Warlocks had deemed them responsible enough to use their power wisely and thusly had been given administrative duties that were, ironically enough, less physically taxing than the surveillance duties performed by the fifteen weaker Rockmen.
The leader of them all was simply called that, Leader. With his partner being Tribe King, it was well within his rights to demand a more elegant or royal title; and indeed, during the first few months, he had been called King, Lord, and Sovereign, among other things. But Leader was a quiet, modest sort of person, and preferred a title that dictated his responsibility rather than his strength. Despite the underwhelming title, however, Leader commanded respect. He was quiet, but not timid; he was modest, but not unwilling to flaunt his power when necessary. He guided the other Rockmen with a calm and steady hand, and served as a counselor as well as a leader to the other members.
Upon joining the Rockmen, the new recruit was granted an audience with him. His first impression was that Leader seemed very tired. It turned out his impression was not far from the truth. The Tribe King form used by the original Rockman had combined the abilities of the three known Murian Tribes: Beserk, Shinobi, and Dinosaur. However, during fights with his eternal rival, the lone soldier Burai, two Lost Tribes had been discovered. The original Rockman had managed to Tribe On into the forms of the Pirate and Angel Tribes, but he had never sought to merge them into the Tribe King’s form while he had been on active duty, as the form had been lost to him with the three OOParts. For the first three years of his reign, it was the same for Leader. The Pirate and Angel Tribes had been successfully revived in their respective Warlocks and human partners, but never successfully integrated into the Tribe King, for it was difficult to keep three elements in balance at those high power levels, much less five. Two years ago, however, it was successfully done…at a high price.
Leader’s constitution was severely affected. It was determined that balancing five elements all at once would have drained his body quickly of energy, so the best option was to hold back the true form of the Tribe King and remain in its original three-element form. However, it took a great deal of willpower and strength to hold back even that much. Leader’s body would never be able to function at full strength again unless those two other elements were released. It was a lose-lose situation for Leader, and there were many debates over whether it would be better for him to resign or not
Leader himself settled it, quickly and decisively as he was wont to do. He would continue wielding the power of Tribe King. As his duties were mostly direction and guidance, it did not much signify that he could not fight unless absolutely necessary. Even if his body should deteriorate, he would continue to do the job he had accepted three years prior.
After this decision, it was swiftly determined that the position of Leader was not one that could be passed down so easily. Whomever accepted the immense power also accepted a steadily weakening body, the responsibility to be on a constant vigilance lest they accidentally unleash their destructive power, and despite these heavy stresses, still serve as a leader and a counselor to others who had similar, if not quite as heavy, burdens on their shoulders as well.
All the Rockmen had given up their personal identities when they took on the role of Rockman. But they were consoled that they could resume their personal lives once they felt they could no longer take on the stress of being heroes. Beneath their armor was still a human identity. However, no one could simply ask someone to take up the mantle of Leader now. The exertions were much too great. There were few people who could do such a job, and even fewer that would accept it.
Leader surprised them all again by declaring he would hold the position for as long as his life would allow. This announced two things: one, that he acknowledged that the power of the Tribe King was slowly killing him, and two: he had resolved to spend his life serving the Rockmen for the rest of his days despite that. He had forever given up his human identity so that he would always be leader to them. He had literally devoted his life to them.
So when the new recruit thought that Leader looked tired, he was more correct than he knew. Leader had spent the last two years restraining back power at the cost of his own health. He had spent the past two years sitting in conference with WAZA and government leaders about the state of the world and its international and intergalactic relations. He had seen three Warlocks pass into new hands, one being the new recruit’s.
Leader was only twenty-two years old. He looked, spoke, and held himself like a person twice his age. One did not need to look at the shadows under his eyes and the developing wrinkles around them to know that he would not live long. Despite this, he had not changed. He still greeted the other Rockmen with warmth and was always ready to meet them if they needed him. It was this clear devotion to his job and to the other Rockmen that earned him their respect.
Leader conferred with three advisors: the Rockmen partnered with the Warlocks Pegasus, Leo, and Dragon. The advisors were different from the other veterans in that they did not hold the same amount of strength as the other three. Indeed, any one of the grunt Rockmen could easily overpower them. However, the Three Sages of AM from which their powers were derived were simply known as that: sages. While they had been the most powerful of the AM-ians, and had been well-renowned for their great strength, they had been called sages for a reason. They had been valued for their immense wisdom, and therefore the Warlocks’ chosen humans and their titles reflected that quality: Sage Magic, Sage Kingdom, and Sage Sky.
Sage Magic was a tall young woman who held herself up in an almost regal manner. She was highly regarded as the most intelligent of the three, but her judgments were often cold and methodical. Sage Kingdom balanced her out somewhat: he was jovial and warm, and the most approachable about of the three. He preferred to seek decisions that would benefit as many people as possible, foregoing Magic’s preferred efficiency for comfort. Sage Sky was whimsical and prone to flights of fancy, and his unorthodox trains of though meant that the often thought out of the box. Their different viewpoints often allowed them to balance out each other’s faults and together with Leader; they passed judgments that were widely considered to be just and fair.
Despite their highly varied personalities and viewpoints, however, they had synchronized themselves to a point that most of the other Rockmen found downright eerie. They almost always spoke in unison, in a dull, almost emotionless tone, and when they didn’t talk together, they completed each other’s sentences. The only way one could tell that they indeed had different mindsets was by looking at their facial expressions. Sage Magic never smiled. Sage Kingdom would let small smirks cross his face whenever he found something humorous. Sage Sky always had an almost dopey grin on his face that seemed to suggest he wasn’t quite all there. Somehow, these minor differences only made it even more unnerving to speak with them. The new recruit could hardly imagine how Leader could bear it.
The other two veteran Rockmen had their place simply because of power and little else. They had adapted to their abilities as if they were born with them from the cradle. Because of this and their…odd…personalities, they were the veterans that the weaker Rockmen were the most terrified of. Leader inspired awe. The three Sages were merely considered unsettling. The partners of Black Ace and Red Joker, however, were downright intimidating.
Black Ace’s human partner was called the Master. His role was simply that, to be the Master of everything. He had to be the best. He could not fail whatsoever. If needed, he could even overpower Leader (although it had yet remained to be seen whether he could stand up against the true unlocked power of the Tribe King’s five elements). His position was that of power and little else.
That alone would have been enough to intimidate the grunts and regulars, but the way the Master acted around the other Rockmen only made it worse. He knew his power and flaunted it. He was arrogant and cocky. He seemed to take nothing seriously. He acted casually with everyone, to the point that it felt as if he was getting too familiar with them. No matter who he was talking to, he adopted a condescending tone that got dangerously close to outright flirting. It was hard for the lower-down Rockmen to understand how he could have been deemed responsible enough to assume such a role.
Red Joker’s partner was the Master’s exact opposite. Where the Master was talkative, he barely spoke. Master was casual and disrespectful, he was stiff and formal. He was inscrutable and while it was known that he was strong, he only gave off the barest hint of it, a silent presence that never was completely forgotten. He was called the Wild Card, meant to be a check on the Master’s strength. His whole existence was there simply to prevent the Master from monopolizing a seat of power. However, in most respects, Wild Card didn’t seem to live up to his title. If anything, most of the Rockmen would have thought that Red Joker’s partner was the Master, and Black Ace’s the Wild Card. Wild Card’s stoic and stiff personality just didn’t seem to fit with his role, he wasn’t actively out there, and his presence was constantly overshadowed by the Master’s whenever they were together. However, Wild Card was not without his idiosyncrasies, as the new recruit soon found out.
He had been practicing on the Wave Road when it happened. The wings of the Angel Tribe allowed them a unique ability to glide in between Wave Roads that, if mastered, could eventually result in flight. Wild Card had suddenly appeared before him while he was practicing this ability, and before he had known it, the new recruit had been snatched out of the air and tucked under Wild Card’s arm. The new recruit ahd no idea what was going on and was slowly starting to panic. Wild Card was giving off a wave that felt overpowering and belied a small amount of rage. Even if the new recruit could have wriggled out of the crushing grip, he wasn’t sure if he would have tried. Was he in some sort of trouble? He couldn’t have done anything wrong already, could he?
When Wild Card brought him in front of the Master, the new recruit’s apprehension only increased. This couldn’t be any good. He was definitely in trouble. He listened in nervous anticipation as Wild Card muttered something low and incomprehensible to the Master. When the Master only started laughing, the new recruit’s fear slowly started turning to confusion.
“Oh, Jokey, you’re so silly sometimes! He’s an angel, not an attack bird of doom.”
As Wild Card remained silent, the new recruit’s confusion only increased. Wild Card had gone through all this trouble for such a simple misunderstanding? Would such a serious, formal guy really use that sort of wording, or was that Master’s playful disposition shoving words in his mouth? It just seemed so out of character. But when the new recruit looked up, he saw that while Wild Card had retained his serious, deadpan expression, he was giving off an air of confusion.
The new recruit wasn’t given more time to consider this odd revelation of Wild Card’s character, as the Master had deemed it fit to pry him out from under Wild Card’s arm. He found himself being held up under the armpits, almost like an oversized doll or teddy bear as the Master held him up to give Wild Card a better view. Even being held in such a casual way, the new recruit found that he couldn’t move at all (a surprisingly subtle show of strength coming from the Master, compared to Wild Card and his crushing grip).
“Besides, just look at him!” The new recruit froze in barely disguised horror as he found himself being nuzzled by the Master. “He’s just too cute to be a doom anything, isn’t he?”
The new recruit’s face first flushed bright red in mortified embarrassment, before paling in terror as Wild Card glared stonily at the pair. Somewhere in the back of his mind, the new recruit knew that Wild Card’s expression couldn’t really be called a glare. It hadn’t changed, after all. And it was directly aimed at Master; he was just caught in the crossfire. He knew this. Yet, under the intense pressure of Wild Card’s waves, the new recruit felt completely overwhelmed, outclassed, and just wanted to be able to crawl away and hide somewhere.
The fact that the Master did nothing in response but laugh and pinch the new recruit’s cheek did nothing to relieve his fears.
This scene and others like it assured the new recruit that despite their odd ways, the Master and Wild Card were not to be crossed.
Below them were the five grunts and the ten regulars. Each grunt oversaw the two regulars that corresponded to their element, as the ten regulars were derived from the ten Noise Forms that the original could access. The regulars assisted the grunts with their duties, so much so that they were rarely ever with the others. The regulars were the public face of the Rockmen, so much so that they were expected to maintain the exact same personality. As a result, they ended up even more eerily similar than even the three Sages. There weren’t any personality quirks to tell them apart, and they never created any titles for themselves. They all answered to either “Rockman” or the title of their respective Warlocks. As a result, no one could tell when they got replaced, or if they were ever replaced at all. (And they were replaced somewhat often-it was dangerous to let people adopt such a consuming personality for too long, lest they forget themselves.) The new recruit, even after several weeks with his own Libra Regular and Cygnus Regular, could discern no difference in them compared to the other regulars. It was disconcerting, but it was a worry that faded into the background, just as many constants do.
The grunts, thankfully, had not suffered from the same lack of variety. Each and every grunt wielded the power of a Murian tribe. Each grunt had an overseeing duty that brought them within the public eye to some degree, albeit not as much as the other Rockmen.
The Rockman partnered with Beserk oversaw military stratagems on a global scale. He was, in every respect, a noble warrior. He fought every battle to win, believed in the strength of open combat over all else, and most importantly for a warrior, he never forgot his aim despite the thrill of battle. He never forgot that he fought wars for peace, to seek and maintain it. To that end, he had chosen to title himself as the “Peacemaker.” With the help of his two Regulars, Gemini and Crown, Peacemaker turned the tide of any battle he entered.
Dinosaur’s partner was a rowdy, headstrong girl. Her savagery was unmatched amongst the other Rockmen, yet she retained a cheery demeanor that put everyone who talked with her at ease. Her heart was more attuned to the wild than it was with her fellow humans, so it was all good and well that attending to nature was her main duty. Working under the title “Preserver,” she and her regulars, Taurus and Corvus, worked to preserve and maintain the balance between man and nature, regulating the use of resources and restoring order after both natural and man-made disasters.
Ninja’s partner was nearly as silent as Wild Card, and when they did speak it was in a brief and blunt manner, with as few words as possible. They had a low, ambiguous voice that made it difficult to discern what they were (although judging by the grace and refinement of their movements, the new recruit was inclined to believe it was female) and could often make one forget they were in the room with how little they spoke. Their official title was the “Spy,” and their job was to infiltrate and compromise hideouts of major criminal organizations, bringing back whatever information they could. Unlike the other grunts, Spy worked separately from their regulars, Wolf and Ophiucus, as the Regular’s personalities and abilities made them ill-suited for sneaking about and blending into the shadows. Instead, the Regulars worked directly with law enforcement. Like a true ninja, however, Ninja’s partner used every tool available at their disposal to mask their real work, including the title. The true role of the ninja was to take care of the darker aspects of being a hero, doing what most people would fear to do in order to ensure the safety of the public. As a result, the true title of Ninja’s partner was the Assassin, to seek and eliminate all persons who were a threat to the public’s safety. It was all well and good that Assassin kept out of the eye of the public…it would do no good for it to be well known that at least one of the Rockmen was a certified killer.
Pirate’s partner had formerly been a gang member. As it was, despite him having a heart of gold, he had decidedly more ambiguous standards of moral conduct than the rest of the Rockmen. Unsurprisingly, he had a strong partnership-almost a friendship-going on with Assassin due to this. (“They want to get in their places and stashes, I know how the targets think. It’s a no-brainer, really!”) Even with his shady past, he was cheerful, hearty, and had a good sense of humor-he laughed uproariously at almost anything. His domain was the sea, and with Cancer Regular and Virgo Regular, he oversaw sea travel, maritime trade, and secured the waters. Unsurprisingly, he was called Captain.
And then, there was the new recruit, the new partner of Angel. His role, as the Cupid, was to ensure that harmony and peace was maintained whenever possible. While Libra and Cygnus went out to resolve disputes, he had his own role to play. He was a literal modern-day Cupid. His visor could track down and match people with their significant other, and once the target was established, hitting them with his arrows increased their awareness of and attraction to each other. It wasn’t forcing them into love, rather, it promoted what was already there and allowing humanity to find the potential for harmony that already existed within them.
The previous Cupid had been a demure, soft-spoken girl with a warm heart and a sure shot. The new recruit certainly shared her warm heart (after a flower truck had broken down, he had put aside his work to help the driver finish his deliveries); but it was soon apparent that he didn’t have her skills with the bow (the flower truck had broken down because he had missed his target by a wide margin and hit its engine instead).
And it was fairly obvious that he did not share her modest and polite nature when (right after the flower truck incident) he stormed straight up to the Master and demanded that he “teach him how to shoot arrows as well as you, you uniboobed bitch.”
Luckily for the new Cupid, the Master found his request amusing and was gratified to have a legitimate reason to show off his skills, or so he told the younger Rockman. Cupid quickly found that the Master was a harsh teacher and demanded perfection-rather, he held his pupil up to his standards. Despite this, Cupid refused to give in. Master's arrogance and suave ways annoyed him to no end, and he wanted to prove him wrong somehow. Despite the animosity and almost angry determination on Cupid’s end, and condescending amusement on Master’s, there were results, and Cupid’s skills grew by leaps and bounds. However, it wasn’t until one particular session that the two really came to an understanding.
“Come now, homing arrows are just a crutch. A true archer should always be able to hit their target, even in the middle of a moving crowd!”
“Che, you say that like it’s easy…”
“But it is easy! You act like archery is so difficult. Really now, you’re just so precious sometimes!”
“Don’t get cocky with me, bitch. I’ll hit your target.” And with that Cupid let the arrow fly. To his horror, the arrow veered off course, flying towards someone who had just entered the room.
“W-Watch out!!!” The warning was too little, too late, as the arrow was right on course to hit the visitor’s chest…before it was caught? Indeed, the visitor had caught the arrow in his hand just inches from it hitting his heart, with the barest of movements.
“My, my,” the visitor chuckled as he came towards the two. “I should count myself lucky that I’ve already found my important person, ah?”
Cupid could only gape at how easily the visitor was taking the accident in stride. As they came closer, he got a better look at what they looked like-a young man with spiked brown hair, somewhere around twenty-seven years old or so, wearing square-rimmed glasses and a lab coat. When he came closer to them, he handed back the arrow to the very embarrassed Cupid.
“In your haste to fire the arrow, you didn’t dial the settings correctly. Instead of dialing from homing arrows to regular, you dialed it to heat-seeker mode, see?”
“A-ah, I see…s-sorry…” He looked up at the young man, face flushed red with embarrassement. “H-how did you know…?” Cupid mentally kicked himself after asking the question-he was wearing a lab coat, he must obviously have been a NASA scientist, how else would he have known?
“You idiot!” hissed the Master, in a surprisingly flustered tone. Cupid couldn’t help but look up at his teacher in surprise. It was the first time he had heard the Master sound so unsettled, and looking up at him, he noted with surprise that the Master was actually looking up at this new visitor with a degree of respect, and looked just as embarrassed as Cupid felt. “Sorry, Rockman-sama…”
“Now, what did I tell you, hm? No need to be so formal…besides, you all have my job now, don’t you?”
“I suppose that’s fine for now, Master.”
“E-excuse me!” Cupid finally found his voice. “Y-you’re…?”
“Oh, I didn’t introduce myself to you, did I? You must be a new Cupid, then. Hoshikawa Subaru, at your service.”
“H-Hoshi…” Cupid found himself speechless. “Why…how…”
“Ah, I’ve just come back from a conference with the leaders of several planets…we’re forging BrotherBands with them, you see. I like to come in and check on the Rockmen every now and then when I’m home on Earth. Master shouldn’t be so surprised by now, should he?”
“I…I think he’s star-struck…aha…” That earned Cupid a mild glare from the Master, but he couldn’t help it! It was just so funny to see him all flustered and confused, and it was a rare opportunity to do the teasing for once.
“Perhaps,” Hoshikawa chuckled. Cupid couldn’t understand why Master was so nervous around him. He didn’t look intimidating, and he didn’t act at all weird like the Master did. With his mild manner and fairly normal appearance, he didn’t look like someone who was once the greatest hero in the world and was even now still taking that form in order to communicate with distant planets. He just didn’t seem the part. He looked perfectly harmless.
“S-sir!” Master suddenly stammered. “I’ve gotten stronger since we last met…”
“I can see that.”
“Y…yes. So…I can beat you, this time!” Master growled, suddenly looking serious, almost feral. It almost looked like he was looking up at Hoshikawa the same way that Cupid would look up to the Master…
“Ah…that’s what this is about. Yes, I think we have time for a fight…War-Rock?”
“Of course! There’s always time for a fight!”
Cupid hurriedly scrambled to the side and proceeded to watch the ensuing battle. It was a no-brainer, wasn’t it? Hoshikawa, even if he had been the original Rockman, and still transformed every now and then, didn’t fight regularly anymore, did he? He had retired…meanwhile Master was the Master out of all of them. His skills were refined, kept fresh…the outcome should be obvious.
Five minutes later, Cupid found himself staring in horror as the Master was flung across the room for roughly the eleventh time in that fight. The Master was the Master to everything, that was for sure. But he was the Master of what he knew. Hoshikawa, the original, had access to all their respective abilities due to time and experience. If the Master tried one skill, he countered with another. Hoshikawa had learned and adapted many fighting styles from across the universe during his travels. The sheer versatility of his skills made up for the fact that he hadn’t mastered every single one of them. It had all come down to experience.
Watching this battle, the Cupid started to understand how very outclassed he was. Both the Master and Hoshikawa were so skilled…it seemed like he’d never be able to match them. Despite this…he felt that he couldn’t give in. The Master had apparently fought him, and lost before, but he still tried to hone his skills so that he could win one day…he wouldn’t give in simply because he had so much work to do. He would be the best archer.
Hoshikawa had stopped the fight good-naturedly when it was obvious the Master couldn’t go any further. The result had left the Master frustrated, ill-spirited, even when he was helped up by Hoshikawa.
“You really have gotten stronger, you have! Enough so that you’re even teaching your skills to someone else…I’m very proud. It looks like you really are living up to your original title after all, aren’t you?”
“O…Original?” Cupid questioned, immediately curious.
“Hah? Yes, the original. Before the Noise Form Rockmen became the public face of the Rockman Project, we needed somebody to embody the strength of courage and unity that people derived from seeing what I had done…” Hoshikawa chuckled sheepishly, and even after seeing the fight Cupid still found it hard to believe that this person really was the original hero.
“The important thing about courage isn’t that it inspires you to continue on, but that it inspires the others around you also. Even if you should fail…if you’ve inspired at least one person to carry on, you have never lost. That is the true power of courage, the bonds that it creates. I had to learn that lesson the hard way…and the reason I finally allowed the project to continue was that it gave courage to the people. That is the true job of a hero…to inspire others. That’s what he was meant to be, the Hero, rather than the Master.”
Cupid’s eyes widened in realization as the Master looked down in embarrassment as Hoshikawa put one hand on his shoulder. “And you’ve done that, haven’t you?”
“I…I don’t…” Cupid stammered, before he was cut off by Hoshikawa again.
“He’s inspired you to improve yourself, hasn’t he?” Cupid felt his mouth drop open in surprise. Him, inspired by that cocky, insufferable…
“You were impressed by his skills, enough that you sought him out to teach you despite whatever apprehension you had.” Another chuckle. “And now, you’re continuing his own legacy with your own work, aren’t you? You’re both working together for the sake of the world. And you’re both doing quite well. Keep it up, both of you.”
And with that, Hoshikawa left them to check up with the other Rockmen. The silence was broken only by the Master finally collapsing back down to his feet.
“D…damn it…” Cupid looked down, and felt like he was seeing something he shouldn’t have seen. It was so strange, seeing the Master like this…weakened, open and vulnerable. Was this the real person beneath all that cocky demeanor? Was that attitude just a front, to try and promote the courage and attitude of a hero, rather than a superior master of all? It was strange…and it just felt wrong, somehow.
“Hey…Master?” He surprised himself, addressing the other one by his title, with a tone of respect, rather than angry curses, lowering himself down into a crouch to be able to see the Master face to face. And instead of giving the younger Rockman an easy smirk, the Master looked back at him with a scowl, eyes close to tearing up.
“Oh, shut up. You heard him. I’m no Master,” the elder Rockman spat, making Cupid jump back a little. What insecurity was this? This…it wasn’t right, seeing the Master, the Hero…broken like this. He should give back some of that courage that was instilled in him by the Master…that what was they were supposed to do as Heroes, wasn’t it? Cupid sat down right next to the scowling Master, unsure about what he should say. There was silence between them for a few minutes.
“…It doesn’t matter. You’re still my Master, aren’t you?” The older Rockman’s head turned to look at him, incredulous. Slowly, the angry scowl turned into the familiar, cocky smirk, but somehow, that expression was still softened, somewhat weak. Eventually, he closed his eyes and let out a short huff.
“Heh. Of course.”
Cupid let out a short bark of laughter before stretching.
“Not for long, obviously. The student has to surpass the master eventually, and I will beat you in archery one day, you arrogant, uniboobed bitch.”
The Master let out a long peal of raucous laughter after those words, the same kind of laughter he had made in response to the Wild Card’s glare so long ago, and Cupid knew then that the Master had returned to his former self, that everything would be fine.
“Now, you see here…”
[A/N]: aaaah I am not sure how to feel about how this came out aaaahhhh I hope Hanun likes it