Author’s Note: Titled after the acclaimed eponymous 2016 animated film. Set during Stream, on account of Duo’s comet showing up. Enjoy the story and R&R.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to or of the Rockman EXE series.
Pairing: Established Netto x Tohru.
Hikari Netto and Hikawa Tohru consider the importance of names, and what will become of their names moving forward.
There was a time before they were together. A time he at some points could scarcely recall, for in a way, it felt like eons ago, when in fact it was a trifle few months. Half-submerged and afloat a frothy miniature sea, he trained his eyes on the black ceiling tiles above and mulled the weeks they had spent since. Undulating waves lapped rhythmically at his exposed shoulders, tugged to and fro by the minute influences of his shifting person. Foam billowed. Outside the window, a comet only he could see stretched across infinity, illuminating the highest heavens in an unearthly blue halo.
In that sea that tasted of a nasty mix of dirt and lavender suds, Hikari Netto waded. His addled thoughts hung in midair, percolating among colourful effervescent bubbles. Lost in a reverie of his own making, he twiddled his wrinkled toes in boredom. Each passing moment bled into the next, and he yearned for an end to the monotony troubling him, deeper than a bottomless trench. A hope locked in his heart, he drained the tub, filled it anew, rid himself of any soapy residue, and then departed the waters entirely.
He dried off, wrapped a towel around his waist, opened the green frosted glass door, and made for his bedroom. Once there, he immediately marched over to his dresser to excavate a clean set of clothes, totally missing the guest who was already waiting for him seated on his bed. To the surprise of no one, when he became cognizant of the unannounced presence, he nearly jumped out of his skin.
“T-Tohru-kun? What are you doing in my room?” He covered his shame out of reflex, though he was still wearing his towel.
Briefly, a valley of unspoken whispers stood between them.
The other rolled his eyes amiably. It wasn’t as if they hadn’t seen each other in worse straits. They were beyond such niceties, even prior to hooking up. “Your mom let me in. I’ve been here for half an hour. Rockman said you’d be right out, but I guess not. You sure took a long time in there.”
Realizing how unnecessarily prude he was being, Netto abandoned propriety (as well as his towel), and quickly changed in front of his boyfriend.
“Sorry, I wasn’t really paying attention. You know me, I’m not very good at using my head.”
“No harm done. What kind of uncompromising guy would I be if I got mad every time you were late to something, especially with a track record for tardiness as big as yours?”
Netto nearly teared up, fists to his cheeks and blushing. Tohru had stated it without a hint of nuisance. No doublespeak. No exasperation. No judgment. He was absolutely sincere and welcoming of his habitual lateness, the most understanding and accommodating boyfriend one could ever dream for.
He recomposed himself. “I’d have gotten out sooner, if I knew you were coming.”
“Glad to know where your priorities lie, Netto-kun,” Tohru teased, inwardly proud of the effect he had on him.
Netto scoffed, shoving the younger boy onto his back. Propping himself up on his elbows in the opposite direction with his legs akimbo against the headboard, he met Tohru halfway in the center of the bed. Their faces were inches apart.
“Was I worth the wait?”
“Always,” the darker-haired preteen cooed in reply, inhaling his hero’s flowery scent.
Their fingers interlaced. Tohru nipped softly at his weak spots, breath like honey travelling from his collarbone to his nape. By now, a path well charted.
“I love you, Hikari Netto.”
光熱斗. Hikari Netto.
光. Hikari, the word for light. The title he bore, even before he first stepped foot in this unexplored universe. He was the light at the beginning. The radiance that encompassed all, and to which all life was drawn. A grail the whole world over sought to attain. The blinding flash that dispelled the wrongs from others’ souls. A shine everlasting.
熱. From netsu. Heat, fever, and passion. His light warmed the cosmos, an unquenchable and inextinguishable flame. Hot-blooded and ardently dedicated, he ignited courage, kinship, and action. He burned bright, long after night fell.
斗. To, meaning fight. Be it a fight for justice, a fight for his friends, or a fight for himself – whatever the struggle, he would not give up.
The perfect name. Simply beautiful, a symphony contained in five syllables.
Netto mewed, the strands of his damp hair leaving droplets, fresh from his bath. He cuddled in tight with the body beneath him, the utterance of his angel’s own name a starburst on his tongue.
“I love you too, Hikawa Tohru.”
氷川透. Hikawa Tohru.
氷川. Hikawa. Literally, ice river. Like ice, a sublime natural work of art. Like Iceman, his deceptively cool NetNavi. Elemental. Eternally clear, he would continue to glitter nobly, a crystal in the rough. Regardless of the encumbrances on its course, this river would flow to reach its destination. Indivertible.
透. Tooru. Transparent. Honest, sage, and profound. Resplendent both on the outside and on the inside. Able to see through people to glean their bare essence. Receptacle of light.
Tohru’s name was the fated answer to Netto’s, a joyous refrain. Every line, every stroke, every dot, and every arc a flawless complement and flawless compliment.
Under the cerulean glow of Duo’s comet, which only a single of them perceived, the two boys silently embraced. The sun had dipped below the horizon, and with the birth of twilight came a luminescent cross in the sky, an ethereal blaze on the periphery of their senses glimpsed through Netto’s balcony door left ajar.
One day, their names would be joined. Fire and ice. A boreal heat. The divine pairing.
Tohru kissed him, arms cradling him atop the mattress they rested upon.
“If we get married someday, you’re taking my name. As honoured as I would be to take yours, ‘Hikari Tohru’ just sounds plain weird.”
Netto’s lips curved in mousy affirmation. “Hikawa Netto it is, then.”