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ROMeo and Juli.EXE

By Claire Hunter

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this fiction. Dang it!

Author's Note: Hmm, I guess you could say this fic takes part at the end of Season 3, before that whole Daemon Rising thing. Hex is still alive and has not become a sprite yet, although she is registered. It's basically my attempt at a (hopefully) sappy forbidden love storyesque thing. With a little twist. *laughs maniacally* Enjoy.

 

He had to be in love. No doubt about it.

Well either that or he was about to have a heart attack, he decided. His heart was beating so fast it was beginning to scare him. His breathing, too, had quickened and there was a curious warm, roiling feeling in the pit of his stomach. He felt as if he was going to be sick. His mouth was dry and his feet were rooted to the ground. And all for what? Because he'd seen Her again. He'd been stepping out of the Diner ready to meet little Enzo on his way home from school perfectly happy when suddenly there she was, sashaying down Baudway without a care in the world. Oblivious to the nervous binomes scuttling out of her path. Supremely confident in herself and her abilities. He envied her that.

Hexadecimal stopped then to stare at something in a store window and he found himself captivated. Stop staring you fool, he thought, she's going to notice you. But still he discovered it was impossible to turn his eyes away from the vision opposite him.

Sure he'd seen her before. It wasn't exactly love at first sight, actually his first impression of her was one of fear. She was a highly volatile character with a lot of power on her side and he had vowed to treat her with the respect she deserved and stay far away. His first rule back then had been run...get out of there, even if it's with your tail between your legs. He wasn't sure of exactly when his feelings had begun to change. Possibly as long ago as the Web War. Definitely by the time he had returned from the Web he was thinking of her in a vastly different way.

When the change had occurred didn't really matter to him at the moment. Fact was, right now he was head over heels. And it scared him to death.

He was still staring.

What were the others going to think? He pondered, after all she was viral and virals and sprites don't mix. Period.

Matrix would be mad, he knew. He had this whole vendetta against virals of any kind. It saddened him to think of how closed the young sprite's mind had become towards them, preferring to delete and ask questions later. If he knew...

He was still staring.

What about Dot? he thought. She'd been through so much lately all because of viruses. And here he was having...having what? Come to think of it he wasn't really sure what these feelings were. He shook his head rapidly and tried to focus on something else, anything else. It didn't work.

The sudden action must have caught her attention for she turned.

And locked eyes with him.

Suddenly all rational thought fled his mind and he could do nothing but stare into those beautiful eyes. He could feel a blush rising at her intense gaze. Did she feel the same way? Or was it just a bit of casual flirting for her? He wished he could tell for sure but those eyes revealed nothing. They could have remained that way forever except for one thing.

"Bob?"

Dot.

"Bob, have you left yet? I need some help here with replacing the ..." Her voice faded away as he tore his gaze away reluctantly and took off running, trying to get as far away as possible before she came outside and saw...

Saw what?

He had only been staring at her, after all. No harm in that.

No harm at all!

So...why was he still running?

He charged on, trying to run this pent up emotion out of his system, trying to delete the memory of those dark, seductive eyes. Trying and failing miserably. He skidded to a halt, breathing hard. Not from the thought of her, he knew, but from the running.

Where in the 'Net was he anyway? He looked around only to realize he had managed to run as far as Floating Point Park. As good a place as any to hide, he knew. They wouldn't come looking for him for a while and in the meantime he could sit down and try to work out these tumultuous emotions inside him.

Sitting down in the shade of a convenient tree he sighed. Why did life have to be so complicated? Hadn't he been through enough already with the War?

Coming back to Mainframe after so long had been a precious gift and he had been determined to make everything right. Meeting up with Dot and the others again after so much time had been wonderful. They had hardly changed at all.

But he had.

That much was obvious if he was now having feelings for a viral. He lay down in the grass, relaxing more as the shadows from the tree cast intricate patterns on his body. The breeze through the leaves above was a natural lullaby and before too long his eyes had closed and his breathing had slowed.

He was asleep.

* * *

She crept forward slowly, not wanting to disturb the lonely figure. A small part of her was suspicious of him, after all, until a little while ago he had been the enemy. She should be running, screaming in the opposite direction. But she didn't.

Something in the way he had looked at her earlier outside the Diner had touched her. Those bright eyes of his burning fiercely with emotion, an emotion she didn't know a lot about. But before she had been able to do anything about it he had taken off. Running as if his life depended on it. He intrigued her.

So she followed him.

She had watched as he flopped down behind the tree to get his breath back, smiling to herself as he had lain down and relaxed a little bit. His eyes closed slowly and soon she knew he was asleep. Obviously he felt safe here. It was a sanctuary from everyday life, somewhere to come where you could leave your cares behind and be yourself.

Suddenly she found herself longing for the same thing. Somewhere to go where she could drop the shackles of being viral and be herself completely and someone she could trust enough to share that with.

She moved forward again, not completely sure of what she was doing but going with it regardless. Stopping, she stared down at the sprite curiously. He was nothing special really, not especially strong nor bright. She could have her pick of the Viral crowd.

So why did she feel this way about him? Like her heart was going to suddenly break free and do the tango. She wasn't really an expert in this emotion, never really having experienced it before. Even so she knew what it was. Love.

But he was the enemy. She should delete him here and now. Hissing, she bared her fangs and prepared to do just that.

A pair of bright eyes snapped open and suddenly she found herself unable to move. Held in place with nothing more than the power of those two shining orbs.

* * *

He was frozen.

She was there, bare inches away from him and staring down again into his eyes with that hypnotic gaze. His heart was pounding and he swallowed hard. He really had it bad.

She didn't move, and that was when he noticed the threatening posture, the bared fangs. He leapt to his feet and jumped back, he could feel a growl forming at the back of his throat but he didn't voice it. Not yet.

For a few nanos they faced each other, Viral and Sprite, mortal enemies in any normal port. Then together, as if in answer to an unheard call, the defensive poses fell and they were just standing. Not completely relaxed, not yet, but getting there.

Slowly he lay back down on the grass and closed his eyes once more. He smiled as he heard her approach, at first slowly but then more confidently as he continued to lie there. He knew he was taking his life in his hands right now but somehow it didn't matter that much. Listening he could hear the soft rustle as she sat down in the grass nearby. He opened his eyes slowly and grinned at her. She smiled back.

They lay together enjoying the silence of the late afternoon. Pretty soon the peace had done its job and the two were asleep.

* * *

"Warning! Incoming Game! Warning! Incoming Game!"

Nulls, he thought in annoyance. Trust a game cube to ruin what was turning out to be the best second of his life. Opening his eyes reluctantly he watched the sky for a sign of Matrix and the others.

There they were, zipping speedily towards the game's location. Looked like they were going to make it easily. Good, he thought as he settled back down. They could fight one game without him; after all it wasn't as if he could do much anyhow.

He twisted his head and gazed down at the sleeping face resting on his shoulder. There were so many obstacles in their path, so many reasons why they couldn't, shouldn't be together. Did any of that really matter though, he wondered, if you knew it was meant to be?

He knew that now. This was no casual fling for either of them; the look in her eyes earlier as she had hissed at him had been enough to tell him that. She felt the same way he did. Confused, afraid, but very much in love. He closed his eyes again, reveling in the feeling of being in love and being loved in return. They could deal with the prejudice another time for right now the moment was theirs alone.

* * *

Next time he opened his eyes he became aware of two things. It was dark...and someone was calling his name.

He shot up in panic, forgetting for a nano that he wasn't alone. She woke up immediately, being jolted from sleep rudely as her head came into contact with the ground. She turned to him, eyes blazing, about to demand he tell her what was going on when she heard it.

Voices. Getting closer.

"I don't understand it. He always meets Enzo on his way home from school." That was Dot.

"Don't worry Dot, we'll find him." That one was Bob.

"Have you checked the Data Dump? You know how much he likes to dig around in that lot."

"Yeah I know." She sounded annoyed, he thought, as if she didn't appreciate the presents he would bring her back from that Aladdin's Cave of delights. "But you didn't see the way he ran from the Diner earlier on. As if he thought he'd done something bad. It was probably nothing but I'll feel better once we find him."

A sudden movement to his left caught his attention and he turned to her. She was getting up; it was time for her to go. She gazed once more into his eyes before flitting off soundlessly into the night. Sighing he watched her go, staring into the dark long after she had disappeared from his view. Still, they always had tomorrow.

He stretched languidly and bounded off towards the sounds of the voices, barking joyfully as he made out Matrix's voice. He could even tolerate that blue guardian right now. The happy cries from the sprites welcomed him.

From the cover of the night, Scuzzy watched him go sadly. She didn't know if it was possible for them to be together properly but she did know that come tomorrow she would be waiting for him under this very same tree. For now though she made her way back to her Mistress, knowing only too well that she was going to be in trouble for running off during their walk earlier.

The End.

Sorry, I know I took some liberties with Scuzzy's gender, but I really wanted to write something like this and there was no one else I could think of Frisket falling in love with.

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