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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 13 - Under Teisel's Wing

"Don't worry, Data," said the green-haired man, smiling down at MegaMan. "You're going to do just fine. Do me a favor, though---eeeeeeeeeyyyyyaaahhhh!"

MegaMan gasped as he sat up in bed, sweat running down his cheek. What had that been all about? He remembered the green haired man in his dream, but who was he? Why did he seem to be remembering it from Data's point of view? MegaMan shook his head and drank deeply from the glass of water at his bedside. What was that primal scream, anyway? Had he, MegaMan, actually voiced it or was it only a part of the dream?

MegaMan rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. It was still a couple of hours until morning, and he needed his rest. He flipped over to the other side. No, that wasn't going to work, either. MegaMan shifted again, lying on his back. Why hadn't he fallen asleep yet?

Ninety minutes later, he gave up. Obviously no sleep was forthcoming. MegaMan jumped out of bed, quickly smoothed his sheets and blanket, and pulled on a pair of shorts and a light shirt. Teisel had made good on his promise and gotten MegaMan an entirely new wardrobe, although Tron had been the one to actually take him shopping. She'd made a big fuss about his selections, picking out the most expensive, designer-brand T-shirts and slacks for him. Evidently she was trying to give him a "look." although MegaMan would have been satisfied with the cheapest, least-decorative clothing, provided it was new and clean. Also, Tron wouldn't let MegaMan wear anything that was blue. When he'd asked her why, she'd simply said, "Blue just isn't your color, MegaMan, trust me." Then she'd piled six more shirts into his arms. "Go try these on. Get going! Don't make me call in Glyde for a fashion consultation!"

Of course, Tron had screen-printed the Bonne family insignia on all of his plain shirts, such as what he wore now, perhaps to stake some sort of claim on him. The lift grinded to a halt, and MegaMan walked down to the Gesellschaft's fitness room. Two of the forty Servbots were utilizing the room's resources. Most of the others were likely in the cafeteria, MegaMan remembered with a smile, since Servbots only needed an hour of sleep every two days. The rest were pulling duty shifts on the bridge.

MegaMan hopped onto a machine Tron had told him was a "cross-trainer." Okay, how did this work. He set the program for "manual" and began pumping his arms and legs. There was a timer to set, but he wasn't really on any set schedule, so he left it as it was.

He couldn't shake the odd dream from his mind. Was something happening to Data, even now? That was impossible, MegaMan reminded himself. Data was dead, drowned nearly a year ago at the bottom of the ocean. It must have been something that had happened in the past. Data had been found with him, originally. Maybe Data had known MegaMan's parents? Could that green-haired man have been his father?

If that had been his father, what about his mother? MegaMan searched back, tried to access those hidden memories from his youngest years. The only female figures he could come up with both had green hair, like the man, but neither one appeared old enough to have a child. One appeared the same age he was now, and the other only slightly older. Maybe they had been his sisters? None of it made any sense. If he had two sisters, why had they let him go? Something in his memory told him that the girls in his mind and he were, not, in fact, of the same blood. But there was something about the green-haired man. Something...familiar....

"Um, Mister MegaMan, sir?"

MegaMan blinked his eyes and looked down at the Servbot standing inquisitively next to the cross-trainer. "What?" he asked, continuing his exercise.

"Well, do you know how long you've been on that machine?"

"No," MegaMan said. "I didn't set the timer, Number...Twelve." He was starting to be able to tell the Servbots apart now, though he wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad one.

Number Twelve began shuffling his feet and looking at them intently. "Ummm, well, you started working out at five-thirty, and now it's---" the Servbot checked his wristwatch. "---eight o'clock. It's almost time for breakfast."

MegaMan stopped completely and dismounted the machine. "I've been exercising two and a half hours?" Twelve nodded. "That's odd, I don't really feel tired. I must not have set the difficulty high enough. Are you going to breakfast?" Twelve nodded again. "Okay, let's go together." The two headed to the lift, which was already in use by several Servbots. MegaMan and Twelve squeezed into the crowded cubicle, and after someone pressed the button, the elevator moved upwards.

MegaMan and the others tumbled out of the lift as it opened. After he had managed to free himself from the pile, he headed to the cafeteria. MegaMan was a little groggy as he entered, the lack of sleep finally catching up to him. Tron was getting a small bowl of Puffy Wheats and a slice of melon from the chow line. "Morning," MegaMan said to her, his eyes a little blurry. He yawned as he reached around her to pile scrambled eggs on his plate.

"What?!! I am so boring to you that you have to yawn every time you see me!?" Oh, no. He was in trouble now.

"Sorry, Tron, I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night. I had this funny dream---"

"Oh, now your dreams are more interesting than me?" Tron's eyes were ablaze now. "Who do you think you are, MegaMan?! I swear, I've never---"

"Enjoy your breakfast, Tron," MegaMan said quickly, ducking around her and scooping up some bacon and pineapple before sliding into a seat quickly at Table Two. MegaMan sighed and started shoveling bacon and eggs into his mouth. He was so intent on his eating he barely noticed Teisel pop into the seat across from him.

"Good morning, my loyal and wonderful family!" he said cheerfully to MegaMan and the Servbots. Teisel took a sip of his coffee, then his face fell noticeably. "The coffee's not very good today," he mumbled. "I told Number Twenty-One he was using too many scoops..."

MegaMan shrugged. "Maybe it's the brand of coffee you use. When I used to be ship's cook, I tried out three or four different kinds before I found one everyone liked. If you want, I'll have a talk with Twenty-One about it."

"Sounds brilliant!" Teisel said enthusiastically. His eyes narrowed and he leaned forward, looking sharply at MegaMan. "If you don't mind my saying so, you appear to be a young man with a lot of weight on his mind. What's got you so down?"

"A lot of things," MegaMan said truthfully. "Where should I start? This morning, I think I had a dream about my father. The thing was, I never knew my father, so it might not have been him at all. I might have just made it up because I wanted to know my father, or something. What do you think?"

Teisel scratched his chin. "I see. A father, eh?..." MegaMan could tell an idea was germinating in the oldest Bonne brother's mind. "I think I've got it!" Teisel exclaimed. "MegaMan, I want you to report to my quarters at seven o'clock sharp tomorrow morning! I hope you don't mind getting up early."

"No," said MegaMan, "I don't think that'll be a problem."

Teisel looked at him approvingly. "Great. In the meantime, try to work on that coffee situation, will you? I don't think my stomach can take much more."

***

MegaMan got up promptly at six the next morning, without any spectacularly odd dreams. Grunting, he rolled out of bed and got dressed, then took the lift up to the residence level. He knocked gingerly on Teisel's door, hoping that his morning appointment had not been forgotten.

Evidently not. "Ah, MegaMan," Teisel said warmly, answering the door clad in only a pair of red, loose-fitting trousers. "I'm glad you made it. Come in." He led MegaMan into his cabin. The last time the boy had been in here, it had been accidentally on his first day aboard. MegaMan found his attention once again drawn to the large painting on the wall opposite the door. A regally-dressed couple stood solidly together, with a young, brown-haired lad standing between them.

"Yes," said Teisel, "those are our beloved parents. I was eight years old when this picture was painted---it was only a year or two before Tron was born." He stared thoughtfully at the painting. "I wish she and Bon could have gotten to know them better, although Father and I...well, we disagreed about many things." Teisel was silent for a moment, apparently lost in reflection. "Yes, many, many things. I wonder how he'd feel about the way we live now." MegaMan couldn't see much of Teisel in his father, but his mother's resemblance to Tron was almost uncanny.

"Anyway," Teisel continued, changing conversational tracks, "hearing you talk about your father yesterday reminded me of my own. I know you've never really had a stable male role model in your life, MegaMan. This is a little awkward for me to say, but I hope that---what I mean is, I just want you to know that...if you...have any questions, I'll be here for you."

"Oh," said MegaMan stupidly. He wasn't sure what he had been expecting this morning, but this probably wasn't it. "Thank you."

Teisel clapped his hands together roughly. "Enough fooling around! Time to get to business! Follow me!" He led MegaMan into his own private bathroom, which, truth be told, was almost as large as the Servbot bathroom downstairs, although MegaMan guessed that there was much, much less gambling that went on in this one. There was only once faucet, however, and the mirror was both decorative and functional. A couple of scarlet towels hung from the small rack, with a larger bath towel hanging near the separate shower stall and---wonder of wonders, Teisel even had a small hot tub in his room! Teisel brought out a mug, a brush, and two plastic objects. "Okay, today's first lesson is: shaving!"

MegaMan blinked. This morning was defying his expectations more with every passing second. "Shaving?" he repeated.

"Shaving," Teisel said a third time. He turned on the water tap, letting it run until it steam rose from the sink. "First, we have to wet the brush---I also like to put just a little water in the mug, too. It makes a nicer lather." Teisel began slapping the brush around on the small cake of soap the mug contained. "Now, you've got to whip the brush with firm, brisk strokes, and after a couple of minutes..." Teisel continued for the prescribed couple of minutes, then showed the results to MegaMan. "Voila! We have our lather!"

"Uh, Teisel," said MegaMan, "I haven't really gotten to the point where I need to shave yet..."

"That's alright," Teisel said, brushing his own face up with soap bubbles. "It's never to early to learn these kinds of manly rituals." He finished up, apparently satisfied with his foamy "beard." "Now, you give it a try."

MegaMan took the shaving brush from Teisel and whipped up the lather a few more times. Then, he tentatively coated his face with it, accidentally getting some up his nose and nearly sneezing. When he had successfully lathered up his face, Teisel smiled in approval.

"Next," said the senior pirate, "we take the safety razor---" he handed one of the red razors to MegaMan, "---and begin drawing it across the beard area." Teisel began showing him the proper shaving technique, then he halted and turned the faucet back on. "Some men like to fill the sink up and use that to rinse the blade," he said, "but I like to keep the water running. It's an old habit, I suppose, but I'm not going to change it now."

"Right," said MegaMan as he tried to emulate Teisel's motions with the razor. Both men stopped occasionally to run their blades under the running water, rinsing off the soap, and in Teisel's case, hair, that had accumulated. MegaMan and Teisel shaved in silence for a while, until MegaMan decided he did, in fact, have a question for the older man. "Why does Tron get mad at me so often? It seems like just saying hello makes her angry sometimes."

"Ah," Teisel said. "You see, despite the fact that she's quite a lovely girl and a successful sky pirate, Tron has led a pretty hard life. She lost our parents at a tender young age, and we've been kind of living on the run ever since. We'd just finished the Gesellschaft when you met her, you know. We hadn't really had a home of our own for a long time before that."

"I guess that makes sense," said MegaMan, drawing the blade across where he thought his mustache might well be in later years, "but---"

"And, remember," Teisel continued, "she's been living on a ship full of men for all this time. Tron doesn't really have a mother figure for herself anymore. That means she's not sure exactly what a girl is supposed to act like. That's why sometimes it seems like she bouncing between demure courtesy, bombastic enthusiasm, and loud, horrible, anger. You got to know how to handle her when she's in one of those moods."

MegaMan shivered. "Tron's anger certainly is horrible, all right. I usually just try to get away whenever she starts yelling at me."

Teisel began laughing uncontrollably. Apparently it was all or nothing when it came to his amusement---MegaMan had never heard him chuckle, or even laugh at a normal volume level. "That's only a temporary solution, my boy, and that just means you're transferring her anger onto someone else. I usually try to toss her a random compliment or two when she gets in those volatile moods. That'll catch her off her guard, and she'll forget what she's angry about. Pay attention, now!" Teisel angled his face toward MegaMan, who could see the older pirate's left cheek was puffing out a little. "Sometimeth it'f hard to thshave th' thides of your mouf, tho I like to puff them out a little wif my ptongue." He demonstrated again, shaving over the indicated area with the razor, then did likewise with the other side. "Now, you try it."

MegaMan tried puffing out the sides of the mouth with his tongue. He found it wasn't as hard as he first thought it might be. Still, it wasn't as though he really needed to do it yet. He brought his blade gingerly down and realized, as he looked at his bare face, that he was finished. "We're done," he said needlessly. The two rinsed off their faces, then dried them with the two small towels MegaMan had seen on the rack earlier. MegaMan's face itched and felt as though he may have ripped off an entire layer of skin.

"Well, that's that," said Teisel proudly, re-hanging his towel. "Why don't you head down to breakfast, and I'll join you shortly, okay?"

"Fine," said MegaMan, heading towards the exit. "By the way, I figured out what the problem with the coffee was: Number Twenty-Nine was putting vinegar in it."

"What?" Teisel said, a disgusted expression on his face.

"Yup," MegaMan confirmed, "vinegar. I asked him why he was doing it, and he said Number Two told him you really liked your coffee with 'bite.' So, I told him to stop, and asked him to put one scoop less in the pot, and add a dash of nutmeg. I think you'll like it."

"That Number Two," Teisel said woefully, "I'm afraid Tron's going to have to schedule a session for him in the Torture Room."

"The what?" MegaMan asked too late, as Teisel shut the door in his face. Oh, well, that was something to worry about later. With his right hand, he stroked his raw face as he stopped in front of the elevator and pressed the call button.

The doors opened quicker than MegaMan had expected, and a young girl in a lab coat and glasses emerged. She had long unruly brunette hair that almost reached to her waist, and black stains covered her face and clothing. She started a bit as she saw MegaMan, then tried to slip by him quietly.

"Wait a minute," he said. "Tron, is that you? Wow! You look really different."

"It's not my fault, okay!?!" Tron's eyes burned through the lenses of her spectacles. "I haven't had time yet to do my hair, or put in my contacts, or any---"

"What were you doing?"

"For your information, I was in the weapons lab working on our new secret weapon, the MegaBonne Bomb, which'll have over ten times the explosive capability of---"

"Hold on," said MegaMan. "Did you say MegaBonne Bombs? As in my own na---"

"Yes!" Tron hollered. "I mean, no! Stop trying to bait me! I'm working myself sick over this, I don't need any of your---"

"You know, Tron," MegaMan said as he punched the button for Level Three, "not only are you a very pretty girl, but you're also one of the greatest sky pirates currently in the air."

Tron said nothing, her mouth agape, a huge blush creeping over her face as the lift doors began to close.

"See you at breakfast," MegaMan said cheerily as the closed fully and the lift began to move. It looked like Teisel may have known what he was talking about after all.




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