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Linking it Together

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"-Get something for this quickly-"

Mamoru looked up from his work at the sound of Daichi mumbling. Something about how fast he'd shown up at the lab after the Kaiju appearance bothered Mamoru. He frowned, trying to put his finger on what felt off.

Daichi wasn't working on fieldwork this week, so it couldn't be that. It briefly crossed his mind that he had come back early, but Asuna usually was the one to come back to the lab to help with new spark dolls from X's fight. Daichi usually-

Daichi usually helped with clean up efforts for a few hours.

That is what felt off, Mamoru realized. Happy with his conclusion, he turned back to his work.

Or he would have, had he not heard a low hissing noise from Daichi's direction. There was some talking, but whatever he was saying was too quiet to hear. What Mamoru could make out sounded like his coworker conversing with another, unfamiliar voice. Curiosity getting the better of him, he stood up to check what had happened.

"- to clean it, it'll get infected-"

"I know, I-"

"Daichi, everything all right?" Mamoru poked his head into his desk area.

Daichi jumped, covering his chest in shock. It took a moment for it to register in Mamoru's mind that his friend was shirtless. He was a bit more focused on the deep red that was slowly oozing out of the cut on said chest.

"Daichi?!" Mamoru immediately moved over to help, removing his lab coat to soak up blood. Daichi didn't move to stop him, but didn't help either. " What happened?"

Daichi was stock still, like a kid caught stealing from the cookie jar. Mamoru tried to catch his gaze, but couldn't quite snag his attention. There was a feeling like he was hiding something, but the more important thought of dealing with all the blood took more importance in his mind.

When he didn't answer, Mamoru continued. "Why didn't you go to medical?" His lab coat now had large red splotches on it, but his wound had stopped bleeding. Satisfied with his work, he set his lab coat aside. Regardless of where he was now, Mamoru intended to clean him up before sending him there.

"They're… busy. Lots of casualties." It wasn't really answering why he came to the lab instead, but it was at least a viable answer.

Before he could ask more, Daichi walked over to his desk and pulled out a medical kit. He started rooting through it, pulling out gauze. Mamoru poked his head over his friend's shoulder. "You need to clean it first." He sat his coworker down in his chair, taking command of the situation. “I’ve been studying on field medical training recently.” He added.

Ripping a clean section of his lab coat off, he began soaking it with water from a nearby bottle. He looked up for a second. “I don’t think there’s anything in it, is there?” While it was a nasty looking cut, it was surprisingly clean. Mamoru looked over at the discarded tactical armor, expecting to see it trashed. He frowned, seeing it fully intact, and undamaged.

“I’m not seeing anything, I can wrap it-” Daichi reached for the gauze again.

“After I help you wipe it down.” Mamoru pushed him back into the chair, and dabbed his makeshift cloth against the injury. Better safe than sorry. Daichi hissed, clutching his Devizer tightly. “I’ll be gentle.” Despite the pained noise, he managed to remain still.

Mamoru continued along the gash, doing his best to remember what he’d read during his training. Now that he was actually examining the wound, he realized how large it was. It stretched from the middle of his breast to just above his left hip, with a small curving arc to it. The only way Mamoru could think to describe it was some sort of sword slash injury.

Daichi must have realized he was staring at it a bit too hard, because he spoke up with a “I was protecting a civilian from a Seijin.” Shocked at his sudden explanation, Mamoru just nodded. He was happy Daichi was answering his questions, but it was only causing more to spring up.

“This should be good.” Mamoru placed his ripped coat on the counter, taking the gauze from his coworker. “I’ll wrap you up temporarily, but go to the medical wing to get this treated. Something this big’ll need stitches, I think.” he grabbed his own phone from his pocket. “I’ll let them know you’re coming-”

“No-”

Mamoru looked at him in shock. “You’re a Xio member, they’ll have room to treat you.” He opened his phone anyway, despite Daichi’s nervous look. Before he could message the medical team, a text from Rui caught his attention.

Have you seen Daichi? -RuiRui♡

We can’t find him aaaaaanywhere, starting to get worried o~o; -RuiRui♡

Mamoru stared his coworker down. “Did you tell anyone where you were going?”

“I uh… was a bit preoccupied. “ The way he wasn’t making eye contact made Mamoru feel he was definitely hiding something.

He’s here with me. -M

Oh thank goodness -RuiRui♡

X was in a really cool sword fight!! He was all clash clang ka-shiiing which was super cool, but there was a lot of debris from buildings raining down -RuiRui♡

We were worried he’d gotten badly hurt -RuiRui♡

Mamoru was about to text back with the bad news when he noticed Daichi was trying to wrap himself clumsily. The bad news could wait till his friend more safe to transfer to a better place for his current situation. He moved Daichi’s hand to hold down the end of the gauze, and began wrapping it around his chest.

“Rui was worried for you.” He scolded him. Mamoru had known Daichi for a long time, but was still trying to figure out what on earth he was trying to accomplish at the moment. When his friend said nothing, he kept talking. “You could have at least radioed in that you were injured.”

The two were silent as Mamoru finished what he could with the remaining wrap from the medical kit. Daichi stood, picking up his coat and slipping it on. Mamoru picked up his blood soaked shirt, placing it with the ruined lab coat. It registered in his brain that Daichi’s coat was still clean, but he was more concerned with his friend grabbing his tactical armor again.

“You’re not going back out to help cleanup like this.” The way he froze in his tracks, Mamoru knew that was exactly his plan. “Daichi, i love my job just as much as you do, but Gomora help me I’m marching you down to the medical office myself if you try to go out like this.” He took the armor, tucking it under his arm, and blocked Daichi’s path.

Daichi looked like he was trying to come up with something to say, but was drawing a blank. “You look busy, I’m well enough to walk there myself.” Mamoru didn’t move.

“I’ll message them, telling them to expect-”

“No, I’ll be fine.” Daichi cut off. “No need.” he moved to walk around Mamoru, only to be blocked again. The two stared each other down, only for Daichi to fold.

“Give me five to clean up the bloody clothes, I’m walking you there myself buddy.” Daichi obediently sat on his chair, shocked by Mamoru’s firmness. While his own boldness caught him off guard as well, Mamoru realized if he didn’t do this, Daichi wasn’t going to get the help he needed. His Devizer buzzed in his hand, distracting him from the pile of clothes he’d moved to pick up.

It was a video from Rui, only captioned “X’s sword sparkles so pretty!! He protected us from a pretty big attack too -RuiRui♡” The fact it was filmed close to X’s position was concerning, considering how much damage was being caused by the two giants were trading blows. X made a thrusting attack, only to be parried, Xlugger flying off to the side. The alien turned, and swung towards Rui’s position, only for X to dive in at the last second and block the blow with his own body. Mamoru paused the video. Why did that feel familiar? He rewound, watching the section again.

“Everything ok?” Daichi piped up nervously, still sitting at his desk. Mamoru looked at his coworker, then back to his phone. He traced the line where X had been hit by the enemy’s sword. Accounting for the video being of X’s back, he estimated the blow would have gone across his chest, cutting off at around the hip. Close, if not exactly the same as Daichi’s scar.

“RuiRui just sent a video, sorry-” He frowned, trying to piece together the information in his mind. Something was screaming at him this was important, Mamoru just couldn’t figure out how. He glanced down to the armor tucked under his arm, the still frame of X protecting Rui from a stray attack, then back to Daichi. “How did you get that cut again?”

“Uh… Protecting a civilian?” There was a hint of anxiousness building on his face. “What did Rui show you?” Whatever Daichi said after that, Mamoru was too lost in his own train of thought to hear.

Shou. One of the Ultra Hosts that had visited a few months back. They didn’t have long with the two hosts, but Mamoru distinctly remembered pestering the two with Rui while they bandaged up an injury Shou had gotten during the fight against Mold Spectre. Shou himself had been annoyed at their attempt to get research data out of him, but his friend Hikaru was happy to help.

Hikaru had cheerily explained that sometimes large injuries the Ultras received would transfer to the host post fight. He’d laughed about it, recalling the time he’d gotten a small burn on his chest from a fire-breathing Kaiju. When they’d expressed their concern towards potentially life-threatening damage, he just jabbed his finger at Shou, recounting how he’d gotten away with only a dislocated shoulder after Victory’s arm had practically been cleaved off in a fight.

Realizing Daichi was trying to scoot around him, Mamoru put a hand on his coworker. “Daichi.” he froze, eyes looking as far from Mamoru as possible. It was a far-fetched theory that had wormed its way into his head, but things lined up too perfectly. Daichi’s still-intact and largely clean clothes. The location of the cut. His excuse of protecting someone. How he’d managed to get back to the lab without any help.

“Yes?”

He took a moment, taking a deep breath before slowly saying his next few words.“Are you Ultraman X?”

There was a brief look of panic on his face before he laughed it off. “Me? X? That’s ridiculous. Mamoru, I think you’re in shock from-”

Mamoru turned him to look him dead in the eyes. “You show up in the lab with the exact same injury X would have, told nobody where you were, traveled from downtown to here in under half an hour while injured, and said injury happened despite the fact you were wearing your tactical vest - which is undamaged.”

Daichi didn’t respond, eyes darting around in an attempt to come up with an explanation. Before Mamoru could continue, Daichi’s Devizer went off. “Let me- let me take this, one second.” He broke from Mamoru’s grip, placing his phone to his ear.

Trying not to be rude, he turned away and tried to ignore whatever conversation Daichi was half-whispering into his phone. Despite that, the lab was quiet and carried his voice in a way that was hard to ignore.

“-do i do, I’m pretty sure he-” a pause, likely the other person talking to him. “Well yeah, of course it’s a-” more silence. “I’m trying to, do you have any other suggestions?Mamoru looked over his shoulder, seeing Daichi run his hand through his hair nervously. “Let’s just tell him, unless you have a better idea? It’s not like we can’t trust-” Daichi looked over his shoulder, causing Mamoru to jolt back to looking away. “Plus, it was nice to have help with…” There was a long silence, tempting Mamoru to look back again. Just as he was about to give in to his curiosity, there was a tap on his shoulder.

Daichi held his phone at eye level, facing towards Mamoru. A strange blue mark was in the center of his screen. “It’s nice to meet you, my name is Ultraman X.” A voice- the one from earlier, Mamoru realized- spoke from his devizer.