Jules' Apartment

The low clattering of a keyboard was the only sound in the room, and the only light a faint glow from a monitor in the corner. With the heavy curtains drawn tight and the door closed you wouldn't be faulted for thinking it was the dead of night. The figure at the keyboard sighed and stretched, cracking his neck and sitting back in his chair as the PET on the desk lit up.

Voltman tapped a finger to his cheek, thinking briefly before breaking the silence in the room.
"Jules, are you... ok? With this?" The chair's creaking abruptly stopped as Jules looked at the projection of his navi, his expression harder to read in the dim lighting but visibly confused nonetheless. Voltman shook his head slightly. "This lifestyle. It's been days since you've left for anything but groceries, you spend hours just watching videos, reading message boards, or streamlining my code. We've only been virus busting enough to meet rent and for you to eat." He put his arms up, half shrugging and half gesturing to the apartment around him. Soundless, the apartment itself seemed to be holding its breath. "You just... you just used to seem so lively." As he finished, the chair creaked and some semblance of life returned to the room.
"I... I don't know." Jules leaned on one fist as he stared blankly at the monitors, his brow slightly furrowed in thought. "We're doing enough to get by, and more just seems... unreasonable." His expression seemed to shift as he lowered his gaze to his desk. "Some days it's hard enough to get out of bed for this, much less function as your operator for anything intensive." The words hovered in the air as he fell silent once more.

Voltman paused for only a moment, before a slight beep sounded and the curtains flew open. A wordless shriek barely made it out of Jules' mouth as he toppled over, shielding his eyes from the light. Voltman's image hovered over the figure now tangled in blankets and laundry on the floor, pointing directly at what was probably a head. "You're going out. Today. And we're going to go virus busting, get some petty cash, and get you some decent food for once."

An hour later, cleaned and presentable to the world, they were on the bus for ACDC town's chip shop.
(To here)
[From here]

Jules collapsed back into his chair, thinking. "Do you think- should I have talked with him more? Was I too 'to the point'? I mean I've never really thought about it before, but his job's gotta be pretty dull..." He started tapping his foot and biting his lip slightly. "I mean for all I know other folks actually have a rapport with him. I was- I've always- We never really connected, y'know, and-" Voltman's hologram popped up from the PET, interrupting his friend's nervous mumbling.
"It's a job, Jules. There's no expectation that you make friends with the employees, just that you treat them like people." His visor glowed slightly brighter as he smiled up at him. "Just relax, it's a free day for us. Now- nothing for it but to jump straight back into the deep end." Shuffling his feet slightly, he crossed his arms and looked downwards. "I've got an ice fishing score to settle, as it were. So I'd appreciate heading for Sharo net."

Jules immediately sat further up, shaking his head. "No can do. It took an entire squad just to pacify that thing last time, we are not trying to take it on alone." He pulled up the data of Squalo's tooth, stored safely away since the day they'd failed to stop him and been saved by an official.

"I'm stronger now, Jules. More powerful, more well equipped, and faster than ever. I can do this." Voltman's voice was almost pleading. But... Julian was resolute. He wasn't about to risk Voltman's life again, against a foe he was confident they couldn't face.

He sniffed slightly and avoided his navi's gaze, turning his chair towards his computer and opening a browser window. "We'll get our bearings in the second level of Electown net. If..." He turned his head to Voltman "...and I do mean if we manage to find enough here to boost your combat strength a bit further... then, we can start combing Sharo net for your whale."

"Now, Jack In, Voltman.exe! Transmit!"

[To here]