Disclaimer: I don't own SAO. It belongs to Kawahara Reki sensei!

A/N: This story was made as an inspiration after reading Sword Art Online fanfics from authors like: momoxtoshiro, Kirigaya-Asuna54, KittenofthePastries, heroes1202, omegafire17, TheSib, and Knowledgeseeker66. But as much as I enjoyed reading their stories, the majority of the stories written by these authors all focused on KiriAsu. Not that I'm complaining about it, since I love the pairing. It's just that the characters of Mother's Rosario arc didn't get much attention. Mother's Rosario is by far my favorite arc in SAO and wanted to see some elaboration on it, which I think is sadly lacking in both the light novel and fanfictions themselves. So I thought this story's setting may be an ideal place to start.

After watching the ending of season 2 of SAO, I started to wonder, what happened during the time skip of Yuuki's death and her funeral. And this story is my speculation of what happened during the time skip.

Lastly, to the authors mentioned above: thanks for writing the stories you've posted as I've thoroughly enjoyed reading them. If by any chance you read this story, I hope you leave a comment of some sort. Thanks again!

This is my very first fanfiction, so no harsh comments, please. But any constructive criticisms are welcomed. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1: The Passing

Sunday, March 29th, 2026.

ALO, New Aincrad, 24th floor.

Asuna was trying so hard to not cry openly, thinking that doing so would only sadden Yuuki during her final moment. She held Yuuki in her arms, as she had collapsed earlier when she no longer had the strength to even stand up. Thankfully, Yuuki wasn't in pain at all. Just feeling 'weak' is all. They were at the little island where the Zekken, Yuuki had her duels, but this time, they weren't here to watch Yuuki duel someone else. Everyone had gathered to show their respects for the dying swordswoman.

After everyone had finished gathering around the island together, Yuuki had started a heart-breaking soliloquy, in which she questioned the reason for her own existence and having finally discovered the answer surrounded by her friends and so many others who had gathered to 'cheer her on' for her next journey. Asuna finally let her tears fall.

"I… I'll see you again. In some other place, in some other world, we'll definitely see each other again. And when we do, promise me you'll tell me what you found in that world, alright?" Asuna said, as another tear fell onto Yuuki's closed eye.

Yuuki opened her eyes in which she knew would be her last time doing so. She then saw her beloved sister Aiko smiling down at her. Happy that she would meet her again very soon, Yuuki let her tears fall.

'I… I did my best to live. I… really lived here!' Yuuki thought. She then slowly let her eyes close, then flew higher than her wings could take her.

When she felt Yuuki's hand going limp in hers, Asuna looked down at Yuuki. Yuuki was smiling with her eyes closed. Yuuki had finally been freed from her suffering. She should be happy that Yuuki was now with her loved ones, but she just couldn't stop the grief from overwhelming her.

She was gone. Gone to where her deceased family and friends were. Gone to a world where there is no suffering, but only peace.

Asuna hugged Yuuki's body and wept profusely. The other Sleeping Knights members, Jun, Nori, Siune, Talken, and Tecchi were crying too, realizing that their young leader was now gone.

All of Asuna's friends that had gathered, Klein, Sinon, Silica, Lisbeth, Leafa, Yui and even Kirito were openly shedding tears for Yuuki. The other thousands of players that gathered for Yuuki also grieved for her passing.

After some time had passed, Asuna barely managed to compose herself. She stood up, taking Yuuki's headband off. She then also picked up Yuuki's sword.

The others were curious as to what she was up to, but Kirito had an idea of what Asuna was doing.

She tied Yuuki's headband to the sword's hilt and then planted it at the base of the tree. She had made a makeshift grave marker for Yuuki.

Then Asuna turned around, facing every players present. "Everyone. Let's have a moment of silence for Yuuki. Let's pray that Yuuki is with her family now." She said. The others agreed silently and bowed their heads in respect.

After a minute or two, the moment of silence was over. Then the majority of the players began to leave with heavy hearts. Among the few that stayed a little longer were Sakuya, Alicia Rue, Eugene, Recon, Sasha, Thinker, and Yulier. They all offered their respects to Asuna, her friends, and the Sleeping Knights. The women were crying and the men wore sad expressions. Even Eugene wore a genuinely sad expression that betrayed his usual gruff exterior.

Then Yuuki's avatar suddenly glowed and then disappeared, like it would during a log out sequence. Asuna and Kirito then realized that Yuuki had been taken off the Medicuboid.

Then she remembered that she was logged into ALO using the hospital's Amusphere. She knew that she had to log out soon.

"I… I'm sorry everyone. I logged in using the Amusphere in Yuuki's hospital. I need to go soon…" Asuna told her friends sadly. They all nodded in understanding.

"Asuna, don't be too sad. I'm sure Yuuki wouldn't have wanted that." Lisbeth said, attempting to console her.

"That's right. So please don't cry anymore, Asuna-san." Silica squeaked. Pina gave a sad purr in agreement.

"Asuna-san, remember what you said. Yuuki-san is with her family now." Leafa added.

"Eh… I'm sure she's happy now." Sinon said, wiping her tear.

Asuna looked at her friends and gave a small smile. "Yes… Yes, you're right. Arigatou, minna (Thanks, everyone)…" Asuna opened her menu to log out.

But then a voice called out to her: "Asuna-san!"

Asuna looked at caller, who turned out to be Siune.

"Asuna-san… I, no, we'd like to thank you… for staying with Yuuki until the very end. I… I only wish that Yuuki had met you sooner." The other Sleeping Knights members all nodded in agreement.

"Yes… Me too. Arigatou, Siune-san." Asuna replied. She turned to her menu to log out before she lost her composure again when another voice stopped her.

"Mama… Please don't be sad anymore. Please…" Yui said. Asuna looked at her daughter, only to see a fresh round of tears on the little pixie's face. Seeing such a scene only served to further tear her heart.

"Alright. Mama will try… Mama will try…" she tried to stop her tears from falling, but failed miserably. Then she felt Kirito pull her into his arms, trying to console her.

Under normal circumstances, everyone would be awing at the couple hugging together. But at this time of sadness, doing so was out of the question.

Asuna then asked Kirito and Yui: "Gomenne (I'm sorry), Kirito-kun, Yui-chan. I'm being such a crybaby today, aren't I?"

Kirito then looked at her in the eye. "Don't apologize Asuna. It's alright. It's only natural for you to feel like this."

"That's right, Mama. We're here for you." Yui chimed in.

Asuna nodded gratefully, internally thanking them for their efforts in cheering her up.

She then told Yui: "I'm sorry Yui-chan. But Mama… Mama won't be online for a little while. Please understand." Asuna felt like she needed to be away from ALO for some time. If she stayed in ALO in her current state, it would only serve to constantly remind her that a dear friend had passed away.

Yui and Kirito, of course, understood her request. "Okay Asuna… I guess I'll see you tomorrow at school." Kirito said sadly.

"Mmm. Arigatou Kirito-kun, Yui-chan." Asuna said. She again opened her menu and this time successfully pressed the log out button. But at the same time, she was scared to wake up back at the hospital, because she knew that she would have to face the fact that Yuuki was gone.

Yokohama North General Hospital

When she regained consciousness back in the real world, Asuna hesitated taking the Amusphere off her head. But after a few seconds, she mentally prepared herself for another grieving. She then took the Amusphere off and stood up.

She dreaded exiting the room and going to Yuuki's room, but she knew that she couldn't stay in there forever. She knew that she had to face the harsh reality that such a young and cheerful girl, whose life had barely begun had passed away so soon. So, reluctantly, Asuna opened the door to the hospital's hallway. As she came into Yuuki's room, she saw the nurses covering Yuuki's body with a white sheet, both looking like they would start crying anytime, preparing to move her body out of the room.

Dr. Kurahashi then noticed Asuna enter. He approached her with sadness evident on his face.

"I'm sorry, Asuna-san. We've done all we could to make this easier for Yuuki-kun. At least now, she's with her family." Dr. Kurahashi said solemnly.

Asuna nodded silently, unable to say anything. Then Dr. Kurahashi continued: "Yuuki-kun wore the same expression as her sister when she passed on. In the end, they both smiled. They both passed on peacefully."

Asuna nodded again and this time managed to say something: "Yes, thank you, sensei. For taking care of Yuuki all this time."

Kurahashi managed a small smile. "You give me too much credit, Asuna-san. Ever since you first came to visit Yuuki-kun in the real world, she's told me everything that has happened afterwards. She was so excited at the prospect of actually going to school using the VR probe that your schoolmates created that she wouldn't stop chattering. Not to mention seeing the real world again with her own eyes and the adventures you had together in ALO. All in all, I'm certain that Yuuki-kun was at her happiest after she met you."

Hearing that, Asuna felt a small amount of grief being lifted from her heart. She thanked Dr. Kurahashi again and left the room. As she did, the two nurses present also started moving the bed that Yuuki's body laid on out of the room. Asuna couldn't bring herself to see the scene, for she was sure she would break down and start crying again if she did.

On her way to the lobby, she came across Yuuki's relatives. They had, of course, come because Kurahashi contacted them, telling them of her passing.

Yuuki's relatives and Asuna had seen each other once or twice in passing when they came to visit Yuuki in the hospital, but it was their first time introducing themselves to each other. After the introductions, and Asuna showing her sympathy to them, they tearfully thanked Asuna for being with Yuuki until the end. Before they left, they told her the time and place for Yuuki's funeral. It would take place in a church that the Konno family went to next Saturday. Asuna thanked them again and left.

As Asuna exited the hospital, she noticed her phone ringing, notifying her of a message. Checking it, she saw that it wasn't one, but several messages from her friends, and some from the Sleeping Knights, all of them containing words of comfort (as well as gratitude in the case of the Sleeping Knights).

Although she was grateful for their attempts, right now, it was impossible to not grieve.

Asuna slowly began to walk away from the hospital, not really paying attention to where she was going.

She couldn't think of anything, nor care what was going around her. All she could think of was Yuuki and her long 15 years of fighting throughout her life, not just the AIDS, but also a battle against herself and the cruel reality. During her whole life, Yuuki and her family had endured so much suffering, both physically and emotionally. But even so, Yuuki always tried her best, keeping her mother's promise that 'Kami-sama (God) never gives them pain that they couldn't endure' in mind.

But as she thought of this, another thought entered her mind. If the God in the Bible, the God that Yuuki and her family believed in really existed, why did he do this to the Konno family? How could he have sentenced them, especially Yuuki and Aiko to a lifetime of suffering, only to die so early when their lives had only started? If God didn't give them pain that they couldn't endure, then why couldn't he just not give any pain at all in the first place? The more she thought about this, the more she thought it was unfair for them. She kept asking herself hopelessly why this whole tragedy had happened to Yuuki and her family, knowing that no one would give her the answer to that question.

As Asuna started getting lost in her own thoughts, she continued walking, too occupied in grief to know where she was going.

A/N: There you have it, the first chapter. More will come by soon enough. Thanks for reading.