Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of .hackSIGN. Neither do I own the song "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down. Good song, highly recommend it to all. And now, the songfic…

.hackSIGN: Here Without You

By DigiScanner-Shonen

Tsukasa was back in "the World", in his old avatar. After the logout problem, he had been afraid to go back in fear of being trapped again, but had come for one reason. Sure Tsukasa and Subaru had gotten together outside "the World", but after helping him with his problem, she was only interested in being his friend.

Yes, it had hurt when she had said that she just wanted to be friends. After all, he cared about her a lot. They had grown close in "the World" but back in the Real World after helping Tsukasa get out, Subaru just seemed to turn her attention back to the game, trying to help restore order to chaos again. He wanted to help, but Subaru wanted to work alone for this now. So Tsukasa decided to go back into "the World" and try and contact the only other girl he felt close to: Mimiru.

A hundred days have made me older

Since the last time that I saw your pretty face

A thousand lies have made me colder

And I don't think I can look at this the same

He and Mimiru may have not been friendly at first, but became quite close. She had helped him, comforted him, sympathised with him. He felt more of a connection to Mimiru in that sense. He had sent her a message to meet him in the area they first met, the dungeon where Tsukasa awoke all those months ago. Now he was waiting for her. He hoped she didn't take long. After all, she had a promise to keep, Tsukasa remembered.

But all the miles that separate

They disappear now that I'm dreaming of your face

Mimiru was heading towards the dungeon where she and Tsukasa first met. She still couldn't believe that Tsukasa had sent the message! But what if he got trapped in "the World" again? Whatever it was, she'd help him out again, like she did last time.

They had started out on the wrong foot, but she became one of his closest friends. He was so alone when they met, and wanted to be alone, but Mimiru kept thinking about him after the initial meeting. She wanted to be his friend, help him, and tell him he didn't have to be alone. Maybe it was because of those feelings that she became attracted to him, Mimiru thought.

Maybe it wasn't intentional, but she developed feelings for Tsukasa over the duration of their adventure. After not hearing from him for so long, to have a message sent to her from him, she was overjoyed to her from her friend. She couldn't wait to see him. But should I tell him how I feel about him while I'm with him, she thought to herself, especially since he's with Subaru now?

She didn't know what to do. But the thought of seeing his face again would make her content. At least, for a while.

I'm here without you, baby

But you're still on my lonely mind

I think about you, baby

And I dream about you all the time

I'm here without you, baby

But you're still with me in my dreams

And tonight

It's only you and me

Tsukasa kept thinking about Mimiru. She hoped she wasn't busy tonight. He didn't set a specific time for them to meet. And Mimiru hadn't replied to his message. The best he could was wait for her and hope.

Small parties came into the dungeon as he waited. Some said hi, others whispered behind his back, and a couple asked him to join their parties. Tsukasa really didn't care for all that now. He just wanted to see Mimiru again.

Wavemaster. That was what he played as. He could have picked another character, but if he did, would he have not gotten stuck in "the World" and not have met Mimiru? Time seemed to go slowly and Mimiru seemed miles away, yet within reach at the same time.

The miles just keep rolling

As the people leave their way to say hello

I hear this life is overrated

But I hope that it gets better as we go

Mimiru was also asked by a couple parties to join, but she refused. She kept on her path to find Tsukasa. She had checked a few areas, but couldn't find him there. She continued her search for him and every moment she didn't see him, she felt worse and worse about what she might say to him. If she did say it, would Tsukasa leave her and be forever with Subaru?

Beating a couple of monsters didn't help the matter. She kept thinking that Tsukasa might do the same to her heart. She hoped not. Then, she saw something, sitting against a chest as she walked.

I'm here without you, baby

But you're still on my lonely mind

I think about you, baby

And I dream about you all the time

I'm here without you, baby

But you're still with me in my dreams

And tonight, girl

It's only you and me

Tsukasa spotted something coming towards him from the dark. A human figure with a big sword attached to her back. It was a girl. A Heavy Blade. Mimiru.

Tsukasa was overwhelmed when he saw her again. She was beautiful. She always had been beautiful; Tsukasa just didn't notice it. Her hair had grown a bit longer. Other than that, she barely changed.

"Tsukasa!" she said with joy, "It's great to see you again!"

"Yeah, same to you," Tsukasa told her, "How is Bear and BT?"

"Bear's good. Barely anyone's seen BT since the Net Slum incident, but she's mostly on the boards. And how about Subaru?"

Tsukasa felt a slight twinge of pain at her name. "She's good, too. What about you?"

"I'm great. I've been going on quests in A20 for awhile now, since you left," Mimiru took a seat beside the Wavemaster, "I never thought I'd see you again."

"I thought the same here," Tsukasa said, "but I just needed to see you again. You were the first one who tried to help me, after all."

"Hm-mm," the Heavy Blade nodded, "But aren't you worried that you might get stuck in the game again?"

"Nah. I think it was a one time thing," the Wavemaster said. He was silent for a moment as he grasped his staff, "It seems like ages ago. Everything that's happened…seems like a dream."

"It does," Mimiru said quitely.

"I remember everything we did during the time I was here. I remember what you said. Mimiru, do you remember?"

Everything I know, anywhere I go

It gets hard but it won't take away my love

"Huh? Remember what?"

"That time you promised me. When you said you'd promise to protect me."

"Oh yeah."

"Mimiru…I need you to keep that promise. I need you to protect me."

"Protect you? From what?"

"From…" Tsukasa paused. He didn't know if he should say it to her now. But he took a breath and continued, "from heartache. From loneliness. From living without love. Mimiru, I want you to protect me from all that."

"How can I do that, Tsukasa?"

"By letting me love you. And having you love me."

Mimiru was taken aback. She didn't expect to her this from Tsukasa. Sure, she wanted to hear it, but she didn't think it'd actually happen! She was speechless. He had felt the same way she did. "Tsukasa…"

Tsukasa could only wait for her reply. He feared the worse.

And when the last one falls

When it's all said and done

It gets hard but it won't take away my love

"…how could you know?"

Tsukasa awaited the rest.

"How could you know…that I felt the exact same way?"

Tsukasa couldn't believe his ears. Mimiru felt the same way? He had wanted to hear this since he discovered he liked Mimiru. He now looked her straight in her eyes and read what was in her mind.

"After everything we've been through, I felt closer to you with every adventure," Mimiru continued, "And I discovered that I liked you as more than a friend. I…feel the same way, Tsukasa. I didn't think you'd return my feelings. Especially since you're with Subaru…"

"It didn't work out between me and Subaru. And I do return your feelings," Tsukasa smiled, "and I wouldn't trade this for all the treasures in the World. Real or game-world."

Mimiru grew happy. She and Tsukasa agreed on their feelings for each other. She was so happy, she could…

Tsukasa seemed to sense this and leaned in closer to Mimiru. Mimiru did the same thing. As they came closer, their eyes closed. Closer, closer, closer…

"Hey! You by the chest!"

This call awoke Tsukasa and Mimiru from their moment. Mimiru looked up in anger at a party obviously after what was in the chest. "Save it for offline!"

"Why you little, pompous…" Mimiru began.

"Uh, Mimiru, let's move this somewhere else," Tsukasa grabbed her arm and motioned to get out of the dungeon. Mimiru reluctantly agreed and the two ran off.

"Crazy PCs…" one of the party members shook their head.

Tsukasa and Mimiru were now out on the platform in Dun Lorieag. It was dark now; the sky was full of stars and the moon was round and full. The night sky was beautiful, even in the game world.

"Hey Mimiru…"

"Yeah, Tsukasa?"

"Remember our promise here?"

"Of course."

"Let's make another promise."

"What kind of promise?"

"That we'll always be together, even if it's in the game."

"But won't we have to meet offline one day?"

"We'll talk about that later, Mimiru. For now, we'll just be here in 'the World'. Where we can be together with no worries."

"You can bet I'll keep that promise, Tsukasa."

They gazed into each other's eyes for a minute, then slowly came in and kissed. They held it for about twenty seconds, but to them, it felt like forever. Mimiru put her head on Tsukasa's shoulder and the two looked up at the moon.

It was here on this bridge that they made their promise to be together forever.

I'm here without you, baby

But you're still on my lonely mind

I think about you, baby

And I dream about you all the time

I'm here without you, baby

But you're still with me in my dreams

And tonight, girl

It's only you and me


So, you like it? I know it was short, but please review, anyway! And check out my other stories if you liked this fic.