Disclaimer: I don't own .Hack, just the plot.
A/N: I know, I failed again. To those who emailed me regarding the lemon scene, please leave in your review or a PM your email address again so I would be able to keep track and send them ASAP; I've lost them, forgive me! Though the deleted scene will be raw; not edited, not alternated, it's the pure original thing, as it was my first lemon written and I doubt I'll make it better.
Last thing is, there's an important A/N for everyone to read at the end of this chapter, I insist you DO read it, as it concerns of this whole fanfic.
Read and enjoy!
Heart to Get: Chapter 6
/talk/ - conscience
Sender: CC Corp.
Player Kite, we are pleased to invite you to the fifth annual event of the restoration of The World, along with your allies who had brought peace back into the program. We strongly recommend you would participate in this event as you and others are the main guests. We will personally present you a reward for your great accomplishment for what you have done to save millions of other players as yourself around the globe. As you might've read from the BBS Board, you are not to wear any equip-
The raven haired boy tore his eyes away from the screen, shutting his eyes tightly for a moment before closing the message, ignoring the other email which came from Yasuhiko and Mistral. The recent encounter with Tsukasa was still fresh in his mind from last night when he immediately logged off from the server, leaving a confused Mistral by herself before she even had the chance to ask what had happened between the both of them. His form wracked in large sobs and pain squeezed his heart as he cried himself to an uneventful sleep, his pillow stained with tears to serve as memory.
After waking up early in the morning, the heart wrenching pain resulting him limp strands of hair, pale skin, swollen pink eyes itching with exhaustion and weariness. Thankfully, none of his parents have suspected his current condition, as they went to work early and return home late in the night.
"It was all my fault." He whispered, pushing back the tears which began to form again.
Elk would most likely receive the invitation as Lios knew the young Wavemaster had helped him into saving The World with carrying the vaccine. Everyone whom Kite knew, Lios would send them an invitation, even Helba might be allowed to come, despite the wanted posts in the BBS Board.
But would he come? Knowing I would be there? He pondered, rubbing his swollen eyes.
The hopes of Elk and his friendship seemed impossible now, seeing how Elk instantly broke down by taking a glance at him. The look of fear evident on the Wavemaster's face as the Twin Blade yeaned to reach for him, to hold him close and apologize for everything he had done and wanting to hear his response. But Tsukasa prevented him to do so, stepping between them and giving a harsh glare as Mistral went towards to Elk. So close to reach for the gentle Wavemaster, yet the only thing preventing his way was the silver haired player.
Even if Elk wanted to go to the festival, Tsukasa would be there with him to make sure I wouldn't get the chance to see him./ The boy thought, his nails digging into his palm angrily. /Tsukasa and the others who came to The World before us saved the game first, and he'll most likely go wherever Elk goes. Though since he's one of the main guests tonight, there can be a slight chance I can talk to Elk for a short time if they distract him somehow…
Of course the high and supreme Wavemaster who acted as Elk's knight in shining armor, protecting him at any cost and determined to kill him at any chance. The Twin Blade was surprised of the Wavemaster's exceedingly strong strength as their role doesn't exactly rely on physical strength, against the fact his form is slightly smaller. Those fierce lavender eyes and snow white sking, the husky low voice which sent shivers running up and down his spine whenever their eyes met…
W-why am I thinking about him like that!? He mentally yelled, shaking his head furiously as his cheeks began to burn.
It's been going on like this since I first met him in person in that forbidden field, and this strange feeling has been holding me back… The young hero sighed as he placed his hand under his chin, confused until an absurd thought came to mind.
Am I starting to feel something for him? It can't be, I've loved Elk for as long as I can remember, and I've only met this other guy for a couple of days!/ He thought, drawing in a deep breath to calm himself. If he continues to move around too much, his parents might wake and scold him for logging into the computer too early before they can get ready for work. These strange, yet familiar reactions startled him, but they were also as welcoming since it wasn't uncomfortable..
/How about the time you had first met with him in the restricted server where Helba informed? You would've easily defeated him when he had you on the ground, yet you allow yourself to surrender into his gaze, why so?/
The cerulean eyes boy couldn't think of a reasonable response against the voice in his head, drawing out a long breath. Astonishing it was when he could not be fully angry at the spell casting player when the calming aura around him slightly eased his rage. But it was true, he could've launched a surprise attack at Tsukasa any time, taking the upper hand since Wavemasters heavily rely on magic than physical attacks, but something held him back…
I didn't want to hurt him, I followed what it wanted me to do… The boy thought quietly, the horrid truth surfacing when his breath was caught in the middle of his throat. He felt as if the room was closing in around him, he couldn't breathe in enough oxygen to keep his mind at focus.
/What did you follow?/
Kite's right hand went upwards towards to his chest, halting at the upper left side. His eyes went half lidded as his fingers curled around the soft fabric of his loose shirt, the pain in his heart momentarily forgotten. He became breathless as the image of those deep lavender pools appeared before his eyes, stimulating the heart to pound quickly than normal.
"… and that's what happened," Elk murmured softly, gripping onto his skirt tightly as the tall grass brushed against his pant clad legs.
"You can leave if you like Mistral, I wouldn't blame you if you don't want to become my friend anymore, you wanted to know the truth since you saw what happened… You didn't want to be left alone in the dark," The small Wavemaster bowed his head down to hide the oncoming tears welling up, biting his lower lip to keep from letting out a sob.
The magenta eyed Wavemaster looked at Elk with slightly wide eyes, her mouth parted in a small circle. Both Wavemasters plan to meet in a wood server when Mistral wanted to ask Elk about the previous event happening the night before, seeing both of her good friends in distress. She was utterly confused on who needed to be comforted. Deciding Elk would be more lenient to ask and explain, she emailed the small Wavemaster a while after she thought he had calmed down by Tsukasa's soothing words.
But this, she hadn't expected this kind of answer to ever leave from Elk's lips, the mere words that seemed impossible for Kite to ever act as horrible as that, the terrifying experience which her dearest friend must've went through.
"I wasn't the same after that happened… but then, I met Tsukasa and he helped me to overcome the pain and realize there's a lot more than to hold on to the traumatizing events that occurred in your life."
Elk had to smile faintly of Tsukasa's consoling words replaying in his mind, the brave Wavemaster pulling him into an unexpected warm embrace one day. Whatever close physical contact both Wavemasters share together, the shy player would instantly flush to the shade of magenta or even a darker shade after feeling the secure warmth from Tsukasa melding with his.
Then those soft pale fingers would slowly and gently run through the tendrils of his silver blue hair, reasoning him with truthful and inspiring words as if he too, had went through the same experience with him. The continuous rhythm of Tsukasa slowly stroking his hair would sometimes lull the red eyed Wavemaster to a soothing dream, freeing him away of any horrendous troubles and memories.
"I guess you weren't really expecting this answer, right Mistral?" Elk asked, chuckling half heartedly. All of this might've been laughable for her. Everyone had their faith and trust on Kite, they'll never think he'll do something like this.
No one will…
"You have the choice to believe me or not, I won't hold anything against you…"
"Oh Elk!" The female Wavemaster hugged the blue haired player tightly, tears pouring down her cheeks as she dug her head into his chest.
Elk glanced down at Mistral in shock, tears escaping and spilling over his marked cheeks as he slowly returned her embrace. A soft whimper emitted from the Wavemaster as he hugged the woman tightly, in search of great need and comfort.
"I believe you! I believe you Elk! You would never lie to me or anyone, you're always a good person! B-but, how can he do this to you!? Y-you've never deserved that!"
"But I did do something wrong Mistral…"
Sniffling, Mistral looked up to see crimson eyes reflecting anguish as shaky sighs escaped from him.
"I… I broke his heart Mistral, because didn't feel the same for him. H-he waited a long time for me and I crushed it! I would've been mad at myself too…"
"But Elk, you wouldn't go as extreme to commit rape, would you?"
Elk shook his head, "No! Of course I wouldn't! I might be angry, but I won't force anyone to change their words, it would be wrong."
"Then don't you see? He has no right to do such a thing to you at all, he has to accept and respect your answer, whether he likes it or not. Why didn't you call me or ask Mia for help?"
"I couldn't Mistral, once you're in a field, you can't call anyone. It was just me and him, I tried to stop it, but he's much stronger than I am, there's no way for me to win through it."
"Well, why did you go there by yourself?"
"He only wanted me to come, he said there was something important he wanted to tell me, so I thought it might've been something he only wants me to know and not everyone else. He usually emails me if I wanted to join him on a journey, but I hadn't thought it would be him confessing his feelings to me… It just proves I'm weak, I wasn't strong in the first place…"
"You're not weak," Mistral said firmly, placing her small hands on both sides of Elk's face to make him meet her gaze, "You were never weak Elk, you were always strong deep inside your heart. If you were weak, you wouldn't have the courage or strength to sacrifice your life to save Kite from that time when all of us were being Data Drained to save this game. You wouldn't have been strong enough to be in the high level you're in now. You may not notice it, but you believed in yourself and your heart you can do this, to accomplish many great things."
The young Wavemaster looked at Mistral with wide shocked eyes, "Mistral…"
She gently smiled, wiping the remaining tears away with her thumbs, "I'd say you've become much stronger than before, because of Tsukasa's help isn't it? He helped you after what happened and he became your strength, protecting and helping you to move on."
Mistral hugged the Wavemaster again, "I know it must've been the most horrifying experience, which is why I am now asking you to let it go."
"Silly, even the strongest has their own moment to release their fear and sadness, I'll be here for you as well as Tsukasa and everyone else. You'll never go through that again Elk, but please let it all go, I now you're still hanging on to that memory and you wanted to release all of your fear and pain. It hurts you more when you keep it inside your heart too long."
With the words said, Elk clutched onto Mistral and sobbed, the gates of his heart bursting open with overflowing emotion like a roaring river. Tears of fright and suffering sparkled from Elk's tightly shut eyes as it matted his and Mistral's clothing. His body wracked violently as he gasped each breath for air, releasing the concealed feelings he kept to himself which held him down, keeping his traumatizing experience as fresh as the day it happened.
All in the meanwhile, Mistral rubbed Elk's back slowly to ease him, oncoming tears appearing at the corner of her eyes again.
"It's okay Elk, I'm right here…"
"What!? Kite!? THE Kite!?"
A couple of players glanced at Mimiru and Tsukasa with a startled look, hearing the loud outburst which Mimiru had made. Tsukasa glared at them angrily, which caused the group to immediately turn their heads and walk away quickly. Both friends sat on the steps of Mac Anu, one of the two with his arms crossed and a furious look on his face while the other wore an expression of surprise.
"I don't know, but he's the one whose been hurting Elk a long time ago and he got the guts to try to apologize to Elk for what he did to him," Tsukasa growled, "I won't let him come near to Elk even if we're ten feet away."
After meeting with Kite a night ago with the sleeping player in his arms, Tsukasa transported them back into Aura's field, casting a worried glance at Elk when he nuzzled the boy's cheek gently. The sudden action caused Elk to awaken from his slumber, meeting concerned amethyst eyes with his red ones. Seeing how there wasn't any sign of fear in those ruby orbs, Tsukasa hugged the Wavemaster tightly, thankful to see his friend still remaining as the gentle Wavemaster. But his sudden anger towards the Twin Blade had spread more dangerously than before.
"Hold on a minute, this Kite you're talking about is the one you met in the forbidden area right?" Mimiru asked.
"And he's the one who wanted you to mind your own business than his and Elk's?"
"The one you threatened to kill? He has bluish hair and red clothing?"
"Do I have to repeat myself again?"
"Tsukasa…" Mimiru breathed in deeply before scolding the boy with a louder voice, "Do you have any idea who you're dealing with?!"
"No. Why should I care?"
The Heavy Blade punched Tsukasa's arm roughly, "You idiot! Kite's not some ordinary player you can just threaten!"
Tsukasa rubbed his bruised arm, frowning, "What's special about him? He doesn't seem to knw how to fight well since I can almost kill him in that forbidden area."
"Kite's the one who restored back The World after we all had been out of touch with this game! He's known as the Legendary Hacker, and he destroyed many dangerous viruses and killing off Morganna's minions! He's got connection with Aura since he contains the Twilight Bracelet and he's saved millions of players by getting them out from their coma when defeating Morganna herself!"
"… are you done yet? I'm tired of this little history lecture."
"What do you mean am I done?! This is serious Tsukasa, he's powerful enough to take you on and it'll be a fight to the death! You can't just act all high and might in this place anymore you know!"
"I'm not acting high and might, but Kite sounds like a joke compared to me. So what if he has some damn bracelet which he can use to talk to Aura and beat some viruses? You're forgetting I still contain some of Morganna's power to control The World. I could just send him to a coma already if I wanted to, the only reason why I'm not doing it is because I don't think Elk would want me to do that," Tsukasa sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.
Mimiru blinked, "Oh yeah, I sorta forgot about that… But still, if the two of you fight longer, it will be mass chaos. The both of you contain huge amounts of power, even though yours have more of an advantage, you have to be careful."
"Whatever, he can't even attack me if he tried because I won't hold back. I know he did something unforgivable, and he won't get away with it like the bastard he already is."
"Insensible jerk, you'll give anyone a trip to the seven stages of Hell if they hurt your precious Elk, would you?" Mimiru half groaned, shaking her head.
"What's it to you? You won't understand Mimiru, I have to protect him, and I don't want to see him hurt because he's not the type of person who hurts people. He's gentle, always easy to talk to, there's no way anyone could hate him," Tsukasa murmured.
"Yeah yeah loverboy, he is nice, though it wouldn't hurt if he can open up a little more," Mimiru chuckled, moving away quickly as Tsukasa's attacking foot almost came in contact with her side.
"Don't call me that," Tsukasa seethed, retreating back his leg.
"Then quit being such a sourpuss, you gotta be in a good mood since today's a special day."
"You mean the festival? I don't know if I'm going, I don't usually like parties with strangers and people I don't know," Tsukasa grunted, resting his back to the wall.
"Oh come on! Why not, there's going to be games, dancing, music, it sounds really fun! Besides, you have to go since you're one of the main people in the event!"
"… I don't have a kimono." Tsukasa lied.
"They're selling them in Carmina Gadelica."
"I don't have any money."
"I can lend you some."
"There's going to be a long boring speech."
"At the end of the fun stuff!"
"I don't know how to dance."
"That's fine, you don't have to, but I could teach you."
"I'm going to attract attention since I'm one of the main people. I hate big crowds."
"BlackRose and I will help to keep you out of sight."
Tsukasa glared at Mimiru, who gave a grin back as she hummed innocently. Sighing, Tsukasa closed his eyes, using his final protest to get himself out of the sticky situation.
"Kite will be there."
"He's going to be buggered by people more than you, so he's not going to ruin your day."
"I'm not going."
Mimiru groaned, tapping her fingers on the hard stone step, "You stubborn brat, you like things your way don't you?"
"Nothing interesting is going to happen, Bear and the others are either working or doing something important, it'll be pretty embarrassing if we go there to represent ourselves as one of the people to restore The World years ago."
Mimiru stood up, placing her hands on her hips haughtily as she looked down at Tsukasa with a determined face.
"You're coming with me to that festival tonight and you're going to have fun."
"Feh, there's nothing you can do to make me go to the stupid event."
Tsukasa raised an eyebrow, "Wanna bet?"
"Elk's coming to the festival with me."
"He likes to go to festivals, so I emailed him to join me to the festival tonight," Mimiru grinned, seeing the expression which Tsukasa was having a difficulty to hide.
Wait a minute…
Tsukasa sighed again and stood up from his seating position, walking past the brown haired woman, "The both of you haven't had a full conversation yet, less even knowing each other that much. Also, he didn't give you his member address as you didn't either."
Damn! Mimiru swore, catching up to the Wavemaster.
"But you're right about one thing, Elk does like these kinds of events, so he'll probably go I guess," Tsukasa admitted as he caught the scent of fresh water, walking across the wooden bridge.
"So does that mean you're going?" Mimiru asked hopefully with her hands clasped together.
"Maybe, if he has time to go there."
The female player chuckled, crossing her arms, "You see? Love always prevails, it's a match."
"We're not lovers," Tsukasa stated stiffly.
"Opposites attract right? Elk's the complete opposite of you, and you're both stuck together for a long time like magnets! There can be no doubt he'll feel the same for you, only if you have faith and hope it will come true."
Hoping will make me feel worse if he doesn't feel the same. Tsukasa thought hollowly.
"But I guess there's no need to hope anymore, the two of you are already lovebirds."
It didn't take long for Tsukasa to reach for Mimiru's neck when he had her cornered at the edge of the water.
"If Elk's not going to the festival, I might as well not go either," Tsukasa muttered, releasing his friend's neck and turning away from her.
"Not unless if you ask him! Then he'll definitely go with you."
"I can't let Kite see him again or he'll turn scared like last night. It's best if we don't go there tonight."
"Does the word 'friend' mean anything to you? Listen, I'll keep Kite busy so you and Elk would have your fun in the festival and you won't have to see him all night."
Tsukasa raised an eyebrow at the woman, "You don't exactly keep your promises. You let things distract your motive."
"It won't happen this time!"
The Wavemaster let out an irritated sigh, "Sometimes I wonder how I can have so much faith in you."
"Kite, I'm going to kill you!"
The Twin Blade winced as he received a hard punch from the impatient Heavy Blade, letting out a low breath after absorbing the pain. BlackRose's voice carried out everywhere in the cherry blossom field, the sound of trees rustling together suddenly still and quiet. No one except both players are present in the field, the Heavy Blade destroying the pleasant peace.
"Done now?" He asked, massaging his arm.
"Not even half of it bucko, but you're not lucky I'm not in my bad mood today or else you would've been mince meat!" BlackRose scolded, popping her knuckles.
"Sorry BlackRose, but I wasn't exactly having a good time myself. You see, I was-"
"-trying to find Elk and won't stop until you found him," BlackRose waved her hand, "I know, I know."
Kite looked at her, confused, "How?"
"How else? You've been asking me constantly if I'd seen him, and I've asked everyone where you've been. Mistral told me most of what's going on."
The Legendary Hacker froze. Did she tell her about last night?
"You have nothing else to worry Kite, you're going to meet him in the festival anyway. You just left me alone to beat those monsters when you promised you'll join me!"
"I'm sorry BlackRose, but you don't understand why I needed to find him quick. I don't know if I might be able to see or even talk to him there."
"Why not? All of us are gonna be there together, what's stopping you?"
Kite scowled, tightening his hand into a fist and whispered fiercely, "Not what, who."
BlackRose frowned at him quizzically, "And who would want to stop you?"
"Tsukasa? Why would he do that? This doesn't make any sense."
"It's hard to explain BlackRose, he doesn't know what he's doing since Elk hadn't explained to him about it and I don't intend on having him find out about it. He death threatened me if I get close to Elk again, but it's none of his business to step into it on the first place!"
"Hold up a minute! He threatened you?"
"Is it so hard to believe?" Kite asked, glaring at BlackRose who shifted uncomfortably.
"It's just that… he was pretty cool to hang with, and it's rare for him to make those kinds of threats since he's not like that for years. He's pretty calm and collected when he was with my friend and Elk, it's not like him."
"You were with him and Elk?"
"Only because YOU weren't there, I was looking for you and then I saw Elk by himself. We started talking and he said he was going on a journey with Tsukasa and I asked him if I can join. So we went to the root town where Tsukasa and his friend were, waiting for us until his friend and I fought and they went off."
"Why didn't you email me Elk was there with you?"
"Because you never answered my emails! I must've emailed you over twenty times before I became really pissed off, so if you're ignoring me, I'm ignoring you back!" BlackRose yelled, anger seeping into her voice again.
"I told you, it's important since I have to explain something to him! You would've ignored my emails too if you were in my place!" Kite yelled back.
"What's so important about it!?"
"You won't understand!"
"I love him BlackRose!"
The Heavy Blade took a step back from the sudden outburst, eyes wide, "Loved… him?"
Kite's anger reached its peak as he suddenly lost control of his voice, angry tears forming on the corner of his eyes as his heart once again.
"You want to know what else, since you're so desperate to know? I raped him! He doesn't feel the same for me and I never felt so angry in my whole life, that I did the impossible! Do you see why I need to find him? I didn't have control over myself that time, because I finally lost it! I haven't realized what I've done until I woke up the next day!"
Tears spilled over as Kite fell on his knees, his gloved hands clutching his head as uneventful images appeared the front of his mind, "I broke him BlackRose, and I can't fix it back because of what my anger has done to him! I've done the worst thing to one of my greatest friends who hasn't done anything wrong and he couldn't be his usual self anymore when he sees me! Tsukasa then comes along and acted like some guardian to Elk, making sure I won't see him again!"
"It was my entire fault! If I hadn't asked him to see me at Holy Ground, none of this would've happened! We'd still be friends, even though it'll hurt me that there's no way we can be more than that, I would rather see him happy when he's around me!"
"Kite, its no-"
"Then Tsukasa wouldn't be there! He wouldn't be intruding into our friendship and wouldn't make things worse than before! I should've buried my feelings when I still had-"
A pair of firm hands placed themselves on the Twin Blade's shoulders, shaking him furiously out of his stupor. Wide cerulean met angry crimson, BlackRose whispering to him fiercely.
"It's not your fault! It wasn't your fault from the start, you wanted to tell him of your feelings because you couldn't hold it back any longer, and I understand that! It was your anger that did this, not you! Don't blame yourself for any part of it!"
The Legendary Hacker looked away, "But-"
"No fucking buts!" BlackRose practically screamed, forcing him to look back at her, "You regret it don't you?"
"Yes." Kite whispered, biting his lip.
"Then it's not your fault, the Kite I know would never do something like that, he would always accept the truth and allow it to settle," BlackRose replied firmly, "I'll always be there to help you out Kite. If Tsukasa's the only person stopping you from seeing Elk, then I'll try to distract him long enough so you can explain everything to Elk."
The lone Wavemaster sighed, glancing at his saddened reflection from the water at the edge of the gray stone floor. He ran his finger across the cool water to distort his reflection, causing ripples to form and spread outward as each ring became larger than the last. After having their heated conversation, Mimiru decided to go to Carmina Gadelica to buy her kimono for the festival. In the meanwhile, Tsukasa decided to stay at the root town, waiting for Elk to appear after emailing him of his current location.
I just hope Mistral doesn't give me one the stands out, I should've warned her about that. Tsukasa grumbled, remembering the excited tone in the woman's voice.
Trust me on this Tsukasa! Elk will then beg you to dance with him at the event!
Did she figure out my feelings for him? Tsukasa pondered, cheeks burning.
After spending a lot of time with him, I guess it would be obvious for her to find out. Why do women find these things out quickly? It gets annoying.
The lavender eyed boy looked up, seeing Elk with a gentle smile who gazed back at him.
"I've got to quit spacing off," Tsukasa muttered when he grasped Elk's helping hand to pull himself up.
The small Wavemaster giggled, "You know what they say, bad habits die hard. So what do you want to do?"
"Actually, I wanted to show you something."
"Again? You took me to so many surprising places lately, it's not as surprising anymore," the young boy teased.
Tsukasa nudged the boy playfully, a small smile on his face as his dampened mood lifted, "It's not my fault I'm no good with surprises."
Elk stuck out his tongue at him, "You need to be more optimistic!"
"I'll try." I'll try for you Elk, just to never see you sad again…
"I guess that answer will do," Elk smiled, shyly intertwining his fingers with Tsukasa's, "I was only kidding about the surprise part, but you need to smile more often!"
"Suddenly I have orders from you? Smiling can be hard you know," Tsukasa chuckled.
"No it's not!"
"The muscles in your lips tighten and stretch when you smile, and they lift, so it is," Tsukasa countered, tapping a corner of his own lips to emphasize his words.
"It wouldn't if I can do this," Elk bit back.
The tall Wavemaster froze as Elk's hands went on both sides of his cheeks, using his thumbs to lift the corner of his lips upwards to form a smile. Blood rushed to his cheeks when Tsukasa processed Elk was standing on the tips of his toes to meet with his height, his face fairly close to his. The boy's single touch sent his skin aflame, the familiar feeling of his heart pounding against his ribcage.
I won't be able to hold myself back if he keeps at this…
"See? Even though you're taller than me, I can do the smiling for you this way so it wouldn't be hard work," Elk beamed, until feeling the distinct warmth emitting from Tsukasa's cheeks.
"Tsukasa, are you sick?"
Blushing harder, Tsukasa placed his own hands atop of Elk's and pulled them away, shaking his head.
"Must be the cool air coming from the water that must've made my cheeks warm," Tsukasa lied.
"Ah, then let's go!"
"You've already shown me this field Tsukasa," Elk replied, looking back at the Wavemaster.
"I know," Tsukasa answered, eyes lowering when he reached to the foot of the bed, "Remember how I fully trusted you that I would show you this place?"
Elk smiled and nodded at the memory, "Of course, it was one of the very first days we became friends."
"In every place, they hold memories, and this one holds some," Tsukasa confessed, smoothing out the wrinkles from the bed sheets somewhat nervously, "Some were good, some bad. You've told me almost all of your memories because you trusted me. In return, I'll tell you mine Elk."
Elk went beside him, who took his hand and held it firmly as he took in a deep breath, shutting his eyes for a moment before looking up to the clear blue sky. Loud screams echoed within his mind as the sound of ripping cloth came along with it, a bright golden light bursting forth when he felt no emotion at the past. After mustering enough courage, he looked to meet crimson eyes.
"I was tortured in this field by Morganna."
Tsukasa looked back at the white linen bed, nodding silently, "This is the last thing I left out, I didn't want you to think I'm not a person to be friends with."
"You know I'm not like that Tsukasa," Elk murmured, rubbing Tsukasa's hand lightly.
"Right now I do. You're not like everyone else in this game, not even in the real world. I was only a pawn for Morganna at the time, forcing me to obey her and convincing me to believe everything she says. When I was with Subaru, I wanted to introduce her to Aura. She was hesitant, but came along, but we didn't see her; Aura wasn't awake at the time. Then something happened that made Subaru leave me and I was alone."
The lavender eyes player bit his lip, "I disobeyed Morganna's orders not to let anyone come here. She said there wasn't any use of me anymore, and she tried to delete me. I was the only player to feel anything in this game, and I've never felt such pain… I can feel myself splitting apart, in pieces, and after she was done with me, I felt nothing. I was alive, but empty."
"You don't have to tell me if it's too painful for you to remember Tsukasa…"
"I want to," Tsukasa insisted, turning to face the Wavemaster and placing his other hand on top of Elk's, "This was Aura's field, I met her in this very place and she became my first friend in the game. She was the only person I trusted before I began to trust Mimiru and the others. We had some sort of link together, she can feel what I felt."
"I remember, you looked concerned when we went to this field, as if something was going to happen if we came here," Elk recollected.
"I was worried it might happen again, being tortured for bringing someone into this place when I wasn't supposed to. I guess it shows how brave I am, not to mention a bad example of showing I still hold on to the past."
"You're not," Elk assured, pink across his cheeks as he wrapped his arms around Tsukasa in a friendly embrace, "You've taught me to be strong myself. Thank you for telling me…"
"I was thinking… Maybe we can go together to the festival coming up later tonight. Mimiru said there'll be games and such, and I was wondering if you'd like to come with me," Tsukasa offered, an oncoming blush stirring in his cheeks.
The red eyed Wavemaster looked up at Tsukasa, heart beating rapidly at the silent question.
"O-okay," Elk flushed shlyly, nodding as he pulled away, "I would love to go, but what about Kite? He'll be there for sure, being the hero and everything… I'm not ready to face him yet if he tries to find me."
"Don't worry about that."
Pale pink lips parted in silent awe as Tsukasa placed his gloved hands on Elk's cheeks, displaying another charming smile. The gentle Wavemaster's face turned red again, the sudden turmoil inside him burning throughout his being.
This feeling again…
"He won't do anything to you as long as I'm around. Mimiru's helping away to keep him away from us when we head there later tonight. As long as I'm with you, I'll protect you."
A sharp crack echoed across the mountains until it faded into the misty clouds, leaving with a staggering Twin Blade clutching at his throbbing cheek with a furious female Wavemaster with her hand raised.
"I can't believe you Kite! How could you do something like this to him?!"
"You knew?" Kite gasped, wincing at the stinging sensation. The sudden action completely surprised him when he recently appeared in Dun Lorieag and saw Mistral marching towards him, and slapped him with surprising strength.
"Everything!" Mistral heaved, angry tears forming, "Do you know how hard it was for him to explain everything to me?"
"Don't tell me as if I don't know Mistral! Why else do you think I was trying to find him?"
Mistral shook her head sadly, rubbing away he tears when she sniffled loudly, "I know, that's why I decided to at least try to bring the two of you together to settle this once and for all. I can't stand seeing the both of you so sad and worried when you two used to be such great friends!"
"I know you're not like that Kite, but you still deserved that for not controlling your temper at that time, or none of this would've happened!"
"Mistral, I would do anything to take it back, I really need your help to see him…"
"Why didn't you tell me in the first place? I could've helped you a long time ago since I would understand."
Kite looked away shamefully, "I thought you would leave me after telling you the truth."
Mistral gave out a choked giggle as she went to the Legendary Hacker, "What Is it with you men making so many assumptions of us not accepting the truth?" She gently ran her fingers over the swollen area of Kite's cheek, "Sorry for hitting you a bit hard, but-"
"I still deserved it," Kite finished for her, grimacing as he tried to massage the pain away to a dull ache.
"I may look like a kid in this game Kite, but don't forget I'm a married woman and mother in the real world. I went through similar experiences of heartbreak and such, I know it's difficult. Now the festival's gonna start soon, "Mistral noted after seeing the sunset, "We can get you dressed up for the event, I'll find a way get you to see Elk without Tsukasa noticing."
The crimson eyed player grinned, "Don't think I'll let you off the hook that easily just yet Kite! I know you don't want to be the center of attention, but there's this kimono I can resist to put away! It definitely has the bold letters of perfection for you…"
Kite softly smiled as his friend lost herself into the description of the kimono.
Same old Mistral…
Elk nodded shyly as Mimiru hugged both Wavemasters, a happy glint in her eyes.
"I was worried this jerk wouldn't come along with you. You're positive you'll go to the festival? I don't want you ratting out at the last minute!"
"I'm sure, I've never been in an event like this in The World before," Elk admitted, laughing at Tsukasa's stern glare.
"Great! Do you have a kimono?"
"Ah, I forgot we needed to get one!"
Mimiru grinned, "Even better! I bought a spare just in case!"
"How were you so sure he was going to come?" Tsukasa asked suspiciously.
"My dear Tsukasa, even if he did have plans, he would've moved them to another day; you are asking him out."
Twin red faces made the Heavy Blade laugh merrily, pulling Elk towards her, "Come on, let's get ready!"
"Yup, the sooner the better. Oh no loverboy!" Mimiru halted Tsukasa as he started to follow them, "I'm stealing your boyfriend for a while, you can't go with us right now! You'll have to wait for him in the festival since it's a surprise!"
Elk blushed, stammering at Mimiru's words, "Mimiru, we're not-"
"I know, but I love to tease that guy to death," Mimiru giggled as they transported themselves to another area, a guild home as Mimiru went over to a treasure chest, rummaging through the contents inside.
"What is this place?" Elk questioned, noticing the multiple treasure chests scattered in the large room, along with unusual objects, "Is that a Golden Grunty?"
"Oh, this is A-20's secret guild home, she hasn't been on The World for some time, so I thought we could borrow the room for a while to dress up. Ah, here It is!"
A neatly folded bundle of clothing was placed on Elk's arms as Mimiru gave a smile, proceeding to look for her own kimono.
"Tell me what you think!"
Elk was lost for words as the soft material of the kimono crated a pleasant feel on his hands, which meant it must've cost a fortune considering the quality.
"I can't accept this," Elk spoke, hands trembling.
"Why not? Don't you like it?" Mimiru asked, standing up with her kimono in hand.
"I like it very much, but, it must've cost a lot for you to buy it, I can't take it!"
"Oh don't worry about that," Mimiru smiled, "I'm giving it to you as a gift, and a thank you for bringing Tsukasa back into this game. You've also changed him for the better, that's something I or the others can't do. Besides, it's not a big deal, I needed to waste some gold here."
"I hadn't thought of it that way, thank you," Elk smiled, hugging the clothing.
"… everything's so dull without him."
Tsukasa the Grunty grunted softly as it nuzzled the Wavemaster's hand, who patted the Grunty's silver mane while letting out a bored sigh. Deciding to pay Elk's Grunty a visit, the lone creature was pleasantly surprised to see his master's friend by himself since he would see the two of them walking beside together.
"Since Mimiru took him away, there's nothing else for me to do. I don't want to go to Mistral just yet since she'll start yapping about the kimono she has for me," Tsukasa muttered, feeding the animal with a Piney Apple.
The Wavemaster turned to the feminine voice, but froze as he saw a feline player running towards him with a waving hand, her tail swishing.
"Elk, where have you been all this time, you haven't been emailing me or anythi-oh, I'm sorry. I mistakened you for someone else," the cat player apologized.
Is it really Maha? After these years, he came back…
"Are you all right sir?"
Tsukasa raised his hand to meet with the feline's face, "Is that you Maha…?"
Golden eyes glinted with confusion, taking a step back, "Who're you talking about? The name's Mia."
"No, you have to be Maha!"
He took Mia's gloved hand with his, eyes downcast, "I can't tell it's you, even though you look different. Elk told me he first met you in the dungeon as a small cat player before you became like this. I've waited for so long to see if you're okay…"
"W-wait a minute," Mia protested, gently pulling her hand away, "I don't know what you're talking about, the only people I've met here is Elk and-"
"I know! That's why I still saved what you gave me in case you didn't remember, so you might at least remember something," Tsukasa explained, bringing up a long, dry stem, "Remember? You gave me this, when you wanted to risk your life for me and everyone else a long time ago…"
Mia's eyes widened as she took the frail looking stem, forgotten memories flooding in her mind.
This… this is…
The lone cat player turned, giving a small smile as he raised a long stem which he kept close to his heart. The stem began to grow livelier as its end grew back the fuzzy pollen, as fresh as the day Tsukasa plucked it away from the ground and soullessly dropped it on Maha's palm. He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound was emitted as he dropped the grown stalk towards Tsukasa.
Although Tsukasa heard no sound from Maha, he fully understood as Subaru tried to restrain him from running towards to the feline player. Desperation and fear came to him as he stretched his hand towards Maha, tears flowing.
Maha turned away, fully stretching out his arms and legs as he prepared to sacrifice himself to Morganna's creatures. He won't allow them to hurt the Wavemaster or his allies. Without hesitation, the monsters attacked Maha, and a loud painful scream came from the crimson eyed cat player as he felt himself disappearing away.
"Tsukasa…?" Mia whispered, hand trembling when recognition came to mind.
A relieved smile came across Tsukasa's lips, "You remember?"
"But how? How was it I never remembered these memories before? I don't understand, I was with Elk the whole time… I do feel like they're my memories, but it doesn't at the same time!"
A tear fell on the grown green leaf, and another join as Mia gritted her teeth to keep from sobbing.
"Why am I crying? This doesn't make sense! I never met you before, but when I look at you, I fel as if I've known you for a long time…"
"It's okay Maha…"
Mia froze as she felt arms pulling her into a warm embrace, slitted pupils dilating as a familiar scent overwhelmed her.
"It might take time for you to understand when you remember your past, but at least we'll be together again Maha. I'll wait and help you remember them again…"
"Took you long enough Tsukasa! Isn't Elk with you?"
"He's with a friend of mine to get ready," Tsukasa explained.
"I see… Now Tsukasa, you're going to have to be very careful of the kimono I'm lending to you, its very rare and I think it'll look great on you! I expect it to be brought back in the same condition!"
"Does it stand out?"
"Not as much," Mistral assured, "We're going to have to go to Elf's Haven to get it."
Nodding, Tsukasa followed after her as Mistral bounced happily, though concern lined her features when she thought of the initial plan she and Kite made later tonight.
BlackRose and I would have to stop him, even if he tries anything. Then again, I understand he doesn't want to see Elk get hurt again from Kite…
"Withdrawal please," Mistral chirped to the NPC.
"Clothing, Silver Ryo kimono."
"Please wait a moment," the NPC replied as he went to the back of the booth to retrieve Mistral's item.
"Silver Ryo?" Tsukasa asked warily.
"You'll love it, trust me."
"Request found," the man replied, handing the clothing to Mistral's hands.
"Thank you!" Mistral smiled as she held out the clothing to Tsukasa, "here, I'm sure it'll fit you, you can adjust the size to your liking."
The kimono was a rich emerald color accompanied with a short pale yellow obi to keep the kimono from opening. Tsukasa notice a creature was embroidered on it in a spiral motion, the scales decorated in lustrous silver.
"A dragon," Tsukasa smiled in amusement, "Thanks Mistral."
"You look great!"
"You sure about this Mimiru?" Elk asked nervously, tugging at the end of his sleeve.
"Of course!" Mimiru laughed, "My plans never fail!"
"But, it's not as if Tsukasa and I are…" The small Wavemaster blushed, "… are dating or anything. But thank you for this, I really do like it."
"I'm glad, it's the best I can find out there," Mimiru smiled, "It makes your eyes stand out more. Ready to go?"
"Nice outfit Kite!"
"Thanks, you look good too," Kite grinned at BlackRose. He wore a deep navy colored kimono, the shoulder area slitted and thickly sewn in a loose fashion to reveal lightly tanned skin; while BlackRose wore a magenta colored kimono decorated with golden petals in a flowing motion.
"Thanks, they did an awesome job changing this whole place," BlackRose commented, looking up at the starry sky. The Aerial Fort was a sight to behold, as many other players were already entering the server, a few taking a moment to look at the scenery in awe. The shops were replaced with game booths and others and they applied with colorful banners intersecting and spreading across to add a livelier feature.
"Yeah, I'm guessing Helba helped with the decorating," Kite smiled.
"So what now?"
"We can look around I guess," Kite offered, "But I'm hoping this plan will work…"
"It will," BlackRose nodded, ruffling his hair, "Let's have fun for a little while and then we'll set our plan into motion."
"It's time to go," Tsukasa sighed, his heart pounding at the thought of seeing Elk in his kimono.
Meet us where the Potions Shop used to be located, I'll be keeping a look out until you're there!
"She better," Tsukasa mumbled, taking his time walking towards the Chaos Gate, "Why do I get the feeling things won't go so well though?"
Even if I do see Kite, there's a chance bloodshed will occur if Mimiru can't hold me back..
"But I'm going there for Elk, to have a great time with him, he'll be disappointed if I start something with Kite…"
/He won't know if you managed to sneak away and corner him with no one around. Nobody will know except the two of us…/
That's even worse, I'd betray Elk's trust when he asked me not to hurt him. Tsukasa consoled with his conscience, not bothered to hear its presence again.
/You're doing what's best for him aren't you? Don't you want to see him happy when he's around you?/
"I do, but it's also his decision, I don't control his life," Tsukasa countered, raising his staff.
/So you'll leave the damned Twin Blade unpunished?/
No… What I meant is…
A smirk made its way across his lips as golden rings took him to his destination.
The battle's just begun.
A/N: So I edited some parts of this chapter, a loose edit since I wanted to upload this ASAP. I probably still left a couple of errors and such, but I was never great at grammar and the like.
I have to be completely honest with everyone though, I don't think I'll ever finish this story. This was a little idea years ago when I was a die-hard .Hack fan back in junior high, and now that I'm in college as a music major student… a lot of things have changed. My writing style has completely changed (a friend of mine commented my grammar and many things have gotten worse), and my passion for writing has declined. I haven't read/watched .Hack//SIGN in ages so my memory about it is in tatters, and I feel as if writing this story is more of an obligation than just for fun, which it initially was at the beginning.
As I mentioned above, I won't be editing the lemon I wrote (I'm pretty embarrassed about It actually), unless I see a spelling error or something, but it will be miniscule changes. I'll write the lemon once I'm done typing up the seventh chapter of HtG; as for the eighth chapter, I lost the rough draft of it, and I have no idea how it goes.
As of right now, the status of this fanfic is at a standstill, I'm debating if I should:
- put this fanfic up for adoption and let someone else finish the rest.
- upload the seventh chapter and leave it in permanent hiatus.
- continue it to the very end, but updates will be very slow.
I don't know if I'll continue it, I don't have the urge to continue this story as I used to, but I can try to find that inspiration again; I can't make promises. I'll probably write another .Hack//SIGN fanfic, but only as one- or two-shots, as well as it will be uploaded in a new account. I'm sorry for those who've waited long for this update, I'll start writing the seventh chapter tomorrow. If you have any questions/comments/criticism, just leave a review or PM, it'd be really nice. Until then everyone.