Title: If "The World" Were To End

Genre: General

Rating: PG

Warnings: One-shot. Set sometime before the 'Cherry Blossom Festival' event happened.

Summary: Reki asks Balmung an odd question.

Serena: I was reading the .hack/Legend of the Twilight manga and I was reading this thing about when Reki took the job as Balmung's assistant. I'm not sure why, but, for some reason, I thought 'What would Balmung say if someone asked him if "The World" were to end?' So, I wrote this little one-shot. Ouka, do the disclaimer, please.

Ouka: Okay. Serena doesn't own .hack/Legend of the Twilight or any of the .hacks.

Shugo: Here's the key!

"..." Talking

'...' Thinking in Italics

Serena: You can read the story now!

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Title: If "The World" Were To End...

By: Serena

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"Reki?" Balmung asked. "How are the cherry blossoms coming along?"

Reki turned away from one of the cherry blossom trees to look at Balmung.

"They're coming along fine, sir." Reki answered.

"Good." Balmung said. "I want them to look their best for the festival, but everything always looks its best here in The World."

"Always?" Reki asked. "I doubt that. Everything doesn't always look its best. Not in the Real World and not even here."

"I suppose," Balmung responded. "but if we all did our part to help both the Real World and The World, then everything would always look and be its best."

"Not everyone does their part to help."

"True." Balmung said. "Nothing here or there is perfect and we can't expect everyone to be on the same page, but we can still try, can't we?"

"I guess we can."

A silence can after that. Balmung busy going over files and seeing that the preparations for the festival were going as scheduled and Reki fixing the cherry blossom trees to a position that would suit Balmung. Reki couldn't help but think about how Balmung could be so in to everything about The World...because it was just a game, right? He had to admit that The World was a very nice place to spend one's time in, but still. He sometimes wondered if Balmung ever left The World...because it seemed as if the man was always in it. Reki briefly wondered what would happen if The World were to end, but it couldn't end...could it? And if it could, what would happen to everyone that was inside it? What would happen to Balmung? The World seemed to be Balmung's whole life...what he lived for. Reki was thinking so much that he was unaware that he had stopped messing with the cherry blossom trees and that Balmung was calling his name.

"Reki, are you okay?" Balmung asked as he waved his hand in front of Reki's face.

When Reki didn't answer, Balmung tapped him on the shoulder. Reki snapped out of his thoughts.

"Sir?" Reki asked.

"I asked if you were okay." Balmung said. "And your answer is?"

"Oh! I'm fine, sir. I was just thinking. That's all."

"Oh, okay."

Balmung went back to what he was doing and Reki tried to go back to what he was doing, but he couldn't. He had to know something.

"Balmung-san? Can I ask you something?" Reki asked.

Balmung stopped what he was doing and looked at Reki. "Sure. What is it?"

"What would you do if The World were to end?" Reki asked.

Balmung was kind-of startled by this question. "You want to know what I would do if The World were to end?"

"Yes. I do, sir."

"Well," Balmung started. "I don't really know. I mean, I've never really thought about. The idea of The World coming to an end has never crossed my mind before."

"Oh, well, nevermind then." Reki said disappointedly. "If you don't know, then you don't know."

"But, to be honest," Balmung continued. "if I knew that The World were coming to an end, then I'd want to go with it."

Reki stared at Balmung. "You'd want to go with it?"

Balmung paused for a moment before speaking again. "Yes, I'd want to go with it...or...I'd do everything in my power to save this place from dying...because...I don't want to see The World die."

Reki couldn't help but smile at that. "You really love The World, don't you?"

Balmung returned the smile. "Yeah, I really do."

"Good." Reki said. "Let's keep it that way."

And as an after thought, he added. "I wouldn't want to see this world die either."

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Shugo: 0o Well, that was really weird.

Serena: o0 It was wasn't it. Oh, well. I wrote this and now I'm happy. I'd appreciate some reviews.