Blu: In a way, by writing this fic I'm doing things: 1) Showing the readers of my deleted fic "Twilight" how sorry I am, and 2) An attempt to create a Valentine's Day fic to see if I can write something...romantic. I blame seeing that ONE thread on .hack Integral (that's an RP site, for those who don't know)... Oh well! One warning to all you guys: there's a jealous!Haseo in this fic!!

Haseo: Jealous? Of what?

Blu: Er, if I told you, you'd probably kill me for...obvious reasons.

Haseo: (Pulls out his scythe) ...If this is a yaoi fic--

Blu: GOOD HEAVENS, NO!!! I mean, I like to read a good HaseoxSillabus or HaseoxKuhn fic and maybe I like seeing all those HaseoxAzure Kite drawings, but I can't write yaoi! The closest thing to that are all the Endrance references, but those are one-sided. Besides, this a straight pairing. But please don't kill me until I say I don't own .hack: G.U. or any of its characters including you, but I DO own my OCs!!! (Takes a few deep breaths)

Haseo: (Puts away the scythe) Good.

Blu: (Speaking quickly) Also, the pairing is HaseoxAtoli.

Haseo: WHAT?!?

Blu: Roll the fic!!!

Side Note: I don't know how some of the moves work, so no Rengeki techniques shall be used in this fight. (Sucks, I know.)

X-X-X

Subject: Valentine's Day Event

From: CC Corp.

To: All

In honor of Valentine's Day, "The World" is holding a special event for February 14th alone! If you do NOT want to be alone on Valentine's Day, then I suggest you come to Delta: Beloved Cupid's Haven and win a special rare item and someone's heart!

X-X-X

Ah, Valentine's Day. A holiday celebrating love, couples, and all that other lovely stuff. And as its system administrators do every year, "The World" holds a special one-day only Valentine's events that usually ends romantically. Besides the special event, players have a tendency to pair up in parties with their beloved (whom they probably met while playing the game) or send their valentine a cute greeting obtained via the week before.

"Oh, Kuhn, thank you soooo much for the card you sent me! I just love it!"

Kuhn grinned at the female Shadow Warlock standing in front of him. "It was no problem, my dear Faye. I'm just surprised I'm the first guy who sent you a card. A girl as pretty as you--you should have tons of those in your mail box!"

Faye giggled cutely. "Oh, no... Y-you're the second person on this site whose ever sent me a card in the game. I...I appreciate very much, and..." If game characters could blush, the Shadow Warlock's cheeks would be bright red by now. Then, without warning, she kissed the Epitaph User on his lips before scurrying away.

Watching from a distance, Haseo, Silabus and Gaspard sweatdropped at what had occurred.

"This is exactly like last year..." The green-clad Blade Master groaned. "He sends almost all the girls he's ever flirted cards and in return, they either kiss him or hug him, or..."

"I'm surprised those girls haven't found out what he does..." Haseo muttered as he folded his arms across his chest. "This stupid holiday makes everyone love-crazy."

"Oh, it's not so bad. I got a card from Atoli and a new Grimoire from Silabus." Gaspard told the Adept Rogue as he held up the large book.

"Valentine's Day seems to bring out the good in a lot of people. The members of Moon Tree are spreading Valentine's Day emails to whomever they see!" Silabus gave a small laugh. "Speaking of gifts, what'd you get for Valentine's, Haseo?"

"I bet Atoli sent him a card, too."

"Actually...I didn't get anything, yet." 'What's even weirder is that she hasn't even bothered me since I logged in. Is she sick or something?' He was so used to the blonde Harvest Cleric bugging him constantly, that not having her around felt...odd. As if on cue, he suddenly got a flashmail from Atoli.

Subject: Valentine's Day Event

From: Atoli

To: Haseo

Haseo, you know about the event their going to be holding later today, right? Why don't we all get together there and spend Valentine's Day together?

The Adept Rogue frowned. He was expecting this to come--sooner or later, it just had to come.

"I just got a flashmail form Atoli." Gaspard mumbled.

"Me, too."

In the real world, Haseo's player stared at the message before typing two words in reply:

Subject: Re: Valentine's Day Event

From: Haseo

To: Atoli

No way.

X-X-X

"Oh..." Atoli's shoulders drooped as she saw Haseo's reply. As usual, it was short and blunt: no way. 'And I was so sure he'd come...'

"Aw, what's the matter, Atoli?" Asked a white-haired Twin Blade dressed in black and white (whose avatar looked eerily similar to Haseo's first form) that was standing next to the Harvest Cleric at the time. He poked the girl in her shoulder. "C'mon! We're in the same division, so why not tell meeeee? Oh, I know!" He exclaimed as a light bulb flashed over his head. "You sent someone a Valentine's Day card and they shot you down, didn't they?"

"N-no! That's not what happened!" Atoli stuttered. But the Twin Blade was half-right. It may not have been a card, but Haseo had short her down. 'I thought that he would except on today of all days...'

"It's alright, Atoli. If you want, after we finish passing out these cards here in Dol Donna, we could go to the Valentine's Day event later in the day. No one should be alone on Valentine's, right?" The white-haired PC told Atoli.

She smiled at the Twin Blade as her flash mail disappeared. "Oh, I won't be alone! I'm going to go with my friends!"

"Then...can I come with you?!" He exclaimed. "All my other friends are either spending the day offline with their beloveds or pairing up with their snookie-ookums! It doesn't have to be...like...a date or something, but I need some company today, Atoli!! Pretty please!" The Twin Blade begged, now down on his knees and attracting attention. 'Am I really that desperate to not be alone on Valentine's Day? ...The answer is YES!!'

A large drop of sweat ran down the back of Atoli's head before she smiled down brightly at him. "Of course, Shiva! It's just as you said: no one should be alone on Valentine's!" Her thoughts then drifted back to Haseo. "Though I do hope that my friend will change his mind and come..."

Shiva shrugged. "Eh... Whether or not he comes doesn't matter that much to you, does it, Atoli?"

"Oh, it's--it's nothing... I'm just trying to...get him to enjoy The World more."

Shiva blinked. "Wait, this is a guy? ...You have a crush on him, don't you?"

"Wh-what?!"

X-X-X

Just as Ryou Misaki, Haseo's player, had logged off of The World to check his email, he sneezed. "...Huh?" He felt...weird. He wasn't the type to believe that old legend about sneezing whenever someone was talking about you, but... "Nah." He ignored the sneeze and started to look at his new email, made up of several Valentine's Day greeting cards. One from Sakubo (either Saku or Bo, he didn't know) one from Shino and...one from Endrance.

'I don't even wanna open that one.' Ryou felt a shiver go down his spine at the thought of what the blue-haired Blade Brandier had sent him. He ignored it and went right on to reading his other messages.

Subject: Happy Valentine's Day, Big Brother!

From: Sakubo

To: Haseo

Happy Valentine's Day, Haseo! I wish I could spend the day with you at that special event, but Saku says she's gonna use the character for the rest of the day to find Endrance. I hope you like the card I sent you.

--Bo

Ryou clicked on the link below and a little screen popped up with a blonde-haired baby with wings and diapers floating in the air and holding a bow and arrow as the words "Happy Valentine's Day!!" was emblazoned in red with little red and pink hearts floating around it. The brunette made a mental note to send Bo a reply back. The next email from Shino read:

Subject: The Valentine's Day event

From: Shino

To: Haseo

Haseo, I was wondering if you'd like to come to the Valentine's Day event with Tabby and I. It wouldn't be like a date: just three friends getting together to enjoy the holiday. If you want, you could bring the others, too, if they don't have any plans. I hope I see you there!

"Shino..." Ryou mumbled as he stared at the message. True, they were only friends, now. He told Shino of his feelings for her, and she told him that she loved him only as a friend. It hurt for a little while, but he soon got used to it. It was still weird to be around her sometimes...

Subject: RE: The Valentine's Day Event

From: Haseo

To: Shino

Sure, I'll come. The others were gonna go, anyway. See you there.

As he sent the reply, a new email suddenly popped up. From Atoli. 'Not again...'

Subject: Happy Valentine's Day, Haseo!

From: Atoli

To: Haseo

Happy Valentine's! I've been so busy handing out cards today that I forgot to send you a Valentine's greeting. Whether or not you're coming, I hope you at least enjoy your Valentine's Day to the fullest.

That was when that certain feeling sank in. Guilt. Damn that emotion to hell. Maybe he'd been a little hasty on sending Atoli that message earlier. He could always make it up to her by actually showing up at that event, right? 'Damn guilt... You never bothered me before.' With a last glance at Atoli's last sentence, he logged off.

X-X-X

(Delta: Loving Aphrodite's Haven)

Later, at 5: 34, Haseo warped to the field where the event was held. It was a Water-type field, but for the event, it looked like a festival ground. Dozens of cherry blossom trees were spread about, and occasionally some light pink petals were blown on the simulated breeze. Players hadn't been allowed to the area until 5:00 when it opened, and the special event that was take place was going to start at 6: 00. It was chock full of players. Even a small amount of the members of the Kestrel guild were there chatting with their friends or their valentine.

'Whatever the event is, it's probably something romantic and love-related...' Haseo thought as he searched through the crowd of people for a familiar face. He felt someone tap him lightly on his shoulder. "What?"

"So, you came after all, Haseo! I didn't think you'd come what with the way you were acting earlier."

The white-clad Adept Rogue blinked before turning his head to see Silabus standing behind him, a smile plastered on his face. "Silabus. Have you seen Shino and Tabby? I was supposed to meet them here..."

"We know. We met them a while ago and we decided to wait for you, Atoli, and Kuhn together. See?" The green-clad Blade Brandier pointed over to a spot beneath a cherry blossom tree where the rest of the group was sitting. Shino was staring off into distance, admiring the area's pixilated beauty as Tabby and Gaspard started to trade items.

"So, Atoli and Kuhn aren't here yet?" Haseo asked as they walked over to their friends.

"Well, I don't know what's keeping Kuhn, but Atoli said she had some guild work to do in Dol Donna and that'd she'd be here in a little while." Said Silabus.

"Back off, pervert!!!" A female voice shouted, which was quickly followed by the sounds of someone beating another person up.

"Ow! H-hey, cut it out-- OW!! Ouch, ouch!" A familiar Steam Gunner's voice cried out in pain, causing Haseo and Silabus to sweatdrop.

'It figures...' Both thought at the same time as they turned their heads to see Kuhn on the ground, twitching ever so slightly as a brunette female PC stood in front of him with her foot on his back. 'He's at it again.'

"Who do you think I am, huh? I am not some girl you can just hit on like that!" The female Adapt Rogue shouted as she pointed her bayonet at his head. "If I were a PK, I'd kill you off right now!"

"N-now, now! Calm down, Faith!" A red-haired Edge Punisher begged the brunette as he waved his arms about frantically in the air. "I'm sure he didn't mean it!"

"Hmph!" Faith the Adept Rogue snorted and put away her weapon. "Fine. I shouldn't soil my reputation by PK'ing this...freak." She spun on her heel and walked away from the area, several male PCs jumping out of her way as she walked past them.

The Edge Punisher stared down at Kuhn, who was still on the ground and had been beaten a quarter to being KO'ed. "I'm really sorry about my friend, man. I think it's...you know: that time of the month." He gave Kuhn a Health Drink before running after the Adept Rogue and yelling her name.

The blue-haired Steam Gunner used the potion on himself and stood up, dusting himself off. "Well, you win some, you lose some." He then noticed Silabus and Haseo staring at him and began to grin. "Hey, guys!"

"I see you're enjoying your Valentine's Day, Kuhn." Haseo muttered as Kuhn ran up to them.

The blue-haired PC sweatdropped. "Soooo I take it you saw that."

"We didn't see you get the crap kicked out of you."

"And that's good enough for me!" Kuhn wrapped an arm around Haseo's shoulders and smiled at the younger player. "So, did you find 'The One'?"

The Adept Rogue removed his arm from his shoulders. "...What does that mean?"

"It means have you found a Valentine yet?"

Haseo's right eye began to twitch as a vein throbbed on his forehead. "No. Believe it or not, I'm not as into this holiday as you are."

"I'll take that as a 'no'. Hmm, I'm surprised that no one's sent you a Valentine. You won't believe the threads they posted about you and your Xth form, and how they said you looked so gorgeous and sexy... People don't even know it's you--the legendary Terror of--"

"Knock it off." The white-clad PC growled as he glared at Kuhn. He had read those threads on the BBS forums and had seen how people went over seeing his new character design. Quite frankly, he liked it better when he was in his 3rd form--at least people didn't try to talk to him or even stare at him in those days.

He closes his eyes and smiled as he rubbed his chin in an intellectual manner. "Now, now. Don't get upset just because I speak the truth." He opened his eyes to find the blade of Haseo's gun-dagger up against his neck. "Heh-heh-heh... But, then again, who am I to be interfering in your personal life?" The Steam Gunner chuckled softly to himself as Haseo gave him a look. As the Adept Rogue went over to the spot where the others were, Kuhn turned to face Silabus. "So, are you gonna participate in the event later on, Silabus? It'd be a good opportunity for you to get a girlfriend!"

The green-clad PC would've blushed if he could, but his player was doing just that in the real world. "Wha... What are you talking about, Kuhn? Does this mean you know what the event's going to be?"

"Yeah...but unfortunately...I can't enter." The blue-haired Steam Gunner sighed. "Apparently, I've been informed not to sign up since the...incident that happened in the last Valentine's event."

Silabus sweatdropped as he had heard what had happened on the BBS board. The end of that event...was not pretty--and Kuhn held most of the blame for several female PCs (and somehow a few males) going out of control and wanting to fight over him. The amount of Player Killings that took place that day went over 2 dozen.

"So, Haseo, who's your Valentine?" Tabby asked immediately as she popped up in front of Shino, blocking Haseo's path to the Harvest Cleric.

"No one." He growled as he walked around her, but she merely grabbed his shoulders and held him back.

"That can't be! What about Shino? Or that red-haired Twin Blade...Alkaid! Or Atoli?" The Tribal Grappler asked, trying to get an answer out of the PKK. "Or is your Valentine...Endrance?!"

The sound Gaspard's player almost choking on his chips was heard and in the real world, Ryou turned a slight shade of blue. Tabby immediately covered her mouth as a dark aura surrounded the white-clad PC. She hadn't meant to say it like that. It was just...that one time when she was in a party with Haseo and Endrance, the Blade Brandier kept throwing Haseo glances.

"Tabby... Do you think...I swing like that...?" Haseo spoke darkly as he glared at her.

"N-no! Of course not, Haseo! I'd never think you were gay!" The Tribal Grappler laughed nervously as she grinned, releasing the Adept Rogue from her grasp. "It's just...Endrance--"

"I don't want to hear anything that has to do with me or Endrance for the rest of the day...!" He growled, causing the others (with the exception of Shino) to nod their heads fervently. He walked over to Shino's side and plopped down beside her.

Everyone was quiet for quite some time, still shaken by Haseo's behavior. It wasn't until after Shino had started to talk to him--and the killing aura around the Adept Rogue had gone down a notch--everyone else calmed down.

"Hello, everyone! I'm here!"

"Finally." Haseo muttered, turning his head to the direction of Atoli's voice. "Where were you--" He paused as he stared at the person who was standing beside the blonde Harvest Cleric. A PC...with a character design similar to his first form--the only difference being that his hair was pure white and his eyes were gray.

"Uh... Hello..." Shiva said warily as he noticed Haseo was staring at him. Though to the Twin Blade, it seemed more like a death stare.

"...Atoli. Who is that?"

"Oh! This is a friend of mine!" Atoli held the white-haired PCs arm and gave a big smile. "This is Shiva, and he is in the same division of Moon Tree as I am! He didn't have anyone to spend Valentine's Day with so I brought him here to spend the day with us. I'm sure you don't mind?"

Shino gave a small smile. "No. Not at all. Right, Haseo?" The pink-haired Harvest Cleric spoke as she shook Haseo's shoulder.

"...Hmph. Whatever." The white-clad PC turned his head away, a frown on his face. What the hell was Atoli doing with a player whose character looked like his? Was this supposed to be...her way of getting back at him for his message? '...No way. Atoli's not the type to plot revenge. I doubt she has it in her to even think about it.'

"Uh... Oooh! I know you! You're that Adept Rogue with the cool-looking form!!" Shiva exclaimed as he pointed at Haseo, who only growled in annoyance. "I didn't know there was a fourth form..."

"It's an...um, special form that you can only obtain after completing something special!" Kuhn said, trying to hide the fact that Haseo's character model stepped over The World's boundaries. "Unfortunately, that thing's a one of a kind until CC Corp. decides to make the class available."

"Oh. That sure is lucky--winning the first of a character."

"Heh-heh-heh. Yup, it sure is!"

"I'm so glad you came, Haseo." Atoli told the white-clad PC. "I thought...after your reply to my offer..."

"Hm?" Shino blinked and looked at the blonde before looking at Haseo. The Adept Rogue still had his head turned, but he could feel the pink-haired PC's stare. ". . ."

"So this is the guy you were talking about, Atoli!" Shiva exclaimed. "You sure do have a good eye, huh? Have you two ever met offline?" He started to chuckle.

Offline, both Haseo and Atoli's players blushed--though Chigusa kept blushing even minutes afterwards while Ryou's only lasted for a microsecond.

"Shi-- Shiva! I told you: Haseo and I aren't like that!" Atoli stuttered.

"Really? So why'd you act so said when he blew you off to hang out with other people?" The white-haired PC then pointed at Tabby, Gaspard and Shino, whom who stared at for a long time. He looked at both Harvest Clerics back and forth until he looked at Haseo and came up with a realization. "Oh, I get it. I bet you're really shy around Atoli and that you can't say your true feelings out of fear that she will reject you! So, the closest you can get to Atoli is spending time with a PC with a similar character design, who probably wants you all to herself!!"

"What?" Haseo turned his head and glared at Shiva, the killing aura from earlier coming back to him. "Who do you think you are: talking about us like that?"

"Shino doesn't want to keep Haseo all to himself!" Tabby chirped. "If anything, Haseo's the one who wants to keep Shino--" She stopped talking as she saw the Adept Rogue's angry look. "Erm, never mind."

"Hey, hey, take it easy! I was just thinking out loud. A bad habit of mine, that's all." The white-haired Twin Blade chuckled nervously. "So, you and Atoli aren't a couple."

"Of course not."

"And you don't have any feelings for her at all."

Haseo folded his arms across his chest. "Exactly. We're just friends."

"So...you wouldn't mind if I asked Atoli to be my Valentine, right?"

"...What did you say?"

Shiva smiled as he turned to face the surprised Atoli. "You two aren't in a romantic relationship, right? Well, I'd like to be Atoli's Valentine. That is...if she doesn't have one already."

The blonde Harvest Cleric blinked. "O... Of course!"

Haseo looked slightly shocked for a second, his eyes widened comically to the size of saucers. "What just...happened?"

"I believe Atoli got herself a date for the rest of the event." Kuhn told the white-clad PC. "And why are you so surprised, anyway, Haseo? You're the one who said you and Atoli weren't in a romantic relationship." The Steam Gunner didn't notice how Haseo's eye twitched slightly. "Or...maybe you're jealous of the fact that Atoli's hanging out with a PC whose design looks like your--"

"Kuhn... Shut the hell up..."

Just as Haseo looked as though he'd PK Shiva out of anger (or jealousy, as Kuhn had described it) there was a loud female voice shouting "Attention, attention, love birds!! It is time for us to begin our Valentine's Day event!! Now, after a certain event that occurred last year, the event designers of The World had a marvelous idea!" All the players turned to see a female Lord Partisan on the stage in the center of the field, dressed in a skimpy outfit and holding a microphone. "What could be more romantic to a girl than having dozens of powerful warriors fight for her honor and the chance to marry her?! Of course, there won't be any marriages occurring through this game, but we've decided to hold a tournament. The winner gets a rare item obtained only through these Valentine events and as an added bonus, a date in this area alone with the randomly chosen female PC!"

"It looks like you inspired this event, in a way, Kuhn..." Silabus told the blue-haired PC.

"If I inspired it...then how come I can't enter?!" Kuhn whined.

"NOW!!" The Event Announcer proclaimed, "We shall choose one lucky female PC to have the honor of being fought over!" Thousands of the female avatars--and a few males who were, in reality, female--screamed loudly and kept on shouting "Pick me!! Pick me!!"

"It doesn't make any sense to go on a date in an online game..." Haseo grumbled, though he was still glaring at Shiva and Atoli.

"It wouldn't be a game event if it wasn't in the game." Said Gaspard. "Still...how can fighting be romantic?"

Tabby's eyes started to sparkle like stars. "Haven't you ever heard those old fairytales where the princess is kidnapped by some wicked person who falls in love with her? And then a handsome knight appears to rescue her from his clutches and the two get married and have their happy ending!"

"Sounds stupid."

The Lei Fei Tribal Grappler looked at the white-clad Adept Rogue. "Aw, you're just jealous because you're not Atoli's knight!"

Before Haseo could curse Tabby, the announcer spoke again. "And we have our beautiful damsel!! Let's bring her onto the stage!!" In a flash, Atoli disappeared from in front of Shiva and reappeared on stage. "Here we go! Meet the lovely lady who is to be our lucky winner, Atoli the Harvest Cleric!!"

"Wow, she's so cute!"

"What a pretty avatar!"

"I think I've seen another PC with that design once..."

Atoli's player blushed as she heard the comments from the crowd.

"W-wow! Atoli's the lucky girl! Who'd have thunk it?" Said Shiva as he looked at the blonde Harvest Cleric on stage.

"The hell?! Are they allowed to do that?!" Haseo half-shouted as he looked at the stage. "She didn't even ask to be chosen! Didn't they even think that she already had a boyfriend?!"

"Aw, come on, Haseo! It's only a game." Silabus told him.

"Just because she's going to go out on a date with someone she doesn't know, it won't mean that she's going to fall in love with them." Shino added.

The Adept Rogue growled under his breath, clenching and unclenching his fist several times.

"So, Atoli, how do you like being the first girl to be the damsel in distress?" The announcer asked Atoli, holding the mic up to her face.

"Erm, I am...deeply honored that I was chosen. Even if it was at random...and I usually don't like it when people fight... But," Atoli bowed her head to the audience, "Thank you so very much!"

"Aw, ain't that sweet?"

"That just makes her sound even cuter!"

"Where have I seen that girl before?"

"I think she's a member of that Moontree Guild."

"No, no, I think I've seen her with another character somewhere."

"Isn't she just a doll, ladies and gentlemen? Wouldn't you like this kind of girl as a date?!" The announcer exclaimed, causing a majority of the male players--and a few of the female ones--to cheer. "Well, then! Here's how it works: we're gonna have ourselves a little tournament to see which lucky player gets a night alone with lovely Atoli! All players will receive a message on their screen, and all they must do is click 'YES' to become one of the tournament participants or 'NO' if you simply want to sit back and watch other players beat the tar out of each other!"

"Um, I pass." Said Silabus.

"I don't want a date with Atoli. That'd just be way too weird." Said Tabby as her player clicked NO.

Shino and Gaspard silently clicked NO as well, while Haseo was debating about whether or not to choose YES. 'Why should I even care? It's not like I'd care about who Atoli'd wind up dating.' Even though that little voice in the back of his head kept screaming at him, "CLICK 'YES', DAMMIT!! Before she winds up with some bastard like..." The white-clad Adept Rogue turned his head to look at Shiva, who was also still looking at the screen.

"Hmmm..." Shiva tapped his cheek lightly with his index finger. "...I wouldn't be a very good Valentine if I just let Atoli wind up with someone else for tonight." 'Besides, if we do spend some time together, it wouldn't be like a date...would it?' In the real world, Shiva's player blushed. "...What the heck. I'll enter, too! This could be pretty fun!"

Haseo's eyes narrowed, as did Ryou's in the real world as he clicked YES.

"Time's up! Now, let's get started with the first fight!" A small screen popped up in front of the event announcer and stared down at several names. "Well, we've got quite a lot of people who want to win the heart of the fair Atoli! Let's start with the first fight! Haseo vs. Aidan!"

Shiva blinked. "Ai... Aidan?!"

In a flash, Haseo and a red-haired Edge Punisher where in a large, square-shaped ring alone. The white-clad PC blinked before realizing who Aidan was. "You're that Edge Punisher from earlier. The one that gave Kuhn that pity item."

"I can't believe Aidan wants a date with Atoli, too!!" The white-haired Twin Blade growled outside of the ring. "That liar! He said he had a date with a secret admirer!"

"And you're supposed to be that famous PKK, right? Haseo, the Terror of Death." Aidan smirked as he drew his broad sword. "Aren't I lucky? If I can beat you, then I'll truly become a legend in this game!"

"Hmph." Haseo said snorted as he drew one of his laser dual blades.

"Ready?" The announcer proclaimed. "BEGIN!!" All it took was two good shots from Haseo's blade-like guns and Aidan was PK'ed. "Wow. That was fast."

'That guy was less than half of my level.' Haseo thought when he was warped back to his previous location next to Shino as the next fighters were called to the ring. "If everyone's as weak as that guy, this tournament's gonna be easy."

"Um, Haseo? Why'd you enter the tournament in the first place?" Gaspard asked.

"Yeah, what's up with that? Do you finally admit that you love Atoli?" Kuhn asked the younger player as he popped up beside him, nudging him in the ribs as he did.

"Oooh! Haseo and Atoli sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!!" Tabby sang loudly.

"What?! I don't want to go on a date with Atoli and I don't love her like that!!" Haseo folded his arms across his chest, looking off into a direction opposite of Tabby's. "I only entered because...I didn't want her to wind up with some jerk."

"In other words, you don't want Atoli to go on a date with anyone, but you!"

"Dammit, stop twisting my words!!!"

"Wow, what an exciting finish! Let's give it up for Reed, ladies and gentlemen!" The announcer exclaimed. "Don't worry about those injuries, Reed. You can get those healed before your next bout! Now then, let's move on to our third fight: Shiva vs. Yami-Hikari!"

The Twin Blade grinned at the sound of his name being called. "Ah, I'm up, I'm up!!" He gave a thumbs-up to Haseo and his friends. "Wish me luck, 'Kay?"

As soon as he warped to the ring, Haseo wished he would break a leg--literally. He wanted that bastard to really break a leg in reality. And maybe an arm, too.

'Okay! This guy's just one stepping stone to getting to Atoli!' Shiva thought as he drew his favorite Ripper's Blades. He observed his opponent, who was dressed in ninja-esque clothing and had a mask concealing the lower part of his face. He held out a pair of fans, showing that he was a Macabre Dancer. Shiva got into a fighting stance and narrowed his eyes.

"Ready? ...BEGIN!!" The announcer exclaimed just before Yami-Hikari dashed towards Shiva.

"Go, Shiva! Kick this guy's butt!" Tabby cheered from the crowd.

"Why the heck are you cheering for him? You just met him today!" Haseo said to the Tribal Grappler.

She shrugged and replied, "Well, he is Atoli's Valentine." This caused a vein to throb on the Adept Rogue's head.

Yami-Hikari swung his bladed fans in a downward strike. Shiva raised his dual blades and blocked the attack, then kicked the Macabre Dancer away from him. The ninja-esque PC jumped back and began to dash forward again, Shiva grinned and just a few seconds before Yami-Hikari swung one of his fans to slash him in the stomach, he jumped up into the air and raised his dual blades.

"KIYAAAAAAAAH!!!" As he landed, he slashed Yami-Hikari in half, instantly PK'ing him.

"Wow... Shiva must be at a pretty high level!" Said Gaspard as the white-haired Twin Blade sheathed his blades and warped back to where Haseo and the others were.

"Actually, that guy had to have been somewhere after level 30 or 40. I didn't check all that clearly." Said Shiva as he folded his arms across his chest and grinned. "It was so nice to be able to fight again... I haven't fought another player in so long!"

Haseo arched an eyebrow. "What? Were you a PK before joining Moontree?"

"Actually...I have no idea what I was." The Twin Blade chuckled nervously as he sweatdropped. "I just...challenged people and PK'ed them. It's not my fault if people kept labeling me as a PK and a PKK, and rarely a PKKK!"

The Adept Rogue's eyebrow went up even higher. "PKKK...?" 'He's making that up...'

"So, what level are you on now, Shiva?" Tabby asked the Twin Blade.

"Uh...I think I'm at 122."

"Wow, that's only 3 levels lower than your level, Haseo." Kuhn spoke with a small grin on his face.

"...So? I don't care what level he's on." Haseo grumbled.

"Well, so far, all we've gotten through are three fights, and there's over 2 dozen people left who want a date with the lovely Atoli! This may take a while, ladies and gentlemen, so I suggest you get a snack quickly before the next match starts!"

X-X-X

"Wow, isn't this amazing? The competition has been dominated by what appears to be its two strongest participants: Haseo and Shiva!" As the announcer said this, everyone nearby them looked at the Adept Rogue and Twin Blade--who were staring (or in Haseo's case, glaring) at each other with such intensity that sparks appeared to be flying between the two from their eye contact. "Which one of these powerful warriors shall win a date with the lovely Atoli and a special rare item?!"

"No doubt about it! It's gonna be my man Shiva!" Aidan the Edge Punisher cheered. Shiva gave him an upset glare as a vein throbbed on his forehead. "...Are you still upset that I lied to you?"

"Geez, ya think?"

"Either way, this is gonna be great! Think about it, dude: Haseo, the legendary PKK and Terror of Death vs. Shiva, the ex-PKKK better known as the Destroyer! It'll be like a World Match, or something!"

"...I guess it'd be kind of fun to fight a legendary PKK."

"There's the spirit!"

"All right, Haseo! Win this fight, and Atoli is as good as your date!" Tabby told the white-clad PC as she pumped a fist in the air.

"I told you, I don't want a date! I just wipe the floor with this guy!" Haseo growled as he glared at the Twin Blade.

Silabus blinked. "What for? You've only just met him today."

"Because, Silabus, Haseo would rather be reduced to level 1 again then know that Atoli's gonna fall for a guy that looks like him." Kuhn said simply before pointing a finger at the Adept Rogue. "Face it, Haseo. Envy is written all over your face. The green-eyed monster has awakened in you! I mean, why else would you do it? You don't just beat up people unless you're ticked off. So just admit it and you'll feel burden-free!"

"Admit what?! I told you, I'm not in this for the date--I'm in it for the fights. I've gained 4 levels so far, and Shiva's gone up 5. So that makes him 2 levels lower than me--"

"Haseo." Shino said softly as she tapped the gray-haired PC on his shoulder. "Didn't you promise me that you'd try to be a bit more open with your feelings?"

"Wh... What?"

"The way you've been acting today clearly says that you're feeling something, but don't want to express it."

In the real world, a slight blush came to Ryou's cheeks as he gritted his teeth. Haseo folded his arms across his chest and looked off to the other side, trying to appear aloof. "What're you talking about? Nothing's different about me today. This stupid holiday's clouding my mind, that's all."

Shino stared at him before he was warped into the ring with Shiva. 'Haseo...'

"Well, it's finally happening." Said Shiva as he drew his Ripper's Blades and Haseo drew his own blades. "Y'know, since this entire event started, I've wanted us to fight, you know? Because I have something I'd love to deal with you..."

Haseo arched an eyebrow. "What're you talking about?"

"You know. You blew off Atoli to go join your friends and broke her heart, you creep! She sounded...a bit sadder than usual after she got your reply to her invite. She obviously likes you... What I don't get is why!!" The Twin Blade growled as he got into a fighting stance.

Haseo got into a fighting stance as well, a confused look on his face. "What the heck are you talking about?"

"Are you ready, ladies and gentlemen?! Let's begin the final fight: Haseo vs. Shiva!!! Ready...?! BEGIN!!!"

Haseo dashed towards the Twin Blade, knowing full well from watching his fights and how the members of Moontree were that he'd wait for him to make the first move. He skidded to a halt all of a sudden and shot at Shiva, who swiftly dodged most of his shots, though the few that hit took out at least a small quart of his HP. The Adept Rogue and dashed forward and swung his blade at his opponent, but found it was blocked by one of his dual blades.

"Do you know...how much she talks about you?" Shiva spoke softly as they both tried to push the other off. "It's like...you're on of her favorite people in this game, even though you act like you do. So I wonder...why won't she talk about me like that?"

Haseo smirked before delivering a slash to Shiva's chest that sent him stumbling back. "Oh, please. I could care less about whether Atoli talks her mouth off about me to you. That's just the way she is." The Adept Rogue spoke coldly, though in the real world, his player had a light blush on his cheeks. The stupid holiday was getting to him...

"It's not that!! I wanna know why someone as nice as Atoli hangs out with a guy like you!" In the real world, Shiva's player had a hard time holding his controller and began to breath hard. 'Not now...!' He held onto his controller as his character gripped onto the dual blades. "Just... Just forget what I said!! I'm gonna beat you, and take you down a couple of notches!" The Twin Blade dashed forward and began to slash his blades at Haseo.

After that, the fight appeared to get a bit...dull. It seemed as though both characters hadn't even thought about using any Rengeki or spells. Haseo hadn't even resorted to using his weapons to shoot at Shiva since their blades began to clash. They simply slashed away at each other, occasionally getting in strong hits at each other, but it lasted for quite a while.

"Shiva..." Atoli mumbled as Chigusa blushed in the real world. "I didn't think you felt like that about me..." 'I understand how you feel, a little. I was upset after learning about Shino, and how I thought the only reason Haseo stayed friends with me was because I had an avatar that looked like her's. But, it's not like I see you as the closest thing to Haseo I can get!'

"HYAAAAAH!!"

"HAAAAAAHHH!!"

Haseo and Shiva's blades collided, causing sparks to fly. As both players realized how low their HP was, they jumped away from each other, panting. Even if he wasn't the one fighting, Ryou felt exhausted. Shiva was starting to give him a run for his money. He knew he could easily take him out by shooting him now or performing a powerful Rengeki, but he wanted to honor of breathing up the moron for thinking he could with his Atoli! 'Wait... What? No, no! She's not my Atoli!'

'If I could land a couple more hits on him, I could beat him! I'm certain I can beat him!'

"Well, it appears that both fighters are tuckered out, and their HP is going critical! With a couple more hits, one of them is sure to fall!" The announcer announced to the audience of players.

"Why doesn't Haseo just use his gun attacks?" Asked Gaspard, slightly confused.

"I guess he'd get a lot more pleasure from beating up Shiva with his blades." Said Kuhn with a sweatdrop.

"Well, I think that Haseo is overreacting just a bit. It doesn't make much sense to get upset with Shiva just because they're both jealous of how the other is with Atoli." Silabus said.

"Either way, Atoli must be really happy. It's not everyday that a girl has two powerful characters fighting over her!"

'Here goes!' Haseo and Shiva thought as they both dashed at each other at the same time, baring their teeth as their grip on their weapons tightened. 'With this last blow...I...will win!!!' The both swung their blades at the same time, hoping that it would become a critical hit...

X-X-X

Later, at the exact same area, it looked...different. It was now night, and a large white moon was in the sky that was dotted with several white stars. Light pink cherry blossoms blew on the wind as two figures sat on the green grass alone.

"Isn't this great, Haseo? It's such a lovely view, but it's such a shame that no one else but us can enjoy this." Atoli gave a wide grin as she sat by Haseo.

The Adept Rogue gave a grunt as he nodded his head. He had won the tournament and received the special rare item--a Valentine's mod that gave his avatar design a red and white look that he deemed as worthless, as well as a date with Atoli alone in the area that the event had taken place in until midnight, when they would return the area to normal.

"...Oh! I just got a message from Shiva!" The Harvest Cleric gasped. Haseo's eye twitched before she read it aloud. "It says here that he's sorry for getting so upset with you today, Haseo. And that the better man won. He hopes that we have a nice date, and hopes we can all become good friends!"

"Yeah, right. He's just saying that because he doesn't wanna seem like a jerk to you..."

"Haseo! That's not true! Shiva is deeply sorry. He even says he'll give you his member address the next time he sees you."

'Just what I need: another weird friend in this game.' The Adept Rogue thought as his player rolled his eyes. After a few minutes of silence, he looked at the ground and mumbled, "Atoli."

"Hm?" She turned her head to look at him.

"I... I'm sorry. About my reply to your message, I mean."

"Oh... Well, that's okay. You were just being you. I-it's not that bad, right?" She gave a small smile, both in the game and in the real world. "I just...wanted you to enjoy Valentine's Day, is all, Haseo."

"Mm..." Haseo scooted a little closer to the blonde, his player's cheeks turning bright red. "Atoli... Hap... Happy Valentine's." He gave her a quick peck on the cheek, causing her to blush a bit.

"Ha-haseo?"

"I'm gonna log off. I've got school tomorrow and I have a report to finish." The white-clad PC spoke as he stood up, looking away from the Harvest Cleric. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

"O-okay... Good night, Haseo."

"Night." And with that word, Haseo logged warped out of the game and logged off.

X-X-X

In the real world, Ryou sighed as he pulled off the headset. "I hate Valentine's... It's warped my mind." As he was about to turn off his computer, he noticed a new email that came in. "Hm? ...It's from..."

Subject: A Beautiful Night

From: Atoli

To: Haseo

Even if you probably didn't want to go with me on a date, I'm glad you decided to stay with me for a while, Haseo. And whether or not that kiss was a loving one--even though it wasn't a real one--I wanted to say...I like you. I really, really like you, Haseo. I hope that after tonight, you could like me in the same way. Happy Valentine's.

--Atoli.

"Hm..." Ryou blushed as he scratched the back of his neck. Perhaps he should start to keep his promise to Shino and start to open up more. Maybe then he'd be able to tell his Atoli how much he cared for her. "Wait... WHAT?! GRRRRRR!!! Damn it, I hate this stupid holiday!!!"

-The End-

X-X-X

Blu: It's about time I finished this. And on the day after Valentine's. I'm so slow. Well, I hope you guys enjoy this and I hope you had a happy Valentine's.