A/N: I have this odd fascination with yaoi, and this odd fascination with cross dressing, and a complete love for G.U. slash, and what do you know, I haven't done any plausible Ovan/Haseo yet! We must fix that problem….heh.

This was partly inspired by the wedding event at the end of volume three. Such fun.

There are a few issues here and there, so I'll point them out now so you don't get confused.

1. Ovan's arm – I really don't know. I don't know how that man does things with only one arm. I don't know how he intends to save everybody with only. one. arm. I have no idea how he does it. So if you're reading and suddenly you think, "wouldn't that be awkward with just one arm?" Well, you probably thought right. But just ignore it.

2. I didn't pick a specific time for this to be set in, but it's after Haseo meets all the G.U. members and main characters, but before he finds out about Ovan's plans and family and secrets and all that volume-three like stuff. So I suppose Haseo should be in his second form for this, but I didn't specify at all, so you can put him in any form you like, even Xth. It's all good.

3. The rating…let's say R to be safe. Suggestive things, cursing, all that fun stuff. But no sex. I've been doing a lot of extremely out of character role playing recently and kind of ran back to this fic once I was done to get back into character again. So no sex, just suggestiveness. XD

And finally – Ovan is a damn rating all on his own! Just think of him in this fic as the way he came across during G.U.'s progression– creepy and mysterious in the beginning but slowly more understandable by the end.

SPOILERS … for this chapter, there are none. For later chapters, there will be spoilers up to volume two, and maybe by the ending we'll have some spoilers for volume three. Also, expect spoilers on some random tidbits about the real life Haseo and Ovan – "Ryou Misaki" and "Masato Indou"

I can't tell you how long it will take to finish this (IE: I could take FOREVER between updates because fanfiction is most definitely not my first priority right now), but do expect more.

And that's all. Till next time.

SELFISH

He had ventured out here because Ovan had called him. Or to be specific, wrote him. The letter had been short, not his normal cryptic, wordy invitations, but something almost curious in it's simplicity. "I've been thinking about something I'd like to share with you." he had written, and then he had left an area word. That was the second thing that disarmed him, the area word. Usually when Ovan wanted to speak with him, he suggested they meet at one of the lost grounds. Haseo had always seen it as fitting, as those places seemed to match Ovan best, as far as their mystery went. But no – he had used an area word.

Haseo stared at it uncertainly for a moment before logging back in to look for him. There was no question about not going. Ovan wasn't the type to call him out just to spend time together or to level up. He'd never call just to stammer or tell a joke or talk about the news the way the others would.

When he arrived, he assumed the older man had left to the beast statue. Grudgingly, he began to head in the direction indicated by his map, grumbling to himself about annoyances and what a waste of time this was. He defeated the monsters in his way as he headed to the temple entrance, and for the most part, things went normally. It seemed his inventory was always full these days, and he carelessly replaced whatever was on top with whatever weapons and items he received, not even bothering to look at their names before he did so. He supposed at the most he'd lose a few items. Big deal - he wanted to get to the damn statue.

The field wasn't small, maybe just short of what he would consider large. His HP was halved, and he began to walk rather than run, noticing how he had began to subconsciously lean over, exhausted, and again, cursing Ovan or it. It was such an easy blame to shift. Damn him, damn him and his dark eyes and his dark smile and his stupid letters. Damn that man.

He glanced up and saw a particularly large monster, something with crooked teeth and pinprick eyes and oversized fists. He groaned, drawing his weapon, but immediately one of the thing's fists had connected with his cheek, and he went flying, his body slamming against the opaque barrier that had sprung up around them. It began to close in on him. He pushed himself to his feet, drawing his equipped broadsword and holding it tightly in both hands. Immediately he noticed the way his arms seemed to buckle with it's strength, and glancing at his stats, cursed when he realized just how badly the blow had left him. There was exactly three HP left, and even holding himself upright seemed like a chore.

"You'll get you later." he growled, taking a smoke screen from his inventory and quickly throwing it up into the air. The monster did a double take as he fled, taking the few steps left to the temple entrance and hiding inside quickly. As soon as the smoke cleared, he kicked the ground with frustration, feeling foolish. It had been his policy never to run from battle. But today he had been careless. Today…

Instinctively he opened his mouth to declare that Ovan was going to hear it for this, but quickly shut it, looking up at the temple door that now should have been the only thing separating them. No, he couldn't complain to Ovan. What would Ovan think of him if just one field had left him this weary? It would be too humiliating, especially since strength seemed to be the older man's one obsession. The field had been twelve levels too high, but how could Ovan have known that it was too tough for him? He had probably assumed by now that Haseo could handle it.

Maybe he should just leave. Maybe he should go out and raise his level until it was more impressive, then come back, then…

…no, he had already come this far. Sighing, Haseo opened the last temple door, wondering vaguely why Ovan had to have chosen a field…

…and then looking up into the steam gunner's face, and suddenly knowing why exactly.

"Wh-what are you…" he began to stutter, resisting the urge to scramble a few steps back. "Looking at me like that for?" but he knew, of course. He was already hunched over from the last fight, his hair dishelmed, his face flushed with heat, and Ovan was giving him a strange, almost ravenous look, as if he had never seen someone out of breath before.

"Looking at you?" he replied in a calm voice that didn't match his eyes. "What do you mean by that, Haseo?"

"Never mind." he huffed, trying to gather himself together. It was a trick of the eye, he told himself. Or maybe it was those glasses. Whatever it was, it couldn't be what he had originally thought. Ovan would never do something so childish as to look him over so shamelessly.

"Do you need help, Haseo?" he continued in that silky voice of his. "You seem tired."

"I'm fine…"

"Are you sure?" he pressed.

"Of course I'm sure!" he snapped back, and now the feeling of unease returned as Ovan's eyes flickered from his face briefly to his body, then averted away. Haseo felt his face grow hot again. That he knew he hadn't imagined. But…well, he was looking out for him, not at him. He tried to tell himself that, repeat it in his head, feeling increasingly foolish every passing minute. The silence overhead them was maddening.

"Well?" he asked at long last.

"Yes?" Ovan replied gently.

"What did you call me out here for?" he said. "Did something happen?"

Still staring. Haseo began to feel impatience, and then, when the older man continued to feel nothing, panic. Ovan's eyes were back at his chest again…watching him breath, he thought. Suddenly he felt like a butterfly pinned to a corkboard. It was unnerving.

"I understand things aren't going well for you." Ovan spoke after what seemed like an eternity of nothing.

"People are getting hurt..." he mumbled, trying to keep the topic to a minimum.

"But that can't be all." he continued. "I can see you changing, Haseo."

"Just like you wanted." he said softly, almost mockingly.

"I wanted you stronger." Ovan corrected. "Now you are steadily weaker."

"Yeah, well….!" The impatience grew. "This isn't about you! This isn't about being stronger!" he stuttered for a moment, stunned by his own bitterness. "I'm trying!" he hissed, and briefly he found the chance to hate himself for his contradiction. "Can't you see I'm trying!? At least I'm doing better than you are, Ovan! At least I'm not abandoning them!"

"Is that so…" he smiled faintly.

"Yes, 'that's so.'" Haseo said shortly. "And what about Shino, huh? I'm working to get Shino back, while you…all you do is watch and stare!" He fumbled again. "And stare!" he repeated hatefully. "And still you're staring! Do you think this funny?!"

"Will you marry me?"

"NO, you bastard! I – …what?" He froze. Ovan smiled at him, so calmly, so distantly he thought for a moment he might have imagined his bizarre request. "What?" he whispered again.

"Will you marry me?" Ovan repeated evenly. Haseo could only gape, all of his defenses shattered by that one, simple line. At first it seemed he could think of nothing, and then a tiny voice whispered in his head; so he was staring at me? That wasn't your imagination after all? He began to feel suddenly, horribly nauseous. "Are you playing with me?" It seemed the only possible answer.

"Would I do that, Haseo?"

"Yes! You would!"

"I'm being serious." he said, sounding mildly entertained at the whole situation. Haseo wanted to slap him. "Don't you believe me?"

"Of course I don't!" He looked down at his hands; a little thin, but strong, and thought of the seriousness of actually slapping him. It wouldn't get them anywhere, but it sure would make him feel better. "You disappear on and off, you walk away when I ask you to wait, you're always up to something – and now you ask me that?!" He balled his hands into fists. "You never even told me that you…you…"

"That I loved you?" He dared softly.

"Yes!" He caught himself. "No! I mean – YES, damn it!" Ovan took a step closer. "You never told me anything like that!"

"When did you expect me to?" Another step. "When I first revived you that day? When you were still getting PKed by strangers? When you used to cringe at everything, Haseo? Do you remember?"

"Stop it…" he growled. But Ovan had no intention of stopping.

"Or what about when we were reunited at the waterfall? All you cared about was Shino, and Tri-Edge. Did you really want me to ruin your revenge act with a personal declaration? You couldn't have handled it, Haseo. And besides, I needed you to be stronger."

He was closer now, close enough for Haseo to reach out and brush his fingertips against the pale blue of his scarf. "Then why now…?"

"'Why now'…?" Ovan repeated thoughtfully. "Perhaps because when this is all over, I might not have been able to tell you?"

"I don't know what you're talking about…"

"Really." Ovan reached out and carefully took his face in his hands, something Haseo knew immediately was a wish fulfilled as soon as they made contact. There was a surprising gentleness, an almost fearful sort of way in which it was done that hypnotized him, made him lost in the idea that what he said could have been true. He couldn't remember the last time Ovan had touched him, perhaps because there was never a time that Ovan had touched him. They always had that tacit distance, that unspoken threat that said don't tangle with me. And he hadn't. He had never even thought about it.

But that was a lie, and he knew it. Because he had thought about it. Somewhere down the line, Haseo had wondered, and perhaps that was why the spell lasted so long, that was why he stood so perfectly still when Ovan finally dared to kiss him.

There was something very taboo about the whole experience of kissing. He had never kissed anyone within the game before – or to be more precise, had never been kissed, though he had come quite close to something with Shino long ago, before he had ever met Tri-Edge. Mostly he found himself just standing there, being awed by him, waiting for the moment that he was sure would come in which Ovan would pull away and laugh and it would all be a joke, thank god, just some stupid joke gone a little too far (because when had he last had his feelings toyed with so openly, here in the World?) and then they'd both look away and perhaps they'd be awkward around each other for a few weeks, but it was a small price to pay to know there was no responsibility and no new love.

Of course that moment never came. Ovan's kiss was strange and different, much different that he would have ever thought. He was surprisingly hesitant at first – just at first. Those hands were still tentative on his face, then firm on his shoulders, then wrapped tightly around his waist, drawing him closer. Haseo felt his shoulders being crushed by one broad hand, and when the older man drew away for a moment, he looked up into his face and saw a different look in his eyes.

"Uh..?"

His paralysis was broken. The spell was broken. He took a step backward, speechless, one hand touching his lips instinctively. "You…"

"Me." Ovan acknowledged evenly.

"You…kissed…me…" he managed through tiny breathes.

"It was only a kiss." He pointed out. "There's more to love than just kisses, Haseo."

"M-more..?" He whispered, turning his face away. His fingers were shaking against his lips, and gradually he felt a burning, rushing feeling in his cheeks. He realized he was blushing, and by the feel of it, probably blushing more furiously than he had ever blushed in his life.

"You wouldn't." he all but sobbed.

There was a damning silence around him, and in the still, empty seconds in which he tried to gather himself together, he sensed a new aura about the other man.

It felt like….it felt like pity.

"Do you really believe that…?" Yes, that was definitely pity in his voice. "Well, I wouldn't…not like this." he redeemed himself. "It's too ungentlemanly." Haseo closed his eyes, feeling rather than seeing the gunman's hand stretch forward and touch the side of his face. A caress, his mind called it. But that word was too scary, too intimate for him to accept.

"When I have you, you won't be unwilling in the least." It seemed he was more fantasizing than speaking, Haseo thought grimly. "No…I won't have you any other way." Have him? God, he was too serious, way too serious for comfort. "I think you'll find you'll like being my bride." he added in a final manner. "Perfectly."

Haseo took a deep breath, his mind sluggish with the shock of all that had happened over the last few minutes. No. He told himself. I'm a man. I'm not going to be anybody's bride. I'm….

"Don't you touch me." he said in a tone that was shakier than he had intended. Ovan smiled silkily. "I'd never dream of forcing myself on you, Haseo." he assured.

"That's damn right you won't." He said, more to himself than to Ovan. But it seemed the gunman wasn't through yet. "Really, Haseo, does the prospect frighten you that much?"

"Yes, damn it!" He shook his hands in an angry gesture. "You're a man! I'm a man!"

"But who would be better? Who has cared for you more? Shino loved you, but not the way I do…"

"Don't say her name." he moaned. That topic was taboo, and both of them knew it.

"Perhaps Atoli? Who are you fooling? I've never seen a smile so fake as the one you try to hold up when she pesters you about righteousness." Now he had struck a cord. Haseo winced. Ovan took the opening graciously. "Or the emperor woman, Alkaid? I know you cared for her, but that wasn't your idea of love."

"Don't talk about her!" Haseo said desperately. It was like a dance, those words, teasing him where he was most vulnerable, and distantly he wondered how Ovan knew what he thought, how he knew what he doubted. Was he watching all this time? Or was it Haseo himself that was flawed, allowing himself to be read so easily?

"Let's see, who else? There's Pai, but you know very well that she has other men on her mind. Or maybe it's the men you like after all, Haseo? I wonder if you've ever glanced their way, perhaps consented to all of Silabus' silly errands because you enjoyed the attention? And it seems you've never actually scolded Endrance for his open admiration of you either…."

"I never….I'd never.." he chanted breathily. "Not…them!"

"Yes, that's right." Ovan said triumphantly. "'Not them.' Of all the time I've known you, I can tell that you've kept your distance from love. And love has kept it's distance from you, as well. But I always looked out for you, Haseo. I always made sure you were on the right path. And why, do you think, that was…?"

Haseo said nothing.

"Because you were impatient. Because you were foolish. Because you trusted no one, and you ran from your morals, and you were always that thoughtless, distant thing that I could never allow myself to be. Because I wanted you, I wanted you to grow, to be stronger, to be mine…."

"Stop it." Haseo whispered, breaking the older man's speech for a moment. His head was spinning, his heart beating much too fast. "Please…I don't want to hear anymore…"

"Yes, you do." Ovan took his face in his hands. "I can see it in your eyes. You want to be involved. You want to be loved. You enjoyed knowing that I would take the time to send you a letter. You enjoyed knowing that I sent you a high-level area word because I wanted to see you panting." A short laugh. "Yes, you want to hear more, you're fooling no one by saying you aren't. You want to hear more, because you want to be wanted….!"

"No…" he stepped away, half expecting Ovan to close the distance between them again, and only half-relieved when he did not. "Stay…away from me!"

"As you wish." The gunman folded his arms gracefully behind his back. "I told you I wouldn't force myself upon you, Haseo, and I mean what I said."

"Well, good!" Haseo snapped, pushing past him and heading toward the warp point only a few feet away. He paused, back still turned, ready to leave. "I always knew you were shady, Ovan, but never this." He silently thanked God he was facing away, knowing his face was glowing red. "Don't contact me again."

He hit warp. When he reached town, he found himself faltering to stand straight, his mind buzzing. And though it gave him goosebumps to think of it, he could have sworn he heard Ovan laughing as he had gated out.

Well, go ahead – laugh. Let the bastard laugh.

He looked around the town, feeling suddenly to big and to quiet. Lowering his eyes, he muttered to himself; "It was a joke. He was joking, Haseo. Forget about it."

He logged out.