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If there was one thing he never expected to see, it was Azure Kite with roses.

The small Twin Blade stood before him, a whole bouquet of them clutched in his fists. The roses were the most dreadful things he had ever seen in his life, all black with long, silvery thorns standing out at the steam like jagged pieces of broken glass. There were several molted, whitish spots on the wilted petals that looked too much like eyes for him to ignore.

"Um..." Haseo said awkwardly, staring at the dreadful blossoms. And suddenly he was laughing, because it was just too much, this sad picture, like something out of a gothic romance.

And then he caught sight of Azure Kite's face - perfectly still and silent, and suddenly he felt like the most heartless bastard on the face of the planet.

"You're..." he began, dreading the answer. "...you're really serious, arn't you?"

Azure Kite didn't say a word. Quietly, Haseo took the flowers from him, ignoring the tiny prinpick of pain when one of the silver throns sliced into the side of his palm. Up close he could see that those little dots were, indeed, eyes. A pair of them reaked open for a moment, studying him, before closing again, disinterested.

"...thanks." he heard himself whisper in spite of himself, and then he saw Azure Kite's tiny, satisfied nod before he turned and glided away, leaving Haseo alone with his bewilderment.

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"Ov -" He caught himself for the fourth time that day, feeling his face turn pink with embarressment. It was harder than he expected, even without The World and all it's unusual tidbits and surreal decorations surrounding them, to look up at this tall, dark man who had exactly the same eyes as Ovan and call him anything but that.

But they were in the real world now, and they had agreed to use their real names. It seemed an easy task for him to call the online world's 'Haseo' by his real name, 'Ryou,' but he couldn't seem to return the favor to the man he had known so long as 'Ovan.'

Masato Indou was dark, broad-shouldered, and so tall that Ryou often had to tilt his head back to look up into his eyes. He still wore glasses, but they were clear and sharp and always looked like more of a gentleman feature than anything.

"Why are we stopping here?"

"To buy a gift." Masato said, pushing open the front door. Ryou glanced up to double-check the sign with some dread - a flower shop. "Um, why?" he asked again, a strange sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach.

"For Shino." he said, heading inside. Ryou followed him, biting his lip a little. "Um, Ov-...Masato..."

"She likes red roses." He commented quietly to himself. "She always liked plants and gardening and all. And..." He kneeled down before one of the displays on the floor, where crimson-colored roses lay in perfectly, like little satin tea cups. "...I think she would really like these."

The smile on his face was so calm, so peaceful. Ryou felt an odd twisting somewhere in his chest and looked away. His face felt hot, but not the way it usually did when when Masato was looking at him or speaking directly to him or resting his hand on his shoulder. This time, it kind of hurt, as if someone had prodded his insides with a hot poker.

"That settles it, then." Masato said in a final manner as he stood back up and began to fish in his wallet for money.

Ryou was quiet, his eyes downcast, wishing he was anywhere else in the world but beside Masato, forgotten.