Summary: (HaseoXAtoli) A gift can say so much. "Honeysuckle represents devoted affection. Ambrosia represents. . ."

Disclaimer: .hack G.U. belongs to...whoever created the .hack series in the first place and the guys at the .hack Conglomerate. I only own this short story.

Blu Rose: I wrote this story in response to the Honeysuckle scene in .hack G.U.: Reminisce. I have no idea why, but after that scene, I became obsessed with flower meanings again and decided to look them up for a fic idea. Originally, I planned for this to be a HaseoXAlkaid fic, but my heart belongs to HaseoXAtoli! As for the timeline, this story takes place after .hack G.U.: Redemption, so there will be some spoilers for those who haven't fully popped it yet or haven't embraced online spoilers via YouTube like I have. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy it.

Ambrosia

--Sigma: Secret Lover's Confession--

It was very strange to Atoli. Usually, whenever she attempted to invite Haseo to an area for an adventure, he would bring a friend or someone would suddenly warp into the town and managed to come into the party. Yesterday it was Shino, whom Haseo gladly invited since he promised to go adventuring alone with her the day before. The day before that, Alkaid somehow managed to come along and gave Haseo the area words of a good place to train. The day before that, the green-haired Twin Blade named Natsume, who Atoli only met once or twice, dragged the Adept Rogue away along to find 'Tri-Edge', for some reason beyond her understanding. ...It seemed as though lately, even after all the chaos with AIDA and Cubia, people still wanted a piece of Haseo's time. So much so that the blonde Harvest Cleric hardly had time to see him these days.

But the most miraculous thing happened today: Haseo invited her to a good area he found. When she warped into the Steam City of Breg Epona to meet him and prepare for their adventure, he didn't invite anyone else and no one suddenly popped up and decided to come along with them! It was as if God(ess) was smiling down on her today since it was her first time alone with the object of her affections!

"Atoli. Atoli!"

"Huh?" The scantily-clad Harvest Cleric snapped out of her happy daydream by Haseo. "Wh-what is it, Haseo? Are we in a fight? Do you need healing? Did I stand in your blind spot again?"

The white-clad PC arched an eyebrow. "No. We're at the Beast Statue already, so just relax," He spoke, nodding his head slightly in the direction of the floating Beast Statue.

"Oh... Sorry." In truth, Atoli didn't want to upset him today. Today was their first day alone in such a long time, so she wanted to make him happy. Or at least not upset him because of a mistake she made... Despite the fact that she was walking behind Haseo, Chigusa, her real life player, was only paying half-attention to the game. For those who haven't experienced it, half-attention is when you do something without fully paying attention to it. Such was the case of Atoli, whose player was trying to think of a way to make Haseo happy when all of a sudden, Haseo stopped and she bumped into him, both falling to the carpeted floor of the dull black room.

"…Atoli…" The Adept Rogue growled after a moment of silence. Whether he knew that his PC's cheeks had a tinge of pink for a few seconds was unknown.

"I…I'm sorry, Haseo!" Atoli apologized, bowing as she bit her bottom lip both in the game and the real world. "I wasn't paying attention, so I…"

"It's nothing," He spoke in a flat tone. His back was turned on her and his arms were folded across his chest. "Let's go." Haseo walked towards the Beast Statue with a fully aware Atoli trailing him from behind.

'I can't do…anything right around him…' The blonde PC thought as she bit her lower lip. 'He probably likes going on adventures with Alkaid…or Shino…or anyone else but me!' She stopped walking and looked over at the warp platform just as Haseo reached the treasure. 'I'm sure Haseo wouldn't mind if I just left right now.' He kicked the chest, unnoticed by Atoli, and received the item inside. Whatever it was must have been pretty rare since it brought a small smile of satisfaction on the Adept Rogue's face.

"Hey, Atoli! Come here!" Haseo shouted over to Atoli, who was just about to turn around and warp out of the area as silently as she could.

"What is it?" She asked as she approached him, wringing her hands together. "Did you get something good? A rare item, maybe?"

"Yeah. I read on a forum that you could find this item in this dungeon, but the chances of actually getting one were slim."

The blonde Harvest Cleric smiled brightly and exclaimed, "That's wonderful, Haseo! It looks like luck was with you today!" 'Too bad it wasn't there for me.' "So, what did you get…?"

Haseo smirked and replied, "See for yourself."

"Huh?" A tone sounded, alerting Atoli that Haseo had just given her an item. A weapon, to be more precise. It was a level 123 staff with a 5 star rarity. And, of course, like most rare weapons, its name was unique among common staffs. "Pure Ambrosia?" She pronounced the name softly. A pink blush appeared on her cheek as she flashed that bright smile again. "Oh, I love it, Haseo!" The blonde exclaimed as she quickly changed her equipment. She'd been having such a hard time finding a stronger staff than the one she had equipped before. A level 92 staff was no good for a player with a level of 142.

"…Atoli," Haseo spoke as he observed his fellow Epitaph User. "Did you know that flowers have meanings?"

"Hm?" Atoli stopped observing her new staff and put it away. "Yes. Well, I know that roses are supposed to stand for…for love, right?"

"Uh-huh, but…do you know what other flowers stand for?" The Harvest Cleric shook her head in reply, so Haseo continued, "Well, do you remember those Dual Blades I used at one point when we were fighting in the Holy Palace Tournament? Shino…gave me a weapon just like that named Honeysuckle. Honeysuckles are…supposed to represent devoted affection…and bonds of love."

At this, Atoli's eyes widened. In the real world, Chigusa's eyes were starting to well up with tears. 'I knew it! Shino loved Haseo…before I ever even met him!'

"To me, those blades were like…a form of Shino's feelings for me. Whenever I used them, I thought of her. I…" At this point, the gray-haired Adept Rogue was now blushing and staring out of the corner of his eye. "…I hope that Ambrosia will be a form of my feelings for you."

"Wh-what…?" The blonde whispered, after Chigusa lifted her M2D and wiped the tears from her eyes. "What are you trying to say, Haseo?"

Haseo folded his arms across his chest and huffed, still blushing slightly. After a few seconds of silence, he looked at her in the eye and spoke. "Ambrosia…is a type of flower. And wh-when given to someone, it means…it means that that person's love is felt and given back to them by the person that they gave their love to. That is to say…" 'Damn, I'm no good at this sort of thing! Why can't I just say it, already?! I'm the damn Terror of Death, for crying out loud!!' "I…I like you as much as you like me," He spoke simply, fighting down a gulp in the real world. If it was so difficult to tell a girl your feelings online, it may be worse in the real world. "That Staff is my way of telling you that I care for you as much as you care for me."

Atoli froze. She just…froze on the spot! It took a while for the definition of his lovely speech to reach her mind. 'Haseo likes me. Haseo likes me? Haseo likes…' Realization suddenly hit and Haseo swore he heard a thud somewhere. Unknown to him, that was the sound of Chigusa's head hitting her computer desk when she fainted, but the pain woke her back up soon enough to start stammering. "Haseo! I…I…! I don't know what to… I have to go now! Bye, Haseo! I had a wonderful time" She almost shrieked as she ran towards the warp panel.

"Atoli, wait! I…" The white-clad PC didn't get a chance to finish his sentence because by then, Atoli had already warped out of the area. "Man… What happened? I thought she would have jumped at the chance of saying that she loved me." 'But maybe, she just doesn't like me like that anymore… I mean, I haven't been alone with her until today.' He sighed and mumbled something under his breath about checking his email before warping out of the dungeon himself.

--Real life: Ryou's apartment--

"I can't believe I just spilled my hearts to Atoli like that…and she ran off," Ryou Misaki grumbled to himself after logging off from 'The World'. There were two new messages in his Inbox: one from Shino and one from Atoli. He decided to check Atoli's first, since it may have her response to his "confession"--if you could call it a confession.

Sender: Atoli

Subject: Ambrosia

Dear Haseo,

I'm not sure how I should react to what you said. You're the first person I've ever felt these feelings for. Not even for the Sakaki I knew long ago.

That last part definitely made Ryou smirk.

But, if what you said was true, and you really care about me the way I care about you, then…I want us to be together, Haseo! Until the end of 'The World' itself! I hope you aren't too upset with how I reacted back in the dungeon, but I needed time to think about what to say. (Obviously, you needed time to think about what to say to me, too.) I promise that I will make it up to you, though! 'Till the next time we meet, Atoli.

Sender: Haseo

Subject: Let's be together

You don't need to make it up to me. It's understandable that you weren't sure how to react to what I said. Hell, I wasn't sure how to act myself.

But instead of till the end of 'The World,' let's be together forever. (Cheesy, I know, but I don't want our relationship to end if the game does.)

As soon as Ryou sent the message, he felt a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach. Was he nervous? Did he think that Atoli only wanted to be together in the game because she wasn't what he thought he was? 'Get it together, Ryou! She told you all about herself through her emails to you. You practically know everything about her now!' A tone notified that Atoli's reply came, when he opened it he read its response.

Sender: Atoli

Subject: RE: Let's be together

O-of course! I don't want our relationship to ever end! : ) I'd even like to meet you in real life to see if you act the same way as you do in the game! Not that you act bad or anything.

"Meeting Atoli… Meeting Chigusa in real life? I think I'd like that," Ryou thought as he opened Shino's message.

Sender: Shino

Subject: How did it go?

So, did you get that Pure Ambrosia staff I told you about, Haseo? And did you remember what Ambrosia stands for? Though I can't help but feel a bit jealous of how you now have someone, I'm glad to see that you've found your Key of Twilight in Atoli. I wish you both the best of luck.

--Shino

Fin

Blu Rose: Yes, the story ended lamely and it's short (being only slightly over 1000 words in the end), but I still like it. I was thinking about doing another flower series thing for another .hack G.U. fic. I had an idea for a crack!pairing slightly crossover fic while writing this and was wondering if anyone would be interested in the prospect of…KitexShino? (Dun dun duuuuunnnn!!!) Is that crack or what? Anyway, as short as it was, I hope you liked this story and remember to review!