This new fanfiction started out as two different ones and somehow combined into one…I like it better this way. I had also written them both quite a while ago but because I've gotten myself back into .hack/G.U. that means HaseoxAtoli canon love baby!
"That's 1079 yen please." Ryou told the customer brightly as he handed off the bag of groceries. The old woman smiled broadly as she slid her phone over the receiver. With the transaction completed she walked away as Ryou turned his attention to the next shopper.
"Oh, hey it's Mi-sa-kiiiii!" A boy from Ryou's private school said loudly as he placed his and his friend's items on the conveyer-belt.
"Yo." This time Ryou's attitude changed to the one he was once so known for, slightly brooding and rude, his tone of voice was sharp.
"Oi, let me ask you something." One boy said as he leaned his back against the counter.
"What?" Ryou asked as he cocked one eyebrow. He wasn't exactly friends with these guys so as to why they wanted to strike up a conversation puzzled him.
"What do you think of online relationships?" He said it so casually too as Ryou's eyes flashed upwards, his cheeks tinted with pink. They couldn't possible know, could they?
"What about them?" He said it slowly, like it didn't seem the right thing to say.
"Well my buddy Itou met this girl while playin' 'The World' yeah?" He paused as he stroked his chin, thinking of the next words to say, "And he seriously fell for her, but when they meet offline she was the ugliest thing the poor guy ever saw…"
Ryou stared at him blankly for a moment, letting the thoughts register.
"So what? He dumped her cause she wasn't as pretty as he let himself believe…he's an ass…end of story." The words came out strong but Ryou could feel the slight tremble of doubt beneath them.
"Well I guess, but ain't relationships supposed to be made of both physical and emotional feelings?" The other boy said quietly, who had rather silent up until now.
"Uh…I guess but still…" Ryou said back instead, the doubt clearer now then before. The louder boy looked between, slightly perplexed.
"Oi, Misaki do you have an online girlfriend?" He asked, picking up on Ryou's sudden awkwardness. Ryou felt his shoulders tense and his sharp raspberry eyes flashed up.
"Yeah, what of it?" He asked briskly, slamming the items into a bag. "Now move along you're holding up the customers." Ryou pointed to the line of people behind the two boys and they flinched noticeably at his tone. The one, louder boy took out of his phone, paid and left. Finding it better not to push Misaki Ryou over the edge…he honestly had no idea what a stupid thing that would have been.
Chigusa sat at her desk in a daze. Her long, black hair felt frizzy and ugly beneath her hands but she refused to move until Haseo came on. He had asked her to wait for him at the Chaos Gate in Mac Anu and that is what she did…and though it had only been a few minutes at most she felt pained that he wasn't here…she had become so dependent on him recently, despite her immense friends within the world…none were as important to her as Haseo.
And so Chigusa, hiding behind Atoli, sat next to the spinning portal. She looked down at her tiny gold shoes and still tried to ignore her unkempt hair that kept falling into her face. Hopefully he wouldn't be too long now, closing her eyes she drifted off as she continued to wait.
"Atoli!" His strong, deep voice called out to her. She looked up at him and met his eyes.
"Oh! Hey there Haseo-san!" She greeted cheerfully, he gave her a hand up and she gladly took it. Standing up she grinned brightly and he laughed.
"Idiot, if I hadn't come when I did you would have fallen asleep." He laughed again and Atoli smiled even brighter, taking in the sunshine that was Haseo's laugher. His chuckle slowed as he looked her over. "So are we gunna go or what?" He asked her as he motioned toward the spinning chaos gate. With a firm nod she grabbed his hand and made their way to Breg Epona for a suitable field.
The field they chose was one with a nighttime setting, and the beast temple had a stunning view of the moon on the water.
Maybe that was what had Atoli so motivated to finish the level.
"Haha! That's it we cleared the area Haseo-san!" Atoli called back to the boy excitedly. She handed over the treasure to him and practically danced her way up the stairs of the beast temple to the chaos gate.
Haseo merely shook his head and smiled as he followed the girl.
"Atoli, you sure seem happy. I mean we've done this so many times…why do you feel so accomplished now?" He asked, as he finally reached the outside. The moon shone down over the water brightly and illuminated both Atoli and himself. She looked quite lovely, glowing in the moonlight, but Haseo would probably never tell her that.
"I dunno!" She told him, her tone filled with laughter. "I had such a lousy day today, so this little bit of goodness as really turned it around!" She smiled and twirled her way towards him, leaning up closer to his face.
"You…you had a bad day?" He asked, leaning back away from her closeness, practically fearing it.
She nodded, regained her posture and looked away. "Yeah, a really bad one..." She sighed but her warm smile still remained. "I've been sick so…"
"Sick?" Haseo's eyes widened, almost as if the thought of something being wrong with Atoli, other then her forced cheerfulness and/or normally undying sunny deposition, could be wrong with her.
"Yeah, sick." She sadly smiled. "I finally felt well enough to go to school and was unsurprised to notice no one even cared I was gone." She shook her head, "That and the cough syrup was really bitter!" Atoli laughed as brightly as she could cope and turned back towards the gate.
"Let's go on another-" But before she had a chance to finish the sentence, no, finish the thought…
Haseo had found the need to embrace her as tightly as he could manage.
"You're so stupid I can barely stand it." Haseo told her in a harsh whisper, his teeth clenched.
"I know that." She told him softly. The action, the words, they all seemed odd, and yet perfectly normal at the same time. Haseo cared for her, Atoli knew this but she lacked confidence to move forward, to accept his feelings and move forward.
She wondered why he felt for her the way he did. What was that she had said to him that had opened his heart to her?
How much pain had she put him in for not accepting his feelings, the very same feeling that she had for him? Her arms tightened around his body as her thoughts fell deeper into a hole of pity and shame. Haseo was too good, too much of a hero to be hurt by a stupid fool like her…
There was no way…she could hurt him…
There was no way for her to realize how wrong she really was.
"And your parents?" He asked her, his voice tense and rough like he wanted to say more but felt he couldn't or rather shouldn't.
Atoli tired to pull out of his grasp but he refused to budge.
"They don't care. It's better, they say, if I'm not seen." She pulled herself away that time. Haseo seemed shocked, out of character for him. It was rare for her to be this strong, but she could do it. She wasn't always weak.
"Then why the hell do you stay there?" He asked, turning away from her and facing the moon. Atoli did the same as she thought hard about her answer…
Which was the right one?
"I need to finish high school would be my number one reason, and then there's the fact I have no where else to go. No one likes me so no one will take me in." She smiled and Haseo quickly turned to her as if he had something to say. But that look vanished as quickly as it came.
"Damn it Atoli, you know how irritating you are?" Haseo asked of her, his hands came up to cover his face as if he was going deep in thought.
"I know I bother you with my offline life. I'm sorry it bores you." Atoli laughed as if her situation was a joke.
"That's not it!" Haseo shouted, grabbing her wrist. She looked down at his, her eyes beginning to glaze over with tears.
"Do you know…how much I love the rain?" She asked softly, trying to change to subject, wanting him not to feel pity for her anymore.
"No…" Haseo replied, letting go.
"I was so sick all weekend, coughing and weak you know? I hated that the weather has been so beautiful, that I couldn't go out into it so I've just been asking, praying for God to let me have rain, just a little bit." She smiled. "And finally today the rain fell and I smiled, I just couldn't stop smiling…everything suddenly made me so happy."
Haseo nodded and wondered what she meant by all this.
"You're like my rain, you know?" Atoli told him quietly. "I used to pray I'd find someone like you and when I finally did I just couldn't stop smiling. I was so annoyingly happy but I couldn't help it." She chuckled to herself, closing her eyes in content.
Haseo said nothing to her confession, merely nodded in thanks and looked away with blush stained cheeks. Ryou, who played behind Haseo, placed the controller down and tightened his hands into fists, recalling the boys who he had seen earlier at work…they weren't the reason for why he was going to ask her this important question…
Truly he felt he was ready for it…
"I want…" He said it slowly but before he could finish Atoli moved in front of him and held on tightly to both of his hands, her words broke through first.
"I want to run away…" It was so sudden, how fast the words poured out. Haseo's eyes widened as he looked down at her but her eyes did not meet his. Wasn't she happy only moments ago?
"From me?" He asked, unsure…he didn't understand what she meant, where this had come from.
"No…to you…" She looked down at her tiny gold shoes as her thoughts ran wild for a moment, "You want to meet offline…Haseo-san?" She looked up at him and her smile was soft and gentle.
"Uh…yeah, I do…" That was all he could think of to say. Her asking him was strange…so unlike her but it was appealing in some way. "Yeah." He repeated again and nodded, as if he needed some type of reassuring.
"Good, I'm glad." She told him cheerfully. "Let's make the date."