Perfection

~by Unyielding Wish~

I'd always admire him from a distance. I never really got near.

He had soft auburn hair, thick and long, but always soft and easy to comb though. A pleasant smile, a confident stride. He'd been one of the typical girl-magnet boys I'd known—cool, easy to get along with, and always hearing problems. Sometimes it seemed that he knew what was happening before we even told him. Those dark, soul-stirring chestnut eyes were sometimes light and friendly, and other times deep and drilled a hole right through oneself. There was no question. Pretty much every girl in the school I used to attend was smitten with him.

I believe his name was Kaede.

I'm really not sure. As I said, I never got close. I would just watch quietly as he talked with his girlfriends, or his buddies, or whoever else that wanted to talk.

All I knew was that I was one of the girls captivated in a trance by him.

~'~'~

I'm not sure how it started. I was around fifteen or sixteen at the time, moving in to a new neighborhood. My parents had gotten a different job, and they were pretty open people; they wanted to try it out. So I ended up getting uprooted along with them.

"Class, this is Asuna. Please be kind to her."

When I finally got the nerve to look up, the first thing I saw was the boy with the brick-red hair. He was wearing a collared white shirt under a woolen black jacket that used buttons. His eyes lit up when they saw me.

"Teacher, may she sit here?"

"She may."

After that, I became subject to many bullies and teasings…but I somehow pulled through. I never really caught his name, though; I only heard it spoken once when one of his friends were talking casually to him about me like there was no big deal.

"Kaede, do you honestly love a slut like her?"

"She's not a slut. But I agree she's a bit high with herself…"

"I know, right? And she talks like she's the Queen of everyone."

"Agreed."

"So, I knew it."

"You knew what?"

"You're not really in love with her. I guess you're in love with…"

Why that has not faded from my memory, I don't know. But it hurts. It hurts with a sharp pang, like a knife that's being driven slowly through my heart, ripping one valve at a time. The blood never really ceased to flow, but it has already been burnt into my mind.

~'~'~

I hold only the most flawless.

Well, yes. I seek perfection. Grades, jewelry, a person…anything. Anything that's perfect enough to get into my grip, I want it. I want it with a burning passion (more for people than anything else) that eats away at my heart. I don't know why. It is, while I myself want no faults, one of my own greatest flaws. Something that I've never been proud of ever since I discovered it when it came into being.

They say that love can blind. That's true, in fact.

I can prove it with my own time with Kaede.

"So Asuna…do you know how to do this problem?"

"Y–yeah…"

"So Asuna…can I borrow your history notes?"

"Certainly…"

"Asuna, can I copy your essay and make it fit to my words?"

"I'm not sure, but…okay…"

There was something that wasn't like that about him, though.

That was his love and devotion to philosophy and life.

"Kaede, I have a question."

"Shoot."

"You…said yesterday that you wouldn't trade your life for anything. Why is that?"

"Oh, I'm sorry." His eyes were compassionate as he gazed at me. "You must be so sick and tired of all of the sarcasm your classmates dump on you…" He heaved a sigh, and looked off into the distance. "Well, I believe…That Life has no endings. It's just a continuing cycle of belief and trust. So, do you get it now, Asuna?"

"No…I don't believe in any religion."

"That has nothing to do with what I'm trying to tell you. After all, what's the use of life if you can't enjoy it to its full extent?"

~'~'~

All of which, I believe, lead to my fascination of a person while I was in college.

Kazuto. Kirigaya Kazuto.

The way I say "Kirigaya" makes it seem like a last name, doesn't it? It indeed sounds like one. I don't know why I keep pondering that fact when I talk to him, but it has become a habit. But it's a first name.

He prefers to be called Kirito, though.

~'~'~

I met him last summer when we were both applying for a course of philosophy. I guess Kaede's words never really faded inside me. Kaede was at that time still considered perfect, in my mind, though he had shown me outright and proved himself not so much of a chivalrous person as I had hoped.

Nonetheless, I decided to study philosophy just for the sake of it.

People naturally have doubts. It's just a normal cycle of life. So when I was signing my name on the list, a lot of questions were channeling in my mind right then. I was denying a chance to study botany, one of my favorite subjects ever since I entered middle school. I was, in fact, chasing after a wisp of a dream that might not even exist…or would it?

"Hey, you're applying for this course too?"

"Yeah…"

"Nice to meet you. I'm Kirito."

"Hi, Kirito. I'm Asuna."

I don't know when I first fell for him right then.

Perhaps it was that eager gleam in his eyes, those beautiful gray eyes.

~'~'~

Gray is generally considered a boring color. It is, in fact, one of the mildest ever. Not when I look at Kirito.

The grayness his eyes hold spark and flare with a strong flame. It only seems gray, in fact. It might have just been a trick of the shine, but those eyes…they contain life. Something that could never be taken away, not even in the most dire situations, not even death, at some times. That's why…even though they are gray, and most people would say it is, in a way it isn't. Sometimes I would see smoky blue. Sometimes I would see a rare silver. Sometimes light would crack and bend and reflect dozens of golds and azures and flamingo pinks. But mostly, I just see a dazzling array of colors, ready to burst in the simple gray cage that masks them.

Maybe it's that fierceness of him that attracted me like a magnet. How it reminds me so painfully of Kaede. How flames of hope leap and dance within the depths of his heart, only expressed by his eyes.

~'~'~

I sit at a table, tapping my pencil on the varnished wood. Before me lies a huge dictionary, a piece of blank binder paper, and a lamp. It's boring and tedious work. I'm searching up various philosophical information stuffs for me to write an essay, which is due next week because of my summer program.

Kirito had left for summer to stay at his old home, "old home" meaning his birth town.

It's actually a really dull life I lead without him around. I frown at the paper, not knowing what exactly to write.

Suddenly my eyes catch on the word ontology, and then it all comes pouring out to me.

The contents.

What I should write.

What I should name my essay.

I smile and pick up my pencil again, scribbling things down onto paper.

That bastard had better come back quick, or else I'm going to give him a really good lecture on the very subject of philosophy he hates the most—ontology.


Author's Notes/Disclaimers:

~Once again, I don't own SAO.

~"Ontology" is the study of being. I'm not that familiar with it, but it sounds interesting; I simply Googled "different types of philosophy", and ontology is what caught my eye.

~This happens about the same time as my last fic, Faithless Regrets. Here, I tried to make it have a more positive ending. I'm sure this is very badly put together, but I did this over a train of days, and sometimes I forget what I write after some time has passed. Just something I think you should know—look at the status if you don't know whether this will be continued or not. This is a oneshot, so I will not be continuing this in chapters. I might do sequels, though there are no guarantees. "Parallel fic" does not mean the same as "sequel fic", or so in my eyes.

All that stuff out of the way, I hoped you liked it. Read and review!

~Unyielding Wish