A/N: Well... it was only about a month this time since my last update... that a bit better right?... okay yeah my update rate is pretty pathetic so sorry. in other news my story is ranked 7 out of 835 or so stories at the moment based on favorites. Considering my pathetic update rate i find this astounding and gratifying. So keep reviewing and stuff or else ill turn Sachi into a yandere! (okay not really but still plz review!) any way here's the chapter.

(oo) (oo) (oo) ~(-o-)~


As I watched him walk back towards the base a single feeling overwhelmed all others, disgust. Not for him, never for him, he had done what he had to in order to save us. No, the only person I felt disgust for was myself. After all he had just done, what he'd been forced to do in order to save all of us, I had sounded afraid, I had been afraid. Of all the people here, I at the very least shouldn't have acted afraid; after all I too had killed to protect someone.

There was a shout from behind me and I turned just as Asuna, Yukki, and Silica ran up to me. "Sinon do you know where Kirito is?" Asuna asked sounded worried "I don't see him anywhere."

I sighed slightly looking back towards the base before speaking in a quiet tone "He said he needed to rest," I sighed tiredly my guilt still building "I think we should just leave him alone for now."

"But-"Yukki began

"He looked exhausted Yukki, I don't think he really wants people who can't hope to understand what he went through just now trying to comfort him" I said bluntly.

The other 3 flinched at my rather harsh words. I sighed before relenting "I'm sorry I'm just a bit angry at myself for being so useless." I said apologetically.

"You're not useless Sinon." Silica argued "a lot of people would have died if you hadn't been covering them."

"And Kirito wouldn't have had to do all that himself if I hadn't been so weak and naïve." I replied a bit of anger seeping into my tone. "For all my tough attitude and so called bravery I can't even prevent the person I love from having to do something like that."

The word love had the slipped out of my mouth so naturally and thoughtlessly that it would be several days before I realized what I had said, and when I did I would be far too worried about the person said emotions were directed to to even care in the slightest.


-Pov switch- Asuna

I expected her to suddenly blush and run off out of embarrassment the second the words slipped out of her mouth. I was shocked when she didn't even react as if those words she had just spoken were natural and unquestionable. In retrospect it wasn't all that surprising, after all the feelings the six of us have for him aren't as superficial as that. In a time less stressful I had no doubt that Sinon probably would have turned red and ran off in embarrassment, but not now.

I had arrived with Yukki just as the fight has ended, at first glance it would appear that the arrival of the KOB and the other guilds was the cause of this sudden end, but in moments it became clear that was not the case. The pkers looked terrified, not of us, not of the Black Mark in a battle line just barely 2 dozen feet from them, but of a single person.

Standing in front of the massive group of pkers stood a single person dressed all in black, nothing but a single black long sword in his hand. I knew in a heartbeat that it was Kirito, but my breath caught when I saw what lay around him. Blades, mixed in with shield and other weapons lay abandoned around him strewn across the ground with some of them stuck in the ground, hilts sticking upwards. A chill passed up my spine when I realized just what some of those blades looked like, graves.

The members of the other guilds around me began to murmur in awed and somewhat fearful tones as the reality of what Kirito had done began to strike home. As the last of the pkers were sealed up by my fellow guild mates Kirito took off towards the gate and after a moment of hesitation I followed. I was still quite far away when Kirito vanished into the shadow of the guardhouse and into the yard beyond.

I sped up trying to catch up to him, to comfort him in any way I could. But, a nagging voice spoke in my head, what do I know, I wasn't even there for what he had to do. How could I comfort him as I had the last time knowing that I hadn't even been there? The honest fact was that I had no clue but I had to try.

In my determination I vaguely noticed Silica and Yukki fall into step alongside me walking together we stepped through the guardhouse door and into the home of The Black Mark. We had of course then looked for Kirito but finding him nowhere to be found had seen Sinon and resolved to ask her, this of course led us to our current situation.

Sinon's words only served to exaggerate my own fears. Even if she had taken it back the fact was she was right, I couldn't understand. I had never done the things Kirito had had to. Since almost the very beginning Kirito had done everything. From the moment he had joined the group he had taken on a huge amount of responsibility, he had reassured us when we had doubts, and cheered us up when we were sad. He had always been our lifeline, our beacon of light amidst the darkness.

The only person who could relate to him in this at all was Sinon. When our group first gathered she had kept us organized and prevented fear and anger from destroying us all. She had done this for a month before we met Kirito and he subsequently took over that role. She had later admitted she had given up her leadership position so easily was because she frankly couldn't take the pressure. It was only now she realized that Kirito had been doing the same thing with an even larger group of people for the last 15 or so weeks since they'd met him.

As a leader Kirito had to remain strong and unwavering, infallible and unbreakable. He had to set an example for them and all the players trapped in Aincraid. Since the death game had begun they had all had times when they broke down or needed a break for a while, this was true for everyone, everyone except Kirito.

Kirito couldn't break down, because at the time with hopelessness and distrust filling the minds of everyone, they had needed a hero. In order to prevent the players trapped in Aincraid from destroying themselves Kirito had taken that role. He had become the black swordsman, leader of the invincible guild the black mark, and for the last 15 weeks this was who he was. Even inside the base he could never fully relax, else risk the mask he painstakingly created shattering, the mask of invincibility and unwavering confidence, the mask which hid behind it a teenager no older than herself.

It was then that she realized something, after Kirito had killed the pker he had broken down and at first she had simply thought it was the result of being forced to take a life, and part of it was. But in truth, she realized, Kirito had reached the breaking point, for 15 weeks he had held up a mask behind which hid ever rising stress and suppressed emotions.

Then she reach a final blood freezing conclusion; If someone didn't help Kirito soon, he would undoubtedly snap, and when he did she might lose the person she loved forever as he was buried under a landslide called insanity.


-Pov switch (Silica)-

It wasn't till Sinon spoke that I realized the full implications of what Kirito had been force to do. As she spoke I realized with a spike of self-disgust what I had been about to do. I may have acted like I was going to comfort Kirito but really subconsciously I had wanted him to comfort me instead. Without really thinking about his feelings I had wanted him to smile, pat my head and encouraged me.

While I was still shaken from my near death experience I realized Kirito was probably in no shape to be comforting anyone. With steadily increasing shame I realized that despite that he probably would have pushed his emotions aside and helped me ignoring what was best for him. I had subconsciously known this, known that my presence would only hurt him further, and I hadn't cared.

Since she had enter this death game she had though she had grown up, she thought she had matured, but really, had she? No, she hadn't, she was still nothing but a selfish 12 going on 13 year old who thought of herself first, and she hated it.

She had wanted a charming prince to sweep her off her feet and with all the naivety of the child she still was had completely ignored the fact that there were two sides to every relationship. She realized at this point that she probably didn't deserve to be with Kirito, and again saw her own selfishness in that she didn't care.

Despite knowing he deserved better she knew she wouldn't accept that and that she would keep trying and trying until he noticed her, even if it took years. It was this revelation that gave her the motivation to improve herself, to become someone who thought of others first, so that just maybe, someday, she would truly deserve to stand by his side as someone who was more than a friend.

-Pov switch (Yukki)-

As Sinon finished speaking she had to exercise every drop of willpower to ignore what she had said and rush off to find Kirito. When he had first killed that pker back in clearing in order to save her life she had heard his voice. It was a voice filled with self-disgust and fear, the voice of someone who feared that the people around them found them terrifying and inhuman. And it had torn her up inside, to see this strong unwavering person seem so fragile and broken.

It was in this moment that she realized she had never truly treated him as who he was. Ever since the first time they had met years in that tournament she had thought of him almost obsessively. She had always been viewed as an unsurpassed genius and prodigy; everything had come easily to her. Despite this it didn't take long for her what many viewed as a gift to become a curse in her eyes.

She was always the smartest in her age group, better at anything and everything, but that did little except isolated her. She was too mature to ever really bond with others her age yet at the same time considered too much of a child to connect with older children and teenagers. When she had first met him he was standing with a small crowd of people laughing and joking made up of people who had come to wish him luck.

It was then she realized that he was like her yet also different. Even with his genius and unmatched talent he had managed to connect with people, to not be caught by this curse of loneliness that held her in its clutches.

Since that day she had idolized him seeking to emulate him and escape from the never ending solitude that was her life. At first little to nothing changed she had gained a few friends but even then she still felt like the third wheel most of the time. It wasn't until about a week into this game that she had met someone who would become her first real friend. Soon others joined her growing and growing until there were twelve of them.

And then he had returned into her life, and in that moment she had believed that maybe fate wasn't something to be easily dismissed. Despite idolizing him she had known little about him and had been elated to find him to be just as he had appeared to be. He was kind, caring, compassionate, everything she wanted to be and more.

But until this very second in time she hadn't given thought to just how selfless he truly was, giving up his own happiness to help the people around him. In her mind she proclaimed and believed that she loved him and she did, but her limited social skills failed her yet again. She took how he acted at face value never bothering to look deeper and see what was happening as a result of the responsibility and burdens he carried with him.

In this moment she vowed to help him get past this, to help him and work towards his happiness. Even if he never saw her how she saw him she would work towards for his sake just as he did for so many others yet seemed to refuse to do for himself.

This was the least she could do; after all if she hadn't met him so long ago she would still be alone. To someone like her even being in a death game meant little to the soul crushing and oppressing loneliness she had felt for most of her life.

'I'm sorry Kirito' she thought 'I'm sorry for being so blind, but I'll help you now, if it's the last thing I do.'


Okay that's the thoughts and And stuff from 4 of the currently 6 main heroins so well get the remaining 2 done next chapter which i will try (keyword try) to get out in less than a month but i warn you i have the attention span of a rabid squirrel on crack so it may or may not come to be. bye for now hope you enjoyed the chapter.