I do not own Sword art online or any of its Characters.
Loneliness…. The room was dark and the only sound was of the rain from the storm outside as it drummed against the window. The only light was from the faint glow of the street lighting that came through the crack in the curtains. But the overriding feeling in this room was one of loneliness.
Kazuto missed The warmth that he had become accustomed to over the last week as he Tried to sleep but this feeling would not give causing him to toss and turn as he fought for some sort of sleep.
She has only been gone a few hours, He thought. And yet it feels to long. I have never felt like I needed someone as much as I do now.
Shino had come home with him and helped with a few things, even drinking tea and chatting with Sugu until the time came when she would have to go home. She had insisted on the train but he decided he would not allow that and paid the 1000 yen for a taxi.
Slowly he turned his head to face his bedside table his eyes locking on a Photograph that was barely visible in the gloomy light the Photo was of Asuna and him After he had taken her swimming a few months back and was one of his few cherished pictures that he allowed in his room it also served as a screen saver on one of his computer monitors.
What do you think of all this I wonder? Kazuto questioned himself. You have probably met Sachi by now… I hope you were happy too.
His gaze moved to another picture on his table this time it was of her the girl he was currently pinning for. "Shino-chi." He mumbled, as he burned the image into his memory. "I will keep you safe." He reaffirmed his promise then closed his eyes.
That was until his Phone lit up the room.
Across the City a girl laid in her bed, awake pondering about the last week. She too was missing the warmth that would normally be laid next to her. Up in her now dark apartment she listened to the storm outside as the wind and rain whistled and rattled at the window.
It was early in the morning, as she looked at the time on her phone for the umpteenth time. Shino was feeling a restlessness taking over her, denying her of any sleep. She looked at the picture of a boy with dark hair and onyx eyes. She wanted to hum the melody that he had a few nights ago, in some sort of attempt at self-comforted.
Should I send him a text message? Just to say good night. Shino asked herself as she tried to decide what to do. Or would that look a bit needy? Looking back at the picture she found that her finger had started to stroke the cheek of the boy in the picture.
He was hers of that she was sure, in fact there was no doubt in her mind of that. He was a man of his word after all, if a bit mischievous, but defiantly of his word.
Giving in to the urge, Shino entered the password and unlocked the phone. Scrolled through the options to the SMS menu then taped in what she wanted to say. But what do I want to say? She thought, as she stared at the key pad for inspiration.
Earlier that day Shino had gone with Kazuto to his home. She helped him clear and box some things that he had that she knew was from her things like a heart-shaped box some photos gloves and a scarf.
The box was then carefully placed on his cupboards top shelf. The pained look on his face was something she did not like to see.
Shino knew that Kazuto takes any loss hard. He had told her of all the loss he had suffered before, while he was trapped in the death game. How did he cope he told me you never get over it… it was not something she could compare to. Stepping back she could visibly see his heat was braking and as he closed the door, she reached her arms around him holding him tight.
Shino was expecting more of what she had witnessed seven days ago. But this time only a single lone tear escaped his eye and he drew in a deep breath. "I can never repay you enough Shino-chi."
"You don't have to, it's what friends do for each other is it not." Came her shaky statement, it was not like she was one to talk where anything like friendship was concerned. This was the first time in so long that she had people that she could truly call friend.
Looking at the lit screen and key pad she decided to send what she had said that previous night.
Kazuto Good night Sleep well and dream of me.
Short simple and effective. She thought to herself, as she pressed the send icon and closed down the phone.
No sooner had she placed her phone down the screen came to life the phone chimed and the vibration buzzed off the wooden surface of the table.
Snatching up the phone Shino looked at the message.
The hardest part is when I dream of you only to
Wake and find you are not there.
Good night Shino sweet dreams. X
Staring at the screen she must have read the message four or five times, as she read it again out loud to herself. Her heart fluttering at his comment and sweet words until her senses took back over. Damn him and his silver tongue. She thought as she closed her eyes for sleep to finally find her.
Walking to School the next morning Kazuto felt like the day would just drag. It was the first day back and he knew it would be full of words of regret from many of the other students.
As he walked he felt the presence of someone that had caught up to him and in a very familiar high tone a voice called out to him.
"Hello Kazuto-kun how are you today." The voice belonged to a girl he knew from SAO as Silica
"Hello Keiko I'm good thanks for asking what about yourself." Kazuto replied cheerfully. At least her first words were not sorry so that's a start. He thought.
"You mind if I walk with you the rest of the way?" She wanted to hold his hand as they walked and comfort him but she knew that it would not be appreciated. It was one of her reasons for being out here at this time of the just to see him.
"I thought you lived in the dorms? What you doing here?" Curiosity had gotten the best of him as far as he Knew Silica lived in the boarding part of the school, as her family lived right on the out skirts of Tokyo.
"Getting some Pens and books, the School shop only opens on a Monday afternoon. However the small one down that street opens at eight am." Keiko indicated to the street she had come from. "The stupid Sensei said I needed a new one, after drawing a picture of Pina on it."
He had probably told her this many times before and he would again. Kazuto placed a hand on her head and took a deep breath. "You should be more respectful to your elders Keiko. It will get you into less trouble in the long run."
Huffing and squinting at the black-haired boy Keiko replied sarcastically. "Yes Sempai. Although you are one to talk have you ever used an honorific?"
"I have been known to now and then." Kazuto beamed back knowing she was right.
The pair continued their walk to the school grounds; Kazuto was kind of relieved that Keiko had not asked about the obvious events of his recent life, that was until she did ask something awkward.
"Kazuto where have you been lately? Every time I tried calling you at home Sugu said you were not there."
Not thinking too much into the question he gave an honest answer. "Mostly just hanging out with Shino-san… why do you ask?"
"No reason just missed you a little bit that's all."
"I've only been off for a few weeks and you've seen me in ALO a few times."
Keiko was trying to be discreet about how he was, without actually asking outright, as she thought that would be rude of her. She was there when he broke down and was right behind Shino to comfort him. The sight of someone she admired as much as she did him was truly heart breaking and disturbin,g she had never witnessed anything like it. Kazuto was always strong and would face most things unflinchingly. It was a sight she wished never to see of him again but at the same time it made him more human.
The reason she did not ask was because not only would it be rude, but she already knew that he was for all intensive purposes' heart broken.
Arriving at the gates of the school Kazuto bid his farewells to Keiko, as the broke off to their respective homerooms. Taking the long lonely walk knowing what was to come. He passed Asuna's class, as he looked in he noted the empty desk where she once sat.
He stopped for a second just to stared at the empty chair, not knowing why he came this way. As it was not the most direct route to his class. Force of habit I suppose I have walked this way for a year now. He quietly mused.
Sitting at her desk, Rika noticed Kauzto at the door, looking at her friend's empty seat. What's he doing here? Rika asked herself, as she tried to figure out what he was up to. So to distract him from his meditations she waved at him he looked up at her and just gave a smile.
Her view was suddenly blocked by another student and by the time she could see again he was gone she went to go after him but just as she stood up the homeroom teacher came into the class.
The rest of the Day was a bit of a blur, with friends asking him if he was ok and how sorry they were. If only they knew that a few hours before I betrayed her. Wonder what they would say the? Kazuto questioned himself, not feeling particularly worthy of any pity.
As Kazuto sat quietly in his class not paying attention to the lesson his mind wondered. But life moves on… Eventually she will become only a memory one to be treasured, cherished and never forgotten another grave that I will visit and mourn over...
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go but rather learning to start over.
And I must start over as I have a promise to keep.
School for Shino was a necessary evil, that needed to be done at the request of her grandparents; she still would have preferred going to a vocational school and learn a trade. But they had seen to it that she would do no such thing, under penalty of becoming disowned. So like most girls her age Shino attended high school.
Things had however calmed down considerably thanks to the day that Kazuto had turned up on his bike looking for her, a few days after the whole incedent with death gun and her first real friend Kyouji.
Shino however still felt that she still had some feelings for Kyouji and hope that one day, he would allow her to see him again. Even if his betrayal cut her the deepest.
The continuing and very public trial allowed her a few glimpses of him but any time she tried to visit he would not come to see her, this also did not help her get over it, she just wanted to know why.
But today is actually a good day. Shino thought, as she sat eating her lunch with her new friend a transfer student named Asami Nakaoka.
Asami is a kind-hearted person. A little taller than Shino, with light mousey brown hair and grey blue eyes that has a bit of a strange sparkel. She did not judge Shino on her past after Shino told her all about it. All she said was. "That it is not what someone does in the past, but what they do now that counts."
There was just one thing that irked Shino about her and that was she was a bit of a dits. She was one of those girls that had extreme intelligence, yet absolutely no common sense and this led to a few moments of pinching the bridge of your nose wondering why? As she would normally find the hardest way, to go about a simple task.
"So Shino-chan what about this biker boy I heard you are into?" Came the sudden and unexpected question.
looking up from her bento Shino kept the same straight face and monotone voice she always did when asked about Kazuto. "Nothing... he is just a very close friend."
"That's not what I see."
A bit perplexed at the statement Shino kept her cool. "What do you mean?"
"I saw you the day before last in Asakusa district." Asami teased with a big grin that sent out signals of got you.
Shit…was all that crossed Shino's mind as she fought to think of an answer the last thing she needed was a rumour that she is seeing a strange boy or that he has stayed at her home. "He is a close friend and we went out for the day."
Taking a drink Asami looked Shino in the eye and giggled. "Whilst holding hands and playing like a couple of lovers." she than changed her tone to one of sarcasm. "Sure! you're just good friends."
With a reddening face Shino stuttered a little. "I-I-It's not like that."
Seeing that maybe she had taken her teasing a little far Asami reached a hand out to Shino placing her hand on top of her friends. "Shino-chan I'm sorry I went a bit far."
"Yes you did." She huffed in response. "He is just a close friend,"
"Shino?" Asami asked. "So long as he is good to you?"
"What is that supposed to mean?"
Asami placed her other hand out. "It's ok to fall in love you know."
Understanding the hidden meaning now Shino just nodded at first as she was a little lost for words. Asami just did not want her to get hurt. "Fine I'll tell you. That it is possible we are just taking it slowly." As long as he need really, She added to herself.
"Good because I have never seen you happier, than when you have been around him."
"Yes you smiled so much and looked so content around him... I don't think I have seen you like that before." Taking her hands away Asami then smiled cheekily "Now Tell me all about him…"
The rest of the week had passed by the same as any school week into weeks had apart from the evenings when Shino would call Kazuto or he would call her. Or at times meet up online and level up her Cait Sith avatar together.
Whenever they were together time seamed to pass by so quickly and that they would easily lose track of time leading to a few sleepless nights and tired days.
It was Friday and Shino was looking forward to the weekend no more cold lonely bed at night no more anticipation at a simple text message he had promised earlier in the week to come see her. and now as she looked at the clock listing to the last of the homework assignments she counted down the seconds.
The bell rang signalling the end of the week and Shino was walking out of the school with Asami. Waking and giggling at some of the jokes they told each other she walked out of the school gates. only to feel Asami elbow her in the side.
"Hay! What's that for."
With a big grin her hand pointing out something Asami spoke. "Looks like I'm going home alone."
Following her friends indication she set her eyes on a Black and red bike with a boy with black hair and Onyx eyes lent against it holding two helmets, looking into the crowd of students.
She wanted to shout his name in joy and glee as her heart and mind filled with anticipation for the weekend but that was not her she did not just get over excited and girly she has a reputation to hold. Taking a deep breath she looked back at Asami and was about to say something until she interrupted.
"This girl says go to him and have your fun. If he makes you smile the way I have seen, then go to him and be happy."
Shino was again lost for words so she just hugged Asami "Thank you." Then turned and walk off.
You are most welcome Shino-chan. Asami thought, as she watched her friend and her interactions with the boy. He handed the helmet to Shino and gently touched her shoulder before saying something to her that made her beam a genuine smile a rarity for Shino I don't get to see that often.
Clutching her hand to her chest as she watched as the two rode off Asami spoke in a low voice. "Looks like you found your love Shino-chan now I just need to find mine."
It was at that moment that a boy bumped in to her as he walked out of the school and apologised for not watching where he was going.
Looking the boy up and down she seen some sort of spark in his eyes behind his glasses that endeared her towards him so she thought she would ask him his name at least. Holding out her hand she smiled politely. "Hi I'm Asami Nakaoka."
The boy looked at her surprised that she would even talk to him. With some trepidation he took her offered hand and spoke his name. "Hirano Kohta."
Shino waked over to Kazuto trying with all her might not to lose her cool. Reaching she took the offered Helmet. It was then that she felt his hand on her shoulder and his mouth near her ear.
"Shino-Chan I missed you… now where would you like to go."
Not believing her ears she smiled at Kazuto there was only one place she wanted to go with him at the moment the one place she felt complete with him. "I want to go Home."
Hopping onto the back of the bike she fixed her skirt and cuddled up behind him as she always did. The bike roared into life and pulled away to take her Home.
Please Follow and review.
Well I was hit by a bit of writers block. until my brother Challenged me to do write in a character from another anime, so I hit him with two from his favourite one. I would like to know how you think I done with that. also Asami is staying and will be a bit of an OC friend for Shino as I can find no mention of names of some of her friends from school that are hinted at at the start of Alicization