Kirito ran past the car, noting in his mind to pick up the bike later. Suddenly, as he walked by a hooded figure, he felt an explosion of pain appear on his right arm. He looked to his right to identify the assailant.
As the man stepped out of the shadows with his thick glasses and bloodshot right eye, Kirito flinched in shock, realizing who it was.
"What if I caught a cold?" the man, Sugou, laughed maniacally, "That was a horrible thing you did, Kirito. I can still the pain."
Sugou charged Kirito with his knife. Clutching his wound, Kirito fell to the ground. Sugou's knife hovered above Kirito's face, thickening the air with the intent of a true murderer. As the knife came down, Kirito closed his eyes. He knew it was all over. He cringed as he heard the whoosh and thud of the knife coming down. Surprisingly, there was no pain. He looked to his right and saw the knife planted in the ground, to the left of his face.
"Die, trash! You don't have any real power!" Sugou shrieked, stabbing down at Kirito a second time.
"You haven't changed," Kirito thought, recalling all of the moments where Sugou's evil and cowardice had hurt Asuna, time after time. "You haven't changed at all."
As the knife came down a second time, Kirito promised, both to himself and to Asuna, that he would live, both for himself and for her, so that he could prove that all of the years they spent together, both stuck in the same prison with no escape, would mean something.
He yelled, one of his hands wrapping around Sugou's throat and the other stopping the knife in midair. As Sugou fell to the ground, Kirito pulled the knife's handle back to his own wrist. He got to his feet and whispered "A weak weapon. It's light without any reach. But it's more than enough to kill you."
Kirito bashed Sugou's head into a nearby car, time after time, ready to get his revenge, before he killed him. With each crash, Kirito remembered event after event where Sugou Nobuyuki had tried to kill him and take advantage of Asuna. BANG, tricking her father into letting him marry her, BANG, molesting her during his battle with Kirito, BANG, trying to kill him.
Kirito's rage intensified with each crash, until he realized what he had to do, he adjusted the knife to Sugou's throat, ready to slash and give him what he deserved. All of a sudden, Sugou screamed.
Kirito snapped out of his trance. He realized that Asuna wouldn't have wanted him to become a murderer, especially with all of the deaths he had already witnessed.
He walked at a slow pace towards the hospital entrance, forgetting all but the smiling face that had kept him from giving up all hope, time after time. He started walking over to the hospital, ready to rejoice with the one person that had made his life over the past few years worth living.
He kept limping up to the door, thinking about what would happen in their future. Having fun, enjoying Sundays together, maybe even getting married. Then suddenly, his vision began to blur and he began to lose balance. He reached out for the door, ready to open it and rejoice with his family, his friends, and especially his soul-mate about his escape and rescue of the person who mattered to him the most. As his fingers reached out, ready to touch the cold, steel handle of the door, when suddenly he collapsed.
Asuna opened her eyes. She got up and breathed the cool air of the cold winter night, knowing that she was no longer in an illusional world or an almost inescapable prison, but in cold world of reality. Normally she would have rejoiced, but she had a feeling that something was wrong.
As she ran out of the hospital to looking for the boy that changed her life, she looked down and gasped at the body that lay mere inches away from the door. Tears started pouring out of her eyes as she cried for the nurse. "Kirito!" she whispered "Kirito!", believing that if she ever stopped calling his name, he would disappear forever. She was willing to give up anything, her arms, her legs, even her life, as long as he lived. All she wanted was one thing, to meet her one friend that meant more to her anything. Suddenly, Kirito shifted his eyes upward and looked up at her. As his eyes began to close, with a raspy voice, he whispered '', before he collapsed to the ground, leaving a cold smile to forever remain on his face.
A few years later, Asuna was in college. She was known among the students as a student who was incredibly good-looking but never smiled. She was invited to tens of dozens of parties, but didn't attend a single one. People wondered what she did in her spare time. It couldn't be studying, she had really bad grades. It couldn't be partying, she never left the house and had declined all of their invitations. Still, they told themselves that they knew for sure that it couldn't be playing video games, which ironically was the closest guess they would ever arrive at, because while they were partying, enjoying college, and studying, she was sadly moving around the remade Castle Aincrad, trying to relive all the memories she had with the one person that truly mattered to her: Kirigaya Kazuto.



November 2013

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