Distance. Love. Online.: Chapter 16

The four of us then went to the supermarket.

We splitted into 2 pairs, me and Asami are in charge of the meat and eggs, Takeya and Usagi are in charge of the veggies and sauces.

Asami: “What meat should we get?”

Yuji: “I don’t know, beef?”

Asami: “Yeah, he did say we are making sukiyaki…”

Yuji: “Beef it is then.”

While we are looking at the beef at the frozen section…

Asami: “How was your life like in Sword Art Online?”

Yuji: “I only remember the first half… the 2nd half is… fuzzy to me, like a dream. Apparently prolonged FullDiving caused some amnesia on me.”

Asami: “I see…”

“No wonder you didn’t recognize me…”

Yuji: “Hmm?”

Asami: “Nothing, so how was your life like, in-game?”

Yuji: “It was all great, like a dream game, until you realized that you cannot logout, then everything goes upside down. I had a girlfriend that I played with in-game, until she died… in my arms, because of Laughing Coffin… From there, I can’t remember what’s next.”

Asami: “I see…”

Yuji: “What about yours?”

Asami: “Nothing much, just endless fighting until Asuna found me and made me join Knights of the Blood.”

Yuji: “I see, weirdly I remember joining the guild…”

Asami: “I see…”

Yuji: “Were you more cheerful person before SAO?”

Asami: “Yeah, I guess SAO changed me inside out…”

Yuji: “For me, I guess I went back to the dark self that I was before I met her…”

Asami: “Hmm, same boat pretty much.”

I took the meat and moved on to get the eggs.

Asami: “Is your friend… interested in Usagi?”

Yuji: “Maybe… Why did you ask?”

Asami: “He’s going to get hurt…”

Yuji: “Eh?”

Asami: “Usagi’s character right now isn’t her real self.”

Yuji: “What do you mean?”

Asami: “I would say SAO changed her completely… Her real self now is… just… dark. Basically the Usagi you are looking at right now is a facade. Only I know how she behaves now.”

Yuji: “We’ll see, Takeya is an optimistic guy, he can make anything happen.”

Asami didn’t say anything.

We then meet up at the cashier.

Yuji: “Did you two had a great time?”

Usagi: “Not really, this guy keeps arguing with me about the sauces we should buy…” and she pouts.

Takeya: “And she argued that we shouldn’t buy any veggies.”

Yuji: “Okay, yeah we need veggies, since we bought a lot of meat. But keep fighting and people will think you two are a married couple. Me and Asami will be sitting down eating popcorn.”

Takeya: “No way I will even date her! I don’t even know why I even like her.”

Yuji: “Eh?”

And the four of us gave an awkward silence.

Usagi: “Wait… you… like me?”

Takeya: “NO! I didn’t mean it to be that way.”

Yuji: “Okay, that aside… Takeya, you are paying right?”

Takeya then pulls out his credit card and paid. We exited the supermarket with the heavy groceries.

While we are walking back quietly, I pulled back Asami to give Usagi and Takeya some room.

Asami: “That pout… it’s been ages…”

Yuji: “Hmm?”

Asami: “I never seen her pout in a long time, that’s her real personality… Your friend is actually doing something.”

Yuji: “I told you. He’s a great guy.”

Looking at Usagi trying to tease Takeya, made me smile.

Asami: “Hmm, your smile, looks great.”

Yuji: “Ah…”

Asami: “You should smile more…”

Yuji: “I don’t know…”

Asami: “Just smile…”

We reached Takeya’s house and we immediately start to prepare the sukiyaki. We made Usagi and Takeya stay in the kitchen. Asami and I are just setting up the table.

Yuji: “I wonder how they are getting along…”

Asami: “I can hear some laughter, I guess they are getting better again.”

Yuji: “That’s good.”

Asami: “Why did you travel all the way here?”

Yuji: “To visit someone…”

Asami: “I guess your late girlfriend…”

I nodded.

Asami: “I want to ask… you out tomorrow again… Just you and me.”

Yuji: “Hmm?”

Asami: “Not on a date, I just want to hang out.”

Yuji: “I know… But sure, since I have nothing to do anyways.”

Asami: “Okay, it’s set then.”

We then started eating.

Yuji: “This is great.”

Takeya: “I didn’t really do much, but slicing the meat, chopping the veggies. Usagi did the broth.”

Usagi winked: “It’s my family’s secret recipe.”

Asami: “She’s great at cooking.”

Yuji: “Sounds like a great housewife candidate.”

Usagi blushed.

Takeya: “Can you stop dropping hints?”

Yuji: “Okay okay.” and I shrugged.

Usagi: “He rejected me…”

Yuji: “Eh?” and Takeya blushes.

Usagi: “He said he’s not sure about his feelings…”

Takeya: “Everything takes time!”

We had a great night together, played a few 4-player games.

Takeya then cleaned up the house after the gathering and I walked the girls back home. After sending Asami home, I walked with Usagi to her home under the snowy night.

Usagi spoke with a totally different voice. She sounded deep and serious.

Usagi: “About Takeya…”

Yuji: “Hmm?”

Usagi: “I… I like him…”

Yuji: “Oh.”

Usagi: “He’s like the guy with a flashlight, guiding me out of the tunnel…”

Yuji: “Did you actually asked him out in the kitchen just now?”

Usagi: “I did…”

Yuji: “I guess he was still embarrassed from his slip of his words at the supermarket…”

Usagi: “I want to ask you for help…”

Yuji: “Hmm?”

Usagi: “Can you help me talk him out?”

Yuji: “Eh?”

Usagi: “I really like him… I wish he was in SAO, so I won’t be like this…”

Yuji: “I will try… but I have no guarantees… He’s rather… reserved about relationships…”

Usagi: “Does he have a dark history about relationships or…?”

Yuji: “He didn’t plan to have a girlfriend, because he had a lot of crushes that rejected him.”

Usagi: “I see… I wonder why girls would reject him…”

I shrugged: “You girls are weird sometimes.”

Usagi: “I guess.” and we reached her home.

She went back to her cute voice: “Usagi will bid you good night!” and she enters her home. I smiled and waved.

I walked back to Takeya’s home with a bunch of snow on my head.

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