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Hearing Gray

All rights go to Fred Gallagher Rodeny Caston and Megatokyo.

The room was dark and cold, the only flicker of light was from the small TV screen in the corner of the room. I sat before the game system, one of the few items left from Largo and my crazy adventure. My eyes grew sad for a moment.

Our time in Japan hadn't been very good, and had ended in a disaster. Even Seraphim had been quiet, though supportive from the experience since, her attitude towards my actions as of late however were not supportive, but I didn't blame the little Angel..

We had returned to bills and foreclosures. Eviction notices and the lot. For a few days Largo and I were on the streets. But before we had to go any lower, the bills that had piled up had been taken care of Largo of all people, selling off his computers and getting a reliable job. Largo had changed since his time in Japan, he seemed more distant and withdrawn, and seemingly only a husk of what he had been before. I often caught the man looking at a small dog-eared photo he kept in his wallet of a certain Idol singer. It was the only photo he had in there, so I knew it meant a lot to him, because he only took it out when he thought he was alone or when it rained. The last time he saw her was when it had rained that night before they left. Largo had recently begun going to college, into brain surgery of all things. To my surprise, he was getting all A's. The old Largo would never have done that. While he still plays his games religiously, it's not the same, as if he's off in another world, the fact I see how sad his eyes are when he looks at that photo tells me everything. We had come across a radio station playing one of her songs not too long ago. Erika Hayasaka's Gray Wings. Largo had listened to the song from beginning to end, never blinking, never making a sound, as her voice sang a sad, lonely song. About a man who had left after mending her heart. Once the song was over Largo rose and left the apartment without a word, he returned a day later completely drunk and a sobbing mess. He hadn't had a drink since returning to America before then, and he had never had one since.

I figured it was about Largo. Partly because of his reaction, and because in a way, he had helped her stand on her own again. Dom's influence on her fans had driven her to her knees, only Largo there for Hayasaka-san. I working to get closer to Her and getting money for myself and Largo, Kimi… Her working on her acting, Erika-san had been left alone, to fend for herself when she needed help. Largo had come to her aide, and while screwing up a lot, he had helped her regain her confidence. They had fallen in love, despite everything, they had seemed very happy. It had only lasted a month before the fans found out. Around that time I had finally saved enough for our tickets. I told him as he nursed a drink, even then he was drinking less. He looked at my eyes, he looked so tired. For two weeks he had fought the crowd as he and Erika's relationship had been pulled apart by jealous fanboys. That afternoon, I found out later through Her, that Erika had been threatened by one of the jealous fans, the man had pulled a knife and if Largo had not interceded she might have been seriously hurt, maybe even killed. He looked at the smile on my face, the tickets in my hand, and then finally rose to his feet. He said he would be back later and left, that was when it had begun to rain. He had gone to see her.

It was morning when he returned, Ping had tossed me out to change and I saw him slowly trudge up the steps. He was soaked, and when he looked to me I shivered, his eyes were haunted and dull. All he said was. "Okay, let's go back." I called Her, told her what was up and said my goodbyes, left Ping to Help Yanagisawa in the store and the two of us made it for the airport. Kimiko was waiting for us. Or should I say was waiting for me.

The words we said have often been repeated in my mind since then, and I find myself wondering, how she really felt about me. I am such a chicken. The game's name had come up and I stare. "Sight", Kimiko's game, Tubassa had sent it to me not to long ago, but I had been scared to play it. Finally, today I broke down and began to play the game, my self-pity too dry to use as a shield, and listened to a voice I hadn't heard in almost a year. She sounds so beautiful. Old emotions stir in me as my hands play the game with ease, It was almost as if Kimiko was Kotone, and he was… A slight bout of Jealousy crosses my mind. I shake it off, telling myself, it's only a game. Hours went by, Largo left for his night courses and I continued to sit in front of the screen, transfixed by the game, the voice of Kimiko, the girl I had fallen in love with, and I had let go. It was nearing midnight, Largo would soon be home, and I was beginning to hear rain spatter against our roof, when the game finally ended. I sighed, the credits began to role in the game when all of a suddenly everything went dark on the screen. I reached for the controls, wondering what had happened when Kimiko's voice flooded the empty room again.

[Are you sad, Mr. Piro-san?] My head jerked up at the screen, my heart beating fast.

[Please, don't be, cheer up. I loved it when you smiled…. I had this made for you, I want to give this special copy to your friend to give to you, to tell you something I wanted to say the day you left.] I feel myself tense.

[I… I had wanted you to stay; I had wanted you here to be with me, Mr. Piro-san. B-but the words….. the w-words just wouldn't come out.] I could tell she was crying, the sounds of her voice I knew so well, not just because of the game either.

[I was scared what might happen; scared you would do what Largo-san did to Erika the night before… So I just wanted to tell you now, hoping this reaches you. That…]

Words scrolled on the screen as her voice, sobbing told the words I had longed to hear. She repeated them and something inside of me broke, my shoulders began to shake as sobs began to rack my body, I just couldn't stop crying, and that's how a somber Largo found me, he put a hand on my shoulder and looked to the screen, where the words she had said were printed.

{I love you, Piro.}


Sensing Gray.


I watched as Piro put in that game from Tubassa. I sighed, realizing he wouldn't go look for a job yet again and went into the kitchen to get a snack before I had to leave for school. Then after that I would head to my job, a small corporation's security had picked me up almost immediately when they heard I was an ex cataclysm division agent. The money went to the apartment, paying off my tuition, and supporting myself and Piro. Piro had withdrawn from the world it seemed since returning, much like I was before our trip. I dug in slowly at my quick bowl of instant ramen. I blanched, the taste left something to be desired. The time me and Erika found that little ramen shop in Nerima, they had good noodles. I feel myself smile wistfully. She practically had to force feed me before I got the hang of chopsticks. My smile falters; I idly play with the ramen now, as the chopsticks twirling slowly in the mess. I miss her so much. I resist the urge to pull out that photo in my wallet.

I shake the thoughts from my mind as I finish off the ramen before grabbing my coat, calling out my leaving to Piro then heading out. I walk, despite having a car, it reminds me of Japan when I walk. It was always so crowed with cars, it was better to just walk. I had fun walking with everyone in Japan. Some of my most memorable moments were of me, Erika, Junpei, Piro and Kimiko just walking, laughing, and hanging out. How odd, back then, it seemed like I was so crazy, that everything was so skewed out of proportions. That Miho girl who graduated from my class, the gamer I remember all so well, always ready for another game. How wrong I was of her, zombie queen, what was I on? I wonder how she's doing. I wonder how they all are doing. If they're okay, are they safe, alive even, and… if she's found someone else by now. I would be happy; she took my advice and was happy. My face went slack as I tried to reign my feelings again. Why can't I get her out of my mind, even after everything? Clouds are forming to the north, looked like rain soon. I hurried on my way.

Class was the same as usual, took a test, I knew all of it. It was just something to keep my mind off her, something I could do to maybe become someone she could be proud of to love, that her fans would appreciate. I sighed, a fools errand if I saw one, I doubt I will see her again. I know she said she didn't care, I know she said it was okay, but I knew, had I stayed, I would have brought her down with me.

I finished my classes and headed to my work, the sky was growing dark and soon I saw lightning dance among the clouds. My thoughts returned to Erika. When they found that I was seeing her, the fans went hostile. That month afterwards, despite all the good and happiness we shared, will always be remembered by us by that last day. It was a lot like this weather wise, I met up with her at the park, like we normally did, and we would walk, her on my arm as we just talked about nothing and everything at the same time. I have relieved this moment so many times, in my dreams, and in my nightmares as well.

"Largo?" I looked to her; she smiled and pulled me into a kiss. I smiled at the memory, her lips were so soft, and I often find myself longing just to feel those lips against mine again. We lost ourselves in it and I almost didn't hear the sound of a knife being pulled. Pulling her to the side I felt the knife graze my side, a small wound, nothing I wasn't use to, but Erika, her face as she saw the blood spill. That look pains me to this day. It was a fan, a man who seemed to look to her with wild eyes, a glazed look as he said words to her, her eyes widened more in fear even more. Later on, when I was back in America I looked up what he said, 'If I cannot have you, no one will.' My blood chills at remembering the words, as it did then. I quickly moved to protect Erika, as the man charged, he had little skill, and years of gaming had given me some skill in blade fighting. I broke his arm, knocked him out and removed the weapon from his grasp. Sonada came and arrested the man, then my old associate in the CD told me the gist of Erika's position, just how much was at stake because of me and I knew then, I had to leave her. Silently I took her home, to the arms of Kimiko, asked the younger girl to watch her in my halting Japanese, then left for home. I didn't want to leave Erika. I didn't want to leave Japan, I felt more alive there then I had ever felt in America. But I knew.

I made it to my job, and as usual the company members left, and I alone watched the building from the guard house. Alone I pulled the photo from my pocket. My idol angel, a smile just for me, for I knew her face by heart. The photo had seen a lot of use, and I am so very thankful I scanned in the picture when I got it, because to lose the only piece I have left of her… I would die, and I know now, no respawn here in real life. I got it from her that morning, oh yeah, that was the day Piro told me about the tickets, a way 'home', too.

"Largo! I finally got enough to go home!" I looked up at him, I felt so drained, so tired, I fought so hard and to realize that I had to let her go, nothing felt right. I looked at the tickets as if they were both a blessing and a curse, because, to me, they were. I took a sip at my then tepid b33r, the urge to drink had long since faded the more I found something to focus on. Erika was my focus then, and even to this day, she still is. I rose; wincing as the movement tugged at the small wound, Piro never knew I was injured that day. Piro looked to me as told him I would be back; as I left the rains began. I went to a payphone and called her up.

She agreed to see me at the park like before, since it was between her house and Megagamers. I stood at our spot, feeling the rain soak me as I saw her approach, she under a dark umbrella while wrapped in an overcoat, I felt something inside myself begin to ache and I pulled her to me. I told her what was happening, that I had to leave. Somewhere along the way I had begun to cry, yeah I know, Mr. b4d455 Largo crying over some Chick? I guess that shows how much she meant… means to me, I never cried that hard before. She knew what I said and only asked me once not to go, her calm face slowly falling away as tears began to form in her eyes. Those eyes though, no matter how sad, they were alive.

"Largo, please stay, I don't care about them, I don't care about what anyone else thinks, I just want you to be you." I silenced her with a single kiss, taking in all that I could of her, while slipping a ring onto her finger. It was to be our second month anniversary in little over a week's time, and that ring was to be her present. What, surprised I could be romantic? I was myself. Erika always brought the best out of me. When I released her, she was sobbing, she knew I was going.

"Please be happy, goodbye, Erika." My final words to her, I turned and began walking away, I tried very hard not to look back. If I looked back and see her crying I would never be able to leave her... I failed, but when I did I found she was gone, almost as if she was never there. But I know she was, she had changed me so much, I would never be able to forget her, not even in a million years. Largo the gamer, the never changing idiot had changed from the love of

The time nears midnight, and the shift change happens as usual, Carl, or whatever his name is takes over. I barely talked to him, but he understood enough to know when to talk to me and when not to. His wife just divorced him recently; he at least got an end to his relationship. I still wonder what she thinks about us, about that ring I left her. Does she wear it?

I got an answer to it in a way, not to long ago. Erika sang a song on the radio, a new one. Its sad haunting melody echoed the pain I felt from that day, and from it, the pure mindless urge to hop on a plane and return to my home and my love was almost beyond me to resist. I had to get myself as drunk as to where I couldn't do it no matter how much I wanted to, to stop myself. That was probably the first time Piro ever saw me cry, those he thinks he was hallucinating. Piro still denies everything, as if it never happened, he hasn't changed. It was as if he is asleep from reality. How ironic, we have switched roles, he and I. I did change, I awoke and moved on and I know, one day, I will try my damnedest to return to her. But now, I am not good enough.

I open the door to our apartment and I hear the sounds of crying. I quickly run over to Piro, and notice he was alright; I laid a hand on his shoulder as I look to the TV.

{I love you, Piro.}

I shake my head ruefully. Are you awake now, Piro?


Speaking Gray


<I waited for you to come, I was about to leave.> My character, Miyuki, reminded me of why I hated perky girls. They drained you, and trying to talk like one was very, VERY draining to me. The director must have realized this because he called for a thirty minute break, knowing everyone was a little edgy right now. We had a week left to do this piece and I was desperately far behind in my reading. But no one blamed me. It was the one year anniversary since Piro had left for the states. I had come a long way since then, I finished sight, was Multi in a new to heart game, a non-H version this time, and now I was Miyuki in a brand new game from cubesoft, my old employers of sight. Sight... The reason I became so popular, because I made Kotone so real, everyone thought she was. I made her become a 3D girl... All because of Piro...

I sighed, heading back to a small lounge area that I knew had really comfortable seats. I sat down, my now warm bottle of water tapping on my knee as I remembered him again, it seemed since I made that special version for him, and he had been all I could think about. Like that day.

I waited for them to come; one had a lot of explaining to do and the other? My heart hurt, this was it, he was leaving, what was I going to say? I know what I wanted to say, but I was so scared. I was so nervous I almost didn't see them walk past. I saw a flash of red, Largo's hair, out of the corner of my eye and turned to see them about to walk into the entrance.

"Piro-san!" They halted. Largo's eyes. All the anger I had for the man faded, those eyes said it all. He nodded to me, said something to me quietly then turned away. Piro stood there, his eyes slightly pained yet I saw the happiness in them. Like the happiness I heard in his voice over the phone not to long ago.

"Kimiko-san, why are you here?" Why? Wasn't it obvious?

"I… I wanted to see you off, I wanted to … I..." The words failed me. After all that planning on my words and everything it was catching up to me. I wanted him to stay; I was going to ask… At least I was going to tell him how I felt, but nothing is coming out. His hands are on my shoulders a concerned look on his face. I was crying then I realized. No matter how hard I tried I could say them. I straightened and finally forced out.

"I hope you have a safe journey… I will miss you Piro-san…" I pulled close, I almost kissed him, but I changed directions and hugged him, he held me against him.

"I will miss you too, Kimiko-san." I shuddered another sob as I realized I had chickened out. I knew I couldn't do it. I pulled away, trying to smile as he was about to walk from my life.

"Be happy Piro-san." I turned and ran from him. I heard him calling out for me, but I didn't turn back, because he would have seen how badly it hurt me. About an hour later I walked into Cubesoft, I had to finish off Sight; it was due to be released next month so everything was hectic.

I owe them a lot, for when they saw how messed up I was they held off everything until I was better. Sayuri-san helped me so much, then after everything, after we finished she allowed me to make a special copy, she even held my hand as I said those words. And even though I never was able to tell them to your face and even if you forget me, I know at least, that I was able to tell you.

I love you Piro. I don't know when I started to, but I love you very much.

My bottled water fell to the ground forgotten as I curled up into the chair, tears falling down my cheeks again.

I miss you so much, Piro.


Singing Gray


I remember the day he left. Off to try and admit her feelings to Piro at least once, Kimiko had run off to the airport. I knew she wouldn't succeed. She wasn't ready yet, he wasn't either. They were still too caught up in their own worlds and now, Piro's had led him and Largo on a path home. Largo and I had said our goodbyes, in fact I was still crying when Kimiko left, hours afterward. I knew why he was doing it, why my Largo had left me, and it made me love him all the more.

To save me the pain from losing him to my fans and to keep me safe from them. A month he had tried his best like I had to keep them happy but more and more had gone to threats, many of those had been death threats. To me, to Largo, even some to people we knew. Those where the ones who scared Largo and myself the most. He was so supportive, so calm despite all that was pushed on both of us.

What originally attracted him to me, you probably wonder. Sometimes I wonder myself, for when I met him; truly met him; he was deep in his own world. It was a colorful world full of zombies, of good and evil. They were detailed with his odd l33tness and other such things. But to me, it was something new, something exciting and apart from the dull monotone life my existence had become after my... incident. He was interesting. Unlike anyone I had met before and quite frankly, after as well. He was a one of a kind. And for a time, he was my one of a kind. I feel myself smile wistfully, despite whom he was, and who he was becoming through our time together I had never gained anything more than admiration and love for him. He was a stubborn fool, he made a lot of mistakes, but when it came down to it, he chose me over everyone. He pulled that gun on that bastard Dom, making that man finally leave me alone. Despite Dom's threats, Largo only smiled grimly and told his one time friend off. That was when I realized I had fallen for him, and that maybe, despite all that weirdness, all that gruff and stupidity he had covered over him, I finally saw the Largo hidden underneath.

It intrigued me, and the more I searched for it the more I found myself falling for him, as the months went by, each new crazy adventure with him became something I began hoping for, even if it seemed like nothing more than the same thing. Then, when it seemed that things would go no further between us, something happened to him after one of the more dangerous days. The dumb expression in his eyes changed that look he had had when facing that man returned. The sharp witted calculating and intelligent Largo had returned. In a way, you could say it was my largo, the one I had longed to see again. He kissed me, for the first time then... And I was so shocked, had slapped him. But he just laughed, as I blushed at my reaction. Slowly I grew use to his actions, which only I saw, he still acted like the ignorant Largo with the others, but with me, he was... Well...

He was my Largo, and I was his Erika. I finally told him how I felt, and he the same. We had known each other for about a year and a half, almost ten months since Dom's interference. We had a month of pure happiness. I felt like I was a school girl again, I laughed and I didn't have a care in the world. He brought to me fun and carefree days, never asking for more than to see me smile. He was so romantic; it was hard to believe he was the same beer swilling moron who I first met at the Tokyo Gaming Convention. He never let me stay in my icy moods for long, he always knew what would make me laugh and after all those years, I finally felt the feeling I had lost return to me. He had become my wings to lift me up.

Then news broke out about us, and we struggled to keep everything under control, a month went by, us slowly being ground under the pressure... Then that fan came, and destroyed everything we had fought so hard for.

That night, when I found him standing in the rain, those eyes he wore still haunt me in my dreams, turning them into nightmares. So tired, so pain filled, they were not the eyes of my Largo, the fighter who defended me, the gamer who always had a crazy tale to tell me when I was bored. He wasn't even the l33t master Junpei had continued to call him, even after everything. He was just Largo, tired of hiding behind the facade of the games. He was struggling, I could see it. He took me into his arms, feeling his shoulders begin to shake as he told me that Piro had said they had to go home. That it probably was for the best. I told him it didn't matter, no matter what happened I would stay with him. He pulled back, I saw tears, the first time I ever saw tears. He pulled me into a kiss, I held onto him, hoping that if I could I would hold him there like that forever. I felt something move onto my finger. I gasped and in the shock of feeling of what I know now was a ring, let go. He pulled away, saying to me his promise, and then he turned, asked me to be happy, and left. I felt so hurt and lonely I just turned and ran, running home into the arms of Kimiko. I never saw Largo again. I made one more song then told my fans to stay out of my life forever, the one I wrote for him. Gray wings. Since, I never had any fan boy problems, now all I have to do is wait.

I still wear that ring, a symbol of his promise, and I will remain waiting for the rest of our lives for him if need be. Because, I am his Erika, now and forever, and he is my Largo. I love him, and I know he loves me.

Why? Because I received a letter today from him and Piro, well a letter addressed to me from Largo and one addressed to Kimiko from Piro. Both are doing well, both working to get enough to come see us next year. Kimiko will be happy. Me? Well... I'm ecstatic.

I hug the letter to me a little, feeling the loneliness fade some; I had been alone all week, Kimiko off at her jobs. I smell his cologne on the letter, very faintly. He must have put it on before he wrote this, he did say he was late for work, but when he found my address he couldn't stop himself from writing to me then. I smiled a little, it's that same horrible sent he wore I always yelled at him for getting. I still hate it, but right now, I don't care. I reread the last line again in my head.

With all my love, L4rg0.




End of the Gray Series... Thank you all for reading it. While it does leave on a really sappy cliché ending I hope you all enjoyed it.
Remembering Gray

He was running playing on an late autumn day; his mother was nearby, reading a mushy book like his daddy always called it. His breath shown in the brisk cool air.

At seven years old, Itaru Sonoda was a bright and happy child. Like his grandfather though he had an adventurous side his grandmother and mother hated. He had run off chasing some of the other boys around playing cops and robbers and had gotten lost in the dense brush of the park. What seemed like hours came to pass and Itaru scratched and nicked by the bushes finally saw a clearing ahead of him.

He found himself upon an old forgotten path; weeds and overgrowth were trying to reclaim the path. And here he heard faint humming. So very sad yet perfect, it flowed from one note to another almost rhythmically. He followed the sound; taking note this part of the park had been unused for years. Finally he came across an old park bench that had seen better years; upon it was a pretty girl wearing an old styled dress. The humming stopped when she heard his footsteps approach. Her head rose and Itaru saw she had tears in her eyes. She looked to be about sixteen, her platinum colored hair shined brightly in the morning light. Her hair, somewhat long was pulled down into a simple pony tail that trailed down her neck.

<"Hello."> She called out, a high but sweet voice. Itaru bowed and repeated her greeting.


<"Not too many people come here anymore, are you lost?"> She asked. He nodded. She patted the old bench with her hand, motioning for him to come sit with her. He obliged but was slightly cautious. His family had warned him not to trust strangers. But this girl seemed very safe. Upon her ears, he noted, more like part of her ears were twin objects, they looked just like wiper blades on a car's window. She smiled brightly at him.

<"My name is Ping, what's yours?">

<"I… Itaru, Itaru Sonoda."> Ping seemed to be shocked at the name, and her smile seemed a little more stressed than before.

<"Really I know a girl named Yuki Sonoda, she is really nice, and she has a crush on my Onii-chan!"> Itaru blinked. Yuki was his mother's name.

<"Why are you hear Ping-san?"> He asked her. She smiled and looked up at the patch of sky visible through the leaves.

<"I'm waiting for Onii-chan to come back. This was his favorite place to go. If he comes back everything will be okay and everyone will be happy again."> Her smile faded into a monotonous look.

<"Where did he go?"> He asked, his eyes seem to grow heavier.

<"He left for America, back to his home a week ago. But I know he will come back. I know it."> Itaru heard no more falling asleep, exhausted from his trek. He fell against her softly, her body warm and soft. Upon her was a smell of earth, like someone who worked in a garden all their life. He felt himself be lifted up in gentle arms. He was being carried, someone who was warm and smelled nice. Voices he heard.

"Itaru!?" His mother… He felt himself be passed as he struggled awake. His mother's smell, of cooking and books, the other smell had gone away.

<"Momma?"> His eyes opened to see his mother, 29 year old Yuki Sonoda, looking very much like her mother at that age, still beautiful as she was in high school. Around them were the children he had played with and their parents. Yuki hugged him closer

<"Itaru, oh thank God, we were looking all over for you!"> Itaru looked around for his savior. And there she was, away from the rest of them with a peaceful smile upon her face. She seemed distant then, not so much real as she when he first saw her. Yuki looked up also, noticing Ping. Ping looked uneasily at his mother.

<"Ping-chan… Thank you for finding him… thank you.... Where have you been, Piro-san has been looking all over for you."> Ping seemed to start.

<"AH! Piro Onii-chan! I gotta go back and wait for him. Bai Bai Itaru-kun!"> With that she raced off. Upon her back there had been a long streak of black, as if she had been hit by lightning. The late autumn rains began to roll in and Ping soon disappeared from sight.

* * *

Itaru went back a few more times after that, sometimes his mother with him, but they never saw Ping again. Just the lonely bench in a forgotten part of the park.

It was like she was never there, nothing more than an image from long ago.

A ghost remembering the past.


Quickly written and probably will be rewritten, something's are left unanswered.

C&C welcome... Esspecially for this one.
Playing Gray

"Battles are only fun if you don't get hurt. Even in small battles I always seem to get hurt."

Even then I knew it was coming. The pain, the one thing I couldn't stay back and hide from. Two foreigners had come to Tokyo, my home, two that I knew all too well. I played them, like any other person at that time like nothing more than a game of chess, in which they were nothing more than pawns. I wanted to stay aloof.

"That's why it's more fun to watch other people play."

But now that I look back at it, I too was, and still am playing that very same game as them. Even as I moved them about, loving the feel that I was making them do that, I was making myself move as well. I was nothing more than a pawn.

My fingers play a beat against quietness of the room. The game flashes before my eyes, a light flash from my window, thunder rattles the pane of glass in its track. A storm is coming, but I do not care.

In the years since Piro had shown up, standing before me at that little arcade, I knew my life would be different. That something of the old had come back. In a way I was right, but looking back, how was I going to know how it would end up as it did.

Before I met him, I lived a life both as normal and as abnormal as those around had thought. Weird they always called me, and I knew in my heart I would never fit in. I became the person who sought acceptance if not with love, then through hate.
With this notion, many people have hated me, none so more, than a man I had fallen for, for a time. His name was Largo. Since meeting Largo and Piro I have loved many people, none so strongly as those two.

The sound of rain, the rain begins to fall outside against my window, but here in my room, I hear nothing but the sounds of my fingers. The game I play continues, but I'm not thinking about that.

Largo was an open book. Passionate, strong willed, and unstoppable. Well, I chuckle. Almost unstoppable. The Idol reached something I only saw a glimmer of. The man beneath the mask, much like mine I wear to this day.
And Piro, the enigma, the one who made me fall in love with 'her', and then once again, with 'him'. Quiet, bending like the willow and hesitant in everything he did. Yet I bent to his will, I helped him more than once. Sometimes with nothing more than a 'thank you' for reward. But I didn't care.

The game is deeply set in my mind; I play it like a lover, forgetting where I am. Who I am…

For the years they stayed nearby, so close I could touch them, after everyone around me were so empty. They were the only ones to truly understand me other than Ping, and yet so unreachable. I could never really talk to them, Largo would grow so hostile, Piro, guarded. Ping was my only true friend then, and to this day, wherever she is, still is.

And then Piro and Largo left, gone as if they never were here in Japan. But in their wake, peoples lives changed more than I ever thought possible. Over the years I took in a sick pleasure, twisting words and controlling people, sometimes for no other reason than to see the reaction.

Or is it the game that is playing me, I have forgotten. Just how long have I been here?

A heartless bitch, the weird girl, a monster, and of course, t3h 3vil, some of the many names I had been called for my manipulations, but I watched as the city known as Tokyo turned on its head for two men from America. Their names people didn't even know.

All the people knew was an ex idol turning her back against her fans, tired of their interference. A young woman fresh in the industry making the saddest yet most emotional performance in a game I have ever played.

And the time I cried. The only time I cried. Not when my parents died, not when everyone turned away, not even when Ping disappeared. But when they left, no word, nothing, I cried, because I knew, they didn't even care enough to say.


And now I sit here, playing my game like I always have, while my mind remembers them, in its own way. The foolhardy gamer who became once again the warrior of chaos who protected his loved ones. And the quiet fan boy, who I knew once as the sorceress of fire with the demeanor of ice, held off against the man known as Dom, unblinking, not afraid. It has been twenty years, and they have moved on, while I have remained virtually unchanged. The ribbons are gone, the girl I one was is dead, and I have grown weary of remembering the pain.

"It is my destiny to play alone."

Hiding in the dark, looking out onto the bright and happy world I wonder how it could have been different, how I could have changed it… In the end, I don't think I will ever know.

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