AUTHOR'S NOTE: So, this is my first attempt at a cross-over. I enjoy both SAO and Fire Emblem: Awakening immensely, so I thought about how to join the two. This is the result. I hope you enjoy it!
"Kirito," Asuna said as she bit her lip nervously. "Are you sure this is going to work? What happens if this project fails? Will Yui be okay?"
Kazuto smiled patiently at his girlfriend and replied with as much reassurance as he could: "Don't worry about it. I made sure that Yui's data is saved on multiple back-ups, so even if something happens this time around, her core programing will be alright."
Kazuto turned his attention back to the dome-like machine that he had worked so hard to create over the past two years. In theory, he could use it to bring his beloved daughter into the real world. Now it was time to see if the idea could become reality.
He plugged in his World Seed cartridge and then moved onto hook up his Nerve Gear in another port. He lit up his computer console and began typing in commands at a furious pace. Asuna watched him nervously, praying that their daughter would come out of this whole thing safe and sound.
The machine whirred to life, and Asuna turned her attention to it. Inside the glass dome, a shape made of light began to take place. She gasped as the shape began to consolidate into the form of a small girl.
Kazuto smiled broadly as he saw all of his hard work begin to pay off. Then the monitor began to flash red.
Asuna noticed it and frowned. "Kirito? What's happening?"
"I'm not sure," the boy frowned as he began to type new commands into the computer. Looking over at Yui, they both saw that she was nearly formed, and nothing appeared to be out of order. But…
"The computer says that there's some kind of external influence, adding an extra flux of power," Kazuto frowned harder. "And I can't locate the source! It's locking me out, and I can't shut it down!"
"What?! What'll happen to Yui?!" Asuna looked back at the little girl, who appeared to be a sleeping child with a soft glow about her- almost like an angel. But this little angel might also be in trouble.
"Isn't there any way to override it?" the flame-haired girl asked as she placed her hands on the dome.
"Only one," Kazuto said as he got off of his seat. He grabbed a crowbar that he had used during construction and prepared to swing it at the dome. "Stand back!"
"You might hurt Yui!" Asuna protested.
"I'd rather fix a few cuts that have her program messed with!" Kazuto snapped. "Now get back! I don't want to hurt you, either!" Asuna reluctantly stepped aside and renewed her prayer that all would be well.
Kazuto swung at the glass- and the world went blindingly white. The two teenagers were flung backwards from the force of the explosion, and they couldn't see Yui. Then, when the light faded, all was black.
Kazuto slowly awoke to feel a light weight on his chest. He groaned and opened his eyes to see Yui resting peacefully on his body, and a smile lit up his face. He had done it. His daughter was in the real world, with him and Asuna, where she belonged.
Asuna! The teenager got up quickly, jostling Yui, and waking the little girl up. "Oops," he muttered.
"Daddy?" she mumbled. "Hi… Where's-" Suddenly her eyes flew open, and she looked around as she realized what had happened. "I'm…" she gasped as a smile lit up her face. She looked up at Kozuto and threw her arms around him, squealing, "Daddy, I'm real! I with you, and I'm real!" She began to cry happily.
Kazuto held his daughter close and tight, but he searched for his girlfriend I their surroundings- which surprised him. They were in an open field, the sky above them was a magnificent blue, and there wasn't a house around. And no Asuna, either.
"Yui…" he murmured, setting the girl down gently. "Do you know where Mommy is?"
"Isn't she with you?" the little girl asked as she looked around at the field. "Wait. I thought that I would be at your house in the real world."
Kazuto frowned at that. "Yeah, so did I," he muttered. "But we're not at home… I don't know where we are… Wait, do you remember the accident?" He studied his daughter carefully for any signs of damage, and was relieved to find none.
"No, Daddy," Yui said with a puzzled expression. "What accident?" In response, her father explained what had happened when he tried to pull her out of the World Seed.
When he was done explaining, he sighed and said, "So now I'm wondering where we are. And I hope Asuna is okay… Do you have a clue as to what has happened here?"
Before Yui could respond, another voice called out to them, "Ho there, travelers! Are you in need of a guide?"
The two of them turned to see two men approaching, both dressed in what could only be medieval- style clothing. The first man had azure-colored hair, and was dressed in light armor that left one arm bare, displaying a strange teardrop-shaped tattoo on his right shoulder. The other man was dressed in a dark purple robe fringed with golden threads. His hair, unlike his attire, was so pale a blonde as to be almost white.
Both men were armed with swords, the blue-haired man with a straight sword, and his companion with a strange blade that could only be described as zig-zagged. Kozuto had never seen anything like it before, not even in Sword Art Online.
"Yui, stand behind me, please," he said quietly. To the man that had spoken, he said in a louder tone, "Er, yes. I was wondering if you could tell us where the nearest town might be. And, this may sound strange, but where are we?"
"Hmm, this sounds familiar," the blue-haired man said with broad smile. "The nearest town is about a mile that way." He pointed to the west. "And you are in the Halidom of Ylisse. The place that I refer to is actually the capital, Ylisstol."
"Ylisse?" Kazuto repeated with a frown. "I've never heard of such a place." Turning back to his daughter, he muttered, "You're positive we're not in another game, right?" Her immediate shake of the head left him even more confused. "Then…"
"Ahem," the blond man said, drawing Kazuto's attention. "Perhaps some introductions are in order? My name is Robin, and I am the Grandmaster Tactician of the Ylissean Shepherds. My friend here is Chrom, Captain of said militia. May we know your names?"
"Oh, yeah, sure," Kazuto replied, realizing that his behavior might be considered rude. "My name is Kazuto Kirigiya. Though most people call me Kirito. And this my daughter, Yui." The girl smiled and waved shyly from behind her father.
"A pleasure to meet you, Kirito," Chrom said as he extended his hand. As Kazuto shook it firmly, Robin frowned. "Wait, how is this little girl your daughter?" he asked, confused. "You don't seem old enough to be her parent."
"It's a long story, but you might just say that she is adopted," Kazuto responded.
"Ah." Robin nodded his understanding. "Very well. And don't worry about the whole disorientation thing- I actually had a similar situation a couple of years ago."
This got Kazuto's attention. "You did?"
"Yes indeed," Chrom said with a smile. "I found Robin not too far from here, actually. He was completely memory-free, save for the knowledge of his name and some very nifty tactics. Since then, he has become my best friend and confidant. Do you have any memory problems as well?"
"Uh…" Kazuto stalled, scratching his head as he tried to think of what was happening. "It's… kind of hard to explain," he said. "See, I was messing around with some trans-matter tech, and then there was some kind of explosion, and then the next thing I know, I'm waking up here with Yui, and my girlfriend is missing."
Chrom and Robin both gave him puzzled frowns. "I didn't understand the first part," Robin said. "But I believe that you are looking for someone dear to you, yes?"
"Yeah, we were gonna go find Mommy, but then you guys showed up," Yui cut in.
"You are not married to your child's mother?!" Chrom scowled.
"Whoa, hey!" Kazuto made a placating gesture. "I said before, it's not like that! Yui is adopted. Long story short, Asuna and I saved her life and decided to adopt her."
Oh," Chrom said, chastened. "Forgive me, I apologize for my outburst."
"Ah, don't worry about it," Kazuto said.
"Asuna is the name of your beloved?" Robin cut back in. Kazuto reddened at the term 'beloved', but he nodded his assent. "Do you wish to have help in finding her?"
"Actually, that would be appreciated," Kazuto said. "But if you don't mind me asking, why are you so eager to help a stranger?"
"Because strangers remind me of Robin here," Chrom said as he clapped his friend on the shoulder. "I like getting out and meeting new people. It makes life more interesting, and I have a duty to the people I protect."
"Well… Okay, then," Kazuto said. "Thanks in advance, I guess."
"No problem," Robin said. "But perhaps we should go into town first and get you some proper clothing. The items you are currently wearing are rather odd, to say the least."
"Me?" Kazuto sniffed. "You guys are the ones dressed up like you belong in an old castle. Isn't this how normal people dress around here?"
Chrom and Robin exchanged another puzzled look before the leader of the two replied, "We may not dress like commoners… But we are closer to a normal appearance than you are. Although I will say your daughter's dress is suitable- and dare I say adorable?"
Yui giggled at the compliment, which caused the three young men to smile. It was a talent of Yui's, Kazuto thought. She was a delightful person to be around. However…
"Would you excuse us for just one moment?" he asked.
"Of course," Robin replied. "Take all the time you need, we are no hurry."
"What do you think is happening, Daddy?" Yui asked with large eyes. "It's as if we are in a game, but I can tell we're not."
"Hmm…" Kazuto mused. "My best guess is… though as crazy as it sounds… is this: when I attempted to bring you into reality, and the extra energy surge messed with the machine, it must have… flung us into another reality?" He realized how stupid it sounded once he said it out loud, and shook his head as if trying to get rid of the thought.
However, to his surprise, Yui seemed to agree with him. "That actually might make sense," she said softly. "I can't really come up with any alternatives to explain this situation."
"Yeah, I guess so," Kazuto murmured. Then he stood and helped Yui to her feet. "Well, I guess this is Alfheim all over again," he scowled. "Let's just hope that there's nobody like Sugou in this place."
"I hope not," Yui said with a shudder. "He was really mean."
I've got a few other words for the guy, but I can't go and say those in front of Yui, Kozuto thought sourly. Aloud, he smiled and said, "Well that adventure is over, but it looks like we'll just have to start a new one, huh?"
"Okay!" Yui said with a smile. Kazuto scooped her up in his arm and began walking back to Chrom and Robin. "We're ready now!" he called out in advance.
"Great!" Robin said. "Now let's go and get you some new clothes."
Kazuto, of course selected an attire that closely resembled his outfit from S.A.O. He got black pants and a shirt, and of course, his trademark waistcoat. Robin and Chrom told him not to worry about paying for the items, insisting that they could easily afford it. Judging from the way that the red-haired shopkeeper talked to the two men, they were well familiar with one another.
Yui opted to stick with her white dress, although she did manage to sucker Chrom into buying a silver tiara for her as a new addition to her clothing. Kazuto just rolled his eyes as Chrom let the little girl play him like a fiddle, but he also couldn't but smile as she marveled at her surroundings, as if feeling everyday experiences for the first time all over again.
When they were done with that, Chrom suddenly stopped and turned to Kazuto with the words, "Kirito? I forgot to ask earlier, but can you fight?"
Kazuto grinned and said, "Where I come from, I was known as the 'Black Swordsman' or the 'Dual-Wielder'. So in answer to your question, yes, I can fight. I was one of the best."
Robin and Chrom exchanged a look and a smile. "Well, would you mind giving us a demonstration, then?" Robin asked.
"Gladly," Kazuto replied. "But if it's all the same to you, could we try to find Asuna first? That's kind of my priority right now."
"Oh, yes!" Robin exclaimed. "Sorry about that, I guess we got a little distracted."
"It's all right," Kazuto said with a wave of his hand.
"Well, why don't we go back to headquarters and let the other Shepherds know what's going on?" Chrom suggested. "That way we can search for your friend more quickly."
"Wait," Kazuto said. "Your militia? Why would they help me?"
"Because I'll ask them to," Chrom said with a smile. "The realm is at peace right now, and we have no real pressing matters. So I'm sure a little search would be more exciting than whatever else they're doing right now."
"Uh… okay," Kazuto said, still in shock at how nice these people were being. "Thanks again. I don't really have any money to pay you back for this, but-"
"Don't worry about it," Robin said with a wave of his hand. "Doing this kind of thing is our job. And if you really want to pay us back later, we can discuss that once we've found Asuna. Sound fair?"
"Yeah, sure," Kazuto said with a smile. Taking Yui's hand in his own, he said, "All right then. Let's get going."
"I hope you're ready to meet the other Shepherds," Chrom said with a grin. "I think you'll like at least some of them."
After they'd been walking along for a bit, and the capital was coming into view, Kazuto asked, "So, your guild is called the Shepherds? And you're like the law enforcement of your country?"
"Something like that," Robin replied over his shoulder. "We're a group of people with special skills that tackle some of the more difficult missions both inside and outside Ylisse. In times of war, we're the elite forces that take on tasks like infiltrating a castle and taking out the commanding officer before the mass-scale fighting begins."
"Oh," Kazuto replied. "I was on a team like that at one point. We were always on the front lines because we were the strongest. And my Dual-Wielding skill made me kind of the go-to guy for some of the harder fights… In a way it was cool, but most of time, I wished other people would take up the standard so that I could have some peace and quiet."
"Trust me, I understand that one," Robin muttered.
"Oh, shut up," Chrom chuckled. "You aren't the only one."
"Fair enough, I suppose."
"What do you mean, Robin-san?" Kazuto asked.
"Well, I'm the only tactician in the Shepherds, so all the planning and strategy falls to me," Robin sighed. "And why did you call me 'Robin-san?"
"San is a courtesy gesture of respect where I come from," Kazuto answered. "If you don't use some kind of title like that, you're either very familiar with someone, or you're insulting them. San is the equivalent of Mr. or Mrs."
"Ah," Robin said, intrigued. "Are there other suffixes?"
"Yes," Kazuto replied. "Did you wanna hear the others?"
"Sure," Robin replied. "Something to pass the time."
"All right…" Kazuto said, gathering his thoughts. "There's kun, which you use with a close male friend. Chan is the female equivalent. If you're addressing a teacher, the suffix is sensei. For someone who is higher up in the business that you, you add senpai to their name. A higher version of san is sama. And last of all is dono, which is used for lords, barons, royalty and the like."
"Wow," Chrom muttered. "I'm glad I don't live wherever you came from- too much formality for my taste. Er, no offense."
"None taken, Chrom-san." Kazuto replied with a shrug, jostling Yui as he did. He realized that the little girl was actually getting heavier the longer they walked, unlike when they were in a VRMMO.
"Yui, sorry, but I'm gonna have to put you down," he grunted as he lowered her down. "I'm getting a little tired."
"Aw," she pouted. "You never used to get tired."
"Yeah, well that was in Alfheim," he replied. "We're IRL, remember? Things are a little different now. Sorry." He smiled apologetically as he spoke.
"Okay…" she said disappointedly.
"Just give me a little while and then I can carry you again, alright?" He gently ruffled her hair as he said it.
"Okay!" She smiled brightly. "Thanks, Daddy!"
It was late afternoon when they reached the base of operations for the Shepherds. Yui and Kazuto chatted about some of their adventures in Aincrad and Alfheim with their new companions. Robin and Chrom also told them tales about some of their earlier adventures together, when Robin had first become a Shepherd.
When they arrived, Yui was complaining that she was hungry, to which Chrom said, "We have plenty of food inside. You can eat your fill after we're done telling everyone about your, er… Mommy." He hesitated slightly over the last words, still a little confused about the situation.
"Okay," Yui sighed, clearly disappointed that she would have to wait. To be honest, both Chrom and Robin were surprised that she did not throw a tantrum.
"Wherever you come from, are all the children this well-behaved?" Chrom asked Kazuto.
"Nah, Yui's just special," the boy replied as he smiled warmly at his little girl. "She's a good girl."
"I hope my daughter turns out that well," Chrom said as they walked in.
"You have a daughter?"
"Yes, born just two weeks ago," Chrom smiled fondly at the thought of his little Lucina with his beloved wife, Sumia. He was about to tell Kirito about them, but then he noticed a number of Shepherds in the barracks and decided to boast about his family later.
For now, he would need to introduce the Shepherds to his new friends. As he entered the room, he was greeted warmly along with Robin while Kazuto and Yui stayed in the background. Vaike, Cordelia, Lon'qu, Stahl, and Sully were all present, so the gathering took a bit of time to quiet down.
"You almost missed dinner, and Gaius is on cooking duty tonight!" said Stahl, rubbing his lean stomach in anticipation.
"Sounds great to me," said Robin. "But first we have some other business to discuss." And he gestured at Yui and Kazuto, who were waiting patiently, though Yui looked just about done in. "Meet Yui and Kirito. They're looking for a friend of theirs, and they need our help."
"Well, why didn't ya just say so?" The muscular one called Vaike declared. "Teach was just itchin' fer somethin' to do, and this sounds like something!"
"Uh, can we eat first?" Stahl asked hopefully.
"Yes, we can," Robin said while rolling his eyes. "But a soon as we're done, we're saddling up and looking for a girl named Asuna."
"Asuna, eh?" Sully mused. "What's she look like?"
Robin looked to Kazuto, who stared at Cordelia. "Actually, she looks a lot like her," he said as he briefly pointed at the pegasus knight. "Although, she is shorter. Also, she's probably dressed, er, oddly, according to those two." He jerked his head at Robin and Chrom.
"What the hell does that mean?" Sully asked.
"Hey!" Kazuto snapped at the woman as he clamped his hands over Yui's ears, slightly surprising her. "Keep those words to yourself around my daughter!"
"Long story," Robin said, cutting the indignant knight off. "But just go with it. Now, let's go eat, and we can fill you in on the details."
"Captain Chrom!" a thickly accented voice broke out over the dinner table. "Yer Highness! We've got us a captive!"
Kazuto's head snapped up from his desert, and locked on Chrom. "Your highness?" he repeated incredulously.
"Oh, yeah, I guess we forgot to mention," Robin grinned. "Chrom is also the sovereign of Ylisse. Sorry about that."
The prince got up and moved to greet the speaker, a boy named Donnel. "Hello, Donny. What's this about a prisoner?"
"We captured a young lady, yer highness," the boy replied. "She's real purty, but she won't answer none of Sir Frederick's questions, so he said we best bring her here so you could question her yerself."
"Where's Frederick now?" Chrom sighed.
"Right here, milord," Frederick answered as he dragged a struggling figure into the room. A figure all too familiar to Kazuto and Yui.
"Mommy!" the little girl cried.
"Asuna!" Kazuto exclaimed at the same time. Locking his glare on the heavily armored knight, he shouted, "Let her go!"
"Kirito! Yui! You're alright!"
"Pardon me, but who are you to-"
"Drop it, Frederick," Chrom said in a tired voice. "Let her go- we were actually about to go search for her, it seems. But what did I say about tying people up before asking questions?"
"I asked her first!" the knight protested. "But given her odd clothing and refusal to speak, I thought that-"
"Frederick the Wary, you are simply too paranoid for your own good," Chrom said as he undid the ropes restraining Asuna's hands. The girl immediately ran into Kazuto's embrace, which was quickly joined by Yui.
"Kirito," she sighed. Then she perked up. "What's going on? Where are we? What happened to us?"
Kazuto sighed and said, "This might take a while to explain, and even then, I'm not totally sure what's happening here. So let's sit down and get you some dinner, okay?"
"Yeah… Dinner does sound good. And Yui, it's good to see you in the real world!" She gave her daughter a big hug all her own, with which responded with a large smile and a hug of her own.
Looking on, several of the Shepherds couldn't help but be touched by the scene, although it was noticeable to several of them that Lon'qu was doing his best not to run from the room while Asuna held her little girl only a few feet away from him.
Later that night in the castle, when the travelers were settled into some rooms back at headquarters, Chrom and Robin discussed what to do with the trio.
"We should see what they can do," Robin said. "Who knows? Maybe they'll turn out to be like me, a real find."
"I agree," Chrom said thoughtfully. "The only thing is that little girl. We can't very well have someone that young in the Shepherds- it's unseemly."
"True, but from what I saw, she won't leave her parent's side, no matter what," Robin argued. "Maybe we should see if she can use staffs? That way, even if she insists on coming along, she wouldn't be in any danger."
"Hmm…" Chrom tapped his chin thoughtfully. "All right. We'll try that. I'm trusting you, Robin. For their sake and mine, don't let me down."
"When have I ever?" Robin smiled, but it was a dismal attempt. They both knew that the one time that he had failed, it was when it had mattered the most.
"Good night, Robin," Chrom said with the same smile.
So yeah, I know it's a bit of a slow start, but don't worry, I'll make sure that there's action to be had next chapter. R & R's are welcome- unless they contain spoilers for S.A.O. II, dammit!