A/N: Hello, everybody! Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! I now bring the final chapter in all of Star Sword. This story was wonderful to write, from beginning to end. I thank you all for your words of support, and may the blessings of this season be upon you all!
A Starry Christmas
"Do you think Uncle Anakin will show up tonight?" Yui asked her mother as the woman finished throwing the last batch of cookies in the oven. They were in one of their virtual homes, located on Tatooine.
Five years had passed since Anakin had begun making irregular visits to the virtual world that Kirito had created, and Yui was now at the biological age of twenty years old and about to graduate college, with a little four-year-old brother named Vaxra. Kirito was now twenty-six with a massively successful career in creating and maintaining the virtual worlds born from the Seed, and his wife was at the age of twenty-seven.
"I don't see why not, honey," Asuna replied as she opened her menu and started setting out dishes for the guests that they would be receiving later that night. "He hasn't missed a Christmas dinner yet."
Klein would also be attending with his lovely wife, a woman named Nora, whom he had met three years prior, and married only two months ago. Another couple would also be coming, Suguha and Shigeru would be coming to visit, even though they lived in Nagano, away from the Kirigayas. Sinon, Lisbeth, and Silica also planned on visiting, as did Asuna's older brother.
Sadly, Agil and his wife would not be visiting this time due to them visiting the in-laws in America, even though they had come in the past. Asuna knew that Kirito would miss seeing his old friend, but she knew that he'd cheer up in the company of other companions.
Last of all to be expected was Anakin Skywalker. He had- quite by chance- stumbled onto the gang's Christmas party the same year that Vaxra was born, and was convinced to stay. By the time it was over, he had promised to return each and every year, which he had done up until this point. Last year he had even brought along the Jedi Master, Yoda, much to the delight of his old students.
"I wonder if he'll bring along Master Kenobi this time?" Yui wondered aloud.
"I doubt it," Asuna said after a moment of consideration. "Last we heard from Anakin, he was getting older, but he was still healthy."
"That's true," Yui sighed. She didn't talk about it often, but she missed her old master. Everything she knew about communing with the Force had originally been taught to her by Obi-Wan, although later on her methods of connecting to the Force had been changed to the way that her parents used it. Nonetheless, she never would have learned how to use the Force to heal others if not for her master, or what being a Jedi meant to others in the galaxy, if not for the kindly Jedi.
"I know you miss him," Asuna said, almost as though she had heard her daughter's thoughts. "But I know we'll see him again someday. We just have to be patient."
"Patience," a familiar voice said, causing the two women to whirl around. "If Jedi were allowed to hate, I'm sure every Padawan would have hated that word."
"Uncle Anakin!" Yui exclaimed with a huge smile as the Jedi Knight held out his arms to receive his goddaughter. "I'm so glad to see you!" He had chosen to appear as his self from when he had been promoted to Council member.
"It's good to see you, too," he said as he held her at arm's length. "You look well." It was no empty compliment. Yui had grown up to have her mother's figure with her father's colors, complete with jet-black hair and friendly gray eyes.
"You look like you're doing well, too," Asuna said as she moved forward to hug her old friend. "It's nice to see you, Anakin. Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas to you, too," he said as he returned the embrace. Looking around, he asked, "Where is everyone? Am I late?"
"No, you're actually early," Asuna laughed. "You never change, do you? You and Kirito always made it early to the things you looked forward to."
"Where is Kirito, by the way?" Anakin asked. "If I'm early, then where is that guy?"
"He should be here any minute," Yui answered. "He was just doing some last-minute present wrapping."
"Of course he'd leave that to the last minute," Anakin chuckled. "How's the baby doing?"
"Vaxra's hardly a baby now. And he'll actually be joining us for his first full dive today," Asuna said excitedly. "Kirito finally managed to develop a full-dive rig that's safe for kids to use."
"Good for him!" Anakin said with a bright smile. "I can't wait to meet the little guy." Before he could add any more, the oven alerted Asuna to let her know that another batch of cookies were ready.
"Excuse me while I get that," Asuna said as she moved to the oven to get out the batch. Before she could take three steps, though, the oven opened on its own and the tray slid out, leaving the door to shut behind it. Then the tray levitated to rest on the counter away from the other cooking utensils, where it could cool safely.
Anakin grinned as he finished using the Force to deposit the batch. "Padme always loved it when I did that," he chuckled, though a brief flash of pain registered in his eyes as he mentioned his wife. "Saved her the trouble of getting out a cooling rack and everything." He moved away to look out the window at the setting twin suns.
"Are you okay, Uncle?" Yui asked as she moved to stand beside him.
"Yeah," he nodded heavily. The he forced himself to smile again and look at his niece. "Sorry guys. I'm good now."
"Good enough for a little sparring match?" Yui teased, patting her saberstaff.
"You're just like your dad," Asuna groaned. "Take it outside if you have to, okay?"
"You're on, little girl," Anakin winked as he pulled out his own lightsaber.
Kirito pulled in on a speeder with his son strapped in the back, who was looking around at his surroundings with wide eyes. In a way, it reminded Kirito of the day that he had met his best friend, Klein, and seeing him take in the virtual world for the first time. He picked Vaxra up out of his attached seat and proceeded to carry him up to the house, where he frowned at the sound of lightsabers clashing.
Wondering what was happening, he set Vaxra down as he opened the door and said, "Go and find Mommy or your sister, okay? I need to see what's going on."
"I wanna come!" the little boy protested.
"I know, but not this time," Kirito chuckled. "Don't worry, as soon as I can teach you how to use a lightsaber, you'll get the run of this planet. But right now, do what I tell you."
"Daddy's no fun!" Vaxra complained as he stormed inside the house.
Satisfied that his son would be safe, Kirito pulled out his black lightsaber and dashed around the corner of the house, drawing nearer to the sound of battle. As he got closer, he noticed that he couldn't hear any of the combatant's voices, which meant that this must be a rather serious duel. Nevertheless, he wasn't about to have any random kids dueling on his back porch on Christmas- or any other day!
Igniting his lightsaber, he rushed out, using a force slam technique on the closest combatant, a young man, and throwing his black blade at the saber of a staff-wielder. The Force floored the man, and his lightsaber slapped the staff of the girl, stopping them both in their tracks. Kirito activated his blue lightsaber and took his dual-wielding stance as his black blade returned to him.
"All right," Kirito said angrily. "Who are you kids, and what do you think you- Huh?!" He stopped short as Yui flicked her hair out of her eyes and shot him an annoyed look while the young man staggered to his feet. "Yui?! What are you doing fighting this guy?"
"Losing, until you interrupted," Anakin said as he turned around and used the Force to summon his lightsaber from where it had fallen.
"Oh please, I was about to hammer you with a Force Sweep until Daddy came in," Yui retorted, her mother's side showing as she put a fist on her hip and sent her father a look that said, Thanks for nothing.
"Sorry!" Kirito said as he deactivated his lightsaber and raised his hands in surrender. "I just thought…"
"You thought we were a couple of punks on your back porch?" Anakin said imperiously. "Really, Kirito?"
"Yeah, I guess I shoulda seen that one coming," the Black Swordsman sighed heavily. "Sorry about that, guys."
"Hey," Anakin said as he put away his blade and held out a hand to his friend. "Merry Christmas, Kirito."
"Merry Christmas, Anakin," he grinned as he shook hands with his old friend. "If you guys wanna finish this later, I was actually thinking about setting up a mini Christmas Tourney when everyone else gets here."
"I think I can make do with that," Anakin chuckled. "Let's get inside. I heard you're bringing your son in for a visit, right?"
"Yeah!" Kirito said, suddenly excited. "I'm glad you'll be able to meet him."
"Hopefully he feels the same way," Yui giggled as she put away her own weapon. "He's more of a handful than I ever was."
"Give your brother a break, he's just four," Kirito sighed as e rolled his eyes, try to hide the fact that his own thoughts were running along similar lines to his daughter's. Still, he also knew that it would be unrealistic to hope that any other child would be as well-behaved as Yui had been- sometimes he wondered if the Force hadn't given him an angel to call his daughter.
"This is your uncle, Anakin," Asuna said as Vaxra looked up at the tall Jedi, who looked down at his nephew with a grin. "Say hi, Vaxra."
"Did you bring me presents?" the boy asked instead.
"Yup, he's his father's son," Anakin chuckled, causing Kirito to sputter angrily.
"What's that supposed to mean?!" he demanded.
"Every time we got home, one of the first things out of your mouth would be, 'Hey Asuna, is dinner ready?' It was kinda rude." Anakin grinned with a raised eyebrow at his old colleague, who sputtered and fumed inarticulately. Turning back to Vaxra, he said, "Yes I did, but you have to wait until later to open it."
"No!" Vaxra pouted. "I want it now!"
"Vaxra…" Asuna said warningly. "Be nice to your uncle. He didn't come all this way just for you to throw a fit, you hear?"
"Yes mom…" the little boy said as he looked down at his shoes awkwardly. Anakin had to hide another smile at the sight. Vaxra resembled Asuna closely, with reddish-brown hair and eyes, and pale skin. And while he looked nothing like his namesake, Anakin could sense through the Force that the son of Kirito and Asuna could have been a great Jedi like his parents.
"Cheer up, little guy," he said as he ruffled Vaxra's hair, bringing a laugh out of the child. "It's Christmas. And something your parents told me is that nobody should be sad on Christmas."
"Mommy and Daddy always tell me that, too!" Vaxra said excitedly. The family smiled at the sight of the youngest Kirigaya warming up to Anakin. All in all, it was a good start to the evening, Asuna thought.
The guests all arrived in time for a wonderful dinner, and much merriment was had that evening. Toasts and gifts were exchanged afterwards, with Silica taking several pictures to mark the occasion. When asked why she was doing so, she replied that she was taking up photography classes in the real world, starting in the spring semester.
One of the best moments captured that night was when Anakin presented Vaxra with his gift. The little boy was practically bouncing off the walls, much to his parent's chagrin, but Anakin seemed to love it.
"I originally was going to pass this on to him when he was older and could use the full-dive technology, but seeing as that's already come about…" he winked at Asuna and Kirito before he pulled out a familiar-looking lightsaber.
"Is that…" Yui gasped.
"Yep," Anakin nodded. "Vaxra hasn't been able to make it here yet, but when he heard that you had a little brother, he asked me to pass this on to him." There, in Anakin's hand, was the lightsaber of the padawan, Vaxra, and one of Yui's closest friends from her time at the Jedi Temple.
"Cool!" Vaxra Kirigaya said as he snatched it from Anakin. "Thank you, Uncle!" He then began to shake it and hit random parts to see if he could make it work while Asuna sidled up to Anakin with a tense look on her face.
"Is that thing set to low power?" she whisper-hissed.
"Of course," he chuckled. "Kirito knows how to change the settings for when he's older."
"Okay, thank you," Asuna sighed in relief. Suddenly, the blade activated, causing Asuna to jump in surprise, and everyone else to clap and laugh as Vaxra struck a ridiculous fighting stance.
"Now I'm a Jedi, too!" he declared. Everyone laughed even harder, much to the child's embarrassment. "I am!" he insisted.
"Sorry pal, but ya gotta work for a long time before you get to be a Jedi, according to your old man," Klein chuckled. "He's what, a Padawan?"
"A youngling, actually," Kirito nodded. "Kids didn't achieve the rank of Padawan until they had been assigned a master. Once the master gave the okay, the Padawan would be elevated to the rank of Jedi."
"Then Uncle should be my master!" Vaxra said, looking up at Anakin, who gave a start of surprise. "Then I can be a Jedi, too!" Everyone's gaze swung over to Anakin, wondering what he would say.
To their surprise, he was silent for a few moments before nodding and saying, "Sure. Why not?"
"What?!" Kirito and Asuna said in unison.
"I said why not?" Anakin repeated. "Things are pretty peaceful back in my dimension, and the Jedi are rebuilding very well."
"But- But!" Asuna stuttered.
"Vaxra starts school next year!" Kirito sputtered. "He can't spend all of his time in here; you know that!"
"I know," Anakin nodded. "But when he's done with his schoolwork and all that, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't learn about becoming a Jedi. It's not as though I'm training him to be in a cult or anything crazy."
"If you teach any of your piloting maneuvers, he will turn out crazy," Asuna muttered, remembering some of the crazy stunts Anakin had pulled while in dogfights. "But…"
"Hold on, are you serious?" Kirito said in surprise. "Vaxra? A Jedi?"
"Why not?" Asuna asked. "As long as he keeps up with his schoolwork down the line, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't. The Jedi had good principles, and even if we can't actually use the Force in here, he'll learn some good life lessons."
"Well…" Kirito said, his mind still trying to process what was happening. "I guess so… This is just… really sudden!"
"As sudden as what happened in SAO?" Klein laughed as he slapped Kirito on the back. "C'mon man, you always talk about how great it was being a Jedi. Give your kid a shot at it!"
Kirito looked to his wife, who smiled with a nod. He looked at Anakin, who was calmly awaiting his decision. Then he looked at Yui, who was wiping a tear from her eye, but also nodding her approval. Sighing heavily, he turned to his son and said, "You can train with your Uncle Anakin as long as you behave, understand?"
"Yay!" the child squealed.
"Think he understood?" Suguha asked her brother as he rose with a smirk on her lips.
"Not a bit," Kirito groaned.
The party lasted long into the night. The tourney was held in pairs, and at the end of it, Asuna and Yui squared off against Kirito and Anakin. The Lightning Flash and her daughter let loose with everything they had, but in the end, the Black Swordsman and the Chosen One were too powerful for even them to overwhelm.
"Next year, squirt," Anakin grinned as he helped Yui to her feet. The Kirigaya child grinned fiercely in return, silently accepting the challenge. Some might have thought them crazy, already planning on the next fight, but not those there that night. They all knew that if your last name was Kirigaya, fighting was in your blood.
By the time most everyone had gone home, Anakin pulled Kirito aside for a private talk. "I just wanted to let you know, I'll be heading home for a little bit to explain everything to everyone back there before I fix myself up here," he said when Kirito asked him what was going on.
"All right, sounds good," Kirito grinned. "And hey, I'm looking forward to have a few more matches against you now that you'll be permanently in our lives."
"I wouldn't miss it," Anakin laughed before he faded in a soft flash of blue light. Kirito smiled as he felt Anakin's presence leave, knowing that all was well with the world.
And so the adventure ends... NOT!
A week later, Anakin appeared in the house, looking as though he had gone through the Battle of Geonosis all over again. Yui, Kirito, and Asuna were in-game, and they were shocked and disturbed by his appearance. As a ghost in his dimension, nothing should have been able to hurt him like this. What in the stars was going on?
"Uncle, what happened to you?" Yui asked as Anakin leaned on her heavily for support. "How did you get hurt like this?"
"There has been… a great disturbance in… the Force," he gasped. "But not in my dimension… Another, very similar to it… They need… a Jedi…" And he passed out, leaving the family to wonder just what their old friend had gotten himself into now.
Haha! Coming to you Spring of 2016, Star Sword II: Return to the Stars! Based on the original trilogy we all know and love! Check out my profile for a link to a YouTube video I made to show you guys what's in store!
Bet you didn't see a whole new story coming, did you now?! Please leave a review to lay down any requests you may have, or just message me directly! Until then, may the Force be with you!