AN: Hello once again to dot hack dimensions! Sorry for the uber delay. This chapter is very short since it was originally meant to be a songfic chapter involving Let Me Go by Three Doors Down. Listen to the song while reading, you'll see what I mean. The next chapter should be up soon, so enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own .hack or My Life as a Teenage Robot. I do own the original characters mentioned in previous disclaimers.
dot hack dimensions
Chapter 14: Unknown
Jenny sat at the foot of her window, looking up at the stars. After Aoshi had gated out, she too had logged out of the World. There was too much to think about, and she needed to have a clear head. The same thought continued to go through her mind over and over again.
'He knows who I am, but he doesn't care. Aoshi... who are you?'
Across town, the boy in question sat on his roof, looking up at the same stars.
"Jenny... god, I'm so stupid. How... how could I have done that? Jenny... I don't deserve you..."
"He has to be in school, somewhere," said Jenny quietly to herself. "I have to find him. I love him." Jenny closed her eyes, thinking. Aoshi's little habits, they had to be like someone else at school. But her thoughts turned to nothing, there were so many people. Yet, there was only one Aoshi.
"He's there, somewhere. I know Aoshi better than anyone; as soon as I see him in real life I'll know who exactly who it is."
"Should I tell her?" Sheldon argued with himself. "But, how can I? I've decieved her for so long. She'd hate me if she knew how long I've been keeping this lie." Sheldon thought back to all those moments he had spent with Kakera lately. It was the closest Jenny had ever let anyone towards her. In real life, Jenny had pushed Sheldon away so much. After such a deception, she'd push him, and probably others away for good. He wouldn't be able to handle knowing he had ruined much of Jenny's life.
Jenny rose and walked over to her shelf. She quickly pulled out her yearbook, and began to flip through the pictures. She stopped momentarily on every boy, considering, wondering, hoping, and dreaming...
"A list!" she said, pulling out a paper. "I'll get Sheldon and Brad to help me, I'll make a list of all the possible boys at school. They can help me track him down, I know it!"
"Jenny..." Sheldon looked down to the ground, tears holding back in his eyes. "What can I do? Anything I do will hurt her. What could be best that I don't ruin her life? What could I do? I'll do whatever she asks me, I just can't tell her..."
"I need to tell her, I don't have a choice," Sheldon considered. "But without the fan girls finding out either. She'll figure out on her own anyway. Maybe she'll forgive me if I tell her straight out, just maybe..."
"Ok, I have a list of prospective people in school. Aoshi has to be there, they're the only ones who know about me. Aoshi, please be there, I can't stand another moment apart."
Sheldon sat on the side of the stairs outside school, waiting for Jenny to arrive.
"Ok, you can do this," he told himself. "Just walk up to her and say 'Jenny, I know who Aoshi is.' Just spit it out and it won't be painful."
Sheldon jumped up as Brad looked at him curiously.
"Uh, are you okay?" the red head asked.
"J-just fine," Sheldon stammered out. "Brad, I'm scared..."
"About what?" Brad asked, then stopped, suddenly realizing. "Wait, you're going to tell her?"
The black haired boy shook his head. "I have no choice. I can't go on leaving her in the dark. She knows that I know her in real life. it's only a matter of time before fingers point at me."
"Sheldon, I don't know..."
"Brad, what else can I do?" He looked down at the ground, and closed his eyes. "If she figured out, I don't think she'd ever speak to me again."
"There has to be another way..."
"Hey guys!" Brad and Sheldon jumped as Jenny walked over. She was smiling, and was carrying two paper tablets with her.
"J-Jenny," stumbled Sheldon. "What's up?" Sheldon smiled slightly, trying his best to keep calm, although he was sweating profusely. Jenny was so engrossed in her own affairs that she didn't notice how Sheldon acted.
"Listen guys, I figured it out!" Jenny grinned as Sheldon and Brad shared a worried glance. "I made a list of every single guy at school that could possibly be Aoshi, and I need you two to help me check out these people. Seeing how the two of you are my best friends, and neither of you could be him, I know you can help me."
"Jenn, I don't know..." said Brad, but was immediately interrupted by a chirp from Sheldon.
"Sure Jenny! No problem. Let me just take one of the lists, and I'll get right on it. Brad and I can go out right now and start, ok?"
"Awesome! Thank you so much Sheldon!" Jenny ran up and hugged the two boys quickly, then thrust the tablets of names at them. "I have to run and take care of some trouble in town. I'll see you two later!" Jenny blasted off, leaving the two dumbstruck boys there to look at the lists before them.
"Oh god, look at some of the assholes she has on this list!" pointed out Brad. "You'd think she'd know most of these preps wouldn't be it. Right, Sheldon?" Brad looked up at his black haired friend, but Sheldon wasn't even paying attention. His face was pointed out at the sky, watching the path Jenny had taken. "Shel? Hello?" Brad tapped him lightly on the shoulder before the teen came through.
"Huh, oh, yeah." Sheldon stuck in the pad in his bag. "Listen, I gotta go. I'll see you later Brad."
"Uh, ok, but try to relax a bit ok? You're scaring me a bit." Sheldon nodded, not really seeming to comprehend the message, and ran off.
Meanwhile, others too were performing their own investigations...
"Alright, here's the plan!" addressed Brit to the group of girls around her. "According to Taka's report last night, Jenny is Kakera. Aoshi must be in the school if he knows her." She looked over to a short red haired girl in jeans and a tshirt. "Jamie, did Taka mention anything else to you on the phone last night?"
Jamie shook her head. "Nah. Ally- err, I mean Taka has visited me a few times, so when she heard who Jenny was, she recognized it. I mean, how many people use that 20th century name anymore? But aside from that, nothing else, just the usual disgusting infatuation."
"God, this is gonna be tough," remarked Tif. "Aoshi's in love with this girl and knows her in real life, but I don't know any other guys aside from Brad and Sheldon who talk with her irl."
"It can't be one of those freakos," asserted Brit. "Brad and his little brother are Rai and Tobira, that much I can figure. And Sheldon is too much of a freak to have Aoshi."
"So what can we do to narrow down the list?" asked Jamie.
"We must get info from every boy in this school. I want to know who every player is in this school. I don't care what you do to get the info from them. Threaten them, pay them, break their skulls!" Brit clenched her hand in a feat of rage. "We will find Aoshi, no matter what the cost."
Aoshi sat in his favorite area in the World, beneath a tall elm tree. Noone was around, thankfully, allowing the boy time to think. Somehow, when Sheldon was in the World as Aoshi, he could gather his thoughts better than he could any where else. Aoshi gave him confidence that nothing else could, but even the amazing character couldn't help the boy's mental connumdrum today.
"I have to tell her," he muttered. "I have to... But..." Aoshi shook his head in frustration. "What to do, what to do..."
The blademaster jumped up, threw down his sword, and screamed. THe noise traveled all throughout the area, but there was not a soul to hear him. Expressing his anger did nothing for him, the blademaster fell to his feet and cried.
"What the hell can I do? I can't lose her, but how can I keep her now?"
A whistling sound echoed through the area, but Aoshi didn't look up. It wasn't till the footsteps that followed stopped in front of him, and voice called out.
"Aoshi?" The tear stricken blademaster looked up to see the person he so hoped to see, but also dreaded.
The heavy blade walked over and sat down beside him. "Is everything alright? You look horrible, althought I didn't think that could be so possible in a game."
The blademaster sighed. "Kakera, I... I..."
"Aoshi, wait." Kakera put her hand on his shoulder. "Listen, I know you let slip yesterday that you know me, in the real world. And... I want to know who you are. Aoshi..." She gripped both his shoulders. "Aoshi, I want to know the real you! If you can know who, and what I am in the real world, don't I deserve the same? Can't I have the pleasure of walking around every day, and knowin if I see you, that yes, that is the boy that I love? That is Aoshi?"
Aoshi looked down. He couldn't bear to look at her face. Tears triclked down into his lap. "Kakera... I can't. I just can't!"
The heavy blade's arms came down, and she peered at him.
"Kakera, you don't understand. If you knew, god if you knew..."
"Aoshi, does it matter?"" Kakera touched her love's hair, trying to find his face. "It doesn't seem like it mattered to you."
"But it's different! I don't think you can accept it like I can!" They both froze as the words escaped his lips. Aoshi got up away from Kakera, and walked a few paces before turning back to look at her.
"I'd rather our relationship end right here without you finding out who I am and hurting us more. This way, I could still just be a friend to you in the real world. You'd never have to know, it doesn't matter. Jenny, I'd rather lose you like this now, then lose you completely." He paused, but Kakera couldn't meet his eyes. The blademaster sighed.
"Please, just don't try to find me. Please." He looked forlornly at her once again. "Goodbye, Kakera." With that, Aoshi gated out. After a few moments, Kakera grabbed her sword and rose to her feet.
"It's not going to end like this Aoshi," she said slowly, trying to hold back tears. "If you leave me in this world, I'll just double my efforts." Jenny turned off the computer and Kakera vanished from the game.
Jenny took off her headset and laid it down on the table. With a determined glance, she grabbed her school directory and the phone. She flipped through the book for a moment, then dialed a number.
"Hello, Greg? It's Jenny. Listen, you're really involved with the computer club at school right? Yeah, and do you have any experience with the World? Uhhuh, well how about hacking experience? I have a job for you, all my allowance for the next year. I need you to crack into the game's database, and get me all the personal information that you can on the player Aoshi..."