To quote the summary:
"When Asuna grieves for Yuuki, how will her family help her? When Kyouko cried in an inconvenient world where she couldn't stifle her tears, Asuna comforted her. Now it's time for her to return the favor."
This fic contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adult Fear: Chapter 16 reveals multiple cases of this is part of the reason why Kyouko is the way she is toward Asuna:
- Two days after her birth, Asuna nearly succumbed to sudden infant death syndrome.
- Shortly after starting kindergarten, Asuna tripped in the middle of a crosswalk and was nearly run over by a reckless driver, with Kyouko just barely managing to pull her out of the road in time.
- After starting third grade, Asuna was kidnapped on the way home from school, with the kidnapper trying to ransom her. However, a witness saw everything and reported it to the police, resulting in a car chase that led to a crash and the kidnapper's death from the impact; thankfully, Asuna was unharmed and unaware of what had happened, having been chloroformed.
- Finally, a year into the SAO incident, Kyouko began to lose hope that Asuna would escape, cracked under the fear that she could die any moment, and stopped visiting her at the hospital.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: In chapter 9, when Asuna finds out that Kyouko has still been trying to arrange meetings with potential suitors for her behind her back, even after their heart-to-heart in ALO, Asuna furiously calls her out on it, ultimately declaring she's no better than Sugou; Kyouko snaps at being compared to him and slaps her across the face, which stuns Asuna for all of a few seconds before she loses her cool and has to be restrained from hitting Kyouko back.
- Ascended Extra: Asuna's brother Kouichirou has a far larger role in this fic, whereas he was The Ghost in the original material.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Both Asuna and Kouichirou call Kyouko out more than once for her Control Freak tendencies.
- Cassandra Truth: It's established early on that Kouichirou saw Sugou's true nature from the very beginning, and warned his parents repeatedly not to trust him. Sadly, neither Shouzou nor Kyouko listened, and Asuna and 300 other SAO survivors ended up paying the price.
- Exact Words: Asuna is outraged to discover that after their heart-to-heart in ALO, Kyouko has still been trying to arrange meetings with potential suitors, leading to this:Asuna: You promised that you'd let me choose my path in life back in January! I thought that meant that you'll stop with all this suitor nonsense! Yet, here I find you of all people breaking your promise!
Kyouko: What I said back then was that you'll be allowed to stay in your current school as long as you keep your grades up and go to University. Nothing more than that.
- Gratuitous Japanese: The strange part is that almost directly after the Japanese phrases, you see what they translate into in English, which only makes the Japanese phrases even more unnecessary.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: In chapter 15, the stress of Asuna running away, as well as the reveal of the extent of her resentment, leads to Kyouko suffering a heart attack and collapsing. The symptoms are described as a searing pain in the back of her neck, accompanied by dizziness.
- I Warned You: As revealed in chapter 16, Kouichirou had gone off on a rant to this extent toward his parents after finding out about Sugou's crimes.Kouichirou: I told you that Sugou wasn't to be trusted! Time and time again I told you that Asuna never liked him! But you didn't listen! Well look at where we are now!
- My Beloved Smother: Kyouko, hands down. In chapter 14, Kouichirou freely admits to Asuna that the main reason he was away from home working all the time was to get away from their mother and her overbearing attitude, and that the entire reason he bought a copy of SAO and a NerveGear to begin with was to find an escape.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In chapter 17, Kyouko has this reaction when she discovers that one of potential suitors she had picked for Asuna, the heir of Murayama Financials, was in fact a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who had been kidnapping and confining multiple girls for several months, and he had recently been found out and arrested for it. Kyouko is left disgusted with herself, realizing she had nearly repeated the mistake she had made with Sugou.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: In chapter 9, Kyouko ends up doing this when she tells Asuna that since her brother turned out successful because he listened to her and followed her orders, Asuna should just "stop wasting her time and theirs, and do what she says." This ends up pissing Asuna off so much that she runs away from home.
- Parental Favoritism: Asuna ends up believing her mother favors Kouichirou over her, especially after Kyouko makes the mistake of comparing the siblings' accomplishments. This ends up spurring on her decision to run away from home.Asuna: You already have your perfect son who's the very definition of success himself! So why don't you stop wasting your time on a failure like me and focus all your attention on him?!
- Parents as People: Kyouko truly does love her children, and tries to act in what she believes are their best interests, but her methods, which include trying to constantly control their lives and ensure they constantly study, get good grades, and marry a suitor of her choosing, do nothing but make them resent her. Shouzou even calls Kyouko out on it in chapter 15, stating her actions have done more harm than good and if it makes Asuna hate them for it, then it's not worth it.
- The Runaway: Having had enough of her mother's Control Freak nature, and finding out that her father had actually agreed with trying to get her to meet more potential suitors, Asuna runs away from home, ending up staying with Shino for the time being.