Published: July 6, 2004.

Pairing: Kira Yamato x Athrun Zala

Summary: Athrun has a secret obsession and it's in the form of his childhood friend, Kira Yamato. Meanwhile, Kira has been plagued by strange dreams that made him question his own sexuality. While Athrun brooded on how to deal with his own problem, Kira decides the only way to settle the matter was to enlist Athrun's help, with bizarre consequences. Pre-SLASH (ch1-6), SLASH (ch7 onwards).

Warning: This fic contains pre-slash, that is budding male/male relationship. It is within the guidelines of an R rating, and those guidelines do include non-graphic sex. If you cannot deal with this, DO NOT READ THIS FIC. Don't flame me just because you cannot deal with the idea of Kira and Athrun getting involved in a relationship. Unconventional character interpretation and it takes place after the known canon timeline. They are nineteen/twenty here, so they are both adults.

Disclaimer: Gundam SEED / Gundam SEED DESTINY belongs to Sunrise, Bandai and Sotsu Agency. No trademark infringement intended and no money made from this fanfic.

Author's note: I believe in an equal partnership nod-nod-nod, so the seme/uke "issue" is really a non-issue! LOL. This story is a Work In Progress. Feedback appreciated :D.

◊ Between Friends ◊

Chapter 1: A Favour From A Friend

Athrun Zala, had an obsession that he kept secret from his peers and colleagues. Not because he's embarrassed, but because his obsession was his alone. To share meant it would become public property, and Athrun would rather be stranded on a desert island for a month with no food rations than share that piece of information with anyone.

The particular obsession had been in the form of a somewhat skinny, brown haired, violet eyed youth – his childhood friend, Kira Yamato. When they were younger, Athrun had looked up to Kira with a mixture of fascination and affection. From the beginning, the older boy had him tied around his little finger, and Athrun had seen no reason to complain. He enjoyed making Kira happy and got a thrill when the boy smiled in return. Kira's smiles were like precious little treasures; Athrun kept each and every one of them filed away in his mind.

Enough to say Athrun was distressed when Kira did not follow him to PLANT after prep school all those years ago. After the war ended, both of them got their discharge papers; they figured that since their kickass Gundams had been blown to pieces, kicking the crap out of any dissidents using some inferior MS wasn't fun at all. Life as law abiding civilians was a refreshing change indeed. They returned to college to continue their studies, and by mutual agreement had decided that sharing an apartment was both practical and economical.

They spent the next three years watching each other grow and learning about each other's quirks. Athrun had to bear with Kira's weird fashion sense (what's with the boy and buckles, anyway! Furthermore, Athrun could never figure why Kira insisted on wearing that girly choker at all times. He didn't mind the wooden beads necklace, but the girly choker puzzled him greatly) and Kira had more than once threatened to braid Athrun's hair if he didn't keep it at a reasonable length.

These good natured arguments sometimes degenerated into mock fights, which the serious minded Cagalli put down as some weird male bonding ritual. She once caught her brother actually braiding Athrun's hair as the younger boy continued to assemble a mechanical cat. It disturbed her somewhat and she made a point not to drop in unannounced anymore.

At nineteen, Athrun quickly realised that his obsession was bordering on the unhealthy. While most of the youths his age were out dating girls and sowing their wild oats, he had been contented to hang out with Kira doing whatever the older boy wanted to. They had by some unspoken agreement overcompensated for their forced separation.

During the three years, Athrun noticed that Kira had never seriously dated anyone. Even his so called relationship with Lacus turned out to be nothing more than a deep mutual friendship. Athrun's instinct told him that Kira genuinely liked the girl, but only as a friend. As for himself, he just wasn't interested in forming a relationship with anyone, at least not /that/ kind of relationship. Cagalli was a female (and borderline violent) version of Kira, but he had Kira, so what's the point anyway?

Athrun was in no hurry to find a girlfriend or to get married. He still couldn't get over the mind boggling fact that his dead father had arranged his engagement when he was sixteen. Well, no one could boss him around now.

Sometimes Athrun wondered if Kira ever noticed him watching. He was besotted by the older boy's easy going nature and his kind-heartedness. He knew that Kira often had him tied around his little finger; if Kira had asked him to jump, he'd ask how high, Kira? Their common acquaintances even joked about them being joined at the hips, since it's rare to see one without the other nearby.

However, Athrun noticed that Kira had been acting quite odd lately. The boy would stare at him with an odd expression when he thought Athrun wasn't looking, and would quickly look away, flustered when Athrun caught him. Once, Kira blushed furiously when he accidentally walked in and caught Athrun stripped to his pants. That was very odd indeed; he didn't use to be bothered if the younger boy had paraded around the apartment naked. Not that Athrun was in the habit of walking around naked, but still …

It was late one evening, in mid-autumn in his nineteenth year when it happened. It had been drizzling for days, and the grey skies dampened their moods. The room was dark, the only light came from the flat screen television that filled a section of the wall.

Athrun sat on the carpet, as he flipped through the channels in an attempt to find something watchable. News, sports, reruns – nothing remotely interesting. He selected a channel at random, a travel documentary. Kira came into the room and flopped bonelessly beside him.

"Athrun?" Kira asked after a lengthy silence. "Can I ask you a favour?"

Glancing over, Athrun watched as the dim light from the flat screen TV flickered over the older boy's features.

"What is it?"

"It's kind of personal…" Kira faltered, biting his lip in a manner that the younger boy found attractive.

"Personal?" Athrun asked, intrigued. The other boy looked rather flustered, and Athrun wondered if Kira was having some kind of girl problems. He was quite popular with the girls at the college, and despite himself, Athrun was curious.

"You don't have to do it if you don't want to …"

Athrun frowned. "What is it, Kira?" he repeated, his curiosity piqued. Kira got to his knees and swivelled to face him, his eyes shimmering with a strange glow. What the blazes was the matter now? Athrun wondered, as Kira looked at him oddly.

"Can I kiss you?"

Taken aback by the directness of the question, Athrun dropped the remote control in shock.

"What?" Athrun's green eyes widened more than usual as he stared at Kira in disbelief. "What did you say?"

Kira lowered his head to hide the flush that coloured his cheeks.

"It's … it's just that I've been having these dreams lately," Kira stared at the carpet, his fingers pulling on the pile absently. "And … and I think if I can prove it not to be true, then I'm okay,"

Athrun blinked stupidly. What kind of dreams did Kira get to make him want to kiss Athrun? Kira was not one given to idiotic schemes like kissing his childhood friend. Athrun gaped, his power of speech temporarily lost. Easier said than done, Athrun thought. He'd wanted to kiss the brown haired boy for so long that he'd lost count the number of sleepless nights he'd endured while watching Kira sleep peacefully not three feet away from him. And now, when it was offered to him, he could not even find the guts to say yes.

"It's just a kiss, Athrun," Kira said hurriedly. "It can't be that bad. Just pretend I'm a girl or something," he added, feeling immensely stupid.

Just pretend I'm a girl.

That snapped Athrun out of his paralysis.

"Wait," he choked out. "Kira, wait."

Kira sat back on his heels and tilted his head. Athrun groaned inwardly. Wasn't he aware how coy he looked in that position? Athrun restrained himself from tackling the other boy to the carpet and having his wicked ways with him.

"Just what kind of dreams have you been having Kira?" he asked instead, sounding calm.

Kira bit his lip and lowered his eyes. "It's you, Athrun," he confessed. "I've been having these strange dreams about you. I – I figured if I can kiss you and convince myself that I don't feel that way about …" He looked up and caught the incredulous look on Athrun's face. His blood ran cold. Athrun would hate him now.

Without a word, he shot to his feet and ran to the bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him.

Athrun fell onto his back, one arm over his eyes as he willed the darkness that threatened to overcome him away. He remained in that position for a long while, his mind replaying what Kira just told him, over and over. Kira dreamt about him, and those dreams made Kira uncomfortable. Being the logical (and somewhat naïve) person that he was, Kira's solution to settling the matter was to put his theory to the test.

Athrun was a smart boy, and he quickly put two and two together. Kira Yamato had been having erotic dreams about him. His lips curved in humourless smile. If he played his cards right, Kira Yamato will see things his way.

Sitting up slowly, Athrun decided it was time to stop obsessing and to make his own dream a reality.

Kira curled on his bed, feeling utterly foolish and miserable when he heard the bedroom door open with a soft creak. He pulled the blanket tighter across his shoulders and squeezed his eyes shut against the shaft of light that came from the hallway. He lay still, listening for the familiar sounds as Athrun got ready for bed. He tried to make himself smaller, invisible perhaps, and hoped that the other boy would forget about his gaffe by morning.

His body tensed, he wanted to flee from the room, from Athrun. On hindsight, he shouldn't have asked Athrun for such an outrageous favour. Although they have been close friends for years, it was downright crazy. Kira cursed himself for his stupidity. Athrun would probably think he was some kind of repressed homosexual psycho, which wasn't true. Kira wasn't at all interested in anyone – male or female – but those dreams, starring his close friend and him were becoming more and more frequent, and if he must admit, alarmingly erotic.

The dreams might start differently, but it always ended in the same way. In his dreams, they could be working together on some engineering project in the lab, and then it fast forward to them making out shamelessly under the table. Or they could be walking home from the convenient shop, and he would suddenly drag Athrun into some alleyway and they would get down on each other. Sometimes they did it in the privacy of a locked room, and other times in semi-public places. It got to a point that Kira began to question what the hell was wrong with him. Why was it always Athrun, and not any of those faceless pretty girls that he knew?

If only Athrun would just chuck a boot at his head for having such dreams and put a stop all these nonsense. He seriously needed a reality check. Athrun was his friend, for goodness sake, and friends do not lust after one another! Kira pummelled his pillow angrily and bit his lip to stop himself from wailing.

There was a pressure on his bed, and he almost squeaked in shock when Athrun spoke up.

"Don't be so hard on yourself, Kira," Athrun said, his voice tinged with concern. "I'm not mad at you or anything,"

"Yeah?" Kira hesitated, turning slowly to face the other boy, the blanket held tightly under his chin. Fearing the worst, he held his breath.

Athrun smiled and tweaked his bangs playfully. "Yeah," he said. "Don't cry,"

Kira exhaled in relief and rubbed his face, embarrassed. "Am not," he denied lamely.

"Very well," Athrun touched his shoulder and looked at him pointedly. "Move over," the younger boy said softly. Kira gaped, and averted his eyes as a flush warmed his cheeks. The pressure on his shoulder increased, and he shifted obediently. He fought the urge to squirm as Athrun slid under the blanket beside him. They lay side by side, just like they used to when they were younger.

Presently, Athrun shifted, facing Kira. "I don't mind," he said slowly, his voice low like liquid smoke. "You can kiss me if you want. I mean, if it'll help to put whatever … theory … you have to the test,"

"Athrun!" Kira squirmed, his eyes wide with shock. "I –,"

"What's the matter, Kira?" Athrun grinned impishly. "You getting cold feet or something? Or would you rather I kiss you instead?"

"Athrun!" Kira squeaked, he face suddenly hot. "Wha --,"

His next word died in his throat as Athrun leaned over and kissed him lightly on his lips. He went rigid with shock at the other boy's daring.

"That wasn't too bad, was it?" Athrun sounded rather pleased with himself. He caught Kira's stunned expression. The older boy's eyes were glazed over and it sounded like he had stopped breathing. "You okay?"

Kira's mind went numb. He wasn't expecting Athrun to kiss him; he expected to be the one doing the kissing and Athrun to be the one resisting. That wasn't fair, he wasn't in control!

"No," he said slowly. "I wasn't in control,"

"What?" Athrun said, taken aback. A wild idea formed in his head. "Fine, you want to be in control. Okay, you do it then," he challenged.

"Fine," Kira snarled, raising to the bait. He grabbed Athrun's neck and kissed him hard. It wasn't too bad, he thought. I don't feel anything; kissing Athrun has no effect on me … in fact it's rather ghastly.

His heart thundered and his eyes slid shut.

His lips began to move on their own accord and he felt Athrun kissing him back. It wasn't so bad, after all.

His breath become heavier, and he gripped the younger boy's neck harder. It was rather nice, actually. So much better than kissing Fllay …

"Arrgh!" Kira pulled back at the horrible memory. He sat up with a violent jerk and wheezed.

Athrun winced. "That hurts, Kira," he admonished, rubbing his neck. Trust Kira to freak out just when things got rather interesting. "Was it really that bad?"

Kira looked stunned for a moment. "No … I mean yeah! It was ghastly. Ugh, I can't believe I kissed you," he lied. He lowered his head to hide his embarrassment. Dear God, what have I done? I actually enjoyed that …

Athrun chuckled lightly. "See? There's nothing wrong with you, Kira,"

"I … I guess so,"

"Idiot," Athrun grinned, his arms linked behind his head. "Let's get some sleep,"

Kira grinned at him sheepishly but his grin faded as he realised Athrun had no intention of moving off his bed.

"Athrun?" he said meekly. "You're in my bed,"

"So? What's the problem? You're not going to jump me, right, Kira?" Athrun narrowed his eyes into slits and watched the other boy intently.

Crap, Kira thought fuzzily. Athrun was giving him the acid test. He hoped like hell that his body won't betray him. Damn, he's a Coordinator, he could do this – he could damn well sleep with his best friend and not get excited.

Kira sagged resignedly beside Athrun. He remained wide awake as he watched Athrun's features slowly relaxed and his breathing became deep and regular. He was drifting between sleep and consciousness when he felt Athrun stirring, then slowly snaking his arms around his body.

"Kira …" Athrun mumbled in his ear, then subsided into deep breathing that convinced Kira he was really asleep.

Kira snuggled against him and presently fall into a deep slumber.


PunkAkauntan © Julai 2004

Okay, some trivia about the two protagonists in this story:
1. Kira Yamato was born on May 18, CE 55, while Athrun Zala was born October 29, CE 55. That made Kira the older of the two.
2. They first met at Copernicus in CE 61. They parted in CE 68; Athrun moved to PLANT and Kira to Heliopolis. They met on Jan 25, CE 71 in Heliopolis Phase 01.