(6/28/05) I totally forgot to add the disclaimer when I posted this a year ago, so I thought that, with the cool new features, I'd update it now. XD Also fixed some grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

Author's Note – Warning! This contains spoilers, since it is set right after the final episode, and before the 5-minute OAV. Read at your risk. Thanks for reading, and please leave your review.


"He suffered some minor physical injuries, but nothing too serious. All he needs is plenty of rest; he has been through a lot, after all."

Athrun broke the news to Lacus and Cagalli once they had returned to the carrier spaceship Eternal, carrying an unconscious Kira with them. After the fateful battle that decided the future of the entire human race, Natural and Coordinator alike, Kira Yamato, pilot of the Freedom Gundam, was ejected off his wrecked mobile suit and was sent into space, with a dwindling oxygen supply. It was either through sheer luck or fate that Torii, Kira's android bird pet had found him floating in space. Cagalli and Athrun, also returning from their own hard battle, with the Strike Rouge Gundam, carried him back to the Eternal, where doctors immediately attended to him.

"Is that so…what a relief!" Cagalli exclaimed, scratching her blond hair in exasperation, "Always making me worried like that, sheesh!"

"Well, the important thing is, he's going to be all right," Athrun replied, with a short smile, "Come on, let's go back to the main room. I hear they've began planning on peace talks between ZAFT and the Earth Forces."

The pair made a slight jump, and they began to float towards the room leading the main room, thanks to the reduced gravity. But before they could even go far, Cagalli had noticed that Lacus had stayed behind. Her sad eyes were seemingly fixed on the sickbay door. Her hands, clasped together, were tightening in what seemed to be anxiety.

Cagalli was about to go back to her when Athrun squeezed her hand gently, getting her attention. He said softly, "Let's leave her alone for now. Lacus probably wants some time alone with Kira. She barely gets any, lately."

Cagalli was about to retort, but she then knew that Athrun made sense. It seemed like Lacus was in love with the unconscious pilot, and it probably pained her to see him down and fatigued like this. She knew how she felt.

After all, Cagalli was also in love with a pilot who also had a thing for risking his life on just about anything.

She didn't notice that her gaze was locked on Athrun for a long time, and Athrun began to blush due to the attention. "Eh…w-what're you looking at?"

Cagalli snapped back from her reverie, and looked away in embarrassment. "Nothing! Come on!"

With a tug on Athrun's sleeve, they left the corridor, the automatic sliding door shuffling shut behind them.


The room was dark when Lacus entered, save a small lamp that barely illuminated the room, providing only a mere beacon as to where the patient was. She quietly walked over to him, her steps barely making a sound.

There he was, sleeping quietly underneath the covers of the bed. Kira Yamato laid still, the only movements he made the rising and falling of his chest as he breathed.

She pulled up a chair beside her bed, and gingerly, gently, she took one of his hands in hers. Though his fingers were usually gloved when he went out into battle, she could feel the roughness of his palms.

Lacus could imagine the Gundam's cockpit…how tight was he holding on to the controls that, with the slightest mistake, could mean his own death? How fast did his fingers push those buttons that seem to transmit thousands of instructions, though would only take effect in mere seconds? How much of himself did he put into the Gundam in order for him to fight and stay alive?

And for what?

With one hand still holding Kira's, the other went to his head, gently moving his spiky brown hair from his face, his closed eyes. She wondered, how fast his eyes moved scanning the Gundam's monitors for enemy movement? How much intuition, instinct, and sheer force of will did Kira pull together as he fought wave after wave of enemies, while also trying not to kill anyone of them? How much of himself did he put into the battle in order for him to survive?

And for what?

Lacus thought, as she watched him sleep, that if the war had not happened, that if none of the battles ever took place, then Kira would have probably lived a peaceful life. Uneventful, but peaceful. His advanced capabilities as a Coordinator would certainly earn him a bright future. The thought of becoming a pilot of one of the most advanced and deadliest mobile suits would never cross his mind, not even once.

Anyone who did not know him would never think that this sixteen year old boy was the key to ending the battle between ZAFT and the Earth Alliance, much less regard him as a Gundam pilot. His facial features were gentle and soft, the kind that would belong to someone who read books all his life, not one who piloted a war machine.

Kira Yamato was, at heart, a kind and gentle person, sensitive and moody. He would always take the non-violent solution to things. He never wanted to take place in this mad, genocidal war. Yet, beyond his control, he was thrust into it, and made to pilot the Strike Gundam, and the rest was history.

He fought countless battles, using his inborn capabilities and the Gundam he was bestowed with to become one of the most destructive forces the universe had ever seen. A Coordinator with the SEED, he was a true force to be reckoned with, and any pilot who would dare oppose him would only face certain defeat.

Yet, underneath all that, was a boy who cries when someone dies. Underneath was a boy who never wanted to pull that trigger, or swing that sword. Underneath it all was a kind and gentle person who never wanted to take part in any battle. But he did pull that trigger, he did swing that sword, and he fought all his battles with everything that he could muster.

And for what?

Why did he have to risk his life in every battle, looking at death in the face?

Why did he have to suffer so much for something that pained him so much to do?

"Was it my fault?" Lacus mumbled, gently stroking Kira's hand.

She wondered, back when Kira was injured and was taken into Lacus' care, what if she never gave him the Freedom Gundam back at PLANT? What if she never had any way of letting him escape, of maybe even letting him know of the situation at the Earth Alliance base at Joshua, Alaska? What if Lacus made him stay at PLANT, and eventually made him forget of everything?

She smiled, shaking her head. "No…" she said, softly, "You'd find out, sooner or later, won't you? Your friends were at Alaska. If Freedom wasn't there, you'd probably find a way back to where they are."

She even thought, amusingly, that he'd probably even hi-jack a Bacow and make it fly through space and back into Earth.

She looked again at his face, and thought, after a while, yes, he probably would. Kira Yamato was, after all, loyal to his friends.

At first, Kira Yamato was forced to become a pilot of the Gundam because his friends were in the Archangel, the Earth Alliance battleship that had imprisoned them. With Heliopolis, their home, destroyed, they had no choice but to go along with them. Kira, with the Strike Gundam, was ordered to safeguard the ship from any incoming threats. He had no choice. He had to do it, in order to protect his friends.

One battle led to another, and it resulted in a seemingly endless chain of battles that Kira could not escape. There were many tragedies that occurred, many innocent lives lost, and Kira was in the middle of it all. He wanted to have no part of it, but these were battles that he was forced into. Though many of their victories were a result of Kira's masterful piloting of the Gundam, deep down inside, he never wanted to be in the cockpit in the first place.

He wanted to have nothing to do with the war, because, he knew, in his heart, nothing good would come out of it. He somehow had an instinctive feeling that to keep on fighting, for whatever reason, would only result in more and more fighting. He would be trapped in an endless cycle of violence.

He wanted it no more.

He wanted peace.

Lacus did not realize that she had fallen asleep while she stayed with Kira. She woke up, eyes glazed, feeling a small prickly pain on her back, probably due because she only leaned over on Kira's bed when she fell asleep.

Yet as she tried to rise, she felt something soft and warm on top of her head. It was gently stroking her pink hair, caressing each strand.

Her heart skipped a beat, and she faced him.

Kira was awake. It was his hand.

"Hey," he said, with a smile.

"Hi," Lacus replied, blushing slightly.

"How…how long was I out?" He asked, never straying from her eyes.

She stood up straight, and took Kira's hand in hers. She replied, "About a day, I think. The doctors say that there's nothing wrong with you, and that you'll be okay."

"Is that so…" He said, mumbling, "Oh yes."

He took something out from his shirt. It was a necklace, but as a pendant, was a beautiful silver ring. Lacus had given it to him before he went out into battle, along with a promise that Kira would return to her once the battle was finished.

"Here," Kira said, reaching it to her, "This is yours, right?"

Lacus smiled a true, sincere smile that exposed her feelings for him. Kira could not help but feel like he was being absorbed by the sight. He could not turn away. It was almost as if she was glowing.

"You're sweet, but no," she said, closing his hand that held the ring, "It's yours now."

"Oh…okay…," was all he could muster.

Lacus took his hand, and raised it up to her face. Then, she placed her cheek on his palm, caressing it gently. She was smiling, and Kira could not help but smile too, though he also blushed at her gesture.

"You're really here…you really kept your promise, just like you said," she softly said, feeling his warmth through his hand. Kira returned the gesture, his fingers gently brushing her cheek.

"Yes…well, I've got something great to come back to," he replied, with a smile. Lacus smiled back.

Kira stretched his limbs, feeling as if he hadn't moved for a long time, and suddenly, felt very exhausted. The fatigue from the battle seemed to have caught up to him. He began to yawn.

"L-Lacus…I'm sorry…I'm going to have to…I had so much to ask…" Kira said, his eyes beginning to close.

"It's all right, you need your sleep," she replied, with a nod.

"Thanks…"

He mumbled something else, three words, before he fully drifted off back to sleep. Lacus did not really hear it well, but she knew what those words were. She did not need to hear it, because somehow, her heart told her what he spoke.

Kira's hands fell back on the bed, though Lacus still held one in hers. Kira still had a gentle, yet tight grip on her hand, and Lacus was not about to let go right away. She would watch him again, patiently wait for him to wake up and tell him the good news.

Peace talks were finally underway between ZAFT and the Earth Alliance. It was still in the early stages, but Lacus felt hopeful for the future. So much had been lost, so many lives had been destroyed in this war, that seemingly both sides had apparently woken up and opened their eyes to the truth and consequences of their actions. For what seemed to be an eternity, both were finally opening their ears.

They had won this battle, but this was far from over. The fate of humankind now would be in the hands of those in power, and Lacus sincerely hoped that it would all go to a positive direction. After all, they had risked so much to fulfill their goals.

It was all thanks to the efforts of the people who wished for peace, and a boy who never wanted to fight, but battled with everything he had to end the war.

It was ironic that for peace to come, he had to fight, but Kira saw it to the end. He never wanted to fight, he never wanted to be in that mobile suit, but he had to do his own part in this war, and as much as he loathed fighting, he still launched his Gundam and blazed into the field of battle. He knew that only by fighting for what he truly believed in, would there be peace.

Kira was snoring. Lacus could not help but smile at the sight.

Her heart swelled with joy just seeing Kira like this, taking it easy, resting. She barely had any time to be with him, seeing as he always seemed to have to go to war every time she thought she would have time for him. Even the time where he spent his time with her recuperating seemed so short for Lacus. She had so many things to talk about with him, so many things to say to him, but it always seemed too fast, and Kira was gone again. She could only say the things that were needed, to give him the push in the right direction, to give him hope.

Yet she wanted to talk to him so much more, so be with him…somehow, being with him, made her burden seem lighter. He shared the same ideals, the same dreams of a peaceful world where war would be a thing of the past.

He was someone who she can depend on.

She was someone he could turn to, to cry on.

He was someone willing to protect her, even with his life.

She was someone who would do anything for him.

They both wanted peace.

Ever since their first, fateful meeting on the Archangel, she was surprised, to say the least, that a Coordinator like Kira Yamato had been accepted well into the Earth Alliance's crew. She had seen that they had made no discrimination just because his genes were altered; they just regarded him as another comrade in arms. Lacus had a feeling that Kira's own personality, his own distinctive kindness and his reluctance to fight, had brought him close to the crew. Seeing it all, she had been given hope that her dreams of peace would eventually come to fruition.

He had given her confidence. After all, even though she was the leader of the Resistance, who sought to defy ZAFT's determination to eradicate the Naturals, she was still a young girl. Her stern façade could only last for so long, and it was almost as if things were taking a turn for the worst. But meeting Kira, seeing his kindness, maybe even his love, gave her the will to continue with her mission. He had given her hope.

And now, this battle was over. Now, hopefully the peace would last.

She leaned over him, and gave him a soft kiss on his lips, and returned those same three words to him. Kira, already asleep, began to smile, seemingly enjoying a good, peaceful dream.

Lacus watched him sleep. She thought that he had fought enough battles, and still would need rest. Perhaps, they could stay of Father Markio's island orphanage, and rest there, and just observe the events that would begin after their efforts.

She rested her head on her arms, and, keeping her hold on his hand tight, closed her eyes to sleep. Hearing the calm silence, no longer feeling the anxiety of an upcoming battle, finally, she could relax. Was this peace?

Lacus Clyne could only pray this would last for as long as it could.


DISCLAIMER

Gundam SEED, including any ofthe characters mentioned above,does not belong to me, Mookamori. However, the events that took place in this fanfiction do belong to me, so there!

Thanks to BANDAI for making Gundam SEED, and creating great characters like Kira Yamato and Lacus Clyne, the now quintessential Gundam couple. XD

Lots of thanks to the readers for reading it from beginning to end, hope you guys liked it as much as I did writing it.