Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Seed. =)

Floating in space. This was what he could remember since he first closed his eyes. Floating aimlessly in that vacuum, not really knowing what will happen next. All he knew was that he was floating...

Floating...

Kira Yamato opened his brown eyes and groaned inwardly, feeling every muscle in his body crying out in pain. How long has it been, since he had closely escaped the Genesis from completely disintegrating what was left of the Freedom Gundam. He tried to breathe but it hurt every time he took in the remaining oxygen in his gear. Was this how it felt like before you die?

He blinked a couple of times, trying to focus his vision on the small, round object floating inches from his face, inside his helmet. A moment later did he realize it was a ring. Lacus.

He could not help but smile. The small gesture brought jolts of pain to his skull, but he smiled anyway. There were many things to smile about that very moment. The war was over, he was sure of it, and he was still alive to enjoy the fact about it, though he really was not expecting how long he would last. Another reason to be happy is the fact that the last thought he would be thinking about is Lacus' face, her smile, and how she creased her brow before he left to embark on this last mission, and her words: Come back to me.

He would so love to come back to her. She would nurse him back to health; anything she touched would all return back to health. And not once did he wonder what she felt about him. Maybe, just maybe, her cold fa├žade of being the Commander of the rebel faction would not apply to him if he returns. If I return.

He closed his eyes, feeling his heart's slow beating. This was probably the end of him. He knew it. He was even beginning to hear voices. He heard Cagalli call out to him, then Athrun, and then, he even heard his pet, Birdie, cry out in the distance.

This is probably what you hear when you're dying. The voices of the people who matter to you.

"Kira! Kira! Wake up! Are you okay?" Again, Cagalli's voice amid a silent humming of p very beat-up mobile suit.

"Kira, open your eyes" This time, Athrun's voice.

Kira opened his eyes, slowly and painfully and thought his heart would explode at what he saw. A dilapidated Strike Rouge was gliding towards him, the cockpit open, exposing the two people in it. Cagalli was piloting it and Athrun was right beside her, already ready to come to his aid the moment they were near enough. He was about to call out when a very hyperactive green bird perched on his chest, and squawked. "Birdie!"

"Thank God, you're alive, Kira," Cagallii said as she let the mobile suit slowly stop beside him. Athrun went to him in a hurry, floating a bit to his side. "I thought you were a goner. I thought I was a goner. I blew up the Justice to stop the Genesis from firing, but I guess we were just lucky. It fired anyway, huh?"

Kira nodded, once again pain shooting out to his brain, causing colorful stars to dance in front of his face. "La Cruse was in the way, so I guess we really were lucky." His voice sounded do detached, like it didn't belong to him at all. He needed a glass of water. "What happened to everyone?"

"That's what I want to know, too. We should get back to the Archangel. You look wasted." Athrun slipped hi s arm under his and grunted. "I really thought we wee done for."

"So did I, Athrun. So did I. But right now, I'm just glad we're alive. Please, take me to Lacus' ship... I need to... keep a promise... that I'll come back to her..." He closed his eyes as he let his friend take him away into the Strike Rouge.

"Is he okay?" he faintly heard Cagalli ask.

"Probably. Let him rest. He's probably... " Athrun's voice faded, and he couldn't hear the rest of what he was saying. He was succumbing into a deep sleep.