Disclaimer: I don't own Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED or its characters. If I did, the series would definitely be a lot...um...weirder.
A/N: Spoiler Warning! "Haro, Haro!" takes place after the conclusion of the war. And please don't take anything in this story seriously. It's bad for your brain. This is dedicated to my little brother.
"I really don't see how you can say that any of this was my fault." Athrun unfolded his arms from against his chest and re-crossed them behind his head as a pillow. "If anyone's to blame—"
"Hey, what is this? Let me out! I didn't do anything! It's all Athrun's fault!" Kira continued to yell over his friend's words, pounding away at the locked door.
Athrun sighed and closed his eyes, getting ready for a long stay. Who would have guessed that a thoughtful gift could backfire on him so badly?
Earlier that day...
Athrun stepped out of the car with a smile on his face, but his expression quickly darkened at the grounds' stillness. "Kira, you stay here. I'll go...tell her that you've come to visit." He shut the car door without waiting for a response from Kira and walked up the rebuilt driveway to the big front door. Today seemed no different from any time he had walked the same path, but some sixth sense was warning him of something.
Although it was true that last time he'd been here the place had been a shambles, he didn't think that would be enough to make him uneasy. Something was lying in wait at the Clyne mansion, and Athrun intended to find out what. If something had happened to Lacus...
The door opened and the butler came out to greet him. No, nothing was different here, although the butler was—understandably—not the same one he had seen last time. That one had presumably died during the war, along with much of the Clyne household.
"Good morning, Mr. Zala. Miss Clyne has been expecting you."
Athrun nodded absently. "Thank you." No, the butler wasn't dangerous, and Lacus was apparently safe. He didn't have any reason to worry. Nothing was wrong at all. Really.
Was he getting paranoid now that the war was over? He had heard that things like that happened to soldiers who weren't needed anymore. Truth to tell, he was having trouble adjusting to this life, but going back to war was the last thing he ever wanted.
So what was bothering him?
His bone-chilling answer came in the form of a voice—a high-pitched, familiar, robotic voice.
"Haro, Haro! Athrun!" More tinny squeals of "Athrun!" echoed the first Haro's cry as the colorful, bouncing balls of doom swarmed down the stairs.
Athrun backed away until he hit the front door, which was—to his utter dismay—shut. After a quick, frantic tug on the handle, he came to the realization that it was locked, too. He spun back around just in time for the first of the Haros to get within reach.
"Athrun!" it screamed happily as it rocketed at his head. Luckily for Athrun, his battle instincts hadn't had time to turn to mush, and he managed to duck the incoming yellow missile without injury. Yellow hit the door with the dull sound of metal on wood and briefly staggered in the air, making incomprehensible beeping sounds. It shook itself, clearing its head, and readied for the next attempt.
Athrun stared at the damage the Haro had done to the door incredulously. That thing could have given him a concussion, which was no small feat, given that Athrun's head was almost as hard as Kira's. Nothing could knock him out besides a self-destructing Gundam or two.
"Athrun, I'm so glad to see you!" Lacus Clyne descended from the stairs, her eyes sparkling with the joy of seeing her best friend and former fiancé.
"L-Lacus, these Haros are—whoa!" He resorted to reflexes he hadn't needed since GENESIS in order to dodge Mr. Pink's, Navy's, and Yellow's near-simultaneous "hugs."
She giggled. "They're very happy that you've come to visit. They get so excited that I really cannot stop them. You should come more often; they would love it!"
"Could you—" he jumped out of the way of Blue, "—please get them to—" Orange almost caught him in the ribs, "—stop?"
Lacus pursed her lips thoughtfully. "I'm not exactly sure if I can do that. They do love company so, especially you and Kira. In fact, I don't think they want you ever to leave."
Athrun froze at the last singsong words, backed against the door once more. He slowly met Lacus' lavender-blue eyes. She smiled sweetly, and he swallowed hard.
Since his back was against the door, Athrun was the first to realize that someone was knocking. Green ambled over to the handle, sprouted one mechanical arm, and opened the door.
Kira, true to form, had ignored Athrun's orders and left the car. "Uh, hi, Haro. What's going on?" he asked obliviously.
Athrun took this chance to bolt as the Haros sang "Kira!" in unison. "Run, Kira!" he shouted as he made for the gate. "You don't know the danger you face!"
"Huh? What?" Kira stood there while his friend dashed right past him with Yellow, Navy, and Orange hard on his heels. He watched them go and then gave Lacus a confused look. She returned it with her simple, innocent smile as Mr. Pink, Green, and Blue floated ominously up to Kira's eye level.
Athrun would have panicked as yet another Haro called out his name if he hadn't already reached the city limits of Panicsville. He increased his frenetic pace in an attempt to shake off his pursuers.
"Athrun, wait up! I don't know how to get rid of them!"
That sounded like Kira. Last time Athrun had checked, Haros could only imitate phrases, not voices. Of course, last time he'd checked, Haros hadn't been homicidal maniacs, either. He'd better make sure who it was first.
"Kira?" Athrun glanced behind him. Yes, there Kira was, but right behind him was the other half of the robotic rainbow.
"Why'd you make so many of these things?!" Kira wailed, catching up quickly.
"Don't you think I asked myself that already?"
"Well, what was your answer?"
Athrun thought about that. "I need a new hobby."
"No, you need a life! Duck!"
Athrun and Kira hit the pavement as the Haros sailed overhead, cheerfully twittering on about "fun" and "Kirathrun" before they realized that their prey was no longer in front of them. After a bewildered seven seconds of searching, Orange spotted the two boys scampering down a side street. "Found 'em, found 'em, let's go!"
Kira whimpered as the jubilant cry reached his ears. He turned to Athrun. "Stay behind and fight them off."
"What?!" Athrun nearly tripped over his own feet at Kira's suggestion.
"Sacrifice yourself for the people you want to protect, right? You're good at that, Mr. Gundams-Are-For-Self-Destruction!"
"You're a fine one to talk! Why don't you stay and fight them off?"
"Because I don't have a death wish!"
"Oh, and that makes it okay for me? I can't believe you, Kira!"
Kira grabbed the collar of Athrun's grey shirt and pulled him into the relative safety of a souvenir shop while the Haros flew past. "I just had an idea," he said, catching his breath.
"...What?" Athrun asked warily, eyes narrowed. Experience had taught him long ago that most of Kira's "ideas" got the two then-students cleaning the boys' bathrooms.
"No time to explain, just follow me!" Kira sprinted in the direction they had come from without checking to see if Athrun would do the same.
Athrun wasn't too happy on his part about being out of the loop, but he trusted his pal. Besides, this was the most energetic Kira had been since the end of the war. Cagalli would be happy if he managed to jolt her brother out of depression.
Lost in his thoughts, he failed to realize where they were going until they got there. He took one look at the building, screeched to a halt, and gave Kira a death-glare. "No."
"Come on, Athrun, she'd understand! Didn't she say she didn't want us to die, or something to that effect? Besides, she's not here, so she'll never find out." Kira was quickly ruffling through his wallet for his identification card.
"Lacus won't let the Haros kill us. We'd just be unwilling—or maybe willing, in your case—captives in her house. With the Haros." Athrun gritted his teeth at the thought of being trapped with those mechanical fiends. "As much as I don't look forward to that, it's still preferable to what she'll do to us if she finds us here."
Kira decided the jibe about his relationship with Lacus wasn't worth dignifying with a response. "Quit being such a coward, Athrun. She won't shoot you." The gates opened and he grabbed Athrun's shirt collar again, pulling him through.
"No, she won't shoot me," Athrun said woefully. "She won't let me die that easily." However, he let Kira drag him off through the Gate of Certain Death—mostly because he didn't have a choice. Kira could be a stubborn mule sometimes.
Kira reached the front door, yanked on the handle and pushed hard, was surprised to find that the door was unlocked, and fell unceremoniously into the foyer.
"Good job, Kira," Athrun said sarcastically from where he stood just outside the door. Thankfully for him, Kira had let go of his collar before opening the door. He turned to make a break for it, but something stopped him in his tracks.
He heard voices. Shrill, metallic, unearthly cheerful voices.
Kira cursed loudly and scrambled to his feet, heading into the center of the building. After a torn moment of indecision, Athrun followed suit, closing the door tightly against the arrival of the Haro-demons.
It was then that Athrun realized that, quite against his will, he was now trapped in the dragon's lair—also known as Orb Embassy's living quarters. Not good, he told himself. Something else was screaming at him from the back of his mind, but he wasn't sure he wanted to listen to it.
"Kira..." he began slowly, turning a thought around in his mind.
"Isn't it strange that the gates opened for us?"
"Huh?" Kira didn't think he liked where this conversation was going.
"The gates won't open if no one's home, so..."
Both fearless Mobile Suit pilots exchanged glances of pure terror.
"You go explain it to her," Kira pleaded.
"No, you do it!"
"I'm older, so you have to listen to me!"
"Yes, well, I'm taller!"
Kira narrowed his eyes at him. "No, you're not, you liar!"
"You're her brother; you talk to her!" Athrun countered desperately.
"Are you crazy? Why don't you? You're her--!"
"He's my what?" another voice cut in sharply.
Kira choked on whatever he had been about to say as they came face-to-face with Death. He contemplated telling her she looked particularly beautiful today, but he decided that flattery would get him either nowhere or an earlier, more painful demise.
"H-hi, Cagalli. N-nice day, right?" Kira smiled nervously.
She narrowed her eyes at him, her hands planted firmly on her hips. "Would either of you mind telling me what you're doing here?"
Athrun gulped. Her voice was deceptively calm. Having known Yzak for as long as he had, he knew murderous stares when he saw them, and the looks she was shooting Kira now were nothing short of fratricide. He could only hope she wouldn't start thinking about frater's-best-friend-icide, too.
Of course, they were ignoring her request—although request described it about as well as breeze described cyclone—not to visit her together ever again. Last time they had wanted to surprise her had resulted in mass chaos for Orb's security department and a large property damage bill for Cagalli.
"Uh...I can explain...!" Kira said in the traditional boy-faced-with-violent-girl technique, raising his hands in an attempt to placate her before she decapitated him—or something equally pleasant.
Crashing glass interrupted him before he had a chance to destroy his dignity entirely. "Hide and seek! Hide and seek!" Navy chirruped happily.
"Run!" Athrun took Cagalli's wrist and ran down the hall after Kira. The brown-haired boy barreled into the closest room, quickly slamming the door shut as soon as the other two had crossed the entrance. Both boys braced the door with their backs.
"What's going on? Are we under attack?" Cagalli was wildly rummaging through a drawer—presumably for a weapon—while she asked, already sure of their answer.
Athrun grunted as something thudded into the door hard, jarring him. "In a manner of speaking, yes," he replied through clenched teeth.
"Who is it, Blue Cosmos or—?"
"Clyne faction," Kira cut in curtly, feeling his life shorten with every shudder of the door.
Cagalli blinked. "What?"
The wood above Athrun's head splintered. Another thud and a chip of wood fell. "It's a long—"
"Haro!" Mr. Pink burst triumphantly through the newly installed Haro-sized hole in the door. "Let's play tag!"
Kira swore again and put as much distance as he could between him and the incoming storm of cotton-candy-colored killers by diving behind the bed. Athrun took up a defensive stance in front of Cagalli, ready to protect her with his life.
Oh, what he would have given for Justice Gundam at that moment. Any weapon would have been nice, in fact. A Mobile Suit, a bazooka, a handgun—in all honesty, he would have settled for the knife from his flight suit.
He glared warningly at Mr. Pink. The Haro stared back blankly. Kira held his breath, wondering who would make the first move.
Smack! "Ow!" Pressing a hand to the back of his stinging head, Athrun spun around to see which of the mechanical mini-monsters had been cowardly enough to attack from behind.
Steam was nearly coming from Cagalli's ears. "You really had me scared, you jerk!"
"But, Cagalli, they—"
"That's it!" She grabbed Mr. Pink, held it under her arm, and stormed out the door. "Come on, Haros, let's go."
Much to Athrun and Kira's surprise, the Haros followed her out in a neat, single-file line. They're probably as frightened of her as everybody else is, Kira thought. He smiled inwardly. Except Athrun.
"Cagalli!" Athrun winced as the door slammed loudly in his face. He winced again as he heard the click of the lock turning.
"Come on, Mr. Pink, let's leave those two morons in there and go find Lacus. I'm sure she'll be worried about you."
Athrun sighed exasperatedly, amused in spite of himself. She had said everything in a sweet, gentle tone except for the word "morons." Only Cagalli could make moron sound worse than serial axe murderer.
He leant back against the wall, crossing his arms against his chest. "Well, I guess we're stuck in here until Lacus comes."
"What?" Kira leapt to his feet and began hammering the door with his fist. "I'm not staying in here! Cagalli's going to tear us apart for coming back here...and look what you did to her door! This is all your fault, Athrun!"
Athrun raised an eyebrow. "I really don't see how you can say that..."
Voices drifted to them through the hole in the door. Kira stopped banging on the door, much to Athrun's ears' relief, and the two boys leaned close to the door to listen.
"Thank so much for finding them. I worry about them sometimes. They can get so wound up..."
"No problem, Lacus. You know I love the little birdbrains."
Athrun thought he could make out the jangling of keys and glanced at Kira. Were they off the hook?
Any hope he had felt was flushed down the toilet as the door swung open ominously. He and Kira were immediately bombarded by the technicolor terrors.
"Now, you guys be good, okay?" Cagalli amiably patted Green, who was sitting quite comfortably on Athrun's chest. Comfortably for Green, that is. Athrun was still trying to get air back into his lungs. "Lacus and I will be back in a little while." After receiving a happy response from the Haros, she turned her attention to the boys. "If any of these cute things are damaged when we get back, I will personally make sure you each of you suffers horribly."
The only answers she got were groans. She took those as a "Yes, ma'am."
"Come on, Lacus, let's go shopping."
"Are you sure they'll be all right?"
"Athrun and Kira can take care of themselves. They're sixteen, you know."
"Oh, I was referring to the Mr. Pink and the others."
Cagalli laughed openly. This had turned out to be a great day after all.
Athrun groaned miserably. This had turned out to be an awful day after all.
A/N: My brother had something to do with the creation of this, so if you didn't like something about it, blame it on him. However, anything you thought was particularly funny or well-written can be credited to me! Hope you enjoyed it, although I personally don't think it's my best...but I haven't written anything in a while, and maybe I tried too hard...ah, the sad life of a selective perfectionist.