Disclaimer: Guess what I don't own… go ahead… guess.


House of Cards

Her fingers, pale and smooth like porcelain, hovered a hair's inch above his forehead. Then her hand retreated back, held lightly against her chest.

Lacus Clyne sat in a stiff, cushioned chair pulled up beside her big, king-sized bed. Dawn had just begun to creep into the opened window at the back of her room. Artificial sunlight produced by PLANT generators.

On her bed rested Kira Yamato, caught in the throes of a dream. His head jerked to the right, then the left. His body glistened with a cool, shining sweat. The white, pristine sheets of the bed were tangled around his legs.

"Kira…" Lacus sighed, her hand hovering in the air once more. This time she touched his forehead, brushing his chocolate locks from his skin.

The young boy jerked away from her touch, tears prickling at the corners of his eyes and under his lashes. He mumbled incoherent words, hands rising slightly in the air, grappling for some invisible grail that he found just out of reach. Then he collapsed back onto the bed, almost screaming.

"Fllay. Fllay. Why?" he muttered, turning his head away from Lacus.

The young woman turned her head away from the man on her bed. Cotton-candy pink hair fell over her blue, blue eyes.

She stood and walked toward the window, waving her hand in the air as if to disperse the memory that lingered in the room. She was sure that if she squinted hard enough she would see the memory take form, become a woman. A woman with flowing, crimson hair and smoky eyes that hinted at anger and love and great sadness.

Kira began to say the girl's name again, whispering it over and over again like a prayer. His eyes twitched behind their lids and his lips formed words that didn't make sounds. But even still the unspoken words hovered in the air, choking her.

Unable to stand it, Lacus turned and walked from the room. She knew when Kira's violet eyes opened, in that brief moment between sleep and wakefulness, they would be filled with love. Love for the girl who had almost destroyed him with her hate and then had destroyed him with her death.

And she knew when his love faded to the back of him all there would be was the pain. His eyes would be alight with the memory of the fire that had consumed the one person who meant everything to him. He would tremble and he would remember and he would blame himself.

The halls were quiet and peaceful, hovering in a tranquil air before the day took over and it became alive with movement and life. Lacus went into the kitchen and made breakfast. Her fingers felt fuzzy and she decided she didn't feel like breakfast after all.

So she found herself walking up the stairs and into her bedroom—their, it's their bedroom—to check on Kira again. He slept calmer on the bed, the nightmare leaving him. Now, there was a sad, serene smile on his face.

Lacus was almost sure she could see the girl as she sat beside Kira on the bed, touching his cheeks and chin and lips. There were tears in the girl's eyes, making the dark smoke look cloudy and unbearably sad, and she stared down at Kira, looking lost.

"Let me have him…" Lacus whispered and almost felt the redheaded girl's eyes on her. "Please. I love him, I do. I promise that I'll love him."

Unspoken, the question hovered in the air, wrapping itself around Lacus's esophagus. Her pale hand rose to touch the smooth column of her throat.

Does he love you?

It was bitter question. Not a bitter question asked, but a question that would receive a bitter answer. Because no, Lacus knew Kira did not love her. He looked at her in admiration and for guidance and perhaps he had tricked himself into pretending he was in love with her, but Lacus knew he was not. Kira could not while his heart still remained tethered to the past.

And then the next question came and it was just as bitter as the last.

Do you love him, really?

At the thought, Lacus looked away. Did she? She and Kira had been together for almost a year and a half. She should know whether or not she loved him, right? But she didn't. She couldn't be sure.

There were times when Lacus looked at Kira and wondered why she was so sure she loved him. Once she had been in love with Kira because he had been lost. Because he had been broken and he needed to be healed. Lacus had needed something to heal. She herself had never been broken and the closest she would ever come to it would be by healing others.

He had been a dream, Kira Yamato. An untainted soul when she had first met him, clinging to the hope that he wouldn't have to fight. He had clung to peace and Lacus, having been surrounded by men who thought war was the solution to everything, fell a bit in love with that innocence. She hadn't seen the person just then. She had only seen the image of a young man not fighting for anything.

And then, when he had been broken, she had fallen in love with the young man she had healed. When you toiled to keep a soul living even as death had marked him as its own, it was hard not to fall in love.

But now, Kira was healed. For the most part. He didn't need soft words or a sanctuary. He needed something to do. He needed to find a way to escape the past. And Lacus was forever held fast to the past because that was the foundation she used to keep the peace between the Earth and the PLANTs. Lacus was a current, steadfast reminder of the past. A past Kira was trying to escape.

All she wanted was for Kira to be happy. And she had been hopeful enough, foolish enough, to think that he could be happy with her.

"Fllay Allster," Lacus said into the air, surprised at how heavy the atmosphere became with the name. The memory of the woman haunted her. Lacus had only met Fllay once and she hadn't been brave enough to make another attempt to know her better after the first initial meeting.

She wanted to be angry with the ghost woman that haunted the man she could—and maybe did—love. Lacus thought she had the right to hate Fllay Allster. But she couldn't. It wasn't in her genetic makeup. Along her fetus's path to become a Coordinator, Lacus had lost the ability to hold anger and hate. She felt them, sometimes, but they were fleeting things, tangible one moment and gossamer the next.

Her emotions were simple. They didn't go deep, but they were strong. She could love and she could feel anger and she could feel sad. Mostly Lacus felt sad. Love was a fleeting thing with Kira but the sadness always remained.

When she felt Kira begin to awaken, Lacus gathered herself and left the room. She didn't want to be in the room when Kira awoke. She didn't want to be surrounded by that awkwardness, like she had walked in on a private moment.

It felt as if she was walking on glass, tiptoeing across some flimsy bridge. One wrong step, one moment of too much pressure, and the bridge would collapse. Whatever kept her and Kira together would be broken beyond repair and they would float away from one another, celestial bodies drifting in the deep recess of space, reaching out for happiness but always having it just out of their grasp.

"Fllay…" Kira whispered just as Lacus slipped from the room.

By the time Kira came down from the bedroom, Lacus had breakfast out on the table. She smiled at him in her wispy, faraway way. He took a seat and drank the water on the table, staring into the sparkling liquid.

Lacus was afraid to say anything, afraid to speak. It felt as if she breathed too hard the walls of the house would collapse around them. So she didn't speak.

"Thank you for breakfast," Kira said suddenly. His eyes were far away and he was thinking of Fllay, Lacus could tell.

One day Lacus thought she would let the house fall down around them, bricks and wood smothering their relationship. But for now, she needed him as much as he needed her. They couldn't have happiness, but together they could have an intimate neutrality with one another. And perhaps, in time, they would find the chance to be happy with that.

Lacus turned her head and looked at the seat that was between them. It hurt her that it was easy for her to image Fllay Allster sitting there, smiling over at Kira, and trailing her fingers across the back of his hand. And it hurt her even more to be able to image Kira shaking with desire and then smiling seductively over at the redhead.

It hurt because it made Lacus feel completely left out. Her father was dead, her fiancé was in love with another woman, and the man she had thought she loved was clinging to the memory of a woman who had perhaps never really loved him.

But then again, maybe Fllay Allster had loved Kira. Maybe his soft eyes and tired smile had made her ice-heart weaken.

Kira had only said that Fllay Allster had been angry and mentally unstable after her father's death. Lacus had thought later that she couldn't blame her. She remembered how Fllay had held her shoulder in a grip, threatening her life to protect her father's.

A reluctant understanding had come from Lacus to Fllay. She had a father, too. And she had loved him greatly. If she had thought holding another woman hostage would save her father from his ultimate death, then maybe she would have.

It hurt too much to think about it so Lacus smiled and took a bite from her eggs that she didn't even taste. She was too afraid to think about what would happen if Kira left. What would happen to her?

So she left her house of cards standing, kept the weak walls standing. She didn't speak Fllay's name or ask Kira to choose between them. She didn't want to let the relationship they had fall.

It was truly all she had. This weak house of cards.


Word Count: 1775

Time: thirty minutes

Beta: none

Couples: Kira+Lacus, KiraxFllay

Genre: angst/romance

Status: one-shot (complete)

Author: Lizzy Rebel

Characters/Style: Fllay, Kira, Lacus pre-GSD fic

Notes: It is my opinion that Fllay was the best character in GS. She was probably the reason I kept watching it because whatever I saw in Gundam Seed I could see in other shows, and done better. I'm not saying GS was a bad show. Quite the contrary. There was a lot of potential there. A lot of untapped potential. They managed to get a few things right in the series and I thought Fllay was one of them. Plus... she was just awesome. I might just have a thing for evil redheaded women... in a purely platonic way of course.