Mirage

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Disclaimer: You'd think I'd be writing fanfiction if I owned this? For formalities' sake, I do not own Gundam SEED Destiny.

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In an outstretched hand, lay a box of blue and white pills. The same ones that he had seen Rau swallow so many, many, countless times.

Big, blue eyes stared confusedly into saffron ones. A look that held a myriad of questions.

Did Rau's supply run out?

Did Rau forget to get it from Gil?

Was he supposed to give it to Rau?

Or was it for him?

Was he sick?

Like Rau?

A myriad of questions.

Questions that only the black-haired man in front of him could answer. A young Rey Za Burrel tilted his head to the side inquiringly. "What are these for?"

Gilbert Dullindal, future Chairman of the PLANTs, gave him a smile laced with… was that sympathy? "These are for you, Rey."

Big, blue eyes blinked. He opened his mouth, but closed it again. There were so many things that he wanted to say. Only one word seemed appropriate. "Why?"

Another sympathetic smile, this time with that understanding look that most adults possess. "Your telomeres are short."

"Oh."

Rey bowed his head, and let his bangs hide his face. His hair really was getting long. Maybe he should follow Rau's suggestion and cut it. But Rau's hair was long and there was nothing wrong with it.

Rau… Blue and white pills…

Just like any child, he was full of questions that needed to be answered. Yes, some of those questions that he wanted to ask were unusual, but this time, he was quite sure any child would ask the same question.

"Gil?"

"Hm?"

"What's a te-lo-mere?" The foreign word rolled strangely in his mouth.

This time, it was those saffron eyes that blinked. In Gilbert's mind's eye, he could practically envision Rau sneering at him.

"You promised, Gilbert. You promised to tell him everything. Remember that."

"And why can't you do it?"

A smile. Not his usual sneers or a smirk or a smug grin, but a genuine smile. An unusual, yet genuine smile.

"I look into his eyes, and I see the innocence that I wished I had at that age. I don't want to be the one to take it away."

Gilbert felt his lips curl up in a rueful smile. 'And I suppose it's alright for -me- to take it away?' He looked at the young boy looking up at him with eyes that held so much of the 'innocence' that Rau was talking about.

Little children like Rey weren't the only ones who liked to ask questions; even adults, who were supposed to be smarter, adults like Gil, needed to ask questions every now and then.

Did he have the heart to tell this young boy what exactly telomeres are?

Did he have the heart to tell this young boy that because his telomeres are short, his life would be short, too?

Did he have the heart to tell this young boy to stop hoping for a future because he didn't have one?

Did he have the heart to tell this young boy that he was as damned as Rau Le Creuset?

Did he have the heart to tell this young boy that he -was- Rau Le Creuset?

Only a heartless person can do it.

And Gilbert Dullindal, though he may be many things, was not heartless.

And apparently, so was Rau Le Creuset.

The answers to every one of those questions would have to be a 'no'. He smiled at the blond, blue-eyed boy staring up at him. 'The innocence I wish I had…' He knelt down and patted his head in a fatherly manner.

"I will tell you some other time, Rey. For now, just take them and everything will be alright."

The look on the child's face was none like he had ever seen. So full of trust. Complete and utter trust. The same look, the very same ideal that will be imprinted in this child's mind for the rest of his very short life.

In the child's mind, these words rang true. That fatherly pat, those words, they were similar to the actions and the words of the man who 'saved' him from that dark room. He would trust this man just as he had trusted Rau Le Creuset.

Did he have the heart to tell this young boy that Gilbert Dullindal was not someone that he should trust?

No.

No.

Never.

Gilbert decided to be heartless some other time.

For now, he would let Rey Za Burrel live in false realities.

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Author's Notes: I wrote this while listening to 'Kiseki' and 'Omokage' on repeat. It works wonders, I tell you.

Please review and tell me what you think. I would very much like to know what you think of Rey's fate. I really pity the poor guy. What a damned life he must have led. Anyway, I'm planning to write his life's story, an autobiography of sorts. All in favor say, 'AYE!'