CHAPTER 25: SUMMER HEAT
Cagalli was reviewing her photo album as she sat in her bed. She was glad that she could identify the persons in the photos. She was flipping several pages until she realized that she didn't have a picture of Athrun and the Rockstrip, not to mention the others who were present in the room where the revelations occurred.
When Lord Attha addressed her in her real name, almost everything came to place. The messy pieces of the jigsaw puzzle had fallen to their respective places. It had been easy for her to remember, thank God.
But Athrun's case had been different. All the revelations have come as a total surprise to him. She pondered on the thought, her mind returns to the time when the ship is sinking. As her mind wanders, she suddenly realized that his difficulty in recalling was caused by the thing that hit Athrun's head.
In her case, she forgot everything due to extreme shock so when her memory lay in front of her, she instantly got a hold of it, like remembering a forgotten dream but Athrun had an additional burden. He not only suffered shock but have a slight brain damage, enabling him to forget everything while at the same time having difficulty in recalling.
Cagalli closed the photo album and excitedly stood from the bed. I'm going to tell him not to hurry up. I'll help him remember. Yeah, that's what I'm going to do.
She went outside to search for his room. Athrun would stay for a couple more days in Orb if she recalled it right. She then thanked the maid as the former showed her Athrun's room. When the maid was out of sight, she took a deep breath as she faced the door into his room.
I will only tell him not to think much.
She raised her hand as she prepared to knock but when her left hand was an inch far across the door, she decided to withdraw it.
Cagalli, why are you hesitating? All you have to do is knock and give him some words of wisdom. That's very simple.
She let out a deep breath again and prepared to knock but only to withdraw. She could not do it. The only thing she could do right now is to stare at the door.
Athrun, I know you're confused as ever. I just wanted to stay beside you but that would only add to your confusion. I don't want it to happen.
She instead put her hand on the door and feels it without making a single noise. If she could have just stumble or made her breathing a little louder, she could now be talking to Athrun, who at the same time was standing in the other side of the door battling his thoughts whether to go out and have a talk toher or just stay inside the room. He settled on the latter. He then raised his right hand and placed it on the spot where Cagalli had put hers as if sensing her presence on the other side of the door.
This is just a door. Yet I could not pass it.
He then turned around and heads to the window. Meanwhile Cagalli turned around to rest on the door with her back thinking that the door was locked. But the moment she lean on the door, the door pushed open and she found herself sitting on the floor, her butt getting all the impact of her sudden fall.
Athrun turned around to see a struggling Cagalli trying to stand up. Cagalli immediately and embarrassedly stood up, "hi! Just checking out."
Athrun smiled at her, "actually, I was just planning to see you. Are you all right?"
"Absolutely! Yeah, I'm all right." She said as she walked in the sofa. "I invited myself in."
Athrun stared at her. When they were walking to the main door of the mansion, she was still Krisya, who doesn't know a single thing about Cagalli. Yet at this point in time, she is now Cagalli.
Off course, she had been Cagalli for the past years.
"Err Krisy.. I mean Cagalli," he said slowly. "Do you have a music room where we could do some simple playing of instruments. You know, band stuff?"
"As a matter of fact... uh yes, we have a music room. Are you set for it? Let's go then…" she paused deciding on what name to call him "…Larc." She stood up from the sofa.
Athrun was taken back. "You did call me Larc. Why is that so?"
Cagalli who reached the door turned around, "I just want to let you know that nothing's change between us even amidst the revelations. I'm still Krisya, the one you met on the battle, the one who had fun with you one rainy night and the one who sat beside you during the travel to Orb. And even though I found my memory, I'm not forcing you to recall Cagalli, Krisya would do."
Definitely, nothing has change. Whether you're Krisya or Cagalli. Whether I'm Larc or Athrun.
"However, I would like to call you Cagalli. As for my memory, I believe that it will eventually come back. It's just out there." He paused. "We've first met as Cagalli and Athrun. I would like it to stay that way. All right, Cagalli?" this time, there was no hesitation in his voice.
"Sure boss! " she said, the humorous Cagalli had returned. "Let's go then, Athrun."
When they reached the room, Athrun was impressed with the instruments. In his opinion, two bands could practice inside the room without hearing the noise of the other. There were classical guitars as well as electric guitars that come in different styles. There were two sets of drum. There where even wind instruments as well as string instruments whose name he didn't know. Two keyboard where resting on the far side of the room.
"You got some nice place here. No wonder you're a an expert drummer." He said then heads to one of the classical guitar.
"Tell you what, I couldn't even recall playing instruments here… Ah wait, I did play several times together with Mirialla and Heine." Cagalli said pointing her finger on her temple.
"Hey, why don't we play together? You have been playing to Rockstrip and me to Urban Shout. We didn't even have the chance to play together." Athrun said as he gave her a challenging look.
"You really think we could play together?" Cagalli went behind one of the drum set and started testing its parts. The snare, the base, the sticks and the rest while Athrun started tuning the strings of the classical guitar.
"Don't tell me you're going to play with that. I will go kicking some music with the drums." Cagalli uttered.
Just then one of the nylon string break. Athrun was glad that it didn't hit his face. He then removed the nylon string and pocketed the smaller part after tying the other part in his finger resembling a ring. This would do.
He then answered, "Off course not, we're going to play alternative music, our specialty." You sounded like Krisya, a person very full of confidence.
He then went to one of the electric guitar with some black and red shade. After a few minutes, the guitar is ready for playing. "So what are we going to play?"
"Since you're the vocalist and the lead guitarist in Urban Shout why don't you choose the song. The thing is that it should be both familiar to us."
"Certainly." Athrun suggested one song after the other as they found playing pleasurable. They played alternative and sometimes some ballad and love songs but they always come back to alternative.
They played for half an hour until they were both exhausted. Athrun sat at the sofa while Cagalli lay in his lap, with her back resting in the sofa.
"I'm glad we played. It helped me loosened a bit. Those revelations were really sudden. I felt like I was being attacked." Athrun confessed.
"Atleast playing did something good to you," Cagalli said in an exhausted voice. She closed her eyes to rest for a little.
Athrun stared at the ceiling then to Cagalli. Maybe, just maybe this is the right time. And without hesitation he said, "Cagalli, will you marry me?"
Athrun is bored inside the room. All he had done was to think hard. He tried to look through all the things they said about his life. He even watched the documentary video for several times but all he could remember are faces, only faces. However, among the faces, Cagalli had stood up.
Well why not? Even though I lost my memory, fate had arranged for us to meet, only on different persons but the fact remained the same. Athrun is for Cagalli as Larc is for Krisya. Whoever it was, the two of us would stay together.
But still, I could not ignore the people around me. I just have to talk to them, maybe in the process, some of my memories would go back.
Athrun stood up and decided to visit Kira, he said we have been bestfriends since we were kids and that girl, that Lacus too.I would have to ask them about my father and that doctor before talking to them.
He stood up and after asking some directions from the maid, he found himself entering another lobby and after passing a large slightly opened door, he stopped. The voices inside were familiar. He took a short glimpse inside and all the people he was looking for are all assembled here and were discussing something about him. He withdrew from the door and lean on the wall.
My first eavesdropping as Athrun.
"So why didn't you tell Athrun about his disease? As a patient, he has the right to know. It is for his best interest," Athrun recognized the voice belonging to Dr. Edom.
"But it would be too much for him. The earlier revelations are a great deal to bear. He couldn't recall a single thing." It was Kira who spoke.
"Yes, Kira is right. You have seen his reaction don't you? The entire thing we said came as a complete surprise. His mind is an empty slate," Lacus answered.
"But how long are we going to wait? He has only about a couple of months to live and I mean months. What if he doesn't remember me, his father? And you, all of you. I don't want him to die a lonely man," Chairman Zala's voice was full of pain.
"I think he will not die as a lonely person. Along the path when he lost his memory, he had met someone and I think the relationshipp they formed with each other is much stronger than what we think. And what is interesting is that they both lost their momery. So even though Cagalli had regained her memory, I'm sure that she would not let Athrun suffered alone. I just know." Dr. Edom explained
Kira and Lacus smiled at each other. They knew what the doctor meant.
Athrun left the corridor with a mixture of feelings. He felt like bursting because he had just found out that he has a short life with no identity. Alone in the journey. He shook his head.
Maybe that doctor is right. I'm not alone. I may have lost y identity but I did embark the journey with Krisya. I have her amidst everything that happened. Or should I call her Cagalli? Right. I should call her Cagalli by now.
He went outside to the balcony.
This feeling is so familiar. Have I felt this too often that I could still feel it enveloping me even though I lost y memory?
Then he found himself staring at Cagalli who is taking a nap in the garden.
An angel has flown beside me and she is taking a nap in the garden. Cagalli, I could not have live my life to the fullest extent if it's not for you. Yet still, you are carrying the burden of loving someone who doesn't remember anything about you.
He leanfurther to get a closer look. Maybe I stood to be corrected. I knew you at all, only as Krisya. Now it is the time to give back what I owe you. In this life of mine, I'll be forever happy to be your husband, forever bounded by your love.
-end of flashback-
Cagalli opened her eyes and stared at him. "Athrun."
"I know I don't have the right to ask too much from you. To tell you honestly, I still can't remember the moments that we shared together. But you face, I couldn't forget. You're in my dreams, even before I met you as Krisya. I wanted to be with you until my dying days." Athrun said lovingly looking directly at those golden eyes.
"I wanted to be with you too." Cagalli stared back at those familiar emerald eyes. The eyes of someone she loves dearly.
They smiled at each other.
"I know this line is quite popular. I feel that saying this is not enough to let you know how I feel towards you. Nonetheless, I wanted you to hear it, hear it directly from me." He took hold of her hand." Cagalli, I love you with all that I am."
"The feelings the same. I love you too Athrun and that would always remained a fact." Cagalli replied.
Athrun brushed her hair from her face and bend down to kiss her. Cagalli reached out and they kiss hard in the sofa with sweat running to their faces. Yet nobody cared. The kiss lasted until they were out of breath. Athrun's kiss felt like there's no tomorrow. Such kiss is necessary when words are superfluous to describe the situation.
Finally when they break loose, Athrun took the nylon string form his pocket. He held Cagalli's hand and tied the nylon to her ring finger.
"Well, its not an ideal proposal ring …"
"What are you saying? Its perfect." Cagalli raised her hand to see the nylon string tied upon it.
"Really? Things inside this room sure come on handy when you need it," Athrun said as he showed his finger with the same nylon string tied to it.
"Wait a minute, don't tell me that this was the string that broke when you were tuning one of the classical guitars" Cagalli teased.
"Precisely." Athrun laughed.
"I like that. Simple tings are beautiful. Its' the thought that counts." What would I do with a diamond ring if its value were only determined by currency? Love could not be measured by money or by materials things. It's the thought that counts most of all.
The announcement surprises most of them with few exceptions including Kira, Lacus, and Heine. Mirialla thought that the relationship were only flings as well as Urban shout and Rockstrip who were summoned again to Orb.
"Men, you really love each other, don't you?" Adam commented.
"I haven't thought that someday, you two will get married especially when the first time I saw you outdo each other," James commented.
"Are you sure about your decision? Aren't' you two, too young to get married?" Lord Attha asked.
"Life is short Lord Attha and so I would like to make everything happened now that I'm still alive. We don't know what's the future hold in store for us." Athrun stated as he look around.
"Cagalli, are you sure you can handle him?" Chairman Zala asked.
"Well, I know that he could not still remember anything about his past, but I'll be there to help him all the way." Cagalli answered.
"So it is set then," Lord Attha said. "When are you planning to get married? Next year?"
Kira nod. That would be too late.
"Actually, we are planning to held the marriage two months from now." Cagalli answered.
"Two months from now, but isn't that too early?" Mirialla asked.
"We believe that it is the right time." Athrun said. No, it is the right time for me, only for me. That's why I'm thankful that Cagalli accepted it.
"If that is the case, we should all help to set the marriage, we only have about two months left." Kira suggested. My sister would be married to my best friend. Isn't that something to celebrate…
Athrun, I'm glad you know how to handle your life. "Yeah, you have my support." Lacus said.
Two months, an eager marriage by two persons. "I agree, one year is too long for a preparation. These two couldn't wait any much longer. So we better give in." Heine answered as he stole a glance at Cagalli. Cagalli caught him and smiled.
"But on one condition.." Chairman Zala said.
"What is it?" Lord Attha said.
".. I want Athrun to go and visit Plant even for just one week. Athrun, you're getting married, but before you take another step of your life, I want you to come home."
Athrun nod in acceptance, "right, I should come home first."
The party led by Chairman Zala went to Plant and each person including Kira, Lacus, Dr. Edom, Dearka etc have their own time spent with Athrun, showing him the places that are memorable to him, that somehow might bring back his memory.
On the seventh day of his stay in Plant, Athrun find himself talking to his father.
"Father, I'm grateful for your effort of making me remember everything about my past. I know it's very painful to you that I don't remember you. But believe me, I don't want you to suffer.."
"It is not your fault that you could not remember me but I would like to say that you are important to me, as a son. We really don't have a nice relationship as father and son." He paused. "I always made you do everything that I like even if it is against your will. I have learned my lesson but it hurts to learn it this way especially now that you have.." Chairman Zala froze; his tongue had almost slipped the secret.
"Have a what? A disease that's been eating up my body. I already knew that. I already learned from Kira and Lacus that we have a bad relationship. Yet, that is part of the past. One of the things that is not worth remembering. I want us to make new memories, where both of us show our concerns to each other…"
"Athrun, I am very embarrassed to hear it from you. How could you forgive a man like me? I am a useless father."
"You're my father, didn't you know? You have a special place inside me and I'm grateful that you've become my father. Its all thanks to you why I grew up this way.. Thanks father .."
"Athrun thank you… So about the marriage, I just want to ask the reason."
"Father, I realized just recently that my love for Cagalli is beyond the power of the universe. There is something special with her which I don't want to lose."
"So, are you prepared to leave her when the time comes that your disease strike back," Chairman Zala said. They were not talking to each other inthe past but this day would not add to it. How could he let the past 18 years of his life being rude to him. Why did he have to lost his memory and possessed a terrible disease before he could learned his lesson?
"Not yet, there is so much to be done. I want to make new memories with her, not just about the bands. This time, it would be a memory that would surely be treasured more than anything else and I want all of you to be part of this memory construction." Athrun said.
"I see, so for now I'm sure that you already missed her. You'll go ahead I'll follow you in Orb. I have to take care of some thing before I could have my vacation from this work. You're going with Kira and Lacus. Have a nice trip Athrun."
"Thanks, see you in Orb."
The preparation for the wedding had begun when Athrun, Kira and Lacus arrived in Orb. Athrun went to his room while Kira and Lacus decided to have a walk in the morning sun.
"So Kira, what is your plan? Are you going to tell Athrun and Cagalli about the secret?" Lacus inquired.
"That is not necessary anymore but I will talk to Cagalli later. This time, we have to enjoy our selves because there are a lot of work waiting for us." Kira simply said.
Later that afternoon, Kira found Cagalli in the garden full of roses. The sweet smell lingers in the air.
"I've been looking for you. Glad that one of your maid had seen you hanging around the garden." Kira said.
"Oh hi Kira!.. What is it so important for this meeting?" Cagalli smiled as she went to the roses. There were red, white, pink yellow and blue.
Kira went to her and carefully picked one, a red rose. "Red roses means to remember." Kira gave it to her. "Here, take this one beauty."
"Gee thanks! How did you know that red rose is my favorite, there were several to choose from." Cagalli said, as she smelled the sweet aroma of the flower
"Maybe because somehow were the same.."
"Maybe. There were times when two people think the same way and like the same things. Talking about coincidence. "
"Believe me it's not. Cagalli, how would you like to have a twin brother?"
"That would be nice. I often wonder what it felt like having a brother by my side." Cagalli smiled.
"You have one now,.. I could serve as your brother and to make it more exciting, you'll be my twin. How's that for a change?"
"So could I give you a hug? I mean in the next two months, you're going to marry my best friend."
Cagalli went to him and Kira give her a brotherly hug and whispered to her, "be strong Cagalli, for you and especially for him. I will always be here if you need help, don't hesitate to call, all right? Sister."
"Thanks brother. Thanks for the advice." Cagalli returned the hug. They again felt the connection like the first meeting but this time Kira knew the reason. It was enough for him that she addressed him as his brother, even though it was just a pretension.
Lord Attha saw and heard the conversation. When they have a chance to talk alone, Lord Attha finally asked Kira what's on his mind.
"I saw and heard your conversation with Cagalli. I didn't mean to but why didn't you tell her that she is your twin sister?"
"The same reason that you didn't tell her that she is adopted. Cagalli is happy living with you and having you as a father. In all those years, I know she's happy and that is why I don't want to come into her life in a sudden and confused her. This would make matters so confusing. i don't want it to happen," Kira explained.
"Kira, thank you. You didn't take her away from me."
Kira bowed his head; "no I should be the one to thank you for taking care of my sister. I'll be happy to see you walking her in the aisle as her father."
The wedding had been held two months later and after another four months, the couple had been happy until one day when Athrun is reading the newspaper, he heard a noise in the kitchen. He tried to call out to Cagalli but to no avail. He put down the newspaper and went to the kitchen to check it. There he found Cagalli, unconsciously lying on the floor.
He hurried toward her "Cagalli what happened?"
There was no answer.
He knelt down as he started to carry her. This happen before, but where specifically?
As he lifts her up, a vision came to him. His past flash before his eyes bringing him back to the time when he was taking the summer class. His classmates had begun crowding around a blond girl that has fainted on a chair. He saw the version of his younger self slowly approaching the crowd.
It was enough for him to remember the scene, it was the first time he had carried a lady whom he recognize now as Cagalli, the one lying in his arms right now, his wife.
Memories after memories flash one after the other until it was overloading his mind. It was enough for him to remember everything that happened in his life.
The next thing he could remember is that he put Cagalli down the floor as his energy slowly drains from his body. Then total darkness. He had also fainted.
Athrun and Cagalli were brought to the hospital after a visiting Lacus saw them lying on the floor. Kira hurriedly went to the hospital after hearing the news from Lacus and went directly to Dr. Edom.
"What happened to them?" Kira asked in a mixture of frustration and slight anger.
Dr. Edom who was in charge with Athrun and Cagalli spoke in a low voice, "I'm afraid that Cagalli possessed the same disease as that of Athrun. Athrun had indeed transferred the virus to her long ago before they lost their memory. The activities of the virus inside her body explained it. Athrun and Cagalli are going to die soon. Sooner than we anticipated."
"No, don't tell me that I'm going to lost two persons in my life, it's not possible. Why them? Why is this happening to me?" Kira burst into crying.
Just then a nurse worriedly went to Dr. Edom. "Dr. Edom, the patient in room 201 is awake and he is in tantrum right now. The girl inside has been trying to calm him."
"Oh my, that is Athrun's room." Dr. Edom rushed to the room as Kira followed behind his back. A couple of minutes, they reached the room. They saw Lacus trying to calm Athrun as he struggled to go out. Kira helped her and they managed to have a seat.
"What happened?" It was the doctor.
"I was reading the newspaper when Athrun woke up and he was looking for Cagalli. I think he is dreaming because he was shouting," answered Lacus.
"Athrun, how are you?" Dr. Edom then asked Athrun.
Athrun just ignored him and looked at Kira instead. "Kira, I have to see Cagalli. You see, it's my fault that she collapsed. I remember now, I should've have never let this thing happen. Now she is suffering because of me." Athrun gazed at him. "Kira, where is Cagalli? I want to see her."
The three looked at each other. "You remember?" Lacus inquired.
"Yes Lacus, I remember every single thing. Now I'm begging you, I have to see her." Athrun said in a plea.
"Very well then, seems like we couldn't hide the fact to you any further. Please be calm though, Kira and Lacus will take you to her room," Dr. Edom said. " As for me, I have to call your father and bring him the good news. See you in a while."
The three walked in silence, each of them is preoccupied in his/her own thought. When they reached Cagalli's room, Kira gestured Athrun to come in followed by Lacus. Athrun went inside and saw Cagalli lying in the bed, sleeping. He wanted to think it that way.
Kira tapped Lacus' shoulder. Lacus understood and they both went outside.
As the door closed behind his back, Athrun went to Cagalli's bed and stared at her. "Cagalli, I should have never let you kiss me on that night, when the stars were shining brightly, when every second seem perfect. I should've have never let my self be swayed by my own feeling toward you. I was so selfish." Athrun knelt down and began crying. "Now you are suffering because of me."
After a minute of reflection, he stood up and stared at her face. There was the urge to give her a kiss and so he went to her and gave her a kiss. One that is short but full of emotions. After which, when their lips were an inch apart, he said, "Don't give up Cagalli. I will wait for you." He stood and turned but was stopped by a familiar voice.
"Hey green eyes…" Athrun smiled, she will never change. "…it was my decision to kiss you back then. Don't you ever, ever blame yourself for my situation. I chose this because I wanted to share your pain not just the happy moments. We swear to share everything, remember? Until death do us part..." Cagalli reached her left hand. Athrun gladly take it and held it tightly.
"And who said about giving up? Such wordsare not included in our vocabulary." Cagalli said. Glad your memory has come back. Finally, we can rest.
Lacus pats Kira's back as he quietly closed the door. "We should hope for the best Kira. Look at them, they are not giving up."
Kira stared at her and nod; now he understood.
Three years later, Lacus and Kira found themselves in the graves of Athrun and Cagalli.
"Athrun and Cagalli have been through a lot of times. Their story is such an inspiration, a true expression of love. " Lacus commented as she prepared the incense.
"Maybe because it was a love formed in the heat of the summer. Two souls who had known that they belong together even before they met." Kira plainly answered as he stared to the tomb of Athrun and Cagalli.
From the pale gravestones, only one thing stood out. A vivid red rose. A thing that would always remain special to Kira. He stared at it for a moment and then silently some tears began forming at the corner of his eyes. For the first time in three years, Kira cried.
We reached the last chapter of the story. If you have something to say, leave a review, whether it be a compliment or some violent reaction. Everything would be greatly appreciated by me...
Anyways, you can check my other story entitled SanGuine, a story about vampires and hunters. It is a three-chapter story... AxC
BeforeI go, I would like to offer my gratitude to the reviewer throughout this story: 3fi-pina3, Life.Love.Hate.Death., ovp, Cari-Akira, takari love, pixie-love, Sunflower Seeds, aNgEl-Of-LoVe-AnD-hAtE, Genny-chan, gseedlover, eternityforever, Hitsugaya's subordinate, Cagalli Y. Attha, AsuransGirl, Lord Leon Towasoki, The Angels' Princess, Craze Izumi, MyouseiSeed, vorahk, lamu, Cagallifan, Mini-MoonStar, Lil' Sugar, purple1, Star-Moon-Angel . We have been together through thick and thins, whether it be a review according to the misinformation in the anime, grammatical stuff and the story itself. If I missed someone, pm me and give me a kick, you have a right to be acknowledge!
To the invisible readers (those who doesn't leave a review but is reading the story), my thanks also. See you at another fic I guess. Ciao!