DISCLAIMER: I do not Own Gundam
It was February 14th, otherwise known as Saint Valentine's Day. It was supposed to be a happy day full of love. And for some people, it was. Athrun Zala dressed in an Orb Military dress uniform, danced with Meyrin Hawke, a girl three years his junior fancied up in an ivory evening dress, one that had a sleeveless bodice and a high neck. The skirt's hemline was asymmetrical showing off her legs and feet adorned in white high-heeled sandals.
This time last year Athrun would have been dancing or standing beside Cagalli Yula Attha, the Princess of Orb, but thanks to the second Cosmic War and the events that occurred within Orb's ruling families, Athrun found himself a single man, albeit not for long. During his frantic flight from ZAFT and Chairman Durandal, Athrun had accidentally involved Meyrin in his personal battle. She had been a pillar of support for him since his escape.
Several feet away from the happy couple were Yzak Jule and Shiho Hanenfuss, both in their ZAFT dress uniforms, dancing together and not paying attention to anyone else around them. Sitting at a table with Youlan Kent and Vino Dupre was Miriallia Haww, chatting away like they were all good friends.
Visibly absent from this little gathering were Lacus Clyne, first Chairwoman of the PLANTs, Cagalli Yula Attha, Princess and Ruler of Orb and Shinn Asuka, ace pilot of ZAFT, pilot of the Impulse and of the late Destiny Gundam.
And seeing all of this transpire, was Lunamaria Hawke, older sister of Meyrin Hawke, former pilot of a Gunner ZAKU Warrior and Impulse, and, she thought with a heavy heart, one-time love interest of Shinn. The magenta-haired girl stood on the second floor balcony, watching as the couples danced, chatted and drank together.
The latter two people Luna could account for; she knew their whereabouts quite well. It had shocked her greatly when she had stumbled upon the two, alone in a secluded hallway on a waiting couch. The elder Hawke was just coming back from the ladies room when she had heard their voices.
"You know, of all the people I thought I'd end up with, you never once crossed my mind." Shinn had said.
"Well you certainly didn't come off as the boy you take home to the parents." Cagalli replied, lying on top of Shinn.
The talking stopped but Luna hadn't waited around to find out why, she had simply walked away, and then took up her spot on the second floor balcony. In a way it was to be expected, her battlefield romance with Shinn was born out of everyone dying around them, and even deep in her heart she knew it wouldn't last.
And last it didn't. Cagalli and Shinn had started off at odds with each other, with Shinn blaming the entire Attha household for the death of his family during the first Cosmic War. Then Shinn blamed Kira, Cagalli's brother, for the death of Stella, one of the Extended, an EA project. But he and Kira had made amends after the war, so there was no reason that he couldn't also forgive Cagalli.
And Shinn had taken it a step further. So now she stood on that balcony on the second floor of the hotel, clad in a red ankle length single shoulder wrap gown, with a small heart broach pinned on. And as all of this went through her mind, some of it for the umpteenth time, she still wondered where Lacus was. She was an important figure, leading the PLANTs to their current age.
"What's a nice looking girl like you doing all alone up here?" a voice sliced through her thoughts. Luna turned around to see a tired looking Asian with brown hair and violet eyes. She knew his image … "Kira? You're Kira Yamato right?" she asked to be sure. He nodded tiredly.
Kira joined her on leaning on the balcony guard rail. "So what are you doing way up here when there's fun to be had down there?" he pressed. She sighed, something that was beginning to become a bad habit.
"Tonight is for couples, new or old. I'm a single girl again, and I don't want to ruin their fun." She said honestly. Kira weakly bobbed his head up and down, apparently lost in thought, giving Luna the chance to study him further. Dark bags sat under his eyes, sinking into the soft flesh, his eyes appeared to be on the brink of becoming bloodshot, and every few breaths he seemed to shudder as he inhaled. He seemed to more out of place than she did, but she couldn't quite place her finger on it …
"Aren't you with the Chairwoman? With Miss Clyne?" Luna blurted out as it formed in her head. For a minute, Kira didn't even react, still staring forward as silence hung in the air between them. Then, he slowly turned his head towards her, his mouth ready to speak. Instead of words, he simply exhaled and slowly turned back to watching the party below them.
Finally he stood up straight, hooked his thumbs through two belt loops and faced her again. "At one point, maybe. I'm not sure what the extent of my relationship with her was. It doesn't matter now; she's far too busy running all the PLANTs to be with anyone. These past years and wars have taught me that waiting around may not be the best answer to life; many things could have passed you by without you even knowing about it."
His words rang deep in her heart, in her very soul. "I just want to live again, my life the way it was before the war, before all of this."
Luna turned to watch the dancers below them. "That sounds like a good lifestyle choice." She said quietly.
She felt a hand on her shoulder and was surprised to see Kira extending the other one towards her. "Care to dance?"
They swept across the dance floor as if they were destined to be with each other, taking the lead when either of their knowledge of the dance steps failed. The score ended and they grabbed a seat at a table, sitting down to rest. "You're quite the dancer Miss Lunamaria."
The former pilot took the complement. "And you yourself. What other skills do you possess beneath that sad exterior?"
For a moment Kira regarded her carefully, but seeing the happy glint in her eyes, he started to laugh. "An old friend once told me that I was good at making people laugh." He replied.
"A joke-teller?" she prodded.
"Not so much. I know a few, but most of what I know involve me as the punch line, I was a clumsy kid."
Lunamaria leaned forward with interest. "Tell me one or two."
He took a deep breath. "A GINN, a GuAIZ and a Strike Dagger all walk into a bar …"
It was late by the time Cagalli and Shinn rejoined the main party, and by that time many of the guests had taken their leave, and the remaining few were either dancing with wild abandon or taking advantage of the cheap bar. With the exception of two people, Cagalli immediately noticed.
Her brother Kira sat with one of the pilot girls from the Minerva, both of them laughing as Kira struggled to tell the last of his story. Shinn's hand tightened around hers as he saw Luna laughing so much, so carefree, with his war-time rival. But forgiveness had already been given, and he had Cagalli now, it was time to let go.
"One last dance, my lady?" Shinn asked graciously. Cagalli smiled, and they entered the dance floor.
A waiter made his way over to Kira and Luna. "Pardon me sir, miss. We're closing down for the night, so if you could-"
"Say no more," Kira waved his hand to stop the waiter. "But good luck getting those two to leave." And he pointed at Shinn and Cagalli still dancing.
He and Luna linked arms and left the large room as the waiter was trying to get the dancing couple's attention and failing miserably. "So what room are you staying in?" Luna asked.
"Number 20…9" he said slowly. They rounded a corner to see a cleaning crew inside a room adjacent to 207, and looking at the open door, Kira saw it was his room being cleaned. "Excuse me," he interrupted one of the maids. "What happened in here?"
She shut off the wet/dry vacuum. "Several guests under the influence forced the door open, believing it was their room. They were looking for their belongings, which they thought were hiding under yours when their stomachs failed them and the festivities from tonight came back."
Came back? Luna wondered, and then the meaning of the words hit her. "Eww, that's disgusting." The maid eyed her wearily and then focused on Kira again. "Management will be cleaning and replacing any items of yours free of charge sir, it's the least we can do. Unfortunately we don't have a spare room for you anymore."
"You can stay with me." Luna offered.
Kira smiled. "That's very generous of you, thank you." He took one last look into what was to be his room for the night. "You can tell the manager that he can get in touch with me at room …"
"417." Luna supplied. The maid nodded and then got back to work.
The trip to her room was short and empty of nasty surprises like the one they had just gotten. "Thanks again for letting me stay the night."
"It's the least I could do; I haven't laughed like that since the Academy."
Silence reigned over the next few seconds and Lunamaria shivered as she adjusted to the lower temperature of the room. Kira gently embraced her from behind, rubbing her arms and back to give her warmth. She leaned back into his chest and placed her head in the crook of his neck.
I need more affection than you know … she thought to herself as she gazed at him.
He almost seemed to be able to hear his thoughts. So do I … and lowered his head to meet hers. Their lips met, gently and quietly as the two kissed
Maybe Saint Valentine's Day isn't such a farce after all.
A one-shot created in response to a challenge from Storm Wolf77415. Believe me when I say it's gone through about four different variations, from its beginning based off of F.E.A.R. to this. Those with someone, have a Happy Valentine's Day. For the rest of us (myself included), let's just enjoy the day. Buy flowers for you mother, sister, roommate/landlady, whatever the case may be.