A/N: I have not died. Simply on a little break from my other stories till I'm ready to pick them up again. :3
I try to write longer and update sooner, but sometimes, people try to push and rush me. It doesn't work, at all. In fact, if one notices enough, they'd sooner realize that the more I'm irate, I write shorter chapters and I update infrequently. I don't do it to spite those people. I simply do it because I don't feel welcome for my efforts.
Anyhow now---In this oneshot, love turns in favor. It can be so very painful or so very sweet. Let's give it up and see if my story captures those points, shall we?
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE! Enjoy!
"One More Try"
Lyrics by A1
The only source of light was the dimming blue from the half moon, shining through the glass windows of the Attha mansion hall and touching the whole place with a soft hue. Kira leaned against one of the large planes and sighed softly to himself. He looked up into the starry sky as his mind began to wander.
He imagined himself up there in space again where the dark sky truly stretched endlessly in all directions. But he wanted to know, which direction had Fllay gone after she died. He personally didn't have a particular belief, but where would a person go after they left their lives behind? Kira felt guilt clench within his chest and he nearly spilled over in tears again.
He remembered the vessel exploding right before his eyes and he could do absolutely nothing to stop it. He could almost remember seeing her facing him through the window, begging for help before the flames took her hungrily away.
Kira snapped and smacked the glass window with his fist. He knew he could have broken it, but the glass was bullet proof. He sunk to his knees and wept a bit, biting back as many sobs as he could. He knew that if Lacus saw him like this, she would hold him and talk to him softly like no one else could do for him. But it was night, and she should be in bed. There was no one there to hold him.
"I loved you so much… Why did you have to be taken from me?
There was a shuffle of feet that he hadn't realized beforehand that someone had been watching him. He didn't see the face, but a flash of pink caught his eye before the person had gone. He heard the faint mechanical voice of a haro, "What's up, Lacus! What's up!" Kira felt dread wound inside him knowing what she must have heard.
He banged his head against the glass wishing he could just melt away. The deathly silence was deafening his ears again and he just wanted to scream, but he thought better of it. Instead, he stood up and left the hall where the sky had looked down and mocked him with regretful memories.
Lacus had hurried away as fast as she could, part of her hoping that Kira had not noticed her and the other part wishing he would pursue her and claim that it was only a mistake. She stopped in her tracks. Only a mistake? What had she been thinking? It was only truth that Kira would never get over Fllay's loss. That girl would always be number one to him because she was his first love.
Another dread crossed her mind; one that she hoped would not arise in her heart, but it was too late. Lacus felt as if her heart went amiss and her coolness collect over her profile as it once had many times before. What if Kira really had no room for her in his heart? And that she was only a third wheel after all.
What if she was the only one of the two of them who truly fell in love? And Kira was never in love with her at all? She was lost now. She felt as if she lost him. But how could she lose him when he was never hers to begin with?
Lacus had taken herself to the mansion gardens and hid herself among the many rhododendron hedge walls by the fountain. Finally, her coolness shattered when she could hold out no longer. Large tears streaked her face as she held her hands to her face. No one seemed to be around, but still, she felt a bit embarrassed. She was always strong in her gentle ways. People had looked up to her, and here she was, not even able to collect herself.
She stifled an anguish cry and dug her pale fingers against the softness of her face. No, no one should ever see her like this. She was strong and so she will weep secretively. No one should see her this way….
Lacus forced an abrupt silence upon herself, but didn't take her hands from her eyes. She already knew who it was anyway. A small grim smile graced her lips as she spoke in a small calm voice, "Can I help you?"
"It's just… I was taking a walk when I thought someone else was also around. I really didn't mean to intrude, but…."
Lacus removed her fists from her face slightly and stared up into worried green eyes. She bowed her head quickly and put her damp hands behind her, "It's all right. I was just… walking around too… you know? Tonight is very beautiful. It's clear, and the moon is bright. Plus, it's not too cold or too warm…."
Suddenly, familiar arms surrounded her comfortingly. A hand stroked her back gently as her face was pressed into his shirt in surprise. Her arms were frozen to her sides as she realized he was hugging her. This time, it was someone else comforting her and not the other way around.
A watery whimper escaped her control and soon she was crying again. Her arms wrapped themselves tightly about his waist and he held her all the more tighter, "That's it, Lacus. Whatever happened, it'll be all right soon. Let it out, I'm here for you. I'm your friend."
Now her cries weren't strangled and locked up half way. Instead, they were heart wrenching to be heard and heartbreaking to listen to. Athrun held her against him and kissed her head as he rocked gently to calm her. He'd never seen Lacus cry and it was very to close to making a man like him break down with her. He never wanted to see such a thing happen again, but he could only wonder about what had happened to make the pink-haired fairy cry as if there was a fragile glass within her that shattered and was cutting her tender heart to pieces.
Just around the corner in the garden, a young blonde stood with her hands wrapped around her. Athrun? And Lacus? Together? How…?
Trusting her eyes with what she saw, and not even waiting to hear anything, Cagalli pushed away from the wall. Careful not to make a noise, Cagalli left the place where she stood and slipped into the darkness of the garden maze.
She couldn't believe her eyes. She reprimanded herself for even eavesdropping, remembering the saying about eavesdroppers, and how every eavesdropping led to problem after problem.
Still, she had been on her way to the kitchen for a glass of milk when she saw Lacus run by the hallway she was in and towards the garden to find solitude. Was it her fault that she was worried about her friend?
She saw Lacus crying and her heart flew to her …. But then Athrun came.
And the rest proceeded from there on.
Cagalli could only concentrate on getting back to her room. She was so focused on the familiar patterns of the carpet under her feet that she collided into her brother when she rounded the corner. Instead of falling onto her butt though, Kira managed to catch her arm and steady her.
Cagalli looked up and shook her head, "No, don't worry about it. 'Night Kira."
She started to walk again, but Kira grabbed her wrist.
"What?" Cagalli snapped, angry tears already threatening to spill.
Kira was taken back for a moment, but he spoke carefully, "Have you seen Lacus? I was trying to look for her, but the house is too big to find one person alone."
Cagalli breathed heavily through her nostrils as she replied icily, "Your girlfriend's with Athrun."
"What?" Kira was genuinely surprised at the bitter tone his sister was using. He knew she was an emotional person, but something didn't feel right.
Cagalli whipped her head back to face him and snapped, "She's with Athrun!" The blonde sighed heavily again and ripped her hand from her twin's grasp, "Damnit, I don't know what's going on…!"
Kira could say nothing as he watched his sister's shoulders shake in anger. She looked up at the dark ceiling in the hall trying to hold something back. Kira thought he saw her eyes glimmer in the pale light peeking in from around the corner, but she lowered her head and looked away before he could be sure. His thoughts were confirmed though when she swiped at her eyes with the back of her hand and uttered a choked sound.
"Sorry about that. I'm going to bed now. Goodnight, Kira."
With that, Kira could only watch her disappear into the shadows of the hall. He stood for a moment, stunned and unable to move his feet. When he regained his bearings, all he could do was look at his hand, which he had used to grab hers. He didn't even get a chance to inquire about what had happened.
Kira grit his teeth before deciding that a wild goose hunt tonight wasn't going to work.
He was going to talk to Athrun in the morning and see what was going on. If he was lucky, he may even catch Lacus.
The next morning, Lacus was up at an early hour and nobody really knew where she was, and Cagalli remained locked in her room. Kira was becoming exasperated and Athrun was just confused.
It was ten in the morning when Athrun finally went to fetch Cagalli from her room since no one else could coax her out. He knew that she threw some angry fits sometimes due to stress from the council or from work. But Athrun being Athrun thought this was no different than all those other times. Little did he know that he was the problem this time.
Athrun knocked patiently on her big white double doors, knowing her temper needed to be handled gently. When there was no answer, he knocked louder.
"Cagalli?" He spoke through the door, "Hey, it's me. Would you like to talk?"
There was still no answer. He waited a little longer, but grew a bit impatient when he was still faced with a cold shoulder. Still, he spoke gently as if he was speaking to a little kid, "You know, if we talk about this, you might feel better…?"
There was a loud crash in the room and he winced. She must have been sitting on a chair or something and knocked it over when she stood up. Oh yeah, his princess was really fired up.
"GO AWAY, YOU PIG!"
Athrun was taken back, but quickly recovered. His brow creased into a frown as he grit his jaw. What was with that woman! He cleared his voice and spoke just as softly as before, only this time the under current of his tone was sharply edged, "I hope you'll reconsider what you just said. As far as I recall, I don't remember doing anything to offend you."
He heard footsteps approach the door as it opened a tiny bit. Half of her face peeked out and from what he noticed, there were lines under her eyes, signaling that she had probably been awake all night, or had been crying herself to sleep. Maybe even a little of both. Otherwise, those shadows were probably cast due to the lack of light inside her room since she hadn't even bothered to throw open the curtains yet.
"Well dig a little deeper, hon."
The door was shut again and her tired angry face had disappeared from view.
Athrun blinked before his eyes narrowed once more. He stood close to the door, knowing from the lack of movement inside that she was still right on the other side.
"You can't expect people to understand what's happening if you don't tell them. I'm not you, so I wouldn't know what you're feeling right now if won't tell me," he added, "Besides, you could always tell me anything. What happened now?"
Cagalli's face flushed red with anger as her cheeks puffed out, ready to deliver another insult. That imbecile….
"You SHOULD know," she ground out, "YOU'RE the problem!"
Athrun dragged a hand through his navy colored hair and sighed out in frustration, "All right. Tell me what I did."
"YOU SHOULD KNOW!"
Athrun's green eyes hardened as he finally bit back, "How can I! Do you think I'd be asking if I knew?"
He heard Cagalli snort disdainfully, "Then ask me to leave you already!"
Athrun seethed, "What are you babbling about!"
"About you! About US!" Cagalli cried back at him, "You're obviously lying to me about last night. How am I to know if you've been lying all along? If you wanted to let me down all this time, WHY DON'T YOU JUST GET THE DAMN THING OVER WITH ALREADY!"
Athrun banged the back of his head against the doors and shouted back at her, "YOU'RE obviously out of your mind! What made you think I was trying to leave you!"
Cagalli sputtered indignantly, "You're such a stupid, CLUELESS, moronic idiot! Always snapping back when you're the issue here!"
The navy haired man gripped his bangs as he turned his head to the side towards the door, "And you think you're being any less of a hot-tempered child!"
There was no answer, except for a thump on the other side. Suddenly, he could hear her on the ground, sniffing discreetly, even to sensitive ears. His anger quickly ceased as his brow relaxed, unable to stay mad at her, knowing he really did cross a line somewhere.
She choked out softly, "That's why isn't it? Because I'm such a baby all the time?"
Athrun sat down against the doors and tilted his head back. He propped his arms on his bent legs before him and asked softly, "Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean what I said just then. But I really, really don't know what I did that made you so mad before that. Let's just talk, okay?"
On the other side, Cagalli sat with her back against the doors. Her knees were drawn to her chest and her arms wrapped around them. She bowed her head against her knees saying nothing back. She was too focused on trying to calm down.
Athrun waited and waited, but still received nothing but sniffles and the occasional hiccup. He looked down the hall, wondering if anyone would stumble upon them like this. He felt cold sweat run down his face as he thought of Kisaka being the one who would round into the hall. He tried again.
He heard her get up and walk away. Turning his ear to the door, he listened hard, only to hear the bedsprings squeak like she had flung herself on top of her big mattress.
Looking up at the hall's light blue ceiling, he breathed out a sigh of exasperation before hanging his head. He knew that this discussion was over.
A part of him considered shoving the doors open and forcing her to talk, but the rational side of him caught his attention and reasoned that it would definitely be a bad idea for many obvious reasons.
One included getting his head beaten through the floor.
After about ten minutes or so of no noise from the other side, he realized that he should give her some time to herself before trying again.
Getting to his feet, he stretched soundly after sitting on the floor for so long. Damn, hard wood under thin carpeting was a butt-killer. He put his mouth to the door crack again and spoke quietly to her, knowing she would hear him, "Listen, I'm sorry for whatever I did, all right?"
Without any reply from her, he walked away to do his own job on checking security.
Little did he know, Cagalli was already thirty steps ahead of him already.
Quite literally too.
In her bedroom, a wind blew gently in through the wide-open balcony windows, rustling the burgundy curtains that framed them.
Cagalli was nowhere in sight.
Kira was wandering the gardens around midday when he heard a familiar singing voice by a gurgling garden fountain. His heart pounded as he snuck closer. He imagined that he looked like a little sneak. He hated spying, but he was nervous. After last night's little scandal, he couldn't help but feel nervous about seeing her.
He looked past the rhododendron wall when he came to an opening. Lacus had her back to him at the other side of the fountain where she sat, singing to Mr. Pink in her hands, no doubt.
He listened to her lilting voice, distinguishing the familiar lullaby-like qualities of the lyrics she sang. Kira stood listening to the familiar words. Normally her songs would sooth him, but today he felt his heart sped up to an unnatural pace instead.
Waiting till after her song ended, he forced himself to walk into the little opening to talk to her, his steps hesitant, if not a little awkward.
Sensing someone nearby, Lacus looked up and turned her head to find Kira walking towards her. Just as their eyes met, Lacus looked away. She didn't want to look into his eyes and see what he was thinking. Or may be feeling.
Her heart pounded inside of her chest, threatening to burst forward, begging to be miles away from the man before her. Instead though, Lacus remained her composed self and patted the space beside her. She somehow managed to smile at him without really looking at him.
Kira took a seat next to her, a forlorn look on his face as he stared ahead. He bent forward to rest his elbows on his knees as he ran a hand through his wild brown hair. How was he supposed to bring anything up? How would he know if he was going to hurt her again? Question after question swam through his mind, but in his state, rational thinking sort of lost him.
Lacus too, was in turmoil. She didn't know what to say either. She at least expected him to brooch a subject between them first for he had been the one who had approached her.
Part of her was angry that he came and ruined the peace in her while the other part was ashamed that she wasn't the first one brave enough to approach him.
Suddenly both of them looked up and faced each other, beginning to speak at the same time.
They both flushed as they both looked away from each other again, their hearts pounding. Kira looked up at the tall blue white sky above, the sun bright and warm on his face. He breathed in and tried again as he faced her, "Lacus… Look, I wanted to apologize to you."
Lacus fiddled with her hair as Mr. Pink bounced out of her hands to hover around her crying, "Are you all right? How are you? How are you?" She opened her mouth to speak, looking farther away towards the side, not trusting herself if she were to see him, "About what?"
Mr. Pink bounced back toward them and hopped in front of Kira, "About what? About what?" He hovered in Kira's face, almost touching his nose, "Lacus not happy!"
The pink haired songtress gasped and reached for the pink haro, but he bounded away quickly and resumed his high mechanical-voiced questions in the distance.
Lacus was about to draw her hand away, when Kira took it with the two his. She stilled and looked at him. Their eyes met again and Lacus felt her heart flutter faster than ever. She watched as he parted his mouth to speak and continued to watch entranced by the movement of his lips.
"Did you hear me, Lacus?"
Lacus blinked and took her hand away quickly, "I'm sorry. What was that?"
Kira saw her turn her face to the other side and felt her hand slip from his. His heart churned for her, but he repeated, "About last night… I really wanted to talk to you about what happened."
Lacus suddenly stood up, a smile on her lips as she looked up towards the sun, Mr. Pink bounding back towards her, "Oh dear, look at the sun! It must be way past midday and I still haven't done what I had on my agenda today!" she grinned at Kira, her eyes, he noticed, were brighter than usual, "If you'll excused me, I have somewhere that I need to go. We can talk about it later I hope."
Kira almost gave up when he watched her turn her back to him and walk out of the clearing. His eyes wandered blankly to the pink noisy haro that bounded away by her side as she disappeared.
He turned to the side and lay back on the stone fountain's edge, propping a leg up with him. Folding his arms under his head, he closed his lavender eyes against the sun. He could no longer see the clear streams of water jetting into the air, but he still heard the gurgling water clearly, the sound of ripples never quite the same as the set before.
Throwing himself into his thoughts, memories of him and Fllay and of him and Lacus welded into his conscience. His heart hurt to think of his first love, part of him trying to deny her death almost, even though he knew that she was never coming back.
Suddenly, a new pain gripped his heart. It felt like he was going to lose something or someone again. The grip of fear shed a cold sheen of sweat over him even though the warmth of the sun signaled early summer.
In his mind's eye as the blotches of color focused. Someone, a woman, stood in the dark. Her back was to him.
The woman turned her head to him, and smile gracing her mouth.
I'm here for you now…
Kira focused and the woman became clear.
She turned her back to him and began to walk away.
Don't cry alone anymore…
I'll always be there for you now…
…So will you be there for me too?
Will you, Kira?
Will you love me back, Kira?
Kira sat up blindingly fast and his forehead smacked painfully against someone else's.
Both stilled immediately for a moment without moving, holding their heads. The navy haired man before Kira removed his hand and shook his head, "Damnit, Kira. Why were you sleeping so soundly out here?"
Kira rubbed his head and looked up at his friend, "Sorry about that, Athrun. I guess I just dozed off." He didn't have to struggle much to remember his dream. Suddenly, all feelings of fatigue and relaxation melted away as he straightened up.
Fllay was gone. She was an angel watching over things from wherever she was.
Kira's brows furrowed as he realized whom he was really going to miss if he kept holding onto the past. Though Fllay will always be there watching over, she was a memory now.
And Lacus was not.
These days, his time belonged with his pink haired lady. She had always been beside him— the whole time, living with him, breathing with him, and cherishing him with all of her heart.
And all this time… He had only been able to give back half of his?
He finally understood now.
"Hey, Kira. Are you all right?" Athrun asked worriedly. Kira was zoning out so much more than usual, Athrun almost thought that their little head collision was not so little after all.
Kira shook his head and stood up to face Athrun, his heart lighter than it had ever been before. Still, he caught Athrun's angsty look, "Hey, did I crack your head too hard or something?"
Athrun blinked for a moment before laughing lightly, "I could say the same for you. But actually, I was thinking of something else."
Kira narrowed his eyes playfully, "Someone else you mean, right?"
Athrun smiled sheepishly, "That's right."
"Anything I can help you with?"
Athrun followed Kira back out of the garden and towards the kitchen, "Actually, there is. You wouldn't happen to be able to get Cagalli out of her bedroom, would you?"
Kira's eyebrows lifted knowingly. He remembered wanting to talk to Athrun about his sister's behavior last night, but it seemed that his friend had gotten to it first. He asked anyway as he turned his head to the side, "You mean you couldn't get her out?"
"I get it."
Athrun stopped in his tracks as Kira kept walking towards the giant glass doors that led to the dining room. The bluenette shook his head and ran after Kira.
"Wait," Athrun said as Kira opened the door. The brow-haired coordinator turned to face him, the clear glass door propped open by his hand. Athrun started to speak again, "Do you know why she's so upset?"
Kira looked up at the sky thoughtfully before answering carefully, "I've got an idea at least."
Kira sighed as he pushed passed the door, holding it open for Athrun as they both crossed into the giant air-conditioned dining room, "Lacus overheard my little moment of reminisce last night… over Fllay," Kira continued, his voice hanging with shame, "I couldn't catch her in time and lost her track. But I'm guessing she bumped into you."
"She saw you with Lacus."
Kira pushed past the double doors into the kitchen where the chefs were working away at dinner. Athrun followed his friend's quick pace, but his eyes were confused, "She got mad because of that?"
Kira grabbed a granny smith apple from one of the fridges and tossed Athrun a Fuji one. He shut the white door and continued back into the dinning room with Athrun at his heels.
"You know how people get jealous sometimes. I think Cagalli just saw both of you at the wrong place at the wrong time, and then thought about the wrong thing too," He took a bite from his green apple and swallowed before he spoke guiltily again, "Part of it's my fault for setting off this chain reaction, you could say."
Athrun snorted and also took a bite, "Don't you go blaming yourself. Things just happen, now we just have to fix it somehow."
The two sat at the long polished table in momentary silence, the midday sun casting warm rays through the high windows of the oversized space. Each was left to his own thoughts for the time being, trying to devise a way to clean up their act.
Suddenly, Athrun stood up, the remaining of his apple cast into a nearby trashcan. It had already been a while since he last checked up on Cagalli.
"I'm going to go find her right now."
Kira also tossed out the pit in his hand, "I should probably go with you if she decides to kill you."
"Thanks," Athrun said sarcastically, but grinned at his friend anyway.
The two of them made their way up through the frighteningly vast maze of a mansion to expecting to find Cagalli in her room.
Athrun knocked gently on her door, "Princess?"
Kira snickered behind his hand at the fond, but literal nickname. Athrun glared at him, but tried again at the door, "Cagalli? Hey open up. It's me, and your silly excuse of a brother."
Athrun felt Kira jab his ribs, but the bluenette shoved the offending appendage away.
When there was still no answer, Athrun and Kira shared a concerned look, all trace of humor gone. Athrun turned the knob, but it still held in place; locked. Finally, he brought his foot against the door and kicked it open.
Both brother and boyfriend of the missing princess were faced with the sight of an empty bedroom, the warm wind blowing through the still open windows, robbing the place of air conditioning.
Kira and Athrun ran inside, hoping this was just some kind of joke, only to realize Cagalli really was missing.
Athrun ran to the bed where he last thought he had heard her drop onto during their last unpleasant encounter. He saw an obvious lump under the covers, looking like there was someone underneath. But to his trained eye, he knew it was a decoy.
Drawing back the covers anyway, he saw a suitcase thrown on top to create weight and a bunch of pillows pushed together shaping the rough outline of a sleeping figure. He cursed as he turned to look at Kira.
The worried brother was checking for signs of struggle, and was relieved that there were none. But where could his rascal of a twin sister be now?
"Hey, Kira! Over here," Athrun's attention was back on the bare bed, "Look at the covers…"
Kira's eyes caught sight of his sister's large downy bed, stripped of covers and blankets except for the top decorative one. Pieces of the puzzle before them were fitting into place as they realized that she must have climbed down somehow. The two of them scrambled to the window to see a long white tail of the bed covers tied together and floated lightly in the breeze outside, hanging from the side of the balcony.
"Great…" Kira muttered, "That's my baby sister for you."
"No kidding!" Athrun said exasperatedly through his teeth, "That crazy girl."
Kira glanced over at him, "I guess we're gonna have to follow her then."
"Guess!" Athrun was already marching out of the room, "Knowing her, we might have to scout all day by foot."
Kira whacked his friend over the shoulder lightly, "Not on foot. Seriously, that would take us all day."
"What do you suppose we do then?" Athrun asked irritably, walking all the more faster, his eyes blazing with concern.
"I don't know," Kira said innocently. Suddenly, his hand whipped in and out of Athrun's back pocket. The brunette jingled a key chain full of car keys in Athrun's face making him stop for a moment.
"One of your sports cars sounds like a better idea though," Kira said.
Athrun grumbled as he snatched the keys from Kira's hand and marched off with the brunette walking in equal strides with him.
Athrun's green eyes burned as he looked ahead of him.
What have I done?
A/N: PART ONE executed! Now PART TWO will be out on March 14th (White day). :) Please be patient… It was supposed to be a long one shot, but I thought this little break would be beneficial.
Hope you'll come check this again March 14th then. :3