Pairing: Kira x Athrun
Archive: www.boysdorm.info/home.html
Feedback: Much appreciated as always, either here or email me at punkakauntan(at)gmail(dot)com

Disclaimer: Gundam SEED / Gundam SEED DESTINY belongs to Sunrise, Bandai and Sotsu. No trademark infringement intended and no money made from this fanfic.

Author's Notes: A Kira/Athrun vignette based on Endless Future prompt #14: Mother.This is a protest fic of sorts against those highly commercialised GS/GSD Valentine themed magazine articles and ficcies featuring super-happy Athrun and his harem. Hence, it's only appropriate I write it for the highly commercialised White Day (i.e today). Nuff said, go read the fic.


Beneath An Artificial Sun ◊

Mother

Kira knew something was wrong the moment Athrun walked through the front door. Head bowed, Athrun barely acknowledged his presence as he trudged past him. A moment later the bedroom door closed softly.

Discomfited, Kira shut the book he was reading and set it on the sofa. He crossed the living room and knocked on the bedroom door, and without waiting for an answer pushed it open. The room was shrouded in darkness. He debated briefly whether to switch on the light, then decided against it.

Leaving the door ajar to let in the light from the hallway, Kira padded towards the bed. Athrun was lying on his back, both hands tucked behind his head, staring at the ceiling. Kira sat beside him, and studied him in silence. He could sense Athrun's dismay though he couldn't pinpoint the reason why.

After a while, Kira's eyes adapted to the darkness, and he saw a couple of gift-wrapped boxes thrown carelessly on the floor. His chest tightened painfully as he realised what they were.

Valentine's Day gifts.

Kira retrieved the boxes, and read the small cards attached to it. His lip disappeared into a thin line, and he turned to look at Athrun. His eyes roamed over the dark-haired boy's face.

Their eyes met.

Athrun sat up slowly. Shoulders hunched, he stared at his hands which were curled into fists on his lap. And when he finally spoke, his voice was laced with bitterness.

"I suppose I should at least pretend to be grateful, eh, Kira? After all, they went through all the trouble to make sure I get those on time," Athrun inhaled deeply, "every year without fail."

Kira gave each of the boxes a light shake, and something rattled softly.

"Go ahead, open it," Athrun said, sounding tired. "I bet it's the same brand of specialty chocolates that the stores make especially for Valentine's Day. You might as well eat it." He turned his face away and sighed.

Kira set the boxes down on the bed.

"Perhaps they didn't know." Kira said quietly after a short silence.

"And they claimed to like me," Athrun snorted derisively, "insensitive bastards, more like it."

Kira bit his lip, feeling awful. He could still remember Athrun's voice, choked with emotion as he told him that his mother was killed on Bloody Valentine. How Athrun had witnessed it first hand on a big screen display, and then again and again on the news. Despite the passage of time, the horror of the massacre sometimes visited Athrun in his sleep, leaving him drenched him in cold sweat, almost unable to breathe. On those occasions, Kira would hold him tight until his fear subsided.

"Maybe they forgot."

"They all do. Except you," Athrun replied in a hollow voice. He ran a hand over his face. Kira couldn't help but notice how Athrun's hand shook as he struggled to keep the pain bottled inside.

Dismay overwhelmed Kira; he couldn't bear seeing Athrun that way. He touched Athrun's shoulder, and turned him towards him. Athrun offered him a wan smile.

"I'm sorry," Kira whispered. He pulled Athrun close and wrapped him in his arms. Athrun welcomed the embrace, and laid his head on Kira's shoulder. They remained entwined for long moments, taking comfort in each other's presence.

Athrun turned his head a little to look at Kira. "Only you remembered that my Mother died on Valentine's Day." Athrun sounded broken. "You never forget to offer prayers for her soul ... You may think I didn't know, but I noticed, Kira."

"Athrun ..."

Athrun pressed his face against Kira's chest and tried without success to stem his tears from flowing.

Kira wished he could take away the painful memory, and erase the anguish that threatened to engulf his friend. He tightened his hold around Athrun, rocked him gently as one would do to a small child. Presently, Athrun's tears subsided. He lifted his face and gazed at Kira through saddened eyes.

Once again Kira's eyes fell on the boxes. He marvelled as to how the innocuous looking objects could stir such an intense emotion in Athrun. A flash of anger surged through him; he couldn't fathom why anyone who purportedly was in love with Athrun could forget the fact that Athrun's mother died on Valentine's Day. The irony of how they had trivialise it further by plying Athrun with commercial tokens of love on what should have been a somber occasion intensified his anger. Kira wondered if common sense had been tossed aside in favour of commercialism and what was deemed as hip.

Kira narrowed his eyes. He was going to put a stop to this nonsense once and for all. He released his hold on Athrun and picked the boxes up.

"Kira?"

Athrun's voice, tinged with curiosity stopped Kira in his tracks. Kira said nothing; instead he reached out to brush Athrun's cheek gently. Athrun puzzled at Kira's determined expression, then at the boxes in his hand and suddenly understanding dawned. As Kira turned to go, Athrun grabbed at his wrist.

It was Kira's turn to look puzzled.

"Thanks," Athrun said quietly. He let Kira's hand go.

"Don't wait up for me."

With that, Kira turned around and strode off, leaving Athrun alone in the darkness.

To be continued

Zeddy © March 2006
Published: 14 Mar 2006