Divergence

By: cjtokage

Disclaimer: I own no part of the Gundam continuum. I am making ZERO dollars on this work of fiction.

Warnings: Yaoi/Slash; in other words two (or sometimes more heh, heh) guys romancing each other. Athrun/Kira pairing; AU story that takes off from the cannon version fairly early. Perhaps a small hint of OOCness for those of you who worry about that type of thing. Proofread but not beta'd, so any mistakes are mine. Let me know and I will fix them during the final draft.

Chapter One: Learn To Fly

"Behind you" Kira yelled at the woman standing atop the mobile suit below him. She swung around and quickly dispatched the would be sniper.

"Get down here" she told the boy who had just saved her life. "Those shelters over there have been destroyed already. There's nothing left behind that door but rubble." She briefly pondered where the teenaged boy had come from before getting back to the business of defending the X-units.

Kira noticed the smoke that he had missed previously and making a snap decision he launched himself over the railing and dropped the fifteen meters to the factory floor below. With catlike grace he landed next to the female soldier and watched with slight amusement as she blinked at him is disbelief. Both of their attention was swiftly redirected to the other mobile suit when one of the soldiers dressed as a factory worker took down a ZAFT soldier only to be just as quickly cut down.

Suddenly a red suited figure turned and released a burst of fire in their direction hitting Kira's female companion in the shoulder knocking her to her knees. Kira knelt down to present a smaller target and see if he could provide aid for the ailing Natural before him. He noticed that they were no longer taking fire and when he chanced a glance in their attacker's direction he saw him fiddling with his rifle apparently attempting to clear a jammed bullet. Dropping the now useless gun the other figure instead drew a wicked looking knife and began bound over in their direction. Kira stood up beside the still kneeling female and prepared the best he could to defend himself.

The swiftly approaching individual paused as he got within a few paces of the two and Kira suddenly heard and familiar voice gasp out his name. The voice had change somewhat with age and puberty but as Kira gazed past the tinted faceplate he thought he saw to equally familiar and slightly haunting eyes.

"Ath-Athrun?"

The other visibly trembled at the sound of his name and the two of them stood there facing each other in slight shock at having rediscovered each other in such improbable circumstances. The other participant in this bizarre situation quickly took advantage of the ZAFT soldiers pause and brought up her pistol up and fired in his direction. Athrun having already noticed the movement easily dodged, moving backwards as he did so.

Kira growled in anger at this person whom he had protected firing at his friend Athrun. He tackled her to prevent her from firing off another round and inadvertently dropped them both into the cockpit of the mobile suit jarring her injured shoulder and causing her to wince at the new pain. Working through the pain she swiftly closed the hatch and began initiating the suits startup procedures.

Outside Athrun growled at having lost Kira, which he vowed would only be temporary, and then he would get some answers as to why his friend was helping the Naturals. With a decisive movement the blue haired soldier quickly moved to the other mobile suit and began his own startup requirements after first disabling the suits self-destruct mechanism.

In the other suit Kira was avidly watching his companion's movements as she began attempting to maneuver the bulky and awkward machine. On one screen he noticed the words

General

Unilateral

Neuro-link

Dispersive

Autonomic

Maneuver

Kira looked at the words and whispered questioningly "Gun…dam?"

Two Hours later…

Kira had successfully fought off a GINN while at the same time arguing against the recalcitrant female Earth Forces soldier, he had breathed a sigh of relief when she had been knocked unconscious during the battle. A short while later she regained consciousness while he was tending to her arm wound and she thanked him by pulling her pistol on him, Kuzzey, Sai, Tolle, and Miriallia; she then ordered the other three boys to retrieve the trailer holding the Strike's equipment. While Kira had been equipping the Launcher pack he had been ordered to mount, a different ZAFT mobile suit had come bursting out of the central shaft followed by an Earth Forces mobile armor. During that particular battle the mobile armor and the enemy mobile suit had been damaged as had Heliopolis when Kira had unwittingly used the Launcher's Hyper Impulse Cannon in an attempt to halt the damage being inflicted upon his home. The Earth Forces newest warship, the Assault Movement Special Equipment Warship named the Archangel, had also made an appearance further encouraging the enemy mobile suit to leave the battle.

After that battle the Archangel had landed and the Strike boarded amidst amazed stares and moments later looks of disbelief when Kira dismounted. Tensions further escalated as Lieutenant Ramius was informed of the death of virtually the entire bridge crew including all senior officers. It was during this conversation that a tall blonde in a purple and gray Earth Forces flight suit joined in and introduced himself as Lieutenant Mu La Flaga. After the three remaining officers had ascertained the condition of the ship and crew they turned their attention towards Kira whom had been giving the others details of the previous two battles he had fought in. Suddenly the man name La Flaga had asked him point blank if he was a Coordinator. Kira not believing that there was a reason to lie answered with a hesitant yes. Immediately several rifles and pistols were aimed in his direction. The only ones who did not look at him with fear or hate were his friends and Lieutenant La Flaga. Only after an intense standoff between his four friends and the Earth Forces soldiers was Kira not locked up. La Flaga had immediately apologized to Kira stating that he didn't realize what kind of reaction his relatively innocent question would garner. Kira for his part suspected that the real reason that he was not thrown into the brig was because the Earth Forces personnel needed him to pilot the mobile suit for them.

Kira was currently asleep so he was unaware of his friend's conversation and their acceptance of his being a Coordinator. He was suddenly awakened by Lieutenant Ramius who asking to speak to him in the hallway. Kira suspected that this was about him piloting the Strike again and he was dead set against doing that.

As Kira was exiting the room he overheard the Lt. informing the other four that because Heliopolis was under a level nine hazard level they would be unable to exit the ship and enter an emergency shelter. Kira realized exactly how they were going to attempt to gain his help, by using his friends as bargaining chips and though this pissed him off he kept his emotions behind the confused mask he'd been wearing.

Towards the end of the conversation in which she was able to counter each of his arguments Ensign Badgiruel's voice came over the loudspeaker. "Captain Ramius please come to the bridge; we are detecting incoming mobile suits. N-Jammer levels are rising. It looks like their going to attack us inside the colony."

"Okay I'm on my way." The Captain turned to Kira and said in a no nonsense tone of voice "mister Yamato if you don't go out there and fight to defend this ship then we are all going to die. Make your decision quickly" and with that she turned and proceeded towards the bridge.

A few minutes later...

Kira was once again at the controls of the Strike. He was going over the information on the Sword Striker pack that had just been loaded onto the mobile suit he was riding when an unfamiliar voice came over the radio. "One heat source detected. It's a GINN; equipped with heavy artillery."

Ensign Badgiruel's voice then came over the radio "launch the Strike."

Again that other voice came back on "another group detected coming in from the Tannenbaum district. Two GINNs and... X-303 Aegis?"

Kira was accelerating out of the hanger when he looked up at the approaching enemy mobile suit formation. Two of the GINNs broke off and headed straight for the Archangel. The other GINN began aggressively engaging him while the red mobile suit hung back slightly.

The GINN that was pursuing him raised its laser cannon and fired off a shot which missed Kira's evading suit and instead blasted straight through one of the central shaft's support cables. Several more shots missed him instead hitting the ground below. Kira, fed up with the willful destruction of his home colony blocked the next shot with his shield then moved in to engage the GINN at close range with his sword. Suddenly the red mobile suit made its move coming in from behind the Strike passing by at extremely close range. The GINN taking advantage of Kira's distraction fired its cannon again. Kira once again dodge out of the way but this time he grabbed the Strike's Midas Messer (beam boomerang) and hurled it at the other suit. The boomerang missed the first time but severed the enemy GINN's leg on its return. Kira took advantage of the situation and cleaved the GINN through the torso with his sword, the Schwert Gewehr causing the other suit to explode. Kira felt sick to his stomach as he realized the he was just responsible for the death of another human being and he immediately blamed the people who had ultimately placed him in this situation, the Earth Forces military for daring to manufacture their weapons on his neutral colony.

Kira notice that another of the GINNs was destroyed by the Archangel's guns which had simultaneously hit the central shaft causing chunks of it to fall around Kira's machine. Kira ignore them and the voice of Ensign Badgiruel as he faced down the suit that Ramius had called the Aegis which he suspected was piloted by Athrun. The two suits feinted at each other but neither struck a blow. Suddenly an old familiar voice came over his speakers via laser communicator.

"Kira, Kira Yamato! So it is you isn't it Kira?"

"Athrun? Athrun Zala!"

The two of them ignore the destruction of the last GINN and thereby failed to notice when it launched all four of its bunker buster missiles at once; all of them hitting the central shaft within meters of each other.

"Why are you here Athrun? You used to hate the very idea of war?"

"I could ask you the same thing Kira. What are you doing in that thing fighting for the Earth Forces?" Athrun moved his suit closer but with its arms and hands open to show that he was not going to attack.

At that very moment the central shaft, unable to handle any more abuse broke into several large fragments. The outer colony walls began to break apart from its centrifugal force. Large fissures began to form along the colonies seams and the resulting rush of escaping atmosphere caught the Strike unprepared. Athrun seeing his long lost friend in trouble shot forward and wrapped his mobile suits arms around the legs of Kira's suit causing them both to be ejected out of the colony together.

Kira was in shock; all around him floated pieces of his former home. He continued to stare out at it listlessly until his view was eclipsed by Athrun's mobile suit. It was then that he became aware that Athrun's panicking voice had been calling him for several minutes.

"Athrun" he spoke shakily "Heliopolis is gone!"

Athrun took in a shuddering breath before attempting to calm Kira down but before he could reply Kira continued.

"How could they bring their war here to my home colony?" Kira asked no one in particular. "Orb is supposed to be a neutral nation so how come the Earth Forces were building those mobile suits here? Did the Orb government approve this? I just don't know what's going on anymore!" Kira then proceeded to break down and cry out all of his frustration and insecurities and Athrun was force to listen to his friends anguish while attempting to give what comfort he could to his hurting friend.

Kira eventually pulled himself back together. Athrun, upon hearing Kira's lessening sobs, began his attempts to once again discover why his childhood friend was piloting a mobile suit for the Naturals "Kira can you open your hatch I'd like to talk to you face to face?"

"Can't" Kira choked out in a rough tear filled voice "I'm not wearing a flight suit; I'm not even suppose to be here; I'm just a student damnit!"

Athrun breathed a sigh of relief "so you're not with the Earth Forces?"

"No!" Kira exclaimed

"Then why are you piloting that mobile suit for them?" Athrun wanted to ask why Kira was fighting against his fellow Coordinator's but felt that this would be the wrong tactic to take.

"I was caught in the factory district without an emergency shelter to get into and that female officer said she would protect me. After I caught that short glimpse of you I knock her down to keep her from firing at you and we ended up in the cockpit of the Strike. She began powering the suit up and told me sit behind her. After several minutes of her stumbling around trying to fight that GINN I told her to get out of the way before she killed any of the innocent civilians that were trying to flee the battle amongst whom were my classmates and friends. I was force to rewrite the Gundam's OS while holding off the GINN's attacks and finally managed to disable it. Sometime during that battle she lost consciousness and my friends and I were able to make it a safe distance away from Morgenroete. After a short while Lt. Ramius, that's the Earth Forces officer's name, regained consciousness and as thanks for saving her life and the Strike she pulled her pistol on us and ordered us to retrieve the trailer holding the Strike's other components. Shortly after finishing that, the other ZAFT mobile suit showed up followed by the Archangel and that was when I accidentally blow a hole in the outer wall of the colony with the Launcher Striker. After the enemy mobile suit fled and the Archangel landed I went on board with the Strike and was harassed when the pilot of the mobile armor, Lt. La Flaga, guessed that I was a Coordinator. If it wasn't for him and my friends I would provably be locked up in the brig right now. After that confrontation I was able to catch a short nap until Lt. Ramius showed up and informed me that unless I piloted the Strike again then my friends and I would be killed along with the rest of the Archangel's crew. What chose did I have after she phrased it like that? You know the rest."

"So you were just piloting that suit to protect your friends? Oh Kira I'm sorry I ever doubted you. I thought for a little while that you had turned your back on us Coordinator's; on me" Athrun finished with a whisper.

"No Athrun" Kira answered as equally softly "I would never turn my back on a friend, I was simply between a rock and hard place."

"Kira come back to the Vesalius with me, I'm sure that once Commander Creuset hears your side of things he will be able to come up with a plan to help rescue your friends."

"I… alright At-Athrun I'll come with you. After all it's not like I can go back to the Archangel, not with what's awaiting me back there. But I do hope that we will be able to save my friends they were one of the nicer aspects of living on Heliopolis. They helped keep the loneliness away."

As Athrun lead Kira back to the Vesalius's last known position he reflected on what Kira had just admitted. He, Kira, still missed Athrun's friendship even after all those years apart. Athrun thought to himself, 'it's nice not being the only one affected that way.'

TBC…

A/N: 1 Various parts and phrases taken from the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed DVD's and the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Novelization; if you don't own either of this great work's I highly recommend you rush out and buy them.

A/N: 2 This will be a slow build up to romance fic, not a 'we just made up lets go hop in bed' fic so have patience or don't read.

Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly Lyrics

Run and tell all of the angels

This could take all night

Think I need a devil to help me get things right

Hook me up a new revolution

Cause this one is a lie

We sat around laughing and watched the last one die

I'm looking to the sky to save me

Looking for a sign of life

Looking for something to help me burn out bright

I'm looking for complication

Looking cause I'm tired of lying (trying)

Make my way back home when I learn to fly

I think I'm done nursing the patience

I can wait one night

I'd give it all away if you give me one last try

We'll live happily ever trapped if you just save my life

Run and tell the angels that everything is alright...

Fly along with me, I can't quite make it alone

Try and make this life my own