"Miriallia, I'll be alright. You worry too much." Lacus Clyne picked up her coat and walked near the railway. Lacus was wearing her favourite red poncho and white top. Her long, pink hair was tied into a ponytail by two red ribbons. She heard the noise of the upcoming tube and waited patiently. "Anyway, I'll call you later. I'll be there, don't worry."
"Are you sure?" the worried voice of her friend was barely heard over the noises of the crowd.
"Yeah, it's not like anyone will kidnap me." The pink-haired songstress smoothed a strand of hair away from her dark eyes. Her long hair fluttered as the tube began to halt in front of her. "See you later."
"Right, I'll see you here."
Lacus chuckled and snapped her cell phone shut. She followed the rest into the tube, careful not to bump into anyone. Her white coat under her arm, she took an empty seat close to the entrance. Lacus leaned into the seat as the tube began to move, slowly at first before gaining speed. She looked up to the advertisement on the ceiling of the monorail and began to read.
'Smoking is not only bad for you; it's bad for us too!'
'Robotic: the Biggest and the Best Mechanical Shop in Orb!'
'Orb is a free nation; express your opinions!'
Lacus glanced at the others and watched as her eyes fell on a child sitting in her mother's lap. She smiled sweetly as the little girl glanced at her. Rummaging her pockets, Lacus took out a still-wrapped lollipop that was meant for Cagalli. She thought. Lacus extended her hand to the girl in front of her and handed the candy. The little girl glanced up at her mother hopefully for permission. She nodded and the girl happily took the candy.
"Thank you." The girl said slowly. The mother smiled at Lacus and thanked her for the gift. Lacus smiled and leaned back to her seat. Lacus fumbled through her blue jeans pocket and produced her beloved pink cell phone with a miniature pink Haro dangling from it. She checked her messages for any new ones.
Hey Lacus! We're still waiting for my little brother to arrive, so take your time. Miriallia sent her love.
p.s. You didn't forget to buy my favourite lollipop, do you?
Lacus, are you alright? You're making me mad with worry.
p.s. Cagalli asked if you forget about her candy.
Lacus, you'd better come here quickly. I'm stuck with a very worried Miriallia and an impatient Cagalli. Miriallia made me think that you never use the tube before. Have you? I mean, before the accident and all.
p.s. Make it quick, because Cagalli will be dragging me to the administration office if her brother isn't here in five minutes. I don't want to refuse her.
Lacus, don't mind Athrun's last message. It was insensitive of him to say so. I'm glad you broke off the engagement; though Athrun is a nice guy. Yeah, you did lose your memories three years ago, but I don't think it's nice of him to bring it up.
p.s. I wasn't going to drag him to the administration office, only to the government's Public Transport Department, that's all.
Don't mind both monkeys. They are the most insensitive people I have ever met; Athrun and Cagalli would make a nice couple indeed. I'm curious to meet this little brother of Cagalli. I never met him before; I wonder if he's nice like what Cagalli been rambling about for these past five minutes?
p.s. Are you sure you are alright? Athrun's trying to calm Cagalli down; she wanted to call the military force now. I hope you didn't forget about the lollipop.
To: Cagalli, Athrun, Miriallia
Don't worry guys. I'm absolutely fine, and I didn't forget about Cagalli's lollipop. But when I was getting into the metro, it dropped and this giant guy accidentally stomped on it. But he did buy you a big chunk of chocolate for replacement! Miriallia, it's not like anyone would kidnap me in this crowd. I do know how to scream, you know. You're a good guy, Athrun, but sometimes you're too shy. Just tell her what you feel about her.
p.s. Cagalli, people will start thinking that a war's going on when a troop of soldiers march into the subway. You don't want to cause any riots, do you?
Lacus looked up from her cell phone as the train slowed to a halt. Some people stood up and exited when the entrance opened. Others entered and took the empty seats or used the hand rail. The mother with the cute child was gone, replaced by a tall man with a big blue bag. Sighing, Lacus slid her cell phone into her pocket and closed her eyes.
He's staring at me.
Lacus opened her eyes and sat properly. She pretended to stare out of the window. Indirectly, she glanced at the brown-haired man in front of her. He was watching her curiously, and a small smile was shaped on his face. She turned her head and faced him properly, her eyebrows rose.
"Is there something wrong with my face, sir?" Lacus enquired properly. She gazed into his purple orbs, challenging him to answer.
"There's nothing wrong with your beautiful face." He responded politely. His voice command authority, but it was soft and well-mannered when he spoke up. Lacus blushed vaguely but continued.
"May I ask why you were staring at me?" her body rocked a little as the monorail turned a corner. She held her coat close to her body, afraid that it'll slide down to the floor.
"I have met you before." The man smirked and ruffled his brown hair. He's making it more of a mess, Lacus thought. "You might think of it as a pick up line, but it wasn't."
"I never lie and I can swear I've seen you before." He smiled up to her. It was a nice, genuine and honest smile. Lacus liked it and she began to warm to him. "It might sound crazy, but I know you."
"You might, sir, but I can't help you." She smiled sadly at him and played with her coat. She looked down, her doe eyes full of sadness.
"I'm sorry, have I said something wrong?" his voice was apologetic and concerned. She smiled briefly at him, her eyes devoid of all emotions.
"No, it's just… I had an accident, you see. The hit made an impact on my brain, and I lost my memories." Lacus sighed heavily. "I don't know why I'm telling you this."
"It's OK. I don't mind." The man produced a bar of chocolate from his bag. Lacus was watching him carefully and an idea sprung into her mind.
"Sir, can I buy that chocolate in your hands?" he stared at her incredulously. "You see, my friend asked me to buy her favourite lollipop which was only available where I lived. I, um, offered a little girl the candy and I told my friend a little white lie. I told her I have a bar of chocolate as a replacement." Lacus smoothed back a strand of pink hair. "So… I don't think I'll be able to get her one at station without her noticing."
He didn't answer for a while. He stared at her in an amused way, while Lacus inwardly cursed herself for being so bold to ask a favour from a stranger. She looked down to the floor, playing with her feet. When she heard him chuckled, Lacus looked up curiously to see his expression.
"Your friend sounded a lot like my little sister." He broadens his arm and nodded at her to take the chocolate. "She would rather call me her little brother, though."
She smiled gratefully at him and lengthened her own hand. The tube shook slightly, which caused Lacus to jerk forward a little. Her hand made a contact with his and a spark was ignited in her. Her body shivered from the spark and she yanked her hand back.
"Lacus, I'm sorry, but it wasn't my decision!" there was a loud knocking on her door but the lithe girl ignored it. A ten-years-old Lacus was sprawled on her bed, her hair in a mess. Her cheeks were stained from a long session of crying and she wasn't keen on being seen.
"Go away! I hate you!" she shouted when the pounding didn't stop.
"Lacus, open the door! At least let me give you a proper farewell!"
"No! Go with your mum! Go to U.S.! You will have more friends and then you'll forget about Lacus!"
"I won't forget Lacus! It wasn't my fault my parents divorced." There was a hint of bitterness in his voice. "Lacus, my flight will be in an hour! Come with me to the airport!"
"No! I don't want to!"
"Yes you do! I won't go until you open the door!" the pounding stopped and Lacus heard a slight slam on the door.
After five minutes, Lacus stood up and peered at the window. He was still here, she thought grudgingly. She sighed and leaned down on the door. She didn't want him to go…
"Just go, you idiot! Your mother's waiting for you at the front door! I can see her from here!"
"I told you I won't go until-" the door opened, revealing a tear-stained Lacus. She rubbed her eyes with her sleeves and glared at him.
"Will you go now?" she asked bitterly.
He stood up and peered at her closely.
"Were you crying?" his voice was filled with anxiety.
"I'm fine! Just… go!" she pushed him down the staircase. At the front door, Lacus smoothed his messy hair and pulled his coat closer to him. "It'll be winter time in New York, it'll be cold."
"Right. I'll be back." He smiled at her.
"You'd better keep your promise." She held out a finger. He smirked and entangled the finger with his own.
"I never lie." He kissed her lightly on the cheeks. She blushed as he pushed open the door and left. Lacus watched as he waved her goodbye and stared after the car as it left her view. Sighing, Lacus closed the door behind her, and a tear rolled down her cheeks.
"Are you alright?"
Lacus snapped back to reality and stared at the gentleman in front of her. She shook her head slightly and nodded nervously. Her hands shook as she smoothed a strand of hair behind her right ear. The brown-haired male stared at her, full of concern. Lacus smiled slightly, trying to calm herself. She was breathing heavily and her voice shook as she spoke up.
"I'm fine. It's just… something I have once in a while."
Then train stopped again and people breezed in and out. The gentleman was still there, and Lacus was glad to have someone to talk to. From her original place to Orb is quite a long way and would take a considerable time. She patted the now-empty seat beside her and gestured at the gentleman to fill it. He smiled and gave up his seat to an old woman and took the one next to Lacus'.
"Before I forgot, my name is Kira." He held out his hand to her.
"Kira…it's a nice name. Mine's Lacus." Lacus shook his hand. "So… Kira. Where are you going?"
"Orb. To visit my father and little sister. But she prefer to call me-"
"-her little brother." Lacus finished it for him. She tilted her head slightly, smiling. "I'm going to Orb, too, to visit my old friends."
"Oh? Then we'll be fellow travellers. Will you be my partner for this trip, Lacus?" Lacus chuckled and turned her head away from him briefly.
"If you would tell me about yourself, yes." Kira laughed disbelievingly.
"You know, you're quite brave to ask a stranger to tell about his life. It's the first time a girl whom I barely know ask me something like that."
"Well," Lacus contemplated. "According to you, we've known each other before. Not so much of a stranger then."
"Hum… I don't think you're the same person. I cannot remember her clearly since it's been eight years. We were ten when I left here. She had pink hair… long, flowing cherry hair." Kira articulated wistfully. He glanced at Lacus crimson tresses. "I guess pink is the new style now."
"This is natural." Lacus defended herself. "Besides, your friend might have experienced a failed chemical experiment that turned her hair pink."
"You sounded like you know her better than I do." Kira lifted his dark eyebrow.
"I don't even know her name." she untied her hair and rearranged it. Her soft, cerise hair fell on her small shoulders.
"I… can't remember her name." Lacus stared at him sceptically.
"You can't remember your old sweetheart's name?"
"Well, I-. Wait. I never said that."
"Well, I supposed from the way you talk about her, you might be very close." Lacus shrugged.
"We were best friend, that's all." Kira clarified.
"Ah, you're Mister I-Will-Not-Commit-To-Anyone."
"No, I'm not. How do you even know that? We never met before."
"Intuition is something you'll never understand." Lacus laughed quietly when Kira blew a strand of brown hair from his eyes. "You'll have to learn how to control your hair, you know."
"You and my mother sounded alike. What's wrong with my hair? I like it this way."
"It's messy and childish." She motioned at her hair. "Look at mine. It's in control."
"You're a girl."
"Not all girls comb their hair everyday."
"Well, you're the obsessive kind." Kira smirked.
"No, I'm not. I just care about how I look, that's all. I'm not obsessive." Lacus dismissed his statement.
"That's not a passion?"
"To me, it's not. How do I look?" Lacus pulled her hair and tied them with the scarlet ribbon.
"Beautiful." Kira admired. A slight pink tinted her milky cheeks.
"You sure know how to compliment someone."
"My mother is a florist. You know how florists are."
"If I am a flower, what do you think I'll be?"
"Hum… I guess you will be a larkspur, or a jasmine."
"Larkspur? What is it?"
"It's a kind of purple flower. It means a beautiful spirit. Jasmine signifies grace and elegance."
Lacus coloured and turned away from him. She could hear his chuckle as she stared at a sleeping man who snored a little. The woman who sat beside him ignored him, calmly reading a book. She turned to her right and saw a couple cuddled in close to each other, whispering sweet-nothings to their partner. Lacus sighed and close her eyes. As her eyes began to lose focus, she could hear Kira edged closer to her and placed her head gently on his shoulder. Grateful, Lacus let him do so and covered her yawning mouth with a hand. Slowly, she made herself comfortable with his shoulder. It was warm.
Lacus' eyelids flickered slightly before opening properly. She rubbed her tired eyes gently with a hand. She lacked sleep the last two nights due to the excitement of visiting Orb. Lacus couldn't believe it took her three hours to pack a bag. Since their friend's car was full, they decided Miriallia will have to go ahead with their bags (Miriallia: 3 Lacus: 1) while Lacus take the train. Honestly, Lacus didn't dare to ask her best friend what was in the three bulging bags. She only managed to pack a small bag.
She wondered why her shoulder was strangely heavy and glanced to her right. Her cheeks reddened as she noticed a man was asleep on her shoulder. Her face was hot with embarrassment as she tried to recall who the stranger was.
"Before I forgot, my name is Kira."
A smile crept into her delicate features as she remembers him. Lacus leaned into her seat and tried to position his head into a more comfortable situation. His brown hair was quite smooth and soft despite being messy.
Being this close, she could hear his slow, steady breath. His chest heaved up and down following the rhythm of his breath. There was a tiny, amused smile on his peaceful face. His face was tranquil; as calm as the sea and as peaceful as the sky. Lacus chuckled slightly at his sleeping figure. He almost looked like a child.
Have we met before?
If we have, when?
Kira's head dropped slightly from her shoulder. Carefully not to wake him up, Lacus placed him back on her shoulder. He didn't even notice anything. Kira continued to sleep peacefully, causing Lacus to envy him for falling asleep so easily in a rocking train. The atmosphere was silent and serene. Almost everyone was asleep. Lacus watched the same woman who was reading flipped through the pages of her thick volume. They were the only people awake in the tube.
Why do I feel like I can talk to you about everything?
Why do I feel like I don't mind sitting with you?
You're a stranger, right?
Lacus took a deep breath and folded her hands across her chest for warm. Out of the blue, Kira's hands entangled hers in his. Stunned, Lacus tried to pull away from him. His grip was too tight and Lacus gave up after five minutes of trying tugging her hands away. She coloured as his warm spread to her hands. Stifling a yawn, she huddled closer to him for warm and comfort.
I… envy the connection between Athrun and Cagalli.
I hope and hope that someone will find me in the end…
It's strange… but I think a stranger have found me…
"Lacus… Wake up."
Lacus opened her eyes and lifted her head. Her vision was a blur. She rubbed her sleepy eyes gently and began to focus. She glanced to her right and saw Kira bent down to pick up her coat. It must have slipped when I slept, Lacus thought. She smiled thankfully when Kira handed it to her.
She watched as other passengers began to stir. Others were awake and were sitting upright in their seats, waiting for the train to stop. The slowing train didn't miss her attention and Lacus composed herself.
"So… I'll see you at Orb." Kira said, smiling as he stood up and stretched his arms.
"If luck would have it." Lacus answered, standing up.
"Oh yeah, I almost forgot." The cherry-haired girl watched as he produced a bar of chocolate from his coat. "Chocolate for the candy-obsessed friend of yours."
"Thank you." Lacus chuckled and took it from his hands.
"Be careful or someone will stomp it again." Lacus laughed quietly.
They boarded off when the entrance opened. Smiling, Lacus waved at Kira as they went separate directions. She took the left while he took the right. Hugging her coat closer to her body, Lacus sighed and began to look for her friends.
I'll miss you.
Lacus Clyne dropped her bag to the floor and settled on a bench as her friends towered over her. Lacus looked up to her friends and smiled, silently assuring them of her healthy state. She took a swig from the mineral bottle Miriallia had offer earlier, wiping the edge of her lips with her sleeves as she finished doing so.
"Have you seen your brother, Cagalli?" Lacus asked a blonde who was facing away from the group, her feet shifting from the right to the left. The anxiety radiating from the young blonde was overwhelming. It was hard for anyone to ignore.
"No," she answered simply, clearly knowing what Lacus was implying. "I've been trying to reach his cell." Cagalli Yula Atha ruffled her golden hair in distress.
Miriallia Haw shook her head, settling herself beside her old friend. She was tired of waiting.
"Where's Athrun?" she asked, rubbing her sore neck.
"Looking up the arrival time." Miriallia had directed the question to Cagalli, but Lacus answered instead. She had known Cagalli long enough to know when she couldn't answer a question without shouting.
"What is taking him so long?" Cagalli mumbled to herself, loud enough for the other two women to hear.
"Don't worry, Cagalli. He's probably looking for you." Lacus paused, smoothing a loose strand of cerise hair from her violet eyes. "How does he look like, anyway?" she asked the fidgeting princess of Orb.
"The last time I saw him, he has brown hair. Well, if he hasn't dyed it. But no, he's not that type. I think so. Where the hell is he?" the blonde fumed, crossing her arms over her chest.
Lacus smiled. Cagalli has never been the calm, tranquil and cool kind. She's more of a hot-headed, determined and nervous type of person. Deep in her heart, Lacus knew she loved her brother even though she complained about him most of the time. Oh, and the fact they rarely sees each other.
"Is he handsome?" Miriallia asked, avoiding her friends' gazes. She's a hopeless romantic, not to mention very caring and easily scared if any of her friends or family relatives is in harm's way. Often dated scumbags, Miriallia has never stopped looking for the Mr. Right. Maybe that's why she and Cagalli rarely get along together without a debate going on.
"Ordinary bloke. Maybe it's because I'm related to him, but I don't think he's hideous, nor handsome." Cagalli yawned. "Damn, I'm knackered."
"Of course, you spent the whole of last night jumping around." Miriallia said scornfully.
"I can't sleep." The blonde rubbed her sleepy eyes. "Damn, I wish he can hurry up. I'm hungry. I could eat a cow right here."
Lacus laughed lightly. "Unfortunately, there's now cow in a train station."
"That's the low point of public transportation. I'd prefer riding a horse than a car. That way, I can stop at a farm and slaughtered a cow or two." Cagalli made a cutting gesture. "Yummy."
Both Lacus and Miriallia laughed. Cagalli has never stopped to amuse her. She can be the anxious little sister who worries about everything in a minute, and changed into a comedian the next minute. Cagalli's a fun person to be with, and possibly the best friend and sister you can ever have.
Exhausted, Lacus blew a strand of cerise hair away from her violet eyes. Her hair was getting untidy, and she didn't like it.
Lacus took off her backpack from her shoulders and began rummaging it for her comb. Her right hand brushed past a carefully-wrapped object and she froze. It felt like a rectangle object and soft to touch. She didn't remember ever packing such an item before.
Lacus drew her hand out and stared at the piece of chocolate in her hands. She felt foolish at holding the food in her hand like it's a sacred item, so she examined it closely. What the hell-
"Oh," she murmured softly. She'd forget all about it amidst the chaos of finding her friends among the bustling crowd. Lacus figured Cagalli forgot all about too, since she didn't mention anything about it. This would do her wonders, Lacus decided. "Hey, Cagalli."
The red-haired female handed the chocolate. "Thought you might need this."
"Thanks, Lacus! How thoughtful of you," Cagalli's tense face broke into a wide grin as she tore the plastic off the chocolate. She broke the candy into three uneven parts and offered them to her mates. Miriallia declined, saying she was on diet. Gratefully, Lacus took it. Her stomach needed to be satisfied.
As they munched on their chocolates, Lacus couldn't help but wonder where Kira could be right now.
Is he alright? I wonder where he's staying in Orb. Maybe, just maybe, there are some possibilities of meeting him. No, I don't think so. Besides, Cagalli said we're not staying at Orb for long. Still, I wonder…
She hugged herself, tightening her coat around her slim figure.
I could feel his warm. His cologne… he smelled good. Oh Lacus, you're fantasizing about someone you barely know! But, according to him, we used to be friends…
Lacus rested her head on her hands, sighing. She was exhausted from the train ride. Lacus wished Cagalli's brother could hurry up.
That brother of hers must be a snob. He probably wanted people to wait for his grand opening, like he's a king… or a lord! Who does he think he is, President of Orb? Well, he's the son of the President, but still… I'm too tired to wait for him. He should just hurry up. Wait, is he lost? Hahahahaha! Fancy that! The son of the President… Lost! He must be a sore loser, probably a vain playboy.
Lacus laughed out loud, earning her friends' attentions. They looked at her weirdly, causing Lacus to turn her abrupt laughter into coughs. Lacus answered Cagalli's stare with an innocent smile. Shrugging, Cagalli shook her golden head.
Probably wondering what happened to her usually quiet friend.
Miriallia wasn't fooled. She gave Lacus a concern expression, patting her back when she coughed. "Are you alright, Lacus?" the anxiety in her voice didn't escape Lacus' attention, and she felt too guilty to bluff to the brunette.
"Nothing, really. Just wondering when the grand King is going to make his grand entrance." Lacus responded dramatically, flailing her hands. Miriallia blinked. Dropping her outstretched hands, Lacus wondered why she was feeling giddy when a voice intruded her train of thoughts.
"Thank god." Lacus spun around, barely registering the voice. What she saw surprised her. Immensely. Cagalli rushed forward, her earlier unease restored by a pleasant face. Beside her, Miriallia stood up with a welcoming look on her face. The look of surprise in her friend's eyes didn't go unnoticed. Athrun stood beside the newcomer, his hands in his jacket pockets.
Lacus remained frozen, incapable of words or actions.
"Aren't you going to say hi?" the deep voice echoed in her eardrums. It couldn't be…
Rising gracefully, Lacus flipped her cerise hair back, reminding herself of self-control. Her surprised appearance broke into a reluctant smile, extending her hands to the brown-haired stranger. There it was the amused smile which hunted her thoughts earlier. His head was tilted a little, shouldering a dark blue bag. Face to face, he was taller than Lacus while his broad frame stood out.
She wasn't sure if it was possible, but she felt giddier. Giddier that she couldn't hide the look of surprise mixed with delight in her smile. Giddier that she couldn't remember where they were or who they were. Giddier that she felt she could just stand there, shaking his warm hand. Giddier that she didn't even notice her impatient friends crowding around them.
Can this be true?
"Ahem." Unwillingly, Lacus turned to her blonde friend, pulling her hand away from his tight grip. He toyed with her and gave her hand a light squeeze as they broke apart. Cagalli grinned and rested her hand on his shoulder. It barely reached him. "Let me get the boring introduction over."
"Kira, this is Lacus," Cagalli gestured at Lacus' direction. "Lacus, this is Kira. Now that is over, let's go." She punched her brother lightly on the shoulder and wrapped her arms around Miriallia's shoulders. Uncomfortable, Miriallia shrugged her off. Athrun followed the other two females.
"Well, Kira, nice to meet you. I believe we haven't met." Lacus chuckled, beaming up to the smiling face.
"Yeah, I believe this is our first meeting too." Kira, the mysterious train gentleman, pulled on her red hair. Lacus pushed him away, laughing.
Maybe… maybe you have found me?
A/N: There are a few things I want to clarify:
a) The train. Well, I got it mixed up with a tube. Please forgive me... Just imagine a tube that can travel long-distance and travel above the ground and not underground... So sorry...
b) Age. All of them are eighteen.
c) Kira. Um... Kira's parents were divorced and his mother got his custody and left Orb for U.S. so... this story is a bit AU-ish...
It surprised me a little on how this story can become so light. I was listening to AC/DC when I wrote this. Maybe Lacus was a bit cynical and too outspoken.
Disclaimer: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and its characters aren't mine, and they belong to their respective owners.