Incarcerated Friendship

Chapter Eight- Shattered Marionette

Disclaimer- I don't own Gundam SEED. Tell me if the rights ever go up for sale.

Author's Note- Warning: Cursing ahead! I don't think it is enough to bump it up to Mature yet. You've been warned!

This rendition of Athrun is Kao's. Most likely anything that pertains to Athrun (his actions, speech, etc) was written by her. 'Cause she is that freakin' sweet.

Our Story Continued:

Kira's Cell

Kira POV

It's funny how things change perspective so drastically when someone is in pain. Suddenly life slows to a snail's crawl and any awareness of the world around you goes dull, numb. Only the pain is there. It is the one time Kira ever considered what it would be like to slip into darkness, how lovely it may prove to be. Even through the foggy glaze that brushed itself over his eyes, Kira's senses alerted him to the fact someone else had entered the room. A flash of blue alarmed him, his dazed mind requiring a few moments to connect Athrun with hope, hope for an end to the throbbing feeling flooding his head.

But as his sinuses drained themselves (most likely in the form of a bloody nose), the extra adrenaline pumping into his system made his limps more nimble, senses sharpened. His eyes managed to focus on the scene in front of him, vaguely aware of the released pressure on his throat, though the malicious stare of molten steel continued to glare at him in the form of a gun. He was alarmed by this, the pain and the confusion forcing him into the mental state of a child, and an injured one at that (innocent violet eyes glazed). His lips part to speak, but found them cracked and covered with drying blood, his tongue feeling like sandpaper against the tender flesh of his gums. Athrun… Kira was frustrated, and attempted to use his vocal cords again, but managed only a soft groan. He was helpless.

Regular POV

"I said, what the hell are you doing?!" Athrun choked out the words again.

"What you couldn't do!" Yzak spat back over his shoulder, voice ringing with malice and disdain, hand clasped dangerously tight around the "natural's" neck. Athrun wondered if Le Creuset had put him up to this or was this just an excuse for personal payback.

"What you're doing is illegal..." Athrun knew there must be some legal protection for prisoners, against such abuse, at least to some extent – PLANT wasn't so unkind, were they?

"Why do you want to protect him so much after what he has done?"

"I…Yzak just… shit… just leave him alone. We don't need the Strike and it's not like he's going to have a life once we get back to PLANT." For a brief moment Athrun thought his words may have had some effect on Yzak from the look that flickered across his eyes. Wincing, Athrun expected more blows to follow directed toward himself, but it was then Yzak turned around to face Kira once again.

The sickening sound of cold metal against soft flesh filled the room, and Athrun thought it had started up again as the steel body of the gun came up from underneath up against Kira's jaw, snapping the brunette's eyes up to the ceiling, too overcome with shock to utter a meek whimper. Athrun stepped forward to stop it but Yzak moved away with the same malicious look that he had seen before his presence in the room was known.

"I hope Le Creuset knows you've taken sides with these fucked up naturals." Yzak spat to Athrun, pushing past him (shoulder into shoulder) Athrun held his tongue back and followed Yzak out, pausing at the doorway before leaving the room.

Kira's POV

He found those few limbs that were uninjured to be heavy, but Kira forced them to move, begging his confused ligaments and joints to function. Kira tested his motion with his toes, wiggling them beneath the cover of his boots, attempting to get his motions up to stand, with no success.

Pain erupted from his chin, barely aware that he had been hit until the discomfort came in a tumultuous wave.

His slender frame was thrown back against the plaster of the wall, head shot up towards the ceiling, still reeling from the force of the blow. He felt tears forming in his eyes, but was too tired to allow them to flow down his cheeks. After a few moments, Kira's body slid down the surface, leaving a trail of blood, before collapsing on the starched white sheets. He was barely able to see the exiting form of Athrun before darkness took him.

And he went willingly.

Ten Minutes Later

Athrun didn't report the incident because it was Yzak and Yzak was hot headed and blunt in the way he does things. He suspected that they white haired coordinator couldn't help the constant rage that boiled just beneath the surface of his pale skin, it was a neglected side effect of war and loss.

At the infirmary Athrun took the cold pack the medical assistant gave him, accompanied by a knowing smile. It was not the first time a member of their squad had entered with bruises undoubtedly linked with the easy-to-anger teammate. He placed it against his cheek with an inward sigh. The bruise developing beneath his skin would be gone within a day or two, a blessing provided by a coordinator's increased immune system. But Kira's wounds were much more severe. He picked up a few more medical supplies from the nurse, who waved him out hurriedly as a few wounded soldiers came filing in. Had there been another battle? Athrun hadn't noticed.

Athrun wished he didn't feel like Kira was his problem, and yet he also wished that Kira was not a problem in the first place. Regret filled his senses, and guilt soon followed as he entered the previously abandoned room, the sight of the crumpled Kira making his stomach churn uncomfortably.

Athrun laid the first aid supplies on a clear space of the bed behind Kira and took one of the spare dressings and soaked it with water from the tap in the corner. Athrun took the wet dressing and started cleaning off the drying blood on Kira's face before he could dress the wounds and he is silently glad Kira was out of it, not to make the situation more uncomfortable than it already was.

In Kira's Head

Kira felt as if he was drifting through realities, materializing in random scenes he barely recognized, and others that he identified all to well. They were painful memories, the ones that he had worked so hard in setting away from the rest of his functioning mind, meticulously constructing his walls of containment to keep their poisoned existence away from his consciousness. They were the reminiscence of events of old, ones that Kira may have attempted to distance himself with, but lingered over his shoulder like a looming storm cloud. And here, in this dark, obscured version of reality, everything had a distinct blurred cast to it, faded in perfection like an irreplaceable painting placed in the sun.

In this world, Kira was crumpled on the ground, his innocence that of a heart broken child, a light overhead directed at his slender frame. Everything was warped, obscured, amplified. And these horrible recollections played out in front of him, like a car accident in the way it was so horrible you couldn't look away. Kira was reliving his worst memories. He remembered as a child (he couldn't have been more than three, though his coordinator mind captured every moment), his great aunt's hysterical wails to discover that her nephew was a coordinator, "space scum", "mutated monsters".

The scene suddenly flipped, to a group of young boys with vibrant tresses that could only belong to coordinators, in the whimsical setting he recognized as Copernicus. They had been making fun of Kira's parents, telling him that their fathers would soon kill all the naturals. And those who loved them (from his crumpled state in this unorthodox realm, Kira felt tears filtering to his eyes). These events passed like a slide show, each more painful then the next, dozens of them until the air stilled.

The edges of his vision began to turn slightly lighter, and Kira felt like he was teetering on the edge of a knife, and about to fall back to reality (and became vaguely aware of a cold, wet something brushing against his face) but not before the cruel memories shifted yet again. The scene before him went black for a few moments, until a sharp flicker of bright lights and blaring warning signals signified that Kira was back in the cockpit of the Strike, in time to hear the six little words that made his blood run cold. "I'll be forced to shoot you."

Kira shot up where he was in the blood stained cot, eyes flying open wildly as he struggled for air like a fish drowning in air. His breathing was erratic, uncontrolled as his chest labored, hands shaking from where they clutched the sheets in front of him. He didn't realize another presence in the room, to caught up in the nightmare to have any perception of what was reality and what was imagination. Kira hugged his knees in a relaxed way, not so much as a sign of weakness, but rather stayed in the position because it was comfortable. Between heavy gasps, Kira looked to his right, alarmed to see another person staring back at him. "A… Athrun?" His voice was meek, confused, vocal chords seeming to be made of dry rubber bands. What this real? Or just another memory?

Author's Note- Schoolwork has made me its own personal slave recently. Between physical therapy and Track practice, I have found little time for my creative indulgences. T.T

I apologize greatly! If you don't already hate me... -meek voice- Review, pweeeeeze?