IMPORTANT: It would take thirty minutes to an hour (more or less) to finish this long chapter. Happy reading.

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Chapter 7:

Encore

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His eyes wandered amongst the crowd, remembering the first time he ever strummed his guitar. It wasn't until then had he realized his true potential and how music seemed to put a great influence in his life.

- - -

His fingers were on the tuning keys as he found a comfortable spot by an old, sturdy tree. After making some adjustments, he then moved towards the native guitar's position markers as his other hand momentarily streamed the length of the strings.

Taking a deep breath, he began by plucking the upper strings forming some sort of a bass then slowly, shifting downwards as his fingers on the other end slid and continuously changed positions and notes.

"That's one wicked piece."

His reverie was broken. Quickly opening his eyes and stopping playing his guitar, he looked at the source of the seemingly disturbance.

That voice belonged to a certain blue-haired whom he recognized as one from his class. Unfortunately however, he was one among whom Kira never socialized with.

"Never knew you could play so well."

Perhaps it was his very airy disposition which became the reason why he never dared try to talk to him. His boyish grin and his commercial-model-like stance really blew him off. Instead of sharing the moment, Kira chose to just stand up, take his guitar and leave in peace.

"Perhaps you're interested to…"

"I'm not."

Given the circumstance, at least this guy was acting friendly which was the case as Kira took the gesture a mere show of hypocrisy.

"At least pretend you're somewhat interested to listen to whatever I have to say. Ever wonder why I'm here?" the blue-haired started once more, the word "giving up" obviously not in his vocabulary.

"Now that you mentioned it, I am in fact wondering why Mr. Perfect Attendance is here while classes are still going on."

Not intending to give the matter any full thought, Kira smirked and walked past him, barely touching a shoulder with his.

"I'm Athrun and we hold sessions at the music room every other day. With your strumming, you could be one famous person in the music scene one day."

"I know."

"You'll be famous?" clarified the former with much please in his tone thinking that the brunette was paying attention after all, though the arrogance really got into him first.

"That you're Athrun."

- - -

Kira shifted his gaze on his band mates as he turned around and saw how Rye beat his drums…fully remembering how he had always been fascinated by such intensity and passion.

The sound of the crash and hi-hat cymbals filled in the background as he pounded on the snare at the same time. His feet in tune with every beat on the stop tom as it never left the pedal.

With such rhythm and concentration, it could very well be concluded that Rye was indeed a musical genius.

Ending the interlude with a beat on the ride cymbal and a shift to the second and floor toms, Rye looked at Kira in the eye – a signal for the latter to start his plucking of the next note.

Athrun had his own share as his bass rang harmoniously to every strum and beat. Barely audible, it gave direction to the general flow of the rhythm.

- - -

Kira stood in awe - - frozen on his feet while looking back at the tiny gap in the doorway. With just the bass and drums, somehow, these two musicians gave a perfect blend. His ear could notice how good the shiftings were and how in tune the piece was. Though there was no melody yet, Kira felt this strange attachment to their music.

"What are you doing here?"

Again, with momentary shock, Kira turned around and saw someone he didn't expect to see.

"Cagalli?" he spoke in disbelief as though he'd never seen her for ages.

She was carrying a plastic bag which he figured out as coffee with the brewed smell flowing out.

"There you are." Came another one, as the door widely opened, revealing the two conversing figures.

"Hey…" quickly noticing the brunette who had his guitar hanging around his shoulder, the blue-haired addressed.

"I suppose you're here for the session." He further added.

"What session? Him?" Cagalli butted in, pointing a finger at her brother.

"Yeah, I invited him." With a wide smile on his face, even too pleased to an extent, he responded.

And it was after a few more days that Kira found himself immersed in what he originally thought was a joke…proving only later its importance in his life - - so much so that letting go would equally ruin his life.

- - -

All the music died down as the crowd enjoyed every bit of their performance. They just ended their first song yet everyone seemed to go crazy over it. This was certainly a favorable feedback considering how everyone else thought they're sinking down the scene. It was in fact proof of their staying power and influence.

All three members retreated to the backstage with their fans' voices shouting for more. They would love to play continuously but somehow, it drained all their energy. Usually it was after five acts that they do this but it was what's much needed and called-for at the moment.

- - - - - - - - - -

Young Stephen found his way to the backstage, his child-like demeanor (which was normal to his age) clearly in showing. He bumped, he rolled, he literally crawled just to avoid the middle-aged brute-looking men from capturing him in his trespass. Yet with the size that he had, well, he pretty got the load off with much ease.

And from the corner where he stooped his body to peek through, he saw him – his idol. Getting the pen and paper ready, he approached him as though a kid was a normal sight at that particular area.

"Excuse me, sir." He spoke with his little voice.

The said man he was regarding to had his back on him, and his pitch wasn't that intense enough to grab his attention. He cleared his throat.

"Mr. Yamato sir…" he again called out, this time, his presence was recognized. The said Yamato turned around. He held on a bottle of mineral water as his eyes focused on the child.

"Yeah?" the brown-haired later asked, with not much interest in his tone as what he had usually been perceived with. Rockers.

Out of fear perhaps with the way the singer spoke, Stephen nervously handed his paper and pen which not to mention he gripped all too tightly that slight stains of his sweat were etched on the material.

Kira took a moment to look at it and then on the boy again. He pretty much had an idea of what this was about. Sighing, he took the paper and pen to his hand, and inscripted some words on it.

"Here you go." He later said as he handed the same back over to its owner. The boy took it all too pleasingly that his expression of once fear and doubt was replaced by that of sheer joy.

Not forgetting his manners, he thanked the older as he quickly made his way back – well, he was to do so 'til a blonde girl approached the vocalist. And being curious as to his nature of a child, he looked on without moving a bulge. Kira took no offense in the gesture but instead took a few steps away and towards the new arrival.

From where he stood, Stephen could not clearly hear what exactly these two people were talking about. And no matter how much he tried, he simply could not make out their conversation. All he knew was that there must be something wrong as the said blonde had her brows creased and Kira had his expressionless face wear an expression – shock.

"They want that?" Kira asked to the girl in a fairly high tone. She simply nodded and he began to wear this straight face again, as if in rigorous thinking.

"How on earth are we to do that?" obviously regaining his once grumpy and authoritative attitude (which was all too natural and inherent to him), he spoke yet again.

"Geez, that's why I said we are to have a quick meeting on this one…but since I never got the chance to find the others, here I am confiding to you first."

"What did Athrun or Rye say?"

"Weren't you listening? I just said I can't find them. It's not like I have no other things to worry about, you know."

"All right…" in a noticeably calmer tone, he looked at the other side.

"How much time do we have left?" he then inquired, shifting his attention back on her.

"Barely 10 minutes or so."

"I'll handle it. I'll find us someone. Tell that to him."

"You better."

And with those words, their conversation ended as Kira was left still contemplating on the matter. This was the perfect chance to say his goodbye properly – as was in the case of Stephen. But perhaps it ran in his genes, being the son of an entirely wealthy and prominent businessman, that this young boy be inquisitive in his years.

"Mr. Yamato sir, is anything the matter?" with all honesty, Stephen spoke which was taken lightly by Kira as he ruffled the young boy's hair.

"Nothing which concerns you, kid. Now you better get back out there or else you'll be kicked out from here." He replied as he threw his bottle in the can.

"But I can help you…" not intending to leave without hearing his side, the youngster insisted which caused quite a stir in Kira. Kids.

Turning around and facing him, the brunette bended his knees 'til he had an eye level with the boy.

"Look, if you can find me an excellent singer who won't have a petty excuse as a stage fright in ten minutes, then I suppose you can help me indeed." Smirking, Kira straightened his back and proceeded on his leave.

"But seriously, sir, I can help…" grabbing the fabric of his shirt, Stephen went on without any signs of giving up, immediately knowing in his mind the solution to the former's problem.

"Hey, hey. What could a kid do to help? Besides, surely your parents are searching for you now." Dismissing the boy, he went onwards, of course, followed behind by little footsteps.

Seemingly irritated, Kira turned around.

"What?" he asked, if not almost shouted. He really never had enough patience with kids like this one. The said kid was shortly taken aback with this unexpected behavior, but being the maggot that he was, he spoke to Kira as though he was older.

"You're not listening to me. My sis is the best singer and you're lucky enough she's here with me. She could sing and she definitely has no stage fright. Truth of the matter is, she spoke infront of delegates of different nations in a recently concluded conference and…"

"Hey, enough with the essay." Kira interrupted as he gave momentary thought on this kid's proposal, stopping on his pace.

"So you're saying your sister could sing right now?" he clarified.

"Technically she's not my sister. She's more like a volunteer tour guide in our field trip today. She's actually very beautiful and…"

"Hey, hey, slow down. Answer my question first…could she or could she not do it?" with both hands on the youngster's shoulders. Kira looked him in the eye.

"Yes, Mr. Yamato sir. I'd guarantee you one hundred percent she could sing today." the kid boasted with much gusto.

And all Kira could do was give off a smile.

- - - - - - - - - -

Following around this kid was really silly to him. Agreeing on his proposal was even dumber in his age. But he was desperate and that made the difference. He imagined Athrun's and Cagalli's faces if they ever found out what he was up to. He shook these thoughts away and instead focused on his goal. What he needed at the moment was a singer and this kid provided the answer. Besides, he concluded, there would be no harm in trying now.

"Wait here." The little one spoke as if in a commanding tone. Kira didn't like every bit about the manner he ordered him around but just bit his tongue before he could say anything else which would wrong the kid. This kid, whether he liked it or not, was the solution to his problems and he had best learn to live with it…and possibly be grateful to him if ever, though the thought scared the wits out of him.

- - - - - - - - - -

Stephen rushed about the audience area towards were he remembered their group was seated at. Finding the right place, he then searched for his sister.

"Where is she?" he grumbled as he desperately looked at different faces.

"Why young one? Where have you been?"

"Sis? Did you see sister?" he asked in haste, without wasting any further time.

- - - - - - - - - -

Kira was getting impatient. Was the kid making a fool out of him? He hoped not for he would really teach the younger a lesson of that was the case. He looked tensed as he stared back at his watch. It was fairly enough time to search for a volunteer singer but it was straining to just stand around and wait. He had to do something, eat something or drink something to ease the tension.

He looked at the other side of the road and saw just what he needed…a coffee shop.

- - - - - - - - - -

Kira went out having his fill of the said drink as he found Stephen wandering around the area.

"Hey kid." He greeted as he waved a hand while he approached him.

"So, where's she?"

"Well, I haven't seen her yet…"

Those were not the words he wanted to hear…definitely not.

"You what?" he couldn't help but feel infuriated but then eventually, he tried to calm himself down. This was a kid and he was an adult…he must act his age. He stared down at the clock and saw its winding hands. Time's up. Surely, those at the backstage were currently searching for him.

He could feel himself perspiring hard and in constant deep thought. It was a risk to lay everything on the kid. Now, he had no further plans. As a matter of fact, what he was thinking about were the words he would tell Cagalli later on.

"Sir! Mr. Yamato sir!" shouted Stephen, trying to call his attention and seemingly unaffected by Kira's sudden outburst from earlier.

"What?" somehow irritated, he focused once more on the kid.

"She'll sing."

"What…who? Who'll sing?"

"My sis! I'm sure, she will, I promise."

He actually was amazed with his persistence that he stooped to his level while taking a hold on his shoulders.

"I'm sure she will too, and I trust that you will have her sing."

Letting go of him, he straightened his back and stretched both arms. He then excused himself and headed back towards the backstage. He sighed. He'll just have to come up with one of his infamous impromptus later on in the stage.

- - - - - - - - - -

Cagalli looked troubled as Athrun spotted her by the corner.

"Hey." He greeted with a pat.

"H-Hey."

"What happened? Anything bothering you?"

Just then, Kira entered and was in fact on his way to the stage, holding his guitar by the neck. Cagalli held his arm and was eager to hear what he had to say.

"So, did you get our volunteer?"

He was meaning to tell the truth but upon seeing the hope in her eyes, he had to lie.

"Yeah…I found someone who can sing with the band."

"Well, where?"

"For drama effect, I'll have to call her up on the stage, right? You'll see her by then anyway."

He was already wanting to let go but Cagalli was insistent.

"What will she sing then?"

"I…Cagalli, look. You're just tensed. Leave it to us, all right? And, relax." With that, he got his arm free as he looked at Athrun. He then went on his way with the blue-haired following through.

"And Cagalli…" Athrun spoke as he turned around. He then walked towards her and took the liberty to hold her hand.

"Yeah?" Obviously not expecting the gesture, she faced him, astounded by his behavior.

"This next song, I'll…" she could barely see the shades of pink on his cheeks as his voice possessed a bit of shyness in it.

"…I'll play it for you. Make sure to listen to the bass." After saying those, he quickly let go and rushed towards the main stage where the others were. With a smile on her lips, she whispered "Surely.".

- - - - - - - - - -

The microphone creaked somewhat and echoed through causing slight strains on the speakers, and possibly on everyone else's ears.

"Everyone still up?" holding his guitar in position, Kira acknowledged the crowd and he was not failed as his question was replaced with loud cheers. He turned to his side and saw Cagalli standing by - - staring straight at him. He knew what it meant, she was expecting something…and the crowd looked eager too.

"Right…so, here we are. I believe it is unknown to all that we will be having some deviations from our standard procedures here…"

He looked back at Cagalli who gave her thumbs up signal. And when he turned, he caught sight of Athrun and Rye, both men simply nodding - - relying everything on him.

"…all I'm saying is that…" now, Kira was perspiring real hard. He thought his lines through yet when you really got into it, your tongue could end up tied.

"…all he's saying is that we'll have some audience participation." Athrun butted in who then patted the other's shoulder.

"Relax, we know about this stint, Cagalli told me and I told Rye…so, should we call out your volunteer's name?" he whispered to which the brunette just replied "…wait.".

Leaving Kira by himself again, Athrun headed towards the east side as the former turned once more to the crowd.

"Audience participation it is…let's try this out, shall we? I need a volunteer up on the stage…someone who can sing." he smiled as the crowd literally roared and some stood up from their seats - - all raising their hands.

It wasn't difficult to get them hyped that the mere fact of standing next to the band itself was a prize worth taking. Before it turned chaotic and hard to control, Kira acted as if he was thinking deeply about something while his eyes searched the area…looking for a familiar place.

- - - - - - - - - -

"Hi…I'm sorry I'm late, it's just that I had to stop by and get something. I'm sorry." A certain girl spoke above the normal tone as it was beginning to be difficult to converse in the area. Everyone seemed shouting and cheering on. The older lady simply nodded her head and gestured towards the seat next to her while whispering to the other's ear.

"We better leave soon or else these kids will get suffocated…perhaps when this noise die down.". The girl just nodded her head in approval.

"There you are!" shouted a young voice which caught both the ladies' attentions.

"Stephen! Where've you been?" gushed the younger among the two as she walked towards the said kid.

"Can't explain now, just raise your hand…"

"Now what are you up to?"

- - - - - - - - - -

Kira couldn't find the kid. Yes, in all this, he was still relying on the little one. He didn't just want to pick up a random person without assurance that the said person could really sing. It would be staked on his name after all. But he had to make a choice soon, everyone's getting impatient. He could also feel the stares of his peers on the sides and his very band mates'.

And as if by chance or luck, he found the youngster in deep conversation with someone. He couldn't see who the kid was talking to but nevertheless at least he had a heading. Right then, he knew of a way to end the other's qualms without the whole process looking planned.

He took off the guitar strap and laid the instrument on the floor while grabbing the microphone. It was cordless, thus, the accessibility in different areas within the performance stage was at ease.

"So, here's the deal…I'll choose one among you by lifting my hand to the chosen one's direction. Now, this is random…to prove so, I'll wear a blindfold." As he said this, he took out his handkerchief and waved it in the air as proof. Folding it until it became a triangular shaped object, he placed the same over his eyes and tied a knot to keep it in place.

"Athrun…where's Athrun?" At the call of his name, the blue-haired put his guitar down and went towards his friend. Unsure of what he was up to, he simply complied trusting Kira knew what he was doing.

Once taking a hold of the said man's shoulder, Kira spoke yet once more. The crowd's noise little by little died down.

"Now what I'll do is I'll go down there with the aid of my good friend and band mate Athrun Zala…" as he said the name, loud roars emanated again accompanied by cheers and claps.

"…and I'll point a finger randomly. To whom this finger is pointed…that would be my chosen one. Of course, this is voluntary so I'll ask him or her politely if he or she wants to do this, if not, we'll do the process again. So, what do you say? Are you guys ready?"

The audience became noisy once more, anticipation and hopes rising within…this was a security officer's worst nightmare.

- - - - - - - - - -

Unknown to all, his handkerchief was in fact deceiving. It may look like he may not see anything when in fact, he could see clearly what's ahead of him. It was fairly easy to act it out and make those around believe otherwise.

Knowing the kid's location in his mind, he went there cautiously, as he "guided" Athrun to where he wanted to go. The latter sensed this trick of his and simply played along, whispering something in his ears like "step to the left" just to add to the effect.

The said girl who Stephen was talking to finally got a glimpse of the stage, since everyone seemed to focus their attention elsewhere. She looked back at Stephen and didn't mind whatever commotion was happening. Stephen on the other hand ran a few steps away from her and waved a hand against the much taller men and women surrounding them.

It was at the right moment for Kira was standing next to the array of their seats. The security personnel covering the two. He stopped as he raised his hand. Frantically in search for the kid, finally, he saw two small legs beneath another's wide ones. Looking deeper into the crowd, he saw that clothing the same as the kid's he met earlier.

"I could feel that a singer is somewhere…" he then pushed through the crowd in the kid's direction as Athrun assisted his every step.

"…here!" as he shouted that out, he heard a little kid's voice cry out loud. "Yes!".

At first, Kira was smiling but then, as he saw a familiar figure, he turned serious. Athrun had his blindfold removed as the brunette's vision became crystal-like clear.

The massive number of people circled them…as Kira had his hand pointed on her back. Young Stephen could only beam in joy as he grabbed the wrist of the lady and urged her to turn around.

She did, slowly, as she recognized that voice somewhat. Her eyes widened as Kira wore the same expression. Athrun, too, looked in shock but was careful not to make too much of a fuss on it. There was a momentary pause and no matter how ecstatic the children were or how jolly the atmosphere seemed, it appeared to them that all noise died down. As if it was just them standing there facing each other.

- - - -

"I'll prove it to you…" her voice remained firm.

He turned once more and looked at her, as if examining her whole form.

With determined eyes and a complete resolve, in a closed fist and creased brows, she spoke, each word clearly uttered and given much emphasis as she made her way towards Kira.

Stopping a few inches away from his then-stilled figure, she locked her eyes with his.

"…I'll be the best vocalist your band will ever have."

- - - -

"Are you not going to ask her?" shouted one from the audience after the silence between the two, especially Kira's, could no longer be borne.

Shaking his head and abruptly closing his eyes, Kira raised the microphone in level to his mouth while his then pointing finger turned to an opened palm towards her.

"Would you like to be a part of Destiny?"

The words did seem as though he was asking for a new recruit but then, he was devoid of their meanings. How he…how he missed that face for a very long time. And he didn't know it until this very moment when their eyes met once again. Her long pink tresses…her cerulean eyes…her slim figure…everything. As he looked at her, he couldn't help but relieve the past…and it showed in his eyes.

"Go on sis!" urged Stephen as she looked down at him, momentarily disrupting their contact.

"Go on Lacus." Advised the older lady she was with as everyone else cheered her on.

She then looked back at his opened palm and raised her own, touching his. With a nod of her head, he tightened his hold on her and smiled back. Turning to the stage, he carefully assisted her through the jam-packed area.

"And now, we have a volunteer!" he spoke as they reached the stage.

While there, she looked on at everyone nervously. She also looked at the side and saw Cagalli who gave her the stares. Rye didn't much change his expression except when he first saw her there. He simply drum-rolled and acted naturally. Athrun returned to his position as she felt Kira let go of her hand. Lifting his instrument up, he tuned it once more and wore the strap. He then proceeded towards the stand and placed the microphone there.

The brunette walked over to where she was. He was acting professionally; she knew and felt as he never set his eyes on hers.

But in some unaltered way, as he stood there gazing at how lovely she appeared, he found himself dumbfounded as was the first time he'd seen her perform. Her voice - - was it the same? Did she still have that pitch in it? Or has it bittered in the course of a year?

Sensing the urgency of the matter, he shook himself up and then approached her, wary of how anxious the crowd had been as of the moment.

"Listen, we'll be playing something on our track. I know you're familiar with it, it's something we have been practicing. I'll sing the intro then you could come in after…or if you feel like it." As he said these, he then went over to the two others on the stage. A separate mike stand was then installed a few distance away from Kira's. Lacus didn't know what was happening. She didn't know what she was to do then. All she knew and understood was that she was there to sing and that the song was, according to Kira, something she knew quite well. It only meant, in all that's happening, she should trust him and his words.

"Lacus…" he called as she looked at the separate mike stand. She went in position and breathed in.

Facing the audience, he spoke "Now, give it up for…" and in an obviously low pitch, continued "…Miss Lacus Clyne.".

The crowd applauded and shouted her some encouraging remarks.

- - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - -

The lights were on her…all eyes fixed on her.

- - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - -

An applause…a sign of satisfaction. Everyone with voices strained due to excessive shouting, everyone admired her…and how she captivated them with just a single song.

Retreating to the backstage, they left the same with the thought of giving yet a memorable performance. The warm applause given to their performance was enough proof that indeed Destiny still had its fan basing. And in the absence of months, they had remained influential.

Frozen on his feet, he looked at how much she had changed over a year. It's been that long since he'd last seen her…and somehow, her appearance still had an incredible effect on him – one which he cannot fully comprehend.

His lavender eyes must have made her feel quite unusual as she darted hers away. She momentarily breathed in deeply and before fully facing him once more, hid some unruly locks behind her ear.

Too bad though, had she not done so, with her hair like that - - he swore even the most gallant of knights would dare face death no matter how excruciating. And in fact, he was amused with how much emphasis he'd given her physical looks. She hadn't even said a word yet and he already started acting weirdly…not to mention feeling, too.

"Hey…" she spoke finally after the unusually awkward moment.

And words would seem fiddle as he remained as he was. He intentionally had wanted to say hi or some starter but hearing her voice again somehow had his tongue tied. But then, he did manage to scratch the back of his head, trying desperately to hide all the redness his flustered cheeks made.

She had her eyes roll up and down…probably scanning his features. Admittedly, this caused quite a stir in the young man as he can't help but avert his gaze elsewhere…the contact of their eyes would very well spell disaster - - on his part, of course. What he can't understand was this sudden emotion of shyness that somehow crippled his ability to converse. And she, of all people, did that on him with ease.

Finding nothing else to say, he acted as though she wasn't there…short of ignoring her and most certainly not recognizing her presence either. But guessing with his body contacts, one would wonder how he was able to pull that stunt off…regardless, he did flawlessly as the pink-haired found herself an old wooden box by the corners where she rested her weary body for a while.

And though the atmosphere seemed bleak and an impending storm threatened, he continued fixing stuffs about. He started with the wires then packed all other miniature objects. Once safely keeping them in a box, he ordered another to alight it on their truck. They could still hear the crowd outside and the extraordinary booze the contenders made. But no matter these turmoil, they managed to keep their mouths shut…at least for a couple more seconds or so.

Their seeming solitude was disturbed by the most disturbing sound as she hurriedly searched her bag and found its source.

"Hello?" she picked up as she stood from her seat, having her back against Kira and a hand covering the mouthpiece, probably so as to not let him hear any of her conversation with whoever it was on the other end.

It was lengthy as Kira took quick glances on her direction. He could tell by her actions that it wasn't quite urgent but still, something which he concluded as bothersome.

"Bye." She ended the call as she returned the same on her bag. She turned around to see what the male was up to but as soon as she did so, he quickly swallowed hard and turned the opposite side. Being caught in the act of eavesdropping sure was excuse-less.

As he busied himself with the gigantic boxes he so-called carried (which contained just weightless belongings), he immediately engaged in other tasks simultaneously. She approached him cautiously and lifted a finger on his shoulder.

The sudden contact indeed brought some jolts on his spine. He even felt his sweat flowing from his forehead. Wiping these away, he turned to look at her.

"Excuse me now, I have to get back. It's…" she stopped, somehow, Kira thought, something really must have bothered her.

"…it's good to see you again." And as she said these, she bowed her head low and turned to leave.

Was it him…or was it his unconscious acting? For as she started to walk away, he grabbed her by the arm…which she felt was abrupt as she turned once more, with eyes full of inquiry.

His lavender engraved deeply into her cerulean as he held her still…without any word uttered.

"I…"

What was he to say? She looked on at him expectantly…expectantly yet not asking him to let go of his firm hold. Perhaps even the female did savor the contact no matter how tight and uncalled-for.

"Coffee?" he ended as though it was what's most important…what they needed to do at that moment. She couldn't quite understand why he did said so, but then, figured a reply was necessary to his bewildering inquiry.

"Are you…are you inviting me for coffee, Mr. Yamato?" not losing any respect or dignity in her voice, she returned as he suddenly felt her eyes pierce through his being.

"I am asking you out."

"But…"

"Hey…" not forgetting his attitude before, he quickly let go of her arm and stomped back to his workplace, his voice very clear and very loud, if that was the least to say.

"It's not that I am asking for a date but…you know…" turning around once more, he glanced back at her.

"…you owe me that much at the very least."

Lacus by this time had already given her word and with an added nod, agreed to do his bidding. For all the trouble she caused him, he at least deserved more than a cup of brewed coffee. But if that's his personal request of her, who was she to deny compliance?

It was at that point when Cagalli entered the scene but this time, with the headphones hanging on her neck. As what was expected, she wasn't too happy to see a certain pink-haired in there.

And Lacus knew this…she felt it the moment her feet touched the wooden surface of that stage.

"Thank you for everything. I really have to go." Lacus quickly spoke, bowing her head low as she left his side, passing by Cagalli without saying another word.

Cagalli wasn't keen on letting her off the hook yet and attempted to follow her, but was stopped on her tracks by a familiar hand. Athrun sensed that something may be wrong so before the blonde could get her way with things, he immediately went towards her side – both hands on her shoulder, turning her around towards the exit on the other side.

"What are you doing, Athrun?" she gasped, a bit repulsed by his sudden action.

"We have to go somewhere…"

Without taking "no" for an answer, she gave up and complied with the latter's persistence.

Kira witnessed this but remained silent about it. It wasn't one which he would want to interfere in. Knowing his sister very well, he knew it was best that Athrun handle the situation. The tension between her and Lacus was still evident - the pain and the hurt still fuming within the blonde's memory - that no matter what assurance he may give, she won't listen to him as much as she would with Athrun.

But in all this, he was certain of one thing. She was there. Lacus was. And the effect she had on him remained intact, even grew stronger in an unexplainable way.

Deciding on things, he walked towards the open courtyard…to take that promised coffee with her.

- - - - - - - - - -

Lacus found herself alone once more. Sitting herself by a bench, she tried to calm herself down. The events which took place played on her mind continuously – it was all brisk and sudden. And it all happened in a single day.

Perhaps, she still wasn't prepared to face everyone after all. Or more, perhaps things would never be patched up and would remain as they were from then on.

"Here."

She stared up and saw a familiar face. Taking the tape, she observed it in her grasp – lining the letters written on it by the fingertips.

"Wind's bliss…" she whispered softly. The red-haired sat himself beside her, a can of soda on his grip.

"I figured you must want a copy of it."

She stared at him once more, unable to express whatever it was that was on her mind at the moment. It was a personal song…one that sprang from the depths of her heart. And to find it recorded and taken, even considered, as a record…was something she didn't expect.

"I heard that song, and it is good, in fact. I bet it would be a hit when released and played."

"Why…?"

Looking at her from the corner of his eye, he sighed.

"Once, you believed in yourself when you stood up to him. You brought an unusual presence in this band - - one that seemed lacking since…"

He looked straight forward, towards the wide expanse. Clouds hovered above, its darkness accumulating. It was heavy to the feeling yet the somewhat cool breeze balanced the warm body.

"…since Rika left. Anyway, whatever the reason may be, I suggest that you ask him." Giving a smile, he then added.

"I don't know…I don't know what to say, how to express my gratitude for all that you've done for me, considering the things I have done against you and the others…" breaking into a smile, she closed her eyes and leaned unto the object, placing it against her heart.

"Perhaps, you could give me a live sample of it…it would be a good way to show your appreciation."

- - - - - - - - - -

Gone are the tears I shed at night

For amidst the solitude and helpless plight

- - - - - - - - - -

It wasn't a particularly clear skyline as rains threatened to fall.

She had her gaze on it – eyes blankly staring as her back leaned against a wall. Always thinking of certain possibilities and how she let opportunities pass her by…these things bothered her more than she could imagine.

"Still mad?" lending a can of drink, he asked as his midnight blue hair swayed in the direction of the passing wind.

Her amber eyes looked straight at his, pondering whether to accept the gesture or not. She wasn't in the brightest of moods, and even appeared irritated at the moment yet he remained his usual calm and reserved self around her. And the fact that he was treating her in a manner that seemed contrary to hers added to the list of things that irritated her so much.

"Why are we here in the first place?" she asked as she intentionally ignored his approach. He smirked, knowing all too well she'd do what she did.

"Well, for one, it was boiling hot on that area…" opening the can in his grasp, he then took a quick sip before continuing.

"…and I don't want you to cause another cat fight."

"Tsk, cat fight you say? I'm not stooping to that level. And you know better that I've never caused any fight."

"Yeah, tell me about it a minute after." Walking across the space, she had no choice but to follow him around. This was his idea after all, and she was led to believe that whatever he was doing was something worthwhile if only to divert her attention to something else.

"You haven't answered my question yet, what exactly are we doing here?"

"I thought you were asking for the why…but since you put it that way, I'll make it simple."

Stopping in his tracks, he turned to his side and faced her. With both hands on her shoulder. he leaned a bit just so he could see her amber orbs directly with his green ones.

"What?" conscious of what he was doing, she blurted out, as his stares began to place her in an uncomfortable spot.

"I missed you, that's why. I don't think any explanation is better than that."

"You wha…wait!"

As he spoke, he immediately walked towards another area, with Cagalli close by – the redness on her cheeks evident and in showing.

"Athrun! What are you saying!" she managed to at least let out, the matter still fresh on her mind.

"The truth. What else do you expect?"

"Yeah right, whatever you say."

He then took a moment to glance at the side of her face, his eyes possessing every hint of seriousness.

"You know, you don't have to be so mad at Lacus."

- - - - - - - - - -

You had been there – with me – all the while

Showing the way, leading to the light

- - - - - - - - - -

She then stopped. As he noticed her sudden halt, he turned around – a bit inquiring as to her reason why. She had her eyes covered with some falling hair as her eyes fixed on the graveled ground.

"About that...why do you care so much about her? You were thinking I was intending on hurting her a while ago that you, for yet another time, dragged me away. Did you really think I would do that to her?"

Flashes of him with Lacus entered her mind. About how he stood up for her mostly, and about the unusual show of care he did towards her.

He walked towards her, a bit surprised about her sudden reaction and at the same time prepared to answer whatever questions she may have.

"Are you jealous?" was all he said, humor leaving his voice. Just as these words left his mouth, she immediately turned a bit hue of red. She was obviously flustered by his remark, and it showed on her face. Smiling inwardly at that, he continued in his teasing - a bit serious to add an effect.

"What made you think that? You still are the same self-centered person that you were…always thinking that everything else is about you." she at the very least managed to speak out, trying desperately to calm her racing heart.

"Yet you still are jealous with how I act towards her."

She stared at him as his proximity neared. Him, standing inches away from her, leaving only a comfortable distance between them. "Cagalli, perhaps if you didn't break up with me during our vacation trip then none of this would have happened."

"If that is your explanation…"

"But I want you to know that that isn't the reason." Cutting her off, he sighed as he brushed his hair with a hand.

"See, sure Lacus is beautiful, but then, I still was hoping that somehow, in some altered way or another, things might work out between us. Anyway, to make things clear, I did that for…"

"Kira. I know. You did it for him." Resigned, she spoke, not entirely relieved to hear that he didn't intend to get close to Lacus for himself.

"Well actually, that's the funny part. I thought I was doing for him but then, I ended up doing it for you."

"For me?"

The said man only smiled as he grabbed Cagalli by the hand, holding it tightly.

"Your only happiness is to see your brother happy. And my happiness is to see you happy. It works both ways…like hitting two birds with one stone. And I'm glad to have it like this."

"Always the thinker. Now you're using my brother as your petty excuse."

"Is it working though?" he smiled for yet another time, caressing her hand with his fingers. His eyes in their innocent show.

Somehow, that seemed to be just the right thing that was needed to pacify her. As she gave off her first smile, she spoke.

"You better put some work to it more."

"You know I'd do anything for you…" as he said this, he then turned the other way and started motioning his feet. With his hold on her, it would seem that he's not keen on letting her go.

"Hey Cagalli, you still mad at Lacus?" he spoke in between breaths as the wind blew against their bodies.

"You already said it yourself…my happiness is Kira's happiness. Whoever he's with, as long as he's happy, is there anything else I could do?"

Shifting his eye to glance at her, his smile grew wider as a contented sigh escaped his lips. Gazing at the surroundings, he softly whispered against the passing wind.

"Glad to hear that."

Of course, she had lots to complain about, but when she was there with him holding her like that, it seemed that all anger left her, and what's left was just that feeling of his hand on hers…his warmth into her skin.

She missed him…and she tells him this by tightening her hold on him.

- - - - - - - - - -

I may not know what is right or wrong

May even be unsure of my actions now on

- - - - - - - - - -

The motorcycle's engine died down as its rider stepped out of the said vehicle, placing its keys in his pocket. Taking his helmet off, he breathed in the fresh air while letting his eyes wander across the horizon.

It was the same grassy downhill slope where he usually while away his hours. It had never changed a bit and he always made sure to visit here every now and then.

This was, after all, where she was.

Walking a few steps, he then stopped, his red hair covering half his face. As he laid down the purple flowers he held, he knelt before her and let his fingers trace its rough edges, removing a couple of fallen leaves in its wake.

"I think everything's going to be all right now. I hope you'll smile at us from wherever you are…"

An unfeigned smile painted across his lips as his silver necklace hung loosely. The wind swaying his hair and its chains to its direction – growing ever stronger, whispering in hisses its pure melancholy.

"...Rika."

- - - - - - - - - -

Yet I'd turn my back on all things before

If only I could reach you just once more

- - - - - - - - - -

The door bells rang as a certain brunette pushed the wooden frame open, entering the area looking for a certain pink-haired. The smell of brewing coffee immediately taken in, he went inside and found her just by the window.

"Sorry I'm a bit late…" he greeted as he sat himself across her. Taking both their orders and having them served, he quickly relished the warm feel of the cup against his bleak palms, his sole attention on it as his eyes observed the steam emanating from the same.

Being right opposite him brought memories of the past. She secretly watched how he held his cup and brought it nearer his mouth or how he lovingly gazed on the outside though his expression proved otherwise. His eyes remained captivating as he possessed every inch of masculinity she remembered him have.

And it was funny since she'd never seen his "assets" like these in detail before. Perhaps she was too consumed with the idea of her being their vocalist that she intended to divert her attention away from physicalities…including this man who now appeared pleasing to the senses.

Smiling inwardly, he turned his attention back on her.

"What?" noticing the slight giggles she refused to let out, she just shrugged her shoulder and instead took her serving. The momentary smile stayed as it was – momentary – as her expression grimly changed in a span of seconds. The black liquid reminded her of the thing that she did which almost caused this man before her his very life.

- - - -

His bike slid off upon a corner, desperately avoiding the most likely collision with a much bigger vehicle. Nevertheless, he drifted far too much, ultimately losing his balance and the stability of the bike. The brakes didn't work direly as he hoped to…

Almost five feet - - he flew that height as the front tire dashed across the hump on the side street. And in a matter of seconds, he was sent flying back to the ground, gravity pulling his weight.

- - - -

And considering the fact that never had she spoken to him since then…since the night she made her promise which was eventually broken. Thinking about the gravity of the situation and the identity of this person, she couldn't help but think also of the possible reactions of his sister and everyone else. The memory of her slap remained engraved in her very heart and the tacity of the blue-haired's words scraped within her mind. Perhaps the only consolation she got was talking to Rye prior to this. His words seemed to lift her spirits up somewhat no matter how grave it had been.

"How are you?" His voice seemed to wake her from her reverie as she shifted her eyes on him.

"As you can see." She replied with much wit – the same thing he'd known her to have. This earned her a smile, one which she'd never seen him wear before.

"That's good."

Another pause ensued. Another silence. Awkward once more.

- - - - - - - - - -

Time didn't stand still, as an hour passed. Not enough, both thought but then again, it was all that they've got.

After all laughter died down, after all reminiscing was brought up, somehow though words remained unspoken, they knew it was indeed time to part.

"Bye then." She spoke as she stood up from her seat.

"Yeah…it was a good cup served here."

Nodding, she then made her way through as he was left gazing at her. Stopping just a few inches away from the door, she took hold of that plastic case she kept well-hidden inside her bag.

"I have something that belongs to you…and I just want to give it back."

Taking it out by the hand, she placed it on the adjacent table, clear enough for him to see just what it was.

"I was meaning to ask why you did it. Why did you take time to record it without telling me about the whole matter?"

Seeing the said object, a simple "That is…" left his lips, unable to fully organize the thoughts that came crashing on him upon sight of it.

He was disbelieving, for a moment, didn't know what to say. But he was spared from further thought as she continued his statement, a bit resigned and unenthused.

"But perhaps, there are things better left unsaid. And questions left as they were."

He didn't move. He didn't speak. His eyes simply gazed…'til the very same lost sight of her.

- - - - - - - - - -

Flipping the case in his fingers, he kept his eyes closed - - the smooth texture of its surface the only thing registered on his mind. Opening them once more, he gazed at his watch, simply observing how both the short and long hands continuously and monotonously ticked.

It hasn't been too long since she'd left yet his mind seemed to ponder on things involving her. Clearly seeing its title on its front written by his very own writing, he stood up, forcing the chair he sat on to slide a bit backwards. A creaking sound produced on the wooden tiles.

He sighed. Perhaps it indeed was not yet their time to part, and those words she said needed to be spoken and her questions no matter the magnitude need some answering.

He then searched something from his pocket as he felt a circular thing in between his fingers. Taking it out, he momentarily gazed at the said object, the small coin in his palm, as memories of the past suddenly rushed to his mind.

- - - -

"You needed a coin, didn't you?"

"Yes…" her voice a little timid and low as memories of how she stood her ground against him came in mind. Uneasy – she truly felt it.

Lifting her hand up, he immediately dropped the coin on her grasp. It wasn't even enough to buy her the drink, much less, anything for that matter. He then walked on as she stood up looking at his direction with the object in hand.

- - - -

Funny, things which he thought were insignificant somehow made more sense now.

Tossing the quarter on his table, he quickly took his jacket and went outside towards the direction she disappeared to. He had to do this…to find her if it's the last thing he could ever think of doing.

Whether it was right or wrong, whether it was for certain or not, he will do this still…his feet leading him on his way.

- - - - - - - - - -

Perhaps it is fated that our souls meet

Our longings finally heard through the wind

- - - - - - - - - -

A familiar figure stood before amidst the crowd. Her pink hair long across her back. He could not forget that jacket she wore. Though she wasn't facing him, he could very well recognize it was her.

She seemed to be standing still, not moving an inch from where she was. She seemed to be in deep contemplation, lost in her own trail of thoughts he never knew.

He took a step forward.

- - - -

It was then that an arm was placed around her shoulder. She then felt her body being pulled away from the said man. She turned to look at who it was who held a somewhat possessive grip on her.

"Stay with me." He whispered…his velvet eyes looking down at her. She nodded her head and simply held on a rod for balance as he had his attention shifted forward.

- - - -

Each step made his heart race as he swallowed hard whatever pride he's got left.

Another step.

- - - -

Washing his face with water, he stared at his reflection for a moment. Nothing much has changed with how he looked physically but then, perhaps there was something with his behavior that did. It was Cagalli's idea – that he take a break from all these. But then, it still wasn't clear to him why he had to do those things. If only to relieve his sister from worrying, he gladly did so thinking at the same time it was also what's best for him.

But as it turned out, sometimes, when he thought he already had forgotten the past, it seemed so hard to let go of it as it unconsciously finds its way back into the present.

- - - -

He knew his attitude was at most times unacceptable and he does tend to be a little pesky and even to an extent unreasonable. But right now, he could feel every inch of those fading away. His being was solely left and those things mentioned earlier replaced by a more imminent one – nervousness – tremendous nervousness as he felt his knees tremble. The air suddenly becoming blatant.

Another step.

As he neared her, he could see others staring at him. Some hesitant to approach him. Others pointing a finger at his direction. Nevertheless, this added more pressure as he felt as though a prey in the middle of a pack of wolves, waiting to be slaughtered to his death. Shaking these thoughts off, he focused on her.

- - - -

"Does anyone here recognize you?" she started as the question lingered on her mind. They had ridden a bus, a train and walked quite a lot yet never had she seen even a single soul approach them, (or rather him) and it seemed to be a wonder, considering the status he and his band enjoyed. She could clearly remember how her peers at school literally flocked her and Sher (thanks to Athrun) the last time the blue-haired went there for a short-lived visit.

He turned to look at her, as if the question didn't intrigue him much though he did try to look quite interested in the matter, perhaps a consolation to her inquiry.

- - - -

Then…

As if by chance or fate, she turned around just in time, immediately stopping all motion within him as he stood frozen on his feet. Not expecting the encounter to be this soon, he hasn't figured out what first to say as her eyes caught sight of him. Equal shock and inquiry on her face.

A pause.

He could see a blaze of curiosity flash through her eyes and even thought she might have been trying to give reason to his otherwise impulsive act. By then, she was pretty sure he won't dare follow her after the eye-catching, attention-grabbing scene that just took place.

"Kira, what are you doing here?" she was first to speak, her momentary gaze on him lifted.

"I was looking for you."

For a while, as she heard this, she hesitated. Somehow sensing that this may take long, she responded at once before he could even speak further.

"Kira, I wish…I wish I had the time, but whatever it is that you wanted to say or for whatever purpose that you are here, please do make it brief. It's late and I'm afraid the others are already waiting for me."

"You asked me what I am doing here - it's because of something - something that doesn't belong to me."

He then took further steps towards her, stopping mere inches away. As he stood, he took out the same tape from his pocket, gazing at it momentarily before facing her once more.

"Earlier, at the shop, you asked me why I did it. And you never gave me a chance to voice out what I thought about it. Then again, if only I could put it in words, then I might have said whatever answer I had in mind. But for now, I'll have to return this to you. It's your song after all, its rightful owner is you…"

Taking her hand with his, he then placed the same on her grasp, guiding her palm as it touched its surface.

"…I do the things I do not because I had to or I need to, but more so because I want to…because I feel that doing so would give me a pleasant, unexplainable feeling within. More than satisfaction, perhaps even more than sheer happiness itself."

As more words were about to be thrown, the sky gave out yet another loud roar, followed by a tiny droplet of rain…only to be succeeded by numerous downfalls of it.

The sudden downpour caused a commotion among all. Everyone took out their umbrellas, quickly opening them as those who were unfortunate enough not to bring theirs ran towards the nearest shed. The nearest being a couple of structures away.

Amidst all these, they remained as they were – simply looking at each other, not minding everyone else. Her cerulean eyes caused a stir in him as his emanated that of keen determination and emotions he didn't know he still had.

"It's strange…" he spoke in a fairly audible tone as everyone else faded in a snap, the rain gaining its weight.

"It's always a wonder when everyone knows you so well yet when the rain starts to fall, they just seem to ignore you. And ironically, it is a greater wonder why you're still there, right in front of me when they already have taken their leave."

She stared at him for a moment longer, and then shifted her gaze on the sky above, a hand on her vision to keep the water from her eyes. Kira had his on her all the while, the same smile painted across his face whenever he thought of her or whatever follies they made. And no matter how soaked they got, it didn't hinder them from enjoying nature's outpour.

It was the time that he decided. When he ran from the conventional way and deviated from his supposed path, he already had an idea of what he wanted in his life. And seeing her right at that moment, it all got clearer.

He had gone this far, had sacrificed more than he could ever imagine. He almost risked his life just to see her, and now that she stood before him, within his reach, he wasn't one to let go. He then walked towards her, raising an opened palm at her direction.

"Let's go."

It was like they were in a crossroad – facing each other with him extending a hand towards her. He offered her his life – the music that he loved. He ran the mile and ended up giving her the choice and the freewill. As she stared at the gesture, no matter the time or the state they were in, all that was left was his face…and the hand outstretched to her.

Nodding and with eyes convicted, she took the gesture as she clasped her hand tightly with his.

This was change…this was the beginning of something she wasn't certain of, surely. What she was certain of, however, was that no matter what happens, by holding his hand like this, she'll be safe. No rains, no thunder, nor the driest spells could cast its burn for the longest time…if only she could hold him like this…if only he would hold her the way he was holding her now.

With her hand entangled in his, he ran as she got carried away and did the same at a similar pace. She had never felt so alive before. Each step they made creating splashes of water against the hollowed ground.

- -

She had been traversing the familiar routes back and forth riding in luxurious rides yet she must admit that this was something different. And as she tightened her hold on his body, leaning hers against his, she allowed herself to be graced by the same evening air in an unlikely way.

This was her first ride on a motorcycle. The first one she spent with him.

- -

As they reached an isolated area, they stopped and started to catch their breaths. Their hands remained on one another's hold as the stomping sound on the roof played the orchestra.

The rain poured, not ever wanting to stop. Kira and Lacus simply sat in silence as they watched the whole world drown. Once comfortably seated against the wall, he took his jacket off and used it to cover her. It would suffice to provide her with the much-needed warmth.

"Kira?" came her weary voice as he focused his attention on her.

"Yeah?"

"Thank you…for this…" placing the same record near her chest, she gazed up at him, her eyes full of appreciation.

"…I'm sorry, for whatever pain I may have caused you."

He paused as though he was thinking of something, making something up on his mind.

"Just…" he breathed. "…Just don't leave. It would be enough, that's all I'll ever ask."

She then stared straight at their surroundings, the cascading rain in her sight.

"Mind if I take a nap for a while? I'll just let my eyes rest…"

Nodding his head, Lacus replied with a smile. Though she appeared every hint tired from the day, she still never forgot her manners and without further ado, closed her eyes while laying her back against the hardened wall.

In all these, he had his eyes on her as a single memory from long ago came to his mind -

A memory that was always on his thoughts since the very first time he saw her.

- -

"You never knew it…"

- -

The cool breeze somehow relieved him of the perspiration and the intense heat the dome gave. As he sat by himself on a rusted bench, with a cup of steaming coffee on one hand, he gazed up at the somewhat starry sky. They had just finished one of their concerts in this long-legged tour. And it sure was tiring as he and the others signed autographs and posed for cameras each and every time.

This was his way of relaxing after finishing everything that's to be finished. It was late at night anyway, no one's going to be there…so he need not worry about his fans swarming around his privacy. While he sat in silence and enjoyed the scent of the evening, his ears heard that of noise coming from the opposite corner. His eyes darted that way and saw a girl whose back was on him. It was she who was doing the talking, and he could see that very well. He smiled. He pitied whoever that girl was talking to. He simply couldn't imagine having a conversation with someone who dominates every aspect.

- -

"…even before we bumped into each other on that bar…"

- -

"Kira?" he recognized that voice as his attention shifted to his side…that entrance nearest to where he sat.

It was his sister, obviously searching for him.

"Train station this time, what's next? The theme park?" she spoke humorless as Kira let out a slight feat of laughter.

"Now you gave me an idea. What's up?"

"What's up? I've been searching for you all over the place…your phone's out, and no one has seen you since your last performance…and…geez!" she stopped as she saw the boring expression painted on his face.

"Let's just go, even Rika's worried sick looking for you, you know…" after saying this, she walked away, gesturing towards the parking lot. "…I'll wait for you in the car." She added.

"You never really trusted that I'd go to where you guys are."

Turning around, she smiled at him and answered back "…you could say that."

He drank the coffee in one gulp and crushed the container while standing up. He yawned once more and stretched both his arms, knowing that his time's up. He better get going, not because Cagalli'd scold him or something, perhaps that could be the case, but then, he was more concerned about Rika. He didn't want to get her too worked up just because of his habitual disappearances.

Just as he was about to turn, he noticed something…or rather someone.

- -

"…even before you first spoke to me or before we were formally introduced…"

- -

He gazed at her face and realized just how peaceful she looked. He placed an arm over her shoulder and neared her body to his, giving her additional warmth amidst the cold.

"…you already had me the first time I laid eyes on you." He whispered. His eyes then looked back at the clouded dark sky.

- -

She donned hair of color pink and her skin was as white as he could ever imagine. She stood there, and turned out to be the companion of the girl he saw earlier.

"Kira? What are you waiting for? I knew I couldn't stray my eyes off you for one minute. Let's go!" Came the impatient voice of a certain blonde, whose hands were then on her hips.

He simply nodded his head and walked towards her direction in compliance.

And as he looked back at that pink-haired girl from a distance, though he never really knew who she was, he thought that given the chance that he could see her again one day, he'd certainly find out for himself the identity behind the face…for deep down, he had an unusual feeling that she might just be the one he was looking for after all.

- -

Smiling, he then closed his eyes as he rested his head over hers…the sole sound of downpour echoing clearly amidst the turmoil.

- - - - - - - - - -

And perhaps these words ought to speak

Those that we truly felt within

- - - - - - - - - -

end

A/N: Weird, even I got addicted to this story.This ending was long overdue…months, I believe. And those who've diligently followed its progress may even forget whatever's happened so far (Ironically, I forgot it myself.). Still, thank you to all the reviewers and the readers. The centered bold lines are the lines from "Wind's Bliss", an original composition. The italics are what took place in the past, either from the previous chapters or those chapters where Kira was still new to the band, the latter italic (in the end) took place in the distant past when both haven't met each other. Again, I extend my appreciation to everyone.