Chapter One

As we enter this world we are promised two things, life and death itself. From the moment we take our first breath, life has been given and now we are born to live for death. For some, it comes too early.

"Cagalli, wake up dear." That motherly voice echoed through her head consistently, pulling her out of that drowsy state from on going nightmares. The voice sounded so familiar, yet she couldn't seem to reach it from where she was. Darkness enveloped her but every time the voice called it was like a sliver of light breaking through. "Cagalli. You'll be late for school."

Her bed sank slightly at the corner and her eyes fluttered open to meet a woman's Motherly face.

Mrs. Yamato nudged the resting slump hidden beneath the duvet of brightly assorted colors. She was smiling that same smile she did every morning, day, or night and it warmed Cagalli and brought her back from the nightmares.

A smile graced the woman's lips as she saw the teens eyes pop out over the top of the duvet. "Good morning. Now get up, you'll be late for school."

A moan passed her lips and she pulled the covers tightly over her head, coiling deeper into the bed. "But I'm so tired."

"It's ten to nine honey, Kira already left."

"WHAT!" Blonde hair flew upwards and Cagalli's body was commanded to sit upright almost instantly, and with that she tumbled sideways off her bed. "Oww."

Shaking her head, she caught the light purple color of Mrs. Yamato's skirt out of the corner of her eye and next came that soft hand that lifted her from the hardwood floor. "Are you alright?"

"Mhmm. But no time for that, I have to get showered. Oh never mind, I don't have time. Pants, I need pants!" Cagalli scrambled about her room pulling out bundles of perfectly good clothes from her drawers and pulled out a pair of green pants and a white tank top along with a red sweater. Stumbling a bit as she pulled on her clothes she was out the door in a second running into the bathroom to brush her teeth and her hair, looking into the mirror she found a pale face staring back at her.

Thick, black rings hung beneath her eyes from weeks of sleepless nights. If she didn't know any better, she would have thought that she was a vampire of sorts, the slight joke gave her a little kick to keep going. Running her hands through her hair, catching a finger or two on knots, she brushed out her course, blonde hair in less than five seconds and was down the stairs before Mrs. Yamato could grab her car keys.

"I'll give you a ride to school today, grab your bag and meet me at the car. Don't worry, I called the school to tell them you'll be in late."

"Thanks." Cagalli dashed into the living room and shoved all her binders into her backpack before slinging it over her shoulder and stopped before the mantle to stare at the lone picture on the far left side. Tears stung at her eyes as she forced them back before twisting out of the room in a fit, making it to the car in a slow walk to make sure that she wasn't crying. Mrs. Yamato could always make her feel better, but this was a subject better left for her to deal with alone.

Cagalli arrived at the school as the last bell rang out all around her, her head sunk to her chest and a large sigh floated through the car. She escaped questions from Mrs. Yamato and shut the passenger side door carefully, so not to slam it in all her worries. The lavender car clicked into gear and slipped away down the street, pausing for only a moment at a stop sign before disappearing among a road filled with other cars. The blonde teen shrugged back her shoulders and climbed the front stairs into the school, the office was right around the corner and she dreaded going in there.

Ms. Dewick was sitting at the front desk, her thick rimmed, designer glasses sitting on the top of her head as she typed up some unknown detention slip on her computer. A thin line on her lips formed a straight lined smile as Cagalli approached the desk, hands clasped on the counter next to the wire basket filled with permission and detention slips, a shiver ran down her spine.

Pulling her glasses back down to fit on the bridge of her nose, Ms. Dewick looked up at Cagalli with a grim smile and rummaged through a pile of paper to find a late slip for the girl. "Good morning. So what kept you from school today?"

"Mrs. Yamato actually called in to say that I'd be a bit late, I'm Cagalli Yula Attha." Her cheeks turned a light pink as the woman stopped fidgeting through the papers to get a better look at her, it wasn't as if she was used to it.

"Alright then. Just go to your first class, I'll make sure to tell your teacher that you're present."

"Thank you." With that, Cagalli stepped outside the confined space and took in a deep breath, before directing herself towards the stairwell that would take her to her History class on the second floor. It must have been the longest walk ever because by the time she reached the top, her mind was completely blank of everything. Mr. Kyle's room had his nameplate screwed onto it, just like all the other classrooms throughout the school. All the courses he taught were also displayed casually on the heavy, wood door, but as she walked in the teacher was found to be absent.

A familiar face turned to smile at her, dark brown hair rimming his deep purple eyes as he waved her over. In doing so, half the class turned to stare at the new arrival, their eyes burning into her like hot pitchforks, so naturally she glared back. Her shoes clicked across the floor as she took long strides past tables filled with her classmates in making her way to sit by her brother. Of course they weren't alone, Lacus sat right next to him, her bright pink hair pulled back into a long ribbon of hair that flowed down her back. Glowing pools of blue swirled with happiness as she glanced over at Cagalli and tilted her head with a lovely smile to make her face almost seem angelic.

"Sleep in?" Kira smirked, brushed hair out of his face with one hand.

"Did you really have to ask? Your Mom gave me a ride to school, remind me to thank her again later for calling in for me." Cagalli's head drooped to the table and blonde hair scattered over the cold surface.

"You're just lucky that Mr. Kyle hasn't shown up yet. Something about an emergency in the teacher's lounge, I think the principal is sick or something today."

'Amazing Cagalli, it's your second day back at school and you can't even make it to class on time. It takes an illness to make sure you don't get a late on your transcript.' Thoughts clouded her mind and she released a heavy sigh, which drew Lacus's attention to her this time. Why was it always the sweet ones who recognized pain?

"Cagalli? Are you alright?" That voice was like a song, so smooth and melodic that it was trance like to its listeners, and lucky Kira got to listen to it all the time. Dark brown pools met sapphire gems and Cagalli let out a fake yawn to make her story seem plausible.

"Don't worry about me Lacus, I'm just tired from lack of sleep." Wrong statement to make this morning.

"Nightmares?" Lacus blinked, oddly curious in why Cagalli seemed so white washed after sleeping in.

Cagalli moaned again and her head dropped to the table once again, this time half the class turned to look at her, only agitating her further. "Sort of. I really don't' feel like talking about this right now. Okay?"

"Alright. Besides, Mr. Kyle just walked in." Lacus gave that same childish smile and opened up her binder.

Cagalli turned around in her chair to look at the familiar face of her history teacher. Today was no different and he didn't look any different. He still had crimson hair and wore frameless glasses that covered his chocolate brown eyes. He wasn't tall, about five foot nine if she had to pick and today her wore a striped shirt and jeans like most of the teachers would be. It didn't even take him a minute to get down to that days lesson, writing down their questions and assigned pages to read out of the textbook due for tomorrow at the beginning of class. Immediately half the class went to work, while Cagalli sat there staring out the window in a daydream, watching at Kira and Lacus sat quietly reading out of a shared textbook.

Class ended at 10:10am, although it was only an hour and ten minutes, it felt like far more to Cagalli. She'd used up the whole class to stare out into the vast distance of a road that held their school's sign proudly above the rushing cars, her mind had grown blank about half an hour into the course. Hearing the bell go was a relief, now at least she wouldn't have to deal with Lacus or Kira until lunch now that they had to go their separate ways.

Cagalli folded a piece of her blonde hair behind her right ear and pulled the strap of her backpack over her shoulder and followed the herd of students down the hallway. It was loud, kids talking on either side of the crowded corridor and shouting back and forth across it; some were even dancing and horsing around just because their breakfast was kicking in. It was normal behavior and they had every right to have a good day, but Cagalli just wanted to slip away into the masses and hide at the back of the class. Dreading her next class, Biology, today they were getting assigned lab partners, just another way the school system forced themselves on each other.

Wandering to the back of the class to her lab station, she pulled off her backpack and pulled out the necessary items she would need for the class. It wasn't long before the others began to filter into the large classroom and the teacher just watched as each one took a seat, smiling at the thought of rearranging them to her liking. Ms. Gladys wasn't really the nicest teacher she had, but at least she left Cagalli to herself and was reminded daily that she was back there. It didn't matter; teachers were only there to provide assistance, not to make friends with the students. Ms. Gladys pulled out a few flasks and her binder filled with overheads and planned lessons and rearranged all her own equipment in preparations for that days teachings, with all the items she'd magically pulled off shelves, Cagalli figured it would have been nice to have a partner.

The bell went to signal that class was now starting and Ms. Gladys turned off the lights and the screen behind her lit up with different cells moving across the screen. It was split down the middle and automatically you could see the differences between the two columns. Cagalli knew what they were, blood cells, from a human and an animal, obviously the two living creatures worked very differently, but oddly some of the cells were almost identical. Ms. Gladys handed out worksheets and microscopes to class and continued with her lesson, Cagalli tuned in and out and it wasn't until the lights came back on that she realized the screen had stopped flickering. Leaning over the papers that were scattered before her, she read over her task and pulled out the unique slides that she'd been dealt.

As she was just about to begin, the entire class fell silent and Cagalli looked up to see what was going on. To her dismay, Ms. Gladys was pointing directly at her and a tall, dark haired teen was standing next to her glancing back at Cagalli as well. For a moment, a hard lump jumped into Cagalli's throat and she almost felt as though she was choking. 'Why couldn't she just forget that I existed today?'

But it was too late, the boy just gave his teacher a nod and stalked towards Cagalli's lab table, only making eye contact with her once before sitting next to her quietly and picked up a slide to examine it against the light. A blush crept up Cagalli's cheeks and she felt the warmth meet her eyes hastily, she pulled the hood of her sweater up over her hair and continued to stare through the microscopes viewfinder.

"I'm Athrun, in case you were wondering." His voice was deep and comforting, and for some odd reason Cagalli froze all at once to stare flatly at the light before her. Hesitantly she sat back in her chair and turned to look at him, bright green eyes glowing from beneath almost blue tinted hair, that was an ebony color in other places. His jaw was still slightly rounded from his younger years, but it was strong and it made the rest of his features definitely pop.

"I'm Cagalli, you know, in case you were wondering." Sarcasm. Something she hadn't heard from herself in such a long time, it felt oddly good.