Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam SEED or any of its characters.

Watching over You

Orb Memorial Cemetery was quiet. Representative Athha had been thoughtful enough to have it built several miles away from the small nation's population centers, in order to give mourners the quiet they sought. There were few actual graves; most of the headstones were simply there as markers. The cemetery was, after all, dedicated to those who had lost their lives during the Bloody Valentine War, and the particle cannons and massive bombs employed in the conflict had left few bodies.

The day itself was somber. It was early afternoon and the sun should have been warming the open field, causing the grass growing in the soft earth and the trees around the field to shine with emerald light, bringing a feeling of warmth and even comfort to the cemetery. But that was not the case. A storm was gathering and the clouds overhead were dark.

Because of the approaching storm, the field was empty, save for the boy walking along the left side of the cemetery. While visitors often went to see the memorial out of curiosity, the boy had known several of the dead personally. His amethyst eyes flickered across the names engraved on the headstones.

Mu La Flaga

November 29, CE 42—September 26, CE 71

Greater Love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Kira smiled sadly. The quote had been suggested by Murrue Ramius, and it fit perfectly. Mu had thrown his mobile suit into the path of a positron beam, sacrificing his life to save everyone aboard the Archangel. Kira knew that Captain Ramius visited the cemetery about once a month. Mu had been a good friend, as had the boy whose name graced the next stone.

Tolle Koenig

April 11, CE 55—April 17, CE 71

Beloved son and loving boyfriend

Tolle had been one of his best friends before the war, and when Kira had reluctantly accepted the job of defending the Archangel, Tolle and his other friends had been what kept him going. Tolle had defended Kira when the crew initially mistrusted him due to his status as a coordinator, and had eventually died trying to protect him. Kira sometimes came with Miriallia and Dearka when they visited Tolle, but that wasn't why he was here this time. Today, under the lead-colored sky, Kira Yamato traveled to the last headstone in the row.

Fllay Allster

March 15, CE 56—September 26, CE 71

Kira felt a stab of guilt as he looked at the simple inscription. No one had been able to think of anything appropriate to write for Fllay. She hadn't been that close to anyone on the Archangel.

Anyone, that is, except for Kira.

"Sorry I haven't been to visit you in a while," he said, laying the half-dozen roses he had bought for her at the foot of the stone. "I hope these make up for it." Kira felt a little embarrassed talking to the air, but somehow it helped to be able to hear a voice, even if it was his own.

"Things aren't going that well here." He hesitated. "I know Lacus wants to be a lot closer to me, and there's a part of me that wants that too." The boy hugged himself as a gust of wind blew around him and ruffled his brunette hair. "But…I'm afraid to let myself feel that way for her." He paused again, his voice barely above a whisper now. "I don't want to leave you alone again." As far as Kira knew, he was the only one who ever came to visit Fllay, but that wasn't all he meant by that statement.

"Kira?" she called, standing in the empty hallway. The enemy was approaching and Kira needed to get to the Strike. Still, he turned when she called his name. Fllay's grey-blue eyes met his for a moment, and then she turned her gaze toward the floor, as though unable to look at him. "Kira…I—," she started, but he cut her off.

"Not now," Kira said quickly. It wasn't just that the ship needed him; Fllay confused him. Sometimes she said and did things that hurt him deeply, and at other times she brought him comfort by her very presence. Kira was about to enter combat, probably facing his best friend on the battlefield again, and he didn't want to compound that by dealing with her.

"When I return," he said, and with that he turned away from her, heading off toward the hangar.

"I wish I'd listened," he said now, the first tears making their way down his cheeks. "You have no idea how much I've wanted to know what you were going to say."

Overhead, a bolt of lightning slithered across the sky, and the first drops of rain began to fall.

"Maybe if I had heard you out, maybe we could have made it work; maybe we could've been happy. Maybe I wouldn't have…" Kira's voice cracked, and he couldn't finish the sentence, but his mind completed the thought all too well.

Maybe I wouldn't have had to watch you die.

Memories flooded back, unbidden and unwanted. Kira could see the emerald particle beam streak toward the escape pod; could see himself reaching out with everything in him, bringing the Freedom's shield up and stopping the shot just in time. He could see Fllay looking through the shuttle's window at him, her eyes glistening with barely restrained tears.

And he could see the second shot, the one he should have been watching out for, as it pierced the shuttle and blew it into thousands of twisted metal shards. He could see the flames reach out and envelop Fllay, reducing her to ash as he screamed her name.

"I'm sorry," Kira said, crying openly now as he sank to his knees in front of the headstone. "I'm so sorry, Fllay."

He didn't know how long he sat there, his tears mixing with the rain as it fell on him. He did know, however, that at some point, something changed. Kira didn't understand it, but in spite of the storm around him, he felt warm; safe. The pain in his heart didn't vanish entirely, but it lessened. For the first time in a long time, Kira felt as though he didn't have to carry the weight of his grief alone, and that he could let go and trust someone else to hold him.

Kira knew this feeling. He felt it in Lacus' arms, but he rarely ever spoke to her about Fllay, as he knew she was saddened by the thought of sharing his heart with someone else. Most days, Kira held everything related to his lost love inside, doing his best not to show any sadness.

But for now, he didn't question how he could feel this kind of comfort without his pink-haired princess or his friends, and simply enjoyed the feeling of not being alone.

Fllay herself didn't fully understand how it worked. She didn't know whether it was because Kira was a coordinator or because of her promise: that her feelings would protect him. No matter the reason, she knew that whenever Kira was in danger, whenever his gentle heart and compassion for others left him vulnerable to pain, she was allowed to visit him.

Fllay had been allowed to do this a precious few times. The first had been right after her shuttle was destroyed, when she had spoken to him and given him the strength to finish the fight. It had happened again a few weeks later, when Lacus was away from the orphanage and Kira, still distraught over the friends he had lost, had no one to turn to. It had been three months now since the Second Battle of Jachin Due, and Kira had healed almost completely, but when she saw him crying for her, Fllay had wanted nothing more than to let Kira know that she could hear him, and that he had nothing to be sorry for. Her wish had been granted, and instead of just watching him, she had been able to reach out and wrap the young coordinator in her arms.

She knew she could make herself visible to him, and that she could actually touch him, instead of merely letting him feel the love in her embrace, but she didn't want to do that. Knowing that he could see her would make Fllay happy, but she knew that it would confuse Kira. It would raise questions from him that she couldn't answer. It would hurt him.

And she had hurt him so much already.

Fllay held Kira until he stopped crying and rose to his feet. She stayed by his side while he walked back to his car, leaning her head on his shoulder for his comfort and for her own. Only when he got into the vehicle did she break contact with him, knowing that he would be alright. Fllay smiled sadly as Kira left.

Some day, when the time was right, she and Kira would be together again. She would be able to hold him, and be held in return. And she would be able to tell him what she had wanted to tell him that day on the Archangel: that he was the love of her life, and that the only time she had ever been happy was when she was with him. Until that day came, however, Fllay would content herself with protecting Kira. She would be his guardian angel, always there to catch him when he fell, and to strengthen him inside when he needed it the most.

Be happy, Kira, she thought as she watched him drive away. I love you, and I'm watching over you.

The End

Author's Note: Well, this is my very first fanfic, so I hope you enjoyed it. Barring that, I hope it didn't suck. It's an idea that's been bouncing around in my head since I saw Phase 50. I thought it would be neat if the moment between Kira and Fllay wasn't just a hallucination, and this story was where that train of thought lead to. Reviews are welcome, as is constructive criticism. Of course, if you like the story, feel free to say that too.