Forgive…Forget?

Prologue:

Nighttime is Cagali's sanctuary in hell. It's when she is free from others to truly appreciate how utterly miserable her life was. She had no one, and the thought was so painful. Sometimes she tried to pretend that this is how it always was, that she was used to it. It made the matter easier to deal with, imagining that it has always been this way. And to some extent, it was true. A loner with a busy father, most of her time was spent alone. When she did see her father they always fought over politics. But that had never bothered her. Never idle, loneliness was a strange feeling to her. So was bitterness. Recalling, she was much friendlier back then than now. Sure she always had a temper, but it was a result of her passionate nature. Lying, whether to herself or others was not in her. She wore her heart on her sleeve, it was there for everyone to see and share. Unfortunately, it was also there for everyone to break. Her first true friend had been Ahmed. They just hit it off and had so much fun together, considering it was wartime. He had died, and only later did she find out that he had been in love with her. She easily made friends with Kira, even though they fought at first. There was also an instant connection there; it turned out he was her brother. Then there was Athrun, the unbelievably nice soldier. Seeing him again, after they met on the island, was unlikely. But when she did, he had killed Kira, who at the time had become her favorite person. Again, her passionate nature screamed at him, then forgave him wholeheartedly, it was the only option possible to her. By that time she had completely embraced her father's ideals, and hate, for whatever reason, simply was never in her nature. Then, they became a couple.

It was ridiculously ironic. The war had given her a friend, a brother, and a soul mate. It had taken her beloved father, and while that almost killed her, she still had enough spirit to feel optimistic. Then the vicious flame of war sparked again. And now she was left with nothing. Those dear to her were lost; either dead, or by distance, physical and emotional. It was the emotional that tore at her. If she wanted, she could take a shuttle and see her friends at any moment. But there was no shuttle that could reach Athrun's heart. And no matter what the others said, Cagali was the one left behind. He was Kira's best friend, and had been Lacus's fiancée. The trio's relationship was well established long before she even met any of them. She liked Lacus, but they never got to know each other enough to be called close friends. Kira was her brother, and they were friends before, but how could she compare to Athrun. Their's was a friendship that had survived being on opposite sides of a war and killing each other's friends. But she couldn't even make time to see Kira when she became representative. And Athrun…

Cagali poured herself a large amount of liquor from the bottle on the table and sat down at the chair. She finished her glass in one gulp. It was tradition after all; she never could bear to think about him while sober. Even drunk she wasn't sure she could. And there was the proof. Her eyes were already misty and she made it a point to finish the entire bottle of liquor before she started to remember him. Thankfully, by that time, she was too drunk to think properly and settled for crying herself to sleep at the table. But by now, her body had built endurance to the fiery liquid; it didn't work as strongly as when she first started drinking. Still, she refused to consume any more of it, knowing that it would affect her work next morning if she did. Sighing pitifully, misery was finally allowed free reign. Of course, no misery would be complete without music to remind you of what you had, hence, what you lost. She turned on the player at the table. It had a collection of some of her favorite songs, a gift from Kira and Lacus for her seventeenth birthday. The couple had said the songs reminded them of her and Athrun. As "This I Promise You" an ancient song she first heard on an antique CD started playing, she bitterly thought that it didn't apply to her 'relationship' with him anymore.

When the visions around you, bring tears to your eyes

She remembered coming back to Orb, how it was destroyed after the last war

And all that surrounds you are secrets and lies.

She was appointed leader with the speed of light. And everyone tried to gain her favor, all liars, and hypocrites.

I'll be your strength, I'll give you hope, keeping your faith when its gone

He had stood by her, offering silent strength

The one you should call, whose standing near all and all

Always by her side…

And I will take you in my arms, and hold you right where you belong

Till the day my life is through, this I promise you, I promise you

He was there when they offered her the job of representative, comforted her and encouraged her

I loved you forever, in lifetimes before

Had told her that he thought he fell in love with her when he first met her

And I promise you never will you hurt anymore

He made her cherish her fathers memory, with a smile.

I give you my word, I give you my heart, this is a battle we've won.

"We made it through the war together, we can make it through anything. "

And with this vow, forever has now begun

"Ill protect you"

Just close your eyes, each loving gaze, I know this feeling won't go away.

He had said he'll stay by me, that's why he became my bodyguard.

Till the day my life is through, this I promise you, I promise you

Liar

Over and over I fall, when I hear you call, without you in my life baby, I just wouldn't be living at all

Liar

And I will take you in my arms and hold you right where you belong

Cagali remembered his warmth, his kindness

Till the day my life is through, this I promise you baby

Tears pooled into her eyes. LIAR! She threw the bottle and it shattered on the floor.

Just close your eyes each loving gaze, I know this feeling won't go away

She sat down at the table, and cried, her hands buried in her hair, tugging, willing for the pain to go away

Till the day my life is through, this I promise you

She couldn't help it. His name escaped her lips in an anguished cry.

Oh I promise you…

And her head lowered to the table as she cried herself into oblivion.

Kisaka unlocked the door with his personal key when he heard the music stop. He found her as usual, face covered with tears that had only begun to dry. Sadly, he stroked her head affectionately, then carried her to her room via the conjoined door. The room had belonged to Athrun during his time as her bodyguard. After she had once been attacked in her sleep, he had insisted that a door be built in the wall which separated their two rooms, in case of emergencies. After Cagali's return as representative, she kept the room as it was, except for adding a small bar. He found out why soon enough. The first time it happened, Kisaka had come into her room to give her some papers that she had to read for the next day. He almost panicked when he didn't find her, and suddenly thought to search the adjoining room. He found her drinking there. He was enraged and a huge fight had followed, which ended in her throwing a bottle at him, pushing him out as he ducked for cover and locked the door. Next morning, she called him to her office and explained that this was something she only did once every couple of months.

"It's not an addiction; it's just that...I never have time to myself, just you know, to think about things. Actually, I'm thankful for that, because if I had time, I would probably do this every night. You always tell me I work too hard, well this is why. As long as I have something to do, something else to think about then…

You don't have to think about him, he thought.

"So I do this once in a while just to clear my head. The drink just helps me out that's all."

Or numbs your head so you can't hurt as much.

He had smiled to let her know that he understood, and had later made it a habit to listen on the days she did this, and carry her back to her bed.

Sighing ruefully, he placed her on her bed and smoothed her hair away from her face. The tears flowed more freely down her cheeks; how she managed to cry in her sleep will always be a mystery him, and he could see her lips move soundlessly to form a word. He shook his head, covered her, and then left the room.

He wasn't who she needed, or wanted, but he will stay by her side. There was no one else.

The song "This I promise You" belongs to N'SYNC.