The Archangel and rest of ORB's forces have moved to Morgenroete. Though they have successfully held back the invasion of the Earth Alliance Forces, but most of them knew that it was only a matter of time. Now, the Archangel and ORB's own Kusanagi were undergoing preparations for a flight into space. Everyone had their part in the preparations. The bridge crew was readjusting the system for the additional equipment, the maintenance crew is busy with storing up parts and parking the Mobile Suits, the pilots are assisting the maintenance crew, and even the kitchen crew was busy stocking up supplies for the journey ahead. Fllay, on the other hand, was left with kitchen duty. Her job was simple: get the pre-cooked food from the storage rack and place it on the counter once someone wants to eat. Nearly an hour has passed since she started her shift, but the food was already running out of stock.
"I guess all that work's making them hungry." she sighed, taking a seat behind the counter. She was finally able to rest, after an almost non-stop flow of people. She took her sweater that was with her and decided to cover her head with it, to block out the bright lights. She then took a nap right there at that instant.
Moments later, someone came in looking for something to eat.
"Excuse me, I'd like to eat something..."
There was no response. The person who came in looked around and saw someone sleeping on a counter with a sweater covering the head. He tried moving closer so that his voice could be more easily heard.
"Excuse me." he said in a louder tone. There wasn't any response either. From his position, he couldn't see who it was, if it was a male or a female, or the person's rank. Not giving up on eating during his short break, he went on to give it one last try.
"I'D LIKE TO EAT SOMETHING PLEASE!"
Though rather loud, it only had the effect of a gentle awakening to Fllay. She slowly raised her head, which in turn dropped the sweater to her back. Her red hair became vividly visible to the person on the other side of the counter, and this made him flinch.
"F-Fllay?" the boy's glasses fell a millimeter or two. Fllay, in contrast, blinked slowly and gazed intently, typical from a person who just woke up. However, her eyes shot open when she realized who it was that was standing before her.
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The Kira from the future was almost done with collecting his supplies. Though he still was clueless about how he'd be able to go to space, he knew he had to prepare nonetheless. He was able to procure some materials to secure the supplies in place. By this time, he realized that it was getting really awkward: he looked more like some sort of delivery guy than a pilot from the future. He left the Strike Freedom and wandered off into the city once again, gathering the last of his supplies.
"Whenever I do this, I feel like I'm the last person on Earth." Kira mused as he was the only person present in the city.
- - - - - - -
Back in the Archangel, the awkward silence was hard to break. Neither of them wanted to speak first. But Sai wouldn't want to pass up this opportunity. Though it's been a while since Fllay rejoined them, he hasn't talked to her ever since. And the last time he remembered talking to her was about the time when both Kira and Tolle were declared MIA. He could so clearly remember it like it was just yesterday.
Sai stepped outside to confront Fllay. After all, she did say that she had something to tell him.
"What do you want?" he directly asked her. He knew it was a chance to get together with her once again, but with two of his friends missing, he just couldn't bear with himself to do it.
"What? Well... I..." she stuttered.
"Tolle is missing, Kira is missing. Everybody is pretty upset..." he paused, thinking if he should continue. She probably thought that he'd grab this opportunity, but that's where she was wrong. "...and that includes me."
Fllay looked at him with great shock. Not only wasn't he taking this chance, he also showed her that the bond between him and the two missing pilots was greater than theirs. However, he was unable to see this since he was trying his best not to look at her.
"To be honest, I'm really not in condition to comfort you... not right now." he said, deciding that it would be better if he just ended this conversation and left. "Sorry. Go ask someone else."
"Sai... Wait!" she pleaded, but her words fell on deaf ears. Sai kept walking. As he passed her, a fit of desperation overcame her and she uttered words that made the situation worse. "Because I still have feelings for you!"
"FLLAY!" he lashed out at her. Rather than be happy, he was angry. It was clear to him that she was simply using Kira, and that somewhere along the way, she developed feelings for him. And right now, she was bouncing back towards him just because Kira is possibly dead.
"All along! You must have known! Kira wasn't the one I really wanted!"
And that was it. Those words made Sai snap in a way no one has ever seen him do so before. Not only was he playing them for fools, but she just confirmed what he thought. It was like a personal confession to a crime.
"FLLAY! THAT'S ENOUGH!" he shouted at her. "You DID have feelings for Kira!"
"I'M NOT!" though Sai was already shouting moments ago, his voice trembled more, filled with anger. "You might have felt differently at the beginning, but he was a good person. And that's why... That's way he was."
"You're wrong! You're wrong! You're wrong!" she kept repeating. Sai was able to regain control over himself as sorrow took over where anger left. No matter what she said, he could tell that she was in denial over Kira's fate.
END OF FLASHBACK
"Fllay..." Sai muttered, grabbing the food that she put on the counter for him. He turned around and headed to the table, but not before continuing his words. "Why did you come back? I know how much you didn't like war."
"I-I know." it was all that she could muster. However, the possibility of a closure with Sai would help her move along in her life. Or perhaps it was one of those things that needed to be faced before she could take the next step forward. With that thought, she resumed talking. "But when I was separated from you guys in JOSH-A, I've began to see things differently."
"What do you mean?"
"I've walked among soldiers whose entire families have been killed because of the war. I've seen those that were giving their final farewell to their comrades, in hopes that they would pass it on to their families. I realized that I wasn't the only one that's living in this world, and I'm not the only one that suffered a loss. Some of them have suffered far greater than I. And when I left JOSH-A, I've learned a valuable lesson from some people. And it was during those times that I learned how hard it is to live in a war-torn world." Though she had a rather sorrowful look on her face as she recalled her experiences, a small smile crept on to her lips as she came to her more pleasurable experiences. "And I guess I finally came to terms with myself, and my feelings."
"I see." he said, looking quite disappointed. He knew that if Fllay seriously had to choose between him and Kira, all selfishness aside, she'd pick Kira not because he was a coordinator but because of his personality. He saved the entire ship when all he needed was to save a few, he was so kind that it gets him in trouble with the Vice Captain, and above all, he genuinely cares for her.
"You were right, Sai. I really did have feelings for Kira. It's just as you said." though she sounded a bit cheerful, her eyes remained downcast. "But right now, I don't know what I should do. I've become more aware of people's feelings, and if I choose either of you, the other will definitely get hurt."
"I won't deny it. I'll definitely get hurt. After all, even if our relationship was something established by our families, I really loved you. But if you really want to be with Kira, that's fine with me." Sai was about to place his meal on the table, but hesitated. "They say that if you really love someone, you have to learn to let them go. And I'll do just that. Excuse me."
Instead, he carried it off to his room, trying his best to maintain his composure though anyone could tell that Sai was crying.
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A/N: Well, that's it for now. Next chapter will focus more on the battle and the older Kira's dilemma of getting into space. I guess I'll also end next chapter with the Kusanagi's launch, and personally, I'm planning on doing something evil.
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