Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY - Golden Goddess
Disclaimer: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED ASTRAY, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED MSV and SEED DESTINY MSV are the property of Bandai and Sunrise, not me. I make no money off this little venture. This is purely for entertainment purposes, and no copyright infringement is intended.
I think Gundam SEED and, more specifically, Gundam SEED DESTINY suck. I have made this known to people. Some of DESTINY's most ardent fans have, in their own way, challenged me to do better.
So I will.
This fanfic covers a few plot holes left in my rewrite of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY, focusing on Athrun and Cagalli and their friends and foes. The events herein are nestled within the timeline spanned by DESTINY itself, so reading this at the same time as you read, say, Phase 15 and Phase 16 of DESTINY might be pertinent. This is meant to be a brief look at the characters at a different point in the timeline.
I will post a new chapter every Friday, or the soonest day thereafter should something arise on Friday to keep me from posting.
Phase 01 - Bittersweet
November 6th, CE 73 - Orb Raiders dreadnaught Megami, Pacific Ocean
Cagalli Yula Athha was not by nature an organized person, but even by her standards, her office had reached a new level of horror in disorganization.
Athrun Zala cast a weary eye over the array of papers, books, files, blueprints, maps, and a staggering collection of what he could only describe as stuff littering the office, covering bookshelves, the desk, and in some parts, the floor.
To be fair, of course, some of this stuff must have been knocked loose during a battle and Cagalli just had not gotten around to cleaning it up yet. That persistent Archangel-class that had chased them for most of June and July probably had something to do with this.
Cagalli herself stood before the mess, running her hands through her hair anxiously, her back to Athrun. He touched her shoulders gently—she whipped around in surprise, startling Athrun as well, staring at him with wide eyes for a moment.
"S-Sorry," she said awkwardly, relaxing only slightly.
"The operation is tomorrow at dawn," Athrun warned solemnly. "You have to calm down so you can lead the Loyalists."
Cagalli turned away, looking through the coating of maps and charts on the floor. Athrun watched uneasily, thinking that he should be doing more, but knowing that Cagalli most likely did not want help.
The Revolution was scheduled to begin tomorrow. Cagalli Yula Athha, the warrior princess of Orb, would return with five gleaming Gundams, a wing of battle-hardened Murasames, and a shining battleship, to lead the ragged guerilla fighters still loyal to the Athha family in a coup d'etat that would dethrone the Seirans. Cagalli was still immensely popular—surely the people would rise up to support them.
Or, at least, that was what everyone was banking on.
Cagalli emerged from the typhoon of loose papers with a large map of Orb's capital city, Aube. She swept her desk clean of everything on it and began to spread the map out on it. Athrun took her by the shoulders again, this time not letting her swivel around in surprise.
"You need to rest," he said authoritatively, wheeling her around towards the office door. "I have the battle plan committed to memory. Yzak does, Dearka does, Commander La Fllaga does, Commander Bartfeldt does, Captain Ramius does, everyone does."
"Athrun, I've worked since July to get this thing going!" Cagalli protested, trying to halt herself and finding Athrun subtly overpowering her as he shoved her through the door. "I can't just leave it now! Every detail has to be in place!"
"You're the one who's going to lead it all," Athrun countered. "We have to have you at your fullest, and that means being fully rested and relaxed. Captain Ramius and Commander Bartfeldt can handle all the details."
Cagalli wrenched herself out of Athrun's grip and spun around to face him. "I can't do that!" she insisted. "I'm the leader, I have to take responsibility—"
"And part of that responsibility," Athrun interrupted, turning her around, "is being well-rested and well-fed enough to lead." He turned her down a corridor and shoved her towards the galley. "Now eat. I've been with you all day and you haven't eaten since last night."
"Athrun!" Cagalli sputtered.
The galley door opened and Athrun nudged Cagalli inside.
"Eat," he said, "and you'll be able to work better."
The few occupants of the galley sprang up from their seats to salute. Cagalli looked around helplessly and awkwardly returned their salutes.
"Alright," Cagalli said unhappily. "I'll take a break. A short break."
Without waiting for Athrun, Cagalli headed towards a vending machine. Athrun blinked in surprise—a moment later, a snicker caught his attention, and he turned towards the source of the familiar voice.
Dearka Elthman was slumped comfortably in his chair, feet propped up on the table. He offered Athrun an amused grin.
"Finally got your girlfriend out of her office, I see," he chuckled.
Cagalli quickly swept past Athrun with a soda can in hand, and was gone before he could register a protest. He blinked again helplessly as the door shut behind her, and Dearka snickered again.
"Unfortunately," he continued, "it looks like you missed your chance."
From nearby, Miriallia Haww glanced at Dearka and shrugged. "I don't think Athrun would do that," she said helpfully, glancing back at Athrun, looking for confirmation.
"I just want Cagalli to be in top condition for the operation," Athrun said, feeling defeated.
"I know sexual tension when I see it," Dearka scoffed.
"That's because you have so much experience with it," Miriallia shot back with a triumphant smirk, drawing a scowl out of Dearka.
Athrun shook his head and made his escape as Dearka tried to come up with a sassy retort.
Murrue Ramius stretched her legs and groaned as she felt the muscles strain. She had been sitting in this damned chair for far too long.
"You know," Mwu La Fllaga's amused voice said from near the back of the bridge, "it wouldn't kill you to get up and walk around every once in a while."
Murrue looked up as he came down along the bridge stairwell with his usual cheerful smile, a water bottle in hand. "I have to stay up here on the bridge and oversee everything," she said, feeling awkward, knowing that she was on the bridge but also knowing that she was talking to Mwu and could not easily enforce an air of military discipline between them. "You know that."
"Neumann doesn't need you to hold his hand," Mwu said with a shrug. He looked over at the helm. "Right, Neumann?"
Arnold Neumann hunched down closer to the Megami's helm controls. "Leave me out of this," he muttered.
Murrue stood up and stretched her arms behind her back uncomfortably, staring out the bridge windows, at the calm afternoon sun reflected in the Pacific Ocean.
"Do you think we'll win at Orb?" she asked softly, looking over at Mwu, just loud enough for him to hear. His smile vanished.
"I don't know," he said with another shrug. "I'm just going to go out, give it my best, and hope that helps."
Murrue looked back at the ocean. "Cagalli's pushing herself hard," she said, a little louder.
"Yeah," Mwu agreed. "Just ask Athrun."
Murrue blinked and looked back at Mwu. "What do you mean?"
Mwu shrugged a third time. "Ask me again sometime," he said, taking a swig of water. "Anyways, Captain, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go play with the Strike some more." He turned and headed off the bridge.
Murrue sat back in the captain's chair, draping one leg over the other, and put her hand to her chin, deep in thought.
Athrun ran through his mental checklist of things to do. He had the strategy committed to memory, but it would not hurt to go over it again. He had the Justice's systems prepared for battle, but it would not hurt to go over them one more time. He had already planned out his next meal and measured down to the second how much time he could allot himself to consume a small sandwich and a bottle of water—after all, he needed energy, but could not take so long to acquire such energy as to miss the reason why he was acquiring energy.
As he trotted towards the hangar, he paused at the sound of a familiar voice. He rounded a corner, and found Lacus Clyne in a doorway, looking shrunken and withdrawn in the protective embrace of Sai Argyle.
Athrun felt a blush rise to his face and turned to leave, but before he could, Sai and Lacus noticed him and awkwardly released each other.
"Athrun!" Sai exclaimed awkwardly. "What, uh, what are you doing here?"
Lacus looked at Athrun carefully as he momentarily fumbled for a response.
"I'm just going to the hangar," he said uneasily. "I'm, um, sorry for disturbing you."
He turned to leave, but Lacus glanced furtively at Sai and followed Athrun.
"Athrun," she said, as Athrun opened one of the hangar doors. Athrun turned around in surprise, and Lacus smiled politely at him. "We haven't talked in a while."
"...I've been busy," Athrun said cautiously. "I've been helping Cagalli set up the coup..."
"I know," Lacus said gently, "but you and Cagalli have been working very hard. It's starting to get worrisome."
"It will all pay off tomorrow," Athrun said, trying to sound confident. "We have to take back Orb from the Seirans, so that we can all have a country where we don't have to fight to stay alive."
"Are you alright?" Lacus asked suddenly. Athrun blinked and looked at her.
"I'm alright," he said, feeling defensive. "But..." He trailed off and shook his head. "Never mind. I should go work on the Justice."
Athrun turned and disappeared into the hangar. Lacus watched him go in surprise; Sai walked up next to her.
"Is Athrun alright?" Sai asked, watching Athrun as he climbed up into the Justice's cockpit.
"Only Athrun knows that," Lacus said quietly.
"Kisaka reports that he has nineteen M1s in position to the north," Andrew Bartfeldt said, towering above Cagalli in her dismally messy office, maps and reports in hand. Cagalli sat at her desk, poring over more maps and more reports.
"Nineteen?!" Cagalli exclaimed, looking up with wide eyes. "I thought he had thirty!"
"Kisaka had twenty-five," Andy corrected, easily and patiently. "He lost six yesterday during an ambush."
"Dammit," Cagalli growled. "That means we lost fighting strength in the northeast quadrant." She heaved a sigh. "This whole thing is coming apart already."
"No it's not," Andy said, attempting to be encouraging. "We still have almost two hundred mobile suits in place to attack Aube, and we may be able to convince some of the Orb army to defect."
Cagalli stared despairingly at one particular part of the map of Aube. "I'll take the Strike Rouge and attack the National Defense Headquarters," she said. Andy blinked in surprise.
"By yourself?" he asked. Cagalli shook her head.
"I'll take Athrun with me," she added, almost as an afterthought.
"Only Athrun?" Andy asked, pressingly.
"Who else is there to take?!" Cagalli asked desolately, looking up imploringly at Andy. "I need you and Commander La Fllaga to direct the Murasames, and I need Yzak and Dearka to clear a path to the Assembly Building!"
"Of course," Andy said easily, "but what do you hope to do at the National Defense Headquarters with only yourself and Athrun?"
"I don't know," Cagalli said unhappily. "But we have to do something. Maybe we can take over the military from there. We have to do more than just stand there and play cheerleader."
"There's only so much you can do," Andy said. Cagalli looked up in surprise at him. "Athrun is a good pilot with a powerful machine, but he's already committed to protecting you. You have the Strike Rouge and you can hold your own in a fight, but the Strike Rouge isn't exactly cutting-edge anymore. We have enough trouble with our Gundams as is, even with all the upgrades we pumped into them at Heliopolis."
Cagalli looked back down at the map. Andy held back a sigh.
"I hate not being able to do anything," Cagalli muttered. "I'm setting this entire thing up, now I have to fight in it and make it work."
"That's why you're going out at all," Andy said. Cagalli looked back up at him. "Most people who organize these kinds of things only come in and take the reins of power after all the fighting's over." He unfolded another map. "Now, stop worrying about that and I'll show you what Lieutenant Kuramoto set up at the port..."
Yzak Jule glanced tiredly up at the slumbering Duel Gundam from the boarding gantry, as the Assault Shroud was fitted back on. The Duel had a lighter set of Assault Shroud armor, but it was still heavier than the rest of the Orb Raiders' mobile suits, even Athrun's—and the Justice Gundam had that giant backpack and everything.
"We've done about all we can do," Kojiro Murdoch said wearily as he climbed out of the Duel's cockpit. "It's as lightweight and responsive as it'll ever get with that Assault Shroud on." He wiped his oily hands off on a grimy rag. "Maybe you should get something to eat."
Yzak looked down at the ream of papers in his hand. The lists of output statistics from the Duel's thrusters were starting to blur together, and his stomach registered a protest of its own.
"Don't push yourself too hard, kid," Murdoch warned, doing his best to put a paternal a hand on Yzak's shoulder. Yzak almost jumped in surprise. "You and Dearka are gonna be in an important spot tomorrow."
"I know," Yzak said, a tad more testily than he would have liked. Murdoch might have been a bit overbearing at times, but he was always looking out for the pilots' best interests—Yzak just had to remember that.
"Just go take a break and get something to eat," Murdoch said, smiling. "God knows we all need to put the tools down and relax for a bit anyways."
Yzak looked back up at the Duel. "The Duel has to be in perfect condition for the battle tomorrow," he said resolutely.
"So do you," Murdoch countered. "Go eat. We'll take care of this thing for you."
Yzak sighed and surrendered his lists of thruster outputs, before heading off down the gantry, towards the galley.
Orb Navy supercarrier Takemikazuchi, Pacific Ocean
A wicked smile spread over the face of Jona Roma Seiran as he sat back in the captain's chair on the Takemikazuchi's bridge, reports in hand.
"The Princess is planning to attack Aube tomorrow," he said amusedly, "and launch her little coup d'etat."
From nearby, Captain Todaka's eyes widened in disbelief, and he stopped directing the bridge crew to turn and stare in shock at Jona.
"The Princess?!" he echoed disbelievingly. Jona smirked over at the shocked officer.
"The Princess," he repeated. "She's a rapacious little thing, isn't she?" He glanced back at the report. "The Athha family loyalists are finally making their move."
Todaka said nothing. Jona, of course, knew exactly why—Todaka himself was a man torn between his sympathies for the Athha family and their warrior princess, and his duty to the current rulers of Orb and the citizens of Orb. So long as he remained torn between those two masters, Jona knew he had Todaka under control. Todaka turned slowly back towards the bridge, as the men around the bridge stared in stunned silence at Jona.
"Will we be recalled to Orb?" Todaka asked quietly. Jona smiled. Todaka knew his place.
"Not yet," Jona said, glancing up at Todaka and casting a look over the bridge. "All intelligence indicates that the forces protecting Aube should be sufficient to crush the attackers."
The bridge went sullenly back to its work. Jona sat back and smiled at it all. The men were torn, and Jona knew exactly why. Cagalli was the heroine, the warrior princess that the men adored...and yet here she was, fighting against them, fighting against the government they had sworn to serve, fighting against the people they had sworn to protect. And yet she was the Princess, the Goddess of Victory, the shining symbol of Orb. What to do? What to think?
Jona silently thanked his good fortune for giving him a foolish little girl for an opponent. This was easier than infanticide.
"The Takemikazuchi Fleet," he began loudly, catching Todaka's attention, "will continue pursuit of the Megami." He smiled. "The terrorists will be defeated at Aube. And when they try to retreat, we will be there."
Orb Raiders dreadnaught Megami, Pacific Ocean
The ocean breeze was cool and comforting as Athrun emerged onto the Megami's open-air deck. He was in search of Mwu, who was reportedly on the deck. He stopped in surprise as he found Mwu and Andy leaning against the deck, piping mugs of coffee in hand.
"I still want to know where you got enough beans for a cup of joe," Mwu said, shaking his head. "We haven't been in port for weeks."
"Any true coffee enthusiast maintains an ample supply of coffee beans of any type for any situation," Andy shot back with mock snobbery.
"Um, Commander La Fllaga," Athrun began uneasily. Mwu and Andy turned in surprise and lifted their mugs cheerfully towards Athrun. "Cagalli wanted to talk to you about—"
"Tell Cagalli to take a break," Mwu interrupted, turning back towards the ocean.
Athrun looked sullenly at the deck. "I tried," he said quietly. Andy arched a knowing eyebrow as he took a sip of coffee.
"Well," Mwu answered, "try harder. It won't do us any good if she has a stroke from overworking before the operation."
"I know," Athrun said, defeated, "but she won't listen."
"Does she ever?" Andy asked, turning around to face Athrun and leaning back against the railing. "For what it's worth, I tried to convince her to take it easy, and she ignored me too."
Mwu sighed. "What does she want me for, then?" he asked resignedly, turning around as well.
"She wanted to talk about your half of the Murasame squadron," Athrun said. "She thinks—"
"How're you holding up, Athrun?" Andy asked suddenly. Athrun blinked in surprise and looked between Mwu and Andy.
"Wha—what do you mean?" he asked helplessly.
"Pretty simple question," Mwu said, pausing for another sip of coffee. "Your girlfriend is driving herself into the ground for a purpose larger than all of us, and while you support that purpose, you also want to save her from the self-destruct sequence she's putting herself through."
Athrun looked anxiously between the two men, feeling helpless and vulnerable, and none too pleased that he had been so easily figured out.
"Good way of putting it," Andy said with a chuckle, raising his mug approvingly.
"So?" Mwu asked, looking inquisitively at Athrun. "Talk."
"C-Commander, I—" Athrun began.
"If it makes you feel better, we won't tell her," Andy added, sharing a smirk with Mwu. Athrun felt himself blush and looked in defeat at the deck again.
"All the angst on this ship is starting to get annoying," Mwu said. "I'll lock you two in a room with all of Dearka's porn if I have to, but for Christ's sake, both of you, lighten the hell up. You're kids. You can't do everything. Let the adults do some stuff. That's what we're for."
Andy looked inquisitively at Mwu. "And how do you know about Dearka's porn?"
Mwu glanced back at Andy and took an indifferent sip of coffee. "What can I say? Kid needs to remember to lock his freaking door."
"Commander—" Athrun began again, before cutting himself short. "I...I'll just tell Cagalli that you're busy."
He turned and made a hasty escape before Mwu and Andy could stop him. Andy shook his head with a sigh.
"When we finally push the Seirans from power," he said, "I hope there's enough left of that kid to enjoy it."
Mwu leaned back against the railing. "Fighting for a place where you don't have to fight anymore is all well and good," he said, "but they're starting to forget why they're fighting in the first place."
Andy nodded in agreement, taking another sip of coffee. "And that," he said quietly, "is why we are fighting."
Mwu sighed. "Someone's gotta screw their heads back on right."
"What do you mean 'busy?!'" Cagalli roared, her hands coming down onto the desk with a frightening crash. "We have work to do! What could he possibly be doing?"
"Cagalli—" Athrun began helplessly. Cagalli sat back in her chair, groaning and wringing her hands through her hair.
"Dammit," she grunted, "I need Mwu's half of the squadron to support Colonel Yamamoto's mobile suits—"
"Cagalli," Athrun interrupted, feeling strangely bold, "don't worry about it."
Cagalli blinked and looked back at him in surprise. "What do you mean 'don't worry about it?'" she asked, sitting up. "Athrun, I'm the leader, I'm supposed to—"
"You can't do it all by yourself," Athrun countered, feeling unsteady but knowing that he was committed now. "Commander La Fllaga and Commander Bartfeldt are experienced commanders. They'll know what to do tomorrow." He circled around the desk and took Cagalli by the shoulders, forcing himself to ignore her protests. "You need to eat and you need to rest, or else you'll be in no condition to go out tomorrow. Part of your responsibility as the leader is to keep yourself in a condition to lead."
"Athrun— " Cagalli began angrily. She sighed resignedly as Athrun put too much distance between her and her desk to get anything done. "You know I've worked hard to get this going— "
"And what's the point if there's nothing left of us to do anything afterwards?" another agitated voice added.
Athrun and Cagalli looked in surprise at the door, finding Dearka Elthman standing there, arms crossed, looking annoyed. Not far away, Miriallia sighed and buried her face in her hands.
"Oh yeah," Dearka added sarcastically, straightening up and saluting. "Commander."
"Wha— what the hell are you talking about?!" Cagalli demanded, shoving Athrun aside and glaring at Dearka. "We're not doing this for ourselves! We're doing it for— "
"What's the point of leading a revolution to return the Athha family to power if the only Athha left is too burnt out to lead the country?" Dearka shot back. Cagalli broke off, speechless. "I never thought I'd live to see this, but Athrun is for once the voice of reason here. There's no point in fighting for a better world if you can't realize when the world is any better."
Dearka stormed off in disgust. Cagalli glanced back at Athrun; he only shook his head and left.
The sun was finally beginning to set, and Athrun found it comforting as he stepped onto the deck, into a breeze that was considerably cooler. It was a remarkable sight, but Athrun was used to the sun and its lazy shimmering reflection. He walked up to the railing and leaned against it tiredly. Mwu and Andy were at least partially right— someone needed a break.
There was a pall of smoke rising up from an island on the horizon, and for a moment, Athrun heard the dull roar of explosions. But it was very far away— even with his enhanced Coordinator vision, he had to squint to see it. It was definitely a battle of some kind— given the proximity to Carpentaria, it was probably ZAFT and the Earth Alliance trading blows on a tiny, insignificant island. But it was too far to affect the Megami as it sailed lazily towards Orb.
Somewhere, out there, he thought, Kira's fighting.
He remembered his old friend, apparently now his bitter enemy, on the cherry-red surface of Junius 7 as it plunged through the Earth's atmosphere. The Freedom Gundam stood above him, beam saber drawn and pointed at him; Kira screamed accusations at him.
He shook his head. Had he really killed that girl, Fllay Allster? He couldn't have; he could see it all clearly in his head. He watched himself line up to fire at Rau Le Creuset's Providence Gundam, he opened fire…and Rau skirted aside, letting the shot plow into a tiny escape shuttle. And one explosion later, Fllay Allster was dead, and Kira once again was after Athrun's blood.
But hadn't they moved past that? They had both fought to the death in the Marshall Islands, where Athrun had launched to have revenge for Nicol's death. In the heat of battle, he smashed a fighter and killed one of Kira's friends, and in their mutual bloodlust, Athrun sacrificed the Aegis to finally kill Kira. And it had failed— somehow Kira had survived the point-blank self-destruction of a mobile suit. Somehow Athrun had survived too. Neither of them could die that day— they had been saved, somehow, for a special purpose. And Lacus Clyne brought them together for that purpose, to stand in defense of Orb…and when that failed, to join Lacus in trying to end the war. They had fought, they had battled, they had believed…and in the end, it had all gone back to the way it was that one day in the Marshall Islands. They had been friends, but now they were enemies. Kira had spent two years alive, in the clutches of ZAFT, his strings held tight by Rau Le Creuset. Now he was ZAFT's tool; now he was Rau's tool. Now Kira Yamato, as Athrun and Lacus and Cagalli knew him, was gone.
Athrun looked ahead, in the direction the Megami was sailing. Orb was in that direction; it was a speck of darkness on the horizon, but it was there. There they would fight against the Seirans, the wicked rulers that had turned Orb from a paradisiacal haven into a base player in the dirty games of international politics. They would be overthrown, Cagalli would take over, Cagalli would return things back to the way they were, and Orb would once again be a haven. It would be a place where they didn't have to fight, where they didn't have to kill each other's friends, where evil mask-wearing lunatics couldn't ruin friendships for personal amusement. It would be a place where they could be safe; a world they wouldn't have to protect.
It was what Kira would have wanted.
Athrun clenched his fists. Kira Yamato was dead now; that was what he had to think. Kira was dead…and so Athrun was fighting in his memory.
He stood up and headed back inside. Tomorrow would be the day when Kira's work would be finished.
Dearka Elthman heaved a sigh as he leaned against the wall of the Megami's observation deck, staring at the ocean. Milly stood next to him, silent.
"Well," Dearka said quietly, shrugging, "someone was gonna say it at some point anyways."
"What kind of reason is that?" Milly asked, eyeing him in surprise. He shrugged again.
"We all need a kick in the ass to get us back into the real world," he said, standing up. "I could live without all of Athrun's angst, though."
Milly smiled. "I bet you were the same way when you were younger," she said teasingly. Dearka smirked.
"You don't wanna know how I was when I was younger," he replied. "Besides, I'm not like that now and that's all that counts."
Milly sighed and paused for a moment. "So do you think we'll win tomorrow?" she asked.
Dearka looked back at her and sighed himself. "I'm trying not to think about whether or not we'll win tomorrow," he said. "I'm just going to go out and fight. Like I always do."
Milly looked dourly at him. "So in other words," she said, "you think we'll lose."
Dearka arched an eyebrow at her. "And what do you think?" he asked.
"I think we'll do fine," she said. "We have good pilots, good commanders, good weapons, and the support of the people." She smiled. "You have to count your blessings, not your curses."
Dearka leaned back against the wall. "We'll see," he said quietly.
Athrun was still on the deck as the sky turned a brilliant shade of pink and the sun dipped below the horizon. He glanced over at the deck door as it opened, and found Lacus Clyne making her way out.
"Athrun," she began, polite but still sounding somewhat surprised. "I thought you were asleep."
Athrun shook his head and looked back out at the pink sky. "I know," he said, "but I can't sleep right now."
"Why is that?" Lacus asked, coming up next to him and putting a hand on the rail.
"I'm still thinking about what we're doing," Athrun said somberly. "I keep thinking back to what happened when Junius 7 fell…when I met Kira again."
Lacus' face did not change, but her eyes flickered for a moment. Athrun fumbled and tried to spit out a ready-made apology, but Lacus shook her head before he could.
"I suppose everyone is thinking about it," Lacus admitted, looking off towards the sky. "After all, we all thought we had moved on and put his death behind us." She shook her head. "But we mustn't let this unfortunate circumstance stop us from finding our place in the world." She looked back at Athrun. "Kira has lost his way, but he'll find it again, one way or another. It is up to us to create the haven that the path he finds will take him to."
"We're doing this for Kira?" Athrun asked, looking at her in surprise.
"We're doing this for everyone who is like Kira," Lacus answered with a kind smile. "We're doing this for everyone who fights because there is no place where they don't have to; for everyone who fights because they know no other way. We must create a place where there is another way." She turned to face him. "And that is why we need your help, so you can help erect this place where Kira will be healed."
Athrun nodded slowly. "Then we'll fight for Kira," he said.
"Yes," Lacus agreed, and for the first time, Athrun saw tears in her eyes. "For Kira."
To be continued…