Konnichiwa Minna-san! I'm here with a little story that I came up with while at work one night. It'll probably be a little bit different than my other Gundam 00 fics because it probably won't be fifty-thousand plus words it'll probably be like five thousand words. It's just a little fic-let centered around Lockon's birthday, hence the title. It takes place during the time skip between seasons one and two. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam 00 or the characters. Veda and Tieria are just allowing me to borrow them for a while.
Chapter One: Rain
Tieria Erde stood out in the pouring rain which was odd for him. First off, Tieria, despite the meaning of his name, hated Earth's surface. He didn't like how Earth's gravity felt on his body. Gravity was heavy and it weighed down on his lithe body like a heavy sack that he could never get rid of. He had spent most of his life in the semi-weightlessness of Krung Thep and the Ptolemaios. Therefore Tieria wasn't used to his full body weight and just standing there in the rain was making him extremely tired. But he also needed to put into consideration that he hadn't been sleeping much at all lately.
The second reason why it was strange was because Tieria hated the rain. Rain was cold and wet and often symbolized death and suffering in some of the books he had read. He also hated being cold. The climate control on the Ptolemaios and at Krung Thep was always set to a comfortable degree. And unless he was running a fever, he was always content with the temperature setting. He also hated being wet. Being soaking wet was fine when he was showering but when he was fully clothed it was less than enjoyable. Saturated clothing stuck to his skin and would cease to protect him from the cold.
And yet, despite his loathing for such conditions, here he was soaked to the bone from the driving rain as he stood on earth's surface. But today was different…Today Tieria Erde didn't care about the gravity weighing him down or the discomfort the rain was causing him. Today was March third and it was supposed to be Lockon Stratos' twenty-sixth birthday…but it wasn't. Lockon had been killed in action just a few months after turning twenty-five. To this day, nearly a year later Tieria still blamed himself of Lockon's death.
Tieria placed a cold, slender hand on the granite cross that marked the Dylandi family grave. Lockon's real name, Neil Dylandi, had been inscribed on the marker several months after the battle that cost the man his life. And every time Tieria heard or read the name it sent bolt of pain through his chest. There were three other names inscribed on the grave stone, names that Tieria could only assume were the names of Lockon's late mother, father and little sister.
Tieria often wondered how, despite losing his family to terrorism, Lockon was so care-free and happy all the time. He had lost his connection to the one thing that he held higher regard to than most of the people he had to interact with on a daily basis but…losing your parents and little sister as a child must have been completely unbearable to cope with. Tieria hung his head in shame. How dare he compare the loss of one's entire family to what he had gone through when he lost connection to Veda…the two were by no means the same thing.
He sighed as he struggled to find the right words to say. He wasn't human. He wasn't used to dealing with the suffocating emotions that threatened to drown him in a sea of despair. It was part of the reason why he had lost weight in the past several months. He often found himself unable to eat due to the emotions waging war on his entire being. He wasn't supposed to have such emotions, that's why he was trusted with the TRIAL system. Humans would often give in to such emotions but he was different, he wasn't supposed to have any emotion at all. Emotions were meaningless to him and yet, it was the same emotions that were making him feel sick nearly all the time.
"H-Happy birthday Lockon…" He muttered barely able to find his voice as the tears threatened to fall from his garnet eyes, "I know it's probably not much of a birthday to you anymore…seeing as to how…you're…not alive…anymore…" He bit his lip as several tears escaped past his weakened will, "I…I'm sorry I…couldn't do more to help…I tried to protect you…but…I just…wasn't strong enough…I couldn't protect Setsuna or Allelujah either…so…it's just me left…You left me in charge and…I screwed up…"
He leaned against the grave marker. He was so incredibly exhausted he struggled to find the strength to remain standing. But he couldn't give in to his fatigue here. Falling asleep in such condition would be hazardous to his already poor health. If he fell asleep here he would seriously risk hypothermia. He knew that the condition could happen in temperatures warmer than the one he was in and with the rain, becoming hypothermic was almost inevitable. He had come to the cemetery by himself. He had come here with Sumeragi, Feldt, Ian, Linda and her young daughter Mileina but they were at the hotel. He had come to the cemetery alone, probably against his better judgment.
He gasped as his vision began to grow dim and every around him began to spin. He couldn't keep himself conscious any longer, he just didn't have the strength. His legs gave out and the ground came up on him fast. /Dammit…/ He thought, /This isn't good…I should have listened to Sumeragi...she was right...I shouldn't have come here alone...what are they going to do if they don't find me before.../
Before Tieria could shut his eyes and completely lose consciousness he heard voices calling out to him. One of the voices he would recognize anywhere. He tried to sit up but his exhausted body wouldn't let him. He looked up and through extremely hazy vision he saw two men leaning over him and one of the men had a face that plagued him in his sleep.
"Neil…" He gasped as he reached towards the possible apparition that his exhausted mind conjured up, "Neil Dylandi…you're…alive…?"
"Who are you? How do you know my brother?" He heard as his eyes closed and his hand fell back to the ground, "Are you alright…O-oi wake up! Wake up!"
"Neil…Dylandi…" Tieria muttered before he lost all awareness as he fell unconscious.
Lyle Dylandi accompanied by one of his closest friends Klaus Grado walked towards the Dylandi family grave slowly.
"You should enjoy yourself Lyle," Klaus said, "It's your birthday after all."
"I know," Lyle said, "But it's a pact I made with my older brother. Even if he doesn't come around anymore, I feel it's the least I can do for him."
"What happened to your brother?" Klaus asked.
"No clue," Lyle said, "All I know is that he left me his car and took off. I haven't heard from him in years."
"That's harsh," Klaus said as he noticed a person leaning against the gravestone, "Hey, there's a person standing at your family's grave. Do you know who it is?"
Lyle looked over, "I've seen that kid from a distance before," Lyle said, "I watched him from a distance the last time I was here too. Last time there was a pink haired girl with him. I have no idea who he is though. Or why he keeps visiting."
"That's a guy?" Klaus asked, "He seriously looks like a woman."
"That's what I thought too," Lyle said, "Until the kid opened his mouth. Based on his voice, he's definitely male."
The two men watched the mysterious young man for several minutes until the boy fell forward, nearly bashing his head on the grave stone.
"I think he just collapsed," Klaus said when the young man failed to get up, "We should try to help him. He could die in these conditions."
"Alright, alright," Lyle said as he ran towards the boy.
"He's still conscious," Klaus said as he knelt down next to the purple haired boy and carefully rested the boy's head on his lap, "Should we call for an ambulance? He's shivering bad."
"Hold on," Lyle said as he also knelt down in front of the boy, "Hey, could you tell us your name?"
The boy opened his unnatural garnet eyes and looked up. "Neil…" the boy muttered as he extended his hand towards Lyle, "Neil Dylandi…you're…alive…?"
Lyle recoiled at his brother's name, "Who are you? How do you know my brother? Are you alright?" He asked as the boy's eyes closed and his hand fell limp, "O-Oi wake up!" He called, "Wake up!"
"Neil…Dylandi…" The boy muttered before becoming completely limp in Klaus' arms.
"What should we do now?" Klaus asked, "Should we take him to a hospital?"
"I'm going to check his pockets," Lyle said, "I'm sure the kid must have some sort of identification on him."
Lyle reached into one of the boy's pockets and pulled out a small wallet. He opened it and to his surprise he found a picture of his brother in it, "This kid knows my brother," Lyle said, "But why is he here?" He pulled a few cards out of the boy's wallet and found an AEU identification card and a key card for a local hotel, "The kid's name is Tieria Erde and it seems as though he's staying at the hotel a few kilometers away. Could you bring him there for me? I have to be at work in a bit."
"Sure," Klaus said as he took the wallet from Lyle and picked the boy up, "Does it say how old he is?"
"Based on his id he's seventeen," Lyle said, "And it states that he's a mobile suit pilot for the AEU. Why?"
"I was just wondering," Klaus said as he walked to his car, "I'll see you later Lyle."
Klaus gently wrapped the shivering boy in a blanket that he kept in his car and rested him on the backseat. He then slowly drove to the hotel the boy had been staying in.
When he got to the hotel he walked up to the front desk and presented the wallet, "I was wondering if you could tell me what room this boy is staying in?" he asked the woman at the desk, "This was the key card I found on him."
The woman took the card and swiped it, "He's staying in room five-hundred-fifteen," The woman said, "Do you need me to call for a doctor?"
"I'll let you know," Klaus said as he took the card from the woman, "Thank you."
"Tieria's been there for a while now," Feldt said as she looked at her watch, "Do you think he's alright?"
Sumeragi sighed, "Let him take his time," She said, "He just needs to be alone for a while. You know how he gets."
"I'm just worried about him," Feldt said, "It's really bad out there…and it's been nearly six hours since he left."
"I'm sure he's fine, he just needs time," Sumeragi said as there was a knock at the door, "That's probably him now. Feldt could you get that?"
Feldt nodded. She opened the door and what she saw shocked her. There was a man at the door carrying Tieria's unconscious and shivering form in his arms, "Tieria!" Feldt cried, "What happened to him?"
"My friend and I found him at the cemetery not too far from here," Klaus said as he walked in the room, "He had just collapsed when we got there. Are you relatives of this boy?"
"Yes," Sumeragi said as the man set Tieria down on one of the beds, "Thank you so much for helping him."
"You're welcome," Klaus said, "I'll let you be now." He then left the hotel room.
"Ian," Sumeragi called, "Could you come here?"
"What do you need?" The mechanic asked as he walked from a conjoined room, "Tieria! What on earth happened to him?" He exclaimed as he laid his eyes on the purple-haired boy.
"Someone found him at the cemetery unconscious," Feldt said.
"Ian," Sumeragi said, "I need you to get him out of those clothes. We can figure out what happened to him when he's wearing something warmer…dammit, I told him not to go alone!"
Sumeragi and Feldt left the room as Ian changed Tieria out of the wet clothing he was wearing.
"Sumeragi," He called as gently pulled the bed covers over Tieria, "It's all set."
"Alright," Sumeragi said as she reentered the room. She sighed as she walked up to the bed. Tieria was still shivering violently as his body tried to warm itself up and his face held the same look of pain that was present on the boy's face whenever he slept, "Feldt," she said, "Could you get me a warm cloth for his forehead?"
Feldt nodded and left the room.
Sumeragi sighed as she placed her hand on Tieria's forehead. But something was amiss. Instead of being cold, Tieria's forehead was rather hot. She took a small device out of her pocket and placed to Tieria's forehead and she found that Tieria was running a rather high fever, "Feldt," She called, "Forget the warm cloth bring a cold one, Tieria's running a fever."
"Wouldn't that just make him colder?" Feldt said, "He may have a fever but he just spent six hours in the rain. We should wait for him to stop shivering."
"He's not going to stop shivering," Sumeragi said, "Tieria suffers from severe chills when he's feverish like this. Bring me a cold cloth, we need to lower his fever."
Feldt nodded and did what she was told. She walked over to the bed and she placed her hand on Tieria's forehead before putting the cloth there. Tieria's skin was on fire, "We're in for a rough night with him," She said softly. She knew that Tieria couldn't handle extreme heat well at all and with his temperature well above thirty-nine degrees he would need close monitoring until his fever fell.
"I know," Sumeragi said, "I'm going to wait for Linda and Mileina to get back from the market then I'm going to take a little nap so I'll be able to stay up all night and watch him."
"Sounds good," Feldt said as she placed the cloth on Tieria's forehead hoping that it would be enough to comfort him a little bit, "I hope he's alright..."
"I hope so too," Sumeragi muttered, "I hope so too..."
So what did you think? I think that there will be one more chapter after this one so that way it's a ficlet and not a one shot. I hate one shots and I left a pretty bad ending for one shot anyway…with Tieria running a high fever and unconscious (again…I really like putting him in that situation huh?) I can be a cruel fanfic author at times (alright, I'm a cruel fanfic author all the time) but I wouldn't do that to you awesome readers (or Tieria, he had it hard enough in Gundam 00…) So until next time, Ja ne minna-san!