Salt air and sunlight seeped in through the glass and wood that formed an old, leaky porthole.  The wood near the glass was nearly ancient and somewhat rotten in places, worn by the corrosive and humid breeze that was known to blow through the bay.  The sun, high in the sky by the mid-morning hour cast refractions on the water.  If one was to look out the porthole, they would see the glittering water on a bright, clear morning.  For some, the Earth may have even appeared to be, if just for a moment, a nice place to live.

                Domon Kasshu, at that particular moment, was torn.  The bright day seemed so promising.  He would have thought in a good omen, but in his experience the only signs sent from above were warnings of the adverse situations to come.  The day, however bright, was to be a trying one, no doubt.  It was only a matter of time before he had to depart for the Battle Royale of the 13th Gundam Fight.  The fate of his father rested on one fight.  One last chance to make everything right.

                The events of the past year were coming to a fast close.  Domon had fought hard and moved through his opponents quickly.  Finally, it seemed he was being rewarded for that.

                His father was one step away from freedom.  One fight left, one fight against opponents he had already faced.  One fight he knew he could win.

                He had found his brother.  While he had searched, fought the love and pain in his heart and cursed the name of his elder brother, refusing to even acknowledge the relationship, Kyoji had been with him all along.  Helping him and guiding him, though it had not seemed that way to Domon at the time.  Initially, he had refused to believe that Kyoji could have changed so much.  The battle that raged the day before had proven Domon's gut feeling right.

                Domon himself had acted rashly in the past months, aggressive at times, downright cruel at others.  He should have had to pay for that in some capacity, but instead, he was rewarded.  Even the one who had been on the receiving end of much of his abuse had buried herself in his open arms.

                Yes, the day should have seemed promising.  It should have been a good omen.  Yet, Domon was not yet prepared to celebrate his newfound good fortune.  To free his father, he had to fight his friends.  Though he had found his brother, the whereabouts of the Devil Gundam were still unknown.  That didn't even add in the role of his mentor, the person he trusted above all others.  The person who had betrayed Domon so completely.

                Before the day was over, it could all still slip away.  So this day would be one of work, one to ensure that all Domon had when the sun rose, he would still have when the sun set.  The first step was clear enough to Domon.  First, he had to talk to his brother.

                Domon had risen in the mid-morning, later than usual for him.  Understandable, he supposed, though he really wasn't quite sure.  Rain was still asleep, her head pillowed on his shoulder.  She was lying on her right side, which allowed her left arm to be casually thrown across his chest.  Her hand rested on his other shoulder and the tips of her fingers were tangled in his hair.  Domon wasn't surprised to see Rain still asleep.  He had always thought her to be a tad on the lazy side; it never crossed his mind that Rain was not trained to rise with the sun as he had been.

                Domon considered waking her up, but in the end choose to roll her off of him and let her sleep.  He would probably would have resort to waking up again, anyway. 

                The clothes he had been wearing the day before where in a pile on the floor, so rather than digging up a clean pair of jeans, he just pulled on his pants from the day before and left Rain alone to take a shower.  His skin was coated with a residue of dried sweat which really only bothered him because it was several hours old and not all his.  Before he left, Domon scooped up his shirt along with Rain's clothing and carried it all out of the bedroom they had shared.

                His first stop was the top deck of the old fishing boat. 

                Rain had worn a pair of knee-high black boots.  Domon dropped them overboard.

                Rain had worn a pair of pants provided by Schwarz.  Domon dropped them overboard.

                Rain had worn a Neo-German jacket.  Domon dropped it overboard.

                Rain had worn a white shirt underneath that.  Domon dropped it overboard.

                Rain had worn a scarf around her neck.  Domon dropped it overboard.

                The boots had disappeared underneath the waves quickly, though the cloth items floated near the surface for a long moment.  Domon stood at the railing of the deck until the last item was waterlogged enough to sink or merely float out of sight.  Satisfied, Domon continued onto the bathroom, his second stop.

                He exited the chamber some twenty minutes later, skin scrubbed fresh and fully dressed.  His hair was still slightly damp, but not enough so that it didn't stick out and upwards in places.  It would be fully dry before long.  His third stop was the room Rain had occupied previous to her resignation.  Some of her belongings were still there and Domon managed to recover a pink dress. 

                Roughly an hour after he had left her, Domon returned to where Rain still slept.  In truth, it wasn't a bed so much as an old fold-out couch with torn, worn-out blankets tucked underneath the corners of the thin mattress.  By now, Domon felt that his original belief that she was lazy had been proven as fact. 

                "Get up," he snapped rather loudly, throwing the dress at her.  It landed on her head, which combined with the volume of Domon's word's was enough to propel Rain to a sitting position.  She blinked sleepily a few times before the realization that she was naked and the blankets that should have covered her had fallen to a pile on her lap snapped her into full awareness.  She blushed furiously and gathered them over her breasts.  Rain's eyes wandered to Domon who was standing a few feet way, fully dressed, Rain noted with some embarrassment, staring at her with a disapproving glare.

                "Get dressed," he told her, which caused Rain to blush harder.  "We have a lot to do today."

                "Turn around first," Rain requested.  Domon raised his eyebrows.  "I don't want you to look."

                "What difference does that make?" Domon questioned.

                "Just do it!" Rain screamed.  Taken aback, Domon turned around and spotted one of his shoes by the door.  As Domon wandered over to retrieve it, Rain grabbed the panties and bra she had been wearing the night before from the floor and quickly dressed.  Somehow, the location of the rest of her clothing failed to cross her mind.

                "About last night," Rain said slowly, wishing she didn't have to bring it up.  Domon was putting his shoe on from a standing position and seemed rather focused on forcing his heel in without having to unclasp the buckles.  He didn't appear to be listening, and to Rain that somehow made what she had to say easier and more difficult at the same time.  Saying such things was easier without an audience, but on the other hand, she didn't want to have to repeat herself when he was ready to listen.  She didn't want to have to repeat herself should he want her again.  Somehow, Rain didn't think she'd ever be anymore able to tell him 'no' than she had been the night before.

                "It was a mistake," Rain continued.  That got his attention.

                "What are you accusing me of..?" Domon asked.  Of all the things he thought he thought he was in danger of loosing today, she wasn't one of them.  He'd just gotten her back...

                "No!" Rain was sitting on the edge of the mattress with her hands folded in her lap.  "You didn't do anything wrong...  It's my fault.  You needed a friend, and I wasn't there for you the way I should have been."

                "Don't tell me what I need," he muttered.  "I know damn well what I need."

                In her mind's eye, Rain could still see Domon has he had been the night before, sitting on the steps of the hospital.  Somewhere along the line, he had changed out of his mobile trace battle suit to his street clothing.  She had walked up from behind him and he recognized the pattern of her footfalls.

                "They won't let me see Kyoji," he told her.  Nodding sympathetically, Rain sat beside him and rested a hand on his shoulder.

                "Maybe tomorrow," she said.  Domon turned to look at her.  His eyes fell upon the gray, red and gold jacket Schwarz had provided.  It seemed such a long time ago...  With sorrowful, hopeless eyes, he reached out and touched the collar. 

                "I hate this," he said.  At first, Rain thought he was referring to the situation, but the way he was looking at her caused Rain to realize he was referring to the jacket.

                "Here," Rain said after a moment.  Thankful she was wearing something underneath it, Rain unbuttoned the overcoat and took it off.  She folded it over and held it in her lap.  "Better?"  Uncertainly, Domon nodded.  Rain untangled her arms from the pile of fabric and placed one hand on each of Domon's shoulders.  "We didn't come this far just to lose now," she told him.  "It's going to work out."

                "It's almost over," Domon agreed.  Rain nodded.  Rain was about arms' length away from Domon and on an impulse, he covered the distance and hugged her tightly.  Reflexively, her hands left his shoulders allowing her own arms to wind around him.

                When his lips touched hers, Rain reflected, she should have pulled away.  But she had dreamed of that moment for so long and his lips were so soft and his kiss tasted so good...  She had told him just that day that she harbored feelings for him.  That he would respond like this seemed so unreal.  But here he was, moving his mouth against hers.  He brought one hand up to cup her chin and cheek.  Rain leaned into the kiss.

                "Hey!"  The two had jumped apart at the voice.  Domon scowled and Rain blushed.  "Go do that somewhere else," the person, apparently some lower ranking member of the hospital staff, janitor, perhaps, continued, "We heal people here, not make them sick."

                "Come on, Domon," Rain said, standing up.  She held her jacket in her arms.  "Let's go."  Domon glared at the attendant until the man took a step back, tiny beads of nervous sweat began to stand out on his forehead. 

                Domon and Rain walked to the old man's boat--their unofficial place of residency for the time being--without words, but not without touching.  Domon's fingers trailed up and down Rain's spine.  She wondered then, as she still did the morning after, if he knew on any level the way that affected her.  Somehow the events to come had been transmitted between them without speaking.  There was no questioning their destination or Domon's intentions.  In his room, her jacket fell from her arms and landed in a heap on the floor, soon joined by her shirt.

                Through it all, only one thought passed Rain's mind.  She should have said no.  

                "Domon," Rain said, halting her reverie and noticing the way he had spoken.  Don't tell him what he needs?  "Someone else's touch can be comforting, but sex is about intimacy.  You can't just do it whenever you feel bad about something.  It feels good then, but ultimately, it's cheap."

                "Have you seen my other shoe?" Domon asked.  It took him a few minutes, but he had managed to put the left one on sans hands.  Now he was ready for the right, assuming he could find it.

                "I feel dirty and all he cares about are his shoes," Rain muttered to herself.  "Figures."

                Domon spotted his shoe by the couch, bed, whatever capacity it was serving at the moment and walked towards Rain.  He sat beside her on the mattress and leaned over to get his shoe.  This one, he unclasped and put on easily.  He was holding it anyway, so there really was no point in slipping it on.

                "Are you listening to me at all?!?" Rain finally demanded. 

                "You aren't making a lot of sense," Domon informed her.  "What we did, it wasn't a bad thing."

                "That's what I'm saying," Rain protested.  "It feels good.  But it's supposed to be about emotions and intimacy.  The sweetness comes from the feelings involved."

                "Is that so?" Domon asked somewhat disinterestedly.  He took her hand and stood, pulling Rain to her feet as well.  Rain stared at their hands, fingers intertwined.

                "Oh."  Her voice was small, filled with dawning realization and wonder.  "Oh, Domon!"  Rain pulled her hand away and threw her arms around Domon's shoulders.  She kissed his cheek and he blushed and smiled and crinkled his face in a content gesture. 

                "I told you," Domon said after the red in his face had faded, "We have a lot to do today."

                "But we will talk about this..?" Rain asked, letting him have her hand again.

                "Later," Domon said as he nodded.  "When I come back after the fight." 

                "We're not just friends anymore," Rain whispered, more to herself than anything.  "You know what the best part was?" Rain asked.

                "Hm?" Domon asked, not quite sure what she was referring to now.  She snuggled against him as they walked through the boat.

                "You must have said 'thank you,'" she whispered, "at least ten times..."  At that moment, Rain decided nearly a year of heartbreak was definitely worth the look on his face.  The Earth may have even appeared, if just for a moment, a nice place to be.

Sore de wa...Gundam Fight!  Ready?  Go!

Disclaimers:  You know the deal: G Gundam is owned, licensed and distributed (not necessarily in that order) by Sunrise, the Sotsu Agency and Bandai.

Author Notes:  Title significance?  Go pick up The Calling's CD "Calmino Palmero" and listen to the first track.  It should be pretty obvious.