Hello! Welcome to And I'll Close Mine. The title sounds weird, doesn't it? That's because it's a companion piece! The other one is Setsuna's POV and titled Close Your Eyes, hence the funny-sounding name on this one. This one is the M-rated one, while the other is T. Both are partially inspired by the Flyleaf song, So I Thought.
If you came here after reading Setsuna's POV, then know that the adult scene isn't completely necessary to read. You should be able to tell when it starts happening, and from there you can skip to the following scene transitions marked by '…' Just in case you're an underage reader and want to see what happens ^_^
If you haven't read his yet, then let me add similar notes here. This takes place post-movie, and I've taken liberties on the ELS. Feel free to comment on anything that seems odd, or if you just liked the story :) But, please, no flames. Concrit is love, though! I'm here to improve! Anyway, please enjoy and feeback is a wonderful thing.
Gundam 00 is copyright of Bandai Entertainment and So I Thought is copyright of Flyleaf and their record label.
And I'll Close Mine
Feldt's eyes widened in surprise, her heart hammering in her chest. As soon as the Qan[T] came into dock, she left her station and ran to greet its pilot. She had waited until the pilot's hatch opened, gripping her hands into fists while waiting in suspense.
Setsuna had reported that the mission was successful, but had noted that there were some minor complications he would report in person. Feldt had worried something had happened to him, and had only worried more when Allelujah and Marie had sensed something, then dismissed it with sad smiles.
Her heart was pounding, and she didn't know how long she could take it. Finally, the boarding hatch of the Qan[T] opened and a figure started to climb out. Relief started to flood over her, but then she froze, taking in the shape of his silhouette.
His left arm was completely deformed, spikes of different lengths jutting out in crystal-like growths. As he descended to the ground, he refused to meet her eyes as she absorbed his changed appearance. The ELS… The ELS had assimilated him, turning his left arm into crystals and the side of his neck and face covered with patches of silver. Parts of his suit shined like metal, gleaming in the lights overhead.
She felt her knees buckle and started to drop to the floor, stopping when two hands caught her arms. Looking up, she found herself staring into the glowing yellow eyes of Setsuna as he stood right in front of her. But how had he gotten to her so quickly? He was still coming down from the Qan[T]. A glance over his shoulder revealed the boarding ring to be only halfway down, meaning he'd jumped the rest of the way.
She couldn't bring herself to look him in the eyes, and instead turned away. "Setsuna…"
He shifted, pulling her to her feet easily, and held her up with one arm around her waist. Using his other hand, he turned her to face him and said, "Feldt, you look tired. You should rest."
She was tired. She was hurt, angry, sad, and severely disappointed, too. What did this mean? What would happen to him? Would he leave to merge with… with them?
He looped one of her arms over his shoulders and helped her walk back to the others, staying silent. She was at least grateful that he held her with his still human arm. She hated herself for it, but she was terrified of what this meant.
She loved him.
During her younger years, she had developed a crush on Lockon—Neil—because he was a kind man who always looked out for his comrades. In the years after his death, she had come to terms with the fact that it wasn't love, but a childish infatuation grown from respect and admiration. The second Lockon, his brother Lyle, had helped her reach that conclusion.
But even while deciphering her feelings for Lockon, she realized one day that she missed Setsuna. During the years after Lagrange 1 when he went missing, she had started to notice feelings she hadn't noticed before. She kept a picture in her room of the first crew of the Ptolemy, and had cried for days after the battle that had yielded the deaths of her friends.
As time went by, she had started to heal. As the faces of her friends suddenly became a pleasant reminder of the good times instead of a hurtful rediscovery of their tragic ends, she had started to smile more. They didn't know what happened to the Exia's Solar Reactor, but they had all guessed Setsuna was still alive. They all knew he wouldn't give up Exia without a fight.
Talk had started to circulate more and more with the crew wondering where he could be and what could have happened to him, and she found her thoughts trailing back to the ebon-haired boy. He was older than her by two years, and had experienced only pain and heartache in his young life. He was a Gundam Meister, just like her parents had been.
One more look at the picture in her room, and she couldn't explain what she felt. Her heart had tumbled in her chest, and her breath was harder than ever to catch. His face was so young, but so full of hatred and despair. He looked so lonely, and she wanted to save him from that.
Her heart had nursed that feeling, quietly and almost painfully, until one day a year and a half later when she turned the corner of the Ptolemy II and found herself face-to-face with him. At first, she thought it was a dream. It only took her a moment before the reality set in and she remembered the operation at Proud Colony.
He had shown up. He was back.
Every fiber in her wanted to reach out and hug him tightly, especially as she absorbed his grown-up appearance. He had matured well, his facial features were sharp and strongly masculine. His hair was still a curly mess, but he wore it a little longer now. She wanted to hug him so badly, but the only thing she could bring herself to do was smile, offer a short 'welcome home,' and turn and walk away.
In the time since, she found herself falling for him even more, but she never felt right in confessing. Setsuna was a hard person to approach, and she knew he had a special bond with Princess Marina of Azadistan. She had overheard Mileina asking if the two of them were lovers, to which they both replied 'no,' but she still wasn't sure.
He was young and closed-off, hurt by a past he couldn't control, and she had no way of comforting or assisting him with that. Her heart hurt, but because she'd grown up surrounded by the people of Celestial Being, she knew the best course of action would be to approach as a friend and let him know she was there for him.
She had been working in the biology lab with Linda Vashti a few months after Setsuna's return, and through friendly chiding, her feelings for Setsuna had slipped out. The woman had been jovial and pleasant about her unintentional admission, and instead encouraged her to confess her feelings to him. She'd presented her with a flower in a bio container, and casually explained it was a native plant to the Middle East, winking suggestively afterwards.
Feldt had blushed more than she ever had before in her life, but knew that Linda had meant for the best. She held onto it until the day of the battle at Lagrange 2, when she decided she would give it to him as a good luck charm. She wanted to tell him how she felt, but knew he had a lot on his mind at that particular moment. Instead, she told him to not die. He had replied with a stoic 'roger,' and she felt she knew her feelings weren't returned.
Two years later and he still remained stoic and impassive, even drifting further away into loneliness. She didn't know how to approach him, and Miss Sumeragi had advised her to keep her feelings for him and never let them go. She knew, even if she wanted to, she couldn't just let her feelings go. She would keep on loving him and there wasn't anything more to it than that.
As his Innovator powers intensified, she knew he was sealing himself away more and more. Now, he had fused with the ELS and she had to learn what to do next. Though she had told the crew that knowing Setsuna had loved the whole world, and knowing that she cared about him was enough, she knew it was a lie. She was hurting. She wanted to love him and she wanted him to love her in return.
He was unreachable. He was growing more and more distant, and she wanted to reach out to him before it was too late. He was the only true Innovator and that had caused him a sense of despair no other could understand. Now, more people were showing signs of evolving, but then he had fused with the ELS and sealed himself away into further loneliness.
It was like he didn't want to be understood.
Sometimes, he infuriated her. She felt his grip on her side tighten slightly as he supported her in the direction of her room. No one else was around, as everyone was trying to reestablish order and work on repairing the Ptolemy. Though, she had her suspicions that they were leaving the two of them alone on purpose, too. Strands of ELS material banded across the passages, but as Setsuna approached, his eyes would focus slightly and the sentient metal would retreat and clear the path.
So he could communicate with them now. She risked a glance at his left arm again, gasping in surprise when she realized the deformities had disappeared and his suit had repaired. Was it the ELS within him? Had they—it?—merged back into him to recreate his body as they recreated the Europa probe?
She didn't want to believe what was happening. She didn't want him to become an alien creature. She wanted him to become closer to her and the crew, not push himself further away.
"Here's your room."
She looked up in surprise, nodding once before reaching out to open the door. She kicked off the ground to float inside, then turned to face him and asked, "Setsuna, do you want to come in?"
His eyes flashed yellow for a moment and she wasn't sure if that meant he was using his quantum brainwaves, communicating with Veda, talking to the ELS, or what, but she decided it didn't matter as he gave a short nod and followed her inside. She moved over to sit on her bed, dropping down suddenly as gravity systems returned. Mileina's voice sounded over the intercom, calling out, "Um, the gravity's back on! I hope everyone's okay."
Feldt shook her head in mild amusement before turning to see Setsuna standing near the door, his amber eyes staring at the floor to his right. "Feldt, I…"
She inhaled deeply and bit down on the inside of her cheek. She should tell him, right? Before he became too detached? "Setsuna, there's something I have to tell you. I-"
"Stop! Don't say it."
Her eyes widened in surprise at the sound of his angered tone and she leaned back slightly. Did he already know?
"I… I know, Feldt. My quantum brainwaves told me." His eyes never left the floor, even as his hand gripped into a tight fist. "I know how you feel about me. I've known for awhile now."
And he still had never made a move. She felt her heart start to shatter in her chest, knowing this was the moment that confirmed he felt nothing for her.
"Feldt, when I walk out this door, forget I ever existed."
Her breath left her in an instant, her tears drifting down her cheeks without reserve. Her shoulders shook as her hand gripped over her heart, clenching as if trying to hold it together. Her eyes locked with his, and didn't miss the slight shock that entered his gaze. Did he not realize how much something like that would hurt her? Was he that dense to the world around him? He was supposed to be the world's first Innovator, a human with a higher level of understanding.
How could he not have known?
"Let me explain. I owe you that much."
She nodded slowly, finally tearing her eyes away from his and curling on herself to keep in an upright position. She wasn't looking, but felt the bed beside her sink in and knew he'd sat down. How could he do something like this? What did he think he would accomplish by pushing everyone away?
His low voice rumbled through the room, no longer obstructed by his helmet. "I don't know what I am anymore. I'm an Innovator, with powers no one else can begin to understand. And now, I've fused with the ELS. I told you before, right? I'll do anything to bring peace to the world. To keep the ELS from attacking, we had to learn to understand each other. They learn by assimilating. You saw it yourself. Once they assimilated mobile suits, they could create them out of their own material."
She knew falling in love with him was only going to cause pain in the end. She knew he was distant and dense. But she had never expected things to turn out like this.
"I don't know what I'm capable of anymore. The ELS have never assimilated a live being successfully before. The only people they've merged with have either died, or the ELS directly connected have ceased existence. Feldt, I don't know what I might do, or what the ELS within me will do."
She kept her eyes on the bed, her tears rushing down her cheeks more than before. "I don't care, Setsuna! It doesn't matter what you are!"
"I can't…" He shifted to stand up and started towards the door. "I can't let something happen to you."
She jumped to her feet, reaching out and wrapping her hands around his arm. Only now did she realize he'd unzipped his pressure suit and wore it with the sleeves tied around his waist. He didn't look at her, but he stopped moving when she grabbed him and murmured, "I can't just… I can't let you… walk away… Please stay, Setsuna… Please stay with me."
"Feldt…" He turned slowly, glancing over his shoulder at her. "Tell me… Tell me what I can do to make you let me go."
She shifted, moving her left hand to grip into the thin fabric of his tight blue t-shirt and buried her face in his shoulder. Her mind was racing, but only one thing mattered. She had to convince him to stay with her. She couldn't lose him. Not now. Only one thought stood out in her jumbled brain, but it was the only one with any chance. She wasn't sure if it was even appropriate or acceptable to ask him something like that, but she had to try. Her voice came out as a choked whisper as she mumbled, "Please… Setsuna, make love to me."
He was silent for a long moment, making her wonder if he had heard her at all. When she was about to draw back, he slowly nodded. "All right. If it will help you break free."
Her eyes widened against his shirt, her hands gripping even more tightly. Did he really just say that? Maybe he hadn't heard her properly. But didn't he have quantum brainwaves? Didn't those make it easier to sense emotions and feelings? Didn't he know what she wanted?
He turned slowly, gently shrugging out of her hold, and wrapped his arms around her. He didn't say anything, but pulled her closer and embraced her tightly. Her eyes widened in shock. He was serious, wasn't he? Her hands shook as they settled on his back, her heart pounding in her ears. He let her go, stepping back slightly, and shifted to touch his hand to her cheek and brought her closer.
Tears slipped down her cheeks as his lips touched against hers and kissed her softly. His lips felt so soft against hers. She hated this. He was kissing her goodbye. Not because he loved her, and not because he wanted to experiment with a relationship. He was kissing her because he wasn't planning to see her again.
He drew back from the kiss and, without opening his eyes, brushed his thumb across her cheek to dry her tears. He wouldn't ask why she was crying. He wouldn't whisper gentle words to ease her fears. He would simply dry her tears and not ask questions.
Her heart pounded in her chest, her blood rushing through her body. He was only doing this because she asked him to, but, even so, her body was reacting to his fabricated affections. Her hands moved from his back and shifted to settle on the crook of his neck and draw him closer to her again.
He met her lips gently, one hand staying on her cheek as the other moved to the zipper of her own pressure suit. She gave an unintentional shiver as he pulled it down, stopping at her waist and not drawing it lower.
She wished this had been happening under different circumstances. She wished he would love her back and that he would do this because he wanted to, and not because he felt obligated to. She wished he would wrap his arms around her and never let her go.
She stepped back slightly and pulled the zipper down the rest of the way. Avoiding his gaze, she pushed her suit down to her ankles and shifted to step out of the boots before discarding it on the floor. She turned her back to him, not wanting to look at him while she stood in nothing but her blue tee and yellow panties. A shiver ran through her body, a chill slipping through her being at the sudden exposure.
His right hand slipped around her waist from behind as his left took hold of hers and brought it to his lips. He kissed her knuckles gently, fanning his fingers on her flat stomach and pulling her as close to him as he could without hurting her.
She felt her will start to melt at his tender touch and vaguely wondered how he knew to behave in such a situation. Deciding it didn't matter, she turned her chin to glance over her shoulder and felt a small moan slip from her throat. He took that as a request and shifted to kiss her again, leaning over her shoulder to press his lips to hers.
Her hand gripped around his wrist, holding his arm that was holding her against him. She hated how empty this was. She hated that he was only doing this because she asked him to. She hated him for not wanting to try. But despite the way her mind was fighting the situation, her body was relishing the way he touched her.
Suddenly, his hand on her stomach braced her and turned her around in his hold, pressing her breasts against his firm chest. His lips met hers once more, her eyes snapping open as he pressed his tongue between her lips. How had the introverted Setsuna known to kiss like this? When did he learn these things?
How did he know exactly how to make her body heat up?
Her hands trailed down his finely-toned chest and along his sides before reaching the knot of his sleeves at his waist. She pulled, making quick work of it and gripped her fingers into the rough fabric, clutching in desperation to keep him near. Her body felt so hot, her skin burning under his touch as he gently placed either hand on her hips.
Before she could wonder what he would do next, he shifted and suddenly dropped down to the bed, propping himself above her on his hands and knees. She stared, wide-eyed, as he focused his eyes on hers and gently ran the backs of his knuckles along her cheek. Her tears came back in a sudden rush as she took in the look of tenderness she'd never before seen in his eyes, her hand absently reaching up to touch his cheek.
He turned his head to meet her hand, then leaned closer as her fingers folded back into his hair. Instead of kissing her, he closed his eyes and pressed soft kisses to her cheeks to brush away her tears. Her heart was crumbling in her chest, knowing he would be leaving soon after this. He had to do what he felt he had to do, but it hurt to see this intimate side of him and know she would never see him like this again.
His hands reached out to clasp gently around her wrists and pulled them over her head. One of his hands held them there while the other moved down to finger the hem of her shirt. She shivered but didn't struggle, instead craning her neck to find his lips once again. He acknowledged her, kissing her gently as his fingers, calloused from years of warfare, slipped under her shirt and stroked her side.
Her heart felt about to burst from the mix of emotions surging through her, but she fought to keep her mind on the matter at hand and focused on kissing him. Her body was growing warm, and she felt a hunger deep in the pit of her stomach start to grow. It made her squirm slightly under him, causing him to remove his hand from her shirt.
She moaned a slight sound of disappointment against his lips, opening her eyes when he drew away from her completely. She felt her skin burn even more as she realized he pulled back to remove his own suit and toss it to the floor. The thought had never crossed her mind before, but she figured he must have gotten good at getting that suit on and off quickly.
Before she could completely process his removal of his suit, he was back on top of her, placing one hand on the back of her head and kissing her fiercely. His hands gripped at the hem of her shirt, then quickly flipped it off over her head all together. Instead of staying on his knees, he shifted to lie down almost on top of her and placed his hand against her stomach again.
She thought he must have been able to feel her heart pounding at that close of proximity, but found she didn't mind that much. She wasn't scared of him. She wasn't scared of anything he might be able to do, and she knew she had to make him understand that. She wasn't afraid of him.
Her heart thundered, a sound of approval slipping from her lips as his hand gently moved up her side and lightly treaded along her breast. She couldn't even remember why she had almost let him go, but knew that she couldn't ignore her feelings for him anymore. She loved him, and she wouldn't let him go without a fight.
For a brief moment, she wondered why he still had his shirt on and blindly reached her hands to find the hem to pull it off. He let her, moving easily to help her get it off before bending down to press a kiss to her collarbone. Another shudder vibrated down her spine as she threw her head back against the bed, shifting to twine both hands into his hair.
He moved lower, leaving a trail of light kisses along her sternum and turning as he reached her breasts to leave phantom-like touches of his lips until he reached the hardened pearl. A gasp escaped her lips as he started to lick her nipple, using one of his hands to support himself and the other to tease her other breast.
All conscious thought escaped her mind, replaced by a blinding light behind her closed eyelids. Her grip tightened in his hair, her thighs drawing together as the pressure built in her abdomen. She had never felt anything like this before, and she was happy that Setsuna was the one to make her feel this way. In her twenty-one years, she had never imagined feeling anything like this. Her mind couldn't even process what this feeling was. Something akin to ecstasy mixed with intolerable mental torture.
In a sudden rush of cold, he released both of her breasts and drew back. He met her eyes with a dark and hungry look consuming his amber gaze, making her touch his cheek and slowly bring him closer. He shook his head softly, slipping out of her hold, and running his hands down her sides. His fingers stopped when they reached the waistband of her panties, gently curling into the band before tugging them down.
Again, she couldn't help but wonder how he knew what to do, but she wouldn't fight him. Her only knowledge of this sort of thing came from movies and novels, and even then the extent of her awareness was vague. It didn't matter, though. He seemed to know what he was doing, and she would let him.
She loved him.
She closed her eyes and leaned her head back, reaching out blindly to touch his shoulders. He was a well-muscled man, but he was still thin and even scrawny. As she ran her hands down his arms, she felt each of his muscles defined nicely under his skin.
Not that it truly mattered. He was Setsuna F. Seiei, Gundam Meister of the 00 Qan[T], an Innovator, an ELS, and the man she loved more than anything.
Her heart ached as he slipped away slightly, only to return a moment later. She opened her eyes in curiosity, feeling her face flush as she realized he had removed his own underwear. He was really doing this, wasn't he? Did he know what this meant?
One of his hands slipped behind her head to hold her steady, the other bracing against the bed at her side. He ducked his chin down beside hers, hiding his face from her view before whispering, "Are you sure about this?"
She didn't want to talk. She was afraid her voice would betray her and say something to make him pull away. So instead, she nodded and wrapped her arms around his back, holding him against her.
He didn't say anything else, but instead drew back slightly. His eyes glanced down between them before he shifted somewhat, lining his lower body up to hers. She felt the heat burn more fiercely on her cheeks as a mass found its way between her thighs. She wanted this. She wanted him to make love to her, and that was precisely what he was doing.
She wanted him to realize she wasn't afraid of him and that he could stay with her.
Her legs spread almost on a reflex, opening herself for him and signaling she was ready for him. He leaned closer to her, shifting to press kisses to her temple and cheek as his hips started to push himself into her.
Her eyes clamped shut at the sudden level of pain starting to spike through her body, her fingers shifting to dig into the skin of his back. He moved slowly, letting her adjust to his entrance as he pushed closer. She gasped as he got to be hilt-deep, lying still as silent tears drifted down her cheeks. She turned her chin to find his lips again, wanting nothing more than to kiss him.
Her heart pounded and, for a brief moment, she thought she could hear his heart beating in time with hers. She shifted to move one hand into his hair, letting the other stay on his chiseled back as she realized he was waiting to move until after she did. He didn't want to hurt her. The thought made her deliriously happy, but she knew this feeling she had needed to be tended to quickly. There was no doubt that he was feeling similar things, so she gave a short nod without breaking their kiss as a signal for him to move again.
He acknowledged her and drew back slightly to withdraw from her, then immediately pushed back inside. His motion was quick and sharp, reminding her of his movements within his Gundam. The fact that he used the same finesse he used in his pilot seat when tending to her was, in a way, a twisted complement. He moved quickly, pressing in and pulling back out.
Their lips met with several open-mouthed kisses, their breaths mingling together as their bodies blended perfectly. Her lungs struggled to produce enough air, her muscles aching as her thighs drew together and pinched his hips between them.
The heat in her abdomen intensified with each thrust he made, making her feel like she needed to let go. Her fingers folded in his hair, gripping tightly and holding him close to her. Every second felt like an eternity, driving her sanity almost to the point of non-existent.
Finally, a bright light flashed before her eyes, heralding the release of pressure between her thighs as she held tightly to him. Shortly thereafter, she heard him grunt above her before feeling his release deep within her core. The sensations coursing through her being drove every painful thought from her mind, replaced only by images of him.
As the waves of orgasm started to fade, she felt herself start to drift to sleep. She was exhausted from the battle, learning of Setsuna's condition, hearing him deject her, and now from having sex with him. Her eyes flitted shut, her body slumping from its relaxed state to purely lethargic.
Just before she faded away, she felt his breath against her ear before he whispered, "I love you, Feldt."
Six weeks later, and she found herself riding the train in the newly rebuilt La Tour orbital elevator, staring at her hands blankly. When she had woken the morning after he had made love to her, Setsuna was nowhere to be found and the note he'd left was cryptic and upsetting. When she arrived on the bridge for duty, Mileina had offered a report saying Setsuna had taken off with the Qan[T] to make formal contact with the ELS and didn't have an estimated return date.
The tears had pricked at the backs of her eyes, but she hadn't let them fall and instead acknowledged her with a firm nod. So, he really was going to push her away and there was nothing she could do about it. He couldn't stay away forever, though. He had to recharge his particles at some point. He couldn't avoid her forever.
However, apparently the ELS had assimilated the Ptolemy during the raid and were able to reproduce the equipment needed to maintain a Gundam. Quite frankly, Feldt was furious with him. He was avoiding her, and they both knew it. If she had heard him correctly that night, then he felt the same as she did and was just making a mess out of nothing.
What could they possibly attain from hiding from each other?
After four weeks, she decided she couldn't take it anymore. Even if he did come back, she was too angry with him to care. At one point, she found herself wishing the ELS would stab him in the back. She immediately felt foolish for thinking that way, but knew there was a partial truth in that thought. Based on his note, he wanted her to believe he was dead. So be it.
Three days later, she found herself talking to Miss Sumeragi about resigning from Celestial Being all together and moving to the surface to live a normal life. The ever-talented tactical forecaster hadn't foreseen her request, and was left completely baffled.
Feldt knew her feelings for Setsuna weren't a secret, and she knew the rest of the crew knew there was tension between them. But she finally decided that enough was enough, and that she would go out and live her life her own way.
It took a few short days for her debriefing, confidentiality statements, and a fake history to be compiled, but then she was on her way. Her pink jackets had been folded and left in her room, while she donned civilian's clothes for her trip to the surface. Mileina had gripped her in a fierce hug and begged her not to go, while the rest of the crew watched with sad expressions.
She felt Marie, and possibly Allelujah, knew why she was leaving, but she placed up a smile and gave her fabricated excuse of wanting to live a normal life now that interventions shouldn't be needed anymore. It was a lie, and she knew it.
She really didn't want to leave, but she didn't want to stay, either. She felt she had lived up to her parents' legacy, and while she loved the crew as her family, she couldn't stay there in her current state. When she signed her official resignation, she was assured that, if she chose to return, all she had to do was call from a private terminal left with her. She thanked the official who handled her case, and tucked the device in her bag when she packed for the surface.
She doubted she would ever use it. Setsuna had left a scar in her heart that couldn't be healed easily.
Her eyes stared at the book she'd brought to read during her trip, but two hours into the ride and she hadn't even opened it. She didn't know what she would do when she reached the surface or even where she would go. She had always been partial to the scenery in Europe, so she considered going there. Her false background had been shaped to fit with her skills in coding and engineering, giving her a fabricated degree in both fields. She would have tools to help her get a job, though she wasn't sure what to do.
Leaving Celestial Being had closed the door on her past, but it also opened several new ones. She was told she couldn't even contact the former members for any reason, the only exception being her terminal if she wanted to rejoin.
"Excuse me, Miss."
She turned in surprise to see a man seated next to her, appearing to be about Lockon's age, maybe a bit older, with dusty blond hair and a gentle smile. "I'm sorry, I couldn't help but notice you seem sad."
She managed a weak smile in return and replied, "I… I guess I am. I'm sorry, did I ruin your trip?"
He shook his head. "Not at all. I always like to talk to other people on the train and hear what they have to say. I'm an engineer, so it's fascinating to hear feedback."
"Oh, I see." She leaned back in her seat, offering the man a wider smile. "I like the train. It's really smooth, and if you strain yourself, you can just barely hear the sound of the steel girders grinding in the tracks."
His eyes lit up, apparently loving her response. "I know! I love to listen to that sound. It's so peaceful."
She felt a laugh bubble out of her throat, feeling a light amount of happiness for the first time since getting dropped off by the Ptolemy. "This is actually my first time on the train, but I'm an engineer, too, so I was really excited."
"Most people's first time on the train isn't on their way to the planet."
She shrugged lightly. "I was born in space. My parents were both mobile suit pilots."
"Ah, I see. You'll love the surface. It's so beautiful down there."
She thought about saying that she had seen it before, but decided it would only raise more questions. So she smiled and asked, "Do you think so? I'm a little nervous, to be honest."
The guy looked around the car and seemed to realize she wasn't travelling with the two people across from them. "Are you travelling alone? It's dangerous for a young lady like yourself."
She absently nudged her foot against her bag, knowing she was given a firearm to protect herself if it was ever needed. Giving the man another smile, she said, "I know, but I don't really have anyone to go with."
"That's a shame. Not even anyone to come down with you, then leave as soon as you got settled?"
She shook her head. "No, I…" She paused, remembering the faces of her friends in Celestial Being. "I just lost someone important to me, and all my friends were his friends, too. It was… It was too hard to…"
"Ah, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry." He reached out absently, as if wanting to touch her shoulder in comfort, but not sure if it was appropriate.
She shook her head, fighting back tears once again as she struggled to forget the image of Setsuna watching her with eyes full of affection. The last words he spoke to her echoed in her ears, filling her with a renewed sense of hatred mixed with adoration. She couldn't decide if she should still be mad at him. He had pushed her away without giving her a chance to fight for what she wanted. He made the choice to live his life alone because he didn't want to hurt her. But shouldn't she have had a say in that decision?
She shook her head, fighting to avoid crying. She didn't want to think about him. Not anymore. He pushed her away, so she'd do what she could to forget about him.
She looked up at the man sitting beside her, wiping her tears on her sleeve. "Yes?"
"Out of curiosity, do you have any plans to go anywhere?"
Her self-defense mechanisms kicked in, and she glanced at him wearily. "Why do you ask?"
He held his hands between them. "Whoa! I'm not intending to be creepy. You just mentioned that you're an engineer, right?"
She nodded, still on guard. "Yes. And a programmer."
"Even better! See, my sister-in-law is starting up her own company in Switzerland. I thought, if you weren't planning on anywhere else, maybe you would want to apply for a job?"
She blinked. "You don't mind?"
"Of course not! Rezia needs some good people on her team. I mean, she has a few, myself included, but there's always room for more. I can contact her now, if you want."
She blinked. Why would a stranger be so kind to her? "Um, that's very kind of you, Mister…?"
"Oh, I didn't introduce myself, did I? The name's Grant Longren. My sister-in-law is Rezia Busch. She's my wife's sister."
"I'm Feldt. Feldt Grace."
A video interview and an e-mail of her resume later, and Feldt found herself with a job as a programmer at Busch and Brink. It was a small company, having been one that Grant's sister-in-law started with a friend in the last year, but it was homey. The people in her particular office quickly became like a new family to her, though they could never replace her old friends. They were new friends, but she could never forget the old.
She did her best to forget about him. She even went out on dates the others in the office would set up for her, but she couldn't do it. Her heart belonged to Setsuna. She never talked about him to the rest of the company, and all they knew was that she had a boyfriend who died as a mobile suit pilot in the battle with the ELS. She didn't give any details, leaving them to assume they were serious by her constant recurring depression.
He told her to act as though he'd died, so she would do exactly that. She would pretend he was killed in the battle with the ELS because, metaphorically speaking, that was the truth. She had lost any chance of ever being with him in that battle. He was gone forever. Except that a shadow of him would always be with her.
Two and a half months after she last spoke to Setsuna, she sat in the bathroom of her apartment, staring at the item in her hand in shock. How was this possible? How could something like this happen? Wasn't it enough that he broke her heart and ruined any chance of her ever being happy?
She was pregnant.
Her night with Setsuna had yielded more than her first time in bed, but had given her something she had never expected. She didn't know what to think. She couldn't think. Her heart was breaking all over again, and she absently wondered if this would be reason enough to contact Celestial Being and, more so, Setsuna.
But would it be worth it? Would forcing him to live as a reluctant father be worth taking away this child's chance at freedom? Growing up, she sometimes resented not having the choice of being in Celestial Being because her parents were both Meisters. She knew Setsuna wouldn't quit. His Gundam was more important to him than life itself. He wouldn't give up his Meister status for a family.
She lowered her hands to her lap and tried to fight back tears. She was pregnant. She was going to have Setsuna's baby, and there was nothing she could do about it. Deep inside, she knew her only option was to raise the child on her own, with no involvement of Celestial Being. It would be hard, working and raising the child by herself, but she would do what she had to.
Gnashing her teeth together, she made a silent vow. She would be a mother to this child, and she would keep him or her safe from the horrors of war and violence.
The first time Feldt held her daughter in her arms, she knew she would never be able to let Setsuna go. Christina Marlene Grace had his complexion, his amber eyes, and his curly mop of hair, though colored red as her natural hair color. Her daughter's father would always be in her heart, though she had no choice but to push him aside. She had an infant in her arms who needed her help and support to survive.
No, she would never be able to let go of Setsuna, but now her love for him could blossom in a different way. Though he pushed her away, she now had his child to love and care for instead. Her heart was breaking and healing at the same time.
Deep down, she knew that her love for Setsuna would go on in her daughter. She would give this child the love she deserved, and then all of the love reserved for her father, too. She would make sure this child never knew of the war and despair she had grown up trying to end.
She would give her life's blood to make sure this child was happy and safe.
So, what did you think? I greatly enjoyed writing these, even if G00 is a relatively dead fandom anymore. My love for Setsuna/Feldt and Allelujah/Marie lives on! As you'll undoubtedly see soon enough ^_^