Love is the force that pushes the universe forward. The act of two becoming one is the most pure thing the world has to offer. This twin spiral creates new life and new possibilities with every rotation.

- Avatar of the Spiral

Chapter 2: Something Resembling Progress

Anne awoke with a start. The light was bright and she was having trouble making anything out. A splitting pain coming from her head caught her attention and she reached up to feel that her head was wrapped in bandages. As her eyes adjusted, she could make out the fact that she was in the infirmary. Shiho was asleep in a chair next to her bed and looked like he had been there for a few hours. That's when she remembered…

"Shiho, wake up!" She shouted.

"Huh?" He jolted awake, his combat training instantly putting him on guard for any possible threats. "Oh good, you're awake."

"Shiho, what happened? The last thing I remember is stabbing that impostor, and then everything after that is a blank."

"Don't worry, we won. The doctors say that you suffered a concussion during the fight and will have to be hospitalized for the rest of the day."

"But what about the rest of the squad?" She asked.

"They're all fine." He replied, "Surprisingly, you ended up the worst out of everybody. Other than you, the worst injury that happened was Nakim bruised his arm."

"But how did we win?"

"The Commander gave me permission to deactivate the Spiral Lock and I blew up the impostor."

"Well, at least that's over then." She sighed.

"Not exactly." He said dryly.

"What do you mean?"

"The commander came by earlier after your parents had left and he had a message for us."

"Oh really? What did he say?"

"We've both been, kinda sorta, put on probation for the next two weeks."


Shiho winced. This was going to be painful, "You see, we both disobeyed orders to go join up with the honor guard, and I destroyed the impostor despite the fact that they wanted the enemy pilot captured alive."

"Well, I guess that gives me more time to prepare for my next match."

"Yeah, about that. The probation extends to Gunmen battles as well."

Anne was dumbstruck. She had an important match at the end of the week. They hadn't even committed any major transgressions. How could her uncle do this to her after she had just saved the day (well technically, Shiho saved the day, but she helped and that's what mattered)?

Shiho suddenly spoke up "Oh yeah, the commander did have one other thing to say."

"Oh yeah, what's that?" She asked, not really caring to hear the answer.

"He said 'Job well done'."

And then Anne smiled.

Elsewhere, Rossiu was listening to Kinon's report on what they had managed to salvage from the wreckage, trying to make something resembling progress.

"Mechanically, it was near identical to Gimmy and Darry's Gurren Lagann, except for the fact that it didn't show any signs of having a Spiral Lock."

"Meaning it was removed."

"No, it means it never had one."

Rossiu looked up in shock, "But that's impossible. All Gunmen built in the last fourteen years are required to have a Spiral Lock installed, and other than the original, there are no recorded Gurren Lagann models built earlier than ten years ago."

Kinon responded, "That's hardly the issue here. The remains suggest that this Gunmen was made with spiral energy rather than built."

"So it was made recently?"

"About ten minutes before it attacked the honor guard if these results are accurate."

Rossiu let out a deep sigh and rubbed his forehead, "Fine then, what were the results of the autopsy on the pilot?"

"We couldn't perform one."

"Why, was the body too damaged to perform one?"

"Actually, it's more like there was no trace of there ever having been a pilot."

"What? You mean it didn't have a pilot?"

"No there were defiantly residual spiral readings in the cockpit, but other than that, there was nothing. No blood, no sweat, no clothes. There wasn't even an imprint on the seat."

Rossiu sighed again. This was just what they needed, now of all times. The ambassadors were arriving and the Spiral Conference would be starting next week, so of course everything went to hell. It just all had to happen on his watch. The press was saying that he wasn't doing enough and should have been replaced after the whole moon incident. Didn't people realize that galactic peace was a very delicate process that required the cooperation of thousands of cultures, all of which had different ethics? It was almost like the entire human race was out to get him, and that wasn't even factoring in the problems with all the other races.

News of the attack on the honor guard had already spread and people were already pointing fingers at each other. The Touge in particular were quick to point fingers at humanity, accusing them of trying to gather sympathy. Oh dear lord, the Touge were probably the biggest thing on his plate right now. Out of all of the major races taking place in the conference, they had given the most opposition, though not without reason. During the original attack of the Anti-Spiral, the Touge had made up a bulk of the Spiral Knights and were humanities closest allies. Unfortunately, Lordgenome betrayed the army and Touge grudges are eternal so they hated all of humanity.

"Rossiu, the report?" Kinon spoke up.

"Right, sorry. Continue."

"We have Leeron heading the project to figure out what happened.

"Good, I can't think of anyone better to work on this."

"But we don't expect any results for at least another two days." she pointed out.

"So long as progress gets done, it doesn't matter. This should appease some of the ambassadors for the time being. Especially Jifu, I pretty sure that he has it out for me."

"Jifu has it out for all of humanity." Kinon quickly pointed out.

"True. But that doesn't mean we can't compromise with him. Thank you for the report. Will that be all?"

"Well, I have to deal with last minute accommodations for some of the ambassadors, but there are a few other things I'd like to discuss with you later."

Rossiu gulped. It was now or never, "How about dinner at my place tomorrow?"

"Sure thing." She replied as she walked out the door.

Rossiu smiled. Maybe progress would be made after all.

Anne awoke as soon as possible the next morning when the nurse was removing her bandages. Shiho came in while she was having breakfast (she had convinced him to head home the previous night, after pointing out that he needed a decent rest after the fight), so after a quick meal and getting changed into the clothes her parents had left for her, she went to the main desk to check out. She was sure to be careful on the way home, wanting to recover as soon as possible. Despite her protests, Shiho insisted on accompanying her all the way to her front door.

As he turned to leave, she spoke up, "By the way Shiho."

"Yeah?" he said.

"I want to thank you for the save yesterday. You're a good friend and if I wasn't going to go out in a blaze of glory, I'd definitely go out with you." She blushed.

Not sure how to respond to this, he eventually went with, "Thanks… I guess. See ya."

Anne opened the door and crept in, hoping not to bother her parents, planning on simply going to her room and taking a nap. She made it about halfway across the hallway until she heard a sound coming from the living room.

"He really is a nice boy dear."

"I know mom." Anne said without turning to face her mother, "But I don't have any time for romance, I'm too busy…"

"Going out in a blaze of glory, I know. I really wish you'd change that attitude, it scares me sometimes." Her mother responded, having heard this hundreds of times. "Why don't you come sit down for a minute?"

Anne sat down on the sofa next to her mother, "I can't believe that Uncle Rossiu banned me from competing this week. The preliminaries are starting soon!"

"Don't blame him honey, it wasn't his decision to ban you from the matches, it was mine." Kiyoh said.

"But why?" Anne wined.

"Your father and I are getting worried with your sacrificing attitude and feel that you need some time away from Gunmen battles. You almost got yourself killed yesterday with your recklessness!"

"It's not like you and dad were any different" Anne pointed out.

"No, we knew when to retreat. You just rush in without a plan. Without spiral energy, fighting spirit can only take you so far in a fight."

"I'm twenty years old, I think I'm old enough to make my own decisions."

"Maybe, but as long as you live in this house, you will abide by my rules. Now go to your room, you need your rest." Kiyoh said sternly, ending the conversation.

With that, Anne got up from the couch and left for her room. Laying down on her bed, she looked around at all her possessions. There were trophies from her many Gunmen victories, her diploma from graduating the military academy, various pictures of the Dai-Gurren Brigade, most of which featuring her uncle, and off to the side were some pictures of her and Shiho. Ever since they met at the academy, he had been her closest friend. If it hadn't been for him, she probably wouldn't have passed anything other than the practical exams. Fortunately, that had been his weak point, so she had been able to return the favor in kind. One particular picture caught her eye, it was the day they graduated. In fact it had been right after the picture was taken that he had confessed to her. She had pointed out to him that she wasn't interested in romance, but that never deterred him. She sighed. Maybe she should give the whole love thing a try.

"No, that's stupid, a bomb like me has no place in the world of love." Her inner voice pointed out. Groaning at the fact that life had to be so complicated, she turned off the light, closed her eyes, and went to sleep.

Rossiu had never been much of a chef, but he still wanted it to be special. A special grape hippo steak, sauteed with spring onions and a special sauce that Leyte had given him, along with the finest wine he could afford (despite being the supreme commander of the entire planet, his actual salary was rather small. He preferred to spend money on more important things, like schools, roads and giant robots). Regardless of what other people thought, he had a good reason for not pursuing a relationship with Kinon. These past twenty years, they had needed to focus all of their attention on the Spiral Conference and bringing the spiral races together. Love would have just been another distraction. But now that they had finally reached that goal that once seemed so far away, he felt that it would be best to just spend the next week relaxing, after all he wouldn't be able to run a summit if he was an emotional wreck. He'd finally be able to make it clear to her just how much he appreciated everything she had ever done for him. The doorbell rang and standing at the door was Kinon in a simple black dress.

"I hope, I'm not dressed up too much." She said.

"No, you look absolutely perfect."

They stared at each other and slowly, both their faces turned red. He gestured for her to enter and closed the door behind her, leading her to the table where a candlelight dinner was set. They sat down and began to eat, neither saying a word. This went on for about fifteen minutes, with both of them just sitting there eating. All this quiet was starting to drive Rossiu insane and he racked his brain for something, anything to say to break the tension.

"Kinon, these past twenty seven years, you have been such a good friend and always supported me, even when the rest of the world didn't." Rossiu finally said, breaking the silence, "I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated everything you've ever done for me and for the world. If only we hadn't been so busy, we might have been able to do this sooner."

She leaned over the table and kissed him on his forehead. "Then let's make up for lost time." she replied, giving a warm smile.

Truly, progress would be made tonight.

Meanwhile, Darry was also busy. Due to how bad she had felt the previous day, coupled with the fact that she needed to be ready at a moments notice during the Spiral Conference, she had decided that the best thing to do would be to see a therapist. Gimmy had been against it up until she pointed out what had happened to Rossiu during the moon incident. After that she had his full support.

"So Darry, tell me why you've come to see me." The therapist said as she entered the room.

"Well Dr. Zetsubou," Darry said taking a seat "Recently I've been feeling different."

"Different, how exactly?"

"Yesterday I felt worried."

"Understandable, I heard about what happened to your squad. Anyone would have been worried in your situation."

"No you don't understand." Darry said, "This wasn't like anything I ever felt before. I actually wanted to give up."

The psychologist took a long hard look at her, removing his glasses. "From what you've told me, and based on what I already know about you, I'd have to guess that you're suffering from depression."

"Depression? How?"

"This is only a theory, but it's possible that the stress you've gone through during your life built up and yesterday was the dirt that broke the Pigmole's back, so to speak."

Now Darry was worried, "What can I do about it?"

"Well, we'd have to run some tests to be sure if it actually is depression, but all you can really do is learn to deal with it. It's just another part of you, don't let it be in control."

Darry got up and responded, "Thanks doctor, I think that helped."

"You're welcome. Feel free to come back if these problems continue." Dr Zetsubou said, with a smile.

"I will."

And with that, Darry left the doctors office.

The next day, everyone in the main government bureau that came near Rossiu or Kinon was smiling. But no one was smiling stronger than Guinble. You see, for the longest time there had been a betting pool on when Kinon and Rossiu would finally hook up. The smart money was placed on right after the Spiral Conference ended, but only he was reckless enough to bet on the week beforehand. So by the end of the day, he'd be heading home with a couple billion.

"So, how's the man of the hour?" he said to Rossiu at the first chance he got.

"I have no idea what you're talking about." Rossiu responded.

"Come on, you had a beautiful woman over to your house for a romantic dinner. One doesn't have to be a genius to put two and two together." Guinble pointed out.

"All we did was talk about the summit!" Rossiu protested.

"Sure you did. Well it doesn't make any difference, I still go home rich."

"What are you talking about?" Rossiu asked, not knowing anything about the betting pool.

"Uh… hang on a second, I think Cybela is calling me." Guinble quickly excused himself, hoping that Rossiu wouldn't realize that Cybela was currently stationed on the Super Galaxy Dai-Gurren.

On his way out he passed by Kinon who was heading in, and his smile got wider by the minute.

"What's with him." She asked Rossiu, after seeing Guinble acting uncharacteristically giddy.

"Something about winning some money, don't worry about it, what is it that you wanted to talk about?"

"We've got some new information on the impostor. It's been confirmed that it wasn't sent by any known faction."

Rossiu sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time in the last twenty-four hours. "Which means we may have a terrorist faction on our hands."

"It looks that way."

Rossiu took a deep breath, "Just what we needed. Why did this need to happen now of all times?"

"Terrorist groups spring up all the time." Kinon pointed out.

"True, but most of them don't threaten intergalactic peace. God must be testing us."

"I highly doubt that. The closest thing I can think of that would be god is Simon, and I can't see any reason why he would test us."

"Don't be too sure, the lord works in mysterious ways."

"Was that something that you learned at Adai Village?"

"No, I just thought it sounded cool."

"So are we going to hold a press conference about the information we've gathered?"

"I don't see any need to do so. Inform the ambassadors and the press, but there's no need to make a spectacle out of every little thing we learn. Once we have some actual evidence, we can tell the people everything we know." Rossiu pointed out. He then continued, "Also, how are the repairs on the Gurren Lagann squadron coming along?"

"Only the original was in any salvageable condition and that should take another two days. The rest will have to be rebuilt from scratch, and that could take anywhere from a week to a month with all of the plants currently working overtime for the Spiral Conference."

"Ok, thanks for the report."

"You're welcome." She responded before turning to leave.

She was just about to go through the door when Rossiu spoke up again, "Kinon?"

"Yes?" She asked, turning around to face him.

"I love you."

"I love you too." Kinon blushed as she walked out the door.

Autors Notes:

There we are, the second chapter. Kind of slow and lacking in action, but I wanted to establish the character dynamics before I got onto the main plot. I promise that next time there will be giant robot fighting.

Now before anyone says anything, let me just point out that Rossiu and Kinon didn't get in on that night. Just because you have two mature adults that are in love share a romantic dinner does not equal sex. I just wanted to get their relationship going so that I could get some practice for later. Truth be told, that was the first romantic scene that I'd ever tried to write. Almost all of my experience in romantic fiction comes from manga, so I'm not really familiar with how to write out romance.

Another thing I wanted to establish is how good of a guy Rossiu really is. Unlike most fans, I actually like his character and I feel he get's way to much hate for his actions despite the fact that Simon himself admitted that what Rossiu did took a great deal of courage. He truly believed that what he was doing was the right thing and in any other series he would have been absolutely right.

For future reference, the cannon that this fan fiction is following is basically the first season and the second movie (I still haven't watched the first movie, although I don't think there were any changes to the series that will have an effect on this story) with the parts that I felt were inferior to the original series changed back. For instance, in this story the Human Extinction Program was activated by Anne's birth, not by the act of reaching the moon, Simon and Kinon teamed up to take out that army of Mugan in the wasteland and Simon was the one that hit Rossiu, not Kinon.

The Touge were the first spiral race that I came up with. At first, all I knew was that they were going to have ridges on their heads (think Klingons only with the grooves running front to back instead of side to side). The whole idea of them always holding a grudge came about later when I realized that I needed to show just how different the morality of the different spiral races are. Plus it adds all kinds of possible conflicts for later.

Special thanks again to my brother for proofreading the chapter.

As before comments & constructive criticism are appreciated