Chapter 1 (Kira POV)
Start writing here…Seeing the soldiers trying to free themselves, Kira hesitated. The explosion was imminent and he needed to get out, but... Moving the Strike Freedom towards them, he started to help them remove the wreckage that was preventing their escape, when suddenly, he was surrounded by light and engulfed in pain.
Screaming, he found himself in a dark room, covered in sweat and breathing heavily. Athrun soon appeared at his side, holding him gently as tears streamed down his face, even as reality set back in. Every night it was the same thing, the nightmares, memories, plagued his sleep. They were both exhausted but Athrun always came and sat with him, trying to calm and support him through everything.
The explosion had caused a lot of damage, though his Gundam had protected him from most of it. He had blacked out for a time but awoke in the med bay of the Archangel and he could still vividly recall the girls crying hysterically, wondering if he was going to survive. The damage had been repaired weeks ago by the doctors on PLANT but he could still feel the injuries sometimes, the pain could be just as sharp as it had been then, even if really, it was all in his head.
So many people had died during the two wars between Naturals and Coordinators and too many of those had either died by his hand, or because he had failed to save or protect them. The faces, both real and imagined, haunted him day and night. The guilt was suffocating, so much pain and loss... Athrun was always there though, he stayed at his side and chased the phantoms of his mind away as best he could. Taking a deep, shaky breath, he pulled away from the embrace, forming an apologetic smile on his face as he did.
“Sorry, Athrun. I’m okay, really, go back to bed.”
Rather than the usual ‘argument’, Athrun shook his head and joined him in the bed, taking hold of his hand as they settled down. Through his surprise, a grateful smile formed on Kira’s face. While he really wasn’t sure what he’d done to deserve it, given everything that had happened between them, he was glad Athrun insisted on being there for him. He really didn’t know what he’d do without his friend’s care and support…
When the light streaming through the window woke him, he was pleasantly surprised to see the numbers displayed on the clock. It was late morning and the first time in weeks that he’d woken naturally and actually felt like he’d slept. Athrun was asleep beside him, still holding his hand. Not wanting to disturb his slumber, Kira remained still, knowing that Athrun needed sleep as badly as he did.
For once, he actually felt at peace. Everything was calm, ‘normal’ even and that was wonderful. It was far too rare these days that his mind was quiet and he could just appreciate the moment. Athrun’s idea had clearly worked wonders, though his best friend had always protected him and made him feel safe. There had been so many times he had been sure Athrun would leave him, that he had been pushed too far, but he never had. Despite everything, he always remained.
It seemed like a lifetime ago that they had met, Kira had never encountered another Coordinator before and he certainly never anticipated the bluenette would play such a large and integral part of his life, for better and for worse. Aside from the bullying, and his incessant crying because of it, his childhood with Athrun had been wonderful. Everything had looked so promising and simple before they were torn apart, only to end up as enemies in war.
“Morning Kira, did you sleep well?”
A smile lit his face as he turned to look at Athrun. “Much better, thank you. Sorry Athrun, I cause you so much bother but I really am so very grateful for everything.”
“You’ve never been a bother and have nothing to apologise for. I’m not doing anything I don’t want to. Are you ready to get up?”
“Yes, but before you say it, no, you’re not. I’m making breakfast today, or lunch, maybe, given the time.”
The comment was rewarded with a gentle, though amused smile and Athrun nodded his acceptance. “Okay, I look forward to it.”
With that, Athrun slipped out of the bed and headed back to his own room, leaving Kira to get up and ready. Once he had cleaned up and dressed, he headed to the kitchen. While he had no idea what he was going to make, it was about time he did something for Athrun. Showing his appreciation for everything the younger man had done for him the last few weeks was important to him.
Doing something normal and sociable would probably do him some good as well. As much as he understood he had a lot of healing to do and the trauma wasn’t going to just magically disappear, all the negativity and inability to cope did nothing for his esteem. Patience, he knew. Certainly he had heard it enough times but it was far easier for them to preach than for him to live with it.
Eventually, Kira decided on attempting to make his mother’s cabbage rolls, given Athrun’s love of them. They had all the ingredients he needed and they weren’t difficult to make, though that didn’t mean his offering would match hers. It was the thought that counted, however, and he knew Athrun would appreciate the gesture. Being able to lose himself in the process of creation was a novelty as well. The longer this mood remained, the better.
The meal was a relaxed affair, they lounged on the sofa to a backdrop of day time television. It felt like forever since they’d done something so simple, even though to most, it was such a normal thing to do. Hopefully they could go back to living normal lives. With all the political changes and shifts in power and public opinion, maybe this time they could all live together peacefully. He didn’t want to have to fight in yet another war…
“How are you feeling, Kira?” Athrun asked suddenly while they were cleaning up, snapping him out of his thoughts.
“I feel much more like myself today. It’s nice…”
“I’m glad. I have a meeting to go to, soldiers are coming together to talk things over. Would you like to come with me?”
“I don’t know if that would be a good idea? I probably wouldn’t be welcome…”
“You’re far more accepted than you think, especially given you were hurt so badly trying to save Z.A.F.T soldiers. I’m not going to pressure you Kira, if you want to come, do, if you don’t want to, don’t, it’s up to you.”
The very thought of going made him feel sick and the waves of anxiety left his stomach in knots. It was all part of the PTSD, he knew, and if Athrun said it was fine, then it was, but that knowledge didn’t help. Part of him knew he should probably push through it and go, the experience could well benefit him but he just didn’t know that he could. All his mind was telling him was that it was too soon, his ego trying to ‘protect’ him. He should ignore it but he didn’t want to, despite his good mood, he just didn’t feel strong enough to push through the fear.
“Thank you. I think I’ll stay here though and do some of the things I’ve been neglecting.”
“Okay. I’ll only be gone a few hours and you can call me any time if you need to, for anything at all.”
“I’ll be fine, Athrun, don’t worry. Do what you need to and I’ll see you later.”
“I’ll bring back something to eat, so don’t worry about that. See you in a little while.”
Kira nodded and watched his friend leave. He felt bad for making the other worry so much but he just couldn’t help it. The more he gave into these feelings, the more terrifying everything would probably seem and he had to face everything eventually but his eternal optimism seemed to be absent since the explosion.
He needed to get better and stop being such a drain on his friend. It was just how to do that. He’d tried counselling but it didn’t go well. There were too many secrets he just couldn’t share, like anything to do with Ulen Hibiki, which meant the sessions just weren’t effective. He had to figure something out though, it would only get worse if he didn’t… Things just had to change.