manik_semiramis (manik_semiramis) wrote in endless_future,

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It's my second shift and I'm tired....

Title:  Over Spilt Coffee
Claim:  Athrun
Theme: Set #1, Theme #31 Coffee
Genres:  General/Romance
Pairings: Athrun x Yzak
Word Count:  701
Rating: PG-13

"Athrun, do you remember when we first met?" Yzak's voice was unusually soft in its thoughtfulness.  Athrun turned to his silver-haired lover, wondering what he was doing, sitting up to reminisce in the past instead of basking in afterglow.

"Of course I remember.  You were such a jerk," Athrun chuckled, throwing an arm over his eyes as the memory came to him.  "You know, when you spill coffee on anyone, it's proper manners to apologize.

"Hn.  You don't say sorry to your rival.  It's a sign of weakness."

"It's proper manners," he reiterated, smiling fondly.  It had not taken him too long after that to become tentative friends with Yzak and even less time to  learn that the other might spew hot and cruel words but he did not always mean them.  Well, he might in the heat of the moment, but that was part of his allure.  Athrun could think of few who matched Yzak's passion.

"Screw proper.  That wasn't what I was getting at anyway."

"Well, then what was it?"

"I think that's when I started to like you."  Blinking at the admission, Athrun removed his arm so he could get a better look at the other.  The sideways look coupled with the faint blush on his nose and cheeks were all the assessment Athrun needed to prove Yzak was not lying.  This moment of sentimentality from a boy who was anything but sent a warmth through him.

Touched, was what he felt.

And when he heard the words "I don't consider silence to be an appropriate response," Athrun realized he had been basking in the glow of this new revelation for too long.  Yzak scowled at him.  "Damn it, Zala.  If I'd known you'd be so insensitive, I-"

"Yzak, calm down," he interrupted, knowing how apt Yzak was at ranting.  "First of all, we've been together now for at least a year, so stop reverting to addressing me by my last name."  An affronted huff was his only reply.

"Second, it's not common for you to bring up the past like that, much less make a confession of admiration.  I was just enjoying the moment."  He watched as Yzak processed this new information in silence, trying to understand.  Athrun could see that much in the other pilot, but the rest of his thoughts that ghosted over his face were unreadable.  He watched intently.

Misinterpretation and Yzak were a bad combination, after all.

The sigh that escaped Yzak's lips when he was done consolidating the information was a good thing.

"I'm still not sorry, you know."  Yzak was looking at him again, but there was no scowl in his features now.

"Neither am I."  'We might never have met otherwise.'  Athrun did not wish to change the past, for to change one thing would produce a domino effect.  There was a comfortable silence now, but Athrun had little chance to bask in it before it was once again broken. 

"So what's the third thing?"

Now, Athrun undeniably had his playful moments and he considered teasing Yzak about all the grief the silver-haired boy had given him, first at the Academy, then later during the wars they had fought.  After all, was it not the stereotype for young boys to torment and bully the people they liked?  And if you really thought about it, they were not adults when the fighting ensnared them and forced them to kill to survive.  They had been only a couple of years out of their pre-teens, fighting in a war that children should never be a part of.

But linking Yzak to that stereotype at this time would only prove disastrous.  He was so sensitive after all, despite his blatant disregard for the feelings of others, and you could never underestimate his ability to misinterpret.

Redirection, however, was becoming one of Athrun's greatest skills.

He paused for a moment.

"How about we go get some coffee?" Yzak looked confused at first, but caught on and smirked.  Athrun smiled at him affectionately, relieved to see the familiar expression.

"As long as it's not a ploy for vengeance, I'm game."

After all, he might not want to change the past, but the future was completely mutable.

Title:  Mark Me a Monster
Claim:  Athrun
Theme: Set #1, Theme #37 Scars
Genres:  Angst
Pairings: None
Word Count: 507
Rating: PG-13

The rain always brought unpleasant memories ever since the war.  Strange musings rode on the wings of these memories.

Sometimes  he wished his features were marred by a scar, smack in the center of his face.  A scar that could not be hidden, because all attempts to hid it owuld inly instigate rumors and curiosity about it.

A scar like Yzak's.  An ugly, angry, jagged line between his eyes and cutting across the bridge of his nose.  A reminder of a war in the not so distant past.  A battle scar that could not be fawned over because it ruined the delicate beauty of the silver-haired boy's face.  It had cut him more than just skin deep, scarred his mind and made him harder.

More cruel.

He remembered how Yzak did not leave his quarters when the would was still fresh, and had feared for his sanity when Dearka was forced out of the shared space and reported that all Yzak could talk about was killing Strike's pilot.  Le Crueset tried several times to get him out, knowing that Yzak stewing alone in a room was not simply unhealthy.  It was dangerous.  Yet each attempt ended in failure, until finally Athrun suggested getting a hold of Ezaria Jule.  She was the only one that could pull Yzak from the pit he was digging from one scar.

It cut deeper than flesh.

He wanted a scar, and some days like this one, he contemplated inflicting one upon himself while he listened to the rhythmic pattering of the rain.


The war was over now, so it would not be a battle scar.  It would be a mark that symbolized just how ugly he had become inside because of the war.  Surely his hands were stained with more blood than any mass murderer could ever dream.

He could never tell Cagalli what he really thought on days like this.  He always made up some pleasant thought when she inquired what he thought of when he stared out the window.  Sometimes he told her about his mother.  Sometimes it was Lacus.  Sometimes it was his father.  Even his former team mates made it in a few stories.  But these anecdotes were nothing more than pretty, fictional memories.  For how could you explain to the people you worried and cared about and who returned that concern, that you wanted to purposely injure yourself just to make a point?

It was moot anyway.  Athrun could never bring himself to do it.  In the end, he did not have the will.

But sometimes, on days like this, when he remembered how Nicol died - first bisected like an insect by his own best friend, then exploding into nothing but mobile suit parts - the temptation grew exponentially.  There hadn't even been pieces of him to bury or burn.  Sometimes he almost found the will.

Because maybe he needed a scar to show people he wasn't a perfect and glorious hero.

Maybe it was all he needed to prove he was a monster inside.

Title: Sometimes the Cat is Justified
Claim:  Athrun
Theme: Set #1, Theme #8 Secrets
Genres:  General/Romance
Pairings: Very slight Athrun x Yzak;  Le Crueset, Dearka and Nicol appear too.
Word Count: 1,250
Rating: PG

Everyone was entitled to a few secrets.  Athrun was certain everyone on board the ship had more than one skeleton in their closet.

Le Crueset, for example, took some kind of pill whose name, indication or dosage was written nowhere on the bottle.  He had a lot of bottles stashed away in various places in his quarters.  He needn't fear for a good deal of time that he should ever run out of the stuff.  But Athrun was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  He was still a good leader, despite his questionable drug habits.

Dearka had a box of strawberry shampoo.  The box was labeled, "Magazines" in the tanned youth's messy scrawl and kept closed by that overlapping method that was difficult to redo once undone.  No doubt if Yzak ever searched the room, he would dismiss the box, likely assuming it contained very Dearka-ish material.  If he know the silver-haired boy as well as he thought, he was certain that Yzak frequently complained about the fruity smell.  And if he knew Dearka just as well, the other boy would be quick to blame it on whichever female he was currently cavorting with.  Yzak believed him.  Such was their friendship, after all.

Nicol had no secret items, but a secret hobby that, when one considered the kind of boy he was, was not so farfecthed at all.  He collected flowers, preserving them in his books by the press-and-dry method, which he would then put under the mattress to further press the plants flat.  If the others ever found out about it, or how extensive his collection really was, they would probably laugh at him.  Sometimes he glued the flowers to plain paper, making his own stationary.  It took a while before Athrun found out why.  A search of Nicol's belongings - Athrun had been sorting through dirty laundry and emptying pockets before tossing the clothes into the machine - revealed a letter carefully applied to pink, fragrant paper.  After scanning the letter once, and once was enough, he decided that Dearka would likely develop a new respect for Nicol that had nothing to do with piloting skills.

Yzak's side of the room, for all the boy's explosive temperment, was so neat that Athrun almost feared stepping into such a pristine environment.  Then he remembered whose it was and sauntered in without another wasted care.  It was likely Dearka would get blamed for it anyway.

Yzak's secret was a hidden passion for photography.  Now, Athrun would not have been so surpised had Yzak simply taken pictures only of himself, his mother and maybe Dearka.  Those were very Yzak.

What did surprise him were the subjects in the pieces.  Photo albums compiled the laptop by his bed were categorized by theme.  Clicking open an album labeled "Behold, the stars!" revealed skillfully taken pictures of the marvels in space.  Here, a cluster of stars was named "Angel's Boquet".  Here, a comet hurtled across space, a streak of white against pure black.  Here, the sun peeked behind Earth, child-eager and just as warm, just as unforgiving.  Here, the moons of Jupiter formed a messy line.

He opened another album, this one called "Dreamer's Sunday".  Some ate ice cream, licking the wafer cones at certain points to prevent the melting treat from dripping on their hands.  Other played with pets, stroking the soft, or in some cases bristly, fur of animals lying content in the glow of the artificial sun.  Couples strolled hand-in-hand or hand-in-elbow along a park without a care in the world, save for each other.  Each photo captured that moment of happiness and preserved it in classic black and white.

His curiosity was not yet satisfied. 

A third album caught his eye, this one simply entitled "Team Mates".  Opening the file, another window popped up with four subfolders labeled "Le Crueset", "Nicol", "Dearka" and "Athrun".

He accessed the "Le Crueset" folder first, half-hoping for a collection of blackmail photos.  This new side of Yzak was a little disconcerting.  Blackmail photos might be more like Yzak, although he doubted the other boy would ever stoop so low.

When the album opened to a small array of candid shots of their commander, he wondered how  Yzak managed to take them all.   Le Crueset giving what looked like a stirring oration.  Of him laughing, and only the mask hid whether the merriment was real or not.  In one, he helped one of the new crew members to operate the computers, mouth set in a patient line and no tension in the line of his body.  What really caught his attention were the pictures of Le Crueset sleeping, mask off.  But for the shadows and gleaming hair, his face might have been revealed.  This was a sign of Yzak's respect. 

He opened the Nicol album next and was greeted by a collection of Nicol playing the piano.  His eyes were closed, his face serene and it was clear he had given himself completely over to the music.  There was Nicol curled in one of the lounge chairs, book dangling from a loosened grip.  Here he was staring up at his mobile suit, awed by the size and potential power.  But the most startling were the pictures of an impassioned Nicol.  There was a rare command in his stance and a hard brilliance in his eyes.  Mouth open and a furrow in his brow, he was the epitome of indomitablity.

Dearka was next.  Naturally, Athrun left himself for last.

The first picture showed a Zaft green talking to him, and Dearka's face showed a concern that held no mockery.  A series of shots exhibited his helpfulness as he worked on minor repairs on the damaged suits so that the more experienced and trained mechanics could work on the more severe damages.  There were shots of him taken while Le Crueset gave him a dressing down.  Another showed him engrossed in a formidable looking text that looked like it had nothing to do with sex, girls or mobile suits.  He gathered this both from the look of the book - old leather worn and creased from use and time but still held together from the care of its owner - and from the quiet, thoughtful expression on the tanned boy's face.  He looked posed, but Athrun was sure that if Dearka ever posed, it was never like this.

Was this how Yzak saw them?  Le Crueset, commanding but kind.  Nonchalant, but concerned.  Guarded, but vulnerable.

Nicol was always the quiet one, but he held a fire in him that, once sparked, allowed him to accomplish great things.

Dearka, at first glance, was arrogant and clownish.  Yet these captured moments revealed a seriousness in him that one would not expect.

A part of him enjoyed these new discoveries.

Another feared what he looked like through Yzak's eyes.  He wondered if he'd done anything especially embarrassing as the album loaded up.

And as he looked through the rather extensive displays of Athrun in different circumstances, different angles, he felt...


Was that how Yzak saw him?  Not kind, not caring, not strong?


The revelation made him smile.

Being baffling was not a bad characteristic.  It held Yzak's interest, after all, and while Yzak's interest was on him - 

Well, Athrun had secrets too.  And secretly, he loved that Yzak's interest was on him.  Secretly he enjoyed the attention, the confrontation, the danger.  Secretly, he wished for more.

And wasn't this the temptation that killed the cat?
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