Deep underground, the last of the resistance prepared their final resort, their sole remaining option. In order to do so, they also had to face the truth. The truth that Gilbert Durandal achieved victory. He won the battle. He won the war. He spread the Destiny Plan across the globe and beyond.
In Cosmic Era 74, the battle at Messiah resulted in his victory. The Eternal fell first, taking away the influential voice of Lacus Clyne forever. Her departure lessened the conflicting feelings from opponents swayed by her words mid-battle, not to mention driving the so-called DOM trio into a reckless abandon that cost their lives. The Archangel, along with many elite mobile suit pilots found themselves hopelessly overwhelmed afterwards, and unable to win against the odds. The final nail in the coffin was the firing of Requiem, reducing the island nation of Orb to a barren wasteland. Nothing decided the battle's outcome as that one shot.
Even the illustrious Strike Freedom had been destroyed, but like the previous Gundams with its names, its pilot miraculously survived. As one of the few to make it out alive, Kira Yamato was an irreplaceable pillar of strength to the remaining rebel forces. Their numbers were pitiful at best, their equipment was easily inferior to ZAFT and their safe houses were few in quantity. But none let that stop them. They fought endlessly, and four years later, anything gained from a victorious battle had been destroyed by overwhelming losses.
Which brought them to the current plan. A circular shaped object sat in the center of the room connected to countless wires. Small in size, four people could stand on it at most and that was a requirement for its successful function. Kira was one of the people standing on the device, sharing breathing space with three others. He glanced to the left and made eye contact with Lunamaria Hawke. She gave him an anxious smile.
"Will this really do it? Are we really gonna travel back in time?" Luna asked skeptically. She'd heard the explanation but still harbored doubts.
To Kira's left, Mare Strode scoffed. "Of course it will idiot. We'll go back and make everything right."
Her curious expression became hostile. "I didn't ask you!"
Kira smiled. Mare was a complete asshole, but the guy had watched his back for years now. His skills as a mobile suit pilot easily ranked among the best, especially as he'd greatly improved since joining the rebellion. "Mare's right Lunamaria. We've tripled checked everything. Believe me, this will work." Despite his own assurances, the Ultimate Coordinator couldn't be absolutely certain. Time travel was a concept no one in the Cosmic Era had ever attempted, and despite his best efforts along with others in its creation, anything was possible.
Luna's eyes softened considerably. "I'm sorry Kira. I didn't mean to doubt you or anything. I'm just … damn it this is so nerve wracking!"
"It's alright. Don't give it a second thought." Kira assured her.
"How about we get this show on the road?" The oldest of the four, Selene McGriff happily suggested. "Can't have you fretting all day now."
Kira nodded towards the man at the controls … someone he'd known since his teenage years. Sai Argyle returned to combat after the battle at Messiah, and was one of the few rebels still alive. "Go ahead Sai. And thanks, for everything."
His bespectacled –well, used to before they were destroyed– friend had a sad smile on his face when he activated the machine. A light shot up in the air encompassing the four as the time machine shook tremendously. They stayed quiet throughout the ordeal, afraid a single word could somehow ruin everything. The light's temperature rose drastically, reminding them why only Coordinators had a shot at making this work. The severe heat would've sent any Natural to an early grave. Kira felt his entire body sweating and the others were no different. Degrees increased, and even those born with genetic enhancements knew it was getting dangerous.
Doubts entered Kira's mind before blacking out.
I don't own Gundam SEED or any series associated with Cosmic Era Gundam.
Durandal won at Messiah. By CE 78, with all hope lost the few remaining survivors against the worldwide accepted Destiny Plan resort to time travel in hopes of fixing mistakes of the past. Four of them are sent: Kira Yamato, Lunamaria Hawke, Mare Strode and Selene McGriff.
Pairings are undecided, but there will very likely be at least one male/female, male/male and female/female in the course of the story.
Only Road Forward Goes Back
8 Years Back
Chapter 1: Jump to the Past
Groaning, Kira opened his eyes and noticed himself lying in bed. He felt pain in his forehead before anything else. He almost groaned again, unpleased to start the day with a headache. While he couldn't be certain, Selene had been convinced their latest hideout had been compromised and he trusted her judgment. Whether true of false, he hoped they would attempt using the time machine before finding out. They all knew time was running out before Durandal's forces discovered them. His eyes peered down and noticed a different set of clothes covering his body. A red polo shirt and blue jeans with white tennis shoes, it'd been ages since he wore that ensemble. Not only that but his height seemed off. If he didn't know better, he'd consider the possibly of shrinking overnight.
"Kira? Doctor, Kira's awake!"
He turned his head toward the familiar voice. Heart leaping at his throat, he clutched the sheets tightly with eyes widened. Staring into the face of someone he knew had died four years ago brought up recent memories. After months and months of planning and building and preparation, they had attempted traveling to the past.
She nodded. There was no mistaking her. Wearing her favorite orange dress from their school days, she was the only person he knew with that hairstyle. She looked younger than he remembered, dying on the Archangel's bridge at the age of eighteen. In fact, she looked younger than when the raid on Heliopolis even started.
Not only her but he recognized the room as well, though he couldn't place it. Mir sat in a plastic chair near his bed and a desk resided behind her. Two other beds were to Kira's right, both unoccupied and with their own set of nearby chairs.
Either he dreamed or time travel had been a success.
He started to rise, but Miriallia gently pushed him back.
"Whoa take it easy for a bit. You really gave us a scare ya know?"
"Sorry," he apologized reflexively. He hated making others worry, whether it was Miriallia or Lacus or Riika or Lunamaria. He blinked, curious about her words. "What happened?"
Her relieved face shifted to one of concern. "You don't remember?"
"At least not yet. Sorry." He apologized again, this time with a smile.
"Oh, okay. Well, we –me, you and Tolle– were walking out of class when you just collapsed. There was no warning or anything … you just fell over right on your face. A bunch of us took you over here and we agreed that I'd stay here while everyone else went to their next class."
Kira nodded, then stopped abruptly. Did she say Tolle? As in Tolle Keonig, one of their close friends before their tragic pull into the First Bloody Valentine war? The same Tolle who stuck by him through thick and thin, volunteering to assist him and the Archangel to share the burden of combat? The same one violently decapitated by the Aegis? He was … alive?
The door opened and entered a middle-aged woman wearing a white coat. The sight made him understand the room's bizarre familiarity. She was Kendra Leonard, school nurse at the technical college he attended on Heliopolis and this was her office.
No more evidence was needed. He made it to the past.
"Glad to see you awake. How are you feeling Kira?" Kendra asked, reaching into her desk and grabbing a box of medical supplies.
"I'm fine, thanks." He replied, slightly blushing. It felt so weird communicating with people previously deceased an hour ago.
The older woman smiled, then turned to the other girl. "Thanks for staying with him, Miriallia. Go on back to class. I'm sure you're friends would like to hear the good news."
"Yeah your right!" Mir got up. She looked at Kira. "I'll call you later ok?"
"Sure." He fought back the urge to ask if she had his number.
The school nurse waited a few seconds after Miriallia's departure before speaking again. "I've already called your mother and informed her of the situation. She's coming to get you as we speak."
"My … mom?" Okay this was getting too good to be true. Caridad Yamato had perished along with the rest of Orb. The ramifications of her survival quickly hit home. If she lived, so did Cagalli and his dad. So did countless others.
"That's right." Kendra nodded. "Do you think you can sit up?"
"Yeah." He easily complied, only staying down to ease Miriallia.
"I had you checked out already while you were unconscious and couldn't find anything wrong. Honestly, I just think you've been overworked but it wouldn't hurt to take another quick look," she said before reaching for his chin. "Now say ahhh."
Kira opened his mouth and allowed her inspection, the first procedure of many as she began her diagnostic. From checking his temperature to examining his heart rate, Kira kept silent during the entire procedure.
The door opened and in walked one of the most important women in his life. Purple hair and green eyes, appearing in her late thirties wearing an orange coat over a white shirt and Capri pants and heels, Caridad Yamato's beautiful face expressed immense concern. She'd always been overly emotional when it came to the well being of her child. Hearing he abruptly passed out in school nearly gave her a heart attack.
Eyes watered at first sight. Kira didn't even try to restrain the tears pouring down his face. He'd missed her so much, during the first war and the second and after Messiah. "M-Mom?"
"Yes? Sweetie what's the matter?" Caridad approached the bed and sat beside him, gently pulling her boy in an embrace.
"Mom, I um … I just-" At a loss for words, forming a coherent sentence seemed beyond his current abilities. What could he possibly say? Tell her he hadn't seen her in almost half a decade? After she'd been vaporized by a doomsday device brought into creation by a future leader of Blue Cosmos? Anything that came to mind seemed rather unwise.
Frowning, Caridad glanced at Kendra. Perhaps she could shed some light on Kira's condition.
The school nurse shrugged. "Internally, everything is fine. He's not ill. My personal assessment is that he's just been under a lot of stress for a while and it finally caught up to him. Give him some time to rest and I think we'll be fine. If the problem persists of course, give me a call or visit the hospital."
"Okay. Thank you." Caridad kept her eyes on Kira. "Let's get you home, ok Kira?
"I-er… y-yeah." He was still a crying, stuttering mess. She offered to help him up and he accepted, happily taking her hand. It was real. Soft and warm and pleasant, as he always remembered.
"Th-Thanks." He smiled weakly. He thought against mentioning his minor headache. His actions caused his mother enough worry.
"You're welcome." Soft lips pressed Kira's forehead. Getting him to his feet, Caridad's attention diverted to the school nurse. "I'll take him home now, and he'll be missing the next day of school to recuperate."
"Alright. Take care." Kendra waved.
Out of the nurse's office, the pair made their way to the exit. Caridad felt slightly glad that class was already in session, saving her boy from the teenage embarrassment of being led out the building in front of others by his mommy while in tears. A few minutes later the pair approached Caridad's car, a simple four-door automobile painted green. Their hands finally released when entering the vehicle. The trip home had been mostly spent in silence, Caridad sneaking unsubtle glances at her son filled with worry.
"How are you feeling sweetie?" She asked delicately, stopping the car at a red light.
"I'm fine mom. Sorry to worry you." Slightly regaining his composure, he wiped away tears with his forearm.
"You don't need to apologize. I'm your mother. As long as you're okay, I don't mind worrying twenty four hours a day."
Kira nodded, understanding the sentiment. He stared at his lap.
She activated the right turn signal before proceeding around a corner. "Do you think the nurse is right?"
"Huh?" He looked up, surprised.
"Have you been under a lot of stress lately?"
"I suppose so," he said uneasily. Granted his stress came from running and hiding from ZAFT with a constant look over his shoulder, interacting with a dwindling team with constantly low morale that looked upon him as a leader and helping with the preparation of a time machine.
"Have you thought about taking some easier classes next semester? I'd forgotten how you always relied on Athrun for help back in Copernicus. Maybe some months to take it easy is what you need."
A change in the timeline already occurred. He failed to recall a conversation like this. Classes had always been easy for him at Heliopolis, but he knew Caridad's perspective made sense from her point of view. Back in his lunar prep school days, Kira usually slacked off from homework, preferring to play a game or watch television. Athrun tended to kick him in gear and get him to work. This happened so often Caridad eventually stopped asking Kira about his schoolwork and directed her questions to Athrun, going straight to the source and embarrassing her son along the way.
"I'll be alright mom, I promise. I think … I think a little time off will do the trick."
"There's no need to rush anything. Just remember that your father and I will support you either way."
"Thanks." A grin lit up Kira's face. His dad was alive too! Yes!
She smiled. It looked like he was already starting to cheer up. Pulling into their driveway, Caridad put the car in park and turned off the engine. Stepping out, she frowned when Kira stayed inside.
"Mom, you're staying?" He wondered. "Don't you have to go back to work?"
"Oh Kira. Earlier today my boy, who I love more than anything in the world, passed out at school. I'll be staying home tonight." She answered cheerfully.
"Oh, right." Kira rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, feeling a bit stupid in the process. Of course she would stay. She'd always been a devoted, loving mother and wife. With so many among the rebellion depending on him daily, he'd forgotten what it was like to have a parent.
Laughing, she waited for him to join her before walking together to the door. Once inside, Caridad's heels were removed and her bare feet vastly preferred the touch of soft carpet. Her fingers gently wrapped around her son's arm.
"Would you like me to cook you something?
"Sure. I'm going to lay down for a bit."
She nodded. "Good. I'll make something that can be refrigerated, so please don't feel pressured to stay awake on my account."
"Thanks mom." Kira kissed her cheek before going upstairs to his room. He collapsed on his bed, face hitting the pillow. Finally alone, he let this new reality hit home.
He had traveled through time
He had traveled through time.
It was so … absurd. Science fiction. Even in Cosmic Era 78, mentioning the possibility in a serious fashion was a one-way ticket to getting laughed out of the room. But they had done it. They had successfully beaten the impossible odds and got their second chance. Starting now, he would work towards improving the future.
"But … when is now?" With all the excitement happening, he hadn't gotten around to checking the date. A clock on his nightstand displayed the numbers. "February 16, Cosmic Era 70?"
His initial thought was unexpected. In this timeline or the previous, he would never see Lenore Zala's beautiful smile again. That hurt more than he figured he would.
Despite their planning, none of them could fully guarantee an exact point in time of their arrival. Kira personally hoped they could've stopped Bloody Valentine. Doing so would've saved the lives of over two hundred thousand innocents. Lenore was one of them, and her survival would preserve the sanity of her husband and keep her son from joining ZAFT. Kira never forgot childhood years, of how much his best friend despised the entire idea of war. He had wanted that particular Athrun Zala to live throughout adult years as well. Kira had a mission, and if possible, he preferred if Athrun and Lacus simply kept their engagement and never set foot on a single battlefield.
He wanted to do the fighting for the both of them.
His eyes widened, remembering who he told those words in his own past.
She was alive too. Had to be. Seeing her would hurt, he knew. The redhead only recognized him as a friend of Sai's at best. She couldn't possibly know their experiences together, how much she did for him. But deep down Kira believed it was better that way. Flay didn't belong on a warship. She should continue enjoying life in peace. Like Athrun, he hoped she and Sai kept their engagement. Unlike Athrun, he would succeed in this endeavor.
Under the covers, Kira curled into a ball. He continued thinking of the possibilities, positive and negative, brought about from a second life in Cosmic Era 70.
He remembered that it was okay to cry.
Unlike the Ultimate Coordinator, Lunamaria Hawke experienced a far more peaceful blast to the past, one devoid of any medical attention. Opening her eyes, she awoke in the middle of the night. With little memory of falling asleep, she wondered whose chest her hand would touch when shifting her body to the left. Kira's? Riika's? Making contact with nothing but the bedspread, the red-violet haired girl frowned. Surely one of them –likely Kira– had tucked her in. With few beds and limited options for comfort, sleeping alone was rare. Her action brought her eye level to a clock on a nearby nightstand displaying a time of four thirteen in the morning.
'Oh, well that explains it. I'll bet Kira's outside then. Probably woke me up too.' The former pilot of the Freedom often had trouble sleeping and would awake in turmoil. If their current hideout had anything resembling a porch, he would sit there and spend hours simply gazing at the sky. Riika Shedar usually joined him. The blind Coordinator lost her enhanced glasses and an arm over the years but her kind, cheerful personality and care towards the others kept her invaluable. Lunamaria assumed she was already out there but if not, she would be there for Kira tonight. Or rather, they would be there for each other.
Out of bed, Lunamaria's hands extended forward, reaching for a wall to trace her path to a door or light switch. With each step, she felt hard tile and bundles of clothes under her bare feet. Touching a wall, she moved left and found the switch first. Blue eyes shut in pain after flipping it on. Head bowed, her hand instinctively moved to shield her eyes. She looked down when they started to recover and raised an eyebrow at the black polish on her toenails. It'd been years since she painted them. Examining her fingernails showed the same thing, also painted. Her clothing was strange too, a yellow t-shirt and blue with white-striped pajama bottoms. 'That's weird. I haven't worn these pants in like forever.'
Eyes blinked again, finally adjusting to the light completely. When she looked around, they widened in shock. A desk with a computer sat next to the bed. Beside her was an entertainment center with a television set along with a few video game consoles. Piles of clothes and games and movies had been scattered on the floor. On the bed's other side was a large closet, its opened doors slightly damaged from overuse.
This was her room.
Not at any hideout or onboard the Minerva.
It was at her parent's house in the PLANTs.
"No fuckin' way!"
Scrambling, she began inspecting her room, starting with her old closet filled with clothes. The selection looked outdated. She could've sworn some of this stuff went out of style and had been replaced. A feeling of anxiety washed over. Taking a pair of pants off its hanger, she inspected the tag for its size. 'I haven't had that waist size since I was kid!' She checked three more and saw the same number. 'Could it be …?'
Earlier memories started returning. They tried using the time machine.
For confirmation, Lunamaria looked at the calendar by her door. Last she checked it was early September, not February.
And it definitely wasn't Cosmic Era 70.
The trip through time succeeded, and she was thirteen once again.
Her first thought went to the others. At this point Kira probably lived at Heliopolis, attending a technical college near Morgenroete. Mare should already be in ZAFT and Selene still worked at the DSSD.
She heard the door barely creaking open.
"Sis, what are you doing up?" A tiny female voice asked groggily.
"M-Meryin?" Lunamaria couldn't believe her eyes.
Her little sister, her little Meyrin stood at the now opened door and fully alive. Wearing pink pajamas, she clutched a large stuffed teddy bear she carried with her to bed. Her usual pigtails were done for the night, long red hair flowing down and bangs almost covering her droopy eyes.
She looked so small.
"Meyrin!" Already crying, Lunamaria engulfed her sister in a tight hug, burying her head in her shoulder and openly sobbing.
"Sis? What are you … what's going on?" Wide awake, Meyrin started to panic, worried about Luna's well being.
Despite her sister's protest, and despite their parents waking from the commotion and equally confused, all Lunamaria Hawke could think about was the little bundle of life in her arms and the miraculous reset they'd been given. To protect the world from Gilbert Durandal and protecting those they loved. This was why they went back. When Shinn destroyed the GOUF with Athrun and Meyrin, she felt a level of misery greater than she could imagine. Hope surged upon her survival, but the Eternal's destruction at the Legend's turrets created a void in her heart that couldn't be replaced. But now, she felt it starting to mend already. And it wouldn't stop with just Meyrin. She'd save Shinn too. From the madness that slowly eroded the wonderful person she remembered. The Berserker wouldn't happen in this timeline.
The wrongs of the future would be made right.
This really just came out of nowhere. I thought about Gundam SEED time travel after seeing a couple other fics try it and quickly realized that massive changes are absolutely inevitable in such a story. Then this popped up.
I know the opening scene is vague and kind of rushed, but I don't want to give everything away right at the beginning. It's more fun to learn the little bits and pieces of the post-Messiah timeline throughout the story I think.
On an unrelated note, today's my birthday so let's celebrate with reviews please! You could do the same for my other fics too. /guilt-trip-attempt