English is not my first language. Please bear with grammatical errors.
And for your information, my fic is based on the remastered version (but I watched the original version, too).
Disclaimer: I don't own GS/GSD.
Fall of Destiny
"I can't be with you anymore."
Her voice echoed in his ears. Her face flashed in his head. The scene of their breakup haunted his dream. Again and again. They wouldn't leave him. She wouldn't leave him. Even after she had in reality.
She had taken away a part of him—his heart—with her. She had cut a deep hole in his chest. He still suffered from the injury even years after the breakup. Years after she got married and gave birth to a child.
It wasn't like he had not tried to heal his wound. He tried every day. To get over her. To forget her. To hate her, even.
She had dumped him. She had chosen to be with another man. She had even brought the man when she was breaking up with him and made him see them together. She had hurt him. Then, why couldn't he hate her?
Or maybe he did. Maybe he hated her as much as he loved her. That might be why it was this difficult to forget her. Love and hate entwined into a chain which tied him to her with doubled strength. If only she was chained just as much as he was.
He couldn't escape from her. He saw her everywhere he went only to realize that it was just his imagination.
He found a part of her in every woman—and sometimes even in a man—he met. Her eyes, her hair, her nose, her lips, her ears, her hands, her smile, her laugh, her habits, the kind of clothes and accessories she wore, the movies and books she loved and those she hated, the foods she enjoyed and those she despised.
He couldn't be free from her.
As much as dreams of her made him miserable, they made him happy, happier than any other woman did. Other women's warm bodies could warm him outside, but not inside. Inwardly, he always felt cold and empty. The time he spent with other women was pleasant enough, and yet felt painfully dull. Nothing seemed to be able to fill the hole inside him. Nothing seemed to be able to excite him anymore.
Why? Why couldn't he still get over her?
He didn't know. Even his extraordinarily smart brain couldn't find the answer. He didn't even know whether he wanted to be free anymore. The situation was actually getting better. He was reminded of her less often than before, and thinking about her was becoming less painful.
But then, he wasn't sure it was really a good thing. Sometimes he wished he saw her more often, whether in dreams or in other people. Sometimes he wished he felt as strong a pain as he had right after the breakup.
He felt like he was losing her again, like she was leaving him again.
It was probably why he went to see her after more than a decade, pretending it was a coincidence. He wasn't sure what he expected to gain from the meeting. Maybe he was hoping he would be disillusioned after seeing how she had changed over years. Maybe he was hoping she would act coldly to him, which might be able to help him finally get over her. Maybe he was just hoping to see her once more.
It turned out that she had not greatly changed and welcomed their reunion. They met up several times, agreeing it would be nice to renew their old friendship—to end up renewing a different kind of relationship of theirs.
Since her husband had already died a few years ago, which had actually been the deciding factor for him to go see her, they didn't really have an obstacle to their relationship. Well, except that their jobs required them to be careful about it.
Having secret affairs was actually exciting and he enjoyed their rekindled flame.
However, the more he saw her, the more he realized their relationship wasn't the same as before. Not just because they had become older, or because the situations were different.
There was a part of him that was still empty, unsatisfied. The wound had not healed yet, and it didn't look like it was going to any time soon. Even in the middle of having sex with her, he sometimes felt distant. Even when she was right in his arms, he felt as if he didn't really have her. He felt as if this was all his imagination, his dream, and it would banish in a blink of an eye; she would be gone from his arms, from his life again.
He couldn't get rid of the feeling that something was lacking. That something he wanted wasn't here. He had thought that the feeling would go away after getting back together with her. It hadn't.
He couldn't feel happy like he had when with her before their breakup. Something was missing. Something had changed. Something had gone. At the moment she had said she wanted to leave him, something had broken and he had not been able to fix it yet. They might never be able to fix it.
The hole in his chest might never be able to be filled again. He didn't know how to get back his heart, get back his happiness, get back what he had lost.
Had he lost his happiness forever when she had broken his heart? And now even she couldn't return it to him?
He wanted to reach a place, a future in which he could feel all right and be happy with her. But was there such a place? Was such a thing possible in this world? In this dark and cold world?
"It can't be helped."
These words of hers made him wonder as often as they made him despair. If it couldn't be helped, then was it really your choice? Was anything your choice? And if everything was destined and you couldn't get to choose anything, what was the meaning of your struggle, of your life?
Hearing the thoughts of his, Raww laughed. "You are indeed a human being."
It might be an insult, considering the blond's opinion on humans, though Raww didn't seem to be looking down on him or trying to anger him. Not that he could tell clearly. Raww's face was as enigmatic as ever.
Although he prided himself on being a good reader of people, he had never really been able to grasp Raww. It was probably why he had been drawn to the blond and maintained their friendship for years. Raww was a mystery which never bored him.
Talking to Raww was always interesting and inspiring. Both of them didn't like to say things in the direct way. They were both rather diplomatic, and an expert in rhetoric. They often exchanged philosophical words, sharing their views on the world, the life, anything.
He could probably call the blond his best friend, though neither of them was the type to use such a label.
He sometimes even mentioned his personal affairs, which he would never tell anyone else. He knew Raww wasn't the type to gossip, and Raww's detached demeanor and cynical attitude made it easier for him to talk about them and helped him look at them more objectively. He was hardly an emotional person, and felt more comfortable that way.
"Everything in this universe is like an ephemeral dream," Raww said. "Lives are born to die. You gain something to lose it. Yet, humans are too stupid—or too greedy—to admit it, and continue the pursuit to no avail. You keep searching for hope only to die in despair.
"What a wonderful being! The greatest form of life, indeed," the blond exclaimed, wearing a wry smile.
His eyes wandered toward the pill bottle one of Raww's hands was playing with.
There were clearly things that were predestined, things that had been determined by something other than yourself even before you were born. Like your genes.
He had not chosen to have been born with genes that weren't compatible with hers. Raww had not chosen to be born as a clone, to have a life much shorter and more painful than usual.
Yet the choices had been made, and they couldn't escape from it. You couldn't escape from yourself, from your own genes.
They had to live the consequences of those choices, and suffer from it even though it wasn't their fault. Those choices had been beyond their reach and weren't their responsibility. They had had no choice.
But then, who was it that was responsible for their present situations?
Yes, their parents—or creators in Raww's case—were the ones who had decided what kind of genes they were going to have. But what about other things? Like his having fallen for her.
His parents had not chosen her for him. He himself had not chosen to fall in love with her. It had just happened. Why?
Some people said it was also your genes that determined with whom you fell in love. You instinctively chose a proper mate, someone who was a good match for you.
But if that was true, why would people fall in love with someone they couldn't produce children with, as he and she had? Why an infertile person would fall in love at all? It simply didn't make sense. If there was a reason for falling in love, it should be bigger than just producing offspring. It should have a bigger meaning.
Was it fate's deed as some romantic people would like to say? Or was it gods' will as some religious people would like to say?
Was there anything like fate or gods and goddesses or whatever it was that determined everything happening in this universe? Was such a supernatural power the one that caused people to fall in love, or meet in the first place? Was it the one that had made him experience what he had?
Did everything that had happened really have a meaning as those people believed? All these pain and suffering in the history, all over this universe? All that had happened to him?
Then, what was the meaning? What was it that was so important that it was worth all these misery?
Or nothing had a meaning after all? Or the purpose was to make humans realize they couldn't have anything, couldn't decide anything, as Raww seemed to believe? Whatever paths they chose, whatever decisions they made, everything would lead to the same thing as determined? To the end, to nothing? To despair?
Whatever they hoped and wished for, it was just meaningless? All the living and struggling was meaningless? Then why did humans live?
Unlike Raww, he couldn't readily adopt such thinking, accept that he was destined to have been hurt and suffering. It was too cruel. He couldn't be as cynical as Raww.
But then, Raww was struggling against his destiny, against his genes. At least the blond had been doing so when they first met.
Raww had come to PLANT in search for the solution to his problem, the cure for his condition. Only to find out that even the geneticists in PLANT who had the best technology in the universe couldn't prolong his life expectancy.
That was how they had met. Raww had come to him for he was one of the best geneticists, though all he had been able to offer Raww was the medicine that eased the blond's pain and suffering. Raww had had a hope only to have it dashed. Like he had had her for a short while only to lose her.
Maybe Raww was right. Maybe their wishes were meaningless. Maybe Raww had learned it from experience.
But then, what should you do when you realized your wishes were destined to fail to come true?
He could accept there were things you couldn't change. Perhaps he could accept it was his and her destiny that they had broken up even. He could understand and accept it was meaningless to fight against the unchangeable like your genes. It was partly why he had complied with her decision to end their relationship without a fight.
However, the understanding and acceptance didn't ease his pain. It didn't answer his questions. What was the cure for his misery? Was there one to begin with?
Raww might have found consolation in believing that the life he was living now was his destiny. But he couldn't.
He couldn't believe that the life he had now was the one he was supposed to have. No, he deserved better. He should have had a better life. There must have been a way he could have reached his happiness.
But somehow, he had strayed into a wrong path. He had made a mistake.
When? It couldn't be when she had broken up with him. He had not made the choice as he had not chosen to meet her or fall in love with her. There had been nothing he could do to change any of the incidents.
Then, it was probably the moment he had chosen to get into a relationship with her. It was the mistake he had made. It was the wrong choice that had completely changed his life.
And he had made the choice because he had not known it was the wrong one. If he had known the consequence from the beginning, then things would probably have turned out different. If he had known that their genes weren't matching, that their relationship wouldn't work out.
He might have still fallen in love with her, but he wouldn't have chosen to be with her. He would have chosen to stay away from her until the feeling died down. He would have made a wise choice, the right choice, and could have found the right path, found his happiness.
Yet he had not known it, and thus, had not been able to make a well-informed decision. The ignorance of the truth, of his genes, of himself. That was the source of his suffering, and probably it was the same for everyone. If you knew your place, what you could do and what you could have, then you could have a much happier life, couldn't you?
"I already decided."
Her words rung in his mind when he heard about the broken couple: Athrun Zala and Lacus Clyne.
Those two were quite famous among PLANT citizens. Two beautiful and talented young people, whose fathers were both a councilman, were a great poster couple for the marriage regulation law. They were the symbol of the bright future, the symbol of the success of Coordinators. It was fortunate for everyone that those two were genetically matched and now properly engaged, he had thought when their engagement had been announced.
He was a strong supporter of the genetic matchmaking program and the marriage regulation law. Even though geneticists in PLANT had been working hard to solve the infertility problem of Coordinators, there wasn't a sign that the solution would be found soon. Urging citizens to marry their genetic match, which should push up the birthrate, was crucial to the country's survival since it was becoming increasingly harder to invite new citizens from outside.
Furthermore, he believed that even if they didn't have those problems, the marriage regulation law should still be enforced. Most importantly, people should know who were their best genetic matches from an early age. Then, more people would get married to their matches without complaining or going on their own with someone who wasn't their genetic match. People should be educated to choose who they were meant to be with, for their own sake as well as PLANT's.
Knowledge made people choose the right path, the path to their happiness, he had believed before hearing about Athrun and Lacus's breakup.
He was close to the Clyne faction. Like them, he believed in the coexistence of Coordinators and Naturals, and was willing to make a compromise with the Earth Alliance. Although he wasn't exactly one of the members of the faction, he was considered to be a trustworthy ally by many of them.
Thus, he could get more information than the public on the faction and the so-called Three Ships Alliance, on its members including the young couple. Like how the relationship between those two turned out after they both had defied Chairman Zala and left PLANT.
Not only had their engagement been officially cancelled by Athrun's father, they had actually decided to split up. Or at least Lacus had. It seemed she had developed an interest in another boy, the pilot of the Freedom, and chosen to leave her ex-fiancé.
The man who had told him about it appeared to be as disappointed as he was, though the man seemed concerned over the pilot not being a PLANT citizen and being more or less a nobody, not exactly someone appropriate for the well-admired songstress in the man's opinion.
He agreed that the pilot was probably not a proper partner for the pink-haired girl, though for a different reason. What he was concerned about was that the boy was very unlikely to be a good genetic match for her. It was such a shame that the boy had come between Athrun and Lacus and caused the two to go down the wrong path, the path toward an unhappy future.
He also felt sorry for the blue-haired boy, quite a lot actually. He could understand how Athrun was feeling now. He knew what it felt like to be dumped, to lose your lover, to have to accept she had chosen someone over you, to have no choice but to give up on her.
Contrary to Lacus, Athrun had not chosen the path himself. The boy had been made to walk the wrong path against his will. The boy had not been able to choose the right path, the path he must have wanted to choose. The boy had been robbed of his happiness due to someone else's decision. The boy had not been given the choice about whether to continue the relationship. The boy had been hurt by someone he loved. Just like himself.
He was reminded of the questions he had asked so many times. Why had she had to leave him? Why had she had to choose someone else? Why had she not been able to love him as much as he did her? Why had she not been able to want him as much as he did her?
For Athrun, the misery was probably worse. Unlike his and her case, Athrun and Lacus were a good genetic match. The young couple probably could have a child. They should have a child, and the bright and happy future. Nothing should have gotten in their way. They should be together. It was the right thing. It was what was supposed to happen. It was best for them, and for everyone.
But it had not been happening. Because it was how this world was right now. The world wouldn't go the way you wanted it to go. Your wishes didn't come true in this world. Because most people didn't know what they should wish for, or wouldn't choose to wish for what they should.
And what was the source? Desires. Emotions.
He had been wrong. Ignorance wasn't the biggest problem humans faced. Even when properly informed, people still made wrong choices. Even Lacus Clyne who apparently had high intelligence made a mistake, leaving the person she was supposed to be with. All because of emotions.
Emotions blinded your eyes. Emotions were unpredictable, uncertain, and unreliable. You couldn't rely on them to guide you to your happiness. On the contrary, they were very likely to lead you to misery. He knew it from experience.
Didn't everyone? Everyone should know how you made mistakes when you listened to your heart instead of reason, how you ended up getting hurt. Everyone should know how dangerous your emotions, your desires, were. Proofs were everywhere. People fought, hurt, and destroyed because of their desires. And they didn't even realize it. Such greed and ignorance were the sources of conflicts, of suffering and pain that prevailed in this universe.
But then, what was the salvation? He had thought getting out of ignorance was it. But apparently, it wasn't enough.
How could you be saved? How could you be happy? Would you be happy if you could have all you wanted? If all your wishes came true?
No, he wouldn't. He had gotten her back. He had what he had wanted for years. And yet, he wasn't happy. Was it because he needed something more? Or because whether you had what you wished for had nothing to do with your happiness?
What was it that you needed in order to obtain happiness if it wasn't having what you wanted?
He looked at the files on his desk, which were for his job as a geneticist.
His job. It was one of the things that made him happy. Or at least it had before his breakup with her. He had been dedicated to his job and proud of his achievements including developing the medicine for Raww. Although the medicine couldn't solve Raww's problem as the blond had wished, he had still been quite excited when he had achieved creating it.
Doing what you could do and being useful. Wasn't it what made you happy?
But then, it didn't really work for him anymore. The passion and satisfaction, the happiness, felt so far away now. Although he still enjoyed his job as a geneticist, and also his new job as a councilman as well, it wasn't the same as before. His breakup with her had broken him, and it had been affecting his passion for his jobs.
It seemed the breakup was the source of all his suffering. Or maybe it was his wanting her. His desire for her. Desires were the root of all human problems, all the suffering, weren't they?
But how could he overcome desires? How could humans?
"I want kids."
Looking at Rey, his ward, often reminded him of her words. These words of hers might cause him more despair than the other words. They indicated that he was incompetent. That he couldn't satisfy the woman he loved. That he was never good enough.
Why couldn't he give her what she wanted? Why did she have to want what he couldn't give her?
He couldn't say it had been a complete surprise to him when she had proposed to end their relationship. He had sensed her desire for a child. He had been aware that she had been accessing the genetic matchmaking program and checking her genetic matches—which didn't include him.
A person's genetic information was tightly secured and people couldn't access it without the owner's permission. Since genetics was his area of expertise, however, he had been able to lay his hand on her genetic information by pulling some strings. He had painstakingly examined both her genes and his genes, pinning his hope on the remote possibility that the result of the matchmaking program was wrong: someone might have mixed up the information, or there might be a flaw in the program.
Only to find out that the result was one-hundred percent correct. That there was nearly no possibility that they could produce a child. That if she stayed with him, she had to give up having her own child.
Unless they asked one of her best matches to help her produce a child whom he was going to raise with her.
Of course, he had been aware of the possibility. He was no fool. He had known that although there was no guarantee that it would work, there was still a way for her to have what she wanted while she was with him.
However, he had not liked the idea. The idea of begging another man to give his girlfriend what he couldn't give. The idea of raising a child whom he didn't want and who wasn't even his own. The idea of sharing her. The idea that she might leave him otherwise.
He had not been able to understand why he had to put up with such a thing. He had been fine with having no children if he could be with her; then shouldn't she be as well? He had not wanted to think that she didn't love him enough. He had wanted to believe that even though she wanted children now, she would eventually give up. That she would choose him over mere children.
Which turned out to be wrong.
Hearing her words, he had been seized by a feeling of helplessness.
The feeling had been still occupying him when Raww asked him whether he was interested in taking Rey in a few years later. He didn't know how serious Raww had been. Maybe the blond man had meant it as one of the twisted jokes of his. But the question had brought her words to his mind, and he had said yes without really thinking.
Not that he regretted the decision. Having a child—a ward—was fine. Rey was quite obedient and easy to handle. Rey was also a smart child, which wasn't surprising since the boy was Raww's clone, and quickly adapted to the life outside a lab. Rey started to go to school and soon earned good grades, which satisfied him.
But still, he didn't think having a child was worth losing her. If he had to choose between her and Rey, he would certainly choose her.
Then, why hadn't she been able to choose him?
Sometimes, he wondered whether she would have stayed with him if Rey had come to him before their breakup. She might have been satisfied with Rey and become fine with not having her own child. She might be still here with him.
After he and she renewed their relationship, he introduced Rey to her. They got along fine; she was a friendly woman and Rey was a polite boy. Looking at them together, he couldn't help wondering even more strongly about the life he might have been able to have.
If only Raww and he had found about Rey earlier, everything might have been different. He might have been spared from all the misery he had gone through. He might be as happy now as he wished to be.
But it was only a possibility, what could have happened yet hadn't. He had not found Rey in time. She had left him. He had been living a miserable life. She had had her own child, and if she was put into a situation where she had to choose between him and her son, then she probably would choose to leave him again.
It was the reality.
He perfectly knew there was no use imagining what-ifs. It wouldn't change anything. No one could change the past. No one could go back in time and redo the past.
Then, why did he have to think about it? Why did he have to have those vain wishes?
It was because of his desires. This was one of the foolish things desires made humans do. This was one of the sufferings desires caused humans.
He desired for her. He desired for the life he had not been able to have. He desired for the way to change the past. He desired for what he couldn't have. And therefore, he suffered.
All the misery arose from the gap between what you wanted and what you could have—what you were allowed to have. But why did people want what they couldn't have, what they could have never had? What was the root of human desire?
What made him want her?
It was a hope, he concluded after a long musing. A hope that he might be able to have her. At first, he had not known that their genes weren't compatible and thought that they had a future. He had kept thinking so even after learning the truth about their genes because he hoped she would still choose him. And he wondered about what he and she could have had because he had her again. He had been suffering over her because she had agreed to have a relationship with him, and then to renew their relationship, because she had returned his feelings to an extent, for which he sometimes hated her.
Over and over, he had been given the hope—a delusion that he might be able to have what he actually couldn't have.
Hopes. Weren't they the root of this war, too? Hope for the future. Hope for the better. Hope for the best. Hope for more. Hope for victory.
Possibilities. George Glenn had shown a possibility to humanity, how much better they could become, how much more they could have. Which had led to the birth of the Coordinator race and the conflicts between Coordinators and Naturals.
People couldn't resist their desires. When shown a possibility, a chance to have more, they couldn't help trying to grab it. They couldn't help fighting for a hope even if it was just a false hope.
But what was a hope in the first place? What was a possibility?
It was an option. A chance to choose. A way to choose.
People made choices every day, and therefore, thought about what they wanted to choose, what they wished for, which increased their desires and encouraged them to fight for what they wanted. They believed their choices could convert their hopes into reality, so they fought hard for the possibility, fought hard to eliminate other possibilities, to defeat people who fought for the other possibilities.
If people believed that there was nothing to choose, that their choices had no influence, they didn't have as much desire, as many conflicts, did they? If he had known that he could never really choose her, that she was beyond his reach, from the beginning, if he had never had her in the first place, he wouldn't have desired her as much, would he?
People praised the freedom to choose. But was it really that great? Was it worth all the conflicts, all the misery? Especially when most people couldn't or wouldn't make the right choices.
Didn't having the freedom to choose just mean you were free to make mistakes? Mistakes you couldn't take back. Mistakes that made you wish for what could have happened if you had made a different choice, a right choice.
"Can you say with certainty that you wouldn't make a mistake next time?" Raww's voice echoed in his head.
Raww was right, though. Even if it were possible to go back in time and redo choices again, it probably wouldn't be the solution, the salvation. Maybe you would just make another mistake, choose a wrong path again. Then what was the point?
Besides, returning to the past was impossible to begin with. When you made a mistake, it would continue to haunt you for the rest of your life. If you chose a wrong path, you couldn't return to the right path. Once you deviated, there was no way getting back the happiness you could have had otherwise.
In order for you to be happy, you had to always make the right decision, the right choice from the beginning.
But was such a thing possible? Humans were weak, helpless against their desires which caused them to make mistakes.
How could they be saved? Or there was no salvation after all?
The war was over. However, he was in no mood of celebrating. If anything, he was depressed. And it wasn't just that Raww had died during the final battle. The sadness over the news of the blond's death paled compared to the shock of finding out the blond's real goal: destruction of human beings.
He had never known Raww's disappointment in and hatred toward humanity were so deep and strong. Finally aware of the truth, he was enveloped by an intense feeling of helplessness instead of grief. He felt emptier than ever.
Although neither of them was open or expressive, or tried to meddle unnecessarily in other people's affairs, they had been close friends. Or at least he had thought so. He had believed he knew Raww enough.
Apparently, he had been wrong. Maybe you could never really know or understand other people. Maybe it was the limit of human beings. It wasn't surprising. After all, people didn't even know much about themselves: who they really were, what abilities they had, where their place was, whom they should be with, what kind of life they should have. Ignorance was so hard to overcome, even for someone with high intelligence and a good perspective like him.
And desires were even harder to overcome. Even Raww, who had seemed to think wishing for something was rather meaningless, had not been able to be free from his desire, from wanting to avenge his misfortune.
But what was the result? Where had the desire brought Raww? To failure. To a miserable, meaningless death.
Or maybe Raww had not been miserable. After all, his blond friend had always said people lived only to find out that they couldn't have what they wished for. Maybe Raww had accepted his death, how he died.
But it wouldn't change the fact that Raww's life, and death, were meaningless. Raww might have accepted it, but he couldn't. He couldn't accept it had been his friend's destiny, the life and death Raww had been supposed to have.
Some people might say that Raww's death had not been so bad. That at least Raww had still fought for what he wanted and that it was a good thing even if Raww had failed.
But was it really good to fight only to find out that it had all been for nothing? It happened when you made a foolish, reckless attempt to obtain what you couldn't have, as Raww had.
That was why you needed to know what you could have and couldn't from the beginning. Then, you could focus on goals you could accomplish and make an effective effort, an effort that wouldn't go to waste. You didn't have to lose. You could win.
There were things you couldn't win. There were things you couldn't win against. Then why would you fight? Why would you struggle for what you could never have?
It wasn't like he denied all fighting. But it was only a means. You fought so that you could accomplish your goals. If your goal was impossible to achieve, then the fight was meaningless. If you couldn't accomplish anything, your life was meaningless.
Probably that was why people valued fighting so much, gave it an undeservedly high reputation. They couldn't accept that what they had been doing was meaningless, which meant their existence had no meaning. They couldn't bear facing it. So they tried to justify their choice, telling themselves it wasn't bad because they had learned or obtained something from the attempt even if they had failed to have the consequence they had originally aimed for. They deluded themselves that there was a meaning to what they had done even if they had lost, even if they had accomplished nothing. It was how losers consoled themselves.
Meaning. Wasn't it what everyone wanted? Meaning of your existence. Purpose of your life. Wasn't it what made you happy? Something you could dedicate your life to.
Meaning. Maybe that was what Raww had tried to obtain as well. Maybe Raww had thought the purpose of his life, his destiny, was exterminating humans, and chosen to devote his life to such a wrong goal.
He felt even sadder and more despaired about Raww's death. He had been right. Having freedom of choice wasn't a good thing at all. This was another proof.
Raww must have known that he couldn't accomplish his goal, or that revenge was foolish. Raww had been smart enough. But Raww had still made the choice which resulted in the loss of meaning for his life.
He couldn't really understand why, understand how Raww had been able to choose an option that was very likely to result in failure, how Raww had struggled that much for what he probably knew he couldn't have. Maybe because Raww had been used to struggling against his genes, like trying to change the life expectancy his genes had decided for him. Maybe the useless fight had blinded him to the reality. Or maybe the despair that stemmed from the futile struggle had strengthened Raww's despair and desire for revenge.
Whatever the reason was, Raww had made the wrong choice because of his desire.
Raww could have had a better life if he had made a wiser choice, if he had been given the right purpose to pursue. But it was too late. Raww had made a mistake and died.
He told himself he still had Rey. But what would become of Rey? The boy was Raww's clone, and therefore, likely to follow the same path as Raww unless someone did something to prevent it. Unless he did something.
He clenched his hands into fists.
He had to do something. He needed to do something. He couldn't just sit back and watch Rey repeat the same mistake as Raww, die miserably and meaninglessly.
He had not been able to help Raww, but could still help Rey.
Raww had died the way he did because Raww had been controlled by the desire for revenge, and because Raww had not known about himself: why he existed and how he should live. Raww had had to suffer and waste his life in search for the answers.
He could spare Rey from the suffering due to not knowing about himself. The boy didn't know he was a clone yet. He had to tell Rey that soon. He also had to teach Rey more strictly about how dangerous desires were and how you shouldn't fight against your genes. Then, he needed to give Rey a right purpose before the boy chose his own goal which could be as wrong as Raww's.
But what would it be? And would giving it be really enough? Hadn't he learned that people made mistakes even when given the right information?
The problem wasn't just individual ignorance or weakness against desires. It was more. It was this world itself. Even if educated properly, Rey still might not be able to successfully resist his desires when most people around him were living in a different way, in a wrong way. There was too much temptation in this world. Too much wrongness.
He needed to do more than just telling Rey what was right, more than just saving Rey. He needed to do something bigger than that.
His eyes caught sight of a chess board on the table. He slowly walked over to pick up one of the pieces—a bishop—and gazed at it. If everyone knew the meaning of their existence, their place in the universe, their role in the society, then, there would be no suffering. If everyone got assigned to a place according to their abilities, then the world would become better.
It would be so, wouldn't it?
Then...why not create such a world?
A more beautiful world. A neat, safe world where there were clear rules and everything was organized, not like a chaos which was the current world. A new world where everyone had a defined role and a determined course of life. Where everything and everyone would be in the right place and work in the right way.
Where people followed the true king: their genes, their destiny the genes determined. Where destiny, instead of desires, reigned over humans.
What he had been thinking for years after breaking up with her was swirling inside his head, turning into a specific plan.
He could use his experiences. With his knowledge as a geneticist and as a person who had suffered from ignorance and desires, he could create an improved world where no one had to fight and suffer anymore.
He could, couldn't he?
He carefully considered the idea. It wouldn't be easy. There would be sacrifices. He would need pawns—pieces: knights of the plan, of the new world, a replacement of the queen, and many other warriors. But he already had some of them in his hands, and he was sure he could obtain the rest.
The plan was forming in details at high speed, as if it had been already made and laid out there for him to find by someone—something.
He felt so sure this plan would work. He just had to be cautious and tactful. And he was certain he was able to do that.
Yes, he could execute this plan. Then, why wouldn't he? This was good for everyone. And for himself. Doing what you could do and being useful led you to satisfaction—happiness. Probably this was what he had been looking for. Probably this was his salvation, the path to his happiness. It must be.
Maybe that was why this plan felt so right. Maybe that was why he felt so confident about his success. Maybe this was how it felt to have found your calling. What you were meant to do, how you were meant to live. Maybe something like fate existed after all. Maybe this was it.
Maybe this was his destiny.
Now the idea that everything was determined by fate, that everyone had an unchangeable, unavoidable destiny, seemed appealing, seemed true. Probably there was a meaning to everything. Everything that had happened to him. His choice to become a geneticist, his breakup with her, his having met Raww and Rey, his having been chosen as a councilman. All his pain. All his suffering.
Everything had happened for a reason. To lead him to this realization so that he could right this wrongness and save humanity. To success of his plan, to fulfillment of his destiny.
Even Raww's death might have happened for the same reason. And Raww and Rey having been born as a clone. And Athrun having been dumped by his ex-fiancée.
Probably their misery wasn't meaningless after all. It had been their destiny. Raww had died so that he could realize his destiny. The boys had had those experiences so that they could help him complete this mission. Both of the boys were destined to be warriors, and now that they knew the wrongness of this world, they would surely be willing to support him.
The world had been running in a wrong way for a long time. But now, he was going to change it. He was going to change everything in this universe.
He couldn't change the past. He couldn't make it so that it had never happened. But he could give it a meaning, a real meaning, not a false one, not a delusion. He could turn the past mistakes and the present misery into the foundation of future happiness, the foundation of the new world.
A world where no one had to have vain wishes, to want something—someone—they couldn't have. Where everyone knew what they could have and couldn't and therefore, no competitions, no conflicts happened. Where everyone was happy and living peacefully.
Everyone wanted to be happy. Everyone wanted to know about themselves, know how to live their life. Everyone wanted to know how to be saved.
So he would give them answers.
What you could do, what you should do, what you wished—should wish for. It was all written in your genes. The answer was always there inside you. All you needed to do to become happy was know your destiny and follow it.
What people needed, what this world needed was someone who knew it and pushed them to do so, who could show the way and enforce it.
Someone like him.
So he would take the role.
He would give Athrun the happiness he was supposed to have had if Patrick Zala and Lacus Clyne, their desires, had not gotten in the way. The boy would get back a satisfied life with a high reputation and a well-admired fiancée.
He would give Rey the life Raww should have had so that Rey wouldn't have to die in misery. The boy would become happy knowing who he really was and devoting the rest of his life to a great cause. It was probably fortunate Raww and Rey were clones since that was why they could redo their life, which no one else could.
He would guide—by force if necessary—people into the right paths so that they wouldn't make any more wrong choices.
He felt greatly motivated for the first time in years. He felt something stirring inside him. It was as if the hole in his chest was being filled. The place where his heart had once been.
He might have lost his heart. But it didn't matter anymore. The heart didn't matter. It was replaced now by a firm resolve.
It might actually be even a good thing that he didn't have the heart anymore. People made wrong decisions because of their foolish heart. Unlike them, however, he had nothing to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny, from achieving the job fate had assigned to him. He could fully devote himself to executing his plan.
This is how humans should be. They should discard dangerous desires, useless emotions, and follow their reason. They should try to fulfill their destiny instead of their misguided wishes.
Yes, this was the right way. When he accomplished the goal, accomplished what he should do, he could be happy again.
He squeezed the chess piece in his hand.
He wouldn't fail his destiny. He was going to succeed by any means. He was going to win.
A sound of a gunshot resounded in the room, which was supposed to have been a sign of his victory. Or at least a sign that he had not completely lost. If he could eliminate Kira Yamato, he might still have a chance to win. He could at least succeed in eliminating the Ultimate Coordinator, the product of human desire, the symbol of human possibility.
However, it didn't seem to be happening. His body was knocked off by some force and collapsed on his chair, then on the floor.
He just laid there for a while, unable to grasp what had really happened. Until she came to him.
A part of him thought that it might not be so bad if it was she who had shot him, if he could die by her hands. But she wasn't the one.
Knowing the answer brought him some surprise, even shock perhaps, which was soon replaced by calmness. He just felt defeated.
He had been sure that everyone wanted the world he had planned. Well, everyone who was smart and good enough.
Apparently, he had been wrong. Rey of all people had denied his belief. Rey, who knew very well the wrongness of this world, the hopelessness of human beings, the danger of desires and hopes. Rey, who must crave for salvation more than anyone else due to his unfortunate destiny as a clone. Rey, who had been most obedient to him. Rey, the thought of whom had inspired him to come up with the Destiny Plan.
The boy's crying face and voice deepened his feeling of resignation. He had believed that Rey was happily following him. That the life he gave the boy satisfied Rey.
Like Athrun, however, Rey had decided to go his own way. They had decided not to follow their destiny, the destiny he had laid out before them. They had rejected his instructions, his guidance.
It seemed his plan wasn't the salvation they would want, after all.
They had chosen the world he had thought no one—no one he wanted to save—would want. They had chosen to fight, to struggle, for the tomorrow they wanted even if it meant facing hardships and pain.
The thought stirred something in him, and he found himself strangely envying them.
As he tried to decipher his feelings, his ears caught her words. She was going to stay here. With him.
A warm feeling enveloped him. His body relaxed as if it completely accepted what had happened and what was going to happen: his life and death.
Releasing a slow, long breath, he looked up at her. He was genuinely glad that she was here and wanted her to know it. He wanted to tell her his honest feelings, and so he did.
"I guess this is our destiny after all," she replied in a voice tinged with acceptance and mischief.
"Don't say that," he returned wryly.
He didn't want this to be the destiny, the end something like fate had decided for them. He wanted it to be her choice, her will. He wanted to think that was what caused her to be here with him as it was her will that had caused her to come to this place.
Her genes had not urged her to come to him. Fate had not sent her to this place so that she could help him or stop him. She had chosen to come here of her own accord. And he wanted her choice to die with him to be the same, to be the consequence of her resisting her destiny.
He wanted her to do this not because she had to do it. Not because she had no other option. Not because she was bound to him by some kind of supernatural power. But because she wanted to do it. Because she cared enough about him to choose to stay with him.
Because she had chosen him.
And he realized that was what he had been trying to obtain all along. That was what he had truly wanted.
He had wanted to get back the past. He had wanted to get her back, get back the woman who had been all his. He had wanted her to choose him over everything else. Over her child. He had wanted her to choose him even if she had to give up what was very important to her, even if it wasn't their destiny to be together.
The realization led to another one as if it had opened his eyes and he now could see what he had not been able to, or what he had been trying not to.
He had always thought that his current life was the consequence of someone else's choices. That his life had been shaped by what someone or something other than himself—she—had chosen and decided. That he had not been given even a chance to choose the path he truly wanted to, the path to his happy future with her.
But it wasn't true.
He had chosen his way. He had made a choice, and his life had been its consequence. He just had not wanted to face it, face the fact that he was the one responsible for his misery.
If he had truly wanted to have a life with her, he could have at least tried to find a way instead of giving up so easily. He could have begged her to stay with him even if it meant she couldn't have her own child. He could have compromised and proposed to raise a child of hers and her genetic match's together. He could have struggled to reach the future where they could be together. He could have fought for her. Even if it hurt his pride.
He had never wanted to lose her. And yet, he had not told her so. He had not shown her how much she meant to him, how much he didn't want her to leave him.
Not that he surely could have made her stay if he had tried. But at least he would have known that he had done everything he could. That he had fought for what he wanted as hard as he could.
In reality, however, he hadn't.
He had just let her go without putting up a fight. Partly because he was angry at her making such a decision in the first place and couldn't accept her choice, couldn't forgive her for having something more important than him. Partly because he was resigned that there wasn't anything he could do; he had just told himself that it couldn't be helped because it was what their genes said. Because it was their destiny and nothing could change it.
As a geneticist, he had not been able to deny what their genes indicated. He had not wanted to doubt or hate what he had been dedicating his life to: the belief that knowing and obeying your genes led you to happiness. He had not wanted to lose his job in addition to losing her.
His pride had also stopped him from resisting what he was very unlikely to be able to change, from acting like a foolish child trying to obtain what he couldn't, from struggling without regard for appearances. He had not wanted to make such an undignified and seemingly useless attempt. He had not wanted to struggle pathetically. Giving up had been easier than throwing away his pride.
And it was the mistake he had always regretted deep down: choosing his pride over her. It was the mistake he had always wanted to take back. The choice he had wanted to undo.
He had just been avoiding facing the too devastating truth all these years.
His pride. It had probably been the source of his suffering after all, now he could admit. It also had stopped him from fully accepting the past and moving on. He had not been able to make peace with the fact that he had lost. He had lost her to her child. He had failed to win her love from a child who didn't even exist yet.
He hated losing. He hated failing. He wanted to win. He had wanted to create a world where he would never have to lose again.
However, now he realized. If no competitions existed, there would surely be no chance of losing. But it also meant that there would be no chance of winning, either.
He wouldn't be able to win in the world he had tried to create, in the future where the Destiny Plan was enforced. He wouldn't be able to feel this satisfaction of victory. He wouldn't be able to be with her if they had followed their destiny, their genes.
Finally realizing that, he felt glad that he had not successfully executed his plan. He had failed his destiny, and he had never been more delighted.
Some goals were better to be unfulfilled. Sometimes, failing to attain what you aimed for was the way to your happiness. Though it didn't mean your wishes were meaningless.
Now he accepted his plan had been wrong. What made you happy wasn't becoming useful, fulfilling the role given to you. Destiny wasn't the ruler of your life. The heart wasn't an unnecessary, worthless thing.
Now he could feel it.
He had failed. Yet, he had succeeded. He had lost. Yet, he had won. Because his effort, his fight, had somehow brought him to the place he had wanted to go to even though it was different from the consequence he had originally intended to have. Because now, he had her all to himself. Now, he could have her forever without worrying about losing her to anything.
A smile gracing his lips, he closed his eyes. Now, he could be truly happy as his heart had returned to him.
A/N: Okay, this ending left you with a bad aftertaste, right? Well, it kind of did that to me when I wrote it. But I couldn't find any other interpretation and so, had to make it this way.
Anyway, while watching the GSD episode 29 in which Dullindal ponders about his past and other things, I got the feeling that he has some personal attachment to Athrun and Lacus's relationship, or more like to their breakup. That's basically where the idea of this fic came from.
I see Dullindal as a negative example to Athrun (and one to Lacus, though it's irrelevant here): what Athrun can/may become, but chose not to. It's actually affected by another fan's opinion: GilbertTalia is a negative example to AthrunCagalli; the end of GT is what could happen to AC if they made certain choices in GSD (which they didn't). Combined with yet another suggestion (I don't remember whether it came from the same person or a different person) that Cagalli is like a single mother, Orb being her child, it made good sense to me.
In fact, I personally think several other GSD male characters are related to Athrun in a similar way. Well, I'm not going to elaborate here since it would be too long. But if you keep it in mind while reading my fics, they may make more sense to you.
Thank you for reading. If you have reviewed my other fics, thank you so much for that, too.