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Athrun: Aaahh, c’mon, I said not there!
What are you doing, Kira!?
After checking the next step, I looked to see what Kira was doing, and he was doing something stupid again.
Athrun: I told you, 280-E connects to 589-G!
See, look at the diagram.
I just explained it—why is he messing it up already? I’m the one who should be sighing.
Kira: I don’t understand this stuff.
He says, without even bothering to look to make sure he’s doing it right.
Athrun: It’s not that you don’t understand
You understand; you’re just not doing it right.
It’s always the same.
So why am I the one who gets glared at while you sulk? You have no right to glare at me. You’re the one who came to me for help, Kira! And whose fault do you think this is in the first place!?
Athrun: Hurry and fix that; then the left side will be done.
You don’t have to look so unhappy. I know that you hate working on micro-units. That’s why when we got the assignment, and afterwards, I kept asking you over and over, “Are you okay? Are you doing it?” And you told me, “I’m okay; I’m doing it.” So why are we doing this now?
No, it’s not like I don’t know Kira well enough to believe him when he says that. I know. I had a bad feeling about it.
* * *
Athrun: You haven’t done it?
You haven’t done anything? At all?
What have you been doing!?
Kira: Um, well, I told you… nothing…
Athrun: Don’t you correct me!
I knew it…
Oh well. I didn’t think he actually hadn’t done anything. It’s an assignment. People do them, normally, even just a little. I mean, we had two weeks to turn it in, so he should have known it would take time to finish. And the teacher who gave him three more days probably didn’t think he had actually done nothing, either. But why is it that when Kira has an assignment that he hates, he becomes so insanely incompetent? He’s far better than the rest at doing what he likes, and he’s incredibly sharp. The thing is he’s a selfish, irresponsible, spoiled, problematic kid.
* * *
Kira: Athrun, I bet you could write words on rice.
Athrun: Huh? What?
Just when you think he’s quietly doing his homework, he comes up with something like this again.
Kira: You know, rice.
It’s a plant, and we use it for food…
Is he making fun of me?
Athrun: Yeah, I know what rice is.
I do eat it, after all.
So what about rice?
Kira: You know, they write words on rice.
It’s so small, but they get a whole sentence.
There are people who do that.
What thin air did you pull that from? Right now, you should be concerned with circuits, not rice! Don’t stop working!
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Kira: Well, it seems like something you’d do, Athrun,
So I thought you probably could.
Write on rice.
Kira: Eh? Just…cuz…
Athrun: Is there some significance in the writing?
Kira: I dunno
Athrun: *sigh* Kira…
Why does talking to him always turn out like this? I know, I know. He’s trying to say I’m good at detailed work, right? And that I don’t hate it as much as Kira, and that I can stand it better than he can. But why does it turn into stuff about words on rice? In that case, just say what you mean! Eh, it doesn’t matter.
*beep beep beep*
Mrs. Yamato: Kira, Athrun-kun, it’s time for dinner!
Kira: Ah! Coming!
Athrun: Thank you!
Kira: Alright! And we just finished the left side!
Athrun: You mean we only finished the left side.
Athrun: At your pace, this is going to take forever.
* * *
News: According to this announcement, (news about PLANT and stuff)
Kira: Ahhh, I’m starving!
Mrs. Yamato: Here, put this on the table.
Kira: Can I change the channel?
Athrun: You mean this?
Mrs. Yamato: Yes, thank you.
Athrun: Anything else?
Oh, this too, right?
Mrs. Yamato: Yes.
Kira, you come help too.
My family is just my father, who’s been at PLANT for a long time, and my mother, who’s doing agricultural research for the government, and me, and because my mother is so busy, more often than not, no one’s there when I go home. At those times, I would often go to Kira’s house, and they’d feed me and let me stay the night. I could fix my own food and eat alone now, so it’s fine, but our mothers are good friends so it’s been this way for a long time, ever since we were little. Kira’s mom is bright, cheerful, gentle person. She’s very different from my mom, but they’re the same in that they’re both scary when they’re angry. Well, I only watch from the sides as she gets mad at Kira, though.
Mrs. Yamato: TV off!
Kira: Aww, I was watching that!
Mrs. Yamato: We turn it off when we’re eating.
Athrun: There’s no interesting news on today anyway.
Kira: The Jupiter probe satellite…
Athrun: You’re still watching that?
Kira: What? I think it’s interesting!
Mrs. Yamato: Mmm. Here, Athrun-kun, help yourself.
Ah! It’s rolled cabbage!
Mrs. Yamato: *laugh* You said you liked it, so I got carried away and made it again.
Athrun: Oh! Thank you so much!
I was thinking about how I’d like to have some again!
Mrs. Yamato: Then I’m glad I made it.
I got a lot of cabbage from your mother.
Athrun: Mom’s really into growing cabbage these days.
The first time I met Kira, we were in preschool, so it was when we were four. It’s been like this ever since then, so more than classmates or friends, we’re more like brothers. Whenever anyone says that, Kira will say something like, “I’m four months older!” but he just gets laughed at. What does he mean, he’s older? He’s an airhead and careless, selfish and spoiled—I feel like I’m mad at him all year round. But, strangely, it never turns into a fight. I mean, Kira being the way he is, the anger doesn’t last. I don’t know if that’s good or bad… Well, oh well.
Mrs. Yamato: There’s plenty, so eat as much as you want.
Athrun: Yes, ma’am.
Mrs. Yamato: How is Kira’s homework coming along?
Does it look like it’ll work out?
Athrun: Yes, well, it’ll work out.
I mean, we have to make it work out.
Mrs. Yamato: And, Kira, you always end up turning to Athrun-kun for help.
You need to shape up and do things right.
Kira: Not always!
I’m faster at programming!
Athrun: *laugh* That’s true.
But you have a crazy way of putting things together.
Mrs. Yamato: What? Just faster?
That’s not necessarily true. And it’s not really crazy, I guess. If I had to describe it, it’s…creative? It’s interesting. Kira might be really talented in that area. A stronger body, and a greater intellect. That’s what the first Coordinator, George Glenn, said, but it refers to us. It means that through genetic engineering, people can solve various problems, and have found new possibilities. But my mom’s always saying it’s just that the container is bigger.
Kira: Oh yeah, Jordy says he’s moving.
Kira: He said it yesterday.
Mrs. Yamato: Oh, my.
Athrun: To PLANT?
Mrs. Yamato: A lot of people are moving these days.
Kira: He’s the third one in my class.
Do you think there’ll really be a war?
Athrun: I doubt it, but…
War. There have been rumors of it going around, but it’s gotten so bad that a lot of families have started moving off of the Moon. I wonder if there will really be a war between PLANT and Earth like they’re saying. There have always been a lot of disputes between PLANT and the leading countries on Earth. I wonder if my family will be moving soon. What about Kira’s family?
Athrun: Thank you for the meal.
Mrs. Yamato: You’re welcome. If you’re not done yet, then work hard!
Kira: Yes, Mom.
* * *
Kira: When’s your mom coming home tonight?
Athrun: I think around ten.
Kira: Then, we have until then, right, Athrun?
Kira: Okay then,
You wanna play video games—just for a little
Who’s homework do you think we’re working on!?
Kira: It’s okay, it’s okay!
Just for a little! Just one round!
Athrun: If we play, then I’ll end up having to pay for it, so
Kira: It’s okay! I’ll do my homework!
Athrun: You’ll just lose anyway.
Kira: Today I’ll win!
I found a new cheat code.
That’s what you did instead of working on your assignment!?
Athrun: Don’t “hahaha” me!
Kira: Heheh. It’s okay.
Okay! Let’s see… Okay, here we go!
And where’s the fun in winning with a cheat code?
What with all the rumors, and hearing only bad things on the news, things weren’t looking good, and of course we were a little worried, but neither of us had any sense of the reality that there might be a war. We just kept going to class, doing our assignments, and then playing, like always. We just spent our days like that. Even though the number of empty seats in class gradually began to stand out.
* * *
Athrun: Wait a second…
What did you just say?
Kira: Eh? I said a bird.
Athrun: A bird!?
About this big,
That perches on your hand or your shoulder
And it’d tilt its head like this, and chirp.
Athrun: Don’t tell me…
Kira: Of course it’d fly! It’s a bird.
Athrun: “Of course it would fly”?
What are you thinking!?
Kira, are you serious?
Kira: Eh? Bad idea?
But I think it would be cute.
Athrun: It probably would be cute, but
Do you really think you could make something like that?
Kira: Mm, I guess it would be kinda hard.
Athrun: You think!?
Making it tilt its head, chirp, perch on your shoulder and fly!?
Athrun: That wouldn’t even be easy for me!
You can’t stand micro-units. You think you could make that in two weeks?
It’s an assignment; all you have to do is fulfill the requirements.
Make it something simpler.
Even with the coming of spring, life didn’t change much. As usual, Kira is tormented by his micro-unit assignments, and I’m tormented by him. But why is he suddenly saying he’s going to make a bird? I know it would be cute, and it would probably be fun. But that’s no reason to suddenly choose such a difficult project. At this point, probably what Kira could actually manage would be a hamster. Can’t he think in terms of what he could actually do?
Athrun: Don’t think I’ll help you this time.
As if it makes any difference. We both say the same thing every single time, but it always turns out the same. Even if he did do a hamster, I would end up having to help him out anyway. So I guess I’ll just have to finish mine as quickly as possible so I’ll have more time. At that time, I was just thinking that.
* * *
It was right after that that Mom told me we were moving to PLANT. Dad had been wanting us to go for a long time, but Mom had work, and more than anything, we had never thought about the possibility of evacuating. Had things really gotten that bad? Will there really be a war? Why would things turn out like that? What good would it do if there was a war? In a place I didn’t know, something big was moving to somewhere I don’t know. But what I know right now is that my, that our lives were changing. Because school, and Kira’s house, and Kira would all still be there, but I was leaving.
* * *
Pink flowers. Sakura. When the wind blew, the flower petals would fly around and land on Kira’s hair and shoulders.
I said, holding out my hand, which held the green bird. Kira looked up at me, surprised.
Athrun: It tilts its head, chirps, perches on your shoulder,
When it jumped onto Kira’s hand and chirped, he looked even more surprised.
Athrun: There won’t really be a war
Between PLANT and Earth.
That’s right. People aren’t that stupid.
Athrun: I don’t think we really need to evacuate.
Aw, man. He looks like he’s going to cry. Kira cries a lot.
Athrun: You’ll probably be coming to PLANT soon too, right, Kira?
I said, smiling, because, to be honest, I don’t like to see him cry. That’s right; it’s not unthinkable. I don’t know how things will turn out with the war, but our daily lives won’t change that much, right? We’ll just be apart for a bit for now, and Kira will come to PLANT soon. So don’t make that face! We’ll see each other again soon! And then we’ll be able to play again. Just like it’s always been.
I didn’t know what destiny would have in store us three years later.