Monday, November 8, 2010

Unnatural Reunion: SEED D Cagalli's Flay/Lacus Saga, Part Two

11 straight MS Word pages of...NOT porn? This may seem a little odd for a porn site to host, but it's rather crucial to what SEED D Cagalli's got planned next.

“Under confinement.”  That's what they called it. 
As Flay stared up at the ceiling from her bed, she wondered -as she had done for many times now- if some twisted god was enjoying destroying her life more every day.  She had long since given up asking it to stop though, and instead would silently beg it to finish the job already. 
It had all started with Heliopolis being attacked.  After that it had been when that... monster violated her.  And then the drama -drama she herself had started- with Kira and Tolle dying and Alaska and just so many things again and again... completely out of her control. 
… And now she was on a ship full of Coordinators: the subhuman things she had feared and hated long before their glorious pink princess robbed her of her innocence. 
Her quarters were the bare minimum of a cot, bathroom, a few towels, and spare uniforms for women serving onboard the ship.  Though seeing as how she was a prisoner and couldn't be left to her own devices, a camera had been installed to capture her every movement.  The masked man that almost reminded her of her father had assured her that it was mainly intended to be for her own safety.  After all, this ship was crewed by Coordinators, and more than a few were just as prejudiced against Naturals as she used to be towards them. 
She almost would have believed him, if not for the creeping feeling of desperation inside her that grew every day.  It had started shortly after that horror-inducing encounter with Lacus Clyne, at first merely cravings for a few unusual foods and the occasional cramp.  But the problems kept showing up and she had to become more and more careful with her actions and excuses and eventually she had just had sex with Kira as an emergency contingency if it ever came to light that she was- 
A shiver ran down Flay's spine.  Every time she thought about that moment... what that freak did to her... what she said about her, Flay felt her resolve shake.  Lacus had raped her and made her the victim in all of this.  An utterly helpless victim, in fact, and one that wanted some sense of protection.  After things with Kira had fallen apart Flay  had even found herself holding a pillow between her arms every night to just give herself the feeling she wasn't alone and that if Lacus returned she'd have some refuge. 
The mental image of Lacus standing there, her erect cock pointing up from between her legs, was more than enough for Flay to pull her pillow even closer.  Her heart began to beat faster, recalling how Lacus had completely controlled the situation, declaring Flay enjoyed the experience, and the way the girl's warm body had felt against Flay's own.  And all the while Flay kept telling herself that it was in the past.  She was her own room, safe and sound. 
And then shots rang out.  Flay jerked herself upright, clutching the pillow desperately, trying to will the sounds and shouts away.  Alarms blared even as she sprinted towards the bathroom, whispering “please go away” endlessly.  She didn't even make it halfway there; the door to her room being blown open by an explosive charge.  She was caught, staring out into the illuminated hallway as light crept in, staring at a slew of men and women wearing ZAFT naval uniforms. 
“Flay Allster?” the lead man asked. 
She barely shook her head, hoping that this was all just a mistake or a joke.  It had to be... there was just no way that she'd track- 
Flay's blood ran cold as two smooth arms wrapped around her  from behind, teasingly brushing up against her breasts.  They playfully rubbed her nipples through the fabric of her uniform and even as she could feel a feminine breath on her neck, Flay felt a very masculine bulge press itself against her rear. 
“Thought I would just give you up?” the seductive voice whispered.  “Thought that I'd let that night be the end of things between us?”

She was transfixed in terror.  That freak was behind her, turning Flay's own body against her while her men stood and watched the spectacle unfold.  Her nipples grew more stiff as she felt the freak's body against her own, making it all the more easy for them to be tugged, and her in spite of how... wrong it was... Flay was losing herself to this terrible moment.
“More importantly,” Lacus planted a kiss on Flay's neck before her hands drifted down to the Natural's belly, “Did you think I wouldn't claim what was mine?” 
Flay's heart, already beating quickly from arousal, redoubled its rate as Lacus craned her head forward, lightly kissing Flay's face while drawing closer to her lips.  She almost laughed as Flay squirmed, inadvertently turning her body so Lacus could better kiss her; better bring nether regions together once again. 
And then Lacus had her.  Their bodies were pressed against each others, their eyes locked, and their lips barely brushing against each other. 
You will never be rid of me, Flay,” Lacus whispered before pulling Flay into another kiss, drowning out a single protest from Flay and reclaiming what was hers.
-And in the space of another instant, it was all gone, just like it always was.   
The core of the nightmare was always the same, even if the details of it changed every time Flay had it.  Mere days after that horrible moment, Lacus had simply woken her up in the night and violated her in her own room.  When she had been sleeping with Kira, the nightmare entailed waking up, being clad in leather, and being the personal toy to Kira's  androgynous mistress. 
But the nightmares had never been so vivid until the one that decided to become true.  After all, she had been abducted from the ZAFT vessel.  She had been taken by men and women who worked for the freak.  And now it was in Lacus's power to despoil her again if she so wished. 
… And yet the freak hadn't made herself known yet.  Not in person.
The rest of the night drifted by without sleep.  To risk experiencing the nightmare twice in one night was simply out of the question.  But the hell she had been left with in place of it was barely better: being alone with her thoughts about the time that she had been raped.  And not only that, raped in a bed just like the one she was in.  Being violated in a room just like the one she was in.  Her only protection being a door like the ones Lacus could somehow lock and unlock on a whim. 
Morning came eventually, although it certainly took its sweet time coming around.  And when it did there was no reason to celebrate: it was simply another morning in an abandoned colony with technicians and engineers from the Archangel and those two other ship working around the clock on various projects.  It meant that the Archangel's CIC didn't need to be on alert at all times, fortunately, and Captain Ramius had been willing to let Flay rest from her obviously emotionally taxing capture. 
It was an offer that Flay made the most of, staying in her room and staying away from anyone who might ask too many questions.  It also meant she didn't have to interact very much with the Buster's pilot -a Coordinator she had very nearly killed before- or anyone from Heliopolis.  As for Kira... well,  he had been overjoyed to see her again, but he was rarely around.  He had important duties on that pink ZAFT warship.  Pink.  Flay felt an uncomfortable tingling in her stomach as her mind drifted to the Eternal, and how its captain still hid behind a veil of purity. 
Her train of thought was lost as she heard her door unexpectedly slide open.  For a moment a renewed terror gripped Flay, causing her to imagine it was Lacus standing at the doorway, although it passed just as quickly. 
“C-captain Ramius!” A swift snap to attention and a salute followed as the elder woman simply smiled. 
“There's no need to be so formal, Flay,” Murrue said as she stepped in.  “This is your own room after all.” With no sign of Flay loosening up she sighed.  “Please, Flay.  I'd like to have a few words with you and I'd prefer if you were comfortable.” 
“Excuse me?” 
Murrue's face darkened as her gaze shifted away slightly.  “The older officers onboard the Eternal and Kusanagi were discussing with Mu and myself about your time as a ZAFT prisoner.  Ever since you've come back you've been keeping to yourself.  Considering your...” she paused, searching for an appropriate word for a moment.  “Views...” Yes, that would work, “... on Coordinators, at first Mu and I thought you were simply staying away so as to not cause friction.” 
Flay almost felt her throat constrict to the point of suffocation as she choked out the lie.  “I... guess that's just been the case.  If we didn't bump into each other then-” 
“But now more than a few of us are suspecting something else.” Murrue looked at Flay and braced herself. 
“We've discussed this with Commander Waltfeld and the ZAFT defectors and they've all come to the same conclusion as each other.  Flay, procedure for prisoners in the ZAFT navy consisted of being confined to a cell until arrival at a port.  You were given a actual living quarters, almost as if you were one of the crew.  In fact, you were wearing the uniform of a ZAFT Green.  It's possible that you were-” Words failed Murrue again, though not because she didn't know what to say. 
The problem was she did know what to say, and what it implicated about one of her crew. 
Flay,” Murrue repeated again.  “I don't think I have to explain what the implications about a girl like yourself on an enemy vessel mean. Too many men in wars use the conflict as an excuse to do horrible things... and not just on the battlefield. 
“And what we need to know for your sake... is if you were raped.” 
The color drained from Flay's face.  She felt a pit twist into being in her stomach.  Her legs grew weak.  The damn question had been asked.  She figured someone would have found a reason to raise it sooner or later and then it would be over.  She would have to either lie and let the blame be shifted away from Lacus... or admit the truth that nobody would ever believe about their goddamn perfect princess. 
Flay felt her lips quiver for a moment as she opened her mouth and bowed her head down. 
“... yes.  I was.” 
With that the professional distance between captain and crewwoman was gone.  Flay found herself being pulled into a comforting embrace and looking up into Murrue's eyes, seeing sadness and pity in them.  It would be too easy to just lie here and let the problem be swept aside and resolved painlessly. 
It would also be wrong. 
“But it was while I was still onboard the Archangel.” 
… And those were words that Murrue hadn't expected.  She slowly distanced herself from Flay only for a single image to appear in her mind: one of a faceless man -one she had fought tooth and nail to protect- robbing Flay of basic dignity.  She hated the thought of it; the crew of the Archangel should have risen above the bulk of the Atlantic Federation and its amoral actions on and off the battlefield. 
“It wasn't anyone actually stationed onboard,” Flay continued.  Momentum had been gathered, enough that she knew she couldn't stop even if she wanted to.   “I was stupid and I walked into it and-”

“Flay.”  Murrue rested a hand on the girl's shoulder.  “No matter who it was or what happened, you have nothing to be afraid of anymore.  That moment is past, and I'll see to it that the person that did this to you will never get anywhere near-”
“It was Lacus.” 
Flay could practically hear the captain's perceptions of reality shattering.  “No... Flay, this isn't the time for this!  I know you were less than civil around her before but don't pin this on-” 
“I'm not trying to pin this on anyone!” The hornet's nest had been stirred, and Flay found herself unable to keep it bottled up anymore.  Those memories were becoming vivid again, reopening wounds Flay had done her hardest to try to scab over.  “Lacus raped me!  She's a goddamn freak of a bitch with a cock that fucked me! 
Flay clenched her teeth, seething furiously as she stared at Murrue and half-expecting to get slapped for what she had said.  She knew Natarle would have, but instead Murrue's hands stayed put. 
The captain closed her eyes, picking her next words carefully.  “I don't want to believe this, Flay.  It's too... ludicrous to believe, especially since it's coming from you.”   It was impossible to be true.  It just couldn't.    And at the same time...  you're saying this and honestly believing it... I can't ignore it.  What kind of captain would I be if I did?” 
A part of Flay almost celebrated.  She had the captain's support.  Someone was actually willing to believe her and support her... and someone who was influential, no less. 
Murrue let out a weary sigh as she turned towards the door.  “Stay here, Flay.  This... is a serious situation.  Manpower is tight enough as it is, and all it would take is one wrong word said at the wrong time and this alliance might collapse.” 
“If it's anyone's fault, it's Lacus Clyne's,” Flay muttered. 
“And statements like that won't win us any points with the crew of the Eternal,” Murrue answered back with more of an edge than she had previously.  “I'll get back to you as soon as I can.  Just know that if this is you being petty, Flay... you will answer for it.” The door opened with a hiss, and Captain Ramius left Flay to her own devices.

A short while later -shorter than Flay had expected, in fact- Murrue returned. 
“What happened?” 
Murrue shook her head slowly, almost at a loss for words before finally speaking.  “... She confessed to me.” 
Flay's sensation of triumph swelled.  It was over.  The freak could hide behind words and pretty poses and record-breaking singles... but she couldn't hide the twisted dick jutting between her legs.  She had beat Lacus Clyne.  She had honest-to-god- 
Murrue stirred and slowly moved off to one side, revealing a melancholy figure behind her.  Despair immediately gripped Flay anew. 
“Hearing her explanation...” Murrue's eyes flashed venomously at Flay for a moment, “As well as what precipitated the... act... I thought it for the best for you two to meet aga-” 
“Why?  So she can rape me again and you can watch?” Flay snapped, almost taken aback by her own words.  But what other possible reason could there be?  “She raped me, captain!  Why would you bring her down here when-” 
Lacus slowly raised her hand, getting Flay's attention as the Natural glared at her furiously. 
Lacus bowed her head down, hesitating ever so briefly before finally speaking.  “I came to apologize.” 
Flay was enraged.  Apologize?  For what?  Apologize for raping her?  Apologize for making her pregnant?  “You think I'd actually forgive you?!?” Flay said mockingly.  “You think what you did is something I could just accept and get over, you goddamn fre- 
Suddenly Flay felt a harsh impact on the side of her face and she was knocked down to the ground.  She expected to see Lacus standing over her like in her nightmares so many times; ready to continue where she left off the first time.  Instead it was Murrue Ramius, barely able to hold herself back as looked down at Flay with a fury that eclipsed the younger girl's. 
No one is saying what Lacus did was right,” she hissed through clenched teeth.  “No one is saying what she did was acceptable.  But when a person comes to you... realizes the severity of their actions and tries to make amends... you do not treat them with open hostility! 
She had never seen Murrue so angry before.  The Archangel's captain loomed over her, almost daring Flay to throw another petty insult Lacus's way. 
“What happened between you two...” She continued, pacing her breathing and taking a more restrained tone -if only just-, “Is regrettable.  You both made mistakes that night and I won't deny you or Lacus my sympathies.” 
Flay slowly pulled herself back up to her feet, bitterly keeping her mouth shut. 
“I also came because you deserve an explanation.” Flay glanced up, seeing that Lacus had entered her room, looking a little more composed than before as she nodded in appreciation to Murrue.  “Thank you.  For... getting that across for me.” 
Murrue reached up, rubbing one of her temples.  “I should have talked to Flay about this first before bringing you onboard,” she sighed.  “That said... Flay is not entirely baseless in her accusations.  I'm giving you what you asked for... but keep in mind if you so much as touch her there will be repercussions, Lacus.” 
The Coordinator girl nodded in understanding, and with that Murrue walked out of the room. 
Flay choked down a shriek of disbelief that she had every right to bellow.  Murrue was leaving her alone with the girl who raped her.  She had the audacity to think history wouldn't repeat itself the moment her back was turned.  As Murrue grew closer and closer to the door, Flay began to feel the need to yell out at the good captain for abandoning her.  But her cheek still stung from Murrue's blow and she stayed silent, even as the door slid shut and left her alone with her rapist. 
What scared her was how similar this situation felt when she had seemingly had caught Lacus with her pants down, so to speak.  The pink-haired Coordinator looked uneasy, nervous, vulnerable even.  And Flay dreaded just how abrupt the freak's transition from victim to rapist could be.

Lacus seemed to realize this herself and calmly stepped sideways into the room, distancing herself from the door and Flay at the same time.  “I didn't come here to excuse my actions.”

Flay snorted in disbelief.  “Of course.  You came here to explain them, which is so much different.”
“It is,” Lacus answered, sounding a little more stronger and yet still maintaining the compassion in her voice.  “My body... the reason it is the way it is... I didn't find out the truth until recently.”

“Why not?” Flay snapped.  “Your parents decided to give you a dick just to show how abnormal you were.  End of story.”

Lacus shook her head.  “My father,” she shook her head.  There were bad memories -recent memories- that went along with her father.  She didn't want it to be brought up; lest Flay make this confrontation uglier than it was.  “My parents didn't make the decision lightly.  Around the time I was conceived, a controversial program was being tried out to side-step the sterility issue with second and third-generation Coordinators.  The main difficulty was in females, with each generation of Coordinators have further inhospitable wombs.  The males had drastically reduced sperm-counts, but could still conceive a child together with a Natural-”
“... And so to boost the number of Coordinator babies, parents chose to give their little girls tiny dicks too, didn't they?” Flay guessed.  An accurate guess, in fact. 
Lacus nodded.  “The program floundered.  It was objectionable on moral grounds and few volunteered for it.  Plus the girls equipped with male reproductive organs frequently had a sperm count too low for reproductive uses.  As such the program was eventually and quietly killed, with most records of it buried.  After I... did that regrettable thing to you... I finally found the reason to actually look into the matter... about why I was a 'freak'.” 
“And let me guess: you hoped I wasn't pregnant, didn't you?” The silence was all the confirmation that Flay needed.  “Figures.  Your father makes you this way and he never bothers to tell you the truth... What kind of sick man makes his daughter a freak just to boost up the population of Coordinators?”

Lacus's face visibly twitched.  Her father hadn't made that choice on a whim... and she wanted to believe that when she was old enough he would have told her the truth.  If not for the war then maybe-
The reaction wasn't lost on Flay though.  “What?  Is this some kind of shock to you?” she taunted.  “I bet you were daddy's little girl and now you realize he never gave a fuck about you.  You think he'd be happy that you don't shoot blanks?  That you managed to knock up a Natural girl?”

Lacus felt a barrier she had done her hardest to raise begin to crumble.  “Please don't talk about my father that way.  I loved him and I know he only wanted the best for-”
“Bullshit!” Flay snapped back.  “Why should I?  He was the PLANT chairman when this damn war started!  He certainly had a hand in everything's that happened... and you expect me to give a man who'd give his only daughter a goddamn penis the benefit of the doubt?  What possible reason do I have?”

The wall broke.  Lacus felt tears welling up in her eyes again.
She also head a voice telling her to say one thing; just one, to end all of this. 
“Because,” Lacus used every bit of her strength to speak clearly, and she looked gazes with Flay.  “Because I loved my father and losing him was the most painful experience of my life. 
“Surely that's something you can relate to. 
And for the second time now, in the space of an instant, Lacus Clyne... the freak... had turned the tables on her.   
Flay felt something squirm deep inside her mind to the forfront; the hopes of reuniting with her father being the single thing that brought her back from the brink.  It was the hope that would let her survive business as usual until something could be done about her situation.  She could have confided in him... tell him just enough of the truth that she could do something about the pregnancy and end it before anyone else would notice.  And it was her father, someone who would care for her and love her regardless of everything else.  Even if she had been raped by a freak... even then... he would have loved her all the same. 
… And then Kira failed to protect him.  In her more cynical moments she'd say he'd killed him.  A single GINN was something that Kira could have destroyed in the space of a heartbeat, and yet he had been tied up fighting the Aegis instead.

Lacus had robbed Flay of her innocence, yes.  But that moment had done something painful in a different way: deny her of a reliable foundation knew she could find support in. 
“And just like that, I've wronged you again...” Lacus said sadly.  She knew she shouldn't have.  She knew it could lead to repeating the same horrible actions as before.  But she had just attacked Flay's mind and heart and the girl was hurting. 
Praying silently, Lacus crossed the distance between them, paused a moment to see if Flay would take any action, and she didn't Lacus pulled Flay into a hug. 
“Recently my father was killed by extremists in ZAFT.  It's not the same... but you're not the only one who's lost a parent to this war.” 
The freak was hugging her.  Flay knew that she was helpless if Lacus chose to ravage her again.  Too many of her dreams had played out this way, with Lacus feigning empathy only to strike at the first available moment.

And it was going to happen again.  Flay knew it would.
“And I know you've had so little of a say in your life for too long.  You're not even here by choice,” Lacus continued, rubbing Flay's back to try to calm her.  “And... I want that to change.  If you want to leave here... live your life wherever you want then I'll see to it you do.  Just say the word and I'll make it happen, Flay.  You'll never have to see or hear of me ever again.  You'll be free to do whatever you wish with our child...” 
Why was she sounding so human?  Why was she giving a damn about her? 
“I'm... I'm a father now.   I want to be a good father and do what's my child's mother needs.  Do you need a life without me, Flay?  Do you need to forget about me and how much I've hurt you?  I'll understand if you do... I wouldn't be a good father if I didn't.”

And with those choice words, Flay broke down and cried.  She bawled helplessly, clinging to the father of her child.  She looked at Lacus, still dreading -no, wishing- this was all just a ruse.  She had faced Lacus's treachery in her dreams all too often and even if she hated it, it was easy enough to accept. 
It would hurt far more to admit that Lacus Clyne was ultimately a flawed but well-meaning person. 
Faintly, Flay felt a curled finger gently tilt her head upwards, and she found herself looking straight into the eyes of the silently-crying Lacus. 
“I don't want to be a monster, Flay.  For the longest time I thought I wasn't... but after I raped you I couldn't delude myself.  Even if it was just that one time... it's still true.  I may not be the same as the people in ZAFT or Blue Cosmos, but I hurt someone in a way nobody has the right to, just as they have.  They destroy the lives of people for their own selfish reasons, just like I did to you that night. 
Please, Flay.  What do I have to do to see that you're happy?  What do I have to do to not be a freak? 
Flay was at a loss for words but when she finally realized what position she was in  she broke eye contact and pushed Lacus away enough that she could stand on her own..  Otherwise, she figured, someone might get ideas.  She knew Lacus would. 
“... Well, you've admitted it,” she finally snorted after recollecting herself.
“Just a tour.” That's what Flay had decided to define it as.  Just to help orient her with the larger part of her home for the immediate future.  Just a simple walk through from the Archangel to the other ships to get acquainted with the new people. 
The Mendel Colony's hangar had seemingly redoubled in activity since Flay's previous, brief time seeing it.  Mobile suits, some she had recognized and others that were new were strewn throughout it, each having a person or group of persons taking part in some degree of maintenance she had little grasp of.  Hardly anyone even paid attention to her or her guide, and those that did went back to work quickly  enough. 
A dark-skinned man who was helping with the Buster -one Flay recognized almost immediately as a man she came very killing- almost froze when he saw her, however.  But after a moment he shook it off and turned back to the Gundam. 
Flay shook her head for a moment before turning back to Lacus.  “Sorry.  I just...” 
If Lacus seemed bothered by it she didn't show it.  “We all have things we're not proud of, Flay.  ZAFT, the Earth Federation... even Orb's not entirely innocent.  They did help make the original five Gundams mainly just as a stepping stone for their own Astray project, after all.  But all of us are here because we want to end this war so all of that-” 
A sudden uproar sprang up much farther down in the hangar.  Flay tried to turn and look only to be almost blinded by a brilliant light from something.  She threw up her arms to block out the light, and out of the corner of her eye she saw everyone, Lacus included doing the same in one way or another and as quickly as it began, the shining stopped. 
There, off in the distance, the blonde princess of Orb loomed over a very frightened and ashamed mechanic, no doubt the person to blame for the light.  As Flay's gaze shifted, however, she realized the source of the light was entirely different: a strange replication of the Strike adorned with tight-fitting patches of fabric over parts of its torso. 
“It was something that Lord Uzumi had been developing for his daughter,” Lacus said as she blinked her eyes repeatedly.  The sudden burst had taken her by surprise, and unlike Flay she had been unlucky enough to be staring at ground zero when the stray rope broke.  “It wasn't even half-completed when they had to flee Orb, but they loaded it up on the Kusanagi all the same.  No reason to let Blue Cosmos- ahh...” Sight had finally returned to her eyes, and after a moment bowed her head in apologies.  After that, she began  moving again, and the tour continued. 
Flay guessed the conclusion easily enough.  “You didn't want Blue Cosmos to have it, did you?” 
Lacus nodded.  “Denying them that mobile suit was of the utmost importance, as incomplete as it is.” 
Flay was about to laugh when she realized that Lacus had lead her somewhere special.  Before the two of them, suspiciously devoid of attendees, was Kira's new mobile suit: the ZAFT one that Lacus had provided for him.  And with that the casual amusement she had been experiencing drained away, leaving both girls to stare at the machine in silence. 
“... I...” Lacus turned towards Flay, “I suppose we should tell him at some point.  About... both of us.  Out of everyone here, Kira's the one most entitled to the truth.” 
Flay didn't answer for a moment and only did speak up just as Lacus was about to repeat what she had said.  “You wouldn't... have to.  Not necessarily.  I mean, he and I-” 
“You don't have to say anything.  He told me about that.  I was rather surprised you'd be willing to get that close to another Coordinator again so soon.” 
“Well,” Flay sighed, “I was scared.  I wanted a way out in case anyone asked questions.  And I-  look.” Her tone took on the faintest hint of an edge as she turned her back on the Freedom.  “You were talking before about things people here have done they're not entirely proud of.  Can we just chalk up what I did with Kira to being one of those things?  That's what I'm doing for what you did to me, after all.” A few seconds passed and then she looked back at Lacus.  “That said... we... probably should tell him.  When he's got the time to worry about things like that.” 
“Right,” Lacus agreed.  “When all of this is over.”
What little remained of the tour proved fairly uneventful.  There were a few people to meet here or there but none of it was of any importance.  And yet it became clear to Flay that Lacus was being very... selective: never leading Flay too close to a group of Coordinators and mainly sticking with introducing her to crewmen of the Kusanagi. 
And when Lacus had finally shown her the last of the sights, or at least the sights that they finally said their goodbyes and Flay turned to walk back to the Archangel. 
And it was then that Lacu's hand abruptly but gently grasped her own.  She turned back to see the pink princess smiling at her, unwilling to let a simple “goodbye” be the end of the moment. 
Lacus blushed slightly as she glanced down, inadvertently towards Flay's belly... where her own child was slowly but steadily growing.  “Thank you.  For...” 
“Are you actually telling me that you were so insecure after what you did to me?  When you were asking me how to stop being a freak I thought you were just being dramatic.  I didn't think you actually-” 
“No.  Not that.” Looking back up at Flay she cleared her throat.  “If... if we can talk like this after what we went through... what we did to each other... 
“Then it gives me hope that Naturals and Coordinators can get over this war.  It gives me hope like nothing else I know.” 
And with that, in a hangar filled with people paying no mind to the two girls, Lacus very slowly leaned forward and softly kissed Flay on the lips for all of an instant.  “So again, thank you.” 
Almost immediately afterwards Lacus realized how foolish she had been.  After all, she had raped Flay, there was no reason she'd ever- 
“I could very easily scream right now, you know that?” 
Flay's tone was ice-cold, with extremely varied thoughts running through her head   She'd gone as far as kiss her again; the next few steps seemed all too possible now.  Flay also took the time to tell herself that even if this was all genuine, she most certainly was not interested in women that way. 
“... yes...” 
“That said...” Flay sighed, “... You... aren't... the person you were that night.  You're...” She was at a loss for words. 
The feeling of dread lessened as Lacus smiled hopefully.  “Not a freak?” 
With a huff Flay turned away from Lacus.  “Maybe not yet.  But you're... getting there... Just... you're treading on thin ice.  Look, don't do things like... like that again.  That's the next step.”

“Then I promise you I won't.”
“You better not.” With that Flay set off back to the Archangel, but, in an act she knew she'd hate herself for, stopped once again.  “It was... nice of you... to show me around.  Thank you, for that.” 
“You're welcome.  And remember: if there's anything you need, just ask.  I'll-” Before she realized what she was doing, Lacus found herself moving forward, about to embrace the unsuspecting Flay.  She stopped herself immediately and simply stood there, inches away from the Natural girl.  “I'll always find the time for you.  No matter what I promise I will.” 
“I appreciate that.  I really do.” It was hard for Flay to admit that, but she knew it would have been impossible had Lacus still been a freak.  With that, she quietly walked away back to the Archangel, not sure what to make of everything that just happened. 
At one point her pace slowed, almost stopping.  Absentmindedly she wondered if Lacus was still there, watching her go.  It wouldn't take much to simply stop and glance back- 
No.  That would run the risk of giving Lacus ideas.  Ideas about what was going on between them.  And with that Flay resumed walking back. 
It wasn't until she was out of sight that a somewhat more hopeful, more at peace with herself Lacus, returned to the Eternal.

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