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Piece of Kindness

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When her birthday came around, they were in the midst of a battle. At midnight, Shin was busy maneuvering his Juggernaut, pushing it past its limit, going head-to-head with a Sheepdog. Even with his advanced close combat skills, it took everything in him to focus on the almost impossible to follow movements of the Legion in front of him.

Three hours. His Juggernaut almost depleted its backup battery reserves by the end of the fight. Though it pained him to say it, Captain Iida had to give him a ride back by hooking their units together.

“Lady-Killer, you’ve been slipping lately.”

“...!” He narrowed his eyes. What was she talking about? That enemy was difficult. He barely won, even with the upgraded tech.

“What day is it?” She asked, not bothering to clarify.

Shin glanced at his terminal. It was currently July 12th... The image of a certain girl with silver hair and even brighter eyes flashed in his head.

Lena.

Commander Lena’s birthday.

Crap.

*

It was way too late to do anything. Uncharacteristically, Shin flitted about his room. They’ve been at this operation for weeks now, each step of the plan intricately detailed by Lena herself. She had a rough estimate of how long this mission was going to take them. Surely, she noticed that it would possibly end around her birthday, yes?

Shin sunk into his chair in front of his desk. There was a notebook and a pen laid upon its surface from the last time he was here.

Well. There’s no time to go shopping at the dead of night.

He picked up the pen and gripped it firmly in his hand. He would try to keep his penmanship the neatest it could, but he made no promises. Somehow, he knew that Lena would like it better if this letter weren’t too neat or pretty.

*

Lena had slept late that night. She was finishing up the report from their latest mission, and unfortunately had to miss the welcoming back dinner with the 86 Strike Package. And Annette would say that Lena just missed seeing one particular soldier come back... She couldn’t deny it. Which is why she said nothing of it to her best friend. The amount of teasing and blushing that would ensue. She tried her hardest to hide any kind of affection for Shin. He clearly wasn’t interested, nor has he made any indication that he would.

She would rather be the one in the shadows, helping him out as best as she could, getting him back home safe and sound. Back to her safe and sound.

 

Lena sighed. She rubbed her temples, urging herself to stop getting distracted and just write the damn report before she had to report in for her morning briefing. She moved to stretch her legs when the sound of something being slipped underneath her door stopped her.

Odd. She didn’t even hear someone come near.

Lena stood up and got closer to the object in question. It was a neat, beige-colored envelope addressed to her. At the penmanship, she recognized it immediately.

Shin?!

Lena quickly opened her door and looked both ways down the hallway. No one. Frowning, she closed her door and went toward her desk so she could read whatever was the content.

With a quick flick of her wrist, the envelope flap opened to reveal a piece of paper folded inside.

Dear Lena,

I realized too late that today was your birthday. Forgive me. Usually, I’m good at remembering that. I’m sorry this isn’t a real gift. I’ll make it up to you.

Thank you for having my back. For having our backs out there.

I’ll always come back to you. That’s my promise.

-Shin

His letter was succinct. Much like the boy himself.

Lena smiled widely and was shocked at the tear drops that fell down her cheeks.

Ah, maybe I’ve gotten soft. But... I think Shin... No. No, that’s impossible. She lightly patted her cheeks. Shin was a kind person. However... it’s nice to know that she has a piece of his kindness in her hands for her to revisit over and over again.