Title: Bedtime Stories
Fandom: Gundam SEED Astray
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Mina, Socius
Summary: In the evenings, when she can, Mina spends time reading to her wards.
Notes: Because it's an adorable mental image once you figure out everyone's PJs.
Four Socius offered a strange little half-smile that Mina could only interpret as apologetic. It was nice to see more expressions from him - from Four's brothers as well.
"You're not late, don't worry," Mina told him. She shifted a bit and reached for the book that was already waiting on her lap.
Six had been the one to choose this book and neither Thirteen nor Four had disputed his choice. They were half-way through now. It wasn't a long story, but they'd had a lot of busy evenings and not much time for reading.
They took turns picking books-- Mina as well.
Four climbed up onto the bed and slipped across to Mina's side. There was a neat-catlike grace to his movements, something in his motions that Mina didn't often ascribe to her wards. They spoke more, now, and asked questions. They were far different from when Ghina had first introduced them to her. Four settled beside her, not quite leaning. She could smell him, though, clean and slightly damp and suggesting that he'd nearly been late because he'd needed a good scrub, likely after a long patrol shift or machine repairs.
At first, Mina had been the one to choose the books. She read to them merely to make sure they understood what was happening around them. There was Orb's history first, then world history and then children's stories of all stripes for references that peppered normal conversations amongst Ame-no-Mihashira's other residents.
She wanted them to never seem as lost or as empty as when she'd first met them.
Once they'd covered what she'd deemed the basics, they were free to take turns picking. Six seemed to like anything that ended with a happily-ever-after. He usually sprawled low on the bed, propped against Mina's legs so he could watch her as she read. He never felt heavy, though, against her.
Thirteen often chose histories and together they learned of countries and cultures long disappeared from various continents. Many of the things in those books were surprises to Mina as well and though sometimes the text was dull, the wonder on the Socius' faces was apparent.
And Four liked mysteries - anthologies - short enough that they could get through one in an evening and even though Mina couldn't remember if any of them had figured out the solution ahead of time, she liked to think they were all trying.
They were no longer the blank dolls she'd first met, and for that, Mina was ever so grateful.
The story they were currently reading was about a princess on a quest. Mina hadn't remembered it at first, though by the second chapter, she clearly recalled having heard it read to her as a child by a kindly nanny. Ghina had rested on the nanny's legs and Mina had sat at her side so she could see the pictures when they appeared.
Thirteen was at her side now, as was Four. Six was resting on her legs, looking a little sleepy but otherwise ready for adventure.
Mina smiled before she started reading. While she could remember the story, she couldn't remember the ending. Not exactly, at least. And she hadn't read ahead, either, despite temptation.
But it would end happily, she knew.
She paused at the end of the first paragraph and looked at her wards.
It would all end happily.
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