Here is it guys, the final chapter of Blush and Smile. I'll get on with it for now and start babbling more at the end. (For anyone that reviewed the last chapter, I have literally written out responses to every review, so make sure you check that out.)
Love and Life
Sunlight had just barely begun seeping into the room, and slowly began stirring a certain sleeping lump on the couch. A blue-haired lump, covered by a messy heap of blanket. As the light gently tickled his eyelids, coaxing them to open, the poor mass' restful sleep was more abruptly disturbed by the sound of the phone ringing.
Athrun groggily stuck out an arm and blindly felt around. Odd... the phone wasn't where it usually was... Reluctantly opening a lazy eye, he peered around. Odd... this wasn't his house. And this wasn't his bed. What the-?
And gradually he remembered what had happened last night. How he had confessed to Cagalli, an hshe in turn had confessed to him. So now they were… basically, kind of… um a uh… ah screw it they were a couple. Smiling gently, he lifted his head to peer around, and located the phone. Slowly picking it up, to stop the incessant ringing, he held the receiver to his ear.
"CAGALLI! ATHRUN'S GONE! GONE! I CAME BACK TO THE DORM TODAY AND I CAN'T FIND HIM ANYWHERE! HE'S JUST DISAPPEARED!" A voice shrieked frantically. Athrun chuckled. Kira... oh yes. They didn't know... come to think of it, no one did.
Suddenly, a softer, much more careful voice came through. "Cagalli, it's me Lacus. We're concerned about Athrun because... well you see he wasn't feeling very happy about you dating Ahmed. And so we're thinking he might have done something rash. If you hear from him..."
"Oh I've heard from him." Athrun interrupted, unable to contain his amusement any longer.
An empty silence followed.
"Now why were you about to pour out MY feelings out to Cagalli if you thought she didn't know?" Athrun frowned, but also half-teased.
"A-Ath...run?" Lacus spoke testily, clearly in disbelief.
"ATHRUN!" Kira voice erupted from behind Lacus' and there was a sudden change in tone.
"ATHRUN! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN MY SISTER'S APARTMENT THIS EARLY!"
And that was how the day began, the morning after Athrun and Cagalli has cemented their feelings. A confused Lacus, an amused Athrun, a sleepy Cagalli who had been forcibly dragged out of bed, and an eruptive Kira who was in hyper-active overprotective brother mode. Of course, after Cagalli picked up the phone and said, "What's the big deal guys?... I was still sleeping..."
Kira proceeded to shout about why Athrun was in her apartment when she was sleeping. Then charged over, splintered another door, and was restrained so that in the words of Lacus "they could have a nice talk". After all, it had been Kira's partial doing, so he didn't have a right to complain. Lacus couldn't be happier. Cagalli was still only half-conscious, periodically slumping onto Athrun's shoulder and falling asleep, leaving a flustered Athrun to explain what had happened.
And as expected, after it was explained that Athrun slept on the COUCH, and that no bases had been touched (okay maybe first but that's just kissing, and it's not like they needed to know that)... and Cagalli gained full conciousness, they went out for breakfast, where Kira and Lacus broke the big news about them moving in together.
Fast forward two weeks of classes and we arrive on a sunny weekend: A
Saturday, where Athrun himself had to climb into Cagalli's bed to wake her up. Then, the four of them met at Athrun and Kira's dorm and gradually began loading Kira's smaller belongings onto their cars. Stumbling around with a large cardboard box, and just barely able to see over it, Cagalli carefully made her way over to Kira's car.
"I'll take that." A calm voice spoke, as two hands came out of nowhere and whisked the bulky package away. Cagalli's eyes narrowed and she stormed after Athrun.
"Hey! That's MY box!" She protested. "Who gave you permission to take it!"
"The fact that you were about to walk into a telephone pole because you didn't know where you were going?" Athrun laughed. "Though it would have been funny, what kind of a boyfriend would I be to just sit and watch it happen?
Cagalli blinked, clearly not aware of this knowledge. "I knew that..." She muttered, stubbornly hiding a blush. "Now give me back the box!" She finished, desperate to change the subject, taking another lunge at it. Athrun laughed, and let her chase him around for a while.
"Hey!" Kira called. Both people running stopped and turned to face him. "As entertaining as it is to watch you lovebirds play tag, that box has MY stereo in it, so fork it over." He grinned, strolling over and taking up the box, then dumping it into his car. Lacus laughed, then walked inside to get more stuff. Cagalli blushed at the word "lovebirds". Athrun blushed, then turned to Cagalli and shrugged slightly.
"Athrun, could you give me a hand with one of the larger crates?" Kira asked, gesturing towards the door. Athrun nodded and followed him outside, leaving Cagalli to sit and watch the stuff in the car. She frowned with boredom and started scanning the packages in the car.
Familiar stuff, that brought back memories. Random toys from when they were little, a teddy bear with a bandaged arm from when they had argued over who owned it. A broken model plane that they had flown into a tree. Ahh, good times.
Suddenly something caught her eye... It was her. HER CD! He said that he'd returned it! Liar! She began climbing over the hill of random boxes and digging her way through one to get to it.
"I've been looking for that thing for ages!" She frowned, beginning to think of ways to torture him when he got back, when she heard a voice speak up.
"You know it's not nice to look through other people's stuff."
Cagalli went stiff. Realizing how suspicious she must look, she turned to face a man, who with his hands in his pockets, was staring at her with raised eyebrows.
"AHMED! Ah... well... this is. It's not what it looks like!" She stammered.
"Really? Because it looks like you're going through some random guy's stuff to me." He grinned.
"He's not random! It's mine... uh, okay not really mine. It's my brother's, and some of this stuff is mine!" She tried to explain. Ahmed raised his eyebrows again.
"Ooookay. Anyway, I was just walking by and saw you and though I'd um, I dunno just say, sorry again about that Saturday. But uh, I was hoping that I could make it up to you. How about... Next week?"
Cagalli stared. Did he not know? Then again, well she hadn't talked to him since that their date: But she thought he would have heard by word of mouth at least.
"Uh... well. That's um, very nice of you to offer. But I already said that it was okay." She explained, not sure how to break it to him, and hoping that would work.
"No no, really! it's fine! Let me make it up to you!" He insisted...
"Okay Athrun, umm watch your step there. Yeah, we're almost there. One more step..." Kira guided as Athrun tried to feel around for the next step with his foot. He was walking backwards down a flight of stairs, while Kira had the other end.
"Okay now um... holy crap." Kira froze, staring out of the open door at Ahmed talking to Cagalli. From the looks of it, something was happening. "Uh... on second though Athrun, I don't think this thing'll fit through the door! Let's carry it back up and then you wait upstairs while I um... take some measurements."
Athrun looked up and him and glared fiercely. "Kira I swear I think I have a hernia and may very well have ruptured a kidney from crashing into walls, corners and random houseplants, while carrying this thing. AND NOW YOU WANT TO GO BACK UPSTAIRS? HAVE YOU GONE MAD!"
"Well it just won't fit!" Kira insisted, eyes growing wider by the minute as he watched Ahmed talk to Cagalli casually, and show no sign of leaving. Meanwhile, Athrun was still sending him death via eye contact. "Seriously Athrun! It won't fit! See for yourself!"
Kira froze and swallowed hard, instantly regretting his last three words. Everything slowed down as he watched Athrun slowly turn his head to look at the open door, and find Cagalli chatting it up with a well dressed Ahmed.
Athrun's face fell slightly, as he gaped in shock, then dropped his end of the package. Kira's knees buckled at the sudden weight and he too let go, kneeling behind the box for protection. Lacus hopped down the stairs at this exact moment.
"Hey Kira, so you want to take this too because I already have...one..." She trailed off as her mouth opened and ceased to make sound. Meanwhile, Athrun was still staring, completely speechless. He didn't know whether to walk over or not. He took a tentative step towards then, then stopped, unsure of what to do.
Cagalli was having a hard time fielding off Ahmed's persistency without being too blunt. Desperately, she looked around for some distraction, and she found one.
"Athrun!" She blurted out, not thinking about the consequences of what she had just said. Great, instead of just explaining that she had a boyfriend now, she was going to drag said boyfriend over. Just brilliant.
As her mind shot her remarks, just dripping with sarcasm, she studied Athrun, who seemed in shock that she had noticed him. He seemed to think he was invisible or something, because he first resumed blinking, then looked around him as if there was another Athrun she could possibly be calling out to. Frustrated, Cagalli cupped her hand around her mouth.
"AAAAAAAAATTTHRUUUUUUUNNN!" She hollered. Athrun jumped and sprinted over. Ahmed...had no idea what was going on.
"Hey, what's up?" Athrun asked automatically, in a tone much more casual then how he felt.
"This is Ahmed. You guys know each other right?" Cagalli smiled nervously.
"Yeah." Ahmed removing his right hand from his pocket and extended it. "Course. Never really talked to you before, but who hasn't heard of you right?"
Athrun grinned. "Same to you." He responded, accepting Ahmed's hand and giving it a firm shake.
"Athrun is my uh... my..." Cagalli stammered.
Ahmed blinked. "Friend?"
"No actually..." Athrun interrupted, sliding an arm around Cagalli's shaking shoulders and tilting his head against hers. "We're dating."
"Oh... oh I see." Ahmed's face dawned with understanding. He then broke into a grin. "Guess I was just too late huh?"
Cagalli looked up and nodded with a blush. "Sorry..."
"No no." Ahmed protested. "We shouldn't regret how we feel. And we should never be sorry about following through with those feelings."
"What a poet." Athrun joked. Ahmed turned to him and shrugged light-heartedly.
"I try. I'll see you guys around." Ahmed grinned, then turned and left with a quick wave.
Athrun waited until Ahmed was out of view, then wrapped his other arm around Cagalli and have her a quick hug. "Now was that so hard?"
Cagalli blushed. "First time I've let down a guy like that before..."
"What on earth are you talking about?" Lacus laughed, strolling over with Kira who had deemed it safe to leave the safety of the box. "You've let down plenty of guys."
Athrun blinked. He removed his arms from Cagalli, crossed them and looked at her quizzically.
Cagalli frowned. "Lacus, what are you talking about?"
"What happened to Max?" Kira grinned.
"Athrun punched him out." Cagalli shrugged. Athrun looked away innocently and whistled. Lacus and Kira stared.
"Ooo... so THAT'S what happened." Lacus nodded thoughtfully. "Oh what about that guy that was hitting on you when we went to that bakery?"
"When was this?" Athrun turned sharply. Kira frowned, with and expression that also demanded an explanation. Cagalli rolled her eyes.
"Lacus...that guy was a total creep."
"So? You still let him down." she noted.
"LACUS! The man's pickup line was 'My pants are uncomfortable, but my bed is!" Cagalli shouted incredulously. Athrun's eyes narrowed. Kira raised an eyebrow.
"Then you proceeded to tell him that that was the worst excuse for sex you'd ever heard and beat him with your bag. But it was a let down, nonetheless." Lacus insisted. Cagalli sighed, resigning to defeat and turned to face a glowering Athrun.
"And this guy's name was?" He frowned. Cagalli stared at him and...burst out laughing. Athrun blinked. That was unexpected. "What?" He demanded.
"I... I don't know." Cagalli laughed. "It's just that..."
"She never realized how cute you are when you're jealous." Lacus finished for her. Cagalli choked up, blushing ALMOST as much as the siren red Athrun.
"Okay guys, let's get going. I'll take Lacus in my car with me, and Cagalli can ride with Athrun." Kira proposed, clapping his hands together and opening the door for Lacus. Lacus smiled taking his hand and gracefully hopping into his car. Kira walked over to the other side, got in, and gave her a quick kiss before starting the car and driving off.
Athrun and Cagalli waited until Kira and Lacus had driven out of view before they boarded Athrun's car. Once more, Cagalli leaned her elbow against the door frame and looked out the window. Athrun turned to her at a red light, taking his right hand off the wheel and gently placing it on hers. Cagalli turned to him and smiled.
"It's been a while."
"Since we met. It's been a while."
"Not really." Athrun shrugged, as he hit the accelerator. "Only... what? Less then a year."
Cagalli pondered for a moment. "Wow, you're right. It feels like ages already though… Hope I'm not boring you yet." She grinned.
"Never." He replied curtly, not even taking his eyes off the road.
Cagalli paused, unsure of that she wanted to say. Really, she had nothing to say. She just wanted to talk to him, and hear his voice. Taking a breath, she said the first thing that came to mind.
"Kira and Lacus are cute together though, huh?"
"Mmhmm." Athrun murmured in agreement.
"How do you think we look?" She asked without thinking about it. Athrun stopped at another red light.
"What?" He turned to her. "How do we look?"
"When we look at Kira and Lacus we think, cute. What about when people look at us?" Cagalli explained.
Athrun shrugged. "I don't know. Don't really care either..."
Cagalli frowned. "You must think something."
Slowly, he took both of her hands in his and stared right into her. "Really... I think when people look at us, they see two people. That's all we are to them. What we have, it's probably hard for them to see. But I can still feel it. So even if they can't see it, it's still there."
Cagalli blushed and nodded. "O-okay." She smiled, turning to the window again. Athrun smiled, and turned to face the road again, as the light turned green, still holding Cagalli's right hand in his.
"What about Kira and Lacus moving in together?"
"What about it?"
"Think we'll ever do that?"
"Sure." Athrun nodded with a shrug. "Maybe not now. But eventually. I mean, we have our whole lives to do whatever you want to do."
Cagalli turned to him and smiled happily, yet softly. "I'm glad I'll get to live through life with you."
"Couldn't imagine doing it with anyone else." He smiled a bit, giving her hand a squeeze.
"You know what else I'm glad about?"
Cagalli paused for a moment, uncertain of whether or not to say what her mind was screaming. Finally, she gave in. "I'm glad I found you."
He looked at her, with those trademark gorgeous eyes and melted into a smile. "Me too."
And they drove on...
Well there you go guys. With this epilogue, Blush and Smile is officially over. First of all, I have to give huge walloping thanks to all my readers and reviewers who have so kindly supported this fic. I'd like to give special thanks to those who have been reading this thing from the very first chapter and followed this story to the end. I'm really very touched that anyone would like anything I've written that much.
Now, just a quick note, as to how I decided the name for this thing. When I first wrote this, I had NO TITLE at all. Finally, I just slapped on Blush and Smile from their moments in the first few chapters and the last one. Then gradually the title began to have a bit more meaning and as of now, I couldn't be happier with it. If you look at all the defined Athrun&Cagalli moments in the series and kind of in this story too, what does it have? Cagalli blushing and Athrun smiling usually, or sometimes both smiling and of course, both blushing. So it just sort of ended up fitting and I'm actually really happy with it.
I might take a break off writing for a week or so, and then after that, my updates may need to slow down because of school starting. But I'll definitely upload the first chapter of my new fic before then, so I'll give you at least that much.
Thank you all so much for reading this fic. I'm very happy that you guys (hopefully) enjoyed it. You were such a great audience, and so really, I'm just ecstatic that this fic was so well received.
Very happily and sincerely,
Now here's the extra part, that I'm just tacking onto the end because, if you didn't review in the last chapter you probably won't be horribly interested in this. To show how grateful I am to all you reviewers of the last chapter (as I'm assuming you read the whole thing through) I'm going to respond to every review separately. So here we go:
WARNING: This thing is pretty long, so if you just want to find your name, in Internet Explorer (or Firefox for that matter) go the edit, then find, and type in your nickname. (Or just Ctrl+F)
Cagalli-san, Yay! Worried reviewers! I know that sounds evil, but I really do like to hane some suspense. I mean, if you just know for sure that they'll end up together, well then that's not much fun is it? Thank you for reviewing though!
eliteElite, Agh, I can't help but feel kind of down that you started this fic right as I finished it, but better late then never right? Thank you for reading this anyway. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Cagalli Yula Athha Fangirl, Wow it wasn't corny? Thanks. Haha, I personally felt it was a tad, but as long as you're happy with it, that's great. You're very welcome, and thank you to you to for reading.
jenniferseedlover, You've been such a great, consistent reviewer. Lovely comments from you, always love to hear them. Thank you for always reviewing and sticking it through with his fic.
MyouseiSeed, One of the best fics you've ever read? What a compliment! Thank you very much for reviewing regularly with your kind words of encouragement! Much appreciated!
chidori-san, Light fluff, light fluff! Haha, well everyone loves a little. I just didn't want them attacking each other with raw passion. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this, and thank you for being such a regular reviewer.
Eternally Asuka, You thought the ending was wonderful! Yay! I couldn't be happier! Thanks for your kind words. No need to say sorry at all. I'm just happy that you read.
KiraFreedom, Mm, well we can't always more for that perfect ending. It's what I had planned all along, so I hope it wasn't too bad. Hope you didn't mind it too much.
animemistress419, Yes, anticipation! Exactly what I was going for! I'm happy that I kept some of you guys on edge! I am planning on writing more so please check otu my next fic. Thank you for reviewing.
thunder sister, Corny! Corny! Yes! But I really had no idea how else to end this. I coudln't change the ending that I had written the entire story for, so I kept it and changed a few things. I hope it wasn't too bad though, and was just enough to give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Okay forget the fuzzy feeling, I just hope you liked it anyways. I'm happy that you reviewed for so long and grateful that you stuck with this story. Thanks!
Fantasticgirlz, One of the best you've read! That's quite a compliment there. Thank you very much! Always good to hear that.
Azalea, Yeah I'm pretty opposed to Athrun and Cagalli saying "I love you." It's never happened and as of now, I don't think it will. They just aren't the type of people to come out and say that, and well.. with my obsession of keeping them as canon as possible, it just wasn't going to happen. But I'm really thrilled hat you felt I kept these guys in character and even more thrilled that you've been reading this from the start! Thank you very much.
Ivory Nightshade, Haha, well it's done. I'm a bit sad that's it's over but also a bit relieved, because now, like you said, I can start on something else. Great to know that you likes this though. Thank you for reading this and reviewing so much.
Susan, Hmm well I certainly hope I didn't disappoint you with this ending. But Athrun and Cagalli are by nature, not blunt with romantic feelings. But the blushing is what makes them cute! Haha, well one of
Maedhros, Haha, well never lose hope. Anything can happen... just don't go getting lost on purpose looking for love. XP Joking Joking, I'm sure you wouldn't try that. Thank you very much for such a wonderful series of compliments. My habit of keeping things periodic helps with I'm planning stuff, but also can be a bit of a pain when I want to do something, but instead sit home and write, which though enjoyable, isn't my favorite past time. My inspiration was... hmmm tough question. Really just the desire for the four of them to be normal, so that we could see them act without the shadows of duty falling over them. I kind of mixed it in due to Athrun's character anyways, but for the most part, they started out as four average people. I can't thank you enough for reading this and sticking through with it though. It's great to know that I have such a supportive and thoughtful audience.
ANONYMOUS, Unfortunately, at this point I'm not planning a sequel, no. In the epilogue I tried to hint at how, Athrun and Cagalli have their whole lives left, and I honestly just can't think of enough stuff to fill their lives. So you have use your imagination and fill in those spots. The point is that this story could never really end, because there's no defined end point. This is their life, and their lives won't stop for a story. So I hope you'll understand if I don't have a sequel. Thank you so much for your great reviews though! Much appreciated.
clumsy kelli, I will be making a new fanfic soon, so I hope you check that out. Thank you for being such a consistently great reviewer. I'm pleased that you like the ending.
Digital-Dragon-Master, Haha well you were half right. Kira did start yelling but certainly not "It's about time!". But I'm happy that you think this ending was reasonable and not TOTALLY corny. I don't think it's the greatest ending ever, but it certainly was fitting.
khadz-animelover, I'm hoping to get the fic that I'm just barely started, up in a week or two. Not totally sure about that though. I'm happy you enjoyed this story.
The Angels' Princess, Hmm well I kind of hinted in the epilogue that eventually, yes Athrun and Cagalli will be moving in together. But they aren't going to now, because they just got together and both of them feel like that would be rushing it. But, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I do plan to write more so I hope you check it out.
RoGuE-WhItE-DrAgOn, Well was there ever a doubt? If so, GOOD! I always knew that they were going to end up together, but knowing that isn't any fun. There's no suspense that way! So I tried my hardest to try to keep you guys on edge. Hope it worked! And thank you for being a faithful reviewer.
Cagalli Yula Athha, Haha, they feel what my weird idea of love is. It's what comes after the lust, passion, and awkwardness. A comfortable understanding that gives you more happiness than you could ever hope for, all from one person.
Dinkus, You weren't too specific about the "odd at the end" part, but I'll assume that it wasn't anything too bad. Heh, glad to hear you still enjoyed it though.
Crazy-Destiny, Haha, thank you. I'm glad that you're happy with the outcome.
BlackCyra, You've been such a fantastic giver of feedback. Haha, I'm happy to know that you seem pleased with this ending.
Smoke-Angel, I'm a huge fan of books or stories that all come together in the end, so I'm happy that you see this story as a full loop. Thank you very much for reviewing.
Amy, Well I'm happy it wasn't too sweet for you. Oh and if you read carefully, amoungst my vague description, I did make them kiss. XP Probably should have been more obvious about that.
daisukechibi, I'm very flattered that you would use your printer's precious ink just to have a copy of my drabbles. Haha, thank you for being such a great audience to my fic.
koali alolao, Haha, well corny and sweet can often overlap so I guess a bit of corny can do us all some good. My next fic is coming out soon to, so I hope you decide to check that out.
IYGU, Hmm I hope the epilogue was soon enough. I'm not usually a lucky person, so that wish is very much appreciated. Thanks for reviewing!
GATX-105B, well here's the epilogue, right on schedule. I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for reviewing so much!
stuntsheep, Thank you for supporting my fic from the start. As usual, weekly update. Hope I didn't keep you in suspense or anything though!
asga, Haha, well here you go: Epilogue. I hope you enjoyed it and the story. Thank you for being such a consistent reviewer, from the beginning.
kura52, Thank you so much for your support throughout this story. Also, thank you for understanding why I didn't want to give them too much physical contact. It's just not in character for them, so a hug and a light kiss would have to do, since that's all they've done in the series too.
Kandida, Thanks a lot. The ending was always there, so it wasn't really about making it nice. It was about making a story to fit the ending.
mattthemoonprincess, Mm at this point I'm not planning to make a sequel. I actually wrote the last part of the epilogue to explain exactly why I don't plan to. It's because they really do have their whole lives ahead of them, and I couldn't possibly write about their whole lives. So I plan to leave it as is.
gseedlover, Thank you very much for reviewing this far. I'm glad that you enjoyed this fic, and liked the ending.
Michiyo Hikari, I'm glad to hear that you didn't think the ending was corny. It kinda though so myself, after going back and reading it, but at the same time I didn't want to change it, just because it's really fairly fitting.
Once more, thank you to you all!