Once more, I have to apologize for the horrendously long break in updates. I've been trying to deal with a case of plagiarism, ironically of this very fic. How can I identify it as plagiarism?... Well, I can recognize my own writing well enough. Especially if the title of the fic, and the summary are nearly identical.
Though I don't mean to be rude, I was in a few words, shocked, disappointed and pretty darn pissed. I really do appreciate and love all the encouragement I get from readers, and to see someone ripping off my ideas, and even my writing, then not even credit me in the slightest is well… discouraging to say the least. However, the fact that someone actually notified me about it was really very touching, so it's great to see such support too.
On a lighter note (Sorry for the semi-rant everyone!), I proudly present, the Epilogue to "Waiting On You".
List of New Year's Resolutions
'Spend more time with Lacus'
Kira wrote carefully on the first line, then leaned back proudly and admired his resolution. Three other heads peered over his shoulder to study what he had written.
"...Is that even possible? You'd have to surgically attach yourself or something." Cagalli raised an eyebrow skeptically. She removed the half of a blueberry candy cane from her mouth and licked her lips. Ever since her brother had returned form France he had been hanging around his girlfriend like a shadow. In his words he was just 'making up for lost time'.
Currently the four were sitting in the middle of Lacus' living room, chowing down on a glass bowl of discount Christmas candy and making up new resolutions. Currently they had already gone through half a package of butter toffee, two packs of candy canes, and a lot of chocolate Santas. The stuff wasn't bad, or expired. It was just past the holiday season, so everything was cheaper.
Kira swallowed a bite of chocolate, then frowned at his sister's sarcasm. "It's not that bad... You're just disappointed about how you can't spend more time with Athrun." He finished with a tease, confident that his comment would change the current subject at hand. Cagalli gulped.
"Don't try to change the topic!" She protested, hoping the redness of her cheeks could pass for anger.
"You're trying to do the same thing!" Kira shot back stubbornly, arms folded across his chest.
"Like brother, like sister." Athrun sighed. "All right, assuming Lacus doesn't mind..." he paused for a moment, shooting a glace at Lacus, who responded with a smile, "That resolution is fine. Now whose turn is it?"
"I'll do it!" Cagalli chirped enthusiastically, raising her hand like and over eager child at school. She dived for the pen, then attacked the paper, quickly scribbling
'To get a job.'
Pausing for a moment, she studied the words, then quickly scribbled them out.
"I don't need a year for that..." She frowned, relieved that she had made the letters completely illegible by the time anyone else had even reacted. She paused for a moment to think again, tapping the pen against her bottom lip.
"Need help thinking of one?" Lacus asked thoughtfully. "We can help you think of something."
"I'm telling you... Spend more time with Athrun!" Kira teased again, flopping back onto a beige couch cushion. Cagalli blushed furiously and pelted him with a couch pillow, resulting in a yelp from the victim. The blonde stubbornly turned back towards the paper while Athrun pretended to cough while secretly hiding his face until it returned to it's normal color.
"Fine! I've got it!" Cagalli called out triumphantly, scribbling words furiously with determination.
'To drink less coffee.'
Once more, thee head hovered over the paper, studying the freshly written words.
"You've got to be kidding me... That's inhuman." Athrun gaped. The boy lived off coffee, so the idea of someone wanting to cut back was simply unfathomable.
"Well, now that you don't work at a cafe, I'm sure it will be much easier." Lacus encouraged. She paused before a mischievous smile crept up. "But I think I liked the 'spending time with Athrun' one more."
Kira blinked and grinned, waggling his eyebrows. "See? Told you guys."
The newly formed couple hid their faces again, this time in velvet throw-pillows.
"I need to cut back my caffeine intake…" Cagalli explained, her voice slightly muffled. "Coffee stunts your growth. And Athrun's already a half head taller than me." She kept her head firmly planted in the pillow, as her cheeks burned at her confession. Athrun raised his head and smiled, putting an arm comfortably around her shoulders, and leaning his head on hers sympathetically.
"At your age Cagalli, you're not going to grow anymore."
She pushed his head off hers, turned a stubborn face towards him and pouted. "Says you."
Lacus laughed. "All right people, now it's my turn. Originally mine was to get you two together, but that's already done. Then I was thinking about helping Meer find a guy, but then she up and started dating Derek." She thought aloud. Athrun and Cagalli both turned to stare.
"Really? Meer and Derek?" They asked simultaneously, both in equal shock.
Lacus nodded. "They make a surprisingly cute couple, since both of them are so outgoing. Anyways, moving along now: Then I thought about spending time with Kira, but his already covered that, so... Oh I know!"
Snatching up the pen, she lifted it happily and scrawled in elegant handwriting,
"To watch at least 300 new movies."
The other three people present read it, blinked, then read it over again and exclaimed,
Lacus nodded firmly. "That's less than one a week, and totally feasible."
"Happy watching." Athrun slapped Kira on the back. Kira shrugged indifferently.
"That's fine. I'm up for it."
Finally, the pen was passed to Athrun. He regarded the sheet of paper for a moment, then quickly wrote down:
"To work hard and develop the company, while still balancing the rest of my life."
Pausing for a moment, he quickly added something at the bottom right corner of the paper, then ripped off the piece. Three pairs of arms reached out to grab the scarred paper and one certain blonde tackled the offending indigo-hair boy to the ground.
"Athrun! What have you done!" Cagalli cried out. Kira pointed an accusing finger, while Lacus searched her bag for tape.
"Sorry guys, that one's secret." Athrun shrugged. Leaning forward again, he signed his name at the bottom, then handed the pen and paper to everyone else to sign. Cagalli and Kira signed, bitterly eyeing the missing corner. Lacus regarded the tape in her hand for a
moment, before reluctantly signing the sheet. Taking the paper, she walked over to her fridge and stuck it near the top with a refrigerator magnet that looked like a slice of Swiss cheese.
"So then... Happy New Year guys." Athrun smiled, looking around. Three heads nodded back contently.
Athrun and Cagalli strolled lazily through the snow, taking their time as they watched it fall. Veering away from the streets, where cheers erupted from bars and parties, they found themselves once more, taking a shortcut through the park. Kira had decided to get an early start on his resolution and was staying over at Lacus', and so Athrun was
walking back to Cagalli's apartment.
"Think you'll hold to your resolution?" Cagalli teased, making small talk.
"I'll try." Athrun shrugged. "Personally I think you'll have a harder time." he grinned.
Cagalli frowned. "See, that's your problem. No faith." She shook her head teasingly, before stopping to raise her hands, letting the falling snow pile on her mittens for a bit, then reaching down to scoop up a snowball and pelt it at her boyfriend's smirking face. It missed and hit his right shoulder. Athrun faked a wounded expression.
"I'm just saying, coffee is a hard thing to get over." He shrugged, brushing off the leftover snow clumps.
"I didn't say I was going to stop drinking. I said I was going to cut back." Cagalli explained, carefully noting the difference. Athrun raised a suspicious eyebrow.
"So then... what's that cut back relative to?"
"When I was a waitress at the cafe, and drank like four cups a day." She grinned. "See? I told you mine would be easier."
He chuckled softly. "Well in that case, probably. My resolution all depends."
"You working hard depends on something other then yourself?" Cagalli remarked skeptically.
"No, not that one. The other one." He explained.
"Oh... Well what does that one depend on?"
Athrun started digging in his coat pocket, before carefully reproducing the torn corner. He handed it to Cagalli's eager hands, then jerked his hand back playfully. "Take off those wet mittens. I don't want this one to get wet. It's important."
Cagalli frowned, but curiosity overtook her and she complied. Dusting off the soggy mittens and quickly pocketing them, she snatched the paper out of his hand, and eagerly read the words.
Written on the bottom line, very neatly and plainly were seven words:
Kira tossed another blanket over Lacus' sleeping figure, then knelt down to eye level to study her face. It was calm…. Ridiculously calm. He toyed with a rogue strand of hair that had slipped out in front of her, before carefully tucking it behind her ear.
All in all, it had been quite a year. He had fulfilled last years resolution: To help Athrun find someone… Course that had happened in completely unexpected ways, and the fact that the person that Athrun "found" was his sister… Well to be truthful there was a point in which he regretted his former resolution. A lot.
In fact, though half of Kira really did feel great watching Athrun and Cagalli in the snow of Christmas day…admittedly the other half wanted to burst outside and lecture Athrun on how a certain brother was going to tear him limb from limb if he ever did so much as make Cagalli's eyes water with the slightest amount of pain.
But then again, watching the smiling faces of those two and Lacus' excited reaction at the success of their matchmaking, he couldn't help but allow it. Besides if Athrun did try anything, knowing his sister, Cagalli would beat him to beating the living pulp out of Athrun anyways. So he could lecture/threaten/possibly maim Athrun, another day. In private.
As for his resolution, in a word, he felt 'happy' about it. At this point he was confident that nothing could make him happier. But even more so, he was overjoyed when Lacus didn't protest in the slightest, but rather admitted that she had the same thing in mind.
And now watching her sleeping face, the only thing Kira could think about… was what a great year it was going to be.
Cagalli stared blankly at the words, which were written so plainly in Athrun's slightly slanted, semi-messy and hurried, but still very elegant handwriting:
"To see Cagalli, at least once a day."
Her eyes widened before she thrust her arm backwards to hand back the paper. Athrun chuckled and re-pocketed it, before taking her arm and smiling.
"So, do you see what it depends on?"
"Whether or not... I let you huh?" She muttered, clearly flustered.
"Well yes, and also one more thing." He added tauntingly.
Again, curiosity got the better of her, and Cagalli looked up to study Athrun's face.
"Quit being so damn vague and just spit it out." She insisted, only becoming more frustrated as he started laughing.
"All right, fine. There's a new position opening at the company. Do you still need a job?"
Cagalli stared, worried that he might have seen her original resolution. Gradually her face began to fall a bit, and her eyes began to dim. "Yeah, of course. it's just that… I appreciate it. Really I do, but I can't help but feel like-"
"I'm taking pity on you?" Athrun finished knowingly. Cagalli nodded.
"I know you're concerned… and I appreciate your concern. But- But I can handle this on my own! The reason I told you, was because I needed to get it off my chest. I don't want you to feel bad for, and then fire some random person so that I can have a job." She argued firmly. "I just can't accept this position."
Athrun stared at her for a while, before breaking into a wide grin, then lapsing into a soft chuckle. Cagalli frowned and shoved him slightly more than playfully. He took a step backwards, before regaining his balance and continuing to laugh.
"You think I had to fire someone for this? My secretary's retiring… She's almost seventy. Believe me, she doesn't want to keep working." Athrun explained, shaking his head. His face softened a bit, his voice returning to a serious tone. "As for the pity, it's not that at all. I'm not doing this because I pity you. I want you to work with me, because I care about you."
For a moment, Cagalli had to turn away, a bit embarrassed that she had accused him of something like that… but also of course because one more he was confessing something to her and catching her completely off-guard so that she had no idea how to react, and oh lord, here comes the blushing….
"You'll earn enough to be back in school by the next term, and you can quit anytime you want." He assured, pretending not to notice the coloring on her cheeks... "You don't have to accept it, I just thought I'd throw the idea out, to see if maybe you were interested."
"But... won't you feel awkward? Being in such close proximity on such a regular basis? Won't you... I don't know, get sick of me?"
Athrun blinked then broke into a gentle and earnest smile. "Would I feel awkward? Not at all. Being in close proximity? Nothing could make me happier. As for getting sick of you... You know that'll never happen."
Cagalli remained silent for a while. She eyed the ground, clearly doing some heavy thinking. Of course he wanted to help, but in some says it still felt like pity. In other ways, this seemed too good to be true. A good job that would allow her to be with Athrun… On a regular basis?
She broke into a wide grin, then enveloped him happily in a warm hug. Laughing, he fell backwards into the snow.
"I take that as a yes?" He tilted his head up to see her gleeful smile.
'What are you crazy? Of course that's a yes!" She confirmed. Rolling her glowing eyes, she punched his lightly on the arm as they stood up off the cold frosted ground and dusted themselves off.
"Not the most graceful snow angel." Athrun smiled, regarding the strange lopsided imprint they had made in the snow. "But it's still... beautiful? In its own way?"
"If you tilt you head and squint a little, it kind of looks like a lobster." Cagalli remarked, still holding onto him. Looking up at Athrun's face she smiled again.
"Happy New Year." She spoke softly.
"Of course." Athrun nodded. Leaning his head against hers, he smiled fondly.
"And many years to come…"
So with this, my dear readers, I officially conclude "Waiting On You". Thank you for being such a supportive audience. Now for the traditionally (well, at least for me) long author's note. XP
A few final points on this fic. First of all, the classic, "Why the name"? For once I had the name from the very first chapter. This was going to be about Cagalli waiting on Athrun as a waitress, then towards the end the shift in now they interact, and it becoming more of a wait of emotions. I actually had her explicitly say this in the final chapter, so I'm hoping the title didn't seem too random.
Characters: Why on earth did Meer appear? Simple, I wanted to portray Meer in a positive light. If you don't like a character, fine, however exceedingly negative portrayal of characters is something that I've never really understood or supported. If you need an extreme antagonist, you can make one up. But using a character from the series can often give false impressions to people, especially to those that haven't seen Gundam SEED Destiny. At the VERY least, note that they will be out of character. So for once I wanted there to be something that put a good light on Meer. Not that I'm necessarily a fan of her either, but as a character she's much too under-credited.
Many of the reviews asked me if I was going to be making a sequel of some sort. At this point, once more, I'll have to say no. I'm hoping that this ending it conclusive enough for you guys to feel happy with it, but still leaves enough left for you guys totack onyour own ideas, thoughts, and wishes to.
That and personally, I don't like to drag on my stories for ever and ever because eventually I'm 100 sure that I'd be completely brain dead and have no original ideas left. XP
As for future stories, I confess I have absolutely no plans for anything in the future at this point. Certainly nothing has chapter-intensive as "Blush and Smile" or "Waiting On You". Other then a handful of potential one-shots, I don't really have anything lined up. This is definitely not an official retirement notice, since I'm still an avid shipper of Athrun&Cagalli, simply just a note to say that anything out of me in the future will probably be pretty sparse. Maybe not short… (Just look at the size of this Author Note. I'm in awe that any of you even put up with my rambling), but sparse.
With that, I hope to hear from a lot of you guys in the future. Thank you so much to the following reviewers of the last chapter:
The Angels' Princess, KiraFreedom, AnimexMusica, CelicaChick, lil kagome 13, celestial-angel40, Princess Ashes, Chelsea, Nicole, gseedlover, Eternally Asuka, anna, cottongreentea, omi, Freyris, XxbuffyxX, Im Dinkus, thousandbirds, ichigo kagura, animemistress419, Kazumi Kairi or Kairi-chan, IGYU, astrocosmos, MXC - the show- rocks my socks, Cagalli Yula Athha Fangirl, maDeeneR-, jenniferseedlover, oi.kodomo, Kitty-Kat90013820, FreedomElf, stuntsheep, ZBoi, ANONYMOUS, Yukimi noh Daiomoru, cloudy mind, koali alolao, cute.princess, animeluver461, asucags, Maryam Khanoom, Kandida.
Until next story,
The ever weird and babbling,