disclaimer: gundam seed and everything revolving about it is not mine.

A/N: finally! my brains had finally produced an acceptable idea...and came up with this..my first AthrunxCagallistory! and so bear with me. i also would like to say i'm terribly sorry that my story My Anti-Depressant will have a little overdue...maybe update it one of this days this week... i've been balancing myself all throughout this week and still can't get into the mood to write the next chapter for that one. but this ONE, i really should write it down or else, it will go out of this little skull.

so, without further delay, here goes...


UNDER ONE CEILING

fictionalfact

Task #1: To Survive a Change


"Age?"

"24."

"Start working for the corporation?"

"Two years and eight months."

"And the headaches started to occur?"

A pause. "I guess just three weeks ago…yes, right, about three weeks."

"I see."

Mu La Flaga, appointed as the new counselor of the corporation, nodded. His fingers crawled its way to his chin and obliviously started scratching it as if his mind's traveling to some deep cogitation. He flipped a paper here and there, scanning and placing it aside, like it was of no use. His lips pursed in thought.

Athrun leaned from the other side of the wooden desk. "So? Do you have any recommendations more effective than those I mentioned earlier? I've tried four brands prescribed by four elite doctors and yet after a while, all of them seemed to lose its efficacy on me." He settled back on the soft cushions and waited expectantly for his answer.

The counselor only nodded his head. "Well Mr. Zala, may I ask you, when was the last time you went out?"

Silence.

A corner of his lip twitched. "Pardon me?"

"When was the last time you went out?" he repeated but the handsome young man continued staring at him witlessly. He looked upwards and sighed inwardly. "You know, going out, merrymaking or just spending the entire day doing nothing but pigging-out. Just about anything youngsters fritter their time to. You, of all people, should know that…since you're only 24."

A smile slowly spread across his face, replacing the impertinent sneer. "Oh. I understand. But I don't have time for those…" and paused, his brain juggling for the most appropriate words, "…those activities youngsters fritter their time to. I employed here, in my father's corporation, not to waste it away in some ludicrous endeavors but to be admirable enough to become the next in line for the presidency."

And with that, he released a chuckle. "It's very unheard of."

Mu smiled testily. "Ah…I get it. I heard about it as well. President Zala is currently under provision after that stroke he had so he's taking a long vacation. He will announce his choice for a candidate to the board and if all agrees, that person will take his seat for the mean time. Am I right?"

Athrun only smiled. His bright emerald eyes glanced at the wall clock.

'I'm wasting my time here.'

Finally the man took his pen and started scribbling something from a notepad. "Here," he said and handed the paper where a list of peculiar words were glaring back at him.

"Huh? What's this?" Athrun frowned. "Strums? Jack in a Box? The Metrobar? Is this some kind of a joke?"

The other man grinned. "That's just a few. Why don't you go there, relax, drink and have fun. I assure you, after that, those migraine's gone."

Athrun eyed him. "This is insane," and stood up. "I need advisement not some kind of gibberish. But thank you for your time." He was about to close the door when his phone started ringing. "Yes. I already signed the papers and please recheck the files I gave you just this morning…"

From inside the room, the blonde man could only sigh. "Sometimes even the smartest is the densest."

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"WAAAH!" Cagalli pressed her fist on her cheeks. "I just hate Friday morning duties! And this…" gesturing at the shabby, enormous, ridiculous bulk of head of the restaurant's famous trademark: an unknown animal that is between a chicken and a penguin, "…is the ULTIMATE reason of all!"

Miriallia patted her co-worker's back and gave a reassuring smile. "Now, now. It won't bethat bad once you're inside the costume. And hey, it will be a lot of fun! You'll get to interact with the children."

Cagalli glared at the huge yellow eyes of the costume. "That's the ONE I completely fear!"

The last time she went inside that costume, she managed to stay alive the long hours of running, hiding, and just surviving the various attacks of those little angelic children. And when the night was over, she could no longer get up from the floor. She was murdered right inside that hideous mascot!

Miriallia peeked from the curtains and called, "Boss is here! Hurry up and get inside those!"

With no other way out, she unzipped the furry bodice and went inside the stuffy costume.

"Please pray for me, Mir."

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"So what happened?" Nicol asked as soon as Athrun appeared from the doorway.

He smiled weakly. "Don't ask. I don't see why they even hired that man." His hands went over to his desk and started looking at the papers. "So what's for today?"

Nicol looked at the palm pilot in his hand. "You will have a breakfast-lunch with the stock manager. That will be…at exactly fifteen minutes away."

Athrun glanced at the watch on his table. "I better be get going," and lunged for his jacket. "Take care of the rest ok?"

"Count on it."

------------

After two long hours...

"I'M GOING TO DIE!" she wailed and dashed at the other side of the long table. Her big paws or whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it hands gripped the side of the table trying to keep her from falling. She glanced at the other side where seven little kids were smirking and laughing devilishly at her.

"When did they ever say kids are like little angels? Obviously, right now, they are not!"

Mir and Ahmed dashed to save her, each taking hold of a kid's arm but it seems like they're of no match. 'There are seven of them! For god's sake!' As she predicted, a little scrawny boy got loose and started chasing after her. She quickly left her ground as another one joined the boy. "I can't take this anymore! I'm going out of here!"

"Wait! Cagalli! You cannot!" Mir called after her but her eyes only focused on the wide doors and flung them open.

"I'm free!" but her victory was short lived as the two boys went out of the restaurant as well.

"Go get her!" the taller one yelled and soon the rest followed.

She run down the sidewalk and glanced behind her as six—no, now seven kids were fast gaining on her. "Excuse me! Get out of my way! I said GET OUT OF MY WAY!" she yelled and several citizens turned to stop as a running mascot pursued by seven kids pass by.

And as she turned around a corner, her big head collided with a post, sending her flailing and landing on the asphalt pavement. "Ouch. That…hurts." Loud cheers and laughter soon encircled her.

"We won guys! The victory is on us!" someone said and the others cheered. "HIP HIP HOORAY!" and this was repeatedly shouted on and on until it almost sounded like a broken speaker.

Cagalli groaned. "I'm really going to get all of you for this...once I get out of this..."

And that was her last words as seven kids dived on top of her and started bouncing. She could feel her world crushing down and being stomped by children. 'I wish Mir and Ahmed will get here fast.'

"Hey. You're hurting Mr. Penguin." A voice interrupted her thoughts and the bouncing as well.

"It's not Mr. Penguin, its Mr. Chicken," a little girl protested.

"No, it's Mr. Penguin!" a boy remarked. "It has those floppy wings."

"No it's not! It's Mr. Chicken!" and soon, a fight was insured over the unknown identity of the said-mascot.

A man's voice laughed. "But we should not make fun of it…that is totally wrong."

"But it looks stupid!" the chubby boy yelled.

"Well, thank you for the compliment," Cagalli, still lying on the pavement, said but her voice turned into a muffled reply. "And hello, I'm still here, down here." She tried to move but her body only groaned inside the mascot. She gritted her teeth.

"Well." Her savior paused. "But it's still breathing and alive so we should respect it. What if you're the one inside the costume? What will you feel then?"

The kids went silent until the little girl starts crying. "Sorry for me!" she muttered. The boy who was declaring it was Mr. Penguin also replied, "It will be hard to play around."

"That's right. So why don't we help him up." And the next thing Cagalli knew, she was being lifted from the pavement by several hands. Then a pair of bright emerald eyes faced hers. "Are you all right in there?"

Mesmerized by her savior, she could only nod. Somewhere down the street a man wearing a black suit broke the silence. "Master, your father called! The meeting for the announcement will be today!"

He waved back. "Ok," turning to them, "so take care of Mr. Penguin or Chicken ok?" The suddenly turned angels nodded their heads. Cagalli stared open-mouth at them. "Yeah right," she mumbled.

Then he smiled at her. "Thanks," came her muffled reply.

"Don't mention it." He bid good bye and crossed the street. The man who yelled a while ago opened the door of a sleek black car for him and he was gone.

"Cool." The tall boy muttered as the car disappeared around a turn.

------------

"The board and I had finally decided and agreed to my choice." Patrick Zala loomed at the front of the long mahogany table, gazing at each of them. "He will take over my position until my health regains."

From the middle, Athrun waited with bated breath. There was no other his father will trust enough but his only son and he has proven, even for a short time, that he's deserving enough to be the next president. And, only a Zala could have such honor as to be next in line for the position. His father and the board will surely select him.

"And we've decided that…" Athrun closed his eyes as Patrick Zala paused. "That Gilbert Dullindal will be my replacement."

Athrun blinked, wide-eyed. 'WHAT?' his mind screamed at him. 'But…that couldn't be! He was sure it would be him!' His questioning gaze met his father's. "You will give him the same respect as you gave me. My leave will be this weekend. That's all for now."

Athrun waited until everyone was out of the room and confronted his father. "What is the meaning of this? You let Gilbert take your place? But that man is intolerable!"

"I don't want to hear any of your complaints. The decision is final." His father still sitting at the head chair said and closed his eyes.

Athrun clenched his fist. He was about to go when his father's words stopped him. "And I already settled your engagement with Meer Campbell. I want you to go meet her and talk about it."

He twirled around, anger raging in his eyes. "What? You want me to marry her? I don't even know the girl!"

"It's for the company and your own good."

"Don't ever dictate what's good for me."

Patrick Zala rose from his seat. "And don't you ever raise your voice to your father! What I want you to do, you will do! Whether you like it or not! UNDERSTAND?"

He looked at the polished floor with disdain. "No. I don't"

His father glared. "Well if you don't, better try not calling yourself my son!" Athrun gazed up and leveled his father's glare. "I guess I will," and with that, he stomped off.

------------

before closing time...

"YOU ARE FIRED!" their boss said for the tenth time.

And for the tenth time Cagalli yelled, "WHAT!" she glared at him. "You cannot fire me! It's not my fault those kids will go after chasing me! I was just trying to escape that's why I went out of the restaurant! What if you're the one inside that stupid mascot? Let's see if you can survive!"

Two lines appeared on the man's forehead as his nose started to exhale fumes of heat. "Who's the boss here Cagalli?"

That stopped her. "You are."

"So if I said that you are fired, you are fired! Do I make myself clear?"

"But you can'tfire me!"

The boss waved his hand and two guards came. "I have enough of this. Take her away." Each took her arms and dragged her out of the office.

"FINE! I can carry myself from here!" she shook their hands off her and stormed out of the door, looking flushed as ever. But she held her chin high. "That old man!" she mumbled and went to get her things.

"I'm sorry Cagalli," Mir appeared beside her.

She forced a smile. "Don't worry. Sooner or later, I will have a new job again. Besides," glancing at the horrible mascot, "I'm finally free of that thing. Well, bye for now!" and she left, but deep down, frustrations and hopelessness were circulating her entire system. She needed to find a new job—fast!

Her head was swarming into a cycle of thoughts concerning jobs, bills to pay, and miracles. She gazed up the black night sky, now enveloped by a cluster of stars, and released a deep sigh. The last time she looked for a job, it took her TWO weeks. "And I have to pay my rent for the apartment," she muttered and when her thoughts finally got the best of her, she flung her hands to the heavens in defeat.

"WHAT WILL I DO? I NEED A MIRACLE!"

And a sudden rustling broke her sentiments. There, hidden among the bushes in front of her apartment, sprawled a young man…drunk and bruised. She took a step closer and gasped.

"I don't believe this!"


A/N: And that person is…...suspense suspense! i also added Ahmed and Mu in the story, even if their part is not long here, there are certain reasons. but i have to say, Mu fit that part quite well. hahah...but cant imagine him playing that part... uh did i made myself clear? nevermind, anyway i do hope you like it. because a story is nothing without its readers! so just send in your reviews. well enough of my nonsense blabbing...got to catch some sleep. and take care! its friday the 13th! whahahah!

fictionalfact signing off.