Disclaimer: All characters and basically the whole world of Gundam Seed/Destiny is the respective property of Sunrise Inc. and BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT. If I was the owner of GS and GSD, I wouldn't be writing this to set things straight for one of my favourite pairings. So no copyright infringement is intended…just some peace of mind. Original characters that you obviously aren't familiar with are property of myself and any similarites they may somehow have to anyone who may choose to read this...well thats just pure coincidence, unless you've asked me to include a character based on you, in which case it's obviously not coincidence. Long story short: don't sue me!I have no money! I'm just a student who happens to have a computer and a wild imagination!...as well as a love for Athrun.You may now proceed... ;-)
Chapter 2: Curiosity Calls
I know it's hard for you to see
Exactly how much you mean to me
Since it's just a one way street
And I'm the only who's on it
No one knows the way but me
-- Give Me a Chance (Lea Salonga)
"You should talk to her."
Athrun frowned as the sun finally descended, his thoughts remembering his talk with Meyrin that morning. I know she's right…but it's just not that easy. How am I supposed to know if Cagalli even wants to hear from me? He rubbed his head vigorously in frustration, messing up his blue hair apathetically in the darkened room.
"What the hell am I supposed to do!" he shouted, the silence of his apartment being his only answer. With a sigh, Athrun had grabbed his jacket and exited his apartment. After the war he'd taken up residence on Aprilius 2, since he didn't really have anywhere to return to, having lived in Orb with Cagalli after the First Bloody Valentine War and herefused to return to the Zala Residence on December 4. It also meant being close to the Clyne Residence, his destination today.
Approaching the manor, he deliberately drove past it, making his way for the private vehicle entrance, the gates opening up for him immediately as he nodded to the security guard. Haphazardly parking, he quickly pulled out his keys and made his way up the stairs of the side entrance,heading for the walkway leading out to the back garden.
"Kira, I don't know what to do. You have to help me," he called out, well aware that his friend would be found in the glass-walled tea room that connected the walkway to the lavish grounds of Lacus' home.
"Calling beforehand usually helps, or at least attempting to stop at the security gate," Kira responded, not bothering to shift his gaze from the computer screens on the glass walls.
Athrun smirked. "That's a bit rich coming from you."
"Yeah well," Kira looked up at him for a moment, "I have the position of head of security now. I have to make it look as if I'm doing something. Or else there's no way they'd let me stay here with Lacus."
"By 'they' I'm assuming you mean Waltfeld and De Costa."
"Of course, they're here everyday just to check up on me. I'm beginning to think they don't trust me, or something."
"Living with Lacus? Alone? I don't blame them," Athrun said with a smirk, receiving a glare.
"So anyway, what's up?" Kira asked after a moment, turning the screen off. "How can I help you?"
He paused fo a moment, choosing his words carefully. "I need some…advice – your opinion."
"What to do about Cagalli," Athrun sighed gruffly, collapsing into the chair opposite the violet eyed brunette.
Did he just say… Kira frowned, leaning forward to lean his elbows on the table with interest growing. "…Cagalli?"
"Yeah, what do I do about her?"
"What do you want to do about her?" he raised an eyebrow, his lips twisting into a smirk.
Athrun's green eyes narrowed. "What do you think I should do about her?"
"Well firstly, you have to be more mature about this."
"Fine then, can you call her for me then?"
"You call that being more mature!" Kira laughed incredulously. "What good would that do?"
He pouted like a child. "I don't know. I just wanna hear her voice, you know, without so much formality like in the speeches they broadcast."
"Athrun, why don't you just call her yourself?"
"I'm…" he started slowly, "…Not so sure she wants to speak to me. Just one call, I just wanna listen to her."
"Hmm…alright, just this once." Kira stood up and began walking back into the main house. "But I'm not gonna be your middle-man, okay? She is my sister after all."
Athrun followed in suit, heading for Kira's office. "I promise that after you do this I'll know what to do."
"I hope so."
Kira collapsed into the chair and reached for the phone, dialling the number before replacing the handset back, the speaker activated.
"What am I supposed to talk about?"
"I don't know, anything," Athrun whispered in return, leaning against the table anxiously watching the phone as it rang.
Kira smiled as Athrun stiffened slightly. "Hey…Cagalli."
"Kira! Oh my God! Hi! We were just talking about you!"
"Lacus came over for dinner. And I believe congratulations are due for your…uh…new position," she coughed jokingly. "Don't worry, I can keep a secret."
"Cagalli is actually planning on coming to give the PLANTs a visit so she can congratulate you herself," Lacus' voice echoed through the muffles created by the two girls fighting over the cell phone.
"I'm not sure yet, I'm still thinking it over. I don't know if I'll be able to find some time."
"Aww come on, Cagalli," he continued, eyeing Athrun's reactions, "You should visit for a few days, I haven't seen you in a while." And neither has ...
"Ugh! I said I'll try, okay? I can't make any promises."
"Do you want me to talk to Kisaka? I'm pretty sure he'd be more than happy for you to rest up for a few days."
"No, I know he would. I can handle Kisaka - "
"Then what's stopping you besides work that you can get away from?" Lacus once again chimed in.
"Lacus…" Cagalli's voice wavered slightly, her tone remaining stern. "You know what…"
"Don't you mean 'who'," Kira accidentally said out loud, earning a glare from his friend.
"Shuttup, Kira," she snapped, then after a moment sighed. "I just don't know if I'm ready to faceall that yet, okay? I don't know if I ever will be – it's too complicated, for me at least."
Athrun's lips suddenly opened, almost subconsciously. "Stop running."
Silence ensued in the office and on the line after a small gasp. Kira eyes had widened, just as Athrun's had. His green eyes kept darting from side to side – he hadn't meant that to come out. Shit! Now she's going to know I've been here listening all this time. Oh shit!
"Cagalli? Cagalli, you're still there right?" Kira continued, trying to cover for Athrun's slip up. "You suddenly went quiet just now, did you even hear what I asked you?"
"Huh? What? Sorry…I must be hearing things, I thought…um…never mind, what did you ask?" He could clearly tell that she was a little flustered.
"Uhh….I asked if you'd rather I came and stayed with you for a bit?"
"Oh…uh, no it's alright. I know how busy you all are, especially you. I don't want to interfere with your work. Especially since Lacus will be back there tomorrow, she'll need you there."
"So then when are we going to have the chance to catch up? I know you're Chief Representative, but you can't even spare some time for your little brother?"
Cagalli almost laughed. "Using the 'little brother' tactic, huh? You really must miss me. I'll see, okay? That's the best offer I'm gonna give you tonight."
"That'll have to do then, I guess. Hey Cagalli, could I maybe, um, talk to Lacus?"
"Yeah sure okay, I'm sure you must have a lot to discuss with her. I'll talk to you later then, Kira. 'Night."
Movement could be heard as Cagalli presumably passed the phone to Lacus. "Kira? What's wrong?"
"Nothing, wait a sec." He picked up the hand set and turned the speaker off. Athrun smiled slightly, getting the hint and leaving the room. "Hey, how are you? How was the opening…"
Making his way to the kitchen to get a drink, Athrun mentally kicked himself. What does she mean by not being ready to 'face it all yet'? It's not like she did anything wrong – I'm the one that left. But if she did come to the PLANTs, then maybe I could...
Pouring a glass of water, he leaned against the benchtop.
Did I hurt you that bad, Cagalli?
Athrun then looked up as another presence in the kitchen caught his attention.
"That was smooth," Kira smirked, a roll of the eyes being his response.
"It slipped out, I wasn't thinking so it just came out. Thanks for the save.What did Lacus say?"
"Oh, no…nothing. We were just saying goodnight." Kira felt a little heat rise to his cheeks. "So, was that more or less what you wanted?"
"She's herself again, I guess. I haven't heard her like that in a long time. Do you reckon she's happy?"
"Do you honestly need to ask me all that? You know her as well as I do, possibly even better than me. She never was a good liar."
Athrun smiled, his eyes cast down as if recalling a memory. "Yeah I know. I reallyneed to set things rightwith her."
"Well hopefully Lacus can get her to come back with her."
"Yeah..." He swallowed some water nervously, "What do you think she meant by it being 'too complicated for her'?"
"Athrun, I couldn't tell you even if I did know. I think its something the both of you need to figure out."
"Chief Representative, you have another call on line - "
"Reshida, not now. No calls for another few hours. These building plans aren't doing much just sitting on my desk."
"But it's Erica Simmons from Morgonroete."
"Fine, but this is the last call, okay?"
"Yes, Chief Representative."
Cagalli rubbed at her eyes furiously as she picked up the handset and pressed the blinking button. She wasn't exactly in the best mood with the amount of planning that still needed to be done before the city could continue being rebuilt, and her rather restless night didn't do much to aid her mood either.
"What is it?"
"Well good morning to you too, Chief Representative. To how many cups of coffee do I owe the pleasure of your mood this morning?"
"Not nearly enough. What's going on? There isn't a problem is there?"
"No, no, of course not. I just though I should let you know that Morgonroete is doing fine – the whole facility is almost completely up and running. Research and redevelopments should be able to begin in the next few weeks."
"Good. At least something is getting done. I guess you're lucky: Morgonroete doesn't need to be aesthetically pleasing to be built."
"Are the architects and engineers still at each other's necks about the city buildings?"
"Architects can't decide on their designs and the engineers are having trouble trying to keep up with all of their changing ideas. It's driving me crazy! So now I've taken it upon myself to settle on a design just to make them all shut up!"
"The problem is that too many people are involved. I told you: choose one architect and maybe two engineers. I'd volunteer, but I'm rather preoccupied at the moment."
"I know, but they're all just so eager I couldn't find it in me to turn them down. I guess you're right. Fine, I'll let some of them go. Was there anything else you wanted to discuss?"
"No, not really. I just wanted to give you a heads up. Yeah I guess I better let you back to it, try to take it easy though. You sound exhausted."
"Understatement of the Era, but I'll survive. Thanks for the call."
Rubbing her eyes once again, Cagalli looked helplessly at the cold cup of coffee in front of her with a sigh. Vehemently, she stood up with her chair flying backwards to hit the window, grabbed the cup and inched towards the door, the knob of which she took with great force before it opened in on her. Instinctively she jumped back, skilfully avoiding a spillage, a frown formingon her face. No one is supposed to come in without me being told. Unless of course…
"Cagalli," Kisaka started calmly, as usual, "Sir Pelosar is here to see you."
"Liam?" Her face twisted. "What is he doing here?"
"Courting you, I assume. I've told him you're busy but he insists on waiting it out. He seems to know about your addiction to coffee and is in the kitchen. Where were you going just now?"
She raised an eyebrow and held up the cup. "Time for a refill."
"Cagalli, I don't feel right about him being so forward around you. Especially since you are Chief Representative," he said, his voice full of concern as he subconsciously guarded the door. "I don't think I need to remind you about what happened with Yuuna."
"Kisaka, I'm a big girl," the girl half his size reassured him. "I've known Liam for years, I can handle him. He'll probably just pull the same tricks he always does, like ask me out to dinner or something. Boys are unoriginal like that." Cagalli smiled slightly, squeezing past Kisaka and into the corridor heading for the kitchen. Stepping through the door she quietly, and purposely, got lost in her own world, ignoring everything around her except the pot of coffee that awaited her on the bench.
His lips twisted into a knowing smile as he reflected on their odd relationship. They weren't exactly friends - it just so happened that they'd been thrown together a lot over the years and had therefore gotten to know each other pretty well. Watching her as she carelessly entered the kitchen to refill her cup and turn back around to walk straight back out, he then swiftly moved to block the door, earning a sarcastic smile and a bat of the eyelashes as she looked up at him, their body's almost touching.
"I'm quite busy, you know, so would you mind letting me pass?"
"You always act like you're trying to avoid me, Princess," Liam smirked with a cock of his head, some of his brown hair messily falling across his face.
She lifted an eyebrow at him in defiance. "And you can't seem to take a hint. You know if you weren't noble, you would've been thrown off this premises long ago and with a restraining order, too."
"Aww Cagalli, I'm hurt," he said, holding a hand against to his chest, "I've only ever tried to show you that my intentions are pure. I actually come to you bearing an invitation."
"Is that so? I can't say that I'm shocked."
Inching backwards slightly to lean on the kitchen door's threshold, he smirked at her response. "My father and mother would like you to come and have dinner with us this Friday."
"I'm sorry, but I can't," the blonde girl replied, almost out of habit as she also cocked her head indignantly.
"You might want to reconsider. It's all fine and well to say no to me, but you can't exactly say no to a fellow Member of Parliament, not to mention another noble family, without it seeming like an insult. That would be too rude, even for you. You don't seriously want to offend my family, now do you?" His voice lowered slightly as his green eyes intently stared challengingly into her's.
Cagalli's eye twitched and she was rendered momentarily silent. Shit…I hate it when he's right. But… "I'm serious, Liam, I can't go. I'm going away for a few days." So I haven't made any plans yet…its not an exact lie.
"Oh, really. I wasn't aware of the Chief Representative going on any business trip. Lying wouldn't be a good way to go about this, either. My father surely would've been informed about a trip."
"Well, yes he would've been informed, but this isn't a business trip. I'm going to go visit some friends – you know, have little break." Again…not a lie. I have been thinking about it.
Liam shrugged in defeat, seemingly careless. "Fine then, I guess you'll just have to grace us with your presence when you return. My parents will be bitterly disappointed."
"You'll just have to pass on my apologies to them, then."
"What? The guilt trip didn't work?"
Cagalli couldn't help smirking again. "Not when it's you."
"Well, then." Liam bent his head slightly so that his eyes were level with her's. "I look forward to when you can come around. Although I would rather we go on a date without my parents chaperoning."
She was taken back a bit by the intensity of his green eyes, her breathing quickening slightly as the image of another boy flashed in her mind.
"So I guess I better be off then, Chief Representative Athha," he announced, taking her hand and kissing it. "Catch you later."
Cagalli frowned and pulled her hand away from his grasp and began making her way back down the corridor leading to her office, Liam following close behind her. "Yeah, okay, bye. And don't just assume you'll be welcome next time. Just because I choose to tolerate you does not mean I actually like you."
"You're all talk, Cagalli. Just admit it: you can't live without me and that's why you haven't put a restraining order on me yet."
Cagalli turned around just in time to see him throw her a wink before promptly turning on his heel to exit. She narrowed her eyes at the retreating figure, a smile creeping to her lips. No matter how annoying he was, she had never found it in her to be truly angry at him. There was something about him that made her smile. Sipping at the coffee in her hand, she continued back down the corridor meeting a concerned looking Kisaka at her office door.
"What was all that about, Cagalli?"
"Exactly what I told you it would be about," she replied, slipping passed him into the office and taking her place back at her desk.
Kisaka adopted a fatherly tone. "He didn't do anything to you?"
"He totally violated me." Cagalli rolled her eyes as she sorted through papers. "No, he didn't. You're being too protective. I mean, I know it's your job, but seriously. Liam just invited me to dinner with his parents on Friday."
"Then I assume you're going."
His eyes widened. "You're not? ButCagalli, you must. They're noble-"
"I know, I know. I told Liam I'd be on a trip for a while and if they found out I was lying, well that wouldn't be too good, so I have to make it not a lie. Kisaka, I need to organise a trip to the PLANTs as soon as possible. Can it be done?"
"Arrangements are already being made."
The sound of paper rustling stopped. Cagalli's eyes narrowed in confusion at Kisaka, who looked quite pleased with himself. "What? Already being made?"
"Ms Clyne asked us to start getting a trip organised for you yesterday as I escorted her to her shuttle. The original plan was to take you away by force, but it seems such measures are no longer necessary. I believe you leave tomorrow morning. Myrna has already started getting your things together."
Cagalli couldn't help but laugh as she got up to throw her arms around the General. "Unbelievable, but thankyou. Trust Lacus to do that behind my back, and all of you to listen to her. I could have you all fired."
"Well I agree with her. You've been so busy these passed few months and you should spend some time with your brother."
"I know you're right. So how long is this break of mine to be, then?" she asked as she sunk back into her chair.
"A week. But if you want to stay longer, I'm pretty sure we'd still be able to manage here for a few days longer."
"Okay then, it's settled." She said slowly. "I'll be going to the PLANTs."
"I'll let you finish up your work then." Kisaka bowed before turning to exit, quietly closing the door behind him.
Silence returned to her office as she turned her chair to face the window behind her desk. I'll be going to the PLANTs, Cagalli thought nervously biting her lip, feeling the ring in her pocket. Taking it, she slipped it on and stared at it on her fourth finger.
The truth is...
I miss him.
A/N: ALRIGHT! Well! another chapter up and I certainly hope you are all still enjoying yourselves to a certain degree, I know a lot of you just want them to get together already, but do you honestly think it'll be that easy:P hahaha oh dear. But anyhow, I seriously want to thank the people who take the time to review, even if its just a line to say they liked it. I honestly don't mind what you have to say, but feedback is really important to me (and every author,I guess).So anyway hahaha the point is...please review for me. :-) I'll try to get the next chapter out as soon as possible (given that uni doesn't take up too much of my time). -huggliez- Cheers to you all!