DISCLAIMER: 'Mr. and Mrs. Jule' is a story based on characters and situations from Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed which is a property of Sotsu Agency, Bandai Studios and TV Asashi. This work is non profited and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Unless specified, all materials in the web is work done by HERMIT JUNCTION. Please do not use without permission any text or artwork.
WARNING: Text and all related materials are rated PG13/T and may mild strong language and suggestive adult themes unless otherwise stated. Please do not read if you are underage or maybe offended by such material. Spoilers for Gundam Seed.
NOTE: This fanfiction disregards the plotline of the original series' sequel Gundam Seed Destiny.
GSEED Singles Series
Mr. and Mrs. Jule
a hermit junction project
Chapter 9: Like a Bomb
I don't want to ever let go of you
And you told me not to
Opening her eyes slowly, Shiho stared up at the white ceiling above her with dazed eyes. Blinking, she reached out and made a grab for the sheets when she felt them slid down her bare skin. Turning to her side, she stared at the empty side of the huge white bed, a champagne colored rose sitting on the pillow beside her.
It wasn't the first time.
Sitting up, Shiho tucked the cool satin white sheets under her arms and picked up the rose with a delicate touch, afraid that it would disappear, afraid everything would disappear if she even blinked.
Holding it up to her nose, she sniffed it, gazing down at the perfectly placed petals. Caressing it, she looked up briefly, noting that it read nine thirty on the clock hung on the wall before her.
Leaning her head back, she closed her eyes for a while before climbing off the bed. Wrapping the sheets around her, she picked up the rose and stepped out of the master bedroom. Walking across the living room with the sheets dragging behind her, she sat on one of the stools of the open kitchen and reached for a glass vase that already had more than a dozen champagne colored roses. Putting the one she had in her hand gently into the vase, she shuffled them around briefly before pushing it back, admiring the flowers.
Hopping off the stool, she almost tripped over the sheets. Walking to the window pane, she sat down, letting the sun warm up her bare skin as she looked down at the busy streets of downtown Aprillius One. In the faint reflection of the window, she noted the marks on her shoulder and neck and couldn't help but touch them.
Turning away from the window, she surveyed the quiet penthouse. The decoration was simple, mainly cold colors with glass and metal. It was like Yzak, it suited him. She remembered sitting here three months ago, staring at what she regarded as a stranger's place. They were strangers, they barely knew each other. It was a weird feeling, not really knowing the person but married to him, shared passionate sex with him. In her honest opinion, they knew each other more when they were comrades.
She still remembered vividly the night she appeared at his door, soaking wet, water dripping, tears overflowing. Never in her life had she felt so sad, so depressed, so scared. She was actually scared, never in her life had she been this scared, not even during war and when her sister almost died, or died. The thought of not having a home scared her, and ironically, the three months of their marriage created the illusion of a family for her, her family, a family based on her, that's why she looked up the phonebook and found his place.
Yzak didn't seem that shocked to see her at his door, nor was he expecting it. It was just… he wanted to say a look of expectation, that he knew she'd come to him in time. She did, and for the first time in her life, she felt that someone was protecting her, shielding her from the pain she was suffering from. She remembered the kiss on her forehead, it was the most intimate kiss she had ever experienced and it was just a simple kiss on her forehead.
She remembered waking up the next morning in his bed, still dressed in the oversized white T-shirt and black boxers Yzak had forced her to put on after drying her with a warm white towel. She remembered how he looked into her eyes with equal pain. He too was in pain.
He had disappeared the next morning and she had found a note on the kitchen counter. He wanted her to think for herself, think of what she really wanted here in Aprillius One and if she wanted to stay, she could. Feeling more exposed than ever in her life, Shiho would have opted to immediately terminate her internship and leave like four years ago, if not seeing the two dolls on his nightstand.
Sitting down, Shiho smiled down at the two dolls and picked them up, holding them on her lap while caressing the groom's head. She remembered it, how could she not remember it? It as her wedding gift and she was shocked that it was with him. At the sight of the dolls, she was plunged into the torture of second thoughts. Was he still lingering? Was he still waiting? Would he wait for her? A girl he married out of anything but love?
She didn't know, and she took Yzak's advice. She left the house to think.
All day at the hospital, she forced herself to work but knew that the last thing she could was concentrate on others problems when hers was a handful. Her resident had noticed her state and told her to take a day off. She had begged him not to, but she was left with no choice. That afternoon, she wandered around downtown Aprillius One, stopping at nearly every coffee shop that was three blocks from Hotel Dionarva. Never in her life had she spent so much money on coffee in one day without eating anything else and she was surprised that her stomach didn't feel a thing.
She returned eventually, and when she opened the door with the key he had left with the note, her white duffle bag in hand, he was sitting on his sofa with the lights dimly lit and was staring at the door, rather staring at her, as if expecting that she'd come back. She did, and that night turned out to be not as quiet as the night before.
The next day, everything seemed to start from square one, or probably not. Their situation ha always been weird, it was it's nature. They married before actually knowing each other and now they were living together yet just starting to go out, or at least that's what she thinks they're doing.
The morning after that night, she had lied on his chest, listening to his heartbeat, feeling his warmth, his gentle stroke on her back and breathing slowly with her eyes opened in fear of everything disappearing at the blink of an eye.
'There's a nice café downstairs.' Yzak had suddenly said. 'You want to get changed and grab a bite?'
Shiho had thought he'd want to talk about their current situation, sort things out before they made any further steps in their complicated relationship. At that very moment, she felt different complex emotion rush through her head, so much that she was glad that Yzak didn't want to talk about things.
So they started all over again, disregarding the unhappy past they had together and the pain that came with it.
Setting the dolls down again, Shiho buried herself into the cool satin sheets. They were like Yzak, cool yet strangely comfortable.
Lying face down, Shiho almost feel asleep again when the phone suddenly rang. Looking up, she wiggled her way towards the nightstand and reached for the phone with an outstretched arm.
'Hey.' Yzak's voice rang from the other end before Shiho had a chance to open her mouth. 'Still naked in the sheets?'
'Do you have a camera hidden somewhere?' Shiho muttered, rolling onto her back, her legs peeking out of the sheets. Looking down, she lifted one up and looked at it.
'No, I don't.' Yzak replied warily. 'But I did notice you were still sleeping like the dead when I got up, you didn't even wake up when I kissed you full on the lips.'
'That was you?' Shiho asked in a small voice. 'I thought it was just a dream.'
'Not to mention touch you.' Yzak said in a low voice.
Feeling her face heat up, Shiho flopped onto her chest. 'Shut up.'
'I took a cold shower this morning.' Yzak said in a suggestive voice.
'Should I thank you? Or…' Shiho's voice trailed.
'I don't think I'm the type of guy to do my girl when she's half conscious, let alone unconscious.' Yzak sneered.
Her girl, she was her girl.
'Stop it!' Shiho cried after a pause.
'I have no intention of carrying out this conversation over the phone anyway.' Yzak responded. 'I like talking dirty in person, perfably on naked Sundays.'
'Yzak!' Shiho cried.
Yzak gave out a short laugh. 'Okay, okay, I'll stop.'
'Why are you calling?' Shiho asked, watching as the silky sheet slid off her body, baring her skin to the morning air.
'To see if you've woken up yet.' Yzak said.
'Aren't you at work?' Shiho asked, her eyebrows furrowing.
'Yeah, but my meeting isn't till ten.' Yzak said absently.
'Preping?' Shiho asked dryly.
'Yeah.' Yzak muttered. 'Just calling to make sure that you'll be up and go to work.'
'My shift isn't till ten thirty.' Shiho protested, shooting a glance at the clock.
'I know.' Yzak said nonchalantly. 'Just had time in between.'
And missed me? Was thinking of me? Shiho bit back the words. 'How's ZAFT?'
Yzak snorted. 'Just be glad that you're not here anymore.'
Shiho couldn't help but laugh. 'I can imagine.'
There was a slight pause before Yzak opened his mouth again. 'Are you on shift tonight?'
'Till seven.' Shiho replied, twirling a strand of hair with her index finger. 'Why?'
'Want to do something tonight?' Yzak asked. 'It's Friday, big date night.'
Shiho smirked. 'Do you have something planned Commander Jule.'
Yzak shrugged. 'Maybe. Meet at the hospital at seven.'
Shiho raised her eyebrows. 'Are you sure?'
'Why not?' With that, he cut the connection.
Making a face at the phone, Shiho tossed it carelessly on the bed and climbed off, not bothering with the sheets. Walking across the cool marble floor soundlessly, she caught her reflection in the full length mirror and paused, pressing on the faint marks that were scattered across her body, at her neck and around her breasts. Sighing, She grabbed a handful of hair and brushed it over her shoulder, making a note to not wear a crew neck T-shirt as she made her way towards the shower while wondering at the same time what Yzak had in mind.
He could be a surprise sometimes, that's all she knew.
Pulling his car up at the waiting area, Yzak killed the engine and stepped out, loosening the tie he had on and unbuttoning the first two buttons of his grey shirt. Leaning against his black sedan, he ran one hand through his silky hair and watched as the huge glass doors of Aprillius One Mergate Hospital opened in closed with people coming out. Beside the entrance there was a stall that was promoting smoking cesession and volunteers wearing white T-shirts with the no smoking sign on were giving out flyers.
Yzak couldn't help but give himself a smile. He was never a chain smoker until his divorce. He never realized that he started smoking because Shiho left, because he felt something missing yet couldn't find the pieces to fill it in, so in frustration, he started to smoke. It built up quickly and two weeks later, he found himself smoking up to two packs a day to the point where even Dearka couldn't help but give him a nudge. He never listened to him and he'd still nag him about it after his relocation.
When he came back from Sextilius Nine, Shiho's words kept ringing in his head. If she was still his wife, he'd make him stop smoking… and somehow, it made him want to quit. It still frustrated him at first, knowing that somehow he was doing it for her, because of her. Despite the frustration, he went to the nearest convenient store and bought the quitters package, nicotine patches and chewing gum.
He still remembered Shiho's look when she saw the patch on his forearm.
'You're quitting smoking?' Shiho had asked, still lying on him with the sheets barely covering their entwined bodies.
'Yeah.' He had replied, feeling her caress the patch.
He had shrugged. 'Healthier choice.'
At that, she had lifted her head up to look at him, wanting to say something but couldn't find any words, so she just shook her head and lied back down on his bare chest quietly, carelessly running her fingers up and down his patch until morning came.
Of course after two months, he was completely off nicotine patches and chewing gum which shocked a lot of people.
'Are you waiting for someone?'
Blinking, Yzak turned and found a man standing at the pavement with a briefcase in hand. He recognized him, he was the man he saw walking out of the hospital with Shiho two months ago outside Face Off.
Narrowing his eyes, Yzak uncrossed his arms. 'Yeah, and you are?'
He shrugged. 'I'm just a intern at Mergate, I'm waiting for my wife.'
Yzak couldn't help but raise his eyebrows.
'Yzak!' A voice called before he could open his mouth again. Turning, he saw Shiho walk up to him, her hair pulled up in a ponytail.
'So I was right, you are waiting for her.' Monroe smiled. 'I've heard of you, lots of gossip flying in the air around this hospital.'
'Rumors? What rumors?' Shiho asked, blinking in confusion.
'Care to introduce us?' Monroe asked dryly.
'Oh.' Shaking her head, Shiho turned to Yzak. 'This is Monroe Fonz, a surgical intern.'
'Yzak Jule.' Yzak said shortly when they shook hands.
'Well, I see you have date of some sort.' Monroe said, raising his eyebrows. 'Don't let me kept you guys here, I'm just waiting for my wife.'
'Have a good night.' Shiho smiled as Yzak opened the passenger door for her. Giving him a curt nod, Yzak walked around his car and climbed in.
'So? What's all the fuss?' Shiho asked, turning to Yzak who was shooting a glance at the center mirror.
'It's Friday night.' Yzak said, gunning the engine while looking at Shiho. 'Should there be a reason other then having fun?'
Shiho shrugged. 'I don't know, it's not like we've ever had a real first date.'
Yzak shot Shiho a glance. 'We started out badly huh?'
Shiho froze at the words and didn't dare move her head. Sighing, Yzak steered out of the hospital's parking lot.
The past was like a ticking bomb, neither of them wanted to go near it thus not giving it a chance to detonate.
'Dinner?' Yzak asked after a few moments of silence.
Shiho felt her shoulders relax as she turned to him. 'What do you have in mind?'
'Vladlen Avenue.' Yzak said promptly. 'Made reservations at Delfino.'
'Wow, fancy.' Shiho said.
Yzak held out one hand. 'I hope you're not hungry though because I have a little something I want to do with you before we eat.'
'What?' Shiho asked curiously.
Turning, Yzak smirked. 'Shopping.'
When Yzak led her to the flagship boutique of Senor and Senhorita, the first, the most famous and prestigious fashion house originating from PLANT, Shiho couldn't help but stare.
'So, when you meant shopping, you meant that literally…' Shiho murmured, raising her eyebrows at him.
Yzak just shrugged. 'Plain words.'
Turning, Shiho crossed her arms and looked at him. 'So tell me, how are we going to shop if it's closed?'
Yzak just turned and shrugged. 'You tell me.'
Shiho's jaw dropped. 'Hello? You're the one who took us here and besides, shops like these usually don't close at seven thirty on Friday.'
'Correct.' Taking her hand, Yzak pulled her up the stairs just in time for a saleslady to unlocked the glass doors and greet them with it opened.
'Mr. Jule.' The saleslady bowed her head slightly.
'Thank you.' Yzak said, giving a bewildered Shiho a smirk. 'Sorry, got a little caught in traffic.'
'No problem.' The saleslady smiled. 'This must be Miss Hahnenfuss.'
'You chartered the whole boutique?' Shiho asked incredulously, pulling at Yzak's arm. 'You didn't…'
'I did.' Yzak said shortly.
'Why?' Shiho asked, blinking in confusion.
Yzak just shrugged. 'Shopping.'
'For clothes?' Shiho asked in bewilderment. 'What's the occasion?'
'You'll see.' Yzak turned to the saleslady. 'A cocktail and dinner.'
The saleslady nodded with a huge smile on her face. 'No problem Mr. Jule. Miss Hahnenfuss, please follow us.'
Since Yzak had already preordered his suit a few days ago and wasn't picky about fashion, he just sat at the waiting area and scanned aimlessly through magazines that were scattered on the coffee table. He would look up occasionally with the salesladies dashing around with dresses in full length dress bags with the elegant label printed in the middle. After his fifth magazine, Yzak finally sighed and tossed it onto the coffee table in slight impatience. He never really did understand why women took so long to find a dress.
But when Shiho finally stepped out of the changing rooms, Yzak immediately found it worthwhile.
'Please tell me this looks good.' Shiho said, obviously impatient too. She raised her eyebrows at Yzak who was silently looking at her in a strapless champagne colored evening gown with a runched bodice, A-line and a mini train at the back. On her feet were matching pumps and she was holding a matching shawl in her hand.
Standing up, Yzak walked up to her and looked down for a few moments before taking the shawl and wrapping it loosely around her shoulders. Tapping his chin, he turned to the saleslady. 'It's nice, this will do.'
'That's all?' Shiho cried, putting her hands on her waist. 'It's nice?'
'Let's get changed now Miss Shiho and we'll wrap this up for you.' The saleslady said quickly, smiling. Rolling her eyes, Shiho complied and when she came out in her jeans and T-shirt, Yzak had already paid and a black bag was sitting on the counter with the satin dress inside.
'What is the occasion?' Shiho asked as they stepped out of the boutique. 'I mean, to make you shop, it must be big.'
'Hey!' Yzak looked at her with an offended look, then sighed. 'Yeah, I guess.'
'Yeah, since you chartered the whole place.' Shiho said dryly.
'Come on, we're going to be late for our reservation.' Yzak said.
'So you're not going to tell me.' Shiho continued as they walked down the busy street.
'You ask too many questions Shiho.' Yzak said, eyeing her briefly.
'Well, it's hard to believe that it's just a present.' Shiho muttered.
'Mr. Jule.' The receptionist smiled. 'Reservation at eight thirty for two?'
'Yes please.' Yzak said briefly.
'Would you like to start off with some champagne?' The waiter asked when they were seated comfortably at their table right beside the window that overlooked downtown Aprillius One.
'Bollinger.' Yzak said after scanning the small menu.
'Are you sure?' Shiho asked, frowning slightly. 'You have to drive.'
'Champagne's nothing.' Yzak said lightly. 'Besides, if I did get drunk, there's still you to drive us back, or, we can always take the transit, it's not that far from Dionarva.'
'True.' Shiho said, then turned back to her menu. 'I feel so out of place here in jeans.'
Yzak shrugged. 'I'm in jeans.'
Shiho shot a glance at him. 'Yeah, but you also have a suit and a tie on.'
'Well, I can pay, so screw them.' Yzak smirked.
Shiho just shook her head and continued scanning her menu. When the waiter came back with the bottle of champagne, Yzak motioned for him to pour it into two glasses and they placed their order at the same time. When he left, Shiho raised her eyebrows as Yzak took a sip from his glass of champagne.
'No toasts?' Shiho asked as she reached for hers.
'No toast.' Yzak said, reaching into his jacket. 'But an invitation.'
Shiho paused. 'An invitation?'
Yzak handed her a cream colored envelop. 'An invitation, to the banquet celebrating the fifth year anniversary of the Aprillius One Convention.'
Opening the envelop, she looked down at the printing that said 'To Mr. Jule and Lady' Looking up, she looked at him in the eye. 'Is that why you bought me the dress?'
Yzak paused for a second. 'I rarely do things without a reason.'
Shiho nodded and looked down, biting her lip. 'True. Five year huh? Has it been that long?'
'We were married four years ago.' Yzak said shortly. At that, Shiho gulped and continued staring down at the invitation. After a while, he sighed. 'I'm not going to force you. If you want to go, I'll take you.'
'As who?' Shiho asked abruptly, looking up. 'Your lover? Your girlfriend? Certainly not your ex-wife. Do you realize that if I go, we go together… it's public.'
'Did I ever say we weren't public now?' Yzak asked curtly.
Taking a deep breath, Shiho stuck the invitation back into it's envelop. 'As who?'
Looking up, Yzak stared into her amethyst eyes briefly before smiling. 'As my lady.'
He got the invitation in his mailbox at work two days ago and had stared at it every now and then, wondering if he should go and if he should take Shiho with him. He had called his Mother when he got the invitation and found out that she too had been invited, but with her change in life, he knew she wouldn't go which meant that no matter what, he had to go as a representative of the Jule family, not to mention a very famous war veteran and present Commander of ZAFT.
War veteran, the term was disturbing, the words was like a lock, locking up the past that involved intense rivalry, vigorous training, endless nights of waiting, of anxiety, pain, scars, deaths and betrayal.
Betrayal, it hurt the most, being betrayed by his comrades during the midst of war. Having to lose his comrades one by one was also painful but he had learnt to live with it, to put it behind him, to focus on the future, to focus on surviving, on fighting… but never really on his beliefs. The brief talk he had with Dearka on L4 during his recoinnasse mission five years ago had made him realize that he didn't really have anything concrete to fight for, at such, it made it even harder for him to focus on his battles, on his war.
Dearka was right, the war had screwed him big time. Before, he was just a spoiled brat who thought he was good at everything. Never in his life had he had doubts about his life, had frustration about himself, about the people around him. The war made him realize that life would never be perfect, will never be seamless. The war had taught him what frustration was, and it was hard to overcome, and he used the most rebellious way to prove his existence.
Yes, he doubted his existence after the war.
He started asking who he was, why he was in such a powerful position, why so many people put expectations on him. He hated the pressure and he felt that a phase of his life was missing, the rebellious, wild phase of a youngster, the phase where one should not worry and do whatever he or she wanted to do. He didn't have it, it was replaced by the war and he thought it was unfair, he was entitled to have one too, and so he created one for himself, under the eye of the public, under the pressure of the council, under the workload of ZAFT.
He had paid the price and his punishment was the continuation of this frustration and emptiness that had followed him for five years, ever since the end of the war. The past was a lock, a dam, holding in the unwanted memories of his bloody and rebellious past. If it was one thing he learnt from war, it was denial, and it had worked perfectly, until his marriage, his divorce and now his complicated relationship with his ex-wife.
But he was sure of one thing, one thing he did not want to deny, he couldn't go by himself, he couldn't face the past by himself, he just couldn't, he didn't have the courage. The past was like an ocean that would easily drown him. He needed something to hold on to, he needed her.
Staring down at the window of his office, Yzak narrowed his eyes. The headquarters was deathly silent and he could even hear his clock ticking on the wall. Turning, he shot a glance at the clock that already read seven thirty. The banquet started at eight.
He didn't want to go.
Sighing, he turned back in his chair and stared out the window blankly. His eyes suddenly blinked as he focused on the reflection on the starry night. Shiho was standing at the doorway with her arms crossed, the sash draped across her elbow.
At the sigh, Yzak turned in his chair abruptly and stared at her.
'It's been four years and I still know my way around here.' Shiho said in a joking voice, leaning against the door frame.
Yzak just stared at her. It had been a week since he gave her the invitation and she didn't say anything ever since. He thought that she'd decline it, that's why he decided to stay in his office and sulk.
'You really are something Yzak Jule.' Shiho muttered. 'Making a girl come pick you up.'
Standing up, he walked up to her quickly and without another word, cupped her face with both hands and kissed her deeply, pulling her into his chest. She was there, she was real.
'You're going to ruin my make up.' Shiho whispered against his lips as he pulled away.
'I thought you weren't going to come.' Yzak said softly, looking into her eyes. 'You didn't say anything after that night about it and…'
'And waste this dress you bought me?' Shiho asked, smirking. 'I've learnt to not waste anything if I can help it.'
'You got a compact in that little purse of yours?' Yzak asked, smirking back while wiping some of her smudged lipstick with his index finger.
Cupping his face, Shiho leaned forward and gave him a solid kiss before licking the nude lipstick from the corner of his mouth and wiping it on her thumb. 'I may have, and the suit you bought.'
Looking down, Yzak noticed a black paper bag at her feet. 'You planned this?'
Shiho raised her eyebrows. 'Excuse me?'
'Yeah yeah.' Rolling his eyes, Yzak grabbed the bag. 'Give me one minute, I'm going to change.'
'Quick.' Shiho called as he disappeared around the corner. Turning back to his office, Shiho sighed and looked around. To her surprise, nothing changed, it was still the office she used to have endless nights of work with Yzak and Dearka when she was still in ZAFT.
Walking up to his desk, Shiho placed on hand on the cold wood. Closing her eyes, she could hear the ringing of their voices in the room, Yzak turning in his chair while looking at the ceiling, Dearka propping his legs on this very desk and she just sitting there with crossed legs, trying desperately to focus but knowing that she was on the verge of breakdown.
The memories seemed so far away yet flashing through her mind. Though she had not worked on the team for that long a time, she still felt a connection, an invaluable connection that only existed between comrades who fought together, who put their life on the same line together.
She wondered if Dearka would be there. She never really got to know the soldier who was closest to Yzak and never asked why he had betrayed him. Yzak Jule's war experience was extensive and also fascinating, yet it was the type of fascination that one could only watch from afar, no one dared to ask him about the details, including her.
She too was no exception, she too was just an ordinary girl, a girl who was fascinated by the legendary Yzak Jule, Heliopolis raider, Panama and Josh-A survivor, Commander of ZAFT and member of the High council… could anyone blame him for having so many affairs? He had every, every…
'Are you ready to go?'
So lost in thought, Shiho almost jumped out of her skin when Yzak wrapped one arm around her bare shoulders and pulled her close to him. She could feel his unique scent and shivered when he breathed into her ear. He was irresistible. After so much pain involving him, she was still hopelessly attracted to him.
What did he see in her?
'We're going to be late.' Shiho whispered faintly as he planted a firm kiss on the back of her ear. 'Yzak, you're going to make a mark.'
'Sorry.' Nuzzling her neck briefly, Yzak turned her around and took her hand. 'Let's go.'
They were in total silence as they walked hand in hand down the dimly lit hallway.
'Do you ever miss this place?' Yzak asked as she handed him the keys.
Shiho snorted. 'Are you kidding, this place is like hell, I'm the best person to justify it.'
'True.' They said no more until they reached the convention hall and waited in line for valet parking. When the valet opened the door for her, Shiho hesitated briefly before accepting his hand, a wave of déjà vu crashing into her mind. Before she had a chance to grab Yzak's hand like four years ago, she found herself being pulled into his embrace with one arm by the waist. She froze as a kiss was planted on her forehead. She gasped when a flash blinded her momentarily.
'Just stay with me.' Yzak whispered. Tightening his grip around her waist briefly, he let go of her and took her hand.
She had her head down the whole time as they pushed past the crowd of reporters. She tried to shut out the noise as security opened a path for them. She felt Yzak squeeze her hand as they finally stepped into the guest restricted foyer.
'Those fucking reporters.' Yzak muttered.
Shiho looked up and smirked. 'You saw this coming Yzak, don't deny it.'
Yzak smirked back. 'Well, I'm just going to say that we're safe for a while.'
'Why?' Shiho turned her head towards the crowded entrance.
'Because there's an even bigger guest making an entrance.' Yzak sneered.
'Lacus Clyne?' Shiho widened her eyes. 'Cagalli Yula Attha?'
'And Athrun Zala.' Yzak snarled.
Shiho turned and couldn't help but shake her head. 'You're never going to get over it will you?'
Yzak looked down. 'Shut up Hahnenfuss.'
Smirking back, Shiho grabbed his arm and steered him away from the entrance. 'We better get you out of here before you get sulky.'
'I do not get sulky.' Yzak muttered.
'Yes, you do.'
'No I don't!'
'Whatever you say Commander.'
'Remember the music?'
Looking up, Yzak saw Athrun Zala's reflection in the polished window before him. Turning, he stared at him. 'How can I forget? It was Nicol's piece, he always had it on in his room during our academy days.'
'He'd always sneak into the rec room to play it too.' Athrun said, looking down at his champagne glass.
Yzak paused for a moment before turning around. 'He was very good at it.'
'I thought you hated it.' Athrun said quietly.
'I hated it because I hated him.' Yzak replied. 'Or so I thought.'
'He was young.' Athrun sighed and looked out the window. 'He was too young yet too talented. He wasn't ready for war but he stepped up anyway… sometimes I still can't believe he's dead, if he wasn't, he'd be great pianist, he said so himself.'
'If I survive the war, then I'm going to hold a touring concert.' Yzak said promptly.
'How did you know?' Athrun asked, turning to him.
'I overheard you two before the Heliopolis raid.' Yzak said. 'You and Rusty.'
'Rusty…' Athrun nodded. 'That trickster.'
'He always gave life to the team.' Yzak said quietly. 'He was the mediator, and our team sort of lost balance after he died.'
'But we've managed to survive.' Athrun said.
'Yes.' Yzak shot a glance at Athrun. 'And I see you've made a good life out of yourself with the princess of Orb. I thought you were with Lacus Clyne, after she moved to Orb.'
'Our engagement was officially canceled by my Father, remember?' Athrun reminded. 'Besides, Lacus is more of a friend than a romantic entanglement.'
'How about the princess of Orb?' Yzak asked, shooting a glance at Cagalli who was talking to some politician. 'How did you meet her?'
'Cagalli?' Athrun turned and looked at her. 'We met during the war and almost killed each other the first night we met. It's a long story, but in a nutshell, I've moved on and put the past behind me, she helped me put the past behind.'
'Right…' Yzak's voice trailed.
'How about you? Have you moved on from the war? From the past?' Athrun asked.
Yzak shot a glare at him. 'Are you implying something?'
Athrun looked at him innocently. 'What do you think I'm implying?'
'Dearka.' Yzak said shortly. 'Don't tell me you guys didn't meet at Orb nor talked about me, he loves gossiping about my private life, he says it's like a soap opera.'
Athrun couldn't help but snort. 'He uh, did use that analogy.'
'Bastard.' Yzak seethed.
'Not that I wouldn't get the news about your marriage to Shiho Hahnenfuss through the media.' Athrun added. 'But Dearka's details were juicier.'
'I never knew you were the gossiping type Athrun Zala.' Yzak snarled.
'What is it between the two of you?' Athrun asked in a serious tone, shooting a glance at Shiho who was sitting at the table by herself. 'Are you two still married?'
'No.' Yzak said bluntly. 'She gave me divorce papers and I signed them four years ago. We're still divorced.'
'Then why are you two still together?' Athrun asked, his eyebrows raised.
'Has the gossiping thing of Dearka's rubbed into you?' Yzak asked, turning to him.
Athrun shrugged. 'We haven't seen each other in five years Yzak, just trying to be nice.'
'Really?' Yzak eyed him.
'Well, you did make the headlines of PLANT four years ago…' Athrun's voice trailed.
Sighing, Yzak leaned against the window. 'We married four years ago and divorced after three months. I met her at Tayne's wedding two months ago and we hooked up briefly. She was assigned to an internship at Aprillius One a week later and somehow I found her standing at my door and now we're here. Satisfied?'
'A good summary.' Athrun sneered. 'Looks like you have moved on.'
'I sense sarcasm in your voice Captain Zala.' Yzak sneered back.
'Oh there is a time I use sarcasm Commander Jule.' Athrun smirked back.
Exhaling heavily, Yzak racked his hair violently. 'We're in a tough spot, a tough, complicated and downright weird spot.'
'Do you love her?' Athrun asked.
Yzak turned and looked at him. 'I don't know, I'm letting the past get in the way.'
'You mean the political marriage?' Athrun asked softly.
Yzak sighed heavily. 'Yes, it's just… complicated.'
'But you're with her now.' Athrun pointed out. 'That has to mean something.'
'It does.' Yzak said quickly. 'It means something yet somehow… we have a unspoken agreement of not mentioning the past and it's like a landmine, it's everywhere, one false step and it's going to explode, one false step and that's it, we're over.'
'You two didn't start out in the most pleasant way.' Athrun muttered. 'She was a soldier right? A part of your team during Jakin Due.'
'Yes.' Yzak replied. 'She was the best I had and was granted a team of her own. She was the only red among her class, she is something.'
'Are you attracted to her by that?' Athrun asked.
'What?' Yzak's eyebrows furrowed. 'What do you mean?'
Athrun looked at him straight in the eye. 'You got to tell yourself why you're attracted to her now and why you weren't four years ago, or you were but you were just trying to deny it because you weren't happy with the political union or… or it's simply just the fact that you've developed something for her during that short period of marriage.'
'When did you start working as a relationship councilor?' Yzak sneered.
Athrun laughed. 'Look, the bottle line is, you know you're walking on thin ice with her and you know that you want to be with her, you're just figuring out why you want to be with her, but I can tell you this…'
Yzak narrowed his eyes at his sudden pause. 'What?'
Athrun just smiled. 'Sometimes, there's no reason, there doesn't have to be a reason. You just fall for her.'
'Right.' Yzak muttered.
'Yzak, do you know the difference between hook ups and relationships?' Athrun asked in a quiet voice.
Yzak paused before shaking his head, noticing at the corner of his eye that Lacus Clyne was already on the stage, the melody of her most popular song 'Fields of Hope' floating in the background. 'Enlighten me.'
'If she's just hook up, you don't feel a thing when you turn around and leave, but if you've really fallen for her, you'll hurt when you force yourself leave, and if she's the one who leaves, you'll break, literally.'
Yzak eyed Athrun. 'Literally?'
Athrun just nodded and smiled. 'Literally.'
'PLANT is just beautiful!' Cagalli Yula Attha exclaimed, leaning over the railing with her feet hanging above the ground, the soft nocturnal wind blowing her hair into her face.
'Be careful Cagalli!' Lacus Clyne laughed. 'I won't be surprised if you climb the roof of the parliament building on your wedding day.'
Cagalli turned to Lacus. 'That's actually not a bad idea, it has the best view.'
'And spend wedding night up on a roof?' Lacus raised her eyebrows.
'Well…' Cagalli shrugged sheepishly. 'Maybe not all of it.'
'Yes, a message for Shiho Hahnenfuss please.'
They both turned at the voice. Realizing that she had intruded, Shiho snapped her phone shut and took a step back. 'I'm sorry, I didn't know there were people here, really sorry for the interruption.'
'Are you Mrs. Jule?' Lacus asked before Shiho turned around. 'Yzak's wife?'
Shiho paused before opening her mouth. 'No, I'm his ex-wife, we're divorced.'
'Oh.' Cagalli smirked. 'From what I heard from Athrun, that dude seriously cannot survive a relationship, let alone a marriage.'
'Are you Shiho Hahnenfuss?' Lacus asked. 'Councilor Hahnenfuss' daughter?'
Shiho bowed her head. 'Yes.'
Lacus smiled. 'I remember seeing you and your sister at the council dinners when we were little. How is your sister? Is she well? Her name's Geherin right?'
Shiho looked away. 'She died, four years ago.'
Lacus gasped softly. 'She died?'
Shiho nodded. 'Heart failure. I guess she wasn't strong enough when we were sharing a womb.'
'I'm so sorry.' Lacus said softly.
'It's been a long time.' Shiho murmured. 'Time makes you forget.'
'I guess.' Lacus nodded.
'I know Athrun's going to give Yzak an invitation.' Cagalli said, hopping onto her feet again. 'Will you come with Yzak?'
'I – I don't know if I'll be here then.' Shiho stammered, looking down.
'You… you're not back with Yzak?' Lacus asked.
'I'm here on an internship…' Shiho paused, 'for only six months. I don't know where I'm going to go afterwards.'
'Oh.' Cagalli shrugged. 'Well, luckily, our marriage is in a month, so I'm assuming you'll still around. Orb is a beautiful place, come, even if you want to dump Yzak again.'
'Cagalli!' Lacus cried.
'What?' Cagalli rolled her eyes.
Shiho could only smile. 'I'm sorry ladies but I have to return a call, apologies for any interruptions.'
'Don't apologize.' Lacus looked at her. 'I can tell that you apologize a lot.'
Shiho only bowed her head in response as she retreated into the hall again. Walking across the carpeted floor quickly, she entered one of the resting chambers. Looking around, to make sure no one was in the room, she reached into her purse and took out her cell phone again. Searching through her phonebook briefly, she located the number and dialed.
'Hi, this is Shiho Hahnenfuss returning a call.' Shiho said quickly when the line picked up.
'Yes, of course Miss Hahnenfuss, your call in regards to transferring your file?'
'Yes.' Shiho said quietly, pacing the quiet room.
'May I ask why you want to release this file to Aprillius One Mergrate Hospital?' The nurse asked.
'Uh…' Shiho pulled at her skirt uncomfortably. 'I'm having some problem right now and I have to see a gynecologist. I can't come back to December 4 right now because I'm on a six month internship. With my previous medical history, I think it's best that my gynecologist here had my file in hand.'
'Okay, that's fine.' The nurse replied. 'Have you seen your gynecologist yet?'
'No, not yet.' Shiho said.
'May ask what problem it is so we can file it down?' The nurse asked.
'Huh… late period.' Shiho said uncomfortably. 'And a positive pregnancy test.'
'Hmm… then it is a good idea to see a gynecologist with your past history.' The nurse said. 'No worries, we'll send this file by tomorrow.'
'Thank you.' Shiho said. Disconnecting her phone, Shiho sighed loudly and collapsed on the sofa. She jerked her head when the door suddenly opened.
'Aren't you going to make the headlines tomorrow Shiho.' Nia smiled, stepping in.
Narrowing her eyes, Shiho stood up. 'Excuse me.'
'Do you know what you're doing Shiho Hahnenfuss?' Nia asked before Shiho reached for the door knob.
Her eyebrows furrowing, Shiho turned. 'What do you mean by that Miss Siers?'
Smiling slyly, Nia took a step forward and sipped from her champagne glass. 'Yzak Jule, he's Yzak Jule, the man you married and divorced four years ago. You really think you still have a chance?'
'And that's your business… why?' Shiho asked.
At that, Nia dropped her façade. 'You left four years ago, you two shouldn't have even gotten together in the first place! I don't understand, why are you still here when you two divorced four years ago? Three years, I've waited three damn years, hoping that he'd take me seriously, hoping that our relationship would get somewhere and not turn on and off like light switch. And what do I get? You, coming back… what do you want?'
What did she want? That was a good question, a question she often asked herself, but she didn't have the answer.
Narrowing her eyes, Shiho turned around. 'Again, that's none of your business, and in some ways, you're even cheaper than Gazelle Wyleed, just so you know.'
Without waiting for her to react, Shiho opened the door and stepped out of the room, closing it behind her quickly. She paused for a second before turning the corner quickly, almost bumping into Yzak.
'Hey.' Yzak's eyebrows furrowed at her slightly flushed cheeks. 'You okay?'
'I'm fine.' Shiho said, holding her hand to her chest.
'Ready to go?' Yzak asked.
'This early?' Shiho raised her eyebrows. 'It's only eleven.'
'Like you want to stay here any longer.' Yzak muttered.
Shiho cocked her head. 'True.'
'Let's go.' Snatching her hand, he pulled her down the hallway quickly.
'What's the rush?' Shiho asked.
'The Light Symphony is coming up tonight.' Yzak said as he steered out of the convention center.
'Today?' Shiho raised her eyebrows.
Yzak nodded. 'There's a midnight show tonight, I know the perfect spot to watch it.'
'Did you discover it with another girl?' Shiho asked before she could bite her words back.
Yzak paused for a moment before opening his mouth. 'No.'
'I'm sorry.' Shiho whispered.
No responding, Yzak turned on the radio instead, just in time to catch the announcement that the Light Symphony was cancelled due to artificial weather problems.
'I guess… it's just not meant to be.' Shiho said, turning to Yzak when he parked his car in the underground lot that was reserved for penthouse tenants only. She frowned when he didn't respond either and followed suit when he climbed out of his car, almost tripping over her heels.
Turning around, Yzak waited for Shiho as she scrambled to pick up her purse that she had dropped. When she finally caught up with him, he had no intentions of slowing down as they walked down the hallway. When they finally entered the elevator, Shiho couldn't help but wince at her feet as she leaned against the wall, switching her weight from one foot to the other.
When the elevator door's opened, Yzak rolled his eyes and with one clean motion, picked her up sideways, much to her surprise as she let out a gasp.
'You should never be allowed to wear heels.' Yzak muttered as he walked down the hallway without even grunting with Shiho's weight on his arms.
'You're the one who bought it for me.' Shiho murmured, resting her head on his shoulder.
'Right.' Yzak sneered. When he stopped at his door, Shiho pulled away and stared. 'Well I don't have hands do I?'
'Then put me down.' Shiho said in a logical tone.
'You have it in your purse, just unlock it.' Yzak grunted.
'Fine.' Shiho snapped. Taking her card out, she leaned over and unlocked the door. When Yzak kicked the door open, she scrambled out of his embrace. Tossing her shawl and purse onto the coffee table, she was about to storm into the bedroom when she suddenly heard music. Turning, Shiho frowned. 'What are you doing?'
Tossing the remote onto the sofa, Yzak took off his black jacket and tossed it aside. Walking up to Shiho while loosening his tie, he grabbed her hand and pulled her into an embrace. Before Shiho had the time to process anything, they were already swaying to the music.
'What are you doing?' Shiho asked in a whisper against his ear, trying to fight the pounding of her heart.
'Dancing.' Yzak replied promptly, looking out the window over her shoulder. 'We've never had our first dance as husband and wife, as Mr. and Mrs. Jule.'
Stopping, Shiho pulled away gently and looked up at him, his features barely visible in the limited moonlight that shone through the huge windows of the penthouse.
'We're not a married couple anymore.' Shiho whispered, her amethyst eyes trembling in the dark. 'We're not Mr. and Mrs. Jule anymore, we've never been.'
To her surprise, Yzak didn't say anything, didn't even react to what she had just said, as if he had suddenly gone deaf. He just stared down at her, stared into her eyes. Moments later he reached out both hands and cupped her face, kissing her tenderly, preying her mouth open gently.
He was irresistible, had always been.
Her mind was in a blur as she felt him slid his warm hands down her shoulder. When she wrapped her arms around his neck, he broke the kiss and buried his face into her neck while his hand slid down her side, unzipping her dress on the way. Feeling up her back, he unhooked her bra in one clean motion and pulled away. While he tossed it aside, Shiho was still in a daze as he picked her up in only her panties.
Feeling her back hit the soft satin cushions that were piled up at the corner of the living room against the window pane, Shiho let her hands follow their instincts. If she had learnt something in the past two months, it's to never think when doing it with Yzak Jule, he wouldn't let you think… until he let you.
Feeling sweat slid down her cheek, Shiho opened her eyes and stared down at Yzak, watching as it dropped onto his face. She squeezed her legs tightly around him as they came, faintly aware that he had his hands hooked around her thighs as she rode him. Feeling their sweaty bodies rub against each other, Shiho leaned her forehead against his as he slipped out of her.
'Shiho…' Yzak whispered against her lips, running his hands up and down her back. 'Shiho…'
'Don't let go.' Shiho whispered back, much to Yzak's surprise. There was plead in her voice, it was painfully obvious. She felt she had the need to plead, but she didn't, really didn't.
His hand on the back of her head, he pushed her down and kissed her in the gentlest way he could possibly kiss, making sure that Shiho felt it. When he pulled away, he brushed her hair back. 'I won't let go if you don't let go.'
Shiho stared down at him for a while before collapsing on him. Feeling her body relax against his, he wrapped one arm around her waist and pulled her close to him, trying to make her feel warm by rubbing her bare back while running the fingers of his other hand down her silky hair. Wrapping her arms around his torso, she leaned against his shoulder, feeling his warmth, wanting to feel nothing but his warmth, wanting to be surrounded by nothing but his scent.
'Fair enough.' She whispered into his ear as she closed her eyes.
Smiling, he continued combing her hair until she finally fell asleep. Reaching for the throw beside him, he tossed it over their entwined bodies and pulled her closer, knowing that it was going to be a peaceful night of sleep. Like always, since they've gotten back together.
End of Chapter 9
Next Update: 15th September, 2006
A/N: Second last chapter. Next chapter will be the last and the rating will be raised for apparent reasons. Enjoy.