Cagalli Yula Attha stood at the balcony. The courtyard had been decorated gaily with lanterns and colourful flowers all around. Deeply inhaling the scent of fresh flowers, she sighed and smiled softly into the evening sky.
"All ready for your ball, Your Highness?" said a voice from behind.
Cagalli turned around and rolled her eyes.
"Is this ball really necessary, Kisaka?"
"It would be such a waste not to hold it, there's so much to celebrate, after all."
"Well, for one, the mastermind has been captured. The public now knows the truth about your absence, and you don't need to lie to them anymore. Kira no longer has heart attacks on a daily basis trying to govern Orb. I'm alive and kicking. You're alive and kicking."
"Are you… upset over Athrun?"
Cagalli smiled wryly. "What do you think?"
"He's gone back to PLANTs. Like I knew he would. How could he leave Meyrin when she's done so much for him?
A shot rang out clearly, and then came the sound of a body hitting the ground, and screams of horror as it fell.
"Meyrin!" Ryo cried out as she dropped to the ground. She had dashed out and blocked the shot. Ryo dropped his gun and immediately crouched down beside her limp body.
"Speaking of which, is Miss Hawke alright?"
"Yup. Her life isn't in any danger. The shot just missed her heart."
"Oh, that's good to hear."
"Yes. I'm – I'm glad."
"Yes. I'm glad that Athrun's with her. She deserves him much more than I do." Cagalli said, sounding as if she were trying to convince herself. "Now if you'd excuse me, Kisaka, I would like to… talk a walk by myself."
Cagalli walked across the room, trying to balance in her cream-coloured heels. Great. I'm going to trip. Again. She thought, feeling slightly irritated. Why did they insist that I wear white? I'm going to dirty it the moment the ball starts! Stupid stylists…
She walked out of the palace and into the courtyard, enjoying the night breeze. It was getting dark, and the lanterns cast a soft glow around the place. The moon hung up in the sky, round and bright.
For some reason, Cagalli found herself absentmindedly fiddling with the chain around her neck. She pulled it out and traced the ring she had strung through it- the ring which Athrun had given her such a long time ago. She remembered how both of them had blushed, and how she had burst out indignantly that he was using the wrong method to present a girl a ring.
And then she had giggled, and he had held her, and they had kissed.
Cagalli found herself smiling fondly as she recalled the good times they had, and she gently touched the ring to her lips.
"Well Athrun, I guess I can finally move on now. I don't want to, but I don't really have much of a choice, do I?" She whispered, as tears started to form. "I want to thank you, because you've taught me so much – because – because loving you has made me a better person. I… I guess I… I thought I could forget you in an instant but I can't… I still love you."
"Then why do you have to move on?"
Cagalli gasped and whirled around. There stood Athrun, impeccably dressed as usual, his face serious.
"Athrun! Aren't you supposed to be back in PLANTs?"
"I only went back to ensure that Meyrin was safe, Cagalli. I wasn't planning to stay there forever. But you- after I told you that I was going back, you hung up and refused to take any of my calls!"
"But- Athrun, what are you doing? Meyrin loves you! She saved your life."
"I know, and I'm thankful for that. But being thankful isn't equivalent to being in love, Cagalli."
"Athrun, you're a fool!"
Cagalli turned around and started to walk away from him, covering her ears and ignoring his protests. Then her foot (predictably) caught on a rock, and she found herself falling.
She closed her eyes and readied herself for the impact, but somehow, it never came.
When she opened them, she found one of Athrun's arms encircling her waist, and his other hand holding onto her wrist.
"Wha-What do you think you're doing?" She said hotly.
"Saving you." He said.
"I can stand perfectly by myself, thank you very much, now let me go!"
"But-But… You…" Cagalli stuttered.
"Cagalli, look, I just want you to hear me out. I love you. I love you very much, and it's taken me a long time to figure that out. I'm sorry for leaving you during the war. I'm sorry for making you feel miserable. I- I can't live without you. Please don't push me away." Athrun finished, his tone almost pleading.
Cagalli opened her mouth, found nothing to say, and then closed it.
"Will you… Will you give me another chance?"
Cagalli sighed, and then smiled.
"Alright. I guess. But if you break my heart again, Athrun Zala, I'm going to hunt you down and shoot you."
"Ouch." Athrun said dryly, but the look in his eyes told of pure happiness.
Shyly and sweetly, their lips met, and Cagalli felt the weight of the past slipping away from her. She no longer needed to live in her memories, because her dreams were in reality, and ahead of her was a new beginning.
A/N: And thus ends my first fanfic! LOL. Thank you to all of those who reviewed, especially those who have been there from the start. I LOVE ALL OF YOU. SERIOUSLY :D
Cari-Akira! Arisa Aihara! WateryStone! MiyuCagalli! KiraTatashi! ritachi! Sunflower Seeds! Elda Aranel! Dreams of Eternity! daisukiasu'n'caga! Athrya! Genny-chan! aizuhime! x3megurl13! Star-Moon-Angel! lunarstar07! outlanders! djanime2004! CagalliandAthrungirlforever! HaroTaro! Xx.Eternal Rain.xX! Kitty-Kat90013820! Shadow-Naka! Cagalli 27! beko! Chen0412! Kathya! FMAobsessed! AnimeCrazyLovingRoyalty! i Mel-chan i! X-19A Infinite Justice! Reflection-On-Chocolate-Milk! Airstriker! rabius! Chao Man Tou! akidarchangelprincess! Smokey-eyed-Beauty! Zaton!
(Hope I didn't miss out anyone ..;)
It's been a fun ride, and I hope you had fun reading it too! Peace.