Tsubame: I got this idea listening to a video made by Yukinosama from y o u t u b e . c o m –BOWS- I really love that video. I don't own Gundam Seed or Destiny...sigh it is ashame too...hehehehe...
I also dedicate this to Garowyn, ANONYMOUS-gsd and Cari-Akira! WheeeeeEEe…
Ritachi: If you are reading this please believe me when I say that I did not steal this idea from you. I saw Yukinosama's video one day and fell in love with it. I was surprised to see your version of 1000 words. It took me a long time to finish this because I got writer's block and I tried my best to make this fic as different from yours as I could possibly make. Please believe me… I would never intentionally steal anything.
Happy Birthday, Cagalli-sama and Kira-sama! KYAA!
"A thousand words"
By Tsubame Ongaku
"What am I doing here?" Cagalli asked herself for the tenth time since arriving to the island. She looked out towards the ocean, feeling for the first time in many months the cool freshness of the air.
She slipped out of her Representative's jacket and tossed it unto the sandy beach. It was warm under that jacket and she'd been wearing it since that morning.
She ran towards the side of the cliff, spread her arms like a bird taking flight, closed her eyes and just felt the strong winds caress her face. It felt so good. She had almost forgotten how to move about without pressure. She finally felt free. She can finally forget everything that had been weighing her down for the last four years.
"Representative Athha?" The radio crackled from her stolen FX-Skygrasper. "Do you read me, Your Highness?"
She opened her eyes, turned towards the radio and just listened for a minute. She knew what they wanted. They wanted her to go back to her life as a representative.
The voice from the radio stopped and then another voice spoke. "Cagalli, this is Kira." Her eyes widen with surprise as she recognized her brother's voice. "Cagalli, we're getting worried about you. It was wrong of you to sneak into the military base and steal a skygrasper."
Cagalli frowned. Did they always have to call Kira, if something happened? She sighed and went to pick up the call. "Hello, Kira?"
"Cagalli?" He sighed with relief. "That's great. You're alright."
"I'm fine, Kira." She walked back to the ocean view and sat by the cliff's ledge. "I just needed to escape for a while." In the background, the blasts of the strong waves could be heard.
"Wait a minute," Kira said. He became quiet. Then asked, "Is that the sound of the ocean I hear?"
"Yes," she replied indifferently. From a distance, she could hear the seagulls. She smiled as she watched them slice through the sky with more grace than any plane she'd ever seen.
"And…was that a seagull?" Kira never saw his sister act like this before. She was usually working in her office or in some meeting somewhere. He wondered if this had anything to do with the news that Athrun accepting the job as Head Chairman in the PLANTS.
He heard her chuckle. "Yes," she replied.
Kira covered the mouthpiece and turned to the one managing the master computer. "You," he said so sternly that the man gulped. "Do you have a lock on the skygrasper's location?"
The man slowly and hesitantly shook his head no. Kira frowned. "Why?"
"There is no use trying to find me, Kira." Cagalli knew what he was trying to do. "I know about the transmitters since I helped design the skygraspers, remember?"
"Cagalli?" Kira clenched his fists to his sides. "Why?"
Cagalli slowly smiled as she looked up to the clear and incredibly blue sky. "Kira, you're always telling me that I need a vacation. I'm having one right now."
Kira sighed. He felt a headache coming now. "The least you could have done is tell us where you were going? When I said that, I was thinking more of some place more practical. Like Hawaii?"
"I needed to come back here, Kira," she replied slowly. "And I needed to come here alone. If I told you where I was, I'm sure you'll only try to follow me."
Kira didn't deny what she said. He too believed the same thing. He would follow her. He didn't like the idea of going somewhere alone and unprotected but it seemed like he didn't have any choice. He didn't know where she was and there was no way to track her. "I understand."
The crew around him gasped. "Bu---but, Kira-sama!" They wanted to object but Kira just shrugged them off. "I assume that I'll see you in a few hours?"
"Hmmm…thank you, brother," Cagalli said as she slowly turned the radio off and placed it down beside her. The ocean roared again, reminding her of a lion. A tear fell down her cheek. Her father used to be known as the Lion of Orb but now that part of her life only seemed like a distant memory.
She suddenly felt herself shake. It wasn't from coldness. She just suddenly felt like crying. She brought her hands up in front of her and admired the ring on her finger. She saw the announcement that morning on television. Athrun Zala was now the Chairman of the PLANTS. They can never be together now. In this new age, Naturals still feel suspicion for Coordinators and Coordinators thought that Naturals could betray them at any moment. It was a delicate time.
Everything she and Athrun went through now seemed like a beautiful dream. Every embrace, every kiss, every touch and every second of their time together replayed in her memory like a song that never goes away.
She regretted everything now. She wished now that she could have made things happen differently. She should have cried out and begged him to stay by her side. She could have told him that she wanted nothing more than to be with him. She should have told him that being with him made her safe. She should have told him that…she loved him. She was thinking of a thousand words she should have told him...but she left unsaid.
But she had a responsibility to her country and her country always came first. She regretted she lost him but didn't regret choosing her people.
Sadly, she wrapped her arms around herself. She prayed that somehow though how far away he was her words would somehow reach him. She wanted him to hear her though she would never be able to say them…
She looked around. Every rock and every tree she saw made her sad. This beach was such a beautiful place but it held such bittersweet memories. She stood up and brushed the dirt from her pants. Mana was going to freak later for dirtying her uniform but she didn't care. She walked towards a familiar cave.
It was cold, empty and quite lonely. She touched the walls, felt it's rocky surface and smiled. It was an unforgettable first meeting. It was a day that she'd never forget.
She remembered their promise to protect one another but how does she keep it now, when she is so far away? She closed her eyes and asked herself, "Was there a way to help him even if I can never be there with him?"
Sadly, she looked at her hands. She may not be able to hold Athrun anymore with these hands. She had made her choice.
"What would have happened if I had begged him to stay with me?" she asked herself. "What would have happened…if…" There were a lot of what ifs that clouded her mind. She wanted to protect him but she also had a country to protect. She had a choice to make that day. It was either Athrun or Orb. If she chose to be with Athrun, then she'd have to say goodbye to her father's dream of a better Orb and the country that she'd been trained to rule since childhood.
Suddenly, she heard a crack of thunder outside. Cagalli gasped. She had no time to be caught in a thunderstorm. She needed to get back to Orb, the parliament wanted to meet with her again. These meetings usually meant bad news. She took her jacket, which was just lying on the sand. She dusted off the sand from the jacket and was about to board the skygrasper but then she noticed a different set of footprints on the sand.
The footprints seemed to have come from the woods and it seemed to have walked towards the skygrasper before finally walking away. Cagalli frowned and took the gun hidden under the plane's pilot seat. She followed them. There was a possibility that the stranger tampered with the plane to kill her. She was going to have to confront him.
Thunder struck again and it sounded nearer this time. She didn't have much time before the storm came. The parliament was not going to wait for her for long.
She heard rustling in the bushes. "Come out, whoever you are!" She aimed her gun to the direction and gave her best glare. She was aware of the potential danger she was in but Cagalli Yula Athha was just the kind of girl that faced danger head-on.
The rustling stopped. Frantically, Cagalli ran to those bushes and tried to spot the intruder but found none. Instead, she got an even BIGGER surprise.
"A…a gundam?" she whispered. There, hidden in the trees and camouflaged by a cloaking device was a gundam. It had features that reminded her of the Freedom and looked meaner than the average. That wasn't what shocked her though. It had his head down and it seemed lifeless. Cagalli too was beginning to feel fear but not for the mobile suit but for something very different.
The Mobile Suit was red and its eyes were dark green. The color reminded her so much of the Justice. In shock, Cagalli dropped her gun and made a run for it. There was only one possible person she knew who'd pilot such a thing. Athrun… was he here?
She ran back toward the direction of the skygrasper. Then suddenly, Cagalli felt water trickling down her arm. It was beginning. The rain was beginning. She had to get out of there before the storm began. The storm will make it too dangerous to travel. She'd be stranded…
She tried to reach for her keys in her pants' pocket but…it was empty. She frantically searched her jacket and shirt pockets. The keys couldn't be found anywhere.
"Where could it be? I couldn't have---" she gasped. Was it possible that she left it in the cave? She rubbed her arm nervously. Was it okay to go back to that cave? Would he be there? She shook her head and tried to clear it. She had no choice at the moment.
Cagalli lifted her head high and walked back towards the cave. The cave was dark and it impossible to find anything there. She knew she had to find those keys quickly, so she got on her knees. She didn't care anymore that her uniform was ruined.
"Where is it?"
Cagalli suddenly heard a twig snap. She gasped as she turned around, taking out the pocketknife she had hidden inside her shoe. But then she felt the barrel of a gun on her forehead.
"Don't move or I'll shoot," the voice warned.
Cagalli sighed and raised her hands. "Relax, Athrun. It's me…"
"Ca---ca---Cagalli?" the voice stuttered. He turned her around and Cagalli's amber eyes met Athrun's emerald ones for the first time in a very long time.
Cagalli's first instinct was to blush but she fought it. Nothing has changed. She'd still choose Orb and she must not love him. She pasted a friendly but indifferent façade on her face. "It's been a long time, hasn't it, Athrun?"
The blue-haired coordinator gripped her shoulders. It stung her for a moment but then he softened his touch. "Yes, a very long time. How are you?"
"I've been fine." She shrugged.
Thunder exploded, and not long later…the rain poured and the storm didn't show signs of letting out soon.
Despite the situation, as Cagalli looked out the exit of the cave, she chuckled. "déjà vu?"
Athrun chuckled too. He still hadn't let go of her. "Yes, I agree."
Cagalli noticed how close they were and didn't hide the blush now. She could feel his steady breathing and the beating of his heart. "Ummm…would you let go of me now?"
"Huh?" Athrun looked at his hands and blushed too. "I'm sorry…" He let go, hesitantly.
"Thank you," she said, massaging her wrists. "You haven't changed. Your grip still hurts."
Athrun rolled his eyes. "Yeah, and being coordinator had nothing to do with it?"
Cagalli smiled sadly. She didn't want to be reminded that he was a coordinator. "Hmmm…it is good to see you again anyway, Athrun."
"Likewise." He nodded. The thunder struck again. He sighed. "I guess I should go start a fire, huh? I think we will be here for a while."
Cagalli groaned. "Kira is going to kill me now…"
Athrun smiled as he exited the cave. Cagalli watched him leave and shivered in the dark cave. Everything looked so gray now. Sometimes, when she watched the rain pour like this, she imagined tears. She couldn't understand why. Everything looked so sad and hopeless.
She sighed, took off her jacket again and spread it on the ground. She laid down on it and tried to relax. She began to think. Was it just pure coincidence that Athrun was here now? Of all times? That was not the best greeting, she admitted but she couldn't think of anything else at that time.
"Cagalli? You still here?" Athrun returned carrying a bundle of firewood in his arms. For the first time, Cagalli noticed that he was still wearing his Red ZAFT space suit. Cagalli frowned and instead of answering, turned her back on him.
"I'm fine," she mumbled. "Wake me up when the storm is over."
Athrun was surprised at her sudden cold behavior. "Cagalli, are you okay? Did I do something wrong?"
She didn't reply. Athrun was puzzled and raked a hand through his wet hair and sneezed. "Achoo!"
Cagalli heard and was up in a second. "You idiot, now you caught a cold." She placed a palm on him forehead, feeling for his temperature. " You're soaked and wet!" she exclaimed.
Athrun smiled. He was glad to have the old Cagalli back. "My duffel bag is over there at the corner. Do you mind getting it for me while I start a fire?"
She shook her head and left to look for the said duffel bag. When she returned, Athrun already had a fire going. "Is this it?" lifting up a blue duffel bag.
He nodded. "Yes, that's it. Thank you."
She sat down across him and tried to warm herself in front of the fire. "So, you had planned on spending the night here? "
"Yes, I won't be coming back to Earth for a long time after this." He chuckled, light-heartedly. "I will be busy, you know?"
"Yes, being Chairman is a huge responsibility," she whispered. "I understand perfectly… because the same goes for being a Head Representative."
Athrun became silent. Both of them were going to be walking different paths after this. "I'm sorry…"
"Sorry for what?" Cagalli pretended not to understand.
"You know very well what, Cagalli," Athrun said simply.
"That was all in the…past." Cagalli shrugged it off. "I'm stronger now and I understand what you have to do, the same way you understand why I'm doing what I do too." She folded her arms. "We're not teenagers anymore. We have responsibilities."
Athrun's eyes frowned after hearing that. "How can you be so cold?" he demanded. "Is that all you can say?"
"What do you expect me to say, Athrun?" she answered back. "This would never work. I know it…you know it…" tears swelled in her eyes but she quickly wiped them away. "Being together now will cause a scandal and I don't want that and if you know what is best for you, you shouldn't either."
"I know that!" he yelled. "But, for crying out loud, don't you just feel something for me at all?"
"Yes, I do!" She yelled back. "Is that what you want to hear? Yes, I do care for you, you idiot." She stood up and walked away deeper into the cave. "I'll leave you alone to change." Before she completely disappeared into the darkness though, she said, "If it makes you feel better. I've missed you…"
He watched her retreating figure, sadly, but he didn't see the tears already pouring down her face.
The next day came quicker than both of them expected. The sky was clear and the seagulls were already flying in the air. Getting ready to catch their breakfast. Athrun walked with her towards her skygrasper before he went back to his gundam.
"I guess this is goodbye?" Athrun muttered.
Cagalli nodded. "It was great seeing you again." She patted his hand in a friendly gesture. "Good luck running the PLANTS. I just know you'll do a good job."
"You too." Athrun bent down to kiss her but she moved her head to the side, so he kissed her hair instead. He wasn't deterred though. "Your hair smells lovely."
"Thank you," she replied, blushing furiously. She hopped on her skygrasper and inserted the key to its slot. It turned out that Athrun had found in the cave, while she was sleeping that night. He didn't get any sleep. He insisted in watching over her.
The skygrasper came to life and lifted up the ground. Cagalli looked outside her window one more time to see Athrun waving goodbye with that boyish smile on his face. Cagalli waved back and took off and before Athrun knew it Cagalli disappeared in the horizon.
He stayed glued to the spot for a few moments before picking up his duffel bag that he had dropped on the floor and walked towards his gundam. It was called, the Sovereign.
"Cagalli, you promised to come back yesterday."
"I told you I'm sorry, Kira," the blonde Representative groaned. "I was caught in a storm and I couldn't pilot the skygrasper in that plus I lost the keys." She intentionally left out the part of meeting Athrun in the island. There was no need to worry Kira more about her.
Kira folded his arms. "Be grateful that I changed that meeting of yours to today. The parliament is waiting for you downstairs already. Take a bath, change and I'll stall for time."
Cagalli hugged her brother, gratefully. "Thank you Kira. That would be great!" She was grimy and dirty. A bath was exactly what she needed.
Kira patted her blonde head and smiled. "Hey, it is my job. Go on. Do what you have to do."
She nodded and ran straight to her room. She was forever grateful to have a brother like Kira. Once in her room, she took off her Representative's uniform and wrapped herself in her cotton towel. Before going to the bathroom, she took a look at herself in the mirror.
She bit her lip as she looked at herself from side to side. Did she change this past few years? She touched her hair. Her hair was probably longer than her old style but no drastic change. She looked at her uniform again. It was dirty and beyond recognizable.
She had five more outfits just like it in her closet, so that shouldn't be a problem. She touched her fingers to her cheeks. What would happen though, if she did a little change? She frowned. She'd been wearing that same uniform for a while. She didn't want people to think it was all she had in her closet, though it technically is…
She entered her white and green tiled bathroom. It had a shower, bathtub, sink and toilet of course. Some deranged architects wanted to put fountains and a flower garden in it but she simply put her foot down. She was not into flashy rooms and places. Simplicity is the best kind of beauty.
She soaked herself in her bathtub, she didn't know for how long. It wasn't until she heard a knock on her door that she noticed how long it had been.
"Cagalli, are you done?" She could recognize Kira's voice anywhere. "I don't think I can distract the parliament any longer."
"I'll be right out Kira!" She quickly got out of the tub and quickly ran to her closet. She was about to take out her Representative's uniform, when she suddenly noticed something at the back.
She took it out and found a beautiful white and gold traditional Orb dress. It was the kind Cagalli always saw her mother wore in pictures, when she was addressing to the people. Though Mrs. Athha, always wore a dress to each public speaking, the Lady always managed to look strong and determined. By her mere presence, she was able to bring her message far.
Cagalli wanted her strength. She wanted the Lady Lioness's strength. Slowly, she returned the uniform to the closet and began to change.
Kira looked nervously at his clock. Cagalli was taking longer than usual to change. Usually she'd be down in five minutes flat, but now thirty minutes later she was still missing.
"We haven't got all day, Mr. Yamato," one man said. "Bring Miss Athha here immediately. We are very busy men and I have no time for a tardy brat."
Kira glared but decided not to make the man angry. "I'm sorry for the delay. I'm sure my sister has a very good explaination why she's late." Kira bit his lip and whispered, "I hope…"
No one else had heard to his relief. That didn't make the tension disappear though. If possible, the tension only doubled.
Another looked at his watch and began arranging his papers back to his case. "I'm sorry but I have other duties to attend to. Next time, if Miss Athha arranges a meeting, make sure that she keeps it." He tipped his hat, like a bow. "Good day, Mr. Yamato, gentlemen." He began walking towards the exit. The other parliament members began getting ready to leave too…
"Wait, she just needs a few more minutes," Kira insisted. "She'll be here in a few minutes."
"No need for a few minutes. I'm here." It was Cagalli's voice. Kira let out a sigh of relief. "I'm sorry for the delay. Let's get this meeting started."
"Cagalli, it is about time you got here," Kira scolded. "I thought you'd never get----" Kira didn't finish what he wanted to say. He blinked his eyes, as if unable to actually believe his eyes. "Cagalli?"
Cagalli couldn't blame Kira. She was dressed in her mother's gold and white dress, light pink lipstick, her hair styled up with curls framing her face and her façade showed total confidence and determination to confront her doubters. Honestly, Cagalli didn't only look different, she felt different. She felt like a queen…
Kira was speechless. Cagalli? In a dress? He looked behind her, half expecting Mana scowling. Only force can possibly drag Cagalli into a dress. But Mana wasn't there…what was Cagalli thinking?
The members bowed respectfully to their leader and returned to their seats.
Cagalli took her place at the head of the table and finally began the meeting. "So, I've been informed that you needed to speak to me."
"Your highness, it has come to our attention that you're now a lady. An unwed lady," Mr. Saunders said. He was an old man who still believed that females should be married and staying home and taking care of the children. "We, the parliament, have your best interests at heart. We believe it is about time you got married."
Cagalli clenched her fists tightly and make sure that the parliament didn't see it. But Kira saw it, this shouldn't come as a surprise though. This was not the first time they told her to marry…
She held her head high. "I'm sure you do…but I don't need a man to rule my country. I have ruled Orb since I was sixteen and Orb has never been better." Kira smiled. He was proud of her. She did not cower like she would have done years ago. "I am Orb's leader and I carry the name Athha, until I see it fit to change it."
Mr. Saunders knew his queen well. He knew that she was far from pleased but he was not going to back down. He and the council had worked too hard. "We have spoken to PLANT council and we have come to an understanding."
Cagalli frowned. What had the PANT council have to do with this? "What are you talking about? "
Mr. Saunders grinned and nodded to the parliamentarians. One man took the remote for the television and turned it on. Cagalli tried to stop herself from gasping. It was Athrun…Athrun was on television. "How?"
Kira was surprised too. He wasn't aware of what the parliament was up to. He watched the old men in the room. Some of them even worked for Lord Uzumi Athha. These people watched their princess grow up. Were they trying to mock her by showing her this? If it was, then it was time Kira got her out of here.
"Cagalli, let's go." She didn't move. She was frozen into place.
She stared at the screen and observed the scene around him. She knew that place. It was not far from where they were.
Athrun was in Orb?
"I thank you all for coming here today," Athrun began. "I have an announcement to make."
"Kira, do you know anything about this?" she whispered. Kira shook his head. He was just as surprised as she was.
Behind Athrun stood his gundum. Cagalli wouldn't be surprised if Athrun got here before her. Compared to her skygrasper, that gundam looked wicked. She observed his every movement. His mannerisms hadn't changed. Cool, composed, that is how Athrun was in front of the crowd.
"I'm proud to announce that I've taken Miss Cagalli Yula Athha's hand in marriage…" the blue-haired coordinator announced as calmly as you please.
Cagalli's composure shattered. She gasped and Kira grabbed her quickly, afraid that she'd faint.
"Aren't you afraid of the controversies this arrangement will make?" A random reporter asked. "There will be people who'll be outraged. You're the Chairman after all."
Athrun was silent. Cagalli was almost afraid to hear his answer.
"Kira, I want to leave now," she whispered to her twin. She saw him nod and led her out the door.
"No, I'm not." Cagalli heard Athrun say. "I can't change other people's opinions of my engagement." Cagalli stopped in her tracks. "The same way they can't change mine." Athrun stared at the camera while saying this. Cagalli felt like he was staring right at her. It was like he knew she'd be watching.
She began to back away. She couldn't understand anything…
"The arrangement is finished," Mr. Saunders stood up. For him, his word was law. The old man grinned. "Aren't you going to see that fiancé of yours?"
"How did you---" she stammered to her dismay. She never stammered.
The old man frowned. "I'm old, little girl, but I'm certainly not blind." With his old withered hand, he stroked her cheek. "I was young once too. That man gave us a headache just to see you again."
Cagalli stood there frozen for one minute and then jumping to hug the old man the next. "Thank you!" she cried. "Thank you!" She began removing the ribbons from her hair. If she's going to see Athrun, she's going to see him as herself and not the queen. "Kira, get the car ready. I only need a few minutes to change."
She was out the door before Kira could even blink. Kira was smiling, "I don't know how to thank you."
The man responded by waving it off. "Think nothing of it. We just want to make it up to her for having to force her to marry Seiran." He walked out the door and motioned the others to follow him. "If you just excuse us, we'll be going. Our work here is done."
Slowly, they trickled out of the room, leaving Kira alone. He turned to the television again but before turning it off. He watched his best friend smile genuinely for the first time in years.
"Congratulations, my friend," he said at last, before finally turning off the screen. "You're one very lucky guy..." He turned off the lights and left to ready the car. Cagalli had an Athrun to catch!
Tsubame: Well, if you really think it is that bad…there is always something called, "delete." Hehehe…Tell me what you think please. As much as possible please, don't compare me to Miss Ritachi. I know I don't come close…I don't know anything about Mrs. Athha though I mentioned her here.
Listening to: 1000 words (game version) by Koda Kumi
Mood: Tired…drained…very drained…
Working on: My first story for my 30kisses challenge community that I joined. I still have to think of the plot though…:P
Notes: In the 1000 words I'm listening, I could hear thunder in the background. So I thought, I wanted to bring out the feel of the song, didn't I? Why not make a storm? And that is where the storm idea came from…I'm sorry if Cagalli seems OOC here. I think I've overused the concept of Cagalli refusing to wear a dress…
This is my first attemptin drama! Is this even drama? I don't like it! Oh, well...I hope you liked it anyway... :)