Author's notes: Chapter 6 is up after a long delay!
I'm having a kind of a writer's block now... I can't churn out stories as fast as I did before and I'm rather sad... :(
I hope that this chapter is not that boring as it was done out of writer's block. I am also trying to rush things a bit to get to the real drama. Please bear with it.
Thanks to all my reviewers!
Enjoy chapter 6 and please review!
Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Seed/ Destiny or any of its characters.
Chapter 6: A Few Steps Away
Cagalli's cell phone blared incessantly. Muttering some curses under her breath, she put down the pot of flowers and reached for her phone in her pocket. She saw that the caller was Kira.
"This better be good Kira!" Cagalli almost screamed into the phone when she put the call through.
"Owww!" Kira flinched at the loud voice. "What's biting you sis?"
"Well, it's you!" Cagalli raised her voice. "I'm freaking busy at this time and you have to call!"
"Hey cool it!" Kira tried to reassure his fuming twin. "I just wanted to ask if you will be working on the resort project with Zala Corporation. I just got the news that Precious Rose will be participating in it too!"
"Yeah. Mana had assigned me and Shinn on the project." Cagalli answered.
Just then, Shinn's voice came from the counter.
"Hey Cagalli! We need more carnations and lilies!"
"Right! Coming!" Cagalli replied.
"Kira! I need to go now. If there's nothing else, I gotta hang up…" Cagalli spoke into her phone.
"Wait! Dinner tonight at 7! At our place!" Kira said hurriedly.
"Got it! I'll bring Shinn along. Goodbye!"
"Ca…" Before Kira could say anything else, the line was dead. With a sigh, he shut his phone.
"I didn't say Shinn could come…" he muttered in a soft voice and pouted. His sister-complex was kicking in. Although Lacus had invited both of them, he did not want another guy to be sticking to his sister all the time.
"Well, I guess it will be easier because we have some things to say about the project too…" Kira comforted himself.
"They are here Kira!" Lacus called out. "Could you please get the door?"
"All right!!" Kira replied as he went to answer the door. He was greeted by an amber-eyed blonde and a ruby-eyed boy.
"Hey Kira!" Cagalli greeted cheerily and strutted in. Shinn said "Hi!" and gave a polite bow to Kira before stepping in.
"You are just in time!" Lacus smiled at the guests. "Dinner is ready!"
After dinner, everyone positioned themselves on the sofa, having peach jelly as dessert.
"Lacus! You have a gift for cooking!" Cagalli commented as she happily bit into the jelly.
"Thanks for your compliment!" Lacus smiled sweetly.
"Shinn can cook really well too!" Cagalli continued. "But I'm absolutely hopeless at cooking." She laughed.
"We can get down to business now." Kira stated. "So both of you are the representatives from Precious Rose?" he eyed Cagalli and Shinn.
"Yes." Shinn answered while Cagalli, whose mouth was full of peach jelly, nodded.
"That's great!" Kira exclaimed. "That will make things easier!"
Cagalli swallowed her jelly and turned to face Kira. "Why?" she asked.
"We have to start on the project in two weeks time." Kira answered. "We will be staying near the resorts as it will be too inconvenient for us to shuttle here and there. Since it's you guys, you can stay together with us!"
"Really?" Cagalli let out. "What kind of place will it be?"
"Bungalows owned by Zala Corp. That's so cool Cagalli! I can see you everyday!" Kira's eyes were shining.
"So everyone will be living under the same roof?" Shinn popped a question.
"Of course not!" Kira said. "Males and females will be living in different bungalows. Most of the people participating in the project will be living together in the bungalows."
"Most?" Cagalli pointed out.
"Oh! Athrun will be staying in the Zala's holiday villa which is near the place." Lacus cleared her doubts. "And some other higher-ranked employees will not be staying there too."
"So you won't be staying with us?" Cagalli asked Kira.
"Of course I will!" Kira said almost immediately. "I hold a rather high post but I prefer to mingle around with the others…" he grinned sheepishly.
Cagalli smiled. Her twin brother is always so kind and easygoing.
"I believe an official briefing would be held these few days." Kira continued. "But I thought you might want more time to prepare your stuff…"
"Thanks Kira!" Cagalli playfully patted Kira on his head.
"Hey!" Kira protested. "I'm the older twin you know!"
"Who said you are the older twin?" Cagalli argued and soon a fight ensued between the siblings again.
"It should be here…" Shinn let out, as his eyes darted back and forth from the surroundings to the piece of paper he was holding. Then his eye caught a sign.
"Hey Cagalli! It's over here!" Shinn called out.
Cagalli ran over to where Shinn was. "Where?" She turned to look at Shinn.
Shinn pointed in front of him, his mouth wide open. Cagalli looked where he pointed and was also caught dumbfounded.
"I didn't know…" Shinn said when he snapped out from his astonishment. "That the Zala Corp was this big!" he gaped. "I knew it is the largest corporation in the whole of PLANT and maybe even the world, but this is absolutely…" Shinn could not find the right word to complete his sentence.
"Kira is working in such a huge company…" Cagalli stared in awe.
"Cagalli!" Shinn said suddenly. "We have got to go! This project is extremely important to Kisaka and Mana! We must not let them down!"
Cagalli nodded in agreement and followed Shinn into the building.
"Wow…" Cagalli let out, staring at the interior of Zala Corporation as they were being directed to the meeting place.
"Cagalli." Shinn said. "Even though we are meeting Athrun, we must remember not to be too informal even though we know him." He reminded. "He may be an acquaintance, but he is the boss of Zala Corporation after all."
"Oh…" Cagalli said disappointedly. "I always feel a bit weird when I'm too formal with someone I know…"
"Then I shall do the talking all right?" Shinn asked with a smile on his face.
"You're dependable Shinn." Cagalli smiled back. Soon they were brought to the meeting place, which was the office of the chairman of Zala Corporation, Athrun Zala!
Shinn cleared his throat a bit and straightened up slightly as a male secretary knocked on the door of Athrun's office. Cagalli stood behind Shinn.
"Mr. Zala will see you now." The secretary bowed and left. Shinn bravely took a step forward and knocked on the door.
"Come in!" Athrun's voice came from beyond the door.
Slowly, Shinn opened the door and led Cagalli in. He closed the after him. Once in the room, Cagalli and Shinn bowed stiffly to Athrun.
Athrun looked up and brightened when he saw the blonde girl. He always felt warm and fuzzy inside whenever he saw Cagalli. And he was now absolutely sure his heart was beating for her. It was, right now, at this moment.
"You don't need to be so formal in front of me." Athrun laughed slightly. "I might be in-charge for this entire project but I hope that there will be a friendly working relationship with the related personnel. I also believe that everyone working together happily, regardless of status or post, is required of this project. After all, the themes of the resorts are to foster better relationships. And anyway, we all are friends right?"
Cagalli heaved a sigh of relief before breaking out into a big smile. "I'm glad it turned out this way! I'm a bit afraid of being too formal with friends."
"Are you sure Mr. Zala?" Shinn asked uncertainly.
"Athrun. Just call me Athrun." Athrun replied. "Have a seat, Shinn, Cagalli." His gaze rested on the amber-eyed lady.
Athrun then began to brief Shinn and Cagalli on the project.
"You will have two weeks to get ready." Athrun concluded. "Is it ok?"
"Yes! It'll do just fine!" Cagalli replied. She was looking forward to the project.
"Both of you will have to work with the designers." Athrun added. "It should be no problem." He smiled. "Because it's Kira and Lacus."
"Kira?" Cagalli's eyes widened in surprise. "But isn't he…"
"Kira's multi-talented." Athrun cut her off. "He is a talent. It was lucky we got him. That also explains his fat pay check!" Athrun joked.
Cagalli laughed at his joke. Then she stopped. "Lacus too?"
"Lacus is in charge of the designs for the honeymoon and lovers' resort." Athrun explained. "She has great taste, and she insisted to my father that she had to part of the project too!"
Just then, there was a knock on the door.
"Athrun." Kira said as he entered the room. His eyes widened a little as he saw Cagalli and Shinn.
"Cagalli, you're here too?" Kira said in surprise.
"I called them here today." Athrun said. "Its lunch already isn't it? Let's go for lunch then!" he smiled to Cagalli and Shinn. "My treat."
"Let's have lunch together Cagalli!" Kira said enthusiastically. "Lacus is meeting us too!"
"Ok!" Cagalli agreed and turned to Shinn. "Let's go Shinn!"
The four people took the lift down. Kira and Cagalli were happily chatting all the way. Athrun stood behind them as he observed Cagalli. The girl fascinated him a lot, he did not know why. His heart was telling him things which he, up to this moment, could not fully comprehend. He just knew one thing; he couldn't wait for the resort project to start.
Shinn also stood behind the twins. Being the sensitive person he was, he already noticed Kira was suffering from a sister-complex. He had to be very careful when dealing with Kira. He also observed that Athrun looked at Cagalli differently from other girls. He had to plan his steps with utmost caution.
"It should be my turn now." Shinn thought.
Author's notes: I put in peach jelly as my mother made some really nice ones a few days ago!
It's officially mentioned here that Kira has a sister-complex. I meant for it to be funny, like Touya from Card Captor Sakura.
I know I'm rushing things a bit...But this was done out of writer's block...
I hope all of you would still enjoy this chapter!
Please read and review!