"Two years have gone by after the second war of the Cosmic Era. Both Coordinators and Naturals have lived peacefully and treated each other as equals. Every year, the high officials of PLANTs and the Earth Forces would meet and celebrate the peace they had achieved together. It's that time again, now the year of C.E. 75, and the Peace Ball will be held in Orb Union.
"The ZAFT building in Aprilius City is the largest among its branches throughout the PLANTs. The Chairman of PLANTs, the youngest it ever had, is currently Athrun Zala. His Excellency's office is situated at the twenty-fifth floor of the busy, high-security, building. Rumoured to have an interest with his personal secretary, Meyrin Hawke, Mr. Zala remains charming and intelligent like his deceased father, Patrick Zala. His old fiancée, La--"
Athrun shut off the flat screen television he had in his office. His mood to take a break from the mountains of classified documents he had to sign that day was ruined by the amount of news the media was spreading. What rubbish they come up with at times. One, he did not see Meyrin in that kind of way. Two, why were they bringing up Lacus when they were engaged FOUR years ago? She was already married to his best friend for crying out loud!
It was that time again, yes, how could he not know. It was the time to meet and talk to officials of both the Earth Alliance and PLANTs, the time, to see her again.
They had lost any personal communication after the last war. They didn't talk to each other if they didn't have to. Whenever they did, all they ever talked about were ideas on how to strengthen the bond of the two nations. Those talks... were only once in a blue moon as well.
Athrun guessed it was expected. Everyone in PLANTs counted on him and elected him as their Chairman after being convinced to run. She of course, was the heiress and obviously the next ruler of Orb Union. It was understandable that they didn't have time to see each other. Or ask how the other was even if they wanted to. They were both busy for having chosen great responsibilities in ruling.
No one was to blame, yet he had always blamed himself for what they lost between them. Two years had passed; did they still feel any spark for each other? The course of time, the fate of being apart, and his fear of talking to her about what they used to have... were they the only things that kept them separated? Did she even think about him anymore? He cer—
Three consecutive beeps from Athrun's phone interrupted his trail of thoughts. After straightening himself in his chair, he pressed the speaker button. "Yes, Meyrin?" He answered and took a sip of his already warm coffee.
"Chairman, Mr. and Mrs. Yamato are here to visit you. Should I let them in?" asked the young woman.
Athrun almost spit his expresso but ended up coughing after his attempt of drinking it instead. Kira and Lacus are HERE?
"Are you all right?" Meyrin's worried voice ran out of the speaker again.
Athrun put his mug on the table and quickly fixed his tie as calmly as he could bring himself to. "Yes, Meyrin, thank you. You may tell them to come in."
It didn't take a second longer when Athrun Zala's office door opened and revealed two of his closest friends. They were in their casual clothes then, not wearing their Orb uniforms, when Lacus ran up to him and hugged him. Kira laughed at the look on Athrun's face when he received the hug.
I'm not dreaming. Oh no, he was definitely awake.
When Lacus let go of Athrun, she walked to Kira and wrapped her arms around his waist while he put his arm around her shoulders. The newly married couple looked happy beyond belief. Was that possible? Athrun had to guess yes.
Kira scratched his head sheepishly. "Surprised?"
Athrun chuckled. Some things never change, he thought. "Very much so. How are you two?"
"We're doing great!" Lacus exclaimed. "Are you packed up yet?"
"For what? Am I supposed to go somewhere?" Athrun asked with entire honesty.
Kira and Lacus both stared at their friend as if he had lost his serious, workaholic, mind. "You ARE coming to the Peace Ball right?" Kira questioned.
Athrun raised his brow. Can I not? He asked himself; his response however, contradicted his thoughts. "Well yeah, I know it's during February this year but I haven't gotten any invitation."
The couple looked at each other in shock before they turned to Athrun again. "Are you SURE?" They asked in unison.
"We sent them last week!" Lacus added with worry written on her face.
"Unless..." Kira pondered aloud, intently looking at the picture of the high officials he knew well on Athrun's wall. His amethyst eyes were focused on a certain blonde. It was then that realization struck him. "She couldn't have!" His own hand automatically smacked his forehead.
Athrun grew confused. He soon observed the same picture on his wall that every PLANTs and EAF official must have in their offices. His gaze also landed on the woman only too familiar to him, before he quickly looked away.
"What is it, Kira?" Athrun heard Lacus ask his best friend. He also didn't miss Kira's hesitation when he answered.
Athrun cleared his throat. "So when is it?" He inquired, looking back at them and getting the attention of his visitors.
"The fourteenth of February." Kira sighed.
"But... why?" The words came out of Athrun's lips unconsciously. It was too sudden! He... wasn't prepared to see her so soon.
Athrun's question lit up Lacus's azure eyes. "It's a holiday on Earth! It's a day for couples and it's tomorrow!"
The Chairman... wanted his chair to open up and eat him alive. Yes, no matter how odd that sounded.
It was the night of February thirteenth on Earth. The cold chilly air loomed over the nation of Orb Union as its residents slept soundly in their homes. The long awaited Peace Ball the next morning had been long anticipated since January arrived. It would be held at the spacious dance hall in the luxurious Attha mansion.
Cagalli Yula Attha, its owner and Head Representative of Orb, was having her midnight snack in front of her large TV, watching a horror film, when her phone rang.
"AAAAAHH!!!" She screamed in surprise. She felt as if her heart would jump out of her chest. Who would dare call her at that time of night?
"Hello?" Cagalli coldly answered.
"Listen here, Cagalli." Kira's voice greeted her. He didn't seem too happy either.
"Oh, it's you." Cagalli's voice became calmer as she turned off her TV. "Why are you calling so late?"
"It's noon here in Aprilius City and I know you're still awake." He briefly explained. "Anyway, did you do something about Athrun's invitation?"
That name again. Cagalli sighed. "What now?" She tried to sound innocent. "Are you accusing ME?"
Truth be told she was the culprit of Athrun's missing invitation. All the invitations had to go through her before they were sent away. Well... she sent his to the paper shredder. She just... didn't want to see him. She wanted to move on from what they had years ago, she wanted to forget they ever had anything between them... but she knew, deep within herself, that she wasn't moving on. She was, instead, running away.
"Hey, are you listening to me?" Kira asked again. "Look, Cal, I know you may not be ready to see him again but... this isn't about that. This is about the celebration we have every year to honour the peace we have now and the lives of those who died in the process of reaching it."
The blonde sighed again. "Yes, yes, I get it." Cagalli replied monotonously. "I'll tell the guards to let him in tomorrow... even if he doesn't have the invitation." She grumbled.
"Great!" Kira was his cheerful self again.
"Kira?" Cagalli called out, unsure.
"Can I just wear my uniform tomorrow? Y-You know... I hate dresses and I—"
"Okay! Okay! Now can you hang up? I'm going to sleep."
Kira sensed the hint of sadness that was masked by his sister's irritated voice. "All right, I love you, sis." He wished her goodnight before he hung up.
"Yeah... me too, Kira." Cagalli whispered to herself before her head drooped to the pillow she enveloped in her arms.
She dreaded tomorrow to come. She didn't look forward to dressing up, socializing, being bored to death, and of course... seeing him. She still had the ring he gave her two years ago. It was safely tuck under her shirt as it served as a pendant for her necklace. Cagalli clutched the piece of cloth covering the ring as images of Athrun flashed through her mind.
Warm tears rolled down her cheeks as she remembered him. She had tried to forget him for so long... she had even put up to the idea of the Orb Representatives in finding her a suitable husband. None of them caught her eye no matter how gorgeous, how rich, and how famous they were. None of them... was a tad bit similar to Athrun.
He chose Meyrin, didn't he? Her conscience chimed in. Cagalli suddenly wiped her tears away. Well? Didn't he? If he loved you, he would've stayed with you... right? But he didn't. A new batch of tears watered the silk pillow in the young leader's arms. Perhaps it was indeed time... to finally let go of the past.
Hundreds of people filled the Attha dance hall that night of Valentine's Day. The high officials were seen to be either talking to each other or dancing their feet away. Some enjoyed their deluxe meal at their tables while the children were seen exploring the large room with awe in their eyes.
Yes, the evening had just begun... yet Orb's young Head Representative was still missing in sight. Kira and Lacus Yamato stood at the foot of the curving stairs as they waited for the princess. Hey, it wasn't a mystery. Cagalli was probably arguing with Merna if she really had to go in a dress. Of course, the two women were equally stubborn.
Athrun arrived ten minutes later clad in a white tuxedo. His dark blue hair was slightly slicked back with his bangs perfectly framing his face looking as handsome as ever; judging from the dreamy sighs of the young women he passed by, who wore make-up so thick, some would've been accepted as clowns.
Athrun scanned the room for anyone he knew. He soon spotted Kira and Lacus but before he was able to bring himself to head towards them, the spotlight was turned and focused at the top of the stairs that stopped him on his tracks.
"Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, guests..." The speaker announced. "We proudly welcome our lovely Head Representative and Orb's Princess... Cagalli Yula Attha!"
Applause and amazement surrounded the room as everyone eyed Cagalli when she descended the stairs. A faint blush could be seen on the large screen in the room that featured her every move. She was dressed in a long cobalt blue gown the hugged her figure down to her torso before it flowed elegantly and slightly loose below her waistline. Her hair was adorned with diamond studs that sparkled in the light as she walked. When she reached the host at the bottom of the stairs, a mike was handed to her and she gladly accepted it.
Smiling broadly, she greeted everyone. "Good evening! I would like to thank you all for coming to this special celebration that we honour today. I'd like to wish all of you to have a wonderful night. So without further adieu," she added, "let the ball begin!"
Everyone cheered and applauded as Cagalli bowed and went over to speak to some of the guests. Lacus and Kira both welcomed her with warm hugs before they proceeded on taking a stroll around the large room, greeting everyone.
Athrun stood still as he followed them with his eyes. When he realized that they just might spot him, he spun about and soon disappeared within the gathering crowd. He still couldn't bring himself to face her... not just yet.
As he fought his way through the massive group of people, he couldn't help but remember how Cagalli looked: absolutely stunning. After grasping what his thoughts were trying to imply, he shook his head and mentally stomped his ridiculous musings. No, he didn't... love her anymore. It had been too long and both of them knew, within themselves, it had been over.
However, no matter how much Athrun tried to ignore his thoughts, his feelings contradicted him. He knew he was in denial. He knew perfectly well that he was indeed, through hell and back, still in love with her.
He sighed in relief as he spotted an empty balcony. Perfect.
Cagalli smiled as she studied her guests who danced in the dance floor. Her eyes soon rested on a lovely couple she knew too well: Kira and Lacus. Cagalli took a sip of her wine as she giggled after seeing Lacus accidentally stepped on Kira's foot with a look of pure guilt on her face. She eyed them with amusement as Kira waved his hands; probably telling Lacus it was all right.
"Ah my dear, dear, princess!" Cagalli heard from a distance.
You hear nothing, Cagalli, nothing at all. You're just imagining things. Pests are not allowed in events like this. Relax. The woman tried to convince herself. But the voice was not just a figment of her imagination after all. It did not stop. Unfortunately, it came louder... nearer.
"Oh my sweet Cagalli! How are you, love?"
Love? Oh how she'd love to bash her wine glass on his ugly head. No, Cagalli, violence will not solve anything. Remember that. Smiling (forcefully), she turned to face the most annoying man to ever walk the face of Orb, Yuuna Roma Seiran. "Mr. Seiran, how wonderful to see you so well!" NOT.
He flashed his ludicrous smile. "Of course, love! Would you care to dance with me? To show everyone how our love continues to blossom in this romantic night?" He said, oh-so-dramatically.
I didn't think it was possible for man to survive without a functioning brain. Cagalli grinned. "Why I'd love to! Oh! Do excuse me, I need to use the ladies' room for a minute. Stay here, Mr. Seiran, I'll be back in an instant." And with that, she dashed for escape. Literally.
Yuuna was left in his spot, sighing dreamily for 'his' princess's return.
Meanwhile, Cagalli was too occupied in finding a safe hiding place for herself. She knew if she stayed in The Idiot's presence any longer, she would not be able to resist the urge of wringing his neck and knocking him out senseless. He was too much to bear, way too much. Though she did regret leaving her wine, it tasted rather good.
time, this place
She found herself heading toward the balcony, her dear balcony. She didn't even care when she saw a man already there, busy staring at the sky. Anyone was better than Yuuna. And she did mean it; maybe she could even make a new friend and enjoy the new company.
long, too late,
who was I to make you wait?
"A beautiful night, isn't it?" She asked nicely, smiling.
"Yes." He answered.
one chance, just one breath
Just in case there's just one left
Regardless, when the man turned, chaotic emotions filled both parties. Anger, longing, hate, denial, love, happiness, and sadness... all mixed together.
Cagalli did not expect him as he obviously did not expect her either. They stared at each other for countless seconds, unable to speak as they tried to recover from their surprise. Why here of all places? Why now? Had it been that long? So long that they weren't even able to recognize each other's voices?
you know, you know
Athrun managed to clear his throat as he unconsciously loosened his tie. "Good evening, Ms. Attha, pleasure to see you."
pang of pain and sadness hit her; it hurt to hear him address her so
formally, as if every syllable of her maiden name created a permanent
distance between them. She tried to smile, she really did. "The
feeling is mutual, Mr. Zala."
That I love you
I have loved you all along
An awkward silence took place as the uncomfortable atmosphere increased in the balcony of the Attha manor. Cagalli's eyes remained hidden behind her bangs as she stared at the floor, she couldn't look at him.
A small smile tinted Athrun's face as he watched her sadly, longingly. He wanted to hold her again...
I miss you,
been far away for far too long
"How've you been?" He asked politely, focusing back to the stars with his back facing her. He knew he could not stand to see her like that, and he knew it was harder to accept the fact that he seemed to be the reason to all her sadness. Athrun wanted to hug her... comfort her... but he knew well that if he even touched her, she would only back away. And that, was the last thing he wanted.
keep dreaming you'll be with me
and you'll never go
"How've you been?" she mimicked, "How've you been? Is that all you can say?" she asked him sardonically. She couldn't decipher why his question affected her so much... it just... did.
Athrun smiled sadly. She hasn't changed. "I'm sorry." He looked at her again.
I don't see you anymore
She didn't look happy with his reply. Clearly it wasn't what she wanted to hear. Sorry? she mused, HA! What crap is that? She wanted him to get out of her sight... to just... vanish from her life as if he never existed. She hated that fateful day... the very same day they met. She wished he had killed her when he captured her. Or at least, she wished her shot didn't miss when she had tried to kill him. She hated him. She hated him so—
"Cagalli..." He weakly called. "May I... have this dance?"
my knees, I'll ask
Last chance for one last dance
Cagalli was taken aback. She blinked... and stared at his extended hand before looking into his eyes. What the hell does he take me for, some kind of joke? She didn't trust him anymore, he had promised to protect her, but did he? Then again, she had promised to protect him as well, but did she? She knew the answer. It was clear and simple, a big fat no. Then why... why were they still there? Together again, trapped, with the company they dreaded most. Couldn't fate let them be as they live their own lives? They couldn't possibly be... together again. They were capable enough to live and move on without each other.
"Please?" He asked again, his eyes pleading for her response.
with you, I'd withstand
all of hell to hold your hand
Was she supposed to agree? She didn't have to, but a part of her... yearned to take his hand and be in his arms even for just awhile. Maybe for the last while, she told herself. Yes, for the last time.
Hesitantly, she nodded and slowly placed her hand atop his. She felt her heart skip at beat from his touch. Calm down, Cagalli. Breathe.
give it all, I'd give for us
Give anything but I won't give up
Soon Cagalli found herself lost in his warm, emerald eyes. Those same eyes she loved... the same eyes that used to watch over her... and the same set of eyes she used to look upon, sleeping or not.
The two slowly swayed in time with the music, savouring each other's presence. The warmth they felt as they continued to gaze at each other triggered their emotions once again.
Athrun took her hand and placed it around his neck, inwardly smiling when she didn't pull it back. Reluctant yet determined, Athrun carefully lowered his mouth to her ear. "I... I've missed you."
you know, you know
His hot breath to her ear as he spoke those words gave Cagalli a tingling feeling. She didn't know what to do. She wanted to hug him, hold onto him for as long as she could... but no, she shouldn't be so selfish, she mustn't. She missed him too... so much that she would've told him until her inner voice spoke. Don't, Cagalli. Don't give in... do you want to cry yourself to sleep again? You know this can't last... you know it.
That's right. She had cried too much for the past years. Enough was enough. "Really?" She questioned him wryly. Athrun gave a look of mild surprise. "Funny," Cagalli went on, "I thought you were too busy with your secretary."
"Cagalli, I meant what I said."
Tears started to well up her eyes as she eyed him with disgust. "Did you? Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know!" She glared at him as they stopped dancing. "What do you want me to do now, Athrun?" Her voice challenged him. "Do you expect me to throw my arms around you and embrace you?" By then, tears started to roll down her cheeks. "Is that it? After all these years..." she cried, "all these fucking years!"
Athrun ignored the stinging pain he felt from the hit he received. "You know very well that I couldn't do anything. Because if I could've, you know I would've."
"HA! Don't try to fool me. We never once talked about us... you know why?" She asked him without expecting an answer. "Because it wasn't that we couldn't. It was because we didn't want to, Athrun!"
Athrun knew she was right. They had both been avoiding each other because they both knew they had nations to serve. Besides, he also thought she had moved on with Yuuna. But it seemed he was proven wrong. He watched her cry as her words served as knives thrust into his skin.
"I don't get it..." she banged her fists on his chest, "why... I thought..." she continued to sob, "I thought you loved me..."
"I did," he assured her, "and I still do."
She shook her head furiously. "No! Enough, Athrun... please... I'm already engaged to Yuuna."
Of course, how could he have forgotten? Yuuna, the awful moronic bastard, was betrothed to Cagalli. Isn't there another way? Athrun could barely stomach the idea of another man so close to her, how was he supposed to feel about another man marrying her?
"You should be happy with Meyrin."
Athrun had about enough. With all his might, he abruptly pulled Cagalli's arm which caused her to crash into his built physique. Before she could even utter a sound, his lips smoothly landed over hers, and there, in the balcony... oblivious to the people in the ballroom, he kissed her.
wanted, I wanted you to stay
'Cause I needed, I need to hear you say
Cagalli wanted to protest, to give him a piece of her mind, to kick him, give him bloody hell, to... kiss him. As much as she fought with herself to stop what she was doing, her lips gave her nothing but absolute betrayal. Her arms circled his neck as he tugged her close, erasing the gap between them as her body leaned onto his for support. And just when she couldn't get enough of the taste of the man she loved, he drew back, breathing heavily.
He caressed her cheek as she closed her eyes. "Do you love me?" He asked her.
His question caught her off-guard as she instantly looked away. She mentally slapped herself for being an idiot and kissing him back. "Athrun, you know it won't work."
I love you
I have loved you all along
He gently turned her to face him. "I'm willing to try, Cagalli. Something we should've done years ago instead of... ending things the way we did."
He stared into her eyes, the wonderful colour of amber that he sorely missed. Athrun waited for her answer. He waited for her to say yes, to agree with him, to hear her say she felt the same way he did.
But nothing came.
I forgive you
For being away for far too long
He soon sighed, defeated. "Alright... I won't bother you anymore." It was obvious that she didn't love him anymore. Heck, she couldn't give him a proper answer. I guess she really had moved on, he told himself, wait, he heard her mutter.
"What about my engagement?" She asked him quizzically.
Athrun raised a brow, was that even a question? "So you do love me."
'Cause I'm not leaving you anymore
She scowled at him. "ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION, ZALA!"
Athrun chuckled. His Cagalli was slowly returning back to her old self, cute and feisty. "Well you see, if you remember, we ARE still engaged."
"We never actually broke it off properly."
She blinked again.
it, hold on to me
And never let me go
He was right. They didn't exactly have the chance to officially call it quits. Above that, she still had the ring. But then… was she ready? Even if she did love him back, was it that easy? How would the people of Orb react when she suddenly announces that she broke her engagement to Yuuna and will marry Athrun instead? Was it that simple? She thought not.
She glanced at Athrun who frowned. "You really don't want to start over, do you?"
"No." she said. "I just want to have you back in my life." She smiled at him teasingly. To hell with difficulties! Together, she was sure they would make it possible.
'Cause I'm not leaving you anymore
Athrun smiled as he embraced her. "Me too, Cagalli," he held her tight, taking in her very scent, "me too."
After they let go, they danced once again as they stared into each other's eyes. There was nothing much left to say, words weren't needed as they lost themselves in each other's arms.
Believe it, hold on to me
And never let me go Keep breathing, hold on to me
and never let me go Keep breathing, hold on to me
and never let me go
Fate was truly persistent. -End-
Far Away - Nickelback
Fanfic - Michiyo Hikari
I'm still alive!
Though I'm sure most of you would love to hunt me down for my lack of updates. I'm really sorry! Really, really am.
I found this fic on my documents. I remember writing it for Valentine's Day last year but I finished it AFTER V-day. Hahah, so here it is. I apologize if it's not that good.
Also, it's AU… and I haven't seen GSD yet so please don't attack me by saying this and that didn't happen between so and so.
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it last year.
Happy Valentine's Day!