This is my first Gundam SEED fic and I guess it's set in the two years between GS & GSD and it follows Miriallia and Dearka's relationship as they go through a changing world. It actually gets a bit darker than I originally intended and deals with discrimination much like what was going on during The African-American Civil Rights Movement, but there's some sweetness in there to. It can also get a bit repeative at times, so sorry about that.

Oh yeah, I own nothing.


MELT

by tears-in-rain

Chapter One

Miriallia Haww rolled over in her soft bed, burying her face deeper into the pillow beneath her head. The sun shining through her window informed her that it was high time she should be rising, but her bed was far too warm and inviting for her to want to venture out of. She could hear her parents talking in the kitchen a few rooms over as they made themselves breakfast and the smells from their efforts was enough to divide Miriallia between the desire to remain encased in pleasant warmth or to get up and feed to grumbling stomach. That decision was made for her when a pair of bronze arms wrapped around her from behind and Dearka Elsman snuggled his face into her back, firmly holding her where she lay.

Far from objecting to her confinement, Miriallia moved backwards into her boyfriends embrace, falling deeper into the lulling warmth of her bed and its occupants. A few months ago, they would have never been allowed this kind of leisure due to the fact Mirialla's father would freak if he found the blonde Coordinator sleeping in his little girl's bed. However after the many times the two teens ignored his rules Miriallia's father eventually gave up, though not before issuing Dearka a threat or two. And oddly, Dearka had come to find that his favourite part of sleeping in Miriallia's bed was when they didn't do anything at all, but rather just spooned together and enjoy each other warmth before someone came to advise them to get up lest they sleep until noon.

Dearka felt the Natural shift in his arms until she was facing him, but he continued to hold her and kept his eyes closed. As long as he pretended to be asleep, she wouldn't make him get up and do something productive with his Sunday. He could feel her turquoise eyes on him, however, and it was starting to make him feel a little uneasy. It's hard to relax when one is being watch so intently and it was equally as difficult when said watcher began lightly edging her fingertips into ones hair.

"Do you mind?" he mumbled sleepily and he knew without looking that she was grinning. Despite his warning, she did not remove her fingers from his blonde mane. Opening one amethyst eye, Dearka looked at the Natural who had altered the course of his life so dramatically. She did look adorable with her hair all a mess and turquoise eyes shining playfully but that did not excuse her from patting him like a dog. "Stop that and go make me breakfast, woman."

Miriallia's eyes widened in melodramatic shock and she gasped loudly. "Excuse me, Elsman, but I don't think you qualified to issue such orders in this house."

"Why not? I happen to outrank you, after all," Dearka pointed out calmly, but his argument did little to impress his girlfriend.

"I'm not a part of the military any more."

"So?"

"So, you can't use that for an excuse."

"But when I first met you, you were and that's what I'm going off. What you're doing with you life now is of no concern to me."

"When you first met me, we were fighting on opposite sides of the war and I went at you with a knife," Miriallia seemed to recall. "Do you really want to go back to that stage in our relationship?"

"Well, if that knife comes with a fork and some bacon and eggs, yeah. Why not?" Dearka smirked and he was rewarded with Miriallia slamming her pillow into his face. Least it wasn't a knife. Miriallia made a second attempt at hitting her boyfriend when Dearka used his enhanced abilities to quickly gain the upper hand. In no time at all, he disarmed the Natural of her 'weapon' and pinned her underneath him to avoid her making any further attacks. "Now, are we going to be a good little girl and go get your man breakfast in bed?"

"Man? Ha! Don't make me laugh!" Miriallia spat with feigned venom, struggling to try and get free from the soldiers grip though she knew how hopeless that was. "Let me go!"

"Not likely," Dearka leered down at her. Her thrashing around beneath him was giving him ideas so he wasn't in any hurry to stop it. Plus, he always thought she looked cutest when she was angry. "But if you be nice, I'll let you go.

Or you can be very nice and we can stay like this a little longer."

"Not likely," Miriallia mocked, but she couldn't hide her playful tone as successfully as Dearka. All those years of messing with Yzak and trying to keep a straight expression had allowed Dearka to develop a very convincing poker face.

"Be nice or else . . ."

"Or else what?"

"Or else I'll . . ." Dearka trailed off, leaning forward, his look mischievous and determined.

"Dearka! No! Don't you dare! Dearka!" Miriallia squealed, squirming to get free. After being with the Coordinator for so long, she had fell victim to some of his forms of torture and, more importantly, she had learnt how to recognise when he planned to use them. Miriallia fought desperately to keep his face away from hers, but he easily managed to get past her defences and slowly dragged his tongue across her face from jaw to hairline, drenching her in saliva and perfuming her in morning breath that not even Coordinators were immune to. "Dearka! You're feral!"

"I warned you," the boys grinned, leaning back slightly. He didn't, however, make any attempt to get off of her.

"You're gross!" Miriallia punched him, which only made the blonde grin wider.

"You like it," he beamed down at her and as much as she hated it, Miriallia knew he was right. No matter how vulgar and irritating Dearka could be, she knew she wouldn't want to change one thing about him. She knew that underneath all his jokes and his tough-guy attitude there was that small pocket of sweetness and understanding that she adored. Dearka may be a solider that was willing to go through the worst for what he believed in, but he also had a surprising level of depth that he hid behind his arrogance and vanity. It was that depth and unexpected understanding that had made Miriallia become so attached to him on the Archangel. In her time of grieving, Dearka had shown her unanticipated support and sympathy. He had seen death countless times over the years and had lost many that he cared deeply for, so he had developed a very patient and collected approach to grieving. He had been the only one not to lose his head after the death of Nicol and he had offered that support and guidance to Miriallia as she tried to recover from the loss of Tolle.

Miriallia knew that she could never forget Tolle. He had been her first real boyfriend and she didn't believe that she'd ever find another boy who was as kind and selfless as he was. Dearka was nothing like him and, in a way, Miriallia was rather grateful for that fact. She didn't think she could handle finding someone like Tolle again simply because she would be too painful if she was ever to lose them. Tolle was sweet, caring, loyal and noble and while Dearka had elements of that, it was nothing compared to the way Tolle had been. Dearka was arrogant, self-centred and extremely vain, but over time Miriallia had come to love all those qualities about him just as much as she loved Tolle for his virtues.

Dearka was worlds away from Tolle and that's how she liked. Dearka was ambitious and at times could be extremely impulsive, so he was constantly surprising her and forcing her to surprise herself. She could still remember one morning when Dearka had woken up with the idea of teaching her to pilot a mobile suit, something she had never even considered before. And although she had been shot down only a matter of minutes into the simulation, she had managed to get it moving which was more than she had anticipated. Dearka also had an untamable mischief streak in him and he had recruited her into his devious plans – which were usually against Yzak – on more than one occasion.

In a world that had seemed so dark and bleak after the death of Tolle, Dearka had been Miriallia's ray of light that had brought out of her depressive state and introduced her to a world of adventure and fun that she had never know before. He could usually find something entertaining in the most mundane circumstances such as the time when they had accompanied Miriallia's mother while she went clothes shopping. Usually Miriallia found such trips to be brain numbingly boring since her mother insisted in shopping at the most uninteresting department store on the entire planet but with Dearka there, Miriallia had actually been disappointed when it was time to leave. Mainly because he was still two points ahead of her in their game of what could very vaguely be called tag, though it did involve a lot of collecting random products the store had on offer and complex rules that neither of them couldn't really remember how they came about.

Even after all this time, Dearka was a bit of an enigma to her. It was impossible to know exactly what was going inside that blonde head of his at any given moment as his thoughts could range anywhere between the deepest, mediating thought to the most hair brained scheme possible. And Miriallia found that she wouldn't change him in the slightest, though she'd prefer if he'd refrained from licking her.

"You're like some kind of dog," Miriallia told him simply, making the Buster pilot grin wider. Any chance of him commenting back was cut off by a sudden knock at the door. Out of pure habit, Dearka quickly scrambled off the girl beneath him and a second later Miriallia's father stuck his head through the door. A wave of dread washed over Dearka as he recalled exactly what the old man threatened to do to him if he ever caught the Coordinator doing anything inappropriate with his daughter.

"If you two want any breakfast I suggest you get up now," the older man informed the two teenagers, a slightly disapproving look on his face. It wasn't that he didn't like Dearka – far from it – but he was still the father of an attractive teenage daughter so he had every right to be a tad over protective of her, regardless of how much he may actually like her beau.

"Dad!" Miriallia wailed in feigned anguish, point accusingly at the blonde in the bed next to her. "He licked my face like a dog!"

Her father observed the blonde Coordinator, who was sporting a very convincing innocent look, and tried desperately not to smile back. "Well, you always did want a dog, sweetie, and now I guess you have one."

"Dad!" Miriallia pouted while Dearka burst out laughing at Miriallia's father's indifferent tone.

"Just make sure he's house trained," her father told her, turning to leave. "Now get up you two. You're not sleeping 'till dinner again."

"We've never done that!" Miriallia shouted after him as he returned to the kitchen. A little disappointed at her father's lack of enthusiasm to protect her from slobbering Coordinators, she turned to regard said slobbering Coordinator. "Well, come on boy. Let's go see if we can find you a bone for breakfast."

"Are you gone to treat me like a dog all day?" Dearka asked, getting up and following her out to her kitchen in the search of breakfast.

"I might," Miriallia shrugged, looking back over her shoulder at him. "You do kinda look like a Labrador, you know."

"Hey!"

"What? You do. And if you're lucky I'll take you for a walk into town and we can go play fetch in the park," Miriallia grinned as she moved over to the fridge to retrieve her morning juice.

Dearka stared at her with one eyebrow raised in a questioning expression. "You're not going to put me on a leash, now are you?"

"Well it is the law," Miriallia shrugged, turning her back to him to retrieve a glass from the cupboard and in doing so missed Dearka's sly smile. Moving silently on his bare feet, the Coordinatior positioned himself behind her and put his mouth next to her ear so he could whisper into it without her parents overhearing.

"I always knew you liked it kinky."

"Dearka!"


After breakfast and the rest of their morning routine, Miriallia decided to take Dearka for a walk into town, but she didn't leash him like she had promised, which the Coordinator seemed somewhat disappointed about. After the war, Miriallia had returned to live with her family within the boarders of the nation of Orb. Out of all the nations affected but the Bloody Valentine War, Orb was without a doubt recovering the fastest. The capital city was slowly being rebuilt after its destruction during the war, Cagalli Yula Athha was conducting a successful reign over the nation with Athrun Zala by her side and the invisible walls that always seemed to exist between Naturals and Coordinators seemed to finally be coming down. While everyone knew that it might take a little longer in other parts of the worlds for Naturals and Coordinators to truly accept one another's existence, Orb was leading the way into a more peaceful and tolerant world.

"I thought I was supposed to be a dog, not a horse," Dearka grumbled as he was forced to carry his girlfriend on his back through the streets of the completed half of the city.

"You're both," Miriallia told him, craning her neck so she could observe the new sky scarpers that had been finished a few weeks ago. In a matter of time it would be filled with works from some unknown businesses that would be aiming the advance the economy of Orb. It was hard to believe that such towering buildings were cropping up everywhere in what had not long ago been the flattened shell of a city. Returning her attention to her grumbling boyfriend, Miriallia swiftly kicked him with her heels. "Now giddy up!"

"Yah!" Dearka shouted, galloping forward so suddenly that Miriallia almost toppled off his back. Clutching him around his neck, Miriallia laughed breathlessly when the couple finally arrived outside the coffee shop they desired. Dearka on the other hand, was just breathless. "Choke me, why don't you?"

"I'll do it later," Miriallia promised as she entered the shop. Her boyfriend followed behind her, rubbing his throat where she had held him so tightly and muttering something about kinky Naturals. Ignoring his suffering, the auburn haired girl practically skipped up to the counter where a young barista about her age greeted her.

"Hi, how can I help you?" the girl asked.

"Can I just have a cappuccino with light milk, please?" Miriallia ordered, before looking at the blonde standing next to her. "And he'll have a mocha."

"And if it's not too much to ask, would it be possible not to have that in liquid form?" Dearka asked in a serious tone, but was met with a baffled look by the girl taking their order.

"Just ignore him," Miriallia suggested to the girl with a slight roll of the eyes. "I try too."

"You're not a very good girlfriend," Dearka told her after they had paid for their drinks and were waiting to one side for them to be made. He grabbed as many sugar packets as his fist could manage, but Miriallia managed to snatch them off him before he could stuff them into his pockets.

"And why is that?" she asked, returning the sugar packets back to where Dearka had grabbed them from. It was never a good result whenever the blonde ate sixteen packets or more of raw sugar like she knew he was intending to do. She was surprised that his teeth hadn't rotted away yet.

"You're supposed to back me up with those kind of things, not just tell people to ignore me," Dearka pouted, making another grab for the sugar which the Natural blocked. "You're almost as bad as Yzak."

"You tried to make Yzak into a good girlfriend?" Miriallia asked, a playful smirk on her face.

"Oh, everybody's a comedian, ay?" Dearka said sarcastically.

"Who's a better kisser? Me or Yzak?"

"I dunno. I think a little bit more research is needed first," Dearka smirked, leaning forward and pressing his lips to hers, distracting her enough to get his hands on some more sugar which he quickly shoved into his jacket pockets. Miriallia was beaming when he pulled back and Dearka knew the correct answer to her question. "Yzak, definitely."

"You jerk," Miriallia laughed, hitting him in the stomach but she couldn't stop the grin from spreading across her face. Still smiling, Miriallia reached into his pockets and removed all the sugar packets he thought he had taken without her knowing. "But I guess you're kinda sweet."

"Not anymore I'm not," Dearka commented someone sadly as he looked at all the sugar she had just returned from his possession.

"I think you are," Miriallia beamed at him as the order before theirs came up. The couple moved aside to make way for the customer of that order, who was a young mother with two little children; one was just a baby who was currently restrained in its pram, while the other was a boy who looked to be about three years old and was free to walk on his own. Dearka was waiting for the right moment to make another move on the sugar packets when he noted something happening out of the corner of his eye. The young mother was reaching passed her drink in order to get the shaker that contain powered chocolate that she planned to sprinkle on the top of her drink, but as she moved her hand back she accidentally knocked the paper cup that overbalanced and started to fall off the edge of the counter right down towards the little three year old below.

With his enhance abilities and quick reflexes, Dearka took firm hold of the back of the little boys overalls with one hand and quickly jerked him out from under the falling scolding liquid. With his free hand Dearka reached out and grabbed the falling cup to prevented most of it slipping to the ground and possibly into the pram, and in doing so also succeeded in burning his hand with the hot liquid.

"Joshua!" the woman cried, rushing to gather up the little boy Dearka had pulled out of harms way into her arms. The boy was in tears after the shock of suddenly being jerked backwards but other than that he was all right. The frantic mother looked up at the boy who had saved her son from a scolding and Dearka could see the fear and relief in her eyes. "You saved him. Thank you so much. If you hadn't grabbed him . . ."

"It's nothing. Really," Dearka assured her, setting the now half empty cup back down on the counter and shaking the drink off his hand. "But you're welcome."

"My hero," Miriallia smiled at her boyfriend while the mother tended to her wailing three year old. Not breaking eye contact with the blonde, the Natural rewarded him with a single packet of sugar and a kiss that was even sweeter.

"I'm a lot of things today, aren't I?" Dearka mused. "First I'm a dog, then a horse and now a hero. Wait 'til I tell Yzak. He always said I'd never amount to anything and now in one day I can prove him wrong."

"You're pretty quick, boy," a deep voice noted. Dearka's little rescue had grabbed the attention of everyone in the coffee shop and not all of them were as thankful and amazed as the little boys mother was. The man that had spoken was very tall with dark features and he was looking at Dearka with a mistrust that was almost hostile.

"I try to be," Dearka replied cautiously, feeling very weary of the way the man was acting towards him. The man was being civil enough but there was something about the way his dark eyes burned into the teen before him that made Dearka feel uncomfortable.

"But is that natural talent or something else?" the man asked, taking a step toward the couple. There was a slightly limp in his left leg and as he put it down, a metallic clunk reached Dearka's sensitive ears. The man was an amputee with an artificial leg, the Coordinator realised, and he knew it was no doubt because he lost it in battle during the Bloody Valentine War. The scars on the back of his hands must have come from the war also.

"I just happened to be paying attention at the right time," Dearka shrugged off, not wanting to reveal too much to this man. Something about the way he was acting simply screamed that he wasn't to be trusted. Miriallia seemed to sense her boyfriend's discomfort and clutched onto his arm for assurance.

"Of course," the man smiled, but it reminded the ZAFT solider of some wild animal bearing its fangs. The two teenager's drinks were suddenly finished and placed on the counter. Without a word, the couple claimed their drinks and headed for the exit despite the fact that they had originally intended to drink their coffee in the shop. Luckily this shop only served their drinks in disposable cups so they were able to leave without issue. Dearka felt the man's eyes on him the entire time and didn't feel comfortable until he was out of that shop and a good distance down the street.


TBC.