Chapter 1: Hesitation
Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Seed or the characters, only the plot of this fan fiction.
Yep, I'm creating another story I probably won't update in a long time. Oh well, ideas are ideas, gotta get them out of my head somehow!
He tossed and turned, fighting the nightmare, sweat pouring from his skin. He hated this nightmare, the memory of his family being killed; their blood splattered everywhere-Mayu's arm. He screamed and kicked, trying to wake up.
He felt strong arms stop him, he didn't know who or what it was, so he struggled harder. He heard a voice call his name, and it sounded familiar. 'Athrun?' he wondered and finally awoke, gasping for air.
He was sitting up, in Athrun's arms. Wait, what!? "W-what are you doing!?" Shinn stammered and pushed himself away from the older teen. The said bluenette looked confused "I was trying to wake you up because you were having a nightmare." He stated as if it was perfectly normal.
Shinn seemed wary of him for a moment, raising an eyebrow and looking expectant for a better explanation. There was an awkward silence, and Shinn glanced over at Rey who was facing the wall, his pillow over his head.
"Well, er, I'm just gonna go now, are you sure you're alright?" Athrun asked him. "Yeah, I'm fine, Zala." Shinn replied in a harsher tone he had meant. Athrun looked hurt, and Shinn bit his lip, his eyes apologetic.
"Sorry, it's just-," Shinn began but Athrun cut him off. "It's ok." He said with a smile and began to leave. Shinn opened his mouth to say something but quickly closed it after realizing there was nothing he could say.
You see, Athrun and Shinn had only recently discovered they had feelings for each other. Absurd, I know, but don't we all know that boys usually tease the ones they love? That was obviously Shinn's excuse, but Athrun seemed to be intrigued by the younger boy's rash and impulsive behavior. However, he and Kira had been seeing each other on-and-off throughout the first war, so at first the future Chairman of PLANT rejected his feelings for Shinn.
It didn't help much either when the red-eyed, sixteen year old made it a habit of yelling at Cagalli (a good friend of Athrun's), and disobeying orders, especially from the FAITH soldier. And yet, that was exactly the reason why Athrun took a liking to him, he was so different from the mild and quiet Kira that his blood boiled at the mere mention of Shinn Asuka's name!
So, after much debating with themselves, the boys came to term with their feelings, and coincidentally spilled the beans at the same time, thus feeling relieved that neither of them would freak out and gun-ho it out of there.
So it was that Shinn watched as Athrun, his current boyfriend, walked out of his room for the third time that week after having to wake him because of nightmares. The coordinator sighed and laid back down, staring at the ceiling, before turning on his side and closing his eyes, waiting for sleep to come.
"All hands to level One Battle Stations! I repeat! All hands to level One Battle Stations!" came the alarm and Meyrin's voice on the intercom. Shinn groaned, squeezing his eyes shut. He finally got back to sleep around three in the morning when he had woken up around midnight, and now it was 6:45, great, perfect timing for the Earth Alliance to attack yet again.
'Stupid Naturals, they are definitely gonna pay for this.' Shinn thought angrily and practically threw the sheets off of him to get his clothes on. Rey was already up and throwing some pants on, casting a glare Shinn's way before running out into the hall towards the hangar and locker rooms.
Shinn hurried quickly and ran after him, when he reached the locker room, Athrun was already there, he tried to ignore him, but it was growing increasingly hard with the looks Rey was sending the two of them.
Athrun had told Shinn to keep their relationship a secret, because it wouldn't look very good for them if the council found out. Of course Shinn obliged, reveling in the fact that he could still get away with disobeying orders and yelling at his superior with impunity.
However, Rey seemed to have caught on and was on the verge of blackmail, since Shinn has been keeping him up most of the nights that weren't spent fighting with screaming and thrashing about in his bed.
"Come on, Shinn." He heard Athrun say and snapped out of his trance, he nodded and finished putting on his suit (which looked really good on him, wink) and then followed the rest of the crew into the hangar.
Meyrin gave him the clear and he flew out into space, waiting for orders, when he saw a huge fleet Earth Alliance ships and Gundams. "What's going on?" he asked no one in particular.
"It seems that the EA are fed up with losing. That's a pretty large fleet for just one Zaft ship." Luna responded, looking slightly worried yet angry. "Oh well, it'll just make it all that sweet when we win again." Shinn smirked and started attacking nearby GOUFs.
Athrun shook his head with a small smile and also leapt into battle. "Shinn, be careful, you do realize we're outnumbered, be on your guard!" Captain Gladys told him. "Don't worry, they're easy to beat." Shinn replied and demonstrated this fact by blowing up his enemy.
Talia sighed and said, "Just don't make me remind you, ok?" and he nodded before returning his full attention back to the EA, who were putting up an impressive fight. "Athrun, make sure he doesn't get himself killed, ok?" she told the emerald-eyed soldier and he nodded as well, already keeping a sharp eye on his cocky boyfriend.
"I wonder why they don't just give up already; obviously we're no match for them." Shinn wondered out loud after defeating two EA Gundams at the same time. He smirked when a nearby enemy Gundam turned toward him, obviously hearing what he had to say.
However, he soon went back to being serious, if not a little taken aback, because the Gundam that heard him was Sting, and he was far from amused. 'Crap,' Shinn thought as Sting attacked.
"Easy to beat, huh?" the Extended asked and bombarded him with beam cannon attacks. Shinn managed to dodge them and fire back, but his opponent was obviously as skilled as he was, because he too dodged his attacks and even managed to hit Shinn a few times.
Shinn growled and lunged forward, saber ready for combat. "Shinn! Be careful!" he heard Athrun yell. He felt himself grin at hearing the concern in his boyfriend's voice. Sting met his saber and they soon began a "saber-fight", and although sword-fighting (not to mention saber-fighting) was one of his strong-points, Shinn still slashed Sting's arm that was holding the saber.
"Ha!" he yelled triumphantly as he beamed. He heard Sting growl and threaten, "It's not over yet! You think you're invincible, hot-shot? I'm about to wipe that arrogant look off your face!"
Shinn growled in turn. Nobody called him arrogant except Athrun, hot-shot he could handle, but arrogant?
Although he was relatively close to Sting's Gundam (Chaos, I think it is) Shinn still whipped his big beam cannon right in his face and pressed the big red button (ok, so maybe it's not a big red button, but bear with me people, I've only seen episodes six-fourteen or whatever, not much battling going on, I can tell you that much.).
"Shinn!" he heard Athrun yell again. 'What now!?' he asked himself. He had shot Sting square in the middle of his gundam's chest, or so he thought, Sting barely managed to dodge, so the cannon nicked the left side of his Gundam.
But it wasn't that that made Shinn realize why he was in trouble, it was the crash that sent him forward into his cockpit that made him realize that Auel had come to give Sting backup.
"Great, I'm bleeding." Shinn said to himself as blood trailed out of his mouth, down his chin, his head hurt as well, and he felt the steady throbbing of an oncoming migraine. Sting and Auel joined together and were now attacking Shinn with such ferocity he barely managed to defend himself.
Yes, he was Minerva's ace pilot, yes, he took out six large ships during seed mode at the beginning of his first war, yes, he had survived numerous battles with the impressive and legendary Freedom and its pilot, but two extendeds who were taking out quite a vengeance were almost too much for the young coordinator.
With one last pull at his energy reserves, Shinn managed to go into SEED mode, and almost instantly the battle turned to his favor. His strength, speed, and intelligence enhanced, and he smashed into Auel while firing at Sting, also dodging Auel's attempted slashes with his saber.
Athrun finally got away from Stellar enough to blast Auel away from Shinn before he was about to slice through his cockpit. "Thanks." He heard Shinn mutter before the raven-haired boy blasted Sting's legs off, Sting flying upward before-hand because he was aiming for the cockpit as well.
"Athrun, Shinn, the Earth Alliance is pulling back, fight off anyone who decides to ignore their superiors for now until they completely retreat." Talia ordered. They nodded and said, "Yes ma'am." before retaliating against a nearby GOUF who obviously hadn't heard the retreat being ordered.
Shinn returned to normal as they were coming back to the Minerva, but was oddly silent. 'Either he's amazed at how close to death he was, or just surprised that someone actually helped him, and that he actually needed to be helped.' Athrun thought to himself, going more for the latter opinion, knowing Shinn.
"Good job, boys." Captain Gladys greeted them when they came down from their Gundams. She was smiling despite just being in a battle only two minutes earlier, and the boys smiled back and saluted.
"Yeah, good job, Shinn, taking on those two Extendeds." Luna praised him, who slightly blushed and smiled. "Yeah, but if Athrun hadn't come in, he'd be dead." Meyrin spoke up, eyeing the older teen with sparkling eyes.
"Er, right, um, thanks…again." Shinn stammered. Athrun turned to him and realized that he was bleeding. "Shinn, you're bleeding." He stated. "Oh, I know its fine." Shinn replied and spit out some blood, the two girls gave a disgusted look while Athrun and Rey looked merely amused, if not annoyed.
"Well, I'm hungry, come on, Meyrin, let's get some breakfast-er-lunch, I mean." Luna said and started to leave. Meyrin followed her after saluting Athrun and giving him a sly grin, and Luna turned around and smiled at Shinn, who smiled back.
Rey rolled his eyes and "accidentally" bumped into Shinn as he too went out of the hangar. Shinn glared at his back, and Rey turned to smirk at him. Shinn raised a brow and was about to ask what that was all about when he heard Athrun clear his throat beside him.
"What?" he asked, noticing a faint glare in those emerald eyes. Athrun raised a brow and asked, "What do you mean 'what'? You're acting like Luna's your girlfriend, not me as your boyfriend." Athrun said with a pout of playful jealousy.
Shinn, however, looked anything but playful. "I can still be her friend, can't I? Besides, isn't the whole idea of keeping our relationship a secret is to not let anyone know I actually like you?" he questioned.
Athrun frowned. "Relax, Shinn, I was only kidding, of course you can still be her friend, I just felt a little left out, that's all, I guess the rush of the battle erased all my logic." He said, again trying to poke at Shinn's playful side, expecting a smug grin to grace the crimson-eyed soldier's lips at Athrun's insult to himself.
What he didn't expect was a scowl, which was what he got, and Shinn walked briskly away, toward the hangar. Athrun frowned deeper and went after him. "What's wrong? Are you really that mad that I saved you from getting killed back there? Come on, Shinn, how prideful can you be?" he asked angrily.
Shinn whirled around at him in the middle of taking his suit off. "Excuse me? I don't care who you are, don't ever talk to me like that! I didn't need your help, I was perfectly fine!" he yelled, glaring hatefully at him.
"Yeah, perfectly fine for being dead! Shinn, I was trying to save you, alright, I care about you, not that you'd know anything about that emotion!" Athrun snapped but soon regretted his words. He knew he had hit a raw spot in Shinn and saw it in his pained yet angrier expression.
"Don't get mad at me because my family was killed and I'm grieving for them, Zala. You shouldn't go around expecting everyone to have smiling faces with everything that's going on. I don't care that you're family is dead as well, you seem to think that if you can keep going without being bitter that everyone else can too, well, I have news for you, some just can't and that includes me." Shinn said bitterly and walked away from him.
Athrun stared after him, a sharp pain in his chest at his words. He knew that Shinn was grieving, ok, but that didn't mean he could be angry at the world! Athrun felt himself getting steadily and steadily angrier at the boy, but closed his eyes, suppressing the rage.
'He didn't mean to say that, he was just angry, like I was, I'll talk to him in a while when we've both cooled down.' He thought to himself and changed out of his flight suit.
By the time he came around Shinn and Rey's quarters, there was no response, so Athrun left him alone. Talia had told them that tomorrow they would be heading back to the PLANT for a much needed break to repair the ship and let the crew see their families.
"SHINN-CHAN!" someone called above the roar of the shuttle-airport. Shinn's brow furrowed and he glanced around, wondering who could be calling his name. He didn't exactly know where he was going to spend this break, and before the battle Athrun had suggested coming with him.
Now Athrun was standing beside him, waiting patiently for either a grunt of acknowledgement or a glare of disproval. What he didn't expect was the young boy to look up at him and ask, "Did you tell anyone I know I was coming?" to which he responded, "No, but you'd better watch out…oops!…too late."
A girl had come running towards them, beaming and waving her arms madly, and tackled Shinn to the floor. Athrun was amused, yet confused as to who this girl was to approach the aggressive coordinator in this manner.
Shinn, in turn, looked equally amused until he got a good look at her face…or was it his face?
He blinked twice, then smiled widely and shouted, "RAYVEN!" and hugged her who hugged him back, saying, "I was wondering when you'd remember me!" Athrun helped them up and gasped at the resemblance.
The girl looked no older than Shinn himself, with long black hair and sharp, red eyes-much like Shinn's. Her face bore a strong resemblance as well, and he wondered if she were a long-lost sister or something, obviously they were related.
"Where's Aunt Clarice?" Shinn asked after they shared a few jokes. Rayven got quiet, and a forlorn look crossed her face as she suddenly found the ground more interesting to look at.
"Shinn, she passed away a while ago, the cancer got to her, she seemed happy though, she only wished she could see you one last time." She finally answered. Shinn's rare smile was quickly wiped away at these words, and the cold, hard expression Athrun was more used to resurfaced.
"Oh, Shinn, we all knew it would get her sooner or later; don't dwell on it, she left you a letter, if you want to read it; but come on, I'll drive you home-oh, who is this?- I'm sorry, I didn't even see you!" Rayven said and looked at Athrun.
"Athrun Zala." Athrun answered as he continued to look at Shinn with concern. "I see," Rayven said and kind of nudged Shinn, who seemed to have come out of a trance.
"Oh right, this is Athrun, my, uh, well, er…" Shinn stammered and glanced at Athrun. "Boyfriend." Athrun clearly stated. Rayven seemed surprised, yet smiled and said, "Really, 'bout time little Shinni got someone in his life."
Shinn flushed red and said, "Oh come off it! It's not like you have a boyfriend, or do you?" and raised a brow in question. She sighed and roller her eyes. "Listen, we really need to get going, am I taking you as well, or do you have a ride, I don't mind, really I don't." Rayven said and motioned to Athrun.
"Um, I was gonna get a cab or something and go to ORB, but I haven't made anything final yet, so if it's really no problem…" Athrun said. Shinn glanced at them uncomfortably and suddenly asked her, "You're not going to blackmail or tease me like you did last time are you?" with a narrowed suspicion in his eyes.
"No! Now come on, I have dinner reservations, and I'm driving." She said and eyed Shinn. He mock-glared and they followed her out of the airport and into the parking lot.
"So, er, you guys are cousins?" Athrun finally asked. "Yes." Shinn answered as they were getting into the nice Mustang. It resembled the new 2007 ones, and was black, with red streaks on the sides. Shinn got shotgun and Athrun got into the back, behind him after they stowed away their luggage in the trunk.
"So, where exactly are we going?" Shinn asked as his cousin exited the airport and drove down a highly traveled road. "First, to the apartment I've been renting since mum passed-Shinn I told you don't worry! She's in a better place now!-," Rayven began but Shinn shuddered when she said it so casually like that.
"Anyways, then we're going to a little restaurant to have some dinner, I already told them three people were coming anyway, just in case." She continued and smiled back at Athrun, who smiled back.
"Why? Were you expecting someone else?" Shinn questioned. "Actually, yes, I wanted you to meet my boyfriend, but…well, I'll tell you later." She said dismissively. They drove on in silence, although Shinn tried to question her further, but she wouldn't hear of it.
Athrun sat there, musing about these recent developments, it seemed that Shinn had forgotten about their little spat when he met up with his cousin, which was good, but then it presented the question: Why didn't Shinn tell anyone he still had family? That question, however, wouldn't be answered for a while, so Athrun stuffed it in the back of his mind at the moment.
Rayven seemed like a nice girl. She was short, but obviously sixteen or seventeen, and quite mature. He expected that that's what Shinn was like before the war started, carefree and happy. He smiled at that thought, he had seen Shinn smile after he won great victories in battle, but he seemed to return to his gloomy state soon afterward, or to his arrogant smugness.
Yes, like Shinn said before, only Athrun could call him arrogant.
-Author's Note: Ok, so it still didn't go as planned, I still got the important stuff in, I decided to leave off at a slight cliffy because this was getting long and I'm not sure if Fanfiction is working again, as in, it hasn't let me download any new documents. Soooo, please review and tell me what you think! Peace out!-