Stay with me.
As I'm getting naked
Stripped down to the bone.
I'm afraid, this could get ugly
And I might leave here alone.
(End of Me, by Marion Raven)
After the first war, for a long time, they were all just lost.
Kira was in a catatonic state for months. His mother came to see him and decided to keep him in a quiet place where he might be able to recuperate. Lacus suggested they all stay at the Reverend's orphanage. Cagali had wanted to take him home with her, but recognized his need for peace and knew he wouldn't get any in her mansion. There were politicians swarming in every corner trying to pick up the pieces; she herself would have hid away in the orphanage if she could. Athrun had no idea what he would do. When Cagali was summoned to take her father's place in the House of Representatives, the news came as a shock to everyone. It shouldn't have, but it did. At the time, she was spending all her time either at home, helping the government re-establish itself, or visiting civilians, making lists of their needs and making sure food and supplies were delivered in a timely fashion. When told that the first meeting of the new government was to be held, and that she was required to attend, she went, eager to help and tell them of what had to be done for the people. But she was also understandably nervous and more than a bit sad at having to take her dear father's place. Athrun had driven her to the main government's building and waited for her outside. The meeting took three hours and by the time she left, her face was ashen. Wordlessly, she got into the car her and she sat down. While driving, Athrun saw her hands twitching and shaking in her lap, and she clasped them together in a vain attempt to still them.
He remained silent, not knowing what to say; wondering what went on at the meeting.
When they arrived at her house, he led her into her room before shutting the door behind them and just held her tight. The shaking had branched into her whole body now and she was almost hyperventilating. He held her tighter, one hand holding her head into his shoulder, running his fingers through her hair, the other stoking her back reassuringly. Finally, she took a deep breath, and hugged him back.
"Thank you," she said, gratefully. He smiled before leading her to a couch.
"Now, what happened?"
"The country's in chaos. People are all frightened; they can't believe that the war is over and there is so much that needs to be rebuilt."
"Well, that is to be expected. What else," he gently prodded. Looking away, she started playing with her hands again.
"They want me to become Head Representative."
"What?" Athrun had not seen this coming.
"They say that because I fought in the war, I know the most about the situation now and am therefore in the best position to fix it. Also, the other families are still quarreling about who they will elect to represent them in the council. Until then, the government needs a more permanent leader, and I'm it. They say that I'm the only member whose attendance is non-negotiable. Since I'm the only one left of the Atha family, I'm the mandatory representative. But for the others, they have to come to agreement. And because my father was the head representative, and no one has any idea what is going on now, I'm it."
"Have you agreed?"
"I told them I'll let them know tomorrow. Until then, I agreed to be acting head representative and gave them instructions on what to do until then. Everything is a mess," she sighed, then fixed him with a thoughtful gaze. "What will you do, Athrun?"
"I don't know. I heard that the Plants council is rounding up all the soldiers. Some leaders are unhappy about having lost the war and they want to punish them. Others are horrified at information they received that senseless killing was involved. There was a rumor that they are convicting soldiers for both war crimes and treason."
"It's just a rumor."
"You can't go back now! Not until you are sure."
"Hmm," Athrun looked at her beautiful face, unnaturally pale with dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep. He knew she had been going non-stop since they arrived in Orb, from shelters, to hospitals, to the government, letting it know what the people needed, her bossy nature working overdrive to get done what needs to be done. And he had no doubt she was doing an excellent job. But to be Head Representative? In these times? With her uninhibited nature and sincere eyes? With her brash manner? He worried for her. She would be in for a rude awakening if she acted the same way in a politicians meeting that she did on the battlefield. They were two different things.
"Do you want to do it, Cagali?" and she gave a sudden shiver, rubbing her arms to warm herself.
"It's not that I really want to, but I'm sort of already doing it. I don't imagine things will be much different from now. It certainly can't get any worse." That's true, Athrun thought, what can be worse than a war where an entire alliance was wiped out with a super powerful weapon, and a neutral country had to blow its own military up to prevent it's power from being misused? And he had decided.
"You're right. You are already acting like one, so why not make it official?" She looked at him with worried eyes.
"But what about you, Athrun?" And he could see the fear there. Even though she kept a brave front, she was nervous. Naturally about her new position, but mostly, he knew she was worried about losing him.
"Well, I think as Representative, you will need some bodyguards, right? If you are willing to accept, I would like to offer my services." She had jumped at him in delight and he had kissed her softly until, breathless, her cheeks turned red. Then he had given her another hug and said, "I did promise I'd protect you."
They had been so happy, so hopeful. They had no idea what the future held for them…
This is not a mistake
It's the dawn of a new day
Everything goes from now
(End of Me, by Marion Raven)