AN: okay folks, here's my first Gundam Seed fic. hopefully there will be more to follow. this is the quickest i've ever done a fic. it only took me about five days. but anyways, here's hoping you enjoy it!

just so you know, the place is in the Archangel in space, just afther battle at Orb, which is somewhere around episode 40, i think.

Athrun Zala, ex-soldier of Zaft, was profoundly confused. His old teammate Dearka Elsman, also an ex-soldier, was acting strange, and Athrun didn't know what to make of it. He'd heard that Dearka had been held prisoner by the Legged ship, ('Archangel', he reminded himself mentally) and had been wounded slightly, but after being released, he had turned right back around and fought to protect the ship against the Earth Forces when they attacked Orb.

And no one knew why.

Catching sight of his childhood friend, he called out to halt him. "Hey, Kira!" The brunette pilot paused and turned towards him.

"Oh, hey Athrun." He waved cheerfully. "What's up?"

Athrun frowned. "This may be a weird question, but do you have any idea why Dearka, you know, teamed up with you guys?"

Kira stared. "What do you mean?" Athrun restrained himself from sighing. 'Oh Kira, naïve as always. Does he really not know?'

"It's just that Dearka told me how your crewmates treated him when he was a prisoner. But he didn't tell me why he turned back and provided backup during that fight with the Earth Forces. And I hate to admit it, but it's been bugging me for a while now."

Kira frowned as well. "Well, now that you mention it, it did strike me as being kind of odd." He shook his head. "Still, it's not like he has to tell us, right? His reasons are his own, and if he believes in them, then that's good enough for me."

Athrun groaned. "Come on, Kira! You can't be serious!" He glanced around, making sure that no one was there to hear his whisper. "Aren't you the least bit curious?" Athrun remembered that Kira had always been a little bit nosy as a kid. He hoped that trait hadn't vanished over the years.

Kira flushed guiltily, looking away, and Athrun grinned. 'Gotcha! I knew he hadn't changed.'

Kira coughed. "Well, if anyone knows, it should be Miri. She's the one who kept an eye on him while he was still a prisoner. Maybe you should ask her."

Athrun grimaced. It would have to be that girl. He'd found out from Dearka that he'd been the one to kill her boyfriend, and he wasn't exactly eager to meet with her face-to-face. At least, not without someone else there to make sure that she didn't decide to do something drastic. "Uh, I don't think so. I'll ask somebody else. Thanks anyways."

He floated off to think about it.

Later on, Athrun came across a rather interesting sight. The girl, Miriallia, was speaking with some of the other crew members, and Dearka was standing just around the corner. Anyone who didn't know him would probably assume that he was just resting and listening to the conversation, but not Athrun. He could faintly see the blonde pilot's eyes from beneath his eyelids, and they were watching Miriallia.

Athrun gaped. 'No… way. You've got to be kidding me.' A slow grin spread across his face. 'Oh boy, Yzak would just love this.' He knew from experience that Dearka wouldn't actually look at anyone he didn't truly respect, but the look he was giving Miriallia was way beyond that of mere admiration.

His grin quickly changed from a smug smile to a sly smirk. Oh the mischief he could cause with this information. He wouldn't do anything terribly drastic, of course. No sense making Dearka run away, but he could still have fun with this situation.

He sauntered over to Dearka casually. "Hey there, Dearka. What's going on?" he asked. 'Just play it cool, Athrun.'

Dearka looked at him. "Oh hey there. I'm just listening to the crew there. They're talking about the battles we'll probably be having pretty soon." He looked back over at the crowd that was beginning to disperse, although Miriallia was still there.

Athrun smirked. "Really?" He asked playfully.

Dearka looked back at him sharply, and Athrun chuckled. "Seems to me like there's another reason for you being here. Right?" He nudged the blonde with his elbow. Dearka shot him a glare, but he ignored it. "Come on, Dearka, just admit it already."

"Admit what?" Dearka growled darkly. Although to Athrun's keen eyes, it appeared that there was a very faint pink flush growing across the bridge of his nose.

Miriallia came around the corner just then, and found Dearka glaring at Athrun while Athrun just chuckled. "What's going on here?" She asked.

Athrun grinned when Dearka straightened up and went rigid. This was just too perfect. "Oh I was just asking Dearka to admit the real reason he- Gack!"

Dearka had covered Athrun's mouth with one hand and looped his other arm tightly around Athrun's neck, effectively silencing him.

"Don't mind him, Miriallia. He can be a little crazy." Dearka grinned, a little uneasily.

Miriallia just stared at him, blinking in confusion.

"Mmph!" Athrun struggled against Dearka, and only succeeded in making him tighten his grip.

"Uh, I think you're suffocating him." Miriallia said, concerned.

Dearka shook his head. "Oh, don't worry about Athrun. It'll take a lot more than this to- Yowch!" He leapt away from Athrun, holding his hand. "Did you just bite me?" He asked incredulously.

Athrun gasped for air. "Were you trying to kill me?" He quickly stepped back so that he was slightly behind Miriallia. While it was slightly shameful to hide behind a girl, at least he knew that Dearka wouldn't leap at him, like he was known to do occasionally when he got annoyed at someone.

Kira and Cagalli walked over. "Is everything okay? We saw Dearka trying to strangle Athrun. What's going on here?" Cagalli demanded.

Kira just looked at Athrun reprovingly. "Athrun, don't tell me you actually did it."

Athrun made himself look innocent as everyone else looked at the two of them. "I don't know what you're talking about, Kira."

Dearka's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Hang on. The two of you are in this together?"

Kira paled and stepped back, waving his hands anxiously. "No, no, no! I swear I had nothing to do with this. It's all Athrun! Honest!"

Athrun glared at him. "Gee, thanks Kira." He drawled, as Dearka's glare transferred to him.

Kira grinned sheepishly, scratching the back of his head. "Sorry, but I know how Miri can get when she's embarrassed. I am not getting involved."

Miriallia looked at Kira oddly. "Embarrassed? What are you talking about, Kira?"

Cagalli also looked at him weirdly, before rounding on Athrun. "Alright, what's going on? And don't say you don't know anything, because it's obvious that whatever's going on was your idea." She added sharply when Athrun opened his mouth.

Athrun stayed silent. This was rapidly deviating from the little joke he'd intended it to be. If this kept up and it became public, Dearka would most likely leave, but not without beating Athrun to a pulp first. A shiver ran down his spine at the thought.

Cagalli looked past Athrun briefly and spotted Dearka slinking away quietly. "Oh, no you don't!" She darted forward and grabbed onto the back of the neck of Dearka's jacket, forcing him to stop. "You're staying put too, until this is sorted out." She dragged him backwards towards the group, yanking him off his feet and forcing him to float along behind her.

Upon reaching them, she released Dearka, only to grab Athrun's ear, making him yelp. "Talk." She said shortly.

Athrun stayed silent. Which was not exactly the best thing to do when a girl with a temper has you by the ear. Fortunately, Kira decided to intervene on Athrun's behalf.

"Cagalli, you won't get anywhere like that." He stepped forward and put his hand on Cagalli's shoulder. "How's this? I'll talk to Athrun privately and find out what's going on, okay?" He smiled, and pried her away from Athrun, before taking Athrun's arm and dragging him away, all before Cagalli could work up a protest.

Once at a safe distance, he turned and faced Athrun. "Okay, I'm assuming you discovered the reason. So spill it. What was it?"

Athrun turned his head away. "You didn't exactly seem eager to know beforehand. Why the sudden change of heart?" He asked sulkily.

Kira raised an eyebrow, amused. "Well, seeing as I just saved you from getting your ear ripped off by Cagalli, I think you owe me."

Athrun grimaced, but couldn't really argue with that. "Alright, I'll tell you. But you have to promise not to tell anyone else, alright?" At Kira's nod, he continued. "I saw him watching a group of crew members from the Archangel, and it just so happened that Miriallia was in that group."

Kira blinked. "I don't think I'm following you. What has that got to do with Dearka's reason for staying?"

Athrun sighed. "Haven't you noticed that Dearka always just 'happens' to be wherever Miriallia is? And how he always stands close to her?"

Kira frowned, thinking, and suddenly widened his eyes. "You don't think he's-"

Athrun nodded smugly. "Yep. He's got a crush. On Miriallia."

Kira burst out laughing. He actually doubled over and clutched his stomach. His laughter echoed throughout the docking area, making people pause and look over at him in concern.

Athrun snickered a little as well. He'd glanced over at Dearka, and had seen him being cornered by the two girls until Kira had started laughing. They'd looked over at them, and Dearka had turned a truly interesting shade of red, looking profoundly uncomfortable.

Cagalli stalked over, scowling. "Kira! What's wrong with you? I thought you were going to find out why Athrun's being so weird."

Athrun frowned. 'Weird? Gee, thanks for the compliment, Cagalli.'

Kira reigned in his laughter, although he was still grinning. "Sorry, Cagalli. I couldn't help it. It's just that… oh boy." He started snickering again, and this time Athrun joined in.

Glancing over at Dearka, Athrun's snickers escalated into full-blown laughter. Miriallia was glaring at him, obviously demanding answers and Dearka was practically cowering before her.

Unable to speak, he nudged Kira, and pointed to them. Cagalli also turned around, and stared, before she started giggling as well.

Dearka and Miriallia turned and stared at the three of them. They sure made an interesting sight. Three people, all laughing at the image of the stubborn, I-listen-to-no-one, Coordinator Dearka, cowering in front of the diminutive, temperamental Natural Miriallia.

Seizing Dearka's sleeve, Miriallia dragged him over to the others. "Alright, what's going on? Dearka won't tell me anything, and I think it's fairly obvious that the three of you know something. So spill." She had a fierce look on her face.

Dearka glared at Athrun. "You say anything, and I'll make you regret it." Miriallia threw a glare at him.

Athrun just looked at him, highly amused. "Oh? And just what can you do to make me regret anything?"

Dearka smirked darkly, before flicking his eyes at Cagalli. Athrun's look of amusement evaporated quickly, before being replaced with a look of dread.

Kira watched the exchange in confusion. "Athrun, is he saying that you like-?" Athrun's hand shot out and covered his mouth, a blush covering his face.

Both girls blinked. "Like what? Athrun, are you blushing?" Cagalli leaned closer to him, trying to examine his face. Athrun flushed deeper and stepped backwards, before tripping over a large wire on the ground, forcing him to release his hold on Kira.

Miriallia rounded on Kira, who gulped. "Kira. You are going to tell us what's going on right now." She released Dearka, and proceeded to drag Kira away. "Come on Cagalli. We'll have Kira tell us."

"Coming." Cagalli replied. She threw another look at Athrun, before floating after Miriallia and the struggling Kira. She seized Kira's other arm, and helped Miriallia drag him away.

Dearka and Athrun stared after them. "You think he'll tell?" Dearka asked.

Athrun grimaced. "I hate to say it, but… yeah." He bit his lip, before looking at his friend. "Should we find a place to hide?"

A yell came from the direction the girls had gone in. They both shuddered, before looking at each other again.

"Run." Was all Dearka said.

By the time the girls returned, both Athrun and Dearka were long gone, hiding from the inevitable wrath of their crushes.

AN: did you like it? let me know, and maybe i'll make more Gundam Seed fics.

please R&R