JC: I'm so inspired nowadays and my love for AsuCaga has gotten stronger. There's new hope because of the upcoming movie of Gundam SEED. I can't wait for it. This story will have a lot of romance, action, and drama. I'll try my best not to make the characters OOC. The story will take place in an alternate universe, so don't expect any mobile suits and soldiers here.

Disclaimer: I don't own Cagalli Yula Athha, Athrun Zala, and all the other characters of Gundam SEED. All rights belong to Sunrise.

Summary: When their mother died, Cagalli and her twin brother were taken in by a man who claims to be their uncle. Since they had nowhere else to go, they decided to live with him in his mansion. But there was something dreadfully suspicious about their uncle. He seemed to be so fond of the twins, going so far as to arrange a marriage between Cagalli and a rich business associate. Because of this, Cagalli is determined to escape her fate—even if it means running away from home and dealing with a handsome yet clever agent. Athrun Zala's job is to bring Cagalli home. But as things start to get more complicated, he finds himself falling for her.

Her Kind of Love

Phase 01: A New Life

Sixteen-year old Cagalli Yula Hibiki walked up the steps to the hospital doorway with a strange mixture of excitement and trepidation which gave her a slightly nauseated feeling in her stomach. Kira, her twin brother, was coming home today—coming home from long months of pain and anxiety. He got into an accident and nearly died due to his severe injuries. She had spent every possible moment with Kira in the hospital while he was very ill, watching over him. Nevertheless, she still managed to attend classes in school. But she felt empty without Kira around. He was more than just a sibling to her. He was her best friend.

A man coming out of the main door held it open for her and she muttered a soft thank you, barely noticing the look of admiration he gave her as she passed him. She was more or less immune to men's charms. She was pretty popular in school for being the most athletic girl and many people looked up to her. In addition to her skills, she was a charming young girl with long golden hair and a pair of beautiful amber eyes. Though she has fans, she never entertained suitors.

Kira was waiting for her when she walked into the room, sitting up in the bed, his dark head turned to the door as she came through it, amethyst eyes watching her walk towards across the floor. Cagalli put her schoolbag on the chair by the bed and sat down. "How are you feeling?" she asked.

Smiling tenderly, he said, "Better than ever. I can't wait to go home."

"We can go as soon as you're ready."

"Then I better change."

Cagalli began unpacking his clothes from his bag and laying them on the bed. "Do you need help, Kira?"

Kira shook his head and showed a grateful smile. "Thanks, but I think I can manage myself. I'm not crippled here."

"And you probably want me to wait outside, huh?" she asked, and he nodded his head in reply. "Sure. Don't take long, okay? You know I hate waiting." She was never the patient one. As she closed the curtain behind her, she let out a silent sigh. Of course, before the accident Kira's body was flawless. Now his body was scarred, because he took most of the damage. He protected her from the crash, shielding her with his own body. Her injuries had been superficial and quickly healed.

Kira had always been a good brother to her, though a bit overprotective sometimes. He also has the looks to attract any girl, but he was timid with the opposite sex. In contrast to her stubborn and hot-tempered personality, Kira was gentler and nicer.

The rings of the curtain around the bed rattled as Kira pulled them back, and she turned to look at him. He picked up his bag from the bed and moved towards her. "I'm all set."

The doctor was waiting by the door at the end of the corridor and Kira stopped to hold out his hand and thank her. "Well, Hibiki-kun, you had a long stay," the doctor said. "I'll miss you, but no doubt your sister will be glad to have you home again."

After saying goodbye, they went to the parking lot. Kira was surprised to see the car there were going to ride in. It was a red Ferrari car and the latest one to boot. "Did he give this to you?" he asked, watching her unlock the car and slide into the driver's seat.

"He said I needed it," she answered with a frown. "I think it's a bit much. I was so used to walking to school."

Kira went around to the other side and got in beside her, throwing the bag on to the rear seat and pulling forward his safety belt to do it up. "Our lives are different now than before."

Cagalli briefly glanced at him before shifting her attention to the wheel of the car. "Yeah… It's all because he came into our lives."

By the time they reach the mansion she felt relieved. She ran the car into the garage and said, "Welcome to your new home, Kira. I'm not sure you'll like it here. It's not the same as our previous home. It took me a while to get used to this place."

A small smile appeared on his face, as he placed a hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry," he said. "I'll manage."

Cagalli sighed. "It's really weird. We were just average people before. By some twist of fate, we suddenly became rich." She reached out for her schoolbag and got out of the car. "How come no one ever told us about our uncle?"

"No idea…" he replied, stepping out of the car, carrying his bag. "Mom never told us even before she died."

She lowered her gaze to the floor, a frown greasing her lips. Whenever their mother was mentioned, she would always feel downhearted. "I miss mom," she muttered under her breath. "I wish she was still here with us." Blindly, she made a move towards the entrance, but then Kira snaked his arms around her, pulling her against him. She heard him saying sorry, and she smiled.

He released her and moved in front of her. "Sorry for bringing up mom," he said, patting her head like a kitten.

She nodded, not able to say anything, and kept her head down. Everything would be all right, she thought. Everything would be fine as long as they were together. But she knew that things weren't going to be the same again.

When she went to her room after escorting Kira to his own room, she threw her schoolbag to the bed. She stood before the mirror, taking a good look at herself. The summer school uniform she had on was composed of a white collared shirt, a blue necktie, and a blue pleated-miniskirt. She never liked wearing skirts, but it was a requirement in her school. Brushing her hands through her golden hair, she imagined her mother in the mirror. True, she was the splitting image of her mother. Kira had always commented her about being beautiful like their mother. She was proud of that fact, but she never boasted about it.

She decided to have a shower before changing. Standing under the warm water, she used fragrant soap to remove the smell of medicine, and after drying herself, she applied some lotion on her skin. With a towel wrapped around her, she walked into the bedroom and dressed slowly into a pair of shorts and a red t-shirt. She then paid her brother a visit in his bedroom.

Kira was messing around with his laptop. When he saw the blonde, he placed the laptop on stand-by mode. "This room is pretty cozy," he said. "It's way bigger than my old room. It's good to see that all my stuff was moved here."

"Did you check the fridge?" she asked. "Uncle placed one in your room so you won't have to go down into the kitchen for snacks."

"Yeah… It's loaded with treats. Do you want something to eat?"

"Put out two chocolate bars and a soda," she said cheerfully.

He did it without comment, knowing that his sister has a penchant for sweet things.

She sat on the bed while he poured two glasses of soda, and when he had handed hers to her he sat down beside her. She then grabbed one chocolate bar and tore it open. "This is the best!" she exclaimed, taking a bite.

"I'm amazed you can eat sweets without worrying about getting fat," Kira said with a giggle. "Most girls are conscious about their weight."

Cagalli shrugged. "Whatever… Even if I eat plenty, I will never get fat. I have fast metabolism."

"I see…" He took a sip of his soda. "By the way, how was school today?"

"Quite well. There were the occasional morons stalking me, but I took care of them."

"Violent as usual." His gaze was fixed on the drink that he was gently swirling in the glass. "You're still not interested in getting a boyfriend, huh?"

"There's no time for a boyfriend," she answered, licking her chocolate covered fingers. "Besides, I think boys are annoying."

He raised a brow and smiled. "Not all boys are annoying, Cagalli," he told her.

The look she gave him was pleasant. "I know. I was just kidding." She ate her last piece of chocolate and drank her soda till the last drop.

"This mansion is great," Kira said. "I'm going to miss our old home. I hate to let it go. You know, we made so many wonderful memories there." He had helped himself to another drink of soda, and when he took out a bag of potato chips, he couldn't help asking, "Cagalli, is it all right for me to eat this? I don't know if I should eat junk foods already. I just got out of the hospital."

Cagalli lay down on the bed, placing her hands behind her head. "No, you can't." she said nonchalantly. "Eat it after dinner. I tell you the cook here is talented. He whips up scrumptious meals everyday."

He said, "Really?" His eyes had a hint of enthusiasm. He placed the chips back inside the fridge and turned to Cagalli. "When do we eat? I'm hungry."

She stood up abruptly. "Let's go and see if dinner's ready." She grabbed her brother by the wrist and dragged him out of his room. She brought him into the big dining room of the mansion and forced him to sit down beside her. There was a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen, and Cagalli's tummy grumbled in hunger. "It's going to be one heck of a meal. I'm sure you'll like it, Kira."

Two maids came in and served the meal to the twins. Everything was perfectly cooked and delicious. During the meal, they talked about the hospital, about school, and about their uncle. Cagalli was leading the conversation most of the time. She was quite the talker when she's in the mood. And when they were done eating, Cagalli gave Kira a grand tour around the mansion. They only stopped their exploration the moment they heard a car pulling over. The blonde knew exactly whose car it was and she told Kira to hurry to the front door.

The butler opened the doors and bowed his head to welcome his master back from work. Yes, the master was none other than the twin's uncle. His name was Gilbert Dullindal. As CEO of Dullindal Corporation, he was known as one of the most successful businessman in ORB. He wasn't only rich, he was a good-looking man with long wavy jet-black hair and sharp golden eyes, and his popularity with women had never been in doubt. He set his eyes on the twins as he passed his butler. He greeted his niece and nephew with formality and composure which seemed so natural for him.

"Kira, I'm sorry if I wasn't able to come to the hospital today," Gilbert said, placing a hand on Kira's shoulder. "I got stuck in a meeting with the executives of the company. I hope you understand."

"It's all right, uncle," Kira replied promptly. "There's no need for you to apologize. In fact, I should be the one saying sorry for making you worry. I want to thank you also for providing my needs when I was still confined in the hospital."

"I'm your uncle. It's only natural for me to support you." Gilbert then turned to Cagalli. "Have you shown him around the mansion?"

Cagalli nodded her head. "I assure you he won't get lost," she said.

"That's good to hear," Gilbert said. "I remember you getting lost on your first day here. I'm surprised you ended up on the top floor." He chuckled lightly, and Cagalli slightly blushed in embarrassment.

Kira wanted to laugh. He only hesitated because his sister shot him a deadly glare before he could do so. He didn't want to get on Cagalli's bad side either. Cagalli had a mean temper, and it wouldn't be wise to make her pissed.

"Do you have any plans for tomorrow?" Gilbert asked Cagalli to change the topic. "It is a Saturday after all. Since Kira's out of the hospital, you can hang out with your friends as much you want, Cagalli."

Well, Cagalli has been isolating herself from her friends for the past months. She had to take care of Kira. It wasn't her job, but it was her responsibility as a sister. Besides, she can never concentrate on having fun while Kira's lying sick in bed. "Actually I was planning on staying home tomorrow," she said. She wasn't in the mood to go out and have some fun.

"Is that so?" Gilbert turned to the brunette and asked, "How about you, Kira?"

Kira shook his head. "I have no plans either. I just got out of the hospital. I should take it easy for a while," he explained.

In the morning, Cagalli woke with a faint throb behind her temples. Her first thought when she looked at the clock on her bedside table was that it was late, and she had a moment's panic before she realized it was Saturday, and of course she didn't have school. She had dived out of the bed towards her study table, when her cell phone rang. The caller was a friend and classmate of hers. She answered it after the sixth tone.

Filled with a burst of energy, her friend said loudly, "Good morning, Cagalli!"

She frowned briefly, and then sighed. "Miriallia, what is it? I know you called me for a reason. Don't tell me it has something with getting a fresh story again?" Her friend, Miriallia Haww, was the school's best journalist and she was always updated with the latest and juiciest stories.

"NO, I just called to ask you if you'll attend Meer's party later," Miriallia replied.

"I got her invitation, but I'm not interested." She crossed the room to the windows and pulled back the curtains with swift movements. "Besides, you know Meer and I don't get along. She only invited me to boost her popularity."

"I knew you would say that. Well, since you're not going, I'm not going either."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Yeah… Okay, I have to go now, Cagalli. My mom wants me to do errands again. Talk to you later."

"Sure, you can call me anytime."

Cagalli put down her cell phone on the bedside drawer and went into the bathroom to wash. After that, she got dressed in a yellow sleeveless collared shirt and white Capri pants with a pair of white sneakers. She made the bed before going to the dining room. Kira and Gilbert were sitting at the table, eating breakfast.

"Good morning, Cagalli," Gilbert gretted. "Did you have a good night sleep?"

Cagalli sat down at the table and looked at her uncle with a pleasant smile. "Yes, I did," she answered. She then turned to Kira. He looked considerably better, and she didn't stop herself from asking how he felt.

"I finally got to sleep in a comfy bed," Kira replied with a light chuckle. "I was so sick and tired of the hospital. I really feel great now."

"That's good to hear, Kira," Gilbert said, sipping his coffee in a fairly composed manner. "By the way, summer break is coming up. Do you want to spend your vacation abroad?"

Cagalli hadn't thought about summer break at all—even after she heard her classmates talking about it. She was pre-occupied thinking about Kira all the time. Since her uncle brought it up she started imagining the sea and the magnificent waves, the white sand beach, and beach volleyball. She would definitely want to spend her vacation in a beach. "I want to go to the beach," she said. "We don't need to take a trip abroad."

Gilbert wiped his mouth neatly with the table napkin and placed it down afterwards. "But a vacation in another place is much better. If you're thinking about the expenses, then you don't have to worry. I'll shoulder everything."

"Uncle, you've already done so much for us," Kira said. "We don't want to trouble you further."

"Nonsense… You two are family. It's only natural for me to give you everything you desire."

Cagalli sipped her cold glass of orange juice. "We don't want to end up like spoiled brats," she said with a giggle. "A vacation in ORB is fine with us. I heard you have a villa near a beach. Kira and I could use that."

"All right..." Gilbert said with a sigh. "If that's what you want so be it. I'll give the caretaker a call to prepare the villa for your arrival. Summer break begins in two weeks, correct?"

The blonde nodded her head. "It's going to be a great vacation," she said, looking at her brother and placing a hand on his shoulder. "After being cooped up in the hospital for so long, a vacation is just the thing for you, Kira."

Tired and exhausted from a whole night of work, sixteen-year old Athrun Zala stretched out on his bed and yawned. Finally he was going to get some much-needed rest. The comfortable mattress felt good and Athrun was tired enough for it to feel like he was floating on a cloud. He was fast zeroing in on the twilight zone when his cell phone shattered the silence and jarred his emerald eyes open. Muttering a curse and brushing a hand through his midnight-blue hair, he pulled a pillow over his head and let the thing ring. Eventually, the answering machine would pick up, but it didn't. And the cell phone refused to shut up.

Irritated, he picked it up. "This better be good…" he said, trying to sound composed.

"If it wasn't, I wouldn't be bothering you."

Immediately recognizing the voice, Athrun made an attempt to concentrate as the man on the other hand lay out the orders for him. The man also gave a few warnings. "Cagalli Yula Hibiki isn't to be underestimated. She's quite feisty and smart. You better be careful with her."

Athrun sighed. "I understand," he replied. "But I'll have you know that a girl doesn't scare me."

"Remember, I don't tolerate failure well. We both know you're in my debt."

"I'm aware of that. I'll do my job properly, sir." Athrun owed the man on the phone his life. If it weren't for him, he would be dead on the streets already. Listening to a detailed description about Cagalli in addition to other pertinent information, he forced himself back to his feet, his only regret having to abandon his bed yet again. Compared to the jobs he handled recently, dealing with a sixteen-year old girl would be a piece of cake for him.

Pulling up in front of the villa, Cagalli and Kira rolled down the windows of the limousine to get a good look at the structure. It was finally summer break and the twins were going to spend a whole week at the villa and have much fun as possible at the beach. And they have to admit that the villa was twice as large as their old average house. Inside, two maids greeted them promptly, while the male caretaker carried their bags. It seemed like they were going to get pampered throughout the break as well. The twins didn't mind as long as everything was in order.

One maid appeared to be in her twenties. She had short green hair and sapphire blue eyes. The other one had long blue hair and golden eyes and looked like the cheerful type. On the other hand, the male caretaker didn't seem like one at all. Cagalli noticed that he was about her age. And for a guy, he had a rare kind of beauty with soft midnight-blue hair and luscious emerald-green eyes. There were a lot of good-looking guys at school and some were even her suitors, but none of them were like him. Cagalli had to admit that he was the most attractive guy she had ever met and she'll kill herself if she ever says that in front of his face.

"Let me introduce myself," the caretaker said, bowing his head politely. "My name is Athrun Zala and I'll be serving you for the whole week."

"Nice to meet you," Kira replied. "I'm—"

"Master Kira Hibiki," Athrun said, and then he turned to Cagalli with a smile. "And you're Lady Cagalli Yula Hibiki. Master Gilbert already told me about you." The way he spoke was smooth and friendly at the same time.

If Meer was here, I'm sure she'll go gaga over this guy, Cagalli thought, figuring that Athrun was like the perfect guy for any type of girl. But she wasn't like most girls, so she wasn't the least bit interested in him. Kira and her late father, Ulen Hibiki, were still number one in her heart. No other guys can replace them. She wasn't so sure where her uncle ranked. She felt pretty close and distant to him at the same time. For some reason, she can't seem to bring herself to trust him completely.

Cagalli was introduced to her bedroom. The room looked as though it had been redecorated with a combination of new fabrics, gleaming white woodwork and beautifully restored antiques. The wooden floor was newly refinished. The dresser and the cabinet were made of good quality oak. "It's nice," she murmured, then crossed the room and laid her suitcase on the bed.

"I'm glad you like it." Athrun gave her a small smile.

Drawing the curtains, she looked at the view outside. She was amazed with the beautiful sea. Keeping her excitement in control, she turned toward the blue-haired guy. "This is place is awesome. You're pretty lucky that you get to spend every moment here."

Athrun shook his head. "To be honest, Lady Cagalli, I've only started working three days ago," he said. "I'm not familiar with the whole place yet. But I have to admit that it is beautiful here."

"So… You're the new guy here…"

"That's right…"

"Hmm… Hey, mind taking me out to the beach?" Cagalli asked, with her hand closing around Athrun's. She wanted to start having fun. "I won't take no for an answer, Athrun."

Athrun briefly glanced at their hands before looking at Cagalli. The lovely smile on her face, he noticed, was radiating her beauty more. And her long golden hair, which was being blown by the gentle wind coming from the window, tempted him to run his fingers through it. He didn't know why, but he felt like he was in a trance. It was only when Kira called out Cagalli's name that he snapped back to his senses. "Master Kira is looking for you," he said, slowly taking his hand away and reaching for the door knob. "You better go see him."

Cagalli shrugged. "I wonder what he wants…" she muttered.

As soon as she went out of the room, Athrun sighed the breath of relief. "What came over me just now…?" he asked himself, cupping his chin. "I shouldn't get sidetracked. I'm here to deal with that girl and I won't let anything stop me." His face grew a lot serious as he said that.

To be continued…

JC: That's the end of chapter 1. Athrun and Cagalli will really interact in the next chapter. Trouble and action will emerge. You're probably wondering what Athrun's mission is? I can take some guesses. I won't reveal it yet. I know Cagalli-sama has long hair here. But that will soon change. You have to wait for it. I'm so happy that I'm able to write another fic about my number 1 couple. I always love AsuCaga. For now, please review the story. No flaming.