My first Gundam 00 fic! Yay! (You should run in terror)
This was supposed to be a humor fic, but somehow it transformed into something totally different. O.O
I apologize ahead of time for the butchered characterizations. They were just too much fun to play with this way.
~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~
Sumeragi caught up with Tieria just outside f the mess hall. They were still all in that awkward introductory phase. She herself hadn't had command of the Ptolemaios for long. But Tieria was one of their newest crew members.
Such a serious young man! She'd never seen him smile. Never heard him laugh. He was always wearing his uniform with faithful precision. Always asking her such serious questions.
Christina had already announced her intentions to take on the stoic boy's behavior as a direct challenge. She was in the process of strong-arming Feldt into helping her. So far, the two girls had had no success. Tieria had no interest in anything they did that wasn't directly related to the mission. And he had made his displeasure at being disturbed known through sharp comments and even more caustic glares. It was enough to dampen even Christina's determination and spirit.
That difficulty of the challenge was enough to draw even Sumeragi's interest.
It was her vague notion of participating in this private campaign that led to Sumeragi hunting down one Gundam Meister Tieria that quiet afternoon. Oh, she had a legitimate mission for him to do. A rarity this early in the scheme. They didn't even have enough pilots to do decent training runs. So a true mission ought to make Tieria pleased. Except this mission wasn't quiet in keeping with their traditional training runs.
Tieria paused when she called out cheerfully to him. His striking dark purple hair brushed against his perfectly matching jacket as he turned to stare at her from behind his large rim glasses. "Sumeragi Lee Noriega," he replied solemnly. "What can I do for you?"
"Call me Sumeragi, please. We're rather informal around here."
Tieria nodded. "Sumeragi-san, then."
Sumeragi rolled her eyes but smiled. "I have a job for you."
One thin eyebrow raised in a particularly sarcastic nature. "What job, Sumeragi-san?"
Sumeragi tried to hide her smile. Why, this was possibly the most excited she had seen Tieria in some time. Excellent. What a perfect opening. "I need you to go ground-side for me."
"Earth?" he asked n surprise. She'd succeeded in catching him off guard. He moved to stand more firmly in front of her, a small frown on his face. If it had been anyone else, Sumeragi might have suggested his confusion was cute. "What for?" he quickly asked. Watching his eyes, she could almost see hi trying to work through the possibilities. Sumeragi smiled. Maybe they'd have to compare notes some time. It would be interesting to see what conclusions his mysterious mind could reach.
"There's, ah, – something – I need you to pick up for me," she answered.
Both eyebrows shot up this time. "Why send me?" he asked bluntly.
"It's important," she reassured. "Absolutely necessary for the mission."
Tieria nodded sharply. "What's the mission?" He asked, all business and ready to do anything she asked. What a trusting boy.
Sumeragi's smile grew. "Very straight forward, as I said. There's a – package – I need you to fetch from Dublin. It should be waiting for you there. All you have to do is escort it back here."
Tieria nodded but that small frown was back in a cute wrinkle of his nose. "What kind of package?"
Sumeragi winked and held ne finger up to her lips. "That's a secret." Tieria didn't look impressed. She sighed. "Really. It's best this way." No need for him to know that the something was a someone. Tieria didn't like someone's as a rule, and she was sure this would be no exception. Except team bonding would be good for the boy. Plus it would give her plenty of material to work with later.
Tieria glared at her a little and looked like he was about to argue, but in the end he followed orders. He turned away and started to float down the hall.
"Wear something nice!' Sumeragi called after him a little gleefully. She couldn't wait to see his mission report.
Tieria was already halfway down the hallway when he jerked. He stopped himself and turned to face her. "Wear what?"
Sumeragi blinked, then laughed a little. "I know you wear that uniform everywhere, but you can't exactly take it down there."
Tieria stared at her for one long moment, then glanced down at his white and purple uniform, before glancing back up. "…perhaps someone else should go then, Sumeragi-san."
They stared at each other across the empty hallway, floating silently in space.
"You do have something nice to wear, don't you?" Sumeragi asked quietly. She'd never seen Tieria in anything other than his uniform and his flight suit, but sure he had something decent.
Tieria slowly turned his eyes away.
Sumeragi stared at him for a moment then folded her arms under her chest. "Show me."
"Show me your wardrobe. I'll pick out something ," she announced.
She expected him to object. No one went into his quarters. It would be a personal victory just to get to riffle through his stuff. After all, what did a man with purple hair wear?
"It will do no good," Tieria replied as expected.
Like that would stop her. "Let me be the judge of that," she replied crisply. "I need to know you won't draw attention the second you step out of here."
"Then I suggest you send someone else!" Tieria snapped.
"Tieria Erde! I know you are not going to refuse a mission, are you?"
Tieria didn't blush but he did turn away with a scowl. "I don't have anything else to wear," he finally muttered.
Sumeragi stared at him for a moment then smiled ever so slowly. Oh, this was too perfect. "I'm sure we can find you something," she informed him. Christina was going to owe her for this one.
~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~
They had only moments to arrange something. Tieria was due to leave within the hour and if the three girls didn't come up with something soon, he was bound to start getting suspicious. He wasn't exactly a trusting person to begin with.
"Oooh, how about this!" Christina exclaimed. She had her head buried in the back of her closet, but she emerged victorious with a pale yellow button-up clutched in one hand. "It's a little too small for me around the chest," she giggled as she held up the shirt. For Christina, it was remarkable conservative, which was probably the only reason she was willing to give it up.
Feldt was still standing stiffly by the door. She'd been hesitant to participate, but with a little coaxing from Sumeragi, she'd returned with a couple of items herself. "I still don't understand why Lasse-san or Ian-san couldn't give Tieria-san something to wear."
"Have you looked at Lasse and Ian?" Sumeragi asked from her position perched on Christina's desk. "Poor Tieria would be swimming in one of their shirts. No, no, he needs something more…delicate."
"Besides," Christina chimed in. "Tieria will look so cute!"
Feldt frowned again. "I don't think Tieria-san would appreciate being called cute."
Sumeragi hid her smile behind the drink in her hand with well practiced ease. "Now, now, poor Tieria was transferred here with no personal belongs. It's up to us to, ah, provide him with some alternatives." Sumeragi was proud of herself. She'd manage to say that without giggling. Much.
Feldt didn't look convinced, but she was far too polite to argue with a superior. She held up her arms. "I found a couple of sweaters. I-" she hesitate a moment before glancing away. "I thought Tieria-san might like something warm. The ship can be a little chilly."
Sumeragi smiled warmly at her. "That's very considerate of you."
Feldt blushed but smiled shyly. "I don't think he'll like the colors, however. Linda picked them out for me."
"Oooh," Christina said as she hoped to her feet with the speed only youth and low gravity could allow. She pulled the sweaters out of Feldt's waiting arms. She held up the first garment. It was a pale purple turtle neck. "This is cute!" Christina exclaimed. "Are you sure you don't wanna keep this? It would look so pretty with your hair."
Feldt blushed brightly. "It would match Tieria's hair too," she commented quietly.
"No, no, no," Sumeragi interrupted. "All the poor boy owns is purple. We need something else."
"Right," Christina agreed brightly. She folded the garment in a few quick movements before setting it aside. She turned back to Feldt with a happy little clap. "Alright! What else do you have for our mercy mission?"
Feldt silently handed her the next sweater. This one was a much more conservative beige color. Christina flicked it open and held it up for inspection. "This could look nice on him."
"It's a little bland," Sumeragi mused. "What's the last one?"
Feldt seemed hesitant to hand it over. "I just thought it might be something good for around the ship."
It was lumpy. It was pink. A pale pink just a few shades lighter than Feldt's hair. Feldt held it up slowly and let it unfold. It was a cardigan. An oversized cardigan.
Christina cringed. It was definitely not something she'd have picked out. But Sumeragi slowly smirked. "Perfect."
~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~
Tieria reported to the mission room exactly ten minutes earlier than he had to. As expected, he was still in uniform. Wisely, he was looking a little nervous. Sumeragi doubted few things rattled their stoic pilot. It was nice to know she could.
"Well, don't just stand there. Come here," she instructed. She kept her "surprise" hidden behind her back. Between her, Christina and Felt, they'd managed to come up with something truly – unique.
Oh, Sumeragi had something much more appropriate stashed away in a tote bag off to the side. A friendly prank was great for building camaraderie and moral, but there was a fine line between all-in-good-fun and mean-spirited. The pink sweater really was over the top. After all, poor Tieria probably already got enough grief over his hair. She wouldn't send one of her pilots out vulnerable and feeling like a fool.
Not unless she had to. If it was in the name of the mission – well, then, all bets were off.
Though if she could get him to try it on…even just for a moment…the picture would be hilarious for years to come.
Tieria spine straightened immediately at her sharp tone before he moved closer. "Yes, Sumeragi-san?" he asked.
Sumeragi smiled charmingly and crooked one long nailed finger. "Closer, closer. I promised you clothes, didn't I?"
"Yes," Tieria replied, once more frowning. "But I would rather know more about the parameters of the actual mission. What kind of package – "
Sumeragi ignored him. With a flourish, she presented their main weapon. "We found just the thing for you!" she announced with as much fake enthusiasm as she could manage. As if she'd personally cry if he didn't like it.
She was hoping to make him embarrassed. She was his superior officer. Watching him blush and stutter would be well worth it. She'd settle for pissing him off. She'd only seen him lose his temper once. One of the haro's had been a little too enthusiastic about trying to help with some standard maintenance on Virtue. The poor thing had gotten quiet the tonnage lashing not to interfere with Tieria's gundam. Now all of the units were a little scared of him. It had been rather spectacular to watch.
Tieria trailed off in the middle of his sentence and stared at the item in her hands. One eyebrow lifted slowly. Sumeragi smiled back innocently. This was it.
Tieria's eyes moved slowly from the sweater up to Sumeragi's face, then back to the sweater.
"The climate will be cold then," he finally commented.
Sumeragi blinked several times. That…was not what she had been expecting. She wiggled the sweater a little for emphasis, as if he hadn't yet noticed the color. "Isn't it just adorable?" she tried again.
Tieria just shrugged as if it meant nothing to him. "I suppose it will do."
"But.." Sumeragi tried to object weakly, but Tieria just talked over her.
"Unless you think I will need something warmer," he added magnanimously before returning to his previous topic like a blood hound on a scent. "You have not given me any details about where exactly I am going or what preparations I should make. I do not like going into a situation unprepared," he complained tartly, completely ignoring the sweater.
Sumeragi gaped at him for one long moment before her hands flew to her hips. "I make the strategic decisions around here," she retorted just as tartly. She was not going to put up with two people trying to lead this little operation. Things like that were a recipe for disaster. And she expected her Meisters to understand that and behave accordingly. "Now, we managed to find you something to wear. Your ship leaves in 15, so I'd go change quickly if I were you," she told him, shoving the pile of clothes in her arms at him.
He accepted them instinctively, but still objected. "This is ridiculous! You can't expect me to go into a situation without knowing all of the facts."
"Yes, Tieria Erde, that's exactly what I expect," Sumeragi answered without missing a beat. "There are going to be a number of occasions from now on during which you'll be lucky to know even the basics of the situation. You're going to have to accept that if you wish to continue as a Gundam Meister."
Tieria's mouth snapped shut audible. He stood there silently, glaring, hugging an armful of pink and pastel yellow and kaki to his chest. His face twisted like he'd swallowed something terrible, but he nodded sharply. "I understand, Ma'am," he announced curtly. Then he pivoted on one foot and marched out of the briefing room.
Sumeragi watched him storm off feeling a little wide eyed. What the hell? When had her friendly little prank turned into a dressing down? She sighed and reached up to rub at her forehead. God, she needed a drink. She could only hope the other two pilots weren't this tiring.
~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~
No one said anything when Tieria immerged from his room. Christina did start giggling uncontrollably, but Tieria seemed to be in the habit of ignoring her.
Sumeragi kept waiting for him to say something. To complain just once. Whine a little. Then she could unbend enough to give him the much more respectable dark blue shirt and black pants she'd found for him.
Except he did. He simple continued on. Off of the Ptolemaios, onto a civilian ship and down to Earth. People stared. Tieria carefully avoided making eye contact and glared the whole way down. No one said anything. No one dared.
Once in AEU, he proceeded to the instructed point and waited. His contact was late by exactly three minutes and twenty-three seconds. Tieria's glare had only deepened with every passing second.
Then his contact flippantly informed him that he too was going to be piloting a Gundam from then on and working elbow to elbow with Tieria. How wonderful. This Lockon Stratos didn't understand the concept of being on time. He was sloppy. He was unprofessional. He would not stop laughing.
"What exactly is your problem?" Tieria finally snapped, folding his arms across his chest and glaring for all he was worth.
Lockon chuckled some more but waved his hands defensively. "Nothing, nothing. I just….I couldn't help but, ah, admire, your very – lovely – sweater."
Tieria blinked, then looked down. "It is…very functional."
Lockon stared at him. "You're kidding, right?"
Tieria sneered back at him. "Is there a problem?" he frostily asked. He couldn't stop the slightly blush, which annoyed him even further. "It was a gift for your information."
The jeering smile slipped away from Lockon's face and he stared back at Tieria with an unfamiliar expression. "Is that so?" he asked quietly.
It was such a sharp change in attitude left Tieria struggling to keep up. "Yes, it is."
Lockon went back to smiling. "That's nice then," he announced inanely.
Tieria stared back this odd man and sighed. "I suppose it is," he agreed mildly, though he wasn't quite sure why.