Disclaimer: I do not own Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny.
A/N: Originally a one-shot. And I was planning to add this to Petiks- to help tone down the unnecessary insanity there, but then I got struck with a fleeting idea. :D
AU, multiple pairing, relatively short in length, simple and straightforward, light romances, and no (or probably just a speck of) drama.
" " for speech
Italic for flashbacks, thoughts, and opinions.
I apologize for bad grammar. Enjoy
**Note: A&A's is short for Andy & Aisha's (coffee shop).
Cucumber & Cantaloupe: Chapter 1
"Hey Athrun, you know that limited GAT-X303 chip you've been hounding for months? Well, I found a seller and got him to hold onto it for you only until six this evening. Meet me at A&A's asap once you're off work."
"What, seriously?" Athrun gasped. "I'll be there!"
Fifteen minutes before two, Athrun Zala stared off into space, or rather at the taskbar clock. He was- never used to be this unproductive especially when at work, but recently his thoughts veered relentlessly.
His mouth watered.
With it, he could finally install a transformation feature into one of his miniature Mobile Suits.
Chibi geek Athrun goes hurrah!
The possibilities with this chip! He could transform his MS into a mobile armor. No, not just any ordinary mobile armor- a mobile armor with a huge badass claw. Yeah!... Or maybe- maybe, he could reconstruct it into something like a sub.
Having wasted ten minutes daydreaming, Athrun shook his head and forced his attention back to programming. He typed in a few codes into the computer.
No! Better yet- a four legged mobile armor! Now that would be awesome!
Yup, it's official, forcing to concentrate was hopeless...
When the small digital numbers flash two o clock, convince that nothing was going to separate him from the wonderful-amazing GAT-X303 chip that would soon be his, Athrun decided he might as well do the rest of the work tomorrow.
He stuffed his things into his backpack, slung the bag over his shoulder, and strode out the old fashioned room. He edged down the stairwell, and then he ran into Ellen, a lively officemate, who was around the same age as him.
She backed up the first two steps to let him through. "Your leaving already? Why not stay and chat for awhile? We can grab snacks." She proposed.
"Sorry, I need to go somewhere important." aka his precious GAT-X303. "Maybe another time?" He replied, waving goodbye.
Disappointed, "tomorrow then." The brunette hollered after him as he rushed out of the front door.
Athrun pulled the heavy oak door closed and dipped out into afternoon lit sun. His next stop- A&A's. He turned at the corner avenue. Air lifted. And suddenly he was intercepted by the sweetest sound he had come to recognize anywhere.
"Flay, where are you? I agreed to meet here only because you said it'd be more convenient for you! And you were supposed to meet me here a hour ago!"
Don't ask how he heard that, despite the circumstances or when no one else around seem to care enough to notice, he just did as if his sole presence was drawn to it.
He floated that way.
Meanwhile, standing right across the large water fountain of the designated plaza, Cagalli was restricted to tighten her grip to what she heard the recipient murmured in reply.
"What do you mean you lost track of time!" Cagalli shouted through her mobile phone, unbothered by the many glares thrown her way for disturbing the peace.
"Cagalli, I thought the event was next week."
"What? I specifically told you two days ago that it was today!"
"Really? It must have slipped my mind."
Cagalli had to roll her eyes at that. "Flay,"
"Just hurry up and get here!" She demanded.
"Alright. Alright. Geez…. There. I'm done packing my dress. Aren't you glad, I'm so great with clothes?…. There. I've combed my hair…. Hold on, let me just put on my heels…. okay, done... I'm heading out the door now… Locked the door…. I'm now on my way down the elevator."
Listening, Cagalli rolled her eyes again.
"Oh no, the elevator stopped!"
"I'm kidding…" Flay snickered.
"Flay, that's not funny!"
"Alright, I'm at the lobby…. I'm now heading out the front door... Oh, good afternoon to you too… Now, I'm walking… walking… Spotted a cab... Oh, hold on... that dress is so cute!"
"Oh, and that one also! Sorry Cagalli, change of plans. Have fun without me! Bye bye."
"Wait, what? Flay? Hello? Flay?"
Cagalli gaped at her phone, stunned. Can't believe she just hung-up on me! And she was about to redial when someone suddenly called her name, forcing her to halt.
Blonde with an animated personality, Caglli Yula Athha turned, her gaze widening. "Athrun? What brings you here?"
The male stepped forward. "I just got off from on-job-training when…um... Is everything all right?" He made a quick gesture to her phone, changing the subject.
"Oh, this…" She sighed heavily. "You heard, huh."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to pry but I was worried." Athrun replied calmly.
Cagalli tucked her phone away. "It's okay, it's nothing really. Flay and I was just having an issue." She said firmly, planting a hand to her hip.
"You see, my father got invite to this charity gala supporting Sunrise for Children but couldn't make it tonight so I am to go on his behalf. Flay was my plus one, to keep me company in case it gets boring, you know, but she bailed on the last minute." Cagalli explained annoyed. "I mean- what best friend would do that?" She huffed. "How could she just leave me to mingle and fend for myself against those beautiful, haughty and rich braggarts for the whole evening! Err… Not that I'm saying all affluent people are like that… because you're definitely not like that, Athrun… and Flay—and Lacus are not like that either... To be more precise- I'm referring to my High School classmates and old acquaintances, like- Jemima, Beatriz, and Yuuna! And then there are their parents…" Cagalli ended breathlessly, ruffling through her messy blonde hair as through it'd help clear-up the baffling. Was she even making any sense? Who knows... "Argh! Just thinking about it is giving me a headache."
Watching her, Athrun couldn't help but let out a small chuckle. "I understand," he replied. "If you will allow me, I'd love to be your escort." He added casually which, serious or not, resulted Cagalli to look up at him, rather confused.
"You would? I didn't know you were interested in big fancy parties, Athrun, but sure." Cagalli said nonchalantly. "It'll definitely be less boring with you coming along." Unsure what that would mean at first; Cagalli had to blink a couple of times before "Ahh!" she caught on, "Ahhhhhh!" it sank in causing Cagalli to draw back a step, raise a finger at him, and blush feverously.
A girl bringing a guy friend to a social gathering... That- That would scream 'we're going out'!
She stiffened as if shot.
Then silence washed over them, allowing pedestrians to come and go in the quiet: like that dog-walker, who was busily discussing chores on her phone; that group of joyful teenage girls getting excited over their upcoming prom; and that concerned mother chasing after her son.
In that event, Cagalli actually looked somewhat guilty.
She touched her arm. And her voice, when it came back, was whisper-soft. "I… I'd… like that…". This declaration was true. If not due to the fact she liked him, Athrun was nonetheless a good friend of hers and always the gentleman every time they cross paths.
Fortunately, the feeling turned out to be mutual. Her words undid Athrun's mask. And his cheeks were now bright red as well so he looked at the ground.
"But you don't have to, you know!" Cagalli bounced back.
Athrun looked wounded, but patient.
"Err... What I meant to say was— if you have something else planned out… You don't have to go just for my sake. It's just a gala after all. I'm sure I'll survive someh-."
Cagalli was sure she had misheard.
"Free." Athrun insisted, finally smiling. "I'm all yours."
"Ah, I see... what lucky coincidence." Cagalli said exultantly.
They broke off eye contact, each glancing up and down, left and right, trying to figure out what to say next.
It was Athrun who broke the pattern.
"Well, I better go and clean up then." Athrun squared his backpack. "Pick you up at your place at six?"
The heat in Cagalli's cheeks increased again. "Yeah. See you."
They waved their temporary goodbyes then.
Athrun turned away.
Before taking her leave as well, Cagalli stared at Athrun's retreating figure. The fantasy made her smile until a noise sounded. It was quite the cry from a little boy, just enough to snap her out of reverie all at once, recollecting thoughts quick. Her mind alarmed. "Athrun, stop!" Cagalli shouted which instantly halted the guy on his tracks.
He turned his attention back around.
She marched over to him, her manner firm, as it usually was.
"There's no time. The party is two hours away by car. You can take a shower at my place and we'll just find you a suit on the way."
Athrun nodded understandingly.
And so the two left the square together shortly; nether of them was aware that they were being watched from a distant rooftop of a four storey building the entire time.
Approximately fifty feet above ground level.
"Ah, he's going with her!" Perky and cunning, Flay Allster announced with a suppressed giggle with both her elbows leaning on iron fence while looking down, observing her best friend and the girl's soon to be boyfriend, at the crowded plaza. "I'm sure they will make such a cute couple."
"Told you- they like each other. You owe me fifty Orb dollars." Flay added proudly before swirling around to face her companion, who, in contrast, looked none too happy of what they just witnessed.
With back against the wall and hands inside his side pockets, Yzak Joule rolled his eyes at plain facts. Tsch. "Should have known Athrun will always be an idiot."
"Who is it?" Flay asked, watching Yzak reflexively pull out his mobile.
"It's Athrun." Yzak said, checking his mail.
"Ah. What does it say?" Flay beamed at him which Yzak returned with a shrug.
"It says—he needs to cancel for something he deemed much more important."