Gundam Seed Destiny &GS my way with plot twists focusing around Cagalli,Kira,Athrun&Shinn. What if Cagalli wasn't just a natural?This fic involves an all knowing entity,similar to Pretty Little Liars & Gossip Girl. This entity reveals secrets via broadcasts in the Minerva and sits back as all havoc breaks loose. Asucaga CagallixAthrun CagallixShinn reviews determine final pairings!

A/N: Can someone please tell me the correct terminology for the command center (where the captain and bridge crew are) and the deploying area/hangar (where they keep the gundams and the mechanics work on them)

10 more reviews and I'll post the next chapter :D

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Seed or Gundam Seed Destiny. If I did, Meer would have died a very painful death much earlier on.

Oh, same with Flay.

And Yuna.

And gosh this list is going to get really long if I don't stop right now :P

No reviews=no updates ;) hint hint wink wink ;)

Forthose who didn't understand the math above: Just REVIEW : )

For those who watch BLEACH: Check out my fic: Hear Me Sing! Or I'll cry Songs of Tragedy

For those who watch SUPERNATURAL: Check out my fic: FREAKS

Thanks to all my reviewers, you guys are the reason this chapter is up so soon!

A special thank you to those that favorited/alerted!

This chapter's quote is courtesy of Katie Costello's song "Stranger". A beautiful song, listen to it if you have the chance!

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'Content'= Thoughts

"Content" = Speech

~ Content ~ = Shooting Machine's voice

""Content"" = The voice narrating Welcome to Absolution and the words that appear on the screens.

I'll update once I get 10 more reviews!

P.S. this chap was supposed to be longer, but I just wanted to get something up for you guys so I split it into two chapters :)

Note: In this fic, the Minerva has artificial gravity everywhere (even in the halls).

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WELCOME TO ABSOLUTION

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Chapter 4: Special Strangers

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"Stranger I've known you for so long

I found you lost

With a compass in the fog.

Stranger you know me too much…"

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Every man and woman aboard the Minerva recognized the younger version of their iconic songstress.

The light pink hair and bright cerulean eyes were easily recognizable at any age.

"Cagalli, if there is no one counting, how can we play hide and seek?" The pinkette's sweet voice enquired innocently.

The younger Cagalli turned and seemed to be in a poorly concealed frantic state. "I-I told you a-already Lacus…the umm…this is a new version!"

The younger Lacus obviously couldn't see through the forced happiness of her companion and just smiled in response. "Okay! What are the rul—"

Lacus' (even then) melodic voice was interrupted as a suited man with dark glasses barged into the room.

"Lady Cagalli! Miss Lacus! Why did you girls run off? We have been searching everywhere for you two!"

Lacus responded brightly.

"We are playing a new game! Can he play too Cagalli?"

The worried Cagalli hastily replied.

"Yes, yes, okay but just close the door!"

The confused (Shinn assumed) bodyguard acquiesced to her request, and the younger Cagalli seemed to visibly relax. That is, until the door was stopped from closing completely by a pale hand.

The bodyguard instantly recognized the man who had stopped the golden entrance from closing, bowed, and opened the door completely.

"C-Commander! I apologize on behalf of the girls if they disrupted your evening at the Gala!"

"Oh, no harm done. I just couldn't help but notice the girls run into here." He walked into the room and Athrun easily recognized him as the man from the previous video.

To Athrun's utter disgust, he was still wearing the Orb uniform.

"I was just curious to meet our Princess' new…friend."

Said songstress smiled brightly and put out her hand as she cheerfully introduced herself. "My name is Lacus Clyne, it is a pleasure to meet you Commander!"

The older blonde man raised a brow upon hearing her last name and smiled amusedly at her outstretched hand. Accordingly, he brought forward his own in order to greet the pinkette.

"A pleasure, Miss Clyne, my name is—"

Whatever trance the younger Cagalli was frozen in (since the man had walked into the room) was shattered the second his hand made contact with her pink-haired companion.

He was stopped from continuing his sentence (and revealing his name, much to the annoyance of the numerous nosy crew members watching) as the young Cagalli screeched and tackled him onto the carpeted vermilion floor. Obviously surprised, the Commander didn't do anything as the girl grabbed his neck with both hands and started to strangle him.

"Don't touch her!" she shrieked.

The bodyguard (despite his initial shock at the Princess' unrefined actions) quickly pulled the frenzied Cagalli off of the prominent military figure. As he did so, he apologized profusely for the girl's "uncalled for" and "inexcusable" actions.

"I-I am so sorry sir! I do not know what has gotten into her! Lady Cagalli, calm down this instant!"

Once the girl was removed from her previous position on top of him, the Commander lifted himself off the ground gracefully. When he was standing once more, he dusted off and straightened out his uniform. In response to the bodyguard's worries and apologies, he just gave a small chuckle before speaking in a composed tone.

"Oh, it is quite alright. I'm sure she is just getting a bit anxious…from being stuck here all day. She is probably just feeling a little stuffy and bored. After all, this Gala has been going on quite longer than any of us expected."

Cagalli, who was still being held back by the guard only snarled at the man's explanation.

Seemingly ignoring the girl's antagonistic and belligerent actions, the Commander continued. "How about you take little Miss Lacus back out to the Gala? Her father must be looking for her by now. I'll take our little firecracker to her father."

The struggling Cagalli immediately went rigid at the suggestion. However, she only remained motionless in the guard's hold for a second, before going utterly ballistic. The young blonde starting kicking, screaming, pushing and doing pretty much everything she could think of in order to get away from his grasp.

"NO! No, p-plea, I-I can't, don't—"

The guard roughly shushed the wailing girl. "SSSHHH! You are lucky the Commander isn't reporting your actions to Lord Uzumi! Do you know how embarrassing that would be for your father! Now calm down!"

Cagalli has stopped her protests immediately upon his mention of her father.

The guard sighed in exasperation before setting the girl back onto the ground. As soon as she was right side up and he was assured that the rebellious Princess would behave, he called out to other child "Now, come on Miss. Clyne. I will escort you back to your father."

However, Lacus appeared to finally be sensing the distressed state of her friend. As such, she did not want to leave Cagalli and voiced her objections to the bodyguard.

"I-I don't think we should leave."

The Commander quickly "amended" the situation.

He walked over and put his hand on the shoulder of the frozen blonde. "Now, Cagalli. Tell your friend that her father is waiting for her. We wouldn't want to give her father any reason to worry for her, now would we?"

The traumatized Cagalli quickly plastered on a wide, very fake, smile.

"Y-Yeah, Lacus. It-it's okay. I'm fine. You should go…"

Lacus frowned and didn't respond. At the same time, she didn't protest when the guard took her hand and began to guide her out of the room. She cast one more worried look at her friend before leaving through the, still open, large golden entrance.

After a few seconds, the Commander walked to the large doors.

Without any hesitation, he shut them with a loud thump.

And the screen went blank.

The next morning, anyone who wasn't whispering about the newest video was speculating as to how and why the Princess had piloted the Zaku in yesterday's battle.

To be honest, Shinn was getting more than a little irritated because

He felt like he couldn't get any respite from the blonde's annoying presence.

The personnel should be focusing on repairs and training – not gossip.

It really wasn't any of their damn business!

And didn't the Chairman specifically order them all not to talk about it?

To Shinn's dismay, his circle of friends included some of the most gregarious people on the ship: all of whom were over the top excited to discuss recent events.

That being said, he really should have expected what they would be talking about when he made his way to eat breakfast with them.

Speaking of, the only reason he was even up early enough to eat with them was because some people (Luna) had been on his case about getting up on time. So lately, he had made an effort to show up for a quick breakfast and then catch up on his missed sleep sometime between breakfast and training.

As he sat down at their usual table, he rolled his eyes as he heard the end of Luna's sentence.

"…and I still don't get why she fought yesterday? I mean, she would have been so much safer on the Minerva instead of piloting the Zaku."

Deciding to stop the conversation before it derailed into an hour of ridiculous speculations, Shinn finished chewing on the first bite of his toast and spoke.

"It's obvious isn't it?"

At the confused looks he was receiving from the four currently at the table, he elaborated.

"The reason she came to Armory One was to convince the Chairman to get rid of those Gundams. Now, she's destroyed one and severely damaged another. In other words, she has disposed of two machines: both which can now no longer be used against Orb."

When Shinn finished speaking, he growled as he noticed Vino trying to swipe his (still needed) spoon to use for his newest "creation". The Impulse pilot swiftly hit the young mechanic upside the head in order to protect his cutlery from the younger boy's grubby hands. After doing so, he looked up to see Yolan and Luna absorbing the potential reasoning he had given for Cagalli's actions while Meyrin's eyes lit up in comprehension.

"Yah, that makes sense! Still, I can't believe that I didn't recognize it was her when she was launching! Well, at least now I now why she didn't speak…"

At the curious looks she garnered from her friends she continued.

"She just nodded her head when I asked her if she was ready to launch, then I had to do the countdown. I just figured Athrun was nervous about getting out there again. And her helmet covered her face and hair, so I didn't notice it wasn't him."

The whispers circulating around the room stopped instantly as the topic of their discussions strode into the cafeteria. With the nonchalance of an experienced politician, she just ignored the countless stares on her and entered the food line.

Her indifferent disposition, of course, only served to ignite the chatter once again.

Meyrin was the first at their table to speak after the silence. "Speaking of, I wonder why Athrun isn't with her?" She looked off to the side for a second, seeming puzzled.

Shinn, again, sighed at the girl's question. "Again, it's pretty obvious. She wants to prove that she can handle herself."

Luna looked perplexed at his explanation. "What do you mean? I think her fighting yesterday was clear evidence of that. "

Shinn shook his head as he finished swallowing the last spoonful of his scrambled eggs. "No; not like that. She's trying to prove that those videos that keep playing aren't bugging her and that she doesn't need someone to protect her from prying stares of everyone on this ship."

"You know…" began Vino, who had just used Shinn's explanation as the perfect opportunity to try to once more swipe the pilot's plastic spoon. When Shinn foiled the boy's attempt with a heated glare, the mechanic sighed in defeat before he finished voicing his thought.

"For someone that claims to hate her so much…you sure do get her."

Luna nodded at the young mechanic's (surprisingly) insightful observation and then raised a brow at her red-eyed friend. "Yeah Shinn, Vino's right. You even knew that it was her that got the high score. We heard you talking to Athrun yesterday."

Shinn figured the cat was out of the bag now anyways.

"I knew it was her because I saw her get the score."

Luna's mouth flew open at his revelation. "And you didn't think to tell us?!"

Shinn gave her a look that clearly stated he thought her question was beyond stupid.

"Would you have believed me?"

Luna huffed a little indignantly at his attitude.

Shinn took that as a resounding 'no'.

Luckily, he was saved from having to hear another nagging session on his rude tone when Rey walked over to the table and finally joined them.

As the blonde sat next to Shinn, the dark-haired boy couldn't help but enquire as to the previous whereabouts of his roommate.

"Where were you, Rey? You weren't asleep when I got up."

"I was conversing with the Chairman."

Meyrin blatantly ignored Shinn's attempt to change the conversation topic.

"Well we sure believe you now! I mean, shooting, fighting in mobile suits, I wonder what else Princess Cag—"

Rey quickly cut off the younger Hawke with a stern look. "We were ordered by the Chairman not to speak of her actions Meyrin."

At Meyrin's dejected look, Luna quickly came to her little sister's defense. "No, we were told not to speak about it to her or anyone off the ship. Last I checked, no one at this table falls into either category."

Rey responded to Luna's defense with a warning tone. "I will not risk rebuke from the Chairman and captain based on semantics."

After speaking, the rule-reverent Red Coat promptly got up and left the cafeteria. Shinn assumed his friend was making his way to their room to finish his food.

Right after Rey left the buzzing room, Shinn blocked out the rest of his friends' chatter and was left to deal with the countless thoughts using his head as a track.

He was just about to finish his toast, when one thought in particular crashed into the forefront of his mind.

' The Zaku blocked the beam…the one that could have killed me.'

It took a quick second for him to digest exactly what that meant.

'…Fuck…the one who saved my life...She was the one who saved my life!'

"Shinn! If you were going to break your spoon anyways, you may as well have given it to me!"

His rankling thoughts were interrupted by the whining of a griping Vino.

"And I only needed one more of those to finish my masterpie—"

Static permeated the room.

Shinn tensed in anticipation. Despite his understanding that whatever this video guy was doing was a complete breech of personal space and privacy on the deepest level, Shinn couldn't help but feel a strange…excitement…to see another clip.

The static disappeared, and the PLANT news was on again.

Everyone who had been watching the screen with wicked eagerness visually deflated in disappointment.

Well, except for the representative, who let out an exhalation of pure relief.

Shinn then became aware of the irritating fact that he was getting way too accustomed to keeping an eye on her.

Speaking of, the target of his gaze had just finished her breakfast and seemed to be making her way out of the room.

After waiting a minute or so after her departure (so that his friends wouldn't become suspicious), Shinn passed his unfinished toast over to the always hungry Yolan and made his way out of the cafeteria.

He had some business to settle with the girl.

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He sped up his gait and closed the distance between them, so that he was only a few meters behind her.

He firmly believed he had every right to be angry at her for saving his life. All that action had resulted in was making him feel as if he…as if he owed her something.

But he didn't.

He couldn't.

He wouldn't.

He would never owe anything to the people responsible for his family's death.

He stopped where he was before shouting at her back, "What you did out there, it doesn't change anything!"

Upon hearing his declaration, the Princess turned to face the irascible pilot.

See, Cagalli wasn't exactly having the best day.

After all, she had just dealt with two memories (which she would prefer to submerge and drown in the seas of her subconscious) being brought out in the open for everyone to see.

And she had to calm down a pissed off Athrun for a second time.

Apparently, the airing of the second video last night had convinced him that she needed some sort of 'saving'. And thus, it was only logical that she tell him "the name of the guy" so that he could "kill him" upon re-entry into Orb.

She mentally scoffed at his words. 'So much for not prying...'

Evidently, the representative was having a terrible day.

So when she was brought out of her sarcastic contemplations by an angry boy (who was just all too easy to rile) one shouldn't hold her accountable for her…confrontational…attitude.

"Oh? You mean saving your ungrateful ass?" She replied snarkily.

He seemed affronted at her suggestion. "I could have handled it! I had everything under control before you showed up!"

She outwardly scoffed at his exclamations. "Yah, that was obvious from the way the beam was a second away from obliterating the Impulse and you to a billion little bits."

His scowl deepened at her sarcasm and his intense red eyes glowered. "I didn't need your help."

At his admonition, her face sobered.

"…Didn't need…or didn't want?"

"Does it matter?!" He countered quickly, not seeing the point of her question.

She sighed. "Ya…it does."

Doubt flickered in his vermilion eyes for half a second, before anger permeated them again. "And what is that supposed to mean?"

"Does it matter?" She smiled teasingly and raised a blonde brow at the younger pilot as she parroted his earlier words.

Shinn growled in irritation at her amusement. His ire only increased when he heard her let out a small laugh as she turned to walked away.

'Errr…whatever!'

He had training.

The three Red coats had just finished a debriefing with the captain and were currently talking on their way to the battle simulators.

To Shinn's relief, he found that whenever Luna was around Rey, she refrained from mentioning anything to do with the Princess.

That, of course, resulted in Shinn pretty much being the other male's shadow for the fast five hours.

As they walked past the lounge, they noticed that the Chairman, Princess, and Athrun seemed to be in some sort of intense conversation. Then again, both males were pinochles of composure, while the blonde explosive was loudly yelling something about "false accusations" and "lack of proof" and "the last war".

Snoppy as ever, Luna was overly obvious in changing her gait to walk by the room very slowly. Then, her eyes flashed as if she had just had a brilliant idea. Turning away from Rey, she walked into the room and acted as if she was looking for something she had forgotten there.

Luna being Luna made sure to hold Shinn back with her and forced him to "help" her find the lost object.

Shinn was about ready to stomp out of the room, catch up with Rey, and get as far away from Cagalli as possible, when the sole television in the room took on a familiar static.

Despite his constant attempts to convince himself that he had no interest in the Princess or her personal life, even he couldn't deny that the excitement from earlier had returned.

Only this time, it was stronger.

He absentmindedly noted that the feeling was getting more pronounced as each video was shown. Like the anticipation when trying to assemble the pieces of a puzzle. That expectation that once you've put those pieces in the right place…the entire puzzle will come together and make sense.

The static faded to show, for once, a date.

The video was dated in the middle of the last war.

It looked to be showing the inside of a ship. It was a hallway which had a large window that looked out unto space. From the view, Shinn could tell that the ship was moving.

Some yelling could be heard off camera, and within a few seconds a brown-haired teen came striding down the hall. He almost went right off screen, but was stopped by the hands of a slightly younger Cagalli.

From her breathing, Shinn could ascertain that she had just chased the brunette down from wherever they had come from.

He glanced at the Princess sitting in the room and noticed that she obviously remembered this memory. Well, if the dread on her face was anything to go by. Shinn also noticed that she gave a brief apologetic glance at Athrun, who was sitting beside her on one of the powder blue couches in the room. Athrun didn't notice her look, because he was too engrossed by the scene playing on the screen. From the recognition in his eyes, he must have known the boy in it.

"Kira! Kira wait!" The blonde pulled on the boy's other arm.

From what Shinn could see, "Kira" was in pilot's attire and seemed to be very angry about something.

He roughly yanked his arms from Cagalli and turned to face away from her.

She sighed in exasperation and spoke again. Her voice was saturated with confusion, presumably at the purple-eyed boy's reaction. "I still don't see why you're making such a big deal out of this! You are being totally irrational and you're acting like some crazy person! I don't understand any of it." As she continued her spiel, the boy's face showed he was becoming even more furious. "He's on our side now Kira! Moreover, he is your best friend—"

Having enough, Kira abruptly turned around and gripped her upper arms. The force of his grip pressed her against the railing. He glared at her as he exploded.

"Exactly!"

She glared right back at him with utter confusion. "You are making absolutely NO SENSE!"

From her subtle flinch Shinn could tell that his grip on her arms was getting tighter. Kira snarled before continuing, shaking her to emphasize his words.

"Athrun was my best friend Cagalli! He was my best friend for years and he didn't stop to think twice before trying to kill me when ZAFT ordered him to! What makes you think he'll so much as hesitate before turning against you!"

In the lounge, Athrun went rigid and wide-eyed at the boy's accusation.

On screen, Cagalli just looked at the boy in sheer disbelief. Anger quickly took over.

"YOU LIAR! This isn't about Athrun's loyalty at all! And in case you've forgotten, you fought him back! Now stop lying to me; why are you acting like this?!" Her voice lowered and she hesitated slightly before continuing "I-Is it about the picture?"

At once, the boy grip on her loosened and he turned to face the side. He looked almost…ashamed?

"I-there are some things about…errr!" He growled in frustration before hitting his back against the wall and sliding down onto the floor. By that time, his hands were in his hair, holding his head as he shook it in an attempt to clear it.

"You just don't get it…you don't understand…"

At his admonition, the girl lowered herself to his level and brought her hand softly onto one of the arms grasping onto the side of his head.

"Then help me understand, Kira?" Cagalli's voice was soft as she said this, and Shinn couldn't help but note that it sounded so much like his mother's. He quickly removed the disturbing comparison from his mind though, as he focused again on the scene in front of him. As Shinn did so, he notice that a third character had entered the view of the camera. The red-haired girl was behind a corridor though, so she wasn't noticed by the boy and girl on the hallway floor.

Speaking of, Kira's hands were slowly making there way down from his head. When his hands reached his sides, he turned and stared directly into the eyes of the Princess. By then, he had adopted a grave expression.

"I don't want you piloting anymore Cagalli."

She immediately seemed affronted at his suggestion.

"Excuse me?"

His voice dropped and his tone was serious. "You heard me correctly. I do not want you in a mobile suit for the rest of this war. Stay on the ship. Or better yet, stay in Orb. Hide in some goddamn safe house or something…just stay somewhere safe."

She looked at him in sheer disbelief and hurt. "I can fight Kira. You know I can, especially now! I can save people!"

His brow lowered. "No. You can't. Not anymore. I'll personally fly you back down to Orb if I have to."

Any emotion she had resembling betrayal quickly morphed into anger.

"You are such a hypocrite! You piloted the Strike before it was destroyed and now you arepiloting the Freedom! I have just as much of a right to protect this ship as you do!"

'He was the pilot of the Strike!' Shinn and Luna gasped in surprise. Every ZAFT soldier knew that Athrun had destroyed the Strike in battle. At the time, he was applauded for killing the coordinator that was fighting for the EA.

'But this guy…the pilot of the Strike survived!'

Moreover, he was now the pilot of the Freedom.

Said pilot spoke with genuine honesty as he responded to the girl. "You know it doesn't matter if I die. It matters if you die."

She looked appalled at his suggestion. But before she could say anything he brought his hand up to her cheek and smiled.

"I promised myself that I would keep you safe—that I would do everything I could to make sure you survived this war. I don't care if I have to leave EA and join Orb. No matter what happens…I am keeping that promise."

She shook her head and spoke resolutely. "Your life matters just as much as mine Kira. I can save so many lives, you know how good I am! I can't be killed."

He gave her a patronizing smile before responding. "But you can die."

She seemed like she was about to counter his statement, but the boy quickly got up. His demeanor completely changed, and he seemed almost carefree as he spoke.

"I'm going to get some dinner. Hopefully, the kitchen is still open. Did you want something?"

She sputtered for a second, before sighing and shaking her head. "…Water please."

"As you wish your highness!" He threw the teasing response over his shoulder as he walked away. Cagalli just rolled her eyes from her position on the floor.

When he exited the view of the camera, Shinn was expecting to see the screen go black.

However, the figure that had been standing behind the corridor decided to make herself known and walked up to the Princess.

Seeing her, the Princess just sighed in exasperation. "Flay. To what do I owe the nuisance?"

The red-haired girl snarled and spoke in a high pitched voice. "Did you really think that no one would figure out what you're doing?"

Cagalli just shook her head and rolled her eyes. "As per usual…I have no idea what you're talking about."

The girl just smiled condescendingly before she continued in a voice that was quickly getting on Shinn's nerves. "The two strongest players from both sides just happen to defect, and you thought no one would notice?"

Cagalli turned serious and stood up from her previous seated position.

She glared at the red-head and spoke in a warning tone. "Watch it Flay."

The girl, Flay, blatantly ignored the blonde as she continued to speed. "Kira:pilot of the Strike. You find out he's the reason EA's on the verge of winning the war and then all of a sudden, he's just infatuated with you! He's willing to do anything to protect Orb and its princess, even get the Strike destroyed as some ploy to be able to join Orb undetected!"

Cagalli looked like she was about to ring the girl's neck, and was just barely constraining herself.

"And that Zala guy? All it took was some simple searching into the database to find out he was the pilot of the Aegis, the strongest pilot on Zaft's side and the Chairmans's son. One of their most devoted soldiers meets you and all of a sudden he can't wait to protect the dear princess of Orb."

Cagalli visibly took three deep breaths (presumably to calm herself down) before turning away from the girl, as if she was about to walk away.

"You can think what you want Flay, but that doesn't make it true."

"Oh, but it makes it possible. And deep down, you know I'm right." Flay quickly countered.

Cagalli growled. "No, you're deranged."

Flay just laughed. "Maybe, but not as much as you. Really, playing with their emotions, pretending to be the damsel that needs saving…all so that they'll put their lives down to fight for you and protect your country. I must admit, I'm kind of impressed, no matter what any reporter says, you really are willing to do anything to make sure Orb survives this war. Even if it means sending them out to do your dirty work."

Whatever patience Cagalli had been latching onto was blown to bits.

"That's it! Listen up you bitch—"

She was cut off by a familiar voice. "Cagalli? Flay! What are you doing!"

Flay just sneered. "And here comes Kira, jumping at the chance to play the knight in shining armour to the villain."

With that, the red-headed girl strode off in the opposite direction.

Kira came onto screen, and was visibly distressed. "Cagalli what's wrong? Why were you talking to her? Did she say anything to you? God, I knew I never should have left you alone…"

Whatever happened next remained unknown, because the video chose that time to cut off.

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