Disclaimer- I don't own Gundam.
This takes place around U.C. 84, and features the crew of the White Base. And hopefully, it's good.
Kai checked his watch as he entered the restaurant. Right on time. Meeting deadlines had forced him to annoyingly punctual, something his friends never ceased to comment on.
He smiled at the server as he entered, who gave him a strange look. It was a mix between disgust, annoyance, and slight recognition. Then dismissal. Kai had gotten that look before, from people who weren't up-to-date on the White Base and only heard Amuro, Char, and Bright's names mentioned on a regular basis. Kai's name was usually only mentioned with Hayato, Sayla, and Ryu's name, one after the other. The disgust and annoyance were most likely connected, but Kai was used to that too, from people who weren't used to Kai's wonderfully pretty face.
Honestly, this put him in a less-than-great mood as he sat down, straightening his tie in an attempt to find something to do. The waitress stopped by his table, a fake smile on her mildly pretty face. Maybe Kai would've like her better if she was a redhead.
"I'm waiting for my friends," he said, half-smiling at her. Apparently smiling made him look slightly better. At least that's what his last girlfriend had said before she dumped him. "So just a cup of coffee for now."
She hesitated. "Have I seen you before?"
"You might have. I'm a journalist. Maybe you saw my picture in the paper." he half-lied. He was a journalist, but that certainly wasn't where she'd seen him.
She nodded absent-mindedly. "Maybe..."
Just then, another man entered the diner, his military-regulation boots clacking on the floor. The waitress looked up, unconcerned, until she saw the face of the man who entered. Her face went wildly from him to Kai's and back to the officer's, and her mouth formed an o.
Kai waved over the back of the booth. "Bright! Long time no see!"
Bright strode over to him and offered his hand. "It's good to see you again. I've been seeing your articles in the paper lately."
Kai scowled. "And that mug shot they use as a photo? I swear, I'd only be recognized in prison."
"Let's hope you won't be going there anytime soon."
Bright sat across from him and also ordered coffee from the shocked waitress, who scuttled off, probably to tell the other waitresses.
Kai smirked. "You couldn't even change first?"
Bright looked sheepish. "I had to pull strings to make this work. Forgive me if I didn't have time to change clothes."
"And we picked this place so we wouldn't attract attention!" grinned Kai.
Kai stopped speaking for a moment to take in the diner. It was a small diner for a small town, surrounded by desert and tumbleweeds, but the AC was good. The floor was made of checkered tiles and the walls were brightly colored, so Kai felt like a boxed in clown.
Mirai walked in then, and Kai was secretly glad to see it was without children present. It would have been a pain in the ass if Kai'd ended up as their punching bag. Kids and him didn't mix well.
He and Mirai hugged awkwardly and she sat next to Bright. "Do you think we'll need a bigger table?" she asked.
Bright shrugged, draping an arm around his wife. "Maybe. We'll see."
Kai was suddenly relegated to his customary position of the third wheel, but he didn't show his discomfort. "What've you been up to, Mirai?"
"Taking care of the kids, mostly. Hathaway's a handful, but Cheimin's already such a sweetie," Kai idly wondered who decided to name their kids Hathaway and Cheimin. It was almost as bad as naming your boy Kamille. Nah, that would never happen. "Your career seems to be going well, Kai."
Kai reverted to self-deprecation to hide his pride. "My personal life was sacrificed in the process. Three girlfriends dumped me in the past two years. Something about an inability to give a shit about them."
Bright snorted with laughter, and Mirai hit him. He was saved from further reprimand by the door's ring once again, and Kai, who was facing the door, yelled, "Yo, Hayato! Fraw!"
Bright and Mirai turned and greeted them pleasantly. To their surprise, three young teenage faces followed Fraw and Hayato in. "We thought all members of White Base should be here," said Fraw, seeing their surprised faces.
Kai laughed. "Huh, I don't remember seeing Job John, Omar, Oscar, Marker, and the others on the invite list."
"We thought we've invite the main officers, support crew, and pilots, Kai." said Fraw, using the condescending tone she always used with him. It pissed him off, especially since he was older than her and not an asshole anymore...usually.
"Job John was a pilot," pointed out Kai. "And we couldn't have made it through without Oscar and Marker."
"No one's denying that," said Bright patiently. "Does it look like they would've fit in here?"
"We already need a bigger table," commented Fraw. "Let's move."
As they moved, Kai wished he had a fork to stab someone with, until Hayato leaned over and whispered, "I agree with you, man. Selective reunion if I ever saw one."
"Why don't you say it louder?"
"The wife's got me whipped," replied Hayato, sounding perfectly happy. "Can't you tell?"
Kai hung back with Catz, Letz, and Kikka, feeling about their age. Honestly, did he deserve their derision? He wasn't trying to be a jerk, it's just how he was.
"Uncle Kai!" yelled Kikka. She had grown up so much since he'd last seen here, when she was nine or ten and her stomach was perpetually visible. Kai was glad to see Fraw and Hayato bought her clothes that actually fit now.
"How's it hanging?" asked Kai. The kids all winced.
"You sound old!" yelled Katz.
"You look old too." giggled Kikka.
Hell, at least she was honest.
"Eh, whatever," he said, his voice reverting back to its old whine. "I'm cuter than you'll ever be, Kikka. Looks like your boobs haven't grown much."
Kikka turned bright red, and Catz and Letz looked ready to assault him, so he apologized and slid into a chair across from Fraw, who turned her perpetual glare on him.
"That was inappropriate," she said frostily. "Don't speak to my kids that way."
"Didn't you hear them? I'm their Uncle Kai!"
"Every family needs a creepy uncle," said a new voice, female and slightly sultry. It was Sayla, and she graced Kai with her presence by sitting next to him. "Don't you think so?"
"Hey, I'm the all-purpose dickweed." he muttered. He always ended up being the butt of everyone's jokes at these stupid reunions, even now that he was the most successful of them, save Bright.
Sayla greeted everyone cheerily. "Guess there's just one more."
"Make that two!" announced a familiar male voice. It was Amuro, holding Haro up high. "Sorry we're so late, I had trouble getting here."
"Federation giving you trouble?" asked Bright, his tone annoyed.
"Yeah, the usual. Newtype this, national security, that. I swear, they think every time I leave my house I'm gonna blow up a base."
"There was that one time..."
"That was one time!"
"Amuro!" chirped Haro, bouncing up and down. "Your brain waves are abnormal, Amuro!"
"Aren't they always?" joked Kai, earning a nasty look from both Sayla and Amuro. And Haro, if that was possible.
They all ordered, and the waitress was a mixture of excitement and annoyance, trying to take all their orders while soaking in their presence.
"What've you been doing, Sayla?" asked Mirai, changing the subject gracefully.
"I took my money and settled down on a beach. It's fun and there are plenty of beach boys to amuse me..."
Kai snickered at the sour look on Amuro's face, but Fraw kicked him under the table before he could say anything.
Sayla leaned in. "So, the Federation's not treating you well, Amuro?"
Amuro groaned as he sat down. "That's the understatement of the year. Bright can attest to that."
Bright nodded sharply. "If you want the truth, we didn't bring the kids because they wouldn't let us."
"Hostages?" gasped Fraw.
"Yes," sighed Mirai. "But we're not doing anything wrong, so they should have no reason to do anything."
Kai tapped his fingers on the table and opened his mouth to speak, but Fraw cut him off before he could. "Don't say a word, Kai! I don't want to hear it from you!"
There was silence at the table as everyone looked at Kai, seeing how he would react. He put his arms behind his head nonchalantly. "I was going to offer my condolences and see if I could possibly be any help. Glad to see you still think I'm a coward."
Fraw blushed, and Hayato slung an arm around her shoulder, unsure whether or not to be mad.
Kai pulld out a cigarette and lit it silently. When no one said anything, he said calmly, "Aren't you going to continue? It can't be a real reunion without a little Kai bashing. Move on and keep talking."
Bright coughed into his hand, trying to change the subject. "It's been a long time since we all got together. Let's try to talk about happier subjects."
"I learned English!" announced Kai cheerily.
Hayato's mouth dropped open. "Seriously? What a coincidence! So did I!"
"We can send letters to practice," suggested Kai. "You're working at the Space Museum, right?"
Hayato nodded, looking like a bobblehead. "Yep!"
From there the talk dissolved into light-hearted banter, from stories from their White Base days to teasing Amuro about his lack of love life (worse than Kai's, is possible).
"...And that's why there are no fish in Canada." finished Amuro. He'd been telling a story about the old Side Seven's baseball tournament and had ended up grossly off track. Or did her? You could never tell with Amuro.
Kai stirred his drink, taking in all the faces round him. The more things changed, the more they stayed the same.
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