Cagalli winced as the lightning struck and the thunder roared.
The manor was almost empty tonight. Almost everyone had taken the weekend off. Athrun and Cagalli were the only ones left in the entire estate.
Cagalli had brought her work home as usual. She had cooped herself in her study, spending nearly the entire day going through the never ending paper work. She had proposals to write, bills to pass and papers to sign. There was a lot of work for the Chief Representative of Orb to do.
Following another flash of lightning and the bellows of thunder, Cagalli finally pushed away her papers. It seemed as though the sky was angry. Perhaps it was a sign for her to take a break.
Cagalli made her way to Athrun's room. She wanted to ask him what he wanted to do about dinner. They could go out for a bite or simply call for a delivery.
She stopped behind the white oak door and knocked a few times.
There was no answer.
"Athrun? Are you in there?"
Still, there was silence.
Cagalli wondered if he was somewhere else in the large manor.
After a short hesitation, she went ahead and turned the bronze door knob. Slowly, she crept into the room.
"Athrun?" she called once more.
His room was cold and empty. It was dark. The only light radiated behind the slightly ajar door of the bathroom. Over the pitter-patter sound of the rain falling, Cagalli could faintly hear the shower running.
"Athrun?" she walked towards the bathroom, stopping some safe distance away.
"Athrun?" she called louder.
"Athrun!" she was yelling now.
"If you don't answer, I'm coming in whether you're decent or not. So say something now!" she demanded.
Cagalli crossed her arms and tapped her foot impatiently. Athrun was clearly inside unless he had left the water running. So why wasn't he answering?
"Athrun! Ready or not I'm coming in!" Cagalli announced.
"Huh?" she said to herself as she stepped into the bathroom. She looked down on the floor. The entire place was flooded!
She looked down further and saw Athrun lying unconscious on the floor tile. Athrun was naked but that fact was lost in Cagalli's mind as she rushed towards him.
"Athrun!" She tried to shake him awake. His body was warm to the touch. Athrun was burning up with fever. "Athrun, wake up!"
There was no response from the unconscious man. Cagalli quickly turned off the running shower and threw a large towel over Athrun.
She had to get him warm and dry soon or his sickness might just worsen. But how was she going to do it? There was no one around in the house to help her and she didn't think she could carry him all by herself. She could drag him out, but that would just aggravate his illness.
Still, she didn't have many choices. Groaning in frustration, Cagalli grabbed his arms and wrapped it around her neck. No, on second thought, that would probably choke her. She rearranged his arms so that they would sling across her shoulders instead.
Twirling her arm around his waist, she sent a quick prayer to the heavens.
"Haumea, give me strength."
With a deep breath, she heaved with all her might and slowly stood up together with Athrun. His full body weight was resting on her now and Cagalli struggled to keep the both of them standing.
Somehow, probably with divine intervention, Cagalli managed to half drag and half carry Athrun across the room.
Suddenly, Athrun made some movements and caused Cagalli to lose her balance. She slipped down onto the carpeted ground together with Athrun. The fall had knocked the breath out of her and her head was spinning from the collision with the ground.
Though she took the bulk of the damage by breaking Athrun's fall, they were now in a very awkward position. His naked warm body was pressed onto hers and his head snuggled onto her cleavage.
Cagalli was sure as hell that her face was as red as a tomato. Cagalli was very thankful that no one was around in the house to catch the both of them in this compromising position. She didn't want to add any more to the gossips already circulating among the staff.
Athrun chose this perfect time to wake up.
He stirred and opened his eyes slowly.
"Athrun?" Embarrassment almost immediately ceased as worry took over her.
"C-Cagalli," his voice was barely a whisper.
He realised that he was lying on top of her. Cagalli couldn't tell if the blush on his cheeks were due to that or the fever.
Athrun attempted to get up only to find his muscles failing him and he crashed back onto her soft body.
"S-sorry," he tried to say before falling back unconscious.
With a lot of effort on her part, Cagalli had gotten back to her feet and successfully placed Athrun on his bed.
Covering him with the quilt and making sure he was warm, Cagalli left to find the medicine cabinet. She came back shortly after with some pills and a glass of warm water.
Oh Haumea. She had to wake Athrun up again in order for him to take the medicine.
"Athrun," she called gently. She tried a few times to get him to wake up. He just wouldn't.
Sighing, Cagalli finally noticed that her clothes were a little damped after the entire bathroom escapade. She had to change her clothes.
Coming back into Athrun's room fresh and dry, Cagalli brought a basin of water and some cloth. She had to reduce Athrun's temperature somehow. Since he couldn't wake up to take the medicine, Cagalli had no choice but to do it the old fashion way.
She watched over Athrun the entire night. From time to time, she would remove the towel from his forehead, soak it back in water and squeeze off the excess, and place it back onto his forehead.
Cagalli pondered back onto the times when Athrun took care of her and protected her. He would stand vigil by her bedside when she was sick. He would tuck her into bed after feeding her medicine and keep watch the whole time. And then when Cagalli was in danger, he would become a human shield to protect her from harm.
A smile crept up onto her face as she lied down on the other side of the bed with her folded arms tucked under her chin. She was truly lucky. She, a ditzy little blonde who had a knack of getting into trouble, was very lucky. Despite everything that had happened, Athrun came back to her. She had asked him why.
"We made a promise. We promised to protect each other."
She continued watching him. Yes. They did promise each other that on board the eternal.
Gently, she swept away the stray hair on his face.
At her touch, Athrun stirred once more. He woke up and turned to the amber eyes that were watching him. His face broke into a small smile upon seeing her. That smile, however, was short lived when he watched her get up from her position on his bed beside him. He wanted to tell her not to go.
Cagalli took this opportunity – now that Athrun was awake – to feed him some medicine. She got down from the bed and walked to the table to get the pills and some water.
Slipping back to his side, she told him, "You're having a fever. You better take some of these." He didn't say a word as she helped him sit up. He swallowed the pills obediently.
Now that Athrun had settled back into bed, she tucked him in. She was about to walk away from the bed when his hand shot out and grabbed her wrist.
Time seemed to have stopped for that moment. His eyes were pleading. But he actually didn't have to ask.
"I won't," she finally said. She wasn't going anywhere. She was never going to in the first place.
He still held on to her hand.
"Stay with me? Please?"
He wanted her to stay. He was asking a question with an obvious answer.
"Not just tonight." He wanted her to stay with him forever.
She sighed and closed the gap between them.
"Go back to sleep Athrun. You need to rest," she said as she gently pried his fingers of her wrist.
She evaded his implied question. He was a little heart-broken. But he became confused because instead of walking out, she climbed onto the bed and slid under the covers beside him.
"You're so silly sometimes," she said as she lied by the side facing him.
She reached for his hand and held onto to it. He squeezed her hand in response.
"You better not regret it then. Because I'm staying with you for good."
The blissful smile spread across Athrun's face was contagious. Cagalli couldn't help but to smile back at him.
Athrun woke up the next morning feeling much better than he did the night before. Modern medicine sure did wonders.
When he looked to the side and realised that the spot beside him was empty, Athrun couldn't help but feel sad.
So she had left. He should have expected that. Cagalli had a meeting to attend in the morning. It would be selfish of him to expect her to stay when she had to go to work.
Suddenly, he heard the flushing sound of the toilet and saw Cagalli emerged from the adjoining bathroom. She gave a yawn as she starting stretching until there was the click sound from the joints of her bones.
What was she still doing here? Didn't she have a meeting in the morning?
Cagalli finally noticed that Athrun was awake.
"Good morning Athrun. Feeling better?" she asked as she continued stretching.
"Don't you have a meeting?" Athrun asked.
"Ah-huh. But I cancelled it."
Athrun was taken aback. Cagalli took her work very seriously. Part of Athrun knew the reason why. Actually as selfish as it was, he hoped that he was the reason. And he wanted to hear her say it.
Cagalli gave him an isn't-it-obvious look.
"Because I have to stay back and look after you, silly."
His heart soared. He looked at the blonde woman standing a few metres away from him. She was clad in a simple tank top and shorts and her hair was in a dishevelled state. But she still looked beautiful as ever. She was the only one who could wear a sack and still look good in it. In his wildest dreams, she always played the hero. In his darkest hour of night she rescued him and saved his life. She was the only woman he had ever loved and wished to spend the rest of his life with. She was the only one who could make him happy.
He watched her as she walked over to him. She placed a hand over his forehead.
"Oh that's good. You're not that warm anymore."
Before she could take her hand away, he captured it and held on tight.
He should ask her now. He loved her and he saw no more point in waiting.
He got out of bed and stood up to face her.
"Cagalli, I love you and I want to marry you."
He could see that she was trying profusely to hide her blush. She was just so cute. And beautiful. And he loved her.
"Will you marry me?"
There he said it. He had never really asked her that before. He just gave her a ring before taking off to the Plants. Now he had officially said it. And the ring was still in her possession. It's hung on a chain around her neck.
"W-What?!" she stammered. Her face was absolutely red and she immediately looked away. She seemed as though she was contemplating to make a bolt for the door.
"A-Athrun! No! You can't be asking me that now!" she exclaimed.
"Why not?" Athrun was thoroughly confused and hurt from Cagalli's rejection.
"B-because… Err! Just ask me again later! Okay?!" Cagalli said in frustration.
She looked up at his eyes. It was clouded with confusion. She looked away again.
"For Haumea's sake Athrun! Propose again after you put on some clothes!"
Nope, I don't own Gundam Seed. The closest I have ever come into owning it is in my dreams. Hee hee. Silly one-shot. I hope you like it. Go on. Press that review button now. Wink wink.