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[personal profile] kalloway posting in [community profile] no_true_pair
Better late~

Title: Make a Splash
Author: [personal profile] kalloway
Fandom: Gundam SEED Destiny
Pairing/characters: Athrun, Shinn, etc.
Rating: AA
Notes: An alternate-'verse where the second war was averted. Mostly by the cast not being stupid for the sake of plot.
Prompt/challenge you're answering: Athrun & Shinn with the title 'Make a Splash'

Athrun stared out the window at the spaceport and wished on a departing jet-trail that Alex Dino could somehow be real and take his place. He'd given up on the assumed name after a group had been apprehended near Junius 7 using his father's name.

Hopefully Chairwoman Canaver wouldn't comment on that. Athrun didn't think she would - he knew Eileen. Well, he'd met her several times and she'd always seemed tactful and competent. She was already on her second stint in charge of the PLANTs and while it was public knowledge that she wasn't interested in retaining control, she and the Council were going to be extremely selective in regards to the next person to bear the title.

There was even talk of PLANT-wide elections - that made Athrun smile.

He glanced at his phone - the shuttle was due any minute, though even the smallest of course corrections could have put them an hour behind if not careful. Outside, there was a car waiting, with a driver. Cagalli had wanted to be there, but she more than had her hands full, Athrun knew.

While there were rebels using his father's name, Cagalli had found members of her cabinet with strong Blue Cosmos ties.

They were all rebuilding. But at least it didn't look like a war was likely. Cagalli and Eileen were to meet and talk. Various Earth leaders were coming, too.

Athrun was so busy looking out the window that he nearly missed the shuttle. It was small - not terribly so, but Eileen obviously wasn't pushing her travel budget. They'd been told she'd be bringing along a small honor guard. But that was all.

Stretching, Athrun made his way past security to the tarmac. There was no point in hurrying - it took as long to shut down a shuttle as it did to launch one.

For the first time, he thought about their luggage. Well, if the honor guard could carry their own, Athrun supposed he could carry Eileen's. He should have had the driver just pull around the building onto the runway, even if things like that gave the controllers fits.

He pushed his sunglasses up on his nose. Hopefully they'd all packed appropriately. Orb was currently spending its days bright and hot and its night wet and... also hot.

Athrun watched the spaceport staff fuss around. Maybe they could help with luggage. They'd have to move the shuttle, at some point, and perform maintenance.

Finally, the shuttle's passenger door folded down, revealing stairs. A red-haired girl was at the top, staring down at Athrun and the rest of the crew. While her upper-half was covered in a ZAFT uniform jacket, her bottom half... well, a flared pink mini-skirt just wasn't the best idea for greeting a full support crew from the top of a set of steps.

Behind her was Eileen, and Athrun politely averted his eyes til they were both on the pavement.

"Athrun," Eileen said softly. She took his hand in both of hers, giving it a squeeze. There was something in her gaze that suggested she wanted to give him a hug and after a moment, he gave her a little nod and she pulled him close.

Just for a moment, she reminded him of his mother.

"We'll talk later," she said as she pulled away. There was a sadness to her smile that suggested what she wanted to talk about. Athrun knew he couldn't avoid the subject entirely. He nodded again.

"Of course," he replied. "But for now, let's get your team and luggage settled?"

"That sounds wonderful. I think it's a bit earlier here than when we left, so it's going to be a long day--"

"Luna, carry some of it yourself!"

Both Eileen and Athrun looked over to see a young man with dark hair loaded down with pink bags.

"Shinn Asuka," Eileen said quickly. "He's actually an Orb native."


"And one of the latest graduating class," Eileen added. "They all are, actually."

Athrun blinked. The honor guard were rookies. Though... they were probably still deadly rookies. He remembered his days training quite vividly.

"I can help with the luggage," Athrun volunteered. "There's a car out front - you can just walk through security and customs."

"Thank you," Eileen said. "As silly as this sounds, it'll be good to sit down."

In minutes, the trunk was packed and they were loaded into the car.

"This is my first limo," the other girl said, looking out the window. She had a green uniform, which surprised Athrun.

"At least it's air-conditioned," Shinn commented. Somehow they'd sat themselves with the boys together and the girls together. Eileen sat to one side, with Luna in the middle. And Athrun had Shinn beside him and a blond boy to the far side. So far, he'd been quiet and Athrun was fairly sure he thought his companions were ridiculous.

"Athrun, this is Lunamaria and Meyrin Hawke," Eileen began. Sisters. That explained a few things, though Athrun wasn't sure if they were twins or not. He supposed it didn't matter.

"Athrun Zala," Athrun said. He sort of shrugged that he couldn't really offer his hand, since they had four feet between them and the car was moving. "My pleasure."

"The Athrun Zala?" Lunamaria questioned, blinking. "Wow. I'd heard, like, you were down here--"

"Leading a fairly normal life," Eileen added.

Athrun didn't think his life could ever be normal.

"Shinn Asuka," Shinn said quickly. "And this is Rey Za Burrel."

Athrun nodded to Shinn and Rey and did manage quick little handshakes. Rey's grip was a little odd. Something about Rey was a little odd.

Before he could say anything else, Athrun's phone beeped. He checked it and smiled.

"Cagalli wants you to know she's pleased you've arrived and to settle in and let her know if you need anything," Athrun paraphrased quickly. "That probably means asking me, but... I know what I signed up for."

Eileen chuckled. "As long as there's food and beds, I think we'll be okay."

"And showers," Lunamaria added, before covering her mouth with a hand. "Ah, I mean--"

"I understand completely," Athrun offered with a little smile. "Even though it's not the longest trip, it's still enough to feel a little grimy."

"That and it's really hot," Lunamaria added. She fanned herself, then fanned Meyrin, who mostly just blushed.

Before Athrun could mention the guesthouse having a pool, they arrived. Unloading was no less chaotic than loading, though Athrun ended up carrying less and Rey ended up carrying more.

Finally, everything made it in and Athrun fished out his phone to let Cagalli know the delegation was settling in.

"A pool!" Meyrin was the one pointing through the house, through an enclosed patio to shimmering water beyond.

Athrun set down his phone and followed her. Luna and Shinn weren't far behind and neither was Eileen.

"I can't wait," Meyrin said, smiling.

"I knew we'd need our bathing suits," Lunamaria added. She smiled and gestured to the bag she was still holding, turning and--

Somehow, Shinn had gotten between her and the pool and her bag--

Athrun grabbed for him. He grabbed for Athrun.

At least Eileen and Cagalli would have something to laugh about.
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