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Calm Clear Blue

Title: Calm Clear Blue
Fandom: Gundam SEED Destiny
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Heine, Erica
Rating: AA
Summary: Back in the saddle.
Notes: -

"Well, are you ready for your big day?" Erica questioned before looking over at her assistant and smiling. He glanced up, his expression confused for a moment before her words registered.

"Are you sure?" he asked. "I..."

"You passed your physical and are fully cleared to fly," Erica interrupted. "It's not like I'm asking you to go into battle. Just..."

"Get back in the cockpit, right?" There was a smile, after an odd look, and Erica nodded.

"Everything feel okay up there, Heine?" Erica held up a hand to shield her eyes from the sun. It was a beautiful day - calm, clear, blue-- The weather report had mentioned a chance of rain, but she didn't think it was worth worrying about it.

"So far, so good," Heine replied back. The M1 Astray reached cautiously, testing joints and manipulators carefully to see just how they worked.

"Good," Erica replied as she adjusted her headset ever so slightly. There was a certain joy, still, in watching an M1 move.

Especially considering the pilot.

There hadn't been a physical -- no one even pretended that there had been. Erica didn't doubt that eventually Heine might be able to pass a proper one, but not yet. He'd only recently completed his physical therapy, using his left side was still sometimes a little iffy, and his lungs were pretty much destroyed. Scars streaked down his body, from head to toe, cutting through his left eye, which was fuzzy-at-best. White discolored his orange hair... where it had finally started to grow back.

Erica had hired him on the spot, well aware of who he was and what he could do, even if only in his mind. She trusted him, even if some of the others within Morgenroete were wary. She'd never gotten anywhere without taking risks far beyond what any normal person would do.

"The runways are yours," Erica said a moment later, after Heine took a couple of experimental steps. She'd estimated the adjustments necessary to compensate for Heine's limited movement, and it looked as if she'd done an accurate job.

"I was always curious about these..." Heine's voice trailed off and for a brief moment, Erica tensed. But the M1 kept moving.

"Oh?" Erica questioned. The M1 turned and knelt down onto one knee.

"The design allows for a remarkable range of motion," Heine said. He righted the mobile suit and ran a few paces, then back. "It's more than just the operating system -- and what's been added to it."

There was something in the tone that let Erica know she'd been found out. Not that she thought she could fool him. A former ZAFT test pilot should very well know when confronted with an altered OS. He was probably running through it between motions.

Erica chuckled and didn't bother muting her microphone. "Can't put anything past you, can I? Though as far as what an Astray is capable of... You'll just have to wait and see."

There was a long pause, though the M1 didn't stop moving.

"So you are gathering data?"

"Of course," Erica said firmly. "Though if you'd rather, I can file it with your physical."

It was Heine's turn to chuckle, accompanied by a wheeze that truly made Erica freeze and nearly ask him to disembark.

"No need," he managed. "Let's see what we're both capable of and go from there."

Erica nodded and smiled.

Not a cloud in the sky.


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Disclaimer: I don't own it, I'm just playing with it. All titles and characters belong to their respective creators and companies.