Every Day I See Your Ghosts (and every day they haunt me)
Title: Every Day I See Your Ghosts (and every day they haunt me)
Fandom: Gundam SEED
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Erica, Cagalli, Astray Girls
Summary: There are those that Erica keeps close...
Notes: for Galentines Day 2013
"Of course I'll be there, Sweetie. Have a good day."
Erica Simmons smiled as she ended the call. Ryuta had a soccer game later –normal for the time of year – and she wouldn't dream of missing it. With luck, she thought she might even get him to pursue it as a career.
Though he'd started to show an interest in mobile suits, lately.
A soccer game was good, however. A definite end to the day.
And an escape from her current project – one that was strangely vexing her.
Though, she thought, 'projects' might be a better term. While technically she was working on the next generation of Orb's mass-production mobile suits, she was also working on a special project - projects, again. Plural and possibly still multiplying.
"What do you think I should do?" Erica asked the three residents of the hangar she'd been using as her office. She tucked her phone away as she waited for an answer, not that she expected one.
Not from either of the M1's or the Murasame quietly resting in front of her... For a brief second, she wondered if she'd listen to them if they did offer suggestions.
The questions weren't about whether or not she should be creating new machines, of course, but instead about details and designs, weapons and subsystems. Programming. Colors, even. She knew who she was - she knew how many lives she'd helped end.
She wished she knew how many she'd saved.
Erica turned, hoping she hadn't been visibly startled. Her visitor had on a red Morgenroete jacket with a hooded sweatshirt beneath, hood pulled up over unmistakable yellow hair and golden eyes.
She could tell that Cagalli wasn't in the mood for formalities and this definitely wasn't an official inspection.
"Cagalli." She gave a nod. "What brings you by?"
Erica also wondered how she'd been found, but she thought perhaps it was a side effect of Cagalli's own knowledge of how to properly disappear when necessary.
"I just needed some air," Cagalli admitted. "I might have said something about checking in on your progress and then figured I probably should do it."
Erica watched as Cagalli glanced at the three mobile suits, gaze lingering on each.
"I'm surprised to see an M1A down here," Cagalli commented, gesturing to the blue and white mobile suit nestled in the middle of the trio.
"It's on loan," Erica replied. She knew the implications wouldn't be lost on Cagalli.
Cagalli only replied with a strange little smile that absolved Erica of any further commentary or curiosity in that particular direction.
"I'm..." Cagalli shook her head and looked back to the mobile suits. "I miss them, too."
"They would have loved the Murasames," Erica replied, smiling and moving to rest a hand on Cagalli's shoulder. "Maybe not Juri as much, but Asagi and Mayura, definitely."
"I would have insisted they be in my wedding," Cagalli added.
"They would have loved you getting kidnapped at the end," Erica said.
"In retrospect, that was my favorite part, too."
There was silence in the hangar for a moment and then they both laughed.
"Maybe I'm just thinking too hard on everything," Erica said as she drew her hand back and stepped away, pacing a few feet before turning to look back at the machines.
"I don't know," Cagalli replied. "You're doing something I never could. It's complicated - there are so many new treaties and rules. We need to be able to protect Orb with something strong but still comply with everything we need to."
"Come here," Erica said before gesturing over to a makeshift work-desk she'd fashioned from a metal folding table and folding chair. She'd even asked for temporary custody of Micoto and had the AI computer assisting with everything.
Micoto always had interesting ideas, at least.
"Mmm?" Cagalli followed Erica over to the desk, quiet as Erica pulled up blueprints and schematics on a screen that wasn't Micoto's.
Micoto offered a quick greeting to Cagalli, and Erica caught Cagalli offering a little wave back.
"The mass production models are proving more vexing than these two," Erica commented as she turned the monitor slightly in Cagalli's direction to display a pair of nearly-twinned mobile suits. "No names yet, and I don't want to start fabricating parts until I can sneak them in with the mass production line."
"ORB-02 and ORB-03," Cagalli read almost absently. "If one is for me..."
Because she'd let Mwu keep Akatsuki, which both had and hadn't surprised Erica. Mwu had protested, since it was a gift to Cagalli from her father. But Cagalli had insisted that Mwu had earned it. And he made it look damned good, too.
"Not anyone, yet," Erica admitted. She'd had thoughts, but nothing concrete enough that she was designing for anyone other than Cagalli. "Let me explain the differences in design..."
Even if Cagalli didn’t quite understand her explanations or the nuances in the designs, Cagalli made all the right oohs, aahs and considering noises for the next few minutes as Erica spoke and pointed out what she could.
"I'm considering calling the mass production models M2 Astrays," Erica said. "I wish I'd saved the name 'Murasame' for them. If anything deserves the name..."
Cagalli laughed. "You're doing fine, Erica. Even without the girls here..." She glanced over and up at the trio of mobile suits again. "Though I think you do have them here..."
"Perhaps I'll stop and get some incense after the game."
"Mmm?" Cagalli's attention snapped back to her. "What game?"
"Ryuta has a soccer game this afternoon," Erica explained softly. Though she kept a picture of her family on her desk whenever she could, she didn't tend to talk about them often.
"Oh!" Cagalli smiled. There was a pause. "We should go shopping now so we can get ice cream after the game."
Erica chuckled. "Are you suggesting we both play hooky?"
"Give me a piece of paper and five minutes and it'll be an executive order," Cagalli countered.
She smiled and nodded back in the direction of the mobile suits. "Besides, I really think they'd want us to."
Erica's gaze lifted upwards and after a second, she nodded. She knew Cagalli was right.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!