People Like Us
Title: People Like Us
Fandom: Gundam SEED
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Kira/Cagalli, others mentioned
Rating: MA Overall
Summary: post-Destiny, Kira is in Orb helping with a global clean-up effort while Cagalli is still trying to settle into her role as leader. However, when a sibling moment is captured on film completely out of context, things quickly get complicated for both of them. In this chapter, time passes slowly, quickly, and awkwardly. Cagalli wrestles with herself and how to feel while facing a deluge of support from those around her.
Notes: Contains eventual graphic twin m/f sibling incest.
"You look like you had a late night," Iolana commented as she stepped into Cagalli's office with her datapad and the day's newspaper.
"I did," Cagalli replied. She had a mound of paperwork in front of her and a renewed interest in taking care of all of it. As soon as possible. It would be all she thought about, if she could help it.
Because paperwork was far easier to think about than Kira.
"Wonderful," Iolana said with a smile. "Let me know when I get to start on wedding plans..."
"No," Cagalli said softly. "Not yet... And what you're thinking... no..."
She'd actually sent Kira home not long after they'd arrived back. Dessert had been a brief distraction from the energy between them. They'd kept their hands together, feeding each other and squishing into one side of the restaurant's booth.
And once they'd gotten away from the photographers, behind tightly-closed doors, they kissed again.
It still didn't feel wrong. Instead, it felt like the most right thing that she'd ever done. Which didn't help at all.
When she'd thought she was the only one wrestling with all the wrong sorts of emotions, it had been easier to push them aside. After all, if she had only needed to deal with her own feelings, eventually they should have gone away, not...
Just knowing that Kira felt the same way as she did. That he wanted her and that every touch and gesture for the last week wasn't chaste at all -- she couldn't stop thinking about it all night. As far as she knew, she hadn't slept a wink.
Not when she was wracking her brain to try to rationalize everything. They hadn't been raised together. He was a Coordinator, she wasn't. But they were twins... And people knew. Not many, but enough, and they were all her closest friends and confidants. What would they think?
Murrue had known, Cagalli realized. But she'd always been so close with Kira. Maybe she could sneak off to Morgenroete. Once the pile of paperwork was done.
"Then I'm not sure," Iolana said. She held up the paper, which had a photo from dessert, complete with snuggling and attempting to feed one-another.
"But your popularity is up," Iolana continued. "And there's almost a universal acceptance of your current happiness."
"I don't want people thinking about what I'm doing with Kira," Cagalli complained. She put her head down on her desk. "At least he'll be away..."
"You shouldn't sound so happy about that," Iolana commented. "I don't understand why you're so upset about the relationship when you're talking to me but when you're with him..." She held up the paper again.
"I guess I'm just not quite ready to let myself be happy," Cagalli replied. "At least not until all of this paperwork is done."
"You could have at least gone down to the docks to see him off," Iolana chided. "He'll be sad."
"He'll be back," Cagalli replied. "Besides..."
She didn't get to finish as the door to her office flew open and an out-of-breath Kira staggered in.
Iolana let out a little happy squeak.
"Kira! What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be leaving in less than an hour?" Cagalli questioned as she stood and rushed over to him. "Is something wrong?"
He shook his head.
"Just wanted to see you," he said, wrapping his arms around her. "Wanted to tell you..."
Cagalli gestured that perhaps Iolana could leave and close the door behind her.
Luckily, Iolana caught the hint and did so promptly.
Once they were alone, Cagalli leaned against him.
"Kira, we can't go any further with this..."
"That's not true," Kira replied. "Trust me?"
He kissed her, hard. She grabbed at his uniform jacket as he held her against him, one hand at the nape of her neck, the other sliding down to rest against her ass.
Still didn't feel wrong, no matter how wrong she wanted it to feel. Not wrong at all. Nowhere near wrong.
Moaning into the kiss, Cagalli didn't want it to ever end. If Kira shoved the papers off her desk and pushed her onto it, she wouldn't refuse him.
Kira's phone rang. He pulled away and swore.
"I have to go," he said, wincing. "Like, now."
"We'll talk when you get back," Cagalli replied.
"Trust me?" Kira asked her. He kissed her cheek.
"Always," Cagalli said.
He was gone a moment later. Cagalli looked at the clock and realized they had to be holding the ship for him at this point. She shook her head. Stupid little brother... and lover.
When Iolana crept back in a few minutes later, Cagalli was already burrowed into her paperwork and refusing to look back.
A few days later, a message from Lacus finally arrived, courtesy of Commander Waltfeld.
"It's password protected," he explained, handing her a tiny flash drive that she quickly plugged into her laptop.
"And she thinks I'd know the password?" Cagalli questioned, frowning. "She just e-mailed this to you?"
"You and Kira..."
"I don't need the lecture," Cagalli interrupted. "And I need to talk to Murrue at some point, by the way. I just... I have had paperwork."
"You're adults making your own decisions," Andy said. He gave her a little salute and headed towards the door. "But I've had an opinion about the two of you for a long time."
"You're not going to wait and see what this says?" Cagalli asked, gesturing at the computer screen. She had the file up, but indeed it was asking for a password.
"Not without an invitation," Andy replied. "Though I'll admit curiosity."
Cagalli waved him over to sit beside her. "Better if I have a witness... though no hint?"
"She said you'd know." Andy sat carefully. He was still averting his eyes like a proper gentleman.
Cagalli sighed. What would Lacus choose that would mean something to...
"Got it!" she exclaimed, typing quickly.
F-R-E-E-D-O-M. She hit the enter key and the file opened automatically.
'I apologize for the delay in sending this, but much like the rest of the world, I wanted to observe your romance for myself before commenting.
'I'm sure your first question is about what happened between Kira and myself. He is and will always be someone who means so very much to me, but we just aren't compatible for a long-term relationship and we both accepted this before there were too many hurt feelings.
'While I know the context for the first photograph, I am a little surprised at how you two decided to play it out...
'With the newest picture, I can tell itís not playing any longer. You two have always had a special chemistry and given the circumstances, there's no harm in how you two feel about one another.
'Please keep in touch, Cagalli. And please take care of Kira.
Leaning back, Cagalli sighed again. Everything would be so much easier if people would stop being so accepting. Then she could tell herself that what they were doing was bad and wrong and be done with it.
"Cagalli?" Andy questioned.
"It's all good," Cagalli said quietly, tilting her laptop screen so that he could see it. "It's..."
Andy took a minute to read the letter and then shrugged. "People just want to see you happy," he said.
"I know, but..."
"What if you didn't know?" Andy asked her.
"Mmm?" She eyed him as he stood and straightened his uniform.
"If you didn't know that Kira was..."
"I don't know!" Cagalli exclaimed and crossed her arms. "I guess... nothing would have kept us apart."
"Exactly." He offered her a little salute and was gone.
Waiting was the hardest, most agonizing part. She'd thought a couple of weeks would pass quickly, while Kira was in Australia, but slowly she was going crazy.
And the original plan was for them to break up on his way back through Orb. That wouldn't be happening. Unless it would.
The way Kira had kissed her rather suggested it wouldn't, while the quiet consent of everyone around her simply made her question everything she'd been telling herself for the last few years.
She'd thrown herself into her work - it was a welcome distraction and meetings no longer seemed endless. The longer they were, the more that was accomplished and the closer it became to the day Kira would return.
Slowly, the daily articles dropped off from the internet and newspapers, aside from a short interview with Kira and one more flowery press release from Iolana followed by three more about things like services for the recovered dead, another memorial and education spending, the last of which had little to do with Cagalli aside from her signature on the final document.
Iolana was doing a wonderful job - aside from leaving bridal magazines lying about. Those were frustrating and annoying and something Cagalli didn't want to think about. Marriage in general... just made her think of Yuna and how that had gotten so awful so quickly. He hadn't always been that... awful.
She wished she had some way to get in touch with Athrun. But she also figured that if he wanted to be found, he'd make it obvious. So far, no one had mentioned seeing him and no one had mentioned getting messages from him either.
There was a quick knock on the office door and Cagalli looked up - she was trying, but the sun was getting lower in the sky and she'd read and re-read the same page a dozen times without really understanding more than it was covered in words.
"Come in," Cagalli called. She stretched and wondered if she should put her jacket back on. Likely anyone visiting her so late in the day would expect her to have shed a bit.
"Good news," Iolana called as she cracked the door and slipped in. She was holding out her datapad and smiling.
"Isn't everything good news to you?" Cagalli questioned as she reached for the thin, dark purple device. Cagalli wasn't sure just yet, but she thought Iolana switched devices almost monthly - always had to have the newest thing.
"Not quite," Iolana corrected, and only then did the correct saying pop into Cagalli's mind. A second later, she was distracted anyway.
"Eh?" Cagalli blinked as she skimmed over the 'news' article that was up on the screen. She'd really lost track of the days somewhere in there, because either she was hallucinating or she was reading about the end of the joint Australia clean-up, or at least this cycle of it, and along with a few Orb teams, Kira was on his way back too.
She had to read it twice.
'ZAFT's Commander Kira Yamato, most recently seen romancing Orb's Cagalli Yula Athha, apparently plans to sweep the young leader off her feet again, though not as flamboyantly as the first time, when he kidnapped her from her own wedding ceremony...'
"Already?" Cagalli questioned. She... wasn't ready. She was. She...
Immediately she rethought her decision to just see what would happen. They couldn't... even if everyone else thought they could. Certainly, she hadn't asked Karida.
Kira had told her to trust him and she so badly wanted to...
"Already," Iolana said with a smile. "And since he'll be back tomorrow, I've taken the liberty of arranging for a nice quiet night in for you both."
"I... well, okay..." Cagalli swallowed hard and tried to sort out her emotions.
"Cagalli," Iolana said as she took her datapad back from Cagalli's hands and turned the screen off before setting it down on the desk. "I know you're having a hard time letting yourself enjoy this relationship and I can't pretend to know why, but... just relax. Eventually the press fuss will die down and..."
Cagalli nodded, not really listening to the rest of Iolana's attempt at comforting her. Iolana couldn't begin to imagine and hopefully would never find out.
And Kira had told her to trust him.
"...should probably go get a good night's sleep," Iolana concluded.
"Right," Cagalli said softly. That, at least, was what she was planning to do anyway. Though now, she wasn't sure if she'd be able to sleep at all.
'You should meet him at the dock,' Iolana had texted during breakfast. But Cagalli had sent back a quick negative - she couldn't spent the entire morning mooning down by the water. She had an important meeting to attend, after all - one that had been rescheduled once for other reasons and that would be frustrating to have to fit into her schedule again. And besides, she was quite interested in hearing the committee report on ongoing aid towards rebuilding Western Europe.
Kira would understand. And it would give him time to relax as well, and shake off any travel weariness.
'Maybe lunch with him,' Cagalli texted back a couple minutes after getting to her office to grab a handful of things she needed. Her afternoon included a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new library and tea and snacks after. Maybe Kira could even go along with her. They'd be doing that sort of thing in the future, if...
That was too much to think about. She wondered if Kira accompanying her would overshadow the importance of the rebuilt library.
There was a knock at her office door and one of her aides stepped in. "Everyone's ready," the aide said quickly, with a smile. "I think they were afraid you'd reschedule..."
Cagalli shook her head.
"Not a chance," she said. "I'm looking forward to the entire presentation, including photos and video."
Some of that mess, she had helped make. And some of it was Kira's... Though there was no blame now - only hope for recovery and the future.
"There's an outfit waiting in your suite," one of her maids said as Cagalli made her way through her residence. She'd quietly teared up a couple of times during the presentation, smudging the small amount of make-up she'd put on in hopes of not looking too awful if she happened to tear up during the presentation. A wasted effort.
"Thank you," Cagalli said with a little smile. "And lunch?"
There hadn't been an answer from Iolana, so Cagalli assumed it wasn't do-able.
"Awaiting your request, Miss Athha," the maid replied.
"About five minutes," Cagalli said. She didn't quite want to change yet, but she did want to be comfortable. The maids had seen her take meals in enough states of casual undress that she hoped it wouldn't be a problem if she opted for a tank top and shorts before she had to change into something that was undoubtedly overly formal for the afternoon. And then her outfit and appearance would be photographed and graded, as it always was, and Iolana would encourage her to wear a bit more make-up or skip certain colors or cuts.
She sighed as she closed her bedroom door behind her, already undoing her blouse and not paying a bit of attention to anything aside from...
Cagalli froze, gaze darting over to her walk-in closet where apparently...
"Cagalli!" Kira cried, appearing from the depths of her closet a second later. "Ah..."
He paused, looking her over and lingering on the undone buttons of her blouse.
Cagalli couldn't help blushing and was almost relieved by it. "I was just going to put on something simple... to eat lunch..."
"Before going to a thing at the library," Kira finished with a nod. "Yeah, I saw what one of your people picked out and thought maybe you had something better..."
Laughing, Cagalli made her way over to him and pulled him into a tight hug. A second later, Kira reciprocated and for a long moment, they just stood that way.
"Have you been waiting long?" Cagalli asked, risking everything and bringing her lips softly to his neck. He was out of uniform already, and she knew she needed to ask where he was staying. But it could wait...
"Weeks," Kira replied after a soft gasp. "Months... Years..."
"You better not have been in my closet for y--" Cagalli was interrupted by Kira's mouth on hers. There was no question of whether or not to yield. She was sure that anything he wanted, she wanted as well.
His mouth was still on hers, tongue hot in her mouth as he started at the buttons that Cagalli had abandoned. She couldn't help moaning and digging her fingers up into Kira's hair.
The knock at the door made them both freeze.
"Lunch," a muffled voice announced.
"Lunch," Cagalli echoed softly, pulling away. "I..."
"I know," Kira said. "Should be enough for both of us."
Cagalli sighed, paused, and then quickly kissed his cheek.
"Lunch... and would you like to go see a new library with me?"
"Yeah," Kira said as he reached to grab one of her hands and squeeze. "And after that... we've got some talking to do."
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