Title: Quiet Days
Author/Artist: Veldspar aka Ataiki
Pairing: Dearka Elthman x Miriallia Haww
Fandom: Gundam SEED / Gundam SEED DESTINY
Theme: #25 (fence)
Disclaimer: Gundam SEED and its characters belong to Sunrise and Bandai. Please don't sue.
"Hello there, neighbour."
Dearka opened his eyes, then blinked. He'd been dozing while propped up against his fence, and hadn't expected to be woken for at least another half hour at least. And above him, there was something above the top of the fence.
Wincing as he stood to the merry crackling of stiff joints, he turned to locate the source of the greeting. It was readily apparent, actually. There was a hat sticking out over the top of the light blue fence that seperated the houses. The compounds, rather. After all, when one was the son of a member of the ZAFT Supreme Council, it was rather difficult not to own an estate that wasn't the size of... well. The last time he checked, it was about 3 football fields or so. Or maybe 4. He couldn't remember. Whatever it was, it was easy enough to hide in the estate, at least, and it ensured the kids had plenty of space to play in. It also made hide and seek murder - a fact he was thankful for at the moment, since that was exactly what he was doing.
However, he had been found, somehow, by some strange cosmic coincidence, and thankfully, not by someone in the family, who would promptly drag him back to the mansion and insist that he supervise the kids in some way. Or do housework. Something along those lines, anyway.
Now, he just had to figure out who it was.
"Hey there," he ventured tentatively, waving.
The hat raised a hand and waved back. "You doing ok? Don't usually see people skulking against fences like that"
"Yeah," he replied, feeling rather sheepish. "Sorry bout that. Needed to get away."
Dearka watched, bemused, as the hat bobbed up and down as if it was nodding. Or at least, the head it was on was nodding. "Yeah, we all get times like that. Family getting a bit too much to handle?"
"Yeah, kinda. I mean, one son, one daughter, and a pair of twins which make it TWO sons and TWO daughters... egads, it's enough to drive someone crazy."
"Holy... You must REALLY love your wife!"
Dearka laughed. "More than she'll ever know. Hang on, wait a minute. Who are you?"
"Ah, sorry bout that. The name's Gordon. I just moved in here not too long ago."
"Ah, hi Gordon. Name's Dearka."
"Oh my, an ace pilot in the flesh. Really?"
"Nah, not really. I didn't really do much anyhow."
"You're too modest, really."
Dearka grinned a little, then his brow creased. Why am I talking to someone I don't even know? He scratched his head a little in confusion, then shrugged his shoulders. It wasn't like talking to a neighbour would kill him, and it'd be nice to establish some nice friendly ties amongst the neighbours. Surely Millie wouldn't object to that. "So, Mr Gordon, you just moved in huh? Where're you from?"
"Down the street really. I moved exactly three houses down after the last family here moved. The place was bigger and such."
"Ah. I see. Kinda, anyway."
There was a long silence as he tried to think of something to say.
"So, Gordon, what're you doing over there anyway?"
"Some gardening. I find it rather therapeutic. And it keeps me away from the wifey when my ears need to take a break."
"You too, eh?"
"We all need a break sometime, yeah."
"Glad I'm not the only one then."
They both chuckled. Suddenly curious, Dearka went on tiptoe and leaned forward against the fence.
"Whoa there!" said Gordon as he turned around.
Dearka arched an eyebrow. "What's wrong?"
"Sorry," replied Gordon as he cleared his throat. "Shy, I guess. Don't like people seeing my face. You're ok with that right?"
"Yeah, I'm cool."
There was a another long, strange silence, and Dearka suddenly felt a strange urge to, well, confide. His eyebrow twitched as he wondered why. "So..."
"Heh, yeah. The allure of talking to a stranger is kinda interesting, isn't it?"
"What are you? Psychic?" Dearka asked in some alarm.
Gordon laughed. "Nah, not in the slightest. Used to have a neighbour like you once before, kinda. Some guy called Tim. He had the occasional spat with the wifey sometimes, and the occasional kid problem, and he always used to walk right up to the fence and start talking to me about it. It was kinda weird, but kinda comforting too. Nice to know that I ain't the only one with the problems, and problems are smaller when shared."
"I guess," Dearka replied tentatively, rubbing the back of his neck in uncertainty. It WOULD be good to have someone to chat with, about things in general. Especially since Yzak had up and shacked up with that quiet woman... she was the sister to the pilot of that Red Zaku Warrior... ah yes. Hawke, was it? Meiri? Meirin? Something like that. Yeah. Ever since Yzak and Meirin had gotten married and moved, he'd been feeling rather overwhelmed. One pretty wife and four beautiful children, all stubborn, strong-willed and manipulative as hell.
He shuddered a little as he remembered how his daughters had pulled their teary-eyed gazes on him on so many occasions to get dolls, then dresses, then miscellaneous accessories and jewelry, especially the elder one. And the boys weren't much better either. They'd perfected their puppy dog eyes, and it was all he and Millie could do not to cave in. Given the sheer number of girls they had chasing after them [not counting those impudent whippersnappers that even dared to breathe near his girls], they were a testament to good genes leading to good progeny. And TERRIFYING progeny as well.
There were plenty of times he would've killed to get away though, when things got tough, and the tension in the house was so thick you would've had problems cutting it with a beam saber. And ever since Yzak had left, and with Athrun and Kira being so busy with THEIR women, he'd been dying for someone to talk to. Especially someone who WASN'T part of la familia.
Still, he couldn't take chances. He'd have to run a full background check on this Gordon before he'd even think of talking of anything beyond the mundane things like the weather. The last thing he needed was his private life splattered over some tabloid for the entertainment of the masses, like that small fiasco with Athrun and Cagalli during their honeymoon. Granted, Cagalli DID look like a boy, but calling Athrun a closet gay pedophile and Cagalli a dyke was just low. She LIKED wearing caps, jackets and pants. What was wrong with that?
It was tempting though, and an option he might look into. Having a new friend, a sane one who'd offer some good ideas out of some of the horrors his family could come up would be nice.
"We'll see, eh, Gordon? We'll see. Now excuse me a second."
"Alright then. See you around, neighbour."
Dearka smiled and waved back as Gordon waved and the hat bobbed away from the fence, backing up into the bushes behind him. Reaching down, he twisted and yanked with both his hands, eliciting loud yelps of protest from his twins.
"HEY! LEGGO!!!" wailed Darienne as she stood up shakily as Dearka pulled at her long blonde hair, looking paler than her usual fair complexion.
"YOU should talk, he's got my EAR!" whined Myca as his fingers clawed the air ineffectually while his father quickly changed his grip to grab his auburn hair instead, his mocha skin a few shades paler through the pain.
"Didn't I tell you kids never to eavesdrop? And never to try to sneak up on me?" Dearka said, an evil smile on his face as he wiggled his hands around a bit, much to their consternation. 'Come on, back to the mansion. I think your mother and I have something to say to you."
Their wails faded in the distance as they made their way back home.