He smiled. He had to. It was hard not to when she was like this. With the way she looked and acted now, like a schoolgirl who'd just realized the summer holidays were upon her, he couldn't help but feel like he was a schoolboy again as well. So, as he watched her run, her short auburn hair blown straight out behind her in the wind, it was all he could do not to go after her. After all, he had an image to maintain. He was an elite soldier, he was the best of the best, he was...
He was still a teenager.
Ah what the heck...
With a gleeful bellow, he abandoned his sedate swagger and sprinted after her, making her laugh even harder as she accelerated. He couldn't be bothered that Kira and Lacus were staring at him from the patio of the orphanage. They could stare all they wanted for all he cared.
The physical training he'd had, and his innate ability as a Coordinator meant it was no time at all before he caught up with her and tackled her, the two of them rolling like children in the sand, hooting and screaming and giggling like they were ten years old all over again.
"GAH! There's SAND in my hair! My beautiful hair!" she exclaimed, pouting, an evil glint in her eyes as she suddenly shook herself violently like a wet puppy and sending sand flying everywhere, much to his chagrin as he coughed and spat.
"Why you little..." he coughed.
She squealed in protest, then in horror, as he tackled her again and started tickling her with a vengeance.
"STOP! STOP! I GIVE UP! I GIVE UP!!!"
He tickled her for a few more minutes as she squealed and struggled till, suddenly exhausted, he collapsed onto his back in the sand, panting from all the laughing. Still laughing, she shakily got to her feet, staggered a few steps, and collapsed by his side.
"Gods, I hate you," she panted.
Suddenly worried, he stole a glance at her face, but the breathless smile plastered over it reassured him that she wasn't serious. Not that she didn't have valid reason to, but it was nice to know that she didn't hate him. Especially since, for the first time in his life, things had all seemed right when he'd met her. Well, after the initial... unpleasantries. Still. With her, he'd found his center, and no small measure of peace. To say he'd hate to lose that would be a rather gross understatement.
Grinning, he brushed loose strands of brownish-red hair out of her eyes as she cuddled closer, a blissful expression on her face. She was almost like a cat sometimes when she was like this, and he was suddenly tempted to stroke her. Though not quite in that fashion.
She sighed as she lay her head on his chest, and they both stared into the deep azure sky. So much had happened, and so many things had turned out in an unexpected fashion, but he was glad she was with him. Ecstatic, even, in his own quiet way, but he'd be damned if he'd show it.
The waves lapped gently on the shore, whispering softly as they lay there, conscious only of their quiet breathing and the beating of their hearts. He wasn't certain why, but he suddenly felt like he was blushing, and the air was beginning to take on a certain intensity that he wasn't quite sure how to interpret.
He started a little as she moved, and their eyes met with what he could only describe as a sudden jolt, almost like getting hit by lightning, and his blood felt like liquid flame. The fact that the sun was setting was not helping him much. He watched almost helplessly, drowing in the feeling as the sky turned from blue to orange to a flaming red that suddenly seemed to match the colour of her hair and make her seem so much more... real than she'd ever felt before.
His eyes flashed quickly in the direction of the orphanage. Thankfully, it wasn't visible, which meant that no one could see them either. Though, with that excuse out of the way, he had no idea how to stop what was to come. And suddenly, he found himself wondering why he wanted to.
She edged forward, and he could only watch as she leaned forward and brushed her lips against his, setting his soul on fire.
It was strange. This wasn't their first kiss, not by far, but the moment felt so right and so real that, for a second, he was beginning to doubt if this was happening to him, or wonder if he was in some other world.
In spite of himself, though something in him was screaming that he was losing control, he gave himself up to it. Closing his eyes, he kissed her back gently.
At least for now, all was right with the world.
Title: The Wind in Her Hair, The Sun in Her Smile
Author/Artist: Veldspar aka Ataiki
Pairing: Dearka Elthman x Miriallia Haww
Fandom: Gundam SEED / Gundam SEED DESTINY
Theme: #3 (jolt!), #19 (red) and #29 (the sound of waves)
Disclaimer: Gundam SEED and its characters belong to Sunrise and Bandai. Please don't sue. I'm harmless!!! *makes hamster noises*...