It has been a long time since I have written anything, last time was in 2011 I saw.

This will not get occasional weekly updates, thinking this story through will take me some time even while knowing the direction I want to go in.
So please bear with me.

This couple has been a favorite of mine since the series started and even though Destiny has never been the best, it is pretty much hated by everyone I talk to, I want to give it a twist and change it to match more on what I have in my head right now.

It might start out and it will follow some of the major points in the plot but I want the characters (mainly our couple mains) to experience things differently and to have a different view on what goes on around them. Pretty much I want it to be more about them and their experience through it all.

If all ends well then I also have a sequel in mind.

It has been ages since I even saw Seed and even though I do some research there might be some errors here and there. But it might also be a good thing to not stick to the original script since I want to make my own things out of it.

This story is also posted on AO3 by myself.

Thanks you for reading this.

Phase 01: Ideals

It still surprised him how much his mind could still do, how it could make him taste the ashes exactly the same as that day even when years had already passed.

Shinn felt the muscles in his calves spasm and twitch as his father pulled him along, his legs tired but his mind on such an edge that they wouldn't stop running even if he wanted them to. He looked over his shoulder as his mother urged them on. Fire creeping up from the hills as the city burned and the wind picking up as mobile suits flew over.

I thought we would be safe, is what went through his head. The tension of war had already been there but none of them really knew what that meant. It was only something they saw on TV.

"Just a little further!" his father spoke when they suddenly stopped running.

His mother caught up with them, her hand around the arm of his younger sister, who was just as lost as he was. Boats! he remembered. There were ships that would take them to safety!

"We have to hurry!" his father said again as he pulled Shinn along, his mother followed swiftly was it not for his sister suddenly putting up resistance.

"My phone!" His father stopped running and Shinn looked down the slope to see the pink item rolling down and coming to a stop not far from them.

"Leave it!" His mother shouted with anger, but Shinn knew how much that phone meant to her. When they were told the Earth Alliance would attack Orb they tried to pack their belongings however the only thing they managed to take was a suitcase filled with photographs, some money and clothes. The only thing his sister managed to take was her cellphone, everything else that was theirs was probably up in flames by now.

Shinn ripped his arm from his father's grip and jumped down the slope, "I'll get it!" He didn't want to see his sister cry.

"Onii-chan!" she shouted as he made his way down to the phone, grabbing it tightly in his hand as he looked up the slope, raising the other to tell them he was alright. He remembered his sister's smile right before...

A blaze of light that slowly faded as he suddenly found himself lying on concrete. Wasn't he up the hill just now? He tried to look but his eyes stung heavy, one side felt hazy and he couldn't see well with it no matter how many times he blinked. He tried to listen but couldn't listen clearly. He tried to rub his eyes but found that his right arm wasn't moving. His left still holding onto the phone which he dropped on the floor before him as he rubbed at his face.

His mother? His father? Mayu? Why wasn't he hearing their voices?

His hand lowered and he closed right eye because he couldn't see with it. What happened?! His left hand lowered and was covered with dirt and blood. He watched his fingers shake and took notice of the blood around him. His breathing stalled and choked as he saw what had happened to his right arm. A shred of fabric stained with red was all he saw. It was gone. "M.. Mother?!" he shouted but could barely get the words out.

"Father..! M.. Mayu!" Finally he gazed upon the hillside before him in shock. Through the smoke and fire he saw that the entire hillside where he had been standing, where his family had been standing had been blown away. The trees that once stood had been broken like thin twigs and scattered. The ground turned upside down and everything once green was gone.

He gasped when he saw a foot among the rubble. "M..Mother!" he choked out. Her body had been thrown as if a boneless rag, shoes missing and dirt covering every inch of her skin, he could only see her legs but from the color of her dress he knew it was his mother. Flakes of red covering the ground around her and several trees stacking up on her torso.

Shinn couldn't describe the feeling he then felt. His shoulders shook and tears made their way down his face, tears covered with blood and dirt. His right eye stung and he grabbed Mayu's phone while trying to crawl forward using his left arm, his body wouldn't get up. His legs wouldn't move.

"No.." he begged as his eyes scanned the smoke filled crater that now resided where they were once standing. Surely his father would have protected his sister, surely they would be alright!

"No.." he whispered again as he saw what remained of his father, his body smeared out into a splash of red and quickly he searched the rest of the hillside in panic. His sister then, she had to be alright! She was a smart girl! But he gasped when he saw what was once her beautiful dress, now stained with flakes of red. Pulled up too high on one side. Her face turned away from him but lying there posed as if she had been thrown away carelessly.

"Ma.. Mayu!" he yelled with a croaked voice. She had to be alright! She was just wounded! She had been fine just then! The grip on his phone tightened as he tried to crawl. Footsteps could be heard from behind him.

"No.. Mayu.. Mayu!"

He awoke with a start and a gray hand slammed down on the alarm clock next to his bed. The internal screen cracking under the force of the arm.

Shinn sat up slowly, his left hand rubbing at his eyes as he scanned around his small apartment, slowly evening out his breathing. He lived in a small studio that was now mostly empty, couple of packed duffels at the door and a garment bag hanging on the side of an empty closet.

He blinked and in his line of vision an internal clock opened up. He was going to be late he realized while getting to his feet. Thin lines ran up the side of his legs, lighter than his pale skin already was and disappearing under his boxer shorts. His back was covered with the same, thin lines following the contours of his muscles up and down his arms to his wrists. The lines on his right arm stopped mid bicep where the pale skin was replaced by gray metal plating that shaped the rest of his arm and hand. Although mechanical it followed the smooth contours of his arm and fingers. The top of his lower arm labeled with stamped lettering; ZF-AS-05.

He got rid of the shirt he was wearing and dropped his boxers to the floor as he went to the bathroom for a quick shower to shake off his dream. Today was the first day he would officially be on board of a warship as a pilot, Durandal was expecting him to be on time. He better not disappoint him.

It had been two years since the war ended, two years since Athrun visited Zaft and even now he still felt pain inside his heart. But this time he wasn't here because of fighting, war or because he was too blind to see the truth. This time he sides with Cagalli and stuck to her side to rebuild what was once destroyed.

"Are you alright Athrun?" she asked and Athrun turned his gaze away from the docking platform and sighed. "How many times do I have to say it? You can't call me Athrun, my name is Alex Dino and I-"

"You are my loyal bodyguard who was born on Orb and have been a loyal friend to my family, I know!"

He smiled at the pout on Cagalli's lip. She had disagreed with him on this many a term but he felt correct about changing his name, people just wouldn't understand, he thought.

His hands closed a magazine on his lap, it had been send to him by the chairman himself for whatever reason. 'I heard you were into robotics, perhaps this will interest you' is what the note said.

It interested him alright, these were things that didn't exist two years ago and in the short time of recovery had taken off in development. Limb replacement therapy for veterans and victims of the war.

"First man makes the mobile suit to sit in and wage war and now," Cagalli spoke and he looked up as she grabbed the folder from his lap "now they change themselves into living weapons."

"How can you be so sure?"

She frowned at him "Trust me, it is only a matter of time."

Cagalli was visiting Plant per request as worry grew in her own government concerning Zaft's recent behavior. News had reached Orb that Zaft was rebuilding its military, that together with the announcement that there had been breakthrough in science regarding limb replacement therapy, concerned her because Orb had lent Plant assistance. The other families and council members of Orb grew restless hearing that their aid was being used to expand Zaft's military. This concern had been on his mind as well, how long would this peace last? The chairman had suggested they visit and meet on the day one of their newest and most advanced flagship would launch for the first time and leave its docking base. Minerva they called it. Cagalli still acted angry about it even when Athrun insisted her to act more professional.

"Another gunship?! I guess we have to show off!" He heard people say in the arrival hall as they passed it through with the railing system. Nothing out of the ordinary really. They passed a group of teenagers, mothers with children and government officials as they moved forward. There were a lot of civilians around and so he asked Cagalli "Are you sure about those clothes? Did you bring any dresses?"

Cagalli gazed at him in disapproval "These clothes are fine right?!"

His gaze softened and he moved closer to her. "These may be fine but you have to look the part sometimes. You'll be meeting with Zaft's chairman and there are plenty of people around, you don't want to be seen as weak in front of them.."

Cagalli averted her gaze and kept silent.

From the boarding platform they left to the main elevator, exchanging small corridors and zero gravity for the open planes inside Plant's colony. Cagalli gasped at the sight of green fields and blue lakes but inside Athrun felt no relief, instead he felt tense and wondered how today would go. He had a bad feeling about this.

Cagalli hadn't met with many officials on her own and she was still learning how to lead a country and deal with political games. She had always been wild at heart and even though Athrun liked that about her he also knew that for others that side could be used as a weakness. He had to protect her from that.

"Welcome, princess of Orb." Chairman Durandal of Zaft greeted them together with his lackeys.

Cagalli stepped forward and shook his hand welcoming his kindness and quick change of schedule. Athrun stood back but couldn't help but feel something as the chairman's eyes glanced at him. Durandal was a young man, slender in frame with long black hair and eyes that expressed kindness. Athrun understood that he had done a great deal to improve relations with other countries, including the Earth Alliance and was personally responsible for the development of the limb replacement therapy that was soon to be announced. Before becoming chairman he had been a scientist in the medical field and one of the first things he did when becoming chairman was fund this research what he had called: 'a next step away from the suffering of war.'

"I am very glad to see your country doing so well, envious even of your success." he said while sitting down on one of the chairs.

Cagalli sat down across him and replied "There is still a lot that needs to be done though."

"Such as? What could be on the princess's mind that she so urgently wishes to visit Plant?" Sitting back Durandal's eyes narrowed and he crossed his legs, "I heard your requests were quite complex, princess."

Athrun decided those kind eyes were actually quite calculating and cunning.

"I don't think it is that complex, however after requesting multiple times I still haven't received any reply from your officials." she said with fire and looked the man straight in the eye before continuing, "So that puts in question how complex our request is. We as a nation have requested time and time again that you stop putting our assistance: the technology and human resources that were given to you after the war ended to military use!"

Athrun glanced at Cagalli, eager as she sounded he was also shocked by her stupidity. To demand such a thing outright was never a good idea, specially when you were in the lion's den.

"Are you done yet? We're going to be late!" Shinn complained angrily as Yolant paid the cashier.

The girl behind the counter looked at him nervously but Yolant put her at easy using his usual charm. Shinn sighed, annoyed by the behavior of his friend. He adjusted his grip on the 2 heavy duffels and the garment bag which he had slung over his shoulder and made his way outside while checking the time and estimated travel time to the base.

He could make it in 10 minutes if he tried,but he couldn't just leave Yolant behind, even if he was being a pain in the ass. He was rerouting their route as he stepped outside not paying attention when someone slammed into his side. The 2 bags fell heavily on the ground and his hands grabbed onto the person who had run into him to prevent them from falling.

"Are you alright?" he asked as he carefully helped her on her feet, Yolant came up from behind a smile on his face when he saw what Shinn was holding onto.

"Who are you?" she asked. The girl, petite in frame with blonde hair coming down to her shoulders looked up at him, her eyes bright pink but when she scanned his face they turned to anger and she pulled herself out of his grip. Shinn quickly released her and watched as she ran away, her white dress dancing as she quickly left the street. He was used to people giving him strange looks, even being afraid of what he was but Yolant quickly elbowed his side and said "You totally grobed her didn't you?" It wasn't even on his mind but he suddenly realized that he had held onto her breasts when he prevented her from falling.

His face turned bright red "Not on purpose!"

"You lucky dog! C'mon we will be late!" Shinn protested but grabbed all his bags nonetheless and followed him.

"As successor of the great lord Uzumi Nara Athha, how do you suggest we handle things in the current state of the world?" They walked through the hangars and looking around Athrun was confirmed with what he had feared. Mobile suits, there were various but plenty of mobile suits to create a platoon. If this base held this many suits then what else did Durandal have?

Durandal continued "I think you know the answer to that. We will protect and maintain the ideals of our nation. We will not invade other nations, but we will not allow other nations to invade our own. We will stay out of conflicts of other nations and not choose sides." he stopped walking.

Athrun's feelings concerning Durandal had been correct, the kindness in his eyes had been like a trap. Now he was countering Cagalli's demands with the same ideals her own nation carried, the same words her father used.

"Those are our ideals as well, however without power such words can never hold truth. I am sure you understand that," Durandal spoke. He was playing a smart game. "after all, isn't that why Orb also maintains its own military facilities, princess?"

Cagalli knew there was nothing to reply, she knew it sounded hypocritical to have such demands. "Please, stop calling me princess." she said to him instead.

"Sorry, I mean representative Athha," Durandal continued his way "I can't help but wonder, what are you so worried about? Pressure from the Atlantic Federation? Fear that Orb will be accused for lending military assistance and thereby breaking treaty rules? Don't worry, there is no evidence to back that up. The fact however remains that Plant took care of the many refugees from Orb after the war, why not make use of their skill and knowledge? " he stopped walking and looked at her again with a smile "In a part it is thanks to Orb that we managed to fund and improve limb replacement therapy, for that alone we are in your debt."

Cagalli inhaled sharply, she hated being put on a pedestal. "There is a second thing I wanted to discuss, this limb replacement therapy?"

Durandal smiled at her. "Of course, after the ceremony has been completed I wanted to show you one of our labs, to show you our progress and to let you meet with some of the people who applied for the thera-" The sound of an alarm caught Durandal's attention and Athrun as well as Cagalli looked up to see what the commotion was about.

Everywhere around them people were on high alert. When the sound of bending metal caught his ears the first thing Athrun did was pull Cagalli down on the ground.

"Get down!" he yelled as he pushed her down on the pavement further as a loud explosion sounded, screams as well as smoke filled the area.

"Gaia, Abyss and Chaos have been hijacked! Launch the mobile suits!" One of the foreman yelled as he helped Cagalli up her feet. People were running, explosions sounded around them and in front of them a giant mobile suit caused havoc, blasting at the hangers and destroying them.

Athrun could not recognize the model which probably meant.

"A.. Gundam?" Cagalli spoke, recognized it as well. Athrun knew he had to get Cagalli to safety, the scenario looked all too familiar.

They ran along through the debris, the chairman had left the other way. Athrun didn't care where he was going, it wasn't safe out in the open. he worried about the colony, they were in the open and being in space made them vulnerable. If anything went wrong with the colony they could easily die. He couldn't let that happen.

"Why is this happening?!" Cagalli shouted as he pushed her down to avoid being caught in another explosion.

The three mobile suits had split up and were actively destroying each hangar they could find. It prevented other mobile suits from launching as they were either blocked or destroyed. Up ahead however he saw a mostly intact Zaku model. It will do, he thought to himself as he picked Cagalli up in his hands and ran up to the suit.

Once inside Cagalli eyed him with worry as she held onto the chair. Space inside was limited and all she could do was stand beside him hunched over. He understood her worry. He had told her many times over that he was not going to pilot ever again. He launched the operating system, his hands knew the procedure by instinct and he quickly went over the many buttons and switches as he gained visual contact. He turned to her and answered "I can't let you die out here." That was the only reason he was doing this. He had to protect her even if it meant putting aside his own promises.

The Zaku rose to his feet, the debris covering its body falling off, but as soon as Athrun could navigate one of the three, the black Gundam model spotted him and turned before quickening up its pace to attack. He cursed and Cagalli tightened the grip on the piloting seat. Athrun couldn't fend off 3 Gundams, that much he knew. He only needed a chance to get away.

Turning the shielded shoulder of the plated Zake he countered the charging black Gundam with a tackle. Not something the other pilot had expected because it was hit hard and pushed back by the sheer force, creating imbalance. It struck out shortly after using one of its blades.

Athrun expected that the other pilot was underestimating him, he dodged and countered a second strike. The Gundam however hit hard and when a second green Gundam joined the fray he knew he was getting outnumbered. He narrowly sidestepped an incoming attack from the second green Gundam, losing the left arm of his Zaku in the process.

No worries, he thought, as long as I have a shield I can still defend myself.

He steadied his feet and readied to counterattack when something blasted the green Gundam from behind. They both turned to see where it was coming from when a small jet passed them by and pulling up into the sky.

When Athrun turned his gaze upwards he saw various different looking flying vehicles. The segments connecting and combining themselves to a full Mobile Suit and as it landed hard on the ground in front of them a phase shift armor enabled, washing the mobile suit white and red. The suit's arms grabbed two long blades seated on its back, swinging them and combining them to a single weapon, ready for combat.