To all the great and hard-working dads out there… HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Disclaimer: I do NOT nor will I EVER own Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny. I wish I did… but I don't.

For my two awesome, wonderful, loving, caring, understanding, supportive, uber-cool parents….

Walking Down The Aisle

Good with hand-to-hand combat

An expert with pistols

One of the best mobile suit pilots around

Athrun Zala is certainly something else. He managed to survive two devastating wars and numerous battles. He lived through turmoil and heart ache.

But the ace was sure that he would never survive this battle.

This is totally different…

Today is his daughter's wedding day…

Today. It's today. The day I've dreaded most has finally arrived. It's today. In less than five hours, my little girl is going to get married. I just can't believe it. My daughter is going to get married… today.

She wanted a simple garden wedding. Cagalli is with her at the moment while I, on the other hand, am suffering from a severe panic attack. If the mother of the bride is to keep her company then what is her father supposed to do? I can't find anyone in this sea of flower arrangements and caterers! No Kira. No Lacus. No Murrue. I would be grateful to bump into Dearka. I guess I forgot how big this house really was. That jerk of a wedding planner won't let me do anything. If I can handle destructive weaponry, I think I'm pretty capable of moving a couple of flower arrangements around.

I let out a sigh…

She's still so young. I just don't think she's ready. Marriage is no picnic. I don't want her to get hurt.

The moment she entered my life, I knew my world would forever be transformed. The first time I cradled her in my arms, my heart was filled with joy and pride. I wanted to protect her. I wanted to turn this world into a safe, loving, and secure haven for her. I was responsible for her and that made me scared. I already started worrying even before she was born. I was afraid that I would fail as a parent. I didn't want my flaws and mistakes to affect her. But once I saw those lovely eyes and that adorable toothless smile, all my worries were erased. I then realized that going through those nine months of pure torture was definitely worth it.

I ventured out into the garden and spotted the little flower girls trying to perfect their walk down the aisle as the soft breeze played with their cherry blossom pink dresses. I smiled. They looked so happy. Their innocent laughter was music to my ears. She had a similar laugh back when she was their age. That's when I began to notice that she was starting to look like her grandmother. Well, except for her eyes. She has Cagalli's eyes. She inherited her stubbornness and short temper as well. She was such a troublesome child. She could never stay put even for a minute. Cagalli and I were never bored. She was so inquisitive. Her big amber eyes would always look at us with trust; thinking that we knew the answers to everything. Our world was filled with Why's and How Come's.

"Why is the sky blue, Daddy?"

"Mommy, how come girls can wear skirts but boys can't?"

And don't get me started with the "Where do mobile suits come from?" question.

She knew that she wasn't like any of the other kids. She had two war veterans for parents. Of course, she would get upset whenever we were too busy to spend time with her, but she never doubted our love for her.

She just loved spending time with us. That mouth of hers just never seemed to have an off button. She always had a story to tell. Her hugs and kisses were ever-lasting.

I was the person she ran to whenever something was troubling her.

I was the super hero who would drive the monsters under the bed away.

I was her crying shoulder; her hand to hold.

I was her best friend.

Puberty (PYOO-ber-tee): noun – refers to the process of physical changes by which a child's body becomes an adult body.

Otherwise know as A PARENT'S WORST NIGHTMARE

If you've lived through your child's puberty stage, you will most likely survive the next nuclear war. Puberty came with a vengeance and without warning.

Acne problems

Training bras

Lots and lots of Angst

And puberty wouldn't be puberty without the infamous Red Sea

When the teenage years came along, she began distancing herself from me. Being "different" finally got to her. She desired to be like all the other children who could get out of the house without being followed around by body guards. Having the Orb Head Representative for a mother and an ace pilot for a father got her unwanted attention. She was more temperamental; more secretive. I wanted to be aware of what was going on with her but she never opened up to me. We never had decent conversations anymore. No matter how much I knocked, she kept her doors shut tight. I missed her hugs and kisses. I didn't know her anymore.

I found myself standing in front of the door of her room. I can hear Cagalli telling her how gorgeous she looks in her wedding dress; that she has never seen anyone more beautiful.

She is indeed very attractive. But having a daughter who was not only beautiful but intelligent as well did make me very nervous. She had an ocean of suitors. After years of begging and persuasion, I finally decided to let her go on that crucial first date… without any body guards. I guess it was alright… I mean, this was her last year of high school. She could take care of herself. It wouldn't hurt to give her a little taste of freedom.

That night was pure torture. The brave soul seemed like a very nice boy, but how could I trust him with my daughter? My pacing back and forth drove Cagalli insane. They were supposed to be home by 10:30…. It was 10:35 and they still weren't home! I thought he said he was only going to take her out to have some dinner!

I finally saw them approaching the gate. They were walking hand-in-hand. She looked so starry-eyed and happy… That is, before she saw the squad of police cars parked on our driveway. Not to mention, the fire department, an ambulance, the Justice, Uncle Kira's Strike Freedom, and the sight of Cagalli trying to rip my head off.

She didn't speak to me for what seemed to be centuries after that incident, claiming that no one in their right mind would be willing to go out with her ever again. But to both Cagalli and my surprise, that same boy asked her out on another date. This kid was definitely something else. He asked her out on a third date and another one after that until she eventually became his girlfriend. I think anyone who was willing to put up with my "insanely strict" rules was worthy of dating my daughter. He made her so happy. I gave him a single warning, though: Break her heart and I break you….

It didn't take long for her to leave the house and head for college. It was a good thing for her to be on her own. She couldn't live a sheltered life forever. I had to let her go and make her learn from her own mistakes. She had to learn how to stand on her own two feet. She needed to survive on her own; without our help. I am so proud of the woman she has become. I always saw her as a leader, strong in her convictions. Nothing would stop her from achieving her dreams. No star was out of her reach.

My daughter is a blessing that I am forever thankful for. I enjoyed seeing her take her first steps and hearing her say her first words. I look at her today, no longer a baby but a beautiful young woman.

I am not a perfect parent. I've made mistakes and I haven't always been a good example to her. But I have been consistent in doing one thing: I have never stopped loving my daughter. A parent's love is constant and unconditional. It is there despite all the arguments and misunderstandings. It has a life-time guarantee.

When they informed us about the engagement, I felt like my world was coming to an end. I wanted to be happy, but the thought of losing my only daughter caused me a great deal of sadness. How could I say yes to this wedding? What made me say yes to this wedding?

"Athrun, what's the matter?"

"Huh?" I said, snapping out of my trance.

"You know I hate it whenever you pace back and forth like that," Cagalli said.

"Where is she?"

"She's already downstairs. It's going to start soon."

"I was just thinking," I began.

"Yeah?" she said skeptically.

"Do you think it's too late to cancel the wedding?"

"ATHRUN!"

"Sorry…"

She let out a loud sigh. "Look. I know you're just looking out for her, but this is her decision. She thought long and hard about this. Don't you think worrying and thinking about the What If's is just… pointless? "

"I guess your right."

"Of course I'm right."

Suddenly...

"It's time!" the wedding planner yelled. "It's time!"

Cagalli gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Don't worry. She knows what she's doing. She's a big girl."

Lenore finally arrived. She did look gorgeous in her wedding gown; simple yet elegant. Everyone was ready… Well, except for me. I was really tensed. Lenore grabbed hold of my arm.

"Relax, Daddy," she chuckled.

I blinked. My daughter was telling me to relax on her wedding day?

The doors suddenly opened. The sun's unpleasant glare stung my eyes, but I quickly regained my composure and with that, Lenore and I began our long walk down the aisle. The garden was beautiful. It was adorned with pink and white roses. Delicate rose petals were sprinkled neatly on the aisle.

We passed many smiling faces. All our close friends were invited…

I glanced over at Lenore. Her walk is so graceful. There isn't a hint of nervousness on her face. Her smile is even lovelier today. I can see how sure and determined she is. She knows what she's doing; what she's getting herself into. She's ready to be with the man she loved; the only man who was brave enough to ask her out; the man who made her happy and who never broke her heart.

I knew right then and there that it was time… Time to let her go.

My parent's weren't present during my wedding. Neither were Cagalli's. So I am very happy right now; to be here with Lenore.

We finally made it to the altar and right before I was going to take my place next to Cagalli, Lenore said something that made tears fall out of my eyes. It was almost a whisper but it was audible enough. Those words have not been said in a very long time. Hearing them gave me the assurance I needed. They were just four simple words yet they meant so much…

"I love you, Daddy."

Author's Notes: I hope you all enjoyed! I really worked hard on this so I hope my efforts paid off. I'm sorry if I made Athrun a bit OOC. I just really wanted to show his worry-wart/over-protective side.

I'd like to thank my best friend, renka002, for giving me GREAT suggestions and for helping me get through Writer's Block.

Review, I say! Review! X3

Look up and smile… Someone up there loves you…

(",/ )->

Ephesians 6:1-4:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" – which is the first commandment with a promise – "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy life on the earth."

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.