|Where Time Takes Us
Author: btsaphron PM
Set after ep.25 R2, just at the last scene. Is C.C. alone on that cart, or is she really talking to Lelouch? What happened to everyone after Zero returned? LuluXC.C. for now. First fic ever so don't be mean XD ...R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Chapters: 2 - Words: 7,578 - Reviews: 42 - Favs: 37 - Follows: 67 - Updated: 10-19-08 - Published: 10-03-08 - id: 4573887
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Notes: Set after ep.25 R2, just at the last scene. Is C.C. alone on that cart, or is she really talking to Lelouch? What happened to everyone after Zero returned? (my take on r3) sorry if characters seem OOC First fic ever so i don't really know what i'm doing...reviews would be appreciated though...XD
Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass or any of its characters...
Chapter 1: Undying Life
18 miles from Tokyo Settlement, 6 months after the 'Zero Requiem'
"The power of kings known as Geass, will isolate you..." C.C. twirled her long hair lazily in her fingers, reminiscing. "Well, I guess I was wrong about that in the end… ne Lelouch?" she said, nodding in the general direction of the one in question.
An 18-year-old boy smirked under his sun hat. Amethyst eyes cast towards the blue sky. A shawl wrapped loosely around his slender shoulders, a piece of straw in his mouth.
"No, you were dead right the first time, C.C., you can't possibly call our life as it is now, free, can you?"
C.C. rolled her eyes, apparently he was still as stubborn as when they had first met. "Hey, I can call it whatever I like, besides, it seems pretty free from where I am." Green hair splayed out, tangled in the hay, nothing but the sound of birds and a steady clip-clop of hooves on the dirt track.
C.C. had always been alone. Company simply wasn't her thing, considering her past relationship with humans. That's right, she called them humans, as she herself is a 3000-year-old immortal witch that lived for only herself, her wants and her whims. But something about a certain dark-haired boy had changed that part of her in the past two years. C.C. was too scared to admit to anything. Too afraid to submit to the unruly emotions she felt and accept another's company as genuine.
Perhaps she was human after all.
Perhaps she really had fallen in love with Lelouch.
"C.C." The familiar voice below her spoke. C.C. closed her eyes when she noticed the playful tone in his voice had vanished. "Ignoring the fact that I am bound to life, bound to time, and essentially bound to you for eternity, I'm never going to forgive you for not telling me."
"Hmmm? Tell you about your Code? I thought you knew, that's why you could go through with your little 'Zero Requiem'."
"How could I have possibly known?!"
"Why else would I be okay with your suicide agenda? Silly boy. I told you I'd always stay by your side, remember? Besides…" Lifting her arms to place them behind her head, the green-haired girl smiled contemptuously. "I didn't want to end this experience just yet…"
From below, Lelouch sighed. "You know C.C…" he began, twirling the straw in his mouth. "You are sounding more and more human these days…"
There was a small 'huff' from above.
Lelouch leaned back, hat flopping over his eyes hiding his face from possible onlookers. Life was simple at the moment. Reflecting back, Lelouch had concluded that he really had got everything he wanted. All of the people he loved are happy living in the peaceful world that he had created. Nunally. Kallen and the student council members. The Black Knights. All of the world's superpowers were united as one, under the United Federation of Nations. Even after all the tears, after the many lives that had been lost; he was happy. Probably happier than he ever had been. Perhaps C.C. was right. They were free.
It had been 6 months since that day. Since Lelouch's 'death'. They had done it together, him and Suzaku, just like they promised. All the world's built-up hatred, was pushed onto a single person and eliminated. Lelouch was happy to die for this cause, only…that's where the problem lay.
The former 99th Emperor of Britannia lay dying at the bottom of the float. There was excruciating pain, but more so a mind numbing throb in his head. Lelouch could not even feel his sister hold his hand to her teary face as she had realized the truth in her brother was not of a murderer, but of a pacifier.
"It can't be…Oni-sama…all along… you were…" She stared in pain as a pool of blood formed around her dying brother. "Oni-sama, I love you!" Her voice was too quiet too hear. People were running and screaming, crying and laughing. For their hero, Zero, had returned and saved them from the tyrant; the 99th Emperor of Britannia.
Lelouch remembered dieing. He remembered his last vision of Nunally and the moments of his life that flashed through his mind.
He remembered smiling and closing his eyes in peace while Nunally screamed for him.
…An overwhelming blackness that drowned out all light, sound and feeling. Senseless and floating in a dark space. No up or down. No thought. Just… nothingness.
Then light. From above him somewhere. Light bent into a pattern, distinguishing curves: the unmistakable symbol of Geass. Images of somebody else's life were played out before him. Or maybe it was his own life; he couldn't tell. The symbol was intriguing; it sparkled and beckoned toward him. It's light filled all of his senses, encapsulating him entirely. He could feel his mind accepting the symbol without his consent, moving towards it, reaching out. Closer, closer…into the light…
Then there was noise. And a voice he often heard in his dreams.
"..open your eyes!...Oni-sama…that's unfair! I would have been happy just being with you, Oni-sama!...I can't bear a future without you! I just can't! Oni-sama!!..."
Please don't cry for me, Nunally…
He could feel again. There were wet tears sliding down his face. A shaking hand was squeezing his. And a familiar chant rose up from all around. Over and over again. Thousands of voices…
"...Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero!..."
Getting louder. Nunally's screams. Movement, hustle, excitement.
"Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero!"
It was in this moment. As he lay, dead, below the very hero he created. In this moment. As people cheered over the death of the person who had ultimately given them peace.
It was in this moment, he realized to his absolute horror;
He was no longer mortal.
The sun was warm on the green paddocks. It seemed even the weather was more peaceful these days.
"Although C.C, I must thankyou for rescuing me that day… I'm afraid what they would have done to me if they found out I hadn't been killed…"
C.C. smiled at the comical thought. If Lelouch had have decided to stand up and start yelling 'hey, I'm not dead yet' that would have been tragic. Two miracle makers in one vicinity is one too many. Beforehand, Jeremiah Gottwald had contacted her; worried about Lelouch's 'plan'. C.C. told him the truth, and at the same time asked him to make sure Lelouch came to no harm on the day. Jeremiah was only too happy to comply.
C.C. rolled onto her stomach. "I didn't do anything, you should be thanking your orange friend. I just asked him to bring me your 'corpse'. You must have played dead well."
Lelouch frowned. "No, I think I passed out again, because I don't remember anything like that at all." Which was true, he couldn't remember anything past the initial shock of his discovery. Jeremiah had inconspicuously injected a special poison into Lelouch during all the commotion. It was a poison that stayed in the blood stream for hours, effectively ensuring Lelouch would stay 'dead' during that time. Every time his heart started beating again, it stopped almost straight away until the poison wore off. It was enough to convince Cornelia. Lelouch Vi Britannia was as good as dead.
The dirt track wound through the trees, the paddocks were no longer visible through the scrub. Lelouch pulled on the reigns and the cart came to a stop outside a small farm cottage, made of old brick and sturdy wooden doors. Ivy climbed up the walls and around the chimney, massive oak trees drooped down low, and the sound of water from a small river tinkled gently. C.C. hopped down from the cart gracefully, grabbing her bag and Cheese-kun, and followed Lelouch who was leading the horses to a small shelter around the back of the cottage.
"I still can't believe you found such a place like this in such a short amount of time."
C.C. raised an eyebrow. "Oh?... I've been around a lot longer than you have, boy…" She said, running her hand along the brickwork while gazing at his questioning eyes as they meandered up the stone path. "But you're right, after I left the Palace when your mother was killed… I had nowhere to go. And Charles didn't seem to care what I did…" Lelouch frowned at the mention of his late father's name. "You know, right? This is close to the place you were sent with Suzaku…I came to live here so I could I watch you grow up, Lelouch."
Lelouch looked surprised. "You…lived here?"
C.C. nodded. "But you left soon after and I grew bored over time. I went to the Tokyo Settlement and ran into trouble with Clovis and his men. Then you rescued me that time, coincidently, with Suzaku."
Lelouch remembered that time very well. "That's when you gave me my Geass."
C.C. smiled and helped Lelouch tie the horses under the shelter. "I never thought I'd find myself here again, especially with you…" she mused, earning a strange look from the other. They locked the gates and walked back to the cottage together, as the sun set over the hills.
This really was the perfect place for them. Out of the way, secret and unheard of; they could move around with little trouble, as not many people lived near. Lots of the Japanese had moved in to the settlement since it was no longer a part of Britannia. So in the past few months, Lelouch and C.C. had set up their little home. It's the perfect size for two people, and was in reasonable condition when came. They brought food, a television, furniture, running water, wood for fire, horses, photo's, paper cranes, a chess set and various other items.
There was only one bed though; a double. So they would sleep together every night. It was different though, since they were living alone together. And it was comforting as it reminded them both strongly of their Ashford days. C.C. would always fall asleep hugging Cheese-kun, hogging the bed space and complaining that Lelouch was a nuisance. In the morning, however, Lelouch would always wake up first, finding her arms curled tightly around his waist. He didn't mind; it was warm on the cold nights, and the fire was usually burnt down by then. But then he had to go about the difficult task of peeling her arms from around him. C.C. would wake up and sulk from the loss of warmth as he got up to shower, and Lelouch would always roll his eyes and wave her away. After Lelouch had made breakfast, she would emerge with Cheese-kun, her usual care free self. And they would sit down together and eat, listening to the birds sing happily outside. It was like this every morning.
They accepted that the only company they had was each other, but neither were complaining. Heck, C.C. even liked to think they belonged together, but that might be taking it a little too far. She just liked to know that no one was going to take Lelouch away from her anymore. And that he was no longer in constant danger. Maybe she did feel a little guilt, leaving him in the dark about the Code he had received from Charles. But she was glad she had, now that things had turned out like this.
Lelouch was perhaps still in shock. After such an intense lifestyle in the past two years, he was suddenly living in the most peaceful and secluded place he had ever been. It was different, getting up and not having to think, not having to plan the day in excruciating detail. No expectations, no meetings, no fighting, no danger.
It wasn't all a dream however. The first few days were hard. Lelouch had been devastated at the discovery of his Code. On top of that, his Geass was still active.
Lelouch shoved C.C. away, tears streaming down his face. This was the third time today she had tried to calm him down, but all he wanted was to be alone. C.C. knew better than anyone from experience, being alone was not the answer. But he was impervious to her efforts. "C.C.! Just leave! All I wanted was to die, happily, right then! That man wrecks everything! At least you, C.C!? You could have told me! Why?! Why did it turn out like this!? Tchh!" He slapped her hand away from his face and turned to leave. In her frustration, C.C. reached for his arm and stopped him in his tracks. He turned back, infuriated and went to raise his hand to hit her, but the tears gathering in C.C.'s eyes made him hesitate.
"Lelouch! Grow up! You're acting like a spoilt child!" She yelled at him, and his eyes widened in surprise. "If you think you have it bad, this is how I've felt for the past 3000 years! Everyday was pointless, everyday was torture, you'll never understand what I've been through! Time wore me down, I forgot the human in me, forgot love and friendship, I forgot how to feel, I felt like a container of too many painful memories! It was my never-ending hell and no one would stop it for me, no one! But…it's different now…after I met you, I…" She took a shaky breath; the tears that had welled up in her eyes fell down in streams. She reached for his hand desperately and looked up into his disbelieving eyes. "You changed me, Lelouch…you have awoken a side of me that I thought had died a very long time ago…you have given a me a reason to live! Don't you understand?! I was always worried of your safety…always! Not because of our contract at all…but because I was afraid of losing you!" Lelouch stared down at her pained expression, incredulous. "I was afraid to lose the person who made me truly smile for the first time since I can remember." She sobbed. "You really are the most amazing person I have ever met, and if there was anyone I would want to spend my life with, it would be you! Because I…Lelouch, I…--"
She never got to finish her sentence, as Lelouch pressed his lips to her own. Her eyes grew wide and a blush rose to her cheeks as he held her face in his hands. Their tears mingled together and dropped to the wooden floor with a quiet pat. C.C. was still in shock as Lelouch pulled back and opened his eyes gently, apologetically, still shining with tears. But this time for a different reason.
"C.C." He breathed quietly into her lips, carefully wiping her tears away with his thumb. He wrapped his arms around her smaller form and hugged her close, making a new stream of tears fall down her cheeks. Lelouch closed his eyes once again, his hands tangled tightly in her hair. He was shaking. "I'm so sorry."
Emotions that had been pent up inside for the past two years had finally surfaced. Everything they had experienced together, everything they had felt towards each other; had finally caught up with them. Lelouch let silent tears slide down his face. The one girl he had always relied on to keep him in line, to pull him back if he went too far, to stand at his side wherever he went; had broken down into tears and now cried uncontrollably into his shoulder. He held her, rocking her gently, just as she had done for him on other occasions.
Lelouch realized how ironic it was. They should have been celebrating the new world peace, but instead their neglected emotions won out. In reality Lelouch shouldn't have been at all surprised. He had seen through her cold exterior to the timid girl underneath. If it was only time that had shattered her human heart, then time could repair it once again, just as it was now. After all, Lelouch knew the power in a heart very well.
When she had calmed down, Lelouch took C.C. by her hand and led her outside to an old bench beside the river. It was noon, two days after Zero had re-appeared. Two days after world peace had been established, and the sun was still shining high above their heads. They sat on the bench hand-in-hand for hours, just staring at the clear river water curving its path through the pebbles. They didn't talk, they just sat, letting the sun dry up their tears. There was a mutual understanding between the two, who now shared the same fate. They knew that whatever problems may arise in the future, they would always have each other. And that is the most reassuring feeling one can have.
That night, they had home-made pizza which C.C. had gone to the liberty of preparing the day before. They sat and ate in front of the television, well, at least Lelouch had sat and C.C. had flopped herself carelessly across the couch, to lay comfortably with her head on Lelouch's lap.
They watched the news every night, to catch up on what they missed living in the country. The news had changed dramatically since the war. Instead of war developments and endless lists of soldiers dead, the news consisted of 'little things'. House robberies, celebrities, car accidents, street festivals. It was almost comforting to watch, and (as much as Lelouch hated to admit) even a little boring. What he anticipated most was the daily report from the UFN on their peace progress. They had been a bit wobbly on the first week or so, but after things had settled down they had taken to 'rehabilitating' the world beautifully. The report today was pretty much the same as every other day. More treaties signed, more progress on reconstructing damaged buildings, less people homeless. Lelouch was glad; this was the future he had hoped for.
Lelouch switched off the television and sighed. "C.C." The green haired girl looked up from his lap innocently, a cheese string drooping between her mouth and the pizza. "What are we going to do?"
C.C. blinked twice. "…Huh?" she said, swallowing her bite of pizza.
"Well, we can't stay here forever." Lelouch pointed out, brushing some hair from her face to reveal her mark of immortality, similar to the one on his right hand.
"Technically we can…" C.C. countered and Lelouch rolled his eyes.
C.C. took the last bite of her pizza and chewed slowly, savouring the taste. Then she sat up and snuggled herself into Lelouch's arms, breathing in his familiar scent. She felt his arms wrap around her and smiled. "What's the rush? I like it here…"
Lelouch had a feeling she was going to say something like that. "I was thinking we could travel, start up some type of useful business, or something. Sooner or later, I'm going to go crazy." He tilted her chin so that she faced him. "C.C., I've always wondered, what did you do in all this time you've lived?"
C.C. didn't reply, just stared blankly into inquisitive violet eyes. She didn't want to share her past with Lelouch just yet; some things could only be understood with time. No boy of 18 years, no matter how bright, would comprehend C.C.'s past life in the way she wanted. Lelouch looked away guiltily, as he remembered her sensitivity to this topic, but before he could say anything, C.C. spoke.
"It doesn't matter what you do, Lelouch..." She said quietly, leaning up to kiss his lips gently. "…I'll always follow you."
Lelouch didn't know if he should be worried or comforted at the thought of having a witch on his trail. He looked into her eyes, trying to see if they held anything other than to what she said. But they were unreadable.
"Since you were born…" C.C began smiling to herself. "Marianne had promised you to me." Lelouch's eyes widened. "You were always going to be my prince, Lelouch…"
Lelouch listened in surprised and frowned slightly. "…I was promised to C.C, huh?" he said to himself, appearing deep in thought. It seemed whatever happened, they were always brought back together. Was this what they called fate?
Having C.C. by his side was probably not a bad thing at all. However unreliable she seemed, if Lelouch was there; so was she. Lelouch knew he wanted to help rebuild the world; he was just at a loss for how to go about it. Since they got here, he had been working on the land, helping the farmers start up their farms again. It felt good doing things like that, and the manual labour had given him build. But it wasn't enough. He had other things on his mind, things he needed to atone for that he couldn't do previously. He looked back at C.C. who was casually playing with her hair and smiled.
"C.C". He stated firmly, sure of his decision. C.C. regarded him, tilting her head to the side. "I know what I want to do."