Author's Note: "Typhoon Frank devastated the Philippines with winds measuring up to 240kph," the damn typhoon poured rain on us for two days and killed internet again.
Sorry for keeping you waiting, here's the epilogue…please finish it or you might miss a nice ending.
For them he was a stranger in their lives.
"Mama, why shouldn't I tell my friends that papa is Zero?" Eirian was very proud of him.
He was never home; he never shared meals with them, play with them and conversed with them, physically so in speaking. Yet he was always alive, alive in the stories of his victorious battles told by their mother before they sleep.
"Mama, I dreamt that papa is a gambler!" He was always in Aurora's imaginations.
He did left those pictures, money and possessions; but the most precious of all- his memories- were not even shared with Eirian or Aurora. They were always under his shadow- under his greatness so that still remained in his absence. They would ask everyone- Aunt Nunally, Aunt Euphie, Uncle Suzaku and Auntie Sayoko about him. They craved for every fact they could know from those who lived with their father.
But he didn't left them a last name, for CC cannot show any marriage certificate to use the name "Lamperouge" so the Ashfords let them use theirs-them being the owner of the school was able to pull something like that.
They are still young and innocent; but when they grow older, the feelings of emptiness from being fatherless will manifest.
When they learn something new, they would talk about it nonstop: papa hates sports, papa can ride horses, papa loves chess-and they are even proud of such small details such as his favorite toothpaste brand or the color of his underwear. His charisma did not fade; even though, all about him was still somewhat shrouded in mystery.
Home of a Distant Memory
She was still waiting.
The rebellion was a huge success. The United States of Japan was officially recognized after a few days by the international community. It was a huge blow on Britannia and a major inspiration to every area. It caused several other movements over the years-both from the ones it enslaved and from within.
Several other resistance groups from around the world modeled themselves from the Order of the Black Knights and fought effectively. The birth of new war tactics from diverse cultures proved to be more powerful from the traditional military system of Britannia- and they were more victorious when united, with the aid of two of Britannia's superpower fiends.
Over the years what was left from the empire's gigantic territory was just a small country no bigger than Australia, scattered and falling apart. Britannian and Honorary Britannian radicals began numerous drastic and violent measures to oust the monarchy. Attacks on nobles, noise barrages, propaganda and rallies became a common occurrence. In was just a matter of time before the name "The Holy Empire of Britannia" was no more.
The Ashfords, who survived the mob attacks who broke after the rebellion, willingly gave considerable sums of money to CC and Nunally even with their refusal. "We're family after all and CC has to stay home until the twins grow a little" was what they told them" They even graciously gave CC a nice small house near the sea after Nunally graduated. Milly can see that the longer she stays on the academy the more torment she experiences. Of course, CC was grateful.
"I'm really sorry CC, but if you need any help, feel free to ask me. I'll always available for you, even if Lloyd takes me to Britannia."
She was still waiting.
It was painful-not only for CC but for others, her acquaintances at least. Anguish was normal for her, and she was utterly a professional in killing and burying feelings. Those remnants may be dead but they certainly remain; for nothing in this world disappears. So it was indeed painful for the one who loved her to see in pain; for suffering is needed to kill hope, but did not gain anything but suffering again. She constantly denied in herself that she never escaped a vicious cycle.
She can escape somehow; when her world was indulged within her two angels. She was always cheerful when she's with them, under that mask lay deep contentment and satisfaction.
She was happy to see the two grew up to be different individuals:
Eirian was a natural leader, being always the active element when he's with other kids. Ever since he attended preschool up to grade one he was always the model student and the bullies' number one enemy. He would defend his weaker classmates with his brute strength and was not afraid to lecture other kids in front of everybody. He was honest and frank and was not ashamed to express himself-declaring that his hero is Zero. He would cosplay him every school festival.
Yet CC has to admit that he was indeed inferior to his father in terms of intelligence. He has top marks but he earned in through hard work. He was indeed industrious; many said that he was very talented but in fact he just did his best in whatever he does-both in sports and housework. Yet, he was indeed a leader.
Aurora was very different from her brother. She was very bright and mature for her age. She was a talented pianist, learning note reading alone- CC gave in and hired a teacher for her. Aurora also had a beautiful voice, and she sings well-however, she was a very shy girl. She would top the class but she has little friends and has difficulty speaking in front of many people.
She was very pretty, and her long, silky dark green hair proved to be very attractive. Boys would tease her often in class to catch her attention; some even pulled her hair-resulting of her brother being overly protective of her.
They were different, possessing some "superhuman" abilities they absorbed little by little from their mother. CC instructed them to hide their "powers' or else they will be seen as freaks.
Yet, everybody can see that the two loved each other.
"CC, what happened!?"
Kallen would never forget the faces she saw when they arrived at Kaminejima Island years ago. Neither she nor Suzaku would be able to explain it in words. All they can say that it left a scar on them.
"Toudou-san, Zero is…"
The celebration of the Black Knights came in halt with Zero Squad's leader's call: the Gawain was hit by lighting and exploded-Zero is missing, find him as soon as possible. Some immediately rushed to the scene, while a group remained and supervised the still chaotic area. Under Toudou's leadership they moved swiftly, and with Rakshata's equipment they efficiently scavenged the whole area.
Days passed, the rains already stopped, yet they never found anything except scraps and a tattered Zero cape.
"Happy 25th birthday Lelouch"
There was no trace of sadness in her greeting; for it was the sixth time already. Every year it was being a little easier for her.
Every time, she would silently leave the sleeping twins and head to the shore waiting for midnight; and at 12 she'll greet him. From that time until sunrise she'll just stare at the open ocean and contemplate countless thoughts. After which, she'll go back home and celebrate a day off with twins somewhere fun and eat dinner at a fancy restaurant. They always bought a cake.
But this day was different; she was wondering if she still can wait when those six years seemed longer than the life she has spent.
"CC, just as I thought, you're here." A voice not far behind called up to her.
She already knew that someone was with her just recently "I knew that one day someone will find out about this secret of mine. But I didn't think it'll be you Suzaku." She remained seated on the dry sand, staring into the dark sea. Her words were as cold as the twilight.
"Actually it was Nunally and Sayoko who found out, they told us before that you do this every year. Right now they are awake, watching you from a distance."
CC was not surprised, for she always knew that those two women cared and were sensitive to her. "I see, but what are you doing this early here Suzaku? You still have more than an hour before sunrise."
"It was Euphie who insisted that we should join you this time…in remembering Lelouch."
"I see." Deep inside she was grateful but at the same time a little ashamed for keeping that thing to herself. "Where's Euphie?"
He chuckled a little, and then he sat on the sand beside her. "Maybe she put the kids to sleep- you know, having five kids is tough. Especially when you bring them to their Aunt's house at this time-"
"You cheater, how dare you have five kids when we only have two" she scowled at him.
He scratched his head, he didn't mean to make her jealous and he was guilty for just doing so "I'm sorry CC, let's change the topic-"
"Euphie's pregnant again isn't she?"
"EHHHHHH!? How did you know!?" he suddenly sprung up in surprise.
"Oh my, I guessed right…damn you Suzaku…"
Then they heard brisk walking and a squeal getting closer and closer to them "CC I'm here!" A body mass hurled itself on CC's back and she was enclosed in a very tight hug. "You're right CC, I'm pregnant again!"
"Good for you."
Suzaku can sense envy "Euphie…" But he stopped what he was supposed to say when he saw Euphie's teary eyes and serious face.
Her grip loosened and she sat between her husband and supposedly sister in law. "CC, we miss you. We haven't been in touch lately aren't we?"
"Yes" CC's eyes were downcast. She knew what they will tell her after two years of avoiding them; she already prepared herself for their visit. Calming herself by playing with the sand with her finger, she awaited questions.
"CC, why…are you avoiding us your friends?"
Indeed, Euphie was predictable for her "I had though that you're going to ask that." She paused for a while and looked at the couple beside her "Because you keep telling me that he's dead and I should move on, your insistence pesters me. I'll deal with my own problems." she replied flatly.
I was not because they really annoy her, but she just wanted them to stop caring for her, she'd rather be hated or forgotten than to be a burden and a cause of pain.
"I'm sorry CC…as friends we also believed that he was alive somewhere." Suzaku looked away to hide his expression "But now, I realized that we have been waiting in vain. We can't remain like this forever…we should move on."
"He's alive, here inside my heart. He's alive in everyone's heart!" CC was annoyed hearing those words again, for she was the one who realized it herself before. But she chose her childish self. "What's wrong with waiting for nothing? It makes me happy!" She glared at them, defensive of her answer.
Tears streamed down from Euphie's cheeks "CC…Lelouch is home."
CC wanted to say something to keep Euphie from saying some heavy words but she can't think of anything. "What…"
"He's alive in our hearts, and he lives in everyone. That's why there is a Lelouch in each of his family and friends, so he's here. He's home with us, living in the same house, in the same time and doing the same things."
CC wasn't able to predict that.
Suzaku was standing still looking at the distant horizon; what could be the last thing that he saw? Certainly it's more beautiful than the ocean, ne Lelouch?
The green haired woman kept her pride and held back her tears. She doesn't want to be pitied "Maybe you're right Euphie…" But she also knew that she was nearing her limit.
"Yes he's here and he also doesn't want you to suffer. We won't forget him CC, but we should not forget others either. So we'll celebrate a happy birthday with him, and tell him that he had nothing to worry about" Suzaku cheerfully told her. "We were never able to surprise him, he's too smart" He chuckled "but he'll surely be surprised now."
A warm colored light gradually brightened around CC as she felt thuds of footsteps from the sand beneath her. This was followed by a faint sound of a happy song increasing in volume with the light.
"Happy birthday to you"
"Happy birthday to you"
"Happy birthday, happy birthday…"
"Happy birthday to you!"
She looked behind and was captivated by the sight; Milly, Shirley, Rivalz and Kallen were each holding candles in their hands. They wore formal attire and in their hands were stuff that she could describe as "sentimental treasures."
Please, stop being too kind to me…I don't want to bother you anymore. Please live your life fully, I had already lived enough. She could have cried right at that time but her tears were already dry…or she was just very adept in stopping them.
The long time of isolation made her forget the essence of friendship, and her time with Lelouch wasn't enough to mend that.
"CC…" Kallen hushed and hugged her.
They sat on the sand in a circle, sharing all the memories they shared with Lelouch.
Each has his or her story:
Milly told them the tale of how a child defended the Ashfords in front of Barons and Earls. She showed them their childhood pictures and shared to them their puppy love story that ended really badly.
Shirley, was not ashamed to let others read some of her diary entries about Lelouch: most of them describes what how good Lulu was, some stated how he noticed her that day…while a little contained some weird fantasies. The readers, especially CC were flabbergasted.
Rivalz confessed that he was having pep talks with Lelouch about unrequited love and he told them all his cheesy advices as "We'll always be your friend
or "Love can be a painful trial, but a rare opportunity to grow." They all laughed (except CC, who just smirked) imagining Lelouch telling those words to Rivalz with his arrogant and manly voice.
I wonder how they would react if I tell them that Lelouch is Zero? She told them before that he fell into the sea as an explosion nearby sent him flying-his body was never found.
Kallen told them about the bathroom incident and how she regarded Lelouch as one of the most despicable student in Ashford Academy before she knew him.
Suzaku and Euphie were in the middle of exposing Lelouch's childhood secrets with them when they heard the sound of a wheelchair.
"Good morning everyone, we're sorry we're late. It's hard to wake Aurora" Nunally apologetically greeted them with a smile.
They greeted them back, the girls hugged kissed and hugged the twins they missed.
Aurora rubbed her eyes and yawned. Eirian offered him a can of coffee "Here, I stole it from the ref…"
"Thanks nii-san" She accepted before Eirian's offer to have the role of big brother.
CC didn't want the twins to see her troubled, but she knew that she can't send them back to the house "Coffee is bad for your health."
"So is pizza mama" Eirian wittingly replied.
She sighed and took of her jacket and walked to them "Here, take this. I don't want you catching cold-anyway, where's Sayoko?"
"She was left home, she's watching over our sweet little nieces and nephews" Nunally clasped her hands imagining the sleeping kids.
In the compartment under Nunally's wheelchair, Eirian bent down and pulled some things.
"We told Sayoko to buy those days ago, they're for Lelouch" Milly told her as Eirian handed her some. Mrs. Asplund handed each one a rocket while Rivalz half buried empty beer bottles in the sand.
"CC, each of us will say something to Lelouch, something we haven't been able to tell him when he's around. These things will ensure that our words will reach up high." Kallen eagerly took a rocket, placed it in the bottles' mouth. She lighted it up with a match as everyone watched- the rocket flew just after a few seconds, high up in the dusk.
The shooting torch burst high at the sky, scattering a thousand colors. It exploded into a shimmering fountain of light, blending into the night's stars.
"Yosh, the fireworks are in good condition!" Suzaku was excited to fire his.
"I'll go first!" Rivalz volunteered "Guys you should shout out loud when you deliver your message so Lelouch can hear you" He placed the rocket in the bottle "Lelouch, you're a great friend! We love you so much! When we meet again somewhere, lets us ride the best motorbike with Eirian and Suzaku!"
The sea's quietness gave way for his loud voice and once again the sky was beautified by the light.
"I'll be next, I'm sure Lulu wants to hear from those who are closer to him." Milly ignited one, "Lelouch, you're the best student council member on earth! You're a great friend, even if sometimes you're like a grouchy girl! Thanks for all!"
"You're the most unpredictable person I have known in my life! Being a daddy at that age! You damn quite surprised me Lelouch! Despite that you're the best leader!"
Leader? Milly immediately thought of his role as vice president.
"I love you so much Lelouch! Forever I won't forget you! I promise I'll be happy, and make everyone happy so you'll be…happy!!" Shirley felt awkward as she saw CC eyeing her. "It's not romantic…"
"Lelouch, you're the best big bro ever! I promise I'll take care of Suzaku. Also, I have found my sister Cornelia- she's lives with us now with Mr. Guilford! I'm sorry I wasn't able to bring her here!" She handed Nunally the rocket and blind girl struggled to place the firework into the bottle but she succeeded "Brother, Euphie and I will share this rocket! I'm studying Reflexology, I'll be a therapist soon brother! I also found a boy I love, and the one who also loves me! I promise I'll be more responsible than you! I love you brother!"
"You'll always be my best friend!" Suzaku was a man of few words.
"Uncle Suzaku that was too few!" Eirian reacted.
CC looked at her rocket, it was the best and the brightest. Seeing from the look of others she knew that they had intentionally given it to her and smiled back. She, Eirian and Aurora shall give the last words.
"Mama, I'll be first" the mini Lelouch volunteered himself and took the rocket from his mother's hands. He drew a long breath and shouted at the top of his lungs "Papa I'll certainly make you proud! I'll live up as your son; I'll protect mama, Auntie Nunally and Aurora!"
He handed it to Aurora "P-Papa I-I'll be like mama-strong and beautiful!" She has difficulty expressing herself and handed the rocket to her mother blushing.
CC kissed Aurora's cheek, she had to appreciate the her effort to speak loud in front of everybody "Well said, he'll surely be happy to hear them"
Then looking at object in her hand she decided-that she has to move on. She picked a bottle walked away from the group and faced the partly lighted sky.
Suzaku tapped her shoulder "It's okay Euphie, let her be. Soon she'll be able to open herself to us. Right now she is…getting stronger"
"Let mama have her emo moment" Eirian innocently remarked.
CC faced the sky; it was neither lighted nor dark- the sun was there but it has yet to come…soon.
"Lelouch, I…" Warm tears slid through her cheeks "You have given me so much! I don't know how to thank you enough for giving me a chance to live! All I brought you was trouble and I'm so sorry for constantly annoying you- I just want attention!"
She kneeled down, looked up and closed her eyes "I promise that I'll take care of your kids, and make sure that they won't be bad kid like you! I'll move on; but still, my love for you is eternal!"
She imagined he was there-and saw Lelouch's figure in front of her seemingly smiling at her-thanking her.
"Damn you…making me spit out cheesy words…" she muttered as she staggered standing up, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.
"Thank you for the fireworks, they're very beautiful" said a familiar voice.
As soon as she recovered she found herself wrapped in a tight, warm embrace- she embraced him back and clutched fabric on his back tightly. She recognized who he was; she knew… how can she forget?
"Lelouch…" she was sobbing and burying her face on his chest, she can feel that it was warm. It was his body, even if it has grown over the years. Her happiness is indescribable…all her pain, and all that she endured suddenly disappeared with the love she felt.
"I'm home, back to you!" How ecstatic he was to be back to his beloved, after years of enduring…he looked into her eyes…and was about to kiss her when a slap landed on his face.
"You jerk! What took you so long!? I was getting old waiting here for you for ages!" At last she was able to release all her impatience.
He rubbed his cheek and scowled at her "How dare you slap me woman! After all I have been through to go back home this is the thanks you gave me!" He shouted at her face.
He survived the explosion, but the ocean waves carried the piece of wood he was clinging and a cargo ship was able to rescue him. The next thing he knew, he was in Africa.
CC kept pounding his chest "I waited and waited and waited….how about me? Don't you know how much trouble I've caused everyone? Do you know how much frustration you being killed by lighting gave me!? You should have gone home sooner and helped-"
She didn't stop talking. Lelouch rolled his eyes and took held her face "Will you just shut up?"
She stopped her chattering as she felt his lips pressed unto hers. It was not long before she returned the passion; she had been hungry for each other after years of separation.
The kiss was shared with a tighter embrace.
He slowly broke off with her and was able to realize that there were also others who saw him. Everyone has tears in their eyes, calling out his name-he waved back to see…
They were rather more surprised than happy, astonished for seeing a very familiar stranger.
"Nunally…Eirianell…Aurora…" His face formed a warm smile as tears gathered at under his eyes. "Come to me." He held out his hand to them.
"Papa…pap-papa!" Aurora broke crying and ran towards Lelouch. Seeing her, Eirian also released his tears and followed after her.
They lunged themselves forward, hugging him.
Even if he was a stranger, they felt his love for them, They were far apart…but their hearts were close to each other. Eirian would show him his awards- trophies and medals- and would show him to his friends. Aurora would play to him her favorite songs and will make sure that he'll be impressed with her.
He enclosed them within his strong arms, not long CC joined.
"You two certainly grew, I never knew you be this big!" he carried the two at the same time and took a turned around quickly.
He placed them back to the ground but Eirian jumped on his back, Aurora tried climbing. So he awkwardly took something from his pocket and called her with her real name "Finally with this…"
His fingers held a shining silver ring, and he took CC's hand. "I never lost this…" he told her gently as slowly as he carefully slid the ring into her finger.
CC's heart was pounding and can't stop her tears "This is what I have been waiting for…"
He was brought down by the weight of the two youngsters and his back fell into the ground. As he opened his eyes he saw that they were not atop of him and CC was laughing at the sight-with the sun shining on them.
Then he felt the- ground shook. Eirian and Aurora quickly stood up moved away. He wondered why.
As he tried getting up he was crushed beneath the bodies of six adults. He heard every word they say at the fireworks galore, it amused him. They were so emotional shouting out to notice that he's hiding behind the cliff.
Now he won't go anywhere; he already reached his goal, for all the uprisings' leaders around the globe- almost all of them was him.
Thanks for reading! The acknowledgements will not be now it's quite late here.
Q: What happen to CC's premonition?
A: It was just a simple dream, she was losing her power little by little.
Q: Lulu's geass is permanent right?
A: He could have thought of a way to block it like the use of (R2 SPOILER!!) contact lenses
Q:Why neither Aurora nor Eirian can sense that their father is alive?
Answer: Because of the command "Stay our of this mess"
Q: How did Lelouch find them?
A: He happened to near them just saw the first firework Kallen fired.
Thanks again (T.T)
The status will be "completed" but i will add 2-3 extra chapters if you want, but it may not be soon
Thanks for reading my story, I was touched by the amount or reviews I received. I didn't expect to have so many, writing this story has taught me a lot. I hope that I didn't disappoint all of you. I'll write a better story, and the mistakes I made in this one will serve as lessons.