Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass
For: Icarus923 and DT(who asked for Park-Boy) and Kage no Seireitei (who asked for Moe C.C.)
Dedicated to all readers and reviewers, to Rumig-kun, to Warb-dono and to Nilie-chan. May you all stay as dear and as adorable as you are.
Warning: semi-confusing chapter on ahead.
Chapter 29 – Slices of C.C.
C.C. gazed at the mirror image of herself lounged across a rug spread over the floor with her elbows propped up on cushions.
"Hm?" The figure greeted her and then focused at the air by C.C.'s head where a picture slowly flickered into view. "I see we died again."
C.C. flicked her hair and joined her double on the carpet, watching as the picture materialized and a golden border formed around its edges. Her doppelganger, dressed in a dark navy restraining suit provided a complete contrast to the white restraining suit C.C. wore in the past, scooted her legs aside for C.C. to sit down.
C.C. flopped to one side, her head rested on the other occupant's thigh and the darker version of herself caressed her hair absentmindedly. "How many times does that make?"
Dark C.C. peered at her gallery of memories, "Many times. It's hard to count in here. Our memories constantly shift and the paintings move around with every one of our thoughts. It is only during the moment of our deaths in the outside world that they stop for a few minutes."
Dark C.C. scrutinized the new painting as it floated in the air and hung itself onto the invisible wall. "An important memory?"
"Just a kiss," C.C. whispered with her eyes fluttering close. "You're not supposed to look at the new memories. They don't join your gallery until..."
"Until you forget about them, yes, I know that. It matters not if I look at them. All I can see is an empty picture frame until they join my gallery properly."
There was a pause and C.C. breath started to slow as her eyelids grew heavier from sleep.
Dark C.C. continued stroking her hair, "Why?"
"Why what?" C.C.'s voice murmured, barely enough to be heard.
"Why did we kiss him? At least, I assume it's a he."
"I forgot. Why do you ask?"
"I am part of us. I am our memory keeper – the side of us that gathers every single one of our memories in these halls, all of which you could not recall. Managing experiences in life is easier if I know the feelings behind them."
Dark C.C. brushed a finger over C.C.'s hair and C.C. finally closed her eyes securely before appearing asleep against her twin's leg. The memory keeper blinked and then C.C. was gone from the hall of paintings.
A moment afterwards, the paintings went haywire, like they always do just before C.C. of the outside world dies. They had to run through the 'entire-life-flash-before-your-eyes' phase after all and an immortal's life had lots of memories to go through. Paintings flung themselves off the wall and whizzed past Dark C.C.'s uncurious eyes at such speed that all the colours mingled together and she could not see anything but a blur.
When they stopped flying by, they returned to wherever it was they were hanging previously, save for the few who lost their way during the rush. Sighing, Dark C.C. picked the lost paintings from the floor and started hanging them back up. It was during these moments when some of C.C.'s most recent memories are too dazed to remember to conceal themselves from the memory keeper's eyes.
One picture was of a maid, smiling kindly and making homemade pizza.
C.C.-san? She is a lovely young woman. I wish her the greatest of luck in her future, though it still remains unclear to me whether Lelouch-sama will be a part of that future or not.
She treats Nunnally-sama with such care and I can tell Lelouch-sama is fond of her somewhat. However, it remains to be seen if Lelouch-sama loved her. However, I'm certain she loved him – her depressions results in pizza-indulging of the most extreme. So she must hurt deeply over his lack of love for her to risk her appearance like that. Oh Lelouch-sama, C.C.-san would make a lovely mistress of this household if you just gave her a chance. I cannot think of anyone more suitable!
C.C. appeared back in the world of memories briefly after she left and took her seat on the rug by Dark C.C.'s leg again.
A new picture slowly materialized and again it was blank canvas to Dark C.C.'s eyes.
"We're drowning," C.C. whispered against the guardian's leg. "Very deep - we saw the ocean-bed."
"I'll stop hanging the lost pictures back up then – not when they'll just get lost again from the continuous memory whizzing that happens here when we die. It's easier to leave them in a stack and put them back when we stop dying."
"Mm." C.C. responded, eyes closing again.
"What's happening outside? We're having an awful lot of memories coming through all the sudden."
"A boy killed his sister no... sisters."
"He led his allies against the empire in a complete offensive move."
"Like that war all over again? We had many memories from that war..."
"It's different this time. We have a knightmare around us this time and we're not dying a million times from bullets and stray bombs like we did last time."
"Then why are we drowning?"
"We performed a kamikaze attack on an enemy and dragged him into the sea with us."
"Safe... enough..." The last two words were said in a low whisper as her consciousness drifted away. Another blink and she was gone again and the pictures continued its maniacal parade.
Dark C.C. waited until they stopped and the world of paintings calmed down once again before she went about, picking up stray paintings and stacking them haphazardly by the carpet.
She picked up a new memory just as it started to fade into a blank picture in her eyes. It was group of men, dressed in black with visors pulled low over their faces.
"C.C.? That witch? I hate her! She makes me buy her stupid pizza! What do I look like? A delivery boy?! Why do I even listen to her?! She's nobody! She owns no rank in this organization. She's only here because she's Zero's lover. I don't even know how Zero-buddy even tolerates her!"
"C.C. isn't that bad - Tamaki just likes to exaggerate. She has a strange obsession with Pizza Hut and an equally strange sense of humour derived from torturing everyone in the base. But I don't think she's that bad..."
"Man! Ougi! How much did she pay you to say that?! Perhaps she blackmailed or seduced you!"
"No, Ougi is right. Despite all her quirks, she's shown that she can be capable when needed."
"You too, Toudou?!"
"I only speak the truth and the truth is we don't know enough about C.C. to pass her off as useless."
"Indeed Toudou-san. I believe that she is hiding much from us but, Tamaki, you cannot deny the fact that she possesses an air that calls for respect."
"Diethard, buddy! You're not as crazy as those two are you?! Don't you remember all the times she made you hack into the Pizza Hut website to print off pizza coupons?!"
"Actually, she got Lakshata to do that. I was only to report to her any pizza-related events of any relevance within Area 11."
"You're all crazy! She must have brain-washed you or something! She's a witch! She's-"
"Tamaki, as crazy as she might be, she did not dance on top of the Black Knights mobile base in a disgusting dress, drunk and singing about her sexiness."
"... I used to think of you as one of my best buds, Diethard but I just hate you now and if you didn't tape and hide that video of that karaoke event, I would have strangled you already."
C.C. came back a few moments after and declared that she hated drowning before flopping back onto Dark C.C.'s rug and proceeded to assume the same position she took the other times she entered.
She paused and lifted her head from her twin's thigh. Her double stared back at her with eyes as wide as fishbowls and watery from fright. Upon closer inspection, even though she dressed and looked the same as the guardian of memories, the expression on her look-alike's face was one that C.C. has never seen on the memory keeper during their many centuries together.
"I'm sorry... a-are you my master?" the figure squeaked, hands clenched and shivering, "I-I'm not very good at things, Mistress, but... I-I could cook, clean, take out animals to the field a-and..."
C.C. stared at the timid girl quizzically and raised a hand to rub her eyes. Maybe she was just dreaming...
Her twin thought she was raising a hand to hit her and shrieked bloody murder. The screams echoed throughout the vast hall and C.C. covered her ears.
"I-I'm sorry! I-I'm sorry!" she trembled, "I can read a little too. Please don't hit me."
"What is wrong with you?" C.C. asked, confused.
C.C, being old as time, had learned so much of the world that she was rarely ever confused, yet now before herself she was.
She knew her other self in this hall of memories well, though she wasn't sure how or why yet. She knew without a doubt that manifestation was a part of herself, part of her soul who had grown too old for a never-changing immortal body.
C.C's torn heart broke again somehow as she realised that the other her standing before her, looking frightened and confused, just might be another fragment of her soul she hadn't known about, had completely forgotten about, like so many other things that should have been important.
Could she ever be whole again? Can she find regain all the things important to her that she had discarded?
"Do you not recognise yourself in me?"
The shaking C.C's eyes widened even more if that was possible, fright was written all over her features. It took even C.C aback to see her own face express so much emotion without even uttering a single word. Despite her looks, the figure before C.C. was from a far younger time, a time before her body stopped aging.
So she raised her hand again and gently put it to cheek of the face that mirrored hers in all but the time it lived in, and said very softly, almost wistfully:
"You're so young." Her tone must have calmed her down. Young C.C was looking back straight at her with more surprise and curiosity than fear and bewilderment.
"You're so very young."
"Mistress?" squeaked the young and frightened C.C when C.C. closed her eyes. "Mistress?!" she cried in alarm as her master sudden vanished into thin air.
Young C.C. looked around hopelessly panicking now. The C.C in the navy coloured restraining suit walked in just in time, for the paintings started to whirl at motorway speed again and Young C.C. screamed before diving into the security of Dark C.C.'s arms where she trembled until it all stopped.
Dark C.C. let show no sign of surprise at her odd presence there and nudged her. "Come, let us pick up the pictures. The recent memories can never remember where they are supposed to slot themselves in this world because we haven't decided how precious they are to us yet."
Young C.C. nodded, happy with the familiarity of being given orders and obediently went about to pick up the paintings, treating each like they were made of crystal and would shatter at her touch. "W-Where do I put them?"
"Over there, in a stack would do."
"That's fine. We're not supposed see those so they shield themselves from our eyes."
Young C.C. peered at the fading picture she picked up. It was a memory of students, all grinning at the camera with candyfloss in their hands and an amusement park in the background.
Young C.C gasped then whispered in a very low voice, "Magic?"
"Witchcraft," Dark C.C corrected closing her eyes, tone sad, in an even lower whisper.
"Cheese-san? She's a fun girl! Have you seen that girl shop? Even I, Milly Ashford, heiress of the Ashford family could only watch with complete admiration as she dives into bargain sales and emerge without a single broken manicure! Tell them about it, Rivalz!"
"Cheese-san is cool! She dives in and then fwoooosh she'd disappear from sight and then whoooa she's over there and blink you can't see her then bam! She's..."
"I never realised shopping had that many sound effects..."
"It doesn't, Suzaku. Rivalz cannot help making comic-book sound effects for everything."
"Shirley! I thought you had swimming practice today. So Cheese-san doesn't shop with sound-effects?"
"Of course not! Cheese-san is crazy, like me, but not to that degree!"
"Well she is the only one who would willingly go along with most of your wild ideas, president..."
"No, I think Cheese-san is a very quiet person, a little irresponsible at times but a quiet person. Sometimes I feel as if she's older and more mature than she looks and that she's only going along with your ideas because it helps her pass time."
"Nicely observed, Nina! Though it boggles me that a youthful and cute girl like Cheese-san would want to 'pass time', as you call it, since us youngsters only want time to stop and stay beautiful forever!"
The tenth time C.C. came back into the World of C and flopped onto the carpet moaning and groaning from exhaustion and pain, Dark C.C. was starting a second stack of lost paintings after the first stack became too big.
"I hate drowning." She muttered darkly. "We just keep dying over and over again until we reach the surface."
"I hope we're close to land." Dark C.C. commented as C.C. laid her head on Young C.C.'s leg. The girl squeaked loudly at the action and grew very stiff.
"Nowhere near it, but we should be near the surface now at least. Let's hope there are no sharks within the vicinity because our shark wrestling skills are a little rusty after so many years of inactivity."
"We always won in the end and torn them to shreds too. That memory should still be lurking about here somewhere."
"We're too old for this." C.C. added and switched to her memory keeper's leg because Young C.C. had grown too panicky and stiff at those words to act as a comfortable pillow. "Though we have eternal youth, our minds have grown too old for this insufferable world and its calamities."
Dark C.C. agreed and cradled C.C.'s face in her palms, "Too old indeed. Perhaps if we were young like that crimson haired girl I caught a glimpse of in your recent memories, we would have bothered with half the things we used to care for."
"Crimson... haired..." C.C. repeated and once again her eyelids started to drift close, "I don't... want to go back... yet."
And she vanished again.
The paintings whirled and a few more clattered to the ground. Sighing loudly, Dark C.C. picked them up, hands resting on a disappearing picture of the crimson-haired girl she mentioned earlier.
C.C. is the woman who is rumoured to be Zero's lover but I don't really believe that there are any romantic connections between them. Despite the fact that she hadn't denied any of those rumours when they were brought up, she hadn't acknowledged any of them as the truth either.
I don't like C.C.
I don't like her casual and disrespectful closeness to Zero. I hate that she is trusted more than us, even though she hardly does more than sit on her butt all day and eat pizza. I hate the fact that Zero would trust her more than me, even when I am the best pilot in the organisation and apparently his favourite Black Knight.
I hate that she has absolutely no specific role or rank here and still carried that arrogant and confident like she was experienced, wise and a being to be respected. I hate how she pretends to be mysterious by not answering any questions about her or her relationship with Zero. I bet that she doesn't even know the answers or the answers would embarrass her.
She could act so childish, cruel, immature and pizza obsessive yet could flip, like a coin, into such a mysterious, alluring and cold young woman. It drives me insane when she does that and I cannot believe how much Zero tolerates her behaviour.
I hate C.C but, I admit, I think I could tolerate her presence better than Tamaki's - though, I'd rather make my Guren wear a giant tutu than admit that to her.
She is childish, annoyingly mysterious and I can't even think of any good things about her personality.
But Zero's trust in her is unquestionable so I am inclined to believe that C.C. must possess something worthy of that trust. So I tolerate C.C. only because Zero does.
"We've reached the surface." C.C. announced when she got back after their, possibly, twentieth death in a row.
Dark C.C. regarded her curiously, "Then why are you back here?"
"Because half our body is still crushed and it couldn't stay afloat on the waves long enough to for our legs to recover enough to swim."
C.C. knelt on the rug again and studying both her look-alikes and then chose the one that would look less doe-eyed once she laid her head on her leg. She had just admitted to herself that some old and grumpy part of her was indignantly refusing to believe that naïve child-like girl could possibly be a hidden part of herself.
"The stack of pictures is getting higher." She noted whilst inside her mind the stacked pictures looked like giant pizza boxes. She'd die another time just to have a pizza now.
"When did this happen?" C.C. asked, her tone as monotone as her very life.
Dark C.C. peered at her. "When did what happen?"
"Her," answered C.C. simply as she pointed at the girl that she dismissed when selecting her temporary leg-pillow.
"Clearly she's not always here, though I believe she had been part of us since I first saw her," Dark C.C. flicked a finger and the paintings rotated on the walls, "when this picture came about. I can't see that memory but I remembered the frame."
C.C. examined the painting and her eyes drifted close with it still in sight.
I love C.C.-san! She's always so nice to me. She's Onii-sama's girlfriend but he denies it all the time. Perhaps he thought I'll be upset or jealous but I don't feel that way at all. I would love to have C.C.-san as a sister and I think she'll feel the same too! She took me to the park, allowed me on amusement park rides, played with me at the beach and she even baked cookies with me. She is such a lovely girl and Onii-sama treasures her so!
He always acts like he's annoyed when she is around but I noticed that he always uses his credit card to treat her with pizza. He trusts her enough to allow her to take care of me and he showers her with Cheese-kun gifts. I don't think I've ever seen Onii-sama more in love than he is now.
C.C. returned again after another death many hours later. One which had been inflicted when she had swam as far as her cold and exhausted body had allowed her only to encounter a giant swarm of jellyfish. The poison of all their collective and inevitable stings had killed her faster than her body could heal itself.
Young C.C. was gone by the time she came back and C.C. raised an eyebrow at the disappearance. Dark C.C. shrugged, "She rarely appears. She just comes and goes. I could count the times this happened on one hand but with each it is always the exact same thing. She never has any memories of any of the previous encounters and searches for her master."
"When did this start happening?"
"I told you, since that memory came," Dark C.C. nodded towards a painting, hanging on thin air.
It was the Nunnally picture, so C.C. had not mistaken the picture she had looked at before.
But why, why should such a Young C.C. ever be born or reborn from her being in contact with Nunnally? Why would such a pathetically weak C.C. appear from a memory containing the sister of her accomplice?
C.C. is my accomplice, my partner and my ally. I have a contract with her.
Why would Nunnally, who was gentle as a flower and the sister of that arrogant Lelouch, cause another part of her to appear?
C.C. is my trusted equal, room-mate and if I look deep enough, perhaps even my friend.
Young C.C., Nunnally and Lelouch - how do they connect together?
Young C.C. who was so pathetically panicky and fearful of everything. With eyes as wide as fishbowls, hands that tremble from fear and forever looking for a master.
C.C.'s position is not on the chessboard but everywhere. She is a chess piece, the audience, the prize, the judge, the tense air about the board, the ticket that grants me entry to this game, the hands that help me move the pieces, the voice that whispers in my ear, the very chair that supports me and possibly even the light that hangs above the game. She is everything and nothing but never was, would, or will ever be my opponent.
But why would she want a master? Why would C.C. ever need a master?
The answer struck her hours later, when it was dawn of some unknown day. When she woke floating on her back in the sea, when she had lost track of how many hours or days had passed and as she was finally washed up, beaten, tired and dirty on the beach of somewhere she did not really recognise.
Somewhere in Japan, she thought for she was certain she was heading that way. She did not know where but it had a beach and the sun rising over the sea. The currents must have carried her far because she could see no signs of wreckage or battle.
Still all that mattered now was that she finally knew the answer.
The answer to the existence of Young C.C - that frail creature who was weak, pathetic, cowardly and always searched for a master, that side of her who couldn't possibly have ever been in contract with the Geass for she was far too innocent still.
Because she wanted to belong. She had seen Nunnally and seen Lelouch's overly tender devotion for the girl. She had seen how Nunnally cared for the boy like a sister, both younger and older, and like a mother. She had seen how they belonged with one another. She had wanted to belong too before automatically burying such a feeling like she wish she could be buried herself.
She wanted to belong to something, to some place, in time, in the world, but above all else, she wanted to belong to someone. As stupid as that idea was, she wanted to belong to someone, someone who would take her in and care for her in some way. Hopefully, someone who would protect her, perhaps cherish her. Yet she knew it was all too much to hope for. It was hope that should have long disappeared with the years that passed. How could such a hope, how could such a Young C.C still have survived through all the trails of Geass the witch had gone through?
And yet, belonging, just belonging to someone would have been more than enough, because it would mean, that she could never truly be alone.
C.C. is a girl, a woman, a witch and an immortal. She is many things but the last one is of the utmost importance. She is an immortal. She always comes back to life. She always, for certain, always returns. No matter how long it takes or how far she is, she never fails to come back.
Back to me.
And because she always finds her way back to me, then she must be a possession of mine.
She is mine.
I am not sure what she is to me but,
She belongs to me.
"To belong," she muttered to the air, her lips stuck with sand from the beach. "What a stupid idea."
She forced herself to breath in lung-full of reality and finally exhaled pushing that process of thought away. It was nonsense anyway. She had been everywhere and seen everything. She had long known she would never belong anywhere. Not to any place, not to anytime and certainly not to anyone.
And she, most certainly, did not belong to a silly boy.
Yes, definitely not to that silly boy.
Not that boy with violet eyes, beautiful young face who used his voice to change the world like he believed he could to later refuse her pizza so many times a day.
Not to a silly lost boy, who believed in far too many dreams that were not even truly his.
A shadow covered her face and she blinked up at giant eyes on a curious face that asked what she was doing washed up on a Japanese beach looking so ragged and sand covered.
On closer inspection, the face beamed in recognition, "Pretty lady?"
She rolled her eyes. What on earth was with her life and constantly finding lost little boys?
All reviews will be replied as usual. Anonymous reviews will be replied in my LJ.
Thank you, everyone, for reading this far and for all your patience. (bows) This fic had been a pure pleasure to write. Thank you.
Also, sorry for any confusions or broken brains this chapter may have caused (it surely broke my brain trying to write it....) and I know not when the other characters' opinions happened or where. They are just part of this fic and I'll leave it to your imagination a to whether they're memories, live 'what do you think of C.C.?' interviews, C.C. reading other's thoughts or dreams.
Merusaurus: I agree, Lelouch doesn't laugh enough (evil cackling doesn't count!) Thanks for reading!
Larc: (blushes) you flatter me. There are many Code Geass fics out there that are much better than mine. Thank you though. Your review was very kind.
The Doctor: Thanks for the ideas. I'll consider them for the sequel, neh?
Anonymous: You have always left me such endearing reviews that knocks me breathless each and every time I read/re-read them. They make me blush so much and so brightly but I cannot deny it, they make me so happy that makes me want to write even more. I love your reviews. They are so so kind. (bows) I always feel that I'm not worthy of such kind words. Thank you. Thank you, I cannot thank you enough. I am happy that you like the fic and I am happy and honoured to have your reviews.
Koa-chan: Koa-chan, you simply must login to write your reviews! How am i to reply to you properly? You snippets are so cute I can't gush over them enough!
Number of times 'C.C.' was mentioned: 759
Number of times 'cheese' was mentioned: 193
Number of times 'pizza' was mentioned: 210