AUTHOR'S NOTES: I haven't been writing CG ficcage for a while, so yeah. Plus, I've only done Suzaku and Lelouch; this is my first time tackling the rest of the characters.
Pre-anime; expect spoilers if you don't know everyone in the Britannian royal family. Then again, the members are plastered all over scans and such anyway.
Clovis La Britannia cocked his head to one side, his fingers drumming the top of his white rook. He stared at all the pieces laid out before him on the board – and more importantly, the ones his opponent had managed to capture in the span of half an hour. Whether he won or lost, it was fun playing chess with his half-brother, Lelouch Vi Britannia, but of course, it would be nice if Clovis won once in a while. He couldn't even remember the last time he had beaten Lelouch; the boy had gotten so much better in almost no time at all.
"Are you going to move already?" Cornelia Li Britannia asked impatiently, glancing up from the book she was reading as she sat beside Clovis. "We haven't got all day. And, I do hope you paid attention to what I told you awhile ago."
"Go, Brother Clovis! Go, Lelouch!" cheered Cornelia's little sister Euphemia, who gazed intently at the board as though trying to guess their strategies.
Clovis smirked. "Oh, Cornelia, don't worry about me," he said airily, picking up his white queen and gesticulating flamboyantly with it. "You worry too much. Besides…this is my move." He plunked his piece several spaces ahead. "Check."
Cornelia slapped her forehead and sighed.
"What's wrong?" Euphemia and Nunnally Vi Britannia asked together.
Lelouch frowned thoughtfully before quickly grabbing his knight and knocking Clovis's queen off the board.
"That's what's wrong," said the eldest princess. "You just lost your queen! And that was one of Lelouch's signature moves!"
"So?" Clovis leaned back and stretched out his arms. "Brother Schneizel can still win even when he gets his queen captured." He placed his remaining rook onto the space occupied by Lelouch's successful knight. "Check."
This time, the black-haired prince didn't even pretend to think.
Euphemia and Nunnally cheered, while Cornelia shot Clovis one of her I-told-you-so looks. The Third Prince of Britannia could only grin sheepishly and hold out his hand for Lelouch to shake.
"Yet another game goes to you, little brother."
"Your moves are becoming even more predictable, if that's even possible, Brother Clovis," said Lelouch with a triumphant smile. "You should work on your strategy."
"And what's wrong with my current one?"
"I can see right through it."
"See right through what?" A new voice chimed in, and it belonged to the young man who had just arrived on the scene, running a hand through his short blond hair, which was lighter and shorter than Clovis's.
"Brother Schneizel!" Euphemia Li Britannia exclaimed, leaping up to give the Second Prince a hug. Nunnally followed suit.
"I see you two are playing chess again," Schneizel El Britannia noted, gazing at the chessboard and the pieces still on it, spelling out Lelouch's umpteenth victory. "And I see that Clovis still needs to work on his strategy."
Clovis raised an eyebrow and smirked again. "What is it about my strategy?"
"You need to change it," said Cornelia dryly. "Again."
Schneizel sat down on Clovis's other side. "I think I have time for one game. Clovis? Cornelia?"
"You always have time for a game of chess. I think I'll take a break…and work on my strategy, as you put it," Clovis replied. The Second Princess held up her book and shook her head.
"What about you…Euphie?"
Euphemia smiled politely but shook her head. "I'll just watch today." Nunnally nodded in agreement.
"I assume I'm playing against Lelouch again today, huh?" said Schneizel, obviously not surprised.
The boy started fixing the pieces and lining them up. "White or black?" he asked.
"White, as always, and I know that you'll do just fine with black." Once everything was all set, Schneizel was quick to make his first move.
So was Lelouch.
Though Cornelia had indicated that she had a book to read, she closed it in order to watch along with her sister, half-sister and half-brother. The only sounds that could be heard for a while were the clacking of chess pieces, the tapping of feet and/or fingers, and Cornelia whispering possible courses of action to Euphemia. The siblings who did not play simply traded looks and the two who did play would either stare at the board, or at each other, as though one could predict the other's next move.
The first to speak in a long while was Nunnally.
"Brother Schneizel, your queen! Your queen!" she couldn't help crying out. Lelouch was grinning from ear to ear, twirling his older brother's queen idly in his fingers before placing it with the few white pieces he had managed to capture. "Wow, Brother Lelouch, that was fast!"
"Brother Schneizel," said the Eleventh Prince casually, "you also need to work on your strategy. If that was a new one – "
Lelouch gasped and dropped the piece he had just captured, and it clattered to the floor. As Nunnally swooped down to pick it up, Schneizel reveled in his victory and answered, "Yes, that was a new strategy. It's amazing how easily you fell for it. Didn't you see where the rest of my pieces were?"
Blinking his purple eyes in disbelief, Lelouch was amazingly at a loss for words. He opened his mouth to complain, but a glance at the chessboard was enough to silence him before he could even speak.
"No rules were broken, as far as I can tell," Cornelia observed. "Brother Schneizel won fair and square. But that took some time. You put up a good fight, Lelouch, at least. You should remember that other people don't last that long facing the Second Prince at chess. Brother Odysseus got checkmated in six moves one time, remember?"
"Besides, you're still young. You've got a long way to go and lessons to learn," said Schneizel with a grin, reaching out to ruffle the boy's raven hair, much to the latter's annoyance.
But Lelouch still managed to return the grin, saying adamantly, "Someday…I will beat you, Brother Schneizel. Maybe not today…but yes, one of these days…"
"I heard Nunnally say that Prince Schneizel El Britannia is the only one who could beat you in chess…Lelouch. Do you think you will be able to take him down once he gets in your way?"
Lelouch Lamperouge glared at C.C., who was, as usual, lounging on his bed with her beloved Cheese-kun plushie before turning back to his computer. The monitor displayed an article on Schneizel's latest Knightmare-related projects and his recent visit to Manila.
"Of course I will," he grumbled, typing in some new search criteria. "I'll do anything…"
"You don't sound sure to me."
C.C. received another glare before Lelouch clicked the SEARCH button.