Chapter 11: Friends
Timeframe: Season 1
As Zero and his Black knights began to rise in power so did the rumours surrounding him amongst the Britannia soldiers. Higher up officials like Cornelia didn't believe in them but it was common for the lower rank soldiers who were downright terrified of the masked terrorist. He was a robot. He was a demon. He was a vampire and his suit protected him from the sunlight. He was a robotic vampire with demonic powers. He was in a romantic relationship with the disgraced solider Jeremiah Gottwald and Orange was his pet name for the traitor. He was using Orange as a front and was really interested in that Suzaku kid who had rebuffed his advances. Well no matter which rumour was being tossed around, one thing was agreed upon. Zero was a feared enemy who at the moment seemed unbeatable and impossible to catch.
Sadly no such rumours existed for the alter ego of Lelouch Lamperouge else the kidnapping attempt on him one sunny afternoon as he as heading home from classes might not have even been attempted. Instead, said kidnapping was very successful as the target was easily overpowered, subdued, and transported to a secure location all in the span of five minutes.
As Lelouch slowly came to, he looked around and quickly figured out that he wasn't in any real danger. He was in an empty classroom instead of some secret base, there were no guns pointed at him and the only thing confining him was a pair of handcuffs that latched his hand on to the chair he was sitting on. Also, unfortunately due to past experiences, Lelouch even recognized whose handcuffs these were.
The classroom door creaked open and despite no being able to see who it was due to the lights being off, Lelouch still called out a greeting. "Good afternoon madam president"
"Lelouch" Milly Ashford called back although in a tone much less then her usual chipper self.
"I see you have locked me up here. Are you going to blackmail me into doing something embarrassing at the next festival? Or have you set up a campus wide scavenger hunt with me as the grand prize?"
"Neither I'm afraid" Milly said as she flicked on the lights revealing that the rest of the student council was standing behind her. All of them were silent and varying looks of sadness were etched on their faces, "Lelouch we need to have a serious discussion about something we've learned that you have been doing. This is…this is an intervention Lelouch"
"I see. May I ask what this intervention was for please?" Lelouch spoke calmly whiling secretly planning.
'How could they have figured out I was Zero? I was perfect in covering my tracks. Perfect! No matter. I'll just have to find out what they know and then use my Geass to erase their memories'
"This is an intervention concerning your pizza addiction Lelouch"
"Ah yes my pizza…what?"
"Your pizza addiction" Shirley repeated, "Nunnally told us all about it"
The group suddenly parted a bit revealing Nunnally who moved her wheelchair forward to the front, "I'm sorry big brother but it seems like you order pizza every single day now. Also the house is starting to smell like mozzarella"
'That's not me, it's C.C! Of course if I try to explain that, then I would need to explain why I have a strange green haired woman living in my house. Curses'
Lelouch attempted a nervous laugh. "There must be some kind of misunderstanding. I don't have any sort of addiction. You guys can't really believe that"
Lelouch looked at each of his friends. Milly, Nina, Shirley, Suzaku, and Rivalz all had serious looks showing that they were not joking one bit. Shirley even looked like she had been crying earlier. Lelouch tilted his head to look at one other person in the back of the room, the one who specifically ambushed him and brought him here. "Et tu, Sayoko?"
The ninja maid looked nervous at being singled out, "Forgive me master Lelouch but Milly was my employer before you. Also…"
"I wanted to know why my cooking was no longer good enough for you" Sayoko admitted lowering her head in shame for failing in her maid duties.
"I still think your cooking is wonderful Sayoko" Nunnally said softly.
Sayoko turned wiping a few tears from her eyes as she leaned then and gave a hug to her youngest charge. "Thank you, it means a lot to hear that from you."
'Great. I now have an emotional maid and sister to deal with at home' Lelouch thought bitterly while trying to figure out an escape route. He looked over the group once more and focused on one particular person.
"Suzaku, my good close personal friend, please lend me your aid and rescue me from this madness!" he yelled out.
"Suzaku, please don't" Nunnally asked politely.
"Or else" Milly added on.
A nervous look on Suzaku's face as he looked back and forth from his long time friend Lelouch to his new friends in the council, "Oh, I just remembered. My work called and said they needed me to do…stuff. Err bye now"
"Coward" Lelouch called out to Suzaku's backside as he ran out of the room.
Milly sighed at him, "You really shouldn't say things like that to Suzaku Lelouch. This is very hard on him to see you in such a sad state. Why if Kallen was here right now, I bet she would be crying at this sight"
'More like laughing her head off' Lelouch thought to himself. Still since Kallen was sick (aka off doing top secret Black knights stuff) at least she wouldn't draw a connection between him and Zero's pizza eating companion.
"Look guys, I may have ordered a couple of pizzas in the last little while but I don't have an addiction"
Lelouch watched as everyone formed looks of disappointment.
"Denial is one of the first signs" Nina whispered to the group who all nodded in agreement.
"Lelouch buddy, we know that you have done 45 separate pizza orders in the last week alone" Rivalz said, "A lot of them were even while we were in class"
"No it isn't Lelouch. Milly had the espionage club set up surveillance of all the times the pizza hut delivery vehicle went to your home" Shirley explained.
"Do not doubt the almighty power that I wield as student council president Lelouch" Milly warned.
"I wasn't talking about that" Lelouch grumbled more to himself then the group in front of him, "45 times? That stupid witch, I'm going to kill her"
Gasps were heard as everyone focused on the very last words from the boy's mouth.
"I'm sorry brother" Nunnally said softly as tears started to flow down her face, "I didn't mean to make you so upset. I was…I was just trying to help"
"No Nunnally, I wasn't talking about you. It's alright" Lelouch tried to explain.
"But you just say you wanted to kill someone" Nina said taking a few steps back in fear.
Sayoko quickly took a defensive stance in front of the other students to be on the safe side.
Milly reached over and laid a gentle hand on Lelouch's shoulder. "Just listen to yourself Lelouch. You're getting angry at your friends and thinking about violence for no reason. That's not you talking Lelouch. That's the pizza"
"Yeah" Rivalz said as well, "The Lelouch I know would never think about killing anyone"
"We're here to help you Lelouch so why don't you just relax and listen to what we have to say, alright?"
Lelouch growled a bit but did quiet down.
Milly smiled at the sight. "Perfect. Now first off, your friends would each like to say a few personal words to you on how they feel about this. Nina, you go first"
The shy girl slowly stepped forward, "Lelouch, I don't you should be eating so many pizza. It's not healthy. Studies have shown that…"
"Nina," Milly interrupted, "You need to speak from your heart about this matter. Don't go hiding your beliefs behind facts and numbers!"
"Right. Lelouch, you should only eat pizza every once in a while. For example say when you're out with your friends somewhere for a special occasion"
"Ahem" Milly muttered.
"Or maybe just during an emergency like say an all night studying session"
"Ahem" Milly muttered a lot louder and more forcibly.
"Lelouch, you are never allowed to have another slice of pizza as long as you live" Nina said quickly looking over at Milly for her silent approval.
"Thank you Nina. I can truly tell those words came from your own personal thoughts and feelings" Lelouch said while continuing to glare at the council president.
"Your turn Rivalz"
"Right" The only other boy in the room took a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket, "Alright I umm decided to write a poem. Ahem…Lelouch you are a really great buddy, I'm scared that you've become a food druggy. I miss the good times like the chess gambling…that's as far as I got actually. I couldn't think of anything to rhyme with gambling"
"What about rambling?" Nunnally suggested.
"Hey that'll work. Give me a second" Rivalz said as he started writing more on the paper.
"Lulu!" Shirley cried out. Skipping ahead to her turn, she promptly walked up to Lelouch and slapped him on the side of the head, "You said you were going to finally stop doing those chess games for money!"
"I did stop. Isn't that correct Rivalz?"
"Huh?" Rivalz looked up from his poetic masterpiece, "Oh yeah. You told me not to mention the chess matches around Shirley anymore…oops"
"Liar" Shirley called out as she slapped him again.
Milly reached over and grabbed Shirley's slapping hand, "Now let's stay focused on the pizza issue here. It would take too long to go through every single one of Lelouch's faults. He is a guy after all"
"Hey!" Rivalz and Lelouch both protested.
"At the very least can you stop with the slapping?" Lelouch asked clearly annoyed, "That really hurts you know"
Shirley did not hit again but did give him a hard look, "Well that's your own fault. You know those pizzas are probably the reason why you are so physically weak these days Lelouch. The only thing I can't figure out is how you haven't gained any weight from eating all of them"
'Actually I've been wondering how C.C does that herself' Lelouch mused.
"It is kind of weird" Nina said as she looked over Lelouch's body, "Normally that much food would have to have some impact on the body, the only exception being if the person was suffering from anorexia or a similar eating disorder"
Nina hadn't been serious with her last comment but as soon as she said it everyone formed nervous looks on their face. They looked fearfully at one another before facing their captive as a group.
"Lelouch are you…"
"No I'm not!" Lelouch yelled out but then calmed down as he took a few deep breathes. "You know what, after thinking about it you're right. I am suffering from an addiction. I didn't want to admit it but with school, the chess matches, and other life issues I have been suffering from a great deal of stress. I turned to pizza as a way to solve my problems. I now realize that was a mistake. You are all true friends to me, more then I ever deserve. You will not give up on helping me even when I try to push you away. Thank you for this. I need some time by myself to reflect on all this and fully conquer my inner demons brought on by the pizza. Still I promised not a single crumb of that vile substance will ever touch my mouth again"
Lelouch formed a small smirk as he saw the happy and relieved emotions on everyone's face. Rivalz was even starting to bring over the key to the handcuffs when he was cut off by Milly, who did not look as impressed.
"Lelouch, you tried a speech like this last year to get out of dressing up as a rabbit for the school play"
"I see. So you're not buying it?"
"Nope. Although if you like I could get you an award for overacting"
"Well you can't blame me for trying"
"Alright since your friends words aren't reaching you, we must move on to the next stage of the intervention. Positive reinforcement" Milly said with a determined look as she began to unpack various materials.
"So you're going to treat me like a common animal now?" Lelouch asked bitterly.
"Heel boy" Milly shot back, "Now this is very simple Lelouch. I'll ask you a question. If you get it right, Shirley will kiss you…"
"Milly!" Shirley protested, her face bright red.
"Fine, Shirley will give you a small hug instead. But if you get it wrong she will slap you. Now then, first question: Which of these pictures do you find more attractive? A slice of pepperoni pizza or this group shot of the fantasy seduction club?
Lelouch briefly looked at the two side by side pictures before groaning.
Three hours later Lelouch had managed to escape when the girls had taken a break to go take a bath and Rivalz had been left on guard duty. A few kind words with the usual Lelouch charm and his good friend had let him go free. He did not waste any time as he tracked down the usual source of his problems and quickly dealt with the situation.
"C.C you need to lay off with the pizza orders. My friends are getting suspicious and now think that I am a pizza crack addict!"
C.C who had been in the middle of taking a nap on Lelouch's bed rolled over so she could glare at him while Cheese-kun was clutched in her arms. "No"
"What do you mean no?"
"Why in the world should I change my eating habits for you? I like pizza and I will eat it. End of discussion. Besides you're Zero. Don't tell me the great hero of justice is afraid of what his little friends think"
Lelouch briefly toyed with the thought of turning C.C over to Milly with the instructions that the student council president could use her for whatever she wanted in order to teach the immortal witch what true fear was all about. Sadly common sense came back to him before he could start strategizing on the best way to ambush her.
"If that is your decision, then so be it. However C.C because of this I may be forced to take certain actions. Actions that you may not find personally favourable" Lelouch warned.
C.C could easily recognize the not so subtle threat and responded by actually using the energy to get out of the bed and look Lelouch straight in the eye.
"Lelouch, if you are thinking about trying to stage an intervention on me with your black Knight cronies as backup then I will defect to Britannia and reveal to them your location, strategies, and identity faster then you can say I would like to order three extra large pizzas. And do you really want to take the chance that I am not bluffing?"
Lelouch halted his voice as that very accusation was about to be shouted. An intense stare down went between the two before finally the boy finally slumped down into a chair admitting defeat.
"Why can't you ever make my life easier witch?" Lelouch complained.
C.C shrugged her shoulders as she got back on the bed. "I'm stuck by myself here a lot of days. I need to do something to serve as a bit of entertainment. By the way, get on the phone and order me three extra large pizzas. They can serve as your apology for waking me up"
"Three more pizzas?" Milly asked in disbelief as Nunnally reported back to her the next day, "I really thought we were getting through to that boy"
"It's okay Milly. Lelouch finally admitted the truth to me"
The young girl actually had a smile on her face, "Yes you see the pizza delivery person is apparently his illegal gambling bookie that he uses to set up all his chess matches. The deliveries are just a front so they can make plans and schedule matches with no one being suspicious"
Milly stopped pushing Nunnally's wheelchair at that. "What? Err no offence Nunnally but that's sounds a bit weird. Are you sure he wasn't lying?"
"I am. Lelouch allowed both me and Sayoko to question the delivery man and he confirmed everything. I mean it's not like Lelouch could force a total stranger to go along with everything he was saying to me"
"Well at least not without bribing the person but that really isn't Lelouch's style" Milly admitted slowly, "So wait, what he is doing with all the pizzas then if he's not getting them for food?"
A small look of confusion appeared on Nunnally's face, "Well that part is a little weird. When I asked about the pizzas he said that he was donating them to a fat green haired hobo that lived in a nearby alley. Either way, I'm just glad that he isn't suffering from an addiction"
"Yeah you're right. All wells that ends well"
Milly started to push Nunnally's wheelchair along in a much happier mode. The young girl paused before asking a question, "Milly, do you think we could…"
"I was already planning on having a gambling intervention for both Lelouch and Rivalz this weekend Nunnally"
"Thanks Milly, you're the best"
The council president ruffled Nunnally's hair a bit. "Don't worry. We'll get that brother of yours back to a honest member of society in no time"