And may he speak my name aloud suddenly.
And may he be silent, but still remember.

He was cold and beautiful and Shirley wanted to save him.
More than anything Shirley wanted to hold his hand.
(More than anything, she wanted him to be her hero.)

(And she wanted to be his heroine.)


Shirley believes in superheroes.
She believes that everyone is worth saving.

But more than anything, she believes(she looks at Lelouch and her heartrate speeds up and her eyes brim with longing and
oh does she love that boy ) that no one deserves to be lonely.


"Mm, you like him, right Shirley?"

Milly was still smiling her happier smile, one that wasn't as tired as it was now, because Shirley noticed things.
She notices when Rivalz face gets frightened when he looks at the newschannel. She notices when Nina looks
up from her laptop and tries to get in the conversation, but she never does.

She notices things but doesn't say anything, because that's how the world is.

(The things that matter were always unspoken. Unsaid.)

"Oh, yes, "She replies, smiling at the blonde president and tilting her head to look at the darkhaired boy speaking to the teacher about his schedule and probably asking where everything is and unaware that half the class is talking about him--
And she watches him in class, staring out the window with uncanny purple eyes that look like bruises.

"But you know..." And her voice trails off awkwardly, and she wrings her hands in the folds of her skirt and feels her face flush. And Milly being Milly leans forward and demands her to finish.

"He looks so very lonely."

And Milly does that weird smile again.


"Hi there, Mr.New Student!"

He opens his eyes and she's there, smiling at him,
her chin on his desk and her hands busily organizing his paper,
remarking absentmindedly, "Ooh, looks like you drooled! Good thing I came with notes."

He isn't sure how to respond, but he doesn't need to because she offers him notes with her hand
and says, "Well, I would have come earlier but you were sleeping, and by the way, good morning, and
oh, um, I just thought you were probably going to need notes so I took a little more time."

And she's busy trying to determine what shade of purple his eyes are, and if he hates being lonely,
and she wonders if he smiles alot, and she wonders if he's happy and if he isn't, what she can do to fix it.

"You wrote me notes? " He asks her softly, looking bewildered and a little bit confused. And she smiles at him,
"Well yes! Because friends do that you know, and oh by the way--" She trails off, finger in her mouth and
a curious look on her face.

"Is your name Lelouch?"

He nods smiling unsuredly. "Yeah, I'm Lelouch."

Her smile widens until she's beaming. "I thought as much."

She scoots to the left of his desk and grabs his hand, thinking that its cold and (does he need a jacket? I'll show him where one is later ) and says, "My name's Shirley! Shirley Fenette. I sit three chairs to the left of you so whenever you need to randomly find someone to write more notes for those days you're sleeping, just look at me, okay?"

And he smiles at her and says thank-you.

And Shirley's heart flutters as she smiles.

"Don't worry, Lulu," She assures him firmly.

"I'll take good care of you."

And she naturally took it on herself to show him the cafeteria, whispering the not-so-edible's in his ear and "We sit over there, so don't be a stranger or else" in his face and helping him locate those hard to find schedules. She never thought that she was overly helpful, she only thought about what might happen if she left him alone.

(Would he be lonely? Would he try to say something or would he just smile that sad smile? Would he really come to me if he needed help? Or would he try to make it by himself? )


She twirls on her heel and smiles at him expectantly.


(And it was all she ever wanted.)


It's in the hallway that she spots him, wheeling a girl along with a soft smile on his face and his lips open and talking and she's transfixed by the gentle expression on his face. The girl is adorable, with soft honey curls and closed eyes and (the word blind didn't even come to her, she was just happy that Lelou had someone after all) and--"Lulu!"

She waved at him, walking over with her books in her hand and a smile on her face as she stares down at the girl. "Who's your friend, Lulu?" He smiles at her before once again looking tenderly down at the girl. "This is Nunnally. Nunnally, this is my friend Shirley."

(And she plays the words over and over in her head, and over and over--
"My friend, my friend, my friend,)

"It's an honor to meet you Nunnally!" She beams, and takes the girl's hand and smiles at her. And the girl's eyes are shut but she smiles and whispers a reply in a soft feathery voice and Shirley's eyes sneakily dart up to his face and her heart clenches because he's smiling a sad, hurting smile again, the one that hides behind his eyes and for a minute Shirley thinks she's just imagining things--
But when she says goodbye she catches one more glance and she knows she isn't.

("Why exactly do you call me, Lulu, Shirley?" He has a lopsided smirk on his face and she grins as she steps down the ladder with her books in her hand and she wants to tell him that it's because Lulu sounds less lonely, sounds more like he belongs with her, with them, the world, and less like something stiff and cold and alone. And she wants to tell him that she loves him, but she doesn't.

"It's a secret, dear Lulu." And she pokes his nose before skipping away, cheeks flushed. )


And of course she makes him try for Student Council.
And of course she's the one to explain the details and how to react to Milly's certain moods.
And of course she falls in love with him.

(And of course she doesn't say a word.)

(And Suzaku and Zero come. )

And Shirley thinks of superheroes and what they mean, and what they do, and who their heroine is.

"He fights for the Elevens, " Rivalz remarks, and Shirley is too busy looking at Lelouch's back, wondering why suddenly he won't look at her or meet her eyes, or why his smiles seem so much sadder and his shoulders seem so much heavier.

"...He must love someone, " She replies, and writes her name on the margin of her history paper.
Milly's eyes are gleaming behind her book and Lelouch is still staring blankly out the window.

("Let's turn the Tv off." )

And she knows he's become lonely again.

And he's later to classes now, and he sleeps alot more.
She finds her hands aching sometimes because she's busy writing his notes for him,
of course he never asks, and she never waits on it.

Somehow she just knows that Lulu is in another place, another world,
trying to stand on his own legs and trying just enough to breath.

It's almost too much to meet his eyes without whispering,

"Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?"

(And where are you going?)

And can I come with you.


And then her father dies and she thinks, wasn't Zero supposed to save him?
(She buries her head in his chest and cries and cries and cries)

"Please Lulu."
(And isn't she supposed to make Lelou happy? Instead of making him see her like this?)

And Shirley realizes that she's lonely too.

And more than anything, she wants to have a hero right now.
She's so sad that Zero wasn't it.
She quietly spends the class time staring at the window, she's too quiet and she doesn't right notes anymore.
Sometimes she glances at the door and sometimes she looks at him.

And she wonders, who he is when he walks out the door. And she wonders if maybe he's just hiding behind a mask,
and maybe he's out there fighting to protect her, and that's why he won't smile at her so much, why he won't
try to join in with everyone else, why he's always late and why he's always sleeping.

(And she wonders why it had to be Lulu's face behind the mask, and suddenly she doesn't believe in heroes anymore.)


And something tells her to aim it at him. Something tells her to shoot and not look back, and she's done things, oh God, she's done things, terrible things and he killed her Dad, Lulu killed her Dad, and he's Zero, he's not a hero, he's an anti-hero behind a mask and he really is alone and oh God why couldn't she do anything and --

"I'll bear the sin, Shirley." His voice is desperate and cracked and he's staring at her with desperate violet eyes that are more purple than ever and she knows that he's bleeding on the inside and his eyes show only the surface of the wound.
And she doesn't understand that beyond him and her dad, she just wants to save him.

"I shot someone--Lulu--I.." She cracks, and her eyes are filled with tears and she won't be Shirley anymore, she'll be the grief-stricken girl who tried to kill one of her best friends and shot someone and she won't be the girl who wrote him notes anymore and--

"I'll make you forget everything. " And she cries out because she can't forget everything, she can't forget Lulu but she is forgetting Lulu because she's missing the exact shade of his eyes when he smiles at her, and she's forgetting the way his nose felt when she tapped it and she's forgetting how they met and she's crying out because she won't be Shirley anymore because she's forgetting LULULULULULU--

And she won't be Shirley.

(And she doesn't even know why she came here.)

"Losing things makes you realize a lot of things."

And she doesn't know how to relate.

"How much you loved her smile, how you'll never fight or laugh together again--"


And all he said was thank you.

(And that word wasn't what she wanted.)


And suddenly it hits her, like a wave, like a whirlwind, in the rain, and she remembers.

Remembers Lelouch, who really is Lulu. Remembers how Milly's real smile used to be.
Remembers that she shot someone and that someone is her teacher. Remembers that
Suzaku used to be happy and join in with them at lunch. Remembers that Lulu and
Suzaku were friends and Lulu--Lulu!Lulu!

She remembers Lulu.

(And somehow through it all she loved him all over again.)

(And she's Shirley again. She's the damsel and the heroine and somehow Lelouch is still the anti-hero who really wants to be a hero and Shirley still wants to save him. )

So she runs and she should have known that she would fail. Because she's no damsel.
(And only damsels get saved.)



And it's Lelouch. Remember him? Remember the boy who slept in class and you marched over and told him that you'd take good care of him? Remember that he's Zero but somehow you don't care?

"Lulu..." Remember dressing him up as a mouse? Remember how much fun you would have with him? Remember how he used to laugh at you when you tripped?

(Remember how he tried to save you?)

He was her hero after all.

"I'm so glad I got to talk to you in the end." There was no else she would rather tell her secret. No one else she would rather take her mask off for.

"You know I was so scared when my memories came back. A fake teacher..friends with no memories, everyone was lying to me..."

"It was if the whole world was watching me." His lip trembles.
And she understands the sadness. Through the blood pooling against her shirt, she understands.

"Lulu, you've been fighting this world all by yourself. All by yourself.." (I tried, I tried to save you)

And his face is broken and crumpled and his eyes are full of tears, and the bruises are bleeding out and all she
wanted was to pull him out of it. All she had ever wanted was to save him. If nothing else, let her be real.
If nothing else, let her be his shoulder.

"That's why I wanted to become the one thing truthful to you."

(I just wanted to be your heroine. I just didn't want you to be lonely..)

And she's taking her mask off.
(Her secret identity of loving him forever and ever.)

She's taking it off and she's telling him all the things she said in all those ways long long ago, when her friends were real and she still believed that heroes existed and when they were still happy.

"I love you Lulu..." (And the mask falls off.)

She focuses hard on the purple, her mind vaguely registering that it's still a bruise.
"Even when you killed my father..I couldn't bring myself to hate you..Even when you tried to make me forget everything.."
(She never really could. How could she? She loves him.)

"I still fell in love with you all over again..even when my memories were altered, I still fell in love again,"


And she's tired. That's all she needed to say. All she ever wanted to tell him.
"No matter how many times I'm reborn, I'm sure I'll still fall in love with you again, Lulu.."
And it's supposed to happen like this right? The anti-hero loses something and he becomes a real hero, right?

She's still saving him, right?

"This is fate, right? So it's okay, right Lulu?" SHIRLEY DON'T DIE DON'T DIE DON'T--

And isn't it funny that she still fell head over heels all over again?
And isn't it funny that she's the one confessing?
And isn't it funny--

"That I fall in love with you again when I'm reborn.."

And her hand is slipping and it's so cold, and she probably should have brought a tissue because Lelou is crying now.

"No matter how many times ..."

(And he's still your Lelou.
Still the same boy with the beautiful, sad smile.
And he's still alone. And you still love him...because he could be a hero one day.)

"I'll fall in love with you..."

(You just wish you could have been his. )

Hey um, yeah. If you could like review, I would um, give you...small voice..cookies?