a/n: spoilers for Turn 15. I was wondering why C.C. was doing what she was doing in Turn 16's preview, and such. Soooo speculation fic.

Aftertaste ; PG13 - romance/drama - Lelouch x C.C.

It had been after Rolo had picked them up, that Lelouch decided that he should return to headquarters with her than keep up the pretense of being a student. The issue with her, with Nunnally's safety, and the matter of Kallen still had to be dealt with. Besides, now that the Emperor knew for sure that his memories had returned, that life he held, (true- from lies) he could no longer return to.

She looks at him nervously from her seat upon the leather couch she often lounged on. He had tried to see if talking about who she had been would spark anything, this amnesia- was different from the one he had, caused by the Geass (but by extent, this was one caused by it too?) Her hands wring about in her lap as if she should be doing something with them.

"So... what you're saying is... I gave you this power called Geass?"

He nods, surely-

"And that I helped you create this organization called the Black Knights."

More nodding.

"That you're using to wage war against your father, who rules the Holy Empire of..."

A half nod, she's placed a finger about her lips, anxiously trying to remember.

"Uhm."

He gives a wave of his hand, sitting down with her, having left only momentarily to make a phone call. She looks startled that he has taken such an action, he tells her- "It's fine, it's fine. You don't have to rush."

Her expression is forlorn, "I'm sorry I really can't remember... and I don't know what you're talking about."

Lelouch gives a shrug, before rising again, rummaging about the messy room that on their arrival she had tried to clean of all things. That was not what C.C. did. C.C. made messes; she had been without a doubt shocked when he had hurriedly made her sit down, apologies streaming out of her mouth by catching the look on his face, utterly appalled. It takes him some time, a few pillows, a few boxes (that she eyes curiously, maybe...)

"Here!" his voice is a tone too rabid cheerful, she's not used to anyone acting like this around her. Nor has she ever been in such a lavish room. He makes his way over to her, setting down the giant Cheese-kun plush aside her, looking as if he's won the lottery. "This is yours."

C.C. makes the move to pick it up, she looks on hesitant, Lelouch gives a coax of his hands (not entirely sure how he could keep this up) "Go on."

She sets it about her lap, face a half awed, half disbelieving.

"A doll?" she asks, turning to him and seemingly not knowing if she should look him in the eye. He gives a precautious laugh, "Something like that."

A knock on the door, he gets up a little too quickly for her tastes.

"Hold on," he tells her. She sits there obediently till he returns, holding an identical box to the ones that littered about the room. He places it on the table that lay before the couch, scooting some trash over while he does so- he seats himself next to her again, she hastily stuffs the doll in the space between them. Curiously she's leaning forward, as this amorous smell had spilled forth when he lifted the lid. Her stomach gives a growl which she tries to hastily cover with her hands, the last time this had happened her previous master had gotten annoyed.

But to her surprise, he pushes the box to be angled in her direction. "Eat," he says, his face is the pattern of a champion gone awry. She looks it over, the colourful, delicious smelling circle, her mouth waters. She sucks it in, cautious all over and not exactly knowing how to eat it, with her hands right? Was she supposed to pick the box up? There were lines over the circle... her contemplation is too slow and Lelouch picks up a slice, as if this will be the key to her memory, one hand supporting the bottom and then the crust, he has every intention of feeding her now as he presses the tip near her mouth. "Like this," he tells her, she takes a bite finding herself more hungry than afraid to not obey.

Her response is simultaneous, mouth quickly becoming full, chewing, her expression is all too new to him- "It's good Master!"

But Lelouch cannot help his smile, laughter ringing about his voice, "I knew you'd say so-" and suddenly aghast, "It's 'Lelouch', please don't call me Master." This was not the first time he had had to correct her.

He places the slice in her hands, when she deems that his fingers are not getting out of her way fast enough (he thinks so too) he tells her to wait and keep eating, half way to the other side of the room where the door lies, before he remembers about the Tabasco sauce, she's too busy eating to really be paying attention but he quickly returns to rummage about the table, pushing more trash out of the way and finds the half empty bottle still- he places it before the box so she'll have access to it if she wants. He then leaves to make a few more phone calls. He would need to move quickly if he wanted to save Nunnally. And perhaps with her he would be able to find out where Kallen was, since Suzaku worked close with his precious sister.

--

He's barely through the door when he realizes that C.C. had previously gotten up to see where he had went, judging from her hasty return to sit back down, he feels like a sigh wants to give way. This was far much more troublesome than when she had remained that free, mysterious, loitering, sarcastic, high breathing, secret keeping- never mind.

"It's alright if you want to not sit anymore," she's been stiff in the seat, worried that he had notice her getting up, she notices the obvious sudden weariness about his voice, she has displeased him? The type of panic that crosses her expression is foreign to Lelouch, he finds her making so many expressions she would never have been possible of before. But this, this was the real her (and no, it is and it is not, C.C. the C.C. he knew, that witch, to him she was... they were, are-) he sits next to her again, hip knocking into the Cheese-kun plush, he pays it not nearly half a mind, spotting an abandoned pile of napkins, he plucks one up. Her words rushed and hurried, "I'm sorry Master, I- I ate the whole thing, it was very good. I'm sorry I-"

He shushes her more intent on his new task at hand. Tomato sauce, is about her face, as if this is her first time eating pizza, as if she is a child, his chest hurts, a small threadbare amount. Though she has eaten this meal many a time before, still- "Careful," he finds himself saying, he really should have said some like "be still" or "don't move", his left hand comes up to palm her cheek though the move is more to keep her from turning her face away (like... children would do) he tries to wipe the sauce off with the napkin, but is distracted. Even the very tone of her voice is different, quivering and soft-

"...you said... I helped you before-"

"That's right," concentrating on where the red was, he finds it a little amusing that some of it has already started to dry, did she not feel it a bit heavy, a bit cool?

She's averting her eyes; or rather they glance about his hand. "-but... the me then, what was I to you?"

It's the way he keeps looking at her, something she does not know yet has seen in others, something that she has been dying for since she has ever seen the world. Even if it is a darkened corner- his words from before strike him, he never finished, never finished when in desperation he had grabbed at her wrist (Look at me!); it's an older brother thing. Is what Nunnally would say, that tomato sauce just wouldn't get off her face! He licks at a few fingers, if she wants to squirm away from them she is too slow, it starts to rub off more clearly though now her face is red. He wipes off the rest of the residue with the napkin, rising to go throw it in the trash, though he might as well just throw it on the floor, it was covered in trash anyway.

He locates the near empty bin and tosses it down, chest feeling heavier as he tried to recall which words he had wanted so desperately to say, quietly, "You're my-"

Too quietly, she doesn't really hear him, his actions before, his expression from before, no one had ever-"I understand now Master."

Something like a thunk, a rattle, as if her belt has fallen to the floor, but he marks off his confusion, if she understands then (he even forgets to correct her)- "A relief, C.C.-" and when he turns around she's started to reach to take off her white top-

He quickly rushes forward to stop her, "Ah! No- what are you doing?! And for the last time call me 'Lelouch', you-" but he comes too quickly and she is startled all over again and shields herself by folding her arms about over her head, falling heavily back. He's not sure if he wants to laugh or if he wants to cry or if he wants to shoot something. It's not like he ever made a situation better, only worse. The truth of this was staring him in the face.

Instead of trying to help her up, instead of asking her if she's okay, he just stands there looking down at her. She wasn't C.C. yet- she peeks up at him when he has said nothing, done nothing. She's probably about to say "master" again but stops, when finally he bends down to her level, a hinge of defeat wrinkles about the eyes, the brow. As she starts to lower her arms, hesitant always, she says, never looking at him- "...Lelouch."

Even though it is just his name, even though that is all she's said now and has never known, he does something she has never experienced. He wraps his arms around her. He hugs her, she- can't even let the words "No one has ever held me before," escape because he does something else, and it's kiss her and that too- and it's soft, and warm, and achingly gentle and suddenly as if something snaps in the back of her mind all over, she pushes him away and if apologies should fall from his mouth to hers, that familiar laughing voice reaches his ears- "You really are a softy."

He pulls from her, that hand that had pushed him away held over his chest still, "C.C. you-"

That familiar mocking smile, "Is that all you can say? What are you doing just sitting there?"

Indeed he's just-

"Order me another pizza will you? This time less sausage."

He stands, as does she, numbly reaching into his pocket, dialing the number by one mere button (rocket dial, he'd never memorized the number unlike her.) And is ordering when he feels, a peck at his cheek- "What are you doing?" never making for interruption, his shoulders tense as she lazily returns to her seat on the couch.

Lelouch is so relieved he orders twenty pizzas.