Notes: It doesn't seem like Nunnally's condition is such a big deal on campus. Possibly that's because she's just so sweet and soft-spoken that it's hard not to like her. Still, it has to be an issue at some point, and I wracked my brain until I could think of one.
Summary: No one says no to Nunnally. At least, not until she asks Suzaku to a school dance. But before Lelouch strangles Suzaku for hurting her, he's determined to find out why.
A Code Geass One-Shot by
Nate Grey (xman0123-at-aol-dot-com)
"Alright, ladies!" Milly shouted, waving her arms wildly. "Let the hunt... BEGIN!!"
The room immediately exploded into activity as every teenaged female within it flew from her seat and rushed for the door, all except for two: Milly, who was standing, and Nunnally, who couldn't.
"Wow. I think someone actually got trampled," Milly sighed, shaking her head. "You'd think we'd never had a Turnaround Costume Ball before. Honestly!"
"It does sound pretty exciting, Milly," Nunnally commented softly. "If you're brave enough, anyway..."
A catlike grin spread across Milly's face. "Why, Nunnally! Are you thinking of asking a boy to the dance? What would your dear brother say if he knew about this?"
"Nothing. He already knows who I want to ask. I just have to work up my courage, that's all."
Milly was completely floored. Lelouch tended to be very overprotective of Nunnally around strangers, so the thought that he'd approved anyone was a bit difficult to believe. "Oh, wait. It's Rivalz again, isn't it?" she groaned.
"No," Nunnally giggled. "I don't think he'd say yes again, since I accidentally ran over his foot at the last dance."
"Yes, the accident. Funny how you've never managed to run over anyone else's foot..."
"I warned him that I was a terrible dancer, but he wouldn't listen. I did have a lot of fun with him, though. That's why I want to try again with someone else."
"So, anyone I know?" Milly asked, growing more curious by the second. That, and she wanted to make sure that Nunnally had selected a quality guy. It wasn't that she had bad standards, but Nunnally could be a bit naive concerning boys. That she'd even considered dancing with Rivalz was proof of that, in Milly's opinion.
Nunnally started to answer, then stopped. "I don't want you to talk me out of it," she said at last.
"How can you say that, Nunnally?" Milly asked, attempting to sound hurt. "If he was a good guy, there'd be no reason for me to do that!"
"He is a good guy," Nunnally insisted. "But nobody seems to realize that."
It didn't take long for Milly to put the pieces together. "Oh. Him. Nunnally, are you sure about-"
"He's one of the kindest people I know, and a dear friend. I don't care what anyone else says about him, and neither does Lelouch."
Milly shook her head sadly. "Well, good luck, I guess. Let me know if you need any help, okay? And remind Lelouch that if he's late bringing the decorations he promised, I know where you two live!"
Lelouch scowled as he entered his bedroom, only to find C.C. tucked comfortably in his bed (how she managed to tuck herself in, he would never know). Her only companions were his pillow, the ever present Cheese-kun plushie, and an empty pizza box that was no doubt filled with crust crumbs and cold, melted cheese. It was a wonder his entire room wasn't infested with bugs by now, but he was starting to think of C.C. as a very large cat that scared them away. She was good for that much, at least.
Shaking his head, he walked over to the bed and repeatedly poked C.C.'s hip until she swatted his hand away. "Get up. I need you to help me get the decorations for a school dance."
"Why should I?" C.C. countered. "I'm not going to the dance, and you'd know better than me what a bunch of spoiled teenagers would find fascinating."
"Wrong on both counts," Lelouch replied. "I can only speak for the boys. I need a girl's opinion, Nunnally's busy, and I actually feel like putting up with you today, at least for a few hours. And you are going to the dance, as my unofficial date."
C.C. blinked, a tiny smirk forming on her face. "I may not be a typical girl, but even I know you're supposed to ask me, not tell me. Are you afraid I'd say no?"
Lelouch rolled his eyes. "It's not an actual date. Officially, we'll both be chaperones. You don't even have to dance with me. You just have to stay within five feet of me at all times, to keep anyone else from trying to dance with me."
"And why would I do any of that?"
"Because if you don't, someone else will have to eat the twenty pizzas I ordered for the dance."
Her mouth dropped open in shock, just before she snapped it shut. "Fine," she muttered, blushing slightly at her inability to turn down her favorite food.
"We should get you something to wear while we're out," Lelouch suggested. "How do you feel about polka dots?"
"Not even for thirty pizzas," C.C. replied coldly.
A chuckle slipped from Lelouch's lips. "Did I mention it's also a costume ball? I thought you'd love the chance to dress up as a pizza."
C.C.'s eyes lit up. "And I can be anyone I want?"
Lelouch eyed her warily. "I was willing to pay for your costume, until you got excited. Now you're on your own."
"Don't worry. I can make a costume from things around the house, and it won't cost you anything, except a little of your dignity."
He did not care for the sneaky smile that settled on her face, nor for the fact that it remained there until he finally crammed a slice of pizza into it three hours later out of sheer frustration.
Suzaku felt like an outcast at Ashford Academy for exactly one day.
Then, Life had given him a hard kick in the pants, in the form of the revised operating manual for the Lancelot, which was at least five phonebooks thick. Between completing his assignments and memorizing the manual, he had no time to worry about what everyone else thought of him, which was a mixed blessing. He wasn't making any new friends, but he was very satisfied with the old ones.
Every day at lunch, Suzaku found an empty table in the cafeteria to sit at. There was always one, or there would be when he sat down, since nobody wanted to sit with the Eleven (or fake Britannian, as he'd heard them whisper). Suzaku would eat quickly, and then work on his assignments until either Lelouch or Nunnally joined him. The Lamperouge siblings had to have a schedule, since Nunnally showed up whenever Lelouch was skipping class, and Lelouch turned up when Nunnally was eating with the girls from the Student Council.
He was ashamed to admit it, but Suzaku always preferred it when Nunnally sat with him. Lelouch was obviously very popular with the girls, and they frequently tried to drag him away. Everyone left Nunnally alone, and Suzaku knew it was because she'd been defending him to them all, and he truly adored her for it. Loyalty like that could only be earned, although he couldn't imagine what he'd ever done to inspire it.
The cafeteria was extra noisy today. Suzaku had noticed that the girls seemed worked up over something, but he hadn't given it much thought. Last night, he'd reached the part of the manual that listed the potential dangers of piloting the Lancelot, and it was weighing heavily on his mind.
At any rate, Lelouch's seat had been empty in the last class, which meant Nunnally would be along any minute now. As he waited, Suzaku glanced over to the table reserved for the Student Council, only to find Milly staring back at him with a curious expression on her face. He sighed heavily, waiting for the sneer, or perhaps the quick head turn, a denial that she'd even been looking at him in the first place.
Instead, Milly surprised him by lifting her hand and wiggling her fingers in greeting. Suzaku was so shocked that he almost forgot to return the wave, and by the time he did, Nunnally had parked her chair right beside his, and was carefully feeling along the table until she found his arm. He nearly jumped up right there, she'd startled him so badly. Instead, he took a few calming breaths and took Nunnally's hand in his own while waiting for his heart to stop pounding.
It occurred to Suzaku, minutes later, when his heart was STILL pounding, that maybe holding Nunnally's hand was the wrong way to go about calming himself down, but he quickly stomped out that line of thinking.
"How'd you find me?" was the first thing he thought to say. Part of it was just making conversation, but as a soldier, he was almost required to find out. That Nunnally had managed to sneak up on him in a crowded cafeteria was not a good thing. If she'd been a terrorist, he'd be dead or worse by now.
"Shirley helped me," Nunnally admitted. "A little, anyway. She took me to three other cute boys before she finally realized I meant you all along."
It was like being shot all over again: his entire body went numb, and inky blackness threatened to overwhelm his brain. Nunnally thought he was cute? Nunnally had actually SAID he was cute, out loud? What in the world was he supposed to say to that? He couldn't even let go of her hand if he broke out in a cold sweat, because hadn't he always held her hand when they spoke? Why and when had he started such a stupid tradition?
The answer practically hit him in the face. When they were younger, Nunnally had always tried to press her hand to his cheek instead. But that had been far too embarrassing, and he could barely stay upright with her soft, warm hand on his face, much less carry on a decent conversation. He'd started removing her hand himself, and then just not letting go so she wouldn't be hurt. But even when she'd stopped aiming for his face, they'd continued to hold hands, and neither one had ever thought to break the habit.
"Suzaku?" Nunnally asked suddenly, reminding him that he hadn't replied to her in some time. "Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing," he assured her, giving her hand a gentle squeeze. "I was just remembering when we were children, that's all. I miss that."
"Me, too," she added softly. "I wish I had noticed things more back then."
"You're more perceptive now than I ever was, Nunnally. I'd give a great deal to have your ears."
"Well, they're mine and you can't have them!" she giggled lightly, clapping her hands over her ears.
"Maybe I could just borrow them for a while?" he teased, tugging at her hands.
"It'll cost you one dance," Nunnally said suddenly, all traces of laughter gone from her voice.
"A dance?" Suzaku asked slowly, realizing she was serious. "What do you mean?"
Suddenly aware that she had his full attention, Nunnally blushed. "Um, t-there's a dance this Friday, and I thought, maybe we could, um, that is, if you weren't busy and you wanted to, and you really don't have to, but..."
He was fairly certain there had been question in there somewhere, a simple offer of a pleasant evening of fun and friendship, and possibly more.
And that only made what he had to say next even harder.
"Nunnally, I don't..." The words stuck in his throat, but somehow she knew them, anyway.
"I-It's okay, Suzaku. I know you're still new here, and it's hard to adjust."
"No, that's not-"
"It was just a silly idea. One of my friends suggested it, and she probably wasn't even serious."
Somehow, that hurt him almost as much as being shot. "Nunnally, please, let me-"
She pulled her hands away from him. That was more than enough to close up his throat again. Nunnally had never done that, not even jokingly, without some warning. But this time, she'd merely removed them, as if she couldn't bear to touch him any longer. He was seized by a half-crazy notion to grab her wheelchair, and refuse to let her leave, but that would make things worse, he knew.
"I-I'll see you later, Suzaku," she murmured, and then she practically ran over two boys that were walking past. Thankfully, Milly must have been watching the whole time, because she flew over, whispered something to Nunnally, and then steered her quickly out of cafeteria. But on their way out, Suzaku saw that Nunnally's shoulders were slumped, and Milly was rubbing her arms, offering any comfort she could.
"I'm sorry, Nunnally," he whispered to the empty air, wishing, not for the first time, that he was dead.
The news spread like wildfire, of course: the Eleven had turned down the sweetest girl in the entire school. Suzaku got into forced into three separate fights before the school day ended, and he knew he was in for another whenever Lelouch found out. But no matter how much his decision hurt Nunnally (and him), he knew it was for the best.
For once in his life, Lelouch got home early, for him, anyway. He'd originally planned to make some more important contacts for the Black Knights, but something had told him to go home instead. As soon as he walked through the door, he was glad he'd listened to that something.
Nunnally's wheelchair was sitting in the hall, empty and forgotten.
Lelouch couldn't help the panic that rose in him as he ran straight for her room. The door was closed, but he slammed it open, only to find his worst fears had been wrong.
Nunnally was there, in bed, but she had very obviously been crying. Her arms were draped around a smaller version of C.C.'s Cheese-kun plushie, and her head was resting in C.C.'s lap as the other girl stroked her hair.
"What happened?" Lelouch demanded as he strode forward and knelt down, carefully brushing the hair out of Nunnally's face.
"Suzaku doesn't want to go to the dance with her, for some reason," C.C. announced, sounding a bit confused herself.
"Oh," Lelouch said calmly.
"You don't seem too concerned."
Lelouch's lips twitched slightly as he stood up and turned away. "I'll be concerned later. After he's dead." He'd only taken one step when Nunnally grabbed his hand.
"No, Lelouch," she murmured. "Don't hurt him."
"I'm not going to hurt him, Nunnally," Lelouch explained patiently. "I'm going to kill him. Then I'm going to take you out for ice cream."
"Promise me you won't hurt Suzaku," Nunnally insisted.
"He hurt you," Lelouch countered, "and anyone who does that deserves to-"
"You can't hurt him or kill him," she sighed, "because I still love him."
Lelouch scowled at her. "You mean you still like him."
"I only wish I did. But I know how I feel. So promise me, Lelouch."
"Nunnally," he stated severely, grasping both of her hands. "You have to understand. You're all I have left in this world. I swore that I wouldn't let anyone hurt you ever again. Do you have any idea how much I would have to love you, to make that sort of promise?"
"I'm starting to," Nunnally whispered, a trace of fear in her voice. "But you have to understand, too, Lelouch. I can get over Suzaku hurting me. He isn't you. But if you, out of all of the people in my life, ever hurt me, I wouldn't have anything else to believe in. And I'd rather lose him than you."
"In other words," C.C. added, reaching over to rap her knuckles sharply on Lelouch's forehead, "don't do anything stupid."
He shot her a dark look before gently gathering Nunnally in his arms. "Alright, you win," he murmured into her hair. "I won't touch him. But until he makes this right with you, he's no friend of mine, and I'm going to make sure he knows that."
"Thank you, Lelouch," Nunnally sighed, resting her head on his shoulder. "I love you, too. Now can we still go out for ice cream?"
Suzaku purposely got to school extra early the next day, just so he could avoid as many people as possible.
So of course Lelouch was waiting on him just inside of the main entrance.
"Nunnally says I can't touch you, so I won't," Lelouch stated coolly. "But I am going to make one thing perfectly clear. You hurt her once. I won't overlook it a second time. You only lost a friend this time. Next time, it's your life." He took a deep breath. "Now. Tell me why you turned my sister down."
"I would've thought you out of everyone else would know why, Lelouch," Suzaku sighed. "I'm an Honorary Britannian, but all the students see is an Eleven. I don't want them to start treating Nunnally the way I've been treated since I came here. I was trying to protect her. Do you really think I would've refused her without an excellent reason?"
Lelouch shook his head in amusement. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe Nunnally was trying to protect you? This refusal is only going to make you more of an outcast. If you'd agreed to go, no one would've said a word to you. No one would dare. Nunnally's condition isn't a weakness here, it's one of her greatest strengths. Britannian students may generally be spoiled and cruel towards Elevens, but not even they would pick on a cute girl in a wheelchair. She's the best chance you have for acceptance, and you'd better stop passing it up before you lose another friend."
"Do you think Nunnally will still hear me out?" Suzaku asked hesitantly.
"Yes. But I don't want you near her right now, so I'll explain things to her. You need to keep something else in mind, though, Suzaku. Nunnally only feels helpless when people treat her that way. Don't protect her unless she asks you to, and if you disagree with something she says, make sure she knows exactly why you feel that way. Otherwise, she might just assume that you don't want to go to a dance with a girl in a wheelchair."
Suzaku's eyes widened in alarm. "No! I never meant for her to think that!"
"Really," Lelouch said calmly. "And do you know how to dance with a girl in a wheelchair?"
Suzaku blinked. "No..." he admitted uncertainly. "But I'm willing to learn!"
"Good. Then show up at the dance and watch me carefully."
All things considered, C.C. was glad she'd agreed to attend the school dance.
The look on Lelouch's face, for example, when she'd stepped out of the closet, dressed as HIM, had been priceless. Only slightly more valuable had been his reaction when she'd dared him to dress up as Cheese-kun. But he'd done it, and that was worth the slightly itchy wig and colored contact lenses.
There was apparently some miscommunication between Suzaku and Nunnally. C.C. clearly remembered that Nunnally had intended to go as a damsel in distress, but at some point changed her mind and arrived at the dance as a racecar driver, complete with a crash helmet, a bright red jumpsuit with "Lamperouge Racing" printed on the front, and her wheelchair moving at twice the usual speed (with Pizza Hut bumper stickers on the sides). Naturally, this threw off the entire theme, since Suzaku came as a dragon.
"I thought we agreed you'd be the damsel," he said as soon as he saw her. "What happened?"
"I changed my mind," Nunnally told him, smiling sweetly. "Didn't Lelouch tell you?"
Lelouch denied any knowledge of a costume change, but was perfectly friendly towards Suzaku for the rest of the dance. It was hard not to be; everyone could tell he'd been the victim of a clever joke. Still, it was enough that Suzaku decided never to cross the Lamperouge siblings again.
Lelouch had been right; several girls asked him to dance. Well, most of them asked C.C. first, as her costume was so convincing. Lelouch didn't think it was funny at all, since the only thing he got mistaken for was a baked potato.
Nunnally's first dance, as it always had been, was reserved for Lelouch. Everyone stopped to watch as Lelouch scooped her up with the ease of long practice, sat in her wheelchair, settled her in his lap, and then flicked the switches in a complicated manner that had them twirling across the floor, sending people scattering left and right. Nunnally laughed the entire time, especially when they managed to bump Rivalz (a musketeer) from behind, making him spill punch all over Milly (a princess), who immediately gave him a black eye.
Afterwards, Nunnally was handed off to Suzaku, who carefully replaced Lelouch in the wheelchair. His duty was made much easier by C.C., who bribed the DJ with cheese pizza, and nothing but slow songs played the entire time they were dancing. Lelouch had taught Suzaku a special maneuver just for the dance, and he and Nunnally slowly spun in place (much to the relief of everyone else) for nearly forty minutes.
As promised, Lelouch never asked C.C. to dance. But "Lelouch" did ask "Cheese-kun," who agreed only after he'd taken his costume off. It was very strange to see Lelouch dancing with himself, especially since they were both glaring at each other: one because it was "in character," and the other because it was most definitely (in his rather biased opinion) not.
Ultimately, a good time was had by all (except for Rivalz, who very nearly lost his spot on the Student Council; Milly, who had to throw out a new dress; and C.C., who ate sixteen pizzas and got so sick that Lelouch had to push her home in Nunnally's wheelchair), and the necessary lessons were learned.
Suzaku never again refused to dance with Nunnally, although she began asking him every single day once she realized that.
Rivalz stayed at least twenty feet away from Milly whenever he had a drink in his hand, and ten feet if he didn't.
And C.C. never again ate sixteen pizzas, by herself, at least. From then on, she forced Lelouch into helping her, so that they'd both feel sick. And if she "hallucinated" a bit, and "accidentally" called him Cheese-kun, he could only grumble and pretend he had no idea what she was talking about.
But he did. And she loved that.
Okay, apparently I have a serious problem where Lelouch and C.C. end up together in every fanfic I write, and I can do nothing to stop them. It's Geass, I tell you! I have no choice!
I didn't mean to be so mean to Rivalz, he's just so easy...
I have a teeny problem. Right now I have two short fanfics I'm considering and have at least written two or so pages worth on already. But I dunno which one would make a better read, so I thought I'd toss it out there for you guys. Can't guarantee the one with more fans will get posted first, as it mostly depends on inspiration and how fast I can see the first couple of episodes again. I do plan to post both eventually, though.
Idea 1: Dream of the King
Lelouch wakes up to find himself Emperor of Britannia. He's married to C.C., has at least two kids by her and some other wife, but has no memory of any of it. Probably it will be more mushy than anything else, or as mushy as things ever get between two such cranky people.
"Yes, of course, Your Highness," the messenger agreed, backing out of the room.
The moment he was gone, Lelouch closed his eyes and groaned. "I'm dreaming," he muttered, rubbing at his eyes again. Then he froze, new horror rising in his brain.
Only one arm seemed to be responding to his command. Fearing the worst, he looked down, and found the reason for that.
He only HAD one arm.
Well, that explained it.
Where his right arm had once been, there was now only scarred flesh that was thankfully smooth to the touch. So this was nothing new, at least. Not really, anyway, but it was certainly new to him.
"I really need to wake up now," Lelouch decided, raising his remaining hand to give himself a good pinch.
Except that before he could, there was a feminine groan from beside him, and then something warm, soft, and sweet-smelling rolled against his side. Lelouch was somehow not at all surprised to see C.C. staring up at him, annoyance written all over her face (and it was quite hard to focus on her face, what with her being naked under the sheet).
"I thought we agreed when we got married that you would never wake me up with your brooding," she complained.
He arched an eyebrow at that, but thought it best not to speak. This was C.C., after all. Surely she would soon say something that was both infuriating yet informative.
Idea 2: Of Monsters and Men
Starts off as a rewrite of the Lake Kawaguchi hostage situation, with one key difference: Nunnally is among the hostages, and Zero talks to her and Euphemia together. From there it gets iffy, because instead of being mysterious, Zero claims it was necessary to kill Clovis as a way to stop the slaughter of innocent Japanese, which neither one can really argue with. However, Euphie insists there should have been another way, but Nunnally, having a far better idea of how Japanese are treated, begins to think that Zero isn't quite as bad as he first appeared, and that Imperial Family has only gotten worse since she was cast out.
Yang turned back to Nunnally. "I have given up my gun, Nunnally. You don't have to worry about anyone pointing one at you, or your friends, from now on."
"Thank you, Yang," Nunnally replied. "You're very kind."
"Ah, thank you, but the world is not," Yang said. "You see, my comrades and I are mostly Japanese soldiers. We were proud to defend Japan's honor, and are proud to be Japanese, and that will never change. We despise being called Elevens. Can you understand that?"
"Yes," Nunnally agreed. "My caretaker is Japanese. She has never been anything but kind to me, and I hate to think of how she might be treated in public."
Milly was listening closely, but she was also keeping an eye on Nina, who seemed to be growing more and more upset the more Yang spoke. Milly squeezed her hand several times, but it didn't appear to have any impact.
"It was never our wish to take hostages," Yang was explaining, "but surely you understand that Britannians do not take the Japanese seriously, now that we pose no major threat to them. They will not even acknowledge us by our proper name. The only way to gain their attention these days is to disrupt their lives, often with violence or terrorism. But we are still just Japanese soldiers at heart, fighting for our homeland."
"But you can't go home if it doesn't exist," Nunnally whispered.
Yang smiled, and it was a startlingly genuine one. "I see you understand our plight, Nunnally. I am sorry we had to meet under such conditions. Any other day, I believe you and I might have been friends."
"Can't we still be friends?" Nunnally asked, removing her hand from Milly's and stretching it out towards Yang. "At least for a little while?"
Yang paused, staring at her hand for a few seconds. They never did find out what his decision was, for at that moment, Nina lurched forward and yanked Nunnally's hand back.
Instantly, every gun in the room was trained on Nina.
So which one sounds more interesting? I'm leaning towards the second one, myself.