Summary: C.C. tries to say goodbye to Lelouch one last time. Spoilers up to R2's ending.
IzanagiMikoto: Please review. Reviews are the fuel for engine that is my brain.
She should've left. That's what she was good at, leaving and discarding people who couldn't grant her wish. How ironic, that she herself didn't know her own truth, but Lelouch had. As much as she wanted to deny it, he'd been right all along. It was infuriating to be out done by someone so much younger. That simply wasn't the way the game was played.
"Ugh…" groaned the guard as he slid down the wall.
It was easy for C.C. to break into this place. After all, who would guard a dead body? Everyone had seen him die on live television. Besides, who would possibly doubt "Zero?" He'd come back just in time to answer the people's call for justice to vanquish the "Demon King" Lelouch.
Didn't he feel anything about going down in history as an "enemy of the world?" C.C. didn't know if she could handle the weight of something like that, but he shouldered everything by himself like always.
At least some of the Black Knights knew the truth. Kallen and Todoh would take it with them to their graves, but Lelouch wouldn't be forgotten. C.C. knew how painful it was to be forgotten. Lelouch was very lucky.
The morgue is a cold depressing place, but C.C. hadn't thought this way in a long time. People died. It is a fact of life, but C.C. would always live on, that was also a fact. Only now did she think differently, and all because of one man. Depressing as it was, Lelouch had simply proved she'd be alone for eternity.
"Well, at least you fulfilled your promise," she said softly. Her eyes were uncharacteristically soft as she gazed down at that familiar face. "Even if it was only a short while, you made me smile."
That night, after defeating Schneizel, had been magical. Lelouch had whisked her off for one final night together, treating her like a queen. He probably only meant to leave her with happy memories, but that only made the inevitable end worse.
Don't you hate me, Lelouch?
"You should have. If you did I wouldn't have to feel like this would I? You'd just be like all the others, but you weren't. You were so much more than I expected."
It's the first time I've met a man like you.
"And I doubt I'll ever meet someone else like you Lelouch." Her fingers brushed several strands out of his face. He was chillingly cool to the touch.
Does that mean you love Lelouch?
"I told Kallen that I didn't know." She smiled in a self-depreciating manner, tears threatening to spill over. "That was a lie…"
Lelouch… As compensation for putting Geass on people…
"You're such a bad brother and lover. You made Nunally and I cry, but you already knew that didn't you? It was probably in your calculations. I even prayed for a miracle, your safety. I haven't prayed to God in a long time." A lone tear slipped down her porcelain skin. "I guess that's what made you the best man. I suppose it's fitting for me, who's always leaving people, to be left behind in the end."
"Look at what you've done. You've reduced me to just another pathetic woman." Slowly, she lowered her face, staring at him one last time.
"Lelouch… I…" she moved her hair out of the way, leaning in for one last kiss, but…
She gasped. "Lelouch?"
Two weeks later…
The hay inside the wagon and the sun on her face was surprisingly comfortable. She only had one of her Cheese-kun plushies and not a single cent to her name. Nonetheless, she couldn't be happier. Not that she'd tell him. He'd be even more insufferable if he knew how she felt. She couldn't let him be any more arrogant otherwise that fat head of his might explode.
"The Power of Kings, called Geass, will make people lonely," she said with a slight smile, allowing a soft laugh to escape her tender lips. "I suppose that wasn't quite true. Right, Lelouch?"
"Che, C.C. why am I doing all the work?" huffed Lelouch as he took off his hat.
"Isn't that the man's job? Taking care of his lady." she asked playfully.
"I don't know of any 'ladies' like you." Lelouch tiredly wiped the sweat off his face for the umpteenth time. Being dead hadn't helped his physique at all, but at least the sun was returning some of the color to his complexion. If only it wasn't so damn hot. "You could've at least checked the order."
Rolling over to her stomach, she crawled up to the front, leaning on the wagon edge behind Lelouch. "You should just get Orange-kun to take care of everything. Isn't he your loyal retainer?"
"I'm no longer a prince, much less a king, so I can't order him to do anything. Jeremiah has been very good to us when we had nowhere else to go."
"And now you're an orange planter." C.C. picked some straws of hay out of her green hair.
"You mean us, don't you C.C.?" he asked, a twitch on his face.
The witch remained peacefully quiet, allowing the former prince to draw his own conclusions.
"I was surprised to see Anya there."
"So was I. The last time we saw her, she wanted to kill you."
"It seems like Jeremiah restored her memories with his Geass canceller."
"Did she remember anything interesting? Perhaps scandalous?"
"Sadly, no." Leouch's tone was dry.
"That doesn't explain what she's doing here," C.C. said, saddling up next to Lelouch in the front seat. "Perhaps Orange-kun has a taste for younger women."
"C.C.!" he exclaimed, giving her a long, hard stare, but C.C. let it slide off her like water of a swan's back. Lelouch could only sigh in response. Getting mad at C.C. was pointless; it only made the heat even worse. "Don't call him Orange-kun."
At this comment, C.C. merely gave him the look. "You have to admit, there's a certain irony to it."
Seeing that Lelouch was reaching his limit, C.C. decided to back off, for now. She didn't want him to suffer a heat stroke. If that happened she'd have to drive the cart, and she wasn't really in the mood.
Trying to find something else to occupy her, C.C. searched the packages they had picked up for the orange plantation. She didn't even realize she was giving Lelouch a nice show of her rear, but he certainly did. As she was sifting through the boxes, one in particular stuck out.
"What's this?" C.C. said, waving the newest brand of video camera, surprisingly made by the Japanese. It just goes to show how much things had changed.
"Ah, Anya wanted a new camera to replace her old one."
"What happened to it?"
"She apparently lost it in the battle for Damocles."
"Hmm…" C.C. merely looked at the camera in a seemingly neutral manner, but if one looked closely they could see the disapproval in her eyes. "Did you pay for this?"
"What's wrong, jealous?" Lelouch asked with a smirk.
Oh, if only he knew what happened prior to his "resurrection." C.C. would never live it down.
"Of course not," she replied, careless tossing the camera back into the box, ignoring Lelouch's shout to "watch out, it's fragile." She wouldn't know about that, although it did look expensive, especially considering their tight budget. "Unlike Orange-kun, I know you like older women."
The ex-prince turned his head away, trying to hide his blush from the familiarly coquettish look C.C. was giving him. It was futile, but C.C. would let him escape for now. She'd catch him later. They had plenty of time.
"What are you doing C.C.?" asked Lelouch, as his voice raised a pitch. His surprise wasn't unwarranted. It wasn't often that C.C. showed such a vulnerable side of herself, cuddling against his arm. Not that he was complaining. The witch was far too complex, a byproduct of her centuries of experience. He'd had enough of difficult things for a lifetime or an eternity.
"What? Isn't this what you wanted?" she asked, playfully glancing into his purple orbs with her gold ones.
Staring into her face like that, she was just so dazzling, and Lelouch got the inexplicable urge to kiss her again. However, that would be giving in and therefore losing this game of theirs. C.C. got away with it several times. He was still trying to figure out how she did that.
"What?!" Lelouch inquired. C.C. knowing something he didn't was unsettling. It meant she had an edge over him.
And with that the conversation was over. He should've known better. C.C. was good at keeping secrets. He hadn't even grilled her about Geass and his origins; questions he hadn't bothered to ask earlier, somehow knowing she wouldn't give him an answer. But now was different wasn't it? There was no longer a need for secrets between them, but it never seemed the right time to bring it up.
"I was surprised when you came back," she quietly said.
Lelouch glanced down at her, but her face was buried in his shoulder. All he could see was her green mane. With his face so close he could smell that flowery scent of hers, and was she wearing perfume?
"Not as surprised as me," he replied, looking down at the code on his hand. The one Charles had passed onto him inadvertently, or perhaps the World had given it to him. Was it a blessing or a curse? He didn't mention it out loud to C.C. because he didn't want to hurt her feelings.
He hadn't even known he had it. Apparently, it took one's death to activate. He should've known after what happened with the Emperor, and the moment with Nunally, when he shared his true feelings with her.
"I'm glad you came back…"
Drawing him from his thoughts, he saw the open look on C.C.'s face. It was a rare treat, and he would be a fool to let this opportunity slip by. So he did the only natural thing; he kissed her. Neither was sure how long they were like that, but both had a dazed look when they pulled away.
"You're getting better," C.C. replied, licking her lips.
"Hmph." Lelouch smirked.
"Watch the road."
"What!" Lelouch suddenly pulled on the reigns, stopping the horses from pulling the cart into a small ditch. It would have been hard to get the cart out of the ditch, and probably impossible if he had to do it by himself. His strength was still… below average. Exhaling his relief, he turned to his accomplice. "You could have warned me earlier."
"I could of, but you looked like you were enjoying yourself."
He just couldn't win with this woman. They continued down the road in a comfortable silence for a few minutes before C.C. asked another question. She was very talkative today.
"Do you miss the others?" her tone was neutral, but he could've sworn he heard a tremor in her voice. Had his "death" really affected her so much?
"Of course. Kaichou, Rivalz, and even Nina. But most of all I'll miss Suzaku and Nunally."
"What about Kallen?"
"Her too," he answered truthfully, turning to look at C.C. who was staring down to the side. "But didn't you say it, C.C.?"
Turning to look back at him, she wracked her mind, wondering what he was referring to.
"In the end, it'll only be you and me." Reaching for her left hand, he took in his right, holding her hand the way lovers do. "Although that'll be pretty far off for both of us."
"Hmph. You've gotten much better at smooth talking," she replied with a smirk of her own.
"Oh, I was always good at it. Didn't you know?"
"No, but I'm sure the girls at Ashford did."
"You're the only one, C.C."
C.C. searched his eyes, seeing only the truth and turned back to the interesting grass on the side of the road.
"You should quit while you're ahead, boy."
Is she blushing?
Lelouch merely smiled. He could've pushed on, but he wanted to savor the moment in peace. It was something new to him, but he had plenty of time to discover new things about C.C. They had eternity after all.
After they got back to Jeremiah's orange plantation, C.C. hopped off, taking her bag and Cheese-kun.
"I'll let Orange-kun know we're home."
"Don't worry, I'll shout it out loud and give him enough time for Anya and him to get decent."
For a moment, he wondered if eternity was such a good thing after all, considering his company, but remembering C.C.'s pure smile was all it took to wipe his fears away.
The End… for now…
IzanagiMikoto: Let me know what you think. I just couldn't let this go after seeing the end of R2. It obviously needs some work, since I wrote it on impulse. Flames are unwelcome. If you're going to criticize please be constructive. I don't need to see something like, "it sucks." I already know that.
Considering making a few one shots of C.C. and Lelouch's life after R2 like Kiki Hayashi's "Slices of C.C." but who knows. Kiki's story is awesome stuff, be sure to check it out.
Update 10:29 PM 9/28/08:
If anyone has any advice as to what direction they'd like this story to go, please let me know. This means I'll consider it; I can't make any promises. If it's something outlandish, I probably won't include it, but if it's something plausible that's a different story.
I'm not in the mood for anything epic right now. Another World War isn't something I'm currently interested in.