Title: I Would Fly With You
Characters/Pairings: Nunnally, contains mentions of Rolo and Lelouch.
Rating: G, with PG-13 for some Rolo backstory.
Word Count: 2700 approx.
Summary: Nunnally investigates the boy that replaced her, that Lelouch was forced to call 'brother'. Personal conflictions begin to arise as she reflects on Rolo and his ambitions.
Notes: This bunny of a plot stuck in my head shortly after I wondered what and if I should write fanfic for Code Geass R2, since that season confused the living daylights out of me. I wanted it to be centered around Nunnally, then I thought of Rolo, and this popped into my head around 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM while listening to "Yasashii Sekai" and "If I Was a Bird" locket version. It didn't come out as clear and pretty as I hoped it would, and I hope Nunnally or anybody else isn't too OOC; I didn't do much heavy canonical research and deeply apologize for anything out of place.
EDIT: Inconsistancy error bigger than Mount Fuji. The Shinikirou was actually not found on the land near Mount Fuji, and was destroyed when Lelouch used it. Consider it AU until I fix that.
Revised and edited as of October 25, 2008.
Warnings/Spoilers: Episode – wait holy hell, the whole R2 Season from beginning to end. Especially 19 and 24.
Disclaimer: Code Geass does not belong to me. If it did, the Emperor would have screamed "PSYCHO CRUSHA " when he flew at Lelouch.
- I Would Fly With You -
- Written by: Xin Fyrrae -
Five months have passed since the Zero Requiem. The Empire of Britannia had undergone drastic changes in its ruling system, much to the disdain of Ambassador Schneizel and many of the "old" Britannian nobles and citizens. Already, it had begun to negotiate freedom of several of its Numbers, such as Area 11, which would be soon recognized once again as Japan.
Empress Nunnally vi Britannia, 100th Successor to the Britannian Throne, was regarded by the majority of Britannia to be a gentle and caring leader, similar to the Third Princess Euphemia li Britannia. It is why some feared that one day she would become another Massacre Princess, noted by the fact that her brother was 99th Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia, considered to be nothing more than a ruthless tyrant. Despite those people, many celebrated their new ruler and her peaceful ways.
She was also regarded as the youngest successor in Britannian history, being only fifteen years of age, soon to be sixteen. What made this even more amazing was her physical condition; Nunnally was paralyzed from the waist down, and had once been blind. It appeared she had recovered her ability to see, revealing wide, innocent blue eyes. When asked about it, she wished to say medical revelations.
That would be lying however, as Geass was no medical revelation, and should be regarded, in her strong opinion, as anything but a miracle. It was because of Geass that so much pain had been inflicted on her, in so many ways. Her disabilities, the death of many of her close friends…
The death of her own brother, Lelouch – who had started the conflict and bloodshed in the first place as the entity Zero, and his Order of the Black Knights – with the cursed power of Geass corrupting him. And all of those times of war and rebellion were not to liberate Japan, nor to gratify his own will, but for her. Yes, for her to live in what she had always wanted: a gentle world.
It had been five months since Lelouch's death, and she still was recovering. Nunnally had grown numb to the pain and discomfort – it scared her to tears, she had once told Zero the second. But she knew she could not bring her onii-sama back to life, no matter how hard she tried, no matter how hard she prayed. She was on her 989th paper crane, and even as she tried to fold 999, she knew even if she folded 1000 and wished fervently, it would not bring Lelouch back.
The new Zero had killed him, by what she believed to be her brother's own will. Nunnally had a suspicion on who this Zero really was, and the aftereffects of Lelouch's death had led her to push the denial away in order to accept her assumptions. She never talked to this Zero about that yet, nor did she want to. Nunnally knew one day she would, and the new Zero would listen; she knew he would never abandon her.
It was not Zero nor Lelouch she was concerned about at the moment. Her interest lingered to somebody she had been strongly curious about from the past to the present, and she wished to learn more about this person, because of the importance of his role with Lelouch.
The Britannian Secret Intelligent Services held profiles of each and every single registered Britannian citizen, from the day they were born to the day they would die. They were accurate – flawed when the recorders were lazy, but almost perfectly and strictly accurate. However, from stories she had heard, Nunally knew the person she was about to look up should be regarded with some level of suspicion, as they themselves probably did not know every accurate detail about him.
She finally found the man she was looking for; a BSIS agent who could provide the profile for her. He looked up at her. "Ah, your Highness!" the man greeted, bowing down to her, and nodding Zero, who stood right next to her. He brushed back his hair. "What brings you here?"
"I'd like to look at records of a person's profile, if it isn't too much trouble," Nunnally replied. Her voice was soft, if not blank. "Would it be?"
"Not at all, your Highness. Who's profile is it that you would like to see?"
Her face suddenly hardened considerably. "Lamperouge," she told him, and Zero faltered, but did not say anything.
"Oh?" the man murmured, his eyebrows arching in curiosity as well. "Your Highness, I wish not to question such an odd task, as your brother – "
"No," Nunnally interjected, throwing the man offguard again. "Not him."
The man suddenly froze, as though he knew already who she was talking about. "Then who?" he questioned, his voice suddenly quiet and uneasy.
Her gaze still firm, Nunnally said, "Rolo."
- - - - - - -
The first thing she noticed when browsing Rolo's file was the photo attached to it. He looked around her age, with golden brown hair and bright purple eyes. Nunnally shifted uncomfortably. He truly did have the appearance fitting of a Lamperouge. If it had been her in Lelouch's place, she too would have mistaken Rolo to be her own brother; a twin even.
The next immediate thing she noticed made her tense and unnerved her even more. Rolo had also been a Geass user; an experimental one given to him along with dozens of other victimized children. Even though it was far different from Lelouch's and simply suspended objects in frozen animation, Rolo's occupation soon made that ability even more dangerous. Nunnally was practically numb in fear and awe as she read the terrifying history of this man, who had killed many people mercilessly with no second thought.
She had read the whole profile twice – no, thrice and more, especially regarding his involvement with Lelouch; he had been chosen to be a substitute for herself, to pose as Lelouch's younger brother in order to watch when he would become Zero again, and then proceed to kill him if it occurred. She continued to read about his sudden change of loyalty against Britannia, and how he had joined Zero and Order of the Black Knights to fight alongside Lelouch, and was regarded as one of the most dangerous soldiers in the division, next to Kallen, Xing-he and Jeremiah Gottwald. Then he had vanished almost abruptly, presumed dead according to the records.
"I wondered myself why he had turned against Britannia so easily," Viletta had responded to Nunnally, when she had asked about Rolo. The woman set her cup of tea down, and rested a hand against the lump of her stomach – the tan-skinned Britannian was now beginning to show later signs in her pregnancy. "Then again, he did not hold much interest in the service. He followed orders perfectly, even went against them, but when he started to be around Lelouch more, things changed."
Things changed. Villetta had said it with a very thoughtful tone. When Nunnally had asked her more, Villetta gave her what she knew. "Rolo was…attached to your brother," she had explained. "It was almost as though he really was Lelouch's brother. He trusted nobody but Lelouch, and was fiercely devoted to him, and would do whatever it took to keep him safe."
"Protective?" Nunnally remarked, and Villetta had nodded, picking up her teacup and taking a sip before continuing.
"Almost too protective. Any danger that arose towards Lelouch, and Rolo would immediately keep his eyes on it; even kill it, if he had the chance." She swallowed. "They say he was the one who had killed Shirley."
Nunnally nearly dropped her own teacup. "He never trusted anybody else who was close to Lelouch. He wanted Lelouch to himself, even when Lelouch tried on one occasion to kill him." Villetta's eyes shifted away uneasily. "I think Rolo was especially angry when you were brought up."
This time Nunnally set the teacup down in order to prevent breaking it, and was grateful she did when Viletta added, "If he had succeeded finding you in that facility, he would have killed you."
It was then after that Nunnally was certain that this Rolo was nothing more than a monster, driven by his jealousy and emotions to kill. It was not something she could support at all, and she strongly disapproved of it. How could she support a man who was nothing more than a Geass-given killer who had no relent when he killed?
Her curiosity of Rolo did not end there, especially when she realized how much that thought reminded her of Lelouch.
- - - - - - -
Upon official reports from the Britannian scouts, they found a Japanese Knightmare, Shinikirou, on a patch of land somewhere near the location of Mount Fuji. It was reported to have been driven by Rolo himself, who had rescued Lelouch shortly after the aftermath of the first FLEIJA bombing. That was also its last sighting in flight and fight.
The pilot cockpit had been dispatched in perfect condition from the Knightmare body itself, but there was no sign of any body in the cockpit. Despite this, Nunnally still insisted on visiting the area to see for herself.
There was a stump of wood located near the edge of the isle that would have been innocent enough, if not for the mound of fresh dirt it had stood over, and more notably the pink, gold-plated heart-shaped jewelry that was placed on the top of the stump. It completely threw Nunnally offguard as she gasped, placing a hand over her mouth as her eyes widened.
"Your Highness?" a guard said, immediately bolting to attention. "What is it?"
Nunnally blinked and lowered her hand, but continued to shake as she gazed upon the marker. "Looks like a shoddy grave," her other guard commented. He nodded to his partner. "That certainly confirms our thoughts. What is our next objective, your Highness?"
"Leave him," she immediately responded, and the two guards looked up, blinking in mild shock. Nunnally turned to look at them. "We have no use of a dead body, even if it is the owner of a Geass."
"But, Highness," the first guard protested, raising his hand. "How will we know if that is indeed Rolo?"
Nunnally's hands clenched the armrests of her chair. "It doesn't matter anymore," she sighed. "Just collect the Shinikirou; that at least should be more useful."
The guards saluted her uncertainly, before turning around and walking back to the Knightmare. Nunnally watched them walk away, before she turned back around, and looked back at the grave.
The wind whistled in her ears, and Nunnally forced herself to stare directly at the grave marker, as though to acknowledge, no – talk to him. Then, she wheeled herself forward, and reached out a hand towards the locket. The sea rippled, and the trees rustled. Nunnally gulped, before finally taking the locket into her hand.
Pink, as she noted before – soft pink, with a gold-plate clover in the center, and a gold chain. It definitely looked and felt like the exact one that Lelouch had given her on her fourteenth birthday. Yes, this locket was once properly hers, and belonged to her, not Rolo. Rolo simply had stolen it, along with her position, her brother…
Another gust of wind, more harsher than before. Nunnally shivered, before realizing she had been gripping the locket in her hand tightly. The empress tried to relax as best as she could, and stared back at the wood marker, then back to the locket.
Taking a hesitant breath, Nunnally popped it open.
A gentle, familiar tune suddenly filled the air. It was beautiful, but tragic at the same exact time, for reasons Nunnally could just not bring herself to comprehend as she inhaled sharply.
Despite the peaceful, harmonious melody of the song, there was something about it – to Nunnally – it sounded broken.
"You died for him, didn't you?" Nunnally said, and her eyes focused on the grave before her. "You gave up all you had just to save his life? So foolishly, just like that? Like it no longer had any more meaning but to save my onii-sama?"
Nunnally paused, as though expecting an answer. Her eyes began to sting and a lump began to form in her throat as she continued to talk. "You, Rolo Lamperouge, the Geass-posessing assassin who was hired by Britannia to spy on and betray my onii-sama, Lelouch Lamperouge - who was Zero, who was Lelouch vi Britannia, who became the 99th Emperor of the Britannian Throne, Lelouch vi Britannia – would do that? You, who would stab one thousand backs, poke one thousand eyes, and kill one thousand people, regardless of being friends or enemies, familiars or strangers…would risk your own life, just to save this one man?"
Nunnally choked back a sob, and lifted her head. Her gaze was a turmoil of emotions and feelings directed at Rolo; anger, confusion, and denial. However, her shoulders relaxed, her face softened, and one feeling was written very clearly on her face: empathy.
"My – no, onii-sama…" she murmured. She wiped a hand across her eyes. "You would sacrifice your whole life – in whole and in essence, just to save onii-sama; just to protect him and be with him and love him, as though he truly was your own family…"
The wind seemed to die down at that moment. "If I had what you had, I would have done the same," Nunnally sighed. "Just to see him safe, and happy. That's all I wanted from onii-sama. I wanted him to be happy and by my side. I wanted him to always be there; not just for me, but for himself, and for his friends. It's selfish, but you of all people..."
She trembled briefly. "I don't expect you to forgive me for anything if I ever have angered you or caused you hatred, but all I ask from you, Rolo, is for your sympathy. I truly, truly loved onii-sama too, and as long as I continue to live, in body and soul, I will continue to do so." Then, she stopped, and smiled softly. "I know you will too."
She grasped the locket gently in her fingers, and a single tear fell onto the heart-shaped pendant. "Thank you," Nunnally whispered. "For protecting and loving onii-sama."
She closed her eyes solemnly and let her tears fall freely as another breeze – cold, but gentle – brushed past her. Somewhere in the distance, a bird chirped, and Nunnally gave her condolences to a brother – not her brother, but a brother dear to her in her own special way.
- - - - - - - -
That night, at exactly midnight, she had finally folded her 1000th paper crane, and wished for peace and happiness for her departed friends and family, including both Rolo and Lelouch.
- Fin -