A/N: Written for the 13drabbles community on livejournal, which is... apparently frozen right now, or something? Using the beta theme.

This was originally just meant to be a tribute to the friendship between Suzaku, Nunally and Lelouch, from childhood right up to the end of the series (which means that yes, this contains Turn 25 spoilers), but because the challenge is to write thirteen 100-word drabbles for a pairing this is mostly SuzakuxNunally. But Lelouch is in there a lot, too, and in fact prompt #2 (and maybe #6, as well) might be not-quite-legal for the community as SuzaNuna is barely mentioned at all but... whatever.

Rated for a mention of non-explicit sex.


#1 - Butterflies [118]

"Nunally! Look, I caught a butterfly!" Suzaku's jubilant voice, the grass tickling her feet. She hears her brother take in a breath, about to scold him for his forgetfulness, and hurriedly interrupts him.

"That's wonderful, Suzaku!" she says, and he comes hurrying over to show her. Her brother gently takes her hands and puts them over the rough Japanese boy's, and slowly, slowly, Suzaku opens his fingers.

She feels a feather light touch and giggles. "What does it look like?"

Suzaku and her brother describe the pattern on its wings as she revels in the feel of it against her fingertips. In another minute they let it go, but she keeps her hands in Suzaku's a moment more.

#2 - Groceries [111]

Almost before he's aware of what he's doing Suzaku flings himself upon the village boys in a fury, kicking and punching as Toudou-sensei has taught him. It takes only a few moments before they fall off and back away, leaving the young Brittanian prince in a huddled, defensive heap on the ground.

Suzaku holds out his hand to the boy, and unlike the first time Lelouch accepts it without question. The son of the Japanese Prime Minister smiles at the discarded Brittanian prince and there is a promise there — I will always be here for you. The two boys carry home the bags of groceries to Nunally in a companionable silence.

#3 - Waves [100]

They never go very deep into the water, because Lelouch is not very good at swimming (only marginally better at it than he is at any other sport), but it's fun all the same. Nunally can no longer see the sun flash across the water's surface, but she can smell the salt spray, feel the cool of the waves against her skin.

"Hey, Nunally, wouldn't you like to go out a little deeper?" asks Suzaku, and Lelouch lets him take her out to where the current is in danger of sweeping her away because he trusts Suzaku to hold on.

#4 - Mystery [100]

"Ah, Nunally!" Suzaku's voice is warm over the phone, but sounds a bit abashed. "Lelouch asked me to tell you that he's probably going to be coming home late tonight."

"Oh, thank you," she says, and tries not to let the sorrow she feels at her brother's frequent late nights out recently show. "Mm, I wonder where he goes?" she says lightheartedly. "Maybe he has a girlfriend?"

"One that isn't Shirley?" replies Suzaku.

"My onii-sama is such a heart-breaker!"

They laugh together at the thought and say their goodbyes, content to let it remain a mystery for the time being.

#5 - Board Games [106]

On warm, sunny days they'd play Suzaku's games and whatever activities took his fancy. They were always outdoors, sometimes hiking through the wilderness near the Kururugi Shrine, sometimes simply sitting in the field and talking together.

On rainy days, it was Lelouch's choice. He invariably chose a board game of some sort — chess, at first, until Suzaku got fed up with trying to understand the rules and accidentally broke one of the boards, and then other games like Monopoly. Surprisingly enough, Nunally often won this game — only, Suzaku was sure, because Lelouch secretly let her. He didn't mind though because he wanted her to win, too.

#6 - Winter [120]

Nunally huddles in her jail cell and awaits execution, watches the snowfall outside her window with dull and tired eyes that refuse to close because she has not seen anything for so long. Thinks of sunlight's warmth and flowers' scents, summer days at the beach, laughter, warm hands around her waist and against her cheek. Thinks of skating on frozen ponds ("my onii-sama never let me try, though,") and Christmas ("When I was little my onii-sama used to dress up as Santa Claus for me!"), thinks of a friendship that was formed more than eight years ago.

She blinks dully, curls into herself and hugs her knees to her chest. She will not cry. Her heart is stone.

#7 - Sensitive [134]

"Nunally, I have a surprise for you," says Lelouch, and Suzaku looks at him for confirmation before putting his hand atop Nunally's. She gasps in recognition, takes his hand in both of hers, whispers his name. Through the rough calluses he has earned in the army he can still feel the gentle soft warmth of her fingers against his, and the smile she gives him is enough to wash away seven years' time spent apart in a moment.

Two years later she demands Zero remove his mask for her, but she has never seen his face before. It is only when he pulls off the black gloves with trembling hands and lays them against hers that she recognizes him, and through her brother's blood he again feels the gentleness of her fingers against his.

#8 - Darkness [116]

That first night after the completion of Zero Requiem, the newly crowned Empress of Brittania invites Zero to her room and moulds herself to his body, discovering a new kind of love and comfort in her grief. And when it is over they lay together on the bed, breathing raggedly and staring at nothing.

Out of modesty, perhaps, he reaches down and pulls Zero's cloak across them both, and Nunally buries herself in its folds, breathing in her brother's scent, his sweat and his blood and everything that is him, and sleeps surrounded by its darkness. When she wakes in the morning and Zero is gone, the cloak is still there and her eyes are dry.

#9 - Quiet Time [114]

And often they played in the shed or climbed the steps of Kururugi Shrine, or raced each other across the meadow or told jokes and stayed up all night, singing around the fire, and sometimes they climbed through the shed's old furniture and rearranged it and made forts and did all those things that children do, and there was so much laughter and noise.

And sometimes, sometimes, they'd find a tree to lie under, drinking in the cool shade that it provided and describing the patterns of the dappled sunlight to the little blind girl, and fell silent, just barely touching one another, breaths mingling, heads drooping, eyes closing, and this too was friendship.

#10 - Kittens [144]

It comes as a great shock to the palace servants to find a cat giving birth on Zero's lap, but the Empress only giggles.

"You and your cats," she says, shooing the servants away. "What am I to do with you?"

"Get me a box and a towel, for one thing," he replies in a voice that is rusty from disuse, and this she does. In this moment, they are just two childhood friends watching the beginning of four small lives. When it is over and the kittens are suckling happily at their mother's teats, Zero makes the mistake of putting his fingers too close, and one of the newborns whips around and attempts to bite him with its toothless gums. As Zero looks at it in astonishment the Empress puts a hand to her mouth and giggles, thinking these are definitely Arthur's offspring.

#11 - Trains [133]

There was a railroad track that ran through the city of Tokyo, dividing it between the Brittanian settlement and the Elevens' ghetto. Nunally never had to see the crumbling ghetto, because it had been destroyed by the time she got her sight back.

But later, when Tokyo and the railroad were both rebuilt, she visited as the Empress with Zero at her side, gazed in wonder at the city she had lived in for seven years of her life.

She offered Prime Minister Ougi a formal apology for the destruction caused by the Brittanian warhead FLEIYA used during the war, promised that things would be different from now on, thought of taking the train just once to see the city... Zero gripped her shoulder and she smiled, remembered her duty, abandoned the wish.

#12 - Road trip [109]

Her brother tells her in an indignant voice about the adventure he'd been forced to go on with Suzaku. " — and then he tells me he's never even driven a car before, he's just learned from video games! I thought I was going to die! — " and in the background Suzaku squawks and laughs and insists that it wasn't that bad, they were fine in the end —

Nunally giggles at their antics, assures Suzaku that she believes him, giggles even more at her brother's wounded response to her not taking his side (she's almost certain he's only joking), and all three forget, for awhile, that there is a war going on.

#13 - Gravestone [125]

His tombstone is smooth and unmarked, hidden in a secret corner of the gardens in the Imperial villa. Nunally waited until three months had passed after the completion of Zero Requiem before she visited.

She found Zero there, alone, and tells her attendants to leave.

She cleared her throat. "My onii-sama wasn't a bad person."

"He was human," was the reply she was given, flat, tired, voice throaty. "He had a human wish."

She nodded, reached for the masked man's hand, and together they kept vigil at the grave of the boy they'd played and fought and laughed with, the boy whom they had loved and hated in equal measure at different times for different reasons, and they did not leave until the morning came.


A/N: Comments are appreciated. =)