Lawli: Oh, this chapter is coming out even faster than even I imagined it would! I was going to wait till next month, but I had a burst of inspiration - meaning seriously I have no idea where half of this chapter came from, it practically wrote itself. Hope you enjoy it. There are some new characters introduced as well a slight turn of events that I hope is unexpected.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter! Especially after the long two-year hiatus, it is wonderful to know that this story still has a following! It really motivates me to keep writing!
Please enjoy the chapter!
I can't keep up with your turning tables
Under your thumb, I can't breathe
So I won't let you close enough to hurt me
- "Turning Tables" by Adele
The Charlatans of Circumstance
I love him.
It was... ridiculous. Completely and utterly ridiculous. To think that Lelouch would fall victim to his own trick, believe the very lie he'd created. That a glance from wide emerald eyes could make his heart flutter or, if those eyes were filled with angry tears as they'd last been, shatter. He'd never felt this way for anyone in his entire life. He hadn't ever wanted to feel this way. Lovesick, was it? Pathetic. Lelouch had always scorned those he'd seen fall victim to fantasies of romance in the past. Even Euphemia – who viewed the world with the rosiest vision of all, whom he had lectured countless times in the past on the importance of being realistic and not throwing away life for a 'true love' that didn't exist – never made this kind of detrimental mistake.
All Lelouch could wonder was where he had gone wrong. He prided himself on being an intellect, a master of games and deception. Among the underground gambling society he was untouchable; he'd never lost a match. This was just another game of chess, Suzaku just another pawn, so what happened?
Somewhere along the way, Lelouch had stopped pretending. The words, the laughs, the smiles and touches ceased being carefully calculated and showy and actually became genuine. At some point – and Lelouch couldn't discern exactly when – Suzaku Kururugi had wormed his way into Lelouch's heart, somewhere a mere pawn most certainly did not belong, and now it didn't seem possible to get rid of him.
Worse yet, Lelouch didn't even know if he wanted to get rid of him anymore.
The realization had a physical impact on Lelouch, making him reach out and grip the nearest chair for support as his knees threatened to collapse beneath him. His head swam with the events of the morning – kissing Suzaku, and the unexpected confession followed by Suzaku's abrupt departure. He didn't know what to make of it all – of his own feelings, or the fact that he may have lost the person he only just discovered he loved.
It made Lelouch sick just thinking about it. He wasn't that man... He wasn't that sort of man, who fell in love frivolously. He was educated, realistic. That was why he didn't believe in marriage. That was why he set up this whole farce to begin with.
It was Suzaku's fault. Under the pretense of Suzako he'd gotten Lelouch to care about him. He'd used feminine charms to trick Lelouch into liking him. It was conniving and underhanded and... not something Suzaku – who was maybe sometimes a little devious, but mainly just an aggravatingly good person - would do at all.
Even as Lelouch tried to convince himself that was the case, he knew it wasn't so. Women of all different ages and backgrounds constantly flirted with him, and he'd never before fallen victim to their feminine charms.
It was only Suzaku. Suzaku was different, special...
And now, because of Lelouch, Suzaku was gone.
"So what are you going to do about it?"
Lelouch raised his head, meeting Kaguya's defiant green eyes that were almost identical to Suzaku's. She stood with her arms akimbo, waiting for an answer. Lelouch honestly didn't know what to say, didn't know what he could do at this point. Would there be any sense in blindly searching the city for Suzaku? He wouldn't even know what to say if he found him.
Kaguya stepped forward, and Lelouch had never found a woman (besides Kallen) threatening before but there was the promise of pain written on Kaguya's face, and in that instant he trusted she would carry out that promise if need be. He almost cowered back a step, but managed to catch himself before sinking to further depths of hopelessness.
"Are you going to sit here and brood, or are you going to be a man worthy of my cousin's love?"
When nothing remained for him at the brothel but looks of either disdain (Kallen) or apathy (C.C. and Rakshata), Suzaku decided maybe the humiliation of returning to the Lamperouge estate – just to gather Kaguya and his limited belongings – wouldn't be so terrible after all.
The terrible thing was changing back into Suzako's clothing.
If things went according to the feeble plan he'd concocted in his mind (wherein he stormed into the elegant foyer, announced he was breaking off the engagement, maybe punched Lelouch in the face if the opportunity presented itself, and hurriedly packed - all without offering an explanation to the flabbergasted household) this would be the last time he would ever have to wear the degrading outfits. Still he'd had to yet again swallow his pride in order to do so, simply because he knew he would never be allowed to set foot on the grounds as Suzaku Kururugi.
The expensive folds of fabric felt heavy, suffocating as Suzaku laced himself into them. He hadn't merely changed back into the simple dress he'd rushed to the brothel wearing. Suzako was a woman of good taste, who always dressed nicely to uphold her position as Lelouch's fiancée. Lelouch sexually desired that fantasy woman, whom he'd said himself Suzaku was good at portraying (meaning Suzaku was pretty in those dresses, pretty enough to turn heads and create problematic, physical reactions in men like Lelouch and Luciano Bradley). Suzaku had never considered himself a spiteful man. Quite the opposite, in fact; he thought vengeance was a waste of time and energy, and the ends very rarely justified the means. If he had to return to that role a final time, however, he was going to make sure Lelouch realized just what he was throwing away.
So he'd gone for the most expensive-looking dress in Rakshata's wardrobe. Her only stricture had been that Suzaku return it to her intact and then describe to her in detail the fury (or heartbreak, or whatever the case may be) that was Lelouch's reaction to Suzaku walking out on their agreement.
"I'm in need of some entertainment, and his reactions are always priceless," she'd said when presenting the deep blue gown to Suzaku.
Suzaku touched a hand to the crystal detailing on the bodice, appraising his reflection in the full-length mirror. The dress, both in color and cut, gave the allusion of voluptuousness. A ruched silk-satin bodice clung to his waist and hips before flaring out in the style of a traditional ball gown. There were more crystal appliqués along the skirt, accentuated by multiple pin-tucks. A corset cinched his waist. It made breathing difficult but it created an hourglass affect on his body, which Suzaku noted wryly Lelouch naturally possessed. Who was the more feminine one now?
The mental gloating only lasted so long, for recalling the contours of Lelouch's torso soon led to Suzaku recalling other things – the softness of Lelouch's full lips, the commanding way in which Lelouch's hands, bony yet somehow still strong, explored his body...
Suzaku shook himself from the fantasy. Remembering their intimacy would do him no good now, not when he planned on ending things once and for all.
It wasn't you he wanted, Suzaku told himself as he tucked his bangs into the wig, bitterly remembering the dread in Lelouch's eyes at just the mention of romantic feelings. It never was.
Really, though, how could he have ever been naive enough to believe it was? Even if he was a woman, he would never be the kind of person Lelouch married. Lelouch – if he ever did get over himself and fall in love, which was unlikely – would end up with a beautiful, educated woman of noble status, who was intelligent and dainty and, above all else, Britannian. Because despite all his talk of rebellion and going against the norm and what his family wanted, Lelouch was a Britannian aristocrat and furthering themselves (through prosperous marriages, segregating Numbers, taking over weaker countries) was what Britannian aristocrats did.
It wasn't racist; it was just the way things were.
Suzaku, regardless of gender, would never be good enough.
"He's not heartless."
Kallen's words from earlier echoed in his mind. Suzaku didn't want to believe them after the way he'd been hurt (the way he'd let himself be hurt) but at the same time they forced him to recall how Lelouch went out of his way to find a legitimate doctor for Kaguya, how he'd followed Suzaku and the sound of drums to the ghetto and danced with him when there was no-one to fool and thus really no need to. Little things that Lelouch did that completely caught Suzaku off guard, which Suzaku could find no hidden motivation behind...
Little things that made Suzaku's heart flutter, and made him fall in love without realizing.
Everything had been an act on Lelouch's part. For whatever reason, Lelouch had gone along with Suzaku's advances. There had been no emotion behind his responses, so it was pointless for Suzaku to continue combing over the situation in search of one.
Don't do this to yourself.
He'd let his guard down, and as a result he'd been hurt. All that was left to do was lick his wounds and move on. Cut all ties with Lelouch Lamperouge and never think of the man again.
Suzaku could do that. For the benefit of himself and Kaguya, he would do that. By this time tomorrow they would be back in their little apartment, Kaguya comfortable in her bed (which was probably a lot less comfortable than the bed at the Lamperouge estate) and Suzaku on the hunt for whatever job he could find (he shuddered as he recalled Bradley's offer of alternative payment methods). It was not the cushy lifestyle they'd been growing comfortable with over the last few weeks, but they'd been perfectly happy with it before and they would make do with it again.
"I don't imagine you're one of C.C.'s girls..?"
At the realization that he was no longer alone, Suzaku jumped, face flushing in embarrassment as he whirled around and caught sight of a tall, attractive blond. The man leaned against the door frame, arms crossed lazily over his chest and face lit up with an amused smile.
Suzaku wondered with a mounting fear how long the man had been there and just what he had seen. How could he ever explain himself if the man had seen him without the wig? No one would ever believe the true story, not if it came from the mouth of an Eleven.
The man held up his hands in surrender. "Hey now, don't be so alarmed. I promise I didn't sneak in to watch you change. Although I do wish I'd gotten here in time for that." He winked suggestively, the lewdness of his words softened by the ever-present grin and the joking twinkle of his cerulean eyes. "Name's Gino Weinberg."
Weinberg... Suzaku had heard that name before, and recently. His breath caught in his throat as he realized it was at the engagement party Marianne held for him and Lelouch. They hadn't officially met; Lelouch had merely pointed him out in passing. But still, Gino had to have seen him there. This was bad. What if Gino spread the word around that Lelouch was engaged to a prostitute? It would completely slander his name, not to mention it would make it extremely difficult for Suzaku to quietly slip back into his own life.
"Is there... any particular reason you're here?" Suzaku tried to keep the nervousness out of his voice, but couldn't help the slight stammer. His mind raced with the possibilities of how he could get out of this situation the fastest, before Gino realized who he was and ruined Suzaku's plan entirely.
"I just came to visit Kallen," Gino said, tone friendly.
He didn't seem like any of the other Britannian nobles Suzaku had met. Just the fact that he was standing there striking up a conversation with a random Eleven in a brothel said a great deal about his character. Then again... if he was a regular at the brothel that might explain why being among the lower class didn't faze him. There was a brief moment where Suzaku hated Gino Weinberg; it was because of selfish men like him that places like C.C.'s brothel operated. Suzaku had nothing against C.C. or any of the girls who worked for her; but it did disgust him that men like Gino Weinberg forced them into that kind of work by leaving them with no other options.
It wasn't much different than what Lelouch had done to him. Suzaku's fists clenched at his sides.
Gino noticed. "Wait, that came out bad." He laughed, and it was a boisterous, carefree sound. "I'm not, uh, a customer or anything. Been trying to charm Miss Stadtfeld into a dinner date for a while now. Not making any progress, unfortunately."
A suitor, then. While that did redeem Gino in Suzaku's eyes, it did not ease his fear of being discovered at any moment.
"Maybe if you used her real name – Kallen Kōzuki – she'd be more willing to give you a chance."
"Kō-zu-ki, hmm?" Suzaku wanted to laugh at the mispronunciation as Gino sounded the name out. Smiling at his own mistake, Gino tried again. He rubbed at his chin thoughtfully. "Y'know, I've always had a thing for foreign women. Dunno what my family would say to that, though..."
Suzaku found himself speaking before he realized it. "You shouldn't let that stop you!" Soon, he was under the scrutiny of curious blue eyes. Suzaku had no choice but to elaborate, and so he did, cheeks darkening in the process. "I mean... if you care about someone, you shouldn't let what others think get in the way of that. Don't give up just because others won't approve. And I know she's stubborn, but don't give up on Kallen either."
Gino blinked. Suzaku wondered if he'd said too much. Maybe he'd misread the situation. Gino said he wanted to take Kallen out on a date, not that he was in love with her. Suzaku was just too emotional right now. Not to mention how guilty he still felt about his last conversation with Kallen. His brain just wasn't working correctly.
At some point, Gino crossed the threshold of the room. Suzaku hadn't been paying attention, and so it caught him off guard when a hand fell heavily on his shoulder. It alarmed him, not only because of it's suddenness but because he was dressed as a Suzako, and men didn't go around slapping women on the shoulders in such a manner. It was a very masculine sign of affection.
If Gino had seen Suzaku without the wig on, he didn't give anything away. Instead, he only smiled in that carefree way of his and thanked him. "I don't plan on giving up. And you shouldn't either."
"Yeah." Gino's arm slung around his shoulder now, and he leaned down slightly. Even with the heels on Suzaku only came to stand at his chin. "You looked pretty heartbroken when I walked in here..." His voice trailed off expectantly. Prompting blue eyes locked on Suzaku's own emerald eyes.
Suzaku hesitated. This man was a complete stranger and really had no business knowing what was troubling him. There was also the fact that Suzaku didn't know if Gino recognized him as Suzako or not – or what he would do with any information Suzaku told him if he did know. Suzaku couldn't trust him not to run off to the nearest tabloid.
But Suzaku's heart felt so heavy, and the concern in Gino's eyes actually seemed genuine.
"There's nothing to give up on," Suzaku said finally, hanging his head. "I thought there was something between us, but I was wrong."
"I can't believe that. Pretty thing like you, and he wasn't interested?"
Gino was trying to cheer him up. It was a kind motion to extend to a complete stranger and Suzaku was grateful for it even though the attempted humor only succeeded in making him feel worse.
The pretty thing was all he was interested in.
"You just need to talk to him," Gino decided with a firm nod, releasing Suzaku's shoulder and talking a step forward. Determination was etched onto his face, setting his mouth into a firm line. Suzaku realized a tad belatedly that Gino wasn't the sort of person who took 'no' for an answer. Suzaku admired his optimism, wished he could still possess some of it himself. "Sit him down and tell him how you feel."
Suzaku thought of the events of that morning. He'd all but blatantly spelled out his feelings. Lelouch would have to be stupid not to have figured them out after that, and Lelouch was not stupid. He just didn't feel the same way.
"Thanks, but I don't think that will change his mind."
Lelouch would only have one of two reactions if Suzaku actually sat down to speak with him upon returning to the Lamperouge estate: he would scoff at Suzaku and accuse him of taking the act too seriously, or he would pity him. Suzaku didn't want to face Lelouch in either case.
Gino was silent for a few moments, merely studying him.
Suzaku turned back to the mirror, eyes hardening along with his resolve. The only option was to end things quickly. Like ripping off a bandage. He couldn't stick around long enough to risk growing more attached to Lelouch; it would only bring him more pain. He would end things and return to his old life. He would be fine.
Alone, but fine.
"I know he's stubborn," Gino said, joking aside, "but don't give up on Lelouch either. He needs you as much as you need him."
"No, he doesn't," Suzaku snapped, shaking his head to remove the image of dismayed violet eyes from his mind. "And I don't need him either. I was perfectly fine before I met him, and—" And then it clicked that Gino had trapped him and he'd practically admitted to his own guilt. Gino knew the truth – or at least a part of the truth; he knew that he was speaking to Lelouch's fiancée. Suzaku stood there gaping, shocked at his own stupidity.
Gino ruffled his hair and Suzaku winced. Thankfully, the action didn't twist the wig off-center.
There were only so many places Suzaku could go, alone and on foot. Lelouch decided he would first check the shoddy apartment in the ghetto. Kaguya accompanied him, much to Lelouch's unease. He didn't feel comfortable with dragging her all around the city, and he seriously doubted Suzaku would approve either, but she'd insisted and she did know Suzaku better than anyone so Lelouch let her have her way.
They'd taken the family car to save time, but the farther into the ghetto they traveled the narrower the streets became and the more vicious the glares of the passersby. When the chauffeur parked in front of the decrepit brick building, flashing Lelouch an uncertain look, Lelouch sighed and unbuckled his seat belt, debating what to do next.
"Circle back to the City Hall. The walk isn't too far. I'll meet you there within the hour."
Relieved, the chauffeur nodded.
"I'm coming too," Kaguya said, reaching for the door.
"I don't think it's a good idea." Lelouch grabbed her wrist. It was bony and white, unlike Suzaku's tanned skin; a sign of her illness. "It's safer by City Hall. I'd prefer it if you stayed in the car."
Kaguya made a show of rolling her eyes. "Please. You forget I grew up on these streets."
She had a point. "Still—"
The door slammed in Lelouch's face.
"So... How do you know Lelouch?"
They sat beside each other in the carriage, Gino lounging comfortably with his long legs stretched out in front of him and an arm around Suzaku and Suzaku ducking low in his seat at the risk of being seen by anyone else who might recognize him.
"We were school friends," Gino said, and then shook his head. "Well, maybe not really friends. Our conversations were always kind of one-sided." Suzaku didn't have a hard time imagining that; he actually smiled as he pictured an outgoing schoolboy Gino laughing and smacking Lelouch on the back in that friendly-but-still-annoying way of his and Lelouch bristling but refraining from saying anything impolite. "We went to school together, anyway."
"Was he just as pompous back then?" Suzaku couldn't help asking.
Gino laughed. "He was actually really quiet. Never really did much after classes but take care of his sister."
"Euphie was there too?" It occurred to Suzaku he never asked if Euphemia attended school or not. She was a noble, so obviously she was educated. She must have been in Lelouch's class.
"Nah, she was home-schooled with the older one – Cornelia, I think." Suzaku vaguely recalled Lelouch mentioning his oldest sister; she was a Lieutenant in the army or something like that, engaged to marry some other military official whose name Suzaku couldn't remember. Gino waved a hand dismissively. "I'm talking about Nunnally. Lelouch hardly left her side when they were kids."
"I have a younger sister. Nunnally. She's... not in the best health, either."
Suzaku's eyes widened as realization dawned on him. Lelouch's isolation in school, the pink roses in the garden at the Lamperouge estate, even Lelouch's desire to find a better doctor of Kaguya... Nunnally was the reason for it all. "When did she die," he asked, voice dropping to a whisper.
"I know what it's like to worry all the time, to want to provide for her."
"A few years ago... A brain tumor, they said. It was pretty bad... by the end of it she couldn't walk or see, or anything..." Gino spoke awkwardly, obviously not accustomed to serious conversation.
Suzaku felt bad for making him explain the situation – and he felt sick now, knowing the truth. But it explained everything. Lelouch's attitude, why he acted one way in private and a completely different way in front of others; why he distanced himself and treated others poorly on purpose. It wasn't because he was pompous and considered himself better than everyone else...
It was because he'd been hurt. He'd lost someone he loved, and so had built up a barrier around his heart to protect it from being broken again.
If you never love, you'll never get hurt. Lelouch, you...
"He's not heartless."
Suzaku understood now.
You've been shouldering this pain all alone, haven't you? Because Lelouch wasn't heartless. He was the complete opposite of heartless; he never wanted anyone to see him upset – he didn't want to burden them with his heartache, and so shut everyone out and faced the dread on his own.
"I don't know exactly what the situation is between you, and I won't ask. But I really do think you make him happy, and..." Gino's voice trailed off, sheepishly. "Well, you know my opinion."
Suzaku wondered if he was too late. The carriage was on course for the Lamperouge estate, but it was already well after noon. What if Lelouch wasn't waiting for him? What if Suzaku had ruined things completely?
"Gino—" Suzaku's words halted in his throat as he caught sight of a familiar car parked in front of City Hall. Always quick to action, Suzaku didn't even stop to think about what he was doing. The carriage was still in motion as he jumped onto the pavement, stumbling in his heels but remarkably not falling.
"Hey!" Gino called after him. "Are you crazy?"
"Maybe!" Suzaku yelled back, hoisting up the skirt of his dress as he dashed across the street, dodging cars and carriages alike. He could hear Gino shouting at his driver to stop the carriage. Suzaku didn't wait for him, instead marching right up to the driver's door and banging on the window desperately. "Lelouch!"
The window rolled down. "M-Miss Suzako," the chauffeur stammered, clearly surprised to see Lelouch's fiancée – and being pursued by a handsome aristocrat, no less. "I'm afraid Master Lamperouge isn't here. He's gone on an errand."
Errand? Suzaku frowned, wondering what that meant. Did Lelouch really not care about what occurred that morning? Or was it just the opposite – was Lelouch searching for him?
"Where did he go?"
The chauffeur shook his head. "Nowhere a young woman such as yourself should follow. I assure you he won't be long. If you would just wait in the car, I'm sure he'll arrive soon..." Suzaku could detect a hint of worry in the man's tone as he spoke, as if he didn't quite believe his own words – as if he'd been waiting for Lelouch for a while and doubted he would be showing up at all.
Clenching his fists, Suzaku drew himself up to full height. He was not just going to sit around and do nothing. Lelouch needed to know. Suzaku needed to find him and tell him how he felt, and how he understood Lelouch's pain. Even if Lelouch didn't love him the same way, Suzaku still wanted to be there for him, wanted Lelouch to know that Suzaku would help carry the hurt, would do anything in his power to make it go away.
"As future lady of the house, I demand you take me to him. Gino can protect me, if necessary."
Gino, who'd finally made it across the street and now stood beside Suzaku, looked bewildered. The chauffeur glanced between them; as far as he knew they both outranked him in social class, so he had no choice but to concede.
They'd been waiting for them outside. A group of seven or so Numbers, each one bigger than the last, flanking Lelouch and Kaguya on either side once they'd exited the brick building not even ten minutes later. Suzaku had been nowhere in sight, and Lelouch suggested they check C.C.'s next, but before they could even take two steps they'd been ambushed. Lelouch shielded Kaguya behind him, snarling in a way he hoped was threatening as he tried to conjure escape plans. Familiar though he was with underground gamblers, they were all nobleman such as himself and very rarely got into physical brawls; losses were dealt with in a gentlemanly fashion, using only words. Lelouch had no idea how to handle himself in a fight.
"Lost your way, Brit?" One of the men laughed. "Bad idea sending your driver away."
Something caught the reflection of the sun, flashing brilliantly. A knife.
"What do you want?" He said, thankful a tremble didn't penetrate his voice. The last thing he wanted these people to see him was scared. He was better than this trash, and he didn't have time to deal with them. Whatever they wanted he was willing to let them have; he'd send the authorities after them later – already in his mind he had a picture of what each of them looked like. Right now he just wanted to get to Suzaku.
One of the men, a lanky Eleven whose brown hair was pulled back by a red band, leered at him. "Don't act so high and mighty with us, Brit shit."
Lelouch stiffened as the lapel of his coat was grabbed and he was shoved to the side, away from Kaguya. A hurried glance over his shoulder showed that the girl had taken several steps back towards the apartment building.
"Didn't you ever learn not to take your eyes off your opponent?" the Eleven snarled. Before Lelouch could formulate a response, he was met with a sharp right hook that knocked him off his feet.
"Tamaki," another if the men, a more traditional-looking Eleven, spoke up calmly.
"What?" Tamaki said. "That's a valuable lesson!"
Violet eyes narrowed. "What do you want?" he asked again, resisting the urge to hold a hand against his throbbing cheek. "If it's money, here." Lelouch grabbed his wallet from his back pocket and tossed it at the nearest pair of feet. "Take it."
"Would ya look at that – a Brit giving out handouts. You don't see that every day."
Tamaki kicked the wallet away. Lelouch watched, dumbfounded, not knowing what to do next. Wasn't that what they wanted?
"We don't need your money. At least," Tamaki laughed, lowering himself in front of Lelouch, "not that little of it." Lelouch frowned as his chin was grabbed roughly, his head turned from side to side. "Good-lookin' guy like you... Nice clothes, too, definitely from a good family. Wonder who'd pay more for ya – mommy and daddy, or the Black Knights?"
Lelouch's blood ran cold in his veins, and he couldn't hide his fear this time. The Black Knights were notorious in the underground, mainly for pushing drugs like Refrain; but rumor had it they'd expanded into more dangerous affairs, like slave trade on the black market.
"Hurry up. We're supposed to meet at the pier by three. Rough 'em up a bit and lets go," another of the men growled, impatiently glancing at his watch.
Tamaki grunted, hoisting Lelouch up again. "Fine," he said. Before Lelouch knew it, a fist once again connected with his face – his jaw this time; he felt his lip split on impact – followed by one to his gut, forcibly expelling the air from his lungs.
Dimly, Kaguya's voice registered in Lelouch's mind. She was yelling something but he couldn't comprehend – Japanese, most likely, and of all the languages Lelouch knew that was not one of them. He didn't know if she was yelling or crying, but he did recognize when she screamed. He wished he could tell her that everything would be all right, even if it was a lie.
A blunt force connected with his head. The hilt of the knife, probably. His vision swam. Lelouch quickly saw the ground rising up to meet him.
Before his vision went black, however, Lelouch saw the glimmer of blue silk.
Lawli: It's Suzaku-in-a-dress to the rescueeee!
... Um, hope Gino wasn't terribly OOC. I wasn't planning on having him in this fic at all, but apparently the fic wanted him there. Just like I was planning on having Nunnally alive, but the fic didn't want that to be the case and Lelouch needed a reason for having acted like a douchebag... haha
Please review? :D