A/N: Here's the fifth one for the 'Snippets of Three' series. This time, it's set on R2 but you'll quickly pick up its over-all place in the storyline as soon as you read the first sentence. :P
This take should be unusual of me, so please don't expect the good 'ol "tearjerking-because-of-Nunna-chan's-words" theme.
The moment that C.C. hears from Lelouch that Rollo had decided to take their side, she didn't know what to think.
She didn't know why she didn't know either.
That was probably why when Lelouch told her the news, she just sighed against Cheese-kun. Lelouch looked at her incredulously when she shrugged it off and rolled on the bed so that her back was facing him.
"Why that reaction?" he asked, walking over to her. "Usually you bother to ask for more details."
Her lack of reply confused him. Usually she gives a flippant or sarcastic remark, but this time she gave out nothing. The Black Prince thought of reasons for her sudden unattachment from his affairs as he reached out and played with strands of green hair that were sprawled carelessly across his bed. She stares off to nothing and lets his fingers linger on her locks until they reached her cheek. She finally bothers to give him a glance then.
"You're not feeling well, are you?" Lelouch looks at her, looking into her eyes as if they bore answers. "Or you don't like what's happening?"
She averts her gaze and closes her eyes. "I want to sleep. Turn off the lights."
He sighs and runs his hand through her hair one more time before standing up. "I want my answers tomorrow."
The lights went out and he proceeds to light up his desk lamp. Lelouch glances at his accomplice's condition one more time and he finally opens his computer and continues his work.
Lelouch was up early the next day - as per usual. The moment he stood up from the bed, he felt his companion's light tug in his shirt. He looked back at C.C. sleepily and asked. "Care to tell me what's your problem now?"
The woman gives out a simple order. "I want to meet him."
Rollo trailed after his brother and entered the room as he was instructed to. There he was the green-haired witch C.C. sitting upright on the bed in only her underwear and one of Lelouch's school shirts. The woman stared at him with an expression he can't read. Her ageless golden eyes looked as if they were trying to look down his very core. Her lips were pursed in a thin line and her face was emotionless. The boy took a hesitant step back, but his older brother laid a hand on his shoulder and gave him a light, encouraging nudge.
"Rollo, right?" C.C. spoke up, her soft voice monotonous.
"Yes." the boy answers firmly. "You are C.C., my brother's... accomplice. He... told me you wanted to see me."
"Come here." the witch holds out a hand for him to take.
Rollo stares back, an expression of curiosity and confusion mixed in his features. "...What?"
"Don't worry, I won't do anything." her monotonous voice contrasted the reassuring tone that should have been in her sentence.
When Lelouch nods slightly, Rollo hesitantly steps towards the woman and lays his hand on hers slowly.
C.C. grips the boy's hand and closes her eyes.
And a feeling gets stuck in her chest. She didn't know why - a pang of loss, a voice of regret, a chord that struck the word 'wrong' in her mind - she felt all those blow in her consciousness at the same time.
She gulped silently. Something just felt entirely wrong in here. She felt the touch of the boy's slightly calloused hands that she knew had killed people and destroyed lives as was required of him. She felt the touch of the boy's lean but strong fingers that she knew had thrown knives, wielded swords and pulled triggers... and she just knew that her hand in his was just too wrong.
The witch opens her eyes, looks back at violet orbs and studies the boy's features.
Again, that same feeling of loss and regret rung in her chest.
She raises her free hand and touches his face, then runs a hand through his brown hair. The boy stays frozen, looking at her with a raised eyebrow.
Why is she feeling... expectant? She felt as if a laugh, a hug... a smile should have followed the feel of soft brown locks in her fingertips. She didn't know but by instinct, her ears kept waiting to hear a friendly, sweet remark.
Expectance. Her instinct told her that something was... missing... here.
She was yearning for something she did not know. A feeling of confusion spread through her.
She could not understand herself at all.
"C.C.," Lelouch's confused voice broke through her trance. "He still has some things to do."
C.C. nods, then looks back at Rollo, and, withdrawing her hand from the boy's head, she pulls him into a small, loose hug - taking the boy aback.
The feeling hits her full force this time, and she pulls away quickly, looking away from Rollo's confused eyes.
"Nice to meet you, then." She finally says and with that, Lelouch dismisses his brother. The boy was downright baffled and is in wonder about what the heck just happened - or was the witch just really like that? "Bye, Rollo."
"Bye, C.C., Brother." the boy attempts to send her a friendly smile and exits the room.
Lelouch walks over to his accomplice and sits beside her, looking just as confused as his little brother. "What... did you do? What just happened?"
The woman stares at the closed door and then looks at him. Her eyes were shaking a bit as she tries to look in his eyes for the answers to her own questions. She couldn't find anything. That missing something... she couldn't find it in Lelouch either. C.C. thought it was silly. How could she look for something that she herself wasn't sure of? She didn't know what was missing yet she knew that something was definitely not in place.
She could feel a hollow space in her chest - something had been there once.
Her unconscious was desperately reaching out for it. Yet, she couldn't fathom what in the world was that something that was a necessity for her.
She snapped back to reality when she felt Lelouch's warm hands on her cheeks and realized that he was looking at her with brows furrowed.
"What's wrong with you?"
"Lelouch," she started, her face crinkling to an expression of disorientation. "Something... feels... missing."
"...Missing...?" his eyes were questioning. "What are you-... Missing? Like.. what?"
She couldn't put it into words. But she did her best to tell him, anyway.
Because... maybe... Just maybe, he knew what she was looking for.
"It's like... there's something wrong. With Rollo.. I... I feel like I should hate him, but I shouldn't. As if... there was something in him that makes me expect. When I touch his hand, I keep having a feeling that... I should wait for a certain laugh, or a certain smile. When I stroked his hair, it's like... I am waiting for him to say something... sweet. It's like I'm looking for something in him that he obviously doesn't have."
Lelouch looked at her in disbelief. "...What?"
"Lelouch, I just said it. I'm not going to repeat. You asked what was wrong with me and I answered. What else do you want? I don't know what's... wrong with me this time." she was annoyed that he was stupid enough to reply her with a 'what', but was in no mood to argue further. She just wanted to hug Cheese-kun and forget everything - forget wrong feelings.
She hated it when she can't understand herself.
But before she could push Lelouch away and bury herself in the sheets, her accomplice had pulled her into a bone-crushing hug that made her blank out.
What the hell?
The Black Prince held her as if she was his lifeline.
Because in the back of Lelouch's mind, he felt the same. Something was missing. Whenever he laid his eyes on Rollo, he remembers very vividly - he remembers what had been his life for years. He remembers who was the center of his very being for all this time. He remembers who had been a fundamental and essential part for both C.C. and him.
And to hear those words from C.C. - it doubled the pain of loss and the ring of regret in his heart. He could have done better - he should have protected that something better so that he wouldn't be feeling this lack in his chest. It dawned on him that while C.C. had subconsciously felt the pain of realizing that there's something amiss in their restored lives as Zero and his partner, he had known since the beginning what was missing but he couldn't bring himself to fully describe or fully feel the pain itself.
They were like a jigsaw puzzle. A piece might fit in between the two of them perfectly, but no matter how fitting it seemed, when you look at the over-all image, you begin to see that something's wrong in the picture. A piece might fit but it's not the same - not the right one.
He realized that while C.C. felt the loss but didn't understand, he knew full well what was missing but didn't feel it. Why? Because he tried to think that the missing piece will come back on its own accord. He failed to see that they have to get it back and put it in its place with them.
She tried to struggle against him and ask what is his problem now, but she stopped when he whispered a name in her ear.
"...We'll get her back.."
His voice was full of determination as he stated the words he knew they both needed.
"We'll get Nunnally back. We definitely will."
C.C. had finally discovered what she was looking for in the first place.
Now, all that's left to do is to start retrieving that something they're both missing. That something they both needed - always.
A/N: Not that I hate Rollo or anything - it's just that no one can replace Nunnally, and that's the only thing I wanted to illustrate in this little story. I know that this is a different take from the usual C.C.-Nunnally-Lelouch presence in my fics, but I really wanted to show people C.C.'s and Lelouch's tendencies to feel some loss after everything that has gone wrong. For some reason, Nunnally had grown in on both of them and so when both couldn't find her, they suddenly feel some kind of urge to have her back.
Anyways, please do tell me what you think of my take on this certain piece.
'Cause me too - I feel like there's something missing! :( This certain piece is subject for revising, if you ask me - and I'm desperately trying to do so.
A sixth one might be coming for the series or it might not come at all - it's up to me if I find any other inspiration for the trio. But I do tell you that the next one will sure be a happier story. A million thanks to everyone who read the series and followed my updates.