Warnings: AU-ish. SuzaLulu. Slight SuzaEuphie. Suzaku-angst! Characters might be OOC, I don't know. You decide. Set in R2. Seriously weird.
Summary: We promised, didn't we? All those years ago, out in the sunflower meadow. It was just the two of us. We promised, right? Together…but…it was broken. Forgive me…Lelouch. // "You're the one. I think you always were."
Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass. Story inspired by the song First Love by Utada Hikaru and this thing from Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly…mostly the latter.
Serena: Oh my. A SuzaLulu fic that isn't filled with cutie-cute happiness? Rawr. Guess I was in the mood for angst. I'm a sucker for Suzaku-angst and now I've made some of my own. ^^ [huggles Suzaku] By the way, I suggest listening to the song. It's really beautiful. ^^ Oh and…this story is full of sap…a surprising amount coming from me…..I've been playing way too much Fatal Frame recently. xD
It's funny how sometimes we start to miss something only after it has disappeared.
The disappearance of the missing thing causes one to realize how much they enjoyed having that thing around. One starts to realize that they took that thing for granted and regret not realizing any of this sooner. Sometimes the missing thing can be easily obtained again.
And sometimes it cannot.
Such was the case of one individual named Suzaku Kururugi.
He was missing something he never thought he would miss. He was missing a murderer and he wasn't entirely sure why.
By all accounts, he shouldn't miss or spare any kind thoughts to a murderer, but he was. It was bizarre, to say the least, but he figured that the only reason he missed this individual was because this person had once been his best friend.
Once being the keyword in that sentence. They certainly couldn't be considered best friends or even friends now. There was too great a rift between them and it couldn't be fixed.
Because he couldn't forgive him.
The sin the other had committed was too great, completely unforgivable. His once-friend's hands were stained with too much innocent blood for him to simply ignore.
Besides, even if he wanted to forgive the other, he couldn't.
Because Lelouch--his murdering friend--didn't remember anything. He remembered nothing of the horrible atrocities he had committed and, if anything, that just made the sin all the more unforgivable.
Suzaku claimed to despise the Britannian for all he had done, to claim that the boy was a mistake, an ugly scar staining the Earth with its wretchedness. He even told Lelouch as much during their confrontation on Kamenejima Island. So then why?
Why did he miss someone he hated?
Why did his heart hurt so much?
It was unbearable most days, so much so that it caused hot tears to roll down his cheeks sometimes. He never knew why these tears fell, didn't know who or what they were falling for.
Euphemia, perhaps? The sweet angel murdered by his friend?
He had shed his tears for her. A great many he had shed for that pink-haired woman that had captured his heart. Sure, he still cried for her sometimes…but these new tears, these tears that fell from an unknown origin had a different feel than the ones that fell for her. So…these tears didn't belong to dear Euphemia.
Then who or what were they for? They matched the strange pain that had been taking residence in his heart since…
…since…the moment Zero's mask shattered.
Then…these tears were for…
Why shed tears for that…that…
Suzaku lifted a hand to his cheek and felt warm liquid running down them.
'These tears again?'
He heaved a weary sigh and let his hand fall back against his pillow as he stared up at the ceiling.
This was becoming a habit of his, receiving no sleep, agonizing over something his heart was burdening him with. It was like his heart was constantly trying to tell him something by refusing to let this pain go away.
But what was it trying to say? What was so important for him to know?
He sighed again and closed his eyes, trying to will these thoughts away but failing. As he lay there with his eyes closed, an image of his once-friend came to his mind and he frowned. It seemed his own mind was turning traitor on him as well, joining his heart in a rebellion against him for a cause unknown to him. He tried to make the image go away and it did, but, instead of disappearing altogether, it dissolved into a scene, a memory of days past.
A fond memory, actually.
In his mind, he could see his once-friend--Lelouch--sitting under a cherry blossom tree that was thriving in one of Ashford Academy's many gardens. Around him were bushes filled with red roses in full bloom and cherry blossom petals were scattered amongst the lush green grass beneath him, some of them having fallen into the boy's silky ebony locks and onto his uniform.
Lelouch had been asleep, Suzaku recalled. His dazzling amethyst gems had been closed as he was slumped against the tree's trunk, a book lying open in his lap and a limp hand lying on top of it.
A ghost of a smile crossed Suzaku's lips as he recalled how peaceful the boy had looked. It had been such a serene sight to see that he had felt guilty waking the boy up.
Although, if he hadn't of done so…
Suzaku chuckled to himself as he watched Lelouch's eyes flutter open, those deep purple irises clouded with sleep as they tried to focus.
"Lelouch, wake up." he repeated, lightly shaking his friend's shoulder again. "Milly is looking for you."
He chuckled again upon hearing Lelouch groan--though it sounded more like a whine--in protest.
"Go away." Lelouch complained, his voice laced with sleep.
"I can't do that. Milly will have my head if I don't bring you back with me." Suzaku responded, his lips spreading into an amused grin.
A sleepy Lelouch was extremely adorable and Suzaku felt a strong urge to hug the boy arise within him.
"Let her have it." Lelouch mumbled, his eyes slipping shut. "It doesn't do you much good anyway."
Suzaku scoffed and pouted.
"That's mean, Lelouch!" he said in fake hurt. "What if I said something like that to you? How would you feel?"
"I wouldn't care." Lelouch stated, a hint of aggravation in his voice. "Now go away, Suzaku."
Suzaku smiled and shook his head. He sat with his back against the tree's bark and turned his head to look at Lelouch.
"You don't mean that." he stated, lightly poking Lelouch in his stomach.
Lelouch's eyes opened in narrowed slits.
"Mean what? The 'go away' part?" Lelouch asked, sleepily glaring at the brunet. "I'm fairly certain I meant that."
"No, no. Not that." Suzaku said, shaking his head. "I mean what you said about not caring if someone said something hurtful to you."
Lelouch sighed again.
"Did you say something hurtful?"
"Then go away."
Suzaku pouted again.
"Lelouch," he whined, poking the younger in his stomach again. "I'm serious."
It was Lelouch's turn to whine.
"Suzaku, leave me alone!" he complained, shutting his eyes again. "I just want to sleep. Tell Milly I died or something. I don't care. Just go away!"
"Tell her you died?" he questioned, eyebrow raised. "Oh, sure, Lelouch. I'm positive she'll believe that."
Suzaku raised his hands in defeat.
"Alright, alright." he consented, his smile remaining an amused one. "I'll leave you alone."
Lelouch sighed in relief.
"After I take you to your room, that is." Suzaku added.
That announcement caused Lelouch's eyes to open once more.
"What?" he asked.
He squeaked as he was suddenly lifted off the ground.
"S-Suzaku, put me down!" he whined, a blush dusting his cheeks.
"I will when we reach your room." Suzaku said, smiling down at Lelouch as he began to walk to the Clubhouse.
Suzaku laughed a little. Lelouch had struggled a bit at first, but had calmed down after a minute. When he had glanced down to check on him, he had discovered that Lelouch had fallen back asleep, seemingly comfortable in his arms.
Yes, a sleepy Lelouch was definitely an adorable one.
'He really was adorable, wasn't he?'
His heart felt really happy that day.
Yeah, but he realized now why Lelouch had been so sleepy in the first place and his smile fell at the thought.
'Why did it have to be you? Why did you have to be Zero?'
He never wanted Lelouch to be Zero.
Because he hated Zero, no, he loathed him. He wanted Zero to burn, to writhe in agony for all he had done, to suffer.
He never wanted Lelouch to be Zero.
Because he didn't want to hurt Lelouch. He wanted to protect him, to keep him close, to make him happy.
Yes…he wanted Lelouch to be happy, for the other to smile…because he…
Suzaku's eyes blinked opened as his heart gave a small lurch out of pure happiness. He placed a hand over his heart as his eyes narrowed in confusion.
The feeling was a bit familiar to him…yes…he could recognize it, but…no. It couldn't be that.
He felt those tears well up in his eyes again.
He shut his eyes and could feel those tears sliding down his cheeks, scalding him, urging him to realize the truth.
The reason they fell.
He felt something in his mind stir, another memory being called upon as his heart gave another lurch to demand his attention.
The sky was bright and blue, just like that day so many years ago.
Now that he thought about it, the two of them had been in a similar position back then, on that day like today. Sprawled out side by side on the grass, watching the clouds go by and picking out shapes. A childish thing to do, but they were doing it and laughing as they did so.
It was as if that day was being redone, played again to serve some special purpose just for them.
Suzaku smiled. It made his heart so happy.
"What about that one?" he asked, pointing up at a random puff of white cloud.
Lelouch stared up at it for a moment before he frowned.
"A witch eating pizza." he said in complete seriousness.
Suzaku blinked and turned his head to look at his friend…and laughed.
Lelouch turned his head to stare at Suzaku with that frown still on his face.
"What?" he asked, failing to see the hilarity.
"A…A witch eating pizza?" Suzaku asked in between his laughter.
Lelouch blinked and his eyebrows furrowed, a light blush covering his cheeks as he stared back up at the cloud.
Suzaku took a moment to calm himself down.
"I-I'm sorry." he apologized, one last giggle coming out before he had them contained. "It's just…I don't see it."
"I'd imagine not." he muttered.
"Did you just insult me again?"
Lelouch chuckled a little at the question.
"No." he answered, a sly grin on his face. "If I wanted to insult you, I would've called you an idiot like I always do."
"That's true." he admitted and he couldn't help but laugh a little. "So, what about that cloud?" -he pointed to another random puff of white- "See anymore witches in that one?"
Lelouch sighed and rolled his eyes before looking up at the cloud Suzaku was pointing to.
"It sort of looks like…" Lelouch began, his eyes suddenly dimming. "…"
Suzaku waited but Lelouch never finished his sentence. He turned to look at his friend, curious as to why he stopped talking. He was a bit alarmed when he saw a teardrop sliding down his cheek.
"Lelouch, what's wrong?" he asked in concern as he sat up.
"What's…wrong?" Lelouch repeated, turning a questioning gaze up to the concerned brunet. "Why-"
"You're crying." Suzaku stated.
Lelouch blinked and sat up. He lifted a hand to his cheek and gasped lightly when he felt wetness on it. He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it and turned away from the other.
Suzaku's eyes narrowed in concern as he placed a hand on Lelouch's shoulder.
"It's nothing." Lelouch stated, still turned away from him.
"Crying isn't nothing." Suzaku said, quietly. "You can tell me anything, you know. I'll listen. You know I will."
Lelouch chuckled bitterly.
"I know you will." he answered, quietly. "I know…but…it's not something I want to discuss." -he tentatively lifted a hand to place on top of the one on his shoulder- "Let's not ruin the day. Please."
"Lelouch…" Suzaku started but stopped when he felt the hand on top of his tighten its grip.
He nodded his head and smiled slightly.
"Okay. I won't force you. I'll always be here when you're ready to tell me, though." he said and his eyes softened as he recalled something. "We promised, didn't we?"
Lelouch turned his head slightly and smiled.
"Yeah. Together…" he muttered.
"No matter what." Suzaku finished for him.
Lelouch tilted his head down and turned away.
"Thank you, Suzaku."
And he sounded like he was holding back a sob when he said it.
Suzaku never discovered what caused Lelouch to become so sad that day. It had something to do with what he saw in the clouds, but Lelouch never told him what he saw.
'He looked so lost and…sad.'
His heart lurched again and Suzaku thought he understood what it was trying to say.
'These tears of mine…they're falling for him.'
He was certain of it now. These phantom tears fell for Lelouch because he missed him so, so much.
'Our promise. Together…no matter what…we said that, didn't we? Together…so that neither of us would ever feel lonely.'
Suzaku sighed as more tears rolled down his cheeks.
"I broke that promise, didn't I?" he whispered to no one.
His heart thumped in sadness, as if confirming his words.
"He's a murderer…and I feel guilty?" he asked.
His heart thumped, this time in anger.
'Don't think of him that way?'
To care about someone so deeply even though they've done wrong, even though they've taken innocent lives…that was…a very strong feeling to have. A strong love.
At this thought, his heart lurched in joy.
That was it, wasn't it?
Whenever Lelouch would smile, he would feel so happy. Whenever the other laughed, it made him smile. Whenever the other looked at him with those beautiful amethyst eyes of his or called his name, his own emerald ones would sparkle from the attention.
In its purest and truest form.
Then what about Euphemia? Wasn't he supposed to love her?
'I did and I still do…but…'
Lelouch and Euphemia were different. He loved both of them dearly and truly, but they were different.
So that was it, was it?
That was what his heart and mind was hoping to achieve with this rebellion of theirs.
"Fine." he muttered, smiling slightly as he rolled over. "You win. Just let me sleep already."
'He'll never forgive me.'
Yet, he knew what he had to do.
'I said such cruel things and I gave him up.'
Yet, he was still going to talk to him.
'What if he's Zero again? What should I do?'
His duty be damned. He couldn't sell him out twice. The first time had been hard enough…even with all that hate coursing through his veins.
'We're just going to talk.'
'And if he is Zero again…'
'…I'll cross that bridge when and if I get to it.'
Traversing the academy's campus wearing his school uniform, Suzaku headed towards the Clubhouse in search of Lelouch. He was hoping that he would be in the council room or perhaps in his room. If not…well…it was the best place to start his search anyway.
He was pleased to discover that Lelouch was actually in the council room upon entering through those doors, alone for the moment.
'That was lucky.'
The Britannian was sitting at the long table within the council room rifling through a stack of papers, his eyes narrowed in concentration.
Paperwork, no doubt.
Suzaku often wondered how Lelouch had ever managed to handle both his terrorist activities and his Student Council duties without having a complete mental breakdown. It was amazing, really, because that was quite a lot of work for someone with such low stamina to handle all on his own.
Lelouch turned slightly to see Suzaku and he frowned just a tad. It was barely noticeable, but Suzaku still noticed it. He was always good at reading Lelouch when others could not. It was an achievement he had always been rather fond of.
"Oh, Suzaku." he muttered, turning back to the papers. "Hey."
'He looks so happy.'
Sarcasm, that was.
'And whose fault is that?'
Suzaku broke the promise so it was his fault.
"Hey." Suzaku greeted, slowly walking up to Lelouch. "Lelouch…we need to talk."
Upon hearing that, Lelouch stilled and was silent a moment before he turned his head to look at the brunet.
"About what?" he asked, a look of concern crossing his delicate features. "Is something wrong?"
"…can we go somewhere else to talk? Somewhere private?" Suzaku asked, ignoring the question. "This is something that just you and I need to discuss. No one else matters."
Lelouch's eyes narrowed slightly, a hint of confusion and suspicion swirling in their amethyst depths.
"…sure." he answered, moving to stand. "Where would you like to go?"
Suzaku smiled slightly as he turned to lead the way.
"The rose garden, if that's okay."
Suzaku couldn't help but feel a sense of nostalgia creep over him as he and Lelouch stood underneath a cherry blossom tree, that same one he had found Lelouch sleeping under a while back. The sky was bright and streaked with amber, auburn, and reddish hues of color as the sun began its descent.
It was as beautiful a day as that day so many years ago.
"So…what did you want to talk about?" Lelouch asked, giving Suzaku his full attention as he waited for a response.
Suzaku took a deep breath and exhaled quietly. He turned his head to look out across the garden, his eyes following two butterflies as they flittered about a rose bush.
"You're Zero again, aren't you?" he asked, his voice quiet and calm.
There was a thick silence afterward.
Suzaku could feel the air tense, a quiet panic suffocating any joy from the area.
"…excuse me?" Lelouch asked after a moment, his voice laced with incredibility.
"You heard me." Suzaku said, turning his head away from the butterflies to stare at Lelouch.
"Why would you say something like that?" Lelouch asked, anger joining the incredibility.
"Because it's true."
"This is ridiculous." he muttered, taking a step back. "You brought me out here to accuse me of treason? I have paperwork I could be finishing right now!"
Lelouch shook his head and turned his back to the knight.
"I'm going back inside." he declared, beginning to walk away.
Before he could get away, however, Suzaku caught him by the arm and pulled him into a hug.
"This is serious, Lelouch." he said, tightening his hold on the boy as he struggled.
"Suzaku, let me go!" Lelouch demanded, trying to unwrap Suzaku's arms from around his middle. "I'm not playing this game with you!"
"I'm not playing. I know that you have your memories back. I know you're Zero." he said and lowered his voice before adding: "And I'm okay with that."
Lelouch ceased his struggling and stiffened in his grip.
"I hate Zero for everything he's done." Suzaku began. "He's taken so many innocent lives and used just as many to fulfill his own selfish desires. When he killed Euphie," -he felt Lelouch's hands tighten around his arms- "I was devastated. I felt so lost and alone. I wanted revenge. I wanted Zero to suffer."
Suzaku closed his eyes briefly.
"That was the first time I…ever wanted to kill someone."
He opened them and he could feel those tears welling up in his eyes again.
"That's why I followed him to that island." he continued. "I fully intended to murder him, but…then I found out that he was you…and I didn't know what to do. I still wanted Zero to die, but…I couldn't do it. I didn't know why back then…but I know now and I regret not figuring it out sooner."
Lelouch's grip tightened again, his fingernails digging into the older boy's skin. It hurt a little, but Suzaku said nothing about it.
"And…why didn't you?" Lelouch asked, his voice shaky.
Suzaku smiled a little and leaned over to place a small kiss beside Lelouch's right eye.
"Because you're my first love." he whispered, hearing a sharp intake of breath. "And I could never hate you…no matter how hard I try to."
"First…love?" Lelouch repeated, his shoulders shaking as a small sob cut through his words. "Don't…don't say things like that. It's not…fair…or right."
"It's the truth." Suzaku stated.
Lelouch shook his head.
"Don't lie." he whispered, another small sob leaving him.
"I said don't lie!"
Suzaku blinked and frowned.
Lelouch just shook his head again and wearily leaned his back against Suzaku's chest. A pang of guilt penetrated Suzaku's heart when he heard a breathy sob pass the Britannian's lips.
"Don't lie to me." Lelouch repeated, lifting a hand to his face. "Don't you dare say that to me. Not now." -another breathy sob left him- "Not after everything that's happened. Just…don't."
Suzaku turned Lelouch around so he could see his face and immediately felt his guilt increase. Tears were running in a steady stream down the boy's pale cheeks and his eyes held a deep sadness that made the unshed tears in Suzaku's own eyes fall.
"Lelouch, I…I can't take it back. I won't…because I mean what I say. I lo-"
"No." Lelouch snapped, glaring up into his emerald eyes in hate. "Don't you dare. Don't tell me that. Don't say you…" -he closed his eyes and hit Suzaku's chest with his fists- "…don't say you…" -he hit him again as he sobbed- "It was easier when you hated me!! Don't tell me this now!!"
Lelouch slumped against Suzaku's chest and continued to sob, his hands fisting into the knight's uniform.
Suzaku wrapped his arms around Lelouch in a tight hug.
"Just shut up!!" Lelouch snapped, pushing at Suzaku's chest in a vain attempt at escaping. "Where do you get off doing this?! To figure out Zero's identity?! Well, you got you wanted so just leave me alone!!"
"No, Lelouch." Suzaku said firmly, keeping a tight hold on the younger as he struggled. "I won't leave you alone. I can't. No matter where I go or what I do…" -he gently took hold of Lelouch's chin and titled the boy's head so he could see his eyes- "…you're all I ever think about."
Lelouch ceased his struggling as he realized it futile while being held in such a strong grip. He tried to look away from the brunet, but Suzaku wouldn't have it…so he settled for glaring at him through a haze of tears instead.
"I hate you." he muttered.
"I love you." Suzaku muttered back.
Lelouch hit Suzaku's chest again for lack of being able to do anything else.
"Stop it!!" he pleaded, a fresh stream of tears drenching his face. "Stop lying…please."
"I'm not lying. I love you, Lelouch." Suzaku said with as much honesty and love as he could fill his voice with. "I love you so much…so much that it really, really hurts…when I try to hate you."
He leaned down to brush his lips against Lelouch's and smiled.
"I love you and I always will…even if you don't feel the same." he said, feeling a shiver go through Lelouch's body as his warm breath glided over the youth's pale skin.
Suzaku chuckled lightly.
"I mean…we promised, didn't we?" he added, to which Lelouch laughed.
"Promises can be broken." he countered, closing his eyes and exhaling loudly. "…that one was."
Suzaku sighed and rested his head on top of Lelouch's.
"I know and I'm sorry." he apologized. "I'm so, so sorry…Lelouch. That was wrong…especially what I said to you. You're not a mistake. You're the one."
Suzaku smiled again and placed a gentle kiss to Lelouch's forehead.
"I think you always were."
"The one?" he muttered and sighed. "Why are you doing this to me? First, you say you hate me and now…" -his eyes narrowed- "…this can't be real. I must be dreaming."
Suzaku sighed and chuckled.
"It's going to take a lot of effort for me to convince you that I'm serious, isn't it."
It wasn't a question.
"Why should I listen to what a dream says?" Lelouch asked, reaching up a hand to wipe his tears away. "You're just a figment of my imagination caused by stress. A very cruel figment at that."
"Why do you think this isn't real?"
"Because it could never work."
Lelouch rolled his eyes and gestured to them both with a finger.
"You and I." he clarified. "Us…love. I'm Zero and you're a knight for Britannia. It was never meant to happen. I used to think…maybe…you know?" -he smiled sadly- "But I was just holding on to some childish fantasy. I realized that that day you brought up our promise. It can never happen and…" -a few fresh tears rolled down his cheeks- "…and we can't keep our promise. I-It's impossib-mmph!"
Amethyst stared sadly at Emerald and Emerald gazed lovingly at Amethyst.
Suzaku felt Lelouch struggle weakly for a moment before he gave up and lost himself in the feel of the brunet's lips against his own.
'That's why you were crying that day. Because you were scared. Scared of being rejected and left all alone.'
Suzaku pulled Lelouch closer to himself, as close as he could manage without suffocating the boy. His arms stayed securely wrapped around the lither boy's torso while Lelouch's hands stayed fisted into Suzaku's uniform.
'And your fear came true when I sold you out to the Emperor and said all those horrible things to you.'
Suzaku broke the kiss and smiled warmly at Lelouch. He placed a hand against the boy's cheek and rubbed his thumb over Lelouch's left eye before leaning down to place a kiss just under that eye.
'I can't take back what I said or did.'
"Together…" he whispered, recreating a shattered promise that he vowed not to break a second time.
'And neither can you.'
Lelouch stayed silent.
'But you and I…we made a promise.'
It felt like an eternity passed before the prince uttered those words that let Suzaku know he still had a chance.
"…no matter what." came the quiet answer.
It was tiny--very, very tiny--but Lelouch smiled.
'Because, even if we don't admit it, we hold a special place in each other's heart.'
And seeing that was worth all the tears and heartaches the past year had brought the young knight.
'And that's something that no king or country or witch or demon can ever…ever…change.'
The sky was bright and blue on that beautiful summer day. The sun was shining down onto a meadow of joyful sunflowers where two young children were simply staring up at the sky, watching the clouds and picking out shapes.
Suddenly, one of them sat up from his sprawled out position on the grassy earth and turned a smiling gaze onto his companion.
"Let's make a promise." he suggested.
His companion blinked and sat up as well.
"A promise?" he asked.
His friend nodded.
"Yeah. A promise to always stay together so that we'll never have to feel lonely." he answered.
The other boy thought this over for a moment before he smiled.
"I like that idea." he answered.
"Good." the other asked as he extended his pinky finger. "Then, it's a promise, right? You and me, Lelouch. Together…"
Amethyst gazed happily at Emerald as Emerald smiled at Amethyst.
Lelouch extended his pinky finger and linked it with his friend's.
"Right, Suzaku…no matter what."
Serena: What did I just write? xD Well, two weeks worth of playing Fatal Frame II will do that to a person…well, me anyway. So…I'm almost scared to ask what you guys thought of this…piece of work. xD But I'd like a review if you can spare the time to write me one. ^^ I want to know your opinion on this. Well, thank you very much for reading!