"Nunnally, don't you remember me?"
The brown-haired girl shrank back from the mysterious person. Her eyes clenched tightly. She was always afraid nowadays. Her fear was getting the better of her. "Please leave me alone."
She was blind. Her legs couldn't move anymore. She used to be a Princess and she was reduced to this. Being a helpless and useless burden did not sit well with her.
Nunnally vi Britannia suddenly wished that her older brother was there. But he was out fishing with their new friend, Kurunugi Suzaku, to bring food for their dinner.
Then a soft voice answered. It had an exotic accent that made her think of silk. She relaxed involuntarily when a small and gentle had closed around hers.
"I'm Kaguya," someone said gently "and I'll be your friend."
Nunnally's heart softened. It was not too late to trust again.
"You were my friend," Nunnally said quietly.
The black-haired girl with wide green eyes nodded. She smiled brightly. In her kimono and elaborate hairdo, she looked nothing like the girl that Nunnally imagined. This was not just the Kaguya that she knew. This was Kaguya Sumeragi, the Head of the Six Houses of Kyoto.
"It's been a long time," the other girl said. "You look well, Nunnally."
Violet eyes met green. They recognized the same scars of grief, regret and unhappiness. The two girls shared a sad smile. Even after all those years, they still understood each other.
"Will you stay for tea?" Nunnally offered.
"That will be wonderful," Kaguya answered.
"Suzaku-niichan is teaching Lelouch-niichan some moves," Kaguya narrated as she watched the comical scene. Her laughter filled the air. "Did you hear that? Lelouch-niichan just got hit!"
"Poor Oniisan," her friend said, laughing. "He's no match for Suzaku when it comes to physical stuff."
"I heard that!" Lelouch retorted.
The four laughed.
Lelouch and Nunnally went to live in the Kurunugi estate after the horrific events in the mainland. The siblings had lost more than anyone else. They were orphaned, stripped of their titles and separated from their possessions. But they were happy because they were sheltered and cared for by the Kurunugi clan.
It seemed that things were going to get better for them from now on.
"Oniisan never won anything when it comes to tests of physical skill," Nunnally said with a small laugh. She could see the images in her head. "But his mind is good. Cornelia-neesan used to laugh at him because he couldn't win at a simple arm-wrestling match."
Kaguya saw Lelouch turn red. She giggled.
"Suzaku-niisan!" she yelled in a teasing tone "Don't beat him up!"
The brown-haired boy tackled Lelouch to the ground. They grunted as they struggled to throw each other off. The two were evenly matched. Suzaku used more of his body while Lelouch used his mind.
"Hey Nana-chan," Kaguya said suddenly. "Did you have any big sisters?"
Nunnally looked thoughtful. "We used to. But my favorites were Euphie-neesan and Cornelia-neesan. They were very nice."
I want to have a sister like you, her friend thought. I want to take care of you too.
Kaguya tightened her hold on her friend's hand. Her soft voice was serious. "Can you keep a secret?"
The brown-haired girl nodded, intrigued. Secrets between girls were sacred things. She felt happy that her new friend trusted her enough to tell her one. Excitement bubbled up inside her. "Yes, I can."
The black-haired girl was glad that Nunnally couldn't see her burning cheeks. She got up from her seat at Nunnally's feet. Then she leaned downwards to her friend's ear and cupped a hand to hide her mouth. "I like your brother."
Nunnally turned towards the source of Kaguya's voice with a small, confused smile. "Really?"
The little heiress nodded, forgetting that Nunnally couldn't see. "Yes! I want to marry Lelouch-niisan someday so that we'll really be like sisters!"
"I'd like to have you as a sister," the brown-haired girl said with a chuckle. She couldn't imagine what Kaguya looked like but she didn't care. As long as the people she loved were happy, that was enough for her.
"But that's just a secret!" Kaguya reminded her. "I'd want to grow up some more. Lelouch-oniisan deserves only the best!"
"What are you saying, Kaguya-chan?" Suzaku cut in. "You're still five."
Kaguya kicked him in the shin.
Hearing Suzaku's yelp and retort made Nunnally laugh. Yes, she could look forward to having a family like them.
"Remember our secret?" The black-haired young woman said very quietly. She replaced her teacup on the saucer. Her green eyes were full of sorrow.
"How could I forget?" Nunnally answered with a small sigh.
The two girls stared at each other before exchanging small smiles.
"That can't happen now that he's gone," Kaguya murmured as she clasped her hands together at her lap. "I can't believe that he's really gone."
Tears welled up in Nunnally's eyes. That was true. Lelouch vi Britannia was dead. He was truly dead.
The dark-haired Representative of the United Federal Nations smiled painfully. "I was Zero's consort. Though we agreed that it was only for political reasons, I loved him. Although I couldn't see his face, I accepted him. I really loved Zero..."
Nunnally wished that she could throw away the sorrow in her heart.
"I loved him more when I found out that he was Zero but I couldn't act on love anymore. There are a lot of people who needed my help..." Kaguya continued in the same soft voice. "But when he died, I thought I wanted to die. I momentarily forgot that he deceived me, lied to me and led me blindly into war. I only remembered how much I admired him both as Lelouch and Zero."
"Oniichan gave up everything for peace," the Empress of the Holy Empire of Britannia murmured "and he gave it up for us. Through his actions, he erased our father's sins. He gathered everyone's hate to himself so that he could atone for them."
Kaguya smiled. Hurt was in her eyes. "That's just like Zero."
Nunnally shook her head. "No, that's just like my brother."
The dark-haired girl reached forward to hold Nunnally's hands. Her expression was calm. "But we'll always have each other."
The memory made tears come into their eyes.
"Yes, Kaguya-chan?" the brown-haired girl yawned. She was so sleepy.
"We'll always have each other."
Both girls drifted off to sleep.