Dream as if you will live forever...
—Three hours earlier—
CC was fitted into the wedding kimono of gold and green. She was about to become Mrs. Kururugi. Suzaku was a nice enough guy, she could tell in their first meeting. But as they talked, CC realized while he was talking to her, his heart was definitely someplace else. Every time they walked past a tall building, he would look up, as though he was about to catch someone. Once, they had walked past a theatre where they were putting on a famous Shakespearean play; Suzaku had promptly burst into tears.
CC turned her attention back to her mother when she suddenly exclaimed.
"Oh!" CC's mother wept in a way that could have shamed Niobe. "You're so beautiful! I know you're going to be happy, I just know it!"
Everything was happening too fast for her, and there was one thing moment she regretted the most. Just as she walked out of the police station, her eyes had met with Lelouch's. CC had replayed the scene many times in her head. But she couldn't decipher what he was thinking at all. It would have been a simple matter of searching up his name, but her mother had locked her up with no means for communication. Needless to say, the perimeters were under full lock down. Her parents clearly did not want her to run away again.
CC found out she had to marry Kururugi in order to attain the necessary influence to expand their tea industries. Their family business was planning to launch a new brand of tea which could play a significant part in weight loss. Thus it was decided for the son of the fashion dictator and CC to secure the contract with holy matrimony.
She wasn't unwilling to marry Suzaku, they both got reasonably well with each other and both knew that there were worst people they could have been forced to marry. While they weren't in love with each other, being married might mean that they could move out of their respective households and attain freedom they have always dreamt of.
She could tell Suzaku wouldn't boss her around or dictate how she could live her life. In return, as long as no one else noticed, she was willing and prepared to close her eyes and allow Suzaku to go to the one he loved. That was going to be the rest of her life, no princess' happily ever after for her.
Thus with that reasoning, she had said 'I do', she could see in Suzaku's eyes, he was going to do the same.
"I don't." Suzaku suddenly blurted out.
The crowd in the pews gasped in horror. CC's mother stood up.
"What is the meaning of this?"
The fat priest looked shocked too. In his 45 years of work, never had he ever heard no.
"I'm in love with Euphie!" Suzaku exclaimed. He let go of CC's hands and ran down the aisle screaming. "I'm sorry, I would rather die before I say "I do" to another woman!"
"Suzaku! If you step outside the church, we'll disown you forever!" Genbu bellowed.
Suzaku didn't even stop.
CC raised her delicately laced, gloved hands over her mouth. Her eyes were as wide as saucers.
That was… kind of cool!
Suzaku ran past the shocked crowd and spin-kicked the heavy, wooden doors open and ran out its doors in exhilaration. He had done it! Now all he had to do was find Euphie!
Suzaku's field of vision exploded.
"Someone call an ambulance!"
When Suzaku woke up, he found himself lying in a tiny bed. It was so small, it was what… commoners called a single bed?!
Suzaku attempted to get up, the bed springs creaked—singing to him the song of his people. In the process of this he woke up the person next to him.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to wake you." Suzaku apologized.
From what he could gather, he was not in a private hospital room he was used to. Why?
Suzaku struggled to recollect what had happened.
True to his word, Genbu Kururugi had disowned him the moment he stepped out of the church building. That meant he was no longer a Kururugi.
Despite himself, Suzaku smiled. That wasn't really a bad turn of events.
A few days later, he found out it sort of was. He was penniless and had no source of income whatsoever. For what was probably the second time in his life, Suzaku slept under the stars. Only this time, there was no reassuring warmth of Euphie to comfort him and tell him his world was good. Euphie was no where to be found.
Suzaku had tried calling out her name in the busy streets of the city. No avail.
He had thought that the bond they shared would easily lead him back to her.
Then there was another problem. Suzaku found it extremely hard to find something with a decent income. Perhaps it was because news quickly got around he had been disowned by the Kururugi clan, or maybe because he was homeless and smelt like a shoe.
Finally after two more days of trying, Suzaku swallowed his pride and became the new janitor of the mall near the bridge he had been sleeping under. The first thing he did when he received his pay was to rent out the one-roomed house Euphie and he had stayed in. The previous attendant had left without notice so Suzaku was free to move in immediately.
He usually ate lunch in the mall, being part of the staff he got a 5% discount to anything he purchased there.
Suzaku glanced at his watch, 11.30am. He could eat now and avoid the lunch hour.
Though he normally ordered something healthy, today he felt compelled to gorge himself in fatty foods that would block his arteries. He walked over to the fast food counter and ordered his meal.
Suzaku looked up from the list of specials in front of him to drown himself in an all to familiar pair of eyes.
It was destiny, he was SUPPOSED to order that meal.
His mind might be warped from all the romantic novels and films Kaguya had forced him to watch from the start of their early teenage years.
He might be a hopeless, hopeless romantic.
You don't have to catch a girl jumping off a building.
You don't have to be from rival clans or profess your love over balconies.
You don't have to break out of prison to be with your loved one.
You don't have to rush to the airport.
You don't have to interrupt a wedding.
Sometimes you just have to have the urge to order a cheeseburger with large fries and coke.
The people in line gasped as the couple suddenly gave an award winning smooch across the counter. Suzaku and Euphie had found their happily ever after, had adorable children and grandchildren and lived for a very long time in each others' company.
Straight after the wedding, CC took off the heavy kimono and grabbed one of the caterer's uniform. Then she ran, hard and fast.
It was obvious where she was going to go! She was a free woman now, she could do anything, go anywhere…
And where did she go?
To where her heart belonged. Towards the light!
Neon tubing that spelt Pizza Express warmed her heart.
She opened the door and felt the rush of warm air and the scent of cheese hit her face.
Home sweet home!
She headed towards the counter and realized a very small but important detail that slipped past her mind when she ran away.
She had no money with her.
CC panicked, where could she go? She couldn't go back home yet… not when her future was so uncertain… what if her mother held her up in that awful room again? Who knew when the next time she could get a whiff of cheese would be then?
CC sat outside the pavement looking up at the sky.
She had thought that the weather was supposed to mirror her emotions. Wasn't it called pathetic fallacy?
CC turned as though she was in a dream. Could it be?!
Purple met gold.
Suddenly the weather matched the characters' feelings perfectly.
After all, the weather wasn't as fickle as our main characters' emotions!
"Want to buy me some pizza?" CC licked her lips.
They strode into the building and ordered large pepperoni pizzas.
CC burst into tears as she felt the cheese and pepperoni trigger small explosions in her mouth.
"Viva la pizza!" CC exclaimed.
Lelouch looked at CC happily. Then dismayed when he saw the receipt.
Four pizzas, really?
"You're paying for this, right?"
"What? I was under the assumption you were going to!" CC exclaimed, her mouth full of crust.
"Why would I do that?" There were multiple implications to this statement he had rhetorically made.
It wasn't even the fact that he was at Pizza Express that alarmed him, (he did order pizza on a regular basis) but why did he go the church where CC was going to get married in?
Lelouch frowned. Why was she here and not on her honeymoon or with her groom?
Why am I here?!
Lelouch looked over at CC who was staring back at him curiously.
"Oh my goodness gracious me!" Lelouch placed his hand over his open mouth.
Could that be the reason…?
Lelouch wondered why he didn't see it before… and he had blamed it on her being a witch and cursing him, was his thought process always that strange?
Yes. Because it had taken him to (almost) rescue, (almost) stop a wedding and (almost) pay for a girl's meal for him to realize.
He had feelings for her.
Like the fluffy ones you read in romance novels and not the violent ones where you could end up in prison if you acted on them.
Feelings that could cause butterflies in your stomach… that would make someone try and rescue their special person from a insane kidnapper even though you came last at cross-country at school and if possible, was even less fit than those fateful high school days.
Those kind of feelings.
With that revelation, Lelouch pondered on his next problem… how could he keep her by his side? Lelouch knew that he now that he was conscious of his affections to the short girl he would have trouble functioning without her. It wasn't like he could make her accidently get pizza all over his spring frock.
And though he was well off, he couldn't imagine feeding pizza to her everyday so he could see her every day for the rest of his life.
Wow! For the rest of his life? Slow down there!
"I got a deal in mind…" Lelouch fingered one of the napkins.
Suddenly it felt as though everyone in the building was looking and staring at him.
Was he getting slightly paranoid?
But before he could continue what he was saying, Lelouch was interrupted by a hipster.
"Like. Oh. My. Gosh!" The teenager rushed over to take a better look at the smaller companion. "It's you!"
CC frowned slightly, when the man grabbed her hand, obstructing her from taking another slice of pizza. "I speak no English." She lied.
That didn't seem to deter the guy.
"Dude I know you are lying. I mean, like, obviously!"
He didn't let go of her hand.
Lelouch wondered whether he had enough arm strength to pry his hand off CC… he was pretty skinny too…
"Can you like, say it, please? I wanna hear it from the real deal."
CC thoroughly confused, started speaking in gibberish.
Said male turned angry. "You trying to mock me or something? Just because you got a little famous."
Lelouch poured out in intense gibberish and made a shooing motion.
The teenager scratched his head confused.
One person could be mocking him when speaking gibberish. But when two people did it, the language must be real!
He walked away bamboozled. "I swear it was her," he muttered.
And who said that a knight in shining armor had to be fit! Though he did have a set of amour at home which he would gladly don if he had the strength to walk around in it!
"As…" Lelouch was once again interrupted again by the buzzing of his cell phone.
It was Sayako.
"I found her." Sayako had texted him. Lelouch snorted. He had found her too, without ninja powers too, thank you very much.
There was an attachment, Lelouch looked over and saw a photo of CC with tears in her eyes while she was shoving her first slice of pepperoni pizza into her mouth.
Viva la pizza! The caption read under the photograph.
This photograph had went viral in the few minutes someone in the building had captured and uploaded it to the internet.
In an hour's time, her face was an internet meme.
Lelouch's phone received a call. Caller ID unknown. Hesitatingly, he connected the call.
"Hello, pass the phone to CC, I know she's next to you."
Lelouch gulped. He wasn't sure how she knew CC was next to him.
"It's Cornelia-hime." Lelouch supplied, handing CC the phone.
CC's eyes widened and wiped her hands on the napkin, she put the phone against her ear.
A string a cheese hung off her chin.
Lelouch used a napkin and wiped said article off CC's face.
She nodded him in thanks.
"I'm quite impressed. As expected of someone I had taken under my wing. Come over to the agency now, we have papers to sign."
"Huh?" CC squeaked.
"Pizza Express. No, all the pizza companies are fighting for you. "Viva la Pizza", what a classy line, if I must say so myself. And the pure expression you had on your face is quite breath taking. All the companies want you to be part of their next pizza campaign. Head to the agency straight away, so we can sign you immediately."
Cornelia hung up.
CC was so shocked she gripped the phone until her knuckles turned white. Her? The face of pizza?
All the pizza she would get!
"I'll drop you off." Lelouch said, prying the phone off her fingers. CC grabbed the remaining slices of pizza into a napkin and exited the building.
They got into a taxi and headed towards the agency.
Lelouch fidgeted during the car ride. He could feel that it was one of those turning points. Those damned crossroads you often hear about in victory speeches.
" So about the deal I was talking about before…" Lelouch cleared his throat. "I have two proposals. First and foremost. I was thinking, I need an ally in my world domination—I meant, making wheelchairs the next fashion craze."
"Oh?" CC raised an eyebrow, surprised that Lelouch had not one, but two requests.
"It's going to be an obstacle for me to bring this concept into haute couture already, I feel that it's going to be near impossible for me to convince the general public to follow suit… no matter what the fashion dictator decrees."
"So what does that have to do with me?" CC folded her arms, slightly cautious… she remembered the last time she 'under his wing'.
"Well, it's not much of a bother at all. In the very near future, you're going to be the face of a major pizza company." Lelouch started hesitatingly. "I want you to be popular. Popular enough so all the 'normal' people would adopt your trend if you started one. You know how regular fashion is detonated as white and runway fashion is symbolized by black… we'll be at opposite ends of the spectrum but… basically, the idea is to meet somewhere in the middle."
"Okay, that doesn't sound too hard. And in return I get to be the first to wear the clothes you design and you have to tell me how the trends are going to change, right?"
"That is fine with me."
They shook hands.
"So, I think our business is done here." CC said curiously, "What is the second proposal about?"
Lelouch took a deep breath and leaned closer to CC.
"It goes something like this..."
Pepperoni and cheese pizza
—5 years later—
"Welcome, you're watching one of the most well received TV shows! Today our special guest is the fabulous CC!" Milly Ashford, host of Area 11! smiled brightly.
The cameras zoomed on CC. She gave a broad smile.
"So how do you do it? You've been the longest running representative for Pizza Express. How long has it been now? Five years."
"Yes," CC confirmed. "I love pizza and luckily for me, they love me!"
"It's no coincidence why they love you." Milly cooed. "You seem to always be leading on fashion trends. Do you have psychic powers or something?"
It was an obvious hook to make her talk about something not previously discussed in all other talk shows.
CC laughed. "Well, I'm known for many things. It's crazy how much hate I get from models, one pelted me with a cabbage before because I endorsed "the devil's food." "
Milly looked slightly disappointed at how CC steered cleared away from non-work related topics.
"I think your most recent success was gracing the cover of the special edition of Area 11. Let's take a sneak preview of it before it hits the stores tomorrow."
On the display behind them, the cover of Area 11's magazine, Area 11 appeared.
The naming of Area 11's merchandise could not get anymore creative!
The Special Issue: World's Newest Fashion Craze headlines were as follows:
1. Fat legs? Solve this dilemma in less than a minute! No need for diets, nips or tucks!
2. You can appeal to your other half's protective side!
3. This edition comes with a free cloth to go over your legs on your wheelchair!
The cover was graced with one of the biggest smiles of the "Grey witch", protégé to the "Witch of Britannia". Despite being six inches too short to be considered a model, she had just recently signed a lifetime guaranteed supply of pizza in exchange of being their company's face for a minimum of five more years.
However... to the closest of friends, she was more recently known as
And live as if you'll die tomorrow.
This is a going to be a long author's note. I have a lot to say, and for some this will be the last time you'll be reading what I've written. T_T
So first of all, thank you for all the readers who stuck with me through thick and thin. There was a lot more thin than thick so kudos for you for finishing the story. I hope you are satisfied with the ending.
Speaking of endings, the way I came up with Euphie and Suzaku's one was when I read a forum about a guy meeting a girl thinking it was fate... that was also how I came up with the initial concept for Euphie and Suzaku to go through all the romantic clichés. I actually had the "you don't have to" part written all out before I even wrote the first meeting between the two of them. I feel kind of lonely without them now. T_T but in my fanfiction world they had a really happy and wonderful life. Their sons will have pink hair and green eyes and their daughters will have brown hair and purple eyes. I love being the author, I get to dictate what I want. "D
I originally wanted 20 chapters because I am fond of round numbers but then I felt that the last chapter would have had been too short and lose some of its dramatic impact if I had split this chapter in half.
I'll continue to write fanfiction but I don't think I'll be writing another CG fanfiction any time soon if ever.
Please review if you liked this story!