Hello everyone! Good news! I've finished my college exams! The bad news? I still don't know my results. But anyway, as a post-celebration for finishing the exam, I bring you all a SuzaLulu oneshot! But I'm still gonna be sparse, because now my quarter terms are coming up. For those people who are waiting for Onscreen and Offscreen, I'll write the chapter as soon as my exams are totally finished. For now, I hope that this oneshot will be enough to satisfy you all until I post the next chapter in Onscreen and Offscreen.

Summary: Lelouch Lamperouge is not afraid of snakes. He just prefers to admire them from a distance.

Warnings: Shounen-ai (boy on boy love) Don't like, no read. MAJOR FLUFF. Some non-violent Lelouch torture. Lots of snakes.


Lelouch Lamperouge was not afraid of snakes. Absolutely not. He is certainly not afraid of snakes or any slithering, scaly animal that has a fork for a tongue, two non-blinking eyes, two razor sharp fangs that will ingest poison into your system, and a large body what will coil around you, crush you to death, swallow you whole, and slowly digest your still fresh but already dismembered body. Snakes, therefore, should be respected and admired for their sheer lethal beauty, in which, in Lelouch's mind, respect and admiration comes in the form of running, hiding, and other evasive measures that can be performed if something of this nature ever happened, even if - most especially if - there was just an inch of see-through-glass separating you two.

So when a classmate of his brought his pet snake (an Albino python, his classmate informed them) during biology time and Lelouch jumped up on his table and squealed like the little girl that he is (much to the amusement of C.C., who definitely refused to live this down), it wasn't because he was terrified of the... snake. It was just a deep expression of his sheer admiration of its large muscled body that wrapped around his classmate's body like a body bag. He really didn't know what happened afterward, but when he came to, he found himself in his room, where C.C. was trying (the key word was trying) to restrain her laughter.

Lelouch was slightly worried, therefore, when the Student Council decided that for this year's yearly trip, in a strangely coincidental manner, they were going to the National Institute of Herpetology. Of course he understood that snakes must be studied for the good of humanity, but he was still a strong advocate of letting the animals roam in the wild, most especially a certain type of feet-less reptile. But for the sake of science, he let himself admire them... within a ten-feet radius, of course.

The others on the council, unfortunately, didn't understand. Not only did they not understand when Lelouch decided to say his own concern, they completely misunderstood him.

"Lulu, you're not afraid of snakes now, aren't you?" - The exact words of Milly Ashford, the Student Council President.

So Lelouch eventually stopped trying to persuade them and decided to show them that he, Lelouch Lamperouge, was definitely not deep-seatedly, heart-stoppingly scared of snakes. He would show them all. And when Kallen asked him if he stopped arguing with the voluptuous president was because his tongue was already snatched away by Arthur... it's not that Lelouch couldn't give a direct answer. He just thought that a stupid question like that didn't even merit one.

-/-

The morning of the trip was a clear, sunny day, just perfect for an outside outing. The bright sunshine, of course, was the reason why Lelouch's palms were cold, feeling his stomach trying to regurgitate some of the food that was forced into him by Sayoko ("You need to eat, you're thin as it is, Lelouch-sama.") while pacing to and fro above the platform where Milly would come and pick him up.

But things seemed to improve significantly as the coaster Milly rented for them pulled over and Kururugi Suzaku entered, taking his place beside Lelouch, his hair still wet, smelling of male body spray and a hint of citrus, probably the scent of the tangerine shampoo that he uses everyday. Calming down gradually with the presence of his best friend, Lelouch took a deep breath and strapped on his seatbelt, his fingers accidentally brushing against Suzaku's bare arm.

"Lelouch, your hands are freezing!"

And them Suzaku decided to take Lelouch's hand into his own warm ones, rubbing gently. The butterflies in Lelouch's stomach returned full force, but now with an entirely different reason. Not that it had to do anything with Suzaku, naturally, it was just the result of the direct sunlight drifting away from him, and that his blood suddenly found his face a good place to be in at this current time.

Never mind the fact that he was in the window seat.

-/-

The moment Lelouch stepped down from the coaster he felt he stomach churn with more ferocity than ever, except now it was accompanied by a dry mouth and legs that apparently wanted to dance the macarena, seeing that he couldn't stop it from shaking.

This is going to interesting. Fun. All kinds of wow.

Because snakes are originally the epitome of interesting, fun, and wow and anybody who thinks otherwise is not a man.

Lelouch grabbed the bottle of water he took with him and emptied it in five full gulps. He threw the now emptied plastic and looked around for more. Suzaku's was the most full, but Lelouch still had the sense not to drink it because Suzaku needs it more than he does. So Kallen's bottle was the only option, an option that he gladly took full advantage of... even if he was kissing Kallen in an indirect way.

"Hey!" Kallen exclaimed angrily when Lelouch made a snatch for the bottle but quickly turned back to the group, as a guide was explaining to the group on safety precautions and the like. Lelouch forced down a smirk and drained the water in one sitting, not because he was anxious, but because he was really thirsty... in a masculine way.

Because Lelouch Lamperouge was a man, dammit.

"Lelouch, you should have told me you were thirsty." There was a strange twinkle of mischief in Suzaku's eyes. "I could have lent you my bottle."

"No, it's all right, Suzaku." Lelouch grabbed one of Suzaku's sleeves in a completely non feminine-like manner. Definitely not. "I'm sure Kallen wouldn't mind."

Suzaku nodded his understanding and held the door open, and Lelouch managed to keep his grip on Suzaku's sleeve as they stepped into the compound.

It's not as bad as it seems, Lelouch thought. It's actually... kind of nice. The lighting was absolutely perfect, the air conditioning was running smoothly, and the animals in the room were naturally full of natural coolness. He took a deep breath and slowly released Suzaku's sleeve, walking in step beside him. It's... actually really interesting.

And then they passed through the lobby, with the guide leading their group to a door named: 'Exhibit Room Number One'.

-/-

"I want to let my eyes adjust to the darkness so I can see the snakes better." Lelouch told Suzaku before entering.

"I'll stay with you then." Suzaku leaned back on the door and observed the other teen who was currently smoothing out his ebony hair, and now was fixing the collar of his shirt, next bending down to fix the folding of his pants, and dusting off every single existent and non-existent particle of dust that was left on his clothes, and that really took a while, but Lelouch always made sure that he looked impeccable in front of other people, and if that took the time away to not let him see the snakes, then so be it.

Unfortunately, when the time came that Lelouch was ready, the group was already far ahead of them, so he and Suzaku ended up missing the first quarter of the tour. Suzaku grabbed his wrist and tugged both of them to catch up with the group, the thin, tanned fingers wrapped around a pale wrist gently, making Lelouch huff and blush a bit at the contact. Suzaku's actions are completely and totally unneeded, as Suzaku is probably still convinced in that asinine belief of him fearing snakes. But the way Suzaku held him was comf- that is, Suzaku has a massive phobia of snakes and is trying to contain his own fear by comforting himself in holding Lelouch's wrist, and so Lelouch made no comment, even as they catched up with the others and Suzaku still didn't let go.

A few minutes later, Lelouch found himself not only grabbing Suzaku's sleeve, but somehow his other hand made its way to the other boy's upper arm in a death grip. He was walking so close to Suzaku that he could almost smell the faint trace of Suzaku's body spray, their legs bumping awkwardly against each other when Suzaku would take another step. Naturally, it wasn't because he was scared, although he could almost see Suzaku tremble visibly in fear. But of course Suzaku wouldn't say anything to him, but Lelouch knew behind those beautiful, twinkling eyes and the teen's small, giddy smile lies pure terror.

And as always, the group always misunderstood his actions of comforting his best friend. Shirley's frown is irritating, Rivalz's statement "You are such a wimp, Lelouch." is annoying him, but Milly's "Hey Lulu, why don't you two go and get a room?" is starting to piss him off. But he wasn't that angry enough to release Suzaku, but he still feels irate, nevertheless.

Either Suzaku was too absorbed in the collection of snakes around them or the fact that he has completely blocked off all communication from the outside world, because he looked very happy with himself and with life in general. In fact, Lelouch thought as they passed a rather dangerous looking Burmese python, causing Lelouch to take another step to Suzaku that was close enough to trip the brunet, Suzaku hadn't looked this happy since he ate the chocolates that the teen gave him last Valentine's Day. There was no doubt that it was a carefully-maintained facade to keep them from worrying about the brunet.

"Hey Lelouch, look! That snake is feeding!" A familiar voice piped up.

Lelouch's stomach gave a horrible lurch and immediately thought of fifty different ways to knock out and/or kill a certain blue-haired teen that can either involve the Geass or his Dark Knights as the fact was dared to be mentioned at him, a thing that he would put into action as soon as his knees stopped turning into jelly and his head stopped revolving around the world like that time when Suzaku spun him around and around in the office chair that Suzaku's father uses.

"Lelouch, are you okay? You look really pale..." Suzaku asked, completely concerned.

Lelouch gulped and opened his mouth to reply, but seeing as his voice temporarily went to visit Kimihiro Watanuki and Takashima Kei, promptly closed his mouth and opted to shrug violently.

"We could wait in the lobby, if you like." Suddenly Suzaku was in front of him, those glittering emerald eyes looking at him with so much warmth that Lelouch finally found his runaway voice and tried to look resolutely (key word trying) back at Suzaku. There was no way in hell that he would leave and make everyone think that he couldn't handle a thing like this. He was a leader of a major terrorist group, dammit! He was bloody Zero! He could very damn well pass through a building full of venomous and deadly snakes and not get squeamish over it.

"I'm-I'm okay, Suzaku." His voice cracked. Dammit. "It's fine."

"If you say so, Lelouch..."

Lelouch forced a calm expression on his face, unable to make his hand stop shaking. It must be from the cold, he reasoned out, the building was cool and he was terribly temperature sensitive. But Suzaku apparently had other thoughts, as his hand released Lelouch's wrist and decided to grasp the teen's hand instead. It was strange, but if it works for Suzaku, who was he to complain? Let it never be said that he didn't look out for his best friend.

He was almost feeling at ease - although the current butterflies in his stomach was another case entirely - partly because he was getting used to the snakes, and partly because he decided to close his eyes as a sign of respect to the reptiles whenever the group would come closer to get a better look and just let Suzaku lead him. But suddenly Suzaku stopped, and Lelouch squinted first before opening his eyes completely to see a hollow pit with a low handrail. The guide was standing in the middle of the said hole. And inside of the pit...

"And here we have a twenty-foot long Rainbow boa... see her scales shine like the colors of the rainbow... she's quite a beauty, ain't she? She's imported from the Amazon rain forest for some case studies. We call her Sparkles. Anyone want to pet her?"

Snakes must be admired and respected. Snakes must be admired and respected.

Why was Suzaku walking forward?

Oh no. No no no no no. Lelouch desperately tried to plant his feet to the ground and pull him back, but as it was stated many many many times, Lelouch had the physical strength of a newborn kitten. And since his best friend had developed some serious muscles from military training with the abs and the pecs and all, Lelouch was dragged beside the teen with no conscious effort in Suzaku's part.

No. Wait a minute. It's all right.

The snake was interesting. The snake was pretty. The snake...

... was staring at them.

"Suzaku..."

His voice was small, low in pitch and cracked in all the wrong places. Suzaku was still walking towards the demo- ahm, snake.

The snake was wonderful. The snake was nice. The snake was-oh god, the snake flicked its tongue in their direction.

"Suzaku..." His voice was louder this time, but it was overshadowed by Rivalz's rather loud voice retelling his story of an encounter with an anaconda when he was thirteen. And Suzaku was still dragging him towards the reptile.

Snakes must be admired and respected. Snakes must be admired and respected.

With a smile, Suzaku reached out and started to move his hand towards the snake's skin.

He is not a wimp. He is not a wimp. The boa constrictor was watching Suzaku with its unblinking, beady little eyes. He is not a wimp.

Oh my god...

Suzaku's hand hovered about bright, glittering, colorful scales.

"Suzaku, don't! That snake is going to kill you!"

Vaguely, in the back of his mind, Lelouch wondered who was it who said those words. Then he realized that it was a person from their group. And the words was spoken with a male voice. Oh. He's the one who said it.

But these things were now pushed back to the recesses of his mind as adrenaline kicked in and he jumped on Suzaku, his arms wrapped tightly around the other teen's neck. Milly and Kallen were never going to live this down, he would realize later, but right now his main concern was to get Suzaku away from the snake as far as possible. He was feeling very very cold and very very shaky, but now he only cared about Suzaku carrying him bridal style, which was a blatant attack on his masculinity, not that he minded at that particular moment, away from the pit, as his legs suddenly lost their ability to stand, let alone walk, which he now perceives as a very good thing.

The lobby was cold, so Lelouch let Suzaku carry him outside, place him down on a nearby bench, and nearly drained all of the water in Suzaku's bottle. Lelouch didn't even protest when Suzaku decided to thread his free hand into Lelouch's deep black hair, effectively dissolving the pent up tension in the teen's body. He had the presence of mind to swat the hand away, though, when Milly emerged from the first exhibit room.

And Milly, coincidentally, had the same expression on her face when she made Lelouch the Cupid for Ashford Academy's Valentines Day celebration.

"So..." She paused, clearly trying not to laugh. "Are you... okay, Lulu? Or..do you need... some time alone... with... Suzaku?" She snorted, unable to stop a giggle that pushed through her lips.

"I am not afraid of snakes!" Lelouch stood from the bench, the irritation chasing away his anxiety.

"So let's go back inside then, Lelouch?"

The image of Sparkles the rainbow boa constrictor flashed through Lelouch's mind.

He sat back down on the bench.

"It's okay Milly, I think I'm going to stay with Lelouch for a while." Suzaku informed the blond president.

They could still hear Milly's demonic laughter even after the doors had closed. Suzaku gently pried off Lelouch's fingers on his arm and placed it on the teen's lap, while his own arm was wrapped around Lelouch's waist.

"Just so this is clear, Suzaku-"

"You're not afraid of snakes? It's okay to have phobias, Lelouch. Didn't you know that Rivalz is scared of cockroaches?"

"Suzaku, I'm serious. Snakes are interesting."

"Okay, Lelouch. Whatever you say."

Seeing as Suzaku wasn't going to believe him no matter how many times he would explain himself, Lelouch decided to keep his silence instead. Lelouch let out a yawn and leaned on Suzaku's chest, the lingering scent of citrus never failing to soothe the ebony-haired teen. He was so worr- excited about this trip that he didn't get enough sleep last night, and the lack of rest was starting to get to him.

"We should've gone to the museum, as I've said." Lelouch mumbled, already starting to fall into unconsciousness.

"We can go there after the exams are over, Lelouch. I promise." Lelouch's hand somehow managed to get twined with Suzaku's again.

"Hmm..." He was already half-asleep.

"It's a beautiful day, right Lelouch?"

"Hmm..."

Maybe the trip to the snakes wasn't so bad after all.

"But you're the most beautiful of them all..."

And snakes are now the official favorite animal of one Kururugi Suzaku.

-/-

Omake:

"Two tickets for a museum tour? Listen kid, if you're gonna take your girlfriend on a date, going to the museum isn't such a good-"

"Huh? No! This is for my best friend. He said he wanted to see the museum so I'm going with him."

"I see... so for the morning Saturday tour then?"

"Yes. Thank you." As he handed over the money to the cashier, he looked at his arm, still smelling the faint scent of lavender from Lelouch's shampoo. His upper arm was littered with band-aids, covering the little half-crescent wounds that gouged his shoulder and bicep.

"The Saturday tour... isn't that the first day of the snake exhibit?"

"Why yes," Suzaku looked up and smiled, his teeth glinting under the fluorescent light.

"Yes, it is."


I think I'm in love with Suzaku in this chapter. Who knew that he could be so sweet and yet so devious at the same time? And come on, no one, as in NO ONE, can resist torturing Lelouch. His reactions are just too funny to pass up.

I think that snakes are totally cool. My favorite breed is the Rainbow boa constrictor (I named her Sparkles), as featured in the story above. And I actually had an Albino python wrapped around me once (I think it was three years ago when it happened), and unlike Lulu, I actually think it was awesome. A snake's skin is actually rough, even though it looks smooth most of the time because snakes are covered with scales. And a snake is heavy, weighing around 20 kilograms. Reptiles are my favorite animals, and I asked for a pet snake for Christmas (my mother nearly died of a heart attack). They're not actually hard to take care of, because you just have to feed them once a week and make sure that they stay safely in their cages.

So how was it? Tell me what you think! Thanks for reading! For those who are waiting for the next chapter of On and Off, give me a little time and I'll definitely finish it! Just wish me luck and hope that I get high grades for my exams! :D