Author's Notes- Birthday fic for misaoshiru. Set during R1/first season. Warnings- random crack, and I think the majority of the pirate talk I wrote here is, in one way or another, inspired by Spongebob Squarepants.
I honestly can't explain.
"I am not saying this," Lelouch declared, and hurled the script to the ground, crossing his arms, wielding his most disdainful look, with just the right amount of wrinkling his nose, straightening his shoulders, and positioning his head just right so that he was looking down on the others. His imperial demeanor, however, was offset by the fake parrot taped to his shoulder and the flowing black cape on his back emblazoned with the skull and crossed swords of a Jolly Roger. "It's just ridiculous."
"Oh, come on Lelouch. It's all in good fun. Look, even Shirley's getting into it," said Suzaku cheerfully, dressed in baggy brown slacks and a white and black striped shirt, a red sash tied around his waist and a plastic cutlass thrust inside. Grinning, he elbowed Lelouch to glance over at the girl in question.
"Arggghhh!" Shirley growled, trying to look as threatening as possible, wielding her plastic sword and eyepatch, but it was offset by a sudden giggle and smile that was less pirate-like and more like a schoolgirl pretending to be a pirate.
"…" He refused to dignify that with an answer.
"Avast, swabbie! Say your lines or you'll walk the plank!"
Dear God, am I the only sane man in this school?
Lelouch ignored the fact that, by most standard psychological definitions of sanity, he was definitely outside of the study group called 'normal', being a man with a Oedipus complex the size of Dane Cook's ego. So far was he from the definition of sanity, in fact, if he were to shout to the 'normal' group he'd have to mail them his voice and words.
"… Rivalz, what the hell is on your head?" Lelouch questioned, arching his eyebrow.
"It's a bandanna!" said the other boy, grinning widely, dressed similarly to Suzaku.
"But- it's- you- argh…" Lelouch closed his eyes for a moment, trying to regain composure. He was Zero, god damn it, he would not be flustered. So he went with what was obvious. "It's pink."
"Well I think it looks quite adorable," Milly's voice cut in, from behind the door, and thus completely missed the sudden uplifting of Rivalz's spirit, that sudden flush and grin that made his feelings as painfully obvious as the dangers of approaching a shark after you've just gotten a papercut. "Now say your lines!"
He sighed, his will to oppose this insanity fading.
"… Yar. Hand over yer treasure, ya scurvy… what is this? That doesn't even make sense!"
Peering over at his script, Suzaku supplied a helpful interpretation. "Land-leeching crow fodder."
Lelouch tossed the script away again.
"Yeah, forget it. I'm not doing this."
"Don't make me come back out there, Lelouch!" Milly called out again. "Or I'll- hey, I told you to hold still! Come on, I know it tickles, but hold still!"
"What is she doing back there, anyway?" Lelouch asked, glancing over at Suzaku, but it was Rivalz who answered.
"Helping Kallen get into costume," he said, and waggled his eyebrows in a manner that could only suggest that his prize pilot was enduring all manner of unbearable things at that exact moment.
"Tell me again, why are we doing this?" Lelouch muttered, resisting the urge to cradle his head in his hands and cry. He was better than that.
"Because the junior high section and grade school section are holding a fund raiser, and Milly agreed that, as the Student Council, we should help them by performing a play," Suzaku reminded him helpfully, smiling all the while.
The concerns of children aren't mine! I have a war to run, a rebellion to instigate against an empire that controls more than a third of the population of the globe! I don't have time to amuse small minded brats who eat paste!
He was Zero, for God's sake, a ruthless strategist, a cold blooded demagogue, the enemy of tyrants and ally of justice, a-
"Plus, Nunnally's the one organizing the fund raiser," Rivalz added, smirking.
-man with a raging sister complex- er… that is to say, he was a man that loved his sister very, very much, but in a way that was totally healthy and without the occasional disturbing connotation.
And if you believe that, I've got a lovely swamp to sell you.
"But why pirates?" Lelouch asked petulantly, looking decidedly annoyed. "Out of all the possibilities- Shakespeare, Faust, or any Greek tragedy… why would we let Milly write a script and have it be about pirates?"
"First of all," Milly herself interjected, sticking her head out through the door, a massive black captain's hat complete with a Jolly Roger at the center, "Because pirates are totally awesome. Secondly, we're doing a play for children, Lelouch- children don't really want to be depressed by Ophelia killing herself or Faust selling his soul to the devil or anything like that. They want to be amused, and we can't do that with complex plots and compelling drama, because they have the attention span of a fruit fly hyped up on crystal meth. And thirdly, did I mention the fact that pirates are awesome?"
"… she has a point," Suzaku offered placidly.
"But why pirates? Why not… anything more appropriate?" Lelouch asked helplessly.
"Pirates. Are. Awesome." Milly repeated, as though she were speaking to a particularly slow child. "God, Lelouch, I know you didn't exactly have the most normal of childhoods but come on, everyone loves pirates."
Normal of childhoods? I saw my mother get shot before my eyes, and then my asshole of a father had me exiled for questioning him about it! OF COURSE MY CHILDHOOD WASN'T NORMAL.
Of course, blurting that out would be akin to standing on top of the rooftop of the government building in Tokyo butt naked, holding a megaphone and shouting 'I'M LELOUCH VI BRITTANIA' at the top of his lungs, while simultaneously faxing his current address and bank account numbers straight to the Imperial Palace, complete with a letter detailing his class schedule and DNA samples.
"Are you done helping Kallen, Kaichou?" Shirley asked, before amending her words, "I mean, argggh, are you finished helping Kallen, Captain?"
Milly ruffled Shirley's hair affectionately, grinning. "Indeed I am, First Mate Shirley." Turning back towards the door, she called out, "Come on, Kallen! We're all friends here."
"… no way." Came the determined, eloquent reply.
"Aw, come on, Kallen!" Rivalz interjected. "We're all dressed the same as you, and it's all in good fun."
"I really doubt that," Kallen muttered, barely audible. "If you were dressed like me, you'd probably stay inside for the rest of your natural life."
Milly motioned over towards Suzaku, mouthing 'Go and get her'. The Lancelot's pilot hesitated for a brief moment, but finally succumbed and stepped outside into the room where Kallen was hiding out.
"What-Suzaku, wait, please, don't-"
"Sorry Kallen, Kaichou's orders," Suzaku said apologetically, and the two of them stepped out into the room.
A quiet silence followed, the kind of silence created as several thought processes grind to a halt, and everyone attempts to say something that won't trigger an ensuing firestorm that could best be described as wanton, anarchistic violence.
Rivalz whistled, and Kallen, betraying her normally placid act as a sickly young woman, shot him a glare that contained within it the force of a million suns going supernova all at once or, equivalently, Chuck Norris' roundhouse kick. If not for the fact that her cover required it, she would have found a way to kill Rivalz using the plastic sword at her belt, logic be damned.
"Uh… Kallen-san… what are you wearing?" Nina mumbled hesitantly, the only member of the Student Council not in pirate costume, as she was their designated technical support (and nobody would really feel threatened by a stick thin, pale as driven snow girl with glasses for a pirate).
"She's a sea-wench!" Milly explained cheerfully, wrapping her arm around the redhead's shoulders, seemingly heedless of the barely contained violence held in check beneath the poorly concealed act of a weak willed woman.
Lelouch arched a single eyebrow. The costume in question was less of a dress and more of strategically placed ruby red cloth that basically started below the shoulders, exposing enough cleavage to turn a dead man's head, and ended halfway down her thigh, revealing endlessly long legs that he knew belied their immense strength, and opened up expansively at her midsection to reveal a toned stomach that most girls he knew would kill for.
It was, to be frank, a dress that wantonly skipped over the line of 'decency', dashed past 'suggestive' while it wasn't looking, and sucker punched 'sultry' in order to make itself decidedly, and unabashedly, scandalous.
Kallen seemed to realize he was so pointedly staring at her, flushed, and muttered, "Oi… d-don't look at me like that."
"Aw, I think Lelouch approves!" Milly exclaimed (in the background, Shirley self-consciously tugged at her more masculine clothing with a frown), and pushed the redhead towards him with reckless abandon. "That's good, because you two are our lead roles!"
Lelouch was so distracted by her statement that he forgot that a certain redhead had been pushed at him, resulting in her crashing into his chest like bull, if that bull was a schoolgirl turned mecha pilot/terrorist with red hair. They slammed into the wall with the remaining force, because Lelouch's arms had about as much strength behind them as wet paper and were not going to be able to hold them both up after that collision.
"Sorry," Kallen said in her best 'meek' voice, extricating herself from the entanglement hastily. She glanced up, and flushed slightly, realizing her face was inches from his own, a blush reciprocated on Lelouch's own countenance.
"See, you two are already getting along great!" Milly declared, grinning wildly. "Now read your lines."
"Kaichou, you're asking a bit much, I think, Kallen just got into costume, after all," Lelouch said, smoothing out his shirt. "We should give her time to read her lines and practice them."
"Are you saying that you, of all people, cannot act well enough to help poor Kallen through her first read through?" Milly challenged, a smirk playing on her lips.
His hackles rose. "I'll have you know I am a magnificent actor," he hissed.
I've acted my way through the past seven years as a normal, brilliant, and not to mention handsome student, and then acted my way into commanding a ragtag army of freedom fighters against the empire I once stood in line to rule. I am the goddamn Ubermensch of actors!
Of course, once again saying anything like this would be the equivalent of the very colorful and naked metaphor I already painted for you earlier.
Roughly, with a hint of Zero in his tone, he barked, "Kallen! Let's read our lines." Flipping through the script, he came to a stop at a scene they shared together. "Here. The second scene of the second act.
If he had been in a less ranting state of mind, he might have remembered he hadn't yet read that far ahead into the script, and he also would have noticed the widening of Milly's eyes and the sudden, dangerous grin on her face.
As it was, he simply began reading.
"Argh, ye be a siren upon my heart, fair maiden, like brine on me britches," Lelouch read slowly, and flicked a glance over at Milly. "Wait, Kaichou. Your writing makes no sense. 'Brine on me britches'?"
"My writing is great! Suzaku, Rivalz, and Shirley seem to like it!" Milly refuted, giving him a severe look before she glanced towards her minions- er, loyal comrades on the council. "Isn't that right guys?"
Shirley was still trying to figure out how to make her pirate costume sexier. Rivalz nodded along like the poor little love drunk lapdog he was. Suzaku, being Suzaku, just nodded because it seemed to make sense.
"See?" she said defiantly. "Now get on with it!"
Lelouch sighed. I can't kill Milly. She's a dear friend and a good person. He had written it down somewhere, and it had to be true. So he couldn't. No matter how much he wanted to.
"It's my line now, right?" Kallen asked softly, and after he nodded, she read slowly, woodenly, "Arggh, you… sexy man beast? Kaichou, what the-"
"Next time, you can write the script, but just get on with it for now, would you!" Milly said impatiently.
Kallen shut her eyes tightly.
I musn't run away. I musn't run away. I musn't run away.
Slowly, she began to speak again, trying her best to ignore what exactly she was saying.
"You sexy man beast… take me," she said to Lelouch. "Ravish me here, you- WHAT THE HELL-"
Milly, having written the script and thus knowing exactly what was being said, had the good sense to duck as the booklet came rocketing at her face. "What, I was inspired!" she said, shrugging.
"Kaichou, I thought this was for children," Suzaku pointed out, frowning.
The student council president gave him a winning grin. "Oh, well, this is the special second act, which is only available to those eighteen and up. The first act is for everyone, but this part gets a little steamy, so we'll only have one showing, late at night after the fundraiser."
Lelouch read ahead of the page he was currently reading from, praying that line would be the worst of it.
"You okay Lelouch?" Rivalz asked concernedly, peering over his friend. "You look like someone just told you your cat just died."
This is so stupid, Kallen complained irritably, and she hated the fact that she had to conceal her irritation because Lelouch was still in the room.
It was just the two of them, who had been elected to clean up in the aftermath of their disastrous attempt at rehearsing for what was obviously doomed to be the worst play in the history of fundraisers, or the history of theater, for that matter.
"You seem upset," Lelouch commented airily, straightening out one of the costumes as he placed it on the hangar rack.
"What?" Kallen blinked, before reverting to her meekest tone, "Oh, no. It's just… embarrassing."
"To have a romance scene with me?" he asked, voice playful. It was embarrassing to him to do those things in front of others, but with just Kallen, it might be entertaining.
She flushed. This was just what she needed. A stupid, amorous Brittanian trying to flirt with her.
"I'm just not comfortable with such things, I suppose," Kallen said modestly, ducking her head.
"Well, we should practice then, with acting out a romance between us," Lelouch suggested suddenly, turning towards her with a wide grin. "For the children, of course," he added, as an afterthought.
"Oh, well, I really don't think-"
"Your eyes, they be pretty as the summer morning sea," he interrupted, a smirk playing at the corners of his lips. "Come with me, pretty maid, across the sea."
Kallen scowled, but immediately hid it away, hating this weak girl persona she created more and more. I'm going to kill him.
"Hold me to your ample bosom and sing to me of the stars."
It would be so easy. There are no witnesses around. I could just break his scrawny little neck and nobody would ever suspect a thing.
"Let us make love beneath the winter sky, and the gods themselves will be jealous of our passion."
That's it. I swear to God. I'm going to bury him in the gardens and apologize to Nunnally later.
Her murderous thoughts were interrupted, however, as a light touch brushed against her cheek, and she suddenly realized Lelouch was looming over her, a soft smile on his face, his handsome features glowing in the effulgence of the twilight behind them.
Kallen's throat went dry, and an uncomfortable warmth pooled in her stomach.
"Would it be so bad, to pretend we were in love?" he asked, tracing the edges of her chin with his finger slowly, without a trace of teasing.
"I… I… I have to go," Kallen blurted out, and fled the room faster than you could say 'sexual tension'.
Lelouch chuckled. I'm not so bad at this romance stuff, he thought amusedly, pretending his fingers didn't still feel that slight electric tingle from when they touched Kallen's cheek.
"Onii-sama, welcome home," Nunnally said cheerfully.
"I'm back," Lelouch said in greeting, smiling. "I'm sorry I'm late. I was busy practicing for the play we're putting on."
"You're putting on a play?" she glanced over at him, sounding excited. "What for?"
Lelouch frowned, tilting his head to the side quizzically. "Why for your fund raiser, of course. Milly offered for us to do a play to help you out."
"… Onii-sama, our fund raiser was last week."