A bit of a continuation on "We Missed You." Written for my bb, Lewdness (u846073).
From the Edge
When his eyes opened, everything was white. All over. Rolo had never seen so much white before, not even when he was surrounded by white coats and faceless men. But this place… so much white and everything seemed so soft. He had to pause, swallowing as he tried to remember what had happened.
First, had been the attack on Lelouch by the Black Knights. Rolo had stepped in, stealing his brother's Shinkirou and using it to move into the line of fire to protect him. What followed was now a blur of lights, sound, and pain in his chest. But Lelouch had been saved and he had…
Rolo had died. He remembered now. The last words, the final gift he had given his "brother," the soft and gentle smile on the Britannian Prince's face as Rolo's eyes had closed.
Then… the place he was now… Rolo blinked again, brows furrowing as he tried to recall the location. White and soft and clouds and endless blue sky.
Before the conclusion could dawn on him, a soft voice entered his train of thought. "I've been waiting for you…" it murmured, light and gentle. The voice of a girl. Turning, Rolo's eyes took in the sight of a beautiful young woman with familiar pink hair. The hair of a woman known mostly for one of the worst crimes in history. The hair of Euphemia li Britannia.
Rolo's mouth opened in surprise, and he backed away, only then noticing the new weight on his shoulders. He glanced over them, and violet eyes widened to see a large pair of wings that had never been there before. "Am I--"
"Mm!" Euphemia replied cheerfully, her eyes glittering with a light that Rolo didn't understand. Why was she so happy? Was this…
"I don't belong here," he replied, continuing to frown as long and callused fingers plucked at the new wings. They twitched slightly, as if sensing his irritation and moving with it. He almost wanted to continue with "and you don't either."
"Are you sure about that?" The woman he knew as the Massacre Princess rocked back and forth on her feet, the small smile never leaving her lips. He took the moment to look her over, noting the simple white sundress and the wings that were similar to his own.
"I'm not…" Pausing, Rolo looked away. By what he had learned about Heaven, and what most people's expectations of it were, it seemed he never would've been the type to be accepted. He killed, lied, stole, and had committed numerous other crimes as part of his life within the Cult and later as the brother and confidant of the man known as Zero. While he had never followed any certain form of morality, what he had read as a student at Ashford led him to believe that what he knew to be right and wrong may not have been what most believed. And Heaven was no place for murderers.
Then, why was the Massacre Princess "here" as well? Was it some sort of dream? Was the last of his brain functions misguiding him as they shut down?
Euphemia continued to rock back and forth on her heels, fingers twirling in a strand of fuchsia hair. "It wasn't fair to you, you know. It wasn't your fault you had to do those things. You didn't know."
"You don't know anything about me!" Rolo tried to retort angrily. But even as he spoke, the anger melted away and he couldn't find the will to stay angry at her. As if something was preventing him.
"Uh uh~" Her voice remained light, gentle, caring as she folded her knees under her and sat next to him on the buoyant surface. "I get to see a lot of things here! Some of it's kind of sad though. Poor Lelouch… I wish he hadn't chosen that path…" A slight pang of hurt crossed her features for a moment before being replaced by a comforting smile. "You did a very wonderful thing for him, you know. Something that no one else would've been able to do."
Rolo's gaze shifted to the soft floor, his fingers tugging at the feathers again. "I couldn't just let him…"
"Mm, and that's why it's a good thing. It's also why you're here. You're not a bad person, per say. Just… misguided. And you made the right choice in the end." The princess' smile brightened, and she reached out to brush her fingers along his shoulder. He jolted, leaning away from the touch and gave her a glare.
"What about… Why are you here? You were the one that…"
The bright smile faded, and Rolo almost felt remorse for the words that had escaped him. But she was the Massacre Princess, he told himself. She had ordered the deaths of all those innocent people. She had--
"You know how our brother does things," she replied, her tone regretful. "Lelouch is able to… And I never knew at the time. I don't think he even meant to, but he couldn't…"
Rolo's eyes widened with realization. That power… That dangerous, deadly, and terrible power. The one that he had held, in his own way, and had led to his death. The one that made Lelouch capable of performing the miracles that no man could. The one that had…
Swallowing, Rolo lifted his gaze to meet Euphemia's, the frown not yet fading. "You were… He used that on you?"
"It was an accident," she replied sadly.
A soft noise of astonishment escaped Rolo and he was torn. On one hand was the strong feelings he had for his brother, despite all the lies and how much Lelouch sought to harm him. It was the side that told him that he knew everything about his brother. Understood his methods, his decisions, and his resolve. But that other hand was weighed down with the confusion regarding what Lelouch sometimes did and why. It was the side that was truthful and told him that he did not know everything about Lelouch. That he had been used--the one that had been his ally through everything, even death. While this pretty little thing with a throat that part of Rolo could tell would be so easy to slice through, was a person that Lelouch probably truly loved, and had never meant to hurt in such a horrific way.
It had made him feel better to think that Lelouch was the type of person to use his true siblings too. It made Rolo part of them, in a way, and still entirely on his own…
With a soft noise caught somewhere between disappointment and curiosity, Rolo pulled his knees to his chest. "Brother really…"
The princess raised a hand again, resting it gently on his shoulder but moved slower this time so not to make Rolo feel uncomfortable. Her features were molded in an expression of bittersweet happiness that Rolo could almost comprehend. "Yes. But he didn't mean to. Sometimes he does things without thinking, which--" She added with a laugh. "Is funny, considering how much Lelouch thinks. It's the same with what he told you. Lelouch never really hated you, and you know that. Right here."
Her fingers brushed over his chest, above his heart, and Rolo gave her a disconcerted glance. "This knows, doesn't it? That's why you did what you did. That's why I wanted to start the SAZ. Because we both cared about him enough to throw aside something so precious just to be with him. But Lelouch's own misjudgment is what causes those beautiful things to break."
"You shouldn't talk about him that way," Rolo murmured, not wanting to hear anymore. He didn't want to think about it. Lelouch. Lelouch. Lelouch. He didn't want to think about how he'd never see his brother again. He didn't want to think about how Lelouch's ultimate goal might mean he'd never see him again.
Euphemia only laughed softly, withdrawing her hand but not pulling away. A scent of something sweet lingered around her, like the perfume of a delicate flower that bloomed during the tentative transition between winter and spring. Strong, but easily hurt.
"Lelouch knows it too, Rolo. He knows his own mortality."
"But then I'll--!"
"Never see him again? Do you really believe that?'
Rolo's mouth opened and closed, and he was questioning everything he ever knew all over again. If he was here, then maybe…
"He's actually due in a few minutes." Euphemia's hand swept at the floor, pushing aside air and softness to reveal a scene below at a viewpoint only they could have. She pointed, and Rolo's eyes followed her finger to what was taking place.
His brother was standing firm, dressed elegantly and as regal as he ever was, if not more so due to his new attire. Emperor of the world. Rolo almost smiled, but the joyous emotion rising in his chest disappeared when he saw a man in a mask running towards his brother.
That mask. That god damn mask. Why was another man wearing it? Why was he running in a way he knew that Lelouch never could. And why, god, why was Lelouch smiling even as the man drawing nearer wielded a sword.
"Suzaku never did finish school like he promised me," sighed Euphemia from beside him. Rolo almost tore his gaze away from the vision, but could not bring himself to move, only gasp as the sword's edge was forced through his brother's chest.
And someone was screaming. Someone was screaming. Rolo wanted them to stop. He wanted to make them stop. But the screams were not just of the young girl--he had hated her too, he hated her, he had wanted to be her--chained below him, grieving as she watched her brother die, but his own as well. He was the one screaming, even as Euphemia's arms surrounded him.
"He's not supposed to-- He shouldn't have-- Why did he--"
Rolo shook, clutching at the cloth of Euphemia's dress, disregarding everything as he was consumed by his grief, his confusion, his distress. He barely registered the soft murmurs of reassurance that the princess whispered in his ear.
"He had to. You know why. He had to…"
But she was crying too. Rolo could feel the moisture mingling with his own, as their tears coursed down their cheeks. He pulled away, his own tears pausing only because he was so confused. "What does this mean?" he whispered brokenly.
Euphemia swallowed, raising a gentle hand to wipe away the tears from her eyes and then from Rolo's. She was still crying, though, as a sad smile made its way onto her lips.
"It's what he's been fighting for, isn't it? Look."
They both looked back down at the scene again as it shifted and changed, moments and time passing at a faster rate than Rolo once could control. There was peace. And happiness. Joy in the form of a beautiful Empress, bound to a chair, but with eyes so gorgeous and a soul so pure, some swore she was an angel. She was beautiful, perfect, strong, even as her brother was forever known as the Demon.
There was the Prime Minister, bumbling and sometimes unsure of himself, but never wavering in how he felt about his homeland and the need for security for his people.
The warrior that had pretended to be a student but was once again, living on just as she had been told to.
And the man, never known and never really understood save for the few people who knew what face was hidden behind the mask. Doomed to carry the burdens of the world just as his best friend once did.
It was the gentle world Lelouch had sworn to create, but he could be no part of it. And that meant…
At the sound of his name coming from the voice that he knew so well, Rolo turned. Beside him, Euphemia was holding out his arms, beckoning Lelouch to join them. The look on the former Emperor's face, something caught between joy and fear, was almost enough to bring laughter to Rolo's lips. And before he could stop himself, Rolo was pushing up onto his feet and stumbling into his brother. Very soon after, the arms of the princess wrapped around them both.
"Welcome home, Lelouch."
Baw, sad fic. I don't even know where it came from... anyway. Thoughts?