Serena: Well, this is it, everyone. This is the final chapter of the story…[sniffles] Oh, I promised myself that I wouldn't cry!! [flees]
Suzaku: o.0 W-Wait!! You have to--never mind. I'll do it. [clears his throat] Like Serena was saying, this is the final chapter of the story. And there is actually going to be real SuzaLulu!! Took her long enough. I mean, how mean can she be to keep me separated from my Lulu like that!! Anyway, she sincerely hopes that the ending turned out okay. I like it, but what is it that people say? Writers are their own worst critiques? Ah, something like that. Anyway, enjoy the final chapter!!!
Warnings: AU. SuzaLulu and a mention of LloydxCecile. A continuation of my "Nightmare" self challenge. Curse words are used. Very vague hints at child abuse and drug use. Since no one has asked me to up the rating, I will quit asking. XD
I would like to thank the following people for reviewing: Asami-chan37, iceley11, depewcampbell, Patet, NeverEverStar, Tainted Ink And Paper, Blackrose2005, Altair718, Spunkay Skunk, nachan, TheLadyPendragon, Syaoran's Sakura, bubbleheadz, Anon., LookingForMeaning, Mizuki-sempai, blood lust 43110, animelover12, Cool Moon, Shinigami996890!
Special thanks go to Wynster McG for all the wonderful scientific information! It was amazingly useful. x3
Summary: Suzaku's best friend, Lelouch Lamperouge, overdosed on a bottle of sleeping pills and died. The day after the funeral, he sent Suzaku an e-mail. // "You don't have to be alone anymore…because I'm here for you. And I always will be."
Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass. Story and story title inspired by the song Hello by Poe and by Serial Experiments Lain. Also, credit goes to The Solar Being for giving me the idea for the Zodiac part…which didn't turn out that great. The mythology and drug parts were retrieved from Wikipedia.
Title: Disconnected Modem
Final Transmission: I'll Tell You Exactly What You Mean Here
By: Serena the Hikari of Love
The figure let the dagger fall from their hand as it suddenly began to sizzle. It clattered against the concrete loudly and the smell of burning metal filled the small area rather quickly. The areas of the dagger that had been covered in the creature's murky red blood began to disappear as if it had been touched by Euphemia's acid. The figure did not seem to care that their weapon was being devoured by the creature's blood. Rather, they sighed in an almost bored fashion and raised their arms above their head in a stretch.
"He said you could be rather dense at times, but to think that you're actually this stupid…"
Suzaku bristled at the accusation and sent a small glare at the figure, momentarily forgetting that he had been saved by this person.
The figure had long lime strands of hair bundled up under a cream-colored beret and she held a pair of amber jewels that infuriated Suzaku with their casual disregard. A purple shirt and tan short jacket adorned her torso while a white skirt and black and purple leggings covered her legs. Hanging around her waist was a cream-colored belt with a pouch attached, the contents of which were probably dangerous--considering she had held a dagger in her hands only a few seconds ago.
"I don't believe you have the right to judge someone you've never even met." he stated sharply.
This girl had no right to damn his I.Q. as if she knew him. That right was reserved for one person and one person only. How dare she--hold on. She said the word "he". Could she mean…?
"What do you mean by 'he'?" he asked her. "Are you talking about-"
"-Lelouch?" the girl finished for him with a slight rolling of her eyes. "Who else?"
The girl reached up and pulled her beret off, her flowing tresses gracefully falling around her as she shook her head.
"Ahhh." she sighed, a hand running through her hair. "It feels good to let my hair down."
"Who are you?" Suzaku demanded.
The girl clicked her tongue, displeased by his rudeness. She set the beret upon her head and placed one hand against her hip.
"If that's the kind of attitude you're going to have after I saved your sorry ass, then fine." she stated, her cat-like amber eyes set in a glare.
She turned on her heel, her lime strands flying around her as she moved.
"I can just tell him that you were eaten by that data bug." she said as she took a few steps away. "Then he can cry over you and I can eat a pizza."
This girl was incredibly infuriating and he wanted nothing to do with her, but he could not allow her to tell Lelouch such a lie, to make him shed tears for someone who was not worth them. He had come this far to find Lelouch and had actually managed to find a link to reach him--despite it being an accident. He was so close and if he let this girl slip away, he would lose the one key that had been mercifully given to him and he would lose Lelouch all over again.
"Wait!" Suzaku called out.
The girl paused in her movements as Suzaku ran a few paces towards her. She turned slightly and waited for him to continue.
"Look, I'm sorry." he began in a forced apologetic tone. "Thank you for saving me."
"…go on." the girl said, gesturing for him to continue.
"I'm just worried for Lelouch and I really want to find him." he continued. "Please take me to him. I'll give you whatever you want in return. Just…please…"
It took an awful lot of effort for Suzaku to say that to her. His pride took a rather nasty blow, but if reciting apologies that he did not mean or making promises that he did not want to fulfill led him to Lelouch…then so be it.
The girl remained silent a moment, but the twinkling in her eyes let Suzaku know that she was amused.
He wished that he could taste cigarettes within the Wired.
Because he needed one now, damn it.
The girl hmphed and began to move forward again.
"Alright. I'll take you to him." she consented. "Just follow me, boku. My name is C.C., by the way."
C.C. threw her arms out and gracefully twirled around in the center of a tall bookcase ring.
"Welcome to our home!" she proclaimed in a surprisingly pleasant voice.
The sudden shift in her personality confused him and made him blink in awe. He was unaware that she was even capable of producing such a vocal tone. Her voice may have carried the gentle tone of an angel's and her soft features may have given her a porcelain doll appearance, but this girl was a deceiver. Her appearance betrayed her inner self, her true nature.
And that was of an inconceivably rude and infuriating little witch.
But…perhaps his judgment of her was off base. Right here, at this very moment, she seemed almost cheerful. An almost unidentifiable smile was gracing her supple lips and there was a twinkle of mirth in her eyes.
What was that saying? Never judge a book by its cover?
Suzaku supposed that he had not followed that advice very well and felt a twinge of guilt. Who was he to judge this girl simply because she came off as rude and uncaring? He did not know her or the things she had dealt with in her life. Perhaps she had had a reason for acting in such a cold manner before. Maybe she just needed some sort of assurance that he would not harm her.
As her twirl came to an end and she faced him once more, her invisible smile disappeared and she lost the twinkle in her eyes.
Or maybe she was just screwing with his head.
"Your friend is over there." she stated, a hand gesturing in the direction of a dark aisle of books. "Follow the librarian. She will lead you to him."
She turned on her heel, that long hair of hers flying around her.
"Best of luck to you, boku." she called back to him as she slowly began to disappear into the darkness of the library.
Suzaku took a step forward, his mouth opening in preparation of telling her to "wait" once again.
This library was a vast sea of knowledge that had accumulated throughout the years, some of it forgotten and some of it probably still in use. There was no clear way of knowing the true size of it, but just the thought of making one wrong turn or bumping into one wrong scrap of data made him shiver.
What if he ran into another data bug that was of the same species as that blob creature?
Or what if he found…something worse?
C.C. saved him last time, but Suzaku was not fool enough to believe in a repeat performance from her. If he bumped into something nasty, he was on his own. He had no weapons capable of killing such dangerous creatures and fighting them with nothing but his fists was not the best of ideas. He had seen what had happened to C.C.'s dagger.
Imagine the same thing happening to his skin.
He imagined that it would hurt, but would it? Could he feel pain here in the Wired?
The company in charge of the Wired guaranteed their users' safety. They claimed that it was perfectly safe. As it said in the manual: "The procedure used to access the Wired is 100% safe. Users do not feel any pain and cannot come to any harm during their visits to the Wired's servers."
But what about earlier? He had smelled the burning metal of C.C.'s dagger. The only senses that were supposed to be used within the Wired were sight and sound. Although, he had not felt the scrape of flesh against brick when he had punched that brick wall earlier…so maybe he had imagined the smell?
He shook his head and his mouth closed as he watched C.C. merge into the library's dark abyss.
He would be alright. Dumb luck had brought him this far and if he could make it here, then he could make it to Lelouch.
'I have to. I…I need him.'
Suzaku could not explain the feelings that flowed through him whenever he thought of Lelouch. All he knew was that he felt this intense need to protect him and this overwhelming urge to make him happy. He needed to be by his side, for Lelouch to be by his side. For always and always.
Suzaku turned to face the creeping darkness of the aisle C.C. had gestured to and began to walk.
C.C. had mentioned that a librarian would help him reach Lelouch. The mysterious girl had not said where she would be or even if Suzaku would ever find her. She had only said that this librarian would take him to Lelouch. He was not that fond of C.C., but she had rescued him and in her own way, she really was trying to help.
As he gradually disappeared into the darkness of the aisle, he figured that he really had no choice but to trust this girl he barely knew.
Only his Lelouch would become friends with such an infuriating person, after all.
He was nervous in all sorts of ways.
His elegant eyebrows were furrowed and his lovely gems were filled with a fear that would surprise many to see. His delicate hands were constantly moving, wringing each other and fumbling with books that he could never seem to read more than a few words of.
The books were mocking him, their words dissolving into horrific portrayals of events that he did not want to happen.
Acid eating away at slightly tanned skin until the veins and bones underneath were slowly being devoured as well.
Perfectly toned limbs being torn apart by vicious globs of pulsating red.
And the screams that he imagined.
Oh God, no.
It made his insides writhe and made wetness gather in his eyes. His head was spinning and he felt so sick.
'Why?…why didn't he listen to me?!'
His eyes narrowed and a hand moved to his cheek to wipe away the water that was trickling down them.
"You fucking idiot. I hate you!" he muttered, his sleeve gradually becoming wet as he furiously tried to stop the flowing of water running down his face. "Why don't you ever listen to me?!"
He never once heard the footsteps that neared him or the sharp intake of breath that disturbed the silence of the peaceful area.
So he had no idea that he was not alone.
"Because I'm stubborn."
"You must be Suzaku."
That sudden voice had startled the brunet, making his heart give a sudden lurch in fear.
He had been walking through the dark aisle that C.C. had gestured down and he had been walking for such a long time--it seemed like a long time anyway. His eyes had adjusted themselves to the darkness, but it was still quite hard to see and it was so very quiet, only the sound of his own footsteps echoing against the marble flooring. The eerie similarity to his arrival in Yggdrasil had not escaped him. The dead silence had set his nerves on edge and had put him into a state of constant alert.
He had listened and listened for any extra noise that his ears could catch--he listened so very, very hard.
But he had heard nothing.
The silence made him paranoid. He had continuously glanced over his shoulder and had kept a wary eye on the various books surrounding him, as if some gruesome apparition were going to suddenly materialize and drag him away.
But nothing had appeared and he had started to relax a bit.
Then that voice had drifted through the darkness, along with a small light.
A curvy figure dressed in a navy blue business dress glided out from around the now visible corner of one bookshelf. She held a small candle in her hands and her lips were held up into a kind smile that made her icy blue eyes shine with love. She seemed so calm and motherly that it took Suzaku by surprise. He had been expecting to meet someone with C.C.'s manners. This was actually a nice surprise.
Was this motherly azure-haired woman the librarian that C.C. spoke of?
"Oh my, I did not mean to startle you!" she said, her lips turning downward slightly.
Her eyes acted accordingly and morphed from the love-filled shine to a concern-coated glaze.
"Y-You just surprised me a little. I was not expecting to see someone so soon." Suzaku explained, trying to alleviate the woman's concerns.
The woman's eyes brightened and her smile returned.
"Oh, I see. Well, it is very quite here." she said. "Oh, yes! My name is Cecile Asplund and I oversee this library. It is very nice to meet you, Suzaku."
The name pulled at a thin thread of his memory. He had heard it before, had met someone with that same name.
Lloyd Asplund, the coroner who performed Lelouch's autopsy.
Was Cecile related to him? She looked nothing like him, but there were many people who looked nothing like their family members. So just because she did not look like him did not mean that they weren't related in some way.
Perhaps she was Lloyd's wife?
"Let's just say that I know the feeling."
When Lloyd said that he knew the feeling, was Cecile who he meant?
Suzaku wanted to ask Cecile about it, but he felt a little strange about asking her something so personal.
"Who are you searching for?" Cecile asked.
"Oh…ah, his name is Lelouch Lamperouge." Suzaku answered.
"Ah, my little library regular!" Cecile exclaimed, giggling slightly. "I saw him just a moment ago. He seemed upset for some reason, but he would not tell me anything."
Suzaku frowned and his eyebrows knit together.
Lelouch was…upset? Why? Did someone hurt him?!
'Or maybe he knows I came here.' the brunet mused. 'He specifically told me not to come, but I did anyway. He would become upset over something like that.'
Cecile turned slightly and beckoned for him to follow her.
"He is not far. Please, follow me."
Suzaku trailed after her without another word. She led him through a few sets of bookcases and it really did not take long for the two to reach an opening within the book labyrinth.
And that was where Suzaku had to pause and take a sharp intake of breath.
He did not hear the beginning of the other's mumbled words, only managing to catch the end of it.
"Why don't you ever listen to me?!"
Suzaku answered without thinking.
"Because I'm stubborn."
Arthur mewled and pawed at Suzaku's leg, trying to gain the human's attention. When that did not work, he tried mewling louder and tried hopping into the brunet's lap.
He received no response.
Arthur blinked up at his master's human and his tail curled around his body.
It had been a while since he had last heard the brunet speak and he was beginning to wonder.
"Lelouch…" Suzaku murmured, taking a step forward.
Lelouch turned, his amethyst eyes still watery from the tears he had failed to finish wiping away.
After seeing that sight, Suzaku wasted no time in closing the distance between them and wrapped his friend up into a tight hug.
"Lelouch…i-it's really you this time, right?" he asked, burying his face into the crook of Lelouch's neck. "Y-You're not another ghost, are you?
He was praying that this thin figure wrapped in his arms was real, hoping that this was really his Lelouch. He felt warm liquid welling up within his eyes and promptly shut them.
"S-Suzaku…" Lelouch murmured, his arms snaking around Suzaku's back. "y-you idiot. I told you not to come, but you came anyway."
Lelouch's fingers gripped the fabric of Suzaku's jacket as he leaned closer.
"Do you have any idea how worried I've been?" he asked, causing Suzaku's lips to pull into a small smile.
Any doubts that he had before were gone now.
This was his Lelouch. He had finally found him.
Cecile smiled at the endearing sight. She was happy for the two, happy that they could be reunited. She turned and quietly glided away to give the two their much needed privacy.
Perhaps one day, she could have such a reunion with her dear eccentric husband. It was something she dreamed of quite often.
Arthur was beginning to wonder if the brunet had finally found what he was looking for. But if that was the case, then his time here was coming to an end.
And the feline could feel that this was so.
"Do you have any idea how much I missed you?" Suzaku asked, pulling back from the hug enough to face Lelouch. "I lost my entire stash of cigarettes because of you."
"You and your nicotine." Lelouch mumbled in disapproval.
He brought a hand around to flick Suzaku against his forehead.
Lelouch's eyes widened.
"Y-You felt that?" he asked incredulously.
It was the tone that his voice carried that caused Suzaku to worry.
Arthur jumped down from Suzaku's lap and began to make his way toward the front door, but he paused and turned his head to look back.
He knew he should not feel sad, but the feeling still came all the same.
Suzaku tried to shake of the feeling that came to him. It was that same ominous feeling that had continuously haunted him throughout his visit to the Wired. He had no reason to feel it, though. He had finally found his darling Lelouch and now everything could be set right.
"You're making it sound like a bad thing and it's not." Suzaku said, worry beginning to shine within his eyes. "Right?"
Lelouch's eyes narrowed slightly and he turned his head away.
"Right, Lelouch?" Suzaku repeated, his concern only growing.
"No, Suzaku." Lelouch answered quietly. "It is bad. Y-You're integrating too closely with the Wired."
He was…integrating too closely? What did Lelouch mean by that?
Lelouch shook his head and pushed away from the brunet.
"No. You--I cannot let this happen to you, too!" Lelouch exclaimed.
"Let what happen?" Suzaku asked, following after Lelouch as he started walking away. "Lelouch, where are you going?!"
Lelouch rushed over to a set of thick dark-colored tomes and he quickly scanned the titles in search of something.
"There may still be a chance to get you out of here before you integrate completely." Lelouch stated, his eyes brightening as they read the printed words he was looking for.
He reached out a hand, preparing to snatch the book out of its place.
But Suzaku's hand darted out and grabbed his arm.
Suzaku silenced him.
And Lelouch's eyes widened in surprise.
Suzaku and Lelouch had each other now and that is how it would always be. Arthur knew this, but still…goodbyes were hard.
Suzaku pulled away and took satisfaction in the flustered appearance Lelouch had adopted.
"Now, tell me what it is that you are fretting over."
Lelouch blinked, his cheeks ablaze with hues of pink. He wanted to question Suzaku's…silencing method, but decided to save it until after he had explained his worries.
"W-Well," Lelouch began as he tried to compose himself. "normally when a user integrates with the Wired, they only merge with the system by a certain percentage. I would guess about 75% of a user's consciousness merges with the system, but there are some cases in which a user integrates too much of their consciousness with the Wired and they cannot separate from the system."
"Then…all those comatose victims you mentioned in your e-mail…"
Lelouch nodded, his expression turning grim.
"They all merged within the system completely." he stated in confirmation. "The experiments that the government was conducting were to see how far a human could dive into the system. In every experiment, the user lost consciousness after reaching 100% of system integration. They knew how dangerous it was to use this system…but they never told anyone. They don't care about the people they govern."
'So I'm…stuck here?'
So that was why he had been able to smell the burning metal of C.C.'s dagger and why he had felt the thump Lelouch had aimed at his forehead. That must also be why he could not logout earlier. He was becoming one with the system…just like so many others had.
But is that what had happened to Lelouch?
"What about you?" Suzaku asked. "Is that what happened to you?"
Lelouch nodded his head again.
"Yes. I was accessing the system when…well, you know." he muttered. "And I meant what I said in the e-mail. I really am sorry that I left like that."
'But it wasn't your fault.'
Despite what Lelouch said, Suzaku still did not believe that Lelouch had actually killed himself. He had thought about the subject for a long time and had reached the conclusion that Charles had had a hand in Lelouch's death.
And after his talk with Lloyd, that belief had only grown.
It may be that Lelouch had been given extra pills without his knowledge and the only way Suzaku could think of was that Charles had either spiked Lelouch's drink or food with crushed up sleeping pills.
Charles had never tried to poison Lelouch before. The man wasn't the type to use such a sneaky method like that when he could just harm someone the normal way. (If Charles had tried something so underhanded, then Lelouch never told him of it.)
Perhaps Lelouch had been fixing himself a glass of water or juice and had stepped away to feed Arthur. Arthur's food dish was located in Lelouch's room--Lelouch did not trust Charles with Arthur in any way. It would have been very easy for Charles to slip a handful of crushed up pills into Lelouch's drink, stir it, and then dart out of the kitchen before Lelouch returned.
That was just one scenario that could have happened, but whatever had happened, Suzaku was sure that Lelouch was not at fault for his own death.
"Lelouch…you seem to think that you killed yourself, but I just do not believe that." Suzaku stated firmly, his eyes flaring up in hatred for the man who had hurt his friend.
Lelouch blinked, a confused shine coating his eyes.
"What are you talking about?" he asked. "I took a few extra pills when I shouldn't have. I thought I would be okay, but then I just got so drowsy and--"
"Think, Lelouch." Suzaku insisted, shaking his head at the explanation. "Did you eat or drink anything that tasted off to you?"
Lelouch frowned and thought for a moment.
He remembered eating something before he retired to his room. He remembered it being rather murky and red…and it had tasted somewhat funny, but he had ignored it.
"Tomato soup." he said suddenly, remembering the food he had eaten. "I remember eating that before I took the pills. It did taste a little strange…sort of chalky…but I was not feeling too well at the time so I never thought much about it."
"That bastard." Suzaku seethed, causing Lelouch to stare at him in alarm. "I knew it!"
Lloyd had said that there was an abnormally large amount of benzodiazepine within Lelouch's system. Considering how many pills Lelouch had taken, that was normal.
But Lelouch said it himself, he only took a few extra pills. He thought he would be fine.
"Lelouch, you need to know this. Your father fed you extra pills without you ever realizing it." Suzaku told the other.
Lloyd had also made an odd comment about Lelouch being strangely drowsy before his supposed overdose. If Lelouch had not needed any pills, why take more? The likeliest possibility was that the pills Charles had slipped him had made it uncharacteristically hard for him to think correctly; therefore, he had not been in his right mind when taking the pills afterward.
Lelouch's eyebrows knit together.
Suzaku's eyes dimmed and he pulled the boy into a gentle hug.
"That soup you ate. You said it tasted sort of chalky, right? I think he crushed some of your pills up and threw them in there." he responded, reaching up to run a hand through Lelouch's silky head of hair.
Lelouch was at a loss for words. It had never occurred to him that his father would do such a thing. Sure, the man did many other cruel things to him throughout his life, but to think that he would actually--?
'No. I don't want to think about it.' he thought, putting a halt to the thoughts of his father.
He buried his head into Suzaku's chest and tried to focus onto something else.
Suzaku was here now and that safe feeling that he always felt whenever the other was around him was here, too. The other male made him feel safe and loved. Even if his feelings were not returned, this is what he would focus on. This and nothing else.
Just as he always did.
"I've had a lot of time to think about this, Lelouch." Suzaku began after a few moments of silence. "I've thought about what would happen if I ever found you and I've thought about the reasons why I like being around you so much."
"And I realized that if I ever found you, I would stay with you."
Lelouch pulled away from the other and sent him a questioning look. He opened his mouth to speak, but his rosy lips were covered up by Suzaku's yet again and he was effectively silenced. It lasted only a brief moment, but that moment was enough to send a pleasant tingle throughout Lelouch's body.
Suzaku pulled away again, barely an inch separating his lips from the other's.
"You've always been the type that keeps to himself." Suzaku continued. "And you've always tried to deal with things on your own when you didn't have to."
Suzaku tilted his head to place a little kiss against Lelouch's forehead.
"But I won't allow you to be alone anymore, Lelouch." Suzaku said, placing a kiss against Lelouch's nose. "I did not allow it in life and I refuse allow it in death."
His hold on Lelouch tightened as he hugged the boy closer to his chest.
"You don't have to be alone anymore…because I'm here for you." Suzaku breathed at last. "And I always will be. I love you too, you know."
Suzaku initiated another lip lock, but this one lasted for a much longer time than the others had.
Lelouch was never happier than he was upon realizing that his feelings were returned.
And Suzaku shared that feeling as well.
Content with the knowledge that he had fulfilled his purpose--his final unfinished desire for his master to find happiness--, Arthur turned away from the unresponsive human behind him.
The body behind him would never utter another word within this world for as long as it existed and no doctor or specialized surgeon that existed would ever be able to change that.
In the months to come, that body would eventually be taken off life-support after a doctor had confirmed to the family that had taken responsibility over the body that the brain was dead. The family would grieve for the loss of yet another loved one and would bury him next to the only person in the world that he had ever fallen in love with.
A few more months after the burial, one Charles Pendragon would be found bound in a body bag and tossed in a dumpster. The official report would label it as a mob killing, but no one would feel saddened by his untimely death.
Especially after various documents and other evidence would be discovered inside his residence revealing him to be a child abuser and the true culprit to his own son's death.
The ruling of "Suicide" would be changed to "Murder" for the son and the family of the deceased--as well as the coroner--would take great satisfaction in having this truth revealed to the public.
As for Arthur, his body would be found in an advanced state of decomposition among the flowerbeds of Charles's home. The official ruling would be that the little feline had met the same fate as his owner and another murder would be blamed upon Charles.
Arthur mewled a goodbye to the two humans having a happy reunion in another world and continued to walk away, his furry body gradually fading into the paradise that was awaiting him.
Serena: [cries] Arthur!!!
Suzaku: She's still at it…so I'll finish everything up. Ahem. Serena wants to thank everyone for all the lovely reviews, favorites, and alerts that she received for this story. She had a lot of fun writing this and is very happy that so many people enjoyed it. She is also very glad that she continued to write for this story and she hopes that you will leave her one last little review for this story to tell her what you thought about the ending. She actually does like how the ending came out, by the way. Anyway, thank you all again for sticking with this random idea. Oh, and to answer a question you may have, Charles never told me that Arthur was already gone. He fully intended to let me find him in the flowerbed, but Arthur's ghost found me instead. Oh and Lelouch had his last name changed to his mother's maiden name…for obvious reasons. That's all. Thanks again! Bye!!