Author's Notes: First story after my summer hiatus~! :-) (and yeah, I know, if you've been following my stories, you probably go, "wtf, SuzaEuphy?" right now...)

Rating: T, maybe? Or maybe PG-13. Nothing too bad in here. :-)

Overall warning for this fic: This was a request for the kinkmeme, although there ain't nothin' kinky in here, really. It's pretty sweet, I think. ^^

+ How To Seduce Suzaku Kururugi, Euphy-style +

The thing is this: Euphy has, after very careful and serious consideration (and giggling and blushing and tossing in her bed), decided that she would like to take her relationship with her knight to the next level.

The problem is this: he's so utterly oblivious to it that Euphy is fairly sure that if she actually said that to him, he would just look at her, blink -- and proceed to carry her up the stairs and then just proudly announce, "We're arrived at the next level," with his eyes winking and that dazzling smile on his lips, and her blushing and smoothing down her dress.

The situation is this right now: she has just dismissed the last of her servants, the door has just fallen shut behind him in a sound that to her sounded as loud as a bomb, and is currently alone with him in her private office, with him rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment and her mentally trying to count the strands of his hair so she could run her fingers through them one by one.

"Well," he says, dropping his hand and sending her a smile. "I guess I should -- leave now."

Euphy has thought about how to solve the problem, of course. She has considered ambushing him in his room clad only in her underwear, but had to give up on that plan when she had to blush so furiously at the mere thought of it that she was pretty sure the color of her face had gotten rather indistinguishable from that of her hair. She has also turned to reading Cosmopolitan magazines, but after sloshing through pages upon pages on how to give fellatio, none of which failed to make her face feel hot, she has given up on that as well (she thinks it was the point when they started talking about tongue twisters, but she's not sure).

She fiddles with her hands for a while. "Yes. Yes, I suppose you – you should."

He averts his eyes to the floor, then nods politely, small smile playing around his lips.

Euphy continues to fiddle, her heart beating in her throat.

His hands close around the door handle.

Say it, just say it. "S-Suzaku."

He stops in. Turns around. Looks at her.

Something like a lump is clogging her throat, and she swallows. "Could – could you stay for a bit?"

Surprise spills onto his features, softening them and making him look even younger than he is. "Of course, Your High –," he catches himself, plops his mouth shut, then tries again, "I mean, Euphy." He lets his eyes trail across the room, then fuses them with hers. "Is there anything else you need my assistance with?"

"Oh. Oh – assistance. Hm. I was just wondering if we could talk for a bit? Mostly?"

He blinks. "Mostly?"

"I – I mean, I was mostly wondering that. That's what I meant."

"Oh." He considers this for a moment, concerned note in his voice when he says, "Are you all right? You seem a bit nervous." He looks her up and down, in such a sweet way that Euphy just wants to throw her arms around his neck and kiss him and it takes her a few seconds to remember that she's supposed to answer.

Right. Nervous. Can't give the wrong impression now.

"I'm all right," she says, forcing a light-hearted tone to her voice. She tilts her head to the side a little, her hair bobbing in her peripheral vision. "Why, can't I ask my knight to talk to me for a bit after hours?"

His eyes widen. "I didn't mean to give that impression. I-I'm sorry if --"

Waving her hand at him, she laughs a little. "It's okay. Just come a bit closer."

He nods, striding over to her (ever the formal knight), then comes to a halt in front of her, looking at her with gentleness simmering in his eyes. Euphy suddenly thinks that his eyes are not as green as emeralds or jade, but rather like sweet, sweet candy. Maybe like those green gummi worms she used to eat when she was little, stretching out on the grass next to Cornelia. Or maybe like --

"So, if you don't mind my asking – was there anything specific you wanted to discuss?"

Oh. Oh, right.

She clears her throat, fighting against the urge to take a step backward.

"I – I was just wondering." She licks her lips when she feels the heat pulsing beneath her cheeks, and she suddenly finds the tip of her silver ballerinas glinting beneath the light of the chandelier very interesting. "Was just wondering. If. You." She jerks her head up, just looking at him. Guys are supposed to understand things like that, right?

Apparently not.

He blinks, again. "Euphy – I'm not quite sure what you mean."

She pauses for a moment, averting her eyes and raising her hand to her cheek, pressing it against the warm skin. "Oh," she says, mouth suddenly dry. "It's – it's nothing."

"Euphy." His voice is warm.

She peeks at him from the side, not quite daring to put down her hand.

He's giving her that dazzling smile now, the kind that lights up his entire face. "Euphy – I'm your knight, right? You can tell me things. Anything. I would never laugh at you."

Her gaze drops to the floor again. "It's not you laughing about me that I'm worried about, it's –" She pauses, licks her lips. "It's that you'll be – shocked."

"Shocked?" He tilts his head to the side.

"Because maybe it's not something you'd expect me to say." Oh God, he has to be figuring it out now, there's no way he's not –

"Whatever could be shocking about you?" he wonders aloud, then smiles. "I can't think of anything. Besides, I've been to the army." He laughs a little uneasily, raising one hand to scratch the back of his neck. "I've heard stories."

She's reciprocating the smile before she can help herself. "I can imagine."

He blanches, as if suddenly remembering his place. "Um, not that you have to say it if you don't want to. I mean, that's fine. We-We all have our secrets, right?"

He's so cute, she thinks, feeling his embarrassed look launch into her stomach and setting off what feels like a flock of birds. So cute.

That's when she remembers to answer.

"Well. Well, I do want to say it, that-that's why I brought it up. Right? So. Well." Her hands drop to the front of her dress, and she begins to fiddle with the lace stitching down at the front of it. "I kind of. Thought we could." She turns her face to the side, licking her lips, almost tripping over the words --

(say it if you're not saying it now you'll never and he'll never)

She says it so fast she's almost tripping over her own tongue. "D-D-Doit."

The words hang suspended over their heads for a few seconds. The grandfather clock in the corner of her office is suddenly booming out the seconds. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock

"Do," he asks, looking surprised, "what?"

She fidgets, her eyes drawn to the floor, and oh God, her face is so hot now, oh gods. "It."

"Euphy, I'm sorry. Could you be more --"

She closes her eyes. "It."

He blinks. "Kiss?"

They've done that before, a couple of times in the palace garden, bright pollen streaking their skin and his eyes glimmering beneath the sunlight. She had to instigate it, though, every single time, pressing their mouths together to feel his breath breaking over her skin and his lips moving against hers.

But it's not what she's thinking about now.

"N-Not that," Euphy says, fighting against the urge to turn around right now, so she doesn't have to see his puzzled eyes. "No, something more. Um."

He continues his rigorous program of innocent blinking.

She latches her eyes onto his, a pleading tone in her voice. "S-Sexual?"

And in the pricks and needles that follow that statement, he just sort of looks at her.

Euphy just drops her arms on either side, trying to get her racing heart rate under control, and reciprocates the look with as much of a straight face as she can manage.

At long last, he seems to regain his composure, his features softening again. "Would you like me to pleasure you?"

She can feel her heart beat trembling at the back of her tongue. "No. Well, yes. I suppose. But that's not. I mean. I kind of. Want the other thing?"

It's still not dawning on him: he's just looking at her with a kind of questioning look on his face, confusion glimmering in his eyes.

She swallows and tries again. "I-I mean. I want your – your --"

Snapping her mouth shut, she decides she can't say this after all. Her face feels too hot, her heart is beating too fast, and oh god, she can't exactly say, 'I want your thing in my thing' now, can she, and gods, why can't he just get it without having her say this why can't he be like the other guys for once whywhywhy –

She turns around without another word, her throat suddenly dry. She shuffles through the objects on her table – there, what's that? An old bill? Will do. Now a pen, a pen.

Grabbing a blue fountain pen sitting innocuously on the table, she begins to draw, her fingers shaking just slightly around the pen. Oh gods, what is she doing, she hasn't drawn things like this since grade school, not since Cornelia told her never to draw things like this again with that stern look on her face, oh gods.

She finishes drawing quickly, her nerves getting through to her with the last stroke, drawing a sharp line upward that almost makes her want to curse. There, he should – well, he will probably get what it is. It's just two matchstick men on top of each other, but she hopes he'll get the drift. Wait –

Bending down, she quickly adds two circles onto one of the matchstick men's torsos, making it a matchstick woman. Just in case.

She hands him the piece of paper, fingers shaking around it.

He accepts it with an unsure smile, looks down at it –

- and blinks. Once. Twice. Then his eyes widen.

Euphy has never before pined so desperately for spontaneous self-combustion before.

He looks up at her, then, and she sees that there's a deep pink dusted across his cheeks and the flanges of his nose. More than likely, a mirror image of her own face.

The moment stretches on between them. The clock in the corner is drilling into her ears as if someone has turned up the volume on a TV set.

She slices through the moment when her nerves take over, and she turns around with a jerk. "I'm sorry, Suzaku, that was inappropriate, will you leave now, can you leave now, I'm sorry, it was --"

"No, Euphy, it – it's okay, I --"

"-- and you don't have to worry, I'll just forget about it, and you'll forget about it, too, that's okay right, it never happened, I don't --"


She busies herself with the documents on the table. Order them, yes, she has to order them, even though she did it this morning. "Really, it's okay, you can just leave, I have things to do, it was stupid, I'm sorry, see you tomorrow." A few of them slip out of her hands, and she frowns at them, but somehow doesn't realize that she's supposed to bend down to pick them up, but just continues to shuffle through the documents. "I'm sorry, I --"

She stills when she feels his hand on her wrist, stopping her.

"Euphy," he says, and he's close now, so close she can smell him, that scent of machine oil and woods that always seems to cling on to him and beneath that, the musky smell of him.

Euphy holds her breath when she raises her eyes to meet his.

Then he yanks her forward without giving her a chance to even process what's happening, and the next thing she knows, she's in his arms and he's pressing her against his chest. Her eyes widen a little and her knees suddenly feel shaky, her knees knocking against each other.

He has his head buried in the nape of her neck, and she feels his breath turning into a pleasant chill scuttling down her spine when it hits her skin.

"Euphy," he's saying, and every word of his reaches right into her chest. "I don't want you to think we have to do that."

She just keeps breathing.

"I don't want you to think there's any rush. I don't want to do anything you're not sure you want me to do."

She wraps her arms around his back finally, pressing him a little closer. "I-I know that. I know – you would never. If I didn't want to. I just thought you would," she licks her lips, "like it?"

A beat. "It doesn't matter what I would like, Euphy. You're my princess. I'm your knight." He pauses, and Euphy doesn't need to see his face to know that he's blushing even as the sincerity settles into his eyes. "I live to serve you."

There are two kinds of embraces in this world: one kind where you hug gingerly, like two war veterans trying not to tear open each other's wounds. And there's the sincere one, where you feel your heart reaching out to the other person.

This is the second type.

It's starting to be a bit too much, so Euphy takes a small step backward, slipping out of his arms, eyes drawn to the floor. "Don't say things like that. I don't want you – I don't want you to think you're beneath me." She raises her eyes to meet his, voice getting stronger. "That is not what I want our relationship to be like."

She sees him hesitating: he opens his mouth to say something once or twice, but stops himself each time before a single word tumbles past the barrier of his lips.

Euphy steps forward, taking his face into her hands, letting one thumb caress his cheek. His skin slides against her finger, soft and smooth, the blush beneath his skin warm.

He raises one of his hands to her wrist, thumb trailing over the sensitive skin on her inner arm.

"I just don't want you to think you have to do this," he says, dismissing the topic of equality for now. "Because, you know." He draws his eyes to the floor for a second before raising them again, his eyes like green talons latching onto her gaze. "I want to be your knight forever. Or a very long time, anyway." His hand trails down along her arm to her elbow, grasping it ever so gently. "There's time. We have time. There's no need to jump into anything."

"Time," she repeats, thumb slipping down to brush against his lips. "Right." She smiles, letting it take possession of her entire face, feeling some of the tension falling off her chest, making her feel like she can breathe again. "We have time, don't we?"

He nods, and his smile is as warm as the embrace they've just shared. His hand trails up along her arms to her shoulders and then to her face, tilting her head forward until their foreheads touch and she can feel his breath on her lips.

"Later," he's saying, and his breath smells like mint chewing gum, "there will be time for this."

"With you?" she asks, a little surprised at her own boldness.

He stiffens a little against her. "Euphy, I don't think --"

"I don't care if you're Japanese." She leans forward until their noses are touching, rubbing against each other when she slowly turns her head from one side to the other. "I don't care about social ranks. You're Suzaku." She hesitates, her voice trembling. "I like Suzaku. And that-that's enough for me."

And she sees the hesitation in his eyes, something warring inside them, his body stiffening against hers, and something wraps itself around her heart and squeezes.

She raises on her tiptoes until their mouths are on the same level, his damp breath breaking over her lips, and she purses her lips, fluttering them over them his.

He stiffens against her.

"It's okay to kiss, right?" she says against his lips, her voice barely above a whisper. Raising her arms to wrap them around the back of his neck, she pulls his face lower, brushing her lips against his again. "Right?"

He doesn't give a verbal response, but he does kiss her back after another moment of hesitation, his hands flying to her head to bury themselves in her hair, and his mouth springing to life against hers.

A low gasp tears from the back of her throat, but it's muffled and then swallowed when he moves his lips against hers, opening and closing them, and his lips are so gentle and warm that her eyes slip closed, her hands wandering up to run through the feathery strands of his hair that are just as soft as his lips.

The tangle in her stomach that's been building with the dull echo of whatifwhatifwhatif is loosening into a few threads. She sighs, tilting her head back and letting her mouth slide open when she feels his tongue probing at it, and then, for just a moment, his tongue is inside her mouth, slick and fast and hot, and her fingers dig into his shoulders, his gentle tongue leaping through her body, making something in her lower body tingle, and –

He closes his mouth, placing another chaste kiss on her lips, resting his forehead against hers again.

She tries to search his eyes for emotions, but he has them closed. Raising one hand, she brushes aside some of his hair, watching how it falls back against his forehead. "Time is what we need for everything, I guess." She lets some of his hair slide through her fingers, watching how it shimmers with the color of light maple syrup. She smiles now, shaking her head to herself about how silly she's been. "Of course. There's no rush, right? Not for anything. We have all the time in the world."

"Yes, Euphy." He gives her his brightest, fullest, and most rigidly unwavering smile. "All the time in the world."

Author's Notes: B'awwww, I did a bit of 'bait-and-switch' with that ending there, didn't I? D: Sorry. Really sorry. XD

Reviews are love. :-)