Hello all! I have finally risen from the dead with a new fic! Speaking of fics, What Sasuke Wanted and Reminiscence are currently on hiatus. I've become disinterested and dissatisfied with them, so I'll be rewriting them both before I add any new chapters. Sorry to any fans of those fics, but it needs to be done.

Anyway, onto this fic. I recently watched Code Geass, and I just CAN'T get the damn series out of my head. I swear it was one of the best anime series I've watched. And of course, being a yaoi fangirl, I immediately fell in love with the pairing Lelouch/Suzaku (although I've found that it's more popular the other way around). I don't mind, either way, as long as they're together. So, here I am with my very first Code Geass fic. I think my writing style in this fic is different from what I usually write. The fic started off simple then it just got a mind of its own and morphed into something a bit more complex. I'm actually quite proud of it, and I hope you guys like it!

Warning: This fic contains a malexmale pairing, so if that's not your thing, then please leave now. I will not tolerate any homophobes flaming me.


Beneath The Façade

Series: Code Geass

Characters: Kururugi Suzaku, Lelouch vi Britannia

Rating: T

Genre: Romance/Angst

Warnings: Yaoi (malexmale)

SPOILER WARNING: This fic is set in the final episode of R2, so if you haven't watched the entire series, then don't read this fic, unless of course you want to spoil the ending for yourself.

Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass...never will.


The world was in uproar. The people were shocked, enraged, but most of all, afraid. The world had been taken over by the tyrant calling himself Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia. "Obey me," had been his command, and they had no choice but to comply.

"…Our emperor, Lelouch has finally completed his glorious goal of unifying the world." The reporter's voice floated over the airwaves, as they told of the events that were occurring in Japan. The prisoners who had rebelled against the emperor were on their way to execution. The emperor sat upon his throne vehicle as the procession continued. He appeared smug and confident with himself; his expression was cold and served to add to the fear and discomfort of the people.

"Glory to Emperor Lelouch," the reporter continued. "All hail Britannia. All hail Lelouch!"

Murmurs went through the crowd upon his words, as they watched the procession. Lelouch knew what they would be saying. He had heard it all so many times.

Tyrant.

"Glory my ass," one spectator muttered. "This is just tyranny."

Murderer.

"Killing all who disobey him…"

Monster.

"Hush," someone else whispered harshly to him. "If someone hears you, your whole clan will be killed!"

Demon.

They called him The Demon Emperor. The Enemy of the world. The man with no heart. Liar. Traitor. The list was endless. The entire world hated him. They all wanted him dead. Even his own sister had called him the Devil. This was what the people thought of him. This was what he wanted them to think. This was what he allowed them to see. There was only one other person who knew the truth. One person who knew the real Lelouch – the one beneath the façade – and that person was…

"Zero!"

"It's Zero!"

Gasps and shouts ran through the crowd as the masked figure known as Zero appeared, standing in the centre of the road, directly in line of the procession's path. Hope seared through the people as they beheld the one known as the symbol of justice. Yet those who knew the truth about Zero looked around in confusion and disbelief.

"It can't be!" Kallen cried in astonishment. "Lelouch is…Lelcouh is…" she trailed off, not sure what to believe.

The other members of the Black Knights felt her sentiment, as they too looked on, stunned, wondering what the hell was going on. Those who weren't looking at Zero, stared up at the emperor. He had an alarmed look on his face as he stood and stared at the masked figure that had now started running towards the throne – directly towards him.

"It's Zero! Zero has appeared!" The reporter's voice ran throughout the world, bringing with it a thread of hope.

Panic spread through the royal guards, as they attacked the masked man who was quickly approaching their emperor. He easily dodged their attacks, not stopping in his advance towards the Demon Emperor. Stunned silence overtook the crowd as Zero leapt onto the throne vehicle, and quickly disarmed the emperor, who, in his panic (or so it seemed), had drawn a gun. Time seemed to stop at that moment, as Zero stood before the emperor, sword drawn and ready to strike. Lelouch smirked. This was the moment he had planned so long for; the moment when it would all end. There was only one other who knew the truth behind what was about to happen. Only one…

"Suzaku, you shall kill me, as promised."

They were in the throne room, alone. It was the last time they'd see each other face to face; the last time they could be themselves, without any masks. It was the night before the Zero Requiem would come to pass.

"Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?" Suzaku asked yet again, traces of doubt still occupying his mind. He did not receive an answer, however. Instead, his question was ignored, as his companion – no, his Emperor – asked one of his own.

"Suzaku…you hate me, don't you?"

You should hate me.

Suzaku raised his head from its bowed position to look up at the face of the man he'd sworn his loyalty to. "Your Majesty?" he questioned, not sure where the Emperor was going with such a question.

"I don't blame you if you do. After all," the man continued, rising from his throne, "I possess this power you loathe so much."

Geass…the power that bends people's wills; to obey me.

He moved towards Suzaku as he spoke, "…and with it I destroyed the woman you loved."

Euphemia…because of me, the memory that was left behind couldn't be further from the truth.

Closer still he moved. "I've murdered so many people…"

Rivers of blood flowed from those who dared to defy my reign.

Another step and he was directly before him. "…and I've forced you to join me in this bloodbath…"

The White Knight…now the Demon Emperor's Knight; tainted with my sins.

He knelt before his knight, cupping his cheek as he asked the question again. "You hate me, don't you, Suzaku?

You should hate me.

Suzaku hesitated a moment, not sure what to say. Of course, he hated all that had happened; the destruction and bloodshed that had been caused because of this tyranny…but did he really hate the man behind it all? The man he'd been friends with for so many years? He looked up into the face of the one person who knew him better than anyone else. Could he really blame him for trying to change the world? For all the lives that had been lost in the process? Yet, another face appeared before his eyes; one that was much more tender, and loving, and kind; one who died in the most horrible way – because of the man before him - with only the name "The Massacre Princess" left behind…Euphy.

"Yes," Suzaku replied finally, lowering his head, moving his cheek from the man's grasp, "I do."

"Of course you do," he sighed softly, dropping his hand to his side. He gazed sadly upon the face of the man who was once his best friend. "I've caused you so much pain…it's only natural…you have every right to hate me."

Just as the world does.

"I suppose," he continued, "that if you hate me so much…"

Suzaku remained silent, waiting to hear what else the Emperor had to say.

"…then I should have no right to do this…"

Suzaku felt fingers grip his chin, forcing him to look up into those deep, amethyst eyes. He opened his mouth to question the man's behaviour, but before he could say a word, he was cut of by a pair of lips capturing his own in a surprisingly gentle kiss. All coherent thought left him the moment he felt those warm lips moving over his, and he gasped when he felt a tongue slip between those lips and lick his own. It slipped past his lips in the opening he'd granted, sliding in further and probing the depths of his mouth. When his mind finally caught up to what was happening, he realised that it felt good having his mouth so thoroughly ravaged, yet…he didn't return the kiss. Finally, the assault on his lips ended, and he inhaled deeply, trying to catch his breath, while at the same time gazing in shock at the one who had kissed him, wondering why he'd done it.

"Your Majesty, wh-" he began, but was silenced by a finger on his lips.

"Please Suzaku, call me by my name," was the quiet request.

Suzaku sighed, closing his eyes as he did so, then opened them again before he complied with the request. "Fine. Lelouch…what…no, why did-"

"I love you."

At this, Suzaku's jaw dropped. He hadn't been expecting such a confession – not from Lelouch. He wondered how long Lelouch had been harbouring such feelings for him; why he hadn't revealed it sooner, but waited until now, of all times, when the Zero Requiem was so near – when everything would come to an end. He struggled to find something to say in return. He supposed that normally, the typical response would be "I love you too," but hadn't he, only moments ago, told Lelouch that he hated him? Realisation hit him then as it dawned upon him just how much his previous words would've hurt Lelouch. He could only imagine the pain caused by knowing that the one you love hates you.

"Lelouch…" he began, wanting to apologise, but not quite being able to.

Lelouch cut him off, however, as he abruptly rose and turned away from him. "You hate me, right?" he said, more than asked.

At this, Suzaku said nothing, not wanting to cause Lelouch any more grief than he already had. Instead he simply rose and placed his hand on the other's shoulder in what he hoped was a comforting manner.

After a moment, Lelouch moved away from him and spoke again. "All the hatred in the world is gathered on me…just as planned…"

A common enemy unites even the oldest of foes.

"Lelouch, why-"

"Now all you have to do is erase my existence…putting an end to this chain of hatred," he finished, holding out an object for Suzaku to take. It was a mask.

Everyone wears a mask, and tells lies, to hide their true selves.

Suzaku gazed at the mask. The mask of Zero; the mask the world recognised as the symbol of justice.

Lelouch spoke again, "The Black Knights will have the legend of Zero left behind for them. Shneizel will work for Zero. And now, the world can be unified at one table, not through military force, but through negotiation and talk. It can embrace the future."

A future filled with peace; for which so much was sacrificed.

Suzaku nodded, taking the mask, still gazing at it. Finally he looked at Lelouch once more. "And that's-" he began.

"Yes," Lelouch answered, knowing what he was about to say, and so, they said it together.

"Zero Requiem"

An act so selfless, that no one would believe – not that they would ever know - that it was what Lelouch, the Demon Emperor, had had planned all along.

The sword glinted in the sunlight as Suzaku, no, Zero – for Kururugi Suzaku was dead to the world - prepared to plunge it through the monster that was controlling the world.

"We understood it inside the world of C…" Lelouch continued, referring to the event that had ultimately brought them together on the same side, "…that people desire the future."

A future for which one boy was willing to sacrifice himself to create. By becoming the devil himself, he would take the sins of the world with him to his grave.

The world was stunned at the sudden turn in events. Would it really end in such a dramatic way? Everyone looked on in a mixture of emotions – for most, shock and anticipation were prominent, but for others (those who had known the man before he became the monster) sadness and horror took the forefront - as the masked hero stood mere feet away from the man who had become (had made himself) the enemy of the world, about to put an end to his life, and hopefully bringing peace to a world ravaged by hatred and war.

They stood in silence, the true weight of what was eventually going to happen now fully dawning on them.

"Ne, Suzaku," Lelouch said finally, breaking the silence. "Don't you think wishes are like Geass?"

Suzaku gave him a confused look at such a strange statement. Lelouch went on to explain his sudden remark.

"Things that you can't accomplish with your own powers, you ask for the assistance of others."

"Wishes, huh?" Suzaku replied, mulling the thought over.

"Yes," Lelouch stated simply, before finally relating his explanation to the situation at hand. "I shall gamble on the Geass known as people's wishes for the sake of the world's future."

After all, I was always so good at gambling.

Silence fell upon them again as they each slipped into their own thoughts; Suzaku pondering Lelouch's previous words and actions, and Lelouch…trying to not think about what was to come. Finally, Suzaku grew tired of the silence and had decided to ask Lelouch just why the hell did he suddenly kiss him and confess his love a few moments ago, but before he could even open his mouth, he found that Lelouch had unexpectedly grabbed him in a tight embrace, holding onto him as if his life depended on it.

And it did.

At a loss for words, Suzaku simply held Lelouch in his arms, noticing how the small body trembled in his embrace. He hadn't seen Lelouch act this vulnerable in a long time, and he had to wonder if this was what Lelouch was like when no one was around – a lonely boy who just wanted someone to hold him, someone to protect him…someone to love him.

The carefully crafted masks and lies had finally fallen apart.

After all, by putting on the mask of The Demon Emperor, Lelouch vi Britannia, he had forsaken the world and all those who loved him. At least when he had worn the mask of Zero, he had been hated only by Britannia. The rest of the world had been behind him, even if they didn't know who he truly was. But now…he was the enemy of the world, and there was no one who cared. There was no one who knew that behind all the masquerades, there was a gentle, courageous, selfless boy who was giving up everything to create a world where there was no more war. No one, that is, except his knight…his only friend.

Perhaps we wear our masks, not just to hide ourselves from the world, but to see who would care enough to look behind the mask to see our true face.

Suzaku tightened his hold on Lelouch, having finally understood exactly what the older boy was going through. After all, he too had worn his own masks, had told his own lies. They may not have been anything as spectacular as the Enemy of the world, or Zero (though soon he would wear that one as well), but they were masks nonetheless, and Lelouch was perhaps the only person who knew the boy behind the Knight.

(Well, there had been one other, but she had been taken from him.)

Lelouch was all he had, and he realised now that it was the other way around as well.

"Lelouch…" he said at last, still holding the other boy, not wanting to let go. "I'm sorry…for what I said."

At this Lelouch pulled back slightly, so he could look at him. "And what would that be, Suzaku?" he asked somewhat cynically. "You've said a lot of…unnecessary things in the past."

Suzaku sighed, knowing that Lelouch was just looking for a way to hide the hurt. Cynicism had always been one of his defence mechanisms against emotional pain. "I'm sorry…for hurting you. I don't hate you, Lelouch. You're my best friend. You're…you're my only friend. I'm sorry."

Lelouch looked away from him and said nothing. Not knowing what else to say, Suzaku sighed again, letting go of the other boy and dropping his hands to his side. After a few moments, he turned to leave, thinking that perhaps he had been wrong and Lelouch didn't need him, or just probably wasn't going to admit it, when finally Lelouch spoke. "Suzaku…are you sure…you don't hate me?"

He turned again to face him. "No Lelouch. I don't."

"Then why did you say you did?"

Suzaku chuckled darkly at that. "This coming from you, the master of lies?"

Lelouch didn't reply. He simply glared at him for a moment, then looked away. He didn't want to fight with Suzaku. Not tonight. Not…when this was his last night with the one he'd come to love.

"I was angry," Suzaku said suddenly, bringing Lelouch's attention back to him. "I was so angry about everything that had happened, and I blamed you for it… I hate the Geass," he said vehemently.

"So you hate me for my Geass?" Lelouch asked bluntly.

"No. No Lelouch. I hate the Geass, and I hate all that it's caused…but I don't hate you. I thought I did, but I realised that I don't. I really don't, Lelouch…" Suzaku trailed off, hoping that he'd finally gotten through to the other boy.

For a while, Lelouch just stood there, looking at him as though he didn't believe him, but eventually he stepped closer to Suzaku, and smiled. A genuine smile that no one except Suzaku and Nunally had ever seen, and on rare occasions at that. Suzaku smiled in return, and wrapped his arms around the smaller boy once more. Lelouch simply sighed, and pressed closer to his knight.

His knight in shining armour, who had seen behind all the masks.

They stayed like that for what felt like hours, but were really a few minutes, until Lelouch spoke again.

"Suzaku?" he whispered, his face pressed against the broad shoulder.

"Yes?"

"Could you grant me…one last…Geass?"

Don't you think wishes are the same as Geass?

Suzaku pulled back at this to look at him. "…what is it?"

The older boy actually hesistated, a tinge of pink adorning his cheeks.

"Lelouch?"

"I…would you…" he paused, looking deep into sparkling emerald eyes. He smiled again, although a bit more shyly this time. "Would you make love to me?"

Suzaku smiled as well, and responded by pulling him back into his arms, kissing him deeply, with a whispered, "Of course, Lelouch."

No words were needed, as their actions revealed all the emotions they were feeling; all the emotions they'd kept hidden behind false pretences for so long. They let them out now, the masks cast away as they bonded in a way that neither had experienced before.

"Suzaku."

The name fell from Lelouch's lips like a mantra; just as Suzaku could only respond with "Lelouch" as they were overwhelmed in their shared passion. Emotions ran high; fear, loneliness and betrayal, purged by comfort, happiness and love – especially love – and yet it was all mixed with pain and heart wrenching sadness.

Such deep sorrow…for after all, it was the first and last time they'd have such a moment together.

"Only those who are prepared to be fired at should fire."

He had said it once before, and even now as he stood on the opposite side of the sword, it held through.

Everything seemed to move in slow motion as it happened. The crowd watched in silent anticipation, others looked away in dread, and some even screamed for it to stop. It wouldn't stop though. This is what had been planned. Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia would become the enemy of the world, taking all the sins and hatred of the world upon his shoulders, and be killed by the masked hero, Zero - who was really Kururugi Suzaku…but with a new mask on. Zero - the symbol of justice - and the saviour of the world. It was all planned months in advance, by the Demon Emperor himself; all so that the future could be one of peace and not war.

The sword appeared to have pierced through his body with ease, but for Kururugi Suzaku (the man behind the mask), it was the most difficult thing he'd ever had to do. Tears spilled from his eyes as he impaled his enemy (his friend…his lover), blood tainting the pristine white emperor's robes that Lelouch wore. He wanted so badly to embrace him, to share one last kiss, to at least be able to hold him in his final moments, but he couldn't.

It would ruin the façade.

Instead, he stood frozen, the sword still rammed to the hilt in Lelouch's body, said body leaning ever so slightly on him. Then he heard it – Lelouch's voice. He was whispering something to him in his final moment.

"This is also a punishment for you…You will be the defender of justice and wear a mask forever…"

Suzaku's eyes widened as he heard those words, for that's exactly what it was: a punishment. Living behind a mask for the rest of his life – especially after he had been able to finally drop all the masks the night before – would be his punishment. But even worse than that…living a life without Lelouch would be pure torture.

Lelouch raised his bloody hand that had been clutching his wound, and touched the side of Zero's mask. "You will sacrifice all of your own happiness for the world…eternally…" he continued.

You already have.

"I accept…that Geass…" Suzaku replied tersely, pausing before whispering, "I love you, Lelouch."

"I love you," came the whispered reply as the hand slipped from the helmet, leaving a bloody trail in its wake.

Just as he'd done with the world.

And with that, Zero pulled the sword out of the wound in one fluid movement, pushing the Demon Emperor's body away.

"If you're going to lie, then keep up the lie until the very end."

And he had. He'd worn the mask until his last breath, and would wear it even after death, known forever to the world as Lelouch vi Britannia, The Demon Emperor who caused rivers of blood to flow, and destroyed the world.

"I…destroy worlds…and…create worlds…"

The masks they wore changed the world, and in the end no one else had been able to see beneath the façade.

No one, but themselves.

Owari.


Well, that's it. My first Code Geass fic! Woohoo! I hope you guys enjoyed it! Thank you for reading! Please leave me a review and let me know what you think! CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is appreciated.

Peace Out! ^_^