Title: Cloak and Dagger
Fandom: Code Geass
Disclaimer: I make no money writing fan fiction… sadly.
Pairings: Suzaku x Lelouch (main), Schneizel x Lelouch (more to come)
Summary: Lelouch Vi Britannia, a prince of predators, is unknowingly the prey of a dangerous bounty hunter: Suzaku Kururgi. AU. Suzaku x Lelouch x Schneizel
Warnings: yaoi (male / male pairings), incest, blood and some gore.
It is a surreal feeling for Suzaku Kururugi to be standing where he was now, on a checkered floor between Zero and Lelouch Vi Britannia. Despite their slender build and short size, both men were the most intimidating people in a room of soldiers. For his mother country, Lelouch had commanded small legions of half-blood Britannian soldiers against powerful armies within the EU and came out victorious in every battle for ten years straight. On the other side of the board, Zero had formed the Order of the Black Knights, the most prominent resistance force in Area 11. Not many knew that these two men, brilliant strategists who stood on opposing sides; were actually one in the same.
The brunet turned away from the faux-Zero and smiled warmly at the unmasked one. The real Zero, whom he considered to be his best friend even after the long years they have been apart. It was a gesture Lelouch returned in kind and the tension in the room had all but disappeared.
One of the assembled Japanese Black Knights broke out into a triumphant grin, adjusting his glasses over his scarred face, before turning to his sulking companion.
"Pay up, Tamaki…"
"Aww, come on Asahina…!"
The other knight only grimaced; shoving hands into his pants pocket and pulled out some folded bills. The bespectacled man promptly took it from him and proceeded to count the money before tucking them away in his wallet. Catching the frigid disapproving glare from Kyoshiro Tohdoh, the two soldiers composed themselves immediately.
"You've trained your student well, Tohdoh." Lelouch's complement did not change the austere expression on the veteran soldier's face, but Suzaku did not fail to notice how his teacher's shoulders broadened slightly.
The former eleventh royal prince turned to look at him. "Suzaku, would you accompany me to my quarters? I would like to change clothes before introducing you to the Black Knights. We can catch up along the way."
The younger teenager nodded before turning his head towards a spiky red-haired girl, when he heard an unintelligible growl of disapproval. Lelouch did not reprimand his subordinate out loud. He merely sidestepped around her as the doors opened back into the hallway. Suzaku winced in sympathy upon seeing her flinch while in falling in step behind the raven-haired Britannian.
While facing forward, he allowed his eyes to scan the shadows within the corridors for what may be lurking there. Suzaku knew it was probably in vain. True hunters knew how to mask their scents and blend seamlessly into their surroundings. Lelouch had done just that. For all his talk, the young werewolf had not detected him until the vampire prince revealed himself from behind, blocking the only exit. There was a lesson to be learned here; Suzaku silently berated himself.
'The hunter and the hunted can switch roles at any given time. Never underestimate your prey.'
When they entered an elevator shaft, he watched the Lelouch from his childhood turned to face him once more. The teen seemed to somewhat relaxed as he removed his uniform cap and tugged at his collar. Suzaku's emerald eyes widened slightly and he to dropped his guard a little.
"Whenever we wanted to talk in private, we would always use this gesture."
"I remember," Suzaku replied fondly. "We would manage to lose our watchers and meet up on the rooftop just to talk in private."
"Yes, and it provoked Jeremiah quite a bit."
The young werewolf could not help but join in when his friend started to chuckle. It was a pleasant sound, Lelouch's laughter, and it was also quite rare. Suzaku almost regretted speaking up when he suddenly realized something.
"Lord Jeremiah… he was the one who picked me up earlier today, wasn't he?"
Although the driver's face was half hidden by a pair of orange shades, he should have been able to guess the man's identity simply by his aqua colored hair. However, his sense of smell failed to draw the connection between the driver and the former Margrave Gottwald like it had with Lelouch and the faux-Zero.
'It had to be him,' he automatically concluded without waiting for Lelouch's response. He did not have to wait long for an answer when the doors opened after they arrived at their level. Standing just a few feet from the elevator, the familiar form of Margrave Gottwald stood before them. Like the loyal knight he was, he bowed elegantly for his master – Lelouch – as he greeted him.
"Welcome back, your highness."
"Thank you, Jeremiah."
The knight rose to his full height, and he was just as tall as Suzaku remembered him to be. When he was a small child, Suzaku would argue with the Margrave often. Promising to outgrow the other and that would somehow automatically make him Lelouch's knight. Yet, no matter how much growing he did over the years, he was still a whole head shorter than the older man. As if he could read his thoughts, the Margrave turned to smirk at him.
"You've grown, pup."
Although the inner child in him bristled, Suzaku only smiled as he nodded and shook the other's offered hand.
"Times have changed. Though, I never imagine you as a chauffer, Orange."
The older man scoffed at the nickname while his liege attempted to suppress a smirk. "I haven't the faintest clue what you're talking about, you little runt."
Suzaku was about to respond, but Lelouch interrupted with the loud clearing of his throat. Both men turned to face the prince who wears an expression that was a mix of amusement and annoyance.
"Jeremiah, about the other matter… we can discuss it later. Will you excuse us?"
"Of course, my lord."
The knight bowed once more then briskly passed Suzaku to enter the elevator the two teens had previously vacated. Jeremiah's scent was the same as the young werewolf remembered it to be. The aqua-haired vampire still smelled very similar to the oranges he practically devoured back when he was a child going through the stages of his supernatural transformation. Unfortunately for the Margrave, the little nickname had caught on through the ranks of the Kururugi Regime and lived well into this day with the Black Knights.
As if to spite him; just when the elevator doors closed, Jeremiah removed a pair of familiar orange tinted sunglasses from his breast pocket and placed them on his expressionless face.
'I knew it!' Suzaku thought as he turned to find himself standing in Zero's bedroom instead of his office. It was a nice room at that. Nicer than any hotel suite Suzaku had ever slept in. However it paled in comparison to the sight of watching Lelouch slowly stripping out of the Black Knight uniform… right in front of a window of all places!
Like night and day, the dark fabric was a stark contrast to the pale milky white flesh underneath. Lelouch's flawless skin reminded him of a luminescent pearl bathed in moonlight even though it was the sun's rays filtering through the sheer curtains. Suzaku's emerald eyes widened in horror as those thin arms took hold of the curtains and pulled them open. The sunlight poured into the dark room, and the glare was so bright that the brunet had to squeeze his eyes shut as he dashed forwards, arms seeking out the prince's fragile seeming body.
They crashed heavily onto the ground and Suzaku grunted as he took more of the impact on his side while cushioning the other's fall. There was no time to breathe or think. He flipped them over quickly, shielding the vampire from the light with his own body.
Run… Run… Run… Never stop running…Never stop… was the mantra he mentally kept repeating as he continued to sprint through a never ending wasteland. Suzaku's chest ballooned achingly as his lungs and muscles desperately begged for mercy. The youth stubbornly ignored his body's fatigue. Sweat flattened his brown hair and dripped along his flushed face. He could feel his heart pounding a million times against his ribcage, threatening to burst as it grew heavier with each passing second.
He desperately blinked backed the tears that would have obscured his vision when he saw the approaching signs of the source he was running from. Around him, there was no place to seek shelter and hide. All the fleeing boy could do was to keep pushing himself forward. Still anguish filled him, knowing that no matter how fast or hard he ran, he was no match for the speed of light.
As if sensing his despair, the weight on his back shifted slightly.
"Su… Suzaku…" a voice rasped against his ear.
The brunet desperately clawed at the arm that was draped over his shoulder. "It'll be okay…" he promised fervently, speaking through clenched teeth. "We're almost there… we're almost…"
"You stubborn fool," the same voice hissed, but it was without malice. "We're still several hours away, and the sun… the sun is rising…"
"We'll make it… we'll…"
The brunet attempted to increase his pace and stumbled in the process, spraining one of his ankles. The stabbing pain that ran up and down his legs as he continued to limp away from the enclosing sunlight was nowhere near the agony of the cold voice of logic in his head.
Suzaku stiffened upon feeling cool fingers slide up his flushed cheek, bringing him back into the present He quickly turned his attention back to Lelouch who lay prone beneath him and sighed in relief. Not a single burn mark appeared on the other's unblemished skin. It was then Suzaku realized how foolish he was. Lelouch was pureblood royalty; he had nothing to fear and would not cower in the shadows when the sun was in the sky. Lelouch was different than other vampires… he was special.
'All Men are not created equal,' was the booming declaration that accompanied many of the Emperor Charles Zi Britannia's speeches. There was truth in those words that wrapped around his throat like a noose he could not pry off.
"It's all right, Suzaku," the prince assured him with a gentle smile, "I won't burn."
The brunet nodded numbly as he climbed to his feet and reached out to the other boy while trying to avert his gaze from the single piece of clothing – black bikini briefs – that Lelouch wear. He could have sworn he heard the other snort and laughter and focused only on those slender fingers that wrapped around his own. With ease, he pulled the lanky teen up onto his feet, and risked a glance from the corner of his eye. He could have sworn that his old friend would have smirked at his naiveté; but instead the prince appeared to be smiling.
"Suzaku…" the said boy's heart lurched in his chest when he saw Lelouch's smile for what it was, honest and full of warmth. "I…"
He did not have a chance to finish as the glass window behind them suddenly shattered.
Tohdoh frowned as the electricity within the building flickered briefly before turning off altogether. He was on his feet in an instant, picking up a sheathed katanna that was always on his person or at least within reach. Entering the pitched black hallway, he was greeted by four closest subordinates Shogo Asahina, Nagisa Chiba, Kotetsu Urabe, and the oldest Ryoga Senba.
"It appears we have uninvited visitors," he said out loud, his eyes quickly adapted to the darkness and scanned his surroundings while he listened for any sudden movements. It was unnaturally quiet.
"Are you certain, sir?" Asahina questioned. "The alarms haven't gone off."
"Which means," Chiba, the only female among them, clipped in with a frown, "the intruders have already disabled them."
Senba, the oldest of the group who served under Tohdoh for over a decade both in the military and the Japanese Liberation Front, wear a grim expression on his face when he spoke. "They would have had assistance from within our ranks."
"Damn," Urabe cursed. "I thought we weeded out all the moles."
Todoh turned as his ears caught the sound of shattering glass coming from upper levels and proceed to stalk down the hallway with the other soldiers trailing behind him. Whoever these intruders were, he would not permit them to carry their objective. No enemy would escape alive. He unsheathed his blade and heard his companions behind them do the same.
"Kouzuki!" he called out when spotting a flash of red from the corner of his eye. A moment later, a young girl with spiky red-hair was now walking alongside them. Tohdoh was once more impressed with her stealth if not her judgment. "I want you to get to Zero. You are not to leave his side again, understood?"
"Yes, sir…" she responded in a meek voice that made all the four veteran soldiers alongside her flinch with sympathy. She lowered her head to hide both shame and anger that contorted her lovely youthful features before disappearing out of sight to follow orders.
"Sir, you know it wasn't her fault right?" Urabe, the tallest of the group, spoke up after he was certain she was out of ear shot. "Zero asked for Kururugi to go with him…"
Tohdoh did not respond but Chiba did, wearing a scowl. Out of the four of them, she was the only one who did not question orders – especially Tohdoh's.
"Kallen Kouzuki is his bodyguard, she doesn't need an invitation."
Urabe and Asashina exchanged glances and wisely kept their opinions to themselves.
Seconds after the lights went out, the doors to the bedroom opened and Suzaku tensed as the barrels of many guns were pointed at him. He was once again pinning the half-naked prince to the floor near a window shattered by a sniper's bullet. Realizing that these soldiers would logically assume he was the attacker, the brunet slowly backed away while raising his hands up to show that he was unarmed. Suzaku stared anxiously back at the group of Black Knights who had yet to lower their weapons.
"Master Zero…" The leader stepped forward and held out his hand towards teenager still sprawled on the floor. "Lord Jeremiah ordered us to escort you to the nearest escape route where he is waiting."
Ignoring the aid, Lelouch gracefully stood, but made no movement to dress or follow the group of Black Knights. Instead, the prince folded his thin arms across his chest and stared at the group disdainfully. Suzaku would have questioned his behavior until he realized something was off. Why were these men wearing full body armor and night vision headgear only a couple of seconds after the blackout?
Lelouch watched him lower his arms, and smirked.
"So you figured it out to then, Suzaku." The prince turned his attention back to the armed group. "I seriously doubt Lord Jeremiah would order my kidnappers to escort me to safety."
The leader sneered, exposing long fangs as he lunged forward to grab Lelouch. Dark gloved-fingers did not even graze the prince's skin when Suzaku had moved to intercept. With inhuman speed he grabbed the leader's arm in a bone-crushing grip, throwing him hard onto the floor, then driving a knee into his back to pin him.
"SHOOT HIM!" the leader roared in outrage before a blow to the back of his head rendered him unconscious.
Several shots were fired but they came from the single firearm Suzaku had taken from the man beneath him. Not a single person from the group was standing as they all lay moaning and bleeding, but nonetheless alive on the floor.
"D-Damn Eleven!" one of the men snarled, managing to aim his firearm at Suzaku.
The Japanese boy was about to shoot first until his ears picked up the sound of something tearing in through the steel elevator doors outside. A massive ball of red fur came bounding into the room, landing on top of the wounded soldiers who cried in agony over the sound of their crunching bones. His jaw dropped as he was visibly startled at the sight of the newcomer that was examining the pile of crushed bodies under its weight.
Apparently satisfied, the werewolf raised its head and snarled viciously back at Suzaku, exposing razor sharp canines that could very well rip him limb from limb. Suddenly remembering the gun in his hand, he quickly eased up on the trigger and lowered his weapon. The voracious creature closed its jaws but it continued to glare back at him with those oddly colored eyes.
"He is not our enemy Q-1, settle down," Lelouch commanded as he strode passed a stunned Suzaku. The prince was now mostly covered, wearing his alter-ego's black and gold-trimmed cape. Lowering its head submissively, the wolf immediately calmed down as a hand reached out to stroke its fur. After a few more pets, Lelouch lowered his hand turned towards him once more and gestured to intimidating red-wolf.
"Suzaku, let me introduce you to Q-1, the head of my bodyguards."
"Q-1?" he couldn't help but repeat as he watched them in wonder. "Q-1 as in the queen chess piece… its female?"
It… she glared at him once more. He gulped and tried to appear apologetic but Lelouch was definitely not helping as he laughed.
"Yes, she is. Q-1 is the Red Lotus of the Black Knights," he explained as the wolf began to shiver and appeared to be shrinking down, changing forms right before their very eyes. Suzaku slowly stood up once more, staring bewilderedly at the sight of that same redhead he had seen earlier. Except now she was quite… naked. He quickly averted his gaze from her ample chest that was quickly covered by a Black Knight uniform jacket Lelouch had offered her.
"My name is Kallen Kouzuki," although she did not appear to be completely Japanese, Q-1's voice was filled with pride especially when it came to saying her surname, "it's a pleasure to meet you."
Suzaku cringed on the inside as he detected the note of sarcasm indicating that Kallen was saying the exact opposite of how she felt.
Wow, the time really flies by when you're reading other people's fan fiction.