AN: Testing out a new fandom. I have multiple ideas for multiple parings, but there's a seeming lack of Ohgi/Viletta on this site, so I figured I'd give it a try. This is nothing but introspection (as skywalker55 said, this fic has even less plot then usual), but I like it anyway.

Takes place directly after the ending of the show (so spoiler alert from here on in), but before Ohgi becomes the PM.

God, I hope I have all the names spelled right. Please review, good or bad!


Fade Away

Ohgi feels as though the world has left him behind.

He was a leader, once, but it never sat right with him—knowing he was the one who had to make all the calls, come up with all the tricks. Knowing that there was no one else to fall back on. Knowing it was all on him.

Ohgi is dependable, and in the beginning he'd tried his best to be the Leader he was expected to be: he led Kallen and the others in the Shinjuku Ghetto, and sometimes they had small victories, and those were nice, but at the end of the day they had so little to show for the losses they'd suffered. Friends and fighters…corpses lying in the street for Britannia to play with. Ohgi knows he wasn't a bad leader—his fighters respected him, back before the Black Knights, and they managed to give Britannia a hard time every now and then.

But Ohgi also knows he is no miracle worker.

He's never been able to inspire the troops the way Zero could. Dramatic gestures and flowery speeches just make Ohgi sound like a fool. By all rights of seniority he should have assumed command of the Black Knights, but he didn't—he was second in command on paper and in practice, until Tohdoh and Li Xingke appeared, and then it was mostly just on paper. He still commanded troops, still gave orders (still gritted his teeth as Kallen and the others rushed out to fight, knowing they had a faith in him that he didn't have for himself). But while Tohdoh fought and Zero schemed, Ohgi watched from the command ship's bridge.

(If he dwells on it, he knows that Zero could have saved the day on his own: had Ohgi died when Viletta shot him Zero would have simply moved on.)

Zero was the miracle worker. Tohdoh is the leader of the Holy Swords, the hardened soldier of a hundred battlefields. Kallen is the fighter. Li Xingke is the skilled diplomat-ruler, fighting and compromising in turn for his people. Lelouch—Lelouch, that twisted schoolboy, that usurper of the true Zero's mask—whatever the hell Lelouch had been, it was something skilled and subtle and dangerous. It was something you couldn't ignore.

Ohgi is just a Japanese citizen who didn't want to become an Eleven. Ohgi just tried to give Japan back her glory, and now that she has it Ohgi doesn't have much of a role at all. He'll feature in the textbooks, but only in the footnotes. He'll be mentioned as the leader of the pre-Black Knights, whoever they were; one of the original team, back when it was Kallen and Tamaki and Zero, and a crazy dream to fell the beast Britannia that never should have worked.

But his struggle—pacing the bridge of the command ship, trying to figure out where Zero was and what Zero was doing and what Zero expected everyone else to do—will be overlooked. He wasn't the leader, he was the man who put Zero's plans into action. He was the man who sent Kallen and Tohdoh and everyone else out, to risk their lives while he stood back, and because they survived they'll earn the credit and he'll earn a nod.

Ohgi doesn't know how Zero's mind worked. He'll never know what happened, that Zero should help and vanish and die and survive, that he should be replaced by and then kill Lelouch—that he should do so much, all under the same black mask. Ohgi tried as best he could, at the time, to understand the twisting alliances that left the Black Knights fighting with Britannia and against Lelouch (who claimed to be Britannia reincarnate himself). In the end, he understood only that he wasn't meant for politics.

After all, Ohgi isn't the leader. He's been a hero, but the Black Knights had plenty of those. The world will forget the suffering he went through: the self-doubt, the fear that he'd fail Zero or get Kallen killed. Having to watch Chigusa become a woman he didn't recognize, right before his weakening eyes.

Now that the world's been saved, now that the Demon Emperor Lelouch has been killed…now Ohgi's usefulness as a hero is over. The world still needs leaders—plenty of those—but it's had enough of heroes. It's seen too many of them die. And Ohgi is sure that those rumors of him being considered for the revived position of Prime Minister are just that: silly fabrications. There are better choices. Better people. Ohgi assumes he'll be expected to step back, and bow out, and let others have the credit.

He knows he should be bitter…

Anyone else would be bitter, probably. Ohgi was left so clearly behind by the powers that he was supposed to lead. It doesn't seem fair, when he thinks about it like that.

But he doesn't usually think about it like that. Instead he thinks about Chigusa, and the child they're having trouble naming (Chigusa still has a fascination with all things Royal Britannia; she's quite determined to give the baby what she calls a full title, and what Ohgi calls six names too many for any one person to handle). He thinks about the look in her eyes when he told her to stay behind…that desperate look, because somehow she loved him, despite all the hatred she'd once had. Sometimes he thinks about the woman Viletta, who he can't be sure he ever knew.

He has a scar on his stomach, red and jagged, and the first time Chigusa saw it she cried. And Chigusa isn't a woman who often cries. Maybe Ohgi should be bitter, about his place in the world and that scar on his stomach—

But Ohgi considers his nameless child, growing up in a peaceful world: a child half-Japanese and half-Britannian, and no part a number. He remembers his wedding day, and the disbelief that so many of his friends should be alive to attend…that so many of the guests weren't even always his friends, but people who tried to tear each other to shreds. Ohgi thinks of the implausibility of Tohdoh and Gilford standing in the same photograph, and laughs—how could he be bitter? His child will be used to a new kind of life.

The world has moved beyond Ohgi, and he isn't sure he cares.