For those of you who, like me, were not satisfied with the three second shot of the happy ending these two got. I give you this. As mentioned before there are assorted spoilers. Apologies in advance to any of my subscribers that are waiting for two other particular fics, as I unfortunately have little control over what order they come out of my head in.
Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass, but am only a Geass away from such.
Jeremiah Gottwald hadn't planned any of this out. Not the death of Empress Marianne, the Geass which ruined his career and led to Suzaku Kururugi's release, or any of the twisted events that followed. All of this didn't matter because, while some might disagree with the specifics, Jeremiah was always true to what he believed. During the war, choices were made that sometimes shifted exactly what he believed, but he was always the one that made those choices, and followed through on them with utmost vigor. When he had met Anya Alstreim in battle, it was most likely similar to facing off with any other formidable opponent. At least, Jeremiah couldn't remember anything out of the ordinary, besides an unnatural amount of pressure from the importance of the battle. Not that such a thing would ever hold him back, truthfully quite the opposite, he probably wouldn't have been able to pull off that over the top move he used to defeat Anya in her Knightmare Mordred. Somewhere between flying through the air and announcing his victory, Jeremiah's world changed. Perhaps it was slightly after or before, but the fact remains that nothing was the same from that point on.
Before continuing, it is important to note that Jeremiah Gottwald is not a pedophile, or anything even remotely similar. However, Anya's defeated look when she admitted her perpetual amnesia stirred strong protective feelings for her in him. When Lelouch was successful in taking control of Damocles, Jeremiah's cry of victory was twofold, once for his master's success, and twice for the fact that the pink-haired girl wouldn't have to see war anymore. To him, she was far too young for any of the things she was a part of, let alone being nearly good enough to best him in battle. He had never felt so glad to save someone from the Geass.
After the war, during Lelouch's brief period as Emperor of the world, it took every ounce of decorum to restrain Jeremiah from asking his liege to release Anya into his care. Instead, he suffered silently, waiting for her eventual execution, during which time it felt as if everything would constantly be the drenched red of twisted events Jeremiah knew so well. It would be with the execution only days away that things would show themselves for what they really were: a ruse of the cleverest design, completely removed from any triteness. Lelouch had planned this all for a very long time, a way to achieve world peace without force of arms, in the form of a staged assassination, with the price being his own life. After Lelouch had disclosed the plan to Jeremiah, it was met with what became a very lame plea to reconsider, and he, the master of loyalty and drive, could recognize that Lelouch's motivation for peace out-weighed his own desire for his lord to live. The last thing Lelouch instructed Jeremiah to do was to surrender to the eventual peace and to live for himself. Not a personal word was exchanged between the two at any point afterward.
On the fateful day, it was nervousness and silent mourning for his lord, who would soon become a self-martyr, that were the emotions Jeremiah felt. His eyes often wandered to Anya, who was being paraded on top of a prisoner truck along with others, only to find her expression silently defiant. Once or twice he found her gaze on him, perhaps wondering why he would give her the gift of retaining memories only to have her eventually killed, but it never struck him as the look of someone pleading for a savior. When Zero appeared, and made his way to kill Lelouch, Jeremiah followed orders, making a good show of attempting to stop the masked hero. He had no idea who was inside the mask, but respected him as the catalyst for Lelouch's greatest ambition and gave him a secret respectful nod.
Despite the knowledge that this murder accomplished everything Lelouch ever wanted, it pained Jeremiah to the very core of his essence to watch the scene. There was a strange irony in the previously blind Nunally pleading for her brother to open his eyes, with the overwhelming chant of "Zero!" in the background. The combination of it all nearly stunned Jeremiah to immobility. When he came to his senses, he hastily called for a retreat, as ordered from before. No one questioned him and they all fled quickly to escape the coming retribution for their actions. Jeremiah did not think they were cowards, but he himself did not do the same. Climbing atop the prisoner transport trucks, he freed the prisoners with his wrist blade, making a special point to free Anya last, before removing his weapon and kneeling down in front of her. Announcing his surrender to the first person that would hear him, he noted Anya had not fled to relative safety, and instead stood next to him, as if to ensure he would not be harmed.
It didn't take long for Zero to proclaim that all of Lelouch's followers would not be taken prisoner and soon Jeremiah was released. Anya still had not left his side and even began following him silently as he walked the streets aimlessly. Around him, select people were taking advantage of the sudden vacuum of power that would have to be filled by those advocating peace. These things were irrelevant to Jeremiah however, as he was trying to think of what he would do with his life. Eventually, a soft female voice spoke to him from behind.
"What do you plan on doing?" Anya hadn't even changed out of the prisoner garb from a few hours earlier. At first, Jeremiah had no answer for her, but after getting over the shocking realization that everything in his life lead to this moment, he took off his slightly soiled coat and put it on her before answering.
"I think I'm going to find a nice quiet place and grow oranges." He surprised himself with a laugh at his declaration and was rewarded with the smallest hint of a smile from Anya. After a silence, he continued walking, this time to a destination to set this spontaneously ironic plan in motion. Anya never actually said she would or wanted to come with him, but nor did she ever fall more than a few steps behind him.
With his life earnings, which were substantially increased with a mysterious deposit earlier on the day of Lelouch's assassination, Jeremiah purchased a large orange orchard and new clothes for Anya. He wove a large orange flag by his own hands and put up a large flag pole that was visible throughout the orchard and beyond. Thus he began his simple life of content. Gone was the bloody life of servitude to the Britannian Empire. He didn't even have a TV to keep up with current events, such as the world peace treaties and other important political advances. To him, who had utter faith in the deceased Lelouch's plan, all of those things were guaranteed to happen. Eventually however, Anya caved to the need for information, and dipped into her own bank account to fill their humble home with electronics and other luxuries. It dented the former Knight of the Round's savings very little. After a focused effort, Anya collected all her recorded memories into one easy package and went about the work of re-living it all, now finally able to commit it to memory.
At first, Jeremiah gave her space to take it all in while still getting her help running the orchard, but before long he began looking over her shoulder when curiosity struck him. Wishing to share the experience, Anya invited him to watch, read, or listen with her and the space between them shrunk considerably, until an affection developed that made Jeremiah feel like a father. As they worked through the gigantic stack of Anya's past, it was with a satisfied smile that she deleted what had already been committed to memory. Between her project and the peaceful orange orchard, Anya felt a contentment that the battlefield had never given her, and brought out a happiness she had never known. For Jeremiah, while he liked being included in the project, the more he learned of Anya's past, particularly the fun and youthful parts, he wondered if she was really okay living out her life with an older man like him, and if she missed the people she had written about in her blog or recorded.
While the climate where their orchard resided was great for growing oranges most of the year, the detonations of multiple FREYA warheads had done its fair share of damage to the weather, and a cold snowy winter was not unnatural. By spring, the orange trees would recover and start bearing fruit once more, but this left a few month period where Anya and Jeremiah would stay indoors. It was during one of these times, on the second year of the two of them living together, that they finally reached Anya's final record. The video data had remarkably survived the fight between Anya and Jeremiah and the near destruction of Mordred. As the video cut out with Anya striking a killing blow to Jeremiah's Knightmare, a deep silence set in for a few moments.
"I stopped the recording far too soon." Anya commented, thinking that she would not delete this last recording and grasping the concept that her project was complete. It didn't really matter though, as what happened after the video would stay in her memory forever.
"Would it surprise you to learn that I had often thought about using my inner Sutherland to launch an all or nothing attack in a dire situation like I did?" Jeremiah boasted happily.
"You're lying." Anya accused, though all in fun. She was leaning up against him, as she often had done when they both got comfortable in front of the computer. Several times, all during battles, Jeremiah had instinctively put his arm around her, as if to shield her from the dangers of conflicts past, even the battle they had just watched where she had fought him was no different. Neither had ever complained or felt awkward with the proximity.
"Yeah, you're right, it was a total spur of the moment thing." He admitted truthfully. They were looking at each other now, their faces inches apart. Resolve came to Jeremiah, and he spoke his mind. "Anya...I was thinking of officially adopting you. Would that be okay with you?"
He didn't think she would have a problem with it, but quickly realized this to be untrue, as her silent express quickly turned to an upset one.
"No." She answered after her answer had already been clearly displayed in her expression. "You can't adopt me."
Jeremiah almost asked her if she was joking, but thought better of it, settling for merely asking her why. Anya's response did not come right away. After looking away and several failed attempts to say more than one word or so, she met his concerned gaze. His uncovered eye, being the color that filled her life now and symbolized all her new peace and happiness, gave her the bravery to act.
His lips were strong and warm, her own soft and longing. Confusion only lasted a second for Jeremiah before he realized what was happening. To Anya, it didn't matter that he was older or even partly robotic. As their hands intertwined, she knew the only thing she wanted was to continue this peaceful existence, working an orchard with a man that had impossibly orange eyes, and flew a flag of the same color...
I hope you enjoyed this fluffy little number. Know that I just barely managed to avoid a brief mention of Nina killing herself over the FREYA because I can't stand her . As always, reviews are appreciated, as encouragement is how fanfiction writers sleep at night XD