"This can be very easily solved, Lelouch Lamperouge." His psychiatrist gestured with an open hand to the half-cracked window above her head, swelling with white sunshine. Her tanned Japanese features stretched with an uncomplaining smile on him. He sat across from her with dark lines under his eyes, and he frowned distrustfully at her. "See what a beautiful day it is becoming? Wouldn't you like to enjoy it with your loved ones? We can get in touch with them… and you can be released from this institute today…"
"Under… what conditions exactly?" Lelouch asked her, snorting offhandedly. He crossed his bare arms (his nurses regulated how long his sleeves were — and since he was a previously offending Refrain addict, his sleeves barely reached the length of his mid-bicep). "That I confess to a habit that I have broken for a substantial amount of time? That I confess to nightmares I no longer have?"
She dropped her hand into her lap. "You were a teacher, weren't you, Lelouch?" Her gaze on him softened in sympathy as his shoulders clenched hard at that underneath his lavender uniform. "You can no longer obtain that position with the same amount of respect in our just society—"
"Our JUST society?" Lelouch tilted his head back to the ceiling with wide, disbelieving eyes, letting out a smiling laugh that also sounded like an outraged bark. "Is that what you call the system where the lowest of the low is condemned for what is in their blood? Do you truly believe in yourself that for being Japanese that you are inferior to everyone else?"
"I am not telling you that is an easy process." She said, her clear blue eyes starting to harden, "I now belong to our Britannian society with the honorary respect that one who was an outcast would hope to achieve one day. But it had not always been true. I had been addicted to Refrain for five years… for a son who was a casualty in the Tokyo settlement war… for a daughter who resented me… and for a husband who was more than happy to reinforce a divorce with his full-Japanese wife for a prettier, rich Britannian lover. The real difference between you and I was that I was willing to ask others for help by the closing stages of my suffering."
Lelouch looked back at her, a little less hostility in his stance, uncrossing his arms. "…what do you want to know then?" he sighed. "If you are truly the success story, then what can you teach me from my experiences?"
"We will get to that in a moment… but first…" The tanned, red-haired woman pressed a button on her speaker.
A small, shy voice emerged from it fuzzily. "What can I do for you this afternoon, Miss Kouzuki? Does Mr. Lamperouge need to be escorted back to his quarters?"
"Not quite, Monica. We will be pushing his slot back for another hour or so. I would actually like you to get in contact with his next-of-kin…"
"…I see then. Tell Mr. Lamperouge congratulations from me then."
"Now flex your right hand. But do it slowly." He did so as he was told, his large, emerald green eyes screwing up in concentration. "That's good, Suzaku." The indigo-haired woman with the notepad next to him smiled as she spoke cheerfully, "That's very good. I think that's all the data we will need today."
Suzaku slipped the elbow-length glove streaming with wires off, nodding. "Is Lloyd in today?" he asked.
"He is… wandering around somewhere, I am sure." Cecile rolled her eyes, amused as her companion let out a small chuckle.
It was refreshing to hear him laugh like that. He rarely ever smiled so genuinely. Ever since…
"Suzaku, I do believe there is a visitor here for youuuu~" Lloyd grinned from the entrance hallway to the training unit, stepping aside to reveal a tall woman with a pale green braid down her back. "She insisted upon coming in," he crooned.
"Cee-Cee?" Suzaku gaped, nearly dropping the very expensive piece of training equipment on the floor (his employer's asinine expression wavered for a moment into a warning frown and Cecile drew in a sharp breath of anticipation). "W-What are you doing here?"
"Sending you on an errand if you don't mind." She smirked at his unreserved disbelief, continuing with a shrug of her exposed shoulders, and twirling her cherry-red parasol that was in her fingerless, satin gloved hands — to be honest, it looked like she had escaped from a circus performance. "I just received a call from Yuki Kouzuki. She wanted to know if I could pick up Lelouch from the crazy house today."
"Lelouch's… psychiatrist…?" He could have sworn that his heart skipped a beat or three at the sound of Lelouch.
"Yes. If you wouldn't mind, since I have to travel to get Nunnally and Sayoko back into Tokyo—you'd need to take him back to the Clubhouse and babysitting him for three days until we return." A strange and unreadable glint in her golden eyes, but Suzaku did not notice. "…It would be much appreciated."
"A-Are you sure?"
"Oh, I absolutely trust you with him, Suzaku dearest." He did, however, notice the strange wink. Cee-Cee sidled up to him, slipping a paper into his free hand, "Here is the address. Please be careful not to have too much fun."
As she disappeared back out the hallway, twirling parasol and all, Lloyd hmmed loudly. "What was thaaat~? A girlfriend of yours, Suzaku?" The young soldier turned pink in his cheeks, stammering out a half shriek, half yell of "NO!" Cecile smacked the arm of the now laughing, lilac-haired man.
"Feel free to ignore Lloyd, Suzaku."
"Lelouch, hmm?" Lloyd didn't seem miffed at all by the reprimanding but intrigued by Suzaku suddenly, "That name… Wasn't that the addict boy that came into our hospital a while back?"
"He's not an addict."
His employer sniffed, humored even more as Suzaku's green eyes pinched up irritably, as Lloyd's most important military protégé yet growled forebodingly at him.
"Whatever you say…"
At the receptionist desk of the psychiatric ward, on the outskirts of the Tokyo settlement (or 'crazy house' as Cee-Cee made a point to identify with that queer, little, toothy smile of hers) — a lean woman with red ribbons tangled in her long, loosely-unprofessional blonde hair stared up at him as he entered from the elevator. Well, it was more like gawking at him from the edge of her Britannian sociology magazine as Suzaku removed his sunglasses.
"a-ay…" She yelped, rising up from her stool and tipping it over in her rush, "…May I help you?"
Mentally, he let out a long sigh.
This was not going to be a painless process…was it…?
Suzaku figured that the best case-scenario would be being direct. He forced a very convincing smile that felt like it would cut into the corners of his lips if kept too long. "Hello, miss. I'm here to pick up Lelouch Lamperouge."
"I…I…" The woman stammered — her navy-colored and timid eyes bulging as she pressed a square button on the desk phone. Suzaku's insides coiled like a spring ready to fly. Calling security? Was she serious?
Immediately from one of the sets of glass doors, a stern-looking woman stepped out. Her clear blue eyes passed over Suzaku. Without looking away from him, she addressed the other woman (who was starting to regain color in her homey, dappled face). "And who is our guest this afternoon?"
"My name is Suzaku Kuruugi. I'm here to pick up Lelouch."
"I assume Miss Cee-Cee send you in her stead to escort him home. I am his psychiatrist, Yuki Kouzuki." The red-haired woman turned away, smiling at the blonde, "Please go into my records to find Mr. Lamperouge's case file and be prompt about it. We do not want to waste our guest's time."
As the other disappeared behind other glass doors connected to the waiting room, Ms. Kouzuki's smile tempered off, turning back on Suzaku.
"I can see her behavior made you feel uncomfortable, Mr. Kuruugi. Do forgive Miss Monica Kruszewski. She is very young and comes from a difficult family where tolerance and respect of Elevens was not very essential in her education. It took her some time to adjust to her position here."
Before the young man could respond to this, Monica returned with the file and gave a fleeting bow to her superior (who gave her another sunny, encouraging smile as if the woman were a slow child who required the show). "We usually do not allow sudden substitutions during these circumstances, but I do have records on your reliability, Mr. Kuruugi. But I do have some concerns about Mr. Lamperouge that I'd like to go over with you."
"What kind of concerns?" Suzaku's eyebrows bunched together in confusion.
"Nothing too distressing, I can assure you. He has been in steady rehabilitation for two months, but Mr. Lamperouge is required to attend already prepared appointments here every week and can fill you in on those details himself. He is also required to be accompanied for the first several weeks if he wanders outside his home and without privacy for the first week even if it is the restroom. If he at any time requires a sedative, it must be written in the notebook I have already passed over to Miss Cee-Cee…"
Ms. Kouzuki poked her head inside the room she had originally emerged from and gestured to someone within.
"Oh, and I'd like to remind Mr. Lamperouge that he is still recovering from abdominal surgery and to warn him about his stretching exercises since he has already caused himself internal bleeding once before, and if he continues having to be reminded frequently about this…"
"I'm not an invalid…" Lelouch scowled at her as he exited, clutching tighter to the tattered red coat draped around his shoulders. "…so don't treat me like one…"
Suzaku swallowed hard at the sight of him.
Despite being held up in a monotonous hospital environment and eating less than satisfactory, Lelouch still had the ability to be as attractive as he had been months before the young soldier left for the intensive army training. Especially in those delicate, long-fingered hands. Those enormous, intelligent purple eyes —and it appeared that Lelouch had grown out his hair during his stay. His silky, black hair had stopped just short of his chin before. It was now messily pulled up at the back of his head by a black band, and if it were removed, Suzaku would have guessed that it would brush the tops of his less-than-broad shoulders.
"Mr. Kuruugi is here to take you home," the psychiatrist said, opening an arm towards Suzaku. Lelouch's eyes behind his framed glasses widened — but only for a second — and then he avoided looking at the other man entirely, dropping his gaze to the floor.
"Does that mean I am free to take my leave?" Lelouch whispered, balling up those pale hands.
"As one would expect. Enjoy your freedom, Mr. Lamperouge."
"Do you need anything to eat, Lelouch?"
"I'm not hungry at the moment."
And that was the extent of the conversation on the subway ride back to Ashford Academy's campus and as they crossed the threshold of the first floor of the Clubhouse. Within seconds, Lelouch dropped his belongings in the gap of the deserted hallway and then walked to the bathroom, closing it in Suzaku's face. The brown-haired boy stood outside, remembering what the psychiatrist had said, wondering if he should just knock first — and the door slid open with a soft whoosh.
"If I had known you were in a hurry, I would have used the bathroom upstairs," Lelouch said mildly, leaning languidly on the doorframe with one long arm over his head. He raked his eyes over Suzaku's street-clothed physique without much of a display of hiding his rapt attention.
"You are not supposed to be left alone for a week. Your psychiatrist told you that."
Lelouch did not answer him, grunting out something intelligible as he brushed past his companion. Suzaku caught his wrist without much effort. When the older man tried futilely to retch himself out of it, they stared hard at each other. And Suzaku's green eyes widened as Lelouch suddenly pressed him to the wall, crashing against him, dry and warm lips touching his earlobe. "Make it worth my time then, Suzaku-kun..."
Shutting away warning bells in his head, Suzaku smirked faintly into the light kiss they shared before his lover deepened it, scrabbling his fingertips into the back of Suzaku's white and blue jacket. Suzaku's hands journeyed low on Lelouch's hips, resting over the elastic band of the unflattering, hand-me-down plaid pants that he must have been given at the ward for his leaving day. Lelouch moaned into their open-mouth kiss and accidentally pushed his tongue harshly on the inside of Suzaku's cheek, combing a hand into Suzaku's curls as he nudged his growing erection between the younger's legs. The warning bells only returned when Lelouch's breathing become faster and tighter, and as Suzaku felt him draw away.
"What is it, Lelouch? What's wrong?"
The darker-haired shook his head, resting his face into the crook of Suzaku's neck. "I'm fine." His breathing became more erratic. His delicate-fingered hands seeking further purchase into the other man's jacket as Lelouch whispered, "I just get this way because of the medicine they have me on."
Worried, Suzaku led him to a couch in the next room. "Then you should sit down. I'll get you a bottle of water and something to eat." Lelouch rolled his eyes halfheartedly as he nearly sprinted for the kitchen. As Suzaku reached into the refrigerator, his green eyes caught of an open manila folder.
Patient Lelouch Lamperouge…
His tanned hands clasped instinctively on the speckled kitchen countertop.
Suzaku approached the top sheet of paper, swearing under his breath softly at those italicized words.
Patient Lelouch Lamperouge is prohibited from any and all medication.
IMPORTANT NOTE IS IMPORTANT: This is a sequel, folks. Not a standalone. The AU stories go in this order: Detention, Peccadillo, By Way of Mouth (Diamond Mask), For Me It's You (Diamond Mask), Lolita (Diamond Mask), Eden's East (Diamond Mask), Thirst, Ashes of the Sun (Diamond Mask), and then this story! Just so no one is confused!
WHAT DRAMATIC COVERAGE IT SHALL BEEEEEEEEE. My apologizes everyone for the long wait. You gotta understand that I am a swamped college student and I am trying my hardest to balance my writing and my schoolwork. I will not abandon any project I am working on because I don't believe in that at all. Please be patient with me. If you are concerned about anything...just message me... I answer messages within a day or two of receiving them usually. This is another sequel to Diamond Mask and my collection of Student!Suzaku/Teacher!Lelouch AU stories. As always: CG isn't mine—I love my readers like whoa—Diamond is the BESTEST SuzaLulu pal ever and I would not have started my AU's without her brilliance—REVIEWS ARE HAWT!
More side notes: The title I thought fit appropriately with everything that is to come. Teehee. Oh, and about Kallen's Mum… I don't know if she has a first name so I totally made it up. xP And yes, I do plan on using random CG characters for even the most random plot points…much like Monica was…