Title: Not Yet
Summary: Lelouch's 'death' was only the beginning. He's not dead yet, and he and C.C. want to keep it that way. Nunnaly has trouble coping with being the Empress, and Suzaku is torn between helping her and hating himself for wanting to be happy.
Rating: T (And staying that way)
Disclaimer: You know, Code Geass was perfect. If I had made it, it wouldn't have been. Trufax.
Authour's Note: This chapter actually kind of wedges itself in an odd grey area before the whole Viletta wedding thing and the next plot bit coming up. Poor planning on my part to blame, but that's okay. Hope you guys like this chapter, because I had a blast writing it. Heck, it practically wrote itself. I was just a slave to the story, man. Next chapter: finally gonna see the rest of the wedding. Or part of it. I'm probably going to make that last a bit longer, just because there's so much subtext to write. D:
Suzaku quickly escaped at those words, not even bothering to speak to her. He simply jammed his mask on and left. His brain wasn't even trying to process what had just happened, and the second he was back in his room, her angrily punched a wall. Ignoring the pain, he quickly stripped and stood in his boxers, because the weight of the costume was becoming too much to bear. When he finally had a moment to think, frustration and confusion took over his mind.
Had Lelouch wanted this? He couldn't possibly have, and yet… If Suzaku had truly been following Lelouch's orders, the spirit of his wish, then he wouldn't ever have let Nunnaly kiss him. He brought one of his hands up to his lips, and then to his forehead, rubbing it tiredly. It wasn't as late as he normally got back to his room, so he wasn't tired at all. Not that he probably would have been able to sleep with her words running through his mind. He had encouraged... that, and he only blamed himself.
A small part of him was happy, was overjoyed at the idea of marrying her. The greater part of his mind rebelled though, and he got angrier and angrier with himself. This was Nunnaly he was thinking about. The little girl he and Lelouch had carried through war-torn Japan, the blind girl that Lelouch Lamperouge had taken care of and sheltered for years. Yet only a few months of the real world and she was turning out to be as witty, realistic, intelligent, and determined as her brother had been. Suzaku wondered for a moment what she would have been like if she had grown up normally, but banished the idea from his mind. He knew she would have surpassed her brother.
It was likely enough she would still surpass her brother now that he was gone.
Suzaku didn't even pretend that he would be able to get to sleep without help, so he swallowed some sleeping pills in his bathroom and collapsed onto his bed. He was stuck in a sneaky hate spiral and he hated it.
Nunnaly watched as Suzaku got up and left without a word, a small smile on her lips. She had known he would probably react like that. She had known him too long not to. He was still very much the same as he had been back when she had been young, blind, and brand new to Japan, and she knew that sometimes that was how he thought of her. Sure, he knew better, but he had known the blink, helpless Nunnaly long before he had know the Empress Nunnaly.
She was a little sad she hadn't gotten her kiss, but she had more pressing things to worry about. Like how to marry a nonexistent person. He had practically dared her when he had said she couldn't do it, and she smiled to herself thinking about it.
She could see in his eyes that it was something he wanted, but that he had already resigned himself to its impossibility. At fist she had thought it was because she was so young, but then, she was old enough to marry legally as a member of the royal family, and doubly so as the Empress. If she had been crowned at age twelve the edict to marry within a year would have still applied. Then she had worried that it had to do with her brother, but knew that wasn't right either. Lelouch would never have tried to deny her happiness. So it left only one reason that he was resigned to a wedding's impossibility.
He wanted to make himself miserable.
Of course, it seemed really silly to Nunnaly that anyone would want to make themselves miserable on purpose. She understood Zero Requiem, and understood the spitir behind what had transpired, and could practically see Lelouch's eyes shouting 'This will only make you miserable as long as you let it! Let yourself find happiness!' Suzaku was Lelouch's best friend, and Nunnaly knew that Lelouch would never try and inflict a lifelong punishment on someone he loved; he would give them an out.
Of course Suzaku didn't notice. He was too busy wishing for atonement to some long ago crime.
Nunnaly pulled a cell phone from her wheelchair and dialed Kallen. It was still early enough the girl would probably answer. Kallen had given her the number during the party, but since Nunnaly didn't actually know her number yet she hadn't given it to Kallen. She made a mental note to memorize her cell phone number.
"Hello?" Kallen's voice was questioning. Not many people had access to that cell phone, and the caller ID was one she didn't recognize.
"Kallen!" Nunnaly said happily. "Can you come over for a little bit? I need to talk with someone, and you were the first person I thought of…" she trailed off. It was a little depressing that she only had two people she could talk to, and one had just stormed out the door. The other was a former terrorist and a member of the Black Knights.
Kallen nearly dropped the phone when she realized who it was. "Nunnaly! Yeah! I'll be right over." She hung up, throwing on some clean clothes and grabbing the key to her motorcycle as she ran out the door, waving at her mom as she passed.
Her mother smiled and waved as the teenager bolted. Kallen was happy that her mom had finally recovered. Lelouch's death had been good for her in that way. As soon as Kallen has said he was dead her comatose mother the woman had opened her eyes. Of course Kallen always pretended to not know who Zero was when she was around school listening to idle speculation. She often even contributed outrageous and ridiculous ideas to the identity of the masked man.
Kallen broke the speed limit getting to the palace, not that any policeman would stop her. If her face wasn't recognizable enough, then the plates of her motorcycle with the imperial tag certainly were, and by the time she had pulled into the Palace parking building only ten minutes had passed. She walked calmly from the parking garage, not wanting to be out of breath when she reached the empress. During the short drive her mind had been on not hitting anyone and keeping control of the speeding vehicle, but now that she was off it her mind was running nearly as fast as the motorcycle had been.
The empress had just called her. Just to talk. And yet, Kallen had two images of the monarch in her head. There was soft, sweet Nunnaly from Ashford, and strong, sure Nunnaly the Empress. At the birthday party, Kallen had spoken to Nunnaly for hours, learning that the girl's wit was nearly on par with her dead brother's
It had taken Kallen by surprise to learn some of the things that she had about the girl. Nunnaly had confided her fears about her brother, inadequacies as a monarch, and other stuff that Kallen hadn't expected. Because of it, Kallen had always seen Nunnaly as another human being, just given a lot more responsibility and respect. Kallen's thoughts took her all the way to the middle of the palace, where Nunnaly's maid found her and brought her to Nunnaly's room.
Nunnaly sat inside near her desk, a small smile on her face, and Kallen wondered for the hundredth time what she wanted to talk about. After the door was closed, Nunnaly told her to lock it. Confused, she did.
"Do you know who Zero is?"
Kallen flinched. She had considered that that was one of the things Nunnaly might want to talk about, though she had hoped that it had been something else. She couldn't betray his secret though.
Nunnaly gave her a look, and just shook her head. "I shouldn't have even bothered asking. You know. Don't worry, though. I know too. He's part of the reason I wanted to talk to someone. Suzaku…" Nunnaly trailed off. Kallen was caught off guard by how calm the Empress was about it.
"What about him?" she asked. "Is he alright?"
Nunnaly smiled and Kallen realized if Nunnaly hadn't known who he was before then she certainly knew now. "Yes… Well, maybe not. He's mad at me a little bit right now. Have you heard of the law mandating that an emperor or empress be married within a year of coronation?"
Kallen's eyes got big. "You have to marry someone? You're only sixteen!"
Nunnaly laughed a little bit at the look on Kallen's face. "Yes. I also know who I want to marry, but I have a problem. He's supposed to be dead."
If Kallen's eye were big before then they were massive now. "S-Suzaku? You want to marry him?"
"Calm down. Yes, I do. I'll told you what I told him."
After she told Kallen all the reasons, Kallen sat down heavily. "Well, that's easy, I think. As long as you have the certificate, two witnesses and a judge, you could do it at any time. Just make up a name for him. Like, "Zero Justice" or something, and get the right witnesses. You could act as judge yourself since any kind or queen can marry two people if need be, so all you'd need is another witness."
"It's really that simple?" Nunnaly had imagined that the big white dress and the huge fanfare were mandatory. She hadn't been looking forward to the dress getting caught in her wheelchair.
Kallen nodded, still trying to process everything that she had just learned. "A legal wedding is simple. Everything else is just tradition."
Nunnaly pushed herself from her wheelchair into a standing position, shocking Kallen. Nunnaly had been practicing standing whenever she had free time, although she didn't dare try to take a step without someone there to catch her. All Kallen knew is that the wheelchair bound little girl was standing, and happened to even be slightly taller than Kallen, which she hadn't expected. "Kallen, will you be a witness to my and Suzaku's marriage?" she asked with complete seriousness.
For a moment, Kallen hesitated. Nunnaly truly wanted it though, and she even stood when asking, which Kallen sensed was symbolic. Even if Kallen refused to witness it, it was going to happen. Nunnaly wanted to stand on her own two feet, without having to rely on others. Kallen nodded, not trusting her voice. Nunnaly sat back down slowly, her face lit up by a bright smile.
"Now all I need to do is convince him."
Kallen gaped. She had thought she had known Nunnaly before, but this was completely new. She reminded her of Milly in a lot of ways, but she was more her own person. "He doesn't know yet?" This Nunnaly was nowhere near the Nunnaly Kallen had known at Ashford. This Nunnaly had done a lot of growing up. This Nunnaly was determined and headstrong in a way that Kallen wouldn't have ever suspercted her of being only a year and a half ago.
"Oh, he knows I want to, he just doesn't think it's possible. He's too busy trying to make himself miserable sometimes to open his eyes and see what's in front of him. My life didn't end when Lelouch died, even though I wanted it to. It won't end when I marry him, and his certainly won't end if he lets himself be a little bit happy." She wore a different smile now. It was more secretive, sly. "I know he likes kissing me."
Kallen's image of the girl had already been shattered into pieces, so she didn't even bother to be shocked at that new revelation. It was just one more thing to add to a new image of the girl.
"It's a little late tonight. Would you mind sleeping over, Kallen? I've never had a sleepover before." And Nunnaly giggled. "We could tell secrets and paint each other's nails!"
"I don't have any clothes with me…" she said uncertainly.
"Oh, don't worry. I've got some clothes that will fit you. They used to belong to my sister. I'm not quite big enough for them yet, but actually I probably never will be."
Against his better judgement, he went to Nunnaly's room the next night at the usual time. He knocked and entered, and stopped dead when he saw that both Kallen and Schneizel were in the room as well as Nunnaly, who was holding a piece of paper. Kallen smiled at him and waved him over, where Schneizel was signing the paper and smiling slightly. He left right after, and left Zero staring after him blankly. Once he was gone, Kallen went and locked the door, before clapping Suzaku on the shoulder.
"Hey, Suzaku, we got something here for ya to sign." She said easily. He sighed and took off his helmet.
"What are you guys planning?" Both Nunnaly and Kallen had mischievous glints in their eyes.
Nunnaly spoke up first. "You pretty much dared me to find a way to marry you. Well, I've found it. Kallen got the paper, and is the other witness. All you have to do is sign on the line, and we'll be officially married."
Suzaku was gobsmacked. He had spent all night berating himself for wanting to marry her, and had completely forgotten that she might pull something like that. He wondered what Lelouch would say if he was there, and knew instantly.
"Will this make you happy?" he said seriously. Nunnaly's happiness was important above everything else.
"You already know it will. My question is will it make you happy?" she said seriously. She saw his answer in his eyes as he walked toward her, and quickly put the paper in front of her face. "You have to sign before you can kiss the bride, Suzaku." She teased. He sighed and pushed his hair out of his eyes before bending over and signing. After he did Kallen took it, signed it and began to leave.
"I hear you guys are headed to Brittania. Have a good honeymoon. Be discreet. I'm going to get this processed at the main office in a way that will make it so people don't notice the Empress just got hitched. If they go look it up they'll find it, but that probably won't happen." She said over her shoulder as she unlocked the door and walked out.
Her words seemed to hit Suzaku like a ton of bricks, and he felt himself getting light headed. He glanced at Nunnaly, trying to process what just happened. He knew it couldn't have been that fast. Not that simple. Something that important and momentous was shouted from mountaintops for weeks beforehand, and yet…
He had just gotten himself married. To Nunnaly. To the empress. She was looking at him concernedly as he tried to sort out his brain. We wondered how and why he had just agreed to that. Nunnaly had only mentioned it the previous day, and all of the sudden she had made it happen. He had to wonder if more of the things she did during her reign would be like that. All it took from her was a decision, and suddenly mountains moved of their own accord. It was like the world moved in tandem with her, and existed only to bow to her will or work for her sake.
Her own brother had destroyed and recreated the world just for her.
As Suzaku was wrapped up in his mind Nunnaly was getting impatient, and stood. Her eyes held a fiery glint and she took one step, two steps, three steps towards him. He was pulled back into the real world so fast it felt like he got whiplash when he felt a pair of soft lips against his, and a pair of arms wrapping themselves around his shoulders. After that, he didn't really do much more thinking.
If the world angled itself to making Nunnaly happy, making her Empress, who was he to argue?
A/N: :D Do you hate me? No? Well, hate is counter-productive to most things, so I wouldn't recommend it. How many people saw them getting hitched a chapter later? XD I'm trying to develop Nunnaly's character the way I think she would have been if she hadn't been blind and lame. Plus, now she effectively one of the most powerful women on earth, and she knows it. She's not going to take no for an answer if she sees it at the right thing to do. Heck, she used the F.L.E.I.A. and knew exactly what she was doing. That was only a start for her. She's on her way to interesting things, and a lot of trouble. Well, both her and her new hubby.
As some people say, sh17 is about to get real. Gotta get past all the happy weddings and then we can angst, cry, and drama our way through until chapter 20~! Yay! Jk! Maybe!
Posted: 10/11/11 11:06MST