"Awww, he's sooooooo cuuuuuuuute!"
The amethyst eyes of Euphemia and Nunnally, and the violet ones of the latter's mother, Marianne, would swell open wide as their grins appeared simultaneously in a mixture of pride, delight, and agreement, while Cornelia li Britannia wore a look that could only be described as exhaustion, and Lelouch's face expressed sheer, unrelenting terror.
"Isn't he JUST?" Euphemia squealed, latching onto Lelouch and rubbing her cheek against his.
"FINALLY, someone with some taste around here!" Marianne would reach down to plant her fingers into the hair of both her son and his pink-haired hanger-on, wearing a bemused, serene little grin on her face.
Nunnally simply clung possessively to Lelouch's arm opposite Euphie- a position Lelouch had found himself trapped in more and more lately- and, smiling, added, "And he's all mine, too."
Euphemia shot Nunnally a brief, playful raspberry, while Lelouch began to stammer out, "Uh... um... uh... it's... n-n-nice to... meet you, Ms. Enn... Ennea..."
"Oh, please, Lelouch, daaarling, call me Nonette." Nonette, the platinum-blonde knight, and Cornelia's self-proclaimed friend, drawled, as she leaned down to leave a smear of violet lipstick on Lelouch's cheek before slowly slinking back up and coming face-to-face with the one member of the royal family who wasn't gushing about Lelouch's cuteness. Nonette's expression was blank and dull, as if she was expecting something but did not want to be the one to broach the subject.
"tol'ya..n'tac'lmethat..." a very low, almost imperceptible murmur exited Cornelia's throat, and was muted when she clamped her jaw shut.
"NEEEEEELLLLIEEEEEEEEEEE...." Nonette persisted, and Euphemia grinned and joined in. "Neeellliieeeeee!"
"Don't you start, too, Euphie! I TOLD you not to call me that, Nonette, why do you keep on... embarrassing... me... in front of..." Cornelia started, her flare of anger being quenched immediately by Nonette's expectant, almost reprimanding stare.
"In front of who, Nellie? We're all friends here, aren't we, Mary?" Nonette would grin, before delivering a wet smooch to the Empress's cheek, which was returned promptly, much to Cornelia's abject, blank-faced horror. She'd been fantasizing about doing that for years, and Nonette, the very second time meeting Marianne, had just done it without even thinking about it...
"Sure, Nonette! You've got a good eye for adorable little boys and that makes you a friend in my book!" Marianne cooed, embracing the knight and ruffling her hair as Nonette rested her chin on Marianne's shoulder and gave Cornelia a sinister leer.
"NEEEEEEEELLLIEEEEEE." Nonette growled again as she rubbed her cheek against Marianne's, as if to say, "this is mine", still giving Cornelia that expression that struck dread into her very core.
"...it... it's good to s... see you again..." Cornelia mumbled, pressing the tips of her index fingers together.
"Good to see you again WHAT." Nonette added, sticking her tongue out playfully, knowing she had Cornelia in the palm of her hand now.
"m-.... m... ma'am." Cornelia coughed, as if she were a feline discharging an unwelcome hairball.
"That's better. Now as I was going to ask you, NELLIE..." She would slink out of the Empress's hug, after which Lelouch would tug on his mother's wrist and whisper something into her ear as she bent down- a desperate plea to let him go back up to his room, perhaps, especially since immediately afterward a defiant Nunnally and Euphemia latched onto him even harder, though their eyes followed Nonette.
"Why wasn't little Lelouch here the last time I dropped by to visit? Are you ashamed of him, sweetheart? He looks like a perfect gentleman to me, and the spitting image of his lovely mother!" Nonette cooed, turning around to shoot Marianne a wink, which, again, to Cornelia's great horror and jealousy, was returned.
Nunnally and Euphemia had first met Nonette Enneagram, now a major in His Majesty's Royal Panzer Infantry, the corps of Knightmare pilots that were fast becoming the backbone of the Empire's new doctrine of warfare, three months ago when she'd dropped by Aries for a visit with Cornelia. Nunnally had been the first person Nonette had encountered upon entry, and had introduced herself as Cornelia's "best friend". As soon as Nunnally had taken Nonette directly to the gardens, where the two children of the late Victoria li Britannia were sitting in the shade of the hedgerow gazebo, she would find out that Nonette's concept of her relationship with Cornelia was considerably different than Cornelia's concept of it. Or at least, that is how it appeared, as Cornelia turned white upon seeing her old friend dropping in without warning- then again, did Nonette ever give anyone any warning?- and downing the rest of Cornelia's lemonade.
Ever since then, however, Nonette's peculiar way of living life had enamored her greatly to the younger two sisters of the "Clan of the Flash". Quite simply, Nonette was cool!
Lelouch, already wary of aggressive women, was quite naturally terrified of the knight, especially seeing as how his mother did not wish to protect him and Cornelia was quite obviously incapable of it.
"He was... visiting my brother Schneizel, they play chess on Sunday afternoons and..." Cornelia started, before Nonette turned back to Lelouch with another wicked grin.
"Oh, you play chess with the Second Prince? I hear he's quite good, and so must you be, to provide entertainment for him. Please, you simply must indulge me. We've got some time to kill before we're heading over to the Ashfords', right, Mary?" The Empress would give a slight nod of approval to the knight.
Lelouch glanced between Nonette and Cornelia, seeing his elder sister's pleading expression, and was eventually convinced when Nonette added, "I haven't played in quite a while, I doubt I'll be very good..."
"Very well, why not?" Lelouch took on a confident smirk once again. This should be quick.
"Hm, I think I'm gonna move my horse..." Nonette smirked confidently and picked up the piece.
"Firstly, it's STILL not your turn yet because I STILL haven't moved yet, and second, IT'S A KNIGHT." Lelouch hissed, his grip on the table tightening and his knuckles turning white.
"Can I move here?" Nonette would set it down halfway across the board, knocking Lelouch's queen off the board as she did.
"NO, because it's not your TURN AND because KNIGHTS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!"
"But I thought the horse can jump over guys."
"IT'S NOT A HORSE! IT'S A KNIGHT! AND IT CAN JUMP OVER ONLY TWO PIECES, NOT GUYS, PER MOVE!"
"Well, I did only jump over two guys." Nonette smiled and pointed to her pawn and Lelouch's pawn, not only on the other side of the board, but also two columns away. "My guy and your guy. Then I killed this guy. Now I'm next to your other guy. So, king me."
"YOU CAN'T MOVE THAT WAY, THOSE ARE PAWNS, THAT IS A QUEEN, THAT IS A KING, IT'S NOT YOUR TURN, AND THERE IS NO KING ME IN CHESS!"
"I don't know why you're raising your voice at me, it's just a game. God, Nellie was right, you're such a kid." Nonette blew some hair from her face and reached in for another piece.
"I refuse to play with you until you learn how chess works, Ms. Enneagram. Good day." Lelouch rose from the table, while Nonette raised both fists in the air and grinned.
"I win again! The crowd goes wild!" She then made haaaaaah noises into her hand for a bit as she watched the prince retreat to the safety of his room. "Hm, wonder what Nellie's up to..."
"Why do you always have to embarrass me like that, Nonette? You know, I know plenty of embarrassing secrets about you, too... You're not the only one who's got-"
Nonette laughed. "Yes, but Cornelia, y'see, of the two of us, you're the only one who actually cares if people find out. What do I care if people know I pick my nose or pee in the shower or once cut myself so badly shaving my armpits that I had to go to the hospital? It doesn't bother me. Look." Nonette would crack open Cornelia's bedroom window and set her eyes directly on one of the villa's gardening staff, at work digging seed rows for strawberry bushes. "HEY YOU!"
The gardener would drop his hoe and quickly snap to attention. "Yes, mistress!"
"ONE TIME I SUCKED SIX IN A ROW!" Nonette shouted in as deadpan a manner as the volume of her voice allowed.
"... I'm sorry, ma'am?"
"ONE TIME, AT A PARTY, THERE WAS THIS GUY NAMED JOE AND I hmlgpfhff!"
"Sebastian, I COMMAND you to forget everything you just heard!" Cornelia bellowed at the gardener, slamming the window shut with one hand as Nonette struggled to remove herself from the grip of Cornelia's other hand, a hand over the knight's mouth as she flailed.
The gardener shrugged and returned to his work.
"Nonette, were you really about to tell him that-" Cornelia paused, before letting out a shocked, "EWW!" and jerking her hand away from Nonette's mouth, quickly grabbing one of the tissues beside her bed and wiping her hand repeatedly. "Did you just LICK me?"
"Got you to let go of me, didn't it?" Nonette cackled, before reaching over to give Cornelia a brief noogie, the princess ducking away.
"And what the hell were you thinking when you did... that... to Marianne? You practically felt her up her right there in front of her own children!"
"I didn't hear any objection." Nonette grinned again and rested back against the wall of Cornelia's bedroom, folding her hands behind her head and idly crossing her ankles. "Maybe she just likes me better than you."
"... Shut up!" Cornelia whimpered, crumpling up the tissue and tossing it into her wastebasket. "It's none of your business anyway! What are you even doing here? Why'd you have to come and ruin a perfectly good evening like this?"
"That doesn't sound at all like the Nellie I know. I thought we were best friends." Nonette frowned and looked up and away. "you're gonna make me cry, Nellie..." she added, giving a few obviously melodramatic sniffles.
"You're not going to have me fall for your crocodile tears again, you witch..." Cornelia growled, but she could hardly look away from Nonette's trembling lip and suddenly wide, teary eyes, and eventually she'd glance down at the floor in shame- both at what she'd done to her friend and at herself for believing Nonette, some part of her knowing that Nonette had to be faking...
"Fine... fine... yes, we're friends, okay, just stop making that face! And don't touch Lady Marianne like that again! At least have some damn decency in front of her kids!"
"Okaaaaay." Nonette replied, before shuffling around behind Cornelia and snaring her in her grasp before the princess realized what was happening.
"Ah! Let go of-" Cornelia started, before realizing it was pointless and going limp, as Nonette leaned in to sniff the back of Cornelia's neck.
"Mmn, you know I missed you, don't you, Nellie?"
"Stop acting like that, Nonette, it's weird... and it's... wrong..."
"You didn't say that the first time..."
"Only because I didn't know any better...! You tricked me!" Cornelia didn't sound all that upset about it.
"You liked it."
"That's irrelevant!" In other words, yes.
"You'd like to do it again."
"You'd like to do it again with Lady Marianne, wouldn't you...?"
"That's disgusting...!" But Cornelia couldn't say no. "Lady Marianne would never..."
"What makes you so sure of that, hmm? Have you ever asked? Maybe she's just waiting for you to make the first..."
"Okay, Nonette, that's ENOUGH! You can insult me all you like but don't you dare insult her in my presence!" Cornelia snarled, and flung Nonette's hands aside, stepping out of her grip.
"I wasn't insulting her... quite the contrary, I think she's a very classy lady. I can see why you've fallen so hard for her."
"You've got the wrong idea, Nonette, and it's gross. Stop projecting your sick fantasies on my family!"
"She's not even related to you, you know." Nonette paused, before leaning in and adding, "So it wouldn't be incest."
"That doesn't... that's not even... can we please just drop the subject?" Cornelia gasped, grasping the sides of the mirror she was leaning on tightly and hanging her head.
"Fine, fine, keep on lying to yourself, Nellie, but I'll always know the truth about you... if only you had a mirror for your heart as well as for that lovely body of yours..." Nonette cooed as she cracked Cornelia's door open and began to slip out of the room. "Save your last dance for me tonight, Nellie."
"Only if you can keep yourself away from the alcohol, Nonette." Cornelia replied, finally lifting her head and setting her eyes on the dress hanging next to her bed.
Tonight was definitely going to be the worst night of her life.