Warnings: AU. SuzakuxLelouch. Vague mentions at LelouchxC.C. as well as a mystery pairing (??xLelouch). First person to guess who the mystery person is gets a reward!! (…whatever you want really. Fanfiction, a bad drawing of the Code Geass character or pairing of your choice, an invisible cookie, Lulu's man panties, etc. I'll do whatever…except a lemon…so don't even try asking for that. XD You may have a lime, though. It's very zesty and appetizing. 8D You can make a custard or pudding out of it!! …well, you can.)
Summary: There was once a beloved prince who was due to be wed to a beautiful princess, but on the eve of their wedding, the prince disappeared. The entire kingdom conducted a desperate search, but all that was found was a single playing card and a mask.
Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass. Story based on the Vocaloid song Joker by Miku Hatsune.
Serena: I fell in love with Miku Hatsune's Joker and this idea popped into my head to write a SuzaLulu for it. I just couldn't ignore the idea~
Once upon a time, in a lively land of myths and legends, there was a majestic kingdom known to the ancient world as Pendragon. Pendragon was ruled by a powerful king and a beautiful queen. For many, many years, the king and queen ruled over the land with kindness and just decisions.
Then one day, the queen was blessed with a child. After consulting the local soothsayer, the king and queen were overjoyed to learn that their unborn child was a girl.
For nine long months, the unborn baby girl grew inside of the queen's womb and she grew more and more beautiful, her future seeming bright. But the young child's future never came to be. Because through an unforeseeable complication of the queen's pregnancy, the child was a stillbirth and the distraught queen fell into despair over the loss of her dear daughter.
The king tried everything within his power to bring a smile back onto the queen's face, but nothing he did ever washed away the queen's despair. The kingdom, too, fell into sympathetic despair over the loss of the queen's child and, together with the king, they watched the queen's ever-growing depression until their hearts threatened to break.
Many more years passed and the queen still refused to smile.
But then one day, she was blessed with yet another child.
Surprised over this sudden turn of events, the queen demanded to speak with the soothsayer in order to learn everything she could about this new unborn child.
Would the child survive the pregnancy? Would the child be in any sort of danger in the future? Was the child…a boy or a girl?
And the soothsayer--who had foreseen the first unborn child's death, but had not mentioned it to the happy king and queen--, told the queen this:
"Your Highness, the child that you carry shall survive the pregnancy and he shall grow into a beautiful and most cherished young prince. But my lady, be warned that even though your child shall live, he will fall in love with another man."
The queen was overjoyed to learn that her unborn son would survive the pregnancy and would grow to be loved by all, but the news that her precious son would love another man in such a way startled her. The notion was foreign, but it was not entirely troublesome. If her son loved another man, he could simply take this person as a secret lover and marry a princess in order to continue the family line. The king may not be too keen about the idea, but if she explained it to him, she was sure he would have no objections. This was their only child, after all.
However, despite her overall indifference to this strange news, the queen was suspicious about this man whom her child would one day fall for. So she asked the soothsayer to tell her more about him.
"My lady, the man whom your son will fall for is a trickster and master manipulator of magic. He lusts after individuals hearts because he has not a heart of his own. Your son will have his heart stolen in a game of chance and he will never be seen again."
This news made the queen fear for her unborn son. She had already lost one precious child, but she would not lose another. She desired to protect her son and to do that, she needed more information. So she asked the soothsayer for a specific time.
"It is unclear to me as to the exact day in which this will occur, Your Highness. But I can see that your son will be of marrying age."
Ever since she learned of this terrible news, the queen made a vow to the child still growing within her womb that she would always protect him from harm and that she would never allow this future to happen.
Eight months later, a healthy baby boy was born and she was the first person that the child ever saw.
The queen smiled for the first time in years and named the child Lelouch.
"Mother, is this really necessary?"
"Don't make a fuss, dear. You know how important this meeting is. Besides, don't you wish to meet your future wife?"
Lelouch frowned a little at the question and crossed his arms in a defiant manner as his eyes narrowed slightly. He did not answer her as there was really no need to. His expression and overall body language answered the question for him.
"No, Mother. I have no desire to meet nor wed this stranger."
Marianne let a frown of her own spread across her lips and she promptly lifted a finger to poke her son's nose. This caused the prince to go cross-eyed for a moment before he swiped at her hand with an indignant "Mother!" and promptly began to childishly pout as Marianne laughed at him.
"Oh, Lelouch." Marianne began, reaching up to lightly ruffle at her son's hair. "Humor your mother for a little while and meet the young lady. Who knows? You may grow to like her."
Lelouch made an indignant noise at the ruffling and immediately proceeded to fix his hair.
Honestly, ruffling his hair like that. He was eighteen years old. His mother should not continue to baby him in such ways.
"I shall meet her." the prince mumbled reluctantly, his attention mostly focused on his hair. "But I am not going to be happy about it."
"At least be courteous and pleasant, dear." she said, shaking her head at Lelouch's stubbornness.
Lelouch inherited his stubbornness from both her and her husband. What was a mother to do?
"At the very least, do that much. Oh and please refrain from hiding behind Sir Jeremiah again." she added as an after thought. "You did a thorough job of embarrassing him last time."
Lelouch raised an eyebrow at her request and the corners of his lips twitched upward in amusement.
"Certainly, Mother." he replied. "Oh, but does that mean that I cannot tell of my secret love affair with that exotic foreign--"
Marianne let a displeased frown cross her features.
"Absolutely not, Lelouch." she stated, turning to head in the direction of the meeting room. "Your little joke shall not be tolerated at such a time. Now come along. We mustn't--"
Lelouch pouted playfully at his mother's retreating back and sighed in an overdramatic fashion.
"But, Mother!" he insisted, making a grand show of swooning at the thought of his fake love affair. "The lady princess should know of my soiled state!"
"Shouldn't my future wife know about how my garments were ripped to shreds and about how that amazingly talented lecher forcibly stuck his--"
"Lelouch!" his mother complained, her voice raising to a squeaky octave. "That is…quite enough! This joke shall not be tolerated any further! You will be pleasant and courteous to our guests. Is that understood?"
Lelouch sighed, his mood switching from playful to indifferent as he straightened himself and began to follow after his mother with all the enthusiasm and joy of a man who had just been told that he had three weeks to live.
"I understand, Mother." he assured her with a bored sigh. "I promise to be pleasant as well as courteous to father's guests."
Marianne sighed in relief. Lelouch could be quite the troublemaker when the urge presented itself. In this situation, she could see and even understand somewhat why Lelouch would tell such a blatant lie, but the fact remained that this was Lelouch's future. He would marry the young princess from the neighboring kingdom of Avalon and would not only bring a secured peace to the two kingdoms, but would continue the family line for another long generation.
Lelouch may detest the idea of marrying a complete stranger, but he would grow to accept the situation in time. He would have children of his own eventually, she was certain. He may not ever truly come to love his future wife, but surely he would love his future children. In that, Lelouch could learn to find his happiness.
It was a better future than the one the soothsayer had foretold so many years ago.
'I must ensure that Lelouch never have the chance to meet that man.'
Perhaps this single thought had caused Lelouch to become rather sheltered throughout his life--said prince's questionable humor notwithstanding--, but Marianne believed it to be necessary. If smothering Lelouch in over-protectiveness kept him safe from harm, then so be it.
Regardless, the main problem was forcing said son to behave while she tried to help him. She could only pray that the meeting would go well.
About fifteen minutes into the meeting, Lelouch and the princess had not uttered one word to each other. Oh, they both exchanged pleasantries of "Good day." and had spoken with the other's parents, but as far as actually speaking with each other was concerned, neither had bothered trying.
But perhaps speaking with each other was unnecessary.
Since the moment that Lelouch had entered the sitting room and had seated himself across from his soon-to-be wife, he had kept his eyes on her, studying her actions, expressions, and way of speaking in order to get a feel for what type of person she was without having to ask her anything.
It was something that Lelouch had always done--even as a child--when meeting strangers: he studied them. He watched their body language and paid sharp attention to the way they spoke their words. In this way, he was always able to tell if a person was lying or not. Lelouch himself had made the comment that humans were too easy to read. If you paid close attention to their body language and tone of voice, it was easy. (However, Lelouch had a natural gift for observation so perhaps this little talent came easier to him than it did to others.)
And while Lelouch was surveying his future wife, said princess seemed to be doing the same to Lelouch.
She was a bit more subtle about it than Lelouch was, but regardless, the fleeting and prolonged glances sent Lelouch's way made it too noticeable.
While taking a sip of the wine she had been provided with, she looked over the crystal's rim to stare at Lelouch while he conversed with her father.
While pushing a few long strands of her lime-green hair behind her ear, she sent Lelouch a curious gaze, flirtatious almost. (Perhaps to see if he was watching her with any sort of lust. Well, she would certainly find none. Marianne vi Britannia's little Lelouch did not lust after pretty woman!)
This exchange of stares and surveying continued throughout the rest of the meeting. The princess's parents as well as Lelouch's father took these glances as a good sign for the two's union. A willing prince and princess was much more convenient than unwilling ones.
Marianne, however, knew better.
She could not say whether the princess was in agreement with the marriage arrangements or not, but she knew her Lelouch. Lelouch was simply scooping the situation out. He must have realized that he was marrying the princess regardless of his own desires. Learning more about this woman using his methods of observation was his way of trying to deal with the situation. Lelouch could not live with someone he did not know anything about, after all.
"Well, it was very nice meeting you again, Prince Lelouch." Avalon's queen, Lady Catherine, said, turning to Lelouch to send him a warm smile before addressing Marianne. "Lady Marianne, it is always a pleasure to be in your company."
"As it is to be in yours, Lady Catherine." Marianne answered back politely. "We must do this more often."
Marianne sent a pleasant smile in the princess's direction.
"It was a pleasure to meet you again."
Lelouch's bride-to-be bowed her head respectfully to Marianne, causing her long hair to fall around her face.
"Indeed, my lady. I look forward to seeing you again."
With that, their meeting ended and Lelouch and the princess said their goodbyes, wishing each other a blessed day before the princess left to follow along behind her parents.
Lelouch simply stood there for a few moments, watching the retreating back of the princess with a determined look within in eyes.
And then his lips turned downward at the corners and his eyes took on a melancholy shine.
He did not love her and he never would, but this marriage was impossible to break. For the sake of his kingdom and because of his obligation as a prince, he had to.
He had to, but he wished with all his heart that he could have another choice, a way out of it.
The soothsayer had mentioned that the man whom Lelouch would fall for was a master manipulator of magic. So, it would stand to reason that this mysterious stranger would use his magical skill to find and steal Lelouch's heart.
Lelouch held a deep wish to break the engagement, but he neither had the means nor the power to do so.
But the trickster did.
And when the opportunity presented itself, when the chance of breaking the engagement was dangling in front of him, Lelouch took a chance and tried to reach for it.
But the trickster was a trickster for a reason.
Serena: I was going to wait and see if I could write more for this before putting it up. And I can because I wrote out the first few lines of the next part. This story is coming more easily to me for some reason. (Actually all my work has, but I'm so inspired that I don't know what to work on first because they all want me to write for them.) I feel a bit ashamed…starting something new (again). But I figured I should give you guys something so you'll know that I haven't been tricked by a spooky stranger holding a giant lollipop and lured into a pedobear-infested lair. Personally, I blame my college. …and…eh…I feel like I'm forgetting something. Probably am. My memory has been shot all to hell these past few months. I'm always forgetting things lately. Maybe I should change my diet or something. Meh. ANYWAY, if you'd like to, please leave a little review. :3