Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass. I do own the plot.

Chapter Twelve: Curtain Call of Madness

Lelouch was stirred from his deep sleep by the feel of warm fingers gliding along the side of his face. He blinked dazedly, his eyes locking on to a smiling tan face next to him. He smiled lightly and tilted his head, easing into the touch, and chuckled lightly. "I think I could start to like this," He said softly with a little grin. Suzaku matched his grin with a little smile.

"I'd certainly hope you'd like this. I don't want this is be a one-time occurrence, personally," He purred happily. Suzaku hadn't felt this happy in so long and hadn't know pleasure as amazing as what he and Lelouch had done that night. He grinned again and tilted forward, resting his forehead against Lelouch's and humming softly. "I really like getting to be close to you like this."

"Would you like me to make breakfast?" Lelouch asked suddenly with a little smile. Suzaku blinked a bit, stricken by this remark. He had never seen the other take a bite of anything; simply sipped that fine wine, which wasn't really wine, of his.

"Can you... Well, you know, actually handle food?" Suzaku questioned nervously as he watched Lelouch gracefully climb over him and out of the bed. The paler male calmly approached his dresser, pulled out a pair of black briefs and slipped them on. He then walked over to his closet, and slipped into a pair of black slacks and a white button-up top.

"Of course I can, Suzaku. I may need blood to maintain my strength and energy but I do have the ability to ingest food. I just don't necessarily need it; I just kind of eat as a way to pass the time," He explained while looking over, slipping the last button into place and then calmly flattening his collar. He chuckled as Suzaku sat up and watched him calmly. "I'm actually a magnificent cook. My roommate doesn't have much of a taste for it, but that's probably because she's a little off-kilter. And that's a lot, coming from someone like me." He joked lightly, not really minding to jab at himself.

"You have a roommate?" Suzaku asked, legs crossed Indian-style under the sheets and his elbows resting on his clothed knees. He then rested his chin in his hands as he watched the other put himself together calmly. Lelouch ran a quick hand through his hair, not really feeling the need to put himself together completely yet, and plucked out a black tie from his large collection, looping it under his flattened collar. "She isn't around very much, given I've never seen her hanging around."

"Oh, you've met her before," The ebony haired male mused as he fixed his tie to perfection," you just didn't know it. After all, not many sane people treat a four legged creature with fur, ears and no ability to communicate in any human language with respect. Sometimes even I don't take C2 seriously." Suzaku's eyes widened at Lelouch, who merely raised a black brow at him inquisitively. "You're honestly surprised by that? Considering you slept with an angel-demon hybrid last night and learned that you yourself have angel blood, the fact that my cat isn't a regular cat is what makes you wig out? You certainly are of a rare breed, Suzaku Kururugi." He stated with a sigh and shake of his head.

"Well, I guess you're right; all things considered it shouldn't faze me that C2 isn't just your basic cat. I should have realized it back when we first met and you were talking to her about pizza," The brunette agreed calmly, closing his eyes with his hand on his chin and nodding his head thoughtfully. Lelouch's left eye twitched and he sweat dropped as he watched his lover. Suzaku then opened his eyes, the deep emerald orbs alive with conclusion, and lightly plopped one fisted hand into the others palm. "Yup, that definitely should have been the red flag that you weren't really normal!" He said.

Amethyst orbs softened lightly with affection, a low chuckle coming from the man's pale throat. 'I shouldn't be surprised, really; of all the souls I've encountered over the years his really is the most unique and fun,' He thought to himself gently. He watched as Suzaku nodded to himself and began gently musing what C2 may be. "She's a relative of mine, actually. She's my great odd grandmother on my father's side. She was the queen of Night Walker's prior to my birth and now she's training me so that I can take over as ruler and she can enjoy the concept of finally dying." He said calmly.

Suzaku blinked, tilting his head curiously. "Really? Why can't she die?" He asked interestedly. Lelouch thought for a moment, trying to find a good way to explain it. C2 had once, at the very beginning, but he so rarely listened to what the witch had to say his memory of it was a little fuzzy.

"The best explanation I can think of would be this; the ruler of the Night Walker is an entity similar to God and Satan. The ruler of the Night Walkers', however, has the option of stepping down and passing the responsibility over to a Night Walker relative. After that things get complicated and I'd be deviating away from your question, so back to the matter at hand, an apprenticeship must be struck between the ruler and their descendant. The ruler of Night Walkers' must pass all their knowledge on to their descendant and make sure they can accomplish the tasks ahead of them. Until the ruler feels secure in their descendant's abilities they remain in technical control, dictating all the descendant's moves and instructions to the Night Walkers," He said thoughtfully, closing his eyes in slight frustration as he tried to remember it all. He silently berated himself for not listening better and C2 for always being so dull and unexciting when it was of benefit to them both. "But that isn't all; the concept of immortality doesn't just pass on to the descendant right away. That's why I need blood. You see, since I am not yet the technical king of the Night Walkers I have limited power and such. My heritage did awaken and I have lived all these years, but only because I made sure to feed as necessary and because C2 was willing to offer a helping hand when the situation called for it. Once C2 deems me worthy of ruling her immortality will be stripped from her and given to me, which will in turn reverse our situations; she will need to feed and I'll be free to eat regular food or blood when I am in the mood to. It will also make me unable to be killed by any weapon from a human, angel, demon or fellow Night Walker. I will still be vulnerable to pain and serious injury, but my wounds will never end me. As it currently stands, anyone could technically kill me with the greatest of ease, which is why your father's presence is such a risk to my safety."

"You don't need to worry about my dad, Lelouch. No matter what happens I'll make sure to protect you," Suzaku said softly after a moment of silence, face completely serious and sincerity in those large green eyes. Lelouch smiled warmly and approached, gently weaving his arms around Suzaku's tanned neck and kissing him softly. He felt the other's warm hands rest on his hips gingerly, as if afraid too much pressure would break him.

"I know that very well, love, don't worry. For now, you get dressed and I'll start working on breakfast," He mumbled after they pulled apart, gently leaning back and letting his fingers linger on Suzaku's cheek. They smiled at each before Lelouch headed downstairs, leaving Suzaku to abandon the warmth of the sheets to slip into his cold clothes.

As Lelouch descended the stairs at a leisurely place he heard a small clattering and scratching noise coming from the very room he had been heading toward. He slowly entered the doorway, watching a small black figure struggle to press in from under the slim crack in the window. He'd left it open a smudge to keep fresh air circulating in the small room overnight. He smirked a bit to himself, recognizing the figure to be that of a certain female cat. "Welcome home, C2. Did you have fun with Kallen?" He asked with a small chuckled. The cat didn't respond; instead, she pushed off the windowsill and fell right into the sink. It had been left full with bubbly water to soak a few dishes Lelouch hadn't felt like washing right away. The water gushed out, flowing over the sides as the cat struggled to get to the edge, and Lelouch laughed lightly as he reached for the light switch. "Are you drunk? You know that you're no good at holding down anything with the tiniest bit of alcohol in it! You get drunk off a few bites of rum raisin ice cream, for pity's sake!" He jeered as he flicked the switch. It was then, as C2's trembling form began to try to push out of the murky water, that he saw some of the bubbles, specifically around where she'd fallen in, had turned to a slightly red tint. He rushed over and helped pull her out, noticing now the deep gashes, cuts and marks all over her. Hell, her left back leg was dangling, practically ripped clear off if not for the connection of a thin muscle! How the hell had she gotten in the sad state?

'Lelouch... my back… There is something in my back,' Her voice pleaded faintly in his head, soaked in pain. He looked over and saw a strange jagged shape peeking out from one of her deep gashes. 'Take it... out... Please, Lelouch, just yank it out in your direction.' She ordered softly. He swallowed hard, fearing that doing this might only cause her even more pain. He reached up into a nearby cupboard and pulled out four white dish rags. He usually used them for drying his hands but he'd just washed them and had yet to do the dishes in the sink so they were still fresh. He set one next to C2, which he'd decided would be where he put whatever it was inside C2's back, and pushed the other two a little farther back so he could use them to try and stall her bleeding. 'Hurry up... I may not be able to die but this... hurts like nothing you could even imagine.' She urged lightly, her entire body shivering terribly with the physical and mental strain she was being put through. Communicating must have been difficult, given that it took a great amount of concentrate to accomplish.

"It'll be okay, C2," He said gently before reaching back, letting his fingers brush the object. It felt a little like there were multiple points in it which made him apprehensive. He didn't want to run the risk of there being multiple points that would tear at C2's insides and cause even more damage. He felt a little lower and realized, with a small amount of relief, that the object was made of some form of plastic and was smoother farther down. He took hold of it best as he could. Given it was smooth and covered in the cat's blood, and then yanked. His fingers slipped and he only managed to get a little of it loosened. C2's eyes snapped wide and she yowled loudly in pain, making Lelouch jump in fear. He then returned, this time hooking his nails under a thin part that bulged out and gave it a sharp tug, yanking the object completely free and blocking the shriller, agonizing howl the cat beneath him released at the quick movement. He set it on the towel quickly and grabbed one of the towels, pressing it to the now deep, gaping mark on C2. He moved her with the utmost delicacy and placed her on the other towel so that it could stop the bleeding of any wounds on her other side while he pressed the rag to her back. He glanced over at item. His heart stopped at he stared at the plastic item.

It was a blood covered black king chess piece.

He looked down at C2 apologetically as she panted and mewled pathetically. His mother had found them again and had sent them a sign; a terrible, horrific sign that she had used C2 to deliver. It was a warning to Lelouch that his moments were numbered. "Lelouch, what... What happened?" Suzaku gasped as he stepped into the doorway, eyes wide in horror at the sight before him. Lelouch glanced up them looked down at C2 sadly, watching how her little chest heaved savagely with her haggard breathing.

"Suzaku... Can you go get the first aid kit from under the counter in the front of the shop?" He asked softly, one of his hands easing away from the towel on C2's back and coming t gently stroke under her chin, trying to soothe her and help her begin to breath more normally. If she kept up this she was going to pass out from dizziness. The young Japanese boy, realizing that the only biological family member Lelouch had left was in danger, nodded and darted off to fulfill the request as quickly as he could.

...

Lelouch stroked the fur along C2's neck in hopes of giving her some kind of comfort. She was lying on a home-made cat bed; a cardboard box with a pillow and a spare silk sheet Lelouch had located. She was breathing more evenly now, chest rising and falling steadily as she began recovering slowly. Suzaku was sitting across from Lelouch, a small scowl on his face, and the black king chess piece resting on the counter between them. "Your mother is coming after you?" He asked softly.

Lelouch gently brought out his hand and picked up the piece, examining it and pretending not to see the small spot of red on the counter from where it had been seated before. "Yes, this is a sign from her. When I was younger, before my blood reacted, I used to love to play chess with my family members. I always used to make my first move with the black king with the belief that the king should always make the one to lead his people. She left this as a symbol to me," He stated with a small sigh, setting the piece back down where it had been previously.

"I won't let her hurt you, Lelouch," Suzaku stated sternly. Lelouch's eyes softened on the younger male's words though he knew it wasn't really any good.

"Suzaku, there isn't very much you can do. My mother is a demon in the literal sense of the word. Perhaps if your angel blood had awakened you'd have a chance but this is something I'll have to do alone," He stated gently, reaching over and taking the other's hand in his own. He looked up, locking their gazes. "Not only that but I don't want you to get hurt or put in any danger because of this."

Suzaku stood up quickly and looked at Lelouch sternly. "I'm not letting you do this alone, Lelouch. You may not want anything to happen to me but I don't want anything to happen to you either. I'm going to talk to my dad and see if I can set him straight on what happened. Maybe if he hears it from me he'll be more inclined to listen and give us dealing with your mother," He said while taking back his hand. He leaned over quickly, giving Lelouch a quick peck on the lips, before darting off into the early morning light.

'Maybe he isn't as bad as I originally thought,' C2 said in a soft, gentle tone. Lelouch's violet orbs looked down and locked with half open amber spheres locked on him. Her tail flicked and he almost thought she smiled. 'You deserve a little happiness after the hell you've been through, considering you basically had to isolate yourself to avoid getting hurt over the years. Since he seems to be a decently sane angel so his life will be around the same length as yours... Meaning it won't end until you're ready for death. And I'll be able to live out the rest of my life with Kallen.'

"I guess you're right," He said with a small smile. He imagined spending years with Suzaku, watching the world turn and enjoying their numberless days together. He realized, with surprise, that he liked the idea of spending that unending time with Suzaku, living in the shop and simply being together. Lelouch had never thought he'd be the type to enjoy lounging in the company of another for extended periods of time, given he could hardly tolerate the time with C2 and was always grateful when she'd leave for her private retreats with Kallen, but the idea of being with Suzaku at practically all hours of the day held a large degree of appeal to him. He assumed that it was what was, at the risk of sounding cliché, considered to be true love. "I just hope that things go well with Emil. That old geezer is far from a kind soul, despite what he is."

'Well I guess we can just hope and pray for now,' C2 said gently. The cat closed her eyes again, sleepily relaxing into the warm and plush pillows beneath her. 'Or, rather, we can prepare. You still have that old hunk of metal, right?' She asked him. Lelouch picked his cane up from behind his chair and twirled it, making sure C2 could it. He then popped it open, pulled the blade from its sheath and began to sharpen it with a black leather strap. 'Excellent. Keep that one you at all times; we don't know when Marianne will show up. You still remember how to wield that thing? It's been so long since the last time you've had to use it, after all.'

"I may not have had to use this thing recently but I still know how," He assured her before standing and walking out from behind the counter. He twirled the blade into the air and caught it easily between his fingers, watching how the silver metal glinted in the low lighting of the shop. He moved it, slashing at the air before doing a few quicker, rather impressive motions. He then smirked a little bit, twirled on his heels, and slashed the box C2 was in just above her, the now separated top flopping over and landing on the ground harmlessly. A purple cat head poked out and hissed bitterly at the smirking male.

'I personally feel that I've been through enough these last 24 hours! I'd be quite grateful if you could not put any more stress on me than absolutely necessary!' She snapped in his mind angrily. He merely chuckled, walked over and impaled the cardboard on the floor. He held it up and waved it, grinning when he saw that the thin brown paper was beginning to cut and slip down along the sharp blade. 'Well I guess that's a little relaxing to now; you've clearly got that thing at the perfect sharpness.' C2 mused softly, beginning to relax again. Lelouch nodded lightly and returned to his seat, wondering if the sword would be enough of a defense. Perhaps he should have more faith in Suzaku's success with dealing with his stubborn father. He shook the thought away, slipping into a state of hyper-awareness that he'd learned over the years.

And now to play the waiting game.

...

The door made a painfully loud slamming sound, follwed by a few objects on shelves rattling unevenly or falling to the ground. Emil, who had been sitting on the couch watching the news, perked up and looked up to be met by a pair of fiery emerald orbs. "Ah, Suzaku, you're home," He stated flatly while picking up the remote. He turned it off and glanced back at his son calmly. "I thought I told you not to associate with that Lelouch fellow? He gives me a bad feeling and I really don't want him making an impression on you."

"Bull shit," Was the response his son offered, causing him to rise with an angry scowl on his face. Suzaku stood his ground as his father approached, the look of hate and determination in those eyes reminding Emil of his own younger years as a young angel cadet. He considered it the proof that Suzaku was his son in not only name but in spirit.

"What did you say to me, young man?" He asked in a rough and eeriely calm voice. Suzaku glared harder at him, more rage brewing deep in his gut.

"I said bull shit," He said lowly, meeting his father gaze. He used to fear this look, the cool glaze of anger that made those brown eyes seem black, but now they no longer fazed him. The years he'd spent without his father's guidance had made him stronger on the inside and resentful, which gave him his courage to stand up now. "Lelouch told me the truth about you, him and I. I know you've got a grudge against him for something he didn't do."

"And you're going to believe what he has to say? Suzaku, he's just using you to get back at me," Genbu snarled bitterly. Suzaku glared even more at him and clenched his fists at his side. "Lelouch is nothing but a mistake, a terrible bastard who needs to be stopped! He'll do anything for some cheap amusement! Do you know how many innocent people died in the Holocaust - no, the whole damn second World War - because he wanted to be freed from his boredom? He must be punished for the sins he has committed, son! It is our job, as angels, to bring the unjust before the judgment of God!" He bellowed lowly.

"Lelouch told me everything," Suzaku said calmly, eyes locking on his father's. He watched him flinch a bit at the sound of his son's voice rising to defy him again. "He told me that at first he was just trying to manipulate me into helping him get back at you. But then Lelouch's good side kicked in and he began to feel guilty for what he was doing to me. Last night he told me that if I wanted to leave and never see him again, or even tell you what he told me and come after me with you, he couldn't blame me. He's not evil; he's actually just like a human with the need to feed on blood and a dislike of the sun." He said gently, a small smile coming to his lips as he thought of the ebony locks, pale soft skin and vivid amethyst orbs of the young shop keeper.

"Night Walkers are nothing like humans, Suzaku!" His father snapped angrily, wiping the smile of his son's face and snapping him from his thoughts. His father shook his head and growled again. "No, no! This isn't happening; no son of mine would honestly stand beside a Night Walker! You must be taught, corrected! Once your angel breeding begins to kick in more you'll finally realize your error. Yes, yes, that's what will happen." He said with a small amount of relief.

"There's nothing wrong with I think or feel and I won't let you brainwash me," Suzaku said flatly, his glare returning. Emil felt his blood turn to ice as that defiant gleam return to the young teen's eyes. "I'm too old for that and I'm a pretty good judge of character; if Lelouch was truly as evil as you say I'd know it. Besides, wouldn't my angelic blood have been spurred to react, if my life was in danger of being ruined?" Though Suzaku's knowledge of angel's was limited, because his source was Lelouch who had no idea how angel heritage worked, he was just going off of what his mind deemed logically. When his father's face became blank, stern, he knew he'd been right. "So doesn't that blow a huge hole in your claim? I'm the proof that your idea was wrong!"

Emil let out a low, heavy sigh. He reached up and lightly massaged his temples, trying to ward off a growing headache. How could he have really made this big of a mistake? He had known Suzaku would be resentful, rebellious given he was a teenager in modern society, but he hadn't expected such resistance from his son. Lelouch had truly corrupted his young boy. "You do not know what you're talking about, my son," He began as calmly as he could, "and I think it'd be best if you understood that. You have not known that boy as long as I have. Clearly the time for talk is done; Lelouch must be removed to restore peace and free you from his warped clutches."

"What?" Suzaku snapped angrily, his gut twisting itself into multiple knots. He then turned to go for the door, to flee and return to Lelouch's side, but was stopped when his father grabbed hold of his arm with surprising strength. "Let me go, you psychopath!" He yanked back, trying to pry his father's fingers off his wrist. It was an iron grip that wouldn't yield no matter how hard the younger male struggled.

"It's time I tended to my responsibilities as your father, Suzaku," He said as he all but dragged the other boy along. He opened Suzaku's door with one hand and shoved him into the room with the other. He was proud of the horror in those deep jade orbs when they spotted the new bars bolted over his window; an addition Emil had installed himself after returning with the disgrace of his son's mistake on his shoulders. He'd even reversed the knobs of Suzaku's door so that it locked on the outside instead. "One of the things I owe you is to make sure that you stay out of harm, that you stay safe; even if it means I must keep you trapped like a rat to do so."

"You're insane! No father, no matter how much he disapproaved of what his son was doing, would do something like this! You must have a screw loose!" Came his son's response after the shell-shock wore off. The fury on Suzaku's face didn't even faze Emil. Not knowing what else to do, the younger brunette hopped back to his feet and tried to rush his father and get past him; it resulted with a fist making contact with his stomach and effectively knocking the wind right out of him. To make sure his point got across, however, Emil then flung his son back and watched him fall to the ground coughing and wheezing. Was he pleased to have to resort to such means? Of course not but if it was to protect Suzaku from being soiled by his innocence he would do what he must.

"You'll thank me for this some day, Suzaku," His father answered with a small, sad little smile. He shut the door behind him and locked it. After a second of jiggling from the handle he knew Suzaku realized what had happened and began beating his fists against the wood. Emil turned away and sighed, pained to know his son was so upset with him. Why could Suzaku see that this was all for the best? Why did he have to be so damn resistant to his father's excellent guidance and attempts to help him? He knew Suzaku was going to keep acting like this so Emil decided to take a walk and try to figure out how to handle the whole thing.

He did, however, know one thing for certain; Lelouch was going to have to die.

...

It was the wind that caused Genbu to notice the long locks of pink hair blowing in the wind and the same sharp ruby eyes from the previous night tuned in on him, searing and seeing through his clever human disguise. "Hello, young girl. May I be of assistance?" He asked her calmly, eying her with the stare of a well-trained soldier. He noticed that her dress had a few red stains now added on, most likely from some sort of confection she'd munched on. He did find it bizarre, however, that she was in the same outfit as the night before.

"I think we could help each other, actually," She said with a small, somewhat gentle smile turning up her lips. She tilted her head toward the direction he'd been walking, turning her body to follow the path. He blinked a few times before walking along the sidewalk beside her, keeping a sideways watch of her. She smiled and hummed lightly, her very essence that of innocence and joy. "I know who you are, Emil, and I know what you're planning to do tonight." She said wistfully. His eyes widened a bit and he cleared his throat quickly, intending to halt her assumptions.

"I believe you have me confused for someone else. My name is-" He was cut off when she held up one hand and pinned him with a somewhat scolding sideways glance. He let his words drop off there and felt contempt and annoyance begin to cloud over his eyes. "Very well, you clearly don't want to listen to me. Say what you will, whether it be true or false." He said dismissively, pulling back his coat and looking at his wrist watch as if in a hurry of some kind.

"I promise to make this as painless and quick as possible. But I do have your full attention, yes?" She asked casually. He remained silent, instead opting to shove his jacket sleeve back down over his watch. She smiled and nodded lightly. "Excellent. I hate an unattentive audience. Now, as I said before, I know that your real name is Emil and I know you have a deep rooted hatred for a young Shadow Walker named Lelouch. I'm offering to aid you in your plans for revenge."

"What are you? No mere human could know all of that information and I can tell you are not angel nor demon. You do not carry the scent or air of either race," He said calmly. This girl seemed to be human in appearance, in grace and in her very essence. Emil was a top-rate angel; he could sense a demon from a mile away. "Are you perhaps a Shadow Walker yourself? That seems to be the only logical explanation."

"One of my parents was human while the other was indeed a Shadow Walker. Due to this I seem more human than the others of my race. And I'm also hated by those around me because I am mixed with the blood of the average being," She explained gently, her voice detached and cool. He silently agreed, deciding that was a logical enough scenario. "I hate the prince of ours because he has never tried to help other Shadow Walker's like myself. Perhaps a new face is necessary before this one even has a chance to do any more severe damage, such as he did in Germany all those years ago, if you ask me." She said in an appalled yet low tone, her eyes glinting with her conspiracy theory. Emil blinked quickly then regarded her with a gentler, more intrigued, stare.

"You believe that he was the one who caused that as well?" He asked cautiously. Emil had been mocked by all Shadow Walkers, and quite a few other angels, for his belief that Lelouch was the one who planted the seed that caused that horrific plant to grow. Those he team never told him he could tell just by looking at them that even they were skeptical over the full likelihood of his idea. After all, as the critics of Emil's idea claimed, Shadow Walker's had just as much to lose back then as the angels and the humans did.

"Believe it? Why, I know he did! He's just too damn smart and his followers are just too damn loyal to help put a stop to him. They fear they'll be punished for the sins of their leader," She said in a determined yet equally disappointed tone of voice. She shook her head and sighed lightly. "That is the curse of the Shadow Walker; always afraid of what will be done to us for being outcasts." She explained.

"If the Shadow Walkers would tell the truth we wouldn't have to punish the innocent among them," He said calmly. So it all fell into place with the assistance of this one little girl. He nodded a bit, silently mocking the ones who had doubted him before. Oh how they'd fall and beg forgiveness when Lelouch was gone and his people spoke the whole truth to them all! How they'd gravel before him! And Suzaku... His son would beg to repent, to be forgiven just as well. He'd finally have his wonderful son back.

"You try telling that to people who have been mistreated by both sides of the line. That is the only reason we are in the middle; all the injustices we suffer from both sides don't sway us to preference," She said gently. She then shook her head. "But back to the matter at hand. I know all of Lelouch's weaknesses, his habits, and how you could make him fall. I'll help you to defeat him if you'll share the glory of the kill." She said calmly.

He blinked in surprise and stopped short. She stopped a few paces ahead of him before turning on her heels and looking at him curiously, head cocked and fingers laced behind her back. "That is really all you want?" He asked in sheer surprise. Even some angels demanded more from him when working together to end a tragedy from occurring. She smiled lightly at him, her eyes soft and warm.

"I told you; my own people hate me. If I can just help restore our honor, prove to them that I am strong and brave, then I'll be accepted. Do we have a deal?" She asked, holding out one of her hands promptly. He glanced at it and then nodded and shook on it. She smiled wider. "Excellent. Return to the building I saw you on last night at midnight. We'll make out plan then; Lelouch likes to stand on the roof around one in the morning on rainy evenings." She said, giving his hand a little squeeze. He nodded, turned and quickly walked through a nearby crosswalk before the flashing red hand stopped, ignoring the honking horns and swears erupting from the drivers around him. That gentle smile turned into a predatorily, sinister smirk.

She shifted her gaze to a few children on skateboards nearby and felt her stomach grumble lightly. She rubbed the area with her hand before heading over with a little grin. Her plans for the day accomplished, she needed a good little snack to help her with her victory. And human children were just a too delightful delicacy for her to pass up; especially ones so unguarded and rebellious as the ones before her now.

If Emil had thought to look back he may have caught sight of that devious look. Perhaps if he had things would have been oh so different. If he'd turned back he would have watched how she flirted with the boys, twirling a lock of hair around one finger in a coy manner, and seen her for what she really was. But he didn't for he was far too busy musing over the act to be committed that night. As he walked away he didn't realize the huge mistake that no angel had ever made before that he'd just agreed to.

Emil had just made a deal with a demoness.

...

"Damnit, damnit, damnit!" Suzaku snapped angrily, pacing across his room angrily. He didn't have any idea how he was supposed to get out of his room. His father had clearly had too much free time on his hands; anything the young brunette could have used to pick the padlock on the bars had been taken out and most likely locked up in another room of the house. His mother wouldn't be home for hours and now things were even more hectic; Emil wasn't the only one planning to take Lelouch out. And without any form of help Suzaku's help the chance of success was slim to none.

He perked up, watching as the sun began to sink low behind the mountains. 'No... No! I'm running out of time!' He thought desperately, running toward his closet and looking frantically for a wire hanger. Maybe if he could bend the tip the right way he could use that to pick the lock. He perked up and smirked when he spotted a blue blazer of his hanging on the very thing he was looking for. He yanked the blazer off and tossed it on to the bed carelessly, plucking the wire hanger off the wooden support beam for his clothes. He walked over to the window, opening it and using the sill to straighten out the curved portion. He smirked a bit to himself and set to work, growling as he attempted to work over the lock.

"What are you doing?" A cheerful voice asked him curiously. He jerked up to be met with a boy about a year or so younger than him grinning at him. The boy had golden blonde locks that were tied off into three little braids in the back of his head. His eyes were a perky, sapphire blue and his skin was an apricot tint. He was grinning, one leg crossed over the other, with his elbow resting on his lifted knee and holding up his head. That, however, wasn't the bizarre thing about the boy; it was the pearly white wings, reminiscent of a white dove, that were lightly flapping gently to keep him up in the air. "Oh, how rude of me! I'm Gino Weinberg!" The boy said brightly. The grin he flashed Suzaku was so brilliant and happy Suzaku was momentarily staled from his current task of getting the damn window open.

"Not trying to be rude here, but what are you doing here? Are you here to make sure I don't bust out because my dad's a lunatic?" He asked bluntly, glaring a bit at the blonde before resuming his task. He mumbled a few swears under his breath while trying to get the accursed lock to nudge and shift as he wanted it to. "Stupid lock! How am I supposed to help Lelouch if I'm locked up?" He growled while one hand clutched at his auburn curls with frustration.

"Well, first things first," The male angel, called Gino, began cautiously, "how exactly does your plan work? I mean, you live on one of the upper levels of this complex. Even if you pick the lock, you can't really jump out the window. I mean, a fall from this height would probably kill you, you know?" Suzaku flinched, annoyed that a huge hole had been poked in his logic. "And your angelic blood hasn't reacted yet so it's not like you'd be able to fly like I can."

"Well, now that you've pretty much screwed everything up for me, what do you want? Are you some lackey of my dad's, sent to make sure I stay here and don't try anything funny?" He snapped angrily, eyes lighting to a softer, jade-like tint with his glare. He was less frustrated with this new angel and more so with his own father. Why couldn't he just accept that Lelouch wasn't the one at fault, that perhaps his father had been wrong about it?

"I have nothing to do with Emil. My boss sent me to help you out," He said cheerfully with a little grin. Suzaku blinked, completely confused by this. There was an angel that was in agreement with Lelouch and Suzaku? An angel who was willing to believe and accept the truth?

"What do you mean?" He pressed suspiciously, watching how Gino moved. The young boy unfolded his legs and let them droop below him, his hands coming up and lacing behind his head calmly.

"Well, my boss is a higher up than Emil, or your father," He began with a little smile. He did a little back flip before letting his arms dropping and looking at the bars. "You see, I'm the best in my squadron and my boss thinks that you have great potential to help rebuild the tatter bridge between angels and Night Walkers. Even though your angel blood hasn't been kicked in you've still lived a relatively sin-free life, aside from what you did the other night, and have a very open mind. You're very headstrong but at the same time you're willing to listen to both sides before deciding where you stand on an issue. That's something that a lot of older angels have lost, making it harder to really deem when and what degree of punishment is appropriate here and there. Anyway, because I'm the best of my group I was sent to help you trigger your angelic blood and try to stop the plans your father and Marianne have against Lelouch for tonight. Before we can go, of course, I need to stir up your blood, give you a sword and teach you the basics of flying. But don't worry about that; it'll be really easy and fast training. You won't even realize that it was training!" Gino beamed as he finished his explanation, still all smiles and positivity. Suzaku blinked a few times, shaking his head and trying to sort the new information out. Why was it that his entire life was being altered now? And why did he have to get all this culture-shock information within an only 48-hour time span?

"What do you mean by plan? My dad and Lelouch's mom are working together to get him?" He asked frantically as his mind caught up with him. Gino fluttered over calmly, taking the coat hanger from the lock before holding one hand over it. The light click of mechanics was heard before the lock fell open easily. He pulled the padlock out, held it up and grinned at Suzaku before calmly pulling open the bars and letting it swing to the other side of its large metal hinges.

"Your father doesn't know it yet but he's made a deal with Marianne to end Lelouch's life, which is a big no-no for angels. Taking out a contract of any sort with a demon is a sin punishable by expulsion from the Heaven," He stated calmly. He grabbed Suzaku's hand, pulled him out and flew to the roof of the building. He set Suzaku down and landed as well, his wings curling in a bit but the tips still just barely touching the cement of the roof.

Suzaku blinked a little bit, baffled by this statement. "Then how are Night Walkers conceived? Lelouch told me they were born when an angel and demon create a child, but isn't marriage considered a contract as well?" He asked curiously. Gino shook his head, hands gently finding his hips.

"Marriage isn't viewed as a contract in the eyes of God; it is how two people who love each other, regardless of race and sex, commit to one another. A contract between an angel and demon to end the life of someone in between, however, is something much different," He said calmly before he sat down Indian-style, indicating with one hand that the other male copy the action. Suzaku sat down slowly, watching Gino cautiously. "Anyway, we need to focus on awakening your angelic blood so we can go and help out Lelouch. First, I need you to relax so that this can be done right. It's going to feel weird and it might even hurt a little bit but you just need to bare with it, okay?" He asked gently. He was answered with a silent nod. "Okay, here goes nothing." He mumbled while placing his hand on the other angel's forehead.

At first there was just a little bit of warmth from the newly initiated physical contact between them, which made Suzaku wonder if this was really going to be as back as the other had implied. That was when a rush of searing pain screeched down along his spine, shifting and almost crawling. It felt as if one of his spinal joints was twitching and shifting, elongating. He felt it beginning to press against his skin before he felt it snap out and felt the skin ripping in response. He groaned lowly, part of him screaming to get away and the other screaming to stay still for the sake of Lelouch. He forced himself to stay still, thinking solely of Lelouch's safety. He glanced back curiously and watched, as if hypnotized, at the bone framing of his newly developing wings. Slowly the skin that had been ripped began to mend, crawling upward over the bone. He noticed other, thinner bones beginning to trail down to complete the whole skeletal frame of the wings just as the skin began to flow down to match the form. After the bone was smothered by the flesh he felt little bumps that almost sort of tickled pressing out against the newly established flesh. He closed his eyes then, groaning at the feel of the little pricks. There was suddenly what seemed to be a rush of wind from the little bumps and then Gino's hand was gone. He opened his eyes, looking first at Gino's grinning face, and then back at his splendid white wings. "Will... Will they always take that long to form?" He asked with a quick swallow of nothing. His throat was still scratchy and dry, a side effect from being so stunned.

"No way. They'll just sort of materialize when you need them now. Your body just needed to get to see how it was done once, since you're kind of new to this whole thing," He explained calmly before standing again. He helped Suzaku up calmly, seeming concerned the other boy would be unsure of his footing after the new development. Much to Suzaku's surprise it was not as painful as Gino had implied at all; after the bones had snapped out from his spine, of course. "Now, back to our current focus... Your weapon of choice needs to be decided. If we're going against a demoness and a high-class rebel angel you'll need the ideal weapon. It's got to match your personality to assure your success in handling it." Gino mused aloud thoughtfully.

"Well, give me an example and maybe I can make a suggestion. Like, for example, what's your weapon?" Suzaku asked, clearing his throat lightly and trying not to sound too put-off. Was this all absolutely necessary right now? He could use his fists and his words to ward off his father and Lelouch's accursed mother. He could get a weapon afterward, couldn't he? They'd have more time for it after the crisis was averted.

"Well, my weapon is the yumi," Gino said thoughtfully, tapping his chin likely. He nodded his head a bit, as if going over his words in his head to make sure they were right. "I was given the yumi because I have a keen eye for detail, though you probably already noticed that. I rarely apply it to situations where it isn't absolutely necessary though. I was also given the yumi because I'm as fast as arrow when I fly, and I like to offer people my assistance from a distance; never really taking credit for what I do or expecting a reward or thanks or anything. Of course, the attributes you have are different than mine and will hold different truths to who you are as an individual." He said with a little grin. Gino jolted up suddenly, turning his attention to a fat cloud passing over head. His eyes widened and his grin became that much more excited. "Oh yeah, that's a perfect fit for this guy! Go ahead and send it down! I'll be sure to explain everything to him!" He said cheerfully.

With a sudden swish of air around Gino's right hand a naginata appeared in his hands. The blade glinted in the fading light of the sun, almost seeming to wink at its soon-to-be owner. The wooden staff was a light white tint, perhaps made from the wood of a birch tree. By the corner where the wood and metal met a long blue streak was added, made of yawn, and a piece of the blue yawn dipped free with two white feathers tied on, two golden beads resting a top the knot binding the feathers to the yawn. "That's my weapon?" Suzaku asked in surprise, slowly reaching toward it. The blonde angel handed over happily and nodded in agreement.

"The naginata was what my boss decided was the best choice for you for a few reasons," He began as Suzaku examined the new tool in his possession, "and the main was what you're hoping to accomplish. The naginata distances one from their opponent while still having the ability to dish out effective damage. You mean to distance threats from yourself and Lelouch, to protect you both but while not having to let the threats get close enough to harm either of you. Because of your headstrong yet caring personality a blade had to be included in some part of your weapon. The katana was a bad choice because while it is effective it is very good at landing killing blows. You are like a lot of angels; killing isn't something you want to have to do unless it's your last option. The naginata can keep your enemies without necessarily killing them. It's precise, lethal when necessary, and good for both close-combat and distance fighting. The wooden section can be used as a shield in a pinch as well." He explained cheerfully. Suzaku looked at the weapon he held, realizing everything Gino had said was true, and then glanced back at him. "Now that that is out of the way, let's get to teaching you the basics of flying and fighting. I can do this portion telepathically so let's sit and get to it, okay?" The brunette nodded and the two sat, Gino's hand coming to rest on Suzaku's forehead again.

And with that, the training began.

...

AN: Okay, so let's call this the halfway point where I toss you some brain fodder to ponder over while you read! Who do you think Gino's boss is? If your guess is Charles or V2, my sincerest apologies. Do you have any other ideas? Let me tell you this much; unless you take apart all the information I've given you until this part it's going to be one heck of a plot twist! Speaking of plot, shall we return to it? And let's start out with a conversation between Gino's boss and one of their subordinates to see if some of you can figure out who they are! Also, angels have two names; their angelic name that God chooses for them and the name they respond to on Earth. So the name will not be familiar but trust me when I say they have shown up once already, even if only for a small bit role. Also, I'd like to take this chance to thank all of you for reading and supporting this story! I hope the ending is to your satisfaction!

...

"Lady Grace, I have brought news directly from Him for you!" An exhausted messenger angel under her jurisdiction, known as Jeremiah, proclaimed. She shifted in her seat, turning it to face him. One of her legs was crossed over the other gracefully, her head resting in one hand. She had been silently brimming with joy upon Suzaku's angelic blood reacting so easily and smoothly, thankful because it would aid in her argument that he be placed in her care. Someone with his impeccable breeding would be very useful in mending the ties between the angels and the Night Walkers. She eyed the other angel with a delicate raise of an eyebrow.

"And what seems to be the message, Jeremiah?" She asked carefully. She twirled a lock of hair around one finger and kept her gaze transfixed on him. She was in no mood for beating around the bush or bumbling relaying. She had very little time for such a thing and she had learned, when faced with grand news from Him, Jeremiah tended to be a little overwhelmed with the task.

"He has made two proclamations; the first is that the newly born angel, a Kururugi Suzaku, shall be added on to your task force for you to do with as you see fit. The second is that the task of apprehending one rebel angel, Sir Emil, has also been deemed as your responsibility. He said that as long as you complete that task He will not argue with making Kururugi one of your understudies," He said quickly, tone stern and much more balanced than usual. A small smirk turned up on her lips, delighted with both bits of news, and stood. "Lady Grace?"

Her celestial white robes hung over her shoulders a tad bit, revealing the skin. The sleeves were just a few centimeters below where her shoulder ended and cut up just above where cleavage would be visible over her chest. It hugged her form, accenting her shape and belly, where a thin diamond of fabric had been cut out to reveal her flesh and naval. It dipped all the way down, the thin yet durable fabric following after her like a wedding train. "Lord Jeremiah, shall we go prepare to go down? I'd like to see how well Gino, Suzaku and Lelouch can handle themselves," She mused happily.

"But, Lady Grace, aren't you supposed to be the one to apprehend Sir Emil?" He balked, quickly darting after her. He stayed a few steps back to assure he did not step on her flowing robes. He knew very well that Lady Grace was a stickler for grace, beauty and humility in every sense of the word.

"Yes, Jeremiah, but there's no harm in seeing how well my little rookies can handle themselves. I'll let them wear Emil out and then I'll jump in and take him down," She explained with a little giggle, her wings beginning to materialize as she peered down at the large parting of the clouds that gave one a few of the blue sky between Heaven and Earth. "And if those two don't seem to be holding up very well, we'll jump in and offer our assistance, of course."

"That may very well be true but Sir Emil has partnered himself with the demoness Marianne! Satan himself resents her, and she is of his people!" He fretted frantically. Shock registered on his mistress' face but she didn't turn to show it. She gave a small chuckle and smirked to herself.

"That crazy old bitch still lives? Well, I shouldn't be too surprised; she is a tricky old thing," She hummed lightly, missing the aghast face her subordinate made at the swear she had uttered in reference to the other woman. She flicked her wrist, waving her hand at Jeremiah in a dismissive manner. "Oh well; she's aged quite a bit and I doubt she'll be much of a problem. If we're lucky Lelouch will be able to take her out before Suzaku and Gino even show up. That'd make Emil even that much easier to catch." Though her tone was filled with nonchalance inside worry and a small speckle of alarm was blaring inside her head.

'Emil, you're always been stubborn but to think you'd go this far, just to try and prove you were right... It's sad that such a noble angel has been reduced to this, whether he knew he was making a deal with a demon or not. He should have known not to put such blind faith in a stranger, who was clearly not a normal human,' She chided to herself. She then shook her head and the thoughts of the other angel aside.

She had her orders to follow, regardless of personal opinion.

...

Lelouch looked out at the darkening sky and sighed heavily. Clearly this discussion with Emil was taking much longer than he had anticipated it was. Was it possible that Suzaku was actually making progress, hence why he'd been out for so many long hours? That didn't seem to make any sense and it irked the inky haired youth. Perhaps Emil had tried to do something drastic? He would have gone out and investigated but the idea of leaving C2 all alone in her state was too unappealing. Her wounds were all almost completely healed but she was still very tired and needed attention. Besides, if Marianne showed up while he was out his teacher would be left defenseless. No matter how much he wished to run to Suzaku's side, he felt the other could handle himself and decided to remain where he was, completing his obligations to the woman who had become like a second mother to him over the years.

C2 herself was also analyzing something; Lelouch. She was noticing how much mature he'd become over the years. He was stronger and smarter. When she remembered how inadequate as a Shadow Walker he'd been at the beginning she resisted the urge to groan in annoyance or laugh at what an idiot he'd been. He had made many mistakes, much like C2 herself had when she was much, much younger, but he'd learned from them quite well. She smiled lightly, remembering the many days she and Lelouch had shared since that terrible evening when Marianne attacked her only son, and silently applauded the young man for becoming such a wonderful individual.

But was he strong enough to fight off his furious mother, a strong and skilled demon, and Emil, the rebellious angel that had been making his life miserable for many years now? She felt that Suzaku removing the feather with the angel's curse had definitely put Lelouch on even terms with the angel but his mother was still a rather large hurtle. As long as the two of them didn't attack together and showed up with a decent gap of time between their strikes Lelouch would have a good enough chance at recovering a bit to fend them each off. She shook her head lightly. 'Marianne and Emil could never work together; it goes against everything angel's are taught. At least that isn't likely to happen. And if Marianne and Emil showed up at the same time Emil would most likely help Lelouch defeat her before going after him,' She thought to herself, trying to relax herself again. Being optimistic was the best option for her to roll with right now. There wasn't much else she could do, really.

"I'm going to go out on the roof and keep an eye out for Emil or my mother," Lelouch stated calmly while standing from his spot behind the counter. No Shadow Walkers would be coming out tonight; word of what had happened to C2 had been spread by Kallen at Lelouch's request when she came by to get some food. The red-haired female had looked ready to throttle anyone for the damage done to the woman she loved, seeming ready to attacked Lelouch when he told her to go, and had slammed the door so roughly with her exit it knocked over a few jars and broke them.

'Are you sure that's such a good idea?' C2 asked him worriedly, rising her head shakily to look at him over the shortened edge of the box. She was still somewhat annoyed at how he had slashed the box in half sideways before without a single warning to her; in her delicate state she didn't need any thrills or surprises. Lelouch slipped his sword back into its sheath, twirling it like the regular cane it appeared to be, while glancing down at her.

"Sitting in here, watching the door, is making me feel like a sitting duck. Besides, the likelihood of either of them actually using the front door is very slim," He explained calmly. He then crossed the room, twirled the sign around to say closed, and pressing the lock in to place. He then walked back and gave C2 a small pat on the head. "There; Suzaku's the only one with a key so you'll be fine. Neither one of them will try to pick the lock or break the door because it'd attract too much attention from strangers, plus it'd take time and could leave a chance of me catching them in the act. Plus, from the roof an aerial attack could be easily ruined. It'd be easy to just jab them in a wing and immobilize them long enough to get them contained. Unless, of course, the one attacking is my mother. If it's my mother than I'll cut her down and end her life to assure she doesn't cause any more trouble." He explained before heading to the stairs again.

'Wait a moment, Lelouch,' She called after him, waiting until his steps stopped. He turned and faced her curiously, a small bit of annoyance visible on his face, but she ignored it. 'Before you go out there I wanted to discuss something with you. And, trust me, it is of the utmost importance that you hear this before you go on out there and fight for your very life.' She said. With a heavy sigh Lelouch walked back over, still holding his cane close by, and flopped down in his chair behind the counter, watching as the girl cat readjusted so that she was facing him. 'There, now, let me begin...'

...

"You came," A soft voice giggled musically. Emil looked at the young pink haired girl sitting on the edge of the building. She was seated with her legs dangling over the edge, the stick of a lollipop poking out from between her lips, twisted upward in a little grin. "Lelouch has been out there for a few hours. He seems to be anticipating that something will happen." She continued, not even looking back to face the angel that had arrived just seconds before.

Emil was not in his human form, pretending to be Genbu Kururugi. He was currently in his angel form and looked much younger than his human counterpart. He, in all actuality, looked almost exactly as his teenage son only his eyes were a hue of brown rather than emerald pools like his son's. His white wings pulled closer to his body a bit, not going away but making sure to stay above the ground. He hated how dirt on the tips of his lower feathers felt when he was trying to fly. "You agreed to help me, young lady," He said calmly while approaching her. She let out a small, airy little humming noise, waving one hand in a circular motion. "It would have been rude of me to not show up. And I'm also glad you decided to come here as well. I was worried that you may have been tricking me to help him get me out of the picture."

"Why would I do something like that?" She asked calmly, looking up at him with a curious expression on her face. She calmly took the sugary treat from her mouth and licked her lips for a moment, collective the flavor that had been there before speaking again. "You need to learn to put more faith in people, Emil. After all, not everyone in the world is out to get you." She mused before lightly licking the little pop. "You're not the only interesting thing in the world, you narcissistic little thing, you."

"Yes, well," He said while clearing his throat, flushed a bit at the rudeness of her comment, "I'd prefer if we could stay focused on the matter at hand."

She hummed lightly again while sweeping her legs back over and getting to her feet. She stood before him, a few inches shorter than him, and smiled innocently. "Lelouch has been out there much longer than I anticipated but he hasn't noticed my presence. I put up a shield over this building that will shelter our energies so that he will not see or sense us. That could put a huge hole in our little surprise," She explained, indicating the shadowy figure across the street that was pacing back and forth slowly.

"How long has he been up there?" Emil asked worriedly, glowering at the shadowy form. Would they have to retreat for now and return at later time? He could not let that happen; he was certain things would get strange when he got home. If Rin had not discovered Suzaku locked in his room than a neighbor may have heard the teen throwing a temper tantrum and gone to investigate. There would be many questions to answer, however it went, and he rather liked the idea of having the satisfaction of knowing Lelouch was gone before having to cross that hill.

"Well, he was already there when I arrived. I believe something may have happened with a demon. I heard through the vine that his teacher, C2, had been ruthlessly attacked by a demoness of great strength, cunning and cruelty," She explained to him before biting the lollipop in half. She chewed for a few minutes, letting the sound of the hardened, flavored sugar crunching under her molars be the only sound. "But I don't think we have anything to be afraid of. He won't be expecting an angel to attack."

"Speaking of which, what is this plan you told me you'd come up with?" He asked calmly, letting his wings finally disappear. He sat down a feet away from the young Shadow Walker girl. He figured they'd be there a while and saw no sense in standing the whole time. If he was going to wait he was going to be as comfortable as possible.

"I was thinking that we'd strike at one o'clock, or close to it," She began. She then sat back down and munched down the last half of her treat. "You'll attack first but try to get him talking first. We have to be sure he is distracted by both physical and mental stimulation so that he won't notice my presence in the shadows. After chatting him up a little bit with whatever you'd like start the fight. Then, once you've gotten him weakened, I'll sneak in and deliver the final blow." She said it all with the ease of a girl recounting the weather of the morning, which would have been bizarre if not for the facts she was a Shadow Walker who had suffered through so many hardships in her life.

"I see," He said before looking up at the sky. Soon enough he'd fly up to Heaven and present all the other angels with the news that he was right. No one would mock him anymore; perhaps he'd even be awarded a promotion for all his hard work and dedication! "Are there any spots that are specifically weaker, places that I could hit to assure he was done for you when you strike?"

"Yes," She answered easily enough, "there is one spot. If you just nudge the back of his left ankle you can make him topple over."

"And why is that spot so sensitive?" He pressed further. He wanted to make sure that every last detail was covered to assure there was absolutely no failure.

"Years ago he was involved in a small bout with a human in America. The man pinned him and slashed the muscle in there clear through, hoping it would stop Lelouch from ever walking again. It healed easily but the damage left the area rather sensitive," She stated calmly.

"You sure do know a lot about Lelouch," Emil stated calmly. She looked at him and flashed him a small smirk that was just brimming with satisfaction.

"Well, when you want to take someone else down you technically need to know as much about their weaknesses as you can, just to assure you can exploit them for your own victory," She said cheerfully with a little giggle. Emil blinked a few times, truly stunned that she had said such a thing.

"That... That is a very conniving way to phrase that," He said with another clear of the throat. It was making him feel just the slightest bit uncomfortable, that way she had worded it.

"It's all about survival, my friend," She hummed lightly, her innocent little grin hiding her truly maleficent intent.

...

Suzaku's eyes fluttered open to be greeted by large grey storm clouds. After a second, however, the view was blocked by Gino Weinberg. He flinched and quickly shoved the grinning face out of his way so that he could sit back up. When he did so he blinked and looked down, realizing that his outfit had completely changed. "What the- Did you change me while I was unconscious?" He proclaimed indignantly, looking at the still smiling blonde.

Suzaku's outfit had changed from a regular cotton tee and blue jeans to something far more elaborate. His new shirt felt to be made of some cross between silk and cotton in a shade of royal blue. A strange insignia was decorated on the left sleeve in gold but the symbol seemed to be a representation of wealth or importance. Instead of jeans he had slacks made of the same material in a black as dark as the night sky on most nights with a gold sash tying them to his hips lightly. The outfit was completed with black boots instead of his sneakers and he realized, with a glance up, that his outfit was almost identical to Gino's, aside from the fact that the other angel's top was of a green hue instead.

"Me? Oh, no, that's your new angel robes! My boss had your old, drab human attire swapped out since you'll be joining me and the other cadets!" He said cheerfully, standing up from his squatting position and offering his hand. When the other's tanned hand was in his grasp he yanked the other to his feet with one quick tug of his arm and grinned impishly at the surprised look in those deep vert eyes.

"But... Don't angels were those white robes that are kind of like togas?" The young Japanese boy asked curiously, clutching his naginata a little tighter.

"Only angels of higher regard and stature, such as our boss, wear the traditional celestial robes. Other than that the rest of us wear more... I guess, for lack of a better word, more functional clothes so that we have better luck with our battles and missions," He stated before hopping up lightly, his wings materializing immediately and lightly beginning to lift him farther from the ground. Suzaku, a little less sure of himself, imitated the action. He may know how to do this now, due to Gino's teachings, but this was his first time putting it to practice. "You see, we cadets do most of the grunt work like chasing down low-level demons, delivering things or watching over a recovering angelic offender. There's a class of angels who are more powerful than us but usually maintain to things up in Heaven, tagging along after higher up ranking officers. They'd be the equivalent to a secretary. The guardian angels are another class above and you are only put there if your commanding officer, an official such as our boss, sees you as deserving of the responsibility and receives the okay from God Himself. Above that come the officials with the ability to take or kill other angels in to custody if they should disobey the Mandate of Him, the code of conduct we angels pride ourselves upon following. That's where our boss is at. Above her are the angels that are part of The Council, or the angels whom answer directly to God. Certain officials in our boss' league, if excellent in everything they do, can have the same right to see God Himself face to face but it takes an individual of great skill and honor. Of course, that's our boss too!" He laughed happily as they began to slowly ascend to the sky.

"And how exactly do you get raised to a higher status?" Suzaku asked as he followed after Gino easily. He was surprised to find that flying was easier than he'd thought it would be. He wondered briefly if it was just because of the angelic blood pumping in his veins that flying was so natural or if it was because of Gino's teachings. He discarded the thought and returned to focusing on the explanations he was getting from Gino.

"By completing missions with flying colors and being suggested by your superior officers, like how promotions work in big human corporations," Gino answered before perking up. He glanced up and stopped just as a few droplets of water landed on his wings and faces. Suzaku stopped as well, glancing back at his new coworker curiously.

"Something wrong?" He asked curiously. The blonde snapped back to attention, blue eyes lighting up a little bit as they fixed on the other. He shook his head quickly, sent another quick look upwards, and then shook his head at Suzaku again. "Then we should get a move on. I want to make sure Lelouch is still safe."

"You go ahead. I'm going to find a good vantage point for me to fire my arrows. I'll be better offering my assistance from the sidelines, given my weapons strong points," He said with a little grin before flying off in another direction much faster than he'd been travelling before.

Uneasiness began to bubble in the pit of Suzaku's stomach but he ignored it and instead headed off toward the shop.

...

A cold droplet fell onto Lelouch's head, dripping down his forehead and down along the left side of his nose. He glanced up, seeing little thin trickles of water beginning to fall from the sky. He had been standing outside for near five hours now and it was already a quarter until one o'clock in the morning. He had seen neither hide nor hair of Suzaku, Emil or Marianne and he found it unsettling. What if Emil had hurt Suzaku? Or, even worse, what if Marianne had found out about the brunette and set after him instead of attacking Lelouch directly? He shook the thoughts away as the real downpour began, obscuring his vision ever so slightly.

Through the veil of water he saw a figure leap from the store roof across the street and head toward the roof of his own. He took in a deep breath and glowered as one of the two figures he'd been waiting for landed a few feet away in a rather graceful flutter of wings and flap of holy fabrics. "I should have known you were hiding here somewhere, just waiting for your chance to strike," Lelouch said in his usual tone of casual aloofness. He narrowed his eyes, his pupils disappearing a bit more in to an ocean of violet coloring. "Where's Suzaku, Emil?"

"I've had him taken care of," He said smoothly. Lelouch's eyes widened with horror for a brief second before narrowing again, a much more menacing look to those eyes. "You think I'd kill my own son? I'm not a cold-hearted barbarian like you, Lelouch." He hissed back, volume rising with the rage of the unspoken accusation. Lelouch remained tense on the outside though in his mind he was relieved. At least Suzaku was safe and, most likely, unharmed.

"You're right about that, Emil. You're just a self-righteous prick who likes to beat up innocent people. Wait, let me correct that; you're a self-righteous racist prick! I always forget that one part for some reason!" He snapped sternly, letting out a bitter little chuckle at the end. Emil snarled a little bit then calmly snapped his fingers. A sword in a sleek black sheath appeared in his hands. Lelouch knew all too well that the blade inside was a katana, much like his own hidden in the cane. "So you did come here to do more than just exchange pleasantries. Well, that is fine by me." He pushed his sword up using his thumb, tossing the scabbard aside and catching the handle easily before it could hit the ground.

"Who said I wanted to resort to violence so soon?" The angel asked calmly, pulling out his own sword and tossing his scabbard off to the side as well. Lelouch would have made a comment about monkey see monkey do but could tell by the look in the other's eyes that the comment would be left abandoned. "Tell me, Lelouch, are you happy? Your lies have pulled my son in and pitted him against me. Have you accomplished your goal for payback?" He spat angrily. Lelouch kept his cool composure, tilting his head up to look at the fat clouds shedding their weight over the city. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, letting the water chill his skin, enjoying how it dripped off the edges of his inky locks to wet his shoulders even more.

"Yes," Lelouch began as he tilted his head back down and met the gaze fixed on him,"would be my answer if not for the fact I let those plans die long ago. I told Suzaku the truth and he accepted me anyway. It is the same as I accept him despite your strong hate for me, despite he and I being of very different heritages." Emil's grip tightened on his sword at Lelouch's words, rage beginning to make his fingers twitch and itch.

"Don't forget your very different life spans!" He roared before charging forward. He brought his sword down as Lelouch lifted his own, effectively blocking the blade. He growled again, shaking as he tried to force his blade down and past Lelouch's. Instead the ebony haired male throw Emil's sword up and hopped back a few steps. He glared at the angel who quickly took up a different position to strike.

"Just as bull-headed as ever," Lelouch sighed before taking up a defensive strike of his own. He then tilted his head, tossing his wet bangs from his eyes, and gave his opponent a small smirk. "Let's see how far unguided hatred and rage will get you, shall we?" He asked in a voice as chilled as ice, as level-headed as he'd ever been. Like every other time he and Emil had encountered one another on the road of life.

Emil charged forward again, growing like a feral beast when Lelouch side-stepped him with the greatest of ease. That haughty little smirk on the Shadow Walker prince's face didn't vanish - wasn't even fazed! – by the attempted strike. This only worked to send the angel further into rage and unholy fury. He tried again, this time pretending to go for the left then switching to the right at the last moment. He nicked Lelouch's side, leaving a little open cut as the other hopped backwards again. The paler boy lightly tapped the wound, seeing the bit of blood on his fingers just before the heavy rain washed it away, then raised an eyebrow. "Is that the best you can do?" He asked mockingly while standing straighter.

"You wish!" Emil retorted scornfully before charging again. Lelouch easily side stepped again, keeping his eyes focused on where Emil's blade was going. He wasn't going to slip up and get another little scratch from this stubborn oaf. He just had to get Emil worn down to the wire and then he'd be fine to temporarily stunned the angel, lock him up and make sure he couldn't get away.

Marianne, deep in the shadows close by, snarled to herself. Why was Emil taking so much time? She'd told him where to land a blow so they could take Lelouch out. She had told him to get him tired in hopes that he'd not listen to her; she had put her plans on the hope that he'd deviate and leave her chance out in the open. She had left the vessel she'd been using, that of a mere human girl named Anya, and taken on her more animalistic, demonic form, her wings tilted to keep the rain from getting on her head or face. She watched the deadly dance, the silver streaks of metal crashing down on metal, and silently cursed and urged the angel forward. 'Do it, you damn fool! Take him out!' She silently shrieked. It was at that moment that Lelouch shimmied to the left and stabbed clean through one white wing, causing Emil to stop in his tracks and howl in pain.

Not too far off, Suzaku heard the sound and felt panic grip even tighter in his chest. 'Please don't be Lelouch! Please don't be Lelouch!' He begged quietly as his wings propelled him faster, beating more rapidly.

Lelouch stepped back a bit, watching as Emil dropped to his knees, wheezing frantically for air. Because angel wings were an extension of the spine, the pain was as terrible as if he'd been stabbed in the back, and Emil was left grappling on the ground. For a moment his mind blank, emptied by the searing pain, but then his mind clicked back to what he'd been told earlier by his female partner. He tilted his sword discretely, angling it just right so that he'd have a clean yank at Lelouch's nearby ankle. "Emil, I didn't want to have to do this, but if you refuse to listen I'll have to get you out of the way until I have more time to deal with you," The young prince said with a heavy sigh. It was then that Lelouch glanced up, catching a flicker of moment up in the air.

With Lelouch's attention elsewhere, Emil yanked and screamed, "Go now!" Lelouch's eyes widened as he went backgrounds, the old pain of a terrible gash on his ankle stirring him to the reality of the situation. He tilted his head a bit, just in time to see his mother's demonic smirk as her clawed hand pierced right through Lelouch's stomach. Emil's eyes widened as well as the reality of what he'd done crushed down on him. 'She's... a demon!' He gasped inside as Lelouch fell, eyes still wide and mouth opened a slight bit as if to utter something.

"Lelouch... Lelouch... Lelouch!" Suzaku screamed in horror, watching the other drop. He trembled from where he was, slowly descending to just the rim of the roof. Emil turned and looked at his son with an apologetic look on his face. Suzaku didn't even acknowledge him; he was too preoccupied with his fallen lover. "Lelouch... Lelouch, no!" He gasped shakily, his shakes getting even worse. His eyes began to sting with welling tears, his throat becoming thick and making it hard to swallow.

"Stop being to melodramatic, you big baby," A monotonous female voice scoffed from the stairs to the store. All heads turned to be greeted by long lime green hair and bright amber eyes. She was wearing an over-sized shirt and loose fitting black slacks that were rolled up at the ankles, clearly things she'd hi-jacked from Lelouch's closet. "I didn't make you king so you could lay around like some lazy buffoon because of a little poke in the stomach."

"Sorry I'm not used to this," Lelouch coughed out in a shaky laugh, using his trembling arms to slowly push himself back up to his knees. He stayed there, kneeling for a moment and panting softly with blood trailing from his mouth, while the three baffled parties watched him. "You're as compassionate as you've ever been, C2." He laughed hollowly as he sat back on the balls of his feet, one hand holding his wound while he flashed a pained grin at the newcomer. She smirked in response, shrugged, and stretched toward the sky much like a cat.

"W-What?" Suzaku whispered softly before darting over and hugging Lelouch tightly. A low, pained groan came from the other boy, causing him to yelp and pull back. "Sorry! I just... I'm so happy..." He stammered, eyes welling up with tears. He was answered with a small smile and Lelouch's fingers musing through his mussy hair lightly.

"It's okay. But," Lelouch groaned lightly while trying to stand, one hand still clenched on his sword, "I think I still have some busy to tend to." He stated, glaring at his mother. The she-demon merely answered with a short bark of laughter at her weakened son. "I've been given C2's immortality so she can't kill me." Lelouch started to head over but was stopped by a hand landing on his shoulder. He blinked and turned to see the serious expression of his lover. "Suzaku?"

"C2, will you keep an eye on him? He's not fighting like this," The brunette said sternly, gently directing Lelouch toward the girl and giving him a little shove. The other stumbled a few steps and looked back again, bemusement clear on his face. "I'm not letting you fight her, Lelouch. I'll take her down." Suzaku lifted his naginata and held it out, pointing the blade toward the cackling demoness.

"You think you can defeat me? Foolish naive! You're a new blood, a mere rookie! You know nothing of the art of combat!" She laughed loudly, pointing at him and holding her sides from what she considered the most humorous thing all evening. Suzaku didn't back down, his face a picture of determination and self-assurance. "And you fight because you're with my son? My, what a simpleton you are! You are an angel and he is king of the Night Walkers!"

"So I assume you know what that means," Suzaku said calmly, remaining poised to strike. The demoness blinked, thrown off by his words, and looked at him quizzically. A slow smirk came up on the boy's lips, his emerald orbs gleaming with mockery. "Your plan failed. You tricked my father into thinking that Lelouch caused World War II when really it was you who inspired that cruelty. You did all of this so that Lelouch would die before he could bring peace and spoil your fun but he's the king now; he's become immortal. And you know you can't kill the king of the Night Walkers." He said, his tone riddled with cockiness and teasing. Marianne's eyes widened as his words sunk in, horrified with the sudden realization of just how right the angel was.

She stumbled back a bit, growling like a wild beast. She moved, as if to flee, and that was when they heard the thump of something piercing her and saw the metal edge of an arrow poking out through her heart. She gasped loudly and looked at Lelouch and slowly, as the end drew closer, her eyes softened and pleaded of him for forgiveness. He looked away just as her body dissipated into a thin cloud of black smoke. Suzaku sighed loudly and fell on his rear just as the archer landed and grinned lightly. "Thanks, Gino," Suzaku sighed, looking up at the blonde with a grateful smile.

"Hey, any time! You're really lucky, though, you know? I mean, our boss may have given you your weapon but it hasn't been officially blessed yet! In a fight against that she-demon it's be as effective as wagging a stick at a rabid dog!" He laughed happily. Lelouch, in the background, felt his eye twitch as an angry smile settled on his lips.

"So... According to what he's saying," He said slowly, his tone causing Suzaku to flinch and look back with a nervous grin," is that you were about to let yourself get killed?" He roared angrily. Suzaku quickly darted over, wagging his hands and trying to come up with an explanation, only to be thumped on the head by his angry boyfriend. "Are you an idiot? You don't read head first into a battle like that! What could you have done with a useless weapon?"

"Well, he could have wagged it at her and made loud noises! Maybe that would have scared her off!" Gino added helpfully, beaming brightly at the fuming raven haired male. Suzaku kept his hands up at Lelouch and looked back at Gino, eyes begging.

"Please don't help me with this one, Gino! I think, if it's possible, you're just making Lelouch even angrier!" He squeaked before turning back to Lelouch. He bowed his head and turned on the puppy dog eyes. "I'm sorry but I knew Gino was close by! He's been an angel longer than me so I knew his weapon would be set for combat! And I didn't have time to go to heaven and have mine blessed!"

Lelouch opened his mouth, clearly about to retort, but fell silent when they heard light, musical laughter approaching them. Gino's eyes widened significantly. "It's Lady Grace! That's our boss, Suzaku!"

A figure landed a few feet away, wrap in extravagant white robes, and smiled at the three young men looking at her. "Ah, Suzaku, you make me so proud!" She gushed happily, approaching and gently kissing the young angel's forehead. Vert orbs widened and he gaped at the angel woman hugging him lightly.

"M-Mother?" He sputtered in surprise, detangling himself and stepping back a little bit. Lady Grace responded with a smile. "B-But... Dad said you were human!"

"Your father didn't know I was an angel; I was down here working undercover at the time. My mission demanded that, even if I should come across another angel, I was not to reveal my identity. Luckily enough, God was very understanding and gave me permission to remain on Earth to take care of you," She explained before glancing over at Emil, who looked stunned. "But now, I'm afraid to say, that I need to take Emil in to custody. For now, your mission is to take care of Lelouch and watch after him. Gino, you'll come and help me take Emil in for judgment." She said crisply, turning to look at the injured angel.

"My apologies, Lelouch. Clearly I was wrong about you," The older angel confessed softly, his head bowed in shame as his hands were cuffed behind his back by the female angel. Lelouch looked at him for a second then sighed.

"I hope they're lenient on you. It wasn't entirely your fault," He said calmly, wincing a bit as the wound in his stomach acted up. That would take some time to heal.

Grace smiled lightly as she and Gino took Emil's arms and headed upward. "You realize that he's a better man than most, don't you?" She asked quietly.

"You're wrong; he's a better man than I am," Emil whispered softly, wallowing in his own stupidity.

...

Suzaku and Lelouch sat in silence. They were seated on Lelouch's bed and Suzaku was treating the stab wound through his stomach. The bleeding had luckily enough stopped. "We just need to wrap it; it'll heal relatively quickly with the proper treatment," Lelouch groaned as Suzaku lightly dabbed the area with cleaning fluid on a cloth.

"It needs proper treatment so you'll just have to grin and bear it," Suzaku grumbled lightly, keeping his eyes trained on the task before him. Lelouch blinked slightly, catching a certain note in the other boy's voice, before smiling lightly. He reached over and touched Suzaku's cheek with the tips of his finger, making the other look up at him.

"Suzaku, I'll be fine. And I'm not going anywhere," He said gently with a small smile. The tanner male blinked, then swallowed hard and hugged him tightly, hiding his face in the crook of Lelouch's neck. Amethyst orbs softened while his own arms wrapped around him, returning the embrace. "Just relax, Suzaku. We're going to be okay." He cooed soothingly.

C2 watched from behind the door, peering in through a small crack, before smirking to herself. "You better take good care of Lulu, Kururugi," She mumbled softly, too quietly to be heard, before she turned and descended the stairs. She had a girlfriend to go meet up with and it was clear her presence wasn't necessary here any longer. She pushed open the door and disappeared into the light drizzle of rain still washing away the sins of the city.

End