Hey everyone! Karima here, just as I promised, a month until the next chapter, and VOILA~ Here it is.
This chapter was difficult for me mostly because of the lack of sex scene. (Seriously, I've been teased about how little I struggled with writing the sex, but I fought with this chapter for such a long time. O.o)
But I hope you enjoy this chapter more than the last one. I actually really fought to keep them all in character. I'm serious. I want to keep them as in character as possible… so here goes it!
Thanks for everyone who read and reviewed my last chapter. I enjoy writing replies so feel free to write one. And if you're interested, instant message me.~ Especially since I enjoy talking to more Suzalulu fans. Suggestions and new friends sound like good combinations. Just ask for my MSN account and I'll be willing to PM you with it. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: Code Geass does not belong to me. :3
Jangling of bells could be heard as the glass door to the old building opened.
Heads turned in expectancy of possibility of a way out of this deteriorating home. To freedom. A new life where any one of these children could feel loved for the first time.
A man and a woman entered the lobby. Both of them looked way too young to be at the run down orphanage. Nevertheless, they announced to the owner that they came to adopt a child of their own.
With this statement, the brown-haired man turned to face the pink-haired woman, eyes brimming with excitement and fondness. It looked like the two shared a connection that could not be broken.
Or at the very least they were a little too touchy with each other.
The owner, Miss Violetta, faced them with a bright smile and teasingly interjected. "You two look much too young to even be out of high school. Are you sure you're old enough to adopt?"
Both of them turned a pinkish color, stammering and attempting to make a complete sentence. Luckily, the brunette composed himself. "We have been planning to do this for quite a while. Euphemia and I have been married for two years now. I think we're ready." His voice was boyish, but was charming all the same.
They were a perfect example of a newlywed couple: brimming with happiness, smiles all around, and frequent kisses, even during the most out of place times. They loved each other.
Their euphoria was sickening in a place as desolate as this.
Other children fled to the couple who had just walked in, prancing about in an excited matter. Most of their comments towards the young man and women were simply unintelligent and childish. Everything fell under the categories of playing new games, reading stories, or incoherent questions.
Lelouch sighed and turned away from the mass chaos, looking back to his chess game. This sort of behavior was expected whenever someone came in to adopt, and the boy was sick of disappointment. He was past the point of even trying. Small hands moved a knight, taking his opponent's queen without fail. A sigh escaped his lips. At this rate, he would never be able to finish the game he had started, especially when his opponent was too busy paying attention to the young couple.
Closing his eyes in complete concentration, Lelouch began to plan out the rest the game, guessing every possible and probable move that the opponent could strike with, and planning his way of striking back. Different thoughts swarmed, and the small boy lost track of time as he sat in silence.
"Hello, what's your name?" Lelouch jumped at this, eyes snapping open, finally alert and out of his dreamy state. Bright, green eyes looked back at him. The corners of the man's mouth were pulled up in a soft smile. The young boy could not help but blush at the man's attention; he wasn't expecting anyone to approach him.
"What's it to you?" Glowering back was the best course of action; he did not want to take the opportunity of freedom away from someone else. Lelouch wanted to be the one to break himself out of this life of poverty and desolation. He wanted to be independent and never have to deal with the burden of actually falling for someone's fake attempts at affection. Dealing with the pain of being abandoned once was already enough; it was not worth going through again.
Sadness swept through the brunette's body. All the older man wanted to do was to give every child a chance. The small, raven haired boy seemed so against the idea of even talking to him. "I just wanted to get to know you since Euphemia and I want to adopt a child ourselves." Flashing his most affectionate smile, he offered his hand to the small child. "My name is Suzaku."
Eyeing the hand in disgust, Lelouch finally took it with a look of regret on his face. This was the first person to ever even consider him, so the least the small boy could do was accept a handshake. "Lelouch."
"Do you mind if I sit here?" Suzaku pointed to the seat on the other side of the chessboard.
"I can't stop you." Lelouch pointed his nose in the air and looked down to the brunette, judging his every move as he sat down into the chair across from him.
Once seated, the brunette chuckled. He seemed to be ignoring the rude comments that Lelouch was directing towards him. The younger boy was shocked that he had not given up already. He had used this method on most of the employees of the orphanage, and it seemed to scare them away.
"Do you like to play chess, Lelouch?" Suzaku was eyeing the chess board in slight confusion, and looked back up to Lelouch as if he wanted some help understanding some kind of secret code.
Lelouch determined that blankly staring back at Suzaku was the most appropriate response, and the brunette got the gesture after a few seconds of staring. Again the room was filled with a warm laughter. Lelouch's heart beat a little faster; he never grew accustomed to laughter at his old home. If laughter did exist there, it was usually a cold and heartless laugh that gave the impression that the owner of it was simply enjoying the pain and remorse of others. But Suzaku's laugh was genuine, something that could easily make others smile just by hearing it.
Sure enough, Lelouch smiled.
A larger smile curled up on Suzaku's lips. "Finally, that's what I wanted to see. You're much cuter when you smile." Blush spread across Lelouch's cheeks again. The feeling was uncomfortable to him, but not unpleasant; he found himself wishing for more of it.
"Shut up!" Pouting back towards the older man was the most mature option he could think of the moment. Usually his thoughts and words were much more intelligent, but he had never received a true compliment from another person in his life. He received some superficial statements, but he got the sense that Suzaku was genuine. His voice sounded true and unforced.
A teasing smile grew on the much larger man's face. "I actually really enjoy when you pout too." The grin grew even larger. "You're cute no matter what you do." Momentarily, Lelouch could feel his heart skip and start again at much faster pace.
He was taken by the man's heartfelt words and simple gestures of kindness. Why? Why was he affecting the small boy so much? It was much too hard to feel independent in the face of this man. Parts of Lelouch that he would never show to others were about to overflow. All of the weaknesses, fears, and joys he would keep to himself were suddenly worth mentioning. These feelings were strange and came on quickly with no reason, but were repressed as soon as Lelouch could muster the strength to do so.
"Is this your way to make me forget about your inability to use simple thinking methods to deduce an obvious fact?" Sticking his nose up in the air, the raven haired boy yet again tried to make his personality less appealing to the man sitting across from him. Acting stuck up would surely turn the man off from supposed affection towards the small child, or that was what Lelouch believed.
"You don't seem to be able to speak in a very sophisticated way when someone is complimenting you, so I don't think you should make such a terrible accusation towards me." That was the breaking point. Lelouch was taken aback by how quickly Suzaku turned the very words that were meant to break the older man's esteem and further attempts. "But I think that makes you all the much cuter. Knowing that behind that mask of sophistication, you have a soft and loving nature."
"How can you assume so much about me when this is the first time we've even met?" Shooting back a sophisticated comment towards one that was intended to woo the small child over was one of the smarter choices Lelouch had made that day. "You're awfully hopeful that everyone is pure and wonderful. What makes you so sure that I'm that way?"
Mulling over this for a short time, Suzaku countered back as easily as Lelouch had. "Perhaps I do have wishful thinking, but I'd also love to give you a chance before I make the assumption of you being a bad person. If we made judgments that everyone was bad, that would just leave us all alone."
"What if I want to be left alone?" Silence followed, and Suzaku's cheery mood dimmed. The atmosphere was left in a cold state; the warm feelings that each of them had felt were drifting away. Lelouch half-expected Suzaku to counter the statement, but it seemed the older man didn't know what to say. His intelligence level was subpar to Lelouch's, so coming up with an equally affective comment would not be easy.
Regardless, Suzaku countered back in the smartest way, in his opinion. "Is that possibly the result of being left alone here? I know many children here who prefer no company because they've never had a chance to experience a real home to themselves. Perhaps your mind would change if you actually gave me one as well." The grown man set his hand on Lelouch's shoulder in an attempt to comfort him. "Whatever you've gone through, I promise that I will never be like that to you. I would never leave you alone."
Feelings of anger had been bottled inside for long enough. Lelouch had had it with this man. "Excuse me? For someone who probably isn't even considering adopting me, you certainly have a disgusting amount of audacity. If you choose someone else, all of those words are lies. You just would leave me alone and crushed, which is against the very principle that you uttered to me." The raven haired boy pushed Suzaku's hand off of his shoulder and went back to the game of chess that he had started, ignoring the brunette without fail, and making it very clear that his presence was not welcome.
"Lelouch, I hope you know that I had considered adopting you prior to this entire conversation." The young boy attempted to show no interest, but some shone through. His ears seemed to perk up, and his attention was drawn back to the man. "It's not that I knew you beforehand, but you intrigued me the most out of all the others here. But don't tell them that." He put his pointer finger up to his own lips in order to emphasize his point.
"Fine." Pink dusted onto his cheeks and Lelouch quickly turned his head to look the other direction, hoping it would stop his embarrassment from being so obvious. "But don't think I'll trust you completely. You have to prove to me that you're absolutely committed!"
"That's a rather intelligent standpoint. I respect your decision." It made Suzaku feel better by speaking such intelligent words around Lelouch. That way the older man didn't seem completely and utterly pathetic in front of the raven haired boy. From their conversation, it was easy to tell that Lelouch made premature judgments on every aspect of the older man's personality. As long as the brunette could hold the small boy's attention, he would try his hardest to remain as sophisticated as possible.
Laughter burst out of Lelouch at the forced conversation that he was having with Suzaku. "You're ridiculous, you know that? It's obvious that you feel very uncomfortable talking this way. I'd respect if you acted like yourself so I could actually learn whether or not I enjoy your company."
At those words, Suzaku had a strong urge to slam his head against the chessboard in complete and utter anger against himself. It was clear that this boy had a very high intelligence level, and obviously believed that Suzaku was incompetent and utterly absent minded. "Right." He scratched the back of his head nervously, and an apologetic smile was twitching at the corners.
"So are we just going to awkwardly mull on, or do you actually have a plan of some sort?" Tapping his fingers impatiently on the chessboard, Lelouch ceased laughing. "I did want to finish my game, if you were finished with your rounds."
Nervously interjecting, Suzaku's words were shaky. He sounded almost scared, but who wouldn't be scared of such a malicious child? "How about we play a game together? That way I get to know you more!"
A large smirk curled up on the corners of Lelouch's mouth. "A game, huh?" Purple eyes narrowed in anticipation, Suzaku did not understand how such an innocent suggestion could bring out such a calculative attitude. Of course the entire attempt to sound evil and powerful was almost for nothing simply because of how high pitched Lelouch's voice was, but it certainly made some kind of point.
Right about now, the brunette was feeling very small and cornered, all because of a little kid with a big ego and a razor sharp intelligence level. "Yes. How about we play…" Suzaku trailed off, unsure of what to suggest that wouldn't allow Lelouch to ridicule him to the lowest level possible. On second thought, that idea was pretty much useless. "Chess! It is your favorite, after all."
"That's perfect," Lelouch began to place the pieces back in proper order. "You know the rules right?" With a quick nod, Suzaku sent nervous smile back to him. "Since you're sitting on the side of white, you'll be taking the first turn. If you're ready." Still smirking wildly, the raven haired boy enjoyed the absolute thrill of winning. He was positive that Suzaku would be a very easy opponent. Challenges were nice, but watching this older man squirm would be quite enjoyable.
And it was.
Just as Lelouch predicted, the brunette had very little skills in that area. To top it all off, the game did not last longer than five minutes, which happened to be the shortest chess match Lelouch had ever played. Needless to say, that was a pretty pathetic low to achieve, especially since a majority of his opponents were children who had never touched chessboards before.
Not surprisingly, Suzaku was staring down at the chess board in wonder. He could not believe that Lelouch had beaten him with such ease, but then again, the brunette was never great at playing any sort of game that involved using his mind. "You're pretty good."
The raven haired boy laughed at his expense. "Thank you. I don't know if I can say the same for you, but maybe a little practice would get you far." A sly grin rested on his face permanently. "I could always teach you a little more of the game. Perhaps it would make the entire game a little less unfair for you."
A high pitched voice interjected in Lelouch's moment of pride, destroying his mood in a way he did not think was possible. "Suzaku, I don't want to pry you away from the children, but my sister is expecting to meet us in about thirty minutes." Lelouch's shoulders slumped even further than they were before. Suzaku pouted a little in disappointment. "Aw, Suzie, don't make me feel so guilty! We're coming back as soon as our schedules free up, alright?"
"Fine. Oh! Before we leave, this is Lelouch. He and I played a game of chess together, and trust me; he didn't even have to try to beat me." Euphemia looked him once over, and waved politely. "Trust me, he's the sweetest boy you'll ever meet, you just have to work a little harder than most people to see it." The brunette winked towards Lelouch, causing him to flush a bright shade of red yet again. Now Lelouch was completely sure Suzaku had a talent for making him blush.
"Maybe next time we'll be able to spend time with each other, alright, Lelouch? I want to be able to get to know you. If Suzaku likes you, I'm sure I will too." She had a smile that lit up the whole room. Just from the few words Euphemia had spoken towards Lelouch, he knew that she had a kind and loving nature. She represented all of the traits that should be present in a perfect mother. "Goodbye, Lelouch! Come on, Suzaku, let's head out now."
Diligently following her request, Suzaku stood and quickly ruffled Lelouch's hair, ruining the well-groomed look that the young boy spent so much time and effort to perfect. "I'll see you later, Lelouch. Promise to be back as soon as I can. Don't worry, I won't break my promise. Alright?"
Nearly forgetting the fact that Suzaku ruined his hair, Lelouch nodded in agreement. "You better. I expect to see you back eventually." The brunette smiled back, and ruffled the young boy's hair again. "Expect to be punished for messing up my hair. Next time I see you, you'll regret ever committing such a nefarious deed."
"You're so serious about being so prim and proper." Lelouch pouted towards him with little hesitation. "Whatever form of punishment you have in store for me, it certainly will be unique. Is it sad to say I'm looking forward to what you have in store for me?" Linking arms with Euphemia, the brunette looked back towards the young boy one last time. "Goodbye, Lelouch. Thanks for letting me get to know you."
One moment Lelouch was feeling full of happiness, and the next only emptiness remained. All of it happened too fast. The foolishness that he had shown would be his downfall. Without Suzaku there, the young boy could think clearly, and he realized that it was possible that the older man was lying to him. Suzaku might never return to the orphanage. Showing the brunette a side that was never even shown to his closest friends had attached him so deeply to that man.
There was nothing to cling onto in order to stop his emotions from spinning out of control. An empty promise meant nothing now. Lelouch didn't even know his last name. If he wanted to get a hold of the older man, there were no means. There was nothing.
Just empty promises.
On an endless loop, those words and thoughts spun through his head as he lay down for bed that night.
Would he be there for him the next day? Would he ever come back?
Does he even care?
Curtains fluttered gently with the morning breeze, allowing glimpses of bright sunshine to stream in through the open window. Opening his eyes with a wince, Lelouch covered them quickly with his hand to avoid any further discomfort from the morning sun.
His head was spinning from the events of last night, and his body was sore. Sticky. Everything that Lelouch hated to wake up in the morning and feel like.
The only exception to that rule was the days that Suzaku actually was able to stay in his bed, when Euphemia wouldn't notice that the older man had simply curled up with Lelouch all night long. Or when she was spending the night over her family's house. The raven haired boy loved when she was gone; Suzaku was especially more affectionate with him during those times. But today was not one of those days.
Unfortunately, this brought this worst feeling in the world. To wake up without Suzaku cradling him gently and kissing him softly was an indicator of yet another bad day. Lelouch would do anything in the world if it meant the brunette would be there to wake him up every morning. Nothing was going to change, though. It was going to remain the same, unless Suzaku actually kept his promises.
Increasingly his promises were becoming more outlandish, the older Lelouch became. Ever since he had met the raven haired boy in the orphanage, Suzaku had this idea that every little detail of Lelouch's life should be perfect. Of course, the teen had no qualms with the attention, but sometimes he became concerned that every nice deed and action was made only out of pity, out of guilt that Lelouch once had led a life without the affection of parents.
Whatever the reason, the teen just wanted Suzaku's feelings to be true, to be more than just a mask or lies, but there was no way to read Suzaku's mind. For all Lelouch knew, Suzaku really was not taking advantage of him. The brunette pronounced his love towards the raven haired teen too many times for both of them to count.
So could Lelouch really believe these promises? Suzaku had never let him down before, even when he was younger. The brunette kept every word; he would always return to the orphanage. Lelouch would always doubt him, but the moment Suzaku would walk in the door, all of that doubt would melt away.
It all was clear.
He just wanted the closure that was always given at the end of every promise. Just waiting for Suzaku to prove he had not changed after all. But the teen would have to wait; this was not a choice he could make for Suzaku. Suzaku would have to make that choice on his own.
How much longer could Lelouch keep waiting?
No matter what the answer, the teen knew that he would wait as long as possible. Always staying by Suzaku's side, forever. Just as the brunette had promised him.
See you guys in a month!
(Listened to "One Day I'll Fly Away") Are you guys excited for more? I can't wait to start writing the more questionable stuff after I explain the plot and setting more. That way we all don't hate Suzaku too much… My goal was to help everyone forgive him a little. ;'D