A/N: A flashfic written for a request on LiveJournal. The prompt was Lelouch/Suzaku - conflict. That's what they're basically made of, I thought and got to writing. This is my first foray into this fandom and I wanted it to be something more… epic, orz. But I still like where I ended up with this fic.

Warnings: mild sexual content.

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Suzaku didn't like to think about the night which followed Lelouch revealing himself as Zero. Though, to be honest, Suzaku himself had torn the mask off his face via a bullet. He shuddered to even remember the fury that had overtaken him, the feeling of betrayal that had wanted to suffocate him, and which had made him snap. By now he had learned to accept that. Because, even if Lelouch was his childhood friend, he was also his opponent; an enemy that Suzaku had sworn to eradicate. He found it ironic that they had switched sides: Lelouch should have been the one fighting for Britannia, while Suzaku rose and fell for Japan. Yet they had been switched by a hand of a cruel chess master – the black knight had taken the side of the whites, while the white had been thrust among the blacks. And then they had been re-robed and could not longer tell which of them was supposed to be which.

Suzaku would never be able to forget that Lelouch had opposed his beliefs. He'd ruined Euphy and he'd killed her, driving her to ruin just like everything that his hand touched. Suzaku hated him as much as he considered him a best friend. Punching him had felt better than it should have had the right to. It had also made something inside of him snap, leaving open ends and a gaping emptiness behind where something was supposed to be; though he didn't know what anymore. And then, after Nunnally's death in the explosion, he thought he'd gone mad. He thought, for a moment, that he could finally understand Lelouch – then Zero.

But now, as his Knight of Zero, and even more – as his occasional bed partner, he realised that he could never truly understand him, that he could never fully tap into the ideas driving his world. And Lelouch didn't ask for him to understand. All he wanted from him was his willing participation, his earnest response. It was hard to not respond to him, Suzaku found the very first time he hesitantly let himself be touched by his only best friend. It was hard not to wish the same things Lelouch wished for, and if Suzaku had been pretty messed up before, he assumed to have hit a new low. Lelouch was his curse and his consoler, making the rest of the world seem inconsequential. It didn't even matter which one of them was on top – the outcome was still the same. No matter what they did, they were only two pieces of a torn picture with edges that would never fit back together. They could pretend. And somewhere in that pretence they could allow themselves to be genuine.