The voice – familiar and friendly - bounced against the spacious room as an echo; in the confines of the Lancelot, it reached him like twinkling wind chimes. A light breeze was passing, and, of course, could only be Euphemia, as no other song sounded as precious or gentle. He smiled and wondered if his grin was big and noticeable enough to make a noise.
Work would just have to wait; after all, royalty has arrived, he decided. Making himself visible with eager steps, the young knight began to descend the docking stairway and cleared his throat as he grew closer, "Princess Euphemia-"
"Suzaku." The tone had changed quickly, accompanied by an angry pout that was difficult to take seriously. "Don't you remember?"
"A-ah," He bit back a small laugh, "Right, right… Euphie."
Now she relaxed into a smile. "Better…" But a thought quickly crossed her and the smile faltered as she continued, "… That's… well, that's why I'm here."
"So I remember to call you Euphie?"
He blinked, "Sort of?" Though she was acting rather vague, he wouldn't be surprised if the answer was fairly obvious; he was bright, but women always confused him. Lloyd liked to point this out often, and silently, Suzaku was thankful he wasn't here to see another possible slip-up.
Rather than a response, Euphemia began to walk with careful steps around the Lancelot, head tilted as bright eyes absorbed every small scrape and battle scar on an otherwise clean, white finish. A silence settled between them, save for only her heels against the floor; even then they barely seemed to fill the space. When she stopped in front of his machine, he almost thought he heard her breathing, soft, barely a pinprick into a comforting quiet.
Was that his heart or hers? Her simple inquisitive glance was enough to make him anxious – nervous for her approval, wanting to make her the happiest she could be – and finally, he spoke with a slight tremor, "Euphie, what can I do?"
She turned, and his breath hitched. Now, it was only her heart, as his begun to slow in the moments that she left him in agony, waiting for her answer.
Alas, she smiled. "… Suzaku, it is nothing like that."
His stomach dropped in relief and he let out that previously held laugh. He began to approach her, now, the comfort of her presence returning now that a monumentous problem was out of the question. "O-Oh, well, um-"
"But, you can help me." As he was now beside her, she was able to reach his arm; she touched it soft and tentatively as if she would let go any second. It always felt this way, he realized… but she never did let go.
Watching her as she did this, Suzaku swallowed, "Anything, Euphie. Whatever you need."
Her smile came easily once again as she let her fingertips slide away from him. In response, he barely shivered, forcing himself to repress such motions with the very fear of looking inappropriate and unprofessional. He did, after all, work for her, in a way; with this reminder, he straightened his tie as he waited for her to speak again.
"… I'm renouncing my title." Euphemia said then, the proclamation fluttering towards the high ceilings.
"You're-I-you mean…" He trailed off as she looked up at his worried gaze. Her own seemed as it always was – warm, relaxed, but glowing with passion – in return.
"I can't lead in a world like this, Suzaku," She turned to him completely, lacing her fingers together as she spoke, "There is far too much wrong for someone… someone like me to change." As her words grew weaker, she took a sharp breath, biting her lip.
The tears began, and Suzaku moved towards her. His hands found her shoulders, squeezing them gently so she would meet his gaze. "…Euphie… what about the special zone? Your intentions are honest and true… and you shouldn't give them up!"
"I'm not enough," She continued, unphased by his words as her eyes dripped, "In my position… no one will listen to me… and…" Her eyes remained trained on his, "… Maybe it's time to accept Zero."
In disbelief he could only stare, lips trembling as he brought her towards him. The normal boundaries he had set for himself around Euphemia were beginning to crumble… subconsciously, however, he didn't seem to notice, nor were words failing him in such a moment as this. He could just speak, and speak… and just speak to her, as if nothing between them was different. "… Your sensitivity to the people is what makes you an ideal person to lead… you're compassionate… smart… stubborn for what you want…" He seemed to smile down at her, "… And Zero doesn't think the way you do… he is willing to exterminate without harmony, whereas you want eternal peace... and, Euphemia… your goal is the goal of many… it is mine, as well."
Her head had cozily placed itself against his chest, the rise and fall of his breathing allowing her tears to be numbed to small sniffles. His voice, too, began to lull her into quiet ease; it allowed her to think comfortably and carefully about everything he was saying.
"… Our goal wouldn't stop," She said softly, voice barely carrying, "… I could never just quit… but, Suzaku… I have to relinquish what I have for the sake of others."
He blinked, but urged her to elaborate with silence.
She seemed to understand, "… She wants a world that is simple… a world where she can live with her brother happily and without fear." As she spoke, however, Euphemia realized that this may not make the depth of sense to Suzaku as it did to her; he, after all, still didn't know Zero's true identity; Lelouch. Would it be wise to tell him? Though it caused her great pain, it was best to keep this from him. "… She has made me realize what is truly important; significant things such as the bond between siblings and neighbors versus power and greed… with the Britannian name, I can't be a force of salvation; I can't compete with the sovereignty that Zero has over this country."
"… For Nunnally," He repeated, releasing her, now, but not completely letting her go. "… You have my support."
Looking up at him, Euphemia grinned, "You mean you're not mad?"
"Mad?" The knight grinned, laughing lightly, "… You know for a fact that I can't really stay mad at my employer."
"Well, as your knight, I am a part of 'the help,' as it were."
She laughed now, eyes sparkling with new life in their shared laughter. That beautiful shine caught him speechless for just a moment, stillness coming between them as their giggles stopped and expanded throughout the open room. As this occurred, Suzaku felt a connection, a certain, fleeting feeling that told him to move closer, to take her in his arms again, and with all of the confidence that he could muster, just-
"Thank you, Suzaku." She had already seemed to know, embracing him tightly. He let out a small breath, returning the gesture though he wished he had initiated it himself.
Author's Note: Well, welcome to the first chapter of what I expect to be a very long saga. Let's hope I can stick to it and keep writing?
If you are turned off by the Suzaphie-ness that's very apparent in this chapter... well, let me just tell you that you probably won't like the bulk of this story. While I don't want to give out too much information, the story will often jump back into the theme of this relationship as, whether you people like it or not, it is considered a CANON ship that actually somewhat occurs in the original Code Geass story. Never fear, though! It won't be all about these two cutesy-poos.
As always, reviews would be appreciated! Good things and bad things; I'm all ears. Thanks for reading!