"We have done it! The great nation has fallen to its knees."
From a grand marble staircase, Zero's voice filled the open room, arms opening as he reached the last step. "It has adorned every paper; the Elevens have conquered." He smiled; it was evident in his tone as his expression was hidden away. "Darling, do join me in a toast to victory."
She smiled – grinned – as she stood from their dining room table, an icy blue gown dripping with pearls following her every movement. A gloved hand reached for him; their fingers laced one another as he pulled her in.
"Yes. The imported French we've aged will do fine."
Obediently the girl entered the kitchen, heels clicking against the floor and echoing throughout the house. Within moments she returned with a two glasses each filled with pale wine, handing him his while she held hers proudly.
"To… you and I." He said with charm, "… And all we have done for the oppressed."
Again she smiled, "…. To us, yes." They clicked their glasses together and she began to drink, only able to take a small sip before he swept her into his arms.
"My dearest Knight… my beautiful wife… let me kiss you."
How could she refuse him? With another smile she began to remove his helmet, only to find something shocking underneath.
Her eyes fluttered open to find the entire student council staring her down, each wearing an expression that ranged between anger and confusion. Some were just plain mortified that it took Milly's shrill scream to wake her up, others simply worried for Kallen's future health following this incident; Milly did, after all, know just how to make a point and make it clear.
Rubbing her eyes, the redhead grunted, "That was entirely unnecessary."
"Not when we need to plan the next school festival!" Milly said curtly, "I need all of your help – even you, Sleeping Beauty."
Rivalz snickered; Suzaku shoved him to stop, expecting female violence.
"Another festival?" Lelouch asked with a slight groan, "… We just had one, Milly. A week ago." One that no one will forget, as well.
"And the main event was a disaster." Shirley sighed. "No big pizza means no success, Lulu."
He scoffed and Suzaku smiled. Few things about Lelouch, he realized, had changed during their years apart. He was, after all, still grumpy, coy and brilliant, he still cared for Nunnally with an arm and a leg to sacrifice, he still managed to make poor unsuspecting women melt.
"Now that we're all awake, let's get to the principal of-"
The room's phone rang, and Milly growled in response. Of course, as this wouldn't stop the ringing, Shirley quickly lunged for the device, picking it up. "Ashford Academy Student Council – how can I help you?"
"… Could I speak to Suzaku Kururugi please? It is urgent."
The girl blinked, "… Uh, yes, hold on a moment." Looking towards the brunette she said, "… A girl is on the line for you, Suzaku… she says its urgent."
"Quite. She asked for you by name."
His brows knit together with uncertainty, taking the phone from Shirley. "… Hello?"
"Suzaku, its Euphie… please meet me in the gardens."
Something in him switched on; he stood tall and proud. "Right away, I'll be there as fast as I can." He couldn't hang the phone up fast enough, beginning to run out of the room.
"Suzaku!" Milly cried after him.
"Sorry Milly, it's apart of the job!" He said over his shoulder, scrambling from the door.
A silence fell over the room.
"You know, Shirley," Rivalz said after a few seconds, "You'd make a great secretary."
It was times like these when Suzaku enjoyed his endurance.
Once he had been a specially-selected member of the Britannian army, training schedules and exercise routines became crucial – when he was enlisted, he began as a thin, boyish kid with natural quickness and a strong upper-body, but with no knowledge of his potential. Quickly, he was thrown into martial arts, regular sparring, and a weapons education course that consumed three days of his week for several months. Coming out of this, he was fit, focused, and certainly a changed man… but surprisingly, Suzaku enjoyed the routines and continued to do them long after his requirements had been met.
This was, of course, why he could sprint to the Empire from school while barely breaking a sweat.
Turning a corner, he slid to a stop, reaching the tall gates of Euphemia's residence. As dusk was approaching, it was light enough to see what he was doing, but certainly dark enough to use Euphemia's favorite trick; "Just climb up, Suzaku!" She would giggle from the other side. With this thought in mind, he began to scale the fence, laughing to himself as he thought of her devious smirk; it was incredibly and completely inappropriate for a princess to entertain guests "after hours," and even more inappropriate for that guest to be a boy.
What the public did not know, however, was that these visits were usually for what others would call "boring" or "childish." As she was a princess, Euphemia knew little about the world outside of her castle, and often questioned Suzaku of his past. "What was it like growing up Japanese?" came up the most, he gathered, while she always enjoyed when he spoke his language as well.
"Teach me something in Japanese!" She said one night.
"Japanese? Well, um… it's been a while-"
"Suzaku, it hasn't been that long!" She laughed, shoving him, "Surely you must remember something!"
He seemed to smile, "… Well, princess… okay." Clearing his throat, the young knight said, "Ahnahtah wa haruh no eechee ban no sahkurah yoree utsukushee."
Her bubbly, happy laughter filled the space between them, "Ooh, what does that mean?"
To make sure she didn't suspect a thing, he raised his voice in a silly manner, "You are more beautiful than the first cherry blossom of spring!"
Once more, Euphemia could only laugh, shoving him again, but laughing, smiling…
Lost in memories, he reached his destination and turned the corner. In the courtyard he found her in the distance, sitting on the edge of the fountain. Surrounding her were millions of pink flowers; the whole garden was created upon her inspiration, he was told, and of course pink was the chosen color to represent her.
The only sound around them was the slight bubble from the running water, his breathing, and a chorus of crickets that urged him to approach. With little light to present himself in, Suzaku began to cross the garden, his gait now slow and relaxed in seeing her. Though he still felt anxious to discover whatever she needed to talk to him about he was at least calmed by the fact that she wasn't in immediate danger.
She seemed to hear him, as she looked up from the water's reflection and grinned. "Suzaku, you came!"
"Of course I did." He smiled too, "Why did you think I wouldn't?"
"Well, you were in school…. and I didn't want to disturb you, but I really need to talk to someone who won't tell me I'm wrong."
He took a seat beside her now, brows creased with worry. "…Euphie, what do you mean?"
She folded her hands in her lap, looking over at him. Her eyes pooled with sadness, he noticed; they lacked the spirit and light he remembered and cherished, "… I'm worried to announce my decision. Is it selfish of me to want to give this life away?"
"Sel… ah, Euphemia, no!" He said adamantly, touching her shoulder, "Its not like you don't appreciate… all of this," His gaze wandered for a moment as he mentioned this, "… Your reasoning is for change - to move forward. Who would dare tell you no?"
"Suzaku, the Empire doesn't want change; you know that."
"Then maybe its time you change that!" He moved from her shoulder, now, taking her hands in his own, "… Listen to me. What you're doing is going to save thousands – millions – of people. And you can't let anyone stop you. To achieve change is going against the everyday, and that takes courage… courage that I know you have, Euphie."
She blinked up at him, then finally squeezed his hands and laced their fingers together. "… Why do you believe in me?"
"Because there is something to believe in." He was growing rosy in the face, looking down at their grip, "… You mean everything you say to these people; everything you want to do is honest and true."
A comfortable quiet settled as she turned her head to the sky. The stars glittered like crushed diamonds above them; a small burst of color shot through galaxies between them.
"... Did you wish on stars as a child, Suzaku?" She whispered then, turning back to him, "… Make a wish."
He looked to the sky, then back at their hands, thinking about it. It was a moment before he simply smiled, "… I don't need to, Euphie."
All I could ever ask for is with me already.
Author's Note: Thanks for the positive reviews; keep em coming! I realized I didn't say anything about the last update… so let's do that, hm?
Did you see that I focused on some Lelouch/CC time as well as Lelouch/Euphemia (hinted by Lulu himself) and Lelouch/Kallen? If you're thinking, "Damn, Meaghan, way to make Lelouch the pimpmaster he IS!" Then… uh, thanks? I didn't intend to, I swear; in fact, I can back up why I've done it for those who want to spork me. In this I really want to play up a lot of the ships that are seen both in the show and that we as fans have created ourselves (which means, yes, there will probably be some hinted Lelouch/Suzaku sometime… BUT BELIEVE ME. Nothing blatant), as it makes it seem a little more real to me, personally, to give everyone a taste of what they like. Not to mention that since most of these complex relationships occur in the series, its more true to the material! So a win-win, right?
As for this chapter… more of Kallen's fantasies, haha. I really love the scene in R1 when they're complimenting Lelouch's ability to catch up on sleep during class, and realized that the same amount of tiredness affects Kallen, as well. Since her life is so consumed by the Black Knights, I figured it may enter her dreams… who could have expected THAT dream however?
Not much to say about the second part. It's just Suzaku and Euphie being cute. As usual.
Keep on reading and rating – I love to hear what you guys think!