Author's Note: I decided to start a side project dedicated to my new anime love Code Geass. Basically it consists of a bunch of one shot drabbles about Lelouch and Suzaku's childhood. However, even though the title is "Summer of Joy", Lelouch and Nunnally actually spent about a year in Japan with Suzaku, so I won't be limited to just a summer timeframe. Each "chapter" will be labeled by a month spent at Kururugi Shrine. I may make more than one chapter out of a month depending on events. For example; in December we have Christmas, New Year's and Lelouch's birthday. So many possibilities.
Warnings: I'm a fan of SuzaLulu, so in some cases I probably will add things that could be interpreted to be romantic. If there is any such content, I will warn you beforehand. There's nothing in the first chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass
Suzaku had discovered at a very young age that if you wanted to learn something, it was best to listen to the maids. They were such a common sight around the shrine; people tended to regard them as something like a piece of furniture. Merely part of the room, devoid of curiosity or ears to listen. As such, nothing went on in the house without the help's knowledge.
It was through this method that Suzaku learned of the Britannian children's eminent arrival long before anyone bothered to tell him.
"…they're really coming here?"
"Yes, a prince and a princess. Apparently the emperor is sending them to Japan in order to study abroad."
"That's ridiculous! Why would royalty come here at a time like this? I bet they're really coming to spy on us!"
"Don't be silly. They're only children. The boy isn't much older than Suzaku-sama."
"I wouldn't put it past Britannia."
The woman's paranoia would normally seem extreme, but these days it was commonplace. The Japanese people had watched as Britannia had swallowed lands, cultures, and resources, reducing once proud nations to mere numbers in the process. Everyone knew that with the plentiful sakuradite mines, their homeland was going to be next. It was only a matter of time.
As a result, Britannia was on the tip of everyone's tongues. No action on the nation's part went undiscussed in various tones of anger, panic and despair. Rage and fear spread throughout the land of the rising sun like a cancer, infecting adults and children alike. Suzaku was no different. How could he be when all he ever heard from his father, his instructors, his very classmates, was that the Britannians were going to eat his home alive? Suzaku loved Japan dearly, and the last thing he wanted was to see it fall to ruin.
So when he heard that the Britannian prince and princess were coming to Japan, to his very house, Suzaku couldn't help but fear that the invasion was already starting. Especially when he found out where they were staying.
It was funny. Everyone had been so in tune with the royal children's arrival, Suzaku had known everything from the date they were coming, to what method of transportation they would be taking, to how many bodyguards would be escorting them. However, somehow the place they were actually occupying on the shrine had escaped him.
In fact, it wasn't until the very day they were supposed to show up (christened as Dooms Day), that he finally found out.
Suzaku had been fresh out of kendo practice and was working on some of the techniques Tohdoh-sensei had taught him when he heard their approach.
"Lelouch, are we there yet?" a small, female voice asked. She was speaking in Britannian, but Suzaku had become fluent in the language (among others) at a very young age.
The boy answered hesitantly, "Uh…yeah."
"So tell me about our new home," the girl said, "What does it look like?"
New home? Suzaku had known that logically, the royals were going to have to sleep somewhere. It wasn't as if he had thought they were going to live in the woods. But he had assumed that they would be occupying one of the many guest rooms in the house. He hadn't thought that they would end up here, in his special place.
He had discovered it a couple years ago. He had just wanted a place to hide from his home tutors for a little while, so he had been wandering around the grounds of the estate. There the storehouse had stood at the edge of the property in all its ramshackle glory. It had become his place of refuge, somewhere he could disappear to for hours at a time. There, Suzaku wasn't the prime minister's son or a member of the illustrious Kururugi family. No one was around to place expectations on him or to be disappointed when he couldn't meet them. It was perhaps the one place he could be free of pressure and responsibility. The one little piece of earth in this world that was completely his. But now Britannia was taking that from him, just like it wanted to take away everything else.
From their position at the doorway, it would have been impossible to see Suzaku upstairs, so the Britannian boy was oblivious to his presence and growing rage as he began to map out the storehouse to the little girl. "It's really nice! The walls are as white as snow and…there's a picture window with flowers all around it!"
Was the boy insane? The storehouse looked nothing like that! Was he mocking Suzaku's sanctuary for being so small and dirty? It was probably nothing like the fancy palace that he was used to. He had no right to come to another person's country and complain!
And the girl was no better. She was playing along. "It sounds like Euphy's room. Is it like that?"
"Yeah!" the boy assured her. "It's a little small but it'll be okay for the two of us."
Suzaku scowled deeply. This was where he practiced martial arts and ate the snacks he stole from the kitchen. Where he hid from the housekeeper and stored the treasures he would sometimes find on the grounds. It was the only place where no one ever looked for him. Why did they have to stay here? Why couldn't they just leave Japan alone?
The boy took another step inside, and then narrowed his eyes, perhaps catching the shape of Suzaku's form up above. "Who's there?" he demanded, causing his sister to gasp in surprise.
Suzaku froze, for a moment uncertain on what to do. One of the reasons he had come here in the first place was to avoid them, after all.
"Hey!" the boy called angrily, "You show yourself to me right now!"
Typical Britannian, Suzaku thought britterly. Always telling others what to do. Regardless, Suzaku was not a coward who hid in the dark, so he did as the boy said and descended down the rickety steps.
"Don't talk like you're all big!" Suzaku retorted hotly in perfect Britannian. "This was my place a long time before you ever came here!"
The boy frowned, "You're place?" he asked, sounding confused.
"That's right. You Britannians have a lot of nerve! You think you can just come here and take over Japan?" Because this was about far more than the storehouse. It was about everything. Britannia was trying to take everything that was precious to him. But Suzaku wasn't going to allow that. He would fight for what belonged to him, to what belonged to all Japanese.
The boy however, seemed undaunted by Suzaku's accusation. "Japan takes over countries too," he replied coolly, "You just do it secretly with money and financial control!"
"Well...I…" Suzaku floundered. To be honest, he knew very little about politics and wasn't sure what to say to that. Who was this boy? He couldn't be much older than Suzaku, but he talked like an adult.
"There's not much difference between Japan and Britannia at all." the boy informed him, adding salt to the wound.
"That's a lie!" Suzaku yelled. It had to be a lie. Japan was nothing like Britannia. It couldn't be. It couldn't be!
"Oh yeah?" the boy retorted, "Try asking your father about it."
"You lie about everything!" Suzaku yelled, mostly because he couldn't come up with a proper defense when he barely talked to his father at all, "The walls as white as snow? There's no picture window in this storehouse!"
The boy's eyes widened and Suzaku felt momentary satisfaction that he had finally broken through his cool demeanor.
However, he hadn't expected the boy's surprisingly violent reaction.
"Stop it!" the prince yelled, charging (rather stupidly) towards the other boy.
But Suzaku had been training in martial arts since he was four years old. Fighting was nothing new to him. He got into brawls with his classmates almost daily. The boy never had a chance. Suzaku's fist made contact with his chin, and he crumbled like a leaf.
"Hah! How do you like that, stupid Brit!" he taunted as he continued to punch and kick. "Don't ever insult us Japanese!"
"Quit it, you barbarian!" the boy said between pained gasps.
But Suzaku couldn't stop. It was like he was possessed. In his mind, the boy on the ground had ceased to exist, and in his place was Britannia itself.
"Please stop it!" the girl's sweet voice was like a knife cutting through Suzaku's consciousness. "I don't know who you are but I'll do anything! Stop hurting him!"
Suzaku looked towards her, truly seeing the girl for the first time. She was sitting in a wheelchair, tears falling out of closed eyes. Why would her eyes be closed? And really, why would her brother lie about something as simple as an appearance of a room? Unless…
"You…wait a minute. Are you…blind?"
"Yes, so you don't have to worry about me. Not at all! I can't do anything. I can't fight. I can't run away, so please." she pleaded, crying even harder now.
"You mean…" Suzaku glanced down at the Britannian boy's broken form. He had felt so good a second ago. He had felt like he was standing up for Japan. But in reality, he was merely beating a defenseless boy in front of his blind little sister. He wasn't being strong, or protecting his home. He was nothing more than a bully.
"I'm sorry!" Suzaku cried before running as fast as his legs could carry him. Because he couldn't deal with the sight of the boy's newly battered body and the little girl's unseeing, tear struck eyes. He couldn't deal with the horror he felt with his own actions and the self disgust coiling around his insides. And as he ran, a single thought came to him unbidden.
Maybe that boy was right. Maybe Japan really isn't much different than Britannia after all.
Author's Note: I got most of my dialogue from the first picture episode in Code Geass. I feel bad for stealing so much of it, but since it was in Lelouch's point of view, I wanted to try to show what Suzaku was feeling at that time. The next drabble will be completely original, I swear.