Greetings there, my faithful readers! I know it's been a while, but… well…. Uh… Okay, I have no excuse. What I do have is a shiny new chapter of A Second Chance all dressed up and ready for your consumption like a turkey at Thanksgiving dinner! Sorry, tat analogy was probably a bit too strange. Also, I'm awake at 8:30 AM having not slept at all last night, and I'm writing this chapter in between watching games of the GSL 2, a Starcraft 2 tournament in Korea.
AirKing: I guess it's a good thing I read this review after I wrote the chapter, as I try not to let reviews influence the story – but, as it happens, you were basically right on the money! Maybe you should just take over instead, haha.
Anyways, without further ado…
"C.C., wake up, silly witch.' Lelouch poked at C.C. Her face was sweaty and she was moaning in her sleep, so Lelouch could only assume that she was having a nightmare. Lelouch sighed. "Come on C.C., you don't have to deal with that." He shook her a bit. "Should I slap her?" He wondered aloud. "Wake up C.C.! Jeez, you woke me up with your moaning and crying, so now I have to get you up at least. Oh wait, I know. C.C.! Pizza!"
C.C. woke up abruptly, not sure why. She had just been having the most horrible dream. "Lelouch, you're alive!" C.C. exclaimed, seeing her accomplice in the bed next to her.
"Are you okay?" asked Lelouch, concerned. He ignored her previous comment. She must have had a bad dream in which I was dead… but then what does that mean? Does she care about me? He wrapped his arms around C.C. and let her head rest on his shoulder.
"Yes… I just had a bad dream," C.C. said, her voice muffled by his shoulder. "Thank you for waking me up…" Gradually, Lelouch felt her body stop trembling, and looked down, and saw her sleeping peacefully.
"C.C… trust me. As long as you'll have me by your side, I'll always be here for you, my witch. So don't be sad. Even if you have a nightmare, you can rest assured that you'll wake up in my arms…" Lelouch whispered. He wasn't quite ready to go back to sleep yet, and instead lay idly, enjoying the feeling of running his hand through her hair and rubbing her back.
What does C.C. mean to me? Lelouch wondered. I've never done anything like this with anyone else… and yet with this girl, it feels so… natural. Now that I think about it, it's so wrong – isn't C.C. hundreds of years my senior? And yet… she still has the personality and body of a girl, so I guess it doesn't matter.
"That's very sweet of you, Lelouch," C.C. murmured. He choked, not having realized she was awake. "What the heck C.C.? Why don't you give me some sort of warning before you trick nice statements out of me?"
"How else am I supposed to get you to say anything civil?" C.C. laughed, a twinkle in her eye. "For that, you get a gift…" she kissed him lightly on the cheek, blushing. "Now try to go to sleep, warlock. I don't want you moping around exhausted tomorrow, you hear?" C.C. lay back quietly,
How the hell am I supposed to sleep after that? Wondered Lelouch. He tried, and failed, to stop himself from smiling, but try as he might to dwell on the events of the night, and C.C.'s kiss, the events of the previous day caught up to him, and he finally fell back asleep.
This time, it was C.C. who woke first in their shared bed. Sunlight streamed in through their large windows – C.C. and Lelouch had still neglected to furnish most of their new house, although they had bought some of the basics. She smiled tenderly, remembering her last night with Lelouch. Always here for me, eh? I think I could get used to that. Her smile widened. I haven't felt like this… well, ever, I guess. Surely not for thousands of years. Almost, I feel like an idiot, with all of my logic being thrown out by emotion… but for him… Perhaps he's worth it. Only time will tell… and we have all the time in the world.
But for now, I wouldn't mind snuggling up closer to him.
She lay awake for a while, basking in the warmth of the sun and Lelouch's body heat. I almost feel like a cat… so lazy, she thought. I should wake Lelouch now, he's being even lazier than I am. But how? Lelouch had not responded to her gentle shakes when she tried to wake him the first time. But suddenly, C.C. was struck by an appealing, and totally evil idea.
Lightly, she stole a kiss from Lelouch, after having taken a deep breath. Then with her other hand she pinched his nose shut and didn't remove her lips from his mouth. Let's see him sleep through this! Lelouch started to cough almost immediately and his eyes flew open, filled with panic and surprise. After a brief struggle, he was able to push C.C. off of him.
"WHAT WAS THAT FOR?" Lelouch yelled.
C.C. just could not stop laughing. "I-I needed to w-wake you up," she explained, choking with laughter. "And I thought maybe you deserved another kiss for being so nice last night."
"Arrrgh, C.C., can't you just kiss me when I'm freaking awake?" Lelouch groaned, eyelids still heavy with sleep. "I mean… uh…"
C.C.'s grin widened. "Are you saying that you would like me to kiss you when you're awake?"
Lelouch shook his head frantically. "No, I, uh… you… uh… I misspoke."
C.C. pouted. "Oh… so… you don't really like my kisses then?" she sighed.
"No! Ahh… I do… I mean… Can we stop this line of questioning? I think that my mind may combust." Lelouch said, looking about ready to explode.
C.C. laughed lightly. "Of course… but don't think that you can escape me forever, my warlock. Let's go eat breakfast."
Lelouch readily complied, relieved to have escaped C.C.'s interrogation.
"You saw C.C.?" exclaimed Nunnally, almost ready to explode at her somewhat-friend, Kallen. "What the hell did she do with Lelouch?"
"What do you mean? Isn't Lelouch buried in the Imperial graveyard? Or something?"
Nunnally shook her head slowly. "No… C.C. said that she'd take care of Lelouch's body, and protect it from grave robbers and such that would have followed immediately if we buried him here…" she explained. "So… did she say anything about Lelouch? Where did you see her?"
Kallen started to think again. What if Lelouch is alive…? She wondered. I can't get my hopes up… Anyways, what am I saying? Lelouch betrayed me and the Black Knights… he betrayed the world. Bit Kallen couldn't stop that little voice in her head that wondered if perhaps that Lelouch had been the one betrayed, and not the traitor.
"Hello? Earth to Kallen? What did C.C. say about Lelouch?" Nunnally demanded to know.
Kallen sighed. What should I tell her? "Nothing," she lied, figuring that she didn't know or trust Nunnally well enough to judge her reaction to C.C.'s claims. "She didn't say anything about his body, either. I don't know exactly where she lives, but I know the town now, so I might be able to find her. Do you want me to try?"
"Yes… Kallen, please try to find out what C.C. did with my brother's body… I know that he's dead, but I just want to know that he has been respectably buried and given his proper burial rites so that I can meet him on the other side. I trust C.C., but I also want to know where to go to visit my brother's grave, you understand, right?" asked Nunnally.
"I know what Lelouch meant to you. I'll go look for C.C., and be sure to tell to make her tell me what happened to Lelouch after he died. Okay?" asked Kallen.
"Thank you so much! Oh, and Kallen…"
"Yes? What is it?" inquired Kallen impatiently.
"Don't worry about school – I'm the Empress, I'll just make a call or two and you'll be fine for… say… a week?"
"Yes!" Kallen pumped her fist into the air. "No school! I'll be looking for her now, see you later Nunnally!"
After she left, Nunnally sighed. "Suzaku, you don't have to eavesdrop like that. We are friends, and you're friends with Kallen, right?"
Suzaku shook his head in his Zero helmet, emerging from behind one of the curtains. How he had managed to hide there without Kallen noticing, Nunnally didn't know – she had always assumed that Kallen was one of the sharper people in Ashford Academy, and given her recently-revealed status as an ace pilot, she would have thought that she would have had some detection skills as well. Ah well, guess she's no Sayoko.
"I can't go back to school now obviously, and also, Kallen and I weren't on the best terms when I fought her to protect Lelouch's plan," Suzaku explained. "She probably hates me a lot right now… not that I blame her. It's part of the penance I'm paying for the Zero Requiem too…" he trailed off, remembering Lelouch's last words.
"Nonsense. I think Kallen would forgive you if she knew… and I know Lelouch doesn't want everyone to hate you. I think that one day, you will be able to reveal yourself to the world again." Nunnally said.
"Nunnally… thank you, it means a lot to me. You've given me more hope for the future," said Suzaku.
"It was nothing. Now, let's talk about other, more mundane matters…" said Nunnally, gesturing towards a stack of papers on her desk. "Kallen will take care of herself."
What if Lelouch… was alive? wondered Kallen. What if he played some colossal joke on the world? Used us all as his pawns, laughing the whole way? Even when he's gone, he gets the last laugh! Kallen forced herself to calm down. It's unlikely that Lelouch is alive… and yet, I have to find C.C. and ask her, just to fulfill my curiosity. If she says no, I won't think anything else of it. I'll go back and live a normal life. Oh, and she has to show me the body so that I can give its location to Nunnally, I guess.
Kallen came to a stop in front of the town that C.C. had chosen to make her home in. What was this place called again? I guess it doesn't really matter…
Kallen stopped in front of the post office. I guess I might as well start my search here, and then I will go look for her where I met her last, at the market. There should be a high chance that she'll need to go back for groceries at some point, right? If I just can't seem to find her, I'll hang out around the marketplace every day until she comes around. Wait… I have an idea! There is absolutely no way that C.C. will go long without pizza. When we were all at HQ together, she ordered pizza literally every day… to the point that I wondered if our funding was going more into pizza or into weaponry.
Kallen glanced around the bustling town. All I need to do is find the best pizza place and hang around there for a while, and I'll be sure to get C.C.. As long as she doesn't get delivery, I guess.
Having completed her planning, Kallen hurried to finish her job.
Lelouch and C.C. were eating breakfast in a comfortable silence, each hungry enough to just eat rather than talk. After a while, C.C. found that she had to say something. "Lelouch."
"Yes?" he asked, suddenly wary of whatever his green-haired with might have in mind.
"Thank you for the omelet. The food you cook is delicious," she said, without a hint of teasing to her voice.
"Y-you think so?" said Lelouch. "You liked it?"
"It's quite good, and I'm surprised you knew I'd like an extra cheesy omelet," said C.C.
"Well, I figured I'd make it as close to pizza as possible, and you'd like it," Lelouch laughed, scratching at the back of his head. "I'm glad I guessed right."
"As am I. Anyways, what would you like to do today?" asked C.C. of her immortal partner.
"I don't know, I don't really care. I'm bored, I guess we can go out. Oh, let me wash the dishes first though I guess."
"Good idea, I'll help." C.C. got up to help Lelouch wash the dishes, bringing hers to the sink. "This won't take long; there are two of us and not that many dishes."
C.C. went to put the dishes in the dishwasher, but suddenly slipped and fell, due to the slick floor. "Ouch!" she hissed with pain.
"C.C.! Are you alright?" Lelouch said, rushing over to help her, nearly slipping himself.
"I'm fine, fool," she snapped at him, annoyed at her own blunder. "Help me up."
"Uhh… okay." Lelouch offered his hand to her, which she took and attempted to rise. However, she sat back down again quickly with a hiss of pain. Lelouch looked at her questioningly.
"Well, I feel foolish now. I believe that I've twisted my ankle." C.C. stated emotionlessly.
Lelouch looked, and sure enough, there was an angry red swelling there, growing rapidly. "Ah, you silly witch," he said to himself softly. Slowly, carefully, he picked her up bridal-style, making sure not to hurt her injured ankle any more than I already was.
C.C. didn't even say anything in response to his comment, she was so surprised. I don't think anyone has ever done this for me before… she thought, her head against his chest. Lelouch is being surprisingly… caring, recently. He's almost a different person.
Lelouch gently set her down on their bed, taking care still not to hurt her ankle further. "How are you feeling?" he asked her.
"I'm immortal fool, this means nothing to me," she snapped at him, and immediately regretted it. He was so kind to me and I repay him with that? No wonder he hates me most of the time.
Lelouch drew back, uncertain. "Hmph. You'll be fine, witch. I'm going to go out."
"Wait!" C.C. cried, annoyed at herself even more now. "You can't just leave a girl alone here, right? I'm crippled! I could get raped or something, you know."
"Ugh, can't you make up your mind?" Lelouch asked. "What do you need me for? You're immortal, remember?"
"Maybe I just like your company, Lelouch," C.C. purred. "After all, you were all the rage among Ashford Academy's female populace, if I recall correctly."
Lelouch turned bright red and chose to carefully ignore that statement. "Witch…" he said in a warning tone. Well, perhaps he did not ignore it totally.
"Ah, you're no fun," C.C. said, flopping back on the bed, wincing in pain.
Lelouch also sat on the bed. "I guess I could use a nap, what about you?"
"Come closer. I don't have a Cheese-kun plushy so I guess you'll have to do for now."
Lelouch sighed melodramatically and allowed the witch to slip an arm under his neck. Just what the hell am I to her? What does she take me for, some sort of pillow? A cook?
"Lelouch?" asked C.C. softly.
"Yes? What is it?"
"Thank you for helping me. I'm sorry… I snapped at you," she said, her tongue tripping the unfamiliar words. "Please don't be mad at me."
Lelouch's expression softened. "You're…. apologizing? Come now…. You're my witch. What kind of warlock would I be if I didn't keep you well fed and in good health?" Lelouch smiled, feeling more at ease. "I'm assuming by the time we finish our nap your ankle will be fully healed?"
"Yes, it should finish quite soon, but for now it still hurts a bit," C.C. said.
"Do you want ice or something? Even though it'll heal soon, it'll lower your level of discomfort…"
C.C. looked at him wonderingly. "Lelouch… I've been murdered so many times in cold blood, and you want to get my ice for my ankle because it might hurt too much?"
"Ah… sorry… I think?"
"No, I wasn't complaining… actually, Lelouch, I find that rather endearing. I don't think anyone has ever cared for my happiness… well, not without my Geass on them, anyways."
"I see… well… thanks, I guess. I'm bored now, I think I'm going to get some sleep," Lelouch said to C.C..
"Lelouch… can you rub my back like you did last night?" C.C. asked him. "It felt nice."
"Well, I guess if you'd like,' said Lelouch casually, but his blush gave him away. He rubbed her back in small circles, making sure to knead the muscles and help her relax. Eventually, he was rewarded by her eyes drooping shut and the sound of her slow, rhythmic breathing indicating that she was fast asleep.
Lelouch quickly followed suit, falling asleep within minutes of C.C.
Alright, I'm done now. I really have to sleep, so sorry if the ending is a little abrupt. Time to upload!