Spoilers for the end of the series, read at your own risk.
I know there are a lot of these "last night together" fics out there but I haven't written one yet and I just couldn't fight the urge. This is also a memorial fic for Lelouch's death according to the air date of the last episode in Japan (September 28, 2008) and somewhat of an anniversary present to myself. As of September 4th I have been on this site for a year!
So I hope this fic doesn't just blend into the background?
I want to reconcile the violence in your heart
I want to recognize your beauty's not just a mask
I want to exercise the demons from your past
I want to satisfy the undisclosed desires in your heart
—Undisclosed Desires by Muse
One more night…
A sigh doesn't do the gravity of Lelouch's grave reality justice but it's all he can seem to muster as he reaches his chambers, lacking even a hint of wistfulness or ruefulness in the breath ghosting past his weary lips. Maybe it should depress him that he isn't depressed about his foreboding day ahead and yet… well, what's the point in pitying a future he decided for himself? From day one Lelouch knew; maybe not how or exactly when, but he knew he was destined for death at the expense of something greater than himself – he practically started with one foot in the grave. There's no use in lamenting, not now – not when he hasn't allowed any spare brain-power to wander to those grievous thoughts.
Perhaps what bothers Lelouch more than not yielding to a repressed remorse that claws his black heart to ribbons when reveries of his past get the better of him is the fact that he is currently walking through his last night alive without so much as a last meal in his stomach. He would indulge himself, surely, if he could summon a single indulgence to the surface of his consciousness.
What are his last cravings?
What are his last desires?
What are his last wishes…?
There is one desire he craves but it is a wish neither he nor anyone else can fulfill: If only he could glimpse over his shoulder once he walks into Death's embrace to witness the rebirth blooming from his demise, to see the world safely nestled in Nunnally's palms. But Lelouch knows that with Death's arm around his shoulder, ushering him to the lake of fire, his view may very well be blocked. If not shrouded by Death's suffocating cloak, it will be that neutral grip around Lelouch that forces him to look upon his punishment rather than revel in the bittersweet sight of his greatest atonement in the guise of his greatest accomplishment. Despite that, this yearning isn't growing from the purest place in Lelouch's mind. In a dark pit far from his bleeding heart is where his insecurities fester, the most relevant of all is scratching up from the dark recesses with poisoned thorns that make him question every detail until his mind is spun into a mad vertigo of doubt that clenches his gut with nausea—
But he shouldn't welcome doubt anymore than he welcomes distress.
After all, if the King doesn't lead how can he expect his subordinates to follow?
The lack of guards at the entrance of his quarters doesn't alarm Lelouch anymore than the breakneck speed of invisible strength that arrests him once he steps through the door. Lelouch's arms are twisted and pinned at the wrists like a pretzel behind his back in a steel grip as his chest and face are slammed against the door that was kicked closed by a foot outside his own pair, locked with a quick click – all in a roll of milliseconds that happen faster than Lelouch's crown can hit the floor, roping Lelouch faster than he could try to fight off this attack even if he wanted to. The wood against his cheek is cold and lifeless but the body flush against his back with hands clasped in his hair and around his wrists is hot with an energy that Lelouch doesn't need to see to identify (even if he hadn't been informed of a certain dead man's activity by one certain cyborg).
"Well, if it isn't the White Reaper." Lelouch's sardonic words are an anchor meant to drown susceptible ears in his condescending, indifferent tone. "You're early."
A predictable clench of fingers is felt around Lelouch's skinny bones along with a sting in his scalp from the pulling of hair – words Suzaku won't say clotting the air with heated tension as his livid breath pours over Lelouch's exposed ear; but that's perfectly fine because Lelouch doesn't need an invitation to speak. He's already said more than they've exchanged in weeks.
Maybe the silence, the cabin-fever, is finally getting to Suzaku.
"I do hope you were not detected by another soul when you let yourself into my room. Dead men cannot walk let alone infiltrate." Show no fear, show no weakness – a lie is only as convincing as its liar and the voice is the greatest threat to leak truth. So whatever reaction Suzaku hopes to coax from Lelouch, there's not a chance it will be heard through Lelouch's vocal cords. That is why his voice is as emotionless as a flat-line on a heart monitor.
He is torn from his blasé utterances by the rapid flair of his impulsive captor, his grace and dignity left at the door for a sloppy moment of hurried and uncoordinated steps that quickly lead him to being shoved face-down into another surface. However this time he is caught by the downy fabric of the massive coverlet lounging over his canopy bed; the one bearing his imperial emblem of a flying eye stitched in silk with radiant reds and glittering golds, soaring through a navy blue sky studded with diamonds and rubies. It is a bejeweled, opulent mess of extravagance that Lelouch hasn't given a second thought to since the moment it was rolled over the bloody plain of Egyptian cotton beddings by his Geassed drones. He only remembers vaguely kicking off the custom cover during restless nights because all that velvet that meant to keep him warm suffocated him – he sorely missed his smaller, simpler bed back at Ashford (with Nunnally slumbering peacefully next door). But now that Lelouch is being forced to face it as he is pushed into its vibrant detail, he feels small – insignificant – compared to its elaborateness and gaudiness like a meager prick of light in the ink of outer space beside the flaming sun—
Or perhaps it is the weight upon his back that is making him feel insignificant as it tries to bind his hands. In Lelouch's defense, he happens to whip an arm free from Suzaku's grip but he isn't sure if he was really so fortunate or if Suzaku was just allowing him the privilege of struggling before he is inevitably restrained. As Lelouch's wrists are reined at his back near the base of his spine by something softer than rope, not a word is spoken and not a sound of protest thrusts from a lung; and when he is unceremoniously flipped over like a defeated dueler, he is greeted by Suzaku's solemn expression and his wavering eyes – the face of an executioner shouldn't be so sympathetic. He securely straddles Lelouch's waist, donned in his nightly, national nostalgia: a jinbei – the white one adorned with a large, scarlet sun burning on the center of his back almost like a pleading target.
For a notable reason in Lelouch's mind, the sight of Suzaku's stare simmers something spiteful within him and the rising steam warps his lips into a malicious, upward curl.
"Seems it's true what they say: you certainly are grim, for a reaper," Lelouch says, letting the malice steeping in his throat cut through their taut silence like the Fate snipping a thread of life with her shears.
Suzaku's face wrinkles with resentment as if Lelouch has just severed the olive branch he extended, and somehow this amuses Lelouch. Maybe it's because Suzaku should know better than to expect a stunt like this, whatever this is, to work, or maybe because Lelouch knows that if he doesn't plow these pitying weeds right now they'll spoil his garden. So he laughs. But it is a mild, mute act of shaking shoulders rather than the arrogant chuckles of his clamorous pride, and yet, there's something deeply painful about the way they quake through him that he tries to ignore – it's as if those thorny vines of insecurity are able to coil around his heart and squeeze the more his laughter shakes the shell around it loose.
Lelouch has to look away from Suzaku now, tipping his face merrily to the side as his mirth trickles past his lips in gentle huffs that pool over the dark-blue coverlet. It's an act of disdain that, more or less, should be like spitting in Suzaku's face – if Suzaku has come here to reason or bargain with Lelouch (to not fulfill their plan tomorrow) because he let his own insecurities get the better of him, then Lelouch just needs to refresh Suzaku's memory with the cruel reality of his role as the devil incarnate.
(Contrarily, Lelouch has been playing the villain for months now so completely that he's begun to wonder if he's still really Lelouch within the core of this mold – or if he was ever anything but this dastardly demon in the depths of his soul, if Lelouch was the real shell.)
Suzaku's fingers caress his turned cheek and it hurts.
They gently sweep the hair from his face, and it hurts.
The strokes over his skin are warm, but it hurts.
It only hurts.
Suzaku's eyes, his touches, it's like they bring some unwanted weight to Lelouch's reality that pulls him closer to a fateful grasp he'll soon be joining hands with come tomorrow. It's absurd to think Lelouch has forgotten the end of his story, but knowing is so different from experiencing, like trading anticipation for apprehension upon the realization that what was to be now is. The sky has finally fallen, knocking Lelouch back down to Earth and that sense of reality has cemented his feet in his own tomb.
Tonight isn't just the last night, it is the end.
That finality, Lelouch realizes, hasn't felt so real until now—
This is just Suzaku prying exactly what he wants out of Lelouch's shell: vulnerability. Lelouch is stronger than this; he isn't going to break (this easily).
(So then why do Suzaku's fingers still hurt as they skim around his chin?)
Lelouch is turned to meet Suzaku's face again and it's with a burning frost over his faux-violet eyes that he does – show no fear, show no weakness, leave no room for empathy to emerge. Those forest orbs are dimmed by a woeful slate that Lelouch can feel sitting on his chest as stern but fragile fingers scrape the soft skin of his neck, wrapping around him with a timid threat. When they tighten like a slipknot rather than a noose around his neck, not a single muscle in Lelouch's body gratifies Suzaku with a nervous twitch or tremor. Lelouch isn't stupid enough to fall for a ploy like this; on the contrary, he meets Suzaku's eyes with a daring glare.
Go ahead, Lelouch instigates with his sharp irises, throw everything we've done out the window right now.
A shimmer washes over Suzaku's eyes, those green seas of sorrow sinking deeper into Lelouch's chest, and he is rewarded with a loosened grip.
He knew Suzaku wouldn't do it – even Suzaku isn't that stupid.
Lelouch has to resist the urge to bite out a verbal insult when Suzaku – lovingly – cups his cheek; he can only ward off so much with his demeanor and Suzaku isn't one to heed many warnings. But maybe Suzaku forgets how obstinate Lelouch can be – or maybe he hasn't and that's why he is here – and so Lelouch remains as rigid and frigid as ice – as a corpse – even when Suzaku's rough fingers crawl through his hair to cradle his skull as he lowers his sullen head. Lelouch doesn't blink or swallow a nervy gulp as Suzaku's face slowly descends closer to his, but underneath his hard exterior as a tyrant Lelouch feels a pipe beginning to leak a teenage anxiety somewhere inside him that wants to boil through his veins when Suzaku's hot breath blankets his mouth.
Suzaku's lips are unrelentingly firm but also tender as they press earnestly against Lelouch's unresponsive pair in a sweet gesture of longing – a longing Lelouch does not possess or return as his mouth is smothered, bombarded by the fervor of his friend's feverish affection. Suzaku pulls away and looks down at him to read the reason why he's getting no reaction and Lelouch's empty stare is all the answer he needs to fold discontent lines in his brow before landing on Lelouch's lips again. Only his trapped hands fist when he is met with the more forceful act of Suzaku's rougher kiss that isn't strong enough to bruise, just intrusive with a slimy tongue slithering into his mouth. The provocative squirming it dances with in Lelouch's mouth never makes it through the wall of teeth and that defeat puffs a sound of angst from Suzaku's nose. He grasps Lelouch's head tighter, lifting it higher off the bed as if elevation is the fiend behind his emperor's rejection, trying in vain to lure Lelouch out of his stony mask.
Lelouch is not amused.
When Suzaku retreats his vying for reciprocation is thick in his features, charring his expression with more emotion than Lelouch wants to stomach – but he doesn't get much choice when Suzaku mashes another harsh kiss on his mouth. Vexation creases Lelouch's eyebrows and clenches his hands as Suzaku shoves all his inner turmoil onto this gesture that's often taken for granted, the older lad's lips tightening when he is pushed against the mattress again by those strong, tainted hands.
Lelouch has half a mind to spurn Suzaku now, but with this mute act of his, Lelouch doesn't want his contemptuous voice to go unchallenged as if he's a guilty party blathering in order to keep a cool head under threatening suspicion.
If Suzaku wants to play the quite game, then they'll play the quite game.
Those stained hands glide down around Lelouch's neck again as he stares sharply up at Suzaku's soft eyes, at the mixture of timorousness and hostility swirling in those determined depths as the knight bows forward. Instead of feeling lips touch his mouth again like Lelouch assumed he would, they press against the bare slope of his neck after fingertips skated away, down to his chest that's buried in the snow-white of his regal garments. Lelouch doesn't squirm from his captor but his head is made to tilt by the vehemence Suzaku uses to lap at his neck like a vampire that hasn't feasted for too many cycles of the moon with his blundering fingers clawing at cloth – seems Suzaku is clueless about the combination to unlock these clothes and Lelouch will be damned if he helps him. He merely fights the childish tantrum curdling through those leaky pipes that persistently want to spoil his cool, his hands striving to twist in his binding before Suzaku finally has to disengage from sucking his flesh in frustration; shimmying down from a slender waist to sit on thin thighs as he toils at his obstacle.
A smirk would normally be seen on Lelouch's lips at a moment like this, perhaps even accompanied by a dry remark, but this atmosphere's austere attitude frightens away any sarcastic arrogance. Rather, Lelouch barely frowns at the incompetent brunet, watching him under severe scrutiny that could boil the skin off Suzaku's bones if he bothered to pay it any mind. (But how Lelouch would love to extract his foul look from this vat of ire and dip it into the sultry filth of desire instead…)
The cardinal eye strapped around Lelouch's hips (as if protecting his sullied chastity) is tossed aside once Suzaku figures it loose—
If Lelouch couldn't deduce where this was going by now, he would have taken the task of branding himself an idiot without being prompted. Even so, for the sake of formalities—
"What are you doing?" Lelouch's strong voice demands, a deep bellow of warning rising up through cracks in the earth.
Suzaku doesn't answer, not with his voice – Lelouch doesn't appreciate this mime act in the least – and he's certainly not seeking the dictator's gaze now. He just quickly follows the defeat of the cummerbund with the undoing of the twin buttons hitched at the waist of Lelouch's lengthy, sleeveless overcoat, pealing the sides open like the bisected skin flaps of a cadaver's torso.
Suzaku's fingers are finally rewarded with flesh after striving through many discouraging dead-ends, the shine of success brightening his features.
Lelouch is punished with the scrape of seasoned fingers over his unscathed skin, the beam from Suzaku's face narrowing his eyes.
Suzaku is only able to reach through the folds, underneath the hugging layer of Lelouch's shirt, but a small victory is still a victory worth cherishing – even in Suzaku's eyes. The brunet looks at him like a doe-eyed imp with fingers storming his stomach as a militia of tempting touches that tingle over his skin with pleasant memories he wishes to ignore, but these grazes wish differently. They conjure up the hoarded reminiscences of copulation, causing them to rise up from Lelouch's blood in the chilling spread of goose bumps that haunt his self-control (show no fear, show no weakness), resurrecting the decayed pieces of his heart. Lelouch keeps his annoyed, obdurate countenance against the brash challenge gleaming in Suzaku eyes and buzzing in his touch, even as these skimming fingertips begin to breach the perimeter of his pants. Soon enough, the newly exposed fly is being thwarted by diligent digits and Lelouch clenches his jaw, fisting the lush coverlet underneath him, wishing it was Suzaku's neck when he bravely infiltrates the maroon underpants of his Emperor.
"Stop," Lelouch orders more for Suzaku than himself in a tone that's standing on the precarious edge of a blade.
Suzaku just stares at him, the previous trace of glee that was lousing up his sadness seemingly devoured by the vapid expression he now wears, and the instant switch has Lelouch a little more than concerned.
He realizes he is, by definition, being very much molested and he is, virtually, defenseless against it; but what makes it worse is that his offender is Suzaku, of all people – a person that is practically incorrigibly incorruptible (although, he is a gilded golden boy, isn't he?) Lelouch doesn't know if he should fight it or not, if Suzaku is just trying bolder schemes to rattle him from his self-control. Lelouch knows he would like to fight, but if that is what Suzaku wants, then…
Show no fear, show no weakness.
But this gentle touch is much too familiar for Lelouch's limp length; the warmth of a foreign hand concentrates the fizzle that pimpled over his stomach into the blood that is quickly pooling into his frequently neglected sex. He hisses through his teeth when his boxer-briefs are stolen from his hips in a crude unveiling of his vulnerable flesh so it may endure the torture of cool air and Suzaku's tattered palms. Lelouch can't suppress the shift his body makes with his stubbornness as he is gripped by a groping hand that is deceitfully tender as it rubs him in soft fondles he does not want to take pleasure in – but he does, and it hurts.
"Stop…" Lelouch's breath spills from his mouth in a shallow wave at the effort to remain unfazed and his voice, although clear and stern, is encumbered by a sudden bulge of nerves in his throat that couples the growing stiffness at his crotch. Suzaku's hot palm is already a little slick with sweat and the way it carefully curls around him as it dilatorily strokes up and down, enticing the dangerous heat of desire through the cracks of Lelouch's defense, is heavenly.
Suzaku is looking at him straight in the eye without shame and Lelouch cannot help but think: if only he wasn't wearing his contacts… if only his Geass was more flexible in its limits… if only he could stop being childish and just put an end to this before it goes too far – as if it hasn't already. Of course, crossing a line seems to be Suzaku's sole goal as he plants a stiff arm into the mattress beside Lelouch, towering the return of his stoic expression as his other arm begins to pump a little faster. Lelouch braces himself against the surging heat fortifying his erection under Suzaku's hand, just throbbing in an acquainted anticipation of release that the sliding fist promotes with its patient – almost indifferent – pace. He can feel the eager spurts of semen beginning to drip down his hard shaft and drool over Suzaku's fingers, hearing it grease the rising and falling of a balmy palm as it rubs with annoying fluidity like waters that are unperturbed by the war raging at shore.
Lelouch shouldn't be surprised that he can hold onto his glaring composure so well, what with his years of grueling practice, but he is as his hands commit hypocrisy behind his back by clutching at the velvet with incensed vigor. Even when this tempter snakes a squeeze up his length and polishes his moist tip with a heavy thumb, Lelouch refuses to falter in his character.
(So why won't the boy just give up already?)
But perhaps fear really strikes in Lelouch's chest when a duet of fingers are accepted into Suzaku's mouth (he wouldn't dare bring them near Lelouch's lips where the threat of being bitten is a promise) despite the special coating left behind from generously forming Lelouch's erection. (—Surely, Suzaku wouldn't dare—) Lelouch can only watch with the horror of a murder witness as those fingers are sloppily bathed in Suzaku's saliva by a wiggling tongue, and for a second Lelouch feels the grip on his mask slip. This anxiety only magnifies, turning into an icy inflammation in his gut when Suzaku starts to shift his body, digging his hipbones into softer thighs as he leans forward and slides his knees up towards their chests, and then removes his fingers from his mouth—
Lelouch is cured of that dreading doubt altogether when Suzaku swoops his hand behind his back, towards his rear.
He almost feels stupid.
(Because surely, Suzaku would never.)
Nonetheless, Suzaku's actions are still some cause for alarm – fingering can't possibly lead to anything better.
Lelouch should be appalled, and to praise his sanity, he is rather appalled as Suzaku's face contorts at the unseen intrusion he is submitting himself too; Lelouch just isn't sure of what to do. He could protest, but to what? If Suzaku wants to fuck himself with his own fingers then that is his own business – of course that only raises the point that Lelouch shouldn't be subjected to the peep show like some pervert's victim.
Lelouch is not a victim.
In an absent twitch of movement to test the waters of escape, Lelouch is caught by Suzaku's swift hand when it jumps from the bed to his chest like a flea, pushing down just enough for restraint. The heaviness is intimidating to Lelouch's lungs, making the tide of his breath become shallow with need much like Suzaku's craving pants as if to make them match on purpose, and Suzaku's desirous greens are hard on Lelouch again, as if chiding him for trying to flee.
Lelouch is at his limit with all these pointless gazes that are brimming with temperamental silence and seriously considers harming Suzaku somewhere around his stiff groin just to get some change of pace between them – to end all this redundancy. Maybe it's his maturity finally ruling over his pettiness to fight fire with fire, or maybe Lelouch's patience just isn't what it used to be. Whatever the case, when he returns Suzaku's stare it's triple the anger he has been curbing from his eyes the whole time, letting his overflow of fury ooze like lava from his lavender lenses.
Suzaku simply grinds his hips – and shameless boner – into Lelouch's thighs as he closes his eyes and drips whimpers of indulgence from his mouth with his shoulder visibly rolling in that blissful harmony. The light rhythm of gyrating hips press harder and harder into Lelouch so that he even begins to feel it pulse from Suzaku's crotch as this troubled teenager appears to take himself higher and higher from reality. No matter how far his closed eyes tell him he is soaring, however, he can't be any more relevant to gravity that pulls him flatter to Lelouch with every little lunge of his pelvis, making the throbbing circulation of blood in Lelouch's cock all the more prominent.
Lelouch would like to testify that the fluxes are due to pain, which is partly true, but it is only the petulant pain of undesired arousal that might as well be like adding insult to injury or pouring salt on the wound. But being ever consistent, Suzaku plays ignorant to Lelouch's displeasure as he continues to rock steadily against the disgruntled raven he caged with enthusiasm, moving his shoulder more animatedly as his own satisfaction croons from his throat. Only once Suzaku's eyes are pried open upon realizing their faces are barely a breath away does he try to stick another kiss on Lelouch's lips in what seems like more of an afterthought—
Lelouch, of course, denies him, choosing to turn his cheek – and at the same time, Lelouch does not allow himself to see the expression that befalls Suzaku's face at the first rejection of this evening.
Maybe Lelouch is better off not seeing it.
Suzaku immediately withdraws, but before Lelouch can mentally celebrate some delusional victory, the boy lifts from his perch and yanks his shorts to his thighs and then reaches between them to grab Lelouch's idle erection, his hips angling over an aiming hand.
"Don't," Lelouch says with nerves melting the steeliness of his voice, feeling his dread boomerang as he is unabashedly groped by a rather hearty hand – his assumptions quickly turning into reality before his eyes.
Suzaku's eyes flick up to him, his dark-jade hues like shields against the violet attack of Lelouch's, invulnerable to the command of his commander. He lowers himself, impaling with care and an innate hesitation Lelouch hopes he won't feel again tomorrow when their roles are finally reversed—
"I said stop!" Lelouch struggles, shifting his body in hopes that he can twist out from under Suzaku's form like a worm through dirt. "What do you think you're doing?"—Such a stupid question, but the point of interest is in the outrage Lelouch couldn't keep from his voice as Suzaku takes him into his hot body.
(The kid has clearly lost it – but maybe Lelouch isn't any better by letting his pride stop him from ending this affair sooner.)
Suzaku holds Lelouch in place with that heavy hand on his chest again, fisting – clutching – the ornamental ruby high on Lelouch's shirt, his face pursing like his insides are squeezing onto every swollen centimeter that tears into him. Over a year's worth of celibacy must be what has Suzaku pulled so tight around Lelouch's flushed length like a compacting coil, burning with a scorching friction that limbos between pain and pleasure as it grabs and pulls him deeper. Lelouch would be lying if he said that being devoured by Suzaku's body didn't feel sinfully divine, but he'd also be lying if he said he wanted this to continue until it roots completely into his body. Sex is, in all honestly, the last thing on his mind now, just like it often always has been.
(And Lelouch wonders as Suzaku steadily engulfs him if this constitutes as rape. And when Suzaku's bulbous behind meets his thighs Lelouch decides that this does indeed constitute as rape.)
Suzaku is panting greedily with that dismal drape of dismay glossing his lusty eyes, a hungry plea left to shimmer there helplessly now that his boldness has absconded.
With furrowed brows, Lelouch turns his face away.
What is with that look? What does Suzaku expect from him? He must know better than to trust his naivety by now—
A sniffle is heard, but Lelouch doesn't investigate, just keeps that cheek turned.
A clench around his erection.
"Lelouch… please," Suzaku mewls with a loud snuffle that stumbles in the air, his hand quivering over Lelouch's face in a gentle brush that sweeps his hair away, again.
Suzaku is finally breaking down.
Somehow, it isn't as satisfying as Lelouch thought it would be.
(—his touch, it won't stop hurting.)
Suzaku sniffs again as he tries to thrust himself on Lelouch's erection but the action is too weak – pathetic – to create anything but an awkward pang inside Lelouch at the embarrassing display of open desperation. It's sad to have Suzaku act this way after forcing himself onto Lelouch with such a resolve to obtain something better than this – than their past few months – only to be handed failure. His skittish mounting isn't anything but shameful, ruined by his own poor judgment that Lelouch can be used and manipulated so effortlessly.
"Pl… please look at me, Lelouch…" He rides up and down like a crestfallen carousel, his body as needy as his voice as it grapples Lelouch's ignorant cock, and it couldn't be more revolting.
Lelouch intends to ignore Suzaku, let him wallow in his misery, but Suzaku just insists on petting his face like a lover (like they once were) and it just—
"What do you want from me?" he roars, face twisted tight with fury.
Suzaku simply falls still, his hand scared away from Lelouch's face.
"You ambush me and bind me like some animal, molest me without a word, and then expect me to appease you in mercy? If you want a fuck this badly then be my guest but don't expect me to play along! I don't owe you anymore than what I'm giving you tomorrow!"
Suzaku is taken aback and struck utterly stupefied for a minute, his shock literally clamping around the part of Lelouch that remains caged inside him until some sense restarts his brain.
"This isn't…!" Suzaku nearly cries; his hands flat and firm on Lelouch's chest. "I don't just want sex from you, I just… After all this time, this was the only way I could think of to reach you! You won't look at me or talk to me, or listen to me, or anything – it's like I'm a goddamn ghost to you! I know that's how it's supposed to be but I can't stand it any longer! I'm not dead yet, and neither are you, so just quit acting like it!"
Lelouch is wearing a shadowy glower when he turns his face towards Suzaku, looking right at his watery eyes.
"Quit acting?" he parrots with derision. "Have you forgotten what—?"
"Don't feed me any more of that macho bullshit! I know what you're going to say, how you're going to act, and why you're doing it, so just stop! You can pretend you're not afraid and deny it all you want just like you have been, but…! Can't you at least be sensitive to my feelings right now? To what I'm going through? Can't you, just…?" Suzaku is broken by a sob that multiplies into more, producing fat tears that whip a hand up to his eyes as if to hide them even though they plop defiantly on Lelouch's shirt. "Even in private," he starts to quiver out, "you strut around like you don't have any attachments or even care – like you think no one will miss you when you're gone. Maybe the Demon King thinks he's invincible and maybe no one will miss him, but I know you're only human and I will miss you so I wish you would just confide in me, at least once… It doesn't have to be with words because I know you better than that…" Suzaku takes in a shaky breath, "You seem to forget that I'm losing you tomorrow. I want to feel that you're…" he pauses with clear hesitation blocking his voice, "I just want to feel you – feel your everything."
Lelouch nearly lets a wry smile shape his lips. Suzaku never was good at seducing (because he was never good at deception; the artifice of acting.)
Maybe Lelouch should be the one feeling ashamed or embarrassed by his self-centered attitude towards Suzaku, particularly right now, but he doesn't. It is probably because Suzaku has admitted to understanding, making the sound of apology – if Lelouch was to articulate one – rather redundant. Lelouch does sympathize with Suzaku, feeling it like a compassionate stab right through his chest, and he's far more disgraced in the fact that his dearest friend is the one that is going to suffer the most at the end of it all (with a fate worse than death) and all he wants right now is…
Lelouch and his gaze are downcast from Suzaku – cowering from his friend's face and his own conceited thoughts throughout this evening – when he lifts his shoulder.
"…Untie me," he says quietly, feeling like his voice is a disturbance to more than just his stubborn pride.
If Lelouch can't live out any last desire of his own then he might as well indulge another who is already armed with a wish only he can grant.
Poor Suzaku, he deserves so much more than this.
He still can't bring himself to look Suzaku square in the eye, but he can see the way Suzaku's disposition perks up considerably from the corner of his vision as if he spoke the magic words. He moves eagerly to free Lelouch's hands as does Lelouch at the opportunity to rub his wrists and quell his curiosity about what exactly his tie is only to become annoyed when he sees his—Zero's white cravat drop from Suzaku's hand. This is hardly the appropriate task for such an article, but Lelouch figures that nagging probably isn't something his replacement wants to hear right now, and chooses to silently chafe away his aggravation by soothing his wrists—
His self-targeted insensitivity is caught by Suzaku's innocuous hands, grabbing Lelouch's attention at the same time as he raises the maltreated wrists up to his lips where he delicately kisses away the burning. Lelouch watches in an enthralled façade as Suzaku's warm lips touch – torture – his skin over the red rings lashed around is wrists, letting the pampering crawl up his palms until he can reach Suzaku's face. Carefully, employing this entrancing air permeating their magnetized gaze, Lelouch cups the young face in front of him with one hand as his other retracts and lodges sturdily into the bed (on the same side where his cravat was forgotten by Suzaku) to help push his back off the bed.
Lelouch only permits their mouths to graze through steamy breaths as he locks bars of bronze hairs by the roots in his right hand to keep Suzaku at bay – they'll be operating on the dictator's terms from now on. Suzaku doesn't appear unhappy; quite the opposite, he enjoys the tantalizing stimulation of being teased just like he always has (and Lelouch is peculiarly pleased to know that hasn't changed) because it adds that delicious dash of suspense to his brewing excitement – something Lelouch can feel pressing against his stamoch as Suzaku squirms in the heat of his arousal. His hands and thighs squeeze Lelouch's waist and shoulders while they play this game of rubbing dry lips together before the older gent finally meshes them into a lustful kiss. He grips Suzaku's hair ruthlessly to hold the boy in place when they start to ravenously taste each others' mouths, and with a leap of slender hips they are flipped over by Lelouch—
Suzaku doesn't wail in complaint at the sudden change of position, but he does caterwaul at the blinding sash of colourless linen that is taped over his eyes. In spite of Lelouch leaning his weight on his hands in order to paste the cravat to the mattress over Suzaku's eyes, Suzaku frees his sight from the obstruction fairly easily – not just because of the underwhelming state of Lelouch's physicality, but the underwhelming state of something else…
Don't look at me.
Lelouch knows something he doesn't want to show evades his control and flirts with his face but he doesn't clear it away when Suzaku rips the cloth from his eyes – because isn't this what Suzaku wanted to see, even if it's only a small crack in his mask? He allows that measly shred of vulnerability (nothing more, nothing less) to dangle before his friend's eyes like bait, and just as predicted, Suzaku bites.
He can see his leaking emotions reflecting back at him in the glassy, green irises below him as Suzaku imitates Lelouch's earlier move by reaching up to gently cradle a broken face; but his hand, his touching isn't more than a malignant tool that cultivates the opposite effect. It fits smoothly, painfully to his cheek and Suzaku only exacerbates the anguish swelling within Lelouch by bringing his head up to rest against a heavy shoulder of this self-proclaimed villain in a one-armed embrace that speaks all on its own of acceptance and confirmation.
It is a discreditable weakness, Lelouch knows, but that doesn't stop him from shyly (coyly?) coasting the tips of his fingers up the ridge of Suzaku's spine like a stone skipping over water. It doesn't restrain him from flattening his palm against the big blot of cherry proudly stained on the white canvas of this Japanese-made jinbei. It doesn't keep his face from drooping into the vacant crook of a naturally-scented neck, and it doesn't cut him loose from the invisible ties of the bed that pull them down into its spongy cushion.
Lelouch hates the heady aroma of Suzaku's skin because of all the memories bathed in it that swarm his brain without any consideration for his bruised feelings, and the petting hand on the back of his head blocks Lelouch's attempt to push them out of his skull. He inhales all the sweet and sour moments as if he has a choice, lightly kissing his surrender onto the weathered flesh before drawing the tip of his nose up the side of Suzaku's face. A studious stare glues their eyes together briefly (wherein vague things are understood) before it seals their lips together in a decisive kiss that isn't hurried or muddled, just steady and earnest to savor.
Lelouch didn't realize he had forgotten what Suzaku tasted like and he wonders if Suzaku has been graced with this same realization while their tongues play in familiar territory like children settling into a vacation home on holiday. The single distraction that steals Lelouch away from the delightful taste of memory lane are the fingers fumbling in the soft quills of his hair at the nape of his neck—
"What's this?" Suzaku murmurs into Lelouch's mouth, his fingertips finally finding the answer of these puzzling clothes, "…A zipper?"
"That's right," Lelouch affirms, supplying some of the smugness that wasn't allowed to sneak across his lips before to lift them faintly now as he fluidly sheds his sleeve-less overcoat, forgetting it the moment it leaves his hands. He glimpses Suzaku's somewhat enrapt expression with amusement pestering his mouth to flaunt a full smirk as the brunet triumphs over a previous failure by pinching the hidden zipper at the back of Lelouch's mandarin collar.
"Of course," says the reaper with a simper, unzipping Lelouch's shirt with ease while the knot on the side of his own shirt is untied.
Twinges twitch in Lelouch's skin under Suzaku's hands as they effortlessly pry apart the seamless spine of the emperor's shirt, but he tries to divert his attention to smoothing his hand over the modest landscape of supple muscles… The allure of Suzaku's hot skin with its mild stickiness from precocious perspiration torches Lelouch's nerves as if the long fuse Suzaku lit at the beginning has finally reached its quick and now he's acutely aware of the situation – their situation, his situation. It is a molten lead that fills Lelouch with a sexual vitality and also debilitates him; making him feel weak despite the anxious drive (perhaps the combined burden of his disapproving pride and compunction at his actions, at his choice to concede, is weakening him like a fever.) Maybe it's really only those vines that strangle and spear his heart more intensely the more he gives in, and he can't help but feel like he's delving right into the black hole that consumed his soul when he falls into another deep kiss with Suzaku.
Lelouch doesn't want to dwell on everything that he's tried to ignore until now (so many deaths and so little justification…) but each neglected bit stowed away inside him has sprouted into the very thorns piercing his heart. The only thing that stops him from chopping them away is the remembrance that Suzaku is here to bear the heart-ache, too – to feel everything Lelouch has to offer in the only way he knows Lelouch can.
(That's right, as he once told his brother, that fool of an artist: the world cannot be changed with beautiful words alone… It must be ironic that Lelouch changed this rotten world with many words, paired by his eye – yet, his words were not beautiful. Not in the least. And now, when confessions should be pouring from Lelouch's mouth, they remain locked away because words have never felt sincere; more than that, how can anything between him and his very first friend possibly be summed up so simply in some choice phrasing after all they have been through?
Apparently, it can only be said through sex and violence…)
Their clumsy romp of a preface loaded with angst ends with the discarding of their material and mental shells, abandoning them somewhere on the abundant stretch of this bed that could be a tiny empire all on its own – that all-powerful eye watching them escape into the sincerity of nudity. This rich, lavished velvet is like a fuzzy fire under their skin as Lelouch starts to move with the uncomfortable force of an open heart that is trying with great difficulty to bleed everything he's bottled-up until now. After years of conditioning to always appear indestructible, Lelouch's emotions leak like molasses even in his attempt to let them free. It isn't hard to fuck like he means it but generating a genuine mode is something entirely different; a concept Lelouch isn't sure he ever really understood—
It's true that with Suzaku, in every moment of their past, it was definitely real (unlike the memories they replaced of a garden sanctuary where his mother's smile was always… it was always only a lie), but there was constantly so much that he needed to hold back – skeletons that he was always afraid would try to take Suzaku away – and now it's these same secrets Suzaku claims to seek? The reality that Suzaku has already seen many of the ghouls hidden in his closet should alleviate Lelouch's intimacy troubles, but can an old dog really learn new tricks? Especially when it's so close to the end…?
It feels like Suzaku reinforces his hold around Lelouch's neck at the very moment his thoughts turn grisly and he kisses Suzaku more thoroughly in response, grateful for not only the distraction – the reminder to channel – but also that he isn't failing as miserably as he thinks he is. Suzaku was always more in-tuned with this sort of thing than Lelouch (although he wouldn't call himself heartless); sensitive to the feelings of others even when he was younger, which of course is why he is here right now acting the part of an absorbent sponge…
The open invitation to the narrow volcano of Suzaku's body is more than enough to bait Lelouch into spilling something more than just his lust into Suzaku's body with every heavy lunge sans fear or regret, but he does still try to hide by dodging from Suzaku's eyes with a pretense to slurp his neck and collar bone. He knows Suzaku is aware of his evasive face (…don't look at me…) and most likely unhappy about it, but the agreement wasn't that Suzaku could see the devastation of Lelouch's veneer, only that he could feel it. Lelouch even whirls Suzaku over onto his stomach as insurance; ensnaring the back of an olive-toned neck to keep that head down and that face in the silk emblem, grabbing a hip with his other hand to keep it up as he nails his former foe. (Of course) Suzaku doesn't rebel, he understands Lelouch's motives – he makes that perfectly clear with his wordless grunts and yielding body.
Lelouch still revels in the moment of taking Suzaku like he used to even if this time is different from their past – from their beginning before the acidity could seep from within their sugar-coated relationship and eat away at everything. With Suzaku the way he is now – obedient as ever while he grips the blanket with white knuckles, his knees spread wide and solid on the bed, his voice a trampled anthem of confliction – Lelouch has a fleeting sense of euphoria clouding in his chest—
(Because this is how it should be: callous and honest, vulnerable but controlled.)
—but it's never taken long for reality to wash away the luster from his personal perspective, however biased it surely is.
The salty streams budding from Suzaku's closed eyelids spill the truth Lelouch overlooked: Suzaku may have offered himself to be used but Lelouch knows that is not what he truly wants, he's merely settling. Lelouch can't be like everyone else that passed Suzaku over like an object without a hint of respect, like Suzaku did to himself…
They've made it this far together; they can push just a little farther until they make a full-circle back into a love that brought them together in the first place.
Reviving a love and grace from their withered past, Lelouch slinks his hand through Suzaku's hair as he thrusts less aggressively, scooping a damp forehead into his palm and raises it up slowly. The lids on Suzaku's eyes lift at the same time with a sudden flood of tears racing down his cheeks and he glances over his shoulder at Lelouch in a tentative flutter that asks for permission to view. Lelouch angles the brown head towards him as an answer and slides his other hand over Suzaku's stomach as he carefully hoists the knight up from his hands and knees, body tense but content on Lelouch's lap. Suzaku rubs his hands up the arm Lelouch latched diagonally across his torso in a gesture of appreciation for this change of position, this coveted tenderness, and nuzzles towards Lelouch's face.
They kiss in an intermission from movement, lips sweetly pressing together like they had in many isolated rooftop breezes and secret bedroom visits. The hostility of mistakes and miscommunication don't linger, not when impending doom is looming on the horizon, coating what are their last real moments together with a bitter dose of reality…
Lelouch softly kisses the red, tear-streaked cheek of his first and last friend, holding him close enough to feel a healthy heart pound against the cage in his reaper's chest, causing a dreadful reaction to hiccup in Lelouch's chest and he kisses Suzaku's neck in refusal to let it all breakdown, not when he's made it this far. (Show no fear… Show… no…)The firm grip on his arm tightens – noting awareness to Lelouch's falter – and Suzaku's breathing wavers – proof that the unspoken feeling is more than mutual – but it only spurs Lelouch rather than comfort him and he throws his hips up into Suzaku in a fit of frustration.
Tears fall from Suzaku's eyes once they start moving again, bobbing as if trying to stay afloat in the stormy waters of their adolescent angst, and his tears don't ebb a single moment during their last night together. Lelouch tastes them on his lips after kissing and sucking Suzaku's mouth and all of the skin stretched from his neck to his shoulder as they trickle down, feeling them rain on his arms while he buries every thorn that scratched his heart, for better or for worse, into Suzaku's body just like his friend had implored. And with every deep thrust that fills him, the younger boy crows upward as if it's an absurd hedonistic prayer to the heavens (for them both) as he rocks with Lelouch, comfortably contained in the cage of his emperor's slim limbs. There isn't a chance that Lelouch will let him go, not in these moments that bake into their skin as they thrive together in crumbling bliss, catching each other as they fall. Suzaku even grips Lelouch tighter into his blistering insides with need as he writhes on the lap of this demon, twisting to reunite their fronts with a gentle coo of Lelouch's name—
So Lelouch slackens his hold, letting Suzaku slump to the bed where he hastily traps the splayed, athletic body on top of the red eye that aided in damning him (them both). He tosses those powerful, Japanese legs over his shoulders to take the brunet from a different angle in which he can watch the artless display of candid pleasure purse his face – and it feels superlative to every physical moment they've shared in the past. They are alive, connected to the very core like one beating heart where nothing can or needs to hide from the open range as they rocket to heaven with hellish flames fueling their flight.
It's all senselessly surreal; a ridiculous reality that melted from the pages of a saccharine romance novel that's filled with the fantastical fiction of an ideal too unrealistic to properly digest – nevertheless, here they are. Lelouch wouldn't believe it was possible if he wasn't blending into their sweaty, steady rocking like debris caught in ocean currents, thrusting as if there's no tomorrow. And with the breathless debaucheries of "make it last… don't stop… give me more…" that sprinkle from Suzaku's mouth, mixed with the constant hail of the tyrant's name, Lelouch is certain that every single nerve in his body is rioting in ecstasy. They have him caving onto Suzaku at the flashes of his advancing climax with legs hooked in his arms, his body finally giving something to Suzaku's wriggling limbs to cling to as they are consumed by another hungry kiss full of heart and tongue.
Suzaku is barely even breathing anymore as they kiss and Lelouch realizes after some frantic wheezing that he can't sustain himself either. Their pants, gasps, moans and rapid heart-beats seem to embody too much volume for the space of this grand bedroom to shelter and the smell of sex that hovers around them like an apparition has watered their skin. This moisture slicks their friction, creating an almost nauseating soundtrack as Lelouch dives deeply into Suzaku's pulsing, constricting body with ardent hips that ignore his staggering stamina—
"Nngh…!" Suzaku holds Lelouch in a death-grip as his body stiffens,"Cum inside me!"
If there was any threat of insurmountable failure to pass the finish line within Lelouch's treacherous physique, Suzaku's sudden gust of a high-pitched demand blows it all away, sealing Lelouch in his completion by clamping that humid hollow completely around his length.
This night that began with the aimless drag of repression, this night that seemed like it would never end (and for so many tiny moments, Lelouch honestly wishes it didn't have to), this decidedly epic finale has them both leaping from their peak to rapture, into a supernova beyond the clouds – Lelouch has never been so high before. Perhaps it's only right that he experiences it now with Suzaku, touching their heaven together one last time in paralyzing pleasure before they have to recover and brave their demise.
At least it was fun while it lasted…
(Lelouch won't think about the pain that his orgasm shouldn't have contained – grant him denial just a little longer…)
As their haze of paradise dissipates into a silent stillness that is so much lighter than the strife that stifled the room before, Lelouch finds himself sobering much faster than he would (admittedly) like to. He is resting against the contour of Suzaku's body as they lie facing each other on their sides, naked and unashamed on top of the embroidered coverlet in this final moment of tranquility, Lelouch's chest spooning with the concave between Suzaku's hips as he leans on his right elbow. The fingertips of his other hand are lightly – absently – tracing over the bullet bite that scared Suzaku's skin when he notices smears of blood from the crevice of his knight's plush posterior that are already crusting along with his own sticky release.
"You over did it, Suzaku," Lelouch announces sternly, gingerly slipping his digits over the violated area. "I know this hurts and it better not compromise your performance tomorrow – can't have Zero limping through his assault."
"Don't worry, I'll be fine," Suzaku grouses, then faintly grins, "It was worth it."
Lelouch just skims his fingers back up to the scar thinking Suzaku a fool for harming himself for the sake of sentiment.
(Then again, Lelouch is doing the same thing in the end… isn't he?)
"When did we become this way?" Suzaku suddenly asks with a quiet, wistful voice that might have fizzled in the abrasive air from before.
"Become what way?" Lelouch asks in return, sliding his eyes from the scar to Suzaku's serene emeralds.
Suzaku places his hand over Lelouch's, looking down at him with a smile softer than silk – softer, but sadder, too.
"So comfortable in our own skin."
This is an unexpected topic for Lelouch, and so he finds himself musing the answer as he stays frozen in that affectionate gaze.
"…When we learned to accept what's underneath?" Lelouch smiles tartly at himself, "No, that sounds cliché."
Suzaku's smile brightens with affection, "Cliché or not, I think you're right."
He wordlessly stares into Suzaku's eyes while his hand is adoringly cupped by the one of his reaper – he doesn't smile back. He shoves Suzaku's hand away instead but still kisses the marred spot of flesh before smoothing his palm up over the firm skin on Suzaku's back in lingering motions.
"Right or not, it doesn't change anything between us."
Once again, Lelouch is successful in dimming something hopeful in Suzaku by letting his toneless words hack off the feeling of their lovey-dovey bonding like a guillotine – it's time to return to reality now, away from this story-book romance that has long ago expired because it was (probably) never meant to be. It will only make it hard on Suzaku (and Lelouch) tomorrow if they don't quit now—
But how Lelouch wishes…
Suzaku's lips flatten almost instantly, the whimsical gleam in his eyes drying to dust with the cold, stoic breeze of Lelouch's incurable words, and his hand recoils.
"You always managed to ruin the mood," Suzaku murmurs in disappointment (in not only Lelouch, but himself – he should have known better than to expect the embrace of sentiment to last) as he looks away.
Lelouch skims his hand down back toward himself, wrenching his fingers from their lust for the texture of Suzaku's skin, without meeting turned, green eyes, a bleak blankness covering his face as he unhinges from Suzaku and begins to slink up the bed.
"I'm going to sleep," he blandly informs as he burrows underneath the coverlet. "It would be wise for you to rest as well… You have a long day ahead of you tomorrow." Versus Lelouch, who will have a very short day tomorrow…
Suzaku bears a deep frown as Lelouch situates on his side – facing away from that same feral frown.
"Does that mean I should leave?"
"Do as you wish."
Some seconds of silence slur by that make what just happened between them seem like a foggy dream and it seals away any short-lived progress they shared in a vault never to be discovered. Soon enough, though, like a wobbly beg, the bed shifts and the sound of Suzaku crawling underneath the blanket beside Lelouch is heard.
They don't touch.
Not even an accidental brush as Suzaku settles.
When the trickling sound of Suzaku's weeping fills Lelouch's ears, he feels like he's already being pierced through the chest, each stronger sob and sniffle is another tear and crack through his flesh and bones, slowly shattering his bleeding heart with immense pressure until he finds it stinging in his eyes. He squeezes them shut but that doesn't stop the rupture slowly breaking his ribcage wide open and he soon finds himself grasping at the hope that Suzaku will seek him underneath the hot velvet – behind the watchful eye stitched in red on top – for comfort; to concede to his childhood stubbornness and grab hold of Lelouch and never let go (perhaps like one of them should have done back then, before being separated). But as the seconds pass by wherein the distance between them and the luxury over his skin grows colder, Lelouch feels like his aching heart will implode, leaving him with only his pain and loneliness.
He needs it, he realizes, he needs to be held.
Needs Suzaku to hold him.
Wants Suzaku to hold him.
Craves that aching touch.
Lelouch doesn't know if that makes him weak like one certain brother led him to believe, he just knows the longer Suzaku lies an arm length's away without reaching out, the more painful the throb in his chest becomes.
Just do it, he finds himself begging.
Just do it, Lelouch wants to shout.
Just do it quickly before this feeling crushes him where he lies.
But Lelouch doesn't move and he doesn't speak – show no fear, show no weakness. He continues clutching to his ingrained ideals about strength and the red duvet beneath him as Suzaku cries behind him, drowning them both in lament and sorrow in a shameless way Lelouch cannot permit himself to do. Not in the open. Internally, during this moment, Lelouch admits to himself things he wouldn't let himself think before, but they are thoughts and revelations that are superfluous, redundant. It isn't a matter of want, it's a matter of responsibility, however his heart still bleeds the truth he has been trying to ignore:
He doesn't want to die.
He doesn't want to leave everyone behind.
He doesn't want to die—
Suzaku's arms finally snake around Lelouch in a seize of security, their constriction springing the tears Lelouch had been oppressing free from his inhibitions, his own stubbornness. Thankfully, Suzaku's face nestles into Lelouch's spine, so he can let the leak drain a few more drops without fear and without weakness. Suzaku's body is so warm…
It hurts so much because he needs it, craves it, desires it.
(When was the last time anyone held him this way…? (Maybe, after Euphemia… with C.C.…) It's pathetic that he can't remember, but even more so that he doesn't want to remember.)
Suzaku's tears streak his back and Lelouch wants so deeply to turn around and return the embrace, but he can't because he is frozen in Suzaku's despair. He listens to Suzaku cry himself to sleep, only cautiously touching an arm entwined around his body with fingertips that are too afraid to feel the vulnerability plaguing Suzaku's hold; afraid that it is infectious and will render him incapacitated rather than invincible like he's always trained himself to be, because the time for that has passed – show no fear, show no weakness…
When Lelouch is leaning the hideous weight of his impaled body on Suzaku's shoulder for a last farewell, he coddles Suzaku's face just like the boy had done to him during their last night together. Lelouch spreads his palm over a shielded cheek and relays his last message as his warmth spills onto Suzaku's hands straight from his bleeding heart with the background of a mystified world watching in awe.
You are not my real killer, Lelouch surely thought scornfully to himself when he smiled for Suzaku at his own reflection in Zero's faceless mask before the sword plunged, I am my own Grim Reaper. Lelouch wants to whisper this to Suzaku as some kind of twisted consolation but he knows that, despite the moments of weakness that crippled Suzaku, this is what he wants; otherwise he wouldn't have agreed to the deed that day in the remnants of the Ragnarök.
Even so, there are another, more insistent and significant set of words (just three simple words) that Lelouch should have let himself say last night that are knotting in his throat no matter how much he yearns to speak them now when Suzaku needs to hear them the most. Lelouch only hopes – wishes – Suzaku can feel them in his touch, like Suzaku had felt everything last night, even after they are parted and he is left to bleed out his existence at Nunnally's sensitive hands…
I love you
Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support throughout the year, readers (even you ghost readers, too ;3). I owe you guys a lot! I hope to see you again through another year of fics.
By the way, Muse? They are quite possibly the most awesome band, ever – plus, a lot of their songs can relate to CG so well that it should be incentive enough for you to look them up, immediately. They're certainly epic if nothing else.