00 - Of Her Pink Ruffliness and Co-Conspirators - 00

A Code Geass one-shot

which, incidentally, is not as cracky as its title.

(But just barely).

Rating: NC-17 for boy hubba hubba. In a changing room. And ruffles. I hear those can be lethal.

A widening of eyes, a blink, followed by an empathetic, "You want me to wear what?"

Lelouch turns around, the bundle of clothes daintily held out in front out him. "What," he asks, expression wavering somewhere between amusement and honest-to-god surprise. "You don't like this?"

"Lelouch," Suzaku tries, and by God he was trying to keep calm about the whole thing. "It has... well, it has. Ruffles. It has ruffles."

Lelouch lets out a tortured sigh. "Your point?"

"Also," Suzaku adds slowly, testing Lelouch's reaction, "It's pink."

A snort, and Lelouch haughtily throws his face to the side; his hair rises and falls in an ebbing wave beneath the white glare of the light bulbs screwed to the roof of the Lotte department store. He fixes Suzaku with a look. "It's fashionable."

Okay, this is really starting to get ridiculous. Suzaku throws a scanning look around the men's clothing section - skipping hastily over the other customers scattered about the store and half-listening to the snatches of conversation he can catch, played over by the sweet and fake drone of the female staff praising overpriced items like an orchestral conductor. A couple sauntering around the aisles there, a mother with her bouncing daughter over there, but not anyone from work to be seen.

Safe, Suzaku thinks, relaxing.

Because, see.

Suzaku didn't particularly have a burning itch to find out just how much Sergeant Weiss's eye would twitch at the sight of him having to feign interest in pink and ruffled shirts (and mink coats and skin-tight shirts, and oh, please Lelouch, don't start with the glitter tops - ), given how said items were all sort of -


He places his hand on his friend's elbow to nudge him to the side. The blue veins in Lelouch's arm swell when Suzaku digs his fingers into his pale arm; Suzaku keeps his eyes trained on them when he says quietly. "Well, fashionable though they may be, they are kind of -"

Lelouch clears his throat.

What Suzaku wants to say is, "those clothes would make Mike Tyson look like a butt pirate," but what he ends up saying is, "They're kind of - eccentric." He gives Lelouch a look he hopes is suitably apologetic. "Yeah."

Not a single muscle on Lelouch's face moves for a good, long moment. Then, an interrogatory lifting of his upper lip, his voice rising in mild fulmination, and - "And, you would argue that your bug sunglasses are not eccentric?"

If, "Lelouch always gets what he wants," isn't a universal truth, Suzaku thinks, it certainly should be.

"Look," Suzaku says, flicking his tongue over his lips and sending another quick look over to the other customers. "It's just not - my style." He loosens his grip around Lelouch's arm; his eyes search for Lelouch's. "All right?"

The talons of Lelouch's much too purple, much too deep, much too glistening eyes yank at his for a moment before he lowers his arm, the pink ruffled monstrosity hanging limply to his side like a flag of surrender. "As you wish," he says. Then his voice tightens, accusation perched atop. "Though may I remind you it was you who asked me to go shopping with you?"

Oh, the guilt button. So not fair.

"Just," Suzaku begins, licks his lips, gives a small smile, tries again, "pick something a bit more - befitting of a soldier, maybe?"

Something flashes behind Lelouch's eyes, and the fuzziness to his gaze is gone, intense enough now to probably add a few crack to the walls in this godforsaken department store. Hopefully burn a few holes through all the pink and ruffles and - holy, is that glitter?

Lelouch's voice snaps him out of his inner, suspiciously pink and ruffly and glittery musings.

"Well, in that case, how about those leggings over there?"

Suzaku can feel the beginning of a headache building in his temples. "Lelouch..."

Lelouch shrugs - a casual movement that starts in his arms and migrates to his shoulders. "Wouldn't be any tighter than that flight suit of yours."

"Leave my flight suit out of this." The hint of pleading in that sentence - not good. "It's not like I wear it as a fashion statement."

Another elaborate shrug, but at least now Lelouch takes pity and him and stashes the pink ruffles back into the racks. "Apparently, however," Lelouch says easily, eyes trained on the clothes, "It appears to be wildly considered to be befitting of a soldier."

Okay, seriously? Where can Suzaku get this rule registered, now?

Suzaku holds up both palms in the universal act of defeat. "Fine." He reaches for the piece of clothing Lelouch has just stashed away in the rack and repeats, "Fine. If you want me to wear this, really want me to, then, y'know what? I will. Fine."

An idea sparks in his brain, pulling itself across his face in the form of a smile. He looks up at Lelouch in mid-stretch, shaking a stray lock of hair out of his eyes. "Will you wear something I pick out in exchange, then?" he asks, low and sweet, cheerful tone slathered atop to masquerade the playful suggestiveness.

A look of dismay settles in Lelouch's features; he draws in his lower lip and nibbles on it before letting it slide back out, the glare of the light bulbs catching in the wetness. "What?"

"Well," Suzaku says, wrapping his hand around the aforementioned fluffy pink monstrosity and pulling it out of the racks, "it would be only fair. Wouldn't you agree?"

"As I said." Lelouch crosses his arms over is chest, the material of his navy school uniform crinkling around his elbows. "It was you who asked me to help pick you out clothes."

"Lelouch," Suzaku says, allowing his features to broaden with the smile. "Please?"

Suzaku can almost literally see it, the way the resistance chips away bit by bit beneath the beam of his smile like the bits of a statue against the blaze of a bomb. Sees it, in the way Lelouch's eyebrow first jerks in irritation, jaw tight and fists tighter, and then - the switch is pulled and his eyebrows smooth out and Suzaku knows yes, yes, he got him again.

Because, well. If Suzaku could add another clause to the newly established rule -

"Gods," Lelouch says, and the uniform pulls across his biceps when he tightens his posture, "Fine. All right."

- it would be that the new rule said, 'Lelouch always gets what he wants -'

' - Except for when Suzaku gets there first.'

Suzaku knows his smile is positively glowing by now. "Great."

- xXx -

To Lelouch's credit, he puts enough stock in his own promises not to outright say, "NO WAY," when Suzaku presents him with his chosen article of clothing.

He does, however, eye it as if it's a possibly radioactive T45 Bomber and says, in the sort of voice you usually reserve for asking someone if they've taken their meds, "That's what you want me to wear?"

Since Suzaku doesn't see anything wrong with it, really, and, from what he can see, it's not drastically different from the underwear he knows (all too well) Lelouch likes to wear, he just asks, "What?" He pulls the elastic band, enjoying the moment. "It's just underwear."

"It's half an underwear," Lelouch says acidly. "Also, leopard-patterned."

Well, isn't that just his chance to turn the tables? "I believe," Suzaku says with the most brightest, most rigid smile he can muster, "that the young people call it a thong nowadays."

Stretch, stretch.

Lelouch just looks at him. Then, with the sigh of the utterly defeated and a quick snatch of his hand that whisks the undergarment out of Suzaku's hands, "...Why do I do these things."

Suzaku has the sense not to answer with the obvious - "Because you are completely and irrevocably in love with me" - but only just barely.

Instead, he says, "So - off to the changing rooms, then?"

Lelouch just looks at him like he'd much rather give a rhinoceros a colon cleaning.

He does have the decency to answer not in words but in actions, though, and he wordlessly storms off into the vague direction of the changing rooms, with Suzaku strolling behind him and having to try very hard not to push his hands into his pocket and whistle a Boy Scout's song.

- xXx -

It takes quite a bit less of sweetly-manipulative prodding to get Lelouch to disappear into the changing room than he expected, in the end. Just a slow nod - the sign of a death row candidate finally bowing his head to his fate, or something a bit less dramatic - and then Lelouch disappears behind the red curtains, making a point to turn around and stare at Suzaku before he closes them with a resolute yank.

"Don't look," he says from inside.

"Sure. Only when you're dressed. No snacking before dinner time, as the saying goes."

"I believe there is no saying like that," Lelouch says caustically from inside the dressing room.

"Really?" Suzaku asks, rolling his eyes upward in thought for a second before sliding them back to Lelouch. "Maybe there should, then."

Lelouch gives a quiet, skeptical 'tsssk' noise in the back of his throat - one that actually sounds so hard that Suzaku half-wonders if he hasn't just hurt his throat there - and then he hears the shuffling of clothes, then the characteristic sound of an elastic band snapping around taut hips, and then, "There, Suzaku. I'm wearing a leopard-patterned thong."

Suzaku smiles to himself. "Never thought I'd ever hear you say that."

"Don't make me say it again or I make you wear a - a tutu. I swear."

"You know," Suzaku says slowly, mulling it over in his head, "I think I could get around that. You think I'd look good in one? As long as I only have to wear it in private, I mean."

Silence from the inside of the changing room.


"Excuse me while I try - very hard - to pretend that that particular image never flashed across my inner cornea."

"Speaking off," Suzaku says, throwing looks left and right. "I'll only give you one second of warning, so prepare."

Stubborn silence from the inside of the room.

"One," Suzaku pronounces. "I'm coming in." And with that, he steps forward (not without checking one last time that no one was watching), parts the curtains and slips inside, all in one fluid motion, and once he's inside, he sees Lelouch standing there with his back turned to him. Fidgeting on the spot, his long, pale back perfectly straightened, his toes curling against the floor, and, as Suzaku is pretty sure though he can't actually see, a blush ripe as an apple standing high on his cheeks.

Distant amusement tickles his nerves. "You know," he says, dropping his voice to a whisper, "I know you do this because you're embarrassed, and it would work for any other clothing, but with a thong, standing there turned away from me is kind of -" He pauses. "Nevermind." Can't complain.

"I know that," Lelouch hisses - or as quietly as you can say something while sufficiently infusing it with venom while simultaneously trying not to get caught for sneaking your boyfriend into your changing room with you. Quietly, "I just." Fidget. "Okay, so have you looked enough so we can get out of here, and - s-stop it -"

Lelouch's back is warm when he hugs him, even through Suzaku's t-shirt. "Shhh," Suzaku says, lowly, making sure to say it so close to Lelouch's ear that he can see Lelouch's hair moving in the breeze of his words, the strand of black bobbing up to catch a gleam of purple from the lights above before ebbing down again. Suzaku lowers his head, nuzzles it in the crook of Lelouch's neck, breathes in deeply - Lelouch smells of shampoo and beneath that, the unique and undeniable smell of him - and says, "Let's keep quiet."

"We're not doing anything," Lelouch says, struggling a little against Suzaku's hug. "I, on the other hand, plan on getting some respectable underwear to wear as soon as you let me go." There's no edge to his voice, and Suzaku knows that even Lelouch is aware of it. Which has never stopped him from not putting on a show anyway.

Lelouch has always had a penchant for the dramatic like that.

Suzaku smiles against Lelouch's neck - a soft, secret smile pressed tight against the pale skin and the pulse beating just beneath - before he presses a soft kiss against it, right where he feels his heart most insistently.

And Lelouch against him - freezes.

Suzaku keeps kissing. Softly, up along Lelouch's neck, just using lips for now, letting them move over his skin like silk, and then he steps forward a little, presses himself against Lelouch's back until they're completely touching back to chest, and crotch to leopard-printed thong, respectively.

He still can't really decide if he thinks it's all very, very funny or really, really hot. Probably both.

Lelouch's breath gasps in his throat. Recoils. Then comes up again, spilling it out as a quiet, urgent, "Not in here."

"Why not?" Suzaku murmurs, pressing a bit harder - both with his lips and his crotch, hard enough so he knows Lelouch can feel it - and then a bit harder still until he can hear the satisfying sound of Lelouch's breath catching in his throat, and then releasing in just the tiniest, quietest, most intimate sigh.

Lelouch regains control of his voice soon enough. "Because this is a dressing room in a department store."

Suzaku starts nibbling on Lelouch's neck and feels how that zips right through him and makes him shudder, then stops just long enough to say, "It's late morning. Not many people here."

And it's not so much that Lelouch doesn't want to, Suzaku knows. Is not so much that he doesn't ever desire to experiment, do things they'd never done before - but rather that throughout all the months they've been together, Lelouch still can't ever bring himself to tear the clinging skin of shame off his face long enough to admit it. That has always been the hardest part with Lelouch - to maneuver through the holes in his armor, to seep through them and soften him like water, until he gives in.

Always with more fervor than expected. Suzaku has gotten rather adept at the spiel.

He can feel the resistance chipping away right now - a little more with every butterfly kiss against his neck, and even more when he moves up his lips to start licking his ear, and even more when he presses his tongue into Lelouch's ear shell and feels him shudder so hard it's like he's coming already - and then, then when he starts to let his hands travel down along Lelouch's collar bones down to his nipples and pinches them, that's when Lelouch finally breaks through the now wide-open plain of haze long enough to say, "But quick."

Suzaku lets go off Lelouch's nipples, puts both hands on his shoulders and then spins him around - so fast that Lelouch loses balance for a second, but Suzaku catches him until he steadies. Lelouch looks down, the his hair falling into his face in that deliberate way that alerts Suzaku to the fact that he's probably blushing hot and furious beneath those bangs, so Suzaku whispers, "Don't worry, I won't look," and closes his eyes before reaching under Lelouch's chin and lifting it enough for them to meet in a kiss.

Lelouch stiffens against him. Hands flying up to tangle in his shirt, body straight and taut. His mouth, though, is pliant enough, smooth enough: it drops open when Suzaku presses against it, allowing him entry, and Suzaku can't help but let out one long, deep, masculine groan at the feel of their tongues meeting. Slowly first - then he feels Lelouch taking a step forward, pressing his mouth against his harder until their tongue are stroking each other, and their lower bodies follow the movement.

Lelouch has always had an impatient streak. The thing is, it could be kind of hard to make him want something - make him really want something, make him want something so hard his heart almost creaks with it - but once he does, he wants it now.

Their lips part just long enough for Lelouch to gasp out one word, "Quick -nng," then again, one slight parting of searching and turning and another quick, sloppy kiss later, "Q-Quick." Then Suzaku feels Lelouch's hands on his torso, clawing their way down to the front of his pants, where they begin tugging, but Suzaku's hand vacate their spot on Lelouch's waist long enough to stop them.

Lelouch breaks the kiss in surprise.

"You said 'quick'," Suzaku says, voice low and maybe just the slightest bit teasing. "What you're thinking of takes time."

And a mild frown settles over Lelouch's features, and Suzaku knows he's just about to unleash an annoyed, just barely restrained whisper-bark probably saying something along the lines of, "Then how?" when Suzaku answers the question by pressing up closer, closer, until Lelouch's back collides with the wall in a dull slap, and their crotches are pressed flush together so hard that they both shudder.

"Dry humping?" Lelouch asks, voice pitching in surprise.

Suzaku leans forward to kiss him, muffling his words ("nnng") until he realizes that Lelouch wants to say something, and withdraws.

It all comes out in a rush, "I need to take off the underwear, it will get soiled."

Suzaku smiles. "Forget about it," he whispers, and tries to lean in to kiss him again, but Lelouch pushes him back with surprising force.

"No," he says, voice like a rock even while his cheeks are flushed and his eyes adorably unfocused. "I want skin on skin."

Suzaku really, really likes it when Lelouch is like that, and gods, does it turn him on. He leans in to kiss Lelouch again, muffling him, feeling him squirm against him, and he pushes his tongue into Lelouch's mouth at the same time his hands push into his underwear, teasing Lelouch with just the back of his hand brushing against where Lelouch really wants the attention before pulling down the underwear until gravity takes over and it tumbles to the floor. "Now do me," he presses, getting impatient himself now, guiding Lelouch's hand to the front of his pants and waiting for him to open the buttons and push them down.

When their cocks finally touch, the quiet, delicious little mewl that escapes Lelouch's throat is almost enough to make him come on the spot.

He restrains himself, but just barely. Retreats a little (Lelouch's impatient little groan notwithstanding). Takes a second to collect himself, to spit into his hand and take a moment to slicken them both, watch Lelouch's pupils dilate for the moment Suzaku squeezes him, and then, without much of a warning, he leans forward, practically slumping against Lelouch.

It won't take long, Suzaku knows. Will be quick, just like Lelouch wants it. Because this, this is the easiest, most primitive, perhaps dirtiest way to get each other off - writhing against each other, bucking their hips in search for more friction, harder, harder, until some part of Suzaku realizes (what part is still conscious, he's not sure) that they're making a damn lot of noise against the wall, and he grabs Lelouch's hips and pushes them forward a little until they're both standing up, or just barely, Suzaku with his arms wrapped around Lelouch and pressing him close, and Lelouch hanging on, trying to be quiet. Their kisses are messy, messy and wet, and soon they can hear nothing but the smacking of their lips and their urgent breathing, and the quietest of muffled groans they allow themselves to make ("nng..") and see nothing but flashes of sparkling eyes and hands pulling at hair, and slick bodies being pressed together - and then, somehow, through the quick haze of the kissing and the spiked heat, Suzaku manages to realize Lelouch is about to come.

He knows the signs well: sees his neck strain, his fingers digging into his shoulders so hard it hurts him, feels his body stiffen - and then he can feel it: the little shock that tugs and tears through Lelouch's body and makes him shudder, the roll of his sparkling, delirious eyes, the way his fingers twitch and dig into Suzaku's shoulders hard in that one perfect, weightless moment. The only moment during which Lelouch doesn't care about anything, not about anything but this, and Suzaku pushes himself harder, thrusts again, once, twice, until he pushes himself over the edge following right on Lelouch's heels.

Once it's over, once the shudders have passed through them both, they're just standing there, clinging to each other - both sweaty now, Lelouch even downright exhausted, almost wheezing in Suzaku's arms and trying to catch his breath.

Suzaku runs his fingers through Lelouch's sweat-matted hair and says, half-teasingly, "Well, that was. Quick."

And then Lelouch disentangles himself from Suzaku's embrace. Takes a step back. Doesn't look up and him as he bends down to pick up the leopard-printed thong that had started it all. Suzaku is half-considering to buy the terrible thing just as a souvenir or something.

"Well," Lelouch says, voice back to being just a hint reserved. "Get out of here quick, then. If some shop assistant hasn't noticed already." A beat. "Or the entire mall, more likely."

Suzaku shrugs, picks up his discarded pants, fastens them around his hips, and leaves the room in quick succession.

There's no shop assistant in sight, nor any other customers, and Suzaku breathes a small sigh of relief. "No one's here," he announces. "You can come out."

"Wait," Lelouch presses.


"Just wait a second."


"Why do you think?" Lelouch, and his voice is just this little bit south of a groan. "My hair's a mess."

Suzaku chuckles to himself, the re-enters the room with a swift motion. Lelouch is standing there before him - indeed with rather tangled, sweaty hair, falling this way and that.

Lelouch studies him. "Why are you smiling?"

Since he knows that telling Lelouch the truth ('because you're about as cute as two kittens sitting in a tea cup right now') wouldn't do much to elevate his mood, he says nothing, just stepping forward with a small smile and running his fingers through Lelouch's hair, putting bangs back into place, combing it with his fingers, and feeling the soft strands slide through his fingers. Throughout all of this, Lelouch just looks at him, with that shimmering, swiveling expression that Lelouch so dislikes to express, and once Suzaku's finished tending to Lelouch's hair, he just bends down, pressing a simple kiss against Lelouch's forehead.

"Yeah, I know," he says. "I love you, too."

Lelouch holds his breath at that. Holds still. For a second, then two.

He always does when Suzaku says the L-word, always freezes up for a second as if his body was guarding itself while trying to buy time to decide if his words were a pathogen or a promise. Then there comes that moment, the one where Lelouch just sort of melts in his arms, the barriers crumbled and forgotten and they closer to each other than ever, but then -

"Don't think I'll let you wriggle out of your promise."

There comes the moment when the barriers rebuild, and the moment shatters.

Suzaku gives him a crooked smile. "It's a bit early to get married," he teases shamelessly.

Lelouch grumbles in dismay.

But hey, Suzaku figures, it's good this way. He wouldn't want it any other way.

Thinks that, even as his heart sinks just a little.

"Sure," Suzaku says, dropping the teasing for now. "I'll wear the damn ruffle thing." Then he remembers how ugly it really is (he's half-convinced that, while 'pink' and 'ruffles' are bad enough on their own, but together they have the potency to bring about The End, capitalized) , and his expression falls slightly. "For about two seconds."

"You'll wear it for as long as I wore the damn thong," Lelouch says, in a voice that brooks no argument.

Suzaku sighs. "Fine."


It's certainly an unwritten rule that Lelouch always gets his way, except for when Suzaku gets there first. He sometimes thinks about them reaching the equilibrium of oneness that allows them to change that to them both always get what they want. But that's not how it is.

But it's all right that way, because all of this - the buzz of the tension between, the interplay, the back-and-forth and the maybes and the whatnots, and the surges of pride and shame and selfishness that are nonetheless pillared by deep understanding, the rugs and the fissures of this bond, this stupid connection - it's really more than either of them could have hoped for.

And then, when Lelouch drags him off and reacquaintances Suzaku with Her Pink Ruffliness - and has the nerve to gloat about it, too, as obviously as Lelouch ever allows himself to gloat, that is - and Suzaku rolls his eyes and feels annoyed, that's of course when he thinks, "Was I fucking nuts for having thought that stuff earlier?"

But only for a moment or two.

Never quite perfect. But more than enough.

Author's Notes: My sweet, undying OTP! HOW I'VE MISSED YOU! /sobs. I've been away from these two for so long I'm not even sure I can still write them. _ But nng, I love my boys so much. CG fandom, I missed you. ;_; This is actually the first time I've written the two boys in an established relationship, and I think I like what I did there, though I dunno if anyone else will agree. I just tend to think intense-but-not-quite-perfect romances are a bit more interesting than the typical fair, and I like to play with that...

But to quote Suzaku's thoughts, it's not like Lelouch isn't 'completely and irrevocably in love with him'. ;-)

Cheers! Feels good to be back.

- Till next time~

Also, I swear I wasn't listening to Bran Van 3000's 'Go Shopping' while I wrote this. Nopey, sire!

Also, how they got cleaned up during the changing room stint?

It's magic, kids. Pure magic.