Zero Tango

-o-o-o-o-o-

Notes: Shit guys, I don't think I can pull this off correctly, but since everyone else is doing it, I might as well do it too. Special thanks to AlfheimWanderer for all the help rendered.

Notes 2: Also decided to go with C.C.'s straight jacket to be made of white synthetic leather.

Synopsis: Just when he thought he was going to finally die, he ends up somewhere else entirely. This is a story in which a Zero summons a Zero.

-o-o-o-o-o-

Shock, it was definitely that he was feeling just now.

Even though he had planned this entire charade, and even though he knew what was to come, he still felt shock when his one-time best friend rammed a decorated sword through his torso. Perhaps his former friend was vindictive, Lelouch could certainly see that happening when he felt his killer twist the blade within his heart, spilling his life blood all around him and ruining his Imperial Regalia.

He staggered down the steps, blood spilling from his mouth.

Lelouch was a perfectionist. Even with his death, he wanted it to be perfect. In a dramatic twist of his body, he stumbled down like a puppet with half of its strings cut. The only dark mark on this day was not his death, but what his death will do to his sister, who sat wide-eyed and chained less than a meter from him.

It was a blinding moment that happened so fast, 'Zero' pulled away from Lelouch, letting his sword fall to the side. Lelouch felt delirious, as the pain in his chest racked at his mind. But the show must go on and the dice must be tossed. He dropped slowly to his knees with a dull thud. Inwardly, he smiled, thinking of the reactions of the world as they saw Zero the Hero standing over a bleeding Demon Emperor in his last moments.

It would be a perfect world with his image holding all its hatred alone. Time slowed for him, and all of the spectator's voices, cheers and screams, seemed drop into silence. He could feel the drums of his ears beating against his skull as scarlet liquids pooled from his chest. He knew he could not stand much longer, and he honestly did not care.

So he fell, unable to hold himself up even if he wanted to. The only voice that reached his mind from across the veil of silence was that of his sister's tear rendering screams. For just a second, he lost consciousness and in that second, his sister was on his chest, crying as he lay in a pool of his blood. Lelouch saw his poor Nunnally's tear streaked cheeks and tried to speak. His mouth opened, but only a soft gurgle escaped. He raised a trembling hand to his sister's face, and tried to brush a tear away, but it fell flat as all strength left his body. As he looked into his sister's eyes in the last moments of his life, Lelouch felt sorrow but no regrets.

Lelouch also felt completion. His work was done, and he alone would bear the burden. The whole world would be at peace now, his mind whispers into his heart, and he tells his heart stop beating. The son who killed his parents deserves no more love from his siblings, no matter how cruel his parents were.

In the final second of his life, Lelouch felt at peace. He had saved the fucking world, what could possibly go wrong?

Then, it all went wrong.

First, his vision began to swim. That was expected, he supposed, since he was about to die. But then felt like his body was being sucked into a vacuum. He could not see any sense in this, yet all his senses told his mind that he was being sucked through the air into a glimmering, reality-distorting mirror. As his mind struggled, his eyes drifted downward, to widen as he looked down to see his sister crying over his supposedly dead body.

Then, the world changed, warping into things he had never seen before in his life and he slammed into the ground with a heavy, dull impact, causing him to black out for the second time that day.

-o-o-o-o-o-

What's going on now?

I beg of you, my slave who lives somewhere in the universe, oh sacred, beautiful and strong familiar spirit I desire, and here I plead with my heart, answer to my guidance!"

Oh, this will be interesting, if nothing else.

-o-o-o-o-o-

Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière was in a bind.

In a world where might was right, and her own magical might was nonexistent, Louise was ostracized as an outcast by all her peers. Not everyone believed that magical power was everything, certainly no Louise, but those who believed differently had other reasons to dislike her. Some were jealous of her family, which was one of the richest and most powerful in the small country of Tristain. Others disliked her because of family feuds, a commonplace in that era where the nobility held on to the self-destructive grudges for generations on end—so much that even the reason for the conflict would have been forgotten in the annals of history.

Whatever the case, it was time for one of the most important moments in Louise's young life. Where all her other spells had turned on her, she wished—no, needed—this one to work. It is the first and most potent familiar summoning ritual she will take part in ever. She needed this to work.

It was always the same; a spell would be casted followed by an explosion of smoke and noise. Louise hated it. It was a constant source of ridicule in her life, but this time… the thought of her explosive spellcasting injuring, or even killing, her summoned familiar sent a shiver down her spine. It was a thought worse than having summoned a rodent or an insect. But went the smoke cleared and she peered through the dust and saw what lay in the small crater, and it made her stomach drop.

What lay before her was so far from even her most mundane expectations that she had all but forgotten her previous fears of summoning a critter. Her head felt light and as she looked around at her classmate's familiars, all she could think of was how inconceivable her summoning was! But she did know whether this was good or bad…

…Her summoning of a human being, that is.

As the fantasies of dragons, manticores, and gryphons flew out of her mind, Louise studied the boy (He can't be a man, Louise thought, since he has no beard) she had summoned warily. He was kneeling on the ground, in the center of her crater, with his head down. His arms fell loosely to his sides, palms barely peeking up out of his sleeves, and lifeless. Louise felt her own heart beat faster at the thought of him not just being a human, but a dead human. However, his attire drew her attention the most. He wore a kind of white leather-like fabric, which covered his body in a single-piece robe. At least, it looked like a robe to Louise. There were black leather buckles at his knees, shoulders, chest, and, strangely enough, hanging from his sleeves. It looked like a kind of specialized robe, one that might have denoted a kind of, could she dare hope, magic user.

Louise did not know what to think about that, but it was a crazy idea, but one that would at least give her some leverage over her classmates.

Behind her, Louise could hear soft whispers of jeers and taunts being traded between her classmates targeted at her, all quickly silenced by an annoyed Professor Colbert. At the sound of his stern voice, echoes of discipline from her mother shook her from her short reverie.

Cautiously, Louise walked forth to her familiar, heart full of apprehension.

Before she could talk to her newly minted familiar however, a voice she really wished to block out called from the back of the group, "It looks like you really screwed up this time, Louise the Zero! I guess this makes up for the long wait through all your failure attempts at summoning."

It was Kirche Zerbst, daughter of the Zerbst family that had been feuding generations with Louise's family. This generation of Zerbst was no different from the last; only they found a chink in the Vallière armor in the form of Louise's unexceptional magical abilities. Kirche was usually the first to start and last to finish when it came to teasing the petite, pinkette.

"S-s-shut up, Kirche!" Louise shouted, spinning around and face red. "It was just a small mistake!"

But the moment she turned around, Louise caught the full blast of her classmate's ire, as everyone led by Kirche's example began to make fun of Louise.

"You couldn't summon a real familiar so you paid a commoner to come instead?" A curly blond haired, water user near Kirche laughed.

"Now, now, my dear Monmon, you should be gentle with Louise the Zero, because she has to deal with disappointment at such a level every day of her life." A pretty boy replied next her to.

So many others began joking about her that Louise could not come with retorts fast enough, much to her annoyance.

"Students!" Professor Colbert's voice passed over the field once again. He was a man of discipline and authority, and a teacher that all the students respected even though he usually had strange quirks and a rather studious attitude. The moment Colbert spoke, all the students quieted down and gave him their full attention.

"Thank you," Professor Colbert muttered before turning to Louise and said, "Now, Miss Vallière, we are not going to be here all day. Continue and finish the ritual."

Louise nodded to herself, tuning out her peers; this is it. She approached the boy with respect—he could be a noble. However, even if he was a noble, she was a Vallière!

"You should be honored, no matter who you are," She said as she walked haughtily up to the boy, still kneeling there lifelessly. "I am Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière, third daughter of the House Vallière of Tristain. Pentagon of the Five Elemental Powers, grant me your blessing upon this humble being and make him my familiar."

She saw a twitch in the boy. There… those lifeless lips of his curved into a small, subtle grin. It was hard to see, even this close to him, but Louise knew what she saw. However, she dismissed it as nothing, and continued. With a swish of her wand, she tapped his forehead lightly and blushed. From so close to his face, Louise saw that the boy was not all that bad looking.

He stared at her with an almost shocked expression on his face, if not for the small grin that stayed. Louise had often heard of the romantic tails of how the eyes were the windows to the soul, and as she looked into his wide eyes, she felt that there was more truth to the tails than myths. His eyes were of a royal purple, matching his rather noble facial features. It was just a shade darker than her own, a sign most probably. Perhaps she was deluding herself, trying to find some comfort in summoning a silent human, but Louise found her familiar to be attractive. Her blush, following her train of thought, deepened.

She leaned forward; for she had spoken all that she needed to, and pursed her lips. It was just a gentle brush of the lips, but Louise felt her face grow ever warmer as she backed away from her familiar.

For a second, she and her class watched in silence as nothing happened. Louise, feeling the pit in her stomach grew and dashing any romantic thoughts she might have had with a magical prince spiriting her away, but then, he glowed. Or rather, his forehead glowed with the shape of a red bird. Louise felt a sense of curiosity followed by fear and insecurity. No other familiars had this kind of rune and certainly not on their forehead that brightly. She noticed, much to her chagrin for reminding her of the single moment which she thought of a forbidden romance between master and familiar that smaller runes of the same shape glowed in both of her familiar's pupils.

So enraptured by the strange runes were Louise and her curious classmates that not even Professor Colbert noted a smaller, golden glow coming from back of the summoned familiar's hand, covered by the long sleeves. This was not the mention that the hand was facing palm up anyway. Only Louise noticed that her familiar winced once the moment the glow started, possibly in pain.

As the glow dimmed and Louise backed away, Professor Colbert's curiosity got the better of him. He stood next to Louise and said, "Miss Vallière, if it's all the same to you, would you mind if I sketch down the runes on your familiar?"

"S-sure…" Louise backed away.

After a moment Professor Colbert finished the sketch and nodded to the rest of the class that it was time to return. As the rest of the students lifted off into the skies, many taunted Louise for she could not even levitate a feather, let alone fly at any decent speed. All the pinkette could do, and did, was shout back at her classmates with a fury she used all too often the last two years.

As the students and the teacher flew out of sight, Louise turned back to her familiar. "Well?" She grumbled, her mood dampened considerably by her classmates, "Aren't you going to say something?"

Her familiar turned to her slowly. It was excrutiating to Louise because he still had that grin on his face, though it now looked ever so smug. Smug!

She frowned at him and restrained herself, reminding her of basic courtesy. "Well, I've introduced myself, don't you have a name? I can't just say, 'Hey, you!' or 'Familiar' for the rest of my life you know."

At this, his lifeless eyes sparkled and he let out a humored, cultured chuckle. It rumbled in his chest in such a way that told Louise, who spent many years with her parent's political allies, that her familiar was actually much older than she first thought.

In a single move, he stood up and gave a dramatic bow that nearly touched his head to her knees.

"Me? You can call me L.L.," He smirked, "And apparently, I am a commoner."

"El, el… Can you use magic?" Louise asked, almost pleading, with her arms crossed. Was this boy teasing her? Her last hope for him to be a familiar of some kind of standing, any kind of standing, cracked and shattered right before her eyes.

"Magic?" L.L. asked in a tone that caused Louise's thoughts and hopes to come crashing down, "What is magic?"

"You… you don't know what magic is?" She asked, shaking.

He frowned and looked thoughtful. "No, I don't think I know, can you explain?"

Out of reflex, Louise replied in a tone shaped by the classrooms and textbooks she had been surrounded by for years, "Elemental magic is the divine gift given to all nobles by the Founder Brimir over six hundred years ago. It was used to drive away the nightmares of the Old World and protect humanity against the supernatural. All nobles can use magic and the humans who cannot are commoners." She then added in her own, self-righteous tone, "You are my familiar, bestowed by magic… surely you know this?"

"Hmm…" L.L. scratched his head, "I do remember something about a slave and a sacred, beautiful and strong familiar spirit…"

"Then I… have to acknowledge you as my familiar." Louise said, holding up a strong front. Inside, she was crying at how unfair the world was, to give her such a stupid commoner, to not even know what magic was. She also remembered that her mother had told her to keep her familiar in line, and to follow that rule of steel.

L.L. cocked his head innocently, "And what exactly is a familiar's duty?"

"You… I suppose, can gather reagents for me and carry my messages." Louise frowned, "A real familiar is supposed to enhance my senses by going as far as being my eyes and ears, protect me at all times in peace and in war, and to assist me in ways that only one with more constitution than a human could." She looked L.L. up and down with a hand holding her chin before adding, "You however, can't do any of that… You're so scrawny."

L.L. blinked at her, somewhat speechless. "Alright then," he said after a moment of a staring contest. "What now?"

"Now, we walk back." Louise groaned, "I wish you were a real familiar…"

"What would count as a real familiar in your book?"

"A dragon, a gryphon, or a manticore would be nice," She replied, "something that could carry me around."

"Ah, short legs do make walking harder." L.L. said humorously, "Why don't you just cast that flying spell your classmates used?"

"Stop asking stupid questions and show some respect, stupid commoner!" Louise yelled. She quickly stomped off, going as fast as her rage could, away from her familiar.

"I hope you have pizza!" L.L. called after her.

"I don't know what that is, and keep up! Stupid dog!

"Aw, did I hurt your feelings, little Louise?"

Louise ignored L.L.'s jib and took a deep breath. "Call me that again, and I'll show you what a riding crop feels like! You're my familiar, my slave! You're supposed to make my life easier, not harder!"

"Slave?" L.L. asked, almost too innocently. "I am no one's slave."

He then added, "However, you do have power. You have summoned me of all people… and that means more than you could ever possibly imagine."

"You're just a plebian, L.L." Louise replied tiredly. Her familiar was probably in denial, which is fine. Louise knew that once L.L. realized how much of an honor it was to be her familiar, he would come around. "Now shut up and follow me, I don't want you to get lost the day I summoned you."

-o-o-o-o-o-

"Well?"

Louise stood before her wardrobe, with her arms parallel to the ground. Over the past five seconds that she waited for her familiar, she had developed a twitch above her eyebrow. She was tired after an entire day's school work added to the emotional rollercoaster that was the summoning ritual.

"Well, what?" L.L. asked innocuously.

Louise roared, "'Well, what?' I'll tell you what, undress me!"

L.L. stared at her.

Louise stared back determined to conquer her 'defiant' familiar.

"Okay!" L.L. said finally with a smile.

Louise boggled, "Okay…?" She repeated, not expecting such a easy victory.

L.L. nodded, "Sure, while you're easy on the eyes, you're nothing special."

Before Louise could even reprimand her familiar or even let out a retort, L.L. undressed her and then dressed her in her sleep wear with expert grace and speed that even Louise did not expect from her own servants.

Such a speed and skill caused Louise to narrow her eyes at her familiar with suspicion, "You've done this before."

L.L. nodded. "I have." He smiled nonchalantly.

"You-you-you—"

"You, you, you, who?"

"Show respect, commoner!" Louise shouted as the entire day's frustration flowed out.

L.L. raised a brow at her, "You know, normally, when someone wants someone else to do something, that someone should usually do it first."

"I don't know what land you came from, but if you don't respect your betters, then there will be trouble!" Louise argued.

"My betters you say," L.L.'s eyes narrowed slightly, though his tone did not change. He replied, "And my betters, these nobles, what did they do to deserve it?"

Louise sighed. Her familiar was stubborn, though at least he knew how to undress her well. It almost felt like her cloths flowed off of her like water when L.L. worked his hands on her. Wherever or however he learned, Louise did not know but it could mean that he had relations with another female, or worse that he was the servant of another noble! Still, the way he acted told her all she thought she needed to know about him. He probably grew up under a rock or land in anarchy. Poor guy.

"Because the other nobles have magical power," Louise admitted, "And I cannot protect you from other nobles because my magic is… is…"

"Say no more, milady," L.L. said, with a small smile on his face. His subtle turn of attitude was not lost to Louise. "You should sleep. You will have a long day ahead of you."

"Okay…" Louise yawned, too tired to argue anymore anyway. At least her familiar saw it her way now.

-o-o-o-o-o-

Lelouch crept out of Louise's room five minutes she plopped onto her bed. She had worse sleeping habits than C.C., but her size and her willingness to try to protect him even though he was a stranger reminded him of Nunnally. Good thing she fell asleep so quickly and slept so soundly, or else he would never be able to sneak into her bed later.

Since he has all but become like C.C., he might as well do it all the way. He'd never sleep on the ground like she planned anyway, though he might look for another place to rest other than her room. Still, if she could summon him once, she could do it again.

The academy, which he learned to be called the Tristain Academy of Magic, had a medieval taste to it that bothered Lelouch. Had this strange world he had come to been in a different time period as well? He knew it was obviously a different world, if not by the children flying on brooms, then by the twin moons blinking down at him from the skies.

However, those things could wait. He craved pizza now, and his hunger cannot be put off. Being gutted and then transported to an alternate world does strange things to one's appetite.

-o-o-o-o-o-

Louise dreamed of battles. She saw titular beings of impossible powers dancing a fatal waltz in the air, as multicolored beams lit up the sky. She dreamt of these beings of steel and blades ravaging the land, burning people alive.

She dreamt of things she never thought possible. Entire monuments to human achievement rising from the ground up, hundreds of meters tall all formed of steel and glass. She saw entire cities formed of such monstrosities with millions upon millions living in a hive-like state. It was a magnificent dream of human potential without magic and it dazzled her with the power which simple mortals could create. This dream quite literally shocked her mind.

Then, it was all gone.

In a second or less than a second's frame of time, everything was destroyed by a beam of light. A globe of inferno grew to such sizes she thought unimaginable… The entire world was burning, and at the center of it all, just one person stood. Louise strained to see him, to figure out who he is even though everything in her being told her to run away in the opposite direction as fast as possible. The person turned to her, and laughed. He, for it must be a man with such a deep voice, laughed in and out of insanity. It froze Louise's heart to the core to have such hatred in his laughter, yet… it did not seem to belong to him. She wanted to reach out and touch him, but something was pulling her back.

Then, she saw his face. More importantly, she saw his purple eyes. Those purple eyes seemed so alive… and when she looked closer, glowing birds of light flow out of them, charging at her.

With a shrill shriek, Louise's mind blanked out, as her past memories flooded out of her before her eyes.

-o-o-o-o-o-

He should be dead. He wanted to be dead, really, yet he was not—cannot. Earlier, outside the academy, he tried to drown himself, only to find that he was breathing in water after five minutes of holding his breath in the fountain. So at least he knows what he had become. There were possibilities for this.

Lelouch wandered the sacred halls of study as his mind raced with possibilities. Magic, alternate worlds, mythical monsters… all of this still felt like a fairy tale, an illusion. He cannot return home, not when the world depended on his death to remain in peace. So what options did he have left, except to accept his situation? He needed more information; alone, Louise cannot provide him with what he wants to know, to sate his curiosity. That did not stop him from dragging out every vivid memory about this world from Louise's head while she slept.

Lelouch trembled mentally with excitement: a new world to change, to conquer, and to create into his perfect haven away from home. Home is the gentle world that he had created for Nunnally and all the others he cared for, and here… At least he won't be bored, burning this world, either into something he wanted or into ashes.

"I can't believe she's actually sixteen years old, she's smaller than Anya…" He muttered as he walked back to Louise's room.

-o-o-o-o-o-

End notes: Will see responses to see how this would do. I will work on this accordingly, in relationship to how it's received, I guess. Not really proofread, for grammar and spelling.