A Good Life
Six months, that was how long it had been since the death of Lelouch vi Britannia, and still no 100th emperor had been crowned.
It was not as if candidates were in short supply, the trouble was quite the opposite: choosing between the princes and princesses was nigh on impossible.
Nunnaly vi Britannia was in a meeting with most of her siblings, having another argument over who would succeed to the throne. Zero stood behind her, watching over the meeting as the siblings fought, a small smile on his face behind the mask he wore.
"Look," Cornelia said, anger clear in her voice, "We can sit here arguing for as long as we like, it doesn't change anything. Lelouch left no heir apparent so..."
"That's not quite true, Princess Cornelia," Sukazu spoke. "As of three weeks ago, there has been an heir to the throne."
"What are you talking about Zero?" Nunnaly asked, looking at her old friend.
Suzaku chuckled, "Lady ci Britannia, you can come in now..."
The doors to the meeting room opened, and in stepped a young woman, dressed in a long black dress, in great contrast to her bright-green hair.
Zero spoke again, "My lady, tell me why you dress in black."
The lady looked at he cold black mask, "I mourn my husband, even after these six months..."
"Zero! Are you trying to tell us that this is..." Cornelia exclaimed.
The lady bowed, "I am Catherine ci Britannia, widow of Lelouch vi Britannia."
"C.C." Nunally muttered.
C.C. looked over at her sister-in-law, "Princess, it has been a while."
"So... Lelouch had a wife..." Odysseus mused.
"So what?" Cornelia asked, then it dawned on her, "Are you saying what I think you are Zero?"
"Precisely... Sayoko, if you please."
The maid came in, carrying a small baby, and she placed it in C.C.'s arms, before retreating. C.C. hugged the baby tightly, cooing to it, "Mummy's here Lulu, Mummy's here." The baby nuzzled his head against her slightly.
All the assembled royalty were silent, until C.C. looked up at them and said, "May I introduce my son, Lelouch ci Britannia."
A moment more silence persisted, before there was an uproar.
"You expect us to believe this?"
"How do we even know you married him?"
"How do we know he's Lelouch's son?"
At all the shouting, the baby started crying, and C.C. hugged her close to her, "Sh... Lulu darling, don't worry..." Then she glared at the assembled group, "Please, be quiet, Lulu doesn't like loud noises."
Eventually the baby calmed, while C.C. continued muttering to him.
"For your information, I have already had DNA checks conducted, and have also confirmed that Lelouch and Lady Catherine were married. This is the heir to Lelouch vi Britannia. All hail the hundredth Emperor, Lelouch ci Britannia!" Zero said to the assembled group, who stared at him for a moment.
"All hail, Lelouch ci Britannia," Cornelia said standing, and in turn, each of her siblings followed suit.
C.C. smiled down at her son, as the baby, not knowing what was going on, merely smiled back at his mother, the baby's golden eyes staring back at those of his mother.
10 years later
"Mother! I'm back!" the young Emperor called into the mansion that was his home, as he came inside with his aunt Nunnally and Zero following close behind.
C.C. came out from her room and came down the stairs, and the boy ran up to meet his mother. "Welcome home Lulu, how was it?"
"Really boring, they were all just talking about politics which I didn't really understand properly."
C.C. doubted that her son really did not understand what was said, he just preferred to give that impression, especially as nobody would take the opinion of a ten-year-old very seriously anyway.
"Now you go get changed, I don't imagine you like those robes much."
"No I don't Mother, I'll go change then." He turned to Nunnally and Zero and bowed, "Thank you aunt Nunnally, uncle Zero." Then he turned and ran up the stairs to his room.
"He's so energetic," Nunnally said from her wheelchair.
"Yeah, I know, that's the only thing that makes him different from his father though, he looks so like Lelouch," C.C. said turning to face Nunnally.
"Well I hope that he doesn't end up doing what his father did," Suzaku said.
"I'll make sure he doesn't, as long as you make sure the world's so peaceful that he doesn't have to," C.C. said, a frown on her face. The mention of the Zero Requiem still always upset her.
"We try, though it is hardly easy. By the way, is it just my imagination, of have you started aging C.C.?" the man asked.
The green-haired lady smiled, "So you noticed. I'll explain it some day, but not just yet..."
"Of course Lady Catherine..." Nunnally began.
"That's another point, when you married Lelouch, you took that name, but you still haven't told us your real name. So what is it?" Suzaku asked.
"That is something only I and my late husband know, and I have no intention of changing that."
"Very well. I think it's time we took our leave Nunnally, " Zero said.
"Of course, goodbye Lady Catherine, we'll see you soon."
Once the pair had left, C.C. turned and went up to her room again. In the room was a bed, a mirror and a cupboard, and not much else. C.C. looked in the mirror, and saw her golden eyes staring back. Then she raised her fringe, to reveal her geass sigil. But only the right half remained, stopping straight between her eyebrows.
She let her hair fall down again, covering the sigil, before stepping out again, and stepping towards her son's room. Her sigil was broken from the day she gave birth. Half her code she kept, while the other half was now her son's. In their broken states, the codes could no longer prevent death. They slowed, but did not stop aging after adulthood, and both C.C. and her son healed faster and suffered fewer illnesses than other people, and now the code was a gift, not a curse. C.C. only wished she could have given part of the code to her husband, to keep him from death.
She knocked on the door to her son's room, and he called "Come in."
C.C. stepped inside. Lelouch was inside dressed in more casual clothes: jeans, a black t-shirt and a dark red jacket. He smiled at his mother, "Hi Mum."
"Hey there Lulu..." C.C. looked at the boy's hair. Like his father's it was black, and always messy. When he had come in, it had been neat and tidy from a thorough treatment before he went to the meeting, but it had quickly regained its normal shape. C.C. sighed, "Lulu, your hair..."
"I like it like this Mum," he said defensively.
C.C. pointed to a chair in front of a large mirror, "Sit."
Lelouch pulled an irritated face, but did as he was told. C.C. took a comb from the boy's dresser, and started applying it to the boy's hair. As she lifted up his fringe, she saw the red mark of the half-geass sigil on his forehead.
"Mother, what is the mark on my forehead? You have one too, but you always tell me to keep it hidden," Lelouch asked.
C.C. stopped combing when she heard the question. "That's... a long story, and not a very nice one. Ask me again when you're 18, and I'll tell you." She started combing again.
"Is it to do with Father?"
C.C. dropped the comb, and shook slightly. Lelouch looked around at her when he felt her stop combing. "Mother?"
C.C. smiled sadly, "Yeah... it's do with him..."
"Mother, was Father as bad they all say? Or was he just... misunderstood?"
C.C. nodded, "Yeah... I suppose that's one way of putting it. But this isn't the time to explain that. I'll tell you it all when you're 18, okay?"
Lelouch nodded, "Okay Mother." Then he turned to face the mirror again.
C.C. picked up the comb and started combing her son's hair again. She always knew that some day she would have to tell her son the whole truth. She just feared that day, and his reaction on that day.
8 Years Later
C.C. watched as her son and his friends had fun. It was his 18th birthday. He was an adult now, and now ruled as Emperor without any form of regency in place.
Nunnally sat beside her sister-in-law, watching her nephew as well. "He looks happy."
C.C. nodded, "Yeah, he does..." she had a slight frown on her face.
"Lady Catherine, what's the matter?" Nunnally asked, concerned for her friend.
"Well... I promised that when he turned 18 I'd tell Lulu about... his father."
Nunnally nodded understandingly, "I can understand that it's a painful thing for you."
"It's not just that its painful. I'm worried that when he knows the truth, he'll hate me, and Lelouch."
"You loved my brother in spite of what he did, didn't you?"
C.C. shook her head, "I loved him because of what he did. He always had a purpose, and gave his all to it, even his life. That's what I loved about him, he never gave up, even with all the terrible things that happened."
Nunnally smiled slightly, "Yes, that was my brother. He was kind too, to nearly everybody he knew, even if they didn't see it themselves."
"And at least his death wasn't in vain. We've had 18 years of peace so far thanks to Lelouch," C.C. commented.
"You've changed a lot Lady Catherine," Nunnally said.
"You think so? Maybe ageing after not doing so for so long does change you. Or maybe it was having a son."
Nunnally nodded slightly. C.C. smiled at her, "Have you ever thought of having a family."
"Not any more. I don't think anyone much wants to associate with the vi Britannian's anymore, even if I did want to. What about you? Ever thought of remarrying?"
C.C. shook her head, "Lelouch was my first real love. I want to die with him as my last too."
Nunnally gave a smile, then turned to watch her nephew and his friends again. C.C. watched them too, and a small smile made its way onto her face.
"Mother," Lelouch said when all the guests were gone.
"Yes, I know," C.C. replied. The two of them went into the mansion's living room and sat down, "Now... where to begin..."
"...and the rest you know. I gave birth to you, and came back to Britannia with you." C.C. looked at her son, who seemed to be having some difficulty coming to terms with what he had just been told.
"So Father... let himself be killed?"
"Yes... he had to..." C.C. said, her lips turning down slightly.
"He... he..." Lelouch looked at his mother, "He was a great man wasn't he?"
"Yes, and his only regret was that he couldn't stay with us." C.C. stood from where she had been sitting for several hours. It was now well past midnight. "Tomorrow, there's somewhere I want to go. I want you to come with me Lulu. I have something to show you..."
"Okay," Lelouch said, nodding. Just one last thing Mother. If it hadn't been for me... would you have gone to Hell with him?"
C.C. turned and smiled at him, "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have been able to, even if I wanted to."
The next day, C.C. and Lelouch were being driven along a country road. Zero, or as they now both knew him, Suzaku, was driving. He stopped at the foot of a hill, and Lelouch looked out, seeing a ruin at the top.
"We're here," Suzaku said.
"Thank you Zero," C.C. said, before stepping out, "Please, could you wait here?"
Zero merely nodded, as the mother and son started up the hill.
"Mother, where is this?" Lelouch asked.
"You'll see soon enough Lulu." The pair reached the top of the hill. On the hill were the remains of some stone structure, but it was impossible to tell what it had once been. The only part still in tact was a plaque.
Lelouch looked at the plaque, "Is that...?"
"The geass mark? Yes," C.C. finished. She stepped up to it, and placed a hand on it. "Lulu, come here."
The boy did as his mother bade, and when she gestured, placed his hand on the stone too. The mark glowed a deep red, and there was a flash. Lelouch blinked, and found himself elsewhere. He and his mother were stood at the bottom of a flight of stone steps. Surrounding them was emptiness. But it did not feel empty.
C.C. walked up the steps, and he followed his mother. When he reached the top of the steps, he stepped onto a platform, and saw a sheer drop at the edge.
C.C. stepped to the edge of the platform and spoke, "Lelouch vi Britannia... I've come."
The stone beneath their feet began shaking, as a spiral of what looked like flesh rose up in front of them.
"Wh-WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?" Lelouch asked, terrified.
"This is God," a voice said calmly. Lelouch looked at the spiral, and saw a figure sitting on it. It was his own splitting image, only this man's eyes were violet, rather than golden.
C.C.'s eyes widened, "Lelouch!"
The figure stood, and jumped from 'God' to the platform, landing next to C.C. and embracing her. "Yes, it's me C.C."
As he watched his mother and this new figure, Lulu began to understand. "F...Father?"
Lelouch turned from C.C. to look at the young man, "Yeah, that'd be me, Lelouch vi Britannia, the Demon Emperor. But I'm sure you know all about that."
Lulu, shocked as he was, sunk to his knees, "But you're dead... Zero killed you..."
"Yes, I am dead. This is C's world. This is where the dead come. This is heaven and hell. This is where I've waited 18 and a half years, to see my son safely instated as emperor. And now you have, I can rest easy."
"And so can I..." C.C. said, looking round at her son. "I've lived to long already, and yet I still won't die naturally for most of a century. But here, I can pass on at last."
"M...Mother?" Lulu could not understand what was happening.
C.C. smiled, "Tell Zero that the requiem is truly complete."
"And also tell him that he had better take good care of you, or else I'll come and haunt him forever," Lelouch added, chuckling slightly as he spoke. He then looked back to C.C. "You ready, C.C."
"Just once more, call me by my name, then I'll be ready..." C.C. said.
Lelouch smiled. "Of course my love, my..." he whispered, barely audible to his son, and the last words was lost to Lulu. His mother's real name, lost to the world, as Lulu's parents embraced, and kissed, before their bodies began to fragment.
"Mother! Father!" the young man shouted. But his only reply was silence, as his parents vanished from his sight.
The world around him shook. He blinked, and when he opened his eyes again, he was stood outside, by the stone once again. But now the stone was cracked down the middle, splitting the sigil in two.
Lulu stared at it. He blinked back tears at the loss of his parents, then remembered what his mother had told him. His father had given his life to protect the world. Now it was his job as emperor to keep the peace.
Lulu turned and walked down the hill. When he reached the car, Zero saw he was alone. He didn't say a word as Lulu got in the back. Then Lulu spoke, "The requiem is truly complete."
Zero showed no sign of having heard what he said, but Lulu knew he had heard. Zero started the car, and drove back towards the imperial palace. Lelouch ci Britannia looked out over the fields that he passed, the peaceful places all around. The places his father had given his life to protect. He looked forward, as they entered the city.
'Mother, thank you for these eighteen years. father, thank you for this peace. I'll see you eventually, but until then, farewell.'
Zero pulled up at the front of the palace, and several people immediately ran to him, calling to him to come and sort out business. He smiled as he set about his work. This would be a good life.