1: Aside from the title, this fic has nothing to do with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Other than the fact that the chapters will be posted out of order. And it's likely to swing from slice of life to fantasy to sci fi and back again as Mr. Ruby and I see fit. But other than that, nothing to do with Haruhi. At all. Nope.

2: Chapters from Johan's POV are written by me; chapters from Lelouch's POV are written by Mr. Ruby.

3: This fic follows a bit of a different time line from the canon (hence the AU warning in the summary). More will be revealed as events dictate. Suffice it to say that "Mr. Ghost" is largely to blame.

GRADUATION

It was summer and it was hot. I had been reading the newspaper and Lelouch was writing an essay about political systems in Africa when I announced that it was time for a break.

"I'm supposed to be taking a test, aren't I?" Lelouch asked, not looking up from his paper.

"You can take a break. It's too hot to concentrate, don't you think?"

Lelouch seemed to consider this for a moment, then nodded and put his pen down. "Just a quick one, though," he said. "I'm almost done."

"All right."


It was a little cooler outside, so we grabbed some refreshments and headed out to the balcony. "Why don't you turn on the air conditioner?" Lelouch muttered bitterly.

"The what now?"I asked, blinking at him stupidly.

"The air conditioner. You know, that thing that makes it cool inside when it's hot outside?"

I scratched my head and pursed my lips, thinking this over. "They have those?"

Lelouch stared at me blankly for a moment, then smacked me on the arm. "Oh, shut up," he said. "You're really not funny, you know that?"

"My mommy says I'm funny."

"I thought your mom was dead."

"Don't spoil the joke, child."

"That was a joke?"

"Oh, shut up."

Lelouch laughed a little, then we sat in silence for awhile. I watched as Lelouch reached up to lick up some ice cream that dripped down his arm. "What is it?" he asked.

"Nothing," I said, looking away. "How many baby teeth do you have left?"

"Three. Why?"

"Just checking if you're still keeping track."

Lelouch gave me a dirty look, then looked away. "I didn't know you drank anything other than coffee," he said, referring to my beer.

"It's too hot for coffee."

"Can't you put it on ice?"

"I could, but I'm not a woman."

"My brother used to drink iced coffee."

"Which one?"

"Schneizel."

"Oh. Your dad thinks Schneizel is gay."

Lelouch arched an eyebrow. "What tipped him off?" he asked, and I laughed. After a moment, Lelouch spoke again. "I'm going to go check out Ashford Academy on Monday," he said, "so I won't be able to make it to tutoring."

"Casing your sister's new school, huh?" I asked, smirking a bit.

"Well, it'll be my school, too, y'know."

I frown. "You're going to the university?"

"Uh, no. I'm starting middle school."

"But you already graduated."

Lelouch gaped at me. "What?" he asked.

"You already graduated," I repeat. "Last week. Weren't you wondering why I made you take that boring test?"

"Wait, so I'm already done with middle school?" Lelouch asked, shocked by this news.

"You've already finished high school," I said. "Middle schoolers don't generally take calculus, you know."

Lelouch stared at me, mouth agape. "When did that happen?" he finally asked.

"Last week, I said. That test you took was the required exit exam for home schoolers. I've just been waiting for your diploma to get here before I told you."

"Did you tell Mr. Ashford? Because he said I'd be starting in the middle school division!"

"I knew I was forgetting something!"

Lelouch hit me again. "You idiot! You'd better call him!"

"I will while you finish up your test."

"Good," Lelouch said. "Hey, wait. If I graduated last week, why am I still taking lessons with you?"

I grin and give him a thumbs up. "These be college courses, kid. Figured I'd give you a head start to make your classmates hate you even more."

"Oh. Thanks?"

"Finish your ice cream."


"Yeah, so that's how it is."

"Hmmm..." Ashford said. "This is a little problematic for me, y'know. He's already registered."

"You own the school. It can't be that hard for you to transfer him."

"It wouldn't be, but he's twelve. He would be painfully out of place in university."

"He'll adapt. He's a tough kid."

Ashford chuckles. "I'll take your word for it," he said. "In any case, Doctor, when are you planning on returning to the homeland?"

"As soon as the new viceroy is selected."

"I didn't mean permanently. Are you going for a visit any time soon?"

"Not any time soon, no. Why?"

"No particular reason. I was just hoping you could-"

"I'm not your errand boy, Mr. Ashford."

"No, I know that. I just-"

"If you know it, this conversation is over. Now about, Lelouch..."

Ashford sighed. "Very well," he said. "I'll see what I can do.

"That's all I ask."

I hung up and returned to the kitchen. Lelouch was going over his essay to fix any grammatical mistakes. "What'd he say?" he asked without looking up from his paper.

"He'll see what he can do. He was complaining that you've already been registered." I sighed and took a seat in the chair across from him. "If he decides to be stubborn about this, you can always just refuse to attend classes. I mean, what's the worst he can do? Expelling someone isn't all that helpful after they've graduated."

Lelouch chuckles. "I'm not sure I want to attend Ashford University, anyway," he said. "I might just not go to school for a while."

I shrugged. "Whatever floats your boat," I said. "You're not getting out of tutoring in the meantime, though, so don't get to excited. Gimme that paper."

"Ch," he said, amiably enough, then pushed his essay towards me. "Can I play video games while you're grading it?" he asked.

"Nope!" I said, pulling a worksheet out of the file folder next to me and slapping it down in front of him. "You can, however, do this."

"Awww... You're no fun."

"I'm here to educate you, not entertain you. Of course I'm not fun."

"Jerk."

"Indeed. Make sure you show your work."