Summary: Based on a picture on deviantArt, role reversal AU. Nunnally is the older sister to crippled, blind Lelouch. Kallen is in the Britannian army. Suzaku is a freedom fighter, out to change the resistance.
Notes: This wouldn't leave my head. Should I make it a real story?
Nunnally had a secret she would never share.
When they were little, she had hated her brother.
Before he'd been born, she had been the apple of her mother's eye. Marianne had dotted on her little girl, and they had been inseparable. But then, Lelouch was born. First, he was cute. Then, he was brilliant. Everyone adored him. Mother bragged (though very elegantly) about him to everyone. Euphy, who was the paragon of femininity Nunnally had always aspired to, dressed him up in all sorts of pretty clothes. Cornelia, Nelly, Nunnally's sworn rival and best friend, was smitten with him from the moment he had beaten her with just his wits.
So Nunnally… was a little mean to him. Just a bit. Just a few pranks. Just a few nasty words.
(She… was horrible to him. She had him doubting everyone, always wary and distrustful. She laughed at him when he couldn't keep up with her, taunted him about being weak. It seemed so little when she did it that she didn't realize just how horrible she'd been until it was too late and he had every reason to believe all her lies.)
But then everything changed. Looking down at the bodies of her mother and her baby brother as they lay bloody and torn on the stairs, Nunnally was so, so sorry. She didn't care if Mother only ever looked at Lulu, she didn't care if Euphy gave pretty dresses to only him, she didn't care if Nelly married him and didn't even invite her to the wedding. She didn't care about any of that, just as long as she could wake up from this nightmare.
Except that it wasn't a dream. And when she stormed in to see her father, desperate and furious and hurt, all she did was doom herself and her baby brother to exile.
As she and Lelouch were loaded onto a plane and shipped off to Japan, her brother, barely conscious from the painkillers he still needed, so hurt and so tiny, so helpless, had whispered how sorry he was, how he didn't want to be a burden, how it was all his fault, and at that moment Nunnally swore she would never let him feel sad or lonely or hurt again.
(So when that stuck up foreign boy dared to mock Lelouch, Nunnally hugged her brother and made sure he knew she loved him and that boy was just a liar.)
Suzaku didn't take after his mother. Looking at him, you wouldn't be able to tell he was half-Britannian. Not that he resembled his father either, but Genbu assured him he looked every bit a scion of the Sumeragi house, like his paternal grandmother had.
Still, when people looked at him, he knew they saw his mother. A foreigner. A woman who married the would-be Prime Minister though an arrangement, for the future of Japan, for peace with Britannia.
When he was younger, it hadn't mattered that much. Sure, people looked at him oddly, but he hadn't really understood why. Sure, his parents were cold to each other, but he didn't really know any better.
Until Nunnally and Lelouch, he hadn't really understood why his mother looked so different from everyone else and why everyone had distrusted her so much. He hadn't understood why everyone seemed to hate Britannia so much. Surely, the place from which Mother and Nunnally and Lelouch came couldn't be all that bad?
(Except that Nunnally and Lelouch had left for a reason. And then…)
Then, at the end of that summer, Suzaku listened to his mother call the Britannian forces and ask for pick up. Just for one. "I feel nothing for these barbarians. I want to forget these last eleven years," she said. Suzaku, his father, all of it meant nothing to her. (And it wasn't just because they were soon-to-be Numbers. Nunnally and Lelouch were also just cast aside.)
Then, he understood. Britannia… It was a horrible place.
When Kallen found out her father was a liar and a disgrace, she swore she would lift the Stadtfeld name out of the mud. When her step-mother told her the best way to do it would be to marry up, Kallen ran away from home and joined the military.
She pretended to be a commoner, under an assumed name. It was hard, at first, even though Kallen had always been athletic. It didn't get easier for a long time, but Kallen refused to give up. She fought and fought and fought.
And then, finally, it got better. She became a pilot. And then she was given a once in a lifetime chance. Looking up at the white Lancelot, Kallen had no regrets.
VV was old. He was ancient, no matter how young his face looked. His original name was erased from history – the child emperor who had come to power through sorcery and had not aged a day in all his time on the throne. He had reigned for decades, cunning, ruthless, and utterly beyond the reach of any who sought to depose him.
But he had tired of it. So he had taken his leave and left the throne to others. They had been unworthy. A few had shown with brilliance, but their flames had flickered out far too quickly. All too soon, VV became sick of it all. They were pathetic, all of them.
So when the newest round of succession conflicts started, he chose one descendant to back. Charles zi Britannia. Yes, VV had decided to guide him into becoming the next emperor, a worthy successor to the Holy Britannia… and VV's Code. Charles had so much potential. He was the first in so long to truly master his Geass…
And then it all went wrong. Charles was just like the rest of them, unworthy. A fool. A waste.
All of Britannia was a waste.
So VV turned his back on all of it. He was tired. He had despaired of it. It was time.
In China, he almost found one worthy… but not enough.
Instead, in Japan, he found one final bit of irony. Yes, using Charles's own discarded spawn against him would be quite suitable. They proved themselves worthy, or worthy enough, in any case. They had survived, after all. He watched them, waiting and waiting for… something. Some perfect moment. He was patient. (Which one should he use, he wondered.)
Then, that perfect moment came. They had passed too close to a ghetto, the sister once again giving in to her brother's thirst for excitement, in the form of an illegal chess match. They were caught in a "cleansing". They were about to die.
In that moment, VV appeared to them with an offer. (He still hadn't decided which one… but it hadn't mattered in the end. They were a set.)
The girl's eye shined red. The Power of the King was just enough to let her match the white knight, even in the pathetic stolen Frame, while her brother found them an old friend and allies.
VV laughed, quietly at first. Somehow, he was actually looking forward to the future and what his new pawns would do next.
Carline la Britannia was Third Princess of the Empire. She was Governor of Area 11. She was a goddess among men.
She hated all of it. The stagnant boring Empire, the pathetic rundown Areas. The simpering Britannians, the Number scum. The terrorists, especially those self-righteous little insects under Kururugi who dared to preach of justice and honor and doing the right thing. The royal family, the plotting ones, the useless ones, the pathetically weak ones.
Yes, especially the weak ones. She imagined dear sweet Euphy's face as she ordered the cleansing of the Shinjuku ghetto, her horrified expression at just the thought of such a brilliant carnage. It made her smile.
When suddenly the tide began to turn and the insects began to fight back, her advisors whimpered and scurried around pointlessly, but Carline only bared her teeth. "Wonderful," she purred. "I'm going out!"
They protested, of course, but she didn't care. This… this was what she wanted. Her heart was pounding, her blood was roaring in her ears. Yes, this was just wonderful. To shut the stooges up, she took that experimental toy with her, though the sight of the thing, all noble and white, made her teeth clench.
A stolen Sutherland drew the prototype away, amazingly somehow able to keep ahead of its superior speed. Really, both that scientist's precious toy and that much praised pilot were useless if they could be so easily matched by some rebel scum.
Not that Carline cared. This just left her free to take her troops and hunt down the rest of those insects. Especially that half-destroyed Glasgow, which she just knew held that fool Kururugi.
As she chased and destroyed, her troops disappeared all around her, but Carline barely noticed. She didn't see the trap closing all around her until it was already too late.
The ground gave way beneath her, the buildings toppled over her. Her Knightmare Frame groaned and gave way, crushed into little more than scrap.
Carline's last thoughts were "I think I recognize this trap," and "I wonder if she'll cry even for me, that weak little fool…"
Cornelia loved her older sister. Euphemia was beautiful, kind and more intelligent than anyone gave her credit for. She admired Euphy's spirit, her passion, her determination, but some days Cornelia really wished Euphy would learn to bow her head.
… and keep her mouth shut.
Euphemia was always saying things that were just… wrong. How Numbers were people, just like Britannians. How they should have equal rights. How conquest was misguided, how war was wrong.
It was miracle Euphemia hadn't been disinherited yet. It was even more of a miracle she hadn't been assassinated. Cornelia knew it was mostly because Euphy just wasn't that important. She had few, if any, supporters and her words fell on deaf ears. As long as no one listened, Euphy could talk, but should her sister ever become more than a powerless outcast, she would be swiftly dealt with.
Even the Second Prince's benevolent if distant influence wouldn't be able to protect Euphy then.
So Cornelia had to be everything Euphy wasn't. She had to become an embodiment of all the Empire stood for. She had to become beyond reproach or doubt. She had to become powerful enough to protect her sister.
It was an uphill battle and just when she seemed to be making headway, ready to make a name for herself in Area Eighteen, Euphy was appointed the new Governor of Area 11. "No," Cornelia cursed. She wasn't ready. She had no power, no influence, no chance to prove herself yet. But there was no more time. Euphy would take this chance to put all her talk into action, and Cornelia couldn't allow her to go alone.
(And why, why did it have to be Area 11? The cursed place that had cost Cornelia her sister, her rival, her dearest friend... and her first love too.)
She would just have to crush those rebels so thoroughly, any foolish peaceful (weak) plan Euphy attempted wouldn't matter.
A/N: Man, I still can't decide what to do about some of it. Like, I couldn't make up my mind whether Suzaku should have a Japanese father or a Japanese mother. In canon, his mom's the Sumeragi, I think, and he takes after her in looks, but I didn't want to make up a character. Better just use Genbu, right? Also, Kallen, to patricide or not patricide? That is the question.
I also couldn't decide what to do with Nunnally's and Lelouch's Geasses. I originally planned to just give Nunnally Lelouch's Absolute Obedience, but then I rethought and ended up giving her precognition, which is basically what she has in Nightmare of Nunnally. It functions like Bismark's, really.
I have some trouble keeping track so:
Euphemia is 27 (Cornelia's age) and the Second Princess. She has a crush on the Second Prince. (And this is where I realize that I didn't switch Schneizel with anyone. The only one really worthy of switching with him is Lelouch… but that just leads to thoughts of older!Lelouch as Second Prince and Prime Minister… mmm… No, focus!)
Carline/Karine is 24, Third Princess, basically taking Clovis's place. She hates Euphy, instead of Nunnally, and is completely sadistic. She orders the purging of Shinjuku just for the lulz.
Nunnally is 17, Fourth Princess. She's still very kind and, unlike Lelouch, isn't overprotective. Instead, she always worries about her brother's mental state. She was taught a bit about piloting by Marianne and seems to have (somehow) kept up the skill.
Suzaku is (still) 17, but he's only half-Japanese. Unlike canon, his father is from the Sumeragi clan and was forced into an arranged marriage with a Britannian noblewoman. She abandoned him, Suzaku, and everyone else during the invasion. So Suzaku joined the rebels, though he is strictly against their methods and has since founded his own group.
Kallen is (also) 17, but now a full Britannian. She has daddy issues, though I'm not sure how far. Instead of marrying, like a nice Brit girl, she joined the army and has since become a rising star in the Knightmare Corps. And yes, she was selected to pilot the Lancelot.
Cornelia is 16, Fifth Princess. She was rivals with Nunnally, as they both admired Marianne and wanted to become just like her. She beat up Lelouch, but he out smarted her, which made Cornelia fall in love a bit, in a very tsundere way. She adores Euphy and wants to protect her.
Lelouch is 15, and I do apologize for that. I aged him up to Rolo's age, just because I can't imagine him in a different (middle school) uniform. So he's also at Ashford with Nunnally. Yay. He's blind and crippled, the poor boy, and loves his sister dearly. She's the bright light of his world, but Lulu worries she's not exactly suited to Britannia. He also gets bored easily and sometimes convinces her to take him to illegal gambling matches.
Clovis is 14, and used to be Lelouch's best friend when they were children. I don't actually have any plans for him… but he basically takes Carline's age.
VV is centuries old and Charles's ancestor (of sorts). He became emperor with his Geass and then gained a Code to become immortal. But he's bored with life and very disappointed with Charles. He's since ditched and after mucking around in China, came to Japan and made a contract with Nunnally.
CC is Marianne's childhood (romantic?) friend and something of a clingy jealous girl. She hates that Marianne is so close to Charles, but she stays with them anyway.
Maybe I should switch Schneizel and Rolo. That would serve everyone right. Imagine older, creepy incesty stalker Rolo… and Geass assassin Schneizel. I just felt a shiver up my spine. Or I guess I could switch Schneizel with Odysseus and marry him off to Kaguya. Ffffffff
Also, Mao and Xing Ke, y/y? Xing Ke wants to become immortal, to overcome his mystery illness. And Mao? …Well, hm… I guess he'd be CC's devote subordinate in the Geass Directorate/Order/whatever.
Not mentioned are smaller things like Milly/Nina switch (Nina is the one whose family was in league with Marianne and developed the Ganymede, so she's under pressure to elevate them back up there, while Milly's being sent off to marry because her family's status is too low), and maybe a sort of Shirley/Rivalz switch (Shirley is Nunnally's best friend, while Rivalz is crushing on her). And maybe Sayoko/Jeremiah, where he's now a butler, she's now a major rebellion member.
Addendum: Marianne and Charles are also a bit reversed. Charles was a commoner, who rose to power with the help of VV, who had, during his reign, wiped out most of the royal family. Marianne was a high noble whose family had fled Britannia generations ago. This goes into Charles's Darwinist politics of only the strong rise.
Also, Villetta is Euphy's Knight of Honor, while Guilford served under Carline and tries to make up his disgrace under Cornelia.
In the Rounds, switch Monica and Anya. Anya is older and was Marianne's protégé, while Monica is from a European Area and working her way up by sheer talent.