Author's Note: So I completely blame this idea on Christopher Lloyd's performance as Doc Brown. I watched him geeking out over the time machine and immediately thought of Lloyd. Everything just went downhill after that. So I present this unlikely fic. Also, the dates that I'm using for battles and events are just guesses and estimation, placed based on me just making up dates as Code Geass tells us little to nothing about some of the dates of the battles. The title is taken from the Coldplay song, Viva La Vida
Warnings: Character death, violence, blood, boyxboy, lemon.
Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass or Back to the Future
My Mirror, Sword and Shield
October 29, 2036
"Suzaku?" Cecile Croomy tipped her head to the side, waiting for the response from the teenager only to be met with silence. She frowned, stepping away from the kitchen table. He should have been up by now, usually he would be downstairs when she woke up. Cecile shook her head, storming over to the door that led out to the garage.
If Lloyd had kept that boy up all night to help him with his latest creation again, she would have his head.
She reached out to tug open the door, pausing as Arthur twined himself around her legs. Cecile reached down for the cat, holding him as she opened the door to the garage. She groped for the light switch for a moment, finally managing to turn the lights on to display the tangled mess of wires and scraps of metal that covered the floor. Cecile shook her head, getting a glimpse of white and gold from under a tarp before she went back to her searching.
Lloyd wasn't here or in the small shed built off the garage that served as the man's laboratory. She took a step forward, leaning on the railing to peer further into the garage before shrugging, biting her lower lip nervously.
Lloyd hadn't been in the house for more than a few hours at a time, only stopping in to eat when she or Suzaku called him. And then he was running out again. Although, he was probably hard at work when both Suzaku and herself were asleep, she had woken up to the sound of Lloyd working in the garage many times over the past weeks.
She shut the door to the garage and locked it, carrying Arthur back to the kitchen and setting him down on the floor. The black cat gave her a long look before padding over to his food dish. Cecile shook her head at the cat before walking over to the base of the stairs, jumping backwards and nearly falling over when Suzaku suddenly appeared.
"Miss. Cecile!" He rushed down the stairs, reaching out to hold onto to her elbow, probably hoping to steady her. Cecile took one look at the horror on his face before laughing and shaking her head.
"No harm done, Suzaku." He relaxed a bit at that, taking a step back and reaching up to finish buttoning up his uniform jacket. She sighed, walking over and fixing his collar, Suzaku automatically tipping his head back and letting her work. "Where have you been? You're running late."
"Sorry. I was just looking over stuff." She hummed, Suzaku stepping away from her pulling at the hem of his jacket to get it to sit right. "I think I've narrowed things down."
"Suzaku, you won't be graduating for a year."
"But you always have to be ready." He gave her a bright smile before reaching for his school bag, ducking around her to get to the table.
Cecile followed him into the kitchen, watching as Suzaku carefully avoided Arthur, snatching his toast from the plate before the cat could pounce. She laughed and shook her head, crossing her arms over her stomach.
"Arthur, you have your breakfast. Leave mine alone." Suzaku ran out of the kitchen, pursued by the cat. Cecile stepped out of the way, waiting for Suzaku to make his way through the rooms on the first floor, far too used to the morning route to yell at them for it. Besides, if Suzaku had stood still, Arthur would have gotten the toast from him.
Suzaku rushed by her, slowing long enough to place a kiss on her cheek before running out of the house, waving good-bye to her. "Bye!"
"Have a good day, Suzaku!" He waved again at that, not slowing down as he ran to the train station.
Cecile stepped out onto the front porch to watch Suzaku, a habit that she had gotten into since she had adopted the young Japanese boy, standing outside long after he had disappeared from sight. Cecile sighed, shaking her head and turning around to walk back inside, glancing down at Arthur. "He doesn't abandon you."
The cat shot her what looked like a glare before standing up and marching back into the house, Cecile laughing at that. It seemed like she had developed a habit of taking in strays, first Lloyd, just to be sure that the man remembered to eat and sleep. Suzaku had followed when she had found him on the streets. Arthur had followed soon after Suzaku, literally attached to the boy. Still, it kept the house from being too quiet.
Cecile sighed and pushed her hair out of her face, glancing at the clock and shaking her head. She had to leave for work in ten minutes and she still had no idea where Lloyd was. At this point, she was more annoyed than worried, Lloyd always got like this when he was close to finishing something. He would probably show up at work for a few minutes before going off again, leaving Cecile to stammer apologies and run after him.
It was amazing how little things changed.
She rolled her eyes, straightening her shirt and skirt before slipping her shoes on. Cecile snatched up the keys to the house, locking the front door behind her as she turned and walked in the opposite direction as Suzaku. Hopefully all the paperwork for their recent accomplishment had gone through, which meant that she would actually be working on something instead of sitting behind a desk. It was a strange place to put her after specifically asking for her. Then again, the Japanese government might just want to keep an eye on the pair that had made the most improvements to the Knightmare Frames and be sure that they weren't going to try and start a war again.
Cecile preferred to think of this as her second chance, a chance to help people see that they could trust her and Lloyd despite the black mark on their records that working with the Demon Emperor had caused. And, they were helping with peace.
Since she and Lloyd had shifted their base of operations from Britannia to Japan they had managed to cut down the world's dependence on sakuradite, practically banishing the chance that Japan would be subjugated again. They were now the leading producer of many technological advances, most drawn from their experience working with the Knightmare Frames and Lloyd's special brand of genius, if they could keep him in one place for more than one moment at a time. She supposed that would be their next miracle, tracking down Lloyd as he searched for something that would entertain him.
Cecile sighed, feeling a headache coming on. Between worrying about Suzaku and Lloyd, she was surprised that she hadn't had a mental breakdown yet. Suzaku helped temper some of her annoyance at Lloyd, eagerly volunteering for whatever Lloyd needed him for, giving Cecile all the free time she needed. Then again, that did nothing to help his grades.
She laughed and shook her head, at a loss of what to do with her boys. At least she could say that her life was never dull with the two of them around.
Suzaku crossed the courtyard of Ashford Academy, tensing up as he glanced around. It seemed like only half of the students were here today, most of the ones that he could see in the open were Japanese. They gave him dark looks as he walked into the main building, Suzaku deciding to ignore them. It was probably some bit of news that he had missed on the way out this morning or an increased load of homework.
His unease grew as he walked through the school, surprised to see most of the Britannian students already in the classrooms, glancing wistfully outside. Even the students known for their tardiness were already inside, sitting stiffly in their seats. Suzaku swallowed and continued on to his classroom, stepping through the door.
Almost immediately, the whispered conversation stopped, Suzaku staring at his Britannian classmates in shock. Most of them stared at him before shrugging and going back to their conversations, only Nina Einstein leaning further back in her seat with a look of complete terror on her face. But he was used to that look from her. From what little he had heard from school, Nina had lived with her mother until she was five. Suzaku winced at the reminder. He had thought that his life had once been hard, at least it was better than being passed through relatives for three years and then turned out onto the street, surviving by digging through trashcans. She had been raped at least once before the police found her and took her to an orphanage, and she harbored a fear of anyone Japanese, especially men.
He carefully avoided walking too close to her desk, noticing that she was extra jumpy today, which would make the Student Council meeting that much more fun. She would probably curl up in her chair and not talk the entire time.
Suzaku looked away from her, smiling when he saw Rivalz waving at him. He hurried across the room and slipped into the seat beside his friend, setting his bag on the floor. "What's going on?"
Rivalz stared at him before bursting into laughter, nearly falling out of his chair. Suzaku blinked, glancing around the room as the other students looked up at the sound. He blushed and ducked his head, staring at the desk until Rivalz righted himself. His friend stared at him for a long time before letting out a long sigh. "You really don't know."
"I was running a bit late this morning."
"It has nothing to do with that. Do you at least know what today is?"
Suzaku nodded, about to speak out loud before he realized the importance of the date, nodding slowly before turning back around to face the front of the room, his hands clutching at the edge of the table. The date explained everything. The only day when the Japanese and Britannian students wouldn't mingle was the day that the Demon Emperor had been assassinated. The Japanese, who were still a bit wary of the Britannians that had decided to stay in the country, chose to distance themselves from them. The Britannians usually kept to the safety of their homes, whether to celebrate, mourn or do a strange combination of both.
He shook his head, pushing those thoughts away. For him, it meant having to watch that video again. His hands trembled, Suzaku staring at them before clearing his throat looking back at Rivalz. "I must be out of it to forget that."
"Yeah," Rivalz nodded and glanced out the window, "in a few days you guys will be celebrating your independence from the empire. You think Miss. Cecile can replicate the miso soup disaster from last year?"
Suzaku felt his stomach churn uncomfortably at the thought of last year's independence day celebration, barely managing to shake his head. "I offered to cook this year."
He gave a shaky smile at that before sitting back in his seat, closing his eyes. "Although, I'm not that much better than Miss. Cecile."
"So? You were raised on the stuff." Suzaku hummed in affirmative, that enough to encourage Rivalz to go on. "So you should know what it tastes like."
"Not really." Suzaku ducked his head. "Mother was never really in her right mind and I…" Rivalz winced at that, Suzaku forcing himself to chuckle to break the awkward silence that he was sure was coming. "Well, I'm still not that good at cooking. I'm amazed that we haven't starved yet."
Rivalz laughed at that, the laughter a little forced, like it always was when someone brought up Suzaku's past. The teenager smiled at his friend, shaking his head before turning to stare towards the front of the room. He honestly didn't mind when people talked about it, it wasn't going to change anything anyway and he wasn't embarrassed about it.
His mother had started to take Refrain after his first birthday, trying to deal with the stress of her husband's death and raising a child on her own. She had lost her job half a year later. She had managed to keep herself together until Suzaku was five, finding another job and caring for him as she should have been. And then she had completely lost herself to the drug. From that point on, he had to care for himself and her, something he had accomplished with some success, until his ninth birthday at least.
Then he had become like Nina. His gaze drifted over to the girl, looking away quickly. They had both been on the streets for a while before they were picked up. Despite the peace and improvements since the Demon Emperor's death, there were still many children roaming the cities. Thankfully, he hadn't had the traumatic experience that Nina had. Cecile had found him rooting around in one of the dumpsters behind the her work and had taken him in.
He rubbed his hands over his face and pushed away from the desk, turning his head to ask Rivalz about the Student Council meeting when the bell rang. He sighed and sat back, watching the remaining students file into the classroom, the teacher following soon after. Suzaku glanced around the room, noticing that all of the seats were filled. It was one of the few times in the year that no one skipped their history class.
Suzaku sunk further in his seat as the teacher finished calling roll, staring at the front of the room as the teacher went to lower the lights, his stomach giving a nervous twist. The teacher returned to the front of the room, speaking in his normal level tone, the same tone that often sent half the class to sleep. "Today, as you all know, is the day that we were freed from the tyrannical rule of Lelouch vi Britannia, also known as the Demon Emperor. While we haven't gotten to that part of our history in this course it is traditional to show the events of that day."
The teacher turned on the view screen, Suzaku shutting his eyes as he heard the footage come up. He was sure that the rest of the class was watching intently. He swallowed before opening his eyes a fraction, finding that he couldn't look away from the screen.
There were three vehicles, two to carry the prisoners and one that held the emperor himself, all flanked by Knightmare Frames. Sutherlands, his mind supplied, Suzaku wanting nothing more than to turn his head away. Instead he watched, flinching as the first shot was fired, the bullet slamming into the floor right in front of the emperor. The vehicles came to a stop, the guards looking around before they began to make their way closer to the crowd. Even the Knightmares were moving away from the vehicles, Suzaku finding himself holding his breath.
The first assassin would show himself at the front of the cavalcade, a basic feint to draw the guard's attention further away from the emperor himself. Then two more would appear in the crowd, all three of them decoys for the man who stood with the handful of foot soldiers. Suzaku felt himself tremble as the man threw off his disguise, using the confusion to rush up to the platform where the emperor was and press a gun against his head.
Suzaku could hear the faint rustle of cloth as the rest of the class leaned forward, all of them waiting for the moment when the trigger was pulled. All of them were staring at the assassin, but Suzaku was staring right at the emperor. What the assassin said to the emperor was still unknown to this day, but it made the emperor's eyes widen in fear. As always, Suzaku stared at the emperor throughout the assassin's short speech, drawing in his breath just before the trigger was pulled.
From far away, he could hear the cheers from the other students, Suzaku having to press his head against the desk as the emperor slumped back against his throne, dead. His stomach rolled again, Suzaku taking deep breaths as he tried to calm himself.
When they had first started showing this video he had been one of the ones who had cheered for the Demon Emperor's death, but then he had lived out on the streets for a year. The next time he had seen it, he had finally noticed the fear on the emperor's face, recognizing it as the fear that he had felt for a year. And he hadn't been able to stomach the sight again, because the Demon Emperor stopped being a symbol of hatred and became a real person.
Cecile had only spoken about the Demon Emperor when pressed for information, Suzaku assuming that she had bad memories of the time that she had spent in his service. But she had told him that the emperor had been eighteen when he had died, around Suzaku's age. He felt his stomach twist again, Suzaku trembling in place, quickly looking up when the teacher turned the lights back on and trying to look unaffected.
He reached down for his bag when the teacher announced that he was going to start the lecture, the rest of the class calming down slowly. Suzaku took a deep breath before focusing all of his attention onto taking notes, glad to find that the rest of class passed by quickly. And, as the teacher left, the next one came in promptly, cutting down the time that the class talked between them.
Suzaku looked around at his classmates once during the next session before going back to his book. They were still restless, probably waiting for a break to begin to tell the stories that they had heard from their parents, all of them horror stories from the reign of the Demon Emperor. He closed his eyes for a moment before going back to taking notes, trying to ignore the annoyed shifting that came from most of the class. They would be let out for lunch in another hour, and he would probably find his way to the roof to hide from the rest of them.
He let out a sigh, tipping his head forward until his hair fell across his eyes, using that to screen out the other students and focus on his notes.
The slight vibration of his phone made him jump, Suzaku glancing up at the rest of the Student Council members around the table before sitting back and letting his pen drop back to the table. Ignoring the buzzing phone, he massaged some life into his hand, wiggling his fingers to keep them from cramping up.
Suzaku stretched his arms over his head, watching Rivalz and Shirley continue to work on their own stack of paperwork, turning his head to see Nina practically curled up in the chair by the computer, staring at the blank screen and shivering. He was sure that Shirley wanted nothing more than to walk over to the girl and comfort her, but they both knew that it would do nothing when she was like this.
He let his arms fall back to his sides, fishing out his phone and staring at the text message there. He glanced up at the sender before smiling, wondering if Cecile had gotten the same message herself, it would ease some of her worry.
The message was from Lloyd, just two sentences. 'Shinjuku Memorial. 10:00 tonight.'
Suzaku blinked and looked at his watch, jumping when he saw that it was nearly eight. He stared at the stack of papers that he had to work through before glancing down at the one in front of him. It would be eight before he finished this one, and then he had to get down to the train station. He could probably get home at around nine, but that would mean having to get right on the train again. Suzaku sighed, turning his attention back to the papers in front of him, hurriedly finishing them off before standing up.
Milly immediately looked up from where she was lounging on the sofa, watching them work. "And where does the Vice President think he's going?"
Suzaku blushed. "I got a text. I'm wanted back at home. Sorry." He held up the stack of papers. "Where can I put this to finish it next time?"
Milly motioned off to one side, Suzaku carrying his load over to the bookshelf and storing it carefully, smiling at the groans from Shirley and Rivalz. "Madam President!"
"He actually keeps his word when he says he'll do them." Milly smiled at him. "Have a good time, Suzaku. Tell us if this one actually works."
"Will do." He stopped to pick up his bag, waving as he walked out of the room and into the hall.
Suzaku waited until he was walking through the courtyard of Ashford Academy before pulling out his cell phone, dialing Cecile's number and waiting. The phone rung three times before she picked up, Suzaku smiling and attaching the phone to his ear. "Miss. Cecile?"
"Suzaku!" He heard the faint sound of other people in the background, tipping his head to the side. "Are you home yet?"
"No. The student council had a ton of paperwork to do and I lost track of time. I'm just leaving now."
"I know, I know." He laughed, shaking his head. "But I don't want to leave Rivalz and Shirley to do all the work themselves. I am the Vice President."
"That's no excuse to allow her to work you to death." Cecile sighed heavily on the other end. "I'm guessing that you're calling because of Lloyd's text."
"Yeah, I'm heading over there now." He flinched even though she couldn't see him. "Sorry I wasn't home earlier."
"You and me both. I've been hiding out at work waiting for the crowds to die down."
"The celebrations started early this year." Suzaku rolled his eyes, hearing Cecile laugh. "Besides, I got all the extra work I needed done, so the project can start smoothly."
"That's good." Suzaku walked into the train station, pressing one hand against the phone on his ear to block out the noise, glancing at the schedule that was posted on the wall. He had to wait for it to cycle through before he found the train that would lead out to Shinjuku, Suzaku stepping to the side and beginning to move through the crowds on the platform.
He could hear Cecile shouting over the phone, not quite able to make out her words until he moved out of the main crowd. "Suzaku?"
"I said be careful. I don't know why Lloyd has us going out there."
"Probably doesn't want anyone seeing this thing."
"Yes, but it's best if we don't go out much today. We're well known for our part in the empire."
"You can't help who you work for."
Cecile was silent on the other end, Suzaku finding a place to stand and leaning back against one of the columns as he waited for the train. He tipped his head back, staring at the ceiling. "Miss. Cecile? Do you know what he's been working on?"
"No. He hasn't talked to me about it. And I thought you would know."
Suzaku laughed at that. "He hasn't even told his 'favorite devicer'. I don't know what to think of that."
"Lloyd…" Suzaku smiled to himself, knowing that Cecile disapproved of the way that Lloyd chose to refer to him as a part of a machine. He had gotten used to Lloyd's strange quirks, finding them complementary rather than insulting. He was the only one that Lloyd trusted his precious machines to, at least for the first rounds of testing. "Is it about that car in the garage?"
"The one under the tarp."
Suzaku blinked, remembering the tarp, but Lloyd had never said what was under it specifically. "I don't know. Whenever I asked about it, he just called it the Lancelot."
"Lancelot?" Suzaku was shocked by the muttered curses that were coming from Cecile, glad that the arrival of the train gave him a distraction. "Damn it, Lloyd. The UFN doesn't allow us to build Knightmares."
Suzaku's eyes widened, pressing a hand over his phone so the conversation wouldn't leak out into the almost empty train. "Would he do that?"
"I don't think so. Lloyd may hate the fact that most of his precious creations had to be stripped down to scrap, but he understands the reasoning. But I didn't think he was stupid enough to try and rebuild the Lancelot."
"Lloyd's pride and joy when we were working for the Emperor. It was supposed to be the top Knightmare Frame in its class, but we never got the right pilot for it, so it was a flop." Suzaku was silent for a moment, vaguely listening to the chatter of people on the bus. He jumped when Cecile let out a soft curse. "I thought I saw its armor this morning when I was looking for you."
"Huh?" Suzaku glanced outside of the window, watching the city go past, shifting to allow another person past.
"He must have attached it to something or tried to restore it."
Suzaku hummed to himself, rocking slightly in place. "We'll just have to see when we get there."
"I'm glad one of us is so calm about this."
"Between the two of Miss. Cecile, we can talk him out of anything stupid." Suzaku smiled, hearing her laugh on the other end of the line. "Or we can at least distract his attention to something else."
"Alright, Suzaku. Just keep him from doing anything horrible until I get there." She hung up, Suzaku unhooking the phone from his ear before shoving it into his pocket again, staring at the city as it sped by out the window. He tipped his head to the side, leaning it against the window and closing his eyes, just listening to the chatter of people around him.
Suzaku opened his eyes as the train came to a stop, slipping out with the rest of the people and heading back down to the street level, carefully looking around. Shinjuku was better than it had been three years ago, the ghetto slowly rebuilt into a neighborhood of some standing; but there were still some Japanese who preferred it to remain as a ghetto as a memory to those who had fought and died there. Apparently the various memorials that they had put up weren't enough.
He paused at the plaque that they had put up on a wall, just giving it a short glance before entering the neighborhood, strolling down the sidewalk as he headed towards the memorial in the middle of the former ghetto. The few people that were out this late gave him strange looks, Suzaku realizing how strange he must look dressed in the uniform of a primarily Britannian school in Shinjuku on the anniversary of their tyrant's death.
Suzaku checked his watch, flinching when he realized that he would be twenty minutes early. He hoped that Lloyd would be here already, not wanting to stay here too long. Today was the one day that all of the former Areas would turn on the Britannians that still remained, the anger for all the atrocities committed in the War of Ascension and by the emperor himself still burning hot. Lloyd and Cecile wouldn't be safe here for too long, and he would be their next target after them.
He forced himself not to glare at the next group of people walking, staring at the ground. To them, he might as well be Britannian because of the way that he was raised. That was something Suzaku couldn't complain about, he could have turned out like Nina or some of the other orphans, almost too messed up to function in society.
He shook his head, walking out into the cleared section in the middle of the neighborhood, staring at the garden that the government had planted. His gaze moved over the abundant greenery before he looked up at the old building that was still barely standing there, looming over the garden, the last remains of Shinjuku ghetto. Suzaku swallowed and started to walk along the path towards the building, ignoring the bright flowers around him in favor of staring at the path, reading off the names that were written there. All of the Japanese dead were listed here from the Battle of Shinjuku, similar memorials set up at Narita, Mount Fuji and outside of Tokyo.
Suzaku froze as he heard someone walking behind him, taking a deep breath before turning around, his eyes widening as he heard the person speak before he saw him. "Thinking hard?"
The scientist gave him a wide grin before glancing at his watch. "You're early." Suzaku just shrugged, Lloyd repeating the motion before walking over at staring at the old building. "They should just tear that down before it falls down."
He rolled his eyes. "Lloyd..."
Lloyd raised one hand and waved him away. "It'll fall one day and then they'll realize that it's just a building. It won't change anything."
"Is it? Why?" Lloyd titled his head to the side. "All I see is a bunch of broken steel and brick. It's just a building. Why save some fragment from the past?"
Suzaku shook his head, he should have known better than to try and convince Lloyd of something's emotional value. He tried another tactic. "Why rebuild the Lancelot?"
Lloyd laughed at that, turning around to face Suzaku again. He winked before strolling away. "You'll see."
Suzaku followed him towards the old building, his hand clenching around the strap of his bag. "Shouldn't we wait for Cecile?"
"Only if it works." Lloyd walked around to the other side of the building, gesturing at the tarp covered object that was sitting in the street. When Suzaku didn't react, the scientist darted over to it, gently patting the object. "All it needs is a pilot."
Suzaku took a step back, taking a quick breath. He was ready to refuse when Lloyd pulled the tarp back, Suzaku relaxing when he realized that it was only a car. Suzaku carefully inched forward, looking over the car, surprised by the odd armor that covered it. He glanced up at Lloyd before walking over to the vehicle and placing a hand on it. "It's a car."
"What were you expecting? A Knightmare?" Lloyd laughed at that, already circling around the car, checking it over. "Although, it could be considered one."
Suzaku's mouth dropped open in shock, earning around burst of laughter from Lloyd. "Don't look at me like that."
Lloyd stopped his inspection, leaning against the side of the car and staring at him. "It's just the armor and some of the interior controls and screens. There's no law against that." Suzaku relaxed a fraction at that, about to speak again when Lloyd tipped his head back, seeming to remembering something. "Oh, and the Yggdrasil Drive."
Suzaku dropped his bag at that, pulling his hand away from the car like it had been burned. "There's sakuradite in this thing?"
Lloyd shrugged. "How else can the Flux Capacitor be powered efficiently?"
Suzaku shook his head and stumbled away from the car, staring at it. "What is this thing?"
"A little something to pass the time. The projects right now are so dull." Lloyd opened the door to the car, slipping into the driver's seat and reaching forward to adjust something out of Suzaku's line of sight. "A pet project of mine, to see if parts from the Knightmares could still be used."
"Don't tell me it's illegal. I'm sticking to the laws set out by Empress Nunnally." Lloyd paused long enough to lean out of the open door. "You're starting to sound like Cecile. Careful, or you may get stuck that way."
Suzaku found himself unable to stop staring at Lloyd, his gaze drifting from the car to the scientist inside of it before he slumped. He stared at the ground, debating his next question. When Cecile arrived there would be no doubt that he would be shoved into the driver's seat. Suzaku guessed that it was Lloyd's way of showing affection, letting him be the test pilot for all of his prototypes, and Lloyd would always wait until he was sure that they were safe before letting Suzaku near the prototypes. Or safe enough.
He took a deep breath before cautiously moving forward. "What does it do?"
Lloyd stared at him for a moment before grinning. "Time travel."
"You'll find that I am." Lloyd stepped out of the car, waving his arm in a wide gesture. "After building Knightmares, there is only the impossible left."
"But time travel?"
"Why not?" Lloyd was back to tinkering in the car again, his shrug nearly lost to the shadows. "With one foot in the grave, why not try it?"
"Lloyd, you're closer to retirement than death." The look Lloyd gave him implied that the scientist equated them both equally. Suzaku rolled his eyes and stepped up to the car, staring at the interior instead of looking at the outside. Like most of the children born after the Demon Emperor had died, he had been told horror stories about Knightmares. His father had been killed fighting in Japan, although he never knew for which side or how. It was safe to assume that he had been killed by a Knightmare. "How does it work?"
The question seemed to placate Lloyd, the scientist extracting himself from the car before motioning for Suzaku to sit inside. Trying to quell the fluttering in his stomach, Suzaku slid into the driver's seat, staring at the steering wheel before looking down at the array of screens on the side. He jumped when Lloyd peeked back in, leaning on his shoulder as he gleefully pointed out the changes he had made to the car. "The screens there display the basic functions of the car itself, while that one shows the status of the Yggdrasil Drive. There you input the time." Lloyd directed Suzaku's attention behind him, Suzaku staring at the three tubes that were pulsing faintly with blue light. "And that sends you through time."
Suzaku twisted into a more comfortable position in his seat, staring at the tubes arranged in a vague 'Y' shape, barely listening as Lloyd continued to speak. "The Yggdrasil Drive produces the needed 1.21 gigawatts of energy needed to activate the circuits, but only when the car is moving at a certain speed, eighty-eight miles per hour to be exact. Then the energy created sends the car forward," Suzaku ducked the enthusiastic motion, "and the armor allows for a smooth ride through time, almost instantaneous for the passenger.
"Although," Lloyd leaned forward again to tap an orange button on the top of a lever that stuck up between the seats, "the Blaze Luminous System should be activated before then. The armor is enough to keep the travel smooth and protect the occupant from the sudden temperature changes, but not the equipment."
Suzaku blinked at that, pulling his hand away from the lever and turning to stare at Lloyd. "You're really serious about this."
"All of it tested and working." Lloyd beamed at him.
Suzaku swallowed, turning around so he legs were hanging out of the car. "Do you know what people would do if they found this? It's dangerous Lloyd."
"So hide it." Lloyd shrugged, walking around to the back to fiddle with something. Suzaku followed him, leaning heavily against the car. "I don't plan on selling this."
"But even you…You could go back and change things."
Lloyd paused in his calibrations, staring at Suzaku. "Why?"
He opened his mouth to argue before quickly snapping it shut, knowing better than to argue with Lloyd. The scientist saw the world differently from the rest of them, he often didn't even recognize people as individuals, just parts in a machine. Suzaku was sure that he only saw Cecile and himself differently from the rest because of the amount of time spent with them. Suzaku shook his head, reaching down to pick up his bag and throw it in the passenger's seat, Lloyd seeming to take that as his approval of the machine.
"One test run before Cecile comes, to be sure this works."
Suzaku raised an eyebrow, sure that he should argue, but he found that he couldn't. The usual pre-testing excitement had started to rise in him and he found that he could only smile, shifting to sit in the seat. He placed both hands on the steering wheel, glancing around at the inside of the car before looking back out at Lloyd, reaching out to take the key that Lloyd danged in front of him.
He paused long enough to examine the key, staring at the slim piece of metal with two sets of three bars in the middle before the key thinned again. Suzaku reached out to take it from Lloyd, staring at the end of the key, raising an eyebrow before turning his head to the side. He should have expected the ignition key to be the actual activation key from the original Lancelot. He slid it into the slot, watching as the screens powered up, automatically checking the status of the car itself before his eyes slid over to the screen that displayed the information about the Yggdrasil Drive.
"Sakuradite is harder to come by these days." Lloyd hummed to himself as he leaned forward. "It should serve us well enough for a short hop into the future, no more than a few minutes." He leaned over Suzaku, keying in a date and time that was two minutes from now before motioning for Suzaku to turn off the car. "It's burning out faster than I thought it would. Oh well, looks like that trial run is grounded. We won't waste what we have until Cecile comes."
Before Suzaku could protest the low fuel for the time circuits, Lloyd was walking away, humming under his breath as he tried to curb his impatience. Suzaku rolled his eyes and slumped back into his seat, staring at the blank screens in front of him.
The whole set up reminded him of the Knightmare Frame simulations that were still in museums. He smiled to himself as he remembered many trips to them just to be able to pretend to control a real Knightmare. Despite the fear, no child in their right mind would give up the chance to pretend to be a hero, leading a charge against the Demon Emperor. All that was missing were the two joysticks that would control the Knightmare's direction and arms.
Suzaku rubbed a hand over his face, breathing out a long sigh, turning his head to watch as Lloyd paced back, praying that Cecile would get here soon. He had a lot of homework to get through, the teachers doing their best to keep the students inside and out of trouble today; it was a ploy that nearly never worked. Even Rivalz had been talking about going out and celebrating during lunch. Suzaku let his hand drop back to his side, staring out of the windshield.
He jumped as the phone in his pocket vibrated, Suzaku sitting up and taking it out. Lloyd appeared by his side as Suzaku answered the call. He was confused for a moment when he heard the sound of panting and shouts in the background. "Hello?"
He straightened up quickly, putting the phone on speaker. "Miss. Cecile! What's going on?"
"No time, just get out of there!"
"What are you talking about?" Cecile didn't answer, Suzaku tensing when he heard a faint shout in the background. He leaned closer to the phone. "Who's chasing you?"
"Bunch of kids." He heard her take a shaky breath. "Drunk kids, with guns."
Suzaku's hand tightened on the phone as he looked up at Lloyd, the scientist looking grim. "Get home, we'll catch up. But stay on the line."
"Alright." There was relief in Cecile's voice, Suzaku smiling faintly at that as he deactivated the speaker and clipped the phone to his ear.
"Try to catch the last train out. If you can't we'll come and get you." Suzaku turned to Lloyd, surprised to see that the scientist was standing on the other side of the car, the passenger door open. Suzaku shrugged and slammed his own door shut. "Did you drive this thing over?"
"The Lancelot? No. The truck is just a few blocks back."
"Miss. Cecile, if you've missed the train find somewhere to hide and we'll find you."
"Suzaku, we're in a bit of trouble here ourselves."
He froze at that, tipping his head to the side to see out of the side mirrors, his hands tightening on the steering wheel as he saw a group of teenagers running towards them. He pushed open his door, stepping out of the car to stare at them, his stomach twisting as he saw the guns that they were carrying. It was against the law to have guns, but the police were probably too busy with the riots that had started elsewhere to worry about Shinjuku. And there was probably some part of them that didn't care if Britannians died tonight, especially those associated with the Demon Emperor.
Suzaku cursed and dropped back into his seat, slamming the door shut again while he fumbled for his seatbelt with one hand. The soft jingle of metal made him pause, Suzaku staring at the key that Lloyd held. He snatched it out of the scientist's hand and plugged it into the ignition, watching as the screens lit up. To his right, the date for the test run popped up, Suzaku staring at it. "Can we use that?"
"Get us up to eighty-eight. The trailer is just-"
There was a gunshot, Suzaku automatically ducking forward with his hands clutched behind his head. For a moment, he was ten years old again, running through the run down neighborhood that had been his home, afraid that he would get caught by the gangs that were out at night. A sharp gasp pulled him from his memories, Suzaku sitting up straight and looking over at Lloyd.
The scientist was clutching his side, Suzaku's eyes widening at the red that was soaking through Lloyd's lab coat. He reached out to pull Lloyd into the car, frantically trying to work out a plan, only to be pulled back by his seatbelt. "Shit!"
He ignored Cecile, struggling out of his seatbelt to try and reach Lloyd, only to have the scientist tumble to the ground. Suzaku scrambled to the passenger seat. "Lloyd!"
"Suzaku what happened?"
"Lloyd! Get up!" The scientist didn't move, remaining crumpled on the street where he had fallen. Suzaku bit back a sob, glancing at the bunch of teenagers that were getting closer. He reached out to grab Lloyd's arm. "Come on!"
Lloyd didn't move, Suzaku trying to brace himself so he could pull the scientist up into the car, letting out a frustrated sigh when he couldn't pull Lloyd's dead weight into the car. He was too hindered by the lack of space.
"Suzaku, get out of there!"
"I can't! They shot Lloyd." He ducked as another shot was fired, ducking into the car and taking a deep breath. "He won't move, Miss. Cecile."
"Suzaku, listen to me. Get away before you're shot too."
"I'm sorry, Suzaku."
He stared at the body of the scientist for a second before slamming the door to the car shut and pushing himself back into his seat, automatically buckling his seatbelt before looking at the screens again.
His mad dash to get to Lloyd had knocked the destination off, now set to August 2017 instead of a few seconds into the future. Suzaku took a deep breath, he couldn't use that unless he wanted to get stuck in the past. "L-Lloyd said something about a trailer." He had to swallow again, trying to keep himself calm so that he could speak. "I'll come and get you."
"Don't do anything reckless."
Suzaku nodded, not caring that she couldn't see him. Lloyd had said that the truck was just a few blocks away, it was only a matter of finding it. But he didn't want to leave Lloyd's body behind, there was no telling what would happen to it. He tapped his fingers against the steering wheel before putting the car into drive. He would swing back around and collect Lloyd before going back.
He looked up again, his mouth dropping open in shock as another car rounded the corner. Suzaku stared at the new threat. "Miss. Cecile?"
"Good." Suzaku relaxed a bit before slamming his foot down on the acceleration, speeding towards the oncoming car before pulling the steering wheel to one side to narrowly avoid the car. He winced as he heard metal scrape against metal, one hand dropping from the steering wheel to rest on the button that activated the Blaze Luminous system. He would only use it if there was no other choice. He gripped the steering wheel tightly and turned the car, sending it speeding down the street. Hopefully that would be enough of a distraction for them to keep away from Lloyd.
"Miss. Cecile, I'm coming to get you right now."
"No you should-"
"I'll be fine. Tell me where you are and I'll be there." He checked in his rearview mirror, wincing when he saw that the other car and turned around and was following him. "As soon as I lose them."
Suzaku sped around a corner, widening his eyes as he realized that he was taking the street away from the train station. He glanced around, finding a side road that he could go down, not bothering to slow down. He didn't want to get caught out on the street with this car, especially with the Yggdrasil Drive in the back. Even now he could hear the drive humming softly as it warmed up.
He risked a glance back at the Flux Capacitor, the three rods pulsing faster. Suzaku checked his speed, keeping at a steady fifty miles per hour as he sped through the streets. That was enough to keep him ahead of the other car, and surprising fast for a car equipped with the armor that the Knightmare Frames at used.
Suzaku jumped as there was a thunk from behind him, tensing until he heard a steady whir coming from somewhere behind him.
"Suzaku, what is that?"
"You can hear that?"
"Yeah… Suzaku, that sounds like-"
"A Yggdrasil Drive?"
"Yes!" Suzaku almost questioned how she easily recognized the sound, remembering that she had spent a good portion of her life working on Knightmare Frames. And she had been with Lloyd when he was developing the Yggdrasil Drive for the Lancelot. "Suzaku, where are you?"
The simple answer was on the tip of his tongue before he swallowed, Suzaku stalling for time by glancing over at the panels to check how the car was running. When nothing on them could distract him, he glanced in the rearview mirror, pressing down harder on the accelerator when he saw that the other car was gaining on him.
Finally, with nothing to distract him, he had to answer her. "Inside the Lancelot."
"But it was destroyed."
"Lloyd made…" he couldn't bring himself to say time machine, "he messed with a car and put the armor the outside and the Yggdrasil Drive as well."
"I'll tell you later." Suzaku gritted his teeth and forced the car through a tight turn, sure that he would roll the car. Surprisingly, it remained upright, Suzaku taking a deep breath, finding himself looking at a straightaway, the road stretching out into the distance. And, lining the street were the members of the gang, all of the armed.
Suzaku cursed and slammed on the brake, staring at them before glancing up to see that the pursuit car was slowing down behind him. He looked down at the screens, trying desperately to come up with a plan. He had to drive forward, he knew that, but the car wouldn't survive the barrage of bullets that was sure to come and the Blaze Luminous system wouldn't hold, the display was already warning him that his supply of sakuradiate was low. He wouldn't be getting out of this alive.
That thought made him groan, Suzaku leaning his forehead against the steering wheel, not bothering to look up as he heard a tap on his window. "Hey, Britannian, get out of our neighborhood or we'll send you out, like we did that other one."
He shook his head, his eyes going to stare at the screen that was displaying the time that was set for a trip to the past. He found that he couldn't look away, staring at the display with his mouth open. There was his chance, a hop into the past where Lloyd was. The scientist would have access to sakuradite, enough to send him back to a time before the gang had attacked them. Maybe he would be able to warn Lloyd and Cecile about what would happen so this could be avoided. Even then, it would be simple enough to appear and save Lloyd, he would be able to run both the Blaze Luminous system and the Yggdrasil Drive then.
"Hey, Britannian, did you hear me?"
Suzaku nodded, sitting up and staring at the straightaway. It was his only hope of getting out of here alive and all he needed to do was to input a date where he would be sure to find Lloyd. He glanced at the display one last time, his hand shaking as he reached up to input the first date he could think of, August 10, 2017.
His hand dropped to rest on the lever that would turn on the Blaze Luminous system, trembling as he ran his fingers over the button, sucking in a deep breath. "Eighty-eight."
Suzaku forced himself to smile, trying to sound cheerful. "Don't worry Miss. Cecile, I'm alright. It just might…take a little longer to get to you than I thought."
"Suzaku? Suzaku what are you doing?"
He didn't answer, taking another deep breath before slamming his foot against the gas pedal. The car jolted forward, the teenager that had been leaning against it jumping backward with a curse. Faintly, Suzaku heard him giving the urge to fire, wincing as the first bullets knocked against the armor of the car. He glanced down at his speed, watching it rise to sixty, pressing the pedal down a bit further and watching the numbers flash up. Behind him, he could hear the Yggdrasil Drive humming as it generated the energy needed to fling the car backwards in time.
He could hear Cecile shouting at him through his phone, Suzaku trying to tone her out. He took a firmer hold of the lever as his speed approached sixty-five, keeping his eyes on the straightaway that he was speeding down.
There was always a chance that his plan wouldn't work, that Lloyd wouldn't bother with a kid that magically appeared in the past claiming to be his assistant's adopted son. There was a chance that he would get killed as soon as he appeared in the past. And there was a chance that Lloyd wouldn't be able to help him and he would be stuck there.
That last thought made Suzaku flinch. He took a deep breath before speaking, cutting into Cecile's frightened questions. "Miss. Cecile…"
"In case I don't get back…"
"I want to thank you…"
He heard Cecile suck in a deep breath in surprise, Suzaku jumping as there was a loud crack outside of the car, afraid that he had pushed the car to its limit. Instead, he saw something like blue lightning shoot out in front of him, Suzaku taking a deep breath and pressing the button, watching as a translucent green shield formed around the car, the blue lightening skipping over the shield and coalescing in front of him. Suzaku glanced down to look at his speed, suddenly pushed back into the seat as the car surged forward.
There was nothing by static on the other line.
"Suzaku? Can you hear me?"
"This isn't funny!"
"Suzaku, answer me! What happened?"
The static was suddenly cut off and the silence was filled with a single tone.
And here is where I apologize for the bungled scientific explanations. Honestly, I could not find how the Flux Capacitor was actually supposed to work at all. So, I did my best to put these three different systems into working order. Also, consider this my apology for the rest of the fic, I'll try my best to get all the techno babble and Knightmare Frame information as correct as I can, but there may be times when I fall a little short. Please, just forgive me.
Per usual, this fic will be updated on Tuesday and Thursday night. Updates will come earlier in the day if there is a conflict in my schedule. Two chapters will be out a week unless a warning is given on my profile page.
Please read and review. Constructive criticism is welcome.