A/N: So this is kind of new territory for me. First off, I don't do poems. Like, at all. But I'm making an exception because lines four through six got stuck in my head and refused to leave until I wrote this. Second off, when I do poems, I'm not a free-verse person. Except, of course, the poem you're reading right now, which is free verse. The original draft had better formatting, but the site won't let me do it, so you'll have to settle for the less-pretty version.

I don't write so much for CG anymore since I got some reviews that weren't outright mean, but were a little harsher than I was prepared for. I follow the rule of "say something nice before you point out every single flaw" when reviewing; not everyone does, and the people who don't seemed to be the ones who found my CG fics. So I'd ask you to please keep your reviews civil—if you have to criticize, please be constructive. If you really hate it that much, just don't review; if I don't get any reviews I'll know not to write poetry again.

A few final notes—this is set preseries. It's about Nunally and Lelouch as siblings, and not as anything more. There is some one-sided ShirleyXLelouch, but it's not what the poem is about. If you don't like Shirley and Lulu as a couple—good, they're not my favorite either, but onesided ShirleyLulu is canon and I used it as a frame for the stuff about Nunnally and Lelouch. Also, if any of the reviews say something along the lines of "You have Lelouch out of character. Lulu loves Nunnally! And he loves taking care of her! He doesn't think it's difficult." I will be ticked off. Anyone who's ever cared about anyone has also had moments when caring about them was difficult. And the kind of closeness that Lelouch and Nunnally have, especially, strikes me as sweet, but also kind of constrictive. I think that it's very possible that Lelouch could feel the way this poem describes. Oh, and Code Geass isn't mine, just so you know.

Special thanks to miladyRanger for beta-reading this!

e

Shirley

doesn't get it

Because to her they've always been

LelouchandNunally

Say-it-without-taking-a-breath-in-between

Because they aren't even a breath apart.

Lelouch

a

l

w

a

y

s

knows where Nunnally is

and usually she's right beside him.

(He's afraid of letting her out of his sight

Because the world is so large and so cruel

And she is so small and so fragile.)

Shirley never knew Lelouch

when he was just Lelouch

Even if it was "Prince Lelouch"

.

.

.

(Sometimes Lelouch wonders if he ever knew that Lelouch either)

She never knew Lelouch-and-Nunnally

from the days after "Look, a new baby sister!"

and before glassandbloodalloverthestairs

All she knows is LelouchandNunnally

(The Lelouch who gambles at chess to pay for his sister's wheelchair

The Lelouch who can't make the meeting today because it's Sayoko's day off

And someone needs to take care of Nunnally.)

(The Nunnally who smiles at her brother but can't see him return it.

The Nunnally who has to depend on Lelouch and Sayoko

because she can no longer take care of herself.)

And so Shirley continues wondering why Lelouch isn't interested

in being together.

She doesn't get it.

That LelouchandNunnally sometimes feels a little like suffocating

And that he's worried that LelouchandShirley would feel like that too.

He's fine with

Lelouch…Shirley

Nottogetherbutseparate

It's almost like being

Lelouch.

And if just being Lelouch

Still feels like being LelouchandNunnally

(Because even in his free time he can't stop wondering if she's still safe because no one can protect her like he can and he should never have left her with someone else who isn't him)

There's not much he can do about it

Is there?