Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass or the story of The Little Mermaid.
A/N: Please excuse the obvious fail in my first person POV writing.
Chapter One – The Mermaid's Morning
"Oh!" I said aloud then buried my face deeper into my pillow with a loud groan. I grumbled something unintelligible and pulled my duvet over my head. This must be an awful dream. I am most certainly not awake yet and you are most certainly not here again.
I groaned again, hammered my forehead on my pillow a few times just to make sure I was awake and this was not a dream. Sadly, it wasn't. "Why are you back again?" I grumbled.
"Excuse me? My life is a story to you and you're back for more? You have got to be jesting," I continued. Great, an audience in my head again! This is such a hassle and I suppose I'll have to narrate everything to you again? Whatever about being a princess's social secretary made it so interesting as to warrant a return of a mental audience – yes, that was a pun, for you are both in my mind and obviously rather mad to return for a round two dive in my dull life.
I lifted my head enough to peer blearily at the pocket-watch resting on my bedside table. Six A.M., it read and I let out another involuntary groan, sounding much like a dying patient under the medical treatment of a foul doctor, before climbing out of bed. You're obviously not going to leave my head until you get something so I may as well get on with it.
Now where did we left off last time? Ah yes, being Princess Nunnally's social secretary. Well, I've been at the job for several months. I wake up at around six something every morning; get dressed; brush my hair into a presentable state; have breakfast downstairs in the kitchen; hunted down several co-workers (read as 'other servants') for news about the castle so that I could rearrange her highness's schedule accordingly; ransacked the mailroom for anything for her highness; set said mail on a silver tray and - Pardon? What do you mean you're not here for that? Such a picky audience. Remind me why in Britannia I conjured you into my head in the first place? Oh yes, I was mad, that was why.
Pardon? You're here to…?
Urgh! Why didn't I guess this sooner? You are just like everybody here in the castle. Just because he hired me does not mean I am in any relationship whatsoever with Prince Lelouch – at least nothing other than employer-employee relationship. If that theory was correct then he must be in a relationship with half the maids in the castle and probably several dozen guards, servants, butlers, valets, footmen and whatnot.
No, it matters not if I danced with him once!
No, that doesn't matter either. The kiss was simply a way to seal a business transaction.
I paused in the middle of the hallway to the kitchen, rolled my eyes and sighed loudly whilst resisting the urge to butt my head against the nearest wall several times in attempt to kick you out of my mind. Sadly, I doubt that'll work and the pain plus effort of doing so was not something I'm overly fond of. Why couldn't this just be a dream? I need pizza.
Breakfast went, tasted and lasted just as it always did. The same bowl of porridge with the same dollop of honey on top, the same mass of barely awake people plonked around the tables complaining about waking up early and sharing whatever gossip they heard and the same bell tolling, signalling everybody to scrape their bowls clean and start work in earnest.
Despite my original arrangements with the prince to have pizza every single meal of the day, it was utterly unfeasible in practice. Getting the chefs awake early enough to cook a pizza for a servant was simply too much of an added detail to their list of duties so I must settle for having the delicious flatbread at lunch and dinner times only - how bothersome.
I fell in step with several of Princess Nunnally's maids and they relieved whatever information that had without my prompting – really, we were all too tired and barely awake to do anything but what was required at this point of the day.
"Her highness was crying in her sleep last night," one of them said.
"She was crying this morning too," said another, they were all carrying buckets of hot water for the princess's morning bath and eager to swap news so that they were ready to face whatever was beyond Nunnally's bedroom door once they made their way in.
"I wonder what was wrong with her. Princess Nunnally is always so happy during the day. Perhaps she was having a nightmare? Do you know why, Miss C.C.?" Apparently being a secretary included a permanent fixture of the word 'Miss' in front of my name regardless of my choice on the matter.
I frowned, pulled out my scheduler and skimmed the contents of the past week. "I don't know," I replied. I could see nothing hinting towards the reason why Nunnally was crying at night. She had been perfectly delightful since I started working with her and even before that, I had heard she was the most pleasant of girls - I always had problems keeping her social meetings in line since she was always too kind to refuse invites. The sudden onslaught of what seem to be nightmares-induced sobbing was deeply disturbing, not to mention the sudden need to cling to her brother and parents like a leech as much as their schedules allowed.
With the news of the day collected – and no, I don't care if you want to me to stay with the girls in order to collect more gossip, you're not the one paying me - I made my way to the mail room for the next task on the agenda.
Flicking through the invite cards as I walked and folding a page with the names of today's castle visitors, I finally reached Nunnally's bedroom door to start my job proper.
I knocked whilst pushing my way in, surprised to see the bedroom crowded with servants, all fidgeting and covered with the mask of worry. I knew Sayoko had the day off today and the maids had to be moved from the usual tasks to serve in her place (really, I do think she shouldered too much of the work. It made everybody reliant on her and the minute she was gone, everything goes awry) but was it truly this stressful and upsetting a business?
"Miss. C.C.!" cried a maid, grasping my arm and another pulled the silver tray of letters from my hand. They pushed me forward before I can say another word. Oh, do wipe that amused grin off your face. I fail to see what was so amusing in this situation. You should be more confused than I am.
To say I was puzzled was an understatement since Nunnally was always out of the bath, dressed, fed and maybe even having her second cup of tea whilst Sayoko worked on her hair by the time I came in. And now, since she wasn't out of the bath, she was effectively holding back an entire queue of maids, anxious to get their work done on time – what an un-Nunnally thing to do (on purposely holding people back like this, that is).
They pulled me to the door of the ensuite bathroom, which was closed and manned by the maid in charge of helping the princess in and out the bath that day. "She told me to get out, Miss. C.C.. I don't know why. The minute she got into the bath, she starting sobbing and she told me to get out. I'm sorry, I'm holding everybody back. I'm sorry but it really isn't my fault."
"Your highness?" I shouted through the bathroom door, my arms still in the hands of the maids who dragged me forward. "Are you unwell?"
What a bothersome morning! First, the return of you and now an uncooperative princess throwing a tantrum over a nightmare, whatever shall we have next? My pizzas being banned?
Nunnally's sobbing – now reduced to uncontrollable sniffles – could be heard croaking 'I'm fine. Leave me alone for a while, please!'…. or at least that's what I thought she said; it was rather hard to decode hiccups and sobs into words.
"Your highness, you don't have any appointments in the morning so you're free to stay in there as long as you want," I shouted, much to the horror of the maids in the room. I was joining forces with the uncooperative princess to hold them back from performing their job? Why yes, of course, because it meant I don't have to work until the princess was out of the bathroom and in the bedroom again.
I went and took a seat by the window, helping myself to the pot of tea that was for Nunnally – why not? She always offered me some anyway and I'm hardly going to refuse expensive tea when it was free. Whilst I was wondering if I am daring enough to steal a traybake from the platter of sweets by the teapot, the maids sighed loudly, muttered amongst themselves and one by one filed out of the room to perform whatever work they needed to do. It was the princess's request that they leave so who were they to argue? They'll just come back when she requested them again and no doubt, her secretary will chase after them when the time came.
I honestly lost track of how long Nunnally was in the bathroom. I had finished my tea, snuck two caramel squares from the platter and went through all of her mail before I heard a loud and clumsy series of thuds in the bathroom.
I sighed, threw the mail aside and rapped the bathroom door solidly. "Your highness?"
"Miss C.C…." was the squeak that came from the other side.
"I…. fell…I tried to get out of the bathtub by myself."
"Can I come in?"
I went in anyway, clucking my tongue at her answer. What? I'm sure you want me to anyways, nosy parker that you are.
"Your highness?" I said again, making my way around the folding screen and pulling a giant towel off it as I walked.
"Go away! Go away! Go away!" the girl shrieked and you could hear her struggling on the floor wetly like some baby seal trying to flop and slither their way across the floor.
I was going to step around the screen with my eyes closed and giant towel held in front of me – I'd prefer to not see my charge naked, thank you very much and please refrain from any perverted thoughts you may have.
But Lady Luck was determined to mess with me today and I didn't manage to get my eyes closed fast enough.
"Oh my…what in Brita…Nunnally! You have a…" I struggled for words, twisted my lips left and right in attempt to find a word to describe what exactly was in front of my eyes. "You have a… salmon, no…red snapper, no, that's not it either. A… Oh Britannia, I need a pizza. A um… fish tail?" I finally said, towel growing limp in my hands and the ends starting to dip to the floor where it drank up water greedily from the puddle Nunnally splashed out earlier.
"DON'T LOOK AT ME!" she howled, turning her face to the floor with her hair a mess like she had just been drowned violently in water and hands clenched so tight her knuckles turned white. "Don't look at me! Don't look at it! Don't loo…YOU CAN SEE IT?"
I am most definitely not awake yet, right? This is most certainly a dream, yes?
Nunnally broke down into another series of noisy sobs while attempting to drag herself behind the bathtub and I realised that the pink fish tail slinking across the ground wasn't an additional limb attached to the young girl, instead it had replaced her legs altogether.
"Sayoko, why did you take the day off?" I muttered, still standing there gawking at the bathtub and the fish tail like a fool.
END OF CHAPTER ONE
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