"How is he today?"

"Better. He's the student, so there's a lower chance of aggression."

"Is hisvisitor coming again today?"

"I don't know. Probably." A sigh. "You'd think after six months…"

"People need hope. Can you deny them that?"

"False hope is worse than despair."

"No. Nothing is worse than despair."

Suzaku looked up as Lelouch walked in. "Hey."

"Hi." Lelouch smiled. "How are you?"

"You know…" Suzaku shrugged. "The military…" He cut himself off. He knew how much Lelouch hated when he talked about that.

Indeed, Lelouch's smile tightened around the edges a bit, but relaxed soon enough. "Other than that, how have things been?"

"Pretty good." Suzaku allowed his own smile to widen into a smirk. "Better now that you're here…"

Lelouch's blush was more than enough for a reward. He could be so cute. "Yes, well… anything planned?"

"There's the council meeting." Suzaku hated that he had to remind Lelouch of these things. "You are coming, right?"

"Suzaku, I…" Lelouch sighed. "Sure. I'll come." He checked his watch. "We're not late, are we?"

Suzaku checked the clock over the door. "Oh, shoot! We gotta hurry!"

The student council room was full when they got there, of course. "Sorry we're late guys."

Lelouch, rather than apologizing, just sat down. Suzaku hardly expected anything more from him.

Naturally, Lelouch also took the last seat. Suzaku grinned and cheerfully sat in his lap. "…Suzaku!"

"What?" Suzaku turned his grin on his friend. "That's what you get!"

"For what? I didn't…" Lelouch sighed. "Fine, whatever." Even better, he slid his arms loosely around Suzaku and let him lean back against him. They were practically cuddling, but Suzaku didn't point that out. He didn't want it to end.

Milly was saying something and Shirley was arguing, but Suzaku's attention was completely taken up by Lelouch. He seemed a little too tense, a little too aware of Suzaku's body and not paying nearly enough attention to Milly. "Lelouch?" Suzaku whispered, feeling kind of bad for distracting him. "Shouldn't you be listening, vice president?"

"To what?" Lelouch asked after a long moment of hesitation, his eyes narrowing as he tilted his head for a kiss. "There's no one here, Suzaku. It's just us."

Suzaku blinked and realized that they were in Lelouch's room. Huh. The student council meeting must have gone well. And Lelouch wanted to kiss him. Well, that made sense – they were lovers after all, right?

Another blink and a smile and Suzaku leaned in and captured Lelouch's lips. It was good – it felt… nice. Lelouch reached up and his fingers stroked Suzaku's cheek and his mouth opened and his tongue

Okay, that was more than nice. Suzaku groaned and shifted until he was straddling Lelouch, his knees pinned between Lelouch's hips and the arms of the chair and his hands cupping Lelouch's face as their kiss turned deeper and more heated and…


Suzaku jumped. "Ah. Sayoko-san, I…" He grinned sheepishly. Caught.

"It's fine," Lelouch said breathlessly. "I was in control. It was perfectly safe."

…well, of course it was. They were just kissing.

"You should probably leave," Sayoko insisted.

Suzaku shrugged. "Alright." Lelouch looked irritated, but Suzaku was pretty much at peace. There would always be other chances, after all.

"How was he?"

"The nurse interrupted before I could find out."

"…please, no jokes.You're the most constant factor in his life. How was he?"

A soft snort. "More directable. Thehe still thinks he's at Ashford, but he can be steered elsewhere now."

"You shouldn't do that. It's dangerous to play with his delusions."

"It's worth it. I finally managed to steal a kiss."

A sigh. "I hope that doesn't make him backslide. Too much stimulation…"

"You have no idea." A bitter laugh. "I haven't kissed him in months. He looked at me as if he only vaguely knew who I was. If the nurse hadn't walked in, yeah, it would have been more than a kiss. I want him back."

"It's not that simple, Mr. vi Britannia–"

"Lamperouge. He knows me as Lamperouge."

"It's not that simple, Mr. Lamperouge. It's more than mere delusions, it's a mixture of hallucinations and false memories and psychoses. He's built an entire world around himself."

"As long as I'm a part of that world, I'll find a way. We'll find a way. Together we can do anything."


"Today he's military?"

"Yes. Thank God Dr. Asplund is on. Remember that time he wasn't?"

"Let's not think about the 'Narita' episode, okay? It's bad luck."

"…you have got to be the most superstitious nurse outside the ER, I swear."

"Good mooooooorning!"

Suzaku smiled. "Morning sir. Is Cecile-san going to be here?"

"She's off tinkering with things this morning. It's just the two of us." Lloyd beamed at the boy. Suzaku grinned back easily. Apparently his unscheduled unregulated event yesterday hadn't thrown him too off. "Where shall we begin…"

"Biophysical testing or straight to the Lancelot today?" Suzaku asked.

Lloyd shrugged. "Cecile's not here to nag. How 'bout we just chat?"

"Okay." Suzaku waited patiently. "…about what?"

"…read any good books lately?"

Suzaku laughed. "Between work and school, I don't really have time. But Lelouch – ah, he's a friend from school – Lelouch recommended a book to me. It was…" Suzaku frowned. "It was called…"

"Maybe you'll remember it later," Lloyd said quickly. "And your other friends?"

"Oh, they're fine." Suzaku returned back to the conversation, his brow evening out of its furrow. "Shirley and Lelouch are kind of fighting, which is awkward, but everyone else is doing well."

"Good. That's very good." Lloyd smiled. "And, of course, everything's going well here too. Really things couldn't be more perfect! Ahahaha!"

Suzaku laughed, half politely. "Still, with Zero free…"

"Oh, Zero." Lloyd waved it off. "Hardly a concern. Really, you dwell too much. Put him out of your mind and focus on the good things! Like the fact that Cecile didn't cook for us today…"

All of Suzaku's previous good mood had evaporated. "How can you say that? After all the people he's hurt, all those deaths…"

"Tragic, really," Lloyd assured him. "But in the past. We need to focus on the future. You need to focus on the future, Kururugi-kun."

"Right. But. What kind of future can we have with Zero…" Suzaku trailed off gloomily. Lloyd sighed.

"Perseveration and rumination. What was the dose of Risperidone again…"


"Oh! Nothing." Lloyd laughed. "Tech talk, you know how it is. Speaking of, I need to hunt down Cecile. Why don't you take a stint on the treadmill while I find her." Lloyd scribbled some notes down on a peice of scrap paper …if he missed a dose, that would explain… or maybe we need to increase the morning dose again… we're getting close to the maximal dosage, though… it may be time to switch atispychotics again.

"Sure." Suzaku tugged off his shirt – something Lloyd had explained to him time and time again that he didn't need to do ("But where will the monitoring electrodes go?" aside) but something he did almost reflexively – and hopped onto the treadmill, setting it at his usual level. He could manage that at least.

Which was good. If he was dwelling too deeply into the Zero delusion again, there was no telling what could happen. The last time, he'd broken down in front of the Fenette girl over the supposed death of her father. She hadn't come back since, but Lelouch had brought cards from her. He agreed with Lloyd that it would be too confusing to let Suzaku see them in his state, though.

…it was interesting that Suzaku thought that she and Lelouch were fighting. Was that his way of dealing with the fact that she never came by anymore?

It hardly mattered. The point was Suzaku's fixation on Zero had returned and it looked like his depression might as well. Lloyd considered calling Lelouch and letting him know, but figured that his instructions to give Suzaku a few days to recover from the kiss would be sufficient time for him to return Suzaku to his previously stable state.

"Dr. Asplund?"

"Hmm? Yes, Euphy?"

"Ms. Carter is Georgina again today, so you know."

Lloyd laughed. "Good. I like Georgina. Can you do me a favour?"


"Keep an eye on Suzaku. I may be adjusting his regimen today."

"Will do!" Euphemia chirped. She really was a sweet girl.

"He's staring again."

"Hush. It's not a creepy kind of staring. Besides, he's gay, remember?"

"Right. And his mental state is stable enough to maintain that. Sure."

"He's never been anything less than a gentleman, unlike some of the others. Euphy likes him too."

"Who wouldn't? Cute boy, only slightly insane, bright green eyes that follow your every move…"

"Stop that. He's sweet and, even at his most violent, he never directed his violence. You're being paranoid."

"Hey. Wrong side of the glass for that."


"Military again?"

"…kind of? He was this morning with Euphy… and what was that exactly?"

"I don't know. He promised to serve her with his life? Whatever, it's a good thing she was going off shift."

"Right. In any case, he seems to be all schoolboy now, but there are hints of the soldier… it's odd."

"The worlds are merging? Interesting…"

"I hate it when you say that word."

"Suzaku." Lelouch smiled. "Sorry it's been so long."

"No, I'm glad you came." Suzaku smiled back. "What was that important thing you needed to talk to me about?"

"Oh, uh… nothing really." Lelouch's smile wavered as he steered Suzaku towards a chair. "Forget about it."

"Alright." Suzaku was a little disappointed, but nothing could really keep him down today. "It was really nice of Milly to throw this party."

Lelouch looked around the room, no doubt amazed at the transformation. "…yeah. Well, you know Milly."

Suzaku laughed. "I guess we should just be happy that she didn't use my knighting as an excuse to throw a theme party."

"Right. That would have been bad." Lelouch looked down and away and kind of nervous.

Suzaku leaned forward. "Hey, Lelouch. Don't… don't worry. Euphy's my princess, but you'll always be…"

Lelouch's head shot up. "Euphy? That perky nurse?"

"Shh, you don't want people to find out you two're siblings, do you?" Suzaku hissed, making sure no one overheard. "Honestly, Lelouch. Sometimes I wonder if you're really as sm–"

Lelouch cut him off, grabbing him by the front of his shirt and pressing a firm kiss on him. "Shut up, Suzaku."


Lelouch kissed him again, just as hard. "You're mine. I don't… I don't care about your other world and your fantasies and goddamn Euphy! I don't care that you can barely remember what happened a week ago, but you can make up stories about Nunnally being crippled for years. I don't care that you think you're some damn ace and a super soldier and I don't care that you're the last greatest defence against an enemy that isn't even real and I… I don't care that you won't even let your father visit anymore. That… that doesn't matter. None of it matters. Suzaku…" Lelouch was almost crying, but he didn't cry. He never cried. "You're mine. I want you back. I want you to come back and live your life. Just… live for me, Suzaku!"

Suzaku had been struggling half-heartedly up until that point. At Lelouch's desperate order, however, he froze and stiffened, staring off at something. Lelouch released him, shaking a little. "…Su-zaku?"

Two orderlies pulled him away as two others efficiently cleared the room of anything breakable or unchained to the floor. Before Lelouch could fight back, the door between him and Suzaku was sealed and locked.

"Wha… what's going on?"

"We call these his 'episodes'," Dr. Asplund said calmly. "We've tried to sedate him through them, but he just wakes up angrier." A sniff. "Which is not what the textbooks say should happen, so it's rather vexing on a professional level." He looked at Lelouch, eyes narrowed. "On a personal level, however, it's fascinating. Watch closely – this one's for you, after all."

At first, there wasn't much. Suzaku just sat there and shook. Then he threw his head back and screamed. It wasn't high-pitched and frightened, but low and furious and Lelouch shuddered. When he started throwing himself against the walls and trying to rip up the furniture (and managing with one chair that was only bolted to the concrete floor in four places) Lelouch tried to look away, but Dr. Asplud shook his head.

"This is your doing, Mr. vi Britannia. You were warned that his state was fragile and you insisted on doing things your way, impatiently. Your selfishness has done more harm than good here."

"Help him." Lelouch could barely recognize his voice, that hoarse whisper. "You're his doctor, help him."

"When he's done." Dr. Asplund turned and grabbed another chart. "I have other patients to see in the meantime. Please keep watching, though, and remember: This is why you shouldn't fiddle with the professionals."

There were red marks on the wall from Suzaku's blood, but he wasn't even slowing down. Lelouch watched.

It was the least he could do.


"He's back?"

"Well, Suzaku's stable again. Ish."

"The delusions are still there and the chance that he might trigger another episode…"

"After what happened last time? The boy might be young, but he's not an idiot."


"Well. Not a complete idiot, at least."

Lelouch stood awkwardly at the doorway of Suzaku's room. Normally they'd meet in one of the common areas, surrounded by protective shatter-proof glass, but Suzaku hadn't come out of his room since Lelouch had triggered that strange fit. It had taken weeks and a new medication to restabilize him.

"Lelouch!" He still smiled when he saw Lelouch, but there was something beneath it that hadn't been there before. "Did you hear? Euphy's ordered a Special Administrative Zone in Japan!"

Lelouch tried not to flinch. What had happened had nothing to do with that nurse – it was all his own fault. "That… that's great, Suzaku."

"I'm glad you think so." Suzaku stood and pulled Lelouch into the room. "Now you and Nunnally can be happy and safe and we can be together."

"Yes, wonderful… Suzaku, what are you doing?"

Suzaku grinned. "What do you think?" He tugged Lelouch's shirt off and pushed him down on the bed, removing his own shirt as he straddled him. "I want you."

"Oh. Okay." Lelouch wound one arm around his neck, pulling him down for a kiss while the other slid inside his pants. "Hmm… whatever they've got you on isn't affecting this."

Suzaku groaned. "Please let me… it feels like it's been so long…"

"It has been," Lelouch assured him. "But we… we don't have anything…"

"Seriously?" Suzaku pulled back, scowling. "Nothing?"

Lelouch bit his lip, looking half apologetic, half amused. "Sorry. I… ran out. Or something. Here…" He slid Suzaku's pants down and scooted up the bed, undoing his own. "Let's just use our mouths for now."

Suzaku looked like his birthday had come early. Lelouch shifted so Suzaku could pillow his head on his thigh and reached down to stroke his hair. "You okay?" Would he remember this from before?

"Yeah." Suzaku breathed against Lelouch's cock, making it twitch. "How did you think this up?"

…apparently not. "I'm super smart," Lelouch said, taking Suzaku's erection in his hand. "Now no more questions."

Suzaku seemed to agree with that as he licked up the base of Lelouch's cock at the same moment Lelouch started tonguing his head. God, it felt so good and even the thought that they could be interrupted at any moment by the staff didn't stop Lelouch from savouring the sensation of Suzaku's lips and tongue against his cock and the taste of him in his mouth.

When Suzaku finally freed his erection and started pumping it, Lelouch had to shut out the animal part of himself that wanted to just come. It had been a long time since someone had touched him and the fact that it was Suzaku made it so much better… "Missed you." The words came out more as "mffuu" since Lelouch wasn't willing to release Suzaku for even long enough to express that sentiment. Whatever, it made Suzaku groan and throb and his mouth enveloped Lelouch's cock in retaliation.

Ung. Too much too fast… "Suzaku, I'm…" shit. Lelouch muffled his moans around Suzaku's cock, unsurprised by the return jet of hot fluid that was Suzaku's only response. More… Lelouch sucked and swallowed and sucked harder even as his thighs trembled with the force of his own orgasm. He could feel Suzaku's body shake with its own tremors as he finally released Suzaku's slowly softening cock. "That was…"

"Thank you." Suzaku's voice came from between Lelouch's legs, his lips still pressed to Lelouch's skin. "Thank you, Lelouch."

"Oh, my pleasure." Lelouch chuckled, tucking Suzaku back in. "What brought this on?"

Suzaku returned the favour and flipped around so he could cuddle Lelouch properly, face-to-face. "I'm just so happy. Are you going to come to the SAZ opening?"

Lelouch used to promise Suzaku anything he wanted, before Suzaku started looking sad that he broke impossible to keep promises. "We'll see."

"Right." And that odd look that Suzaku had had before was back. "Maybe you're busy. We'll see."

Lelouch ignored the slight creepiness and curled up in Suzaku's arms. He was grateful for what he had

"You're sure about this?"


"Well, good luck."


"What are all the balloons for?"

"Oh, it's my last day. I'm moving to Child Psych."

"Congratulations. I'm sure you'll be a wonderful fit."

"Thanks! I've got to say, taking care of Suzaku helped me make that decision. Younger patients often seem hit harder."

"Well, it was lovely meeting you."

"You too! Good luck with him."

Suzaku frowned. "Hey, Kallen. It's been a while."

Kallen smiled nervously. She'd never really been comfortable with him – which was only reasonable since he'd discovered that she was a Black Knight. But he'd done everything he could think of to assure her that he still thought of her as a friend. It was a pity she couldn't loosen up. Lelouch pulled out a chair for her and sat down as well. "What are you doing, Suzaku?"

"Oh, you know. Homework." Suzaku smiled. "I'm trying to get it done before I have to work on the preparations for the SAZ announcement."

That made Kallen clearly squirm. Lelouch placed a hand over hers and Suzaku frowned again. He had his suspicions, but it was too early to jump to conclusions. Just because Lelouch was here – with a Black Knight – on the eve of the big announcement didn't have to mean anything. Suzaku reminded himself to be reasonable. "You two were talking to Princess Euphemia as you came in. What did she say?"

Kallen clenched her fist. "…princess?"

"The nurse," Lelouch answered. Code? Perhaps. Something to consider in any case… "She was just saying goodbye. Apparently today was her last day."

…Euphemia? Was leaving? No, that wasn't right, she wouldn't… "C'mon, Lelouch, seriously. What did you say to her?"

Lelouch shrugged. "Just that it was nice meeting her and I wished her luck. She's moving to child psychiatry, by the way – I think she'll do well with children."

He was lying. It was the only explanation. But why?

Kallen picked up the thread. "She said she really enjoyed working with you. You've made quite an impact here, Suzaku."

…he was lying to Kallen as well? Of course! He lied like he breathed – he had to to survive.


"I… I didn't want to believe it."

"Lelouch, what…"

Lelouch interrupted Kallen's breathless question. "Believe what, Suzaku?"

"I should have arrested you when I had the chance."

"Suzaku, you're not maki–"

"I convinced myself it wasn't true. I really wanted to believe in you. But you were lying to us, to me, your sister Euphy, and Nunnally…"

"Your sister?"

Suzaku laughed humourlessly. "Lelouch is the Lost Prince of Britannia, Kallen. Did you really think he would liberate Japan out of the kindness of his heart?"

"The lost what of whonow?"

"Kallen, don't." Lelouch set his narrowed gaze on Suzaku. "Suzaku, there's been a misunderstanding…"

"No, I know all about it. About geass, about how you made Euphy… Why couldn't you just join us? Why couldn't you just let us help you?"

"Funny, that's what I was wondering…"

Suzaku stood and slammed his palms on the table. "I know you, in the very end you'd betray the entire world, the way it's betrayed you! I'm not going to let your sick, twisted dream be realized."

"Dammit, Suzaku, just calm down…"

"Your very existence is a mistake!" Suzaku retorted, watching as Lelouch finally seemed to be getting it. His eyes widened and he grabbed Kallen's arm and stood up, baking away. Suzaku rose as well, far from finished. "You need to be erased from the face of the earth!"

The table was no obstacle, Suzaku cleared it in a single bound, pinning Lelouch to the floor. Kallen cried out and Suzaku brandished his weapon (a sharpened pencil) at her. "Is this really the man you want to protect?" He could hear her running (or was that being dragged?) away.

Good. She was just a distraction. This needed to be done.

Lelouch's eyes – wide and as beautiful as any Suzaku had every seen – held his gaze the whole time. "Zero." Suzaku flipped his grip on the pencil. "I will stop you here."

That small smile on Lelouch's face (hope? relief?) was the last thing Suzaku saw as he felt a sharp prick in his arm and the world faded to black

"His father consented to the electroconvulsive therapy?"

"Anything to get him under control. The medications aren't sufficient, clearly."

"Right then. Let's see how he does. He was always a fan of electrodes…"