Title: To Err Is Human
Warnings: AU-ish. ZeroLulu and SuzaLulu. Oneshot.
Summary: All Zero had to do was string together a few words to bring the knight to his knees. Suzaku never stood a chance and Lelouch never saw the betrayal coming. ZeroLulu and SuzaLulu.
Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass.
Serena: I do so love the little taboo that is ZeroLulu~ SELFCEST POWERS: ACTIVATE. FORM OF ZEROLULU! (shot) lol I kid. Zero is a separate entity in this. o u o A creation of Geass, to be exact.
'It's not fair.' Suzaku thought in misery. 'It's just not…fair.'
His fingers idly roamed over one of the Lancelot's control sticks (something resembling a joystick meant to force the monstrous machine into motion) as he sat in a slumped posture within the cockpit. He was frowning deeply and the telltale remains of tear tracks clung to his cheeks.
Suzaku's eyes narrowed sharply from their previously half-lidded gaze and he bit his lip as his hand stilled.
"I hate you so damn much." the brunet confessed. He curled his hand into a fist and slammed it against his seat. "You claim to fight for the good of the world…but you killed Princess Euphemia, enslaved your own army without their knowledge, and used me!"
Suzaku wanted to scream, but resisted the desire to and, instead, placed his elbows opon his knees so that he could hold his head in his hands. His fingers curled into his mahogany locks and he shut his eyes tightly.
"You even used him." Suzaku muttered after a moment of perturbed silence. "After ever thing he did for you…you used him, too."
Suzaku remembered hearing Zero mentioning something about "love" to Lelouch as the knight had stumbled upon the two of them in the cave. The brunet hadn't caught all of what was said, but he assumed it had something to do with Lelouch (because Zero had been way too touchy!). Also, there had been what Zero had said…tch. The pilot huffed in frustration at the thought. Love, eh? What a horrid excuse. A lie! Zero's actions had been the farthest things from love and Suzaku was even willing to say that the man had no idea what love even was!
"He's insane." the brunet murmured with a slight shake of his head. "He'll drag us all into early graves before he'll claim to be satisfied."
Suzaku opened his eyes to stare at the cockpit floor unseeingly and his eyes glistened with wetness as his mind turned back the clock to events prior. The pain and guilt was unbearable and he just felt so cheated and heartbroken that he was unable to focus on anything except the memory of what had happened.
Because he had failed them both.
Even though the Black Knights were failing in their mission to take back the Tokyo Settlement from Britannia, their charismatic, bastard of a leader, Zero, had stolen away a selfish victory for himself and Suzaku's mind was still in an awful mess from it.
Not only had that accursed abomination of Geass murdered Suzaku's princess (dear Euphemia…the poor girl), but he had stolen Suzaku's prince (oh, Lelouch…) as well. No matter how hard Suzaku would try or how vicious his fights would become, the brunet knew that bringing Lelouch back was would be extremely difficult (if not outright impossible). Zero certainly believed as much and the bastard had wasted no time in gloating over this victory (in a way that still made Suzaku's blood boil with jealously and rage).
Euphemia had been stolen from Suzaku and now Lelouch had been taken from him as well. All he really had left was…
"Nunnally." Suzaku muttered in growing horror as his eyes widened.
Suzaku remembered Zero's claims that Nunnally had been kidnapped and with Lelouch's subsequent pleas for a temporary truce between everyone, Suzaku also remembered believing the masked terror, but he didn't remember ever seeing Nunnally retrieved. The whole incident with Lelouch had distracted him. Nunnally must have slipped Zero's mind as well because he had made a hasty escape with Lelouch in tow while Suzaku had been momentarily stunned with disbelief.
'I have to go back.' Suzaku thought determinedly. 'I can't just leave her there. She could be hurt and Zero might come back to get her.'
It was enough reasoning for the pilot to open the Lancelot's hatch in preparation of exiting the machine, but just as he was about to climb out, the Lancelot's communication system flared to life. The screen flickered a bit (Suzaku figured the reception was low, being so far out), but the face on the screen was still unmistakable (and somewhat comforting).
"Are you alive out there?" the person asked while twirling a pen between his fingers. "I'd hate to have to go through the trouble of replacing you."
Despite everything that had happened, Suzaku smiled at the voice. Lloyd had a funny way of showing his concern and he could be quite hard to decipher most of the time, but judging by the strained smile the scientist was sporting and the fidgeting way he was twirling that pen, Suzaku could tell that Lloyd was stressed. Even if the man was only concerned about his precious Lancelot, it didn't matter one way or the other to the brunet teen. In the end, Lloyd was still concerned.
"I'm alive, sir." Suzaku answered as he slid down into the cockpit and sent the scientist a short wave. "How are things there?"
Lloyd stopped twirling his pen and hummed.
"Chaos." he answered and promptly sighed afterward. "But it's dying down. The Black Knights - well, what's left of them anyway — all retreated."
Suzaku nodded and his frown returned.
'I figured as much. Zero did abandon them.'
"Also, I've received orders from Prince Schneizel that you are to return at once." Lloyd continued and his lips quirked into an odd smile. "It seems a girl was brought forth by an anonymous source and the girl in question apparently knows you."
Suzaku sent the scientist a questioning look.
"A girl?" the knight questioned.
Lloyd's smile grew somewhat.
"A lost princess, as it would appear. The only daughter to the late Empress Marianne vi Britannia." Lloyd clarified and Suzaku's eyes widened at that.
"Nunnally?" he exclaimed in a combination of relief and surprise (something Lloyd did not miss).
"Oh ho! So you do know her after all!" Lloyd said in a pleased tone.
A slight blush dusted across Suzaku's cheeks and he turned his head slightly to settle his gaze upon the cockpit controls. He realized that he had probably admitted something that he shouldn't have (i.e. he knew the 'lost princess' was not really dead and had not told anyone).
"That means you must know her brother as well." Lloyd continued. "Am I right~?"
Suzaku stiffened at the mention of Lelouch and his expression must have sent the wrong impression because Lloyd's demeanor changed into something a bit more sympathetic.
"Is he —"
"No." Suzaku snapped and then he blinked rapidly before sighing. "I mean…I'm sworn to secrecy, sir. I cannot say either way."
Lloyd hummed and his head tilted in amusement, but instead of pursuing the subject, he redirected it.
"Regardless, you must return. His Highness was very adamant about that."
With Nunnally in a safe place (though, Suzaku was sure Lelouch would disagree), Suzaku had no reason to linger on the island. Zero had disappeared and had taken a "willing" Lelouch with him. Kallen had bolted (probably in hiding along with the rest of her comrades, by now) and that green-haired woman (who was partially responsible for Zero's existence) was nowhere to be found.
With a weary sigh, Suzaku gave his reply: "Yes, sir. I'm on my way back now."
"Good, good. Dock the Lancelot in the usual place. Prince Schneizel and Princess Nunnally will be awaiting your arrival in the break lobby." Lloyd informed the teen and, as an afterthought, added: "Mind your energy filler, though. Cecile will have my head if I let you drown out there in the ocean."
Without bothering to wait for a reply or any sort of acknowledgement that his words had been heard, Lloyd switched the communications between their base and the Lancelot off. Despite being left alone with nothing but a blank screen for company, Suzaku smiled slightly. Lloyd had his moments and the sentiment was nice. Suzaku's smile didn't last, however, because in the time it took him to close the cockpit hatch and ready the Lancelot for piloting, his mind had already drifted back into his previous depressing thoughts.
His mood plummeted sharply.
Suzaku practically screamed Lelouch's name as he made a mad dash for the stunned prince. The knight's eyes were wide with fright and raw adrenaline was pumping through his veins (the sound of his rapidly beating heart was deafening in his ears). Suzaku didn't register the startled gasp Lelouch let slip and he didn't hear the satisfied chuckle the masked terrorist standing before the two of them let loose. In his moment of blind panic, Suzaku had thrown a hand over the other teen's eyes to try and prevent Zero's command from taking root within Lelouch's mind.
Suzaku breathed heavily (too much so for the simple dash he made) as his hands shook in apprehension (he feared he would drop the gun still clutched in his other hand, at this rate). He felt Lelouch shudder against him and one of Lelouch's hands rose to cover Suzaku's own. That hand was shaking just as much (if not more) as Suzaku's was.
"Lelouch?" Suzaku questioned in a meek voice.
Lelouch's answer came in the form of a small, distressed whine and Suzaku felt Lelouch squirm against him. The hand Lelouch had placed over Suzaku's curled its fingers around Suzaku's hand and kept trying to pull it away. Suzaku (not knowing what else to do) allowed Lelouch to pull his hand away, but he jumped when Lelouch suddenly shrieked.
"…nn…st…stop it!" Lelouch managed to shriek as he clutched at the sides of his head desperately (almost as if he were in pain). "I can't!"
There was a horde of twisted, contradicting thoughts digging deeper and deeper into Lelouch's mind. They were such slithering, vile things that they made Lelouch question his own memories, dreams, and desires. They twisted and twined around and around and around and around so, so much and they were so disgustingly persistent and maddeningly fierce that it actually hurt to fight them (but he wanted to!; he had to!; but, shit, it hurt to think!).
Just ahead of them, Zero took a moment to turn away from the scene so that he could gather his own thoughts and reign in his guilty conscience. He felt decidedly villainous over his actions and he realized that if Lelouch ever regained his real memories the prince would never forgive him. Lelouch trusted him despite everything that had happened since Zero's manifestation, but now…no. The damage had already been done. Zero could not reverse the order even if he wanted to and he would not regret doing this (perhaps he would feel guilty from time to time, but never regretful).
Turning back to the scene, Zero called out to Lelouch.
"Relax, Lelouch." the masked terrorist interjected in a somewhat soothing drawl. "Don't fight it. Just let go and come to me. You won't regret it."
Zero left out the unneeded words of "you won't remember anything to regret", but he had no reason to say them. Lelouch was aware of the mental damage being done to him and Suzaku, to an extent, did as well. This…was a means to an end Zero so desperately desired. Even if that meant sacrificing part of Lelouch's mind (his memories, his feelings), the ending results would outweigh any guilt Zero had regarding this unholy betrayal of Lelouch's trust (but, ah, it stung; but Lelouch wouldn't remember soon so it didn't matter).
Zero just had to wait a bit longer. He had to wait for Lelouch's mind to crack. The less Lelouch resisted, the less it would hurt for him to exist. It was just a matter of time…
( ("Lelouch, why not stay with me?" Zero asked. He reached out a hand to let his fingers glide across Lelouch's cheek. "I can promise you no heartache unlike…some."
Lelouch flinched a little at the contact. He still wasn't used to all this…touching. It was a bit unnerving, to say the least.) )
Suzaku almost slipped in his steering of the Lancelot. That memory of Zero's greed would forever haunt him until the wrongs could be made right (and even then, Suzaku never really forgot bad memories; he merely shoved them into a dark corner of his mind to collect dust). He knew he could not allow Zero to keep this hold he had over Lelouch, but Suzaku had no way of breaking the spell either. For all he knew, this order of Zero's was permanent.
Suzaku gripped at the controls a bit more tightly and said nothing, but his mind was still elsewhere.
Back with Lelouch's eyes and the nozzle of the gun the prince had held in Suzaku's face.
Suzaku's mind was reeling from the sudden switch and he found that he could only gap at his friend in confusion. One moment, Lelouch had been practically screaming in agony, his head clutched in a death grip, and traces of tears glistening along his eyes. And the next…
Lelouch was sending him the strangest expression (like some bizarre cross between love, sympathy, and fury) and if Suzaku stared hard enough, he could see Lelouch's eyes rimmed in scarlet. The gun Lelouch held clicked, but it was not fired.
"Suzaku, don't make me hurt you." Lelouch stated and he grimaced. "If you do anything to hurt Zero, I…Suzaku, just get out of here. Please. I don't want to hurt you."
Suzaku tried to reach out for Lelouch, but the prince jerked away and held the gun up a little higher.
Suzaku could only shake his head while a mantra of "No, no no!" played on repeat in his mind.
Zero could only laugh and with a gesture of his gloved hand, he beckoned Lelouch to his side.
"Lelouch, that's enough." Zero said and he chuckled. "I doubt this silly little knight is even in the right mental state to do anything. We're leaving."
Lelouch sent one last guilty glance Suzaku's way before he retreated into Zero's awaiting arms.
Suzaku felt disgusted by the sight. Lelouch was practically wrapped in the Devil's embrace and Suzaku couldn't do anything about it.
Because he lost.
( (A small window flew open on Zero's mask and a scarlet eye glared down upon them.
"Lelouch vi Britannia," Zero began. His voice rang with a regality all its own and both the two teenagers couldn't help but listen. "I order you to fall in love with me and only me."
Suzaku knew he was too late before he ever sprang into action.) )
Suzaku lost because Zero cheated.
And no amount of tears or aggressive actions would be able to change that.
( (Lelouch had to chuckle at the masked man's concerns.
"Don't be so suspicious of me, Zero. You're the only person I've ever loved.") )
Serena: My, my…Zero outsmarted them both with that one, didn't he? o w o For those wondering, because of the way Zero worded his command, every memory that Lelouch had of a romantic nature (i.e. the ones involving Suzaku) were rewritten, in a sense. Zero said: "…to fall in love with me and only me." Therefore, Lelouch could not have memories of loving another as he "loved" his Zero. So the Geass fixed that. It makes perfect sense in my mind, but if it doesn't to you, just think of it as me taking creative liberties with the Geass power. lol Thank you for reading AND SPREAD THE ZEROLULU TABOO~! DO IT, I SAY.