Yeah, I don't know what elarielf was thinking when she said it was okay for me to write this. Just so you know - this is relatively mindless fic. I don't take it very seriously, and I basically write something when an idea occurs to me. I run it through Kiraya so it isn't completely riddled with typos, but mostly it's just about having fun as opposed to serious story telling. There will more likely than not be plot holes and other such stuff like that. ^^;;
Lelouch fidgeted, feeling restless. The book in his hand refused to hold his attention, despite the sunny weather and relative quiet of the park. Suzaku was playing with Gino, a short distance away, allowing Lelouch to work on some of his school work in peace without 'turning into a ghost,' as Suzaku put it. Lelouch had argued being out in the sun wouldn't make a difference to his ability to study, but Suzaku hadn't listened. In the end, the real concern in Suzaku's eyes had convinced Lelouch that a study session in the park wouldn't kill him.
Now, however, he couldn't sit still. The oddest feeling of violence spread through him, the urge to rip the ground, to bellow defiance into the air, to launch himself upward and -
What was wrong with him? He was acting as if someone was challenging him. Lelouch did the math quickly in his head. No, even when allowing for the time differences between Overhill and Underhill, he shouldn't be going into cycle yet. He had no idea how he was going to deal with that without letting all the other Britannias know where he was. Not to mention that Suzaku wouldn't understand it. The boy was only mortal. He couldn't expect everything.
"Mr. Lamperouge!" Gino came pelting across the grass, eyes wide in terror. "Some lady came up to Suzaku and talked to him. He tried to leave and then she did something weird with her eyes and suddenly he just followed her into her car!"
"What?" Lelouch growled. His hands clenched into fists, tremors running down his body. Gino shrunk back, fear in his eyes. Lelouch closed his eyes and forced himself to be still. "What did she look like?"
"Uh - brownish hair, kind of tall. She was wearing a low-cut purple shirt - oh, and she had a tattoo here!" Gino pointed at the left side of his chest.
Guinevere, of the Su clan. Lelouch mentally cursed. "Gino, you need to go home and not tell anyone about this."
"But - shouldn't we tell the police?"
"Suzaku isn't Britannian," Lelouch replied. Prejudice was occasionally useful for something, though honestly, the police wouldn't be able to do anything in this case anyway. Knowing Guinevere, she'd already be Underhill. "I'm going to look for him myself."
Gino hesitated, then finally nodded. "All right, Mr. Lamperouge. Do you want my help?"
Lelouch shook his head. "Go home, Gino. I'll let you know when Suzaku is safe."
He saw Suzaku's playmate home, then headed back to his apartment. As he neared the building, he stiffened a bit as he sensed a familiar aura. Sure enough, as he turned the corner he saw Euphemia, of the Li clan. The pink-haired young woman was talking to Genbu - God, he was going to have to explain things to Suzaku's father - but stopped and turned to look at him the minute he turned the corner. "Lelouch! Something just crossed over that had your aura all over it!"
Genbu looked at Lelouch, noting the absence of his son immediately. "Where's Suzaku?"
"Guinevere Britannia kidnapped him." Again, Lelouch had to restrain himself as the urge to strike nearly overwhelmed him. "I'm going to get him back."
"I'm going with you."
"You need to stay here. This is too dangerous. " A stupid thing to say to a full-grown man, but even if Genbu was older than them, he was still mortal. The council would have a fit if they brought a human Underhill.
"If his son has been taken, he has the right to search for him," Euphemia interjected. "I think he should come with us."
He didn't have time for an argument. "Fine. Give me a minute and then we'll be ready to leave." Lelouch entered his apartment and headed directly for his bedroom. He removed a box from beneath his bed, ripping off the top. Within lay a black cape, lined with a dark purple material. On top of the cape rested a silver key on a long chain. He pulled the chain over his head and fastened the cape about his shoulders. It didn't go with his current clothing, but that was only to be expected. The cape was elven made. Trying to convince them to make something like a long coat was an exercise in futility.
Lelouch quickly strode back out into the hallway, locking the door behind him. Genbu raised his eyes when he saw Lelouch's new attire. "That's going to draw some eyes."
"Not where we're going," Euphemia replied. She removed a key of her own from around her neck - Lelouch noted she was wearing her own cape as well, but her long hair distracted from it, as they were nearly the same color - before placing it into the lock of Lelouch's door. The world seemed to shiver for a second, as if it shrugged, and then Euphemia opened the door-
-into a meadow, with grass greener than anything in the mortal world. Genbu's eyes widened in shock. "Let's go."
They walked through the door, Euphemia bringing up the rear. As she passed through, the door vanished, leaving only an empty archway made from a pair of living trees with entwined branches. "Hold on one second." Euphemia went over to the meadow. "Here, I brought this with me."
Lelouch nodded when he saw what the other Britannia had. "That should help. You or me?"
"Me. I'm bigger, and you've been ground-bound too long anyway." Euphemia dropped the mass of leather.
"What is that?" Genbu asked, looking at the pile of straps and buckles.
"Carrying pouch. We use it to carry things or people. It's safer than letting them try to ride or holding them in our claws," Euphemia replied. She walked further into the field.
Euphemia just grinned at Genbu's disbelieving tone. She gathered the edges of her cape and swirled them closed, posing for a moment-
And then blurred, growing larger and larger, until a dragon sat in the middle of the meadow. "Beautiful as ever, Euphie," Lelouch observed with admiration. The baby pink of her early years had darkened into the color of dawn clouds, with touches of gold and darker red on her extremities.
Genbu was just staring. "Dra- she's a-"
"A dragon," Euphemia said cheerfully. Lelouch started to buckle on the carrying pouch to the front of her chest, just beneath her neck, as she continued to speak. "So's the woman who took your son. Guinevere's from the Su clan. They break the rules all the time. Wait until I tell Cornelia - she's wanted to have a reason to smack her for decades."
"But you were human," Genbu protested as Lelouch gestured for him to come closer. Lelouch carefully buckled him into the pouch, which was cut in such a way he could see outward. Straps not unlike those on some of the more complicated roller coaster harnesses kept passengers safe even if a dragon had to make complicated aerial maneuvers. The entire thing was enchanted to keep it from ripping, tearing, or stretching.
"We can transform back and forth. Otherwise we'd never be able to hide from human science. Our capes allow us to keep our clothes intact. It'd be a bit telling if we showed up naked every time we went Overhill," Euphemia replied. "Ready, Lelouch?"
"Yes. We'll explain more on the way," Lelouch added. Genbu had stepped into a completely different world. The least they could do was get him ready for what he was about to encounter. He stepped back from Euphemia until he had enough space, then pulled his own cloak about him, reaching first inward, then out-
Changing into his dragon form always felt as if he were stretching muscles that had been cramped for too long. It had been so long since the last time it was painful to shift. Opening black wings - he had always been black from the moment of his first change, unlike most dragons who darkened in color as they aged - he lumbered into the sky, running awkwardly to gain momentum. A moment later, Euphemia joined him in flight, though with much more grace. He was really out of practice. He would need to sharpen his skills as they flew. Guinevere wasn't the type to give up something she wanted without a fight.
Hold on, Suzaku. We're coming!