Suzaku flicked through the TV channels without paying attention to what was actually on. It felt distinctly odd to be back Overhill. Everything was much more noisy here. The air was more polluted too. When he had first stepped through the doorway he had nearly choked. It had taken him a few minutes just to be able to breathe properly.

The TV regained his attention for a moment as the newest KMF commercial came on. Suzaku watched it intently, noting the new Conquista design. He really wanted to go down to the store and look to see what else had come out while he was gone. He was so far behind. Maybe Lelouch would take him after dinner.

Then Suzaku shook his head. First of all, Lelouch didn't need to take him anywhere anymore. He wasn't a child. And secondly, he was trying to convince Lelouch he was as old as he looked. Babbling on about toys, models, and video games wouldn't help with that.

Though he had to admit he would miss it.

KMFs always made him think of his friends. He wondered how Tamaki, Rivalz, and Gino were doing. Suzaku wished he could visit them, but that wasn't going to be possible until they worked out their cover story. He couldn't think of a way to explain leaving as a twelve-year-old and returning looking like he was sixteen.

Suzaku tilted his head as he heard Lelouch removing plates from the cabinet. It must almost be time for dinner. He moved into the kitchen to watch. Just looking at him brought up the memory of how Lelouch's body had felt pressed against his own as they kissed.

Suzaku considered himself lucky that Lelouch was half human. Most dragons didn't feel sexual desire until they went into their first cycle. While he understood the necessity of sharing Lelouch with Euphemia - unpaired dragons in cycle were known for doing things like rampaging across the countryside and eating virgins until they found a mate - he still wanted to be Lelouch's first.

Suzaku firmly shook himself out of his thoughts. "Want some help with that?"

"Sure." Lelouch passed him the plates. Suzaku finished setting the table just as there was a knock at the door. Lelouch touched his shoulder lightly. "Stay here. I'll get it." He walked over and opened the door. "Genbu. There's someone I want you to see."

"Who?"

Lelouch moved out of the way so Genbu could see Suzaku. His eyes went wide with shock. "Hi Dad," Suzaku finally managed. "I'm back."

"Suzaku. How...?"

"We'll explain over dinner," Lelouch answered. He gestured for Genbu to take his seat. He did, still staring at his son. Suzaku took his place as well, while Lelouch brought out the meal to the table. Suzaku beamed at him when he saw that Lelouch had prepared. Becoming a phoenix had changed his appetites. Lelouch had somehow known that, and provided Suzaku with a salad heaped with fruit as well as vegetables. Around bites of food, Suzaku explained his new nature and its resurrection ability. Lelouch added a few things along the way to clarify details, but let Suzaku do most of the talking.

Genbu shook his head. "I don't know of any phoenixes in the family. Your mother..." He paused. "Your mother had ties to a clan in Japan known for their abilities in onmyodo. It's possible this gift comes from her."

"What do you plan to do now, Suzaku?" Lelouch asked. "You can't return to school like this."

"Not yet. I'll need to stay out of sight for a few more years, but I don't want to spend all of my time Underhill. Schneizel had some ideas - "

"Schneizel?" Lelouch literally growled. Suzaku had to wonder if he sounded like that when he was a dragon. "When did you meet him?"

"He was visiting Cornelia, who was with Euphie," Suzaku replied. He didn't know why Lelouch didn't like him. The two brothers were very similar in nature. "He pretty much guessed who had fought Guinevere - that was really nasty, by the way. She still hasn't managed to sort her wings out, according to Cornelia - and more or less extended an invitation for you to meet with him." Well, he had told Euphemia, figuring sooner or later she would see her bonded, when they mated if not before. Lelouch visibly brooded. Suzaku continued, "He seemed to want to..." He paused, trying to come up with the words.

"Collect me? Convince me to join him?" Lelouch's tone was still dark. Suzaku watched his eyes in amazement. The normally vivid violet irises had developed gemlike qualities in shine and shape. Suzaku recognized it, of course. He saw it every time he looked in the mirror nowadays. Euphemia's eyes were much the same, but he had never seen it in Lelouch's eyes. The dragon took a deep breath, closing his eyes. When he opened them, they were fully human again. "What did he suggest?"

"Private teaching in what I'm missing in school. If I stay human most of the time, I should stay about the same age, maybe get a bit older. I can 'reappear' once it's time for sophomore year." He looked at Lelouch. "I thought you could teach me. I can go Underhill when I have to hide."

"There's illusions, as well. Magic is difficult to do in the human world, but not impossible." Lelouch nodded thoughtfully. "We'll still need a proper cover story for your disappearance."

Schneizel had said the same thing. Something about his manner had indicated that the air dragon might actually take care of it himself, as a favor to Suzaku. He decided not to tell Lelouch that. Euphemia had explained that phoenixes were rare enough that many Underhill would want to do him favors in hope of earning one in return. Not to mention dragons' natural pull towards his kind made him a much-wanted visitor at just about every dragon occasion.

Lelouch continued to think for a long moment, then nodded. "We might be able to make this work." Then he chuckled. "Only for you, Suzaku, would I go back to the high school curriculum." Suzaku met Lelouch's gaze, a warm smile forming on his lips. Lelouch's eyes softened as he returned the look, and Suzaku felt warmth flooding up inside of him at the sight.

Lelouch looked away quickly before the moment could linger, and they finished their meal discussing various reasons Suzaku could have gone missing. Genbu rose to his feet. "Help Lelouch with the dishes, Suzaku, then come back home. We need to get your room ready."

"Couldn't I stay?" Suzaku begged. "I won't get in the way."

Lelouch gave him a disapproving look. "You just got back, Suzaku. Go home tonight."

Suzaku sighed, but nodded. After Genbu left, the pair tackled packing up the leftovers and washing the dishes together. "I don't know why I can't stay," Suzaku grumbled. "It was never a problem before."

"Your father missed you, Suzaku. We thought you were dead."

"I know, but..." He wanted to stay with Lelouch. He had missed him so much - and now they were older... well, he'd had several dreams he'd like to put into practice.

Lelouch lightly kissed him on the forehead. "We'll have all of eternity, Suzaku. Your father is mortal. Never forget that someday you'll lose him."

The thought shook Suzaku a bit. He had forgotten - or preferred not to remember - that his dad would die. Euphemia and Lelouch, along with all those he had met Underhill, would live until they were killed. His father, though, would someday fade as all mortals did. "...fine. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Get up early enough and we can have breakfast together," Lelouch promised.

Suzaku smiled at the thought and left Lelouch's apartment, entering his own next door. "Tadaima!"

"Okaeri," Genbu replied with a smile, stepping aside to let his son in. Suzaku smiled back at him. Even with the problems explaining his reappearance and Lelouch's issues with his own family, it was good to be home.


Random facts (as of 5/16/11):

- This is the last part of this series I'm committed to. That being said, if the bunny bites (or Snapshots throws something I really want to try), I may revisit it. There are some 'potential' bunnies as a list on this document.
- This originally had Genbu Finding Out but he wasn't being upset enough about things. I didn't want it to turn into an angst fest either, so I cut it.
- Lelouch is cloaking his eyes with an illusion, constantly. That's why his aren't showing the immortal aspect - but it slips sometimes when he's ticked.
- What is going on with Lelouch's family? No. Freaking. Clue. I need more 'canon' to work on that.