A/N: It's been an awful long time since I posted on this site, so I dusted off an old piece of work and put on the finishing touches. I hope you like it.
"Hm?" She turned her face away from the pillow she was laying on to see who was addressing her. As expected, Lelouch's slender form appeared before her eyes. He was staring pensively at the wall of his bedroom.
"What does death feel like?"
She looked at him quizzically.
"Well, It's kind of like falling asleep, only more painful."
"I'm being serious."
C.C. rolled over and sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed.
"Are you sure you want to know?" Lelouch turned to her and nodded. "Alright then." She stood up, raised her arm to the level of his forehead, and lightly slid her hand over his eyes, closing them.
"Is that really necessary?" Lelouch muttered.
"No. I find it helps ease the transition though." Lelouch felt her hand on his shoulder. For a moment, nothing happened. Then he felt himself being thrown backwards, as if some force had hit him square in the chest. He opened his eyes.
Where am I? He looked around. Wooden buildings surrounded a dirt square in which a large crowd had gathered. Lelouch found himself standing at one edge of the square, looking in. The crowd, dressed in rough garb that seemed reminiscent of medieval peasants, was shouting and jeering at him. Two pairs of hands firmly grabbed his arms and shoved him to his knees. Instinctively, he tried to wriggle out of their grasp, but he found it impossible to escape. A booming voice erupted behind him
"We have captured the Witch, and brought her before you!" A cheer erupted from the crowd. Why is he referring to me as if I was a woman? I'm not that effeminate, am I? No... Wait... Of course! This must be one of C.C.'s memories. But why send me here? The speaker continued once the noise had died down. "As is our custom, you will be given the chance to air your grievances to her before the final Justice is delivered. May God have mercy on her soul!" The two men began dragging Lelouch forward into the crowd. A path in front of him formed as people moved to create a gauntlet. His head was kept constantly bent down towards the dirt by a flurry of blows from fists and cudgels as he was dragged through the mob. Blood ran down his forehead and out of his mouth. One brown haired man jumped out of the crowd and pulled Lelouch's face up to look at him.
"See this, Witch! This is for my brother!" Lelouch felt the man's fist smash through his jaw. His head stayed up just long enough to see the man shoved back into the crowd. Each face he saw looked into him with a mix of glee, relish, and pure hatred.
So this is what it feels like to be truly reviled...
Another agonizing five minutes passed before he made it to the center of the square. Beaten into submission and no longer capable of resistance, Lelouch resigned himself to a death by blunt trauma. But it was not to be. Lelouch felt the two men grasp him under his shoulders and haul him onto a little platform. His back was smashed against a wooden pole, and he felt a rope being wound around his chest, making him nearly incapable of motion. He took this moment of respite to look around. He wished he hadn't.
They're going to burn me...
Lelouch began hyperventilating, his breaths coming quick and ragged.
I... I can't believe... I can't believe they're doing this...
Lelouch began to squirm in his bindings, finding the strength to move that he did not have a minute before.
The smell of freshly lit kindling triggered another bout of squirming as it came to his nose.
"This can't be real... No... This is a dream... this must be a dream!"
The fire reached the base of the pole. Lelouch screamed in agony as the flames consumed his legs. His lungs burned from the ash and the lack of oxygen. Black edges appeared in his vision as his brain began shutting down. All that could reach his mind was the intolerable pain in his body. Every remaining neuron below his waist was roaring in distress, every breath became harder than the last, every bit of his wits was deprived of him as black ink closed in from all edges. The last thing that went through his mind was a feeling of despair as the darkness overtook him.
Lelouch awoke to an oddly pleasant feeling, a sensation on his lips that was curiously like that of very sweet honey. Finding his mouth locked down, he took a long breath through his nose, and was greeted by the rather strange, yet pleasing aroma of pineapples. He took his time exhaling, then opened his eyes. C.C.'s soft golden eyes met his for a long moment, then pulled back as she sat up.
"Well, it seems you're alive."
"Indeed. May I ask why you were locking lips with me so... passionately?
"You were going into cardiac arrest. I had to resuscitate you."
"You held on bit long for just resuscitation."
"I didn't say I wasn't enjoying it." Lelouch smiled.
"Were you indeed. Well then. My next question is this: Why in the heck did you put me through that... that Hell!"
"You wanted me to show you how it felt to die. I obliged."
"But why that particular horror! You could just as easily put me through one of the hundreds of bullet wounds you've suffered over the years!" C.C. chuckled at Lelouch's indignation.
"That wouldn't make a point. If you intend to go through with your plan, you must at least be aware of the consequences. I just wanted to make them a little bit clearer."
"Do you have such a low opinion of my plan that you think it will come to that?"
"No... Lelouch, I want you to go through with it. I have hoped for someone like you to grant my wish for a long time, but I never dreamed that an alternative like this would ever come up. Life might be bearable for once, having someone to spend it with for our curse of eternity. But even if your plan succeeds, you must know that you will be hated for generations at the least."
"That's an oddly mixed message from the ever certain Witch. From my recent experience, I would swear you didn't want me to go through with it."
"I do, Lelouch, I do... I just wish you wouldn't take such an unnecessary road to it. You could make it better for everyone in so many different ways! Why chose the most destructive?"
"Wow... does the Witch actually... care? This is a new phenomenon."
C.C. smacked him. "I have to, Lelouch. That's what this is all about for me, remember? If I didn't care, I would have let myself die. Would you rather have that?"
Lelouch rubbed his hand along the raw spot on his cheek. "No, I suppose not. The prospect of spending an eternity alone isn't exactly pleasing to me either. But I don't want to keep doing what I am now. I've sacrificed enough people already, and thousands more will die because of me by the end of it all. I am done wielding power. I want a... holiday," Lelouch smiled, "A peaceful relaxing break. Maybe I'll get to enjoy this world for once. Then, maybe, after a few generations I will return."
"You'll still be hated. If you are discovered-"
"It'd be better than being eternally loved. After all, if I tried to run away from power after doing so many good things, they'd hunt me down, wouldn't they? They'd just keep trying to get the 'ever fair and just Lelouch' back on the throne. I'd never get a moment of peace. You of all people should know how absolutely hellish being adored can be. Far better to be dead and unlooked for."
"Hmpf. Fine. I'll go along with your plan, but on one condition."
"You must get me pizza at every opportunity along the way."
Lelouch buried his face in his hands.