A New Focus

Snow reminded Lelouch of Schneizel. Not in physical appearance or how he acted, his personality was quite different. It was his voice. It was deeper than Schneizel's but close enough when he first heard him he mistook him for his brother. He didn't like him at first. He had Schneizel's voice, Tamaki's personality and Suzaku's insane stamina and physical abilities. Snow got on his nerves a lot, however he was rather useful so he couldn't geass him to leave him alone and forget about him. Snow was a Pulse l'Cie, a human who was cursed by one of Brtiannia's enemy that granted him great deal of magic. He wasn't that bad of a tactician either, in regards of planning attacks and raids he thoughts were similar to Ougi's and was more confident. Lelouch couldn't deny he was a good leader and always put others in front of him. Lelouch just wished Snow didn't spent as much time with him and used his mouth less.

He met Snow during one of their attacks against Britannia. Lelouch was forced to eject from his Knightmare and fallen unconscious somewhere, away from battle under some rubble.

"Hey kid, wake up," he was confused at first, why was Schneizel calling him a kid. He groaned and then panicked when he felt the person above him pull down the fabric covering his face. Where was his mask? He opened his eyes to find an idiot, not Schneizel, grinning at him.

"Lelouch vi Britannia, I swear myself to you,"

What? Who the hell was he? And how on earth did he find out he was a part of the royal family. Just as he was about to geass him, the man handed back his mask and threw him over his shoulder.

"Look, we don't have a lot of time but don't worry. I'm here to protect you, your highness," he settled him down on his motorbike and straddled the seat in front of him, "Hold on tight," when he revved the engine he had no choice but to comply. It was then, while clutching to his waist, that he spotted the brand on his forearm. It covered most of the top of his left forearm, a red eye with black arrows coming out. He was branded by the divine entities called Pulse fal'Cie and made their servant. If he didn't complete the mission given to him, he would turn into a cieth, a monster with no conscious. For a moment he wondered if he would be dragged into to Pulse (a place often thought as hell) and made into a l'Cie himself. Instead the man used the magic bestowed upon him to wipe out the majority of the Britannian soldiers and Knightmares, and then creating a path for their escape. The motorcycle they rode on transformed into two women (making his jaw drop in shock) aided him during the battle. Luckily the media and none of the soldiers or Knightmare pilots didn't get a good look at his face.

The man later introduced himself as Snow Villiers and called the women the Shiva sisters, Stiria and Nix. They were Eidolons, another divine entity that saved l'Cie when they're in despair and forced into a focus (a mission) against their will. They battle them and if the l'Cie wins, the Eidolon serves them.

After a briefing with the Black Knights, Lelouch lead him into a private room and removed his mask. He sat down on his chair and studied his appearance. He was much taller than he was, muscular and dressed in street clothes. A black beanie pulled over his blonde hair, blue eyes and stubble beard growing on his chin. The sleeves of his beige trench coat were bunched up around his elbows, which in Lelouch's opinion was stupid because it revealed his brand.

"You really should cover that up in public," he laced his fingers together and placed them under his chin.

Snow gave him a sheepish smile and chuckled, scratching the back of his head, "Yeah, I know. It's just I was in crystal stasis for a while and forgot that Pulse l'Cie were still an enemy of the government. I have to admit a lot changed since then,"

"Crystal stasis?"

"Well my first focus was completed so I was turned into crystal. When I came out Pulse decided to give me another focus and that was to protect you…your highness,"

Lelouch thought about what he said, his eyes still locked on him, "for how long?"

He shrugged and slumped down on the chair in front of Lelouch's desk, "Dunno, Pulse fal'Cie don't tend to give out details. They mark you and then jam images in your head for you to figure out your focus,"

"And you think your focus is to protect me?"

"Protect you, help you. Something like that, I just know I have to make sure you don't die or land into Britannia's hands,"

He supposed it did make sense; Britannia was making their way to enslave and colonise Pulse. The Black Knights were currently the best resistance group against Britannia. He had to admit having a l'Cie by his side helped him immensely and reduced the casualties on both sides. Turns out before Snow became a l'Cie, he was a leader of his own resistance group.

After a few more questions, he then dismissed the Black Knights and changed into his usual casual attire. Annoyingly Snow followed him and he was forced to hide another fugitive from the government. Even more annoying, he got along too well with C.C and they enjoyed getting on his nerves. Fortunately Snow was extremely obedient to him and followed each order without question. He helped out with raids, protected him at all costs and was completely honest with him. There was no need to use his geass on him and became a useful ally, despite being an idiot most of the time.

Snow was kind and always put others before him. He spent a lot of time with Nunnally, talking to her and holding her hand. He found himself occasionally watching them, Nunnally happily rambling away and Snow smiling while listening to every word that came out of her mouth. He was someone he could trust with Nunnally and became a good friend to her. He acted like an older brother to her and took care of her when Lelouch was busy with the Student Council meetings after school hours. He played games with her and often managed to persuade Lelouch to join them.

It wasn't until Snow was gravely injured in battle he realized that he liked the idiot a lot. . He found himself by Snow's bed often, changing his bandages and keeping him company. However, Snow took his actions a different way.

"I do enjoy when a cute nurse takes care of me,"

He sighed in exasperation as he rolled the bandages around Snow's shoulder, "I'm not your nurse. Your bandages need to be changed and since I'm here I might as well do it," he couldn't help but blush. He really should've kept his mask on.

"Hmmmm, did anyone tell you, you look cute when you blush,"

Lelouch lightly slapped his other shoulder "Stop flirting or I'll leave,"

"Yes, your highness," he said in a low voice and winked up at him.

C.C wasn't much help, she teased him constantly about Snow. They both got it wrong, he did not like Snow that way. He did not have a crush on Snow and his feelings were completely platonic, mostly. He would deny the fact he caught himself staring at Snow, eying his 6-pack and brushing his hair out of his face when he was asleep. He denied that occasionally he let his fingers linger on Snow after changing his bandages and he would peek at him while he changed.

When Snow healed, which was quite fast due to the fact he was a l'Cie, he found that Snow was more affectionate to him. He'd occasionally hold him arm when out in battle or hug him around Nunnally and try to help him with his homework. He failed at that, he understood less than Lelouch (and it wasn't like he needed any help). But was it nice when Snow tried and found himself going out with him more. Of course he'd made sure Snow covered his brand so they didn't cause a scene when they were out. He refused to call them dates, they did nothing romantic on them anyway like going to the arcade.

One afternoon, when he wasn't busy with the Black Knights or the Student Council he found himself in the living room with Snow drinking tea. He didn't know much about Snow's life and this was the perfect time to ask.

"How did you become a l'Cie?"

Snow gripped his mug tighter than necessary and sighed beside him, "My fiancé, she became a l'Cie before I did. The pulse fal'Cie took her away and Bodhum, the town we lived in, was ordered to be purged when the government found out Pulse fal'Cie was hiding there. I found her again during the purge but then she crystallized. I became a l'Cie soon after that along with my fiancé's older sister and couple of teenagers,"

He frowned and sipped his tea, "What happened next?"

"Long story short, I completed my focus and awoke from crystal stasis. Serah also woke up and everyone's brands were removed…. and then we had some troubles and she ended up breaking off the engagement. After that I was branded again and well, you know the rest,"

There was a pregnant pause before Snow spoke up again.

"Would you mind if I ask you a few questions?"

Lelouch thought over it for a few moments and nodded his head. He finished off his tea and set his cup on the coffee table.

"How does a teenage boy become a leader of a resistance group? You're what, fifteen?"

"Seventeen and not that much younger than you. How old were you when you started your resistance group?"

"That's different, when I started NORA we were just a neighbourhood watch group. It wasn't til the purge hit we were forced to fight the government and by that time, I was twenty-one,"

Lelouch stood from the couch and reached for his cup only to have his wrist seized by Snow. He futilely tried to pull his arm out of Snow's grip, glaring down at him. Snow didn't falter under his look and in response gave Lelouch a stern look.

"Lelouch, I think I deserve to know. I've been compliant, honest and kept your real identity hidden. My focus is to protect you, I need you to be more open about yourself,"

He continued pull and suddenly he found himself sprawled in Snow's lap. He groaned, internally berating himself for cutting gym class. Snow loosened his grasp on his wrist to prevent any bruising and yanked him up until he was sitting rather close to Snow and inches away from his face.

"Your focus is to protect me and do as I wish. My past is none of your concern or needed for you to complete your focus. Now let…me…go,"

One of Snow's hands found Lelouch's hip, holding him in place, and with his other hand he released his wrist to touch Lelouch's face. The boy flinched at first, gazing off to the side. His thumb was under his left eye, stroking him softly.

"Lelouch, you can trust me. I'm just asking for you to open up a bit about your past, please?"

A/N: For those who don't know, Schneizel's voice actor is also Snow's voice actor.