Hello my readers, and thank you for your positive responses. I feel the need to touch on a few points before putting this out; first, this thing is meant as a somewhat mature/darker thing then my main story, Gambit. This will be a lot more serious; with clever, clever spy shit; I've been meaning to write that for a while. I'm still not entirely sure I am 'clever clever' enough to do so, but I'm gonna try anyway.
IMPORTANT NOTES: this starts after R1; pretense: when Marianne died, she actually died. As such, Charles is well and truly pissed at his brother; and also has some serious doubts about the chances of their 'Ragnarok' connection working. (The one where they destroy the gods and put an end to all lies). Also, I'm not certain this is as canon. But at the time of Lelouch's capture Schneizel is fighting the Japanese Rebels.
As Avian Reader pointed out, Rolo's Geass in this story has a somewhat more limited range then in the Canon.
Special thanks as usual for theFinalArbiter for beta-ing!
Gotto thank Avian Reader for pointing out speech OOC!
Charles Zi Britannia, 98th Emperor of the holy Britannian Empire had to work to keep the unconcerned, regal frown on his face as he took in the visage before him. This is it; he realized. This is the trump card I've needed to win the game. This road would show Charles a way to take vengeance on his brother.
Before him, in the vast emptiness of his throne room, two boys knelt in supplication. One held himself proudly: back straight despite his position, with a determined gleam to his eye. In his pristine white suit with golden trimming, the boy looked every inch Britannian royalty despite his obvious Japanese features under that mop of brown hair.
The other boy, however, fought and hissed like a cat in a bag: had it not been for a rather undignified restraining suit, and the added hand of the first boy fixing his head against the marble floor, the child would likely be in the process of ripping his liege's throat out with his bare teeth. It was all impotent rage, though; and the cuts and bruises the dark-haired boy was collecting for his efforts only served to make him look even more like a peasant.
It was almost comical to realize which of these two his biological son was.
The 98th Emperor allowed himself a small smirk. "An interesting proposition, Kururugi Suzaku. And under the circumstances, We think We will agree to your terms. You are hereby elevated to a Kight of Rounds. We hereby bestow upon thy, the number Seven."
The Japanese boy nodded, but didn't smile. Little wonder; he and his captive had apparently been friends on one point. But such things hardly mattered to Charles now. "As your first official task as a number of Rounds, We would like you to contact Schneizel and relay to him that we need him to abandon his position and return with his armies to the homeland, right now."
The newly appointed knight seemed shocked. "But he is in the middle of fighting a decisive battle against the Black Knights, my liege."
The old King schooled his features. "And one We never even condoned him entering into in the first place. We are tempted to think that son of Us considers himself the Emperor by now; he will return right now for a good reprimand." Charles looked down on his younger son again, gesturing with feigned disgust. "Cover up this thing's left eye before you go."
There was another bit of a scene as Kururugi covered that Geass-bearing red blazing eye using his own sash. The Emperor ignored the screaming and kicking, pretending to find imaginary dirt on his clothes to dust off.
Only after Kururugi had excused himself and closed the door behind him did the Emperor approach his fallen son. Charles looked down to study the boy before him, feeling a strange surge of pride at finding him still glaring at his father in defiance, though he had only one eye free to do so.
If Charles didn't know any better, he would have thought the boy incredibly stupid. But Charles did now better; it was not only that his son had shown - as the revolutionary Zero - clearly that he was a capable strategist and fighter. Charles had known long, long before. Because he paid more attention to his children than anyone ever gave him credit for. And this boy, along with Schneizel, was his favorite amongst them. That was because those two were the only ones of his children with half a brain amongst the lot.
Admittedly, Schneizel was likely the smarter of the two. But what this one might lack in that department, he definitely made up for in sheer tenacity. Not to mention the boy in front of him had always had a knack for questioning authority and disregarding the rules at the worst of times.
Keeping these features in mind, V.V. was likely to label the boy as an unruly idiot. Charles smirked again, reveling at the idea of finally having a 'one-up' on his immortal brother. "So…" Charles began, completely ignoring the fact that the teen in front of him was obviously trying to figure out how he could cause his father the most damage in his current bound state. "Tell me, Lelouch, Do you still want revenge on your mother's killer?"
His son's reaction was most gratifying: he finally abandoned his useless struggles, looking up at his father with nothing short of honest confusion. "…what?" the boy finally managed.
The father sighed; Lelouch had been far more eloquent as a boy; or maybe it was just his current predicament that left him speechless. "I have found your mother's – and I might mention my wife's - killer. But I am having some trouble exacting my revenge on him."
The boy blinked, some of his reason finally returning to him. "First you cast me out, making it obvious you don't care one way or the other. And now you want my help?"
The Emperor growled low in his throat, more than a little frustrated. "Don't misunderstand. I am not asking you for forgiveness; not for what I have done, or for what I am about to. Nor do I ask for your loyalty. I just want to make sure, when the time is right. Will you help me kill him?"
The boy's eyes flashed dangerously, but his interests had been piqued. "Kill whom?"
Charles smirked, allowing the Geass power in his own eye to surface. The boy's one eye widened in shock, but he pushed one regardless. "The memories I am about to instill on you are truth; although you might not be able to tell the difference yet, you will soon enough. These memories are the events as they happened, or as close as I have been able to piece together."
And with that, he showed V.V., his brother. He showed their pledge and the curse his older brother had taken up: a curse of immortality. He showed their efforts, and his own digressions. And, as Charles slowly lost interest in what had been the brother's combined goal, the intense jealousy that surfaced within the now-forever child V.V.; A jealously that found a focus point in Marianne.
Then, he showed the reconstructed scene, as his forever-young brother shot Marianne. And then the cover up that had been all but forced upon him, this time also involving Nunnally in a mock 'terrorist attack'. For good measure, Charles added in the veiled threats his brother had directed at both Nunnally and Lelouch when it became apparent the young girl would survive her injuries. Only then did he withdraw his power.
His son was literally reeling with the after effects of the installed knowledge. Charles opted to give him a moment, in a rare moment of graciousness. Sadly, when the boy finally spoke he seemed no less confused. "But, that doesn't make any sense. He killed her; and then both of you wounded Nunnally; just for that?"
Charles sighed, not really willing to go into detail; but understanding the need none the less. "You forget, my brother may have lived over fifty years by now, but his emotions will never mature."
"You're lying." The boy finally growled. "What would you need me for anyway? He is just one boy."
"When we started on our path, my brother and I distributed the powers at our disposal. I rule the Empire, he rules the Geass Order. I am beginning to believe I got the shorter end of the deal with that."
This only served to confuse the boy further; "Geass Order? What is that?"
"You are about to find out." The father assured his son. "So what is it, a yes or a no? I'll sweeten the deal for you; Nunnally." Inwardly, he smirked at the boy's expression falling. "I'll take good care of her for you. And once my brother is dead, you can have her back."
The boy still glowered at him, so as an afterthought he added: "You're welcome to go back to scheming for my end after this if you want."
It was enough. "Fine then." The boy conceded, his shoulder sagging a little. "But I am not sure how am I supposed to kill an immortal."
Charles smirked again. "Well, therein lies the crux of the problem, doesn't it?"
But he didn't give his son time to dwell on any of it. Charles required the boy's promise fresh in his mind when the memory seal he was about to place was broken. Again, the red sigil formed in the Emperor's eye. "Lelouch vi Britannia." He intoned, grabbing the boy's unruly bags of black hair to ensure eye contact. "I install within the false memories of a false life…"
The shots of machine guns all but drowned out the insistent voice of his commander in his ear. "Agent Rolo!" it stated again, with all the authority of a general, though the man held only a sergeant's rank. "Stop messing about and kill the target."
"I'm trying, sir." The young assassin winced, keeping his head down low behind the rather scanty protection of a rose bush: if it hadn't been for the falling night, he would have been shot dead by now. "But the intelligence was wrong; those girls were not his lovers; they are trained bodyguards." He pointed out, still reeling from the attack that had almost knocked him out.
If it hadn't been for his Geass stopping all live from moving, that knife thrown at his head would have split his skull, rather than hitting him with the hilt-end and only stunning him momentarily.
The two female bodyguards had taken that moment to drag their boss out of the garden and back into the wooden-floored summer mansion. From there they had quickly armed themselves and started spraying bullets in his direction.
Yes; Rolo, the first-class assassin, had failed. But personally, he held that rather lousy intelligence report to blame for the error.
He doubted his commander would see it like that though. "Then use your Geass to stop them and charge the place."
Rolo felt a little sick. "They are out of my range."
Not to mention he was a little short of firepower decked out only with a silenced hand-gun. Stealth was no longer an option; but he could have hardly carried his semi-automatic with him when he had snuck onto the gardens.
His commander, Sergeant Farray, had never been known to listen to reason. "Then charge first and then Geass them."
There was nothing for it; it was a suicide tactic. Even if he only needed to cross about ten meters before getting into Geass range, he would be dead as soon as his assailants realized where he was hiding. But he could hardly disobey orders.
Rolo swallowed once more, mentally preparing himself for almost certain death. But just as he was about to affirm his orders, another voice broke in on their conversation. It was low and unworried, despite the sounds of machine guns accompanying it putting the speaker a lot closer to the bodyguards then Rolo currently was. "Belay that, five seconds."
A whole different kind of dread filled Rolo at hearing his 'brother' thus. Oh no, here we go again! He surmised, knowing full well that there was nothing to do about it now. The sergeant, as usual, was less indulgent. "Agent Lelouch!" the man all but screamed through his headset. "You are supposed to be guarding the front exit. I don't know what you think you're doing, but..."
"One second." Lelouch announced from his end.
Despite his earlier reservations, Rolo got ready for his charge. With a raging sergeant in his ear, Rolo watched as the two bodyguards froze, a spray of bullets hitting them from below.
Rolo charged; activating his Geass only when he was well in range, and neatly put a bullet into the heads of the bodyguards and then into his target. He released the power, sighing softly as he announced to his superiors that the job was done. Then, he walked out of the house and turned to his fake brother and partner; scowling despite the feeling of relief over making it out of this alive.
"You disobeyed orders again, brother." He managed, with a strict face.
The older boy finally managed to pull himself out from under the floorboards of the house, radiating the younger boy with his most winning smile from behind his eye path. "It would have been easier to follow them if they weren't so crazy-stupid all the time. Besides; someone has to take care of my little brother."
Rolo's scowl only deepened. Damn that man; he knew quite well their commander could hear every word they were saying. Having to play the part of younger brother to this imposter was one thing, but it also meant he was likely to get punished for this insubordination as well.