Aneko: Well would you look at that? I guess I had another one left in me after all…

I really dig one word titles.

After you read it, go back and just read the italisized part. There. I gave you a hint cuz I'm nice.

Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass. But the people who wrote it are amazing forever.


Cicadas

"Living forever? It's not a blessing, you know," she's nearly shouting it. Suzaku had almost believed her incapable of it. "It is loneliness and it is stagnance and a world that never turns!"

He hadn't known she was capable of looking so—

But he supposes that she was once human herself, and so he asks her. Asks what she wishes for.

She stares at him. Cicadas are the only sound between them.

"Maybe it's not really forever," he ventures.

She shrugs. It isn't triumphant or sad or anything other than weariness. "Then eventually we too shall fade." The 'we' is somehow a sad word that sits in the air alone.

Beside them, Lelouch laughs softly. It is a chiding sound, directed towards children.


"Come with me," Lelouch says one morning. "I want to go outside."

Suzaku is still recovering from the explosion of his Lancelot from when he fought Kallen only a few days before, but he doesn't deny the request. He isn't worried about an attack—everyone is either afraid, locked up, or under Geass. But something tells him the emperor shouldn't be alone, in this empty palace where they reside. Empty like the faces of the dead and eyes under geass.

Occasionally Lelouch sits at a chessboard in the gazebo. Not playing, just watching. At one point, he might push a piece forward, only to pull it back moments later, until he eventually gets up and goes to sit by the water. But not today. Today he stands and looks into the sky, without speaking, without moving.


"When you kill people, what do you think about?" He's staring at the chessboard again.


Eventually, he shakes his head. He holds his hands up in front of his face. "Sometimes I think that I am becoming like him, and that—that is what I can't stand."


The question gives him goose bumps, but he answers anyways.


"You're not." Suzaku looks at him out of the corner of his eyes, and then looks away. "You're worse."

He puts his hands down again. "I guess so." He throws his head back and laughs, loud and distorted. "It's a joke, isn't it? That I feel like this now." He wraps his arms around himself and falls silent again.

"Please. Please release me," he eventually chokes out. But he only says it once, to the air, to those invisible hands that clutch his throat and the voices of the dead in his ear.

Suzaku once asked her if it had been like this since Lelouch had started using his Geass. She looked at him with that same dead stare as last time. "You have your pride too, don't you?" And so he didn't ask again.

Are they really still high schoolers? One is a dictator, the other a knight of that dictator. He looks back on the days that feel like years and doesn't believe it.

But sometimes, when he looks at Lelouch and sees the way he still gets frustrated easily, or how his arrogance cracks, he remembers that they are really not so old. The emperor is at one moment a driving tyrant, and at another a young man looking into the sky like it could give him an answer. Sometimes he wonders if they are just two different people in one body.


"I think of justice."

A chuckle. "You would, wouldn't you?"


"Time isn't that linear of a thing," Lelouch says. "I keep waking up and thinking it's yesterday."

"Tomorrow, maybe it will flow backwards," she says.

He looks at the two of them, at their eyes and the way they are ancient, at their faces and the way they are young.

"No," he says, walking away. "That would turn everything we've accomplished into a lie." But maybe he, too, wishes for it.


And in the end, it wasn't Lelouch's smooth talking, or his status, that convinced Lloyd and Sayoko and even Nina to join him. Maybe all it was was the dream of a sad-eyed little boy.


"Are you ready to end an empire with me?" Lelouch asks. It's hard to tell whether he's being light-hearted or not.

"Yes."

He laughs. But just like always, it doesn't sound right. "But you still hate me, right?"

Lelouch looks at him, handing him the mask. As it settles on his head, the emperor nods, and says, "You have done well."

And maybe, from the beginning, that was all he wanted to hear.


"And you? What do you think of?"


"It's summer," Lelouch says on the last day.

Suzaku looks around, at the pale sky, feels the heat that pulses at his skin, hears the trilling of cicadas. He remembers something, but he doesn't want to, and he pushes it out of his mind. It won't make what he has to do any easier.

The emperor leans back to look and sees the grimace on his face. "You too, hmm?"

He manages to still the twisting of his heart. "No. I don't know what you're talking about."

Maybe he imagines a flash of sadness in Lelouch's face. He shakes his head and pushes himself to his feet. "Ah. Sorry. You just…look like someone I used to know." And he leaves, his back thin and fragile and alone.

Suzaku doesn't take it back. It won't be until later, when he will push the sword forward, stain it red as it sinks in, Last Words being whispered in his ear. It won't be until then that he will think of summer.


He leans back into his chair. "I think of flowers."

"Flowers?"

"Yes. A field of them, dozens and dozens of them."

"That's too beautiful."

"I'm sorry."

"Why?" It's the only question he has left. "Why?"

"Because…Because."

Because in the end, Geass does nothing but bring death.


And in the end, Suzaku thinks of flowers.


Aneko: NO IT MIGHT NOT MAKE SENSE!

This fiction came to me in lines and fragments, but I somehow thought that was what it was supposed to be, like flashbacks of mere moments, or the way your memory isn't whole, but comes in slivers and chunks.