A/N: It's been goddamn long since I wrote Lelouch and C.C., and this is set in the early episodes of R2 too!

This is a short one containing blankets, fluff, memories and good ol' witch-warlock snuggling.


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THE SECOND FIRST NIGHT

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Lelouch wouldn't admit it out loud but that first night that he was back in the new Black Knights base, dressed as Zero, what he wanted to do the most was to go to his personal quarters and, after planning and drafting strategies, have a good night's sleep.

He was pretty sure that he had good nights when his memories were altered. After having his memories back and knowing that he was under Brittanian surveillance even in his own home, he was never able to sleep properly.

Personal quarters in the Black Knights base were never under surveillance. Tonight, he decided, after weeks of pretending to sleep soundly for the sake of appearances, he will sleep properly and peacefully.

He knew it was somehow selfish and childish, but he let himself have that small luxury. After that, both the days and the nights were sure to be busy. He is leading a resurrected rebellion, after all.

As he entered his quarters, he found C.C. on his supposed desk, pizza boxes and Cheese-kun and all.

He didn't expect this, but he should have known. He guessed that after a year, he did get a bit rusty on being himself, after all.

C.C. turned to him when the door slid open. To her credit, she swallowed her food first before saying, "Welcome home, lover."

Lelouch had to be nice - they've spent a year apart and she welcomed him quite kindly... albeit he knew she was doing it because it will annoy him.

He's not going to be annoyed. He had to show her that he's still got it in him to counter her. So as soon as the doors closed, her took off his mask and said, "As acting leader, they gave you my room?" he asked.

"This isn't your room to begin with." she said, turning back to her pizza and hugging Cheese-kun tighter against her. "When we acquired the base, they labelled this Zero and C.C.'s room. Because they knew you wouldn't be there but I would."

Lelouch didn't know if he should appreciate his remaining men or just smack them all upside the head. But no matter - when they labelled C.C. as his woman, he never told them otherwise anyway. He saw nothing wrong with a rebellion leader having a lover, besides C.C. was smart if you ignore all the pizza.

Lelouch simply said "Oh. Very well." - because he'll be flippant and cool and he would not lose to C.C., not after the almost year that she'd had the quarters all to herself. It actually is a miracle that besides some pizza boxes on one corner and two other Cheese-kuns on the bed, the room was clean. The young man put down his helmet in the bedside table and glanced at C.C.'s discarded thigh-high boots on the couch before sighing. "Go to bed."

"Oh my, how brave." C.C. said, smirking. "You've grown so much, Lelouch..."

Lelouch blinked. Then as it dawned on him, he blushed but shook it off very quickly. "I mean, get your boxes and your toy elsewhere, I need my desk!"

The witch faked a hurt look. "Aw, and I thought you'd hit puberty." His expression was enough to content her and she stood up, carried her pizza box and her plushie towards the bed and proceeded with her meal there. All the while she was still smiling impishly at him.

Between them, Lelouch preferred to think that it was her own way of saying 'Glad to have you back for real.'

Lelouch started with his drafts and strategies after clearing away crumbs from the woman's pizza - he had gotten used to it back then and by now it's just another reacquired habit.

After a few minutes, he heard C.C. sipping on a bottle of soda and when she ran out of the beverage, the distinctive sound of the soda bottle being thrown in the trash bin was heard, followed by the closing of a pizza box before it followed the bottle.

When Lelouch flipped his head to check on his companion, C.C. had just finished buttoning down her new Black Knights uniform and as she started to slip it off her shoulders, she looked at him.

"You can look at me undressing now?" she asked, slipping the dress further down her arms to reveal her pure white turtleneck tank top.

Lelouch quickly rolled his eyes and turned back to his work. "Tell me if you're turning the lights off so I can flip my lamp on."

Then the lights went out.

'Annoying witch.' he thought. Lelouch groaned and simply fumbled for the lamp switch without another word. As soon as the light was on his desk, he turned again to look at C.C., who had cuddled up to Cheese-kun and tucked herself under the blankets.

Lelouch resumed his work peacefully for another two hours. He stretched and yawned after reading all the reports from his time away and then finalizing his plans for the next days. He stood up and headed for the bed.

Finally. Sleep.

C.C. looked fast asleep, her hair sprawled on the pillows and her arms loose around one of three Cheese-kun plushies on the bed. Lelouch took the other two and shoved them off the bed, then proceeded to brush C.C.'s hair away from his spot on the bed. He was just thankful that he didn't have to push C.C. to one side because she occupied the center of the bed. At least she left space for him.

Lelouch slipped under the blanket and laid his head peacefully on the pillow. He sighed, looked at the back of his companion's head, and then closed his eyes-

Until the blanket was yanked away from him and C.C. curled up into a ball, claiming the sheets.

Lelouch grunted, grabbing a handful of the pristine white sheets and drawing them to himself.

It was taken from him again.

"Witch, share the blanket."

She didn't reply. She even faked soft snoring.

"Damn it, C.C."

A low chuckle. "Get your own."

He looked at the back of her head. Her hair was still long and green and supposedly the feel of them against his arm and shoulders should be unfamiliar after a year apart, but he welcomed it anyway. These day, getting back to his old life, the things that annoyed him back then were the things he used to prove to himself that he's indeed back. Her bare shoulder was visible and from the way it was tensed, he just knew that she was having fun messing with him.

It's their second first night together, he realized - and recalling their first first night, he should have known that she wouldn't share the sheets.

But - Lelouch decided - he's not letting her win on the first night again.

"I haven't had the chance to ask you this..." he started, staring at the ceiling. "How have you been?"

"Been better."

"For the year I wasn't there?"

C.C. faced him then, familiar gold eyes glistening against the dim yellow light of the lamp he forgot to turn off. "For the record," she said, smirking. "You're a better roommate than Kallen."

Lelouch smirked. "I bet she hasn't been tolerant."

C.C. scooted in closer. "She's always mad at me. Although she was a better actor than you."

"That's because we look more suspicious together. Girl roommates can be girl roommates without sounding fishy."

"I also prefer you because you have a more accessible credit card."

"I figured that, too." Lelouch glared lightly. Pillowless and blanketless, he simply crossed his arms across his chest and stared at the ceiling. C.C. closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against his arm, her body still bundled up in the blanket and Cheese-kun.

After a few minutes, C.C. looked up at him, blinking. "Wait, was that an attempt to get me to talk to you and then steal my blanket?"

Lelouch was quick to correct her - "Our blanket. This is our room, you said that."

"Oh. You didn't say 'no'."

"Well, why would I when the answer is 'yes'?"

C.C. pushed herself up to lean on her elbows, looking down at Lelouch, her face in her hands. She looked at him with that sly smile that always got on the prince's nerves. "Lelouch, did you miss me?"

"Stop flirting, it'll never work." Lelouch huffed.

But C.C. always had a say. "Same to you. And you suck at it, too."

"Why you-"

She leaned down and kissed him on the lips. Lelouch's eyes widened in surprise and he looked at her open-mouthed when she leaned back.

"W-W-What was that for?" he asked, trying not to blush - yes, he'd seen her naked and he'd seen her in her most indecent positions as she slept and she had been his first and second kiss, but WHY did she have to steal the third too? Why does she always have to surprise him with it? Didn't that kind of thing need... progress or buildup or something?

C.C. shrugged. "I felt like it. Besides, it's so fun to see you-"

Frustrated, Lelouch leaned up on his elbows as well and locked her lips with his. C.C. blinked twice before smiling against the kiss and then returning the gesture.

He was sloppy, he knew it - he didn't know how to do this, but C.C. knew how. Even when she was surprised, she knew what to do. He knew that she knew what she was doing and how to do it. It felt right.

When they broke away, Lelouch huffed and laid back on the bed, not looking the witch in the eye.

C.C. looked down at him with an amused expression. "For the master of execution, that was very poorly executed."

He looked back at her. "I don't have the centuries of experience you have."

C.C. chuckled, then she said, "Hm, okay."

"What?" he asked, blinking, cheeks still stained pink and expression still annoyed.

"Here." C.C. said, adjusting her blanket and draping it across their bodies. Lelouch blinked - did he just win for once? Then the woman put her Cheese-kun plush away and instead laid her head on his chest, her arm across his torso.

Lelouch looked down at her but couldn't see her expression, only the top of her crown of hair. He laid a hand on her arm while his other hand absently played with long green locks.

C.C. closed her eyes.

"So-"

"You only won because I went easy on you." she reminded him.

Lelouch huffed, still twirling green hair between his fingers. "I still won."

C.C. simply snuggled closer. Lelouch looked down at her again, but she seemed to be busy making herself comfortable. Yes, they've done this before - sleeping in each other's arms - but never because they want to. It was always because they had to: when Lelouch was having nightmares and C.C. had to hush him else he wakes the whole Order, or when C.C. just couldn't sleep and Lelouch had to hold her because her tossing and turning is disrupting his own slumber. They never did it out of will, but here his witch is, resting against him like a tired child.

"C.C." he said, eyes still on the soft green locks in his fingers. "How did you get them all to follow you?"

C.C. shifted her head a bit before answering. "Most of the core members and leaders were gone. Everyone looked to Kallen, and she asked me what I think you would do."

"Then?"

"I told her I'm taking charge. Everyone was against it, then I told them that I know all of your contingency plans..."

"Do you?"

"No."

He chuckled. "They believed you?"

C.C. was tracing random patterns on her partner's chest by that time. She yawned. "Yeah, because I made up my own plan on the spot, gave them all the details and saved all their lives with it. After that, I was acting leader. Urabe and Kallen simply did what I told them to do and everyone lay low while we wait for Diethard and Kaguya to take care of negotiations and recovery so we can get you back."

"Wait, you made up a plan? By yourself?"

"You're not the only strategist here, fearless leader."

Lelouch half-shrugged. He always knew she was smart - well, more wise than smart - but he didn't know that she saw through strategies as well. "I bet you'll stop being smart now that I'm back."

She huffed. "I don't like being smart when I always have to tell them to give you the credit. Your men don't like me."

"Hm."

"But in all fairness, they trust me."

"Hm..."

"Do you like me, Lelouch?"

Lelouch raised an eyebrow, but this was C.C. and she was everything strange in a woman (though he would never admit it, she had grown to be his normal too) so he nodded. "When you're sharing the blankets and answering my questions properly, I like you."

C.C. looked up at him. "Oh. When you're letting me sleep, I like you."

"Does that mean you don't like me right now?"

"Yes. I thought you wanted to sleep, then you talked and started asking a lot of questions."

"Fine, we're going to sleep." he sighed, easing himself to a more comfortable position, resting his hand on the witch's waist and letting her fit her head against his shoulder. C.C. was fast asleep in a few minute's time. Lelouch wouldn't mistake the familiar feel of her steady breathing against his neck for something else. He might not know much about her after all the time they spent together, but he knew enough to know when she trusted him to let her fall asleep in him. He knew when she slept and when she faked it. He knew when she tossed and turned to annoy him and when she did it in a desperate need for sleep.

She was being kind, Lelouch thought. She was being kind tonight. From her lighter jabs than usual, to her early surrender and sharing the blanket...

He wondered why she was taking it easy on him. He looked down at her as she slept peacefully, brushing strands of green hair away from her face. All things considered, she did a good job as acting leader in his absence. Knowing his team, C.C. must have made a lot of compromises with Diethard and Rakshata and Kaguya, and she must have had a hard time keeping Kallen and Urabe and the others on a leash, all the while keeping his identity private to those who didn't need to know.

He also wondered, as her roommmate, what Kallen did when C.C. tossed and turned at night. Or knowing C.C., she must have simply sat up on the bed and hugged Cheese-kun, or maybe she stood by the window, looking at something in the distance. That was what she did when even holding her didn't work.

He remembered the first first night - how she stripped in front of him shamelessly and then buried herself in his blankets, making him sleep on the floor. It was a few months before he finally got to share the bed with her, albeit she hogged the blankets to herself so he had to get another blanket for himself.

After Euphie died, he started having nightmares and C.C. always held him back and shushed him. It took a good long while before he just automatically held on to her when he felt the nightmares come at night.

Maybe, he thought, tonight's sleep for him is considered a luxury, but for C.C. it was well-deserved. Leading the broken, battered remains of a mighty rebellion wasn't in the contract, but C.C. was his witch and she did it anyway.

Maybe tonight's good night sleep was really for C.C. as she steps down her temporary position and tomorrow, when they wake up, Lelouch will be the leader again (not that he stopped being the leader). Tomorrow, he'll be full-time Zero again, and she will be back as the enigmatic woman one step behind him by choice.

This second first night, he won early. 'Your move, C.C.' - he wanted to say, because it's a tie now, but he wouldn't. Because he's not supposed to keep score. He knew that she wasn't.

This little victory he will simply appreciate because as he looked down at her peaceful sleeping face, he finally deemed her words earlier appropriate.

'Welcome home, lover.' she had said.

On their second first night, Lelouch had been a fool to think that C.C. would share the blankets. But on that second first night, he already knew her, and while he wondered why she let him win early, he also appreciated the fact that this time he had put up a fight.

It was a good fight, he thought - and the prize was ultimately better. Had he realized back then at the first first night that the prize will be that good, he would have tried too.

Ah, well... he wouldn't be caught dead admitting all of these, so he thought he just better get that good night's sleep while he can, because he's bound to have long days and nights soon.

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finis

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A/N: I'm sorry, folks, if my CLuCLu has been getting rusty. It's been long.

I've got another oneshot coming up, and a kinda-sorta-possible-it's-still-an-idea "sequel" for this. Check my profile for it.