Disclaimer: Guilford and Cornelia belong to each other. Code Geass belongs to SUNRISE, CLAMP, and other creators.

Summary: Cornelia witnesses what she believes is Guilford's betrayal and gets herself introduced to more hostile emotions.

Author's Notes:

Say hello to my attempt at better Cornelia characterization. ; A ; I must say I improved a bit, though. The story setting is post-canon. Enjoy! Read and review?


Through Blurry Glasses

So, was she not womanly enough?

Men—these are creatures Cornelia could not simply understand. For years, she has lived with many men, fought alongside them, and fought against them, even. There was also a time when she thought she could simply be like them, that she was closer to becoming a man than she was to becoming a woman (Euphy, however, told her otherwise, and Guilford, too, most especially). And yet, even endless years of exposure to men—in fact, she spent more time with them than with women—she could not understand why, at this time, she still could not figure them out. This man, the man standing a few meters away from her, the man who was facing another woman who—Cornelia suspected—was flirting with him, nonetheless!, the man who had been at Cornelia's side for many years now, the man, who Cornelia thought was the only one left there for her, the man Cornelia dubbed her Knight but was no more, was the same man whom, at a time, Cornelia trusted wholeheartedly. But witnessing this sight, Cornelia was starting to doubt everything about this man, and it puzzled her. How can one encounter completely change her opinion of him?

Cornelia doesn't know, and she has no intent to understand, either, at least that is what she tells herself, why she feels some kind of betrayal. She doesn't understand. Did Guilford betray her in some way? Why does she feel betrayed at this very moment?

She steps back, what used to be iron legs suddenly feels wobbly. She feels different: the heavy thing in her chest seems to emanate into other parts of her body. For a moment, she regrets that she has come here, that she went out from that office. If only she didn't leave that office which seemed to drown her with the scent of tracing paper, if only she didn't go out early to look for Guilford (in fact), then she would not have witnessed this event before her. What used to be the shocked, no, blank expression in her face is replaced by the crumpling of her forehead and the furrowing of her brow.

She wants to leave, to get this mole of a sight erased from her memory.

She moves her feet, and at that moment, she realizes that she has been holding her breath.

She blinks, quietly hoping that the moment she opens her eyes again, she would realize that it was simply a daydream, that it was simply some sort of trick played by her mind, that it was just a result of a rampage of hormones, or whatever scientific explanation there is for it. However, when she realizes that it wasn't, that it was reality in stone, she also realizes that it was the most disappointing sight she has encountered of this man. For years, she has only thought good of him, only the good things. He had never done anything that would change her opinion of him, and everything she thought about him never changed from the day she appointed him her Knight. Every single day that followed then, Cornelia got to know more of his good qualities. She must admit, that there were times when they had disagreements, but Guilford made it a point to compromise with her stubbornness. He had supported her in all her endeavors, even if he didn't completely agree with them. Cornelia could not help but become more amazed of his loyalty when she knew about the FLEIA incident. She felt relief that he had survived, pride of her own Knight's loyalty towards her, and flattery, that he had chosen her over his country. Cornelia wasn't sure if she felt something else, an emotion that she was not familiar with. In the end, she decided not to pursue it, because it made her feel uncomfortable. And for some reason, the same emotion starts to come back, as she sees the white teeth of the long-haired woman's pretentious smile.

"…"

She makes a disgruntled sound, as if to materialize the anger that has been growing in the pits of her stomach. She's angry—angry at Guilford, for doing this and disappointing her, for making her think bad things about him, and angry at herself, for getting angry for something so trivial, so unimportant. She also feels anger for the woman, for smiling at Guilford, for laughing, for talking to him, for simply being there. Cornelia doesn't understand the anger, and more so the other emotions that start to surface, so she chides herself, and turns her heels to walk away.

She no longer cares if Guilford hears the unmistakable click of her heels against the marble floor. She no longer cares if the 'couple' finds out that she has been looking at them. She no longer cares if somebody else sees her hands clenched at her sides, and her face a manifestation of the anger that lingers in her chest. She wants to stomp her feet, but that was so uncharacteristic of her that she pays the idea no mind. Instead, she takes a deep breath, and closes her eyes for a moment. She doesn't know where she is going, both physically and emotionally.

In a second, she stops on her feet, and realizes that she has not seen Guilford's expression at all. She has not looked at him; she has only looked at the woman. She needs to get a better hold of her feelings and a clearer mind. For some reason, she has been lacking both, especially the former, as if they had been eradicated together with the titles.

She wonders, sighs, and scolds herself.


Author's Notes:

What is happening to you, Cornelia?

Notice that some details of the 'sight' have not been stated. It is because it is in Cornelia's point of view. With her jealo—ah, I mean, anger, I doubt she would have seen everything with a clear mind in such a situation. If someone plans to make Guilford's point of view on this matter, then be my guest, or I would do it myself. LOL.