And I'm back, sorry for taking so long but I've been really busy with school work and such, anyway this is a short chapter next one will be longer, please review.

So about the alternate route for this story, you know with the rebellion, I will be doing that once I finish this story, one this story is complete the rebellion of the peaches will be born... ok that's a bad name for the story, if you guys have any suggestions on how the rebellion story should be called tell me.

Lihua shook her head. What was wrong with her? It was Lelouch's first night here, and she was already embarrassing herself. She couldn't stop staring at him. No matter how hard she tried, her eyes always found their way back to him, several times now, he had had to call her multiple times because she wasn't paying attention. What was happening to her? Had she not learned to put a poker face in front of politicians? Why was she having trouble with him?

"Lihua!" he called.

'Damn it, not again.' thought Lihua in distress, as she was once again pulled out of her thoughts.

"Yes?" she tried to answer without blushing, it was an utter failure.

Lelouch smiled, that smile that seemed so hypnotic to Lihua. paired with his eyes, she could drown in them.

"Lihua!" she heard again.

'Damn it, why is this happening to me?' She blushed yet again.

"Sorry, I'm just so happy you're back that I can't help but wander off." she said, trying to put that politician voice she had become so adept at using, only for it to come out like a half stuttered whimper.

Lelouch smiled again.

'Damn that smile.'

"It's okay, I'm happy to see you as well, but I do wonder, where is Kaguya? I haven't seen her since I arrived." asked Lelouch, taking a bit of food and putting it in his mouth.

'Oh, you want to see her.' she thought with sadness.

"She needed a change of clothes." she told him, her voice devoid of emotion. In truth, she didn't know why Kaguya needed a change of clothes, she thought she looked beautiful in that dress she was wearing earlier. She glanced at Lelouch again. Did he think that Kaguya was beautiful?

That possibility bothered her.

She quickly changed the course of the conversation, not wanting to dwell on Kaguya. "Anyway, what happened to Jeremiah?"

Lelouch visibly stiffened and muttered something incomprehensible.

"Come again?" she asked, surprised, it wasn't like Lelouch to avoid questions.

He muttered something again, this time she made out the word "attack", which instantly alarmed her.

"Attack? What attack!? Lelouch, tell me everything!" she demanded in a commanding, imperative voice she only used on the bureaucrats. A voice that she had seemingly pulled out of nowhere, because not even she knew where it came from.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah stood unobtrusively in a corner of the room, trying to hold in a chuckle that came from seeing Lelouch's face.

He had a dumbfounded expression on his face, a noodle hung loosely from his mouth, and his eyes carried a glint of fear in them. He quickly gulped and accepted defeat.

"There was an attempt on my life and other royals by terrorists. Our dear Orange here took a rocket to the face protecting me." he said, still appearing a bit fearful of the Empress's wrath.

The Tianzi turned towards the knight that was still struggling to hold in laughter, his lip twitching, "Thank you for saving my friend. I'm in your debt." said Lihua, deadly serious.

"It was nothing but my duty, My Lady. Please don't concern yourself with it." he struggled to get out, his eyes glinting.

Lihua nodded and inspected him for a second. Suddenly. a devious smirk graced her lips "You may laugh, Jeremiah."

"Thank you, My Lady." he said, before his booming laughter filled the room.

"Gottwald, don't you dare mock me." said Lelouch's aristocratic side.

"Let him, he's earned it. Besides, this is your punishment." said Lihua casually.

Lelouch looked at her in bewilderment "For what?"

"Not telling me about the attack in our letters." she stated calmly, taking a sip from her drink, but inside she was going nuts at the sudden boost of attention she got from the teen sitting in front of her.

"I was trying not to worry you." reproached Lellouch.

"Oh, so you think it's a better strategy to show up with a half-man-half-machine Jeremiah at my doorstep?" She said sarcastically.

He huffed and was about to say something else, when suddenly his eyes widened in shock. Lihua turned around to see what Lelouch was so impressed with.

She didn't like it one bit.

Behind her stood Kaguya with a rather revealing dress.

Lelouch, being Lelouch, regained his composure pretty quickly

"Hello." said Kaguya cherly.

She moved towards the table and sat very near to Lelouch, far too near for Lihua's liking.

An unspoken tension spread over the room. Nobody mentioned it, but everyone felt it. However it wasn't overpowering, they were still having fun, talking about things and telling stories. It was like this nagging feeling you have in the back of your head, one that is strong enough for you to notice, but you can ignore it with outstanding efficiency all the same.

There were some moments when this tension peaked, such as the time when Lelouch started to cough uncontrollably, or the staring contest between Lihua and Kaguya that seemed to last an eternity when in reality it was only five seconds.

Conversation was carried through the meal nonetheless, even though Kaguya steered the conversation into Lelouch's direction every chance she got. It would have created some fun and memorable moments that Lihua would remember her whole life, if it wasn't for what happened next, something that eclipsed the rest of dinner.

It was near midnight, and uncomfortable silence reigned in the room The reason, Kaguya was latched to Lelouch's arm, the conversation that had gotten them in that position already forgotten due to the "delicate" position they were in. Kaguya had a coy smile on her face, while Lelouch and Lihua were both trying to control themselves.

Luckily, Lelouch was saved by the bell, quite literally.

The tension dissipated when his phone rang. He quickly picked it up and answered.

"Not now, Shirley."

He hung up almost instantly. "Well..." he said, stretching his arms and freeing himself from Kaguya's grip, "It's been a long day and I'm tired from my trip, so if you'll excuse me, I'll retire to my quarters." he said, standing up.

Before he could stand up, Kaguya suddenly kissed him on the cheek "Good night, Lelouch." she said with a sweet voice.

Lelouch just nodded and made his way out, with Jeremiah following closely behind him.

"Lelouch!" Lihua's hand lashed out, grabbing him by the wrist and stopping him. His eyes turned back, boring into her and nearly sending her into a catatonic state.

She hesitated, she didn't know what to do, she didn't know why she stopped him. She was going to say something, but quickly closed her mouth. She leaned in, but quickly shot back. She stayed still for a few seconds, locked in place, hesitantly moving her mouth or her body before correcting herself and going back to her original position. At last, she stared at the floor and releasing Lelouch's hand she said.

"Good night, Lelouch."

He gave her a slightly confused look, then nodded and continued on his merry way with Jeremiah behind him.

Lelouch fist hits the wall as he scoffed in frustration.

He walked around the room a couple of times, before stopping in his tracks and looking at his hands 'What the hell was that? What happened?' he didn't know, but he felt powerless and he hated that.

He hadn't felt as powerless ever since…

He violently shook his head, wanting to make those unwanted thoughts disappear, to no avail.

"What the hell is this? What's happening to me?" he voiced his thoughts.

"Hormones, maybe?" responded Jeremiah with a slight tone of worry in his voice.

"No that's not it. Hormones are a bodily response, something I can control, I must have control!

If I lose control of myself, or the situation, if I don't know all the variables, if I don't have the power, then… then…"

Jeremiah saw Lelouch's eyes widen with fear, a perfect illustration of what was happening, Lelouch was afraid.

"No! I cannot allow that to happen here, I must… I must…"

Jeremiah walked closer to the troubled teen, he had vowed to protect him… even from himself.

"My Lord, if I may? I think you are just tired. You had a long trip, and a long dinner after it, plus the date you had with Lady Shirley just before we left."

The price stood there for a few seconds, "Don't speak of her in that way, she isn't like any of those… cunts."

Jeremiah raised an eyebrow, it wasn't often he heard the Prince swear.

"Nevertheless, you are right, Jeremiah. It's been a tiring day, and both of us should get some rest. You are dismissed, and free to do whatever you like until further notice."

Jeremiah bowed "There is nothing I would rather do but protect you, My Lord."

The violet eyed boy turned to face him, examining him for a few moments "Very well. Do what you wish, just be sure to get some sleep."

Jeremiah bowed yet again and proceed to make it out of the room, ready to stand guard outside for as long as he needed to.

Lihua laid in her, bed deep in thought.

What was happening to her?

It didn't matter that he was back. Well, it did. He was finally back, it filled her with uncontrollable joy. She reached beneath her pillow and pulled out the photo he had left three years past. She let a squeal of delight leave her lips when she realized once again, he was back.

She just couldn't help it, she was so happy that he was back.

And he was really handsome too. She blushed profusely at the thought, but it was true. During dinner, she couldn't take her eyes of him, and every time he gave her that smile, she would feel herself getting lost in it.

She had a warm fuzzy feeling coursing through her body whenever she thought about that. Well, when she thought about him, to be more precise. Every time she thought about him now, she just wanted to snuggle up to him and bury her face in his che- a pillow.

Who was she kidding? There was definitely something wrong with her, but in truth, she didn't really care. She was happy, he was here, and that's all that mattered.

True to Jeremiah's word, the next day was rather relaxing. The tension seemed to disappear completely, and both Lihua and Lelouch were the happiest they've been in months, perhaps years. Even Kaguya stopped her advances at Lelouch, opting for a seat next to Lihua today.

"So, Rivalz, being an idiot, decided that it was a good idea to get Milly's heart by standing outside her house and playing some romantic music. Anyway, he didn't have a boombox, so he used his laptop instead. The only problem being that when he started to play the music, he misclicked and what went through the speakers was some rather 'sensitive' material" Lelouch finished his story and took a sip of tea.

Kaguya, who instantly understand started laughing, while Lihua just sat there with a confused look on her face.

"I don't get it." she said cautiously, feeling a bit embarrassed.

Kaguya turned her head towards Lihua and started laughing harder.

Lihua turned to Lelouch and asked "What?"

He turned his head, avoiding her gaze "It's better if you don't understand it for now."

Lihua pouted but didn't complain, she knew it was almost impossible to get something out from Lelouch that he didn't want you to know.

"Anyway," started Lihua backing down "How is Nunnally? I forgot to ask last night."

"She's fine, thanks for asking." he said abruptly, startling Lihua.

Lihua was going to ask what was wrong, but before she got a chance, she was interrupted by Xingke.

"My Tianzi, there is a meeting that requires your assistance." he told her, putting a hand on her shoulder.

She glanced up at him, then nodded. "Well, I'll be off, then." Kaguya spoke up, "Have fun in your boring meeting." she said, standing up and dashing for the entrance "Lelouch, aren't you coming?" she asked once she was almost at the entrance, hoping to get some alone time with the Prince.

"Sorry, Kaguya, but I also have matters to attend to. See you at dinner." he casually told her.

She nodded, then shrugged and made her way out.

Once Kaguya was out of hearing distance, Lihua spoke up "I'm assuming you wish to attend the meeting."

"You assume correctly, my dear Empress." he responded, making Lihua blush a little.

"Well, I had foreseen such an event and ordered this." she spoke, gesturing at Xingke, who moved closer with a box in his hands.

Lelouch took it, cautiously opening it.

Inside, there was a black mask with a purple visor and hawk like features. He took it out to examine it more closely.

Lihua answered the unasked question "The group has grown since you've left, and not many of them are fond of Britannians. I'm sorry, but we can't afford division within our lines at this point in time."

"It's quite alright, I was thinking the same thing." Lelouch took one last good look at the mask "A wise decision." he turned it and slowly brought it to his face, putting it on.

"A wise decision indeed." said Zero.

Hope you enjoyed it please review and tell me what you think.