Series: Code Geass
Rating: R-ish; skating towards NC-17-ish
Archive: Fallen Icons, Onion Girls
Pairing: Suzaku x Lelouch, Suzaku + Euphemia, Lelouch + Euphemia
Warnings: Adult content. Angst, violence, lemon, yaoi. Fairy-tale references (see Tam Lin). Spoilers all the way up through episode 25. Written in the present tense, set post-episode 25.
Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass or any of its characters. They are the property of Bandai, CLAMP and all other copyright holders. I'm only playing in their sandbox. No profit is intended.
Summary: 'It's her skin his fist smashes into, knuckles so taunt that they crack as they meet Lelouch's skin. '
Thanks: To amet for giving this a once over when it needed it and her support. Also, sapphynashi for her constant encouragement.
Author’s Notes: This is my first Code Geass fan fiction. I've been meaning to write something for the series for some time now but I think I needed to see up through episode 25, rewatch it, and then gather my thoughts on a few things. I'm fairly sure I'll end up retconned as this is set after episode 25 but what can you do?
Anyway, this is my take on Suzaku and Lelouch and how that might work even after episode 25. Or not work. Or something in between even.
Also, given recent Livejournal events I'm going to lock this story down to the community so as to not cause any trouble due to ratings and content. Any errors or breaks in continuity are entirely my own fault.
crossposted to onion_girls, suzalulu, codegeass_fic
Monuments of Deceit
A Code Geass ficlet
It's her skin his fist smashes into, knuckles so taunt that they crack as they meet Lelouch's skin. He doesn't fly backward as Suzaku might secretly have hoped, teetering as the impact pushes him back a step but the traitor holds his ground against all odds and gravity.
Lelouch is slight despite broad shoulders, ones he knows to be sharp and bony beneath the wreck of his uniform. There's strength in his arms but it's not enough, too sculpted and without any power behind it to present a real threat. A good breeze should knock him down and against the gale force of Suzaku's rage, there's no chance at all.
Or there shouldn't be. Somehow, the traitor is holding his ground, arm raised to ward the next blow although he's holding his other arm closer than he'd probably like Suzaku to know. It's not broken, not yet but Suzaku can see that in his mind's eye, reaching out and taking him by the hand, the gesture without the softness of familiarity, knowing how Lelouch's palm will feel against his just before he crushes fine bone, taking care to exert enough force that the other boy can feel each splinter of bone. Lelouch has beautiful hands, elegant and slim, tapering fingers that were made to stroke and caress rather than simply touch. Her fingers had been like that, too.
Neither of them speak. There's no point now, not so far past the point of returning. Not when all secrets are finally laid bare and what stands between them is the blood of the one they killed together. It's his punishment. Suzaku understands that now. His punishment for being selfish and reaching for something so far above him that he might just as well have tried clawing for heaven itself. A punishment for believing the lie she told him, one in which he was a better man than he knew himself to be, for believing that the past could be undone and put away.
Blood can't be washed away, not with the water of false hope and now his demons are awake, singing and cavorting with each slam of his fists into Lelouch's body, crimson staining the traitor's lips as a particularly nasty right hook catches him just under his breastbone. He jerks and sways again, Suzaku with him, his arm going out to steady him, sliding under his arm and around him, listening to him cough and wheeze, warm breath coming in hot, wet bursts against his ear.
There's no elegance to this, no poetry. Suzaku doesn't expect it. This isn't a story; he's no knight, no hero. He's not even a man really, just something broken and scattered in so many pieces, the heart in his chest nothing more than a series of too steady beats that drums continuously in his ears, calling him to war.
They made her body their battlefield and Suzaku is little more than ash on her pyre, nothing more than intent, something else crawling beneath his skin now, without honor or regard, having already sacrificed everything just to come this far. She would hate him if she could see him now and maybe that's why he can't stop himself from hating her too, just a little. It stings and stings and he doesn't understand why he can't just /stop/, why the rage doesn't take him entirely and devour everything so that he feels nothing. So that he is nothing.
When his father – died, when he died, others came and they told him that he had done a good thing, taking him by the hand and patting his head, whispering soothing lies into his ear and Suzaku made those his lullaby. His mantra. He lived his life by those words, repeating them over and over in the awful silence of his mind until he could accept them. Millions could be sold a lie if it was presented just right; he could let himself believe he had done right by them, that despite the Elevens' degraded status within the empire, despite the rain of blood he could still see behind his eyes, he had done what was necessary. What no one else could do and it had changed him, changed his father who he came to revere for setting him on that path. He could help others, he /would/ help others and do what had to be done. The unselfish hero.
Euphemia had never seen through that lie. She had never known him at all. She never would. She would never look upon him with anything but loving, kind eyes, a princess frozen forever, her dying breath a new religion to follow and he its first martyr. It's the only truth he can cling to now, her death more tangible than those now skirting around him, the only thing he can see.
Except for Lelouch.
Who's laughing, Suzaku realizes, his hand digging in between Lelouch's shoulders, listening to joints pop and rewarded with a clogged gasp that sounds too much like a little giggle for comfort. He should throw him off; there are depths of pain yet to be explored and he knows from experience how much a sharp, sudden fall can take the breath from you, ribs jostled and cracked. Euphemia's death had been slow, courted by lingering shadows, the reedy imploring the only thing of her truly left in his mind. He can't see her face anymore, not as it had been. Just flashes, pieces of moments connected by the knowledge that he couldn't do /anything/, he couldn't save her, couldn't battle fate and offer her the protection of his body as a Knight did for his Lady. He could only hold onto her hand as she fought that last, most important battle herself and ultimately –
Lelouch's hands are stronger than Suzaku remembers, stronger than he gave them credit for as they grip his shoulders, angling his head back and there's blood there too, just as there had been on his – no, on Euphemia. He can't let himself think, can't let himself acknowledge that Euphemia had ever been Lelouch's, that there was any tie between them other than her death. He doesn't want the kinship that comes with it, the one he's always felt with Lelouch, so close they might just as well be two sides of a sword, sharpened to a hair's breath but always facing in different directions for all that they fit together.
"I loved her, too."
He doesn't want to hear it, can't let himself hear it because if it's true, if Lelouch loved her and still let her die then he's no better or worse than –
Suzaku himself, father-killer with the blood of the one who gave him life still thick in his nose, still burning the back of his throat after so long. He doesn't want to hear the truth of that statement wrung in irony and tipped with anguish, an emotion so deep that it could swallow the whole world. Lelouch is like that; placid on the surface, cool and remote but underneath all of that, there's a well, dark and untapped and bitter to the dregs. People think he feels nothing at all but Suzaku knows, /knew/…no, dammit, knows still, that he feels everything. He can't help it; the mind that can dream up phantasms of destruction and death, ideas that no human should come up with, also presenting him with the consequences of every action, knowing /his/ -- Lelouch considers them, tastes every thing that comes with those decisions, abstract and concrete.
And yet it doesn't stop him, not the way Suzaku wishes, not the way he hopes that it would himself if the tables were reversed.
That's the worst part, Suzaku decides, the not knowing, not knowing oneself though sometimes, when he lets himself admit it, he thinks he knows himself better than he wants.
The last time they were face to face, each was staring down the barrel of the other's gun, death with and between them and it's no different now. Except that it is different, everything is different now. Lelouch's smile is wet with blood and tears, puffy, split lips twisted in a painful smile, laughing at Suzaku and he can't stop himself, hands burying in the front of his -- the traitor's (betrayed, Lelouch betrayed him and her and everyone) shirt, shaking him, startled when Lelouch doesn't fight back, hands closing around his wrists but not stopping him.
He doesn't understand why he isn't fighting back. All Lelouch has ever done is struggle, claw and fight and survive. He has to know Suzaku is going to kill him that he's not going to survive this encounter. He has to realize that just because he's trembling that – that –
Lelouch's hands squeeze his wrists and he realizes it's not Lelouch who's trembling. Not Lelouch who's afraid, Suzaku's unsteady grip pulling him closer and closer until Lelouch's nose brushes against the top of his head. One of those hands holding him let's go, finding the back of his neck until everything twists again, the world twists and it's Lelouch who is holding onto him, arms around his back as Suzaku howls, trying to fight. Fight this, fight himself, and just how much he wants to go back. It's a child's wish, to want the past, to want to undo it and wish for things to have never happened. A man accepts and moves on, he strives to change or hold the line but he doesn't wish for impossible things.
A soldier doesn't cry, doesn't crumble, but all Suzaku can feel is the ground falling out from underneath him, tears drying into hysterical breaths, eyes hot and aching, gasping as he just tries to catch his breath. Lelouch is stronger for once, swaying with the force of his movements instead of falling, not speaking. Just breathing and it's so steady that Suzaku envies that, feeling as if he hasn't drawn a true breath since Euphemia's death, since learning of Lelouch's betrayal of them all. He lost them both that day and if he can be honest with himself for one moment, just this one moment, he doesn't know which loss hurts more.
His pistol is at his side and Suzaku reaches for it, lets the barrel dig underneath Lelouch's chin, lifting his head as it pushes upward. There's resignation and amusement in those dark eyes, asking without words What are you waiting for?
Suzaku wishes he knew. His finger tightens on the trigger, pulling it close and able to see so clearly in his mind what will happen when he does, a hot showering of blood and pulp against his skin. Will Lelouch's body fall heavily against his or will it be light? He knows all the variables; he's been trained to know them and yet Suzaku still surprised when he finds himself rising, mouth rough against Lelouch's as he claims it, tastes fresh blood there. Lelouch is surprised for once, Suzaku can see a strip of violet rolling downward towards the gun barrel and then up to Suzaku's before he just – melts, lips parting and kisses just as greedy.
Euphemia was soft, pale perfumed skin and demure candy kisses, the barest touch of proper lips against his. There are no curves to Lelouch's body, no softness; Lelouch is rangy and sharp, tasting of sweat and violence and gunpowder. He kisses with the same ferocity he throws at everything that matters to him, refusing to give an inch, uncaring of the gun now loosely between them as his hands close around Suzaku's face, nails cutting into his skin. They stumble and Suzaku finds himself angling until Lelouch huffs against him, nearly biting his tongue as the other boy's back hits a nearby rock wall. It probably hurts and neither of them care that it does, kisses becoming more violent, teeth closing on lips, tongues brushing again and then again, wringing wet little noises but from which one of them Suzaku's too far gone to tell.
With Euphemia it would have been gentler, Suzaku reining himself in so as not to frighten her, slow coaxing touches in silk sheets. There would have been whispers of reassurance when they reached for each other and beyond that, Suzaku can't see, going only so far before it only seems – profane. That he might sully her with a stray thought, tarnish even now the girlish figure that's torn in a breathless second, laughing bright eyes and a heavy, slippery body in his arms. He's not a proper knight and there was always something vaguely unreal about the Princess, something that stripped of her face and personality, a goddess he could worship and fight for, the very human girl underneath lost on that pedestal.
This is real. It's real and it's wrong. Suzaku knows it's wrong and he can't stop because it's something he needs, something he's always needed and wanted. There's freedom here, constraints stripped away to nothing more than two bodies fumbling together, trying to find the right place to put themselves. There's a freedom in knowing he can't frighten Lelouch, that Lelouch knows him, understands him and there's nothing to hold back now for fear of rejection because – Lelouch is just as bad. Suzaku laughs unsteadily, nipping at the corner of Lelouch's mouth, hysteria bubbling deep in his chest as his gun is tossed away, nerveless fingers buried in the clasp of that ridiculous uniform Lelouch is wearing. Nimble fingers are already working at his flight suit, the mechanical hiss of a lowering zipper loud in his ears, the cloak falling around them as Suzaku lifts Lelouch, settling him against the wall, the other's knees holding to Suzaku's hips.
Lelouch is tousled, bruised and bloodied, smiling down at him like some ancient war god, firelight reflected in his eyes, soft touches (had her fingers been this soft?) tracing Suzaku's face, murmuring, "Tam Lin."
He doesn't understand, shaking his head, the tenderness in those two words sending a shiver through him, fury still there underneath, transmuting into something else, his voice hoarse when he speaks, "What?"
Balancing his weight on Suzaku's shoulders, Lelouch begins to rock against him, Suzaku nearly dropping him at the first rub of their arousals against each other, clothing providing friction and frustration and having to adjust Lelouch's weight as gravity helps, a slippery coil of movement that doesn't end.
"Janet," Lelouch is gasping, a strange foreign name harsh from his lips, Suzaku feeling beads of sweat break out on the back of his neck and forehead even as he strives to pay attention. "Is it like that? Will you hold to me, no matter what shape I take? Like I held to you?"
Suzaku finds himself at a loss, ready to dismiss the babbling as nothing more than nonsense, an attempt by Lelouch to distract him for – some irritating purpose. Lelouch never does anything by halves or without a reason. This knowledge isn't helped by the mad, indecipherable and oddly intent look Lelouch gives him, lids lowering as those thin lips part, the pink of a tongue visible against them. Maybe Lelouch is trying to drive him mad, put a finish on the job he's already started and Suzaku has to admit he's making a pretty good go of things.
He had wanted to save Euphemia, had wanted to give her the world she longed to create, and failing that, take his hatred and make it a weapon against the one who had robbed her of that chance. But after that – He couldn't see. What he would do with himself, if he would do anything at all. Before meeting Lelouch again, he had just – stagnated, drifting until that chance meeting had thrown them together. After that, things had begun happening the way they tended to around Lelouch. Being at Ashford Academy with Lelouch and Nunnally, having the best of both worlds, student and soldier … Those had been among the happiest moments of his life. Losing that had been almost as painful as watching Euphemia and all her promise die.
He wants to kill Lelouch for that but he wonders if in the seconds after that he won't be shoving the barrel of his gun in his mouth. Maybe if the others can get to him in time, he'll be soothed by their lies, can fool himself again into believing that he's the hero who's slain the monster, no princess in sight but a kingdom saved.
No story has ever touched him like this, no words have hurt as much as the ones he's just heard, knowing what Euphemia would want him to do, baring his teeth and growling low in the back of his throat, pressing a hand against the base of Lelouch's spine. It doesn't take much to fall into the other's rhythm, the warm ache in the pit of his stomach flaring, sending hot cascades of sensation through his muscles. Lelouch's breath drifts against his lips, light kisses searing as they touch his skin. He can feel everything, every touch, every movement. It's hot and it's fast, straining towards a common goal rather than pulling away, Lelouch's hips bony as they dig into his, erections painful as they rub together, faster and harder with each slip-slide of their bodes. Suzaku tips his head back, Lelouch reclaiming his mouth and there's no hesitation there, no fear, just a clarity that he can't face yet, letting his tongue be courted and coaxed, the urgency there without the brutality. This is life, life touched by death but life nonetheless and he wants powerfully nothing more than to live, than this moment to stretch outward forever. It's messy and sweet and he can feel tears sting the back of his eyes, Lelouch's damp hair soft as it brushes his cheek.
There's not a lot he can do except hold on, Lelouch the one with the control here as much as Suzaku tries to help him along. The angle's not so good for that and all he can really do is shudder and tremble as Lelouch dips up and down against him, a rush that leaves him nearly undone with each crest. That breathless feeling hasn't disappeared; if anything, it's intensified and there's this knot in chest that's growing tighter as his eyes follow Lelouch. He's nothing like the person Suzaku thought he knew and yet he can see that boy in certain angles, closing his eyes as Lelouch cups the back of his head and kisses him like he can't stop. Nothing can stop this now and there's something comforting in that surrender, in turning himself over to the storm he's become, letting what will, happen. Letting what should have -- No, better to think of now, the only future they'll ever have.
Grinding against someone isn't the easiest or most elegant way to get off but the desperation of the act is more than enough, his hips jerking upward as best as he can, hands kneading the skin he can find, wishing he'd thought to rip more of Lelouch's clothing away in their earlier fight. It would have been convenient if nothing else. Things have gone too far to stop for that now, Lelouch speaking again but it's sounds suspiciously like his name, over and over, sometimes a breathy exclamation, the next moment more of a growl and Suzaku is fascinated by each one, savoring what he can, as fast as he can, feeling his legs starting to give out, sparks of quivery warmth shooting through them, body tightening and tightening until –
-- he feels himself come apart, Lelouch's skin burning against his, no longer glacial, no longer untouched but real and writhing, a contained bonfire in his grasp, breathing whimpers into Suzaku's waiting mouth, nails scratching down the arms of his loosened suit, nicking skin when it manages to hit the right tear of fabric.
They both laugh when he finally topples on unsteady legs, Suzaku tasting sand and salt air, two things he thinks he'll always associate with freedom now, with unspoken truths, when Lelouch creeps up the length of his body as if it's all right. Suzaku does nothing to dissuade him, petting hands over his hair and face, needing the reassurance of what he's seeing and feeling, the kiss Lelouch places against his palm burning just before he bites down.
It would take nothing to reach up and break his neck, one twist to lay Euphemia's ghost to rest and end everything.
It takes one kiss to shatter that resolve completely.
It's the words he comes back to later, the ones woven in a spell of skin and sex, Suzaku shivering as he passes a hand over his arm in the darkness. The computer is warm on his lap but it's no substitute for a weight he can't put out of his mind, one that fits just right into the crook of his arm, the curve of his body. A weight he can wrap around and claim as his own, a taste in the back of his throat that's salty and oddly sweet and he knows is Lelouch. It's been nearly a week since they parted, since Zero disappeared again, this time with nary a word, Suzaku waking to find his gun laid carefully beside him on the beach they'd both been stranded. Several teams had swept and re-swept the island with all the surveillance equipment the Britannian army can muster but it's no good. He could have told them that. Lelouch wouldn't let himself be caught, certainly not by some low level tech with too much ego and a gun.
Once he would have said Lelouch would never let himself be caught by anyone but now, in the dark, with nothing but the words he can't help but stare at searing themselves into his brain, he's not so sure.
It's Tam Lin, a ballad from the home Lelouch has renounced, a fairy story that's unique to that one place in the world and has since been sung and retold, sometimes beyond recognition. The core remains though. Suzaku has never heard it before and now he's not sure he can ever forget.
Will you hold to me, no matter what shape I take?
Janet, Lelouch had said. Had called him though Suzaku hadn't understood then. Janet had loved Tam Lin, a man captured by the Queen of Fairy and meant to be a sacrifice. Between them, a pact had been made, Tam Lin warning her that if she wished to rescue him, she would have to pull him from the horse and hold to him, that his captors would do all in their power to frighten her, making him change into shape after horrific shape. To win Tam Lin, Janet had to be true, had to believe that what she held in her arms was the one she loved, that despite the horrible shapes that attempted to squirm from her grip the core remained.
Like I held to you.
There's a message here, somewhere deep within a weave of lies and head games, a truth but Suzaku isn't sure if he can follow it, if he can blindly trust anymore. His heart isn't dead anymore but it's now become a battlefield and what will emerge, he can't say. He – wants Lelouch, thinks perhaps he might love as deeply as he hated and hates himself for that, knowing that he's as much a traitor to Euphemia now as her brother.
Will you hold to me…
It's too much to sort out. It has been and he thinks maybe it will continue to be. At least until he meets with Lelouch again, until he can judge for himself which of these feelings is truth. Suzaku closes his computer, laying it aside as he stands, taking the short distance to the porthole and eyeing the snaking of rainwater down the sides of the ship, light flaring in the distance against steel skies. There's a storm out there, coming up faster with each passing second, one he can feel echoed by the restlessness inside himself, the memory of maddened eyes and mocking laughter he can't dismiss.
He's as much of a traitor as Lelouch but exactly who he's betraying Suzaku can no longer say.