Ambiguous

BY : escapeasy
Category: +. to F > Code Geass
Dragon prints: 951
Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining/related to Code Geass and I’m not making any profit from this work.

Time to get reconnected with the crackier roots of this story…


"…Let me tell you something about Bat Man, ok? He's the same as the rest of these guys around here; they're afraid of women. They're afraid of the almighty uterus! ALMIGHTY UTERUS!" Wonder Woman from Robot Chicken

•-•-•-•-•-•-7

Ambiguous

The Difference between Boys and Girls

Everything is too calm.

Lelouch doesn't know if he's harboring a healthy suspicion or if paranoia is trying to sabotage the peace – the quiet before the (possible) storm.

As far as the home front is concerned, he can't find reason to complain. Suzaku has eased on the Zero issue, probably because now all he can seem to think about is the baby, which Lelouch doesn't mind. Admittedly, even Lelouch has caught himself floating away on daydreams every now and then, but Suzaku is much more distracted… and that actually worries Lelouch a little because being spacey is that last thing Suzaku needs to be. It's almost like he's turning into a walking cliché of a pregnant mother – Lelouch is just waiting for the days riddled with stomach-turning food cravings and nausea, which will probably strike in that order. Overall, the pregnancy is treating Suzaku well, and Lelouch couldn't ask for anything more.

Nunnally has begun to perk up noticeably now that Lelouch is devoting more and more time to her, mostly in the evenings. They eat dinner together daily now, a ritual that has been suffering since Zero's birth, and he puts her to bed each night. The time isn't terribly long, but every second is used to catch up, to listen to Nunnally as she happily chatters like a spring-time bird, and Lelouch is feeling less and less stressed. Suzaku is even beginning to come home early enough to dine with them due to the Zone work finally falling into a manageable rhythm.

The daytime is still filled with school, club duties, and Zero, but even that is starting to balance itself out better now that his studious pupil, Ohgi, is showing more self-confidence and picking up more slack. Lelouch knew he'd made the right choice to make the man his second in command; he has a good heart, all he needed was to be given the chance, to learn the trade of politics, to find that inner strength in order to become a true leader, and he has only continued to grow even if in the smallest ways. He's on the road to out-growing Zero and letting Japan have a new hope to rely on, which is a destination that might be closer than it is far…

Even Britannia is still behaving itself in this whole affair, suspiciously so, but behaved nonetheless. Since their little debacle, China has been like a sleeping giant, one Lelouch is keeping a very close eye on, but perhaps they're just waiting to see what really comes of the Special Administrated Zone like the rest of the watching world.

…But all this goodness only drives Lelouch's danger senses wild.

The Universe has never been this kind to him, so that must mean it's planning something.

Lelouch's first taste of impending doom is one evening early on the Friday after Halloween when Milly sends him a suspicious text concerning an emergency student council meeting (without any real sense of urgency, as far as he could tell) and that he needed to bring Suzaku along…

•-•

"SURPRISE!"

—Is the ear-splitting greeting Lelouch and Suzaku are subjected to upon entering the student council room. Pops of confetti fill the air in an excited frenzy as pastel pink and blue balloons lazily sway around the room with a banner hanging happily across the windows, apparently congratulating someone. There is a cake on the table with decorations on it that Lelouch can't quite see and a stuffed bear of some kind beside it… All he can seem to comprehend is the horrendous gleam oozing from every pore of Milly's face as she shows every tooth in her giant, giddy smile.

So, Lelouch was mistaken.

It wasn't the Universe that was teasing his paranoia.

If anything, it was his Milly sense that was tingling!

He certainly thought it possible that she'd get some revenge on him for his Halloween stunt, but he didn't imagine anything like this…

He doesn't even understand what this is.

"What's going on?" he hears Suzaku ask without any caution weighing down the delighted surprise prancing on his words. Lelouch quickly notes all the smiling faces of those who call themselves his friends – only Nina looks disgruntled, but more so than usual… Nunnally is even here, beaming, but that smile isn't as soothing as it should be for the innately wary boy – all it does it is intensify the churning sense of danger in his gut.

"A surprise baby shower!" Milly exclaims, brimming with pride that shocks Lelouch like a lightning bolt, temporarily short-circuiting the part of his brain needed to react to this moment with blinding bluntness he should have seen coming.

Of course.

A surprise baby shower.

.

.

.

~…System reboot…

~…Threat detected—

~DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

Lelouch opens his mouth to—

"How did you know I was pregnant?"

—That's not what Lelouch was going to say, but thanks, Suzaku.

Lelouch wasn't about to defuse the situation, or anything productively preventative like that.

It isn't like Lelouch is good at that sort of thing.

…Suzaku really pounced right on that one, didn't he?

Is there anything his mouth can't spill?

Didn't Lelouch tell Suzaku to work on that?

Britannia should hope Suzaku never get's captured by enemies because he'd probably spill every secret without even being asked to!

(And the Idiot Award goes to… Suzaku!

Like there was even a competition…)

Lelouch can't even catch up to the stupidity fast enough, but when he painstakingly pulls himself up from the verbal slap of Suzaku's confession, he notices a peculiar frame over everyone's faces, as if they're not sure if it's a joke or not…

For the love of God, let the pregnancy be a joke for once. That's all Lelouch is asking for – since he can only seem to cringe as Milly's jolly chuckling steals his chance to speak—

"You can't be serious," she says with a smirking huff and playful flap of her hand.

The dooming redness torching Suzaku's face causes her to double-take with a skeptical twist of her features while everyone else's smiles finally wane.

Suzaku is overly honest even when he doesn't speak.

It must be impossible to wash the stupid off of his face.

Milly realizes that Suzaku couldn't be more serious and Lelouch begins to leak nervous sweat – why is this room so hot? It bakes a lump in his throat so large it's almost as if he's having an allergic reaction (…to the sheer idiocy?), and now he can't find his voice like some socially inept outcast.

"…So Miss Euphemia isn't the one who's pregnant?" Shirley asks quietly, her voice wavering with confusion that rolls over Lelouch's skin like a blizzard.

Suzaku avoids eye-contact as the mortified flush consumes his face during everyone's stifling silence, their brains struggling to comprehend the situation. Lelouch is struggling to understand why he's just standing here while Suzaku – his partner – is burying himself with every word he doesn't speak. It almost feels like a defense mechanism he can't control, an attachment to his brain through years of remaining as invisible as possible without suspicion, especially in moments of public revelations. Lelouch would probably, normally, use moments like these to his advantage for escape, but he can't – and won't – do that to Suzaku. He loves the idiot enough to accept idiocy… However, there isn't much Lelouch can say now to salvage the situation with his attempts sounding like an obvious lie, and trying to just play this off as some kind of joke or misunderstanding would never work… even if their friends were nice enough to play along, and if they didn't already know half the story. The joke angle is a sad excuse for cover-up story.

Though, it is a tempting dream…

And, obviously, Geass is out of the question.

Milly's brow crosses with confusion, "Well don't tell me Euphemia is the father!" she utters incredulously and a bit more seriously than is appropriate from her words.

The seahorse is beyond any ability to speak with hunched shoulders and eyes stuck to the floor as if wishing it is an ocean that would swallow him whole… Lelouch doesn't want to, but he can't leave Suzaku to suffer this alone – and it's not like there's any value left in keeping things a secret now that everyone knows he's pregnant.

The most intelligent of the pair slowly steps towards his dimwitted pal, feeling his body boil with nerves and steels his face to remain emotionless as he wraps his arm around Suzaku's waist.

"No, she isn't."

Honesty… kind of really sucks, doesn't it?

•-•

"…I still don't understand why you assumed Suzaku was the one expecting a baby just because he retrieved the book," Lelouch languidly says to Milly at his left, sitting to Suzaku's left at the head of the table in the "daddy" chair signified by a blue balloon, Suzaku of course is in the "mommy" chair indicated with a pink balloon they had to quickly attach. "He could have been picking up the book for a friend."

Milly was gracious enough to explain herself, and her reasoning is easy enough to follow… but it seems like she jumped to too many conclusions all on her own, like she let her imagination get the better of her (although the truth is exponentially more fanciful). The connection between Suzaku and Euphemia is pretty solid, and the sudden resignation of her title points to some secret scandal, but there aren't any facts to support this theory, which is pretty typical. Milly even revealed she didn't involve Lelouch in the "surprise baby shower" because she thought he would spill the beans, intentionally or not.

Turns out Suzaku is the only one to do anything like that.

Thankfully, no one asked when Lelouch and Suzaku were planning on sharing the big news… or how it happened.

Even their relationship is self-explanatory, for the time being.

"Thank you!" Rivalz exasperatedly utters from beside Milly with his hands thrown up in the air. "That's exactly what I've been saying!"

Milly ignores him, looking only at Lelouch.

"What friend?" to her credit, she honestly tries not to laugh, just not very hard – the fact that she's unafraid to jeer while within his reach is insulting. "All that was left was you and I highly doubt you'd get a girl pregnant."

There's a bit of a sting to that remark – did she think Lelouch was incapable because she suspected his sexuality or because he simply doesn't have the skill?

Well, he totally has the skill.

So… in her face.

"You're right about that, at least. I didn't get a girl pregnant." Lelouch smirks, hooking an arm around Suzaku's waist with a promiscuous pull to bring him closer, making said boy blush a little as he pokes his fork at the small slice of cake Lelouch allowed him (because it's nothing but sugar!), trying to shake off Lelouch as if he hasn't heard a word.

"How did you even find out that you're gonna have a baby?" Rivalz asks, his puzzlement clearly connected in his voice.

That's a fair question.

"Oh, well, random drug test," Suzaku answers, clearly unsure how much he really needs to embellish.

"They can tell that from a drug test?" the blue-haired boy swoops in with another stupefied question, amazement stretching open his eyes.

"How do you think at-home pregnancy tests work?" Lelouch teases with a mild quirk of his lips. "They're both urine tests."

Rivalz's mouth drops open like a fish, thinking of a response, and then it shuts with a coy smile as he laughs at his own lack of thought.

"So, then…" Shirley timidly dips her toe into the conversation, perched beside Suzaku, "how far are you? Or, you know, how old is the baby?"

"Um…" Suzaku's leafy eyes flutter around as he mentally counts the weeks, his gaze falling to Lelouch in either uncertainty or fear of giving the wrong answer – if only Suzaku would check with Lelouch more often before speaking.

"Eleven weeks," Lelouch suavely answers for his absentminded partner, as self-satisfied as a cat with its mangled dinner.

"Only eleven weeks?" Nunnally playfully whines between Lelouch and Milly. "I'm ready to be an auntie now! Why do I have to wait so long?"

Lelouch chuckles warmly, light and fluffy spurts in his throat, and he momentarily grasps her hand.

"That's right!" Suzaku abruptly bursts like a popped balloon. "We have ultrasound images of the baby; does anyone want to see them?" Suzaku has apparently forgotten that Nunnally is blind, but everyone is polite enough – or smart enough – to not question how he drew this connection from what Nunnally just said.

Lelouch knows Suzaku didn't mean anything by it and that Nunnally has taken no offense.

Suzaku's just an idiot, after all.

"Ultrasound?" Kallen asks, looking less ill than she normally tries to as she slouches at Shirley's right.

"You mean from a doctor?" the orange-haired girl questions, insultingly confused.

Suzaku's excitement falters, "Uh…"

"Yes, who else?" Lelouch answers with his nose turned up just slightly. "I know this situation is strange, but we're not so careless that we'd go through this without professional help just because this is abnormal. What kind of parents would that make us?"

Milly is grinning, "No one was trying to insult you, Vice Prez. The idea of two boys going to prenatal visits is like asking everyone to notice the two of you. Not to mention Suzaku is well-known now."

Suzaku simpers, "Well, we're discreet about it, if that's what you're trying to say."

"Discreet?" Rivalz tilts his head.

Once again, Suzaku's mouth is empty – why couldn't he have been like this earlier?

"He wears a disguise," Lelouch simply explains.

"Disguise?" Rivalz asks.

"Just like Milly said, two guys can't walk into that kind of doctor visit without getting noticed. In order to avoid unwanted attention, we don't go as two boys." Pink is already climbing up Suzaku's cheeks, but Lelouch is complacently smirking to himself, looking at his fair lady with an unbridled glimmer.

"Don't tell me…!" Milly nearly gasps with excitement.

"Suzaku dresses as a girl." Lelouch should probably feel guilty about how much it pleases him to see the feared Lancelot pilot shrink into himself and redden like a ripe apple, but he isn't.

"I knew it!" Milly ecstatically exclaims, hungrily leaning over the table towards Suzaku from her seat. "You really have a thing for women's clothes, don't you?"

"It's not a thing!" Suzaku squawks, looking like a little ruffled red bird. "It's just…"

"But you said you thought it was fun before." Milly gladly recalls the past – once again, Suzaku is done in by his own mouth, only it's past comments this time.

"That's…!" Suzaku can't wriggle out of this, and he apparently knows it because he shrivels into himself all over again with hot embarrassment colouring his face and incomprehensible mutters dribbling from his lips.

Lelouch affectionately rubs the humiliation into Suzaku's back, "He goes by Suzie, and so far no one has recognized him."

"Now it makes sense…" Nunnally suddenly speaks, her soft face hardened slightly by reflection. "Alice told me she saw Lelouch with a girl a few weeks ago at the clinic," she begins to explain, feeling empty stares on her, "but I knew that big brother was already involved with Suzaku."

"Alice saw us?" Lelouch briskly scrambles onto this new scrap of information. "When? What was she doing there?"

Perhaps his eagerness is too emphatic, because it almost looks like Nunnally blinks at him.

"…She said her sisters work at the clinic you go to and she sometimes goes there after school. She saw the two of you leaving, I think."

Sisters?

At… clinic…?

Saw them…

"I'm sorry that you're upset," Nunnally apologizes, and the sound of her gentle voice wrapped around those words jolts Lelouch back to the moment.

"No, don't apologize," he guiltily and vainly tries to un-hear her sad tone. "I'm just surprised…"

Alice…

He knew that girl was only trouble.

"Quite an interesting development," Milly chimes in, so thrilled with everything that her mirth is like an angry sore inside Lelouch's stomach. "Maybe I'll have to have a chat with that girl…"

"Spare at least one person from your nosiness for once, would you, Madam President?" Lelouch jadedly jeers with a lazy grin.

She scrunches her nose at him in a defiant, sassy gesture.

"…Anyway, does anyone want to see the ultrasounds?" Suzaku awkwardly asks to reroute back to forgotten topic, pushing himself up from his chair when everyone answers in the affirmative—

Halting when his arm is caught by Lelouch.

"Sit down, I'll get them for you," he orders in a tender tone, pointedly waiting for Suzaku to do as he was commanded by sitting with a loving upward bend of his lips. Lelouch also earns a couple of sweet and mocking croons that he tries to ignore while he stands.

"Aren'cha gonna kiss him before you go?" Milly bluntly goads, her lusty eyes showing a bit too much. "Oh! Wait, we need some pictures of the happy couple. Sit back down and—!"

"That's not happening," Lelouch dully rejects.

"All I'm asking for is one, little, measly kiss," Milly's lips pout, but that doesn't stop Lelouch from walking away from her.

"Not. Happening."

"Suzaku~! Knock some sense into your stubborn hubby over there, won't you?" she tries to wheedle the pregnant boy.

"Sorry…" but all Suzaku has to offer is a pitying laugh and shrug as Lelouch leaves the room to retrieve the desired digital prints, and it draws a smirk along Lelouch's lips.

There's a good boy.

•-•

"Do you know if it's a boy or a girl yet?" Shirley gushes at Suzaku, an oddly happy expression on her face now that she's grown used to the idea of his pregnancy and pawing at the ultrasound pictures like everyone else… except Nunnally. "Which would you rather have?"

"We don't know yet. And I guess I don't have a preference." Suzaku shrugs. "I just want it to be healthy whatever it is."

Lelouch would have to agree.

He just hopes it is human at this point.

Shirley coos sweetly at that, "What about names?"

"Oh, we already have names picked out for both genders."

Milly, Shirley, and Rivalz's ears are all over that little announcement whereas Kallen, who is interested enough, and Nina certainly aren't holding their breath. Actually, Lelouch is convinced Nina isn't even paying attention due to her eyes stuck at the end of her fork as she prods her half-eaten piece of white cake. But, at least she's here

"What are they?" asks the meddling blonde.

Suzaku opens his mouth—

"It's a secret," Lelouch answers – there's no way he's going to let these degenerates ruin their baby name picks (he also doesn't want to get into the reasoning behind their choices, either) – with his arm slung around Suzaku, a hand closed tightly over his mouth.

If Lelouch and Suzaku could be like this all the time, it would solve a lot of problems.

"Boo~!" Milly gives him a thumbs down while pinching her nose.

Rivalz laughs, "Yeah, what's the big deal?"

"Please tell us!" Shirley clasps her hands together.

"No can do." Lelouch firmly shakes his head. "You'll just have to wait until the baby is born."

"Or until I can get Suzaku alone in my prying clutches," Milly smirks like a feral animal, eyes practically gobbling Suzaku where he sits.

Said soldier laughs in shakes of discomfort when Lelouch's hand drops from his mouth to hang limply around his neck, allowing him to take a nervous sip of his water as he averts his eyes.

Knowing Suzaku, he'd probably spill them easily enough… like he almost just did before Lelouch stopped him.

This tiring idiot…

Of anybody here, Nunnally is the acceptable set of ears to tell, but that can wait until later in private.

•-•

At some point during the festivities of baby games and fluid conversation, Milly attempts a subtle steal of Suzaku, but he's part of a permanent pair, so Lelouch is on their heels the second she has him literally cornered across the room.

"What are trying to do to him?" Lelouch gruffly interrogates with a firm face.

Milly doesn't even blink when she looks at him over her shoulder, "Just giving Suzaku a little something."

Suzaku is indeed holding a white, slim, rectangular package tied shut with a pink, billowy bow.

"I thought you said you guys only got the gift certificate." Lelouch narrows his eyes on the box. He knows this can't be good – nothing involving Milly ever is.

"Yes, but this is a personal item that I purchased for a certain pretty lady, but I don't see why Suzaku can't still have it, especially considering how things are working out."

Milly doesn't smirk, but it can't be any clearer in her tone or the sparkle in her eye.

Lelouch wants to rip the box from Suzaku's hands and chuck it out the window, just to be safe, but he knows Milly would love nothing more than to see him lose his cool. All he can do is quietly fester and seethe as he watches Suzaku open the present through an eagle eye.

"It's ironic," the she-devil says out of nowhere and he glances at her.

"What is?" Lelouch asks.

"I've finally got some dirt regarding you, and yet, it doesn't feel as good as I thought it would…" her voice is wistful, and for once her face is soft and human looking when he looks her way again.

"That's what happens when you delude yourself," Lelouch cattily quips, causing Milly to stick out a mocking tongue at him.

"Uh… What is this?" Suzaku asks with a light pink, suggestive, satiny, lingerie trimmed with some fuzzy-feathery nonsense pinched in his fingers as if it might be diseased.

…It is a present from Milly.

"What?" the president proudly defends. "Who says a pregnant woman doesn't want to feel and look sexy?"

That would have to depend on your definition of "sexy."

"…That's very thoughtful of you," Suzaku politely replies, placing the skimpy article back in the box with a kind smile.

"I hope it fits you," she grins at him with a cheeky smile. "Keep in mind I thought I was buying for someone else. But, I have the receipt if you'd like to exchange it for something that's your style of sexy."

In Lelouch's opinion, Suzaku's style of sexy is his birthday suit.

"Tell me you weren't honestly going to give that thing to Euphie." Lelouch is already disgusted with the mental image alone that he couldn't fight off from his mind – good God how he honestly tried to fight it.

"Like I said, what woman doesn't want to feel sexy?"

Lelouch is about retort, but he reminds himself that this is Milly, so there's no sense in a sane debate.

She'd only like to get him riled up, anyway.

"Thank you for the present," Suzaku says with a hand on Lelouch's shoulder – as if he needs this emotional soldier to tell him to watch his temper.

"I do hope Suzie enjoys it," Milly says with a wink before sashaying her cocky self back to the others.

As she leaves them in silence, they both finally understand why she decided Suzaku could still use the lingerie…

Suzaku's eyes flop to the box suspended in his hands, a flat but troubled line in his lips.

"I don't really have to wear this, do I?"

If the boy didn't want to wear it, he shouldn't have accepted it.

Lelouch would've asked for the receipt, not that he expects he'd actually get it.

"She did go to the trouble of buying it…" he answers with a sly smile – maybe this will be good entertainment. "I think you owe her one time, at least."

•-•

Some hours later after the layers of cake and questions calmed into a mellow mood, Lelouch reenters the club room after putting Nunnally to bed to see Suzaku sitting quietly on the couch by himself. His eyes are hooded as he softly stares at the others who are regaling in stories and jokes that have strayed from the theme of the party, seemingly too absorbed in each other's words on the other side of the room. (Save for Nina, the ghost of a girl having drifted out of the room after he left, apparently.) Although it's unexpected, Lelouch is glad to have this little wedge of time to themselves.

"Tired?" Lelouch tenderly asks, seating himself next to his sleepy seahorse. "Do I need to put you to bed, too?"

Evergreen eyes flip open and look at Lelouch with a listless glaze that drips over his lips in a faint smile, dropping his head on Lelouch's shoulder. The black-haired boy shakes his head with a similar smile and gently pat the leg of the boy sagging against him as he reclines into the couch. Lelouch softly rubs his hand up and down Suzaku's thigh before letting his own limb fall limp when the brunet nestles closer. Too content to really care and perhaps sedated by Suzaku's seductive somnolence, Lelouch closes his own eyes on the peanut gallery who practically take instant notice of this special moment.

"They're so cute together, don't you think?" Milly asks to no one in particular, a gratified grin on her lips as her eyes trace over the pair. "A very striking couple."

"Eh… I think it's strange to see Lelouch act that way around anyone other than Nunnally," says Rivalz. "It's even disappointing when I think about all the girls falling at his feet – where's the justice there?"

"It isn't strange, it's adorable," the president insists with stoic faith. "And don't bring up such a sensitive subject in front Shirley."

"Me?" said girl blinks.

"Oh, there's no need to put on a brave face," Milly takes sympathetic hold of her friend's shoulders. "You're among friends and we'll support you through this troubling time."

"I'm not putting on a brave face," Shirley diffidently defends.

"Pish-posh," the older girl scoffs. "The guy of your dreams—"

"Guy of my dreams?"

"—has not only just stepped out of the closet, but he's holding hands with another guy! How could you not be devastated? Your chances of ever being with Lelouch now are so low you owe him points just to be in the same room with him!"

"That doesn't make any sense," Rivalz mutters.

"But, you have to admit that these two are a fangirl's fantasy. The handsome slacker and brawny softy going at it in secrecy, and then, poof, a baby out of nowhere? It's what romance and BL novels are made of!"

"Romance and BL novels?" Kallen insipidly echoes – does she even really want to know?

"At least we can admire the view, although capturing the view would be much better – pictures do last longer."

"…This is weird. They're our friends," Rivalz uncomfortably utters, stuffing his hands in his pockets and crinkling his brow. "I don't want to watch Lelouch and Suzaku, uh, 'go at it' like you said. That's gross."

"Only because you haven't discovered your inner fanboy yet," Milly easily diagnoses, arms folded beneath her bust in sinister contemplation. "Or maybe you can't enjoy it because you're insecure about yourself."

Rivalz sputters, face flaming with her bland accusation – that's not what he meant! – and Shirley pats his back in an effort to soothe the blow his character took from the girl he virtually worships.

"The more I think about it, though," the blonde continues, "it makes me wonder what else Lelouch is capable of."

"What do you mean?" Kallen asks, something strange glinting in her crystal blue eyes.

"This is Lelouch – he can't take two steps without stopping to catch his breath in between, and yet, he's topping the boy who's arguably the most athletic person at Ashford. I just didn't know Lelouch had it in him! I want to know where he's been hiding that vitality all this time!" A thought strikes her mind, causing her to pause and cradle her chin on her fist, "…Or maybe it's more about Suzaku than it has to do with Lelouch? Do you think Suzaku rides him a lot?"

"I can hear you over there!" Lelouch indignantly barks, clinging to his last nerve, causing the group to jump as one body. "Stop talking about us like we're not in the same room!"

"Roger that, Vice Prez." Milly winks. "We'll wait until you leave before we continue discussing anything further."

Lelouch grumbles – hiding his vitality, more about Suzaku, what does Milly know about anything? – but his irritation fizzles when he looks back at the peaceful, slumbering face of the idiot he's still delicately supporting. If he listens carefully to the peaceful breaths pushing and pulling though Suzaku's nose Lelouch can hear his bed calling him… It's probably a good idea to leave now before he's inadvertently insulted by the forgetful fools when they begin babbling again while staring at him like he's some kind of caged animal.

Suzaku is the one who's pregnant for crying out loud!

Milly should be pondering over that, not Lelouch's "capabilities"!

What is wrong with that woman?

•-

-•

The following morning is less of a nightmare, but not entirely.

It starts pretty normal like any other weekend and being as uneventful as it should be with Lelouch sleeping through most of it, dragging himself out of bed early enough to his standards, but long after Suzaku's long years of conditioned military service – something Lelouch has learned to ignore more and more with every morning. The only times Suzaku sleeps in later than usual are after they've had sex, which hinders his regular routine for obvious reasons, otherwise he's shuffling around the room (while trying to be quiet, but it's the effort that makes him noisy) at the break of dawn and disrupting the sleep Lelouch fights so rigorously to catch and keep. He's even employed snuggling as a deterrent for Suzaku's unnatural amount of energy at such an unnatural time and it's gradually wearing the soldier down… as long as Lelouch is conscious enough to capture him before he hops out of bed.

They've long since abandoned their old safety schedule for when Suzaku sleeps over, the honorary Britannian pretty much unofficially moving into Lelouch's nest. Suzaku still has his dorm room, but the minimal amount of possessions he has resides with him in Lelouch's bedroom, which makes most of Lelouch's nights easier now that he has consistent comfort. So easy he wants to get out of bed even less than before when sunshine steals him from sleep.

Lelouch seriously considers turning over and going back to sleep this morning, but he likes to eat breakfast with Nunnally and the idiot, so he darkly makes his way to the door. After a brisk shower and wardrobe deliberation, he steps into the dining room around ten-thirty where Suzaku and Nunnally are still calmly consuming their breakfast with Sayoko refreshing their glasses of orange juice.

"Good morning big brother!" Nunnally pleasantly sings, everyone else greeting him with a simple smile.

"Good morning," he replies just as affably but considerably more mild as he walks up to the table.

"Coffee, Master Lelouch?"

"Ah, yes please, thank you." He nods to Sayoko who scurries off into the kitchen as he takes a seat next to Nunnally. A fleeting glance at Suzaku across from him conveys the "we need to talk" look, and those green eyes appear to understand as the boy belonging to them subsequently nibbles on his buttered toast.

Suzaku became unusually drowsy towards the end of the party last night leaving them zero time to recap the evening, and while Lelouch doesn't want to cry foul play on the suspicion that the seahorse was trying to avoid discussing what the hell had happened, he wonders if Suzaku was really that tired.

Sayoko places a nice, full cup of steaming hot coffee in front of him that's always as black as his knights but, before he takes that first rejuvenating sip, he decides to be a little adventurous this morning by adding a touch of cream. He thanks Sayoko once again for the round plate of fried eggs and tomatoes with bacon and buttered toast she also placed in front of him before she gracefully bows and returns to the kitchen.

All is well this morning as the three of them smoothly sail through their meal with the company of casual conversation—

So it's only natural that a certain impertinent president bursts through the doors in an entrance that's short of grand only because there aren't any trumpeters or fireworks; instead she has her two trusty followers in tow as she rounds the table towards the dinning trio.

"It's Saturday, so you know what that means?" The question on her lips isn't nearly as inviting as her smile – not to Lelouch, and he's certain Suzaku feels the same way once his shoulders are ensnared by her evil clutches.

"That there's no school?" the brunet's answer is insecure and confused, just like his eyes that don't know where to look.

"It's time for a girl's day out! And Suzaku, you're coming along as our honorary woman!"

"I don't think so," Lelouch stonily states. "He's staying right here. With me."

Poor Suzaku will probably get eaten alive.

"It's not up to you," the blonde argues, shaking up the boy in her grasp even more as she jostles him in his chair. "And don't be such a Suzaku hog!"

"Is it up to me?" the newly crowned honorary woman meagerly croaks.

"Nope!" Milly chirps unethically excited. "I say you're coming, so you're coming! And Nunnally, being the lovely Lady Lamperouge, you're also welcome on our outing."

"Not without me," Lelouch unequivocally invites himself, his voice and eyes like a jagged iceberg compared to Milly's flippantly fun-loving attitude that has her fluffed up like meringue.

"Absolutely no boys allowed!" she rebukes with a shaking finger.

"But I'm a boy…" Suzaku murmurs, only to be completely ignored.

"If I don't go, they don't go."

"The gentlemen will stay here," the damnable president stubbornly continues, gesturing to Rivalz behind here who grins uneasily with a likewise wave of his hand. "That includes you."

Lelouch briskly stands up with a screech of his chair and flaming lance of his eyes – he would rather roll over and die before he'd let Nunnally and Suzaku go anywhere with Milly without him—

"Oh, but I can't even go," Nunnally politely declines before Lelouch can start growling like a territorial tiger. "Alice and I have a school project that we have to work on and we were going to be in the library most of the day. But thank you for the invitation."

Milly lifts an eyebrow, "Alice, huh? I'm beginning to think she's trying to steal you away from us."—Lelouch hates how she so sarcastically says that when he felt that thought so honestly—"Well, can't interfere with a lady's studies, so you get a free pass this time."

"Uh, well, I have some schoolwork I should—" Suzaku tries to weasel himself free.

"Not so fast!" but Milly isn't shaken off that easily. "We can't go have girl fun without our Student Council Mommy. Now hurry up because we have to get you dressed"—Milly practically hauls him out of the chair, causing him to flounder over his own steps and words as he is pushed towards Shirley and three of them shuffle to the door—"and then we have to go pick up Kallen on the way and I don't want to waste time!" Odd that she doesn't mention getting Nina too, considering the girl isn't standing here with them – if Nina doesn't go, this outing isn't really official, is it?

"Don't just do as you please regardless of what others want!" Lelouch scowls, stiffly marching after them to grab Suzaku by the arm. "Listen to what other people are saying!"

A sharp smirk pinches the corners of Milly's lips, a corrupted curve that could stand well against the many smirks Lelouch has worn while operating as Zero, but Lelouch isn't so easily shaken, either.

"Lelouch, do you really want to fight me on this, hm~?" the tone dripping from her lips coats her menacing words in a sugary shell as she places an "intimidating" hand on his shoulder – what does she take him for, exactly? "You left me in quite a bind after that little trick of yours on Halloween, but I'll consider us even if you just let me borrow your little boyfriend here."

No longer having the worry of Milly's wrath hanging over his head would definitely be nice, but this bargain only makes Lelouch uneasy. The only reason she's making such an offer is because she's so confident that she can get something out of Suzaku – which isn't all that hard in the first place.

It really puts Lelouch between a rock and a hard place—

Wait, what is he thinking?

He's Lelouch vi Britannia!

And Lelouch vi Britannia fears no one!

"Or," Milly continues, "perhaps we could revisit the kissing booth idea that I wanted to do last year for Valentine's Day."

•-•

And so Lelouch is forced to spend the day with Rivalz.

Completely

And

Utterly

Alone.

"…So, I was just wondering…" Rivalz starts off their day by beating around the bush.

"Wondering what?" Lelouch dully indulges, not particularly interested in the thought Rivalz is trying to push off the edge of his tongue being much too concerned about how Milly might be torturing answers out of Suzaku… Or how she doesn't need to torture answers out of Suzaku.

And just to clarify, he isn't sitting here, sulking at the dining table with Rivalz like they've been shelved and left to stare at each other because he cowered in the face of Milly's threat. Suzaku is the one who caved in the end, stammering that it really wasn't a big deal if he tagged along with them.

Lelouch is positive that Suzaku only did it to spare him from an attack by a malevolent Milly.

Not that Lelouch was ever worried…

"Well, why didn't you tell me you were, um… gay?" he whispers that last word, Lord knows for what reason. Maybe he suspects Arthur of being homophobic – that could possibly explain the feline's aversion to Suzaku… "You're my best bud; I thought you knew you could trust me. And I mean, I'm totally cool with it, you know. Just… Just wondering."

Lelouch just closes his eyes on the dumbfounded boy sitting across from him and sighs.

This is going to be a very long day.

•-•

Deeming all of "Suzie's" two outfits as insufficient (one of them being that green dress which didn't get as many critical comments as he thought it would – seems Lelouch really does know what he's doing), Milly hastily sped them off to Kallen's house, who apparently didn't know anything about this impromptu female frolicking, either. After dragging her from the house nearly half asleep, the four of them rode to the mall to the sound of Milly's excited plans.

Suzaku had asked about Nina, hesitantly, and Milly solemnly told him that she isn't comfortable going into the city after their last trip which involved a run-in with terrorists. Understandable, maybe even believable, but Suzaku knows Nina is more afraid of people who aren't her own race rather than the rare chance they'll encounter terrorists a second time.

He decided to not think about that too much, though.

Now he's standing in some high-end store with repetitive, electronic music jumping on his head from the ceiling, lost in the spotty lighting and scattered clothes racks as Shirley and Milly browse them. Kallen is standing on the other side of one metal frame they're leafing through, her bleary eyes uninterested in the fashion in front of her as she indifferently slides hanger after hanger to the side – of course, Suzaku understands that shopping isn't the kind of interest that Kallen holds… It also reminds him that he hasn't really tried to talk to her yet, his entire world now revolving around the baby.

He's also noticed she doesn't seem to look him in the eye anymore.

Suzaku doesn't have the luxury to brood over those issues at this time, too involved in sifting through article after article of clothing and indecisively eyeing the suggestions of Shirley and Milly while insecurely tugging at his clothes. He honestly likes the outfit he's wearing now that he bought with Lelouch; it's simple, if a little too monochromatic. He wouldn't mind expanding for Suzie's sake, but looking at all of these options is… overwhelming. With Lelouch just the one time they had to spare, their approach was so direct and he was so blunt about what is and isn't flattering, or what just looked tacky, and didn't bother showing Suzaku the entire store. Lelouch laid out everything in the simplest way, heeding Suzaku's tastes and letting him have the final say, unlike here where he's being asked to start from scratch while clueless about what ingredients go together. Without that objective guidance, Suzaku isn't sure what he's supposed to do with himself. The girls are helpful, but it's taking a while for him to get the hang of it.

He is trying to understand the function of various buttoned straps on what he originally thought was a jacket, but now isn't sure, when Milly slinks up to him like a pouncing phobia – might not be far from the truth…

"So…" she starts, rifling through the hanging clothes too casually, "how big is Lelouch?"

"How big?" he curiously glances at her. "Uh, we're about the same height. I don't know how much he weighs, but probably less than me…"

The chiding chuckles that condescendingly fall from her lips soak Suzaku in certain dread and the understanding that he answered her incorrectly.

"Don't play coy with me." She suavely bumps his arm. "I wasn't talking about his height or weight and you know that."

"Right…" Suzaku verbally agrees but is mentally lost.

"I'm talking about the certain length in his pants," she explains with a generously lecherous tone and Suzaku feels a panic start to coldly break within him. "You see, Lelouch has that richdeep voice and those long fingers, so I always thought he'd be…" Milly trails as she holds up her hands in the air, spreading them apart wider and wider…

Her words as well as her action lick scarlet streaks over his cheeks and he looks away from Milly's hands just when they pass the width of her shoulders—Suzaku is pretty sure that's not even a humanly possible.

"I think we should change the subject!" he salvos, looking at Shirley across from him who also bears his heated flush. "Shirley! How is… Swimming! How is swimming going?"

Shirley opens her mouth but Milly cuts her off, "Now, now. What's the point of having quality girl time if we can't have quality girl talk?"

Suzaku is reigned in be her arm that's much stronger than it appears to be.

"Girls talk about… this sort of thing?" he's afraid to ask, but adittedly curious. The female population is something he knows little about.

"Of course. What else do you think we talk about?"

"I don't know," Suzaku says lamely. Somehow he isn't sure if he can believe the answer Milly provides – Shirley looks as uncomfortable as a kangaroo with a cactus in its pouch and a glowing blush is spawning on Kallen's very disturbed face. "Make-up and clothes, or something like that…" They are at the mall, shopping – or is this just a ruse?

Milly scoffs, "Maybe if you're a child. Who else would be entertained by such dribble?"

Suzaku doesn't answer.

Because he can't.

"Then at least tell me if he's a good kisser," Milly meekly implores.

"A good kisser?" Suzaku asks and Milly nods – perhaps there's no harm in this.

"Yeah, you know, when he kisses you do you feel it in all the way down in your knees?"

Suzaku smiles dumbly at that – he feels it everywhere when Lelouch kisses him.

"Yeah…"

"So how is he in bed?" – logically, that's the next step in this conversation.

Suzaku can feel his ears turning the colour of Kallen's hair when Shirley shouts; "Milly!"

"Oh, come on, just a one word answer will do: good or bad." – as if that won't lead to more questions.

Suzaku isn't that naïve.

How can he even answer a question like that anyway?

He contemplates how to get out of this question knowing Milly will be insatiable now that she's gotten a taste of personal Lelouch information, but he's beginning to wonder if he'll even make it out of this "Girl's day out" alive, and if Lelouch is fairing any better.

"Listen," Milly takes on a frank tone, pulling him closer to privately murmur in his ear, "I've seen you limping around before but I always thought it was military drills or something of that nature, but now I know Lelouch is the one behind your pain! I wouldn't have thought Lelouch had so much vigor! He really gives you a reason to limp, doesn't he? I'm just curious to know if it's his appetite or his big—"

•-•

"So… what's it like… you know… with a guy?" Rivalz tries to ask casually, his friendliness and curiosity the perfect cocktail that pour a headache into Lelouch's skull.

It's a bit surprising that Rivalz didn't begin this sexual trek with the more innocent, subtle question concerning kisses – is there a difference between boys and girls? That is one question Lelouch can answer objectively, based on experience, because Lelouch has in fact kissed a girl before.

More than one, actually.

And there isn't really much of a difference, honestly. It's not the gender, but the person that makes the difference… Not that Lelouch has been kissing boys all this time… or plans to kiss anymore girls any time in the near future… or anybody other than Suzaku, as long as he has his way.

No, instead, Rivalz decided to go for the gusto and jump right to the sex question, showing his lack of sophistication and awkward immaturity in one swift blow. But, thanks to Rivalz's inelegant curiosity, Lelouch has been offered a chance to toy with his friend.

"What's what like with a guy?" he asks, personifying obliviousness in a seamless performance that involves tilting his head into an innocent slant.

Rivalz shifts uncomfortably, his cheeks beginning to redden considerably – Lelouch doesn't really even need to do anything, does he?

"You know… it."

The inner smirk Lelouch wears is so wide that it's threatening to pierce his clueless mask and rip it right in half.

"It?"

Rivalz slaps his palms on the table, "Come on, man! Sex! I'm asking about sex! With another guy!"

Of course, that very second Sayoko enters the room with their tea and Lelouch knows the steam from the pot isn't what stains both their cheeks a ripe cherry.

This truly is too much fun.

Even if it is too easy.

"Why don't you try it yourself if you're so curious?" Lelouch coolly deflects once the maid mutely sets the tray down and shuffles from the room, leaving Rivalz in his humiliated despair.

He's glowing redder than any sunburn Lelouch has ever had.

The poor fellow… Lelouch has to wonder if it hurts just as much.

"I'm not that curious…" he mumbles, a finger doodling distracting designs on the table. "I'm just wondering if it's different than being with a girl."

"I don't know," Lelouch blandly answers, "what is sex like with a girl?"

It takes a moment, but surely enough, a nervous bumble of desperate chuckles flounce from Rivalz lips.

"Touché, man."—But then, something strange lights up in Rivalz's eyes and all of his embarrassment is forgotten with frightening ease—"Hey! Does that mean those scratch marks I saw on your back in the locker room that time were really from Suzaku?"

•-•

Lunch in the food court brings a brief reprieve from Milly's impetuous interrogating and lugging around the multiplying bags in his hands – it's more than he needs, but Milly wouldn't hear of him not getting anything. He's thankful she wants to splurge on him, but will this kindness come back to haunt him, or is Lelouch's paranoia just rubbing off on him? Whatever the case, he's begging to actually enjoy himself. It's only a little strange at how well they're all so accepting of the situation, mostly the pregnancy and cross-dressing part.

"What's it like being pregnant?" Shirley innocently inquires, bringing a refreshing topic change.

"Um…" Suzaku has to think for a second. "I don't know, I don't feel any different yet."

"You don't have morning sickness or anything like that?"

"No, not yet. Everything's still normal for me. Although…" he scratches at his itchy wig, "I think right now it's mostly mental. I tend to think about the baby a lot."

Talking about his pregnancy to Shirley, in front of Milly and Kallen, has to be the most bizarre moment Suzaku has ever experienced.

Other than being told he was pregnant, that is…

Even just talking to Shirley about this doesn't feel right because she once told him that she fell in love with Lelouch… Perhaps something really did change during their "tiff" because something about her is still off.

"Oh, yeah?" she enthusiastically engages. "That must be strange."

Suzaku finds himself laughing softly, "It is. But I think Lelouch is more concerned. He practically won't let me do anything and has me eating a really strict diet." If it isn't organic, is too high in sugar or sodium, or has a word not easily pronounced in the ingredients, Suzaku can't eat it. All of his meals are home cooked and preapproved by Lelouch – but Suzaku won't complain, because the food is the best he's ever eaten in his life. It isn't as though he's been ingesting nothing but garbage food, but this is way healthier and more natural than he's used to. It's just… Lelouch doesn't need to be so… uptight.

"How is Lelouch acting about everything? Is he freaking out or anything?" Shirley continues to ask, sounding somehow… investigative?

"I'm more interested to know what he's like in bed," Milly slips her voice into their conversation with a snide snip.

Suzaku knew this breath of relaxation was going to be short lived.

"Madam President!" Shirley shrieks.

"Oh, come now, this is harmless fun. Anything said between us girls will stay between us girls – it's what we do and what girl time is all about!"

But, the majority of the student council (Lelouch's and Suzaku's only group of friends) is comprised of girls, who are mostly all here, so that doesn't really count for much regarding security or privacy.

…And Suzaku isn't even a girl.

"But it isn't any of your business!" Shirley says.

"Like you're not curious, either, lover girl~!" Milly teases.

"Why do you want to know so badly, anyway?" Suzaku asks, taking Milly off-guard. Her eyes slide to him, a shimmer of surprise swimming over her blue irises, and for a stunned moment she can't respond.

"…Because he's so secretive. And because he's never seemed like the 'coupling' type. You do realize you're the first person he's ever dated, don't you?"

Lelouch hasn't said as much, but it's been implied.

"So in other words," Suzaku translates, stabbing a plain leaf of lettuce (again, strict diet, thanks to Lelouch) off of his plate with a fork, "there's a part of him that you don't know and it drives you crazy?"

She hums, "Something like that, maybe…"

He watches her take the straw of her drink between her lips as her eyes drift away and he thinks that it isn't so much about that mysterious part of Lelouch that has her obsessed, but that she isn't the one to see it and never will be.

"So, I don't see why you can't give me a little something." She stretches her claws again, an ominous coaxing before they sink in and pry him apart.

"Sorry if you thought I'd be your gateway into Lelouch's private life, because I'm not." Suzaku doesn't know why he's apologizing; he doesn't even feel guilty this time. "I'm not going to betray his trust like that."

"But I'm asking for so little…" Milly sighs.

Asking if Lelouch has any closet, strange kinks or fetishes, if he ever fails to perform because of his stamina, if he ever makes Suzaku dress like Suzie, if he favors a certain position, or just what type of lover he is are not little questions!

"I told you he's a good kisser."

"But is he good at sex?"

"Milly!" hisses the orange-haired girl.

"Why do you keep asking that?" Suzaku bites, and at more than the cherry tomato on his fork. "I never need to fake it, if that's what you're asking!"

Chew. Chew.

A glance at Shirley's wide eyes.

Chew. Chew.

A glance at Milly; the sheer expression of heaven illuminating her elated blue eyes and gapping smile.

Chew. Chew.

A glance at Kallen's wide eyes.

Ch…

Oh, wait—!

Suzaku didn't just say that…

•-•

"So, why Suzaku?" Rivalz asks.

"What do you mean?" bored-Lelouch prompts.

"What is it about him that you like? Or, uh, what attracted you to him?"

Lelouch internally sighs.

There's no way he's answering that question.

"Is it his looks?"

"…"

"His personality?"

"…"

"…Well, what's he got that I don't?" Lelouch whips his eyes to Rivalz and the boy shrugs with his own confusion. "Why him and not me?"

Lelouch gapes, "Are you telling me that you're jealous?"

"I don't know." Rivalz sheepishly shrugs. "I mean, am I not your type?"

S

T

A

R

E

"I think it's time we get some fresh air…" Lelouch finally mutters, wanting to escape this awkward turn of events before he learns other things about Rivalz he wishes he didn't know.

•-•

With perfect timing strapped to his heels, Lelouch steps out of the clubhouse to greet the collective Student Council Girls as they stroll up to the door. In the thick of it is Lelouch's beacon, the pair of wide green eyes from his seahorse who looks like he's been battered enough by the battle. Lelouch stops short as Rivalz continues forward up to the charge of clicking heels, letting Suzaku separate himself from the herd to build some privacy for themselves. His course is set straight for Lelouch with a bit of a rush to his step and an eager flush on his cheeks… or maybe that's just from the chilly air?

"Lelouch!" Suzaku happily hops up to him, his springy, blond wig bouncing around his head, and he holds up the various shopping bags in his hands. "I wasn't going to really get anything, but we did find some things." He begins to shift the bags around as if uncertain what to do with them, his cheeks still rosy, like his lips. …His lips? "I wasn't so sure I'd find anything, but with their help I got some new outfits for Suzie." Is that… There's eye shadow on is eyes! "And I got a few things for the baby, too—"

"Are you wearing make-up?"

Suzaku freezes a short second, and then shrugs, "Well… Yes. But, we were at the mall, you know, and, it just kind of happened. Anyway, look at this!" he joyfully produces a plush animal a little bigger than his hand, shoving it right into Lelouch's face. "Guess why I got it."

After a startling slap from more of Suzaku's puppy-dog excitement from being reunited, Lelouch carefully studies the chubby, baby-blue body of a certain water-dwelling creature that has a pale yellow belly and iridescent teal fins.

"Because it's a seahorse."

"Right!" Suzaku is overflowing with delight, his smile a radiant beam that Lelouch can't keep from shinning on his own lips. "I saw it and thought it was too adorable. Plus, it's so personal. It was just too perfect. And babies like soft, fuzzy things, right?"

Not infants, but Lelouch doesn't want to rain on his parade.

And they can save it for later.

"So you had fun today?" he asks instead, still radiating with all of the contagious ecstasy Suzaku is emitting.

"Yeah," Suzaku says, finally taking an actual moment to look at Lelouch—the moment catching in their eyes as a tempting kiss—

But Lelouch finally realizes their audience, standing the polite distance he left between them but still nosy beyond Suzaku's shoulder. Milly is unabashedly staring; her smirk a sharp cut on her lips compared to the wide-eyed gazes of everyone else who aren't accustomed to this type of exchange between their two friends. Everyone is looking on innocently enough, aside from the she-devil, but Lelouch has never liked having spectators observing his personal affairs and he quickly slings his arm around Suzaku, placing a pushing hand on the boy's back.

"Let's go inside so you can show me all of the things you bought in private, where we won't be watched," Lelouch purposely utters at a high volume as they walk away, turning his head towards their friends to give them fair warning.

•-•

"I wasn't sure what to expect today, but it could have been a lot worse," Suzaku says with a maintained smile as he sheds his sepia, corduroy half-jacket, laying it on the couch.

That statement isn't really comforting…

Lelouch scuttles into the bedroom closely behind Suzaku, carrying all of his shopping bags (like he insisted, and now regrets) and sets them down on the table but his violet eyes are focused solely on the other boy beside him.

"I wouldn't want to do it again anytime soon, but it was… interesting."

A pale hand smoothes over the back of the off-white blouse snug around Suzaku's torso, the brown print of tiny clusters of flowers ignored just like the tight tan pants that accentuate Suzaku's firm, round bottom – Lelouch is only looking right through these clothes.

"I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself today, then," Lelouch murmurs in Suzaku's ear from behind, waiting for the connected head to turn so he can devour those painted lips with a kiss – it isn't as pleasant as Lelouch was hoping, the fake taste of lipstick not suited for his palate and thus forcing their mouth's to stay closed. Suzaku doesn't seem disappointed when they part, instead looking amused as he touches the pad of his thumb to the corner of Lelouch's lips.

"Now you have lipstick on your mouth."

"This stuff is awful, don't wear it ever again." Lelouch frowns, a hand instinctively flying up to his mouth to rid the offending substance, but his hand is instantly caught.

"But then I can't leave my mark." Suzaku grins and then proceeds to stamp a pair of dusky chestnut lips on a pale cheek, much to Lelouch's dismay.

"Exactly," he grumbles, hurrying over to his desk for a tissue.

The kissing culprit laughs quietly to himself as he sits down on the couch and begins emptying his bags, "It won't happen again, so don't worry. I just did this time because, well, I was with Milly. She kind of just pushed me into the offer when we were walking through the cosmetic department."

"Was she too much for you to handle?" he asks, tossing the tissue into the trash bin.

"She was just unapologetic about all of her personal questions." Suzaku pauses, giving Lelouch a direct gaze. "She really wants to know a lot about you. She practically wouldn't talk about anything else. I think she likes you."

Lelouch shakes his head, "Don't try to scare me like that, it isn't nice."

Another wisp of laughter as more clothes are piled onto the table, "I'm serious. You were the only topic on her mind."

Lelouch doesn't know if he should find this more frightening or depressing. The thought of Milly vying for him? He'd rather not venture into that territory.

She's practically like a sister.

One he never wanted or needed, but a sister nonetheless.

"I didn't tell her anything, of course – which wasn't easy."

"I'm proud of you, in any case."

Suzaku nods appreciatively, "I did tell her you were a good kisser, though. That seemed harmless and she was just dying to know something. If I'd held out completely she might have torn me limb from limb to find her answers."

"I don't doubt it," Lelouch mutters. "But I'm only a 'good' kisser?"

"An excellent kisser," he says with a grin and sly glance, flattening and folding one noisy paper bag before throwing mystified eyes back at Lelouch. "You know she actually asked me about the size of your—? Um…" he shyly points down at his own crotch – the fact that Suzaku can't say "penis" is cute.

Lelouch wishes he could say that about Milly surprises him, but it doesn't. It's no wonder she didn't insist so much about Nunnally joining them – Nunnally would've been a nice buffer against these kinds of questions, not that Lelouch would use her or that Milly wouldn't be able to get around it.

"Should I even ask what happen then?"

"Oh, don't worry," Suzaku reassures. "She thinks largely of you in that department."

A wicked smirk takes shape on Lelouch's lips, "At least she got something right for once."

Suzaku dryly rolls his eyes, dipping his hands into another bag, "Anyway, how did your day with Rivalz go?"

Lelouch stalls a bit, crossing his arms as he leans against his desk and stares at the layers of clothes beginning to cover the polished, wooden surface of the coffee table – the boy might have gotten a bit carried away, buying all of this female apparel.

"Let's just say I've gotten to know him a little better."

"Oh no?" Suzaku can't keep a wide grin from breaking across his lips. "You don't sound happy about that."

"Rivalz is one sad, strange individual, that's for sure," Lelouch supplies with a shallow sigh, turning to the window behind his bed.

"So you guys didn't do anything or go anywhere?"

"I can't properly enjoy myself when I know Milly is up to no good." He peers out briefly at the dark tint to the late-afternoon sky before tugging the curtain closed.

"…You're not mad about all of this, are you? About them knowing?" Suzaku asks, his timid, mercy-begging voice making the room feel colder than it really is. "I know we haven't really been able to talk about it yet."

Lelouch looks at the sad seahorse sitting stiffly on the couch, his head bowed with big, staring eyes that put every puppy, kitten or various other fuzzy, baby creatures Lelouch has ever seen to shame. With a heavy sigh, he turns his gaze from the idiot he can't live without, willing to accept that there might be some things that just don't change.

"…No."

"Really?" The uncertainty clinging to Suzaku's tone doesn't hold back a shred of suspicion or fear of some heartless bait-and-switch on Lelouch's end and it makes the sable-haired boy glance over his shoulder again with sympathetic half-smile.

"Really."

"You're not mad at all? Not even a little bit?"

All this questioning is kind of insulting, and a little annoying, but Lelouch understands Suzaku's apprehension. Lelouch knows he isn't always the most pleasant person in the world, especially when dealing with personal matters. Despite everything that suggests otherwise, Lelouch isn't mad or upset. He knew the pregnancy announcement would have to be handled at some point soon, or forced upon them whenever Suzaku starts to show – which is a horrifying image if only for the mind-bending biology of it – because Lelouch knows there isn't a chance in Hell Suzaku would participate in a parade of lies. Even then, making up stories about why Suzaku has a beach-ball stomach wouldn't account for the little bundle once it's born, and those dots are all too easily connectable. Realistically speaking, what happened last night works out for the best in the end. …As long as their friends don't ask too many questions – although that ship has apparently already sailed…

"Not even a little bit," he confirms again, this time in a huff of wry laughter, gazing at his cautious seahorse with a soft-hearted and somewhat amused smile lightly touching his lips. His head slants to an impish angle and he lifts his hand, beckoning Suzaku with the gentle gesturing of one finger, "Come here."

Suzaku complies with measured steps – apparently still harboring a strong belief that Lelouch will strike him down at any second – and a firm line to his lips, hands held behind his back as if they're cuffed.

Now there's an interesting thought…

"I didn't do it on purpose."

"I know," Lelouch softly says, his voice being the cushion underneath Suzaku's skittish steps.

"And I am sorry." The apology was inevitable and the quiet sweep of his words makes him seem smaller when he finally stands in front of Lelouch.

"I know." Lelouch caresses Suzaku's temple with the tips of his fingers, his touch as feathery as his voice as it weeds into the earthy curls, forcing the wig to fall to the floor, and leans in to press his lips against—

"It's just, for a second, I thought they really knew…"

"I know," Lelouch nods, sliding his other hand around Suzaku's hip, leaning in again—

"I realized my mistake the second I said it, but didn't know how to fix it."

Lelouch waits for further interruptions but when silence is all he hears, he leans in again—

"And then it was too late to even try."

Lelouch takes a breath, "I know," mutters quickly, and tries to—

"I just wasn't thinking and did something stupid."

—plant a kiss before Suzaku speaks again.

…Suzaku can't be this thick-headed.

"Do you want to know how you can make it up to me?"

"How?" he's too relieved at the opportunity to right his wrong, as if it will cleanse the world of all its impurities.

"Shut up and let me kiss you," Lelouch orders flatly, the tenderness of his disposition blistered dry by the constant blowing of hot air from Suzaku's mouth.

The sheepish grin to muddle over Suzaku's lips is also inevitable, "Sorry."

Lelouch chides the boy with a lighthearted, wordless, shake of his head and taps his lips, a smile growing as Suzaku concedes with a simper. Of course, Lelouch doesn't leave it at a simple exchange, and he suspects that Suzaku expected as much because his lips easily part. The taste of lipstick is thick on Suzaku's mouth, but Lelouch isn't going to let some aesthetic annoyance keep him from savoring the soft slip of their pressing lips. He takes advantage of the apologetic atmosphere – not that it's particularly difficult – to sink his thoughts down Suzaku's throat with his hand clutching firmly to brown hair and let the kiss linger on slow, sensual seconds.

Lelouch is grinning provocatively through smeared lipstick once they part, sliding his arms in a tight, secure circle around Suzaku.

"You should apologize like that from now on."

"That can be done." The younger boy smiles back, palms spreading on Lelouch's chest as his body is brought to a flushed embrace. "Although, I have to say, you keep surprising me."

"Oh?"

"Yeah." There's a hint of a smirk creeping in the upturned corners of Suzaku's mouth as he stretches his arms over Lelouch's shoulders. "Here I've been thinking you'd lose it over Nunnally and this thing with the student council, but you haven't."

"Of course," Lelouch replies with an authentic air of arrogance, letting his own arms fall to the Japanese' hips. "I'm not some raving lunatic."

"Of course." Green eyes glimmer briefly like the flash of a camera, but Lelouch's eyes still capture the condescension and he is quick to seal Suzaku's lips with another kiss before more words spoil the moment. This one is deeper than the last but just as patient with more tongue and less air, leaving them lost in each other's arms as everything but their contact wades from their minds.

Suzaku's seeking hands sweep around the smooth skin of an alabaster neck, anchoring his fingers in straight, sable hair as the hands on his lower back flatten and pull to connect their teenage hips like magnets. Feeling the heat of the moment slide from their mouths to his crotch, Lelouch nudges his pelvis forward just a tad, to test the waters, and at the avid reaction of a throaty moan and body twitch from Suzaku, Lelouch decides the water's fine. He brashly slips his palms down, open hands happily grabbing the firm, ample cheeks of Suzaku's bottom with equally delighted squeezes, much to the brunet's startled surprise, earning himself a rasp of his name against his lips.

"I think we should move all these apologies to the bed," Lelouch deviously purrs, his voice deep enough to visibly rumble through Suzaku's body. "So you're more comfortable."

Victory over Suzaku's reluctance is already blooming on his cheeks in wisps of pink and by the shy smile under his shifting eyes.

"…We really shouldn't," he quietly says, the timid whisper of his breath feeling like a formality against his waiting body in Lelouch's arms.

Lelouch hasn't forgotten the concern of Nunnally, but she's still in the library with Alice, so it's safe enough for their promiscuity.

"It'll be fine," he confidently insists with a forward step between Suzaku's legs and a graze of lips.

"Such a naughty daddy!" Suzaku smiles widely, showing his teeth in a light patter of giggles, and hugs his princely partner closely by the neck as they hobble to the bed.

Lelouch is positive he told Suzaku to not call him that.

He doesn't really even understand how that title is supposed to be sexy, if that is in fact the desired effect.

Still, if it gets Suzaku's motor running…

"But mamma likes it when I'm naughty." Another tremor of Lelouch's low, seductive voice coils around Suzaku's spine, making the boy bend backwards and fall to the bed underneath the Britannian who begins kissing him deeply once more.

Fully intending to carry this mood as far as it will go, using his tongue to encourage Suzaku to do the same with his hips placed firmly between Suzaku's legs. A whispery moan seeps from Suzaku's mouth, apparently needing little motivation to embrace the moment as he curls a leg around Lelouch's body with a heel zealously pressing down. Lelouch rubs his hips against the pair beneath him at their indulgent insistence, gratified at the twitch that sparks between them and grinds against Suzaku's crotch growing just like Lelouch's. This mutual enthusiasm is already catching their breath in heady air, trapping and suffocating any escaping thoughts that might steal their attention or create distractions. Only for a brief second do Lelouch's ears flinch at a faint sound he thinks he hears, but he passes it off as his imagination and refocuses on Suzaku's wiggling tongue—

"…can't hear…"

"…No—! Wait—!"

The abrupt hiss of Lelouch's bedroom door spills a tumble of bodies into the room, limbs and groans of pain mingling on the wooden floor near the foot of Lelouch's bed, effectively smashing the sexy mood and concentration to bits.

Millions and millions of bits.

The whole student council gang is here (minus Nina, of course), a tangle of apologies on their lips and embarrassed blushes on their cheeks – both of which Lelouch would rather have from Suzaku right now, as was the plan. Milly is the only one unashamed of their spying even though she's the one who fell under the weight of their snooping and ruined things for everyone.

Too surprised, and yet also not surprised, all Lelouch can really seem to do is look down at a wide-eyed Suzaku with a wry smile, "And you thought I'd be mad."

•-

-•

Normally, seeing Suzaku shirtless upon walking into the bedroom would be a pleasant surprise worth entertaining dirty thoughts, but today, as Lelouch strides through the doors, he finds only a big question mark weighing on his mind. Perhaps Lelouch wouldn't find the scene of a half-naked Suzaku observing himself in front of the full-length mirror strange if not for the critical tilt to his head and groping hands on his chest – it's the hands, definitely, that worry Lelouch. Despite resting on a flat surface, they're cupping and rubbing as the soldier stares at himself sideways.

Lead by insatiable curiosity and an arced eyebrow, Lelouch joins Suzaku at the mirror, searching for meaning in the reflection.

"What are you doing?" he can't help but ask, now more disturbed by those groping hands than he is perplexed.

"It's…" Suzaku's voice falls away into his arching back, shoulders pulling tight and dropping loose as his palms slowly move in small circles. "I think I'm growing breasts."

Lelouch nearly falls over himself.

He is somewhat grateful he waited to take a swig of his coffee for now he is at least spared the indignity of violently choking or spewing it from his mouth in messy surprise – maybe he is finally learning something after all this time spent with this big-mouthed idiot. Instead, he is openly gawking, not really sure where to begin making sense of the chest in question or if he even should.

"…What?"

"I think I'm growing breasts," Suzaku repeats as if Lelouch had asked him to, head turning and torso twisting for inspection through another angle. "What do you think?"

What does Lelouch think?

Is that a serious question?

"Why do you think that?" Lelouch is using his non-judgmental voice here.

"What do you mean why do I think that?" Suzaku unexpectedly barks with annoyance in his eyebrows. "Can't you see them!"

Lelouch can't see something that isn't there.

Rather, he can't see something that exists only in Suzaku's imagination.

However, Lelouch doesn't like the untamed tone already beginning to foam from Suzaku's mouth, so he honestly reconsiders how he views what is (or isn't) presented to him in a silent, studying pause… but it's no use. Even with the comparative gestures of his squeezing fingers, Suzaku's chest is as flat as this moment is ridiculous.

"I'm sorry, I don't see anything," Lelouch confesses gently with a slow, careful shake of his head.

Suzaku practically stomps his foot, "Then you're not looking hard enough, because I can feel them! All jiggly…"

Jiggly?

"If you're this concerned we can ask the doctor about it on our next visit," he casually offers for the sake of appeasement, leaving not Suzaku but the mirror full of awkward shifting and pinching in favor of his desk – that being his original destination.

"No, I'd rather not have her feel me up again unless it's absolutely necessary." Suzaku visibly shudders under the memory of touch. "Can't you just feel for yourself and tell me what you think?"

That question begging for help freezes Lelouch where he stands, hand on the back of his desk chair, and drags his eyes back to Suzaku, at the way those green eyes stare at him as if Lelouch is a source of comfort.

Damn it all…

Lelouch was hoping to avoid getting roped into Suzaku's… whatever this thing he's having right now is, but they're partners and partners don't abandon each other regardless of whatever has befallen them. It isn't that Lelouch doesn't want to help Suzaku, he just isn't so sure he'll say what his lover wants to hear, and that will cause them both a lot of unwanted stress which he was also hoping to avoid.

Lelouch sets his coffee down on the desk with a repressed sigh, mentally telling himself to just accept this situation and not provoke his pregnant seahorse no matter how unreasonable he might become. He's just not awake or willing enough to fight about whether or not Suzaku has breasts.

Having prepared himself for this as much as he can, he pads over to Suzaku in patient strides rather than patronizing clomps, and awkwardly lifts his hands into the air once standing in front of the mirror again.

"Just…" Suzaku turns his back to Lelouch, pulling the older boy's hands up to his chest and tentatively presses them right over the possible bosoms.

Lelouch is staring at their reflection, at his hands, and briefly wonders what he'll do if he does in fact feel that his little seahorse is becoming busty.

All he can do is squeeze

Rub.

Grope.

Fondle.

Grope.

Rub.

…and squeeze until the conclusion that Suzaku does not have breasts during at least this moment is proven.

"No, I don't feel anything." Lelouch shakes his head, hands still clutching to the idea on Suzaku's chest.

"Are you sure?" Suzaku almost sounds disappointed. "It's not extra… flabby to you?"

"No. It feels the same to me." Not that Lelouch makes it a habit to feel-up the boy's pectorals – ok, well, not like this. He slides his hands down to narrow hips, "I think you're just imaging it."

"…I guess you're right," he murmurs, skimming his fingertips over his chest.

Lelouch kisses the side of his head, silly boy

"Too bad," Suzaku says. "I was starting to look forward to the idea of breastfeeding… Ow! Lelouch? Your fingernails are hurting me!"

Oh, sorry.

Was Lelouch unconsciously imbedding his nails into Suzaku's skin at this disturbing leak of information?

"You can't be serious." Lelouch ignores Suzaku's pain with furrowing eyebrows and a dark tone, unclenching his fists. "Breastfeeding?"

"What?" Suzaku's face is wrinkling right back, his voice taking on a defensive quiver. "It was just a thought."

"Let's leave it that way," Lelouch mumbles slightly, walking back to his desk and taking a sobering sip of coffee.

"Why do you say that?"

"Because, Suzaku."

"Because I'm not a woman?" Suzaku slaps his hands to his hips.

"Yes!" Lelouch plops down in his chair and turns on his laptop. "You can't tell me that idea isn't strange or even a little disturbing to you."

Suzaku doesn't answer, his eyes following a thought in his head.

"That's what I thought."

"You're wrong!" Suzaku argues.

"Suzaku—" Lelouch tiredly starts.

"No!" he loudly defies. "Why else would I be growing them? That's technically what they're there for. And I've read that men can lactate, too, so why wouldn't I be able to do it?"

That's quite possibly the most horrifying question Lelouch has ever heard Suzaku ask.

This is officially too absurd of a conversation to be having.

"Listen, just because your body might be reacting to the pregnancy the way it would for a woman doesn't mean that it would be preparing the way a woman's would by having the proper nourishment to sustain the baby." Lelouch taps a little too aggressively on his keyboard. "Yes, men can lactate, but that doesn't mean they can breastfeed. That's like saying a man who builds birdhouses also knows how to build houses for humans. It's two different situations."

"…That doesn't mean they don't know, either" Suzaku stubbornly grumbles in a pout.

"Besides," Lelouch ignores him, again, "you become aroused when your nipples are stimulated. That won't work out well for you in the end."

"You—!"

Lelouch laughs at the flustered outburst he caused, nabbing the chance to steer the conversation in a different direction.

"Where is this even coming from, anyway?"

Suzaku sighs, "I don't know… When I was with the girls, I just… found myself thinking a lot of things."

"Maybe you spent too much time with them. Their estrogen must have gotten to you."

Light snickers pop from Suzaku's mouth at the silliness of it all, "Maybe you're right."

A self-satisfied grin shines from within Lelouch – damn straight he's right.

"All you need to worry about right now is taking good care of the small fry while it's inside you. That's a far better use for your time."

Suzaku hums a dejected sound, making Lelouch look over at the boy who slides his hands down his stomach while looking at himself sideways in the mirror.

"…I worry about that, too."

"What do you mean?"

Perhaps a better question would be: why does he sound so sad?

"You see how flat my stomach is."

It's as flat as his chest.

"And?"

Greens eyes fling at Lelouch, "How many months am I into this pregnancy? I should've started showing by now, but I haven't. It worries me. What if there's something wrong?"

"The doctor has said and continues to say that everything looks fine. I'm sure we're conducting over a very strong safety net."

As strong as can be, at least…

"But what if it's a problem they can't detect or some new side effect they can't see? Male pregnancy isn't an everyday occurrence."

"Well…" Lelouch won't admit it, but he's at a loss for words, particularly because the seahorse is so down and so right. As far as anyone knows, a male pregnancy has never been recorded outside of fiction, and they don't know what will happen. To have Suzaku mention that he thinks about the fatal possibilities threatening their baby is unsettling on its own. "It is a small fry, right? Maybe we're just having a small baby – that happens sometimes."

A noncommittal sound seeps from Suzaku's lips, his eyes turned to his disappointing reflection.

"Sometimes babies a bigger, too. For your sake, you should probably hope it is a small one. A hefty baby might kill you."

The corners of Suzaku's lips lift faintly, and he looks at Lelouch with weak amusement – showing his appreciation for the attempt at comic relief.

"Don't worry so much, that's my job," Lelouch commands softy through a smile as he turns his attention back to his laptop, opening an undoubtedly annoying and pointless e-mail from Milly. "And it's like I said before; not everyone's body is the same. It'll probably take a little more time before you start showing."

His fingers tick across keys for only a few seconds when he is suddenly encased in a loving embrace, strong arms linked around his shoulders and a tickle of hair on his neck, causing him to fall still. Strokes of hot breaths slide over Lelouch's skin in more beats of wordless time, Suzaku's scent filling his nostrils and encompassing his brain with warm, fuzzy contentment.

"I don't know what I'd do without you," Suzaku says, his affectionate delivery muffled by Lelouch's shoulder.

Lelouch smiles, a soft glow on his face like a lit candle, and touches Suzaku's arm with his hand.

"Die, probably."

"You're the best daddy in the whole world."

"I thought I was a naughty daddy."

"You are." Suzaku turns his head so his nose is pointing at Lelouch. "But you were right: I like that part of daddy, too."

Lelouch's eyebrow twitches, but it's an intrigued quirk rather than an annoyed reflex, and he stares at the kiss glittering in emerald eyes that's clearly calling him. Not one to pass on such an offer, Lelouch sweetly and tenderly presses his lips to Suzaku's, feeling the other boy happily mirror the movement.

The imposing idea of budding bosoms has been successfully squashed.

•-•

Seated side by side on the couch in Lelouch's room that evening, the teenage parents-to-be stare at the laptop screen, readying themselves for the childbirth video found on the website of their clinic. They're both unsure if they're really ready to see what this video holds but also sure that they should be prepared (not just because the thoughts of Suzaku's mind are truly worrying), and unquestioningly curious about the truth. Lelouch has heard the horror stories and the glory tales, but can't say he knows what the experience really entails – perhaps if he hadn't skipped his health class so much he'd be more knowledgeable, and Suzaku's been playing soldier boy so he's just as clueless.

Lelouch inhales a brave breath, "Ready?"

Suzaku wordlessly nods.

The click from the mouse has never sounded so deafening to Lelouch's ears.

The laptop glows softly on their faces which quickly contort when the video – watching this in full screen was definitely a bad idea – cuts right to the chase. Lelouch can feel himself frowning deeply, cringing at the clear angle and anguishing sounds emitting from the woman whose face they can't see. He glances at Suzaku to see those evergreen eyes expanding beyond their natural limits and his ears turning red like a mercury thermometer during the height of summer, in the desert.

Neither of them was prepared for this, and that's a grievous understatement.

It even feels morally reprehensible because they are in a gay relationship and under the legal age to be taking part in anything to do with this subject. If Suzaku wasn't pregnant, they'd really have no right to watch this video – not that they'd be dying to if he wasn't…

"Uuhh!" the woman groans in distress – a person should never groan like that.

"…So that's what it looks like," Suzaku says, his voice empty and distance like his purity was just stolen from him.

As much as Lelouch would like to admonish Suzaku for making such a blunt remark, he only said what they were both thinking… and it did break the tension crackling from the video, if only a little.

It is an image Lelouch is certain he'll never forget.

"Aahh~!"

For better or for worse.

"I don't think it always looks quite like this," Lelouch mutters sourly as the woman's screams of pain intensify, siphoning a harsh, acidic taste into his mouth from his stomach.

"Push, push, honey! You're almost there! I can see the head!"

"No…" Suzaku's voice is almost completely smothered by the video.

"Guh! Guhaaaaaaaaaaaaa~AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!"

•-•

The boys are scrambling into the bathroom in a race against their stomachs; Suzaku being much faster to the toilet than Lelouch, flipping the lid and dry-heaving into the bowl as if he's trying to cough up the memory of what he just saw. Lelouch stands at the sink, palms on the icy surface as he stares down into the drain, his throat flexing and clamping the volatile feeling of vomit just teetering on the verge of tongue.

…There are some things that just aren't meant for mortal eyes.

"Please tell me I don't have to do that," Suzaku begs with hefty huffs, eyes wide open with the truth.

Lelouch is still swallowing in an effort to keep his lunch, and his stomach, from lurching up his esophagus, completely against making any promises to Suzaku at this point. He'd like nothing more than to reassure Suzaku – and himself – that it isn't possible for a male to give birth that way, but a male shouldn't even be pregnant in the first place. They're treading new lands, and Lelouch doesn't have enough facts to declare anything safe just yet anymore.

"I just want to know what kind of sick people call childbirth beautiful," Lelouch mutters into the sink, rubbing the nausea away with the shock of cold water. "Or what sick things a person would have to see first to even call it beautiful."

"I think people think the idea of childbirth is beautiful when they say that." – is all Suzaku can seem to offer in a tired toss of words as he slumps before the Porcelain God.

Lelouch's lips curl at the imagery of that video as if he smells rancid garbage, "I hope you're right."

•-

-•

Homeroom might just be another time for napping to Lelouch, but not Suzaku. While the older boy snoozes his free period away, face buried in his folded arms on the table, Suzaku sits next to him with a straight back and an open history book in front of him to do his assignment… Trying to, at least. His paper is still blank, aside from his name, while his mind chases thoughts that lead him farther and farther away from the point of his pencil. Suzaku hasn't found it completely impossible to focus in every case, but school work and class lectures are a different story. Although he's never thought of himself as the student type, he's been doing pretty well since enrolled at Ashford, only now with the pregnancy hatching in his mind is he facing a constant daze. Doing his work would actually be fine, if he could remember a single word any of his teachers have said…

Normally turning to Lelouch would solve Suzaku's problems, but he doesn't want to bother the boy who struggles to sleep at night so he's just staring helplessly down at his paper when a shadow slides over its empty surface – a silhouette he can instantly recognize.

"What's up, Suzaku," Rivalz greets, dragging an empty chair to sit backwards in it across from the honorary Britannian, "Doin' homework?"

"Trying to," he bashfully mumbles. "I can't seem to concentrate."

Rivalz waves off Suzaku's troubles, smiling breezily, "Just get Lelouch to do it for you later. He's never done it for me, but I'm sure he'd do it for you."

Suzaku smiles faintly as Rivalz warmly laughs, but the twist on his lips is more sneering than it is humored.

He already knows what Lelouch would expect in return for such a favor.

Because Lelouch's charity has its limits.

"So… I was just curious about something," Rivalz's lowers his voice, his face shaping to match his sober words.

Suzaku's head tilts, "What?"

That blue mop of hair sinks to dock a chin on his over-lapping arms, his shoulders raised and eyes intensely focused on what he makes seem like a top-secret conversation.

"What was it like, being one of them?"

"Them?"

"You know, when you were with the girls. What was it like?"

In itself, coming from Rivalz, that's not an odd question, just a little unexpected in timing. After the event on Saturday, Lelouch didn't really give off the appeal of wanting to know more than he needed to about what went on at the mall, either because he simply didn't want to know or he didn't care to know all the details, Suzaku can't say. He didn't feel particularly obligated to share more than he needed to, either, because the whole day was repetitive of Milly's harassment.

"Oh, well… different, but not very different from just being around them any other time. I think it was just the context that was strange? I don't think they're different because they're girls." Different for other reasons, maybe, but everybody is quirky in some way.

"Huh…" Rivalz sounds disappointed. "They didn't act different around you?"

Suzaku shakes his head with a faint shrug, "No. They were the same."

Milly might have been more aggressive, and cared only about Lelouch, but Rivalz doesn't need to know that.

"Did you get to see them in their underwear?" Rivalz asks a bit too excitedly and a bit too loudly, painting a blush across Suzaku's cheeks and pulling some unwanted eyes onto them. "Cuz I've heard that girls are really open with their, erm,"—he glances around briefly to make sure no one is listening, anymore—"special guy friends. They'll, like, change in front of you, or even more than that!"

"Don't be stupid, Rivalz." –comes the muffled scorn of Lelouch who doesn't bother to lift his head.

Guess he's not really sleeping.

Rivalz brushes off Lelouch's derision with a brittle straighten of his spine, "Whatever. It's just what I've heard. But, did you get to see anything? I mean, I know you probably don't care about that sort of thing. But, the president? Even you'd have to admit that she's got a nice figure – did you get to see it up close and personal, hah? All of them look good, you know, but Milly is more matureif you know what I mean."

This part of Rivalz is actually kind of funny.

Creepy, but funny.

And, no, Suzaku doesn't know what he means.

"Sorry." Suzaku simpers. "That didn't happen."

"Figured not." Rivalz slumps back down against his arms. "But… are you sure they're really like us? Because it doesn't always seem that way."

"Yeah," Suzaku says with an ironic half-smile at the reflective thoughts of how carnivorously Milly wanted to know about Lelouch just like Rivalz wanted to about Milly. "I think just their parts are different."


All completed chapters are now posted. Next chapter is on the way.



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