To His Imperial Majesty
To His Imperial Majesty Lelouch vi Britannia, 99th Emperor of Britannia
I’m not sure how trustworthy the chain of messengers between you and me will be, so all I’m going to say here is that you and I need to talk. I know that I don’t look like much against you, Nina, Lloyd, Xingke, Schneizel, Rakshata…against half the people we both know, and it’s easy to forget compared to my skills in a knightmare, but I’m a bloody genius, too, as well as a bloody good actress. I know far more than you give me credit for.
Dear Rebel Scum
And what exactly do you think you know?
The Ruler of the World, Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia
‘Rebel Scum’? I’d take that as an insult if I didn’t know how much you like Star Wars. I hope you haven’t had any film directors assassinated like your father. I’d be very disappointed in you.
At any rate, I take it the messenger who gave me your note is either trustworthy or geassed, but I’ll hold off on writing anything too important just yet. You know, it’s really boring being a prisoner. Nunnally had the decency to come speak with me. You could at least give me a book.
P.S. Rumour has it that Suzaku is dead. I did totally kick his arse in the end, but I puzzled out what geass you put him under a long time ago. His last words to me didn’t sound very distressed.
What do you want?
What do I want? Just a book or something, really. I’m bored.
Look, I’m not exactly sure what your grand plan for me is after I get out of here, but I’m sure it doesn’t require me to be driven mad staring at a grey wall. If you’re upset about the kiss, then I’m sorry. I had to stay in character. Most of the people who knew about your geass were expecting it of me. I wasn't as comfortable with the Black Knights as you probably thought.
That said, I meant it. I know you have more important things to be doing than dealing with your disaster of a social life, but I know you know I’m not useless. Nor unfamiliar with court life.
Lady Kallen Stadtfeld
Are you seriously propositioning me from a prison cell? What exactly did you tell the guard you first convinced to let you write a letter? ‘Hey, tell the emperor I’ll shag him for a book’? I can’t believe…
Why are you doing this to me? If you know as much as you say, then do you not understand just how hard it was not to steal you away from the Black Knights at Ashford?
Well, actually, it wasn’t that hard in hindsight. I cringe imagining the moment you and Suzaku came into contact. And yes, I admit I did give him your job. It wasn’t meant to be an insult to you, although I’m sure it came off that way. To be fair, though, you were effectively asking to be made empress. While my own mother was both an empress and a Knight of the Round, it’s poor form to require a bodyguard to guard herself. I could really only give you one or the other.
In hindsight, I suppose I should have tried to poach you at the UFN meeting with vague promises. That probably would have done a better job breaking your loyalty to me. That was my miscalculation.
P.S. I happened upon my copy of The Count of Monte Cristo while at Aries Villa. I kind of want to burn it and the whole palace to the ground, but… Nevermind. Enjoy.
THANK YOU! You really have no idea how bored I was. But you do realise that Alexandre Dumas was French, right? How did you get ahold of this as a kid?
Anyway, do you know how hard it was not to let myself be ‘stolen away’? And I definitely wasn’t asking you to marry me!
Well…I suppose when I really think about it, we’ve gone through a much longer than average courtship as far as Britannian nobility goes. I guess we were sort of at the point where we’d either decide to tie the knot or break it off. I…wouldn’t be opposed, exactly, but…
Right, well, as I was saying before, I’m not exactly sure what you intend to happen to me when this is all over, but I doubt it involves my death or my sanity breaking. If anything, it's the exact opposite. I have a bad feeling you intend to do something incredibly daft.
I hope Suzaku isn’t around. Remember, he hates you and has betrayed practically everyone he’s ever worked for, including you, even if he technically wasn’t working for you at the time. Don’t listen to him if he says something ridiculous like ‘you should never have existed’. I don’t care what deal you made with him. You made promises to me and Nunnally first.
P.S. Being a half-blood, I have a foot in each culture. This lets me notice nonsense that both sides get up to, so just in case, I’m going to make the obvious suggestion that Britannians typically overlook. Have you and Suzaku ever seen a therapist?
I don’t actually know where Suzaku is right now, nor do I particularly want to talk to him. Everything that needs to be said between us has already been said. You’re probably right that I should find someone uninvolved to talk to, though.
At any rate, C.C. and Jeremiah are determined to see me survive, so despite everything, you don’t have to worry about that. C.C. in particular nearly beat me to death when she found out what I was planning. I was supposed to kill her in exchange for my geass, but I refused to let her die unhappy. She was…displeased when I spoke of my own death, but I clarified a few things for her after.
I’m sure you can figure out the plan from there. If nothing else, it’ll be a good puzzle to keep you from getting bored.
I admit I’ve grown a particular variety of fondness for C.C. over the year I spent on the run with her, but I think this is the first time she and I have been in genuine agreement with each other on anything. You are a fool, Lelouch vi Britannia. I get what you’re going for with this whole ZeroZaku kills you thing. It’s very poetic. I’m not convinced it’s a better option in practice than you just ruling the world, but I understand.
But you're still a fool.
Now explain to me why I now have a geass.
To be honest, I’ve actually been enjoying being the absolute ruler of the world. It’s so easy to get things done. It's a nice change I'm going to miss.
Speaking of, I transfered you from the Black Knights to the Knight of One position a while ago. I was intending to entrust Nunnally to you, but from the sound of it, I’m going to have to find someone else to do the job. Jeremiah can’t. I cringe just thinking of it, but perhaps Gino could. I’ll have to give the matter some more thought.
By the way, I spoke to your parents yesterday. It appears they’re on better terms with each other than you thought. Or at least they are now. A lot has happened, after all. I’m not too surprised, however. You and your brother are over ten years apart in age. Your mum and dad obviously had some sort of stable relationship.
Anyway, I need to keep this one short. I’m busy planning your execution.
Why do I have a geass?
Okay, look. You can’t win an argument like that. No matter how effectively it…quieted me.
While I don’t particularly mind lazing around in prison so long as I have something to do, people were already asking questions about me getting special treatment. I still say we should just go public with it. It’s not like anyone is going to care a hundred years from now. Besides, I’m on record as being a force for good, unlike you. I think it’d be fun to be a big question mark in history. If nothing else, you’d have a good gift for my hundredth birthday lined up. I’m sure I could get a laugh out of a history textbook about myself.
Regardless, I don’t really want to stay in the military or in politics. I fought to make the world a better place, not because I particularly enjoyed it. I didn't and don't plan to stay in the Black Knights or with the Knights of the Round no matter what happens.
Kallen vi Britannia
You were the one who refused to part with your ring. Of course people are going to talk when a prisoner shows up with imperial regalia on her finger. Jeremiah and I have had to work overtime to cover that up.
By the way, I think he accidentally hit you with his geass canceller while we were at it. If so, no, I don't intend to do anything daft, as you would put it, to you. If you want me to inoculate you again, just ask.
And yes, I can win an argument like that. I didn't hear you protesting when you were carried back to your cell. And you thought I had no stamina.
I admit you lasted considerably longer than I thought. I'll give you that. I'm having an easy time all alone down here staying mad at you, though.
I hope you weren't expecting me to give this ring back, by the way. It's mine until I decide to pass C.C.’s code on, if ever. Nunnally and the rest of Britannia will just have to make do without it.
Yes, Jeremiah did knock your geass off of me. Normally I would just say I trust you, but better safe than sorry after what I suspect happened with Euphemia. You still cringe at the mere mention of her, you know. Shirley, too. I'm still waiting to hear the real story behind that as well. Suzaku told me you killed her. Like I'd believe that.
Anyway, would you mind sending me some pyjamas? The last time I was imprisoned, I got to lounge around in the finest silks. I'm sure some part of that was Gino trying to convince me to join the Knights of the Round and Nunnally just being nice, but still. I give my stay here one star.
You are incorrigible, woman.
P.S. I imagine you prefer flannel to silk for sleeping in when alone, but correct me if I'm wrong.
P.P.S Did they really dress you up as a noblewoman? Regardless of how…unsubtle that is, I have to admit I wish I'd been there. You always look stunning in a dress. If only I had more excuses to get you in one.
You look pretty dapper in a suit yourself, Your Majesty.
I definitely prefer silk when my warm body pillow is next to me, but I can suffer flannel for now, I suppose. To be honest, I’ve given up on that prisoner's uniform entirely. It's itchy. Besides, it's been ages since I got to lounge around in pyjamas.
But yes, they did put me in a very expensive dress. I was kept in some weird oubliette. Why do we even have oubliettes? It’s really not efficient or all that secure. Sayoko got me out easily enough, after all.
Anyway, things have been quiet down here. Tohdoh is giving me weird looks from across the hall, of course, and I'm sure Ohgi thinks I’ve whored myself out for a few comforts. He hasn't said it in those exact words, but it's been close enough. I refrained from commenting that I'm not in a position to be a whore; you could just rape me if you were so inclined. I'm sure he’d have said you not doing so was just a plot to get me to take Suzaku's place, nevermind that you could just order me to do so. I don't think it's really sunken in for him how broken your geass is.
On an entirely unrelated matter, would you mind sending down another book? I'll make it worth your while.
I've passed Ohgi’s name off to the OSI.
Not exactly helping my case by sending me a laptop with an Internet connection and an unlimited line of credit, but I'll take it. The Demon Emperor Grant is running out soon. Gotta spend the money while we can.
Speaking of which, as much as I'd like to live in Japan and as comfortable as we'd both be in Britannia, we should probably lay low somewhere else for a couple decades. I've been looking into a few places in Australia, but I can probably be talked into anywhere that isn't cold.
Oh, and given that Ohgi is still here, I assume you were just joking earlier. I'm not happy with him either, but please be nice.
Australia sounds lovely. Just keep in mind that C.C. will be with us at least until your geass fully matures. That will take a year or two at minimum. I'm actually hoping she'll stay until she dies of old age, but who knows with her. Remind me to tell you about my mother sometime. C.C. has…filled the gap, somewhat.
P.S. Sorry about breaking my promise. I don't think either of us will be going back to Ashford anytime soon.
As long as you don't expect me to call her Mum, C.C. can do whatever she wants. As much as it pains me to admit it, I would miss living with the witch.
How are things going in the palace? I’ve kind of stopped paying attention to most people around here ever since you gave me a laptop.
Oh, speaking of, I’ll send another email as soon as I find the link again, but you have to read some of the things people write about us on the Internet. The ace devicer of the rebellion and the demon emperor get shipped a lot. Almost as much as I get paired with Zero. Some of this we need to make nonfiction.
In all honesty, I’m starting to think there’s really no point in not establishing ourselves as a canon couple. I mean, seriously. Just search for pictures of us together.
Anyway, I’m sending along details on a nice house on a cliffside with a beach below. Let me know what you think.
[Call from Kallen vi Britannia]
“So it is you. How on Earth did you manage to get ahold of a cell phone?”
“I didn't. Rakshata is a genius!”
“No need to state the obvious, my dear,” came the distant voice of Rakshata in the background. Lelouch facepalmed.
“Right, anyway. She walked me through turning a speaker into a dual speaker-microphone through software.”
“You know, it's kind of amusing to watch Ohgi’s attitude flip one-eighty now that he thinks I did everything to be able to place calls to the rest of the world. As if email wasn’t enough. Is it bad that I'm starting to enjoy this?”
Lelouch chuckled. “Welcome to the imperial family. Your sense of humour is merely being adjusted. Give it time, and the transformation will be complete.”
“I have already spent the middle part of my life at court, you know.”
“Ah, my apologies, Milady. You’re being repaired, then.” After sharing a laugh, Lelouch asked, “Anyway, what brings this on?”
“You never call.”
That tone of voice – Lelouch fought not to laugh, but it was a losing proposition.
“No,” Kallen eventually said. “To be honest, I’m enjoying being an agent of chaos a little too much. I have three guards outside my cell right now who don’t have a clue what to do about me. The look on their faces is priceless. Is this what you felt like back when we started all this?”
“Maybe a little,” Lelouch admitted. Being Zero had been an adrenaline rush at times. He also suspected that geass unhinged its possessor a little as well.
“Ah, I should let you get back to whatever it is you’re up to. Probably planning my death or something.”
“I actually finished that last night. The date is set for this Monday.”
“Fun. I’ll get to see the light of day again. Anyway, later, Lelouch.”
[Call from Kallen vi Britannia]
C.C. flatly asked, “What did you talk out of His Majesty this time?”
Laughter erupted from the other end of the line. Eventually, though, Kallen said, “I ordered a few things that I need you to pick up for me. Also, I’d appreciate an escort to the throne room late tonight. I have a feeling it’ll be a long time before I ever get another chance to fulfil one of my naughties if I let this opportunity go by.”
My god, Kallen. I keep trying to do…something, anything, but I can't get you out of my head. Argh! Why last night? I have so much to get done. I have half a mind to drag you out of your cell and chain you to a table to do paperwork with me.
Kinky. I'm game to try.
I'm going to remember that promise a couple weeks from now. You can count on that.
Hey, Milly. How has life been for you? Lelouch told me you wanted to become a reporter. I've never much been one for the news myself, so you'll have to tell me when and what channel you're on.
As for me, I imagine you're already aware of the big events in my life as of late. Oh! I finally beat Suzaku once and for all! I can't tell you how he's been cheating – state secret – but I got the best of him in the end. I am officially the strongest knight in the world! I can’t describe just how good that feels.
Anyway, let me know how you've been.
Kallen? Did - did you marry Lelouch? Why is your surname showing up as ‘vi Britannia’? I thought you were about to be executed? Are you okay? What's going on with Lelouch? Have you seen Nina or Rivalz? Is Suzaku alive?
Uh, in the order you asked, yes, it's me. Yes. I took his name for the time being. I am. Yep. It's complicated, and he's an idiot, but I knew that before I slept with him. No, actually, but I know Lelouch has seen Nina. And finally, state secret.
P.S. I'm sure you can guess Lelouch's email address. Go harass him if you want to know state secrets, Madam President.
I'm beginning to feel like you're trying to tell me something.
Got your note. Remember how you said you can win an argument by turning me into a pile of goo? Well, if we're going to play that game, I can win an argument by making life as difficult as possible for you between now and the Zero Requiem.
P.S. Confiscating my stuff would be a bad idea on your part.
You sly, manipulative, conniving, cunning, little snake. I don't know if I should be proud of everything you've learnt from me or furious at how little sleep you're letting me get. And not the good kind of lack of sleep.
By the way, I was considering publishing a photobook of the imperial family as a memorial to my lost family. If you want to be included so badly, I was thinking about using some of the attached pictures.
[Call from Kallen vi Britannia]
“Hello, Kallen,” Lelouch said, his tone smug and filled with the sweet hint of victory.
“Where did you get those photos!”
“You know, Love, the funny thing is you have parents who love you. Sure, your mum lost most of her pictures during the invasion of Japan, but my dear father-in-law was eager to share.”
“That Britannian arse!”
“Says the Empress of Britannia.”
A moment passed.
Smirking, Lelouch returned to his work triumphant.
So, remember how the FLEIJA didn't destroy Milly's flat in Japan? And remember how only the main district of Pendragon was destroyed? Oh, and you know how Anya takes pictures of nearly everything? She once lived with you at Aries Villa, you know.
You've been warned.
Why are you harder to deal with than Schneizel?
You say the sweetest things.
[Call from Lelouch vi Britannia]
“Jeremiah and I have met up with C.C. and your parents. Anya is with us, too.”
“I'll be there as soon as I can,” Kallen said. “I'm having a harder time slipping away from the celebrations than expected.”
“Is someone suspicious?”
Kallen glanced over the sea of faces and quickly took each one in. “I think two or three have caught on, but no one is saying anything. I’d like to punch Suzaku in the face before I leave, but it's actually my new little sister holding me up.”
“Ah,” Lelouch said, uncharacteristically subdued. Swiftly changing the topic, he said, “Give Suzaku a second hit for me.”
Kallen snorted. “I'll deliver a gentle tap to him direct from you.”
“I'm not that bad,” Lelouch lied. He really was. “Anyway, I hope you like big, disfiguring scars. C.C. says the scar tissue over my heart on both sides will never go away.”
“At last. Something that makes you look more like a man. I've seen Milly's photos of you at that cross dressing ball.”
“Ha ha.” Barely audibly, Kallen heard Lelouch ask Jeremiah to check if they still had their embarrassing photos of Milly from before the Second Pacific War. “Try to get here before nightfall. We need to get out of the country before someone notices the security gaps I left.”
“I will. See you soon.”
So yesterday I discovered some things my brother and sister-in-law left behind.
Yes, I have a sister-in-law. Present tense, not past. I had plenty at one time. I’d suspected, but Kallen never confirmed it. I wasn’t even invited to the wedding. Stupid brother and his stupid plans to save the world.
Oh, and guess what? My brother is alive. Again, I’d suspected, but this one I couldn’t believe. I saw Suzaku stab him through the heart. And that was him, not a body double. Lelouch died in my arms. But apparently he’s immortal. And Kallen is, too? I think I need to have a talk with them. Someone in the Black Knights should be able to get me Kallen’s phone number. If not, maybe she still checks her email address.
A Very Angry Empress