Time Epilogue II
4/14/2012 6:00 PM
It was refreshing. Lelouch had never even tried to keep count of how many times he had died throughout his immortal life. It had always been the same anyway, never really dying. The moment he'd been flung into the darkness he was opening his eyes again and waking up to life as it had been just moments before.
But this was different. Splayed out across the steps of the church, Lelouch had never imagined it would be so ironic of an end. His breath caught, eyes still wide open, and he was amazed at how much pain he didn't feel. The feeling of being yanked back into existence had been pain enough over the years, but now it was so—like floating. He was there but for once in his life he could feel himself drifting.
He had been right. He was meeting his end with a smile—and it was perfect.
Violet eyes relaxed, Lelouch blinked a few times. He could feel the deep red liquid sticking to his fingertips and pooling around his body. That soft smile on his face, he let his body just settle.
Clutched in his hand, Lelouch looked down at that pocket watch. The seconds now were ticking down.
12 , 11 , 10…
Lelouch could hear the crowd around him, someone screamed nearby. There was total chaos. And yet he felt so relieved as he watched that pocket watch.
He almost laughed; for once he wouldn't get up and walk away. He tried to laugh and blood filled his mouth. A cough came out first, the dark liquid leaking out at the side of this mouth, staining his cheek.
Lelouch turned his gaze away, looking straight up at the sky. He could feel the heat of fire close by. He could hear the roar of another Molotov cocktail hitting the ground. Someone was yelling out, calling for someone. Lelouch closed his eyes for just half a second. He knew exactly what that was like. He'd woken up so many times calling for the one person he hoped and prayed would meet him just shortly.
The man was still calling out, his voice hoarse this time. Another gas bomb went off, and the man called again. Lelouch blinked again, feeling blood leaking into his eye.
"Suzaku," Lelouch echoed as the man called out again.
"Suzaku," Lelouch said a bit louder. The man was getting closer to him, his voice more frantic as he called out the same name over and over again. Lelouch refused to look to see who it was, or hear who he was looking for. Lelouch could relate for the simple fact that he knew how that felt to be alone, to find yourself so alone and no hope of finding the one person that mattered.
Lelouch jerked as he felt something shudder in his chest. There was real pain this time. It was sharp and real and flashing through his chest. It was deep. It felt so familiar. Like heartache that he'd felt so much over so long. It was almost like all that hurt and ache and loneliness built up into one sharp dagger and had been plunged in his chest, lodged in deep and now twisted as the end was coming. Immortalities one last memorable lashing out at Lelouch
"Suzaku!" Lelouch said, just as desperate as the man out around him calling for his own loved one.
It was suddenly so hard. Dying was suddenly the worst thing he'd ever gone through. It was the lingering. The expansion of time into eons between every millisecond was like dragging it out, like picking up his broken body and leaving a long bloody trail across the expanse of time in pursuit of the end. It was like Lelouch could feel it. He could feel it just like he could feel that watch he had fisted his hand around.
"Suzaku!" Lelouch mustered up the strength to yell this time. He could feel tears trailing down his face. His teeth gritted as he hoped that just maybe his pleading could reach across that impossible divide before him.
His chest was getting tighter as the pain was expanding. His body felt taught and stretched thin. He wasn't sure how much more he could take. And yet he didn't know how to stop it even if he wanted to.
And release... The same feeling rushed over him that refreshing water like feeling as his body relaxed again, even that death grip on the silver pocket watch.
"Suzaku…" this time it was whispered. The last utterance carried on the final breath of living, and almost immediately washed away, lost under the depths. Lelouch didn't want to close his eyes. He didn't want to chance getting caught under the current and yet—he exhaled… and let go…
He'd never closed his eyes—and suddenly was lying in a field of sunflowers. Above him weren't the clouds of bleak overcast London. Instead it was clear, it was so clear that abruptly the sun was blaring down at him with the light of a new day. Lelouch raised his hand to shield his eyes.
And instantly he realized it, there was no pocket watch in either of his hands. With a burst of startling anxiety, Lelouch threw himself up into a sitting position. The sunflowers around him rustled. A light breeze rippled around him followed by that same sound of rustling, like a giggle of each flower to Lelouch. He looked down, finding himself in new cloths, different clean, crisp cloths he hadn't even remembered purchasing. At his sides he spread his fingers in the soft foliage that he had just been nestled in. It was all green and healthy, the perfection that one imagined but hardly ever was real.
There was another rustling of the sunflowers around him and Lelouch looked roundabout. Head whipping from side to side to try and find the source, Lelouch couldn't help the apprehension as he drew his legs in closer to himself, moving his hands to his thighs, ready to stand instantly.
Then she wiggled her way through the stalks in front of Lelouch. Mouth open, she raised her head just as she stepped to Lelouch's feet.
"Charley," Lelouch breathed, and opened his arms out to her.
And as joyful and as energetic as she had ever been in life, she bound into Lelouch, knocking him back as she pummeled into him. He was laughing he realized as he was bathed in her long slobbering and loving kisses. Her tail was wagging as fast as it ever had as she sat down on his lap. When Lelouch sat back up, She nuzzled in and let her chin rest on Lelouch's shoulder.
It was a habit that had developed so long ago. When they had both wanted the one person that wasn't there anymore, the cuddling kind of position had developed. And as Lelouch fell into that pattern just like he had years before, his hand came up to brush through her long fur.
As he did, He shook his head. He could still remember the awful day he lost her. He could remember the time had been harder than it ever had in his life. He'd buried her in the middle of nowhere. His fingers had been raw and ached from the cold as he'd scooped up another pile of dirt. He'd never buried something with his bare hands before—it had hurt, not just his hands, and his aching head, and his freezing toes and his raw skin, he'd cried the entire time. It had been harder to leave her there than it ever had to leave him. No one would even know about her, and that hurt so bad.
Lelouch was startled out of his own thoughts as he heard Charley's low bark at him. He smiled and looked down at her. It was ignored though as Charley jumped out of his lap and started back through the long stalks of Sunflowers. She peaked her head back through a moment later giving another, this time louder bark.
Standing was surprisingly easy and Lelouch set off after her. For once she moved at a pace fit for him, waiting for him at times even to stumble his way behind her. The stalks were tall enough and thick enough that Lelouch couldn't see more than a few feet in front of him. The real downside of it all though was that they started up hill, and Lelouch could feel it as the ground steeped just enough to make him want to complain.
Charley's ears abruptly went from relaxed to standing straight up in full attention. As she stopped, Lelouch stopped as well,í leaning down to her. It was just in time to feel her burst forward right out of his hands. She leapt through the next stalks of Sunflowers and out of sight.
"Hey girl, I thought I lost you,"
Lelouch froze, he felt his head spin and his heart stop. He knew that voice—he knew—
Taking a cautious step forward, Lelouch felt his hands shaking as he reached forward to pull the stalks to part. As his fingers moved he took another step forward through the parting curtain of sunflowers.
He was on one knee, rubbing and scratching Charley's belly to her elation. When he looked up, Lelouch breath caught as beautiful green eyes locked on him. A breathtaking and infectious smile spread on his face and Lelouch had to force himself not to take a step back. It felt like a dream. The kind of dreams of Lelouch had ran from, they'd hurt too much.
And then he was standing, and he was everything Lelouch had remembered. Broad shoulders, and tall, proud stance. He looked healthy and so—beautiful. Lelouch noticed that sun kissed tan as he took a step forward and out stretched that broad, big hand out to Lelouch.
"I'm sorry," He said before giving his characteristic chuckle. "I never actually thought you'd be on time."
Lelouch flung himself forward, hitting a strong and stead chest and buried his face into equally strong shoulders and firm arms wrapped around him. "Suzaku," he gasped.
"I know," Lelouch could hear that smile on Suzaku's face. "I missed you to,"