The wind blew in gusts on that chilling Tuesday night. Leaves from the maple tree, red and gold and crisp, blew from their branches and onto the frost-covered grounds of Ashford Academy. The few reaching sticks and twigs that lay at the end of a particularly thick branch had taken to hitting against the thick glass panes of Lelouch Lamperouge's window.
Typically, the whistling winds and tapping of branches didn't particularly bother Lelouch. He could have slept through anything, yet habit kept him awake. He fondly remembered going into Nunnally's room on nights like this, stroking her hair and singing her to sleep so that the frightening sounds didn't keep her from the sleep she so desperately needed.
Another 'sibling' was asleep in that room down the hall, however. The fake-brother Rolo slept soundly in Nunnally's bed. He snored lightly because of his cold, but that bothered neither 'brother.'
Before turning off the light and settling himself into bed, Lelouch had been watching a documentary for his French class. The entire DVD was in French, and it of course detailed events in Britannian history. Painfully recent ones.
He had carefully listened to the dialogue about the Britannian's number-one enemy, the 'super-terrorist' Zero. He took notes easily on that, his notebook filled with neat cursive about the terrorist's actions. Almost as if he had committed those crimes himself.
"Hormis la rébellion noire, l'événement que le terroriste Zero est le plus associé à est le massacre administratif spécial de zone, mené par le princesse Euphemia li Britannia."
Lelouch had barely noticed the topic, quickly muttering the translation as he wrote them down. "Aside from the Black Rebellion, the event that the terrorist Zero is most associated with is the Special Administrative Zone Massacre, led by Princess Euphemia li Britannia..."
Realizing what he had just written, Lelouch grabbed the remote for the DVD player and rewound the footage so that the narrative began from where he had written. Scenes from the massacre were shown, with the bodies of the Japanese laying everywhere, blood staining the ground and the seats and the Knightmares. A little boy in a blue shirt stood beside his mother's body, crying.
When the narrator said Euphemia's name, an image of the Third Princess was shown, her hands neatly folded in her lap and a sweet smile on her face. "Comment une fille le regard si douce pourrait-il avoir commencé un abattage si terrible?" The sharp woman's voice asked her unseen audience, and Lelouch put his pencil to his lips. He already knew the answer.
"Par les influences étant en connivencees de Zero." Through the conniving influences of Zero.
He watched the footage of Euphemia with the gun in her hand, pressed against her petite side as she fired rounds at the Japanese almost mindlessly. It showed her scrambling for another clip, and then it showed her facing the masked man.
"Après utilisation d'Euphemia pour son propres malade et souhaits tordus, projectile Zero elle dans l'abdomen. Dans les deux heures suivantes, sa majesté est morte des dommages, et a ainsi suscité la rébellion noire."
That was as far as they were supposed to watch, so after Lelouch turned the television off, he quickly wrote. "After using Euphemia for his own sick and twisted wishes, Zero shot her in the abdomen. Within the next two hours, Her Majesty died from the injury, and thus sparked the Black Rebellion."
After that, he had tossed the notebook on his desk and laid down.
Now images of that bloody day wouldn't leave his mind. Even as the numbers on the digital clock went forward, Lelouch couldn't rest. It had become an impossibility. "I'll get some tea." He finally decided, drawing himself from under the warm comforters, and slipping his feet into some house slippers.
On the way downstairs, he heard footsteps following his. Yet when he turned around, there was nothing. Puzzled yet unconcerned at the same time, Lelouch went downstairs and put a cup of water into the microwave for a minute and a half. He sunk down into one of the hard-backed wooden chairs at the circular kitchen table, cradling his face into his hands.
Then he heard gunshots from somewhere in the house. Ignoring the water, Lelouch grabbed a hidden gun from a hidden hollow space behind the bread box. He crept out into the main hall, glancing around, until a cool burst of air hit the back of his neck, and a familiar voice reached his ears.
"Brother Lelouch, it's good to see you again."
Lelouch turned suddenly to find the source of the sweet voice, which held a saccharine poison in its undertones. And there she stood, in her bloodstained and torn gown, the machine gun pressed against her side. Her purple eyes didn't have the red ring around them, yet she still held the weapon dangerously, as if Geass was affecting her even then.
"Euphie!" He gasped, dropping his own gun with a clatter against the marble floor. Taking a step back, he slipped against the slick surface and fell backwards, barely catching himself. "I-I'm dreaming, I must be."
The princess didn't have the pale glow or transparency of a spirit or ghoul, yet she had the pale complexion of a woman long dead. The sickly blue tint of her skin sharply contrasted with her long pink hair, matted with blood. "This isn't a dream, Brother. Elder Brother Schneizel used his science. I have enough life now to last me this night."
She stepped forward, her dirty heels clicking against the floor to the beat of a funeral march. Her grip tightened on the gun as she aimed it to the best of her ability. The bullet would go right through Lelouch's head.
A window blew open with the force of the wind, throwing in leaves of every colored variety, and sending some stray strands of Euphemia's hair across her face. Her countenance was not calm, sweet, and forgiving as it typically had been. It was cold and filled with hatred.
Her finger touched the trigger like a butterfly touched a flower, with not enough force for anything to happen. "Souffrez le destin que j'ai souffert, Lelouch, prince de tyran."
There was a scream and then a gunshot, nearly muffled by a sudden and violent clap of thunder. Euphemia stared upon the corpse of her brother, still bleeding from the head wound, before throwing open the doors and leaving her victim there. And as she walked down the path to her death, she whispered the only thing that mattered left to her.
"Forgive me for my sins, dear Nunnally."