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Chapter 1

"I love her."

The cold water from the faucet slowly and satisfyingly fills the bath tub she is in. She watches as it reaches the middle of her legs causing unwelcomed goosebumps on her skin. Up, up, go up, up, she chants on her head. Up, up, until it gently kisses my lips, up until it painfully invades my lungs, up until it becomes the air I breathe. Up, up, go up.

"I'm sorry."

She wants to turn the faucet more to fill the tub faster, but her limbs are just too lazy, are just too dead to move so she waits and waits and waits until the warm water cocoons her body like a protective blanket. Like a newborn baby wrapped around a soft cloth.

How ironic, she wants to laugh, to compare herself to a baby, someone who is just starting a life, when she is lying here waiting for her own to end. How ironic. How cruel.

"It's not your fault. It's just… the love between us has faded."

Raising her left hand, she studies the ugly wrinkles forming in the ivory surface of her palm. She imagines of being old – wrinkling, back bent, hair white. She imagines of not seeing sharply with her own eyes, seeking the aid of a pair of worn glasses to read the newspaper. She imagines of little hands guiding as she walks around their imaginary house, of the childish laughter that would echo through the halls, of the word 'grandma' being uttered by youthful lips.

She imagines, imagines and imagines of an age she will never reach.

"I'm seeing her for two months now."

The water is at her neck now, overflowing the edge of the tub creating an artificial pool on the floor of the bathroom. That water like her sadness overflowing from her heart with no room left to fill in her body. That sadness that has become her own pool of misery and pain for the last eight months.

She just wants it out of her body, out of her soul, out of her. She just wants it out. Period.

So she reaches for the blade that is floating on the tub, runs her finger on its sharp edge and watches as scarlet blood escapes her skin.

Out.

She proceeds to make cuts on her arms fascinated by how red taints white, by how she feels peace in every sting it makes, by how everything, everything disappears but the lines on her skin – her only focus, the only escape.

Water, up.

Blood, out.

It's been a while since she feels this kind of serenity and she wants to keep it forever so she cuts her thighs, her legs until the water is a sea of red.

She stares deliberately at her wrist, the final key to her bliss. Her skin has been so transparent for she has been barely eating that she quickly sees the purple veins beneath. There they are, thin and long, calling out to her, making it easy for her to make the final cut. Too easy. Thank you.

But before that she needs to say goodbye. To completely let go of this world. She thinks of freely floating in the sky like a kite, with nothing to worry, with nothing to feel, just the gentle wind beneath ber carrying her away from here. Of feeling the warmth of the sun on her skin. Light, it has been gone to her lately, but hopefully, she'll see it again this time. A peaceful smile graces her lips. She'll see it again soon. Picking up her phone on the sink, she dials his number and listens to it ring.

She counts the seconds until the familiar female voice answers her. Another smile. Of course, he won't answer. He never answers her calls anymore.

Gently, she lets her phone floats on the tub and retrieves the blade. She feels her veins carefully, trying to remember what she has read through the internet. Ah, this vein right here.

Closing her eyes, the blade slowly digs deeper, cuts deeper, slice deeper, it's painful and yet... and yet all C.C. can think of is, finally.


 

"So when are you going to talk to her?"

"Today."

"Fucking finally, Lelouch. Finally. You fucked us up real bad."

Lelouch finishes drinking his coffee and looks defeatedly at his best friend. "I know. I know, Suzaku. That's why I'm going to fix this. To fix us."

"Do you think she's going to accept you again after what you've done?"

"I don't know. But if I need to kneel before her, I will. If I need to start over again, I will. If I need to quit my career just to properly fix this mess, I will."

Suzaku shakes his head as he stomps his cigarette on the ash tray. "You bastard, why did you waited this long. Shirley and you have broken up four months ago and before that you already know that you've made the wrong decision. But why just now? Why did you waited this long?"

Lelouch looks out the window of the cafeteria and observes the rain that is gently pouring outside. She has always loved the rain. Always marvels the cold and serenity it brings. It made her feel at peace she said.

"I just want to be sure this time. I don't want to make decisions that will hurt other people again, especially her. So I have to make myself sure. I need to be sure."

Suzaku lets out a mirthless laugh. "Idiotic bastard. Throwing away a seven-year relationship, a ten-year friendship, for a fling that lasted barely six months. Lelouch Lamperouge, for all your intelligence, you made the dumbest and most pathetic decision ever. I can't still believe that I stuck with you after all this time and not with C.C. and Kallen," he stares at his friend with full determination, "If you fucked this up again, I'll be the one to make sure that you won't see her again, understood?"

Lelouch nods seriously. "I understood." He stands and picks up his keys. "I'll be going then."

In his car, he retrieves his phone and checks for any messages. He has forgotten that he put it into silent mode. Unlocking it, he finds a missed call from a familiar number.

His heart suddenly beats so fast. She called! She finally called and he missed it! It's been months since she last called him, and he didn't answer it at that time. But now...

But now, she called and he is going to her to ask for forgiveness, to ask for a second chance and she called which means that somehow, even the tiniest bit, there's a chance that she won't turn him away, right?

Taking a deep breath, he dials her number and waits for her to pick up.

Sorry, the number you have dialled is currently unattended or out of coverage area. Please try again later.

Well, he should not waste time sitting here and go there himself to face her. He throws his phone to the passenger seat and starts his car. As he makes his way to C.C.'s apartment, to their apartment before, he hopes and prays to every god and saint that it is not too late.

Please, don't let him be too late.