"This is Lelouch Lamperouge." The silver haired, dark skinned woman Rolo had just been introduced to, known as Villetta Nu explained, pointing at a figure, still and quite lifeless on the bed. "And you are to be his younger brother from today."
It was one of the more unusual missions Rolo had been given, but he had accepted without a second thought to it. Why would he? It was just another mission, even if a slightly longer, drawn out one at that. And really, if this boy never woke from his artificial life and memory he had been given, did it mean Rolo would lead a seemingly normal life aswell? Would that even be allowed? Or would the Service he was working for not let that happen? He didn't think they would simply let a valuable killing machine like himself live a normal life just to watch over this teenager forever.
I am a tool to them, to be used as much as possible. But what other use do I have even for my own life? Nothing.
"...do you understand?" Villetta's voice got Rolo's attention finally, and he looked up his purple eyes slowly rising up to meet the woman's. "...Yes ." he replied with a small, awkward smile that didn't really seem to suit him. The young assassin hated smiling, it felt so foreign, so odd to him. It represented happiness, and that was one thing he never was. One could argue he lacked most emotions, he couldn't recall a time he was ever angry at someone, sad at something, or really, remotely happy. So the smiles he gave felt like he was lying to himself, every single time, staining him darker and darker in the lies. But this, just simply may be how life was, and Rolo had accepted it by now.
"I have other matters to attend. You are to keep watch on him until he wakes, the drugs should wear off soon." "Yes ." The woman nodded, satisfied that the boy had been briefed properly, and turned her heel and left. The blond boy made his way to the bed, pulling up the chair there and sitting down. His violet eyes studied the sleeping young man before him, his delicate features, the long dark lashes, his closed, pale pink lips and the steady rise and fall of his chest, partly covered by the blanket.
In a strange way, it reminded Rolo of a story he was told long ago, about a sleeping princess, (though this was a sleeping prince before him) who had been made that way by a spell cast upon her by a wicked witch. He wasn't sure who told him, when, or why he had suddenly remembered this odd thought and likened it to Britannia's biggest enemy (who was sleeping before him peacefully, looking as though he had not a care in the world) but it came to him and it entertained him for a while as he sat, quite bored at playing the devoted little brother already. Was he really going to be able to keep this up? He, who didn't know what it was to love anyone, or to care for them? He shrugged to himself. It didn't matter. This wasn't his idea after all, and it was their responsibility that they had picked him to do it. He didn't need to think more on the matter.
The blond was musing whether a kiss would wake the sleeping prince up like the story when he saw Lelouch stir.
"Nii-san?" Rolo snapped into his new persona now, leaning in to look into the older boy's face. "Are you okay?"
Lelouch groaned, his eyes opening beadily. "...what happened?"
"You fell down the stairs, Nii-sama." Rolo replied now, reciting the dialogue he had been given. Who in the world decided he had to call this boy brother so many times in a sentence anyway? It was absurd. "...stairs?" The black haired boy said slowly, as if confused, his brows knitting as if he was trying to recall. "...oh...I did...the stairs near the music hall..."
The Geass was at work now, starting to feed him the lies, clouding his mind. Rolo nodded "You've been out for so long, I was getting worried..."
Lelouch frowned suddenly as he studied the other, the look made the assassin a little uncomfortable- did it not work properly? Slender fingers tightened around the small blade he had in his uniform, the blond getting ready to kill the boy before him if it hadn't worked.
"...who are you?" The former prince's voice was odd, unlike the voice he had been using a few moments ago. Rolo laughed a little tensely, gripping harder on the handle.
"I'm Rolo, Nii-sama. Have you hit your head that hard that you've forgotten who I am?"
"Yes. Your younger brother for the last 16 years!" The young boy said, and at those words the raven haired boy nodded, his eyes glazing over for a moment, as if recalling, the Geass taking hold of his memories again. "I- I don't know what's got into me Rolo." Lelouch said apologetically now, shaking his head. "I really must have hit my head hard...how could I forget? Forgive me."
Rolo sighed out a breath of relief as his hand relaxed on the handle. "It's okay Nii-sama. I was getting really worried for a moment though..."
A warm hand brushed against Rolo's cheek, long slender fingers caressing the skin. "You look agitated. What's the matter?" The younger boy blinked, realising he wasn't hiding his emotions as well as he hoped he was. "N-nothing Nii-sama. I...I just want us to be back in our place."
It was all improvisation now as their conversation had got beyond the script and Rolo found himself struggling with this role already, but when his "Big brother" smiled at him and reached to ruffle his hair, something stirred in Rolo's chest, though he wasn't sure what it was... Disgust maybe? It was almost creepy how affectionate this man could be to one he thought was a sibling, compared to videos he had seen of Lelouch before to familiarise himself with his brother's habits. He had always seemed a little detached, and not really the touchy-feely type. Maybe the Geass changed that aswell? Or maybe love was reserved for his sibling? He didn't know how he felt about being on the receiving end of that from now on. But then, this was simply another mission. He had no right to have any opinion.
"Well, if Rolo wants to go home, let's go home. I'm sure I'll be fine to rest in our wing rather than here..." Lelouch was sliding out of bed now, toeing on his shoes so he could go and find the nurse. "Nii-san you shouldn't be getting-" It was too late, Lelouch was gone, and so the younger boy got up to follow him. Was he really that keen to go home because he had said so?
Siblings are a strange existence
Rolo could remember the soft murmurs of the scientists when they had researched into his Geass. It was almost crazy how these men and women operated, the way they could really treat one as if they were simply a machine, with no feelings, and no reaction to the words they uttered, half to themselves half to their peers, scribbling on clipboards as he sat there, naked and strapped to some godforsaken device he didn't even know what it did. The blond was too young to know, to understand the importance of whatever they were doing, whatever it was was more important than something as insignificant as the boy's life.
...But he old enough to understand their words that dug at him like small shards of broken glass.
He didn't want to fail. Not ever.
"...Rolo?" Warm arms wrapped around him from behind, snapping him out of his thoughts he wallowed in when he wasn't doing much else. Maybe it was why people kept away from him, people his own age and older found him odd, too detached, even for a child of the Service. Only fools trusted and opened up to others, it was a weakness, a flaw, a clear sign of failure.
And he wasn't a failure.
"...Are you alright? Are you still angry with me about before? I'm sorry, I really am." Lelouch's voice. Rolo looked up now, shaking his head. "No, Nii-sama. I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention..." "You must be tired. How about I make you something nice for dinner? To apologise. I'll make your favourite." The older boy smiled now, it was a soft, genuine smile that made Rolo feel awkward, somewhat, deep inside. It felt like a "special" smile that was reserved...only for him.
What was "his favourite" anyway? He was never briefed on such a small thing... He personally had no favourites, of anything. Why would he? Why attach yourself to something in that way? It was pointless. Meaningless. Idiotic...
However, right now he was on a mission. And the mission was something he wasn't going to fail. He would flawlessly become this boy's brother, and whatever his favourite dish was meant to be, is what it will be from now on. He gave a nod. "That would be good, Nii-sama..." Lelouch gave him a slightly questioning look, but didn't say anything else on the matter.
"Great. Dinner's decided then."
Rolo offered to help make dinner, but his brother was having none of it. "I'm fine now, Rolo, honestly. I feel absolutely normal. You can start on your homework while I make dinner, and the bits you're stuck on, I'll help you after we eat, alright?" The younger boy nodded as his brother ushered him out of the kitchen, and up the stairs.
"Okay okay Nii-sama, I understand...I was just trying to put it off because it's Maths..." the boy found himself replying with a small pout as he went up the stairs grudgingly.
Why was this starting to feel so...normal? Had he been put under a Geass too? No... it can't be. It was just his own mind trying to accept this as reality.
"Maths isn't that bad when you look at it logically-You're my little brother, I know you can do it." Lelouch said after him, hoping to encourage the boy, waiting at the bottom of the stairs till he heard the door to Rolo's room open and close with a click, and went back to making dinner. With the time he spent here at Ashford, Milly had trained him to be able to cook... it came in handy sometimes.
A while later, Rolo could smell dinner, and found himself actually quite hungry. He put down his pen (He had finished his homework, in reality, he had no opinion on Maths, he didn't like or dislike it.) and made his way downstairs, in time to see Lelouch putting down two plates at the table. "Good timing." The black haired boy said with that smile as he looked up. "I think I managed to cook it the way you like it, too."
Rolo sat himself down (At the seat he was told was his in his breifings) and looked at the plate. It was such... a regular meal. Steak, with mashed potatoes, and some broccoli. At least it looked better than the overcooked rubbish he was used to getting from the Service.
"Go on, eat." Lelouch had sat himself down opposite him, and under his eye Rolo picked up his knife and fork and started on his food. He cut into the meat, it was medium rare, he guessed this was his set preference for meat... how common a preference. He tried to push his sarcastic thoughts aside as he took a bite, all too aware of Lelouch who was looking at him for his reaction with the corner of his eye as he ate his own meal.
"It's good, Nii-sama." The blond said as he swallowed, giving him a small shy smile. It was true. He actually found he liked this meal, which was something quite alien and new to him.
"I'm glad.. eat as much as you want, you need to grow more." His brother teased, his tone was serious, but the glint in his eye as their eyes met across the table said he was just playing, and Rolo found himself nodding as he cut himself more pieces.
It was Rolo's turn to wash up (Apparently) and so he found himself almost elbow deep in soapy water, picking out various cutlery and plates from the studs while Lelouch was sitting somewhere behind him, checking his younger brother's homework.
The young boy found himself thinking how odd this all was, to be in surroundings so seemingly innocent and normal when he gave a small yelp, pulling his hand away from the water to see he had cut his finger. How careless of him.. had he always been this way? He didn't think so, he liked to think he was quite good with knives, they were his preferred weapon after all. Perhaps he was being too absorbed in his thoughts now that there was so much stimulation..
"Rolo, are you alright?" His brother's concerned voice as a hand gently took his own byt he wrist. "It's nothing, Nii-sama, it's only a small cut."
"I should have warned you about the sharp things in there, I'm sorry." The older boy leaned in now, taking Rolo's injured finger into his mouth.
"I-it's fine Nii-sama..." For some reason, Lelouch's simple action made Rolo's heart skip a beat. Someone cared about him... it was a first. Till now, no one cared, even if he was covered in wounds as long as he didn't actually die, noone would bat an eyelid. After all, he technically was dicing death every time he used his own Geass.
"No, things like this have to be treated properly. What happens if you get an infection?" There was a clear look of concern on his face as the former prince marched Rolo up to his own room, making him sit on his bed while he pulled out the first aid box, and disinfected and dressed the injured finger. Lelouch glanced up at the clock as he finished "Look at the time... you better get to bed." he said patting his younger brother's leg "You have school tomorrow after all. Good Night Rolo." He ended the sentence with a kiss, lightly pressing his lips against the other boy's, not realising the unexpected look that flashed in Rolo's eyes for a moment before he managed to cover it.
"Good night Nii-sama."
"I love you Rolo."
"...I love you too."
Rolo found he couldn't sleep that night- his mind was filled with one person.
Even if the other's affection towards him was fabricated, a product of the Geass, it still affected the orphan deeply. To have someone love him, so sincerely, with no ill motives, not seeking to take from him, but to give... The look those amethyst eyes gave him...it just wouldn't disappear from his mind. There also now the fact the man had given him his first kiss...
"You're still awake?" Lelouch's voice made Rolo jump. He looked up to see his brother looking concerned, standing over him. "Y...yes...I couldn't sleep..." Rolo mumbled, hoping that would do. Lelouch sighed, before smiling. "Ah...it can't be helped. Come. You can sleep with me today. Honestly Rolo, how old are you now?" the raven haired boy said though he didn't look at all annoyed. "Come on. Before I change my mind."
Sleep with him? The idea sounded quite crazy (They were both fully mature young men now!) but as Lelouch didn't seem to make it sound like a odd thing, Rolo guessed he would have to play along. "Sorry Nii-san.." he said a little shyly as he slid out of his bed, following the other boy back to his room.
Soon, the young assassin found himself snuggled in his brother's bed, and the other man was already fast asleep, one arm casually over Rolo's waist, the other under the pillow. Words couldn't describe the odd feeling starting to bubble silently in Rolo's chest as he tried to get to sleep, closing his eyes and hearing the soft steady sound of Lelouch's breathing. It felt so warm..Who knew it was so warm to be beside someone else this close? For some crazy reason, right now, here...
It felt safe. It felt like he belonged. He was Lelouch Lamperouge's brother, Rolo Lamperouge. Not a failure. Not a tool