No one, even in the room of 400, spoke as all stared with wide eyes at the two men. C.C. stood frozen in the doorway as she watched her husband raise his hand. The metal flashed in the light, temporarily blinding her, but she rushed towards him anyway, her heels clicking desperately on the marble floor. Catching his hand, she silently implored him to regain some sense.

“Get off of me,” he growled. “C.C., I swear to God, if you don’t get off of me, I’m really going to hit him.”

“You’re ruining Milly’s wedding,” she hissed. “Do you really want to wreck her reception like this? After all of the work she’s put into it?”

He glared at her out of the corner of his eye. She glanced at the man still seated at the table. He hadn’t yet moved from where he had been discussing the real estate market with an elderly gentleman; even when Suzaku had stormed into the garden and to the softly-lit marquee to grab him by the collar, Lelouch had sat quietly and reacted passively, which seemed to only make his attacker angrier.

“Suzaku,” she warned. She desperately looked at Milly – big mistake – when she saw a hand reach out from behind her and touch her husband’s shoulder. She turned to see Gino Weinberg.

“Time to go, buddy.” His smile was tinted with the faintest trace of sadness. “There’s something I want to talk to you about.”

His green eyes – the green eyes that were once so gentle and soft and kind – eyed them before throwing them off of himself. Loosening his tie, he shoved past them before stalking back to the brightly-lit castle that was the Ashford family home. Gino followed him soon after, nodding at her and raising an apologetic hand to the party. With an awkward cough or two rippling through the guests, the reception resumed slowly as more and more people rid themselves of any embarrassing thoughts with the sparkling glasses in their hands. She stood by herself, unsure of what to do next or where to go, when she felt his hand graze her. Looking up at him, she tried to swallow past the shame and embarrassment. He tried to say something, but before he could, she left him as quickly as she had run to her husband.

.         .        .

“You really shouldn’t have done that, Suzaku. Milly’s your friend, and she invited you because she thought you would have a nice time.”

“How the fuck can you expect me to have a nice time when the man that my wife has been sleeping with is here? Would you laugh so easily if Kallen had cheated on you?”

“…I don’t think C.C. cheated on you.”

He snorted as he angrily paced up and down the room. Cracking his knuckles, he shook out his hand before popping them again. “You really don’t think she cheated on me. Well, that’s funny. That’s hilarious. I’m so glad you think she didn’t cheat on me, Gino, now that I know you don’t think she cheated on me, that she didn’t sleep with him when she was still married to me! To me! Who knows, maybe she was sleeping with him for years, maybe even before we were married!”

“You have no right to say that. You don’t know how much losing you hurt C.C. A part of her died that day when she was told that you were gone. For three years, she struggled without you because she loved you. You don’t even know what she went through, do you? Everything that she had to go through by herself while she had to deal with a husband who was more or less dead as far as she knew. So when she met Lelouch, I was actually pretty fucking glad for her because for the first time, she actually seemed to enjoy living. It took her three years, but I guess he was something special to her because he was the one that finally pulled her out of the rut she’d been in for three years because she couldn’t get over you, so you have no right to say that she cheated on you.”

I can’t believe you’re taking his side.” His eyes betrayed his hurt, and Gino couldn’t help but flinch as he stared at him. “I can’t fucking believe you’re taking that son of a bitch’s side.”

“Suzaku, you don’t even know-“

“I don’t need to know him to know that he fucked my wife!” He felt an incredible amount of pressure build up slowly at first and then rapidly as his thoughts became more frenzied. “Who says that I have to sit down with him and get to know him? So that what? So that after becoming friends with him, I can shake his hand and hand her to him? Is that what you want me to do? After all I’ve done for this damn country, that’s-“

“If you really love her, you’ll let her go.”

Both men whipped around to see the one they had been speaking of so heatedly. Suzaku’s lips curled back as he smiled cruelly at the pure irony. “If I really love her? What does that mean? ‘If I really love her.’ Are you trying to say that you love her? That you know her better than I do?”

“I never said anything like that.”

“Really? Because it sure as hell sounded like you did,” he snarled. Gino restlessly shifted his weight as his eyes darted between the opposite sides of the room. Taking his hands out of his pockets, he took his weight off of the wall he’d been leaning on; if things deteriorated any faster than they were now, he’d need use of both his hands and feet. There was no knowing what Suzaku would do at this point; he had thrown away a year’s worth of pain and struggle in one night’s downward spiral. He’d surrendered completely to his nightmare.

“So, what’s it like stealing another man’s wife? Does it make you feel good? Does it make you feel clever, knowing that you’ve duped him? Is that why you do it? To help inflate that ego of yours?”

Lelouch pursed his lips. “She’s not your wife. She’s not anybody’s anything.”

Suzaku lunged for him. Gino immediately sprung to action, closing the distance between himself and his course of action, when all three men heard, “That’s enough.” They looked to see C.C. wavering in the doorway.

“This is too much, Suzaku. I can’t deal with this anymore. I’m sorry, but I just can’t; you’ve embarrassed Milly and Rivalz in front of all their friends and family on their special day. You’ve hurt Gino who’s done nothing but look after you with never-ending patience. You’ve tried to attack Lelouch, and you’ve accused me of something I haven’t done. You’ve abused us all, and I’m sorry but I won’t let you continue doing so.”

“What are you- C.C., I-“

Her face white, she spoke in a thin but firm voice. “I want a divorce.”

Suzaku didn’t even ask if it was because of him. Something inside of him told him that it was, no matter what lie she’d try to feed him, so he turned to finish the job he’d started. Tackling him to the ground, he reared his hand back to pummel in his face when he happened to look up and see his wife – his dear, lovely wife whom he loved so much – lying on the thick rug of the room, her eyes closed and her breaths shallow. Stricken with fear, he rushed to her immediately. Forgetting all about the man who he’d been three seconds away from strangling, he carefully cradled her head in his arms as he demanded for an ambulance. Horrified, Suzaku couldn’t help but shake as he studied her for any signs of consciousness. Oh, God. Oh, God, oh God, ohgodohgodohgod what had happened? What was wrong? Why wasn’t she waking up?

 Why wasn’t she waking up?


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