For the remainder of the week, C.C. acted as if nothing was wrong. Her treatment of him never changed; she was neither harsher nor friendlier to him than she had been before. At times, he wondered if he had merely dreamt up that morning out of the delirium he suffered from whenever he drank, but then he would remember the sick feeling in his stomach and knew that no matter how much he hoped, she had been exceptionally angry with him.
He tried to reason with himself: maybe it was just that she was afraid. Suzaku hadn’t really known what was going on with Lelouch vi Britannia even with the odd hint or two from his family at the wedding, but when he had checked into his room at the Dukes Mayfair and turned the TV on for the sake of feeling a little less lonely, he paused during his unpacking when he heard a familiar voice speak.
“This nation has flourished over the course of the past several centuries not by turning against a cult within its society but to solidarity. However, as times change and society with it, it is easy to forget that the Anglo-fraternity that has once held this nation together has now expanded to its current multicultural state. Since the turn of the century, we have entered into an era of globalization and international cooperation. By agreeing to ally ourselves with those beyond our borders, we have also provided a covenant to our intercontinental brethren to shoulder the duty of tolerance and to turn our backs on bigotry and prejudice; a covenant which we promised to exercise within the borders of this nation as well.”
Suzaku could just barely make it out, but he could still spy the telltale glimmer of the wedding ring on his finger as he gripped the podium and bared his neck for the sake of the woman whom he loved more than anything or anyone else in the world. He sat quietly on the bed as he listened with an intensity he hadn’t expected from himself. Why would the question of the Duke’s loyalty matter to him, a foreigner?
He watched as the clip was cut short before a picture of C.C. was plastered all over the screen. It had been taken when she had attended a runway just two weeks ago. He could see himself seated beside her with his head down as he busied himself with marking down every word that she muttered, and he listened as they spoke nettled words of her character and who she was without having ever spoken to her.
Suzaku tried his best to be patient. Generally speaking, he hated the rush of blood he felt whenever he was angry, and so there were very few times in his adult life when he let his irritation get the better of him. But as he sat there and listened to the propaganda, to the cleverly disguised slander, he couldn’t help but feel his heartbeat pick up and his ears turn bright red as he glared at this country of cowards and fools and all that they had to say about two people whom they knew nothing about, save that their vulnerability would make the perfect outlet for their hysteria and panic and allow for the common man to scream and shake his fist as much as he wanted without ever having to look beyond their headlines for who to blame.