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Of Good Men and Monsters

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Summary: Searching for newly awakened slayers within the Chinese Federation, Xander meets a beautiful, green-haired woman who offers him power, provided that he will fulfill her fondest wish.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Code GeassWaveletFR1515,707121,1853 Jun 123 Jun 12Yes
Disclaimer: I do not own either Code Geass or BTVS.


Of Good Men and Monsters

After his trip through sub-Saharan Africa – the most desolate part of the the Euro Universe – rather than returning to Britannia, or even spending some time with Buffy and Dawn in the EU's more pleasant locales, Xander had taken yet another assignment hunting for slayers in the middle of nowhere.

Despite its strong, historical, mystical tradition, the Chinese Federation was unquestionably the global superpower with which the newly rebuilt Watchers' Council's relations were the coolest. Ignoring the Council's many protestations to the contrary, the eunuchs who led the Federation saw the new Council as a Britannian organization through and through, feeling no need to look further than the birth places of those running the organization.

What the eunuchs failed to understand was that Sunnydale had not been anything like the rest of the Britannian homeland. While most of Britannia had been ruled by powerful, titled aristocrats, whose rulership had persisted for generations, the average Baron of Sunnydale was generally dead within the year. The lesser nobility also tended to be few and far between, although some, like the Chases, had managed to stay alive for a time.

Consequently, unlike almost any other place in the Britannian Empire, Sunnydale's inhabitants had been largely free of the discriminatory, feudal policies which prevailed elsewhere. In many ways, Sunnydale had been more like the EU – except for the fact that it was a vampire and demon buffet – than any other place in the Empire. Consequently, it came as no surprise to anyone who understood Sunnydale that the reformed Watchers' Council had set up shop in England, which combined the virtues of being an English-speaking country with the freedoms the Scoobies had enjoyed before the Hellmouth collapsed.

Of course, while the eunuchs did not seem to understand that the new Council was not particularly partial to the Britannian Empire, they had eventually been convinced that they would prefer not to be demon chow. Thus, grudgingly, years after the rest of the world had given the Watcher's Council permission to search for the newly awakened slayers, the Chinese Federation had granted permission for ten watchers to enter its sprawling territory. Ten watchers was not even a fraction of what was needed to cover a nation the size of the Federation, of course, but the Council had eventually decided to take what it could get. Considering how tense relations were between the world's three superpowers at present, Giles and the other senior watchers had considered themselves fortunate to win even that much of a concession from the Federation.

Still smarting from Anya's death, even two years after Sunnydale's collapse, and not quite sure where he would fit in with those he internally referred to as 'the men of tweed,' Xander had leapt at the opportunity to go backpacking through China's western mountains in search of slayers. The hard living kept his mind off the past. At the same time, Xander had found equal pleasure in teaching the young slayers he located about their destiny, and trying to help the destitute communities among the hills to endure their challenging and precarious subsistence lifestyle. His life was hard and dangerous, but rewarding. He felt like he was really making a difference in people's lives, and the scenery was unmatched by anything Xander had ever seen. There were certainly worse ways to live.

He had been in the Chinese Federation for six months when he met her.

The young woman had been impossible to miss. She dressed far better than anyone he had encountered in weeks, wearing a modest, white peasant blouse and red skirt which might have blended in well were she in the cities, but stuck out like a sore thumb this far from civilization. Even more striking than her clothes, however, was her appearance and manner.

CC, as she insisted upon calling herself – perhaps the most obvious alias Xander had ever encountered – was an incredibly striking and exotic woman whom Xander might have mistaken for a teenage, fashion model had he never looked into her eyes. Anya had old eyes – eyes which had seen more than any human could imagine – but those millennium-old, light-brown orbs had still held a zest for life which often swept Xander away. CC was different.

When Xander had first looked into CC's eyes, he had felt as if he was looking into eternity. He could have lost himself forever in those empty, bottomless golden pools: timeless, loveless eyes. That was the first time when, taking in her impossibly perfect emerald hair, inexplicably ancient golden eyes, and beautiful, yet mirthless smile, Xander had suspected that he might be looking at a demon.

Then CC had quirked one of her flawless, green eyebrows, as an expression of cool amusement settled upon her countenance.

“Are you planning to paint a picture of me, Xander? I have no objection, of course, but your Council may not be too happy if you let the slayer we're tracking gain another day's lead on us.”

Then Xander had shaken his head, and put all thought of demons out of his mind. For today, he had a slayer to catch up to, and, in the two weeks they had been traveling together, CC had never once harmed anyone. Sometimes she slowed him down a bit, quite often she proved herself one of the laziest women Xander had ever met, and CC was always utterly inscrutable, but, somehow, Xander still found her to be pleasant company.

If CC was planning on eating him someday, then he would deal with it then. For now, he just wanted to enjoy the company of a beautiful, mysterious and intelligent woman for a little while longer. He might even be wrong. Maybe she really was just a perfectly, ordinary, young woman. Three more weeks would pass before CC definitively proved his hopes false.


* * *


They had been helpless to stop them.

Strong as he was, and skilled as he was, Xander was just one man, and CC was just one woman. More than a hundred bandits – not demons – had stormed the village that day – a peaceful village at which Xander had stopped by in order to try and help rainproof some of the villagers' most important structures before the rainy season began. They raped and pillaged to their hearts' content, taking whatever women they wished, and stealing whatever swag they desired. Then they burned the entire village and all its meager food supplies to the ground.

This was not the first time Xander had seen such monsters wearing the bodies of men. He had seen them in Africa and in the Chinese Federation, but, somehow, no matter how many times he was forced to watch such scenes helplessly, the screams never lost their power over him, the scents never dulled, and the sights of devastation were always happy to add themselves to his gruesome nightmares.

In his travels, Xander had long ago come to know intimately something which he had understood intellectually, but never truly comprehended, during his years in Sunnydale. He had devoted his life to helping protect humanity from the ravages of demons: monsters in the form of monsters. However, in this world of murderers and the murdered, this world of aristocrats, armies, superpowers and pawns, far worse monsters walked the Earth than any demon.

Against those enemies, the Watcher's Council could do nothing if it wished to maintain the diplomatic access it needed in order to successfully prevent the apocalypse. The greatest monsters on Earth were enemies against whom Xander Harris could do nothing. He had known that fact since boyhood intellectually, but there was a world of difference between knowing that fact as he walked the halls of Sunnydale High, and knowing that fact as he walked among the bodies of the slain after a massacre.

As Xander meandered through what had once been a happy, if impoverished, village, surrounded by the scent of charred flesh and the final, tortured moans of the dying, unable to help anyone, CC took his hand.

“Xander, do you ever wish that you could change all this? The carnage, the chaos, the death: don't you sometimes wish that you could bring it to an end?”

Xander smiled self-deprecatingly, as he gazed disconsolately at the charred bodies surrounding him. CC's small, cool hand was a comfort in his larger palm, reminding him that not everyone was dead – at least someone was still with him.

“Of course,” Xander replied. “Who doesn't? Unfortunately, much as I have faith in the great powers of the Xan-Man, I somehow think that bringing down the world order which allows this sort of thing to happen is a little out of my league. I'm just a carpenter, after all, and, occasionally, an indescribably suave slayer of demons. Bringing down empires, well that's a job for a king, at the very least.”

Stepping in front of him, as she took his other hand in hers, CC peered up into his one good eye solemnly.

“And if you were a king, or at least had one's power, what would you do then?”

“Sorry, CC, but I'm not really one for deep, philosophical questions. I'm more of a practical sort of guy: have to work with what I've got.”

“And if you could have more?”

“CC? You're in kind of an odd mood – even for you. Is something-”

Then, before Xander's eyes, the world dissolved into blackness. Ethereal, glowing, blue streamers were the sole source of light wherever he suddenly found himself, as they at once bound him and gently led him backwards towards whatever fate awaited him. A strange, green pattern flashed before his eyes far too quickly for him to understand or interpret it, and then, in place of the blackness, he entered a purely white world.

In this new world, he was no longer bound, but instead so thoroughly freed that movement was impossible. He was floating freely, everywhere and nowhere at once. Periodically, a blue, green and violet vortex seemed to flash before his eyes, but he did not feel as if he was within that vortex. If anything, he felt as if the vortex was somehow within him and all around him at once.

Xander was aware, but his surroundings were so far beyond his comprehension that he had no idea at all what he was seeing or where he was. Xander had seen many things as a Scooby and a watcher: Hell dimensions, pocket dimensions and portals galore. Somehow, after so long, part of him had started to think that he had seen it all, or at least everything a normal guy like Xander could see, but, wherever he was now, it was somewhere he had never before even imagined.

Before he could gather his thoughts, CC was in front of Xander, as well as behind him and everywhere else in this strange, pale, white world. Like him, she floated everywhere and nowhere at once, yet, somehow, they remained utterly distinct, not overlapping in the slightest. She was also wholly unclothed, but, somehow, despite that, he could discern nothing of her form but the vaguest details. The one detail he could discern clearly was the outline of her smile: all knowing, faintly motherly, and just slightly reminding Xander of the cat who had caught the canary.

When he focused, he could just make out her fathomless, pale orbs, as eternal and empty as ever. Between that smile and those eyes, even if Xander had no idea where he was now, he at least knew who was responsible for bringing him here.

“Xander Harris,” CC's voice echoed around him, seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere at once. “You are a good man, a just man: the sort of man who deserves the power of a king. If I offer it to you now, will you take it? The power of the king is not an easy burden to bear, but with it, even bringing down that world order you so loathe would not be impossible. So, what do you say, Xander Harris?”

Xander simply laughed.

“So you're offering me some sort of 'power of the king' – presumably a lot of power. That sounds like one half of a devil's bargain, if I've ever heard one, so what's the catch? Do I become your slave, or a demon myself, maybe?”

CC chuckled in answer.

“Hardly. But I suppose that I should have anticipated such an expectation from a watcher. The price, if you would call it that, is that one day, you will have to grant my one greatest wish. In return, you will have immeasurable power to reshape the world as you see fit, to change it so that the terrible events happening around you every day need no longer occur.”

Xander did not even need a second to consider her offer.

“No.”

“No?”

“No. I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I'm not stupid, CC. I've seen the sort of price the kind of power you're offering takes from the people who accept it before, and I'm not interested. Maybe if you had talked to me years ago – before I saw what happened to Willow, or really understood the price Buffy paid, or before I made some of my own boneheaded mistakes with dark power – maybe back then I might have been tempted. Now, though, you're wasting your time.”

“You said that you desired to change things – to make things better for the entire world.”

Xander nodded.

“I did, and it would be nice if I could, but I understand my limits. I can help some people, and make some lives better, but I can't save everyone. I doubt anyone could – even a king – and I'd also bet that the sort of man who could save humanity from itself is probably not the sort of man I would ever want to meet. I'm pretty sure that he'd have to be a monster, and I kill monsters.”

From every direction at once, CC's eyes bored into Xander, pinning him in place.

“I see. You know, Xander, it is quite rare that a man I choose refuses my offer, but I think I see why you did so. I have learned something today – something which I suspect I knew long ago, but had since forgotten. In a way, I suppose that I am even slightly grateful”

Xander smiled. He knew that he might die for refusing CC's offer, but, if that was his fate, well, there were worse ways to go out than dying surrounded by innumerable, identical, naked copies of a gorgeous woman.

“And what's that?”

CC simply offered Xander her usual, inscrutable expression.

“It has been a long time since I spent any time with a good man, Xander. You have reminded me of why it has been so long.”

“Glad to be of service.”

“When you awaken, I will be gone.”

“You're not going to kill me, or trap me here, or something like that? That's pretty generous for a demon.”

“A demon?”

CC smiled mirthlessly.

“You are far from the first to call me that, and are unlikely to be the last. Farewell, Xander Harris. I doubt that we will meet again.”

Then the whiteness surrounding Xander faded away into pitch blackness, and, for a time, awareness left him. When he awoke, as she promised, CC was gone. However, she was far from correct in thinking that they would never meet again.


* * *


By the time he next encountered CC in China, a little more than eighteen months later, Xander had a somewhat better idea of her true nature. At the very least, he knew as much as Dawn had been able to find for him in the reformed Watchers' Council's expansive, rapidly growing archives.

As he had suspected, CC was an alias of some kind, although the Watchers' Council's archives could not provide him with either a name for the demon he had faced or even a species. In fact, it was not even known whether CC was the only one of her species, or one of many. Apparently, whatever CC was had existed for longer than recorded history, always using aliases like AA or TT. Ancient texts spoke of legends of these ageless, immortal beings, possessing both great power over the human mind and the ability to share a fraction of this power with ordinary humans. This sharing was described as a 'contract' in which the human received great psychic power in return for granting some unknown wish for his demonic patron.

While little was known of the demon or demons themselves, the humans with whom she or they made contracts had cut a bloody swath through history. They were some of the worst and most dangerous butchers humanity had ever produced, nearly unassailable in their respective times. Even the slayers who had met such men through the ages had fared rather indifferently, dozens of slayers having died facing one mystically powered tyrant or another. Moreover, through all of the watchers' journals which detailed these encounters, not once was a watcher or slayer able to definitively confirm that one of the demons behind it all was permanently slain. Whether one cut off its head, ground it to dust or burned it at the stake, always the demon would soon return, none the worse for wear. Some had been captured for a time, but, in the end, the demon always eventually escaped its captors to roam free once more.

When he heard of Xander's encounter, Giles had immediately dispatched a team of four slayers to hunt down CC, but their pursuit proved utterly futile. No matter how hard they searched or swiftly they followed up on leads, the four slayers were always at least two steps behind their quarry, never even catching sight of her. After a year without any progress, Giles recalled all four. CC was a danger, but, until she revealed herself again, it seemed that she was a danger who was likely to elude the Council, while there were many more immediate and easily located dangers against which a quartet of skilled slayers might be deployed.

Thus, having heard all about CC's ability to elude any who sought to find her for months, Xander was momentarily befuddled when, mere weeks after Giles had withdrawn the complement of slayers hunting her down, he spied a familiar, green-haired figure walking hand in hand with a small child through the streets of a town within the Hainan prefecture.

For a moment, Xander simply stood and stared. Four slayers had spent nearly a year using every trick in their supernatural arsenals trying to hunt CC down without any luck. After all that, him stumbling upon her by accident seemed impossibly coincidental. Then the diminutive, white-haired boy at CC's side turned and stared right at him, blood red eyes wide.

“CC! One of the hunters has found us! I couldn't sense him until just now, and he's right behind us!”

Sweeping a comforting hand to a fro through the young boy's hair, the woman beside him turned towards her young charge, smiling reassuringly.

“Do not fret, Mao. I will not allow us to be separated. After all, we have a contract, don't we?”

Then, as if she was without a care in the world, CC languorously turned her head to face Xander, her curtain of green hair falling to the wayside so that her golden eyes might pierce him once more. Then, upon seeing him, her lips quirked slightly upwards in the faintest trace of her once familiar, mirthless smile.

“Xander. I suppose that I should have expected that it would be you.”

“CC, you know him! He remembers you. I can see-”

“Shush now, Mao,” CC interrupted soothingly. “You need not be threatened by Xander. After all, you and I have a contract, something he will never be able to claim.”

“But-”

“Shush, sweet Mao,” she soothed. “Do not worry. So long as you fulfill your end of our contract, I will never leave you.”

“I'll do it! I will, CC! I'll do anything for you!”

She smiled at Mao, and this smile held more warmth than any expression she had ever directed towards Xander.

“I know, Mao. And that is why you need never fear me leaving you. You will be the one who fulfills my wish, after all.”

Then, expression cooling once more, CC turned back towards Xander.

“So, great slayer of demons, have you come here to make a kill?”

Xander quickly assessed his options. He did have a sword within easy reach, as going about unarmed in these areas was beyond foolish, but most of his weapons were in his pack – out of easy reach. Moreover, he was not even sure that killing CC was possible. Alone, against an unkillable demon with tremendous psychic powers and her besotted mortal servitor, who, at the very least, was capable of effortlessly reading his mind past every mental shield Willow had taught him to erect, the watcher could not say that he liked his odds.

Giles had sent four, fully-trained slayers after this demon, and, as much as he prided himself on his skills, Xander knew that he would not last a minute against even a half-trained slayer. Just as problematically, he was in the middle of a village in which he was largely unknown, so unless CC sprouted horns or a tail, any villagers watching a confrontation between them would see an armed man assaulting what looked like a helpless, young woman and her child. He somehow doubted that he would be able to talk his way out of that situation, even if he did somehow overcome CC.

So, instead of drawing his sword, Xander simply relaxed, slouching and grinning in a show of laziness. After all, even if confronting her here would be foolish, tracking CC down outside the village probably would not be too hard so long as she was traveling with a little kid.

“Nah. You know me. Fighting a powerful demon like you here would be way too much effort. Don't worry about it.”

Mao's blood-red eyes widened once more.

“He's lying, CC! He-”

“Shush, Mao. I know. Xander is still far too young to be able to deceive to me.”

Xander sighed. So she had seen right through him: not much of a surprise. CC always had been able to read him effortlessly when they had traveled together. Besides, so long as telepath boy stuck around, trying to pull off any sort of deceit was probably fruitless. He shrugged.

“Okay. So, I was fibbing a bit, but I'm still not planning on attacking you right now.”

CC graced him with a somewhat more genuine smile.

“Of course not. After all, we are on a street crowded with big, strong men, and you are a foreigner. If I were to cry for help here, you would be overtaken before you so much as laid a hand upon either Mao or myself.”

“Yep. That's about the size of it.”

“So then, Xander, if you don't mind, Mao and I have some grocery shopping to do. I'd invite you to come along, but I've always found death threats rather tiresome. You demon hunters simply never manage to satisfy my expectations. So, if you don't mind.”

CC quirked an eyebrow upwards inquiringly.

Staring at the characteristically inscrutable demon before him through his one good eye, Xander pondered his options yet again. Stalking CC and Mao would be difficult if the white-haired child's telepathic abilities extended any further than a few meters, which they almost certainly did. After all, unless Xander missed his guess, CC had been making use of Mao's telepathy in order to evade the slayers pursuing her for months. That meant that either the boy, or perhaps even she herself, would probably be able to sense him anywhere in the village. He did not really have any means of keeping track of her mystically or electronically either. Even if he did, Mao would simply pull the location of any bug he planted out of his mind and destroy it. So, he could not follow them without being accused of stalking a young mother, which would probably get him thrown out of the village, and he would not be able to track her until she left the village. That really left only one option.

“CC, before you leave, do you mind I ask you a question?”

His green-haired, former friend simply stared at him impassively.

“I can see that you made a contract with Mao after I refused you. Why?”

“In order to have my wish fulfilled, of course. Why else?”

“That's not what I meant. I mean, why Mao – why a child?”

“Can't you guess, Xander?” she replied, eyes dancing with mirth, as she ruffled Mao's hair. “I chose Mao because he is such a good, little boy.”

Mao's face lit up at her compliment, while Xander grimaced, his good eye narrowing.

“That's what I thought. CC, after today, the next time I see you, I'm going to kill you. I promise.”

CC rolled her eyes, expression filled with cynical amusement.

“Do you think, Xander, that you are the first man who has ever promised me that?”

Xander's expression turned flinty.

“No. But I can tell you this, CC, I am the first man who is ever going to follow through. Count on it.”

For a moment, CC simply stared at Xander nostalgically, as if recalling times long gone. Then, seemingly without cause, as if she had seen something no one else had – something beyond human perception – CC's eyes briefly widened in shock. However, her surprise remained on her face for only the briefest of instants before, for the first time in their acquaintance, CC genuinely smiled – an expression more radiant than he could have imagined. Briefly startled by her incongruous reaction to his threat, Xander barely registered his former friend walking forward to take his hand in hers.

“Thank you, Xander. I will look forward to it. Let us consider that our contract.”

“What? But-”

“Farewell, Xander,” CC declared, gracing him with another dazzling smile before she turned back towards Mao, sauntering away from Xander without looking back.

“Come along, Mao. We still have shopping to do.”

“But CC, he-”

“Shush now, Mao. Just put him out of your mind. Do not fear. I doubt that we will see each other again any time soon. For now, Mao, it is just you and I, and, as long as you fulfill my wish, I promise you that, so long as I live, we will always be together.”

“Really, CC?”

“Of course, Mao. Have I ever lied to you?”

Easy as it should have been to follow a young woman saddled with a small child from an isolated village, Xander never again saw CC and Mao together in the Chinese Federation. They simply vanished like smoke.

After he reported his latest encounter with CC to the Watchers' Council, slayers were once again dispatched in hopes of hunting her down, this time accompanied by powerful psychics, who provided them with potent shields against telepathic detection. Even so, their efforts were all for naught. No member of the Watchers' Council – not even Xander – would encounter CC again for many years.


* * *


It was a far older and wiser Xander whose life would once again be touched by news of CC.

After he had returned to the Watchers' Council's headquarters in England – finally having tired of his travails in China after five years – Xander had joined the bureau of the Council responsible for tracking supernatural patterns. Quite surprisingly, he had a knack for separating odd, mundane occurrences from the truly supernatural, while his experiences in the real world often offered a perspective which his more academically inclined peers within the Council lacked.

At times, he heard whispers of rumors which might relate to CC. However, when he followed up on them, they generally led him nowhere. There were hints of a secret, mystical society run by an ageless, green-haired woman, but no firm evidence of its existence or location. A woman roughly matching CC's description was occasionally linked to the Britannian Empress Marianne Vi Britannia, but none of the agents he assigned to investigate these links ever successfully sighted CC before the Empress' assassination. Rumors of a mentally unstable, white-haired mind-reader roaming aimlessly through the Chinese Federation also occasionally crossed his desk, but, from the reports he had seen, CC appeared to have abandoned Mao. So long as he did not hurt anyone, Xander was more inclined to pity that ruthlessly manipulated young child than to hunt him down.

Nearly two decades after his first meeting with CC, Xander followed rumors of his former friend more out of habit than out of any genuine belief that he might conclusively locate her. Then, one day, a seemingly innocuous report crossed his desk.

A white-haired man in his mid-twenties with red eyes had been shot while resisting arrest, after he kidnapped, assaulted and attempted to dismember a young, green-haired woman in Area 11. Of course, if that were all there was to the police report, the Watchers' Council would not even have bothered to take note of the happening. However, in recent months, the Council had received reports of a wide variety of crimes wherein either the perpetrator or victim claimed to be suffering from amnesia. The two most famous cases were of course those of Jeremiah Gottwald and Bartley Asprius. Both had been high profile Britannian military officers who committed high treason for no apparent reason, and then claimed to have forgotten the events in question. However, these were far from isolated cases.

Consequently, the Council had been watching the police reports in Area 11 closely for similar occurrences, hoping to divine a pattern in what most assumed was probably a series of demonic possessions. Thus, when the junior members of Xander's department discovered that the police involved in the case on his desk had all claimed to be suffering from amnesia, seeming to neither remember who had ordered them to shoot the suspect they apprehended, how they found the suspect, or any information at all about the green-haired woman – who had simply disappeared in the event's aftermath – they had decided to pass the report on up to Xander.

For a few moments after reading through the report, Xander had been just as nonplussed as his subordinates. It seemed like just one more occurrence among the long list of bizarre supernatural happenings taking place in Area 11 recently. It was only upon reading the report a second time that Xander was struck with a flash of insight.

A Chinese man with white-hair and red eyes had gone to Area 11 in order to, probably, seek revenge on a mysterious, young woman with green hair. Everyone involved in apprehending the woman's assailant had either been possessed or, more likely, tampered with by a powerful psychic.

Xander's mind flashed back to the mysterious, eternally young, emerald-haired woman he had known in China, and the young child she had abandoned – a woman who, according to legend, could hand out potent psychic powers to any who would agree to her bargain. Could she give a man the power to manipulate minds or induce amnesia? It certainly seemed plausible.

Opening up his cell phone and pressing its speed dial key for the head of the Watchers' Council, Xander waited a few moments before hearing a familiar greeting from one of his closest friends.

“Hi Dawn. Yep. It's me. Are you busy? Great. Anyway, I think I've figured out what's going on in Area 11. No, I'm not one hundred percent positive, but let's say eighty percent. So, I was hoping I could take a team of slayers out with me to handle it. I could also probably use a few heavy-duty witches or warlocks. Yeah, I know I haven't done much field work lately, but this one's kind of personal, and probably dangerous. Oh, come on Dawnster. You know me. I'm always safe. Yeah, yeah. You'll have your report before I leave. Okay. Bye for now.”

Standing up from his hardwood chair, Xander strode towards the door to his office, trying to work a few of the kinks out of his aging body as he moved. He doubted that hunting down CC and whatever psychic flunkies she had created in Japan would be particularly easy, but he had made a promise long ago. If no one else had managed it in the meantime, then he would be the one to finish CC off. Whatever else might be said of him, Xander Harris prided himself on being a man who kept his promises.

Stepping through his doorway and into the future, Xander reflected again on the last time CC had spoken with him: the genuine pleasure in her eyes after he swore to kill her. She had called his pledge to kill her their contract. Briefly, Xander frowned, as he absently wondered whether or not that made him a contract killer, before banishing the whimsical thought. He was coming for CC, whether she was ready for him or not.

On the opposite side of the world from Xander Harris, lounging on Lelouch Lamperouge's bed, a green-haired witch smiled faintly as she caught the stray thoughts directed towards her of a man to whom she had never granted any power, but to whom she was still bound by a contract.

Less than two decades ago – a mere eye blink in her endless life – she had seen the potential within Xander Harris. Like Lelouch, Mao, Marianne, and so many others throughout the aeons, Xander had the potential to slay her. All those years ago, when she had gazed upon his consciousness within the World of C, she had been granted that insight by the Gods.

One day, if he made all the right choices, although he possessed neither Geass nor Code, somehow, Xander Harris would have the opportunity to end her long life, and with it, the Code which condemned her to produce monsters for all of eternity.

CC's smile widened slightly.

She would look forward to it.

The End

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