The Retcon Connection

Kōzuki Kallen, Black Knight Ace


R2 ep20 parallel

Out onto the vast open sky painted orange by a sinking sun, Kallen cast her gaze towards the direction of Japan from above the deck of the Ikaruga. She found herself at a loss for thoughts as the radiance slowly descended under the horizon. Perhaps for the first time since childhood, Kallen came to a metaphorical crossroads in her life after everything that happened only a few hours ago.

Zero had died. Killed by the Black Knights that he himself created, killed by an elaborate scheme cooked up by Britannia's Second Prince. But also killed by Kallen herself, through her hesitation and inaction.

She was certain that if Lelouch asked her to offer her life for his escape, Kallen would've gladly given him the opportunity at a priceless cost she was willing to pay. Yet the former royalty decided to push her aside through another one of his countless lies, once more donning the mask of a merciless strategist deceiving others to achieve his wicked ambitions.

However, Kallen knew better. She understood that under his mask of indifference Lelouch was a human with a beating heart just like hers. And like her, he had suffered great torment and tremendous hardship on his journey to carve out a better future. Like her, the laughter they shared with Ashford's Student Council and the pride they felt with every Black Knight victory was not a lie. The connection they had formed between a leader and his most loyal subordinate was not a lie.

"How do you always trick me like this… Lelouch." Kallen remarked to herself, out of the earshot of the many Black Knights patrolling their home.

That was why she realized her true feelings. She was in love with him, whether he took on the mantle of Zero or Lelouch meant nothing next to her earnest passion of wanting to be together with the man who changed her destiny. Only through her betrayal could she finally come to terms with those feelings, the irony of their circumstances was not lost on Kallen as her mind had set its sight on the next step to take.

Nunnally is gone, Shirley is gone… and without us, Lelouch has lost everything. If he meant what he said and he really wants me to live, then I'm the only one left for him… oh, and also… While performing some complex mental gymnastics to convince herself that Lelouch had shared her feelings, Kallen remembered the one other person who ranked equally high on his list of family.

C.C., well now that she's gone stup— now that she's not herself anymore this place will become dangerous for her, I should get her outta here. Even if I don't know where Lelouch is right now, the two of us will find him eventually. Disregarding what C.C. could potentially mean to her relationship with Lelouch, Kallen still saw the green-haired witch as somewhat of a friend she cared enough to save.

Without reluctance in her steps, Kallen headed in the direction of Zero's quarter searching for one of the only allies Lelouch had left. However, her hunt would be concluded prematurely once she rode down the elevator and noticed the gigantic Mordred casually floating off the deck of the Ikaruga.

"-Yes, because I appreciate what you did. As far as giving me my Geass."

"Says the woman who never fulfilled her contract."

Kallen couldn't help but think she just eavesdropped on a massive secret not meant for her ears, then again maybe those two women shouldn't be discussing such sensitive topics out in the open. There they were, the Knight of Six Anya Alstreim speaking riddles with a normal C.C. who seemed just like her usual annoying self. The Guren pilot couldn't decide what to be more impressed by; her luck in finding her target so easily or their luck for not being discovered any time sooner.

"If you think that, will you come with me?" Alstreim asked C.C. while Kallen hid in the shadows off to the side, not understanding half of their cryptic messages.

"Right, but hold on a moment. There's something I need to take." C.C replied to the knight's slight surprise.

What does she even own that is this important? …How is she gonna bring a pizza… oh, the plushie? This woman is impossible…

Nevertheless, seizing the opening given by C.C.'s obsession with Pizza Hut, Kallen bolted to the hangar where her polished steed awaited.

Whatever they're up to it's gonna have something to do with Geass, and if it's Geass related it's probably Lelouch related as well. Right now, following them is my best shot at getting some answers. The justification Kallen came up with sounded fair in her head, and probably in reality as well.

Once she reached where the Guren was being kept secured and elegant, there was only one obstacle left to prevent her progress.

"—Kallen, where are you going? You're not a part of the search party." Seated within the Guren, her screen flickered alive and displayed the portrait of Ohgi who no doubt spotted her unit's request for takeoff.

"—I- er… might know where Zero is." Kallen reacted quickly, even though she was prepared for the scenario, she still couldn't lie as masterfully as Lelouch did.

"—What!? Where do you think he is?"

"—He was a student at the Ashford Academy long before he was Zero, and I heard he had a cooperative connection with the Ashfords. I think he might be heading there now. I'll go back to that school since I'm pretty familiar with the place." Oddly, Kallen didn't feel a drip of remorse for so nonchalantly lying to her brother's best friend.

"—I see… that is certainly likely. Be careful on your way over, we have a ceasefire with Schneizel's forces but the Britannians back at Tokyo would still see you as an enemy."

"—I know, I'm turning off my IFF and going off-radar. Don't send anyone after me, Zero trusts me the most and anyone else might spook him." Kallen said as she flipped a few switches to remove the broadcast signal of her Guren.

"—I understand, stay safe out there Kallen. We won't be able to track once you're outside the Ikaruga's detection range."

I'll be really pissed off otherwise. Kallen concealed her true intention and only nodded to gain Ohgi's approval. "—Yeah, I'll bring Zero back… or bring him down."

"—Thank you for your… thank you Kallen, I'll sortie the Guren ASAP." And true to his word, half a minute later the launch pad was ready for Kallen's departure.

"—Guren S.E.I.T.E.N. Eight Elements, taking off!" Blasting off from the Ikaruga at almost Mach speed, Kallen found it funny how the Britannian flag that popped up over the Japanese flag didn't anger her as it once did.

Kamine Island

Coasting below the shadow of a cloud-covered moon, Kallen glided her Guren to a stop deep in the jungles of Kamine Island far from the ensuing battle consuming the Britannian forces. If she had to hazard a guess for why the occupiers were fighting amongst themselves there was no doubt in her mind that Lelouch was at play.

What is he up to? …What am I up to? Kallen asked her inner self, wondering for an answer she didn't hold.

Tailing after the Mordred and arriving at the island in the middle of a mutiny was more or less was just an educated gamble on Kallen's part. In all honesty, she couldn't dream to predict what would await her by naturally following C.C. and Alstreim on their little trip. Therefore, whatever laid ahead of her at the end of the treelines as she ran towards the sound of voices could be anything, and she wasn't certain if she was primed for what she would find.

"-Some people refer to it as God." A woman's sombre voice echoed, a voice Kallen was familiar with which halted her sprint to a creep.

"Was that what I saw when we met at Narita?" Another person spoke, this time the tone belonged to the Knight of Seven.

"There, it was mixed with your personal consciousness. However, I don't know what it was that you saw."

"How irresponsible."

"Do you enjoy letting others peep into your mind?" To her taunt, Suzaku answered nothing. "What we call people are masks worn by the collective unconscious. They're windows that open into the sea of minds and memories. People's minds are—"

"-Forget it. It's too messed up for me to do anything. C.C, could you please?" Interrupted by the shorter girl, C.C. turned away from her explanation of their strange cult-like powers.

"Are you really going in?"

"Of course! Charles is waiting for us, after all. It would have been so easy if you'd pass your code to him." When the response Alstreim sought after wasn't given, she faced C.C and reached out to grip her hand. "Well, I'll go first."

For reasons Kallen's earthly mind couldn't possibly comprehend, the crumbled ruins flashed red along with C.C.'s forehead. As the crimson symbols continued to reverberate steady, Kallen could almost spot what seemed like a ghost floating from Alstreim's body into the ancient gate.

Afterwards, the young Knight's body fainted into Suzaku's arms, as if the strings tying her soul to her flesh had been severed.

"Kururugi Suzaku, we're similar, you and I."


"In the way that we both wish to die, yet we can't."

"That's not similarity, it's just a coincidence." Suzaku denied C.C.'s suggestion, yet his voice sounded like it was protruding further away than the green-haired witch. "Like how coincidentally, you're in a similar position the last time something like this happened, Kallen."

He called out to her; he got the drop on her once again.

Exposed and unprepared, Kallen rose out from behind the bushes she was using as cover. C.C. shot her a typically bored stare but said nothing more, allowing the Black Knight to register her focus solely on Suzaku alone.

"Last time too, all you did was run away and allow Zero to be captured. Are you here to do the same?" His tone cold and unchanging, his monotonous glance set a fire of anxiety in Kallen's heart.

"I'm here to seek an answer only Zero can provide… and to atone for my betrayal if that is his wish. None of which involves you." Kallen said steadfast, her complex apprehension for Suzaku didn't alter her outward appearance of determination.

"Did you follow the Mordred?" The pizza-obsessed girl broke apart the aura of tension.

"You weren't exactly hiding it." C.C. let slip a soft chuckle at Kallen's reply. "And you're back to your normal self, good for you."

"I can't go on vacation forever, and you're not the only one who got business with Lelouch."

"Then let's go to where he is," Kallen uttered confidently, only to realize how unfounded her confidence was. "…Where is he?"

"…Please tell me you at least heard half of what I said to Kururugi Suzaku."

"I caught the part about people being God as a collective or something… and it's consciousness that's unconscious?" C.C. visibly sighed. "…Sorry, I'm not an occult expert, okay!?"

"We're going to the World of C, it's where the collective human unconsciousness is. That's basically what God is. Think of it as the spirit of all humans, it's what separates individuals, you from me, the living from the dead. It's where Lelouch is with the Emperor." The mention of Britannia's most powerful man snatched Kallen's attention from the magical mumble-jumble.

"The Emperor!? He's here!?"

"He is, and he wants to kill God to create a single consciousness. It'll merge every single person to one being."

"And you're a part of this plan?" Could Kallen be outraged at C.C.'s apparent betrayal, she couldn't really tell herself.

"So far… I've been rather uncooperative, but that might end here."

"And you, Suzaku. Do you agree with the Emperor's plan?" Kallen directed the attention to the Japanese teen who's been standing by the side listening quietly.

"Never heard of it, I just came here to kill him. But for this plan he has in mind… I guess we'll see." For the moment, Kallen wanted to believe Suzaku wasn't sure of his own alignment just like herself.

"I'm sure he'll disagree, if it was up to Lelouch."

"There's only one way to find out." C.C. calmly declared, her hand motioning for Kallen to come closer.

"So what is it that you want, C.C.?" Before taking her hand, there was one final question left for Kallen to figure out.

"I… seek my own death, only through Lelouch's Geass can he eventually kill me. That's why I used him all this time, it's why I prioritized his survival." C.C. briefly looked away from meeting Kallen's fiery gaze.

"Any regrets?" Suzaku tagged in.

"As if. I'm an undying witch, I abandoned my humanity long ago."

"I'm sure you'll find a different answer down the road." Kallen stated, her shining optimism breached the cold shell of the ageless nameless woman if only for a second.

"…What're you saying… anyway, do you want to go across or not?"

"Of course, that is why I came here." Assured in her decision, Kallen took the outstretched hand presented to her.

"I will go as well. I cannot allow myself to stand here and do nothing." Suzaku had also arrived at the same conclusion as the red-haired ex-rebel.

"Oh, then you'll have to hold Kallen's hand. I've to be touching this doorway, you see."

The two reviled rivals glared down each other again, not a word was spoken or a message passed for what felt like minutes on end. However, Kallen eventually found the resolve within herself to offer Suzaku a connection.

"I… don't know if I hate you or not, Kururugi Suzaku. But I think I understand why you did what you did." At her revelation, The Eleven pilot recoiled in shock.

"I killed… over thirty million people!"

"And if Lelouch had ordered me, I'd have killed thirty million more." Before Suzaku could make a retort, a strange otherworldly sensation overtook Kallen's body.

— —

"I see. The battle between Britannia and the Black Knights was all to lure C.C. out. So, from the very beginning, I was just a nuisance. A meaningless noise to the world." Lelouch's pensive monologue appeared to be aimed at nobody in particular, but she knew that he was more perceptive than to talk like that to himself.

"What do you guys think of this?" He spun around and was greeted by the humourless expressions of Suzaku and C.C., Kallen herself couldn't find the right mood to exhibit.

"So, you noticed my arrival." C.C. commented.

"You're back to normal now, it is necessary for the plan, isn't it?"

"Exactly." In her place, the Emperor answered.

Never before had Kallen seen the ruler of the Holy Britannian Empire with her naked eyes, and she wasn't sure if it was an experience worth treasuring. His mere posture was so oppressive it demanded the submission of all who laid their eyes upon him, even Kallen felt weak in her knees and a traitorous desire to comply.

"Therefore, it doesn't make sense for you to come here as well, Kururugi."

"And your Black Knight friend too, curious thing you've done, C.C." The woman with the same appearance as the ghost that possessed Alstreim's body remarked her unexpected advent. Kallen could only look away to avoid their eyes from meeting.

"I suppose you're right. I heard you were already immortal. I'm here because there's something I want to confirm." Suzaku firmed his own standing, making Kallen shamefully wonder if she was the only one affected by the Emperor's menace. "Is it true that you're creating a world with all beings as one?"

"Yes, it would be a world both Euphie and Nunnally wanted. A kind world."

"I see. Now I understand."

"C.C., now that we are all here, the plan can commence. I shall grant your wish after it's complete."

At the Emperor's proclamation, his extended palm showed the symbol of Geass that even Kallen could recognize. And from it, a ray of crimson luster shined in the direction of the floating temple's guests. Reciprocating to his signal, the symbol ingrained on C.C. forehead also flashed a brilliant red.

What happened next Kallen could not faithfully describe in words. The yellow backdrop of the world suddenly shattered into a million pieces revealing mechanical gears spinning in place, the twin spiral of mutilated faces continued to twist higher and higher into what looked like the planet of Jupiter.

"Lelouch, why did you want to control the world?" Breaking the silence of stupor and averseness, Suzaku was the first to speak.

"Don't ask silly questions. It was all for Nunnally's sake."

"Are you using Nunnally as an excuse?" To that reply, Lelouch grunted.

"You're right. I've fought to protect everything I want to protect."

"To achieve that goal, one must accomplish something."

"The method one chooses will also lead to the denial of other things." The pair of teens bounced concepts off each other as if their principles had always been entrenched.

"Which means…"

"That's right… -that's why I'll reject it! I'll reject you and your ideas!" Decisively, Lelouch stood up to his father, his valorous stance announcing his resolute decision to refuse the world the Emperor wished to implant upon humanity.

Standing in complete awe of her leader, Kallen watched and listened intently as Lelouch and the Emperor clashed their ideals for the future against each other. His perspicuous interpretation of the world Britannia's leader desired for and his meticulously accurate counters to such a flawed notion only strengthened his own standing on a world that could be allowed to move forward.

In her mind, Kallen had never once doubted the world of tomorrow that Lelouch chased after. She never once questioned if it was truly a better place for mankind. So when the moment came that Lelouch finally announced his worldview modelled after Nunnally's hope of seeking a kinder world where even strangers could be gentle, Kallen felt the grand payoff of her loyal admiration and vindication of her qualms towards the only man she ever loved.

Naoto wouldn't want this! Naoto wouldn't want this! He died for something, his death has a meaning to it! Nevertheless, Kallen felt a feeble weakness of her human sentiments and forced herself to painfully steered away from the temptation of reunion.

She knew, deep in her heart she could never accept a world filled with stagnation. If all beings became one her purpose on this earth would be forever lost, her righteous fight for the freedom of Japan and her hands stained red by blood would turn into meaningless emblems of folly and violence. And if that was the case, her life might as well be forfeit.

"Even if that's true, so what? The Ragnarök Connection has already begun!" The Emperor taunted the exiled prince, his confidence in victory only matched by his delusion of a superior tomorrow.

"Is that so? Is that how you see it?" Lelouch replied, hiding a smirk beneath his hand as he moved to remove his contracts. "I am Zero! The man who creates miracles!"

"Your Geass won't work on me, nor on anyone else here!"

"No, there's someone else, isn't there?" When the realization of Lelouch's intention hit the Emperor, he displayed the first emotion of disbelief Kallen had yet to witness. "That's right! C's World is the consciousness of mankind! And all men are not created equal! Those were your words, and you know my power works because of the inequality!"

"Foolish act, Lelouch! The power of the king cannot defeat God!"

"I don't intend to defeat God! This is a wish! Only now, I finally know who I really am!" His head yawned up and his figure inspiring, Lelouch projected his wish onto God.

"-God, the collective unconscious!" And C's world replied, the planet of Jupiter pulsed. "Please, don't stop the march of time!"

"Lelouch, you ungrateful child!" The person Kallen perceived to be Lelouch's mother first reacted. But her dash was stopped by Suzaku's guard.

"Nobody wanted this! Not even Euphie!"

"I saved you so that you could talk to Euphie again!"

"That's the same as forcing me to!" Suzaku protested the future Lelouch's parents wanted to coerce onto the world, seeing him agree with the man under the mask of Zero was a strange sight to behold.

"You cannot achieve it! Not on God, not on humanity itself!" The Emperor proclaimed the impossibility of Lelouch's impulse, whether his statement held any ground was another subject.

"Even so, what I want is a future!"

His one wish to engrave upon the world was received by God. And to that end, the Collective Unconscious accepted the Geass.

Only seconds later, the spiral sword splintered into thousands of the faces from which it was made, along with the gears pausing the flow of time.

— —

Stepping out of the astonishing palace of C's World, Kallen never perceived the smell of the crisp midnight air to be so refreshing.

"…" In awkward silence they all stood, each one eyeing the others to see who would break the ice.

The squad of three individuals and an immortal took in their surroundings back on Kamine Island, their temporary alliance formed to stop a greater evil was on the brink of dispersion after remembering their grudge against one another.

"-Isn't that… hold on." It was Kallen who decided to dissolve the vow of quietness after she caught a glimpse of a moving shadow hastily in retreat further ahead, prompting her to give chase.

"Kallen, wait!" Suzaku rushed after her as well once he noticed what she saw. Only Lelouch and C.C. seemed completely disinterested in their little commotion.

A few minutes later, the pair returned with the Knight of Six in tow. The petite young girl donned a frightened look as much as she tried to hide her distress, not daring to speak unnecessarily or act impulsively.

"Anya Alstreim, Knight of Six, do you know why—" Immediately, Lelouch twisted his view away from aligning with Alstreim's gaze. He sheltered his right eye with his hand and an almost remorseful expression surfaced. "-Kallen, give me a piece of cloth, anything could work."

Understanding his objective, Kallen frantically searched herself for whatever resembled extra fabric Lelouch could use only to find nothing convenient in particular on her carrying except for the one thing she could offer.

"Hmm… here." Kallen stripped her valued headband and passed it to Lelouch, who in return gave her a mildly confusing glance.

"You have nothing else I can borrow?"

"Look what I'm wearing! Where do I have room for pockets?" Nodding in acceptance, Lelouch gracefully took her gift of favour and wrapped it around his own forehead covering his right eye from exposure.

Kallen felt an uncalled-for blush painting her cheeks red as she studied Lelouch's minor alteration in appearance. The contrast between his formal gown befitting a royalty of his title and the strangely rebel-like headband tying around his face created a very unique image difficult to define in words, not to mention that he wasn't bothered at all about equipping her renowned clothing that was always in close contact with her body.

I wonder if it smells like me… maybe he likes it…?

"Anya Alstreim, do you know what's been happening to you for nearly a decade and why your memories always seem to disappear?" Ignoring Kallen's gleeful fluster, Lelouch continued his previous train of thought.

"I… don't know …it just happens."

"It's because two souls used to occupy your body, you were sharing it with the former Empress of Britannia, Marianne the Flash. Ironic that you would be granted the rank Knight of Six, which used to be her position in the Rounds." If the stoic teen had a strong opinion on the divulgence, she didn't show the appropriate emotions for it.

"…How do you know this, Lelouch?"

"How I know is not of your concern. What you should consider is what your next step is to take."

"-And what next step do you plan on taking, Lelouch?" Interjecting into the thoughtful moment, Suzaku saw it fitting to no longer dwell on the past.

"My plan might or might not include you, Suzaku. It will be your decision that seals the future."

"You're the one who killed Euphie." Suzaku stated with his sword raised, escalating the already tense atmosphere.

"And you killed Nunnally." Lelouch replied undisturbed.

"It wasn't my intention!"

"If only our intentions dictated our actions." Seconds passed and not a conclusion was reached, the yearning for vengeance dug deep in the heart of both men yet it was not the right time to further bloodshed.

"Please, can we not do this right now? Can't we just say what we want to do and not keep beating around the bush?!" Having had enough, Kallen rudely broke apart another staring contest for the countless times that day.

"Be that way, I'm growing tired of all the lies as well." Lelouch announced first, his posture no longer so stiff and alarmed. "I will become the next emperor of Britannia, there is something I must do and can only do from that position."

The reactions from those around the ambitious ex-leader of the anti-Britannia military group were polarizing if nothing else. C.C. and Suzaku found his declaration to be nothing so outrageous worth more than a nod of acknowledgement. But Kallen and Alstreim were almost completely flabbergasted at the mere idea of Lelouch wanting to usurp the throne, albeit for different reasons.

"And what do you want to do once you've become the emperor?" Suzaku asked without an ominous tone.

"I want to create a kinder tomorrow."

"For Nunnally?"

"For the world." Lelouch openly stated, his precious aspiration matched by what Kallen saw as a genuine sigh from Suzaku.

"Then I guess I can give you a hand, I won't let the past endanger the future."

"Thank you, Suzaku." Both of them nodded in admission, following it Lelouch turned his attention to the unworldly green-haired immortal. "What about you, C.C.?"

"As if you have to ask, I don't see our contact fulfilled anywhere." Again, Lelouch offered his thanks and proceeded.

Kallen keenly waited for her turn to confess her desire that she had set out to accomplish, if following Lelouch into the fold of Britannia's society was what it took to remain by his side then there would be no hesitation in her steps as she shredded her identity. She just needed the occasion to put her thoughts into action, if Lelouch would just ask her for her dream of the future.

"And Anya Alstreim, you can come with us too if you want." Except he didn't bother.

"Who are you, Lelouch?"

"Had the times been different, you would've known me as Lelouch vi Britannia, the eleventh Prince of the empire."

"That picture I showed you… that was you, at Aries Villa."

"Indeed it was, and you were there for the school of etiquette. Where my mother possessed your body and destroyed your sense of self."

"…Where is the Emperor now? And where is the soul of Empress Marianne?"

"Scattered to the wind of fate, by me."

"You killed the Emperor… you're a regicide, and a patricide."

"Both of which are the traditions of the Britannia bloodline, for centuries before Emperor Charles came into power assassinations and betrayals were common day occurrence, that's why he had an insidious scheme of merging the world into one consciousness. However it was I who foiled him and I who saved humanity, therefore I deserve the throne of power."

"I don't believe you." The news and revelations that should've shaken Alstreim to the core only mildly unsettled the girl instead.

"After everything you've seen? It would be an act of ignorance."

"…Still, I'm loyal to Emperor Charles and cannot allow you to topple his regime." The short knight specified, with a bit more energy in her voice than normal.

"I have my ways of convincing you. But if you won't listen to me, perhaps your fellow knight can do so." With that, Lelouch stepped aside and let Suzaku take his place.

"Anya, it was Emperor Charles and Empress Marianne who stole your mind and memories from you. They just used you as a tool for the Empress's spirit to exist and never considered you as a person, erasing your memories wherever they saw fit. You owe them nothing for what they've done to you."

"But… I swore an oath to become a Knight of Rounds. I can't—"

"-That dream itself was nothing but a lie implanted in you by the Emperor, however what wrongs he's done can be undone. If you choose me, I can gift you your will and memories." Suzaku flicked around to gauge if Lelouch was sincerely telling the truth of being capable of undoing Geass, but his eyes told no lies that his heart would allow.

"I've… never done something like this. Am I allowed to betray my…"

"No! It is not a betrayal which your mind yearns to commit. It is a deed of self-interest that you sought to achieve and your confusion is sown by your missing sense of self. All men are granted the right to strive for themselves against the world's inequality, there is no shame in wanting to see yourself flourish against evil and injustice."

It was Lelouch's grandiose attitude and his flamboyant way with words that so easily let him capture the hearts of his followers, to be so vibrant in his speeches yet so meticulous in his sentences was a talent almost none could compete. For it was Zero's greatest weapon and the most vital tool of his success.

"Ask yourself this, Anya Alstreim. Do you not have the right to live your life to its fullest and experience all the joy and sorrow this earth could provide? Are you not just as capable as anyone else to struggle endlessly against the torrent of fate? If you believe yourself to be a person with her pride and individuality still intact after a decade of torment, then accept me; and accept your new duty as Britannia's knight."

Lelouch had demonstrated yet again how easily conviction could be earned.

"Yes… Your Highness. The Knight of Six… will abide your orders."

Knowing Lelouch for who he was and his style of character, it wasn't that strange at all to see the indecisive young girl fall to one knee and offer her allegiance to the former enemy of the Britannia Empire. After all, it was one of his most prized skills to gather friends from a sea of foes.

"Excellent, Dame Alstreim. You may rise." Lelouch placed one hand on the shoulder of his new ally and was greeted by a slight smile no one ever imagined Alstreim could express.

"Now, Anya, I need you to prepare for our departure. We've been here for too long as is. -C.C., you should find the Shinkirō just outside the forest behind these ruins, get it ready and I'll meet you there."

"Understood, Your Highness."

"Alright." The two women didn't contest Lelouch's simple instructions.

"And Suzaku, how did you get on this island?"

"A helo shuttle."

"Unfortunately, that thing is too thin and doesn't have the fuel capacity to reach our destination. I'll have to ask you to squeeze in the Mordred with Anya."

"I'll live. Then I'll see you in a bit, Lelouch."

"In a bit, Suzaku." And so the Knight of Seven ran off after pilot of the Mordred.

"Now, it's just the two of us, Kallen."

Finally, just as her patience was at an end, Lelouch arranged the stage for the two of them to have their predestined interaction. She almost feared that he had just forgotten about her existence, or even worse, had chosen to ignore her as punishment for her treachery.

"I've followed you all the way from when we first met at Shinjuku until you saved me in Tokyo, I've been your most loyal- or I want to believe I was the most loyal out of all the Black Knights to you. I know I've made mistakes and I seek to atone, but before that please tell me, Lelouch. What am I to you?"

To finally lift up and cast aside the weight that bogged down her identity for so long, Kallen could feel the anticipation for the unknown threatening to tear out her beating heart. If Lelouch were to reject her where she stood; if she were told no to her earnest dream for intimacy with the one who she loved. Kallen would honestly lose sight of what to do with the remainder of her life.

"What is it that you want to be?" To be faced with a question for her question, Kallen couldn't find the words on her tongue.

"I…! I want to… I want to be with you—"

"-You should go back to the Black Knights. I don't think they'll like it if they find out you've been here with me." Whether it was a dismissal or a distraction Lelouch said, either way, it had hurt Kallen.

"Why…!? Why must you be like this!? Why am I the only one not allowed to have what I want!?" Kallen filled her throat with her compounded emotions of love and grief only to shout at Lelouch for trying to befuddle her with an unfounded request. "I… I just… I want to join you too! You know I'm capable, you know I'm loyal. So why are you refusing me?"

"Kallen… you're rather impossible, aren't you?" When challenged by such a pure and honest sentiment for connection, Kallen wanted to believe that even Lelouch couldn't find the strength to don yet another mask of impassivity and play himself up in the role of another villain.

"Please! Please don't leave me!"

"…I can't fulfill it, Kallen! I'm not the one who can fulfill your dream." Lelouch stepped back slightly, his aura of poise crumbled a bit under the burden of reality. "The Black Knights rejected Zero, they wanted nothing to do with me anymore. So I can't wear that mask for you, I can't wear that mask to free Japan."

"It's not fair… you created us. If it wasn't for you none of us would be here today…"

"And my part in your story is done, you'll have to move on to the next chapter. If your goal is freedom for the Japanese people in the truest sense of the word, then we cannot be together, Kallen." Again, Kallen found herself at a crossroads in life, however, this dilemma seemed awfully similar to the one she had confronted earlier.

She stepped back heedfully, her dice already rolled and her decision already made.

"For sixteen years of my life, I was dead. I've committed acts of terror in a false hope of liberating people from a truth I wasn't ready to face, deluded by a fake sense of justice I killed innocents undeserving of such fate. I was a walking corpse, defiant to my destiny yet powerless to stop it. But that all changed the day I met you."

Lelouch stood silently, listening observantly. The tears rolling down Kallen's cheeks couldn't discourage her from revealing her painful and joyous truth.

"You changed me, you changed my world and with it, I was truly alive. You offered me a new future and a new purpose in my life, you made me feel valuable and needed for being who I am. You've become a pillar of my being, without you I cannot move forward… so please, don't abandon me." The content of her inner self laid bare for Lelouch to witness; his expression told her at least some of that confession wasn't disregarded.

"Kallen… together with me, there is no future."

"Then we'll create one together. Are you not Zero, the man who creates miracles? And I know you're capable of creating even better things than a miracle." It must have been a weird impression on Lelouch for his words to be thrown back at him like that.

"Kallen… to be with me, you cannot be Japanese anymore."

"Japan isn't my name, it isn't my appearance, it isn't my bloodline or my residence. I'll always treasure the Japan inside my heart, even if I must fight those that represent it."

"Kallen… if you choose this path, your dream will never be fulfilled."

"An ambition inherited from someone else cannot be called a dream. I've done my fair share for my brother's dream and I will no longer lodge in his shadow. What I truly wish for is to be with you… my leader, my liege, my king."

In devoted tranquility they stood, beautiful purple irises locked on to blue orbs blazing with feverish passion. At that moment the winding course of history was being set on a new route, where that road would lead to neither of the teens could possibly guess.

"Kallen… say my name, my title." As Lelouch requested, he reached up and took off the headband covering his right eye, studying the modest fabric that represented so much more to his ace.

"Lelouch vi Britannia, the eleventh prince. Eldest son to Empress Marianne."

"Who are you."

"Kallen Stadtfeld, born to the noble family of Stadtfeld and a Japanese commoner."

"What do you seek."

"To prove my loyalty to the man behind the mask of Zero."

"Do you pursue the rank of Knight of Britannia."

"If that is what is required for offering my loyalty, I shall carry out any duty."

"Kneel." Kallen quickly obeyed, planting her left leg behind and lowering herself before a steadfast Lelouch.

"Kallen Stadtfeld. Wilt thou, upon this day, pledge thy fealty to my rule, and stand as a Knight to my crown?"

"Yes, Your Highness."

"Does thou wish to abandon thyself, thy past identity, and be sword and shield for the sake of a kinder world?"

"Yes, Your Highness."

With his middle and index fingers, Lelouch crudely formed the shape of a sword and gently tagged both of Kallen's shoulders. While normally the notion of becoming a Britannian knight would only bring about absolute revolt and disgust in Kallen's head, she wasn't at all concerned by how fast her mind could be changed.

"I, Lelouch vi Britannia, do hereby dub thee Dame Kallen Stadtfeld, may your courage and devotion become a shining example to the people of the Empire." Concluding the ritual of offering a Britannia knighthood, Lelouch lent a hand for Kallen to stand up. He then carefully reached up to wrap the headband he borrowed back on her forehead only to be stopped.

"Here lies Kōzuki Kallen, she fought against all foes with equal bravery and sacrificed her life to create a tomorrow for mankind." Mildly taken aback by her dedicated inauguration to her new title, Lelouch showed an uncertain smile and went ahead to tie her headband around her right wrist.

"Now you belong to me, Kallen. In body and soul."

"I won't have it any other way."

And thus it concluded, a ceremony for two.

— —

Author's note

Wow, what a totally original idea for a Code Geass fic that nobody ever thought of before? It's crazy, my oc pls no steal.

But for real, I've wanted a story where Kallen doesn't screw Lelouch in Ep19 of R2 and become basically an antagonist for the rest of the story, that or she's just irrelevant like the middle half of R2. Feels so rewarding to see the protagonist who we've been following for two seasons get shafted for pretty much no reason and that leads to the finale where he gets shafted some more for world peace. (This paragraph is in fact a joke, pls no flame either)

But now not as joke, Code Geass is a great franchise, 10/10. And I think why I wrote this story is because recently re-watching it on Netflix since like seven years ago gave me them dank CG feels again.

As for what the story is, it's just Kallen going with Lelouch on his trip to Britannia to be the emperor and how things will differ from there, most like still gonna have the big sky nuke fortress in the finale.(implying I'll finish it). Also probably will have some side characters from the spinoffs, the movie OVAs (the one about Europe) and Oz of the Reflection (that's a bit of a maybe since the manga isn't translated or I'm just too dumb to find it).

For pairings, mainly Lelouch/Kallen, maybe /C.C.? if I think writing a three-way harem is a better direction for the story and I don't goof it too badly. If you feel strongly about this let me know, harem is pretty sick but harder to write? Question mark?

Last thing, what you can expect from this fic is overdramatic and endless dialogue with mostly no focus on action. Some really dumb grammar or spelling mistakes Google doc can't catch and I'm too blind to see. Finally, nonexistent update schedule (if this fic doesn't die… right now). Also bad chapter length, that could happen too.

Also shout out to Sunrise for owning Code Geass, or whoever actually owns it I'm not sure.