Title: Critical Point
Author: Lily
Series: Code Geass r2
Pairings: Suzaku/Kallen

This was ridiculous. This was annoying. Where was Zero? If she was going to be used as bait to lure him in (not that she wanted to be), shouldn't they have started reeling in by now?

It was the second day of her kidnapping and Kallen was suffocating. There were pink crescents edging her palm where her fingers dug too deeply with the anticipation of a fight.

Because, god, she wanted to fight. She wanted to be inside Guren, adrenaline guiding every thrash and swing. She wanted that bitter taste of confidence and fear in her mouth, but all she could taste was the memory of Lelouch's promise to rescue her.

Lying on her back and staring uselessly at the ceiling, which she was quickly memorising, Kallen dreamt of her mother, of her brother, of Ohgi, but even her memories weren't strong enough to defend against the lonely cold.

With Lelouch she could muster some anger about. Where was he? It felt like everything had come to a standstill and Kallen was... bored. She was bored of it all. Tired in a way that had nothing to do with the residual ache in her limbs and heaviness of her eyes. But she was more angry at herself for getting caught in the first place. Kallen couldn't escape the fact that she was kidnapped and held prisoner– a fact she was most desperate to forget lest full panic seep into her bones and breath.

"Food." Suzaku offered. There was an awkward pause as they stared at one another, before he opened the large string of bars separating the two.

She watched him fearlessly walk and place the food on the ground before her. "You should eat something Kallen." Suzaku had the gall to say to her kindly but her eyes were fixated on the open space behind him. The absence of the metal jail bars was jarring; signifying in her restlessness, freedom. If she could only get past him–

He knew what she was staring at. Frowning, Suzaku crouched down to her eye-level and pushed the tray closer towards her. "Eat." He repeated. Kallen stared at him for a moment, eyes blinking slowly and dryly. She took a moment, one long moment filled only with breathing and blinking and frowning, to consider what she should say. How she should respond.

And then she kicked the tray with her outstretched foot, finding brief satisfaction in Britannia's prized lap dog covered head to toe in soup.

Kallen leapt to her feet, ready to dash for freedom but Suzaku's reflexes were nearly inhuman. She was kissing the cold tile floors before she even had a chance to take a step out of the metal and stone of her dungeon cell.

"Stop it Kallen." Suzaku pleaded through gritted teeth as she struggled and wriggled and kicked wildy at the air, but to no avail. Despite his deceptively slender appearance, Suzaku had the strength advantage. He came down hard upon her, pressing his body so forcefully against her back, pinning her to the floor, crushing her, and squeezed her wrists to near breaking point, that she eventually lost the strength to struggle. Her eyes slid shut and she tried to brush off the headache that throbbed along her temple and down her spine, but there really was no brushing off that sort of pain.

Her resolve was still firm, her dedication adamant, and she tried to will her face to express so when he flipped her onto her back. Droplets of soup dripped from his hair to splatter on her face. She couldn't help it. Her tongue darted out, tasting the salty liquid on her skin. Suzaku caught the movement with his sharp gaze and an exasperated look filled his features. "Why do you have to be so stubborn?" He mumbled, glaring hard at her mouth. He seemed to be more frustrated that she wasn't eating than her attempts at escaping. Kallen returned the glare with her own. How he could worry over her eating habits of all things when he had her holed up in a jail cell was beyond her comprehension.

Kallen shifted slightly from her uncomfortable position below him and felt a sense of déjà vu. He had had her in a similar arrangement that time they were stranded on that island. He had been so surprised at seeing her uniform, he hadn't even noticed she was naked. That, or he was gay.

"Are you gay, Suzaku?" Kallen found herself asking.

He looked at her like she'd gone insane. "What?"

"I always knew you and Lelouch had something going on. The way you kept looking at each other like—"

"Kallen," Suzaku sighed heavily, looking and sounding as tired as she did. "I'm not gay."


He dragged her back to a sitting position and came back fifteen minutes later with another tray. He left the new bowl of soup and bread and water in the corner of her cell before leaving again. The sight made her stomach churn and demand food, while her mouth burned for liquid.

But still. Kallen looked at the innocuous soup bowl and pursed her lips stubbornly together. She always had too much pride.

On the third day of her kidnapping, she heard footsteps approaching. The rhythm of boots on tile came with an accompanying whistle, a quick and cheery tune, and Kallen actually stood and leaned into her bars to see better.

A young man looking only a little older than herself came waltzing into view, jacket loose and hands swinging. Kallen recalled the blonde as the guy who tried to flirt with her at the pre-wedding party for the Chinese Empress. She took a cautious step backwards.

"Oh. Hello," he said, sounding almost startled as he turned to her, as if he wasn't expecting her to be there at all.

"... Hi," Kallen replied, hesitantly.

"Huh," he said, squinting at the metal vertical bars serving as barrier between them as if they weren't supposed to be there. He folded his arms and regarded her unabashedly like she was a painting in a museum he was trying to decipher with his eyes. "I'm Gino." He introduced himself with a wide grin.

She stared at him wondering what he was getting at.

Still grinning, Gino tilted his head curiously to the side as if the new angle could help him to examine her better. "You know, I'm still mad I never got to have a rematch against you." He continued on, conversationally.

She shrugged her shoulders, tossed her head, and folded her arms in a mimic of Gino's own posture. "I'm sure we'll have plenty more chances in the near future." Kallen reassured him.

The grin on his face deepened. For one wild moment she wanted to reach through the bars and rip it from his face.

"I'll be looking forward to it, hot stuff."

Her brother once told her that if a person didn't sleep for more than three days, they were considered legally insane.

Is this what being insane was like?

There was a knife with her food. Too dull to cut skin, which she had only tested to check the utensil's potentiality for a weapon.


Kallen sat up, quick and sudden, blood rushing from her fingertips and toes where it had pooled, straight up to her head. She winced and scrunched her eyes, squinting between eyelashes at the small pale girl by the entrance, all folded eyes and expressionless face as she lowered the camera she'd had raised and aimed at Kallen's lithe form.

The girl made a small noise, a hum that was paired with an exhale of breath, and then she was gone. Turning and walking away, pink hair swinging for a moment as she pivoted on one booted foot.


Her prison bars were becoming more and more noticeable, in a way they somehow weren't before. But waiting here, sitting in a tiled cell just waiting for the Black Knights to rescue her as they intended, was wrong.

Kallen flumped back onto the floor, pressing the heels of her palms into her closed eyes, pushing the dry eyelids as deep as they could go. Her breath hitched, her shoulders shook and she began to use her hands to push back tears as well.

On the fourth day of her kidnapping, Kallen had yet to eat or drink or sleep. A part of her knew how foolish she was being - it wasn't like they would poison her. Poison was overrated when one could stab her in her current state anywhere they pleased. She guessed it was probably because she thought she would've been rescued by now. Kallen swallowed; drinking down nothing but the saliva that was demanding to be used to break down food.

Food, food, food.

"Kallen," Suzaku wearily called, another tray in his hands as he opened the door and entered her cell. Blandly, Kallen registered she could use this time to lunge herself at the White Knight while the door was still open but she had already tried this fifty times already and even she knew by now it was time to face facts: Suzaku was stronger and quicker, and more alert to her movements than she was of his.

Tune him out, she thought, staring at the walls, shadowed and dimmed by the artificial light that always burned down the hallway. Tune him out. Think about something different. Daydream yourself elsewhere. Far away where they can't touch you.

Home. Naoto's sticky hand on her arm as he offers her some cotton candy he bought to celebrate her finishing the last day of elementary school. Ice cream running down the cone and over Shirley's fingers until she licks it away. Milly's tirades about a possible Winter Festival because planning parties was like air to the bubbly young woman and Milly was never short-winded. Rivalz driving his motorbike. Nina hunched over a computer. Lelouch with a vial of refrain in his hand.

And there in her barred room, Kallen watched the stone wall until Suzaku finally left.

If her brother was alive right now in her place, he probably would've started singing to kill the time. Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall..

Her laugh bounced for a moment before dying in the metal and cold room, leaving it all the more empty in its silence.

"Enough of this. Drink," Suzaku said to her, holding a glass of water through the bars. Kallen turned her head to stare at the tall drink that her parched tongue insisted would be divine, and tried to reach her arm out. Her hand flopped rather uselessly a foot away from her side.

"Sometimes I think, Zero let you get captured just to be rid of your nuisance," Suzaku murmured, and she opened her eyes with a start because he was so close. Right there. Right in front of her, leaning down, gloved hand curling tightly around the base of her skull and tilting her head back. After the first sip, she coughed, choking.

"All of it," he said as he slowly poured the liquid down her throat, before he lowered her down. She struggled to sit up on her own. Her body felt incredibly heavy, like she gained a few hundred pounds but she managed to swing up from her sprawl on the tiled floor, crawling to the tray he'd left her a few hours ago, and picked up the spoon resting there. She couldn't harm Suzaku. She couldn't not sleep. She couldn't not eat. Couldn't do anything except maybe sit back and admit that, huh, the soup was actually good as it lingered on her tongue between swallows and filled a stomach that had been empty for too long.

Suzaku sat back on his heels and watched her with an indiscernible gaze as she tore through a loaf of bread with her teeth. Kallen was no longer aware of his presence until he moved again - swift and silent - beside her and then kissed her like it was the most natural thing to do.