Title: Better
Author: Lily
Characters/Pairings: Gino x Kallen
Summary: 20 truths about Gino and Kallen.

A/N: It's official. Crack pairings are my calling

1. If there was one thing Gino had to pick about Kallen that he loved, it would be her hair.

Red was such a vibrant color; always loud, always demanding attention, and never subtle. Red was passion. Red was provoking. Wherever there was red of any hue, there was always trouble.

It suited her.

"So does the carpet match the drapes?" He asked her cheekily.

2. "Nice punch, Kallen!" Tamaki called out during Gino's aerial path to the wall.

3. Gino made Kallen uncomfortable in ways she couldn't explain. She could never tell what he was thinking about her and sometimes, when he watched her, she felt like he was peeling aside all her carefully built shields and seeing things that she wanted no one to see.

It was silly. He was weird and annoying, not psychic, but still, she hated the feeling of vulnerability that came with his scrutinizing glances.

4. When Gino decided to join the Black Knights, Kallen was suspicious at first.

"Why?" She asked, and pointed out that he'd be going against Britannia.

"The same as you." He gave her a sideways stare. "I'm fighting for something inside me. Everyone has their own version of a future they're willing to protect."

There was a flash of white as she rolled her eyes. "Don't be so dramatic."

And Gino smiled and gave her a rather impertinent poke in her most ticklish rib, making her jump out of her skin and send him a glare that would have killed a lesser man.

5. "You set this up on purpose." Kallen accused him boldly, and gestured to the mistletoe dangling ostentatiously above their heads.

Gino quirked an eyebrow and pressed one hand to his chest as if to silently ask, who, me? He was the very picture of innocence, and she didn't buy his act one bit.

But she went to press her lips against his cheek anyways because hey, it was Christmas --

6. -- she was not expecting for him to turn his head slightly, so that her kiss fell squarely on his lips.

7. The first time Gino saw Kallen, he couldn't keep his eyes off her.

He would later proclaim that it was love at first sight.

8. The first time Kallen saw Gino, she wondered if he was gay.

In her defense, he was hanging all over Suzaku like a fan boy. And Suzaku... well, she was pretty confidant about which side she thought he swung...

9. Kallen always had bad luck when it concerned boys seeing her in the nude so when Gino accidentally stumbled into her room while she was changing, she merely ducked behind the door and let out a girlish squeal of indignation.

There are some things that not many people get a chance to see. One was seeing Gino Weinberg rendered completely speechless. It took a shoe thrown at his head and some prolonged throat clearing from Kallen to get his attention. And even then, he intended to look away - he truly did - but couldn't quite convince his eyes to cooperate.

10. Ougi and Villeta had a lovely Japanese western style wedding. It was an elaborate ceremony held at a chapel within a hotel.

A little sad that her brother wasn't alive to witness Ougi finally retiring from bachelorhood and succumbing to self-pity over her own spinsterhood, Kallen got drunk off her ass at the reception and spent the entire night singing karaoke with an equally drunk Tamaki and also drooling over Gino's chest as they awkwardly swayed on the dance floor vaguely in time to the music.

"You're too damn tall," Kallen complained after attempting several times to rest her head on Gino's shoulder.

"Sorry!" He cheerfully apologized and bent his upper torso down until he was hunching oddly.

"Thaaaaat's better," she murmured drunkenly and Gino continued swaying with her even as his back strained against the uncomfortable position.

11. At 3:13 am, Ougi became the proud father of a healthy newborn son. Unfortunately, he was unconscious for most of the delivery after Villetta had knocked him out during the painful earlier stages of labour.

He managed to wake up in time to cut the umbilical cord however and announce to everyone gathered inside the hospital room that they were planning on naming the baby, "Naoto".

Misty eyed, Kallen was one of the first to hold the little bundle of life in her arms and marvel at how tiny he was. That was when Gino leaned down and whispered in her ear: "You know, our kids would be so much better looking."

Kallen's eyes widened. "Excuse me?"

"I'd like five at least." Gino continued thoughtfully. "More would be even better... ow!"

12. Gino loved battle not for its gore and blood and death, but for the easy grace with which it came to him. Kallen loved battle because it called to something in her blood that heated and thrummed; that made her want to fight that much harder for what she believed in.

Their ties to one another were born from that last decisive battle against Britannia, against Lelouch, - of victories and losses. Difficult bonds to break… memories of blood, sweat, and comradery…. difficult ones to forget. Gino could still feel the sweat that plastered his hair to his head and the crackling aftermath of the Guren's radiation emitter.


13. Afterwards, he had grabbed her around the waist and spun her around, looking straight into her eyes.

"You are fire. You truly are."

14. Perhaps the most startling thing about Gino was that he could knit.

"I can knit." He told Kallen out-of-the-blue one day.

"Wow... you're so hardcore," Kallen said flatly. But she was also curious. How could some rich boy - well, before Emperor Lelouch had abolished the nobility system that is - know how to knit? And more importantly... why?

"My nanny growing up taught me," Gino explained as if he could read her thoughts, "I could never sit still as a kid so she was always introducing me to quieter pastimes."

15. Kallen would not recall their conversation again until her birthday rolled around weeks later.

"I wanted to wrap you up in my love," Gino said about his gift and grinned. "What do you think?"

Kallen unfolded the bright blue sweater, and studied the enormous crooked pink heart on the chest. The sleeves dangled off the couch and trailed onto the ground.

16. "...It's not really me," she answered honestly, and vowed never to wear it.


17. Kallen was getting good at shooting Gino down before he could open his mouth to ask her for a date. It didn't stop the blonde from trying though, bless his soul.

"Come on," Gino cooed. "It'll be like...an adventure."

"An adventure? Well, when you put it that way, I just have to say yes."



18. On the eighty-eighth time of him asking and her refusing, Kallen told him to give her three good reasons why he wanted to go out with her.

"Because you're hot," Gino immediately ticked off with his fingers, "and you're a red-head…"

Kallen made a speed it up gesture with her hands.

"And you can cut cucumber slices really really thin."

"...You like how I slice cucumbers." Kallen repeated.

"Love makes you admire funny things about a person." Gino said gravely.

19. Their first official date was at the local petting zoo. Gino ended up being chased by a llama and Kallen ended up having the most screwed up, unpredictable, laugh a minute, never a dull moment, day she had ever had in her whole life.

20. She wore the sweater.