Lelouch the Demon Emperor was killed by Zero – by Suzaku. Kallen knew the moment the figure of Zero appeared in front of the procession what those two were up to, but that didn't make it any less painful to watch. When it was all said and done, she had noticed Tohdoh trying to rationalize who the person on the mask was. He had trained Suzaku, after all, so it was no surprise. Though she didn't want to say it, she acknowledged Suzaku as Zero for that brief moment, if only to honor Lelouch. Once they were freed from their restraints, however, she left without a word, unable to bring herself to participate in what she knew to be one big charade.
Kallen was thankful when their Knightmares were tracked down three days later. It would take her mind off Lelouch, or so she had thought. They had been stored in a series of warehouses on the docks. Though they had been collected, no effort had been made to repair them. Many of the Akatsuki units were missing limbs, riddled with bullet holes, or otherwise inoperable. Kallen found her Guren facing the door in the last warehouse. It was exactly as she had left it, short both arms, both wings, and its head. The damaged radiant surge arm, at least, had been recovered and left by its side. What caught her attention was the fact that the cockpit was open; she hadn't left it that way as she recalled.
Curious, she climbed into the cockpit, and on the seat she found a small wooden box. "Q1" had been carved onto the lid, making it obvious as to who had left it. She picked up the box and opened it slowly, wary as to what it could contain. Within the box, she found two chess pieces, the black king and the black queen, arranged side by side. They were glued to a white cardboard square, holding them in place – clearly Lelouch had wanted to preserve the image. At their "feet" was the Guren's key, carefully wedged in the box so it wouldn't move. Upon working it free, she saw a message written beneath it: "I'm sorry." She gave a weak laugh. Lelouch would have to put so much effort into a simple apology.
Kallen left the cockpit with the box in hand, returning to the car which had brought her to the docks. Her friends asked her about the box, but she refused to explain it.
Suzaku moved through the relatively small cemetery, working his way toward Lelouch's grave. Nunnally had insisted on giving him a proper burial, though it had to be done in secret to keep people from vandalizing it. The tombstone was also engraved with the name John Dol for that reason, the typo in the last name being the only identifying factor on the otherwise unremarkable grave marker.
Suzaku didn't want to come here. He had killed Lelouch, after all. Even planning it months in advance had not made the act any less difficult or devastating. He only came the first time because Nunnally had. It was Nunnally making him visit this time, too, though not directly.
It was during their fourth meeting in as many days with the Black Knights that he had noticed Kallen, their ace, was never present. When he had asked, they reluctantly admitted that they simply couldn't get her to attend. Moreover, she hadn't so much as spoken to them after they had located their Knightmares. Having failed in every attempt to speak to her, they wanted to enlist his aid. It was Zero she had been loyal to, after all, so maybe he could get her to open up. Suzaku knew better, but Nunnally seconded their idea before he could object, leaving him little choice but to try.
Nunnally had invited Kallen to the small funeral they had held for Lelouch; though she hadn't come, she knew where the grave was, so Suzaku knew where to find her when he tracked her to the cemetery. He stopped once the grave was in sight, and she was there as expected, sitting in front of it and regarding some sort of box in her hands. He approached carefully, not looking forward to how Kallen might react. Once he was about ten feet away, close enough for his footsteps to be heard she spoke up without turning to regard him: "Go away," she said, her voice calm. Undeterred, he closed the distance and sat beside her.
She didn't turn to look at him when he sat down, though her eyes darted over briefly to identify him. "Your friends are worried about you," he offered. "Nunnally is, too." That got her to look up slightly, but she turned back to the box in her hands almost immediately. "They thought you might be willing to talk to me," he said, hesitating slightly before finishing, "since I'm Zero."
Her reaction to the last part was not quite what he expected. "You're not Zero," she said matter-of-factly, her voice still calm. "Besides, it's not Zero I was loyal to. If they haven't figured that out, then it won't help to talk to them yet." Her fingers moved along a groove on the box lid, though Suzaku couldn't make out the entire symbol with her fingers in the way. Before he could respond, she continued, "And if I don't want to talk to them, why would I want to talk to you?" She left the reason for that unspoken, instead conveying it with a slight hint of anger.
From the way she was holding the box, Suzaku decided to poke at what was probably a sensitive issue for her. "You loved him?" She squeezed the box but didn't respond, indicating the correct answer. "Were you two… close?"
"No," she replied. "There was never a chance for us to be. There was always one thing or another getting in the way." She relaxed a bit, setting the box to her side out of his sight. "At first, I think I just wanted Lelouch to trust me. He always trusted C.C., and I wanted that." She laughed, "I suppose that's what got me captured in the Chinese Federation. I wanted to prove I could be just as useful as her and forgot to have the Guren's energy filler replaced." That cleared up a few old questions Suzaku had. He had always wondered how they had captured Kallen, every bit his equal, without even damaging the Guren. "I suppose it's not all bad, though," Kallen continued, "because he rescued me. Not in person, of course, but it was his subordinates, not the Black Knights, which found me." She paused, her expression growing sadder. "Then he lost Nunnally, and everything went downhill from there."
Suzaku was glad he had to wear Zero's mask. It kept her from seeing him winch at that declaration. He had blamed Geass back then, which had made him fire FLEIJA to survive. He wondered what he had been thinking then. If it had hit Kallen, he'd have died with her. Maybe he knew she would dodge and the bomb would make a good distraction. Hindsight only made him feel worse about it.
Kallen spoke up again. "After that, the Black Knights betrayed him. Even I did, when they were willing to kill me with him because they thought he used his Geass to control me." She could not quite disguise the anger in her voice. Suzaku wondered if she was mad at the Black Knights or herself. "He called us pawns – called me a pawn – and so I left him to die. Then he had to give me hope. 'You must live', he said. He was going to die there and the last thing he did was push me away for my own good. Then he vanished, spirited away by whomever was piloting the Shinkirou."
Suzaku could hardly believe it. Such a simple word, "live," and yet when spoken by Lelouch it held amazing power. With that one word Lelouch had cursed Suzaku, forever taking away the atonement he had sought, and with the same word Lelouch gave Kallen hope. It almost made him jealous.
"After Lelouch became the Britannian Emperor," Kallen said, "I didn't know what to do. I wanted to believe in him, but he was with you." That didn't surprise Suzaku much. She had always been Lelouch's protector, and he had taken that from her. "I confronted him when we walked to the meeting with the U.F.N., but he wouldn't even say a word. Even when I kissed him, he just kept that stoic look on his face." Suzaku was surprised by that, but didn't interrupt. "Then you two became the enemies of the world. I was going to stop him, for his sake, but I failed."
"If you had," Suzaku said, "then we would never have been given this chance to move forward."
"Even knowing that," Kallen replied, "I still wish I had."
For what seemed like ten minutes, neither of them said anything. Kallen then stood up and walked over to the tombstone, placing the box in front of it. "Thank you, Suzaku," she said, "for trying."
He couldn't hold back his gasp of surprise. "So you knew?" he replied. He hadn't been sure if the Black Knights had figured it out, since they thought he was dead. Nunnally knew, having somehow learned the plan from Lelouch in his dying moments.
"Of course," Kallen answered. ""Did you really think you could jump around like that and no one would figure it out?" She laughed at her own rhetorical question. "Don't worry, I didn't tell the others." Since there was no one around, Suzaku decided to take off his mask, silently holding it in front of him with the face aimed at his own. "That mask is heavy," Kallen said. "The one who bears it must wears it must bear the entire world on his shoulders."
Suzaku put the mask back on. "That's what I agreed to when I took this from him." Kallen smiled and walked away. Once she walked out of sight, Suzaku's curiosity got the better of him. He picked up the box, immediately noticing "Q1" carved on the lid. "The queen," he mused, "how like Lelouch to name his soldiers after chess pieces." Upon opening it, he was confused at why the box was so large just to hold two chess pieces. He figured there was probably something else in it. Two messages were written on the cardboard in the bottom: "I'm sorry," written in Lelouch's handwriting; and "Thank you," in what he assumed to be Kallen's handwriting. He smiled, placed the box back in front of the grave, and left.
Six months later, Kallen was coming home late from Ashford, waylaid by a budget meeting with the Student Council. She had left the Black Knights shortly after visiting his grave. He had asked her to come back to Ashford with him in the Chinese Federation, so she had gone back for the both of them.
There was no one on the streets at this time of night. When she was about a block from her home, Kallen noticed strange blue light emanating from a nearby alley, as if there were a loose wire on the ground. She peered around the corner, only to find nothing that could have caused it. As she was about to turn around, however, a bolt of electricity came out of nowhere, striking the ground near her feet. She backed up as more bolts began lashing out from the middle of the alley with no discernable source. Before she could fully wrap her head around the strange phenomenon, the spot the electricity came from exploded in a burst of light, covering the world around her in blinding white.