This disclaimer applies throughout the chapters: Code Geass isn't my intellectual property or any type of property belonging to me. (There's a reason this story is on this website!) The time between Euphemia's death and the unmasking of Zero in the first series has been changed for this chapter. You'll understand why when you read.

Suzaku was angry. Not the usual hot blooded angry he felt, such as when those two ele-Japanese had been fighting with those Britannians in what was left of old Tokyo all those months ago. Not even the fire-storm of hysterical rage directed to Zero when he saw him shoot Euphemia. No, this was a cold, heavy anger, that burned steadily in his heart. That strange blonde boy had told him of Zero's identity-who the wretched person was. He couldn't believe it-he trusted them, he thought he'd understood them. They'd kissed and more... normally the memory of their first and only time (first in both senses) made him blush furiously. Not this time.

It had been a lie. All of it.

As he walked down the dark corridor of the cave, the heavy steel of the gun comforted him in a vague sense. He was going to finish this. Once and for all. Entering the room he didn't see the unusual door, he didn't even see Kallen. All he saw was Zero. Raising the gun, he fired a warning shot, missing their head. It had the desired effect; Zero froze.

"Interesting power of yours..." he drawled laconically as he continued walking, gun raised.

Zero turned. "I don't know what you're talk-" he began, but Suzaku cut him off.

"Don't lie to me."

Zero paused, no doubt that person calculating the scenarios. At least, so Suzaku thought. The truth was, they'd never heard him talking like that before; so much anger, yet so calm. Suzaku had always been the brash, impulsive one. They'd always been the doting sibling, who'd learnt too quickly, at too young an age, to never show their emotions.

"...I see. So you found out my secret..." It wasn't a confession. It wasn't even a statement; just Zero thinking out aloud.

"That's all you have to say!?" Suzaku growled. The cold flame of his anger was rapidly having petrol poured onto it. Even now, after everything they'd done to him, to Euphemia, to all the innocent people-god, even to themselves! He could almost see the smirk behind that faceless mask. Speaking of which... he raised his gun a little higher, aiming for the head.

He gently squeezed the trigger.

He managed to hide his surprise-instead of shattering, it glanced off. Zero took a step back from the shock of the impact, before an audible crackling sound filled the silent cavern; out of the corner of his eye he saw Kallen looking on at Zero in a mixture of anticipation and fear-in the back of his mind he realised that she must have not known who Zero really was.

"You know Suzaku, this is almost worthy of one of Shakespeare's tragedies..." Zero said as the crack across their mask became visible, the shock of the bullet's impact too much for the material.

He didn't reply.

Crackling. Finally, shattering. Two almost-instantaneous 'plocks' as the halves of the mask hit the floor together.

And the hair swept out. He felt his heart stop. It was... part of him had been hoping desperately against all hope it was just a huge mistake-that they were always in the wrong place at the wrong time, that Zero wasn't...

"Yes. Me."

Luluko gave him a sad smile.

He almost dropped the gun there and then. Even as blood trickled down her forehead (How the hell did she hide all that hair anyway?) he barely restrained the anguished cry. He'd always held a soft spot for Luluko, but after Zero... she had killed her, their affections had blossomed into more. He opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted.

"I wanted to." The smile vanished, leaving just sadness. "I almost did."

His mind flashed back to a few weeks ago; lying in her bed after they'd made love for the first time, running his fingers through her silky hair... she'd started crying, and almost told him what was wrong. When he'd asked though, she'd refused to explain what she was crying about though she'd assured him, with an adorable blush, that it hadn't been because of his performance.

'So that was it...'

"B....but Zero's a man!" the anguished wail said, drawing both their attentions to the half-Japanese rebel, tears in her eyes, but in typical Kallen fashion, refusing to give in and cry. Luluko gave her a dry look. "Chest bindings." "They hurt like hell too" She muttered to no-one in particular as she turned back to face Suzaku.

"I need your help, Nunally's been kidna-"

"Is that ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY!?" Suzaku almost screamed, the noise echoing across the cavern.

Luluko's eyes widened before that damned mask of sanguineness slipped back down. So Euphemia was a sore topic was it?
"What's wrong Luluko-chan?" He sneered the honorific. "Sore spot? Why did you do it anyway? Jealous? Did you see us getting closer and couldn't stand it?" His words hit the target; he could see the pain in her eyes and even her face. She was good at masking her emotions, but he'd become good at reading her mask since... god he almost felt sick at the idea he'd had sex with Euphemia's killer. Somehow she reigned her emotions in.

"We can talk about that later, right now Nunally is-"


"-...what?" Luluko didn't bother hiding her surprise. Ever since she'd come to Japan boys, Suzaku one of many, had been enchanted with her foreign beauty, and been used to having them do anything she wanted for her. Attraction aside, Suzaku was a friend and above all others had been someone she could always depend on to help her.

Until now.

"I'm stopping this rebellion now. It's over."

"B-but Nunally-"

Both of the girls flinched at the venom in his shout; Luluko looked like she'd been slapped. A second pause before the mask crumbled, naked fear in her eyes as the tears welled up in them. It was one of the few times he'd ever seen her cry.

"I-I've already lost one sister Suzaku, please help m-"

Another gunshot, again over her shoulder, cut her off.

She pulled back her cape, revealing the sakurite bomb. Suzaku vaguely noted that she must have been utterly desperate to resort to that sort of tactic, but he wasn't interested at that point. She gave some stupid speech about something he honestly didn't care about any more... his anger and grown too much. In mid rant he yelled at her to shut up.

"YOU KILLED THE GIRL I LOVED" he continued. Her eyes widened.

"YOU WERE NOTHING BUT A REPLACEMENT" A gasp. Her eyes filled with tears and her lower jaw trembled

"YOU'RE A MISTAKE!" she visibly flinched at that, and took a step back.
Part of him was crying in terror for him to stop, that it was just the shock of the discovery of Zero's identity, and that he didn't really mean what he was saying it but his mouth kept going as he pointed the gun at her, and she pointed one she'd suddenly pulled out from under that cape at him. They were both burning bridges, making what was for a brief moment the only time in their adolescences they could say they'd truly been happy nothing but a bitter memory but he just didn't care.

He just didn't care about anything any more.

"YOU AND I WERE A MISTAKE!" Luluko couldn't take any more.

She screamed his name. He screamed hers.

They aimed their pistols.

They fired.