Author's Notice: I know I said that Chapter 5 would be the last, but I had to write a little more due to some feedback I received. In addition, I also realized that I never explained the reason for the title of this fan-fiction! I chose it from a song titled "O2" by Orange Range from the verse that's translated to: "Even if the world rots away, there is something that will never change. Even if we hold back our tears, we all have something we must protect. A message from millions and billions of years ago starts to throb and echo inside me. I call for tomorrow in a hoarse voice, I'll protect you with my wound-filled hands. I continue to fight, I continue to fight!" (full lyrics found here: .com/anime/codegeass_ ) Personally, I thought it fit the story nicely ^_^ Enjoy!!!

Prologue

Ino walked around the living room where the christened dance floor was located, alcoholic beverage in hand. She glanced over and saw a dark figure standing amongst the other guests a few feet away. He'd been lingering close all night. She leaned in to her pink-haired friend, "Sakura, I think that guy has been following me around. Do you think he's been trying to ask me to dance or something?"

She was obviously unaware of it, having had much more to drink than her friend. "What guy?" Sakura looked around before elbowing Ino suggestively in the side. "Maybe he's just trying to hit on you, whoever he is."

She frowned in thought, biting her lower lip. "Maybe…" Ino found another drink thrust into her hands as soon as she finished the one she held. After two sips of it, she felt sick to her stomach and retreated to the kitchen to cool off. Her stomach was threatening to empty itself on everything around her, so she sat down on the floor.

Sakura arrived in the kitchen several minutes later. "Hey, what are you doing in here? The party is in the other room!"

Her hand rose to her forehead. "I think I've had too much to drink. Can we go?"

"But I want to stay," she whined.

"Fine, whatever," Ino groaned, her head pounding, "I'll be in here."

"Thanks," Sakura cheered. She left for the living room, bumping shoulders with Kankurou and saying a brief, "Sorry," for the contact.

He didn't reply, just peering into the kitchen at Ino before returning to the party.

Ino massaged her temples to soothe her aching head and groaned. She finished her class of alcohol before standing to refill it with water. The change in altitude mixed with the alcohol drained the blood from her head quickly and shut it down. She hit the floor solidly without stirring without any recollection of even climbing to her feet.

She felt very foggy and lacked any feeling of alertness as she felt pressure under her knees and shoulders like she was being carried. The unearthly feeling of floating made her nauseous through her fogginess. Ino groaned, "I'm going to puke."

The drifting feeling stopped as her body met something soft, relieving her nausea slightly. She looked up to see a shadowy face, unidentifiable unless you knew who you were looking for. Ino's eyes closed again as her head fell limply to one side with unconsciousness.

Next time Ino's eyes opened, she found herself on her couch and her hair in a snarly mess. Her head pounded angrily as she heard her mother's alarm clock blaring behind a closed door upstairs. "What happened last night?" she groaned, cradling her head in her hands. She felt strange, but she couldn't quite place the feeling. Steadying herself, she slowly climbed to her feet and walked to the kitchen with the idea of water and painkillers on her mind.