Code Geass: Lelouch's Gamble
Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass.
Author's Notes: I noticed that Lelouch likes to gamble. And that he always wins. What if that luck and skill extended to his operations as Zero?
Chapter One: First Gamble
"Was it you?" Asked the red headed girl, ignoring the running water or the fact that she was naked and in full view as she pressed the edge of knife into the back the young man before her. "Were you the one in Shinjuku?"
"And if it was?" Responded the man, Lelouch Lamperouge, to the woman who held his life in her hand, and sounding as if he didn't care. "What will you do Q-1?"
Kallen hesitated for a moment at the sound of the codename she had been given, proof that it really was him. What would she do? She was a fighter who focused on the here and now. She left thinking about the future to the others. She could kill him has she had planned since he knew she was at Shinjuku, but if she did that now then she would just be arrested for murder. And she had to know something. "Why?" She asked. "You're a Britannian, why would you help terrorists against your own nation?"
"I could ask the same of you Kallen Stadtfeld." Said Lelouch using her full Britannian name.
"Shut up!" Responded the red head pushing the knife a little harder against Lelouch's back. "My name is Kallen Kozuki and I'm Japanese! Now tell me your reason for Shinjuku!"
Lelouch was silent, his eyes closed in thought for a moment and Kallen was almost ready to kill him when he finally spoke. "You've already met my reason."
Kallen thought for a second but that was all she needed to understand. "Nunnally?" She ventured. "You're doing this for your sister?" Family was something she could understand. She had loved her brother dearly before he was killed, and was the main reason she carried on in the rebel group he started
What Lelouch was about to reveal would be a gamble, but the possible benefits outweighed the immediate consequences. But he wouldn't reveal the whole truth, at least not yet. "When we were younger Nunnally and I were both children of a high ranking noble Britannian family. Then 7 years ago was the day we lost everything. Our mother was killed and Nunnally lost the ability to walk and see. We were discarded by Britannian society and the rest of our family who considered us weak. Nunnally for her disabilities and me for refusing to abandon her. We were in Japan when the war started, and we would have been killed if it weren't for the Japanese and then the Ashford family who took us in. This has given me not only a reason to fight, but a goal to strive toward. That is why I helped at Shinjuku."
It didn't even take Kallen a second to come to a logical conclusion. "You want to destroy Britannia for what it did to you and your sister?" Asked Kallen. It was so much like why she chose to fight with Ohgi in their resistance group.
"No," said Lelouch confusing Kallen. "My goal is not to destroy Britannia. In the end that will accomplish nothing except to create a power vacuum that the EU and the Chinese would attempt to take advantage of."
"Then what is it you want?"
Lelouch turned his head, allowing Kallen to see the conviction in his eyes as he spoke. "My goal is to create a world where Nunnally can be happy. A world of peace where those with power help the weak to grow strong themselves, whether they be Japanese, Britannian, European, African, or Chinese. To accomplish that goal what I must do is not destroy Britannia but that which Britannia stands for. I must crush the philosophy of Social Darwinism that the Emperor of Britannia rules his country by. And I shall do this with a rebellion that shall evolve into Revolution."
Kallen was stunned. This was not the Lelouch she remembered. From what she had seen the Vice-President of the student council was a slacker that put in only the work he needed to get by, even if he was getting straight A's. The 'cool' guy who had that air of disassociation that so many women thought was attractive.
This Lelouch was different. He had an aura of confidence and power fueled by the drive of his beliefs and conviction. His eyes were hard and showed the determination to do whatever it took to accomplish his goals. And his voice was not the voice of the student that didn't seem to care about the world around him, but of the commander that had led the Japanese to victory in Shinjuku until that mysterious white Knightmare appeared on the battlefield.
Like her he was leading a double-life, wearing a mask around his friends and family. This was the true Lelouch, having discarded his cool guy personae, just as she had dropped her sickly schoolgirl personae.
They stared into each other's eyes competing in a battle of wills. Kallen broke first, releasing the grip she had on his arm.
"So what is the next step in your revolution?" She eventually asked.
Lelouch, who had turned to face forward again, said. "Now is a crucial moment. I cannot accomplish anything of value on my own. What I need is your help Kallen Kozuki. If you want to continue what we started in Shinjuku, then go to the observation deck of the Tokyo Tower at 1600 hours the day after tomorrow. Bring people that you trust. Afterwards I will explain how I accomplished what I did at Shinjuku."
"Alright," said Kallen already knowing which of her comrades she would bring.
"And," continued Lelouch, "keep my identity a secret. Most Japanese would not follow me if they knew I was Britannian. In fact they would probably try to kill me. And if Britannia ever found out what I am doing I will be executed for treason."
Kallen nodded in understanding as she too had to work to gain the trust of the others besides Ohgi because of her half-Britannian heritage. Despite having his back turned Lelouch seemed to know her answer as he left the room closing the door behind him.
Kallen let the warm water run over her, relaxing her as she thought over what she had agreed to. Lelouch's reasons for what he is doing are so much like her own. No, his are more mature. She is fighting for revenge, and what she originally thought was an impossible dream to liberate Japan. Lelouch was fighting to change the world, to make it a better place. And if Shinjuku was a taste of what he could do then he just might be able to do it.
That's when she realized that during their 'battle of wills' the shower curtain was open, allowing him full view of her body.
She blushed as she silently raged at the revolutionary wishing she had stabbed him. But just south of the border instead of the back.
Lelouch let out a small smile as he went to check on Nunnally before he left to prepare for the upcoming meeting.
It was still premature, but he believed that his gamble had paid off. If it had worked then he now had Kallen's acceptance if not her trust. But trust would come in time. After all trust could only be earned and never freely given.
The two students and rebels returned to the ballroom, Lelouch explaining to Kallen what duties and jobs she should and would be expected to perform, the two of them having once again donned their mask again. Although not before Kallen gave Lelouch a resounding slap to the face as payment for the 'show.'
"Lelouch it's terrible!" Cried Nunnally as the two returned to the ballroom, the sound of the news on in the background.
"What is?" Lelouch asked, sincerely worried about anything when it came to his sister.
It was Milly that responded, the normal cheer that filled her voice gone. "Prince Clovis has been found dead."
"They're saying that he was killed." Continued Rivalz.
Both Lelouch and Kallen jerked in surprise, but as the other members of the Ashford student council turned back to face the large television to listen to the announcement made by Margrave Jeremiah Gottwald, Kallen subtly looked out the corner of her eye to observe Lelouch's reaction. Although he had responded just as she did to the initial news, once the others had their backs turned Lelouch's look of surprise shifted to one of calm and calculation. Either he had one hell of a poker face, or he already knew about it.
But when the Margrave's speech was finished and the anchorwoman announced that they had already captured the primary suspect, the honorary Britannian and soldier Private Suzaku Kururugi, his mask slipped. He was truly surprised, and perhaps…horrified?
Whatever it was he did not like the news, and she would find out why.
Her answer came an hour later as the student council Vice-President escorted her to the school gate on her way home. Before reaching the portal that separated Ashford Academy from the rest of the Tokyo settlement she gripped his arm and ceased walking, forcing Lelouch to stop as well. "Alright, spill it. Do you know anything about the governor's murder?"
Annoyance flashed across Lelouch's face for a moment, but he sighed in resignation as he thought, 'In for a penny, in for a pound.' He stood straight and looked her in the eyes, once again transformed into the man that intends to lead a revolution. "I can't explain it here Kallen, but I can assure you that Suzaku Kururugi is not the one responsible for Clovis's death."
"If you can promise me that, then does that mean you know who is?" She asked, already suspecting what he would say.
"I am." Was Lelouch's simple answer.
"How!?" The question exploded from Kallen. "How could you have gotten close enough to kill him!? How could you have gotten past his guards!? How…"
She might have shouted more if Lelouch had not pressed his finger to her lips, quieting her. "As I said, I will explain everything to you two days from now. And not before then. Now I believe you should get going or else Nunnally might start to wonder where I am. And your parents might be worried if you stay out too much longer."
Kallen scowled at the thought of those that waited for her at 'home' but Lelouch had a point. As she was walking out the gate she paused and turned her head to make one last remark. "I'll be watching you." And with that she left the school grounds.
The face of the prince in hiding was inscrutable as he watched his red-haired co-conspirator walk away. For a moment he wondered if this gamble was worth the scrutiny Kallen would be giving him the next few days.
Shaking his head he cleared his mind of such thoughts. He had made his decision and now he had to live with it. He would just have to be careful not to reveal anything like his Geass before it was time. And, should it turn out to be too dangerous and the gamble starts to backfire then he could simple eliminate Kallen.
This time Lelouch scowled. The idea of eliminating Kallen was too much like the method of his enemies for Lelouch's taste. He had sworn that he would do whatever it took to change the world, but if he had a choice then he would rather do it on his own terms, rather then on His terms.
Lelouch cleared his head of all thoughts as he started walking back to his home, intent to give things a 'wait and see attitude' for the moment. After all, there wasn't much else he could do beyond getting ready for the upcoming meeting.
No, that wasn't true. There was one very important project he would have to work on.
It was the day of the meeting and 1600 hours was only minutes away. And Kallen had yet to see any sign of Lelouch.
It didn't even really surprise her after all the trouble she had tracking him over the past two days. When at school he would keep up his mask of a student that wasn't particularly interested in studies or anything serious. With Nunnally he was the doting brother that attended to her every need and whim, although the girl was far too sweet and kind to take advantage of the power she had over her older sibling. Any other time Kallen tried tracking him she discovered that Lelouch seemed to have a knack for suddenly disappearing on his 'errands' only to reappear back at the school a few hours later.
But her efforts weren't completely in vain. She had noticed a slight variation in his activities, mainly his recreational ones. By eavesdropping on Shirley, Kallen discovered that for some time Lelouch and Rivalz had been skipping class in order to gamble. And it wasn't too hard to get Rivals to tell her that the gambling usually took the form of a game of chess. Sometimes it would be a normal game, at other times it would be like a puzzle with someone else playing the first half of the game only for Lelouch to show up to take his place and win the game no matter how close the previous player was to losing. And Lelouch always won, no matter how skilled or talented his opponent seemed to be.
Unfortunaly while the info was useful it didn't help her figure out where Lelouch was or what he was planning.
In the meantime she had to wait here looking at the exhibits while listening to that God-awful audio recording some Britannian PR writer thought up, spouting complete drivel on the relationship between the Britannian Empire and Area 11.
Glancing at her watch she saw that there was only a minute to go before the agreed upon time. Taking another quick glance she noted the position of Ohgi and the rest of the backup, Kento and Yoshida. They walked past Kallen and she could hear them muttering about who contacted them. Kallen hadn't told them that she had met the person they were meeting; only that he had contacted her.
Kento and Yoshida suspected it was Kururugi just before he was arrested, and that they were in danger in case he talked to his captors. Ohgi wasn't making any assumptions either for or against the theory, but was still keeping an eye out for trouble.
Again Kallen looked at her watch. Just as it hit the designated time an announcement came over the speakers. "Attention please. Paging Miss Kallen Stadtfeld of Ashford Academy. One of your personal effects has been turned it at the kiosk on the observation desk. I repeat…" The three men turned to their female companion only to see that she had already gone.
"Hi, I'm assuming this phone is yours ma'am." Said the young female employee as she handed a cell phone over to the student. Kallen took the phone wordlessly and stared at it, wondering what was going on. "Is something wrong ma'am? It is your phone right?" Asked the tower employee after several seconds.
"Um, yeah. Thank you." Responded Kallen as she turned and left the kiosk. Walking over to the observation window and back into hearing range of Ohgi, she felt the phone vibrating, informing her of an incoming call. Looking at the screen she saw that it caller id identified the caller as Zero. More than a little confused she lifted the phone to her ear. "Hello."
"I want you to board the outbound train at loop 5. And bring your friends." Said an unmistakable voice on the other end.
"Lelouch, what are you up to?" Kallen whispered suspiciously, having never liked all this cloak and dagger stuff.
"Patience Kallen, you'll understand in due time. Now you better hurry. You have a train to catch. Oh, and give the phone to one of your friends." Before Kallen could say another word the line was cut off.
Aboard the train Ohgi and the others waited for their next set of instructions. Whoever this guy he was sure being cautious. But then when you're a rebel fighting an empire that controls a third of the world you have to be. Especially when you had very little backing from the people who actually had any power.
The phone buzzed, and Ohgi brought it to his ear. "Yes?"
"Face forward and look to your right. What do you see?"
Complying Ohgi was met with the sight of a glittering skyline made of steel and glass. Speaking quietly he answered. "The Britannian city. A city built by the people it once belonged to before it was stolen."
"And on the Left?"
Turning his head slightly Ohgi saw the crumbling remains of the Ghetto. "I see our city. A skeleton of the past that Britannia picked clean and discarded as trash once they deemed it no longer had any value."
"Good answer." Said the voice sounding pleased, as if Ohgi had just given the correct password. "Now make your way to the front of the train." And with that hung up.
Ohgi gestured to his companions and lead them through the crowded train. Passing through the automatic doors that separated the first car from the one behind it, he and the others stopped and were taken aback.
Standing at the far end of the car was a single individual, his back turned to the group, a cape hiding his body from view.
Being leader of their band of rebel's Ohgi was the first to speak. "Were you the one on the phone? The guy who helped us at Shinjuku? Was that ceasefire your doing?"
When they received no response Yoshido spoke up. "Hey we're talking to you!"
Kallen watched as with a seemingly perfectly practiced timing the train passed into a tunnel, plunging it into semi-darkness and the figured turned around to face them. The man before had not a single part of his body visible hiding his slender body beneath that enshrouding black cape, and his face encased by black mask. The masks features were dominated by a single large 'eye' underneath which was a golden bird like symbol. 'What are you doing Lelouch?' She thought
"What do you think of my tour of the Settlement?" Asked the masked individual. Kallen noted that his voice was slightly altered in such a way that it would be difficult to recognize, even by those who knew him.
"Ah come on. There's no way it was this joker."
"I wanted you to fully grasp the two." Continued the individual. Raising his left arm, "The Settlement and the Ghetto." He finished raising his right arm.
Stepping forward Ohgi said. "Yeah we know. There's a difference between us and them. A very harsh one. And that's why we resist them."
"Your methods are wrong." Stated the masked man dropping his arms. "Britannia will not fall to terrorism."
"Fall?" Wondered the rebel leader.
"It is little better then childish nuisance."
"What was that?" "You calling us a bunch of kids?"
Ignoring the remarks the dramatically dressed individual continued. "You should know your enemy. It is not people, but Britannia itself. It is a war you must wage, but not on the innocent. Pick up your sword and fight for justice!"
Unseen to her companions Kallen's eyes narrowed as she recalled the conversation between Lelouch and herself from several days ago. How Lelouch wanted to destroy what Britannia stood for. But if he wanted to lead a rebellion then his mettle needed to be tested.
"That's all easy enough isn't it! Hiding behind that mask, why should we even trust you?" The anger in her voice was faked as part of her test, but only partially. Overall this would be a small test to see Lelouch's reaction, even if the outburst was something he should have expected even if didn't come from her.
"Yeah, she's right!" "Lose the mask!" Added in Kento and Yoshido.
"Right," agreed Ohgi. "Are you going to show us your face or not?"
"Very well. I'll show you. But rather then my face bear witness to my power. If I deliver to you the impossible then I might have earned your trust."
The sun was beginning to set as Kallen made her way through the upscale neighborhood she lived in. It was a ritzy place with well manicured lawns, enough security to deter crime, and even the smallest of houses could be considered a mansion. Normally Kallen would be walking home whether returning from school or some rebel function, but today she was making her way to Victorian Gardens, the local park.
After the meeting between Lelouch and the group of resistance fighters she was a part of broke up she had received a text message from her fellow student, telling her to come and meet him in the park. He was finally going to explain things to her.
Walking through the park, Kallen made her way to a highly secluded spot where she saw Lelouch sitting on a park bench feeding the birds with bread crumbs.
"Hello Kallen. Nice night for a walk." Lelouch greeted her while offering the bread crumbs.
Kallen snorted. "I hope you didn't just call me out here to feed the birds. I want answers about what happened in Shinjuku. And what was with that getup and whole roundabout way of meeting us?"
Giving her a small smirk Lelouch responded. "When used properly dramatics can be a powerful weapon. It can be used to inspire hope within your comrades and fear within your enemies. And my attire, well when you intend to create a revolution you need a symbol for the people to rally around. Zero shall be our symbol. A man who can create miracles, who shall fight for justice, and to stop the oppression of the weak."
"And it's all because of Shinjuku isn't it?" Asked Kallen. "Something happened there that was the catalyst that allowed you to start your revolution right?"
Lelouch turned to face her, his eyes hard and void of emotion. "You're right Kallen, it was Shinjuku that changed everything and allowed me to start this path I have desired to walk for so long. Well done. If you wish it, I will tell you everything as a sign of trust and as insurance against myself. But if you abuse this trust then I will have no choice but to eliminate you. Do you understand?"
Kallen was intimidated by the man's presence but she did not show it nor would she back down. With a resolute will she gave a firm nod.
"Very well," said Lelouch as he turned to gaze at the first stars to appear in the darkening sky. "Then I will tell you what happened in Shinjuku and the of gift of Geass I received…"
Author's Notes: Well this is my first Code Geass story and I hope everyone likes it. Now it has occurred to me after reading several Code Geass fanfics that there are several key moments which Lelouch manipulated in order to obtain a certain outcome, an outcome that he believed would be favorable to him. So I was thinking what would happen if he manipulated those events so that instead of a predetermined outcome, one of several outcomes is possible and he relies on his favor from Lady Luck, and his ability to read and predict people to get him the most favorable of those outcomes. Outcomes that are more favorable then what happened in canon.
As you can see the first gamble is instead of tricking Kallen, Lelouch told her everything from the start. From the very beginning Kallen was suspicious of Zero but she ended up becoming his most adherent follower. However she felt betrayed when she discovered that it was Lelouch behind the mask of Zero and she abandoned him. In R2 she returned but she was never as trusting of him as she once was. So the question is 'How would she respond in certain situations if she knew everything from the start?'
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