A/N: So it's time for another Code Geass story. Like the last, this one describes the sexiest character ever, Kallen Kozuki engaging in a relationship with another female, this time Rakshata. If you have problems with yuri it probably isn't right for you. There will eventually be mature content. Oh and, I'm going to talk about the delay this time; just get used to it, I'm busy this semester and I don't see that changing.
Disclaimer: I don't own Code Geass. If I had Lelouch's geass maybe I'd be able to correct that somehow.
It was hard not to be grabbed by anxiety in a world so populated by uncertainty as the one Kallen Kozuki called home. She was strong; she was the head of Zero's guard, the Black Knight's ace, the pilot of the Guren. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that her strength and the strength of the Black Knights as a whole were unquestionably linked. Still even a girl such as her was not untouched by worry.
The Black Rebellion had been lost. With it, Kallen had lost what she had. The Black Knights had, of course lost all they worked towards as the Japanese people were thrust back into full suppression and despair. Kallen herself had lost more though. She had lost important bonds of friendship and confidence in herself. But more than anything, It had shaken her to learn the truth behind Zero's mask.
Zero was their leader. He was the miracle maker. He was the reason the Black Knights were possible. It had been a hard thing to accept that the new she so respected was in fact her young classmate, Lelouch. She didn't like it at first. It was obvious his goals were not her own. Still, she would serve him in her best capacity; she needed to keep the dreams of Naota and all her fallen comrades alive. He was her only hope in that.
To his credit, she supposed the guy had managed another of his "miracles". She knew a large part of why they were in the position they were now was a result of Lelouch's inability to raise a hand to his dear sister, but that was inconsequential. Thanks to that man, the Black Knights could leave Japan temporarily in Nunnally's hands and take their fight for justice elsewhere. Kallen was content with this; she wanted her homeland to see freedom form its occupiers, but she didn't see the point of unnecessary fighting. That's why she was there with him, on an island sized ship, traveling to the Chinese Federation.
It was just as she was musing over it all, that Kallen's train of thought was interrupted. The door to her room suddenly opened. In stepped the man who had weighed heavily on her mind; at his side was the mysterious green-haired girl who accompanied him regularly. He closed the door behind him.
"Yes, Zero? What can I do to serve you?" Kallen started, sitting up rigidly on the couch she had been using to rest.
"There's nothing that requires immediate attention, Kallen," the young man said as he pulled off his mask, revealing his all too familiar face.
"Surely you have some reason for seeking me out, Lelouch," Kallen replied, becoming more at ease. "Have we arrived?"
"No. We won't reach the Chinese Federation until tomorrow. With it's size, this ship can only move so fast," Lelouch said evenly, his eyes meeting Kallen's. The girl, C.C., sat down at a couch opposite the one Kallen sat on and retrieved a slice of pizza from a box she carried.
"That makes sense," Kallen nodded. "But I still--"
"Rakshata requested your presence for some tests," Lelouch answered the girl's question before she could finish it.
"Ah! I see," Kallen said, curiosity in her eyes as she looked at Lelouch and then C.C., "but is that something you really need to inform me of in person?"
"Perhaps not," Lelouch responded dryly. "I have something else to which I'm curious though."
"Yes?" Kallen tilted her head as she stared at the man.
"How is your condition, Kallen?" Lelouch asked rather directly, his voice dark and serious.
"W-what are you asking all of a sudden, Lelouch?" Kallen asked unsteadily, not sure how to take the question.
"It must be conflicting for you, fleeing your homeland that you swore to set free," the young man revealed his intent.
"The Special Administrative Zone will help a lot of Japanese people. As long as that is the policy of the Britannian government and the Viceroy, we have no business standing in the way of that progress," Kallen gave her answer very forwardly. Lelouch seemed unimpressed.
"I'm sure any one of our comrades would use similar words. I wonder if it's what you truly believe though," Lelouch said with a half sigh, making a glance at C.C., who continued to eat pizza with an apathetic look on her face.
"Putting Japan behind me for now is definitely tough, but I don't want to fight Nunnally either, Lelouch," Kallen said in a more honest fashion.
"It's good to hear that you still think of her," Lelouch said with a warm smirk.
"Of course I do. I still think about everyone, " Kallen said with somber eyes, staring at the other and remembering moments precious to her. "I enjoyed my time at Ashford. I was serious when I said I wanted to return someday…."
"Of course. I'm certain you'll be able to, Kallen," Lelouch said with a smile. Kallen blushed a little. Lelouch could be a little much at times; he left her confused and flustered.
"H-Honestly, is that all you wanted me for?" Kallen asked, standing.
"Is it wrong to have concern for the girl who is not only my most capable soldier but a personal friend?" Lelouch still wore his smirk. Kallen was even further unnerved.
"I don't want to keep Rakshata waiting. If that's all I think I'll take my leave now," Kallen said in a hurried voice, turning toward the door to hide her reddened face.
"Wait," C.C.'s fairly unstressed voice called the girl to a halt. She turned back around.
"Yes?" Kallen asked trying to appear collected.
"Want some?" the strange girl offered with a full smirk, holding out the open Pizza Hut box. Kallen shook her head.
"Umm… no... thank you," she said before turning back around.
As Kallen walked down the corridors of the ship she questioned herself. Why did Lelouch have this affect on her? He was a selfish man who was content with using her and all the others to achieve his own selfish goals. She only served him because he was Japan's only shot. She had every right to hate him.
But moment like this, moments when the two of them talked, she couldn't help but feel something strange. She didn't understand it. She often thought back to the not so long ago moment when she had come across him on the streets at his most vulnerable, a vial of Refrain in his hand. What might have happen had she not slapped him? It made her feel guilty that she wanted to know.
Kallen was noticeably unfocused when she walked into the hangar that held the Guren and the other Knightmare frames. She stared up at the cold metal machine that made her infamous in Britannia. She let out a morose sigh, before looking back down at the ground.
"Ah, so you've arrived," a high voice chimed, "good, good."
Kallen turned around to find the beautiful scientist, Rakshata Chawla standing behind her, pipe in hand. Kallen gave a short nod. "Right! Now how can I be of service, ma'am?"
"Ah, it's nothing too difficult. I've retuned the float system from your initial run with it. I merely wished to determine whether I've increased the performance practically," the Indian woman said straightforwardly. Kallen nodded again.
"You want a test flight?" Kallen asked, prepared.
"Of course," Rakshata replied.
"Right!" Kallen said at once. She proceeded to climb into the cockpit of the Guren. In only a few moments she was ready to launch. Rakshata moved over to a switch on one of the hangar walls and pressed it, opening a hatch through which Guren could exit. After setting a few instruments, Rakshata cleared the Guren for launch. Kallen started up her machine and let it fly through the opening and out into the clear blue sky.
In her first flight, Kallen had had little time to enjoy herself. It had been a fierce battle; she had never operated a flight enabled Knightmare before, yet had been very abruptly thrust into a situation where she couldn't make any mistakes. She had performed admirably given those conditions, but it would be a lie to say she had been the model of confidence the whole way through.
Flying now, she was surprised at how incredible it felt. Moving freely through the air, a tranquil sky above her, an endless ocean below. It was surprisingly beautiful. Kallen wore a smile as she attempted maneuver after maneuver.
"Notice any change in performance?" Rakshata asked, her face appearing on one of the Guren's display monitors.
"Everything seems a little smoother than before. The control is great," Kallen called back excitedly as she accelerated into a mid air loop.
"The data does seem to indicate an improved sharpness in your turns and a heightened acceleration rate," Rakshata said, looking over at some instruments.
"Anything else you want me to test?" Kallen asked, swooping the Guren downward.
"Ah, yes. I've made a few adjustments to the weapon systems. Try firing the radiant wave surger beam," Rakshata ordered.
"Right!" Kallen called as she pointed Guren's right arm high into the sky, away from any target. Very soon a large red beam was firing off from the machine's hand.
"Does it seem to handle any differently?" Rakshata asked. Kallen thought for a moment.
"I didn't really notice much difference," she admitted after a while.
"I tried to cut back on the recoil from the blast so it would be easier to fire. Additionally, I cut the power back slightly in favor of optimizing the duration," Rakshata explained, looking at her data again. "Perhaps the differences in actual operation would be too minute to notice."
"Actually, now that you mention it, it did seem a little easier to fire," Kallen said, with a short nod.
"Hmm, well, try the wide-blast now, see if you notice anything there," Rakshata suggested.
"Got it!" Kallen affirmed as she did as commanded. A blast shot out from Guren's arm once more, this one less concentrated and over a wider area. "Now I know I can feel less resistance here!" Kallen called as the blast dissipated.
"Right," Rakshata said almost callously. "Now then, return to ship."
"That's it? You don't have any completely new systems for me to try out?" Kallen questioned, surprised at the quick test flight.
"I did do some optimization on the radiant wave shields, but you'll have to experience that in battle, and nothing new has been added. Most of the Guren Flight Enabled's systems are still being calibrated for optimal performance after all," the scientist explained; Kallen nodded in understanding.
"I see. You just wanted Guren in the air for a second time so you could collect more data on it," she said.
"Precisely," Rakshata responded dryly.
"Guren Flight Enabled Version, returning to ship," Kallen said as she put Guren into a dive toward the ship below. With some precision flying she found the hatch from which she had left. She entered the hangar and brought the Knightmare Frame to a stop.
"Are you getting used to the Float System?" Rakshata asked as the younger woman jumped out of her machine.
"I think so. It really adds a whole other dimension to piloting, but I've always been quick to adjust," Kallen replied as she readjusted to walking on her own.
"Yes, you definitely are a capable pilot, Miss Kozuki," Rakshata sighed as she walked over to the conspicuous couch that had been brought into the Knightmare hangar. Lying back into the couch, she brought the pipe in her hand to her lips.
"Really, I'm nothing special. Without Guren, I'd just be like any other pilot we have," Kallen said dismissing the compliment.
"Not true. You seem to understand my children better than any of them. In terms of raw ability even General Todoh can't compare," Rakshata said with a smirk. Kallen blushed a bit at the praise.
"He's been fighting since before Knightmares were commonly used whereas they're all I know how to use. I may be more accustomed to them as a result, but that's really the only thing I could possibly have over someone like him," Kallen remained evasive.
"Say what you will. The fact remains that I wouldn't let that man or any of the others touch my Guren," the scientific genius said through a sigh and a puff of smoke. Kallen decided to just accept the words this time. She found that she appreciated the woman's trust in her.
"But Zangetsu's almost finished with development, right? Won't it be on par with Guren?" Kallen asked, remembering the information she had heard about the new Knightmares being built for the Black Knights.
"Of course not. Guren in my pride and joy, none of my other children can hope to compare. Zangetsu should be able to impress, but next to Guren it's really not so special," Rakshata said, smiling as she looked up at Kallen's Knightmare Frame and then added, "Well, Shinkiro will have a lot of flash to it, but even it won't be half of what Guren is."
"Hearing that makes it seem like a lot has been placed in my hands," Kallen gave an uneasy laugh.
"Exactly right. I wouldn't trust just anyone with something so precious," the older woman gave her own high laugh, further unnerving the other.
"I-I don't know what I did to be viewed so favorably in your eyes..." Kallen said in a soft voice, with a slight blush.
"I can just tell. Lord Zero selected you for the job, but I've known since we first met that you were right for Guren," Rakshata said with a light tone.
"Y-you really think so?" Kallen expressed a total lack of conviction. It was hard receiving compliments when she was filled with so much doubt of late.
"You usually have more confidence than this. tell me, are you troubled?" the scientist asked, seeing right through the other.
"Uh… well…." Kallen started, unsure if she should say anything or not.
Rakshata gave a long sigh. Puling the pipe away from her lips she said "I'm much more knowledgeable when it comes to machines than when it comes to men. If you do wish to discuss your troubles with someone, however, I could at the very least lend an ear."
"I appreciate the offer, but it's really nothing," Kallen lied. Her concerns weren't something she should let be known.
"Suit yourself," Rakshata said aloofly, taking another puff at her pipe.
To her own surprise, Kallen didn't turn and walk away. She kept telling herself that she was being foolish, but she couldn't force herself to just leave like that. She wanted to open up to someone. Rakshata was a strange pick. She may have been one of the few other women in the Black Knights, but Kallen had hardly ever thought of her as someone to really converse with. Still, her mouth opened to speak.
"Actually, I have been a little... concerned lately," Kallen said, some time spent on finding a proper word.
"I suppose it stems from our masked leader, correct?" Rakshata asked. Not giving the other time for a response, she added, "With how clearly he trusts you, I would have doubted you, of all people, would become suspicious of him."
"I understand Zero. I know why he does most of the things he does… but I do still wonder some times, if he really stands for what he claims to," Kallen said in a solemn, serious voice.
"Of course he doesn't. All men are liars. That's one of the many reasons I prefer machines," Rakshata replied in a very relaxed fashion.
"If you can just say it so simply like that, how is it you are able to serve him?" Kallen asked, her brow furrowing in suspicion.
"It's a simple job for me. Working for Lord Zero means I get the resources to build more children without having to rely on any of the fools in my country who think they know something," the scientist explained coldly. Kallen was surprised at the honesty in her voice.
"You really have no investment in our war?" Kallen glared slightly.
"I'd say I have a healthy investment in it. Those are my children you and your comrades are piloting," Rakshata replied with a self-satisfied smirk.
"Unbelievable… What an arrogant thing to say," Kallen stammered, ready to leave.
"What, it's not a good enough reason?" Rakshata gave a high laugh. "You expect me to instead pledge undying loyalty to your cause as it's in my homeland's best interest?"
"That would certainly be more appropriate," Kallen said in a solemn voice.
"Right, nationalistic loyalty is what drives your lot after all," Rakshata said, pipe at her lips.
"Are you saying there's something wrong with that?!" Kallen's voice raised with her temper.
"Of course not. It's a perfect cause to fight for. With something like that guiding you, following even someone like our leader, should be no issue for you as long as you keep seeing results," Rakshata said in a deliberate voice. Kallen nodded softly, calming rapidly.
"I know," she said. "My real concerns aren't about that exactly…"
"They aren't about Lord Zero? Now that's a surprise!" Rakshata seemed as genuinely surprised as her words suggested.
"They are about him… just not about whether or not I should serve him. I know I should," Kallen said in a gentler voice.
Rakshata didn't seem to follow her. She asked curiously, "Then what could they be?"
Kallen blushed intensely as she remembered what was troubling her most about Lelouch lately. Thinking it all over, she found she couldn't talk about this with Rakshata after all. It was far too difficult.
"Umm well…. it's nothing really…. j-just forget about it," she said in a meek voice, still blushing as she backed away.
"Aha, I see," Rakshata smiled and gave a short snicker. "This is what you'd call 'love', isn't it?"
"Uh… no, I don't know w-what… you--" Kallen started fumblingly, blushing even deeper. She couldn't believe herself, being reduced to such a state.
"Do you know his true face then, our Lord Zero? Or perhaps your love is blind to appearances?" Rakshata inquired further.
Kallen put everything she had into allowing herself to become something close to collected. She shot Rakshata an apologetic glance. "I-I know who he is… I'm not to reveal it to anyone though."
"Oh, I don't want to know, don't worry. Knowing anything more about him would destroy all the wonderful sense of mystery surrounding this job," Rakshata declared enthusiastically.
"I see..." Kallen said in a subdued voice, looking at the older woman as if she were odd.
"So you love Lord Zero?" Rakshata said in a slow voice. "That must be difficult."
"I-I'm not sure that's w-what it is exactly..." Kallen stuttered, her blush returning.
"I thought that C.C. girl was already his woman," Rakshata gave another laugh. "That's what most of us assume at least."
"I don't think they're…. I can't really…" Kallen tried to reply, but found her thoughts on this subject hard to voice.
"And then you have Lady Kaguya clinging to him non stop," Rakshata continued. "I wouldn't think there'd be much time for you as well."
"Do you know what I should do?" Kallen was quite surprised to find herself ask this directly. Rakshata seemed surprised as well.
"Haven't a clue," Rakshata replied bluntly. Kallen mouth went agape.
"Why am I wasting my time?" Kallen asked rhetorically as she let out a sigh. "It should be rater obvious a woman like you doesn't know love."
"Is that what you think?" Rakshata asked, looking at Kallen, seemingly amused.
"The only love you have is for the machines you create," Kallen deduced and stated coolly.
"So quick to judge me… honestly…" Rakshata gave a long, deep sigh.
"So you're saying I'm wrong then?" Kallen challenged fiercely. Rakshata's expression became very even.
"I understand the emotion perfectly fine," she assured. "It's just your situation is less than ideal. It doesn't take an expert of romance to realize that loving that masked man is only going to leave you heartbroken in the end."
"You might very well be right," Kallen let out another sigh of her own.
"Of course," the woman said, smiled and then inhaled from her pipe.
"Wasn't much help, but thanks anyway," Kallen said as she began to walk.
"It was hardly a trouble," Rakshata replied less than humbly. She then informed the other, "there are still a few things I can think to try to maximize the efficiency of the float system. Another test flight will likely be in order within a few more days."
"A-Alright. I look forward to it," Kallen responded softly before beginning to move toward the exit.
"See ya," Rakshata chimed in a relaxed fashion with a wave behind her.
As Kallen returned to the ship's corridor Rakshata's words weighed heavy on her. Was she foolish in having these feelings for Lelouch? Was it something that would just end in bitter disappointment? It seemed rather obvious that it was. What was she to do about it then?
It didn't really matter she supposed, she had to put it behind her. She was key to the Black Knight's success. They trusted her with their dreams. Lelouch trusted her with his dream. Ohgi trusted her with his and Tamaki with his. As did Todoh, Chiba, Asahina, Sugiyama, Minami and all the other Japanese people. Then of course Rakshata and her shared an important bond of trust; not over a dream like the rest, but more over that machine that was an important part of them both. Kallen didn't want to let any of the people who trusted her down.
A/N: Well, that's the first chapter. Hopefully it wasn't too dull. It was mostly just exposition dialog into where the characters stand at the time and how the relationship between the two is initially, the story will pick up in the next chapter. And of course, the timeframe, if you couldn't tell is between episode 8 and 9 of R2. I'l likely stretch out this period of time so as stuff can actually happen in this fic.
Well, writing Rakshata is difficult. I hope I got her personality mostly right; I wasn't quite sure, she has such little screen time. I also wasn't so sure about all the technical Knightmare Frame talk; I need to get better at that for my upcoming major Code Geass project which will be combat heavy. Oh, and I'm enjoying writing the Kallen fic from Kallen's perspective this time.
As for my poll, amazingly predictable. I asked whose Geass you'd want. I probably should have added something about not having to worry about the powers going out of control. Maybe that would have made the results more uniform. All but 8 of the 28 who voted, voted for Lelouch's ability. It would be handy, and practical. Rolo's time stop came in second with significantly fewer votes (only 8). Stopping time would definitely be cool. C.C.'s geass from the flashback got 6 votes. I suppose it would be nice for a while. The Emperor's geass only managed 5 votes. Being able to completely rewrite the memories of others as you wish, seems like a pretty powerful, badass power to me, surprised so few want it. Bismarck's power getting only 4 votes didn't surprise too much; doesn't seem that useful in practical situation, it didn't even do him very much good. Mao's mind reading got 3 votes. It'd be kind of cool, I guess, but I wouldn't want to know what some people are thinking. And of course Marianne's geass did the worst. Powers that only activate after you die aren't going to be popular.
The new poll is simple. I had a favorite character poll a few weeks ago. This is sort of similar. This time, however, I limited it to female characters. This time, you are also to select the characters based exclusively on who is sexiest rather than any other factors involved in their character. Incredibly minor characters have even been includes in case you really liked one of their designs. If someone other than Kallen wins, I will be disappointed in you all.