Title: Disconnected Modem

Genre: Horror/Romance

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: AU. SuzaLulu. Self challenge. A curse word or two is used. If you think the rating is too low, please tell me. I don't think it is, but a second opinion never hurts.

Summary: Suzaku's best friend, Lelouch Lamperouge, overdosed on a bottle of sleeping pills and died. The day after the funeral, he sent Suzaku an e-mail. // But receiving letters from the dead had that effect on people, didn't they.

Disclaimer: I do not own Code Geass. Story and story title inspired by the song Hello by Poe and by Serial Experiments Lain. Also, credit goes to The Solar Being for giving me the idea for the Zodiac part…which didn't turn out that great.

Serena: The idea for this story was vaguely inspired by Serial Experiments Lain, but it was mostly the song that I mentioned in the disclaimer that made me want to write this. It's a very good song. I suggest you all listen to it. This is actually the fourth part to my self challenge. The theme this time is "Nightmare". Hope you enjoy it. :D

-X-X-X-X-

"M.O.D. are you out there?
I can't see your face
But you left a trace on a data back-road
That I almost erased
Not even God takes this long to get back
So get back
Cause I hit a fork in the road
Lost my way home
I'm cut off from the main line
Like a disconnected modem
Hello
Tap in the code
I'll reach you below
No one should brave the underworld alone"

Hello; Poe

-X-X-X-X-

From: Lelouch

To: Suzaku

Subject: I'm Sorry.

Suzaku,

I'm certain by now the news has reached you and I know what the others are saying. I'm sorry, but it's true. It was a stupid decision. I know you're thinking that. But you know what my home life is like. You know what that man is like. I couldn't…I'm sorry. But regardless of any evidence that was left behind. Don't believe it.

You remember when we found that library deep in the Wired? Well, I've been going there a lot. I know. The place has been locked off ever since we first found it, but a hacker friend of mine opened the doors for me. I found something while I was there. It was a detailed record of experiments that have been performed by the government in secret. Experiments involving the Wired. Some people they were experimenting on went into comas and have yet to come out of them. Some people even died.

Remember that city wide net crash that happened in Shinjuku a few years ago? Every electronic piece of machinery just stopped working? Even vehicles? Well, these records indicate that these experiments were the cause of all that. They covered it all up and blamed it on a group of hackers. It makes me sick how they could do something like that.

Getting to the point, the people who fell into comas are here in the Wired. Their consciousnesses became trapped here. Some of them don't seem to mind and have even found ways to communicate with the outside world. They create a new identity for themselves and just live a new life that way. A girl taught me how to do that. That's how I can talk to you now.

I'm in here, Suzaku. I'm not dead. So don't be sad, please. You mean a lot to me, you know. I've always really liked you. I guess it's easier to tell you this way than to your face. I realized it would never work, though. You know how I like to read things a lot. Well, I found a book about the Zodiac a while back. I know it seems silly…but a lot of what it said was true. We really aren't compatible. Besides, you like Shirley don't you? I guess…well…never mind.

I'm sorry…I don't feel like talking anymore.

-X-X-X-

It didn't matter how many times he read through the e-mail. It didn't matter how many excuses he thought up to justify the e-mail's existence. No matter how many times he tried to tell himself that he was hallucinating, it was real and it shouldn't be.

The e-mail was from his deceased best friend, Lelouch Lamperouge.

It was beyond Suzaku's ability to comprehend because it just did not make sense.

He had attended Lelouch's funeral for God's sake!!

The Britannian's body had been lying in a white casket and he had looked every bit of the beautiful person he had been when alive. His glossy black locks had been just as well-groomed as they had always been and the casual yet dressy outfit he had been placed in didn't have one wrinkle on it.

And those gorgeous liquid gems God had made Lelouch's eyes out of had been closed, those long lashes of his still elegant even in death.

He had appeared to just be sleeping and Suzaku remembered wondering when the boy would wake up.

Even though he knew then that Lelouch never would.

Suzaku let out a shaky sigh and he fumbled with a packet of cigarettes he had lying on his desk. He tried to ignore the tears that welled up in his eyes when he read the words "Stop smoking, idiot." scrawled onto the inner part of the package, written in Lelouch's neat handwriting.

He had only bought this package three days ago.

He stuck a hand into his pocket and pulled out a silver lighter, flicking it on and lighting up the cigarette he had shoved into his mouth. He flicked the lighter closed and dropped it onto his desk audibly. He took a long drag from the cigarette and exhaled, a large puff of smoke flowing past his lips. He slumped in his chair and closed his eyes as he took another long drag.

'Fucking sick joke.' he found himself thinking, anger swelling inside his chest as tears slid down his cheeks.

Never mind that logic tried to tell him that various information inside the e-mail could not have been public knowledge.

Well, it was mostly just the part about the library.

Technology had advanced to unheard of levels and with that advancement came the creation of the Wired.

The Wired was a communications network that allowed its users to directly interface with data by simply using their own mind. E-mails, phones calls, and a multitude of websites that had switched over to the Wired's Visual Communication Server (VCS) were able to be accessed with just a simple thought. Special devices called "Layers"--which were basically head mounted display visors--were how people were allowed to do this. There was once a time when users had to use bulky helmets that had an ungodly amount of wires attached to them, but thankfully, such devices were now obsolete and had been replaced by better and much more efficient devices. There were even rumors spreading throughout the net that the company who created the Wired were in development of tiny computer chips that, with minor surgery, could be placed inside the human brain and would make the old Layer obsolete.

It sounded amazing, but Suzaku couldn't help but think that science had gone too far. Were such devices really necessary? Weren't the current Layers enough?

Another puff of smoke flowed out of his mouth as he sighed again.

Back to the matter at hand, who sent this e-mail? It disturbed him in more ways than one.

For one thing, how did they manage to get Lelouch's private e-mail address? Lelouch had more than one. One he used for everyday use and one he used for private use. The teen was quite the little hacker…or at least, he used to be…and he made damn sure that his private e-mail was near impossible to hack into. It was protected by a string of complicated passwords and there were even a few deadly viruses artistically encoded into the firewalls surrounding it. Suzaku had always thought it rather silly to have so much protection over something like that, but this was Lelouch after all. Lelouch wasn't one to do things halfassed, if he could help it.

Besides that, no one really knew about the e-mail address. The "Guinevere" name had actually been an inside joke between the two of them and Lelouch had only used it out of spite, but his little plan had backfired when the name "Lancelot" became Suzaku's new e-mail address. Lelouch only ever used that e-mail address with him or his sister who lived overseas. There may have been others he used it with, but Suzaku doubted that the number of people had been high. Maybe five at the most.

But besides the e-mail, something else bothered Suzaku.

The way the e-mail was written.

It was so much like Lelouch that Suzaku swore he could hear the lithe male's voice actually saying the words. It sent a cold chill down his spine and made him feel uneasy.

But receiving letters from the dead had that effect on people, didn't they.

Suzaku opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. He couldn't bring himself to look back at the message. It would only make his uneasiness grow.

Taking another drag from his cigarette, he glanced back at the screen and was careful to avoid looking at the message again as he clicked the Reply button.

He stared at the blank white space for few minutes, watching the text line blink again and again.

Then his fingers began to glide over the keys, typing out a short message:

From: Suzaku

To: Lelouch

Subject: Re: I'm Sorry

Who are you and where did you get this address from? You say you're Lelouch, but why should I believe you? He died. I went to the funeral myself. You should know, this is a very sick joke and I suggest that you stop immediately or I will find you.

That said, Suzaku angrily hit the Send button and flicked his computer off.

He felt the need to smoke another cigarette before going to bed.

And the next day, he felt the need to smoke through the rest of the package when he opened his e-mail and discovered a reply.

From: Lelouch

To: Suzaku

Subject: Idiot

Maybe I want you to find me, idiot Suzaku. You always were dense. I'm almost ashamed to be eloping with the mighty Sir Lancelot, the White Knight. I'm demanding you return me to His Majesty at once!

By the way, I meant to ask before, who is taking care of Arthur now? He hasn't run away, has he? That cat can be such trouble sometimes.

Suzaku couldn't even finish reading the message due to the tears blurring his vision.

-X-X-X-X-

Serena: Well, what do you think? XD It was weird, wasn't it? Now, I'm fully satisfied with ending the story like this (sort of), but if you guys want me to, I'll continue writing more for it. But no more than two chapters. So, if you want me to, you'll have to tell me alright? :3 Anyway, thank you very much for reading and I'd love a review from anyone who can spare the time to write one! :D