A/N So Ya this is my first Code Geass fanfic. I never thought I was dedicated enough to the fanbase to do one of these but then I thought, hey what the heck, let me give it a try. I know there are thousands of fanfics in the fandom and so I'm probably not bringing anything fresh and original to the table but still, I hope you can get from reading what I got from writing.
No one in the world ever gets what they want,
And that is beautiful
Everybody dies frustrated and sad
And that is beautiful
— They Might Be Giants, "Don't Let's Start"
"I made someone cry this morning."
Kallen opened her eyes and her gaze fell upon the stone monument before her.
"It was a boy...a coworker, a male coworker."
She needed a moment to collect her thoughts; the entire ordeal was difficult to explain. Kallen lifted herself off her knees and swept blades of grass off her skirt. She quickly glanced around. Though this area was open to the public on most national holidays, it was essentially a private park. Covering close to three hundred acres, its creation had been commissioned and was overseen by Nunnaly herself. An entire park dedicated to the lives lost during the war five years ago. There were stone tablets abound, and whether it was their courage or valor, each tablet honored some aspect of the Japanese natives that had given their lives during the war. But only one of the tablets contained the body of a former emperor beneath it, thanks in part to the secret efforts of Jeremiah, Sayako and Suzaku. In the end though Nunnaly could not have picked a better resting place for her brother; Kallen was surrounded on all sides by beautiful scenery.
Averting her gaze from the tablet she continued to speak. "Don't misunderstand we were just friends, well we were friends. In hindsight, I can see now that he liked me. I knew before hand he admired me, and he was pleasant company to be around. It's just that today.....and the days, weeks....The weeks leading up to today are always tough. I space out y'know, I block things out. I guess he wanted to get my attention, thought he could do it by striking up a conversation about the war, how brave I was, how I had cemented myself as the greatest Knightmare frame pilot in the world and....."
Kallen bit down on her lips and remained unaware of the very thin line of blood that ran down her chin. "And he "bet" that I wished I had gotten my hands on you before Zero did, that I would have torn you apart....that your body should have been desecrated."
She felt it coming and her eyes clenched shut in response. Last year on this very date, in the same spot she was standing on now, she had fallen to pieces. It was supposed to get easier, time was supposed to dull the pain, dilute it, divert it, something. Yet every year since, it had only gotten worse.
"Any other day" she said while shaking her head. "Any other day and I would have been fine....not today though. Not today."
"I forgot how easy it was to break someone's nose....." A soft, forced chuckle slipped past the red head's lips. "But it just happened; I didn't even think about it, it was like a reflex, instinct. I did, I do feel bad about it......I'll apologize tomorrow."
An unusual cold breeze for the season blew her hair around her. It came to her attention that gray clouds above had the intention of bringing the dark in sooner. It was rather comical the way her internal and external environment had seemed to sync up so perfectly. The sky itself taking in suggestions from her very mood.
She sniffed. "My mother, she's getting better. To the point, where she can see through my moods again. Through my smile, through my small talk, even at her worse she can sense it. 'Do you miss someone baby? Tell momma the truth, did some mean boy break my baby's heart? Honey, every time you get upset you grab that thing around your neck, why is that?'"
A grim smile formed on Kallen's face as she clutched the Gurren key in her hand. "It...helps me mom, and you're right, I do miss someone. The mean Demon Emperor boy took your baby's heart with him. And even though she knows the truth. Even if she understands. Even if she should be positive for her mother's health, for her own health. It's still hard for her."
It wasn't as if she hadn't tried to move on. Hadn't tried to maintain her positive outlook, tried to live some resemblance of a normal life. But the feelings had overwhelmed her like a fever. One that had taken her years to break and likely would never fully be cured.
"Your baby is a sad girl mom. Sometimes she just wipes away her tears before she even knows she's crying."
As if on cue, Kallen swiped at her eyes with her sleeve. Wasn't the former captain of the Zero Squad supposed to be stronger than this? Made of a tougher cloth? It was something more than a few tears every now and then. No, she was suffering from a cut that ran far deeper than any blade could produce. And it had come to her suddenly on the first anniversary of his death. He had haunted her dreams that night and had been eclipsing her thoughts since then.
The sound of twigs snapping under foot broke Kallen out of her haze. She glanced over her shoulder just in time to see a flash of green disappear behind a pair of oak trees located a few yards away. She waited for a moment or two for someone or something to show. But after a fair amount of time it became apparent that her breathing was the only sign of life to be found.
Her attention returned to the tablet.
"I kept it relatively together this year, well except for the nose breaking part" Kallen sighed. She put her fingertips to her lips before placing them against the monument. She glided her hand across the tablet brushing away dead leaves.
"We can call that some progress right Lelouch?"
"Give me a break." Kallen sighed as a brisk wind chilled her to the bone. "It's supposed to be the spring."
Shivering awake, Kallen cursed herself for leaving her bedroom window open. Furtive movement in the room brought her quickly out of the daze of deep sleep and into a state of alertness.
She wasn't alone in the room.
Sensing danger Kallen sprang upright in bed and placed her back against the wall. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness, and locked onto her bedroom window.
Sitting casually on her window ledge looking surreal in the shrouded moonlight was the lithe figure of Lelouch's former partner in crime. The window was large and set into the wall so C.C sat comfortably on the three feet high outcropping with one leg up on the ledge in front of her at a slight angle and the other dangling onto the floor of Kallen's bedroom. C.C stared outward into the night sky, her body as still as a doll.
"I've been watching the night sky more and more in these last five years of my life, than in the last few hundred." The green haired immortal declared.
With her face illuminated by the moon she turned to Kallen. "I find that amusing, don't you?"
Visibly confused Kallen relaxed her guard. She hadn't talked to C.C since she defeated her during the war, C.C in fact wasn't even around at the private funeral Nunnaly had held for her brother.
"W...what are you doing here?" Kallen inquired.
"Moi?" C.C tilted her head with a chiding smirk. "I suppose "he" would call it a contingency plan. He'd call it "Plan C Two" or something a little cleverer.....Say what you want about Lelouch, the man had foresight."
At that moment a thought occurred to Kallen. "Were you following me today?"
C.C fixed her golden gaze upon her. "Today, last year...the year before that, the year before. I am contractually obligated to occasionally observe the precious people and to interfere if things go too much astray."
"Kallen Kozuki do you believe in magic?"
It was a laughable question. After all Kallen was staring at an immortal woman and the man she loved had had the ability to force others to obey his orders without question.
"Though your cryptic head games have me feeling nostalgic, I don't remember inviting you into my house in the middle of the night C. C."
"For example Lelouch's mother had a unique magic trick where..." C.C continued, leaving Kallen wondering if she had heard her at all. "Well I suppose that's a long and irrelevant story. The important detail here is that the right witch with enough preparation and time can record...take a snapshot if you will, of the thoughts, experiences, memories, the will and knowledge of a person up to the moment of his death."
Kallen felt her body grow heavy as if she had suddenly been dropped underwater. She felt drained and it wasn't from the usual weariness caused by lack of sleep.
"What are you talking about?!" she managed to mutter.
C.C slid off the ledge and stepped further into the room. "It's a photo copy of person's consciousness, his essence too, if you think about it. And it can be shared temporarily if both parties are willing."
Kallen attempted to move as C.C suddenly approached. But she found her body unwilling to heed her orders. She slumped back onto her sheets and used her remaining energy to roll onto her shoulders.
"What's wrong with me?"
"My apologizes for the drug injection, I had to do it while you slept. But it took far longer than I thought to take effect."
"Why?" Kallen wheezed as her entire body began to numb over.
"No offense but I wasn't sure how open you'd be to the ritual. Since I couldn't handle you in a Knightmare frame, I assumed you resisting would have us ending up with the same result if not much, much messier."
C.C propped herself up over Kallen's body prone body. She smiled down brightly at the startled red head. "This trick only works once. It's also considered potentially lethal to mental stability. But we were pretty sure if anyone could survive this, it's you."
What is she doing?! Kallen thought as C.C lowered herself towards her. Kallen's eyes grew heavy, so heavy they began to close.
C.C's mouth brushed her jaw.
"Give my regards to our Emperor," the witch whispered.
Kallen's mind raced. What had just happened? Did she actually just get sexually assaulted by C.C? It was too absurd a thought for her to even imagine. She tensed up and eventually her eyes came open. She remained against the wall, in the position she had been in before slumping into her bed.
There was still another person in the room but it was no longer the green haired witch. Recognition came instantly. How could she forget? He was five years removed from the world and he remained unchanged.
At the end of her bed, basking under the silver moonlight that penetrated through her window, he sat in full Zero costume sans the iconic mask. He sat completely still with his eyes on her, his smile still disarming.
"Lelouch you're alive?" She exclaimed.
"You're jumping to conclusions Q-1," he grinned. "Think of it like being two consciousnesses one mind; you can say we're a team again."
Kallen glanced around her room, everything seemed the same and everything felt normal.
"Two consciousnesses…Is that what this is?"
"It is close enough" Lelouch replied. He then nodded at a small chess board that lay beside him. It was the first time Kallen had noticed the board on the bed.
"How about a match?"
"What?" Kallen asked incredulously.
"You might find this surprising, but since we're sharing mental space I can get in tune with a few things. Like how guilty you are about hitting the guy this morning. I know you two were close."
Barely looking at the board, Lelouch moved a pawn.
Kallen stared at the board for a moment, but then she lifted her head. In the light, Lelouch's eyes appear to glisten, and much of his face was unreadable. His smile though, in her opinion was tinged with sadness.
She moved a pawn of her own mirroring his move. "He is just a friend. Possibly a former friend now."
Lelouch reached for the board and deftly followed up with another pawn advance. "He appears to be a good man."
Kallen studied the board carefully. She had in the past had the pleasure and frustration of playing against Lelouch. Though she lost every match she did pick up on some of the intricate nuances of the game. Lelouch's initial two moves brought with them many possible openings such as the Queen Gambit, King's Indian Defense, Queen's Indian Defense, and the Dutch Defense.
What was he up to?
There was the possibility he would go into a defense so she would take the opposite path. She moved another pawn to initialize her plan to take the offense.
"He's not you." She stated.
She glanced up to see Lelouch watching her steadily. When he did move it was as if he was gliding from one pose to the next.
"To the best of my knowledge I am dead, he's alive," the former Emperor declared bluntly.
Instantly Kallen moved her own knight. "I don't love him."
Before she could even pull back her hand back Lelouch had begun his next move. Her hand brushed against his, fingers against fingers, electricity rolled through her as she felt the warmth of his touch.
Lelouch's move is followed by a deep sigh. "You don't allow yourself the opportunity to love anymore."
Kallen considered her next move. The possibilities expanded in her mind, they seemed endless at first each plan hampered by tangled knots of "ifs" and "thens." Her fingers closed around a piece. Eschewing strategy she decided to go with her gut.
"I love you."
Kallen anticipated a reaction from Lelouch but settled for disappointment when his face gave away nothing. Lelouch reached for the board once again but this time his hand hesitated over the pieces. Before this, he had been quick to every move as if he had it all planned before hand. This curious hesitation did not escape Kallen's notice.
He chuckled. "A bit of déjà vu."
Lelouch's hand eventually fell onto the board and instead of bringing his castle forward as she expected, Lelouch performed a lateral move with his queen piece. It was a queer move that didn't seem to gain him any advantage.
Puzzled Kallen met his gaze.
"I know" he began. "That you are human. Isn't it true that women need real love and affection not the promise or idea of it?"
Lelouch's tone sounded neutral, maybe even a bit friendly. It was Kallen realized, diplomatic and political. Biting her lip Kallen clenched her fingers over her knight piece and captured his queen.
"You're an idiot." She growled angrily. "My feelings are my own, and they are strong."
Without responding Lelouch swiftly jumped her knight with his rook and effectively brought it closer to her king.
"Check," he announced. "Many chess purists say that keeping the queen at all costs is the key to total victory, the true grandmasters will tell you that a winning game is all about sacrifice no matter how painful."
Kallen gazed at the pieces, thinking.
"Your move." Lelouch remarked.
The former pilot nodded to herself right before lifting the board off the bed and hurling it with all her might across the room. The board smashed against the walls, and all the pieces scattered across the bedroom floor.
Lelouch's eyes darted from Kallen to the broken chess board. "I must admit that was a move I had not anticipated."
He returned his attention to Kallen to found her glowering at him.
"It's funny how talkative you are right now Lelouch. The time I needed to hear your voice the most, you didn't let out a squeak."
His face smug and detached Lelouch opened his arms out wide. "Silence is the true friend that never betrays."
Kallen threw her hands up in the air. "So this is what it's come down to? After five years you want to play games and throw "quotes" at me Lelouch?! How about this quote 'spiteful words can hurt feelings but silence breaks the heart.'"
Lelouch rapidly blinked back at her. Apparently she had caught him off guard.
"However Kallen, wise men say 'we must have reasons for speech but we need none for silence.'"
Her teeth clenching in frustration Kallen hoped off the bed and marched towards her window. "Spare me your conventional wisdom," she proclaimed while staring out the window. "I am aware of your skills as a cemetery linguist."
"Cemetery ling--" Puzzled Lelouch paused. Then a flash of recognition came over his face followed by a smile that reached from ear to ear.
"Oh I get it, "cemetery linguist" I bury people with words. That's really clever."
"I'm being sincere. It's clever"
"I wasn't trying to impress you."
"Though it did kind of hurt my feelings."
"Well that's a nice bit of irony. Or is it poetic justice?" Kallen replied curtly.
Lelouch's eyes fell upon the plush Tabatacchi doll that was lying upon Kallen's bed. Smiling he plucked the doll from its resting place beside her pillow, and he gave the item a little squeeze.
"What did you want me to say Kallen? That you were merely a pawn. That though I was flattered by your fascination with me you were nothing more than a means to an end? A tool that I could discard when I perceived its usefulness to have waned. That I was no more attached to you then I was the Gurren?"
"It might have saved me some troubles" She said with her back still turned to him. Flashes of lightning sparking across a dark furious sky caught her eye.
"I could have said all those things, but if I had, I would have been lying." Lelouch replied simply.
Kallen didn't respond, in fact she stood perfectly still while imagining his intense stare burrowing into her back.
"I predict you're blushing Kallen."
"Your cheeks are sporting the same crimson hues as the Gurren."
It took everything Kallen had to refrain from turning around. "What are you talking about? I'm not blushing."
"I can see now where the name Kallen "red lotus" Kozuki originated" he teased.
She spun towards him, presenting her now scarlet-free face. "See, you're wrong. You're prediction was wrong."
Lelouch nodded to himself, "no I'm pretty sure I was right."
He pointed to the mirror on the desk adjacent to Kallen's position. "I saw your reflection in the mirror. You were definitely blushing."
Kallen saw her face change color once again as she stood, smiling awkwardly, at her own reflection. The blush grew tenfold when it dawned on her that she was still wearing the tank top and panties that she had gone to bed with the night before.
She made a futile attempt to cover up her entire body with her arms before diving into a nearby closet.
"Lelouch, why didn't you tell me I was walking around like that!"
"Oh sorry, I didn't really notice."
It was clear to them both that this was not one of Lelouch's better lies. Skillfully though he did manage to hide his disappointment in her realizing the situation far sooner than he had anticipated, and hoped.
She returned overdressed, in jeans and a jacket. With her read headband now holding up her hair.
"You didn't have to dress up just for me" he joked.
"You are a pervert Lelouch. And you cheated with the mirror."
Lelouch picked himself off the bed and shrugged arrogantly. "Sometimes I cheat."
"And you lie." In two quick strides Kallen reached Lelouch and snatched Tabatacchi from his squeezing hands and tossed it back onto her bed. "You lied to me."
"We lie in speech and in silence Kallen....Besides if I said anything rude you probably would have hit me."
He chuckled awkwardly, but when he looked for amusement upon Kallen's face he couldn't find a trace of it. Her face was serious and earnest and when she spoke her voice suddenly seemed touched with the weariness and inflection of someone who had not slept for many days.
"If I had known."
"Kallen" he said knowing what was coming. His tone was unbearably soft.
"If you would have just explained..." she said with visible emotion."I would have followed you to h---"
Her train of thoughts was derailed when Lelouch placed his hands on her shoulder and guided her back towards the bedroom mirror. Curiously though she was no longer seeing her reflection but a silent scene of her serving her recovering mother a cup of tea.
"Hell is another word for regret" Lelouch muttered softly.
Kallen gritted her teeth. "I had dedicated myself to being a soldier a long time ago. I was prepared for.....I was prepared." her words trailed off into nothingness.
"Really?" The scene in the mirror shifted to one of Naoto and Kallen as children. The older brother placed his sister up on his shoulders and she reached gleefully towards a swarm of fireflies.
Lelouch eyes pinned her with sharp scrutiny. "Your brother's wishes?"
Turning away from the mirror Kallen reciprocated the hard stare. "My brother's wishes are not necessarily my own. I am not my brother."
Lelouch pulled a quiet breath deep into his body. "In your case Kallen, I did what was for the best."
"NO, I decide what's best for me. The path I choose to walk is my own." The former pilot's frame shook with restrained emotion. "Lelouch I would have made my choice!"
He shrugged heavy shoulders. "You did make a choice Kallen and it was the right one. Feelings aside, it was a noble choice to fight against a monster."
Kallen began to say something but Lelouch placed his hand up to cut her off. "And yes some context aside I was a monster, objectively speaking. I tried my very best to be one. Which is why you chose to fight for justice. If there are true monsters in the world, if men have taken on the representation of evil, is it not the duty of the brave, valiant, and honorable to stop them."
He ran his fingers through his hair melodramatically, and then he let them rest against his temple. "Kallen you must understand the circumstances. You of all people should see the parallels. The aftermath I created......a world cleansed in blood yes, but from these ashes those of noble hearts will rebuild a world with a bright future without the constrictions of the past. Kallen you are the mirror of my wishes--"
The slap caught him on the right cheek and the side of his face immediately felt like it had been cut open. The intensity of her blow caught him by surprise and abruptly sent him crashing down from his "fabulous" reverie.
He touched his cheek. "Wow, I had forgotten how much that hurt..."
Before Lelouch could say another word Kallen grabbed him by the collar and swung him up against the wall.
"Gah urk" he coughed.
"Enough speeches Lelouch, just listen to me." Kallen said with her gaze centered downward. When she lifted her head up to meet his eyes she felt fresh hot tears roll down her cheeks. "I understand all of it. The ends of your means have not escaped my awareness. But understanding doesn't make it hurt any less. Let's both be selfish for a second. I want you to imagine the girl you left behind, who on certain nights cried herself to sleep because she knows she failed to see through the lies of the man she loved. Imagine her dismay at how she missed her chance to change his fate or at the very least help him shoulder the horrific load he placed upon himself. Imagine how powerless she felt as she watched him die before her very eyes. Imagine a broken sword a fractured shield Lelouch. You want to talk about regret? Should we discuss living with it?"
"It's what hurts the most...." She clenched her eyes shut, sudden tears springing from beneath her black lashes. Lelouch found himself at a loss for words, which was a rare event for him. He reached over to stroke her cheeks softly but she turned away her shoulders shaking with her soft sobs. She drew in a sharp breath and released Lelouch from her grasp.
"What hurt the most was being so close. And then having it pulled away so suddenly. What was I left with afterward? Dreams.....dreaming about, but never really knowing what could have been. I know it's selfish but it haunts you Lelouch. It's just....the two saddest words ever, "what if""
Kallen did not move. She remained still as she tried to control the raw emotions consuming her body.
"I..." Lelouch said. His voice was hesitant something she did not expect. "Open your eyes Kallen."
She opened her eyes to find that there had been a drastic change in the immediate environment. Her bedroom had been discarded in favor of a brand new location. The location now was Ashford Academy, the room where the student council had held their meetings. The sun shone through the thin drapes, lying like liquid gold upon the ground and shining off Lelouch's dark suit. His Zero costume had now melted away into his Ashford uniform. Outside the windows, fireworks popped in the cloudless sky.
A promise of return had finally been fulfilled
"Lelouch did you do this?"
Stumbling a bit. The raven haired boy crossed the room, placing a bit of distance between him and Kallen.
"That day, when you came asking for the truth. I turned some of the disgust I felt towards myself against you. The concept being, it's easy to hurt when you yourself can't feel pain. So when you came to me for an explanation, I hated you. I hated you for your weakness in believing in me, for still seeing good in me. It was a sad pitiful thing that you had even allowed me to upset you so. I saw the fear, the hope and the love in your eyes and I was filled...filled with repugnance at the way you made it so hard for me."
"I had nothing to say to you, nothing. But then you moved in for the kiss...."
The former rebel stopped once again for a moment's reflection. Then he laughed nervously to himself. "It's a very subjective notion. You can't assume there's one quality called love. People mean so many different things when they say that. For it to be real you have to distinguish between passion and love, infatuation and love, hate and love...."
"Kallen please understand I had the "what ifs and if only-s." I had all the thoughts that come to people when it has become much too late to contemplate such things......That kiss though, I admit it did distinguish things for me."
A half smile formed on his face for a moment before disappearing completely.
"But pushing you away, it was all just...I...in the end, loving you was what I thought I was….it was what I was trying to do" Lelouch stammered.
She stared at him. Taking in the words that had just come from his mouth.
"I can't change what has happened. My path, my path was my own to walk. Apologizing would just demean what you've gone through. There's not much I can do but say thank you Kallen."
He swallowed. "What else can I say but thank you for offering me a heart worth breaking."
Kallen's eyes glistened with unshed tears. They both knew it was a rare event to be in the presence of a Lelouch this accessible, this unguarded. Everything was on the table out in the open.
"Is this finally vulnerable Lelouch?"
He opened his arms out wide. "This is Lelouch Lamperouge destroyer and creator of worlds.......failure at matters of the heart."
This brought a smile to her face.
"I can conquer the world, but I can't keep the person I care for, from crying. An incomplete victory, in every way. My power to act now is more limited now than ever before, but if there is anything I can do to bring you any amount of happiness---"
"Come back to life" she remarked with a thin smile.
He grinned, "how about something a bit simpler. As long as we're here I'll listen to anything you say."
"Then..." she laughed."Comfort me."
Lelouch straightened abruptly, his eyes locking with hers.
"That's something men can do right?" She chided.
When he didn't respond she studied his face and found his eyes gleaming in the most shocking manner.
"Wait...Lelouch" she chuckled. "I was just joking."
Lelouch stepped towards her and she stepped backwards in response. He took another step forward and she back. He continued to advance on her until her back hit a wall. Startled by the obstruction, Kallen turned to see her bedroom wall was in the way. The scenery had shifted again, away from the Ashford council room to its original setting. She glanced back at Lelouch.
"I was just kidding really."
"It's occurred to me." He began, already losing his air of vulnerability. "That in time your consciousness will overpower mine, and we will unfortunately be forced to separate again. My time here is limited, soon I will be gone for good."
She had to stop as she backed into a table. He was so close yet not quite touching her. Kallen felt her stomach somersault, the tension was unbearable.
"But for the moment, there is no Japan, there are no black knights, no U.F.N and no Britannia. It's just you and me."
"Your face is too serious Lelouch" Kallen attempted to sidestep him but he placed his hand on the wall, entrapping her. It was a surprisingly aggressive move that completely caught her off guard.
"What are you doing?"
"If you want me to stop, you know what to do" he told her.
Her mind raced with possibilities. Did she know what to do? Should she shout out "no?" Was she supposed to slap him again? Was he starting to like getting slapped?
"Stop me, from comforting you" he challenged.
Kallen lifted her open palm. Her right hand was swinging down towards his face, just as he took her left hand and raised it to his lips. A single gentle kiss was then placed on the back of her hand. Moisture gathered in Kallen's mouth, and elsewhere, too.
"Oh" she gasped. "OK"
Lelouch laughed, "OK?"
Kallen gently touched his cheek with the backside of her slapping hand. She nodded, "OK."
"Is that all you're going to say?" He inquired.
Lelouch was so close, as close—no, closer than he had been after she had caught him with refrain. This time there was a different type of heat in his eyes.
She gulped, "what do you want me to do."
"I am your pawn Q-1, you may wish to command…me."
Kallen stiffened like a steel rod. Her breathing grew abnormal, shallow and rapid. She tried to gather her scrambled thoughts together, and failed.
"I.....I don't know......I'm not sure you would obey my every command," she whispered.
He beamed brightly at her. "We won't know, unless you ask me."
"Fine" she licked her lips. "Kiss me."
As instructed Lelouch leaned in for the kiss and she met him halfway. Mouths crashed into each other. Searching, hoping...wanting...fighting for dominance. This kiss erased the one the preceded it. If it were at all possible to keep kisses in a wine cellar, this would be the kiss Kallen would keep and bring out to savor on cold winter evenings.
He added a little bit of tongue to hers, she accepted. He sucked on her bottom lip while she caressed his cheek slowly. He slowly broke the kiss, and opened his eyes just in time to see her do the same. Twin trails of tears ran down her both sides of her face
Lelouch took his time kissing her senseless before working his way down to her collar bone. "Still OK?"
"Even though, I'm going to go away?"
"Yes" she repeated with more vigor.
Lelouch stopped himself. "I don't want any ambiguity to this. Understand that I do love you."
She sighed. "Let's not talk about love right now. Let's just be in it OK?"
Lelouch chuckled sadly. Her words were profound in their simplicity and it was infinitely bittersweet. From here on out anything that happened would be laced with bitter sweetness. Kallen shut her eyes and with sudden strength pulled him even closer, her hands grasping his waist. Knowing the sweet would greatly outweigh the bitter Lelouch dove in for another kiss.
They barely made it to the bed.
In time clothes were left upon the ground in a trail leading up to Kallen's bed. On the bed itself beneath the sheets, two bodies lay as close to each other as humanly possible.
Kallen held a book up over their bodies and she read from it out loud.
"---Go, my beloved; Love has chosen you her delegate;
Over her, for she is Beauty who offers to her follower
The cup of the sweetness of life.
As for my own empty arms, your love shall remain my
Comforting groom; you memory, my Eternal wedding."
She placed the book down on her bare chest and sighed. "At that point I started tearing up in class. I didn't even make it to the end of the poem! It was so embarrassing."
"You picked the poem for the assignment" Lelouch remarked. "You can't say you didn't know it was going to pull at your emotions."
"I knew it would, but I didn't expect to cry. In front of Gino Weinberg no less. He even offered me a handkerchief, he tried to console me the day we were scheduled to fight."
She closed her arms around him again and rested her head on his chest. "It was a charity event for the student council; in older generation Knightmare frames...We fought a number of times. I never lost of course."
Kallen's grin grew wide. "One time, I won by disabling his legs and stepping onto his frame's head. That really irritated him."
Lelouch eyed her curiously. "Did you have to step on his head to win?"
"No...OK I admit I may have gone overboard there, but I found it to be very soothing at the time."
Kallen pinched him on his shoulder. "What's "ah" supposed to mean?"
"I'm just saying, it sounds like you had fun. I'm glad to know that you enjoyed your time at Ashford."
"Well.....all things considered I did" she conceded.
She snuggled happily into his arms as his shallow breath warmed her hair. Beyond the room a light rain beat against the windowsill.
Kallen suddenly turned and propped herself up on her elbows. "I studied French too; I'd have to say I'm pretty good at it."
"Really?" Lelouch muttered as his eyes narrowed. "C'est quelqu'un qui m'a dit que tu m'aimais encore. Serais ce possible alors?"
Initially Lelouch's fluidity with the language caught Kallen off guard. However she responded quickly. "Il est possible parce que l'on est bien faible quand on est amoureux."
"Hmmm it's not bad." Lelouch said with his eyes sparkling with mischief. "It's a little rough, needs some refinement, but it's passable."
"Oh please" Kallen rolled her eyes. "Hey, when did you?"
"I conquered the world is it hard to believe I learned a language or two?"
"Fair enough" she concluded. "Speaking of conquering the world. I know in light of everything that has happened it might seem tasteless but did you ever imagine---"
She cut herself off, knowing this he reached over and tapped a finger against her headband. "Let me guess us ruling the world as King and Queen?"
Kallen looked away. "Don't get me wrong I don't have any desire for power or wealth. Its just---"
"That there's a romantic edge to that fantasy" Lelouch interjected. He placed his hand under her chin and lifted her face. She wouldn't, couldn't meet his eyes.
"You don't need to feel guilty or ashamed here, from where I am lying, I can definitely see the appeal. You would be my queen; I would be your king. And we would both rule, for as long as we lived and loved. Our reign as far as our subjects eyes can see, immortal in the eyes of history, a match made in heaven that could set the fires of hell."
Kallen shook her head slowly, her eyes still locked with his. "That fantasy is a bit too self indulgent don't you think?"
"Perhaps, but it is interesting to consider" he stated as he caressed her cheek with his thumb.
"The real fantasy aspect of this" Kallen began. "Is how I could possibly keep your ego in line so you don't try to invade space and conquer the universe."
Lelouch placed his hand against this chest. "Why, I'd only invade space to bring you the moon my queen."
Kallen scoffed, "please, I might be gullible enough to fall for that on our first anniversary. But I'd know better by the second."
Lelouch chuckled, "with that said I do think you'd be a better ruler that I was."
"Lelouch....you are not going out on much of limb there."
He sighed happily, "touche"
It was then comes to Kallen's attention that the four walls of the room were beginning to crumble into small amounts of dust-like substances.
"What's happening?" she asked.
"I suppose your consciousness is rejecting me." Lelouch watched the process with a quiet sadness. "Your mind Kallen seems to be less dedicated to me than your heart. Can't say I blame it."
Kallen gave Lelouch's hand a tight squeeze. "I won't love like this again."
"Maybe, you'll give yourself the opportunity though."
Gradually, as the room continued to dissolve Lelouch's body began to shimmer with a subtle glow.
"You're asking too much" she countered.
"Maybe this can help." Lelouch waved his hand across his right eye and suddenly a bird shaped crest shone red in his eye. "Obey me Kallen Kozuki....you will live on to a happy life, you will find love and grow old. You'll live to ninety if it pleases you. You will become a still gorgeous and pleasant elderly woman who gives out sweet candies to your grandchildren, every time you see them."
They were both silent for a little while. Eventually Kallen would smile.
"Baka, I'm still immune."
Mock surprise registered on Lelouch's face. "That didn't go as planned."
"Can't win them all," she sighed.
They kissed again. It was tentative, urgent
"What am I to you Kallen?"
Lelouch opened his mouth apparently to say something but then he closed them a moment later. Having her hand lying against his neck Kallen felt him take a large swallow.
"Something wrong?" she asked.
She ran her hand tenderly through his dark hair while the light that enveloped him began to dim and flicker.
A sweet smile formed on Lelouch's lips. "I had prepared a response but I lost it. My mind's gone blank."
"Was it something like, "Tis better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all."
"That sounds reasonable, does it work for you?"
Kallen shook her head. "Not really."
The two of them gazed at one another without moving. It was a silent exchange, charged with emotion. Outside raindrops mimicked the sounds of fingertips tapping against the glass.
"You cannot expect me to forget about you."
He shook his head. "Never that, I just want you to let me go. And that's a direct order to my Ace."
Her eyes brimmed with tears and love. "I suppose I can follow those orders. I am Zero's loyal subordinate after all."
Kallen climbed up over the top of his body. She leaned forward. She felt his soft lips embracing hers. As their lips touched the dust from the disintegrating room swirled around them, some of which pass through Lelouch's fading form.
She pulled back from the kiss, swallows hard and watches on in silence.
Their breathing gradually slowed down together as Lelouch pulled her close enough to whisper his final thoughts into her ear.
"Sayonara Kallen Kozuki," are his last words.
Lelouch's form evaporated within itself leaving behind a ghostly silhouette. Kallen stared silently for a moment, her face filled with love. She felt her head sink deeper within the depths of her pillow, she found herself slipping in and out of her consciousness.
Then everything went black.
Kallen did not want to open her eyes, she was afraid of what she would find and what she wouldn't. After what seemed like three lifetimes, her eyes fluttered open and her eyes darted from left to right, searching the corners of the room. It was morning now and the sun came in through hew window, partially blocked by C.C. who once again stared out into the world.
She lifted her head off her pillow. "Was it real?" she asked.
C.C spoke without turning around. "Have you ever dreamed about a loved one dying or of someone chasing you? When you awaken from the dream, you awaken with the sadness or the fear you felt in that very dream. The event may have occurred in your mind, but the feelings you felt afterward. The feelings were real right?"
Kallen remained silent.
C.C looked over her shoulders with a smirk. "Then again I was told once that "love can sometimes be magic, but magic can sometimes be an illusion.'"
Kallen sat up. "It was real to me."
"That's all that matters really." C.C went to the window and slipped one foot over the ledge. "Isn't it also amusing how one person can change your life? That was a special man."
"Where are you going now?" Kallen asked before C.C could slip completely out the window.
"I suppose I should take a stroll around the Britannian capital. See if I can find an Empress who needs a kiss good night. Until next time Miss Kozuki."
With that said and with a grin on her face the immortal witch leaped out the window. Kallen plopped onto her back and stared up at the ceiling. It may have been her imagination but the space beside her felt warm. She felt warm. Warm, comfortable and tired enough to go back to sleep.
"Good morning sleepy-head," her mother paused. "I mean good afternoon sleepy-head."
"Afternoon, mom" Kallen answered as she slid into a seat at the kitchen dinner.
"Did you have a good night?"
Kallen recalled the events of the night before as he mother poured her a cup of apple juice. She blushed before answering, "Yes it was a good night."
Her mother walked over to her and cupped her face. "You're glowing darling. It's been awhile since you glowed. Did you meet a nice boy somewhere?"
Kallen shook her head. "No mom, I lost a nice boy."
"Oh" her mother pouted. "Was he special?"
Kallen nodded, "very."
"That's too bad, but there will be other boys."
Kallen smiled. "Yeah there will be other boys in the future. For now, I am fine."
Her mother grinned broadly. "That's great to hear."
"Mom, We haven't had a picnic in awhile right?"
"A picnic? No not in awhile baby."
Kallen bit into a crunchy piece of toast. "I think tomorrow would be a good day for a picnic. It's something to look forward to."
Kallen + Lelouch = win. (As if you didn't already know)
Personally I find it a 60-40 chance in favor of Kallen being the "eternal widow." But for the purposes of the story I thought to myself, she needs to move on, but how?
So yes read and review! Were they reasonably in character, did it get too melodramatic, did I do kalulu justice? Hey I'm a wannabe writer so I'm craving feedback. Suggestions? Criticisms? Praise (hopefully) please deliver onto me your brilliant thoughts and musings.
P.S If I don't get feedback, I kick hamsters. SO if you want to save a hamster from being punted toss out a review XD
Translate the French words. Lelouch's line particularly leads to a very beautiful song.