Title: Not Yet

Summary: We all know Lelouch isn't dead. However, here is the why, how, and for how long.

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Same old same old. I don't own, you know the drill.

Authour's Note: This chapter has been rewritten... Completely. Important details were preserved, of course, but it's all changed. I decided to completely revamp the first few chapters while I'm still early on in this fic, having only just reached chapter 10. If enough people ask, I will post the original chapters fro the edits elsewhere, but I figured replacing them was the best bet for now. All the original publish dates will be preserved at the bottom of each chapter, along with subsequent edits.

To all you new readers, I hope you enjoy!

Pain bloomed across his chest as he slowly came to. His breath hitched as he tried to figure out what was going on since his memories were hazy. He tried to sit up, and the pain in his chest burned even more so he let himself fall back. With the pain, a flash of memory hit him, and he remembered. He was… dead? Was he dead? It hurt to be dead, if he was. But, the pain was only in one place, so surely it couldn't be hellfire.

It was dark.

No. It wasn't dark. Lelouch opened his eyes, not realizing that they had been shut. A small amount of light filtered in through the blinds of the window of the room he was in. He blinked, trying to make sense of his surroundings. He tried to sit up again, and with a hiss as his breath whooshed from his lungs.

He looked around, slowly taking in his surroundings as he supported himself with his arms bracing against his seat. There was an office chair, and a desk. Lelouch realized he was sitting on a couch, and there was blood staining the ground near him and the couch he was lying on. He took a slow breath and noted how it burned his lungs, before unbuttoning the button-up shirt someone had put on him.

Who had dressed him? More importantly, who saved him? Why? How had they managed to save him?

Lelouch finished unbuttoning the shirt and stared at his gauze-wrapped chest in amazement. It wasn't stained with blood. Normally, moving to sit up would have opened the wound, but apparently it was sutured or something, because he wasn't bleeding out again. He looked around again, trying to figure out what was going on. He noticed an abandoned IV in the corner, and saw his emperor's outfit shredded and bloody next to it. The white clothing was so stained with blood that Lelouch wondered how he could possibly still be alive.

He began to panic, realizing that if anyone found him alive, or even dead right where he was, it would be extremely bad for Zero Requiem. He took a deep breath, and it hissed out between his teeth. He had gotten caught up in thought, and had somehow been ignoring the burning pain that was worse every breath he took.

Selfishly, for a moment, he was glad that he was alive. He hadn't died like he had intended to. Secretly, as Suzaku had stabbed him, Lelouch had been afraid. He had been afraid that when he died, the only place to take him would be hell. As atheist as Lelouch had been in life, as he died, he prayed he wouldn't go to hell. He had thought for sure though, as his vision slowly faded away, that the desperate voice of his sister couldn't have been a worse hell.

His mouth tasted odd, and his tongue was like a dry sock. It reminded Lelouch of the single hangover he had ever gotten, at one of Milly's parties. Milly. Nunnaly. Rivalz. His heart clenched painfully as he wondered whether his sacrifice had actually done any good, or if it had just been pointless.

He jumped in surprise, looking to the door as the doorknob to the office room turned and someone entered. Lelouch realized who it was and let himself fall back to lie on the couch with a slight chuckle. He winced at the movement to his chest from laughing and from lying back down.

"Of course. You would." He said, his annoyance and amusement plain in his voice.

C.C. looked at him, a small smile on her face. "Of course. You are still under a contract, after all. You've gotten the closest to being able to fulfill my wish, so I couldn't just let you die. Besides," she smirked, "You didn't want to die; you just needed everyone to think you were dead. My way works better." Then she started laughing. "Everyone hates you, just like you wanted. Suzaku had taken up his mantle well, and Nunnaly is in mourning. Since you claimed the throne and Nunnaly is your next of kin, she's going to be crowned the empress as soon as she calms down."

A pained look passed over Lelouch's face, and he closed his eyes. After being silent for a few minutes, he sighed.

"Help me up, C.C." he said quietly.

"Is that an order, your majesty?" she asked tauntingly. He chuckled.

"Please, C.C.? We have to get out of here. Where are we, anyway?" he asked mildly, wincing as C.C. helped him sit up properly and get to his feet.

C.C. let go of him, reaching into a tote bag she had over her shoulder. She pulled out some pain pills, a bottle of water, and a heavy jacket with a hood before answering.

"An office building just outside the Harajuku ghetto. It was far enough from the parade float to avoid riots, and close enough that you didn't actually die of blood loss before we could get here." She said, shrugging. Lelouch saw that she was hiding something, but he ignored it. Whatever she was hiding wasn't important, or she would have told him. She would save his life just to risk it again so quickly. He took the pills and water she offered, swallowing them in one go, before shrugging the jacket on and putting up the hood.

A/N: There ya go! Not as long as before, but I think it is much improved. I'm working through chapter to chapter, and at least the first 4 or so chapters will be banged into shape, maybe even with complete rewrites on each of them. All the important stuff is still here, so hopefully the improvements are enough. If you are reading this and find that you like this chapter, but hate the next one, or maybe all the sudden the writing sucks, then that's probably because it hasn't been edited yet. Check the edit dates, and keep checking back for improved edits!

Posted: 12/13/09 1:20 AM PST
Edit: 12/16/09 10:18 PM PST
Edit/ Rewrite: 4/7/10 9:07 PM PST
Rewrite: 8/26/11 16:03 PST