I'm BAAACK! Go to next line of bold words if you want to skip Sierra's whining and excuses.
So I know I've basically been MIA for four months. Why? Well, I had some writing done after the last chapter for this chapter when suddenly, Dragon Age 2 and Pokemon Black came out! So naturally I abandoned all pretense of being a slightly emotionally healthy girl and played video games in the few precious free time I have nowadays. When finally the novelty was wearing off a little, and that urge to play games 24-7 had worn down a bit, I looked up and the tsunami in Japan hit. For almost a week I heard nothing from my cousins (and if you were paying attention last chapter, you'd know one just visited us) and I was worried sick so I couldn't write. And THE DAY, I kid you not, THE DAY we hear from them, my asshole of a father decides to start something with me again by telling me I can't turn on the light at night because the electric bill is too high. Even though I was still in school at that time.
So of course this escalates into a big screaming fight and him kicking me out again (and this was a few days before my school's Spring Break) therefore I didn't go home until two weeks later. In the meanwhile, I stayed at various loving friends' places and had limited contact with a computer. I think I watched more TV on an actual TV in those two weeks than I have in my entire lifetime.
And just after I returned home, I had an practice AP Calc Exam (BC) and called for my parents to come pick me up from school. I waited six hours in the goddamn building all alone! So pissed off, I naturally went to a friend's house and then they called the police on me. And the police were assholes, bluffing and threatening me as though I didn't know my constitutional rights! Arrogant motherfuckers.
And then my AP exams hit...then I had to prepare for Youth in Government Day at school and then get my shit together for the end of school and then doggy-sit three evil hellhounds, of which I had to chase two down a major road in the rain and then summer came. I've basically worked out an arrangement with my extremely controlling and pissed off parents whereas I am only home two days a week since they can't have me jumping from friend's house to another friend's house and I can't stand being in their house. Thus my contact with a computer is extremely limited and my psych isn't exactly very healthy. Also, I'm about to go to college soon (YAY!) and I have a lot of forms to fill out (scholarships, applications, essays, etc) since my parents aren't going to pay a fucking cent for me to go. So yeah, life sucks. I have too many white hairs for somebody my age.
If you wanna skip Sierra's whining, start reading here.
Anyways, I realize I have a lot of catching up to do. Sorry for being gone so long but when life is dropping bricks on me, I usually don't get to go on my computer and have the time to just start writing. I'll try to update my one shot soon for those of you who know what's going on. I'm not totally free this summer though so please be patient with me.
Also, I'd just like to add that I was seriously considering giving up on this story but seeing all the kind reviews and concerned messages from the various friends I've made here made me feel guilty so I'm back. So if this happens again, just guilt me into writing again! =D
Enjoy! (Also I like the new changes Fanfiction admin has done!)
Somewhere in the Narita Mountains...
Kallen knew something had happened to Zero. While the rest of the Black Knights were celebrating with crates of booze and loud, boastful tales of their conquest of the Britannian forces, their fearless leader was still missing in action.
From the inside of the moving Guren, Kallen looked up at the sunset, praying to Naoto that she would find Zero and he would be alright. The sunset...it was beautiful...brilliant orange with streaks of pink, blue, violet, red, yellow, and white. Like the sunset...the world needed all sorts of people to make it glorious, not just Britannians. But she was dazing off...she needed to focus on Zero's safety first.
The redhead had separated from the retreating Black Knights in search of Zero. The Guren was making good time, but Zero still remained MIA. Kallen's brows furrowed. It was getting dark and her fears were getting the better of her.
This Guren Mk-II is amazing...but without Zero to lead us, it might as well go into a garage for the rest of it's life. We need him. We couldn't have done this without him! Please, Zero, wherever you are, PLEASE be alright.
As she continued, she noticed that the path slightly above where she was was completely destroyed. Trees and boulders had been strewn all over. On that path, a giant van and several Sutherlands were moving slowly down, close to where she was. Kallen gritted her teeth. More Brits.
Without a second thought, she leaped into action. As she was down below, the Knightmares couldn't see her until it was too late. Her radiant wave surger took care of two, and the other Knightmare pilot was forced to eject. Several Britannians dressed as paramedics came screaming out of the van. Kallen ignored them. They weren't her main focus.
She used the Guren's other hand to pull the top off of the truck. There was a lavender and silver Knightmare and a human. The person laying in there was a silver-haired woman who seemed to be unconscious. Using the Guren's magnifying screen, Kallen zoomed in to closely examine who it was.
The woman had long silver hair, and a light caramel complex. She was dressed in a violet and silver Knightmare combat uniform. Obviously a Britannian...she looked somewhat familiar to Kallen but the redhead couldn't quite put her finger on it. Under normal circumstances, Kallen would have killed her already, but the woman wasn't fighting. There was no honor in killing an unconscious and obviously hurt woman; Kallen wasn't a Britannian. Besides, hostages had their uses.
After making sure that there were no more Knightmares coming right this second, Kallen grabbed her handgun and climbed out of the Guren. She moved cautiously towards the woman, in case the woman was faking it.
Kallen stopped, her finger itching to pull the cold steel trigger and send the woman to the next world. The Britannian fidgeted and moaned a bit more before falling silent and still once again. Relieved, Kallen stepped up to the woman. The Brit's face was covered in a sheen of cold sweat, her silver-hair mussed and sticking a bit to her face from the perspiration, her features drawn in a visage of fear and anger.
Just to be sure, Kallen hit the butt of her gun into the woman's temple before inspecting the Knightmare. It dawned on her that this was the very same Knightmare that she had been fighting mere hours ago!
Kallen Kouzuki smirked.
"...at coordinate B-13. I moved the woman and her Knightmare into a little cave there in case the Britannians came back for their stuff. Yeah...yeah...I found some interesting transmissions this woman had in her Knightmare just a while ago...yeah...no...I'm going to check out what was in the transmissions ...I have a hunch this might lead me to Zero. No...NO! I won't go after him alone if he's been taken captive. I'm not suicidal. I've also erased the transmission in case the Brits somehow find the Knightmare before we do...I'm not sure that Zero's been captured yet, and I don't wanna endanger him if he isn't. Mmmhm..I understand...Ok...Guren out."
Kallen exhaled in anticipation. After moving the woman and that Knightmare into a nearby cave, she had made her way towards the woman's last known coordinates where she had made a transmission. It replayed in her head.
"I have him, My Lord."
"Excellent Villetta! I'm coming towards you right now!"
Kallen hadn't told Ohgi or the rest of the Black Knights about the transmissions' content nor had she erased the transmission just to ward off the Britannians. Right now was not the time to break the Black Knights' newfound morale and courage. If they learned of their fearless leader's possible capture, they might just cut loose and run. No, they needed to cultivate more loyalty and trust into the rookies before testing their allegiance.
"Well, this is the spot..." The redhead said to nobody in particular as she reached a clearing surrounded by shot down trees and shattered rock. She zoomed in on her screen and noticed some blood staining the ground.
Kallen turned on her area map screen. Her heat sensors had detected a rather warm area...too cold to be an active Knightmare...too warm to be a living creature. Perhaps a parked Knightmare?
Hoping with all her might that it would be Zero's Burai, she raced to the coordinates.
"Give me a status report!" Princess Cornelia shouted angrily as she entered the base.
"Yes Your Highness! Lord Carius and Alex are lost, My Lady. Their entire units were wiped out by the landslide. The Knight of Three and the Knight of Six made it out of the slide and are currently making their way back. Lord Weinberg had taken the Generation Seven Knightmare from the ASEEC and annihilated several of the Black Knights forces. We've lost over half of our forces and the remaining are all wounded. Civilian casualties have yet to be confirmed but as Sub-Viceroy Euphemia had the town of Narita and all surrounding villages evacuated before the battle, most likely the only casualties will be from any stragglers."
"Guilford, do we have any idea as to where the Black Knights or JLF have gone?" Cornelia's eyes narrowed at all the bad news.
"No Your Highness." Guilford bowed. "The Black Knights cowardly retreated during the chaos and while we were focused on the JLF. On the other hand it is very likely that the JLF are still in the area, but as we are now, we are in no shape to pursue them."
Cornelia's fist pounded into a table; her face was etched into a snarl. To think that that lowly, dastardly bastard had gotten the best of Brittania's best forces...
"Viceroy." Guilford said, carefully. "We sent a small team to recover Lady Villetta and her Knightmare after her battle with Zero. However we've just lost contact with them. Should we investigate further?"
"Yes..." Cornelia exhaled. "If nothing else, her Knightmare was clearly a superior make. We can't let it fall into the hands of Zero."
Back in the Mountains...
"I knew that a Knightmare shouldn't be here!" Kallen exclaimed as she examined a strange orange and turquoise Knightmare right outside of a cave. She pulled out her handgun, positive that Zero was inside the cave.
Slowly and stealthily, the redhead made her way through the cave. She heard voices grow as she made her way further.
"...I was there that day."
"You were Mother's-"
"It was my first mission." The voice shook with regret. "To protect the Empress Marianne, whom I greatly admired...However...I couldn't protect her...I couldn't carry out my loyalty! Master Lelouch...you became Zero for Empress Marianne...right?"
Lelouch? Lelouch Lamperouge? What is he doing here? And who's Empress Marianne?
"You're not going to kill me?" It was definitely Lelouch Lamperouge's voice. "You aren't going to kill me?"
"My master isn't V.V. It's Empress Marianne! Now I don't have any regrets..."
That voice...it sounds familiar too...
"Lord Jeremiah!" The sound of somebody scrambling. "Jeremiah Gottwald. Your loyalty isn't over, am I right?"
Jeremiah Gottwald? As in Margrave Jeremiah...the one who Zero had bribed into releasing Suzaku?
"Yes! Your Majesty!"
Majesty? Is Lelouch working for the Britannians? He certainly is smart enough but if so...
Kallen turned the corner to where the two were, her gun pointed straight at Lelouch. Right before it dropped.
"Lelouch...C.C..." Kallen felt her world implode right in front of her. Lelouch was wearing Zero's clothers...why? Why was Lelouch dressed as Zero? Was it cosplay? And why was C.C. lying naked right next to him? What was going on?
"Your Majesty!" Sensing danger, Jeremiah tried to get to his feet, his gun already out.
"Wait Jeremiah!" Lelouch grabbed his servant's gun before the man could shoot. "She's a trusted Black Knight and a classmate of mine!"
"What? But My Lord, that's Earl Stadtfeld's daughter!"
"Y-you know me?" Kallen was filled with question and demands from Lelouch...no Zero...no Lelouch, but this was the only one that she seemed capable of asking.
"I was the one who did the investigations when your brother turned out to be a traitor." Jeremiah replied, grimly. He clutched his bleeding leg firmly. "It seems he wasn't the only one."
"You? You had Naoto killed! You were the one?" Kallen was screaming now. "And yet now you're kneeling before Lelouch or Zero or whoever you are?"
"My. What a small world." C.C. commented coldly. She made no attempts to cover herself up.
"You! Shut up! What are you doing here? Why is Lelouch dressed like Zero? Why is that damned motherfucking Brit with you? Are you planning on betraying the Black Knights? What the fuck is going on?" Kallen was hysterical now, tears falling down her cheeks as she collapsed onto the hard ground.
"Kallen...I can explain..." Lelouch winced at his cliched choice of words. "I am not dressed up as Zero. I am Zero."
"No! No! You can't be Zero! Zero's..." Kallen's voice drifted off. Who was Zero? More importantly what had she perceived him to be? She had once told him that it didn't matter who he was. Maybe she even enjoyed not knowing who this masked messiah really was. But now...the fact that he was Lelouch Lamperouge...that apathetic Britannian boy from school...how could he lead the desperate Japanese to freedom? How could he understand all that her people had lost?
"You once told me you didn't care who I was, so long as I was helping your people." Lelouch quoted her thoughts. "And I am. Despite our retreat, we struck a decisive blow against Cornelia and Britannia today. We showed them that the Black Knights can defeat them, that indeed Britannia is not invincible! So Kallen, why are you letting who I am interfere with what I've done?"
"Because I...we thought you were for sure an Eleven! That you were just like us...that you had a deep hatred for the Britannians as well! But you! You yourself are a damned Brit! And some sort of royalty from what I've just heard!" The redhead spat.
Lelouch's eyes narrowed. "I do have a deep hatred for Britannia. For it's royal family."
"How could a Brit, a royal Brit no less, understand all that my people went through? All that we lost? You're nothing but a spoiled boy with a grudge against his own family!"
"Not to be cruel, but Kallen, you're half Britannian as well. You don't have to be an Eleven to hate them." Lelouch felt his anger rise.
"Lelouch lost his mother to assassins who also caused Nunnally's blindness and disability. When he protested to his father, the Emperor of Britannia, he and Nunnally were cruelly sent to Japan as child hostages. They lived through the war running from one place to another before the Ashfords took them in." C.C. explained in a neutral voice to Kallen. She almost sounded bored if not for a strange gleam in her eyes.
Kallen started. She had already convinced herself that he must have moved to Japan after the Britannians conquered it and was pretending to live as a commoner after a small spat with his family.
"Milly knows who I am. Who Nunnally is. As does Suzaku. When we were sent as hostages, his father, Prime Minister Genbu Kururugi was the one who held us hostage."
Despite all her misgivings, Kallen started to believe Lelouch and his story. It all made sense. How else would he know an Eleven who was the last Prime Minister's son? Why else would he have created Zero and the Black Knights? What else could have convinced the purist faction's leader to kneel in front of him? But doubts still lingered in her mind.
"If everything is as you say it is," Kallen said in a much calmer voice," then explain to me why Jeremiah Gottwald is kneeling before you. Are you planning on telling everybody who you are? Do you want to start a rebellion amongst the Britannians?"
"Hardly." Lelouch replied, relieved that Kallen wasn't hysterical anymore. Her anger and shock was to be expected but that didn't make explaining things to her any easier. "Jeremiah here was one of my mother's guards on the day she was murdered. He's always been loyal to her since and thus has pledged his loyalty to me, her son and soon to be avenger."
"And that time in the bathroom...how did you do that?"
"Obviously I set things up so that you would get a call from a pre-recorded message." Lelouch answered.
"So what about C.C.? What's her role in all this?" Kallen murmured barely audibly. Jeremiah looked faintly interested as well.
"C.C. is my accomplice." Lelouch answered smoothly, albeit a bit too quickly. He shot a nasty look at the witch as she smirked. "She was the one who first...aided my pursuit of vengeance and the creation of Zero."
Noting how vague the description was, Kallen looked at Lelouch, wearily. "So what now, Lelouch? What's going to be done to me now that I know who you are? What your secret is?"
"Nothing?" Kallen's eyes widened in disbelief.
"You're my ace in the Black Knights, Kallen. I couldn't have done all of this without you." Lelouch responded. "Now you know who I am and why I'm fighting. Shouldn't that just make your loyalty grow further? We have a nation to free and I trust you not to endanger me or Nunnally."
"So what now, Your Majesty?" Jeremiah echoed Kallen's words to Lelouch as the prince and the redhead helped him out of the cave. "What can I do to humbly assist your efforts? I am at your disposal with my Siegfried. Villetta Nu and her Andraste are also at your disposal."
"Villetta Nu?" Lelouch and Kallen echoed at the same time.
"Yes. She was the one who told me of your whereabouts, Master Lelouch." Jeremiah replied as the two helped him into his Knightmare. "I'm not sure where she is now, though. I thought she'd come join me..."
"But Villetta was trying to capture me. She stopped my capture of Cornelia, nearly killed me, and hurt C.C. as well." Lelouch said, confused.
"Well our allegiance was with the Britannian Royal Family since we did not know at the time who you were, My Lord. Please forgive us."
"Of course, Jeremiah. It's understandable. You also ordered her not to kill me, isn't that right?"
"Yes Your Majesty. When I heard you were a Britannian, my curiosity was piqued and I had to meet you. However, I am getting worried as to where Villetta has gone."
"She's unconscious in a cave about a mile from here." Kallen replied.
"Huh? How would you know?" Jeremiah questioned.
"I found her and her Knightmare. She's lucky I didn't kill her on the spot. I figured she might be useful, and her Knightmare is definitely something worth keeping." Kallen avoided eye contact with him and looked directly at her leader. Lelouch had donned his Zero mask again and she found talking to him much easier. After all, even if this nobleman professed his loyalty to Zero, and meant it, that didn't mean she had to forgive him for Naoto's death.
"Very well. Jeremiah, here are your orders. I want you and Villetta to infiltrate the Britannian base. Since she saved Cornelia's life, I'm sure that you two will be well-received." Zero's voice was neutral despite all the excitement he felt. Two more aces had just fallen into his palm. "Are you sure she will be willing to work for me, despite not being loyal to my mother like you are?"
"Yes, My Lord." Jeremiah responded confidently. "She is extremely loyal to me. I'm sure that she will be just as loyal to you."
"And is your Knightmare just as hi-tech as hers?" Zero asked.
"Yes Your Majesty."
"Then leave it with the Black Knights. We need all the advantages we can get. Since Cornelia has already seen Villetta's Andraste, there's no point in us having it. We'll find a Sutherland or Burai for you to ride back to the base with. When I need you to fight with us, you can use the Siegfried." Zero's gloved hand rested on the side of his head as he thought quickly of all the instructions he needed to give. "Keep in touch. I'll give you my cell phone number as well but be careful with it. Your objective is to spy on Cornelia as well as the other Knights of the Round. Be careful with Gino Weinberg and Euphemia. They both know that Lelouch vi Britannia is still alive but have no clue about my alias as Zero. I'd prefer to keep it that way."
"What?" Kallen dropped her gun yet again. "Gino knows?"
"Unfortunately yes. This mess just keeps getting bigger and bigger." Zero sounded slightly irritated. "I'll deal with Euphie and Gino. Jeremiah, you know what your task and Villetta's task is. Kallen, I need you with the Black Knights still. Just because you know who I am doesn't change anything. It'll just make communications on campus much easier."
Zero sighed. "And where did C.C. go now?"
Back in the Cave...
Wow...to think that Jeremy was that fanatical in his loyalty towards me...how touching.
You don't sound touched at all. Just amused, Marianne.
Can't I be touched and amused? But my poor Lulu is digging himself a deeper and deeper hole. First you and Milly learned of his existence, along with me and Charles. Then that Kururugi boy from his past shows up. Then little Euphie and dear Gino learn of his identity and finally that Stadtfeld girl... My my...
C.C. crossed her arms as she dressed herself. Everybody had forgotten about her.
Don't forget V.V., Marianne. He knows about Lelouch now too.
Ah yes...dear V.V. I'm surprised Lelouch hasn't questioned you about him yet.
He will soon. Right now I think he's more worried about how I know so much about him.
Mmm...so did the Black Knights manage to get the Lancelot that I gift-wrapped for you?
Hmph! Hardly. Gino wiped out several units without even knowing what he was doing. Your oh-so-well-thought-out present turned out to be a slap in the face.
Oohh..insult on top of injury. I gave Gino less credit than I should have. But more importantly, you died to save my dear Lulu...how cute!
C.C. sniffed haughtily. Hardly. Letting him die there wasn't an option.
And look at how well he took care of you. You were naked and vulnerable, two things men simply can't resist, and yet he just stayed by your side and cleansed your wound despite not needing to. It's like those romance novels old ladies read to get off on. And he even learned your human name! How adorable! How romantic!
He's nosy. I'm going to punish him for learning something he shouldn't have.
My my. I didn't realize you were into BDSM that much, C.C. I mean even when we were...together...you were a bit bossy but not a dom. Now I'm turned on. Lucky Lelouch.
Shut up you slut.
Implications...implications...lol. Who's the real slut C.C.? Doing mother and child?
Whew! This was heavy shit. I miss all the fluffy fuzz and fun. Now the plot is starting to take over more and more ...doesn't mean we can't have fun though. :) I was going to do an omake but this chapter turned out pretty long. Guess the omake will have to wait.
And thus the Narita arc is over with. Finally. This arc was hard to write. So much planning and plotting and having to keep things fun and interesting.
Also, I find it hilarious that the majority of people wanted Nonette to eat Lloyd's pudding and have him stab her. That was one of those penguin options where I didn't really expect people to choose it. Damn. xD What to do?
New poll on the upcoming Mao arc. I think I know who I want Mao to torture and over what, but still not positive as to how to do it.
So I haven't been on for a while so if there are holes in my story, please, PLEASE point them out to me. Politely. I don't have the entire story etched into stone in my memory so naturally I may have written something that contradicts something from an earlier chapter. Thus if you guys were really looking forward to some promise I made (besides the one-shots) then please remind me.
And I just celebrated my birthday! I got a bunch of gifts from my sister, ranging from manga to dinner at an expensive sushi place to a calligraphy set. Amongst the manga/anime based items I received, I got the newest Vampire Knight manga in America (#12), the newest Kuroshitsuji manga in America (#6), a Saito Hajime key chain (from Rurouni Kenshin), a Kuroshitsuji memo pad, a deck of Vampire Knight playing cards, and A DECK OF CODE GEASS PLAYING CARDS! It's so cute! If I had a scanner, I'd totally scan them so I could show them off! And so for my presents from you guys, IF you enjoy this fanfic, please give me a review, even if you usually don't! Thanks!
P.S. To Fury of Twilight: You have your private messaging disabled so I can't send you a response!