I own no portion of Code Geass or its characters.

A/N: I decided to try my hand at a dramatic fic and here it is. I plan for this to be a ten chapter story. I would like to thank all of you for reading. I hope you enjoy it, and if you don't I hope you can appreciate it. Please R & R


Winter was in its prime as the cold ground held no snow but the air bit through the thickest of clothes. It had been six months since the burial of the demon emperor. There was no funeral, no public announcement, just another body stacked into the Empire's elaborate mausoleum. Things were better now, people no longer feared for their lives in everyday tasks. Smiles had returned to the people and there was peace; a kind of peace that promised to last. Somehow even in losing, Lelouch had managed to claim victory yet again. Albeit an unspoken one, a silent boast for all time. Wherever he was now, Kallen had no doubt that he was pleased with the outcome. That made one of them.

Kallen kept her promise and continued going to school, even though it seemed so trivial now. After fighting with your life on the line in a battle to save the world, high school lost what little edge it ever possessed. She was finally able to take her mother's name, Kozuki. She wore her hair up, although she wasn't entirely sure why. Kallen didn't prefer one style over the other, but for some reason with her hair up it reminded her of the good old days. The days when she would soar through the sky in her Guren, heeding Zero's every word. Of days full of excitement and struggle, living each day as if it were her last. Those days were long gone. While she knew that this world was what she had been fighting for all along, she couldn't help but find her thoughts lost in her memories.

In the hallways of Ashford, students rushed from one end to the other while Kallen walked. She no longer needed her sickly guise but what was the point of rushing? Just to get to the next point where she would stop and reminisce. Strangely enough, even after she no longer needed to pretend to be sick, she now found herself wearing a new mask, a smiling one. She'd lost everyone in the requiem. Shirley was gone, Milly had graduated, Suzaku could never show himself again in school, C.C. had disappeared, Ohgi was engulfed in his new life with Villeta and their new born son, Nina was no longer in attendance and somehow Rivalz had managed to slip through the cracks. Even Anya had gone off with Jeremiah to start an orange farm, Nunnaly was constantly busied by her new tasks as the new empress, and Lelouch... he had passed.

Classes went on in a normal fashion and, as usual, Kallen could pay little attention. Her mind overflowing with 'what ifs'. What if she had stood to protect Lelouch when the Black Knights turned on him? What if she stood by his side even when he became the emperor? What if he'd kissed her back on that dreaded day? What if the world didn't hate him? Still the answers to all of these questions weren't nearly as daunting as the answer to the question she couldn't keep out of her head, no matter how hard she tried. What if she'd never knew him? God that whole ordeal would have been so much easier if she'd never known the identity of Zero. She'd be happy now, she was sure of it... Ignorance is bliss, a phrase completely lost on the ignorant. No one ever realizes how happy they are until suddenly one day, they aren't.

Walking out of the school she saw the only familiar face that remained on campus. He was tall, his blonde hair that resembled a shorter version of hers, save for three braids that dangled down past his collar bone. "Hey Kallen wait up." Gino ran up to her, greeting her with a smile. "You wanna go get some food? I hear this new place opened up recently, their supposed to be pretty good." He was as cheerful and charismatic as ever.

Kallen shook her head. "Sorry Gino, today's not a good day for me. I don't feel well." As much as she enjoyed the company, recently Gino had been pushing his bounds a little too far. While she tried to keep in mind that it's just the way Gino was, he'd gotten carried away with his 'harmless' flirting more than once. A look of concern came over him, but Kallen spoke before he had the chance. "Don't worry about it, I'm fine. I just want to go home." She let out a heavy sigh.

"Are you sure that you don't want any company? You seem kind of down." Gino placed a hand on her shoulder, his eyes still full of worry.

"Yes Gino, I'm sure." Her tone had a bit of a bite to it as she reached up and removed his hand from her shoulder. Before he had a chance to respond Kallen started walking again.

Gino watched her leave with wide eyes. "Sheesh, what's gotten into her lately?" He asked himself, still the view of her walking away was worth the trouble.

Kallen exhaled sharply as she continued her walk towards her place. The streets were filled with people smiling and talking to each other, they all seemed so happy. A happiness earned from bloodshed, and unfortunately it wasn't contagious. Kallen looked towards the horizon, even six months after the final task there were still ghettos. The world couldn't be fixed in a day after all. It was hard to say what was pulling her there but she gave into it. She walked towards the ghetto without a purpose. Block by block her surroundings became gloomier; the buildings were still war torn and crumbling. She couldn't say why but it felt like home, not like her house, but where she belonged. She ventured further into the ghetto as the streets were now sparse, those that were walking around seemed to be either prostitutes, thieves or addicts.

As she walked she could feel predatory eyes fall upon her. A ragged man stepped from around the corner with a knife in hand. "Hey there girly, what's a pretty bit like you doing in this part of town?" Kallen looked up at him lazily, a slight squint in her eyes. She remained perfectly silent as he approached her, step by step. "By your looks I can tell you have money on you. Hand it over and I let you go." Kallen widened her stance slightly, her arms rested at her sides, an open invitation for the thief. "Are you stupid or something? Don't they teach anything at schools anymore? I said give me the money!" The man took a swipe at Kallen, it wasn't meant to connect, just to frighten her. Even so Kallen remained where she stood, her heartbeat steady and calm. Her near suicidal demeanor was offsetting to the thief. He had no intention of hurting her, but he couldn't very well walk away now. He made another jab for her arm, this time he was within range.

In a single fluid motion she raised her left hand to grab his attacking wrist. Her right arm struck the inside of his elbow, forcing his extended arm to collapse. At that point it took little force to push the knife back into the thief's neck. A look of fear and shock replaced his aggressive features as he fell to his knees. Kallen watched with indifference as the man bled out on the sidewalk. "The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed." Kallen's voice was completely void of emotion. She could see others in the streets, and just as they watched while Kallen was being robbed, they watched while the thief died. Some didn't even appear to acknowledge the world around them, ranting and raving about something. They were hallucinating. Kallen tilted her head for a moment. She recognized that symptom. "Refrain? Who would want to go back into the past? Not when the present is so-" She cut herself short, realizing what she was saying. Her eyes searched the area for someone that wasn't under the influence of the drug. She saw a small group of guys talking amongst themselves. "Hey!" She called out. The three of them looked up to see her walking towards them. They seemed nervous, reaching inside their long draping jackets. Kallen raised her hands in surrender. "I don't want trouble.. I'm looking for a dealer."

The three of them exchanged surprised glances back and forth. "What are you looking for?" The man in the middle asked, still suspicious of her.

"Refrain." Kallen could barely believe the words coming out of her mouth, the substance she had once forced from Lelouch's hand. Surely he wouldn't want her to go through with this. Still, he'd been selfish in the requiem, in regards to her at least. Now it was her turn. If anything could take her away from this hell and make her happy again she was willing to try it. If anything could give her a chance to see Lelouch again, it was worth any risk. She pulled out her wallet and took out the cash she had inside. "Whatever this will get me." She handed over the small wad of money to the man in the middle. He flipped through it in his hand, counting off the bills.

"Alright, here you go." He pulled out two vials from his jacket and handed them over.

Kallen looked at the vials for a moment, thinking. "Hey, what about the needle?"

The three of them laughed. "This your first time?" Kallen gritted her teeth, how dare they look down on her. Still, they had yet to show her any hostility so she wouldn't fight them. She nodded quietly. The man on the left reached into his draping jacket and pulled out the device in question. Kallen reached out for it but the man quickly pulled it out of reach. "Hey now, nothing's free."

Kallen blinked, "but I gave you all the money I had."

"Well then, we'll be taking one of those back." The man stated as he pointed towards the vials in her hand. Kallen shrugged and gave back one of the vials.

Once she had the vial and the needle she continued her walk back home. Time seemed to drag as she was anticipating what this would be like. She'd never done anything like it before, so she had no idea what to expect.

Kallen arrived at home and walked in the front door. Her mother was sitting on the couch watching something on TV. "Hey sweetie, you have a nice day at school?"

Kallen smiled towards her mother. "Yeah, I'm just going to go to my room and get started on my homework."

"Alright dear, we're having leftovers for dinner tonight, is that okay?" Her mother asked turning her head in Kallen's direction.

"Sounds great, is it in the fridge?" Kallen asked walking towards the stairs. Kallen's Mom nodded with a smile before returning to her program. Kallen felt a sting of guilt, she didn't like lying to her mother but she didn't want to worry her either.

Kallen hurried up to her room and locked the door behind her. She sat on her bed and pulled the vial and needle out of her pockets. Biting her lower lip, she inserted the drug into the device. Her right hand was trembling as she brought the needle to her left arm. Kallen closed her eyes and held her breath as she felt the metal graze against her skin. She pulled the trigger and winced slightly as the needle pierced her forearm.