A/N: Well here is another one of my random Code Geass fics. This one was actually inspired from a nightmare I had as well as a suggestion that I write a Kalulu pairing. Since I don't normally write for this couple, it's a bit of a challenge. It's one that I like though so here it is. This story is set at the beginning of R2, just before one million Zero's are exiled to the Chinese Federation. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: Code Geass does not belong to me.

Heartache is What Brought us Together

Kallen Kozuki took a swig from her water bottle as she rested within her quarters of the Ikagura. She wore her Black Knight uniform as always, but the jacket was partially unbuttoned, revealing a yellow tank top. Her over the thigh high boots laid on the floor below the foot of the bed where Kallen's fiery red head rested.

Normally, the half Japanese, half Britannian teen didn't spend her time lounging around in the plain room. Most of the time she was either testing Rakshata's new weaponry for the Guren, or she was helping out with the new recruits. Though only a few weeks ago had she even been able to do that much since she'd been in hiding since the Black Rebellion.

So, this was the first time that Kallen really got a good look at her quarters. It was a large room, with a queen sized bed in the middle, a flat screen TV across from it, a nightstand on the left of the bed, a desk by the back wall, a dresser, where she kept her clothes and other items, and there was a bathroom connected to her room. Sure, it wasn't the mansion she'd lived in when she had attended Ashford, but it was nice nonetheless.

However, Kallen hardly paid attention to the modest yet grand room. At that moment, Kallen was staring up at the white ceiling. Apparently, the girl was deep in thought, but about what exactly?

(Flashback)

"Can't you find a way to get it back Lelouch? Should I use my knightmare, play decoy? Tell me, I'll do whatever you say!"

Lelouch Lamperouge, Zero, had been sitting on a metal beam that had fallen in all the madness that had happened when the Shinjuku Ghetto was attacked. That had been back when Zero hadn't even made his debut yet, so Kallen had deduced that Shinjuku was where everything began. It was the place where the symbol of Zero was born.

But in that moment, the once proud Zero was sitting on a metal beam as a makeshift bench and had been holding a vial of Refrain toward his arm. All it would have taken was for him to inject the vile substance into his veins. He would have been lost to her forever.

That was why she had marched over and taken it out of his hand. He hadn't tried to fight her, which made Kallen more worried for him. She began shouting at him, and stated that she'd do whatever she needed to do in order to help him.

A sad, bitter smile had tugged at the corners of his lips as he finally replied. "Alright, you can console me then."

Kallen had frozen in place, unable to really comprehend what he had just said. She found that she couldn't move as Lelouch rose from where he'd been seated. She couldn't move still as he came toward her until he was only a foot away from her.

"There are things a woman can do for that right?"

She felt the light touch of his fingertips graze her cheek as he began to lean his head forward. His eyes had darkened, his dull gaze fixed on her lips. Kallen still couldn't move, her eyes were wide with wonder at what Lelouch was doing.

He was about to kiss her.

And she knew it.

As much as she hated to admit it to herself, she had wanted his lips to touch hers. She had wanted to kiss him.

But she couldn't kiss him. She wouldn't take advantage of him when he was so weak, so vulnerable.

That was when she summoned up the strength to slap him across the face. He drew his hand back and brought it to his face as he turned his gaze back on her. The impact of her slap stinging.

"Snap out of it Lelouch! You have a duty! You have to live up to the dreams you once gave us all!"

At that point, tears had begun to well up in her eyes. Though she didn't want to, she let the tears fall.

"So please, keep fooling us until you no longer can. We need you to be Zero with all your heart. Play your role like you mean it!"

And with that, Kallen ran away from him. She couldn't stand to be around him any longer.

(End Flashback)

Kallen sighed. "Slapping him may have not been the best thing to do."

She'd been thinking about it for the last few days. The Second Specially Administrative Zone of Japan was going to be established on Friday, which meant that she only had this last night to tell Lelouch that she was sorry.

Now, Kallen wasn't one to apologize on the regular. She was spontaneous and had a fiery attitude that matched her hair. Apologizing just wasn't a strong suit for her. There was also the fact that C.C. was probably with him right now.

"Does he trust her more than me?" she asked herself, though she figured that a question like that was a rhetorical one. Obviously he trusted C.C. more because she'd known that Lelouch was Zero long before Kallen did.

And that alone was enough to make Kallen rethink her apology. Sure, slapping him may not have been a great thing to do, but it did knock some sense into him. He'd come back and now he was on the Ikagura, preparing for their next move. Everything had worked out, so there really wasn't any need to apologize right?

"Wrong." Kallen thought hopelessly. She raised herself from off the bed and set her feet onto the carpeted floor. After putting on her boots, she buttoned up her jacket and walked out of the room. It was late, almost midnight, but she figured that Lelouch wouldn't be asleep just yet.

Meanwhile, Lelouch was sitting in his quarters, typing away at his laptop. His plan for tomorrow was set, but he had some research to do on the Chinese Federation. He figured that the Geass Order was somewhere in the area, but he didn't know where. He also didn't know much about the Chinese Federation in general, but he was starting to find out.

"The economy in certain areas are practically in a depression," he thought as he scanned page after page of information. "The Empress is very young, too young to run a country adequately, so her advisors are probably calling all the shots, which could lead to utter disaster if they're only advising her on things that will benefit them. The resources are good though and the geography…"

"Zero."

Lelouch glared over his computer screen and at the automated doors. "Who would bother me at this hour." He checked the time on his computer as he reached for his mask. "It's nearly midnight."

"It's me, Kallen."

Lelouch sighed and turned his attention back on his work. "Come in."

Kallen entered then, her intent lost on him as she glanced around. "Where's C.C.?"

"She left a few minutes ago to force Sugiyama to make her a pizza," he replied, his eyes never leaving the computer screen.

"In the middle of the night?"

"C.C. is annoying like that."

"Oh."

Lelouch stopped typing and finally looked up at her. "Is that all Kallen?"

"Uh, no, I…you see…I…"

"Why is she mumbling?" Lelouch wondered as he kept his gaze locked on her. He noted that she was fidgeting with the sleeves of her jacket and her face was flushed. He leaned back in his chair, figuring he wasn't going to get any work done as long as she was in the room. He may as well give her his undivided attention.

But as she continued to ramble on, Lelouch became slightly annoyed. "Kallen, what exactly are you trying t say to me?"

Kallen was blushing furiously at that point and her temper got the better of her. "Well, if you'd just listen…"

"I am listening," Lelouch cut in, unaffected by her rage. He was the only person Kallen knew that wasn't affected by it.

"Do you remember the other day when…when you were about it inject yourself with Refrain?"

"I haven't forgotten."

Kallen sighed, bracing herself. "I just wanted to tell you that I was…that I was sorry."

"For what?" Lelouch asked.

"For slapping you," she replied. "You'd been going through a lot then. You know losing your sister to Suzaku and well…I had no right to judge you for it…I'm just sorry okay."

Lelouch smirked, somewhat intrigued that she seemed to be so nervous. "Don't apologize. I needed some sense knocked into me."

"Well I…" Kallen trailed off. She couldn't bring herself to say anything more. Embarrassment had kicked in.

"So is that all?" Lelouch asked.

Kallen probably should have left the room then, but there'd been something she'd wanted to know for a while and she couldn't hold in the question any longer.

"How did it feel to lose your mother?"

That simple question triggered a stream of memories that flashed through Lelouch's tormented mind within seconds. He heard the spray of bullets that had shattered the windows. He saw his mother and sister on the stairs as those same bullets put holes in their mother's body. He saw the two of them fall onto the stairs, the blood of their mother flowing down them and into puddles that just seemed to expand as the seconds passed. He remembered the look in his mother's eyes. He remembered watching in terror as his mother vainly tried to reach out to him, begging someone…begging him to save Nunnally since she knew that there was no time left for her. He remembered seeing the rise and fall of his mother's chest as she labored desperately for breath.

He heard the splash of blood as his mother's hand limply fell.

He saw the last rise and fall of her chest.

He could smell the blood and he could taste the vomit climbing up his esophagus.

And more than anything else, he could feel his heart break and his mind shatter. All that had been left were his own screams.

The memories had only been a flash, but the scars on his heart remained as he bitterly answered her.

"Why do you want to know?"

Kallen caught onto the bitter note in his voice, but she didn't question it as her own stream of memories flashed through her mind. She remembered fighting alongside her brother when they'd been just a small resistance group. She remembered his smile as they'd shared a final conversation over the knightmare communication system. She remembered screaming in horror as she watched an enemy knightmare puncture her brother's hatch. Mostly, she remembered the glazed look in his eyes when she and Ohgi had opened it later. She remembered seeing a pool of blood within the hatch.

She remembered crying for days.

She remembered breaking the news to her mother.

She'd lost her mother then. Her mother had gotten addicted to Refrain, which was exactly why she'd stooped Lelouch from injecting himself and why she continued to fight.

Her mother wasn't dead, but for a while Kallen had figured she might as well have been.

So, she had wanted to know just exactly what it felt like to lose a mother. She knew what it was like to lose a brother, but a mother…Kallen couldn't imagine it.

"Are you going to answer?" Lelouch asked, breaking her out of her thoughts.

Kallen took a deep breath. "I lost my brother two years ago. When he died, my mother checked out and got addicted to Refrain. I just wanted to know, from your perspective, how you felt when you lost your mother because…for a while now…even though she's still alive…I feel like I've lost mine."

Lelouch unclenched his fists and took a long time to take a good look at Kallen's expression. He could see that she wasn't trying hurt him by bringing up this sensitive subject. She really did want to know and it was clear that she genuinely felt that she'd lost her mother.

But Lelouch knew better. Losing someone figuratively was different from actually losing someone. When someone is alive, even if they've checked out of your life, there's a chance that they can check back in. When someone has died, they aren't coming back. You can't reach them.

But despite his realization of this, Lelouch decided that he'd let himself answer her. He decided that he could be honest with her if only once.

"Losing my mother left me empty," he told her, rising from his chair. "The symbol of Zero is a reflection of that. I have no other explanation to offer you than that Kallen because…there aren't words to describe how I felt then or how I feel now."

Kallen locked her gaze with Lelouch's. "I can't describe how I felt either. Like you…I feel like there aren't words to explain something so terrible." She smiled a little. "I guess…I guess we're not as different as I thought though. That at least makes me feel better."

Lelouch smirked. "So is that all Kallen? At this rate, I won't be ready for tomorrow's operation."

"You'll be fine," she said, sticking her tongue out at him as she turned away. "Later."

"Wait."

Kallen turned around to find herself suddenly in a lip lock with her commanding officer. Now, she could have, should have slapped him this time, but instead she leaned into it and all but melted against his touch.

And then, as swiftly as the kiss came, Lelouch pulled away and marched right back to his computer. Poor Kallen was left to stand there by the door, without a clue to what had just happened.

"Goodnight Kallen," Lelouch said after a while.

Kallen nodded and quickly left the room, her face as red as her hair.

She couldn't help but smile though. Lelouch had surprised her and had left her breathless yet again. The conversation had taught her something too. And that lesson made her smile as she traveled back toward her room.

"Heartache is what brought us together. And hopefully the liberation of Japan will keep us together."


A/N: And that's pretty much the end of this story. Told you it was random, but hopefully you all enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

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