Disclaimer: Code Geass is obviously not mine. I wish it was. But it belongs to Bandai, Sunrise, or whomsoever technically owns it.

Chapter 1 - A Sword Through the Chest.

Lelouch stared at the sword through his chest. He had always believed that only those who were willing to die had the right to take another's life. In his short life he had come close to death numerous times. Every time he had been terrified. As he looked up at his oldest friend, at his killer, he wondered. Why did this time bring no fear?

Lelouch barely felt the sword being removed. Darkness was already encroaching on his vision as he began to fall.

"LELOUCH!" C.C. cried as she lunged towards his falling body. She knew he was dead even as she crashed to her knees beside him. Seeing him fall crushed her with emotion she hadn't even been sure she could still feel. She had known since their first conflict with Charles at the Sword of Akasha that she had become closer to him than she had with anyone, perhaps in her entire life.

"Why?" C.C. screamed at Suzaku. "Why did you kill him?" Lelouch had already meant so much to her. He had said he knew her true wish. After the time she had spent with him with her memories sealed she knew it too.

"Why?" Suzaku asked. He appeared as emotionless as C.C. once had. "Because Lelouch is Euphy's murderer."

"Just as you are Nunnally's!" C.C. viciously accused.

"That is only because of Geass!" Suzaku yelled in retort. "I never would have used F.L.E.I.J.A. if Lelouch hadn't-"

"You will not blame that on Lelouch!" C.C. roared. "You knew about the Geass and chose to be armed with F.L.E.I.J.A. anyways! You chose to use F.L.E.I.J.A. when you didn't choose not too!" Her hand darted into Lelouch's jacket and pulled out his gun. As she whipped it around to aim at Suzaku she snarled, "Now you are Lelouch's murderer as wells as Nunnally's!"

"You're not going to shoot me." Suzaku stated. He had suddenly become calm. "With this Schneizel will cease Britannia's imperialism and I shall restore Japan as the Knight of O-" He was cut off as C.C. shot him with no warning.

"Schneizel has already freed Japan." C.C. sneered at him. She walked over and stood above where he fell. "He was only using you."

"Using me? No." Suzaku gasped. He refused to believe this. "How? The Geass!"

"Geass does not work against me." C.C. muttered. "Not even when it's cast on another." As Suzaku succumbed to death she turned and walked back to Lelouch. She knelt and pulled Lelouch's head into her lap. For the first time in lifetimes she mourned.

When he became aware of himself once more the first thing he noticed was silence. Fighting in a war. Living in a military base or on a airship. He had been surrounded by animated people and humming machines. Now it was almost silent. The ground was hard under him but his head was propped up on something softer.

Drip. He felt it rather than heard it. Something had dripped on his face. Whatever he had expected this wasn't it. Drip. He had hoped for rest of a short. But wherever he was he shouldn't be here. After a few moments, violet eyes slowly edged open.

"Witch," Lelouch began. "Why are you crying for me?" He asked when he saw C.C.'s head bowed above his own.

Shocked eyes snapped open. "Lelouch?" C.C. murmured. "How are you alive?"

Lelouch's hand rose to his neck of its own accord. "How?" He hummed. His mind played back a sword piercing him. Suzaku's sword. "Betrayed once more." He tugged at his collar. He suddenly felt like he was being suffocated. Everything he cared about, everything he thought he knew had been shattered. In his last moments he had accepted death. So why was he still alive?

C.C. had been staring at Lelouch since he woke up. His eyes shown with confusion and the increasingly common betrayal he felt. Was this some sort of miracle? Or perhaps more likely a delusion? His violet eyes stared off into space as she watched him try to puzzle out his survival as well. Wait, Violet? Where was his Geass? As his hand tugged on his cravat he exposed the edge of a red mark. At its unveiling C.C. was struck with equal parts hope and horror.

Lelouch started terribly when C.C. suddenly seem to dive at him in an attempt to rip his shirt off. "What are you doing!" He hissed. "I just got stabbed!" Even though it felt like he wasn't injured at all. Given their positions and his stamina which even he admitted was poor there was no way he was going to be able to push her off.

"Be Still!" C.C. insisted. She shifted to gain better balance and let his head fall between her thighs. Finally she was able to yank the his cravat off and froze as she stared at the Geass Crane imprinted on his neck. She had grown so used to the presence of a second code in the back of her mind that it's continued presence after Charles died hadn't seemed significant.

"C.C., what are you doing?" Lelouch asked in embarrassment. He tried to ignore that he had blushed crimson when his head had become trapped between her thighs. She murmured something and the expression on her face when she said it caused him to still. As his blush faded he managed to ask, "what was that?"

C.C. blinked and looked down at him. "Charles' Code," she repeated. "You have Charles' Code."

Looking at the closest thing to a stunned face he had ever seen C.C. wear the first thing that Lelouch thought to say was; "Told you I'd become a Warlock." Then he too succumbed to shock.

When Lelouch finally overcame his shock he didn't know how much time had passed. It hadn't been too long but it had still taken time. He did note that C.C. had overcome her shock first. Realizing he was immortal was probably a much bigger shock for him than it was for her. They hadn't moved away from each other while they were working through this shock. He blushed and made to sit up. As he did he was surreptitiously proud to notice that C.C. was blushing as well. Even if only slightly.

Lelouch looked at C.C. and decided that he would have to consider what just happened between himself and his Witch later. For now there were other questions to ask and actions to take. He stood and watched her stand with him. "C.C." he began. "How is it that I have a Code? I know I didn't after my parents died. I could still feel the power of my newly evolved Geass."

"I don't know." C.C. replied. "The Code never disappeared but you didn't seem to have it until after you died."

Lelouch's eyes widened. "Suzaku!" he sneered. As soon as he spun towards where he last remembered Suzaku he saw the body. The blood that pooled around him was still drying. "What?"

"I shot him." C.C. said from behind him. "After he stabbed you I... I shot him."

Lelouch closed his eyes. This was something else he would have to think about later. But not now. "The Code." He said succinctly. "At the Geass Directorate my Geass worked on my father even though he had the Code. It wasn't until after he died that he was immune."

C.C. stilled and thought about that. "That could be." She finally said. "I have never seen the transfer of the other Code before. When I gained my Code I was already, injured." If it had been anyone else she wouldn't have said that much.

"I suppose that matters little now." Lelouch sighed. "We need to plan what we will do next."

"We?" C.C. asked hesitantly.

"Of course." Lelouch replied. "You are still my Witch. Only now I am your Warlock. Isn't that what you wanted?" It was a question that could be answered later. But he couldn't help but want an answer now.

"I didn't want this for you." C.C. countered. "Immortality is a curse."

"Perhaps it is also a gift." Lelouch said softly. "It may be the greatest gift I ever give."

"I did not ask for it." C.C. whispered slowly.

"A wish is not a request." Lelouch retorted. "It is something far more powerful." He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. They couldn't talk of this now. They had to plan, to act. "My loss of Geass has limited our options."

C.C. nodded. She understood what he was trying to do. But still; "Do you regret that I gave you that Geass?" she asked. She had to know now. Did Lelouch resent the life she gave him?

"Never." Lelouch replied. "The Geass you gave me allowed me to take my first step. From there everything was on my own. Or perhaps, with just one whom I trusted. Who never betrayed me." They stared at each other then. He and his Witch. They would talk of this later. He could feel her agreement. He could feel her through the Code he was only now beginning to recognize.

"Then what do we do?" C.C. asked him. "Charles is gone. What needs to be done? Are you the one who must do it?"

"Schneizel." Lelouch replied. "F.L.E.I.J.A. has changed the field. I must act because no one else will stop him. I will end this age of war so that we may watch over the world in peace."

"We?" C.C. smiled. "You are a selfish man, aren't you Lelouch?"

"I will have you know peace C.C." Lelouch said. "Your life has been harder than any other. Even Nunnally." She was his reason now. She was the last one he had that he wanted to protect. "For that I need to learn what my brother intends to do." The question was how. There had been plenty of signs. But he would need time to put them together. He couldn't stay isolated for that. He would need some access to current events if he had any hope of countering his brother.

"How will you do that?" C.C. asked. "The Black Knights won't accept you again. Without Geass you won't be able to create or take over an organization the size you need."

"Schneizel will aid me." Lelouch replied. "With Suzaku dead he must."

"Why?" C.C. asked. "Why would he aid you after manipulating the Black Knights into trying to kill you?"

"He has no choice." Lelouch answered. "If Suzaku had survived it would have been easy to blame the Emperor's death on him. If the Black Knights had attacked to kill me it would be easy to blame them and Zero for the Emperor's death. However, the Emperor died in what appeared to be a mutiny of Britannian forces. There was no Black Knight involvement. Schneizel can't very well say; 'Zero is a Britannian Prince with super powers that killed the Emperor. But he's dead now.' I must come out as saying Suzaku or I killed the Emperor. Otherwise the blame will fall on Schneizel. With my status as a prince such a statement can only be made in an inquiry."

"But the Black Knights would never let you go." C.C. retorted. "Besides, sitting in a jail cell won't allow you to act at all."

"The Black Knights will have to let me go if they want Japan. Schneizel will see to that." Lelouch said. "I know them well enough to know that they wouldn't give me up to Schneizel in the manner they did unless they gained something. They would've asked for Japan and Schneizel would have given it to them. But if Schneizel were to be blamed for the Emperor's death then Britannia would lay waste to Japan."

"That still doesn't help you stay out of jail." C.C. said.

"They can't put me in jail until after the inquiry." Lelouch replied. "Because I am a prince. After the inquiry they won't want to."

"Did you forget you renounced your right to the thrown?" C.C. asked. "You will not be afforded so many rights."

"Nunnally became Viceroy of Area 11." Lelouch explained. "When I was renounced so too was Nunnally. When her position was restored so too was mine. We will likely be placed under a form of house arrest at the Aries Villa. Schneizel will allow me enough access and resources to keep me occupied. He will only attempt to limit me enough that I cannot challenge him."

"If he can prevent you from challenging him then how are those resources helpful?" C.C. asked.

"Schneizel only has basic knowledge of Geass." Lelouch answered. "I doubt he knows much more than it exists and I had one. I can only hope his ignorance will keep him from knowing what resources I can use against him. It is the best choice I have right now, not a good one."

"I see." C.C. said. "Then what would you have me do?"

"You wish to help?" Lelouch asked amused.

"Of course." C.C. retorted. "Aren't we accomplices?"

"Quite right." Lelouch replied. "We must gain as many resources as we can right now to take with us. Then we will take them to the Avalon when we surrender ourselves to Schneizel. If I can I must retrieve Shinkiro. The Absolute Defense Territory and the Druid System could be instrumental. Jeremiah will be able to join us as my Knight. With him comes the Knight Giga Fortress and its Neural Interface. That leaves one place where you can aid us greatly."

"Oh?" C.C. hummed. "Just where is that?"

"Suzaku." Lelouch stated. "The ones who rebuilt the Guren into the monster it became are the same ones who created Lancelot. The speed with which they modified it suggests that all the testing of the systems they added had already been completed. With Lancelot destroyed the only way Suzaku came here was in a second Knightmare. Best guess is that he piloted an equivalently upgraded Lancelot here. If you were to successfully pilot it to the Avalon you would likely become its new test pilot. Schneizel would see to that. It is something that would take much of our attention."

"Why would Schneizel give you access to such a powerful Knightmare?" C.C. asked. "Even I could tell that they created a different level of Knightmare when they modified the Guren. It would likely be classified as the first Ninth Generation Knightmare."

"So you remember what happened while you were... gone?" Lelouch asked.

"Yes I do." C.C. replied. "Don't think I'll hop on one foot for you now"

"The Knightmare." Lelouch stated, embarrassed. "A Ninth Generation Lancelot would be a great boon to me but it is still a tactical weapon. F.L.E.I.J.A. made our coming battle a strategic one. He would also have full access to the Lancelot."

"I see." C.C. said. She walked over to Suzaku and pulled the Lancelot's key from his jacket. Then with a wave of her hand she summoned a pillar and reached inside. "Before we leave we should probably both change our clothes."

Lelouch looked down at his bloodstained clothes. "Agreed." He replied succinctly.

AN: New story. I'm not sure if that's good news or bad news. I'm trying to make chapters smaller in this story. Let me know what you think.

If anyone is confused about when this happens, it's a divergence set most of the way through R2 episode 21. It's at the Sword of Akasha after Charles and Marianne die.

C.C. seems out of character at the beginning. But I'm not sure she's really that far out of character. After she regained her memories she never seemed to be apathetic anymore. She was far more emotional and the interactions we saw showed her to be far closer to Lelouch.