Fandom: Code GEASS
Request: Gino and Kallen, by faded_requiem; prompt: who are you trying to protect?
Warning: Eloquence on Gino’s part, which may or may not go with his canon personality. And some SPOILERS for Turn 09 R2.
Word Count: 1485
Notes: Somewhat a sequel to my other drabble, Bewitch. There may be some hints Lelouch/Kallen included
Kallen couldn’t figure out what or where she had done wrong.
Everything had been going according to plan. She had slipped in to the party and blended with the circles of guests as unobtrusively as possible, a shy, quiet young lady who ignored every appreciative look sent her way and declined every dance offer from many dashing – Britannian – young men. She had noticed two Knight of Rounds, Suzaku conspicuously absent, and wisely stayed out of their sight. And then, when the main dance had begun and everyone had their attention satisfactorily elsewhere, she had slipped out to the balcony and made her stealthy way to the Ambassador’s office. Lelouch had provided her with a fairly reliable sketch of the premises, and although the dress had been quite a hindrance a few times – she had been slinking along the outer wall of the mansion after all – she had managed to arrive at her destination without any major difficulty.
Obviously it had been too early to tell – especially the major part.
Kallen had just attached the tapping device Lakshata had trusted her with to the underside of the Ambassador’s desk when she heard footsteps, first faint and then steadily getting louder, clearly heading to the office. Without thinking, she slipped behind the nearest curtain and silently hoped that its thickness would conceal any sign of a person hiding between its folds.
She didn’t have to wait long. There was a muted conversation at the other side of the door and the lock turned with a firm click. Someone strode into the room and she could hear the music, chorus of violins drifting in from downstairs before disappearing as abruptly as its entrance, filtered once more by the heavy door. Heavy footfalls, softened by the thick carpet covering the floor, crossed the office and stopped, from her estimation, just in front of the desk.
And then there was only silence. Kallen could hear her thundering heartbeat, filling her ears so loud that she was afraid it would eclipse any other sound. A part of her wanted to pull the curtain aside, just slightly too find out what the person was up to, but the more sensible part told her to stay still. She thought of her task – and then who had put so much faith in her that he would surely be disappointed if she failed – and obeyed the latter for long, suffocating seconds that felt like hours.
“I must beg you not to hide,” then came a voice, clear and deep and impossibly friendly, and Kallen swore that her heart had stopped. ”All I want is to ask you for a dance.”
There was one crazy moment when Kallen thought that if she kept herself hidden, the man – the voice was undeniably male – would eventually leave. But then he spoke again, an unmistakable lilt of amusement in his tone, “You left your shoes here.”
Kallen silently cursed herself but realized that she had no choice but to show herself. If it was only one person, she might still be able to overpower him and get away after. Armed by this possibility in mind, she stepped away from the curtain and saw, encased in the darkness of the room and standing in the middle of the room, the blonde Knight of Round.
Kallen realized that her situation had just gotten ten times worse.
“I thought I recognized that face,” he said, his voice a pleasant drawl that made her shiver slightly. “But when I went after her, I found the balcony to be empty and the lovely lady curiously missing.”
Kallen felt her cheeks burn, out of both anger and embarrassment - though she concentrated on the former and vehemently ignored the latter – but before she could give him any scathing answer, the man had said again, complete with a theatrical bow that made her hand twitch, “Pardon my terrible manner, I haven’t introduced myself. Gino Weinberg, the Knight of Three, at your service.”
“I know who you are,” she replied icily.
A smile – or was it a smirk? She couldn’t tell in the poor lighting – appeared on his face. “But I believe I haven’t yet had the pleasure to make my lady’s acquaintance.”
“Don’t play dumb,” she snapped, patience thinning fast. She had no time for this kind of stupid game. “You waved at me at the reception and now you said you didn’t know me?”
“So you did notice.” That Britannian had the gall to sound pleased. Kallen had to fight down an urge to hit him on the face, silently counting her breathing. This man was clearly mocking her.
He approached her – his manner perfectly nonchalant, bordering rude even – which in turn made her take one involuntary step back, and switched on the lamp sitting on the desk. Pale yellow light flooded the room and illuminated his face. A handsome face, she couldn’t help but notice and immediately felt disgusted to herself.
“Well then,” the knight said, still with that unpleasantly pleasant voice of his, “may I inquire after the purpose of your presence in this private office?”
She only fixed him with a defiant glare. If he thought she could make her talk with all those false gentlemanly sweet talk, let him try.
But he didn’t. Kallen watched, in growing alarm as the blonde man dropped his smile and on its place was now a dangerous look that effectively reminded her to the fact that she was indeed facing a member of the Emperor’s elite knights.
“Don’t play dumb either.” He took a step closer to her and she found her back pressed against the wall. “Right now you are not talking to a stupid boy of seven.”
That pretty much had been made clear five minutes ago, Kallen thought sarcastically.
Eyes never leaving her, he leant back to the side of the desk, one hand on its pristine mahogany surface. She watched him in return, looking for an opening to attack and to her frustration, finding none.
“What are you trying to protect?” he suddenly asked, his cavalier tone smoothly cutting into the silence. When she didn’t deign to answer, he added, “Or is it who?”
Kallen felt her blood running cold. “Zero is our – Japan’s – only hope,” she answered brusquely, perhaps to avoid the quiver from seeping into her voice. Sometimes she hated how he, or even something as small as the thought of him, could make her so vulnerable.
A smile curled the blonde man’s lips – a different one, not the affable or the laidback she had witnessed earlier. “Which Japan do you mean?” he inquired, still sickeningly polite although it obviously wasn’t a question. “Their hope? Or your fantasy?”
“Not everyone wants to lick Britannia’s feet like some street dog!” she snarled at him.
“And Suzaku has let you escape, hasn't he?” he said coolly. “What else do you want now?”
Kallen felt the laughter bubbling up at the back of her throat. And the hate, so immense and smouldering for this Britannian knight that she could barely think.
“Do you think we don’t know what you’re trying to do with that marriage?” It was a surprise that she could still speak at all, let alone coherently.
“Yes.” He frowned at her. “And don’t raise your voice. You don’t want the guards to come barging in and put you in the prison for unauthorized trespassing.”
Kallen was trembling all over. He didn’t know, what they had sacrificed, what they had to pay to get the tiniest scrap of freedom. And yet he talked, this very person whose country had taken their dignity and everything else from them.
This person who listened a traitor.
“He,” she heard her voice whispering, loath lining every letter, “he sold his own friend to be a Knight of Round.”
“A friend who killed his princess, right?”
She wanted to wring his neck but managed to keep the urge to a derisive laugh. “You’re trying to protect him? Don’t make me laugh.”
“He doesn’t need me to protect him,” the blonde man said plainly, eyes boring into her, and she thought she heard a shade of regret in his voice. “But when the time comes, when he has to face Zero, then he will face Zero. I’m the person who’ll make sure that you won’t be in his way.”
There was a strained pause, and then he let his hand slide off the desk and added solemnly, “Don’t forget to tell him that.”
She stared at him, disbelief battling with hope on the field of surprise. “You’re letting me go?”
He smiled suggestively at her. “You sound disappointed.”
“Not in a million–“
“But I’m taking this,” he cut her off and knocked lightly on the surface of the desk. Her heart sank at the implication.
“I’ll kick your ass in the battlefield,” she swore. He smiled pleasantly in response.
“Don’t forget your shoes.”
I don’t really like how Kallen turned out in this one but then again, I think it’s the character she has shown so far in the series..