Dauntless is a Code GeassFan Fic by Allora Gale, notable both for its quality and for updating at Ludicrous Speed.The premise: Lelouch is spotted by Clovis while out gambling. With only enough time to hide Nunnally away, he allows himself to be brought back to Britannia and reluctantly reclaims his status as an Imperial prince. The remainder of the story (so far) follows his navigating Britannian politics and later joining the military, with separate plot threads expanding on the Back Story of Kallen and Naoto Kozuki's resistance group from canon, Jeremiah Gottwald's attempts to track them down, Nunnally's coping with loneliness and separation from Lelouch, and the activities of the Lelouch-less Ashford Academy student council.
This fic contains examples of the following tropes, in addition to those already present in the source material:
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted with Lelouch, to the point that Chapter 58 is more or less dedicated to this fact. Until Chapter 91 at any rate.
Arms Dealer: Jin Nakata, Naoto and Kallen's childhood friend, ditched La Résistance years ago and makes a living by smuggling weapons from China by sea. Smart, underhanded and quite business-driven.
Arch-Enemy: While the Emperor's head is his ultimate goal (and with Suzaku as his ally) as far he is concerned, Cornelia is at the top of Lelouch's hit list after ratting him out to the Emperor, which could have ended in execution easily.
Emperor Charles: "Explain to me why Cornelia has warned me that you're possibly plotting your revenge against me," The Emperor said, raising one eyebrow in a silent challenge.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: As of chapter 79, Kallen's criminal records for treason, sedition, murder, attempted regicide and theft. Well, not technically. Lelouch got the papers done but he never filed them.
Authority Equals Asskicking: This trope is what motivates the Britannian classist and racist society, in which the strong are rewarded. This mindset was present in canon, but a noteworthy example in this is the Emperor Charles who can easily bring down any of his children and their entire families with but a glance, should any of them show what he perceives as weakness. Even Schneizel walks very carefully around him.
Lelouch's generally views Geass as a last resort. While it makes things easier, he can also only use it once. As a result, he (almost) always goes for persuasion first. C.C. observed that this behavior is far from the norm for Geass' users to the point that one time he used it without her expecting it, the first thing that crossed her mind was that he was in immediate mortal danger.
Likewise the Shriekers can destroy virtually any structure with a significant amount of quartz in it. However, except for destroying bases like the Cursed Sand Fort (which was made of stone) or the JLF headquarters (built into a mountain), they don't see any use.
Badass Boast: Edith gives an awesome one when she calmly threatens to kill Kallen.
Edith: "I've had the blade of a professional assassin coming straight for me, Miss Wallbridge. Do you think I'm going to cower at the sight of you and a butter knife? A better question is, do you think I really came here alone? Or unarmed? I will put you down myself if you don't put that knife down."
Blatant Lies: Euphemia and Viletta visit Lukas while claiming to be his sisters. Not only do they look nothing like Lukas (who has blonde hair and green eyes), they look nothing like each other (Euphy being fair skinned with pink hair and blue eyes while Viletta has dark skin, blue hair, and yellow eyes).
Blood Knight: Deconstructed with Cornelia. While she is intelligent, extremely capable, and an all around stellar strategist, her desire to confront her enemies has left her unimaginative and stubborn. Lelouch compared her to an spoiled brat, used to getting her way in battle. Schneizel happens to agree.
Bodyguard Crush: Surprisingly enough, Cornelia has something of a crush on her Knight of Honor and even more surprisingly Guilford does not seem to feel the same in spite of his fanatical Undying Loyalty toward the princess. Chapter 86 also shows how irked Cornelia was of the fact that Guilford was apparently seeing someone during their stay in Japan.
Boring, but Practical: The reverse-engineered sand panels aren't as flashy as other Knightmare upgrades but they give near unparalleled mobility, even over terrain that Knightmares normally can barely move in.
The Butcher: Lelouch is not amused when he learns one of his nicknames among the enemies is "The Butcher of Area Eighteen". Schneizel decided to keep this nickname out of the press due to the bad publicity.
He uses this image to draw out part of the Kenshiki terrorist group in chapter 88, by staging a fake execution of their family members.
Celibate Hero: Lelouch, possibly more so than canon, in that he is married and also has to deal with C.C. acting as his Dark Mistress and has yet to do anything. Ultimately averted when Abigail convinces him to treat their marriage as something more than the business deal they both know it is.
Also, Lelouch keeps the trait of referring to people with chess notations, as well as claiming that Ohgi's group is just "pawns on his board".
Chekhov's Gun: A few chapters after its first appearance, Von Hoffman's Knightmare cleaner (which uses vibrations to make sand fall off and out of Knightmare Frames) is upscaled, mounted on slash harkens and used to completely annihilate an enemy base. After that, the devise is code-named the Shrieker because of the horrible sound it produces when it's running.
Chekhov's Skill: Jeremiah's marksmanship skills, first observed in Chapter 12 where he shot a man in the heart, puncturing the right ventricle and killing him almost instantly. Proved vital to free Lelouch from any suspicion on Clovis' death via Wounded Gazelle Gambit and much later to Shoot The Hostage Taker.
Chick Magnet: Lelouch, of course. After his various public unveilings, he gets fangirls trying to get into the Aeries Villa and having to have them arrested for trespassing, and in one chapter while talking to Milly, he learns of some sort of vote for both sexiest man and most eligible bachelor by one of the talk shows in Area 11 that he won. It gets dialed down a bit after his arranged marriage.
Firing an (empty) gun at a guard who let a guest into his house with a gun.
Revoking the entire purist faction's noble titles.
Giving Jeremiah a death sentence in the form of becoming his knight for disobeying orders.
Forcing Kallen to enlist in Britannian bootcamp to avoid execution (and make her useful to him).
Making Kaguya, who appeared as his advisor in full traditional Japanese clothing, look like a petulant child by inviting a serious Japanese businessman (who's regarded as a saint to the Japanese) to be another advisor. Although whether he planned this or it was a happy coincidence is uncertain.
Dark Mistress: In Dauntless, C.C. actively cultivates her image as this to Lelouch in order to keep people from asking questions about who she is and why he lets her hang around.
She even goes as far as sleeping in his bed with him. Though they never actually have sex.
Marianne was this for Charles, literally carving the way to power with the bodies of the entire Imperial Family and his enemies, long before she was even considered wife material.
Deadpan Snarker: This quote from the very first chapter shows Lelouch's verbal pwnage skills. And it only gets better from there.
Britannian soldier: You some kind of Eleven sympathizer? You feel bad for him?
Lelouch: Hardly. I feel worse for you. That the sole purpose of your existence is to brutalize an unarmed civilian is a little sad.
Death Faked for You: Lelouch took advantage of Kenshiki's bombings to fake the death of Kallen "Stadtfeld" and arranged an easily justified closed-casket funeral.
Didn't Think This Through: Kaguya joining Lelouch's council while wearing traditional Japanese attire (to declare pride in her heritage) alienates the entire council against her.
Disproportionate Retribution: Clovis has the soldiers who roughed up Lelouch while bringing him in executed. Although Clovis and Lelouch were rather close as children and Lelouch is royalty, it's not like the soldiers knew it, so it's still much.
Dramatic Irony: A small example. Kallen is somewhat peeved because Lelouch's Royal Guard don't let her pilot anything better than a Sutherland, thinking they want to humiliate/annoy her. Suzaku, the best Knightmare pilot among them, doesn't want her at the controls of anything but a regular model because she'd be too dangerous if she ever goes rogue.
The chapter starts off with Mao kidnapping Lelouch's wife. Then Kenshiki bombs Ashford Academy, killing lots of innocent students all to just get at Euphie (who was recently revealed to be attending there). Naturally it sets off Lelouch's Berserk Button, since one of the places of Academy damaged in the attack was where he and Nunnally used to live, as well as the fact it threatened the lives of all his old friends there.
The reveal that the military fortress Lelouch blew up also housed almost a thousand innocent refugees in Area 18 kicks off one of these.
Hate at First Sight: Edith and Kallen for some reason. The latter's PoV explicitly says that "[the] woman just rubbed her the wrong way".
Hates Being Alone: A variation. C.C. hates sleeping without at least being able to hear someone else close by because sleeping alone reminds her of the prolonged periods of sensory deprivation at the hands of Clovis' scientists.
Heroic Sacrifice: Of some sort. Lelouch allowing himself to be caught by Clovis and his men so Nunnally can evade recognition and capture.
Also Suzaku and C.C. when confronted with Clovis's royal guard... just like in canon. And neither of them died/stayed dead, either, again just like in canon.
Hidden Depths: Abigail's admits to being selfish and conceited. She's also trying to get Lelouch to act like a real husband because if she has an heir, her father will let her half-brother back into the family.
Honor Before Reason: Played straight with Kallen who insists on helping Kasumi, an Honorary Britannian in her boot camp, which results in the rest of her squad ganging up on her.
Averted with Lelouch and Jeremiah, the former having told the latter that "sometimes pride is less important than survival". Also averted with Kasumi who joins the military because "They give paychecks on time and pride and honor don't pay the rent or put food on the table."
The police comissioner in Osaka confiscated the Guren and didn't tell any of Lelouch's men until it was stolen over a month later.
Hypercompetent Sidekick: Edith. While actually several magnitudes lower than Lelouch, she is one of the most competent individuals in the series, literally commanding all the resources of Lelouch and deciding who lives and who dies unless Lelouch says otherwise. She is also probably the second person on the entire planet that Lelouch actually trusts.
To the point that she knows full well that she's more valuable to Lelouch than Kallen.
Jerkass Realization: Lelouch realizes how coldly he's been treating Abigail when after being rescued from Mao she asks him to call Euphemia for her.
Katanas Are More Symbolic: Lelouch gives Suzaku an authentic katana for his knighting ceremony rather than a Britannian sword in order to show him (and Britannia) that he is still Japanese.
Kick the Dog: Jeremiah's treatment towards the Elevens (especially Naoto's resistance group) is a pretty big one of these, albeit very fitting to his canon portrayal in Season 1.
His killing Matsumoto and then torturing Naoto in an effort to gain information before killing him are quite likely to be seen as a Moral Event Horizon crossing by Kallen.
The Kenshiki terrorist group has been kicking the dog for a while in story but in chapter 75 they really do some major puppy kicking when they use one of Euphemia's classmates to gain access and bomb Ashford Academy with the terrorist doing the actual deed impersonating Suzaku.
King Incognito: Lelouch deliberately invokes this by not piloting the King Piece but instead piloting one of it's guards.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Harken teaches the recruits that "some battles just aren't worth fighting," which is why he leaves Lelouch alone about the small white box (containing an origami crane from Nunally) after Lelouch subtly threatens him. A well respected drill sergeant he may be, but at the end of the day Lelouch can destroy him with a word.
Large and in Charge: The Emperor Charles, of course. He is a giant, both in strength and authority.
Laser-Guided Karma: Like canon, the Purist Faction tries to use Suzaku as a scapegoat. In response, Lelouch strips all of them of their noble titles and transfers them to stable Areas where they're unlikely to ever regain their nobility.
Like Father, Like Son: Cornelia says this word for word when she first encounters C.C. and assumes she's Lelouch's mistress.
Little "No": Rakshata's reaction to learning the Kenshiki stole the Guren.
Logical Weakness: An obvious yet easily dismissed shortcoming in Mao'sM.O.: What if the intended target's worst dirty secrets are harmless stuff like re-gifting a Christmas present or taking too much change from a coffee shop? Edith was such a case and Mao found her "boringly normal".
Manipulative Bastard: While Lelouch is no surprise, he eventually realizes that Abigail hasn't been aligning the nobility towards him but herself. Thus making sure Lelouch can't dismiss her out of hand or send her back to Britannia.
She reacted with a pure snarl of fury to the news that Lelouch had nearly been killed by Clovis, and it was plain that, had he survived, she would have killed him herself, spirit or no.
She also temporarily took control of Anya at Lelouch's forced wedding just so she could glare at Abigail.
Must Make Amends: Jeremiah for framing Suzaku. In chapter 68, he redeems himself to Lelouch after shooting the man holding Euphemia hostage.
My Greatest Failure: Lukas views Lelouch's friends being taken hostage as this. Lukas' insistence on being punished for it pisses Lelouch off to the point he punches Lukas in the face.
Noble Bigot: Jeremiah, mainly because he is still technically a Noble but a complete and utter bigot with no sense of shame whatsoever of his past abuses. He is still kind, loyal to a fault, and honorable... so long as you are a Britannian and/or a member of the Royal Family.
Not What It Looks Like: Lelouch shows up at Edith's door in the middle of the night and tells her he needs her to help him with something. No, not that.
Obnoxious In-Laws: Lelouch's brother-in-law is badmouthed enough to give Kallen a run for her money. Most of his hostility is focused on Abigail though.
Operation Jealousy: An implied case. After Lelouch consumed his marriage, C.C. made obvious advances on Carson (Abigail's brother) to get a reaction out of Lelouch. She was successful on that but she betrayed her surprise when she realized that Lelouch's only concern was that C.C. could make the fifteen years old boy her new contractor and pick him over himself.
Original Character: Many, although they are all characterized well, and are made with good reason.
Official Couple: Lelouch and C.C. When the author admitted this during a post-chapter message, it brought about a mild fan backlash. Allora Gale found that to be hilarious.
Oh Crap: Gino's reaction when he realizes he had shot Lelouch in the back when he was testing Suzaku's aptitude as a Knightmare pilot.
...aaand C.C.'s reaction when she notices that Mao is nearby.
The JLF leaders once they realized Lelouch's had found out where they are by delivering them the dead bodies of 9 of their members at their "secret" Narita base with a message telling them that he hoped they were really still a resistance group and not stooping to petty terrorism has shown at the hotel jacking and that he was staying his hand because he thinks that was just action of one wayward member and not the JLF as a whole.
A Military Police officer's reaction to realizing the "uppity Eleven" assaulting him is Lelouch's Knight of Honor.
Parental Favoritism: Played in a very twisted way. As the Villain Episode shows, Lelouch's by far the Emperor's favorite child and that's the reason why he goes out of his way to mess with his life. The fact that Lelouch became C.C.'s contractor only increased said interest.
Charles goes so far as to tell Gino that Lelouch is his only child whose death would be completely unacceptable.
Pet the Dog: Lelouch's birthday present to Nunnally. And in chapter 69, he visits her for the first time in months.
Another to Jeremiah. After he saves Euphemia from a terrorist who was holding her hostage, Lelouch tells him that he can call him by name from now on.
Properly Paranoid: The amount of security Lelouch places on Ashford Academy, his friends, and his sisters is ridiculous. And it does its job so well that Mao, the mind reader, can't find a way around it, although he finds a way to get Lelouch's attention when he's able to abduct his wife Abigail. And the Ashford security still isn't enough, as a Kenshiki member manages to sneak a bomb in.
Rage Breaking Point: Captain Hopkins is described "one word away from leaping over the table and attacking" Commissioner Price after learning that the police had confiscated a prototype Knightmare and kept quiet about it until it was stolen over a month later.
Which is why groups/people like them get no mercy from Lelouch: like in canon he doesn't care who you are you target civilians of any background you are a target.
Rhetorical Question Blunder: Kallen asks Edith whether Lelouch would find an ace pilot or a secretary more valuable. Edith calmly informs her that she knows full well that Lelouch values her more than Kallen. After all, Edith is not only a Hyper Competent Sidekick, but also one of the only people Lelouch trusts. He keeps Kallen around because she's somewhat more useful alive; he already has several pilots as skilled or almost as skilled as her.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Lelouch when he thought the JLF had killed Euphemia. Even when he finds out she's still alive, he tells Hector, "I'll be upset if you leave any of them alive."
After the JLF's Kusakabe's hijacking of the hotel and Kenshiki bombing of Ashford Academy, Cornelia is so angry that Lelouch is having to do so much just to not have her screw over his plans in a blind range trying to retaliate like trying to get the JLF hand over Kusakabe (who's still alive after the hotel jacking in this story although current events is making it look like he's not gonna be such for much longer) to at least turn him over to her to turn down her rage before she does something that forces Lelouch to have set back his plans.
Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: The author has claimed to wish to keep the fic quite realistic, with many fans finding this one of its strong positive points, and has also apologized for how unrealistic Suzaku's recovery from being shot is.
Lelouch's personal guard to pure fanatic levels. The leader (Hector) was thoroughly pissed when Lelouch put his life in danger in Area 18 to save one of them. He was pissed at the soldier (his best friend) and flat-out tells him if that ever happens again, he would let him die. The soldier agrees.
His entire Royal Guard, including it's mechanic, abandoned their posts and took the first flight to Japan once they heard Lelouch was shot. Unknown to them, he'd requested their transfer over a month prior so they couldn't officially get in any trouble.
Later, Lukas turns down an offer to become Euphemia's knight because it'd mean that he'd no longer serve under Lelouch.
Also Sayoko, whose loyalty to Lelouch was described as "absolute" by the mind-reader Mao despite of the fact that she is Japanese and knew about his and Nunnally's past from the beginning.
We Are Struggling Together: None, absolutely none of the Japanese terrorist groups work together in any way, fashion, or sense. They are even antagonistic with each other, almost as bad as they are against Britannia. To be fair, given the Kenshiki's standard M.O. of targeting even Japanese civilians, it's little wonder that no one wants anything to do with them. Even freedom fighter groups have standards, y'know.
What the Hell, Hero?: Milly, Suzaku, and even Lelouch had given one to Lelouch for abandoning Nunnally and not even contacting her while in Japan, literally leaving her to "rot" in solitude. While his gift was a Pet the Dog, he is still called out in his actions.
Although he does justify his actions because he said that Nunnally was dead after he was forced to return to the Britannia royal family he needs to minimize any chance that she will be found through him even if this means keeping his interactions with her to a bare minimum even at the cost of him being able to interact with her to show he still cares.
Yank the Dog's Chain: In a very rare and unexpected (offscreen) display of concern, Kallen's stepmother interceded for her sake when she was arrested for terrorism... and Lelouch very easily got her to desist by promising her that he only had business with Kallen Kozuki and that Kallen Stadtfeld would be listed as one of the victims of Ashford bombing. Even a ruthless utilitarian like him was somewhat appalled by Mrs. Stadtfeld's quick and cold-hearted acquiescence.