There was nothing but a grunt in response to her whisper. Shifting onto her side, she pressed herself against his broad back and soaked in his warmth. Closing her eyes, she lay still for some time as she felt the familiar thump of his heart before quietly breaking the kind of sacred silence found only in the wee hours of the morning.
“Lelouch, do you want kids?”
He shifted in his sleep, and she let out a low sigh.
“…I don’t know if we should. Considering the fact that we can barely support ourselves, how could we possibly be responsible for another life? We couldn’t take care of them as we should, so… Maybe it’d be best if we—”
“You want kids.”
It was more of a statement rather than a question. She bit her lip. He knew her too well. He really remembered everything, didn’t he? With that near-perfect memory of his.
“…I don’t know,” she lied. “One. Maybe two. No more than three.”
Turning over, he groaned, “To support one child – one – from birth to age 18 in the city of Pendragon, it costs roughly $375,000. Give or take, what with inflation.”
She would have marveled at the way he had been thinking about kids too if not for the six-digit number at the tail-end.
“3 kids is nearly a million dollars. Of course, that’s not a lump sum. It’s spread out over the course of 18 years, and that’s merely a statistic, so it’s possible that it costs less than that.”
“Or more,” she softly added.
“Or more,” he agreed. “But either way, it doesn’t really matter.”
“Because it’s…” He twisted around to blearily blink at the alarm clock. “2 in the morning right now, and we should be asleep. It would be better if we discussed this in the morning when we’re more awake and we’ve had some coffee. Besides,” he said after catching her expression, “Even if we work through everything and talk it through, it’s not going to happen immediately. So let’s just try to get some sleep for now.”
They lay still for some time until he absentmindedly murmured, “But I would like one. If that’s what you wanted to know.”
As he held her close before drifting off to sleep again, C.C. lay still in the dark. She would regret staying up late tomorrow morning for sure, but it was difficult to sleep with such a heavy stone lodged in her heart.
She had always wanted children. Though a stranger would never have suspected, ever since she had been younger, C.C. had always dreamt of having children and had always thought that she would. It had been one of those unquestioned matters of life. Like her wealth. Just as she would inherit her father’s fortune one day, she would grow up to have children of her own. But as she lay there, it was growing increasingly apparent that like her father’s fortune, that fact of life wasn’t going to be happening anytime soon, and to be quite honest, the disillusionment hurt her more than she had expected it to.
But at least she wasn’t alone in this. She would never have guessed, but since Lelouch also wanted children, at least she wasn’t alone in her disappointment.
Feeling the warm band of her ring, she rubbed the smooth pearl before huddling close as if a chill had suddenly possessed her. Burying herself in his warmth, she closed her eyes and listened to his steady breathing.
In the very least, she wasn’t alone.